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4/21/2017 6:21 pm  #1


Animorphs shrinking story

I don't know if this has ever been mentioned here, but the Animorphs book series has an installment that is all about shrinking.

For those unfamiliar with the series, the Animorphs are a group of teens who discover that Earth is being invaded by aliens called Yeerks, which are evil, sluglike nasties that take over humans by going into their brains. Think Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan and you'll get the idea.

In book 24 of the series, "Animorphs, The Suspicion," the gang is confronted with a second set of alien baddies called Helmacrons, who are flea-sized and tool around in toy-sized spaceships. They have stolen an alien device that gave the teens the ability to transform into animals, which they must get back by any means necessary.

I am posting chapters 8, 9 and 10 here as a teaser. They are short, so enjoy the author's vivid description of the several of the Animorphs as they get shrunken.

Note: The author uses chevron brackets <> to indicate telepathic communication between the characters.
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    --Chapter 8--

<Rachel, look out! He's on your tail!>

<I got him!>

<Cassie, turn left, left, left!>

I banked hard and twin Dracon beams missed me by millimeters.

It was sheer madness. The two silvery toy spaceships, twisting and turning and firing wildly in a melee with six birds of prey.

And all of it taking place within about a twenty-by-twenty-by-twenty-foot space in my yard. It's a good thing my parents were out.

<Cassie! Above you!> Tobias yelled.

I turned sharply, flapped, and found the ship coming down almost in front of me. I raked my talons forward, but I didn't have the speed. And worse yet, I was getting tired.

Birds of prey aren't geese. They aren't made for long flights without some relaxing soaring and gliding. And they certainly aren't made for playing air tag for twenty minutes.

We were all wearing out. It is unbelievably exhausting keeping your wings going constantly, let alone when you're in a turn ninety percent of the time.

But the Helmacrons were not tiring. And while their little beams couldn't kill us, our talons and beaks couldn't kill them, either. We could knock them around, but we couldn't penetrate their outer skin.

Rachel was the first to land. She practically fell in the dirt. She had the largest morph, the one least able to endure the turning and switchbacks.

<Can't...> she gasped. <Can't go on...>

<Aaaahhh!> Ax yelled. A Helmacron shot had hit its mark. I saw a tiny, smoking hole in his right eye. He landed, too. Demorphing would fix the wound, but I knew it must be very painful.

One of the Helmacron ships broke off the battle and went back to the blue box. But that couldn't happen.

I landed and began to demorph as fast as I could. There are times when human is the best of all. I sprouted up from the ground and tried to catch the Helmacron with fingers only partly emerged from my wings and feet that were basically just size-six talons.

The pale green beam locked onto the blue box. The ship lifted off again, carrying the box despite the fact that the box was bigger than the ship itself.

The ship was heading toward the open barn door. Deliberately? No, that would be stupid. The Helmacrons simply didn't know they were heading into what would be a trap.

I was more and more human and now I could walk fairly well. I chased the retreating blue box.

Into the barn. Sunlight shone through dozens of small knotholes or gaps in the boards. But it was still dim and gloomy inside. The rows of smaller cages were stacked to my right. The larger cages were on my left in a single row. A rough half-wall kept the larger predators separate. Beyond them, isolated at the far end of the barn, were the horse stalls.

The horses were all out in the field. But in the barn we had half a dozen bats, two rabbits, two raccoons, a vole, a gopher, two deer, a badger, a goose, two mourning doves, a fox, three mallard ducks, a merlin, a robin, and a bluejay.

Not to mention the various rats and mice who lived there.

The Helmacron ship had come to a stop, hovering in midair. It sat atop the blue box like a hen trying to hatch an egg.

"Give up the box," I said to the Helmacron ship. "If you don't, I'll have to hurt you."

<Surrender or be annihilated!> the Helmacrons replied.

"I don't think so. In fact, I really don't think you folks are going to have much luck conquering Earth."

<We will crush you! All humans will serve us!>

"Excuse me, I don't mean to be insensitive or..." I searched for the right word. "I don't want to be size-ist, but has it occurred to you that we're kind of big for you to conquer? I mean, your whole ship is smaller than my foot. And your weapons don't really hurt us."

I guess this was news to the Helmacrons, because they fell silent. I thought, Good, maybe I got through to them.

