Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (Sorry For the Delay)

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Alanfangor
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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by Alanfangor » Mon May 03, 2010 6:34 am

Once again capn never fails to make an entertaning scene

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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by Blueberry Chicken » Fri May 07, 2010 5:49 pm

I feel sad for everyone else. I want Ronnie to be in pain, though. BWAHAHAHA!
"Sass, back before you, me, Blu, Vulf and BB used to roll together.We were tighter than emo jeans."
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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by danpfeiffer » Sun May 16, 2010 12:16 pm

Any word from Cap as to when we're getting more?

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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by Blueberry Chicken » Sun May 16, 2010 1:19 pm

None that I've seen.

CAPN UPDATE SOON!
"Sass, back before you, me, Blu, Vulf and BB used to roll together.We were tighter than emo jeans."
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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by capnnerefir » Sun May 23, 2010 1:50 pm

Gina is awesome and Molly will cut you.
CHAPTER 13
David


We followed the scientist out of the meeting chamber. I didn’t know how much time we had before Ronnie...well, he’d probably snap and break her neck or something. Ronnie is a big guy. We needed to get the ship before he did something crazy. Originally, we really did plan to make the trade. But now that Roca wanted Ronnie, that deal was going to have to change.
So it was plan B now. Find the ship, steal it, and get Ronnie out of a sticky situation. First, we had to slip away from the scientists. That was not going to be much of a problem. We’ve busted out of high-security Yeerk prisons, countless traps, and high school. A scientist with five guards was not going to be a problem.
When we were outside of the main temple/palace, James whispered to me. “Let’s do this thing.”
<Al, go,> I relayed.
<Excuse me,> Al said to the scientist. <I am afraid that I have a bit of an embarrassing problem. You see, I must remove waste from my body, but your facilities are not adequate. I am afraid that I must relieve myself somewhere out of sight.>
“If you must,” the scientist replied, nodding to what looked like a bunch of half-cooked spaghetti noodles sticking out of the ground. “I am afraid I will have to send a guard with you, though.”
The guard who followed Al did not look very happy about this, but he didn’t complain. I took the opportunity to slip away myself. People don’t pay very much attention to rats, even when they talk. I scampered down James’s back and scurried over to where Al and his guard had gone.
When I got behind the noodles, I found the guard lying on the ground with a crescent-shaped bruise in the side of his head. <I acquired him so that I could knock him out quietly,> Al explained. I nodded and put a paw on the Nartec’s skin.
After about ten seconds, I was done acquiring him. <Quoth the Power Rangers: it’s morphin’ time.>
<I do not understand.>
<I didn’t expect you to,> I answered as I began to grow. It was weirdly like morphing a human, but also very, very different. All the fur sucked into my skin, which had turned blue and oily. My eyes grew. My tail went the way of my fur. That was when the growing started.
While I morphed, Al stripped the unconscious Nartec of his clothing and weapons, which consisted of a loose robe of some material we don’t have where I live, a large, steel mace, and a familiar-looking submachine gun. I believe it was some sort of STEN. Just perfect for this task. Quick, a little on the quiet side, and stylish. I used to be really into guns back when I was human. I lost touch with them, and it’s impossible to catch up after years and years of no contact, but I still had a special place in my heart for some of the classics.
