Stories of Arda Home Page
About Us News Resources Login Become a member Help Search

In the Hands of the Enemy  by meckinock 10 Review(s)
LevadeReviewed Chapter: 7 on 12/28/2005
Well. I am SO glad Nilmandra pointed me towards this story! It's better than good. Not only do you have a solid plot, you write believable OC's who come alive and write the canon characters so well it's an easy jump to see this as an add-on to Tolkien's canon. I love the details too -- from the burrs that Halbarad pulls off after scouting, to the Ranger CSI. Gandalf is just how I imagine and Halbarad is terrific in his grumpy, crusty, tough-as-nails but still loveable Ranger Tough Guy. It's just so easy to picture this all happening, and that, among other things, is what makes this so great. And you're continuing it! Wonderful story, Meckinock. I hope you share many more with us.

Author Reply:
Hi, Levade!

Glad you're enjoying the story! I had a great time writing it.

lindahoylandReviewed Chapter: 7 on 8/25/2005
I just LOVE the Halbarad and Gandalf double act, it is quite unique ! The description of Aragorn's decapication technique was just so droll. I am more worried than ever about poor Aragorn as even in his sleep he is tormented and then to be beaten up again by another nasty kidnapper !You are a very talented writer indeed.

Author Reply: Hi, Linda,
I loved writing Halbarad and Gandalf together. Thanks for the review!

The KarenatorReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/8/2003
Johnny Halbarad, P.I. hasn't lost his touch. He could track a spider through his own web as easily as he can find the bathroom in a pitch black bordello after two jugs of wine too many. Experience has been his teacher. With his nose to the ground, he followed the ranger's trail like a bloodhound on the path of a ripe porterhouse. At the scene of a scuffle where his friend had obviously carved up his opponents as easily as a summo wrestler tosses The Rock out of the ring, he pointed out a blood stained wall. It looked like a Rorschach rock blot done in hemoglobin. Yes, Strider had passed this way, lopping off heads, surgically removing useless appendages that the enemy obviously didn't need. And from the looks of the small crusty prints in mud so blood stained it looked like Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory on a Saturday night, his old buddy had picked up a kid or a woman. Had to a be a kid. Strider had been all over that Elven fluff like glue on a stamp for so long he wouldn't have even entertained the idea of setting out with anybody who wore slippers instead of boots. Strider would have turned some purse carrier's perky little nose around and sent her back to Bree. The last thing he'd want to get back to a bunch of elves with shiny swords and over protective reflexes was that he was dancing in the moon light with some other broad. Halbarad figured that the two brothers of this heart trob and who happened to, also, be the adopted brother of his mangy-ranger-self would fill Strider so full of holes that the only work he would be able to get would be as a fountain in the White City. Yeah, it was a kid.
Still, his buddy and pal was carting around some serious pig sticks from the looks of the blood and a trail that looked like it had been made by a drunk looking for a place to take a whiz. In his gut, Halbarad knew Srider was in more trouble than a president who didn't know the definition of "is". And his gut was never wrong...unless it was after eating old man Chang's Chinese pizza...then everything was wrong.
Old Gandalf was taking his job as the kindly gent to such levels that Dr. Phil will be consulting with him on head picking. He wiles away the trip offering a few well chosen words of pop psych comfort to the miniature kitchen weasel who spends his time trying to convince the normal sized folks that he's truly sorry for going on such an un-Hobbit-like adventure of snitching and peddling rangers when he should have been stocking the pickled eggs at Butterbur's buffet.
Halbarad might be a crotchety old gumshoe, but his antenna's not off the wavelength in working up a static-fest about Strider. The mangy ranger's still guzzling a tea that's looking like it has more mickey in it than aspirin. Somewhere between enough blood loss to drain a canal and a funked out toddy, he's taking trips down nightmare alley only to be awaken to a 300 pound gorilla that hasn't brush his teeth since the last time a politician told the truth, sitting on his chest. He might be looking up, but Strider's never liked the idea of being on bottom and he's firmly stuck in the bottom feeder's territory at the moment.
Once again, our author had dropped us off with nobody to keep an eye out but a whining half pint, an Oliver wannabe and a rotund lackey.

Another fine chapter, Madam. This is of course 'my' favorite line..."This is a beautiful stroke - elegant as Elbereth's best ball gown and lethal as my mother's home-brew..." By Job, I think you're beginning to get it! I have just fallen in love with Halbarad! Gandalf is terrific and poor little Dudo...what can I say?...he's such a Hobbit. I can't wait to see what happens next. I love it! :>) Karen

Author Reply: I'm speechless.

Author Reply: Wow. I had to get my first cup of tea (Lipton, thank you very much) in me before I could digest that one! I am simply in awe. I couldn't come up with "Rorschach blot in hemoglobin" in a million years. But I think I've been making things too easy for you - if you can do anything with the next chapter I will buy you lunch and worship you forever...

EledhwenReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/7/2003
Aaaargh, you can't leave it there - I'm dying to know what happens to Aragorn (though I hope it's safe to assume he survives!) Another excellent episode of CSI Middle-earth style, indeed!

Author Reply: Thanks, of COURSE Aragorn survives, although he may find that things get worse before they get better...

grumpyReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/7/2003
can this possible get any better, chapter after chapter has been great reading, I so look forward to your updates!
As for Halbarad's dicription of what happened on the trail, I will now be able to look at (as if if see that many) a beheading and know if it was decent or not. Love the pairing of Halbarad and Gandalf.
As for my favorite ranger he is getting more bruised and hurt by the hour. Plus nightmares too. When (and I do hope when and not if) he is every found he is going to need a lot a care, hopefully tender loving care. My god you went and broke his sword hand.
more please, the sooner the better

Author Reply: TLC? Nah, probably just merciless ribbing from Halbarad for letting himself get caught out by a couple of dimwitted Dunlendings! Sorry about the sword hand - but it did neutralize him as a threat in a big hurry, didn't it? (at least Teburic thinks so). Glad to hear you're ready with your score card for the next beheading!

NilmandraReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/7/2003
Oh, that was an unpleasant meeting! Poor Strider. We can't tell yet if Rolly is neutral, if he betrayed Strider or if he led him right into the trap! Actually, it seems as if it could be all three. Regardless, Teburic seems he will take out his fury on the boy regardless.

So, hurry up Halbarad and Gandalf! Strider isn't often in need of rescuing, and even injured he might just find a way out....but I think the calvary cannot arrive too soon.

Another great chapter....

Author Reply: Thanks, Nilmandra. Glad you haven't TOTALLY figured Rolly out yet, and yeah, Strider's having a bad week, but you're so right not to count him out yet!

Lady JainaReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/7/2003
Excellent chapter, I enjoyed it very much! Keep up the great work!

Author Reply: Thanks, I am trying hard to keep it coming (played hooky from work this afternoon so I could get chapter 8 ready for tomorrow)

daw the minstrelReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/7/2003
“Whoa,” he said, partly to the horse, and partly just as a general commentary." "But practically nobody else in these parts does decent beheadings"--this kind of thing just cracks me up! CSI indeed!

But what a heartbreaking dream Aragorn has about Baranuir. The kid admired him and begged him not to let him die. How horrible.

Teburic's arrival was terrifying. Now he sounds like a nightmare!

I liked Gandalf's understanding explanation of to Tillfield that everyone makes mistakes, some of them with unbearable consequences. But you have to go on anyway.

Author Reply: Thanks, Daw, unfortunately the humor well might be a bit dry the next couple of chapters, so I'm gratified that you also liked my Mr. Rogers moment...

fliewatuetReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/7/2003
*fliewatuet does a littly happy dance at the posting of latest chapter*

With every new chapter, I enjoy your story even more. Halbarad's abilities as a detective don't cease to amaze me. And his little lecture about beheading a foe in battle and his explanation that Aragorn was the only Ranger to actually use such a stroke in battle was wonderful! And Gandalf's insight that Halbarad had a bit of a touchy side. Hehehe.

But now I must ask you who is mean when it comes to Aragorn? Being roused from well-deserved sleep by Teburic, having his shoulder nearly dislocated and his sword-hand crushed by that blow ... poor Ranger (*fliewatuet briefly ponders what she has still in store for him ... * yep, I don't envy him, not in the least).

And than that nightmare. Since there seems to be no great difference between his dream and what happened in the aftermath of that battle, I no longer wonder why Aragorn has such a bad mood. That is an event he will not forgive himself easily, and it seems as if he pushes himself the more harder for it. And the way the boy's scream lead the way back from the nightmare to a reality that was no less of a nightmare was marvellous.

At least, Rolly's fear of Teburic seems real enough and given the way Teburic reacted at the absence of Kergelen and Dergren, things had not been going according to plan. So that is a little hope. Though I still have my doubts as to whether there was only starwort in Aragorn's tea (call me paranoid ...).

The end of the chapter, inspite of poor Aragorn's earlier sufferings, was wonderful. Halbarad has a big heart, after all. The gift of the dagger and the story telling by the campfire worked wonderful to ease the poor Hobbit's heart.

fliewatuet (who will be gone over the weekend and hopes to find more chapter(s) by Monday;-))

Author Reply: Let me see you do that again?

Keep being paranoid - it's almost always a good strategy.
Hope you have a nice weekend - since I have nothing planned for my weekend except THIS you should have at least one more chapter by the time you get back!

I still maintain that you are meaner to Aragorn than I am.

Strider's GirlReviewed Chapter: 7 on 11/7/2003
Oh this is wonderful. I love the characterisation of the characters once again. Description and character development are the best stories that I like. Keep up the good work!

Author Reply: Thanks once again. Hope you are not going to come after me when you see what I did to your boy.

Return to Chapter List