I've decided to write something totally self-indulgent. Oddly enough, this is based on a weird dream I had. This probably isn't an original concept, but hopefully it's a little bit of a different take on the idea.

As always I own no characters.

A missing scene from Return of the King.

Return of the Matrix **

Merry Brandybuck and Peregrin Took sat in the ruined stores of Isengard, smoking away quite happily. They dripped their toes in the chilly flood wash-off and watched Treebeard and his kin make a final end to Saruman's stronghold. Occasionally they giggled inanely at their good fortune. Isengard was defeated. certainly that meant they'd be going back to the shire soon. Certainly it couldn't take Frodo too much longer to get rid of that ring, now that Saruman and his Orcs were defeated.

"We gotta figure out how to keep this pipeweed dry," Pippin pointed out as he weaved back and forth from his place atop a wooden wine barrel. "So's we have it to keep."

"And those apples," Merry said greedily. "We'll haveta pack 'em in real good with our stuff. But they won't keep long, so we'll haveta make sure we pack 'em on TOP of the salted fish." He took a long drag upon his pipe, feeling lightheaded at the thought of having these luxuries close at hand.

Pippin pulled his pipe from his mouth, and began looking in the wooden crates behind him. "I think I saw eggs of some kind here. They were big."

Light suddenly erupted around them, like dawn breaking furiously. Pippin spun around and squinted at the figure in front of them, as the light died away.

"Lord Elrond?" Merry asked.

Pippin leaned forward on his barrel. Elves were such strange creatures, but he'd never known them to be able to appear and disappear at will. Then again, he'd never really known many elves. He looked the guy up and down. "Don't you look dapper." It wasn't exactly elvish wear, but it was black with a white undershirt peeking through. It looked like something a respectable hobbit might wear, almost. The lines of the tailoring were very sleek. And he had some strange eye coverings. "Merry, doesn't he look dapper?"

"What is this place? What part of the Matrix is this?" Elrond asked with uncharacteristically hard r sounds.

"Matrix?" Merry asked, only half-paying attention. It was, of course, polite to share, so he dug out some pipeweed. "Do you want some? It's the best pipeweed from the Shire. Which is, of course, the best anywhere."

Pippin noticed that Elrond was glancing around, a stern look clenching his jaw. "I don't think he wants any," he whispered to his friend. "I don't think elves smoke." He had no idea where Elrond would keep a pipe upon him, in that getup.

"You don't know what you're missing," Merry informed him, taking another long, sweet drag from his pipe.

Elrond looked first at the water he was standing in, and then out through the cracked ruins of the stone storehouse to the mountains and the pink mid- morning light mingling with the blue sky of day. He unclasped his hands from behind his back, and stared at them. "I was defeated. Mr. Anderson defeated me, and I was consumed by the Oracle."

"Defeated?" Pippin asked with interest. "You were in battle too? Who-or what is Mr. Anderson?"

"Where is Mr. Anderson?" Elrond asked, again with those strange harsh R's.

"Should we know where he is?" Pippin asked, trying to figure out what was going on. He seldom knew, and knew even less after smoking half a barrel of pipeweed. But he felt he should make an honest effort. "I don't think he passed this way. There was a flood, and we washed out all the Orcs, but you can ask Treebeard and the Nths if they have seen him, since they have a better view. Or maybe you don't want to. Treebeard's a tad put-off at the moment."

"I was destroyed by my mother." Elrond said vaugly. He removed his eye coverings and slipped them inside of his coat.

"Your mother's working for Sauron?" Pippin asked. That was lousy news. And a tough break.

"I thought Lady Galadrial was his mother," Merry said with concern.

"The Oracle." Elrond continued. His eyes appeared glazed over. "This must be a pocket in the Matrix. The place where deleted programs go. Or perhaps I am beyond the Matrix." he thought upon this for a few moments, then turned to face the hobbits with a very stern look about him. "Inane little creatures," he began loudly. "Can you, or can you not tell me where this place is?"

Pippin blinked twice. "Uh. Middle Earth?"

"Isengard?" Merry asked simultaneously.

"Well, which is it?" Elrond asked angrily.

The two hobbits looked at each other with wide eyes and shrugged.

"So," Pippin began. "During that there battle, did you take any knocks to the head?"

Elrond looked up to the sky, his face twisting in pain, "Surely this is Hell!"

"Nope," Merry responded, picking up an apple and taking a bite. When he spoke, he talked around his food. "Definitely Isengard." He chewed twice then swallowed. "Elrond. what happened to your hair?"

Pippin hopped off of his barrel, and down the stacks of food. He trounced through the water, walking a tight circle around the man in the strange attire. He paid close attention to back of his neck, and his ears. Coming around to his front, he tugged twice on his jacket, and felt the smoothness of the fine fabric. "Wait a second. he's not Elrond!" Pippin declared.

Agent Smith glared at him in loathing.

END SCENE