It was a glorious spring day, the first of May by our parents reckoning. Weather was nice and warm, air was just right for flying. That I remember because I was up in the air when my parents, Uncle Jake, Uncle Marco, and Aunt Cassie were getting ready to leave. By getting ready to leave I mean worrying like ninnies about where I was. I had slipped away from my grandparents, and Serenity, earlier in the morning, and spent a great deal of time soaring above the valley lazily.
When I was born, or so my parents and everyone one else in the Valley tells me, I looked like a little angel. And no, I don't mean that figuratively. I was born with a pair of wings, coming out from my shoulders, which my uncle Ax theorized must be the byproduct of having a father who when unmorphed was a hawk. As I grew, my wings grew, and much to everyone's surprise, especially my uncle Ax with his superior knowledge of physics, my wings were capable of supporting my weight in flight.
But, outside of flight, my wings were just an annoyance. I could alter my form by morphing to take my form without wings, but I was not allowed to remain in it for long. My parents were worried I would lose the ability to morph as my father once did. So, instead, I would often clunk into things and knock down things because of my wings, and the homes built without my size in mind. Only in the Hork Bajir residences, and in Uncle Ax's was I free of this. There also was the issue of my clothing. Every shirt I owned had to have holes ripped where my wings were. My mother, especially, would gripe at every shirt we had to adjust in this way.
But it was not only my wings that I had gained from my father's true form. My eyes were much better, mixing the best of both human and hawk sight, as were my ears, and nose. The adults all told me I looked like my father when human, a form that I saw a great deal less than his hawkish one. I had the same kind of spiky brown hair, the same somewhat ashen skin, the same intense brown eyes. And, as I had learned from flights alongside him, the same love of the air.
So, on the first of May, the original Animorphs: Jake, Cassie, Marco, my mother Rachel, my father Tobias, and my great uncle Ax, were making arrangements with their parents and the Hork Bajir of the valley before venturing out for a strike against the known Yeerk Pool beneath the high school of their former town. It was a supplies run, first and foremost, but also a chance to gather recon and do a little damage against our foes. They were to be back by morning. If they weren't, the entire valley knew what to do. Scatter into the mountains, and regroup where the Bug Fighter the original six had taken head to head with Visser 1 Blade Ship years before. Serenity and I were never told what was to happen after this, all we knew is that we were to go there.
But, besides getting ready to leave, everyone was looking for me. I soared high above all their heads, just high enough to look like any other hawk from the ground. And I would have stayed pleasantly hidden high above, had my father not looked up.
There he is, I could here his thought speech voice despite being hundreds of feet above the ground. Goofing off soaring, as always.
"I resent that," I muttered, as I began my descent back to the ground.
I saw his beautiful plumage that of a red-tail hawk is his prime. The form he had taken as his permanently, a decision the longer I know my father the longer I think may have been the case. A decision, not an accident. As I landed, he took to the wing, and landed on my shoulder as I folded back my wings.
You know, you got your ears from me, he said plainly. I can hear you.
I shot him a dirty look, before walking up towards my mother. I bowed slightly, as my father leapt from my shoulder to hers.
My mother is beautiful, always has been, according to my father and my Uncle Jake, who is incidentally her cousin. Long blond hair, sharp, intense (though not as much as my father's) green eyes, tall, long build. My uncle Marco teases her calling her something like Zena … but I don't understand what he means.
The rest of the Animorphs stand near. Our leader, Jake, his wife and my aunt, Cassie, Marco, Jake's best friend, and my great uncle, by blood, Aximili – Esgarrouth – Isthill, an Andalite.
While Jake looks like my mother, and Cassie is dark but generally plain, and Marco has tan skin and a jesterlike apperance, Uncle Ax was something else. To me, it was perfectly normal to be seeing a centaurlike, completely blue furred, scorpion tailed, six fingered, no mouth, stalk eyes atop the head with slanted eyes body of an Andalite, specifically, as I learned later in life, the smallish one that was my father's uncle.
All stood, now obviously ready to leave, having found me.
"You are to stay grounded while we are gone, understood?" Uncle Jake was serious, making full eye contact with me. The You Better Listen look I liked to call it.
I nodded, flaring my wings with just a hint of mischief. "Will do, sir, and keep an eye on Serenity to boot."
"If you do that," Uncle Marco chimed in, I already knowing what would happen from the thousands of time we had played through this. "Make sure you keep a door open and all four feet planted."
"Yes, Uncle Marco," I groaned. I knew what they meant, though. Serenity and I only had one another, and were human teenagers. Even though we felt like brother and sister, best of friends, our instincts couldn't be trusted.
I still don't understand that saying, Uncle Ax's familiar thought speech entered all of our minds, as he turned with the other adults and began the walk out towards the exit of the glade in which we hid.
I smiled despite my self, pulled my wings in tight, and headed into the log cabin that was the communal building of the entire population of the Valley.
Despite my expectations, there was no one around the great table, nor in the chairs near the fireplace on the side farthest from me. With a great sigh I walked across the room, my back and neck tired from the hours of soaring. Flying is fun until you have to come down.
One chair near the fire place has two great ruts in it equally spaced apart. It was this that I walked to, and slowly slid into, my wings entering the ruts to be supported by the chair and not me, as well as allowing me to sink without damaging my feathers.
I should really preen, I thought as the fire of the fireplace's heat washed over me, making my tiredness envelop me, my eyes drooping slowly. Nah, I decided, as my eyes shut, falling deep into sleep instantly.