Six Days The Animorphs Were Idiots
The Day Jake Got So Wasted: Part One
<Prince Jake! Wake up! Prince Jake!>
The familiar voice ripped Jake from his sleep immediately. He sat bolt upright in his bed. It was still dark out, but he could just make out the form of a hawk perched in his open window.
"Wha…Ax?" he said, immediately fearing the worst. "What happened? What's wrong? Is someone hurt?"
<No, all is well.> Ax actually sounded excited. <I have come to tell you that I have completed my work on the Bug fighter and we will now travel to the homeworld!>
Jake waited for his pulse to stop racing. Then he glanced over at his alarm clock, the numbers glowing red in the darkness.
"It's two-thirty in the morning, Ax."
<I am aware of the hour, Prince Jake.>
"Then get out of my house."
<But Prince Jake…>
Jake fought to keep his voice low, knowing he could not risk waking his family. "Look, I get that you're excited. But it's the middle of the week. It's Wednesday. We have school tomorrow. Today. Whatever. We'll go to the homeworld on Friday, once we get a cover story set up with our parents."
<The others have already agreed to depart now. We have packed supplies. We are waiting for you.>
"What did you just say?"
<I said, the others have already—>
"You planned a trip to the homeworld and didn't tell me?" Jake's voice became an almost inaudible hiss. He was pretty sure he was still asleep and this whole thing was a dream brought on by the insanity of the past week.
<My apologies, Prince Jake. Princess Rachel believed that it would be for the best that you be informed last, and she made a compelling argument.>
That was not comforting, but it wasn't the point that Jake's brain immediately honed in on. "What did you just call Rachel?"
Ax shifted nervously. <Princess Rachel. Princess Rachel-Naomi-Berenson. With dashes. She refuses to be addressed as anything else.>
And now he had a migraine. "…when did this start?"
<Last night, I believe.>
"I don't get it."
<I do not either, I confess. But she became agitated when I pressed her, so I decided it was most prudent to leave her to her madness.>
Jake put his face in his palms. "And you're seriously telling me that everyone else is just waiting for me to show up and then we'll leave?"
<Yes, Prince Jake. We hope to lift off within the hour. Erek and I already tested the fighter, it is quite capable of carrying us to Andalite space.>
"I can't believe this."
<I advise that you bring some artificial skin, and perhaps something to consume. We shall be in Z-space for several hours.>
"Ax. We are not. Going. To the homeworld. It will blow our cover for sure."
<Princess Rachel said that you might say that. She gave me a message to pass on if that was the case.>
"I don't want to hear it."
<She said, Jake, we are going with or without you so either stop dicking around and put on a nice shirt or enjoy sitting in school tomorrow all alone knowing that the rest of us are having an awesome time in outer space.>
"Very compelling," said Jake sarcastically. He rubbed his forehead. "Where is everyone?"
<Erek has returned the fighter to its original landing spot, near Cassie's home.>
"Alright. Fine. Let me grab some stuff. Tell everyone I'll be there soon. And that I'm mad."
Jake waited for Ax to leave. Then, with shaking hands, he opened his backpack and took out one of his school notebooks. He turned to a blank page and switched on his desk light and began to write in big, bold letters.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have not been kidnapped. Don't worry. I am safe and I will see you soon.
Jake hesitated. Then he ripped the page out and started over.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have not been kidnapped. Try not to worry. I am mostly safe and I will probably see you soon.
Okay, that was not better.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I'm not here, but I will try to come back as soon as possible. I have to take care of some stuff. Trust me, it's really important. But if I don't come back, I just want you to know that I
No. No. No. Jake ripped the page to shreds and ate the pieces.
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have to go take care of something important. I will try to come back as soon as possible. I love you a lot.
* * *
"AW YEAH ROAD TRIP!" yelled Marco.
"Keep it down!" hissed Cassie. "You'll wake up the animals. Some of them are on very strict schedules!"
<We are never ever ever going to all fit in here,> reported Tobias. He was examining the inside of the bug fighter from Princess Rachel's wrist, which was made possible by the gigantic leather glove she'd stolen from Cassie's barn.
"Maybe we can all take turns morphing something small," said Cassie. "I have a squirrel. And Rachel, you have a cat. Marco and Jake both have dogs. Ax can watch the time."
Cassie glanced at Ax. Currently he could not hold still, and pranced from one spot to another constantly, like a restless child. She thought it was pretty cute. Ax seldom showed extreme emotions in his Andalite form. They'd sent him to get Jake, hoping it would burn off some of his energy, but now he was back and just as excited as ever.
It was a little while before Jake arrived on foot with his school backpack full of supplies. As he entered the cleaning, everyone went quiet and looked at him, obviously waiting for some sort of outburst.
"So," Jake said. "I hope you guys realize that our cover is basically blown."
"Hi Jake!" said Cassie brightly. "Put your bag with the others. We'll make space somehow." She indicated a rather large pile of assorted boxes and bags near the base of the ship. Also, Marco was sitting on top of a gigantic blue rolling cooler.
"Do we really need that much food? How long are we gonna be in space for?" asked Jake.
"That big one's not for us. It's for the Andalites," Cassie explained.
<I believe that convincing a high-ranking Andalite to take human form and experience the sensation of taste could be instrumental in winning them over to our side,> said Ax.
"It's mostly soda and ice cream," said Cassie.
Well. Hopefully the history books would skim over that particular detail.
"Okay," said Jake. "I'm glad that you guys put so much effort into this. I just have one problem. And it's kind of a big one. Okay?"
"Here we go," muttered Marco. Cassie went to Jake and hugged his arm.
"You went behind my back," said Jake, not pacified at all by Cassie's touch. "How the hell—I mean—I thought—guys! Come on! We're a team! We don't keep secrets!"
"You've been so worried lately," said Cassie. "We thought you needed a rest."
"And we knew you'd bitch and whine about security the whole time, so we decided to leave you out until the end," said Rachel. Cassie glared at her.
"It's going to be crowded," said Princess Rachel. "Erek cleared out some space, but this thing was not built for seven."
"I had an idea, though," said Cassie.
"Do we really need all this stuff, though?" asked Jake. He went to a gigantic paper shopping bag, expecting to see lots of junk food or maybe clean socks. But for some reason it was filled with…
Wait. Not built for seven? There were only six Animorphs.
"Toby," said Jake flatly. On cue, the young Hork-Bajir dropped down from the trees above.
"Hello, Jake," said the Hork-Bajir. Jake turned to the others.
"She's coming with us?" It wasn't really a question, but he had to ask.
"Of course I am," said Toby primly. "This ship was designed for a Hork-Bajir pilot. You cannot stay in morph for the entire journey. Besides, I wish to speak to the Andalites as well."
Jake wasn't sure what to say to that, other than it was very likely they would all be smothered to death inside the fighter. Assuming they could even get the doors shut.
"So can we go now?" asked Marco. "Or did Jake want to stand around being indignant some more?"
"Well, that depends. Does anybody else want to come along?" demanded Jake. "A few Chee, maybe? A free Taxxon that I don't know about, because apparently we're not telling me things anymore? A representative from the Yeerk Peace movement?"
"Oooh, that's a good idea!" said Cassie.
"Just get in the ship!"
to be continued.
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