To Become a Ranger

Chapter 18

To the Falls of Rauros

The Fellowship's boats passes through a large canyon, the sheer rock walls raising hundreds if not thousands of feet above them. Boromir glanced at Aragorn's boat across the water, watching the Ranger carefully.

Meanwhile, Aragorn lifted his head, and smiles. He quickly leaned over to the front of his boat and taped Frodo on the shoulder. "Frodo, the Argonath! Long have I desired to look upon the kings of old. My kin."

The Fellowship looks up in awe at the towering splendor of the Argonath. Two majestic statues, carved right out of the rock, proudly stand on each side of the Anduin. Two vast quarries line the cliffs to either side of them, where once their stones may have been hewn for their building. Their left arms are held aloft, their palms facing outwards in gesture of warning. Solemn and stern are their faces, the silent wardens of a long vanished kingdom.

The Fellowship sails past the statues towards a great, roaring waterfall. On either side of the falls, the land rises in two hilltops crowned by distant ruins. In the center of the rushing water a pinnacle of rock rises sheer from the cascade. They make for a gravel beach on the south side where they stop to make camp.

"We cross the lake at nightfall. Hide the boats and continue on foot. We approach Mordor from the north." Aragorn told the rest of the fellowship.

"Oh, yes?! It's just a simple matter of finding our way through Emyn Muil? An impassable labyrinth of razor sharp rocks! And after that, it gets even better!" exclaimed Gimli.

Pippin looks up, alarmed.

"Festering, stinking marshlands, far as the eye can see!" continues the Dwarf.

"That is our road. I suggest you take some rest and recover your strength, Master Dwarf." Stated Aragorn not looking amused.

"Recover my…?! Phrrrrr…" growled Gimli.

"We should leave now." Alyssa stated looking warily around them as she aproched Aragorn.

"No. Orcs patrol the eastern shore. We must wait for cover of darkness." He said dropping his roll on to the beach.

Alyssa sighed and Aragorn looked back up at her. "What's wrong?"

Alyssa crouched down beside him. "My guts telling me to go now." She said in a hushed voice.

"Why?" he asked her.

"There's something about this place that I don't like, like its giving me a warning."

"I second that." Stated Legolas coming up behind them as he had overheard them speaking.

"No dwarf need recover strength!" stated Gimli to Pippin in the background. "Pay no heed to that, young Hobbit."

Merry, returning with some wood for the campfire looks around. "Where's Frodo?" he asked.

Sam, who was half-dozing, rouses with a start. Aragorn looks over the camp. His gaze stops on Boromir's shield, lying with his baggage.

"Shit." Muttered Alyssa voicing his exact thoughts.

Aragorn darted off into the forest as fast as his feet could carry him, while Alyssa and Legolas ran in the other direction in hopes of at least one of them finding the lost hobbit.

Alyssa sprinted up the hill and hears muttering. "Frodo…what have I done?...please...Frodo!"

"Boromir?" she called out coming out from behind a tree to see Boromir on all fours facing away from her leaves all in his hair.

The man spun around and she the tracks of tears down him face. "Oh, god Alyssa, what have I done." He said climbing to his feet and stumbling towards her.

She caught him and slowly lowered him to the ground like a child. "What happened Boromir?" she asked the man.

"I-I tried to take it. It was whispering to me, a-a nameless fear, and I couldn't resist it." He stuttered lowering his head in shame away from her.

Alyssa sighed and looked up to the sky before looking back down at the young Steward. "Boromir, When I was first shown the ring I could barely resist it myself, it wasn't until it learned of my status and tried to kill me that I finally succeeded in resisting it. And let me tell you it is really easy to resist something when it trys to kill you." She told him.

Boromir snorted and sat up straighter trying to wipe away his tears descreatly.

She smiles ironicly but dosnt coment.

"I guess that makes sense." He said trying to get what was left of his dignity back.

"Good. " She said standing up and whipping of the leaves and dirt that had stuck to her pants. "We best be getting down to the camp, we will be leaving soon."

He nodded and started to walk a head of her before changing his mind and walking beside her droping the customs of his own people.

She smiled at him beforestoping dead in her tracks and truning her head slightly to the right as if listing for something.

"Battle. " She breaths as the sounds of clashing swords and cries fill the clearing around them.

They both draw their weapons and run towards the sounds in hopes to help the rest of the fellowship.

They come up over a small hill and see Marry and Pippin almost surrounded by Urk-hai barring the white hand of Surrumon.

Boromir sounds the horn of Gondor before jumping on to the back of a Urk-hai closely followed by Alyssa bother her weapons drawn and ready.

Alyssa quickly fell into the pace of battle, block, parry, duck, kill, Over and over again her eyes set on the two hobbits who had found rocks and where pelting them at the Uruks.

Suddenly she heard the cry of both the hobbits and spun around only to see Boromir standing with a arrow through his shoulder and a cruel looking Uruk-Hai stading a few paces away from him with a cross bow in its hands before being hit in the side with a large shield and flung into a tree.

Alyssa quickly sat up and shook her head to get rid of her vertigo just in time to hear the second blow of Boromir's horn. She jumped back into battle again only able to find one of her weapons and quickly cut her way to Boromir's side, relived that he was still up and fighting.

They both ducked and fought together against the Uruk-hai oblivious to the captain aiming his crossbow again at Boromir. Alyssa suddenly found herself unarmed and facing off a large Uruk-hai and ducked quickly just barely avoiding be beheaded but was grazed in the shoulder instead.

