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Bibliotechno Music
Dec 29, 2008



Jazerus posted:

the solution to this whole problem was to get over their misplaced unwillingness to ever steal anything, pull off some kind of modest heist (maybe on criminals??), and put david up in a sketchy apartment by having him morph an adult part-time. this would give him the freedom he wants while tying him financially to them, at least temporarily. hopefully enough time to get david on board for real.

i totally understand their unwillingness to do crimes but at a certain point saving the world takes priority; hell, the yeerks have to have some financial support lines that they could raid.

Getting David an apartment and a job by morphing an adult would be HILARIOUS though. Imagine working some barista or retail job where you have to take a ten-minute break every two hours so you can demorph and remorph, but constantly getting busy or stuck with a customer. So much tension for such mundane situations!

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dungeon cousin
Nov 26, 2012

woop woop
loop loop


Is it possible for a nothlit to regain morphing powers with the Escafil device? It would be a useful way to get rid of an identity, though permanently.

Homora Gaykemi
Apr 30, 2020

"We live together in her Skull Cave. We cook each other dinner all the time. She gifted me this beautiful horse. Do you think I should ask her out?"*

*Ancient lesbo saying


dungeon cousin posted:

Is it possible for a nothlit to regain morphing powers with the Escafil device? It would be a useful way to get rid of an identity, though permanently.

feels like the risk of becoming a nothlit wouldn't be a big deal to Andalites if they could just be picked up by their crew and slapped on a blue cube to return to normal

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

dungeon cousin posted:

Is it possible for a nothlit to regain morphing powers with the Escafil device? It would be a useful way to get rid of an identity, though permanently.

A nothlit can't regain morphing powers. He or she is stuck in that morph permanently.

Ravenfood
Nov 4, 2011


dungeon cousin posted:

Is it possible for a nothlit to regain morphing powers with the Escafil device? It would be a useful way to get rid of an identity, though permanently.

Elfangor's reaction to whatsisname being a Taxxon nothlit doesn't make too much sense if it's easily reversible with a standard issue blue box.

Especially since even the difficulty of "well he still has to morph back to Taxxon every two hours..." can be ignored because he could simply nothlit himself a second time as whatever "base" species he wanted, then re-Escafil himself. I think nothlit-ism is permanent, barring Ellimists or whatever loophole about "natural morphing" saved Cassie.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Animorphs Book 21-The Threat, Chapter 25

quote:

Tobias came swooping down to land beside me on the back of the truck. “Follow him,” I said tersely. “But don’t let him see you. Ax and I will follow.”

Tobias spread his wings and took off. But as he left he said, <This won’t be easy, Jake. In the dark, his eyes are as good as mine. We’ll both be moving pretty slow.>

“Do your best,” I said. I had already begun to morph to peregrine falcon. David had a head start on Tobias. An even bigger head start on me and Ax. Ax was morphing to bird, too. None of us was a great night flyer, but golden eagles are fast. Faster than red-tails.

I hooked up with Ax in the air over Cassie’s barn. The thought entered my mind that I should get Cassie, regardless of the risk of her parents realizing she was gone. But there was no time. And surely the three of us could handle David.

Ax and I flew hard. We kept calling to Tobias, but he was not within range. I couldn’t see him.

Or David.

Was he heading toward his old house? Was he going to sell out to the Yeerks? Could he be that dumb? Once again I was faced with the fact that I didn’t really know David. He was still an unknown quantity. What was he doing?

I had no one to follow. No way to know if Tobias was keeping up with David.

<Ax? We’re going to head toward David’s old house,> I said.

<Yes. That seems sensible,> Ax agreed. <When …>

Ax seemed about to say more.

<What is it?>

<If David is joining forces with the Yeerks, what shall we do with him?>

<I don’t know,> I said.

We flew hard, flapping all the way. We flew above the darkened homes, above the empty streets, above the abandoned businesses.

Every few minutes I would call out to Tobias. But he didn’t answer. And slowly, another possibility began to occur to me: That it wasn’t just a case of Tobias being out of range.

Maybe Tobias couldn’t answer.

<Ax? Keep an eye out for Tobias.>

<I am. I do not see him in the sky anywhere.>

<Not in the sky,> I said. <Keep an eye out for him on the ground.>

<You think David may have attacked Tobias?>

<Ax, I do not know what to think. I just keep hoping this is all some big misunderstanding. How do we fight against a traitor? An Animorph?>

<We are close to David’s house,> Ax pointed out.

<Visser Three said they’d be watching for him there. Which means they’ll be watching for us, too.> I looked down at the house. It still showed signs of the epic battle that had taken place there.

The window of David’s old room was a gaping hole - shattered glass, splintered wood, siding peeled off and hanging down.

A truck was parked across the street. A brown UPS truck. I’d never seen a UPS truck parked on the street before.

<I wonder how many Hork-Bajir they have crammed in there?> I said.

