Sunday, October 20, 2013

Animorphs Re-Read: #3 The Encounter (Chapters 9-12)


Chapter 9


Tobias tells the others to stay calm and look up. They are, of course, freaked out by the large Yeerk ship overhead. Rachel and Cassie both say that the thing is huge. I wish I could think of a good dick joke to use. But none are coming to mind and that's probably a good thing.

Tobias takes time just letting the reader know how big this Yeerk ship is. He is able to look into the bridge and see Taxxons piloting it. I like the description of how big the ship is and how there is a paragraph of two going over the size. It makes you very aware of the size and that it is very impressive.

Then two Bug fighters come out of the ship. Tobias alerts the others to the Bug fighters and Marco points out that they're insignificant compared to the gigantic Yeerk ship. Tobias says the Bug fighters might be scouting the area and Jake says to not look like trouble.

Tobias tries to act like a normal, harmless hawk. A normal hawk who isn't really a teenaged boy inside a bird's body. The Bug fighters shoot right past Tobias and he sees that the normal crew is inside.

Tobias talks about how the Taxxons are the second most common type of Controllers. He talks about how all Taxxons are voluntary hosts and so are as vile as their appearance. Again, Elfangor didn't have time to tell the Animorphs about Arbron. I recently wrote a tumblr post about how Taxxon cannibalism and self-cannibalism is so common that I forgot about it when thinking of cannibalism in the Animorphs series.

The Bug fighters don't show any interest in bird-boy. The Yeerk ship is starting to go down to the surface of the lake.

Tobias asks to make sure that the others are seeing what he is. Marco replies sarcastically, commenting that the Yeerk ship is so big that no one could miss it. Rachel thinks the ship is incredible while Marco takes a more realistic approach. He sees the ship and thinks that them fighting the Yeerks is even more of a useless gesture.

Marco keeps making the ship larger in his mind. I'm only mentioning this since the second state he compares the Yeerk ship to is Florida. That is my home state!

Tobias notices that the group is paying too much attention to the ship so he reminds them to act wolf-like. Marco's response is to tell Jake to pee some more.

From the Yeerk ship three pipes come down and start sucking water from the lake. Cassie remarks that the pipes are acting like straws.

Marco laughs as he realizes one of Yeerk's big weaknesses. Rachel says that she doesn't look at a ship like that and think the Yeerks have a big weakness. But Tobias gets what Marco meant. Marco clarifies that the ship has sucked in some of Earth's air and is now getting water. Cassie gets it and cries out that the Yeerk ship is nothing more than a truck.

I like that Applegate put this into this series. A series aimed at Young Adults. A group of people that lots of people/authors like to talk down to. Like somehow teenagers won't be able to handle certain things. In all honesty, you only really see how dark the series is when you're an adult. The thing Applegate added was the Yeerks acting realistically. Showing that these powerful enemies aren't all powerful. That they have to live off the worlds they invade and that they can't live in a vacuum.

Time is running out for the Animorphs that still have to worry about the two hour limit. So they decide to start to head back home. Tobias, though, doesn't have to worry about a time limit and so stays by the lake. He watches the Yeerks do their thing and then an important plot point catches his eyes.

He sees the hawk that he and Rachel rescued in the beginning of the book. He doesn't think about going towards her, but he does so anyways. The female red-tailed hawk seems to be okay with Tobias coming towards her. He doesn't know why as hawks don't know about friends and she might not even connect him with her freedom.

Then Tobias is frightened of the female hawk.

Remember how I said that I remembered this book as Tobias learning to live with the hawk part of himself? His feelings he has for the female red-tailed hawk are a big reminder that he isn't human. That some part of himself isn't human. It's a reason why I don't mind him freeing the hawk in the beginning as she becomes a big ass plot point.

Tobias starts to think on why he's afraid of the female hawk. About it not being the hawk herself but the feeling that going towards her is going home. He turns away from the hawk and reminds himself that he is human. He tells himself his name and who he is. But then part of himself tells him he's a hawk now and that Tobias is dead.

Tobias, let me hug you! You need a hug now!

As he dives down he notices a problem for his fellow Animorphs.


Chapter 10


The Animorphs, except Tobias, have run into another wolf pack. Between the two packs is a dead rabbit. Tobias knows that Jake has human intelligence on his side but the other wolf has more fighting experience. You know, being a wolf and all. Tobias feels like laughing since the situation is ridiculous. Bird-boy is thankful that this insane incident happened as it takes his mind off his feelings for the female red-tailed hawk.

