The Garatron Chronicles

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Dr Sario
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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Dr Sario » Fri May 15, 2009 10:34 am

I am addicted. MORE!
"He who fights monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster."
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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Luna May » Sun May 17, 2009 6:27 am

The sheer... perfection... in the way the chars. express themselves, it just seems so REAL! Undoubtedly the best Andalite fic I have ever had the luck to lay my eyes on.
As Spencer nicely phrased it,
spencer1519 wrote:Epic story is truly epic. This is incredibly well written. I'm pretty sure I have officially become addicted to this story.

*wants more*
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*hi fives Blu*

Isn't quite sure how I feel about anything at the moment.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Qoheleth » Sat Jun 27, 2009 1:32 pm

Chapter 4

I did not see Kirinar again until late that evening, when Shisken and Berel brought her to the grassy ridge near the center of the Selicar Refuge. This was a special place, set aside for the four of us who had been Selicarites the longest – and now, it seemed, for Kirinar. Whether it was because of her age, or because her Green-Andalite lineage set her apart from the others, or simply because Shisken had found a kindred spirit in her, I did not know; but, whatever the reason, it was plain that the four Elders of Selicar had that afternoon become five.

I don't think any of us begrudged Kirinar this privilege. Certainly Shisken did not; even I, the instant I saw them together, could see that Kirinar had become dear to her in those few hours. Berel, too, seemed to find satisfaction in her company; perhaps the gentleness that was in her (alongside the Green-Andalite queenliness) accorded well with his own quiet and retiring nature. Even Limilt, who was usually a jealous guardian of his own prerogatives, accepted her presence without question – which was natural, when I thought about it. He was a child of the artistic caste, and artists and poets had always romanticized the Green Andalites; Kirinar, to him, was the Selicar's sole representative of the most ancient and mystical of peoples, and as such had every right to share our privileges.

As for myself, I minded perhaps less than anyone. There had, I felt, been four of us for too long; we were all starting to wear on one another. New blood, that was what we needed. Besides, with Kirinar dwelling on the ridge, I would have that much more of an opportunity to get to know her – and, perhaps, to find out why she was so opposed to speaking of the circumstances that brought her to the Refuge.


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This latter opportunity, in fact, occurred far sooner than I had expected. At around midnight that night, I found myself suddenly awake and restless (as those of our breed are wont to do), and I left the scoop and wandered out into the small valley that lay at the foot of the ridge. It was a dark night – only the smallest two of the Andalite homeworld's four moons were visible – and, as a result, I didn't see Kirinar standing motionless in the field until my right foreleg had collided with her tail.

We yelped simultaneously, then began frantically apologizing to each other, and finally ended up laughing helplessly. <Oh, dear,> said Kirinar, shaking her head. <Here they told me that they were sending me to this place of solitude and isolation, and I find I can't even trace the Orniya Quest without someone tumbling over me.>

<The Orniya Quest?> I said. <What's that?>

<Oh, just something that my father once showed me,> said Kirinar. <The idea is that you go out on a two-moon night and pick out the first star you see: that represents King Orniya on the horn of the mountain. Then you recite the first stanza of the Questing Song, and with every word you pick a new star next to the one you just had; if you can make it back to your original star on the very last word, you've brought Orniya back to the mountaintop, and you can go on to the next...> She trailed off, and laughed at my expression. <You haven't a notion what I'm talking about, have you?>

<Not really,> I confessed. <It sounds quite complicated, though. Does everyone on the Southernmost Island occupy himself this way?>

<Oh, no,> said Kirinar. <Only a few members of the very oldest families, the ones from which elders are drawn. You see, it reinforces two skills that every good elder needs: the reciting helps you to memorize the historic epics, and the necessity of always coming back to your original star teaches you to distinguish between things that appear alike.>

I wondered how many Blue Andalites would think of those two things when asked what qualities were most important in a High-Council member. <So was that why your father taught it to you?> I said. <So that you could be an elder yourself, someday?>

Kirinar stared at me strangely for a moment without answering; then, to my utter astonishment, she turned violently away from me, covered her face with her hands, and began sobbing piteously.

At first, I was afraid I had insulted her. I hadn't realized, until I had actually asked the question, how much it sounded like a particularly tasteless example of Limilt's humor – for I had noticed that Limilt sometimes used his technique of deliberate absurdity not to gloss over, but to accentuate, a personal deficiency. Mockery, he called it.

