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|The Science of Suedom|
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“She’s not going to be at the Council. She’s going to be looking for her ring.”
John rolls his eyes and pulls out a book of crosswords. Sherlock looks over his shoulder.
“That’s not how you spell ‘antidisestablishmentarianism’,” he snaps.
“You’re certainly very cheerful,” John mutters, erasing what he’s already written. “Anything else you’d care to add?”
Sherlock rolls his eyes. “She’s not going to join the Fellowship. She’s not at the Council.”
“She could make a sudden dramatic entrance,” John points out.
“She’s in hiding. If she wants to avoid our attentions, she’d avoid the Council.”
“Doesn’t that mean we’ll have to find her?”
“I said she was looking for her ring.” Sherlock rolls his eyes, clambers to his feet. Silently, they head away from the patio where the Council is being held; slowly, they tiptoe away from the canonicals all arranged around the Ring. Lord Elrond is sobbing something about his missing daughter (John had opened a portal to Shelob’s lair under her corpse); Legolas and Aragorn are saying something about using the power of friendship to destroy the Ring. Frodo is, for lack of a better word, tripping out. The Suefluence can be very psychedelic sometimes.
They finally come back to the small bridge on which the message had been scrawled. The message lies there no more, however, and there is a dark figure scrabbling in the brush nearby. In the bushes, Sherlock tenses. John readies his bow for firing.
The figure looks up; for a moment they see a flash of violet eyes and strawberry blonde hair before the figure gets to her feet and runs away, disappearing into the woods.
“After her!” Sherlock shouts, and John has no choice but to follow his clearly insane partner into the woods, after a Vala Sue who has, up until now, been in hiding from her own story.
It’s exhilarating, chasing down this Sue with Sherlock. His feet seem to barely touch the ground and the chase is thrilling – Sherlock sprints on ahead and he follows effortlessly, and when they stop so Sherlock can read the tracks on the leaf-strewn floor, John realises that his leg isn’t paining him anymore.
Sherlock straightens up and beams at him. “Knew you had it in you, John. Come on!”
Onwards they run, through the flickering lines of trees, through the alternating patterns of shadow and light. It is high noon in Rivendell, for some reason. The Sue is ahead, and John has never felt this alive before.
He’s about to tell Sherlock this, but suddenly that tree is far too close and –
John leaps away, wide-eyed. Up ahead, he hears Sherlock rushing onwards. But for the moment he stares, dumbfounded, at the ellon he has run into.
Legolas Thranduillion stares back, brows furrowed. “Who are you?” he demands.
“Um.” John smiles shakily, taking a step back. “I come in pursuit of Enemy spies,” he bluffs.
The man next to Legolas – Aragorn – gets to his feet with knife drawn. “A likely story,” he growls.
“Peace, Strider,” a third voice intones. Frodo Baggins steps out. “Strider, he clearly isn’t either of them.”
“These woods have not been plagued with the spies of Sauron for ages,” Aragorn hissed. “Isn’t that so, my lord?”
Sitting on a convenient log, Lord Elrond looks over at John with a raised eyebrow. “His story may be false, but it has one grain of truth,” the elf lord says after a moment. “He is chasing them.”
Frodo nods. Legolas and Aragorn continue to stare warily at John even as they put their weapons away.
“Has she passed by?” John asks, noticing the tell-tale shimmer of the plothole that surrounds them.
“Not too long ago. She should be nearing the edges of this valley if she can truly run as the crow flies,” Legolas muses.
“What direction?” John asks. He sneaks a look down at his left hand, so often left trembling from his shoulder wound. It is perfectly steady now. He takes a deep breath.
Aragorn helpfully points. “East,” he explains.
Frodo pipes up again. “Would it trouble you too much to free us from this?” he asks, gesturing to the faint shimmery haze of the plothole’s boundaries. “After all, if you aim to slay her, then this space may cease to exist very soon.”
John blinks, and then fumbles in his bag for the Remote Activator. He opens a portal to let them out of the plothole, before jumping through it himself and taking off towards the east.
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