"If we ever get back, I'll never complain about the mile run in P.E. again," Marco complained as he trudged along, trying to keep up with the Fellowship. They had been walking, across plains, up hills, without stopping, since the Fellowship had left that morning. "Tell me again, why aren't we just morphing birds?" he demanded.

"Because," Jake explained, "We're still not too familier with this world and we'd be safer staying closer to the Fellowship. Besides," he added with a grin, "Walking's good excercise, Marco."

Marco fake-punched his best friend playfully. "Is that supposed to hint somthing?" he demanded. "Anyways, just watch Legolas. He doesn't look like he's having much trouble." Legolas hopped lightly from stone to stone, pausing slightly to obseve the trail ahead.

Meanwhile, Boromir frowned as he watched the animorphs. They looked so young, hardly older than the hobbits, and why should they be trusted. He was espescially suspicous of the Andalite, or whatever that creature was called. "How do we know these people are not of the enemy?" he said quietly to Aragorn, who was walking alogside him.

Aragorn shrugged. "I trust Lord Elrond enough to respect his decision on them. Besides, they've had plenty of chances to attack us already, and with the power they showed us yesterday, they'd be able to hold up a fair fight."

"They hardly look older than the hobbits," he protested." Is it wise to bring children along on such a dangerous quest?"

Aragorn watched them, his quick grey eyes missing nothing. "They may be young," he said carefully, "but I can see on their faces that they've fought many a battle. I think that they will be able to hold their own in a fight."

Of course we can, otherwise we wouldn't still be alive If hawks could smile, Tobias would have smiled at the look of suprise on both the men's faces. Don't forget. These hawk ears are much more acute than human ears.

Aragorn laughed. "You're as bad as Legolas, or any elf for that mater," he smiled. "I shall have to remember that you could be listening, friend."

Legolas, from his position on an outcropping of rocks, laughed. You've learned that lesson many times with me, mellon nin." Mellon nin, Tobias thought to himself. I like the sound of that.

Later, when the Fellowship had set up camp for a break, Tobias asked Legoals what it meant.

"It is the word of my people for our best friend," he had explained. "the way it has been explained to me, it is someone you'd trust with anything, like Aragorn and myself."

Tobias was slightly surprised. Ax's people will call their best friend their "shorm". The way he explained it to me, "shorm" is their word for "tailblade" The idea is that it's a friend you trust so much that they could hold their tailblade against your throat and you wouldn't even be worried. Tobias paused. That's what Ax and I are.

Legolas smiled. "You see," he said, "already we find similarities between our people. Lord Elrond was correct in thinking that we are really not that different."

Then why do some of them still distrust us, he asked bitterly.

Legolas's eyes filled with regret. "You must have heard what Boromir said," he said. "Try to understand. In these times we've already been betrayed by who we thought were our allies. Such as the wizard Saruman, who Gandalf thought to be a friend. He barely escaped with his life. It's hard to know who to trust," Legolas sighed, "As the captin of Gondor, Boromir has already seen much war and death. It is not against you and your friends personally."

I understand. We can't even trust those we love anymore. Anyone could be controlled by a yeerk and we wouldn't be able to tell the difference. And we've already had to deal with this kid who turned out to be a traitor, which was not pleasant. Tobias said dryly.

"Those situations never are," Legolas said emphatically. He looked up, scanning the horizon worriedly.

"What is that?" Cassie asked, noticing the elf staring intently at the skyline.

Gimli looked up. "Nothing," he replied gruffly, "Just a wisp of cloud."

"It's moving fast," Boromir said, worriedly, "Against the wind..." Legolas's sharp eyes, along with Tobias's raptor vision, finally picked out what the black form really was.

"Crebian from Dunland!" Legolas shouted.

Aragorn's eyes widened in shock and fear. "Hide," he shouted to the Fellowship. The whole campsite instantly began to disappear, everyone rushing to put everything away and get into hiding. Ashes and dirt were kicked over the campfire, and everyone dove behind the rocks, hiding from the view of all.

Moments later, a flurry of black crow-like creatures tore through the now deserted campsite, searching for the Fellowship who were actually right beside them, hidden by the rocks.