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:: #22 The Solution
:: Book Three of the David Trilogy
:: Book Overview

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Narrator: Rachel

Cover Morph: Rachel to Rat

Release Date: September 1998

Cover Quote: A mistake has been made. His name is David...

Plot Summary: David, the newest Animorph, is not what he appears. His need to control the other Animorphs and Ax is all he thinks about. And the things he does are starting to break up the group.

Rachel and the others know that time is running out. The newest battle against the Yeerks is the most important one yet. And it's not one that will wait. Winning this fight could mean slowing down the invasion. But no one knows what to do with David. Because the newest Animorph is more than just a little problem. He's deadly....

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:: Sample Chapter

Ax came running back, just as I was climbing back onto firm ground. I was shaking.

<I heard you shouting,> he said.

"David was here," I said. "He tricked us. We have to get down to Jake and --."

I heard the sound of many voices. The police had gained entry.

I cursed angrily under my breath. "We'll have to hold them off!" I said.

<No,> Ax said. <Jake is unconscious. We cannot move him, he is far too large. Your police will call for medical help.>

I took a deep breath. He was right. "They'll call Cassie's Mom. She's the closest exotic animal veterinarian. But what if there are Controllers among these cops? We need to stay with him."

<Agreed. And we must hope he revives within the next hour and a half,> Ax added. <Otherwise he will be trapped in morph.>

Flashlights were playing across the floor down the hall. The police turned away from us, heading toward the J.C. Penny and temporarily out of sight.

'We have to move fast. They'll be back."

We raced down the stationary escalator and rushed to Jake's side. Up close I could see one of the torn veins in his neck, still pumping slowly, still bleeding. But he was alive, at least. Alive. Unlike Tobias.

<What morph?>

"Flea would be best, but they're almost blind and almost deaf. I want to know what's going on. Morph to fly."

We were halfway into fly morph when new cops arrived and began to walk carefully, cautiously, down the main concourse toward us. They played their flashlights around, looking for...looking for they didn't know what.

They were about to get a surprise, that much was for sure.

I morphed as quickly as I could, shrinking rapidly. Jake's already huge orange and black bulk seemed to balloon upward, rising above me like a sloped, furry wall.

I felt the gossamer wings extrude from my shoulder blades. I felt the extra legs suddenly sprout from my chest. I felt the painless but still awful melting of my face, the way my nose and mouth ran together, then squirted outward to form the vile, sucking mouthparts of a fly.

But none of these things meant anything to me. Tobias was dead. Jake might still die. And I was going to have to go after David. I was going to have to hunt him down.

I was going to hunt him down and destroy him.

No, not destroy. That was a weasel word. It was vague, meaningless. I was going to kill him.

I felt sick inside. It might have been the morphing that was annihilating my internal organs and replacing them with the primitive organs of a housefly.

Or it might have been the feeling that comes from rage and hate.

<Ax? Tell me something. When Jake sent you to get help, why did you come for me and not Marco or Cassie?>

<Prince Jake was specific. Get Rachel.>

<Did he say why?>

Ax hesitated a moment. Then he said, <Jake told me Tobias was probably dead. I said this was a terrible thing. And Prince Jake said, "Yes. If David's killed Tobias, we may have to do a terrible thing, too. Get Rachel.>

I don't know how that made me feel. I'm not a person who obsesses over her feelings. You know what I mean? Some people can't stop 'looking inward' constantly, and that's not me.

But it definitely made me feel strange. Jake had called for me specifically. Because he wanted someone who would do precisely what I was planning to do.

Like I say, I'm not big on feelings, but something about that felt wrong.

And yet, as I completed the morph to fly, I knew Jake had picked the right person. See, I cared for Tobias. I don't think I even knew how much I cared till right then.

But if David had killed him, I would have revenge. I would make Tobias' murderer pay.

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