Forgotten Allies: part iv
"The cruelest lies are often
told in silence. "
Robert Louis Stevenson
Tears stung her eyes as Kate marched up the sidewalk,
trying to put as much distance as possible between her and
the house. The only thought that was running through her
head was, "It can't be true. It can't be true." Over and
over it played through her mind until it became a sort of
chant. For if she gave herself any time to think that maybe
Colin, had gone to see Hitler, she was overcome by fear.
She would not think of it, it had to be a mistake.
She was so lost in her thoughts that she made it all the
way to the hospital without a single memory of the journey
between the front door of her house and the door of her
father's hospital room. Her mother was sitting in a chair
beside the bed. Though banged up, her father was in high
"How's my favorite Fire Watcher?" he asked, as she sat
down on the bed. When she didn't answer, his face grew
grave. "Don't tell me something happened at the museum?"
"Oh no, nothing like that," she reassured him, and he
visibly relaxed knowing all his art works were safe.
"Gandalf is here," she said.
"What has he told you?" he asked.
"Some ridiculous story about Colin going to see Hitler,"
Her father closed his eyes. His silence was more
frightening than anything he could have possibly told her.
Her mother started weeping softly.
"It isn't true. Tell me it isn't true," she said.
"There are things I should have told you long ago.
Things about our history that will be hard for you to
understand. It was hard enough for me to grasp them and I
was told of them as a child," he said. He sighed.
"Gandalf will do a better job of it than I can. All I ask
of you is this. Believe him. Trust him, and whoever is
with him. They will give their lives to protect you."
"Stop this!" her mother said. She rose to her feet.
"I can't stand by and listen to this any longer!"
"Mary, please!" he said.
"No. NO!!!! I won't listen to it. Colin is already
gone. I won't. . . I will not stand by and listen to you
give Gandalf permission to lose another one of our
children!" she said, her voice trembled and sobs over took
"Mary, how can you say that after talking to Gandalf?"
"I don't care what Gandalf said. I don't care about
securing the future. I only care about my children. I
can't take this any more. . . I'm going to my sister's,"
she said. She turned to Kate and grabbed her by the
shoulders. Her finger nails dug into Kate's skin painfully.
There was a desperate look in her mother's eyes. "Kate, you
are intelligent. Don't do whatever it is they ask you to
do. Don't do it. Come with me."
"You don't know what you are saying. Neither of you."
Kate said, tears streaming down her face.
Her mother rushed from the room.
"Look at me, Kate." Her father said gently. He took
her hands. "Have I ever lied to you?"
She shook her head.
"Then you must believe me. Go to Scotland. In your
grandfather's study there are books there that will explain
things more fully. Proof. As close as any proof as I can
give you. Gandalf and his companions will no doubt be proof
"I don't understand." Kate said. "Proof of what?"
"Proof of our family history. Of who we are and who
our descendants are," he said.
"What does this have to do with Colin going to see
Hitler?" she asked.
"Everything," her father said. "Promise me, you will
take Gandalf there. What you decide to do afterwards is up
to you. If you want you can go to your mother or come back
here to London with me. But do this one thing for me first.
Please." he said, his voice was desperate.
"If this is just some ploy to get me out of London…"
Kate's father smiled sadly. "I wish it were as simple
as that. Go and hear him out. Please, Kate."
The sun was an hour from setting when she returned home.
Her hands trembled as she open the front door. Legolas,
Elrond, and Gandalf were gathered in the kitchen sitting
around the kitchen table. Their voices stopped when she
walked into the room.
The strong-willed girl of the morning was gone. And the
tension of weeks of air raids seem to come back to her with
full force. She had not the strength to argue anymore. Not
with night falling.
"Tomorrow we will go to Scotland. My father says there
is proof there for whatever you have to tell me." Kate said.
"My errand was in Scotland first anyway. It seems our
paths will at least walk together for a while." Gandalf
Her eyes went to Elrond. "Whatever news you have for me.
Or secrets to tell me. They will wait until tomorrow.
Tonight, I must meet the new members of the Fire Watch at
the museum. Sunset is soon."
Legolas rose to his feet. "May I offer you my
"Why not," she said. She walked out the front door and
he followed her.
He said nothing to her, but looked up at the sky, took
a deep breath of the city air. It was thick with odors he
did not recognize but there was enough of the sweet smell of
earth and sky to satisfy him. Cars roared by, Kate gave
them no notice, but Legolas watched them with growing
curiosity. They were faster than the fastest steeds of
As darkness fell, Legolas was content to stare out at
London from the musuem's roof, while Kate instructed the
members of Fire Watch. Buildings stretched off as far as
the eye could see. There were few trees and only small
patches of green grasses amid all the stone and brick. It
was not as grand as Gondor but the sheer size of the city
was an astonishment. Legolas could not believe that men
would build such vast cities. There were so many of them.
The air raid sirens blared in the distance. Kate
approached Legolas and handed him a bucket.
"Here's where the fun begins," she said.
"Any instructions?" he asked.
"See something on fire, put it out," she said.
She stayed close to him, glancing at him warily every so
often, as if she wasn't sure if she could trust him. But on
this night, the planes avoided their part of the city
altogether. Legolas felt he was watching some sort of
fireworks display that Gandalf would have given in the
Shire. For the bombs and fires springing up across the
city, were too distant to seem a threat. His eyes could
make out the small planes flying over the darkened city.
"Very like the Nazgul," he said, quietly to himself.
She turned to him, "Naz-what?" she asked.
"Nothing. It is not for me to say." Legolas said.
Kate sighed audibly. "I have heard that way to many
times in the past few days," she said.
Hearing her frustrations, he gave in, a little, "Nazgul
are winged creatures of darkness." Legolas explained.
As a plane dropped a batch of incendiaries in the
distance, Kate said, "They are definitely creatures of
They watched as the planes dropped bombs closer, but
never too near to their location. A huge fire blazed up a
block away, and an explosion sent a spray of glowing ash
into the air. The cinders drifted through the sky like
fireflies and floated in their direction. The roof was
dotted with pinpoints of light.
"Dammit." Kate said. She sprung to her feet. Across
the roof, the other Fire Watch jumped to their feet and
began extinguishing the smoldering cinders.
"Nine!" Kate yelled, as she scooped up the last piece of
ash from the roof. Across the roof the other Fire Watch,
yelled out their scores.
"5." A voice said.
"3." Another said.
Kate approached Legolas and said, "Well?"
"6." Legolas said.
A look of respect crossed her face. She was out of
breath, and her cheeks were red from the cold night air.
But Legolas thought she looked exceedingly pleased for
someone who was in the midst of danger.
"Not bad, she said, as she sat down beside him. "But, I
beat you by three,"
"The night is not over yet." Legolas said, with a
laugh. His expression changed from one of amusement to
nostalgia. Kate could tell his thoughts were far from
London and this night. She said nothing but was content to
stare up at the sky.
The blackout caused the stars to shine brighter than
Kate could ever remember seeing them. Orion was rising, and
she stared long at the three stars in a row that made up his
belt. And though he sat beside Kate, Legolas's thoughts
took him elsewhere.
Until the sunrise, Legolas walked amid his memories,
far away, in ages past, upon a high wall, overlooking the
vast plains, on a stormy night, on the eve of a battle many
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