The onyx combat boots thumped against the ground as Mairon strolled under the dimly lit corridor, their base was inconspicuous, appearing from the outside to be an abandoned, desolate factory, was merely a ploy to disguise the surreptitious schemes orchestrated within the precinct of shadows.
It had been four am when the amber haired male was roused abruptly from his slumber by the persistent beeping of his damned cell phone. The fluorescence emitting from the device was enough for his burnt orange gaze to squint in disapproval and glance haphazardly towards the screen. Being called for an order of duty, was the sole reason to urge him from the mattress and result in where he stood at present, adorned with a plain white t-shirt and mundane black sweatpants. Yet it was the hue of his locks that made the male certain, that the vibrant colour clashed to complement the clothes of choice. Besides the client didn’t request him for his fashion sense.
A monotonous sense of decoration adorned the corridor, reduced to a simplistic grey coat of paint, the lights dangling from the ceiling were the only sense of effort. Their matte black, rounded appearance dimly illuminated the corridor, but nobody entered their base searching for taste in decor. Aligned perfectly, few scattered doors provided entry into various areas, one in particular caused Mairon to halt and enter moments later.
Having already expected to be the final person to join the consultation, that thought was only confirmed once Mairon stepped inside to note their director Eönwë, standing nearby the boardroom table with his arms crossed across his chest. Lengthy golden blonde hair was tied loosely into a messy bun which somehow maintained its professional appearance on the male. It vaguely baffled Mairon how the director could maintain a professional appearance at this hour, but the thought became evanescent once he realised it would have been more peculiar for Eönwë not to be dressed in a suit. Eönwë embodied everything that their organisation stood for. It was through his leadership that they flourished, without his direction, undoubtedly, they would have strayed from their path years ago.
Years prior, a sufficient amount of chaos loomed in Valinor for a hefty bounty to be offered for anyone who could vanquish the tyrant. Even to this day Mairon is unsure whether it was one despotic individual who had sparked the organisations establishment or many. Still Eönwë had some sort of enlightenment or inspiration which caused the creation of the Maiar. Certain that the name stood for some specific definition, that detail had been lost throughout time and as a result nobody appeared to question the underground assassination unit claiming to be called ‘Maiar’. Each assassin was individually a Maia. Their organiser of operations was undoubtedly Eönwë, somehow shielded by the aristocrats with their immunity.
Nearby in proximity, one of the aristocratic Valar was perched against the luxurious plush seats of the conference room. Occupying one of the highest seat in their society, he was most likely one of the few who permitted the existence of their organisation. The male's appearance was striking, his well built structure caused Mairon to fleetingly wonder why he needed their help? Surely he could beat anyone to a pulp without breaking a sweat. Alas, he doubted an aristocrat would be seen doing such dirty work.
‘’Ah finally, Mairon I would like to introduce you to our client, Tulkas.’’ Resuming a vibrant demeanor, Eönwë gestured with his hands towards the male who he now knew to be Tulkas, standing he outstretched his palm in a greeting.
Mairon clasped his hand with his own and nodded in acknowledgement. The early hour was still impeding his judgment slightly, but he was certain the aristocrat could crush his bones easily if he desired. Taking a seat at the end of the table, furthest from either of them, Mairon reclined backwards into it and crossed one leg over the other loosely.
‘’Thank you for coming at such an ungodly hour, we would have been more considerate, but I am afraid matters are pressing and intentions of consideration would be better placed in eliminating the threat.’’
Humming over the words Mairon exhaled lowly and glanced towards Eönwë, who had his gaze intent on their client. Taking the situation with utmost seriousness. ‘’The situation is dire?’’
Initially, Mairon had slightly been unnerved with the hour that he was summoned, but the further the conversation appeared to progress his eyebrows began to knit slightly. Usually meetings with their clients included more assassin's other than himself, briefly his gaze glanced around the consultation room and upon realisation that only himself and the director were representing the organisation, evoked only further questions.
‘’Indeed. Contacting you is our best option.’’ Tulkas nodded his head in agreement to his own words and glanced towards the other two males. ‘’Questions must not be asked of us, we will provide you with one task and the information that is necessary for you to complete it. The fee will be lengthy, especially for the assassin and protection can be offered should it be necessary.’’
The in depth proposition that the male was offering, piqued Mairon’s interest. It appeared that the situation was becoming increasingly peculiar, protection had never been offered to any assassin before, who exactly was this target? His gaze was captured by Eönwë and a slight wave of uncertainty lingered between the two.
Eönwë threw down a file, it slapped against the boardroom table, slid skillfully in his direction until his palm caught the movement and halted it. Glancing downwards at the file, his eyebrows raised furthering his interest in this case.
‘’No questions?’’ Musing on that fact. Tulkas affirmed his understanding.
It would prove difficult, but he had served as a Maia for long enough to subdue that desire and instead focus further on the detail provided in the brief. A brief snapshot of a hooded figure was caught, from the distance that it had managed to be taken, resulted in the image slightly blurred. Yet Mairon could sufficiently note the outline of his features, alongside the handful of henchmen which appeared to barricade his figure. The target was known as Melkor Bauglir. Apparently he was a Mafia leader and had been the original tyrant who sparked the chaos years prior. Supposedly only his henchmen had been eliminated to date.
Eyebrows arching slightly in surprise Mairon glanced back towards Eönwë ‘’We have been successful for years and yet his number of forces are still high?’’ The query was merely rhetorical, but Tulkas’ clear request of no questions left no urge for Mairon to direct it towards the client.
‘’It appears so. This is why the assignment is important Mairon.’’ Raising his hand towards his chin, his fingers ran across the outline in a manner of habit and sighed lowly under his breath before finally occupying a seat at the conference table.
‘’Melkor is heavily guarded at all times. A regular assassination, per say, will be futile. You will end up killed before he is Mr Aulendil.’’ Stating the fact without hesitation, Mairon glanced upwards at the Tulkas who was staring at him with ease. It was slightly unnerving how willing the aristocrat was in accepting all of this. Perhaps it was just because they were discussing the death of the Mafia leader, in which he was ordering.
‘’I propose you infiltrate their base Mairon, this will be the largest operation we had committed in many years, it will finally allow us to achieve what we have been striving for, for years. Of course, we will need to brief the others.’’
