4 years after TLG
Artemis looked down at the phone for a very long while, the black reflective screen glaring back at him. It had gone to sleep some time before, the message disappearing along with it, but the words he had read before were etched into his brain with a permanent marker. They weren't going away no matter how much he wanted to.
Memories started to dance through his mind and hatred grew in Artemis' chest. Not a hatred for anyone around him, but hatred for himself. He was an idiot. An absolute, foolish idiot.
Sighing, he picked up the phone and stood up. Artemis didn't dare open the phone to look at the text message again before walking out of the room.
"Call Holly." Artemis ordered Butler, his voice a cold, hardened tone. "Tell her that it's an emergency and she is needed right away. Also, patch a line to Foaly when she gets here." The genius handed his phone to Butler, and the bodyguard didn't miss the slight tremor in his charge's hand.
"Yes, Master Artemis." He replied, leaving the kitchen to do so. Butler knew not to question Artemis, but he still wondered why the other man couldn't do it himself. It was just a simple phone call.
Once Artemis was sure Butler was gone for the moment, he let go of holding back the hurricane of emotions inside of him. The genius put his head in his hands, his whole body trembling as fear and sadness rushed through him.
What had happened? She needed his help, for some reason, after all these years…
Anger soon washed away his other feelings and Artemis, enraged, grabbed an empty glass fruit bowl that sat next to him on the counter. Without thinking, he flung it at the wall opposite of him. The green crystal shattered against the wall and sprayed across the black and white tiled floor in a million pieces.
Instantly, the mad surge of anger that flashed through him disappeared when he heard the tinkling of glass hitting the floor. Artemis groaned softly, rubbing his forehead. He got up, walking around the counter to kneel down and start picking up the broken pieces uncautiously.
"She said she'll be here tomorrow." Butler walked back into the kitchen, ending the call on the genius' phone. The bodyguard paused when he saw what Artemis was doing. "What are you doing?"
Artemis sighed, accidentally gripping a rather large piece the wrong way and cutting his palm. He hissed, dropping the glass on the floor before he could explain. "D'arvit!"
Butler kneeled down, grabbing his arm. "I'll clean that up, later, with a broom and dustpan." He sighed, looking at the slice in the middle of Artemis hand. "What happened? Did the glass fall?"
With a shake of his head, Artemis shook his head and looked down in partial defeat. "I threw it." He mumbled.
The Eurasian frowned, grabbing a hand towel and pressing it into Artemis' palm. "What? Why? Artemis, what is going on?"
Artemis sighed, keeping the towel against his palm as he sat down in a stool again. "It's Jessica."
The startled look in Butler's eyes told Artemis that his focus was finally away from his injured hand completely. "Jessica?" He asked, and Artemis nodded. "What about her?"
"She texted me." Artemis grabbed his phone with his good hand. He showed Butler the text and Butler inhaled sharply.
Butler shook his head, leaving to get bandages. He returned shortly and took Artemis' hand, examining it. Even the genius winced from the pain, and knew that he needed stitches, but didn't say anything before Butler spoke up. "I'll get a connection to Foaly and Holly on your computer, to trace the call back."
Artemis nodded, looking down at his hand as Butler started to unravel the bandages to put over his wounds. He swallowed thickly, suddenly grabbing the bandages from the bodyguard with his uninjured hand. "I'll do this." He muttered, not looking at Butler. The Eurasian could tell that his charge was extremely bothered by the situation that had fallen into his lap, and he was suddenly worried that the young genius could very well start thinking with his heart instead of head. "Just...Go get the connection with Foaly and Holly set up."
Butler, although worried about Artemis, did not go against his orders. He stood up straight and nodded, turning around to leave.
Artemis sighed, watching the bodyguard leave. He looked down at his hand and winced. It was a deep cut, but with a quick, small flex of his hand, the genius could tell that his vital tendons were narrowly missed, fortunately. With another sighe, wrapped up the wound, telling himself he would stitch it up after talking to Foaly and Holly.