When I finished morphing, I pulled on the robe, picked up my mace, and cradled the STEN in my hands. It felt good. Very good. <Alright Al, let’s get this show on the road.>
The queen would be...occupied...now, so we could reasonably assume that no one was going to interrupt her. That meant that this was probably the best time for what we were about to do. I followed Al back to the group and fell in with the other guards. They wouldn’t notice anything. I kept my head down, playing it off like I had been freaked out by what I saw a few moments ago.
<Have you been able to learn anything of note from the Pemalite ship?> Al asked the scientist.
“Very little,” the scientist sighed. “Unfortunately, it is so far beyond our own technology that we can’t make sense of most of it. We have found exactly one practical use for it so far. I hope we can learn more, but her Highness is grossly overestimating its value to us.”
<I can imagine. That ship is far beyond anything even my people have ever created. It is a work of technology that might be unrivaled in all of the galaxy. What use did you find for it?>
“The ship’s sensors informed us that our usual source of light also causes potentially harmful radiation. We have removed those light sources from the upper-class quarters and are using the ship as a power source for artificial lights. It is a glorified battery right now.”
<The palace is in the center of the upper-class part of the city,> I remarked to James. <Do you think you saw it there.>
James shrugged.
<David, I noticed a great number of cables leading towards the top of the pyramid – and something glowing at the top. I think that is where the ship is.>
<I say we check that out. The rest of you?> I asked. James, Jeanne, and Melissa nodded slightly. It was go time.
Without warning, I turned and swung my mace into the leg of the Nartec next to me. He fell to the ground, clutching his side in pain. At the same time, Al whipped his tail forwards, smashing the flat of the blade into the side of another Nartec’s head.
James tackled the Nartec nearest to him, pinning him to the ground so that he couldn’t use his weapons at all. Jeanne kicked the legs out from another Nartec and then casually slammed her heel into his throat. He stopped moving after that. Dead or unconscious I had no idea. But I knew that Jeanne was trained as an assassin – trained to kill.
Melissa was not trained in any way. She just kicked the last Nartec between the legs. His eyes bulged as he fell to the ground, holding himself and whimpering. <You know, Melissa,> I said, <I just broke a dude’s leg with a mace without any kind of warning, and even I think that was kind of a cheap shot.> At the same time, I leveled my STEN at the scientist. A slap of Al’s tail made sure the Nartec James was struggling with stopped fighting. He made sure to do the same for the other guards.
“Please, don’t kill me!” the scientist wailed.
“Where’s the Pemalite ship?” James responded.
The scientist didn’t answer, but his eyes flickered over James’s shoulder, at the pyramid. We were right. But there was a crowd gathering now. We had to move FAST. That was part of the reason we kept the scientist alive.
I walked around behind the Nartec scientist and pressed the gun’s barrel against his back. James, Jeanne, Melissa, and Al helped themselves to some weapons from the other guards even though probably only Jeanne knew how to operate them with any sort of skill. <If anyone gets in our way, we kill him,> I announced.
“And then we start firing into the crowd,” James added. The crowd decided it was a good idea to scatter then. “Walk fast,” he advised the scientist. “We’re short on time, patience, and bullets.”

