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Hope for the Uruk: 2. Bargain
“We apprehended it near the mouth of Imlad Morgul.” reported Faramir in his precisely-modulated high-Numenorian, “It had previously immolated several of its lesser fellows and, by its own account, had led a squad sent out to apprehend it directly into Torech Ungol. What wicked deed it had accomplished in order to merit custody, it did not deign to disclose! I trust it proved a satisfactory specimen of its kind.”
“Recalcitrant in the extreme.” I admitted, “But I suppose we shouldn’t expect anything different. Interrogating an Orc and expecting co-operation is a slightly forlorn hope.”
“I’m sure Anborn would be very willing to render any aid you might require. I find him an excellent interrogator with a variety of techniques at his disposal.”
“Thank you, Prince, but the fewer people who know about this, the better.” I sighed, somehow unable to bring myself to order someone else to do what I knew I could not, “I suppose I shall have to try with it again.”
So it was that I bent my reluctant steps down the hidden stairway beneath Rath Dinen again some days later.
“Took your farking time, didn’t you?” I was greeted, “Well I’m glad you’re back. Those two farking Snaga that you left me with, won’t muck me out. They even throw me farking food through the bars with a farking shovel!”
I looked from the two guards fidgeting at the outer door to the bulk of the Orc in its cage. In spite of myself, my lip twitched.
“How many times did you offer to eat them, Captain?” I asked.
“Only once or twice, and any farking idiot would know I didn’t mean it! ‘Ere – what did you farking call me?”
“Could we possibly dispense with the bad dialect imitation? You’ve been deliberately talking like a Snaga, Captain. Fortunately, Master Samwise was able to give a fairly good description of you.”
The Orc stuck out a greyish-pink tongue, cleaned its nostrils and then investigated the pit of each ear ruminatively.
“Didn’t think you’d tumble to me so soon.” it finally admitted.
“You’re quite famous, you know. Captain Shagrat of the Tower of Cirith Ungol.”
“Famous for what?” it spat, “Losing my command to a couple of little Shire-rats, that’s what! Well, it was all that bastard Gorbag’s fault. I’m glad I stuck him – yes – and tasted his blood too! And what thanks did I get from the Big Bosses in Lugbúrz after I’d saved the swag from Gorbag’s farking … beg pardon – FUCKING looters? Death by Shelob for failure in command! Lucky I knew the pass and the fucking escort didn’t!”
“So you weren’t at the Barad Dur when it fell?”
“What do you fucking think? Nothing came alive out of Lugbúrz. Anyway – no questions, remember? Not unless you wanna bargain.” it leered at me through the bars.
I’d hoped that my piece of detection in finding its identity would demonstrate that I had other ways of gaining information, and that Shagrat might therefore volunteer more. Clearly I’d underestimated it. As if sensing my thought, it grinned at me, showing teeth like a decayed stone circle.
“Time to talk, little Tark.” it said.
“Alright – we talk.” I turned to the guards, “Leave the keys and wait outside.”
This time they didn’t even attempt argument, throwing the keys in my direction and slouching out with barely-concealed insolence.
“You should get those two flogged.” suggested the Orc, “Are you going to join me in this fucking cage? Dare you, without their paltry little stickers at my back?”
“Yes. But I shall stay by the door beyond your reach – purely as a precaution.”
The Orc gave a great windy sigh, engulfing me in a warm carrion reek.
“Listen to me, little Tark.” it said with unusual seriousness, “You need to know a thing or two about us Uruk. There’s stuff that we know by taste, and smell, and hearing that you don’t. I could tell you straight out what those Snaga are saying behind that door – only you don’t wanna hear. And when they’re in here I can smell their fear – that’s why I may have played with them a bit. But you, now. You’re a bit of a puzzle. Can’t place you at all. But I know – and you know, don’t you? – what I smelled on you. Not fear or disgust. No. What you felt when you saw me without me britches was curiosity. So I called you on it, and you thought I wouldn’t see you change colour away in the shadows there. Then – when you showed you weren’t going to put the screws on me – even a little – I knew I had a bargaining counter. So ask away – all you wanna know. Just the one price for the answers.”
Choice. The whole of human life is about choice. Only time tells which choices are the life-changing or life-destroying ones. I took a very deep breath and plunged into a very dark sea.
“Conditions!” I said, “Three of them.”
The Orc’s eyes half-lidded. Its long tongue flicked across its wide distorted mouth, and its ears lost their droop, becoming sharp and erect like Shadowfax in full flight. Its musk, always present amidst the dank cave-smells, came at me in great overwhelming waves.
“Name them.” it sounded deep in its chest like discordant music.
“Firstly, I ask the questions, and if I think you’re lying when you say you know an answer, I proceed no further.”
It nodded slowly.
“Fair.” it conceded, “And … ?”
“Secondly, you don’t eat me anyway, afterwards.”
“You have me confused with Shelob, little Tark. And ….?”
I paused. After the third condition, there could be no going back.
“Spit it out!” encouraged the Orc.
“You don’t leave marks on me where other people can see.”
“Ah-har har! So maybe your new little King cares about what happens to you after all! I can’t place you, Tark. They’ve given you this job either because they couldn’t care less what happens to you; or because it’s so important and secret that only you could do it. You intrigue me, human. And I like your lack of fear! Go on now. Ask your questions. Of course you’ve no guarantee at all that I’ll keep your conditions – but you knew that already, didn’t you?”
