:: Megamorphs #1 The Andalite's Gift
:: Book Overview
Animorphs and Ax
Release Date: May 1997
Cover Quote: none
We never should have done it. But we needed a break.
You know, some time off from the superhero stuff. A chance to act
like normal kids. Well--as normal as four kids who can morph, a
hawk, and an alien can be. Everything should have been cool.
Now Rachel is missing. And there's this... this thing that's after us.
But it's not up to me to tell the whole story. Tobias, Cassie, Marco,
and Ax were there, too. Even Rachel has some info to add. So go
ahead and check this out. And remember not to tell anyone what
we're about to tell you. It could mean the difference between life and
Now Rachel is missing. And there's this... this thing that's after us. But it's not up to me to tell the whole story. Tobias, Cassie, Marco, and Ax were there, too. Even Rachel has some info to add. So go ahead and check this out. And remember not to tell anyone what we're about to tell you. It could mean the difference between life and death....
:: Sample ChapterMARCO
Okay. Okay, maybe it was a little immature to sneak into Darlene's party as a mouse. But you didn't hear what she said about me!
Me and Ax morphed in a vacant lot a block away. Then we toddled on over on our little mouse legs to the party.
Of course, first we had to get used to the mouse morph. See, when you morph you don't just get the animal's body. You get it's brain, too. And most animal brains are loaded with different instincts. Usually hunger. Also fear.
The mouse had a lot of each. He was very obsessed about food. And he was one scared little animal. It's often that way when you first morph a new species. As soon as Ax and I achieved total mousehood, those instincts kicked in big time.
RUN! RUN! RUN! RUN!
The mouse didn't like being out in the open, in broad daylight. He was scared of predators. Seriously scared.
RUN! RUN! RUN! RUN!
So we ran. It was like one minute you're a normal human thinking, Hmmm, isn't it fascinating shrinking down like this, growing a tail, having big whiskers? And the next minute that mouse brain kicks in and suddenly you are charged up with the energy of a thousand cups of coffee on top of a thousand bowls of Captain Crunch, and you are ENERGIZED!
<I can't control this creature!> Ax wailed. <It's insane!>
<Just go with it,> I said. <It'll chill out eventually.>
Let me tell you: Mice can move on those little legs. It was like being strapped to the front bumper of an Indy 500 car.
We hauled butt, zipping in wild terror over leaves of grass as big as trees, pieces of gravel the size of beach balls, and bugs the size of collies. That much I'm used to. I've morphed small animals before.
But what was sick was that I really, really wanted to stop and eat some of those bugs. There was this one beetle, kind of bluish-black, and the mouse brain was like, Ah, cool, lunch!
But it was more terrified than it was hungry, so we just kept running like out-of-control lunatics, and I missed out on the flavor of bug. Eventually, we were able to get some control.
<Ax. You okay, man?> I called to him in thought-speak.
<I am fine. But these mice have very powerful instincts.>
<Yeah. Scared little things, aren't they?>
<Animals develop instincts for good reasons,> Ax said darkly. <If the mouse is cautious, it probably has good reasons.>
<Well, if we see any cats, we'll just morph back,> I said.
<Yes. If we live long enough.>
In any case, we toddled off to the party, two little mice looking for a good time.
Mouse senses are excellent, fortunately. Hearing is great. The sense of smell is great. The eyes are decent, but it's hard to see much when you're only an inch tall and your face is down at dirt level.
Still, I was able to locate Darlene by the sound of her voice. She was talking to her friends about the usual stuff: school, music, some cute guy on TV. Ax and I hid underneath Darlene's chair, so I was able to hear everything pretty well.
All I could see of Darlene was this enormous chair roof over my head -- stretched bands of interwoven plastic, bulging down like they might burst and crush me. Quite a distance away I could see her legs, looking like two gigantic pink pillars.
<Well, this is boring,> I said to Ax.
<What did you expect?>
<I expected them to be talking about me, naturally,> I said. Then it occurred to me. I could thought-speak to Darlene! I would just say the word "Marco" in her head. She wouldn't know where it had come from. She'd probably think someone said it aloud. With thought-speak, you can either do it so everyone hears you, or sort of aim it at just one person.
<Marco,> I said.
"What?" Darlene asked. "What about Marco?"
"Nothing about Marco," this girl named Kara said.
"Good, because I don't even want his name mentioned at my party. He's such a jerk. I mean, after what he did? Throwing Baby Ruth bars in my pool? Panicking everybody?"
"He's so immature," a girl named Ellen said.
"No duh," Darlene said. "He thinks he's so cool and so cute, but he's totally not. He always makes jokes about stuff that aren't even funny."
