The Visitor

Free The Visitor by K. A. Applegate

Book: The Visitor by K. A. Applegate Read Free Book Online
Authors: K. A. Applegate
I called. But there was no answer. We’re still learning about thought-speech. We know there are limits on how far it can be “heard.” But we aren’t sure what the limits are.
    The basement had paneling all around. The ceiling was bare wood and full of spiders and other interesting things. No mice, though. Nothing that could be considered actual prey. But many things that might be fun to chase.
    Chapman is the prey,
I reminded myself.
We are hunting Chapman
.
    There was a sort of TV room with a pool table and some old chairs and a couch. But it was obvious that no one had used them for a long time. There were no human scents on them. There was dust everywhere and I could hear that there were spiders inside the TV set.
    The only part of the basement that appeared to have been used was a path right across the floor. I smelled the scents that Chapman had tracked there with his shoes.
    He walked in a straight line across the basement to a door. It was a simple white-painted door. Chapman pulled a set of keys out of his pocket. He unlocked the white door.
    He opened it and stepped through. Five feet beyond the white door was a second door. This one was made of gleaming steel. It looked like the door to a bank vault.
    Beside the steel door, there was a small, square,white panel of light. Chapman pressed his hand against it.
    The steel door opened. It slid into the wall like the doors in
Star Trek
.
    I knew I had to go after him. But my human mind was afraid. And my cat mind didn’t see any reason why I should walk into that dark place. To both of us, it felt like a trap. Like a place we couldn’t get out of.
    But I
had
to. I had to go in there. That was the whole point of this spying trip.
    And Chapman was my prey.
    At the last second, just as the door swooshed shut, I bounded into the room.
    It was dark at first, not that it bothered me. Then Chapman turned on a low light. It was strange, because I could actually see better in the dark than I could with the low light.
    There was a sort of desk set into the wall. It was gray steel and very unusual-looking. There were more little light panels in various cheerful colors. And there was something that looked like a small but complicated spotlight hanging down from the ceiling. In front of the desk was a chair. A totally normal officetype chair. Chapman sat in it.
    He ran his hands over a blue panel. Then he looked at his watch. He sat patiently, waiting.
    For about a minute, nothing happened. I tried to look nonchalant, like I had just happened to wander in. But at the same time I was careful to stay behind Chapman so he wouldn’t see me.
    I remembered Jake’s warning. About how anyone else would just assume I was a plain old cat. But Chapman knew about morphing. The Yeerks knew about the Andalite morphing technology. So if Chapman or any Controller ever saw an animal acting the wrong way, they could suspect the truth.
    Suddenly a brilliant light snapped on.
    My cat eyes adjusted instantly, but even so, the light was painfully bright. It came from the little spotlight thing. Chapman turned around in his chair to face the light.
    The light began to change. It took shape. It turned different colors.
    The four hooves appeared. The bluish fur. The many-fingered hands. The flat, intelligent face with no mouth and only slits for a nose. The penetrating, almond-shaped main eyes.
    Then the strange extra eyes, mounted on stalks that turned this way and that, looking around the room. Last came the tail, the wicked, curved, scorpionlike tail.
    An Andalite. Just like the Andalite prince who had given us our powers.
    But I knew this was no true Andalite. Dread washed over me. Dread too strong for even my cat brain to ignore.
    This was no true Andalite. This was the only Andalite body ever seized and taken over by the Yeerks. The only Andalite-Controller in all the galaxy.
    This was Visser Three. Leader of the Yeerk invasion force. The evil creature who

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