A New Ring: Part One - The Future of Middle-Earth

Dallion sat in her father's office. Her father was a well-known lawyer, Cameron Ortega. Her good looking, black-haired father walked in. "Ah, Dallion, I see you were able to make it today. I have a new case for you. One of my old clients called me up today while I was working. He works at a museum, and reported to me that a valuable golden ring has gone missing. There was some strange writing on the ring, looked like something from that book Lord of the Rings. " He paused for a moment, then said, " I'm afraid that hired detectives were unable to find any clues in the Museum, and the Police report that it looks like nothing was ever stolen. They have no idea how the thief slipped through security, and the glass case containing the ring wasn't broken. "

Dallion thought for a moment, then she said, "And you're asking me to take up the case? I'm on it! This'll be a great way to spend my summer! Can I get my friend Tenai to go with me to the museum? " Cameron Ortega smiled, then nodded. "Of course! What would a detective be without a helping hand? Why, even Sherlock Holmes couldn't have solved some mysteries without Watson! Do you want me to take you and Tenai to the museum, or do you want to drive? " "I'll drive and get Tenai. You should keep on going with your work. "

After saying good-byes, Dallion left the office. " Dang, this is some case I've gotten myself into! " She walked out of the law firm, and slipped into the front seat of her Subaru Outback. She snuggled deep into the leather interior, changed the shift to Drive, and drove off. " Now where does Tenai live again...? " she muttered to herself.

It was easy to get lost in Los Angeles, California unless you were raised there, and Dallion & her father had moved here only a year ago, when her father had to switch jobs. Her mother was murdered while visiting her aunt, and her aunt too was murdered. She sped up a little, as she drove into a side street. Her sleek black hair whipped around her face, her silver eyes glistening in the sun.

She slowed down as she reached Tenai's house. She parked in the driveway, and knocked on the door to Tenai's house. "Coming!" called a voice from inside. A young, red-haired, blue-eyed 18-year-old girl opened the door. "Dall! It's nice to see you again! Got another case for us to solve?" Dallion smiled, as she remembered solving the mystery of the jeweled briefcase. "You're right on target!" She related the whole story of the robbery to Tenai. "So, are up to the challenge? " Dall asked. "OF COURSE! " Tenai exclaimed. " So, do you want to head to the museum with me? "Dall queried. "Sure, let's get going!" She wrote a neatly written note of where she was going, and then followed Dall to the car. They got in, and headed for the museum.

When the museum came into sight, Tenai gasped. 10 police cars surrounded the huge marble building. A Police Man came up to Dall as she parked. "Are you Miss Dallion Ortega? " he asked. "Why yes, that would be me. I'm on the case of the missing ring. I hear you haven't found a clue yet." "No," the policeman admitted, rather reluctantly. Dall and Tenai got out of the car. "Ten, Let's split up. You go inside the museum, I'll look outside."

"Got it, " Ten replied. She walked inside the museum. Ten gasped at all the beautiful things there were, and she completely forgot about the mystery.

Meanwhile, Dall was searching diligently for any clues. "Wow! Look at what I found! " She yelled to Ten. Ten came rushing out of the museum. " What? What? " Ten asked. Dall pointed to a muddy spot of ground. " So what? It's just some mud! " Ten exclaimed. Dall sighed. " No, it's not just mud, it's a muddy footprint, and do you see the specks of sand in it? There's only one place where that could have come from, The Pacific Ocean!"

"What?!? There's no way I'm going to the Pacific Ocean!!!" Ten exclaimed. "Then I guess we'll never solve the case!!!" "Oh Dallion Ortega, I hate it when you do that!" They jumped into the car, and went to Dall's house. " We'll have to camp out there, for who knows how long, so I'm bringing a month's supply of stuff, just in case. " Dall explained. She disappeared into her house, and came back 20 minutes later with 4 suitcases, and 20 shopping bags of food. They then went to Ten's house, got her stuff, and headed for the ocean.

On the way Ten and Dall left messages on the answering machines at their houses, saying that they were camping out near the ocean for who knows how long, and that they would be gone for around a week. After that, they talked all the way to the beach. They looked all over the beach, which hadn't been used recently, because of the supposed "shark" lurking in the waters. Finally they found footprints matching the ones at the Museum. They followed them, all the way to the tide-line. Hmmmmm, Dallion thought. They must have taken a boat...

