In the beginning was the Song, from which all else sprang. The mightiest of the Singers – the Holy Ones, the Ainur – are now the Valar, and their names are well known. When they descended to take up dominion over Eä, many other lesser Ainur followed them. These became the Maiar, and though only a few gained renown – Eonwë, Melian, Olórin, Curumo, Sauron the Abhorred, and others – there were many more.
One such spirit was known for her quiet voice in the Song – though she was not swayed by Melkor's discords – and her love of the hawk's form. From these two aspects she derived her names, Fëamintë Fioncarnë. She was one of Oromë's following, who delighted in fighting the creatures of the Enemy in all their diverse kinds.
When the Hunter finally discovered the Eldar, the Children of Ilúvatar, many councils were held in Valinor. There were many who desired to bring the Elves to that blessed realm, but also many who knew that the journey would be long and perilous. Melkor still abode in the North, and his sharp sight and cruel mind would doubtless find ways to assail the March.
Finally a decision was made. Despite their long Ages of peace, the Valar and Maiar had not forgotten the arts of war. The hosts of Valinor would march on the stronghold of Utumno, to break it and bring its occupants to justice. Then, and only then, would efforts be made to move the Eldar across the world.
Fëamintë was but one of many who joined that great host, following behind Oromë and Tulkas as they swept over Middle-earth like a tide of light. As the neared the lands where the Vala of Fire and Darkness held sway, many abandoned their spirit forms to take physical bodies. Fëamintë, along with many others, chose to become as the Children, each arrayed in what armour and weapons their minds could devise. Before them, Melkor's followers appeared, clad in forms of flame and shadow. The battle was joined.
The Eldar tell few tales of the Battle of Utumno, for they rested still by the Waters of Awakening far to the south. Little, indeed, will the Valar reveal of that time. A shadow seems to lie on their memories, though whether it be one of choice or curse, none can say. Nonetheless, some remember.
Roccondil, a companion of Fëamintë, was engaged in combat when a chanting voice caused him to look around. A powerful servant of the Enemy was bellowing over the noise of the melee. The words were foul, leaving a dark stain on the mind, and Roccondil deemed some cruel spell was being formed. He would have gone to prevent it, save that a Maia of the element Fire swept down onto him, forcing him to battle it or be burnt where he stood.
Thus it was that none saw Sauron – for it was indeed he – complete his spell and channel the foul sorcery towards Oromë, rearing above the oncoming horde astride Nahar. None, that is, save Fëamintë Fioncarnë. Heedless of her own safety over that of her lord, the Maia cast herself into the path of the spell.
What effect Sauron's sorcery would have had on the Hunter none can say, for he did not try again. When it struck Fëamintë, however, there was a flash of brilliant light. When it faded, nothing remained of the valiant Maia.
Far away, in another time (or dimension, depending on who you ask) a woman was walking along the sea-front near Bangor, Wales. This was not, in itself, unusual. What was unusual, and has never been explained, was the loud explosion, blinding flash, and appearance of a fair-haired girl of around eight years on the ground in front of her.
The woman hurried over, catching the little girl just before she collapsed. "Dear?" she said concernedly, maternal instincts kicking in – although she had been married for some years, she had no children of her own. "Are you all right?"
The child looked up at her, and the woman was shocked to find herself staring into two eyes that glowed from within with a blazing white fire. "Who are you?" she gasped.
The girl tilted her head, seeming far older than her apparent years. She uttered two words in a strange, flowing speech, and then blinked. The light vanished, and she stared around in terrified confusion before fainting dead away.
Holding the child carefully, the woman tried to remember the words she'd said. They could mean anything, but she'd definitely gotten the impression that it was a name. "Veminta... Fincaran?" That wasn't right, for all that it was close. Well, she'd just have to ask the girl when she awoke.
The other girl looked round, startled. "Oh, Vemi! Hi. Sorry, I didn't recognise you..."
Vemi rolled her eyes as she kept walking. Sometimes she wished she'd never dyed her hair to its current dark brown state. More often, however, she wished she hadn't been born blonde. More often than that, although there was little connection between the two, she wished she could remember her life before the age of eight.
She knew the story about how her mother had found her by the sea, how she'd never been claimed by her real parents, and how she'd eventually been adopted. She knew that her name – Vemi, Veminta – was among the first things she'd said. She even had a vague memory of waking suddenly in the arms of a woman – her mother, only not at that time – feeling terribly lost and confused. Before that, though, there was nothing at all, not even vague, disconnected fragments that held the key to the mystery. It was rather disappointing, actually.
Stepping out of the building into the bright sunlight, Vemi shaded her eyes to avoid being blinded. It wasn't that she had anything against summer, it was just that the sun got so very, well, bright.
Normally, one would expect her to have thought something that provoked the Laws of Narrative Comedy. However, this didn't happen. One moment Vemi was walking across the courtyard, the next, she had fallen through a rip in space-time and landed on top of someone in a grey corridor.
"Oh, you say ow," came a muffled voice from underneath her. Vemi quickly sat up, looking around in bafflement before returning to see the person she'd squashed. She blinked, and stared.
"I mean, what did you think you were doing?" the other girl went on. "Is it some sort of new game, dropping out of portals on... what? What have I done?"
"You..." Vemi continued staring. "You, uh..."
The other tilted her head. "You've gone white," she said. "Something wrong?"
"... you look like me," Vemi finally managed. It was true. The other girl's hair was shorter, and hadn't been dyed, but her face was the same as the one Vemi saw in the mirror every day.
The other looked at her thoughtfully. "I suppose there is some resemblance," she admitted, "but you should expect things like that by now. The number of people with evil twins or clones around here..."
Vemi shook her head. "Around here? What... where am I?"
The girl rolled her eyes. "You must have hit your head. You're back in HQ." Vemi stared blankly. "The PPC? Protectors of the Plot Continuum? Ringing any bells?"
Vemi shook her head slowly. "I was just walking out of school," she said. "I don't... I've never been here before."
The other frowned. "You mean... then how did you get here?"
Vemi shrugged. "I fell through something. How do I get back?"
"Er." The other looked worried. "I think I'd better take you to see the Marquis. If people are falling into HQ, he'll want to know..." Grabbing Vemi's hand, she started off down the corridor. "I'm Agent Penny, by the way. Now, try not to pay attention..."
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