❯ The Daughter – Waking Up ( Chapter 4 )

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�Loren. Loren. Wake up.�

Someone was shaking me. My head felt like someone had dropped a building on it.

�Ungghh,� I said, rolling over and opening my eyes. Daren was leaning over me, looking worried. �Daren?� I asked groggily. �Where are we? What happened?�

�We�re on a ship. We�ve been kidnapped,� he replied, looking grim.

That woke me up. I pushed myself into a sitting position. �Who?� I started to ask, then stopped and shook my head. �Never mind. Stupid question. The Yeerks, duh. Second question: Why?�

�Why? Don�t know,� Daren said. �Ransom, bargaining chips, host bodies, who knows? Could be that their trying to put our families off balance, make�em come after us instead of paying attention to their jobs.� He shrugged.

�Heck, depending on who ordered it, it might be revenge.� I frowned, trying to put all the pieces together.

�How long were we out?� I asked. Daren smiled sardonically.

�Two days, give or take an hour or six,� he said.

�What?!� I almost shouted. �How could we be out two whole days?�

�They stunned us. Twice, on the highest stun setting. I know, �cause I was half awake the second time they stunned us.�

�Wonderful. So they�re already panicking back home. Any idea where we�re going?�

�From what I�ve managed to overhear, the Taxxon homeworld,� Daren said, his expression getting even grimmer, if that was possible. I hissed a curse.

�That�s exactly how I feel about it,� Daren said.

We fell into silence then, and my head reminded me how much it hurt. And my stomach reminded me that I hadn�t eaten in two days. I felt thoroughly miserable.

�I wonder if they�re monitoring us?� Daren asked, breaking the silence. I shrugged.

�What difference does it make?� I demanded, raising an eyebrow at him.

�Well,� he replied, �if they�re monitoring us, then we�re screwed. But if they aren�t, then maybe we can make an escape plan.�

�If they�re monitoring us,� I said, sweeping my gaze over the room, �then they�ve got some interesting cameras. There�s nowhere to hide them in this room.�

The room we were in was square, with smooth walls. The only edge in the whole room was where the door was. There was absolutely nothing in the room except us.

�Uplifting surroundings,� Daren commented. I snorted, and we lapsed into silence again. Then something occurred to me.

�What kind of ship are we on?� I asked Daren

�A Bug fighter, I think,� he replied.

�So, there�s a limited amount of people they can have on the ship.�

�Right. But what if there�s more than one ship?� Daren pointed out. �I don�t think either of us is qualified to fly this thing through combat.�

I absorbed that in silence. After a moment I said, �So, our best bet is to wait �till we land, and then try to make a break for it.�

Daren looked at me. �You do realize how suicidal that sounds, don�t you?�

I glared at him. �You got a better idea?� I demanded him.

He sighed. �No, nothing that�ll work. So, we just try to overpower the guards?�

�Basically. Overpower them, then run like heck. Try and meet up with each other as soon as possible.�

�Then we should probably morph right away. Then we can use thoughtspeak,� Daren said thoughtfully, and I nodded. �Simple. Elegant. Crazy. Dad would probably be laughing his head off, if he were here.�

�Why?� I asked, puzzled. He looked at me for a long moment.

�Did Captain, I mean, War….� He broke off, seemingly confused over what to call Uncle Aximili.

�Just call him Aximili,� I advised. �It�s less confusing.�

�Right. So, did he ever tell you stories about your parents?�

�Yeah, of course.�

�Well, my dad thought your mom was crazy.�

I grinned. �What, so you think this is a plan worthy of my mom?�

�Yes. I think this is the craziest plan I�ve ever heard.� He sighed.

�Unfortunately, it�s also the best plan that we can pull off, considering the circumstances.�

�Thanks for the vote of confidence,� I muttered under my breath. After a moment, I asked, �Are you as hungry as I am?�

�Yeah,� he replied. �I keep thinking about food, which only makes it worse.�

�Mmm. Roast beef,� I said, closing my eyes.

�Ice cream,� Daren said, picking up on my train of thoughts.

�Pizza.�

�Hamburgers.�

�Cinnamon buns!� we both shouted, laughing. I remembered the stories Uncle had told me about his adventures with cinnamon buns. Or misadventures, depending on how you look at it.

After a few minutes of silence, Daren said, �How�d you get a kitten morph, anyway?�

�It�s my friend�s. We used it for our first morph.�

�Huh. Who�s your friend?�

�Her name�s Aniesha-Lemsa-Cerean.� He lifted an eyebrow.

�Andalite?� he asked. I gave him a look.

�No, her parents just have a warped sense of humour,� I said, my voice heavy with sarcasm. Daren grinned at me.

For the next half an hour, we traded stories about our homes and friends. It helped to take our minds off how hopeless our situation. And how hungry we were.

After an hour, a small slit opened in the door, and three ration packets and two water bottles slid in. By now, we were hungry enough that dry rations tasted wonderful.

�You know, I never thought I�d be glad to eat these things,� Daren said, staring at the ration bar that was left. �I tried one once, �cause I was curious about how they tasted.�

�They�re pretty bad,� I agreed. �We had to eat them once on the Heartwood, when we had to lie low, avoiding the fleet of Yeerk ships. Even the Andalites ended up on rations, because we had to ration the water, too.�

�Huh. Well�� Daren started. The door hissed open. Daren and I scrambled to our feet.

And then he stepped into the room.

The Daughter – Earth
The Daughter – The Traitor