They walked to the boat rentals, and rented a beautiful motorboat. They went to the docks, and untied the boat. Then they jumped in, and smiled at the built-in sleeping quarters and kitchen area, plus all the furniture. Dall started up the boat, and headed towards the West, which was the way the footprints had pointed.

They talked for 3 hours, and finally Ten said that she needed to eat. They fixed lunch, and after that, they played some Nancy Drew Mystery Computer Games on the laptop Ten had brought.

They had just beaten The Final Scene and started on The Mystery of the Scarlet Hand when Dall called out, " I spot a boat up ahead! It seems to be a rowboat... with some ugly looking things on it... Ewww! What ARE they?!?" Ten spotted them too. " Th-th-they look like Orcs... from the book Lord of the Rings..." Dall rolled her eyes. "Only a true Lord of the Rings fanatic like you would say that. They're probably just costumes to hide their identity. They seem to be sleeping... " Suddenly she plugged her nose. " UGH! What IS that awful smell?!? It's sickening!!!" Ten also plugged her nose. " De smull ub and Org! " Ten said. As they drew closer, Dall could see no zipper... and she started to feel fear... " Ten, I though orcs didn't exist! " Dall whispered. " I didn't either, Dall..." Ten replied.

Soon they stopped, and they turned in for the night. Dall kept watch outside, while Ten slept. She stared up at the stars, thinking of why she was sent on this horrible mission. She stared at the Orcs, and suddenly saw one moving. She held her breath as the orc started rowing. She decided to tell Ten about it in the morning, and she lay in her sleeping bag, staring at the stars, and suddenly missing her home.

She woke up early the next morning, to see Ten already cooking breakfast. She yawned, and got up. She walked over to Ten. " Ten, last night the orcs rowed away, still going East. We'd better start the motor boat again " Ten nodded, but didn't say a word. They ate breakfast silently, and then Ten started the boat. They played Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Scarlet Hand, then The Mystery of Crocodile Island. They ate lunch, played and talked some more, then went to bed. This time Ten kept watch. The next day went pretty much the same. Dall took watch, and as she woke up the next morning, she felt totally refreshed, and ready to take on anything that came her way. Suddenly Ten called out, "LAND HO!" and smiled. "I've always wanted to say that," she explained.

They reached the shore, and jumped out of the motorboat. They managed to pull it ashore, then searched for footprints. Ten found some, and they followed them. Suddenly, Dall stopped, as she heard a noise. "Ten, I hear something!" She exclaimed. Suddenly, out of the bushes, a horse jumped. It was pure black, with emerald eyes. Dall gasped at its beauty. She approached it, her hand outstretched. It sniffed her hand, and then licked her. She smiled, and patted the horse's head.

"I see you've met Deian," said a voice from the bushes. A cloaked figure walked out. They were tall, being 6'11", and carried a sword at their side. "W-w-who are you?" Dallion asked quietly. "Oh, I'm sorry for not introducing myself. I am Ramza, Elven Prince of Mirkwood Forest, which is where you currently are on the shore of..." He explained. He took his hood off. Dallion gasped.

He looked only about 19, with long, strait blond hair, and glittering emerald-colored eyes. Of course, he could have been 500 years old... His skin was light, and his face soft looking. His smile seemed to reach from ear to pointed ear. "I'm... uh... Dallion... Yeah... Dallion Ortega. I come from Las Angeles, California..." "And I'm Tenai Le Dué, also from California." Tetsuo looked confused. "California? Wait... that's not in Middle-earth, is it?" Dall's eyes opened wide, and Ten's mouth just hung open. " Th...... This is Middle-earth?" Dallion managed to say. Ramza nodded, a look of pain suddenly on his face. "You're... from Earth, aren't you?" He said, remembering Elfen. (Dee Hobbitlover's story, The Twist of the War of the Ring.)

