Six Days the Animorphs Were Idiots
The Day Rachel Went to Therapy: Part One
It was Monday, but the sky was not quite light yet and the moon was still visible in the sky. The Animorphs were all carrying backpacks, and the early-morning dew soaked into their sneakers.
Erek stared at the heavily damaged but no-longer-smoking Bug fighter, his holographic face betraying no emotion. He'd been like that for about ten minutes now.
Jake put his hands in his pockets and shifted from one foot to the other. "So, uh…"
Erek raised a hand to silence him. Jake closed his mouth and glanced back at his friends, who were all watching for Erek's reaction as well.
"I know you dislike being told what to do," said Erek. "But I am starting to worry. I believe the stresses of war have made you all…unpredictable."
"I told you, it was Rachel," said Jake. "Anyway, that's not why we asked you over here. Ax is pretty sure he can fix this thing up, but we need a better place to hide it. It's too close to the barn."
"What do you intend to do with it when you repair it?" asked Erek.
"I dunno. Who cares? Can you help us move it?"
"Yes," said Erek. "Under one condition."
"Okay, sure," said Jake.
Erek pointed at Rachel. "She has to see a therapist."
"Whaaaat?" complained Rachel. "What did I do?"
"I have always been troubled by your proclivity for violence, but now it appears that you have gone completely insane."
"You sound like Marco," said Rachel dismissively. "Anyway, what sort of therapist could do me any good? At best, he'd think I was crazy. At worst, he'd be a Controller and turn us all in to Visser Three."
"It couldn't be a human therapist, I agree," said Erek. "However, the Chee are very good listeners."
"What? No! No, that's stupid! If I have to go to alien robot therapy, so do they!" yelled Rachel, pointing at Jake and Tobias and Marco all at once, which was pretty impressive considering she only had two hands.
"Rachel, calm down."
"CASSIE WENT INSANE JUST YESTERDAY SO WHY ARE YOU PICKING ON ME?"
"Cassie didn't sneak onto the Blade ship by herself without telling anyone and bring back a Bug fighter," said Jake.
"Yeah, but if she had, you'd be all ‘oooh, Cassie you're so clever and brave because I'm Jake and I want to marry you!' But since crazy Rachel did it, obviously it was a bad idea! This is such crap!"
"Hey!" yelled Jake, immediately defensive. "I don't want to marry her!"
"You don't?" said Cassie.
"No! I mean, I mean, yes, I mean…crap. Can we talk about this in private? In like ten years from now?"
"See?" demanded Rachel. "I'm not the only one with issues."
<I do not have issues,> Ax objected.
"YOU HAVE ISSUES! WE ALL HAVE ISSUES!"
"Stop yelling, you're scaring the animals," said Cassie.
"Look," said Jake. "We're going to be late for school if we keep standing around arguing. Erek, please just hide this thing before someone finds it. We'll figure out something this afternoon, okay?"
"EVEN EREK HAS ISSUES!"
"School, Rachel," said Jake. "Now."
Rachel gave a wordless screech of frustration and stormed off. Jake shot Erek an apologetic look and, one by one, the Animorphs followed her.
Erek shook his head and, with one hand, picked up the Bug fighter and headed for home.
* * *
A human-Controller in a security uniform stood in front of Visser Three's desk, looking concerned.
"Visser, if you have a moment, I'd like to speak to you about the Bug fighter that went missing yesterday."
<DO I LOOK LIKE I CARE ABOUT BUG FIGHTERS?> yelled Visser Three, without even looking up from his high-tech Yeerk computer screen.
"Well, it appears it was stolen…"
<DON'T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO WITH YOUR TIME?>
"…by one of your cats."
That got his attention. Visser Three looked at the Controller. <HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND?>
"Look, our cameras spotted a black-and-white cat in the hangar just before—"
<HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE JUNJUN OF SUCH A THING! GET OUT OF MY SIGHT!>
"Visser, I am quite serious. This could be a very important lead—"
A new human-Controller poked his head into the office, interrupting whatever the first Controller was trying to say.
"Visser, your package was just delivered," he reported.
<IT'S HERE! Get out of my way!> Visser Three leapt over his desk, pushed the first Controller aside, and went galloping down the halls of the Blade ship. In the loading bay, a pair of Skrit struggled under the weight of a giant box, while a Na oversaw. The box had air holes drilled into the top and sides, and a big red arrow labeled THIS SIDE UP in Gallard.