Suddenly Tobias remembers the time limit. How the others may be stuck in morph if they take too long. Tobias then asks Jake what they are doing since they are on a time limit. Jake says to shut up since they're in a situation. Tobias says to just back away from the situation. Jake says he can't back off or he'll lose and Tobias thinks he's insane.

Cassie explains that if Jake backs away the other wolves may attack. Tobias looks over the situation and asks if this whole situation is because of the dead rabbit. No one answers him since they're all concerned over the possible fight that could happen.

Tobias then has an idea for a stupid, suicidal plan. I like that he mentions that both the hawk and human parts of his mind are in agreement that what he's about to do is stupid. Since it keeps up with the theme of Tobias not really being who he once was.

He screams out as he dives down towards the rabbit carcass. He gains a grip on the rabbit and this is appearing more along the lines of what Rachel would enjoy doing. One of the wolves tries to attack Tobias but he manages not to die.

Rachel cries out to Tobias. This is so a moment that I'm adding to my 'aw! how can people not ship them?' list.

Jake tells the others to run away from the fight while they still can. Tobias drops the rabbit carcass and is able to fly away to safety. One of the Animorphs asks if Tobias is okay and he replies that he only lost a few tail feathers. Tail feathers grow back.

Tobias catches up with the group and worries about time. One of the problems with morphing is that you can't tell how long you have been in morph. And wearing a watch would just look odd. If only gaining the ability to morph also allowed you to have an Andalite's ability to know the time. That would be very useful. But, of course, Escafil wasn't thinking of other races using his device. Or else he might've done something about the clothing problem too!

Tobias decides to get a time reading for the group. And he sees that time is extremely low for the Animorphs. Oh god, I'm going to have nightmare fuel in the next chapter, aren't I?


Chapter 11


All at once Tobias isn't tired anymore. From bird-boy's comments it seems like he looked at a clock. To make some really bad news, it appears the Animorphs have run out of time. Now we all know they haven't run out of time, but they are cutting it extremely close.

He yells out multiple times to morph back now. This instant, no questions asked. He is extremely frightened and I don't blame him. He knows what going over the time limit means and the downsides that occur because of it. He doesn't want that to happen to his friends.

Tobias catches up with the group and Marco asks how much time they have left. He replies none. The other Animorphs, probably thinking of bird-boy, and the others start to demorph. Cassie is the quickest and is half-way done by the time changes start appearing on the others.

Tobias continues to urge the others on. Jake asks how much time they have left and Tobias says two minutes. By the fact that Cassie can demorph, and has been in wolf morph the longest, Tobias should figure out that the clock he saw was off. He should still be worried, no denying that, but he should be smart enough to know that the clock was off by a little bit.

And here is where the nightmare fuel is...

The other Animorphs aren't as lucky as Cassie is. The morphs are happening wrong for the others. Rachel's hands appear from her wolf's hind legs and Marco's head is appearing. In both Animorphs' cases, nothing else is changed. Marco yells out a half-human, half-wolf sound. This is worse than Tobias feared. He figured they would be trapped as wolves like he had been trapped as red-tailed hawk. But they weren't wolves and they weren't humans. They were a sick combination of the two.

Excuse me as I vomit up my small dinner.

I don't care if I used this one before in this post. It's the only one that truly expresses my emotions at the moment.
Cassie, having fully demorphed, goes to each of her fellow Animorphs and tries to help them through the demorphing process. She tells Rachel to concentrate on her human self and to fight the fear.

Marco looks at Tobias as his way to concentrate. Tobias stays still as Marco looks at bird-boy with hate or fear. Maybe both and maybe neither. Tobias is fine with being used as a way to save Marco as being stuck as an abomination. However, he starts to think of how the others must view him. A freak of nature that should never have been. Some pitiable creature.

You poor thing! Let me love you!

Marco, concentrating on Tobias, is able to concentrate enough and demorph. Cassie holds one of Jake's hands between hers and urges him to come back to her. Did I ever mention how damn hard I ship those two? Did I ever mention it? I love Tobias and Rachel, but Cassie and Jake are just so lovely. And this little moment is making my little shipper heart so damn happy!

