Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Animorphs Re-Read: #4 The Message (Chapters 5-8)

Chapter 5

Marco starts the chapter by both telling us what's going on and showing us his caring side. He points out that if they're down at the beach then Controllers will be there too. I love that he cares about his fellow Animorphs and tries to make sure that they succeed even if he doesn't really want to fight.

Jake reminds him that they're at the beach so that Cassie and Tobias might possibly feel a stronger vision than before. To that Marco replies something that means he doesn't want to be down at the beach. In a very funny way, of course.

Cassie describes the beach as looking different at night than in the daytime. As a Floridian I can say that beaches are as she says during the night. Of course she's in California and their beaches are different than those in Florida. While I have been to California, I haven't been on a beach during the night.

She says she couldn't see under the waves but she can feel something out there. Cassie will be a good Jedi Master one day.

Marco then says he wants to live long enough to get a driver's license. Now I don't know when we first get to see Marco drive (I remember him driving in the first Megamorphs book, but am unsure if he drove before then), but let's just say he and I have very similar driving skills.

Except I haven't run into any mailboxes or trash cans...yet.

Jake asks why Marco would want to drive when he can morph a bird and then fly. Marco doesn't miss a beat and replies 'the babes'. He tells Tobias flying is great, but he wants a car.

Cassie remarks that Marco's co-operative mood hadn't lasted long. But each of them have their odd quirks. The saddest one she talks about is that Tobias is never happy because he thinks something will just happen to make him sad again.

My baby!

Rachel asks if Cassie feels anything and she remarks that she feels embarrassed. Marco, of course, makes a joke.

The question of why Cassie and Tobias are the only ones getting the message is brought up. Jake tries to explain that it's because of the morphing ability. That's why only Andalites would be able to hear it. Which doesn't make sense because it seems like the message should only be received by Andalites. While Andalites are egotistical, I assume they planned for the event of others getting the ability to morph so that their enemies couldn't pick up on their communications.

Plus it just seems like more of a biological thing rather than a technological thing sending the message.

Cassie points out the flaw in Jake's logic but Marco says it makes sense. This is because Tobias is stuck in morph and Cassie is the best morpher of the group.

Tobias tells the group to hide as there are people on the beach and he doesn't know if they're Controllers or not. He says he can't see good at night but he can still hear.

Tobias comes back and reports that it is Controllers. He recognizes Chapman and Tom with people he says are from The Sharing. Cassie then tells the reader what The Sharing is. In other words: another recap.

Through dialogue it's revealed that the ship that crashed was an Andalite ship. It's also revealed that Visser Three has been having visions too.

What comes up next is stupid: because the group figures that Visser Three is having these visions because of his Andalite host they now think that the visions are an Andalite thing. But isn't that what they were saying before about why it was tied into the ability to morph because then only Andalites would get the visions?

Well...fuck it.

The group notices that the Controllers had found something. Their footprints!

As they start heading away Rachel suggests they morph. Marco points out the problem of morphing now will reveal that the group are humans and not Andalites.

Jake says the plan is now to double around, go to the water, and then morph.

The chapter ends with someone shooting at Cassie!

Chapter 6

Cassie remarks that it's strange being shot at with normal guns as she's used to being attacked with Dracon beams. She describes the situation as "nuts" which some people might have problems with, but I don't really mind.

When a bullet nearly hits her she freezes and Jake has to drag her forward so she doesn't stay still for too long.

Tobias tells the others that the Controllers are all in the dunes.

As the group nears the water, Jake says to morph trout. Cassie points out the obvious problem of trout being a freshwater fish.

For those not understanding the problem: different fish are only able to live in certain types of water. True, some are able to live in both fresh and salt water. But trout aren't one of those kind of fish.

Cassie agrees to morph fish since she doesn't have a better idea. As she runs and goes into the water, she starts to morph trout.

As she continues to morph she hears Tom and Chapman discuss them. They wonder if the Animorphs' tracks are just kids or Andalite bandits.

Now here comes a part that is an answer to a question I have had. Many Fanimorphs wonder if the Yeerks thought that the Animorphs were really humans instead of Andalite bandits. Tom says that it seems, from what's happened at the beach, that the Andalite bandits are humans. Chapman replies with a laugh and something meaning, "Hahahahaha! You fucking tell Visser Three and die! LOL!"

So some Yeerks do think the Animorphs are humans as soon as this book, but are too afraid to tell the Visser.

Cassie isn't able to hear more since she has finished her morph.

Jake makes sure that everyone is okay and, of course, they're all experiencing problems with breathing in saltwater. Cassie asks how Marco is doing and he recaps what has happened and says that they should just go home and watch tv now.

