Captive Of Amon Ungo
Loss of will to live
Legolas didn't struggle. The rope that had been used as binding was cutting into his wrists and the simplest move would bring breathless agony to his lungs and broken ribs. How long now? How much longer would he last? How much longer would he stay here? Would anyone come for him? Did anyone know or remember that he was gone? After all, it HAD been...what?...16 months? 18? 20? He lost count awhile ago.
What was Aragorn doing now? Was he upset? Happy? Did he care that Legolas was gone? What about the King of Mirkwood? Was he even the least bit concerned about Legolas? Or was he too caught up in work and didn't have the time to care or worry about it?
The young Prince's mind was filled with questions. It was better to think and wonder about those things, rather than focus on the moment. After all, this "prison" was a mountain. It was called Amon Ungo, a rocky mountain on the outside and a rock prison inside.
By the Valar, Legolas didn't like caves! His home was just like one, so being in Rivendell was a treat. He was treated like family there and not like a Prince either. He would probably never go back. There is always hope...Legolas remembered Aragorn's words.
Legolas' best friend and companion, who happened to be a Human. The Man was a skilled fighter and loved Legolas like a brother with every heartbeat. Legolas loved Aragorn like a brother also. They had saved each other's life countless times. They had rarely fought in all the years they had been companions and their humor went beyond the sky's limit.
Legolas sighed and let silent tears run down his face as he remembered Aragorn's face and smile...probably for the last time.
Aragorn looked towards the horizon. The sun had just risen and the sky was a mixture of different colors. He saw the old mountain, Amon Ungo, standing tall in the distance. He was sure this was where Legolas was and the Man shuddered at the thought. Legolas hated caves! Although the mountain wasn't technically a cave, it was just as close and just as bad.
He clicked and lightly tapped his horse on the side and rode forward. He would waste no more time. He would get Legolas out as soon as he could with no hesitation.
Legolas looked up as the creaky old metal door that led into and out of hiscell opened noisily. Inside, he screamed, not wanting to be hurt again. Outside, he became a shell and wouldn't give them the satisfaction of seeing him cry out. The big, burly Man that walked in was carrying something that Legolas couldn't see. The Man wore thin tunics and had a shaved head.
"Elven scum, your kind has abandoned you to your fate. What do you think of them now?" The Man laughed. Legolas said nothing and limply allowed himself to be dragged down the long winding rock paths to a room he called, 'The Room of Misery and Torture'. He used to have other names for it, but this one stuck. It was a plain rock room with old blood stains on the floor. There were racks with 'Torture toys' everywhere. When they entered, Legolas saw four Men inside.
Legolas was unchained for a brief moment and then chained again to two long chains that hung from the ceiling. He knew what was going to happen to him.
He knew what they would do now.
After a few moments, he felt the bite of leather and metal hit his back. He clenched his teeth, so he wouldn't cry out, and thought of past memories. It only brought a moment of satisfaction and relief, but then he was back to reality. Pain ripped through his entire being and his back began to feel raw. His arms ached and he tried to move.
The whip caught his side, reopening the still-very-painful wound that he had gotten a few days ago. He remembered the long knife cutting into his side deeply as new blood fell to the floor. He came back to reality and found the wound was bleeding harshly again.
Finally the whip stopped. He was untied and fell to the floor. Legolas backed into a corner. He ached and wanted it to just STOP. "No, no, no, Elf. We aren't finished with you." One of the Men in the room said.
Legolas narrowed his eyes. Two Men came and brought him out of the corner. He was placed on a wooden table-like thing. He was tied down with leather straps around his arms, chest, and legs. There were two Men on either side of him. One Man produced a long knife with an extra sharp blade. Legolas looked around. He was scared and wished that Aragorn were with him.
The Man with the knife lifted Legolas' torn tunic to where his lower ribs were. The Elf then felt the cold tip of the blade touch his stomach. Then there was pain. He followed the way the blade moved as fear ripped through him. The blade cut a straight line, going up and down, and then started a new line which started on his left side and curved to cross over the straight line. The cut made sort of an 'X' shape.
