by Pirate Turner
Jake was walking in the woods towards Cassie's house when he heard a noise behind him. He whirled around only to discover Ax standing there. [Good evening, Prince Jake,] Ax greeted him, using thought-speak, his natural means of communication since he didn't have a mouth.
"Ax, don't call me 'Prince'."
[Why not, Prince Jake?]
"I'm not your prince."
[You lead me into battle; thus, you are my Prince.]
Jake shook his head. "We're equals."
Ax gave him a disbelieving look. [You are my Prince,] he insisted.
"No, I'm not."
[But you lead me in battle. I follow and obey your instructions.]
"Not always," grumbled Jake.
[What are you doing here at night any way, Prince Jake?]
Instead of telling Ax that he was on his way to visit Cassie, Jake reminded Ax, "Don't call me 'Prince'."
[But why not?] Ax asked stubbornly. [You are my Prince; why don't you like me to call you what you are?]
Jake shook his head. Just telling Ax not to call him "Prince" because he wasn't his Prince wasn't doing any good. He looked back up at his alien friend. "Listen, Ax, if you call me 'Prince Jake' in public, it could call the Yeerks' attention and they could figure out who we are."
[Okay, so I will not call you 'Prince' in public.] Ax nodded his blue head, causing his stalk eyes to bob up and down as well. [But we're not in public.]
"No, but you need to start working on breaking the habit of calling me 'Prince Jake' in public."
[What good will working on not calling you 'Prince Jake' when we're not in public do?]
"If you get out of the habit of calling me 'Prince Jake' now, when we're not in public, why would you call me 'Prince Jake' in public?"
[I wouldn't,] Ax agreed, [Prince Jake.]
"You just did it again!"
[I know, Prince Jake.] Ax nodded.
Jake sighed in frustration. He held his head as if he was getting a headache. Then, an ideal dawned upon him. "Ax, if I am your Prince --"
[Of course you're my Prince.]
"Then you have to do what I say then, don't you?"
[Yes, Prince Jake.]
"Then I demand that you stop calling me 'Prince Jake'."
Ax nodded obediently.
"I have to go now, Ax, so I can get to Cassie's in time."
[You're going to Cassie's? Is there to be a meeting tonight?]
"No, not tonight."
[Then why are you going to her house?]
"To study together."
[But you don't have any of your school books.]
"Cassie has hers, and we only need one." After a few silent seconds, Jake said, "Good night, Ax." He turned and left.
[Good night, Prince Jake,] Ax said aloud, more to himself than to Jake.
A few yards ahead, Jake heard Ax's voice in his head. He sighed, more frustrated than before, and clutched his head with his hand to ease his headache called Ax. "I don't think I'm ever gonna get him to stop calling me 'Prince'," he muttered.