Patient, The: 4. Chapter Three: Untimely Rescues

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4. Chapter Three: Untimely Rescues


All the way back to the hospital, Aaron was numb.

His mind was filled with images of Stuart Farmer, his best friend since college.
He remembered the all night keggers and the girls they had dated together.
Stuart had been so tense during his first year at college, Aaron had made it a
point to loosen up the English lit major or else be driven to commit murder.
Stuart was one of those people who left notes on the fridge door reminding you
to buy milk or take out the trash. Aaron could not even remember how many
arguments they had during their four-years at college about the edibility of day
old pizza stored under beds. Stuart’s arguing position was usually against it.

Aaron drove back to the hospital, trying to see through the windshield as silent
tears filled his eyes. He best friend was dead and the chances were very good
that he was responsible for it. Sandra Collins said she did not threaten and
unfortunately, Aaron had learnt the hard way that she was right, she did not
threaten. Stuart’s death was not a threat. It was a statement of what would
happen to him if he did not cooperate with Malcolm Industries’ desire to take
charge of Moses.

Aaron wanted to go to the police but he could not. There was not an ounce of
proof that Sandra Collins was responsible for Stuart’s death. A hit and run
accident did not prove Malcolm Industries was guilty in the eyes of the law and
there were a million people in New York who had the initials of S.C. Through
the deluge of tears from Maggie, he had manage to learn that Stuart had been
walking to his beat up Chevy when a dark sedan came out of nowhere and ended his
life with a loud thud. Stuart died instantly, Maggie had said, as if that made
it all better. Stuart’s life ended abruptly without his even knowing why. At
least he and Aaron had that much in common.

All Aaron knew for certain was that they wanted Moses and if he let them have
the old man, he would never know why.

In a space of a few hours, Aaron had been torn out of his safe and comfortable
existence and thrust head long into a shadow realm where corporations could make
people disappear and have others killed. It would have been easy for Aaron to
cooperate with Sandra Collins and let Malcolm Industries take charge of Moses.
After all, Moses had been his patient for only two days; no one could blame him
if he surrendered the old man to the ministrations of the corporate giant.
Sandra had promised that Moses would be taken care of at a proper facility. He
would be made comfortable. All Aaron had to do was sign the release and Moses
would no longer be his problem.

It would definitely be the smart thing to do. There was a part of Aaron that
actually considered it for a brief moment. However, Aaron thought of the
promise he had made to his patient, to help Moses regain his memories and the
connection Aaron had spoken of so eloquently to the menacing Ms Collins, he knew
he could not do it. He could not betray Moses by letting him fall into the
hands of Malcolm Industries and he could not betray Stuart by allowing his
murderers to go unpunished. It may have been the safer solution to let them
have what they wanted but Aaron knew that he would never be able to look himself
in the mirror again if he did.

All these things ran through his mind as he drove back into the city, determined
to deny Sandra Collins and Malcolm Industries their prize. The tears had given
away to anger and though he had no idea how he was going to exact justice, he
knew he was not going to let them have what they wanted. They probably thought
killing Stuart would be enough to scare him into obeying unfortunately; all it
had succeeded in doing was made him mad. He was just a psychiatrist, a
nonentity to them and because of that perception; they believed they could do
anything to him. Even taking away his best friend.

Upon arriving at the hospital, Aaron strode down the quiet halls of the
psychiatric ward. The duty nurse, Brenda Watts, was at her station and greeted
him warmly. Unfortunately, Aaron was not in the mood for pleasantries.

“Brenda, I want you to get an orderly to have Moses ready to live immediately,”
Aaron ordered.

“Leave?” She stared at him blankly. “You’re discharging him?”

“Yeah,” he nodded. “I’m discharging him right this minute. By the time you get
him ready I’ll have the discharge papers signed and ready for processing.”

Brenda was an experienced nurse and she knew that such discharges were irregular
but Aaron was the head of the psychiatric ward so she nodded mutely and returned
to her station to see his orders carried out. With that task accomplished
despite Brenda’s obvious concern, Aaron retreated to his office to fill out the
papers that would release Moses into his custody. He knew that the discharge
orders would come under the scrutiny of the higher administration and that there
would likely be consequences of his actions but at this time, Aaron was far from
caring. John Malcolm was a powerful man and he wielded sufficient influence in
town to convince Aaron that if he wanted to get his hands on Moses through the
hospital system, he could.

When he emerged from his office, Moses was already waiting in the lobby. Aaron
had stopped at the pharmacy on the way into the psychiatric ward to purchase a
few supplies, which Moses would need to help him with his condition. While Moses
remained medicated with Thorazine, the old man was manageable. Without it, he
would be more than Aaron could cope with and at this time, neither of them had
the luxury of that complication.

“He’s ready Doctor Stone,” Brenda said reluctantly. Carl, the orderly who had
helped Moses get ready for his departure, showed similar hesitation.

“Thank you Brenda,” Aaron said gratefully, ignoring the confusion in Moses’
expression for now. “I know this is all very irregular but there is good reason
for me. I’d appreciate it if you left it for an hour or two before you queried
this Brenda.”

She opened her mouth to say something but fell silent when she noted the serious
expression in his face. “Are you in trouble Doctor Stone?” She asked a brief
pause later.

“We both are,” he regarded Moses. “I have to get Moses away from here, while I
still can. I know I’m asking a lot but I need you two to trust me.”

Carl, who often sat with him at the cafeteria while they talked about fishing
and sports, was the first to answer, “you do what you have to Doc, I won’t say
nothing.”

“I won’t either Doctor Stone,” Brenda replied with a smile. “We know you
wouldn’t do something like this unless it was really important.”

