Title: "It's the end of the world (and I feel fine)."
Disclaimer: I don't own anything, not even the title of this chapter. This chapter once again borrows a lot from the book. No doubt the reader will recognise those parts.
The grey emptiness that surrounded Rivendell deepened in colour until it was the black of the empty Void. Tendrils of nothing drifted out from it, leeching the colour out of everything they touched. Slowly the blackness moved in ever closer and closer, until at the last the few survivors were surrounded in the Hall of Fire. Elrond had seen no other choice than to put on Vilya when the incursion began, but even the power of the Ring wasn't enough to do more than temporarily slow the advance of the darkness.
The slight haze that had covered many parts of the world now started to turn into patches of grey that grew and flowed together, the grey turning to black, erasing what lay under it.
The sun appeared weakened, and a weak reddish light heralded the dawn.
The patches of nothingness were also spreading to the Straight Road and beyond, and began to eat away at Tol Eressëa and Valinor, while the first thin tongues of nothing licked around the Doors of Night.
Deep in the Void, an entity noticed the first change ever to occur in its long imprisonment, and Morgoth Bauglir moved closer towards the Doors - if words such as 'close' or 'far' have any meaning in the Void - wondering what this meant.
Meanwhile, in Moria....
Both Gandalf and Frodo felt a pressing sense of warning. Frodo gasped when he put his hand on the One Ring, for it was burning hot to the touch. "Gandalf!" he exclaimed, "the Ring...."
"Do not touch it!" Gandalf warned, "something is very wrong. But at least I know now where we are: we have reached the level immediately below the Gates. This is the Second Hall of Old Moria; and the Gates are near: away beyond the eastern end, on the left, not more than a quarter of a mile. Across the Bridge, up a broad stair, along a wide road through the First Hall, and out! Come now! There is no time to lose. "
Behind them they again heard the pursuing drum-beat echoing in the halls and passages behind them. Gandalf told them to follow him and run. Assansaibrivilieth rapidly kicked off her shoes, knowing she could never keep up on the smooth floor of the hall otherwise. Lharalavantariel followed her lead, and this way the two girls managed to keep up with the others. Assansaibrivilieth even managed to outpace the hobbits; Lharalavantariel struggled a bit, but Boromir kept back and encouraged her.
When they were somewhat more than halfway across the hall they heard orcs cry out behind them, and the sound of many pursuing feet. An arrow whistled by.
"Look ahead!" called Gandalf. "The Bridge is near. It is dangerous and narrow."
Suddenly they saw a black chasm before them. A slender bridge of stone without kerb or rail spanned the chasm with one curving spring of fifty feet. They would only be able to pass across it in single file. At the brink Gandalf halted and the others came up in a pack behind.
"Lead the way, Gimli!" he said. "Pippin and Merry next. Straight on and up the stair beyond the door!" More arrows fell among them. Assansaibrivilieth stood frozen, staring wide-eyed at the gaping chasm before her.
"I can't do this," she whispered to Lharalavantariel, "You know I'm scared of heights."
"Come on! You must!" Lharalavantariel tried to encourage her friend, "the others are across already. It's just us, Boromir and Gandalf now. Come, look straight ahead and walk on. I'll be right behind you. It'll be okay. Honest. Now go. Please."
Assansaibrivilieth was persuaded to step on to the bridge, and with Lharalavantariel right behind her she moved along to the other side slowly. They were still being fired at, but Assansaibrivilieth was so focused on the bridge that she didn't even notice the arrows falling around her. Just as they reached the other side, an arrow struck Lharalavantariel in the leg, and she cried out and stumbled, but was caught by Legolas before she could lose her footing and fall off the bridge. A month ago she would have given her right arm for such close proximity to one of her idols, but now she barely noticed it. She looked back to Boromir and Gandalf on the other side of the bridge, and just as they were about to step on to the bridge the Balrog appeared. She wanted to cry out a warning, but found herself frozen with fear. Assansaibrivilieth wasn't doing any better, so they stood and could only look as the Balrog advanced on their companions.
At this exact moment, far away beyond the Circles of the World, a tendril of nothing, thinner than the finest hair, pierced the Doors of Night, and touched the Void. A shudder tore through the continuum, and Time seemed to freeze for an instant.
Frodo cried out as a brief touch of cold, far colder than the knife of the Nazgul, shot through the old wound in his shoulder.
Legolas' bow dropped from his fingers as he felt he knew not what. Everywhere, elves shivered as they felt a dark touch on the world.
