R...Rachel? > Jake said, before thinking. But no, it wasn't
possible. Angelica was the one with the bear morph. Rachel
was dead. this wasn't real. It's not real. This
is all a show. > Jake said.
Oh, you think so? > The bear said, and swung its paw, catching Jake in the side of the head. He flew back and crashed into a pile of boxes in the far right side of the room. He sprawled to his feet.
Rachel? Is it really you? > Jake asked in sheer disbelief.
Only the parts of her I find useful. > The Yeerk said. "Rwwwooooooooor!!!" The bear growled muddily.
"RWWWWOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWRRRRR!!!" Jake roared much more sharply. The bear stepped back a step.
You can't win, human. I have all of Rachel's fighting experience. > The Yeerk said.
Look and see if she's ever fought a tiger. > Jake said, and leapt at the bear. I'm sorry, Rachel. > he said, as he began clawing at her face. The Yeerk grabbed Jake's midsection, and threw him over her shoulders into the rock wall, like some animal version of the WCW. Jake scrambled to his feet like only a cat could, but the bear was right in his face. For the first time, Jake truly realized how powerful Rachel's bear morph was. The Yeerk brought the bear's foot down on Jake's head. He expected his life to end right then, but it didn't. he looked up.
The bear's face was twitching. Jake... Laser.... Sun! > Rachel, the real Rachel, had broken through for just a second. But Laser? Sun? Jake tried to put the pieces together in his mind.
Don't touch him. > A new thought speak voice said. Jake and the Yeerk both turned their heads to find another Grizzly Bear standing, pawing the ground.
Angelica? > Jake asked, the pain he was in was obvious in his thought speak voice.
Who else? Now demoprh, and take care of Ashley. I'll take care of Rachel. > Angelica said.
Be careful, > Jake said while he was demorphing.
Didn't I say not to tell me what to do, Jake? I'm a one woman army! > She crowed as she reared up on her hind legs. The Yeerk did the same.
You cannot hope to win. I have much more experience. > The Yeerk said.
Yeah? But don't forget, you're controlling a bear morph. I am a bear. > Angelica said. Jake, who was now fully human, ran over to where Ashley was still chained up. He pulled the gag out of her mouth, and slapped her face lightly. "Wake up, Ash! Wake up!" he said, cradling her head in his arms. Her eyes opened slowly.
"Jake... you're okay..." she said softly. Jake smiled.
"Yeah, I'm fine sweet heart. But I need you to morph a little to get out of these chains. Can you do that for me?" Jake asked.
"Okay..." Ashley said, and slowly started to shrink, as feather patterns etched themselves over her skin. Jake slipped off the restraints, and took her in his arms.
"Back to human now," He instructed. The feather patters disappeared, and Jake set her down. He walked over to the ledge of the room, and looked out at the pool. There was a battle going on at the Blade Ship. "Oh man, Ashley? We need to morph. Now. Go lioness, and hurry!" Jake ordered worriedly. Ashley seemed to wake up from a trance. She jumped to her feet.
"Right. Big cats can survive a thirty foot drop, right?" She asked.
"We'll find out, won't we?" Jake said, as orange and black fur rippled over his body like a wave. Ashley was undergoing a similar transformation. Jake couldn't help but notice how natural it looked as she slowly went from human, to lioness. Ready? > Jake asked her once they were fully morphed.
As ready as I'll ever be, > she said. Jake turned back to Angelica, who was now immersed in a bloody battle with Rachel.
Join up with us as soon as you can, Angel. > he said.
Right, > Angelica said, swinging another massive blow at Rachel's head. Jake backed up a few feet, then took a running start of the ledge. He twisted his body like only a cat could, and bent his knees on impact, letting his legs absorbed the shock.
Owww!!! > Ashley exclaimed, landing a few feet away.
Complain later. Let's go! > Jake said, and took off toward toward the Blade Ship, with Ashley right behind him.
"Andalite!" a Hork-bajir controller yelled.
Sam! What's up? > Jake demanded.
We are having some minor technical difficulties, > Samaila explained. He wasn't joking. There were at least twenty five Hork-bajir controllers surrounding the small group of Andalites, and just as many humans and Taxxons.
What about the ship? > Jake asked.
It would take me a few minutes to gain access to the ship's main computer system. > Samaila said.
Then go do it. We'll take care of the welcoming committee. > Jake said.
Yes, Prince Jake. > Samaila said, and slipped into the Blade Ship.
"Grfrash! I kill!" a Hork-bajir yelled in english, and a mixture of its own language.
"Rwwwwwooooooowwwwwrrrr!!!" Jake roared. The Hork-bajir looked a little less apprehensive to rush in. However, the result was the same. Jake leapt at them, claws raised. Ashley mimicked the movement, leaping at her own Hork-bajir target.
These teeth are excellent! > Ashley exclaimed.
Aren't they? > Jake asked, sinking his canines deep into the leathery skin of a Hork-bajir's neck. Andalite tails flashed, leaving bloody tracks in their wake. But still more and more Hork-bajir were coming. Sam! You'd better hurry up! > Jake said, as a Hork-bajir blade impaled itself in Jake's right shoulder.
JAKE! > Ashley cried, taking down the Hork-bajir that had cut Jake.
