The Lord of the... whatever, Rare Manuscripts:
Window On The West
(An Expository Chapter)
After the morning's chemical repast, Sam awoke after what seemed a few
minutes or a dozen centuries. It was late afternoon, and Dr Faramir had
come back. Indeed his entire einsatzgruppe were gathered on the slope
nearby, two or three hundred strong. They sat in a wide semiring, between
the arms of which Faramir was seated on the ground, while Frodo stood
before him, and a brazier full of hot irons glowed nearby. It looked exactly
like what it was, the interrogation of a prisoner.
Sam crept out from the fern, but no one paid attention to him, because
they were secure in their own power. If anything, the sport of hunting
down a fleeing Sam would amuse them. He could see Faramir's face, which
now lay unmasked: he had dark hair, a broad roundish face, slightly gapped
teeth, and large eyes under his dark brow.
Sam soon become aware that the Doctor was not satisfied with Frodo's
account when Faramir kept saying he had no satisfaction. Faramir wanted
information, information about the Company that set out from Knottsberry,
about Frodo's role, and mostly why Frodo resigned from the Company and
left on his own.
'But it was at the coming of the Halfwit that Isildork's Bane should
waken, or so one must read the words,' he whined. 'If then you are the
Halfwit named, doubtless you brought this thing. whatever it may be. Is it
a jar of heavy water? The secret of sustained nuclear chain reactions?
Why? Why why why did you resign?'
Frodo made no answer. 'So!' said Faramir. 'We have ways, but I lack the
proper equipment here.' He stirred the glowing coals with a rod. 'Isildork
died in a whorehouse, so far as old tales tell. But marital aids are
plenty, and the sight of one would not be taken as a sign of Doom by
Boromir® of Gondor®. He already had plenty to use with his many admirers.'
Frodo momentarily blanched then reddened. It suddenly occurred to him that
he had worn the Ring on the wrong appendage. 'I am a free hobbit.'
'Why would you carry it, and not Boromir®?'
'Because it was given to me. Nyah-nyah nyah-nyah. Besides if any mortal
had a right to claim it, it would be Aragon.'
'Because Aragon is descended in direct lineage, bastard to bastard, from
Isildork Electra®'s son himself. And the cuckoo clock he bears was
A murmur of confusion ran through the semiring of men. Some cried aloud:
'The cuckoo clock of Electra®! At last we have softboiled eggs instead of
overcooked.' But Faramir's face was unmoved as he internally calculated
his possible loss of legitimate authority. Perhaps if he backed this
Aragon against his father he might retain some position of authority.
'May be,' he said. 'But so great a claim will need to be investigated, and
clear proofs established.' A time needed to form new alliances.
'Boromir® was satisfied, as he would undoubtably testify if he were here,'
claimed Frodo, hoping against hope.
'So you say. And what if Boromir® was unable to testify? What if he had
'I've got an al-- I mean, what do you mean? Can the noble Boromir® be dead?'
'Know that three days ago I beheld a vision of my brother® on the River. I
was among the reeds, when I beheld a strange boat filled with water that
shone of its own light. Inside was laid the form of my brother®, oddly
marked, with a large H attached to his forehead.'
'These are strange tidings. Boromir® was still breathing when I left the
'It would've been easier on you if you had been more forthcoming. Take
them!' he commanded his men. Sam half drew his fingernail clippers when he
saw an odd gesture from Frodo, and decided to acquiesce.
The einsatzgruppe arose and fell into step behind their doctor-captain,
with Sam and Frodo amidmost. As they marched, Frodo whispered to Sam not
to worry as he had a cunning plan. The group marched on through glades and
groves and a dozen flowery paragraphs. Frodo could hear the sound of a
river rushing over stones and through races. It became quite close when
the group stopped. Sam and Frodo were efficiently bound and blindfolded
before being carried further. The sound of water became quite loud.
They were stood on a stone floor. They could hear the men moving around
them, and the sounds of moving furniture. After some minutes, they were
untied and their vision restored. They were in a small room carved out of
stone, with a table with stained leather straps. On the walls were a
multitude of surgical instruments, lovingly polished with hard glittering
edges. Frodo swallowed.
