Disclaimer, you know the drill, I don't own anything, act of fiction, don't sue me, can't pay you anything, just enjoy the working of my insane mind
For the record I started scripting this before I saw Ultimate Enemy so no that movie won't apply to this story, of course if I get that far, a version of it might be introduced. This pretty much pick up way before and right after Reign Storm- that'll make sense when you read the story.
If you know Animorphs, you might just want to scan through the begging of the first chapter, since it's mostly review, but we do eventually get to the real story in Ch 1.
edited a few small things- 9-17
My name is Tobias.
I'd tell you my last name but at this point it doesn't really matter.
I am a living ghost, I once existed in the world of humanity, as a part of it like those I called family. Even when I left it, there were still those that knew me, and now that time has passed they have forgotten me as well. Now there are no humans that speak my name, to the world of humans I am dead, and I've come to prefer it that way. I even have a death certificate, although it lists me as a presumed dead since they never found a body, and there's very little chance they'll find a human corps. Of course to understand that you have to know my past.
For all intents and purposes I was a normal human, a normal kid, all be it one that wasn't popular in the least. More than once I had my head stuck in the toilet. That all changed one night in a construction site, I watched an alien ship crash with four other kids. Jake, who a few days earlier had forced a few punks off me, someone I'd shadowed ever since. His best friend Marco, who's reputation as a joker and wanna be ladies man was legend. Jakes cousin Rachel, who at first glance looked like a super model, and who you quickly learned had the heart of an amazon. Then there was Cassie, Jake's sorta girl friend and Rachel's best friend, a girl who knew everything about animals thanks to her parents.
The lone pilot of the ship was an Andalite named Prince Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, think a blue centaur with no mouth, two extra eyes on stalks sitting on the top of his head, and a scorpions tail, he told us of the danger facing our world.
He warned us of the Yeerks, another alien race, basically little slugs that in their normal sate are pretty harmless, except for one little detail. Somehow nature saw fit to give them the ability to crawl into a persons brain and completely take them over, turn them into what is called a 'Controller'. They gain the use of the host's body, their memory, for all intents and purposes they are they person, and there's no way to detect them, and what's worse they were already on Earth trying to take it over.
Not take over as in leveling cities, no they moved silently, infesting one person at a time, trying to undermine the planet till there were no free humans left. And some how Elfangor in his weakened state decided we, five kids, were the only salvation for the world, a team Marco would dub the Animorphs, short for animal morphers.
Luckily he gave us a weapon his race had developed, the ability to morph. The ability to acquire the DNA of any creature we can tough and become that creature in both body and mind, well body and instinct. But only for two hours at a time, after that whatever body your in you stayed stuck in for the rest of your life. We also gained thought speech, a kind of one way telepathy that allows us to speak with other creatures either one at a time or in groups, it even allowed our thoughts to travel through walls, but only in morph, or bodies not capable of 'human' speech.
A few moments after giving us this power, he was dead, killed by Visser Three, the only Andalite controller in existence, the only Yeerk that could morph. I watched him eat Elfangor using a body he had acquired from another planet, and with his death the fate of the world fell to a bunch of kids.
Not surprisingly humans weren't the only controls we up against, the Yeerks had enslaved a few worlds along the way and gained a few powerful bodies in the process. The Taxxons, basically ten foot long centipedes with four eyes that'll eat anything they can get their mouths around, not even the Yeerk in it's head could stop a Taxxon once it smells blood. The other big race are the Hork-Bajir, seven foot lizards that stand on two legs and have blades popping out of their wrists, fore arms, elbows, knees, tail and head. Basically they looked like walking knives or lawnmowers from hell. With a Yeerk in their head they were a force to be reaconed with, without one they had the brain capacity of six year olds and wanted nothing more than to eat tree bark. Yes I have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for the Hork-Bajir, a few free ones saved my life in more ways than one.
Not to say we didn't have friends as well, a few weeks after this all started we found Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, Ax for short, at the bottom of the ocean in what as left of an Andalite ship. He also happened to be the little brother of Elfangor, unfortunately he wasn't much older than us, and hadn't seen much combat himself.