‘’Yet I was the one to be awoken at four in the morning?’’ Arching his eyebrow Mairon attempted to piece the scenario together, if it involved others how had he been the only one torn from his slumber?
‘’You are in a dangerous position Mr Aulendil, it is for you alone to be aware of that beforehand.’’ Confirming his confusion, Tulkas rose slowly from his seat and fixed the suit jacket that had been unbuttoned the moment he sat down. ‘’Inform me of when the task is complete and we shall wire the funds, gentlemen.’’ Outstretching his hand to Eönwë first, he proceeded until he had Mairon’s hand clasped within his own.
Standing upwards their hands met, for what Mairon hoped would be the final time, although his grip tightened and Tulkas looked at Mairon, exhaling slowly. ‘’Do not be deceived by Melkor, he would not have a fleet of soldiers if he wasn’t skilled in the art.’’
Resisting the urge to chuckle in amusement, Mairon managed to maintain a placid facial expression and nod his head once, his main concern had been in that moment to remove his hand from the strong grip. A mafia leader certainly wouldn’t corrupt him, perhaps the large payment that he would receive afterwards could do that, but certainly not a dictator.
‘’I assure you the task will be complete by the fall of winter at the latest.’’
Three months would certainly be efficient to infiltrate their ranks and dispose of the male, but the egotistical, confident part of the Maia was certain it could be achieved in less than a month.
With the prospect of a completed assignment in three months, Tulkas uttered a final goodbye before leaving the consultation room in utter silence behind him. Only the realisation at the weighty task at hand enveloped its surroundings and could have suffocated Mairon if he was easily deterred from a challenge. Eönwë sat backwards in the chair, exhaling lowly under his breath in deep thought before his eyes flitted back towards Mairon.
‘’Truth be told Mairon, this situation is drowning with severity.’’ The tone of his voice dropped lower than what Mairon was used to, implying an undertone of a secret being withdrawn from his knowledge. However, in any case Mairon wouldn’t have had the right to question if something was being withheld from him. It would be least surprising if the herald of the Maiar had suppressed something from his knowledge, merely on the basis of status.
However, he had the presumption that it was his successful legacy and continued loyalty that would prompt Eönwë to continue further.
‘’I did not call the others on purpose and the hour in which you were called was intentional too.’’
Closing the bage hued file, Mairon waited with patience as to what would be revealed, but the very last explanation that he expected, befell Eönwë’s lips.
‘’We have a mole.’’
Hello! I've had an ao3 account for a little over a year and only built up the courage the write now, the site is littered with the most beautiful works from talented writers and the standard is pretty high. However, I've been obsessed with this story idea for days and Mairon means so much to me too. I just need to write this. I also figured that instead of posting something here for the sake of it, it should be something I'm passionate about and this drabble point definitely is. Without further ado, I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I'm loving writing it and thank you for reading, if you have made it this far!(:
Trust appeared to be a fickle definition in the present, Mairon’s perception of the definition would never have presumed that seal would be broken by another Maia. Recalling how he had questioned Eönwë on the topic more precisely, how had the director just known there was a double agent?
‘’I don’t have solid proof Mairon, it is merely based off of instinct and intuition.’’ Running slender digits through his golden locks, Eönwë sighed softly. ‘’I truly hope I am incorrect, but the evidence suggests otherwise..’’ mumbling slightly the sentence drifted off until it was inaudible.
‘’What evidence?’’ Furrowing his eyebrows the situation only spiraled downwards the further Eönwë explained. What benefit would one gain from being a double agent from within their precincts?
‘’Our last mission, a band of assassins were dispatched to raid an anonymous tip off hideout. The proof was in our favor, Melkor’s commander, Gothmog, was occupying that desolate fortress as part of the initiation for new recruits. However, when the assassins arrived they found the base deserted and naught except the remains of food wrappings occupied the space.’’
‘’Perhaps it was a coincidence.’’ Musing on that thought, Eönwë’s eyes snapped instantly towards Mairon.
‘’It is no coincidence that our largest raid to date had been intercepted in the final few moments and the rebels abandoned a fortress they had been occupying for days. You know we are thorough Mairon, we do not make juvenile mistakes.’’ Huffing, the director's hands clenched turning his knuckles white. The situation was infuriating, the stakes were too high.
It had only been a matter of time before one of the Valar personally paid them a visit and that day just so happened to have arrived. They could not afford further failure, it was unquestionable. ‘’The task has been assigned to you with haste, thankfully the fact that we were unable to assassinate Gothmog has meant he is still continuing recruitment. However, if this plan fails too then we will end up in a worse situation. Melkor’s forces are growing stronger and have been dormant far too long, it is unsettling.’’
Standing upwards, Mairon clasped the file in his palm and nodded towards Eönwë . ‘’Then we will kill the bastard and be rid of this burden. ‘’
The briefing with the fellow Maiar had been obscure, to mention the least. Vague details were shared with the assassin’s on the grounds that Eönwë couldn’t afford for this plan to become awry. The director would have avoided sharing any information if possible, but in order for Mairon to complete the task efficiently, few precautions were required. Handfuls of Maiar were assigned tasks of eliminating part of his forces, this was to be in an attempt to reduce the risks that would be imposed for Mairon, but that was only known between himself and Eönwë .
As far as they were concerned, their missions were a recovery from the failed mission occurring prior, but the layers beneath that confession exceeded their knowledge.
The rhythm pounded against the walls, a cacophony of disturbance and yet it captured the throngs of people swaying to the beat. The putrid stench of sweat, mingled with alcohol and a brief tribute to smoke from a pipe, enveloped the atmosphere hazing one's senses. Imagining the nightclub could have been endured, if he was inebriated and too drunk to realize left from right, Mairon began to despise the situation the second he stepped inside. Flashing strobe lights, glistened against the floor, the walls and swayed towards people’s features in its own rhythmic timer, complementing the blaring music. The club was socially divided into three areas, swarms of masses occupied the neon checkered dance floor, grinding against strangers and indulging in the inebriated catharsis the music provided. Towards its right, eclipsed from the cavort, the bar was thronged with individuals almost clawing for the bartenders attention. The only visible sign of dignity were the dapper suited waiters helping themselves behind the counter and topping wine glasses onto silver trays presented on their palms.
