The Rohirrim army was resting at Dunharrow, their refuge. Théoden spoke with Mikhail in private as he looked towards the other members of his team. “Are you sure about them?” he asked.
“I don’t know about a few of them,” replied Mikhail, “but I DO know that my friends are fighters par excellence. With them around, we can’t help but win.”
“But who will protect any of their children?” asked Théoden.
“…You’re not referring to the women in my team, are you?” warned Mikhail.
“How long have they been in combat?” continued Théoden. “Who has been protecting the younger ones or their homes?”
“They do that just fine on the battlefield!” growled Mikhail. “I find it best not to question a woman’s physical prowess or cunning.” By that, he gave the indication that he would have his way. Théoden wisely decided to drop it and left him to check on something else.
“Not used to seeing women in battle?” guessed Arsha as she approached Mikhail.
“I’ve never understood it,” muttered Mikhail. “Éowyn, his niece, is a shieldmaiden!”
“Not every woman is made for war,” replied Arsha. “One of my spouses’ Falnii, her preferred battlefield is a negotiations table.”
“Yes, but not all MEN are made for war, either!” grumbled Mikhail. “Théoden’s not moving his pieces right!”
“Speaking of moving pieces,” remarked Arsha, “are you the one that set up a chessboard in my tent and commands the white pieces?”
“…Nyet, why?” asked Mikhail.
“Because every time I move one of the black pieces and turn my attention away from the game, a white piece moves,” explained Arsha. “Right now, White moved one of its Pawns to King’s Knight 3.”
“What were the moves so far?” asked Mikhail.
“White began with a Pawn to Queen’s Bishop 4,” recalled Arsha, “then I moved a Black Pawn to Queen 3, then White Pawn to King’s Bishop 4, then Black Pawn to King’s Rook 3, then White Pawn to King 3, then Black Pawn to King’s Knight 4, then White Knight to King’s Bishop 3, then Black Pawn to King 3, then White Knight to Queen’s Rook 3, then Black Pawn to Queen’s Bishop 3, then White Pawn to Queen’s Knight 3, then Black Knight to King’s Bishop 3, and now we’re at White Pawn to King’s Knight 3.”
“Do you…need any help?” asked Mikhail.
“No, I think I have a move in mind,” replied Arsha. “I just need to find out who I’m playing against. It’s like the game is following me!”
“You mean, it started in your home?” asked Mikhail.
“Yes,” confirmed Arsha, “and it…where’s he going?” Arsha pointed to Aragorn as he came out of a tent.
“If things are going according to plan,” chuckled Mikhail, “he’s just received the sword called Andúril, Flame of the West, forged from the shards of Narsil, the blade that first severed the Ring from Sauron.” Aragorn then began preparing Brego, his horse.
“He’s not leaving, is he?!” yelped Arsha. Éowyn then ran up to Aragorn.
“Why are you doing this?!” she demanded of Aragorn. “The war lies to the east! You cannot leave on the eve of battle! You cannot abandon the men! We need you here!”
“Why have you come?” asked Aragorn.
“Do you not know?” asked Éowyn.
“…Lady, no!” hissed Arsha. Aragorn and Éowyn heard her as she ran up to them. “I’ve seen that look in your eyes before! I’ve made such looks towards my lovers!”
“He is loved by everyone here!” insisted Éowyn.
“And especially you,” observed Arsha.
“It is but a shadow and a thought that you love,” Aragorn then answered to Éowyn. “I cannot give you what you seek.” Éowyn backed off, stunned and in tears at his answer. “I have wished you joy since I first saw you.”
“…Okay, cruel,” remarked Arsha. Aragorn then mounted Brego and headed to the entrance to the mountain.
“Just where do you think you’re off to?” asked the gruff voice of Gimli.
“Not this time,” replied Aragorn. “This time, you must stay, Gimli.”
“Have you learned nothing of the stubbornness of Dwarves?” asked Legolas as he joined Aragorn and Gimli.
“You might as well accept it,” rumbled Gimli, “we’re going with you, Laddie.” Aragorn smiled as Legolas and Gimli mounted Legolas’ horse. As they moved into the mountain’s entrance, the Rohirrim stared in surprise.
“There he goes,” mused Strongarm.
“He leaves because there is no hope,” guessed Gamling, the second-in-command of all Rohirrim forces.
“He leaves because he must,” countered Théoden.
“Too few have come!” protested Gamling. “We cannot defeat the armies of Mordor or their allies!”
“No, we cannot,” replied Théoden, “but we will meet them in battle nonetheless!”
