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THE MESSAGE

Originally Aired: October 13, 1998
Written by: Neal Shusterman
Directed by: William Fruet

Scene: Forest

(A hawk/Tobias is flying and we see the tops of the trees through his eyes. Rabbit hops through a clearing. Tobias screeches. POV goes back to non-birds eye view and the camera settles on the rabbit. Tobias swoops in for the kill.)

Cassie:
Tobias! No! It's me!

(Tobias pulls out of the dive in time.)

Tobias:
Cassie?

(Tobias lands on a tree branch and looks down at Cassie while she demorphs. She stands up and walks over to the tree so she is standing just below Tobias)

Cassie:
Tobias, that was way too close.

Tobias:
Another second and you woulda been history.

Cassie Voiceover:
Turning into animals kind of changes the way you see the world. Like predators and their prey. It's one thing to observe it in nature. It's a little more intense to actually live it. It makes me realize that to the Yeerks we humans are like a rabbit is to a hawk. We are prey. And like the hawk to the rabbit, both yeerk and human will do anything to survive.

Tobias:
What's with the rabbit morph?

Cassie:
Oh they're quick, they dig fast, they can fit into tight places. I've been acquiring a bunch of animals. I mean, we might need them sometime.

(Cassie is interrupted by a desperate voice. She staggers a little and grabs onto the tree for support. There's a flash of sky from the point of view of someone falling)

Unknown Though Speak:
I'm losing altitude. I'm breaking up.

Cassie:
Did you hear that?

Tobias:
I heard something.

Unknown Though Speak:
I'm falling out of orbit. (flash of a ship's computer)

(Cassie clutches her head and Tobias flaps his wings, both affected by this.)

Unknown Though Speak:
Uggh. Crash. (flash of Earth as it appears in space.)

Cassie:
What's wrong with me?

Unknown Though Speak:
Must get control. (beat) Control's won't respond. System's down. (Something in a foreign language). There's no more time. Can't get control. What's happening to me?

Cassie:
What's happening to me? (Starts slowly staggering to the ground)

Unknown Though Speak:
Must slow descent.

(Cassie reaches the ground and passes out.)

Cassie:
(weakly) . . . descent.

Unknown Though Speak:
No more time.

(Tobias falls out of the tree and lands near Cassie, also unconscious.)

[Opening Credits]

Scene: Forest

(Continued from before opening credits. Cassie and Tobias are both conscious now. She is sitting against the tree and Tobias is perched on her right arm.)

Tobias:
Oh man, I feel like I flew into a wall.

Cassie:
You okay? (She starts to slowly stand up with Tobias still perched on her arm).

Tobias:
I think so. What happened?

Cassie:
I'm not sure.

Scene: Cassie's Barn

(Jake and Marco are sitting, Cassie is pacing)

Cassie:
We didn't just see it. We felt it. As if we were there.

Jake:
Maybe it was a dream? A hallucination?

Cassie:
That both Tobias and I felt at the same time?

Marco:
Hey, where's Rachel? Did anyone talk to her?

Jake:
She went to her father's this weekend.

Cassie:
It happened right around noon. Didn't you guys feel anything?

Marco:
I felt hungry, does that count?

(Tobias swoops in through a window and lands near Jake.)

Tobias:
I scouted the area. It's safe. Nobody for miles.

Cassie:
It was kinda like though speak. The kind that Elfangor spoke to us. We could hear his thoughts in our head. (sighs) Only this was way more intense.

Jake:
Though speech? You don't think. . .?

Marco:
No, it couldn't be.

Cassie:
Elfangor said more Andalites would be coming.

Marco:
(sarcastically) Great. Our own town's just raining aliens, isn't it? We might as well be living in Roswell.

Jake:
If it's an Andalite why didn't we all feel it?

Marco:
Maybe Cassie's more in tune with the universe, you know? I mean, she does the animal thing better than we do. She doesn't even crunch when she shrinks.

Jake:
But Tobias felt it too.

