Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

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astrael
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Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:02 pm

I love the Animorphs. I hate the plot holes, inconsistencies in character, lack of scientific background,
and the sheer number of coincidences.



Some people never change.
Some do...

CHAPTER 1
I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you are. I don’t even know when you’ll be
reading this. You could be a human. You could be an Andalite.
You might even be a Kirin.
It doesn’t matter. I’m glad you’re reading this. I wanted some part of us to live on,
something that would prove that we were here-that we were alive.
My name is Edin Dale, and I swear to you with all my life that everything I say here is true.
For now it is 2049, and Earth is about to fall.

It all started on one Friday night. I was at the game center with my best friend Troy. He was
in a high mood. Troy had just made the basketball team. And he’d outranked me at Heart of
Sword, which usually doesn’t happen because I get lots of practice time in at home. I guess all that
victory went to his head, because he said that he wanted to go home through the abandoned
construction site.
The construction site is where they were going to build a new shopping center. It’s right on
the edge of the forest, surrounded on two sides by trees. The highway separates it from the
mall area where the game center was, and there’s a broad, open field between it and the
nearest houses. Very isolated. Troy and I did go there a few times, exploring the half-finished
buildings. During the day. When there were other kids around.
We’d never even gone near it after dark.
My best friend is pretty good at staying out of things once he realizes he’ll get into trouble. But somehow, he
almost always manages to believe he won’t get into trouble-right up to the moment he does.

We were still arguing about it when we ran into Andrew. Andrew was . . . I mean, I guess he still
kind of a strange guy. And he wasn't the toughest kid around, so he got picked on a lot.
I actually met Andrew when he had his head in a toilet. There were these two big guys holding
him down and laughing while they flushed, sending Andrew's white blond hair swirling
around the bowl. I told the two creeps to step off, and ever since then, Tobias figured I was
his friend.
"Come on," Troy was saying. "What are you, clucking hen?"
"You can call me yellow-bellied hen and I'm still not going through-"
"Hey, " said Andrew. "What's up?"
I shrugged. "Not much. We're heading home."
"Through the long way," Troy commented. "All the way to the other side, all the way through those
streets. Just because certain people are worried about ax murderers. Right. When did this place last
see anything worse than minor hoodlums?" Troy jerked his thumb at me, just in case Andrew couldn't
figure out who he meant by "certain people."
"The construction site's okay," said Andrew.
"Are you going through it?" I asked. As I said, Andrew's not the toughest kid around.
He shrugged."It's probably safer than my neighborhood."
Troy raised his eyebrow at me. I started to say something, but he cut me off.
"You know what?" He said, grinning crazily. "I'm taking the shortcut, whether you do or no...and there's
nothing you can do about it."
I groaned. But what was I going to do, leave my friends to go on their own while I took the nice, safe way?

So we went, out through the rear entrance of the game center to head to the site. We were almost at the
end of the mall area when I spotted Rachel and Ida outside a store. Rachel is my cousin. She's very pretty, I guess,
not that I'm a good judge on people's looks-most people look fine to me. Rachel has blond
hair and blue eyes and that kind of very clean, very wholesome look. She's one of those
people who always know the right clothes to wear and how to look like they just walked out
of one of those fashion magazines girls like. She's also very graceful because she takes gymnastics,
even though she says she's too tall to ever be really good at it.

Ida is sort of the opposite. For one thing, she's usually wearing baggy trousers and a large T shirt,
or something else real casual. She's dark skinned and wears her hair in a long ponytail to keep it out
of her face. She tried wearing it real short for a while, but gave up because she didn't like cutting it
again and again. Ida doesn't believe in perms or freezing. She's also quieter than
Rachel, more peaceful, like she always understands everything on some different, more mystical level.
"You guys going home?" I asked Rachel. "Through the construction site?"
"Yeah, you shouldn't be going through there." Troy said, rolling his eyes at me. "Especially not by yourselves," he added, with a sly look. "I mean, being girls and all."
Bad choice of words.
Rachel calmly stepped right up into Troy's face and drew herself up to her full height.
Which was about two inches taller than him.
"Are you going to come and protect us, you big, strong m-a-a-a-n?" she said. "You think
we're helpless just because - "
"I'd appreciate it if they did walk with us," Ida interrupted. "I know you're not afraid of
anything, Rachel, but I guess I am."
Rachel couldn't say much about that. That's the way Ida is - she always has the right
words to stop any argument without making anyone feel bad.

So, there we were. The five of us - Troy, Andrew, Rachel, Ida, and me. Five normal mall
rats heading home. Through a totally deserted place. Yeah, that was how scary as life got
back then. Worrying about ax murderers in a totally normal, almost boring town.

Five minutes later, life got a lot scarier.

It was Andrew who saw it first. He had been walking along, gazing up at the sky. I guess he
was looking at the stars or something. That's the way Andrew is sometimes - off in his own
world.
Suddenly Andrew stopped. He was pointing. Pointing almost straight up. "Look," he said.
"What?" I didn't want to be distracted because I was pretty sure I'd heard the sound of a
chain-saw killer hidden behind a rusted construction crane. The one Troy had climbed once
while I stayed below and wondered how I could break his fall.
"Just look," Andrew said. His voice was strange. Amazed-sounding, but serious at the same
time.
So I looked up. And there it was. A brilliant, blue-white light that scooted across the sky,
going fast at first, too fast for it to be an airplane, then slower and slower. "What is it?"
Andrew shook his head. "I don't know."
I looked at Andrew and he looked back at me. We both knew what we thought it was, but we
didn't want to say it. Troy and Rachel would have laughed, we figured.
But Ida just blurted it right out. "It's a flying saucer!"
Last edited by astrael on Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:56 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Rejsi
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Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by Rejsi » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:30 am

No offense, but isn't this almost exactly the same as the book with a few details changed (names, locations)? It seems more like plagiarism than fan fiction.

astrael
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Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:16 am

Rejsi wrote:No offense, but isn't this almost exactly the same as the book with a few details changed (names, locations)? It seems more like plagiarism than fan fiction.
I know. You'll see more change as I continue. What I'm doing here is more of a remake(To get rid of
the stuff I hate) so I can have a firm basis for the fanfictions to put between the original books.(I'll also
keep making changes on the original books) One thing you notice about the Animorphs is that they seem
to be doing a lot more stuff than what shows up in the books.
And I better say this here: I compare every line I write to what's in the ebooks. So all changes- all, are
intentional.

By the way, haven't you noticed the change on Jake and Marco's character?
Last edited by astrael on Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

astrael
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Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:20 am

CHAPTER 2
"A flying saucer?" Troy said. He did laugh. That is, until he looked up.
I could feel my own heart pounding in my chest. I felt weird and excited and afraid, all at
once.
"It's coming this way," Rachel said.
"It's hard to be sure." I could barely whisper, my mouth was so dry.
"No, it's coming this way," Rachel said. She has a very definite way of talking. Like she's
totally sure of everything she says.
Rachel was right. Whatever it was, it was coming closer. And it was slowing down. Now I
could see pretty clearly what it looked like.
"It's not exactly a flying saucer," I said.
First of all, it wasn't all that big. An elongated oval about the size of a school bus. There were
two crooked, stubby winglike things, and on the end of each wing was a long tube that glowed bright blue on the back end.
The little spaceship looked almost cute. You know, kind of harmless. Except that it had a sort
of tail - a mean-looking tail that curved up and forward, corning to a point that looked as
sharp as a needle.
"That tail thing," I said. "It looks like a weapon."
"Definitely," Troy agreed.
The little ship kept coming nearer, going slower all the time.
"It's stopping," Rachel said. She had the same strange, not-quite-real tone in her voice that I
had. Like we couldn't believe what we were seeing. Like maybe we didn't want to believe.
"I think it sees us," Troy said. "Should we run?"
"If we run, they might . . . I don't know, zap us with phasers on full power," I said. I meant it
as a joke. Kind of.
"Phasers are only on Star Trek," Troy said, rolling his eyes the way he does when he thinks
I'm being a dweeb. Like he was some kind of expert on alien spaceships. Right.

The ship stopped and hovered almost directly over our heads, maybe a hundred feet in the air.
I could feel the hair on my head standing on end. When I glanced at Rachel it was almost
funny. She has this long blond hair and it was sticking straight out in every direction. Ida too.

"What do you think it is?" Troy asked. He sounded a little shakier, not so laid-back now
that the thing was so close. To be honest, I was a little scared, too. A little scared, as in so
terrified I couldn't move. But at the same time, it was all cool beyond any coolness ever. I
mean, it was a spaceship! Right there over my head.
Andrew was actually grinning, but that's Andrew for you. He's never scared of weird stuff. It's
the normal stuff he can't stand. "I think it's going to land," he said, this huge smile on his
face. His eyes were bright and excited, and his blond hair was standing up in clumps.
The ship began to descend. "It's coming right at us!" I cried.
I had to fight an urge to run yammering across the field all the way home, where I could
crawl into my bed and pull the covers over my head. But I knew that this was an important,
amazing thing. I knew I had to stay and see it all.
I guess the others felt the same way, because we all just stood there, as the ship hummed and
glowed and slowly settled down in an open space between piles of junk and tumbled walls. Now
I could see that there were also blue lights on the side and bottom in the shape of long, thin elipses.
And that the last foot of the 'tail' was transparent and glittering, almost like glass. I also
noticed that the top and one side of it was scorched black. Part of the hull had melted.
It touched the ground and instantly the blue lights went off. Everyone's hair fell back down.

"It isn't very big, is it?" Ida whispered.
"It's.."I thought for a moment. "It's about the size of our minivan."
"We should tell someone," Troy said. "I mean, this is kind of major, you know? Spaceships
don't just land in the construction site every day. We should call the cops or the army or the
president or something. We'd be totally famous. We'd get to be on TV for sure."
"Yeah, you're right," I agreed. "We should call someone." But none of us moved. None of us
was just going to walk away from a spaceship,
"I wonder if we should try and talk to it," Rachel suggested. She was standing there with her
hands on her hips looking at the spaceship like it was a puzzle she had to figure out. "I mean,
we should communicate. If that's even possible."
Andrew nodded. He stepped forward and held out his hands. I guess he was showing whoever
was in the ship that he wasn't carrying any kind of weapon or anything. "It's safe," he said in
a loud, clear voice. "We won't hurt you."
"Do you think they speak English?" I wondered.
"Well, everyone speaks English in the movies." Ida said with a nervous laugh.
Andrew tried again. "Please, come out We won't hurt you."
<I know.>
I froze. Okay, I had definitely heard someone say "I know," only . . . there hadn't been any
sound. I mean, I heard it, but I didn't really hear it.
Maybe this was all a dream. I looked kind of sideways at Troy. He looked back at me. He had
heard it, too. I looked at Rachel. She was turning her head back and forth, like she was looking
for where that sound - that wasn't a sound - could have come from. I started to get a sick,
twisty feeling in my stomach.
"Did everyone hear that?" Andrew whispered.
We all nodded at once, very slowly.
"Can you come out?" Andrew asked in his loud, talking-to-aliens voice.
<Yes. Do not be frightened.>
"We won't be frightened," Andrew said.
"Speak for yourself," I muttered. The others giggled nervously.
A thin arc of light appeared, a doorway, opening slowly in the smooth side of the ship. I stood
there, totally hypnotized. I just stared, waiting.
The opening grew, like a crescent moon at first, then a full, bright circle.
And then he appeared.
My first reaction was that someone had cloned a person and a deer together. The creature had
a head and torso and arms that were more or less where they should have been, though
the skin was blue. But below the waist he had fur, a sleek, glossy coat of brillliant sapphire
covering a four-legged body that really did look like it belonged to a very large deer, or maybe
a small horse.
He stepped out from the doorway and I could see that even the fairly normal-looking parts
of him weren't all that normal. For a start, he had no nose or mouth. In their place there
were three verticle slits, the middle one starting below the eyes and stretching almost to the
chin. The two side slits were shorter, and angled closer to the middle slit as they went down.
And then there were his eyes. Two of them were where they should have been, although
they were a glittery green color that was kind of shocking. But the real shock was the other eyes.
He had what seemed like horns, only on the top of each horn was an eye. The horns could move,
twisting to point the eyes front and back or up and down.
I thought the eyes were bad, until I saw the tail. It was about three times as long as his body,
with thick base and tapering toward the end where there was a
broad, curved blade. It reminded me of the alien's spaceship. It had seemed kind of cute and
harmless, till you noticed the tail. The alien seemed kind of harmless at first glance, too.
Then you saw that tail of his and you thought, whoa, this guy could do some damage if he wanted.

