A/N: So I've been lurking around the Animorphs fanfictions for some time now, and I got inspired to make my own post-war Controller story. Now, my characters have been around ever since before I discovered FanFiction, and they've gone through so many iterations and permutations that they now bear little or no resemblance to the characters that I first made. The premise is basically the same: Controller and her Yeerk, living together years after the Yeerk invasion, but now I want to explore society as it is after the war. And I want to see how a voluntary Controller sees this world.
Obviously, this isn't my first fanfic, but like always, reviews and comments are appreciated!
Edit: Following suggestions made by Anifan and YPM-33-KI, I've decided to edit the conversation between Jen and Yemra. Yemra's thought-speak is now in italics, while ((Jen's thought-speak is now bracketed by double parentheses.))
Reviews and critiques are appreciated!
My name is Jennifer Carson.
My friends and family call me Jen. Sometimes, people call me Jennifer. Rarely, I have been called Jenny, but people don't use that name to call me because I don't like the sound of that name. My dad calls me Jenny sometimes, and by sometimes, I mean very rarely. Even my dad knows not to call me Jenny, because he knows that I hate that name.
Anyway, where was I? Right, I'm Jen Carson, just your average twenty-one-year-old. At least that's probably what you'd think if you happened to meet me. I'm just a regular girl in a t-shirt and jeans, although I do have some miniskirts and short shorts for when I'm feeling daring. But I'm not your average young adult girl. I'm not talking about my looks, although a lot of people have been telling me that I'm a dead ringer for Miley Cyrus, who I always thought was a pretty girl until she went and got that pixie haircut and began twerking and all that shit. And my eyes are of two different colors too, a condition known as heterochromia iridum. I mean, my right eye is blue, and my left eye is grey…
All right, the reason why I'm not your average girl is that I have something in my head. No, it's not a tumor; it's something of a more… alien… nature. Oh, all right, I'll come out and say it out loud. I have an alien in my head.
Now you're probably thinking, "Ah, now that's the real reason she's not a normal girl. She thinks she has an alien in her head!" First of all, let me just make it clear that I'm not crazy. I really do have an alien in my head. I even know what they're called: Yeerks. Yeerks are sluglike creatures that are blind, immobile out of any liquid environment, deprived of most other senses, and generally harmless. If a Yeerk wanted to see, hear, feel, smell, or move freely, it would have to go into another creature's head and take control of every function controlled by the brain, from sight to smell to touch to movement to everything else.
Like I said, harmless. The only problem with that is that they assumed that they have to forcefully come into any creature's brain, and then rob said creature of control of everything that it has. So, instead of asking nicely, they just assumed that they had the right to force themselves into the brains of other aliens, humans included. And that was why after they lost their invasion of Earth, they were now forced back into their natural sluglike forms, or worse, made to morph into an animal or a mix of humans, and then forced to stay in that form for two hours, after which they were now stuck in that form.
By now you're asking yourself, "If she has an alien slug in my head that can control her every moment, then how in the world can she tell me about it?" Well, that's the thing. Not all Yeerks are as evil as I may have presented them. Yemra's one of the good Yeerks.
That's her name, Yemra Six-Four-Zero. Neither I nor she has any idea what those three numbers at the end of her name mean. So, how did Yemra Six-Four-Zero get into my head? It's a story that goes back to when I was just eight or nine years old, give or take. I remember that it was near a river, and I was with my friends, skipping rocks on the water. The next thing I remember was that I had slipped on some slippery rocks on the shore, and I was lying motionless on the shore. My friends were trying to get me up and out, but someone probably told them that I shouldn't be moved until someone who was medically qualified had determined if my head or spine was damaged or whatever. Water flowed into my ears, or at least I thought it was water until I found out the truth much later.
Someone finally decided I was okay enough to be hauled out of the water, so my friends did. My mother, always the worrier, wanted to take me to the hospital and get treatment. Of course I didn't know an alien slug had made its way into my head at the time, so I told her that I was fine, and that I didn't need any medical attention. I finally got her to agree to put a big wad of gauze on the back of my head, and that was the end of it. At least, until we got home.
