:: #28 The Experiment
:: Book Overview
Cover Morph: Ax to Cow
Release Date: March 1999
Cover Quote: Change is a good thing. A very good thing...
The Yeerks have decided to try a little experiment.
They've decided that if they can develop a way to make people
more "willing" to be infested, they can speed up Earth's invasion.
So, the Yeerks try to invent a substance that will take away the
human ability to make a decision. A substance that will eliminate
Now the Animorphs and Ax are not only faced with trying to slow
down the Yeerks' invasion, but they also have to try and put an end
to the genetic testing on a small group of humans. This time there's
only one chance to stop the Yeerks. And if anything goes wrong,
it's all over....
Now the Animorphs and Ax are not only faced with trying to slow down the Yeerks' invasion, but they also have to try and put an end to the genetic testing on a small group of humans. This time there's only one chance to stop the Yeerks. And if anything goes wrong, it's all over....
:: Sample ChapterI had planned on an afternoon and evening of watching TV. But Rachel assured me that on Tuesday there was never anything on.
"Nothing but lame sitcom reruns this week," she said. "You're not missing anything."
<There are always These Messages,> I pointed out.
<The shorter shows that are displayed between longer shows. These Messages. They are often my favorites. 'Zestfully Clean! Zestfully Clean! You're not really clean unless you're Zestfully Clean!' So much information condensed into so brief a format. So much emotional intensity.>
"You're starting to scare me, Ax."
In any case, Prince Jake had decided that we should act immediately to discover what, if anything, the Yeerks were doing at the animal testing laboratory and meat-packing plant.
We had all assembled at Cassie's barn to prepare for the mission.
Cassie's barn is called the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic. She and her father offer medical treatment to injured non-human animals. Non-human animals filled cages all around us. Many of them were creatures I had morphed.
When I say we 'all' assembled, I mean, of course, Prince Jake, our leader, a male who is distinguished by being taller than the others; Rachel, a female who is considered beautiful by humans and held in awe by her fellow Animorphs for her bravery; Cassie, the most knowledgeable and gentlest of the group; and Tobias, Marco, and me.
Six of us. All with morphing power but very little else to oppose the Yeerk invasion of Earth.
It's an impossible situation, of course. But it has been impossible from the start. And we are not dead yet. If I were dead, I could hardly be expected to be communicating.
That was humor.
<Meat? What do they want with meat?> Tobias demanded from his perch in the rafters.
"What, you're asking me?" Marco said. "Like I know? Erek just said they have this lab where they do animal testing and this meat-packing plant. That's all I know."
"Well this is just stupid," Rachel commented. "Meat? Animal testing? Why?"
"They're cleverly infiltrating Mickey D's to learn the secret of 'special sauce,'" Marco said.
"Mayonnaise, catsup and relish," Rachel grumbled. "Big secret."
"Poison the food supply?" Cassie suggested, as she forced a medicine down the throat of a goose."Kill a lot of people?"
<No,> I said. <If the Yeerks wished to kill a lot of humans they could simply use their Dracon beams from orbit to ignite the atmosphere and incinerate all life on the planet.>
Everybody turned to stare at me.
"Well. There's a happy thought," Marco said with what I believe is a tone of voice called "sarcasm."
"We won't get any answers sitting around here guessing," Jake said. He sighed. "Rachel? I am messed up on old lady Chambers' class. Did you take decent notes?"
"Yeah. I can e-mail them over to you after we get back. But it's like a whole bunch of stuff."
Prince Jake sighed again and rubbed his eyes. "Okay look, let's go get this over with fast or I'll end up spending the weekend doing a make-up paper, which would seriously stink."
"What exactly are we doing?" Cassie asked.
"We're just going to take a look at this animal testing lab. See what's what."
<What is animal testing?> I asked.
"They get a bunch of animals together and give them quizzes from magazines," Marco said. "You know, like 'How Shy Are You?' and 'Is He Mr. Right?'"
I hesitated before responding. It was probably humor.
<I suspect you are making a joke. But I am not certain.>
"No one ever is," Rachel said with a laugh.
"Animal testing labs are facilities where humans use species similar to our own to test the effects of drugs or whatever," Cassie said. "They have to see if something is safe for humans, so they see first if it's safe for animals."
<That sounds prudent-> I began to say. But Cassie was not finished.
"They are also about as close to hell as anything humans create," Cassie said.
"Uh-oh. Here we go," Marco groaned. "Quick! Everyone find a tree to hug."
"Look, I'm not a fanatic on this," Cassie said. I'm not against testing some new AIDS drug or a cancer cure. But there are labs where make-up is tested, only they test it in ways that cause the test animals to go blind. And even when they test for serious stuff they should try to make the animals' lives a little less horrible."
"Yeah, get them TV," Marco said. "No, wait, that might be cruel."
Cassie's eyes flashed and she bit her lower lip. Cassie is seldom angry. But I believe this was a display of anger.
Rachel saw the same thing. "Marco? Try: Shut up. Cassie? I love you, but this isn't about saving the lab rats. We have a mission here. So let's just go and get it over with."
"Rachel's right, can we debate animal testing some other day," Jake said. "Let's just do this. In, out, and right back."
<After These Messages.>
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