"Hello," Andrew said. His voice was gentle, like he was talking to a baby. He was grinning.
I realized I was smiling, too. And at the same moment, I realized that there were tears in my
eyes, I can't really describe how it felt, except that it seemed like the alien was someone I'd
known forever. Like an old friend I hadn't seen in a long, longtime.

<Hello,> the alien said, in that silent way that you only heard inside your head.
"Hi," we all said back.
To my surprise, the alien staggered. He fell out of the ship to the ground. Andrew tried to grab
him and hold him up, but the alien slipped from his grasp and fell back to the dirt. We all rushed over.
"Look!" Ida cried. She pointed at a burn that covered half the alien's right side. "He's hurt."
<Yes. I am dying,> he said.
"Can we help you? We can call an ambulance or something," Troy said.
<No. I will die. The wound is fatal.>
"NO!" I cried. "You can't die. You're the first alien ever to come to Earth. You can't die."
I don't know why I was so upset. I just knew that way down deep inside, it hurt me to think of
him dying.
<I am not the first. There are many, many others.>
"Other aliens? Like you?" Tobias demanded.
<No, not like me.>
Then suddenly, a wave of pain came from him and washed over me. For a moment, I actually
felt him dying.
<Not like me,> he repeated. <They are different.>
"Different? How?" I said.
I will remember his answer forever.
He said, <They have come to destroy you.>
Last edited by astrael on Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:00 pm, edited 4 times in total.

astrael
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Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:07 am

CHAPTER 3
<They have come to destroy you.>
It was strange, the way we all just knew he was telling the truth. No one said "no way" or
"you're making it up." We all just knew. He was dying, and he was trying to warn us of
something terrible.
<They are called Kirins. They are different from us. Different from you, as well.>
"Are you telling us they're already here on Earth?" Rachel demanded.
<Many are here. Hundreds. Maybe more.>
"Why hasn't anybody noticed them?" Troy said reasonably. "I think someone would have
mentioned it at school."
<You do not understand. Kirins are different. They have no body, like yours or mine. They
live in the bodies of other species. They are . . . >
I guess he couldn't think of a word to explain Kirins, so he closed his eyes and seemed to
concentrate. Suddenly a bright picture popped into my head. I saw a gray, slimy thing like
a snail without its shell, only bigger, the size of a small rat, maybe. It wasn't a pretty picture.
"I'm guessing that was a Kirin," Troy said. "Either that or a very big wad of slimy chewing
gum."
<They are almost powerless without hosts. They - >
Again we felt that blast of pain, straight from the alien. I could also feel his sadness. He
knew his time was almost up.
<The Kirins are parasites. They must have a host to live in. In this form they are known as
Controllers. They enter the brain and merge into it, taking over the host's thoughts and
feelings. They try to get the host to accept them voluntarily. It is easier that way.>
"Are you saying they take over human beings?" Rachel asked. "People? These things take
over their bodies?"
"Look, this is serious stuff," Troy said. "You shouldn't be telling us. We're just kids, you know.
This is like something the government should know about."
<We had hoped to stop them,> the alien continued. <Swarms of their fighters were
waiting when our Dome ship came out of Z-Space. We knew of their mother ship and were
ready for their fighters, but the Kirins surprised us - they had hidden a powerful Blade
ship in a crater of your moon. We fought, but . . . we lost. They would have tracked me here.
They will be here soon to eliminate all traces of me and my ship.>
"How can they do that?" Ida wondered.
<Their Dracon beams will leave nothing behind but a few molecules of this ship, and . . .
this body> he said. <I sent a message to my home world. We Andalites fight the Yeerks wherever
they go throughout the universe. My people will send help, but it may take a year, even
more, and by then the Yeerks will have control of this planet. After that, there is no hope.
You must tell people. You must warn your people!> Another spasm of pain ripped through him.
"No one is ever going to believe us," Troy said hopelessly. He looked at me and shook his
head. "No way."
He was right. If these Yeerks were to wipe out the Andalite's ship, how on Earth would we
ever convince people? They'd think we were either nuts or on drugs.
"I don't care if he thinks he's going to die, we have to try and help him," Rachel said. "We can
get him to a hospital. Or how about Ida's parents? " Ida's parents were both vets. Not that the Andalite was an animal. Not exactly, anyway.
<There is no time. No time,> the Andalite said. Then his eyes brightened. <Perhaps . . . >
"What?"
<Go into my ship. You will see a small blue cube, very plain. Bring it to me. Quickly! I have
very little time, and the Kirins will find me soon.>
I stood up from where I was kneeling by the Andalite's side. So did Andrew. We looked at
each other.
Andrew sat back down. "You go," he said. "I want to stay with him." He knelt beside
the Andalite and placed a comforting hand on the alien's narrow shoulder.
I walked over to the door of the ship and stepped inside. Later I realized just how crazy I had
been. I was walking in without hesitation into the ship of an alien I'd known for like 5 minutes.
But I wasn't thinking of all that. All I knew was that we were in danger, and that the alien
wanted something to be fetched from the ship so he could help us. So obviously it had to be fetched.

The inside was surprisingly simple, almost cozy-looking. Everything was a creamy color with
rounded edges and shapes that tended to be oval. That was one of the things that helped me to spot the box so easily. It was sky blue and square, maybe four inches on each side. It seemed kind of heavy for being so small.
The cube was on a shelf inside a deep niche covered with a clear panel, at the front of the ship.
I walked over. There was a curved, sloping deck there. On the top were a few buttons, and brilliant
green, oval pad. The cockpit. But no chair, just a sort of open space where I guess the Andalite
stood on his four hooves while he worked on the controls. And no glass. In fact, the whole ship
was opaque. I wondered how the Andalite looked outside
The panel of the niche slid aside when I reached for it. I grabbed the cube and started to head back
outside. But then something caught my eye. On the shelf below the cube was a small, three-dimensional
picture - four Andalites, standing all together, looking like a strange gathering of blue deer with solemn faces. One of them looked like a very small kid. I realized that this was a picture of the Andalite's family.

It filled me with sadness to think that here he was, dying, a million miles from his family.
Dying because he had tried to protect the people of Earth. I felt a small flame of anger against
the Kirins, or Controllers, or whatever they were, for causing this.
I went back outside. As I stepped through the doorway, I saw the Andalite press a hand against Andrew's
head. Andrew rocked back, like he'd been shocked.
"Andrew!" I ran to his side. There was a dazed look on his face.
"Wha-. What was that?" Andrew asked shakily.
<I have given you some information. It will help you deal with the Kirins. The cube?> he asked me.
"Here." I handed it to him.
<Thank you.>
"I, um . . . was that your family? That picture?"
<Yes.>
"I'm real sorry," I said. What else could I say?
<There is something I may be able to do to help you fight the Kirins.>
"What?" Rachel demanded.
<I know that you are young. I know that you have no power with which to resist the
Controllers. But I may be able to give you some small powers that may help.>
We all looked at each other. All except Andrew, who never took his gaze off the alien.
<If you wish, I can give you powers that no other human being has ever had.>
"Powers?" What was that supposed to mean?
<It is a piece of Andalite technology that the Kirins do not have,> the Andalite explained.
<A technology that enables us to pass unnoticed in many parts of the universe - the power to
morph. We have never shared this power. But your need is great.>
"Morph? Morph how?" Rachel asked, her eyes narrowed.
<To change your bodies,> the Andalite said. <To become any other species. Any animal.>
Troy laughed derisively. "Become animals?" Troy isn't the most accepting person in the world.
<You will only need to touch a creature, to acquire its DNA pattern, and you will be able to
become that creature. It requires concentration and determination, but, if you are strong, you
can do it. There are . . . limitations. Problems. Dangers, even. But there is no time to explain
it all . . . no time. You will have to learn for yourselves. But first, do you wish to receive this
power?>
"He's kidding, right?" Troy asked me.
"No," Andrew said softly. "He's not kidding."

"This is nuts," Troy said. "This whole thing is nuts. Yeerks and spaceships and slugs taking
over people's brains and Andalites and the power to change into animals? Give me a break."
"Yeah, it is beyond weird," I agreed.
"We're off the map of weirdness by this point," Rachel said. "But unless we're all just
dreaming, I think we'd better deal with this."
"He's dying," Andrew reminded us.
"I'll do it," Ida said. That surprised me. Cassie isn't usually so quick to decide. But I guess,
like Andrew, she felt the truth of what the Andalite was saying.
"What's that?" Rachel asked. She was looking up toward the stars. Far, far overhead, two
pinpoints of bright red light were shooting across the sky.
<Kirins.> The Andalite said the word in our minds, and we could feel his hatred.
Last edited by astrael on Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

astrael
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Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:54 am