“Thank you,” Aaron answered and then turned to the patient, “come on Moses,
we’re going.”

Moses was undoubtedly surprised by Aaron’s actions but the old man said nothing
until they had left the corridor and well on their way to the elevators. Moses
were clad in tattered old clothes that appeared to have come from a disposal
store of some descriptions and passed respectability only because they had been
laundered during his stay at the hospital. Aaron wondered fleetingly just how
long Moses had been suffering this condition. Could be it possibly be years? He
shuddered at the thought that this man might have been wandering around the
streets for years with this hole in his memory with no idea that there might be
a life somewhere out there awaiting his return.

Only when they had cleared the main doors of the hospital with the night sky
above their heads, did Moses deign to speak.

“Is this an aggressive form of therapy?” He asked as they crossed the parking
lot to Aaron’s car.

“No,” Aaron replied shortly. “I just needed to get you out of there.”

“Not that I am not grateful to escape that place, may I ask why the sudden
urgency?” Moses inquired as they came to a stop where his BMW was parked.

Aaron did not answer until they were both inside the car and driving out of the
hospital. He had no idea where they would go. He thought of taking Moses back
to his home but then abandoned the idea because it was the first place they
would look for the old man once they discovered what the doctor had done. For
the moment, he just wanted to put some distance between them and the hospital.
He would figure the rest out later.

“Someone from Malcolm Industries came to see me today,” Aaron finally answered,
his voice calmer than it should be considering what had happened since he and
Moses last saw each other.

“Indeed,” Moses eyed him suspiciously, his demeanour altering from a frail old
man to something stronger and more in control of his situation. “Please
continue,” he urged.

Once again, Aaron was filled with the same sense of foreboding that Moses felt
whenever Malcolm Industries was mentioned. Aaron started to wonder if perhaps
John Malcolm was somehow responsible for the state Moses was presently in.
Their determination to retrieve the old man was proof enough that he was in
possession of something they were willing to kill to acquire. More than ever,
Aaron realised that the key to extracting himself from the situation he now
found himself embroiled and to gain justice for Stuart’s death was to unlock the
secret of his mysterious patient.

“It was a woman called Sandra Collins, she called herself an associate of John
Malcolm,” Aaron spoke the words bitterly, somewhat surprised at the hatred
bubbling inside of him when he thought of the ruthlessly mercurial female who
had most likely ordered Stuart killed on behalf of her employer. “She wanted me
to release you into their custody. Gave me some bullshit story about paying all
your medical expenses and sending you to a private sanatorium where you’d get
the care you supposedly needed.”

“I take it you refused,” Moses remarked automatically.

“Of course I did,” Aaron replied, “you’re my patient and I promised to help you.
I take that responsibility pretty seriously.”

“It could cost you,” Moses pointed out.

Aaron stared straight ahead and answered quietly, his voice wavering a little as
he spoke, “it already has. I got a note from this Sandra Collins when I walked
into the front door of my apartment. She told me to call a friend of mine named
Stuart. Stuart and I have been friends since college, we’re pretty close. When
I rang, I found out from his secretary that he was killed in a hit and run
accident. It happened not long before I called.”

“Oh Aaron,” Moses let out a heavy sigh of sympathy, “I am sorry.”

“It’s not your fault,” Aaron declared, sucking in his breath because saying it
out loud made him feel the anguish of Stuart’s demise even more acutely. He was
restraining his emotions because the situation at present required him to
maintain control of himself but the grief still felt like a knife in his heart.
“You didn’t kill him,” Aaron said glancing at Moses to make certain the old man
knew he meant it.

“Neither did you,” Moses countered, proving the he could be just as kindly. “I
am sorry I have brought this on you however.”

The old man gazed forward at the darkened street they were moving through. He
saw the bodies moving up and down the pavement and knew that anonymity in the
flotsam of human tragedy was quite possible and that it might serve the doctor
who was trying to help him, if he disappeared into it. Moses had hoped that
Aaron could help him because even though he remembered nothing about his past,
his senses were still intact and he could feel things at times that were capable
of aiding him as much as his lost memories.

From the moment he had meant Aaron Stone, he had been able to feel comfortable
and strangely assured by the doctor’s presence. He knew now that it was nothing
to do with the young man’s profession and everything to do with Aaron himself.
Moses did not know why but he knew he could entrust his life to Aaron and never
disappointed. However, Moses had no wish to be the harbinger of doom for the
doctor either.

“Perhaps you should just let me go Aaron,” Moses replied, no longer wishing to
think of the man who had risked himself as just his doctor but as a friend.
“Let me go before it becomes any worse for you.”

Aaron shifted his gaze from the road ahead long enough to show the old man his
incredulity.

“No,” Aaron shook his head, not even needing to think about it any further. “I’m
not going to let you disappear in the hopes that they won’t find you. I’m not
going to walk away just to make things easier for me.”

“You’ve already lost your friend,” Moses countered, “I do not wish you to lose
your life as well.”

“Bullshit!” Aaron snapped, feeling a burst of anger spiling out of him because
of that statement and with the situation in general. “My life is already in
danger. It was the moment I chose to help you escape and that was my choice
because I want to know what is so goddamn important that it was worth Stuart’s
life just to get to you! I want to know why they want you so bad and I think
you know a lot more than you’re saying and I don’t mean that just as your
psychiatrist!”

“I do not know anything specific,” Moses sighed out loud, understanding his
anger as well as feeling responsible for it. “I only know that the Malcolm
Building is a place of evil. I can feel things even if I cannot remember. I
feel as if I know you though I cannot understand how that can be. When you
speak the name of John Malcolm, I am filled with fear and loathing. I cannot
explain to you any better than that I’m afraid. I wish I did know why my
memories do not come to me or what my name is. Each time I try to remember it,
my mind rebels against the desire and I am plunged into insanity. I am sorry for
your friend, I wish more than anything I could have prevented it but I cannot
even help myself.”

