"...and that, my friends, is the life story of the Mighty Wes, King of the Universe!" Everyone laughed and threw things at Wes. Wes was such a dumbass sometimes. It had been Wedge's idea of something to do. We were stuck on Hoth, and it was cold. Why not tell stories? Tych had suggested that everyone tell their life story. Luke had gone, and his was boring. Wedge had gone next, and I learned a few things I hadn't known. Then Tych, followed by Wes.
"A'aight(1), Hobbie, you're next!"
I stood, opened my mouth, and promptly shut it again. What could I tell them? "Uh...I am the adopted son of Leona and Damin Klivian, of Ralltiir. I am not sure who my biological parents are. Uh..." I floundered around searching for something else to say. "I don't know who I am."
Eleven sets of eyes blinked simultaneously. "You don't know who you are? What is that supposed to mean?" Dack demanded.
"Precisely what it says. I don't know who I am."
"OK, Hobbie. You don't know who you are in terms of your blood parentage. That, however, is a long shot from not knowing who you are." Tych said, grinning.
His grin stretched from ear to ear in a manner that looked very dignified, yet utterly funfilled, not at all stuffy. It was, like his sculpted features, very like... like... like who? I couldn't remember. I could remember the face, features sculpted and delicate, yet hard, youthful yet ageless; framed by long blond hair that went down to somewhere in the elbow area. The clear grey eyes and the curiously pointed ears. The hands that held a bow and quiver. I could hear his voice, speaking. I just couldn't get the name. Like so many times before, the image came to me and then faded utterly. I sighed, and realized that there were eleven people staring at me like I'd grown a second head.
"What?!" I snapped, depressed that once again, something had slipped by me.
"Hobbie, are you OK?" Zev asked, concern filing his voice. "You've been standing there, motionless, for the past five minutes, looking like you were a glitbiter or something."
Suddenly I couldn't take it. I turned and walked out, down the frigid hallway and into my quarters. I scrambled the lock behind me, not wanting to be disturbed.
I sat on the bed, hugged my knees to my chest, and rocked back and forth. It was cold on Hoth, but I'd felt something colder. I knew it, but where?
I could see it: a mountain stretching up in front of me, five people in a line in front of me. There were two behind and one next to me. He wasn't blundering through the snow like the rest of us, he was walking on top of it, seemingly not feeling the freezing cold and the driving wind.
And the front of the line was an old man in tattered grey robes and a massive hat. I heard a sharp cry behind me and whirled, to see a... a something go tumbling down the slope. He came to a stop against a man's shin, who helped him up. I looked at his face. He was not human- he was much to short for that. He was barefoot, and his feet were huge, proportionally much larger that any human's. I knew his name. What was it?
His name is...
don't know. I don't know the hobbit's name.
He is a hobbit. Some call his kind halflings because of their diminutive stature.
"...the halfling's forth..."
My head, throbbing like there was a drunken rancor tap-dancing inside it to the beat of a bass drum, couldn't take it any more. I collapsed on the bed, and darkness closed up on me. Just before it did, though, a single word came to me: 'Frodo.'
(1) "a'aight" is an Effinghamism. It is pronounced phonetically and is a contraction of "all right"
Continued in Part Three