Chapter 22 - Lost in Middle-Earth

Marton and Cate ushered their friends up yet another tree and up onto their threshold. "Gosh, y'all are so lucky to be landed in a place like this!" Elijah clucked. Cate smiled.
"I'm glad that I did." Marton's face turned grave. "There's no chance that he made it...?" Elijah looked down. "No. He-he was taken by the Balrog. But he made a good effort."
Cate frowned. "Ah well. I could not get the Mirror to work, no matter what I did, so I couldn't find out about that until now." She laughed. "So much for a Lady of the Wood, huh?" There was a long silence. Cate cleared her throat. "Anyway, you all will be safe tonight, for you will sleep here in this warm atmosphere."
"Thank you kindly, Madame." Sean said. He seemed mesmerized by the surroundings. Lothlorien had melted the Sean off of him, and now he was the honest, loyal Sam.
They bunked on the ground. As the careworn, weary travelers rolled out their sheets, they expressed their thoughts to one another.
"They seemed so different." The Man of Gondor exclaimed.
"Yeah. It seemed weird calling Cate well, Cate! It seemed like I should be calling her, Milady, or something like that." Orlando said as he shrugged into his warm sheets.
"I guess there's really not much to do when you're surrounded by elves that don't know your secret." Elijah said. "Anyway, sleep well guys."
One by one, they fell to a much deserved slumber.
They stayed in that enchanted land for longer than they ever imagined. Cate and Marton stayed out of touch and at times Orlando would wander away with "his kind". Far off, there could be heard laments from treetops, sung in Silvan elf form, but they knew it was for their good friend, Sir Ian.
Elijah stood up one day and sang a melody. "When the cold of winter comes, starless night will cover day, in the veiling of the sun, we will walk in bitter rain. But in dreams, I still hear your name. And in dreams, we will meet again. When the seas and mountains fall, and we come to end of days. In the dark I hear a call. Calling me there, I will go there, and back again..." He slowly drifted into memories of days on the set with his dear friend and was not fully attentive until later that day.
Another day, as friends do, Elijah and Sean went for a walk. Their minds were still set on Sir Ian.
"I miss him and I want back the sense in our group." Elijah groaned.
"Yeah. And I want this to be over with so we can just go home!" Sean declared. Cate popped up right in front of them.
"AH!" The terrified hobbits declared.
"How does she do that?" Elijah said, trembling still from the shock.
 Cate shrugged. "I guess I got the full package. Come, I'll make your quest shorter." The two followed their friend to an open glade. Cate made herself busy hastening around, filling an urn with water and periodically pouring it into a basin.
"This is the Mirror of Galadriel. It shows things that have come, things that are of now, and things to come. I just hope it works!" She said as she moved.
"Come, Sam. Look in." Sean cautiously approached the basin and looked into its gaping mouth.
"All I see is stars." He informed the waiting Elf Lady. Her shoulders drooped.
"Oh well. This is just fabulous. NOW we'll never get out of here! This is important."
Sean held up a finger. "Sh. Sh. Wait, it's clouding over." Cate jumped and clapped her hands. "I see the Shire. It's, it's *speaking* to me! It says that I could just forget this whole thing and dwell here forever with Rose! Rose..." He sighed. Then as if breaking a dream he shook his head. "Wait now. I see it again. There's turmoil. Blackness covers most of it, and what isn't full of the dark has evil fire." He turned to Elijah. "I'll stop at *nothing* to help you with this." Elijah smiled.
"Thanks buddy."
"Now that it's working," Cate said, "Elijah, would you kindly look?" He stepped up and leaned over it.
After a few minutes, he spoke up. "There's a guy that looks *extremely* familiar in there, and he's mouthing something to me. That's all I see." He stood back and looked up at the beautiful, untouched sky.
"Did it look like Sir Ian?" Cate asked.
 Elijah shook his head. "No. Not at all. He looked like he was from a different era, and he was wearing a suit. But the biggest thing was his eyes. They just drew me in."
"Well." Cate said. "I was glad it worked for you." Suddenly, a fire burned in her normally gentle eyes. She lifted her head. "Give me the Ring." She said mechanically, as if someone was controlling her.
"What?" Elijah said.
"Give me the Ring. You shall set up not a Dark Lord, but a Queen. And I will not be horrid, I will be as beautiful and terrible as the Day and Night. As wonderful as the Sun and the Sky and the Snow upon the Mountain. All shall love me, and despair!" Cate extended her hand. The ring Nenya gleamed, making the sky look very dim. Then it dropped. Slowly, her head lowered once more. "I pass the test. I shall diminish and go into the West. I shall remain Galadriel."
"Whoa. Was all of that real?" Elijah asked.
"Afraid so. Sauron has been taunting me. I only lied about the Mirror not working in case someone warned you about the problem I was having. But let us return. On the morrow you will bid Marton and I, as well as Lorien, farewell."