<I do not see David. Or Tobias.>

<Me neither. But David could be in the house. I’ll have to go in and see.>

<Prince Jake, this is a trap.>

<Yeah. I know. The Yeerks are on the lookout for David. But if he’s here, do they know he’s here yet? Maybe they missed him arriving. Maybe he’s inside and hasn’t been spotted yet. Or maybe he’s undecided. Maybe he just needs to think about all this.>

<That is a highly unacceptable number of maybes.>

<Yep. Sure is. Ax? I need you at your most dangerous. And that’s as an Andalite. Land in that backyard two houses down. Demorph. And be ready to jump some fences.>

<I should stay with you!>

<No. I’m going in alone. If David can still be reached, that’s the only way.>

I’d like to pretend that I was some fearless hero right then. But that wouldn’t be real. Maybe there are guys who don’t feel afraid when they’re facing death. But I think those guys are called lunatics, not heroes.

I was scared. I knew what was in the UPS van. I didn’t know what was in that abandoned, scarred house.

What I did know was that I had no time to morph into something else. Or to come up with clever plans. All I could do was fly in and hope.

Good point about fear there, I think.

Chapter 26

quote:

I swooped down toward that window. Or the hole that had once been a window.

Down through the cold, lifeless night air.

It was a strange scene inside. The battle we’d fought there had destroyed the walls, annihilated furniture, left the place looking like a house that’s being demolished.

But someone had dragged the bed back into place. It faced a television set. The set was on, but the picture was dim and snowy.

A golden eagle stood on the upright bedpost, watching the TV screen. And that’s when I saw the other bird. A crumpled mass of feathers lay atop a wadded-up sheet. Blood had seeped into the material.

<Tobias!> I cried. There was no answer.

The golden eagle turned its head to look at me. <He was following me,> David said. <Trying to stop me.>

A voice in my head was saying no. Over and over again till it was one long siren wail. No, no, no!

<Tobias!> I yelled again. No answer.

I didn’t know what to do. The eagle - David - was three times my size. I was alone. I strained my hearing, listening for breathing sounds from Tobias.

<David, you can’t do this,> I said as calmly as I could.

<Do what, Jake? Turn myself over to the Yeerks? Of course not. You really think I’m dumb enough to try that? That’s not what this is about.>

<Then what are you doing?!> I roared, suddenly not so calm. <What are you doing, hurting Tobias?>

<Hurting him? Oh, he’s dead, in case you were wondering,> David said. <Definitely dead.>

My mind kind of went numb as he spoke those words. I strained to hear breathing sounds from the clump of mangled feathers. But there were no sounds.

I felt very weak. Helpless. How could this be? How could I have let it happen?

<Why are you doing this?> I pleaded.

<What choice do I have? The Yeerks know me. My parents would turn me in. And you … you and the others? Hey, you made it clear the other night when I checked into the Holiday Inn, right? What was it you said? Something like: “If you go around using your powers however you want, we can’t have you around. You’re a danger to us.”>

I recognized the words.

<You think I don’t know you were threatening me, Jake?> David said. <I’m not spending the rest of my life taking orders from you. You and Marco and Rachel and Cassie? You’re like this clique or something. Like, do what we say, or you can’t be one of the popular kids. My family used to move around a lot. I was always the new kid in school. I got used to being pushed around by the so-called popular kids. That’s all this is. This is like you and Marco and Rachel are the cool kids, and I’m just the new kid, right? So you get to push me around? Rachel gets to call me a coward? Because I want to stay alive? I don’t think so.>

<You murdered Tobias because you think this is some stupid school thing?!> I yelled.

<Murder? I don’t think so, Jake,> he said with a laugh. <He’s a bird. You may kill a bird, but it isn’t murder. I’d never do that. I wouldn’t hurt a human. But hey, an animal? That’s a different story.>

He stared hard at me with the laser-focus glare of the golden eagle. And what could I do? He was as fast as me. Bigger than me. If he had outfought Tobias, with all his experience, he would outfight me.

<What choice do I have, Jake?> David asked, almost sadly. <No family. No home. Can’t even step out in public as a human. Yeerks after me. The rest of my life I live in Cassie’s barn? Do what I’m told? Let Marco hammer me? Let Rachel look down her pretty nose at me? And in the meantime risk getting trapped as a flea or something? Or killed? Maybe you want to be the big hero, Jake, but not me. I have this power now. I’m going to use it.>

<The Yeerks will never stop looking for you,> I said.

<They’ll never find me. See, all I have to do is acquire some other human morph, right? I can be human for two hours at a time. I even have a person in mind. And using my powers, I can take anything I want. Anything. I can be a millionaire if I want.>

<If the Yeerks don’t get you, we will,> I said.

<Yeah, I know,> David acknowledged. <But already there used to be six of you and now there are just five. Pretty soon, Jake, it’ll be four.>

That’s when the eagle spread his wings, flapped hard, and shot toward me.

So this isn't good. I mean, David is right that there's no real happy ending for him. But he's also so wrong it hurts.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



So how come Flowers By Irene across the street over there never noticed two three birds in quick succession crashing through an upstairs window of the house they were ordered by Visser Three to keep watch over?

Fuschia tude fucked around with this message at 06:14 on May 5, 2021

Pwnstar
Dec 9, 2007

Who wants some waffles?