I wanted to explain to Kirinar that I hadn't been mocking her at all – that I had genuinely thought, for a moment, that her fellow Green Andalites might have considered elevating her to a position of authority, her deformity notwithstanding – that there was something about her that had made me forget what she and I both were. I wanted to explain all this to her, but I couldn't find the words – so, instead, I reached forward awkwardly and placed my hand over her single vestigial eyestalk.

It was a feeble gesture, but it was the best that I could think of. I knew that, when I was feeling miserable and wanted to shut out the world, it always annoyed me that the eye in my deformed stalk wouldn't close, but kept sending its fuzzy, black-and-white images to my brain. Perhaps Kirinar was feeling the same way right now; if so, she might appreciate my action.

And I believe that she did: when she had emptied herself of tears and turned back to face me, there was an expression in her glistening golden eyes that suggested gratitude. All that she said, however, was, <Forgive me, Garatron-Sitek-Shaveer. I had not realized, until you spoke, just how much my exile from the People had distressed me.>

I cocked my head. <Exile?> I repeated. <How are you in exile? You have committed no crime...>

<It would seem that I have,> said Kirinar, her voice bitter in my mind. <It would seem that my mere existence is a crime so far as the Mainland is concerned.>

I must have looked utterly baffled, for she sighed and stroked her ishimir with her right forefinger. <But perhaps I should not be speaking this way to you,> she said. <You are happy in the Selicar; Shisken told me so this afternoon, and I have seen as much for myself since then. It is not my business to infect you with my own dissatisfactions...>

<To the contrary, Kirinar,> I said hastily. <Whatever you wish to say, I wish to hear. It would give me great unhappiness to think that some aspect of the Selicar was distressing one of its residents for reasons of which I knew nothing.>

Kirinar laughed as though I had said something amusing. <"Some aspect of the Selicar",> she repeated. <Your innocence is the stuff of legend, Garatron-Sitek-Shaveer.>

Since I had no idea what she meant by this, I did not reply, but maintained an expectant silence. After a moment or two, she sighed and lashed her tail wearily. <Oh, very well,> she said. <Hear the story, for all the good it may do you.>

She took a few steps backward, folded her hands, and began to speak in a different, older-sounding voice, as though she were reciting an ancient poem. <There are many lands in this world, and many folk dwell therein,> she said. <Among one such people, who live upon a vast island near to the southern pole of the world, there was born a female child, the daughter of a great elder.>

This sudden snatch of saga bewildered me, and I am afraid that I allowed my bewilderment to turn to peevishness. <What are you doing?> I said. <Do you suppose I wish to hear of one of your Green-Andalite culture heroines? Why do you not tell me your own story?>

Kirinar seemed not to hear me. <This child was not as other children,> she said, <for there was a malign influence in her body that had misshapen her head and limbs. But the people of that island was a wise and understanding people, which knew that the shape of the body is of little importance next to the shape of the soul – and the sages of the island had assured the child's parents that her soul was even as their own. Thus it came about that, as the child grew, her mother cared for her as for a child properly grown, and her father trained her without hesitation in all the things that befitted an elder's daughter.>

I realized what she was doing, and my hooves tingled with shame. Why had I been such a boor? Surely, it would have done me no harm to let her tell her story in her own way – though it puzzled me that she should wish to tell it as though it were one of the epics of her people. (I had not yet learned that some stories are too painful to tell in the first person.)

<For nine years,> said Kirinar, <the child grew and throve, and knew all the joys and sorrows that childhood knows. But a greater sorrow awaited her – for there are indeed many lands in this world, and not all are as wise as the land of this child's birth.>

She was silent for a moment, then continued with a visible effort. <In the child's ninth year,> she said, <a ship came to the island from the lands across the sea, bearing with it a great prince of those lands. This prince was a servant of his nation's council of rulers, who had appointed him to bring the island people into conformity with their laws.>

<This would be the resident governor?> I said. <The one who gave you your secondary and tertiary names?>

Once again, Kirinar ignored me, but she gave me no reason to doubt my interpretation. <Most of these laws were just and ordinate,> she said, <as is the case with most laws that are not laid down by wicked men. Even those that suppressed ancient traditions were, for the most part, concerned with minor and secondary matters, and the people of the island endured them with patient tolerance. There was one law, however, about which they could not be so sanguine – for there were in those foreign lands children whose bodies had been malformed by the same malign influence that had affected the nine-year-old elder's daughter, and the rulers had commanded that such children should be sent to a lonely place in the far north, lest others be dismayed at the sight of them.

