Disclaimer I do not own Animorphs or Ben 10
Chapter 17: Uncertainty
I'm sure what to make of the Alien now.
Is that thing really Ben?
If it was, what is it doing on Earth?
Those were the thoughts that went through my head as I laid down on my bed. The meeting had finished just a couple hours ago and not long before that. We found out that one of our new friends might be a morph-capable alien. What side is he on? Is he some new Yeerk host-specie? If so then we're screwed. The morphing technology is the only weapon we have that the Yeerks don't, and if they found a species that can morph, then the already uneven playing field is gonna get even more uneven. And what if he wasn't a new Yeerk host? What if he is some kind of Alien that is just visiting Earth to study our culture and society? Does he even know about the war going on?
"Obviously he doesn't know about the war." I said to myself. "If he did know about it then he's avoid Earth."
I sighed and turned on my side.
"What is he?"
The next day there was a heat wave that hit the city. It was so hot and humid that my clothes stuck to my body and it made my hair all frizzy. Not that I really care about my appearance, Rachel is always trying to make me more conscious about that way I look. Well, I guess I was one of the lucky ones that day. I always wear something comfortable and the heat didn't affect me as much. But it was still really really hot. I met Rachel out side of school and we both chatted a bit trying to act normal, but I could definitely tell that something was off about her. We were all pretty shaken that the new kid that we made friends with so quickly might be out trying to kill us. Well, maybe this wasn't something completely new. Jake's brother, Tom, was a controller and we know that the Yeerk controlling Tom is out to get us. I guess Rachel is going through that all over again, I mean Tom is her cousin and they're family. I don't know what I'd do if it was me.
School didn't go like it normally does. It was so hot that even the most tenacious teachers couldn't stand it. So we all just ended up doing nothing, but try to keep cool and survive the heat. When lunch period came, the entire school's supply of cold drinks, deserts, and even plain old ice was gone and no one stayed in the normally warm cafeteria. Practically everyone went outside and found a bit of shade. I could see some of the school swimmers taking advantage of their sport and heading for the pool.
"Damn it's hot." Said Rachel.
"You don't say." I said, placing my cup filled with ice to my face feeling the cold on my skin. We were both sitting against the side of the school that was thankfully shaded, everywhere else was already claimed by someone else.
"What is up with this heat wave? You think the Yeerks' have something to so with this? This isn't natural."
"I dunno, maybe, but It might just be some freaky weather." I doubt that the yeerks are doing anything to the weather. Their goal is to get more and more hosts, not change Earth to look like their home planet.
When school ended everyone rushed out faster than if it was friday on a long weekend. Who could blame them? This has got to be on of the worst mondays I've ever experienced. And I've had mondays when I was still exhausted from a mission, but I had to keep face. At least, well I hope not, that the Yeerks are behind the weather change like Rachel said. But then, wait a minute. If Ben is an alien, could he be the one causing the weird weather? I'll ask Ax when I see him if that is even possible.
I got home after a surprisingly enjoyable bike ride. The breeze helped me cool off a bit. I wondered how the animals in the clinic were doing as I got home. I could hear someone moving around inside after I kept my bike. I went in though the main door and saw my dad cleaning up his tools in the sink, before putting them into the autoclave.
"Hi, honey." He said after spotting me. He washed his hands then gave me a kiss on the head. "How was school?"
"Not bad, but it was like an oven." I replied.
"It's just as bad over here, A couple of these guys almost had heat strokes." He gestured to the cages. Every bowl and bottle was full of fresh water and every animal that was in a cage was really affected by the heat. "Cassie could you refill the trough for me while I clean up here?"
"Sure, dad." I said.
I walked out of the barn and to the coral. The trough was nearly empty. I grabbed the hose and dragged it to the trough. The horses saw me and trotted over, hoping for a treat. I petted the mare closest to me and she nuzzled my hand, looking for some sugar or treat. "Sorry, girl. Got noting for you right now." I whispered to her while I filled up the trough. The other horses quickly started to drink while the trough was being filled. I let the mare drink with the others.
I stood there silently while I filled the trough. One by one the horses left as they got their fill of water. The mare was the last to go, and she gave me a affectionate nuzzle while she was still wet. I smiled at that. I coiled the hose and went back to the clinic to help out my dad some more.