CHAPTER 14
Jeanne


The crowd was soon replaced by armed warriors, but they did not approach us. We had their head geneticist as a hostage – they knew how important he was. They would not take the risk of us killing him. So while our enemies lurked, aiming weapons at us from doors, windows, and alleyways, they did not get in our way.
We climbed the steps of the pyramid, with two guns always pointed at our hostage. We were not going to take any more chances than we had to. I had no intention of killing him, but honestly I do not know about the others. I believe David would have pulled the trigger without regret. James...maybe. Melissa would not unless she panicked. And Al... I was just unsure about the Alphamorphs altogether.
We Omegamorphs have certain rules that we must obey. Sometimes, we bend these rules and sometimes we break them altogether. But we do that only in the most extreme circumstances. We did not morph sentient beings. We did not kill innocents or take hostages. Not if there was any other way. The Alphamorphs were different. I do not know if that is a good difference or a bad one, but it is a very clear one.
The ship was at the top of the pyramid, where one might expect it to be. There was some sort of metal framework around it, with hundreds of cables attached to it, feeding off of the ship’s power. It was green, about ninety meters long, and shaped like a cartoonish dog. “Huh...it really does look like Snoopy,” Melissa commented. “I always thought Jake was making that part up.”
“Al, Jeanne, you get to work getting the ship in order. David, keep your gun on the scientist and see if you can get him to help,” James ordered. “Melissa and I are going to go bail Ronnie out of his jam. We’re not going to have a lot of time. Battle morph, Melissa.”
Melissa nodded and began to morph to panther while James went lion. Al and I had no trouble finding a way into the ship. The access panel on the outer hull was very well lit. It was a small, rectangular panel with a yellow light bulb above it and a series of small, unlabeled buttons below it. I pressed my hand to the rectangle. The light flashed twice, blindly bright. Then, numbers appeared on the buttons below the rectangle. Remembering the story the Animorphs had told me about this ship, I pressed the number six.
The side of the ship slid open and David, Al, the scientist, and I entered. The inside of the ship was amazing to see. There was green and purple grass all over the floor in amazing patterns. Some looked like they were made by children, some by fantastic artists. There was river that went through the middle of the ship. And everywhere, there were machines that I assume were toys of some kind.
In the center was a large tree that I had been told was the control bridge. “The framework around this ship can be moved,” I said to the scientist. He nodded. “Remove it, then.”
David marched the scientist outside while Al and I interacted with the ship. There was not much work to do. The security system was...that does not count as a security system. The ship was more than happy to take us wherever we wanted to go. The problem was that no one had been as far as Ssri’Kai space before. We had no idea where to go.
Al came up with the solution, though. He just told the ship to locate Erek, which it did in a matter of seconds. Pinpointing the Ssri’Kai homeworld was as simple as that. It was nice to have something simple for once.
David returned with the scientist. <Framework’s gone. We’re free to go as soon as we get James, Melissa, and Ronnie.>
Five minutes later, James, Melissa, Ronnie, and Queen Roca – who had been tied up and gagged – entered the ship. “Turns out people don’t like shooting at you when you’ve got their leader as a shield,” Ronnie muttered. “What now?”
<Now, we send these two out the front door and get going,> James answered, demorphing. <Al, can a bullet get through this ship?> Al laughed. That was probably the first time I heard him do that. I suppose that was a good enough answer.
David marched the scientist out at gun point. Ronnie roughly shoved the queen out. The ship closed up behind them. <Computer, take fastest safe route to location designated ‘Andalite Homeworld’,> Al ordered.
<Sure thing! Would you like a refreshing beverage while you wait?>
<No thank you.>
We waited for a few minutes. “When is it going to start moving?” Melissa asked. “We’re sort of in a rush here...”
I had an idea. “Computer, please change the walls to transparent.”
The walls of the ship disappeared. We were no longer in the Nartec city. In fact, we were no longer under water. We were almost out of Earths’ atmosphere in a matter of seconds. I had no idea how fast this ship was going to be. This was exponentially faster than anything I had ever seen or heard of. It was impossible.
Then, suddenly, everything was gone. Everything turned white. It was blinding at first. We had entered Z-space seamlessly. It was incredible! “Computer, turn the walls opaque.”
With this speed, we’d reach the Andalite Homeworld in a matter of hours! Maybe a day at most. <I must study this,> Al muttered, probing the computer with his mind. <This is....there is no word to describe it.>
“Fast?” Melissa suggested.
<That may have to suffice,> Al decided.
“Okay, we don’t have bunches of time to prepare, so let’s get this down right now,” James decided. “Al, David – we aren’t there to interfere with Andalite politics. You’re only going there to make sure that other people don’t interfere too. I don’t know what this job will mean, or if it’ll mean anything at all, but just...be careful.”
<Not a problem,> David responded, back to his rat self.
<I wish I had more time to study this ship...>
“Plenty of time for that later,” James responded. “For now, get a good meal and have a little fun. I’ve got that sinking feeling that this next part won’t be a whole lot of fun.”

