This story was inspired by the television show "Lost", but no knowledge of the show is required. This story is your basic "shipwrecked on a perilous island" tale, starring some of our favorite LOTR characters.
This started out in my head as a "Lost"/LOTR crossover story, but it could be any tale of nine people (two Men, one Dwarf, one wizard, one Elf, and four hobbits) who have crash landed on a seemingly-deserted -- and possibly mysterious -- island. Yes, the thing that crashes is an airplane; AU is AU, after all. And this isn't remotely canon, either for LOTR or "Lost". Sam doesn't necessarily work for Frodo, he's just his best friend. This plane was a small one, not an airliner with 100 people. I don't know why these nine people were on the plane, or where they were going. The story just is... what it is. I'm having fun writing it, and I hope you enjoy reading it!
DISCLAIMER: Of course. The characters don't belong to me, I just get to think about them day and night.
Aragorn: A resourceful Ranger with a hidden past, possessing profound healing and tracking abilities.
Boromir: A proud young man, certain that his father is already organizing a rescue mission to find him.
Frodo: A hobbit -- perceptive, stubborn, and resilient -- who guards a valuable and magical Ring... which will begin to exert a subtle influence on at least one of his fellow castaways.
Gandalf: A wizard, one of the last of his kind. He suspects that this crash was no "accident".
Gimli: A Dwarf who is able to use his knowledge of metals to do many things -- including converting what's left of the airplane into a shelter, and crafting weapons.
Legolas: A compassionate young Elf who can commune with nature.
Pippin: A young and optimistic hobbit, away from home for the first time.
Merry: Pippin's best friend, expert at organizing supplies and using them to best advantage.
Sam: Frodo's best friend -- a practical hobbit who will do anything to keep Frodo safe, fed, and protected.
Chapter 1 -- Getting Acquainted
How had this happened? One moment the small plane was on course, flying smoothly in a clear sky, and the next... Aragorn turned in a slow circle, but the thick jungle was nearly impenetrable. There was no path or familiar landmark. He needed to get back to the plane (or what's left of it, he thought grimly) and see if there were any injured. Everything had happened so quickly. Surely Gandalf could tell them what...
Aragorn looked down to find a halfling standing in front of him. He had never been this close to one before the flight, but Gandalf had told him something of their ways. Innocent but with their own wisdom, practical yet carefree... The wizard had developed a strong interest in the Shire and its inhabitants recently, and Aragorn had begun to wonder why.
"Are you a Ranger? I mean, you're dressed like one, and all."
"I am," Aragorn replied, crouching down.
"You folks know about healing, don't you? Gandalf says so."
"I have had some training in the healing arts," Aragorn responded. He looked the halfling up and down. He was a bit stocky, with brown eyes and light brown hair, and his shirt was bloodstained. "How badly are you injured?"
"Not me, but my friend. Frodo's hurt, and..." The halfling tugged on Aragorn's tunic, with a strength that surprised the Man. "Won't you please come?"
Aragorn nodded, and followed the little one back through the trees. "What is your name, halfling?"
"Sam," the little one replied. "And we like to be called hobbits, if you don't mind."
"I am Aragorn, Sam." The Man had to walk quickly to keep up with the hobbit, who was trotting quickly and surely through the tangled jungle growth. He followed Sam back to the beach, and quickly surveyed the scene. An Elf and Gandalf were standing together, and the Elf was pointing into the jungle as he spoke. Aragorn wondered if the Elf could speak the Common Tongue, or would need a translator in order to communicate with the hobbits and the Dwarf... assuming, of course, that he wanted to communicate with the Dwarf. Said Dwarf was busy, pulling towards a grassy glade what had to be very heavy pieces of the plane. It looked as if a rough shelter was taking place next to a freshwater spring, for which Aragorn was grateful. A hobbit, well dressed and with hair a bit darker than Sam's, was assembling blankets, food, and drinks into neat piles, while two other hobbits lay on a nearby blanket. A Man was stalking back and forth, holding his left arm and scowling at the remains of the plane -- but otherwise doing nothing useful.
