American Lieutenant in Middle Earth--Part 2

<br /> <br /> And for some people who are confused about some of the events that happen, I'm taking from both the book and the movie. Hopefully that should explain why some things weren't from just one source.<br /> <br /> <br /> o{0}o{0}o<br /> <br /> <br /> As Sam finished, she glanced at Arwen. The she-elf sat looking thoughtful for a moment, and then said, &quot;I truly am sorry for the loss of your friends. You must understand, I...find this very...find it difficult to believe. Though I must admit, according to Legolas, you were more than shocked to learn of Elves, which in a way, does support what you are saying. There is also that you said you came from...A-mer-i-ca? That is a realm neither I, nor my father or brothers have heard of. And we--Legolas, Father, and I--agree that your accent and clothing is very...out-landish.&quot;<br /> <br /> 'It's nice to know you trust me about as must as I trust you...people,' thought Sam sarcastically. &quot;Well, like I tried to tell...Legolas, I',&quot; she said aloud, carefully saying the last part. An unsettling thought hit her. How could she have not thought about asking this before, she wondered in frustration. &quot;Who's this oh-so-evil bad guy you guys are trying to fight?&quot; Even if this place wasn't real--or was?--she should still have tried to find out about the enemy sooner.<br /> <br /> Arwen looked puzzled for a moment as she sifted through Sam's words. &quot;That would be a matter for Father to discuss with you, if you wished. But not tonight. Tonight is a celebration.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;For what?&quot; asked Sam.<br /> <br /> &quot;The Ring-bearer is healed from the wound he received from the Nazgul.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;Nazgul?&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;They, their fate, and their history are intertwined with that of the enemy you wish to know about. If you must ask, ask tomorrow, or tonight after the feast and celebration,&quot; said Arwen. As she got up and began to walk out, she paused. &quot;In the closet there are robes and dresses of many sizes and colors. Wear what you see fit. The feast begins at sunset.&quot; And with that, she left, quietly closing the door behind her.<br /> <br /> Sam glaced outside. In about an hour or so, it would be sunset. She reasoned it wouldn't hurt to make herself decent and to go eat. Her team's number two rule was, &quot;See to yourself first. If you're hurt, you won't do your buddies much good. Then you can help your friends.&quot; The first rule, she was rudely reminded, was, &quot;Never leave a man--or woman--behind.&quot; She broke the first rule; she left her *entire* team behind. How low could she get?<br /> <br /> She opened the closet door (which she hadn't noticed right away on her initial first glance of the room) and gasped in shock. There was a beautiful array of robes and dresses. The closet was somewhat small and she saw why when she opened the door next to it. To her surpise there was a huge, though somewhat old-fashioned bathroom. Instead of a sink, there was a miniature, which, Sam noticed, could supply for both the large...bathtub with simple manuvering of half-tubes. She wondered how the water would get warm once it was in the bathtub-thing, but her question was soon answered when her stuck her fingers under the fall and warm, almost hot, water poured over them.<br /> <br /> Sam exited to find something to wear. In the end, she decided (somewhat to her disgust) on a dress. It was light blue, floor-length, with a cream-colored fabric inside the sleeves and in certain folds in the skirt. It had bell sleeves and, she noted, occationally a strange symbol in certain places, such as near the bottom of the sleeves or near the bottom of the dress. She laid it out on the bed and took off her clothes (after closing the curtains by the windows) and went into the bathroom.<br /> <br /> While the bathtub began to fill with warm water, she searched any extra nooks and cranies and shelves for certain items, such as a brush and soap.<br /> <br /> When her quarry was found, she slipped into the water and began to scrub the desert grime off.