Elaina Perdhel sighed as she stared at the group in front of her. The atmosphere had been tense since she and her two cousins, Legolas and Tauriel, had walked from Mirkwood Co. all the way back to her flat. She had sent a couple of ravens out, summoning the dwarves of Erebor. She had no idea if the dwarves were okay. But since the Elven lady hadn't sensed anything unusual happening, she assumed that everything was fine on their end. Now all she had to do was deal with the four beings in front of her.
By the way Smaug tensed at the sight of the two elves it was a safe bet that the powerful fire drake remembered them from the incident at Lake Town. Bilbo just looked nervous, fidgeting with the button of his shirt. His sword, Sting, rested at his side. Elaina had a feeling he was a little unused to the feeling. Drawing her attention back towards the two elves and dragons staring down at each other, she stepped forward, drawing all the attention to her. Smaug, Legolas and Tauriel pulled their attention from each other towards her fearful and commanding presence. Gandalf, bless him, was sitting in the corner, smoking a pipe.
"I know that you three don't exactly get along- "she started.
"His kind should be wiped from the face of the earth!" Legolas snarled, interrupting his silver-haired cousin.
"But," Elaina growled, getting the bow-wielding elf's attention. "We need to stay focused on the true enemy. That is the only way we can rescue my father and defeat Sauron once and for all."
"How are we going to do that?"
To answer the fiery-haired warrior's question, Elaina held out the Ring. Behind her, she heard Bilbo give a gasp of shock and heard his big feet shuffling behind her. The enchanted ring started to whisper in Black Tongue and fill Elaina's thoughts with promises of power and world domination. She quickly set the evil thing on the coffee table. Her heart was thundering in her chest as the elven lady examined the faces and expressions of everyone in the room. They all seemed infatuated with the ring. Smaug's eyes glittered with that primordial gold lust that seemed to entrap all fire drakes of the North, South, West and East. Tauriel and Legolas looked different. Both of their eyes became dark orbs with red pupils. A shadow seemed fall over their faces, making them look like skulls.
Bilbo just looked plain scared. She remembered when he came to Rivendale at the end of his life. He had gone from a still-aging man to something akin to an elder in the span of a night. Her heart broke when she saw him like that when she brought him his breakfast the next morning. It tore Elaina's heart in two when he left for his nephew's journey across the sea. He looked ancient then. The Ring kept him from aging and when he parted with it, he aged one hundred years in the span of a month. The elven lady knew the corruption that threatened him just like Golem.
There was a knock at the door, interrupting everyone's greedy or lustful stare. Before Elaina could open it, the door flew open nearly flying off its hinges. Thorin and his group entered, everyone dressed in battle armor and brandishing giant broadswords. Along with his usual dwarf forged sword, the former Prince Under the Mountain wielded the Goblin Cleaver, an elven-made sword he found in the goblin tunnel. Every dwarf was accounted for. The group entered, every eye in the room zeroing in on them. Elaina took the opportunity to snatch the ring up and place it in a little pouch around her neck. She wasn't going to take any chances with it being lost now. There was too much at stake for one of the members of the group to go crazy and grab it.
She dearly wished that Lestrade had accepted to help her. But now that she thought about, any humans that met the ring, even for a brief second, would risk corruption far greater than elves, dwarves, Orcs, or goblins. The Ranger Aragon was a prime example of that.
"What are you doing here?!" Legolas's harsh question pulled his silver-haired companion out of her thoughts.
"We were requested here," Thorin answered in a calm tone, though there was a slight sneer in his voice. Elaina intervened before the two of them destroyed each other.
"Enough," she ordered harshly. The two warriors thankfully clamped their mouths shut as she stepped in between them. Her gaze was hard and the air around her was hard and commanding. The silver-haired elf switched her gaze over to the two warriors alternatively. "I will not tolerate in-fighting. Sauron is preparing his forces to attack London, and eventually the rest of England, so we cannot be distracted by each other. Understand?"
"Understood." Both chorused simultaneously. Elaina glared at them, trying to ascertain if they were lying but in the end, she decided that they were telling the truth.
