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A Little More Effort for the Impossible (PG-13) Print

Written by Ellynn

13 February 2021 | 7212 words

Title: A Little More Effort for the Impossible
Author: Ellynn
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Faramir & Boromir

Set few years before War of the Ring. During a task in South Ithilien, Boromir is captured by Haradrim. Faramir will do all in his power to rescue him… in a mission against all odds.

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It was easy enough to follow the band, even at night, with only the light of the first quarter Moon. There were too many of them; they left trampled grass and broken figs behind them, and one simply could not miss the trails of about thirty horses. While he followed the trails in gallop, Faramir had the impression at certain moments that there could be even more of them… but he could not be sure of it. He would have to dismount the horse and study the ground in detail and in daylight, so he could make a more precise estimation. But that was not possible now.

I hope there aren’t any more of them. The situation was hard and complicated enough as it was. There were periods of concern and periods of thinking about the rescue, mingling in his mind. What if they were late? What if the kidnappers were too fast? What if Boromir’s wounds were more severe than Dorlas could see? Then Faramir reminded himself, he must bear it up. Don’t think this way, there is no use, just concentrate on the rescuing. However, he still did not have a faintest idea how to rescue Boromir. Open fight was out of question; there was not enough of them. The only possible solution was some kind of secret, quick action, when the kidnappers put up their camp. If they ever made one. But what kind of action? And how? His mind was wildly shuffling through all the possibilities, he drew the recollections of previous rescue actions, analyzed the current situation, but he could not plan anything – not before he saw everything with his own eyes, not while the kidnappers were still on the move.

His concern for his brother also did not help him in his ruminations. However hard he tried, he could not completely suppress his fear.

The hills, valleys and woods passed beside them; the hours ran, and he could only hope the band was not advancing as fast as they were, that they were decreasing the distance after all. But the question was if their horses would be able to endure the pace at which they forced them. The Moon was moving towards the western horizon, and when it set, it would be even harder to follow the trails, no matter how numerous the band was. He studied the starlit sky and estimated it was close to midnight when they came near to the tops of another row of hills before them. He considered making a short break when they pass the ridge and observe the field in the valley on the other side. Each lost minute meant an advance for the kidnappers… but if they did not let the horses rest awhile, the break could soon become permanent, because the horses would not be able to run any further. And they must not let that happen.

Soon they found themselves on the top of a hill and as soon as they left it behind, Faramir gave a sign for them to stop, carefully observed the valley, looking for a suitable place for a short break. The rays of the setting Moon shone down upon a peaceful, shallow woodland valley. In the distance he saw another cluster of hills and hummocks, whose dark silhouettes were drawn against a slightly less dark-coloured sky. On the east, to their left, rose the black, threatening massif of Ephel Duath. However, Faramir’s attention was drawn by a distant spot of an orange-yellowish colour. It was barely visible, and its flowing shimmering light was almost completely hidden by trees. The dot could be only one thing. A campfire.

The break was no longer an option, not now when there was a chance open for them… however frail and weak. Eight against thirty? It only takes a little more effort for the impossible. He gave them a sign to continue, but slower and much more careful than earlier. They could not see the fire the whole time they moved forward; the trees would occasionally block the view, but the trails of horses and the camp position they remembered were good enough to guide them. After a little more riding, as they came a little closer, he halted. Although a part of him wished to move forward and free his brother, he restrained his worry and impatience. They could not come any closer than that, for the risk of being discovered. Now only one of them would continue to inspect the kidnappers’ camp location and guards’ positions. Only when he had that information, could he plan the course of action.

Belegorn instantly disappeared amongst the trees. That experienced forty-year-old was among the best scouts Faramir had ever seen. Belegorn even managed to surprise him several times, because he did not hear the man’s silent approaching; he would just turn up, without a warning or a notice. When he would stalk in the woods, he was almost invisible, completely merged with his surroundings.

Well-hidden among the high and thick trees, the rangers waited in silence for him to return. How long was he gone? A minute? Half an hour? Faramir brushed his horse for awhile, trying to occupy himself and keep himself from walking around nervously, waiting. They did not take the saddles and reins off the horses, for they did not know if they would have to carry on riding soon. But at least the animals had some time to regain their breath.

There was no escape from his own tumultuous thoughts and Faramir frowned. It really did not make any difference if he kept on walking up and down or remained on the same spot, his concern was the same. Finally, he sat on a large, smooth stone and stared into darkness. After what seemed like an indefinite time filled with worry, Belegorn appeared without a sound. As soon as he stepped among them, Faramir jumped to his feet.

