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Fan Fic / Animorphs The Reckoning

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"You know who does have brains, though?” I continued. “The Yeerks. Maybe a thousand of them already. A thousand human brains, a thousand slaves, except those slaves can’t even think without their masters knowing about it. There is nothing standing in their way except us—did you get that? This isn’t some movie, where humanity’s going to rise up and pull some bullshit trick out of its ass. The Yeerks are winning. Did you not see Elfangor get eaten? Do you not understand the stakes? He was coming to destroy the planet because he thought that might be the only way to stop them."
Marco, describing the story's stakes
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Animorphs: The Reckoning is a rational fanfic of the Animorphs series by Duncan Sabien, aka TK17Studios.

The story is a retelling of the original Animorphs canon, where all characters are smarter and many aspects of the universe are more realistic or internally consistent. By the author's description, "Visser Three is competent, the Yeerks are moving rapidly, and the Animorphs are actually trying to win (but are inexperienced and unprepared)."

The story cycles between points of view, with a different point of view for each chapter (in a fashion similar to the canon books), including the six main characters, Visser Three, and various secondary characters. Each of them has their own strengths, weaknesses and their perspective on the plot, and the series has been praised for avoiding the pitfall of making one super-smart Mary Sue protagonist, featuring several compelling, complementary characters instead.

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As of December 2018, it is still being written at the semi-regular pace of a chapter every few months.


Animorphs: The Reckoning provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Rachel, as per canon. She kills seven Mooks in her first fight (some of them armed with guns) and gets into more fights over the course of the story than any other protagonist.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change:
    • Tobias. In canon, he was raised by two neglectful relatives. In this version, he becomes a rough orphan living in an institution who went from one adoptive family to another.
    • Tidwell. In canon, he was a teacher at the kids' school. In this version, he's a private security guard.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In canon, Marco was extremely reluctant to take any part in the war, and only started to truly invest himself when Visser One's identity was revealed. This version of Marco is much more invested, and berates the others for not realizing how important their role is.
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  • Adaptational Intelligence: A staple of Rational Fic. All characters tend to make significantly better decisions than in canon, and make a serious effort to consider the long-term consequences of their choices. Visser Three in particular goes from the Ax-Crazy Bad Boss to The Chessmaster who feels Surrounded by Idiots.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Tobias is a little more cynical and brutal in this version.
  • Adults Are Useless: Defied. Tidwell provides tactical and technical advice to the kids that helps them blow up the Yeerk pool. Later, Tobias notes that the government agents he contacts are all serious and competent.
  • Alien Invasion: Of the infiltration type. Notable in how seriously the invasion is portrayed: people are suffering, the aliens are overwhelmingly dangerous, and characters are very aware that humanity may actually be defeated.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Played with. The Yeerks speak the languages of their hosts, and the Andalites can communicate ideas telepathically. Ax and Elfangor are also capable of understanding and communicating in English, thanks to a translator implant.
  • All Men Are Perverts: When Rachel morphs into Marco to read his mind, she notes that his thoughts almost immediately go there. Not that he's completely wrong.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: The Ellimist and Crayak, as in canon. Although the fact that neither of them cuts loose isn't treated as a bad thing.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Defied. Tobias and Jake note that the war feels a lot less black and white when they consider the Yeerk's probable motivations for waging it. Cassie notes that the protagonists are Not So Different: the Yeerks think they can get what they want through slavery, the Animorphs think they can get what they want through murder.
  • And Then What?: That question is asked a few times in the background.
    • Garett complains that, even if they completely destroy the Yeerk forces on Earth, they will still be in danger when the much larger reinforcements arrive.
    • Tobias muses that there is no way to predict what will happen if they do win the war, since the advance technologies the aliens have brought to earth will cause massive unpredictable societal shifts.
    • Rachel points out that a most of the protagonists' strategies have been "find biggest, shiniest target and blow it up, then deal with the consequences".
  • Animal Espionage: Downplayed. The Animorphs acquire most of their intelligence by morphing other humans and reading their thoughts.
  • Animorphism: Obviously. Although morphing animals is less important than in canon, as the kids use more varied applications of their power (passing as other humans, smuggling weapons, telepathy).
  • Anti-Hero: The main characters all commit extremely brutal acts.
    This was a side of Jake I’d never seen before—cold and cruel and completely uncaring. [...] He sounded like a killer, like a sociopath, like—
    —like somebody whose father is being held captive in a concentration camp inside his own head.
  • Anyone Can Die:
    • Rachel points out that some of the protagonists are likely to die before the war is over.
    • Jake gets locked in self-morph after the first attack on the Yeerk pool, which in the fic is treated as being in a permanent coma. Erek King eventually manages to wake him up.
    • Cassie is killed by the asteroid after trying to rescue the kid in the Yeerk pool. It is strongly implied that this death is permanent.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: Averted. Andalite lasers can slice through concrete and Yeerk armor like warm butter. At one point, the protagonists steal a weapon from the Yeerks that shoot antimatter pellets (although they never get to use it).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the end of a long session of extremely grave confessions between each of the kids, Marco tells the others "Well, if we’re not going to have any secrets anymore, I might as well go ahead and confess: consoles are better than PCs, I liked the prequels more than the originals, and I’ll take regular fries over curly fries any day of the week".
  • Ascended Extra: The names of the posters in the Reddit chapter are derived from The Reckoning fans from the r/rational subreddit.
  • Assimilation Backfire: The Yeerks tend to absorb their hosts' personalities over time.
    • Visser Three becomes violent, ambitious and uncaring of the Yeerk people after infesting Alloran.
    • Aftran, the main Yeerk colony on Earth, becomes slightly more pacifist after prolonged isolation and overwhelming exposure to human minds. This gets them killed by Visser Three.
  • Author Filibuster: Rachel has a long internal monologue on the value of life, and how she's been dismissing the gravity of the deaths she's seen and caused.
  • Bad Boss: Deconstructed. After Visser Three kills the entire coalescion Aftran with a meteor strike, Telor's mouthpiece tells him in clear terms that he is no longer trusted, never mind how much they need him.
  • Batman Gambit: Jake explicitly has this as a quasi-superpower. He is very good at anticipating his enemies, and manages to locate and infiltrate the Yeerk pool that way.
  • Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Subverted. Nobody uses the name "Animorphs" at first, until Marco comes up with it while trying to boost Jake's morale. The name sticks.
  • Composite Character: Eva (Marco's mom) seems to have inherited some of Loren (Tobias's mom)'s backstory elements.
  • Death by Adaptation: Cassie dies in the meteor strike.
  • Decomposite Character: Aftran seems to have been split into two characters:
    • Aftran 927 has the same relationship with Karen as her canon counterpart.
    • The Aftran coalescion inherits the "let's cooperate with the humans" part.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With:
    • The Ellimist/Crayak uses one to better engage the main characters.
    • The protagonists quickly start thinking of the Chee's holograms as being this.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Marco Levy, Tobias Yastek, and Cassie Withers. In canon, their surname was never mentioned.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Ellimist and Crayak.
  • Translator Microbes: How Ax can communicate with the kids. The translator is stated to work at least with American English thanks to a database Elfangor somehow collected during his time on Earth.

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