THIS IS A SEQUEL! If you haven't read the first one, you will understand NOTHING! Well, maybe a little. But, just so you know, the first one wasn't a crossover, it was just Artemis Fowl.
Now please enjoy this story.
Artemis Fowl 2: Agents and Angels
Ireland, Fowl Manor
It had taken all of about three weeks to fully secure Ethryn's new lifestyle as a Fowl who seemed to have come from nowhere. The legal story was, since, obviously, no parents could be involved, that she lived with a nanny who took care of her. It was also found that Holly wasn't actually her little sister, she was a friend of the nanny's child, and since the two were close, she just called her that. The woman acting as her nanny was hired from a very 'no nonsense' place, where you could receive no questions from the business or the people. Artemis appreciated it, but of course, the woman acting as Ethryn's caretaker was thoroughly background checked to the fairies and more importantly his liking.
Of course, the new heiress was a favorite among the press, for whatever reason. Appearing from nowhere had gotten her some time in the limelight. Artemis read every single word written about her, making positive that nothing had to be taken care of. Ethryn didn't seem to mind the constant badgering, as Artemis had prepped her on the life of the rich and what to expect before people lost interest.
Artemis's family had also been prepped. Not just the immediate, but the long distance. It wasn't the first time they'd been informed of a brand new identity joining their family, and nobody asked questions, thankfully. When interviewed, some claimed to favorite her. Others said they didn't talk much, but she was a nice enough girl. A few informed them she was a bit too lighthearted for their tastes.
All in all, the transition had been successful. Ethryn was now living very happily in London, with the LEP practically breathing down her neck, and a woman who asked no questions there to take care of her. He also talked to her often.
So why did he have this horrible feeling, he wondered, as he glared suspiciously at her happy picture, smiling up at the sky from her large estate's balcony.
London, Hospital Wing
Alex Rider was bored and impatient.
Nobody had told him anything. He was now fifteen and five months. His birthday had been a very cheerful party, spent getting presents from his friends and cards from distant family. Even Sabina had sent a card with a DVD, played at the party. The traditional embarrassment was there as well as she wished him a happy birthday, and some people made gibes. The word 'girlfriend' was mentioned.
But right now, that was all behind him. As he sat in the waiting room, he thought about his caretaker, Jack Starbright. She was the one in the hospital bed this time, not him for once. And he now knew how it felt to be left in the dark.
It was nothing serious, he reminded himself for the umpteenth time.
Hospital wings often reminded everyone of the horrors that the workers might see at any given moment. The imagination roamed farther then necessary in doctors offices in general.
But thankfully, Jack Starbright was just being treated for a burn. A particularly gross one it might be, snaking up from her wrist to her palm, but not serious. Alex had been able to drive her to the hospital. He had his permit, but legally, he wasn't allowed to drive yet. To his luck, no one had pulled them over.
Finally, a female doctor came from the doors. "Alex Rider?"
Alex stood up at once, "Yes?"
The woman smiled at him. "I'm Dr. Sanchez. Please, follow me."
He did, and they were led quietly down the hallway. Nobody paid much attention to either of them, clearly having more important things to worry about. This was, after all, a hospital.
"Your friend is fine," She began. Dr. Sanchez looked to be in her mid-thirties, Hispanic, and somewhat pretty. Her eyes were a warm brown, making Alex feel comfortable for whatever reason. "Miss Starbright won't need any skin grafts. Not at all. She'll just need a few bandages and a special type of cream . . ."
Alex had stopped paying attention. Dr. Sanchez, however kind she was, had begun to irritate him. She was treating him like he was 6, using phrases like 'special type of cream'. Little did she know, Alex had been under various surgeries and medical treatments, including skin grafts, and he probably could mention more procedures then she knew a 15 year old boy (14 at the time) could withstand.
". . . And here she is!"
Alex stopped in front of an open door. Jack, his legal guardian and closest friend, sat on a bed. The bandages in place, she gave Alex and wry smirk and lifted her arm.
"First burn ever. Did you bring the camera?"
