Eye Of The Storm
I sit in silence and stare out at the world around me, my thoughts a jumbled mess. Everything is going well in our quest, but it seems that everything is going wrong in my mind. I think of Elsira; her soft, sleek hair, her almond shaped eyes, her thin high eyebrows, small nose, and her full lips…
I feel an intense displeasure permeate my thoughts as I realize my own foolishness. I must not think such things at a time like this! The image of her in the dress lingers in my mind and I shut my eyes tightly in an attempt at banishing the thought. She serves as little more than a distraction. She could cause my attention to deviate from where I know it must stay, but more importantly, if I were to allow myself to fall for her I could lose her. I've already lost Tauriel. I do not want to care for anyone like I cared for her. Not now, not at a time when we could lose everything.
But that night on the balcony… I become lost in remembrance. The way she looked at me, her eyes bright and a smile tugging at her lips. The pleasant, floral scent of her bath clung to her and her skin was smooth and soft from being properly cared for by the elves. I shake my head, trying to focus on the present instead of the past. I know I need to either suppress or ignore my feelings towards her but I cannot bring myself to do so yet. I can't help but feel almost mad at her.
I want to blame her but I know it would be foolish for me to do so. What is there to blame her for? Existing? After losing Tauriel those years ago, I would gladly blame her for that and stay mad if it meant that I didn't have to suffer that loss again. I am here for a reason though, and that reason has nothing to do with her. I spoke up to join this quest as did we all, putting our lives at risk and putting the destruction of the ring before any of our individual lives. The goal that we strive for is by far more important than any girl, no matter where she is from.
That is what I should be worrying about. It is foolish of me to allow my thoughts to linger on the woman, as she may not even make it through the day. Lacking in experience and excelling in strangeness, I question once more why she is with us. I want to say she shouldn't be and treat her as I do the hobbits; as a companion needing protection and nothing more. I want to say that she was foolish for not having the elves rebraid her hair to ensure it does not interfere with her visual field. I want to say I'm not fascinated by the gleam in her eye and the soft curves of her figure that were not visible before she wore the dress. I want to say that I am not interested in her past her being a member of the fellowship
I sigh heavily, lost in thought. What am I doing? Even I do not know anymore. I know I need to.
Looking around, I spot a rather harsh look on the faces of the elves. Both seem like their minds are somewhere else. They're distracted, and maybe even by each other. I almost crack a smile at the thought. That'd be a very elfy thing to do, romancin' each other at a time like this. Duty must come first, no matter what. To forget that is to endanger themselves, and our quest. Fool elves. I lean back, closing my eyes for a long moment. Should I say something to one of them? Maybe try and talk to Legolas about it, man to man... I shake my head. Nah, it's a foolish idea. That wouldn't change anything and I doubt I could say something they haven't thought of. Besides, could be that I'm looking too hard and I'm seeing something that isn't even there. Could be more of a friendship than I think, which is something that we all need that right now. Without each other, even I admit we'd fail.
I stare off distantly, not quite sure how I ought to feel. I try and focus on the forest, and I find myself bitter in doing so. He looked as though he wanted to kiss me, and then he just left. It seems that every world has its things that just aren't fair.
"Life's not fair, sweetheart." I hear a voice whisper. I turn, looking around for the source. Gimli and Legolas look at me oddly and I quickly change my actions to look like I'm searching the forest around us for any sign of a threat. I should do that anyways. It's foolish to be so relaxed out here.
"Relax, Elsira. You aren't going to see me because I'm in your head. No one can hear me but you." Says the voice. My eyes widen slightly as it clicks. That's Alessia. I hold back a small noise of surprise, not wanting to draw any more attention to myself.
"You've already drawn attention. Your best bet it to lean back and relax a bit. Loosen up, Princess." Alessia says teasingly. I sigh, and then once more turn to face the front of the boat. This will take some getting used to. I contemplate how I ought to talk to her before realizing that it is quite obvious that she is fully aware of my thoughts.
"Elsira. You need to focus on the quest. Legolas is nice and all but he is going to slow you down. Distractions cannot happen at a time like this." Alessia says. I nod, knowing that despite my undeniable attraction to the elf, she is right. It's too dangerous. If we start getting distracted, or if I have to choose between saving Frodo or saving Legolas and I choose wrong, then the quest is lost. I can sense Alessia's approval of my decision. My emotions are secondary. I have to keep them away from my decision making process. This is an important quest. We cannot fail. If that means denying my emotions or even trying to get rid of them, so be it.
