instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-10-18 07:29 pm

the pookas

The following day, Bella goes with Trouble, when he heads for the park.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-10-16 06:56 pm

the circle

Trouble and Charlie fly to Las Vegas to get their collections of drunks. Ax, newly empigeoned, and Ethan loosely follow Renée's car back to Phoenix, so that Ax will not be stranded in an unfamiliar city obliged to demorph into Andalite form with no garage to hide in.

Renée makes a very large grocery trip. Ax deems alfalfa hay intended for consumption by guinea pigs and rabbits to be the hoof-eating equivalent of palatable; it also turns out he can eat a few other things, like carrot tops and turnip greens. He still doesn't like living in the garage, even though it's a different one. Andi finds him a little planetarium gadget that throws star-patterns onto the ceiling.

Renée installs a cot in the basement for Charlie. (His generic human morph is a man about ten years younger than him, plausibly Latino but just as plausibly not, plain and unremarkable. He also picks up a Renée morph. He will be able to drive the girls places, publicly know their names. They can tell he appreciates the opportunity, however weird it is.) Trouble is allowed to sleep on the couch, when Renée learns that he would prefer not to share the basement with Charlie.

Bella sews weights onto all the curtain hems so they won't be easily nudged aside.

The twins also collect generic-human-morphs. Both of theirs are college-age women, samples collected from going on premature college tours and shaking a lot of hands - Bella's looks maybe half Asian when she's done tweaking it, Andi winds up with a complexion much like her usual one but a surprisingly Hawaiian set of features.

Renée never asks to be enabled to morph. Bella eventually offers, "for emergencies", and Renée aggregates a number of her co-workers into the most stereotypical teacher-lady it is possible to Frolis into without requiring vision correction.

Renée makes the arrangements well in advance to homeschool the twins.

Bella quizzes Ax about all sorts of things, for large parts of each day.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-10-16 03:14 pm

the divulgence

Bella assembles everyone (in the garage, out of politeness to Ax, who is standing in grass clippings that Andi took from two houses down for him) after she has organized her notes on Yeerking.

"I have tentatively concluded that the benefits of telling Renée outweigh the risks. We already use her house as a base of operations, and not having to work around her would be much easier, especially now that we have three people who don't officially exist to hide. She exists - and her official existence is an adult; she can drive us places and so on. She can excuse me and Andi from school, if Charlie morphs her he can be out in public as long as they coordinate and not have to pretend he's not our parent, she can make sure we have enough food in the house - and I guess for Ax we experiment with commercially available forms of hay, there aren't going to be grass clippings in Phoenix so readily available - to sustain extra people. She's flighty but not terrible with secrets. I do think we might want to avoid teaching her specialized vocabulary like 'Yeerk' or 'Escafil' or whatever, because that seems like the easier slip for her to make, but I think we should tell her what's going on. Charlie will be able to convince her that we can't just turn over the issue to the authorities."
instar: (h ~ rabbit)
2013-10-15 05:35 pm

the experiment

When Andi has gotten one of Charlie's friends to give her a ride to the grocery store and the unauthorized residents of the house can come out of hiding, Bella goes looking for Trouble, so to speak, and finds him in the kitchen.

"Hey," she says, "I have some more questions that I'd be asking Aspret if she was here. Charlie didn't have answers; Esclan wasn't the talkative type or the experimental type."
instar: (c ~ human)
2013-09-18 03:17 pm

the zoo

There is one visit during the day from a lady down the street who has made the girls a casserole, on the grounds that it can be hard to remember to eat when bereaved. Bella thanks her sincerely, sniffles a little, and sends her on her way. The casserole is shared around for lunch. Bella asks Ax what Andalites eat, and when she finds out, she locates a bag of grass clippings in the backyard that he pronounces acceptable. She also asks him how he eats them. By way of illustration, he steps both forehooves into the bag of clippings.

Night falls.

They can all go to the Seattle zoo and acquire everything they can get their hands on.
instar: (Default)
2013-09-16 12:33 pm

the ocean

Five pigeons, one with a beetle glued to her foot, fly to Seattle and find the aquarium and the orca tanks.

There is one with just one orca in it.

Five pigeons land on the glass edge of the tank.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-09-15 02:36 pm

the airplane

Bella, Andi, and Robin all get on the plane. Bella and Robin have toothbrush caps in their pockets containing flies. Nothing in particular happens when they go through security. They fly for an hour, and then Bella, rather than risk crunch time due to turbulence or a line for the bathroom a little later on, gets up to take Trouble into privacy for demorphing and remorphing.

She takes the toothbrush cap out of her pocket and sets it on the tiny little counter, and then flattens herself against a wall to give him room.
instar: (Default)
2013-09-15 11:57 am

the bait

Now that Trouble is back, the limiting factor on bear and elephant acquisition is just the availability of those of the Animorphs who experience nonzero parental supervision. There is a coincidence of Renée being out well past zoo closing time and Robin's mother being occupied the day after Trouble's return.

