She's very beautiful. I stare at her face as I stand in the chilly hall in Rath Dínen. Faramir and I have a tradition: every year, on her birthday, the two of us go to her tomb and lay two flowers on it: two roses, her favorite flower. I lay a red one, a symbol of the passion of our love for her and her for us, and Faramir lays a white one, a symbol of the steadfastness of our love for her.
So there I stand, Faramir at my side, both of us holding a single flower as we stare at the portrait that hangs above the stone block that contains Finduilas Dol Amroth, Lady Steward. Our mother.
We step forward, remove the dried husks of last year's flowers, and lay this year's in their place. We back up and stare at her smiling face for a bit more. We then turn and walk out of the hall, and down the Silent Street, lined with silent halls of the dead, and out the gate at the end.
The gatekeeper salutes us as we pass, then locks the gate behind us. We walk down the slope of the city, through all the circles, to the outermost one of the Pellennor. There is a horse waiting there, with a boy holding its head, a pack at his feet. I take the pack, open it, and remove my gear. I put it on with Faramir's help. Faramir dismisses the boy and hold's the horse while I mount it. He adjusts the stirrups, saying as he does, "Return soon, brother. Our father will join our mother soon and Minas Tirith will have a new Steward."
My brother has a gift, a gift that comes with the fact that the blood of the West flows nearly true in him. Faramir knows things that have not yet come to pass, and what is transpiring in distant places. So when he says that our father's death is approaching, I know that he has seen this, and it is so. (1)
"I shall not be long," I reply. "Keep our father, and this City, in my absence. Do not attach to much meaning to our father's caustic words, for he is a bitter old man." I pause and think for a bit. "If by this time next year you have not seen me or heard no word of me, you may assume that I am dead. You, then, will be the Steward."
Faramir looks away from me, a distant light in his eyes. He sighs and looks back at me. "If I become the head of our House, then I will be the last Steward of Gondor, for that office will be swept away."
"That must not be so!"
"I do not know if that will be for good or for ill, brother, but if you die without ever becoming Steward, then I will be Steward for a space of days, between the death of our father and the end of our House, and of Minas Tirith as we know it." (2)
He looks away, obviously pained. His gift may also be called a curse, for he sees many things that are terrible. He turns back to me and skewers me with his glance.
"Return, brother! I will know, no matter how far you go, if you live or no."
He backs away and smiles. I kick my horse, spurring it on. I ride away, through the Fields of the Pellennor that surround the City of Minas Tirith. I glance back, and Faramir has already gone back within.
"Sir, a scan of his head has uncovered evidence of massive brain damage."
The voice was dry, hard. It cut into me, rousing me. I opened my eyes and looked around. A 2-1B medical droid was bending over me, checking the readout on the large number of machines I was hooked up to. A second droid is speaking to the Rogues, who look extremely worried.
"'Massive brain damage'? What does that mean?" Wedge asks.
"Sir, the scan displays evidence that Lt. Klivian suffered massive head trauma, which damaged extensive portions of his brain, especially in the parts that contain long-term memory. The result of this damage is near-total amnesia. He may remember portions of his life prior to the injury, but they will come in brief flashes, and he may not be able to comprehend the meaning of these flashes."
Tych walked in, holding a datapad. "Hey, I looked in Hobbie's record...he was adopted only six years ago. He was found wandering the streets of a city on Ralltiir, stark naked. He just wandered from place to place, holding his head and screaming. The mental-health people nabbed him, and helped him. For awhile, the only way he could function at all was when they gave him massive doses of pain medication, but his pain slowly subsided. When he became coherent, they discovered that he was a total amnesiac, except that 'hobbie,' or actually something close to 'hobbie' was of terrible importance to him. An employee of the institution he was in adopted him. He stayed with them for a few years, learning things. His amnesia was so total that he didn't know how to use a fork, a 'fresher, or how to dress himself. He then- hey, he's awake!"
They all turned to face me. I tried to remember what I had been dreaming about, but I couldn't at all. Except for two things. A red rose and Finduilas.
I grabbed Wedge's sleeve because he was closest to me.
"A red rose and Finduilas!"
He stared. "What?"
The 2-1B said, "Sir, that probably just came to him, and he verbalized them so that they would not be forgotten."
Wes said, "Remember? When we found him, there was a datapad on his lap, with a list of things on it. We couldn't make any sense of it. I bet he writes things he remembers down." Wes picked up the datapad. He examined it for a moment, then looked at me. "A red rose and Finduilas? is that one thing, or two?"
(1) Is it obvious the fact that I made Faramir Force-sensitive? I thought it went well with his character.
(2) He can in fact see the future. This is indeed what happens...this is simply a very pessimistic way of describing the end of RotK.
To be Continued...
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