|#45: The Revelation|
Detailed Plot: Marco's making dinner for his family like a good son when his dad bursts through the door and exuberantly declares to Marco and his stepmother Nora that something awesome has happened at work. They've discovered Z-space! Marco flips out a little and worries that his dad is a Controller, and says some things to test him, but he appears to be passing all the tests--especially since he intends to take the family on a five-day vacation and three days would be the limit for a Yeerk away from the pool. Marco meets up with his friends to discuss what this could mean, and Ax is adamant that humans can't have made that much of a breakthrough in their science to be discovering Z-space at this time. Marco suggests a stakeout on his dad to make sure he's not a Yeerk, but Cassie and Jake have clearly decided he can't be trusted because he's too close to this issue. Marco wants to prove them wrong.
Then that night Marco's dad gets a call from a co-worker saying one of the guys on the same project as him had been in a car wreck and died, and since Marco's dad has also lost a spouse they want him to go comfort the hysterical widow. Marco overhears this call because he and his dad picked up at the same time. Marco puts the pieces together after his dad takes off in the car, and he realizes this is probably a setup to go infest his dad. Marco looks for clues to the address and finds that his dad has gotten directions from a still-open Yahoo! map. He flies after his dad and ends up at the address just in time to see through the window that his dad is about to be infested! He's being held over a tub by Hork-Bajir, with a Yeerk squirming toward his ear, when Marco bursts in as a gorilla, having decided that this may not be smart behavior but it is right.
Marco barges in and stops his dad's infestation, kicks butt on the Hork-Bajir and human-Controllers, and gets himself in a bit too deep. Rachel comes and saves him--the result of a phone call he made to Cassie before he left--and Marco grabs his dad and hops in the car (having to "modify" the passenger side to fit). Of course Marco's dad is not able to understand who the good guys are, and Marco tries being tough on his dad and ordering him to keep driving, but soon enough they're still having a hard time losing the Controllers who are driving after them and his dad has had enough. He jumps out of the car and tries to get away. Marco runs after him and finally gets him to stop by calling him "Dad" in thought-speak. When his father turns around, Marco reveals who he is by morphing back to his real body. He worries that this will not result in anything good because the last human they revealed themselves to ended up getting trapped as a rat--David. Understandably, Marco's dad is perplexed and horrified, but he opens his arms to his son.
After Marco explains the short version of everything he's been through while they eat at a diner, his dad tries to digest it but then wants to call Nora. Marco lets him, but as soon as he starts to tell Nora where they are Marco hangs up the phone for him. He explains that the Yeerks are probably waiting for him and probably already have Nora. He also explains that his dad can't go to the police because many of the police are already Controllers. When his dad starts to go into denial, even about what Marco did with his gorilla morph, Marco's forced to play hardball and show off several other morphs so his dad will believe him. And again his dad takes it fairly well but is still stumbling to undertsand. Marco ends up having to confess that his mother--his dad's former wife Eva--is still alive and is the host to Visser One. This chokes his dad up, especially since he has remarried, but when he says he loves Nora as much as he loved Eva, Marco doesn't know how to take it.
Marco has his dad drive over to Erek's house so he can ask them to take his dad in, and he hopes they can use their hologram technology to cover up Marco's dad's disappearance. His dad gets introduced to the Chee and is very interested in the hologram technology, but soon enough when they go down to the underground lair he's overcome by exhaustion and takes a nap, surrounded by dogs and Chee. Marco goes back and meets with the others to explain what's happened, and Rachel and Cassie agree that they couldn't watch their parents get taken either. But they know the Yeerks are going to be after everyone associated with Marco's dad, and they also know stealing the Z-space communicator isn't practical because the Yeerks will be on their guard. But perhaps since Marco's dad helped build it, he and Ax could re-create it. Ax agrees to try, because they think perhaps they could use it to communicate with Andalites and/or intercept Yeerk communications.
Marco and Ax go back to Erek's house and ask Marco's dad whether he'd be able to rebuild the device with Ax's help. He gets to meet another alien--his first Andalite--and recalls that he met him as a weird human kid once upon a time. Marco's dad and Ax talk theory briefly and acknowledge that the parts to build the transponder won't be easily found. Marco offers to do some burglary to get the parts needed.
