M.E. Part II. Chapter 2: Middle-earth Marathon

"Hurry up you two, we must catch up to the orcs!" Aragorn encouraged us.

"Must we?" I asked between heavy breaths.

"You cannot already be tired!" Legolas laughed.

"We can’t?" Both Katy and I managed.

"We have run not even a mile!" Legolas told us.

"We have not run even fifty paces from our camp site." Gimli muttered.

I stopped panting suddenly, "Oh, right." I laughed, "We haven’t, have we?"

Katy stopped panting as well and shrugged, "Well, it feels like a lot farther when we’re running." she declared.

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli all doubled their previous speeds, and I’m pretty sure I heard a groan from one of them.

"Katy, I think they’re trying to lose us." I commented.

Katy nodded, "It’ll never work." She pointed out.

"Yes," I agreed, "After all, we know their destination." We started running again and I added, "However that won’t help much if we faint from stress…"

It wasn’t too much longer when we made it out of the woods and into the grass lands. Rohan. It was a pretty nice place… If you liked grass. I was just glad I didn’t have to mow it.

Katy and I stopped for a moment, looking about as if admiring the scenery.

"I don’t see them anywhere." Katy commented, her breath coming in gasps for air.

"I don’t either." I agreed in like fashion, "Should we just pick a random direction, or what?"

Before Katy could respond we both heard a voice calling to us, "Ladies, up here!"

We quickly located the source of the sound in time to see Aragorn disappear over a hilltop. Sharing a forlorn glance, we quickly ran up the hill. And that is where Aragorn made his first mistake.

The Ranger had been nice enough to wait on the top of the hill for us to catch up. Seeing the three men just standing around and not going anywhere, Katy and I did the only obvious thing anyone could do in our situations. We collapsed on the grass for a nice nap.

"Rachel, Katy!" Legolas called, running over to us, afraid we may have been hurt.

"Five more minutes." I mumbled lazily, not bothering to move from my position face down on the ground.

Legolas looked at Aragorn confused, "Five more minutes until what?" He asked.

Aragorn didn’t answer his friend and instead confronted us personally, "Please, get up! We must catch up with those orcs and the hobbits! You would not want anything to happen to them, would you?"

Neither Katy or I answered. In fact neither Katy or I showed any signs of being counted among the living at all.

"Aragorn, we do not have time for this!" Gimli stated sharply, reminding the ranger of what he knew all too well.

"I know, but we can not leave them out here in the wilderness alone. They would never survive." Aragorn replied.

"They should have stayed in Lorien." Legolas added seriously.

Suddenly I jumped up from the ground closely followed by Katy, "Okay, all ready!" I declared, both of us running away from the three in different directions.

"Uh, ladies… We’re going that way." Aragorn directed us in an amazingly sane voice.

"Right!" I called back, changing direction as he had declared.

"Gotcha!" Katy called, doing the same.

Aragorn rolled his eyes and ran after us, Legolas and Gimli following suit.

"So… Tired…" I moaned, barely able to keep my eyes open. The Isuldir’s Heir had forced us to run the rest of the day. With no breaks. My legs were numb, my feet dead, even my ears rang with pain!

"Quite complaining!" Legolas growled, "I’m the one doing all the work."

I stared blankly at him for a moment, "Still… Tired…" I moaned, ignoring the elf.

"We will stop here for the night." Aragorn finally sighed in defeat, "Our path is no longer clear and it would do more harm to stray from it in the dark than to wait for light."

Legolas grinned and dumped me unceremoniously to the ground from my perch on his back. His relaxed expression did not last long however, as his worry for the hobbits took hold once again.

"We should all try to get some rest." Aragorn continued, noting with slight amusement that Katy and I were already getting ourselves comfortable on the grass. "As much as I hate to sleep while our companions are at the mercy of the orc army, there is nothing more we can do until morning."

Legolas nodded reluctantly, hating to leave the pursuit but realizing the wisdom in the ranger’s words. Gimli was soon asleep along with me and Katy, after a few preliminary remarks about how he could go on running all night.

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