Hi guys! It's been a while, thanks Elliroc for the prompt and distracting me from my mounting pile of uni stuff I should be doing. Hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately I own nothing.
"My name is Marco, but I will be whoever you want me to be baby. Superhero, villain, super attractive main character, super attractive side character, you name it, I'll be it."
"I'm sorry Michael,"
"Marco, I just don't think you're going to be suitable for any of the roles we are casting today, you just don't have the right look."
"And what look would that be?"
"You know, handsome, a little mysterious but quick witted..."
"I am all those things!"
"Oh, right. Well if you happen to find yourself needing any short, handsome, mysterious but quick witted guys, think of me. Think of my face plastered on billboards no thanks to you. You will regret this!" I stormed out of the office, wishing it didn't have automatic doors so I could slam a door behind me.
So as you may have guessed, my name is Marco. Marco, not Michael. Cue Marco Polo jokes, I get that a lot, and I really don't know what my parents were thinking calling me Marco, but that's another story. I had just been rejected for a role in a movie, and I really was not taking it well. I'm smart, handsome, mysterious, a hit with all the ladies and to top it off I'm funny. Scratch that, I'm hilarious. Basically I'm the full package and I got turned down for a role (any role!) in this movie they're filming in my shall-remain-nameless-because-of-alien-invasion hometown. No really, I'm not crazy, aliens are invading Earth. Yeerks, little slug-like creatures crawl into your ear and take over your brain, you are locked in a little corner of your mind but can't do anything, you watch as they pretend to be you. We call them controllers. 'We' being my merry band of animal-turning-into-teenagers-plus-bird-boy-and-alien. Okay so not MY group perse, Jake is in charge, our fearless leader, but he's my best friend and I came up with our name, Animorphs, so I should be second in charge. So together with Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias (Who's stuck as a bird) and Ax (A good alien with a really long name, hence Ax) are basically turning into animals in attempts to save the planet. I swear I'm not crazy! Just try to keep up. So, we were being a little rebellious and taking the short cut home through the creepy abandoned construction site, a big no-no. An alien landed, gave us this cool power and got brutally murdered by other evil aliens. A while later we found Ax in a crashed spaceship, turns out it was his brother who gave us this morphing power and to top it off he's Tobias's uncle. Small universe hey? Basically we fight the evil, try to rip the bad alien's heads off and destroy the yeerks without killing the host body, because basically that downright sucks. All this is on top of going to school and trying to act like a 'normal' teenager, whatever that means. Personally I think we shouldn't have to go to school, we should get sent to some state of the art military school where they give us guns and stuff, who needs algebra?
So recap: Marco: awesome. Yeerks: not so much. Getting turned down for my movie star destiny: probably as bad if not worse than yeerks. And to top off my disappointment it was time for a wonderful Animorphs meeting, in which we usually decide to go and try and get ourselves killed. Woohoo, the perks of being the only hope of the entire human race. I ducked out behind the building where I had my dismal meeting with the casting crew had hid behind a dumpster, stripping my clothes off until I was left in nothing but my flattering lycra morphing suit. One of the downfalls of morphing is that we haven't been able to figure out how to morph clothes, so instead we usually hid them in backpacks, generally behind dumpsters such as this one. I concentrated on the osprey that was my bird morph and felt the familiar rearrangement, resizing and disappearing of parts of my body. Once my body had finished transforming and I was fully bird I took off into the sky, which is no mean feat when you're in alleyway with no thermals to speak of.
After a wonderful 10 minute flight I landed in the barn at Cassie's place, demorphed back into my handsome, charming self and dressed in one of the sets of clothes I had hidden away in the barns for such occasions. After dressing I settled onto my favourite bale of hay and waited for the others to arrive. As I waited I looked around the barn, trying to decide if any of the animals were worth acquiring. Cassie's family ran a rehabilitation centre out of their barn so it was often filled with a variety of animals recovering before being released into the wild. This was a pretty good set up for us as it allowed us to get some morphs without too much trouble, and for the other ones that we couldn't get from the barn we usually just broke into the zoo where Cassie's mum works. No biggie. Breaking and entering is a big part of the life of an Animorph.
Footsteps crunching over the gravel let me know someone was coming. I cocked my head to the side, listening intently. Light, bouncy, rhythmic. Rachel. Sure enough Rachel soon came around the corner, grinning from ear to ear.
