|Date(s):||2014-09-13 - ongoing (as of mid-2018)|
|External Links:||On AO3: the Eleutherophobia series|
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Eleutherophopia is a post-canon Animorphs fanfiction series by SoloMoon, a what if fic about Tom Berenson surviving the events of #54: The Beginning. The series has 12 fanworks. There's also a podfic series by AlcatrazOutpatient, podfic series on AO3 here, currently with 6 podfics.
Eleutherophobia has many original characters, which Sol names as allusions, often to other YA works. In her post Character Names in Eleutherophobia she says the names are references, as opposed to characters that have been crossed over.
The summary for the series on AO3 reads:
Eleutherophobia: n., Greek, the fear of freedomTom survived Rachel's assassination attempt; the yeerk in his head did not. Now he's left dealing with his overprotective but traumatized parents, a little brother battling survivor guilt in a world that thinks he's a superhero, his terrifyingly awesome ex-neighbor determined to change the world, the girl from high school who he loved enough to follow to a Sharing meeting, and a whole bunch of other former hosts who think that just because a yeerk wearing his body once led a revolution Tom actually knows what he's talking about half the time.
The series as a whole explores what being an ex-Controller would be like and how the Berenson family copes with the aftermath of the Yeerk invasion and their respective parts in it.
Because Animorphs was written in such a way that the town the Animorphs live in might be anywhere and because many of the main characters have no canonical last names, Sol has filled in much of that information herself. For example:
- Their town being in California was revealed in #53: The Answer and Sol picked Santa Barbara for their town.
- Many characters need to be given whole or partial names. Major OCs are listed below. For canon characters:
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Tom survives Rachel's assassination attempt; the yeerk in his head does not. Now he's left dealing with the aftermath of his infestation in a world that is still reeling from the revelations of the yeerk-human war, although all he really cares about is looking out for what's left of his shattered family.
The Day the Earth Stood Still is named after the 1951 film of the same name, in which an alien lands on earth and demands humans either live peacefully or be destroyed to protect other planets. In the fic, Tom falls from the Yeerk-controlled Blade Ship and survives the fall to earth by morphing. He spends much of the fic held captive under suspicion of still being a Controller, waiting for three days to pass to prove there's no yeerk in his head anymore, thus 'standing still' for much of the fic.
- Essa 412
This is the yeerk who controlled Tom for three years, also known as Visser Seventeen. Tom kills him in the opening scene of "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and notes that Essa 412 hated Britney Spears, so Tom got in the habit of memorizing and singing her songs in his head to annoy Essa.
Tom uses it to refer to Essa in "The Day The Earth Stood Still" but he in "City of Lost Children."
- Leslie Burke
Private Burke is one of the soldiers who brings Anne Shirley in. She responds to Tom's pleading, asks his name, and is sympathetic to his plight. As promised, she comes back later in the day to give him the news: Jake and the rest of the Animorphs are fine, except for Rachel. The next day she comes after she's off-duty to tell him that Peace Accords have been signed and the humans won.
- Anne Shirley
Anne is the little girl who comes in half-morphed into a vulture, accompanied by four soldiers who put her into the cell next to Tom. She still has a yeerk in her head, Nistril 861, and goes through the fugue state before Nistril crawls out of her. Anne is five and a half and an orphan; her aunt comes to pick her up. When Nistril dies, Anne says she misses her. Nistril's parents were also dead.
- George Little
George is brought in after Anne and put on Tom's other side. The yeerk in his head is Sub-Visser Eight. He's David's father and used to work for the NSA before the yeerk in his head gave up state secrets. He and Tom talk about both being from Santa Barbara and he asks Tom to keep a lookout for David when he gets back to California. George heads straight to Fort Meade when he's let out.
