3/01/2009 08:55:00 AM

As I got up to face him, Ali spoke with humour "So, Sub-Visser, what do you think of your new host? Certainly she is an improvement on your old Taxxon host, you must admit."

My mouth opened and the 'Sub-Visser' spoke-using my mouth "She is suitable enough, but Coseth, you cannot deny that this host is physically vulnerable?"

"And a Taxxon isn't?" laughed 'Coseth' in Ali's voice "A Taxxon can be killed by a can opener, you will find your human host well equipped to deal with any aggressive situations, a quick inquiry into your host's memory should reveal that your host participates in some sort of self-defense group. Though I suppose this human is no match for a Hork-Bajir, much less an Andalite bandit."

At first I was too horrified to speak.

(WHAT IS GOING ON?) I yelled and yet my mouth did not speak.

(Silence human, I am a Yeerk, by the name of Jlink 9821 from the Weyda Nair Pool. I own your body now. I control everything you do.)

(No you don't! That's not possible-it's mine! Get out of my body immediately!)

(Oh I am petrified you pathetic human-) mocking laughter sounded in my head. (Do not try and fight me-after controlling my Taxxon host, you can do absolutely nothing but watch as I run your worthless human life better than you ever will.)

I screamed. As the Yeerk looked through my memories, I screamed as the Yeerk walked my body through that hellish cave, I screamed as the Yeerk walked me to the control room. As we reached the control room, I reeled back in mental horror as the person who got up to greet 'Jlink the Sub-Visser'.

(Sarah?) My best friend's familiar face looked up at me. Jlink smiled a smug smile.

"I am to understand Opurit that you took control of this host only this morning?

"Yes Sub-Visser 87-my host, who had been sleeping over at a friend's place the night before, was persuaded by the said friend to attend a meeting of 'The Sharing' instead of attending the sports carnival."

(I think I should have attended the sports carnival.) I said miserably, but of course only Jlink could hear me.

"Our hosts attend a martial art group together on Wednesday afternoons, we best leave together."

"Yes Sub-Visser, I will just assemble your kit and we will be leaving shortly."

It was at this point that 'the said friend' got up and saluted 'Jlink the Sub-Visser' I recognised the soft blue eyes and long mousy hair as belonging to a girl named Igraine Llewellyn-she had attended the same church as Sarah for many years, though I had met her only once before.

(How many people around me are a part of this cult?) I wondered to myself.

(We are everywhere human and very soon,) in shock I realised that Jlink could read my thoughts, (all humans shall submit to the might of the Yeerk Empire.)

I surveyed the screaming people in cages with new eyes; Jlink's knowledge flooding my mind. Every three days the Yeerk needed to feed in the Kandrona pool, otherwise the Yeerk would starve to death. for just four hours, the host would be free, able to control their own limbs and lips, and then for just four hours, the hosts would be able to beat their fists against the bars and cry in misery.

(Yes human: You will be free for just a few hours every three days, and then and only then will you be able to scream. For everything other second of your wretched life the only person you will ever have the privilege of talking to will be me.)

(How dare you? You disgusting ugly slug! You will regret the day you ever dared touch my body!) I screamed at Jlink.

(Do not dare insult me foolish girl. I have ways of making you suffer.) Jlink searched through my memories, this time more carefully.

(Ahaha!) Jlink laughed

"Hey Coseth!" Jlink chortled, as we ran up to catch up with Ali. "You should hear this poem-it's so sad it's enough to make you laugh."

"Blow me away Jlink-my host was so stupid he had absolutely no idea that this human female who followed him around persistently, had a 'crush' on him-something I figured out almost as soon as I infested him."

"Are you sure Coseth, it's absolutely sickening… His eyes are piercing as a hawks, I love them though they laugh at me...his arms so strong but would he hold me in them...his hair like black wool, will he let me touch it...-this poetry, as humans' call it, is absolutely terrible" I think had I been in control of own body, I would have vomited.

"Jlink my friend, you are insulting my poor host's modesty… My host has some of the strangest ideas about females. None of my other human hosts were this superstitious." Ali smirked.

"Speaking of strange ideas about females-you must be more careful next time, your host's rapid change in personality was beginning to make my host rather suspicious." Jlink cautioned 'Coseth' as she picked up my handbag and knitting from the main Sharing room.

"Usually I wouldn't make that mistake, Sub-Visser, but I was just terribly impatient on this particular occasion"

At this point Sarah (or Opurit as the Yeerk was called) raced up wearing her school bag and carrying a plastic bag full of what appeared to be electronics of some sort.

