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Summary: Apparently, Sunnydale falling into a giant crater was only the second biggest news story in California that day.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Childrens/Teen > AnimorphsCaminusFR1835,0333162,6674 Jun 096 Jun 09No

Chapter Two

Disclaimer: Animorphs, by Applegate; Buffy, by Whedon. For more than four words, see Chapter 1.


{That’s a really big hole.}

It was. Nobody argued with me on that. What had presumably once been the town of Sunnydale was now, in fact, a really big hole. This was definitely the hole we were here to see. No other giant holes around.

{This would have had to be an immense Yeerk Pool. It is much larger than the one we destroyed a couple Earth days ago.}

{I think we can all see that Ax. I think if you took a Great Dane and a Chihuahua and compared them we would all be able to tell the difference. I don’t think we need to have taken classes in Quantum Physics to understand that this is a very big hole. Incidentally, they’re days. Not “Earth days”, just days, since you’re still on Earth.}

So we’d saved the world yesterday. Four kids, an Andalite, and a hawk had somehow managed to flummox an entire alien invasion force. Did we get to keep the cool spaceships? No, of course not, because the Andalite fleet showed up just in the nick of time to steal all the credit. Did they believe we were in complete control of both the Pool Ship and the Blade Ship? Not until we let them onboard. And you know what they say about letting aliens onto your spaceship: you’ll never get rid of them after that. I mean, in hindsight, we had a pretty unlikely story. And Rachel may have been in sort of a sticky situation on the locked down way-more-than-half destroyed bridge of the Blade Ship, but hey, she’d have figured something out. I mean, she was Rachel. And not just Rachel. Rachel with magical superpowers.

{Wow. I’m a bald eagle and I’m more agile in the air than Jake. This is awesome. And I’m not even tired. I could like, fly in the bald eagle Olympics or something. Cassie, do they have animal Olympics?} My osprey brain was sort of disturbed by Rachel’s aerial antics. Jake was a peregrine falcon. They were the agile little fighter jets of the bird world. It knew, deep inside, that something as big as the eagle should not fly that well. It was just the way the Animal Kingdom worked. Tell that to Rachel.

{I’m pretty sure you’d be disqualified. I’m pretty sure if there was some sort of animal Olympics, you would need to be an actual animal to get in. And I’m pretty sure that mysterious magical powers wouldn’t be allowed either. Sorry to burst your bubble Rachel.}

{I’m sure they would make a special exception for you Rachel. If your new life ambition is to win the Bald Eagle Olympics, you have my complete support.} Tobias and Rachel had been way more buddy-buddy than usual all day. If a Red Tailed Hawk and a Bald Eagle could be making out in midair, they probably would be. I’m even not completely convinced such an acrobatic stunt was even beyond the ability of Rachel’s Super-Eagle morph.

{You know, we are here for a reason people. I mean, if this was a Yeerk Pool, that means we probably have an unidentified Kandrona lurking around here somewhere. That would sort of suck.} Jake was a little bit haggard around the edges today. That would mean he was doing about a million times better than he had been in a long time.

So anyways, spaceships aside, we had just saved the world. We met the President yesterday. We had a giant press conference on the White House lawn, in front of an Andalite Tail-Fighter that had landed us there. I’d met Xena, Warrior Princess, and watched her battle with Rachel. Actually, I hadn’t done that last part yet, but I figured we could probably arrange it sooner or later. To say we were extremely famous and well liked would be a massive understatement.

So the next day, as I wake up in my hotel room bigger than my old house, what’s going on? Jake is on the phone. What’s happening an hour later? We’re all talking to the President’s Chief of Staff. Apparently there was another, unaccounted for, massive sinkhole that had fallen in under a California town. This was as opposed to the massive, but completely accounted for, sinkhole under my hometown. Apparently people were thinking this might be a big deal, and who better to check it out than the people with like, more than absolutely zero experience in dealing with this stuff? I got the impression that the Andalites had offered to handle it, but the US government wasn’t exactly feeling very trusting of random aliens right now.

So that’s why we were flying around over the giant hole in bird morph while Rachel was busy figuring out how to apply to the Eagle Olympics. But unlike several thousand similar situations in the past few years, we weren’t alone. There were zillions of cops and FBI agents and army guys milling around in the vicinity, inspecting the great big hole. There were tanks and squad cars and helicopters, and even an Andalite Tail-Fighter hovering over the area. And there we were, flying around as birds, because Jake thought that we should be handling this like any other mission and check the area out in bird morph first. It was extremely strange how all the helicopters were basically falling all over themselves to get out of our way as we patrolled around looking for anything strange. Aside from, you know, the big giant hole.

There had been surprisingly little attention given to Rachel getting random Super Strength completely out of nowhere. I mean, a lot of stuff had been happening, but still. I think most of the government officials were so overwhelmed by the parts of the story we seemed to actually understand that they were just going to let that part slide for now. The Andalites seemed to not completely believe it, though they had been giving Rachel some very weird four eyed looks as they escorted her off the captured Blade Ship.