Above the ruckus below, the Valar’s exclusive area was removed from lower class’ animalistic natures. Although, it was only social divide that caused them to differ. Having been personally invited by the Valar, Mairon could make out few Vanyar, Teleri and possibly Noldor elves. It was nearly impossible to distinguish between them at such a distance, but if it was true, it wouldn’t surprise him. Alongside the Valar, they would be considered aristocratic based off of business partnerships and coalitions which deemed them equally as wealthy, but slightly lower in status compared to the Valar.
From where Mairon stood at the entrance, his gaze glancing over the transparent rimmed barrier, the aristocrats appeared just as inebriated as those of a lower class. Except, they didn’t have to search for their own drinks and instead they were perched in their palms by a waiter, who would undoubtedly be tipped highly. Possibly higher than they would if they were in a sane state, but it wouldn’t be a financial burden by any means.
The sole reason behind the masses being there, was due to the large amounts that were tourists. Valinor attracted a large amount of citizens from Middle Earth on its shores yearly. Although they were hardly ever allowed permission to permanently stay there, the elven sector of their society had higher chances of immigration than any others. The system barely attracted controversy, since people were content with their holiday and then to safely return back to Middle Earth with the memories. Or at least whatever memory one would have after being drunk. The statistics showed majority of people were more curious about the Valar than anything and it became almost a prize to be on their lands. Years prior, Eönwë had once admitted to Mairon that the only reason they occupied their residence in Valinor was on the basis of protection that they could provide.
Bumping into him roughly and tearing him from his thoughts, a couple giggled as they exited the club, not even bothered or aware that they had came into contact with his shoulder. Mairon vaguely brushed down his leather jacket, some of the contents of their glass having found its way to the material. ‘’They’ll regret it in the morning…’’ mumbling the consolation under his breath appeared to be the sole prospect which urged him forward.
Knowing that he would be lucky if he escaped the club having completed the task, without someone vomiting over him. It was under the seclusion of the club, that provided the ideal setting for him to complete another stepping stone to infiltrate Melkor’s ranks. Anyone within the building was most likely drunk out of their wit to never remember the amber haired male having been there, all that would remain in memory of the evening would be that guaranteed pounding headache which was certain to pursue them and for that reason, the location became the epitome of an inconspicuous nature.
Pushing his way through the dance floor, the inevitable path could not have been avoided no matter how he had tried. It was a mess. The music pounded within his ears, causing Mairon to cover them with his palm while simultaneously attempted to slip past bodies which were persistent in resting against his own. ‘’Excuse me...excuse me…’’ the words fell futile, music drowning their intention and testing his patience. Eventually Mairon abandoned the courtesy and resulted to pushing people out of his path instead.
Having reached the opposite side of the dance floor, nearby the bar, he considered himself a survivor having steered himself through that disarray. ‘’You sir, look like you could use a drink.’’ the bartender smirked in his direction, extending a glass towards Mairon and for the first time since setting foot in the nightclub, he was grateful.
‘’Yeah, I’ll take a glass.’’ Paying little heed to what exactly he would be served, knowing that nothing could phase him like that dance floor. By the time he had made it close to the bar, its crowd had drastically dimmed and the moment that he considered that thought, it was no wonder that the dance floor had been swarmed.
Occupying the bar stool at the edge, leaving an empty one between himself and another male, the bartender glanced in his direction, gaze lingering on his hair for a moment while he poured the contents of alcohol into a glass. Arching his eyebrow slightly, Mairon’s slender digits reached towards his locks only to discover that its regular pristine composure had been ruffled. Huffing in slight annoyance, he smoothed down the stray hairs just in enough time for the bartender to slam down his drink, causing the contents to sway from within the glass.
Leaning forward on his elbows, the male came closer to Mairon until they were barely centimeters apart. ‘’She’s in her regular spot if you’re looking for her.’’ The words were uttered in a low tone, nobody would overhear him and if anyone was slightly sober, they would think the bartender was hitting on Mairon. The slight smile that curled at the sides of his lips, would only confirm that theory. However, the bartender was his brother and Mairon pushed aside the uncomfortable thought that was replaced with the preferred gratitude that Curumo skillfully attained this position without blowing his cover.
‘’I trust everything else will fall into place?’’
‘’If you don’t get your ass beat Mairon, it will go perfectly.’’
Smirking, he grasped the glass within his palm and raised it towards his lips, indulging in the sweet taste. The sensation lingered against his senses, the alcohol percentage not nearly high enough to impale the plan. Anticipation was manifesting itself within his stomach, the deviousness of its entirety was probably wrong, but exhilarating.
The balcony above the club had been reserved for the aristocrats, indeed that was true, but the sealed off chamber in the dimly illuminated rear of the club, was where he had purposefully perched himself in front of. Clothed with fabric, the light cloth obscured its existence, protected by the muscular male placed in front of its entrance. Anyone who dared cross the males path would uncertainly endure the raw strength of his fist colliding with their jaws. Knowing she was surrounded by fools and flatterers, behind the walled distance between them, it was a precarious chance Mairon was risking. Glancing at the corner of his eye, he noted through a thin slip of the curtain, how immersed she was with the presence of men, claws threading through stranger's hair while she tilted her head back as their lips were locked in a crude display.
Probability played unfavorably that the plan could diminish to ash and smoke, lingering as the first failure in the recent task. However, the further he had allowed time to progress from his perched position, the emptier his glass became, Mairon began to grow skeptic and realize the reality of the assignments impending failure.
Slamming the glass against the counter harder than intended, the action stemmed from slight frustration and unease at the length of time having passed with no satisfying result. Perhaps the entire operation had been useless and all they would achieve from the effort, was the money Curumo earned from the faux occupation. Aware he stood out from the crowd, he doubted it was the flaming amber locks that prevented him from being unnoticed. While Curumo shared their hued locks, they were tied lowly behind his head and the dimly lit club averted anyone from noting how they possibly could be related.
Although when the intentional empty seat was occupied, Mairon met the eyes of the devil herself. Smiling a wicked grin, the voluptuous female tilted her head to the side, jet black locks falling alongside her movement. ‘’You look like you could use another drink.’’ Purring the words in a tempting seductive manner, Mairon contained the surprise that his lure had worked.
Instead, he focused the emotion into a slight smirk. ‘’And you look like you don’t need another man.’’
