Title: The Darkness of Moria
Genre: Öööh lähinnä Angst/Drama
Rating: PG-13 I guess
Disclaimer: None of the characters are mine and I'm not getting paid for this, I'm just having fun
Summary: Young Aragorn is travelling alone through Moria and is attacked by orcs. Lost in the darkness without a source of light, what was supposed to be a short-cut to the other side of the mountains becomes a fight for survival.
A/N: Kirjoittelin tämän lukion enkunkurssille joskus viime keväänä, kun piti jotain kirjoittaa mutta tekstilaji oli vapaa. Sain siitä 9.5 joten ei täs ny mitää mahottomia määriä kielioppivirheitä pitäis olla. Idea syntyi kun pallottelin erään ihmisen kanssa sitä, että mitähän Aragornille on Moriassa käyny kun se on niin hirvittävän vahvasti sitä ideaa vastaan että Saattue menee Moriaan ja mainitsee kai muutamaanki kertaan et joo kuljin sieltä kerran läpi, ei ollu hauskaa, en haluu uudestaan. Nyt kun sain vihdoin ja viimein aikaiseksi käytyä tekstin läpi ja editoitua sitä vielä vähän ja julkaisin sen Ao3:ssa, niin ajattelin että kai sen tännekin voi laittaa. Aioin alunperin kirjoittaa tähän toisen osan Aragornin matkasta Morian porteilta Rivendelliin ja vähän jotain Rivendellistä, mutta vielä en ole saanut aikaiseksi ja todennäköisesti en koskaan saakaan. Mutta oon höpissy jo liikaaki, lukekaa vaan, toivottavasti tykkäätte!
Aragorn ran through the empty halls with a flaming torch in his hand. He turned around the corner to a new corridor, and ran through it into a new room. He closed the door quickly. He leaned on the door, trying to catch his breath. The footsteps were still following him. They were distant now, but he could hear them coming closer. The orcs would find him in a moment, he knew it.
He turned around and looked at the door. It couldn't be barred or locked. That was bad. Aragorn knew he couldn't stop them from coming in. He could only keep running. He'd run on and on, but where to? He didn't know.
Aragorn realized he was lost here in the deep, empty darkness. His torch was the only light the place had seen in years. A single small light that would go out so easily. Aragorn hated this place, and he wanted out, but he didn't know the way out. He couldn't even remember the way he came in. Not that remembering it would have helped, because somewhere there were twenty orcs or more. They would kill him if he tried to go back. Despair filled Aragorn's thoughts. He would die here, alone and lost in the abandoned halls of Moria. The orcs would kill him, eat his flesh and leave his bones here. No one would ever find his remains or know what happened to him. Not even Elrond would know. He started crying quietly.
Suddenly Aragorn realized that the footsteps were now in the corridor behind the door. Only a few seconds and they'd be at the door. He had no time to run. With a quick glance he looked for possible escape routes. There were two doorways, one in the left-side wall, and another in the far end of the room. The one in the far end seemed to be leading to stairs that went up. Aragorn decided that if he could escape, he'd try the stairs. He was too low now, to get out he'd have to go to the upper levels.
When he had decided that, he took a few steps away from the door. He switched the torch from his right hand to his left. Then he drew his sword. At that moment the door opened and five orcs ran in. Aragorn knew there had been more chasing him. He wondered where rest of the orcs might be. Then the first orc attacked. Aragorn dodged the attack easily. He hit the orc's head off with one quick strike and took a few steps backwards. Two orcs ran towards him. He impaled one with his sword. Quickly he took his sword out of the falling body and turned to block another orc's attack. One orc attacked him from the left. He hit it with the torch. Its clothes and hair caught fire and it ran away screaming. He killed another orc. Only one orc was left now. He turned to face his last foe, but before he could kill it, it hit the torch he was holding. The power of the strike forced Aragorn to drop his torch. He hit the orc with his sword and saw it fall to the ground, clearly dead. Then the flame of the torch went out.
Now there was no light at all. Aragorn didn't dare to start looking for the torch he had dropped. Even if he did find it, it could take a while to get it to burn again. He didn't have time for it. Aragorn turned around. He walked slowly towards the direction where he thought the stairs were. He sheathed his sword and held out his hand so he could feel if there was something in front of him. His heart was pounding. He listened carefully for footsteps or other signs of being followed, but the only thing he could hear was his own breathing.