Chapter 7

Cassie and the others don't meet for a few days since they are also teenagers and have lives of their own. I love the description of Rachel going to a ceremony means that she has to go on a big shopping spree. Later on in the series David acquires a Golden Eagle, so Cassie helping a Golden Eagle in this book is slightly creepy.

Tobias isn't happy that Cassie is helping a Golden Eagle. It's like he read ahead!

Cassie doesn't like that Jake arrives when she is looking worse than normal. Plus side is that she gets him to help with her work.

Cassie can tell Jake came over to discuss something but she waits for him to start that conversation. They finally get to talking about what Cassie wants to do about the vision she has. When she points out that Tobias has them too, Jake says that Tobias doesn't want to make the decision since he won't really be involved in the actual mission.

Tobias is very much defined by being bullied even when he moves on from it. Some things you learn about in certain experiences shape how you react to events in the future. He is guilty of trapping himself in morph, that's my headcanon that is supported by canon, and doesn't want to send his friends to their deaths when he can't help them. Like what happened in the previous book.

Jake states that Marco and Rachel think that the vision isn't real. Cassie then asks Jake what he thinks. He replies that he trusts Cassie's opinion on the matter.

While their relationship eventually ends with them apart,  the fact that Jake trusts Cassie never seems to change. This amount of trust, especially here when Jake can't confirm what Cassie is saying, makes it that much sadder of where the relationship eventually ends up.

Jake tries to comfort Cassie by saying that everyone in the group respects her. Cassie disagreeing seems to me to be more of a "I don't want to make this decision." instead of a "I really don't have a high opinion of myself."

I know when I'm pushed against a corner I might not always say what I actually think. I do think Cassie knows everyone in the group respects her, but she isn't going to admit that at the current moment.

Cassie asks Jake how she's supposed to know what's real and finally asks if he'll make the decision for her. He says yes. Cassie then says all the reasons why she doesn't want to make the decision but ultimately decides the choice has to be hers.

Cassie then realizes that the noisy barn is where she feels most at home. Cassie tells Jake about how she is scared of the ocean and that might be because she's so used to her farm. The exchange between them brings up that Jake has been to at least one Thanksgiving with Cassie!

Cassie and Jake discuss what they'll morph to rescue the Andalite. Dolphins are brought up as well as an issue that continues on through the series: what shouldn't you morph?

Cassie says they shouldn't morph dolphins because they're highly intelligent creatures. I've never gotten this bit of morality. I morph another human or if I morph a raven I still am changing shapes. I don't control the original, I control a sort of clone. So if I was to control the original like a Yeerk I could get the problem, but morphing doesn't work like that so I don't get the problem.

Jake says the decision is up to her and then he leaves to do homework. He gives her a sort of compliment and then rides away. It's a sweet comment about wanting to shovel manure instead of doing homework.

Cassie feels less at ease when he leaves than when he came.

Chapter 8

After school the next day the group goes to The Gardens. Tobias flies there since red-tailed hawks don't take buses. He doesn't know how close he'll be able to get to the rest of the group.

Cassie can get in for free since her mother works there as the head vet.

Cassie talks about how she thinks Marco's Dad not getting over his wife's death is romantic. I feel this is creepy. On one hand I can see how it could be romantic but people just don't say that shit. However, Cassie isn't really telling anyone. She's talking to herself. Well...she's talking to the reader but I see that set-up as a reason for the series to exist rather than copies of these books existing in the Aniverse.

Luckily Cassie quickly adds that you have to get over someone's death and not grieve forever. So what Marco's Dad is doing might be romantic, but it's not healthy. This is slightly ironic as Cassie loses Rachel and is the only one of the group to really move on after the war. So maybe she took the lesson she says here to heart.

Cassie thinks of how hard it is for Marco since he has to take care of his Dad and not the other way around. On the bus she compliments his new haircut.

Cassie mentions her Walkman and I feel old again.

Luckily there was a special deal on tickets and so Marco was able to pay for his ticket.

Jake looks at a roller coaster and remarks that the ability to morph makes some things feel less cool. Such as a roller coaster is fast to a normal person, but to someone who morphs...there are things that go a lot faster and can do more extreme things.

It's really interesting how much morphing affects people even while they're not morphed.

Marco says he doesn't feel like working out as his Gorilla morph is so strong. Rachel has the opposite feeling as she wants to try and copy that cat confidence while doing gymnastics. Cassie jokes with her about falling off the balance beam but she's quick to reply that she's confident while falling.

They reach the marine area and will be watching one show. Jake remarks that it's not that crowded and Cassie replies that's normal for a weekday afternoon.

Marco basically says that porpoises and dolphins are just big fish. Just be glad you didn't disrespect red-tailed hawks, Marco, since you are currently without a hat.

