I was an avid reader of Animorphs when I was little, but didn't read them in order and wasn't able to get any of the books past book 30. So, around ten years later, I decided I should read them again and judge them for myself (I was far too young to know whether or not they were good, back then). I was captivated by nearly every book. But when I got to "The Beginning," I decided not to read the "two years later" section when everyone but Cassie randomly gets sucked into another war and it just ends. Even in stopping where I did, all I could think was "unsatisfactory." Thus, I am here. If you were dissatisfied, which I'm sure hundreds were, you can read this and know that this is what actually happened:

(For some reason fanfiction ignores my thought speak markers, so I've had to use something else.)


The Victorious

Chapter 1


I waited in horror, trapped as Visser One cut down James's troops one by one. If I demorphed, I would die. Accomplish nothing. And Marco was minutes away.

Too far away.

"Visser, they're taking cover!" The human controller shouted.

{Can you get a lock on their new positions?}

"…negative, Visser."

Visser One growled. He flicked his bladed tail.

{Fine. Let's make them watch as their fellow humans burn in their place. Set Dracon cannons for maximum dispersal. I want to enjoy this.}

"Dracon cannon configured, Visser."



{Ah, the humans have begun to notice, eh? Ah hah hah! Look how they squirm!}

"They will suffer one hundred percent casualties in thirty seconds."

{Marco!} I cried.

{We got it!} he answered.

{Then do it! Now!}

{They burn, they burn!} the Visser exulted.

Finally, "Visser, the helm is not answering."

{What do you mean the helm is not answering? We're drifting off-target! Get us back over the target!}

"Helm is unresponsive, Visser!"

He bounded over to the helmsman's position and seized the controls himself. I had a perfect view.

{Engineering! That fool in engineering must have…}

I could practically see the wheels turning in his brain. I could almost see the thought process, as one by one the clues fell into place.

{They are on board! Visser One shouted, aghast. They're here. They're on board! They sacrificed the girl and used her to get on board!}

He still hadn't quite gotten it, but he was getting there. He still had not figured out that Tom had betrayed him.

"Visser, we appear to be heading toward a low orbit."

{I can see that!} Visser One raged. {Do we still have communications?}


{Then raise the Blade ship. Order it to approach. If necessary it can fire to disable our engines.}

It was almost too perfect. Visser one was actually going to invite Tom to approach. He was all but sealing his own doom.

{I want every Hork-Bajir who can stand to meet me outside engineering,} he said.

He was trembling. I could feel it so clearly. I savored his fear and rage. I had watched, helpless, while he murdered over half of James's people. Watched while he gloated and turned his beams General Doubleday and his army to fry them like ants under a magnifying glass.

Now I wanted him to feel afraid.

{This ends now,} he said harshly.

And silently I replied, Yes, it does.


The next few minutes were a blur. Battle. War. The same blur that I'd been living for the past three years. I know you're familiar with the details – I've said them time and again, and frankly I'm getting tired. I can still taste the Hork-Bajir blood in my mouth. Suffice it to say that in the fight we scored the greatest victory in the war, and I got stuck with the weight of seventeen thousand deaths on my shoulders.

You heard me right. When we found the Yeerk pool in the center of the ship, Ax got into the computer and told me he could flush the liquid into space – and the Yeerks with it. I only hesitated for a second before giving him the order. Seventeen thousand slugs froze solid in a millisecond, drifting dead in orbit.

When I had met up with the others I had to tell them my full plan.

"Oh, Jake…" Cassie cried.

{You son of a…} Tobias began. {You arrogant, ruthless… What have you done? What have you done?}

"I can't let him get away," I said dully. "Tom's Yeerk… A Blade ship, probably the morphing cube? You were right, Cassie. I can't let that happen."

Right before the fight Tobias fixed his glare on me.

{Don't let her die. Find a way, Jake. Don't you let her die.}


{Erek!} I raged in thought-speak. {Stop draining power from the Dracon beams!}

Nothing happened.

{Erek, I know you think you're doing the right thing, but you're making it worse!}

Visser one sighed, glaring at us.

{My one consolation is that when the traitor murders me with my own ship, it will at least finally be the end of you!}

We were on the bridge. Visser One was cornered. The Blade ship was hovering in front us out on the viewscreen, in perfect position for us to shoot out its engines.

And Erek was going to end up killing us all.

"Targeting the Blade ship's starboard engine. We are ready to fire," one of the humans reported.

Visser One waved a lazy hand.


On the screen I saw the beam reach out through space. Once. Twice. Both missed.

The Blade ship reacted swiftly to avoid the slow retargeting of the Pool ship's big Dracon cannon.

The Blade ship fired. The explosion reverberated through the ship.

"Engine number one is destroyed, Visser."

The Blade ship fired again. Again.

Two more explosions.

"We are without propulsion, Visser."

{Yes. I noticed that,} Visser One said. {No engines. And all our brothers in the pool murdered by these humans.}

"We are being hailed."

{Of course,} Visser one muttered. {By all means. We must play it out.}

It was Tom's face that appeared on the screen. And Tom's voice that spoke. But the smug, hard, derisive tone was that of a Yeerk.

"You seem to be experiencing some engine trouble, Visser," Tom gloated.

{The Empire will track you down and kill you; you do understand that, I hope?}

"Oh, I doubt it. I think the Empire will have its hands full. The Andalite fleet is rather close by. It's possible that I misled you on that point."

Then he caught sight of me.

His face paled. His eyes went wide. All at once, he knew.

"You're not dead!"

{I noticed the same thing,} Visser One said dryly.

