|Back to Before|
What would you do if you had the opportunity to change your life? Not just where you live or who you hang out with, but your past, present, and future? Sounds like it might be pretty cool, right? Well, that's what Jake thought. He thought it might be easier if the Animorphs had never existed. If they'd never met Elfangor. If they all had the chance to be "normal" kids.
Jake gets his wish.
But things aren't quite as simple as they seem. Just because the Animorphs no longer exist doesn't mean the Yeerks no longer exist. Except now Jake, Rachel, Tobias, Cassie, and Marco can't morph. They don't even know the Yeerks are out there. And it's not such a wonderful life...
After a particularly vicious battle, Crayak sends the Drode to tempt Jake into accepting an alternate reality in which the Animorphs did not walk home through the abandoned construction site, did not meet Elfangor, and did not become Animorphs.
The results are drastic: a friendless Tobias joins The Sharing, and is infested by a Yeerk who is later revealed as a spy for Visser One, and is killed. Marco- now dating Rachel in this world- runs into his mother, but she escapes before he can confront her. Jake discovers that his brother Tom is involved with dangerous dealings after a Yeerk security leak. And all the while, Cassie has a strong feeling that all is not right. Ax manages to escape from his Dome Ship, and begins to warn the people of Earth about the Yeerk presence.
The Yeerk response is immediate: they abandon their silent invasion and launch all-out warfare. In the ensuing chaos, Marco, Rachel and Cassie are all killed, while Jake and Ax meet up and manage to kill Visser Three by ramming the Blade Ship with a stolen Bug Fighter. They take control of the Blade ship and plan to use it to destroy the Yeerk Pool Ship, at which point the Drode and the Ellimist interrupt the timeline, returning the deceased characters to life and returning everyone's memories. The Drode complains that the events in this timeline are doomed to cause failure, and the Ellimist reveals that Cassie is an anomaly, a rare individual who is grounded in the true timeline and will disrupt any other timelines that try to take its place- explaining Cassie's feeling that something was not right. It is also revealed that The Ellimist manipulated events (or as the Drode exclaimes in disgust "stacked the deck") to ensure that Cassie, Marco, Tobias, and Ax- the anomaly, the son of Visser One's host, Elfangor's paradoxical son and Elfangor's brother- were all Animorphs; Jake and Rachel apparently became Animorphs through chance alone.
The Ellimist restores everything to as it was - with only Cassie retaining even a vague memory of this new timeline, preferring that Jake and Tobias not know how they gave in to the Drode and the Yeerks respectively - and this time around the Drode decides not to try to tempt Jake into accepting the alternate reality.