Oh. My. God. Alright, before you kill me for leaving you all hanging, I'd like to give my reasons for taking so long to update. To but it bluntly, weird shit's going down. I live in a community of 2,000 people in a rainforest town, and in the last few months there's been 4 earthquakes, 1 blizzard, 1 thunderstorm so bad school was closed, 2 power outages, 2 school gas leaks, 6 confirmed suicides, (May they rest in peace), my dog died, and my aunt got a 6-day-to-live cancer sentence that turned out to be only a day. Yeah, odd shit. So, please forgive how long this has taken, and please don't kill me. Enjoy! :D

(Yeah, I noticed the three sixes, but there's also a four, two ones, and two twos, so let's not chalk that up to superstition, please.)

Damn that human. Damn, damn, damn. Curse the pig-headedness of men! I have lived on my own just fine since before his birth, and he has the nerve to make me hide in the darkness like some sort of helpless child, while he runs off to defend the keep? Never!

Rima paced in the darkness, occasionally punching the door in her anger.

The small, splintery eye-slit in the top of the door allowed little light to pass through, and despite the lack of windows, she knew it to be nearing dusk. The armies of Sauron had not yet been spotted by the sentries, but their approach could still be felt trough her hollow bones as sure and inevitable as the night. It sent a prickling sort of ice through her dusty feathers, making them ache and long for flight, as they had in battles past. She hated being held back, not being allowed to fight as her instincts told her to. It was in her nature to defend hers and her own, as deeply ingrained as the nature of a swallow to defend it's nest. Even through her underlying uneasiness of most humans in general, this nest was meant to be defende, and defend it she would. The very idea of simply rolling over and letting things happen…

It made her feel restless. The longer she paced, the more flustered her thoughts became. Ever closer grew the enemy, and what could she do but circle it?

If only I could get to my gear, I already have my antler and Dee-kans… But right now, I would trade both knives for a well-sharpened rip-disk. How easily would it slice through the oak of the door…?

She halted in mid-pace, struck by a sudden inspiration.

Through the door?

Energized by a new hope, Rima dove for the great wooden structure, searching with her fingers for the slight crease between the mortar and the wood. Finding it, she held back a great whoop of triumph.

The lock was probably simple, a single iron latch that would hook onto a clasp just parallel to the handle. Despite Aragorn's usual thorough minded efficiency the human had not confiscated her daggers, and by prying at the wood while using the stone bricks of the wall as a lever, it would be a simple enough job to whittle a small space to flick open the lock.

Grinning wickedly, Rima brushed a long strand of tawny hair from her eyes as she eagerly began her work.

When next I see that infuriating human, she promised to herself as she sawed through the sturdy planks, I will not hesitate to break his nose.

Legolas looked up from is pack as Aragorn entered the armory. He had been preparing for the inevitable battle that would soon begin, along with the bustling men that crowded around him in the too-small room, when a tense and uncomfortable sense enveloped him.

"Man le trasta, mellon?" What troubles you, friend?

At the sound of his voice, several villagers looked up from their business, many having never heard the Sindarin tongue spoken in their lifetimes. The Ranger however, made a visible effort to relax and wipe the last traces of anxiety from his worry-lined face. Still, there remained behind his storm-blue eyes the lingering remnants of anxiety.

"Nothing of consequence, a simple matter."

He leaned to the side to peer past him at a sudden point of interest.

"Gimli, what is it that you are doing?"

The dwarf in question was currently wedged halfway into a closet, and was muttering angrily what Legolas assumed to be less than polite adjectives describing his exact troubles with the uncomfortably small space.

"Damned…Small…Men… Why is it there is no proper mail to be found in this god-forsaken, mouldy pile of rub-"

He was quickly cut off by a warning hiss from Aragorn, alerting him to the fact that his heated mutterings were beginning to attract and cause less-than-hopeful looks from the crowd of downtrodden men surrounding them.

"Do not speak so rashly, Gimli," he whispered, after the despairing regards turned back to readying for the upcoming battle.

"Fear is a ravenous enemy, do not fuel it with doubt."

His voice, although not unkind, had a firm tone beneath it, unwilling to compromise the matter.

Gimli promptly fell silent, but Legolas spoke, that same tone was mirrored with frustration and despair.

"Yes, they are afraid."

His friend sighed, closing his eyes as once again, the room fell into a tense silence.

Noticing this and feeling slightly foolish for it, he switched back to his native tongue.

"Boe a hyn," And they should be, he muttered.

"Neled herain, dan caer menig!" Three hundred, against ten thousand! By now, his normally serene voice had raised to an angry shout, and even the listeners at the farthest ends of the area could hear, although the language was meaningless to them. Still, his implications were not passed by.

He groaned, turning to the wall. His shoulders slumped, and he took a deep breath.

His following words were calm, yet it seemed to his friends to retain a certain sadness.

"Aragorn, nedin dagor hen ú-'erir ortheri. Natha daged dhaer."

Aragorn, they cannot win this war. They are all going to die.

"Then I shall die as one of them!"

The furious response of the man was both unnerving and unexpected, and the elf very nearly fell over turning around, only to catch a final glance at his back disappearing into the next storeroom.

He couldn't help but feel that he had managed to make bad matters worse.

Yeah, too short, but I've been holding onto the start of this one since before Christmas, and it's been slowly eating away at my soul since. Iwas in such a hurry to update, I totally skipped past Beta. SORRYSORRYSORRY! I hope it wasn't too awful.


Some of you guys have been wondering what Rima looks like, so I finally got around to sketching her out! 8D! If you wanna see her, you can either look me up on Deviantart, I'm 'SuburbanCoyote'. She's under the title 'Rima'. :D If you have an account, or any requests,please leave a message! I'll try to update soon! : )