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:: #21 The Threat
:: Book Two of the David Trilogy
:: Book Overview

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Narrator: Jake

Cover Morph: Jake to Golden Retriever

Release Date: August 1998

Cover Quote: The newest Animorph has a secret. And its not good...

Plot Summary: There is a new Animorph. And he's arrived just in time, because the Yeerks are preparing their biggest takeover ever. The ultimate target: the world's most powerful leaders gathered together in one place. What better way to get into the minds of humans? Literally.

At first, David joins the fight with a vengeance. But there is definitely something wrong. Because he's starting to break the rules. Taking risks that could get them all captured. Or killed. The Animorphs don't know what to do. Because there was a time when the Yeerks were their greatest enemy. That's about to change....

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:: Sample Chapter

I could not stand to look at the thing.

<Marco?> I cried. <MARCO!>

Marco trapped in some hideous, oversized flea body? And Cassie ... What had happened to Cassie?

Suddenly, over the edge of the table, she appeared. She was fully demorphed. Her own self, even though I was still only halfway through the process.

She looked right at Marco. She placed her hands on his sides, ignoring the sting of his bristles as they poked into her skin.

The flea ... Marco ... tried to jump. But the legs which could fire a flea through the air were too weak to move the huge thing he had become.

"Come on, Marco," Cassie said calmly, "Clear your mind of all the fear. You can do this. You will morph. Focus on the picture of yourself. Form the picture in your mind. Let go of the fear and focus on the picture of your own body."

We were all demorphing. Rachel's head rose up above the table edge, then David, Ax. One by one they assumed their own forms. One by one they registered horror on their faces.

We all stared. Stared at the monstrous flea. And at Cassie.

And then, slowly, slowly, the armor plate began to soften into flesh. Slowly the mouthparts retreated. The spiked helmet melted into hair.

Slowly, slowly, Marco emerged.

At last he was sitting, his own self again, on the edge of the table. He looked at Cassie with his own, human eyes, and he did something I didn't think Marco was capable of. He put his arms around Cassie's shoulders and sobbed.

"Thank you," he whispered. "Thank you, Cassie. You saved my life."

The rest of us were left staring at Cassie with expressions you could only describe as awe.

Rachel moved close to me and whispered in my ear. "Well, that sent a few chills up my spine."

I nodded. "Oh, yeah."

"That was like some kind of miracle," David said.

Marco slid off the table and wiped away his tears with the heel of his hand. Ax sent me one of those hard-to-define Andalite smiles, something they do with their eyes alone. <I don't believe in miracles. I always said Cassie had a talent for morphing. And yet ... this is something I have not seen before.>

"Okay," Marco said, snapping us all out of our trance. "Anyone bothered to notice where we are?"

I shook myself back to reality. "Yeah. I noticed before when we flew past earlier. That's why I didn't come here. Until we had no other choice. Ax! Stay alert, keep your tail ready. Rachel? We may need some firepower."

'What the ... what is all this stuff?" David wondered, looking around the room. "And look at this room! It's like, huge!"

<This, unless I am mistaken,> Ax said calmly, <is a small-scale, portable Yeerk pool.>

We were standing in one corner of the ballroom. It was three times the size of our school cafeteria. There were rows of long tables, covered in white table cloths. Overhead were massive crystal chandeliers. A red carpet with a floral pattern was all around us. All around, except in a circle where we were standing. At each corner of the room stood a massive, ornamental marble pillar, maybe ten feet in diameter.

And yet here, in one corner of the room, was a stainless steel tub about half as big as a backyard hot tub. Right where a pillar should have been.

"No way!" Rachel said, even as she began to morph into a grizzly bear. "Someone would have noticed, duh. There are security guys everywhere."

At that point her mouth became a muzzle.

"Rachel's right, there's no way to hide all this here," I agreed. "Unless..."

Ax nodded. <Yes, Prince Jake. I believe we are standing inside a hologram.>

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