The Voice of the One crackled within the crystal pillar in the center of the Hall of Song. Blue fire spun within it, mere threads of the Flame at the heart of Eä that long ago had flared and exploded from a mote, whether from a Mind's Eye or from an objective singularity, those who waited knew not. All they knew was that they perceived the Voice of their universe, Eä, this One, and they listened.
The forms of the thirteen Enkeladim in the Hall shifted from amorphous luminescence to sharp-edged geometries to fleshy echoes of what their kind had once been in the remote depths of Time's river. Outside the Hall, the beautiful ones, their lesser servants that the Enkeladim had discovered and adapted for their use, milled about, their vapors pulsing while they anxiously awaited the naming, for it affected their fates, too.
Order formed from the chaos churning within the pillar, and the Voice spoke:
Mânawenûz shall lead you.
And that was all.
He reeled with disbelief. The Voice had named his brother. Not him.
Had he not been chosen to be the first sent to that fertile island in the remote emptiness of Eä, when it had first rounded into a globe of fire? Had he not been sent to observe it and sing back to his brethren what he saw? He had done that. Alone, he had delighted in the heat of this new world, dancing and swaying in molten cataracts. He had watched the world cool, and the rains that came later, drenched with promise that the other worlds of this island did not bear. He had tasted the new seas with their mélange of star-stuff born from the Fire, the substrates that might give birth. With wonder, he had listened to the first notes chime in the warm pools, those first simple notes of life that swelled into a chorus of endless forms most beautiful.
He swam through his love's ocean, walked upon her moon, dove into her yawning chasms and emerged again, rising with might upon her pyroclastic explosions. He had caressed this world, her lands, her waters, loving her to obsession, all the while listening to her life sing with ever-mounting complexity, but never interfering with her music.
Then he perceived thought. Words. Song. Art. The Enkeladim had all awaited this, the culminating symphony of their hopes: the Seeds of the Fire had come to fruition. He sang back to those who dwelled in Ellor Eshúrizel, his home of intricate harmonies, telling them with joy:
The children have arrived. I hear them singing.
His message was met with rejoicing, and he was summoned home to Ellor to await the decision of who would be the Guardian of Guardians of this treasure floating in the depths of Eä. And the decision had been made.
The pillar now guttered with formless fire, and silence reigned in the Hall of Song. He flung sharp spears of his thought toward his two allies who stood by his powerful brother, the one who had been chosen, impaling them with his fury.
I believed you supported me!
The one who had asked so much of the waters of his beloved did not answer, deflecting his outrage with passive fluidity. The one who had asked so much of the substances of the world -- the stones, the gems, the minerals, the one whose mind was so like his own, turned away in shame.
Something within him snapped. With binary speed, the blinding love he had poured into that cherished island changed to hate. He became fire, brilliant to behold but consuming, devouring, and so his kindred turned from him. He lifted his voice, more powerful than any gathered around him, and opened the gates to Arda, shooting through the gaping maw as a storm of flame and leaving the others behind, the last notes of his thought rebounding in the Hall of Song, now reverberating with jagged dissonance:
If I cannot have her, neither can you.
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.