In Rivendell, the last defenders faltered briefly as they felt the disruption to the world; the darkness that was around them pressed down harder on them and won through; a wordless cry of anguish was felt by Gandalf and Galadriel through the link of their Rings, as the fëa of the bearer of Vilya was extinguished in the dark emptiness of the Void.
The passing of Elrond shook Gandalf from his frozen stance, and the wizard quickly moved back to the bridge, staff in his left hand, sword in his right. The Balrog recovered rapidly from the shock of feeling its master's touch on the world once again, and leapt at the first target it could reach.
Lharalavantariel watched in frozen shock as the demon lashed its fiery whip at Boromir, and cut him down with its sword of flame.
Having defeated the lesser opponent, the Balrog moved quickly in pursuit of Gandalf, but as it set foot on the bridge, Gandalf lifted his staff, and crying aloud he smote the bridge before him. The staff broke and fell from his hand. A white flame sprang up. The bridge cracked. Right at the Balrog's feet it broke, and the stone upon which it stood crashed into the gulf, while the rest of the bridge remained standing. With a terrible cry the Balrog fell forward, and its shadow plunged down and vanished.
Darkness fell. The Company stood rooted staring into the pit. Even as Gandalf came running back, the rest of the bridge cracked and fell. With a cry he roused them.
"Come! We must get out!" he called. "Follow me!"
They stumbled wildly up the great stairs beyond the door. Gandalf leading, Aragorn at the rear. At the top was a wide passage. Along this they fled. Lharalavantariel barely knew where she was going, and only kept moving because Assansaibrivilieth was pushing her on.
They did not halt until they were out of reach of bowshot from the walls. It was one hour after noon, though the light of the sun was so dim, it was difficult to tell where it stood in the sky. As they halted, they looked around and noticed a strange thick fog in many places, but the way east was still clear.
Gandalf and Aragorn stood together apart from the rest, talking softly and casting worried glances at the strange fog.
"We must travel on. The orcs may still pursue us. Later we may have time to mourn our fallen companion," Gandalf said.
The Fellowship walked on, lost in thought. Assansaibrivilieth did all she could do to get a response out of Lharalavantariel, but her friend was as one sleepwalking. The strange patches of foggy darkness were ever pressing nearer and growing darker. Gandalf and Frodo still felt a warning of distant danger.
They walked on for the rest of the day, mostly in silence. Gandalf appeared to be in a hurry and let them take no more than the shortest breaks. Finally, after several hours, they came to a river that Legolas said was called Nimrodel. Legolas quickly waded across and urged the others on to follow him. One by one they climbed down and followed Legolas. When all the Company had crossed, they sat and rested and ate a little; and Legolas told them tales of Lothlórien. There was less of the strange grey fog on this side of the river, and briefly the world seemed a lighter place again.
Suddenly Legolas fell silent and Gandalf jumped up, looking towards the West, a look of utter dismay on his face.
Far beyond the confines of Arda, two great doors were torn asunder, and a cloud of black nothing burst out, catching Eärendil as he steered Vingilot up to the sky to start his nightly passage. As the ship spiralled down, Morgoth stepped through the Doors of Night, and he tore the Silmaril from Eärendil's brow. Holding the jewel aloft triumphantly, he called out to his servants of old, and in the deep places of the world long-forgotten dragons and Balrogs awoke. The world shuddered in its foundations.
"Quick! Into Lórien!" Gandalf cried out, "Run!" The Fellowship needed little urging and they ran deeper into the forest. Lharalavantariel and Assansaibrivilieth couldn't keep up after a while and as they ran into a clearing surrounded by trees, the two girls stopped to catch their breath. From the corner of her eye Lharalavantariel caught a movement at the edge of the forest. She looked up to see what it was.
"Oh, no," she whispered and fainted. Assansaibrivilieth looked and saw that they were surrounded by a group of at least 20 people, all armed to the teeth, and perhaps even more worrying, all wore a badge with a cactus emblem... One, dressed in Sith-robes and exuding an air of menace even deeper than the others, was standing slightly aside, loosely tossing and catching a knife.
Then, two of the figures stepped forward, aiming rather vicious-looking longbows at the two girls.
One spoke. "Assansaibrivilieth, Lharalavantariel. We hereby charge you with disrupting the canon, with .....FADE TO BLACK THE END
A/N: Oops, I think I just left the PPC to deal with Dagor Dagorath.... I guess this is *the* time to find out if everything actually does revert back to the way it should be once the Sues are removed from the plot continuum.
I'm afraid the story got away from me a bit.
I didn't *mean* to end the world, honest.