Marco:
Well look at him.

Tobias:
(slightly defensive) Must be my superior hawk brain.

Marco:
Get over yourself.

Jake:
We need to know whether or not this is an Andalite.

Marco:
Wait. We don't know if what they saw was real. And if it was, then how do we know it's not another yeerk trap.

Jake:
If they could get into our minds, they would have already tried.

Cassie:
If there's any chance that this is an Andalite, we have to do our best to try and help him. Elfangor died trying to save us and our world. We owe him that much

Scene: Research lab

(There's an alien device spinning in a vice like thing on a table. A Scientist is studying it while Visser Three in human morph looks on.)

Scientist:
We've been working on it day and night ever since you found it sir. (hesitantly) It's an Andalite technology that we're not familiar with.

Visser Three:
Then familiarize yourself with it.

Scientist:
Yes Sir. Oh, and if you don't mind me saying so Sir, I think you've chosen an excellent human morph.

Visser Three:
(looks annoyed) Human are soft and weak. (Morphs into an alien monster. We see the it's giant purple arm grab the Scientist's shoulder/arm menacingly.) This is better, don't you agree?

Scientist:
(terrified) Yes, Visser Three.

Scene: Forest.

(It's dusk. Cassie is searching through the forest, presumably looking for the potential Andalite)

Cassie:
Where are you?

Unknown Though Speak:
Can you hear me?

Cassie:
Yeah, I can hear you.

Unknown Though Speak:
Please respond. I need your help.

Cassie:
Don't be scared. I'm going to help you.

(Cassie pushes through some bushes and comes across a chain link fence. She starts clutching her head in pain again. There's a show of a truck driving down the highway and also shots showing Visser Three clutching his head as well, receiving the same message.)

Unknown Though Speak:
(Says something in an alien language) Please. My location is . . . .four four seven. . . .

Cassie:
I can hear you. Where are you?

Unknown Though Speak:
(alien language) Please respond. I have crossed the Ishtil border into the (alien language). Can you hear me? Please. Please respond. I need your help. (Visser Three, in distress, grabs a wheeled cart in the lab and rams it into the wall. Its contents crash to the floor) (alien language) Please. I need help. (alien language) Help me. Please. Please respond. Please. Is anyone out there? Please?

(Cassie falls to the ground by the fence)

Unknown Though Speak:
(con't) . . . four four seven. . .

(Visser three shoves stuff off of a table and grabs on for support. A controller runs in.)

Controller:
Sir, are you alright?

(Visser Three shoved him out of the way and goes over to where the Scientist was studying the disc)

Visser Three:
Another one has landed.

Scene: Cyberia

(Cassie walks in looking grim and spots Jake and Marco. The notice her.)

Jake:
You okay, Cass?

Marco:
Yeah, you look like you acquired a ghost.

Cassie:
It's alive. I've seen where it's been hiding.

Jake:
Let’s go somewhere quiet.

(They move to a table in the back. Jake and Cassie sit down. Marco goes to the concession area and gets a drink.)

Cassie:
It's hurt. Whatever it is, I can feel it's pain.

(Marco comes back to the table and set the glass in front of Cassie)

Cassie:
These images. . . it's like I'm seeing two of everything.

Jake:
Like two sets of eyes? What, like an Andalite?

Marco:
So, tell us what you saw.

Cassie:
(as she speaks, we see images of what she saw) I saw a forest, and a fence, some kind of a pipe.

Marco:
A pipe?

Cassie:
I don't know. Maybe the whole thing's just in my head.

Jake:
No. If you say it's real, then I believe you.

(A news report comes on TV that catches Marco, Jake and Cassie's attention)

Reporter:
Officials will neither confirm nor deny the crash of an experimental military aircraft over the weekend.

Marco:
Military aircraft?

Reporter:
The area has been closed to traffic. Police are arresting anyone entering the secured area. Back to you, Bob.

Jake:
Wait, you hear that?