Then there were the Chee, a race of alien androids built before humanity came into existence. Their creators were the Pemalites, a race who had moved beyond violence, a race that was wiped out by another species called the Howlers. The Chee and what was left of their creators came to earth, the Chee couldn't keep there creators from extinction so they did the next best thing they could come up with, they took the closest living creature on earth that resembled them and merged them together creating a new species, creating dogs. Yes all dogs with the exception of a few breeds are the result of fusing aliens and wolves, back before humans as we now think of them existed. Not surprisingly since the Chee were based Pemalites form so they look like big metal dogs that walk on two legs. And from that point on the Chee have lived on earth, hiding in plain site with the help of holographic generators that make them appear human. The Chee are pretty much immortal, the same ones that landed on earth all those years ago are still functional and have been living like humans protecting what remains of the Pemalites legacy. So when the Yeerks came to earth, the Chee chose to side with us and stop them, problem was they were incapable of violence, they can bench press a truck, and run across the United States in only a few minutes, but they can't hurt a flee. Of course with their holographic generators they made great spies, especially our liaison Erek who pretty much master minded the resistance on his end.
And then there was the Elitist, a God like being that can do nearly anything, move planets, make black holes, alter time and just about any thing you can think of. And he's sworn not to interfere, at least not directly for the most part, he's a game master playing chess against the Crayak, basically his evil counter part. No one really knows how long they've been playing the game, but existence as we know it hangs on what they do. But like all games even theirs have rules, and they cannot be broken, but like all rules there are ways to bend them. Luckily he knew more than a few ways to do so and used them to our advantage, not because of us directly but because of what he hopes we'd set in motion.
Between us, we managed to hold the Yeerks at bay for a long time, gave them a few black eyes, sent them running with their tails between their legs, even took out a few of their ships, and in the end we managed to beat them, but not without casualties along the way.
I was the first, on our initial mission I over shot the two hour time limit and became trapped in the body of a Red-Tail Hawk. All in all it wasn't exactly a down grade, my dad was dead, I had no clue were my mom was, and was stuck being shipped between an aunt and a uncle who lived on different coats who could've cared less if I lived or died. For a little while I tried not to let it effect me, I lived in Jake's attic, ate whatever he could get me, what I lost in a normal life I gained in flight. But that time was all to short, the hawk instinct eventually took over, and for a few days I lost control of my body, till I was able to conquer the hawk mind. But that experience changed me, after that the hawk instincts were part of me, indistinguishable from the human side of my intellect. Because of them I choose to live as a hawk, live in a tree, hunt and kill my own food, run the risk of something bigger and meaner getting lucky and killing me. It might not have been the best life but it was the one I wanted.
And honestly I'm not sure how many innocent humans and Hork-Bajir we killed, not to mention all the terminally ill kids we gave the power to during the tail end of the war. I know most if not all of them were killed when everything came out and all humanity was fighting against the Yeerks. You have to understand morphing works by DNA, when we gave them the power we cured the majority, those with genetic disorders we couldn't help, they were the true hero's, by that time there was no subtlety, it was tooth and claw the entire way and they died saving the world.
But they don't compare to the final loss we suffered. Rachel died, killed by a Yeerk controlling Jakes brother, I death I know I helped, because in her last moment of life I told her how to kill her cousin rather than telling her know how to escape. I know she told me to tell her how to administer the death blow, but the truth was still the truth I didn't tell her to escape, I let the woman I love die.
And then just like that everything was done the Andalites came, cleared out the rest of the Yeerks earth was at peace, and we were all expecting one of those global societies you only get from science fiction shows to start up. Mean while the world labeled us hero's, treated us like royalty, well treated the others like royalty, I preferred a lower profile.
A few days later came Rachel's funeral, really it was little more than ceremony for the masses since her body couldn't be identified among all the debris of the ship. I know it wasn't Rachel in the jar of her supposed ashes but I took it anyway, she wouldn't have wanted all the fan fair, she just wanted to fight, to live. She would have hated to have people constantly saying how great she was, and how much she changed the world, that just wasn't her.
After the funeral I cut myself off from all sentient creatures and tried to let the hawk take over and guide me, I just wanted to forget I was human, to forget everything I did, and everything I lost, unfortunately the hawk never really took over, the human side of my awareness hung on and reminded me everyday that it was my fault she died, forcing me to live with the guilt, and continually question what I could have done differently to save her.
For two months I carried on like that, wallowing in my own grief and pity, hoping day after day that something would kill me so I could be with her in the after life, and everyday I survived to another sunrise. Then out of the blue he stood before me.
Unlike with the others The Ellimist didn't bother with a human form, he stood on the branch in front of me as a pure white hawk and made me an offer, I could have anything I wanted if I served him for period of time as his emissary, a creature both bound by the laws that governed The Ellimist and The Crayak, and yet capable of acting directly on situations to a certain point. I jumped at the chance, ready to jump through any hoop he put in front of me since I already had my payment decided.
