1. Undoing Injustice
Defiance is defined as the willingness to contend or fight. Write a story or poem or create artwork where the characters defy authority in some way.
It was late, and Aragorn was tired; what was more, he was certain that Faramir was just as tired as he was. As if that wasn't enough, both of them had wives that were probably waiting for them.
He put the quill down into the inkwell and ran his hand down his face. "With all due respect, Faramir, was your Father always this draconian, even with you and Boromir as children? I don't remember…"
"I think he soured after Naneth died, to be honest," Faramir sighed back at him. "Before, when she was alive, she could temper his moods. After, there seemed to be no pleasing him. He was still wise, but… sour." The younger man shrugged. "I honestly had no idea that he had changed all these laws to this extent."
"Here's the one we were looking for." Aragorn's finger landed on the parchment in front of him. "The crime of petty theft - penalty: for adults, first offence, the loss of the right hand, second offence, death; for children, first offence, either public flogging or a period of two years involuntary servitude, second offence, death," he read.
Faramir grimaced. "And we all know how well those orders are carried out."
Indeed. As a matter of fact, Aragorn had recommended that he and Faramir begin to review the kingdom's penal code that very afternoon, after having spent a very trying morning burying a seven year old boy falsely accused of stealing bread who hadn't survived the gaol, much less made out into the countryside to serve out his penance. The stricken look on his Elven brothers' faces over the top of that sorry grave, not to mention the almost catatonic stare in the face of the oldest child now claimed by Elladan as his ward, was enough to spur him onwards into the night. The anger that such barbarism had been perpetrated on his watch, under his authority, still infuriated him - as did the apparent complacence of the court nobility when faced with this outlandish situation.
"This one, we change now. No child should ever have to fear death or being flogged to within an inch of his or her life before they're truly old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong!" Aragorn reached for his pen. "Involuntary servitude of six weeks to the one stolen from, do you think, would be adequate?"
Faramir nodded. "For a first offense, definitely. For more seasoned offenders, however, the price should be higher. Perhaps the length and location of the servitude should vary depending on whether this is first or second offence."
"I like that." With another long sigh, Aragorn replaced the quill in the inkwell after he finished striking out the offensive line and writing the new code down in his own hand. "I'm too tired and heartsick to think of this anymore tonight. We should rest, and continue in the morning. Changing these won't restore little Ivoreth's brother to life."
"You will get no argument from me." The Steward stretched over the table. "Besides, you do realize that the Council will be very put out with the both of us when we present them with this document all changed to suit us."
Aragorn snorted. "I swear to you, if I hear 'but Lord Denethor would have done it otherwise, Sire,' one more time, I shall be greatly tempted to see if Andúril still maintains a sharp edge." He looked over at Faramir with chagrin. "With apologies, Faramir, but how long do you think I shall have to contend with your Father's ghost in my Council Chamber, or feel as if I must defy his authority in the act of wielding my own?"
"Until the Council realizes that you are the King, and that you are under no obligation to continue in anything the previous Steward established," Faramir answered with gentle honesty. "Give them time. They'll learn eventually."
"Keep reminding me," Aragorn said and rose to his feet. "Come now. We should see what the kitchens offered the others for their suppers while there's a chance that some still remains."
"And in the meantime, as your Council continues to test your patience?" Faramir's teasing smirk could be heard in his voice.
"Remind Arwen to keep Andúril hidden," was the caustic reply, "lest I forget that the Enemy we all fought bore signs of the Eye and spoke the Black Tongue of Mordor instead of wearing fine robes while attending my Council meetings."
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.