Title: The world in pieces

Disclaimer: ummm, I don't own any of it; 'kay? Except two brats:(

In Rivendell, the continuum had as good as collapsed, and people were afraid to walk around after a number of disappearances where someone walked into a plothole. Elladan was attacked and killed by a group of Uruk-Hai that wandered through a plothole into the Hall of Fire. Elrohir disappeared when he went after the Orcs to avenge his brother and the plothole closed behind him.

Returning from patrolling the borders of Rivendell, Glorfindel reported that there was *nothing* on the other side of the Ford of Bruinen, just a grey emptiness. Soon the emptiness started to spread, and the valley was cut off from the rest of Middle-Earth. Occasionally, Mary Sues travelling in to Middle-Earth would appear, only to pop out of existence as soon as they arrived, almost as if the shredded remains of the continuum were making a final stand against the disruptions.

Many of the more remote parts of the world had become slightly translucent or covered in a haze that was only visible from the corner of one's eye, and people everywhere noticed that the sun would take on a strange colour or be the wrong size. The Shire experienced five eclipses in one day, yet in Bree nothing out of the ordinary was observed. In Rohan, the full moon stood in the same place in the sky for three nights in succession, while in Gondor the moon went from first to last quarter twice in one night.

Tom Bombadil was merrily hopping and skipping along the banks of the Withywindle, when the ground beneath him turned to quicksand and swallowed him up. Goldberry found herself besieged by willow trees that were encroaching on her garden.

The first ripples of disturbance had by now reached the Straight Road to Valinor, and a cold wind blew along the shores of Tol Eressëa and on to Aman itself, where it touched the Doors of Night and chilled the heart of Earendil in foreboding.

At the borders of Lothlorien, guards reported strange thorny vines suddenly appearing and wrapping themselves around trees, choking all life from them, spreading rapidly and attacking any Elf that came within reach. In the end, when the vines appeared in Caras Galadhon, Galadriel had to call upon the power of her Ring to defeat the attack. Of course, the moment she put it on, Sauron became aware of it, and a rather larger army than he had had in mind originally moved towards Lothlorien - sooner than had been intended as well.

In Moria, the Fellowship was blissfully unaware of what was happening to their world.

They walked on for most of the night, resting only rarely, with the two girls finding it harder and harder to keep up in the oppressive darkness that was only relieved by the faint light from Gandalf's staff. When they finally stopped the girls were too tired to even complain when Gandalf lit his pipe.

Lharalavantariel walked over to the edge of a hole in the middle of the room, curious what it might be. It appeared to have been a well or something, as there were some rusty old chains lying around, trailing down into the hole. It wasn't as interesting as she had hoped and she started throwing in loose stones. The sound of the first stone falling into water far below echoed through the chamber.

"What's that?" cried Gandalf. Lharalavantariel confessed her action, hoping Gandalf would take it lightly; after all, it wasn't as if she dropped a skeleton down that hole or something. She wasn't that lucky though, and after he was through telling her that they were on a serious journey, not a walking party for bored Elves, she was reduced to a quivering heap of tears. Even Boromir ignored her, so she sat down in a corner away from the others, snarling at Assansaibrivilieth to leave her alone when the other girl came over to talk to her.

Suddenly a faint knocking sound echoed from the depths, stopped and was repeated. It sounded almost like some sort of signal, but after a while the knocking died away and was not heard again.

Assansaibrivilieth looked alarmed. "What was that?" she asked.

"It sounded like a hammer," Gandalf said, "and I do not like it. It may have had nothing to do with Lharalavantariel's foolish stone; but probably something has been disturbed that would have been better left quiet. I would give Lharalavantariel first watch, in the hope that she might learn something about actions and consequences, but I fear she might fall asleep. I will take the watch myself."

Assansaibrivilieth glared at Gandalf at this reference to her earlier dereliction of duty, but he either ignored it or wasn't aware of it. Meanwhile, Pippin had walked over to Lharalavantariel, putting a companiable arm around her shoulder.

"Hey, it's not that bad. I could have done something like that too; I probably would have thrown a stone in myself, if you hadn't done it first," he told her. By now Lharalavantariel had calmed down a bit, and she smiled at the hobbit.

"I'm okay now," she answered. "And Gandalf was probably right; it was a dumb thing to do. But he still doesn't have to be that nasty about it! Thank you for coming over to talk to me. You'd better get some sleep. I have a feeling we'll be moving early again tomorrow."

Pippin nodded and walked off. Following her own advice, Lharalavantariel managed to fall asleep. It turned out she had been right and they travelled on after only a few hours of sleep. To Lharalavantariel's great relief, Boromir no longer was angry with her for her silly behaviour the previous night.

Assansaibrivilieth was a bit surprised when Gandalf picked the right hand passage, as she thought she recognised where they were from the film, even if that wretched well hadn't been there, and she had been expecting him to go left. By now though, in a way she was expecting this kind of change, and she also knew better than to disagree with Gandalf, so she managed to keep her mouth shut.

The day passed rather uneventfully, except for the girls' complaints about their sore feet and the difficult path. That night they slept in an enormous hall, huddled together in a corner.

The next morning they again moved on straight after breakfast. Entering a dusty chamber, Assansaibrivilieth noticed a tomb in the middle. She nudged Lharalavantariel and pulled her aside.

"You know what's going to happen next, right?" she asked.

Lharalavantariel nodded agreement and asked "Do you think we should try if we can skip this bit too?" Assansaibrivilieth thought this was a good idea, and the girls tried to influence the continuum enough to skip the fight they knew was coming. However, nothing happened.

"Not good," Assansaibrivilieth muttered, "maybe we should try for a smaller change, like decent running shoes?" They tried again, and again they totally failed to achieve their aim.

Lharalavantariel looked at what the others were doing. "Can't they get over some dead dwarf already!" she whispered to Assansaibrivilieth, when she saw they were still standing round the tomb. "We should get out of here before we're attacked."

"I know," Assansaibrivilieth whispered back, "but I don't think it's going to work... We'd better get ready to throw some fireballs or something. At least we know what is coming. We've, like, seen this about 40 times already, so it's not like those wolves that came from nowhere."

Lharalavantariel agreed, and the two moved back towards the others, who were still trying to read that dusty old book that they had found. Gandalf had just finished deciphering the last page, and the words "we cannot get out' had just been spoken when suddenly a great noise, as of a vast drum, came, seeming to come from far below. The girls looked at each other in alarm, while the others moved to bar the doors as best they could.

To the girls' surprise the fight was much shorter than they remembered from the film and they weren't really upset about not getting to see a troll in close-up; however, they didn't hesitate when Gandalf told them all to run. They ran along blindly down some stairs following the others, until they stopped to wait for Gandalf who had stayed behind to close the door or something.

Suddenly, at the top of the stair a bright light appeared and Gandalf came flying down the stairs, falling to the ground in the middle of the group. As soon as he got up again, he told them to move and keep going. They moved as fast as they could in the dark for about an hour, until Gandalf stopped to rest briefly.

As they went on again, Gimli, who had keen eyes in the dark said he saw a faint reddish light ahead, and Gandalf wondered whether the road ahead of them was on fire. Soon the light became unmistakable, and visible to all. They could now also see where they were going. Ahead there was a low archway. After Gandalf had gone through to take a look, the others looked as well. Lharalavantariel gasped. This was the hallway with the pillars she remembered from the film. But it was in the wrong place!