For five earth years I worked for him, I acted as intermediary between The Ellimist and other worlds, fought against the agent of The Crayak and did things that ranged from menial tasks the starting wars. I even added the DNA of a few alien creatures to my inventory. It took over a year to begin to unravel some of the missions The Ellimist sent me on. On one planet I stopped a girl for half a minute, turns out that brief delay prevented what would have become a traffic jam. Without the traffic jam a scientist was able to get to work in time to have a break through he couldn't have had otherwise. That break through would result in antibodies being developed that would save half a dozen planets provided things proceeded according to my employers plan. I'm still trying to figure out how the one war I started that only lasted three days and ended up resulting in planetary peace?
It was seemed like it was painfully slow but eventually my five years were up, and I asked him flat out to bring Rachel back to life.
And he refused, he could move worlds and alter the time stream, but he couldn't bring my love to me. Apparently that was a rule he and The Crayak had agreed upon long before even the first Pemalites walked on two legs. I argued with him for days, using every fictional way TV, movies and books had taught me you could bring someone back from the dead, and in the end none of them would work. Not to say I didn't come close, there were worlds that had ways, either natural or artificial, that could resurrect her, but many of them had a time limit or special requirements that I couldn't meet. In the end the closest solution was an alternate timeline, and for a brief period of time I'm disgusted to say I considered it. But it was something I couldn't go through with, I knew in my heart it would be a lie, I wanted Rachel back, but to get her back that way was hollow, she'd be close but she'd never be my Rachel. I just couldn't dishonor her memory like that.
In the end my heart just wasn't in it so I made the requests fast so I could leave and get on with my life. I had him de-age my hawk body to that of a young hawk and prevent it from aging, while making my human body start aging. Then I had him speed up the morph time so takeing a new form only took a fraction of the time. Shifting to other birds only took a second or two, while my sperm whale could take up to thirty seconds. For some reason he couldn't wipe out or extend the time limit, or let me go from one form to another without returning to my hawk body, but I didn't really care at that point. The only other one I cared about was having all of my memories of Rachel renewed, that wish came with a few interesting twist it the form of memories I didn't even know I had along with a few other benefits. In the end I asked for a few other things, but by that time mentally I wasn't even there, I was lost in a memory of Rachel.
It was then that he sprang a little clause in our deal on me, I wasn't allowed to remember most of what happened while I was in his employ. As he explained it, letting former emissaries run around with that kind of information was to dangerous and could'nt be allowed. I'd still remember bits and pieces of varing size of what I'd done, but for the most part it would be nothing but a blur. Once more at that point I didn't care, so I'd be robbed of five years of my life, it's not like it was worth anything anymore. And just like that he stripped me of years of work, except for the few things listed above that I still remember clearly, and yet her let me keep the bodies I'd acquired from my time with him, as well as the information surronding them.
As per our deal brokered all those years ago he returned me to the exact spot he had taken my from in the forest. I spent three months in that forest, unwilling to journey back to town, back to people, back to the others and tell them I failed to bring her back.
In the end going back to civilization wasn't a choice I had the luxury of making. One day I just spotted a girl in the woods who couldn't have any more than six. It only took a quick look at her cloths and her face to put the pieces together. She was lost, probably had been for a few day, and scared out of her mind. I did the only thing I could I spoke to her, the first human I'd spoken to in a long time. She had no clue who I was or where the voice was coming from, for a while she actually thought she was hallucinating but she listened to me and I guided out. It took almost an hour but we ended up right as Cassie's family home, a place I to had once called home. Cassie's dad came running out of the house and hurried her inside, asking her if she was the girl everyone had been look for the last four days. I was actually kind of put off by that, I knew Cassie probably had a life all her own by now but I would have expected her to fly down to help for a man hunt in a forest she knew like the back of her hand.
For a second I considered flying back into the woods, but figured if I had come this far I should go a little further and at least see if the city had been rebuilt, and how the influx of aliens was treating earth.
Lets just say things were not quite as expected, there were no aliens, no flying cars, and no freaky buildings, no nothing that distinguished the city from how it looked when I left, granted there were a lot of new buildings, but they all looked like normal human designs. The more I looked the more things seemed oddly normal, almost as if there hadn't been a massive alien invasion, for a few moments I thought The Ellimist had sent no to another world, another reality, but remnants of the Yeerk pool were still there despite all the damage we'd done to it near the end of the war. For three days I was completely lost, I was home and yet I wasn't, the world was not the way it should be yet so many things were the same, Jake, Marco and Cassie were alive, but Tom and Rachel were dead and I was still presumed dead, yet the reasons behind so many event I had been a part of were completely different from what I remember.
