The Pretender (Animorphs #23)
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To Tobias, no one is who they seem. He has just heard a reading of his father's last will and testament. That's how he found out who his father really was: the Andalite Prince Elfangor! Tobias is stunned, but can't show it. Because Visser Three is watching his every move.
Hah, hah, hah! Now, that's funny. That is really, really funny. > Chapter 28 I didn't have much time to sit and feel sorry for myself. That would have to come later. I had an appointment. It was my birthday. I was supposed to hear the last statement left to me by my father. Or my real father, whatever that meant. All a sham, of course. But I had to go through with it. It was a trap, but the only way out of the trap was to step right in. Aria was Visser Three. She/he had been looking for me. Which meant she/he suspected me.
Rachel went into her bald eagle morph. I've seen her do it many times before, of course, but for some reason this time it fascinated me. Is that the right word? No, it mesmerized me. Rachel is a beautiful girl. She's beautiful in that way you know will last her whole life. She'll be a beautiful woman. But beauty alone isn't that big a thing. What makes Rachel "Rachel" is what's inside. And watching her morph to eagle was like seeing her soul emerge through her flesh. Feather patterns appeared across her skin.
The helicopter roared past, oblivious to me, spinning me roughly in its rotor wash. It disappeared around the far side of the mound. How could I have been so stupid? How could I have ever been stupid enough to hope? How could I have failed to know? Had I been blinded by some pathetic desire for normalcy? It was all an act! Aria, saving the little girl's life, just an act! A show put on for the benefit of any Animorph who might be watching. I raged at myself. Raged and berated myself, piling anger on top of anger.
The big bald eagle flew slow and low, carrying what looked like a dead muskrat, but was in fact the man's toupee. The man took off after her. I headed for the big plaster pirate ship. A few moments later Rachel joined me, laughing as she demorphed.
What a disgusting creature I was. To live my life as a hawk, I had to fight another hawk. A bird fight. And over what? A rabbit? A few mice? I was going to fight that bird for the right to kill and eat rodents? Before, I'd had no choice. Now I did. I was choosing to live as a hawk. Choosing to build a life around a scruffy meadow and the pitiful rodents in it. Maybe I was crazy. Before, I'd been able to tell myself I had nowhere else to go. No one to take me in. No parents. No family. Now there was this Aria person.