"Sign here," said the Na, holding out a clipboard to Visser Three.
<I'm so excited! THIS IS GOING TO BE GREAT!> Visser Three hastily scrawled a signature and flung the clipboard at the Na's head. Then he began ripping the box open with the help of his tail-blade. Inside was a small creature with blindingly bright reddish-orange fur and a long tail. The face was long and narrow, but it had a pair of long fangs that extended about two inches past its jaw.
"What is it?" asked a Controller.
<It is an Arzenian grass-hunter!> said Visser Three. <Do you know how poisonous those teeth are? Do you know?>
"No, but I can probably guess," sighed the Controller. Visser Three ignored him and rested one hand on the bright red fur. The little grass-hunter seemed to fall asleep. Then suddenly, the room began to spin. Visser Three took a dizzy step backwards.
"Visser? Are you alright?" asked the Controller.
<Wuh?> Legs. Why did this stupid body have all these legs? Visser Three struggled to remain upright, but it was hard with so many legs…
Then, as quickly as the sensation had come, it vanished, leaving him clear-headed again. Visser Three looked around in confusion. Everyone in the room was staring at him. Moreso than usual.
<I'm fine,> said Visser Three. <That was weird. I hope I'm not coming down with that babbling host disease.>
"I heard about that," offered another Controller. "There was a guy running around with no pants a few days ago—"
<WHAT? I CAN'T RUN AROUND WITH NO PANTS! EDRISS IS COMING BACK TONIGHT!>
"Visser, you never wear pants."
<THAT ISN'T THE POINT! I NEED TO—> But Visser Three was now turning an alarming shade of yellow. Everybody backed away, watching in horror as Visser Three's fur turned to scales and his limbs fused together to create a giant snake's body. <AGH! WHAT IS THIS? WATER! I NEED WATER! I CAN'T BREATHE!>
"Why did you morph a sea creature?" wailed the Controller, pulling at his hair.
"Alright, alright…just calm down…"
<I AM CALM!>
"Calm," repeated the controller, with an expression of futility. "Can't you try to morph back?"
<OH GREAT IDEA IT'S NOT LIKE THAT'S WHAT I'VE BEEN TRYING TO DO THIS ENTIRE—> but at that moment, the snake went limp as the lack of anything to breathe finally took its toll.
There was a moment of absolute silence.
"Is he dead?" asked someone hopefully. But Visser Three was already returning to his Andalite form—unconscious, but alive.
<Wh…what happened? Why am I on the floor?>
"You're not well, Visser," said the Controller who had tried to helpful.
<Damn it! I must have caught it from that idiot from the security department! He was trying to convince me one of the cats hijacked a Bug fighter! I should have known!>
"Perhaps you should go get some rest?" suggested the Controller.
<NO! I CAN'T BE SICK! I HAVE A DATE TONIGHT! DO YOU EVEN KNOW—>
Everyone in the room screamed again as Visser Three began to grow. His skin darkened, and his limbs became two huge legs, larger than trees. Tentacles sprouted from his side, and a gigantic mouth with freakishly large teeth split his face in half.
<DAMN IT WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?>
"We are in so much trouble," moaned the Controller.
* * *
Rachel turned around in her desk.
"SHUT UP MARCO!" she bellowed in his face. Everyone in the classroom jumped. The teacher would have scolded her for interrupting the lesson, but she didn't feel like being shanked by a deranged thirteen year old girl with a plastic ruler, so she didn't.
"Aw, come on, don't be mad at me," said Marco. "It wasn't my idea. Anyway, how bad could it be?"
"I'm not talking to any of you. You're all traitors and I hate you." Rachel turned back around to focus on her worksheet.
"It'll be fun," said Marco in a low voice. "Come on. You get to just rant about whatever for an hour. At least he's not asking us to break into a museum or something."
"I'd rather break into a museum," Rachel hissed back.
"Thus the therapy," said Marco. "Come on. Think about it this way. Once Ax finishes fixing it up, we can fly around shooting at whoever we want. We can even go check out the Andalite homeworld and nag them about not sending reinforcements. Andalite morphs! We can all get badass Andalite war-prince morphs."
"I hate you," Rachel repeated, and continued to work on the handout.
to be continued.
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EDIT: I know a bunch of people have drawn Visser Three with cats by now but I wanted to get in on the fun. Click for big.
|Left to right: Keeta, Yata, Areet, Susanna, Miaat, Hessa, Sadna, Iirin, Junjun, Doka|