(A helicopter becomes louder.)

Marco:
Yeah.

Jake:
Come on, let's go.

(The three of them leave)

Scene: Forest

(Cassie is leading Jake and Marco)

Cassie:
This isn't it. There was a fence, there was a huge fence. I remember it.

(Tobias joins them.)

Jake:
Anything, Tobias?

Tobias:
There's a lot of activity north of here. Something definitely did crash.

Cassie:
They're in the wrong place. It was no where near the crash site.

Tobias:
If you ask me, the whole thing is getting kind of weird.

Marco:
Great. The talking bird says looking for an alien in the woods is weird.

Tobias:
(probably half joking, half serious) Watch it Marco. I have great aim.

(Jake, Cassie and Marco continue moving through the forest. Marco laughs, but puts his jacket's hood over his head anyway.)

Marco:
We're not getting anywhere.

Jake:
Maybe we should split up.

(They come across a fence surrounding a building. Cassie is hit with flashes again and grabs her head.)

Jake:
(worried) Cassie?

Cassie:
That's it!

(They find a hole in the fence and enter. Jake, last, stops and examines the fence, most likely to see if it was cut by an Andalite tail blade)

Scene: Inside the fence

(The fence surrounds many old, abandoned buildings. Jake peers into a window.)

Jake:
Nothing.

Marco:
There's dozens of abandoned buildings here. We'll never find the right one.

(Meanwhile, Cassie has found a tuft of blue fur.)

Cassie:
Jake! (He nods)

Off Screen Voice:
Check down here.

Jake:
Controllers! Come on!

(They duck out of sight just before Tom, leading a few controllers, reach where Jake and Cassie were.)

Tom:
K, head over there. You! Over there.

(Jake, Marco and Cassie are ducked behind the corner of a building. They see Tom's feet getting too close for comfort. He's got a flashlight in his hand. He looks around and shakes his head.)

Tom:
This isn't it. Let's go.

(When the coast is clear, Tobias lands.)

Jake:
If my brother's here you know we're on the right track.

Tobias:
I'll follow him.

(Flies away)

Jake:
Let's keep and eye out!

Scene: Inside a building

Cassie:
(calling out) Don' be afraid. We're here to help you. We're not gonna hurt you.

Jake:
I don't hear anything, Cass.

Cassie:
No, he's here. I know he's here.

(Marco sees something and jumps back, spreading his arms to keep Jake and Cassie back)

Marco:
Whoa! (it's a rat) Yeah, prime alien real estate alright.

Cassie:
I'm going this way.

(She looks around a bit and something grabs her from behind. She screams.)

Jake:
Cassie!

(Jake moves to help her)

Alien:
Don't move.

[Assumed Commercial Break]

Marco:
Visser Three.

Andalite:
Visser Three? You dare to speak that name in front of me?

Marco:
Sorry, wrong Andalite.

Jake:
Who are you?

Andalite:
I am an Andalite warrior and I ask the questions. How did you know I was here?

Cassie:
I heard your thoughts. We came to help you.

Andalite:
I was calling to my own kind.

Jake:
Let her go. Prince Elfangor wouldn't have been so cruel.

Andalite:
How do you know of Prince Elfangor?

Jake:
We don't talk 'til you let her go.

(The Andalite lets Cassie go and she goes to Jake and Marco. Jake puts his arm around her. The Andalite groans in pain.)

Jake:
(to Cassie) You okay?

Cassie:
Yeah.

Jake:
Elfangor gave us a weapon to fight the Yeerks. He was our friend,

Cassie:
Are you hurt?

Visser Three:
Andalite cousin.

Marco:
What the?

Visser Three: Andalite cousin.

Marco:
Visser Three?

Visser Three:
(con't) We heard your cries. Andalite cousin.

(The Andalite moves toward Visser Three.)

Jake:
No!

(Jake doesn't reach the Andalite in time. He sees Visser Three and a few controllers in the next room so he pulls Marco and Cassie back into the room they were in.)