Once the dolphin appears he totally changes his mind on dolphins. Cassie remarks that dolphins make everything look so effortless. She also says that watching a dolphin makes her very happy and that they own the sea. She also remarks that humans are smart but are clumsy compared to other species on Earth.

I know what bad things dolphins are capable of, but I like the image of them being these pure innocent creatures. So I don't mind even if it isn't a truthful description of the species.

A dolphin trainer comes up to the group and remarks that the dolphin is just showing off to get more fish. This shows intelligence on the dolphin's part and makes him even more adorable to me.

Eileen, the trainer, talks about the dolphins after Cassie lies about failing finding dolphin information online. Oh, god, the dolphins are all named after Friends characters! And of course Joey is the con-artist of the group!

Eileen offers to let them feed the dolphins but warns that Joey is pushy. She then leaves the group alone to feed the dolphins on their own.

Marco is grossed out by the fish and Rachel says that his opinion will change once he morphs dolphin. Marco then counter argues that they were fish similar to the ones they're feeding the dolphins now. Cassie doesn't want to think about what Marco says because it complicates things for her.

And the issue he brings up is a good one: when you morph different animals you will end up turning into an animal that eats one of your other morphs.

The dolphins get excited by the fish and Rachel comments on it. Cue the group talking about how intelligent dolphins are.

Marco remarks on the fact that dolphins always look like they're grinning. Jake remarks on the eye contact and says that it seems like they remember him from somewhere. When he asks the dolphin if he knows them from somewhere one of the dolphin replies.

It appears to the rest of the group like the dolphin said yes. Rachel thinks that isn't possible while Cassie remarks that dolphins are intelligent enough to understand language.

Rachel and Cassie discuss the morality of morphing an intelligent creature. If you're concerned about controlling an animal like a Yeerk why didn't you bring it up when you morphed a horse or a trout? It's the same concept. Same thing happens. You acquire the animal, you morph it, and you control it.

Why are you concerned now? Oh, because it's a dolphin and you don't want to hurt the precious little dolphin.

Either this 'grey area' in morphing exists in all morphs or none at all.

Cassie agrees that the issue should be put on hold as she's running out of fish. She acquires it and mentally asks the dolphin if it's okay. But the dolphin can't answer.

Spoooooooooooooooky I guess?
Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox (Christa Faust)

Title: The Zodiac Paradox

Series: Fringe

Author: Christa Faust

Released: 2013

Rating: 3.5/6

Basic Plot: During an experiment William Bell and Walter Bishop accidentally bring the Zodiac Killer into our world. Now they must stop him.

After Fringe
I loved the show Fringe. Hell, I still do. My favorite character, hands down, was Walter Bishop. The hottest character for me was Peter Bishop. The one of the Fringe team that always seemed to be ignored was Astro...I mean Astrid Farnsworth. I am so thankful that the fan support was able to keep Fringe on-air for five seasons. So when I heard that there were going to be Fringe books I was excited. I was hoping they'd explore Walter after he went to the future with Michael, but we didn't get that. However, I don't hold that against them.

The Zodiac Killer
I like the real life references. The killer is called Alan and Graysmith is mentioned a few times. I like seeing the Fringe take on the Zodiac Killer. Adding him having radioactive powers and also being from the redverse just drew me in. I admit I'm a b-horror movie fan and a premise like this stimulated that love more than anything. However, I didn't like that a full resolution of the character wasn't given. Why was he radioactive? What mental problems did he have that made him kill people since it seemed he had to appease something?

Walter Bishop
Walter is my favorite character so I was glad to see him returning for this prequel series. Like in the tv series he's a funny character but with a good heart. However, I was expecting more of the Walter seen in the flashback episodes who was a little more heartless than the Walter we see in the majority of the tv series. This didn't bother me enough to hate the Walter in this novel.

Final Thoughts
I judged this book by trying to remove my expectations. I tried searching this on Fringepedia (the Fringe Wiki) to hopefully get a better idea of this book. However, it's not on there. I know on the Terminator Wiki some books aren't on the site as well as there not being enough info on other books. So if there are contradictions between what this book says and the Fringe tv show please tell me. While we don't get a great idea of who Alan actually is, we do get a reason for Walter and Bell to invent cortexiphan and start the cortexiphan trials.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Title: The Desolation of Smaug

Series: The Hobbit

Based on novel by J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit

Director: Peter Jackson

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and Richard Armitage

Rated: PG-13

Released: 2013

Personal Rating: 4/6

Oscars: N/A

Plot: The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring.