<br /> <br /> <br /> ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~<br /> <br /> <br /> Sam, freshly groomed and clothed, stood in her room. It hadn't occured to her to ask where the dining hall, or room or whatever it was, was located. Now though, she assumed that Arwen would send someone, since Arwen hopefully knew that Sam had no clue where it was.<br /> <br /> Her auburn hair hung loosely at her shoulders, surprisingly not clashing too badly with the dress. The shoes looked even more painful than the shoes most teenage girls wore, but were actually very comfortable. She didn't want to wrinkle the dress by sitting on it so she resolved to pacing.<br /> <br /> When a barely perceptible knock sounded at the door, Sam paused, just to make sure that it was a knock and not someone walking down the hall. &quot;Come in,&quot; she called when the person knocked again.<br /> <br /> She was surprised when Legolas opened the door and walked in.<br /> <br /> &quot;I am here to be your escort,&quot; he said so formally that it took most of Sam's military skill to keep her expression neutral and from showing her amusement.<br /> <br /> Then she berated herself. Her team had just *died* today and she was already wanting to laugh? Or maybe this was just hysterics from being in shock. She couldn't afford to be off-guard; she still didn't know these people or exactly how must to trust them yet.<br /> <br /> &quot;Thanks,&quot; she said quietly. Team death, hysterics, or whatever, she almost couldn't supress a girlish giggle; Legolas was kind of cute when he was wearing his &quot;fancy tunic&quot; thing, which happened to be a few shades lighter blue than her dress.<br /> <br /> Legolas reopened the door and she walked through, trying not to trip. She paused to give him time to catch up and together they walked to the dining hall.<br /> <br /> <br /> ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~<br /> <br /> <br /> Sam sat trying to remember whose name went to who. There were the Hobbits: Frodo, the one to whom the feast was dedicated; His servant, whose name, ironically, was Sam; and Frodo's cousin's, Merry and Pippin, who she had a small bit of trouble telling apart. The Elves: Legolas, who she already knew; Lord Elrond, her host and Arwen's father; Arwen herself; Arwen's twin brothers, Elladan and Elrohir; Glorfindel, the one who saved Frodo from the Nazgul a few days ago; Legolas's escort; and various others. Out of the Dwarves, she had only been introduced to Gloin and his son, Gimli.<br /> <br /> She was seated next to Legolas and either Merry or Pippin (though by how their conversation was going, it was Pippin). Not too far away, she could see Frodo. He was particularly easy to tell apart because he was the skinniest of the four Hobbits, and even to Sam's untrained eyes, he seemed transparent and almost Elivsh at times.<br /> <br /> Her heart went out to him and how bad his injury must have been. Just before she had been stationed near Iran, she had been in Iraq. As she and her then teammember, Sergeant Jeff Tomlinson, were driving down a seemingly abandoned road to deliver supplies, gunfire rang out along with various explosions. Suddenly, the road in front of them blew up and they had both lost consciousness. Two weeks later, she woke up in the infirmary. The doctor on duty informed her that she had been in a coma caused by a severe concussion. Before she could ask anything, her CO walked in and informed her that there had been a leak and the enemy had ambushed them. They had driven right onto a mine and when the truck blew up, she had gotten badly burned. Medics found her unconcious and not breathing. When she asked about Jeff, her CO paused and said that he had had too much head trauma and was too severely burned. Jeff had died on site.<br /> <br /> Sam closed her eyes and tried to get control of her emotions. Her crying would only confirm that women here were too weak to be military.<br /> <br /> She felt a warm hand on her shoulder and opened her eyes. Legolas was looking at her in concern. &quot;Are you alright, my lady?&quot; he asked softly.<br /> <br /> Sam nodded. &quot;Yeah,&quot; she said.<br /> <br /> He didn't look conviced but he said nothing more. 'Oh screw this, Jackson,' she thought, 'just talk to...Pippin, or something.'<br /> <br /> She turned around and noted that Pippin seemed to have taken an interest in staring at his food instead of talking to Merry.