Deal with the Devil
By Wickedclowns101

Authors Notes - Not giving away anything on this one. Nothing at all, except that it is NOT a romance!

I laid back in bed, thoroughly exhausted. I could still hear his tortured, wracked screams. His pleads. His threats. The incessant as Ax and I carried him off to the rock at which he would stay until his death.
And the lifespan of a rat is only one or two years.
David. The terror we had brought upon ourselves. The sixth Animorph that had turned against us. Tried to kill us. Nearly succeeded.
He was a rat now. He had been trapped in a morph, just like Tobias. But unlike Tobias, David was trapped as a prey animal. No flying for him.
We had just gotten back from dropping David on the rock, and I was going to sleep for the first time in days.
I was free. We finally had nothing to worry about.
Well, that wasn't exactly true. With the Yeerks on the planet, we always had something to worry about. But this time, I just didn't care.
We had foiled the Yeerk plan to enslave the most powerful men in the world, along with trying to stay alive against David. I was tired, hungry, and plain sick of this stupid war.
The others think I love the war. They're wrong. I'd never say it out loud, but I had been scared.
I was scared when I thought David had killed Tobias. I was scared when I thought he had killed Jake. I was scared when I thought he had killed Ax, and when I thought he might kill me.

But that isn't me. My job is to be reckless. To inspire the others to fight just as hard as they can. It also makes me wonder where I was when they were handing out jobs.
In the back of my mind, I really wished that David had worked out. He was ingenious, maybe smarter than Marco. And he could be reckless. He would have taken some of the pressure off of me. Given Jake someone else to use. Maybe him being there would have given me a chance to see the old Jake. The cousin I had grown up with.
I shook my head, clearing my mind. "No, he's gone." I said in almost a whisper.
It was true. The old Jake was gone forever. Even if we won this war, Jake would never be what he once was. He'd been exposed to too much. Seen too much. Learned to make the lightning fast decisions to save all of our lives.
As much as I argued with Jake, even cursed him, I still respected him. I know that without Jake, we'd either be dead, or controllers now.
I guess there are people that hate the leader while he's leading. I mean, people must have hated Patton, or Eisenhower, or Napoleon, right? But they still trusted those people to keep them alive.
I would always love Jake. But we were looking at things on opposite ends of the spectrum. Why does he have to be so moral like Cassie? To keep me in check?
Enough. No more arguing with myself over Jake. Just sleep. I laid back on the pillow, wrapped a blanket around me, and closed my eyes.
My eyes opened again. Something was tapping against my window.
"Tobias?" I asked.
a thought speak voice answered. I rolled my eyes.
"What do you want, Marco?" I asked.
he said. My mouth hung open.
"You've got to be kidding." I said.
he said. I rolled my eyes again.
"You're such a baby." I said, opening my window.
he said, diving into my blanket.
"Hey! Get out of there!" I grabbed the bird by the neck, and glared at it.
He said, praying that I wouldn't jerk my hand.
"You should be." I said, setting him on the window sill.
I closed my eyes, and pictured the image of the Great Horned Owl. Almost immediately, my legs withered away, leaving a fully human me, supported by owl legs.
Marco commented.
"Shove it." I said, just before my lips melted together, and extended into the curved beak of the owl. My hair turned snowy white, and frayed into the special feather of the owl, designed not to make a sound.
My arms shrank into my now tiny owl body, and my finger bones lengthened, forming wings.
Marco said again. I looked in the mirror, and saw myself, a fully formed owl, with tiny blue human eyes. Strangely, it didn't look that bad.
I asked, and hopped up next to Marco as my eyes shifted from dim human vision, to superior owl vision. Marco could see me. I could SEE him.
I asked.
Marco said as he jumped out the window. I did the same.

I said as we flew over the forest, nearing Cassie's barn.
I think Cassie may have already done that. Marco said. I laughed.
I said as we swooped into the barn, and demorphed.
Jake was pacing around the barn relentlessly, sleep tugging at his eyes.
Cassie was just dozing off as we landed in the barn. She yawned, and pulled her head off the hay bale she was using as a pillow.
Ax was in his Andalite body. His stalk eyes were sagging, then would perk up and blink rapidly for a few moments, before sagging again.

