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:: #15 The Escape
:: Book Overview

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Narrator: Marco

Cover Morph: Marco to Hammerhead Shark

Release Date: January 1998

Cover Quote: The Yeerks are out there...

Plot Summary: Almost nothing could be as bad as finding out your mother is Visser One. The most powerful of all Vissers. The leader of the Yeerk invasion of Earth. But it happened to Marco. And even though he's been handling it pretty well, he knew there'd come a time when he'd have to face her again. Knowing that the Yeerk in her brain has taken his mother away.

So when Marco, the other Animorphs, and Ax discover that Visser One is overseeing a secret underwater project, they know they have to check it out. But Marco's not sure if this is a battle he'll be able to fight….



:: Sample Chapter

We drove down beneath the surface, and there they were: hammerhead sharks.

<There must be ten of them!> Tobias said.

<Ten of them against five dolphins and a tiger shark,> Rachel said. <We can handle it.>

There are times when I really admire Rachel's reckless courage. But there are other times when I just want to slap her. We had fought sharks before. We had won, but it had been a close call. Very, very close. And there were more sharks this time.

<Easy, everyone. We don't know they're going to attack us.> Jake said, as calmly as he could with ten sharks heading straight for us.

<Sharks don't usually attack dolphins,> Cassie said. <Not unless they're really hungry and outnumber the dolphins.>

<Well, I count ten of them and six of us,> I said. <Would that qualify as "outnumbered?">

<Let's hope they aren't hungry,> Tobias said grimly. <I haven't done this before like you guys. Any tips for fighting sharks?>

<Yeah. Don't let them bite you.>

The sharks came on, straight for us. They came on like well-trained troops. I had a sudden, vivid flash of the searing pain when they'd bitten me once before. They had bitten my dolphin body almost in half. The lower third of me had been left hanging by a few shreds of flesh and some guts.

I have been afraid many times since becoming an Animorph, But this was bad. There are few things as horrifying as watching a shark come at you. Knowing he intends to eat you.

<Okay, look, we don't need this fight,> Jake said. <Let's get out of here.>

<Just run away?!> Rachel asked in outrage.

<You're welcomed to stay behind, Rachel,> I said.

<Hey, we fight Yeerks, not sharks,> Cassie pointed out.

<Exactamundo and I am out of here,> I said. I kicked my tail and spun around. And that's when I nearly passed out. Nearly died without a single bite being inflicted.

<Oh, my God,> Cassie said. <There are more behind us!>

Four more hammerheads were rushing toward us from behind. Fourteen sharks in all. More than two to one against us.

Jake had already given the order to retreat. But that's not why I did what I did next. What I did next came out of sheer terror.

I ran away.

I powered my tail and took off at right angles to the two groups of sharks.

<Move! Move! Move!> Jake yelled.

But I was already moving. And I didn't even care. I was scared. I could feel those shark's teeth ripping my flesh in my memory, I could feel it like it was happening right now.

I powered away. The others were close behind me, but I was definitely leading the way.

<Head for shore. They may not follow into shallow water,> Cassie said.

The two groups of sharks saw us trying to escape and changed course to cut us off. They were fast. Not as fast as us, maybe, but fast.

The shark groups converged. They were hammer and anvil and we were in between. We raced. They raced. Too late! Two of the big hammerheads cut me off.

I turned on a dime. All around us! We were surrounded. Fourteen sets of jaws. Hundreds and hundreds of triangular teeth, each as sharp as a knife.

<Focus on one,> Jake said. <Try to draw blood. The rest will attack whoever is injured.>

It was a good tactic. But I had a feeling about these sharks. Something was very wrong about them.

Jake launched himself at the closest of the monsters. The rest of us followed. Five dolphins and one tiger shark, all churning the saltwater, heading for one unlucky shark.

It happened too fast for the others to react. And I guess the shark we were targeting had gotten cocky. He was too slow to run. Jake slammed the shark with his snout. I was next, ramming the shark with every ounce of momentum I could muster.


The impact stunned me, disoriented me. For a few seconds I couldn't see straight. I was aware of the others all hitting the shark in rapid succession. Blood began to billow from the hammerhead's gills. It darkened the water.

<Now's our chance! While they're in a feeding frenzy,> Jake yelled.

But something was wrong. The other sharks didn't attack the wounded one. Blood like a waving silk scarf floated in the water and the sharks ignored it.

Instead, they came after us. It was like they'd had a signal between them. They deliberately moved all at once. They planned.

I knew I was going to die. And worst of all, I knew exactly how it would feel.

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