CHAPTER 4
<Kirins. Kirin fighters.>
The twin red lights slowed. They turned in a circle and came back toward us.
<There is no more time. You must decide!>
"We have to do this," Andrew said. "How else can we fight these Controllers?"
"This is so insane!" Troy said. "Insane!"
"I'd like more time but we don't have that choice," Rachel said. I'm for it."
"What do you say, Edin?" Ida asked me. It was odd. Like suddenly I was the one who had
to decide for everyone?
I looked up at the Kirin ships. They were circling closer, like dogs sniffing for a scent.
I looked down at the Andalite and remembered the picture of his family. Would they
even know what had happened to him?
I looked at each of the people around me - my usually funny, occasionally annoying best
friend, Troy; Rachel, my smart, pretty, confident cousin; and Ida, who everyone knew
liked animals more than she liked most people.
Finally, I looked at Andrew. It was weird, the feeling I had at that moment, staring at him. A
chill or something. A sense of distortion.
"We have to," Andrew said to me.
Slowly I nodded. "Yes. We have no choice."
<Then each of you, press your hand against one of the sides of the square.>
We did. Five hands, each pressed against one side. Then a sixth hand, different from ours,
with too many fingers.
<Do not be afraid,> the Andalite said.
Something like a shock, only pleasurable, seemed to run through me. A tingle that almost
made me laugh.
<Go now,> the Andalite said. <Only remember this - never remain in animal form for more
than two of your Earth hours. Never! That is the greatest danger of the morphing! If you stay
longer than two hours you will be trapped, unable to return to human form.>
"Two hours," I repeated.
Suddenly some new fear washed through the Andalite's mind. Linked as I was to him, I could
feel it as a dread that crawled up my spine. He was staring up at the sky with his main eyes.
Something else was up there with the Kirin fighters.
<The Blade ship! He comes.>
"What?" I was shaking with this new terror. "Who's 'he'?"
<Go now. Run! Visser Three is here. He is the most deadly of your enemies. Of all Yeerks he
alone has the power to morph, The same power you now have. Run!>
"No, we'll stay with you," Rachel said firmly. "Maybe we can help."
The Andalite narrowed his eyes. Not the way people do when they're angry, but softer. As he
did a wave of gentleness washed over me. I realized he was smiling.
<No. You must save yourselves. Save yourselves and save your planet! The Kirins are here.>
We all looked up, craning our necks. Sure enough, the two red lights were sinking toward us.
And they had been joined by a third ship, far larger, black as a shadow within a shadow.
"But how are we supposed to fight these . . . these Controllers?" Rachel demanded.
<You must find a way. Now run!>
I jerked from the force of his command. "He's right. Run!" I yelled.
We ran. All but Andrew, who knelt beside the Andalite and took his hand. I hesitated, then ran back,
yanked on his wrist. Now he, too, was up and running, stumbling over the loose junk and potholes of the
construction site.
A beam of bright white light snapped on. It was a spotlight from one of the Kirin fighters. The
beam lit up the fallen Andalite and his ship. A spotlight from the second Kirin fighter joined
the first, and the Andalite shone brilliant as a star.
I hit the dirt hard. I saw my leg lit up within the circle of that spotlight. I yanked it to me and
crawled fast, scraping my elbows and knees over sharp stones.
The five of us crouched behind a low, crumbled wall, afraid to move, afraid to look, but just
as afraid to look away.
Slowly the Kirin fighters descended.They were a little smaller than the Andalite fighter and shaped like
an oval cut in half and stretched lengthwise. Six short cylinders were sticking out from the bottom.
On either side of the head were two very long, very sharp, serrated spears.
"They look like bugs,"said Ida, breathlessly. "Bug fighters."
The Kirin fighters touched down, one on either side of the Andalite ship.
"Okay, you can wake me up now," Troy said in a rattled whisper. "I've had enough of this
dream."
The larger ship began to descend. I don't know what it was about that ship, but as it got closer
I started to feel like I couldn't breathe. I tried to suck in a deep lungful of air and couldn't. I
tried to swallow and couldn't. I wanted to run, but my legs were jelly. I was shaking from a
fear so deep it was like nothing I'd ever experienced before. It was the same fear that the
Andalite had shown when he'd realized Visser Three was coming.
The ship settled toward the ground. It looked like it was going to land directly on a big rusted
earthmover parked there. But as the Visser's ship descended, the earthmover just sizzled and
disappeared.
Visser Three's ship was built like some ancient weapon. It reminded me of one of those
battle-axes the old-time knights used when they were hacking off the heads of their foes.
There was a main part, like the handle of the ax, with a big, triangular point on the front. That
part had to be the bridge. At the rear were two huge, scimitar wings. It was about 20 times
the size of the Bug fighters.
The Blade ship landed. A door opened.
Ida started to scream. I clamped my hand over her mouth.
They leaped from the ship, whirling and thrusting and slicing the air - creatures that looked
like walking weapons. They stood on two bent-forward legs and had two very long arms. On
each arm there were curved horn-blades growing out of the wrist and elbow. There were
other blades at their knees, and spikes on their tails. They had feet like a Tyrannosaurus rex.
But it was the head that got your attention - a neck like a snake, a mouth that was almost a
falcon's beak, and, from the forehead, three daggerlike horns raked forward.
<Hork-Bajir-Controllers.>
I jumped, hearing the Andalite's words in my mind again.
<The Hork-Bajir are a good people, despite their fearsome looks,> the Andalite said. <But
they have been enslaved by the Yeerks. Each of them now carries a Yeerk in his head. They
are to be pitied.>
"Pity. Right," Rachel said grimly. "They're walking killing machines. Look at them!"
But our attention was drawn away by a new form that crept and slithered and shimmied out
of the Blade ship.
<Taxxon-Controllers,> the Andalite said. I knew he was trying to tell us all he could, even to
the end. Trying to prepare us for what we were up against.<All Taxxon-Controllers are voluntaries.>
"Voluntaries? All?" Rachel said."Excuse me?"
They were like massive centipedes, twice as long as a grown man. So big around that if you
tried to hug one, your arms wouldn't make it even halfway. Not that anyone would ever want
to.
They had dozens of legs that supported the lower two thirds of their bodies. The top third was
held upright, and there the rows of legs became smaller, with little lobster-claw hands.
Around the top of their disgusting, tubular bodies were four eyes, each like a wiggling
globule of red Jell-O. And at the very end, pointing straight up in the air, was a round mouth,
ringed by hundreds of tiny teeth.
Hork-Bajir and Taxxons poured from the Blade ship, spreading out around the area like welltrained
Marines. They were holding things that looked somewhatlike handheld machine guns. They formed
a ring around the Andalite and his ship.
Suddenly, one of the Hork-Bajir came straight toward us. He took one big, bounding step and
he was practically on top of us.
I hugged the dirt like it was my last hope. I wished I could dig a hole. I saw a flash of Troy's
face. His eyes were huge. His lips were drawn back in what could have been a grin, except
that I knew it was an expression of pure terror.
Last edited by astrael on Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

astrael
Civilian
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:08 am
Gender: [Female][/Female]
Favourite Animorph: Jake

Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:26 am

CHAPTER 5
The Hork-Bajir pointed his gun, or whatever it was, around at the darkness. His snake head
swerved left and right, trying to penetrate the gloom.
<Silence!> the Andalite warned us. <Hork-Bajir do not see well in darkness, but their hearing
is very good.>
The Hork-Bajir moved closer still. He was six feet away now, with just the low wall between
us. He had to have heard my heart pounding. Maybe he didn't know what the sound was.
Maybe he didn't recognize the sounds of five terrified kids whose knees were quivering and
teeth were chattering. Kids who were breathing in short, sudden gasps.
I was sure I was going to die, right then. I could see in my mind the way those vicious wristand
elbow-blades were going to slice my head from my body.
If you've never been really afraid, let me tell you - it does things to you. It takes over your
mind and your body. It seeps into every drop of your blood, freezing every single cell. Until
you can't move, can't feel, can't think. Can't do anything but watch death coming for you.
And if you think you're brave, well, wait till you're cowering a few feet away from a monster
who can turn you into coleslaw in about three seconds flat.
But then the Andalite's voice was in my head again. <Courage, my friends.>
And then a warmth spread through me. It was like when you're a little kid and you've had a
terrible nightmare and you've woken up screaming. You know how you used to feel better
when your mom or dad would turn on the light and come in and sit beside you in bed?
That's what it was like.
I mean, I was still terrified. The Hork-Bajir was still there, so real and so deadly. I could hear
him breathing, I could smell him. But at the same time, I could feel the panic coming under
control. I could feel the strength flowing from the doomed Andalite. He was letting us borrow
some of his courage, even though he must have been afraid himself.
The Hork-Bajir moved away. Something new was coming from the Blade ship.
Shaking and chattering, I rose high enough to look over the low wall. Every Hork-Bajir and
every Taxxon was turned toward the ship now.
"They're all standing at attention," I whispered.
"How can you tell?"Troy whispered back. "Who knows when a jelly-eyed centipede or a
walking Salad Shooter from Hell is standing at attention?"
Then he appeared.
<Visser Three,> the Andalite said,
Visser Three was an Andalite.
Or at least he was an Andalite-Controller.
"What the . . . " Rachel said. "Isn't that an Andalite?"
<Only once has a Yeerk been able to take an Andalite body,> the Andalite said. <There is
only one Andalite-Controller. That one is Visser Three,>
Visser Three walked confidently toward the wounded Andalite. The Visser seemed so much
like the Andalite that the only way to tell them apart at first was that the Visser had darker fur.
Aside the from that, the Visser were pretty much like the other Andalite. He had the same
mouthless face; the same extra stalk-eyes that turned here and there, checking out everything in all directions; the same powerful yet sleek four-legged body; and the same wicked tail.
But if the Visser looked like any normal Andalite, he felt different. It was like he was
wearing a mask, only you just knew that under the fake sweetness of the mask there was
something twisted and foul.
<Well, well,> Visser Three said.
I almost had a heart attack when I realized I was hearing the Visser's thoughts.
"Can he hear our thoughts?" Ida whispered.
"If he can we're so dead I don't even want to think about it," Rachel told her.
<He cannot hear your thoughts,> the Andalite said. <As long as you don't direct them to him.
You hear his thoughts because he is broadcasting them for all to hear. This is a great victory
for him, so he wants all to hear.>
<What have we here? A meddling Andalite?> Visser Three looked more closely at the
Andalite's ship. <Ah, but no ordinary Andalite warrior. Prince Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, if I
am not mistaken. An honor to meet you. You're a legend. How many of our fighters have you
shredded? Seven, or was it eight by the time the battle ended?>
The Andalite didn't answer. But I had the feeling maybe it had been more than eight.
<The very last Andalite in this sector of space. Yes, I'm afraid your Dome ship has been
completely destroyed. Completely. I watched it burn as it fell into the atmosphere of this little
world.>
<There will be others,> the Andalite prince said.
The Visser took a step closer to the Andalite. <Yes, and when they come it will be too late.
This world will be mine. My own contribution to the Yeerk Empire, Our greatest conquest.
And then I'll be Visser One.>
<What do you want with these Humans?> the Andalite asked. <You have your Taxxon allies.
You have your Hork-Bajir slaves. And other slaves from other worlds. Why these people?>
<Because there are so many, and they are so weak,> Visser Three sneered. <Billions of
bodies! And they have no idea what's happening. With this many hosts we can spread
throughout the universe, unstoppable! Billions of us. We'll have to build a thousand new
Yeerk pools just to raise Yeerks for half this number of bodies. Face it, Andalite, you have
fought well and bravely. But you have lost>
Visser Three stepped right up to the Andalite. I could feel the Andalite's fear, but rather than
cower, he fought the pain of his wound and climbed to his feet. He knew he was going to die.
He wanted to die on his feet, looking his enemy in the face.
But Visser Three was not done taunting his foe. <I promise you one thing, Prince Elfangor -
when we have this planet, with its rich harvest of bodies, we will move against the Andalite
home world. I will personally hunt down your family. And I will personally oversee the
placement of my most faithful lieutenants in their heads. I hope that they will resist, so I can
hear their minds scream.>
The Andalite struck!
His tail whipped up and over, so fast you couldn't really see it. The Visser twisted his head
aside. The Andalite's tail blade missed the Visser's head by a bare half-inch. But it sliced into
his shoulder. Blood - if blood can be blue - sprayed from the wound.
"Yes!" I hissed.
<Aaaaaarrrrrgh!> I could hear the Visser's howl of pain in my head.
At the same time, a blinding beam of blue light shot from the tail of the Andalite ship. It
sliced into the nearest Bug fighter. Hork-Bajir and Taxxons scattered. The Bug fighter
sizzled and disappeared.
<Fire!> Visser Three yelled. <Burn his ship!>
The night exploded in blinding light. Red beams lanced from the Blade ship and the
remaining Bug fighter. The Andalite ship glowed, and, with a strange slowness,
disintegrated.
Then, in the flash and glow of Dracon beams I saw . . . or thought I saw . . . humans. A small
group of them, maybe three or four, back in the shadows behind the Visser.
"There are people over there," I told Troy.
"What? Are they prisoners?"
<Take the Andalite,> Visser Three ordered his soldiers. <Hold him for me.>
Three big Hork-Bajir grabbed the Andalite and held him down. Their wrist blades were at his
throat, but they knew better than to kill him.
That was to be Visser Three's personal privilege.
Then we saw why a Yeerk as powerful as Visser Three would inhabit the only captured
Andalite body. As we watched, Visser Three began to morph.
His Andalite head grew large, larger. Much larger. The four horselike legs merged into two
and then expanded, each leg becoming as big around as a redwood tree. The delicate Andalite
arms sprouted and became tentacles.
"This isn't real," Ida whispered. "This isn't real."
In the hideously bloated head, a mouth appeared. It was filled with teeth as long as your arm.
The mouth grew wider and wider, becoming a monstrous, terrifying grin.
There was nothing left of the Andalite body, A monster had taken its place.
"R-r-r-r-a-a-a-w-w-w-w-g-g-g!" The roar of the beast Visser Three had become made the
ground shake.
I covered my ears with my hands.
"R-r-r-r-r-r-a-a-a-a-g-g-g!"
My teeth rattled from the sound. I heard someone whimpering. It was me.
Visser Three had become a monster that made the Hork-Bajir and the Taxxons look like
harmless toys. He reached out with one thick tentacle and grabbed the Andalite by the neck.
"No, no, no," I heard Ida whispering over and over again. "No, no, no, no."
"Don't look," Rachel said to her. She put her arm around Cassie's shoulder and held her close.
Then she reached for Andrew and took his hand. I guess you never really know someone till
you see them scared. And even scared to death, with tears running down her face, Rachel had
strength to spare.
Visser Three lifted the Andalite straight up in the air, tearing him from the grasp of the Hork-
Bajir. The Andalite prince struck again and again with his tail. But each strike was like a
pinprick against such a creature.
Visser Three held the Andalite high in the air.
And then Visser Three opened his mouth wide.