FLASH!

I blinked and held up my hand, too late to block the flashbulb brilliance. It had been a green light of shocking intensity. I wasn't hurt, but I was definitely seeing spots.

And then I noticed something very odd.

The cages were growing larger. The animals in them were growing larger. The Helmacron ship and the blue box were growing larger.

"Oh, no," I said, more amazed than frightened. "I'm shrinking."

    --Chapter 9--

I was getting small. I was getting small very fast.

I've shrunk before, when I've morphed various insects, for example. But this was new. I was shrinking as a human.

The only good thing was that at least my morphing suit was shrinking, too. Bad to be shrinking. Worse to be shrinking right out of your clothes.

"Hey!" I yelled. "what did you do to me?"

<Hah! You glory in your swollen, bloated bulk, human! You dare to defy us! We shall see how bold you are when you are the same size as we. Now you will taste bitter defeat! Now you will feel the sting of eternal humiliation!>

I don't glory in my... Hey, who are you calling bloated? Wait a minute! Stop this!"

I was still shrinking. I'd started at four foot something. Now I was less than a foot tall. And I was still shrinking. I glanced over and saw a raccoon. He was bigger than I was. Not to mention a million times more hostile.

<Cassie!>

I spun around and spotted Tobias, swooping in like a 747 coming in for a landing.

"Tobias! Look out! They have a shrinking ray!"

<A what?>

FLASH!

"Never mind. You'll find out soon enough."

<Hah HAH! You all think to resist the might of the Helmacrons because you are large and because you glow with the transformational power! But we, too, know how to use the transformational power! Shrink! Shrink! And become our abject and pitiable slaves!>

<Hey,> Tobias said, sounding puzzled. <I'm shrinking. And you've already shrunk!>

"Tobias! You have to warn the others not to come in here! Somehow they're using the power of the blue box to do this."

<I can't leave you. You're less than six inches tall!>

"Warn the others!" I cried.

Tobias turned, but he was shrinking fast. He was already down to about hummingbird size. Suddenly the door was much farther away for him.

<Well, this is unfortunate,> he said.

A huge galumphing form appeared in the doorway: Marco.

"Get back!" I screamed.

But of course what he heard was, "Get back!"

FLASH!

"Hey!" Marco yelled. "No flash photography."

<Marco! Quick, before you shrink. Warn the others to stay out!>

"Say what? Before I what?

But he turned and yelled over his shoulder. "Jake! Ax! Rachel! Stay out of here!"

I could see him peering down at me. His face was about the size of the Goodyear blimp--if it was about to land on top of you.

"Oh, this isn't good," he said.

I was shrinking still further. I was already as small as a cockroach. The roof of the barn already looked like it was the sky. A dim overhead light might as well have been the moon.

Marco was standing on sequoia legs, with feet the size of twin Titanics.

"What's happening in there?" Jake yelled.

"Well," Marco said calmly. "The Helmacrons have the blue box and they seem to be using it in a kind of bizarre way."

"I'm coming in," Jake said decisively.

"No!" Marco yelled in a voice that already sounded like someone breathing helium. "No, Jake and Ax, do not come in!" Then, as an afterthought, he said, "Rachel, you could come in."

<"Marco!> Tobias chided.

"Hey, the Wicked Witch gets to be full size and I'm down here singing, `We represent the Lollipop Guild?' I don't think so."

<Rachel, Jake, everyone stay out!> Tobias cried in thought-speak that we all heard clearly.

"Okay, everyone just stay put," Jake ordered. "Look, the other Helmacron ship took off. Rachel hit it with a brick."

I would have laughed. Only I was now shrinking down to the point where scattered bits of hay on the ground were looking like huge, felled trees. Grains of dirt were the size of soccer balls.

"I think I'm done shrinking!" I said. Not that anyone heard me. Something flew into view. Something that seemed weirdly large. Tobias. He was roughly the size of a very small fly. But he was about as big as me.

<I think I've stopped shrinking,> he said.

"Me, too."

<But we're the same size. I should be smaller than you. I started out much smaller than you.>

"I guess that's not how it works," I said. "I think the idea here is to shrink us all to the same size as the Helmacrons themselves."

Marco, now no more than three inches tall himself, came walking over. He was huge to us. But his face was getting closer all the time.

