Animorphs (1996-2001) by K. A. Applegate is an English language science fiction series of young adult books about five humans and an alien who obtain the ability to morph into any animal they touch. Using their ability, they battle a secret alien infiltration of Earth.
#1: The Invasion
- Jake: (narrating) Sometimes I think about that one, last moment when we were still just normal kids. It's like it was a million years ago, like it was some totally different group of kids. You know what I was afraid of right then? I was afraid of admitting to Tom that I hadn't made the team. That was as scary as life got back then.
Five minutes later, life got a lot scarier.
- Elfangor: The Hork-Bajir are a good people, despite their fearsome appearance. They have been conquered by the Yeerks. They are to be pitied. The Taxxons are evil.
- Marco: We're pretty sure the cop is a Controller. And I don't care what you say, Jake, I think Tom is, too. So, here's the deal. You want to get into this fight against the Yeerks? Fine. Let's see how much you want to do it when it turns out it's your own brother you have to destroy.
- Jake: (stops cold)
- Marco: It's not exactly some video game, is it? This is reality. You don't know anything about reality, Jake. Nothing bad has ever really happened to you. You have this perfect family. Like I used to have.
- Jake: (realizes Marco is right, that he doesn't know about reality the way Marco and Tobias do)
- Marco: So maybe we just walk away from this. Let someone else fight this fight. Sorry about the Andalite, but I've got enough death in my family.
- Jake: No. (surprising himself) The Andalite gave us the morphing power for a reason. It wasn't just for the fun of being a dog or a horse or a bird. He hoped we would fight.
- Marco: Then maybe Tom is the enemy. Maybe it's your own brother you'll end up destroying.
- Jake: Yes. (throat tightens) Maybe that's what will happen. Maybe not. But the first step is to find out more. And I think maybe the way to do that is to check out this meeting of The Sharing. Tonight. I'll call the others. Anyone wants to come, cool. You want to stay out of it, Marco, that's cool, too.
- Marco: (hesitates, glares at Tobias) Okay, it's just a meeting, right? We go and see. I'm in for that.
- Marco: Let's see, it's you versus Chapman, the cops, a bunch of Hork-Bajir and Taxxons, and, worst of all, that creep, Visser Three. All you can do to fight them is turn into a dog and bite their ankles. It's like being stuck in the most impossible video game ever invented.
- Jake: Look. I'm not asking anyone else to go with me. But I don't have a choice. I heard that scream today. And I know Tom is going down there tonight. He's my brother. I have to try and save him. (holds out hands, helpless) I have to do it. For Tom.
- Jake: I think we have to head to The Gardens. We need to get some help from Mother Earth's toughest children. (to Cassie) Can you get us in?
- Cassie: I can get in free. You guys will have to pay, but I can use my mom's employee discount, so it'll be cheaper.
- Marco: Oh, I'm sure we could talk them into letting us in for nothing. Just tell them we're Animorphs.
- Rachel: Tell them we're what?
- Marco: Idiot teenagers with a death wish.
- Marco: Now do you see why it's crazy to think we can beat the Yeerks? I mean, come on: We can barely beat zoo security.
- Jake: (speaking very slowly and quietly) Marco, is there something behind me?
- Marco: (nods)
- Jake: What is it, Marco?
- Marco: Um... Jake? It's a tiger.
- (in the tiger exhibit)
- Marco: I think he noticed us. I think he knows we are here, Jake. I think he's looking right at us! Look at his teeth!
- Jake: Don't freak! I have an idea. The morphing. If I acquire him, it'll put him in a trance.
- Marco: Acquire? Acquire what? You can't acquire anything about him. He's the acquirer, and you're the acquiree. He's going to acquire your butt for dinner! He's going to acquire you and spit out the bones.
- Everyone: (walking down what seems like endless stairs to the Yeerk pool)
- Marco: Some superior aliens. You'd think they could have put in an elevator.
- Tobias: (now stuck as a hawk) They'll come. The Andalites will come. And until then...
- Jake: (nods and wipes tears) Yeah. Until then, we fight.
#2: The Visitor
- Rachel (narrating) The words were normal enough. I guess my own mom or dad could have said exactly the same things to me. "Dear." "Sweetheart." But the way they were said ... There was something missing. Humanity. Love. Call it whatever you want. The words were right, but they were completely wrong.
- "I don't know what I did," Melissa repeated. "Tell me, Fluffer McKitty. What did I do?"
- "What did I do, Fluffer?" she asked again. "Why don't they love me anymore?"
- Rachel (narrating) I felt like my own heart would break right then. Because I knew now why Melissa had stopped hanging out with me. I knew why she had become more withdrawn. And I knew how little hope there was for her.
- My stomach turned and twisted.
- Next time Marco asked why we were fighting the Yeerks, I knew I would have a whole new answer. Because they destroy the love of parents for their daughter. Because they made Melissa Chapman cry in her bed with no one to comfort her but a cat.
- Rachel (narrating) Melissa cried. And it came to me, like a vision: All the children all over, whose parents had been made into Controllers. And the parents whose children had been taken from them to be turned into Controllers. It was a terrible image. I wondered how it must feel to see your parents stop loving you.
- "You only have ten minutes to spare, Rachel," Jake said. "I hope it was worth scaring us all half to death. Did you at least discover something useful?"
- <Yes. I discovered plenty. I discovered that Chapman has a way to communicate directly with Visser Three. I discovered that Visser Three is pretty hot to catch us, although he still thinks we're Andalites. And I decided something, too.>
- "What?" Cassie asked me.
- I decided that I don't care what it takes, or how many risks I have to run. I don't care what happens to me. I hate these Yeerks. I hate them. I hate them. And I will find a way to stop them.>
#3: The Encounter (1996)
- I hated the way they all felt sorry for me. All they could see was that I was not what I used to be. All they saw was that I had no home.
But they didn't really understand. I hadn't had a real home since my parents died. I was used to being alone.
And I had the sky.
- pp. 18-19.
- "Look, these aren't people we know," Marco argued. "They aren't my friends. Or my family." He shot a guilty look at Jake. "And we did everything we could for Tom. So why should I get killed for strangers? We can't stay lucky forever. Sooner or later, we'll slip up. Sooner or later we'll be standing around here crying because Jake or Rachel or Cassie or Tobias is gone."
"You know something?" Rachel exploded. "I'm tired of trying to talk you into this, Marco. You want out? Fine, you're OUT!"
"Hey, Rachel, you're not just doing this to help save the human race," Marco yelled back. "You get off on the danger. That's why you went with Tobias to free that bird. That wasn't about saving the world. That was about rescuing some stupid bird."
- pp. 28-29.
- "Oh, come on, Marco," Cassie chided gently. "It's an opportunity to try out a new morph!"
"Yeah," Jake chided. "Instead of being home doing math homework, you get to turn into a wolf. Are you going to tell me you'd rather be doing equations?"
"Let's see," Marco considered. "Math? Or becoming a wolf and going off to find aliens? Maybe I should ask the school counselor what she thinks. It's such a common problem. I'm sure she'd have some good advice."
- p. 32.
- Be happy for me, and for all who fly free.
- p. 154.
#4: The Message (1996)
- Marco: No, I haven't had any weird dreams about the sea," Marco said. "I've had weird dreams about my sheets trying to strangle me. I've had weird dreams about falling from way up high and when I finally land I'm in Mister Rogers's Neighborhood talking to King Friday. I've had weird dreams about that woman on Baywatch... hmm, well, that does kind of involve the ocean, I guess.
- Rachel: You have dreams about King Friday?
- Marco: What's wrong with dreaming about King Friday?
- Rachel: Nothing, I was just going to say maybe you should see a counselor before your condition worsens.
- p. 14.
- "I figure this ship is going like, what, twenty miles per hour? Figure an hour, and that puts us twenty miles out, right?"
Rachel pointed a finger at her forehead and said, "Jake's a total mathematical genius. One hour at twenty miles per hour. Right away he figures out that's twenty miles."
- p. 95.
- "How long until your people return to Earth?" I asked.
He hesitated. <One of your years. Maybe two.>
"Two years!" Jake looked stricken. I went to his side and slipped my arm through his. "Five kids against an enemy that has destroyed half the galaxy? Five of us?"
Ax gave that smile, the one he did with his eyes. <Six, my Prince,> he said.
"Six. Well then," Marco said with grim sarcasm, "with six it shouldn't be any problem."
- p. 119.
#5: The Predator
- Marco: (narating) A month after the experience with the ants, I picked up a book about ants. The author said," If ants had nuclear weapons they would probably end the world in a week."
- He's wrong. It wouldn't take them that long.
#6: The Capture
- Jake: (narrating) I was trying to decide something. I was trying to decide whether I would have to ever destroy him. Destroy my brother, who was not my brother. Not anymore.
- Jake: (to himself) Tom. My brother. Could I destroy my own brother? (out loud, to himself) You don't have to make that decision yet.
- Jake: Tom or no Tom, the Yeerks have to be stopped.
- Jake: (over the phone, with his voice disguised) Don't give up, Tom. Don't ever give up.
- Yeerk (in Jake's head): <So many species on this planet. So many balances and connections.> Everything preying on everything else. Every power is checked by some other power. Every advantage is canceled by some disadvantage.>
#7: The Stranger
- Cassie: Hey, look! Over by that tree. See? A baby skunk with its mother.
- Marco: Let's run right over and pet them.
- Rachel: (to Tobias) Yeah. Look... I have a question for you. Do you ever think about years from now? Like when it's time for college and stuff? (regrets instantly)
- Tobias: (laughs) Yeah, I'm thinking I could get easy A's in ornithology -- the study of birds.
- Rachel: You could definitely be the professor. I just meant that sooner or later most of us are going to leave. Move somewhere else. What do we do then, if the Yeerks are still around?
- Tobias: I haven't really looked that far ahead. But I guess I figured the whole thing would sort itself out by then. The Yeerks win, and you don't have to worry about college. Or they lose, and we each go back to our normal lives. (dryly) Some of us more normal than others.
- Marco: This was always insane, right from the start. A handful of kids fighting an alien invasion? Look what's happening. Tobias is trapped in a morph. Rachel is starting to use morphing to get away from her problems. The other night I woke up in bed, and I didn't know what I was. I didn't know if I had hands or fins or claws or talons. Maybe you and Cassie are immune, Jake. But I doubt it.
- Jake: We can't give up.
- Marco: All we ever do is lose. We annoy the Yeerks. Maybe we blow up a ship, or have some little success. But the invasion marches on. And all we ever do is barely escape with our lives.
- Ellimist: (about earth) Look at it...In all the Universe, no greater beauty. In a thousand, thousand worlds, no greater art than this...Humans. Crude. Primitive. But capable of understanding.
- Ms. Paloma: Events are intertwined in ways we cannot always see, Cassie. Sometimes small things can make huge differences. You know, they say that a single butterfly beating its wings in China may make a tiny change that becomes a bigger change that becomes a tornado. The world isn't like math. It isn't just one plus one equals two. It's more complicated than that.