<The elder and his wife were astonished. They had spent many years in the lands across the sea, and they knew the people of those lands to be a good and noble race; surely they could not be so cruel as to separate a child from her family and her home, simply because her body was less comely than those of her peers? But when they spoke to the prince who represented the rulers, they were informed that that was precisely what the law required – and, furthermore, that dire consequences would follow if they did not obey.

<Late that night, under the light of three moons, the child's father and his fellow elders convened to discuss the matter. They were agreed that they could not sacrifice a daughter of the island race to the whims of barbarians; they also agreed that they were not strong enough to resist them by force of tail. They concluded that the only recourse was for the child and her mother to flee to the great caves on the southern side of the island: no-one but a native islander could follow after them, and there was a subterranean pool at the center of the caves where enough rock-grass grew to keep them alive for perhaps five months. In the meantime, the elders would foment unrest among the people of the island, in an effort to discredit the prince; if fortune favored, the foreign rulers would take him away and replace him with another representative, who might look more leniently on a parent's love for a deformed child.

<All the arrangements were made, and, when the sun went down on the following day, the child and her mother fled into the forests. For five hours they ran through brush and briar, allowing neither their weariness nor their fear to sap their strength, and, as the fifth planet rose to the top of the celestial globe, they arrived at the mouth of the principal cave.

<But a cruel surprise awaited them there, for a certain elder, a rival of the child's father, had seen in the affair of the child a means of deposing his hated adversary, and had betrayed them to the prince in exchange for official favor and protection. When the child and her mother arrived at the cave mouth, therefore, they were met by a phalanx of foreign warriors, who subdued them and took them to the prince; the prince informed the child's mother that she would stand trial with her husband for rebellion against the foreign government, and ordered that the child be sent to the northern land of isolation as soon as the sun rose.

<And so now the child dwells alone in the Selicar Refuge, ten thousand miles from the land of her birth, and longs for parents who may no longer be alive, for hills and valleys she will never see again, and for a way of life that she fears may be perishing from the earth.>


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When Kirinar had finished her story, I could not immediately respond. In somewhat less than fifteen minutes, this young Green-Andalite female had taken everything I had thought I knew and turned it upside down – had made me see the Refuge in which all my happiest years had been spent as a wall-less prison, and the political achievement of which my grandfather had always been proudest as an act of unconscionable tyranny.

<Is... is this story true?> I said at last.

A faint smile twinkled in Kirinar's eyes. <All stories are true, Garatron-Sitek-Shaveer,> she said. <This one even happened.>

<We must do something,> I said. <So great an injustice cannot go unrepaired; we must...>

Kirinar shook her head. <No, Garatron-Sitek-Shaveer,> she said, <there is no reparation for me. Your High Council has decreed that this is my fate, and the wishes of a few dozen vecols – as I believe the word is – will not make them change their decree.>

<But the wishes of Nimavar-Povis-Alkati will,> I said earnestly. <He often comes to the Selicar to learn how we are faring, and he is bound by the ties of blood to attend to my concerns. If I tell him your story, and ask him to address your plight at the next meeting of the Council...>

Kirinar sighed. <Garatron, you do not understand,> she said. <I know of your grandfather; the Selicar Refuge is his pride and joy, and he has no love for my people and our ways. You will not be able to persuade him to exalt the latter at the expense of the former.>

<You cannot know that, Kirinar,> I said. <You may know of my grandfather, but you do not know him. However proud and insular he may be, he is not deaf to the voice of justice – nor to that of young females in distress.>

I was unsure why I had added that last statement. To be sure, my grandfather was generally gallant towards young females (as most male Andalites are who have had a daughter and no sons), but I felt sure that he would have been no less aggrieved at the abduction of a young male. The fact that Kirinar was female, therefore, had no real relevance to the discussion – yet, somehow, I had felt compelled to mention it.