CHAPTER 15
James


It was a whole lot of fun on the Pemalite ship. I’ve been on a few starships in my time. The Blade ship, the Reliquary, a few Andalite vessels, and none of them was what you’d call a fun trip. But those ships are all designed for blowing very big holes in each other, and in the unfortunate people inside of them. The Pemalite ship was a toy, and it was a whole lot more fun to be in than the others. Not to mention more comfortable.
I know Al had a blast. He spent the whole trip hooked into the ship’s computer, trying to learn everything he could before we got to the Andalite homeworld. David scurried around, climbing on the machinery and doing rat stuff. Melissa and Ronnie tried getting some practice with Jeanne, sparring in their battle morphs. Only a little, though -the ship wouldn’t allow them to do any serious damage to each other.
As for me, I relaxed. The ship had enough comfy chairs for me to sit in, and it was capable of picking up television signals from Earth. I asked Al about that and he said something about looping it through the Chee’s sensors, re-routing it to the ship, and re-broadcasting it on the screen in front of me, but I really didn’t care. I had food, I had a comfy spot to curl up in, I had TV. I was a happy Animorph. It was even nicer than being back home, really. More space.
I was relaxing when Jeanne came to me and gave me a suggestion that kind of scared me. “We should call Tobias and Rachel to let them know what is going on. And see if we can make contact with Jake, Marco, and Aximili.”
“Maybe,” I admitted. “But we don’t want Tri-I intercepting our transmissions to Jake, Marco, and Ax. And I’m not wild about the idea of interrupting Tobias and Rachel…”
<You’ll be safely in Ssri’Kai space by the time Tobias and Rachel can do anything about it,> David reminded me. <Rachel will probably calm down by the time you get back.>
“Yeah, alright. Al, can you try to reach Ax’s iHolo? And encrypt the transmission or something?”
<With this ship, that is literally child’s play, James,> Al assured me. It only took a matter of seconds before we had a life-sized hologram of Ax’s head and shoulders floating before us. A very high-quality hologram, I’ll add. I bet if my eyesight was better, I could have seen every fur on his face.
<Hello. How is your trip going?> he asked. Sure, we were encrypted, but we weren’t going to take any chances with Tri-I.
“Going good,” I answered. “Is Jake around? We needed to check in with him about things.”
<Absolutely.> A few moments later, Jake’s upper parts replaced Ax’s.
“Hey guys. What’s up?”
“Not much,” I responded. “We got started alright. A minor hang-up with getting the rental car, but we got that all straightened out. Ronnie isn’t in the best mood, though.” It wasn’t that I was tattling on Ronnie or anything like that. I just wasn’t sure how to deal with him. I knew that I couldn’t just bully him all the time. Jake was better at this than I was, I figured he’d know something.
“He doesn’t really want to go, does he?” Jake asked.
“Not particularly,” Ronnie put in.
Jake nodded. “Cassie was the same way, a lot of the time. We went on all kinds of trips she didn’t want to go on, to places she never wanted to be. She was usually there, though - she even went on a few extras, all alone. I know there’s a lot of places you don’t want to go and things you don’t want to do, Ronnie. I can’t really tell you much other than that Cassie would have been there, and I know that has to count for something.”
Ronnie looked away. There it was, the lever to move him. Cassie would go. She wouldn’t back down from this fight. She had tried that before and always came back to it. When I needed to get Ronnie going, all I needed to do was remind him of that. I nodded to Jake, a silent thank-you. He nodded back.
<How is the training going?> David asked.
“We haven’t really started yet. The G.O.D. has been getting us up to speed on the preparations they’ve already made and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. They’ve rounded up some of the top special-forces soldiers for this, and some of the regular guys. Mostly Marines on the American side, but also some Navy, Amy, and Air Force. There’s talk of creating a new branch of the armed forces just for this. Astro Corps. A covert Shield-Branch Operative who also happens to be a Senator is going to be introducing a bill for it in the next day or so. Some Sword-Branch people have already done a bit of training on their own - probably E.P.I.C.s, though we aren’t sure.”
“You think they’ll be up to it when the time comes?” Jeanne asked.
“From what we know, Mars isn’t too heavily defended. We didn’t exactly check out the Pythagi base, but our friends are extracting and refining our memories of our trip there. We’ll look over it and see what we can find out. We can count on some Yeerk help for them, but I think it’s mostly Pythagi stuff there. I think we can handle it.”
“Great. Keep us updated,” I nodded. “Anything else new?”
“Not really. We need to get running, though - I have to give some operatives some info about morphing, Marco has a lesson about Yeerk tactics to teach, and Al has to educate some soldiers in Hork-bajir combat. We’ll be in touch.”
I noticed that Melissa didn’t say anything to Jake. I had no idea why. Wasn’t my business anyhow, was it?
Al called the Reliquary next. Got no response. Then he called Tobias’s communicator. He answered. He was smiling, which was…really more disturbing than anything. “Hey.”
<Hello, Prince Tobias. How are things?>
“Fantastic, Al. Just…fantastic. We just got back from visiting Cao Cao’s tomb. We weren’t allowed inside, so I sort of morphed my way in. It’s…you know how some people don’t need a bunch of ornate, fancy stuff to prove how important they are? You can just look at them and know? Like…even if he was in a t-shirt and jeans, you’d still know that Putin was a big deal. This tomb is sort of like that. You can feel it…”
“That’s great,” Ronnie answered. “How’s your wife?”
“Tired,” he answered. “The baby’s going to be coming very son. Maybe just a matter of days. We’ll probably have to be out of here by then. As much as I like China, I think it’d probably be best if our son was born in a country to which we are members. Any news on your end?”
“A bit,” I explained. I told him about the Pemalite ship and the need to go to Ssri’Kai space. And about the thing with Putin and the Andalites. He listened silently, then paused to think.
“Alright….I want James, Ronnie, Jeanne, and Melissa on the Ssri’Kai problem. It’s best if no one knows we’re involved, so try and do things quietly. Al and David, you’ll be on the Andalite homeworld. For now, just keep watch for anything suspicious. If you see Yeerk involvement, it’s better to expose it than just remove it. I don’t think I can get to Ssri’Kai space in time to do any good, but soon I think Rachel and I will be on our way to the Andalite homeworld to give you a hand. Good luck.”