He felt blood flow in a steady rate. He didn't know what they were doing. He felt little metal weapons slide into the 'X' shape. Finally, a different man stitched the wound close. Legolas had his teeth clenched during the process.
They untied him and carried him back to a cell.
This cell was just like his other cell only this one had a cot attached to the rock wall. The Men put him on the cot and tied him with leather straps that only held him by his legs and arms.
The Men left and Legolas finally let sleep take him.
Aragorn was close now. Very close. He could see the mountain very clearly now. Legolas would soon be free and back home. Well, in Rivendell. Aragorn pushed his horse to go faster. They would be at Amon Ungo in less than half an hour.
He was six or seven days from Rivendell and he had a plan all worked out. Aragorn had brought blankets, pillows, herbs, pots, cups, medicines, a traveler's cot and his weapons. He also had a map of Middle-Earth somewhere in the bag.
He went faster and further every minute. His friend needed him. Now.
Legolas let consciousness return, but kept his eyes closed. Pain ripped through him when he moved. It was indescribable pain in which he had to fight hard to keep from crying out. He couldn't remember how he got a lot of the wounds. His knee was just beginning to heal. About a month ago, one Man beat him and broke his knee. He had an old head wound from...getting his head slammed into the rock floor during a beating. It was nearly healed.
He did not care about the other wounds, which were more-than-likely worse than the ones he just thought about. He did not care because he knew he would die soon (of something intentional or sweet Elbereth taking him from his misery, he did not know) and it would be a gift when he did die, for he no longer cared what happened to him.
The Prince flinched at the sound of his name. 'Am I going crazy, he thought, or is someone really here?'
"Look up, Legolas." The voice said.
Legolas knew the voice, but he hadn't heard it in a long time. Legolas knew the voice, but couldn't place it.
The Prince obeyed and turned his head so he was facing up instead of sideways. He saw nothing for a moment and then...
"Aragorn?!" Legolas whispered, shocked.
The elf's friend appeared, crouching in the small rock crevice about 11 feet above. Aragorn smiled and nodded. "Do you see any guards? I cannot see out into the hall from my position." Aragorn informed Legolas. The Prince shook his head. "No, no guards." The Elf whispered.
"Good, now I can rescue you." Aragorn's voice was soft.
The Man couldn't see Legolas' injuries, but he noticed that the Elven light that radiated around the Prince was just barely there.
"Aragorn, you'll get caught! Leave me and go back. I am scheduled to go to the torture room any time now and that is where I'll die because I cannot go on any longer." Legolas whispered.
"I would never leave you, mellon nin! Never in my life and never in any situation! I'm getting you out of here in one piece and I'll get you to Rivendell." Aragorn said.
"Then help me, Aragorn. Don't let them kill me...I'd rather be killed by a familiar hand. Please?" Legolas sounded like he would start begging. At first, Aragorn didn't get it, but then he looked into his friend's eyes and saw the true meaning of the words.
"No, Legolas, No...never in my life...how could you ask me to do that!?"
There was pleading in Legolas' eyes and Aragorn was forced to look away. "Aragorn, if you really love me as your brother, you will do this. Would you rather see me killed at the hands of these cold Men with only hate in their hearts? Or would you rather have me killed by one who loves me and won't let me suffer any longer?"
Aragorn kept his gaze fixed on the rock wall to his left, unable to meet his friend's gaze. "I would...I would rather you lived and got home so everything would go back to normal again!" Aragorn snapped his gaze to fall on Legolas in mid-sentence.
"That won't happen. I am dying now and when they come for me...I am dead." Legolas said sadly, his head falling to the side.
"Not while I'm around, mellon nin." Aragorn said, determination filling his voice. The Man turned around and placed his foot in a small crevice in the rock. Slowly, the Man made his way down to Legolas.
When Aragorn finally arrived by Legolas' side, he saw tears streaming silently down the Prince's face. Aragorn placed a kiss on his friend's forehead (hoping to calm the fear he knew was radiating through the Elf's entire being) and then got to work trying to untie the Elf. Finally after moments of fumbling with the knots, Aragorn had Legolas free of the leather straps.
