Set five years after the ending of Book 54

"Thank you for meeting with us today, Miss Andrews."

"Call me Cassie!", I said.

It had been a long time since Jake, Marco, and Tobias left. I was the last remaining Animorph. In that time I had become a university academic, and a UN Goodwill Ambassador. Today I was in Louisville, Kentucky on a request from the Vice-President, who had asked for my help on a project.

"Well, Cassie, thank you for joining us today. I know it was probably a long trip from California, but your assistance is always appreciated. We will tell you more as we near our destination."

Unlike my time during the Yeerk War, I took an airline from Berkley to Louisville. The Vice-President had picked me up at the airport in a limousine, flanked by a small dispatch of guards.

"So, Mr. Vice-President, where are we headed today?" I asked.

"Fort Knox" he quickly responded.

As the limousine left the airport, I asked "While I thank you for the trip, sir, why am I need for a project at Fort Knox? There have to be many more people out there qualified to help you with gold!"

"We store more than gold at Fort Knox" he responded.

That sent shivers down my spine. I knew there had to be a reason why I had been called here. But before I could ask another question the Vice-President said, "We know from Professor Berenson's notes you were the most pacifistic of the Animorphs. They said that you had saved more lives in that war than anyone else did. They also hinted at a close tie between you two".

"Yes", I said. "Jake and I were very close. We were intimate right before he left on his final mission".

"Jake was a real hero" said the Vice-President. "He aided us significantly in developing training programs for morphing soldiers. We need someone today who experienced what he experienced. You, ma'am, are the only person on Earth who has that."

After a short drive, we arrived at our destination, and the Vice-President went into further details.

"As you know, the Andalites were kind enough to share Zero-Space technology with us and our first Zero-Space spaceship, the Gaia, set off to explore our patch of the galaxy. However, the Andalites have always refused to share weapons technology with us. We recovered only five Yeerk Dracon Beams from the war, and we are reverse-engineering them at breakneck speed, but even then, we don't have the means to defend ourselves from any sort of alien attack. Even placing our planet's defense in the hands of the Andalites doesn't give us enough protection from extra-terrestrials."

Our limousine arrived at the massive United States Bullion Depository vault. The Vice-President led me inside.

"What you see here today is secret from all except myself, President Gore, and several others at this facility, some of whom were trained by Jake Berenson himself. The gold, steel, and lead offer us great sensor protection. The most recent security upgrade came in the form of a reverse-engineered Gleet Bio-Filter".

My heart started to pound in my chest. What are we hiding?, I thought.

We entered the building and passed through a chamber which looked like the Bio-Filter used at the Yeerk Pool in California. No alarms went off.

"We found this in your home town. We were fortunate that an Army Reservist had found this as opposed to a civilian. So my question to you today, ma'am, is what is this device that resonates with such energy signatures?"

Inside the vault of Fort Knox sat a simple off-white sphere, perhaps three feet in diameter, and supported by three legs. It looked innocuous, like some outdoor statue. But I knew more.

"Mr. Vice-President", I said, "This is the most powerful weapon in all the universe. This is a time machine".