Agent Elrond adjusted himself in his
large throne, giving a blank, emotionless stare to everyone
who had come to the Council meeting. He removed his dark
sunglasses and blinked hard against the glare of the bright
afternoon sun. He looked around once more, making note of
the motley crew (ha ha) that had assembled. He cleared his
"As you can see by the fact that I've
called you here, Middle-earth is in great danger," he began,
his voice drawling out in monotonous tones. "All of your
races are in trouble and, in my opinion, you should all be
destroyed. I feel that you are all worthless, except for the
Elves, and have no purpose on this Earth. But we need
someone to take that damn ring into Mordor
Agent Elrond looked to the young
Hobbit, Casey Baggins, with his icy glare.
"Put the ring on this granite
" he ordered, pointing to the pedestal, not even
bothering to get up. "And then sit back down
saturated by your stink already," Agent Elrond said
disgustedly, rubbing his fingers over his temples.
Orcs are a virus. We are the cure.
Agent Elrond adjusted himself in his large throne, giving a blank, emotionless stare to everyone who had come to the Council meeting. He removed his dark sunglasses and blinked hard against the glare of the bright afternoon sun. He looked around once more, making note of the motley crew (ha ha) that had assembled. He cleared his throat.
"As you can see by the fact that I've called you here, Middle-earth is in great danger," he began, his voice drawling out in monotonous tones. "All of your races are in trouble and, in my opinion, you should all be destroyed. I feel that you are all worthless, except for the Elves, and have no purpose on this Earth. But we need someone to take that damn ring into Mordor "
Agent Elrond looked to the young Hobbit, Casey Baggins, with his icy glare.
"Put the ring on this granite slab " he ordered, pointing to the pedestal, not even bothering to get up. "And then sit back down I feel saturated by your stink already," Agent Elrond said disgustedly, rubbing his fingers over his temples.
Before Casey had a chance to stand, one of the Rivendell elves hopped up and said, "Wait just a minute! I want to hear about what's going on in Moria, and Mirkwood, and Gondor! And I want to know where Magneto the Grey has been all this time!" She sat down.
Hiding in the bushes, Mikey Gamgee
took a puff from his inhaler. "She certainly is impartial to
hear these stories," he whispered to Merry Furey and Pippin
"That's what I said."
Merry just stared at Mikey in
disbelief. He leaned over to Pippin and whispered, "I think
the lack of oxygen is gettin' to him."
Mordor ... orcs ...
trolls ... Fratellis!
Hiding in the bushes, Mikey Gamgee took a puff from his inhaler. "She certainly is impartial to hear these stories," he whispered to Merry Furey and Pippin Boyd.
"That's what I said."
Merry just stared at Mikey in disbelief. He leaned over to Pippin and whispered, "I think the lack of oxygen is gettin' to him."
"Did you hear that? They're gonna tell stories, Merry! Stories!!! Think we'll roast marshmallows? I'm starvin'!" Pippin said excitedly.
"You just ate elevensies, Pippin! Even so, this is the Third Age! Marshmallows aren't here yet!"
Pippin looked at Merry, grinning. He clearly understood nothing Merry had said. Merry just shook his head and looked back through the shrubs, spying on the Council. He listened as the Council continued, the stories only interrupted by Mikey's incessant puffing of his inhaler. This was going to be a long meeting.
"Well then," said one of the
assembled, "Here's what news I bring..."
The Council turned to look at the one
who had spoken. It was Sallah, son of Gloin and
representative of the Dwarves.
The slightly overweight Dwarf was
dressed in a white suit and matching Panama hat. He was
clearly Middle-Eastern and seemed eager to please. He smiled
at the Council, clearly trying to be friendly, but failing
Great sands of Cairo!
"Well then," said one of the assembled, "Here's what news I bring..."
The Council turned to look at the one who had spoken. It was Sallah, son of Gloin and representative of the Dwarves.
The slightly overweight Dwarf was dressed in a white suit and matching Panama hat. He was clearly Middle-Eastern and seemed eager to please. He smiled at the Council, clearly trying to be friendly, but failing entirely.
Smiling being of no help, Sallah decided to forget the incident and begin his speech.
"Greetings from Cairo, the land of life!" he started. No one stirred.
"Yes, well, let me begin." His Middle-Eastern accent was almost overpowering.
"It has been quite a long time since Balin left for Moria. We got news from him for awhile, but lately there has been none. I fear the Nazis captured him." at this Sallah shook his head sadly.
"However, we did receive a message about a year ago. A horseman in black, a Nazi if I do say so myself, came to us and called our leader, Indiana Jones, to speak with him. Indy went out, much against my counsel I assure you, and spoke. It seemed that Sauron wanted to be friends with us and would give us not only Rings for friendship but the Ark of the Covenant! Yes, that rider knew how to tempt Indy, but we dwarves are not easily swayed.
"This Nazi Rider was also wanting to know of Hobbits. He said Sauron knew of the Hobbit, Bilbo the Ripper, who adventured with Dwarves years back. The Nazi Rider also said he wanted a little ring that the Hobbit had stolen. He told Indy that we could help and get our rewards or refuse to help and be 'relocated'. Indiana wisely decided to consider the message for a while, but the Rider would have none of it. I am sure that Nazi would have killed Indiana, but I sent my children to go swarm around him." Sallah smiled a bit proudly and straightened his hat before continuing.
"That action saved Indiana, but the Nazi Rider hissed as he left, 'Children won't be able to save you next time, Indiana Jones! And don't forget about the friendship thing!' Then he rode off.
"We Dwarves of Cairo thought that encounter would be the end of the Nazis, but Indiana seemed to attract them. This same Rider has come two more times, each time offering the Rings, the Ark of the Covenant, friendship with Sauron, and even free sponsoring of Indiana's archeological digs if we would give him the information he wanted. But if I have told Indy once, then I have told him a thousand times, 'Never trust a Nazi'." Sallah paused for a minute and looked at the Council, fingering his small mustache.
"I have actually come more for advice then anything. We Dwarves of Cairo ask only for the wisdom of Magento the Grey and Agent Elrond. For we do not know what to do with the Nazi Rider's offer. What we would like to know is, why do the forces of Mordor and the Nazis want this Ring? Please let me know that..." Sallah looked towards Magento and Agent Elrond, questions in his dark eyes.
