Motivated by their predicament, Foaly finished reading the material he downloaded about the Atlantis Complex in record time. He was now contemplating what he had learned.
"Foaly, get in here, NOW!"
Foaly grimaced. "Don't interrupt my deep thinking, you ruin the genius process!"
"Foaly, shut up and get in here. Artemis blacked out!" The centaur jumped up and trotted to the other room.
Artemis was slumped against the wall, out cold. Holly was kneeling next to the boy with her hands on his face. "Holly, what did you do? I told you to keep him calm."
"Hold on horsey boy, I didn't do anything. I just tried to talk some sense into him, that's all. He blacked out as I was talking to him."
Foaly thought a moment, "I must know everything that happened in your discussions with Artemis. Start with telling me again what happened when you went to fetch him on the ice. Every detail is important. I've been studying this condition and every action of his and yours may be a clue."
Holly begin her description. She described in detail how she grabbed his arm the second time she stopped him looking at him. She indicated that was when he changed to the Orion personality.
"What exactly did he say as Orion?", Foaly asked.
Holly hesitated and felt her face flush. "I'm not sure ...".
"Holly, every last detail is important, what did he say, please try." "Oh all right" and she red-faced related his smarmy look and comments on how her touch made him warm.
Foaly laughed. "Artemis was hitting on you?" Unsuccessfully trying to stifle giggles, Foaly covered his mouth. Holly's temper got the better of her.
She punched Foaly in the shoulder. "It's not funny Foaly! He's sick!"
The centaur stopped laughing. "OK, OK, sorry" He rubbed his sore shoulder. "Just no more hitting. Ok, go on. That is when you incapacitated him, right?" Holly nodded. "OK, now tell me what happened when he woke up and then blacked out, again."
"OK, but if I see one smile or hear any more giggles, you'll have two sore shoulders, got it?" The elf then described how Artemis was talking in his sleep, how she knelt next to him to make sure he was OK and put her hand on his shoulder. She related that this was when Orion reappeared. Red-faced she described Orion's advances, as Foaly bit his cheeks to keep the laughter from spilling out. Holly glared as she saw the mirth in his eyes. Finally, she explained how she tried to talk sense back into Fowl and when she held his face spoke to him, he blacked out.
"Hmm, a pattern is appearing. If I am correct, he will be Artemis again when he wakes up."
"Ok genius, how do you know?", asked Holly, face still warm from describing Orion's behavior to Foaly and Foaly's apparent enjoyment.
"First, because I'm a genius.", Holly rolled her eyes. "Second, because I have been studying this condition." There is usually a trigger that will cause the person to change personalities. From your description, you are the trigger."
"What, me? Why do you say that", Holly was growing more uncomfortable with this whole thing.
"Think about it, every time you have touched Artemis and looked into his eyes, he has either switched personalities immediately, or blacked out. The first time you forced the black out, but either way, when he woke up, he had changed again."
Holly paused to consider this. "OK, I'll buy it for now. But what does that get us?"
"Well, the next observation is that he wanted to tell you something as Artemis, just before you touched him and changed him back to Orion. Then when you touched him again, he blacked out, instead of changing immediately to Artemis. It appears there is a struggle within him with something he wants to share, but has trouble saying it. This could be the source of the complex. The alter ego, Orion, is acting out what Artemis wants to say or do. We need to get him, as Artemis, to say whatever it is. And the fact that Orion is being… ", Foaly paused, "somewhat amorous," Foaly braced himself for another punch, but Holly just glowered at him, "could be a clue as to the message."
"Ahem". Holly and Foaly turned to see Artemis standing in the door. "As Foaly says, I have a condition that requires some verbal release of data or information. I have temporarily, I think, gained some lucidity, for now.", said the Irish lad. "Fifteen and ten, good…irrational but good." "I need a few minutes alone with Captain Short. Holly, please come in here." He motioned to the other room.
Foaly turned his head and stifled a snicker. "Don't touch him, Holly. We don't want him to change again" Holly nodded and followed Artemis.
Holly looked at Artemis, he appeared nervous and unsure. "Is important that I say this quickly, while I can. It seems that our experience in the past has left me with feelings for you. While it could be the uncontrollable hormonal changes of an adolescent battling puberty, here.", "Ten, fifteen and fifteen, so far so good", "it is real, quite real. Captain Short, putting it bluntly…", he paused, " I Artemis Fowl, love you". "Five and ten…good, but why so?" Artemis let out a large sigh, his eyes widened, then he blacked out.
Artemis dreamt, again. He was back in the library with Orion and Holly. Holly was smiling at him but not saying anything. Orion stared back with hatred. "You told her. I didn't think you had the guts, Fowl. You are a selfish boor who loves only himself."
Artemis smiled his vampire smile, "That is obviously not true as I just proved. You, however, to use a present day vernacular, are now history!" With that, both Orion and Holly disappeared.
Holly caught Artemis before he fell. She set him down gently. In a few moments, he came to. Careful not to touch him, she said "Artemis? Is that you, Artemis."
Artemis answered, "Clearly it's me, Captain, you can just look and see that " Holly frowned, then smiled. "That sounds like the old Artemis Fowl"
"I believe it is, Captain Short. And those seven words you just used are quite appropriate." He smiled a moment, then got up and turned to join Foaly.
Holly stopped him, "Artemis…", she began.
"Captain", he responded, "while it is true, I said what I said earlier for the express purposed of curing myself. I have no intention of acting on those feeling while there are dangers threatening the world. Foaly and you will need my considerable help in solving this one. Let's get to it, shall we?" , he then left to join Foaly. Holly blinked and followed Artemis.
As they entered, Foaly said, "put on your helmet, Holly, an email is coming in." Holly donned the helmet and read the email.
Atlantis shuttle rescue approved. Foaly, Short and Fowl authorized to enter Atlantis. Medical warlocks standing by. Shuttle ETA to your 20 is 90 minutes. Further via comms secure link once you are safely aboard shuttle.
"Well, it appears that we'll be getting out of here, soon", Holly said. "Let's get ready" busied herself in preparation.
Fowl started assessing the rogue fairy probe problem. Before he joined Foaly, he stopped and gazed at Holly as she worked. "If only…" he thought to himself. Then returned to his planning.
THE END Hope You enjoyed. Please Review