Rachel finishes demorphing and he sees that the rest are fully human again. He is happy that they're human again. Then the Animorphs start saying how great it is that they're human. That they weren't trapped in mid-morph. They talk a little about what it was like nearly being trapped.

Then suddenly Tobias remembers he will never be human again. He will never again experience the joys of being human. He is forever trapped in the body of a hawk. He looks at his talons that will never be feet and he'll never have hands to touch anyone with. When he says he won't be able to touch anyone again I'm thinking he's talking about Rachel.

I'm not crying! There's just...something in my eye.

The pain and agony of his situation gets to him and he flies away, he even forgets that he's tired. Rachel cries after him but he doesn't listen. He has to get away. Now. He flies away and he mentions that he imagines hearing himself screaming.

The pain of this scene! I need a hug, coffee, and chocolate right now!


Chapter 12


It was very late by the time that Tobias returned to Jake's attic. Tobias explains the layout of his new room. His bed is a drawer with blankets in it. Tobias says that Jake is a nice guy and used to protect bird-boy when he had been human. It's scary that Tobias' mind is deteriorating so quickly. From his statements it doesn't appear that he's hasn't been trapped in hawk morph for even a month.

Holy fuck!

Jake leaves Tobias food. Potatoes, vegetables, and meat. Tobias is in a hawk's body and so can only eat the meat. He hasn't told Jake that because...no reason. I think it might be because Tobias doesn't want to upset Jake, but there's nothing solid here.

Tobias doesn't feel right eating the meat. This is because his red-tailed hawk mind wants a fresh kill. This part reminds me a little of a Taxxon's hunger. How even a Yeerk has trouble resisting it.

Tobias goes into the drawer but the hawk part of him doesn't like it. Hawks make nests, they don't sleep in something that a human would consider comfortable. Tobias wants to be comforted like a human, but that's impossible for him now. In this moment.

He finds himself too restless and decides he needs to fly. Flying at night for red-tailed hawks isn't something that's normally done. It's not something Tobias' hawk body is built for. A red-tailed hawk isn't nocturnal. But Tobias doesn't care. He needs to get out. He needs to fly.

He flies aimlessly but he knows, deep down inside, where he's going. I'll give you four guesses where he's going and the first three don't count.

Tobias lands on the bird house by Rachel's window. He knocks on her window to get her attention. She opens the window and says that she's glad he's there. She was worried about him. Tobias asks why.

Rachel says that the group was very insensitive to Tobias that afternoon. Tobias replies that he understands why the others were so happy and he doesn't hold a grudge against them because of it. I think his reply is very telling of his character. When he was human he was beat up so he has a very submissive side to him. Even though he's now fighting the Yeerks here on Earth, that side of him hasn't gone. It's just changed.

He doesn't want to cause trouble. So he's waving off what happened earlier.

Rachel tells him to come in and he does so. When he comes inside he looks at himself in the mirror. He looks at his HAWK body in detail. His description almost seems like he's telling himself it's a curse that he's trapped in morph.

He finally looks away from his reflection and tells Rachel he doesn't know what's happening to him. Rachel says she doesn't understand. I think she does know what's going on but she doesn't want to admit it. She wants to think Tobias is strong enough to resist the hawk part of himself. That everything will be back to normal in no time.

Tobias wants to smile to make her feel better. But his hawk beak won't allow that.

Tobias says that he thinks he's losing himself and Rachel continues to pretend not to know what he means.

Tobias explains that he felt like he belonged with the female red-tailed hawk that they freed. He wanted to go after her. Rachel says that he belongs with the Animorphs and that he is human. Tobias asks how she can be so sure. Rachel says that a person isn't their body, a person is what's inside. Their heart and mind. And I think I'm close to tearing up!

Tobias counters her point by saying he can't even remember what he looked like. Rachel seems like she is going to cry, but she doesn't. Tobias says that's probably the reason why he came to her. He needed someone to be strong so he could borrow their strength.

Rachel goes to her dresser and shows him a picture of himself when he was human. Tobias remarks that he didn't know she had a picture of him. Yeah, Rachel, what are you doing with that picture? Wink! Wink!

She says the picture isn't that good and that he looks better in real life. Tobias repeats the words 'real life'. Rachel says that when the Andalites come back they'll find some way to fix Tobias. To make him human again. Tobias basically says he doesn't believe her. Rachel replies that she is sure.

