20. The Luggage Runs Off With the One Ring

“Can I ask a question?” Acacia wondered.

“... What question?” said the instructor warily.

“It’s ‘do you really think we don’t know not to get limbs removed?’”

“I think the nice young lady on the video was simply pointing out that by lightsaber etiquette, once you’ve lost a limb, the duel is over. If you’d been paying attention—”

“So sorry. We were dazzled by the seventies instruction-video corniness of it all,” Jay said brightly.

“And I would think it would be fairly obvious that if you’ve just had a—”

“Questions to be filed in the box!” the instructor snapped, waving a frond.

“I wasn’t asking anything,” Acacia muttered.

“Comments filed in the box!” the Greenman said, his jolly face twitching.

“Okay, okay...”

“I thought it was quite interesting how the girl turned into a ghost, though,” Jay said.

The Greenman simply pointed with a shaking limb towards the box.

“Let’s leave, I’m hungry,” said Acacia.

“Eggrolls,” Jay said happily. “And eggses and bacons for de babees...”


Good little demon-thing,” said Acacia, feeding Boromire another egg.

“Izzybizzybaby? Oowantbacon? Yeees.” Elrind and Traduil exchanged glances of “Yes, she’s mad, but she feeds us,” and ate their bacon. Jay beamed.

“They’d almost look cute, if they weren’t... well, little evil fiery demons,” Acacia mused.

“They are cute. They’re ’DORABLE. Isn’t you?” Jay cuddled Elrind happily, slightly scorching her fire-resistant gear. “If we were still in the Sue department, we could feed them a Sue or two every now and then.”

“Well, this is temporary. They’ll switch us back soon enough.” Acacia snorted. “Knowing them, as soon as they’ve found something truly horrendous.”

Jay smiled. “If that’s so, we should exchange that lightsaber for some more canonical weapons. Steve in Godplaying says he traded some interesting toys from someone in Genderbending.”

“What sort?”

“He didn’t say. Just... well, he called them ‘toys’, too. Most boys won’t admit that that’s the function their weapons really serve.”

“A useful thing for killing things with.”

“Toys.” Jay shrugged. “Let’s check it out, eh?”


“Very... interesting...” said Acacia.

Jay was merely staring at the odd array of weapons laid out on the table.

Steve grinned madly. “Come on, all this for one little lightsaber.”

Acacia stared. “But they’re TOYS. The butcher knife looks useful, and the watch is nice. But the rest— you said weapons!”

“They are!”


“Well, yes, special jacks.”

“And jacks-in-the-box—” Acacia picked one up disdainfully and turned the crank.

“Agh!” Jay broke out of her trance, seized her partner, and threw the little box to the corner of the room. As the cheerful little tune played, she dragged Acacia behind the table, where Steve was waiting.

There was an earth-shattering kaboom.

“... Okay, so that was cool,” said Acacia.

“Acy? Please don’t throw any more jackbombs about.” Jay peeked up over the table. “Everything looks all right...”

“Apart from the scorch marks.” Acacia grinned. The explosion had been rather nice-looking.

“He told you they were weapons...” Jay turned to Steve. “Where did you get these, again?”

“Greg in Genderbending, remember?”

“An Alice genderbender?” Jay shuddered. “Gyahhh.”

“What’s all that about?”

Alice. A video game. Based on the books by Lewis Carroll. Lux showed me. These are all weapons from Alice.”

“... Ah.”

“I don’t want to know if Alice was genderbent. I really don’t. For one thing, a guy’d look very silly in her pretty little pinafore.”

Acacia pictured this, and started laughing.

Jay pictured this as well. She snorted. “And the little apron... with the bow in the back... and the button-up boots—”

“Very strange,” said Acacia, looking at the table again. “What do these jacks do?”

Jay picked them up gingerly, and flicked her wrist. The central tines suddenly became quite sharp. “They target, too.”


“The blunderbuss handles like a cannon. Probably kill us if we tried to use it.” Jay inspected the rest of the weapons. “Ice wand’s fun, but it’s quite draining to use.”

“I’m not sure if I want to ask you where you found all this out.”

“Is it a crime to like video games?” Jay smiled happily. “And there are fan sites, and—”

“All right then. Pity we won’t be able to use most of these in-canon,” said Acacia wistfully.