Big thanks to David for letting everyone know he's just a sociopath and too dangerous to be left alive so there's no moral ambiguity anymore.

WrightOfWay
Jul 24, 2010




Yeah, up until this point David's actions were understandable, given the circumstances. But not so much anymore.

Homora Gaykemi
Apr 30, 2020

"We live together in her Skull Cave. We cook each other dinner all the time. She gifted me this beautiful horse. Do you think I should ask her out?"*

*Ancient lesbo saying


Honestly kind of #TeamDavid at this point. He's going too far where we're at but he's absolutely right that everything in his life has gone to poo poo since Marco wandered up to him at school that first day, and that they've made basically every wrong step they could have in dealing with him since.

Hard to blame him for snapping here given that he's lost everything and the people that are "supposed" to be helping him have been this way so far.

Like David says, Jake was the one that started with threats, he's just responding in kind

e X
Feb 23, 2013

cool but crude


I think we are kind of hitting the limits of Animorphs here. David's sudden turn from rear end in a top hat to straight up sociopath is foreshadowed, with the whole "Its not illegal if a bird does it", but still, doing it in the span of three books really doesn't do it justice and feels kinda rushed. Basically, David needs to be an irrevocably bad guy by the end of book two and that is too soon. He should have stayed on the team for a couple of books and gradually becoming disillusioned with them and their guerilla war.

That being said, the whole sequence with him collapsing in his first real fight, trying to turn it around and Jake's perspective on it is pretty drat excellent!

e X fucked around with this message at 13:15 on May 10, 2021

Homora Gaykemi
Apr 30, 2020

"We live together in her Skull Cave. We cook each other dinner all the time. She gifted me this beautiful horse. Do you think I should ask her out?"*

*Ancient lesbo saying


"I can't believe this guy would strike out on his own and attack the friend I had tracking him after my friends ruined his life, made him feel like an outsider, and then I made overt threats to him!"

Honestly the core Animorphs come across like poo poo over these last couple of books and are lucky David doesn't just get them all killed or enslaved outright. They'd deserve it

SSJ_naruto_2003
Oct 12, 2012





Counterpoint they're guerrillas fighting to save earth and all of humanity and some lovely little kid is mad he doesn't fit in right away lol

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


This is such a great eerie scene. Golden eagle perched in a ruined house at night silently watching the flickering lights of a TV set.

SSJ_naruto_2003 posted:

Counterpoint they're guerrillas fighting to save earth and all of humanity and some lovely little kid is mad he doesn't fit in right away lol

Yeah this is my opinion, suck it the gently caress up and deal with it, David

quote:

Let Rachel look down her pretty nose at me?

Incel alert

Terror Sweat
Mar 15, 2009



freebooter posted:

Incel alert

He's 12

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice


14.

OctaviusBeaver
Apr 30, 2009

Say what now?

Everyone who's not having sex at this exact moment is an incel

QuickbreathFinisher
Sep 28, 2008

by reading this post you have agreed to form a gay socialist micronation.


If this YA series about mind control and young teens that could turn into animals was even slightly focused on sex we would likely have much bigger problems.

Grammarchist
Jan 28, 2013



Fuschia tude posted:

So how come Flowers By Irene across the street over there never noticed two three birds in quick succession crashing through an upstairs window of the house they were ordered by Visser Three to keep watch over?

I choose to believe one of the Yeerks wound up with Shaggy as a host and now there's a bunch of humans and Hork-Bajir hot boxing the van.

HIJK
Nov 25, 2012

People were stupid, sometimes. They thought the Library was a dangerous place because of all the magical books, which was true enough, but what made it really one of the most dangerous places there could ever be was the simple fact that it was a library.


David is poo poo but its a believable kind of poo poo, same for the Animorphs. They're kids and they're bad at it. The consequences are magnified because of their circumstances. David should be sucking it up and getting serious but some people aren't capable of adapting to the kind of introduction he had.

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019




Aren't they all still explicitly not in high school yet?

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Fuschia tude posted:

Aren't they all still explicitly not in high school yet?

Right. They're in junior high school, so 13, 14, like that.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Animorphs Book 21-The Threat, Chapter 27

quote:

The golden eagle was huge! The wings seemed to fill the room. The talons, raked forward and opened wide, would rip me open in a flash.

I dropped backward, flat onto my back on the floor. Something no falcon would ever do.

Something David’s eagle instincts would never expect.

The eagle flew over me. I scuttled under the bed, my talons scrabbling wildly on the exposed wood flooring. Again, something no falcon would do.

<How long do you think you can hide under there?> David mocked. But I could hear frustration in his voice. He stuck his big eagle’s head down and peered, almost comically, beneath the bed. He could come in after me, but he’d be crammed in tighter than I was. He’d be unable to move.

He flapped over to the window opening. And when I peered after him, I saw his talons growing.

He was demorphing.

A mistake. David might have all my morphing power, but he didn’t have my experience. He would be helpless while he was in midmorph. I could escape.

Only I didn’t want to escape. Not with Tobias lying dead on the bed above me.

I’d gone into lots of battles against Hork-Bajir, Taxxons, Visser Three himself. I’d always gone in hoping to win. But I’d never gone in consciously hoping to kill.

