My name is Marco. Yeah that's right. The Marco, Marco Rodriguez, Marco the Animorph. It was a dumb mission, a very dumb mission in a long history of dumb missions. Of course that meant it was being done for the right reasons.
We had stolen one of the Yeerk prototype ships that had been left in orbit. By "we" I meant the Animorphs. The new team consisted of me, my best bud Jake Berenson, and Tobias Fangor. We also had with us Janine Gerard, and Sergeant Mitchell Santorelli. And an Andalite Nothlit trapped in human morph named Medernash-Postil-Fostil.
Cassie Freeman had stayed behind on earth. That was Jake's call, not mine, but I think it was the right call.
"Transfer power to the engines," Jake said. "Ram the Blade ship"
"Jake, buddy," I said cautiously, "Are you sure that's what you want to do?"
"It's our only option," Jake said. Medernash immediately powered the ship up and charged. There was a massive shudder throughout the whole ship. The screen went blank. Ax's mutated face was no longer visible.
"Damage report," I yelled. Medernash responded in thought-speak. (We've lost auxiliary thrusters, communications and we're venting atmosphere on C and D decks,) The Andalite nothlit turned and smiled at me. (Other than that, Marco we are fine.)
"What about the Blade ship?" Jake demanded. Tobias fluttered over to a nearby consol.
(It's dead in the water,) he said. (They took more damage than we did.)
"That's good right?" Janine said.
"Depends," I said grinning. "It depends on what Jake says next."
"Prepare to board the Blade Ship," Jake said as he got to his feet.
"Like that," I said, "That's not good, in fact that's insane! God I miss the action sometimes."
Janine smiled and winked at me. Dang she was cute. Then she turned and moved toward the hatch door.
"Docking procedure commencing," Medernash said. "We are now attached to the Blade ship."
"Oh goody" I said sarcastically.
"Janine, Mitchell," Jake said as he joined them at the airlock. "What was the first assignment I gave you?"
"Acquire the three B's sir," Santorelli responded. "Bird, Battle, Bug."
"Good," Jake said. "Refresh my memory. What are your battle morphs?"
"I have a Komodo Dragon," Santorelli said. Janine smiled that supermodel smile of hers. "Snow Leopard, is that good?"
"It'll have to do," I said. "Suit up, we're headed for battle."
I focused my mind on the image of Big Jim the Gorilla. He'd been my battle morph for so long. In fact Big Jim had been my first morph. We'd been through a lot together that gorilla and I.
"Hope this isn't my last battle," I muttered as the morph overtook my human body.
Tobias was morphing too. He'd become large and white, a polar bear. Tobias's homage to Rachel, a bear morph.
I saw Medernash watching Tobias morph. They were so alike, Tobias and Medernash, both nothlits but Tobias could morph. Medernash could not.
(Let's put some tail into them,) Medernash said in thought-speak. He raised a shredder and slipped up behind the menagerie that was us. A Siberian Tiger, an African Silverback Gorilla, a Snow Leopard, a Polar Bear, and a Komodo dragon.
(Just like old times eh?) I said.
Jake said nothing to me. (Medernash, open the door.)
The former Andalite nodded and pressed the red square to the right of the doorway. It slid open and the six of us stepped through the airlock to the Blade ship.
I'm not sure what I expected, because it certainly wasn't what we saw. There were brown vines or roots or something covering the walls like a network of spider-webs. The vines somehow managed to miss the doors and moved around them. They covered the floors too, although you couldn't see them, I felt them under my feet. There was a white mist layer, about and inch thick that covered the floor. It smelled like ammonia to my Gorilla nose.
(Well that's unusual,) Tobias said, bending down and sniffing the floor with his polar bear nose.
(This is rather unexpected,) Medernash said. (The bridge is this way, that's where War-Prince Aximilli will be….I hope.)
(All right then,) I said. (Let's go rescue the Ax-man.)
We moved through the corridor slowly, however after we turned the first corner we were greeted with a sight that one does not usually see on an alien spaceship: a cape buffalo.
