In an unknown location a large, polished black sphere rests on a table. It looks remarkably like a bowling ball until quite suddenly an old guy with long white hair and beard is shown in it, followed by a humongous red eye. It becomes instantly clear that this a palantír, one of the seeing stones, used in the famed “Skype of Middle-earth” of Elvish song and lore.
They are now used to hold teleconferences for the Good-Sinful Alliance.
Saruman the Slightly Beige is here.
Sauron “The Lidless Eye” is always watching.
Saruman: Curse Wormtongue, he changed my message again! Sauron. Why must you always have such silly messages?
Sauron: I do what I want, Saruman. Dark Lords can do that.
Saruman: Uh, sure. Where’s Denethor?
Sauron: Probably off crying about Boromir again. Hey, do you like my new false eyelashes? One of my wraiths gave them to me.
Saruman: [Tries to stifle a laugh] Oh, yes. Lovely.
Denethor the Thirty-ninth Steward of Gondor says the King has not yet returned!
The Steward appears to be having technical trouble, as his palantír shows a view of the ceiling.
Saruman: You’ll want to turn yours so the camera is facing the right way, Denethor.
Denethor: Confound this newfangled technology, I still don’t understand it.
Sauron: It’s only been around since before Middle-earth, give or take a few thousand years.
Denethor: Shut up.
Saruman: So what’s the first order of business?
Sauron: I hereby call this meeting to order! First – I have a new pet. [Reaches down, despite having no arms since he’s just a gigantic eye, and picks up a hideous little creature with barely any hair]
Saruman: Isn’t it precious?
Sauron: I know, right?! What should I name it?
Sauron: No. [Cuddles Gollum, despite having no arms] I’ll call it George. Second order of business – is Isengard ready for the GSA’s call-out meeting / annual barbecue?
Saruman: It is, my Lord. [Turns his palantír around towards the window of his tower to reveal multicolored party balloons floating everywhere as well as Orcs grilling piles of ribs and hot dogs]
Sauron: [Bounces Gollum on his knee, despite not having any knees] Excellent!
Saruman: Yeah, Wormtongue helped me, mostly because I threatened to marinate him if he didn’t cooperate. I still don’t see why Denethor couldn’t have thrown the party, though. [Produces a dictionary out of thin air and reads] Steward. Noun. A ship’s officer who is in charge of provisions and dining arrangements.
Sauron: [Threateningly] [More threateningly than usual, that is] CHILDREN! BEHAVE!
Saruman: I’d like to introduce a third order of business.
Saruman: Remember that contest we held a while ago, where the prize was free treatment at Ye Olde Evildoers’ Spa? Well, I’ve been getting plenty of complaints from evildoers who tried out the Orc Acupuncture – because the Orcs are under my control, see. Some evil overlords say the procedure has horrible side effects, namely death. They’re threatening to sue. What should I do?
Sauron: Kill them.
Saruman: Ah, well, that’s the problem, sir. My Lord. They’re already dead.
Sauron: Then how are they even speaking to you?
Saruman: Apparently another possible side effect is that you’ll come back as a ghost. A notable exception to that is Boromir, who just… died.
Denethor: [Bursts into tears]
Gollum: Precious is sad, yes!
Sauron: [Clears throat, despite not having a throat] Er, well, yes, it’s all very sad, but we have a fourth order of business to attend to. Caesar Flickerman suffered a nervous breakdown due to stress, overwork, and proximity to idiotic minions, so we’ll need someone else to emcee and do interviews.
Just then, Denethor’s palantír shows a really cute guy peering into the room behind him.
Saruman: What about that son?
Denethor: [Turns around and throws things at Faramir] No.
Faramir: Hey Dad, they said to ask you to please stop setting fire to random things because we had to put out a blaze on a pile of pamphlets for your GSA. [Bats at his hair] Also I think my hair is slightly on fire.
Denethor: GO AWAY, FARAMIR! CAN’T YOU SEE I’M IN A BUSINESS MEETING HERE?! I DON’T CARE IF YOUR HAIR IS ON FIRE. BOROMIR WOULD PUT OUT HIS OWN HAIR FIRES BECAUSE HE’S THE BETTER SON.
Faramir: [Looks hurt and wanders off]
Everyone cracks up.
Saruman: What if we don’t have interviews, at least until we can find someone to hire? In the meantime we’ll just switch from evildoer to evildoer, based on who knows the most about a particularly evil subject. So for a discussion of death and dismemberment, we’d invite Procrustes the Stretcher all the way from Greece – wherever that is – to provide some good information.
Sauron: Wow, Saruman, I’m impressed. I didn’t you were a smart enough minion to have such good ideas! Well, I think that concludes our meeting. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to feed George. Bye!
Denethor: Yeah, whatever.
Gollum: Not George, precious!
Sauron “The Lidless Eye” has signed out, but is always watching.
So passes Denethor, Thirty-ninth Steward of Gondor.
Saruman: Hey! Hey… guys? [Cries] No one ever wants to stick around and chat with me. I don’t have any friends…
Saruman the Slightly Beige has gone to check on the Uruk-hai.
A party balloon floats in through the window as a sobbing Saruman shuts off his palantír.