This was different. I didn’t want to escape. I wanted to destroy David. I wanted revenge.

Human feet began to emerge from the talons. I timed it carefully, then I scrabbled back out from beneath the far side of the bed and flapped my wings.

David stood there, maybe three feet tall, still covered in feathers. His face was an eagle’s face.

But there were human fingers beginning to emerge from the wing tips.

He reached over and clumsily grasped a jagged piece of wood about as long as a baseball bat.

<Come on, little birdie,> he said. <Try for the window, go ahead.>

I flapped hard, making a lot of noise with my wings. But I didn’t fly. I skimmed across the floor on my talons, using my wings to get up speed.

David saw what I was doing and tried to bend over to slam the stick down. Just one problem:

He was still more bird than human. And birds don’t have a waist.

WHAP! The stick missed me, and I was under his guard. Under his guard and now flying straight up, up at his face.

He staggered back. He batted at his face with his half-formed hands. But I was too close and he was too clumsy.
I raked his face with both talons.

“Aaaaahhhhh!” he cried with a mouth more human than bird. I dug one talon into his emerging nose and -

THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP.

Footsteps racing.

WHAM! The broken door blew back on its hinges. Hork-Bajir poured into the room.

David was still blinded by my feathers and the blood in his face. I immediately let him go, dropped straight down, and turned for the window. I blew through it with Hork-Bajir claws tearing at my tail feathers.

David leaped! Out the window. I was airborne, but his falling body slammed me out of the air.

We went down together. Hard. The swimming pool was behind us.

David was on his back, but already remorphing.

Hork-Bajir leaped fearlessly out into the dark yard. They were a species raised in the trees. A ten-foot drop meant nothing to them.

FWUMP!

FWUMP!

FWUMP!

Three big Hork-Bajir landed on the grass. Their T-rex feet dug deep into the sod. Their blades flashed dully in the dim light. I lay stunned, my feathers muddy and stiff. David was morphing as fast as he could. His human features were already almost gone.

But neither of us was going to get airborne fast enough to clear the fence and get away. I’d need a running start to get that high that fast, and with the pool behind me I was trapped. The Hork-Bajir ran straight for us.

It would be over in a few seconds. I tensed up, waiting for the blade slash that would cut me in two.

But then, something flew overhead! Over the fence. Over the pool! No, it didn’t fly, it soared!

Ax cleared the fence and the pool and dropped almost daintily down between me and the advancing Hork-Bajir.

<I thought you might wish some assistance, Prince Jake,> Ax said calmly.

“Andalite!” the biggest Hork-Bajir spat.

<Yes, Andalite,> Ax said with all the natural arrogance of his people. <What a pity for you,Yeerk.>

Now, one Andalite is not a match for three Hork-Bajir. But the Yeerks have a very healthy respect for Andalite tails. So the Hork-Bajir hesitated.

They didn’t hesitate for long, but it was long enough. Ax reached down, scooped me up in hismany-fingered hands, and leaped backward over the pool.

<Whoa! I didn’t know you could do that!> I said.

<I didn’t, either,> Ax said.

Hork-Bajir raced around the pool, coming for us. Now that they were past their first hesitancy, they were fixated on the one Andalite they could see and be sure of.

They abandoned David.

Ax turned around and leaped the fence, facing forward. The Hork-Bajir didn’t bother to leap.

They came barreling straight through, wiping out the fence in an explosion of splinters and a barrage of noise.

Lights snapped on in neighboring houses.

But too late for the Hork-Bajir. Too late for them to see that the neighbor on this side also had a pool.

Ax skipped clear of this swimming pool. The Hork-Bajir plowed in.

PAH-LOOOSH!

The three seven-foot creatures weren’t going to drown. The pool was only six feet deep. But they weren’t going to catch us, either.

Overhead I saw the eagle fly.

<I have to go after him!> I said.

<Wait till I can morph and come with you!> Ax said.

<No. We can’t lose him!> I said. <Don’t follow me. Get help. Get Rachel, she lives close. She can use her owl morph to find us. Maybe.>

<Good hunting, Prince Jake.>

Normally I would have said “Don’t call me prince.” It’s a running joke between me and Ax. But this wasn’t a night for jokes.

<Ax? I think Tobias is dead,> I said. <I think David killed him.>

<That would be a most terrible thing,> Ax said.

<Yeah. Get Rachel. If David’s killed Tobias, we may have to do a terrible thing, too. Get Rachel.>

I took to the air and raced after the golden eagle.

I know Rachel lives closest, but note he said "Get Rachel" and not "Get Cassie" or "Get Marco".

Chapter 28

quote:

He saw me. He knew he was stronger than me in the air, but still he flew on.

On through the night, as fast as we both could fly. We passed over the school. We passed over the construction site where the others and I had first encountered Elfangor and become what we were today.

I thought he was flying back toward Cassie’s barn. But he kept going, apparently without any specific idea of where to go.

<You’ve been a long time in that morph, Jake,> he called to me. <Better demorph.>

<Not as long as you’ve been in your morph, David.>

<I guess you’re right. I was looking for the right place to do this. But I guess I’ll have to take whatever comes up,> he said.

