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Old 05-01-2007, 10:34 PM   #11
the phantom
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the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.the phantom is wading through snowdrifts on Redhorn.
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****At Henneth Annûn****

"You may sit," said King Mardil II.

A dozen or so rough and tired looking Gondorians slumped into chairs surrounding a crude wooden table that nearly filled the small side chamber. Mardil, seated at the head, signaled to a waiting servant and soon the table was set with food and drink.

After the men had finished eating, Mardil rose and addressed them. "You have all performed your tasks admirably. When this crisis is passed and the need for secrecy is gone, your names will be known and honored throughout Gondor."

The men smiled grimly in acknowledgement. The man at the opposite end of the table rose and bowed to Mardil, and answered, "We thank you for your words, Lord. But know that you would have our service without promise of glory to come, or even the silver pieces that you provide as compensation for our efforts. The cause itself is worthy of all toil, and it is honor enough to play a part in ridding Gondor of injustice and evil."

The other men raised their glasses and let out a hearty "Aye!" and drank. Mardil nodded to the speaker. "You and the men of your house are true Gondorians, Bergil III. A happy day it was that King Elessar released Beregond from his service to be a blessing to the House of Stewards."

At that moment a messenger entered, bowed, and spoke to Mardil. "Your father sends his greetings and wishes to inform you that your wife and son are in good health. He also requests a word on the status of the plan."

"You may tell my father that all but one of my team of smugglers has returned. The one who was captured was apprehended entering Mordor, but was caught with nothing but the clothes on his back. He is loyal, and will not utter a word of our plan. And even if he does, it is too late for Roggie, the Blue Istari, or anyone else to stop us now. Operation Vaccine is nearly complete!" declared Mardil.

The messenger bowed again and exited the chamber.

"How soon will the final phase begin, Lord?" asked Bergil.

"When you and those under your command complete your final run into Mordor, I will announce a date for the... procedure," answered Mardil. "All the preparations are made. You have the final list, don't you?" Bergil nodded. "How long do you think this smuggling run will take? Six days?"

"That would be my estimate, sir," answered Bergil.

"Good," said Mardil, smiling in approval. "Go ahead and rest for the remainder of the day. My men will see that you have all the equipment and provender you need for the journey. You leave with the rising of the sun."

Last edited by the phantom; 05-01-2007 at 10:38 PM.
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