- Tobias: But how does the butterfly know when to beat its wings?
- Rachel: It doesn't. I guess it beats its wings the best it can, and hopes it will all work it. It's a butterfly. If just does what butterflies do.
- Marco: And what do we do, Xena, Warrior Princess?
- Rachel: (grinning) We kick Yeerk butt.
- Marco: (as a gorilla) Hi, I just came from a masquerade party, and I was looking for Visser Three.
- Guard: Andalite!
- Marco: Oh, so you are a Controller. Good. That makes it so much simpler.
Megamorphs #1: The Andalite's Gift
- Cassie: Aaaaaaaahhhhh!
- Jake: Look out! Lookoutlookoutlookoutlookout!
- Marco: Would you both shut up? I'm trying to drive here!
- Jake: Car! Car! Car!
- Marco: (yanks wheel left)
- Driver: (speeds by, blares horn, and flips Marco off)
- Marco: That's rude. And totally uncalled for.
- Cassie: Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!
- Marco: Oh, it's just a trash can. Chill out.
- BAM! BAM! BAM!
- Marco: Okay, so it's four trash cans.
- Jake: Get off the sidewalk, you lunatic!
- Marco: (yanks wheel right, bumps the sidewalk, grazes a parked car)
- BAM! BAM! BAM!
- Jake: Do you hate trash cans? Is that your problem? Do you just HATE TRASH CANS?!!
- Marco: I can't drive with you screaming in my ear.
- Jake: You can't drive at all!
#8: The Alien (1997)
- An Andalite may think that humans are simple, open, trusting creatures. But they are more subtle than they seem to be at first. Possibly this is because of their spoken language, where no one word ever means just one thing.
—From the Earth Diary of Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill
- p. 60.
I turned around. It was an older human. He was paler than Marco, but other features were similar.
Marco had warned me to say nothing to his father but "yes" and "no."
"No," I said to Marco's father.
"I'm Marco's dad. Are you a friend of his?"
"What's your name?"
"No," I answered.
"Your name is 'No'?"
"That's an unusual name, isn't it?"
"Yes, it's not an unusual name?"
"Now I'm totally confused."
Marco's father stared at me. Then, in a loud voice he yelled, "Hey, Marco? Marco? Would you... um... your friend is here. Your friend 'No' is here."
"No," I said.
"Yes, that's what I said."
Marco came running down the stairs. "Whoa!" he cried. "Um, Dad! You met my friend?"
"No?" Marco's father said.
"What?" Marco asked.
Marco's father shook his head. "I must be getting old. I don't understand you kids."
"Yes," I offered.
- pp. 65-66.
- "Give me liberty or give me death." A human named Patrick Henry said that. I wonder if the Yeerks knew before they came to conquer Earth that humans said things like that. I wonder if the Yeerks knew what they were getting into.
—From the Earth Diary of Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill
- p. 151.
#9: The Secret
- <Are skunks a sacred animal to humans?> Ax asked.
"All animals are sacred to Cassie," Marco said. "She's Doctor Dolittle and that animal guy who comes on Letterman all rolled into one."
<But you eat some animals,> Ax pointed out. <Cows, pigs, sheep, dogs.>
"We don't eat dogs!" I said.
<In some countries you do. I read it in the World Almanac.>
We had given Ax a World Almanac to help him learn about Earth. Ever since then, he'd become an expert on useless information. He could tell you you the per capita income of Tanzania, or the long jump record at the Olympics.
"Well, we don't eat dogs in this country," Rachel said.
<Do you eat cats?>
"Um...excuse me?" Jake interrupted.
#10: The Android
- Erek: How do you... how do you live with the memory?
- Marco: (shrugs) I guess I try not to think about it. I try and forget. And after a while, the nightmares don't happen as much.
- Erek: (puts a finger to his head) Android. (smiles bitterly) I can't forget. See? I can never forget... anything.
- Marco: I'm sorry.
- Erek: (nods) Yes. (holds out clenched fist, palm down)
- Marco: (holds out hand and takes the Pemalite crystal, even though he doesn't want it)
- Erek: I've changed my programming back. We... I... maybe at times I can tell you things. Information. But I'll never fight again. I can't join this war, my friend.
#11: The Forgotten
- Jake: It was a disaster down there, Ax. I blew it. The only reason we're all still alive is that in the end, I got lucky.
- Ax: Maybe that is true, Prince Jake. But my brother Elfangor once told me, "It's a leader's job to be lucky." Sometimes, success is just luck.
- Jake: (nods) Elfangor's luck ran out.
- Ax: Yes. We must hope yours does not, Prince Jake.
- Jake: (laughs) Don't call me 'Prince.'
- Ax: Yes, Prince Jake.
The Andalite Chronicles (1997)
- I, Elfangor, was going to become a great warrior, a prince, a hero.
- <An exo-datologist, eh?> Alloran said with a slight sneer. <The new ideal: warrior, scientist, artist. It's not enough to be a fighter anymore, eh? They want a gentler, more balanced, more intellectual sort of warrior nowadays.>
Arbron looked helplessly at me.
For a while Alloran said nothing. He just stared blankly, not at anyone. Or at least not at anyone in that room. <The Electorate wants war without slaughter. They want a clean, neat, honorable war. Fools.>
I was shocked. You didn't call the Electorate fools. You just didn't. <Sir,> Arbron asked timidly. <The computer . . . ?>
<What? Oh, yes. The computer. Why not? Use it all you like,> the prince said. <We're in for a long, boring ride.>
- "We just had a war," Loren said. "That's ... that's what happened to my dad He was in it. He didn't get killed or anything. But he kind of . . . I don't know. After he came back I guess he couldn't cope with reality. So he left.
I saw Alloran's stalk eyes swivel to look at Loren. It was practically the first time he'd even noticed her.
<You have wars?> I asked. <But you don't have space travel. Who do you fight?>
Chapman arrived then, having arisen from a nap in his quarters. "We fight each other," he said. He winked one eye. "So, Loren, Daddy went nutso, huh? Another whacked-out 'Nam vet? I guess some guys can't take it."
Loren's eyes went wide, and then she turned on Chapman.
But it was Alloran who spoke. <Have you ever been to war, human?> he asked Chapman.
"Me? No. Of course not. That war's over."
<Then be quiet, fool. Those who have been to war understand. Those who have not have no opinion worth hearing.> He looked directly at Loren. <Even those who return from war may never really come home.>
Alloran turned his stalk eyes back to the helm, and said nothing more. Chapman shrugged, but I could see he was intrigued by Alloran.
So was I, to be honest. What was he talking about? I'd never heard of an Andalite warrior coming back from the war unable to cope, as Loren had put it. Or "whacked-out," as Chapman had said. Why would Alloran feel such sympathy?
- <Be careful what you accuse me of, Aristh Elfangor,> Alloran said harshly. <You're a child, so I forgive your impertinence. This time. But you are here to learn, not to question orders. And one of the things you'll learn, my idealistic aristh, is that war is not about striking brave poses and playing the hero. War is about killing.>
- <My name is Elfangor, Yeerk,> I said. <Remember the name. You'll be hearing it again. But you will never take me alive.>
- How could he imagine that anything to do with Taxxons could ever be a good cause? These Taxxon were no less cannibalistic. No less murderous. And yet, if they opposed the Yeerks, could I refuse to offer that help?
- <Elfangor, there's no future for me anywhere.>
<But you can't,> I said. <Who's going to remind me not to be so stiff? Who's going to laugh at me when I start talking about being a great prince?>
<You go, Elfangor,> Arbron said gently. <Go save the galaxy.>
<Leave him,> Alloran said. <Aristh . . . I mean, Warrior Arbron is a casualty of war.>
- <They are defenseless,> I said as calmly as I could.
<They are the enemy. Hypocrites! You're all hypocrites! We lost the Hork-Bajir war because of weak, moralizing fools like you! Because of fools like you, I am disgraced and shunned and sent off on trivial errands with nothing but arisths under my command.>
<War-prince Alloran, I honor you, but —>
<What is the difference how you destroy the enemy?> Alloran demanded.
I had no idea what he was talking about anymore. He was off somewhere in his own head. Lost in his own memories.
<What does it matter if you kill them with a tail blade or a shredder or a quantum virus?>
- <The entire species of Ellimists just vanished.>
"You think it was because they used the Time Matrix?"
<No one knows. Some people say the Ellimists still exist, but they've moved beyond the normal space-time dimensions we know. There are people who say the Ellimists are almost all-powerful.> I shrugged. <Of course, there are others who say they're gone forever. Or even that they never did exist. Now Andalite parents tell their children stories about the Ellimists.>
<Are fairies magical beings in human mythology?>
"Not just fairies. We have elves and leprechauns and Santa Claus and hobbits and werewolves and vampires.... We even have aliens from outer space."
Despite myself, I laughed. <Yes, those outer space aliens are quite troublesome.>
- "Is this going to work?" Loren asked anxiously.
<If it doesn't, neither of us is going to the Yosemite,> I said.
"You picked a great time to learn how to joke, Elfangor."
- And then it came to me, in a moment of clarity: I had no choice. When Arbron had been in utter despair and had wanted to die, I stopped him. Because without life there is no despair, but without life there can also never be hope.
I had no right to erase Loren's hope, no matter how bad I felt.
- <And I know too many secrets. I know that my own people did use a Quantum virus in the Hork-Bajir war. What might they do if they suddenly had the Time Matrix?>
"I guess sometimes even good people do bad things. I mean, that's what war is all about, isn't it?"
<If we use the Time Matrix to win this war we will no longer be Andalites. Not what I think of as Andalites, anyway. We have to win this war by being ourselves. By living up to our own standards, not by becoming as brutal and ruthless as the Yeerks are.>
"You mean what's the point of winning, if by winning you lose what you were fighting for."
- I met a lot of humans who were working in the computer field. My human friend Bill used to come over to my room and we would exchange ideas. It was hard for me to simplify my knowledge enough for him to follow. Everything had to be explained in simple human terms, using words like "window" to explain a childishly simple concept.
And my human friend Steve thought it was a huge breakthrough to use symbolic icons and a simple pointer rather than a lot of complex language.
- "Am I really an Ellimist?" the man asked, mocking. "Let's see. I know that Arbron still lives in the tunnels of the Living Hive. I know that you made a universe once, you and the human and the Yeerk called Visser Three."
I jerked in surprise. "Visser Three?"
"Yes, he's advanced quite far in the Yeerk hierarchy."
"He should be dead!"
"Should be dead? Do you really think you can play games with time itself? Do you think you can change things around to suit you and not make a mess of it? Are you so naive, Andalite, that you can't understand that time is a trillion, trillion, trillion strands, all woven and interwoven? That if you twist and break one strand it may have unforeseen effects in a thousand other places and times?"