Rachel tries to put on a brave face but Tobias can see she's holding back tears. He remarks, again, that hawk eyes don't miss much.
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 Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Inbetween: The Incredible Burp 2

Image From dA



Because I had to be in hiding all of the time and going to the mall wasn’t safe for me, I went between hanging out with Cassie and Ax. His full name was Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill and he was an Andalite. He was the brother to Prince Elfangor and was the lowest rank of the Andalite military. An Aristh. I liked him and that might have been due to my Yeerk hating his species.

Andalites had unleashed the Yeerks on the galaxy so I should blame them for my brief enslavement. But there was something about Ax that I couldn’t hate. Maybe it was innocence or that he was someone I had to spend so much time around because I couldn’t hang out with my usual friends.

Looking at Ax I saw grace in him that Visser Three lacked as he ran towards me. I waved at him and he said, Hi.

Not with his mouth, as Andalites lacked them, but through thought-speech. Tobias and I were the only ones who spent a great amount of time with Ax. All of us couldn’t hang out where humans usually did for obvious reasons.

Myself because I was wanted by the Yeerks, Ax because he was an Andalite, and Tobias because he’s trapped in morph. A notlith. However, due to circumstances that hadn’t been clearly described to me yet, Tobias had been granted his ability to morph. Both Ax and Tobias had human morphs, though. Tobias, besides regaining his ability to morph, had been able to reacquire his old human self. Ax had done something called a Frolis Maneuver to get his human morph.

That’s what I wanted to talk to him about today.

“Hi,” I said when Ax stood a few feet in front of me. I paused as I was nervous as he was kind of cute. At least for an Andalite. “So how’s the grass today?”

It’s normal. Ax replied with some confusion. He wasn’t dumb, no matter how odd he acted in human morph, but he didn’t fully understand the human species yet. Is that what you wanted to talk about today?

I didn’t like asking for something from a friend, especially a friend who probably half expected me to turn out like David. David was a kid that the Animorphs decided to take in after some events happened. Events that left David unable to live like he used to. Instead of sticking with the group he had turned against them. Even going so far as to kill a red-tailed hawk he thought was Tobias and killing a kid so he could live normally again.

I didn’t like that the group thought I would ever turn out like that monster.

“I was wondering about getting a human morph.” I explained. “You and Tobias can both interact with the others in places like the mall. I’m not going to spend a lot of them there, but it’d be nice to have that option opened to me.”

You want to know how to perform a Frolis Maneuver. Ax guessed. As I said, a smart guy.

“I get the gist of it.” I said honestly. “I just want to have someone to reassure me that I’m doing it correctly.”

And you’re nervous about asking me about this be-

“Because of Seerow’s Kindness, that you still probably have ingrained in your mind, plus the fact that I’m the new member of the group. With the last one being a traitor.”

I trust you.

“Yeah, I’m sure part of you believes that and the other half is telling you that you’re an idiot.” After my reply Ax shuffled his hooves. Andalites weren’t so different from us after all.

I see no harm with telling you how to do the Maneuver. Ax finally said.

“What if I became a chimera?” I asked and Ax looked at me, wondering what I was talking about. “Basically what if I combined a bunch of animals’ DNA into one super morph? Don’t you think that would be a dangerous thing for me to know how to do?”

The Frolis Maneuver doesn’t work like that. Ax explained. You can only combine DNA from the same species.

“That’s a disappointing.” I said. “We could really kick Yeerk butt if the Frolis Maneuver wasn’t so limited.”

Yes, Ax agreed. You humans could have a much better chance in battle.

“What?” I asked, pretending to be offended. “You think just because we don’t use battle morphs that have tail-blades that we’re weaker? What if I just acquired you?”

I reached quickly for Ax and he was startled. He was swift in backing up out of my reach and tensing his tail-blade to attack me.

Sorry. He said when he regained himself.

“It’s okay, I frightened you.” I replied, a little ashamed that I had taken a joke too far. “I would never acquire you, though. Not without your permission.”

You want a good battle morph to hurt the Yeerks? Ax said after a moment’s hesitation.

“Of course I want to hurt the Yeerks.” I replied. “Frankly, I want to kill them all. I want to see them all dead. I want to be the cause of their demise and have every last one suffer.”


Do you want to fight because you were infested? Ax asked.