It would be a matter of trust, then.
“Isildur!” I said, “I want to know if there are any traditions amongst your people as to how he met his end.”
“Who?” asked the Orc innocently, “Oh – you mean that fucker who started all this mess with Rings and such. Hmm. That’s about the last question I’d expect. Interesting though. Why’d you need to know?”
“That’s my business, Orc. I’ve asked a question. Can you answer it?”
“Oh yes, I can do that. Orc ambush by the Great River up Gladden-way, wasn’t it? We lost a lot of lives in that one – and all for no reason as it turned out. The Dark Lord was dead – relatively speaking. I’ll tell you more … later if you want.”
The little it had said corresponded with our own sparse traditions. Isildur’s squire Ohtar had indeed reported many Orcs killed before Isildur’s small party had been overwhelmed at the Gladden Fields.
“Agreed.” I responded curtly, and, unlacing my loose grey robe, dropped it to pool at my feet.
“Thought you’d see it my way.” rumbled the Orc complacently, as I finally took the two steps that would bring me within its long reach.
It immediately grabbed my upper arms and held me, letting me feel its superior strength. Out of courtesy I made a show of trying to pull away, and its wide mouth stretched in a rictus of amusement as it demonstrated that I was going nowhere.
“I like the way you play, Tark. Beautiful Tark.” it pulled me forward so that its bulk was between me and the door, “Now stay still while I shuck me britches.”
“Let me.” I heard myself say.
That did surprise the Orc. Its craggy eyebrows quirked, and it gave a great bellowing laugh.
“Seems I underestimated the effect of curiosity.” it said flirtatiously, taking its claws from my arms, “Go ahead by all means.”
The Orc had sensibly split one side-seam of its breeches, partly because the wound had been on that side, and partly because of the shackle on its leg. I moved closer within the range of its disproportionately long arms and leaned in to reach the knotted laces at waist and knee. As I did so, I felt the Orc’s claws rake my naked back. Its bulk was bent over me. Its long tongue followed the trail of fire made by its nails. My breath hitched in my throat, but I kept my fingers steady on the loosening knots.
“Still no fear.” it remarked into my ear, “Pity. I’d enjoy the sweet taste of it on your skin, Tark. It would blend nicely with the salt of the blood.”
The knots loosened, and I knelt to pull the Orc’s breeches clear. This brought my face level with its tumid cock, which now jutted scimitar-like from its thick torso.
As I had suspected, it was textured differently, reminding me somewhat of a cat’s tongue. But if I was not mistaken (and at this proximity that was unlikely), it also sported three lobes at its tip. In fact, I decided, it looked like two cocks melded together, with double width along the shaft, and two slits at its apex. Below it, however swung the regulation number of bollocks. Maybe, I thought wryly, I should not drown after all. Experimentally I ran the tip of my tongue up the length of the shaft before pulling back. The massive organ twitched. The Orc, sighing like a hurricane passing over Fangorn, drew me suddenly upwards against the rough pelt on its chest.
“You’re playing a dangerous game, little Tark.” it observed as it flung me face-up across the rough table beside its paliasse.
This was undeniable madness, and I would surely die horribly before the night was out. What had possessed me to push matters thus far? I stared up in the guttering light directly into the eyes of the Orc, set slightly aslant like those of a cat, and realised that (so far as I could ascertain) they were a clear and incongruous green. It laid one hand flat on my diaphragm, pinning me to the rough wood.
“Don’t move or flinch, Tark.” it warned, just before its free claw descended.
It raked a quadruple line from right shoulder to left hip; then transverse from left to right. The crossing-point left a red grid over my heart. The Orc surveyed its handiwork with satisfaction.
“Very pretty.” it said approvingly, “Last time I tried that, the Snaga wriggled in the middle and put me right off my stroke. I ended up disembowelling her. Pity. I was hoping she’d throw my spawn.”
“Are you boasting, Orc,” I asked faintly, “or merely still trying for a fear-response?”
“Shut the fuck up, Tark! You’re too fucking clever for your own good. At least the Snaga never gave me all this fucking lip!”
It leaned its weight down onto me, so that I could feel its unbelievable cock digging into my lower belly. Its tongue licked along the bloodlines on my torso, then unexpectedly curled with extreme delicacy around each of my nipples. Caught off-guard, braced for pain and suddenly offered pleasure, I gasped. The Orc chuckled, its flash of temper apparently forgotten.
It moved lower, finally spiralling its tongue several times around my now-erect cock. I arched involuntarily, fearing now that I should spill before it revealed what its game was to be. With one fearsome claw it cupped my bollocks gently, whilst the other reached to rub a wet nipple with the ball of its thumb. I could feel nothing of the nails that had earlier rent my flesh. Its tongue pulled me irresistibly to completion with no control or thought possible. I stifled my scream against the back of my hand, as I came explosively into its suddenly-enclosing mouth.
It was off me before I had well recovered, spitting noisily into its hands, then coating its cock. Unstrung, I offered no resistance as it lifted and flipped me onto my belly. A mighty knee opened my legs.
“Now, little Tark,” it said with creamy anticipation, “we can really begin.”
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