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:: #38 The Arrival
:: Book Overview

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Narrator: Ax

Cover Morph: Ax to Northern Harrier

Release Date: January 2000

Cover Quote: Andalites have reached Earth. Will Ax leave the Animorphs?

Plot Summary: Andalites have finally arrived on Earth. The Animorphs and Ax now have allies willing to fight against the Yeerk invasion. But there are only four Andalites. Not nearly enough to defeat thousands of Yeerks. Not enough to stop humans from being infected.

So, everyone agrees that the battle must continue. But the Andalites don't want to fight alongside humans. They feel their skills will be less than adequate. And they demand that Ax choose a side. Will Ax stay with his friends...or stand with his people?

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:: Sample Chapter

"All right, stop it, Rachel!" Jake pulled her off Marco. Shook her hard.

Rachel reeled back and raked her hair from her eyes.

Marco stumbled to his feet. "Face facts," he panted. "The Andalites don't care. This isn't about Earth. It's about boosting Andalite morale by wasting the guy who made an Andalite host."

There was a long silence. Everyone looked at me. Staring as if they expected - hoped - that I would deny the truth of what Marco was saying.

"Ax?" Jake prompted.

I shook my head. What was there to say?

Jake frowned. "Then what do we want to do?"

"I know what I'm going to do." Rachel angrily kicked a metal bucket. It clattered along the dirt floor of the barn.

Two injured geese sent up an alarmed gabble. A small brown rabbit who had been sitting beside a bale of hay dove into a stall and disappeared from sight.

Five or six grackles who had been pecking in the dirt squawked and flew up into the rafters.

"Rachel," Cassie said quietly, putting her hand on Rachel's arm. "Please. We need you."

Rachel jerked her arm from Cassie's grasp. "From now on I'm doing it my way. No more Geneva Convention warfare. If I'm going down, I'm taking out all the Yeerks I can before I go."

She stalked toward the door.

"Rachel!" Jake shouted.

Rachel whirled around. Her face red with anger. "I'm through taking orders from you," she said through clenched teeth. "I'm through with Marco and his stupid jokes. I'm through with Cassie's hypocrisy."

Rachel lifted her fist and punched a lantern hanging from a hook. The glass splintered and it fell to the ground.

"I'm through with all of you," she hissed. And stormed from the barn.

Cassie took a broom from the corner and began to sweep up the glass. "Count me out, too," she said softly. "If this war is unwinnable, how do we justify killing Hork-Bajir? Basically, they're prisoners of war. Innocent victims."

"Cassie," Jake pleaded.

A tear rolled down her cheek. "I can't do it anymore." She dropped the broom and ran from the barn.

Marco thrust his hands into his pockets. "Guess I'm out, too. I'm going to enjoy what time I've got left. Acquire a surfer dude chick magnet. Hang out."

"Marco," Jake whispered. "Please."

Marco put his hand on Jake's shoulder. Let it slip off as he backed away. "Jake. Ax-man. Live long and prosper."

Prince Jake and I were alone.

We looked at one another. <I am still yours to command.> I offered him my hand to shake as humans do.

Jake gripped it. His eyes were sad. "I can't hold you to your oath. The others are right. It's over. Go on. Do what you have to do. And if you can, go home."

Jake squeezed my hand tightly, forgetting that Andalite hands are not as strong as human hands. I knew it was an expression of affection. I tried to return the pressure.

Prince Jake straightened his shoulders and lifted his chin. "Good-bye," he said. "And thank you. For everything."

He walked slowly from the barn. His silhouette disappeared into the bright glare of the morning sun.

I stood alone.

Remembering.

It was peaceful for the first time in a long time. No arguments or debates. Quite pleasant, really.

<Estrid,> I said finally. <If you are going to acquire Earth morphs, you must learn how to use them. Rabbits do not commonly chase large four-footed creatures like myself across a field and then into a barn full of shouting humans.>

Under the bottom slat of a stall gate, the small brown rabbit appeared. Estrid quickly demorphed and blinked with embarrassment at her mistake. <I have much to learn.>

<I will teach you,> I said simply.

Her four eyes looked at me and shone. <You will be happier with your own kind.>

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