Title: The Lost Son of War

Pairings: Rachel/Tobias, Jake/Cassie

Disclaimer: I don't own Animorphs or the characters. I do own the two Andalites Maril and Erithin.

Summary: In an alternate universe where Elfangor never died and the Animorphs never gained the morphing power, Tobias is about to have his whole world rocked. Who knew a trip to the lawyer's office could be this exciting?



Prologue: Pilot Down


When the Andalite Dome ship had come out of Z-space they had expected maybe a few Yeerk Bug fighters., a dozen at most, and had so sent a number of fighter pilots according to that estimate. But they had underestimated the Yeerk forces on the blue and green planet orbiting below them and had been severely outnumbered. The Dome ship had been hit and was currently falling to pieces as the fighter pilots continued to fight a losing battle.

(Fighter 2! Come in Fighter 2!) Elfangor yelled as he attempted to swerve his ship out of the way of an incoming Bug fighter.

(This is Fighter 2) a voice answered faintly, as if from far away. There was an undercurrent of panic to the thought-voice that was just barely kept under control as he continued, (I've been hit. Losing engine power and going down.)

(What about Fighter 10?) Elfangor tried, needing to know that he at least had some fighters still out there. In front of him, a Bug fighter swerved into view and shot a Dracon beam in his direction. He just barely swerved out of the way in time and returned fire, hitting the side of the Bug fighter where the engine was usually kept. It burst into flames and fell away only to be replaced by two more. (Fighter 6?) he shouted as he tried to dodge a simultaneous shot from the two Bug fighters. One shot hit his ship and he was thrown forward into the controls only to regain control of his ship in barely enough time to maneuver it successfully out of the way of the next blast. The shot had probably scorched a dark line on the outside of his ship but that was little damage compared to what it could have been.

(This is Fighter 12) came the answer, but not from whom he had expected. He thought he'd seen Fighter 12 go down in flames at the very beginning but apparently not. (Fighter 10 is gone and I last saw Fighter 6 going down hard. What are your orders?)

Elfangor thought fast. Everything was confusion. He couldn't see any of his men. All he could see was the ocean of Bug fighters still approaching and he knew that his small forces couldn't take them. Maybe if the Dome ship had still been active, but from what he'd last seen of that ship he couldn't expect any help from them. He thought fleetingly of his younger brother Aximili who had probably been in the Dome part of the ship when it went down and was probably now dead, but that thought passed quickly in lieu of the present fight. What could he do? (Retreat! I order all surviving forces to retreat now!)

And with that, Elfangor followed his own orders and turned tail and fled the scene. The important thing wasn't to go down fighting, it was to stay alive to fight another day. The Yeerks could have this battle.

But the Yeerks wanted more than this battle. They wanted every Andalite force dead and so they chased after Elfangor and his men even as they retreated.

Dodging a blast from a Dracon beam, Elfangor attempted to lose his three followers, dodging this way and that. Turning around momentarily, he shot two of the three out of the sky, but then had to turn back to his entry into the Earth's atmosphere, having to slow some as he started his descent.

Tearing through the sky toward the dark side of the planet, the remaining Bug fighter kept on his tail, shooting blasts that Elfangor did his best to dodge. One hit the back of his ship and the right engine burst into flame. That would make his descent somewhat harder, but he could still do it. Remembering at the last moment to flick on his cloaking device so that no Yeerks or humans could detect him, he swerved left and skimmed the clouds in the sky. The burnt out engine was causing him problems and he moved in jotting bursts. Attempting to get as far as possible he eventually fell from the sky and crashed into the floor of a meadow.

Thrown off his hooves and into the computer, the whole ship rocked violently, turning over on itself so that Elfangor bounced off the computer and fell down onto the ceiling, which was now the floor, and lay there for a few moments, dazed. Eventually, he got control of his limbs, the necessity of movement making him push past the pain in his entire body.

Slowly, painfully slowly, he climbed to his hooves and took stock. He was bleeding from a head wound just below his left eye-stalk, which was broken, and he probably had some broken ribs, but he would survive. His ship would not. The force of the landing had crushed half of it and the other half would be useless without the first half. No matter. First he had to survive the Yeerks and then he could worry about how he would get back up into space.

Hearing the sound of the Bug fighter that had been following him land neatly not too far away, Elfangor grabbed his shredder from the floor where it had fallen out of its drawer and went to the door, where he waited. Eventually the Controllers outside would get curious, maybe expecting him to be lying crushed on the floor of his own ship, and they would approach and then he would surprise them.

There was the sound of branches crunching under the foot of one of the Controllers and then the sound of hushed human voices coming from very close by. Finally one of the Controllers raised their voice and called out, "Andalite! We know you're in there! Come on out and we'll let you live!"

So they didn't know which Andalite they had. That was good. Elfangor knew that Visser Three personally had it out for him and he did not want to be alone with that monster while injured. He didn't answer their call.

They tried again. "Andalite scum! Come out peacefully or we'll shoot." The speaker's companion chuckled at this, which told Elfangor all he needed to know. They were going to shoot whether he came out peacefully or not. Not that he had any plans to come out of hiding.

Finally they grew impatient and curious and there came the sound of the two human Controllers approaching. "Is he even in there?" one asked as the other, a blonde human woman, stupidly peeked her head into the ship. Elfangor immediately shot his weapon, taking off the woman's head, and the other was instantly on alert. He jumped into the ship and began shooting wildly.

Elfangor, as quickly as he could with broken ribs, ducked out of the way of a shot and then another and then rushed forward at the Controller and swung his tail around faster then the human Controller could blink and lobbed off his head, but not before getting brushed by Dracon fire on his arms and left haunches.

The Controller dead, Elfangor mentally sighed in relief, dropping his shredder and turning to the task of quickly bandaging himself and then disappearing. His cloaking device wasn't working anymore so he would need to move fast before any other Yeerks could follow the path of Yeerk ship outside right to him.

And as he loped into the woods bordering the meadow, he had no clue how long it would be before he would see his home planet again.