Whistling lowly, a laugh soon befell her lips before she snapped her fingers towards the Curumo, who allowed no acknowledgment of Mairon as if he was anything more than a customer. ‘’Two more drinks, put it on the tab.’’ Fluttering elongated eyelashes in his direction, she placed her hands against the counter only to whip her gaze towards Mairon once more.
‘’You’ve a sharper tongue than I would have realised…?’’
He did not require her name, for it would have been blindly naive for Mairon to seek out Ungoliant without being familiar with her reputation. On the surface it appeared she was an alluring woman who delighted herself in seeking pleasure from the nightclubs, but within the underground spiraling network of deceit she was somewhat of a ‘dark spider’ and that direct connection was what he required.
Once the drinks were placed on the counter, she slid one in his direction and grasped the glass within her palm. ‘’Hmm, well Mairon, it would be rude of me to allow a man like you to suffer another moment alone.’’ Leaning closer her lips twitched slightly ‘’Not when you have been looking for me.’’ Uttering the words in a low whisper, it took everything in his nature not to widen his eyes in surprise. Had his cover been blown already?
Pushing herself from the bar stool, she slowly began to back away while biting her lip before turning around, jet black locks whipping in the air from the fast movement. Leaving no room for complaint, Mairon soon followed suit, watching as the woman swayed her hips towards the shrouded chamber with the outline of fabric, the only material seal preventing people from entering. Acting alongside duty, the bodyguard sized up his approaching figure, but with a slightly pale feminine hand resting against his shoulder, Ungoliant smiled slightly. ‘’He’s with me.’’ Without uttering a single word, the bodyguards gaze burned towards his direction, but he only crossed his arms across his chest and somehow the action made his muscles pop in a threatening fashion. Yet, if required, Mairon was certain he could eliminate the male with a smooth bow to the back of the head.
From behind the curtain, the area was rather intimate. Three lengthy settees occupied the majority of the space, turned in towards each other with a low glass table occupying the center of the space. The contents of consumption that eve, littered its top. Ungoliant sprawled herself against one of the settees that was position across from another, legs crossed over each other she tapped her lengthy nails against the fabric and glanced a hard stare at one of the males across from her direction. Under the pressure of the glance he moved away immediately and Mairon occupied his position.
Glancing towards her guest, she sighed dramatically and sipped from the wine glass in which she had attained moments prior. Despite the multiple men that occupied the area, none dared to inch closer to them while they were discussing, remaining on the outskirts of the room or disappearing outside to indulge in the cohort of individuals staining the dance floor.
‘’Something strikes me that you are not a regular man, Mairon. That a glass of alcohol nor my company, simply won’t satisfy what I can offer you. As a regular here, I have never seen striking features like yours enter before.’’ Her melodic coy tone, caused the woman to tilt her head to the side.
It appeared for that moment, the plan had failed to be blown and his true identity remained an enigma. Raising the glass towards his lips once more, he indulged in the taste of the liquor. ‘’I know you have the connections that I need…’’ Trailing off the words appeared to have piqued her interest, eyebrows raising over the brim of her glass.
‘’What kind of connections are you looking for?’’
‘’Our society is not what it appears to be, I know there is more to its aspect than beside the aristocrats.’’ The words he uttered were no lie, but neither was it personal candor. Merely a statement, Mairon held no affiliation to it, the detail of how he had claimed such knowledge would escape her scrutiny for the time being.
Ungoliant couldn’t contain the smile perched on her crimson stained lips, swirling the alcohol in the glass she lowered it rather reluctantly to the table separating them. ‘’You certainly are a curious man, not the first to approach me with such an ideal, certainly not the last.’’ Rising from her position, she glanced out through the thin slip in the fabric coating the door frame, her gaze burned deeply upwards at the aristocrats. ‘’You must not ask questions, whispers grow in the shadows and they can easily be forsaken by traitors concealed under our gaze.’’
Oh how familiar he was with these hypothetical traitors, he would be the final one.
The card slipped through her fingers faster than he could have comprehended, raising his free hand the thin sheet of paper slicing through the air from her release, was caught within his grasp. Glancing downwards at its features, a simple address was etched onto onyx frosted translucent plastic, without any further title. Neither side he had become affiliated with, permitted the burning questions within his mind to be addressed.
‘’If you require answers to your inquisitive thoughts, that path is in your palm.’’
The only detail she failed to verbally announce, was that it required Mairon to travel to Middle Earth. To be precise, Angband.
It took me longer to finish the draft of this chapter than I had intended, just as a result of studies and the cold I managed to get in between. Anyway, I'm really quite excited about this. My aim is to give Ungoliant animal characteristics as much as possible, loosely with qualities closely associated with a spider just since she's obviously a spider within the canon Tolkien universe. I just wanted to say thank you, for the support I've reached on this story so far, it's really encouraging especially since I was only expecting a handful of people to read this.
Persistent banging against the oak frame, orchestrated with enough strength to break down the door, resulted in Mairon being harshly awoken from his slumber. Groaning he rolled over on the mattress, covering his ears with the pillow in a failed attempt to stifle the noise which only continued, with further urgency than expressed beforehand. Patience tested, the male flung the pillow against the mattress and tore himself reluctantly from the duvet.
‘’I’m coming.’’ Grumbling under his breath, he pulled open the door with more force than he would have if he had been in a coherent mood. From the other side, his father’s fist was suspended mid air, but the tightly knitted eyebrows didn’t falter by any means. Pushing his way inside, Aulë forced the door open further while entering without any need for invitation, he was the first one to place a deposit on the apartment and felt no need to ask permission off his son, especially after what he had done .
‘’Good morning to you too.’’ mumbling under his breath, Mairon pushed the door handle away and allowed it to slam against the hinges. Running slender digits through his locks, a yawn managed to capture his attention while he barely paid an ounce of it towards his father.
Having already anticipated a reaction, Mairon carried on with his intentions as if it had been another morning, albeit earlier than he would have ever deemed natural. Aulë tutted in disapproval of the apartment, blackout curtains pooled at the ends on the floor, blocking any light from entering his sons abode and distancing him from reality. Otherwise the area appeared to be clean, apart from few select items of clothing strewn across the floor, but that could be overlooked in that moment. The agitation still lingered in his actions, he removed the distance between himself and his son’s attempt to block the room from the outside realm and pulled the fabric apart abruptly, without warning. The days illumination flooded in through the glass, capturing every inch of the apartment immediately. Mairon shielded his features with the palm of his hand while his gaze searched the floor for a plain black tshirt to throw over his bare chest.