Unneeded Love Triangle
Now in a lot of stories nowadays there are love triangles. While sometimes they can work (my own love triangle in S and N is to show how Naz evolves during the series), a lot of times they're pointless like in the Twilight series in which you know Bela will end up with Edward. Never mind the fact that there are so many love triangles that people have grown sick of them. Enter Tauriel who is an original creation for this movie. She had the chance to be a kickass woman that needed no man or was in a relationship with someone. However, the studio made it so that there was a useless love triangle involving Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili. Don't they understand that the movie didn't need a love triangle, or any romance, for it to work?

I am a dragon fangirl. I just love all the different types of dragons so a dragon being in this one was a big draw for me. And they did Smaug very well. The people who designed the dragon did an excellent job, but without Benedict Cumberbatch doing the voice and motion-capture it would mean nothing. How Smaug moves and talks is so creepy and yet enticing at the same time. I'm actually going to be sad to not see anymore Smaug after the next movie.

The Ending
I, and everyone else, knew that there was going to be a third movie. So I knew there was going to be a cliffhanger. However, this movie's ending felt more like it was taking place in the middle of a scene. I don't mind cliffhangers (well I have a love/hate relationship with them) and this one just didn't really do it for me.

Final Thoughts
I disagree completely with The Hobbit being made into three movies. The book is shorter than any one of the Lord of the Rings books. Three movies makes it clear that this is a cash grab. That being said...I will still see the final one. Visually these movies are just beautiful and there are enough good things to hold my interest. And I'm highly biased for this movie since there is a dragon and he's shown as something not easy to defeat. I'm hoping that the love triangle goes nowhere next movie as I'd prefer Tauriel to be on her own as to not dignify the love triangle with a 'satisfying' ending.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Unboxing (Part 8)

I finally finish unboxing!

All of Unboxing

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (Cato Neimoidia Part 2)

I'm just sitting down after finish the Cato Neimoidia part. I feel good. A much different feeling than last night when I got lost for all eternity.

So here is what I thought of the last part of Cato Neimoidia...

I started off where I left off: at the jumping into madness part. The video I watched last night showed to jump to one place and then jump then dash to the ledge/entrance. I decided to not do that exactly, but I did jump and then dash. It took me two tries and I made it!

Oh, yeah!

The next few sections involved just the normal fighting. I don't know what one enemy is called but they are awesome and I'm glad I get to fight them without quick time events (except one that I can't figure out what the hell it's supposed to be doing). They're large and have a shield and then they explode when they die. Yeah, they're robots.

At the end of the level you get a look at the new enemies and...they're going to be both a pain in the ass and awesome to fight. At least that's what it looks like.

Back to the level itself: the big bad of the level is a Gorog. The entrance of the creature is just plain awesome. You're in the arena and Baron Sexyvoice says to release the Gorog. Then, in the arena, a rancor is released.

Now rancors are fearsome, but I know that they aren't Gorogs. Then a huge hand reaches at the rancor and the Gorog reveals itself. And holy shit is it big!

You have to harm each hand enough so that you can put a chain on each wrist. However, the wrists will heal and then you'll have to cause enough damage to try to put the chain on it again.

This would be very simple if not for the fact that the Gorog will attack you with its arms and, after the first wrist is restrained, other enemies will appear to attack you while you're trying to focus just on the Gorog.

After that is done you're not done with the Gorog as you  have to rush through hallways full of Stormtroopers while the Gorog will attack you if you linger too long. You also seem to have to defeat each wave of troopers before you are allowed to continue down the hallway.

The final bit of the level has you throw your lightsabers to bring down some supports. I admit I don't use this ability that often (if at all) and so I had to look up how to do the move. Luckily the game will allow you to pause and see how to do certain moves.

You do get to use the Force Sight ability again to solve a puzzle. You have to defeat the enemies before you do since getting shot instantly turns off Force Sight.

There is a yellow crystal in the fire place and I would've missed it if I didn't love fire.

So what happens in the plot?

Starkiller finally gets to Kota and works to escape with him. The wisecracks between these two is just awesome.

During their escape the Baron gets eaten by the Gorog. Aw!

When Starkiller and Kota get back to the ship it's revealed that Juno's fate is unknown.

Kota wants Starkiller and himself to help the Rebellion. Starkiller, on the other hand, wants to go somewhere to find himself and search for Juno. Starkiller tells Kota that he's a clone and needs to figure things out while Kota is convinced Starkiller is the original and not a clone.

Kota's reaction to Starkiller's wants is strange as I'd think a Jedi would want a calm mind. Since having an unstable mind would mean you'd be closer to the Dark Side.

Starkiller drops Kota off on a space station (per the Jedi's request) and goes to Dagobah.
All of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Inbetween: The Incredible Burp 8

I had taken up jogging as it helped me control my emotions. It helped me calm down when I was stressed and it made all sense of loneliness go away. And I needed to pretend that I wasn't lonely and that I wasn't guilty of not helping to stop the Yeerks invading Earth.

