Title: Rewriting Time
Author: Ainu Laire
Rating: T, PG-13
Genre: Action/Adventure, Humor
Summary: Something has gone terribly wrong, and the events at the end of the Third Age are different than how they were meant to be. Old and new friends come together and try to correct the problem before history becomes rewritten permanently. Sequel to 'The Writer's Mind'.
A/N: CURSE THESE PLOT BUNNIES!
Right. Well, here's the sequel. Updates will come... whenever I remember. I am not an expert on Middle-earth geography, nor travel speeds, but I try to keep to it as much as possible. If you spot a mistake, please inform me!
July 2008: Yes, I got back to this. I finished it and the rest will be posted soon. I started this when I was much younger, so the writing quality may not be what you see in my more recent writings.
When I started this so many years ago, I asked for people in one of my Yahoo groups to volunteer their names, looks, and a little bit of their personality for this story. They all became Brittany's friends. Most of those who helped are grown up now and most have left the fandom, but I feel that now I should acknowledge them. Thank you all for your small input and, of course, your names to help me make the OCs. Naturally as only small parts of their personality are incorporated, a lot of it I made up myself. Special thanks to Lena, an older woman in the fandom who lent me her name and let me change her personality drastically.
Mandy and Brittany are completely my own creation. The OCs not mentioned above are completely my own, names included. And, of course, the canon characters belong to Tolkien.
"Up on your feet, tark!"
Aragorn groaned as he felt a foot connect with his abdomen, and he slowly got to his feet. The orc who had kicked him grew impatient and pulled him up by his hair. Aragorn gave the foul beast a glare, and it merely spat at the man and walked away.
He looked to Legolas, who was also on his feet. The elf did not look good at all. He had a nasty gash on his arm that had just stopped bleeding a few hours ago; however, it was dirty and if it wasn't cleaned it would soon become infected. He also saw that the elf had a slight limp, even though it was unnoticeable to the untrained eye. Of course, if he told him all of his concerns, Legolas would only raise an eyebrow and probably say something akin to: 'You are not looking well yourself.'
'And of course, he would be right,' thought Aragorn with a small sigh. Indeed, his head was still throbbing from the numerous blows that had brought him down in the first place, and his shoulder and chest were burning.
As the two marched south, Aragorn let his mind wander… back to only a day ago. Only a day. It seemed so much longer than a day. Who would have thought that so much can go wrong in one day?
The Fellowship had reached Amon Hen, just as planned. There, they discussed where they would head next… where the Ring would go. He had promised that he would go with Boromir to Minas Tirith, but now that Gandalf was gone, he had become the unexpected leader of the Company; was it not his duty to stay with the Ringbearer?
Then the Ringbearer had requested an hour for himself; of course he granted it, for this decision was a heavy burden for anyone to decide. Well, maybe his permission had saved Frodo's life… he dearly hoped so.
For after Frodo left, Legolas had suddenly tensed. He had barely time to shout a warning when orcs came through the trees, weapons raised. Neither he nor Legolas have any idea how they came unnoticed by anyone; they could only assume that some type of black magic had blocked the Enemy from their senses until it too late.
Aragorn had sent the hobbits and Boromir to Frodo, and though all were loath to leave them, they did, realizing that they needed to protect the Ringbearer. Legolas, Gimli, and he had fought the enemy long and hard, and many fell at their feet.
But then Gimli fell. He still did not know if the stout dwarf survived the blow, but his fall proved their downfall.
Legolas had cried in fury and his actions were fast and relentless, yet not precise. His only concern was to get to his friend. Because he was distracted by the dwarf's body, though, an orc managed to sneak upon him and bring him down. Once he was down, it was but a moment before Aragorn had fallen as well.
And now two of the three warriors were the orc's captives. He did not know why Gimli was not with them, or why they were taken in the first place… all he knew is that they were heading south. Towards Mordor.
They kept a slow jog the whole night, as orcs were strongest when the sun was down. The beasts used their whips if either of their captives slowed down. They followed the river and their course never strayed away from it. Soon they would come to Nindalf, a large marshland on the shores of the Anduin. If they were making straight for the Black Gate, then their captors would most likely drive them southeast for a time, between the Nindalf and Dead Marshes. If they continued at this pace, they would reach the Morannon in a few days.
Once dawn came the orcs stopped and both man and elf were relieved, for they were exhausted. Too weary to see to the other's well being, both collapsed and fell to an uneasy sleep.
Mandy sunk down into her bed after a hard day at work. Well, not exactly hard… but tedious. And tedious work makes one very tired.
After coming back into the real world, the Heads had bought a small box company; it was relatively cheap, and the owner was quite anxious to get rid of the dump. They bought it mostly because it had enough storage area to store all of their old stuff, which included all of the computers in the Main Control Room and the Head's Office. Once back in the real world, they had reconnected everything so all of the writers could get their material back that was stored on the computers from the Head's Office and promptly put it up on the internet. The main controls itself helped run the place and keep down costs, so it remained operating.
Mandy turned off her bedside lamp. Even though life in Rivendell had been hectic, she missed it. Working in a box company was not very fun. Indeed, it was quite boring. But as the Heads still paid very well and she had pretty much nowhere else to go, there she stayed and worked.
She soon fell into a deep sleep.
When one falls into a deep sleep, their mind is either completely blank or very vivid. Seeing as Mandy was not the most interesting nor most creative person, she usually did not dream, and if she did, her dreams were not vivid.
Tonight, however, her dream was very vivid; much more vivid than she would prefer.
She dreamt of Aragorn and Legolas. Never before had she dreamt of them; indeed, she rarely thought of them, as it was a couple years ago since the last time she had saw them. But tonight, she dreamed something that one would see in a very angst-filled fan fic.