CHAPTER 6
I don't know what came over me right then. I had been so afraid. So terrified. But it was like
something just snapped in my head.
"You filthy - "
I jumped to my feet. I snatched up a piece of rusted iron pipe from the ground and started to
climb over that wall. I guess I just went crazy or something. I didn't hear my friends trying to
stop me. Didn't see the dozens of bladed Hork-Bajir. Didn't even see the Visser himself.
All I heard was the roaring as white heat coursed through my veins.
All I saw was the Andalite.
<<NO!>>
The Andalite's silent cry was like a sledgehammer. A pointed sledgehammer. It stabbed into
my head with enough shock to make me reel. But there was more to it than that. It was as if
the Andalite's last, dying will was pouring into me. Making me stop for one, single second.
It was enough. I felt Troy's hands grabbing at my shirt and pulling me back. Rachel and Troy held me down.
Rachel put her hand over my mouth. I was trying to scream, or curse, or something.
"Shut up, you idiot!" Troy hissed. "You're just going to get us all killed."
"Edin, don't." Ida put her hand on my cheek. "He doesn't want you to die for him. Don't
you realize? He's dying for us."
I shoved Troy and Rachel away angrily. But I was in control of myself again.
I peeked over the wall again. The Andalite prince was helpless in the grasp of Visser Three. I
saw him held high in the air. I saw Visser Three's monstrous, gaping jaws.
Slowly, tauntingly, the Andalite was lowered.
The mouth closed. The teeth ripped the Andalite apart. And the Andalite Prince Elfangor-
Sirinial-Shamtul died.
At the very end, he cried out. His cry of despair was in our heads. His cry will always be in
our heads.
The Hork-Bajir-Controllers began making a huffing sound, like whuh-whuh-whuh. Maybe
they were laughing or applauding. The Taxxon-Controllers rushed forward and crowded
around Visser Three. They seemed to be stretching up toward him, and then I saw why - a
piece of the Andalite fell from the Visser's jaws and the nearest Taxxon greedily gobbled it
up.
Andrew turned away and covered his face with his hands. Ida had tears streaming from her
eyes. So did I.
I heard a sound that was strange because it was so normal. It was laughter. Human laughter.
The humans . . . the Human-Controllers - because that's what they were - were laughing, like
they were at some kind of a show. For a moment ft seemed to me that one of those laughing
voices was familiar, like I'd heard it before. But then the sound was swallowed up in the
huffing of the Hork-Bajir.

Visser Three morphed out of his monstrous form and slowly regained his Andalite body.
<Ah,> I heard him think, <nothing like a good Antarean Bogg morph for . . . taking a bite out
of your enemies.>
Again the Human-Controllers laughed and the Hork-Bajir-Controllers huffed, and I heard a
familiar human laugh I could not quite place.
Troy started throwing up. It was an understandable thing to do. But somehow that sound
caught the attention of the nearest Hork-Bajir.
The snake head turned. He was perfectly still.
We were perfectly still.
The Hork-Bajir turned toward us. The nearsighted eyes were aimed directly at our little
hiding place.
I don't know who panicked first. Maybe it was me. Maybe we'd just had all the fear and
horror we could stand. It was like an electric shock went through all of us. We were running
before I had a chance to even know what I was doing.
I ran. I gasped for air.
A cry went up from the Hork-Bajir.
"Split up," I yelled. "They can't follow all of us."
Troy and Andrew andIda took off in three different directions. Rachel was still right
beside me. Glancing back, I saw the Hork-Bajir hesitate, unsure of who to chase.
Rachel and me, and Troy are the fastest runners. Andrew is totally out of shape, and Ida's
just not athletic. So I figured if the aliens were going to chase anyone, it ought to be us.
I guess Rachel thought the same thing. She slowed down just a little and began yelling and
waving her arms. "Come on, come on, you - " And then she said some words I didn't realize
Rachel even knew.
The two nearest Hork-Bajir snapped around and took off after us. "Ghafrash! Ghafrash fit!"
I ran. Suddenly my foot slammed something and I was down. I hit the ground hard. The wind
was knocked out of me. I tried to fill my lungs again. Rachel ran on. She didn't know I had
fallen.

A spear of red light struck a concrete pipe just beside me. The concrete vaporized. The two
Hork-Bajir were coming after us, bounding like some devil kangaroos. I was up and running.
Rachel must have realized I wasn't with her anymore. She stopped and started to come back
toward me.
"Don't be stupid!" I yelled. "Run!"
She hesitated just a second. But she knew she couldn't do anything more for me. She ran.
I saw a dark hole ahead and raced toward it.
A doorway. Inside it was as black as a grave. It was one of the buildings that had almost been
completed. Just bare concrete walls and scattered junk. But I knew I had been in here before.
Troy and I had walked all through it. There were hallways and little side rooms. It was like
a maze.
Troy! Rachel! Had they gotten away? And what about Ida and Andrew?
I tried to get my brain to concentrate as I scurried across the first big room. There was a
corridor . . . somewhere. I groped in the dark and found a wall.
I heard the sound of clawlike feet, huge, tearing, rending claw feet scraping over the bare
concrete. A bottle went skittering across the floor.
The Hork-Bajir was close! And in the total darkness my superior human vision wasn't much
use. But I knew my way around the empty building.
At least, I would have known my way around if my brain had been working.
I felt my hand go into emptiness. A doorway. Yes! It led down a hallway. I went through just
as the light came on behind me. Someone had brought a flashlight
"Efnud to tell fallay nyot fit?"
"No. No need to capture them. Whoever you find, kill."
The first voice had been Hork-Bajir. The second voice was human. And the weird thing was,
that voice sounded familiar. I tried to think. I knew I'd heard that voice somewhere. Where?
Where?
"Just save the head," the human told the Hork-Bajir. "Bring that to me and we can identify it."
I slid quickly along the wall.
The light followed just steps behind me.
I racked my brains. Had there been a passageway . . . ? Yes, there it was. As silently as I
could, I slipped into it. The flashlight beam was just inches behind me.
I kicked something soft.
"Hey!"
It was a man! He had been lying on the ground, wrapped in a blanket.
"Hey, get outta here. This is my place, and I ain't got nothin' for you to steal."
I started to warn him, but one of the Hork-Bajir was there!
The flashlight landed on the homeless man's face. He blinked like an owl.
There was an alcove. Right behind me. I backed through.
The homeless guy screamed. I heard the sound of a scuffle.
Maybe the guy got away. I hope so.
But I never found out, because with the Hork-Bajir distracted, I ran.
Last edited by astrael on Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:24 am, edited 3 times in total.

astrael
Civilian
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:08 am
Gender: [Female][/Female]
Favourite Animorph: Jake

Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:40 am

CHAPTER 7
Somehow I made it home. I don't know how. I have no memories of anything after that last
sight of the Hork-Bajir.
I called around to the others. Everyone was shaky, but they were all alive. Rachel kept trying
to apologize for leaving me. Troy just kept asking me if I was sure this wasn't a dream.
I guess I should have had the worst nightmares of my life that night, but I didn't. The world
of nightmares was a joke compared to my new reality.
The next day, a Saturday, I woke when my mom started pounding on my door.
"Edin, are you awake in there?"
I was now. "Um, yeah," I groaned. "I'm up."
"Your friend Andrew is here,"
"Andrew?" What was Andrew doing here? At this hour?
"It's me." Andrew 's voice. "Can I come in?"
"Um, sure." I sat up in my bed and blinked several times, trying to get my eyes unglued. The
door opened. I heard Andrew say thank you to my mom.
He was glowing. I swear, he was glowing. Not like he was radioactive or anything, I don't
mean that. It's just that his eyes were shining bright, and his face was one big grin, and he
seemed to be tingling with energy, bouncing like he couldn't standstill.
"I did it," Andrew said.
I tried to get my hair to go in one direction by raking my fingers through it. "What are you
talking about?"
I was yawning when he answered.
"I became Dude."
I stopped yawning. My mouth actually snapped shut. Dude is Andrew's cat. "Huh?"
Andrew glanced around like there might be spies in the room. "I became Dude. Just like the
Andalite said."
I just stared.
"It was so amazing. It didn't hurt or anything. I was petting him, and thinking about the whole
thing last night, right? So I thought, why not give it a try?" He was pacing back and forth,
snapping his fingers, bursting with enthusiasm. Very unlike Andrew.
"I didn't even know how to begin. So I just made sure the door to my room was locked.
Fortunately, my uncle was still asleep."
Andrew has the most screwed-up family I know. His parents just decided to leave him when he
was young. Since then he's been stuck with his alcoholic uncle.
"So there I was, just sitting on my bed, thinking about it. Concentrating. Thinking about
becoming Dude. I looked down at my hand." He grinned at me. "What do you think I saw, Edin?"
I shook my head slowly. "I don't know."
"I had fur, Edin. And I was growing claws. You should have seen the real Dude. He went
nuts. I had to put him outside before I could morph all the way. He clawed me up pretty
good." he said, slashing at the air in an imitation of Dude.
"I just kept concentrating on changing," Andrew said, "and in a few minutes, I was . . . not
myself anymore."
His eyes bored in on me. "You have no idea what it's like, Edin. Being a cat is so . . . it's . . .
I can't even describe it. You're so strong, for one thing. Just all this coiled power, and the way
you can move! You know what I did? I jumped onto my dresser Three feet straight up in the
air, and I landed like a feather. Three feet! You know how high that is when you're a cat? It's
like a person jumping maybe thirty feet straight up."
He stopped suddenly and looked at me. "You don't believe me, do you?" he said.
"I believe you," I said. I really did. Somehow I had never doubted the Andalite's words.
Still, it was hard to digest. "Can I see?"
Andrew gave me a look, like he didn't really believe that I believed.
"Just don't scream. Or anything."
For a few seconds, nothing happened. Andrew just stood there. I glanced at his face. His eyes
. . . his eyes were different. The pupils weren't completely round anymore. I swear there was a
reflective greenish light in them. And his mouth was protruding a little, puffing out.
He was shrinking. Growing smaller right before my eyes.
The neck of his shirt was loose. His pants started scrunching up at the ankles. He was
shriveling. And at the same time fur - yes, fur! - began to grow on his hands and neck and
face. It was gray, striped with black, just like Dude's.
I had this absurd desire to start giggling. Andrew was becoming a tabby cat! But I knew if I
started giggling I'd just keep on and on and never, ever be able to stop.
Andrew was more cat than human now. The pointed ears rose atop his head. The whiskers
stuck straight out from beneath his delicate pink nose. He had dropped to all fours, clothing
now half-draped over him, like so many rags. His tail twitched. Yes - his tail.
I was standing there in my bedroom, staring down at a gray-black cat that less than fifteen
minutes earlier had been my friend, Andrew.