‘’Not only is waking me in such a manner enough, but the curtains too, really Dad?’’
‘’You have no right to be unhappy with me Mairon.’’ Crossing his arms across his chest, Aulë glared at his son in obvious satisfaction.
Despite being aware of such a fact, Mairon finally grasped the plain tshirt he had been searching for and pulled it over his head, waiting for Aulë to make the first reference. Aware of the reason of his father's sudden appearance, he would remain silent on the matter and allow him to make the first move in order to become familiar with where his stance was. Perhaps there would be a slight sliver of hope to soothe the scenario then.
‘’I had to hear this stupid, reckless plan from Eönwë .’’ Scoffing in disbelief, his gaze dropped to the floor as his hands perched against his hips, shaking his head slightly. ‘’Imagine my surprise when your boss tells me that my son is going to be off the grid for three months to only kill the most dangerous man that has ever existed!’’ Gritting his teeth, Mairon knew Aulë was doing all in his power to refrain from exploding with rage.
For a brief moment silence descended between the two of them and Mairon’s gaze softened slightly, he understood where his father's concern stemmed from. It was a rational reaction, which was why Mairon could barely offer a response. Having already predicted this situation might occur, since his father worked with his boss’ father, perhaps Eönwë figured that Mairon would never tell Aulë and made the conscious step to inform him of the situation. However, Mairon was almost certain that he did such to remove himself from being a liability if his life was ended in this task.
‘’I was requested, I could not defy either Tulkas or Eönwë .’’ Replying hesitantly, he knew where that line could end up leading him.
‘’And do you think that will satisfy your mother when you turn up in a body bag! Eru, she doesn’t even know Mairon!’’ His tone was rising steadily, surprisingly containing the majority of the potential rage he could unleash, except the vein that often protruded his neck was pulsating alike it had many a time when he was riled beyond words that failed to fathom it. Mairon had mainly evoked that response, his youth having been particularly rebellious.
‘’Is that the extent of your faith in me?’’ The roles had steadily reversed and Mairon took a step forward, slightly insulted that his father expected him to die in this mess.
‘’No, that is where I place Melkor on a level of dangerous to murderous! Do you think you are an exception, you’re going in there blind Mairon.’’ Aulë’s voice began to lower slightly and he sighed dropping his gaze towards the floor once more. ‘’Your mother doesn’t know, she would refuse to believe her son is an assassin. I implore you Mairon to reconsider the consequences money is offering, we have money Mairon.’’
‘’That is not why I do this job and you know that.’’
The extent to his devious nature surprised no one more than Mairon, when he had first joined the Maiar he managed to conceal its aspect for numerous years. It had only been when Curumo happened to overcome a flurry of amber hued hair at the precisely wrong moment had his cover been blown. His dear brother had assumed the worst, having thought Mairon was spiralling downwards he immediately returned home to inform their father. However, once he had been greeted with the staring gaze of his father and the sheltered figure of his young adolescent brother fearing his brothers rage, had he explained what in Eru’s name he had been doing. As one of the aristocrats, Aulë understood the reason for the organisations establishment and while initially reserved upon the idea of his son taking part, he could not deny the important contribution the Maiar offered and could potentially offer their world.
The inspiration for the decision to become an assassin stemmed from the fact that his sense of purpose in the world felt unlike others, with two established aristocratic parents nothing short of riches had always laid in his palm, but it never appeared to be enough. It was not the path he had chosen, but the one that had been chosen for him. Explaining this to his brother and father, seemed to enlighten their bewilderment as to why Mairon would join such an organisation, but a father could not deny his son’s passion. Instead between the three of them, they made the pact to refrain this knowledge from Yavanna, who believed, alongside the remainder of the public eye, that Mairon was jewellery appraiser. She would certainly disapprove and for her own ease of consciousness, they rationalized their decision.
For a brief time being a Maia managed to satisfy that sense of achievement he constantly yearned for and when that diminished, he strived to rise upwards in rank until he reached the position he currently occupied, grasping the opportunity to rid their world of the most deviant devil that ever graced its land. Which was why, going against his father's request was the only option he had, because if Mairon didn’t accomplish the task that he knew he was capable of succeeding, the burden would fall on someone else’s shoulders.
‘’I cannot stand idle and witness this folly..’’ His father's eyes connected with his sons, swimming with imploration to reconsider the consequences, enveloped with concern.
‘’I am not asking you to, turn your back and I shall return before the festival of the new year.’’
Tutting under his breath once more, Aulë refused to look his son in the eye after those words, instead he stared intently towards the floorboards. ‘’You better come back in one piece Mairon, or so help me Eru-’’
‘’I will, I promise.’’ Capturing his gaze, the two glanced towards each other without any other words needed to fill the void of certainty, for the burning embers of confidence and determination glistened within Mairons orbs.
The arduous journey of travelling by plane managed to claim the majority of his day with travel. The thought of taking a boat towards middle earth was briefly enticing for the amber haired male, but the prolonged customs placed a damper on that idea. Instead he found it would be simultaneously easier and quicker to pledge himself to travel by air. During the flight, it left room for the thoughts in which he had pushed aside, to plague his mind. Having already been prohibited by Tulkas from asking questions, it became slightly difficult to satisfy his inquisition. Certainly it was within the description of their job to neglect inquisition often, but in this case he was entering the battlefield blind and ignorant.
It left Mairon in the dependent position to require the answers from the enemy. A prospect which was undoubtedly dangerous.
Mairon glanced down towards his palm, where the plastic sharp edged card was perched. Tracing his thumb across the smooth edge lightly, his eyebrows furrowed while he glanced at the instructions. A meagre address was displayed, although it was obscure to admit the least. Without any specifics of where Angband was, the plan in which he had upheld up until this moment appeared to crumble. Before his departure, mairon had attempted to research where Angband was in Middle Earth, having travelled on few sparse occasions, he was unfamiliar with it enough to trust his memory without some sort of a map. Although the odd thing was that nowhere, nowhere displayed where Angband was.