He just smiled and stepped forward. Jack had got the burn trying to speed up a fifteen minute cooking project. Her limit was ten minutes, or she considered the job to take too long. But the recipe had been irresistible, so Jack had tried to speed it up. She now had the scar to prove that it wasn't a good idea.
"No, but I can grab one in the gift shop on our way out if you'd like," He retorted.
"Speaking of which," Jack looked at Dr. Sanchez. "When am I allowed out?"
She smiled, "We'll have you out in just a minute."
"I'll return shortly."
Alex waited until Dr. Sanchez had gone before turning back to Jack. "How are you feeling?"
"Fine, actually. They gave me a few painkillers. By the way, we'll have to drop off the prescription on our way home." Jack flexed her hand and winced as she did so. "Ow, I've got to hand it to you Alex. You made this look easier."
He shrugged. "At least its Sunday. Otherwise, no one would have been home to take you here."
"I'm sure the neighbors would have-, wait." She blinked a few times. "Doesn't your schools Spirit Week start tomorrow?"
Alex had already picked out his clothes. He nodded, "Yeah. Why?"
"Just wondering if you wanted to borrow the camera to take pictures of your lame friends tomorrow," she teased, nudging his shoulder with her good hand.
"Very funny," he retorted. "But nah. What's gonna happen that's so different I need a picture of it?"
"Take it anyway," Jack insisted. "You never know."
After that, Dr. Sanchez returned. With a few signatures and a follow up appointment scheduled, they were able to leave. As soon as Alex got into the driver seat, assisting Jack a little, they made a quick getaway. The quicker they could get away from the somber hospital, the more relaxed they would feel.
London, Park Square
Artemis was coming to visit tomorrow.
Ethryn always welcomed company. And she really did consider Holly, Artemis, and Butler like family. Foaly was somewhat of a distant figure, and to be honest, Mulch had been a bit odd. The woman who Artemis had hired as her caretaker didn't talk much. She had few friends, as it was a security risk to the Fairy People and the Fowl family itself. But Ethryn still loved Earth, even in her limited life. She missed Ellen of course, sometimes wishing she'd stayed with her, but her life where she'd been born was over now. Earth was her home, and her life would just have to be one of secrets. She wondered how her friends dealt so easily with it.
There was a knock on the door.
"Come in!" She called, staring thoughtfully out her window on the second floor. Such a big house for just two people. Ethryn was going to ask Artemis about getting a pet.
The door opened and Ethryn spoke before she looked at Colleen, the woman who took care of her. "Colleen, what do you think of getting a dog or a pet? Do you think-?" She stopped, frozen, staring at the person at her door.
The six-foot-two man standing there was definitely not Colleen. What had also startled her was not only was he wearing a full black bodysuit in the middle of the day, he was also holding a single knife in his hand. Frightening Ethryn even more was that it was coated with a thin layer of blood.
"Who are you?" She demanded, sliding her hand behind her back. With any luck, if this man survived, it could appear to him as though she had pulled her dagger from under a pillow rather then with thin air and a bit of magic.
In a gruff voice, he replied. "That's unimportant."
"What did you do with Colleen?"
"Irrelevant. Stand up and come with me, slowly. If you make any sudden movements, I'll be forced to-."
Ethryn didn't give him time to finish. She pulled a single blade from behind her back and, with adrenaline filled strength, threw it right at his chest, the easiest target. To her shock, he moved and was then in front of her. Ethryn tried to lash out with her foot but it was no use. The strange man grabbed it and twisted her foot, sending sharp pain through her body. She gritted her teeth and glared at him, refusing to utter a sound. Ethryn was also trying to figure out how she'd missed.
"You disobeyed me. You will now be punished."
"Oh really?" She hissed. "What are you going to do to me, then?"
"You, Miss Fowl, won't be awake for the ride."
"Ride?" Her eyes widened and she began to struggle, ignoring the pain it cause in her ankle. "Where are you taking me!"
"In due time, Miss Fowl. In due time. Now, if you'll please."