But what could I really do? I still had Hereth illint after weeks of useless waiting. I couldn't morph and therefore couldn't fight. The Yeerk that had controlled me wasn't a high ranking one so I couldn't offer the Animorphs good intel.

I was jogging through the woods this morning before the sun had fully risen since not a lot of people chose to be out now. The fear of the killer of the week was high on people's minds. I kept track of the latest updates, but I would take death over this endless pain.

I thought of Cassie's caring words, Rachel's ego that was somehow reassuring, Marco's care that was somewhat hidden behind endless jokes, Jake's leadership that made me wonder who else could possibly lead the group like him, Tobias' curse of being in a hawk body and yet he still was a strong supporter of fighting against the Yeerks, and Ax...Ax was hard to describe. I didn't know which trait I would pick for him. Maybe the fact that he, among all the Animorphs, had been trained to fight before the group had formed.

I missed them but I couldn't go back. I'd be a danger to them. But wasn't I a danger to them without protection for myself? What if the Controller had been successful and captured me for infestation.

Wouldn't a group that knew how to handle my problem be better to stick with than no help at all? It wasn't like I could help myself.

I had avoided thinking about why I had abandoned the group. But now was past time to examine the reason. Was it because I was afraid? Had the Controller been right in saying I was just the 'usual trash' that was infested through the Sharing? Could that really be true?

As I continued to jog I thought about being afraid. Being away from the group was partly done out of fear, I admit. I feared for their safety from me. But was that really fair? What could my morphs really do if they decided to either flee or attack them?

I could spend most of my time in Tobias' meadow or at Ax's scoop and not be in any danger of exposing the group.

Logic was failing me when using the excuse of protecting the group being my reason for running away.

Then it came to me: I had run away because I was ashamed.

I was ashamed because I was now useless. I couldn't fight the Yeerks. Hell, some mornings I found myself morphing getting a glass of milk. I was disfigured, in a way. It would've been better if I had died with the Yeerk that had infested me.

Being rescued had just prolonged my suffering. I was now just as useless as I had been with a Yeerk inside my head.

Did I have a reason to fight like the others did? No. I had escaped and that was good enough for me. If Earth was fully invaded by the Yeerks I would be used to what happened next.

Either I would be infested or killed. Both options worked for me.

I knew why I hadn't told Ax the truth of where I was now: it was because I didn't want him to pity me. And I had seen him pity me last time we had talked. I didn't need that again until this was over. If it ever ended.

Seeing a bench I sat down to catch my breath. Jogging wasn't distracting me, it was making all my emotions so much worse. If I could have some beer maybe that would calm me down, but drinking alcohol would mean I couldn't fully keep my emotions in check. The last thing I needed was to be captured because I got too drunk in a bar and started morphing.

I tried to find my calm, but it was hard. I was never much into meditation before I had been captured. However, I was finding it easier than I thought to control my own emotions.

As the minutes passed by I found myself growing calmer and calmer. It was almost like I felt nothing and yet that was okay. It wasn't a depressing kind of nothing, but one where everything felt right.

I opened my eyes as I heard another jogger. Jumping off the bench I hid behind a bush and watched as the jogger went by. He didn't see me and I remained still for a few minutes calming myself again.

Even if he was a Controller he wouldn't have seen me and I wouldn't be infested. Everything was going to be okay.
All of Inbetween: The Incredible Burp
Inbetween tumblr

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (Cato Neimoidia Part 1)

I am not a big gamer but I usually don't get so pissed off at a game that I have to quit and look up what to do. Sure I'll get confused and worry that I'll never beat it, but I never usually get to the point of thinking I have found Hell on Earth.

But I am getting ahead of myself...

Cato Neimoidia is broken down into a few parts. I am glad to say that the saving mechanism in this game is much better than the first. I was able to stop the game and then restart where I had left off.

Starkiller goes to Cato Neimoidia to get Master Kota (his ally/friend from the last game). Of course the one holding Kota captive, Baron "OMG Your Voice Is Amazing" Tarko, doesn't want to let the Jedi Master go. This is why you have to fight in this level.

Most of the enemies you fight are run of the mill Stormtroopers that are just fun to take down. My personal favorite thing to do is use Force Lightning until my Force energy runs out and then I slice the survivors with my lightsaber.

There are other harder to kill troopers that I use Force Push on and then attack with my sabers. I find that makes them easier to take down. If you fight them with your sabers it's a little hard to do with them fighting back.

There are, again, those damn troopers that can fly. Luckily you do have long range attacks that can deal with them. I, of course, favor Force Lightning.

Finally, the little small people (like the ones that were taking C-3PO apart in The Empire Strikes Back) aren't anything to worry about. Force Lightning takes care of them easily and attacking them with your sabers you can do if you want to be mean (as there's nothing exactly badass about killing them).