Sighing lowly he pushed the card back into the pocket of his leather jacket and glanced briefly towards the speaker of the plane which was announcing their approaching landing. Thank Eru , the entire plane was consumed by elves. For some particular reason, in which he was unable to decipher, Mairon had a distinct distaste for elves and had a feeling it stemmed from their exploitation of what Valinor offered, only to return home afterwards.
Nevertheless, once the plane had landed Mairon made his way towards the luggage collection and scoured the conveyor belt for his plain black suitcase, but it appeared nearly every second bag was the same colour. Eventually his hand grasped his case and extended the metal bars in order to wheel it behind him. The card that Ungoliant had given him, was once more perched in his palm as he walked through the National Airport of Middle Earth, towards the taxi rank. The inability to answer what exactly he should do next was almost plausible when he had been on the plane, but now that he had landed and with absolutely no ideas where to go it made for quite a predicament. Mairon halted in his step outside the airport, surprisingly few people stood around and only two taxis were visible. Supposing that he should at least book a hotel room for the night and sort out the further logistics in the morn-
Thoughts cut short, Mairon abruptly became aware of the two figures who stood right behind him. Gaze cutting in their direction he became too late, the precise strike at the back of his neck was orchestrated with enough precision to knock him out cold. As his form betrayed him and he sensed his legs begin to buckle, he cursed himself for not being more vigilant.
With an abrupt start, mairons eyes snapped open only to be greeted with darkness. He did not attempt to struggle, the soft cloth tickling against his skin alerted him to the concealment. His hands were bound behind his back with shackles of some sort and judging by the crumbling gravel scratching against his jeans, he had been placed on his knees. Although, it became his achilles hill to be deprived of the sense of sight, while he had been skillfully improving his reliability on the other senses, he had not anticipated this scenario to greet him upon his immediate arrival. Footsteps echoed around his form and his eyes darted, attempting to follow their owner.
Only a soft hum fell from the captures lips, whether it was in blissful thought or dissatisfaction, Mairon was entirely unable to decipher. Either way the situation was deemed dire and entirely resting in the enemy's palm if he was not sensible.
‘’Mairon Aulëndil.’’ The deep foreign voice was not one he had recognised before. ‘’What is it that you want in this life?’’
The silence that befall after that question was uttered, allowed the flickering flame rippling through the air implied that he was in some sort of area illuminated by flames. Alongside that, the soft breathing of two other individuals connoted that the person who spoke was not alone in his interrogation. However, a soft whimper collided with the air and an immediate slapping against skin alerted Mairon that he had not been the only one taken, but they were keeping the other soul silenced.
‘’That is an obscure question.’’ Discovering no relevance between the question and the current predicament, he could only presume its intent was to uncover where his allegiance was and where his priorities inched towards.
The interrogator exhaled deeply and the shuffling of footsteps, alerted Mairon of his form inching closer. Through the blindfold, Mairon managed to pinpoint the direction the male appeared to take and from the scent of his putrid breath lingering, he was inches apart from his features. ‘’Interesting, your first response was not a request to remove the blindfold..’’ a harsh, almost forced, chuckle followed.
‘’It would be futile for me to make demands.’’ He already knew why he was here .
‘’I will ask you again, Aulëndil. What is it you want in this life?’’
Taking a deep breath, the action caused his posture to straighten further, even with the shackles preventing his full demeanor to resemble its usual form. ‘’I would embrace many things, but few I am searching for.’’
If Mairon could have seen his interigotor, he would have noticed the foul gleeful smile extending from his lips. Despite the surreptitious action, a scoff befell his lips in disbelief. ‘’You expect us to believe, the heir to an aristocratic fortune could desire further than that lays within his greedy palms?’’
A slight smile tugged at the corners of his lips. ‘’Your prejudiced presumption of me has clouded your judgment of my personal opinions, they do not necessarily coincide with my family's legacy nor their fortune. On the contrary, the few things in which I am seeking just so happen to be offered by you.’’
‘’What makes you have that presumption Aulëndil?’’
‘’Ungoliant. Afterall she gave me this card that is in my back pocket.’’ If he was required, he would manage to brandish it, despite being restricted by the tightly wound rope or perhaps they would uncover it on his behalf.
The silence once more enveloped the space, only allowing the flickering flames to become the sole orchestra. Mairon briefly wondered if his aptitude for lacing words in a certain manner, had on this occasion, failed him. Acknowledging the stature of these people, caused the abrupt, impromptu escape plan to capture his thoughts in the event of the emergency that could require it.
‘’Do you understand what you are asking, that once this decision is made, you cannot turn back. Or you shall perish the most gruesome of deaths.’’ It was not a threat, but that tone of voice was a promise. Similar to that of an assassin, however, an assassin was merely a tool to carry out the commands of cowards, but these were murderers who carried their sadistic interests within the intent of their blades.
‘’I would not be kneeling in front of you, if I intended to flee now.’’ An exhilarating rush began to seep throughout his skin, a surge of adrenaline that he had not become familiar with in many years since he first became an assassin. Despising to admit it, the surreptitious nature of their meeting, having failed to physically lay eyes on the mafiosi and none within the precincts of this initiation having uttered a single word of their common grudge against the hierarchy, it evoked a thrilling sensation that he didn’t require to fabricate.
‘’Very well then, to prove your newfound fealty we require only one task.’’ The blindfold was ripped from around his head, a blade slashed through the fabric barely missing his skin in the process. Mairon flinched slightly as a result of the light emitting from the flames piercing the veil of darkness which had until that moment, surrounded his vision.
Blinking a few times, Mairon glanced upwards at his interrogator, heavily built the male was not one he wished to cross in that moment, especially since his hands were bound and it would rather require an unnecessary amount of energy to fight without his fists. Analysing the environment with one sweeping gaze, Mairon noted two shadowy figures towards the back of the room, merely observing. Without seeing their features, his gaze was practically glued to one figure in particular who somehow captured hiss interest based on presence alone and a shiver ran through his spine.
‘’Kill the other bastard who is too weak to join us.’’ The intergiator grasped Mairon’s jaw harshly within his grasp and forced his gaze to remove itself from the shadows and stare at the lone figure kneeling slouched and helpless on the gravel, hands bound, features battered with hues of shading purples and blues. On the brim of unconsciousness, the stranger’s tears streamed down his cheeks, lips numb to prevent the plea for mercy. It was none other than the figure who had yelped helplessly prior to this moment and who had been silenced with the strike of a palm.