"Over here, sir," Sam said, leading the Ranger to the blanket containing the two hobbits. One of them, very young to Aragorn's eyes, sat up a bit shakily and eyed the big Man with alarm. Someone had wrapped a cloth about his head, and it appeared to Aragorn that he had been crying. Aragorn sat down on the blanket and smiled encouragingly.
"Fear not, young one," Aragorn said softly. "I will not harm you. I will help, if I can. Just let me see to your friend first."
"I'm all right," the young hobbit declared, wiping his eyes. "I'm Pippin. My head just hurts a little. Merry fixed it."
"Good, good," Aragorn said, his full attention going to the fourth hobbit. This one was also well dressed, with hair much darker than the others'. He appeared to be about as young as the one called Pippin, with enormous blue eyes that mirrored both pain and fear. Blood was soaking through a shirt wrapped around his right leg, and he looked dangerously pale.
"You must be Frodo," Aragorn said, keeping his voice very calm and quiet. "I am Aragorn; I am trained as a healer." Without waiting for permission, he gently unwrapped the makeshift bandage. "Sam," he said quickly, "I'm going to need fresh water and clean bandages. See if..." He motioned to the hobbit salvaging supplies. "Is that Merry? See if he has located any medical equipment. And my pack should be somewhere around; I have herbs and salves we may need. If it can't be found, I will take the Elf and search the area for plants that will be useful for healing."
"His name is Legolas," Frodo whispered. "We spoke together a little."
"You speak Elvish, Frodo?" Aragorn asked in amazement. "Thank you, Sam," he said, accepting the bowl of clean water and a length of bandage material.
"A bit," Frodo said, wincing as the Ranger began cleaning the deep gash in his leg. "He's from Mirkwood. Bilbo told us all about..." He closed his eyes. "I'm so dizzy."
"Shhh," Aragorn murmured. "There will be plenty of time to talk, later on. Your leg is badly cut, but I do not see any---"
"Ranger," came a loud, rough voice, "do not use up all your medicines on these halflings. I am also injured."
"I will see to you shortly," Aragorn said, carefully wrapping fresh bandages around Frodo's leg.
"Shortly!" the Man said incredulously. "Do you know who I am?"
"You bear the White Tree upon your tunic," Aragorn replied. "You are of Gondor."
"I am Gondor," the Man declared. "My father is Steward."
"There now," Aragorn smiled at Frodo, "that should hold. I will see what I can find to help with the pain."
"Thank you, sir," Frodo murmured. "Pippin, are you all right? Where's Sam?"
"I'm fine," the young hobbit said tremulously. "Don't worry about me, Frodo."
"I'm here," Sam said, coming back from the salvage pile. "Merry found some pillows." He gently lifted Frodo's head and slid a pillow beneath it.
"Let me check you over, Pippin," Aragorn said. "And Sam, see that Frodo rests, and drinks plenty of water. Luckily, we have an abundance of fresh water nearby. We must guard against---"
"I'm right here, Aragorn," Frodo interrupted. "You do not need to speak around me."
Aragorn grinned, glad to see that the hobbit's spirit was strong. "Quite right. My apologies, Frodo."
"Sir," Sam asked, "what happened? Where are we?"
"I do not know," Aragorn sighed. "Perhaps Gandalf will be able to tell us."
Aragorn unwound the cloth from around Pippin's head and looked at the fabric curiously. It was of the finest make, with the White Tree embroidered onto one corner.
"Boromir gave it to me on the plane," Pippin explained. "He's really nice, I think he just likes to pretend to be grumpy."
Aragorn smiled, not surprised that the charming halflings (hobbits, he corrected himself) had brought out a side of the Steward's proud son that was probably rarely seen. He ran careful fingers through the golden-brown curls; Pippin had a rather large bump on his head, but there was no bleeding. He wrapped the cloth gently around the hobbit's head once again.
"Are you injured anywhere else, Pippin?" the Ranger asked. "Is Merry hurt?"
"I'm all right, just a little dizzy like Frodo." Pippin reached out to squeeze Frodo's hand, and Frodo smiled up at him.