We both worked in silence, concentrating in what we were doing. I helped both my parents enough that I know most of what I had to do without either of them telling me what to do. It was hard work sometimes, but I always enjoyed it, I love my parents and the animals.
"Hi!" I heard a voice behind me. I turned around to see that it was my mom. She had just came back from her shift in the Gardens and checked to see how we were doing, before going to make dinner.
"Hey, mom." I said.
"Hi, dear." Said my dad, he lay the shovel he was using and gave my mom a kiss on the cheek. "Had a good day?"
"It was okay, a bit busy, but not that bad. One of the chimps had heatstroke though, but he's fine now."
"Well that's good, it could have been worse." My dad said. "Almost had a few cases here too." Gesturing the inside of the barn.
My mom walked over to gave me a small hug. "And how was your day Cassie?"
"Not bad." I said.
"I bet school was like a sauna."
"It was." I said giving a nod.
"Well, I'll let the two of you get back to work while I prepare dinner." She gave my dad one more kiss on the cheek before going back inside the house.
The next day was just as, if not hotter than yesterday. By the time I reached home, my mom was working with my dad to release a few of the wild animals that had recovered enough to go back to the wild. They carried cages into my dad's pickup so that they could release them a bit farther away from the city where they would't run into people as often.
"Oh, hi Cassie, wanna come and release some of the nocturnal creatures with us tonight?"
"No thanks dad, I got some homework to do."
"Well that's fine, honey. Anyway, I need someone to keep watch of all the other animals while your mother and I are out."
"We'll be a little late, so dinner's in the fridge, alright Cassie?"
"Alright mom." I said. My dad started his pickup and my mom slammed the back shut, and jumped into the car with him. "Take care!" I called out to them as they drove away. My dad honked the horn a couple of times to show that they heard me. I smiled and brought my stuff inside.
Later that evening it started pouring with rain. It was lucky that I went straight home after school. Otherwise I would've gotten caught in the rain. Well, maybe not. Rachel's mom was always glad to give me a ride home if anything like this happened when me and Rachel hung out. Well so far it was only a downpour, there wasn't so much wind or thunder. I warmed up my dinner and after I cleaned up, the rain got noticeably harder. I wondered if my parent's were okay. They sometimes went out farther than was needed to release animals, so they often come back a bit later than expected. So normally I wouldn't be worried, but the storm was getting bad.
As I put my plate onto the drying rack, the phone rang. I wiped my hands and answered it.
"Cassie? Is that you Honey?" It was my mom.
"Mom? Are you and dad okay?"
"Yes we're fine, but we're stuck in a diner. We can't get home until the storm lets up, so remember to lock up before going to bed." I could almost hear the rain on her side and it seemed just as hard over where they were.
"I love you."
"Love you too." I put down the phone. "Great." I said, going up the stairs and grabbing my keys from my desk. I locked up all the doors in the house and secured the windows. All the while the storm got harder and harder.
A couple of hours later, after I had gone to bed, I was suddenly awakened by the roar of thunder. I could feel it resonate in my chest. Strangely it reminded my of when Jake roars in his tiger morph. My heart was pounding in my chest as I tried to calm down from the sudden jolt. The rain was pouring even harder than it was a while ago, I could barely hear anything over the sound of it. Then I heard a faint whinnying over the rain. I jumped out of my bed and ran out of my room. It was so dark that I missed one of the steps halfway and fell. I rolled down the rest of the steps, my shin hit one of the edges of the steps near the bottom. I ignored the pain and limped over to the back door.
I heard more panicked whinnying from the horses in the stables where they were kept. I unlocked the door and pushed open for an inch before it was slammed shut by the wind. I turned the doorknob and pushed at it as hard as I could and then I was able to get outside. Now, we've all seen movies where people get out of the house in an emergency in the rain, wearing nothing but their pajamas. You'd never think that it was cold. It isn't, it's freezing. I was completely soaked in a couple of seconds and I could hardly feel the hundreds of small stinging droplets of rain on my body as I walked outside barefoot. I was lucky that the stables weren't that far away from the house and after couple of minutes, stumbling and limping through the downpour a bolt of lightning lit up everything in blinding white. I could see the stables clearly for a second, so I picked up my pace and slammed into the stable doors. I opened the bolt that kept the door shut, slid the door open and rushed inside.
