Animorphs Fan Fiction ❯ The Daughter ❯ Breath! ( Chapter 12 )

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Blackness claimed me. I felt my heart beating, but I didn’t breathe. I didn’t want to breathe. Breathing, I knew, would hurt. I just lay there, knowing I was dying. Knowing and accepting. I knew that, in a few minutes, my heart would stop. Then I would be alone, alone in this peaceful blackness. I wanted that....


I wasn’t alone in the blackness. I couldn’t see who it was, but I felt another presence in the dark. I wanted it to go away. I wanted to die....

<Loren, no! It is not your time!>

What did it mean, it wasn’t my time? I was dying, my body was broken. It didn’t matter much, anyway. Who was I? Loren Fangor, daughter two war heroes. Not important, at least not in my own right.I felt the bitterness that I had always repressed, never admitting it to anyone, not even myself, welling up. What did it matter, really, if I lived? My death would affect maybe five people. What difference did that make? What was I, really, to the rest of the universe?

<You are many things, Loren,> the voice said.


In a flash of memory, I saw my parents and me, when I was two, on the Andalite homeworld. Saw the trees, remembered hiding behind them and jumping out at Mom and Dad, who would always jump, even thought they always knew I was there.


Flash. I saw Uncle, trying to look angry at me, after I hacked into the HeartSword’s computer, when he was actually incredibly proud that I’d managed something like that. I remembered seeing through his faked anger, and suppressing a smile.


Flash. Me sitting in my classes, watching as my teacher explained the lesson.


Flash. I was helping the boy behind me in class, explaining how to do something, seeing dawning understanding in his face.


Flash. Me, Aniesha, Belaron and Halva, sitting at one side of the dome, me and Halva laughing at something ridiculous, and having to explain it to Aniesha and Belaron.


Flash. Daren and I kissing, how happy I was....

<And there is much more that you could become.>


Myself, sitting with a baby in my arms....


Myself, the link between Andalite and Human, understanding both....


I was sitting on the bridge of a Dome ship....

And then came the things harder to pin down, I saw myself giving support to a friend, by simply being there. I saw myself in many roles, more than I could ever have dreamed.

<But you cannot be these things if you are dead, Loren.>

Vaguely, as if from a million miles away, I felt someone turn me over, heard Daren calling me.

<To be these things, you must live.>

I felt Daren clamp his mouth down on mine, and force air into my lungs. Rescue breathing.

<To live, you must breathe.>

Finally, I could see the owner of the voice. I was a human man, tall, dignified looking. He was so naggingly familiar.... No, he wasn’t human! He was Andalite, just as tall, proud, but somehow sad....

But he was human again. No Andalite....

Then I realized it didn’t matter. He was both, somehow, human and Andalite.

And I knew who he was.

<Live, Loren,> my grandfather said, power in his words. <Breathe.>


Daren continued to breathe for me, air going into my lungs, but doing me no good.






I took a sudden, shuddering breath. My own breath, and I had been right. I hurt, oh how it hurt. But I breathed again.

And again.

And again.

Daren let out a shout of relief. “Loren,” he said, pulling me into a half sitting position. “Loren, are you all right?” he asked, worry in his voice and face.

“Define ‘all right’,” I croaked, my voice harsh and painful. “I’ll live. I think.”

“We need to get you back up to the ship,” Daren said, frowning. “Alloran!” he called up the cliff. “I need help!”

“Visser...Three?” I asked, the effort of talking almost too much. Daren smiled, with grim satisfaction.

“Very, very dead. He hit head first,” he told me. I felt a moment of pity for the host, who was probably an unwilling one. But if he had been, he was now free. That counted for something.

I was about to try to say something else, when Alloran leaped down beside Daren. He knelt beside me, and said, <Can you morph?>

I shook my head, and immediately regretted it. Even that tiny movement hurt like hell.

“Can’t...concentrate...that....much,” I said brokenly. Daren pressed his lips together.

“Even as a Hork-Bajir, I can’t carry you all the way up there,” he said, his voice heavy with frustration. Alloran got a troubled look for a moment.

<I....have a morph that would work,> he said, shaking it off. It was probably not one that he wanted to remember. <It is fearsome, so do not be startled.>

He morphed. He was right. It was a fairly terrifying creature. It had two arms, and then six tentacles. It was huge, and black. It stood on two feet, and had a strangely humanoid body.He very carefully picked me up with three of the tentacles, and started climbing up the cliff. I lay there, totally exhausted. I didn’t even have the energy to cry out when one of my broken bones got jarred. We reached the top. Daren had stayed human, and had still managed to climb the rock face. He carefully took me from Alloran, and Alloran demorphed. Daren carried me inside.

“Are there any medical supplies on this ship?” he asked Alloran.

<Yes. However, we only need to have Loren lucid and awake enough to morph.

Then, when she returns to her own body, she will no longer be injured.>

“Okay, then, we need to find a non-groggy painkiller.”

<Groggy?> Alloran asked, puzzled. Daren rolled his eyes, and I laughed, tiredly. Even laughing hurt.

“Groggy is a highly scientific human term. It means half asleep and not alert.”


It took about fifteen minutes to find the right painkiller, and, let me tell you, it was the longest fifteen minutes of my life. When it finally took affect, I sighed in relief. My mind cleared and I concentrated. I morphed the first thing that came to mind. That just happened to be my Andalite morph. When I was finished, I shooed both of them out of the room, and demorphed.

I let out a sigh when I found all my bones whole, and no pain. I got dressed, and headed up to the bridge. We lifted off the planet, leaving behind one of the most famous, or infamous, Vissers of the Yeerk Empire. We went into Z-space as soon as we could.

We’d been in Z-space for two hours when the comm beeped. Alloran checked it, and let out a startled exclamation.

<They’re insane!> he exclaimed, staring at the comm.

“What?” I asked, startled.

<There was an attack planned on the Pamach system,” he began. The Pamach system has one of the most valuable mining asteroid belts in the galaxy. It was a small surprise to learn that the Yeerks were going to attack it.

“What ships got sent out there?” Daren demanded, looking as if he’d just figured something out. Alloran checked the computer.

<The HeartSword, and the Millennium,> he replied.

The answer hit me like a ton of bricks. “So that’s why...”

“Why we got kidnapped?” Daren nodded. “They were probably expecting Tom to be with us. They were going to use us as bargaining chips or something.”

“But,” I protested, “we’ve escaped, and so has Alloran. Not to mention the fact that Visser Three’s dead. Who’s leading the attack?”

Alloran’s face got a wry expression. <I believe the human expression, ‘I’ll give you three guesses, and the first two don’t count’, is appropriate.>

“David,” Daren said. “He’s going to try and bluff it.”

“But that won’t work if we get to the Fleet first,” I pointed out.

Alloran immediately changed course. <It will be close. We may beat them by less than an hour.>

I grinned at Daren. “It’s crazy. Therefor, as Rachel Fangor’s daughter, I do hereby quote her.” My grin got wider. “Let’s do it!”