Tom snapped an order to his crew. "Bring us around to target the Pool ship's bridge. Do it! Now! Now! Bring us around!"

Jake, Tobias said, pleading, knowing, but pleading anyway.

{Rachel…} I said. {Go.}


I felt shade. Absence of light. Distance from vibration. No scent of blood.

I was a flea.

Was I in a safe place? Surely not, but maybe safe enough.

I began a slow, cautious demorph.

I heard a yell.

"Bring us around to target the Pool ship's bridge!" Tom. "Do it! Now! Now! Bring us around!"

I was now fully human. At that moment I could have morphed all the way to elephant without being noticed. Tom's panic was infectious. They all knew they'd been had.

But they didn't know how. Tom's reaction was pure instinct: shoot at the Pool ship, destroy the Animorphs and the Visser in one shot.

The danger was closer than that. I was already morphing to grizzly.

Jake looked at me. Like he knew I was watching him.

{Rachel,} he said. {Go.}

Rachel… Tobias said.

{I know, Tobias. I know,} I answered.

I was still not completely morphed when someone shrieked.


After all these years of the yeerks thinking we were Andalites, always yelling "Andalite!" whenever they saw a morph. It was strangely gratifying that at last they knew who we were.

I said, {That's right, genius: Animorph.}

I did what I do better than anyone. What Jake counted on me to do.

I attacked.

I charged right for Tom, an express train of fur and muscle. Before he even had time to blink I slammed into him and bashed him against the viewscreen. It wasn't enough to kill him, but I had to damage the ship, keep it from firing at Jake and the others.

Fire seared my right flank, but it didn't faze me. Pain was something that could be dealt with later.

"No Dracons!" Tom shrieked. "You'll damage the ship! Morph! Morph, you idiots!"

I swung at Tom, and it should have been all over then. But I missed. He dropped and I missed. He crawled underneath me. I slashed and laid his back open, but it wasn't enough to stop him. He staggered towards the exit.

The others were morphing around me. Tom was only one. If I killed him, and died for it, the others could still pilot the ship. I turned to the closest one with a roar. I didn't care what Jake said. Whether it made me like a Yeerk or not, I was going to kill them mid-morph.


I lumbered at the first one and clobbered the side of his head. I heard the bones crunch. He crumpled, a half-formed mutant thing. I turned and slashed another, then jumped on him and crushed his cow-shaped face in. He stopped moving.

I saw Tom himself starting to morph, but there were still more I had to worry about. And they were almost done. One was most definitely a polar bear. I had only seconds before his powerful arms had muscled up, and then I'd be facing my equal in combat.

I charged and slammed into him with my shoulder like a linebacker.

We tumbled. He rolled twice, landing on his stomach. And I did something that no bear would do: I climbed on his back, wrapped my arms around his neck, wrapped a claw to the other side of his head, and jerked.


I got off his body and turned to face the rest. I was facing a leopard, two lionesses, and…

I couldn't find Tom.

I growled.

For a wondrous, frozen moment we all waited, stared, breathed, tensed expectant.

I felt…

I felt exalted.

It was my moment. This was my place and my time and my own perfection.

I wasn't afraid. Weird. If I'd had a mouth I'd have smiled.

{Well?} I said.

No one moved.

{Scared?} I asked.

No answer.

{You should be,} I said, almost laughing.

I lunged. The lionesses jumped to the side, then leapt at me.

One sunk her fangs into my foreleg, snarling like a crazed alley cat. The other got onto my back, trying to bite my neck – a waste of time. No one bites through a grizzly's fur.

I got my weight underneath me and shook like a dog. The first lioness flew off my arm. I swung at her but she was too fast. I spun and threw off the second one. I leapt forward and pinned it down. It looked up at me and roared. I bit its neck and shook it like a rag doll. When I took my bloody fangs out of its neck it was still, its eyes wide and staring.

There was only one lioness left. But I was missing something. Something nagged at me.

{Tom!} Jake yelled. {Rachel, look out for Tom!}

What was he talking about?

Something pricked my forepaw. I jerked. A cobra reared back, his hood flared.


He'd just killed me.

I snarled. The lioness snarled and leaped at me. I roared and slashed my claws through her abdomen. She screamed. The world began to blur. Fire started moving up my paw like a river of pain. I bent down and ripped out the lioness's throat.

Another spike. Tom bit me again. I staggered. There was so much blood on the floor…

I collapsed. My vision swam. Something brown waved into view in front of my eyes. A hood flared. A hiss.

"Rachel." A new voice in the distance.


I turned my head. In this new dim light, through the fog of the spreading poison, I saw the viewscreen. I saw my best friends. I saw Cassie. Jake. Marco, funny Marco. Ax.


He had morphed. He was his human self once more. He'd done that for me. And because he was crying. I understood. Humans cry, hawks don't.

"I love you," he murmured, his voice breaking.

Tom struck me again, his fangs sinking into my cheek. I didn't even jerk away.

How could so much sweetness and so much sadness all be present in that single moment? I was already dead and missing my unlived life. I was already dead and Tobias was mourning.


Not today.


{Die, Yeerk!} I screamed. I lunged with all my strength and sunk my teeth into the snake. I broke him. His blood filled my mouth.

Darkness closed around me as he went still. My nose melted. My body shrank down. Fur disappeared. Muscles re-shaped. Bones creaked and cracked.

And out of the darkness that invaded my sight, a new vision formed.

I saw light. I saw light above me.

I felt the cold metal under my stomach.

I was human.

And I was alive.


How's that for a start? PLEASE review if you like it, so I'll know to keep going!