That’s what they call me.
I am powerful, yet I am not invincible like people think I am. I can reverse time to any point I want, destroy or create with the click of a finger… But I am not the only one with such power.
There is one more, just as powerful as I. They call him ‘The One’.
He has taken one single Blade ship filled with yeerks, and with it, destroyed an Andalite ship, killing most of the crew.
But these aren’t normal yeerks. No. They have the ability to morph.
Earth has sent one ship to investigate the disappearance of one of the Animorphs, Aximilli-Esgarrouth-Isthill. He has been assimilated by The One, thus luring the rest of the Animorphs, or what’s left of them, towards a near impossible battle.
Not impossible. Near impossible
I have watched these Animorphs fight bravely against the odds so many times, but they have gone to the battle hideously outnumbered. There is only Jake, Marco and Tobias, accompanied by a small crew. This will not be enough. Not nearly. They would be defeated and all they have worked for will be lost.
Though… there is one hope…
I cannot interfere with the outcome of the battle, but there are those who can. But who? Who could be trusted enough to make this decision that will turn the outcome of the battle on its head?
I cannot just ask them to decide for certain victory, of course, nothing is certain. They would have to decide themselves what to do.
I would need to test them. Test their mental strength, their mind, and their spirit. I need to know that they will make the right decision. The entire universe depends on this battle. It must end in our favour.
But who could I place this massive responsibility on? Who could handle such pressure?
Who could make the right decision in the end?
Will they endure the impossible choice…
Or be crushed…
EDIT: gonna wrap every bit as a spoiler since it carries on straight from the end of #54 and i might accidentally spoil something for someone
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Last edited by Blu on Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:47 am, edited 5 times in total.
My name is Toby Hamee.
I am a Hork-Bajir living on a planet called Earth, staring up at the distant stars.
My friends are up there.
Friends, you ask? The Animorphs - or at least what is left of them. They are in a battle from which they may not return. The feeling of guilt had been clawing its way through me ever since they left, gnawing on the fact that I was stuck down her chewing on an old piece of bark, whilst they fought for theirs and many other people‘s lives.
Then again, if I were up there risking my life I would feel just as guilty for not being here with my friends and family. They needed me for their own protection. Protection not from war, disease or invasion, but from a heated political climate that debated on how and where we lived on our new home.
I tried to blank out the guilt and stared into deep space, feeling the soft heat of the nearby fire tan my side. I looked to my left and I saw trees. A lake covered in the shadow of the night. Dim torches from a distance traced the cities neighbouring our home, and they looked like the stars, flickering with foreign glows reflected in the water beneath.
I turned my head right to see my friends and family. They were sitting around the fire warming themselves, telling stories and anything else they would do to entertain themselves. They showed no fear, but they knew nothing about what cursed me with guilt. I never told them, my mother aside.
I thought it would be better if they did not know. Instead, I preferred for them to play and sleep, blissfully unaware with no worry but for daily life. They needed the break, and so did I.
You see, I am what they call a seer. I am a not like the others, for I can see things that they cannot. I was born to help them - a guide, if you will. They looked up to me and I did what I could for them.
My great-grandfather was also a seer. Dak Hamee, a Hork-Bajir brave enough to guide an entire army into impossible battles. He did it with pride, doing all he could to save them. They gave the yeerks a battle right to the end.
We were doomed. There was not a free Hork-Bajir for years, decades, until the Animorphs, a group of six young individuals saved us, hiding and protecting two escaped Hork-Bajir. Those two escapees, my mother and father, helped revive us into the thriving population we have today.
Our people, after the war, were moved to an area on the outer rim of Yellowstone, and we continued to expand our numbers. We liked it here. The area was vast, the trees plentiful, and it was easy to adapt to our surroundings. It has become the perfect environment. We have everything we need.
Unfortunately, I was not always here to marvel at my new home. My self-proclaimed duty to protect had earned me a place in politics. The House of Representatives, to be precise. I could spend weeks away, sometimes even months attending large gatherings that could only be described as tedious. Barely a year into politics, and I had grown a disliking of it. Not a day would go by when a camera or a bill was shoved before my snout. However, I tended to stay neutral on issues that did not involve my people. It was not my place to comment on the rights of the humans, hence why I was only a non-voting member of the House.
I longed for the day it would end, but responsibility was all that mattered to me nowadays.