“Sad,” Jay agreed. “But butcher knives work anywhere!”

“Well, yes.”

“Did we bring along the lightsaber?”

Acacia fished the spare saber out of her pocket. “Yep.”

Steve practically drooled; he was a fanboy at heart. “Take’m. They’re yours.”

“Fun.” Acacia began gathering up the various toys.

“Watch the dice, watch the dice!” Jay grabbed them before they hit the floor. “All right. Let’s get CAREFULLY back to our response center.”


Acacia finished stacking the toys in the back of the response center, Jay having explained to her repeatedly why it was a Really Bad Idea just to drop them.

[Beep?] the computer beeped.

“Hallo! Crossover—” Jay hopped over. Then she jumped up and punched a fist in the air. “YES!”


Lord of the Rings and DISCWORLD!”


Jay read through it. “Hey, and it’s short! And—oh. Oh, my.”

Acacia stood up. “What happens?”

“Um. Boromir. He. Um. Well, something eats him.”

Acacia choked.

“And... well... it’s... not something I’D tangle with.”

“Jay...? What is it?”

Jay gave her a wide-eyed look. “The Luggage.”

Acacia sat down again.

Well... “sat” in the loosest sense of the word.

Jay stared at the screen. “I don’t think we’ve got the firepower to muck with the Luggage. Heck, I don’t think the Imperial Fleet has the firepower to muck with the Luggage...”

Acacia had folded a corner of the rug over her face, in the manner of a pillow when one really does not want to get out of bed.

“Can we send it back first?” she asked, rather muffledly.

“Well, it’s the first canon breach, because it happens right when they meet it.” Jay looked shell-shocked. “Damnit... the LUGGAGE. I’m going to put in a request for a month’s vacation at the Imperial Hotel... if I survive.”

“I was looking forward to a Discworld one.”

“So was I.” Jay walked over to the pile of toys and picked up a rather pretty crystalline structure on a gold handle—the ice wand. “If I remember right, this thing can make walls.”

“That might help.”

“Yeah, for about three seconds. Ready to go?”

“If you mean ‘would waiting make me any readier’, it wouldn’t.”


Acacia sighed. “What’ll we be?”

“I think... just people for this one.”

“Sounds okay.”

The portal opened more readily than usual. It almost seemed eager.

Neither of them moved.

“Aren’t you going to go?”

Jay pursed her lips. “Um... is it just me, or is it trying to get rid of us?”

“If it can do that, we’re in trouble.”

“We aren’t already?”

Acacia sighed. “Yes. We are. Now lead on, Dave.”

Jay steeled herself, gripped the ice wand tightly, and stepped through.


The frigid wind whipped around them as they landed in the snow.

Meanwhile, some ten yards down the mountain, Frodo dropped the Ring. AGAIN.

He dropped the damn Ring AGAIN.

Except this time, he’d managed to drop the rest of him with it. Everybody turned to stare at him.

“So it turns up here?”

“Yes. It’s called ‘The Luggage Runs Off With The One Ring’,” Jay said through chattering teeth.

Acacia sat down in the snow, for once completely ignoring the cold. “Do you like the idea of trying to make it give the damn thing back? ’Cause I don’t.”

“Our best bet is to get it back through to the Disc just before it eats Boromir. Then all we have to do is head for Lórien and get the flaming kitchen off of Galadriel.”

Acacia blinked. “Surely you mean kitten?”

“You dearly wish, my friend.”

Acacia looked at the Words.

“Ye gods... one would think Rincewind of all people wouldn’t throw an unknown substance onto a fire...”

“Yes, his sense of self-preservation is shot. How OOC do you think he must be?”

“Well, given that said sense of self-preservation is the better part of his character...”

The Ring had fallen from Frodo’s grasp and landed about a foot in front of him. Everybody fell silent and stared at it.

Boromir stepped forward to pick it up. “Such a small thing...” The group watched him warily.

“Is the line so HARD to get right?” Acacia sulked. “In all the times we’ve seen this... how many authors knew what was actually said?”

“I can count it on the fingers of one foot. Oh, here comes the stupid fight scene—we may be able to get through it if we keep repeating ‘this is supposed to be funny’ over and over again—oh, great!” Jay suddenly leapt forward to snatch the ring out of the snow.

