Tobias came from a really messed up home life. Never once feeling loved or wanted.
He broke the 1st rule of morphing and stayed in morph beyond the time limit. Meaning he was trapped and could never morph again. Being part boy part red tailed hawk was who he was. It didn’t take too long for those lines to blur and for him to be more hawk than boy.
After help from another alien, Tobias got a wish granted. He thought he wanted to be human again. But what he got was different, he was able to morph again, even was able to morph into his old human self, but the hawk was now his true form. It wasn’t until after this that he realised it is what he really wanted. That he never felt truly comfortable as a human and never would. The hawk body was his one true body. As a result, he essentially forgot how to make facial expressions though.
…then I morphed again. Back to human. See, I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry a lot, for a long time. And hawks don’t cry. ~Tobias, #23
During the war, Tobias being a hawk did save the day and his life a few times. But at a cost, like everything. In order to trick the enemy into thinking their new weapon didn’t work, Tobias got himself captured on purpose. As a result he was tortured. Tortured to the extent he defecated himself and sat on the brink of death multiple times.
“Indescribable pain. Staggering pain. Pain that ate into me, chewed at my guts, twisted every nerve ending.
Had to make it stop. Had to make it stop!
Tell her! Tell her! Make it stop, tell her, tell her, tell her!
Me, the human me, the boy inside kept screaming tell her, tell her!
But the hawk … the hawk suffered dumb, helpless. The hawk had no way out. The me that was a bird, the body, the physical me didn’t know that there was a cause for the pain.
Didn’t know it could make the pain end. And already, for the hawk, the pain had become a fact of life. Reality.
Life was hunger. Life was killing. Life was danger. Life was pain.” ~ Tobias, #33
Even though he escaped. He was never the same.
“I didn’t realise that torture doesn’t end when you’re freed. People think it does. People who’ve never been through torture think that when the physical injures heal, you’re healed too. They’re wrong” ~Tobias, #43
He still tried to hold on, and keep what was left of his humanity with the help from Rachel. She was the only person in his whole life to truly love him. She was the only thing keeping him tethered to his human self.
“You have a choice Tobias. You can be a hawk. But you will never ever not in a million years, be a pure, true hawk. If you want to stay a hawk you’ll be like you are now: confused, conflicted, torn up inside never knowing what you really are…” ~Rachel #23
But, at the end of the war when she was gone…he lost his anchor. He withdrew, hid and lived full time as a bird of prey in the woods. He became forgotten….
I wasn’t some lonely kid trapped in a hawk’s body, half in one world, half in another with only Rachel’s love tying me to humanity. Maybe Tobias would eventually accept what Jake did. Maybe not. ~Marco, #54