<br /> <br /> &quot;Hi,&quot; she said. &quot;Um, I'm Sam, uh, Lieutenant Samantha Jackson.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;Oh, hello,&quot; said Pippin, looking up. &quot;I'm Peregrin Took, but I'm mostly called Pippin or Pip.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;How long have you been here?&quot; asked Sam.<br /> <br /> &quot;Three days,&quot; he cast a hasty glace at Frodo before continuing, &quot;We were so worried. Dear Bilbo and Sam, er, Samwise, most of all. And you?&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;I just got here today. It's kind of hard to explain, even more so for me to comprehend, but I was somewhere in the mountains and Legolas and his group picked me up,&quot; said Sam, half to herself. That's all it really was. A simple summary when so much happened; Sam wanted to laugh.<br /> <br /> &quot;Oh,&quot; said Pippin.<br /> <br /> &quot;You've hardly eaten anything,&quot; observed Sam.<br /> <br /> &quot;You haven't eaten much either,&quot; retorted Pip, his mouth twisting into a shadow of a smile. &quot;Besides,&quot; he skewered a slice of ham and continued, &quot;tonight is a celebration. We should be enjoying the food and speaking of happy things.&quot;<br /> <br /> Sam smiled sadly. She could get to like Pippin. He was so innocent--or ignorant--of the horrors of war, which he was just beginning to learn existed. She hated to see that he would probably see so much more before he would return home.<br /> <br /> Speaking of his home: &quot;Where are you from?&quot; she asked.<br /> <br /> &quot;Up north,&quot; he replied, then clarified at her confused expression, &quot;in a beautiful place called the Shire.&quot;<br /> <br /> She saw the wi!@#$l look on his face but refused to feel envy. *He* could return to his home within the week if he wanted to but *she* had to stay God knows where with a bunch of people from a fantasy novel!<br /> <br /> She kept her voice neutral and asked, &quot;What is it like?&quot;<br /> <br /> He turned to her with a distant look in his eyes. &quot;It has many grassy hills, perfect for running through on a summer day. And nestled quietly in the hill are the Hobbit holes. I miss the roundness. Men and Elves favor angles too much. Ah, the Shire is as homely as Rivendell in the spring when the orchards are in full blossom and all the birds in their nests and the flower gardens blooming.<br /> <br /> &quot;I miss it terribly. I can't wait to go back home and get away from the outside. It's too big for us Hobbits. We aren't made for adventure. Cousin Bilbo adjusted fine to his adventure, but to be honest, I'm afraid I'll be like him. All I want is to settle down in the Shire with a pretty Hobbit-lass, but I'm afraid that I won't be able to stay in one place. Bilbo didn't leave until after sixty years, but he had Frodo. I'll only have Merry, but he might not want to stay. I'm sorry, I shouldn't be saying all of this, it's just nice that someone will listen.&quot;<br /> <br /> Sam smiled grimly. &quot;It's okay. I know what it's like to want to go home so badly and to be afraid to. Where I come from, my country is in the middle of a war and I've been in it for two years now. The worst part is, I haven't seen my family in all of that time. War,&quot; Sam's voice caught,&quot; war changed me, and I'm afraid my family won't like the change. I hear stories that old war veterans have a hell of a time going back to their old life...that they can't stay still. I don't want to be like that.&quot;<br /> <br /> Pippin's eyes grew wide. &quot;You--&quot;, but Lord Elrond interrputed and announced the end of the feast. The guests rose and followed Elrond and Arwen out and into a large room with a cheerful fire nestled in the far wall between two pillars. Pippin walked between Sam and Merry. Sam was comforted at Legolas's presence next to her as well.<br /> <br /> Sam went and sat down on a temptingly soft sofa. Pippin followed, tons of questions plainly written on his face.<br /> <br /> &quot;You were in a war?&quot; he asked quietly as the Elven minstrels began to play.<br /> <br /> Sam nodded. &quot;And still am more or less.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;I did not think women were allowed to fight. Where are you from?