I didn’t know what he meant. But then I saw him gliding downward. Down toward the empty mall below us.

He disappeared behind a stack of air-conditioning equipment on the vast mall roof.

I looked back, trying to see if Ax had decided to follow me. But no, he’d have done what I asked. He’d have gone to get Rachel.

Nothing. The sky was empty.

I glided down toward the mall roof, avoiding the area where I’d seen David land.

I came to rest on the gravelly roof, exhausted from the endless flapping. I looked carefully, fearfully into the darkness. I strained my hearing. But no one was near.

I watched to see if David would fly away again. But in my heart I knew he would not. David had picked this place. David wasn’t going to run.

I demorphed and soon stood there, feeling out of place, conspicuous. And yet I was invisible to anyone on the ground. A raised edge went all around the mall roof. Behind me and to the right were the walls that rose up to the third floors of the big department stores. I was two floors up above the
main mall itself.

I began to morph again.

“All right, David,” I said to the darkness. “You want this fight? You can have this fight.”

The orange-and-black fur swept across my body. The long tail extended out behind me.

I fell forward onto footpads the size of frying pans. I tested my claws, extending them slowly from their sheaths.

I felt the tiger’s instincts welling up beneath my own. I had done this morph many times. I had long since learned to control the tiger’s bloodthirsty instincts.

But I didn’t want to control them. Not this time. Not with Tobias lying dead.

I sniffed the breeze and smelled him. I listened and heard the stealthy pad of feet on the gravel and tar paper.

I looked, with eyes that were indifferent to darkness.

He was fifty feet away. His mane ruffled in the breeze. His tail swooshed restlessly back and forth.

<You never answered me, Jake,> he said. <Lion versus tiger. Who do you think will win?>

<Let’s find out,> I said.

Instantly he was a tan blur, racing straight at me, low to the ground.

So fast! Faster than a human could react. So fast that human prey would not have had time to scream.

But I wasn’t human.

Like a runaway train he came at me, yellow fangs bared. I sat back on my haunches, gathering power into my legs and lowering my own sleek head.

We hit! His jaws raked past my ear. I twisted and sank my teeth into his … Into his mane! My teeth closed on nothing but hair!

<Aaaarrrggghhh!> I cried. I felt as if someone had shoved red-hot spikes into my shoulder.

His teeth sank deep into muscle and sinew. I twisted, but that only made the pain worse.

I rolled onto my back. My belly was exposed!

He released my shoulder and darted in for the kill, hoping to disembowel me. But I was ready. I curled my back legs up and slashed!

His head snapped back. Blood flew from his muzzle.

Like lightning, I was up on my feet. Fast as only a cat is fast. With liquid speed and vicious grace.

I was up! But the lion, too, is cat.

The paw hit the side of my head so hard my eyes exploded in fireworks. I jumped away and barely avoided those deadly yellow fangs.

Suddenly we were both circling, circling, head-to-head, tails twitching, waiting for the other to make a careless move.

He was as fast as I was. I was bigger and heavier, but not by enough to matter much. And he had that mane that kept my teeth from the one target they wanted most: the arteries that pumped blood through his neck.

I stared into his eyes. He stared into mine. We were electric! Tingling, bristling, buzzing with power and speed and energy.

He leaped!

We hit, shoulder-to-shoulder, and rolled across the roof.

I was on my feet in a flash. But suddenly I realized I wasn’t on gravel. My feet were slipping.

My claws had nothing to grip.

I was standing on glass. The skylight!

Below me I saw the dim night-lights of the mall. I caught a strange, unreal glimpse of the Waldenbooks and the Baby Gap beside it.

It was a twenty-foot drop to the upper mall concourse.

David leaped. I couldn’t grip well enough to move. So I stood, defenseless, as the tan blur came at me like a truck.

He hit! His mouth was aimed at my throat. I jerked aside, he slammed into me, and there was a huge, world-filling shattering of glass.

Down we fell!

Down we fell, slashing and biting and trying to kill, even as the floor rushed up to slam us.

And then, in midair, twisting to get my feet beneath me, I felt the teeth.

I felt them sink into my neck.

I felt the blood gushing.

The tiger’s blood.

My blood.

Falling …

Falling … and already the darkness … the darkness …

To be continued …

Jake probably regrets he didn't get to keep that T-Rex book.

Next book starts tomorrow, and it promises to be The Solution

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Epicurius posted:

Animorphs Book 21-The Threat, Chapter 27

I like these split-second moments where they take actions the animals never would have thought of. I feel like they haven't been quite as common as they could have been.

OctaviusBeaver
Apr 30, 2009

Say what now?

Pretty impressive on David's part to beat jake when he has no combat experience. He's not dumb either, would have been a good addition to the team if he wasn't evil.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

low vis




OctaviusBeaver posted:

Pretty impressive on David's part to beat jake when he has no combat experience. He's not dumb either, would have been a good addition to the team if he wasn't evil.

