Chance Encounter: Pirate Kingdom of Troy

Disclaimer: I don't own Balian, Legolas, Will, Jack, Paris, Hector ... you get the idea. I'm just borrowing them without permission but with every intention of returning them, savvy?

Video Trailer for Chance Encounter: Return to Middle Earth: www (dot) youtube (dot) com/watch?v (equals) rvCDqpD09dI without the spaces

Chapter 24: True Love Fears No Fire

The four travellers gaped wordlessly at the scene before them. They were creatures of flesh and blood after all, and such images affected them immensely. Balian wished he could close his eyes but he couldn't. He had never seen such blatantly carnal sights and was driven by disgusted curiosity.

"Come," said the demons, beckoning to them. "Join our feasting. There are seldom travellers who make it this far. Drink, and make merry. No rules, no duties, bind us here. You are free to do whatever you wish, whenever you wish."

Will swallowed and tried to keep his mind on Elizabeth, but the demons' voices were intoxicating. He found them drowning out his conscience and his common sense. After the horrors which they had been through, he found it awfully tempting to give into the invitations.

Legolas saw the effect of the demons on his friends, and he started to get worried. If they gave in, they would be trapped here forever. "They're trying to trap you!" he shouted. "You will be a prisoner forever if you give in!"

The demons, on hearing the elf's resistance to their methods, changed their tactics. They put dark thoughts into the men's minds, making them suspect one another. Balian heard them urging him to kill Achilles. His hand strayed to the hilt of his sword. He restrained himself just in time. "Right," he muttered, straining to keep his sanity. "You've got your tricks. I've got mine." He began to pray, asking for the strength to endure and remain true. Legolas' voice joined his, imploring Iluvatar to help them. Will started to recite the only prayer in Latin he could remember. Their voices drowned out those of the demons, and they were able to continue on their way.

Emotionally drained, the three men and one elf stumbled past the trap of seductive demons and into a barren landscape.

"This is worse than anything I have ever encountered," said Achilles.

"There are some things in this world which strength of arms alone cannot defeat," said Legolas.

"I shouldn't have let you come with me," said Balian. "This is my burden to bear."

"Nonsense," said Will. "We're friends, and friends share burden. Anyway, we came of our own accord."

"As if you could've stopped us from coming," said Legolas, squeezing Balian's shoulder. "We're in this together." He grimaced. "Although next time, someone else should think of the plan."

"My plans work, Legolas," said Balian. "You can't deny that."

"Your successes, my friend, are based on luck which opposes the laws of probability and logic."

"I'm impressed," said Will. "You two can joke in Hell, how can you do that?"

"One thing, Captain Turner," said Legolas. "I'm Legolas Greenleaf, understand?"

Will and Balian looked alarmed. Legolas was more tired than he was willing to admit. They were all exhausted.

"Come on," said Balian, glancing worriedly at the elf "the sooner we find my wife, the sooner we can get out of here." The fiery fields were beginning again. Through the haze of heat, they could see an island in the middle of a lack of molten rock. A young woman was on that island, cowering at the feet of a maliciously beautiful spectre.

"Jocelyn!" cried Balian. He rushed forward, leaping over small streams of lava and paying no heed to the dangers in his path. Demons threw themselves at him to stop his charge. He cut them down. Their foul blood burnt his flesh when it touched his skin. He ignored it. Behind him, he could hear his friends following him. Arrows flew past his head and felled three demons. Gunshots rang out.


Hector played with Astyanax absent-mindedly as Paris paced on the deck of Will's ship, almost growling with frustration. "You know, if you continue doing that, mate, you might just wear a hole in the deck," Jack pointed out, before taking another swig from his bottle of rum.

"I'm worried about them," said Paris, looking in the direction of the island of Hell. "They've been gone for so long."

"Something's happened," said Cassandra quietly. Her voice was shaking. "Something terrible. Oh gods...Balian..."

