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:: #47 The Resistance
:: Book Three of Story Arc
:: Book Overview

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Narrator: Jake

Cover Morph: Jake to Beaver

Release Date: October 2000

Cover Quote: What would you do if you lost your mind... to a Yeerk?

Plot Summary: The Animorphs and Ax have to make the most important decision they've ever had to make: Do they continue to fight the Yeerks in secret, or is it time to let everyone know there is a resistance? That the Animorphs exist. And that Earth does stand a small chance against the invasion.

Jake knows that either choice is a major one. Not one that some kid should be responsible for. But he's getting tired of the pressure. So, even though he realizes that other Animorphs need him to be strong, he doesn't feel that way. In fact, he feels just the opposite. And Jake knows if he starts to lose it the Animorphs are done...



:: Sample Chapter

"They're going to fight with or without us," Cassie said, awed. As if maybe she'd suddenly changed her mind about what our role should be. "They're risking everything for their freedom."

"We have to respect that," Rachel said. "And we owe it to the Hork-Bajir to help."

I still couldn't believe what had just happened.

<This is just plain amazing,> Tobias said to us privately. <These Hork-Bajir know who they are and what they want.>

"Okay." I sighed. "We'll help you."

Marco glanced at me with a mix of exasperation and resignation. He knew this was an argument we couldn't win.

Cassie flashed me a look that said I'd done the right thing.

Toby smiled the strange Hork-Bajir smile.

"Tobias, as always, your're our eye in the sky. Check out the area and see if you can spot an escape route. I have a feeling we're gonna need one. Marco, get in touch with Erek. See if a few Chee can cover back home for those of us who need it."

Toby stared at me.

"If we need to escape." I corrected myself and smiled.

I began to draw a rough map of the area in the dirt with a stick. Toby walked over to where I was crouched down.

"Thank you," she said.

"Yeah, well...I just hope your people understand what they're getting into. It ain't gonna be pretty."

"They understand much more than you give them credit for, Jake. They've been called upon to defend themselves before. They've been through a lot."

I nodded sheepishly and looked back at the dirt map.

After a while, I ventured further into the camp to check on the battle preparations. With advice from Rachel and Ax, the Hork-Bajir were positioning platforms in the trees.

A Hork-Bajir with a bundle of small tree limbs on his back and a coil of rope in his hand would scramble up a trunk, using heel and wrist blades to climb. Like a telephone repairman in fast forward. When he'd get about thirty feet up, he'd dig his ankle blades in firmly, lock in with both knees blades, and lean back. With both hands free, he'd lash the branches together. In about ten minutes, there was an elaborate but perfectly camouflaged platform.

When the builder finished, he'd climb onto the platform to test its strength. Then he'd descend quickly, move to another tree, and begin again.

Younger Hork-Bajir then climbed to the completed platforms and stocked them with spears and arrows. Weapons the female Hork-Bajir were turning out with speed, efficiency, and skill. It was unbelievable to watch.

Hork-Bajir elders, the few who weren't quite as quick at climbing as they used to be, dug pits and trenches all over the camp. After one was dug, the very smallest Hork-Bajir children were lowered into it to place pointed wooden spikes into the dirt. Whoever fell into these holes would come out looking like Swiss cheese. If they came out at all. With the spikes in place, the kids were hauled up to help cover the pits. First with twigs that spanned the opening. Then with leaves that formed a bed to conceal it completely.

Satisfied as I could be under the circumstances, I called the others and Toby to the map to discuss strategy.

"We're here." I pointed to two long, parallel lines marking the narrow passage. "On either side of us are steep banks and cliffs. Impossible to climb without serious time and effort. So I think the Yeerks will come up the valey this way," I said, pointing. "From the south, uphill."

"That's good for us," Marco said.

<It will slow their approach,> Ax agreed, <but it will also interfere with our retreat. Tobias said our only escape route will be up the valley to the north.> Ax pointed to a place where the valley widened, about a mile north of the camp. <The valley walls become easier to climb at this point, but will still be slow and difficult.>

I looked at Toby.

"You'd be much better off to climb the valley walls now and fight from up there."

"We will defend our home."

<We've got another problem,> Tobias said. <I spotted a group of campers. And they're going to be in the Yeerks' way.>

"I guess we'll have to try to convince them to get out of there," I said.

Cassie put her hand on Toby's arm. "Even if you survive, you'll have to go into hiding. Where will you go?"

"If we're forced to withdraw temporarily," Toby said calmly, "we'll go to the hills."

"But the trees in the hills aren't the same kind as the ones in the valley. And they won't provide great shelter. You'll have to adopt all over again."

<And those hills are getting pretty close to the suburbs,> Tobias added. <It wouldn't be safe to hang there very long. Eventually, you'd run into some humans.>

"Maybe it's time the Hork-Bajir did run into some humans," Rachel said. "We can't count on the Ellimist to appear and help out just because we want him to. If the right people knew what was going on, all sort of things could happen - good and bad.

Marco smirked. "News flash: Your average suburbanite ain't gonna tolerate a seven-foot-tall bladed alien for a neighbor. I mean, carpooling? Toby as a soccer mom? Think about it."

Toby's eyes dropped.

"I'm sorry. We don't think of you as freaks, but the average guy on the street? Toby, humans can't even deal with other humans who root for a rival football team."

"Yes," Toby said slowly. "I've learned that humans don't care for groups unlike their own."

"That's not always true," I said.

<My study of human history suggests that Marco and Toby are both correct,> Ax said carefully. <Historically, humans are among the least tolerant species in the galaxy, set apart by the prevalence of violence and oppression."

"So, what you would you suggest, Ax?" Cassie asked. "Send the Hork-Bajir to some distant planet?" All because humans are tolerance-challenged? That can't be the only answer."

"It stinks," Marco said. "But take a look at what humans have done to animals. If there's a chance to dominate, we grab it. I'd rather be a tiger or elephant on Neptune than a striped rug or an ivory box on Earth. The farther away you can get, Toby, the better off you'll be."

For a moment, Toby said nothing.

"But are we really that different from you?" she said finally.

She turned toward camp. Toward a Hork-Bajir who bent low to the ground and scooped her crying child into her arms.

The child had fallen. The mother carefully raised the child to her shoulder and gently patted its back.

No, the Hork-Bajir weren't really that different at all.

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