As soon as Butler closed the door in Artemis' office, the computer on the genius' smooth, polished oak desk started lighting up and making strange sounds. Knowing that it was the notification for anything LEP related, Butler walked over and clicked the screen. Foaly and Holly popped up immediately.
"What's wrong, big man?" Holly asked, a concerned look on her face as she crossed her arms in front of her chest. The redhead bent a towards the camera slightly,.
"Artemis." Butler explained shortly, turning his attention to the centaur on the left. "Did you get the phone number I wanted you to trace?"
Foaly nodded, his fingers moving rapidly across what looked to be two keyboards in front of him. "So, what's so important about this little ten-digit phone number?" He smacked his tongue in concentration, his eyes glued to the screens in front of him.
Holly chuckled softly and grinned, "Yeah. Don't tell me we're being dragged into one of mudboys hair-brained schemes."
The bodyguard sighed, looking back at the door. Artemis would be up soon. He looked back to the computer "It was a text message, sent to Artemis' phone. A SOS text, and Artemis knows who sent it."
Foaly paused, looking up. "If he knows who it is, why am I tracing it? Artemis can find the location with his computer. The only thing a LEP computer can do that his can is get a name and a police record."
Butler sighed, looking away. "Artemis...I don't think he's thinking straight, as of the moment. That might be the reasonable explanation you're looking for."
Holly cocked her head at him, frowning. "What's wrong with him?"
"Only one person called Artemis 'Hunter,' which was the nickname addressed to him in the text." Butler sighed, "A girl named Jessica Greene. She and Artemis...They were an item for quite a bit of time."
"What happened to her?"
"She left me." Artemis cut in sharply before Butler could answer. The genius leaned against the dark wooden door frame. His hardened expression on his face point to his bodyguard told them that he wasn't too pleased at the moment. "At least, that's what her parents and a note she left me said."
Holly glanced at Foaly, knowing what they both were thinking. Artemis? With someone? Even Holly didn't know anything about this Jessica. It was...Almost weird, thinking about Artemis with a girl. Really, thinking about Artemis with anyone.
Artemis saw the look, but chose not to acknowledge them as he stepped forward, still irritated. "Just get on with the trace, Foaly." He grumbled, and the centaur nodded, his fingers flying against the keys.
"Just a minute more." He muttered distractedly.
Holly looked at Artemis from her screen. "What happened to your hand?" She asked, concerned about the white cloth bandage tightly around his palm.
He looked down at his injured hand again. "Doesn't matter." Artemis dismissed quickly. Holly nodded, knowing not to push him.
"I'll come by tomorrow morning and heal it." The elf told him gently, knowing he was frustrated and not wanting to tip the genius over the edge-if he hadn't already.
Artemis nodded silently, and a Ding from Foaly's computer caught his attention as he lifted his head. "You found it?"
Foaly nodded, his eyes widening a bit. Fortunately for the centaur, Artemis was a bit too distracted to read his body language. "I'll...Uh...Send the address through your email."
Artemis nodded, taking his phone out of his pocket. "Butler, get the jet ready." He ordered swiftly, leaving the room in the exact same manner.
Butler, on the other hand, noticed Foaly and Holly's hostility as the record came up. He frowned, calling the hanger from Artemis' office and telling them to get the Fowl jet prepared for Artemis' arrival. "What's wrong, you two?" He asked in a gruff tone, looking at the screen.
Holly sighed, her eyes skimming the report again. "This isn't good." She whispered in disbelief.
"What is it?" Butler asked, leaning closer towards the screen, as if he could see the report himself.
Foaly licked his lips, still frowning as he swapped glances with holly before looking back at the Eurasian. "The name...It isn't Jessica's cell."
Butler shook his head, not understanding at all. He looked back at the door, but Artemis was gone. He most likely left to get packed for the trip and into the Bentley for the arrival to the hanger. "Well, whose is it, then?"
Holly looked at Butler, her eyes a bit wide for Butler's concern. Her arms were still crossed in front of her chest, the LEP technology on her uniform shining brightly in the lights of the Ops Booth. "Robierto Dragomir, a russian." Holly closed her eyes, pausing for a moment. "Butler...Dragomir is known for being heavily involved in prostitution rings."