“Lord Boromir is alive”, Belegorn reported what was most important. “But is tied up and does not move. His tunic is pretty much soaked with blood on his right side and on the sleeve. I could not see if they bandaged his wound at all.”

Faramir slowly nodded, allowing himself only a short sigh of relief. But a very short one. The most difficult thing was yet to come and he did not know how serious Boromir’s state was and how much time they had. “Situation?” he asked.

“Worse than we thought”, said Belegorn seriously. “Their total number is about fifty. It seems that it was not the whole band that had participated in the attack on our group, that they joined the rest of the band later. Two men are very close to Lord Boromir, as guards. The camp is on a clearing and there are four more guards in the woods, one each side of the camp. All of their horses are on one spot, on the edge of the clearing, towards the south.”

“The surroundings?”

“Mostly flat lowland. They are surrounded by the forest through which it is possible to sneak, if the guard on that side is removed.”

“In which part of the camp is Boromir?”

“In the middle. They are all more or less evenly spread around the camp”, responded Belegorn. Faramir frowned. Not that the answer was unexpected. He turned around, thinking, weighing the situation. Eight against thirty was bad enough, but eight against fifty was… very bad. Optimistically speaking.

He must not wither… it takes only a little more effort for the impossible, right? However, the words that he and Boromir used to say so often, especially while encouraging each other, now seemed to lose their credibility. He had participated in a number of different actions, but never before had he found himself in a situation like this, not with such unfavourable proportion of forces. Boromir, wounded and tied up, could not be of any help from the inside. The Fort Harnost was more than four hours of riding away from the spot where they had stopped earlier, and in the best scenario Eradan managed to reach them by now; and now they were much further south than their previous camp. Any possible support from the fort could not reach them in time; they had to act now, for the band would undoubtedly continue its journey south very soon. If they tried any kind of breakthrough in form of a spike, toward the camp centre, they would probably all get killed before even getting close to Boromir. Attack with archery from the woods would not bring any results either, because a group of kidnappers might manage to get Boromir and escape with him, while the other half would return the attack, or they would simply kill him if they estimated that keeping a prisoner was no longer worth the bother.

But, despite everything, he knew one thing. He would do all he could to save his brother… even more than that. He would find a way. And he would save him. Or he would die trying.

Faramir slowly paced among the dark silhouettes of trees, contemplating. He knew that each of his men thought in the same way and sought within his experiences any detail which could help in creation of a plan. To attack when the band starts preparing to move, when their attention was divided on several things? Or somehow to draw group of them somewhere away, turn their attention, separate them? He stopped and sat on a fallen tree trunk, going through the last possibility in his mind. Difficult, but feasible… only, it would require a good reason to draw away at least half of them. Leaning against another trunk, he lifted his gaze towards the sky. But he could not see it; the stars were hidden by thick, entwined crowns of trees. Gentle eastern wind slowly moved the branches above him.

And then, looking up, in a moment he could see nothing. Neither the tree tops, the woods, nor the silhouettes of his men who were only a few steps away. All that surrounded him was gone in one blink – the woods, night, horses, men – as if it drifted far away and disappeared, and his thoughts were focused on one spot only. He could not see anything… except the solution to the problem. At the reach of his hand. For the first time after several hours, he allowed himself a slight smile.

He was among his men in a second. They knew their long-time commander well and immediately they could sense a change in his attitude; in a second he had their full attention. “Halmir, do you still have that water-bottle filed with mead?” he asked tensely.

“I do”, said the man. If he was surprised by the question, he did not show it. When Faramir heard the affirmative answer, he slowly let out the breath he was holding. The plan could be done without it, but it would be easier this way, and safer. Once more he smiled, this time a little wider.

He described his plan in short. Everything was relatively simple; in fact, he presented it all in two minutes. When he finished, he looked at his men. Despite the dark, he could sense approving expressions on their faces.

“Perfect.” Valandil was the first who spoke. His comment was followed by confirming murmurs and nodding from the rest of them.

“It’s not without a risk, especially the role you intended for yourself, Captain”, added Halmir. “I propose someone else should take that part. I will volunteer.”

“No. This is something I need to do”, said Faramir softly but firmly. “You can come next, after me.”

They went through the plan once more, this time more thoroughly, working on the details. And then they moved forth.

The impossible was no longer impossible.

NB: Please do not distribute (by any means, including email) or repost this story (including translations) without the author's prior permission. [ more ]

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Crazy cat lady; metalhead; fan of fantasy, reading, writing and astronomy.


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