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:: #42 The Journey
:: Book Overview

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Narrator: Rachel

Cover Morph: Rachel to Elephant

Release Date: May 2000

Cover Quote: Rachel is about to go where no human has gone before...

Plot Summary: Sometimes your worst problems are the ones you can't actually see. Like the Helmacrons. These less-than-an-inch-high aliens are back, and they want the morphing cube more than ever. Obviously, Rachel, the other Animorphs and Ax can't let them take the cube. But when Rachel tries to stop the Helmacrons from stealing it, Marco gets in the way and ends up with tiny aliens, well, up his nose.

Rachel and the others can't let the Helmacrons stay inside Marco's head. They're armed, and could cause serious damage. So the Animorphs and Ax come up with a plan to evict the Helamcrons from their new residence. But it involves a shrinking ray and the obvious: Marco's nose...



:: Sample Chapter

Marco woke up about two seconds later. He took one look at the three of us staring into his face and got real worried, real fast.

"What happened?" he demanded, rubbing the back of his head and giving me a murderous look.

"Well, not anything good," I said. "Not anything you're going to like."

"What's the matter?" Marco asked.

"The Helmacrons kind of..." Jake started.

<You're sort of...> Tobias said.

"A hostage," Cassie provided.

Marco's eyes went wide. But before he could ask any questions --

"Ah! Ah! AhCHOOOO!" He sneezed, cupping his hand over his mouth.

"Did he sneeze them out?" Jake demanded.

<I don't see them,> Tobias reported. <Marco, open your hand.>

Marco glared at us and climbed to his feet. "What is the matter with you people?" he demanded suspiciously. "Why are you interested in my bodily fluids? Where are the Helmacrons?"

Cassie came forward and slipped an arm around Marco. "They cleared out of their ship," she said calmly. "And they went up your nose."

"To hide?"

"Well, no," Jake said. "More, like - and I'm just guessing - it's because they want to kill you."

"No way!" Marco rubbed at his nose. Let out a snort. "That is so not okay with me!"

"Calm down," Cassie said.

"Calm down?!" Marco bellowed. "I have Helmacrons up my nose! Lunatics! And they want me dead! No, I most definitely will not calm down."

"I just thought we could think more clearly without you shouting," Cassie said.

"Think about what?" Marco demanded. "We have to get them out! They're armed. They might blow an artery or a, a -- something else important! What exactly do we have to think about? Do something!"

"We will!" I shouted. "Just give us time to think!"

Marco frowned and flicked at his nose.

"Tobias, you'd better get Ax," Jake said. "First, see if you can get Erek to keep watch for us. He won't be able to follow the kid with the camera if he leaves the building but at least we'll know where he is."

Tobias flared his wings and was gone.

"Can we go in after them?" Jake asked.

Cassie made a face. "Smallest morph...I guess a flea is small enough to get into nasal passages. It might be tight, though. Maybe a tick?"

"Ticks are useless in battle," I said.

"Excuse me," Marco cried. "Are you planning to have a BATTLE in my NOSE?!"

"You have a better suggestion?" I demanded.

"No," Marco whimpered, slumping down on a bale of hay.

"Ideas?" Jake demanded.

Cassie sighed. "Well...we have the Helmacrons' ship. We could power it up with the morphing cube, get tiny, and go after the Helmacrons as humans. That is, assuming the controls are still working."

Nobody said anything for a few beats.


Pretending not to glance at Marco.

I know Marco. Marco is a get-it-done guy. He has the strategic mind of a serious military man and he's never afraid to make unpopular decisions for the good of the mission. He knew our going after the Helmacrons was the fastest way to solve the problem. He wasn't going to stand in the way of the goal.

Still, we were talking about invading his body in an unbelievably intimate way. He had a right to be a jerk about it if he wanted to be.

"That could work," Jake said tentatively.

Nothing from Marco.

<What could work?> Tobias asked.

A red-tailed hawk and a northern harrier fluttered into the barn and settled into the rafters. Tobias and Ax.

"We were just thinking about using the controls aboard the Helmacron ship to shrink ourselves and go after the aliens in Marco's nose," Jake explained.

<Yes,> Ax said. <I believe it is the only way. We have to find the Helmacrons. They have too much information.>

Marco squeaked. "This is so Magic School Bus. Rachel, have I ever told you that you could definitely be my Ms. Frizzle?"

I ignored him.

"What information?" Cassie demanded.

But Marco had already figured it out. "The Helmacrons know we're humans with morphing power. From what we've seen, the Helmacrons hate the Yeerks and vice versa. But if the Helmacrons learn that Visser Three is looking for a group of morphing bandits, and there was something in it for them, the Helmacrons would sell us out in a minute."

Jake sighed. "Okay, we go after them. No choice."

"Isn't anyone going to ask me what I think?" Marco demanded, his arms wrapped around his belly. "The nose you're talking about happens to belong to me!"

Like I said, I know Marco. He'd already accepted the plan.

Jake gave Marco an impatient look. "Well?"

"Oh, sure," Marco said weakly. "Make yourself at home. Just try to be neat. Think of it as the National Nose Land. Keep it in good shape for generations to come."

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