“Yes.” I replied without any hesitation. “That’s exactly why. I saw what the Yeerks have done and will do. I’ve done…thing and betrayed friends all because the Yeerk inside my head made me do them. I don’t want another living being to go through what I did.”

I paused a moment as my anger gathered.

“None of the others knows what it’s like.” I continued. “Jake was infested for three days and all that happened with him was that his Yeerk tried to escape. He didn’t go through betraying his friends and his planet.”

“Not-“ I started to add, but something felt wrong. Something inside me seemed to be startled by the sudden anger. I felt myself starting to change.

I held out my hand and it started to turn black. I was morphing, but I wasn’t controlling it.

“What the-“ I said but then I couldn’t talk due to my vocal chords going away. A beak was forming.

I looked at Ax as my vision changed and I started to shrink. He looked shocked, but he was keeping it together. If something wrong was happening to me he’d know what to do. If there was one Animorph I’d want by me in this situation, it was him.

As the morph continued I tried to stay calm and make it stop. Morphing is one of the greatest things in the world, but I wasn’t planning on it right now. Something was going horribly wrong.

When the raven mind appeared I knew the morph was finished. My fear was enough to override anything the raven was feeling.

Is that a new morph? Ax asked.

Yes, I replied, unable to say anything else.

Hereth illint. Ax replied and the way he said it, it didn’t sound like good news.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Inbetween: The Incredible Burp 1



About the Inbetween Series:


I have some ideas for stories that I don't usually write because my four main series take up so much time (that and other blog work). So I decided that between writing sections of my main series, to write short little fanfics.


These fanfics will be HIGHLY self-indulgent. Because I work so hard on my other series that I deserve a little break.


Sometimes some of these "Inbetween Fics" might be samples of later works (that might turn out to be either a fanfic series OR original series).


About "The Incredible Burp":


In Animorphs #12 The Reaction there is a problem shown about the morphing ability. It turns out that certain people are allergic to certain DNA. This illness is called Hereth illint. The Andalite term means ‘burping DNA’. It is an uncommon occurrence and the only time it’s happened in the Animorphs series is in #12 and happens to Rachel when she morphs a crocodile.

I decided to explore this illness and look at what would happen if things went wrong.



Where It Takes Place in the Animorphs Timeline:


There is no real event this takes place afterwards. It takes place sometime after Animorphs #22 The Solution as the Animorphs have the Escafil device and David is out of the picture.
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The noises from the animals in the Rehabilitation Clinic would have been unnerving to me before. The volume would have made me doubt why I was here at an earlier part of my life. The combination of stenches, that I just thought of as just one stench, didn’t bother me that much either. The Clinic reminded me that I was free now.

I turned to look at the person I was helping. Her name was Cassie and the others referred to the Clinic as Cassie’s barn. She was an Animorph as was I. At least now. The Animorphs, the original ones, were given the ability to morph by the Andalite Prince Elfangor. Now they fight the Yeerk invasion of Earth.

Yeerks are just harmless slugs. Until they get into the head of a creature like a human. Then they get all the abilities of the host. All the memories. Once you were infested you lost all control. You weren’t yourself any longer.

“Amanda?” Cassie asked and I remembered that I was here on a mission. Not one fighting the Yeerks, but one helping a friend.

I turned my attention back to the injured raven.

“I’m fine.” I told her and looked at the bird. So weak compared to an osprey or red-tailed hawk, but there was strength in there. Whenever the raven looked at me I saw the ability to cause chaos. But I had never morphed a raven so all I knew was speculation.

“Is it hard for you?” She asked as she directed me by the movements of her hands. “Hiding out and not being able to do the things you used to do?”

“I’m not going to become David.” I told her. I didn’t like that the others thought I was going to turn on them just because they had had one bad incident. “I don’t mind. Anything’s better than the condition I was in before.”

I saw that Cassie was about to speak but then knew speaking would have caused unneeded pain for me.

“You were going to talk about me being infested.” I said and saw her become embarrassed. I liked Cassie and didn’t mind her trying to understand a former Controller. Who knows, maybe I would unintentionally give the group better insight into the enemy.

“I can understand if you don’t want to talk about it.” She replied.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” I said and adjusted my hold on the raven as it twitched in fear. “But I also don’t want the Yeerks to be here on Earth. Hell, I would like the Yeerks to not be real.”

“Not all of them are bad.” Cassie said and I just looked at her. As anger started to boil in my blood she explained. “I knew one called Aftran.”