The two warriors were held captive to a large band of orcs. Legolas looked the same as when she last saw him, naturally; but Aragorn looked slightly older, which probably meant he was at least twenty years older than when she had saw him, seeing how the Dúnedain aged so slowly. They were relentlessly pushed on throughout the night, and in the morning they were so exhausted that they collapsed. Then things started to turn odd.
The scene changed, and Mandy found herself in a large clearing outside a bright pink castle. But not just a bright pink castle, but the bright pink castle that appeared at the edge of Mirkwood way back when. However, it was not Mirkwood that surrounded the clearing, but a different forest; which forest, she did not know. All she knew was that it was somehow much… darker. Even the bright pink looked dark in here. She did not want to be here.
She turned around to the sound of her voice, startled. Yet the person who had called it startled her even more.
He was standing at the edge of the clearing near the dark, spooky trees. When he saw it was her, he came over. "Aye. What are you doing here?"
"Well, this is my dream, so shouldn't I be asking you the same thing?"
"But this is my dream."
Mandy frowned. "Wait… so we are both dreaming the same dream at the exact same time?"
Aragorn frowned, and gave a light shrug. "I am not sure." He looked up at the bright pink castle, and then the dark forest surrounding them. "Where are we?"
"I dunno," she replied with a shrug. "I've never seen this forest before. The castle, though, is from that time in Mirkwood when you and Legolas popped in, remember?"
"Aye, I do not think I could forget that."
She nodded. "So… um… how's life?"
His face turned grim. "Not well."
"Care to elaborate?"
"Legolas and I have been captured by orcs, and we head towards Mordor."
Mandy, to his surprise, grinned. "Aw, don't worry. I mean, you'll get out. You've got plans and all in your future. You'll be saved by someone, I'm sure. Maybe Gandalf or something."
Aragorn's face suddenly became remorse. "Nay, not Gandalf," he said quietly. "Gandalf fell."
Mandy frowned. "Fell? When?"
"By the Balrog?"
Aragorn looked slightly surprised by her knowledge, but remembered that she knew a lot about Middle-earth and its peoples, including their futures. "Aye, the Balrog."
Mandy's frown deepened. "Where are you and the Fellowship in the Quest? Where were you last?"
"With the Fellowship? On the lawn of Parth Galen."
"On the shores of the Anduin, at the foot of Amon Hen."
A sudden wave of recognition passed her face, but then she frowned once more. "Wait, wait. You and Legolas have just been captured by orcs, and you just were at Amon Hen…?"
"Yes." He looked at her troubled face. "Is something wrong?"
"Is Boromir dead?" she asked suddenly.
Aragorn shook his head. "To my knowledge, no. I hope not. When I last saw him, he was alive."
"Please, tell me what happened."
He explained to her how the orcs had snuck up upon the Fellowship, and how they were split up. As he ended his tale, her face was very dark and grim, and she shook her head in denial.
"That's impossible…" she muttered. "It's not supposed to happen like this."
"What is wrong?" demanded Aragorn.
She looked up at him, and he saw that she was very troubled. "Aragorn," she started off uncertainly. "It is not supposed to happen like this. Different things are supposed to occur at Amon Hen, all which play an important part in the history of the War of the Ring, and the aftermath. You and Legolas are not supposed to be captured. The Fellowship is not supposed to be split up like it is. And… where was it you were headed off to?"
"Mordor! That's not supposed to happen, either." She shook her head once more, and then suddenly looked up. "Why were you captured and not killed, anyways?"
Aragorn shook his head. "I know not. I thought the Dark Lord was after the hobbits, as Gollum did reveal to him that the Ring was being carried by a halfling."
"Well," she started, "I can see why Sauron wanted you, being Isildur's heir and everything, but why Legolas? For all he knows, he's just some random elf!"
"I do not know the motives of the Enemy."
"Pity you don't," she muttered under her breath. Speaking up, she said, "Well, motives or no, you and Legolas are not supposed to be captured. Or headed to Mordor, either. But that is all I'm saying on the matter. However, what I want to know is how. How is this happening? And why? Who, or what, is doing this?" She sighed deeply, and looked up at Aragorn. "All I can ask of you, Aragorn, is to survive. Survive for as long as possible, and look out for anything out of the ordinary. Make sure Legolas keeps his eyes open too and his spirit high. We don't want to lose him to grief; no, not right now."
"I shall," he said. "But are you saying that our capture is not supposed to happen; that it happens differently?"
"Yea, assuming Tolkien didn't find some history book on failure in the Third Age and decide to change it for his own needs," she added. "But like I said, look out for anything out of the ordinary, and do not get yourself or the elf killed."
"What about yourself?"
"I'll look at some of the main computers; though we are back in our own world, the computers still work, to a limit. Maybe I can find something." She shrugged nonchalantly, and looked once more at the dark forest and the bright pink castle. "So you have no idea what this forest is, or where it is?"
"Nay; it resembles the darkest parts of Mirkwood a bit, but there is a different feel here, something I have never felt before. I cannot really explain," he said with a light frown, looking once more at their surroundings. "What I wonder, though, is how this castle came to be here, and who lives in it. It certainly does not fit well in this setting."
"You're right," Mandy said, looking up at the castle once more. "Do you think it's safe to go inside?"
"I know not. It does not have an evil feel to it, but… it feels… strange."
"Well, it is bright pink," she pointed out. "It's bound to be strange. But I ask again, is it safe to go inside?"
"I do not know," he finally responded. "I believe the question is will you risk it?"
Mandy thought for a moment, and then slowly shook her head. "I will," she said. "After all, this is just a dream. What's the worst that can happen?"
Aragorn was suddenly drawn away from the clearing by a kick to his chest. "Time to go, tark," muttered the orc in his ear as he pulled him up. "We have a long ways to go."