- "There's nothing I can do," I said at last. "I tried my hand at being a hero. I failed."
"Failed? You kept the Time Matrix from falling into the hands of either side, Yeerk or Andalite. You saved the galaxy."
"I couldn't save Arbron. I helped destroy Alloran and deliver him to the Yeerks to create the Abomination he became. I wasn't able to destroy that abomination. I was weak. I was foolish."
"You refused to slaughter defenseless prisoners. You refused to destroy yourself in order to win a battle. You are wise, for a primitive creature. But you also altered the course of time by using the Time Matrix. And that has created awful problems. For your people. For both your peoples. Your peoples need you."
I laughed. "No one needs me."
"You are not where and when you should be, Elfangor."
"The galaxy will get along without me."
The Ellimist leaned forward and put his face close to mine. "No, it won't."
"What do you want from me?!" I yelled, suddenly enraged.
"We want nothing."
"Liar! Why are you here if you don't want anything?"
"We do not interfere in the affairs of other species."
"Then go away! Get out! Leave me alone!"
"We do not interfere. But sometimes we repair what has been shattered."
- "What do I want? Nothing. But I can tell you that you have twisted and distorted time. Things are not as they should be. Battles are lost that should have been won. What should be safe is now endangered."
- Once, a long time before, I had explained to Loren what it must be like to see the universe as the Ellimists saw it. And now, as the Ellimist lifted me up out of the everyday world of three dimensions of space and one of time, I saw what he saw.
When I had used the Time Matrix I glimpsed the lines of time interwoven. But now I saw a thousand times more. It was beyond sight. Beyond sound. It was some new sense, some new awareness. I could feel the lines of time flowing through me. I could see and taste and hear and touch and smell a billion possibilities, all flowing through me.
I saw the Ellimist himself, as he really was. An indescribable being of light and time and space. Huge, but without a place. Alone, but not the only one of his kind. I saw and understood the vast power that trailed the lines of time through his grasp. And yet, against the enormity of all that had ever been and all that would ever be, I saw his limits, too.
The Ellimist was mighty. But not all-powerful.
I saw a young Andalite who looked like I had once: so serious, so determined to prove himself. I heard his name in my mind: Aximili- Esgarrouth-Isthill.
Hello, little brother, I said silently.
I saw Arbron, still alive on the Taxxon world. I felt his Taxxon hunger. But I also felt his Andalite pride.
Hello, Arbron. You have become the hero I always wanted to be.
I saw Loren, and wrapped around her time line now was another human who would be her mate. I had been written out of her memory. It tore at my heart to realize that I was now a stranger to her.
And yet, I saw that some part of my own time line still intersected her own. I still touched her future in some way. My line and hers converged, and then from those two lines came a new line, just emerging, just beginning to grow.
<What does it mean?› I asked the Ellimist.
YOU HAVE A SON, ELFANGOR.
In a flash I saw the truth. That's why Loren had gone to see her doctor. She would have come home and told me. We had a child!
<No! You can't take me away! I have a son!> I cried. <That changes everything! Don't take me away!>
YOU ARE AWAY, ELFANGOR-SIRINIAL-SHAMTUL. WHAT WAS BROKEN HAS BEEN REPAIRED. YOU ARE WHERE YOU MUST BE. THE CHILD WILL BE RAISED AS THE SON OF ANOTHER.
- <So, you don't interfere with the affairs of other species?> I asked him.
Was that sarcasm, Elfangor? the Ellimist asked. And then he laughed a huge laugh that reverberated through all the tendrils of space and time.
<Is this all just a game for you?>
Yes, the Ellimist said, all laughter silent now. But we are not the only great powers of the galaxy. There is another. Older even than we. And he plays a dark game, Andalite. It is with him that we play. So hope that we win, Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul. Hope that we win.
#13: The Change
<Hork-Bajir, come on out,> I (Tobias) said firmly. Slowly the big creature crawled out. He stood erect, blinking in the dim evening light.
"Not Hork-Bajir," he said. "Jara Hamee. My name. Jara Hamee."
<He's kidding, right?> Jake said in my head.
<His name is Jeremy?>
Rachel was last in line. She was beautiful, as always. And she had the usual Rachel swagger.
And then she was right there in front of me. I saw her eyes sweep over me, indifferent, and then look past me towards the door.
She stopped walking.
She turned to me. Her eyes were wide.
“Hi, Rachel,” I said with a human voice.
#15: The Escape (1998)
- "Erek didn't mean anything bad. You know that," Jake said. "He just meant —"
"I know what he meant," I snapped. "He meant if it came to crunch time, would I destroy my own mother to protect the mission? That's what he meant."
Jake grabbed my shoulder and turned him around. "And?"
I was still mad. But I knew why I was mad. It wasn't that Erek had insulted me somehow. It was that Erek was right. "I don't know, Jake," I said. "I don't know."
- p. 20.
- <We're still our old selves, aren't we? I mean, we haven't changed. Not really. No matter what, right?>
<No, I mean it.> I realized I had grown very serious. I don't know why, but I wanted Jake to agree with me. It was important to me. <We're still just us. Nothing that happens can really change what you are. Right?>
We flapped side-by-side back to the others.
<Look, Marco,> Jake said wearily. <I'm not exactly a philosopher, okay?>
<Yeah. Well, I'm me, no matter what,> I said defiantly. <No matter how many morphs, no matter how many battles. No matter what. I'll still be me. Everyone better accept that.>
- p. 34.
- I have a picture of my mom next to my bed. I look at it every night before I go to bed. I can never decide what I want to see when I look at it. I don't know if I see the mother I lost, or the mother I want to rescue somehow. I don't know anymore.
- p. 67.
#16: The Warning
- Marco: (smiles, an actual nonmocking smile, a rarity) I remember back when you didn't want to make all the big decisions.
- Jake: I still don't want to make them. But someone has to, right?
- Marco: (nods) Yep.
- Jake: I just want to get back to a life someday where I don't have to make decisions that might get people killed.
- Marco: (smiles mockingly) Do you? You really think someday we can all go back to being regular kids? You think after being the leader of the Animorphs you can go back to being Joe Average Student?
- Jake: (forcefully) Yes. I do.
- Marco: (dryly) Uh-huh.
#17: The Underground
- Rachel: (narrating) Unlike Cassie, unlike Tobias perhaps, I'm ruthless at times. But even I have enough sense to know the words "we have to win" are the first four steps on the road to hell.
#18: The Decision
- Ax: (narrating) I live with humans. I respect them. But my hearts are still Andalite. No matter what anyone ever says about me and about what happened on Leera, I am true to my own people.
- And yet there are times when I wonder: Who are my own people? My race, my species? My family? My friends? My allies?
- Ax: (narrating) Prince Jake looked at his watch. Humans are always lost in time. They are constantly certain that "it" is later or earlier than they thought. I have never known a human to say, "Oh, look, it's exactly what time I thought it was."
- Jake: I was about to mention that Erek was late, but I guess it's still earlier than I thought it was.
- Ax: (narrating) You see what I mean.
- Ax: (narrating) I was an Andalite, all alone, far, far from home. Far from my own people. Except that sometimes your own people are not just the ones who look like you. Sometimes the people who are your own can be very different from you.
#19: The Departure
- Cassie: (talking to Aftran 942, the Yeerk controlling the human girl Karen) Don't you compare what your people do with what we do. You can't compare the attacker and the victim. You people started this war. And it's you invading my planet, not the other way around.
- Aftran 942: We have a right to live!
- Cassie: This isn't about you living! It's about you enslaving other people.
- Aftran: It's what we are. We're parasites, you humans are predators. How many pigs and cows and chickens and sheep do you kill each year to survive? You think being a predator is morally superior to being a parasite? At least the host bodies we take remain alive. We don't kill them, cut them into pieces, and grill them over a charcoal fire in our backyards.
- Cassie: We're not pigs.
- Aftran: Oh yes, you are. That's all you are to us. Oink, oink.
- Aftran 942: (like it wasn't important) We have people like you, too.
- Cassie: People like me?
- Aftran: Sure. Yeerks who oppose the wars, who feel it's wrong to take unwilling hosts.
- Cassie: (stunned) What? There are Yeerk who are against all this?
- Aftran: (bitter and resentful) Don't act so surprised. We aren't all the same. See? You believe the Andalite propaganda about us. According to the Andalites, we're nothing but evil slugs. We don't deserve to be free, flying around the galaxy. We're just parasites.
- Jake: I guess sometimes you have to choose between smart, sane, ruthlessness, and totally stupid, insane hope. You can't just pick one and stick with it, either. Each time it comes up, you have to try and make your best decision. Most of the time, I guess I have to go with being smart and sane. But I don't want to live in a world where people don't try the stupid, crazy, hopeful thing sometimes.
#20: The Discovery
- Marco: Listen to me. By now your parents have been taken to a secret, underground facility called a Yeerk pool. It's not a nice place. Picture a sludgy cesspool of a pond the color of molten lead. There are two steel piers leading out over the pond. Hork-Bajir warriors will drag your parents out to the end of one of those piers. They will -
- Cassie: (angrily) Marco!
- Marco: They will drag them out to the end of that pier and they will kick their legs out from under them and force their heads down into the sludge. And while they are kicking and screaming and calling for help, a Yeerk slug will swim over and it will squeeze into one ear. And it will flatten itself out and squeeze and burrow and dig its way into their skulls, where it will spread around and into their brains. And the Hork-Bajir will yank them up out of the sludge, and they will start to feel that they cannot control their own arms or legs. Cannot open their own mouths or move their own eyes. The Yeerk will open their memories like a person opening a book. They will be slaves. The most total slaves in all of history because even their own minds won't be theirs anymore. Are you getting the picture?
#22: The Solution
- Rachel: (narrating) I kept wondering: Had I always been like this? Back before the Animorphs, back before that encounter with a dying alien who changed our lives, who had I been?
- I tried to remember, but it wasn't like I was thinking about myself. It was like I was remembering some girl I used to know. Like she was an acquaintance I'd forgotten about until someone reminded me. It was like, "Oh, yeah, Rachel. I remember her."
- I'd been very into gymnastics, I knew that. Shopping. I guess I'd never exactly been a happy-go-lucky party girl. But I tried to imagine myself back then, and tried to imagine grinding the tines of a fork into someone's ear while I threatened his family.
- I almost laughed. It was crazy. I mean, I'm not someone raised in an abusive family or anything. Yeah, my folks got divorced, but probably a third of the kids in school have divorced parents, and another third wish their parents would divorce.
- I'd never had to wonder if my parents loved me. I knew they did. They told me. And they showed me.
- I wasn't on drugs or anything. But somehow, someway, I had gone from being this occasionally sharp-tongued girl, to being... well, as Marco would say, Xena: Warrior Princess.
- What made me feel stupid was that I hadn't realized I was changing. But everyone else obviously did. Jake did. When he knew it was coming down to kill-or-be-killed with David, he'd sent Ax to get me. Not Marco. Not Cassie. "Get Rachel."