"Tell me Agent Elrond, Magento the Grey, tell me of this ring."
With that, Sallah sat down in his seat and smiled one more time. "Cairoisthegreatest!" he added quickly, then motioned to the next speaker.
Pippin tagged Merry, urgently,
irritating him until he finally acknowledged him. "What?!"
he whispered harshly.
"What did he say?"
"What do you mean? Weren't you
"I couldn't understand him!"
"Was it the accent?"
"He had an accent?" Pippin was
thoroughly confused. He glanced at Mikey who was wheezing
again and nudged him, nearly scaring the piss out of him.
When Mikey jumped, Pip jumped, and shook the bush, creating
a barely-noticeable racket.
He's my second cousin,
once removed on his mother's side, and
my third cousin,
twice removed on
his father's side.
Pippin tagged Merry, urgently, irritating him until he finally acknowledged him. "What?!" he whispered harshly.
"What did he say?"
"What do you mean? Weren't you listening?"
"I couldn't understand him!"
"Was it the accent?"
"He had an accent?" Pippin was thoroughly confused. He glanced at Mikey who was wheezing again and nudged him, nearly scaring the piss out of him. When Mikey jumped, Pip jumped, and shook the bush, creating a barely-noticeable racket.
"Ssshhh!!!" Merry scorned. "Magneto is going to speak!"
But he was mistaken
Agent Elrond frowned at what he was about to say. "I believe we should let the others speak their piece before I explain the ring..." he said, disgustedly, returning his slender fingers to his temples.
Pvt. Greenleaf looked at Sallah. "Finally this guy shuts up!" he thought. His gun was at his side and he knew he would use it if he was tempted. He looked at Elrond and stood up, knowing that it was his turn.
"Well," he said in a Southern accent, "before we bring this Ring out, I bring news from good ol' Mirkwood." He wore a brown camouflage uniform with his tags on the front, and his hair was shaved off, showing off his pointy ears.
"I guess you heard that we had that vermin, Gollum, in our possession. For days we listened to that piece o' work babble about nothing. Personally I was gettin' ready to kill, but anyway one of my crew here decided to take him on a little 'outing'. It didn't go so well. Gollum climbed up into the tree and wouldn't come down! Now we were all really pissed at him, but nothing would make him come down. After hours of waiting we were ambushed and I lost a few good men. Sadly, that vermin got away. Course we tracked him to the Nine, but he managed to give us the slip. Who knows where he is. So my father, being the four-star General of Mirkwood, sent me here to tell y'all this."
He stared at the others for the moment and then sat down.
Pippin looked at Mikey, "Hey, wasn't Gollum that green dude we saw about a quarter of a mile from the gates?" Pippin jumped up, about to yell his knowledge to all when Merry grabbed him by the collar and pulled him back down.
"Pippin, you idiot, we aren't supposed to be here! You're gonna get us killed! Now stop actin' like a moron and start actin' like a hobbit!"
Pippin quieted and scooted closer to Mikey. He whispered, "What do hobbits act like?"
Mikey gave Pippin a puzzled look. "Guys ... hey, guys, what are they talking about? That guy Sauron? Are they talking about One-Eyed Willie the pirate? What about that ring? Is it part of the rich stuff?"
He almost sneezed -- his hay fever was acting up again. It was really quite unfortunate that between his allergies and his asthma he had followed in his father's hairy footsteps and become a gardener.
"When are we going to go find the rich stuff? We have to find it soon, or those conjectures will buy up the Shire and turn it into a golf course!"
"Contractors, Mikey, and be quiet!"
Merry rolled his eyes. "If I make it through this without killin' those two it'll be a bloody miracle..." he thought to himself.
Throughout this talk, he had remained silent, looking a little out of place, resplendent in a tattered green jacket that bore the stains and scars of many fights. He would not have been without it though; Sharpe could not forgive his superstitions, even in this, the most peculiar of meetings.
Although he had been sitting somewhat sulkily in the corner whilst the others said their pieces, his impatience struck as the Council delayed in stating their purpose. The words of the Private had irked him; his account of their actions with this Gollum creature reeked of the inefficiency and incompetent dealings he so despised in both undeserving officers and raw privates. Had the men been under his command, the creature would never have escaped. It would appear that he had to state his case, if they were ever to come to any valuable discussion.
Rising suddenly to his feet, he fixed his eyes on each member of the Council in turn as he began to speak. "We have made small talk long enough. I mean not to belittle your tales, Men ..."
Some of the non-human members of the Council looked to him, irritably.
"... Elves ... and others ... but I have come here for more than words and exchanges of tales from afar; whilst you talk in your chambers, my men are dying in needless battle. I am Major Boromir Sharpe, son of the steward of Gondor, and I have come here to speak for these men, as their leader, and for my father, as the heir to the stewardship. We are punished from the proximity of our fair country to the dark lands, and the bastards of Mordor grow in numbers day by day, and our armies deplete year by year -- we cannot hold them back much longer. I am here for counsel, and for explanation, for we cannot wage blind war. Tell us, what is it we truly face? We do not deserve this life; I want only to finish the buggers off, and retire to our city outskirts with my wife and our child, until my time to lead the country is due. I will not be dogged by the dealings of those who do not concern me or my country. Then by the White Towers, tell me how I can defeat our aggressors, that I need never concern myself with your peoples again."
His tone was brisk, and to the listening Hobbits sounded highly derogatory, and extremely arrogant, but they held their peace, for they felt they did not understand what it was he spoke of, just as he did not understand their peril. Sharpe paused, and looked about him, challenging another to speak. None did so.
"Bloody hell, can none of you answer a question in plain English? Let me put it a little plainer: If you cannot help me, then I return to Gondor disgraced, and deranked. My men lose heart, and our enemy defeats us and draws nearer ... to you. And if you can fight better than the great armies of Gondor, I'll be damned. You do not help yourselves. And so ... What do we face? Why do they come now, thicker and faster than ever? And what is this Ring, that the other spoke of? You hide something, Elrond, you hide something and I think we must know what it is. Rumors abound in my country of long-lost treasures and secrets, that would sorely aid our understanding if they were to be confirmed. I sense you understand. If you will not tell me willingly ... I would consider it my obligation to take your secrets by force."