&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;I'm from a country called the U.S.A. or the United States of America. The good ol' red, white, and blue. The land of the free, home of the brave,&quot; Sam put her face in her hands and sighed. &quot;Alaska, the last frontier.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;Uh,&quot; began Pippin, &quot;and...where is that?&quot;<br /> <br /> Sam lowered her hands. &quot;That is west.&quot; She waved her hand vaguely some direction and said quietly, &quot;That is home.&quot;<br /> <br /> Pippin stared at her hard for a moment efore saying, &quot;You miss your home. What happened?&quot;<br /> <br /> Sam was surprised but she didn't let it show on her face. &quot;I was on a simple recon and my team was bombed. I-I'm the only one that survived.&quot; It sounded strange. 'I'm the only one that survived.' It was too hard to believe that she was the only one of her team that survived. Why her? Why was she the only one?<br /> <br /> <br /> ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~<br /> <br /> <br /> Sam glanced around the council. She was extremely confused as to why she was involved with it, but since Lord Elrond was technically her CO, she didn't question her orders.<br /> <br /> She was seated with the Elves. The night before (with a very red face) she asked to borrow one of Legolas's tunics so that she could be in uniform.<br /> <br /> After the first hour (where Sam learned the names of a few more of the inhabitants) she decided that this meeting was even worse than the briefings back at base.<br /> <br /> Her attention was caught immediately when the Dwarf--Gimli--shouted, &quot;I would be dead before I saw the Ring in the hands of an Elf!&quot;<br /> <br /> It was then that she noticed that Legolas was standing and looking livid, though he did hold his comrades back when they stood up to go to his defence.<br /> <br /> The arguement finally died when the little Hobbit, Frodo, shouted over the noise, &quot;I will take it!&quot; When conversation died down he said, &quot;I will take the Ring to Mordor. Though, I do not know the way.&quot;<br /> <br /> The old man in grey robes--Gandalf--walked forward. &quot;I will help you bear this burden, Frodo Baggins, as long as it is yours to bear.&quot;<br /> <br /> One of the men, named Aragorn, came forward and bent down on one knee to look the Hobbit in the eye. &quot;By my life or death, if I can protect you, I will. You have my sword.&quot;<br /> <br /> Legolas stepped forward. &quot;And you have my bow.&quot;<br /> <br /> Gimli followed suite (in Sam's opinion just to !@#$ Legolas off). &quot;And my ax.&quot;<br /> <br /> The other man, called Boromir, walked forward. &quot;You carry the fates of us all little one. If this is indeed the will of the Concil, then Gondor will see it done.&quot;<br /> <br /> Suddenly Samwise burst out from behind some bushes. &quot;Hey! Mr. Frodo's not goin' anywhere without me!&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;No indeed as it is highly impossible to separate you two, even when he is invited to a secret Concil and you are not,&quot; said Lord Elrond in amusement, which turned to exasperation when Merry and Pippin burst out from behind two pillars.<br /> <br /> Pippin cried indignantly, &quot;Hey, we're comin' too!&quot;<br /> <br /> Merry finished the statement, &quot;And you'll have to send us home in a sack to stop us.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;Anyway,&quot; said Pippin, &quot;you need people of intelligence on this sort of;<br /> <br /> &quot;Well, that rules you out Pip,&quot; retorted Merry.<br /> <br /> Sam was at a loss. Should she go too? Then she recalled her conversation with Pip the pervious night and closed her eyes. She was one of those &quot;old war veterans&quot; who couldn't stay settled.<br /> <br /> She opened her eyes and stood up. All eyes landed on her. &quot;I know I'm not a man,&quot; she began, choosing her words carefully, &quot;but I do know the horrors of war. I can't just sit around while these guys are facing death. I will protect Frodo as fiercely as I protect my country.&quot;<br /> <br /> Lord Elrond nodded in approval. &quot;Ten companions. You shall be the Fellowship of the Ring.&quot;<br /> <br /> &quot;Great,&quot; said Pippin. &quot;Where are we going?&quot;
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