Finally, she turned, stepping into the role she had been trained from birth to do. The role of a general, one who leads her armies into battle without fear or hesitation. Elaina stood over the battle map, eyes narrowing as she marked specific areas around the dock areas where the enemy could be hiding out. So far, there were about five plausible places that Sauron and his army could be hiding out. The place would be heavily fortified. Elaina glanced out the window, her heart thundering in her chest at the sight of the slowly setting sun. Her father was running out of time and all she had were several theories about where Sorhel was hiding out.
In a burst of anger, Elaina slammed her fist on the table with a grunt. The pain was insignificant. If she lost her father, a war would break out between the remaining elven groups and the Orcs. Another War of the Rings would break out and this time, the battle would spell the end for the entire human race. Elaina sighed when she remembered when Christianity was starting to gain a following. She had persuaded Sorhel to read the Bible. It disturbed her slightly to see her fellow soldier get excited about the Book of Revelation, when humans ended in fire and death. At the time, the city of Rivendale had separated into little tribes. It was at a time when the elven culture was slowly dying until it was nearly gone.
Perhaps this is how Sorhel wanted to end humans. And maybe, just maybe, this is how he plans on doing it: through fire, brimstone and plagues. Sauron would have the power to do so once her father had been sacrificed to the demon of the next world. The corrupted Ring Bearer would also would have the power to make Sorhel a god in this new world.
Elaina's head shot up in realization. She turned to the company of dwarves, a hobbit, and two elves. A plan, a dangerous plan that could go wrong in so many ways, started to form in her mind. Smaug caught her looking at her and stared at her, cocking his head in curiosity. It was as if Sherlock was breaking through Smaug's lust for gold, his mind forming the same plan. Elaina burst out in a smile, looking all the world like a crazed lunatic on the verge of a mental breakdown. But gleam in her eye was much scarier than her smile.
"Why are you smiling like that?" Bilbo asked cautiously. The dwarves and the two elves snapped their attention to Smaug and Elaina, who stared deep into each other's eyes as if they could read each other's thoughts.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Elaina questioned the fire drake.
"If you're thinking what I'm thinking, then, yes, I'm definitely thinking what you're thinking." Smaug replied. His Sherlock was showing.
"What are you two talking about?" Thorin demanded.
Elaina tore her eyes away from the now smirking dragon and turned to the King Under the Mountain with a smile of her own. "A plan that is either going to save the world, or get us all killed."
There was a tense moment of silence before Bifur spoke up, "Well at least you got a plan."
The former Captain of the Elven Guard stood on the rooftops of an abandoned warehouse near the fishing district of London. Behind him was an Orc Horde, two hundred strong and the tied-up Lord of Rivendale. Sorhel took a deep breath of the chilly air, his black battle armor clinking slightly. His now pitch-black eyes with smoldering red pupils scanned the city below him. There was a whispering in his ear, a warning to stay on guard. Mentally he replied to the voice, careful to keep his tone neutral and his words complaint. Once the voice was gone, Sorhel's mental shields were immediately erected. It was only then that the old Sorhel started to surface.
Why am I doing this? What did humanity ever do to me?
The corrupted Sorhel replied almost immediately, they destroyed your home and your family. And the stupid, selfish Lord Elrond did nothing.
They still don't deserve to have their world destroyed. Civilizations rise and fall. It was just Rivendale's time.
NO! RIVENDALE IS STRONG! And I will raze this world and bring up Rivendale on the ashes of Human Civilization.
The argument was silenced when the former Captain of the Guard heard shuffling behind him and a guttural growl. He didn't have to turn around to see that Azog had approached him. His nose told him that. While the Defiler still had control over the Orc Army, Sorhel reigned supreme all of them since he held the Spirit and Soul of Sauron, their creator.
"What do you want Orc?" Sorhel growled in Black Tongue.
"Our scouts report riders incoming from the south." There was a pause. "It is the She-Elf."
Sorhel straightened. He glowered at the moon that was just now reaching the pinnacle. It was almost time for the ceremony. Why did she have to come? The voice of Sauron whispered for him to not trust this. But the Sorhel that was still good was louder. He begged him to let her come. She might be able to help him. Sauron's voice grew, planting an idea to turn the elven lady to his side.