Marco and the Chee (Mr. King and Erek) go back to Marco's house, and the Chee pose as Marco and his dad while Marco hides in cockroach morph. They provide a setup where Marco's dad is pretending to have to rush away on vacation to get away from weirdos at work, pretending to think the kidnapping and attempted infestation was people in costumes. Then Controllers burst in and kill them, but really they're just firing at the hard-to-destroy Chee, who project a hologram that reflects the grisly results of what a Dracon beam would do to a human. After they leave, assuming the father and son are killed, Marco comes out of morph and tries to help Mr. King, whose android body was a bit damaged in the shooting. Marco notices that Nora is talking to the cops and they know each other; obviously she is a Controller now, and he worries about whether her infestation was something he could have prevented; what if he secretly just wanted her out of his life and didn't try hard enough?
Back at the Chee hideout, the Z-space communicator is intercepting some discussions but Ax can't stabilize the translation. He comments about how surprising it is that humans have figured out Z-space communication so soon after spaceflight. Since the communicaton isn't straightforward, Ax is only speculating when he explains what he's overheard so far, but apparently the Yeerks have brought Visser One back to Earth and they are going to execute her as a traitor. He assures them that he could possibly be wrong because of some unknowns in understanding the communication, so Jake gives the order: they're going to have to find out from the source, and meet up with Visser One in the Yeerk pool.
The group decides it'd be okay to hide Marco's dad--and his mom, if they save her--in the free Hork-Bajir colony, but first they have to figure out a plan to get into the pool, and they no longer have an entrance they can use. Ax has figured out from the communications that there is a way to get in, though; they just have to get in with a Bug fighter because there's no other way to avoid being vaporized by the bio-filters (which are even more effective now than they used to be). So, despite that Marco's dad is upset about Nora and doesn't like being told his life as he knows it is over, he is willing to help the Animorphs plan a trap to steal a Bug fighter; it has to be something important enough that they'll attack with a ship, but low-key enough that they'll be able to handle whatever fire they call down.
So Tobias poses as a Hork-Bajir caught in a trap, and Marco poses as a hunter who has found him. He calls a headquarters about seeing an alien, pretending he's just a yokel, and within four minutes a Bug fighter containing a Taxxon and some Hork-Bajir is on them. The others, hiding in morph, quickly take out the Controllers, and they tie up the Hork-Bajir so the free ones can come and get him. Then they steal the fighter and Ax has some trouble piloting it while the others sit tight. Erratic flying causes the Bug fighter to switch to autopilot and take itself home--a security measure--and "home" turns out to be through the ocean. They slam into the water and somehow don't die, and pass into a cave entrance, where they disembark as Hork-Bajir. They march in trying to look like everyone else, in formation, and manage to find Visser One, who's in bad shape, physically. Marco has trouble looking at his mother in that state.
The Yeerk in her head is obviously starved to the point of madness, and Marco calls out to her in thought-speak without really thinking. She clearly hears him but can't respond, and then goes back to suffering from Kandrona starvation. Other Yeerks are jeering at her and mocking her. The Animorphs as Hork-Bajir have no subtle way to approach her, so Jake decides they should go back to the fighter and just fly in and take her if possible. But they get stopped by guards, and Jake ends up getting questioned. He tells the others to run, then attacks those guards in front of him and catches up. But they almost catch him with Dracon fire, so Ax and Tobias morph and begin attacking. Jake makes it to the fighter and encourages everyone else to follow, and Marco finally hops on but has lost Rachel and Cassie. They come back for the girls, pick them up, and start shooting and maneuvering wildly. Finally, through dropping off some of their group and picking them up afterwards, they're able to get Marco's mother untethered, but the Yeerk in her head has disengaged and tried to drop down into the Yeerk pool to get some Kandrona rays. It's lying on the pier, wriggling toward its food source. Marco's mother begs for them to kill the Yeerk. They've crashed into the infestation pier and elite Hork-Bajir start coming after them.
