Ah, a fresh start….

Hello, and welcome to the story!

Here are the boring details:

Title: A Red Sun Rises

Summary: Boromir is dead. Merry and Pippin have been taken. But the orcs have taken another prize, one whom might not survive the perilous road to Isengard. Kind of AU, movie and book mixed. Please R and R!

Rating: PG-13, for a fun-filled and angsty scene later on, and also some gory images.

Disclaimer: I own completely NOTHING in this story. Because no matter how much I want them, all of these characters and places belong to good Professor Tolkien, may he rest in peace.

Author's Note: I am completely aware of another story on this site with what seems like the same plot (Doomed To Live, by fliewatuet) and it is a FANTASTIC story, but I can assure everyone that I copied none of her ideas and this story will have a very different plot. Please inform me if you feel that I am stealing any of her ideas, and I will change them immediately. Thanks!

Well, enough blabbering. On with the story!


Boromir was gone. The boat passed over the waterfall and disappeared.

Aragorn sighed and turned away to face the eastern shore of the Anduin. One of their elven-boats was barely visible, hidden among the foliage. As he strained his eyes, he thought he could see small grey shadows pass through the trees before disappearing.

"Aragorn," He looked back. Legolas and Gimli stood faithfully side by side, awaiting orders. "Where will we go?" Gimli had scarcely got his question out when Aragorn replied abruptly.

"I do not know."

Legolas and Gimli exchanged a glance. Something was different. Aragorn looked lost, and he kept rubbing his left shoulder, where both of them knew he has a nasty cut. Legolas stepped closer.

"Are you alright?" He asked, trying to sound casual. Aragorn laughed bitterly.

"I am perfectly fine, except for the part where I failed the whole Fellowship."

Legolas was stunned.

"What do you mean?"

"I failed! I could not protect Merry or Pippin, and I did not act quickly enough to save Boromir. And now Frodo and Sam have left. I do not know where to go." Aragorn passed a hand over his face and again turned to the waterfall.

"Aragorn, you failed no one. None could have foreseen the orcs coming to the western shore. And you did save Boromir. You granted him a noble death, and allowed him final words." Gimli said softly. Aragorn said nothing for several seconds, until, with a great effort, he spoke again.

"I know I must decide where to go from here, but I need space to think. I will take a short walk to clear my thoughts." Both Legolas and Gimli nodded their approval, and as Aragorn stepped past them, Legolas grasped his shoulder.

"Aragorn, know that whatever path you choose, we will follow you."

"To the end." Gimli added gruffly. Aragorn gave them a troubled smile.

"I know."


The vast and beautiful woodlands of Amon Hen did nothing to soothe Aragorn's nerves. He walked slowly as a thousands thoughts echoed around his head. Where to go? Should he search for Frodo and Sam and beg them to reconsider their choice? Or to hope against hope and try to save Merry and Pippin from the orcs?

Aragorn came to a stop at the base of a low hill. He sat on a cracked stone and attempted to quiet his thoughts. But one kept coming back.

What would Gandalf do?

But this was simply another question he couldn't answer. Gandalf was gone, he repeated to himself. He didn't want to accept it. Even though it had been more than a month since Moria, Aragorn was still in shock that a world without Gandalf's help could even exist.

Even though he is gone, his counsel remains, Aragorn's inner voice reminded him. He paused and searched through his memories, hoping to find something that would help him. But instead he came upon a memory of Elrond speaking at the end of the great council.

"I think that this task is appointed to you, Frodo; and that if you do not find a way, no one will."

Suddenly it was clear to him. Frodo's path ran alone, and he could no longer help him. But Merry and Pippin were in grave danger, if they were even alive, and it was now his duty to save them, or at least try.

His mind made up, Aragorn took a deep breath and stood, ready to go back to Legolas and Gimli. But he was musing for so long that he had let his senses off their guard. There was an increasing sound of beings moving in the wood, and the only animals Aragorn had seen were birds. Which meant they had to be orcs. Aragorn drew his sword and waited for the answer to his question. It came, but in a different form than he expected.

In the form of an arrow.

It struck his right shoulder, piercing the bone and sending white-hot agony though his sword arm. He cried out and fell to his knees, dropping his sword. Suddenly about forty orcs came running through the trees. Aragorn struggled to his feet and took his sword in his left hand. He wasn't as strong in that hand, but he could still fight, which was more than quite a few men could do.

As the first few descended upon him, he was able to kill them, not very easily, but as they began to fight in twos and threes, he knew he was beaten. Every strike was parried by many different blades. All of a sudden, he felt a scimitar dig into the cut on his arm, while a club came down heavily on head.

Aragorn came crashing to the ground, and as he sank into darkness, his mind translated one last thought.

Again I have failed.



Well, there's the first chapter! Tell me what you think, PLEASE!

Next chapter will be up in about a week, depending on my laziness levels.

PLEASE REVIEW! Oh, and speaking of reviews, I again read carefully through the rules, and there is NO RULE that says responses are banned. But I know that several authors have had their works taken off the site for posting responses, so I will be replying via email. So please include your email addresses or sign in when reviewing if you want a response.