"What's happening?" demanded Paris, whipping around to face his sister. "Oh for the love of the gods, Cassandra, stop speaking in riddles for once and tell me what's wrong!"

"I don't know...it's...it's just a feeling..."

"She is right," said a stranger's voice. They all stopped what they were doing to search for the source. A glowing figure stood serenely at the prow. His shining robes billowed about him as if there was a great wind. The figure's face was hidden by light. None of them could bear to look directly at him. They shielded their eyes with their hands.

"Who...who are you?" demanded Paris.

"Do not be afraid," said the figure. His light diminished until it no longer hurt their eyes. "My name is Michael, and I am known to your friend Balian. I am his guardian."

"Are you a god?" asked Briseis in wonder.

"Nay, I am not a 'god' although you do apply that term to some of my counterparts," said Michael. "For my part, I prefer 'angel'. I don't know whether Balian might have mentioned that word before or not."

"Whaddya want?" said Barbossa, wondering what an angel was doing on their—Will Turner's— ship.

"I have been sent to fetch you, Hector, son of Priam," said the angel, turning to the older prince. "Even we in Heaven have heard of your virtues. The Lord God has a purpose for you."

"Am I to be reborn?" asked Hector.

"No, not reborn. You have been deemed worthy of being a divine warrior."

"And which god has deemed me worthy?"

"There is but one God, and He is the God whom Balian serves." Michael held out a hand. "Come. Your task is quite different from Balian's although your fates will be forever intertwined. The Lord God awaits."

Hector took a step forwards, and then glanced back at his wife and child. Andromache looked frightened while Astyanax was too small to understand what was going on.

"Do not fret," said Michael. "You will see them again, Hector of Troy." Hesitatingly, the prince stepped up to where the angel was. Michael touched him on the shoulder and then they both vanished in a flash of pure light which threatened to blind everyone.

"Good bye, Hector," whispered Andromache, thinking that her husband had crossed to the other side. A tear slipped down her cheek. Helen put her arms around the older woman to offer her what comfort she could. Paris' expression was unreadable.

"It's all for the best, lad," said Barbossa. "There's a better place than any of us have seen."

They waited listlessly on the ship for their friends' return, but the little rowboat remained empty on the shore.

"It's good to know that I'm missed," said Hector's voice. Andromache gave a little scream and Paris forgot to breathe.

"Hector?" he said. "I thought you'd crossed to the other side."

"Unfortunately, my task requires that I stay half way in between the worlds of the dead and the living, making me decidedly 'undead', so to speak," said Hector. He now glowed with divine light and was armoured as if he was going into battle.

"That's...interesting," said Jack.

"I've heard some disturbing news," said Hector. "Our friends have encountered some trouble, as they often do." He jerked his head in the direction of Hell. "I'm going in there to help them."

"I'm coming too," said Paris, running below deck to fetch one of the pirates' strange looking swords.

"Count me in," said Bootstrap. "I'm not staying behind if my son's in trouble."

"I'll be going with ye," said Barbossa. "The Devil's not one to be taken lightly."

"And I will go and rescue the whelp again," said Jack with a flourish. "It won't do to go breaking tradition now, will it?"

"One question," said Briseis. "What about us?"

"Stay, and look after the ship," said the men at once.

Briseis glared at them, but her cousins would not relent. She had no choice but to stay behind. Barbossa had threatened to lock her in the brig. What she did not know was that Will had the keys, making the threat rather empty.

"You know," said Helen gently. "They are right. Someone needs to look after the ship and we know we won't be very useful in there."

"I wish I'd been born a man," said Briseis sulkily.

"If you had been born a man, I doubt that Achilles would've fallen in love with you," reasoned Helen.

Briseis could not think of a reply to that, so she stormed below deck and cast herself on a hammock to sulk.