The sorrow in Moses’ voice touched Aaron and he immediately felt badly for
raising his voice to the man. After all, Moses was as much a victim in this as
Stuart had been. It had been Aaron’s choice not to co-operate; Moses had little
to do with that decision. The psychiatrist in Aaron knew that he was simply
displacing his anger, taking it out on the patient when the person he should be
angry at sat in a penthouse office of the Monolith, a place he was really
starting to believe, was evil.

“Its not your fault Moses,” Aaron found himself saying. “I don’t blame you and
I sure as hell don’t want you to deal with them on your own. I said I wanted to
help you and I still mean it. Except now I also want to help you because I need
to understand why Stuart was killed. I need to know so I can do something about
it.”

“It is a dangerous path you seek to travel with me, however I am grateful for
the companionship,” Moses replied, affected by the younger man’s words more than
he cared to admit. He had an intuition that he had spent many years this way,
too many as a matter of fact and to have companionship, even if it was fleeting,
was not unwelcomed.

After all, who knew how long he had been alone?

*************



The elves had come to one conclusion as they travelled once again through the
world of men, they incapable of leaving any landscape untouched.

For most of the night they travelled swiftly without pause, determined to put as
much distance between themselves and their captors earlier on. Legolas had only
the stars to guide him on his quest to find Mithrandir and even that small
benefice was centuries out of date. It had been the place of his last known
whereabouts and it was more than likely that Mithrandir, if he still lived, had
moved on a long time ago. Although Legolas had refused to admit the Istar could
be dead throughout the journey from Valinor, the things they were encountering
in the world of men was giving him good reason to change his steadfast opinion.

There were things in this world that were almost akin to sorcery far potent than
any Legolas had seen in his long life. He knew on some level that many of these
things were devices for men shared one common trait with dwarfs and this was
their love of creating wonders from stone and steel. The devices were more
elaborate certainly and some of them functioned in a manner no elf could even
begin to conceive but they were still devices. Such power at the hands of a
race that still appeared young and foolish to him was a dangerous thing and for
once Legolas did not know if Mithrandir was capable of acquitting himself
against it.

It was not long before they were forced to leave the forest in which they were
travelling and emerge into the open once again. Beyond the tree line, the paved
roads seemed endless. There were structures every where and Legolas came to the
conclusion that while mankind progressed considerably since the Fourth Age, his
taste in architecture was severely lacking. The buildings they came upon were
ugly and grey, sometimes they were covered in facades of glass but mostly they
appeared like towers one might find in Baradur. Aesthetics apparently held
little importance to man of this age.

Taking advantage of the darkness, the three elves remained close to the shadows
as they moved through the streets, trying to fade into the background despite
everything about them drawing attention. However, they were not accosted in any
way, merely becoming recipients of some rather odd looks from the people they
encountered. Elladan’s observation earlier that the race of men had unified was
not incorrect. As they walked through the paved streets, they noted that there
were many racial types with also lent credence that the language of Westron had
been lost because of this amalgamation of cultures.

He also noted that there were two kinds of paved roads. One was a dark road
with lines running through its centre while the other, a small walkway flanking
the former was obviously more favoured since no one took the large road. Like
the White City of Gondor, lamp posts also framed these streets though it was not
flame that created the illumination but a source of power unknown to the elves.

“Where are their horses?” Elladan asked as the number of people they were seeing
increased.

“Horses?” Legolas looked at his companion and realised that it was a valid
observation.

“Yes,” Elladan declared, “we have travelled a great distance and have seen no
horses. How do these people travel?”

“Perhaps they do so on foot,” Elrohir suggested, taking note of a two young
females staring at them and bursting into a loud set of giggles before they went
on their way.

“We really need to change our clothes,” Legolas remarked, “We are too easily
recognised as different.”

“At least our ears are covered,” Elladan smirked and then added, “though I wish
my sense of smell were diminished a little. I do not know what these people
have done to the air but they have a great deal to answer for. I do not think
even the stench from Mount Doom is as contaminated as this.’

Suddenly, they were blinded by twin strobes of bright light coming towards them.
The glare was so sharp that they were forced to turn away as the brilliance was
accompanied by a low rumbling sound that sounded not unlike the mechanism that
powered the craft that had brought them to shore. As the source of it
approached, all three stared in awe as the metal beast drove past them,
explaining all at once why none of the people they had seen walked on the dark
road and why there were no horses. The beast moved past them swiftly, trailing
smoke expelled from its innards and was clearly mastered by the mortal inside
it.

“Well now you know why they have no horses, they have carriages that do not
require them,” Elrohir glanced at his brother.

“I had no idea they were this creative,” Elladan replied, still staring after
the mechanical beast as it disappeared into the darkness, the red lights behind
it flashing periodically as it drew farther away into the night.

“Creative?” Legolas snorted, “what is exuding from that thing is poison. Can you
not smell it?”

“I have given up using my nose in this place,” Elladan said sarcastically.

“How long are we to travel in this manner?” Elrohir asked, tearing his gaze away
from a small building with a clear glass face. Judging by the manner in which
items of clothing were being displayed, the elf gathered that they had entered
something of a mercantile district. Though many of the shops were close, the
ones that were open exuded aromatic flavours that could only be food. The scent
of it made the elf’s stomach rumble for in their haste to escape their captors,
they had only packed the essentials, which unfortunately, did not include food.

“I do not know,” Legolas frowned. “We must seek shelter but I do not know where
we could find it in this place, or how to ask anyone for guidance.”