I almost have access! > Samaila cried.
I can still... fight, > Jake said, pulling himself to his feet. He leapt at another Hork-bajir, but was too slow because of his injury. The Hork-bajir spun, and kicked Jake in the stomach. Ahhh! > He cried. He'd forgotten how painful those wrist blades could be.
Hold on, Jake! > It was Ashley. She jumped at the Hork-bajir, and clamped her jaws around its wrist. She jerked madly, worrying it like a dog worries a bone.
"Rwwwwwooorr!" A muddy roar rang out from the cavern. Jake turned his head to see a bear emerge from the shadows. But was it Angelica or Rachel?
Angel? > Jake asked.
Who else? Rachel had already been hurt from her fight with you. She either had to demorph, or get trapped in her injured bear body. I knocked her out. > Angelica said.
. Now help us! > Ashley screamed. Angelica jumped into the fight, ripping and tearing at the nearest Hork-bajir. But even her addition wasn't enough. More and more Hork-bajir poured out of the catacombs of the cavern.
I am in! > Samaila cried.
Everyone in the ship! > Angelica screamed, picking up Jake in her arms, since he was now too weak to walk. A funny sight, really. To see a bear carrying a tiger in its arms.
Ahhhh! > Angelica cried as a Taxxon lowered its mouth to her leg, tearing off a sizable chunk of flesh. She hoisted Jake onto the ship, and hefted her own bulk aboard. Ashley, followed by half a dozen Andalites also made it on. The entire battle, and they'd only suffered minor wounds. Ashley and Angelica had already begun to demorph.
Demorph Jake! > Ashley cried.
Samaila, close the hatch, and bring the ship up to that ledge. > Angelica said, pointing her diminishing bear claw at the ledge where Rachel was tied up.
Of course, Angelica. Computer? Close hatch. > Samaila ordered. The hatch slammed shut.
SHOOT THEM DOWN! > It was the Visser, yelling from outside.
"Oh man, hurry!" Ashley said, as she knealt by Jake's slowly changing Tiger body. The ship slowly lifted off, and hovered over the pool.
"Just a little further," Angelica said as the ship got closer to the ledge. "Open the hatch!" she yelled. Samaila opened the hatch, and Angelica jumped out of the ship, and onto the ledge. She scooped up Rachel's unconsious body in her arms, and ran back to the ship.
"Now get us out of here!" Ashley screamed, squeezing Jake's hand.
Of course, > Samaila said, and powered up the engines.
Jake's eyes opened slowly. He immediately sat up, and scanned the
area. He was in his bed, on the dome ship. He looked to his
right. Ashley was lying there, in bed, sleeping silently. He
shook her. "Ash, wake up." He said. Ashley grumbled, and then
sat up. After rubbing the sleep from her eyes, her face went white.
She wrapped her arms around Jake, and squeezed tightly.
"You're alive!!!" She exclaimed.
"Yeah, I noticed that... But what happened?" Jake asked.
"You passed out right after you demorphed. Sherill said it was from sheer exhaustion." Ashley said.
"But I want to know how Marco and the Visser found you." Jake said.
"After you left, we started toying around with the computers on the ships, to see if we could salvage anything. When we removed the control chip on Angelica's ship, the electrical output became visible on every other ships radar. It only took the Yeerks ten mintues to find us. We tried to get away, but they caught us. The others morphed and followed us, and eventually got into the fight with your team." Ashley explained.
"Rachel?" Jake asked, fearing the worst. Ashley smiled.
"She's fine. Sam made a deal with her Yeerk. He said that if the Yeerk came out willingly, that we'd keep it alive. If it stayed in, we'd starve it." Ashley said.
"And?" Jake asked.
"It came out. Sherill built a small tank for it." Ashley said. Jake jumped out of bed.
"I've got to see her!" He yelled. Ashley pulled him down.
"Jake! It's midnight! She's asleep!" She said. Jake ripped his arms away from her.
"You think I care?!? She's my cousin! I haven't seen her in fifteen years!" he exclaimed, and ran out of their room, and straight into Sherill.
Good to see that you are in good health again, Prince Jake. > Sherill said.
"Thanks. Now, where is Rachel?" He asked.
She is in Firrall's old room... > Sherill said, the sadness obvious in her voice.
"I'm sorry about Firrall, Sherill. Really, I am. But try to remember him as he was." Jake said, and made his way to the other end of the dome. He knocked lightly on the door.
"Come in," a female voice replied. Jake almost couldn't open the door. After fifteen years, he was finally going to see Rachel! "Hello? Is anyone out there?" She demanded, opening the door from the inside. Jake just stared at her. She was almost exactly the same as he remembered, a little taller, and her skin showed the faint traces of battle scars. But it was her eyes that caught Jake's attention. They were the same eyes she'd always had, but different somehow. Was it because she was more mature? Or did it have to do with her years of captivity? Either way, they were deeper than they had been the last time he had seen her.
"Rachel," He whispered. She stared back at him.
"Jake..." She said, and then threw her arms around him. "I've missed you so much..."
"Me too, Rachel... but I thought you were dead!" He exclaimed. Rachel smiled.
"Not quite, Jake. Not quite..."
To Be Continued...