Suddenly, a flash of octarine appeared atop of the Ring (or rather, where it had been). Everybody stepped back, then realised what they were doing and drew their weapons.


Jay having retrieved what it had been brought in through a transparent plot contrivance to get, the Luggage stood for a moment where it had appeared, looking at where it actually was first.

“Get it! It’s after the Ring!” Boromir lunged at the... whatever it was again with his sword drawn (he wasn’t about to lunge with his fists. He wasn’t THAT brave). Gandalf raised his staff and shot a bolt of pretty light at it, melting all the snow in its path and the back of Frodo’s head.

“This is supposed to be funny. This is supposed to be funny...”

“It missed.”

The Luggage (of course) remained unaffected.

Legolas and Gimli shot arrows and hacked away with axes at each other. Elves and Dwarves had a natural thing for each other, and since everybody else was busy with the box - even the little halflings were staring at it in a dazed sort of way - they decided to go for it, and see for themselves what the other was hiding. Thus, they tried to kill each other. Again.

“Oh,” said Acacia, “that’s nice. I know they didn’t like each other, but I’d never thought ‘murder’...”

“All the characters are farked up. Wait till you see the descriptions—”

Aragorn was a little bit more wary of the thing that had appeared in their midst. First of all, it had managed to eat the Ring (but he wasn’t quite sure about that one, actually). Secondly, it had legs. Thirdly, it was a box. Fourthly, it was a box with legs that had eaten the Ring and had suddenly appeared in their midst. Put together, these did not bode well, and, being slightly more intelligent than his companions, he did not attack the thing.

“Brighter than Gandalf?”

Aragorn swore it was watching him.

It probably was.

Its attention was suddenly diverted when Boromir stuck his sword in its lid. Fairly deep in its lid, actually. The Luggage snapped his lid at him threateningly and jumped away. Aragorn swore he saw a flash of teeth.

Gandalf backed away slightly. This was a new developement in the situation. And he wasn’t going to get to use the bleach for at least a book and a half, so staying alive was definately in the cards. He’d always thought bleach tasted nice as a child, but noo, his mother had to ruin it all....

“That answer your question?”

“Yes.” Acacia sighed. “Where did he find a mother, anyway?”

“Kmart,” Jay snapped.

Boromir was the only person who didn’t seem to get the hint. He charged again.

The lid opened.

Jay was too far away. “Acacia!”

Had anyone been listening to the laws of logic, Acacia would probably not have been able to tackle him to the ground, given how much bigger he was than her. But this was, in fact, what she managed to do.

They rolled down the slope for a ways. When they finally crunched to a stop, Boromir looked down and gasped, “What are you doing?!”

Upslope, the Fellowship were trying to reconcile two images: one, that Boromir had been eaten by the box, and two, that someone in black had tackled him before he reached it. “Eaten by the box” won.

Aragorn stared a little bit more. Then, finally, he shrugged, “I never trusted him anyway”. The company nodded in agreement.

Two angry voices drifted up.


“I’m going to KILL the author!”


“I mean, really, really painfully.”

“Oh, and—why, my lady, did you tackle me?”

“The box is really, really dangerous. And I mean really. As you should have noticed, because you’re not an idiot, remember?”

“Ah. Yes.” Boromir blinked, realized he was pinning Acacia to the ground, and rolled off of her as chivalrously as was, in the circumstances, possible.

Acacia sat up, looking very slightly disappointed.

Jay’s frightened scream pierced through her disappointment. “Oh, CRIPES! The bloody thing still wants the ring!”

“Open a portal?” Acacia suggested. “It’s sapient pearwood, it should want to get back to Rincewind.”

“IT’S UNDER AUTHORIAL INFLUENCE!” Jay yelped, throwing herself down the slope. The Luggage followed.

Jay managed to get to her knees and pull out the ice wand. She concentrated, and an icy barrier formed in the way of the Luggage just before it could reach her. It rebounded, blinked, smashed through the ice—

—and charged straight into a portal.

Jay slumped.

“That was close,” said Acacia mildly.