“We should at least eat,” Elladan pointed out. “My strength to continue on foot
would be a good deal better on a full stomach.”

“I cannot disagree with you,” the prince of Mirkwood agreed. “It would be
interesting to see what passes for a decent meal in this place.”

“If it is anything like what they consider clothing, I shudder to think,”
Elrohir retorted. “I still cannot believe that fetching young woman allowed
herself to be displayed in such a manner. She was truly exquisite and yet
decadently indecent.”

“Perhaps they are not inhibited by their bodies,” Legolas shrugged, attempting
to be fair regarding the customs of the mortals.

Elrohir however, was not listening. His nose was leading him into one of the
shops because of the exotic aroma of food that was coming from it. It was a
scent that was laced in spices and had the faint essence of meat to it. For
three elves who had eaten nothing in almost a day, the aroma was quite tempting.
As the entered the premises, the food was already prepared and waiting at the
counter manned by a dark skinned mortal of Haradirim descent. The human
regarded the new arrivals somewhat strangely and spoke to them, no doubt
inquiring of them what they wanted. The language of shop owners was universal,
even if the words sounded different.

Their presence in the establishment captured the attention of other patrons and
made the elves feel very self conscious. Legolas hoped that barter was still in
existence because he knew of no other way to communicate what he wanted.
Producing a gold coin that was a remnant of the kind used as currency in Gondor,
Legolas handed it to the puzzled owner of the shop. The man stared at Legolas
for a moment but his eyes spoke volumes when it widened at the sight of gold.
He examined the coin by biting into it, a practice Legolas was familiar with
despite being away from the business of trading for almost a hundred millennia.

Apparently their offering was acceptable to the owner for they were seated
within a few short minutes, being served whatever food they had pointed to.
Their presence was still a matter of fascination by the other patrons of the
establishment but Legolas did not expect it to be any different. At least they
knew that gold was still a valuable commodity and would help them survive in
this alien world.

“Be careful with that, if I recall correctly, the Easterlings like their food
spicy,” Legolas advised Elladan as the elf was about to dig into their meal.
Fifty years married to an Easterling had left that indelible memory in his mind,
especially when he recalled how long it took him to become accustomed to Melia’s
cooking. He had loved the woman dearly but she had never been that good a cook.


The bottle of cold, dark fluid in his hand preoccupied Legolas as he examined it
closely. Cold vapours rose out of its narrow mouth and Legolas was rather
amazed at how icy it felt against the skin. It seemed to be a favoured drink
because many of the other diners were also partaking of it. He held it to his
lips and was surprised by the tingle against his tongue and how the cold seemed
to complement the taste.

“You are right,” Elladan replied as the taste exploded against his tongue but it
was not unpleasant, just hot.

“Try this,” Legolas told his companions as he drained the bottle in his hand .

“You ought to take care,” Elrohir remarked with a grin, “you know how useless
you are with strong drink.”

Legolas shot him a look before retorting, “this does not appear to contain
spirits of any kind but it is intoxicating.”

Despite their presence being a source of discussion within the premises, they
were for the moment left alone as they dined on their exotic meal. Legolas took
the time to look about the place and was grateful that the hygiene in such
places had greatly improved since the Fourth Age. Legolas admired the humanity
ability to endure and was grateful that they had survived the Dark Age that had
come upon them after the elves had gone. Eru had made them a hardy people who
because their lack of immortality, gave them the fierce need to endure at all
costs. Legolas was pleased that they had reached some measure of prosperity
though their urbanization seemed to have gotten a little out of control.

Suddenly his gaze fell upon two men entering the premises. Their faces were
grim as they made their way towards the owner of the shop owner and something
about their manner made Legolas tense. He glanced briefly at Elladan and
Elrohir and noted that the twins were also staring at their new arrivals with
similar suspicion. Legolas unconsciously reached for his bow as they stood at
the counter, appearing unarmed to the naked eye, however, the elf had remembered
the size of the weapons they had been threatened with when they were accosted on
the high seas and knew that they were easily concealed.

The shop owner seemed to have similar suspicions of danger as well for he
approached them rather nervously. Though Legolas did not understand the words,
the elf gathered that the man was asking the duo what they wanted. Their
reaction though abrupt was ultimately predictable. As anticipated one, pulled
out a weapon, pointing it to the helpless shopkeepers face and shouting his
demands. The second man pulled out a longer version of the weapon, aiming at
the patrons, waving it about and engendering cries of fear from the children and
the women in particular.

Elrohir’s first impulse was to attack and both Elladan and Legolas could see him
wishing to. However Legolas ordered him to stand down, wishing the situation to
play out a little more before they decided how to act. Meanwhile, the thief at
the counter discovered the gold coin Legolas had used to pay for their meal
amongst the other earnings the shop owner was being forced to relinquish. It
did not take him long to determine its source and when the man barked orders at
the companion terrorizing the patrons, Legolas knew that he was going to come
towards them.

He was right.

Within seconds, the second thief had marched up to Elrohir and was shouting his
demands for the rest of their gold. Legolas had risen to his feet, keeping his
bow concealed beneath the table for the moment although he was poised to act.
The man was shoving the barrel of the weapon into Elrohir’s shoulder and both
Elladan and Legolas could see the Prince of Imladris was fast losing his temper.


“Can you take him?” Legolas asked.

The thief shouted at him but since Legolas could not understand a word he was
saying and did not care to for that matter, the elf ignored him.

“If you can deal with his companion, I can take him,” Elrohir answered quietly.

