Aftermorphs #001 - "Into the Belly of the Whale" - Chapter One

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    Yes We Can Illidan's Avatar
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    Cool Aftermorphs #001 - "Into the Belly of the Whale" - Chapter One

    Here is a story idea that I've always wanted to run with. It is basically a continuation of the Animorphs series by K.A. Appelgate. Hopefully someone familiar with the series can post and give me their feedback.

    My name is Christopher and this is my story. It has been many years since a war on Earth cast five youths into the throws of adulthood. Blood has been spilled and tears have been shed.

    I, along with many other disillusioned youths aboard the ship Rachel were in the midst of our toughest battle yet.

    TSEEW! TSEEW! Shredders fired from the left and the right. The scene was utter chaos as I scanned the room. A hippopotamus in the far corner crushed one of the guns under its immense weight. A crocodile snapped another in two with its powerful jaws.

    <Mark! Morph now! You’re hit!> I screamed to my friend. I could see the tattered, crumpled body of a Red-Tailed Hawk across the way. If he didn’t return to Human soon he would bleed to death. I circled back to try and provide cover for him. I relaxed a bit as I saw his feathers melting back into flesh.

    CRASH! Chessa had trampled the last shredder mounted on the wall. The lumbering form of an African Elephant within the room was certainly an amazing sight. <AHAH! I win!> she shouted with glee. I relaxed, knowing the battle was over.

    <Test simulation complete. Terrain restoration initializing.> The computer spitted in thought-speech. We all watched in amazement as the battle computer slowly healed the artificial terrain installed within the battle room. The fifteen of us had just completed one of the hardest simulations the computer had to offer. We were advancing quickly in the art of war. The idea saddened me. I had heard stories of how children lived before all of this. It was just a dream, an image. Yet I yearned for it.

    “Great job everyone! I have an appointment with the captain, I’ll be back soon” I shouted after demorphing. I quickly raced to the bridge. I weaved in and out of the corridors, picking up speed. This was not an appointment I was looking forward to. However when the captain calls you to the bridge, you be there on time.

    I arrived on the bridge to see Captain Berenson with his back turned to me. He had a holoprojector in his hand. The image was of a girl, roughly 16 or 17 years of age. She had blond hair and blue eyes. It was difficult to say she was tall, but the image definately left that impression. She almost looked like a model. Yet she had a fierce intensity about her. Upon hearing me, the Captain quickly put the holoprojector away and turned to face me.

    I looked deep into his eyes. They were cold, unrelenting. They bore no mark of injury, but I could tell there were scars upon his soul. I hadn’t known him before the war on Earth, but there were stories. Jake had used to be a normal kid. He was like any of the normal kids aboard the ship now. However normal was defined differently in those days. The children of Earth knew nothing of fighting battles; Humans in those days were unaware that there was any life in the Universe outside of their own planet.

    “What’s our next move Captain Berenson?” I asked timidly. I would never dare to call him Jake. It was just something that wasn’t done. Before I was brought on board, I was briefed shortly on which behavior would be appropriate with the superiors. It was made clear that no cadet was to address the captain informally. I wasn’t much for military conduct, but I didn’t feel like getting in trouble today. There was also something about the look in his eyes that got to me. He was a military leader; there was no doubt about that. His demeanor and stature reflected someone who had been hardened by the ravages of war. Yet something about his eyes was… troubling.

    Our captain had been a child on Earth during the Yeerk’s first invasion. He and his friends had received the morphing technology from the great Andalite War-Prince Elfangor-Sirinal Shamtul. They along with Elfangor’s little brother Aximili had battled the Yeerks for years until Andalite reinforcements arrived to secure the planet. The victory was a somber one, as it ushered in a new era for the Human race. The leaders of Earth were forced to put aside their petty differences and adhere to the Elder Andalites, dispatching what soldiers they could to aid our allies in battle all over the galaxy.

    Older men and women were sent to the front lines of battle after a few weeks of basic training. I never quite understood how you could just drop of shredder in a person’s hands and expect them to fight, but to question the system was foolish.

    Children showing enough promise were sent to tactical at age fifteen. It’s never a happy moment, leaving your family. However when the order comes, you don’t argue. You just go. You can cry and whimper all you like, but you know within a day you’re gone. You are quickly ushered to one of the orbital stations surrounding the planet and put to work learning proper battle strategy and the history of the Great Conflict. Human children are granted the morphing technology and utilized in more specialized operations. While our primary objective is to act as spies to gather information, we must fight when necessary. After your initial training was complete, you are assigned to a ship until the military tells you otherwise.

    “We’ve discovered a hostile group of Yeerks whom have recaptured an elder holding on the Hork-Bajiir home world. While the planet has been liberated for several years, the ground forces are constantly harassed by Yeerk insurgents. Your mission will be to gather a group of twelve cadets; infiltrate the holding and take out the hostiles. My forces will deal with pests outside and provide cover for you” he said coldly. There was zero emotion in his voice. He reminded me of the drones that took down your records back on the orbital platform. As if he had done this sort of thing a thousand times.

    “Yes captain” I said, horrified. My mission? He was honestly expecting me to lead this? I swallowed hard. My first battle and I was going to be the head? I was growing increasingly aggravated with the military’s “sink or swim” attitude. I wasn’t ready. I just wasn’t. But I knew there was no arguing. It was duty to fulfill my mission, even if it was to fail. I couldn’t let my captain down.

    “You have your orders. We’ll be landing on the planet in one hour. You have half that time to prepare and have your troops ready on the battle bridge. Leave.” He said again without emotion. His eyes lowered to the screen below him as he punched a few controls.

    I turned around and began to walk back to the training room. Doom overtook me as the seriousness of the situation sank in. The battles that had taken place involving our military were not pretty. We naïve cadets may be capable of mercy, but I knew Captain Berenson and his troops weren’t. They were cold and calculating. A lot of souls would be lost before the day was over.

    I fought back tears as I went through the large double doors to face my peers. Which of them would I bring down into this nightmare? I scanned the room as I saw each of them grimace upon examining my face. They weren’t stupid, they knew something was wrong. The harsh simulation we had just gone through was nothing compared to what we were about to face.
    Last edited by Illidan; 30th September 2005 at 02:39 PM.
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