Once again I stared up at the bright stars. I was laying a few metres from the group, by an old dead tree that had fallen in high winds. I would usually spend time on my own to think and observe, but tonight I did not feel like it. It only reminded me of my friends who had risked everything for me and my people. I wanted to be happy, to feel that there was nothing to worry about.
I got up and slowly waddled over to the camp where my friends and family were sat. Some were talking and laughing amongst themselves, while others were sleeping out of reach of the dim fire light, heads held on their chests as they snored quietly. It was getting late.
The circle was formed just in front of a large cave carved out of a rock surface, big enough for an entire family to live in. The fire was set a few metres away from the entrance on a large pile of fallen leaves and uneaten bark.
At daytime, you could look along the rocks and notice it was dotted with more. Whenever conditions would take a turn for the worse, we would shelter in the caves until we could move out again. In good conditions, we could either sleep up in the trees or, as some were doing now, sleep around the campfire we set every night.
There were many stories to tell since the war ended, with the vast majority of our population having experienced life as a controller. Those that had a yeerk slug slither into their head and wrap itself around their brain, taking over all senses, controlling every move and sound they made, as they screamed and begged in the back of their own mind. We were hearing another such story tonight.
I found a gap in the circle next to my mother, and squeezed myself in.
Mother is roughly the same height as me, though she had a smaller tail and smaller, darker blades on her arms and legs. Beside her sat my little brother, shorter than both of us by a few inches perhaps, not yet fully grown. He was born not long before our father died. I feel that it had affected him. He seemed incomplete.
I made myself comfortable and let my legs rest out in front of me, using my tail for balance. My mother turned to face me and gave a shrewd look - I must have seemed unhappy.
“Toby Hamee sad”
She always knew if I had a problem. Then again, she was my mother. I faced her and forced a smile. “I am fine, just… tired”
“Toby scared of battle.”
She was the only other Hork-Bajir here who knew about the Animorphs leaving. I had told her last night in our cave while it was raining. I couldn’t sleep.
My smile faded. I gazed into her worried eyes and she stared back. “Something will go wrong."
She shuffled closer. “They come back. Jake fine. Marco fine. Tobias fine. All fine.” She gave me that motherly smile which gave me so much comfort. “Toby worry too much.”
She would be right. Perhaps I really was just worrying too much. “Thank you Mother.”
“Ket always here for Toby.”
My Mother had been my guide ever since I first opened my eyes. Even as a seer I had to look up to someone.
A new voice arose behind us, distorted slightly by the roaring flame. “Toby?”
I turned to look over my shoulder. In the light of the flames I could just make out Cassie’s silhouette.
I got up and walked over to her. “Hello Cassie.”
“Hi Toby, how are things?”
I forced on a smile, “I am fine. And how are you, Cassie?”
She grinned, baring her white human teeth, “I'm great! Ronnie's taking me to dinner tonight. Le restaurant Vieux Paris.”
“That sound wonderful. I hope it you enjoy it.”
“We have to treat a wolf we found before we go though. It’s been a busy day.”
Cassie has always been into animal care. She rescues them from around the local area and takes them to her own animal clinic for rehabilitation. Saving and releasing injured animals always puts her in a good mood.
“I hope I’m not distracting you from anything…” She looked embarrassed.
I shuffled myself so that my backside rested on a flatter surface. It is harder for me to see in the dark, which meant that it was harder to find a relatively comfortable spot. “Distracting me?”
“Well you were sitting with Ket.”
Ket was looking back at us. It appeared that she was eager to speak to Cassie, but she stayed sat down and decided not to interrupt. “We were just talking.”
Cassie hesitated and lowered her head. “I guess you’re worried too.”
“Yes, I am”
She looked into my eyes and I looked back into hers as well as the fire light would allow.
“I’m sure everything will be fine. They will be back in a few days. I just feel a little guilty for not being with them.”
“You have things to do here. The clinic needs you. Ronnie needs you”
“I know.” She moved to a log on the ground and sat down on it, holding up her head with her palms. “I guess since the end of the war, we all kind of… fell apart”
She was right. After the war, the Animorphs went their separate ways, with Jake and Tobias coming off seemingly the worst. Jake fell into depression. His brother had died, as had his cousin Rachel. Tobias had not forgiven Jake for Rachel’s death, and everyone thought he had disappeared, though he had recently started coming to see my people again. He talked to me and the other Hork-Bajir often.