She quickly flipped herself around and kicked the Uruk in the hand forcing it to let go of its sword. Alyssa then quickly pulled two daggers out of her boots and lunged at the Uruk stabbing it in the through and eye. Behind her she heard Boromir Gasp in pain and spun around only to see him with another arrow sticking this time out of his chest.

Boromir stares into Alyssa's eyes, but against death, she can do nothing. Summoning his will to fight for her and the hobbits, the warrior swung his sword at another Uruk and gets back up. The captain shoots him one more time, in the chest. Boromir falls on his knees and stays there, swaying a little and blinking. The ox-horn at his knees cloven in two.

Merry and Pippin look at him, aghast. With all the courage they can muster, they take up their swords and attack the Uruk-Hai yelling out a battle cry.

Alyssa was still in shock, leaning over the dead Uruk her hands tightly gripping the hilts as she watched Boromir slowly die at the hands of the Uruk-hai.

"Go. " He whispered at her and it was that that made her move and attack the remaining Uruk-hai with an unmatched furry.

It was all a blur to her just kill. It wasn't until she heard the screams of the hobbits who had been taken captive by the Uruks did she even stop to think and that is what cost her. A Uruk had stuck up behind her and grabbed her by the neck and attempted to strangle her. She gave a gargled scream and bit the thing only to be tossed up into a tree like a rag doll and hitting her head and falling swiftly to blackness.

Alyssa ground as she came back to concisions. All was quiet except for some ragged breathing close by. She stumbled to her feet her mind set on finding Boromir as she knew it was he who was so close to death.

She quickly found him and Aragorn who was leaning overtop of him his eyes solemn. She stumbled over to the tree and slid down it beside the dieing man. Aragorn Looked up at he before silently shaking his head to her unasked question. She lowered her head a few tears escaping her closed eyes.

"Alyssa." Rasped Boromir his weak hand searching for her own.

"I'm here." she said cringing at her voice as she tightly grasped his hand.

"My brother, tell-tell my brother everything." He gasped coughing up blood.

"I will." She said softly.

He smiled not really looking at her. "You fought like a true warrior today." He whispered at her before clenching her hand tightly as a wave of pain passed through him. "Don't-don't lose yourself Alyssa." He said through clenched teeth. "Don't ever lose…" He finally said with his last breath his grand sword clasped over his heart while the other remained lose in Alyssa's hand.

"Oh god." She breathed out through her small silent sobs.

Aragorn bowed his head. "Be at peace, son of Gondor." He said quietly. He then placed a hand on her shoulder a few tears escaping his own eyes. "Come he finally said standing up and dragging Alyssa up with him. Alyssa who had little strength left collapsed into his arms.

Legolas and Gimli arrive at the scene. Legolas looks sadly at Boromir. Gimli bows his head and turns away.

Boromir lies among the earth: pale and gone, the black arrows sticking from his broken body. The fallen warrior has gone to his last home. The trees, encrusted in lichen and moss, tower around the three warriors, one fallen, the two risen. Mist and light shine through the wood like a vision, in a tapestry of long ago.

Aragorn tries to smile at Legolas and Gimli but it came out more like a grimace before silently leading Alyssa away leaving the Elf and Dwarf to themselves.

They eventually found themselves on the shores of the Nen Hithoel looking out over the lake and if they looked hard enough they could just see the canoe that Frodo and Sam had taken to cross the lake on there way buy them selves.

They sat there silently until Legolas and Gimli came down with Boromir's body and settled him stretched out in a canoe his Shield and Horn above his head, his sword upon his breast and the arrows of his enemy at his feet.

Both Alyssa and Aragorn stood to help and send the canoe barring the once grand Steward of Gondor on a silent funeral down the great Falls of Rauros where once not so long ago, Alyssa's adventure had first began.

"They will look for his coming from the White Tower. But he will not return." Stated Aragorn finally when they could no longer see the small boat caring there friend. He lifted his head and the sunlight played like the glimmer of water across his features. A tear glinted, falling down his cheek. His eyes seem to stare distantly. For a moment, it seems as though he has the dignity of a King.

Aragorn shakes it off and starts to put on Boromir's vambraces in his honor. Legolas shoves the third boat into the water.

"Hurry! Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore." the Elf cried at them as he leaped into the boat. When no one moved he turned around and looked at them.

"You mean not to follow them?" he asked.

"Frodo's fate is no longer in our hands." Aragorn said sighing looking older than he should.

"Then it has all been in vain! The Fellowship has failed!" Cried Gimli.

Aragorn walked over to them and put his hands on their shoulders. "Not if we hold true to each other. We will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment and death. Not while we have strength left. Leave all that can be spared behind. We travel light. Let us hunt some Orc!"

Legolas and Gimli look at each other, grinning. "Yes!! Haha!" yelled Gimli in a deep throaty laugh.

Aragorn turns and runs into the woods, followed closely by Gimli and Legolas.

Alyssa turns and starts running after them but stops suddenly in her tracks at the edge of the forest and turns around to face the falls. "It was an honor to know you Boromir. " She said aloud giving a mock salute. She then grinned crookedly and dashed off to catch up with her companions onto a new set of adventures that would lead her to places she had only ever dreamed of.

To Be Continued…

AN: Well that's it people!!! The last chapter for "To Become A Ranger". I'll hopefully have the new story up soon, but I want to have a least a few chapters done before I even start to update so It might be awhile before you hear from me again.

Anyhoo, thanks to every one who stuck with me through out the entire thing and I hope to hear from you again.

Tootles, Lyssa Snape