- And in the cafeteria he had to let me go, knowing what I would do. Afterward, I'd seen Cassie in sixth period. She didn't ask me what had happened. She didn't ask me what I'd said to David. She'd known.
- I could have said, "Look at all the battles I've been through." It would have been a good excuse. Except that Cassie'd gone through the same battles. And Marco. And Tobias.
- Would Tobias have done what I did? That was the killer question, see. Because Tobias lived life as a predator now. He'd have every excuse in the world. But I wondered if even he would have gone as far as I'd gone.
- And, I wondered something else. What if David ignored my threat? Would I... could I...
- Rachel: Look, Jake, I don't know what you're getting at. And you know what? I don't think I like what you're thinking about me.
- Jake: What? What's that about?
- Rachel: You never answered me before, Jake. I want to know. When David left the cafeteria and I started after him, and Cassie said no and you said to let me go, what exactly did you think I would do or say to David?
- Jake: (nods) Oh. That's what this is about.
- Rachel: Yeah, "Oh, that's what this is about." What did you expect me to do to David? Did you think I was going to kill him? Did you? Is that why you let me go after him? Is that why you sent Ax for me? Because you think I'm some kind of violent nut you can call in whenever you need some dirty work done?
- Jake: Look, Rachel, every one of us has his strengths and his weaknesses.
- Rachel: And my strength is being some kind of crazy killer?
- Jake: I didn't say that.
- Rachel: You didn't not say it!
- Jake: Okay, fine, Rachel. You want to do this, fine. I think you're the bravest member of the group. I think in a bad fight I'd rather have you with me than anyone else. But yeah, Rachel, I think there's something pretty dark down inside you. I think you're the only one of us who would be disappointed if all this ended tomorrow. Cassie hates all this, Marco has personal reasons for being in this war, Ax just wants to go home and fight Yeerks with his own people, Tobias... who knows what Tobias wants anymore? But you, Rachel, you love it. It's what makes you so dangerous to the Yeerks.
- Rachel: You did think I'd go kill David the other day. My God!
- Jake: No, I thought you'd scare him. I thought you'd say the things it took to scare him. I thought you'd say whatever you had to. And I thought that of any of us, David would be most likely to fear you.
- Rachel: (tries to look at herself the way Jake saw her)
- Jake: I worry about you, Rachel. More than any of the others except Tobias. I feel like this war is to you like booze to an alcoholic. Like I don't know what will happen to you if it all ends someday. What are you going to do? Go back to being the world's greatest shopper? Go back to gymnastics and getting good grades?
- Rachel: (laughs harshly) You worry about me? What do you think you're going to do? Jake, you're a leader now. You make life-and-death decisions. All the time. You've learned to do that. And you've learned to use people. You use them for their strengths and their weaknesses. Worry about me? Like when all this is over you'll go back to being a mediocre basketball player and a decent student?
The Hork-Bajir Chronicles (1998)
- <Prince Seerow, you are relieved of duty.>
<You can't relieve me!> my father cried.
<When a commander has become incapacitated due to injury or mental defect, his subordinates may relieve him,> Alloran quoted from the regulations.
<What mental defect?> my father demanded.>
<Stupidity,> Alloran said harshly. <The stupidity of kindness. Charity to potential enemies. You're a fool, Seerow. A soft, sentimental, well-meaning fool. And now my men are dead and the Yeerks are loose in the galaxy. How many will die before we can bring this contagion under control? How many will die for Seerow's kindness?>
- p. 8.
- "Have you fought in many battles, Aldrea?"
I was surprised by the question. <No. Of course not. But I have studied ->
"Have you ever killed a fellow Andalite?"
<No! Why would you ->
"You ask me to kill my own people today and to lead my people in killing their brothers," Dak said. "You say they are not Hork-Bajir, but Yeerks. But when the dead have given up their souls to Mother Sky, there will be Hork-Bajir bodies lying dead."
<Dak, we've been over this and over this!> I exploded. <It's too late to be worrying about all that. This is a war! If you want your people to survive, you will ->
"Be quiet, Aldrea," Dak said.
He didn't shout. He said it calmly, in a low voice.
"These are my people who will die today. Be quiet, Andalite. Be quiet."
- pp. 131-132.
- They pulled back reluctantly from the slaughter. But they obeyed.
Obeyed. Me. Hork-Bajir who had never known the word "obedience" now obeyed me. Why? Because I was the seer? Because I was wiser than they? No. Because I had destroyed their past and now they had no choice but to follow me into a future they could not imagine.
The monsters in our valley were destroyed that day. Only a very few survived. But that was all right, because we didn't need monsters anymore. We had become them.
- p. 147.
- "You almighty Andalites. There is no limit to your arrogance, is there? Well, let me tell you something: We may be simple people. But we don't use biology to invent monsters. And we don't enslave other species. And we don't unleash a plague of parasites on the galaxy, endangering every other free species, and then go swaggering around like the lords of the universe. No, we're too simple for all that. We're too stupid to lie and manipulate. We're too stupid to be ruthless. We're too stupid to know how to build powerful weapons designed to annihilate our enemies. Until you came, Andalite, we were too stupid to know how to kill."
- p. 172.
#23: The Pretender (1998)
- "A fool is strong so that others will see. A wise person is strong for himself."
- p. 116.
- Get pushed, push back. Toby had already seen it. She knew that the Hork-Bajir would need to be strong to defend themselves against humans once the Yeerks were defeated.
Get pushed, push back. The only way.
No, not the only way. There was another way. Don't push to begin with. It's the aggressors who start the cycle. It's the guy who wakes up in the morning and decides he can't get through the day without finding someone to attack, to insult, to hurt.
But where does that leave you? Letting jerks dictate your reactions? Always sinking to the level of whatever creep comes along?
- p. 119.
- "Great. I have a nut for a father and a fake for a cousin."
I turned my back on them and walked away.
"Tobias," Aria said.
I turned back to face her. "What?"
"I…I knew your father. We were, shall we say, on the opposite sides of certain issues. But he was no fool." Suddenly Aria/Visser Three smiled. It was a faraway smile, like she/he was remembering something from long ago. "Prince Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul was no fool. And the galaxy will not soon see his like again."
I threw up my hands. "Good grief, you're just as crazy as he was."
- p. 146.
#25: The Extreme
- Marco: (narrating) Only then did I realize the true target of Visser Three's hand. He was scratching his butt!
- Jake: What do polar bears eat?
- Marco: Dumb kids playing hero...
#27: The Exposed
He really was cute. And so normal. So not Tobias.
He had almost certainly never eaten a mouse. On the other hand, he’d never morphed a sperm whale and gone to the bottom of the ocean while his brain was reeling with barely suppressed terror, just so he could look out for me.
I opened my mouth to say, “Sure.” Instead I said, “Hey, do you speak English? How many ways do I have to say ‘no’?”
He called me a name I’ve been called before. Then he took off. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t ask me out again.
< Hey, he was cute, > Tobias called down from the sky.
“Oh, shut up, you mouse-eating freak,” I said.
Tobias laughed. He knew better than to take me too seriously. < I heard that! Heard what he called you, too. The guy is perceptive as well as cute. >
“I know. I’m gonna go get some wings and come on up there. Keep an eye out for me.”
< I always will. >
#30: The Reunion
- Marco:(narrating) Me talking to my mom. Raging. Explaining.
Me explaining to my mom, as my mom, as my real mom, why I had to do it. Me explaining to my mom as Visser One. Laughing, chortling, savoring my victory over her. This is how I defeated you! I crowed. This is how I saved you! I explained. No choice. No choice. I had to do it, Dad, you understand, right? What else was I going to do? Too much on the line. I had responsibilities. You know how that is, right? And besides, she was already dead to you. You'd already grieved, remember? You spent years just sitting in your chair, staring blankly, your life falling apart. . . See, Jake? Don't ever doubt me again. I did it, okay? I put the mission first. I saw the big picture. So just don't ever doubt me again, because I did what had to be done. . . . Mom, what was I supposed to do? I saw all the plays. I saw all the pieces on the chessboard. There was no solution that freed you. There were only solutions that destroyed you. I had to. How else? How else to ... Die, you Yeerk piece of crap. Wither and die, and remember with your last, dying thought: It was for her. I killed you for her. For Jake. For my dad. For... Around and around, as the hours ticked away. As exhaustion sank deep into my bones. Someday, if we won, if humanity survived, we'd be in the history books. Me and Jake and Rachel and Cassie and Tobias and Ax. They'd be household names, like generals from World War II or the Civil War. Patton and Eisenhower, Ulysses Grant and Robert E. Lee. Kids would study us in school. Bored, probably. And then the teacher would tell the story of Marco. I'd be a part of history. What I was about to do. Some kid would laugh. Some kid would say, "Cold, man. That was really cold." I had to do it, kid. It was a war. It's the whole point, you stupid, smug, smirking little jerk! Don't you get it? It was the whole point. We hurt the innocent in order to stop the evil. Innocent Hork-Bajir. Innocent Taxxons. Innocent human-Controllers. How else to stop the Yeerks? How else to win? No choice, you punk. We did what we had to do. "Cold, man. The Marco dude? He was just cold."
- Marco: (narrating, in mountain goat morph) She stared at me. She moved to aim the weapon at me.
I lowered my head and felt the power in my legs. It would be a hundred-foot drop. <l love you,> I whispered. And then, I lunged. "The boy!" she whispered, amazed. "It's the boy!"
<Mom!> I cried. For a horrible long moment she teetered on the edge, fighting gravity. I leaped up, racing to grab her, pull her back, somehow, save her. But the tiger wrapped a massive arm around me and held me down. She fell. Disappeared from sight. <No! No! No!> I cried. <Hang on, Marco,> Jake said. <Hang on, man. Hang on, man.> He held me that way, pinned down. The strength of his tiger morph made my own strength insignificant. <Hang on, Marco. Hang on, man.> Dimly, as though I was watching it on an out-of-focus TV, I was aware that battle raged on the opposite peak. I knew that more Hork-Bajir had joined the battle. I knew that an Andalite was leading them. That they were pushing back the tide of the Visser's troops. The free Hork-Bajir. Ax had brought them from the real colony, miles away. 152 In the sky a battle raged between the Empire ship and the Blade ship with its fighters. Not my problem anymore. Nothing was my problem. All I had to do was listen to the voice in my head saying, <Hold on, Marco. Hold on, man. Hold on.>
#31: The Conspiracy
- Jake: (narrating) I don't know how this war will turn out. Don't know if we'll win or lose or even, somehow, compromise and make peace. But I know one thing: I will kill the Yeerk who has done this to my brother. I will kill him.
- Tom's Yeerk: Honor and courage aren't what matters, not in real war. What matters is whether you win. After you win, then you start talking about honor and courage. When you're in battle, you do what you have to do. Honor and courage and all that? Those are the words you say after you've killed all your enemies.
