Five Minus Two Equals...: 7. Five Minus Two Equals...

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7. Five Minus Two Equals...

Once they were five.

 White and grey, brown and blue…

 It never troubled him as to why five should actually be four.

 Four was enough for five, though- especially when five became two.

 He never thought anything of it, until now.

 He wishes he had.

 Two were lazy, two were careless- two thought that one might always watch the other's back, that they were safe…

 …and they were.

 Until now.

 Now, in this, his final moments, he realises that two plus one truly can equal zero.

 Pallando's head is cradled in his arms, his light snuffed before time by the Thing they found in the temple.

 Would that they had been three- or four, for that matter, or five…

 The odds might have been different.

 The outcome might have been different.

 Had he had his brothers at his side, the Thing might still have been stopped, but one might now still be two…

 …but he did not, and now five have become four, and will soon become three.

 How soon before none are left, he thinks- how soon before all the Istari are gone, and how long after that will Sauron's evil ensorcel all of Middle Earth?

 Alatar takes one last look at the dead Thing- the monster that once he might have called Brother, had things been different- its fires snuffed, its fury silenced…

 He takes one last look and weeps.

 The blue Wizards have failed, he thinks, as he slips into oblivion.

 May brown and white and grey be enough…


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.

Story Information

Author: Aruthir

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Genre: Drama

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 04/05/14

Original Post: 04/03/13

Go to Five Minus Two Equals... overview

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