I was cold, my shin was in pain and my hair was matted over my eyes. I pulled my hair away from my eyes and I looked around the stable. Normally we didn't have to do these kind of things, but recently we had gotten a new horse, a young filly. She was a fine animal, but she had a problem with loud, sudden noises. I could tell when my mom and dad brought her here the first time, my dad's pickup suddenly made a loud bang, she started going crazy. It took a while to calm her down.
She was in the farthest stall from the door, separated from some of the other horses. I walked half blind in the stables until I reached the stall where the new filly was. Well it wasn't that hard, since I could hear her hooves clipping on the floor.
"Easy, easy there girl." I said at first, but I could barely hear my own voice over the sound of the rain. Then I tried again. this time putting my arm between the bars of the stall to stroke her. At that moment there was another bolt of lightning immediately followed by the roar of thunder. The filly, moved inside the stall in a panic. I quickly pulled my arm back out when she bumped into the stall door. I was getting slightly worried, if this kept up she might hurt herself. What am I gonna do? I couldn't think of anything, I was freezing, tired and I could barely think straight. The last thing I wanted to do was get in the stall with her, my mom always told me to never enter a confined space with a scared animal, you'll just end up getting hurt. If only I had my dad's tranquilizer. That way she'd be asleep through the worst of the storm. Wait a minute, I could acquire her, that should calm her down I'd be able to bring her over closer to the other horses, then she'd calm down a bit.
When I looked in again, she was backed up against the back wall of her stall, still in a panic. Oh man, that was the one thing that I wanted to avoid. I couldn't reach her from the bars of the stall. And it didn't look like she was going to come close to me anytime soon. But I had to get this done as quick as possible. I couldn't feel my finger tips, I would start getting hypothermia if I don't get out of there and dry up soon.
I tentatively opened the door of the stall and carefully stepped inside.
"Come on girl." I said, raising my voice to be heard over the rain. "Easy there." She tried backing away from me, but she was already against the wall her hooves slid on the hay covered floor, foam was built up around her mouth. "Don't worry." I tried to make my voice as calm as possible. I reached out my hand towards her, in my head I was praying that there wouldn't be another bolt of lightning before I could get her in the trance-like state when I acquire her. I took slow steps trying not to make any sudden motions. Then the worst thing that could have happened at that moment there was a flash of lightning, immediately followed by a boom of thunder. The filly jumped and reared back on her hind legs, I covered my face and one of her hooves clipped my arm, a hot searing pain bloomed from my forearm. I gritted my teeth, holding back a scream of pain. Oh man, this is bad, if I stay here any longer it might not just be my arm. So when she was back on all fours I lunged at her and concentrated as hard a I could. This had to be one of the most difficult things that I had to do, it felt like my mind was numb and I almost thought that I couldn't do it. I felt my hand land on her firm flank, then I slipped and my I lost contact. God damn it! Then just when I hit the ground, another boom of thunder rocked the stables and the filly reared up on her hind legs again. I could see in the flash of lightning her underside, her hooves flailing in the air and they fell.
I didn't know why I didn't scream. It wasn't like it was going to help. No one would be able to hear over the rain. . .
I closed my eyes, before they made it, waiting for the pain to come. But it didn't, then my back rather than my ears, I felt the contact of her hooves as they stuck the floor. I wasn't gonna be lucky twice in a row, I grabbed her leg with my uninjured arm and concentrated harder than I ever did in my entire life. And yes! I did it I could feel her DNA becoming a part of me, her ragged, panic driven breathing slowed I scrambled to my feet. I had to get this done while she was still calm.
I guided her out of her stall with my good arm. I was hoping that the trance would last a bit longer. It could be anywhere from a few seconds to a couple minutes. I was praying that it was the latter. Just then another boom of thunder sounded, and she didn't seem to mind it, deep in the acquiring trance. When we made to the stall right next to the other horses, I let go of her for a quick second, I dragged the stall door open and I guided her inside. When the last of her tail was inside of the stall I slammed it shut.
Drawing a deep shuddering breath, I breathed a sigh of relief, when she got out of the trance. She didn't seem as jittery with the other horses closer to her. Then, when several booms of thunder rocked the stable, she didn't scream or jump, like back in her stall. She pawed at the floor a bit and was snorting, but all in all she was alright.