Demons with leathery faces and tough translucent wings assailed them. Balian tried to fight them off, but he only had two hands. They clawed at the intruders with their sharp pointed talons. "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, disperse and trouble us no more!" cried Balian. He wasn't sure whether it would work but this was what the priests back in Europe did to exorcise those who had been possessed by unwholesome spirits. The demons hesitated for a bit, and then resumed the attack. Obviously Balian's faith was not strong enough. Either it was that, or prayers didn't work. The four companions defended themselves as best they could.

"Back, you sons of bitches!" came Bootstrap's voice. Another arrow flew past their heads and hit a demon squarely in the chest. The reinforcements had arrived. Cuss words in English, French, Elvish, Dwarvish and Greek flew everywhere. There were even a few in the Pelagostos' tongue — courtesy of Jack. The corrupted creatures finally gave up their attack. Too many of them had been killed. Courage was not one of their attributes.

On the island, the spectre raised his hands and clapped slowly, mockingly. "Bravo," he drawled. "I never thought that you'd make it this far, Balian, Holy Warrior of Yahweh."

"Let my wife go, Satan," spat Balian. The master of Hell looked at him with amusement. His eyes were bottomless pits of oozing malice and whenever he smiled, it looked like a sneer on the skull of a dead man.

"That is indeed what you men call me," said the Devil "but I prefer Lucifer."

"You forfeited the right to that name a long time ago," snarled the blacksmith, taking a high guard. Satan laughed.

"My, I must admit that I am surprised. Yahweh's servants have always been foolish but you are by far the most foolish of all of them. Tell me, Balian, what harm do you think your mere mortal weapon can do to me, hmm? You want your wife. I am quite happy to let you have her, if you will only worship me." The Devil waved his hand. Images of splendid cities and mountains of wealth flashed before them. "All this can be yours, if you will only acknowledge my supremacy. Is it really so hard, to change your allegiance?"

"I've said it before, and I will say it again," said Balian. "I will not sell my soul."

"Amen to that," said Jack stubbornly. The last time he'd done that, he'd had disastrous results. "What use have we for riches any way, eh? We've got enough. We don't need yours."

"Is that right, Captain Sparrow?" said the Devil. "What about immortality? I can give you that too."

Jack hesitated, and then made a face at Satan. "Hah! I can get that meself! Who wants your gifts?"

"Let the lady go," growled Legolas.

"Or else?" said Satan, grabbing Jocelyn by the arm and hoisting her to her feet.

"You'll regret it otherwise, Satan," said Hector calmly.

"You heard him," said Achilles. "Let her go, or we'll make you pay."

"I highly doubt it," hissed the fallen angel. With that, his appearance began to change. He grew in stature even as he lost the dangerous beauty which he had shown them. His flesh moulded itself to show the shape of his bones and his eyes, now piercingly white and glowing, sank deep into his skull. His body appeared to be aflame from within and his teeth became sharp like the fangs of a snake. The Devil walked across the lake of molten rock. It did not burn him.

Balian gripped his sword tightly and fought to control the fear which was rising up inside him. Jocelyn needed him to be strong.

"I ask you one last time," said Satan. "Will you serve me?"

"You said it once to God, Lucifer, and I will repeat your words to you now," said Balian through gritted teeth. "I will not serve."

"Then you will beg for death, and I will not grant it."

"No!" screamed Jocelyn from the island. "Balian! Get away from here while you still can! I was selfish to pray that you would come for me! Go on, now!"

"I came of my own volition!" replied her husband. "I will not leave unless it is with you in tow. I have made my decision."

"Love," sneered the Devil. "How...touching." He flicked a finger, and Balian was flung several feet away. The man's body slammed into a rock. He gasped as he heard and felt a crack, and then pain lanced through his chest. He fell to the ground wheezing. Will and Legolas lunged at Satan, only to be stopped by a wave of the fallen angel's hand and sent flying backwards, crashing into everyone else.