CHAPTER 8
<This is easier than it was before.>
"Is that you?" I demanded of the cat.
<Can you hear me?> Andrew sounded surprised. Although "sounded" wasn't quite the right
word.
"Yes," I said.
<I did not know I could send thoughts like this,> Andrew said. <Just like the Andalite.>
"I guess it only works when you're . . . morphed."
I wondered if Andrew could hear my thoughts. I concentrated. [Andrew, can you hear me?]
<Yeah,> he said. <I hear you.>
"Did you hear my thoughts before that?" I asked.
<No. I don't think it works that way. You have to think at me for me to hear. Hey, watch
this.>
Suddenly Andrew leaped through the air. He pounced precisely on my guitar lying in the corner. Maybe a four-foot jump.
<That is so excellent! Hey, pull a string for me to chase.>
"Pull a string? Why?"
<Because it's so fun!>
I searched in my closet and found a bundle of spare shoelaces.
"How's this?" I drew the shoelace slowly across the floor, a foot or more from Andrew's nose. He
settled back on his haunches and began wiggling his hindquarters. He pounced! He landed on
the shoelace, grabbed it in his sharp teeth, rolled over, and began ripping at the thing like
it was the only thing on Earth that mattered.
I tried pulling the shoelace away, but he pounced again.
<Yes! Got it!>
"Andrew, what are you doing?"
<Pull it faster! I see it! I got it!>
"Tobias, what are you doing?" I shouted. "You're playing with a shoelace!"
Suddenly he stopped. His tail twitched. He looked up at me. His eyes were cold, cold cat eyes.
But I could feel a ripple of confusion coming from him.
<I . . . I don't know,> he admitted. <It's like . . . like I'm me, but I'm also Dude. I want to
chase strings, and oh man, if only there was a real, live mouse around! I'd really love to track
it. To follow it so quietly. To listen to its heartbeat. To hear its scratchy little feet. I'd wait till
just the right moment, and then a perfect pounce through the air, claws stretched out . . . > He
extended his claws to demonstrate.
"Andrew, I think we're learning something here," I said. Amazing, how quickly I was
becoming used to the idea of talking to a cat.
<What? What are we learning?>
"I think you aren't just Andrew. You really are a cat. I mean, you have all the same instincts.
You want to do the things a cat wants to do."
<Yes. I can feel it. It's like I'm two different animals melded into one. I can think like a
person and like a cat>
"You'd better change back," I said.
He nodded his cat head up and down. Very weird to see, I can tell you - a cat nodding yes in
a thoughtful, normal way.
<You're right.>
The change back to human form was at least as strange as the change to cat. The fur
disappeared, leaving bare patches of pink skin behind. A nose grew out of the flat cat face.
The tail was sucked up like a snake going up a vacuum cleaner.
Andrew stood there, looking embarrassed. He quickly pulled on his clothes. "Maybe with
some practice we can figure out how to change back into our clothes. Hey, it is easier
this time."
"What is?"
"The morphing. It was so tiring the first time. And I'm pretty sure it took longer, too."
I sat down on my bed. So, Andrew could morph. Into a tabby cat.
"Now what?" I wondered aloud.
"Call the others. Tell them we need to talk things over."
"Okay." I waited. So did Andrew.
After about 10 seconds of staring at each other, I clicked.
"What," I asked. "You want me to do it?
"Who else?
"You're the one who brought it up."
He hesitated. "Geez, Edin, don't you understand? I know what I can do and what I can't do. I
can't make plans and tell people what to do. I'm not the leader. You are."
I laughed. "I'm not the leader of anything."
He just looked at me with those deep, troubled eyes - eyes I can now see only in my memory.
"Yes, Edin, you are our leader. You are the one who can bring us all together and help us
defeat the Controllers. We have the ability to be much more than we are, to have the stealth
of a cat, and . . . and the eyes of eagles, and the sense of smell of a dog, and . . . and the speed of a horse or a cheetah. We're going to need it all, if we have any hope of holding out against the Controllers. But we need you most of all. Someone to lead the team. "
Again there was that strange chill. A distortion. Like something wasn't right, didn't quite fit in.
I stared at Andrew. He stared back.
Oh, well. I thought. I could deal with that later, when everyone was there.
"I'll go find Homer first." I said.
Homer. That's my dog.

CHAPTER 9
It isn't painful. Morphing, I mean.
I petted Homer for a while. "Nothing's happening," I told Andrew.
"Look, you have to concentrate. At least, I did, I mean, I formed this mental picture of Dude,
right? I thought about becoming him."
"I see. So I have to, like, meditate on becoming a dog."
"That's right. You have to think about it. You have to want it."
I thought about becoming Homer. As I stroked his fur I formed a picture in my mind of me
becoming Homer. Homer became weirdly quiet while I did it. Like he was asleep, only his
eyes were open.
"Just like Dude," Andrew commented. "I think the process kind of puts the animal in a trance
or something."
I continued stroking Homer's fur and concentrating, and Homer continued to lie very still.
"Okay, now what?" I asked Andrew.
"Now we better put Homer outside. He might get slightly freaked by watching you turn into
him."
It took Homer about ten seconds to come out of his trance. But then he jumped up, normal,
hyperactive Homer again. I put him outside in the yard.
Andrew was sitting patiently when I got back, just waiting. "Give it a try," he urged me.
"Think about it. Want it."
I took a deep breath. I closed my eyes. I recalled the picture of Homer I'd formed in my mind.
I thought about becoming Homer. I thought. I thought.
The back of my hand itched and I scratched it. Then I stopped.
I opened my eyes and look at my hand.
It was covered with orange fur.
"Go on," said Andrew. "Now you've stopped the morph. You have to keep concentrating."
"My hand!" I said. "Fur!"
"Yeah, and your ears . . . " Andrew said.
I ran to the mirror over my dresser. My ears had moved. They had slid up the side of my
head, and were definitely larger than they should be.
"Go on, it's so cool!" Andrew said.
"Cool? It's . . . it's . . . creepy. It's weird. It's . . . I mean, look at my hands! I have fur!"
"Come on," Andrew urged.
I swallowed hard. I closed my eyes. I thought of Homer. Of being Homer.
I felt the itch mess again, and when I opened my eyes, there was fur growing on my arms.
And fur growing out of my face. And fur curling up from under my collar. My legs itched
and I realized they were growing fur, too. My bones . . . well, they didn't exactly hurt, but
they did feel very strange. You know when you go to the dentist and he gives you Novocaine
so the drill doesn't really hurt, but you know it should hurt? I guess that's what it's like.
My bones shortened. I could feel my backbone stretching as it extended out into a tail.
My thighs shortened, and something happened that I was suddenly standing on tiptoe.
I toppled forward, no longer able to walk upright.
When my hands hit the floor they weren't exactly hands anymore. The fingers were gone. All
that was left were short, stubby nails.
My face bulged out. My eyes drew closer together.
Tobias got up and tilted the mirror down so I could see myself.
I watched the final transformation as the last patches of my pink human flesh disappeared.
And the tail - my tail - sprouted to its full length.
I was a dog. It was insane. But just the same. I was a dog.
I knew I should be scared by all this, only I wasn't. I was ecstatic. I was giddy. I was thrilled.
Happiness just washed over me, Happiness filled me up.
I breathed in through my ridiculously long nose and wow! Wow! The smells. Oh, man, you
have no idea! I breathed in and right away I knew my mom was toasting a waffle in the
kitchen. And I knew Andrew had walked through the territory of a big male dog. And I knew
things I couldn't even explain in human words. It was like being blind all your life and then
suddenly you can see.
I ran over to Andrews and sniffed his shoe. I wanted a better idea of who that big male dog was.
From the scent of his urine picked up by Andrew's shoe I got a sort of picture of him. See,
Homer knew him. His owners called him Streak. He was neutered, like me. He spent most of
his time in his yard, but he broke out sometimes by digging under his fence. He got a mix of
canned and dry food. No table scraps, unlike me.
All this information made me happy all over again, and I had to wag my tail. I looked up at
Andrew. He looked tall and strange and not very colorful, I wasn't all that interested in looking
at stuff. Smelling things was way better.
INTRUDER!
There was a noise in the yard. A dog! An unknown dog in MY yard. An INTRUDER!
I ran to the window and perched against it and cut loose.
"Rrrawf! Rrawf rrawf! rrawfrrawfrrawfrrawf!"
I barked as loud as I could. No WAY some unknown dog was just going to walk through MY
yard.
"Edin, get a grip," Andrew said. "That's Homer out there."
Homer? What? But I was . . .
I tucked my tail between my legs. What was going on?
"Edin, listen to me," Tobias said. "It's just what happened to me when I morphed into a cat.
The dog brain is part of your brain now. You have to deal with it."
<But . . . there's a dog in MY yard.>
"That's Homer, Edin. You are Edin. You're just in a body copied from Homer's DNA. That's
the real Homer out there. You put him out there. Focus. You are Edin. Edin."
I took several deep breaths. The smells! Oh, boy, there was this one smell I couldn't quite -
Focus, Edin! I ordered myself. Focus!
Slowly I calmed the dog part of my mind.
Let go of the smells. Let go of the sound of a dog out in your yard.
It wasn't easy, that first time. Being a dog is so completely amazing. For one thing, there's
nothing halfway about it. You're never sort of happy. You're HAPPY! You're never sort of
bummed. You're totally, completely bummed. And boy, when you get hungry in dog form,
you are nuts on the subject of food.
But eventually, I was Edin again.
That was when the exhaustion caught up to me. It had been there all along, but the
excited dog brain had kept me from noticing. I almost staggered from the fatigue.
It was like the morphing had drained me of mental energy.
<I can see what you meant by 'tiring'.>
Just then there was a knock on my bedroom door. The knocking seemed incredibly loud to my
dog ears.
"Edin, you got Homer in there with you?" My brother Rick's voice. "Mom's on the phone,
stop him yapping - "
He opened the door and stepped in. He looked around, confused.
"Who are you?" he demanded of Andrew.
"I'm Andrew. I'm a friend of Edin's."
"Well, where is he?"
"Oh . . . he's around," Andrew said.
Rick looked down at me. There was a strange smell about him. My dog brain couldn't quite
identify it. It was an unsettling, dangerous smell. And somehow, in my own mind, I heard the
echo of a laugh. A very human laugh I had heard the night before as Visser Three swallowed
the Andalite whole.
"Bad dog," Rick said to me. "You keep quiet. Bad dog." And then he left.
I was devastated. I wasn't a bad dog. Not really. I was just barking because some other dog
was in MY yard. Bad dog? I was a bad dog? No, I wanted to be a good dog. I crept into the
corner, utterly miserable.
Andrew knelt down and patted my head.
When he scratched me behind the ears, I felt a little better.

CHAPTER 10
I called all the others on the phone after I got done morphing back into my normal body.
Andrew took off on his own, saying he'd hook up with us later at Ida's farm. I was talking
to Ida in the dining room when Rick came in.
"Oh, there you are," he said.
I covered my ear clip. "Yeah. Andrew said you were looking for me before."
"I just wanted you to shut your dog up," Rick said. He turned a chair around backward and
straddled it.
I hesitated. For some reason I didn't want to talk to Ida with Rick listening in. "I'll just see
you there in a couple hours, okay?" I told Ida. I turned the clip off.
I looked over at Rick. He's bigger than me, being three years older. His hair is lighter than mine,
closer to brown than black.
I had always trusted him. He wasn't like a lot of guys who pound on their younger brother.
We were always kind of close. At least, until the last year or so. Somehow we just weren't
spending as much time together. Partly it was that he was involved in this club called The
Sharing. They did all this stuff together, so he was busy a lot of the time.
The thing is, Rick should have been the one of the people I told immediately about all the stuff
that had happened. But as I was sitting there watching him munch a waffle, I just had this feeling.
This feeling that said No, this has to be a secret. Even from Rick.
Even from Seren.
"What's up?" I asked.
"We have meeting today," he said. "Want to come?"
"The Sharing? You know I don't go to places like that."
"You're a total recluse, you know that?" he teased. "How are you planning to perform in front
of a crowd if you're scared of people?"
"I'm not scared of people, okay? I just don't like hanging out with complete strangers."
"They won't be strangers if you start hanging out with them. We do a lot of cool stuff, you
know. You really should join up."
I shrugged. "Maybe," I allowed. Right.
After finishing breakfast, I spent some time doing homework. I would have done it last night
if I hadn't been distracted by the fact that I'd just seen aliens. When that was done, I hopped
on my bike and took off.