“Who says we’re gonna lose?” asked Strongarm. “I foresee victory! Our tenacity will win the day!”
“Tenacity alone cannot win a war,” replied Gamling.
“No,” conceded Arsha, “but it’s a damn good supplement to boost our chances! I don’t know about you all, but I’m gonna fight to win! Sauron may try and break our spirits, but I intend to show him that he needs something more than superior numbers to break me!”
“As will I!” cheered Mikhail.
“And me!” called Strongarm.
“…Then so will we!” declared Théoden. The Rohirrim cheered as the sun came up.
Thundercracker looked at the Orc Army and groaned. “What kind of soldiers are they?!” he wailed.
“Quit whining!” snapped Starscream. “We have the troops needed to stop the enemy’s march.”
“And we’ve got three prisoners!” chimed in Skywarp.
“What value are the prisoners to the Rohirrim?!” protested Thundercracker. As the Seekers argued, the Orcs grumbled.
“I’m starving!” growled one. “We ain’t had nothing but maggoty bread for three stinking days!”
“Yeah!” called another. “Why can’t we have some meat?!” The Orc’s eyes then fell on the three prisoners Skywarp was talking about. One had a Beatle’s style haircut, the second had his red, curly hair lining only the back of the head, and the last was bald and fat. “What about them?” asked the second Orc. “They’re fresh!” The Seekers stopped arguing long enough to hear what was going on. They turned to the Orcs and stomped towards them.
“Hey! Back off!” called Skywarp.
“No!” roared Thundercracker.
“They are NOT for eating!” snarled Starscream. A pair of Orcs got the three prisoners onto their feet as another Orc looked them over.
“What about their legs?” asked the Orc. “They don’t need those! They look tasty!”
“I said, back off!” roared Skywarp as his blade got between the Orc and the prisoners.
“The prisoners go with us alive and unspoiled!” snarled Starscream.
“Alive?” asked the Orc planning to take the prisoners’ legs. “Why alive? Do they give good sport?”
“They’re our hostages,” explained Starscream. “Apparently, they’re friends of the Vortex Riders. They stay alive if Rohan backs off. If not, they’re yours to deal with.”
“Just a mouthful!” urged the second Orc. “A bit off the fat one’s flank!” His head was then liberated from his neck by the Orc Commander.
“Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys!” he announced. The Orcs then feasted on their dead comrade’s corpse.
“Hey! Jiggers!” called one of the prisoners to his friends. He nodded his head in a direction away from the Orcs. Skywarp idly flicked the dead Orc’s spleen away from his shoulder as the Orcs messily devoured it.
“Disgusting!” shuddered Starscream.
“I’ve never seen organics act this way!” agreed Thundercracker. “Hey, you three, how savage can you…WHERE’D THEY GO?!” The three prisoners were gone! At Thundercracker’s yelp, everyone stopped whatever activities they were engaged in and saw the spot the prisoners used to be in.
“FIND THEM!” ordered the Orc Commander.
“Boy, that was a narrow escape!” panted the black-haired prisoner.
“You’re telling me!” gasped the bald prisoner. “That guy wanted to carve me up!”
“Over there!” called a voice. The three yelped and peeked over the bushes, seeing a pair of Rohirrim, Melandra, Grimlock, and Haitao.
“We gotta find a way out of here!” gulped the red-headed prisoner.
“I got it!” cheered the black-haired prisoner.
“I hope so,” gulped the bald prisoner. “Because if you don’t, we’ll get it!”
“Quiet!” hissed the black-haired prisoner as he poked the bald one’s eyes.
“Wait a minute, look!” called the red-headed prisoner. He pointed to Haitao’s Vortex Driver.
“Wait a minute, I’ve seen that before!” whispered the bald one.
“Yeah, in the monster’s home universe!” cheered the black-haired one. “That’s the same kind of belt Megumi’s future wore!”
“It’s the Vortex Riders!” called the red-headed one.
“Over here!” shouted the bald one, attracting the attention of the search party. Haitao immediately recognized them.
“It’s Moe, Larry, and Curly!” he called to his party. “Help me untie them!” The party got their knives out and cut the Stooges’ bonds.
“Thanks, boys!” bid Moe.
“What are you doing here?” asked Grimlock.
“That rat, Hiro, kidnapped us!” replied Moe.
“We were settling in nicely as rulers of Moronica!” supplied Larry.