"Pathetic," said Satan. "I would've thought that Yahweh would've chosen something stronger to be his warrior." Balian picked himself up and charged, determined to rescue his wife no matter what the cost. His sudden assault caught Satan off guard, but he made little impact on the Prince of Darkness. The Devil caught him by the neck with a burning hand. The man felt his breath being cut off by the powerful grip. Blood roared in his ears. Jocelyn's screams and his friend's shouts were distant. All he could feel was the agony in his neck and chest as the Devil slowly proceeded to crush his airway. Fatuously, he tried to pry away the manacle like talons from his throat. He needed air. In his weakening struggles, his eyes fell on Jocelyn, still on the island.

'I don't regret anything,' he thought, hoping that she would understand that his fate was not her fault.

Will rushed forward, but he halted suddenly in his tracks. Blood stained the front of his shirt. The wound in his chest had been reopened. The pain was excruciating. He fell to his knees. The agony robbed him of his voice. His pupils dilated.

"Will!" cried Bootstrap, rushing forward to take his son into his arms.

"No one hurts the whelp and gets away with it!" said Jack, he ran forward, brandishing both his pistol and his sword. Paris was right behind him. Hector just managed to push them out of the way as Satan threw a fireball at them.

The fallen angel laughed, thinking that his ball of flames would burn Hector, but the older prince dispelled it with a wave of his hand. "They didn't make me a saint for nothing, Lucifer," he said.

"Oh, and what can you do about it?" sneered Satan. He dropped Balian. The man gasped for breath as he sucked air into his deprived lungs. The Devil smiled and then placed his iron shod foot on the man's body and proceeded to crush him. A straining cry escaped his lips. His hands clawed feebly at the ground. "What will you do, saint, as I crush this pathetic little pest and grind his bones into the dust."

Jocelyn could only scream as the Lord of Hell tormented her husband. She was surrounded by molten rock. There was no way to get off the island without being burnt. 'Oh damn it all,' she thought. 'He risked a fate worse than death to save me.' With that, she flung herself into the fiery lake and tried to swim to the shore. Hot under-currents dragged her down. She was burning, burning, but she could not die. She was already dead.

Jack was wondering what he why he had volunteered to come. It had been the stupidest decision he had ever made, and that included the time he had decided to share the coordinates of the location of the Aztec gold with Barbossa. The pirate put it down to curiosity. 'Curiosity killed the cat, Jackie,' he told himself 'and it might very well kill the sparrow too.'

Hector did not bother to reply. He lunged at his enemy, sword raised. Satan parried the blow, but he had not expected the force of the righteous fury which powered it. He stumbled, relieving the pressure on Balian's body. Painfully, and mustering the last of his strength, the man scrambled away and picked up his fallen sword from where it lay on the ground. "Go, get her!" shouted Hector.

Balian looked to the island, but his wife was gone. For a moment, he could see delicate flailing hands above the surface of the lake before they were dragged underneath again. The blacksmith did not even think as he readied his muscles to leap into the molten rock, but Legolas stopped him. "You will burn," said the elf. "She must fight this on her own."

Balian swallowed the urge to ignore the elf. He was right. If he leapt into that molten rock, he would die. That would do no good whatsoever. Just as he was about to give up hope, Jocelyn scrambled onto the shore, spluttering. Balian rushed to her and crushed her against him. Tears of relief and joy ran down his face. "Oh, Jocelyn..." he murmured.

"Yeah, yeah, very romantic," said Jack sarcastically. "Can we go now? You can kiss her later. Heck, I'll marry you meself."

"Uh, Jack, they're already married," said Legolas, hauling Balian to his feet. The elf's keen eyes could see a glowing doorway in the distance. With Hector bringing up the rear, the battered group ran through the door. The Lord of Hell made to follow them, but the doorway closed up just before he could step over the threshold.

Balian breathed in the cool clean air untainted by the scent of burning flesh. He had Jocelyn in his arms, and she looked whole again. The ligature marks on her neck were gone.

Bootstrap lowered the wounded Will to the ground. Hector knelt beside him. "How is he?"

