1. You Shall Not Pass
The beast rises, terrible in its wrath, and I steel myself against the blast.
Olórin shoots a look at me and I shake my head.
"They have more need of you than me, old friend."
He nods, and- though my heart breaks to do it- a smile crosses my lips.
"I have bested worse than this in my time, have I not?"
He goes to speak, and I cut him off.
"Fly, you fool."
The beast roars, fear and flame and foulness and filth, and my smile widens as my comrades turn and run.
This Age was not meant for the likes of me, after all; we allowed too much horror, too much malice, too much hate, too much murder…
If I die here, it shall be heroic- a tale for the Ages.
If I live…
Well, if I live, I live.
It matters not for the moment; Olórin is gone, and the Ring-bearer safe with him.
Hope still lives.
The beast roars again, hateful and horrid.
None shall hear my answer, but I speak it anyway, and my grin is as the sun after the storm.
"You shall not pass."