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Now that I look back on it, I'm not really sure why exactly I thought this was going to be a good idea.

His skin was warm, but it felt like my fingers were sticking to him at first. It tickled a little, but he stiffened and his skin felt like it closed up. I tried to smile at him reassuringly. "It won't hurt," I said.

­­--So you think.--

"I've done this a hundred times before. Don't worry about it. Just try to relax." Fingers lightly touching his chest, I focused on his image. The Pnelma Tirian. The bony, almost equine ebony head, with four deep-set, gold eyes glowering behind ridged brows. The long, arcing horn, stemming seamlessly from the back of the head. The snakelike neck, attached to a solid ribcage. Two arms, two legs, no thumbs, but four fingers on each hand with too many joints, and wings powered by the huge chest muscles. A long, muscular tail split into two, with a blunt, seed-shaped mass of bone at one end, and a flower-like set of poisonous barbs on the other topped it all off.

He relaxed under my fingers as I absorbed his DNA. The sticky feeling on my fingers resurfaced, and when I drew away my hand there was a tiny phoomp, like a vacuum being broken.

--This is the last time I'll warn you. Don't do this. It's too dangerous. Our anatomy is so radically different from your own.--

I gave him a wry smile. "Thanks, Carm, but I've seen--and been---a lot worse." I stepped back a few paces, giving myself room to grow. "Okay. Let's do this." I was a little nervous. Usually I wait a little longer to test out a morph, but that was mostly because I was always one of the first to obtain it. I had to wait for the others to absorb the animal's DNA, and then one by one, we'd try it.

But here, I was alone, save for this four-eyed, dragon alien thing. It was almost the dead of night, about five feet from the middle of nowhere, standing on a rock formation jutting out of the rolling hills. I hesitated.

"Here," I said, rummaging through my clothes. I pulled out my cell phone. "If something goes wrong--" I glanced at his bony, near-featureless mask of a face--"oh, duh, no mouth. Nevermind," I threw it back in the heap of my loose clothes, having nowhere to put it on my skintight leotard.

--Don't worry. I'll call shriskatobias if it comes to that---which it most likely will.--

"Stop being so pessimistic," I told him, laughing nervously. "Okay, here goes."

I focused on the Pnelman DNA inside me. I felt its shape, carefully memorizing it, and I began to change.

My pores opened wide, and soft, short white fur tickled all over my skin. Unable to resist a little giggle, I looked back at Carmonolon, who was standing at ease with his arms clasping each other behind his back. "See? It's nouught suuphh..!" My sentence was bitten off as my jaw clenched, and my teeth ran together. My tongue shriveled into my throat, and the roof of my mouth caved in. With horror, I reached up to touch my face, which was quickly dissolving into flat, smooth bone, my nostrils vanishing and leaving my windpipe cut off. I panicked, clawing at my stretching face as the ridges and knots formed. The back of my head elongated, and my hair hardened together, growing into the broad horn. The joints on my fingers trembled and cracked as they extended and another joint was added, while my thumb melded back into my palm. I felt my bones crunch as a new set of shoulders grew on my back, arching out into wings.

Then my lungs exploded.

They slipped through the cracks in my ribcage, splattering all over the inside of my skin. It didn't just stretch across my ribcage; it stretched down into my feet and up my back and even across my arcing horn. The spongy pores in my lung tissue stretched and matched up with the pores in my skin. The instant they aligned, my entire being sucked in precious air.

The growth spurt finally kicked in, and I shot up several feet. My ribcage jutted out, and the pectoral muscles grew to accomodate the leathery wings sprouting from my back. My heel melded back into my legs, sending me off balance, and flattening into a structure very similar to an elephant's foot, except that three wicked talons jutted out, two in front and one, larger, where my heel once was. My neck distanced itself from my shoulders, stretching into snakelike proportions, cords of muscle very nearly popping out of the thick, breathing skin. With a sickening grind, my tailbone extended into the whiplike tail, snapping into the two sections. The blunt, seedlike end formed outside of my skin and outside of my nerves, whereas the barbs opened up like a tropical plant.

And here I was, thinking the worst is over, when my digestive organs follow my lungs' example. It is the creepiest feeling in the world, having your intestines balloon up to fill you entirely, slipping between and over your bones. I felt like a bedroom that was getting repainted with a matress. The organs slid into place just underneath my lungs, lining up to different skin pores. Immediately, I could taste everything, everywhere: the stone under my feet, the air around me, even things further from me. It acted both as a sense of taste and a sense of smell.

The morph was beginning to slow to a stop when a second pair of eyes formed on my face. Everything exploded into colors I didn't know existed. I focused on a tree a few yards away and stumbled back, and regretted it immediately. My second eyes zoomed in to a very nearly microscopic level, and everything was a different color. My wings flared out as I tried to regain balance....when his mind surfaced.

I looked at Carmonolon, my secondary eyes focusing in on his molecules, discerning what elements he was composed of. He flashed a slight red, barely visible to a human's eye, but bright and vibrant to mine. He was unsettled at the sight of this exact copy of himself standing in front of him. Short spurts of blue snaked across his skin and face, attempting to regain composure. I was willing to let it slide. I was curious.

Whenever I morph, I can always expect most of the physical changes that happen, but I can never predict how the mind of the animal is going to turn out. Sometimes they can be very difficult to control. Carmonolon's was almost cold to the touch. Calm and collected, it snaked around my subconscious, probing it. I had actually forgotten I was within this creature, and he startled me. I started, losing balance again and choking. I had no idea how to breathe this way. It was inhaling, but not just through the nose and mouth, but all over, and not only breathing air, but the rock beneath me, too.

<Aagh! I can't--I can't breathe!> I panicked, struggling to use the pnelma tiris' system like I had my human body. It wasn't working, and my balance was getting worse. I stumbled backwards, nearing the edge of the rock dangerously.

I felt, or rather, tasted, Carmonolon's flat spade between my wings, steadying me. He flashed a deep blue of releif. --Relax. You were doing fine a minute ago. From what you've told me, that was probably my mind--the pnelman's mind---kicking in. It knows what it's doing.--

I stared at him, registering the words slowly. Underneath me, the pnelma tirian's mind resurfaced, quietly pushing me aside and taking control of the more basic functions. My breathing eased. Carmonolon gently pushed me back on my feet and left me alone. We stared at each other. I could taste the cold night air.

<You're right. Pnelma Tirians are ten types of freaky.>

--The same can very easily be said of you.--
A Submission by: ~MadGeneticist

Artists Comments

A random animorph meets Carmonolon and morphs into a Pnelma Tirian. Hilarity ensues!

Since Carmonolon was heavily influenced by KA Applegate, I figured I'd give up some tribute, eh.

Animorphs (C) K.A. Applegate
Pnelma Tirians (C) Alexandra Reneau (me)
And this crap is also mine so no touchy unless you're the animorphs fanclub in which case go right ahead, you have my blessing.

Please Direct all Comments and Favs to the original
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Submitted on
March 12, 2007
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