Their conversation seemed to infuriate the man and he lashed out with the butt
of the weapon striking Elrohir. Elladan moved towards his brother but the thief
trained his weapon on the elf with every intention of using it to restrain him.
Suddenly, Elrohir was on his feet, faster than any mortal present had likely
seen in quite some time, he slammed his palm into the barrel of the weapon,
forcing it towards the ceiling and away from his brother’s face. With his other
hand, he threw a punch into his attacker’s jaw, using the man’s ensuing
distraction to wrestle the weapon away from him.

The first man, seeing his friend being attacked, quickly aimed his weapon at
Elrohir and though Legolas did not know how the thing worked, he was in no hurry
to see it used especially on him comrade. Without needing to think twice,
Legolas loaded his bow with lightning speed and let one arrow fly. The
projectile tore into the thief’s shoulder, forcing the human to drop the weapon
he was holding to the floor with a loud clattering noise.

“Are you alright?” Elladan asked Elrohir with concern as he noted an ugly bruise
forming against his brother’s pale skin.

“It is nothing that will not heal in time,” Elrohir replied as he handed Elladan
the strange weapon and searched for something to restrain the fallen man at his
feet.

As he did so, the establishment burst into a series of loud cheers and clapping
as the other patrons expressed their admiration at the elves handiwork. While
Legolas would like nothing better than to soak up their adulation, this
attention to their presence could not be good and he suddenly felt the need to
leave while they still could. Legolas approached the man he had subdued with
his bow, hearing the human curse a litany of words whose meaning was clear
enough. Leaving the arrow where it was because removing it would cause too much
pain, Legolas bound the man’s wrists together to ensure he would cause no
further mischief when they departed. Elladan had done the same to his companion.

“We should go,” Legolas declared despite the fact that the shopkeeper was
shaking his hand rigorously with a smile on his face, probably offering them
thanks for their assistance. He even returned the piece of gold that had
sparked the thieves’ interest. However, Legolas refused its return but helped
himself to several bottles of the bottled drink, a sacrifice the shop owner was
more than happy to spare after their heroics on his behalf.

Emerging into the night once more, the trio did not get very far before they
heard a loud screeching noise speeding towards them. There was a moment of
pandemonium before they found themselves facing two mechanical beasts, the
bright glow of their orbs like eyes glaring at them. These were unlike the
carriages they had seen earlier because a spinning red light sat on top of each
vehicle, almost like a beacon.

Whatever that crimson light was meant to signify meant little since Legolas and
his companions were surrounded with nowhere to run.

****************


The investigation was not going well.

Every instinct that Eve possessed told her that John Malcolm was responsible for
Richard Falstaff’s death. Unfortunately, her instincts would not stand up in a
court of law and the fact that she could find no evidence that might support her
belief, seemed to indicate that Malcolm had little to fear from justice being
done. As anticipated, when she interviewed the staff in the financial section
of Malcolm Industries where Falstaff had worked, their stories deviated little
from the statements Malcolm had been good enough to prepare for her. It was
clear that they were instructed before hand of what to say and thus Eve found
very little that could explain why the man was killed.

She knew that he was not simply a senior accountant even before she had searched
his office and found nothing that could explain why he was killed. When she
moved the desk she found very slight indentation marks in the plush carpet and
knew this office had been made ready for her perusal. This was not Falstaff’s
office and appeared as if it had been put together quickly so that she would
believe that he was exactly what Malcolm claimed, just another accountant.
Unfortunately Eve’s attempt to push the issue was met with indifference.

Realising that she would receive no assistance from Malcolm Industries, she went
to see Mrs. Falstaff, the grieving widow. Victoria Falstaff was unable to say
clearly what her husband did for the company, other than what the fact that he
was an accountant. In fact, she was very reluctant to say anything at all about
him. When Eve insisted she try and remember, Mrs. Falstaff would only state
that she had a child to think of and that she was relying heavily upon the
income coming from her husband insurance policy, a policy held by a company also
owned by Malcolm Industries.

Eve sat at her desk in the precinct, wondering if she was simply going to have
to relinquish this entire matter into the unsolved case archives since there was
no other avenues left to pursue. She supposed she could pull up the Falstaff’s
bank records and see if there were any large deposits or determine what kind of
salary the man actually earned since it would go a long way to proving that
Falstaff was not just any other accountant. Not many she knew wore Armani suits
and even less were found in parts of town where they were easy targets for
muggers, if that was what actually happened to the man.

She had other cases to deal with anyway and though she hated being so helpless
when a man had lost his life, there was little else she could do unless a new
lead turned up. Deciding that she was not going to work herself up into a royal
state of gloom at being stymied in this investigation, Eve left her desk bound
for the Starbuck’s across the street. The only thing that could make her feel
better at this point was a Frappacino. She had emerged into the front desk
area of the police station when suddenly, she heard someone shouting at her.

Well there’s something you don’t see very day.

This, Eve said to herself when she saw four officers escorting what could only
be described as three men playing Robin Hood and his extremely effeminate merry
men. Effeminate was perhaps not the right word, Eve thought as she and the rest
of the police officers present gawked in a mixture of amusement and astonishment
at the trio being led to the front desk. It was not that they were effeminate
but rather very pretty for men with their long hair and their finely sculpted
features. Their clothes were straight out of an Errol Flynn movie in earthy
shades one would expect of people used to traipsing about in the woods. They
seemed rather overwhelmed by their circumstances until one of them caught sight
of her and began to shout.

“Undomiel! Onónë!”

Eve could swear that he was addressing her but she had no idea what he was
saying. All three seemed extremely shocked at the sight of her and that
inspired Eve’s curiosity enough to ask what was going on.

“What is this?” Eve asked the arresting officer, a rather brutish looking man
named Idzikowski who had a heart of gold, when he wasn’t attempting to
impersonate Dennis Franz.

