Sorry that I took my sweet time writing this. One excuse I have is that my computer has an issue with overheating so if I have a document up and it overheats it shuts down and I lose what wasn't saved. So it was in the shop for a few days and I warred with myself for a few other days but finally here's the last chapter of Part 5!
/Jara Hamee, Ket Halpak, what would you do if the Yeerks tried to retake you?/ Arbron asked.
"Free or dead!" Jara Hamee yelled.
"Free or dead!" Ket Halpak agreed.
/Give me liberty or give me death./ Jake said.
/Patrick Henry,/ I supplied.
/You can demorph./ Arbron said. /If we are to help them then we must reveal our true forms to them./ He told us.
I landed and pictured myself.
I felt myself changing and within moments I was myself again.
When I was finished Aximili was holding a box of granola bars in his hands.
Without thinking I snatched the box out of his hands and pawed through the box before I discovered that they were all the same type.
Sighing I selected one and handed the box to Jake.
It was then that I noticed that Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak were laughing.
"You are human!" Jara Hamee said between laughs.
"Most of us yes." Cassie said as she walked on unsteady legs over to Rachel; who now had the box of granola bars.
"Yeerks wrong then." Ket Halpak stated.
"Yup, they are wrong." Rachel stated as she pulled a pair of pants out of the pack that Aximili had been carrying along with a pair of sneakers.
All of us humans quickly gathered around the pack and retrieved pants and sneakers. I recognized a pair as mine and quickly retrieved them.
After I pulled them on I snatched up my beat up pair of sneakers. The more worn in a pair of sneakers are the more comfortable they are.
"We picked them up from your place." Jake explained. "We figured that it would be better than wandering around in our morphing outfits."
I would have done a lot to get some sleep but we had to get moving.
/I will keep an eye on things up here./ Arbron informed us.
/Aximili, Anjinnl, morph into your human morphs. The fewer humans that see multiple aliens that better./
Anjinnl and Aximili morphed and also retrieved clothes from the pack before Jake picked it up.
"Everyone ready?" I asked as I double checked my laces.
"Alright let's go."
I led everyone through the woods; heading for the valley that I knew was there. My family had taken a different way but I was sure without a shadow of a doubt that I could find it going this way.
Small talk started mostly about school and life at home.
Rachel talked about his sisters Jordan and Sara. She really loves them even if she claims otherwise.
Cassie was talking about several animals at the clinic and how their progress was coming.
Jake was talking about a test he nearly failed.
Marco started talking about video games.
"I nearly have all the Harry Potter games beaten." He told us. "They are pretty simple compared to others."
Silence fell again for a few moments and I was enjoying it.
"It's too quiet out here." Marco suddenly commented.
"That's because you are used to the hustle and bustle of the city." Anjinnl told him. "I like it out here with the birds and the trees. Reminds me a little of my home."
"And the air is clean and fresh." Cassie added. "We are going to be better off getting some good fresh air and exercise."
"Well I am getting tired of walking." Marco said.
"Well you know what you got to do Marco?" Rachel asked.
"No, I don't." Macro answered.
"Just keep walking, just keep walking. What do we do we walk. Oh how I love to walk!" Rachel said doing a decent imitation of Dory from Finding Nemo.
Everyone except Marco laughed.
"It's not funny!" he snapped.
/I need someone else up here to help patrol./ Arbron called down to us.
"I will since I know where we are going." I called up before shedding my jeans and sneakers.
I pictured the Red tail Hawk and felt my body change.
In a few moments I took to the sky.
I kept on the lookout for Yeerk activity and now and then spotted a controller on the ground but they were far enough from everyone else that they wouldn't pose a huge problem.
Then I saw smoke; too much smoke to be a simple fire. Those blasted Yeerks had created a forest fire!
For some reason I stayed in the area and noticed a ravine.
I found an idea forming in my brain and I quickly headed back to everyone else.
When I arrived they had all morphed into their battle morphs.
/They started a forest fire./ I informed everyone as I landed.
/We know./ Arbron stated
/I don't think the Yeerks care if they take Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak dead or alive./ I told them.
/Sounds like you have an idea./ Arbron stated.
I mentally told a deep breath and related my plan to everyone.