Dr Faramir returned, now dressed in a spotless white smock. He wore black
armbands with it which bore the red elf-rune gazell, with four running
legs in each direction. He smiled gently.
'Before you start, I have some papers I think you should see,' said Frodo.
He dug into his pocket and withdrew a folded letter. As Dr Faramir studied
it, Frodo whispered to Sam, 'During our hasty departure, I noticed
Boromir®'s purse next to his pack. I thought it might be handy. It held
Boromir®'s travelling papers. Given the fact that photography will not be
invented for another 50,000 years at least, together with the probability
that this Faramir, like all nobility, has the literacy of an alt.warez
poster, I think....' Then he spoke up, 'As you can undoubtably tell from
the Great Seal and Walrus of the Steward of Gondor® on this document, this
is a Get into Gondor® Free Card, which entitles the bearer free access to
any district of Gondor®. No questions asked.'
'No questions asked,' Frodo repeated firmly.
Dr Faramir looked around his operating room and sighed a sigh of great
disappointment. 'Order are orders. I always obey orders. Well, that pretty
much blows tonight's entertainment. Alas. Perhaps we can while away the
hours and pages with expository material that cannot be fit in anywhere
else. Let us go to my room.'
He led the pair out through a rock hewn corridor into another chamber,
more comfortably furnished, where he could threaten them with nothing more
dangerous than a comfy chair. Sam collapsed into one, a sweaty wreck of a
hobbit, anxiously wonderring how many more times he would be rescued by
such blatant deus ex machina.
'I broke off our speech together this afternoon,' explained Dr Faramir,
'not only because I lacked the proper instruments, but also because we
were drawing near matters that were better not debated openly. My men are
loyal, but there is little need to tempt them. That is why I let you
redirect the conversation from Isildork's Bane to my brother®. You were
not wholly frank with me.'
'Nor am I henry. Yet I tell you no lies.'
'I often wondered what was meant by Isildork's Bane since the dreams and
departure of Boromir®. Clearly a mighty sexual aid of some sort. I know
something of my brother®'s amusements. Not that I would ever need such
mechanical enhancements myself, but I understand how rivalaries can drive
lesser men to contention. As you undoubtably know,' Dr Faramir stated with
a dismissive gesture at Frodo's trousers.
'Perhaps. There was contention in the Company: we were faced with multiple
writs and our legal strategy was in doubt, whether to answer summons to
Mordor or Aruman, or whether to seek the tax shelters of Gondor®.'
'That would be Boromir®'s response. Your trouble was with him®, then. He
always did go rashly into danger, arrogant and proud. And easily
manipulated. I preferred to be behind the throne with the power but not
the target of assassins. I learned much of the subtleties of manipulation
in my youth from the Grey Pilferer.'
'The Grey Pilferrer?' said (actually asked) Frodo. 'Had he a name?'
'Missingaction we called him in elf-fashion. Oft after a visit some
cherished plate or cup would be gone. Still, he was content. Many are my
names in many countries, he said. Missingaction among the Elves, Freddy
Jo Bialowski to the Dwarves; customs men of Bree knew me as Mellon Haber;
the Laketown has warrant for me under the name Nancy; Jeremiah Johnson I
was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South Incoherent, in
the North Gandalf; to the East I go not until they have a Statute of
'Gandalf!' said (actually exclaimed) Frodo. 'I though it was he. Gandalf
the Craven. We mislaid him in Moria.'
'Missingaction was lost!' said Faramir. 'This is indeed fortunate news.
Did he, perhaps, share his bank account number with you?'
'Alas! no,' said Frodo. 'I saw his financial records fall into the abyss.'
'That's too bad. He was always sneaky around trying to get the dirt on
anybody. Long he laboured to uncover something about Isildork and the
founding of the city. This much I did learn: Isildork hewed a thing from
the body of the enemy. A magic mojo of great power. I guess now that this
is what was meant but Isildork's Bane, though I don't understand how. As
I said, Isildork died in whorehouse and improperly maintained restraint
devices are in such a-plenty.
'But have no fear. I would not take such a thing even if I found it lying
by the road. I have no need for such devices. As boys, Boromir® and I were
often bathed together as all hot water had to be labourously boiled in a
pot over a fire. From such times, I know well that I have far less need of
such devices than my brother®.'
