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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 Three

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


So back in the old days, long before this point you would have been saying: “Wait! Time Out. Aliens? People turning into animals? The government sending a bunch of kids to check out a town that fell into a massive sinkhole under highly mysterious circumstances?” Surprisingly, it’s not so unbelievable anymore.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know the score. For years, a sleepy California town had been ground zero for an alien invasion. But these aliens weren’t like the Daleks or the Klingons or anything; they were far more subtle than that. A Yeerk is an unassuming grey slug small enough to fit in a big pocket. Doesn’t seem very threatening right? Well, if you’ve been watching CNN lately, you know that isn’t true. Yeerks are powerless in their natural state, but they have an insidious ability. A Yeerk can crawl into your ear canal, wrap itself around your brain, and from that point on it controls your every move and action. They can read all your memories like an open book too, so nobody you know will ever be able to tell the difference.

Luckily, they have a weakness. Yeerks need to absorb Kandrona radiation once every three days or die. This is where the Yeerk pool comes in, since the Yeerks can only do this when outside of somebody’s brain. The Yeerk’s pals hold you down while the Yeerk crawls out of your head to chill in the sludgy, disgusting pool for a while, and you get locked in a cage. When the Yeerk is all fat and happy, you get dragged back to the pool to get reinfested, ready to be a useful slave for another three days.

So comes the story of my random bunch of misfits who, thanks to alien technology, turned into animals and caused lots of chaos and annoyingly foiled the Yeerks at every turn. Eventually the Yeerks got fed up enough to bring the War into the open, and stuff got pretty real for a little while. Fighter Jets, news reports, the whole nine yards. At the end of the day, we blew up the Yeerk pool buried underneath the town and collapsed it, and then tricked our way onto their mother ship and took it over with a little help from some random alien friends. We had to cross a few lines to do it, and a lot of good people ended up dead. Rachel was almost one of those people but for the whole spontaneous Xenaification.

And so we return to our tale of the second giant hole in the ground we’d been involved with in the past week. Jake had Tobias stay in the sky to keep an eye out for random catastrophes, and the rest of us spiraled down into the crater to get a closer look at the situation. The floor of the crater that had once been Sunnydale was a real mess. There was wreckage from just about everything mixed up with a whole bunch of rocks and upturned dirt. Random chunks of asphalt from destroyed streets were scattered about chunks of wood and glass and brick that had once been houses. All in all, it was one of the more destroyed looking places I’d seen in a while, and that’s saying a lot.

We landed and demorphed. All the news stories about the plucky animal morphing heroes who defeated the alien invasion are suspiciously bereft of any footage of actual morphing. The reason probably has to do with it being one of the grossest things you’ll ever see. It isn’t some beautiful process when a bird changes into a person. You can get giant chicken legs, or beaks with teeth, or even weirder things.

“Alright guys, we’re going to have a good look around. Cassie, go wolf and see if you can pick up anything with your nose. Marco, your gorilla will probably be pretty good in this terrain and useful for moving debris around. Rachel -”

“I don’t think I should morph for this one Jake. The elephant is gonna have trouble in here and the grizzly can’t see.”

“Oh… Right.” Jake paused for a second. “Ax, I want those four eyes on the lookout.” Stripes started appearing on Jake’s face as he started morphing his tiger, and Ax started sweeping the area with his stalk eyes.

Andalites are pretty strange creatures, mostly because their bodies are practically Swiss army knives of useful stuff. They look a bit like a cross between a centaur and a scorpion, covered in blue fur. Their tails are fairly long and thin, with a very sharp, impossibly fast, extremely deadly blade on the end. They lack mouths and have breathing slits on their face instead. That’s just fine though, because they eat through their hooves and talk telepathically, the same way we do while in morph. Lastly, they have four eyes, two vaguely human ones and another two on stalks on top of their heads. It is very difficult to sneak up on an Andalite.

The gorilla was a pretty normal morph as these things go. Dark coarse fur sprouted out all over my body, and then I bulked up, and up, and up in a fairly symmetrical manner. That changed a bit when the gorilla’s instincts finally surfaced. It wasn’t a happy gorilla.

See, turning into animals isn’t as easy as you’d think. Along with the body, you get the instincts. Most big predatory type animals are usually pretty calm and easy to keep under control. On the other end of the spectrum, roaches and rodents are little hyperactive bundles of fear. Experience helps with keeping a morph under control, but some are definitely harder than others. The gorilla was usually pretty sedate. Not today. It was antsy. It didn’t quite know why, but it hated this place. With our luck, I sort of doubted it was just because of all the wreckage and destruction littered about.