Dall nodded. "Oh, well...let me show you around," He said, quietly. As he showed them around the wilderness parts of Mirkwood, Ten suddenly asked, "What year is it?" "It's the year 1753," Ramza answered. Ten let out a sigh of relief. "I'm so glad the ring was destroyed already!" "We've heard from others about the evil ring." Dall said. Ramza still didn't quite believe them, but he nodded, as he led them to the inhabited parts of Mirkwood.

Dall looked around at all the elves doing what they want. Some elves stared at Dall and Ten with their strange clothes... They've never seen female humans in these parts before. "Erm... Ramza? Shouldn't Legolas be prince? Or... king? " Dall asked. "WHAT?!? You know Legolas?" "Well, not really, but I've heard about him..." Dall explained. "Oh... I believe he went East..." "Oh..." Dall said. They reached a large castle-like place, and Ramza entered, with Ten and Dall following behind.

"Whoa, It's beautiful..." Ten said in astonishment. The walls were made out of marble, and gold trimming was everywhere. " Err... Can you tell me where any of the fellowship are now, or their kin?" Ten asked. Ramza thought for a moment, then answered, " Frodo's great great great grandson, Rulin, lives in Hobbiton, along with his best friends, Jeorge Brandybuck, PetreTook, and Onire Gamgee. Aragorn's heir, Shein, is currently traveling around Middle-earth, no doubt you'll meet him, Boromir's great great great great niece travels with Shein, her name's Loralei, Gimli's great great great granddaughter is living in Moria, Sereine, Gandalf's great great great nephew, Kadin, is wandering around the world also. All of them are only 18 or 19" Ten nodded. Dall just kept staring into his emerald eyes. They reminded her so much of a boy she lost back home...

Dall came back to her senses when there was a loud boom on the castle doors. Ramza raised his sword. "Who's There?" He called out loudly. Screeches were heard. "Not again! Nazis, Bar the doors! Dall, Ten, follow me!" He nearly ran into the throne room, with Dall and Ten closely following him. They closed the doors to the Throne Room just in time. There was a boom, and the castle doors were knocked down. Without saying a word Ramza barred the throne room doors, but to no avail. 9 cloaked figures knock down the door, screeching. "Ringwraiths?!? What the......" Ten exclaimed.

Ramza led them to a hidden door and entered the room beyond. He closed the door, then asked Ten, "You know about Ringwraiths? How?" "...From the Book Lord of The Rings back home... I never thought it was real though... this one Professor Elfen did though..." Ramza nodded, slowly.

Dall spoke up, "I have some questions for you. First, Why are ringwraiths around here?" "There's a new evil afoot, and it created new rings, but to gain power over Middle-earth, it needs a ring exactly like Sauron's ring, and it has not the skill to create this. It heard of a ring over in your world, and I believe it sent some orcs out to get it." Ramza answered. "My other question is how can we help?" "You can follow the orcs, if you wish, and get the ring before their master does. I believe you may need some help getting it, so why don't you go to the shire? I'm sure Rulin, Jeorge, Petre, and Onire will help you. Also, you'll need weapons. I believe I have some elven blades that'll do nicely. They glow when orcs or goblins or other creatures like that are around. Follow me to the treasure room."

He led them through another hidden door, through a passageway, and opened the door at the end. Inside thousands of jewels and riches were piled sky high. Ramza pulled out two sheathed swords from the pile. Their scabbards were beautiful, one was black, with elven writing in silver, the other was white, with intricate gold lettering, that bore a name in elvish. The one with the black scabbard had a plain black hilt, but the white one had a crystal hilt. He handed the black hilted one to Ten, then smiled. "Dallion, I believe this sword was made for you. It states right here on the scabbard the name Dallion Ortega, but what puzzles me, is how someone knew you were coming... This sword is the strongest sword of all, except the sword Shein wields. Unsheath it and see," he said, handing the sword to Dallion. She unsheathed it, and gasped. The sword had a beautiful crystal blade, but the blade had a gold tinge to it. "It's.... beautiful!" Dall exclaimed. Ramza nodded. "I believe the Wraiths are gone. It would be smart to leave now. "

The two companions nodded, and Ramza lead them back to the entrance. "Before you leave, I want you to have these," He handed Ten a beautifully animated map, and to Dall he gave a crystal necklace. "Just say Elea ie' dome for light in dark places, Tanka tel' taurnin for Healing, and
Hyandae en' luhta, for an attack. As you go on your journey, you will learn many more elven spells. Remember these spells, and your journey shall become easier." Dallion nodded, and thanked him. The companions said their good-byes to Ramza, then headed off, out of Mirkwood, to the shire.