"Well Ali I will see you tomorrow at school, it was such great fun hanging out with you, I should like do it again sometime soon." I heard my own voice say as Sarah and I left the building.

As we caught an Action bus back to school, I screamed, I fought, I swore, but nothing I did seemed to make a difference. Whether I liked it or not, Jlink had total control over my body. Jlink chatted absent-mindedly with Sarah-or at least the Yeerk pretending to be Sarah.

(Stop wasting your energy, you silly girl, there is absolutely nothing you can do,) Jlink told me coolly as she picked up my knitting.

Jlink ignored me the rest of the way back to school, and though I screamed and fought her, Jlink continued my knitting, no doubt projecting an air of serenity to the other bus passengers.

I could see and I could hear, but it was like watching everything through a television screen.

(You know?) Jlink told me loftily. (The sky of the Yeerk home world is green-although it is a brighter shade of green. This is more of an olive... to go with your eyes I suppose?)

(Why would the sky be green?) My curiosity was piqued.

(Why is the sky blue? What kind of stupid question is that? The answer to this age-old question is unknown across all species. My own personal theory is to do with the complex configuration of Kandrona rays and their reflection on Yeerk pools.)

Jlink began searching through the plastic bag until she found portable CD player and a pair of dark glasses. She put them on pressed a button. It was as if I was inside a computer: I could see a battle taking place on a distant solar system , that seemed to consist of asteroids. A stray thought from Jlink told me this was the Anati system, the earphones relayed the garble of Andalite and Yeerk communications. When a Yeerk bug fighter piloted by a Yeerk named Isine 712 was blown up by an Andalite shredder Jlinked gasped in shock, I realised that we were watching the battle take place live.

Jlink's anguish distracted her enough to allow me to move my leg forward kicking out at the seat in front of us.

"Excuse me young lady, that was very rude," said the elderly old woman sitting in front of us.

"I am extremely sorry Ma'am." Jlink began apologising profusely-using my mouth.

(How dare you?) Jlink was furious.

(It's for the greater good Yeerk.)

As if she heard this, Sarah (or Opurit as she will be referred to from now on), smirked.

When we arrived back at school Jlink went to my locker, whilst Sarah went to hers: Jlink went to the bathroom just as I had, she changed out of my normal clothes and back into my school uniform, she began removing my makeup. I watched sickened as that Yeerk did every trivial thing, exactly the way I would.

(Get used to it human.)

(One day, I will punish you for this, Yeerk.)

Jlink laughed. (I would like to see you try.)

Jlink began walking towards the bus stop. I did my best to fight back: I hurled abuse, I attempted to move my legs, but Jlink just laughed.

(You thought that the incident with the poetry was bad, Alice? Let me tell you. That's nothing compared to what I have in store for you.)

And suddenly I wasn't thirteen anymore.

I am standing in a muddy pool, I was nine years old and the all the other girls were gathering round.

"Roses are red," snickers Kezia as she throws a rock at my feet.

"Violets are blue," the second girl Sherelene, joins the chorus as she picked up a rock. This time it was aiming at my stomach. I doubled back in pain.

"You look like a cow," giggled Akala as her rock struck the side of my face.

"Moo, Moo, Moo!" Meara squeals hysterically as the other girls join in with her chorus. I fell down in the mud, the filth all around me, crying out in agony as the rocks fell harder and faster. After that, everything became blank.

We rejoined Opurit on the school oval, shortly the rest of school would be arriving back after the Sports Carnival, no one would notice us, sitting innocently under a large poplar tree waiting for my father to pick us up and take us to Jujitsu.

And that was when it dawned on me: my father would be sitting in our car waiting for me to get off and take me home. Only it wouldn't really be me anymore, but a Yeerk controlling my every word and deed. The very thought made me feel sick, so sick that I wanted to cry until I collapsed, but I couldn't even do that.

"Hi, Daddy, how was your day?" Jlink asked my father cheerfully as she kissed him on the cheek as we got into the car.

"It was good," he replied gruffly. "And what did you learn today? Did you get into trouble for not doing your homework?"

"But Daddy, I always do my homework. We learnt lots of interesting things today."

"Oh and what did you learn?"

" Well in history we learned about how the awful evil white colonialists came in and stole the land from the poor, innocent, sweet, deeply spiritual aboriginals"

Opurit interrupted her. "In science today I learned about the different categories of life: Fungi, Reptiles, Plants, Mammals…" of course Sarah was in a more advanced class than me and so she knew more.