CHAPTER 16
Al


The Andalite Homeworld. My home, at least in the technical sense. I did not feel any special attachment for it, though. I never saw very much of it. I grew up alone, in a hidden location on the homeworld. When my period of isolation ended, I did spend some time amongst other Andalites but I very quickly made my way into the military and was put on a Dome ship and taken away from the Homeworld.
I know my decision to join the military deeply hurt my mother. She wanted me to be a scientist, and for very obvious reasons. Aside from my aptitude in the technical arts, she herself was a skilled scientist. More than that, she knew what military life had done to my father, what it had demanded of him and what it had cost him, in the end. She did not want that life for me. I knew that, understood it. But I could not agree with that.
When I first joined the military, I do not think it had anything to do with what it should have been about. It was not about the honor of my people or the safety of the galaxy. It was about the fact that when I returned to Andalite society, the first thing I heard about were the heroics of my father, uncle, and brother. They were heroes - they were soldiers. I belonged among them. I think that, at first, it was about pleasing them in some way.
I like to think that now, it is about what it should have always been about. I fight for the honor of my people, my family, and myself. I fight to defend the weak and the innocent from the greedy and the cruel. But more than anything, I still fight to please my family. I know this, but I do not regret it. I come from a family of heroes. Not just Elfangor, Aximili, and Tobias - not anymore. Jake and Rachel are my family now as well. Four Animorphs and the Andalite who created them. IT is a massive legacy, and one that I must struggle to be worthy of. I cannot let them down.
But I had other family as well. So, once we cleared the Andalite defenses - they were more than willing to let us in once we gave them the security pass code Prince Tobias possessed - we set course for my mother’s Scoop. The homeworld had changed, after the First War. It used to just be open fields and Scoops. Now, there were three star ports for visitors, manufacturing, and government. Luckily, we did not need to go to those for now.
I entered the Scoop first. <ALLORAN!> My mother shouted. She raced towards me and arched her tail blade. I pressed mine against hers gently. <Oh Alloran, I missed you so much. With some of the reports coming from Earth I was afraid I might never see you again!> she broke off as she noticed the four badly-dressed humans and a rat standing in the entrance to the Scoop. David waved his paw.
<Hi.>
<Hello. I am sorry, I did not realize Alloran would be bringing guests. I am Enril. You are?> She still did not take her tail blade away from mine, so I did not either.
“Just visiting,” James assured her. “I’m James. These are Jeanne, Melissa, Ronnie, and David. We really just came to make sure Al was settled down alright.>
<Except me,> David added. <Don’t worry, though - I’m unobtrusive. I hope you don’t mind.>
<Oh, no. Alloran’s friends are welcome in my home any time. I was just expecting some others.>
<Prince Tobias is indisposed at the moment,> I explained to her. <He haw just been married and is partaking in a human celebratory ritual. He will likely be visiting us soon, though.>
<Good. There are some things I would like to discuss with him. How has he been treating you?>
<He has been as great a Prince as my father.>
<That’s what I was afraid of…>
<An Andalite who doesn’t like Elfangor?> David muttered in our heads. <Weird.> James shrugged almost imperceptibly.
“How long are we going to hang around here?” Ronnie asked James. “We’re sort of on a tight schedule.”
James shrugged again. “Not sure. I guess asl long as Al and David are alright, we can head out whenever. You two going to be okay?”
I nodded. <Nothing that happens here is going to be as dangerous as the place you’re going,> David confirmed. <We’ll be fine.>
“I hope so. Try to relax if you can. Say hi to Tobias for us.”
I was not sure how to say goodbye this time. I do not think any of the others realized quite how dangerous their mission could be. They were the Animorphs, after all, and I think that with that title comes a sense of invincibility. The Animorphs have always taken on impossible odds and always succeeded. They were going into an unknown, alien sector of the galaxy, chasing after dangerous Yeerks in a ship that, while impressive, was militarily useless. They would be without any sort of aid, overt or otherwise.
I elected not to mention any of that to them, though. I was certain that Jeanne, at least, had considered the risks fully, and that James was also aware of the danger, even if Melissa and Ronnie were too inexperienced to really understand how grim their situation would soon be. They needed their confidence - that was something that also came with the Animorph title. As I have learned from Earth’s history, if a group of humans believe that they can achieve the impossible, the odds are shockingly great that they will do just that.