With that, he drew his sword, and ran his hand along the straight, steel blade.
Mikey and Pip looked at each exchanging looks that muttered, "What the hell?"
Merry noticed them looking at him as if about to ask more questions ... "For the love of all things holy ... don't ask!!"
Pip looked back at Mikey expectantly.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: After that, the story fell silent for a time, and I began to cry. My whining succeeded in gaining myself some pity, and the story moved on once more ]
Erik Lenscherr, better known as Magneto the Grey, looked about the Council with some interest with some disdain mixed in. The news of Gollum's escape was not news to him, but hearing the details just reminded him there would be yet another annoyance to be dealt with.
Then there was the annoying chatter he could hear coming off from the sides. It wasn't important at the moment.
"Not to interrupt," Magneto said slowly. "But Gollum is not the only shred of bad news. I'm afraid I must bring up another bit of ugly business. There has been an inquiry as to whether or not any help could be expected from Saruman. I'd like to say that it's a pretty certain no. You see, the little sonofa ... he's not who he appears to be anymore."
"After leaving the Shire I had proceeded immediately to receive the advice of Saruman the White. I knew he was much learned in the lore of the Ring and seemed to be the most logical place to start.
"I knew something was off from the moment I went through the gates. He was waiting for me on the stairs, but he didn't step out into the light. He was also wearing black ... which should have been my first warning. Then again, I had been telling him for years wearing white all the time would mean having to do laundry more often ... anyhow..."
"So you have come, Erik," he said.
"Yes," I had said slowly. "I was hoping to receive the aid and counsel of Saruman the White."
He scoffed at the use of his title. "The White ... White is a beginning. The white page can be overwritten ...."
"Oh, do shut up," I had said. He was prattling on a bit and I wanted to know what was going on. "Why the change?" I came forward as he wandered back in. I use the word "wander" hesitatingly. In hindsight he was luring me inside.
"I needed a change," he said, slowly. "Speaking of change, the world is changing, you know. The Age of Men is slowly coming about. It is an age we must rule, my friend. Think of it ... Come on ... Like you haven't thought about it, Mr. Magnetism."
"Master of Magnetism," I corrected him.
"Whatever. Point being, I know you're part of a minority. Wouldn't it be a better idea to be on top from the start? I know I'm not the only one with that idea. The Nine are abroad."
"They are seeking out the Ruling Ring. I know you know where it is. I have many eyes in my service. The Nazgul ask for news of the Shire wherever they go. They will find the Ring ... and kill the one who carries it."
I panicked about then, thinking of my young friend over there, completely unaware of the things that pursued him. Not thinking, I started to flee, when all the doors slammed shut before me. I knew my old friend was not himself at all anymore. Or perhaps he had been and everything I had known before had been a deception.
I commanded the metal candle holders to fly at him, but he knocked them away with ease that was just unnerving.
"Oh, come on!" he said, annoyed with me. "Just tell me where the damn thing is. Join the Dark Side."
"But you know I'm..."
"Yes, but not until May, so can we stay in bloody character?"
"Right then, sorry."
Sadly, I was outmatched, even with my abilities. He imprisoned me on the top of the tower. Which wouldn't have been all that bad, except for the lack of good entertainment. Slowly, I watched as the forest was torn down. It would appear my former friend has been and still is constructing an army of his own.
Magneto sighed. He raised a hand, levitating his cup. He took a sip of water.
"So I think it's safe to say that Gollum's escape is the least of our worries. Saruman is now a black-wearing count who only comes out at night. And to think I thought Xavier being such a bloody pacifist was my biggest problem. You just can't trust your friends anymore."
Pvt. Greenleaf looked at Magneto and wondered how he could get those nifty powers. "Also," he thought, "Note to self: Must make a note on my calendar for Star Wars in May."
He scratched his shaved head and waited for the Council to continue. He was getting bored and wanted a piece of the action. He wondered if he could persuade Saruman to put pay-per-view up at the top of the tower, if they were to be imprisoned....
[EDITOR'S NOTE: It was at this point Bridget revealed she was making an attempt on my life ... to make me die laughing.]
Magneto went on.
"So there I was on top of a tower. The least he could have done was left me a TV with cable, but oh no. He decided to torture me in the worst possible way. He did leave me a television ... but it would only play 'The Sound of Music' on a repeated loop. Truly, he has become evil.
"From my vantage point, I could see that he has crossed Orcs with Goblin-men to form some new, awful creature. My guess is that this business costs quite a bit of money because now he seems to be not only in the I'm-An-Evil-Jerk business, but seems to want to make it in the fudge industry as well. I could see many an orc chained to stoves, mass producing fudge.
"After about five days I pushed the TV off the ledge. It landed on one of the creatures. Saruman was most upset with me, or at least that's my guess. He sent up the most foul-looking creature. The beast smacked me upside the head with a wooden spoon and declared 'NO FUDGE FOR YOU!' Most upsetting, as I had the taste for it.
"Seeing how I was being tortured with bad movies and had to endure Saruman repeatedly asking me in a whiny voice if I would join him, and no fudge ... I just about had it and planned my escape. My first plan involved a series of rubber bands and paper clips, but all that accomplished was me almost losing an eye.
"Then I remembered my mutation involved levitation of self and lit on right out of there."
Magneto sighed. "I never did get any fudge."
Merry took in a sharp breath and turned quickly to his hobbit comrades, "Did you hear that?! Th-th-the TV ... it--"
Pip was grinning like an idiot, to no one's surprise. He stared out through the bushes as if in a trance, uttering and muttering something that sounded like, "Fuuudge..." He began to drool and Merry knocked him over the head, shaking him loose of his thoughts.
"Wake up, Pip!!! Think of Star Wars ... in May .... come back to me Pip! I know you're upset that 'NSYNC won't be there but George said the fans were pissed! They would have killed him, Pip!"
"I hear ya," Mikey spoke up, "for confoundin' an idear like that I shouldn't even give him the benefit of seein' the film!"