Aragorn gently lifted Legolas off the cot, but the Prince still hissed in pain. Aragorn used the key he had stolen earlier and opened Legolas' cell door. He looked left and right and when he saw nobody, he made a run for it.
The Man ran up the twisted path, ducking into a shadowed corner every now and then when a guard would pass. Most of the guards were at the very last level of the mountain...conducting some big meeting, Aragorn had found out by eavesdropping.
Aragorn stopped at the rock-metal-wood door and tried every key on the ring of keys he had stolen until...creak!...the door was open. "You're free, mellon nin." Aragorn said to Legolas. The Prince's eyes were closed tightly as the Prince tried to ward off pain. "I'll check your wounds once we are off the mountain." Aragorn promised. "That's only a few miles down this winding path." The Man continued, worry pouring into his heart. Legolas' breathing became shallow suddenly and with no warning. Aragorn felt the Elf's forehead...no fever was present, but his skin was sweaty. Aragorn realized that Legolas was unconscious.
Aragorn gently laid Legolas on the ground. The Man took off his cloak and wrapped it around Legolas. The Prince was starting to go into shock, from what Aragorn could tell. The Man carefully lifted his friend up again and quickly went down the mountain. As they went down further, Aragorn noticed he could breathe easier (since there was less pressure in the air as he went down) and he wasn't as lightheaded anymore.
It seemed to take forever before Aragorn could see the ground. "Almost there, mellon nin, we're almost there." Aragorn said, smiling slightly. He walked down the winding path further and further and further and further and further and further and further and---
The ground was under his feet and he could look up and see the mountain!
He looked around for any kind of shelter. He could see nothing useful from where he was so he walked around aimlessly, desperately seeking some kind of safe hideout for the night. Then, he saw it. An old rock dugout surrounded by trees, mud, and vines and camouflaged in by the mountains which were on either side of it. It was big enough...it would do.
Aragorn walked in and gently placed Legolas on the floor. The Man laid out a traveling cot and placed Legolas on it, covering his friend with blankets and propping his head up comfortably with pillows. Thankfully, the ground was dry. Aragorn made a fire in the corner of the hideout, so it couldn't be seen by scouts. He sat by Legolas and the Prince unexpectedly opened his blue eyes, which were clouded with pain and confusion.
"Why...is a cave...always your...idea of safety?" Legolas asked, his breathing ragged and shallow. Aragorn smiled. "I'm going to take a look at your wounds, Mellon Nin." Aragorn said. First, the Man gently laid his head on the Prince's chest with his hand laid gently on the Elf's stomach. Legolas cried out in pain as a few of his stitches ripped away from his stomach wound, which wasn't properly stitched to begin with anyway.
Aragorn quickly moved and looked into his friend's eyes. He went to move Legolas' tunic away from the Prince's stomach, but Legolas held the Man's hand back and put a hand on his stomach. "It's nothing you need to check...just a...very painful...bruise." Legolas said with pain in his voice.
Aragorn didn't listen and moved Legolas' shirt back. Aragorn gasped and held back a gag.
You're the bravest of hearts,
You're the strongest of souls
You're my light in the dark,
You're the place I call home
You can say it's all right, but I know that you're breaking up inside
I see it in your eyes
Even you face the night afraid and alone
That's why I'll be there
When the storm rises up, when the shadows descend
Ev'ry beat of my heart,
ev'ry day without end
Ev'ry second I live,
That's the promise I make
Baby, that's what I'll give,
If that's what it takes...
Celine Dion; If that's what it takes
Aragorn woke when he felt something hit his shoulder gently. He turned his head to see that Legolas had rested his own head against Aragorn's shoulder.
Aragorn smiled and stayed still, for the slightest and smallest movement would cause Legolas to wake, but Aragorn had to remember that his friend wouldn't be so fixed on his surroundings because of the injuries he had sustained.
Aragorn sat there and remembered past events where Legolas was injured, he himself had been injured or they were both injured at the same time and had to rush to Rivendell to save one or both lives. Poor Elrond was always busy with them. Aragorn was on the memory where Legolas had jumped in front an arrow meant the Man. The arrow hit the Elf in the chest, embedding itself between one of Legolas' ribs and his collarbone.