CHAPTER 17
Melissa


Al and David got situated easily enough. Then it was back into space. I had a lot on my mind right then. Most of it wasn’t good. I thought I was one of the Animorphs - I thought I was their friend. But there was so much that went on that I didn’t know anything about. And so much about them that I didn’t know.
I didn’t know anything at all about James and that worried me. He seemed to be in charge now. At first that didn’t look like a problem, but I saw how he reacted when someone tried to really go against him. Ronnie objected to being used as Queen Roca’s plaything and James tried to pull rank on him. I didn’t think James would do that…but apparently I was wrong.
What might be worse is that no one challenged him on it. David and Al just went along with it. I guess I can sort of understand that. The Alphamorphs were sticking together, and James sort of had a point. But Jeanne didn’t question it either and I had no idea what she thought about it. I didn’t know much about her at all, and that worried me, too.
She seemed to be a nice enough person. She was polite, sort of formal, and kind of quiet. Jeanne was smart, reliable, and trusted by the other Animorphs. She’d been at this since this phase of the war started and had a lot of experience. But what did any of that mean, really? Yeah, she was a good soldier - she fought well. But I always thought the Animorphs were more than soldiers - we were supposed to be friends. Weren’t we?
I know that in the beginning, they all were. Rachel, Cassie, Jake, Marco, Tobias, Ax…they were friends They really, honestly cared about each other, supported each other. Now…did James care what happened to Ronnie? Did David care what happened to James? Would Ronnie go through any pains to save my life, if it came to that? With the original Animorphs, there was no question about it. Now…honestly, I didn’t know.
That wasn’t all of it, though. I was worrying about Jake, too. He always seemed like a nice, unassuming guy. Honest, reliable, trustworthy…But I saw what he did to Ronnie. It was so easy for him to manipulate him - and to show James how to do it, too. It came so naturally to him that I couldn’t help but wonder what else came so easily to Jake.
It’s very hard to forget that he was the leader of the Animorphs for a long time. They all say that Tobias is the one who doesn’t show things on his face, but that isn’t really true. You can see that he’s been through hell as soon as you look at him. When you look at Jake, you can’t really tell - not unless you really know him and really know what to look for. You can see it in his eyes when he talks about the past, hear it in his voice and just see it in his face as a whole. Sometimes it’s there, the shadows of his pain. And sometimes, most of the time, there’s no sign of it at all.
He smiles. He laughs. He makes jokes and gives hugs and makes sandwiches. Jake does all the normal, human things. He seems so normal that sometimes, I honestly forget all that he’s seen and done. I guess that was part of why he and the others stayed hidden for as long as they did, even with Tom right there the entire time. Jake is just so incredibly normal that it’s just so hard to see him as who he really is.
The thing about all that is that it made me wonder if I really knew Jake. I liked him - I had for a while. I had a bit of a crush on him back in school, but Cassie saw him first and liked him more than I did. Besides, I had a thing for lots of boys. I even had a little crush on Marco at one point, and even Tobias. I didn’t think anything of it.
Then came the day, years later, when my father called me on the phone, crying, begging me to come over as soon as possible. I came immediately. That was when he told me that the Yeerks were back - that they had taken him again and he had only been freed just recently by Jake and the others. That was when I got back in touch with them, got to know Jake again.
It was kind of slow, at least for me. I very quickly realized that I still sort of had a thing for him. And when I got to know him better, I realized that it was a lot stronger than I first thought it was. And after I became an Animorph…I wouldn’t say that I love Jake. Not yet. It’s still far too early for that. But I definitely could love him, given more time.
So I had Jake. Even if there were parts to him that I didn’t know and didn’t see, I still had Jake. What about the others? Rachel was different now - how could she not be? Cassie was dead. Marco I had never really known. Everyone else…there was no one I’d consider a close friend among them. I knew where Rachel’s loyalties were. She had her own family to worry about.
Did I have any friends among the Animorphs? That was part of why I joined - so that I wouldn’t be alone again. They saw each other through everything, through a hell that no one else can imagine. I wanted a part of that. I know it’s selfish and probably stupid, but I wanted to know that I had friends like that, ones who would never leave me like I had been left before.
Did I have that now? I really doubted it. They kept secrets from me, left me out of discussions, neglected to tell me important things. They all had their own ties to each other - and none of them had anything tying them to me. I was still alone, really. Yeah, they’d fight alongside me, risk their lives with me. But when we went home at the end of the day, did they really care about me, as long as I could still keep fighting with them?
No, I don’t think so. Not anymore. I thought I could be a part of the group, one of the gang…but not really. Never for real. Never for me. The others seemed to insert themselves just fine. David had his niche as Al’s best friend, and Al was Jeanne’s step-brother. James was their friend and the three of them spent a lot of time together. The Alphamorphs were all pretty connected to each other. Except for Ronnie, but I knew it was only a matter of time before he found his spot there, too.
The Omegamorphs? There wasn’t any connection needed there, really. Jake, Marco, and Ax were original Animorphs. They were bound together in ways that I can’t imagine. Jeanne was Marco’s girlfriend - and she had been chosen by Jake to fight this war. How did I fit in? I had Jake, but as far as the others went, I was alone. Again.
It really makes me wonder why I bothered going on at all.