Two weeks after the end of the yeerk-human war, people struggle to understand the realization that the alien invasion came and went—and most of the world never even noticed. Tom, meanwhile, doesn't give much of a crap what everyone else thinks and just wishes he could go back to nice boring life before he had his brain got invaded and his kid brother went and became a war hero.“Seriously, though,” David Letterman told a live studio audience. “It was a multi-billion dollar organization, had over fifty thousand members at its peak, and the best tagline they could come up with was ‘Sharing is caring?’ Sharing is caring? And no one ever thought that maybe, just maybe, it was being run by aliens? I mean, what was it going to take before somebody noticed that—”
Two weeks after the events of "The Day the Earth Stood Still," Tom watches TV and settles on watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers and then the first Jurassic Park with Jake. They discuss the Jurassic Park, after which this fic is named.
True to Sol's committment to remain firmly entrenched in the late 90's era of the Animorphs, Tom flicks past a news report by Katie Couric about a man being cleared of a murder the yeerk in his head committed, an episode of Dr. Phil about an extramarital affair a yeerk had while in control of a woman's body, an interview with Joss Whedon about if the vampires in Buffy are a metaphor for yeerks, Steve Irwin meeting the hork-bajir, a mention of Joey Chandler from Friends being a Controller, Rush Limbaugh stirring up trouble, Morgan Freeman's voiceover explaining how yeerk biology works, and possibly Mika Brzesinski.
- [Steve] Carlsberg
Carlsberg is a character in some fictional military show on the TV, yelled at by a "man in fatigues and eyeliner" who's upset because, "If these new recruits were any younger, they’d be goddamned Animorphs!"
The yeerk-human war may be over, but the boys' struggle to deal with a late-night intruder into the Berenson household proves that adjusting to normal life after its end is not easy. Tom and Jake respond to a threat to the house in an utterly characteristic way.
Set about a month after "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and therefore about two weeks after "Lost World."
City of Lost Children
With a yeerk in his head, Tom can only watch, utterly helpless, as his family falls apart. Tom's perspective on what happens to Jake during the war.(Loose prequel to "Day the Earth Stood Still.")
Canon compliant, set two years before "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
Tom's not an expert in neuropsychology, or child care, or much of anything outside of the best way to throw a layup. In fact, he doesn't have much going for him outside of a snarky attitude, a wealth of experience in being used as an alien puppet, and a determination to have his revenge on the yeerks by living well. Still, if a kid harmed by the yeerks needs his help, he'll do what he can.
Set a month after "The Day The Earth Stood Still," so probably only a little after "War Games." Among other details in the fic, Tom finds Jake's collection of awards for his part in the fight against the yeerk invasion: "a Medal of Honor, a Victoria Cross, a U.N. Special Service Medal, a Purple Heart, and about eight other military awards."
- Joey Costello
- Dr. Pendanski
- Jodi O’Shea
far and away my most pointed literary allusion. Jodi is a minor character in The Host by Stephenie Meyer, a book which I love (except for the extremely problematic ending, but I’ll get back to that). The Host is essentially a love story between a yeerk (Wanda) and a human (Ian) whose entire plot is driven by consent negotiations. It’s about Wanda and Ian wishing they could be together but knowing they never will because they can’t be without violating the right to consent of the yeerk’s host, Melanie. Melanie, meanwhile, is in love with a different guy… Who can’t be with her either without violating Wanda’s right to consent.[SPOILER WARNING] Eventually Ian resolves this love quadrangle by putting Wanda inside a human (“Pet,” and don’t get me started on that name) who has been a controller for so long that she has forgotten how to exert her own conscious will. Wanda and Ian presumably do the horizontal tango using that host instead, AND THIS IS TREATED AS A HAPPY ENDING. Jodi O’Shea also meets the same fate as Pet: Jodi has forgotten how to feed herself or move on her own, so her own husband decides that they should just put her yeerk, Sunny, back in her head. Sunny claims that Jodi is brain-dead… But Sunny is also strongly motivated to lie. (There are also implications that Jodi’s husband becomes romantically involved with Sunny instead, a plot which is so horrifying it deserves its own blog post.) Most importantly, all the main characters are really happy that these poor hosts are vegetables. There is an entire subpopulation of humans who have become entirely dependent on their alien slave masters for survival… and this fact is treated as the solution to all the characters’ problems. It’s celebrated. And, yeah, both THX 1138 and Ghost in the Shell contain some pretty pointed commentary from me on why I find this ending to be so deeply unfortunate. [END SPOILERS]
These Are the Damned
Tom tries to encourage Jake's irresponsible side for once after yet another inane press event contains too much honesty for his liking. Stupid decisions about alcohol turn into overly honest conversations about controller mentality, war crimes, drunk birds, accidental cannibalism, the true meaning of irresponsibility, and what it means to have already fulfilled one's purpose in life by age sixteen.