Well. I could stand them saying I was immature. That's what girls always say. But saying I wasn't funny?
I would show them funny. Oh, yes.
I took off. I ran for the legs. Ax came after me, yelling, <What are we doing?!>
<We're just going to see how good Darlene's sense of humor is,> I yelled back. I ran for that big pink leg. I saw the foot pressing heavily down on the grass. I shot past her heel, which was like a wall to me, and aimed for the toes.
Let me just say this: Darlene thinks she's perfect in every way. But her toenails definitely needed trimming.
I scampered right onto her foot. I zoomed across her foot, then scrabbled wildly around her ankle and back over her toes.
<Yee-HAH!> I crowed to Ax. <That'll give her something else to complain about!>
"Oh! Oh! Ohhhhhhhhh!" Darlene screamed.
Up flew the foot! I jumped off just in time. And then she was outta there, screaming and yammering like a total ninny.
Naturally, I chased her. And naturally, Ax came with me.
It was total, absolute fun! I'm sorry, I know it was wrong and all, but man, it was so cool.
That is, until I heard Hans yelling about how he was going to stomp me. That would never do. I did not intend to be stomped by Hans's big stinky foot.
I heard Jake's big voice yelling. And Cassie's sweeter -- but still annoyed -- voice.
<Oh, man. It's Jake,> I said to Ax. <Busted.>
I raced for cover, looking for a place to morph back to human. Big stomping feet were landing all around me. They were slow, but man, they were big. Everyone was totally overreacting. I mean, give me a break, I was two inches long! How scary could I possibly be?
Then it occurred to me. The house! We could run inside, race down to the basement where no one would be, morph back real fast, and then...well, and then there I would be, just me and an Andalite. That wouldn't look too strange.
<Ax! Stay with me. We need to demorph. Then you have to do your human morph real quick, okay?>
<I have a feeling, Marco, that this was not a good idea.>
<Nah. Everything according to plan.>
ZOOM! Over the threshold onto the patio! ZOOM! Into the house itself! ZOOM! Past a hysterical Darlene, who was on the couch with a pillow over her head.
ZOOM! A long carpet till we hit linoleum.
Suddenly, the scent of dark places. Mouse places! Yes, it was going to work!
We ran across a step and leapt, falling ... falling ... PLOP! to land on the next step. Again and again, step after step, at a speed that felt like we were flying rockets.
It was so cool! If you overlooked the fact that it was maybe slightly stupid.
<Don't worry,> I called to Jake in thought-speak. <We're in the basement. We're going to demorph. Just make sure no one comes down to the basement looking for mice.>
We lost our pursuers. No one followed us down the steps. And even as I ran, I started to demorph.
I was halfway back to human, a strange mix of mouse tail and huge ears and human legs -- a scary-looking creature. The way Mickey Mouse would look if he'd been invented by Stephen King. Ax looked even worse, half-mouse, half-Andalite.
Just as I was thinking, Hey, this will all be fine, the entire world just flew apart.
Sunlight streamed down! The entire roof had been ripped away! The entire roof!
Wood and beams and concrete just shattered and ripped and fell in huge chunks. I couldn't even make sense of it. I mean, the entire world around me was just being shredded. Shredded, like the universe was being run through a food processor.
Then I saw it. It was gigantic! Enormous! A creature that seemed to be made of nothing but teeth and blades and destruction. It was like twenty Hork-Bajir glued together and given dragon wings.
B - R - R - A - A - A - K !
It was ripping the house apart with unbelievable power.
The noise was terrifying. The scream of ripping wood. The shattering crunch of concrete being torn up -- just torn up, like it was nothing! Pipes bending. Wires sizzling and popping as they exploded into showers of sparks.
"Look out!" I yelled to Ax with my now-human voice. Beams were falling around us. Splinters were flying through the air.
I barely noticed that I had finished morphing. I was human again. Somehow Ax had kept his concentration and was now fully in his human morph.
We were defenseless. Two kids without a weapon between us.
Above our heads, where there had been a house just seconds before, the beast hovered in the sun.
It looked down at us with a dozen weird eyes that seemed to be stuck here and there at random. It stared at us the way I'd seen Tobias stare at his prey.
It was going to destroy us. There was no question in my mind. And no question that it could.
"Oh, man," I moaned. "I don't like this."
Then ... the eyes all flickered at once. The beast seemed uncertain.
And to my utter relief and utter amazement, the thing began to disperse. He became dust again. Just a cloud of dust that thinned and disappeared.
I was shaking so badly I couldn't stand up. But I was alive.
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