Disclaimer: this story is based on the characters and world of The Silmarillion, by JRR Tolkien. I make no money from this, so kindly don't bother suing me.

The orc patrol was dead. It was an awfully odd patrol, if patrol it was. There were only five of them, and they didn't look very warlike. The one on the left had only a thick iron bar for a weapon, and unusually for an orc, it had long straggly hair tied back in a ponytail. A female? Gelmir went down among the bodies to make sure that they were actually dead. Female orcs usually didn't serve as warriors, and for one to be investigating the borders of Nargothrond was bizarre. Ah well, so long as the orcs were dead and no longer spying, it did not really matter how odd the group was... a thin wail startled him.

It was coming from underneath the female orc. Gelmir jumped back. It sounded awfully like a crying child. Gelmir exchanged glances with Elris, his partner on this patrol. Elris came forward, and together they carefully rolled the female orc over. Underneath was a very small orc. It blinked at them, and then hid its face against its mother's back. If it had been a baby elf, Gelmir would have guessed it to be around one year old.

"Gelmir," Elris said, "what are we going to do with it? Our orders don't cover orcish infants!"

Gelmir shook his head. "I don't think the situation has ever arisen before..." He looked down at the tiny orc. It was looking back at him now, with its eyes big and round. Not crying, but probably very scared. "I don't have the stomach for killing children, even orcish ones. And leaving it here alone would just be a slower death. We'll have to take it with us."

"And do what with it when we get home?" Elris asked.

"I say we give it to King Finrod, and let him deal with the problem." Gelmir responded.

"I suppose that makes sense," Elris said, and reached for the child "now you come with us little one, we won't hurt - ow! It bit me! The little spawn of Morgoth!" Bitten hand or not, Elris wrapped the child firmly in his arms. It struggled and cried out, but could not get away.

Gelmir shook his head. "I can see this is going to be a long trip home," he said.

Two weeks later, the trio arrived in the hidden city of Nargothrond. The child had finally calmed down enough that it did not cry and scream whenever it awoke, but the trip had seemed every bit as long as Gelmir had feared.

They had a bit of trouble at the gate. "What have you got there?" the gate guard asked. "An orphaned baby?! Has there been an attack on one of the villages?" The guard's eyes went wide as he got a better look. "It's an orc," he stated flatly. "Why are you taking an orc into the Caves?"

"We killed its parents, or guardians, or whatever equivalent orcs have, sniffing round the borders, and we couldn't really leave it there to die, so we thought we'd better take it to the King. Our orders don't cover orcish infants," Gelmir explained.

The guard shook his head. "Better you than me," he said. "Fine, go ahead, but take it to King Finrod immediately, and for the Valar's sake don't let it loose."

"We won't let it loose," Gelmir replied. Not that it could actually do much harm as it is... it could bite somebody, I suppose. Those teeth are sharp.

They went in search of the King. It took a while, and very many odd looks and exclamations of "you brought a WHAT into the caves!", but they eventually located him in one of the newer corridors doing something involving a series of plans spread on a wooden bench, half a dozen elves and more dwarves. There was mining equipment scattered around, and a film of rock dust over everything. Here they halted, not wishing to interrupt. Unfortunately, the baby had other ideas.

It began fussing, and Gelmir felt an all-too-familiar dampness start. Oh, not now! "Elris, could you possibly get out one of those clean rags, our orcling requires changing AGAIN."

"Yes, sir," answered Elris, smirking slightly at Gelmir's predicament as he fumbled in his backpack.

The baby began to scream loudly. "Hush, hush," Gelmir said desperately. "Just be quiet a moment longer, and we'll have you warm and dry." The baby orc paid not the slightest attention, but continued to howl.

The impromptu clean nappy out, Gelmir began changing the baby. He finished, and looked up to find the King of Nargothrond looking down at him with an expression of intense curiosity. His courage failed him. "I er... your Majesty, I need to go wash my hands," he said and bolted.

The King watched Gelmir leave with a startled expression, before turning to Elris: "Why don't you explain what is going on, starting at the beginning?" he suggested.

Many explanations later, Finrod had a much better idea of what was going on. "The situation was bound to arise eventually," he said, "given that orcs are incarnate and therefore must have children. No, you were right to bring her back. It isn't the child's fault that she was born an orc, and leaving her there would've been murder. What is her name?"

"I don't know", Elris answered. "She isn't really talking yet. Sire, what are you going to do with her?"

"Look for suitable foster parents. She can hardly raise herself, and if we're going to keep her alive we need to do it properly. The question is where I'm going to find a volunteer to raise an orc. She should really have two parents and not just one..."

"Try Gelmir," Elris suggested. "He's recently married and he doesn't have any children yet. He's the one who suggested we keep the orc in the first place and took care of it most of the way back."

Finrod raised his eyebrows at that, "I thought from his abrupt retreat that he wanted desperately to be rid of the child."

"I think he was more embarrassed to find you standing over him with his hands covered in orc dung than anything else," Elris answered. "Here he comes now, why don't you ask him?"

"I shall," Finrod replied, smiling. "Gelmir, I have an idea you might wish to be part of...", he began.

And so it happened that Gelmir and his wife Elwen became the rather startled parents of Nargothrond's only orc.

A/N: I started this story many months ago, but found that if I took the subject seriously it would probably end up being a very sad tale that would be neither fun to write nor to read. Therefore, this story will not be continued. However, I felt that this first chapter was interesting enough in and of itself that other people might enjoy it, so here it is.

For those of you wondering which story I intend to write after Walking into Darkness, I have picked the war of wrath story. The first chapter will probably be up around two weeks from now.