In which Tom Berenson learns that DNA allergies are a pain in the butt, that Jake has a surprising number of obscure and apparently useless morphs, that especially in this family stubbornness is not always a virtue, and that there's a difference between surviving the war and living through it.
- Dr. Miranda Franklin
- Jennifer Murdley
- Mrs. [Hannah] Gruen
Back to the Future
Someone decided to get the entire extended Berenson family together for some reason (i.e. tradition!) and now there are over twenty of these crazy people in one house at one time, three months after the end of the war. Tom, for one, is pretty sure he's not going to get through the day without stabbing someone.
Ghost in the Shell
Tom isn’t quite sure how he ended up helping Eva run a support group for ex-hosts, or why his high school crush is still interested in him given their complicated history, or how he managed to become so fascinating to tabloid reporters, or why Jake feels the need to feel guilty for so many things that are not his fault.But he’s going to have to figure everything out pretty quickly, because ex-hosts are dying at an alarming rate, and no one but him seems to notice or care. Much as he doesn’t want to get involved, Tom is pretty sure he sees a pattern emerging: that someone, somewhere out there, is getting the worst kind of revenge.
- Mary Lennox
- Rose Rita
- Margaret White
- Sophie Hatter
- [Mr.] Broxholm
- Anita Psammead
- Nikto 770
- Kit Rodriguez
- Aristotle “Ari” [Mendoza]
main character of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
- Dante [Quintana]
main character of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
- Gabriel “G.T.” Stoop
- Elijah Springfield
- Lydia [Bennett]
- Nick Adams
- T.J. Avery
- Cecily Tallis
- Maybeth Tillerman
- June Boatwright
- Caitlin Somers
- Alex Morales
- Jesse Hauptman
- Timmy Dugan
- Luke Castellan and Chris Rodriguez
two of the supporting characters from Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I wouldn’t say that Luke Castellan is the first meatsuit I ever fell in love with (despite him being basically a voluntary controller and also a human dumpster fire), but I would say that he made my tendency to care too much about meatsuits in general about 1000 times worse.
okay, this one is in fact a crossover—that’s meant to be Tyler Durden, main character of Chuck Palahnuick’s Fight Club. He’s a schizophrenic, lonely guy who goes to support groups for various traumas that he never actually survived (usually under the fake name Cornelius) because that’s the only way he knows how to connect to people.
- Rod Allbright
another character from My Teacher is an Alien, because I love that series.
- Officer Nice
- Gerald “Jerry” Cruncher
- Paul Edgecombe
- Kate Malone
- Mae Tuck
- Annie Hughes
- Kirsten Larson
- Adah Price
- Iris Chase
- Dawn Schafer
- Henry Case
- Parvana Weera
- Raven Madison
- Mr. [Bob] Grey
- Ms. [Mary] Logan
mother of the main character in Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, because I love that book.
- Karana Nicoleño
As if getting subpoenaed to go testify at Visser One’s trial halfway around the world wasn’t enough of a pain in the butt, now Tom also has to put up with Jake and Cassie’s utter inability to communicate with each other like normal human beings. Worst Eurotrip ever.