"I'm fine, sir," Merry said, coming to join them. "Thank you for caring for my cousins. How are they?"
"They both need rest," Aragorn replied. "I would like to carry them over to that fine shelter the Dwarf is building, and out of the hot sun. May I?" Frodo and Pippin both nodded, and Aragorn lifted Frodo gently. The injured hobbit gasped in pain, and clutched tightly to the Ranger's tunic. "I will have you settled in a moment, Frodo," Aragorn said as Sam raced ahead to lay down a blanket. As he approached the shelter, Aragorn nodded at the Dwarf.
"You have done wonders, my friend," Aragorn said appreciatively. "I am Aragorn, and this is Frodo. And Sam."
"I am Gimli, son of Gloin," the Dwarf bowed slightly, and motioned to the makeshift shelter. "I can do little with these fragile metals, but---"
"Little?" Sam asked incredulously. "This is wonderful, sir." He helped Aragorn settle Frodo onto the waiting blanket. "I didn't know that any folk were this strong."
The Dwarf bowed again, then drew Aragorn aside. "Our situation is dire, Aragorn. Do you know where we are?"
"I do not," Aragorn sighed. "I have one more injured hobbit to bring, then we shall consult with Gandalf." He brought Pippin over and settled the young hobbit next to Frodo just as the Elf -- Legolas -- joined them. Ignoring the Ranger, Legolas knelt and smiled down at Frodo.
"How do you fare, Frodo?"
"I'll be fine," Frodo insisted.
"Does he speak truly?" Legolas looked at Aragorn, and switched to Elvish. "These little ones do not look well."
"Hmmph," Frodo muttered, "little ones."
"I am sorry, Frodo," Legolas said to him, returning to Westron. "I forgot that you understand my language." He looked at Sam, puzzled. "Are you well, Samwise?"
"Yes sir," Sam said, blushing. "I've just never been this close to a real Elf before. It's like a storybook come to life."
Legolas smiled, then lay a cool hand on Frodo's forehead. The injured hobbit sighed and closed his eyes, the lines of pain on his face smoothing out a bit.
"I am Aragorn," the Ranger introduced himself. "Frodo tells me that you are Legolas... of Mirkwood?"
It was obvious to Aragorn that Legolas was uneasy being this close to a Dwarf. But it wasn't just the presence of Gimli that was causing the Elf distress. Legolas's eyes kept straying to where the gentle waves met the sand, and wincing as if in pain.
"Are you injured?"
The Elf shook his head. "You have no herbs that can heal my ailment, Aragorn. Do not be concerned."
"You have not heard the Sea before now," Aragorn said quietly. "This might be difficult for you."
"How do you know of that?" Legolas asked in astonishment.
"I was raised in Rivendell," Aragorn explained. "I know."
"Rivendell..." Legolas's eyes grew wide with comprehension. "Then you must be---"
"I am a Ranger, and nothing more," Aragorn said quickly. "That is all that needs to be said at this time."
"If you wish."
"Will you stay with the hobbits?" Aragorn asked. "I wish to speak with Gandalf, then see to the Man of Gondor's injuries. Perhaps you and I can explore the area soon, and try to discern our whereabouts. There may be game trails, edible fruits, or plants that can assist us."
Aragorn motioned to Gimli, and he and the Dwarf strode to where the wizard stood alone on the shore, gazing out to Sea.
Legolas, his hand still gently stroking Frodo's forehead, frowned. With his free hand, he felt Sam's brow, then Merry's.
"What are you doing?" Merry asked.
"I wish to determine what is normal for a hobbit," Legolas explained. "Frodo seems warm."
"I'm fine," Frodo insisted again. "Everything needs to just stop spinning."
"I agree with you," Pippin sighed, closing his eyes. "Too much spinning."
"Come on, Sam," Merry said, exchanging a worried look with Sam. "I salvaged everything I could find -- let's bring everything under the shelter and start getting organized." He looked up at the sky and frowned. "We might be in for a bit of weather."
-- TBC --