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  #91  
Old 10-03-2017, 02:52 PM
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I got a bit more time to myself today, so let's keep chugging through this trilogy more.

Book 21: The Threat picks up basically exactly where the other one left off. The team escapes the chopper and gets back to planning to infiltrate the Marriott hotel. Only thing is: this isn't just a simple Yeerk camp. This is a meeting of leaders from the US, Germany, Russia, Japan, France, and the UK. The security they have to face is on a whole other level. They can't even rely on insects to sneak in, since the number of people/insects going in would be a dead give-away.

Before we explore this more, though, let's remember that this arc is about David. And he starts off after their escape from the chopper by using his eagle morph to break into a Holiday Inn for a free hotel stay. Jake comes down on him pretty hard for this, saying that no, you do not get to abuse your powers to be a criminal, because we REALLY HAVE BIGGER CONCERNS. David snaps at him, saying that that's all well and good for Jake to say, him being Mr. I-Still-Have-A-House-And-Family, but that doesn't really excuse his actions, especially considering the group has already given him accommodations in Cassie's barn.

For the stealth, Jake ends up morphing a dragonfly for everyone else to hitch a ride on as fleas. After another near-scare with being stuck in mid-morph (Marco, the Amazing Dog-sized Flea!) they figure out a few things. First: the M.O. for the Yeerks is that they installed a mini Yeerk pool in a hologram of one of the pillars in the ballroom, where they're gonna do a snatch-and-grab of the world leaders as they pass by the pillar. Second: this is one of the rare few books where Visser Three is not only smart about his plan, but ridiculously smart. He didn't acquire the president's DNA, no; he acquired the event coordinator. Far lower stakes that way with much better payoffs at getting the full six.

During this stealth mission, David almost blows everyone's cover by sneaking into his lion morph while the Controllers are scanning the area. The fact that Jake spared the Yeerks in the pool (this time) convinces the Controllers that the coast is clear, but Jake has to basically jump on David's back to keep him in check. David keeps his cool, although he does make a point of asking Jake "hey which do you think would win in a fight, lion or tiger"? No red flags here, no sir!

Fast forward to the day of the infiltration. They sneak into the hologram disguising the Yeerk pool, wait for the first leader to come by so they can tell him about the Yeerks, and... whoops, it was a trap! Visser Three set up nested holograms, expecting the Andalite bandits to come again the next day while missing that the conference is scheduled another day out. Furthermore, he knows that they have a single human added to their ranks, and tries to barter with David, saying that he should defect so he can be with his parents and have all this power.

Now, if he was offering anyone BUT David these things, they'd all tell him to get bent like a boomerang. But David actually considers it for a bit... until the fight breaks out, as Jake realizes the Visser is doing a double-bluff and just hologram'd a bunch of Hork-Bajir guard images, and they turn the tide. David swears up and down that he was just lying as well, but by this point Jake and everyone else distrusts the hell out of him at this point.

Sure enough, later that evening he sneaks out from the barn again, and Jake, Tobias and Ax start tailing him. Although they lose contact with Tobias, they eventually track David down to the wreckage of his old house, where he's just chilling in his old room watching TV. Also Tobias' mangled corpse is on the bed. Yeah David totally killed Tobias in cold blood because Tobias had the gall to try to follow him! Have we dropped enough hints that David is a sociopath yet?

The book wraps up with Jake and David having a climactic tiger vs. lion showdown in a closed mall, since at this point David's goal is not to side with the Animorphs OR the Yeerks, but to look out for number one. Unfortunately, while Jake is a more experienced morpher, David is far more vicious, and his lion form's mane provides just enough defense to give him the edge. The book ends with Jake crashing through a skylight and losing blood. Seems like a good stopping point, right?
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  #92  
Old 10-03-2017, 03:15 PM
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So... uh...

Does turning into a lion and killing and eating a child who turned into a bird count as cannibalsim?

Because I think that guy just did a cannibalism.
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  #93  
Old 10-03-2017, 03:34 PM
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For extra fun: David was in golden eagle morph when he did that.
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  #94  
Old 10-03-2017, 07:54 PM
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So one Animorph is dead and another is probably dead. Let's move right on to Book 22: The Solution, which has Rachel woken up out of nowhere by Ax. See, Jake didn't say "get everyone" right before he ran off to his final showdown. No, he specifically wanted Rachel on hand. She's brought up to speed very quickly: Tobias is dead, Jake is probably dead, and David's gone full rogue. Have fun!