“I’d like to get my hands on Hiro!” snarled Curly. “I’ll dash his head against the wall! I’ll rip both his legs off! I’ll annihilate him! I’ll…!” someone tapped him on the shoulder. He looked around and yelped at seeing Moe’s face.
“We’re marching to Gondor in the morning,” reported Melandra. “That way seems to be the safest route.”
“Bad idea!” yelped Larry.
“The Orcs that had us are over that way, probably still looking for us,” explained Moe. “So are those jet robots.”
“Jet robots?” asked Grimlock. “Do they look alike?”
“Aside from the different colors, they’re almost the same,” replied Curly.
“A Seeker Trine!” growled Grimlock. “If we can safely believe Megatron’s involved, it’s probably Starscream’s Trine!”
“Then we need to find another way quick!” declared Haitao. “Let’s all head back to camp and tell Théoden about this!”
Over in Minas Tirith, Hiroki and Gandalf came out of the throne room and into the Courtyard where the White Tree stood. Lukas and Optimus were looking around. “Imagine,” Lukas chuckled to himself. “Last time I was here, we were fighting the Riddler and the Balrog. Now, here we are, ready to fight Mordor.”
“If we can get some sense into Denethor, perhaps we can!” growled Gandalf.
“He’s had his cup of depresso today?” snarked Optimus.
“Idiot’s sent Faramir to Western Osgiliath with no proper preparations!” explained Hiroki.
“Now?!” yelped Optimus. “We were supposed to help him!”
“Denethor sent him in secret,” reported Gandalf, “long before the audience we just held with him!”
“This is NOT going to be a moment where I want to say, ‘I told you so’,” sighed Optimus.
“Guys, Mordor’s coming!” called Wyldstyle. Indeed, at the Pelennor Fields, the host from Mordor arrived. As predicted, it was augmented with Shocker Rift’s technology and weapons. Laser cannons were dispersed among the ranks of Orcs. The troops were armed with laser rifles. The Nine rode on mechanical Fell Beasts controlled by their new motorcycles. Daleks flanked the Nine in the air. Leading the whole thing, in vehicle mode, was a foe Optimus could recognize over the radio.
“Megatron!” he snarled.
“My Lord, Denethor!” called a soldier, Irolas, as more carried Faramir’s body up to the courtyard on a stretcher. Denethor came out of the throne room and ran to Faramir’s body.
“Faramir!” he called. “Say not that he has fallen!”
“They were outnumbered,” reported Irolas. “None survived.”
“Fear!” chuckled the Orc Commander. “The city is rank with it! Let us ease their pain! Release the prisoners!”
“Catapults!” ordered the Orc Second-in-Command. The catapults launched their ammunition into the city. The soldiers got a good look at the ammunition, the heads of the Orcs’ prisoners.
“My sons are spent!” whimpered Denethor. “My line has ended!” Pippen looked over Faramir’s body as Cliffjumper activated a scanner.
“It’s not over!” called Cliffjumper.
“He’s alive!” supplied Pippen.
“The House of Stewards has failed!” continued Denethor.
“Denethor, aren’t you listening?!” protested Optimus.
“He needs medicine, my Lord!” answered Pippen.
“My line has ended!” insisted Denethor as he stumbled to the edge of the courtyard.
“Don’t be stupid!” shouted Optimus.
“Rohan has deserted us!” whispered Denethor as he saw the legions of Orcs and Daleks.
“Denethor! Can you not hear the catapults smashing into the city?!” shouted Ironhide.
“Théoden’s betrayed me!” hissed Denethor.
“YOUR CITY IS LITERALLY CRUMBLING ALL AROUND YOU!” shouted War. Denethor then leaned over the edge to shout as loud as he could.
“ABANDON YOUR POSTS!” he ordered. “FLEE! FLEE FOR YOUR LIVES!” At that moment, Gandalf had enough! He whacked Denethor several times over with his staff.
“That’s it, then,” declared Hiroki. “PREPARE FOR BATTLE!”
“AUTOBOTS, TO THE AIR!” shouted Optimus. As the Autobots took off, the Riders took out their respective belts.
“HENSHIN!” called all the Riders.
“Open! Turn! Imagine!” called the Chronicle Drivers.
“The Tail of Lash!”
“The Morningstar of Terra!”
“The Crossbow of Striker!”
“The Shield of Highland!”
“The Roller of Turf!”
“The Keyblade of Lux!”
“TATAKAI!” (FIGHT) shouted Hiroki, Kamen Rider Sengoku. Everyone charged to the gates to stop the combined armies of Mordor and Shocker Rift.