"Hi Marco!" she greeted cheerfully.
"Hi Xena," I replied cautiously.
Rachel never greeted me so happily, there was a good chance she was going to give bad news or possibly punch me.
"Why so happy?"
"Me? I'm always happy," Rachel replied.
"Not this happy. Is it because you finally succumbed to my good looks and charms and are now madly in love with me and you were just so excited to see my handsome face?"
Slap. On my handsome face. Apparently that's not the reason.
"You wish Marco, only in your dreams."
"Oh and what fine dreams they are Rachel! Would you like to hear about the one I had last night with the spa?"
Rachel's fist connected with my nose. I grabbed it howling in pain.
(Rachel, Marco. Separate.) I heard Jakes voice in my head.
I stuck my tongue out at Rachel as she moved to the other side of the barn, grinning smugly at having quite possibly broken my nose.
A peregrine falcon landed in the middle of the barn and demorphed to become my best friend and our fearless leader, Jake. Jake also retrieved a change of clothes and dressed before confronting Rachel and I about our little disagreement.
"What happened?" he asked, crossing his arms and getting his 'I'm a serious mature leader do as I say' look on.
"Your cousin is a psycho. I asked her a question and she flew into a manic rage and punched me for no good reason."
"Your friend is a perverted creep! That's what the issue here Jake!"
(Prince Jake, if I may comment. I have been here watching Marco and Rachel. Rachel is happy and this seemed to confuse Marco. She would not answer when he asked why she is happy. Then he asked if she was in love with him and she punched him. And then he was talking about a dream about a spa. This seemed to anger Rachel, although I am unsure as to why.)
Jake sighed, "Thank you Ax. Don't call me 'prince'. Why don't you morph human and come and sit with us."
(I would like to do that but I have a slight technical problem. You see I was trying out a new morph before Marco arrived and I managed to get myself stuck in a cage. If you would be so kind as to let me out it would be greatly appreciated.)
Rachel, Jake and I looked around the barn, trying to figure out what animal Ax was when I spotted a fox waving at us. I fell back onto the bale of hay laughing so hard I snorted, which bought a fresh wave of pain to my nose. Rachel shook her head at me before opening the cage Ax was stuck in.
(Thank you Rachel.) Ax said before trotting off into a stall to dimorph and morph human, just in case one of Cassie's parents came in.
"Sorry guys, lost track of time cleaning the troughs," Cassie said as she came through the back door to the barn, wearing her trademark overalls and boots that were probably covered in more than just mud.
"No problem Cassie, we are still waiting on Tobias," Jake said, shooting Cassie a quick smile.
For some strange reason Jake liked Cassie. Like, like-liked Cassie. I have never understood it and never will but as his best friend I support him. Mostly. Even though she's a crazy tree-hugging loony. But that's for him to deal with I suppose.
A soft flutter of feathers alerted us to Tobias's arrival. He perched up in the rafters, his piercing hawk gaze glaring at us. See Tobias stayed in morph for over two hours. Bad idea unless you want to be stuck as that morph forever. Tobias came from a messed up sort of family so I suppose you can't blame him for getting stuck in morph deliberately, but at least now he has the morphing power back despite the fact the hawk is now his natural form.
"Got held up in traffic Bird Boy?"
(Yes Marco, air traffic control was giving me a hard time and wouldn't let me into the air space required to get here so I had to take a detour.)
I could practically feel the sarcasm in my brain. I chose to ignore him as Jake looked like he had something important he wanted to get out.
"Okay so apparently the Sharing is having a meeting on Saturday night. A concert for all the underage kids," He started.
"Basically your average 'come along and listen to some cool music and eat some pizza while I shove a slug in your head to take over your body' type thing. Nothing like recruiting a bunch of teenagers to help you take over the world."
"Marco, thank you for volunteering to go out of morph for this event to check it out."
"Umm Jake? I didn't actually say that."
"Well I have volunteered for you. Now, as I was saying, Marco, you go as yourself, see what you can find out. Rachel and Cassie will go fly and see what they can find out behind the scenes. Tobias will be our eye in the sky and Ax and I will be standing by in case something goes wrong. See you there at 7."
"Okay now that's over with I have news!" Rachel announced, clapping her hands in a most un-Rachel like manner.
"You're keen on the whole spa thing?" I ask, covering my nose as I stepped out of reach.
"No, Marco. No. I have been cast in that movie they're shooting here!"