Kirinar lowered her main eyes and stroked her ishimir again. <I see that this is quite important to you,> she said in a strange tone. <Very well, then. The next time you see your grandfather, make your petition on my behalf – but be assured that I will think no less of you if you fail.>

And she turned back toward the ridge and galloped away into the darkness of the two-moon night, leaving me to wonder what she had meant by her parting words.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by BeyondtheEllimist » Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:37 am

Good so far. Keep it up!!!
There is much that is beyond the Ellimist . . . he just won't admit it.
Check out my fanfic series, Novamorphs. It has the Animorphs' children fighting a second Yeerk invasion. First book: The Infestation.Second book: The Search.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by OrcaMorph » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:47 pm

Oh, wow. I just read through all three pages of this thread and. . .I am blown away. This story is amazing, and I can't wait for more.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Qoheleth » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:30 am

Chapter 5

It was perhaps two weeks after this that my grandfather came to the Selicar Refuge on one of his regular visits. This had been a stipulation of several of our parents (Shisken's, for one) before they would entrust their children to the Refuge: they disliked the notion of children growing up without any adult contact, and they had demanded that some mature Andalite be placed in the Refuge to instruct us and watch over us.

Of course, having a healthy Andalite reside permanently in the Selicar would have defeated the whole purpose of the Refuge, but Grandfather had tried to address the parents' concerns nonetheless: he had arranged for an elderly vecol, an albino male with a congenital lameness in his right forehoof, to dwell in a small scoop near the eastern edge of the Refuge, and he had agreed to make a special trip to the Refuge himself every time the second moon of the Andalite homeworld completed its cycle of phases. The idea, I believe, was that the albino vecol (whose name I have forgotten) would serve as a quasi-parental figure to us children of the Selicar, and that Grandfather himself would solve any disputes between us that the albino was unable to handle alone.

Needless to say, this did not work out as planned. In practice, nearly all of the disputes between Selicarites were resolved by appealing to me (or, if I was otherwise occupied, to Limilt, Shisken, or Berel), and, as for the albino becoming a surrogate father, I have never met anyone less qualified or likely to do so. He himself, of course, had been isolated since birth in accordance with Andalite custom, and had never felt the sanitizing influence of a herd; as a result, his mental stability had been dangerously undermined, so that one sometimes got the impression, when speaking to him, of a mind held together by thin threads of chikinee fiber. He never raised his tail to us in discipline; indeed, I rather got the impression that he was afraid of us, particularly after he learned how much swifter we were than he. (Not, of course, that we were as swift then as we later became, but the slowest of us could easily outrun a hobbling old Andalite even then.) We, in our turn, treated him with sublime contempt, frequently forgetting that he existed for weeks on end – and, as for Grandfather, we did value his visits, but not for the reason he intended. To us, Nimavar-Povis-Alkati was like an ambassador from another world, and we treasured his tales of the world beyond the Refuge the way we might now treasure a visit from a Skrit Na freighter.

On the morning in question, however, my interest in meeting with Grandfather was unconnected to any interest in the folkways of the Broad Southern Valley. Despite Kirinar's doubts, I still believed that my grandfather would be unable to resist my appeal – that no-one, not even a High Andalite Council member, could be so blind to the demands of justice as to condemn a young female to exile for a fault in no way hers. (It will be remembered that I was very young.)

Grandfather lowered his eyestalks to me as I came up to him. < Gree - tings, Gar - a - tron, > he said. < You have grown much since I saw you last. >

<I have,> I said. <And I have learned much, as well.>

< Have you, now? > said Grandfather, indulgently. < And what is it that you have learned? >

<I have learned that scientists in the Eastern Woodlands have developed a radical new medium of information storage,> I said. <I have learned that tracing patterns in the stars can inculcate discernment in one who aspires to wield authority. And I have learned that the Selicar Refuge is not a proper home for everyone.>

Grandfather's eyes abruptly left mine, and fixed themselves on a point on the far horizon. < Yes, I have al - so heard of Scho - lar Ru - mil's in - ven - tion, > he said. < The Coun - cil has al - rea - dy gran - ted her the funds to con - struct some three hun - dred of her "books". >

<Grandfather,> I said, <there is a young female who came to the Refuge a fortnight ago...>

< Yes, Gar - a - tron, I know, > said my grandfather sternly. < I have dis - cussed the plight of Kir - i - nar - Ol - mit - Za - pal - resh with both Go - ver - nor Hai - thul and Coun - cil Head Ur - li - po. None of us are pleased with it, but there is, un - der the cir - cum - stan - ces, no al - ter - na - tive. >

<No alternative?> I repeated. <She has a home on the Southernmost Island. She is a member of a culture that does not object to her deformity. How can the Selicar Refuge be her only option?>