"Let them come." Sorhel ordered. Azog gave a salute before leaving.
"You'll never turn my daughter over to your side." Elrond growled, leaning against his ropes. "She is pure. Unlike yourself Sorhel. You're nothing but a corrupted traitor, and I assure you that my daughter will never betray her people."
"We shall see." Sorhel muttered. Below him, he spotted a caravan of horses. Elaina was at the forefront, along with two other elves he recognized from Mirkwood but their names seemed to have slipped his mind. Behind them, rode the Dwarf filth and the hobbit, tied at the wrist. Sorhel smiled at the sight of the Ring around Lady Elaina's neck. The traitorous Captain of the Guard turned to the Orc horde behind him.
"Keep a close eye on our…. guest." He ordered. He spun around, leaping into the air and landing with a loud crash. He stood up and smiled evilly at the massive crater that had formed when he landed. With a flourish, yet mocking bow, Sorhel greeted, "My dear Princess. What do I owe the pleasure?"
"Sorhel." Elaina whispered. She was also dressed in armor, but unlike Sorhel's armor, hers was glowing silver, with the insignia of Rivendale and Mirkwood stamped on her breastplate. Her hair fell around her shoulders, her helmet proudly placed on top. Sorhel's heart used to jump in happiness when he saw Lady Elaina in her battle armor. Now, it just made his blood boil.
But her next words caused him to narrow his eyes in suspicion. "I've come to join you."
His heart soared but the Voice of Sauron whispered caution. This could be a trap. "What made you change your mind, Elaina?"
"I… I discovered that the world of Men wasn't as perfect as I thought." She admitted quietly. Tears prickled in the girl's eyes as she glanced down at the Hobbit. "I've been hurt for the last time. I am so sorry for not listening to you Sorhel. Or believing in you when you said that humans were nothing but monsters."
Sorhel eyes twinkled evilly as he smiled. "It's fine Elaina. It's all in the past."
He gestured for her to come off her horse, which she did. The woman's armor caught a sliver of moonlight that had come out at that moment as snow started to fall. Sorhel couldn't help but give a toothy grin when the elven noblewoman embraced him. His dark eyes that were like smoldering embers glittered evilly as he discreetly took a whiff of her hair, which smelled like pondlilies. When the two elves separated, Sorhel took in the dwarves, hobbit and dragon in ropes.
"What do we have here?"
"A peace offering for Sauron when he gains his form," Elaina explained. She crossed her arms and examined the little caravan with such distaste it caused Sorhel to do a double take. "It took some doing, but with your blessing, I give you the Company of Thorin Oakenshield, a weak hobbit, and the former Greatest Calamity of the Third Age- "
"Smaug the Firedrake," Sorhel finished. His eyes traveled over the half-dragon-half-human with disgust. "I shall enjoy offering you all up to Sauron when he returns." He turned to his love, "You are just in time for the ceremony, my dear. We were about to start the ritual. It would be an honor if the Queen of the New World would join her King for the rising of Sauron."
Sorhel was too blind with lust and power to see a look of disgust and determination flash across her face. With a choked voice, Elaina answered, "Of course, my King."
Elaina felt a shiver run up her spine as she ordered her 'captured' prey up the to where her father was already being held, bound and surrounded by an Orc Army. She recognized Azog the Defiler almost immediately. He was taller, stronger looking and a lot uglier then she remembered but she recognized him.
"What is this Elven bitch doing here?" The commander of Sauron's legions snarled in Black Tongue.
"Mind your tongue, filth!" Sorhel immediately snapped back. "This is your Queen."
"Sauron will never allow this!"
Sorhel's dark eyes flashed. Elaina repressed a shiver as pure evil crackled in the air like electricity. Her former fiancée's eyes were like coal and embers that burned with such ancient evil. A growl escaped his throat, guttural and feral.
