The barracks of Lothlórien's army were standard; each room included two beds, two desks, a small bookshelf, a closet, and a telephone.  You may think that there were no telephones in Middle-Earth, but it was a well-guarded secret of Tolkien's that the technology of that era was beyond that of now.  That being beside the point, the room that this story starts in was no different than any other barrack.

            The doorknob to that room turned slowly.  In walked an elf; her movements calm and stately.  She leaned a little on the carved wooden staff she carried in her hand, and her breathing was slightly hard.  Her long, loose bright yellow hair swept around her ankles with every step.  Her blue long-sleeved shirt under her sleeveless leather tunic matched her glittering sky-blue eyes perfectly, and her brown pants tucked neatly into her knee-length worn brown boots.  She tucked one of a pair of twin braids, one on either side of her head, behind one of her long, pointy ears.

            As she sat down on her bunk, a green blur zoomed into the room at lightning speeds.  It literally bounced off all four walls and the ceiling before coming to a rest on the other bed.  A small, slender elf with sparkling blue-violet eyes giggled and pulled off her boots.  She wore a light green shirt and a pair of dark green trousers.  Below her knees and elbows she had a loose wrap of brown linen over her clothes.  Her bouncy golden hair was drawn back into two high buns and a ponytail reaching down to her knees.

            The first elf rested her staff against the wall.  "Amai, calm down and get some sleep.  We have another battle practice at Mirkwood tomorrow morning."  Her soft voice was like a cool, quiet ocean breeze on a summer's day.  "Wake me up when it's time."  With that she began to get ready for bed.

            "Another one?  And you know you'll be up before me, Lilith."  Amai's high, energetic voice was a bubbling forest stream glinting in the sunlight.  She slipped her quiver of gold-fletched arrows onto the ground beside her bed.  A short, sharp dagger soon followed.

            Lilith nodded.  "Yes, I probably will.  But if we're late it's not my fault."

            She got no answer.  Her friend was already sleeping.  Lilith shook her head and soon joined her in slumber.

            It seemed that she had only slept for mere minutes, but by the clock on the wall, it was exactly five minutes until they had to be at Mirkwood.  Lilith opened her eyes fully and jumped out of bed.

            "Amai!  Amai, wake up!  We're late!"

            She got no response out of the elf excepting "I'll have a bit more sugar with that."  She grabbed a half-full bucket of cold water and threw the contents on her friend.

            She awoke, spluttering.  "What the…hey!  That's cold!"

            Lilith glared at her.  "We are going to be late if you don't move yourself!  Hurry and get in your battle uniform!"

            Amai changed as quickly as she could; she stashed her dagger in her boot and shouldered her quiver.  She grabbed a bow from above the door and faced Lilith.

            Her friend had also armed up; a bow was clenched tightly in her left hand and the crystal-tipped staff was in her right.  A small, sheathed dagger was thrust in her belt.  Lilith's blue eyes glittered coldly with anticipation for the battle.  "Are you ready to go?" she asked.

            "On to Mirkwood!" answered Amai.  "But how will we get there?  It's a very long trip, and if we don't get there in two minutes, the captain will have our hides."

            Lilith held out her staff.  The crystal began to glow a soft blue.  "Hold on to the staff."

            Amai gripped it nervously.  She wasn't very comfortable with magic of any sort, even when she knew that her friend had a very good control over it.

            There was a blue-white flash of light, and they were gone.