If David had been there right from the start, he would have been a good middle ground between Marco and Rachel in terms of the cowardly-dangerous-creative trifecta. A slightly more edgy Tobias whose first POV book's arc would be all about loving around and finding out in order to become a proper productive member of the team. The circumstances of his introduction into the plot and the main team's inability to handle it properly doomed him to failure immediately.

freebooter
Jul 7, 2009

AUSTRALIA
NEEDS
TURNBULL


This is such a great climax. And one of the best examples of the eerie juxtaposition of their hosed-up sci-fi alien shapeshifting lives against ordinary American suburbia. Like, it's a kids' book so KA isn't writing super evocatively, but both when I read it as a kid and when I read it now I can really see the bird-boys and Hork Bajir and an Andalite facing off beside a suburban pool at night. Because although I'm not American suburbia is more or less the same all over the world, and I have a plenty of personal memories of being around quiet backyard swimming pools at night - which was one of the masterstrokes of these books, and I guess of all superhero and superhero-adjacent stories, that kids can easily put themselves in the main characters' shoes.

And the hyper-weirdness of Jake as a tiger, fighting another Animorph as a lion, on the roof of the mall, and being shoved onto the skylight and suddenly getting a lit-up glimpse of ~American Brands~ (TM). I love that.

Fuschia tude posted:

I like these split-second moments where they take actions the animals never would have thought of. I feel like they haven't been quite as common as they could have been.

This was great too - before this chapter I was trying to remember how Jake got out of this scrape, and I remembered Ax eventually scooping him up and bailing but couldn't remember how he escaped Imminent Eagle Death. And the actual answer is better than anything I could've thought of.

OctaviusBeaver
Apr 30, 2009

Say what now?

quote:

<Whoa! I didn’t know you could do that!> I said.

<I didn’t, either,> Ax said.

This is one of the lines I still remembered from my first read through and it's still great.

Pwnstar
Dec 9, 2007

Who wants some waffles?



I choose to believe that no Andalite has ever tried to jump backwards over anything instead of Ax just never having done it.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Animorphs Book 22-The Solution, Chapter 1

quote:

My name is Rachel.

And I was deep in this strange dream that seemed to involve me trying on dresses at my favorite department store. Only the salesladies kept bringing me things that were way, way too small. So I said, “Hey, can’t you tell these aren’t my size?” And the saleslady said, “Well, we don’t have anything in your size.”

“What?” I demanded. “You don’t have anything in size three hundred and twelve?”

Wait a minute, I thought. I don’t wear size three hundred and twelve. But at that moment I caught sight of myself in the mirror. And I was in my elephant morph.

I was still growing. Bigger and bigger, till my massive bulk was pressing people against the walls and floors and ceiling.

I looked down, and there, beneath one massive fold of elephant belly, was a small figure in an orange hooded sweatshirt.

“Oh, my God! She killed Kenny!” someone cried.

“Aaaahhhh!” I screamed.

“Try Juniors on the second floor,” the saleslady suggested. “Only please don’t use the elevator.”

And then she leaped at me and started digging her fingernails into me. They were really sharp. So I got mad and I shoved her. Only when I shoved her, she suddenly wasn’t a saleslady at all. She was a bird.

“Aaahhh!” I yelled, sitting straight up.

There, in the darkness of my room, the large gray bird fluttered back and knocked into my desk.

“Tobias?” I whispered. Only it wasn’t a red-tailed hawk. It was like a hawk, but gray and white.

<No, it’s Aximili. You must come now. Tobias is … missing. And Prince Jake is in danger.>

I threw back the covers and my bare feet hit the floor. “What?”

<It’s David. He is a traitor.>

I was fully awake. Wide-awake and already mad. I grabbed some throw pillows and shoved them under the blankets. Hopefully they would look like me asleep if my mom came in to check on me.

I glanced at the clock. Late. Very late. So late it was early.

I quickly ran through a list of possible morphs. I had to be able to fly. And it was night. I focusedmy mind on the image of a great horned owl.

I began to change, even as I hammered Ax with questions.

“What happened?”

<Jake, Tobias, and I watched and waited outside Cassie’s barn. As you know, Jake suspected David might have decided to turn against us.>

“That weasel! That slimy nyeeerrrrrff.”

My tongue had shrunk rapidly in the middle of telling Ax what I thought about David. Probably for the best. Ax would have asked me to define the word I was about to use, and that wouldn’t have been a good idea.

I was shrinking all this time, of course. And the brown feathers were appearing on my skin. First as outlines, then as weirdly realistic tattoos, then, quite suddenly, as actual three-dimensional feathers.

<David left the barn in his golden eagle morph. Tobias followed him. We followed soon after, but we could not find either Tobias or David,> Ax explained. <We went to David’s home … his former home, I should say. We found David there and Jake spoke with him. I do not know what was said. But the Yeerks were watching the house, and a handful of Hork-Bajir attacked.>

<Attacked who?> I demanded sharply. <Jake or David or both?>

<I cannot be sure. But David escaped and Prince Jake followed. He asked me to find you. He said we would need reinforcements.>

<Well, he’s got the reinforcements,> I said. <Let’s go!>

I fluttered my wings and hopped up to the windowsill. I looked out at a night that was as bright to me as high noon.