- Tom's Yeerk: You're still such a kid. You think everything is so simple, don't you? That it's all either right or wrong, black or white. A good guy, a bad guy, and nothing in between.
- Jake: (to himself) No, Yeerk, I don't. Not anymore. I used to. But I've been across the line; I've done things I don't let myself think about. I know all about the shades of gray. (to Tom's Yeerk) Sometimes even the good guys do bad things. Doesn't mean there's no difference between good and evil.
- Tom's Yeerk: Good and evil. (tired smile) Strong and weak. That's the reality. Winners and losers.
- Jake: (narrating) You know what Marco and I used to talk about? Whether Batman could beat Spider-Man. Whether Sega was better than Nintendo. Whether some girl would rather go out with him or me. And now... (to Marco) What are we, anymore, Marco? What has happened to us?
#32: The Separation
"Mean" Rachel: (narrating) Thunk!
I buried the chef's knife in her sweatshirt. The knife quivered in the wood counter. She was pinned.
She was scared, too.
I grabbed more sweatshirt and...
The boning knife went in.
Seven-inch utility knife.
Naturally, she was screaming during all this.
"Ahhhh! Ahhhh! Ahhhh!"
I grabbed the cleaver. I held it high in the air, like I was gonna slam it down on her head.
Then, I laughed. I pinched her cheek and tugged back and forth while she shook and quivered.
"I like you," I said. "I really do. We could be friends. But watch who you pick your fights with."
"Nice" Rachel: (narrating) "I can't stay long," Erek said, unable to stop looking from me to Mean Rachel and back again. "I just came to update you guys on the mission."
"To the Yeerk pool!" Mean Rachel crowed. "Let's get some flamethrowers!"
"I gotta stop hanging around with you people," Erek said. "You people are just plain strange."
#33: The Illusion
- Tobias: (narrating) Tell her everything! Pain is normal. Life is pain. Make it stop! Go away, human. Go away, little boy. The hawk knows. The predator understands because he understands nothing.
- Taylor/Sub-Visser 51: It's all about contrast, don't you think? That's the way life is, eh? You don't know pain unless you know pleasure. You don't know what it is to be strong unless you've been weak, isn't that right, Andalite?
- Tobias: l don't know. Let me know... if you ever become strong.
- Tobias: (narrating) Time's almost up, Andalite. You'll never run free again. Never use that fantastic tail of yours. You'll die, so soon. How long does a hawk live? Rachel? No, no, the sub-visser. I want you with me, to be part of me, my life, not to die a bird, not to die for nothing. Rachel? Rachel! Rachel!
- Tobias: (narrating) "Your time is up. Do you understand that? You can never escape your morph. You will be a bird till you die." Who said that? Rachel? Taylor, the sub-visser? Me?
- Tobias: I won't give in. Do you know why?
- Taylor/Sub-Visser 51: No.
- Tobias: Because if I surrender, you'll live. And if I resist, you'll die. And I want you to die.
- Tobias: Who are you?
- Taylor/her Yeerk: I'm a sub-visser of the Yeerk Empire.
- Tobias: No, you're a weak misguided human girl. And you are also insane.
- Taylor/her Yeerk: Then join me in my madness, Andalite.
- Elfangor: Out of respect for life,you have to endure
- Tobias: (Rachel is about to kill Taylor) No, Rachel! No!
- Rachel: You know she should die.
- Tobias: She will. This is the Yeerk who lost a prisoner. Leave her to Visser Three.
- Rachel: What she did to you….
- Tobias: Rachel. Be Rachel. Not her.
- Tobias: (Narrating) Who am I? What am I? A bird. A boy. Something not quite human. Something more than human. The person Rachel loves.
#35: The Proposal
And that's when Marcel appeared behind me. "Yew are needed in ze beck. Ze peeg bucket, she is full again."
The guy was grinding my final nerve. But if I started complaining it might occur to Marcel that I was not one of his many anonymous busboys after all.
"Ah weel do ze peeg bucket," I said. I could just dump it in the alley and rush right back. Still no problem. I ran for it.
<Marco? Ax?> It was Jake. <Are you guys in place?>
<Where is Marco?>
<He ees cleaning up ze peeg bucket.>
Long pause. I heard all this in my head as I dragged the stupid trash can of glop into the alley.
<Okay, whatever.> Jake said. <Who's going to deliver us to the target?>
<Marco is not here.>
<Okay, I guess it has to be you, Ax,> Jake said.
"No!" I yelled in frustration at a skanky alley cat.
Ax said snippily. <Marco was merely concerned that I would go postal. But I have no mail.>
<Is anyone else getting that sinking feeling?> Tobias muttered.
#37: The Weakness
- Rachel: How do you do this? How do you make decisions that may get people killed? How do you live with that?
- Jake: It's a war. We do what we have to do because we're forced to do it, right? Someday it will be all over. Someday the Andalites will come. Or the Yeerks will decide we're not worth it. Someday we'll win.
- Rachel: Maybe. But how do you make decisions that get your friends hurt? That maybe someday will get us killed? How do you keep it from getting inside your head and just eating away at you? (narrating) Then I saw something strange on his face. For just a fleeting moment it was the face of a terrified kid on the edge of tears. It shocked me. I knew what I was seeing. It was my face when I'd realized the old man had died. My face when I'd thought I'd lost Cassie forever. But then the mask came down. And he was Jake again.
- Jake: (lies) I don't think about it.
#38: The Arrival
Jake: Andalites are very fast, those snakes are faster. One move from your boys and they will die... Now we stop playing games, you're not the Andalite fleet, and I'm not going to snap a salute and say 'Yes Sir!' We deal as equals. Which, to be honest, is generous of us under the circumstances.
Gonrod: I command here. Am I clear on that?
Jake: No, sir. This is Earth. This is a human planet. We are not the Hork-Bajir, we know how you 'rescued' them. As long as you're on earth, you'll get along with us. Am I clear on that?
#41: The Familiar
- Marco: (severely wounded during a massive battle) More on the stairs! And Taxxons. I can smell them!!
- Jake: (narrating during the Ragskin building battle) I reared up and roared. Seven hundred pounds of ripping claws and slicing teeth. Fluid strength. Mercurial speed. The male Siberian tiger. The biggest cat in the world.
- But my roar echoed back to me unmasked. I heard false confidence. I detected despair.
- Hark-Bajir Controller: Gafrash nyut! Die!!
- Ax: (during the Ragskin building battle) Prince Jake, if we do not leave now, we never will.
(In an alternate future, Jake is talking with "Elfangor", who is actually an aged Tobias in morph)
- Jake: The EF is ceertainly a force to be reckoned with.
- "Elfangor"/Tobias/Tobias pretending to be Elfangor: It sounds as though you question our tactics.
- Jake: Action is the surest path to change. No question there.
- Tobias: But you would fight them differently? Sabotage and terrorism make you uneasy. What you want is a better way.
- Jake: What I want is to go home.
- Tobias: Too much for you?
- Jake: No. I want to go home so I can stop all this from happening in the first place. If this is the future, I want to go back. I can stop the Yeerks without sacrificing my friends. Without botching the war, and stumbling into your brand of terrorism and half-freedoms. I can stop them before we sacrifice the very things we're fighting for!
- Tobias: Victory without sacrifice? You know better than that.
- Jake: You don't always have to sacrifice your principles to win. Isn't there always an alternative to sacrifice if you just step back, look at the big picture and -
- Tobias: You know better than that.
- Jake: (suddenly angry) It's all your fault. I used to think of you as a hero, Elfangor. A leader. But the truth is you couldn't see another way out. You sentenced us to hardship, pain, and suffering. You made us question every value we ever learned. We were just kids. You had no right to heap that weight on us, huge and impossible. You used us!
- Tobias: That's interesting coming from you, Jake. Let me guess what comes next. You never asked to become the leader, right? You never asked to make the tough calls. Plan the missions. How to use your small but loyal guerilla force, how and when to put them in harm's way, risk their lives. The role was thrust upon you. You're blameless. Well, I don't buy it, Jake. Every choice was yours. Always has been.
Megamorphs #4 Back to Before
- Jake: (narrating) We were five kids taking a shortcut home from the mall at night. There was a ship. There was an alien. There was the destructive worm of knowledge: You are not alone. You are not safe. Nothing is what it seems to be. No one is who they seem to be.
- The knowledge of betrayal and terror. The awareness of evil.
- And then, the power.
- The power made us responsible, see. Without the power, the knowledge would have just been a worm of fear eating up our insides.
- Bad enough. But it was the power that turned our fear into obligation, that laid the weight on our unready shoulders....
- Power enought to win? No. Power enough to fight? Ah, yes. Just enough, little Jake, here is just enough power to imprison you in a cage of duty, to make you fight.
(After a terrible battle, the Animorphs come across a dying Human-Controller, a Yeerk)
- Controller: Help me. So... I'm cold. Help.
- Jake: Leave him, Yeerk. Get out of his head. Let him do this last thing as a free human being.
- Controller: I can't get out. The ears are blocked. Can't get out.
- Ax: We have to get out of here. They will send reinforcements.
- Controller: So cold. Just... Can you just get me a blanket or...
- Ax: Prince Jake.
- Controller: I'm scared. Does that... Does that make you happy, Andalite?
- Jake: No. No, it doesn't make me happy.
- Drode: Oh, I see it now, I see it now. Subtle as always, Ellimist. Your meddling came before, didn't it? How could we have not seen it? Elfangor's brother? His time shifted son? This anomalous girl here? And the son of Visser One's host body? A group of six suppoosedly random humans that contains those four! You stacked the deck!
- Ellimist: Did I? That would have been very clever of me.
- Jake: Who are you two?
- Drode: He's an old cheat. There are rules, Ellimist!
- Ellimist: Yes. And I obeyed them. I allowed you to create this alternate time line. And in this time line these humans and this Andalite came very close to annihilating the Yeerk presence. You suspended the exercise. Not me.
#43: The Test
< Are you crazy? The way you live, the things you do? I don't know anyone stronger. You're not weak. >
- Tobias: (narrating) A thunderclap roared and half brought me back to the present. The other half of me was still at the Yeerk pool that first, horrible time. Clinging to the rock face, praying for camouflage, searching the colossal cavern for a way to escape. A way to get past Visser Three's men.
- Rachel: (faintly) Where's Tobias?
- Tobias: (narrating) How long since I'd morphed to red-tailed hawk? An hour and fifty minutes? An hour and fifty-five?
- How long?!
- The others had escaped already. The other Animorphs, I mean. They'd dodged the visser's fireball gauntlet. They'd slipped out to safety, back through the janitor's closet, back into the school. Rachel, Cassie, Marco, Jake.
- Had I missed the deadline? Had I been more than two hours in morph?
- Couldn't have. Can't have. No. I'd be trapped forever. A bird.
- Independent, free, alone.
- Images of the human life I'd led till then flooded my mind. The images were dark. My apathetic aunt. My alcoholic uncle.
