Inkling Challenge: Take the Fellowship to Work/School

by Avondster

The Fellowship at the Call Centre

It is 1.55 pm when the bus stops in a business park just opposite the airport. Avondster hops out and looks gloomily at the tall building that is the new location of her office.
She makes sure she watches her step as she walks in, carefully stepping over pieces of linoleum and scattered carpenter’s equipment.

AVONDSTER: “Ready by the time we move”, yeah right.

She peers suspiciously at the newly-built elevator, still stained with sawdust and paint, a few pieces of yellow tape still clinging to it, and decides it would be better to take the stairs.
When she arrives at the fourth floor, panting slightly, she signs in at the desk of her supervisor, who greets her with a smile.

ROSE: Good afternoon. Hey, remember I told you about the new agents we’re hiring? A few early applications came in before the weekend, and the She-Manager thought it would be good if they started right away. So I’ve got you a group for today.

Avondster nods and follows Rose, who leads her to a training room. Avondster looks at her training group and gasps.
The Fellowship of the Ring is standing in the room, looking a little awkward. Boromir is having difficulty restraining Merry and Pippin, who seem to be eager to examine the many objects new to them. Sam is holding the reins of Bill the Pony (Avondster wonders for a moment how they got Bill on the fourth floor), and all of them smile happily as they see her.

ROSE: Hello everyone, this is Avondster and she’s going to help you on your first day at the company. If you are having any problems, don’t hesitate to ask her, okay?
(She looks at Bill for a moment and smiles friendly at Sam)
I am sorry, but all vehicles must be left outside or in the garage.

Sam, looking indignant, opens his mouth to say something, but Avondster hushes him.

AVONDSTER: She is right, Sam. The Call Centre is no place for a pony, not even one as brave as Bill.

SAM: (strokes Bill) Bye bye, Bill. (He looks after the pony sadly as he stumbles down the hall)

AVONDSTER: Don’t worry, Sam. He knows the way to the garage.

ROSE: Right, that’s settled! Okay then, good luck everyone!

Rose strides out of the room. Avondster waits until she is well out of earshot and turns to the Fellowship, surprised but beaming.

AVONDSTER: Well, let’s get started then, shall we?

Soon, the Fellowship are all settled down at their desks with a computer and a telephone. Avondster explains that people will call to ask for information, or to make a reservation, or both. After explaining a few technical details, she sets them to work.
It already starts with difficulty, as Gandalf jumps up after five minutes and starts whacking the computer with his staff. Avondster runs over to him and asks what is wrong.

GANDALF: I once knew every spell in all the tongues of Elves, Men and Orcs…

AVONDSTER: You just have to enter the password, Gandalf.

GANDALF: Oh. Right.

Merry and Pippin, meanwhile, are having fun trying out all the buttons on the telephone. Avondster snatches Pippin’s wrist just in time before he can press a little blue one.

AVONDSTER: Do not disturb the water… uhh, line. (She receives a puzzled look)That is the Conference Button for the inside line, and we are forbidden to use it because they think we would abuse it. Do not touch it!

A loud hooting noise makes everyone in the vicinity jump.

LEGOLAS: The horn of Gondor!

AVONDSTER: (sighs) Boromir, if you want help you can just ask me!

Boromir pouts as he puts away his horn.

Legolas, in the meantime, is chattering merrily into his headset while his fingers dance over the keyboard of his computer with Elven grace. Gimli, opposite him, is also working hard.

GIMLI: Legolas! Two reservations!

LEGOLAS: I’m on seventeen!

GIMLI: Eh? I’ll have no pointy-ear have a higher number of calls than me! (He starts typing furiously, but the battle gloves give him immense difficulty)


Some time later…

GIMLI: Seventeen! Eighteen! Nineteen! Twenty! Twenty-one…

Avondster suddenly leaps to her feet and hushes Gimli with a gesture of her hand. The sound of chattering voices is drawing nearer. Frodo draws his sword. It glows bright blue.

LEGOLAS: Orcs!