I had become a great horned owl. With eyes that looked through darkness and ears that could hear a mouse squeak at fifty feet.

<What about Tobias?> I asked Ax. I certainly hadn’t missed Ax’s hesitation when he mentioned Tobias.

<I don’t know for certain,> he said. <But I fear the worst. David’s morph is stronger in the air than Tobias’s. And Prince Jake … he believes Tobias is dead.>

I felt my insides turn cold. For a few seconds that seemed to stretch into hours, I couldn’t move. Couldn’t think. I just sat there with my deadly talons squeezing into the soft wood of my windowsill.

Tobias? Dead?

If David had hurt Tobias, I would …

But what was the point in making threats? I didn’t need to make threats. I knew what I would do.

So did Jake. That’s why he’d sent Ax for me.

So, we've got Ax's summary of the last book there, and confirmation, in Rachel's mind, at least, that Jake had Ax get her because he wanted someone who wouldn't hesitate to kill David.

Chapter 2

quote:

I had eyes that saw every blade of grass beneath me. Eyes that noted every small, scurrying rodent hiding in darkness. But I was blind.

All I could see was Tobias. Tobias dead? Not possible!

And David. I could see him, too. Smirking, pouting, easily offended David. David, who half the time seemed to be as reckless as … well, me. But other times had been cowardly and quickly panicked.

David, the new Animorph. The one we ourselves had created after David had stumbled across the blue box.

We’d had no other choice. Visser Three had learned that David had the blue box, the Andalite morphing cube. David’s parents had been taken, forced to accept the Yeerk slugs in their brains, and made into Controllers.

David’s house had been half-destroyed in the battle that resulted. He was known to the Yeerks.

His face was burned into the memory of every human-Controller on planet Earth. They would all be looking for him. All searching for the boy who had the morphing cube.

So we’d made David one of us. Using the blue box, we’d made him an Animorph. Capable of absorbing DNA from any animal he can touch and becoming that animal for a period of two hours at a time.

He was supposed to be one of us. And he was, for a while. He was with us on one of our most difficult missions: to rescue the leaders of the free world from the Yeerks.

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? It would have been very impressive, if we’d succeeded. But we had failed.

The leaders of the United States, France, Russia, Great Britain, and Japan were meeting at a secluded beach resort to work out a Middle East solution. It had been the ultimate target for the Yeerks. A chance to make hosts - Controllers - of the five most powerful men on the planet. Or four, at least. One of them - we didn’t know which one - was already a Controller.

We had tried to stop them. But we’d gotten ambitious. And Visser Three, leader of the Yeerk forces on Earth, had laid a trap for us.

We’d escaped the trap, but not before David had fearfully agreed to go over to the Yeerk side.

Later he’d pretended it was all a ruse. That he was loyal.

Now we knew better.

I flew over dark houses, and over dark parking lots, and over blazing, brilliant, twenty-four-hour stores and gas stations. Ax led us back to the place where he’d last seen Jake and David.

We followed the direction he’d seen them traveling.


Could we find them? And if we did, what would we find?

Suddenly, on the road below us, flashing lights moved swiftly past. A police car. Siren off since it was night, but moving fast. It was moving in the same direction we were.

I looked directly ahead. The mall. It was dark. The parking lot was faintly lit by street lamps at regular intervals. That’s where the cop car was heading.

<That way,> I said to Ax.

<Do you see something?>

<No. Just a guess. But that police car is heading there. This is not a bad neighborhood. A speeding police car could mean we’ve found Jake and David.>

The patrol car was faster than we were. By the time we arrived at the mall, the officers were driving from entrance to entrance, shining their spotlight and looking for a forced entry.

A silent alarm must have gone off inside the mall. In the distance I could see a second police car racing toward us.

I soared above the acres-large roof of the mall, silent as only an owl can be. I intended to follow the police around the building, but then I saw the skylight. It was a series of glass pyramids built down the middle of the mall to let sunlight into the main section. One triangle of glass was shattered.

<There!> I yelled to Ax.

We wheeled sharply toward the broken glass. I passed above it and looked down. I could see glittering shards of glass on the landing below. It was hard to tell how bright it was inside the mall, since owl eyes make everything look bright. But it seemed to me that at least a few lights were on.

The question was: What was waiting for me down there? David was an Animorph. That meant he was a dangerous enemy. He had a lion morph, I knew that for sure. And a golden eagle morph.

Could I take a golden eagle? No. Not as an owl.

Could I take a lion? No.

And he might be lying in wait. Lying in wait with superhuman hearing and superhuman sight. Not to mention far more than human power.

Well, no matter how good his hearing, he wouldn’t hear me. An owl’s feathers are specially evolved to make no sound at all as the wind whips across their edges.

<Ax? Are you ready to go in? We’ll need to move fast and spread out immediately, just in case he’s waiting for us.>

<I am ready,> Ax said calmly.

I spilled air from my wings, changed the angle of attack, and rocketed down toward the jagged hole in the skylight.

Down through the glass! I cleared the reaching, tearing shards; flared my wings; and turned mydownward momentum into horizontal speed.