"It's considerin', Mikey, and shut up! You're makin matters worse ..." Merry said. He glanced back at Pip, who continued to drool and mumble about the Fudge of Saruman. Merry was worried ... but then again, at least Pip was being quiet about it.
[REALLY LONG EDITOR'S NOTE: Learning there was a conspiracy against my life, I panicked and had a Mary Sue Moment.
I was laughing too hard to breathe. I coughed and wheezed and stole Mikey Gamgee's inhaler for a puff.
"Hey!" Mikey protested.
"Couldn't be helped," I said. "I was about to die."
The Hobbit began playing with the little gold doubloon he carried. "No, you miscalculate--"
"Misunderstand," I corrected.
"That's what I said. I don't mind sharin', Miss Alisha, but you're about to give away our hiding place!"
"Shh," I shushed. "I think Agent Elrond's about to say something. Something that might just draw Strider or Casey into the fray, or explain the ring's past, or something ..."
"Is he goin' to tell us how to find the rich stuff, Miss Alisha? I wish we had that map ol' Bilbo the Ripper has that came from One-Eyed Willie ..."
I thought I heard Pippin muttering something about not learning about this in acting school and how I was ruining the suspension of disbelief by entering the story. That or fudge. And then I thought I heard Zea muttering something about me stealing her characters, so I begged forgiveness and motioned for the other writers to carry on.
Merry glanced over at me and
straightened his jacket, smiling stupidly. "This isn't in
the script, and I know this is a PG-13 movie ... but will
you go out with me?"
Pip drooled some more about the
mistaken utterances I'd called "drama school" ...
I was stunned by Merry's invitation to
go out with him. No one had asked me out in more than a
year. I accepted, on condition we take my car, equipped with
Boromir's legendary Horn of Honda, as I was sure I would not
fit into a Hobbit car.
Anyway, in hindsight I realized it
might not be such a great idea to go out with Merry,
considering that his girlfriend in "The Yorkshire Ripper"
had something nasty happen to her, though Zea insisted that
she was not part of the conspiracy to take my life. I
could not graciously back out now, so I decided we will
simply not go to Yorkshire on our date. Anyway, I insisted
that we return to the story, and I announced that I was
going to edit myself out
Ha! I have a date and Pippin doesn't!
Merry glanced over at me and straightened his jacket, smiling stupidly. "This isn't in the script, and I know this is a PG-13 movie ... but will you go out with me?"
Pip drooled some more about the mistaken utterances I'd called "drama school" ... "Fuuudge..."
I was stunned by Merry's invitation to go out with him. No one had asked me out in more than a year. I accepted, on condition we take my car, equipped with Boromir's legendary Horn of Honda, as I was sure I would not fit into a Hobbit car.
Anyway, in hindsight I realized it might not be such a great idea to go out with Merry, considering that his girlfriend in "The Yorkshire Ripper" had something nasty happen to her, though Zea insisted that she was not part of the conspiracy to take my life. I could not graciously back out now, so I decided we will simply not go to Yorkshire on our date. Anyway, I insisted that we return to the story, and I announced that I was going to edit myself out oops.]
Sallah leapt to his feet, punching a large fist into the air.
"Ah-ha!" he yelled to the Council. "I told you! I told you there were Nazis! And Fudge Nazis at that!"
Sallah waved his arms wildly while speaking, as if to make his point clearer. Without waiting for the Council's response he sat back down. "Humph! I told Indiana the Nazis were back." he muttered to himself.
All the while considering the best way to tell Indiana "I told you so!", Sallah glanced around the Council.
He thought to himself, "I hope that stubbly Ranger man talks soon; his silence is unnerving." But as he thought about that, he noted that the Hobbit who had brought the ring was awfully quiet, too.
He sighed. "They must just not care about Nazis. That's a shame, they're going to end up in concentration camps with that attitude."
Who cares if he really IS the heir
to a throne and he is a future king. Councils are boring.
The people here are boring. Damn it, everything here was
What he wouldn't do for a
But he had to say something. Must not
let Boromir Sharpe get the last word. Damn bastard. At least
he got to live with MEN. Not some group of Elves, who all
they did was do their nails and brush their long pretty
hair. Even if he was raised by them. Even if he was going to
marry one of them. It's a wonder that he didn't end up
crazy. But hey ... he ended up as an alcoholic. Good
He rose to his feet and faced Boromir.
But suddenly his mind went blank. The rest of the Council
stared at him expectantly. He must berate himself later for
drinking wine in the morning. Wine in the morning and
Councils do not mix.
I'm the King of
Where's my beer?
Who cares if he really IS the heir to a throne and he is a future king. Councils are boring. The people here are boring. Damn it, everything here was boring.
What he wouldn't do for a drink.
But he had to say something. Must not let Boromir Sharpe get the last word. Damn bastard. At least he got to live with MEN. Not some group of Elves, who all they did was do their nails and brush their long pretty hair. Even if he was raised by them. Even if he was going to marry one of them. It's a wonder that he didn't end up crazy. But hey ... he ended up as an alcoholic. Good enough.
He rose to his feet and faced Boromir. But suddenly his mind went blank. The rest of the Council stared at him expectantly. He must berate himself later for drinking wine in the morning. Wine in the morning and Councils do not mix.
Merry blinked as the weird guy that brought them to Rivendell stood silently. "This is real stimulating," he muttered. He coughed into his hand, "SPEECH!" He noticed Magneto glancing about, and hushed up quick.
He looked over at Mikey ... he considered telling him to stand up and help out Strider but the bastard wouldn't let them have second breakfast. So he let him suffer.
Boromir Sharpe turned to face the man. He was quite clearly drunk -- something Sharpe was used to spotting in his own men. He gave Aragorn a scornful but slightly-sexy look, which was intended to mock him.
"You rise up, but do not speak. What have you got to offer me? And speak carefully "
He gestured to the sword he still held, drawn in front of him.
Aragorn remained silent.
"Damn you, speak when an officer commands it of you. Or are you too inebriated? Fool."
Under the bushes, the three hobbits fidgeted nervously. The Council had grown completely silent, and they didn't like it one bit.
Besides, it had been almost half an hour since last they ate.
