:: #40 The Other
:: Book Overview
Cover Morph: Marco to Bee
Release Date: March 2000
Cover Quote: This is your brain. This is your brain with a Yeerk. Any questions?
Ax and the Animorphs have always believed he was the only non-infested Andalite on Earth. That he alone survived battle between his people and the Yeerks. Until now. There were other survivors. Other Andalites. And they're here on Earth. Trying to keep a low profile. Trying to find a way to defeat Visser Three. Trying-like Ax and the Animorphs-to stay alive until help finally comes. If help finally comes. . .
:: Sample Chapter"Jake, the guy saw me demorph to human."
Rachel jumped from her seat on a wooden rail. It was early the next morning, before school, which because of some teacher conference was starting late that day. We were gathered in Cassie's barn. "Great, Marco. Good job," she said sarcastically.
"But," I went on, "he didn't even flinch. Didn't look at me again, didn't talk to me. Didn't ask Ax about me. It was as if he didn't care or something."
"I guess the question is, why?" Jake said. "Gonrod almost had a heart-attack when he found out there were humans with the morphing power. This guy's got to care. Maybe there's something bigger on his mind right now. Something else going on"
"Oh, yeah. Has to be. Like I said before, the guy didn't ask questions," I said. "It didn't make any sense. He didn't ask how Ax knew what was going on with the Rakkam Garroo conflict. Didn't ask about me. Didn't ask how many 'comrades' Ax had. Who 'we' were. No one's that disinterested. That's selective attention. That's calculation."
<He told us the visser was due to arrive momentarily,> Ax added. <As if he knew the visser's habits. As if he were waiting to meet with him.>
<Or maybe to attack him,> Tobias said. <I don't think we should jump to conclusions. We don't know anything about the relationship between Gafinilan and Visser Three.>
I laughed. "Yeah, we do. We know enough. We know there is a relationship. That combined with Gafinilan's telling us to get gone. And, of course, his threat to kill us if we didn't leave him and his buddy Mertil alone. In my book, if he's not with us, he's against us."
Jake rubbed the back of his neck. "Let's remember he didn't stay to meet Visser Three. There's always the possibility that these two Andalites could become part of our team. So, we should keep an eye on this guy. Make sure he's not working for a Yeerk-run company. Or heading off to the Yeerk pool once every three days."
"I'm there," Rachel said.
"I'll go, too." Cassie.
"Fine. Ax, what do you know about Gafinilan?" Jake asked.
<His reputation is flawless,> Ax said simply.
"He almost killed you for insulting his friend," I pointed out. "And he attacked you, a fellow Andalite."
<He is a warrior, not a diplomat,> Ax replied. Perhaps it was me, but he didn't sound one hundred percent convinced of his argument. <I do not think it unusual for a trained soldier, particularly one stranded far from the home world, in a place under invasion by the enemy, to react as he did.>
"With aggression. Okay, then, what's up with the videotape?" Rachel demanded. "Who took it? How could it have gotten to the show?"
Cassie shrugged. "Lots of possibilities. It could be totally innocent. It might have been taken by some slimy guy out to make some money by selling it to TV. Or to those horrible magazines like the Star or Enquirer. Or some jerk's idea of a practical joke."
"Or it might have been taken by Gafinilan," Rachel said tightly. "Maybe he's made a deal with the Yeerks. The perfect way to lure the Andalite bandits to certain death."
"But we're still alive," I replied. "So if what you're suggesting is true, I'm positive we would not be having this conversation."
<What if Gafinilan isn't working with the Yeerks?> Tobias said. <What if he had nothing to do with that tape? What if he meant what he said about us leaving him alone? Forgetting about him and Mertil.>
"Too bad," Jake said dryly. "How often do Andalites come to Earth? We can't ignore the fact that Gafinilan and Mertil are holed up in suburbia. Our suburbia. We don't mean them any harm, but we are going to find out as much as we can."
"I take it that means we're going in?" I said. Like I didn't already know.
"Oh, yeah. Only 'we' means you and Ax," Jake said. "If this guy is a traitor, if he's with the Yeerks, we don't want him knowing any more about us than he already does. So, later today, Marco as human, which is way too much information already, and Ax as Andalite. He's seen Tobias but we need him to fly surveillance while you two are inside. You are on a formal visit on behalf of your prince, Ax. The rest of us will back you up. Provide firepower if necessary."
I grinned. "Just in case he meant that 'I'll kill you if you don't leave me alone' thing. Thanks, big guy."
Jake grinned back. "No problem. And when you leave, the rest of us will stay put. Watch where he goes, what he does. See if he contacts the Yeerks. Keep an eye out for Mertil, too." He turned to Rachel and Cassie. "But first, try to catch Mr. H. McClellan before he leaves the house this morning. Tobias, go with them. When they have to get to school, you take over."
Tobias lifted from his perch in the rafters. <Sure, Jake. Meet you in the air, ladies.>
"What am I supposed to do in the meantime?" I said to Jake after all the others had left. "Until Ax and I pay a visit to Batman and Robin?"
Jake gave me a pained smile. "Uh, Marco, I think you've done enough already. You know, the three of you running off to find this Andalite without telling the rest of us. How about taking it easy for a few hours? Maybe say a prayer, or two? We're gonna need it."
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