(Jlink,) I shot in. (You're lying-we learnt that yesterday.)

(And then in English we studied Deadly Unna, which is a book about how the proletariat, disenfranchised, aboriginals are forced to commit crimes, against the oppressive, capitalistic, white invaders.)

"In my day," Daddy said as he drove away from the school, "the word proletariat, typically applied to the working class, with a stress on the 'working' part."

We all laughed at Daddy's joke. Daddy despite being very old (seventy-one this year), is incredibly able, strong and alert.

Opurit continued on Jlink's thread "Mrs McLaughlin-how I loathe her-she is sooo patronizing: if she gets any worse she will start speaking to me in Creole and offering me chicken feet, acky and goat curry. Argh! You have no idea how disgusting ackies are-they taste like salted bread!"

"Ahh, but Sarah-teachers have to speak at the same level as their students."

"Then she better smarten up!" Sarah is notorious in our School for being a snob, who was reading Pride and Prejudice at the age of nine.

"At least you're not Oti-in history yesterday Mrs Trevailyon kept on comparing Ghana to Nigeria, 'aye. In Nigeria, women-even mares- have to be covered from head to foot and kept inside. Do they do that in Ghana Oti? Or what about 'in Nigeria the only thing they learnt from Christian Missionaries was the practice of crucifixion, do they do that in Ghana Oti?"

"Your Welsh accent sounds like an Irishmen on cocaine. I thought I should warn you about that, and Mrs Trevailyon is actually Cornish."

"Aye but Sarah, the Irish and the Welsh they're all part of the same Celtic family. And she's not-her husband's Cornish but she's definitely Welsh."

"No. No. They sound completely different: and besides, Irish, Manx and Scots are all part of the Q Celtic language family, whilst Welsh, Cornish and Breton are part of the P Celtic language family." Sarah says the word Celtic pronounced with an S-seltic, instead of Celtic like most normal people."

"Oh and what about Mrs Faire's lecture during Assembly-she gets more boring every time she opens her mouth, and the way she speaks to us you would think we were about two!"

Opurit began to mimic Mrs Faire's turgid speaking style " Girls. And. Boys. The. Rubbish. Level. At. This. School. Is. Embarrassing. Me. You. Should. Really. Pick. Up. Your. Rubbish. And. Put. It. In. The. Bins. Provided."

"I can't stand Ms Meaken-she gave a D for this Terms work-just because I didn't hand in one assignment! And I draw way better than that weirdo Tamara Kandinsky."

"I know, Tamara is so strange-like she never says anything, and I bet the teachers only give her good grades because they feel sorry for her."

"You will have Meaken next term-sucked in!"

"Hey perhaps if you had told Ms Meaken that you were part Maori, she would've given you an A."

By the time Opurit made this (quite possibly true hypothesis) we are trapped in a bottleneck at the Civic traffic lights. My blue eyed, pink skinned, formerly blond haired, father, who happens to be a sixteenth Maori, uses this as an opportunity, to turn round roll his eyes into the back of his head and stick his tongue out. This causes Jlink and Opurit to brake out into peels of hysterical laughter. It was something that I would've found extremely funny under any other circumstance.

"Seriously Alice-you should consider it-next term paint your face green and walk around wearing a doormat, the teachers are sure to give you straight A's, and if you ever feel the need to have a tantrum and attack someone, they won't diagnose you as a sociopath, but merely say that it's a result of two hundred years of white oppression."

"I'd rather fail School the lose my dignity. And it would be in violation of uniform requirements. Having said that, they did let that Nabijah chick in Year Nine wear that burqa of hers, then perhaps it's worth a shot."

Opurit suppressed a snicker, and then glared at Jlink. "She only wore that once-on a non uniform day when they told us all to 'show us your roots' and it's called an abaya."

"Whatever you say, it still looks stupid. But honestly who cares-I still have plenty of time to improve my grades right?"

My father coughs irritably-nothing could be more important to my father then how well I do in school, and my extremely poor report card this term was the cause of a huge argument between us last night. Opurit picking this up, changes the subject:

"So are you going to pick Fiona's offer and come to the Sharing meeting on Saturday, it'll be fun, and since Mrs Frame joined the Sharing, I heard that it's great for your results."

That was where I remembered the word Fiona-the Year Seven Year representative, had been pressuring anyone who would listen to join the Sharing for months now.

"How often do they meet again?" Jlink asks.