Something moves in my peripheral vision and I turn towards it. Legolas must have seen it as well, as his eyes stare intently at the same place. The woods are quiet, but nothing in particular seems amiss. Having hunted for quite a few years I am familiar with forests as well as the behavior of earth animals. Then again, this isn't earth. I'm far from home without any real guarantee that what I learned back home has any value here. I watch the area, and soon enough something moves again. Nothing moves for a long time, and I hope that it was just an animal. Legolas doesn't seem too worried, and so I doubt that I should be. Soon enough we land and all leap from the boats and onto the shore.
"We'll cross the river at nightfall, hide the boats and continue on foot… We approach Mordor on foot." Aragorn says. Gimli looks about to speak but I interrupt him, concern outweighing civility.
"Something's not right. I can't put my finger on it, but something feels off about this place. I think we ought to leave as soon as possible." I say. Aragorn steps forward to stand beside me while the rest of the group gathers firewood and starts to prepare food. They all look a little on edge, though Merry and Pippin don't seem too worried about the possible threat.
"Aragorn, we need to be careful here." Aragorn doesn't look directly at me, instead looking around at our companions. His gaze is steady and level, and he seems relaxed.
"Even if that is the case, please refrain from voicing such concerns so openly. I doubt the hobbits know how to deal with a proper threat and if we can resolve a situation before it becomes a problem, then that is our best course of action." Aragorn says calmly. I nod, realizing now that discretion could be very important when it comes to that sort of thing. Aragorn touches my shoulder lightly, giving me a reassuring look before rejoining the others. Legolas looks at me and our eyes meet, though before he can say anything I hear Pippin in the background.
"Where's Frodo?" I turn towards him, along with everyone else. I scan the group, noticing that Boromir is gone as well. I take off into the forest in a heartbeat, my long legs carrying me swiftly over the leaf-covered ground. Out of everyone, I thought it would be me. I thought I would be the one to give in and I guessed wrong. I only hope it isn't too late. I dart through the forest, hoping to find the pair. I pray that I'm wrong about his intentions. Too late I hear a shout and scuffle, and panic surges through me.
"Frodo!" I shout, desperate to find him. I see Boromir up ahead and quickly realize what happened from the look of distress on his face. Frodo is gone and I dash past Boromir, searching for the hobbit. I feel almost bad for Boromir, but realize quickly that we have a bigger problem than just his regret. I grimace, continuing my search. I slow my movements, extending my senses outward. I close my eyes, listening for any sign of the hobbit.
I hear footsteps and listen intently, but something is wrong. They're too heavy. My eyes open wide as I realize exactly what it is. I look towards the nearest tree, running towards it before climbing it hastily. Soon enough I see the orcs, and I stare down silently from above. I look around, reasoning whether or not I could safely make my way through the trees. If I got anywhere near them, I would almost certainly be killed. Or worse.
My eyes widen further as I realize, I left Boromir. Caution quickly becoming less important than reaching him and I start making my way through the trees. I try to stealthily pick my way through the trees, avoiding thin branches. I hear a horn bellow through the forest and turn towards the noise. I spot Boromir and grab my bow off my back. It feels natural, and without thinking I draw it and start firing at orcs from the trees as they pass. I pick off orcs on the outskirts, the actions engrained in my muscles.
The orcs quickly realize they are being attacked from the trees and I drop down into the thick of the group. I draw my sword, launching an attack. I narrowly dodge and parry blades as orcs converge on me before diving to the side to evade them. I know that if I try to fight them head on I'll be cut down. As I roll forward and spring to my feet I see Boromir take an arrow to the chest.
"NO!" I scream in rage, blinded by my sudden, overwhelming hate for these creatures. I feel a sickening twist in my gut and suddenly my world seems to be only the dying man in front of me. Try as I might I can't keep my attention on the fray, my only present defense being my agility and ability to get out of the way of attacks. I run towards him as fast as I am able to, trying to avoid being killed along with him.
My motions, though unpracticed, are fluid. I can't even consider the how or why of that right now as I dodge blows from the left and right. I break free of the main group, fully sprinting now. The orcs are following behind me, swarming like ants.
I slow for a moment, turning and raising my blade to parry an attack that, until right now, I didn't know was occurring. I realize quickly that that response was not mine, and I wonder if perhaps Alessia can influence me more than she lets on.
Another arrow joins the first as I run towards him. His eyes meet mine as I run and I see the agony there. Not just at the physical pain but also at the fact that I know, in his mind, he believes that he has failed his people. I watch as he chokes on the blood in his lungs, and the rage that has been building up and building up finally reaches a breaking point.
