26. Return to Mordor
"You made it!" Yanta exclaimed as the bedraggled group stumbled through the doors of the Barad-dur.
"You might have had horses waiting at the Morannon," Khamul growled.
"Ah, now that's an idea," Yanta said. She shrugged. "Didn't think of that."
"What else didn't you think of?"
"Ah, you're alive," Metima said, smiling as she walked in. "And three more have joined our ranks. Who are you?" she asked.
"My name is Ancalime," the lady said, stepping forward and curtsying. Yanta's lip curled into a sneer.
"Ceure," the middle-aged woman said, folding her arms across her chest.
"Morion," the last said.
"I think I can spot the ninth," Yanta said, glancing at Ancalime, "but who's first?"
"Me," Morion said.
"Unfortunately, yes," Khamul said. "There was an incident."
"Oh, do tell."
"That tale would be better after I am corporeal once again," Sauron's voice said.
"He made it?" Khamul asked, glancing around.
"He's a spirit," Metima said, nodding at the throne.
"Give me my Ring, Khamul," Sauron said.
"Of course," Khamul said, walking to the throne. "What do I do?" she asked. "Just drop it or something?"
"Yes, do that," Sauron said.
Khamul removed the Ring and tossed it into the air. Strange, she thought. I'm not transparent anymore. I'm completely solid. It must be something about the Ring.
It took a moment, but suddenly Sauron appeared on his throne, looking none the worse for wear than when the whole business with Numenor had begun.
"Numenor has fallen," Sauron said. "And still we stand."
"What happened?" Khamul asked.
"I was overtaken by a large wave brimming with the wrath of the Valar. It tore my form to pieces and sent my spirit fleeing back to Mordor," Sauron said.
"Everybody else die?"
"Yes," Sauron said, nodding. "Miriel nearly made it to Meneltarma's temple, but the waves overtook her. The Valar evidently did not believe her pure enough to reach it."
Sauron had not mentioned the child, and Khamul didn't bring it up. No need to, she thought. It's in the past now, and likely at the bottom of the ocean.
"What do we do now that the brave have returned?" Aica asked with a slight sneer as she and her brother walked in.
"Khamul," Sauron said, looking at her with a piercing glance. He knows about Elendil, she thought.
"We escaped Numenor with Elendil and his sons," Khamul said. "We did not have time to fight them. Escape was our only concern at that moment."
Sauron nodded slowly. "Continue," he said.
"They are at a Numenorean settlement in the Pelargir. Do we have the forces necessary to attack them?"
"Answer that, Metima," Sauron said, his voice approaching lethal.
"Well, the orcs sort of left," Metima said. "They thought you were gone for good," she said, nodding at Sauron. "We are trying to recapture them, but they are proving difficult."
Khamul groaned. "The longer we leave them, the stronger they become!" she snarled.
"We have no choice," Sauron said. "There is nothing we can do."
Khamul snarled curses and started pacing back and forth, growling furiously. "So close!" she snarled. "We were so close!"
"Numenor is destroyed," Sauron said. "That was the purpose."
"But if the damn orcs were here we could wipe the settlers off the map as well!"
Sauron sighed. "It is not always possible for all the best outcomes. We are fortunate our main goal was accomplished."
"But now," Khamul muttered, "but now they will gather an army."
"I think they are weak for that," Vorea said.
"But in time! The longer we leave them, the greater the army! They will not rest until we are defeated!"
"There is nothing we can do," Sauron said. "We are slowly re-gathering orcs and trolls. Eventually we will be ready."
"Eventually," Khamul sneered. "Eventually they will be ready as well!"
"Then we can only hope we are ready before they are."
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.