Grandfather sighed. < The mat - ter is not so sim - ple as that, Gar - a - tron, < he said. < When Kir - i - nar - Ol - mit - Za - pal - resh - 's pa - rents de - fied the Coun - cil to keep her with them, she be - came a sym - bol of 'Main - land op - pres - sion' to those Green An - da - lites ea - ger for so - cial up - hea - val. They call her a pri - so - ner in a nor - thern wil - der - ness; they de - mand that we re - turn her to the Is - land, and threat - en vi - o - lence if we do not com - ply. If we were to send Kir - i - nar back to her home - land, it would be tan - ta - mount to ad - mit - ting that these a - gi - ta - tors had been jus - ti - fied in their grie - van - ces – and that might well spell the end of Con - cil - i - ar au - thor - i - ty on the South - ern - most Is - land. >

If he had been able to speak at a reasonable pace, I might have had more patience with this explanation. It is difficult, to someone who has never spoken to an Andalite, to describe just how ponderous and laborious their thought-speak is, and how grating it was to a passionate youth to have to listen to a lecture on the state of Andalite-homeworld politics delivered in that plodding drone. Had it not been for the strictness of Andalite propriety (which dictates that a juvenile must never interrupt when an adult is speaking), I would have broken in impatiently at half a dozen points; as it was, when Grandfather finally finished his exposition, there were so many things I wanted to say that I ended up picking the rashest and most ill-calculated of them. <And what good has Conciliar authority ever done the Southernmost Island?> I said. <Our legacy to them, if Kirinar speaks truly, appears to have been principally one of petty tyranny, rising on occasion to injustice that Kawafim-Ursel-Zikorr would have been ashamed to have perpetrated. Under such circumstances, perhaps it might be as well if the Council were to leave the Green Andalites to their own devices.>

Grandfather's face darkened dangerously. < Gar - a - tron, > he said, < my thought - speak re - cep - tors are not what they used to be, and it is pos - si - ble that what I just heard was not pre - cise - ly what you meant to say. Would you care to re - peat your state - ment? >

This, of course, was his delicate way of telling me that I had passed the bounds of decency, and it was time for me to be silent. I knew this perfectly well, but I was in the grip of a passion that blinded me to all hazards. <I believe you heard me perfectly well, Grandfather,> I said. <If letting the agitators have their way with the Southernmost Island is the price to be paid for rectifying the injustice done to Kirinar, then so be it. The Council has only itself to blame if its crime has had consequences beyond...>

Grandfather's tail lashed out like a sudden wind on the Eastern Ridge. Before I could move, the edge of his blade grazed against my thigh, scraping off just enough of the skin to draw blood. I cried out sharply, and fell silent.

It was not the pain that I objected to. Like any good form of corporal punishment, the Andalite shurieta causes no more pain than its instructive purpose requires – and, since it is used principally on disobedient juveniles, that requirement is slight. To my pride, however, the wound was deep – for I was unused to being treated like a disobedient juvenile, least of all when I was envisioning myself as the fearless defender of a young female's rights.

My grandfather gazed silently upon me for a minute or two while I nursed my wounded hoof; then, softly, he said, < Do you un - der - stand, Gar - a - tron, why I have done this? >

I considered. The last thing I had said had been something about the High Council being guilty of a crime – which, since Grandfather himself was a Council member, amounted to calling my mother's father a criminal to his face. Yes, I could see how that might merit chastisement.

<Yes, Grandfather,> I said. <I apologize. I had no intention of disrespecting you.>

< No, > said Grandfather. < You were moved by pi - ty, not by in - so - lence. For the first time in your life, you have seen that jus - tice is not al - ways u - ni - ver - sal – that the du - ty of one per - son may cause great grief to a - no - ther – and, na - tu - ral - ly, you re - fuse to ac - cept this. At your age, in your si - tu - a - tion, I would doubt - less have done the same. >

There was just enough sympathy in his tone to inspire me to one more attempt. <Grandfather, is there nothing you can do for Kirinar?> I said. <Might there not be some obscure law, some all-but-forgotten treaty, by which she might be restored to her family without impinging on the Council's honor?>

< There is no - thing I can do, Gar - a - tron, > said my grandfather. < In an - y e - vent, the fam - i - ly that we re - stored her to would scarce - ly be the one she re - mem - bers. >

I glanced uneasily at him. <What do you mean?>

< Has Kir - i - nar not told you how Go - ver - nor Hai - thul brought char - ges of trea - son a - gainst her pa - rents? >