I had arranged with everyone to hook up at Ida's farm. It isn't exactly a normal farm,
although it had been in the old days. And they do still have horses and a cow. But now the
big red main barn is the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. Ida's father runs it. They take in
any kind of injured animal except pet-type animals, There are always lots of birds, along with
squirrels and deer and skunks and so on. Sometimes they get a bobcat or a fox or even a wolf.
Ida's mom is a vet, too, but she works at The Gardens. That's this huge amusement park
that also has a zoo - or I guess they call it a wildlife park. Luckily, Ida really loves
animals. It would have been hard, having her parents, if she didn't really love animals.
Me, I have a dog. Andrew has a cat. Ida has everything from porcupines to polar bears.
By the time I got there, Troy, Andrew, and Rachel were already waiting outside the barn.
Rachel had her face turned up to catch the tanning rays of the sun. Ida wasn't there yet. I
figured she was doing chores. She had tons of work to do around there.
"Hey, guys," I said.
Rachel opened her eyes and immediately thrust her phone at me. "Look," she said.
It was a news article, not very long. It said that police claimed there had been a
disturbance in the construction site the night before. It said several people had called,
claiming they'd seen flying saucers landing there, followed by bright lights.
"Cool," I said, looking up. "So the cops know about it now. That's a relief."
"Keep reading," Rachel said.
The article went on to say that the police had arrived on the scene and found a group of
teenagers playing with fireworks. The teenagers had run away. Fireworks were discovered at
the scene.
The police spokesman had laughed at the reports of flying saucers.
"It was just a bunch of kids playing where they shouldn't have been," he said. "There were definitely no flying
saucers. People shouldn't be so quick to believe nonsense."
"But this is a total lie," I said.
"Ding ding ding ding! Correct answer. Johnny, tell our contestant what he's won," Troy said.
"Did you see the last part?" Rachel pressed.
I read the last sentence. It froze me up good, I can tell you. Police were offering a reward for
information on the teenagers.
"They're looking for us," Troy said.
A chill ran up my spine. "If they have the police..."
"Probably not all the cops," Andrew pointed out.
"If the police have been infiltrated by the Controllers, who knows how many others have,
too?" Rachel asked. "Teachers? People in the government? The newspapers and the TV?"
"Math teachers, for sure," Troy joked.
We all looked around nervously, like we expected to find ourselves surrounded by
Controllers.
"I tried to tell myself it was all a dream," Rachel said.
"Been there," said Troy.
For a while no one said anything. We all felt the same terrible feeling - like we were all
alone.
Like suddenly we were dealing with stuff that was way, way, way over our heads.
Troy spoke first. "Look, why do we have to deal with this? I say we just forget it. We never
talk about it. We never morph. We just deal with our own lives."
Andrew and Rachel both looked at me. They were waiting for me to argue with Troy.
"Troy- " I started to say.
Suddenly he just went ballistic. "We could get killed!" he yelled. "Don't you get it? You
saw what happened to the Andalite. I mean, this is radical stuff, Edin. This is for real. Real!
We could all get killed."
Andrew was looking at Troy with this sideways look, like he thought maybe Troy was
some kind of coward. I knew better. Troy had his reasons.
Troy shook his head. In a quiet voice he said, "Look, I think these Controllers are jerks. But
if something happened to me . . . my dad. He wouldn't be able to handle it."
Three years ago, Troy's mom died. She drowned. They never even found her body. Troy's
dad lost it big time. He totally fell apart. He quit his job as an computer engineer because he
couldn't handle being around other people. Now he was working as a night janitor, making
barely enough to support Troy. He spent his days sleeping or watching TV with the sound off.
"You can all think I'm a weasel if you want," Troy said. "I don't care. But if I get killed or
something, my dad will flat-out die. He's only hanging in there because of me."
I wondered if I should go pat him on the back or something. But if I had, Troy, being
Troy, would have just said something sarcastic.
"You all think this is some big, glorious, save-the-world VR game." Troy said. "But it's not.
This is reality. You guys don't know anything about reality. Nothing bad has ever really
happened to you. You all have these perfect families. Like I used to have."
A long silence followed his words. Troy looked down at the ground, realizing his mistake.
"Sorry," he muttered.
"There's Ida," Rachel said, shielding her eyes and looking off across the open field.
A horse, galloping across the green. Its black mane was flying in the warm breeze. I didn't
see any rider.
The horse slowed, trotting closer, and suddenly I had a strange feeling about the horse.
"Ida and I have been here for a while," Rachel said by way of explanation. "She's really
good at this. Look how fast she can do it."
The horse nickered softly. Then the animal began to melt. The big brown eyes became
slightly smaller. The long muzzle became a human mouth,
A thing that was part horse and part Ida smiled at us with big horse teeth and said, "Hey,
kids."
Troy suddenly sat down. Very hard. He had never seen a morphing.
I decided I'd better be a gentleman and look away. After all, when Andrew and I had morphed,
we'd kind of morphed right out of our clothes. But I noticed that as Ida emerged from the
horse she was fully. But not one of her usual baggy clothes. Something more close-fitting. I watched and saw something beautiful happen. For just a few seconds, she stayed half-horse
and half-human. She reminded me of the Andalite. I realized it was deliberate. Ida was
controlling the way she morphed. She was faster, too.
"Jeez, Rachel," I said. "You're right. Ida is good."
Suddenly we heard the sound of tires on gravel.
We all spun around. Down the gravel and dirt road came a single black-and-white car.
"The cops!" Andrew cried.
39
CHAPTER 11
"Ida. Get inside the barn! Now!" I snapped. The police car was coming fast. "We do not want to have
to explain a half-horse half-person."
Ida trotted inside the barn, keeping her torso down.
The police car squealed to a stop, sending the gravel flying. A single policeman stepped out.
I waved at him.
"Morning," he said.
"Can we help you, officer?" Rachel asked in her best "responsible" voice.
"We're making some inquiries," he said. "We're looking for some kids who were shooting
off fireworks in the construction site across from the mall last night."
Suddenly Troy started coughing.
"Something the matter with him?" the policeman asked.
"Nope," I said. "Nothing wrong with him."
"We want these kids," the policeman said. "We want them real bad. See, it was dangerous
what they did. Could have been someone hurt. So we want to find the kids."
Suddenly I knew. He was one of them. The policeman was a Controller. I looked at his face.
It seemed normal. But inside his head was a creature from another planet - an evil, parasitic
slug. Just behind those normal, human-looking eyes, something vile lurked.
"I don't know anything about it," I lied.
He looked at me real close, and I began to sweat.
"Hey, you're Rick's brother aren't you?" he said.
"Yeah, how did you know?" I said. I was trying not to let my voice go weird. But I just couldn't forget
the fact that it wasn't really some normal, human cop I was talking to. It was a Kirin. This
wasn't even a human anymore. Not really. It was a Human-Controller. The human brain was
totally enslaved.
"I saw you with him a couple of times. Your brother's a good kid . I know him from the Sharing.
I'm one of the adult supervisors. Great group, The Sharing. You should come to a meeting."
"Yeah, um, Rick invited me already," I said.
"We have a lot of fun."
"Yeah," I repeated,
"Well, you call me if you hear anything about these kids in the construction site. I should
warn you - they may come up with some wild story to conceal their guilt. But you're too
smart to believe a bunch of crazy lies, aren't you?"
"He's a regular genius," Troy said.
Finally the policeman took off. Ida came back out.
"Okay, rule number one," Rachel announced firmly. "We don't do anything to attract
attention. We have to be secret about everything. Especially morphing."
Ida looked embarrassed. "Yeah, it was stupid of me. It's just, man! It is so amazing,
running like that. Out in the open spaces, running and running."
"How did you manage to morph with clothing?" I asked. "When Andrew and I did it . . . well,
let's just say it's a good thing neither of you girls was around."
"It took some practice," Ida said. "And it has to be clothes that are close fitting. I tried it my
usual clothes and they got shredded. Shoes don't work either. I don't know what we're going to do
in the winter."
"That's not going to be a problem," Troy said firmly. "Because there isn't going to be any
more morphing."
"Maybe Troy's right," Rachel said. "This is too big for us. We're just kids. We need to find
someone important to tell this to. Someone we can trust,"
"We can't trust anyone," Andrew said flatly. "Anyone could be a Controller. We tell the wrong
person, we are all dead. And the whole world will be doomed."
"I don't want to stop morphing," Ida said. "Do you realize all we could do with this
power? We could communicate with animals, maybe. Help save endangered species,"
"Humans may be the next endangered species, Ida," Tobias said quietly.
"What do you say, Edin?" Rachel asked.
"Me?" I shrugged. "I don't know. Marco's right, we could all get killed. Rachel's right, this is
too major for a bunch of kids." I hesitated. I didn't like what I was about to say. "But Tobias
is right, too. I mean, the whole world is in danger. And we can't trust anyone."
"So, what do we do?" Rachel demanded.
"Well," I said slowly. "I guess I'll do it, but I can't decide for you guys." I said.
"We have to do this."Andrew said.
"I don't have to do anything." Troy growled. "I want to live long enough to get driver's licenses."
"Okay," said Andrew. "We don't have to do this. We don't have to fight these Kirins.
We can all just sit back and grow up in a world where humans are all enslaved by slugs."
"You've never even been in a fight," Troy sneered. "You can't handle the punks at school.
Suddenly now you want to kick butt on that Visser Three freakazoid?"
Andrew said nothing, but a blush spread up his neck.
"I agree with Andrew," Rachel said, giving Troy a dirty look. "I wish we could dump all this
on someone else. But we can't."
"Let's think it over for a while," Ida said. "This is a big decision. Even if we decided to do
this we don't know where to start. So let's just give it some time."
"Okay,"I said. "In the meantime, no one say anything to anyone. We just go back to normal life."
There was a smirk on Troy's face. He thought he'd won. But I knew he hadn't.
Andrew was still blushing. He sent a secret, grateful look to Rachel.
Troy and I took off toward my house again, trying to act normal. We talked about the
baseball season. We talked about who was going to slaughter who in Dark Frost, which is
this game we were going to play on the TV.
By the time we'd reached my house, we'd run out of stuff to talk about.
We played Dark Frost for a while. Neither of us did very well. Face it, games just weren't all
that interesting anymore. My mind was totally not there.
Rick came in after a while. "Hey, you guys," he said. "Can t give that a try?"
It had been months since Rick had done anything with me like play a game.
"Sure." Troy moved over and gave Rick his phone.
We played for a few minutes, and Rick did pretty well. But then it was like he got bored or
something. He gave the control back to Troy and just sat back and watched.
"You guys hear about all the stuff going on with the construction site last night?" he asked
me.
Troy jerked in surprise.
"What stuff?" I said.
"It was in the newspaper," Rick said casually. "They said some kids were there shooting off
fireworks. A bunch of morons who live around there decided it was flying saucers or
something."
He laughed. "Flying saucers, right."
Troy and I both laughed, too.
"Yeah. And it was just these kids playing with fireworks," Rick said.
"Uh-huh," I said. I was trying very hard to concentrate on the game.
"You were out at the mall last night, weren't you?" Rick asked me.
"Uh-huh."
"Did you come back through the construction site?"
I shook my head. "No way."
"Didn't see any kids hanging around there, maybe?"
"Nope."
"It's not like I'd get them in trouble," Rick said. "I mean, I think it's kind of cool. They're just
shooting off fireworks and they get all these people terrified of flying saucers."
"Uh-huh."
"Flying saucers," he said. He laughed again. "Only complete dips believe that kind of stuff."
He leaned close. "You don't believe in that, do you? Aliens and spaceships and little green
men from Mars?"
"Aliens might exist," I said. "There are a lot of stars out there. But if they came to Earth
I think they'd go somewhere other than a little old California town. You know, somewhere
that's actually interesting." We all laughed again.
Rick stood up. "You know, Edin, I feel like we haven't been hanging around much lately."
"I guess not," I agreed.
"That's too bad," he said. He snapped his fingers like he'd just had an idea. "You know, you
should join The Sharing. Troy, too."
"Why should we join?" Troy asked.
Rick just grinned. "I gotta go," he said. He gave me a playful punch on the shoulder. "Catch
you guys later. And don't forget - let me know if you hear anything about those kids at the
construction site."
He left.
Troy glared at me. "Are you nuts?"
I shrugged. "It's only Rick, okay? That's the way I always talk about that kind of stuff."
He just looked at me. "Didn't you see, Edin?"
"See what?"
"Rick is one of them. Your brother is a Controller."