She eventually tracks him down in the mall, and nearly gets herself killed in the process, although they do manage to cover Jake for long enough that Cassie's mom can turn up to keep him alive. Before that happens, Rachel has another run-in with David, and is saved purely by her being in human form. David's rationalization is that he won't kill people. Animals, oh sure, absolutely, but he's not a murderer. Killing a bird or a tiger isn't murder. He then makes his escape while Rachel furiously screams after him that she will kill him.

Acting fast, they move on to Marco to quickly wake him up. But David acted faster: he ambushed Marco in his sleep (although didn't kill him), morphed him, and then faked being asleep for long enough to smack the first birdmorph that entered his room with a baseball bat, ending with Ax nearly dying and having his beak shattered. He then takes to the air as a golden eagle, aiming to fight Rachel in her owl morph.

Again: Rachel has more experience with morphing, but David's a far more vicious fighter, and he quickly gets the upper hand. If it wasn't for the sudden return of Tobias, she'd be the next to die. Luckily for Tobias, David just happened to kill a different red-tailed hawk who was unlucky enough to be flying nearby. And since it's so dark, he doesn't see exactly which bird morph flanked him, and he is forced to retreat, so as far as David knows, Tobias is still dead (Jake and Ax manage to recover). And if it wasn't for that, the Animorphs could not hope to stand a chance against David.

Next day at school, David turns up again morphed as Marco and makes his demands: Give me the morphing cube, or [insert horrible fate here. I recommend ratting everyone out to Visser Three for starters]. They more or less tell him to get bent, and Rachel pursues him and starts confronting him. I say confronting, but she gets about as vicious and fierce as she can get without growing claws, even going so far as to threaten David's already-Controller parents if he rats them out. This sort of shocks even her, and she starts thinking more about why Jake called for her specifically last night.

Oh right there's a mission about saving world leaders isn't there? Uhhhh we don't have time for stealth, and David could be listening in on the plan in morph, so let's just go with plan B: SCREW STEALTH, WE ARE ALL RHINOS AND ELEPHANTS. Which works really well: with the Marriott destroyed, the leaders have to reschedule for somewhere outside of Visser Three's influence. As the group goes dolphin to escape, David shows up and says hi with his orca morph that he apparently has. He specifically singles out Rachel on account of that whole threatening-his-family thing, but Cassie out-huges him in whale morph and he backs off.

With the mission resolved, we can get back to a plot point that was brought up last book but which I forgot was actually relevant. See, Jake and Rachel's cousin Saddler got hit by a car while he was riding his bike, and he's been in the pediatric ICU for the books up until now. Because now... well, his odds look pretty bleak. Rachel takes some time to try to talk through a possible death in the family with her middle sister Jordan... and then gets to freak out when David chimes in from wherever he's spying on her. Just driving home that message of hey, if my family's at risk, yours sure as hell is too, but hey NBD I won't do anything just enjoy your shower Rachel.

Jake and Rachel head over to where Saddler is, and right before they got there, the doctors were going over what they were going to tell Saddler's family, but what do you know, suddenly he had a miraculous recovery and he is 100% healthy and no seriously how did that happen? Jake figures it out almost immediately: David saw an opening and took it. The real Saddler died in an elevator, and David cut off the power, acquired him, and stole his place. We never find out where the real Saddler is, only that David wanted to get himself a new family, possibly by planting himself into Rachel's just for that extra tiny bit of screw you.

The next part of the Animorphs plan is the most calculated, careful, and cruel thing they have ever done and possibly will ever do. Again, knowing that David will be watching their every move whenever they can, they discuss things amongst themselves and admit defeat. David can have the stupid Escafil Device already, as long as it gets him out of their hair. For security reasons, they dismantled the device and hid its pieces in the plumbing of the construction site where Elfangor landed. David demands them to lead him to the device, holds Rachel as a hostage to force everyone to do what he wants, and traps everyone else in cockroach form with a Pepsi bottle. He and Rachel (as rats) then go into the pipes for the pieces of the Escafil Device.

And then the trap springs. David even figures it out just before it happens, and grabs onto Rachel's tail, forcing her to bite it off to ensure he stays behind and she gets free. They pull out the fact that they scripted almost the entire surrender scene, right down to the Pepsi bottle planted so David would think to use it as a prison (and which Tobias, their ace in the hole, could easily open up). The plan is to trap David in a space that only his rat form can survive in, and where he can't safely demorph without crushing himself... for two hours.

Not even joking. The book ends with David screaming and pleading to his captors for release, and they know that they can't chance him getting out. He ends up stuck in rat morph, and they dump him on a sorry excuse for an island teeming with other rats. The natural lifespan of a rat is about two years, so he won't have to live very long in this state, but he can still make everyone think that island is haunted with his telepathic cries of horror.