I looked down at my arm that she had hit when she was panicking. There was a giant bruise, it was an angry red and, though I could barely feel it in the cold, throbbing. It was most likely fractured, but I hoped that it was just the bruise and just that. Crap, how am I going to explain this to my parents? I acted without thinking, which is the total opposite of what I normally do. But before I do anything I had to get out of the stables. The rain pounded outside and I wondered how the other animals were doing. Just as I grabbed the door of the stables I remembered that whenever I morph Injuries would heal. But that was when I was In a morph, then going back to human. Would it work the other way around? Hell, I had to try, otherwise I'd get grounded for doing something so stupid.
With one arm I carefully took off my pajamas. I winced as the clothing slid over my injured forearm. When I was completely naked and shivering like crazy I concentrated on my horse morph. Then I stopped, I wondered, why that filly was so scared of sudden loud noises. So I concentrated on her DNA instead, imagining her graceful legs, her mane, her coat.
I concentrated on my arms and legs, so they would morph first. And they did. The pain in both my shin and arm, melted away as they became the legs of the filly. What followed afterwards I didn't care. I was too tired to try and control the morphing in other parts of my body. What was that Ax called me? He said that I could morph in a beautiful way. Well he didn't actually say that, but I can't remember what he said.
At the moment I was fully horse. I felt the familiar surfacing of the horse mind, alongside my own. I had morphed a horse several times. I used it to go and just run around the forest and the horse mind would help me, especially after we had just gone through a really tough battle. Jake doesn't approve that we use our morphing for personal problems, but I don't listen anyway. It helps, I can't explain how, but it helps a lot. I was already used to the wider range of vision. Then a flash of light, lightning, followed by thunder. The horse mind suddenly went into overdrive, like when we were cheetahs and trying to kill Visser three. BUt instead of out bodies it was the horses mind. It's thoughts were racing. They aren't like thoughts in our head, but it was more like a mass of feelings. The first and most obvious was the fear, but there was something under it as well. I had to keep in control. My ears still lay flat against my head and I pawed at the floor, like the mare inside, but I was mostly in control.
It was strange, sometimes when I am in a morph I'd get flashes of the animal's memories and this time was not that different. I saw a flash of a large man and then a loud boom, like a gunshot. I guessed that this was when the filly was still very young and it is traumatized. Now I understood why.
I demorphed was glad to see that my arm was completely healed. I put back on my Pj's and ran back as quickly as I could back inside the house. Back inside the stable I had nearly dried up, but that run through the rain got me soaking wet and colder than I was before. I walked though the house barefoot and went to take a long, long hot shower.
The next day, the storm was just as hard as last night. Thankfully, the power was still okay and the phones still worked. My parents called while I was having a bowl of cereal for breakfast. I didn't tell them about what happened last night. They, especially my mom, would flip that I tried to deal with a frightened animal in a confined space.
I didn't even bother checking the news to see if school was cancelled. There is absolutely no way that I am going to school in that. And even if I wanted to, it was totally impossible for me to get there anyway.
Not a lot happened the rest of the day. I knew that most of the other animals were just fine at this point. So there wasn't really much for me to do. But later in the night, my parents had finally come home. When I looked at my alarm clock it was 2 in the morning. The storm was past and they were back home.
"Hey, sweetheart." My mom said quietly. "Didn't mean to wake you up, but we just wanted to see how you were."
"Mm, I'm fine mom. I can stand a couple days on my own."
My dad gave me a kiss on the head. "Your such a big girl, I sometimes forget." He chuckled a bit.
"Well, get back to bed and we'll have breakfast together." Said my mom turning to go out.
"Alright." I said, before I slowly drifted back to sleep.
Author's Notes: I know I haven't updated in over 2 months. I know that you guys want to know what happens next. But I have a very good reason why I haven't updated. Well firstly I wasn't sure about what this chapter should have contained. That was what really made me stop and think. And I guess this is a filler chapter more than anything. Another reason is that I am now in a dorm with five other roommates, let me tell you, not the best environment for writing. Along with that, I didn't have any access to internet until quite recently. I haven't even had any time to read fanfics, so you know how busy I am. I also want to move the plot more forward now, so that is my goal. I don't want this to drag out for too long. And I want to say sorry to everyone that read this for the long wait for this less than satisfactory chapter. But let me say next chapter will have plot movement!
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