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Animorphs Volume 07

The Stranger
K.A. Applegate

*Converted to EBook by Dace K

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Chapter One My name is Rachel. And you know the drill. I'm not going to tell you my last name. I'm not going to tell you where I live. I'll tell you all I can, because you need to know what's going on. You need to know what's happening. But I need to stay alive. And if the Yeerks knew who I was, Iwould be dead. Or worse. The Yeerks are here. That's what you need to know. People look up at the stars at night and wonder what it would be like if creatures from another planet ever landed on Earth. Well, you can stop wondering. It's happened. The Yeerks are parasites. They live in the brains of other species - humans, for example. They turn human beings into mindless slaves human-Controllers.So when I say that the aliens are here, don't go looking around for some cute little thing like E.T. You won't see the Yeerks. They are parasitic worms, evil gray slugs that live in the heads of humans. They can be in anyone. Your best friend. Your favorite teacher. The mayor of your town. Your brother. Sister. Mother. Father. Anyone might be a Controller. You might be a Controller. So I won't tellyou my last name. Or where I live. But I will tell you the truth. The truth that only the Animorphs know. Animorph. Animal morpher. A human capable of becoming any animal. It's our one weapon against the Yeerks. Our only power. Without it, we're just five regular kids. But with that power comes certain extra responsibilities...as I was trying to explain to my best friend, Cassie. It was a Sundaynight. It was late. The circus had finished its last show. Their trailers and tents were clustered around the back side of the big City Arena. The Arena is a place where they hold rock concerts and ice shows and play basketball games. And where they have circuses. "Look, we both saw what we saw," I told Cassie. "Are you telling me it doesn't make you mad? That jerk using a cattle prod on anelephant doesn't make you mad?" "Of course it does, Rachel," Cassie said. "I don't even like circuses." 3

"I don't, either. But my dad had tickets, and it was our big once-every-other-week, fatheranddaughters thing. I had to come." My dad had taken my sisters and me to see the circus earlier in the evening. See, my mom and dad are divorced, so my dad does these little outings where we all gettogether every second weekend. Sometimes it's just me and my dad. Like when we go hiking together, or go to ball games or gymnastics events. Those are all things my dad and I like, but Jordan and Sara, my sisters, don't. My little sisters loved the circus, but it's not my kind of thing. I guess I'm too old. That's why I dragged Cassie along. So I'd have someone to talk to when my sisters were gettingall excited over the clowns and stuff. Still, it was an opportunity to spend time with my dad, which I enjoy. I don't get to see him as much as I wish I could. Everyone always says how much I'm like him. How he's kind of reckless, and so am I. He always seems so sure of himself, and I guess people think I'm that way, too. We're even both into gymnastics. My dad almost made the U.s. Olympic team whenhe was younger. Of course, I've never told my father about my other life. I couldn't. But I wish I could. He would worry about me and all, but he would also think it was cool. My dad is very big on standing up for what's right. I think he would admire what I do. That would be nice, feeling like my dad admired me. There wasn't much activity in the little tent and trailer city outside the Arena. Icould hear dogs barking. I could hear raucous laughter coming from a brightly painted trailer. I could smell the usual circus smells - manure, hay, beer, cotton candy. There were security guards around the perimeter of the area, but I wasn't worried about them. I've gone one-on-one with Hork-Bajir warriors. After you've fought one of those seven-foottall walking razor blades, regular old humans...
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