CHAPTER 18
Ronnie


Z-Space is boring. That’s all there is to it. There is nothing to see there, and definitely nothing to do. And this ship was boring, too. The only thing I wanted to do was practice my morphs and get some combat training in, but it wouldn’t let me get into any serious fights. As soon as there was a drop of blood, the ship called it off and I spent an hour in a stasis field. It was like giving a kid a time-out.
Forgive me if I don’t give you all the little details of our trip to Ssri’Kai space. There isn’t anything to tell. Conversations between people, things we watched on TV, that stuff. None of it is interesting, important, or relevant. We didn’t even have trouble finding our way to the proper planet, since all of the information Erek had on it was uploaded to the ship’s computer. Just know that we made it from the Andalite homeworld to Ssri’Kai space in a matter of a few days. And that as soon as we dropped out of Z-Space, things got exciting.
Let’s just say it is a good thing the Pemalites had good cloaking technology. Knowing them, they probably used it to play hide-and-go-seek or something. We were using it to avoid being detected by the Ssri’Kai. If they detected us and told the Yeerks we were here, things could get difficult. We needed to scout out the situation first.
We were above a planet, maybe half-again as large as Earth. The Ssri’Kai were a tough race, designed for trouble. So I had always figured that they were from a tough planet, one that gave a lot of trouble. It would take a really dangerous world to produce a race as deadly as the Ssri’Kai. When I saw their planet, I realized that I could not have been more wrong.
It was incredibly beautiful. We could see lush, green patches, deep blue oceans, and dazzlingly white polar regions. But what really got me were the swaths of violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and pink that were littered across the landscape. Something down there was reflecting amazing colors that we could see from orbit. It was easily the most beautiful planet I ever saw.
James summed it up for us by saying, “Wow.”
“Thank you for that, Keanu,” Melissa nodded. “What do we do now?”
“The ship says that Erek is down on that planet,” Jeanne answered. “Before we dropped him off, Al downloaded a new program to my iHolo. It links it to the ship and will allow us to track Erek. We can use this program to find him.”
“Okay…I say we fly to near Erek’s location, land wherever it looks convenient, morph to some birds, and fly the rest of the way the hard way,” James suggested.
As we flew across the planet, Melissa decided to do some thinking. “You know…what if all this is unnecessary?” She asked. “We’ve always figured that the Ssri’Kai are dangerous, but what if they’re like the Hork-bajir? What if they’re really nice, peaceful people?”
We came within sight of their city, if you can call it that. It was made of crystals - those were what was refracting the light. There was a huge trench in the ground, miles wide and even longer and deeper. Crystals of all colors grew out of the sides. And some enormous ones grew from the bottom of the trench. The tallest one stood maybe a hundred feet above the planet’s surface. On top of the crystal was a metal tower. Mounted to that tower were eight long, cylindrical things that could only be weapons.
Ssri’Kai stood on the crystals. Not just on the tops, but on the sides, too. Their sticky feet let them stand anywhere they wanted, even upside down. There were structures among the crystals - metal buildings mostly. It was like they built their city around the crystals - or among them. They coexisted, neither clashing nor joining. They worked around the environment while still living as they chose. Cassie would have approved.
Jeanne put the ship down outside of the trench, behind a small hill. We would be able to find it again. The door slid open and we morphed to birds. Jeanne was a red-tailed hawk. So was James. Melissa was a raven. And I morphed a vulture. I know a lot of people think vultures are ugly, but I think they have a certain style to them. Being the largest, I carried Jeanne’s iHolo in my talons.
We flew high, to try and avoid being seen. There were birds here, but we only vaguely resembled them. Even from high up, we could see everything we needed to see. It was easy enough to locate the center of the government. Ssri’Kai were rushing in and out, no doubt on important, official business. I couldn’t look at the iHolo while flying, but there was no doubt that this was the place when we saw a Hork-bajir exit the building.
Jeanne looked at the iHolo. <Erek is inside that building. I think we should demorph and find him. Melissa and I have Kelbrid and Hork-bajir morphs. We could pose as part of the Yeerk entourage.>
<I’ve got a Hork-bajir too,> James added. <Picked it up a while ago, back during the First War.>
<We’re all very impressed,> I said. Do I need to tell you it was sarcasm? <I got one, too. Picked it up at Tobias and Rachel’s wedding.>
<Horks it is,> James agreed. We landed behind what was clearly a dumpster. It was largely empty, though to be honest, the smell coming from it wasn’t bad. We demorphed and remorphed without anyone seeing us. Then we just walked into the building like we belonged. There were Ssri’Kai everywhere. And being Ssri’Kai, they were literally everywhere. On the walls, the floor, the ceiling- it didn’t matter to them. There was what appeared to be a receptionist desk on the left wall and what I honestly suspect was a vending machine on the roof.
<Show offs,> Melissa muttered.
We relied on our iHolo to take us where we needed to go. IT was slow going, since the Ssri’Kai didn’t exactly know how to accommodate for those who couldn’t just walk up walls. Staircases were few and far between, as were elevators or dropshafts. It took an hour for us to make our way to the thirtieth floor, where Erek was. We came to a door at last. With a shrug, I knocked.
Erek opened the door. He looked like a normal guy, a few years younger than I was. I knew he was actually a few thousand years older than me. Cassie always liked the Chee and their absolute commitment to nonviolence. I used to, too. Now, I disagreed with them. Now I new that sometimes, people have to die. <Hello, Erek,> James said pleasantly. <We’re here to help.>
Erek nodded and half-tugged, half-pulled us inside. “I’m glad you’re here. We’ve got real problems.”
<Yeerks trying to infest Ssri’Kai leaders,> Jeanne commented. <Nothing we haven’t dealt with before.>
Erek shook his head. “Yeah, they’re up to that. But this is a whole lot more complicated than that. We’ve got maybe a week before this whole thing blows up in our faces and the whole galaxy is doomed.”

