Artemis Fowl: The Ivory Files
By Caspian Nyghtvision
Chapter 16 – Be it Fairy or Fowl
Dear Everyone: The reason this chapter came out so quickly is because, quite frankly, I feared for my life if I didn't update soon. Thus, it was started and completed in record time, and might not be so definitive. But, what do we care, it's got Bob in it. Ta for your reviews – over three hundred! I am boggled. I will start doing shout-outs at the end of each chapter; they're annoying, I know, but it's gotten too hard to email everyone. Love you all.
==================="We danced in graveyards with vampires till dawn
we laughed in the faces of kings never afraid to burn
and I hate and I hate and I hate disintegration
watching us wither
black winged roses that safely changed their color
Oh these little earthquakes
Here we go again
Oh, these little earthquakes
Doesn't take much to rip us into pieces
I can't reach you I can't reach you
give me life give me pain give me myself again..."
--- Tori Amos, "Little Earthquakes"
(It's not supposed to make sense.)
===================Holly Walking Home
Holly walked home, ready for bed. It had been a long day... week... it had been a long month, actually, because that business with the baby troll had really chewed up her weekends...
A random earthquake victim spotted the acorn insignia on Holly's shoulder, and promptly began to blame her for everything from the downfall of the Lower Elements economy to the proliferation of swear toads to the earthquake's destruction of the victim's microwave.
Holly fobbed the victim off by giving them her marshmallows. We should not wonder where she got the marshmallows, or where she was hiding them. Since Holly is a junk food junkie, they were probably supposed to be her dinner. The world will never know.
Bereft of marshmallows and sick of getting blamed for everything just because she was on the Council's payroll, Holly's walk turned into a depressed trudge. Her head hung low, and her unwashed auburn hair dangled in front of her downcast eyes.
As it was, she wouldn't have noticed the goblin gang anyway, since they were Lurking so skillfully.
Root and Vinyaya stood in the Classified Armory and marveled.
"So much weaponry."
"So very shiny."
Vinyaya turned to Root, looking slightly worried. "Are you sure we should be doing this?"
Root pretended to think. "We'll ask ourselves for clearance, and then we can give ourselves carte blanche. We can always demote ourselves if it doesn't work."
Vinyaya laughed. "Really, I wouldn't be a young junior officer again for all the weaponry in Haven."
Root sorted through a bin of nuclear-looking objects. "Hah. Look, a little mini bio-bomb!"
"'Carte blanche'? Perfect French coming from your mouth?"
"Oh, shut up."
Holly ran away, breaking free of the gang and bolting like a stung deer. She darted through alleys and tube bridges like a bogglefish through brain coral, jumping over fallen parking meters and unconscious looters.
She was almost certain that she'd shaken off the goblin gang, but now she and her apartment were at polar opposites of the city.
This was the Far Northwest Bank of Haven, and the emergency lighting hadn't bothered to come on here. Far Northwest was a sort of No Fairy's Land, and it was eerily silent now.
It only took one misstep.
The pavement had been thrown up by the tremors, and it was quite dark. Holly could be forgiven for losing her balance. However, her resulting fall down an alley/staircase was in pure accordance with the Narrative Law of Evil Ironic Comedy.
Juliet hadn't been knocked unconscious; the time stop kept her hovering in a state of suspended, neuron-blistering pain. Trix, a junior fairy captor, goggled at her in obvious astonishment, stammering and occasionally formulating the word 'Butler.'
The fairies dragged Artemis through the window and dropped him out of it. Thankfully, Spud the hovertrolley driver noticed in time and caught him. Artemis bounced unceremoniously; he would have some strange bruises in the morning.
"D'Arvit, daylight's coming. Trix, put the Mud Girl down. You don't know where she's been."
Juliet's head began to clear, and her eyes uncrossed. Her dilated pupils fixed on Trix, and a primal growl built in her throat.
"Yep, time to go." The fairies hurriedly leapt out the window.
"Get back here!" Juliet's strangled scream followed the fairies as they frantically tried to work their comically inept hovertrolley. "Artemis! Artemis! Oh, shite."
In a disused warehouse, the battered goblin gang licked their wounds. Literally. There were whimpers, whines, and demands for Mommies. There were even a few healing sparks, but on the whole goblins aren't very good at healing themselves, and they knew it. It was better to splint a broken claw then to accidentally meld it into your nose.
The morale in the warehouse was low. But you had to admit that the furniture was arranged in pleasing patterns, and there was a general air of good 'chi.'
"Just a few more missions and we can get out of this mudhole." Cerebellum tried to be encouraging.
"But we like our mudhole..."
"Yeah, when the coffee's too thin we can just scrape stuff off the walls and add it--"
"And we just had the feng shui consultant in, too!"
"We'll get a better mudhole," Cerebellum said soothingly.
"Will it have good feng shui?"
"It probably won't. All the other mudholes have crappy 'chi.'"
"Yeah. Let's keep this place, and maybe get a nice new rug," said Random Goblin #5, diplomatically.