For a moment, Jay stared at her in wide-eyed incomprehension. Then, she opened her mouth and squeaked “CLOSE?”

“Extremely.” She sighed. “Look, if you can think of a better word, go on. If not, I suggest we set things up so the scene can happen properly this time, and go help Galadriel extinguish her hair?”

“You set things up. I’m going to sit here and try to breathe, right?”

“Then hand it over so I can.”

Jay moved to hand over the ring... and paused.

“Oh, NO you don’t.” Acacia snatched it away. “Really, Jay, you know better.” She stomped up the slope. “Come on, Boromir, follow.”

When she got to the rest of the Fellowship she put on her sunglasses, set it down in the snow, and knocked Frodo over.


“Frodo has just slipped and fallen. Again. And a big wooden chest on hundreds of legs did not come and go, nor did it eat anyone in any way whatsoever. And Legolas and Gimli, put up the weapons.”

“Hurrah,” Jay said weakly. “Now—to Lórien!”


“Incidentally, how did they think even an elf would survive a burning room to the head?” Acacia wondered.

“Rather the same way Frodo was supposed to survive having his head melted?” Jay surveyed the damage. “If we put a really big portal under it... and get the elves out first...”

“Sounds reasonable.” She considered. “I assume we want to send the kitchen back to Ankh-Morpork.”

“Do you think Rincewind wants it back in THIS shape?”

“Since when did Rincewind want anything that happened to him?”

“How true.” Jay frowned. “Where can we drop it that it’ll cause the least damage? On the Ankh?”

“Probably catch fire.”

“No, they use netfuls of it to put out fires.”

“Good point. All right, we dump it there.” Acacia looked as if she were considering something.

Jay dug in her pack. “Well, I’ve got my flameproof things—let’s do search and rescue. And please put Lady Galadriel’s hair out.”

Acacia did this, by the simple expedient of dunking her head in the Mirror and then using the neuralyzer before any objections were raised.

“Oh, Acy, Rúmil’s under here! Come help!”

Acacia headed over to the pinned elf. “What’m I supposed to do?”

“Well... if I heave up this beam HERE, you can drag him out... I think...”

Acacia pulled Haldir’s brother out from under the kitchen.

Owing to the same plothole that had allowed Galadriel to survive its landing on her head, the kitchen had set Rúmil’s clothing alight but hadn’t hurt him badly.

“I think everyone else got out.” Jay fiddled with the settings on the remote activator. “Get everyone back, I’m not sure about the size of this.”

“Stand back, everyone!”

It’s amazing how many people, even if normally distrustful of strangers, will do as you say if you appear to be the only one around who knows what’s going on.

Jay opened the portal, and the kitchen fell through. A “flurbt” sound, as might be made by a heap of wood falling on a large mass of gelatin, drifted through.

“Well, that was... comparatively not difficult...”

“Acacia?” Jay’s partner was eyeing the portal as if it were something good to eat. “Earth to Acacia...”

“I want to go through!”

“Acy, we’d land on the Ankh!” Jay sighed, and fished about for something to distract her. “Snap out of it, or... or... I’ll read out loud how the author described Boromir!”

“Then can we portal somewhere else? I want to see the Rimfall. Always wanted to see that. Or the Hublights, or Unseen University. Can’t we?”

“You’re NOT SNAPPING...” Jay put her fingers in her ears and read aloud, “The other rather insignificant members of the party were as follows: Gandalf the Grey (sexual preference unknown), Wizard. Gimli, Short Dwarf With Big Axe. Boromir, Rather Boring Man...”

A smooth transition from wistfulness to rage should be impossible without passing through at least one other emotion on the way, but Acacia managed it. “I DON’T believe I have to take that from someone enamored of the Token bloody Elf!”

“Aragorn, Man of Many Names with a Really-Screwed Bloodline. Oh, and an Elf. Blonde, long hair, looks like a girl to some and named Legolas.” Jay finished and unplugged her ears. She then turned about and ran, because Acacia had lunged at her.

Jay was not the epitome of grace. She tripped and fell. She fell, in fact, for quite a ways, but her fall was fortunately broken by something giving. Acacia, chasing her, fell as well.

Acacia promptly held her nose. “Always ndew it stugk, but dis...”

“Smedd somethige lige id before,” Jay said.