There was no honor or pride to be found in murdering the weak, but with the burning gaze of three judging figures anticipating his decision, Mairon pulled away from the interrogators strong grip. Quirking his eyebrow in a questioning manner, the other male soon pushed the hilt of a blade in front of him without any other attempt to assist him. Refraining from rolling his eyes, Mairon bit the hilt of the blade and in one single sweeping movement, threw the blade into the air. With a swishing sound as it spun through the air, his palm grasped the cool hilt before it had clattered to the ground. Slicing the blade through the rope, Mairon became freed from the shackled within mere seconds of being offered the blade.
Wasting little to no time, the blade was thrust from his grasp, slicing through the air only to pierce its destination in the chest of the victim, slightly messier than Mairon’s usual style, but within the precincts of public knowledge he was not an assassin by trade and that skill would need to be suppressed for the time being. The victim slumped in a pile of limbs on the ground, gasping for breath, crimson pooled from his form within seconds.
Mairon rose from his knees, stretching his wrists from being uncomfortably bound, his heart hammered in his chest, the exhilaration had not vanished and the smug expression inked against the interrogators lips only prompted the catharsis that he had, for the time being, succeeded in infiltrating these ranks, now all he needed to do was kill Melkor, but that would be no simple task, especially with the weight of expectation weighing on his shoulders.
The plot thickens. This chapter was quite progressive, but I needed to include all of this in order to get to the real fun stuff to write, Melkor will be finally in the next chapter! I wonder who was the mysterious figure lurking in the shadows? Also there may be a few mistakes, but I will revise them in the morning.
Angband was a dense fortress divided into quadrants, granted most of its domain appeared ‘off limits’ for some of a new stature like Mairon. Once the other male had been murdered, the figures lingering in the shadows slipped away from the scene unnoticed and without acknowledgment either. The man who had interrogated him, became introduced as Gothmog moments after and swiftly escorted Mairon away from that cell in the dungeon towards the dimly lit corridors. The two figures walked in an almost suffocating silence, neither uttering a single word and only the brief sound of their footfall echoed the corridor. From analyzing the situation, Mairon soon grasped that it was a matter of convenience that he could murder the other male and his trust certainly hadn't been secured by any means.
‘’You’ll sleep here with the other recruits.’’ Dumping the luggage bag that he had been separated from at the airport when he was involuntarily kidnapped, Gothmog haphazardly abandoned it on the floor by an unmade cot. The barracks that they had entered was jammed with bunk cots, many people were already congesting the space, few with their limbs sprawled over the edges of the cots and others in intimidating huddles as they glared disapprovingly in his direction.
Mairon met their gaze, unwavering before his attention was captured by Gothmog once more. ‘’Training commences during the early hours of dawn, don’t expect anyone to call you.’’ With those parting words, Gothmog left the amber haired male within the slowly smoldering tension in the room and smirked slightly the bastard would be lucky if he even made it to training tomorrow morning.
Casually taking a deep breath, Mairon turned his attention towards the unmade cot which had a duvet folded at the end, topped with what appeared to be a fresh set of clothes. Glancing towards his suitcase, Mairon pushed it under the bed with the tip of his boot, just as a head popped from over the rim of the bunk above his head.
‘’They haven’t seen fresh meat in a long time.’’ The male smirked with a hint of a menacing aura, but he still appeared to be the only figure acknowledging him at this time. Not that it bothered Mairon, quite frankly he would have prefered to be ignored entirely. ‘’And that damn bright hair of yours isn’t doing you any favors…’’ tauntingly he continued to smirk before pushing himself from the bed, black combat boots thumped to the concrete floor.
Mairon briefly glanced at him before spreading the duvet out against the mattress, judging by the few that were already tucked under their blanket, it must be near enough to sunset than he had anticipated. However, the dense clouds that shielded Angband from natural light prevented his accurate prediction.
‘’Dringon.’’ Extending his hand in Mairon’s direction, for a moment he refused to shake it before their hands met in a brief acknowledgement of their acquaintance. ‘’Mairon.’’
He was an elf. Melkor’s cause didn’t appear prejudiced by any means, so far that is. However, there was the issue of these recruits being at the bottom of the food chain, Gothmog their superior and Melkor, alongside those figures in the shadows, were the authoritative figures.
‘’Do me a favor, if you happen to die in your sleep, do so quietly. I need a full nights sleep in order to complete training successfully.’’ With those words Dringon grinned and resumed his position on the top bunk once more.
The wind howled against the glass, whipping against limestone and jolting the faint hearted from an easy sleep. Yet the darkness became their cover, having already conspired their assault tactics, their movements became stealthy and lithe. Orchestrating their plan with efficiency, each of the five members approached the bunk from different angles to prevent against an immediate escape.
A bolt of lightening rippled through the atmosphere, cracking against the barracks and illuminating the chamber for a fleeting moment. The opportunity was enough for the five recruits to reaffirm a nod before the chief perpetrator clenched his fist tighter around the blade, lunging it into the duvet in order to collide with the form of a body resting underneath. Grinning a wicked smile in satisfaction that the administration had been successful, the moment became short lived as another member stepped forward only to rip the duvet away from the mattress revealing the outline of a now punctured pillow that had alluded to a body resting underneath.
‘’In order to successfully assassinate someone while they are immersed in a slumber, do consider the possibility of them being smarter than incompetent imbeciles like yourselves.’’ Mairon hissed the word lowly, leaning against the wall with one boot resting against it, arms crossed over his chest which caused the muscles in his arms to bulge.
They glanced in his direction, the air of superiority surrounded the man provoked their anger, their intention had been to give him a hard time on his first night, but the failure in that plan only evoked one of the members to lunge towards Mairon. In a brief second, Mairon had grasped hold of the elf's arm, twisted it and pinned it roughly behind his back. The knife clattered to the floor, a cacophony of his defeat. Quirking his eyebrow practically challenging them, Mairon’s vibrant orbs pierced through the veil of nights darkness.