“So that’s one among a whole Yeerk empire.” I said angrily. Not because I didn’t believe Cassie, but because I would have enjoyed a Yeerk like Aftran. One who didn’t so easily bow to how the other Yeerks did things.

“We had an agreement.” She said as she finished up with the raven. “I did what she wanted and, from what the others told me, she seems to have been moved.”

“A Yeerk that was moved.” The idea was ludicrous, but I trusted Cassie. “I can tell you that there aren’t enough Yeerks like that.”

“Maybe one day there will be.”

“Yeah, but I’m not letting Earth get taken over because it’s possible that there are Yeerks that want peace.”

As I started to help move the raven back to its cage I realized this could be a chance to acquire a new morph. I let my hand rest on the bird and started to take it in. The black feathers and eyes that seemed to see more than they should.

The raven became still as it went into a trance and its DNA became a part of me. When I finished acquiring the raven I looked at Cassie. She said nothing to me until we put the raven in its cage.

“When do you think you’re going to use your raven morph?” She asked.

I knew the correct answer wasn’t to say that I was going to use the morph for fun. No reason for acquiring a morph would be accepted unless it dealt with fighting the Yeerks. No matter the honesty of saying I had merely acquired the raven to see what being a raven felt like, I could not give Cassie that reply.

“Spying.” I replied. “Ravens don’t look out of place most of the time. If Jake needs a spying mission I won’t have to bother acquiring a new morph for the occasion.”

Cassie nodded and let the matter drop. Maybe she thought there wouldn’t be bad consequences or that I needed a little harmless fun in my life. Either way, she didn’t question it.
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Animorphs Re-Read: #3 The Encounter (Chapters 5-8)


Chapter 5


Marco says that of course the Yeerks would have the ability to cloak their ships.

All the Animorphs are now gathered in Cassie's barn. It's one of the few places where a red-tailed hawk, aka Tobias, won't look out of place. He talks about some wolves, that will never become important to the plot, and how hawks are nervous around them.

Rachel brings up the point that they've been able to see Yeerks ships before so how could the invading aliens possibly have technology that would keep their invasion a secret. Jake brings up the theory that the cloaking ability only works at certain times, aka it would work in flight but not when a Yeerk ship is about to land. Cassie questions Tobias if he really saw a Yeerk ship and I'm confused.

Later on the kids will learn about the Skrit Na, Pemalites, and other races but for now their first thoughts should be Tobias saw a Yeerk ship. The kids don't know about any other races that have technology like either the Andalites or Yeerks. And the kids don't know about any other Andalites on Earth so they should think it's a Yeerk ship.

Jake then asks what they are going to do about the unknown ship. I'm going to call it a UFO since it is, for the Animorphs, an Unidentified Flying Object. Tobias says they should find out what it's up to. He says the UFO is doing something involving the mountains.

Marco, the sad voice of reason, points out the mountains is a huge area. That the ship could be gigantic and still hide in a million different places in the mountains. Rachel is up for the challenge and says that means they should start right away. Jake asks Cassie her opinion on the matter.

Cassie says it sort of feels like they have already risked enough. They have barely come out of the last two missions alive. Marco is then super excited because he thinks someone is agreeing with him. Cassie then breaks his heart by saying that she can't stop fighting, even though what they're doing is risky.

Marco says that they are fighting for strangers and so why should they risk their lives for them. He brings up the fact that they did what they could for Tom, but that had failed. He says that they can't stay lucky forever and one day one of them will die in the fight against the Yeerks. This makes me tear up a little as I'm thinking of Rachel's death. Speaking of Rachel, she gets angry and tells Marco if he wants out to get out. That she's tired of arguing for him to fight the good fight. Marco lashes out and says that she is only fighting for the danger. She gets off on it. Why else would she try to rescue a hawk with Tobias?

I stand by Rachel doing it out of love, but there was the danger aspect there too.

Marco fell silent as he realized he crossed the line.

Tobias says that, whatever the others decide, he's going to the mountains the next morning. Rachel, Jake, and Cassie agree to go with him while Marco says no. Rachel says if he doesn't want to go that's fine by her. But Marco points out that if they all skip school and the Yeerks encounter a problem that Chapman will realize who the 'Andalite bandits' really are. Jake says Marco is right.