I had plopped down on my bed, my soft warm bed, and I didn't even bother taking off my shoes. As soon as my head hit my pillow, I found myself paralyzed all over. I couldn't move my arms, my legs, even my eyes. I was so afraid that this time I'd hit something vital in my head, and that I was going to die right inside my own room. My life literally flashed before my eyes. I know that it's a frigging cliché, but it really happened to me that time, I swear. Finally, the memories subsided, and I could move my body again. Yet something felt wrong to me. It was like there was a very short delay between the time my brain told my arm to move and my arm moving itself. It was fascinating, weird, and creepy at the same time.
I sat up on my bed and looked at my fingers. The weird thing was that I had not commanded myself to sit up and look at my fingers. Someone else was making my body move to its will, not mine.
Please don't be afraid, a voice inside my head said.
((What the—who are you!?)) I shouted, inside my head too. ((What are you doing inside my head!? What do you want with my body!?))
Calm down, please. You have so many questions. I do not know which one I should answer first.
((All right, then. Let's start with give me my body back!))
If that is your wish… And at that moment I felt my body return to my control. That was fine by me, but I still had to contend with the mysterious thing that had set up shop in my head.
((All right,)) I said. It felt so good, being able to use my mouth again on my own free will. ((Who are you?)) I asked the thing in my head. ((What are you?))
I heard the thing inside my head sigh, if such a thing were possible. I am Yemra Six-Four-Zero of the Zek Danet Pool, it said. I am a Yeerk. Do you know what a Yeerk is?
((Well, I have heard of them. They were these alien slugs that were doing some alien invasion thing in California, right?))
Yes, that is right. The Yeerks had established a large Pool in the place you call California.
((Wait a minute, though. We're very far away from California. How did you end up here?))
The Yeerks had established a smaller Pool under your city, as we were expanding our invasion of your country, the Yeerk in my head replied. The residents of this Pool escaped while the larger Pool in California came under attack. Unfortunately, I missed the last ships out of the place, and I was forced to use the city's sewage system to get away from the Pool.
Eww. I had an alien in my head that had gone through the sewers. I can only imagine the gunk and slime swimming in my head with my brain and this thing. How gross can it get, right?
I was wondering if I could get your permission to cohabitate in your body, the Yeerk said.
((You? Live with me in my body? Why? Give me a reason why.))
You have heard about us Yeerks, yes? Then you must surely know that we have a limit which we must obediently observe, else it will lead to our death. It is our dependence on Kandrona rays. We must feed on Kandrona rays every three Earth days, or else we will die. I left the Pool in your city four days ago. Obviously, I am still alive, or else I would not be talking to you. Do you see my situation from my point of view? Here I am, having somehow discovered the key to Yeerk immortality without even knowing how I got it, and I am stuck in a body that cannot see, hear, smell, touch, or taste. In your human mythologies, there are stories of gods, powerful beings who give people what they said they wanted, not what they thought they should get. It is a very cruel joke, and though I do not believe in gods, it seems very possible that someone has seen fit to give me immortality while leaving me in such a literally senseless body.
((And your point is…?))
I was wondering if you could, you know, share your body with me. I do not want to spend the rest of my life blind, deaf, and unfeeling.
((Wait a minute, now. Now you're the one who's asking too much from me. Can you at least get out of my head, and let me make my decision in private?))
But I would still learn of your decision since I will have to go back into your head to know it, so isn't this "get out of my head" business moot?
((Like I said, I want some privacy, miss,)) I said. I don't know why, but I was talking to this thing like it was a girl or something. ((Look, I don't want you knowing what I'm thinking even while I'm just thinking about it.))
You can at least give me an aquatic environment that I can temporarily call home while you ponder your decision, the Yeerk told me.
"Well, my bathroom does have a sink," I muttered to myself, aware that the Yeerk was listening in on my mental conversation. I plugged up the sink, filled it with water, and then I stared at it like I was some sort of fortune teller, trying to discern a message from the depths. ((Now what do I do?)) I asked.
Put your head above the water, preferably with one of your ears tilted towards it. I could do it myself, but I don't want to take control of your body without your permission.
((You're awfully polite for an alien mind-controlling slug, you know?)) I said. ((Wait, before you go, I want to know what your name is.))