There were choruses of congratulations and excitement from everyone, as I pretended to be happy for her. Really, I was even more devastated than before. Rachel more than likely got cast as one of the main characters, and as a large portion of this would be shot at the beach, there was a fairly good chance she would be spending most of the movie in a bikini. With other girls in bikinis. Lots of almost-naked girls. On the beach. Where I could access in a variety of morphs without being detected. So I could see all the almost-naked girls. I felt a grin creep across my face as I formed my plan.
"So I start shooting tomorrow actually. It's only a short film so it should only take a couple of days but still, I'm going to be a movie star!"
"Hey Marco, weren't you going to audition for this movie too?" Jake asked.
"Yeah I meant to but I completely forgot about it with the whole saving the world thing going on. Next time. Then you'll be seeing my face on billboards and buses."
Rachel laughed, "That's funny. I heard the casting crew talking about some short guy claiming he was 'handsome, mysterious and funny' or something along those lines who claimed they 'would be sorry for not casting him and they would be seeing his face on billboards'. Sound familiar Marco?" Rachel smiled.
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"They said his name was Michael, Mitchell, Maurice something like that. Possibly Marco? Apparently he was the most pathetic audition they had seen all day, didn't even get to the audition because he's too short to play any of the characters," Rachel smirked.
"Still not ringing any bells," I said as casually as possible, "I was at the arcade all day."
"Okay Rachel, congratulations, if Marco says he wasn't there just leave it at that. I don't want to be here all afternoon listening to you two arguing," Jake said, rubbing his temples.
"Okay so are we done here? Can I go home now?"
"Yes Marco, we're done."
"Thanks Prince Jake," I grinned as I started removing my clothes to morph again.
I was a little frustrated I couldn't go an collect my clothes from behind the dumpster because I knew Rachel would be watching so she could make fun of me for not even getting an audition, so I just had to hope they would still be there the next day. I flew straight home and shut myself in my room, plotting my rise to fame.
The next day I was awake bright and early in order to get my face on the big screen. I went downstairs and headed out to the tool shed where I had a window propped open I could fly in and out of in morph. Dad rarely used the shed and the window faced away from the house so it really was a perfect arrangement. I morphed osprey and flew towards the beach. My bird eyes were amazing and could see so much despite how high I was. I flew a few laps of the beach before the film crew started to arrive. I watched as they set up various cameras and set up the props for the scene. After about an hour of watching this, the cast started turning up. This was turning into a better idea every second. Ten hot girls, all in bikinis. I spotted Rachel, cool, calm and collected, who was chatting to some of the other girls, who seemed to be in awe of her, as most people were. I flew away from the scene to demorph and remorph seagull, as it would be a little more appropriate for this area, and a lot harder for Rachel to figure me out. It took some time to get control over the seagull's brain as all it wants to do is eat anything and everything. Every piece of rubbish is a potential smorgasbord for a seagull and I was not in this morph to eat people's leftovers, I wanted to be a star.
I wandered the beach near the set on my little seagull legs, waiting until I was sure they had started shooting before I made my presence known.
That's my cue. Enter stage right and stare down the camera. Work it baby, work it!
I flew into the shot and landed in front of Rachel and began to strut my seagull stuff, stopping every so often to stare down the camera. The girls stayed in character, with Rachel shooting me suspicious looks. The camera crew moved the camera forward slightly as the girls kept acting. They were cutting me out of the shot! Unacceptable! This is Marco's movie! In which Marco is the main character not some hot girls in bikinis! I flew off, hovering above the scene for a few minutes while I formulated a new, foolproof plan. I had to be at the level of the girl's faces to be in the shot, that way to cut me out they would have to cut the girls out too, which would ruin their movie.
I squawked a seagull war cry as I swooped the girls below, causing all but one to duck and squeal, so I went and landed on her shoulder.
"Marco," she growled under her breath, "get the hell out."
I ignored her, turning my beady little seagull eyes downward towards her boobs. In hindsight, probably not the most bird-like action.
"I swear to God Marco, if you don't stop looking at my breasts and get the hell out of here I will put you in a tiny little seagull-sized cage for a few hours and you will stuck as a garbage eating bird for the rest of your life."
(Just a heads up Rach, you look a little crazy talking to a bird, but I suppose birds are kind of your thing aren't they?) I said, shaking my butt and pooping on her shoulder before flying off, ignoring her disgusted cries.