There are puzzles in this game that you get a new power to complete. I believe it's called Force Vision. With it you are able to solve pretty simple puzzles using another Force power (Force Grab or Force Pull). The puzzles are interesting if only for the new Force Power you get.

There are a few sections where you have to use Force Dash so you don't get blasted by turrets. I had a few times during the first of these sections where I didn't realize which button you had to press and died. Then another time I seemed like I was on drugs and fell off the edge all by myself. Another time during this section it was pure chance that I ran into a crystal.

Finally, there are jumping sections. I don't remember jumping sections being a big part of the last game and not this complicated. For me, simple jumping provides a good challenge. But in this game they decided to make jumping as complicated as possible.

There are a few instances, in this part, that you get some simple jumping. But more often than not there are moving platforms.

One of these you have to use a Force Power to pull the platforms to you but if you wait too long they'll be so far away that you can't jump to them anymore. This ended up being a nice challenge and interesting.

The final bit of jumping I did...well, it was interesting. It involved moving platforms and so you had to time things just right without being able to turn the camera angle so you could clearly see your target. It is hard to do at first but it becomes easy as time goes on.

The reason I couldn't complete Cato Neimoidia, at least tonight, is because I got so lost during this final jumping section. I got all the way up and I didn't know where to go. I tried a bunch of different things that didn't seem to work.

So I kept having to jump all the way back to the top over and over again.

By the end I was just ranting at the tv. It was like I was both high and drunk. I had to stop the game there for the night to look how to continue and cool down.

I did find a nice little video that seems to show how to continue. I admit it looks rather simple to do. But I will cover that next time.
All of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

Monday, December 16, 2013

Shipping Confessions: Miloe (Revolution)

I return even though the last time I posted a Shipping Confession it was all the way back in July. However, I still ship the ship that I mentioned in the last Shipping Confession. With the recent episodes I couldn't help but continuing to ship it.

I usually never pair people up in the first episode and usually I never ship them that hard. For some reason, though, I decided to ship this pair together by the end of the first episode. This defies logic as, well, they didn't really spend that much screen time together in the pilot.

What is this ship that took my shipper heart to a new level?

Miloe (aka the shipping name between Miles Matheson and Sebastian 'Bass' Monroe). I believe this has become one of the popular ships of the series, but I started before I knew about all the Miloe love. I know it's a little pompous for me to say that I started shipping Miloe 'before it was cool', but that's the truth.

Since I already talked about Miles in the last Shipping Confessions, I'll skip right to Monroe.

Monroe is the big bad of the first season and we see him in a negative light. Miles and him started the Monroe Republic since the world had gone to shit after the power went out. People were acting like savages so Monroe, with leadership from Miles, built the Republic.

However, something changed in Miles and he wanted out. After Miles left, Monroe seemed to go deeper and deeper into insanity. It's almost like without Miles, Monroe can't exist. At least not as a good leader.

Monroe and Miles meet up before the Season 1 Finale and Miles couldn't kill Monroe. Like, even though Miles won't fight for Monroe, he still cares too much to kill the man.

In Season 2 we get a more human Monroe. By that I mean he isn't the big bad. You get to see him redeeming himself by helping out our heroes.

This pairing is one of those that is broken. Miles has moved on but still has feelings for his old friend and Monroe needs Miles in order to keep his own sanity. I don't think it's any coincidence that Monroe went crazy after Miles left.

Not only did Miles leave him, Miles tried to kill him. Monroe puts so much faith in Miles to help him hold on that when he's gone, Monroe has to struggle to move on.

And why did Monroe help Charlie? Among other reasons, to prove to Miles that he is still a good man. That whatever other evils Monroe has done, he still loves Miles dearly. That he will team up with whomever Miles wants just to keep his lover close by.

But why does Miles continue to love Monroe? Love is one of those things that can't be easily explained. It's not something you can ever fully understand. Part of Miles knows he shouldn't still care for Monroe after all the man has done, but he can't help himself. Even when given the option to kill Monroe for the greater good, he can't.

I dearly hope Miloe will be explored as the series goes on, even if it doesn't become canon. More Miloe will either happen in flashbacks, in the present time of the series, or in mentions depending what happens in the second part of Season 2.

What ship will I talk about in the next Shipping Confessions? It is from The Avengers and involves two scientists. I was debating doing this one or another but decided on The Avengers ship because it forms the basis for why I ship the other.

Shipping Confessions Table of Contents

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Animorphs Re-Read: #4 The Message (Chapters 1-4)

Chapter 1

This book is narrated by Cassie.

The book begins with the recap. This is nice as it allows new readers to start anywhere in the series and get the gist of what is going on. However, for older readers it becomes redundant. I don't mind, though. It just adds to the magic that is Animorphs.

