M.E. Part II. Chapter 1: Recollections of the Past.

Legolas and Gimli had looked everywhere when they heard the horn of Gondor sound. Exchanging a knowing glance the two of them about-faced and ran back the way they came as fast as their legs would take them. They started stumbling over the dead bodies of orcs, but that only renewed their pace; until they found the Steward of Gondor. Dead.

The two friends hung back for a while as Aragorn shared his last respects with their dead companion. "We should give him a proper burial." Aragorn said shortly, "But we haven’t the time."

"Then let us give him a burial at sea." Legolas suggested, "Gimli and I can go back and get one of the boats."

"Where are the hobbits? Merry and Pippin and Sam? And where is Frodo?" Gimli asked, looking around in confusion.

"He said the little ones had been taken by the orcs." Aragorn replied. The other two gasped at his statement, but he continued, "I do not know if Frodo was with them, and Sam fell behind me as I searched."

"Let us take care of the dead." Legolas said.

Aragorn nodded, giving his two companions leave to go back downstream and retrieve a boat. Legolas and Gimli silently walked away from the small clearing, very sobered at the thought of their dead friend.

A short time later, Legolas and Gimli returned. Aragorn had gathered many of the orc weapons and helms to lay about Boromir in the boat; he looked up at his friends’ arrival.

"There was something strange, Aragorn." Legolas said as he and Gimli paddled near the man.

"Yes, one of the boats was missing." Gimli embellished.

"Orcs?" Aragorn asked.

"I don’t think so, lad." Gimli responded, "Orcs would have stolen them all, or destroyed the ones they left behind."

Aragorn nodded thoughtfully, "Frodo." He said after a short pause.

His two friends nodded, "That is what we thought as well." Legolas said.

"What should we do?" Gimli asked.

"First we take care of the dead." Aragorn said, somberly looking over at the body of Boromir. He had plucked out the arrows but the man’s body was still in horrible condition.

Once they had sent their departed companion off to see the three remaining friends walked silently back to where they had left their gear and boats. Upon arrival a new thought hit Gimli.

"The maidens!" He cried, "Whatever became of Rachel and Katy?"

"Perhaps they are still out looking for Frodo." Legolas suggested.

Aragorn surveyed the camp sight, "I think not." He said. His friends followed his gaze to the other side of the camp where two sleeping forms lay.

A smile threatened Legolas’ face, "Well, they were pretty tired after the portage." He commented.

Gimli harrumphed and strode over to wake the two sleeping girls. "Get up!" He growled, "This is no time for sleeping!"

One of the forms turned over, but they saw no further movement to follow Gimli’s command. Gimli looked back to his companions for help, but they offered no more than shrugs. "Up, you lazy maidens!" Gimli tried again, nudging the one closest to him with his foot. Again the desired reaction was not received.

"There’s a hoard of orcs attacking! Ready your swords!" Legolas called over, trying to help his friend.

One of the girls moaned and put her arm over her face, but did not wake. The three friends stood in stunned silence for a moment.

"I have seen something like this before." The ranger finally recalled. "When we first met the two, we could not wake Lady Katy until Lady Rachel said something. What was it?" Aragorn stopped, lost in thought.

The elf and dwarf were silent, allowing their leader time to think. Finally Aragorn spoke again, "Someone’s trying to steal your P-S-2!" he exclaimed in his most worried voice.

The two maidens immediately sat bolt-upright, "What?!" I cried.

"Where?!" Katy cried.

The dwarf and the elf cocked a questioning eyebrow at their friend. Aragorn just shrugged.

I glared at the three of them, "Alright, where are our Playstations?" I questioned angrily.

"I do not know what you are talking about." Aragorn stated innocently.

"You don’t know?!" I fumed, "You just said they were being stolen!"

Aragorn shrugged.

Katy turned to me, "I think they’ve tricked us, Rachel!" She exclaimed.

I exchanged a shocked look with Katy and then turned to glare at Aragorn again, "How dare you joke about something serious like that!" I said darkly.

Aragorn looked at me innocently, "We were just trying to get you awake, and you said that to Katy when we first met you."

I grinned stupidly, "Oh yeah, I did, didn’t I? What a great plan."

Aragorn nodded. "So, what do you want?" Katy asked uninterestedly.

I elbowed her, "They want to know where Frodo is!" I reminded her.

"Oh yeah, he’s-" Katy started.

"We can’t tell them!" I exclaimed.

"Why not?" Katy asked.

"We don’t know if he did yet…" I explained through gritted teeth.

Aragorn interrupted us when he decided it was getting ridiculous, "Ladies!" He called; we stopped bickering and looked up innocently, "We already know where Frodo went." He told us, "He took a boat across the river."

"Yes, and we must hurry if we are to follow them." Legolas commented.

"We are not going to follow them." Aragorn said as his two companions moved to pick up their bags.

"We… We’re not?" Gimli asked in utter confusion.

"We are going to find Sam and rescue Merry and Pippin." He informed us, "Unless you’d rather them be tortured by the servants of Sauron?"

Gimli and Legolas shook their heads.

"Um… About finding Sam, can we skip that?" I asked.

Aragorn sighed, "I know you don’t like him, but we can’t just leave him out here to-"

"No, it’s not that." I said quickly, "It’s just that… Well… His pack’s gone! So we can surmise…" I drifted off to let Aragorn finish the thought.

"He has gone with Frodo." The ranger said quickly.

Katy and I nodded with approval at our leader’s problem-solving skills.

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