A meal of sorts was laid out almost immediately by the now ravenous hobbits. They sat in a tight circle, with strider some distance away keeping watch "Well," Merry said quietly, holding up what seemed a small amount of food but was actually a substantial part of his meal, "at least we're making up for missing four meals by how much we eat at the two we have." Quiet laughter and snorts of agreement came from most of the group.
"Can you imagine carrying enough food for six meals worth every day from here to Rivendell?" Sokorra asked. Merry shrugged.
"If we hadn't lost the ponies, we wouldn't have this problem."
"There wasn't much to be done about that," Frodo reminded him quietly. His words hung in the heavy silence and fresh fear that followed.
"So, Sokorra, I hear you know some of what is to happen on this little journey," Dolly said after a moment, her voice full of cheer that almost sounded sincere.
"Well, yes, some. I know the path we're taking, anyway," Sokorra said, unsure of how much she should say in front of the rest of the group.
"So, you know what the next few days will bring us, right?" Dolly asked, saving Sokorra from further explanation.
"Yes. We should be entering the Midgewater Marshes soon. Probably sometime tomorrow, in fact." Collective groans met this statement, and a verbal list of all known and supposed dangers of bogs started. This continued until Frodo announced that they would be best off sleeping, so they could better face these dangers and since they would all be woken at some point for watch. As they settled for sleep, the group almost inadvertently split into the 'boys' and the 'girls.'
"Sokorra!" a voice hissed sometime later, waking Kori. She looked out from her protective layer of blankets to see Nissa in front of her. "It's our turn for watch." Kori nodded and rose, heading out from the sprawl of sleeping hobbits (and Ranger). The two settled out a distance, where there was a semi clear view of their surroundings.
After a few minutes of silently regarding this foreign yet familiar landscape, Kori had to speak. "This is so surreal," she said quietly. Nissa nodded, her eyes tracking back and forth slowly.
"How much trouble are we in?" she asked a moment later, looking Kori in the eyes. She looked away quickly, looking somewhat uncomfortable. "I mean, you know what this place is. You know what's going to happen. So, how bad is it?"
Sokorra took a breath, wondering how much to tell Nissa. True, there was very little chance of her telling the others with how little she talked, but who knew where she fit in, and what her knowing could cause?
"Well, this is what I know, based on the books…" Sokorra proceeded to tell Nissa, as quickly as possible without sacrificing key details, what they were to expect in this world, and where this quest would lead their companions, and possibly them.
Nissa's face slowly lost color, and her hand began to shake. True, she had only known these people for a short time, and not in the best of circumstances, but she couldn't imagine these things happening to them. As Sokorra neared the end of her recitation, Nissa took a deep breath, and tried to control the tears that threatened in her stinging eyes. "So," she finally said, "this leads us back to where we were before. Why are we here?"
Sokorra had no answer to that, and they sat in silence for the short remainder of their watch, until they were relieved by a troubled looking Pippin.