My eyes widened. <You mean... they have been executed?>

< Not pre - cise - ly, > said Grandfather. < When it be - came clear that the judg - es would de - clare them guil - ty, Lan - farr - Ol - mit - Ha - ti - ni and Me - qua - quil - li - Lis - me - Ak - ka - ras e - lect - ed to throw them - selves on their own tail - blades ra - ther than un - der - go the in - dig - ni - ty of dy - ing at the tails of 'Main - land - ers'. The dis - tinc - tion will no doubt gra - ti - fy young Kir - i - nar, but it will not make it an - y ea - si - er to re - turn her to her pa - rents' arms. > He knelt down on one foreknee, and gazed tenderly into my eyes. < I am sor - ry, Gar - a - tron. >

My hearts were too full for me to answer, and presently Grandfather rose and turned his stalk eyes toward the horizon. < Where is Shis - ken? > he inquired. < I have a mess - age for her from her fa - ther. >

I gestured dumbly with my tail, and Grandfather cantered away toward the ridge. I set my own face to the south, and limped perhaps a mile to the grove of jamblyhas where Inmalfet stood; there I knelt down, pressed my face against its bark, and buried my sorrows amid the pulse of its vegetable mind.

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Perhaps I spent an hour there; perhaps more. I didn't keep track, and Inmalfet could not tell time. All I know is that, after a considerable time had passed, I was roused from my dismal meditations by the sound of Kirinar's voice. <There you are, Garatron,> she said. <Limilt told me I might find you here. Your grandfather has gone, and Berel...>

She broke off as she caught sight of my ankle, and uttered a little cry. <Garatron, you are hurt!> she said, her voice quickening with concern.

<It is nothing,> I said, rising unsteadily to my hooves. <It will be healed by sundown. Such wounds are not meant to be lasting.>

Kirinar's eyes narrowed, and she reached out to touch my face. <And you have been crying,> she said. <Garatron, what...>

I grabbed her hand before it could reach my eye socket. I did not think I could bear the touch of her fingers against my face, innocent as it might have been.

<I will get you home, Kirinar,> I said fiercely. <Someday, somehow, I will get you home.>

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Dak-Hamee » Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:29 pm

spencer1519 wrote:Epic story is truly epic. This is incredibly well written. I'm pretty sure I have officially become addicted to this story.

*wants more*
Exactly. I am posting here, but I am on Chap. 3. Is awesome. :bicycle: :clap:
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Thanks to denial, I'm immortal!

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by BeyondtheEllimist » Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:18 pm

When are you going to update? I want more!!
There is much that is beyond the Ellimist . . . he just won't admit it.
Check out my fanfic series, Novamorphs. It has the Animorphs' children fighting a second Yeerk invasion. First book: The Infestation.Second book: The Search.

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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by Qoheleth » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:36 am

Chapter 6

That night, the five of us held a council on the ridge. I related Kirinar's story to Limilt, Shisken, and Berel (feeling that Kirinar would not want to tell it again herself), as well as the circumstances of my grandfather's refusal to come to her aid. As I spoke, I watched their faces: Shisken, visibly and passionately outraged; Limilt, thoughtfully and judiciously weighing each fact as it came; Berel, his feelings as much a mystery to me as they had ever been.

<So there you have it,> I said at last. <On the one hand, an evident necessity of justice; on the other, an insoluble political dilemma. If any of you know what ought to be done, I would be glad if you would enlighten me.>

<We could capture your grandfather during his next visit and hold him prisoner in the Refuge until the Council agreed to Kirinar's return,> Shisken suggested.

Limilt groaned. <Someday, Shisken-Atomal-Breecai,> he said, <I would like to open your mind up to sight-seers and charge admission. I think people would pay handsomely to sojourn in such a serenely uncomplicated world.>

<What is that supposed to mean?> demanded Shisken, who had never grown fully accustomed to Limilt's humor.

<It means that you have once again failed to grasp the essence of a situation,> said Limilt. <This is not fundamentally a conflict between Garatron and his grandfather, nor between the Southernmost Island and the High Council. It is a conflict between two different ideas of what constitutes right and wrong.>

<How do you mean?> I said.