"Once every three days, it's the best, you can't miss out and you promised you would come."

At this point Daddy interjected and began to rant about how difficult my schedule was: horse riding on Fridays, Jujitsu on Wednesdays, and now something as silly as that ridiculous new cult the Sharing was just too much.

"Please Daddy, pretty please, because you love me Daddy." Jlink whined. Daddy, who was never one to withstand my begging, agreed to let me join.

(Jlink, am I your first human host? Because you mention that Taxxon host a lot.)

(No, far from it! My previous human host was a voluntary, she worked for Amnesty International, she was a good creature, if a little stupid, she seemed to think that the Yeerks could reduce infant mortality or something silly like that. She died-murdered by the Andalite Bandit with a wolf morph. I had my Taxxon host a long time ago-before I was promoted Coseth and I worked together, at Olgin base, that was when we were both very low intelligence agents-we only worked on translating Andalite intercepts.)

(Well, with your knowledge of humans, didn't you realize that a thirteen-year-old girl would more or less need her parents consent to do anything?)

(One of the things I discovered with Lucy, was that whilst she had a lot freedom, she also had a lot of responsibilities, that I found a trial to keep up with and do my duty to the Yeerk Empire.)

(What exactly do you do Jlink? What does being a Sub-Visser mean?)

(Well, it's the rank below Visser, and Visser means 'warlord'.)

(So you're like a sub Warlord, or War lady in your case.)

(Not really. I am not actually female.)

(I thought you were female-I mean, all the previous hosts you mention are female.)

(I am, like all Yeerks, without gender. I merely prefer human females because they are more submissive. My Taxxon host, was like all Taxxons, a hermaphrodite, and my Hork-Bajir hosts were mostly male as was my first Gedd host.)

(Oh so you've had a few hosts?)

(Not in comparison to some Yeerks-I dislike changing hosts at the drop of a hat, it's confusing and prevents me from focusing on my work.)

(What work do you do? I mean besides being an evil slug.)

(Well I am second in command of BYX1, I only answer to Visser Three-who is the leader of all Yeerk Forces in this particular Quarter of the Galaxy, and Councillor Garoff. A lot of what I do is receiving Andalite intercepts, coordinating and sifting through data, and of course the Quest for the Andalite Bandits.)

(But why locate it here? Why not on the Yeerk Home world?)

(Well, our central offices are located on the Home world, but the secondary buildings are located on satellites, moons, spaceports, and the Mak and Fyetique Home worlds.)

(Then why don't you work there? I mean Earth's still mostly free.)

(The Andalites have heavy surveillance on the Home world, and all the planets we have already taken. The Andalite presence on Earth is minimal-only seven in number, and their activity is more or less restricted to North America, hence this offices location on an isolated island at the end of the Earth.)

By this time we had reached Manuka, the usual squabble ensued-Dad and Jlink suggested McDonald's but Opurit wanted Japanese. To compromise, Dad suggested Lebanese-but Jlink put up a mock refusal-Hussein, Ali's best friend worked at the Lebanese restaurant.

Eventually she was persuaded.

(Not Ali Baba: not only does Hussein work there, but scary fat Hassan and little Hassan too.) I whined.

(With me that won't be a problem, I don't actually give a shit about Ali, his friends or acquaintances.) She snapped back privately.

It turned out that neither of the Hassans was there, nor was Hussein, instead there was an older guy called Micheal. Which suited me fine. We ate quickly- training started at 6:30 and whilst Tuck didn't get angry if we were late, it was certainly still embarrassing.

Training went just the same as had I been in control, except for the fact that our instructor Samantha had contracted a horrible, contagious skin disease from her boyfriend and could have no physical contact with us. But Sarah/ Opurit beat me every time, even though I had been doing Jujitsu for three years. I had only reached Green belt with great difficulty, Sarah, who had only been doing it for two was already at the same level as me. I guess it was because she had a natural talent-not to mention greater physical strength and height, and it gave her an advantage. Perhaps with Jlink in control I did marginally better. To be perfectly honest with you I didn't have a physique that would really recommend itself to any sport, much less a martial art: small and weedy, I had always been conscious of my physical vulnerability, even as a small child. I had been recommended to do a martial by the School Counsellor in Primary School, she thought it would a great way to channel my aggression or something. I had taken up Jujitsu because it was the closest we could find: Judo was for the big and strong, Tae Kwan Do was for the tall and graceful. Jujitsu was the only sport that really came close to suiting my tiny size. I really hated being short; I guess it made me kind of defensive. At the end of the lesson, Tuck our Sensei, commended me on my improved performance: apparently my techniques were less 'loose' then they had been the week before.