Aragorn couldn't pull it out for quite a while because it had happened in the middle of serious battle. Legolas had broken it in two pieces while he fought, but didn't attempt to remove it himself. Since the arrow had been there for a long time, almost four and a half hours, the skin around the arrow wound was bruising and turning black and blue.
Aragorn shuddered, but regretted it when Legolas woke swiftly. The Prince still looked utterly confused, but there was question in his eyes. "I was just remembering something, that's all. Go back to sleep." Aragorn said. Legolas smiled. Aragorn noticed the bluish color that appeared very faintly on the Elf's lips. "How do you feel this morning?" Aragorn asked.
"Fine," Legolas answered.
Aragorn raised an eyebrow. "Yeah right," He said. "I have an awful headache, but the pain is bearable." Legolas said, not wanting to argue with his friend, but also not wanting to admit weakness. "I know you don't like to admit weakness, mellon nin, but I already know you are injured badly and that there will be injures. I don't see them as your weaknesses, just your wounds. Tell me so I can try to help." Aragorn said, knowing his friend was holding back.
"I feel dizzy and I have chest pains. My vision is clouded slightly, I have a headache, and I feel nauseated. Not to mention I am wounded and in pain from the wounds also, but I will be fine. Don't trouble yourself, Aragorn, I can bear the pain." Legolas said.
Aragorn shook his head. "You are no burden and no trouble to me. I merely want to help you...and I have missed you so much in these past months." Aragorn said, tears starting to stream down his face.
Legolas frowned and weakly lifted a hand to wipe away tears from Aragorn's face. Aragorn smiled to Legolas, who smiled back. "I have missed you also. You're the one I thought of every day while I sat in that cell. You're the one I thought of when I was being beaten and once I did that, all my pain lessened considerably. I was so scared that everyone, including you, had forgotten me. I was so scared no one cared that I was missing..." Legolas said, tears welling up in his eyes as he remembered his past thoughts.
"You don't ever have to fear that, mellon nin...because it will never happen. Once somebody has met you, they can never forget you. They could never forget your kind heart, your laughter, your light, your pureness, your jokes or sarcasm, the way you seem to always get in trouble...but most of all, they could never forget two of your most important characteristics; Your love and the true friendship you give without much effort." Aragorn said. Legolas choked on tears. "I-"Legolas started, but Aragorn placed a finger on his friend's lips. "Rest and I will wake you when I think we can leave." Aragorn said and Legolas nodded. The Elf was unimaginably tired, but wanted to make sure his friend would be okay also. "Will you be okay because if you aren't going to be okay, I can just..." Legolas started.
"I'm okay, Legolas, rest." Aragorn said. The Man placed a hand on his friend's forehead. Legolas closed his eyes. The Man was worried for his friend. The stomach wound was horrible...he didn't know how anyone could do something like that to another living person...and it was infected badly. Aragorn feared his friend wouldn't live this one through, though he kept reminding himself about Legolas' personality and character. But this was different. It wasn't a simple arrow wound...it was much worse than that!
Aragorn looked down to Legolas again and ran his hand gently down the side of Legolas' face, moving the stray hair from the Elf's face and eyes. He smiled when he realized the exhausted Elf was asleep, but frowned to see that Legolas' eyes were closed. "I don't know what I was thinking, mellon nin, you will live and I will see to it that you do." Aragorn whispered to his sleeping friend.
The Next Morning
Legolas woke up feeling as if he'd been drugged into sleep. But it felt good because there was no pain...for a moment. Then the sluggish feeling wore off and all the pain came back to him in an instant. Then he remembered the caves, the awful Men, the cell, pain, torment and agony...
He screamed and tried to get up, but he felt a hand on his chest, trying to lower him down. "Caito undo, Legolas, nalye varna." Someone said. Lie down, Legolas, you are safe.
Legolas recognized the voice and settled. "Ngwalme...vanwa..." Legolas whispered. Torment...lost...