<Look at it for yourself,> said Limilt. <You and your grandfather do not disagree on any matter of fact. Your grandfather agrees with you that Governor Haithul's action toward Kirinar and her parents was badly mistaken, and you acknowledge that he may well be right in thinking that rectifying the mistake would cause civil chaos – and yet you are determined that Kirinar should return to the Island, while he is equally determined that she should remain here. Surely, it ought to be obvious that the difference between you is a philosophical one.>

<But... but how can two people disagree about the meaning of right and wrong?> I said. <I thought that was something that everyone was born knowing.>

<Oh, of course,> said Limilt. <Innate knowledge of the Moral Law is one of the few things that separate Andalites from their thulicel forebears. Unfortunately, however, there are a great many parts to the Moral Law, and it is quite easy for a person to select one of them that he particularly likes and say, "This, and this alone, is the good.">

<Oh.> I felt stung, as though I had been reproved. <And this is what you believe me to have done, then?>

<You?> Limilt seemed surprised. <Certainly not. Your position – that wrongs, when they have been committed, must be righted, and that any merely social strife that results from this is simply one of the consequences of the original wrong – is perfectly consonant with the Moral Law considered as a unity. It is your grandfather who, in his zeal for preserving the public peace, has come to forget that social tranquility is not the only, or even the greatest, good.>

His words gratified and relieved me, but I found myself discomfited by the rather condescending manner in which he said them. A nine-year-old vecol, I felt, ought not to speak so of an Andalite of my grandfather's age, however valid his arguments with him. But I kept silent, not wishing to undermine my own position by disputing with my supporter.

It was Kirinar, surprisingly enough, who voiced my thoughts. <You speak well, Limilt-Zalaran-Hegeti,> she said. <And you speak truly: to know right from wrong is indeed fundamental to any sentient being. I think, though, that the Law of Nature must be different on the Mainland than it is in my country. On the Southernmost Island, we think it very wrong for a youth to speak without respect of an elder of the people.>

I hadn't thought it was possible for Limilt to look abashed, but at Kirinar's rebuke he managed a passable approximation. Shisken, however, sprang to his defense – which, given the historic friction between the two of them, was perhaps even more surprising than Kirinar defending my grandfather. <I see no wrong in Limilt's sentiments, Kirinar,> she said. <He merely noted what he believed to be an error in Master Nimavar's thinking. Surely, such an observation may be made about anyone by anyone, regardless of the difference between their stations.>

<Of course,> said Kirinar, a bit impatiently, <but one can refute an idea without dismissing him who holds it. Master Nimavar, besides being your unofficial leader's grandfather, is an important functionary in your Mainland government; those who are part of Mainland culture owe him a certain measure of honor.>

At this, Berel raised his head, and spoke for the first time since he had arrived on the ridge. <But are we part of "Mainland culture"?> he said, and his tone, though it was as mild as always, sent a strange shiver down my spine.

Perhaps I was not the only one, or perhaps no-one else could think of a reply. In any case, none of us responded to him, and after a moment's silence he continued, <We are told that our dignity depends on our being kept from other Andalites. We are brought to this place in the remote wilds of the Northern Continent, where no Andalite save Master Nimavar and some of his fellow scientists ever go. We are invited to create our own community, apart from the rest of the Andalite race. In what sense can we be said to be residents of the Planetary Republic? In what sense, save the merely biological, can we even be said to be Andalites?>

I have said that I had never truly known what went on in Berel's mind, and indeed this may have been my first real glimpse of the soul behind those vague, unfocused eyes. It was a glimpse that shook me to the core; I had never dreamed that, among the quiet forests and the gently rolling land of the Selicar Refuge, such thoughts were stirring in a mutant youth's mind.

I glanced out the corner of my eye at the others. Kirinar looked greatly distressed, as though she had neither expected nor wished anyone to respond thus to her comment, while Limilt seemed, perhaps for the first time in his life, to be utterly at a loss for words. It was Shisken's response, though, that surprised me. The fire-souled governor's daughter, whose every action from her cradle had been fierce and impulsive, stepped gently toward Berel, took his hand in hers, and adopted the unmistakable facial expression of one whispering soothing nothings in private thought-speak.

I was mildly thunderstruck. I knew, of course, that Shisken and Berel had been close friends for some time (since Limilt and I had already formed a unique bond before Shisken arrived, it was natural that the other two unofficial Elders should likewise gravitate towards each other), but this went beyond the commiseration of a friend. Shisken resembled nothing so much as a mother consoling her only child, or at least an elder sister tendering a younger brother; indeed, for one wild moment I wondered whether the two of them had somehow learned that they were twin siblings separated at birth.