I blew past the marquee for the Old Navy store, barely beneath the ceiling. At first I saw nothing. Nothing but Ax dropping down into view and pulling an identical maneuver going the other way.

But then I saw the broken railing. It was made of thick, tubular steel above thinner, square steel uprights.

All of this bent outward. As if an elephant had run into it. I turned back and swept my gaze upand down the familiar main mall. He was lying in a pool of blood. A tiger. Sprawled like he wasasleep, but with a shallow pool of black blood extending around his neck and head.

<Jake!> I cried and dropped down toward him.

<Rachel!> Ax yelled. <No! It could be a trap!>

I spread my wings wide and flapped back up, recovering my altitude. Ax was right. David could be waiting for us to rush to Jake’s side. And there could be no possible doubt that it was Jake. Seven foot-long tigers don’t cruise the mall.

<I hear breathing!> Ax said.

I hadn’t bothered to listen. I’d assumed Jake was dead. But now I focused all my senses. Yes! There were sounds of breathing. But weak … reedy … with the sound of blood bubbling with each breath.

<He’s unconscious,> I said. <Otherwise he’d demorph. I don’t see David. But he could be anywhere. Anything.>

I saw a flash of light, far off down the main walkway. Police lights passing one of the entrances.

It would take them a while to get inside. In the meantime they’d surround the mall and watch all the exits.

It would be easy enough for us to get away undetected. But that wasn’t what I wanted. What I wanted was David.

So she's definitely out for revenge now, as David killed her bird boyfriend and seems to have mortally wounded her cousin.

Epicurius fucked around with this message at 04:59 on May 8, 2021

Jazerus
May 24, 2011



i always thought that jake sent for rachel because she was close to tobias, not because he thinks she's the most brutal, personally

Fuschia tude
Dec 26, 2004

THUNDERDOME LOSER 2019



Epicurius posted:

So she's definitely out for revenge now, as David killed her bird boyfriend and seems to have mortally wounded her cousin.

Again, I'm always surprised how much of this I don't remember.


Jazerus posted:

i always thought that jake sent for rachel because she was close to tobias, not because he thinks she's the most brutal, personally

I mean, that's pretty much the same thing, just one step removed.

Ultimately, that she was picked, "because she lives closest", is just authorial fiat. It's not like this anonymized town/city has a map the authors need to follow carefully. She was picked next because she was the next book's narrator because that would be the most dramatic.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers


Fwiw I don't remember the "she's closest" line at all. I thought it was pretty clear that Jake called on her because there was killing to be done.

Shwoo
Jul 21, 2011



Jake does say that she lives close by first, though.

quote:

<No. We can’t lose him!> I said. <Don’t follow me. Get help. Get Rachel, she lives close. She can use her owl morph to find us. Maybe.>

<Good hunting, Prince Jake.>

Normally I would have said “Don’t call me prince.” It’s a running joke between me and Ax. But this wasn’t a night for jokes.

<Ax? I think Tobias is dead,> I said. <I think David killed him.>

<That would be a most terrible thing,> Ax said.

<Yeah. Get Rachel. If David’s killed Tobias, we may have to do a terrible thing, too. Get Rachel.>
I think it's most important what Rachel thinks Jake meant, since her struggle with and awareness of her love of violence is getting be a pretty important part of her character arc.

SirSamVimes
Jul 21, 2008

~* Challenge *~




"Get Rachel. She lives close." could but does not necessarily mean "Get Rachel because she lives close."

It's just as possible that "We may need to so something terrible. Get Rachel." meant "We may need to do something terrible so get Rachel."

cptn_dr
Sep 7, 2011

Seven for beauty that blossoms and dies



Yeah I think "Get Rachel because we need to do a murder" is very clearly the subtext, if not actual text.
It's part of the thread flowing through the entire series that concludes when Jake sends Rachel to kill Tom (finale spoilers)

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Yeah, the other option for killing without hesitation or regret is Cassie, and if she's decided someone needs to die she's not waiting for Jake's say-so to do it.

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007



This one is, for my money, the best of the David books. And perhaps the last great Rachel book.

Ravenfood
Nov 4, 2011


Rachel doesn't live "closest", she lives close. I definitely read that as "I may need her to commit a murder" and the "she lives close" provides some a) justification for delaying Ax coming with him, since she's close and it won't be far out of his way and b) gives him some mental space from the idea that he's immediately leaping to Rachel as his murder weapon.

He doesn't think about who is closest and go from there, he thinks about Rachel and then thinks about whether actually getting her is feasible, ie, that she IS close. Hypothetically, if she wasn't, I think that thought goes "get Rachel - wait, she's across town and we don't have time"

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Strategic Tea
Sep 1, 2012

It's not the red form anymore.
Incidental bones can file under the greens.


Cythereal posted:

Yeah, the other option for killing without hesitation or regret is Cassie, and if she's decided someone needs to die she's not waiting for Jake's say-so to do it.

The find a dead lion covered in bite marks from a wolf. Cassie strolls put of the nearest shop with some newly acqured, hideous jeans.

"Had to be done"

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