Ethryn barely had time to see his hand flash out, some type of syringe held carefully between his fingers. She didn't dare try and move, for fear of the needle hitting something far more dangerous then intended. She felt the needle penetrate her bare skin, flinching at the contact. Ethryn felt the curiously hot liquid flooding her veins before the syringe was gently extracted. Her body started to go numb. Though even facing the realization of being kidnapped, Ethryn could only feel bad for this man.
He had no idea what he was in store for once Artemis found out.
London, Above in a Plane
Artemis scowled. He'd made a call to Ethryn this morning, hoping to catch her on the phone to see how she was doing beforehand, but no one had answered. Normally the woman, Colleen Harrison, was the one to pick up the phone. But nonetheless, it was always answered. Ethryn hade a cell phone, but she didn't like to answer it. She didn't enjoy the sound it made, to be perfectly honest. Colleen Harrison did not have a cell phone. If they two had gone out, then it would be perfectly reasonable, but just in case, Artemis had of course contacted the LEP. The boy had guessed the LEP had been slacking after the first month of her living on Earth safely. Artemis now had proof of this suspicion, or so it seemed.
Butler was also having bad feelings about this. As soon as they got to the girl's house, he was going to insist going in first, just in case something might be waiting for them. Artemis might object, but this was what he was being paid for.
They didn't have to face security measures. When you came in on a private jet, not many questions were asked, and any that were asked were mostly about if the flight was 'to their liking'. The pilot did not thank them over the intercom. Artemis had hired him long ago, after many extensive background checks. Anyone who worked for Artemis besides Butler (and including, on occasion) knew that this was strictly business. Sometimes employers became friendly with their employees.
It was made very clear this was not that type of situation.
Butler, of course, placed all the luggage into the back of their car. The only thing Artemis carried was, as always, his laptop. Once they were inside the car, Artemis decided to try calling Ethryn again. He flipped out his cell phone.
Butler heard the sound and glanced into the mirror. "Trying to call her again?"
"Yes," Artemis replied, just as the phone began to ring.
Once . . .
Twice . . .
A third time . . .
Artemis's eyes narrowed immediately. That was definitely not Ethryn's voice. He signaled for Butler to start tracing the call on the GPS, a useful device he'd installed into the car. Butler nodded, flicking a few switches. Back to the phone, he demanded, "Who is this?"
Their was a pause. Artemis was starting to feel irritated when the voice replied, far less meekly, "Artemis Fowl?"
He tensed, "This is he, yes. Now tell me who you are."
The woman on the other end cleared her throat, "My name is hardly important-."
"I disagree. This call will be ended if you do not tell me who you are. Whatever demands you might attempt to make will fail, and if you are working for someone, I doubt they will be happy. You have the tone of a woman who believes herself superior, but is very obviously a sidekick, at best, who won't admit that to themselves. Should you fail in the simple instructions of ransom, which I am guessing is the message you wish to deliver to me, your superior will, no doubt, have you fired. Or, should they be so extreme, kill you. So I would advice you chose your new words very carefully, madame, as I don't say things to hear the sound of my own voice."
Artemis waited. He had sounded confident, and even, to an extent, very fierce. The person on the other line seemed to be talking to someone else near them. Unintelligible mutterings were heard before the woman inhaled.
"Very well, Mister Fowl. I work for a business called Scorpia. Have you ever heard of them?"
Indeed, Artemis had. He paled a moment (which made him look rather sick, for he didn't have much color to begin with) before swallowing hard and taking his own advice about word choices. "Yes, I have, actually. What could you possibly want with my cousin, then? Contrary to popular belief, the Fowl family does not have business or contact with terrorist groups, such as your employers."
"Terrorist is such a cruel word, Mister Fowl. But back to the point, then. Your cousin, Miss Ethryn Fowl, has been taken to our hostage facility until we are paid a sum of 2 million dollars. No doubt a rather small price for the Fowl family, but rest assured, if the money is not delivered to the account of our choosing in exactly one week, your cousin will be killed."
Butler made a frustrated motion with his hand. Artemis's expression went blank as the meaning came to him at once. Whatever system they were using to block his tracker out must have been very powerful. But then again, he hadn't updated the GPS in a while. It was something he would have to fix, but that was for later. Right now he was dealing with kidnappers.