Mikey was glad his friend Chunk wasn't there. Chunk had a huge appetite, even for a hobbit, and would surely have given them away with his hungry whining.
Mikey took out the doubloon again and began turning it over and over in his hands, the same way Casey Baggins played with the One Ring.
Growing suddenly paranoid, he began to wonder about his ancient coin, for it too had come from a mysterious source -- the collection of museum artifacts the Gaffer had in the attic for safekeeping. These items came from Bilbo the Ripper, after all, collected on his adventures. Some of the archeological treasures, it was whispered, had originally been found by Indiana of the Dwarves, of whom Sallah had been speaking.
Where did all these strange items come from? What did they have to do with hobbits? When would that intimidating Elven Agent tell them the answers?
Meanwhile, back at the Isengard Ranch:
The Fudge Nazi growled.
His enemy was next to unmovable. No
matter how hard he struck it, it would not yield.
He shoved it.
He kicked it.
He fired arrow after arrow at it. Even
striking it with a sword did not scathe it.
He finally threw a big rock at
The Fudge Nazi glared at it one last
time, before breaking out into sobs and crying like a child
as he threw himself against the vending machine.
He just could not lay his finger on
Caption? I don't need no stinking caption!
The Fudge Nazi growled.
His enemy was next to unmovable. No matter how hard he struck it, it would not yield.
He shoved it.
He kicked it.
He fired arrow after arrow at it. Even striking it with a sword did not scathe it.
He finally threw a big rock at it.
The Fudge Nazi glared at it one last time, before breaking out into sobs and crying like a child as he threw himself against the vending machine.
He just could not lay his finger on that Butterfinger.
Saruman was once again glad to be wearing black. He wondered briefy why Erik had complained so much about the change seeing how he kept pointing out his abuses of the color code after Labor Day. He sighed.
He wished Erik hadn't lit on out of there like that. He had a number of taunts already, but nooo...
He checked the palantir. He got excited for a moment when he saw a few messages, but went into a rage about the place when it was simply telemarketers. As he ran about, he tripped over the Fudge Nazi crying on the floor.
Saruman smacked the Fudge Nazi upside the head with his staff. "Don't... what the bloody hell are you doing on the floor?"
The Fudge Nazi pointed forlornly at the vending machine. Three swords, fifteen arrows, a copy of Nightline, and a Britney Spears CD protruded from the plexiglass... Yet the glass had not shattered.
"What about it?"
"Butterfinger," the Fudge Nazi sobbed.
"Oh for Pete's..." Saruman said, he then activated his lightsaber and sliced the thing open.
The Fudge Nazi happily scooped up the goods, but then stopped.
"You know, it's not May yet..."
Saruman promptly bonked him on the head, knocking him out.
Returning to the Council:
Erik groaned. Couldn't the little moron wait until after the council?
He smelled like ... well, a couple of different fermented beverages he didn't have the taste for. If Aragorn was going to get hammered, why couldn't he pick a better quality?
He waved a hand at his drunken friend and his apparently overly-hyper friend.
"If the both you you would bloody sit down already, I'd like to get moving. Or would you like to just sit here and bicker until Sauron figures out where the damnn ring is, grinds us all into paste, and does the Mexican Hat Dance thing on the remains? Hmm?"
He rubbed his temples. He should have just stayed at Orthanc. At least he could hurt things there. He sighed.
"Now ... Elrond, do you want to tell these ... people just how dangerous this thing is, or shall I?"
He sent a sharp glance towards some shrubbery, then looked back.
"Bout damn time," Merry muttered.
"Yeah, we're already late for our next meal!" Pippin chimed in.
Like Merry and Pippin, Mikey getting quite cranky, too. He was hungry. He wished he had some of that fine trout they'd had for dinner the night before.
He'd heard about dramatic pauses before, but this was getting out of hand. Not speaking, Agent Elrond was staring hard at Mr. Casey. Mikey didn't like the look in the elf's eyes. He wished he had his little sword. He'd kill anyone who tried anything with his Mr. Casey.
Clasped tightly in Casey Baggins' hand, the Ring was thinking ...
Through long centuries I have existed, taking many forms, moving through many worlds. I pass from hand to hand, feeling the corrupt greed of some, the pure innocence of others. I am the Talisman of Power, and I am at turns both Good and Evil.
Some have known me as the snakey necklace Auryn, Atreyu's protector through his hard journey in Fantasia. To the Rats of NIMH, I was Nicodemus' Medallion. I was a Shard of the Dark Crystal to Jan and Kira. And I was the Juju to George of the Jungle.
Embarrassing past roles aside, here in Middle-earth, I am The One Ring. Never before have I been so imbued with such awesome power! Never before have I belonged to such a wickedly evil Master!
My past is long and treacherous, though I shall not recount it now, for there is another at this Council, that cool but caustic elf, Agent Elrond, who knows the story better than I, for I have long slept.
Though strangely, the elf remains silent, thinking. The others assembled grow agitated. This excites me. The agitated are easy to manipulate. I shall speak to them, seduce them with the words of the Black Tongue:
Ash nazg durbatuluk,
Ash nazg gimbatul,
Ash nazg thrakatuluk,
Bibbidy bobbity boo!
You know what this movie really needs? It needs a few more closeups of me in somebody's hands.
Here I am on Sauron's hand, being evil, as usual...
And here I am on Isildur's hand, with icky bits of Sauron stuck to me...
Me on Gollum's hand -- he sure smelled bad...
Here Bilbo is about to flip me into the air, as though I were some sort of plaything ...
And finally, here I am revealing my letters and scaring the piss out of Casey Baggins.
Merry shot Pippin a look of warning. "Quiet Pip, you're going to get us caught!"
Pippin glanced at Merry shocked. "But ... but ... I didn't say anything!"
Merry's brow furrowed, then he shot Mikey that same look. "Damn it, Mikey! Will you stop wheezing on that blasted inhaler?!"
All Todd Greenleaf could think was: "Man, this Ring sure is nuts!"
He shifted in his chair and waited patiently for the Council to proceed. His eyes shot toward the bushes. "Why don't they just come out? Everyone knows they are there! I could hear that inhaler from a mile away! Ah well ... Hmmm ... I hope this wraps up soon, I'm hungry and I feel the need for a chilidog and a Bud," he thought.