That's the David trilogy for you!

Last edited by Kalir; 10-03-2017 at 09:39 PM.
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  #95  
Old 10-03-2017, 08:03 PM
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I know you said there's no way to be sure which ones are ghostwritten and which ones are Applegate, but sometimes I'm pretttttty sure.
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  #96  
Old 10-03-2017, 08:10 PM
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  #97  
Old 10-03-2017, 08:11 PM
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I actually got linked an AMA a while ago, and this book is near the tail end of books Applegate wrote herself (which does include Book 9: The Secret). Books 25 through 52 were ghostwritten (although Applegate provided rough outlines of what the story was to do, and was by her own admission not the best person to work with).
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  #98  
Old 10-03-2017, 08:13 PM
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I know you said there's no way to be sure which ones are ghostwritten and which ones are Applegate, but sometimes I'm pretttttty sure.
According to Wikipedia, most of the books from 25-52 are ghost written, and you can tell if they are because they're credited in the dedication page, "The author would like to thank [ghost_writer] for his/her help in preparing this manuscript." The apparently were given a detailed outline by K.A. Applegate, and she herself also apparently only wrote #'s 26, 32, 53, and 54.

Edit: Ninja'd!
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  #99  
Old 10-03-2017, 08:55 PM
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That's the David trilogy for you!
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  #100  
Old 10-03-2017, 09:22 PM
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Well that took a turn
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  #101  
Old 10-03-2017, 09:45 PM
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That month-long wait between #21 and #22 was excruciating.
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  #102  
Old 10-03-2017, 09:49 PM
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I think this is where I checked out on the series. Which had less to do with the series and more to do with starting 7th grade and not having time for kiddie books anymore.
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  #103  
Old 10-04-2017, 04:27 AM
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The next part of the Animorphs plan is the most calculated, careful, and cruel thing they have ever done and possibly will ever do.
I admire your optimism!
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  #104  
Old 10-04-2017, 08:52 AM
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This thread has inspired me to tweet bullshit at Magflare, as is my wont.




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  #105  
Old 10-04-2017, 10:33 AM
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with starting 7th grade and not having time for kiddie books anymore.
That's utterly fascinating considering the end of that trilogy was taking their friend and sentencing him to die as a rat. Now I'm wondering what his parasite-infested parents would think about that if they ever got cleaned up enough.
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  #106  
Old 10-04-2017, 10:35 AM
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BOOKS 16-20

BOOK SIXTEEN: NOW IT'LL TAKE MORE THAN THE TRUTH TO SET YOU FREE....


DO I MAKE YOU


HORNEY? [RIMSHOT.wav] COVER GRADE: B

BOOK SEVENTEEN: THERE'S NOTHING TO FEAR BUT THE YEERKS THEMSELVES....


Is it just me or does blonde Batgirl look kinda, I dunno, CGsh? Like even before she starts turning into a bat. All weirdly shiny and stuff? I dunno maybe it's just a bad scan. At any rate, this one gets full credit for a decently fucked-up looking middle phase, and bonus points for how little the second to last one's head looks like a bat. COVER GRADE: A

BOOK EIGHTEEN: CHANGE A LITTLE. CHANGE A LOT. JUST CHANGE


Kalir told me he really liked this one, but sadly I'm just kinda lukewarm on it. I mean, yeah, it's pretty cool attention to detail how they made BLU HOSSMAN'S front horse legs into the mosquito legs, and added little angry eyes and everything, but it just feels inherently less weird when they start from a drawing of a fantasy creature instead of a photo of a random 12-year-old. Just sorta sucks out the MAGIC, you know what I mean? COVER GRADE: C

SIDE STORY: MEGAMORPHS TWO: IN THE TIME OF DINOSAURS


That incredibly lame picture right there is actually the SEVENTH version of this book's cover! I know what you're thinking. You're thinking OMG WOW I WONDER WHAT THE FIRST SIX LOOKED LIKE! I BET THEY WERE A TRUE FEAST FOR THE EYES! Well guess again idiot, they all looked exactly the same except for the color.

NO ONE KNOWS WHO WE ARE!!!1
See, the idea was that while all those covers were the same, each one corresponded to one of the seven main characters on the INSIDE cover, and you were to buy the version that featured your favorite character. At least until the 7th cover came out, which just had all the pictures. Spoiler alert, all six pictures were bad and boring.