Then she came into my life. I was asleep in a tree I'd used long ago during the war, when I sensed a presence. Even in the dark when my eyes were at their worst I could see her. She was about fourteen with features from both Hispanic and Asian ancestry, she was pretty in an everyday kind of way that didn't necessarily draw the eye but you did notice her. And she spoke to me, not at me, to me, and used my name. Then she did something I've only seen a few people do, she started to shimmer.
The girl was a Chee, more specifically she was Erek, after the war all the Chee had changed their forms to renew their secrets and avoid being used by human or any alien race that came to earth. The little girls story had gotten some air time and she'd mentioned the voice in her head, and that it knew it's way through the forest, the Chee had put two and two together, even though many thought the chance of it being me were slim.
Luckily Erek, pardon. Nikki as she now called herself, was able to fill in the blanks of what happened while I was gone. The whole thing started six hours after I left, one of the Andalite ships in orbit had a couple of hot shot scientists that had come to earth to do research on one of their pet projects, healing devices they called lurcsaels, humanity had another name for them, nanites.
Bio-mechanical machines all about the size of a germ that were designed to heal any Andalite injury. When it came to Andalites they worked perfectly, but they weren't sure how other species would react to them, hence why they were still experimental. Somehow they got out of their containment field and out of the ship, which just happened to be in Earths orbit. Within twenty four hours every human, earth based technology, and even a few animals was infected with nanites.
By the end of said twenty four hours every alien that had been on the planet had been placed on an orbiting ship, and were treated to the end result of the Andalites' handiwork. Twenty four hours to the second they'd been released the nanites kicked on and wiped the minds, hard drives, and everyone storage device of everything they'd infested on earth of very specific information. Within the span of a minute all traces of the Andalites, the Yeerks, the Hork-Bajir, and the war were gone with the wind. Everything we'd fought and died for had been erased, all the scarifies we'd made would never be known, everything had been torn away by an accident.
It turns out the Chee had two allies on that ship, a disguised Chee and Ax, between them they were able to discover the act that lead to the human contamination. A maintenance crew from two days earlier had been doing routine maintenance, something akin to a human screw got away from them and somehow worked itself into a power relay junction. That junction just happened to control the power to the containment field, and for a split second that screw caused the power to fail and the nanites to be released, and by the time the Andalites noticed what had happened it was to late.
Luckily the Chee were already on top of the situation before it got even further out of hand. Somehow they were able to tap into the nanite network and keep humanity calm after they all suffered the artificial amnesia. The Chee tried everything they could think of to undo the damage, they even went as far as creating fake memories of the war and feed them to the network in the hopes of replacing the lost knowledge, but the nanites destroyed the new information as they had the real memories. In the end the Chee had no choice but to create artificial memories of what had happened to earth during the war that didn't involved aliens in any way. Every battle, every death, every piece of property damage now had strictly human reasons behind it, and as a result, the five of us were now nothing more than normal kids. Well three of us were normal, I was still a legally dead, and Rachel and Tom were both remembered as hero's who they saved Rachel's sisters from their burning home, an event that cost both their lives.
And just like that Earth went on with everyone believing the new history, and all aliens were returned to the realm of fiction.
Except for the ones in orbit of course. The Andalites decided to turn their big mistake into a science experiment and record the long term effects of the nanites on humans, at least that was the official line according to Ax. The truth was they were watching us to see when we'd develop a technological level near their own. From what they had come to know about humans in that short breath of time was that humans were violent creatures that lashed out at anything different, that being the main reason they didn't try to reestablish contact after the infestation. They knew at some point we'd reach their level, and they wanted to be prepared for that moment, so they could turn us into allies rather than run the risk that humanity would become threats like the Yeerks. According to the Chee the ship in orbit isn't that large, and their aren't that many Andalites manning it, but it could do some serious damage to the planet if it wanted to. A year after they established the outpost the nanites on earth all died off and were absorbed into the human body and disposed off naturally.
As far as the Chee and Andalites were concerned the nanite contamination was an accident, I knew better, this was either the work of The Ellimist or The Crayak, or one of those working on their behalf. It's hard to explain unless you've been in their employ, but with enough time and information you can detect the subtle influence they had in a situation.
In any case I finally had an ally, and proof I wasn't insane, that I was home. A home I had no place in. I consider myself lucky Nikki offered me a home after that, otherwise I probably would have flown into a wolf pack and let them kill me, rather than let myself live in the lie my world had become.