My name is Yemra Six-Four-Zero.
((Okay. My name is Jennifer Carson. But you can call me Jen.))
All right, Jennifer Carson; I am disengaging now.
I felt the start of a dull pain in my ear, but the Yeerk released a painkiller that numbed the sensation of her traveling down my ear canal. Finally, I heard a soft splash. I turned and looked at what had wanted to make a home in my head.
Let me be honest and say that a Yeerk is not the prettiest sight in this universe. It was three inches of greenish-gray flesh with two stalks right where the eyes should be, and three pairs of tiny flippers. No wonder people didn't want Yeerks in their heads. Their looks alone were enough to mess people up.
But I also saw something else in Yemra Six-Four-Zero in that first moment that I laid eyes on the real her. Maybe because I realized that she was very vulnerable in her natural state. I can only imagine what she went through for the four days that she had to swim from the sewers to the river. An image of Yemra almost being swallowed by a fish suddenly entered my mind, and at that moment, I made my decision.
I picked up Yemra from the water in my sink and slowly, tentatively, put her next to my ear. She shot out of my hand so fast, she must have been eager to get back in my head. Ah, I see the reason why you finally made your decision, she said once she had made her connections with my brain. And let me tell you that I was indeed almost eaten by a fish, but I miraculously got away before it could close its jaws around me.
((Well, I'm glad that you liked the reason for my decision,)) I said. ((But if you're going to stay in my head, I want to lay down some rules first. First, no hijacking control of my body unless I let you. You're just an observer in my head. Second, I don't want to become involved in yet another plot to take over the world. Okay?))
Ahahaha! Yemra laughed. Those are your conditions?! Oh, all right, Jennifer Carson. I accept these terms of yours pertaining to my residence in your body, blah, blah, blah. My only condition is that you keep my existence a secret.
((You've got a good sense of humor yourself, Yemra Six-Four-Zero,)) I said. ((I've got a feeling we're going to be good friends.))
I never thought of myself as a clairvoyant, but my words that day were strangely prophetic, as Yemra and I did indeed become the best of friends, but we had a deal in which I wouldn't really try to show her off to other people, especially after the government made the Yeerks left on Earth to choose between becoming a human or animal nothlit—whatever that means. I did try to introduce Yemra to my parents, much to her displeasure, and while they were not really keen on their only daughter being infested by one of the aliens that tried to take over the world, they didn't really mind Yemra being in me, and they didn't pursue the matter further. My other friends were more curious than my parents, though, but only two of them, Julia Baker and Carina Russolini, stuck for the big finale. I could still remember the looks of pain, disgust, shock, and awe on their faces when they saw Yemra coming out of my ear. Jules—Julia's preferred nickname—even managed to summon the courage to poke Yemra, and then she asked if she could have Yemra in her head, even just for a short while.
"Are you crazy?" Carina asked Jules. "What if that thing takes control of you and tries to kill us all?"
"Oh, grow up, Carina," Jules told her. "If that thing had wanted to kill us, then it would have already done that while it was still in Jen's head." And she reached out, took Yemra in her hand, and put her next to her ear. Soon, Yemra was staring at us through Julia's eyes.
"This is so amazing! With a Yeerk in your head, you can hold a real conversation with a real person in your mind!" And Jules said more words to that effect. Finally, Jules declared her little experiment to be over, and she returned Yemra to me. I gave Carina one last chance to try having Yemra in her head, but she declined once again. I probably would, too, if I was in her place.
I discovered yet another thing about Yemra when she got back in my head after getting into Jules's head. Everything that Jules had in her brain, everything up to the moment she gave Yemra back to me, I now had in my brain, too. Of course I didn't tell this to Jules or anyone else, because hey, sometimes there are secrets you have to keep even from your friends.
So yeah, that basically sums up my life: I'm a girl with a Yeerk living inside my head. So, basically, teenage stuff with a healthy dose of sarcastic alien. And for thirteen years, I managed to keep Yemra and her secret safe with me. But then something happened to me; something that will totally change the way I look at Yeerks, Controllers, the nothlits, and people in general.
I survived a plane crash.