Okay so, swooping was a bad idea, they wouldn't keep that scene in my film. Time for plan whatever letter I'm up too. I flew back to my secluded morphing spot and demorphed. I leant against a tree as I came up with a new, even more foolproof plan. I needed a morph that girls would love so they wouldn't scream and ruin my scene. I ran through my mental list of morphs, excluding most because they wouldn't be lovable or appropriate for the beach. Then it hit me. A dog! Everyone loves dogs, dogs are at the beach, they would be able to improvise me into the scene and everything would be great! I closed my eyes and concentrated on my dog morph. As soon as the morph was complete the dog brain took over. Run, run, run, run, play, play, play! I let the dog take over and run back towards the girls.
"Oh look a puppy!" one of the girls exclaimed.
The director motioned for the scene to continue and my big, sloppy, wet, adorable dog tongue hung out of my mouth. The girls continued the scene as I trotted over and licked one of their faces, which left her giggling. Again, the director motioned for them to continue. I felt several hands on my back, patting and scratching me as they continued the scene. I settled down in front of the group and put my big furry head on Rachel's legs, deliberately dripping saliva on her.
Rachel scratched my head and leant forward to whisper in my ear, "If puppy doesn't go back to its owners, puppy will end up at the pound. Locked in a cage. No one will come and rescue puppy."
I stood up and shook the sand off me, licked Rachel's face and ran away, satisfied with my new fame. Once I was hidden from view I demorphed and morphed osprey, taking to the skies to collect my clothes from behind the dumpster while I knew Rachel was occupied.
I landed in the deserted alleyway and demorphed, pulling my bag of clothes out and getting dressed, it meant I had to walk home but at least I didn't lose the stupid clothes I bought for the audition. As I ducked out of the alleyway and onto the street I spotted a new sign on the door of the recruitment agency. A new movie needed male leads. I grinned, it was a sign, this role was for me. I straightened my clothes and tried to fix my hair in the reflection of the door before pushing the door open. I enquired about the role at the reception and was sent straight into the back room. Perfect, no one else was here; this increased my chance of getting this role. Not that I was worried of course because with these good looks, anything was possible.
"Hi, I'm Marco. Auditioning for the role of the male lead advertised on the door."
The man looked me up and down as he introduced himself as Scott.
"So, Marco, do you have experience?"
"Yes loads, this is really my passion and area of expertise."
Scott nodded, taking notes on his notepad, "How many times have you done this sort of thing before?"
"I can't give you a number, but I rehearse as often as I can, putting on performances for my friends and family so I know just how people will react."
He nodded again, taking more notes, before calling for someone named Benny.
The man I assumed to be Benny came in through the back door to the room. He was huge; his arms were bigger than half my body. It was obvious that he spent the better part of his day at the gym; I was convinced this guy could crush me with his little finger.
"Benny, this is Marco, he's auditioning for the lead role."
"Marco's Marco's man, I'm gunna be Marco's man," Benny laughed, Scott rolled his eyes and I tried not to look terrified. This was probably the guy that would beat me to a pulp in the movie.
"Do you think we can work with this?" Scott asked.
Benny shrugged, "Take off your clothes."
"Excuse me?" I spluttered, completely taken by surprise and a little scared for my life and dignity.
"Take off your clothes. We need to see the goods so we know what we are working with here. You're going to have them off on camera so don't be shy," Scott explained.
"What do you mean I'll have my clothes off on camera?"
"Kid, didn't you read the sign? It's a gay porn movie. You will be naked, with Benny here, doing the deed."
"No no, no wait! I thought the sign said 'gay prom'. Like happy prom, as opposed to all these scary hack-them-to-pieces prom movies that people seem to be making these days. I swear that's what the sign said," I explained hurriedly.
"Kid, go home. Learn to read. You're wasting my time here," Scott sighed pointing me towards the door.
I didn't need telling twice. I ran out of the building and was halfway home before I stopped running.
Well that was bad. Actually, bad is an understatement. I think there is a good chance that they will never ever see me in that building again. It doesn't matter, there's no need for another movie right away. I had a nice scene in Rachel's movie so I could watch my adorable dog self on the big screen when it was released. Small steps Marco, small steps. When I got home I was surprised to find a note taped to the door. I pulled it off and read it: 'Marco, scene got cut. Sorry puppy looks like you're not a star after all. Rachel xx.'
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