"I find it only fair to warn you," Artemis kept his voice level, reminding himself this wasn't just an average family member. Ethryn was definitely not helpless, like his father had been when that kidnapping had occurred. "Should you proceed with this transaction, there will be consequences on your part. My cousin is not as helpless as she may look."
"Yes, we've seen that." The woman seemed somewhat smug, if not amused. "Our informant told us she attempted to kill him with some sort of knife kept under her pillow. And she surely would have succeeded if our operative had not been one of the best."
Artemis had been wondering how Ethryn had not managed to save herself, on her own. She wasn't exactly a weakling. Under a thin and dainty figure she had a strength and agility that the Fairy People were still studying. The strength of Angel's could be adapted to humans, but Ethryn's kind had it without the necessary working out people needed.
"Its your choice, madame. Return her now, or suffer later. Sooner then later, I'd say."
There was a small laugh, "Two million dollars, Mister Fowl. The account will be sent to you once this conversation is over. And I'd advise you to stay away from the police. Its not like they can do anything against us."
Artemis hung up before she could. It made him feel better, though not much. Butler had pulled over and looked and turned to look at him in the mirror.
"Am I to assume that Miss Harrison is deceased?"
"Most likely," Artemis pinched the bridge of his nose. He gave a heavy sigh, "I very much doubt the Fairy People are going to like this at all."
"Shall we return to the plane?"
"I'm far too thrown off by the trip to return for another few hours. We'll find a hotel somewhere." Artemis snapped, then took a deep breath, his head between his hands. "My apologies, Butler. I am not myself during stressful situations."
Butler shrugged, "Its no problem, Artemis. Should I put Holly on the line, then?"
"Yes, please, Butler. Thank you."
The car also had a built in phone, as most due these days. Except once again, Artemis had designed it himself. It was actually he who sold it to the Americans and the rest of the industries. Though his was far more advanced, of course. No call of his was ever dropped, wherever he happened to be or whatever tunnel he might be going through.
It was answered on the second ring.
Artemis let out a breath he'd been holding. Despite the probability of Holly being kidnapped too was probably one in a million, it was nice to hear her voice instead of a strangers. "Holly, it's Artemis. Butler is here too."
"Hey, guys. Haven't talked to both of you in a while . . . Is something wrong?"
He caught the wary tone in her voice. Rather then speak, he let the pause fill in the blanks instead of his voice. She would understand more if the bad news was figured out on her own.
Holly inhaled sharply. "Artemis, where is Ethryn?"
"That's precisely what I called to talk to you about."
"Oh god, no!" She groaned out. Artemis could practically imagine her face in her hands. "What happened? D'arvit! Wait a second, I'm getting Foaly on the line."
Both Artemis and Butler heard a few buttons being tapped. Their were rings again.
Then, "Hey, Holly, what's up?"
"You're on a three-way, Foaly."
"My machines aren't ancient, Holly. Artemis, oh joy. Then I trust this isn't just to say hello?"
"Ethryn's missing," Artemis intervened. "She's been kidnapped by a terrorist group in London that call themselves Scorpia. They've managed to cause quite a lot of trouble, actually."
Foaly was hitting keys so fast it was almost like listening to something vibrate. "I'm looking them up on my database right now."
"No doubt you'll find plenty."
After listening to his fingers go at it for a while, there was a low whistle.
Holly groaned again, "That bad?"
"Their rap sheet could probably wrap around the whole of LEP Headquarters." Foaly replied, seeming both disturbed and impressed. "Twice. But nobody can prove anything. Their careful. But . . . oh, whats this?"
"What?" Artemis demanded. He didn't like being left in the dark.
"Get on your computer, Mud-Boy." Foaly replied, "No doubt its right in front of you. Holly, according to my reader, you're at your desk, so you get on your computer too. I'll link you guys to what I'm seeing."
The two did as they were told, Artemis simply flicking open the screen and waiting. It took his computer a few seconds to load. Holly took a half minute longer, as she was not as good with technology that didn't involve something violent.
"Alright, Foaly, we see what you see. Now tell us what you're so hyped up about," Holly ordered.