The Chee had managed to rebuild their home a few days after the official end of the war, and it was so much like their last one, a completely normal human home except for the subterranean cavern that housed dogs of every size, shape, breed. By day I helped them take care of what remained of their creators, watched TV and occasionally left to go hunting. And by night I slept in the cavern, safe in the knowledge nothing would hurt me, at least not physically. My mind how ever was under constant attack, I suffering from a depression so deep I couldn't even guess where the bottom was. I was alone, I had one of a kind for years, but now I was truly alone, not even the Chee could change that. I tried to talk to them about what I had done, what I had seen, and they were willing to listen, but they never truly understood what I went through. They had seen more violence than any other creature than I could think of, but they didn't understand what it was like to kill someone, let alone hundreds of people. That is save Nikki, and by mutual consent we never spoke of the carnage she caused in a few moments when she had been freed of her nonviolent programming. I longed for someone to talk to, someone who understood the things I had done, and there wasn't a soul on earth that could do that now.
Like so many other great break throughs in life, my answers came in the form of television. I was just sitting up stairs flipping through channels absently, when I saw the ad for some guy that claimed he could talk to the dead. I had always laughed at those kinds of things, I knew aliens were a possibility, but ghosts were a joke. But that didn't stop the idea from getting rooted in my mind, no living person knew what I went through but there were a few dead people. For over a month I absently searched the internet finding one or two sites a day about people that could supposedly talk to the dead, looking for someone who could let me talk to Rachel, the only person who understood what I had experienced, and in the end everyone of them seemed like a scam artist.
Not surprisingly Nikki found out, trying to keep anything form the Chee is hard under normal circumstances, when you live under their roof it's nearly impossible. Just about the time I was ready to give up she came up with half a dozen legitimate organizations and people involved with ghosts, that be able to give me what I wanted.
I doubt she believed in them herself, but all she knew is that it was pulling me out of my depression and keeping me away from suicide, and that was good enough for her. If she was human she might have seen my obsession with death wasn't a good thing, especially for a predator. After a few days of deliberating I hit the open sky, determined to either find Rachel or a reason to keep going with my life. Nikki stayed on as my navigator in a way, she stayed with the other Chee, but she kept in contact with me through e-mails. Luckily getting to a computer wasn't hard for me, I just had to wait for someone to leave their home, slip in and check, not exactly honest, but it's not like a stole anything.
It took a week to get to the first target on the list, they were by no means the top, but I wanted something easy and didn't see a reason to get my hopes dashed from the get go if this turned out to be a wild goose chase. If nothing else I think the actual act of flying there under my own power did more good for my spirit than actually finding them. Yep, 'Fraidy Cat was probably no the best place to start, but at least they answered a few thing for me.
There actually were ghosts in the world, real dead ghosts.
The two humans of the team seemed to work with native legends and folk cures to deal with ghost, a far cry from what I was expecting but it worked. I watched them for over a month and learned a lot, unfortunately one of those things wasn't how to get in contact with Rachel. Although I did learn traveling all of the country fighting ghosts with a white tiger will get you in a lot of trouble with animal rights groups, that and there's something elegant about walking around in the body of a white tiger.
I eventually moved on to the Extreme Ghost Chasers, a duo more obsessed with adrenaline than the ghosts. Not to say they weren't skilled, they were, but all they knew how to do was stop ghosts, they had no clue where they came from, or what made them tick.
After that fiasco I decide to skip the others and go straight to the top of the food chain. The Men in White were the elite ghost hunters of the US government. I was actually surprised when I found that out, I never would have thought the government would fund something like that. I was actually disappointed when I got there, I was expecting getting in to be a challenge, if anything it was child's play, insect morph to get into the vent back to hawk, then to mouse to explore. Oh they had two or three little security measures inside the vents, but they completely ignored me. If I was a ghost or a normal human this place might have been impossible to break into but for an animorph it was a snap. Like the Ghost chasers they were a bit of a dead end, they knew how to stop ghosts, but they didn't have much of a clue when it came to anything else. Never the less I spent about a month running through the maze they called a base in the hope of finding something that would let me contact Rachel. A goal that eventually became clear was impossible with this group.
But they did end up giving me one useful piece of information, the next place I should look. I ended up getting a front row seat to a live broad cast of a massive ghost attack. I watched the entire town be seemingly sucked into the ghost world, and watched as the local ghost hunters somehow managed to get everyone back in one piece. I knew it was a leap of faith, but if they could get out, I hoped they knew of a way to get in.
Which was how I found myself heading to Amity Park.
And that is where I end it, yes some if not all the main DP characters will be in the next chapter.
And if you couldn't tell part of the last book in the Animorph series is null and void by this story.
Anyway enjoy, I'll get the next chapter up as soon as possible, please R&R
PS, yes I know spelling and grammar aren't my strong points