Alcarinquë Day 7
After the Immunity Challenge
"I think I may have seen a fruit tree in the forest back there. Frodo, Arwen, follow me for a moment."
Legolas motions them into a small grove of what resemble dead Christmas trees more than any kind of fruit-bearing plant. Arwen, knowing that Elves aren't nearly that ignorant about forestry, shoots him a bewildered glance.
Pulling them closer, Legolas whispers, "We need to talk about tribal council."
You can almost see the word Ohhh… sink into Frodo's and Arwen's brains.
"Last time," the Elf goes on, "I voted for Gollum along with Sam, but I think we really ought to get rid of the Nazgûl before anyone dies."
"I'm with you on that one," Frodo agrees. "I'll tell Sam and Sméagol."
Legolas trades a surreptitious glance with Arwen before saying, "No. Not Gollum. Just… talk to Sam. We know he, at least, can be trusted. Arwen, I'm assigning you to tell Éowyn. It would be too suspicious if I saw more phantom food."
They quickly return to the others, who have been waiting in edgy anticipation, trying to figure out whether a little bit of fruit is worth getting smashed into a pulp by a Ringwraith. They're pretty sure the undead don't eat, but who really wants to take the chance?
"Sorry. I was wrong," Legolas apologizes, hardly needing to act since he feels awful for getting their hopes up.
"No…" Sam groans. "I would kill for some taters right about now…"
"So would I," Frodo agrees.
Sam glances over at Gollum for a moment too long, then back at Frodo.
"Let's eat him."
"No!" Frodo protests, a little too quickly. Seeing all eyes suddenly on himself, he adds, "He may be despicable, but it's still cannibalism. There's nothing but skin and bones on him anyhow."
Éowyn looks skeptical.
"It's hardly cannibalism. He resembles a frog more than anything else."
Gollum hisses angrily, glaring at each of them in turn.
"We ought to be eating the hobbitses… Ssso fat and juicy…."
"You can't tell me that's not disturbing," Sam says, pulling Frodo aside.
"That's why he has a horse all to himself," Frodo reminds him. "Don't worry, Sam, I'm not saying I trust him."
"Good." Then in a whisper, Sam adds, "Vote him off."
Frodo shakes his head, and says even more quietly, "No, we're voting for the Nazgûl. It's already been decided."
Sam almost objects, but he sees in Frodo's eyes that the Witch-king's presence still causes him a considerable amount of pain, and decides for his master's sake that it's probably better this way.
Even if it means Gollum gets off easy yet again.
Tribal Council—West Moria Gate
"Hey guys! Glad to be back?" Jessica greets Alcarinquë cheerfully, somehow failing to notice that they're all staring fearfully at the lake behind them.
"No," Sam replies. "What kind of a question is that?"
"A polite one. Now, have a seat and let's talk."
They all sit down with their backs against the side of the steep cliff-face. Even Legolas decides he'd rather sit within a mile of Jessica than be eaten by a kraken.
But only barely.
"Super! So, who thinks they're gonna get voted off?"
Not one hand goes up.
"Okay… who thinks someone hates their guts?"
Sam, Gollum, and Éowyn raise their hands. After several not-so-subtle glances from every single person in the room, camera crew included, the Witch-King also raises his iron-gloved hand.
"So it's probably one of you guys then, don't you think?"
"Is that a threat?" the Nazgûl hisses, drawing his sword.
"Hey! We already took that away!" the hostess yelps.
"Obviously, he has another one," Legolas points out.
The Ringwraith suddenly swings his blade at Jessica's platinum-blonde head, but Legolas does a complicated move to divert the attack. The security guys take action now that they think it might be slightly safer. They all jump on the Witch-King's back, and since there are twenty of them now, they succeed in tackling him. Strangely, nobody thinks to grab one of the tiki-torches, even though fire is just about the only thing proven to work against the Ringwraiths. Oh well.
Jessica just gapes at Legolas.
"You saved my life!"
Looking away, he says reluctantly, "I noticed."
"Well, yeah, I… but..." she stutters, "I thought you hated me!"
"There is no one who walks this earth that I hate enough to allow them to be killed by one of the Nazgûl."
"I think I'll just take that as a compliment," she says to herself. "So anywhoooo, let's vote now, okie-day?"
"Could you maybe speak normally?" Sam asks.
"Umm, heck no. Legolas, you're up first." She sits back, takes out a bottle of "death-by-bubblegum" pink nail polish, and starts painting her nails while she waits.
They all vote, cool music, suspense, la dee da, and Jessica reads the votes off.
"One vote for the Witch-King."
To the shock of everyone who automatically flinches, the hooded figure shows no reaction.
"…One vote for Legolas."
The Elf sits up straighter. Is that the Nazgûl's vote, or is he being betrayed?
"…Another for the Witch-King. And…" Jessica tilts her head back and rolls her eyes upward in an exasperated-supermodel-y pose. "Kayla, get over here."