"YOU WILL NOT TOUCH HIM!" I scream, turning to face the oncoming horde.
I reach the top of a hill and see the horde of orcs, and further down I see Elsira and Boromir. She yells something at them and something changes about her. Something about her seems wrong but I'm not close enough to identify what it is. A wave of blackness erupts from her, annihilating the horde and I dive behind a few heavy trees to escape the remains of the blast. I feel dark magic wash over me, tugging at me like the weakened remains of a riptide. The sensation is sickening, and inexplicable save for the fact that it is what I imagine dying to feel like.
I quickly stand, turning to survey the damage she had dealt. It's disastrous. Everything in front of her and to her sides is dead. Small plants have been uprooted around her and the corpses of the orcs are mangled. She's standing, though it appears she is barely managing to do so. She staggers, falling to her knees. Her head falls forward, some hair obscuring her face as she takes on a forward lean. I survey the area before cautiously making my way to her side. I walk forward cautiously, not wanting to be caught in some sort of aftershock.
I can see no serious wounds on her, and only a few shallow scrapes and cuts mar her skin. She looks up at me and her eyes are as black as night. Her skin is pale and her veins are dark grey around the edges of her face. I feel a sick terror within me, an unnatural fear created by the creature before me. Her eyes flutter closed and she slumps to the side, lying on the ground. She is once more the Elsira I have come to know, looking almost peaceful as she lies on the ground. I've never seen anything like that, though I am certain that it is dark magic. I begin questioning Gandalf's wisdom in allowing her to come with us.
Elsira lies unmoving, skin pale and a sense of darkness looming over her. I can't help but stare, eyes not flinching from the seemingly fragile creature before me. I kneel beside her, not knowing how to respond to what I am seeing. Her hair, slightly messy, frames her face in an undeniably attractive way, hiding much of the grey tinge present along the sides of her face. Her skin looks soft and welcoming and I have an inescapable desire to touch it. I reach down, transfixed by her odd perfection. The dark brown hair and fair skin, lightly tanned by the sun. As I touch her cheek I feel a sensation like electricity race through me, causing me to recoil.
I realize instantly that there is powerful magic at work, and that the feelings I am experiencing are not real. Some kind of dark magic clings to her, and I suspect that the helpless pull I feel towards her is the magic seeking to use or even devour me. I pull back, having identified the cause of the ensorcellment. She could be much more dangerous than I thought, though this pull only seems to be present when she is like this, as I have never felt this odd attraction before. I pull my eyes away from her, not wanting to fall prey to the persuasion of the magic. I summon thoughts of my elven lover to my mind, banishing all romantic thoughts towards Elsira. She is not who I love, nor will she ever be.
"What happened here..." I hear a voice ask. I turn to see Legolas standing tall, bow out. I slowly move between him and Elsira, not wanting her odd magic to influence him. From what I've gathered, there is already a bit more interest between them than either cares to admit.
"I don't know. I found them like this. Where are the others?" I lie, forcing an impassive expression onto my face. I want to talk to her about this before I bring it to the attention of anyone else. Legolas looks at the devastation she caused and I can see the confusion on his face. His eyes return to mine.
"The orcs all seem to be gone, and Gimli is finishing off the stragglers. I was out looking for you all. I've not seen any of the hobbits." He reports. I press my lips together, trying to hold back words of frustration. It would do neither of us any good. He moves towards her, looking at her still form.
"Is she dead?" He asks, voice soft. His expression gives no indication of what he truly feels, and I wonder for a moment if he cares about her less than I had presumed. I shake my head in response to his question, confirming her continuance of life wordlessly. In truth, I don't know what to say. I can see in his eyes that he cares. He steps past me and kneels by her side and I turn to observe him. Her skin seems less pale now and I hope that I stalled him long enough for the effect to have worn off, or weakened at the very least. I turn to Boromir, his corpse punctured by two massive black arrows. I set to work removing them, knowing that the man deserves to be properly honoured. He was a good man, and despite his occasional narrow-mindedness he bore good intent.
Before long, Legolas crouches beside me and I realize that the effect must have at least faded, or he would be ensorcelled as I was. I look at him, noting the confusion written across his face.
"What could have caused that sort of devastation? Have the orcs developed some new kind of weapon? It must have backfired if that were so. Unless..." He looks at her for a long moment, considering the implications of his thought.
"Let's find Gimli and get these two out of this place." I say, turning to look at him.