I knew what Cassie feared. She feared not just for the outcome of any battle the Animorphs faced, but for the relationships held between them. They may break up again when they return. This thought upset Cassie deeply.
“Everything will be just fine. You will see.” I knew this may not turn out true, and I felt agitated for putting in my own false hope, but I wanted to make her feel better. "While they are gone, you have Ronnie.”
“Thanks Toby. I guess a meal tonight with Ronnie will make me feel better. It will take my mind off of it.”
“How is Ronnie?” I asked, trying to bring up a more light-hearted conversation.
“He seems nervous. I think tonight’s going to be a very special dinner.” She grinned.
I joined. “You think…?”
She nodded like she knew.
“He’s going to propose?”
“I can feel it.”
I had learned a lot from Cassie recently. She often took me out into the dense human habitat to show me how they lived and their unusual culture. Humans were amazing, but strange. Very strange.
I was once told that I was ‘The Devil’, which was surprising considering I was sitting in the Whitehouse at the time, surrounded by the political leaders of the country. I was even threatened with a lawsuit after someone tripped over my stray tail by the Washington Monument.
Our most recent visit though was to a building called a church. It was terribly boring. I had to sit quietly in a hidden corner so to attract as little attention as possible, and I swore I could have ripped my own head off. I was interested for maybe the first quarter of an hour, but it was irritating sitting in a cold tight corner, trying hard to make out echoing words spoken at the other side of the room. I decided to leave towards the end, but the crowd was not expecting a two-metre Hork-Bajir to stumble out of a corner in the middle of a service. I apologised and left rather embarrassed.
Cassie later explained to me the purpose of the gatherings. Sometimes weddings would take place there and a couple would become husband and wife. From what I have heard, human marriage is far more complex than Hork-Bajir marriage. I knew a lot more about these weddings now.
I noted that I was drifting from reality, and quickly came back to the conversation “And would you accept?”
She grinned. It was enough of an answer. Her eyes traced over the group huddled around the fire. “How’s the little guy?”
I knew where she was looking. At the far end of the group sat a female holding a small Hork-Bajir in her arms. She had given birth a few hours earlier, and Cassie had helped deliver the newborn. He sat curled up and asleep in his mother’s arms.
“He is fine, though he still does not have a name. The parents are exhausted after today. Too tired for such a decision.” I turned to face her. “Thank you for helping.”
“It’s no problem Toby, really. I love to help you guys, and I have time for things like that now since we hired new staff for the clinic.”
“Is that why you have spent so much time with us recently?”
“Yeah. Since we’ve hired so many I’ve been able to do different things. In fact, how about tomorrow I take you out to see a parade? There’s one starting tomorrow, around midday in the city. My treat.”
“That is very nice of you. I would love to go” I grinned in the fire light. “But… what is a parade?”
“You’ll see when we get there.” She got up onto her feet. “Anyway, I think I should check up on the newborn. Talk to Jer, perhaps. I’m sure she will have a few things to say about her new baby.“ Cassie began to walk away, and then swivelled to face me. “You look tired. Maybe you should rest for a bit.”
“Yes. I think I will go to my tree.”
She walked away from me and over to the camp, and she sat down next to Jer who looked lazily at her, gleaming in the light. She was happy, and what was there to stop that? She was free. Her baby was free. We were all free.
I watched as the little Hork-Bajir opened a large eye, slowly and curiously. He soon decided to crawl away, perhaps spotting some food nearby. He lost his balance and fell back onto Cassie’s lap, who cushioned his fall and lifted him into her arms. He smiled and quickly made himself comfortable, falling back to sleep.
I watched them sitting there. Peaceful. It is what we had always wanted, but deep down inside I knew things were not all right. Not yet, anyway. I craned my neck upwards to look up at the night sky, watching the owls fly past, the occasional aeroplane and the flickering stars.
My eyelids began to droop and I let out a big yawn. An hour or so passed before I walked over to my own tree, a few dozen metres away from the fire. The green leaves seemed to shine in brilliant shades of gold, rustling in the gentle night breeze. Fluttering, distant laughter wove into the wind to form an atmospheric, almost dreamy and ambient sound.
I climbed slowly up the side of the tree and pulled myself onto a large branch strong enough to hold my weight, let my limbs droop over the side and rested my snout on the smooth bark. I closed my tired eyes and let the noises take me away.