”Picked this guys up on an INS warrant,” Idzikowski replied as the rest of his
comrades prompted the three towards processing. “Coast guard picked them up off
the coast near Long Island. On the way to shore they escaped, no identification
papers, nothing. Don’t even know what language they’re speaking. Coast guard
describes them as possibly Swedish or Norwegian. Anyway, we’re meant to hold
them here until INS comes to get them.”

“Swedish huh?” Eve ran her eyes over the men who were still staring at her. All
she could see in their eyes was shock, shock and astonishment because of her.
Eve could not understand why.

“Undomiel!” The tall one with the dark hair and intense eyes cried out again and
this time there was no mistaking that he was directing his outburst at her.
There was a hint of desperation in his voice, as if he really needed for her to
listen to him. It unnerved Eve a little but then lately, everything had
affected her more than it should have.

“Looks like you make a friend,” Idzikowski grinned with what could only be
described in Webster’s dictionary as your classic shit-eating grin.

“Couldn’t be the worst thing that happen to me today,” Eve shrugged though she
was rather uneasy as what this was all about. “Could we get a translator in
here?”

“We could if we know what language they’re speaking. I mean if you ask me, they
look like they’re a couple of fags from the Village.”

Eve rose her brow and gave Idzikowski a look, “I believe the correct term is
‘homosexual’, sergeant.”

“Whatever,” Idzikowski shrugged. “Ain’t gonna mean shit when they hit the lock
up.”

Somehow the idea of these men being placed into lock up even if it was for a day
or so did not sit well with Eve. As they were lead away to processing, she
noticed they were still staring at her wearing that same astonished expression.
However, while the tall, dark haired one was no longer shouting at her, she knew
that something about her had sparked off his outburst. For the first time in
days, Eve’s thoughts were fixed upon something other than Malcolm Industries and
John Malcolm.

All thoughts of the Frappacino she had intended to get, faded from her mind.
Instead she lingered close by watching the officers remove the trio’s personal
effects, which were just as baffling as everything else about them. Speculation
began to stir across the precinct room that they were either circus people or
crazed method actors. Someone even suggested they might be from California.

While they were being taken in for finger printing, Eve examined with interest,
the personal effects taken from the three men. The most noticeable items were
naturally the swords, the bow and its accompanying arrows. She had in her time
seen weapons of this nature but the there was a beauty to them that surpassed
anything she had seen in a museum. However, the weapons did not compare to
the contents of the leather pouch next to them.

Whether or not they knew it, the trio had a veritable fortune in gold coins
accompanying their small arsenal. Emptying the contents onto the table for a
closer look, the coins glittered under the harsh illumination of the precinct
room’s fluorescent lights. Eve thought they might be Krugerrands or doubloons
because she could think of nothing else that match its description and reached
up to pick one of the shiny pieces. She gazed at intricate patterns etched in
gold against her palm and felt her mind started to wander….

It came upon her so suddenly that Eve had no idea what hit her.

Suddenly the room was spinning so fast that the faces around her melted into a
blur of colour. The same crippling disorientation that had attacked her in the
elevator at the Malcolm Building assaulted her with even more ferocity. Only
this time; there were images to accompany the strange feelings coursing through
her. While she did not feel the mind numbing fear of her earlier episode, she
did feel something kindling inside her, something that had been clawing its way
through the mire of darkness within her soul ever since she laid eyes on the
Monolith. Eve did not understand what she was seeing and was certain that she
was going insane just before she lost complete control of her senses.

Faces appeared, fleeting images that left enough traces inside of her to form
memories. The three men she had seen earlier flashed before her and the
sensation they engendered were one of familiarity. She saw herself among them,
appearing almost unreal, like the fantasy a young girl might have about being a
princess in some far away land. It would almost be laughable if Eve were not
seeing before her. She saw herself with the three, smiling, laughing, knowing
the love for them that could come only with a long association. She knew them.
They were apart of her but she did not know how. Their light filled her soul
though not completely. Someone else was missing.

And then she saw him and nothing else seemed to matter.

*************


Something acrid was being held under her nose.

Eve pulled away from the stench as the fog lifted from her mind. Her senses were
awakened by the pungent smell assaulting her nostrils and she turned her head
trying to escape it. When she opened her eyes, she found herself being
surrounded by faces looking down at her with concern. Sergeant Idzikowski was
apparently the one responsible for her assault with smelling salts. She stared
up at them with confusion until more of her situation became clear and she
realised that she was lying on the floor. The realisation made her sit up right
abruptly though it was an action she soon regretted because it sent another wave
of dizziness through her. Fortunately, this time it passed quickly enough.

“What the hell happened?” She muttered when she was able to focus.

“You fainted Detective,” Idzikowski informed her dutifully as the some of the
officers dispersed realising that she was all right and in seemingly good hands.
Someone had brought her a cup of water which Eve gratefully accepted.

“Fainted?” Eve balked before she could even take a sip. “I don’t faint!”

“You’re on the floor,” he retorted. “Looks like fainting to me.”

Eve scrambled to her feet, brushing off Idzikowski’s efforts to help her up.
“You mean I just fell over?”

“Well you kind of went spacey first holding that thing in your hands,” he added.


Eve looked down at her hand and saw that she was still clutching the coin in the
centre of her palm. The images of what she had seen stayed in her mind and she
knew that was something was happening to her, something to do with those three
men. Somehow, they knew her and though Eve could not understand how it was
possible, she was utterly certain that she knew them too. All her life, she had
been plagued by this sense of intuition that allowed her to tell almost
immediately, without the assistance of evidence or information what people were
about. It was one of the reasons she had entered law enforcement because being
a cop helped her use this odd perception to help others.

