DISCLAIMER:

I do not own Lord of the Rings or the characters therein. I also do not own the Atlanta Braves, Galaxy Quest, nor anything else mentioned in this fic, except myself and the character "Moe," should he drop in. Oh, and I claim Bean Land for myself. :)

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Hobbits in the Infield

Part One: Arrivals and Explanations



"Where are we?" a small, furry-footed person asked.

A much taller person furrowed his brow thoughtfully. "I do not know, Peregrin."

Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck leaned over to Peregrin and whispered, "If Strider doesn't know where we are, then we must really be lost, Pippin!"

Frodo Baggins stood up and dusted off his cloak. He then turned to a tall, older man carrying a staff and clothed in grey. "Gandalf, do you know where we are?"

The Istar surveyed the place where they were standing. They stood on grass, but red dirt lay in what seemed to be a pattern nearby, an island of grass within that. There were what appeared to be many seats all around them. Confused, he didn't answer his hobbit friend.

"Well, I don't like it," Sam Gamgee said plainly, grasping his frying pan.

"Neither do I. How is it that we came to this place?" Boromir asked.

"I do not know, but perhaps there is someone here in this strange land that may answer our questions," Aragorn ("Strider") replied.

Gimli the Dwarf grunted. "Perhaps there are Orcs here that may shoot us with their arrows."

Legolas, the Elf of the group, shook his head. "This does not look like a place where Orcs have been. It seems somewhat cheerful. Look! There is something stirring up there!" He pointed into the seats where what looked to be a room with a long window stood. The Fellowship quickly readied their weapons.

"Sorry to keep you waiting," said a voice.

"That sounds like a girl!" Pippin exclaimed, astonished.

"Aye, I am," the voice answered. "As I was saying, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. I'm glad to see that everyone got here safely."

"Where are we? Who are you?" Gandalf demanded.

"Oh, dear, forgive me. You may all put away your weapons. They are of no use here. If you will, look to your right. There is a door that you may walk through. Follow the passageway to the very last door on the left. Inside this room I will be waiting for you. I will gladly answer all of your questions there," the voice told them.

"Whoever was there is gone now," Legolas said, gazing up at the window. "What shall we do?"

"We have little choice but to do as directed," Boromir replied.

Gandalf nodded slowly. "Keep your weapons ready, though. We do not yet know where we are or with whom we are dealing." The others agreed and followed the Wizard through the door.

When they reached the last door on the left, they entered the room cautiously. Inside they found comfortable looking chairs around a very long glass-topped table. At the head of the table sat a young woman wearing bell- bottom jeans, black loafers, and a dark blue tank-top covered by an open white long-sleeved shirt. The Fellowship looked strangely at her. She smiled warmly and motioned for them to sit down.

"Come in, come in. Don't linger in doorways; it makes you seem vain," she told them with a grin. They sat down uneasily.

"Who are you?" Gandalf asked.

"I am the author," she said. At these words ominous music blared over the loudspeakers. The Nine looked around, trying to discover the source. "I brought you here really for my own pleasure. An experiment of sorts. Don't worry, though. When we are finished you will be returned to where you were when I transported you here, and you will not remember anything you see in this place."

"Where is here?" Aragorn questioned.

"Well, I'm still trying to think of a clever name for my own dimension, but I'm calling it Bean Land in the meantime," the girl answered.

"Bean Land?" Merry said.

She nodded. "Yes, Bean is a nickname of mine," she explained. "It isn't part of your world or mine, really, but exists in my imagination and the realm of fantasy. It is a combination of many worlds, times, and cultures."

"What did you mean when you said our weapons would be of no use here?" Boromir asked.

"Well, in this place there is no killing and no one can come to serious harm. Therefore, your weapons will do you no good, but that doesn't matter because you do not need them," the girl explained.

"You said we are here for an experiment. What do you mean?" questioned Gandalf.

"I call it an experiment, but I don't know that it really is one. We'll see. It's actually more for my amusement than anything. Hopefully you will all enjoy yourselves as well," she told them. "Basically, I brought you here to play a game. To play this game, there must be two teams, each consisting of nine players."

"We have nine here, but who did you choose for the other team?" Legolas asked her.

At this there was a screech somewhere outside of the room. The girl hopped to her feet. "Looks like the other team just arrived. A little early, but no matter. The bench players and bullpens should be arriving soon, as well. I have much work to do yet about getting some umpires and fans." The girl seemed to be talking to herself now. The Nine looked at one another.

"That sounded like the Shriekers!" Sam said.

"Yes, you are correct," the girl nodded. "The Nazgûl will be the other team. Excuse me, I need to go get them. I'll be right back." With this she left the room. The Companions sat uneasily.

"I don't like this," Gimli spoke up.

"Should we trust her?" Merry asked, looking to Gandalf and Aragorn for guidance. They both sat silently.

Fifteen minutes had passed before the girl returned, the Nazgûl in tow. Along with the Wraiths, she brought along some random Orcs, Uruk-hai, and Elves. There were also a few people they recognized, including Elrond, Haldir, Glorfindel, Gildor and Saruman.

"I explained everything to the newcomers before we came in, so let's move on. You will have tomorrow to learn the basic skills and rules to this game, and on the following day you will play."

"You haven't told us what this game is," Frodo said.

"I haven't, have I?" the girl responded. "It's a wonderful game, really, and quite fun. It's called baseball. I do believe you'll enjoy it. I have uniforms for each one of you, which you'll recieve in the morning. I'll show you the rules and all tomorrow. Now, as for lodging, take a look at this." She passed around papers with a list on them to each there.

"What is this?" Pippin asked.

"This tells you who you will be rooming with. I put the hobbits together. Haldir, Legolas, Glorfindel, Gildor, and Elrond will share a room. Gandalf, Gimli, Aragorn, and Boromir will stay together. The Wraiths will have a room to themselves, and the rest of you may look for your name here to see with whom you'll be staying. The free people will take the right wing of the lodging section, while the Mordorians and their type will be in the left wing," the author (Dun, dun, duuuuuuun!) told them.

"At least I won't have to share a room with an Elf!" Gimli snorted. The Elves shot him dirty looks, which was a shame because it ruined their fair faces.

"Oh, dear. I should have gotten post-Lothlorien Legolas and Gimli. Well, live and learn, I suppose. Anyway, after the game you will all be returned to where you were before as promised. You will be provided with food and lodging here at the complex as I've shown you already. Oh, and for the sake of ... well, convenience, my friends over at Galaxy Quest have provided the translators that allow each of us to speak the same language. Now, if you'll all just follow me, I'll show you to your rooms."