Rachel fights an elite Hork-Bajir and gets hurt really badly and starts losing consciousness abandoned on the pier, and Marco's mom keeps begging for Marco to kill the Yeerk, which is slowly sliding toward the pool. Marco tries to lug his mother to safety but Rachel's in trouble, and then the Bug fighter above blows apart and Marco believes his friends are all dead. Then Visser Three arrives and morphs something called a Bievilerd. He gloats that he's going to kill them where everyone can see. But then Jake arrives in their Bug fighter and informs Marco that actually what he saw blowing up was a Yeerk ship, not their ship. They start fighting the visser's huge batlike morph. Jake also manages to shoot some Hork-Bajir that are trying to get Marco and Rachel. Rachel warns that she cannot stay conscious much longer and has lost a lot of blood, so Jake needs to get her out of there. Then Marco's mother sits up, grabs for the crawling Yeerk, and squeezes it to kill it. Marco finishes the job by stomping on it, and then they know for sure that Visser One is dead. Satisfied, Marco's mom says they can go now.
But they had to lower the shields to let Marco, Rachel, and Eva board, and so during that time they get hit and fall into the pool. Eva tells them, using her experience as Visser One's host, that they need to put the Dracon beam into overdrive and use it to get out of the pool. She tells Ax the calculations, which he follows after Jake approves it, and the liftoff has the side-effect of boiling Yeerks in the pool. Visser Three is no longer cocky and tells them they'll pay, but off they go toward freedom. They crash the ship for a decoy and let the pursuing Yeerks shoot the damaged ship, and they hide in the forest. Marco has succeeded in saving his mother and killing Visser One.
After his mom's been healed somewhat by the Chee, she gets to live out in the Hork-Bajir valley, and she's amazed to see it because the Yeerks think they destroyed it. And then she gets to have her reunion with her husband, which is just as beautiful as everyone had hoped . . . except that now there is the Nora situation to deal with. Marco, with a heavy heart, tells his dad that it's possible Nora was a Controller all along and that she helped steer him into this situation; he claims it was all a setup. Marco's trying to make it easier for his dad, he thinks, but he knows he isn't being honest.
They wrap everything up by finishing the Z-space transponder, which Ax has installed with a working translation chip. They take it out to a location that's not associated with any of their camps, and then use it to make a long-distance phone call, so to speak . . . to the Andalites. Jake is in contact with another world light-years away. And he tells them what planet is calling.
New known controllers:
New morphs acquired:
This book is ghostwritten by Ellen Geroux.
Marco finally expresses some semblance of sulkiness over being the only romantically single human Animorph in this book, against the backdrop of his dad having just gotten married as well. Usually his cockiness and his insistence that girls love him precludes him from expressing such things.
When Marco is showing his dad his morphs to get him to believe what's going on, he says he can morph "about twenty other animals" after he's shown three. In reality, his total is closer to forty. Could be a mistake, or could be Marco literally has no idea how many he's acquired.
A misspelling of Erek was included in this book. One line called him Erik.
At one point Marco's dad reaches through a hologram that a Chee is projecting for his body, able to touch the real android inside. It's said in previous books about the Chee that they also have force field abilities that they use to make their illusions seem to behave like they're solid masses. It's not really said why Erek didn't turn his on with the visual part of it, enabling Marco's dad to reach through it.
Marco and his dad have to fake being killed by Controllers at one point, and it's surprising that even though their cover is being legally dead, there are never any reactions from anyone--Jake was his best friend, and people had to wonder how he was taking losing his best friend. The book didn't go into whether there were any funeral arrangements or how many people really knew Marco was supposed to be dead.
Marco: This was the end of smart. And the beginning of right.
Marco's dad: "I love Nora. I love her as much as I loved your mother."
Marco: "Dad, it's about to get weird."
Rachel: "Marco acted like a human being. There's a first time for everything."
Marco's dad: "But that doesn't make it right."
Ax: "At times you humans truly scare me. A mere four decades from the first orbital spaceflight to the discovery of Zero-space communication? We Andalites may wish we had left you to the Yeerks."
Marco: "Look, our odds for success might be pretty good in a world where Rachel is short, fat, and ugly, and Tobias is a stork. But in this world? We've used up most of our nine lives, kids."
Marco: "Uh, Ax-man, do you have even, like, one little clue?"