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nomadsland
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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by nomadsland » Sun May 23, 2010 7:48 pm

You're very good as this cliffhanger thing, capn. Thank you for updating! Loved reading from Melissa's POV and I can't wait to find out what bad news Erek is about to share. And finally Rachel is going to have the baby! :)
Launch forth into the deep

Allons-y!

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Blueberry Chicken
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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by Blueberry Chicken » Mon May 24, 2010 10:44 am

I enjoyed the "kick-in-the-nuts" touch Melissa provided. I think I'm becoming a little more fond of her.
"Sass, back before you, me, Blu, Vulf and BB used to roll together.We were tighter than emo jeans."
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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by Alanfangor » Tue May 25, 2010 6:56 am

Great work cap keep it up! By the way when can we expect the next update?

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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by capnnerefir » Tue May 25, 2010 7:57 am

Not sure about the next update. Hopefully sooner raher than later but I have a lot on my plate right now. In addition to this, TDC, and book 75, I'm working on other projects including RotS. Also, I'm tryijg to get a job writing a novel for adingeons amd Dragons, which is lots of work. And that isn't includong my day job, necessary sleep and relaxstion time, and spending time with Gina. Lots for me to do right moe so I can't say when you'll get the next update. I'd like it soon, but no promises.

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Re: Megamorphs 6: Survivors of the Kelbrid (I can haz $?)

Post by BeyondtheEllimist » Tue May 25, 2010 4:37 pm

Very good. The Ssri'Kai have vending machines and receptionists?
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.