Labyridth fic. Bog of Eterdal Stedch.” Jay hopped on the river, and bounced slightly. “Cobe od, led’s ged OUD of here...”

“Good idea.” Acacia picked herself up, trying to make as little contact with the rancid river as was possible. They trudged off it, walking around the still-smoldering kitchen, and climbed up onto a handy jetty.

“So. We’re in Ankh-Morpork,” Jay said, when her nose had finally gone dead. “I do hope you’re happy.”

“I am!” Acacia grinned broadly. “Can we go see UU? Or the Patrician’s Palace? I want to see the gardens. Or the Drum? Or the Watch House—I really want to see Vimes, and Angua, and Cheery, and Det—”

“ALL RIGHT!” Jay sighed. “Fine. Fine. I’ll even lend you my Polaroid.” She grinned. “But I get it back for Vetinari.”

“And then can we portal to the Rim? And Cori Celesti? And—”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake. I bet you want to go visit the Time Monks, too, to see the Mandala.”


“GAH!” Jay sighed. “All right, but we get to go visit Susan’s classroom, yes? And the temple of the Balancing Monks?”

“Of course.”


“But the HEDGEHOG,” the wizened old woman caroled (term used loosely), “Can never be buggered at all!”

Jay scribbled frantically at her notepad, transcribing the lyrics.

Acacia wasn’t listening, being far too busy looking at the large number of pictures she’d just taken of the Rimfall and Hublights, and wishing she could see in octarine. And that the camera picked it up.

Nanny Ogg finished the last verse, to great applause from the rest of the tavern.

“Time to go home, I think.”

“I guess,” said Acacia reluctantly. “Would have liked to have met Death, too, but I don’t really think that would work.”

“Not to mention that it’s been TWO DAYS.”

“Tell me you didn’t want to see the sunrise here.”

“It was an enlightening two and a half hours, that’s for certain...”

“Yes, and you spent longer than that taking pictures of His Lordship.”

“Don’t THINK I didn’t notice you drooling over Vimes!”

“We only spent about an hour in the Watch House. For five minutes of which, I will add, he was actually there. We spent longer than that in Leonard’s workshop.”

“And the rest of it you spent talking to Cheery about poison. I had to crowbar you away.”

Acacia looked miffed. “I get to chat to a forensic alchemist, and what did you expect?”

“If we get sacked, I’m going to blame you. No, wait, they wouldn’t do that—shortage—if we get our pay docked, I’m going to blame you.”

“Didn’t notice you trying to drag me away from the Monks of Cool.”

“Was too tired from prying you away from Lu-Tze’s garden.”

Acacia sighed. “Okay. No point spending any more time here if we’re only going to argue with it, is there?”

“Yes, I suppose.” Jay yawned. “I’m going to collapse, I think. Didn’t sleep so well at the Y-M-R-C-O-T-I-G-B-S-A.”

Jay opened the portal—it fizzled to life reluctantly. She staggered through, collapsing onto the unicorn fur rug.

Acacia stepped back into the response center. Her usual place on the rug taken, she gave Jay a dirty look and sat in her chair.

Jay ignored the glare, already asleep.

But of course...



[Acacia’s A/N: Whee! Discworld! ~sighs happily~ The thing I most wanted to do in Implausible Crossovers is now done.

Because of a *really* stupid fic.

Really, I’ve been hoping to find a LotR/Disc fic for some time—I went in prepared to forgive much. But *this*?

... Although, of course, asking me to find anything good about any fic that insults Boromir is a bit like saying “Yes, but apart from that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” I dunno—possibly I’m overreacting. Don’t think so, though, somehow.]

[Jay’s A/N: Not one, but two instances of complete wish fulfillment: first, gaining possession of the “toys” from Alice; second, getting to see the Disc. We’ll try not to do it again. Jay sounds more like me and less like Jay this time—I’m just too tired to be perky.

We both apologize for not updating in such a long time—I, for one, have been dying of school. Oh, but I’m happy to report that another Exceedingly Good Tolkien author has been found—check out TheStaggeringElf’s fics. Incredible Silmfic, and that’s just the beginning.

Yes, I know it was supposed to be a parody.

But it wasn’t a very good one.]