❯ The Daughter – 12 Years Later ( Chapter 2 )

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I glared at the equation. It didn�t make sense. No matter what angle I looked at it, it didn�t make sense. �Uncle,� I called. Uncle Aximili looked up from the text that he was reading.
<Yes?> he said, using thought-speech, naturally, as he was in his natural form and therefore had no mouth.
Confused? I should probably explain. My name is Lauren Fangor. My grandfather was an Andalite who morphed and stayed human until an Elimist interfered and sent him back to the Andalites. He was Uncle Ax�s brother, and a famous War Prince. His name was Elfangor-Sirinal-Shamtul. His son, my father was one of the Animorphs with my mother. They were both killed by Yeerks when I was 3. So that�s why I�m a human with an Andalite uncle.
�This equation makes no sense. There�s no way for it to work,� I said, jabbing my finger at the offensive homework. Uncle regarded both me and the paper.
<Are you sure?> he asked. I could have been mistaken, but I swear he sounded amused.
�Yes, I�m sure. I�ve worked and reworked, and there is no way that it works the way it�s supposed to. At least not with the formula Professor Papya taught us.� Uncle smile the way all Andalites do, with his eyes.
<Congratulations. You�ve discovered the point of this problem.> I frowned.
�So this equation doesn�t work for everything?� I asked.
<No. It only works if you add the nth possibility.>
�Oh.� I looked at my work again, and shrugged. �Then I�m done with my work. I�m gonna go see if I can find Aniesha and Halva.�
<In a few minutes. First, come with me.>
�Wearing this?� I asked, pointing to the skintight jumpsuit I�d been wearing. Give me a break. Just before that, I�d had a self defense class, and the jumpsuit was what I wore.
<Yes,> Uncle said, and typically, without answering, he turned and walked out the door. I followed, wondering what was going on. It occurred to me that it might have something to do with the comment my flight instructor, Prince Reynor-Temiyan-Yazzad had made earlier.
Flashback
<Tomorrow, Lauren, there will probably be a change in you,>
End Flashback
Suddenly, my heart quickened. It couldn�t possibly be� I followed my uncle up to the dome. When we got there, I saw my best friend Aniesha-Lamsa-Cerean. A tall, delicate-looking Andalite, she was holding Krista, the terran kitten I�d given her for her birthday.
<Ah, so you are already here,> Uncle said, nodded to Aniesha. I gave her a quizzical look. She gave a tiny shrug and a confused look.
<Yes, sir,> she replied, <although I don�t see why I needed to bring Krista.>
<Because you are going to learn how to morph, and as far as I know, Krista is the only non-sentient animal on board.> Aniesha was so startled, she dropped the kitten, which landed with a little thump, and gave her a disgusted look, I wasn�t much better. My jaw hung open, and my eyes were so wide they hurt. My Uncle reached into the small pouch he wore around his waist and pulled out a smallish blue cube. <Place your hands on the cube,> he instructed. Aniesha and I both did as we were told, which was rare. I put my hand on the top, and she put hers on the left side. A weird tingling ran up my arm, and I blinked. As we took our hands away from the cube, my Uncle smiled. <Now,> he said, <as she has obligingly stayed here, acquire the cat.> I reached over and picked up Krista. As I petted her, I concentrated, focusing on her DNA becoming part of me. Krista went quiet and still the way most animals do when they are being acquired. Well, most animals. One of my favorite stories that my dad used to tell me was the one about the dolphin that didn�t, and nearly broke both his wings while it was at it. I handed the cat to Aniesha, and she acquired Krista as well. Then she put the cat back down. <Now,> Uncle Ax said, <Morph Krista.> Suddenly something occurred to me.
�So this is why you told me to wear my jumpsuit.�
<Precisely.> I nodded, and focused on the DNA inside me, imagining myself becoming the cat. My skin started to tingle, and when I looked down, I saw fur growing on my arms. Then I felt the tail grow. As I turned to look at it, the ground started rushing up beneath me. My knees changed direction, and I fell over on all fours. My ears moved up on my head, and all my senses except touch became a hundred times sharper. Then the kitten�s mind surfaced. I was confident, strong, smooth and incredibly curious. I wanted to play. I wanted to know about everything. I caught the scent of another kitten. I turned, and there she was. She looked at me, and we circled around each other. There was something not quite right about this kitten, something that put my hackles up. I bared my teeth at her, and she did the same. I tensed, getting ready to pounce�<Control the morph, Lauren, Aniesha,> said a strange voice. What? The morph? Lauren? Who was�? Oh, right. If I�d been human I would have blushed bright red. I looked at Aniesha, who was looking just as sheepish as I was.
<Oops,> she said. I nodded.
<Double oops,> I added, <One for each of us.> we demorphed, grinning at each other. For all of the fact that we lost control of our morphs, the experience had been amazingly cool. We practiced for about an hour, then we said goodbye, and Uncle and I headed back to our quarters.
<Now for my second surprise of the day,> Uncle said when we got there. I lifted an eyebrow.
�What, one wasn�t enough?� I asked, somewhat sarcastically, but curious nonetheless.
<For the first time in years, we have managed to arrange it so that my leave, Marco�s leave and Jake�s leave coincide. So,> he said, turning all four eyes in my direction, <we are going to Earth.> I stared for a second, then let out a loud whoop of excitement. Earth! Probably the one Alliance or Neutral planet I�d ever been on. Well, that�s not entirely true. I was on Earth for all of forty-eight hours after my parents died, while Uncle Ax was arguing with command and the Electorate about whether or not he was going to be my guardian. But that hardly counted. <We are leaving in 3 hours,> Uncle said, with a smile at my reaction. <I would suggest you pack, while I arrange matters with Commander Eagleson.> Commander Eagleson was the Heartsword�s first officer. She was a 30 year-old human woman with all the sense of humor of a rock. Ironic, huh?
�Right, pack.� I said, heading straight for my room. 3 hours, and I�d be on my way to Earth. How cool was that?
The Daughter – The Beginning
The Daughter – Earth