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ArWen the Eternally Surprised
Author: Ria Time: 2007/11/22
Arwen encounters a strange monk and gains a little extra time.
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Beyond the Far Horizon
Submitter: Pecos Date: 2005/12/29 Views: 3222 Rate: 7.00/10
Summary: Title: Beyond the Far Horizon - Master Copy
Author: Pecos - (Queen of Snarks)
Beta: Gloria Mundi:
Rating: R - m/m slash sex, angst, adult language
Feedback: remember the golden rule, (please!)
Disclaimer: I don’t make the toys, I’m only playing with them. No money made, nor disrespect intended
What is it?: FPS / RPS / AU Movie characters, book situation, real people jumping into my own version of our past and theirs. (This is where I wish I’d stayed awake during history classes)
Archive: I’d be honored, just tell me where
Note: This story incorporates many elements. All of them are untrue, but some are more untrue than others

Chapter One: The Leap
“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy” – F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940)

He was certain that he’d fallen, but his feet found the hard ground first. Sounds assailed his sensitive ears, a rumbling of distant thunder, something heavy crashing, strange metallic clangs, the crack of lightning. Above all, the air was split with a shrill scream that wavered and cried some horrible warning. There was a droning noise as well that he’d never heard in all of his life, a noise which…seemed to come from the angry sky over his head. The air smelt of dust and damp, acidic fumes, and a tang like blood.

Scrabbling for purchase, he knelt to steady his shaking body, finding rocks and hard things beneath his hands as he tried to blink his eyes back to life. He finally raised his head and was able to see that he crouched in a canyon of tumbled stone and buildings – unlike anything he knew. The buildings rose so high, and the dark sky above was cloudy and lit by unnatural shafts of light. A few thin, sweeping rays of sunshine defied the dark, yet they rose from the ground, fading into the gauzy bottoms of the clouds. The droning increased, and suddenly the very air was rent with the sound of a tremendous explosion.

The glow of fire flickered in the distance, sounds of destruction and collapse, and Legolas Greenleaf felt his heart thumping in his chest as the only thing in this world that made sense. He raised his Elven eyes to the sky once more and something glinted there that didn’t belong. It wasn’t a star, it wasn’t even above the clouds, and it was moving. A stream of fiery arrows arched up to meet the intruder, blazing across the dark like embers. He choked on his cry of fear and bolted. Tumbled stones and bizarre objects blocked his path, but there was a wide, clear trail going in a straight line through the towers that loomed on either side. He ran for his very life.

Something red and ungainly -- bigger than a cave troll -- was on the same path, and dirty beams of light shone from its eyes. He darted sideways into the deeper shadows, finding an opening in the cliffs. More odd objects here as well, humps of metal and things with sharp edges. He ran on, silent in the dark, trusting his feet to find purchase on the strange soil, and realizing too late that he was boxed in. Panicked hands found stones shaped in squares, rising far above his head. He found a nook where he could conceal himself, amongst the stink of Man and Man’s refuse. Tucking his Elven body into the small space, he hugged his knees and trembled, giving rein to the fear which turned his blood to ice.

How was he ever going to be able to track the evil Wizard in this bizarre place? How was he even going to be able to find his own way back? A whistling shriek came from above, echoing weirdly in these canyons of brick. He pressed his violet eyes shut and shuddered as another booming explosion rent the air, a fresh wash of dust and the screams of men and women tearing through the chaos. He wrapped his arms over his head as small, hard things fell from the sky, like a rain of pebbles and stones. If not for his terror he would have screamed as well.

“I must go after him!” Aragorn cried, pulling against the steely grip Gandalf had thwarted him with.

“Nay! This is not what it seems! There are evil forces at work,” the white Wizard warned him sternly.

Aragorn snorted at the obvious statement. What other forces could move in the stifling air of the Tower of Orthanc? They had come here from the battle at Helm’s Deep to assure that Saruman was thrown down forever, and had found that the Ents of Middle-earth had already completed the task of destroying Isengard. They confronted Saruman in the remains of his lofty lair and he had rained honeyed words of poison on their hearts. When the spell was broken by the new-found strength in their midst he had thrown down the Palantir and fled within. That was when Aragorn had felt torn out of himself and had led the charge, disobeying Gandalf’s council. That was the move that had changed everything.

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli had rushed to these dark inner chambers, and they had finally found the sinister wizard near to collapse in a room carved in the heart of the tower. Gríma the worm tongue cowered nearby, overcome with shattered hopes and fears, groveling to no one, his mind all but gone. The air crackled with unnatural energies and a blue glow lit the air. Gandalf arrived at the broken portal just as Saruman gave one last evil laugh and cursed them all. The twisted Wizard had turned to a huge oval mirror place in the center of the room. With a booming word of power he had gathered his robes and leapt through the mirror’s surface. His body moved into the mirror like a stone into a pool, and he was gone.

Without a sound, Legolas had leapt after him, his beautiful features set in grim determination, and Aragorn felt a hot knife plunge into his heart as the Elf slipped through the mirror’s face and disappeared. Gimli cried out in alarm and ran at the portal, yet his senses held and he stopped before breaching it, shouting in anger and fear. He ducked behind and around, finding that there was no tunnel or other means of escape, just the dulled surface of the mirror itself – a surface that had claimed their friend and brother, the Elf.

“He’s left his bow below!” Gimli cried, seeming to weigh the merits of pursuing Legolas. “His quiver, even his knives! He has no weapons to confront Saruman!” His own hands still clutched his ax, hefting it for reassurance as he tried to make up his mind.

Gandalf tightened his grip on Aragorn, saying, “The portal will close in a moment. The energy is dissipating like smoke in a breeze. I have no way of knowing what this spell entails or where the portal leads.”

That was when Aragorn made up his mind. He leaned back into the Wizard, hand caressing the pommel of Narsil’s grip, giving his body a defeated slump. The white Wizard spoke again, saying something about duty and destiny, but the throne-less King was not listening to the meaning of the words. Duty -- that was what he had -- duty to his friend, his beloved friend Legolas, who had saved his own life more times than he could count now. Footsteps behind them at the door to the chamber and Théoden’s booming voice in the corridor were all the distraction Aragorn needed. Gandalf had misread his intentions and turned away.

Aragorn surged forward, and leapt through the mirror just before the portal closed.
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