“We must hold this course west of the Misty
Mountains for forty days. If our luck holds the Gap of Rohan will still be open
to us and there are road turns east to Mordor.” Gandalf explained their
route while smoking his pipe; they had been travelling for just over two weeks
and the girls were still no closer to a plan of action. What kind of changes
did they need to look out for and what could they do about it. They also kept
arguing about whether or not to save their companions. The fellowship had made
camp in a rock formation in the mountains. Gimli was sat beside Gandalf also
smoking his pipe, Sam and Frodo were by the fire pit preparing food, Boromir
and Pippin were sparring while Aragorn and Merry watched, Legolas was scouting
and the girls were sat silently having another huge argument.
‘But shouldn’t warning Gandalf or Boromir of their deaths only be a good thing?!’ Elle protested. ‘They would live to help in the wars! The fellowship may not even break!’ Chris sighed in frustration as she again explained.
‘We can’t do that! If Gandalf doesn’t die in Moria he won’t become Gandalf the white! If Boromir doesn’t die the Uruk hai won’t take them, they won’t meet Treebeard and defeat Isenguard! Plus if Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli don’t go after them they won’t assist Rohan or Gondor both cities will be destroyed and Aragorn will not become king!’ Chris breathed slowly reigning in her temper. ‘It’s all linked, Varda sent us here to protect the timeline not meddle with it!’Then Gimli ended the argument without realising.
“If anyone was to ask for my opinion, which I note that they're not, I'd say that we were taking the long way round. Gandalf, we could pass through the Mines of Moria. My cousin Balin would give us a royal welcome.” Chris and Elle immediately looked at each other in the eyes, Gandalf would fall in Moria and they had to be sure it happened, for the sake of history.
“No Gimli, I would not take the road through Moria unless I had no other choice.” Gandalf said gravely. A small scuffle between Merry, Pippin, Boromir and Aragorn quickly followed.
“Eadgyth!” Pippin laughed as he and Merry defeated Boromir and Aragorn in their sparring match. “Spar with me!” He called joyously. Glancing back at Elle the anger was gone and was replaced with… fear, caution and a plead for help. They had not been in any situation where they had to defend themselves so they had no idea what would happen.
“Alright, prepare yourself.” She said bracing herself as she unsheathed her sword. It felt right in her hand and she gripped it more confidently.
Pippin charged with his sword raised, he was a quick little guy! As he was about to strike she felt her arm lift and block the blow. He continued his assault his blows continuously blocked but when she tried to attack he knocked the sword away easily.
“Ha I win!” He celebrated.
“Yes Pip you beat a woman well done.” Merry said with… was that sarcasm, Chris was defiantly rubbing off on them. Aragorn stood, picked up her sword and returned it to her.
“Your defence is good but offence is terrible.” He commented.
‘Varda said we could defend ourselves… she didn’t say we could fight.’ Elle realised as she watched.
“Erm, yes in Rohan it is difficult to find an instructor that will teach a woman more than self defence.” Chris mumbled sheathing her sword.
“Then we shall teach you with the hobbits.” Boromir said simply as he sat beside Pippin. Elle shifted nervously, she needed the training too but it would be strange if neither of them could fight, he was supposed to have already fought orcs! She stood and silently moved towards Legolas who was a little away from the group. His eyes were glued on the sky.
“Legolas.” She murmured so quietly only he could hear. He glanced down at her then returned to looking at the distance. “It has been too long since I last practiced with my blades and my life in the court has diminished my skills. You wield twin daggers… would you assist me in re-refining my skills.” She asked with hope in her quiet voice he nodded absently. “Please don’t say anything, especially in front of the dwarf.” She added hoping to appeal to his elvish side. She was getting quite good at speaking like an elf. Then her eyes caught what had his attention so fully, a dark wispy cloud that was moving unnaturally. Her elven eyes caught the erratic behaviour as Legolas’ had.
“What’s that?” Sam asked when he looked up from his food and noticed the cloud; the rest of the fellowship followed his gaze. Then everything happened in double speed.“Nothing, it’s just a whisp of cloud.”
“Its moving fast.... against the wind.”
“Crebain! From Dunland!”
“Frodo! Take cover!”
There was a flurry of movement as they speedily dismembered the camp and ducked for cover, Elle under an overhanging rock and Chris was deftly pulled under some bushes by Legolas.
‘You did that to spite me.’ Elle thought as the Crebain flew over their camp.
‘How could I have done it, he pulled me!’ Chris said exasperated but said the last part suggestively.
‘If you were over here and there weren’t killer birds I would hit you.’ Elle seethed.
‘But you wuve me.’ Chris responded with a playful childish tone.
‘I know, damn it.’ Elle responded as the Crebain passed and it was safe to emerge. Chris went to her friend and slung her hand over her shoulder.
‘Have no fear, he is too pretty for me! It would be like being with a woman!’ Chris said retaining her playful tone, ‘But with all the fun parts of a guy… hmm might not be such a bad thing. Ok I give Legolas is mine now!’ she declared pretending to swagger towards him, Elle gave chase but they both stopped when Gandalf looked at them.
“Spies of Saruman. The passage south is being watched. We must take the Pass of Caradhras .”