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:: Megamorphs #3 Elfangor's Secret
:: Book Overview

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Narrator: Animorphs and Ax

Release Date: April 1999

Cover Quote: none

Plot Summary: We found out who Visser Four is. And he has found the Time Matrix. The machine Elfangor had hidden in the abandoned construction site. The same place we met him on a night none of us will ever forget. Especially me. Now Visser Four has the Matrix, and he plans to use it to become Visser One.

But Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Marco, Ax, and I can't let that happen. We can't let him alter time so that the Yeerks will win this invasion. So we're prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice. And, ultimately, one of us will lose this fight....

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:: Sample Chapter

MARCO

Ax was beside me. Andalite, but right there beside me.

It was gloomy where we were. Maybe night, maybe not. There were murky candles somewhere, out of direct sight.

We were in a world of wood. A low wooden ceiling made up of planks hung on humongous, elephant leg timbers. There was a wooden floor beneath my bare feet, a grate, actually. Ax's hooves kept slipping through the holes.

The floor was tilted, moving slightly from semi-level to definitely not level.

Around us, forming a sort of wall, enclosing an oval space, were ropes, piled high, almost to the ceiling. Rope as thick as Mark McGuire's biceps.

<Where are we?> Ax wondered.

"A boat. Ship of some kind," I said. "Down below. Morph to human, man."

<Perhaps not just yet,> Ax said. <We appear to be trapped. Enclosed behind this barrier of rope.>

He was right. We were trapped.

I tried to push at a coil of rope. My fingers were trembling.

"Sorry," I said.

<Sorry for what?>

I leaned against the wall of rope and threw up.

Jake had slipped right under the water. Right under. They'd shoved him over the side and I couldn't stop them.

A hole in his head. Like someone had put it there with a drill.

I'd told Cassie we could protect him. I'd agreed: Crayak wouldn't have him. But it had happened so fast. One minute, nothing. The next minute, death eveywhere. No arguing, no heroic actions, no nothing. It had taken a millisecond.

And now...what could I do for him now? Nothing. No one could help him. His parents...he would never come home. What could I tell them? What could anyone tell them? I climbed up on the rope and peered out through the narrow gap. I saw two men, both with backs to us. They were both wearing rough dungarees that looked like they'd been made out of canvas. Stiffer than new jeans. One was an Asian guy. The other white.

The black man was carrying a small barrel. The white man walked up behind him, produced a sort of short wooden club and slammed it down hard on the other man's head.

He clubbed the Asian man again as he fell.

My mouth opened to yell. But Ax's Andalite hand was over my face.

<It's him,> Ax said. He had managed to get his stalk eyes high enough to see.

The white guy -- Visser Four -- hefted the barrel and carried it out of our sight.

"We have to get out of here!" I hissed, pulling Ax's hand away. "Morph to something small enough to...

Fwapp!

Twang!

Ax whipped his tail, again, again, again, and each time another loop of the rope cable parted.

<This is quicker. I am very tired of being too late,> Ax said.

"Got that right, man."

Visser Four was no longer in sight. Ax began to morph to human.

"Catch up when you can," I said. I took off in the direction Visser Four had gone. A hallway going left and right. A stairway going down. Which way?

I looked down. A partial footprint, outlined in red.

Blood. From the man Visser Four had clubbed. I followed the trail down, down to a deck still darker and gloomier. And smellier.

I saw him quite suddenly. He was hunched over, waddling, carrying something heavy low to the ground.

The barrel. Something pouring out of it. It looked like liquid. No. A dark powder.

Gunpowder!

The Controller was laying a gunpowder trail so he could ignite the trail, run and blow up the barrel.

He wasn't ready yet. Neither was I.

I began to morph. It was a morph I'd done many times before. So I was used to the way my face turned rubbery. The way coarse black hair sprouted from every inch of my body except my face. The way my shoulders and neck swelled to ludicrous proportions. The way muscle layered onto muscle.

I'd been a gorilla before. But this was different. I savored every powerful muscle and sinew and steel-beam bone. I was going to enjoy using them.

<Hey,> I said.

The controller who'd been Visser Four spun around.

I swung a fist the size of a football.

BOOOM!

The deck jumped!

Something shockingly powerful had hit the ship. My blow missed. Visser Four bolted.

<Not this time!> I yelled and went after him.

I didn't know where I was, or when I was, or who was driving the ship, So I didn't know who was going to see a gorilla racing around, and I didn't care.

Visser Four had made a fatal mistake. This was a ship. There were only two ways off it: Swim, or use the Time Matrix.

He could lead me to the Time Matrix, or he could die trying to outrun me.

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