I kept shaking my head. I still couldn't believe that my plan had worked.
My plan had involved someone (not Marco) morphing Ket Halpak and then me morphing Jara Hamee. We then ran for the ravine and threw ourselves off. Marco would be waiting on an alcove for us. He would then catch us as we fell and pull us in. The real Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak would play dead at the bottom of the ravine and everyone else in wolf morphs would gather around them and pretend to eat them.
I was tired but the sight of the valley raised my spirits. It was more beautiful then I imagined.
Jara Hamee and Ket Halpak looked around and seemed to nod with approval.
"Good place for the Kawatnoj." Jara Hamee stated.
"Yes, good place." Ket Halpak agreed.
"What is a Kawatnoj?" Cassie asked; curious.
"Kawatnoj small Jara Hamee or Ket Halpak." Ket Halpak explained happily.
"Children," Rachel stated, "they are going to be parents."
/One the first to be born free in a long time; right Prince Arbron?/ Anjinnl asked.
/Yes, as far as my knowledge goes./ Arbron agreed.
"Wow!" Jake said.
"I don't know about any of you guys but I am not going to do any babysitting for them." Marco stated.
"Where's your sense of adventure Marco?" I asked him.
"I left it back home with my comic books." He answered flatly.
I calmly walked into my house and was greeted by Champ. I smiled and patted his head before walking to the living room.
I nearly laughed at the sight of Rio showing off how well he could play the dancing game while Hoshi glared at him and Leilani was trying to follow the directions from the look of things.
I shook my head and headed for my father's office,
I found my father with that headset on with Hayden in his lap. I was surprised that Hayden wasn't playing with the cord seeing that she did that a lot. I headed in and saw that my father looked sad.
"What are you listening to?" I asked.
My dad jerked a bit. He obviously hadn't heard me.
"Are you listening to the Vulcans or Klingons talking?" I asked teasing.
Something flickered in my dad's eyes.
"Vulcans and Klingons don't exist Tobias and you know it." He stated.
Hayden said something about Vulcans with a smile.
"So," my dad said as he removed the headset, 'how has your day been?"
I was slightly tempted to tell him that I had spent the day with my friends and aliens in the woods. That I had purposely jumped off a cliff to fool other aliens into thinking that my new friends were dead. But that would put everyone in danger.
"It's been good." I replied. "I hope that my Doritos are still where I left them."
"They should be." My dad's the responded with a grin.
We reached the kitchen and I opened the fridge and retrieved a Sprite and gave my dad the Cranberry-Grape Juice.
I watched as my dad filled a Sippy Cup and then large glass of the juice. I found myself wondering again where my dad came from and more about his family. Yeah, he said he ran away from home when he was about my age but that was just about it. I didn't know my parental grandparents names or where they lived.
I remembered how if I died on a mission before we had met the Chee how I would have just vanished into thin air. Only my friends would know what happened to me. Now a Chee could take my place.
"Dad?" I asked, as I opened the Doritos, "how would you and mom feel if I just disappeared and you never heard from me again?"
"You're mother and I would be worried out of our minds and start searching for you." My dad answered as he snagged chip from the bag.
"Do you think that your parents are worried about you?" I couldn't stop the question from leaving my mouth.
My dad looked pained but he didn't look away.
"My parents most likely believe that I am dead." He stated. "When I left home it a dangerous time but I had to leave; I couldn't stay."
I felt bad that I had drudged up bad memories for my dad.
"So, how's your work coming?" I asked; changing the subject as I took a sip of my Sprite.
"You have either an uncle or aunt." My dad suddenly said, ignoring my question. "I have always wondered if I had a little brother or sister."
"You could try facebook." I suggested.
My dad smiled a bit. "They wouldn't be on facebook." He told me.
"Alan?" my mom called from the living room. "The children want to know if it's time to watch Willow."
My dad looked at the stove and smiled.
"I'll be there in a few minutes." He called back as he prepared the popcorn popper and started to pour a few bags of chips into bowls.
I grabbed some sodas from the fridge and headed for the living room.
I vowed once again to protect every member of my family. I was the only one that could.
As of now I am considering doing the 15th book next. It will feature Anjinnl revealing to the others what she has learned about her father.
It has to happen sooner or later; preferably sooner than later.