{The tiger thinks something’s wrong here. There’s this weird smell, I don’t remember -} For the second time in two minutes, Jake got cut off.

Cassie let out a howl and I almost jumped into the nearby crazily slanted tree. She darted her head around in a panic and then took off at full wolf speed for the cliff marking the edge of the crater.

{Cassie, I believe there is a smell in the vicinity that is for some reason troubling to animal morphs. I advise you to remain calm.} Cassie was not swayed by Ax’s measured advice.

{What the hell’s going on down there? Did Cassie lose control of the wolf somehow?}

{CASSIE! Chill out. You’ve morphed that wolf a thousand times, you can rein it in. It’s fine Cassie, nothing’s out here. You’re safe.} Jake was still looking pretty agitated in his tiger morph.

Hearing Jake, Cassie stopped. {Sorry guys. This is really intense. The wolf is totally out of its mind right now, it’s in full on squirrel-sized panic. It sort of ambushed me, I don’t know what could make the wolf this afraid.}

{Rachel, do you have any other interesting tidbits for us? Did you have any dreams about panicked wolves?} I said.

“I feel like something used to be here. Something big.” Rachel looked a little confused. She walked over to the remains of a fence and started idly playing with a post.

{Cassie, can you follow the scent of whatever’s freaking the wolf out so much? I can’t really localize it with the tiger, I can just tell something’s wrong.} Jake said.

{It’s sort of everywhere.} Cassie sniffed around a bit. {I think it’s a little stronger this way.}

{You know guys, I just thought of something pretty obvious.} Tobias said from above. {If this was a Yeerk pool, where’s the pool? When we blew the first one up there was a giant puddle of sludge lingering at the bottom of the crater. For all we know, it’s still there. There’s no sludge. Not even a little bit.}

{It is possible that the collapse occurred in such a way that this pool was buried completely under the earth and rocks. Perhaps this pool was meant to be a larger complex and built deeper down.} Ax said.

“Ax, first you think it couldn’t be a pool because it looks different. Now you think that maybe it really was a different type of pool. What’s going on?” Rachel said.

{I am unsure. It is a very unlikely coincidence that such a large crater formed so nearby the principle site of the Yeerk invasion so quickly after it was defeated. At the same time, there are obviously many inconsistencies.}

Jake asked {Cassie, you can’t pick up any of that weird Yeerk pool odor can you?}

{This freaky smell is pretty much blocking out everything else. If it’s there, I’m not smelling it.}

We followed Cassie over towards one edge of the crater. When we reached a pile of destroyed street pavement and cars, she stopped. {I think there’s something behind this that’s still here. The scent is fresher. Not that this smell could ever really be called fresh.}

{Let’s try to clear some of this out of the way. Marco, you try to move some of the bigger pieces and shove some cars off to the side.} Jake started to dig through the junk with his Siberian Tiger. It was an oddly comical image.

I grabbed the back of an upside down jeep and started to roll it upright. With all the rocks and asphalt scattered around, it wasn’t the easiest task in the world even for a gorilla.

“Marco, move over and let me get a grip on this.” Rachel started pushing next to me and immediately we were able to roll over the jeep and push it out of the way. Rachel might be physically stronger than my gorilla morph. I had a bizarre urge to challenge her to an arm wrestling contest.

After twenty minutes of work, something resembling a tunnel was exposed on the rising edge of the crater. {Yeah, whatever it is, it’s definitely from in here guys.}

“Alright, what are we waiting for? We need to check it out!” Rachel was juggling her fence post again.

I felt the need to chime in {Guys, we just saved the world yesterday. Don’t you think investigating a terrifying smell buried in an underground tunnel inside a mysterious crater that came from the destruction of yet another California town might be a little-}

{Insane?} Jake said dryly.

{But there are secret agents here and everything! And army guys! Couldn’t we send them in to do it?}

“Stop being a wuss Marco. We’re here because they’d have no idea what they were dealing with. Let’s do it.” Let’s do it. The ultimate trump card in Rachel’s deck. I was powerless.

{And of course we know what we’re dealing with. Probably Yeerk infested Neanderthals with magical powers and big teeth. Sounds like a blast.}

The End?

You have reached the end of "The Slayer" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 6 Jun 09.

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