Six Days the Animorphs Were Idiots
The Day Rachel Went to Therapy: Part Two
It took a long time, but someone very brave eventually managed to get close enough to Visser Three to inject him with a sedative between morphs. After he fell unconscious, it took two Hork-Bajir to carry him to medbay. They were followed by a procession of human-Controllers with nothing better to do than watch the hilarity ensue.
Once they got to the medbay, nobody knew what to do with an unconscious Andalite.
"Maybe they sleep standing-up?" suggested a lady Controller. "I think four-legged earth animals do that."
The medics tried to put Visser Three on his feet, but he just fell over. If Andalites did sleep upright, they couldn't do it while sedated. Finally they pushed a bunch of medical cots together to make a ‘bed' large enough for him to lie on.
Visser Three regained consciousness enough to start complaining again.
<What happened? Where am I? Why am I on an island?>
"We had to sedate you, Visser," said a medic. "You were morphing uncontrollably."
<That's my business, not yours. Why are all these people here?>
"We are helping," said one of the Controllers who'd tagged along. He'd donned a pair of latex gloves and a doctor's mask to get into the spirit of things.
"The first thing we need to do is determine whether this illness is in your body or your host's," said the medic, who was coping very well with the fact that his medbay was full of idiots. "I'll set up some preliminary scans. In the meantime, I'd like you to check your host's memories and see if this is an Andalite illness."
Oh. Hm. That made sense. Visser Three forced Alloran out of his sulk (he'd been in a snit for decades now) with a few mental jabs.
<Hey. You. Andalite.>
<What?> grumbled Alloran.
<What's going on? Why are we morphing?>
<Allergy,> said Alloran indifferently, and retreated back into the far corner of his brain.
Well. That wasn't completely unhelpful. Visser Three scanned Alloran's memories for all references to ‘allergy.'
The day was warm and bright. Sunshine lit the little valley, illuminating colorful grasses and ancient trees. He was surrounded by young Andalites, his peers. They were ‘whispering' to each other in private thought-speak, clearly excited. The source of their excitement was the wooden cage on the ground
Inside the cage was a bird. It was brightly colored, with a murderous looking beak and too many wings to be practical. Beside it was an adult Andalite that Alloran had since forgotten the name of. But the feelings of respect and admiration were still there.
<Acquiring is easy,> said the adult. <Nobody is going to have any trouble with it, so don't worry. We're going to each come up one at a time and acquire this kafit. One at a time, understand? I know you're excited, but I don't want anyone getting speared through the wrist.>
The excitement in the air was palpable. The little Andalites were each trying to shove towards the front without tipping off their instructor. Everyone wanted to be first.
<If anyone starts feeling sick, let me know immediately. It's rare, but occasionally someone is allergic to specific DNA. If that happens, you'll have to…>
The scene went foggy. That wasn't too surprising, as the memory was over a hundred years old. Visser Three searched, but he only got a few more segments from that day—Alloran's hand on the kafit's wing, feeling the bird grow calm and sleepy, watching the more daring children attempt to morph when the instructor left, and then walking home as the sun went down, looking forward to telling his parents about the day…
Visser Three pulled up another memory, this one from many years later.
He was on a gleamingly bright Dome ship, standing in front of a computer terminal and trying to focus on his work. It was tedious and low-level—standard for arsith assignments. Behind him, one of his friends chattered on.
<…tried to acquire a Hork-Bajir, but it turned out she was allergic,> the friend was saying. <The whole time she was morphing different animals.>
<That's why they came back?> asked Alloran, apparently giving up on trying to get anything done.
<Yeah. They had to scrap the mission. Prince Eillon was so mad. When they got back, he started yelling at her, so of course she got upset and started morphing again. I felt bad for her, but it was pretty funny.>
<Where is she now?>
<The medics said nobody's allowed to stress her out until after she ejects the DNA. They're keeping her in medbay until then. I just want to know what we're going to do once—>
Visser Three dropped the memory. Allergic to DNA? That didn't even make sense. Stupid Andalite technology making up new stupid disorders.