Yet they had not been defeated, nor did the hiss of pain coming from their comrade force them to stop for a moment. ‘’You little shit.’’ Another bolted in his direction, under the impression that Mairon being preoccupied with restraining the elf would allow him an opportunity. Certainly the act was futile, Mairon spun on his heel swiftly only to roundhouse kick the elf when he came too close. Tumbling alike a fallen chess piece, the elf in his restraint was ready to crumble too, groaning about being nauseous Mairon chucked his form on-top of the other elf that he had rendered useless.
It left three, cracking his knuckles his eyes narrowed towards them. ‘’You’re cowards when you don’t have the upper hand.’’ He scoffed ready to walk away recognizing that defeating them was not worth his time, but a sudden whirling sound piqued his senses. Sighing at their pathetic attempts, Mairon raised his hand to grasp the hilt of the knife before it came in contact with his jugular. The sharpness of his senses caused the elf who threw it to gulp, terrified by the fact that he anticipated it in seconds.
Patience running thin for the inconvenience of the situation, he inhaled a deep breath. ‘’I suggest returning to your cots. All I have done is defend and I very much doubt you would like to witness my attack, if you value your life.’’ Mairon’s tone dropped as the threat became more promising.
Nevertheless the elves wisest decision that evening was retreating, together they hauled their comrades who had been defeated back to their bed, but the whimpering of the one who Mairon had grabbed informed him that perhaps he had dislocated his shoulder. Twirling the knife between his fingers, Mairon pushed it underneath the mattress of the bunk and sat on the edge. Perhaps now that the commotion was over, he could finally be allowed a few moments of peace and quiet.
By the hour that Mairon presumed the sun rose, the barracks was bustling once more. Indeed no one would inform him it was the hour to rise from his slumber, but the mass of noise that they exerted informed him nonetheless. Turning his head to stare at the pile of clothes that adorned the bottom of the cot upon his arrival, it appeared to be a repulsive shade of green combat trousers and a basic black tshirt,
Moving himself to the edge of the cot, the clearing of someones voice captured his attention. ‘’Heard you had an eventful night.’’ Standing upwards, Mairon was able to witness the cocky grin placed on Dringon’s features.
‘’I severely hope that was not the highest skill of your comrades, otherwise you’re all the walking dead.’’ Preoccupying himself with changing out of the clothes he had arrived in and into the assigned ones, he did not glance towards Dringon to see his reaction.
Scoffing the elf swung his legs lightly from the side of the cot. ‘’Don’t categorize me with idiots, they were the ones stupid enough to try such a thing on your first night.’’ Leaning closer, Dringon invaded the concept of personal space and forced Mairon to glance towards him, but he did slowly take a step back, reinforcing that boundary. ‘’I heard they didn’t sleep at all last night, petrified that you had changed your mind and were going to finish them off.’’ Smirking, Dringon retreated slightly.
Half amused by the comment, Mairon glanced around the barracks only to lay eyes on a pair that were staring intently at him. It had been the elf who he had dislocated his shoulder. Yet the moment that Mairon’s gaze met with him, the elf quickly looked away. Chuckling slightly, Mairon shook his head at the thought that he would return to ‘finish the job’.
Within mere moments, the barracks had almost emptied with elves and Mairon joined the crowd to follow their path. With one hand tucked into the pocket of the combat trousers, he glanced around the fortress in an attempt to become familiarized with it. His task was still at hand, but still far too premature to orchestrate. Their destination was a rather large courtyard, where Gothmog had positioned himself at the center. Without command the crowd filed into rows in front of their commander, who gazed intently towards them. Silence descended on the courtyard, Mairon clasping his hands behind his back brushing against the hilt of the blade that remained concealed under his tshirt and tucked by the waistband of his trousers. Presuming that once more another attempt could be issued, but judging by the pathetic technique of the elves last night, he did not presume he was in mortal danger.
‘’Endurance. A fatal flaw in many comrades’ skills. Today we will focus on it. Warm up is 20 laps around the courtyard.’’ Gothmog remained positioned in the center, which was undoubtedly the perfect place to scrutinize whether they were able to withstand the endurance.
The rows of elves systematically broke in one direction to begin jogging around the perimeter. From Mairon’s analysis they were able to withstand the first ten laps, however their weakness’ began to be exposed from there due to fatigue. Accustomed to endurance training in his youth, this was no issue for Mairon. ‘’Where did you say you learned your skills again?’’ The familiar voice appearing from behind him made it difficult for Mairon not to role his eyes as Dringon jogged a little further to appear by his side.
‘’I didn't.’’ Keeping his position firm, he focused on the running aspect opposed to Dringon’s preferred social aspect.
‘’Come now Mairon, there is no need to be hostile.’’ Chuckling under his breath, Dringon grinned, but the action was short lived as he soon returned his attention towards his breathing.
Without warning Gothmog began to shout utterances of commands towards those who began lagging. Threatening that he would triple the laps of the courtyard the following morning for those who were unable to complete it today. Such a prospect managed to even silence Dringon, who now became intent on completing the task without it being prolonged. Seeking the opportunity to remove himself from the elf, Mairon jogged further ahead, placing himself within the crowd that were strong with the task.
A thump reverberated within the courtyard, echoing slightly, it caused the recruits to pause and turn their attention to the cause of the action. Mairon narrowed his gaze to notice that a number of elves had fallen atop each other in a pile of limbs and groans. With few steps, Gothmog stood ominously before them, gazing harshly in disapproval.
‘’You have five seconds to explain yourselves.’’ The low tone of his voice was threatening enough to cause the elves near the top to remove themselves instantly. Yet by the time many had stood up, the five who lay crumpled were none other than the five that had tragically attempted to ambush Mairon
Awfully tempted to scoff at their situation in its ironic state, he was vaguely amused by the event. Nevertheless he paid heed to their utterances, wondering which direction it could turn.
It appeared their lack of a response was not satisfactory to Gothmog for he crouched in front of the elves, connecting a harsh unwavering gaze with them. ‘’Why.’’ Unable to respond with words for none they could establish to explain that which had occurred without mortification to plaster against their expressions, instead a flickering gaze alerted Gothmog of the reason. Slowly the commander stood upwards, pivoting with ease to pierce his attention on the amber haired Maia.
I wonder how Gothmog will react? ;)
What will be in store for our fiery haired Maia and will Mairon ever give Dringon an ounce of tolerance? The answer to the latter is, probably not.