"I'm fine," whispered Will, although he looked very pale. Sweat beaded his skin and his breathing was shallow. "Don't you remember? I can't die."

"Don't tell me it doesn't hurt, son," said Bootstrap, cradling the captain of the Flying Dutchman as if he was a child.

"Allow me," said Hector, placing his hands over Will's wound. Before their eyes, the ragged edges of the wound joined together, and Will's bleeding stopped. The young pirate's features relaxed as the pain left him.

"That's a miracle," breathed Achilles.

"I'm not surprised," said Jack. "He's Saint Hector."

"Who made him a saint?" asked Balian.

"The archangel Michael hisself, that's who," said Barbossa. He turned to Balian. "Now that you've got yer missus back, where to next?"

Balian looked up from a passionate kiss. "Excuse me?" he said. Obviously he hadn't heard a single thing.

"Our next course of action, Balian," said Legolas, sniggering.

"To Purgatory," said Michael, appearing behind them suddenly. "You have been allowed to rescue your wife from Hell. That doesn't mean she can return to the world of the living. She must go to Purgatory to prepare for her entry into Heaven." He held out a hand to Jocelyn. "I will take her from here, Balian. You must return to the world of the living. You do not belong here. There is still a long road ahead of you."

Jocelyn clung to Balian, unwilling to let him go. She glanced at Michael and then back at her husband. "Go on," said Balian, giving her a gentle push in the angel's direction. "Trust me. Everything will be fine. Nothing will hurt you, I promise."

"Your husband is a man of his word," said Michael, smiling gently to make her less afraid of him.

"How cheesy," muttered Jack, fumbling around for his bottle of rum. He swore quietly as he realized he'd dropped it in Hell. "To think I left that old devil a drink."

Jocelyn reluctantly took Michael's hand. They vanished in a flash of light. Balian stared after them long after they'd disappeared. Hector came up from behind him and put a hand on his shoulder. "She's at peace," he said.

"Thank you," said Balian, turning to the older prince of Troy.

"What for?" said Hector with a smile.

"If it hadn't been for you, I would've died."

"I'm just returning the favour. You did your best to save Troy. You even took Odysseus prisoner, and you rescued Paris and Cassandra. You owe me nothing, Balian."

"Come on," said Jack. "Let's get back to the boat, where we can hammocks and, more importantly, rum."


Balian sank onto the deck in exhaustion. Cassandra descended on him, fretting like a mother. "Where does it hurt, Balian?" she asked anxiously.

"He'll never give you a straight answer, my lady," said Legolas in amusement. "Better to poke him everywhere and see whether he winces or not. It's far more efficient."

Balian glared at his friend. "Fine," he wheezed, as Cassandra followed Legolas' advice "next time you get injured, I'll try that."

"I won't let you near me the next time I'm hurt," said Legolas, grinning. "Your ribs are most definitely bruised, by the way, maybe even cracked."

"He be needing a woman's touch," said a voice which startled all of them. Calypso sat on the rail, looking like a contented cat.

"Calypso," said Will, quickly recovering. "I didn't expect you to be back so soon."

"Apparently not," said the goddess, all the while eyeing Hector. "You will soon be free of this ship, William Turner, but the Dutchman must have a captain."

"And who might this new captain be?" drawled Barbossa.

Calypso looked sulky. "It was my fellow god Hades who made this decision, but it has been decided that the captain of the Flying Dutchman will no longer be from the living, but from the dead. To be more exact, the undead."

"The undead?" said Jack. "That's very interesting."

"Who is it?" asked Will, who could hardly contain his delight. He would be able to see Elizabeth again.

"He is on this ship," said Calypso. "Which one of you no longer has a place in the world of the living, hmmm?"

All eyes turned to Hector, whose mouth was open with shock, making him look most unlike any saint which Balian had seen, not that he'd seen a saint who was not a painting or a statue.