This concludes our random insight into the lives of Evil Bit Characters. We will now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Juliet sat on Butler's bed and wept openly. "Dom, wake up, please. Please, they took Artemis and I can't do this alone. Dom, please!"
"Jus'wait'llIgetmyhandsonna, onna, thing. Bassard." Mulch shook his fist ineptly out the window.
"Oh, shut up, you stupid dwarf! You picked a hell of a time to get drunk!" Juliet grabbed Butler's pillow from under his unresponsive head and threw it at Mulch. She was a strong girl, and the dwarf fell over from the blow. Frankly, though, he was so far gone that a small draft would knock him over.
"Oh, thass'nice," Mulch said blithely.
Juliet didn't respond. She stared at the Sig Sauer she had found under the pillow.
Sometimes you just have to take the initiative.
"Hey Mulch?" Juliet said, interrupting the dwarf's curtain-induced babblings.
"Where do you think they're taking him?"
"Artemis?" Mulch reared back and looked at her as if he'd never seen her before. "Which?"
"The short one with, like, two legs, who would be really hot if he wasn't so mean."
"Oh, the scowly Mud Ferret?" Mulch made some nancing gestures that were supposed to look like Artemis being scowly and Mud-Ferret-ish, but looked more like a gay version of Edmund Blackadder. "I don't like lollipops, lah-de-dah, you are all inferior?"
"Yeah," Juliet said patiently. "Him."
"Well," Mulch said, nancing around Butler's bedroom, because nancing turned out to be surprisingly fun, "If a fairy wanted to take something they weren't supposed to have to a place where nobody would know they weren't supposed to have it, everybody knows they would go to the Great Criminal Underground on Carbuncle Forty-Second."
"Which is where?"
"Oh, it's in Atlantis."
Juliet let several seconds pass. "Atlantis."
"Elementary, my dear chippy."
"Like, where, exactly, is Atlantis?"
Mulch reared back and regarded her with one eye. "It's in the Atlantic."
Juliet groaned and let her head fall into her hands.
"Oh, don't worry," Mulch said calmly, nancing on tiptoe, "They're not taking him there."
"But you just said--"
"Well, yes, everyone knows the Great Criminal Underground is on Carbuncle Forty-Second in Atlantis in the Atlantic… so the exact place where a smart fairy would not go with something they're not supposed to have is the Great Criminal Underground--"
"Oh, okay, I get it! That makes, like, total sense. So where would they really go?"
"Exactly where everybody would not expect them not to go. Obviously." Mulch nanced over to the comatose Butler and sprinkled him with imaginary fairy dust. "Tra-la. Maybe in an active volcano, but probably somewhere bloody cold, 'cause nobody would expect that."
Juliet frowned. "Er… Russia?"
"'Tis the most obvious of the obviously least obvious of our options."
"We already did Russia. Last time."
"Dwarves," Mulch said grandly, "Often fart in the same place twice. There is no reason for them not to fart the same."
If the Author Doesn't Put Bob In She May Get Lynched
Bob sucked on his fin and looked at the Seaweed.
The Seaweed did not look back at him.
Bob was hungry. He had not been fed for ages and ages and ages. He was so hungry that the normal cloud of amiable, boggling astonishment that he lived in had evaporated, leaving him with a repeated thought stuck in his head:
Food. Food. Food. Food. Grapefruit!! No, food! Food? Food. Food, food, Food. What's that? Seaweed! No! Food. Food. Grapefruit plastic = food? No. Red-hair-yellow-eyes-elfie-Holly-person = food.
Bob sucked on his fin. Time for some serious, serious thought. He squinched one eye.
Red-hair-yellow-eyes-elfie-Holly-person = food.
Food = good.
Need food = need red-hair-yellow-eyes-elfie-Holly-person.
Holly = not in Stewpot.
Query: Where is Holly?
Far Northwest Bank, Haven City
Holly's self-inflicted pain was keeping her awake, which was a very good thing, considering the circumstances.
Sweat dripped off her hooked nose as she carefully moved her leg back into its usual position -- a slight problem, given her shattered kneecap and what felt like a broken collarbone. At least she hadn't broken her neck; that would have been bloody hard to survive, especially if she fell unconscious and it healed backwards.
She said this aloud and began laughing hysterically.
"I'm stuck way the hell somewhere in Far Northwest, I'm temporarily crippled, and by the time I fix it I'll be so dry of magic you could use me as a mop!"
This made absolutely no sense, but Holly laughed until she started sobbing. And then she had to stop sobbing, because apparently she also had a cracked rib. This caused her to laugh, as quietly as she could, as she finished putting her bones back in their usual places.
"I shouldn't say this. I really shouldn't say it. Because of irony. The universe just likes watching things like this, I think. But," and here Holly looked up at the ceiling of the city, "Really, what could make this lovely evening worse?"
On cue, a swear toad hopped out of the darkness and snarled at her. "Shithead. Bitch. Arsehole."
"Thank you, Universe," Holly said, and giggled herself unconscious.
Blah. The things I do for you people.