Boromir stood upon the brink of the great Crack of Doom in the midst of the Chamber of Fire, dismayed and subdued by the awful scene that confronted him. The chamber in which he stood was long and narrow, with a high roof that was lost in darkness, except when leaping flames from the fires below lit the room with blazing red light. The floor was split by the deep chasm before him; far below flowed the molten fire of the volcano that was the core of Orodruin. The lava churned and pulsed, and now and then, an arm of fire would reach up, as if attempting to grasp at the edge of the chasm to crawl out and devour any who might be standing there. The heat in the room was immense and hard to bear, the darkness oppressive even when briefly dispelled by the leaping fires below.
The Ring beat at him, gloatingly, as if it knew where they stood. Boromir bowed his head with the burden of the taunting, feeling a great desire to put on the Ring simply to be free of the pressure; but the need to do whatever he could to rid himself of the burden was just as great.
"I am glad you were spared this trial, Frodo!" he exclaimed aloud. His voice was muffled against the overpowering heat and fear of the place, but he felt better for having spoken aloud, for it helped recall his purpose and dulled the voice of the Ring which pressed him unmercifully. "Indeed, I am glad to be here! Never in all my days did I dream of ever standing in such a place, yet here I am. And the sooner I am done with it, the better!"
Drawing the Ring out, he unfastened the chain and held it up. The golden thing glowed red as it was lit by the fire; Boromir could almost see it pulsing and growing larger. The weight of it increased suddenly, and his hand dropped before he exerted his will over it and raised his hand up once more. The desire to put on the Ring and taunt the Dark Lord with his impending doom came over him strongly, but he quenched it with a laugh.
"One last desperate attempt to seduce me, eh?" he commented, closing the Ring firmly in his fist. "Very clever! You realize where you are, perhaps; do you have any idea what I am about to do to you? No? Well, it is unlikely, since you are still nothing more than a mindless piece of jewelry, albeit forged in such a fire and imbued with the evil power of the Dark One himself. But no, I refuse you yet again. Let the Eye be surprised, taken at unawares. That will be most satisfying!"
Boromir stepped to the edge, so close that the toe of his boot hung out over nothingness. Straightening his arm, he held out his closed fist above the fire.
"Thus are we avenged," Boromir declared loudly. "Nûmenor and Elendil and Isildur, the kings in Gondor, the Stewards; my father, my brother and myself who were never free of the oppression of Mordor from the day we were each brought into the world! Aragorn and his brethren in the north; Bilbo and Frodo, even Gollum, who bore the Ring and kept it hidden for so many years -- thus are we all avenged and released from the slavery we have been threatened with since time immemorial. Begone and good riddance!"
With that, he opened his fist and turning his hand, let the Ring fall. Slowly, slowly it slid off his palm, the chain catching against his torn glove as if the Ring were reluctant to let go. Boromir shook his hand free of the chain and the Ring dropped. One last wink of glittering light on its round surface was seen as it fell, and then it was lost in the smoke and darkness.
Boromir did not wait; as soon as he loosed the Ring and saw it falling, he turned and dashed for the door. He knew it would only be a matter of moments before the consequences of the Ring's destruction would begin.
There was a great roar behind him and a surge of heat pushing at him. The earth shook and flames of fire erupted around him, and then he was out in the open. Boromir hesitated only briefly, taking in the amazing, glorious sight in the distance of the Tower of Barad-dûr leaning, crumbling, tumbling and crashing down. He would have cheered if the heat of the fires behind him had not already snatched away his breath. The mountain shook again and fire belched from the summit, and the lava began to flow. Boromir leapt forward and ran for all he was worth.
Boromir laughed as he ran, leaping over a crack in the road that suddenly opened up into a gaping chasm. As he landed the road crumbled behind him and was lost in a river of fire. The destruction all around him was terrifying, yet he was more exhilerated than afraid. What did it matter if he was doomed to die here in the midst of flame and smoke? He had done it -- the Ring was destroyed and could not be remade again. He was seeing with his own eyes the fall of Sauron. Yes, Sauron; Boromir could name him now, something no one in Gondor had done for years untold. Sauron was no longer the Dark Lord, the Great Eye, the Nameless One -- he was the Defeated One, and that defeat had been handed to him by none other than Boromir of Gondor, and all those who had entrusted Boromir with this duty, this Quest to undo what Sauron had made, forever.
I wonder how they fared with their own quests? he wondered fleetingly, ducking his head to avoid hot embers that fell from the flaming summit. Did Frodo reach a place of safety? Are Merry and Pippin rescued? Did the attack that Faramir so feared come at last and did he survive it? How did my father fare as he stood upon the brink of despair and defeat? Will I see any of them again? I wonder....
A gust of hot wind blew smoke and ash in his face, and he choked, but he did not pause in his mad dash down the mountain.
"I will run until I can run no further," he vowed. "And then, if there is still earth that is not afire to crawl upon, I shall crawl. My duty is fulfilled to see evil undone; now I shall claim another quest -- to escape the resulting destruction to return home alive and be reunited with those I hold dear. How often have the men under my command sworn that Boromir, Captain-General of Gondor, is surely indestructible? Nothing can stop him when he is confident and determined, they claim! Well then, let us see if that belief of theirs holds true in the face of this new challenge. Let us see if my strength, my will and my luck is as sufficient to the task of escaping Mordor as it was entering. After the burden of carrying the Ring to the Fire, it seems almost a simple thing....
"We shall see...."
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.