"Ten years at sea, and then one day, you may step onto the shore, to be with she who loves you," said Calypso. "Better than, surely, to wander around in the Underworld forever?"

"This has to be one of the better arrangements," Jack whispered to Will.

"Say something, Hector," said Paris.

"I..." began the older prince. "I accept, but I do not know how to sail."

"That's why you have a crew, Captain...what do I call you, sir?" said Bootstrap.

"Assaracus," supplied Will. "Captain Hector Assaracus."

"This is an odd turn of events," said Balian dazedly to no one in particular.

"Most unexpected," agreed Jack in his posh voice. He was looking at Hector with something akin to envy. Only Barbossa seemed unaffected. Legolas recovered quickly, just as Calypso disappeared in a mist of sea spray.

"Right, Master Balian, you are going to have your hurts tended to," he said.

"Are you threatening him, Nurse Legolas?" asked Will.

"And you'd better stop calling me that, or I'm going to make sure you stay silent," growled the elf although his mouth twitched as he fought the urge to laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation.

"You sound like my mother, Legolas," Balian complained, but he allowed the elf to lead him below deck.

"But I think he'd be prettier than your mother," called Jack. Legolas stopped.

"That's it," he said, forgetting about Balian and going back to deal with a pirate who did not know when to keep his mouth shut. The blacksmith decided that his injuries could wait. He was not about to miss the unfolding spectacle. Chaos reigned on the deck of the Flying Dutchman. Legolas was chasing Jack, while Paris was cheering and Achilles looked dumbfounded. Barbossa decided to interfere and he stuck his foot out, causing Jack to stumble and fall flat on his face. Legolas pounced on the pirate and the two of them wrestled on the wooden boards of the deck.

"Wait, wait," said Jack. "I yield!"

"Call me 'my lord' and I might consider sparing you, Jack Sparrow," said Legolas.

"It's Captain Jack Sparrow...milord."

Legolas seemed uncertain as to whether he should let Jack go or not. That was all the time that Jack needed to push him off and make a dash for the rigging. He scrambled up to the crow's nest. "Hah!" he shouted down. "Can't catch me now!"

"Really?" said Legolas, eyeing the crow's nest.

"Is it always like this?" Achilles asked Will.

"Pretty much, "replied Will dryly.

"Forgive me for being a spoilsport," drawled Barbossa "but I be thinkin' that we'd best get back to the world of the livin', seein, as I left me ship there. You don't want to wander these unnatural seas forever."

"He's got a very good point," said Legolas, abandoning the pursuit.

"The ship is yours, Captain Assaracus, to do with what you will," said Will.

"So what do I do?" asked Hector.

"Command it to go back to the world of the livin', you dolt," called Jack.

"If I were you, Jack, I'd get out of the crow's nest," said Will. Jack seemed to think for a while before raising his eyebrows and grinning.

"Good point," he said, climbing out.

Hector held Andromache and Astyanax close to him, aware that this would be one of the last times he would ever see his son as an infant. He closed his eyes, letting the sound of the waves lapping against the sides of the ship fill him. He was one with the sea. Concentrating his mind, he willed the ship to take them back to the world of the living. She was alive, responding to him like a horse to its master. Hector, tamer of horses.

Hector, tamer of ships.

They were plunged beneath the waves. The new captain of the Flying Dutchman heard the song of every sailor and was in his mind the glory of every vessel which sailed the seas. He saw once more, the shores of Troy and then Aeneas, setting forth from Sicily to the land of Latium. The ship emerged into air again. The captain opened his eyes.

The Pearl floated serenely beside them. Bottles of rum littered the deck. Empty bottles. Ragetti and Pintel were sprawled out and snoring. Will's crewman, who had been in charge, was nowhere to be seen. Barbossa rolled his eyes. He was not impressed.

Boats were lowered and everyone, with the exception of Hector and the Dutchman's crew, was transported onto the Pearl. Andromache was the last to go. Hector smiled and kissed her. "Do not weep, Andromache," he said. "I have been given a chance which no other man, save for Will, has had. We will see each other again."