Kayla smirks and obeys.
"It says," the younger girl announces, milking the moment for more poor cows than it could ever be worth, "'the Ringwraith'."
"Yeah. I prob'ly coulda guessed that," Jessica quips irritably as she reaches for the next slip of paper. Her face screws itself up into a pretty pout. "Ugh. Read this one too."
"It says, 'Witchy'."
"Oh, how cute! My nickname for him! Ooh, I love nicknames!" Jessica squeals, all bad attitude instantly forgotten.
"Okay, we have enough freaks here without you becoming one," Kayla says, cocking an eyebrow.
"Yeah, sorry, I know what you mean," Jessica agrees.
"I was actually talking to the cameraman. He was imitating you."
Jessica just nods, before the insult finally sinks in.
"Hey! You meanie! I'm not a freak!"
The Alcarinquë tribe laughs hysterically.
"You know what? You're all meanies! Do you want me to read these votes or not?"
"Not particularly," Sam replies.
"Well, I'm going to anyways. So shut up. Okay, the next vote is for the—"
"Um, a question if you don't mind: How can it say 'Witchy' if it's in Elvish?" Frodo interrupts. "The previous one, I mean."
"Do I look like a dictionary to you? No, I didn't think so. So can we please just get on with this before Christmas comes?"
Too late, she remembers they've never heard of Christmas.
"Oh, I'm going to need sooo much candy when this show is over…" she mumbles to herself, massaging her temples. Slowly, she regains her composure and tries once again to read the vote she just finished crumpling in her hand during her minor breakdown.
"Okay. This vote is for the Witch-King. That makes four. Four is more than half of seven, right?"
She sees the look of diabolically pleased disbelief on Kayla's face and takes that as her answer.
"Witchy, the tribe has spoken. Bring me your torch. Security guys, let him up."
They do, and the Ringwraith abruptly draws another sword.
"Man, how did he get through the metal detector without it going off?" Kayla wonders aloud.
"It uh… mysteriously malfunctioned that day," someone on the crew admits sheepishly.
Seeing that no one is taking action, Éowyn sneaks up behind the Witch-King and pries the sword from his hand.
He takes another one out.
"How many do you have?" Jessica cries out in shock, subtly inching farther away even though that would be entirely useless if he actually meant to kill her.
"I did have nine, but now I only have six."
"Security! Or preferably the Secret Service… It would be really nice if you'd do something right about now… Otherwise we're all gonna die… And I don't wanna die…" Jessica calls to no one in particular, nervously combing her hair with her fingers and noticing belatedly that her nails are still drying.
But all the security people were nowhere to be seen, all of them either on the way to request more back-up or a large raise in their salaries.
Eventually, one short guy with a purple Mohawk and thirteen earrings in one ear shows up.
"You're the only one?" Jessica asks, confused.
"Fear not! I am a white-belt, and I shall accomplish with flying colors all that you can ask!" he announces proudly.
"Ooh, does that mean you know karate?" she asks, intrigued enough to forget about the rather immediate threat.
"Well, almost. Sort of. I suppose you could interpret it that way, if you like," he replies nervously, which might as well mean 'no'.
"And why flying colors? That's lame. How 'bout flying pink parakeets?"
"Sure," he says, and then regains his former bravado. "I shall succeed with flying pink parakeets!"
"Super! If this guy dressed in all icky black robes tries to kill anyone with his six swords, stop him. 'Kay?"
"You know, do some cool-looking kung-fu." Jessica does a very bad impression of a karate chop, which looks a lot more like someone petting a cabbage with three broken fingers.
"But… I'm not in kung-fu. I'm in Wado-kai. And I just started."
Jessica finally starts to get suspicious. "What do you mean 'just started'? Like when?"
"Umm, let's see… maybe five minutes ago? Five and a half? All I can do so far is step and punch."
"Oh. Well that's still more than I could learn in a lifetime," she laughs, somehow reassured by that answer. "So please be quiet now and get ready now. I'm gonna tell him he's voted off the show."
The poor guy starts sweating.
"Witchy-worth Bobkins the Third, the tribe has officially spoken."
Jessica grabs his torch herself and blows it out before the Ringwraith has time to process the highly strange name she called him.
"Bye-bye!" she calls, only after running and hiding behind a couple rows of camera crew.
Then the Witch-King screams.
It sends chills shooting up the spines of everyone within earshot, and there's a weird little blurb where the guy holding the microphone tries to plug one of his ears with it.
Finally, the rest of the security guys come back armed with machine guns and flamethrowers, and the Ringwraith decides he should probably go.
There's a collective sigh of relief as his black cloak that somehow eerily doesn't swish fades into the shadows of the hallway Boromir was sent down last time.
Then Alcarinquë heads back to their adorable snoring horsies.
(No, not of the whole thing. I just thought it was a more melodramatic end to a chapter.)
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