"Have you forgotten that I am Him?!" Sorhel screeched in a deep, threatening voice. Elaina suddenly doubted her plan. For a second, she wondered if she made the right choice in plans, wondered if she had underestimated Sauron's control over her betrothed. But in that moment, she felt the spirit of her mother, Lady Diana, daughter of the sun and the moon, wrap her arms around Elaina and still her worries. She gripped the hilt of her sword and took deep breaths as the two beings argued. There was no doubt that her plan to destroy the original Bearer of the One Ring of Power was both suicidal and crazy…. but it was crazy enough that the evil entity would not even think to consider it.
It was clear on Sorhel's face when she first arrived that both he and Sauron expected a full-on assault. That surprise and the fact that it was clear that both the corrupted elf and the deity that inhabited him were fighting over what to do with her and her company. It sparked a little bit of hope in the Elven warrior. The fact that the two were butting heads meant that Sorhel wasn't completely under that monster's control yet. But Elaina couldn't let that hope blind her to what she needed to do.
"Forgive the Orc, my queen," Sorhel apologized after the argument ended abruptly. He lifted her hand up to his mouth, forcing Elaina to repress a shudder as his once warm lips pecked her knuckles. Back when she was young and naïve, it was a gesture she usually liked that made her blush red with fire in her cheek. But now, it just disgusted her.
"It is fine, my King." Her voice rang with endearment and love, a pure smile plastered on her face. Elaina forced her eyes to sparkle with that light she had when she was young, before she was hardened by wars and time.
"This way," he gestured, to two obsidian thrones. They both had dark crowns on them, one for a King and one for a Queen. The crowns had a jewel, somehow even darker than the metal that made up the crowns. Behind the thrones, two Orc guards stood, hidden in the shadows. And in front was the Lord of Rivendale, tied up and beaten along with an altar with a bowl at the top. Elaina had never seen her father look so…. vulnerable before.
Sorhel led Elaina gently by her hand to the throne, while the company was shoved down next to Elrond, who glanced up. The silver-haired woman turned away when she caught her father staring at her with betrayal. She could only hope that her father would not believe that she would really betray her people and humanity. The Orcs behind the throne lifted the crowns as the two elves elegantly sat down. When they were comfortable, Elaina felt her helmet being removed, her silver hair falling around her while the dark circlet was placed on her brow. Elaina was positive that Sorhel thought that they were both going to a match for those that dared oppose them.
She sighed sadly before lifting her eyes over to the man beside her. He was lounging in his throne, playing with a knife she recognized as the Ceremonial Dagger that was part of her people's history. It supposedly went missing when the Race of Men invaded. But it was in the hands of the traitor. Elaina put a lid on the fire that threatened to explode as Sorhel stood and walked over to Elrond.
"You may have twisted my daughter, traitor, but you will not corrupt me." He whispered. The brunet king gasped as his hair was yanked to where he was glancing up at the darkened being.
"Oh, how the mighty have fallen." Sorhel muttered. He softly drugs the blade across Elrond's throat. "Do you remember this, My Lord? Of course, you do. It was used in the ancient sacrifices held by your predecessors to rid evil spirits and demons from the villages and kingdoms. Now, it will bring about the end of the world."
"Your reign will be a short one, Sorhel." Elaina had to glance away. Despite being threatened with death at the hands of the one man he trusted, Elrond still managed to look like the intimidating elven lord. "I, Lord Elrond of Rivendale, husband to the Lady Diana, daughter of the Moon and Sun, do hereby decree: no one will bow to you. You will forever look over your shoulder, you will never get a goodnight's rest because the attempts on your life shall be vast."
Sorhel was so mad that he punched Elrond in the face. Elaina couldn't stop herself, rushing forward and grabbed his arm to keep him from killing her father. When he looked at her questionably, the silver-haired woman had to keep her expression neutral.
"Not yet dear." She ordered, her voice sickly-sweet. "We must wait for the right time to kill him. Will Sauron be pleased with a bruised and battered offering?"
Sorhel seemed to struggle against the evil being's hold and suggestion. Elaina allowed her river blue eyes to shine with tears. Finally, the evil being allowed her this decision. She had to keep a cry of victory down as Sorhel nodded and returned to his throne. The daughter of Rivendale turned to her father, her face stern and yet her eyes betraying her true alliance. Elrond's chocolate brown eyes widened as he read her eyes but his face remained fearful. She returned her seat beside Sorhel.