Thanks to the centaur, their screens scrolled down on their own, towards Scorpia's more recent ventures. He clicked on a file marked "MI6 Database", and a file appeared. He then went deeper, zooming in. The heading of the sheet was titled "Invisible Sword".
"Alright," Holly said, after reading through it. "Now, to sum this up, this Scorpia had planted gold encrusted viruses, I think, into shots for school children? That's-."
"Horrible? Diabolical?" Artemis interrupted. "But you have to admit, this is a rather ingenious idea. It occurred to me long ago, though, that someone might try this eventually. I'm shocked I haven't heard about it sooner. I, for one, do not use public doctors for this very reason. Poisoned medicines. Hmph."
"Leave it to you to appreciate the genius of a plan rather then be horrified by it," Holly snapped back. "The question I want to know is, why aren't thousands of children dead right now?"
"This is the reason for my surprise," Foaly scrolled down again. Projected on their devices, they watched him highlight a paragraph. "Illegally of course, since this kid is still a minor and you can't employ minors, a 15-year-old kid, 14 at the time, basically destroyed the whole plan from the inside out. He even managed to get rid of one of the original founders of Scorpia."
Artemis peered at his screen curiously. "Alex Rider . . . Interesting."
"And the last transaction, even involving another group called Snakehead, also fell to the hands of this kid." Foaly then smirked, a joke spurting from his lips. "Well here it is, Artemis. I knew that other side of you had to be somewhere."
The boy genius for once did not understand. His eyes narrowed, "What on Earth are you talking about, Foaly?"
"You're the genius right?"
"I would say so, yes."
"But you couldn't beat your way out of a paper bag!" Foaly let a chortle or two out before continuing, as Artemis did not enjoy being insulted. "So this kid is the perfection of fitness and tricks, just like you're probably the smartest kid out there who can keep calmly tell someone they're about to die because you don't like them. Brains and brawn."
Holly snorted, a smile on her face. "Yeah, Artemis. This kid completes you!"
Artemis was not amused, "How very cute of you two to make jokes while an entirely new species of the Fairy People has been kidnapped by a very dangerous race of humans who would kill thousands of London schoolchildren just to make a point."
The laughter cut of abruptly. Holly cleared her throat, "Just what are they asking for, Artemis?"
"Two million dollars," The genius replied, glad they were back on subject. "Not exactly out of the question, but I don't trust them. I'd advise you to find Ethryn yourself and if rescue is out of the question, I'll gladly pay the money to these people. What they use it for is none of my business, after all." He scowled, "Although we'll have to be moving Ethryn. London seems to be a great target for these people. I don't want her anywhere near that."
"Aw," Foaly gushed. "You're such a great big brother, Artemis."
"Although I am not one for physical violence, I would very much enjoy to see Butler smack you at this time, Foaly." Artemis replied, demonstrating what the centaur had meant about calm threats. Butler smirked at Artemis from the mirror, as they were halfway to the hotel by now.
Foaly gave a nervous laugh at the thought of the monstrous manservant abusing him in any way.
"So what should we do about this Alex Rider?" Holly intervened. "Do you think he could help us at all? According to this MI6 file, he could probably be some use to us if we're going to break in. Even the Fairy People need a little help here and there."
Artemis thought over this a moment before nodding. But knowing they could not see him, he continued. "Yes, I suppose so. Though I doubt he'd come with us willingly." He paused, stroking the keyboard thoughtfully. "I suppose I'll have to hire a few people to fetch him for us. No need to use our resources on something that simply. Holly, how quickly can you get up here?"
"Actually, Artemis," Holly suddenly sounded nervous. "I'm on vacation right now."
"What?" He said, exasperated. "Since when?"
"Since yesterday. I'm off for the month."
"Yup, its true Mud-Boy," Foaly agreed, having regained his composure. "Most of the LEP has, actually. Holly doesn't normally do vacation. It was mandatory leave. She's classified as 'overworked'."
"Bored off my ass is what I am right now," she muttered. "So I'll have to come up above ground on my own. If the situation proves something we can't handle, then I'll get the LEP involved. But if I can keep my head above water, I'm going to."