"Calm down, Legolas, nalye harnant." Aragorn said, easing his friend back to the pillows. Calm down, Legolas, you are wounded
"I drugged you late last night because your fever got worse and because your pain was visibly terrible." Aragorn explained, putting a hand on Legolas' forehead. The Elf's fever was lowered considerably, but still present. "Aragorn, they'll find me...and it will all...be over..." Legolas mumbled. "No, Legolas, never again will you have to go there." Aragorn assured. Legolas nodded, closing his eyes and letting his head fall to the side. Aragorn realized his friend had fallen asleep. 'It's best for him to rest', Aragorn thought'. The Man pulled the covers over his sleeping friend.
Aragorn couldn't imagine what had happened to his friend in that dreaded mountain of stone. Whatever happened had really scarred his friend and Aragorn needed to find a way to fix that. Aragorn remembered when he and Legolas first met...the Elf was terrified of Men because he had once been harmed by their hands, but he needed to tend to an injured Ranger that he'd stumbled across. Aragorn had spent a long time trying to earn Legolas' complete trust, but it turned out great, for they were the best of friends now. Aragorn had also spent a long time trying to convince the Elf that not all Humans had hearts made of pure evil and hate. Then this happens and all that convincing just goes away again and now Legolas doesn't trust Men anymore...save Aragorn.
The Man looked down at his friend. The Elven Prince was pale and sickly- looking. His injuries stood out more...now that Aragorn had cleaned Legolas' face with a cloth and some water. They were quite a distance from Rivendell...about a six or seven day trip from where they were now. Aragorn wasn't sure that Legolas would last that long without proper care.
The Prince's breathing turned rapid, but shallow very suddenly. Legolas moaned and held his hands to his stomach. The Elf tried to turn on his side, but Aragorn restrained him from doing that, for the Prince would hurt himself further. "Legolas, what's wrong, mellon nin?" Aragorn asked softly.
Legolas didn't acknowledge that Aragorn had said something. "No!" Legolas cried, trying to push Aragorn away. "Legolas, wake up, mellon nin! You're having a nightmare." Aragorn said, gently pushing hair back from the Prince's face. "Stay away!" Legolas cried with desperation in his voice. Aragorn frowned.
Legolas turned his head so that he was facing away from Aragorn. The Elf's heart was beating fast and his breathing was shallow and rapid. "No, leave me alone!" Legolas cried. "Aragorn..." Legolas' voice softened as he moaned his friend's name. "...help me, mellon nin." The Prince continued.
Aragorn pressed a hand to Legolas' forehead. A light fever still lingered, but nothing so bad that it would make the Prince delirious...a nightmare maybe, but not delirium. "I'm right here, Legolas, and I'm not going anywhere." Aragorn whispered.
The Prince's nightmare stayed for the longest time. The Elf cried out for his friend desperately and would switch into saying Elvish insults or curses to some unseen figure.
"No, no, no...leave me...just go away!" Legolas said.
Aragorn noticed some tears slip passed the Elf's closed eyes and he wiped them away. "Aragorn, please...save me..." Legolas said brokenly. Then it hit Aragorn. Legolas was reliving whatever happened in that awful prison!
"I am here, Legolas. I am not leaving." Aragorn soothed. The Man tried to remember what his father had said about reliving events in nightmares. He thought that his half-Elven father had said to "talk to the victim and let them know that they aren't alone. Soothe them until the nightmare leaves."...but he wasn't sure. "Not true!" Legolas' voice was soft but strong and unbelieving.
Aragorn watched Legolas, the Elf who wasn't frightened and always got himself into some kind of trouble, become lost in himself. The Man noticed that Legolas was trembling now. "No!" Legolas cried and his eyes shot open. First, he was weary and looked around the room cautiously, but then saw Aragorn and relaxed. Aragorn's eyes were filled with worry, concern and compassion.
The Elf closed his eyes and sighed. "It is okay, mellon nin, I'm fine." He whispered to the Man. "You were screaming...all is not well, my friend, I know you all too well." Aragorn said. "It was only a dream..." Legolas began.
"It was a nightmare in which you relived an event that happened in that dreaded mountain." Aragorn interrupted.
"Elves don't have nightmares, Aragorn, you know that." Legolas said.
