The Animorphs have been split up before. And they've had to fight battles without one another. But this time is very different. Not only is Cassie totally alone. She's managed to find herself in Australia. In the rural Outback. The other Animorphs and Ax don't even know she's there.
Cassie doesn't have any idea where she's going, or if she can even survive the rugged terrain. But she does know she has to get to a town or village and contact her family and friends. Because she just realized that there's someone else who is also new to the Outback. Visser Three. 
Following the discovery of a fragment of a Bug Fighter , the U.S. government is attempting to use it for research. Once the Yeerks become aware of this occurrence, they attempt to seize the fragment before it is sent to a NASA research facility. The Animorphs confront the Yeerks in an airport before the Yeerks are able to acquire the fragment. During the fight Cassie is rendered unconscious on a luggage conveyor belt. When she wakes up, she is in the cargo bay of a plane flying to Sydney, Australia. The plane is attacked twice by Yeerks looking for the "Andalite bandit." The Yeerks hold the plane in stasis using a tractor beam. After she is unable to evade them while on the plane, she jumps out and morphs into an osprey. She lands in red sand and hides as a flea until the Yeerks retire their search. She demorphs and meets Yami, who lives in a nearby outstation. He takes her to his family. Yami's grandfather had cut himself on another metal fragment from a Bug Fighter Cassie had earlier destroyed while attempting to escape the Yeerks from the plane. She morphs a Hork-Bajir she acquired during the same plane incident and amputates his infected leg. The Blade Ship appears immediately afterwards and Visser Three demands that she come outside. She complies and attempts to lead the Yeerks away from Yami's family using a kangaroo morph. Two small tourist airplanes fly overhead and Visser Three destroys all evidence that the Yeerks had been in that location to evade suspicion. A Chee who was aboard the Blade ship aids Cassie by projecting a hologram around her as she demorphs, and she returns home.
|Morpher||Morphs acquired||Morphs used|
|Jake||Seagull, Siberian tiger|
|Rachel||Seagull, Grizzly bear|
|Cassie||Hork-Bajir (random Controller), Kangaroo||Seagull, Housefly, Polar Bear, Osprey, Flea, Hork-Bajir, Kangaroo|
|Ax||Seagull, Cheetah, Human (Main)|
- Cassie was asked to eat Witchetty Grub . It's an Aboriginal meat that Yami's family prepared for Cassie. It supposedly tastes a bit like butter, but Cassie decides against trying it.
- The outside cover quote is "Some say you shouldn't play mind games. Tell that to the Yeerks..."
- The inside cover quote is "Hopalong Cassie-dee..."
- ANIBASE: The author of this book had to do a lot of research in order to get all of the details right -- she had to learn about everything from planes to amputation! Some of the info was very hard to come by, but eventually she managed to get a hold of a boomerang manufacturer (to learn how to throw non-returning boomerangs) and a professor in Australia (to learn about the Aboriginal life). We're happy to hear that it's not easy to get detailed information about airplanes.
"I talked to a retired TWA machanic to find out how Cassie could get from the cargo hold to the passenger area of a jet. Before that I'd tried called Boeing, several different airlines, and the Kansas City airport... They all asked, in very suspicious voices, why I needed such information. Between that and trying to find out how to drive a tank in #51: The Absolute, I'm sure I'm on the FBI watch list!"