59. Fall of the Tower of the Moon
"Let's recap, shall we? Arnor is destroyed, but so is Angmar. Arvedui is dead, but Earnur is alive. Oh, and Aranarth is alive. And well. And living in Imladris. This just gets better and better."
Morion nodded weakly from where he lay on the floor. He was covered in blood and sweat and he prayed the angry Vala wouldn't take out any more of his wrath on him.
"Aranarth is alive," Melkor hissed. He stopped pacing back and forth and stood in front of his slave's naked body. "He is alive. This damn line will continue forever!"
"I will kill him," Morion muttered.
"No! Let him rot. Destroy Earnur. Cripple Gondor."
Morion nodded. "May I leave?" he asked.
Melkor considered this and then nodded. The gray mists swirled in Morion's vision and he woke up in his bedroom in an abandoned tower of Gondor, Ringe beside him.
He didn't want to touch or be touched by anyone, so Morion slipped out of the bed and dressed. He went to the window and looked out over the bleak land of Mordor. It was exactly as he remembered it. Except there was a small rider in the distance, getting closer and closer.
"About time, Khamul," he muttered. This was a big day for the ringbearers. The orcs that had gradually gathered in the Black Land over time numbered in the thousands. Far more than enough to take a certain city.
"Where have you been?" Yanta snapped as Khamul walked in about an hour later.
"Firiel's dead," Khamul reported.
"And Aranarth is alive," Morion said. His back still hurt from Morgoth's lashes though there were no visible marks.
"There's some new horror in Moria."
"It calls itself Lungorthin. It's a balrog."
Morion nearly choked on the food he was eating. "A balrog?" he gasped.
Khamul nodded, frowning. "Is that a problem?"
"There's a balrog in Moria?"
Great. Just what he needed. One more complication. Or perhaps it could be a benefit. Doubtful though. The balrog and Sauron would have to come to an accord about who would rule Middle-Earth. They were both Maia after all.
"Why is there an army outside?" Khamul asked. "I thought we'd been driven from the north and had slunk into hiding to lick our wounds."
"Not quite," Morion said. "We're going to capture Minas Ithil. Again."
"Are we going to hold it this time?"
"Good. That city belongs to us anyway."
The orcs poured down the mountain passes. The trolls lay siege to the great gates. Minas Ithil foundered in a sea of bodies. By the time this siege was over, the Tower of the Moon was going to be empty. And if it wasn't, then the orcs would soon take care of that.
"I remember thinking how beautiful the city was," Morion said as he and Khamul watched the battle. "I remember feeling sorry for myself. I remember watching this siege and praying that Isildur would escape."
"How do you feel now?" Khamul asked.
"I want them all to die."
Khamul snorted. "Me, too," she said. "I felt that way from the start though."
Morion looked at Khamul. She was beautiful, in a cold, proud, cruel way. She had to be in the right light though. Otherwise she just looked cold, proud, and cruel.
"Ringe said something to me," he said. Probably shouldn't've used his name, he thought.
"What?" Khamul snapped, scowling. "Whatever it was, it was a lie."
So it wasn't. "He said you loved me," Morion said.
"He was lying. I don't give a damn about you."
This was not the way to get Khamul to admit her feelings for him. What an idiot I am, Morion thought. I'm going about this completely the wrong way. And now I've screwed things up for good.
"I'm sorry for any pain I've caused you," he said.
"You haven't caused me any."
"That's good then," Morion said. He watched as the trolls hammered on the gate. The gate appeared to be standing its ground. "This is going to take a while."
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