Right now, this perception was telling her to find out all she could about those
three strangers.

“Must be a long day,” she said shrugging off the incident. “Thanks everyone,”
she looked at those officers who were still lingering around her in concern.
“I’m okay.”

“You sure?” Idzikowski said dubiously, his own instincts telling her that there
was more to it than she was letting on.

“I’m sure,” she replied handing back the coin to him. “So what happened to
those three you brought in?” Eve asked, trying to sound casual as she
straightened her clothes and ran her fingers through her hair.

“Well they’re in lock up,” Idzikowski replied after a moment, his mind shifting
from concern to addressing her question. “We tried finger printing them but
that didn’t work.”

Eve started at him, “didn’t work?”

“Yeah,” he nodded, clearly disturbed. “They don’t have fingerprints, any of
them.”

*************

Eve stared at the items in the impound room a short time later, trying to make
sense of everything she was seeing.

Swords, bow and arrows, pouches made of leather, who even used these things any
more? The gold coins stared at her in defiance, charging her to solve the riddle
of what they were. She read the report from the Coast Guard. These men had
been picked up off the coast of Bay Shore in a boat that had no visible means of
artificial power other than sails. There were enough rations in the ship for
what was obviously an extended journey. So how far had they actually travelled?
Even the captain of the cutter was at a loss to explain the whole affair.

European maritime agencies had been contacted but the officials at Bay Shore
Coast Guard seemed unsurprised that they had no record of any sailing craft
matching the description of the one they had towed in. Captain Wallace had said
it looked like something out of an old Viking movie. He was almost relieved
when they jumped ship to became someone else’s problem. Idzikowski’s own
apprehension report described how the three had prevented the hold up at a local
Indian restaurant.

He had called her Undomiel.

What did that mean? He said it with such passion and the expression in his eyes
despite the shock and was one of joy. He had been happy to see her. Eve did not
even want to think about her fainting spell at the touch of one of those
exquisitely engraved coins. She was a rational person who believed in things
that could be proven by science and by fact. Yet she could not deny that too
many times in her life, she had relied upon instincts that could be proven by
none of these.

The images of what she had seen while she had been unconscious were too vivid to
ignore and they seemed to be the culmination of the strange things that she had
been experiencing of late, ever since she returned from the Malcolm Building.
She did not know how she knew those men in the lock up below but she could feel
something for them that were difficult to explain. The mystery about them was
deep enough with their inability to speak a recognisable language or the fact
that none of them seemed to have fingerprints. Where there should have been
whorls and lines on their fingertips, there was only smooth skin with no pattern
at all.

The policeman attempting to fingerprint them believed initially that they had
intentionally burnt away their prints but the truth was, self-mutilation of this
type usually left behind scars of some kind. On closer examination, there was
nothing of the kind on any of the trio’s hands. If anything, it looked like a
natural omission of their genetic make up, which only made the whole thing even
more bizarre.

Her ruminations were leading Eve down a path she did not wish to go because it
meant jeopardizing her badge, her career and perhaps more importantly, the
assurance she had in her life that everything was just what it was, that nothing
existed beneath the surface of what she perceived was reality. However, the more
she thought about it, the more it dug its way into her mind, like a splinter
that was driving her insane or more specifically towards a goal she could not
deny.

Damn, Eve thought as she stood up from her desk and came to a decision, not
realising that she had been sitting there for hours debating the subject.

She was lucky if they didn’t throw her in jail for what she was about to do.

**************


“It is impossible!” Elrohir exclaimed with no small amount of exasperation at
Elladan as they sat inside their latest prison.

“It is not impossible!” His twin returned just as vehemently. “You saw her! You
both saw her! That was the Evenstar!”

“It looks a great deal like her,” Elrohir conceded that much even though he was
not as convinced as his brother. “But the woman out there was human and our
sister, however she chose to live her out her life, was elvish!”

Elladan refused to believe it. The woman they had seen before being brought
into this cell was the splitting image of their sister. The elf could not
accept that it was mere coincidence that allowed their paths to cross so
fortuitously. Fate had brought them together and Elladan refused to ignore it
especially in the face of the quest they had come here to fulfil. Elladan was
certain that Iluvutar had guided them here so that they would find the Evenstar,
who was born of this time and could help them navigate through this world to
find Mithrandir.

“She may have been elvish but her soul did not return to Mandos,” Elladan
declared hotly. “We know that the souls of mortals are different. Iluvutar said
that he allowed their souls to go beyond. What if it was to live other lives?
What if he did not grant them immortality as much as he granted them the power
to reincarnate?”

“Elladan, I agree with you, she does resemble our sister but we have no way of
knowing that the similarities run any deeper than just the skin,” Elrohir said
trying to calm him, aware of how passionate his brother can be when properly
motivated. Most of the time Elladan kept him emotions in tight control in
contrast to Elrohir who liked to express them openly. However if a cause
inspired his brother enough, Elrohir knew perfectly well how determined Elladan
could be.

Legolas had not weighed in with his opinion because he did believe Elladan.

He believed because once upon a time, he had loved a human and she had died, the
way all mortals do at the culmination of their existence. He had mourned her
dearly and thought that she was gone from him forever. When he arrived at
Valinor almost half a century later, he was still pining for his lost love but
to his surprise, Legolas discovered an elvish woman born on the same day as her
passing, was carrying her soul. There was never any doubt in his mind that the
woman he mourned had been reborn in a new body with no memories of her past.
Legolas knew her soul was the same as his Melia. Through the grace of Iluvutar,
she had been returned to him as Ariel.

“She is the Evenstar,” Elladan refused to entertain any other possibility, “I
know it in my heart that woman was our sister born in human flesh.”

