One Last Battle
Spoiler Warning - Lord of The Rings Return of the King *note I've based this on the film not the book for one very simple reason. I have not read the books and don't intend to.
The conversation over food, once Yvonne was seated, was nonexistent. Tara was eying her with curiosity while Janet seemed more interested in making sure she ate the right things. Yvonne herself had given Tara a surprised glance quickly masked and was grudgingly allowing Janet’s administrations. Tay disappeared from the room not long after, leaving them alone.
“Strange girl.” Yvonne ventured finally. “But I’m grateful to her for getting me out.” The other two shared a brief glance of barely concealed pain. Yvonne looked at them suddenly aware that she had touched a nerve.
“She said you were in prison.” Tara said slowly.
“Yes. Does that bother you?”
Janet shrugged pouring more water into Yvonne’s cup.
“Depends what you were there for.”
“You’re military.” Yvonne said, changing the subject. “Tay mentioned it when we walked out of there.” She drank from the glass politely, trying to decide how to phrase her next remark. “I took out a hit on behalf of my good-for-nothing mobster husband.”
“I take it you regret doing it now?” Janet muttered not sure what else to say. Yvonne snorted derisively.
“Only thing I wish is that it had been him that had been the target.”
Tay chose that exact moment to re-enter the room.
“I see you are integrating as well as usual, Yvonne.” She stated while tying a wrap over her hair.
“Why is she here?” Janet asked bluntly. Tay looked at them all with a sigh.
“She is here for the same reason the two of you are here. You are the Fallen. What you have done is not important. It is who you are. They asked for you and you came.”
“Why are you dressed in such extravagant robes?” Tara asked breaking the tension in the room. The others suddenly realised that Tay was in fact differently dressed from before. Long flowing material had replaced the jeans and t-shirt she had been wearing. A heavily embroidered belt hung at her hip.
“I have someone to see who is not as used to technology as you are.”
“Not as used to technology?” Yvonne stated. “Someone from the third world?”
“No,” Tay smiled. “Someone from the third age.”
The wind rustled the edges of the tent and the sounds of the camp outside filtered through the material. The day had been long and he was weary. A small cough made him lift his head.
“My lord.” The young woman, who he assumed had just entered, said. “May I speak with you?”
He frowned slightly.
“You are not of Rohan.” He stated taking in the cut of her garb.
“No my lord, my land is another.” The woman stepped closer. “I have come to ask something on behalf of my people.”
“So you too will ask for the blood of the Rohirrim. What further battles would you have us face?”
“King Theoden, you misunderstand me. I ask nothing from your people. I ask it of you.” Her face was open and honest he thought, though too young. A quick glance at her ears showed she was no elf.
“I am on the eve of battle. Why ask me now when I may not live beyond it?”
“That is why I have come. I know you will not survive the battle.”
“Foresight?” He asked sceptically though he knew the elves had such magic. “You wish me to aid you and forsake Gondor?”
“No you may take that path to battle for I can save you from your death. But only if you are willing to come to our aid.”
“I will not run from my death!” Theoden roared taking a step towards her.
“You are a man of honour, Theoden, King of Rohan, and I would not have you run.” She stated clearly raising a hand in reassurance. ”The battle lines are drawn and we call our fallen to our aid.”
The pull of her eyes as she spoke was enough to stop Theoden calling for his guards.
“What would you have of me?” He asked stepping away again.
“As the elves travel west to their new lands I will carry you further than they can go. You will be as dead to this world. You will have fulfilled your destiny. We need your aid but only if you are willing to give it freely.”
Theoden mused on her words.
“The great hall of my ancestors?” He said hesitantly.
“Will await you. You will find your way there. You have earned your place amongst them.”
“One last battle.” The words were whispered quietly. He bowed his head before seating himself on the cot. “Theoden, King of Rohan will ride one last time for you.”
She bowed her head, her relief clear, and smiled sadly.
“I will meet you again once the battle is done.” She moved to the door. Theoden rose to his feet swiftly.
“I have just one question. You have foresight.” She didn’t dispute his words. “Can we win?”
She paused her hand on the material.
“Know this my lord. I cannot tell you the outcome of the coming battle. Much hangs in the balance. I do know this though. If you do not ride to Gondor’s aid Sauron will prevail.”
The world turned black as Eowyn and the horse vanished to be replaced by a strange woman looking down at him. He frowned not quite able to place her until he remembered the visitor he had received before the battle.
“So I leave my people to their fate.”
“They will live well, my lord.” She said watching him rise to his feet. “Come, I have laid out food within my home and there are others for you to meet.”
“I am not the only warrior you have called.” He stated more than asked moving to her side suddenly realising how small she actually seemed next to him
“They all fight in their own way.” Tay admitted as she opened the door. Allowing her to go first Theoden eyed his new surroundings with interest. The metal of the walls bemused him for he had never seen such a building anywhere in middle earth.
“Surely a metal house would be cold to live in.” He said running a hand over a section of wall briefly. “Wood breathes better and holds warm in the coldest winters.” He noticed Tay turn to give him a reply but didn’t hear it as he took in the trio around the dinner table. They in turn looked at him with some interest.
“This is your fighting force?” He asked, taking in their appearance. “Where are the men?”