CHAPTER 12
Later, Troy told me that I stared at him for a full thirty seconds before saying "Why?"
"You think it's just a coincidence he's suddenly all interested in what happened at the construction site?" said Troy.
No. No! This was Rick, my brother. No way he'd be...
But bad things do happen to your family, don't they?
Just then I heard this fluttering noise at my window. Like someone beating on it very softly. I
went to the window, followed by Troy.
There was a bird there. Some kind of huge bird like an eagle or a hawk, beating its wings
against the window.
<Let me in, all right? I can't hover here forever!>
Troy's eyes went wide. He'd heard it, too.
I opened the window and the bird flew straight in. It landed on my dresser. It was almost two
feet long, mostly brown, with gnarled talons and a sharp, hooked beak.
"It's some kind of eagle or something," Troy said.
<A red-tailed hawk, actually,> Andrew said.
"Is that you, Andrew?" Troy demanded. "I thought we weren't going to do any more of this
morphing."
<I never agreed to that.>
"Well, morph back, Andrew," I said. "You know what the Andalite said — never stay in any
form for more than two hours."
Andrew hesitated. He tilted his hawk's head and peered at me with an incredibly concentrated
gaze. At last, he hopped over onto my bed.
Let me tell you something, it is beyond weird, watching feathers turn into skin. The brown
feathers ran together and merged and turned pink. It was like the feathers were melting. Like
they had turned into wax and were being heated up.
The beak disappeared, and lips grew out of it. The talons split into five and became
toes.
Halfway through the process of changing, Andrew was a lump, half pink, half brown, with
featherlike patterns still visible on his back and chest. His face was small and mostly human,
except that he still had those sharp, alert hawk's eyes. Two tiny, shriveled arms protruded
from the front of his chest with fingers like a baby's.
All in all, it was a pretty disgusting sight.
But the human DNA asserted itself over the hawk's and he became more normal. About three
minutes sifter he'd started the change, there was a completely normal Andrew, sitting naked on
the end of my bed.
"I haven't figured out how to morph clothes yet, like Ida," he said sheepishly. "Can I
borrow some?"
I loaned him a pair of pants and a shirt, but my shoes were too small for him.
"That was the coolest thing I've ever done in my life," Andrew said. His whole face was
glowing. "I was riding the thermals."
"What's a thermal?" I asked.
"That's when there's warm air rising up from the ground. It forms this cushion under your
wings. You can just float up there. Like a mile up! You just surf the thermals. You guys have
got to do it! It is the best thing ever."
"Andrew, how on Earth did you do a hawk morph?" I demanded.
"There's an injured hawk right there in Ida's barn," he said. "There's this cool osprey, too,
but I decided on the hawk."
"How did you fly if the hawk you morphed from was injured?" I wondered.
Troyshook his head pityingly. "Edin, do you pay any attention in biology class? DNA has
nothing to do with some injury. The DNA wasn't broken. Just a wing."
I ignored Troy. "You're lucky Ida's dad didn't catch you," I said to Andrew.
"He's so depressed," Andrew commented.
"Who's depressed? Ida's dad?"
"No, the hawk. I mean, I think he knows they aren't trying to hurt him or anything, but he
can't stand being cooped up there while his wing heals." Andrew's eyes darkened. "It's terrible
when birds have to be locked up in cages. They should be free."
"Yeah, free the birds," Troy commented sarcastically. "I'll get the bumper stickers printed up."
"You wouldn't have that attitude if you'd been up there with me," Andrew said angrily. "It was
cool being a cat and all. But a hawk! It's just total, absolute freedom."
I hadn't ever seen Andrew so happy. I mean, Andrew has a pretty lousy home life. Thinking
about it, I suddenly had this feeling . . .
I repeated the warning. "No more than two hours in any morph, right? You keep track of the
time, right?"
Andrew smiled. "Yeah. I don't have a watch or anything, but with hawk eyes you can actually
see the hands of someone's watch when they're half a mile below you. It's like being
Superman. You can fly, plus you have super vision."
"Now he's Superman," Troy muttered.
"I was looking around. I guess I thought I might be able to see something from the air,"
Andrew said. "I was looking for something that might be a Kirin pool."
The phrase sounded vaguely familiar. I remembered Visser Three saying something about
"Kirin pools."
"What's a Kirin pool?" I asked Andrew.
"It's where the Kirins live in their natural state. Every three days a Kirin has to leave his
host body and go into the Kirin pool to soak up nutrients. Especially Kandrona rays."
Troy and I exchanged a suspicious look. Neither of us knew any of this.
"Remember when the Andalite touched my head?" Andrew asked. "He said he'd given me
information to help us with the Kirins, and he did. A whole load of them, all jumbled up.
I haven't even started to sort it all out. But I do know about the Kirin pools and the Kandrona."
Troy held up his hand, silencing Tobias. "Let me check the door," he said. He went to my
door and peeked out into the hallway. "All clear," he announced.
Andrew gave Troy a questioning took.
"Rick," Troy said. "He's one of them."
"We don't know that yet," I said.
"Either way, we should be careful," Andrew said. He lowered his voice. "The Kandrona is a
device that produces Kandrona particles. See, it's like this little portable version of the
Kirin's own home sun. The Kirins need Kandrona particles to live, like a human needs
vitamins or whatever. The Kandrona particles are beamed from wherever the Kandrona is
and concentrated in the Kirin pool. Once every three days, every Kirin has to leave his host
and go into the pool. They soak up the particles and then they reenter the host body."
"What does this have to do with you flying around playing Superman?" I asked.
"Well, it seems dumb now, but I was thinking maybe I could see the Kirin pool." He made a
rueful smile. "Saw a lot of swimming pools and some ponds. You get up there and you
realize there are ponds and lakes and streams everywhere. But I didn't see anything special."
"And what if you found some Kirin pool? Then what?" Troy demanded.
"Then we'd blow it up," Andrew said.
"Wrong," Troy said. "We decided not to get into this."
"No, we decided not to decide yet," I said.
"Well, I've decided," Andrew said.
"Suddenly the wimp is a hero," Troy sneered.
This time Andrew didn't blush. "Maybe I just found something worth fighting for, Troy."
"You don't even fight for yourself," Troy said.
"That was before," Andrew said softly. "Before the Andalite. Before he died trying to save us.
I can't let that go. I can't let him die for nothing. So whatever you guys decide, I'm going to
fight."

CHAPTER 13
We find the Kirin pool," Andrew said. "And when we do, we blow it up and kill every one of
those evil slugs."
I expected Troy to start yelling. But Troy's not stupid that way. He too, had guessed that
somehow, that Andalite had meant a lot more to Andrew than to the rest of us. So he just smiled, a little sneakily.
"Remember that cop today, the one who is so interested in finding whoever was at the
construction site? The cop who is probably a Controller?"
"What about him?" I said.
"Well, let's see. He invites you to join The Sharing. And now along comes Rick. And
suddenly he is very interested in whatever happened at the construction site. And guess what?
Rick also invites you to join The Sharing."
Andrew nodded in agreement. "Maybe this Sharing is an organization for Controllers."
Troy smiled. He's my best friend and all, but sometimes Troy really makes me mad.
"We're pretty sure the cop is a Controller. And I don't care what you say, Edin, I think Rick is,
too. So, here's the deal. You want to get into this fight against the Kirins?" Marco asked me.
"Fine. Let's see how much you want to do it when it turns out it's your own brother you have
to destroy."
That stopped me cold.
Troy smirked, knowing he had reached me. "So maybe we just walk away from this," he
said. "Let someone else fight this fight. Sorry about the Andalite, but I've got enough death in my family."
"No," I said, surprising myself. "The Andalite gave us the morphing power for a reason. It
wasn't just for the fun of being a dog or a horse or a bird. He hoped we would fight."
"Then maybe Rick is the enemy," Troy said. "Maybe it's your own brother you'll end up
destroying."
"Yes," I said. My throat felt all tight. "Maybe that's what will happen. Maybe not. But the
first step is to find out more. And I think maybe the way to do that is to check out this
meeting of The Sharing. Tonight. I'll call the others. Anyone wants to come, cool. You want
to stay out of it, Troy, that's cool, too."
He hesitated. He sent Andrew an angry look. But he said, "Okay, it's just a meeting, right? We
go and see. I'm in for that,"
I called the others. Rachel agreed quickly. Ida had to think about it for a little while, but
she agreed, too.
I told Rick we were interested in attending the meeting. Me and Troy and Rachel and
Ida. We'd already decided Andrew would be there, too. Only in a different way.
"Tonight's a great meeting to come to," Rick said enthusiastically. "We're having a bonfire on
the beach. You know, hanging out, playing games, and stuff. We play night volleyball, which
is so funny because half the time guys can't even see the ball. It's great. It's the best
organization. You'll love it."
Listening to him, it sure didn't sound like The Sharing was connected with the Kirins. You
couldn't really picture Visser Three or a bunch of Taxxons playing volleyball.
I was thinking maybe we were all just nuts. The Sharing was probably just like some new
kind of coed Boy Scouts or something.
It wasn't that far to the beach, so we walked. Andrew walked part way with us, then he
stepped behind a dark dune as we got close to the shore. A few minutes later we saw a hawk
take flight. There aren't many thermals at night, so he had to work to get altitude. But then I
guess he found a decent enough updraft, because he soared up and away till he disappeared.
"I have got to try that," Ida said. "It looks wonderful."
"Yeah," I agreed. Ahead, the bonfire burned bright on the dark beach. People were all around
it, playing, talking, eating. Kids from school. Adults. People I didn't know. Others I did.
Were they all Controllers? I wondered. How could I ever know? And was my own brother
one of them?
After about an hour of hanging out there on the beach, I was sure I was nuts. There was no
way these guys were aliens. We played some volleyball, me and Rick together on one team.
We ate the barbecue ribs they had. I mean, it was just like this normal, good time.
The sand was still warm. The night air was chilly, but near the fire it was nice.
"Now you see why I enjoy this?" Rick asked me.
"It's cool," I said. I looked around at all the people having fun. "I didn't realize it was so much
fun,"
"Well, that's not all it is," Rick said. "I mean, it's more than just fun. The Sharing can do all
kinds of things for you. Once you're a full member."
"How do you get to be a full member?" I asked.

He smiled mysteriously. "Oh, that will come later. First you become an associate member.
Later the leaders will decide whether to ask you to become a full member. Once you become
a full member . . . the whole world changes."
At that moment, something weird happened. I was looking at Rick, and he was smiling at me.
But then his face kind of twitched. His head started to pull to one side, like he was trying to
shake his head only he couldn't quite do it. For just a split second there was a look in his eyes
— scared or . . . or something. He was looking right at me, and it was like some different
person, some scared person, was looking out of those same eyes.
Then he was back to normal. Or what looked like normal.
"I have to go for a while now," he said. "The full members have a separate meeting. You
guys stay here and have fun. Have some more of that barbecue. It's great, isn't it?"
With that, he was gone into the night.
I felt like I had swallowed barbed wire.
Troy and Ida came over. They had just finished playing Frisbee in the surf with some
other kids. Ida was laughing.
"Okay," he said, "I admit it. I was wrong. These are just normal people having a good time.
And Rick is not a Controller."
"He is," I whispered.
I knew what I had seen in Rick's eyes — he was trying to warn me. Somehow he had
managed to gain control of his face for just a second before the Kirin in his head had crushed
him.
Rick — the real Rick, not the Kirin slug in his brain — had tried to warn me.

astrael
Civilian
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 12:08 am
Gender: [Female][/Female]
Favourite Animorph: Jake

Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by astrael » Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:31 pm

Author's note: You can totally skip this one if you want.