- Then, something brighter, something powerful surged through my mind. Something else. Shoring me up. Drawing me in. A wave of...
- What? What had I felt then, at that moment, with the seconds ticking down? With the deadline chasing me...
- Weakness or strength?
- Cassie: (eyes wide, beginning to stand up) None of you guys are really thinking about this. (loud enough to make kids sitting at a table next to theirs look up)
- Jake: Shhh.
- Cassie: No. It's wrong. I won't. I don't want to judge you guys, but you're talking about strategy and risk like this is some computer game. Like there aren't others involved. Have you forgotten that we're supposed to be in this to save lives?
- Jake: (puts hand on her shoulder, gently encouraging her to sit back down)
- Cassie: (continues, quietly but urgently) Has anyone stopped to think that we'll be responsible for the death of hundreds, maybe thousands of people? People who already suffer the worst fate imaginable? And not that any of you care, but we'll be killing thousands of defenseless Yeerks right along with them.
- Marco: (with a straight face) My God, you mean we'd be killing Yeerks? That's... that's unthinkable!
- Rachel: (whispers) Let her finish.
- Cassie: They're not all like Visser Three. We know that. Some of the Yeerks and Controllers are just kids like us. They never had a choice. They participate or they're eliminated. And it's not like they get the information they need to make an informed decision. If you'd been raised since birth on empire propaganda, you'd fight to take over Earth, too.
- Ax: You make an interesting argument. But there are a lot of inconsistencies between what you say and what you do. How can you make this argument knowing what you've done in the past?
- Cassie: (forcefully) That's different. I'm not against defending myself and you guys. I hate violence, but self-defense is justified, in all societies. Unlike murdering people--
- Marco: --Killing slugs.
- Cassie: Killing Yeerks when they're defenseless, when they're not engaged in battle, when they're not actively threatening our lives... no! You don't... why can't you... can't you see! It's... it's just not right.
- Rachel: But they are threatening our lives. Not just ours, everyone's. Just by being who they are.
- Marco: Yeah, and why do you think they're at the Yeerk pool? I can tell you this much. It's not because they're planning Earth Day activities.
- Jake: Look, during World War II we bombed factories and highways and railroads. Even regular cities. Just because someone's not wearing a uniform or carrying a weapon doesn't mean they're not fighting a war. I know this plan is bad, Cassie, but we've gotta think of the big picture. (looks at her and touches her shoulder again)
- Ax: (calmly) Yes. The Yeerk pool is a command and control center. It is central to Yeerk military activity. They recharge there so they can continue their conquest.
- Cassie: Not true. (leans forward) What about Tidwell, and others like him in the peace movement? They have to go to the pool because they'll die if they don't feed. For them, it's no different than eating.
- Jake: (coldly) The peace movement Yeerks are a small minority. We can't really consider them, except maybe to warn them.
- Cassie: (disbelievingly) Not consider them! What if your brother's at the pool when the gas explodes?
- Jake: (looks at his hands) I guess it's a sacrifice I have to deal with in order to protect thousands more.
- Cassie: Jake, I don't believe you!
- Jake: You should. (looks back to Cassie, then to Tobias) Besides, family involvement doesn't really come into play here. It can't. The Yeerk pool is a target. End of discussion. It's not like we're bombing a bunch of innocent people at the mall on a Friday afternoon...
- Cassie and Tobias: (look around the food court, at the people around them)
- Cassie: (looks back at Jake) Isn't it?
#44: The Unexpected
- Rachel: (dropping a bag on a table at The Gardens) Consumerism completely baffles you, doesn't it, Cassie?
- Rachel: (facing the group) Can you imagine my elation, my total euphoria, when Cassie, OUR Cassie, said she wanted to go shopping?
- Marco: (nodding) You were expecting to lay down serious cash at the mall.
- Rachel: Exactly! See? (turning to Cassie) Even Marco understands. (shakes her head) But no, Cassie drags me to the zoo--the ZOO--where she ransacks the gift shop and comes up with a postcard. A POSTCARD. Cassie, buying a postcard at the zoo is not shopping. Say it with me now. Postcard. Zoo. Not. Shopping.
#46: The Deception
- Ax: (narrating) Humans are an odd species. They will proclaim a particular ethical and moral stance one day. And the next, they will proclaim an opposite stance with equal passion. When pressed, they explain such behavior as caused by "different circumstances." Also, depending on "the situation."
- Jake: Okay. The Yeerks want Earth. (looks at each of the others in turn) Well, they can't have it.
- Marco: Look. Maybe the situation isn't as desperate as we think. Yet. Maybe the Yeerks are just seeing what they can get away with. They push, we push back. They don't try that particular move again. They shove, we don't shove back, they shove again, but this time, harder. And eventually, we fall on our butts.
- Rachel: (nods) Right. We don't wait around for the cavalry. We fight with everything we've got, with or without the Andalites. Self-defense is always justified. We've known that from the beginning. End of story.
- Cassie: (half to herself) Even when the odds are abysmal? Maybe especially then.
- Ax: War is irrational. Though it is sometimes necessary.
- Cassie: Jake. Everyone. Come on. We've gotten this far without totally losing it. By following the rules of basic humanity. No one can deny that.
- Marco: (coldly) I'm not denying it. But Jake's right. Things have changed. We can't be asking anymore whether something's right or wrong. We really need to start asking whether it's expedient.
- Rachel: (grins) Whoa. Big word.
- Jake: (takes Cassie's hands in his)
- Tobias: (turns slightly away)
- Jake: (softly) Cassie, I'd never ask you to do something you don't want to. Or can't. But here's the thing. I think our assumptions are right. I think Visser One is about to launch open war. Entire cities might be incinerated. Whole countries. Maybe, just maybe, if we strike now, if we do everything we possibly can, maybe we can keep that from happening. (smiles sadly) I'm not sure I could live with myself if we didn't do all that we could.
- Ax: (narrating) Billions of lives weighed against the ethics of six "kids..."
- Cassie: (softly) And I'm not sure I could live with myself if we did. Jake, there's always a reason to abandon morality. We've been through this so many times. Someone's always saying, 'forget about right or wrong, we've got to win.'
- Jake: I know, I know. (squeezes Cassie's hands) But... doesn't it always come down to each one of us, all alone, asking ourselves: Am I right in doing whatever it takes for the greater good? And, do I trust myself enough to know I won't become evil in the process? It always comes down to something that personal.
- Ax: (to himself) Or the situation. Or the special circumstances. A morality of convenience. Not unlike Andalite morality... (troubled by that thought)
- Cassie: (smiles, but not happily) If there's one person I trust to keep his decency, it's you, Jake.
- Marco: (folds his arms, nods at Rachel) You, we're not so sure of.
- Rachel: (flips him off)
- Marco: (turns and stares hard at Ax) You Andalites. You people have a tendency to destroy what you want to preserve.
#47: The Resistance
- Jake: (narrating) Fine. I was leader of a group of resistance fighters, Earth's only hope for freedom, and I had to clean the basement to earn a lousy twenty bucks. Talk about irony.
#49: The Diversion
- Ax: (from above, as a northern harrier) This was not your fault, Prince Jake. You could not have known what Tom was planning. You could not have stopped him.
- Jake: (as a peregrine falcon, bitter) Yeah, Ax. I could have. (spins sideways and shoots between two signposts, spreads his wings, and rises) What's wrong with me? Why didn't I get them out last night? When I need to wait, plan, gather more information, what do I do? Charge in. Go for the surprise. Screw things up permanently. But when I need to charge in, to save the people I love most, I wait. I say, "Go home. Get some rest. Sleep on it." Great plan. I get sleep. My parents get Yeerks. (sweeps ahead of them, climbs high above a strip mall)
- Ax: We will return, Prince Jake. When the time is right, we will get them out.
- Jake: (dives toward the Earth at two hundred miles an hour, toward a parking lot below, pulling up only seconds before his beak hit the pavement, skims along the asphalt, and climbs again)
- Tobias: (narrating) Jake, our fearless leader. On a crazed kamikaze mission. I'd never seen him like this. Even in our lowest moments, he'd always been steady. Resolute. He weighed the costs, made a decision, forged ahead.
- And I'd always wondered how he did it. How he kept it straight in his mind. Yeerks. Visser One. Aliens conquering humans, conquering the planet. Fighting the enemy without becoming like them. How did he sort through all that? The emotions, the ethical dilemmas, the moral crises? How did he wrap his brain around it all so he could make logical decisions? Smart decisions. The kind that saved the lives of his team. The kind that set the enemy back a small step or two.
- But now I knew. Jake didn't understand any of it better than the rest of us did. If he defeated the Yeerks, freed humanity, rescued Earth, that was good. But that was just a bonus. His main goal was much simpler. To save his family. That goal was what had given him strength. That goal was what had kept him sane. Allowed him to retain a center of calm focus amid the awful chaos.
- Ax: Ah. (nods) She does not understand how menacing we are. (taps Loren on the shoulder) You do not know me, but I am a juvenile delinquent. I do not trust authority figures, I probably will not graduate from high school, and statistics say my present rowdiness and vandalism will likely lead to more serious crimes. I am a dangerous fellow, and I am causing mayhem in this store. (reaches behind her and pulls three jars of baby food from the top shelf, shoves them behind a box of macaroni, shuffles the Cheeze Whiz in front of the Marshmallow Fluff, and tosses a bag of lady's shavers onto a bag of hamburger buns) There. I have now shamelessly destroyed the symmetry of this shelf, undoing hours of labor by underpaid store employees. If you could see me, you would be frightened.
#50: The Ultimate
- Cassie: (quietly) Can you talk to Rachel? She explodes at her mom and it just makes Naomi more determined not to deal with this.
- Jake: (impatient) I've tried to talk to Rachel and she won't listen. So, no, I won't talk to her again. And no, I don't want to talk to you about my feelings.
- Cassie: (stands perfectly still, not trusting herself to move, feeling like she was slapped)
- Jake: (lowers eyes, turns, and walks away)
- Cassie: (stalks after him) Jake! Things are falling apart.
- Jake: (whirls around, eyes dark and wild)
- Cassie: (narrating) For the first time since I'd known and loved Jake, I was afraid of him. Afraid of what he might become.
- Jake: You think I don't know that?! I know we're slipping up. Making mistakes. I know we're at one another's throats. And I know that if it weren't for Toby, this whole camp would probably be just a scar on the ground by now. What I don't know, Cassie, and this is the hard part... what I don't know is what I'm supposed to do about it.
- Cassie: (puts anger aside and falls into step beside Jake) It's going to take time. These people, our parents, have been dragged into this -- into a refugee camp -- against their wills. Their world has been torn apart. We have to respect their reluctance to fight alongside us. But Jake, somebody's got to take charge.
- Jake: Fine. You do it.
- Cassie: (firmly) No. I'm not a leader, Jake. You are. You'e going to have to talk to my parents. And to Rachel's mother and sisters. Even Tobias's mom.