I DO LIKE THAT THE BIRD IS JUST GOING "HOLY SHIT I'M A BIRD" INSTEAD OF MORPHING. THAT PART'S OKAY
The fact that this cover is bad and boring would have already gotten it a failing grade, but the fact that it had the utter gall to be bad and boring SEVEN TIMES OVER is just unforgivable. You done fucked up, Megamorphs Two. You done fucked up. COVER GRADE: FUCK YOU. FUCK YOUR COUCH, YOUR LIFE, AND YOUR INHERENT TRUTHS.

BOOK NINETEEN: THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM FOR A LITTLE CHANGE...


This one would have been a C+, maybe even a B-minus but then I scrolled down the *deep internal shudder of disgust* Wikia *spits* I've been dredging these from and saw THIS.
Can you even imagine how fucked up it would be if they used that as their photoshop guide?! So now this cover represents WASTED POTENTIAL and I hate it. COVER GRADE: D

BOOK TWENTY: GET READY. THERE'S A BRAND NEW ANIMORPH....


If there's one thing I ALWAYS have room for in my heart, it's transition frames where the mouth gets longer and longer and longer. COVER GRADE: B+
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  #107  
Old 10-04-2017, 11:12 AM
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Man, what 90s adventure game are these dialogue portraits from
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  #108  
Old 10-04-2017, 11:13 AM
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I said yep, what a concept, I could use a little fuel myself, and

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BOOK NINETEEN: THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM FOR A LITTLE CHANGE...
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  #109  
Old 10-04-2017, 11:20 AM
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Don't you mean... Ballet with Butterfly Wings
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  #110  
Old 10-04-2017, 12:07 PM
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This has been even more glorious than I imagined.
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  #111  
Old 10-04-2017, 12:12 PM
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Don't you mean... Ballet with Butterfly Wings
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The natural lifespan of a rat is about two years, so he won't have to live very long in this state, but he can still make everyone think that island is haunted with his telepathic cries of DESPITE ALL MY RAGE I AM STILL JUST A RAT IN A
DESPITE ALL MY RAGE I AM STILL JUST A RAT IN A
DESPITE ALL MY RAGE I AM STILL JUST A RAT IN A CAGE

Last edited by BEAT; 10-04-2017 at 12:12 PM. Reason: TELL ME THERE'S NO OTHER ONE.
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  #112  
Old 10-04-2017, 12:17 PM
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yes good
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  #113  
Old 10-04-2017, 12:33 PM
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I'm going to assume that having David turn into a snake on the cover of his book was an intentional narrative decision.
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  #114  
Old 10-04-2017, 12:56 PM
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That's Marco. David never appears on a cover.
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  #115  
Old 10-04-2017, 03:19 PM
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It is now my headcanon that it was David morphed into Marco morphing into a snake.
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  #116  
Old 10-04-2017, 10:12 PM
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Okay, now that that's been handled with the most possible satisfaction for all sides, it's time for the Hork-Bajir Chronicles!

This is established as a tale told to Tobias by Jara Hamee in the valley of free Hork-Bajir. That said, it kind of stretches the bounds of what can be told by pure oratory, but whatever, it's fine. The first way it does this is by dividing the book itself between three authors: Dak Hamee, his great grandfather, Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan, the daughter of Prince Seerow, and Esplin 9466, aka the eventual Visser Three.

We'll start with Aldrea, whose father is exiled to a backwater planet with no intelligent species after his deals with the Yeerks resulted in about a quarter million of them taking off into Z-space with Andalite ships and portable Kandrona tech. The former was stolen from violent raids on Andalite camps, the latter designed by Prince Seerow himself. And it's none other than Alloran-Semitur-Corrass who relieves Seerow of his duties and first utters the words "Seerow's Kindness".

The backwater planet they discover is barely hospitable. A meteor impact long ago basically cracked the planet into a bunch of valleys, which are the only place with atmosphere worth mentioning. These valleys are the home of the Hork-Bajir, a race of peaceful, but intellectually simple, herbivores. Their heavily bladed bodies serve merely as tools to carve away the tree bark they eat.

The average Hork-Bajir usually speaks about three words from their couple-hundred word language each sentence, but Dak Hamee is what they call a seer. Which is to say, he's one of the rare Hork-Bajir born every other generation or so that is smarter than the rest of the Hork-Bajir, smart enough to match wits with an Andalite no problem. Dak Hamee makes first contact, and eventually friends, with Aldrea. The Hork-Bajir believe that seers are given to their people when they are needed, so the obvious guess is that Dak is meant to learn from the Andalites and pass on what he learns to his people.

