The morning sun turned her face on a rocky riverbank, sending a warm undertone to the chilled air.

An elegant elf-made canoe skimmed peacefully across the liquid crystal of the river, bearing it's ever-sleeping passenger towards his final resting place. The companions of the departed soul watched solemnly from the shade of the trees, each giving a silent prayer of rest. The mourning three were comprised of a Man, a Dwarf, and an Elf, certainly an odd collection in any situation. The man's face was framed by a tangled length of black hair that ended just over his shoulders; a silver-pommeled sword hung from his belt.

The elf to his left was short by human standards, and tall by that of his own kind. His long-fingered hand rested on the shoulder of a red-bearded Dwarf, who seemed to be doing all that was in his power to avoid bursting out in tears. As the silver planked funeral boat glided out of sight, the three remaining figures slowly began to gather their supplies. Borimir had passed on, Frodo and Sam had left them, Merry and Pippin had been mistakenly taken by the Uruk-hai in their place. With Gandalf gone, the Gimli and Legolas looked to Aragorn as their new leader. With few words, they had agreed to follow the Uruk-hai in order to rescue the younger hobbits.

Now ready to depart, Aragon raised his head to Legolas.

"We will search the Uruks. They may have some clue as to where they come from."

The elf nodded an affirmation, and lightly stepped around his friend to enter the woods.

"Gimli."

The dwarf stood.

"Search with Legolas. I shall stay and remove the remaining traces of our presence."

Gimli nodded, and began after the elf. Passing Aragorn, he paused for a moment.

"You know it wasn't your fault, laddie. He knew the risks."

His friend's voice spoke the truth, although he could not bring himself to admit it. He showed a weary tight-lipped smile.

"I know, my friend. Be off."

He turned away, listening as the heavy footsteps faded into the distance.

The sound of the river trickled into his ears.

Goodbye, my friend.

The orcs had very little gear, proving that they had come or were going a long distance with haste. Likely both, thought Legolas to himself amidst the carnage.

The only semblance of luggage or supplies the vile creatures had brought with them was in the form of two crates; one thick and broad, the other slightly smaller. Gimli, having finished his search, sat across from it, cleaning his axe.

"You gonne' open that, elf?

He eyed the crates uncertainly. He did not want to know what sort of things a horde of Uruks brought while hunting. He paced towards it, crinkling his nose at the evil look of the boxes.

Black tar barely covered the shabby, damp wood, giving way to mildew and rot. Blood stained the edges. The pale elf shuddered to think what creature it belonged to. May they rest peacefully.

He went to the smaller box first, seeing as it seemed less worn that the first. Opening it, he found a leather satchel of make uncommon amongst orc-kind. Beside it rested two large fighting-knives, similar to his own, albeit slightly less graceful in the curve of the blade. The bag contained willow-bark strips, dried roots, linen bandages, and several small viles containing clear liquid. Multicolored strings twined around the lip of the glass, each adorned with small beads in curious combinations.

Puzzled by his find, he shared the discovery with the dwarf, who was equally confounded.

"Open the other one."

Legolas was thinking of doing that exact thing.

Easing open the lid, he found it's contents no more illuminating, in fact quite surprising.

A small gasp escaped his lips.

In the box, legs and arms folded tightly, was a woman.

Her hair was long and brown, her skin was tanned and freckled with sun-spots. She was clad in a tunic and leggings of softened leather, covered with large plates of sewn-on antler. Etched into the bone were delicately trailing scripts in a foreign tongue. The strange armor was softly curved, carefully molding to her small frame. Her arms and legs were bound in roughly-made chains of silver, looping and twisting hideously over her small limbs. On her left, there seemed to be a pile of white-grey feathers pillowed underneath her. Under her right side was a mass of leather sheeting and gears, with bits of thin pipe and wire cord.

"Gimli… get Aragorn."

Gimli glanced at the figure in the box, and ran off as swiftly as his stout legs could carry him to find the human companion. The woman in the box remained as still as a corpse, leaving Legolas wondering if she was even alive at all. And in any case, what were the Uruks doing with her in their possesion?

Tentatively, he moved a slender arm towards her bound hands. With a few precise pulls, the links of metal slithered off her and into a jumbled pile at the foot of the crate.

Her eyes flicked open.

...

Sorry if this wasn't very well-written. I'm a super massive JRR Tolkien fan, an' I've read all the books, watched the short edition movies, long edition movies, (With cast, director, and background design commentary for all three of them), I've been to LOTR summer camp, (Yes, they have that.), and this is the production that inspired me to start taking classes on costume design, Video production, and Digital animation. (The best special effects program used in the movies was M.A.S.S.I.V.E. . Check it out if you're interested in animation!) And I'm trying very hard to do it justice in my fanfic. (Yes, sister, I am a nerd. :D )