CHAPTER 14
"They're all going off to a separate meeting," I said. "All the full members. I'd sure like to
know what goes on in that meeting."I tried to sound calm, but my insides were churning.
"I saw some people heading over there, " said Rachel, pointing.
"You sure you saw...whatever you saw, Edin?" Troy asked. "'Cause everything really is normal here."
It was Ida who answered him. "Nothing is normal here," she said. "Can't you feel it?" She
shivered. "All these so-called full members, they're all being so perfectly nice. So perfectly
helpful. They're so perfectly normal it's abnormal. And all the time their eyes are following
you, watching you. Watching you like . . . like a hungry dog watching a bone."
"Creepy," Rachel agreed. "Like if you took cheerleaders, combined them with gym teachers,
and made them all drink ten cups of coffee."
"They are all just a little too happy, aren't they?" Troy admitted. "People keep telling me
how all their problems disappeared once they became a full member of The Sharing. It's like
some cult or something."
"I'm getting into that secret meeting," I said. I had to know. I had to be dead sure. "Let's get
away from the fire. Over behind that lifeguard stand."
"How are you going to get into the meeting?" Troy asked.
"They won't worry about some stray dog that's walking along the beach," I said.
"Some stray . . . oh," Troy said.
"Good idea," Ida said. "I'd do it, too, but the only morph I can do is a horse. They would
notice a horse."
I checked to see that no one could see us. I waved over my head. A few seconds later, Andrew
came swooping silently out of the starlit sky. He landed on the lifeguard stand,
<What's up?>
"The full members are off in some private get-together," I told him. "Do you know where
they are?"
<Of course. With these eyes I can see the mice scampering through the dune grass. Nice,
plump, tasty-looking things.>
"Andrew! Get a grip. Don't start eating mice just because you're in a hawk's body.
What's next? Road kill?"
He didn't say anything. Maybe he was offended at my suggestion that he would ever eat
road kill. Or, worse, maybe he wasn't offended.
"Where are the full members?" I asked.
<About a hundred yards down the beach. There's a little bowl-like area formed by the dunes.
There are people posted all around, though, like guards.>
I nodded. "Good job. Andrew, you've been in that body for more than an hour. You need to
morph back."
<No, I'll keep watch from above for a while longer,> he said.
"No, Andrew," I said sharply. "You need to morph back. You've done what we needed you to do."
<Um, there is that little problem . . . I don't exactly have any clothes on.>
"Troy has your clothes in a bag. Rachel and Ida will turn away while you morph."
Ida grinned. "I am going to have to teach you boys how to morph clothing."
Still Andrew hesitated. <I hate changing back. It's like going back into a prison or something.
I hate it when I don't have wings.>
"Andrew, you can always return to your hawk morph later," Rachel reassured him. "Now,
come on, both of you. I'll look the other way so your delicate boy modesty isn't offended."
I took a deep breath. As I concentrated, I could begin to feel the itchiness and the squirmy feeling as Homer's DMA combined with the Andalite's technology and began to change me.
At the same time, I could see fingers growing from the ends of Andrew's wings.
"Keep a grip on your human side," Ida warned me. "We can't have you off chasing cats or
whatever. You need to focus hard on staying in control."
I started to say, "Yes, I know," but it came out "Rowr, rowwr, ruff!" I was already too
changed to make normal human speech.
I thought my answer instead. <Yes, I know, Ida. Don't worry.>
I set off across the sand. Ida had been right to warn me. The dunes, the surf, the low chirping of sea birds in their hidden nests — all of it was so perfect for distracting my dog mind.
I heard something breathing in the sea grass, and then it broke and ran! I was off after it
before I could even think. It ran and I chased. I think it may have been a chipmunk or
something. I never could be sure, because it found a hole and went diving in.
I dug frantically in the sand for a while before my human brain realized, whoa, Edin, this is
not what you're supposed to be doing. Stop it!
I made myself walk toward the meeting. I could hear the murmur of voices. I started to creep
closer, then I realized that was dumb. Dogs don't creep around. They just walk or run. If I
went around acting like "spy dog," that would make people pay attention.
So I wandered along, like any dog out for an evening stroll along the beach. My tongue lolled
out of my mouth. My tail wagged occasionally. The only thing I had to be careful of was not
to let Rick see me too clearly. After all, I looked exactly like Homer.
Basically, I was Homer.
I approached the edge of the area. There were high dunes all around. About twenty or thirty
people were standing together. Unfortunately, with my weak dog eyes I couldn't see them
very well in the darkness.
But I could hear them. I could hear them amazingly well. Sounds that I would barely have
noticed with my human hearing were as loud as a boom box set on nine.
And I could smell. It's funny about smell. As a human you don't really get into it. But when I
laid back and let my dog abilities come up, smell became as good as sight. Different, but just
as good for some things.
I heard Rick's voice. And I smelled a subtle combination of things that meant he was not too
far away.
There was a man on guard, but all he did was look down at me, then look away. No one cares
about a stray dog.
I was beginning to realize why the Andalite had given us the power to morph. There are
things you can do as an animal that you could never do as a human.
The members all seemed to be waiting for someone to arrive. I heard Rick say, "He should be
here soon. Wait, here he comes."
There was a stirring, muttering sound. I heard footsteps approach. I moved closer but stayed
out of the light.
"Everyone, quiet. We have problems," the voice said.
The voice! I knew that voice. It was the same voice that had been at that construction site. It
was the voice that had said, "Just save the head. Bring that to me, and we can identify it."
I crept a little closer. I had to look hard to see him with my dog sight But then, when he
turned just the right way, I saw him, I recognized him. It was someone I knew. Someone I
saw every day at school.
None other than Assistant Principal Chapman.
My assistant principal was a Controller.

"Item one. We still have not found the brats who were at the construction site," Chapman
said. His voice was hard. "I want them found. Visser Three wants them found. Does anyone
have any clues?"
For a moment no one spoke. Then I heard a second familiar voice.
"It could have been anyone," Rick said. "But it might be the one who's my brother, Edin. I
know he goes through the construction site sometimes. That's why I brought him here
tonight. So we could either make him ours . . . or kill him."

CHAPTER 15
Either make him ours . . . or kill him.
I felt like someone had punched me.
I told myself that Rick was a Human-Controller. Some slimy, snotty slug from another planet
was in his brain controlling him. When he talked to me it wasn't even Tom, not really. It was
a Kirin.
My brother . . . one of them. Chapman . . . one of them.
They were everywhere. Everywhere! How were we going to stop them? How could we even
try? It was insane. Troy was right.
I think if I had been fully human right then, despair would have just overpowered me. But
dogs don't know about despair. It was Homer's simple, happy, hopeful mind that saved me.
For a while I just sort of let go and drifted into dog consciousness. I didn't want to think. J
didn't want to be a human being. For a while t just wandered around the dunes and smelled
things.
But I knew I had a job to do. After a while I let go of the simple happiness of the dog and
forced myself back into painful reality.
I waited and listened some more to the meeting. But I was still so upset I didn't really track
on a lot of what was being said. I just kept hearing it over and over in my head — "Make him
ours . . . or kill him."
The one other thing that did stick in my mind was Rick discussing with some other guy —
some other Controller — the schedule for going to the Kirin pool. He'd just been and was
feeling good, he said. He'd be heading back on Monday night.
That was the slug in his head talking. The Rick that controlled Rick needed to return to the
Yeerk pool.
Then I heard another voice. Ida!
I slunk quickly around the back of a dune to get closer. But I could hear clearly. Ida's
voice, and another voice it took me a minute to recognize.
It was the policeman. The same policeman.
"Hey, what are you doing back here?" the policeman demanded.
"I was just looking for shells," Ida said.
"This is just for full members," the policeman said gruffly. "Private business. You
understand?"
"Yes, sir," Ida said in her most humble voice.
I got to where I could see them, although I have to tell you, dog sight is not exactly great.
Everything is like an old TV with bad color and all blurry.
The policeman was staring hard at Ida. IDa was trying to be brave, but I could smell
the fact that she was afraid.
"Okay, take off," the policeman said at last. "But I have my eye on you. Get back with the
others."
Ida turned and headed away as fast as she could walk. I caught up with her. I guess seeing
a dog come bounding out of nowhere startled her, because she jumped.
"Oh, it's you," she said.
<Yeah. That was close. What were you doing there?>
She shrugged. "Just wanted to make sure you were okay."
<I was safer than you were,> I pointed out.
We got back to the spot where Rachel, Troy, and Andrew were waiting. I didn't even want to
morph back into my human body. I knew that I could just let myself go again, and in a few
minutes my dog brain would forget why my human brain was sad. If someone would just
throw a stick out into the surf I could go after it. The water would make me happy. The
chasing would make me happy.
Now I knew why Andrew was so reluctant to leave his hawk's body. Being an animal could be
a nice way to escape from all your troubles.
I began to morph back into my own body. Ida and Rachel turned and looked out toward
the water.
When I was completely myself again, I told them what Rick had said to Chapman about bringing me to the meeting to either use me or kill me.
"Wait a minute. Chapman is one of them, too?" Rachel asked. "Our Chapman? Mr. Chapman
the assistant principal?"
"I think he's some kind of a leader," I said. "It was him the other night at the construction site.
He was the one who told the Hork-Bajir just to keep the head."
"That is so Chapman," Troy said.
"I suggest we get the heck out of here," Andrew said.

"No, it's okay," I said. "Chapman told Rick there was not to be any killing at a Sharing
meeting. They don't want any suspicious activities. He also said they couldn't just go around
killing every kid who might have been at the construction site. They needed to be sure."
"That's decent of them," Rachel said dryly.
"Not really. Chapman just said that for a while longer they still have to avoid attracting too
much attention. A bunch of kids start turning up dead and people will definitely notice. He
said they should just wait — kids can't keep quiet for long about seeing aliens. When the kids
talk, the Controllers will find them and get rid of them."
"Except that we aren't going to talk about what we saw," Rachel said.
"You got that right," Troy agreed. "We aren't saying anything. We are forgetting everything
we saw. We are getting on with our normal lives."
"And leave Rick the way he is?" I demanded. "No way. Never. He's my brother. I'm going to
save him."
"Just how do you figure you'll do that?" Troy asked sarcastically. "Let's see, it's you versus
Chapman, the cops, a bunch of Hork-Bajir and Taxxons, and, worst of all, that creep, Visser
Three. All you can do to fight them is turn into a dog and bite their ankles. It's like being
stuck in the most impossible VR game ever invented."
I grinned. Or at least I showed my teeth. "Yeah, it is, kind of. But I'm pretty good at VR
games."
"And he won't be alone," Rachel said. "I'm in this, too."
"And me," Andrew said.
"Me, too," Ida agreed.
"Swell," I said. "So suddenly you're the Fantastic Four. This isn't a comic book. This is
real."
We heard the sound of people coming through the dunes. The meeting of the full members
had broken up.
"Everyone, quiet," I said. "We'll let this ride . . . for now."
I said that to calm Troy down. I had no intention of letting it ride.
I pulled Ida aside. "Listen, Ida, I need an animal morph that will let me watch
Chapman without him seeing me. What do you have at the farm?"
Ida got quiet for a moment. "Let me think. We have a lot of injured birds, of course. We
have the wolf with the broken leg. We have the wildcat with one eye."
I waited while she went down a list of all the animals in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic.
58
Suddenly Ida snapped her fingers. "I wonder. . . . How small an animal do you think we
can morph?"
I shrugged. I had no idea.
"I may have something in mind," she said. "It's not really in the clinic as a patient. It just sort
of lives there. It's small. It can crawl up walls. It's fast, if you need to get away. And I guess it
can hear and see okay."
Which is how I ended up in Ida's barn later that night, crawling beneath cages full of sick
buzzards and between a pair of jumpy deer, looking for lizards.
59

geoff
Gedd
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:59 pm
Favourite Animorph: Jake

Re: Animorphs 1 : The Invasion

Post by geoff » Tue Jan 07, 2014 4:12 am

What inconsistency have you ushered out? Will this affect overall flow?