"What to do about these…. worthless dwarves?"
"Slaves perhaps?" Elaina offered. "They are hard workers and used to working in tunnels and caverns. The Hobbit we can use in the palace we shall build when we solidify our reign."
"I like your thinking my dear." He glanced up, where the moon was about to be covered by the clouds. A smile appeared on his face. "It's time."
Elaina nodded before glancing over at the company, who nodded slightly. Once more, Sorhel stood, but this time he gestured to one of the Orc guards. The one of the guards that stood behind the throne stalked over to where Elrond was being held. It grabbed Elaina's father and yanked him up. Sorhel gestured for it to bring her father to an altar. Elaina glanced over at the company, who were all getting ready to execute the plan. The plan relied heavily on timing and execution. If, for some reason, one part of the plan wasn't executed, then the entire thing could fall apart.
Sorhel's voice cut through her thoughts. "I, Sorhel, call upon the spirit of Sauron. For you to enter this world once more, I offer you this sacrifice: Lord Elrond of Rivendale."
There was a crackle of lightening and the wind picked up. Elaina had to plant her feet in avoid being blown off the roof. Her river blue eyes went wide as she gazed up into the sky, where snow and rain pelted her face. A dark, red tinted funnel cloud appeared in the sky, followed by another strike of red lightening. Fear filled her as she pulled her gaze back down to the altar. Elrond had been tied to the altar, with Sorhel raising the Ceremonial Dagger over him. Elaina sighed as she pulled her sword from the scabbard, the light silver blade glowing in the darkness.
By the time Sorhel realized what was going on, he had already brought the dagger down on her father. His screams finally blew the lid off her anger.
"NOW!" She shouted. The dwarves broke free of their restraints and attacked the group of Orcs holding them. Smaug whipped his tail, knocking several Orc soldiers off their feet, while Legolas and Tauriel sliced them up. Their bodies melted into ash. Even though the company had destroyed many Orcs so far, they were soon overwhelmed. Elaina glanced over at Smaug, who was battling several Orc generals such as Borg and Azog. When the Fire drake finally caught her eye, Elaina nodded and hacked her way to the altar where her father was bleeding out and Sauron was forming.
If they were going to finally destroy the Evil Ring Bearer, they needed to do it now.
"Oh no you don't." Sorhel growled as he intercepted the two. His pure white skin had patches of decay on his face. Patches that were growing by the minute.
"Sorhel, I know you are still in there." Elaina tried to reach in and try to get the real Sorhel back out. "Please, don't let this be your legacy."
"Sorhel is no more." Sauron informed her. "There is only Sauron."
"No, there isn't." Elaina declared intensely. She straightened, slashing out her sword. "Sorhel may be gone but I'm still here. I will avenge him and everyone else that had died in your bloody struggle for power."
"You can try witchling," Sauron sneered. "But my power grows by the minute. There's nothing you can do to stop me!"
"Wanna bet?" Elaina held up the one thing that could destroy him for good. The Ring that started this entire mess a long, long time ago. Sauron visibly winced, growling ferally. Smaug, finished with his group of Orcs, appeared by her side. The creature wearing Sorhel's face growled even more feral. He knew that Elaina and the Company had the advantage. The entity felt something he hadn't felt in an eternity: true fear. But he hid it well.
"You can try witchling." Sauron repeated.
"Bilbo," she shouted, turning to the halfling. "Get my father out of here and to somewhere safe. Smaug and I will deal with this snake."
"Of course, Elaina." The hobbit gave the elven lady confirmation.
"Smaug, you ready to cut down this snake?"
Elaina couldn't see it, but she was sure that he was smirking in a very Sherlock-y way. Judging by the way he growled deep in his throat. "But of course, my Lady."
"Shall we dance, then?"
"We shall," Elaina raised her sword while Smaug tensed in a pouncing stance, a snake ready to strike.
The three of them jumped into battle right as lightning flashed in the sky.