Ax is watching the events of the previous chapter through cameras on Bug fighters. This is a great part of this book. Yes, please show me my little cinnamon addicted baby being tortured by his own guilt.
Of course this is Animorphs so...
When the Veleek captures one of the Animorphs the Visser gloats to Ax. There is only a slight problem of how to get the 'Andalite bandit' into the Blade ship but that's quickly worked out. Well, at least the Controller is keeping his head.
Well, at least for now.
[Do it,] Visser Three ordered. [But tell those Bug fighter crews they will contain that beast. They will not let it go. Or I'll see that they become the main course at the Taxxons' next meal.]
After Visser Three goes to his quarters, Ax's box is turned opaque again. The child is left with his own thoughts and they aren't pleasant.
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Even if they don't exist on your homeworld, if you're going to conquer some place knowing the different sizes of the creatures is sort of important.
As Ax is morphing, he wonders why a flea likes Andalite blood like he thinks the flea is going to be picky. Bigger question is why are the Yeerks so lax about cleanliness that a flea could get into Ax's box?
After Ax is done morphing he has to wait.
I waited. And hoped. And feared. And listened for the Visser's thought-speech.
I played hide-and-go seek in my childhood so I know how hard hiding can be. Always afraid that someone will find you or that you'll make a sound giving yourself away. Once I hid behind a door and the person looking for me opened it which then hurt my foot a little, all the while I tried to say nothing so I wouldn't be caught.
And this is without the fear of death. I can't imagine what Ax must be going through.
As the Aristh waits he thinks his time of vengeance will happen in the future, if not at the current moment. The fact that he is in flea morph just makes this all kinds of amusing. Just imagining a little flea going 'fear me' and I can't stop giggling.
The Controllers are idiots and open the box which the Visser knows is one of the stupidest things they could do.
Ax chooses this moment to escape.
Visser Three says to close the cage but it is already too late.
Understandably the Visser kills a Controller. The Controller being the same one that Ax landed on.
Marco is 'slightly worried' as the Veleek picks him up. He knows he won't be eaten but the fact that it was happening was creepy all on its own. Oh, 'slightly worried' means he feels like crying like a baby. As this is in first person point of view he could very well be acting out his emotions out loud.
When the Veleek drops Marco off, the boy comments that:
I don’t know what I expected to see, but it sure wasn’t this.
He is surprised at, well, the alienness of the setting. He makes Star Trek references and again I wonder why I didn't notice before, when I read the series as a teenager, that Applegate was a Star Trek fan.
We get to see that the Controller Ax was on was a Hork-Bajir Controller. I can tell this by the fact that Marco comments on a dead Hork-Bajir and we know the Controller that Ax was on died at the end of last chapter.
Marco spends awhile commenting on Visser Three. The funniest comment he makes is about Visser Three not looking happy.
Oh you, you cute goofball!
Visser Three calls Marco's gorilla morph stupid. My theory that Visser Three is a cat lover has another point to it.
Marco is excited of news that Ax has escaped and I'm happy that the Visser isn't totally clueless about small animals. Of course the secret of where Ax is is nearly ruined when the young Andalite scares the human.
[Marco? Is that you? It's Ax.]
And now all I'm hearing is: Are you there God? It's me, Margaret.
For some reason Ax has to tell Marco about closed and open thought-speak. It's not like that was explained in the first book or anything, even if the rules were slightly different. So I'm just taking it that this is exposition for readers new to the series.
[Ax? I don't need a science lecture. Visser Three is looking at me like I'm his beef jerky, so if you have a plan, just do it!]
Is Marco's reply as Ax goes into a little too much detail for a plan that's supposed to be acted out in a few minutes at most.
So Marco's part in the plan is to open the hatch. When Marco asks Ax what he'll do, the Andalite just laughs. Which is really far from comforting. As is still giggling as he explains he's going to demorph to draw the Veleek to Visser Three.
As the Visser asks why Marco isn't demorphing, Ax starts to enact his plan.
Things go into total chaos mode as the Veleek starts to envelop Visser Three. He is not going to be happy and some heads are going to literally roll.
As Marco makes his way for the console, he hears the Visser asking for water. Instead of being smart, he thinks that it's odd that the Visser is thirsty at this time. It can't be a way to help control the beast.
Goddammit, you're Marco not Jake!
Ax has no intention of fully demorphing as his plan requires him to remain a flea.
How he phrases his statement is a little...well...here it is:
I had no intention of going all the way.
Anyways...Ax can sense the Veleek coming closer and then 'hears' the Visser yelling for water. Like Marco he is confused. Unlike Marco he doesn't think that the Visser is thirsty.
Marco informs Ax of the situation as of the end of the last chapter and Ax reverses his morph. He jumps off of Visser Three's body and the description of him going through the Veleek is sort of beautiful. In the 'he could die if one thing goes wrong' kind of way.
When part of the Veleek gets stuck on Ax, the Andalite can finally 'see' the creature. The Veleek is made up of a swarm and he can see how the creature 'feeds'. It is just an amazing, beautiful, and scary description.
My favorite part has to be:
The Veleek was not one creature. It was billions!
Ax then basically 'kicks' the creature away.
Suddenly Ax is hit by a strange substance. The color is silvery and now the Andalite is trapped after falling down. Goddammit! Don't die on my now! You still need to be take-spoilers...sorry. Sorry.
The Aristh finally figures out that the strange globules are water. Yeah, as a flea a person's perception of size is way off.
As Marco starts to stomp, Ax is able to find him. Upon jumping on the human he says that they have to leave. Guess what the escape plan is...
[Oh yeah,] Marco said. [The bad news is we're about two miles up in the air and we are plummeting to Earth.]
It takes a truck breaking the bones in her elephant morph to make Rachel have even more flashbacks. This series of flashbacks ends with her remembering how she had gotten amnesia in the first place. She remembers the accident.
But her thoughts are interrupted when Cassie yells that the Veleek had taken Marco. Cassie bemoans the fact that she had let the evil creature take Marco. It is also at this time that Rachel informs her that her memory is back but still a little shaky.
When Bug fighters come, Rachel recalls everything but what a Taxxon looks like. Sort of good that she can't really remember them at the moment as they are really creepy.
"Look, Cassie," I said sharply. "That's what happened, all right? It's in the past. We have the present to worry about."
I like that Rachel isn't allowing a pity party to start happening. It's a little mean but they'd probably die if Cassie continued to talk/moan.
Rachel asks if they can morph again so quickly and Cassie replies they can but it's tiring. They then both morph into Great Horned owls.
When Hork-Bajir fall from the sky, Rachel suggests going straight at them. This amuses Cassie as it reminds her of the Rachel with all her memories. The girl who would do anything just on a dare.
[My girl, Rachel,] Cassie said grimly.
Cassie says to go for the eyes.
As the girls attack, Jake helps them out. The chapter ends with him asking if they have seen Marco.
If they look up there is a forecast of Gorilla this evening.