After we dropped Opurit off at Sarah's house (she telling us that she would call Aine), Jlink taunted me about this-how she could run my life better than I could, how everyone would notice the improvements in my grades, behaviour and physical ability. (Let us face it, humans are an incompetent species, you need a rational species such as the Yeerks to run your lives, for you, let me assure you, your lives will be much better off once the Yeerks have taken over, there will be no more poverty, wars or crime. A society created by Yeerks will be a rational one.)

When Daddy reached home, we were greeted by Caesar's loud barking.

(Insane Chihuahua,) grumbled Jlink, though she began to coo and cuddle him as soon as she got out of the car. He didn't seem as affectionate as usual. And whilst Jlink helped Daddy lock up the chooks, Daddy was surprised to notice that the geese hissed aggressively at us.

"What's wrong with these birds?" he bellowed.

When all that had been seen to, she made tea for herself and for Daddy. Opening the door to my bedroom she shrieked mentally. (I knew from your memories that your room was disgusting, but it's even more putrid in real life!) Jlink set about clearing a space on my desk and got out the kit she had been given by the people at the Sharing, it revealed to be a small hexagonal crystal and a computer cable that seemed to fit into it.

(All I need to connect your laptop to Zero Space.)

(And to think that I couldn't even get Internet. How did you know I would have a laptop?)

(Fiona assured us that you did.)

(She was in on this too?)

(I would have thought that would've been obvious, though she does not serve voluntarily, the Yeerk who controls her is called Casithe. Not ambitious but certainly competent.) This struck me as ironic-Fiona had always come across as a rather ambitious person, and being controlled by a somewhat dull Yeerk was particularly ill fitting.

At that point Daddy knocked at the door and bellowed, "Alice, there is a girl called Aine on the phone. She says she urgently wants to talk to you."

"Sure, I'll be right there," replied Jlink. Jlink picked up the phone in the television room-the phone nearest my bedroom.

"Hi, this is Aine, we met early today at the Sharing Meeting."

"Oh yeah, I remember you, it was a great meeting, what are you ringing about?" Jlink demanded in a gentle tone.

"Yeah, it was a great meeting. I was just speaking to Sarah, and she mentioned that you and she have a mutual friend called Jason who apparently has a crush on a girl called Chiyome, who goes to Orana." Aine informed her.

"Yeah he does-it's rather sweet," replied Jlink.

"Well I go to Orana, and she is in the Year above me, and a full member of the Sharing, why don't you speak to him tomorrow and persuade him to come along to a meeting-I bet he would do anything to get close to her." Aine said.

"I will tomorrow, definitely, thank you for calling about that, it's really sweet of you." Jlink answered.

"No problem, lovely to speak to you." Aine replied

"Bye, I will see you at our next Sharing Meeting right?"

"Yeah, I'll be there. Bye."

Jlink hung up the phone.

(What's Aine's Yeerk's name?)

(Atrun 7301.)

The Zero-Space Transponder was a very simple devise-during the day it could be concealed as a paperweight, despite the complex technology it contained. This having been done, Jlink sat down to write a short note:

From: Sub-Visser 87,

To: the most venerable and courageous Visser Three.

Sir, after the unfortunate murder of my old host, I have taken a new host, she is young, but suitable for my purposes.

Thank you for your blessings in this matter.

Did you see the disastrous battle in the Anati system? How could Visser 1 be so incompetent? We were entrenched and were defending our positions and yet still she managed to lose. Her downfall will come sooner rather than later

From your humble Servant Jlink 9821

This task completed Jlink switched off my computer, disconnected the Zero Space transponder. Changed into my nightie, she began to brush my long hair from their braids. As I lay, falling asleep under Jlink's watchful supervision, I thought to myself surely this is all some horrible nightmare, tomorrow I will wake up to find that everything is back to normal. (Not a hope human. Not a hope in hell)

She was right, when the alarm sounded the next morning and I awoke still under Jlink's control, with a splitting headache, I fully realised the awful truth: this wasn't a dream, this was reality, and I was living my own real life hell.

1 BYX is an acronym for Baqize Yeerk Xaiphin, which translates roughly into English as 'Secret Yeerk Service' in later years many humans would begin referring to BYX as YSS-or Yeerk Secret Service.

Created on 10/11/2006 23:40:00 a11/p11