Tobias sat perched in the rafters, as alert as always. I wasn't surprised, hawks were always alert.
"Jake? Tell us what's up before we kill you for waking us all up." I said.
"It's the president." Jake said.
"What about him?" Marco asked.
"Look." Jake threw a newspaper at our feet. I picked it up, and read the headline out loud.
"President Clinton awards a ten million dollar grant to…" my blood ran cold. "The Sharing." I said.
"Strike three, we're out." Marco said bitterly.
"But how? We busted up that plan!" I said.
Ax said.

"What do we do now?" Marco asked, looking at Jake.
"We don't know if he's actually a controller." Cassie said.
"Why else would he give The Sharing such a big grant? I say we go public. Make the people aware. We have nothing left to lose now." I said.
"We can't do that, Rachel." Jake said.
"Because in an all out war, we don't have a chance! There aren't enough of us! And if we die, then what? Can we just expect the Andalites to come in and save the day?" Jake asked, looking at Ax. Ax turned a stalk eye toward him.
Ax said.
"Then we need to increase our numbers." I said.
"Are you insane? You suggest something like that after what happened eight hours ago?" Marco demanded.
"David was a mistake. We had no choice with him. This time, we can choose." I said.
"We have no way of knowing who's a controller, and who isn't." Jake reminded.
"Hold them for three days." I said simply.
"We don't have three days!" Marco yelled.
Tobias said, speaking for the first time. Jake nodded grimly.
"If we do nothing, we basically hand the world to the Yeerks. If we decide to hold the president, we can't very well keep him hidden." Jake said.
"There's an upside, Jake. People might not believe a gang of badly dressed kids, but if the president starts talking about space slugs, people will listen." I said. Jake sighed.
"Meet back here tomorrow then. We're going to Washington." He said, frowning.


When I got back home, I was shaking visibly. I had played my part in the group. Did I want an open war? No. I knew that in an open war, we'd be wiped out.
I crawled into bed, and closed my eyes.
"You don't have to fight, you know." A deep voice said. I opened my eyes. I wasn't in my room anymore. I was in my bed, on a seemingly endless plain of desert, with the wind blowing sand in my face in an endless cycle.
"What?" I asked, rubbing my eyes. Suddenly, there was a man standing next to my bed. He looked maybe twenty five, in a dark black business suit. He seemed untouched by the wind and sand, as his spiky black hair wasn't moved at all by it. His eyes were red. He grinned.
"I said, you don't have to fight anymore." He said.
"Who are you?" I asked. It wasn't the Ellimist, that I was sure of.
"My name is not important. Just know, that I offer you an escape." He said.
"An escape?" I repeated.

"Yes. Accept, and you'll never have to lift a finger to fight again. Decline, and fight a war that you're certain to lose." He said.

"And what do you ask in return?" I asked.
"I have nothing to gain, nothing to lose, Rachel." He said.
"You know my name," I said.
"I know everything about you. I exist in a higher dimensional plane than humans." He said. "Now, do you accept?" he asked.
No more fighting…
No more killing...
No more War…
"Buzz off," I said, turning around in my bed. But he was on the other side in a flash.
"Think about it, Rachel. No more fighting, no more killing. No more Jake. The blood would be off of your hands." He said.
"This is a dream." I said. The man grinned.
"If this was a dream, you wouldn't be arguing with me." He said. I reached up, and pinched my cheek. Nothing. I felt the sharp pain. I didn't go anywhere.
"You see?" the man asked.
"What do you want from me?" I asked.
"What do I want? I want you to accept." He said.
"Why? How will my accepting help you?" I asked.
"You would not be able to comprehend, Rachel. It would not make sense to a human mind." He said.
"What would happen to me? Would I die?" I asked.
"No, you would not be harmed in the physical sense." He said.
"Then tell me what would happen to me." I demanded.
"I cannot. It is against the rules." He said.
"Rules? What rules?" I asked.
"The rules that have been set by myself and my greatest adversary. The rules of our war. Just know, I am on your side, Rachel. We cannot let him win. Because if he does, the universe will be destroyed." He said.
"I don't know…" I said.
"Think about it." He said, standing there stolidly.
He's right, Rachel. You know you don't want to have to fight anymore. My conscience said.
You can't trust him, you don't know what he'll do to you. My mind argued with itself.
"My time is short, Rachel. I need an answer now. Yes, or no." he said impatiently.
I couldn't.
Could I?
"Yes." I said. He grinned, and sent me back into the void of space.


To Be Continued…