"Not that kind of nightmare, Legolas...I'm talking about a nightmare in which you actually relive events that actually took place." Aragorn explained himself. Legolas looked away, avoiding eye contact. "What happened, Legolas, what were you remembering?" Aragorn asked. Legolas didn't answer and avoided eye contact.
"Look at me, Legolas. Tell me what happened." Aragorn asked softly. Legolas didn't listen and kept gaze fixed on the wall. "It helps to tell a friend, it really does..." Aragorn whispered, keeping his gaze on Legolas. The Prince shook his head, using everything he had to keep back tears.
Aragorn gently took Legolas' chin in his hand and turned the Prince's gaze to him. Legolas looked away, but didn't move his head. Aragorn noticed the bluish color on the Prince's lips weren't gone yet. "Are your lips bruised or is that from the shock you were getting earlier?" Aragorn asked and ran his finger over his friend's lips once. Legolas jerked away. "I don't know." Legolas stated. "They're bruises...Legolas, why do you have bruises on your lips?" Aragorn asked.
"You're smart, Aragorn, you figure it out." Legolas said a small hint of sarcasm in his voice.
Aragorn didn't smile, for the fear for his best friend and brother was creeping in him and destroying his heart. "I cannot, mellon nin, you have to tell me or I cannot help you." Aragorn said.
Legolas' eyes bore the emotion of sadness. "They beat me a lot...sometimes they beat me until I couldn't move or think, but one time they figured how to 'own me'. They told me you had been captured too...how they found out about you is oblivious to me, but they said each time I didn't show pain or weakness...they...would go to another room...and beat you worse than what I received...it might not seem too bad, but you should have heard them Aragorn. It was awful...I really believed them and..."
Aragorn frowned. "Who are you and what have you done with Legolas? So tall, blonde hair, blue eyes, pointy ears, Prince of Mirkwood, very stubborn, gets into trouble a lot and has the most kind heart in the world? Know him?" Sarcasm was etched into his voice.
Legolas laughed slightly, his stomach wound aching. "No, but I heard about the time when he believed that his captors really had his best friend in custody. He was so stupid to believe them, but they said it with such power and he knew his friend all-too-well..."
"Wrong Elf...I am talking about Legolas Greenleaf of Mirkwood. In his heart he knew that his best friend wasn't a captive, but the Men who held Legolas brainwashed him until only his mind thought that Aragorn had been captured." Aragorn said. Legolas said nothing.
All of Aragorn's questions were not answered. One still remained. "Now about those bruises on your lips...where did they come from?"
"They almost rid me of my innocence, but I faked unconsciousness in time and the left me alone." Legolas explained. Aragorn raised an eyebrow. "But they didn't, did they?" He asked. The Prince shook his head.
"So you were remembering that and their lies about me being captive at the same time?" Aragorn asked. Legolas nodded. "Sleep, mellon nin, for you have had a rough time. I will not let anything happen to you whilst you sleep." Aragorn smiled at his best friend.
Legolas closed his eyes, the mere presence of his friend comforting, and let a peaceful sleep take him. Aragorn leaned against the rock wall and let his gaze rest on Legolas. Those cruel people had brainwashed Legolas until the Prince believed that Aragorn had been captured! Valar knows that Legolas would have felt such devastation once he thought it to be true for Aragorn and Legolas were the best of friends and if anything should happen to one of them...the other wouldn't be put to peace until the other was well again.
It's all my fault...if I had been told sooner, then I could have come sooner. But no! No one bothers to tell me that while I was gone on a 15 month trip my best friend was captured! So, once I get back, the first thing I hear is that Legolas has been missing for 15 months after he failed to show up in Rivendell as a messenger. So I help the search parties for a month and a half until I figure it out and by then the rest of the second month is gone and Legolas has been missing for 17 months until I rescue him! Now, nobody knows where we are.
Aragorn's thoughts caused tears to spring into his eyes.
It's all my fault...
"Check over there! I can't let the Elf escape! He couldn't have gone far, he's too injured! Listen to what I say! Check over there!" A voice erupted from somewhere near them.