“Well whether or not she is the Evenstar, it is hardly beside the point,”
Elrohir declared, getting back to the point at hand. “It does not change the
fact that we are trapped inside this prison.”

The dungeons were different from any that the elves had experienced in their
lifetime. It was far cleaner and well lit. Harsh white light glared at them
from overhead. There were receptacles for sanitary purposes and the bunks for
prisoners. The steel bars allowed the prisoners to see each other thus removing
the feeling of isolation somewhat. When they had first been shown into their
cell, the other prisoners had stared and offered derisive words whose
maliciousness none of the elves doubted, however, the novelty of their
appearance had worn off and now they were largely ignored.

“I think we face a greater problem,” Legolas declared examining the ink stains
on his fingertips, “they were very upset that our fingers showed no marks.”

“Even more so because we all bore the same trait,” Elrohir nodded in agreement.
“Unfortunately we cannot explain to them that this is so because we are elves.”

“That is for certain,” Legolas retorted. “I fear that the next time we see them,
they will wish to examine us more closely and I do not think we will be able to
hide our differences any longer.”

If Legolas expected a response from his comrades, he would have been
disappointed because no sooner than he had spoken those words, the dungeon
erupted into a cacophony of hooting sounds and whistling. Legolas looked down
the corridor and saw the woman that Elladan was convinced was the Evenstar
approaching their cell.

***********

“Are you sure about this?” Idzikowski looked at Eve.

“Yeah,” Eve nodded. “I spoke to INS and they agreed to let me take these boys
over to their offices. They’ve got a translator waiting on their end.”

“Beats me why you’d want to handle these weirdoes though,” he muttered, aware
that this was all very irregular but Eve McCaughley was a good cop and if she
had instincts about these three men, then who was he to argue? Besides, there
was something spooky about the trio and Idizikowski was glad to see them gone.
It was not his place to debate the matter with a detective and a lieutenant nor
was it his badge in jeopardy if she was anything but on the level about what she
was doing.

“I want to find out where they’re from,” Eve replied evasively, questioning
herself for the hundredth time what she could possibly be thinking by embarking
on this insane course of action.

“Try Never Never Land,” the crusty officer snorted.

Eve gave the man a look before regarding her new charges once the door to their
cell was slid open rather noisily. They stared at her blankly though the one
who had called out after her wore a decidedly smug expression on his face. He
turned to the others and made a comment that neither she nor Idzikowski
understood but engendered a look of annoyance from his companions.

Eve gestured for them to come forward and though their faces showed their
uncertainty, they nevertheless complied and obeyed. With only hand signals to
cross the language barrier, Eve was rather pleased with herself when she
communicated her desire well enough for them to follow her down the corridor.
Once again, she was struck by this sense of knowing them despite the inability
to speak their language. However, they seemed to know what she was attempting
to say and that went a long way to convincing Eve that despite the insanity of
her actions, she was doing the right thing.

Eve had waited until most of the officers had left for the evening and the night
shift was on duty. She had taken the liberty of removing their belongings from
impound which included their weapons and for some odd reason, several bottles of
Coke. Having secured their release, all she had to do was get them out of the
station before anyone raised any uncomfortable questions. Those who asked her
what she was doing were met with the same story she had provided Idzikowski.
The INS had requested that the prisoners be brought to their offices where a
translator was waiting and she had volunteered to undertake the duty.

She made no effort to speak to them and a part of Eve was telling herself that
if she was jumped by these men as soon as they left the precinct and murdered,
it would be entirely her own fault. Fortunately, they seemed to know that
stealth was needed and played their parts just as well, making no effort to
speak and remaining quiet until they were out of the precinct. A visible change
overtook them she noticed, once they were outdoors. The tension and grim
demeanour had given away to ease. Whether this was because they were free or
out in the open, Eve could not say for certain.

She led them to her car, a T-bird convertible and gestured for them to get in.
The three seemed reluctant to enter the vehicle at first, staring at the car as
if it were some kind of menace. Eve climbed in first and ordered them to get in.
While they may not have understood the words, her tone was unmistakable and
they soon joined her in the vehicle though somewhat nervously.

“Alright,” she turned to face them from the driver’s seat, not really expecting
them to understand a word she was saying but it made her feel better just to
try. “I have no idea why I have just risked my career on you three rejects from
a Prince Valiant film but if you try anything, I will shoot you.” Just to prove
her point, she showed them the gun she was carrying. Their widened eyes told Eve
they understood her meaning.

“Eve,” she pointed to herself deciding she should at least know their names
since she was breaking them out of jail.

“Undomiel,” the one who had spoken earlier stated instead.

“No, not whatever you just said,” she grumbled and tapped her chest again.
“Eve.”

“Eve,” he said uncertainly.

“And you are?” She pointed to his chest hoping that he would reciprocate in the
exchange.

“Elladan,” he answered after a moment.

“Elladan,” she had a little trouble pronouncing it because he spoke with an
unfamiliar accent. The word rolled off the tongue and had a lyrical quality
about it which Eve found she quite liked.

“Elrohir,” he pointed to the almost identical male next to him and it took no
feat of genius for Eve to guess that they were family, brothers most likely.

“Legolas,” the blond replied in turn.

“Sit tight,” she instructed as she started the car. The roar of the engine
sent all three jumping in their seats, startled by the noise. It took a few
seconds to calm them down before she could even leave the parking lot.

One thing was for certain, Eve thought as she drove, they weren’t Swedish.


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

Story Information

Author: Scribe

Status: General

Completion: Complete

Era: Other

Genre: Action

Rating: General

Last Updated: 04/07/03

Original Post: 04/03/03

Go to Patient, The overview

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