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...and I will follow you, my Captain

Chapter 1: ...and I will follow you, my Captain

by RobinKa

A/N: Inspired by “Atmosphere,” this is a one-chapter bitter attempt to deal with Haldir’s death. Haldir belongs to J.R.R. Tolkien and the New Line Cinema, the song is Joy Division’s masterpiece. Special thanks to LadyLaurelin for beta-reading.


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Walk in silence
don’t walk away
in silence
see the danger
always danger
endless talking
life rebuilding
don't walk away


*****

There was no silence here. The constant noise was almost unbearable. I simply wanted to cut my ears off. I hardly heard the Dúnedan screaming:

"To the keep, fall back to the keep!!!"


Turning my head, I saw your hand gesture hastily and demand a retreat to the tower’s gate.

Huge orcs were rapidly heading towards us. I could almost taste and smell their reckless wrath.


We were alone and outnumbered.


For the first time in my long life, I ignored your order. I flew forward and was crushed by the massive body of a black monster. The Uruk-hai roared with rage when I swung my sword against his axe. A second monster approached almost immediately. I caught sight of movement in a corner of my eye, but it was too late.

In an instant, I realized he had stabbed me with his deadly weapon. A sudden flash of pain ripped through my spine, and I felt both fire and ice filling my veins. My blade, covered with the blood of our enemies, fell down from my weakened hand. I looked around in disbelief, seeing nothing but darkness.


So, this is the end of all things.


My immortality was slowly flowing away upon the high walls of Helm's Deep. I found myself on my knees. Blood spilled to the floor and was washed away by the merciless rain. But I continued breathing and swallowing, my life leaving, bit by bit, gasp by gasp. I bade you farewell and begged your forgiveness, weeping silently:


Brave March Warden of Lothlórien, please, hear my confession. As a soldier of the Golden Wood under your command, I have failed you, my Captain. Will you ever be able to understand my momentary reasons, my need to defend thee? On my bow and my sword, I had once sworn that I would have done anything to keep your life safe. For that I willingly face my doom. May the grace of the Valar protect thee.


But my deeds soon cost you the heaviest price I could have imagined on that endless night in a fortress of the Secondborn.


*****

Walk in silence
don't turn away
in silence
your confusion
my illusion
worn like a mask of self hate
confronts and then dies
don't walk away


*****

The orc I had not managed to kill stuck his blade into your arm. With grimace of anger and a wicked grin on your noble face, you brought the Uruk down then stared at your injured forearm, barely believing your own eyes.

The very moment I spotted another one, as he showed himself behind your back, unnoticed, I already knew the beast was too fast and too furious. I tried to cry out anything, just to warn you, but there was no use, because I found myself voiceless from pain and terror. I couldn't crawl, attract your attention, or even move…

I could only watch, with horror in my misted eyes, as the Uruk's axe cut through the air, your crimson coat, which you had worn with such a pride, your once-shining armour, and finally to pierce your mighty shoulder.

Your hair, like liquid silver, shone under the starless sky.

Hot tears rushed down my dirty face. You turned your head, as if you were attempting to memorize all of your fallen kin, forever sleeping soundly and motionlessly, among the dead Uruk-hai. Their slaughtered bodies were lying everywhere. I met your amazed gaze, though you did not recognize me.

Your eyes were empty.

The Ranger jumped in from darkness, his rough voice calling your name. He managed to catch you as you collapsed. The man bowed his weary head, the sadness of losing a brother-in-arms on his face.


*****

People like you
find it easy
aching to see
walking on air
hunting by the rivers
through the streets every corner
abandoned too soon
set down with due care


*****

Suddenly a harsh scream split through my parched and trembling lips:

"Sweet Elbereth, by the will of Ilúvatar, be merciful, don't let him perish!"


Nobody heard me.


I began to shiver feverishly, while whispering a prayer to the Father of Arda.

My severely wounded body was becoming colder and stiffer, but my brain was on fire as anger grew inside me and tore my mind to a million pieces. I cursed under my breath. I hated these stone walls of the human refugees’ damned shelter, I hated these unworthy people, and I hated all this orcs’ filth.


I would have gladly forsaken this terrible alliance.

I wish I could have died surrounded by golden mellyrn, lying under starlight and moonlight.

I wish I could have listened to gentle and pure songs of the Galadhrim bowstrings and white arrows, aimed true to defend our blessed realm.



Yet, most of all, I despised these creatures of evil which brought forth the death of my Captain.

And I despised myself for allowing it so easily.


Why did I dwell so long to see this massacre?


But you had led me here, and I had always been a faithful warrior.

I could not, I would not, fail you anymore.


My lord, forgive me. Pride blinded me. Madness took me.


As I accepted my fate, I forgot my own suffering, and I couldn't help the small smile lingering on my face. So I pleaded:


Great Valar, into your hands I entrust my frightened soul. Take me with him, for I ought to fulfil my pledge and atone for my grave mistake.


At that moment, I felt my tormented spirit finally break free.


*****

Don't walk away
in silence
don't walk away


*****

I heard myself whispering on the wind:

"Where is my fair Lórien, which I've come to love too much?"


Shaking my head, I opened my eyes, to see you standing against the wall. Your long silvery hair was hanging loose, the crimson coat was flowing to the floor. With a knowing look, your keen eyes scanned the battlefield. Grasping the hilt of your sword tighter, you turned toward me and commanded:

"On your feet, warden, for the battle is over, and Mandos awaits."

"...and I will follow you, my Captain," I stated.


You smiled and nodded lightly.

With no more words, I stood up, picked up my weapons, and placed myself in line with the others.


You led us out of the fortress of the Horse-lords, straight into the naked darkness.