Tobias is mad that Marco is right. Marco can be a pain in the ass but he's smart. He doesn't want to be in the war but he'll help the group. Even risking his life with them.

Tobias knows Marco is smart and thinks that he might be right about one of them dying. Don't worry, bird-boy, you won't die and most of you will survive. The war will just end with your girlfriend dead and you hating Jake. The majority of you will be fine.





Chapter 6


Tobias says the others have bird morphs that would make it easy to travel to where they needed to go. However, there are bird watchers that would notice. Tobias likes bird watchers but knows if any Controllers were among the bird watchers, there would be trouble for the Animorphs.

Marco's first lines of the chapter are him complaining about walking because of possible bird watcher Controllers. Cassie tries to help him feel better by pointing out they're trying out a new morph. Marco has an excellent comeback saying what they are doing is insane. I'm always going between hating Marco's guts to loving him.

The morphs they are going to use for the first time are wolves. Remember the wolves in Cassie's barn? Yeah, they acquired those wolves.

Jake decides that they are far enough away and they all prepare to morph. Marco complains about having to morph a girl wolf. Cassie explains that if two of them had morphed males then there might've been a fight for dominance. Marco says he could control himself. Rachel takes a jab at him by saying that he and Jake could hardly control themselves while they're human. Cassie agrees by talking about the 'primitive male behavior'. Marco points out that he can control his gorilla morph but Rachel says he's already similar to the gorilla.

Cue Cassie and Rachel giving each other high-fives.

Jake tells Marco that they flipped a coin. Marco then asks to see the coin again. Jake smiles and says for them all to just morph. With Cassie going first, of course. Oh, Marco, how you make me love and hate you so much.

Tobias says that sometimes morphing can be disturbing and that's why one member of the group is trying out the wolf morph first. Some animal minds were just uncomfortable to share head space with. Other morphs, like a flea, aren't disturbing.

Cassie starts to concentrate on morphing and then decides to strip down to her morphing suit so she won't get tangled up in her clothing. How can anyone hate this lovely girl? She is the first one who's pointed out they shouldn't morph in their clothing.

Tobias remarks that Cassie morphing into a wolf is disturbing. This is even though she is the best morpher of the group.

When Cassie finishes the wolf morph Jake asks her how the wolf morph is. She turns to him and growls which makes the others decide to stay very still. Tobias, as well as the others, know that Cassie is battling the wolf mind. She is trying to gain control of the morph.

After a little bit Cassie says she has full control of the morph. She seems to really enjoy it too. She remarks that a wolf's hearing is incredible as well. She seems to be even more in love with the wolf's sense of smell, though. Cassie starts sniffing and smells that Rachel had eaten bacon. Turns out Rachel was going to go vegetarian and Xena Warrior Princess appears to feel guilt. Marco laughs at Rachel's pain.

Jake says for everyone to start morphing so that they can get on with the mission. And, when they morph, they'll have to deal with the two hour time limit. Everyone looks at Tobias as he's the friendly reminder of what happens when you stay in morph over the time limit. Ouch!


Chapter 7


Tobias is jealous of his fellow Animorphs since they get to morph wolves. His hawk pride shows when he says that he is glad that, of all the animals he could've been trapped in, he got stuck in a hawk morph. As the series goes on, and he grows comfortable with what he is, he shows more and more hawk pride. He starts to show hatred of birds that red-tailed hawks wouldn't like and when he morphs a different bird he talks of how wrong the morph is.

For now, though, he just has a little hawk pride.

Tobias is jealous of the others since they are trying out a new morph and having fun in it. He says that it was sometimes hard for him to keep up with them since they moved so fast. It wasn't just the speed, though, it was how constant that speed was. Nothing slowed the wolf morphed Animorphs down.

Tobias then admits that isn't entirely true as two things slowed them down. One thing was that Jake constantly marked his 'territory'. This since Jake is the dominant male/alpha of the group. This being a YA book makes a joke about the scent marking. A wolf marks its territory by peeing. I would like to say I'm mature and don't find this as amusing as when I was a child, but that'd be a lie.

Cassie explains what I already told you, that Jake is marking is territory, and adds that it is gross to watch.

The other thing that is slowing them down is howling. Out of nowhere Jake started to howl and the others joined in. Tobias is a little annoyed at this as they are on a time limit and he doesn't know why they're stopping. Jake says that he thought howling would be a good idea and Rachel said that once he started she felt like she should join in. Cassie explains, while she is howling, that it's probably a way to make sure that they don't run into other wolves.

