M.E. II Chapter 10: Linear Time.

"Well, now we know how Stacey and Nikki got here." I commented once the doors had safely closed behind the Fellowship. We were silent for a long moment. At length, I sighed, "I’m bored."

The others laughed. "How can you be bored already?" Stacey asked.

"It’s a talent." I admitted, "What did you do around here for fun, Nikki?" I asked, turning to our new… Old friend.

Nikki shrugged, "Well… There was avoiding Grima," She shuddered, "I rode horses some," I shuddered, "Éowyn gave me a few sword lessons… I haven’t really been here that long, anyway."

I cocked my head in confusion, "Haven’t been here that long?" I repeated, "We’ve been here, what?" I rolled my eyes slightly upwards, mentally counting the days we’d been in Middle-Earth, "About five months, you call that not long?"

Nikki frowned, "I haven’t been here five months. I’ve only been here a couple of weeks."

"But… You said you were transported here only a couple of days after we disappeared." I pointed out, frowning as well.

"Maybe time in our world goes slower than time here." Stacey suggested.

"Then the ratio would have to be a month to a day." I said sullenly, "That seems rather unrealistic to me."

"We’re in Middle-Earth." Katy pointed out, "Doesn’t that seem a little unrealistic to you?"

"… No," I replied after a short pause, "It looks pretty realistic to me."

"But we can’t ignore the facts," Stacey insisted, "If Nikki left only a couple of days after us and she’s only been here a few weeks, what other answer is there?"

I thought again, "Well… I blame it all on physics!" I exclaimed, crossing my arms and glaring at just about everything around me.

"Physics the class or the science?" Nikki asked.

"The science, of course." I said, rolling my eyes as if she had just asked a ridiculous question, "There’s another theory as to why Nikki’s only just arrived. Maybe traveling through time… Or dimensions, or whatever. Anyway, maybe it takes longer than we think, maybe Nikki was just traveling between dimensions for that extra four months."

"If it took longer for me to transport here, wouldn’t it have taken you just as long so I’d still only a be a few days behind you?" Nikki asked skeptically.

"She’s got a point." Katy added, nodding wisely.

"It would if, say, time travel were a linear concept. But who’s to say it is, who’s to say when you transported here it didn’t take longer than when we did?" I asked. They looked at me without understanding so I continued, "I mean, you know how planets follow an elliptical path around the sun, right?" Nods "So if someone left earth to go to Mars on the day when the two planets are closest, and then someone else left a couple of weeks later that second person would spend a lot longer traveling to Mars than the first person. Instead of close to six months it might take him eight, so despite leaving only a month after the first person, he might arrive there two or more months after him."

"… Let’s pretend for a minute that I understand what you’re talking about," Katy said, "Nikki only left a couple of days after us, not a couple of weeks, so wouldn’t there be less time between our arrival? Like, maybe a couple of weeks?"

"If we were going to Mars there would be less time between our arrivals." I said smugly, "But since Middle-Earth isn’t even in the same time as us, probably not even in the same dimension, and if it’s another time or dimension that we’ve traveled to a couple of days could be plenty of time for the folds of the universe to refold themselves in such a way that Middle-Earth and earth would be several more months apart."

"Right, Rach." Nikki agreed in a somewhat sarcastic tone.

"So… In other words we’ll never know until we get home?" Stacey asked.

I thought for another second and then nodded, "Well, yeah. If you want to be a party pooper."

"You could have just said that then." Stacey complained.

I shrugged, "Where’s the fun in saying something that won’t confuse you?"

"Haven’t you figured it out by now that Rachel likes it when people don’t understand her?" Katy asked.

"Well, yeah, but she could’ve said it plain English like a normal person." Stacey insisted.

"Stacey, this is Rachel we’re talking about, not a normal person!" Katy explained.

"Hey! I’m sure I take offense at that!" I exclaimed.

There was another brief silence in which everyone thought about their random thoughts, mostly consisting of time, dimensions, and witty comebacks. "I’m bored again." I stated shortly, "Come on, Pip, lets find something to do."

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