"Ten years is a long time," said Andromache, giving him a watery smile.

"But eternity is longer still," said Hector reasonably. "I am leaving you and Astyanax in capable hands."

"Balian's hands are not your hands, my love."

"Nevertheless, he will take good care of you." The new captain pulled his wife into a passionate goodbye kiss. On the Pearl, Jack was about to wolf-whistle but he stopped himself when Will gave him a piercing glare.

The Dutchman sank beneath the waves again with a green flash. It would not emerge for another ten years, unless something entirely out of the ordinary happened. Jack and Barbossa were at the helm, once again wrestling for the steering wheel. "Where to now?" shouted Barbossa.

"Tortuga!" shouted Jack.

"Actually, I would like to go to New England," said Will.

"Aye! Mrs. Turner will be wantin' to see ye," said Barbossa. "To New Englan' it is then!"

"New England?" said Balian. "Is there a new England and an old England?"

"You'll see," said Will. He was not in the mood to explain the discoveries of Christopher Columbus to a twelfth century crusader knight. The prospect of seeing Elizabeth made him restless. The skies were darkening. It looked like there was going to be one of the Caribbean's legendary storms. A huge wave assailed the ship. Andromache, who had been standing by the rail, was knocked overboard, with Astyanax in her arms.

"Andromache!" shouted Balian. Hector had entrusted his family to him. He would not fail the prince of Troy again. With no thought for his own safety, he leapt into the swirling water. The waves closed over his head. He fought to stay afloat and at the same time, tried to locate Andromache and Astyanax. His lungs were burning with the need for air, and the edges of his vision were beginning to darken, and he was becoming light-headed.

Legolas saw his friend leaping into the water, and he quickly followed, despite his opinion that Balian was mad to risk swimming in a storm. The undercurrents pulled him down, no matter how hard he tried to keep his head above water. The last thing he remembered was the flash of lightning before he lost consciousness.

Fin

Stay tuned...

THREE DIFFERENT WORLDS...

Minas Tirith is under siege.

A ship flies the colours of the East India Trading Company. It lowers its anchor close to a beach with palm trees.

A red standard with a golden lion flies on the battlements of a fortress, next to the Templar cross.

THE PAST CATCHES UP...

Imad: (to Balian) Sibylla gave birth to a son almost two years ago. She claims he is yours.

Aragorn: A new devilry is rising in the East.

Jack stares at something, looking shocked.

Elizabeth holds the Dead Man's Chest.

NEW TROUBLES ARISE...

Balian, with a child perched on his hip, and Imad, are surrounded by Crusaders.

Andromache hefts a sword with a ruby in the hilt.

Ragetti looks sheepish while wearing Aragorn's crown.

Pippin peers down the barrel of a pistol.

AN UNKNOWN THREAT IS UNLEASHED...

Balian points a sword at Legolas. He is wearing an alien malicious expression on his face. Behind him is a dark cloaked figure. Legolas looks anguished.

Guy bows to Dark Balian, glancing up in fear and loathing.

Imad stares at his blood-covered hands with an expression of shock.

Andromache comforts a dark haired toddler.

Cassandra staresinto a palantir.

Legolas and Imad fightDark Balian.

OLD DEBTS WILL BE REPAID…

Aragorn faces a dark figure.

Guy prostrates himself before someone.

Jack looks grim.

Elizabeth presses her lips together and glares while pointing a pistol at someone.

FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE CHANCE ENCOUNTER SERIES AND PRELUDE TO HEAVEN

COMES

CHANCE ENCOUNTER : RETURN TO MIDDLE EARTH

4 JANUARY 2008 A.D.

ON FF-NET

(Lord of the Rings section)


A/N: And so ends the madness of the second instalment. Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed. I hope you all enjoyed this second misadventure. I certainly enjoyed writing it. Hope to see you guys at the next misadventure!