It grew dark, as Ten and Dall continued trudging on. Dall began to tire, and called out to Ten. "I'm tired, Let's rest here for the moment." "Aye, I am too," Ten answered, and they both camped out in the undergrowth on the side of the road. Dall stayed awake, thinking about Nick. She had loved him very much, but when he died in a car crash, she never felt the same again, and she took on detective work to keep her mind off of Nick. When she saw Ramza, she realized just how much he looked like Nick, and she started missing him again. How much longer can I go on like this? My mother has died, my aunt has died, and even one of my dearest friends has died. Am I doomed to never have a love? Never have another great friend? I must keep Ten safe no matter what! Even if it means my own life! From now on, I'll listen to her, and I won't tease her! With that she drifted off into a troubled sleep.

The next morning, Ten and Dall set off early, without a breakfast. They trudged along without saying much, when Ten suddenly said, "You realize we may never see our families or home again, right? This is going to be a long journey, and we may end up dying or getting stuck here! Oh how I miss my bed, and my family!" Dall rolled her eyes. "Ten, don't be so pessimistic! Of course we'll survive!"

They continued trudging on and on, when they met an elf with a horse on the road. "Vedui'" He said. Ten thought for moment, then said, "Hi!" The elf tried to keep from laughing. "Lle quena i'lambe tel' Eldalie? "

"What? Just a sec," Ten said, then pulled out a large book. She saw the look on Dall's face, and explained, "It's an elfin dictionary." She looked through it, then said, "Lle n'vanima ar' lle atara lanneina! " The elf burst into laughter. After recovering, he said, in English, "I'm Harin, an elf of Mirkwood." "We just came from there!" Ten said somewhat excitedly. "It was under attack by wraiths!" Harin looked worried. "I must go now! Namaarie!" With that he rode off towards Mirkwood.

Dall and Ten looked at each other. "Good thing you didn't use too much elvish, for all we know you could have said something like, `We can ALL have our own outhouse', " Dall said, laughing. Ten gave her a look that said, `If you laugh at me one more time you're goin' down!'. They continued walking on and on.

Dall stopped suddenly, about 9:00 at night. "Ten! There it is! The shire!!!" She exclaimed. "No, Dall, that's Bree. Let's head into the Prancing Pony," She explained. They walked into Bree, just as it started raining. By the time they got to the Prancing Pony, they were soaking wet. They took off the cloaks they had received in Mirkwood, and sat down in a corner. "I don't like this place," Dall murmured to Ten under her breath. "Neither do I, Dall," Ten answered back.

A 19-year old boy approached them. Before he could say anything, Dall said, "Look, if you think we're defenseless girls, think again, so don't try anything, you drunkard!" The boy laughed. "You sure have a lot of guts, but all I wanted to know was why two pretty girls were hanging out in a place like this," He said. Ten spoke up. "Oh, we're heading over to Hobbiton in the Shire, and we had to stop here to get some rooms. We're going to go talk to the inn-keeper a little later, after we dry off" He raised an eyebrow. "Why are you going to the Shire, or even traveling at all?" He asked. This time Dall spoke up, "We don't need someone's permission to travel, do we? And besides, it's none of your business." He shrugged. "I was just curious." With that he turned around, and sat in a corner of the room.

"Dall, that face looks awfully familiar... Aha! I knew it! That's Shein, Aragorn's heir!" Ten said excitedly to Dall. "Yeah, and?" "We could get him to help us get the ring back and destroy it!" Ten explained. "Why would he help us? We weren't the most pleasant people to be around..." "But still! He MIGHT help if you use your charm on him." Dall stared at Ten. "Oooooh no! You are NOT getting me to do that, NO WAY!" Ten shrugged. "Guess we'll NEVER be able to get the ring, do you truly think that four hobbits would help us that much? Honestly, Dall, use your brain!" Dall sighed. "Fine, I'll see what I can do."

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