Visser Three:
Andalite cousin.

Jake:
We can't let Visser Three see us.

(Cassie slides down against the wall and begins to morph.)

Jake:
Cassie! What are you. . . ?

(She becomes a skunk.)

Cassie T.S.:
I'm gonna save the Andalite from Visser Three.

Marco:
Ugh. With that?

Cassie:
You'd be surprised what a skunk can do.

Scene: Front room

(Visser Three approaches the other Andalite.)

Visser Three:
You are injured. Let us tend to your wounds. We've been waiting for you, Andalite cousin.

Scene: Back room

(Cassie scurries out of the room)

Jake:
Be careful, Cassie.

Cassie T.S.:
Don't worry.

(Marco and Jake scoot forward to keep an eye on her.)

Jake:
Get down.

(Cassie gets between the two Andalites and sprays Visser Three. He and the controllers recoil. Jake and Marco laugh quietly.)

Visser Three:
Catch it, you fools.

(Cassie keeps spraying)

Cassie T.S.:
Run! It's Visser Three!

(The Andalite gets to Marco and Jake.)

Jake:
It's alright, follow me.

(Jake puts an arm around the Andalite to hold him up and leads them out of the building.)

Controller:
Where'd they go?

Marco:
Go go go go. (Jake and the Andalite limp out.) Cassie, Cassie let's go! Come on. (Cassie runs, still in Skunk morph) Come on, let's go!

(Cassie jumps into his arms. Marco cringes, but starts running. A few seconds later he trips and Cassie goes flying. Marco manages to stay on his feet while Cassie demorphs.)

Marco:
Come on!

(Marco and Cassie reach Jake and the Andalite standing by a fence.)

Jake:
It's a dead end. We're trapped.

(Jake spots a heavy, sliding door.)

Jake:
Come on! Come on!

(Jake, Cassie and Marco all try to open the door. They get it open just as the controllers are getting near. They start to leave but Jake notices the Andalite holding back.)

Jake:
Come on! Let's go!

Cassie:
Come on, please. No one's going to hurt you.

Controller:
(off screen) They went that way!

Jake:
Hurry, come on! Let's go!

Cassie:
Hurry.

Controller:
(off screen) They can't get far.

(Jake and Co. leave the building and he slides the door closed behind him)

Scene: Outside

Jake:
(looking up) Now what?

Marco:
This is just great.

(We see that they are trapped between buildings many stories tall and they only way out is up.)

Scene: Inside the abandoned building

Controller:
Over there!

Controller 2:
Check that corner!

Scene: Outside

Jake:
Now we're really in trouble guys. (looks inside.) Controllers are everywhere.

(Marco locks the door from the outside.)

Andalite:
What is this deception? I demand you tell me what you are.

Marco:
We're the humans that just saved you from getting an earful of yeerk.

Andalite:
(upset) Only Andalites can morph.

Jake:
Elfangor gave us the power.

Andalite:
He wouldn't do that. He wouldn't do. . .

(The Andalite collapses mid-sentence and Cassie runs to him.)

Cassie:
We gotta get him outa here guys.

Jake:
We can't go this way!

Marco:
Well then you better start digging.

Jake:
(to the Andalite) You're gonna have to morph. Something with wings.

Andalite:
I have no morphs that can fly. I am afraid of heights.

Marco:
Great. You shoulda thought about that before you got into your spaceship.

Scene: Inside

Controller:
Look everywhere. They can't get away. Hey Check down there.

Scene: Outside

Andalite:
Go. There's nothing you can do for me.

Jake:
Yeah? They got Elfangor. We are not going to let them get you too.

Scene: Inside

Tom:
Wait! I think I hear something.

Scene: Outside

(Cassie sees a butterfly)

Cassie:
Come here.

Scene: Inside

Tom:
In here! Come on! Get this door.

(The controllers start trying to open the door.)

Scene: Outside

(Cassie gets the butterfly)

Scene: Inside

Visser Three:
Out of the way.