They all look at the door, and Avondster mutters something that sounds like “I knew it!” when the Annoying Arrogant Office Bimbo (AAOB) walks in, flanked by her Dumb Bimbo Sidekicks. AAOB examines all the Fellowship. Her eyes rest on the Hobbits’ hairy feet, Aragorn’s unwashed hair and Gandalf’s tattered robes.

AAOB: Look at this, girls. It’s training day, and Avondster gets stuck with all the weirdos. But I suppose she attracts them. After all… (Mimicks reading a book frantically, while the DBS giggle)

Merry jumps off his seat and unsheaths his sword. Pippin follows his example. AAOB fortunately does not see this, as she is too busy batting her eyelashes at Legolas.
Avondster, looking both hurt and angry, steps up to AAOB.

AVONDSTER: At least the management seems to think I have enough brain cells to train these ‘weirdos’ as you call them. I suppose that is because I, unlike you, actually work instead of cheking my make-up all day.

AAOB: I would cut off your head, nerd, if I wasn’t afraid you’d contaminate me with your weirdness.

LEGOLAS: (aiming an arrow at AAOB) You’d die before your stroke fell!

AAOB looks dumbly at the arrowhead a few inches away from her face, then at Legolas, who is glaring at her.The DBS run into the hall, screaming hysterically.
Aragorn pushes Legolas’ bow down, but as he does so, two little figures tackle AAOB and begin attacking her. Boromir laughs heartily.

MERRY: For the Shire!

PIPPIN: For Lady Avondster!

Aragorn tries to pull M & P off a struggling AAOB, but they tackle him, too, and he falls. Avondster finally succeeds in stopping them. They look down at the now unconcious AAOB. A big lump is swelling on her head.

MERRY: I don’t understand. We didn’t even hit her in the head.

Avondster looks over her shoulder and sees Sam putting the frying pan back in his pack, while Frodo smiles at him appreciatively.

AVONDSTER: Right, well, just leave her there. Let us continue!

The Fellowship works contentedly for a while. The Hobbits start asking about food.
Pippin, meanwhile, has finally figured out how to use his telephone, appeareantly. He talks into the receiver and listens.

PIPPIN: Frodo! Merry, it’s Frodo Baggins!

Merry turns around to see Frodo, still sitting in his chair, looking at Pippin with a puzzled expression on his face while he checks his headset.

FRODO: What’s the meaning of this?

SAM: You’ve been on the inside line with the Conference Button!

All of their heads turn, as a stamping noise in the hall comes ever closer, fast.

LEGOLAS: There’s a fell voice in the air.

GANDALF: (bellowing) It’s Saruman!

AVONDSTER: Worse, I think.

BOROMIR: (peers around the corner and pulls back quickly) They have a Cave Troll.

Avondster prays She has not heard that last remark when the She-Manager thunders into the room, stepping on AAOB. Avondster tries to smile at her Boss while thinking that Boromir was indeed right. The She-Manager starts screaming at Avondster who, unsuccesfully, tries to explain. Suddenly Gandalf steps forward.

GANDALF: I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor…

AVONDSTER: Oh dear.

GANDALF: Go back to the Shadow!

Gandalf hits the floor with his staff. A wide crack opens beneath the She-Manager and She falls in with a loud scream. Unfortunately, Gandalf’s foot gets stuck in Her Enormous Haircut, and he is pulled in. A screaming Frodo must be restrained by Boromir when Gandalf mutters his famous one-liner and falls into the chasm.

FRODO: Noooooo!

AVONDSTER: Nah, don’t worry, he’ll come back.

FRODO: (stops screaming abruptly) Really?

AVONDSTER: Let’s just go to the Ground Floor and wait for him there. It won’t take too long, it’s only a few floors.

FRODO: Are you sure?

AVONDSTER: The cafetaria is there, too!

HOBBITS: Hey ho, to the Ground Floor I go…

The Fellowship is setting out on a Quest to the Cafetaria. Avondster follows, thinking this has been the best day at work ever.