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Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

CidGregor posted:

But yeah, drat, I forgot all about this whole "splat myself in the mall" sequence. And he specifically goes to where he knows Rachel is to do it, like he wants her to see it. That's way more unsettling to read now.

It is. Although I think it's less that he wants her to see it and more that he wants to see her one last time and explain to her why he needs to do it.

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Radio Free Kobold
Aug 11, 2012

"Federal regulations mandate that at least 30% of our content must promote Reptilian or Draconic culture. This is DJ Scratch N' Sniff with the latest mermaid screeching on KBLD..."






Epicurius posted:

It is. Although I think it's less that he wants her to see it and more that he wants to see her one last time and explain to her why he needs to do it.

While traveling slightly under mach 1? I don't think that's it.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Radio Free Kobold posted:

While traveling slightly under mach 1? I don't think that's it.

Maybe. He does stop and talk to her between suicide attempt number 2 and 3.

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007




Grimey Drawer

Epicurius posted:

Maybe. He does stop and talk to her between suicide attempt number 2 and 3.

I think he's just not thinking straight at all. He's in no place to decide whether he most needs to splat himself or to see Rachel, so he tries to splat himself on the way to Rachel. He tries to see Rachel because if anybody can convince him not to splat himself, it's her. But he also knows that if he's going to splat himself, he doesn't want Rachel to wonder why and what happened, so he has to tell her everything regardless.

(and, of course, she doesn't convince him; good save, Marco)

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

He's definitely not thinking straight. His thoughts are a bundle of "I'm not human anymore and can't live as a hawk" and "Rachel is the only one who still believes I'm a person.", and he's torn between those two thoughts.

The thing about this scene is how much it doesn't come out of nowhere. The entire book up to this point is about Tobias setting up a distinction between himself and his current body.

PetraCore
Jul 20, 2017





Somehow I completely forgot this happened and the thing I most remembered about book 3 were the opening and the fish tube plan.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



I'm reading this thread because I just about remember animorphs from a trip to the States when I was a kid. It caught my attention purely because the covers kind kind of like goosebumps and the Mighty Morphing power rangers were on television in the UK (might be misremembering that bit). I never actually did read them but something about the title kind of stuck in my head.

God drat is this not what I was expecting, it actually reads a bit like a competent writer was told, 'write a series detailing a group of humans inducted into a desperate guerrilla war to save the planet from aliens involving body horror, alienation, questions of identity and three morality of genocide as 80s/90s YA'

Radio Free Kobold
Aug 11, 2012

"Federal regulations mandate that at least 30% of our content must promote Reptilian or Draconic culture. This is DJ Scratch N' Sniff with the latest mermaid screeching on KBLD..."






That's exactly what it is

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Chapter 16

quote:

The next few days were like a long, slow dream. I stayed away from Jake's house. I did not communicate with my friends. I disappeared.

I found a place for myself. It was perfect red-tail territory - the place where I had made my first kill. A nice meadow surrounded by trees. Not far off there was a marshy area that was good, too. Although there was another red-tail who had a territory over there, so I couldn't hunt there often.

I spent my days hunting. Sometimes I would ride the high hot winds and watch the meadow. Sometimes I would sit in a tree and watch till some unwary creature ventured out. Then I would swoop down on it, snatch it up, kill it. Eat it while the blood was still warm.

Days were easier than nights. During the day I was hunting almost all the time. It keeps you busy, because most of the time you miss. It can take quite a few tries before you make a kill. Nights were worse. I couldn't hunt at night. The nights belong to other predators, mostly the owls. At night my human mind would surface.

The human in my head would show me memories. Pictures of human life. Pictures of his friends. The human in my head was sad. Lonely.

But the human Tobias really just wanted to sleep. He wanted to disappear and let the hawk rule. He wanted to accept that he was no longer human.

This is, it seems to me, a really good description of depression.

quote:

Still, at night, as I sat on my familiar branch and watched the owls do their silent, deadly work, the human memories would play in my head.

But other memories were there, too. I remembered the female hawk. The one who had been in the cage. I knew where her territory was. Near a clear lake in the mountains.

So one day I flew there. To the mountain lake.

I saw her down on a tree branch. She was watching a baby raccoon, preparing to go for a kill. She would have to be very hungry to go for a raccoon, no matter how small. Raccoons are very tough, very violent creatures.

As I watched, unnoticed by her, she swooped.

The raccoon spotted her. A quick dodge left, and the hawk sailed harmlessly past. The baby raccoon ran for the edge of the woods. His mother was there.

No hawk was crazy enough to go after a full-grown raccoon. That was not a fight the hawk was going to win.

She settled back on her branch.

I floated overhead, waiting to see if she would spot me. And waiting to see what she would do when she did notice me. I had to be cautious. She was a female, and females are a third bigger, on average, than males.

Suddenly I saw fast movement in the woods.

A chase!

It was always kind of exciting watching a kill, even by another species. It heightened my own hunting edge.

The prey was running awkwardly on its two legs. Running and threading its way through the underbrush. It stumbled and hit the ground hard. It seemed very slow to get up. It ran again.

I could hear gasping breath. It was weakening. The prey was squealing. Loud, yelping vocalizations.

Prey often squeal.

The predator moved on two legs also. But these legs were built for greater speed. It had blades growing from its arms. It used the blades to slash the bushes and weeds. It cleared its way through them like a lawn mower chopping down tall grass.

Lawn mower?

No. Something else. Salad Shooter. Yes, that's what Marco called them.

Marco? The image came to my mind. Short. Dark hair. Human.

It hit me like a lightning bolt. Suddenly I realized: This prey was a human.

Why should I care? It was prey. That was the way it worked: Predator killed prey.

So, at this point, he sees it happening but the hawk can't bring itself to care much.

quote:

NO! It was a human being.

"Help! Help!" That was the vocalization. It meant something. "Help! Help me!"

The predator was very close. In a few seconds he would make his kill. The predator was powerful. The predator was swift.

Hork-Bajir.

"Help me, someone help!"

I don't know how to describe what happened next. It was like my entire world flipped over. Like one minute it was one thing, one way, then, boom, it was something totally different. It was like opening your eyes after a dream.

The prey was a human being. The predator was a Hork-Bajir. This was wrong. Wrong! It had to be stopped.

I stopped.

A few seconds earlier I was thinking that no sane hawk would go after a full-grown raccoon. Now I was going after a Hork-Bajir. Hork-Bajir compare to raccoons like a nuclear bomb compares to a bow and arrow.

It would have to be the eyes. The eyes were the only weak spot.

"Tseeeeer!"

I rocketed toward the Hork-Bajir. The human slipped and fell again.

Talons forward. The Hork-Bajir was totally focused on his prey. I hit him fast and hard and sailed past.

"Gurrawwwrr!" the Hork-Bajir yelled. He clutched at his eyes.

The human was up and running again.

"Gurr gafrasch! To me! Getting away! Hilch nahurrn!",the Hork-Bajir yelled, in the strange combination of human and alien speech that they use when working with humans.

He was calling for help. I used my momentum to soar up over the tops of the trees. He had plenty of help available. Another Hork-Bajir about a thousand yards off. And two of the bogus Park Rangers were nearer.

It was all coming back to me. The fake Park Rangers. The Hork-Bajir enforcers. This was the lake. A Yeerk supply ship must be on its way in.

Yeerks. Andalites.

My friends, the Animorphs.

Yes, my friends. I remembered now. But this human was not one of them. This human prey was older. A stranger.

The freed hawk was watching me. I could almost feel her drawing me toward her. It was like a magnet. She was my kind. She was like me.

But the Park Rangers were in hot pursuit of the human now. The human was nothing like me. Poor, clumsy ground runner that he was. He was just prey.

And yet, for some reason, I couldn't let him be prey.

I couldn't. Me.

Tobias.

And Tobias has found himself again.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

MrNemo posted:

I'm reading this thread because I just about remember animorphs from a trip to the States when I was a kid. It caught my attention purely because the covers kind kind of like goosebumps and the Mighty Morphing power rangers were on television in the UK (might be misremembering that bit). I never actually did read them but something about the title kind of stuck in my head.

God drat is this not what I was expecting, it actually reads a bit like a competent writer was told, 'write a series detailing a group of humans inducted into a desperate guerrilla war to save the planet from aliens involving body horror, alienation, questions of identity and three morality of genocide as 80s/90s YA'

Apparently she actually wanted to write a young adult series about what it would be like to be animals and she went what would make that possible and it basically grew from there

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird





Comrade Blyatlov posted:

Apparently she actually wanted to write a young adult series about what it would be like to be animals and she went what would make that possible and it basically grew from there

It was a combination of the two things, actually. Applegate wanted to write a story about kids turning into animals, and Grant wanted to write a story about kids fighting back against an alien invasion, so they smashed their two story ideas together and the rest was history.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

Those two things go together about as well as cowboys fighting on horseback and spaceships, and yet, firefly

QuickbreathFinisher
Sep 28, 2008

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


Comrade Blyatlov posted:

Those two things go together about as well as cowboys fighting on horseback and spaceships, and yet, firefly

Yeah but like this is good though

Daikloktos
Jan 1, 2020


It's also why trying to do Animorphs in live-action was and is doomed to failure. You need kid actors, dangerous animals, and convincing alien effects? It could really only be done in animation unless you get a blockbuster budget.

Ednamamame
Dec 12, 2019


My dream is a Netflix animated series, but even then I can't see that getting away with some of the same stuff the books did. The first-person narration really manages to sell the horror in such a personal, visceral way. Especially the risk of death of self, such as what Tobias goes through here and it gets so much worse in the next few books with the ants in 5 and Jake's Yeerkification in 6.

This section hit me hard as a kid, but as an adult I'm kind of in awe at how heavy the writing got here while remaining easy to read for the age of the audience.

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Comrade Blyatlov posted:

Those two things go together about as well as cowboys fighting on horseback and spaceships, and yet, firefly

One of my favorite series (codex alera) started out because someone challenged Jim Butcher to write a mashup of lost roman legion / pokemon as part of a bet.

Silver2195
Apr 4, 2012


Avalerion posted:

One of my favorite series (codex alera) started out because someone challenged Jim Butcher to write a mashup of lost roman legion / pokemon as part of a bet.

It doesn't really live up to the potential of the concept, though. For one thing, Furies aren't really Pokemon, so much as a source of Avatar: The Last Airbender style elemental powers; they don't even take coherent forms for most of the characters, and they don't have much personality even when they do. I guess they're supposed to be "deconstructed" Pokemon, not in the TvTropes sense but in the hipster restaurant sense, but the result is pretty generic.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

Also when was the last time someone in an official Pokemon storyline used a pokemon's abilities to roofie someone so they could get laid (or straight up raped someone while amped on pokemon abilities)?

Codex Alera sucks if you pay too much attention to the poo poo actually going on.

Just finished the book where Ax-man talks about a suicide-mission by an Andalite hit squad where they want to introduce a virus to a Yeerk pool that could mutate and also kill all of humanity that he and the Animorphs stop before it can be successful.

Good grief every book has some really dark poo poo happening in it now.

SardonicTyrant
Feb 26, 2016

BTICH IM A NEWT
熱くなれ夢みた明日を
必ずいつかつかまえる
走り出せ振り向くことなく
&





Ednamamame posted:

My dream is a Netflix animated series, but even then I can't see that getting away with some of the same stuff the books did. The first-person narration really manages to sell the horror in such a personal, visceral way. Especially the risk of death of self, such as what Tobias goes through here and it gets so much worse in the next few books with the ants in 5 and Jake's Yeerkification in 6.

This section hit me hard as a kid, but as an adult I'm kind of in awe at how heavy the writing got here while remaining easy to read for the age of the audience.
Cassie has an amazing monologue about the nature of, well, nature in one of her books and you really couldn't translate that into a tv show, even an animated one. The kids' occasional monologues are all so, so good.

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

I read a book in the series where Marco claims that The Phantom Menace was awesome and it made me immediately hate him for the rest of the book.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

Marco probably loved how far ahead of everyone else Palpatine was

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

The Encounter-Chapter 17

quote:

I landed on the perch outside Rachel's window. It was night. But she wasn't asleep. She was reading a book in bed, propped up by several pillows.

I fluttered a wing against the glass.

<Rachel?>

She started. The book went flying. She jumped up and ran to the window, throwing it open.

"Tobias?"

<More or less,> I said wryly.

She started to hug me, to put her arms around me. But then she realized that wasn't possible. Birds aren't exactly made for hugging.

"Are you okay? We've all been terrified. Cassie said maybe you were killed or something. There are all kinds of things that can happen. Jake is so depressed."

<I'm okay,> I said. I flapped over to her dresser.

Now that she was sure I was safe, she started getting mad. It made me smile inwardly. That was Rachel for you.

"Tobias, what is the deal with you? Why would you just disappear and leave us all worrying for days?"

<It's hard to explain,> I said. <I guess . . . the hawk sort of won out over me. Not that it's really that way. I mean, the hawk instincts . . . they're strong.> I told her about my first kill. About how much it horrified me.

I don't know how I expected her to react. She tried to look sympathetic, but I could see it bothered her.

<I lost control,> I admitted. <For the last couple of days I've been living like a hawk. All the way, like a hawk. I think I was starting to forget . . . me. I was starting to lose touch with humans. Then something happened>

"What?" She went to check her door and make sure neither of her sisters was nearby. I could hear that the house was quiet. "What happened?"

I told her about going to the lake. I told her about the guy being chased by Hork-Bajir.

<Fortunately, I can see the terrain better than the Hork-Bajir or those human-Controller Park Rangers. I led him away from them. I told him when to hide and when to run.>

"You talked to him?"

<I thought-spoke, yes. There was no alternative. I couldn't let them catch him. He had seen a Hork-Bajir. They would never have let him 54

Rachel looked stunned. "But now he knows about you! And he knows about the Hork-Bajir."

<What's he going to do? Go tell people he was chased through the woods by an alien monster, and rescued by a telepathic bird?>

Rachel laughed. "Yeah, good point. People would just think he was insane. Besides, if he started talking openly about the Yeerks, they would find him and silence him."

<Exactly what I explained to him. I think he'll probably keep quiet. He'll try to forget it ever happened.>

"You saved him," Rachel said.

<I almost didn't,> I admitted. <At first I just saw another predator and his prey. No different from watching the owls at night. No different from what I do myself. Kill to eat.>

Rachel thought about that for a moment. "The Yeerks and their slaves aren't killing to eat," she said. "They are killing to control and dominate. Killing because it's the only way you can eat, because that's the way nature designed you, that's one thing. Killing because you want power or control is evil."

<I guess you're right,> I said. <I hadn't thought about it that way.>

"What you did . . . eating . . . you know, whatever. Well, that's natural for the hawk. Nothing a Hork-Bajir does is natural. They aren't even in control of their own bodies or minds. They are tools of the Yeerks. And the Yeerks only want power and domination."

<I know,> I said. But I wasn't totally convinced. Still, it was comforting to be talking to Rachel.

This seems to be an important distinction that she's making. Tobias as hawk has to kill to eat. But the Yeerks don't need to take over people

quote:

"You are human, Tobias," she told me softly.

<Yeah. Maybe. I don't know. Sometimes I just feel so trapped. I want to move my fingers, but I don't have any. I want to speak out loud, but I have a mouth that's only good for ripping and tearing.>

Rachel looked like she might start crying. It was alarming to me, because Rachel isn't a girl who bursts out in tears, ever.

<Anyway, look, I'm sorry I ruined your exhibition at the mall the other day.>

She smiled. "What do you mean? It was perfect. I was just starting my routine, and you know how much I hate to have to do public shows like that. You put an end to the whole thing real fast."

I laughed silently. <I can imagine. I hope no one was hurt by the falling glass.>

"No, everyone was fine. But what were you going to do if Marco had missed with that baseball? You would have hit the glass awfully hard."

I didn't know what to say.

What CAN you say at this point?

quote:

Rachel came closer and stroked my crest with her hand. It made the hawk in me uncomfortable. But at the same time, it was similar to preening, which is kind of pleasurable.

"What I told you the other day, Tobias . . . remember? You're not lost as long as you have Jake and Cassie and me. Even Marco. He came through for you, big time. We're your friends. You're not alone."

I think I would have cried then. But hawks can't cry.

"And someday, the Andalites will come. . . ."

<Someday,> I said, trying to sound confident. <Well, I better go see Jake. The mission is supposed to begin tomorrow

"We don't have to go through with that," Rachel said.

<Yes, we do,> I said. <More than ever, I understand that. See . . . there are human beings all over, trapped in bodies controlled by Yeerks. Trapped. Unable to escape. Rachel, I know how they feel. Maybe I can't escape. Maybe I am trapped forever. But if we can free some of those others. Maybe . . . I don't know. Maybe that's what I need to do to stay human.

One of the things this first cycle of books does is that it looks at the motivations of the main characters to get involved. They've been given this power by Elfangor, and they need to stop the Yeerks, but what's their personal motivation to do it? For Jake, we've seen that it's his desire to free his brother. For Rachel, it's seeing what happened to Melissa and her sympathy for kids who suddenly have Yeerk parents. We'll see Cassie's and Marco's motivations in upcoming books, but here's Tobias's

Sjs00
Jun 29, 2013



Huh, so does the book skip the segment where Tobias makes contact with the hunted human in the forest? It jumps from what felt like the middle of the sequence straight to Rachel's house.
Enjoying the read so far, never got into this as a kid

biracial bear for uncut
Jun 9, 2009

ask me about being the most obnoxious person of all time

I just finished the book where the poor Buffalo that helps the Animorphs in several fights in the book gets blown to bits.

drat.

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007




Grimey Drawer

Sjs00 posted:

Huh, so does the book skip the segment where Tobias makes contact with the hunted human in the forest? It jumps from what felt like the middle of the sequence straight to Rachel's house.

Yeah, it does. Don't need the story twice, and the way Tobias tells Rachel about it is much more important than the as-it-happens specifics.

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



For some reason I thought they can only mindspeak to each other. Being able to do that to anyone when in animal form opens up a ton of possibilities for them to anonymously tip up whoever about the invasion.

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013



One thing I was curious about, can they morph into other humans? Them being teenagers in school I could definitely see a "somebody has to pass as somebody else" thing happening.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird





Khizan posted:

One thing I was curious about, can they morph into other humans? Them being teenagers in school I could definitely see a "somebody has to pass as somebody else" thing happening.

Yes. That is going to come up. A lot. And itís a giant can of worms that the series still only scrapes the surface on with both its practical and horror potential.

ANOTHER SCORCHER
Aug 12, 2018

"I'll call now."


Khizan posted:

One thing I was curious about, can they morph into other humans? Them being teenagers in school I could definitely see a "somebody has to pass as somebody else" thing happening.

They can but generally agree not to without the personís consent as an ethical decision because it feels too similar to what the Yeerks are doing. However as you can probably tell from the books already all the moral positions the Animorphs take will inevitably be overridden as time and necessity demands.

OctaviusBeaver
Apr 30, 2009

Say what now?

That hiker now knows that earth is being invaded by brain stealing aliens but there's nothing he can do about it and he can't even tell anyone. That's gonna be a fun life.

Turpitude II
Nov 10, 2014


Agaragon posted:

This is just an overall observation, don't read too much into it...

But it genuinely amazes me how Animorphs never got put on any banned books lists. At least any that I'm aware of.

Epicurius posted:

I think a lot of it just slipped under the radar. They were thin kids books with kind of goofy covers, and came out at the same time as the Goosebumps books, which were a lot more popular, and it was Goosebumps that got most of the attention from the would be censors. It is kind of ironic, obviously, because Animorphs touched on a bunch of more mature topics, but they were wrapped around stories of kids turning into tigers and bears and hawks, and so the actual stuff in the books didn't get noticed.

there's a podcast that examines the series from a psychological and literary theory standpoint, and in one episode the hosts look at the reasons animorphs flew under the radar. not-so-coincidentally, in the episode for this book. warning for spoilers for the whole series, though.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Turpitude II posted:

there's a podcast that examines the series from a psychological and literary theory standpoint, and in one episode the hosts look at the reasons animorphs flew under the radar. not-so-coincidentally, in the episode for this book. warning for spoilers for the whole series, though.

The entire podcast is great, but yes, it's pretty spoilerific.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

The Encounter-Chapter 16

quote:

The next day, we went ahead with the mission. I flew cover overhead while four gray wolves ran beneath me. We timed it so we would arrive in the area very early in the morning, many hours before the Yeerks would arrive to hunt intruders.

<So, let me get this straight, Tobias,> Marco said. <You're taking us to a bear cave? As in big grizzly bears? And this is a good thing?>

<Not grizzlies,> Cassie interrupted. <Not in this area. We'd be talking black bears. They're much smaller.>

<Swell. I am totally reassured. Just a small bear cave.>

<The bears are long gone,> I said. <There are just a few bears around, and this cave is empty. Trust me. I spied it out yesterday. I've seen raccoons and skunks running in and out of there. They wouldn't be doing that if there were bears.>

<Excuse me. Jake? Did Tobias just say 'skunks'? I must have heard wrong, because only an idiot would think hanging out with skunks is a good idea.>

<We're not going to hang out with skunks,> Jake said patiently.

<The skunks don't live there,> I said. <They just run in there to get away from predators.> I didn't have to explain any more. I think everyone guessed how I knew that skunks ran in there to get away from predators.

<Look, it's close to the lake but I don't think the Yeerks know about it,> I said. <Sorry, but there wasn't a convenient Marriott hotel where I could get you a room for the night.>

<So, that means no room service, either?> Marco asked. <Well, okay. As long as this cave gets cable. The big game's on ESPN tonight.>

I was carrying a tiny nylon pouch that Rachel had put together. It was tan in color, so a casual observer wouldn't notice it and wonder why a red-tail hawk was carrying luggage.

In the sack was a small watch. It weighed almost nothing. There were also some fish hooks, fishing line, and a small lighter. All together it only weighed about two ounces. But it did slow me down a little.

We reached the cave with plenty of time to spare on the two-hour deadline.

<Oh, this looks lovely,> Marco said, looking at the thorns and a scrub brush around the cave entrance.

<I haven't really been inside,> I admitted.

I landed outside the entrance. The opening to the cave was no more than two feet across and about four feet high. It was easy for Jake and Rachel, in their wolf morphs, to leap nimbly through. Unless there really was a bear inside, they would scare off whatever might be in there.

<Empty,> Rachel reported. <Nothing in here but a couple of spiders and a scared mouse.>

I decided to try a joke. <Chase him out here. I'm hungry.>

Only Marco laughed. The others all acted like I'd said something embarrassing. Maybe I had.

See, they're doing the thing where they're all embarrassed by what happened with Tobias, so, instead of reaching out to him when he's asking for their help in dealing with it, they're choosing to ignore it. That happens more than you'd think when people cry out for help.

quote:

<Let's morph back,> Marco suggested. <One close call with being trapped as a wolf is plenty for me.>

<I'll go look around,> I said. Sometimes I didn't like being there when they morphed.

A few minutes later they all came out. Marco was complaining, as usual. "You know, we really have to figure out how to deal with the shoe situation," he muttered. "Thorns and no shoes. Not a good combination."

The four of them were barefoot and dressed only in their morphing outfits: leotards for the girls, bike shorts and tight T-shirts for Jake and Marco.

"We need to gather firewood," Jake said, with his hands on his hips. "It wouldn't hurt to warm that cave up a little before the Yeerks get here."

"Don't you love it when Jake's all masterful like that?" Rachel teased.

"I'm just trying to get us organized," Jake said defensively.

"We'd better get started fishing," Cassie pointed out. "If we don't catch a fish, we're pretty much wasting our time."

The plan was to morph into fish to enter the Yeerk ship's water pipes. Of course, in order to morph into something, you first have to "acquire" it. Which means being able to touch it.

"Shouldn't be any big problem," Jake said confidently.

"Uh-huh," Cassie said dryly. "And how many times have you gone fishing?"

"Counting this time? Once." He laughed.

Cassie rolled her eyes. "Typical suburban boy," she said affectionately. "It isn't all that easy."

<Then you guys better get started,> I advised. <I'll go look around.>

"Take care of yourself, Tobias," Rachel called out as I took wing.

I watched from on high as they made one failed attempt after another to convince a fish to bite one of our hooks.

It seemed ridiculous, but the entire plan was hanging on the question of whether or not we could catch a fish. And time was running out. The day wore on. Still no fish.

Jake was getting edgy. Rachel was downright cranky. And Marco? Forget Marco. "This is ridiculous!" he raged. "We're four - I mean, five - fairly intelligent human beings. And we can't outsmart one fish that probably has an IQ of four?"

Not for nothing here, but in the last book, Cassie and Marco acquired osprey. You know what osprey eat? You know what would be easier than fumbling around with fishooks?

quote:

Cassie was the only one remaining calm. "Fishing is a matter of skill and luck," she said placidly. "A smart fisherman learns not to become frustrated."

Jake looked at the little watch we'd brought along. "From what we know, the Yeerks will start arriving in an hour to clear the area."

Rachel nodded. "Even if we catch a fish now, we won't have time to test the morph."

<Maybe we should back off for today,> I suggested. <You really ought to test out the fish morph. You guys all know how much trouble a morph can be at first.>

Jake shook his head firmly. "I don't think so, Tobias. We'd have to wait till we had another day off. Tomorrow's no good because I have stuff with my parents. So does Marco. Which means we'd have to wait a whole week."

<So we try again next weekend. What's the hurry?>

"The hurry is that the Yeerks can't keep coming to this same lake forever. Sooner or later the level of the water will start dropping, from them taking so much. They must use one lake for a while, then move on to another. It could take forever for us to find where they move to next."
It made sense. But that didn't make me feel any better about it.

<This is the first water animal any of us have morphed. You don't have any idea what it's going to be like.>

"I know," Jake snapped. "Look, Tobias, I know it's not exactly ideal."

"Hah!" Cassie yelped. She yanked at the line she was holding. "I believe we may have a fishy." It took just a few seconds to haul in the fish.

"Trout," she said, looking it over as it flopped in the shallow water. The hook was poked through its lip. It was about ten inches long, not very big.

The four of them stared blankly at it.

"We have to become that?" Marco asked.

"It's a fish," Cassie said. "What did you expect?"

Marco shrugged. "I don't know. Something more like Jaws. This is just a fish. I mean, we could clean him and eat him with a little lemon juice. Maybe some fries on the side."

The others turned and gave him a dirty look.

Cassie reached down into the water and took hold of the squirmy gray thing. She concentrated. Her eyes closed halfway. She was acquiring it. The fish

DNA was being absorbed into Cassie's body.

The gift of the Andalite. The curse of the Andalite - the power to morph.

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007




Grimey Drawer

Epicurius posted:

See, they're doing the thing where they're all embarrassed by what happened with Tobias, so, instead of reaching out to him when he's asking for their help in dealing with it, they're choosing to ignore it. That happens more than you'd think when people cry out for help.

It's a nice little bit of characterization for Marco, too. The other three have had more carefree lives, but it wasn't all that long ago that nobody knew how to handle interacting with Marco after his mother died. Of course he'd have no time for pity and avoidance, and of course he'd know neither would do Tobias any good.

Ednamamame
Dec 12, 2019


It's also interesting, because Marco and Tobias are the least friendly Animorophs at this point. Tobias clearly doesn't like him that much in this book (though I can't remember how Marco acts towards Tobias in his first book, and if that's mutual). But Marco still gives him that, and he was also the one who saved his life when Tobias tried to splat himself.

Sjs00
Jun 29, 2013



Yeah that was quick thinking on Marco's part. Why did he even have a baseball

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird





Ednamamame posted:

It's also interesting, because Marco and Tobias are the least friendly Animorophs at this point. Tobias clearly doesn't like him that much in this book (though I can't remember how Marco acts towards Tobias in his first book, and if that's mutual). But Marco still gives him that, and he was also the one who saved his life when Tobias tried to splat himself.

I've seen people reason that, especially in light of the "Marco is bi and has a crush on Jake" revelations that Marco's hostility towards Tobias prior to and shortly after the start of the series is purely born of jealousy that he was trying to move in monopolize Jake with his glommy hero worship after Jake saved his rear end from those bullies. All of this poo poo going down forces Marco to grow up fairly quickly and drop those catty schoolyard views of his follow Animorphs.

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Sjs00 posted:

Yeah that was quick thinking on Marco's part. Why did he even have a baseball

They were in a mall, probably grabbed it from a sports gear store.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

nine-gear crow posted:

I've seen people reason that, especially in light of the "Marco is bi and has a crush on Jake" revelations that Marco's hostility towards Tobias prior to and shortly after the start of the series is purely born of jealousy that he was trying to move in monopolize Jake with his glommy hero worship after Jake saved his rear end from those bullies. All of this poo poo going down forces Marco to grow up fairly quickly and drop those catty schoolyard views of his follow Animorphs.

Maybe, but also sometimes people just don't get along. I think it's a simple personality clash. Marco is sarcastic and quick to tease other people, which rubs Tobias the wrong way because Tobias has been picked on so much and has trouble telling good natured teasing from bullying, and Tobias rubs Marco the wrong way because he tends to be kind of emo and sadsack, and Marco, who's all about suppressing your feelings and sucking it up when something is bothering you, sees Tobias as kind of weak and unmanly.

So I think it's just that their personalities are different enough that they bother each other.

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Sjs00
Jun 29, 2013



Avalerion posted:

They were in a mall, probably grabbed it from a sports gear store.

Ah petty vandalism nice. They couldn't just include some detail about Marco loving baseball and just whipping out one to Mary Sue situations? That would be okay

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