Sallah glanced over at the Elven Private. Though the Middle-Eastern Dwarf was not one for the Americans, he had to agree with the Elf's mutterings. Sallah fanned himself with his Panama hat and made an effort to nod in agreement towards Pvt. Greenleaf.
"Great sands of Cairo! I could find the Holy Grail faster than this Council is moving! Those stupid Nazis are going to show up if we don't get going..." he murmured to himself, trying to hide his impatience.
He looked back at the Private and whispered, "You had better share that alcoholic beverage, Budweiser as you call it, when you get it, Private Elf."
Erik sighed. He despised beer with a passion. He hated the taste. Whenever he used to visit Saruman, it was all he ever had in the fridge and when he ran out, the Wizard-now-turned-Sith forced him to go on the beer run. As if he didn't have better things to do.
He glanced at the bushes again. He knew that there were eavesdroppers, but he honestly didn't care at this point.
He broke down and went for a Budweiser of his own. Now that they were getting into the dark stuff, he was going to need a drink.
He took no notice of the looks he was getting.
"Well I sure as hell am not going into all of this sober!"
He undid the cap and tossed it deliberately into the shrubbery.
The Bud cap hit the stone flooring behind the bushes, bounced a couple times and spun round a bit before coming to a rest in front of Mikey.
The hobbit picked up the cap and read it, astonished. "Budweezer! Guys, hey guys, they have beer!"
Pippin's eyes lit up and he gasped. "Merry! Look! They've got refreshments!"
"Pip, the last thing you need is ale back. Your breath is hard enough to bear as it is in this bush!"
"Do they have pints?" Pippin asked.
"No," Mikey said as he peeked through the leaves. "Just bottles. Or maybe that's a can over there. Oh, man, I sure could go for a Coors Lite right about now."
Merry sighed. He knew that Magneto, at least, was already aware of the hobbits' presence. These two bumblers were sure to give them away. "Here," he said, digging a couple silver pennies out of his wallet and handing them to Mikey. "If you want beer so bad, go buy us all some."
"But ... Mr. Casey ..."
"We'll keep an eye on him."
Grudgingly, Mikey scuttled away, muttering about how unfair it was he had to run all the errands just because he was the youngest. But soon he set his mind to finding beer. He knew there was a convenience store downstairs between the lobby and the Imladris gift shop; maybe he'd have some luck there. Maybe, he thought happily, he'd run into that elf girl, Andi -- er, Arwen. He knew she was too old for him -- much, much too old, like, a couple thousand years, but she was pretty to look at.
Pippin didn't want to wait on Mikey. He stared at Merry in thought ... then he grabbed his half of the bush-prop and looked at Merry in defiance, "I'm gettin' one!"
"Pippin! Pippin!" Merry whispered urgently as the wayward hobbit trotted off in his bush disguise to get a Bud all his own. Merry watched as he ran into stones and trees, knowing he would be caught. 'Damn it Pippin, I'm going to pluck your pedihairs for this!' he thought. Miraculously however, Pippin snuck behind Erik and took a can, and to Merry's surprise a second one as well. His eyes welled with tears; his little friend had gotten one for him! "Pip, you fool."
Pippin stumbled his way back to the hiding place and plopped next to Merry, who grabbed the can from him.
"Hey! What are you doing?" Pip said, shocked.
"You got me one, didn't you?"
"Well, no, I was planning to save that one for later..."
"Like I said, you got me one ... DIDN'T YOU?!" Merry said, glaring at him.
"Uh, yeah...of course..."
Pip sipped in the bushes with his back to all, hovering over his can much like the creature Gollum had over the One Ring. Merry gulped, watching the lack of events of the council.
Pvt. Greenleaf took a bottle and undid the cap and tossed it into the bushes where Erik had done so. "Maybe they'll come out, now that the beer is here," he thought, grinning.
He thought on Magneto's words of wisdom: "Well I sure as hell am not going into all of this sober!"
"Amen to that!" he said to Erik and took a swig of beer. "Aaahh, now that hits the spot!" He turned and looked at Sallah.
"Here ya go!" and he tossed him the Bud.
Sallah looked gratefully at the Elf. "May the suns of Cairo bless you..." he started, but quickly stopped as he took a swig off the beer. With a satisfied expression, Sallah lent back in his chair and tipped his hat over his round face. Private Greenleaf kicked him.
"Ahhh yes ... I must pay attention, mustn't I?" the dwarf muttered as he sat back up. "Leave to an Elven Council to provide beer and then not let you sleep ..."
Merry snickered in the bush, attempting not to laugh out loud. He looked around. "Hey, why isn't Mikey back yet?"
Erik sighed. The beer wasn't too bad, but he had always been more of a scotch man. It was a taste his good friend Charles the Lavender had helped him acquire back before they had a falling out. Bloody Christ, he was having falling-outs with everyone. Well, at least Charles had never forced him to watch "The Sound of Music," but he did have this awful addiction to infomercials that was just disturbing.
He giggled slightly, having heard the scuffle in the back. Poor kids, no beer for them! Well, then, maybe if he slipped them some they would get the hint and quiet it down.
Very discreetly, he used his mutation to quietly roll a couple of cans over to the lads. Now perhaps he wouldn't have to worry about any interruptions if they would get the hint.
What he wouldn't give for a good scotch ... Wait a minute ... He patted is front pocket, remembering something. Ah ha! He pulled out a flask, unscrewed it and took a sip, smiling as the burn went down.
A generous soul, he offered the flask to Sallah first.
"Much better than the cheap beer. This is true quality!" Then he laughed to himself.
Elsewhere, Saruman was going through his liquor cabinet growing increasingly frustrated. "Where's my damn scotch?"
Mikey finally made it down to the convenience store. The Last Homely House was certainly the biggest hotel he'd ever stayed in. Pausing only momentarily to glance at the covers of the dirty magazines on the top rack, he went to the cooler and picked up a couple packs. Then he picked up a third pack, just to be on the safe side.