As for the Animorphs, none of us had a clue. Well, maybe Ax had a clue, since we hadn’t seen him again in person until the Tail-Fighter had dropped him off a couple minutes ago, but I doubted it. Jake thought it might have been the Ellimist, but both Cassie and Tobias disagreed. Random powers weren’t his MO. I mean, he had given Tobias back the morphing power, but that was a power Tobias had already had before. Also, as ironic as it was, the Ellimist was usually a bit more obvious in his dealings. When he was coming to town a lot of little strange things happened leading up to the big strange thing, and we hadn’t seen hide nor hair nor example of godlike abilities from the guy in quite some time. I figured Rachel had secretly had superpowers the whole time and had just been keeping them on the down-low, but the rest of the Animorphs weren’t convinced.

{So how do you think a sleepy town like this had a Death Rate worse than Baltimore?} I said. {And how many people do you think the Yeerks needed to infest to keep it quiet?} On the plane ride to California, we’d been given some rather sparse briefing packets on Sunnydale.

{Maybe this is where the Yeerks got all the human hosts to run their Pool Ship from. Someone gets infested, “dies”, and bam, off the grid.} Tobias said.

{But there was no Sharing here, or any similar organization that they could find out about. Too bad the town’s too wrecked to really investigate if there are actually any bodies.} Jake said.

I cut in. {Plus, did you see some of those statistics? Death by barbecue fork in the top five? I just don’t think the Yeerks are that inventive guys.}

{Something’s wrong here. This place doesn’t feel right to the osprey for some reason.} Cassie said.

{She’s right. And I know what it is. No mice.}

{Tobias, I don’t think you need to be worried about a meal right now. You could probably glide over to one of those secret service agents, ask for a bucket of mice, and have it delivered inside ten minutes.}

{A bucket of mice Marco? Where is one of them going to just find a bucket of mice in the middle of the desert?} Like I said, Jake was sounding much, much better these days. I hadn’t gotten into one of these arguments with him in weeks.

{Clearly they’re prepared for every eventuality. It’s the secret service. I bet there’s a whole chapter in the handbook for dealing with Hawk People and having buckets of mice ready at the crime scene.}

{Seriously guys, this is strange. No mice. No animals at all. We’re the only birds here. Even the surrounding desert is more barren than it should be. Everything just left.} Tobias sounded pretty weirded out.

I examined the great big hole with my osprey vision. Birds of prey can see very, very well. I could read the license plate on the car half sticking up out of the destroyed remains of what looked to be a gas station. I could see the Doublemeat Palace wrapper blowing around in the breeze near the edge of the pit. I couldn’t see any mice. I didn’t see any animals at all. {Maybe the Yeerks went on an animal killing spree trying to ferret us out and nothing’s left.}

{No way the Yeerks could get all the rats in the town along with everything in the surrounding desert.} Jake said. {If they could do that, they would have done it to us already. And we weren’t even here. We had no idea that there was already a second, bigger Yeerk Pool in California.}

{I am still uncertain if this was a Yeerk Pool, Prince Jake. The structure of the cave in is different from what we saw at the other Pool. Yeerks are not a creative people and it is unlikely they would have built two pools on the same planet in a substantially different way.}

{Ax, you don’t need to call me Prince anymore. You’re a Prince yourself now. Andalite Princes don’t run around calling each other Prince all the time do they?} Ax had been made a Prince while he was away for the night. It made me wonder if they were going to make Jake into a General or something.

{You will always be my Prince, Prince Jake.}

{What else could this be besides a Yeerk Pool? I don’t think that random California towns just decide to dig out giant caverns underground on a whim. I mean, unless the mayor gets really drunk.} I was reaching pretty far here, but surprisingly close to the truth.

{I think… I have a feeling about this, guys. I don’t think this is the Yeerks.}

{You have a feeling? Is this another new superpower? What next, X-Ray vision? Or are you using X-Ray vision already to scope out the great big hole?}

{I don’t have X-Ray vision, Marco. But I had some dreams last night. This sort of reminds me of them.}

{I was under the impression you didn’t get very much sleep last night, Rachel.} We’d originally had two rooms at the hotel. Rachel had told them in her Rachel-getting-what-she-wants voice that they would need a third.

Rachel ignored my pithy comment. {I saw some weird stuff. Even for us. A big cave, girls fighting with stakes and swords and stuff.}

{So you’re saying the death rate was due to a bunch of girls getting medieval on the townsfolk?} I replied. {That makes about as much sense as anything else in our lives.}

{I’m not sure. I think the girls were the good guys. They were fighting these monster things.}

{Like, alien monster things?}

{Not really. More like Neanderthals with big teeth.}

Great. Neanderthals with big teeth. This was going to be a wonderful day.
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