23. The Decision
Around the palace garden Khamul stormed like a rampaging ogre. The guards shrank back from her, not daring to meet her eyes or attract her attention.
"How dare he?" Khamul snarled, clenching and unclenching her fists, her face a mask of fury. "He does not deserve to lead us. He is a fool who merely got lucky." Although the luck took the form of a creature of unspeakable evil residing in his body, Khamul reminded himself.
"Khamul!" Vorea cried, running to catch up with the raging second ringbearer.
"What is it?" Khamul growled.
"If you wish to leave, then so shall I," Vorea said. "I have no more liking for that man than you."
Leave. The word hung in the air, tantalizing them both.
Ceure ran up, gasping a little. "I'm too old for this," she grumbled. "But I agree with Vorea. If you leave, we both will."
Khamul considered this. "Leave," she said. She looked around at the palace that was rotting from within. The whole land was. Sauron's evil had spread across the land like a vile cancer. Already it was beyond cure. Soon Numenor would tumble to the ground, destroyed forever.
"We are not needed anymore," Khamul said. "You can just see Romenna Harbor from here," she said. "The ships of the great fleet that will storm Valinor are being assembled. They will be ready to set sail in several months. Nothing could throw the king off his course now."
"Do you think it is time to leave?" Vorea asked.
Do I? Khamul asked herself. Do I think it is time to go? I don't know. I really don't. I can't stand this choice of a leader, but I want to see things completed. I want to watch Isildur be sacrificed in the temple, I want to watch as Numenor crumbles.
"We will stay," Khamul said at last.
This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.