Except those Yeerks aren't just waffling around in Z-space with only Gedds and a smattering of other alien species to work with. Esplin 9466, an ambitious Yeerk eager to make his name known in the war to secure a powerful body, is one of the first Yeerks to try out a Hork-Bajir host. And they make perfect hosts, too: huge, strong, dangerous, and absolutely no concept of anything like combat or treachery. They literally set up camp within a stone's throw of Hork-Bajir homelands and start infesting them at a rate of a hundred a day.

The only real resistance that could be posed is by Aldrea's family, but they give themselves away to the Yeerks by virtue of their regular comms. Aldrea only survives by virtue of being away from the family scoop when they vaporize it, but she's close enough to see the entire thing occur. Esplin and his idiot cohort Carger attack them, but Dak successfully fights back, incapacitating Esplin's Hork-Bajir and buying them enough time to retreat deeper into the valley, which is a land of monsters that few Hork-Bajir have entered, and fewer have returned alive from.

Faced with a choice of nebulous monsters, and the very real threat of the entire Yeerk army hellbent on killing them, Aldrea and Dak dive further into the misty land of monsters... and break through the fairly-narrow band of mist into a kind of strange city carved into the valley walls, illuminated from below by the core of the planet. This is the city of the Arn, who are the creators of both the Hork-Bajir and the monsters. See, they were around when the meteor was orbiting their planet on a narrow ellipsis, and their sciences were all in biology and genetics. So they froze themselves in stasis on a moon colony, and came back to a planet barely habitable. They used their mastery of genetics to create a race of tree-tenders, with no intellect beyond what was necessary to do the job. Dak's status as seer is openly regarded as not just a genetic anomaly, but a flaw in the Arn's work.

Faced with all that he has seen, the Yeerks seizing his people, his callous creators who only care for his people inasmuch as they keep their world alive, and now the Andalites who are defending the Hork-Bajir mostly to keep them out of Yeerk hands, Dak spends most of this book fairly bitter and furious with the world. Even though Aldrea shows sympathy for his people's situation, he is angry with her for forcing his people to fight, when they have never done more than accidentally cut one another during bark harvesting. But with the Andalite reserve forces several months out, Dak has no choice but to lead his people, as a seer, to war, backed by the genetic horrors of the Arn.

By the time the Andalites led by Alloran get there, they have sent barely any forces (something something why should we listen to the daughter of Seerow) and the Hork-Bajir have already sustained 70% casualties. The Andalites didn't take the threat posed by the Yeerks seriously, and their arrogance cost the Hork-Bajir their homeworld. Faced with the possibility of the Yeerks gaining Hork-Bajir bodies as footsoldiers in their war, Alloran designs a quantum virus to target Hork-Bajir. The details of the virus aren't explained beyond the fact that it will spread quickly, it's airborne, and it will painfully kill the targets within minutes. Alloran hasn't released the virus yet, but he clearly intends to do so.

Aldrea picks this moment to stand with the Hork-Bajir instead of her own Andalite people. She rounds up all samples of the quantum virus, seals it all in a canister, and heads off with Dak to chuck that sucker into the heart of the planet. Unfortunately, this is when Esplin 9466 has started hunting down Aldrea in particular, and he manages to track her down to the Arn city and capture her. The only thing stopping him from taking an Andalite host early is his old Hork-Bajir host's quick actions, but from here on out, it's not enough for him to study Andalites as an enemy. He wants to come out of this war controlling an Andalite.

While he doesn't get that this time, this is still a decisive Yeerk victory, even though the quantum virus does end up released in the mayhem. Dak and Aldrea (now a Hork-Bajir nothlit, stuck in that form after two hours in morph) flee to remote corners of the planet, but the Hork-Bajir as a people are either dead or enslaved, and the Andalites flee the fight with nothing to show for it but Alloran's disgrace.

At least the present day is looking up. Jara and Ket thank Tobias for listening to the story, and indicate their daughter, who they named Toby in honor of him. And wouldn't you know it, Toby just so happens to be a seer too. The Hork-Bajir Chronicles tell about one really awful story, and the beginning of a slightly happier one. P. good.
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  #117  
Old 10-04-2017, 10:27 PM
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*boggles*
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  #118  
Old 10-05-2017, 10:31 AM
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Visser Two seems conspicuous by its absence.
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  #119  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:26 PM
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Visser Two knows when to keep his head down and keep his mouth shut.
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  #120  
Old 10-05-2017, 12:31 PM
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It’s a lot to swallow to assume that a race of alien brain-snails would use the same words to refer to the same numbers in the same sequence.

No, the Yeerk numerical system goes One, Three, Eleven, Pancakes, Seven etc
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