Cassie transitions from the recap to the current night.

Cassie talks about how she's about to morph a squirrel. She also takes time out of the novel to talk about what her parents do for a living.

Cassie says she's in the Rehabilitation Clinic (aka her family's barn). She talks about where different animals are in the barn as well as a room or two.

Cassie describes how scared a squirrel is and that when she morphs one all that fear will be part of her. That she will have to control it since when you morph you get some of the animal instincts. One plus side of that is you don't have to worry about how to move while in morph, the downside is that sometimes animals have really strong instincts.

Cassie says the reason she's going to morph a squirrel is to find out what has been killing animals (aka patients). She mentions that she's been having very odd dreams.

I can see why Tobias would be having these dreams (is revealed later that he is), but not Cassie. Tobias is Elfangor's son so him receiving the dreams seems natural, but Cassie isn't related to any Andalite. Though maybe this is to show that she's connected to animals.

If anyone wants to show me a fic where it's foreshadowing that she'll fall in love with, and marry, an Andalite please do. Her falling in love with a female Andalite would be even better.

Cassie comforts a squirrel in her hands. She talks about how some morphs are awesome and others aren't that great. She references the trout morph from the previous book.

She also shows a tactic she uses when morphing. Before she morphs she imagines what it'd be like being the animal. Nice one!

As Cassie morphs the squirrel she is morphing is so afraid that he runs back into his cage and closes the door. Cassie tells the reader to believe her. I don't know why, but believing a squirrel would do that is a little harder than believing in aliens.

I love how the kids describe events. Sometimes the wording just makes you realize how young these kids actually are. Cassie describes some of her morphing a squirrel as 'way cool'.

Cassie finds out that the squirrel mind is like someone on coffee. Very alert and very hyper.

Then she gets scared as she realizes that predators are all around her.

Chapter 2

The chapter begins with Cassie being overtaken by the mind of the squirrel. She can't control the morph and is running around since there are predators all around her. You know, since she is in a rehabilitation clinic for animals.

Cassie sees a nut and gets excited because this is her nut. This is hers and no one can get it from her. I like when the kids lose control of a morph so you can really see what an animal thinks like.

While Cassie doesn't have control of her morph, Tobias arrives. She says that she isn't stable enough to react like she normally would to him. Her squirrel brain just registers him as a predator and so she runs.

Huh, it seems Cassie is aware enough to know she has to do something but she allows the squirrel side of her to make the decision.

Cassie describes the feeling of running on a wall while in squirrel morph. It's a great description, but she does the 'if you have never, but of course you haven't' thing again. It's funny and seems to be an Animorphs thing I have forgotten about.

Cassie describes the feeling as strange.

Tobias lands on a rafter and Cassie tries to stay still. For anyone who hasn't met me offline (aka most of you reading this), you won't know how much I connect to her about this. I can hardly stay still. Some part of me will usually always be twitching and I really have to focus to stay still.

Cassie discovers the same problem I have and runs again.

As Cassie runs she sees what creature had been killing patients. A fox!

The bad news is that Tobias saw her, doesn't seem to know she's in morph, and is swooping down to get her.

Cassie realizes she doesn't have time to slowly learn to control her morph. She has to do so right now!

Tobias dives towards her but is startled by the noises that the animals make. Cassie is able to escape his attack but falls towards the fox.

Cassie yells for help and Tobias is surprised that she's in squirrel morph. You know, Cassie, maybe warning him before you morphed would've been a good idea. Maybe tell him a day or two in advance. Because he does eat squirrels, you know?

As Cassie tries to keep away from the fox Tobias complains about Cassie not saying she was in morph. Saying that he was considering eating her before he knew. She says that she didn't have time and it appears as she doesn't want to hear any complaints.

Tobias is annoyed that he has to save her sorry squirrel ass, but does so and scares the fox away. He then questions why Cassie is up at this hour of the night in a squirrel morph.

Cassie explains that she didn't know what was killing the patients and so decided to morph squirrel. Tobias finds that he can't hate someone who is trying to rescue birds.

I like that she makes a small joke about him being stuck in hawk form as a complaint I had in the last book was how all the Animorphs (minus Marco) were too scared to joke around with Tobias. And having people joke around with you can help you deal with certain situations.

Oooh! Jake has a picture of Cassie feeding an animal a pill and he doesn't want another picture of her because that picture is good enough! Aw!

Tobias and Cassie notice Cassie's father coming and Tobias points out that she still has a tail. Luckily her dad isn't too observant and when he goes to double check the tail is gone.

At the end of the chapter it's revealed that both Tobias and Cassie are having the same dream. The plot thickens!