Aragorn reached the stairs. He started climbing them slowly, feeling his way like a blind man. Here in Moria, deep under the mountains, there was no light at all. Aragorn knew that somehow the orcs could still see here. That put him in even more danger because he could not. He did not know where there would be doorways to new halls, could not know if those would take him into the direction he should go. He could only continue the same way he had chosen until he'd find its end. Without light he had to move slowly and carefully to avoid hurting himself. At the same time, the orcs could look for him, find him, block his way and surround him. If the orcs were quiet enough, he wouldn't know they were there before it would be too late.
Aragorn hated this place. He was used to darkness, but not darkness like this. He wouldn't have minded walking in an ancient forest in the dim starlight of a moonless night, but this complete blackness of abandoned dwarven city was strange to him. Here was no other light than what a man brought with him. And here no vala watched over him. Even the sharp eyes of Manwë's eagles couldn't see through stone. No light from any of Elbereth's stars could be seen down here. He was more alone than he had ever been. He wanted to get out of there.
Why did I ever come to this cursed place? he wondered. I know the stories, I know that this is an evil place. Why did I think it was better to come here than wait a while for the storm to pass and then go through The Redhorn Gate? I should have known I would get lost down here. Now I will die down here, either by the sword of an orc or by starving to death. What a bitter end to the line of Isildur!
Aragorn didn't know how long he had been climbing the stairs. After what had felt like eternity, he reached the top. He felt the stones of the wall under his hand. He moved his hands around the wall until he felt the ancient wood of a door. Then he stopped, listening for following footsteps, or talking, or anything. He couldn't hear a thing. It made him both relieved and nervous. Relieved, because at least no one was following him right now. Nervous, because what if there were orcs ahead of him, waiting silently in the room he was about to enter?
He drew his sword. He tried to be quiet, but the sound felt still way too loud. Slowly he pushed the door open and stepped in. He took five steps before he heard the door being slammed close behind him. Then he started hearing footsteps. There were orcs, and he didn't know how many. Probably quite a few, enough to easily surround him. And at least one of them was clever enough to make plans! Orcs didn't usually bother planning, but now they had lured him in and closed his escape before attacking.
Aragorn squeezed the hilt of his sword tighter. It didn't help much when he didn't even know where his enemies were, but he wasn't going to die without a fight. He stopped and listened. When he heard footsteps, he turned and stroke quickly. An angry cry told him that at least he had hit. A quiet thump told him he'd killed.
He headed to the direction where he thought the other end of the room was. There should be a door if he knew anything about this place. Most rooms had more than one way in and out.
After a few steps he turned again, swinging his sword, hoping to kill another orc. But this time it wasn't so easy. He heard steel clash against steel when the orc blocked his sword. He hit again, with no success at all. Then he felt a blade cutting to his right side. He hit it with his own sword, knocking it away from him. He stabbed to the direction of the orc and heard a gasp as the sword went through it.
He turned again back to where the door probably was. Now he ran, hoping to get out before another attack.
He felt a piercing pain in his leg. He stumbled and fell, only barely managing to keep the sword in his hand. He got to his knees and stroke before even trying to get back to his feet. There was a quiet grunt, but no sound of a body hitting the ground. The orc was still alive and only angrier.
Aragorn tried to stand up again. The pain nearly made him fall, and he felt something warm trickling down his leg. He heard footsteps - maybe two orcs now. Hands picked him up and pinned him to a wall. He hadn't even realized he was this close to it. That meant the door was probably close too.
"Hey, you", he heard a rough voice say right in front of him, "do you know what we're gonna do with you? Do you?"
Aragorn didn't answer. He was trying to make up some plan, anything to give him a chance of escaping. The orc's breath smelled so bad it almost made him throw up.
"It doesn't answer", another voice said.
"Maybe it's stupid. Or deaf", the first one replied.
"I think it just doesn't want to play with us. I'll tell it anyway. I'll tell you what we're gonna do with you, you hear me?" the second voice said.
Both of the orcs laughed. Aragorn was more scared than he'd ever been. He was sure this would be his death, and this time Elladan or Elrohir wouldn't find him at the last minute. No one would come to his help.
"We'll kill you. We'll cut your throat and let you drown in your own blood. Then we'll skin you like an animal, and chop you into pieces and roast you over a fire. I think you'll taste good..."
The last words hung menacingly in the air. Aragorn didn't care. He kicked the orc that was holding him. It let go of him, and he swung his sword. Two thumps told him he'd cut it in half. He let the sword continue its movement until it hit the other orc. The sword dug into its side. But before he could finish the orc it grasped his left arm. He struggled to get free, but the hold was tight. The orc dragged Aragorn closer and hit his right hand so hard that he dropped his sword. It then moved its other hand to Aragorn's arm too. Then, quickly and easily as if snapping a stick in half, it broke his left arm. Aragorn let out a cry of pain. Then he brought his knee up to the orc's stomach. It doubled over and he kicked it again, this time to the legs. It fell down, but as it fell it dragged Aragorn with it. They wrestled on the floor for a while, both fighting desperately for their lives. Finally Aragorn happened to lay his hand on the sheath of a dagger the orc had. He searched for its handle and found it. Before the orc had even time to realize what was happening, Aragorn stabbed it. The dagger went straight through the orc's heart and killed it instantly.
