My name is Jake. I can't tell you my last name or where I live. I wish I could because that would mean I was just a normal kid. Though, I'm hardly a normal kid anymore. That stopped the night a dying Andalite prince gave my four friends and me the power to change our shape.
We're the only fighting force on Earth standing up against the Yeerk invasion. Five teenaged kids, one of them trapped in the body of a hawk, and an alien. Ax is the only surviving member of an Andalite Dome ship that was fighting the Yeerks above Earth. It was his brother that gave us the power to morph. Gave his life to save us. Now we fight.
Six kids against hundreds of human-controllers, which are humans infested by Yeerks. Those are gray slugs that take over your brain and control your body. There are also Taxxons, Hork-Bajir and Visser Three himself. Visser Three is the Yeerk in charge of Earth's invasion. The only Yeerk to infest an Andalite body. It was enough to make a normal person curl up and cry. But, like I said, we weren't quite normal anymore.
Which was why, for just a few moments I was trying to focus on the video game in front of me and ignore Marco's comments.
"Hey, Jake!" Marco said, "You better pay attention because I'm about to kick your butt!"
"I don't think so!" I replied with a laugh, "Looks like I just passed you."
"What? No way."
Marco became so absorbed in the game that he failed to notice Tobias land on the open windowsill.
Who's winning? Tobias asked.
"Aaah!" Marco exclaimed in reaction to Tobias' arrival. Then he looked at the screen and groaned.
I assume that means Marco WAS winning. Tobias commented.
I turned the game off and looked at Tobias. Somehow his appearance made me nervous. I was getting the feeling that he was not there for a friendly chat.
"What's up, Tobias?" I asked. "This isn't a casual visit, is it?"
I wish it were, Tobias replied. I'm gathering up everyone. Meet at the woods by Cassie's barn.
"When?" Marco asked.
Now. Tobias replied as he flew away.
"Man," sighed Marco, "I was hoping to go through at least one day without hearing the words Yeerk or mission."
Marco motioned toward the window. "Shall we?"
"No," I said, "My parents, remember? We have to walk."
If Marco and I just suddenly vanished from my room there would be suspicion all around. Especially if Tom caught word. Tom, my older brother, is a controller, so I can't afford to take any risks.
The walk to Cassie's barn was done in silence. I suppose both Marco and I were trying to figure out what the commotion was all about. Tobias had seemed pretty agitated and the way he had said "now" made me want to freak out. This was something serious.
Rachel was already in the barn, she's my cousin and people say she's really pretty. Though Rachel has the mind of a warrior. Marco calls her Xena to grate her nerves, but maybe he's right.
Cassie, as usual, was tending to animals in cages. I try to keep it from the others but I like Cassie. As in like. Cassie's parents are veterinarians. Her father runs a clinic in the barn and Cassie helps out with that a lot. She's also the best morpher in the group.
"Good, you're here," Rachel said. "Now let's go find out what Tobias called us for."
"Whatever it is," Cassie said, "it already worries me."
I nodded in agreement as we walked toward the woods where we would meet Ax and Tobias.
The woods are the only real safe place to hide Ax. Andalites tend to stand out in a crowd of humans. A mix of a blue-tan centaur and scorpion with more fingers and eyes than usual, oh and no mouth, Andalites get noticed.
When we arrived in the woods, Ax was already there. For some reason that concerned me most of all. Usually we had to wait a minute or two for Ax to arrive.
Prince Jake, everyone, Ax greeted us
For the moment I didn't bother to remind Ax not to call me Prince Jake. At that moment I had noticed we weren't entirely alone. Erek was also there, that had to mean trouble.
Erek is a member of a race called the Chee. They're androids that resemble dogs. They were made by an extinct race called the Pemelites. They are also completely non-violent.
"What's up, Erek?" Marco asked. They sort of knew each other.
"Nothing good," Erek said. "I apologize for rushing you, but this is important."