Chapter 3

It seems Cassie and Tobias are asking the others if they've been having the same dream since Marco starts talking about his recent dreams. None of which are the same dream as Cassie and Tobias'.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans will get how this pic connects to dreams and possibly this post.
Marco brings up the fact that he dreamed of King Friday. This causes Rachel to imply that he is insane. She gives Cassie a wink and Marco seems concerned for his sanity.

Cassie describes Rachel's room as being fashionable. Rachel's character is not only a warrior but the pretty girl that is into fashion. Cassie notices that the quotes on Rachel's bulletin board reflect their new lives and how Xena Warrior Princess has adapted to it.

Cassie remarks how their lives had become full of paranoia since anyone could be the enemy.

This must be very hard on the children since they are thirteen years old. They are barely grown up at all and they have to deal with not being able to trust anyone outside of the group. Cassie can't go and ask her parents what to do.

Cassie remarks on how each Animorph had reacted to the news. She then goes about how she has a crush on Jake. I'm so glad that they end up with married by the end of the series. With Marco as the Best Man and Rachel as the Maid of Honor.

God, I'm so glad I can deny anything I want to.

Cassie makes a remark that Marco is 'kind of cute' but he isn't her type. Maybe she has a really tiny crush on him?

She goes on to talk about how he doesn't want to be an Animorph but seems to be the most level headed out of them. This is how Marco isn't a one-sided character. He doesn't like the war, but he will still fight and make sure everyone remains safe.

I love Rachel. I can't remember how much I liked her when I originally read the series, but I really admire her now. I think it's because now I have experienced a lot more of how women are usually portrayed in fiction. So having a character like Rachel is just something really special.

Yeah, my first fandom sort of spoiled me.

Cassie describes Rachel as pretty much fearless but admits her best friend might be afraid. But her appearance is that she fearless.

The description of Rachel as beautiful but deadly is done again. Cassie thinks that the war with the Yeerks fits Rachel very well. And that Rachel enjoys the violence.

Rachel tries to change the subject of dreams since she doesn't believe in them but Jake pulls a videocassette from his bag and now I feel old.

Marco jokes about watching a movie. Jake is quick to correct him and say it's the late night news from the previous night. Marco makes a joke about watching Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. They go downstairs to watch the tape.

Marco and Tobias joke with each other while they go downstairs. I love seeing Marco and Tobias mess around with each other.

When they are downstairs Jake briefly explain what's on the tape before playing it. It turns out some of an Andalite ship had washed onto a beach. After Jake is done explaining Cassie faints. I like how she mentions how she doesn't care that Jake catches her as that shows how out of it she is.


Chapter 4

Cassie is caught up in a vision of falling into the sea and there is a voice telling her to come towards it. I know I mentioned this already but: why is Cassie getting the visions? Is her connection to Ax (and Andalites in general) the reason why she fights?

When Cassie awakes Jake is beside her, Rachel wants to call and ambulance, and Marco doesn't agree with Rachel since he thinks that's a dangerous idea. Once it's assured that Cassie is alright, they focus on Tobias who looks dead.

Don't worry, he doesn't die. Nothing in canon contradicts that so that's what I choose to believe!

Rachel wants to call 911 so Tobias can be helped, but Jake points out that 911 couldn't help Tobias. Luckily Tobias quickly wakes up. The hawk mind takes over at first but then he takes control of his body.

The Animorphs discuss what just happened. Cassie and Tobias had the same dream but they could hear a voice this time. The others could actually feel something.

Jake thinks that what Cassie and Tobias think of as dreams are actually a form of communication. The group decides that what Cassie and Tobias are hearing isn't human. They then start throwing ideas of what might be communicating with the duo.

Rachel thinks that a Yeerk is trying to communicate with the group which makes no sense. When has it ever been hinted at that they could communicate that way and why would Rachel think it was a Yeerk? I know she could be thinking of a trap but still...

Tobias and Cassie connect the 'voice' to that of Elfangor, the Andalite that gave them their morphing ability.

The book then goes to recap that Elfangor revealed the truth about the Yeerks and gave them the ability to fight them.

Rachel makes a comment to Marco about Elfangor's sacrifice not being something that he'd understand. Now Marco is the most reluctant Animorph and he's an odd combination of both reluctant and wanting to protect the others. He doesn't want to fight but he seems to think he has to protect Jake from doing something extremely stupid.

So Marco replies that he does know what Elfangor's sacrifice means.

Rachel then states that if there's an Andalite she's going to help them. This is funny since, later on in the series, you learn that Andalites aren't saints.

In fact, they can be big jackasses with thinking that they are superior to everyone else. However, the Andalites aren't all bad and they are fighting against the Yeerks.

Cassie, Jake, Tobias, and even Marco agree to rescue the Andalite.
Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents