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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..."



Comrade Blyatlov posted:

I specifically recall it being honky tonk blues

for some reason i remember this too

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Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

The Encounter-Chapter 25

quote:

<Take off! Move!> Visser Three commanded the crew of the truck ship.

Almost immediately, the huge thing began to move forward. Very slowly at first. But as it moved, it created a headwind. The bridge was moving away from me. The ship was rising as it went. A hundred feet up now. Two hundred!

<Ha! Not so easy, Andalite!>

Right then I had a powerful urge to shock the evil monster and say, <Guess what, creep? Not an Andalite at all. The name is Tobias!>

But I wasn't ready to start bragging. The truth was, it was looking bad. The ship was slowly picking up speed.

I flapped harder, harder. I gained again. But it was painfully slow. I was wearing out. The Dracon beam weighed me down. The headwind was building.

Ahead of me, just a few feet away, I saw the bulge of the bridge.

I gained a foot. Another. Another.

I landed and folded my wings. I couldn't fly any more. But I could still pull myself along with my talons, gripping the small edges and ridges that ran along the top of the ship's bridge. I was there! Below me, transparent plastic. I could see the crew on the bridge. Taxxons stared wildly up at me.
With one desperate lunge I propelled myself into the air. I had to fly full force to stay ahead of the onrushing windows of the bridge.

Then, with one sharp talon, I pulled the trigger on the Dracon beam.

<Fry, you worms!>

There was no recoil. Not like a regular gun at all.

But a beam of intense red light lanced from me to the bridge. It burned a hole through the window, sliced through a fat Taxxon, and began slicing up control panels and instruments like a hot knife going through butter. I squeezed that trigger for as long as I could.

Careful! That hawk's got a gun!

quote:

At last, exhausted, I could do no more.

The Dracon beam slipped from my talon and plunged toward the earth below.

But I had done it.

It was an incredible and terrible thing to see. The ship, big as a skyscraper, vast beyond belief, shuddered as though it had hit a speed bump.

Still it rose, sharply upward into the sky, as if it were a whale breaching. It aimed for space, its natural home. But it was clear that it was no longer under control. It rolled suddenly onto its side.

BOOM! A ball of orange flame!

The out-of-control ship had smashed recklessly into one of the helicopters. The chopper fell in ruins.

The Bug fighters and the Blade ship scurried quickly out of the way. But too late.

KA-RUNCH! BA-BOOM!

One of the Bug fighters had slammed into the side of the ship. The Bug fighter was finished. The Blade ship and the remaining Bug fighter withdrew quickly.

And then I saw the hole.

A tear a hundred feet long had been opened in the side of the truck ship. From the hole, the water of the lake gushed. It was a waterfall from the sky. Millions of gallons hemorrhaging out.

<Oh, boy,> I whispered.

We were maybe seven hundred feet up over the forest now, when I saw them.

Cassie first. Then Rachel and Marco together. And Jake. They fell, fully human, from the torn side of the ship.

They plummeted, helpless, doomed, to the uprushing ground!

<Noooo!>

I knew there was nothing I could do. I knew it. But still I hurtled after them. Hurtled with all my speed to them as they fell, arms flailing, mouths open in screams of terror.

Hey, they actually did something! They took out a Yeerk supply ship. Well, technically, Tobias did, while the rest turned into fish and got trapped in a reservoir. Still, this is their biggest victory to date! And now they're all plunging to their death. Too bad they can't turn into animals or something.

QuickbreathFinisher
Sep 28, 2008

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


cptn_dr posted:

We posting Animemes now?


This is absolutely destroying me rn lmao

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



Tree Bucket
Apr 1, 2016

GEORGIE?



I am HERE for the Mignolamorphs

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..."



Well they survived (probably?) that's more than I was expecting.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

Radio Free Kobold posted:

Well they survived (probably?) that's more than I was expecting.

Their survival is, very literally, up in the air, until this afternoon/evening when i post the next chapter. But I think it's fair to assume that, in a 60 book series, Applegate wouldn't kill off four of the five protagonists in book 3.

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..."



I mean there's nothing saying you can't morph into a bird mid-air so as long as they're not unconscious or something they're probably fine, right? R-right?

disaster pastor
May 1, 2007



Grimey Drawer

Radio Free Kobold posted:

I mean there's nothing saying you can't morph into a bird mid-air

The limiting factor isn't the morphing technology, it's its speed competing with gravity.

Ednamamame
Dec 12, 2019


You thought this was a series about five teens with attitude against evil body snatching aliens, but turns out it's just one emo hawk.

President Ark
May 16, 2010



here's a fun calculator. the text says they were 700 feet up but that wouldn't even give them ten seconds, so i'm just gonna assume tobias is really lovely at judging distances in actual units and/or it's Dramatic™

OctaviusBeaver
Apr 30, 2009

Say what now?

Writers are bad at math.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

The Encounter-Chapter 26

quote:

They fell.

But as they fell, they began to change.

Cassie was the first. Feathers sprouted from her skin. One of her morphs was an osprey. A distant cousin of the red-tails.

She fell, and as she fell, she became less and less of a human.

Marco and Rachel had both previously morphed bald eagles. Bald eagles are huge birds, much bigger than red-tailed hawks.

As I watched, long wings replaced their flailing arms.

Jake had morphed a peregrine falcon. Peregrines are so fast they make red-tails look like they are standing still.

As I watched, a peregrine's beak grew from Jake's mouth.

Not enough time. Not enough time! They would hit the ground before

Shwoooop!

Cassie opened her wings and skimmed above the treetops. Marco barely made it. He fell down into the forest, out of sight. I was sure he had been too late.

But then, up from the trees floated a bird with a six-foot wingspread and a proud white head.

<YES!> I cried.

In the sky overhead, the huge truck ship stopped climbing. It rolled again, onto its back this time, and plunged back to Earth.

<Man, that was WAY too close!> I heard Marco yell. <That does it. I have had it with this Animorphs stuff!>

<You're not safe yet!> I told him. <Look!>

With the truck ship out of the way and falling to Earth, the Blade ship and the Bug fighters came after us.

<Quick! Into the trees! Out of sight!> I yelled.

Like a well-trained fighter squadron, we swooped down into the forest. Down below the tops of the trees, where the Yeerks could no longer see us.

BOOOOOM!

An explosion like a bomb going off. The truck ship had hit the ground.

The concussion rolled us over like a tidal wave of air.

I rocketed into a tree, but was able to avoid being hurt. <Everyone okay?> I yelled.

One by one they said yes.

But the explosion had disturbed every animal in the forest. The birds had all either hidden or flown away during the earlier fighting. Those few birds still left now took wing, startled. I saw her take off. The hawk. She was scared and wanted to run to the sky.

But the sky was not a sanctuary for her.

I don't know which ship fired the Dracon beam. Whether it was one of the Bug fighters, or the Blade ship.

You see, they'd had a good long look at me. And she looked just like me.

The Dracon beam sizzled. It burned off a wing.

And she fell to Earth, never to fly again.

Oh, no! It's Tobias's hawk girlfriend! (Is it fridging when it's a bird?)

Ednamamame
Dec 12, 2019


Marco should be an osprey not an eagle. Immersion ruined.

Epicurius
Apr 10, 2010


College Slice

The Encounter-Chapter 27

quote:

The Yeerk truck ship burned. What was left was eliminated by the Yeerks. No evidence was left behind. No proof that we could show to the world.

But we had destroyed it. And a Bug fighter as well. And we had gotten out alive.

Most of us.

It was a day later when I went to see Rachel again. It was like she was expecting me.

"Hi, Tobias," she said. "Come in. It's safe."

I hopped through the window and fluttered over to the dresser.

"How are you doing?" she asked.

<I'm okay,> I said.

She looked unsure of what to say next. "Look, um, Tobias . . . maybe this seems crazy. But Cassie and I were thinking, you know, that maybe we'd go back up to the lake. Try and find . . . her body. The hawk. You know, and at least bury her."

<No, that doesn't sound crazy, Rachel,> I said softly. <Not crazy at all. Just human.>

She looked keenly at me. "Well, we are human. All of us."

<Yes. I knew I was human when I realized how . . . how sad I was that she was killed. See, a hawk wouldn't care. If she had been my mate, I would have missed her, been disturbed. But sadness? That's a human emotion. I know it seems strange, but I guess only a human would really care that a bird had died.>

"If you helped us look, maybe we could still find her body."

<No. Her body will be eaten. By a raccoon, or a wolf, or another bird. Maybe even another hawk. That's the way it is.>

"That's the way it is for wild animals, Tobias. Not humans."

<Yeah. I know. That's how I know that you are wrong, Rachel, at least partly. I am a human, yes. But I am also a hawk. I'm a predator who kills for food. And I'm also a human being who . . . who grieves, over death.>

She looked terribly sad. She's very human, my friend Rachel.

I went to the window. It was a beautiful day outside. The sun was bright. The cumulus clouds advertised the thermals that would carry me effortlessly to the sky.

I flew.

I am Tobias. A boy. A hawk. Some strange mix of the two.

You know now why I can't tell you my last name. Or where I live. But someday you may look up in the sky and see the silhouette of a large bird of prey. Some large bird with a rending beak and sharp, tearing talons. Some bird with vast wings outstretched to ride the thermals.
Be happy for me, and for all who fly free.

So that's The Encounter. The Animophs got a win (sort of) for once. And Tobias rediscovered his humanity. It was sad. Nothing tomorrow, but feel free to talk about the book if you want, and then Monday we start on Book 4-The Message. It's a Cassie book!

Ytlaya
Nov 13, 2005

I TRUST JOE BIDEN AND THE DEMS


wizzardstaff posted:

I think they've discussed this plan already so it's not really a spoiler to talk about their reasons for not doing it:

1) They value the lives of the human hosts, who are essentially hostages. Jake doesn't want to kill his brother Tom but he also doesn't want to kill a random stranger who happens to have a Yeerk in his head. Unless that stranger is a Hork-Bajir or Taxxon.

2) If they managed to just take out the slug inside a Controller and spare the host, then the aliens will want to re-acquire their asset with a new Yeerk. The teens can't provide witness protection.

3) If they decide to save people in a public way that prevents the Yeerks from silently taking them back, then they switch from a cold war to a hot one which they are not prepared to fight.

So they're stuck with sabotage and nonlethal interference. It would really help if they could recruit some experienced strategists or freedom fighters who could help them execute a guerrilla war. But they're in suburban California and don't know any insurgents, and on top of that they have no idea who to trust. Their best hope lies in teaming up with a stranded Andalite teen, a traitorous human edgelord, and a group of disabled kids who get used as pawns. And also an underground civilization of pacifist robot dogs.

Ignoring the needs of the narrative (and the fact that they're kids who aren't exactly the most logical/reasonable), the most logical thing to do would probably be to travel really far to some other countries where the Yeerks haven't infiltrated (and it shouldn't be that difficult to get an idea of what regions they occupy) and reveal the situation to leadership there. The whole mind speech thing (or recording a video of them morphing or whatever makes this very easy to do in a way that wouldn't risk themselves and would convince the listener/viewer that the situation is real.

While a "hot war" is bad, it's also practically inevitable in the long run (and there's a decent chance the Yeerk's couldn't engage if they thought they would lose).

Khizan
Jul 30, 2013



Ytlaya posted:

Ignoring the needs of the narrative (and the fact that they're kids who aren't exactly the most logical/reasonable), the most logical thing to do would probably be to travel really far to some other countries where the Yeerks haven't infiltrated (and it shouldn't be that difficult to get an idea of what regions they occupy) and reveal the situation to leadership there. The whole mind speech thing (or recording a video of them morphing or whatever makes this very easy to do in a way that wouldn't risk themselves and would convince the listener/viewer that the situation is real.

Where would you go? Is there a government that you would trust with this? One that you believe would handle it properly, that wouldn't just lock you in a black site research center for the rest of your life? That would be willing to let you walk free while knowing what you could do?

I can't think of any.

Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





How would you even figure out what regions have Controllers or not?

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014



During this secret war in which aliens are mind controlling humans, why do the resistance not merely tell the government what's happening?

Avalerion
Oct 19, 2012



Honestly not a bad idea, with their mind speak they could probably tell everyone at like an Uno meeting while being a literal fly on a wall or something. With all the world leaders hearing voices at the same time, they might not even dismiss it.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



I was pretty sure that they were under explicit instructions from Elfangor to lay low and sabotage Yeerk operations until the Andalite cavalry (haha) could arrive. But I just went back and checked page 1 of the thread and it’s the opposite—he tells them to warn as many people as they can.

But as people have said...who can they trust? It’s a very teenager situation to have your body changing in unexpected ways and not knowing who to go to for guidance.

Comrade Blyatlov
Aug 4, 2007


should have picked four fingers

Not to mention existing authority figures are shown to be infiltrated - police, their high school - their decision to go on hit and runs makes a lot more sense

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..."



I can't wait to see what kind of stuff we get into next book. There was some real heavy poo poo in here.

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Kchama
Jul 25, 2007





If they tell someone and they turn out to be a Controller then they basically have to kill them on the spot like Cassie did to that cop. A pretty serious disincentive to running around telling people, because otherwise they're giving stuff away and will be under attack soon.

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