"Oh, man, you guys are small," he said. "Honey, I shrunk the Animorphs!"

"Rachel! Get a brick!" Jake said in a huge voice that reverberated around us.

    --Chapter 10--

"I am loaded up and ready," Rachel said grimly.

"Give them a warning shot," he said. "Careful not to hit Cassie or the others."

Rachel must have thrown the brick, because there came a humongous earthquake.

WHAMBBBB!

It only lasted a second, but it knocked me on my butt. Fortunately, that involved a fall of only a few millimeters.

"Helmacrons, listen to me!" Jake said. "That was a warning shot. The next one lands right on top of you. Leave the blue box. Restore our people to normal size and we'll let you leave peacefully!"

<Never! Your brick weapon does not frighten us!>

"Yeah? Well it banged up your other ship pretty well," Rachel said.

<Helmacrons, listen to me.> I recognized Ax's thought-speak voice. Which meant he was probably in his normal body.

Great. All I needed was for my parents to come home, find Jake and Rachel and a big blue scorpion-tailed four-eyed Deer-boy in a standoff with a toy-sized spaceship, and me the size of a gnat.

<Helmacrons,> Ax said patiently, <if you are capable of spaceflight you must also understand the fundamental laws of motion. Her weapon has a mass as great as the mass of your ship. It will be thrown at a velocity that will-->

<Do not lecture us on physics, you inferior human!>

<I am not an inferior human, I am an Andalite.>

"Hey!" Rachel said.

<Sorry,> Ax said. <I didn't mean to say that humans are inferior.>

<We will crush you, Andalite! All Andalites will grovel before us.>

<Not if my friend Rachel hits you with the dense oblong cube she is holding.>

"It's a brick, Ax. It's called a brick. We build houses out of them."

<Perhaps you should not mention that fact,> Ax said in an aside. <The Helmacrons are already contemptuous of humans.>

"Okay, I've had enough of this battle of the alien egos here. I'm counting to three. Then I'm throwing this brick. You little insects either fix my friends...and Marco, too...or you get bricked."

<Do you dare to threaten us?!>

"One..."

<Grovel before the might of the Helmacrons!>

"Two..."

Tseeew! Tseeew!

"Aaahhh! Rachel cried.

"The other ship! It's back!" Jake yelled. "Look out!"

I could see it all happening, far, far overhead. A gigantic Rachel, holding a brick the size of a high school. The second Helmacron ship, which no longer looked nearly as tiny, came zipping in and shot Rachel in the shoulder.

She let the brick fly. But it wasn't an aimed shot. It was reflex.

The brick arced through the air, and began to drop. Straight toward us.

"Run! Marco yelled. He was now as small as Tobias and me.

We ran. Tobias flew.

"Noooo!" Jake screamed and launched himself through the air, hands outstretched to catch the falling brick.

But then...

FWAPPPP!

Ax's tail blade snapped like a bullwhip, there was a shower of sparks that might as well have been the Fourth of July to us on the ground, and suddenly there were two smaller bricks tumbling apart.

I shot a look upward at the two tumbling half-bricks.

"Freeze!" I yelled.

WHAAAM!

WHAAAM!

They dropped on either side of us, once again knocking me off my feet.

The a much heavier impact.

WHA-BOOOOM!

Jake hit the ground,fortunately missing us as well.

His face lay sideways. It was about as high as a thirty-story building. His eyes were like brown-and-white swimming pools, huge globes that looked as if they might pop and drain down like runny Jell-O.

His mouth was a valley. His nostrils were caves. When he breathed out it nearly knocked Tobias out of the air. And when he sucked in a pained inhalation it was like being near a vacuum cleaner.

I stared up, transfixed by this face I had always found attractive. And I found myself staring at a zit bigger than I was.

Fortunately, Tobias was paying attention to more important things. <Jake! Above you!>

Jake rolled over, a moving mountain, just as the two Helmacron ships, holding the blue box with twin tractor beams, attempted to fly over him.

He rolled onto his back and shot an arm about a thousand feet into the air. Fingers the size of Taxxons closed around the blue box and yanked it down.

The two Helmacron ships jerked, shuddered, but flew on.

We had the box back!

Unfortunately, Marco, Tobias, and I were still small enough to set up housekeeping inside a thimble.

 

 

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