Artemis sighed, "Very well. Please be here by tomorrow morning. I'll have this Alex Rider by then."
London, Alex's High School
Alex Rider had enjoyed the morning, getting together with his class grade and shouting cheers that could be heard from all the way down the street. No fights had broken out yet between the different years, but everyone was just waiting for it to happen.
The Seniors had 'Army Day'. Combat clothing, war paint, torn t-shirts, and even a few hippies flooded various areas of the school. Juniors had Rodeo day, where teenagers were running around with horses on sticks and cowboy outfits. Sophmores had 80's day, wearing their parents vintage clothing. And Alex's class, the Freshmen, had Nerd Day.
Alex had taken the camera, forced upon him by Jack. With one hand mostly incapacitated, Alex woke up early that morning to assist her with breakfast, much to her irritation.
"Its my job to cook, not yours," She'd commented. "You do enough."
Right now he sat with his friends in the bleachers, watching the Junior Skit. Each class had a day to perform and plenty of time to prepare. It was up to students to join and let their grade know when the practices were. The mini play was about spirit, and their rival school for the Homecoming Game getting made fun of. Each class had a theme, and this one was Indiana Jones. It was mediocre, at best.
After lunch, nothing really happened. Alex talked to his friends during class, the movie being ignored altogether. During Spirit Week, unless you had a particularly cruel teacher, not much was done during class periods besides celebrate.
Had anyone really payed close attention though, they might've noticed some people who looked unconventionally muscular after school. Some of the Seniors saluted to them, noticing at once their army-like attire. Freshmen immediately shied away from them, for fear of being cornered and forced to do push-ups, as some had already been made to do early that day. The men looked a bit old, maybe in their mid-twenties. But nobody questioned them, as some Seniors looked unconventionally aged. But there was something different about these three people with ski-masks over their faces. True, many upper class men did have these masks on, but they looked completely on edge. Their backpacks, also army patterned, bulged with unknown items. They were not in the shape of books.
But still, no one confronted them. It wasn't until Alex walked out the back doors, taking the shortcut home, did they react. Swiftly and unnoticed, they followed, chatting idly about teachers that didn't exist and classmates that were bothering them. A few girls names were also mentioned. Alex payed them no mind until they shouted at him.
He stopped and turned, a blank expression on his face. Alex had dealt with bullies before. This would end quickly. "Yes?"
The boy reached up and aimed a gun at him, "Stay where you are!"
Alex rolled his eyes. They fake guns weren't allowed at school. He was mildly surprised that this toy hadn't already been taken away from him, "I am sorry to disappoint you, but sadly, I'm not afraid of plastic."
The man steadied it and aimed. "Who said this was plastic?"
Alex's eyes widened as both realization and the tranquilizer dart hit him. The dart punctured his neck, a perfect shot, avoiding any nerves that could've been injured but right into the bloodstream. Alex knew he'd never stood a chance. No one came this way. It had really been a dumb idea to try the shortcut. He had no hope of anyone stumbling across here to see this happening, and even if they did, what could a teenager do but run and tell a teacher? By the time the police arrived, it would be too late.
These were Alex's thoughts just as he lost consciousness. The darkest of the men caught him, hefting him over his shoulder. A car drove up into the normally avoided street, and they tossed him in, two getting into the back and the other in the front. Then they drove off, calmly, feeling comfortable the tinted windows would protect them.
This small group working for a strange employer had just kidnapped the infamous Alex Rider.
Do you want to know where I got the idea for Alex's kidnapping? My high school. We take Spirit Week very seriously. You can here us rallying in the morning all the way down the block. Its rather frightening. And yes, the Senior's Army Day is terrifying for boys (thank god I'm a girl), because if they see you to close to their 'territory', you get hounded. You do push-ups or they'll squirt you with water guns. I saw it happen to these asshole kids in my grade and I laughed. They looked like their were going to wet themselves.
But anyways, did you enjoy this so far? You shall, if you haven't! Artemis Fowl the genius is now going to meet Alex Rider the orphan teen super-spy. This should be interesting.
Until next time.