Faramir stared into the candle for a few minutes. Then he stood up,
smiled, and gestured to the hobbits to follow him. They were led to a
large rock chamber where the men were eating, cleaning their weapons, or
molesting small rodents. They passed under a low arch: a thin veil of
water fell across the opening in front of them. Frodo realised they were
behind a waterfall. Then the water turned orange, red, scarlet, ruby and
gold, all kindled with an unconsuming fire.
'They're cleaning out the cells in behind us, and letting all the blood
flow into the stream. Beautiful, isn't it?' Faramir reached out and let
the coagulating fluid coat his hand. 'Come, let me show you more.'
He led them back, past his own room, and deeper into the rocks. At one
time the stream must have flown through those tunnels, but had been
diverted to flow overhead. Everywhere was the sound of soft gurgling sighs
and the groaning of water on stone. 'What hope have you for your cities in
your long war?'
'What hope have we?' said (actually parroted) Dr Faramir. 'For long we
had none, but now I am conducting research that may alter all that.' As
they went deeper, Frodo realised with a chill some of the sighs and groans
were human. 'I believe we can solve our problems, a final solution to the
'The Men of Numenor were settled far and wide on the shores and seaward
regions of the Great Lands, but too many polluted their blood with the
lesser men here. We have struggled to teach the people we found here such
arts and crafts that their natural feebler minds were capable of. But all
too often, they took what knowledge we gave them and used it in revolt and
'In the days of Chaeron the Twelfth Steward that the Rodeoriders came out
of the north and aided us in a battle over the Enemy's attempt to
foreclose on our property near Steelbeard Forest. And we love them: tall
men who can labour long in our fields, and women who are soft and
compliant. It is said by our loremasters that we are related from long
ago, that they come from the same Three Houses of Men as the Numenor; not
those that came to Beleriand, but their weaker cousins who quailed at the
mountains. Akin to our glorious race, but of a lesser temperment.
'So we reckon Men in our lore, calling them the High, or Men of the West,
which were Numenorians; and the Middle Peoples, Men of the Twilight, such
as are the Rodeoriders and their kin that have not yet broken their leases
in the far north; and the Wild, the Men of Darkness.'
Dr Faramir fell silent as they reached a heavy wooden door.
Carved above on the lintel was the Elvish script, Mudas echeditha lainch.
The Doctor unlocked it and usherred the hobbits in. It was lined with cages
filled with Orcs, Easterlings, and Southrons. Strapped to tables were more of
them, partially dissected, some still alive. Even Sam turned pale.
Dr Faramir walked up to a cage in which the Orc was covered with raw open
sores. 'This is an interesting case. We removed patches of its skin and
then applied oils and extracts from the native plants of Ithilien. If we
can find a plant that is particular noxious to these Orcs, we can
cultivate it as barrier.' He glanced down at Sam. 'You needn't concern
yourself. This is an Orc, and it does not feel pain as we do. The
Southrons and Easterlings, as well, by their swarthy skins and distorted
facial features, can hardly be considerred to be true Men. They are only
fit as labourers, or subjects of our rigourous inquiries.'
Dr Faramir spent some time in his laboratory, discussing his research.
Frodo and Sam were numbed when they finally finished his tour and went
back to Faramir's room. Frodo was too stunned to follow the conversation;
he heard at a distance Sam blithering about Elves, Boromir®, and the Ring.
It was the silence that finally got his attention.
Sam nudged Frodo, 'Mr Frodo you're supposed to react to my careless
revealing that you're carrying the Sauron's Ring.'
'Oh, bloody hell. Fine, great. You want the Ring, you can have it.'
'The Ring?' queried Faramir. 'That trinket? Oh, pshaw. If I was really
interested in that sort of thing, my father® has a whole annex in the
Tower filled with such kind of trinkets. Think nothing more of it. Besides
you have your pass, and I always obey orders. I will set you on your way
again tomorrow morning. Good night.'
This exciting piece of draft material is presented through the courtesy of
China Blue Screen of Death <mlindanne-aaaaaaat-hotmail-dawt-com>.
Copyright © 2000 by the author. All rights reserved. Some variance between this
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is to be preferred.
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What happens in eastern Gondor® is none of your business.