Â Chapter 17
Marco wants to yell at his mother, host of Visser One, to show that he’s there. He has gone years thinking his mother is dead and this scene is just heartbreaking.
Jake privately thought-speaks to Marco to remind him not to do something stupid. Jake has to remind Marco, multiple times, to keep control and not make the other Controllers suspicious. Marco is so lost in the moment that he can’t fully recognize the dangers of calling out to his mother.
Visser Three notices that Marco seems frightened. That starts a short bitching contest between Visser One and Visser Three. Visser One defends her choice for a human body as her learning about the planet and that Visser Three has jeopardized the invasion. I wish I was there and had a bowl of popcorn to watch this.
Marco realizes that only Jake and himself know who the host of Visser One is.
Visser Three says he’s better than Visser One because he destroyed the Andalite fleet and killed Prince Elfangor personally. Visser One counters by saying that he has still made mistakes and the Council of Thirteen doesn’t like Vissers that make mistakes.
It fully hits Marco that his mother is a Controller and he feels weak. As Visser One leaves the room, Jake tells Marco that he can’t do anything for his mother now. Marco wishes he was in another morph so he could get lost in an animal’s instincts. But the gorilla’s instincts are too similar to a human’s.
Marco tells Jake not to tell anyone else about the identity of Visser One’s human hosts. I like that Marco singles out Cassie as everyone knows who Jake is crushing on. I am so glad the pair end up together at the end with Rachel as the maid of honor.
Jake agrees with Marco’s demand.
Visser Three comes in and taunts the Animorphs. Ax responds and Visser Three comments that Ax is right in that he doesn’t want any other Yeerk to get the morphing power. Does this mean that the Visser plans to kill them all? Or will he fear that will get him into too much trouble?
Visser Three also seems to consider the fact that the Animorphs might be humans, at least some of them, but he brushes that assumption off. I’m assuming the idea doesn’t make sense to him so he decides to brush it off. In his mind humans are worthless, not as good as Andalites, so why bother?
Visser Three then commands the Controllers to take the Animorphs to a holding cell and if they cause any trouble, to kill them.
Marco and the others are lead to their holding cell. It’s creepy that he uses some imagery from the dreadful ant morph to describe the cramped conditions. And Tobias is on his shoulder cause he can’t fly. Aw!
This time when they’re caged up no window appears.
The majority of the Animorphs have thirty-six minutes until they’re trapped in morph. I would not want to be Tobias right now. He’s probably looking at the group imagining how horrid their lives will be if they manage to escape while becoming nothlits. Hell, he’s probably hoping that they’ll die instead of becoming nothlits like him.
As Marco waits for his own death he wonders when his mother was taken. How much of his memories of his mother had been Visser One controlling his mother’s body. All the moments he describes are so sweet but when he basically says ‘what if it was a Yeerk during those moments’ it becomes very creepy.
Marco ends his thinking on the fact that his mother never really died and that Visser One left the invasion of Earth in Visser Three’s hands.
Ax basically says that they should give up while Marco says no. This is a huge transformation as he’s always been the reluctant Animorph. He has always been the one saying that they shouldn’t fight. And instead of harassing his friends that he was right, he is the one saying that they should still fight. That’s some great character development there!
All the other Animorphs stare at Marco, of course.
Marco even suggests morphing ants to hopefully make one final strike against the Yeerks. Cassie is shocked but the rest of the group agrees. However, Tobias can’t morph so they know they’ll have to leave him on his own. Tobias says it’s okay since he would feel better knowing that the others are out there causing the Yeerks problems.
And then a door just appears. Hork-Bajir wearing gold uniforms have killed Hork-Bajir wearing red uniforms. The lead Hork-Bajir, that is detailed as being extremely deadly even for one of its species, says how to escape. Of course the group expects this to be a trap.
The Animorphs then decide to go for it since, as Marco points out, the Yeerks could’ve easily killed them but didn’t.
Oh, and why are the Hork-Bajir doing this? Politics. While Animorphs is mature for its intended audience…this is just fucking stupid. I mean…really, Visser One, you’re risking the invasion of Earth for the sake of one upping Visser Three? Really?
As they go to find the exit, Rachel is really excited. Of course she would be. The fighting here is tense. Ax says BATTLE! like he found the best party ever. I think Ax’s excitement comes because he’s finally going into a real battle and that, maybe, it’s more honorable for an Andalite to die in battle. Plus he won’t have to fight Visser Three one on one if he does die.
Marco feels good because he doesn’t feel helpless anymore. As Marco continues to fight he starts to form a bond with Ax. I don’t believe it’s romantic, at least not at this point, I think it’s the bond between one fighter to another. A bond that can last during battle, but doesn’t always exist outside of it. The Eternal Heart (my Terminator fanfic) talks about this at least once or twice.
After Jake takes down a Hork-Bajir, Marco compares the hallways in the alien ship to the ant tunnels. God, I don’t need that memory being brought up every two seconds!
Soon they find the dropshaft which is basically an elevator without a floor. Imagine the leap of faith scene from the third Indiana Jones movie but with an elevator. Ax says that the dropshaft should understand simple thought-speak and spoken words because that’s how it works on Andalite ships.
I’m just confused as why Andalites would need something that takes voice commands when they don’t have mouths. I’ll just shut up now…
They reach the fifteenth level after two minor incidents, including Tobias taking on a Hork-Bajir, and Marco reminds Rachel to demorph. As she stumbles, Marco picks her up in his gorilla arms to save time getting to the pod.
As the pod goes towards Earth, Marco looks at the Yeerk mother ship and thinks it’s funny that his mother is on there. Of course it’s the sad type of funny. Before Marco finishes demorphing he tells Jake to keep Visser One’s human host’s identity a secret. Jake agrees.
Marco then thinks that one day the war with the Yeerks will be over and all humans will be free. And there we have Marco’s reason for fighting!
It is Sunday and both Marco and his Dad are at his mother’s grave. He remarks that there is no thing as a nice graveyard, but his mother still has a good one. I’ll admit I have never lost someone that I have cried over. So Marco getting sad like this is foreign to me. I have lost both grandparents on my father’s side, but I never felt sad over their deaths.
Marco comments that it is better to joke and laugh. You especially need to do those things when life gets you down.
Marco’s Dad makes an announcement saying that he’s finally going to go back to his old line of work. That he hasn’t been a good father for his son and Eva, his wife and Marco’s mother, wouldn’t be happy about that. Marco, of course, has to make a wisecrack about this.
This causes the two to get into a joking fight and decide to have a rematch on the game DOOM.
The book ends with Marco remembering what he knows about his mother now and how he will save her. One day.
This book is the last book that covers the Animorphs’ reasons for fighting. You could say Ax never got a book of his own in the first five and so we still need to get to his reason for fighting. Thing is…he’s an Andalite and needs to fight the Yeerks.
So you could say this book is also Ax’s reason for fighting as it explains why he doesn’t fly away to his people.
I can’t remember how I felt when I first found out about the identity of Visser One but now…ouch. I am very glad the book ends with Marco’s father deciding to move on, though.
The next book in the Animorphs series I will be Re-Reading will be