(The controllers move. Visser Three's tail appears)

Scene: Outside

(Cassie holds the butterfly out to the group and they each acquire it.)

Cassie:
(to the Andalite) You've got to trust us. Acquire the butterfly.

(Visser Three's tail punches through the door.)

Jake:
Welcome to Earth.

(The Andalite starts to acquire the butterfly. The controller bust through the door too late. They're gone.)

Controller:
Where'd they go?

Visser Three looks up and sees the butterflies flying away)

Visser Three:
No!

Scene: Cassie's Barn

(Cassie is tending to the Andalite's wounds)

Cassie:
Tobias and I felt your entire crash. You're lucky you survived.

Andalite:
My ship was not prepared for your atmospheric conditions.

Marco:
El Niño strikes again.

Jake:
How are you feeling?

Andalite:
Better. Thank you.

Jake:
Are there more of you coming? More Andalites?

Andalite:
I don't have that answer.

Jake:
Tobias, you went over the two hour limit.

Andalite:
A nothlit. That's what we call such a horror.

Cassie:
Can you help him? Can you help him change back?

Andalite:
No. I'm sorry. Now you must bring to Elfangor.

Jake:
We can't. Elfangor gave us the power to change. . . because he knew he was going to die.

Andalite:
No. He's not dead. He can not be dead!

Cassie:
It was a warrior's death. He fought Visser Three to the very end.

Andalite:
NO!

(The Andalite runs past them and out into the forest. The Animorphs chase after him.)

Cassie:
There he is.

(We see him hiding behind some trees.)

Jake:
Where?

Marco:
I don't see him.

Cassie:
He's over there.

(Cassie approaches him)

Andalite:
I shouldn't have come here. Elfangor told me not to come. He told me to stay home. Why did I not listen?

Cassie:
You're just a kid, aren't you?

Andalite:
I am. Like you. He was my brother.

Cassie:
Meeting Elfangor was one of the most wonderful, most important moments of all of our lives. Now we fight the Yeerks to save our world. We're also fighting for him.

Jake:
You're with friends now.

Andalite:
My name is Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill. I am sorry to have caused you so much trouble.

(Rachel approaches from behind)

Rachel:
Oh wow.

Tobias:
Does someone wanna clue Rachel in?

Jake:
Rachel, this is our new friend, Aximilu?

Marco:
Rachel, this is Ax.

Rachel:
Hi.

Marco:
Uh, I hate to break up the Kodak moment, but how are we going to hide a blue centaur?

(Ax reaches out and touches each of them in turn.)

Jake:
He's acquiring us for his morph.

(Ax morphs human, taking on the appearance of each of them in turn.)

Rachel:
You're us.

Ax:
Will this help?

Jake:
Can't hurt.

(Ax takes a step forward but stumbles. Marco catches him and helps him up.)

Ax:
Two legs. But don't understand. How do you see behind you with only two eyes?

(Ax tires to turn his head but over rotates and falls again)

Jake:
Yeah, that's uh, that's pretty much it.

Ax:
This mout-mouth speak-sp-speaking. Eaking. Ing. Guh. Guh.

Jake:
Ax, you'll be safe with us. Ever if there are no other Andalites. You're not gonna be alone.

(Ax suddenly bends down and looks back up at Jake.)

Ax:
I pledge my loyalty to you, Prince Jake.

Rachel:
(horrified) Prince Jake?

Marco:
Oh brother.

Ax:
I will fight by your side until the Yeerks are destroyed.

Jake:
(looking bewildered) Okay, but you can get up. It's just Jake.

(They shake hands. Ax, apparently liking this action shakes everyone's hands now.)

Cassie Voiceover:
When you open your heart, sometimes you find a friend where you least expect to. Then you don't feel so alone. And the things that used to seem impossible become easier to face: Because your friends are beside you. And that means everything.

[End Credits]

© Scholastic Entertainment / Transcript by MM