- Jake: Why should they listen to me? Look at the situation. We're hiding in the forest, living on the charity of the Hork-Bajir. If you were an adult -- or even another kid, not Cassie -- would you listen to me? No, you wouldn't. So why don't you just leave me alone. (looks at Cassie, then turns head) Please, Cassie. (quickens pace, leaving Cassie behind)
- Cassie: (calls after him, desperate) Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
- Jake: (doesn't stop)
- Cassie: You're acting like a coward! (regrets instantly)
- Jake: (stops and turns) What did you call me?
- Cassie: A coward. (flinches) Now that it's the final crisis, you're turning chicken on us.
- Jake: (laughs wearily) I'm not chicken. I'm just trying to give everybody a fighting chance. I'm not going to insist people do what I say when I don't have the slightest idea what's right or wrong. What's smart or stupid. Cassie, it's my fault we're on the run. You can't deny that.
- Cassie: (walks to Jake, takes a deep breath, takes his hand tight, and tries to sound reasonable) Maybe you're right, Jake. And maybe you're wrong. Maybe you are a good leader, after all.
- Jake: (tries to pull away)
- Cassie: (won't let him go) No, Jake. Listen. If that's the truth, you have to take charge. And if you really are a failure and it really is all your fault, then it's your responsibility to get us out of here. We need you, Jake. Either way, it has to be you.
- Jake: (weakening) Marco can be in charge. (pulls hand away) He's smarter than I am. Or Tobias. Or Ax. Or you. Rachel. Anyone. Anyone but me. You know why I was even in charge in the first place, Cassie? Because once upon a time, a long time ago, Marco said I was.
- Cassie: Jake, that's not the whole truth...
- Jake: (bitterly) Well, now my term of office is over. So how about for once you guys figure things out and tell me what to do. (turns and walks away, and keeps walking)
#51: The Absolute
- Jake: (frowns) So, where did you leave the tank?
- Marco: The tank. Well, you know Chapman's house? Nice two-story?
- Jake: (sighs) How many stories is it now?
- Marco: Uh... (glances at Tobias) Zero? But the back deck will give Chapman a nice supply of firewood this winter. It's already piled up for him.
- Tobias: (smiles) Too bad he doesn't have a fireplace anymore.
- Rachel: Excuse me? You flattened Melissa's house? (turns on Tobias) And you went along with it?
- Marco: Whoa. Down, girl. You're just mad because you didn't get to drive a tank. Nobody got hurt. Nobody was home. Not even Fluffer McNutter or whatever that stupid cat's name is.
- Rachel: Fluffer McKitty.
- Marco: Oh. Excuse me. Fluffer McKitty. That's so much better. Anyway, they're all fine. Melissa, her parents, her cat.
- Tobias: (nods) They're just, well, homeless.
#52: The Sacrifice
- Marco: I've been on the computer all night. All of us. Me, Mom, and Dad. We hacked into nearly every file on the National Guard base. Bottom line? They've got a big warehouse full of thousand-pound bombs.
- Rachel: Yes! (grins) Major firepower.
- Eva: We could kill a lot of slugs with one thousand-pound bomb.
- Peter: We could kill them all with ten or twelve thousand-pound bombs. In an enclosed space an explosion of even one thousand-pound bomb would have incredible magnitude. The devastation would be close to that of an atomic explosion.
- Rachel: (nods) We'd be going seriously medieval on Yeerk butt.
- Jake: The big question: How? We talked about this before. We'd have to commit everything. Everybody. Animorphs, all of us. Hork-Bajir. Parents.
- Cassie: I'm out. I thought that maybe... But I can't. And I can tell you my parents are out, too.
- Rachel: (glares) Okay, Cassie. So, what do you think we should do instead? Just sit here and wait for the Yeerks to find us? Or maybe we should make it real easy on them and all go hop on the train for a little swim in the pool.
- Cassie: Why do you have to be so horrible? You are, you know. And you get worse every day. Your own mother can't even stand you. (turns to walk away)
- Jake: (grabs her sleeve) Cassie! Come on.
- Cassie: Come on what! You don't knowingly take innocent life. Not if you're a decent person. Not if you're not a murderer. The goal is irrelevant. I thought you knew that, Jake, but apparently--
- Jake: Apparently you decided to start making decisions for me! Somewhere along the line you decided that you knew what was best. For me. For everybody. Well, guess what?
- Cassie: (puts hands in front of her) Don't. Stop! Just don't. Please. (begins to cry) I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done it. I don't even really know why I did it. I... At that moment, it seemed the right thing to do. The only thing. Now, I'm just sorry. I'm sorry.
- Marco: (whispers) What is she talking about?
- Cassie: It was me! I gave the Yeerks the morphing cube. I let Tom run away with it. I stopped Jake from chasing him. Me!
- Eva: (murmurs) Oh, Cassie.
- Marco: You did what?!
- Cassie: Tom had it. He had the cube. The only way Jake was going to get it from him was to kill him. I couldn't let Jake do that. I couldn't. I was trying to protect him.
- Rachel: You were trying to protect Jake so you basically sold out the rest of the human race?
- Tobias: I'm sure she didn't think of it in those terms.
- Cassie: I didn't think at all. It was more of an impulse. An instinct. Something inside just told me to let Tom take the cube. I knew... I knew I was making a sacrifice. That I was sacrificing so much... maybe now it seems stupid. But at that moment I thought I was doing the right thing. I really did.
- Rachel: (lifts hand and begins to make a fist)
- Tobias: (grabs her wrist)
- Jake: (pulls Cassie to him and embraces her)
- Cassie: (leans head on his shoulder)
- Jake: (presses his cheek against her hair) It's okay, Cassie. I'm sorry. It's okay.
- Ax: (narrating)I was angry. So angry the blade on my tail was quivering. <Because my brother, Elfangor, gave the cube to you. To you and your friends. He compromised everything he stood for by giving it to you. He betrayed the laws of his own people. He placed his trust in five humans. I am trying to understand why you would betray him in return. Why you would betray your friends. And why you would betray your people.>
(The Animorphs have just driven a subway train full of bombs into the Yeerk pool)
- Visser One: No! This time, you will not escape me!
- Marco: You want to fight? I'm in. But it'll be a short fight. About one-and-a-half minutes. Two minutes, tops. And no winners.
- Ax: (thinking) For a long time, I have regarded Rachel as representing one end of the continuum of human
nature. What all humans would become if the war went on long enough. That perception has guided many of my decisions. An entire human race of Rachels — angry, merciless, aggressive, and equipped with Yeerk and Andalite technology. It was a terrifying specter. But perhaps . ... perhaps I had been wrong. Perhaps the real menace lay at the other end of the continuum — represented by Cassie. Humans who were softer. Kinder. Well-meaning. And, ironically, infinitely more dangerous.
#53: The Answer
- General Doubleday: All right, Mr. Alien, what have you got to say to me?
- Jake: First: I'm not an alien. I'm a human with access to alien morphing technology. Second: I know how to hurt the Yeerks in a way that they won't be able to brush off, but I'll need your help to provide a diversion.
- General Doubleday: (amused) My help, huh? You need my help? See the stars on my shoulder there, son? I'm a major general, U.S. Army. You're a kid who can turn into a bug. I take my orders from the chain of command, and that ain't you.
- Marco: Our blackmail only goes so far. We're down to core programming, no discretion: Erek can't enable a major weapons system. Flat out cannot. We'll be sitting ducks if Tom turns the Blade ship on us, and we all know that's his plan.
- Jake: (explodes) IT'S NOT TOM! It's not Tom!! It's not Tom, don't call him that! It's the Yeerk in his head, not my brother!!
- Jake: Look, if we lose this battle it's over, you understand me?! If we lose it's over. This is the battle. This is the last stand. We lose and here's what happens: The Yeerk fleet fights the Andalite fleet. If the Yeerks win they'll be free to enslave every living human being and kill the ones they don't want. If the Andalites win there's a very good chance they'll sterilize Earth: kill everything in order to end the Yeerk menace once and for all. So, you don't like me telling you what to do, you don't like your job, you don't like me, period? I don't really care. Before this night is over the casualties will be piled high and some of you standing here right now will be dead and I don't care because we are going to win. Is that clear? We're taking that Pool ship and before this night is over we'll have Visser One right here. (holds up tightly-clenched fist)
- Visser One: So, still not dead.
- Jake: No, Visser. Not quite dead.
- Visser One: You're the one called Jake, aren't you? The brother of my security chief's host body.
- Jake: That's me.
- Visser One: (nods slightly, then motions toward the view screen) As you see, my Blade ship is approaching.
- Jake: I don't think they'll be much help to you, Visser.
- Visser One: No. It took me a while to see what had happened. But I see it now. The Blade ship will attack, and I am helpless, unable to control this ship. (laughs mirthlessly) Only a traitor could have beaten me. I was not beaten by you, human, or by your pet Andalite there. I was undone by my trusting nature.
- Marco: (laughs, then stops himself)
- Visser One: Only another Yeerk could have beaten me, and then only by the lowest treason. I was not beaten by you. Never by you.
(Visser One is on the bridge of the Pool ship as the US Army attacks)
- Hork-Bajir Controller: They were deployed to attack us on the ground, Visser. They appear to be at a loss.
- Visser One: (sarcastically) Brilliant insight.
- Jake: (narrating) So here it was. The moment of truth. The visser would buy it or not. The silence stretched on. Too long.
- He had smelled the rat.
- Visser One: No.. No! Something isn't right.
- Tom's Yeerk: Visser?
- Visser One: I don't like so much good luck. I've fought to seize this planet for years. For years! And now everything suddenly falls into my lap? I don't trust so much good luck. For all I know, this Animorph creature has managed to bring her fellow bandits aboard with her...
- Tom's Yeerk: But visser, the filter -
- Visser One: (shouting) They've beaten the filter before. No! No! There's something wrong here, something very wrong... Look... Look how she stands there, beaten, cowed, whipped. No, it is too easy.
- Jake: (Narrating) Seventeen thousand. Living creatures. Thinking creatures. How could I give this order? Even for victory. Even to save Rachel. How could I give this kind of order?
- They could've stayed home, I thought. No one had asked them to come to Earth. Not my fault. Not my fault, theirs.
- No more than they deserved.
- Aliens. Parasites. Subhuman.
- Jake: Flush them.
(Ax drains the Pool ship's pool, killing all the unhosted Yeerks inside)
- Jake: (narrating) We ran from that place, ran from the thoughts of what we'd done. It was his fault, all of it, it was all Visser One's fault. Who had started this war? Not us. Not us, we hadn't asked for it.
- It was him. Him and his filthy, subhuman, parasitic race.
- His fault. Not mine. Not mine.
(Marco, Tobias, and Jake watch Bug fighters destroy the Animorphs' hometown)
- Tobias: They're going after the elementary school.