This impression lasted perhaps thirty seconds, until Limilt replaced it with an even stranger one. <Well, well,> he said jauntily in private thought-speak, his natural aplomb recovered, <so Berel-Thorondor-Suparit has discovered the flint that ignites Shisken-Atomal-Breecai's hearts. How heartening to know that all that time spent together in the brizanec grove was not being wasted.>

I blinked. <You think that Shisken is in love with Berel?>

<It is not a question of thinking,> said Limilt. <My mother was a poet – one who specialized in short lyrics describing the manifold subtleties of male-female interaction. If I know nothing else, I know what romantic affection looks like.>

I could scarcely dispute this, and yet I found myself hoping he was in error. Romantic affection, to me, meant marriage first of all – and marriage meant offspring. What sort of offspring might be engendered through the union of the reckless, violent Shisken with the brooding Berel, I could not say, but I found it difficult to imagine that a world containing such people would be an entirely safe one to live in.

I consoled myself, however, with the reflection that perhaps the affection only went one way. Shisken's being in love with Berel did not necessarily mean that Berel was in love with Shisken – and, indeed, I found it difficult to believe that he could be. Certainly I could not imagine falling in love with Shisken-Atomal-Breecai: she was too wild, too volatile, to be a true companion of one's quiet hours. If I were to love a female, I thought, it would have to be one with a fundamentally gentle spirit – one who, though she might well have intense passions, had also the self-mastery to let them serve her rather than overcome her – one...

<All right, Berel-Thorondor-Suparit,> said Kirinar. <Suppose we grant that the four of you (I exclude myself, since I was not rejected by my people in the way you describe) are not truly Andalites in any meaningful sense. What follows from that?>

Berel released Shisken's hand and turned to Kirinar with an expression of weariness, as though he had used up all his energy in disclaiming kinship with Andal. (4) <I wish I could say, Kirinar,> he said. <I have asked that question of myself many times, and have found no answer. I merely offer the observation, for whatever it may be worth.>

<It seems to me to be worth a great deal,> said Shisken. <If we are members of the Andalite race, we are obligated to submit ourselves to that race's duly appointed rulers. On the other hand, if we are truly non-Andalite aliens, we are no more bound by the Council's judgments than an Ellimist or a kafit bird would be – and, accordingly, we must be guided in our actions by our own ideas of right and wrong, without reference to their decisions.>

<By which you mean, I suppose,> I said, <that we must find a way to take Kirinar home.>

<Exactly.>

<But is that really possible?> I did not like to say it, but I had to face the facts of the matter. <Even if we had the means to take her to the Southernmost Island, Governor Haithul would simply order her sent back again – unless, of course, he should choose to...> I paused a moment to gather my courage <...to make an example of her as he did with her parents.>

Shisken looked at me with an expression halfway between amusement and pity. <Of course we cannot take her to the Southernmost Island,> she said. <Nor did I say we ought to. I said that we ought to take her home.>

<What is her home, if it is not the Southernmost Island?> I demanded. <You surely are not suggesting that we merely attempt to make her feel at home in the Selicar Refuge?> Then another thought struck me, and a cold chill went down my spine. <Or do you mean... you cannot mean that we must send her to her final home?>

Shisken laughed aloud. <Set your mind at ease, Garatron,> she said. <I mean nothing of the sort.>

<What, then?>

Shisken smiled quietly. <Do you remember the message that your grandfather said he had from my father?> she said. <Three nights from tonight, come with me to the great hill at the Refuge's western boundary. There you will see what I mean.>

This seemed to be all that she was willing to say. It meant nothing to me, but I was forced to be content.

<Very well, then,> I said. <Let us return to the communal scoop. I thank you all for your thoughts; hopefully, in time, they will bear the fruit we seek.>

<I believe they will,> said Shisken.
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(4)

<Who's Andal?> Tobias asked.

Ax sighed. <According to tradition,> he said, <all Andalites – or all Blue Andalites, at any rate – are descended from the same male of the Voiceless Race, who was given the power of thought-speak by the Great Powers that rule the universe. This male called himself Andal; the Andalite race takes its name from him.>

<Oh,> said Tobias. <Sort of like Adam, then.>

<Sort of like whom?>

<Um... never mind,> said Tobias. <Just go on with the story.>

BeyondtheEllimist
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Re: The Garatron Chronicles

Post by BeyondtheEllimist » Mon Apr 19, 2010 8:46 am

Very good. I cannot wait for more!!!
There is much that is beyond the Ellimist . . . he just won't admit it.
Check out my fanfic series, Novamorphs. It has the Animorphs' children fighting a second Yeerk invasion. First book: The Infestation.Second book: The Search.