- Vicky Austin
- Samuel Cornick
The Thing from Another World
From the point of view of the U.S. Military, Tom Berenson is an ideal candidate to act as temporary field commander and liaison for the Animorphs as they investigate a downed alien ship: he’s a law-abiding citizen, a legal adult, a morph-capable human who has a solid track record of catching murderers, and just about the only person for whom Jake Berenson has expressed open respect. From the point of view of Tom Berenson, putting him in charge of these crazy teenagers while also dealing with a brand-new species of deadly alien is the stupidest decision the U.S. Military has ever made.
- Seth Clearwater
- Captain William Nasland
- Allison Chapman
- Simon Grace
- Giselle Villard
A Straight Line Down Through the Heart
Cassie is a lot of things: a former child soldier, a current leader in Resident Alien Affairs, the youngest-ever Special Assistant to the President. An Animorph. An advocate. A one-woman army. Sometimes, however, she just wants to be a teenage girl, the kind who takes a break from changing the world to go for dinner at her boyfriend's house. This is one of those times.(Cassie's point of view on the post-war Berenson family.)
A Straight Line Down Through the Heart (sometimes just called A Straight Line Down) is told in third person from Cassie's point of view. The title is from the song "The Origin of Love" from the 1998 musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which is quoted at the beginning of the fic:
Last time I saw you we had just split in two. You were looking at me, I was looking at you. You had a way so familiar but I could not recognize, Cause you had blood on your face and I had blood in my eyes But I could swear by your expression That the pain down in your soul was the same one down in mine. That's the pain cuts a straight line down through the heart—we called it love. So we wrapped our arms around each otherTrying to shove ourselves back together.
The fic takes place during a dinner party thrown by Tom and Jake's parents and offers an outside POV on the Berensons, especially Tom and his relationship with Bonnie, and shows Jake and Cassie rekindling their relationship. Cassie's mom appears at the beginning of the fic.
|Approximate date||Canon event or fic|
|January 2000||The yeerk-human war comes out into the open|
|March 2000||The war ends|
Day the Earth Stood Still
|April 2000||Ghost in the Shell begins|
|May 2000||These Are the Damned|
Back to the Future
|February 2001||Ghost in the Shell ends|
|March 2001||Visser Three’s trial at the Hague|
|May 2001||Thing From Another World|
|March 2003||Ax disappears; Jake et al go looking for him|
The fics above are listed in order published, which is the order they're arranged in by SoloMoon on AO3. In a tumblr post, Sol laid out her headcanon for the timeline of the series and where Eleutherophobia's parts fit in.
City of Lost Children takes place during the war, two years before The Day the Earth Stood Still, which would put it some time in 1998 by the timeline above. A Straight Line Down Through the Heart hadn't been published yet, but occurs last of all the currently published parts of Eleutherophobia and presumably soon after Thing From Another World.
When asked about how she would write a Tom Lives AU, tumblr user lilacsolanum said,
This is a tough one because Eleutheraphobia is SO GOOD! I’m sure everyone following me has read it but if you haven’t, go do so right now. SoloMoon’s exploration of post infestation hosts continues to astound me. She sees all these corners I never would have thought about. Her work has pretty much directly influenced anyone and everyone who plans on writing post war former hosts. I love it and it is very good.
- SoloMoon on her Animorphs blog thejakeformerlyknownasprince, Character Names in Eleutherophobia. Posted 14 June 2017. (Accessed 15 July 2018.)
- fanfiction series on AO3
- SoloMoon's Lost World.
- SoloMoon's The Day the Earth Stood Still
- SoloMoon's THX 1138
- Sol on thejakeformerlyknownasprince, Animorphs Fic: A Timeline, posted 14 January 2018. Accessed 01 September 2018.
- lilacsolanum, answering "For your AU ask: Tom survives the final battle (a la Eleutheraphobia?)" Posted 15 January 2018. Accessed 01 September 2018.