❯ The Daughter – The Plan ( Chapter 10 )

[ A - All Readers ]

Ten minutes later, we had a plan.

Sort of.

We morphed our smallest animals, kitten for me (the proud possessor of two, count�em, two morphs, other than Hork-Bajir) and chameleon for Daren. Then we crawled through the vents until we were over the holding section of the Yeerk Pool. Five minutes later, we had found Alloran�s cage.

<You do the talking,> Daren instructed.

<Why me?> I asked.

<Because it�s you�re idea. Plus, I should keep a look out. My eyes do the �independent moving� thing, so I can watch twice as much as you.>

<Okay, here goes.> I projected my thoughtspeak �voice� so that Alloran could hear me. <Alloran!>

He jumped slightly, and then used one of his stalk eyes to scan the room.

<Don�t bother trying to find me,> I said.

<Who are you?> he asked warily. I couldn�t resist.

<Loren Fangor,> I said, grinning mentally when he started.

<But-> he started.

<Not that one,> I interrupted. <Her granddaughter. Tobias� daughter. Now, there�s two of us, and we�re up in the vent above you.>

<Do I really want to know why?> Alloran asked caustically, surprising me.

<Humour, Alloran? I never would have guessed.>

<One is forced to develop one,> he said so bitterly that I winced.

<To answer your question, yes, you probably want to know why we�re up here, since we�re breaking you out of here.>

There was silence for a minute, then Alloran spoke again, his thoughtspeak voice coloured with hope that he was probably trying to suppress, <Did you just say what I thought you did?>

<Yup. We even have a plan.>

<Which is?>

<That�s where we need your help. Are the doors to the cages independent, or are they controlled by a central lock or something like that?> I asked.

<Both. They are capable of opening independently, but there is also a central override,> Alloran replied.

<Good,> I said. <Second question: Is it possible to access the central override from any computer terminal?>

<Yes, if you know how it can be opened from any terminal in the facility.>

<Even better. Okay, give me a minute.> I called to Daren. <Daren, can you think of anything in our clothing that would be obvious enough to set one of us apart from the other Hork-Bajir?>

<Ummm….What about that hair tie that you have? It would probably stretch to fit around a Hork-Bajir wrist.>

<Perfect.> I said. <Alloran, in about ten Earth minutes, a Hork-Bajir will come into the Pool. He, or she, I can�t tell them apart yet, will be wearing a small band of purple cloth around one wrist. Twenty minutes after he comes in, I�m going to engage the central override. When all the cages open, there�s going to be a certain amount of chaos.>

<You have a talent for understatement,> Alloran said with wry amusement. <The un-Controlled Hork-Bajir will waste little time before attacking the Controllers.>

<That�s the idea. Now, when that happens, follow the Hork-Bajir with the purple wrist and meet me in the hall. I�ll be Hork-Bajir, too.>

<Then what?> Alloran asked. I smiled grimly, even though he couldn�t see me.

<Then,> I said, my voice dry, <we steal a Bug fighter and get the heck out of here.>

I waited for the protests of �That�s crazy,� etc., but they never came. Instead, Alloran said, <That�s a better plan than you think it is. It has never occurred to those in charge here that a Bug fighter could possibly be
important. There is never a guard.>

<Okay, then, let�s get to work. See you in fifteen minutes,> I called. Then I turned to Daren. <Let�s go,> I said, padding off down the vent, and Daren skittered behind.

<So who�s going to hack into the Yeerk computer system?> he asked.

<I am,> I replied as I slid down the steep incline to the room where we�d left our clothes. We were both regretting the fact that we�d hadn�t worn morphing outfits. It meant that we had to morph one at a time, with the other person turning their back.

<Are you really that good with computers?> he asked. <You morph first,> he added, closing his chameleon eyes and turning so that his back faced me.

<You mean….> I broke off as my thoughtspeech faded out, then picked up the conversation when my mouth emerged, �that my Uncle didn�t tell your family about my hacking into the HeartSword�s computer and scaring Security out of their wits? He certainly told everyone else.�

<Yeah, but I thought Dad was exaggerating. You actually hacked into a Dome ship�s computer? I thought that was impossible.>

�So did Security,� I said as I finished doing up the buttons on my shirt.

�It turns out that it�s only impossible because of the way Andalite minds work. I�m human, so I think a bit differently, and I used a strategy that would never occur to an Andalite. They redesigned them, afterwards, with it as a joint project so nothing�ll get overlooked.� I pushed my hair back over my shoulder. �Okay, you can morph now.�

<I may as well go straight to Hork-Bajir. Just remember to bring our clothes when you come.>

�Right,� I said turning my back. �I�ll just use the computer terminal in here.�

In two minutes, Daren was morphed and ready to go. We had some trouble getting the hair tie around his wrist, but we managed it eventually.

�Be careful,� I said. �Don�t get yourself killed.�

Daren smiled, which, on a Hork-Bajir, is an…interesting expression. <I won�t. I like living, thank you very much.>

�You�d better get out there. I�ll meet you outside this room.�

<See you later,> he said, and walked out into the hall. I locked the door behind him, and sat down at the terminal. I needed to get to work. It took me less than fifteen minutes to get in, and then less that two to
set up the central override. It was ridiculously easy. It never occurred to the Yeerks that anyone would try this, I guess.

I gave myself a five minute count-down, to give me time to morph. I made our clothes into a bundle, and hung it around my neck when I was morphed.

I had thirty seconds left.

Twenty seconds left.

Ten seconds.





For a single instant, there was silence. Then all hell broke loose.

The Daughter – Controller
The Daughter – Escape or is it?