The beer companies packaged their shipments to elven lands in small, elegant bottles, while hobbit
shipments came in large, utilitarian ones. It was probably the only product in Middle-Earth where marketing had discovered bigger was better for hobbits.
Mikey grabbed a Twix on the way to the counter. He couldn't believe his luck! Working at the cash register was the pretty elf girl! He was glad now he hadn't tried to sneak a dirty magazine. If she had caught him, he would have died of embarrassment.
"Hi, there An-- uh, Lady Arwen!" he spoke up shyly.
She smiled kindly at him. "Well, hello Mikey!" She turned her attention to what he'd laid on the counter and raised an eyebrow at him, looking at him with the same unnerving expression he'd seen so many times on her father's face. "Are you sure you're old enough to buy beer?"
"Old enough for a hobbit," he said. "And it's not all for me, you know," he added quickly, not wanting Arwen to think he was a lush. "Merry and Pippin sent me."
She nodded. "I might have known."
"So, have you ever heard of One-Eyed Willie, the pirate? I'm hoping to find his treasure, 'cause we really need the money or the Shire's going to be turned into a golf course."
Arwen shuddered. "Ai! Alas! for the poor Shire and its dear, simple folk!" she cried. Young elves can become overwrought sometimes. "My grandmother, Galadriel, spoke to me of a disastrous fate for your land, though she spoke of burning rather than sand pits and water hazards. And I have heard of One-Eyed Willie, though among elves he was known as a dragon, not a pirate."
"A ... dragon?" Mikey was no longer so certain he wanted to go looking for this rich stuff.
"Yes, well, you'd better be running along. Surely Merry and Pippin wonder where you are."
"Merry and Pippin! Of course!" Mikey hurriedly paid for the beer and Twix, absently setting the doubloon on the counter along with the silver pennies.
Arwen gasped when she saw it. "Do not give me this coin. I dare not take it, even to make change."
Mikey was scared. "Why? Is it evil?"
"No," she answered. "But we don't have a currency exchange for doubloons."
The hobbit sighed in relief and returned the coin to his pocket as he hurried back to the shrubbery.
Seeing all the hilarity going on around him, Agent Elrond broke his thoughts, continuing to rub his temples with his index fingers. He took a deep breath, passing an annoyed glace over all the attendants, and resituated his dark glasses upon his nose.
He couldn't believe that they'd broken out the beer so soon...what could he do to keep their attention now?! He had an idea...
He pulled together every ounce of nerve that he had and leapt up from his seat. He threw open his long robes to reveal a brightly colored mini-dress (think "Mitzi"). It was covered in sequins and rhinestones, which, hopefully, would reflect the afternoon sun and catch the attention of the council members.
Bwahahahaha! I'm an Evil Ring! I'm going to take over the world! They will never defeat me! I am INVINCIBLE! And sometimes INVISIBLE! Ha! I kill me! Hehehe -- What the HELL???
Magneto spit out his, er, Saruman's prize scotch. "Bleeding Christ, man..."
He shook his head, but took it in stride. He could have thought of a less flashy way to get back the order... wait, no, he wouldn't. He'd do something flashy, but not with clothing. He just didn't have the hips.
Merry and Pippin stared in complete shock. Pippin dropped his budwiser, letting it spill all over, forming a puddle all around the bush. It looked like a bush had even pissed itself laughing. Quite a sight!
Merry and Pip looked at eacher then stared back at Elrond then laughed, falling to the ground holding their stomachs and rolling in "Shrub Piss."
Mikey returned to the Council pavilion, arms laden with beer, just in time to be nearly blinded by the dazzling shimmer of Agent Elrond's dress. The look on his face only made Merry and Pippin sob in laughter. "What is he THINKIN'!!!" Merry forced out through his gut wrenching laughter. Pip just shook his head, tears spilling down his cheeks and laughed harder.
"That's an eye-opener, and no mistake!" he cried, a little too loudly for someone who was still under the impression the Council was not aware of his presence.
But he quickly ducked down into the shrubs, where he discovered that Merry and Pippin had already tossed a couple back.
"Hey! Why'd ya send me off if you already had beer? And where the heck d'ya get it, anyway?"
"Shut up, Mikey, Agent Elrond wants to say somethin'."
Sallah dropped his can of Budweiser onto the stone floor at the sight of Agent Elrond. "Send me to the gas chambers now!" he muttered, shielding his eyes. He was hungry and hot and, Gosh Darn It, he needed to go back and help Indiana Jones. "Tell us about this stupid Ring already!!" he shouted at the rest of the Council.
Prvt. Greenleafs eyes when wide and he spit out a mouthful of beer that he had been in his mouth.
"Hot damn! There is more to this elf than meets the eye! That's it, I need a vacation, and some more beer."
Boromir Sharpe had also succumbed to the temptation of beer. If those present had been a bit more professional, he would have held his thirst, but he had come to realise he was not only the highest-ranking person there, he was also the most sane. So, when the man supposedly in control of this affair revealed himself to be little more than a prancing queen with exceptional taste in clothing, he threw down his empty beer can in disgust.
"Bloody hell! What do you think you're doing man ... elf ... whatever you are ... how the hell are we going to come to any conclusions ... you call this the best way to wage a war? You can't even manage a proper pissup in an elf house! If you don't tell me something useful soon then I'm going to bed."
After Aragorn had drained nearly a whole case of beer all by himself, which also made him an extremely smug bastard, Agent Elrond flashed everyone his rhinestone number. After gaping for a few moments in a drunken haze, Aragorn just keeled right over into a sweet oblivion. Images of Elrond danced through his head.
All those stared at the desolate figure that now adorned the floor.
Magento just sighed.
"All right, Elrond," he grumbled. "Now that you shocked us, some of us perhaps a little too much, back to attention, can we get back to the blasted ring? Unless of course you would prefer I tell the story."
He shook his head. That image was burned into his brain... He drained half the flask then passed it over the Sallah who looked like he truly needed it. Then he elbowed the Private.
"After that," he whispered. "I'm going to need a whole bloody case."
Saruman was changing the channels on his palantir when he briefly came across the image of an elf in sunglasses and a rhinestone number.
"Holy shit!" he said, then passed out.