- Jake: They're going after everything.
- Tobias: Why are they doing this? It's not just brutal, it's stupid. Pointless destruction.
- Jake: They're sending a message. "Mess with us and this is what we do."
- Marco: No. That's not it. We blew up their ground-based Yeerk pool. They know that we'll do whatever we have to, they know that it's all-out war. We're way past sending messages.
- Jake: (narrating) In the past it’s been hard for me to take on the title of leader. I’ve wondered if I did good, if what I did was right, if I had any right to make the tough calls. I’ve felt sorry for myself at times. Maybe anyone would, in my spot.
- But I had to put it all aside now. I had to put it all aside. Not because I was suddenly convinced I deserved the power, that I was worthy of it. That wasn’t it. I knew better than to get caught up in the myth of Might Jake the Yeerk-Killer.
- I’d given up soul-searching because it was too late. Way past too late. The battle had become a war, and I, for better or worse, was the only leader we had.
- So from here on out, the doubts, the self-indulgent whining, they were over. Save them for my old age in the unlikely event that I had an old age.
- Tom's Yeerk: You appear to be experiencing some engine trouble, Visser.
- Visser One: The Empire will track you down and kill you, you do understand that, I hope?
- Tom's Yeerk: (cheerfully) Oh, I doubt it. I think the Empire's going to have its hands full. The Andalite fleet is rather close by. It's possible that I misled you on that point.
(The viewscreen widens, showing Jake and the others in morph beside Visser One)
- Tom's Yeerk: (steps back, alarmed) You... You're not dead!
- Visser One: I noticed the same thing.
- Jake: (narrating) Cassie gave Tom the morphing cube. And with that, she surrendered our one great edge: We alone had the power to morph.
- She feared for me, for my soul I guess, if I was forced to kill my own brother.
- Not good enough. Not for me. All that mattered was that we win, win, win, and Cassie, for the most decent of motives, had hurt us badly. She had put my personal well-being ahead of a war we absolutely could not lose.
- Maybe if I was stronger...If I was as strong as I should have been, Cassie wouldn’t have felt the need to make that decision. That’s why I gave up soul-searching. A leader who shows weakness invites disaster.
The Ellimist Chronicles
- Menno: Adapt or Die.
- Ellimist: (incredulous) You want to have another child?
- Tree: Yes
- Ellimist: But another child may die, too, my wife.
- Tree: Yes.
- Ellimist: Then why have another child? If not the disease, then the monsters, or a famine. Why have another child?
- Tree: (defiant) Disease take one. Monster take one. Famine take one. More children, some live.
- Ellimist: (narrating) I had gone there [the Andalite homeworld] making sanctimonious noises about learning, never really expecting to learn anything new. And yet from these primitive, precivilized creatures I had learned how to defeat, or at least resist, Crayak. More children, some live. For every race Crayak exterminated, I would plant two new ones.
- Crayak: You've grown.
- Ellimist: And you have not. Life has advantages over death.
- Crayak: Only the most temporary advantages, Ellimist. Life is short. Death is eternal.
- Ellimist: You race from place to place, a fool trying to stamp out life like a contagion. You're too slow. Life has outrun you.
- Crayak: Life, no. But you, Ellimist, yes, you have complicated my plans. So now, with deep regret, I must end our little game.
- Ellimist: I see. You lack the courage to play a game you might lose. A coward after all.
- Crayak: A survivor, Ellimist.
- Ellimist: Then let us play a game, Crayak.
- Crayak: There will have to be rules.
- Ellimist: Yes, there will have to be rules.
- Crayak: And a winner?
- Ellimist: That, too, though it will take millions of years.
- Crayak: I'm not going anywhere.
- Ellimist: Then come, let us play the final game.
#54: The Beginning
- Rachel: (frozen in time by the Ellimist, the moment before death) You.
- Ellimist: Yes.
- Rachel: Who are you? Who are you to play games with us? You appear, you disappear, you use us, who are you, what are you?
- Ellimist: (tells his story, The Ellimist Chronicles)
- Rachel: Answer this, Ellimist: Did I . . . did I make a difference? My life, and my . . . my death . . . was I worth it? Did my life really matter?
- Ellimist: Yes. You were brave. You were good. You mattered.
- Rachel: Yeah. Okay, then. Okay, then.
- Jake Berenson: (narrating) Tom was dead.
And I wondered how I was ever going to explain it. I had ordered my cousin to execute my brother. How would I ever explain that?
All these years I'd fought to keep us all alive, to stop the Yeerks, always with the hope that someday I would save my brother, that he would come back, that he'd be Tom again. That was why I'd enlisted in the war to begin with. I was going to save Tom.
Tom was dead. The Yeerk in his head was dead.
And how many others?
General Doubleday's soldiers who had provided the suicidal diversionary attack on the ground.
The auxiliary Animorphs who had gone with them to trick the enemy.
How many of Toby's people?
Seventeen thousand Yeerks, frozen. Flushed into space.
All at my command.
- Visser One: I imagine it's time for you to kill me. Really, you'll be doing me a favour. Whatever you can do is nothing for what the Council of Thirteen will have planned for me. They don't really approve of vissers who lose Pool ships.
- Jake: No. No more killing.
- Tobias: What do you mean, no more killing?! He's the one responsible for all of this!
- Jake: He's a prisoner of war. We don't kill prisoners.
- Visser One: (mockingly) No, of course not. You merely destroy ground-based pools and kill thousands. Add that to another seventeen thousand on this ship. All defenceless, unhosted Yeerks. Slaughtered. But you don't kill prisoners.
- Cassie: Jake, you can't... You can't equate the victim and the perpetrator.
- Jake: So as long as you're playing defence it's not possible to commit a war crime? That's pretty close to saying the winner is always right because it's the winner who writes history.
- Jake Berenson: Captain Asculan, we know that the Andalite fleet is devoted to the destruction of the Yeerk threat. And we know that you must be personally committed to that goal.
- Marco: (narrating) I translated in my head: We know you've come here to turn Earth into a great big charcoal briquette because you think it's the only way to stop the Yeerks.
- Jake: Because of your devotion to duty it may almost seem a disappointment to reach your goal at long last, only to discover that your foe has essentially surrendered.
- Marco: (narrating) Translation: It's over.
- Jake: At this point we have to set aside the necessary ruthlessness of war, the suspicion and hostility, and turn instead to the more satisfying duties of making peace.
- Marco: (narrating) Translation: Your people back home are watching and if you come in guns blazing, annihilating a peaceful people, your own peaceful civilians will never stand for it.
- Jake: Our victory could never have occurred without the support of our Andalite friends.
- Marco: (narrating) Translation: Look, we're willing to share the credit. You people did squat for us, but we're willing to spread the kudos around freely.
- Jake: I look forward to our two peaceful peoples working closely together, to forming a deep and abiding friendship. We have so much to learn from our Andalite brothers, just as we have already learned so much from the great Elfangor and his no less courageous and resourceful brother, Aximili.
- Marco: (narrating) Translation: The Dome ship Elfangor is going to come in and annihilate all of the real Elfangor's work? Kill his little brother who happens to be a ready-made Andalite hero? Guess again, you mean old fart.
(Tom is in cobra morph, striking at Rachel's face)
- Rachel: Help me, Tobias!
- Tobias: I can't. I...
- Rachel: Help me get him. Help me get him!
- Tobias: Okay. Okay. Your left paw, towards your face. Has to be fast.
- Rachel: Okay.
- Tobias: Now!
(Rachel stabs at her face, impaling Tom on her claws)
- Tom and/or his Yeerk: No!
- Rachel: Sorry.
- Tom, Tom's Yeerk: (screams) Jake, stop her!
(Rachel kills Tom)
Rachel: (narrating) I could see the viewscreen. I could see my best friend Cassie. Jake. Marco, funny Marco. Ax. Tobias.
He had morphed. He was his human self once more. He'd done that for me. And because he was crying. I understood. Humans cry, hawks don't.
"I love you," I said to the screen.
- Cassie: Jake sent me.
- Erek: I see. He feels guilty.
- Cassie: No. Not guilty.
- Erek: (angry) Then what? He used me, blackmailed me, manipulated me to crack the security system and get control of the ship.
- Cassie: You drained the Dracon beams.
- Erek: What did Jake expect me to do? I gave him control when he needed it. I wasn't going to enable him to kill.
- Cassie: The Blade ship got away. Rachel... Jake had Rachel with Tom. Rachel and Tom are both... And the ship got away anyway. Thanks to you.
- Erek: And I'm supposed to feel regret because Jake ordered his cousin to kill his brother and I wasn't going to allow him to massacre everyone else on the Blade ship?
- (Cassie becomes visibly angry)
- Erek: So you too, huh, Cassie?
- Cassie: Jake did what he had to do.
- Erek: Did he? Someone flushed the Yeerk pool into space. Did he have to do that, too? They were unhosted Yeerks. They were harmless.
- Cassie: We needed a div -
- Erek: A what? What did you need? A diversion? You're telling me you needed a diversion so Jake massacred seventeen thousand sentient creatures? A diversion?!
- Cassie:Jake, you can't... You can't equate the victim and the perpetrator.
- Jake: Oh, so as long as you're playing defense it's not possible to commit a war crime? That's pretty close to saying the winner is always right because it's the winner that writes history.
- Cassie: No, Jake, it isn't. There are lots of wars in history where the blame is evenly split between the two sides. But this isn't one of them. Before they came no human ever attacked a Yeerk. No human ever harmed a Yeerk. This one is clear. We are the victims. They made war on us.
- Jake: (softly) That's good. That's just great. We have justification. We're the good guys.
- Marco: That's right, Big Jake, we are.
- Jake: I guess that's okay for the big picture. But see, my problem is a little more personal.
- Ax: What do you mean?
- Jake: Well, it's true what you said, Ax. You did point out the options. But I gave the order. And I guess I should've been thinking, Well, Jake, it's a harsh, terrible thing to do, but it's justified. After all, you're the victim here. But that's not that I thought. You want to know what I thought.
- Cassie: Oh, Jake...
- Marco: I know what you thought. Die, you filthy worms. Feel the fear, Yeerks. Feel the helplessness. They were suffering and dying and the thought of them suffering and dying made you thrilled. You were happy. You were high.
- Jake: Yeah. Yeah, that was pretty much it, Marco. Word for word.
Marco: "So what do we call her?" Marco wondered.
Tobias: <She's beautiful. She's beautiful and dangerous and exciting.>
Jake: (narrating) I turned in surprise to look at Tobias. He stared back at me with his eternally fierce hawk's gaze.
Marco laughed, realizing what we were thinking.
"She would love it. A scary, deadly, cool-looking Yeerk ship on a doomed, suicidal, crazy mission that no one can ever know about? She would love it."
So it was that we went aboard the Rachel.
- Last words of the series:
- Jake Berenson: (after smiling dangerously, just like Rachel) All emergency power to engines. Ram the Blade ship.