For a moment Aragorn lay on the floor. He was tired. The pain spreading from his left arm made him whimper every time he tried to move it. His leg didn't feel as painful, but the fabric of his trousers near the wound felt wet and sticky. There was a stinging pain in his right side. Then finally he forced himself to get up. He searched for his sword and found it only a few feet away. He picked it up and sheathed it. Then he started looking for the door.
After some time he found it. He went through it and continued his way in the dark for maybe an hour before stopping. He only stopped when the pain became so unbearable he could not keep going anymore. He sat down and started searching through his items. It took him a while, but he did find some clean cloth for binding the wound in his leg. The next challenge was locating it and figuring out how big it was.
When he had done everything he could about that wound, he started trying to find out out how bad the one in his side was. It was long but shallow and didn't bleed very much. Aragorn decided to leave it as it was. He hoped it would heal on its own.
Then he had to do something about his left arm. He decided to tie it against his body to keep it from moving. That was all he was able to do at the moment. It wasn't easy when he could use only one hand and didn't see what he was doing, but he managed to do it.
He managed to find his waterskin and some dried meat. He ate and drank only a little to spare what he had left. He didn't know how long it would take to find a way out. Assuming he'd ever find it at all.
After only a short rest he got up again. He couldn't stay here, this was too close to the room where he'd fought the orcs. He hoped to find some small and easily defendable room somewhere close. A room like that would be a good place to rest.
Afterwards Aragorn didn't remember much of the rest of his journey through Moria. All of it merged together into one memory of darkness, pain, and exhaustion. He slept little and never deep, fearing the orcs all the time. He ate very little too, but still the food he had was running out fast. He couldn't tell how quickly time was passing, and had no way of telling night from day. In Moria it was dark anyway. He chose his way randomly, only hoping the paths he took would take him closer to getting out. There were no signs to tell him the right direction, or if there were he didn't see them in the dark. The pain got only worse as time passed.
Slowly he lost all hope of ever getting out. He only kept moving because there was nothing else to do. The wound in his leg hurt and slowed him down. The pain grew so strong he could hardly walk. Sometimes he dreamed of being back in Rivendell. Sometimes he could hear Elrond's voice in so clearly he was sure Elrond was standing right behind him. Sometimes he could smell the feasts that were eaten in Rivendell when Elrond had guests, and taste the food in his mouth. Eventually telling dreams and hallucinations apart from reality became hard.
Then one day Aragorn pushed open yet again another door. He didn't notice that it was stone and not wood until he stood outside in bright sunlight. After spending so long in darkness, the sun hurt his eyes. Through the mist of pain and fever he began realizing that he had gotten out. He was alive and out of that cursed darkness. A small smile found its way to his lips. He was weak and tired and there was still a long and hard journey ahead of him, but right now he didn't care. He kept his eyes down as he stumbled to the dark lake near the gate. He fell down on its shore and drank from it. He filled his waterskin.
A moment later he was already fast asleep. He was too tired to go anywhere or find any cover.
It was late when Aragorn woke up again. He'd had strange dreams and felt confused. At first he didn't know where he was or what had happened. Slowly his mind cleared. He started thinking about what to do next. He was still hurt and weak, but at least he was a little less tired now.
His main concern was that the sun was setting. Soon it would be dark, and then the orcs could come out of the mines and after him. He knew he could not fight, so he had to get somewhere where they could not find him.
He tried to get up, but his wounded leg could not support his weight. He checked the wound and noticed that it had become infected. That wasn't good at all. He realized that he had fever, probably because of the wound. He washed the wound in the lake, hoping that it would do some good. Then he looked at the sky again. The sun was setting, there was probably less than an hour of daylight left. He had to hurry.
Aragorn looked for a place to hide in. The only thing in sight were the two holly trees by the doors. Not optimal, but it would have to do. He crawled to them, not bothering to even try to walk. He chose the one that had looked easier to climb in. It was not still not easy, but he managed to do it despite his injuries. The spiky leaves scratched him, but he managed to find a branch he wouldn't instantly fall off from. The sun sunk behind the horizon. Aragorn sighed and wondered if he could make it to Rivendell alive.
Draamaa, angstia ja vakavia aiheita.
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