Though with all the different creatures he'd acquired, he supposed he'd been lucky to avoid it for so long.
<Are you telling me this is going to keep happening?> demanded Visser Three.
<That's right,> said Alloran nastily. <You'll morph every time you lose control of your temper. In other words, every two minutes.>
<ARE YOU IMPLYING I HAVE NO SELF-CONTROL?>
"Visser," said the medic, drawing him out of his argument with his host. He was holding a medical scanner in his hand. "I've finished my examinations. There's nothing wrong with you."
<Yes. I know. I have determined the problem. My host is having an allergic reaction to a creature I acquired.> The grass-hunter? Most likely. Alloran seemed to agree.
"Well, usually in situations like this I advise switching to a new host until yours recovers," said the medic, setting his scanner down, "but I can't imagine you'd want that, in your unique situation."
<No. I will be fine. The spontaneous morphing should only occur when I am under stress.>
"Oh," said the medic. "Well, I have some medical oatmeal if—"
<No! I must be lucid! I have a date tonight!>
"Visser," began the medic hopelessly, "maybe you should reschedule and just focus on—"
"Okay," said the medic, backing down quickly.
Visser Three braced his hands on the edge of the medical cot and peered over the edge. It was at least three feet off the ground, and his legs were uncomfortably curled beneath his body.
<SOMEBODY GET ME DOWN FROM HERE RIGHT NOW.>
* * *
Rachel had always known the Chee were weird. They were ancient immortal robot alien dogs. That got them a lot of leeway. Plus they were so damn hard to argue with. Once they decided something, they never changed their minds.
Rachel was still maintaining that she was no less sane than any of the other Animorphs, and that the fact she had to go to therapy was discrimination.
"Discrimination against what?" asked Cassie as they walked from school to the King house.
"Discrimination against people they're jealous of. Obviously," said Rachel, shaking out her hair so it caught the sunlight. "I am so smart and beautiful and powerful that they can't stand it, so they're slandering me."
"That's definitely it," deadpanned Jake.
The stolen Bug fighter had been placed in the dog park underneath the King house. Nobody knew how the Chee had gotten it to fit through the front door. Anyway, the important thing was that now Ax had a safe place to make his repairs.
The fighter had been elevated up onto some cinderblocks. They found Ax lying on his side underneath with a bunch of tools strewn all around him. Not far from him, Mr. King was trying to wrestle a wrench away from one of the many dogs.
Jake knocked on the hull. "Hey. How's it coming?"
<Prince Jake!> Ax scrambled out with some difficulty. <I have been working diligently, but I will need more supplies to complete my repairs. We must exchange money for raw materials.>
"Okay. Write a list and we'll go shopping this weekend," said Jake.
<Excellent!> Ax began cleaning up his tools. <I look forward to our excursion to the titanium store.>
Jake said a bad word.
<But for now I wish to be under the sky again. It is not healthy to stay inside structures for as many hours as I have.>
"What? Oh, yeah, go, that's fine. You did great. You weren't working all day, were you?" Jake frowned.
<I took a break at noon to eat a sandwich with mustard and I also read a magazine of different types of grass, which Mr. King said I may keep for myself. I would like to visit the grass store, if it is on the way to the titanium store.>
"I'll, uh, see what I can do," said Jake.
"Rachel," Mr. King walked over with a slobber-covered wrench in one hand. "We're very happy you agreed to come."
"I didn't agree to anything—" Rachel began.
"We even bought a chaise lounge today," said Erek, "just for you."
"A what?" asked Rachel.
"It's one of those long sofas that you lie down on," translated Mr. King. "Very traditional."
Rachel considered this. She was pretty sure read books where rich ladies lay on chaises. In…boudoirs? Rachel was not sure what a boudoir was, or even how pronounce it because she'd only ever seen it written down but it sounded very glamorous. She had a sudden vision of herself being waited on by lots of robot servants while Mr. King listened to her complain about her problems. They would bring her drinks and sandwiches and maybe even do her homework because so much stress wasn't good for her mental health.
"I'll have a lemonade," said Rachel.
"What?" said Mr. King.
to be continued
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