(Uh oh!) Jake yelped as he dodged the enormous bovine. It slammed into me and I grasped its horns. A buffalo and a gorilla wrestling. HA! Let's see them show that on the Discovery Chanel.
The buffalo's momentum slammed me up against the wall. It wasn't enough momentum to kill me though. I twisted my arms and overturned the cow. Santorelli moved surprisingly fast and sliced the buffalo through the stomach with his Komodo dragon claws.
(Com' on let's MOVE,) he said. I clambered over the dying buffalo and followed the others into the bridge of the Blade ship.
On the bridge was where the real fight began. We charged in, the Ax-man was there all right. Still warped and mutated a red rimmed mouth at the bottom of his delicate Andalite face. His left arm was different too. It had warped into something like an enormous pincer.
"You cannot resist," he said calmly. "You will all be a part of me, you pathetic creatures you."
(I think not,) I said. That's when the attack came. A pair of lionesses leapt onto my back, and something that looked like a Hork-Bajir attacked Jake. With my gorilla strength I pulled the big cats off of me and bashed their heads together. I saw Santorelli grappling with the Hork-Bajir out of the corner of my eye, but it was not my primary concern.
I moved closer to Ax.
"You fool!" The One said using Ax's mouth. "Resistance is useless. I am The One! You shall be part of me."
(Save it for the Villain of the Year awards,) I snapped, I swung my hand and slapped Ax. He went down like a piñata. I hefted him up by his tail and swung him over my shoulder. I turned towards Jake to tell him mission accomplished when a large white furry animal slammed into me hard.
(Tobias, man.) I yelped. (What the Hell?)
(It wasn't me man,) Tobias said. I glanced at the thing that hit me. It was a polar bear, but it was not a polar bear. I mean, by all appearances it could have been a polar bear, except for the blades. It had Hork-Bajir blades coming out of every part of its body that corresponded with a Hork-Bajir blade.
(He's mine,) Tobias said.
(We've got a score to settle,) Jake said, as the Tiger and the polar bear circled the "polar-bajir".
(Be my guests,) I said. (Me and the Ax-man here, though, we've got a date with The Rachel. Janine, Santorelli, you coming?)
I glanced over at them. They stood over a pair of dead lionesses, and a dead Hork-Bajir—ish thing.
(Ready,) Santorelli said. The three of us bolted down the hallway, by the way, they don't look it, but Komodo dragons are fast. Ax slung over my shoulder, we rushed back into the airlock that lead to The Rachel. Medernash was already on board and waiting for us.
"We have a problem," he said.
(What?) Jake demanded. I dropped Ax into a heap on the floor and turned around. Jake was bloody and bruised. Tobias's white fur was so red that at first glance you would have thought that he was supposed to be red. His left forepaw was missing. Sliced clean off.
The airlock rushed closed.
"We have detached from the Blade Ship," Medernash said. "But the ship is still operating on its own."
"How?" Jake asked, semi-demorphed. "We killed everyone on the bridge. There's no way that ship should still be operating."
The screen came on and we saw the Blade ship turning towards us. We were now completely demorphed.
"The Blade ship is powering weapons, and our auxiliary thrusters are still out. We're sitting ducks my Prince."
A small light on the pilot's consol began blinking, Medernash turned and examined it. "A Z-Space window is opening approximately one light-year from our present location. A ship is exiting. I am unfamiliar with the design."
The screen split in half to reveal another ship appearing out of the Z-Space window. It looked like a giant blue manta ray. It had three "stingers" where the manta stinger would be. It propelled itself through space by spinning these three "stingers" like propellers. It had two domes on top that were clearly "eyes" or windows. It was larger than The Rachel and the Blade ship, but smaller than a Pool ship or an Andalite Dome ship. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it.
The Blade ship suddenly panicked. It turned and pulled away opening a Z-Space window and disappearing into the blank nothingness of Zero-Space.
"The unknown ship is hailing us," Medernash said, "Audio only."
Jake nodded. A thick deep voice speaking English played through the ships speakers.
"This is Commander Pel-Tak of the Kelbrid assault vessel Ananias. Hailing the Animorph vessel The Rachel. Are you in need of assistance?"