"Welcome. Please, take your coat off, sit down. What would you like to drink?...Okay, there you go. Anything else I can get you?"
The speaker on the wall buzzes. "James, enough of the pleasantries." "Yes, sir. Well, I suppose you lot are wondering why you are here. Are you familiar with the invasion that almost happened several years ago? Yes, it was thwarted by children. That's actually the reason why you are here. Those children were in possession of abilities granted by our allies, the Andalites. And, we have need of a discreet force with those abilities. What? Oh yes, I am talking about morphing. Yes, those children called themselves the Animorphs. Please, may I go on? Thank you. We have watched you closely. How you treat others, your temperaments, even your current professions. And we think you are suited for this task. We need all of you to become Animorphs. Yes, I am serious. We believe that you, out of all the people we considered, would be the best fit, both with the nature of the missions, and with working together. Now, any further questions? No, you aren't going to get the abilities now. Yes, there is one more person you need to meet first..."
|This is set about 15-20 years after the events in the final Animorphs book. |
Cassie has taken possession of the Escafil Device, a blue box that grants the power to morph. She has resigned from her previous position as a senator's aide, and gone back to her family's farm/vet clinic. She now spends her days as a wildlife researcher, using her morphing powers to observe animals as one of them. During one of her forays into the woods, Cassie discovers an unusual being. It was a wolf, and then it became a kind of werewolf. Cassie at first thought it was someone with morphing powers, until she realized that in wolf form, it didn't smell like a wolf. It didn't smell like any natural animal, but its scent had an acrid smell to it, almost like vinegar. But, the scent was faint, too faint to detect in human form.
When she returned home, she did some research, and found no race that shapeshifted in the fashion she witnessed. She approached her Andalite friend,
|People familiar with the Animorphs books will recognize this one from #40 The Other, as the Andalite vecol. |
, who informed her that he had never heard of any race that could morph in such a way. Upon hearing of the faint acrid scent, a Leeran visitor interrupted and told them of a race her kind once encountered. They called themselves the Zileen. They were a race of chameloids (they can change their appearance), that prided themselves on being the most discreet of spies. They could acquire the DNA of an animal, but the animal's life force would be subsumed as well. Then, they could take on that animal's form, and then, using that form as their natural form, morph into a hybrid form. The only way to tell a transformed Zileen from the real animal was the Zileen had a faint, acrid scent. Only very strong olfactory senses could detect it. The problem was, they never traveled in less than a few hundred of their kind. And they always poisoned the environment before they left a planet.
Cassie was worried. She knew that only animals with a human consciousness, i.e. Animorphs, could detect them. So, she put a call in to the person that replaced her as a senator's aide. He promised to find her suitable candidates to be granted morphing abilities.