Everybody morphs pigeons and they fly to the zoo. The three of them that are going to get bears head for the bear enclosure, and Trouble, of course, is the bait.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-09-13 03:45 pm

the departure

Trouble did a very good job of not leaving breadcrumbs leading to the other Animorphs any more than was already inevitable. Still, the cops - who may or may not have been Controllers - talked to Bella just because Trouble has been known to hang out with her; they talked to Renée a little too. Bella thinks she did a good job of affecting ignorance and dismay. Andi didn't, but Andi defaults kind of expressionless anyway even though her braces have been off for a year and a half.

At school - now in its very last days - everyone knows that Trouble borrowed fifty dollars from Amber Jefferson and made off with it. Amber is very gossipy and can afford to lose fifty bucks; he chose well.

Bella hasn't heard from Trouble - or for that matter Aspret - yet.
instar: (Default)
2013-09-12 12:59 pm

the capture

Bella is, uncharacteristically, home alone; Andi is over at Robin's, and Renée is visiting a friend of hers in the hospital, though she could be home relatively soon depending on how much the two get caught up in conversation.

Bella is memorizing the map of Phoenix.
instar: (Default)
2013-09-06 07:44 pm

the animorphs

Renée is gone in the morning, a pot of maple oatmeal for the girls and Trouble cooling on the stove and a note on the fridge, she's going to be gone all day on a day trip to Tucson with her friends.

Andi wakes up first. Bella's not far behind.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-09-05 11:32 am

the alien

There are no more five-person meetings at the Swan household. They're a circle: Bella-Andi-Robin-Ethan-Trouble-Bella again. They meet in twos, threes, pass around information, get it all down in Bella's cipher in Bella's notebooks. They have a list of members of the Sharing, mostly procured by Ethan and to a lesser extent Trouble, but no safe way to learn if these people's behavior has changed; they have seen no more aliens, observed no more disintegrations, caught no one ducking into anything that is an alien hideout.

The twins try to behave normally with their father or his pod person, whichever the person who calls them is, for a value of "normally" that involves adamantly continuing to want nothing to do with the Sharing.

And sometimes crying and refusing to tell Renée what's wrong.

School proceeds. No one's grades see more than a minor downturn as a result of all the alien business.

Andi and Robin play music. Andi's getting pretty good on the drums, although her teacher moves away and she has to hunt up another one, who she sticks with for four lessons before deciding to go self-taught.

Bella tightens up her cipher. It began as a letter substitution and since then has evolved to include plenty of personal shorthand - she turns the ratio of shorthand to straightforward letters up as far as she can and still read the thing herself. She abbreviates, she leaves out spaces, she names things in roundabout ways, she refers to things many notebooks ago that she can find easily that anyone else could spend hours hunting for, if she has to record names she finds ways to describe the spelling without ever placing all of the characters in sequence. Maybe the aliens have super-cryptanalysis and super-OCR and can eat her notebooks in one bite and know everything they know; but maybe not, and maybe if she's careful enough she'll look like she's writing her paranoid diary and not like she's taking notes on the quiet invasion.

Trouble comes over a lot. He stays over a lot. Renée has a quiet conversation about him with Bella, in which Bella is vague, pretends ignorance, suggests that maybe he just likes it here, maybe his folks are allergic to gluten and won't eat his baked goods? Renée leaves it alone.

May begins.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-09-03 12:41 pm

the sharing

Trouble is not back at school on Monday. At lunch, Bella sits with Andi who sits with Robin who sits with Ethan.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-09-01 03:57 pm

the hospital

Andi and Robin become fast friends. Andi picks up a secondhand drum set for a steal on Craigslist and wheedles Renée into paying for lessons, and soon drums merrily away to Robin's guitaring and singing.

Trouble makes dessert for the Swans once or twice a week, demonstrating both the stability of his peculiar motives and his diverse baking abilities. Souffles do not transport well, but all sorts of cakes, pies, muffins, tarts, brownies, and cookies do just fine on the bus trip from an undisclosed location to the Swan household. He misses a lot of school without explanation.

The second Monday of October, Andi (followed shortly by Bella) plops down by Robin at lunch and says, "Hi! How was your weekend?"
instar: (h ~ rabbit)
2013-08-31 03:32 pm

the pie

Gym class is mind-numbing. Bella spends it thinking about introversion - Andi finds it peculiar and kept asking her questions about it. Bella's not an extreme case of the type, but definitely qualifies. Andi always has more friends - needs more friends - than Bella does.
instar: (g ~ shark)
2013-08-30 11:21 am

the group

Gym. Yoga. Mat. Corner.
instar: (i ~ owl)
2013-08-28 07:51 pm

the graceless

Bella sits out, this year as every year, from gym class. It's just asking for a lawsuit. She does stretches and crunches and push-ups in the corner.