Just then, the Fudge Nazi regained consciousness and walked over to see what the fuss was, rubbing his sore head. He looked at the image once before switching the palantir off.
"Hey, I have that same outfit!"
Casy Baggins sat twirling the Ring in his hand when a flash caught his eye, pulling his gaze out of the dark clutches. He blinked hard and then jumped! Scared for his life! "Eep!" He tossed the ring up, the mere sight of Elrond frightening him.
"Agent Elrond, sir, what on earth are you doin'?!" He climbed up the back of the seat huddled in a corner. The Ring fell back and hit him on the head. He picked it out of his hair and then stared into it. The reflection Elrond came about for a moment and he shrieked again. He tucked it back in pocket before closing his eyes and looking about the Council. He glanced at the cooler holding the beer cases.
"Pardon sir, mind sharing some of that down this way? I don't like the mind of taking all this in sober anymore!" 'And I used to be such a good hobbit!' he thought to himself.
Erik sighed. He knew he shouldn't go off corrupting the youth (although Charles claimed he was always doing that), he opened up the cooler and handed the young hobbit a Bud.
"Here you go, my boy," he said, managing to walk to straight. He could hold his beer quite well, though he couldn't say that for the others hiding in the bushes, which he was two seconds away from. "We all need it now."
He glared at Elrond once.
"You are of course aware what you have done."
"Your shoes don't match!"
Agent Elrond slowly closed his robes and returned to his seat, a smirk of satisfaction replacing his look of disdain.
'I knew that would work...', he thought to himself, "but, what if they are so distracted by the vision of my wonderful body, that they don't pay attention, anyway?!' Elrond groaned. 'Dammit...'
He resituated himself in his chair and replaced his pleasant look with one of distaste, his trademark. He took a look around the half-circle of people situated in front of him...
'Ugh...how DID these people get picked to be sent here and, more importantly, what did I do to deserve this?!' He groaned again, feeling that, the sooner he got on with this council, the sooner he could get these putrid people out of his city.
"I know your minds are weak, so I have prepared a memo to explain to you the history of the One Ring," Agent Elrond said coldly. "Try to follow along."
He passed around photocopies.
DATE: 25 October 3018, Third Age
TO: The Council
FROM: Agent Elrond
REGARDING: The One Ring
CLASSIFICATION: TOP SECRET!
A brief summary of the history of the One Ring:
Forged by Sauron after the making of the 19 other rings
3 for Elves
7 for Dwarves
9 for Men
Last Alliance of Men and Elves defeats Sauron
Isildur takes One Ring as weregild for father's death
I try to convince foolish mortal relative to cast ring into cracks of Mount Doom
Foolish mortal relative refuses; Ring betrays Isildur to his death
Ring found by Deagol, protohobbit
Deagol murdered by Smeagol
Smeagol becomes creature known as Gollum
Ring leaves Gollum
Bilbo Baggins finds Ring
Ring bequeathed to Frodo Baggins
Here we are
SUMMARY: The Ring must be destroyed.
Pvt. Greenleaf looked over the memo one more time.
"Well, it is about time someone told us! Oh, and Elrond, you forgot to put 'Scaring us beyond all reason with that little sequined number.'"
He took another sip of his beer and shifted in his chair, then he noticed a tiny paper airplane float into the bushes where the easdroppers were hiding.
"I guess I'm not the only one who knows they are there. Unless Sauron has launched his attack. Or Saruman has sent Erik the bill to the mini bar of Isengard," he thought.
Erik cleared his throat slightly as he read it to himself. He looked up, slightly annoyed.
"You couldn't have just done this at the beginning, before we were all halfway hammered."
He looked down at Aragorn on the floor.
"Or all the way hammered."
He sighed to himself. He did remember the mention of the memo, but had never seen the previous draft. Radagast was probably stealing paper out of his box again. Either that or Manfred the Slightly Ecru was tossing out the mail on account of the rude, anonymous letters he had been getting lately.
He looked over the memo and shrugged, finishing off his beer. He nodded over to Pvt. Greenleaf.
"Pass me another, would you? After Master Elrond's little display, I need something to fuzz up my brain."
Pvt. Greenleaf nodded back to Erik and reached down to get nother cold one. He tossed it over and said, "I think our minds need to be fuzzed over and then some after that!" He eyed Agent Elrond.
He looked down at the heap passed out on the floor. Aragorn let out a small gurgle and drooled.
"Man I would never get that wasted! Oh well... maybe now, after seeing what Agent Elrond did." he shuddered at the thought of Agent Elrond in drag.
"Okay we got our memo, beer, now what? Poker?" he said with a grin.
A tiny little naked DEUS EX MACHINA streaked into the pavilion, whispered in Elrond's ear, and ran away again.
Agent Elrond scowled, trying to slap the weird little being way. "All right, already. Casey Baggins, bring forth the ring!"
What? No! Don't put me on that cold stone table! I was all nice and snuggly warm in this cute and terrified hobbit's hand! In fact, I was just about ready to take a nice little nap! If I'm going to dominate the world, I need my beauty rest, dammit!
From the bushes came a sneeze and a hiccup. Poor Mikey was at the mercy of both his allergies and the carbonation of the beer he'd downed much too quickly.
Erik opened up his next beer and raised an eyebrow at Aragorn then kept it up when he glanced at Elrond.
He hoped this would be quick. Here he had thought Rivendell to be such a quiet little place. Then again, he had been mistaken about Isengard. He just hoped Moria was still decent.
He waited for Frodo to put down the ring, rolling his eyes at the faint sound of allergies. It had to be Mikey Gamgee... He thought he had told the little git to refill his prescription before heading off. Damn it, no one listened to him.
Sallah stared blankly at the case of beer that Erik was now holding out to him. The dwarf held up a meaty hand.
"No more for me, Erik. I think I may need to be sober in case Agent Elrond tries something tonight." He shuddered and looked back at Agent Elrond, who was winking cheekily.
"On second thought, this would be too much for even a Nazi to take sober. Giver me that beer!"
Erik nodded. "With luck, the drink will burn the image out of our heads. And to think I had thought Saruman's interpretation of Scarlett O'Hara would be the thing to haunt my dreams..."
He shuddered, then tossed Sallah another.