Tobias notices it's around the time that he had seen the Yeerk ship before. He decides to look around and tells the group. Rachel says to stay safe. As he's flying he thinks about what being a wolf is like. All the awesome power and confidence he'd have if he morphed a wolf. He thinks about asking the others about what being a wolf is like. Then his thoughts take a dark turn.

He thinks that he could also ask them what it's like to be human. He quickly reprimands himself for starting on the road to self-pity. Tobias thinks, just like hunting, if he starts he won't be able to stop.

Tobias keeps an on out of the Yeerk ship. He thinks that the ship might not keep a schedule.

Looking down below he sees what appeared to be Park Service vehicles and they appear to be in a hurry. The people getting out of the vehicles are carrying automatic weapons. Helicopters appear also with the Park Service markings. Tobias can tell something is wrong as the 'Park Service' people are moving like an army.

Bird-boy watched as the 'Park Service' people move to surround a tent. The 'Park Service' people are able to scare the campers away without any bloodshed. The two choppers land on the far side of the lake after circling it.

Out of the choppers come Hork-Bajir. Well, I'm sure this means that there is still doubt that the ship Tobias saw was a Yeerk ship.


Chapter 8


Tobias yells out the word Hork-Bajir as he realizes the shit that can go down now. He remarks that Elfangor said that the Hork-Bajir used to be a very peaceful race, but now every member of the race is infested by a Yeerk.

Tobias then heads towards the others and checks a human Controller's watch. He realizes that not only does the group have to worry about the Hork-Bajir, but also that time is now running out. Tobias finds them and sees them still never pausing except when Jake had to pee. Er...mark his territory. Tobias lands on a decayed log and the Animorphs gather around him. Like a real wolf pack. Tobias then tells them it's just him. None of the group answers him.

Suddenly Tobias realizes there are five wolves. The other Animorphs only add up to four wolves. I guess math wasn't Tobias' strong subject in school.

I know I should be scared, but this scene is a little humorous to me. It gives me such faith that a teenager that can't count is in charge of protecting the Earth.

Luckily Tobias realizes his mistake just in time and flies away, though it's a close call. He does take the time to say that he probably wouldn't be attacked by wolves if he had been human, but he's now in the body of a hawk.

After a few tries Tobias is able to get fully airborne and leaves the wolves behind. And then minutes after that he sees a pack of four wolves. This time, even though the wolf pack has the same number that would indicate that they are Animorphs, Tobias still asks first. Marco asks who else would they be. Tobias decides not to tell the reluctant Animorph the incident with the real wolf pack.

Tobias informs the group about the Hork-Bajir and human Controllers.

This is a funny quote that I couldn't find a place to put elsewhere in this Re-Read. It takes place during this conversation:

[How do you know they aren’t real Park Rangers?] Jake asked.

[Because real Park Rangers don’t carry machine guns,] I said. [Plus, they don’t hang around with Hork-Bajir.]


Cassie asks if Tobias is sure it was Hork-Bajir. He replies with sarcasm that it's hard to confuse them with anything else. Really, Cassie, you're questioning someone with hawk vision if they saw something as recognizable as a Hork-Bajir? Really?

Tobias goes on to say where the Controllers are focusing their attentions on and talks briefly about the campers. Marco doesn't like the thought of dealing with the Hork-Bajir. Rachel asks if the lake is where the ship was going and Tobias thinks it is. The group points out the evidence that the ship is going to be arriving shortly.

Jake says that they should go and check it out. Rachel agrees with him. Tobias points out that the others only have forty-five minutes in morph. Jake says the plan will be just to check things out and then leave. I'm sure that they won't cut very close to the time limit and have a scene that will give me nightmares for the next week.

Tobias starts flying again but, this time, stays closer to the rest of the group. As the group gets close to the Controllers Cassie reminds them to act a little frightened of the human Controllers. He watches as they move closer to the lake and are spotted by the human Controllers. The Controllers tense up but then relax as they see the morphed Animorphs as just wolves.

As he tries to get some altitude his Yeerk ship senses start to tingle. He looks up and the ripple is there. After a few seconds the Yeerk ship just appears. No gentle transition. It's just suddenly visible.
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Animorphs Re-Read Table of Contents