Hey y'all. Back again. I won't go over the same routine of, "I'm sorry it took so long," and all that jazz. By now, you all know what my life is like. So let's get down to it shall we.
Here we go. The newest chapter of "Breaking the Bank."
No.1 didn't really like the feel of metal against his wrist. He found it to be mildly disturbing at times. It was like having a rash you couldn't scratch.
However, with the image of a busty Minerva dominatrix, straddling his lap and holding onto a riding crop, staring at him with an intense aura of mischief, No.1 was finding himself to be very tolerable of the handcuffs.
The room was dimly lit with several candles; all of them red. A soft hum of music came from a vinyl record player; 70's soul jazz fusion softly gliding out of its tweed speakers. No.1 found himself in one of the many private rooms in Minerva's house built for such "purposes." There was much space for all the sorts of gadgets and gizmos that he and Minerva used. The bed itself that No.1 was lying upon was also red; red sheets, red blankets, and red curtains.
Everything in the room had a hue of red to it. Red is often confused with the color of anger, but that was not how No.1 saw it. No.1 saw red as the color of naughty. Everything about the room was naughty. Naughty ideas, naughty noises…..
And No.1 himself was the naughtiest thing about the room.
"You deserve your punishment, don't you, you little peasant?" Minerva slowly spoke; emphasizing every vowel.
No.1 groaned. "Yessssss…..I've been a bad, bad boy."
Minerva moved slowly across his body, making sure her thighs kept in constant contact with his skin. She leaned into his ear. "But what sort of punishment fits you?" she whispered.
No.1's brain was justifiably fuzzy. Too confused to reply with a direct answer to her question, he pushed the question aside and pleaded with urgency. "Please….master…..I want to f-"
Before he could finish his sentence, the end of the riding clop gently touched his lips, silencing him. "You don't have the right to do what you want." Minerva leaned upwards and eventually stood before him; towering over his body with her feet on either side of his waist. "I'm you're master, and I can torture you any way I want."
At this point, No.1's eyes began to follow Minerva's hands, trying to see what she was reaching for in the dark. He noticed that she must've been reaching for something on the nightstand. Unfortunately for him, however, another surge of an intense pleasure shroud dulled his sense, and he began to daze off into a pleasure-coma.
He was then awoken with an intense pain! A burning sensation swept across his nervous system. Very detailed spots on his body began to scream. No.1's eyes focused immediately, after he was done yelping in agony.
He noticed the candle in her hand. He looked down at his chest, and noticed the small red spots smoking and coating his fur. She was dripping the hot candle wax across his body.
He looked back up, trying his best to simulate a puppy dog face. Maybe then, she would stop (although, secretly, he really enjoyed it).
After making eye contact, however, Minerva resumed her torture and tilted the candle once more. The sticky and potently painful candle wax continued to cascade across his chest and stomach. All of his muscles immediately tighten themselves upon contact.
"OW!" he screamed. "OW, OW, OW! OH GOD!" Finally, the pressure point broke. The line of pleasure and pain had finally been crossed. Thank the Gods that No.1 and Minerva talked about a safe word.
"Oklahoma!" No.1 screamed. "Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Oklahoma!"
Minerva stopped dripping the candle wax for just a second. Her head cocked itself to the side and her expression was complete puzzlement. "What?"
"Oklahoma," No.1 breathed. "It's the safe word."
Minerva's face transformed from a confused glow to a vengeful scowl. She placed the candle back down on the nightstand before leaning towards No.1's face like a jaguar stalking it's pray. She was pissed.
"I don't give a shit about the safe word," she breathed angrily, before twisting his nipple viciously.
"DEAR FROND!" No.1 yelped in a cloud of pain/pleasure. Slowly but surely, his brain began to register an intense high created by the pleasure synapses in his brain going off like confetti cannons and a Flaming Lips concert.
"Thank you," No.1 breathed as he felt the weight of her body lean back toward his crotch. This, by far, was the best dream he had ever had.
And unfortunately it was time to wake up.
"For what?" a voice replied.
No.1's world shattered. That didn't sound like Minerva's voice at all. Much to his dismay….it actually sounded like a man's voice. What in the world…..
No.1 opened his eyes…..
And screamed in horror at the deformed beast lying across his lap. It was Minerva's body, but with Doodah Day's face.
"Dude, you alright?" the monster asked. "Wake up."
*Las Vegas, Nevada. McCarran International Airport. Private strip.*
"JESUS CHRIST!" No.1 screamed as he leapt out of the realm of fantasy and back into the real world.
Doodah Day had to caution himself and back away immediately when No.1 woke up. The way and the manner in which No.1 sprang out of his dream was similar to the way someone gets shot out of a cannon. Doodah was frightened that he was going to get smacked by No.1's own head or something upon re-entry.
No.1 appeared disheveled. He was sweaty, breathing heavy; if this were any other occasion, Doodah Day would've assumed that the warlock must've been doing early morning jogging.
After taking some time to compose himself, No.1 looked towards Doodah Day. The dwarf had an inquisitive look on his face.
"Dude, are you ok?" Doodah Day asked out of sincerity.
No.1 finally was able to make sense of his surroundings. He was on the private jet plane that Artemis was able to rent for the small price of $250 dollars (Butler knew the owner of the plane from way back in the day). The plane was being used for their possible 6th undercover mission involving the heist. Landing in Las Vegas, Nevada, McCarran International Airport, Doodah Day was going to be picked up by limo serviced offered from The Bank hotel. They already purchased a villa under a fake name, and made sure that the villa they acquired was indeed the one with the airshaft leading towards the diamond showcase.
Doodah was going under the guise of a high-roller whale by the name of Mr. Fredrickson. No.1 was going undercover as Mr. Fredrickson's personal assistant and body guard; Lenny Pepperidge.
As for the terrifying image of a half Minerva, half Doodah Day deformity lying across his lap that was playing in a constant dreadful loop in his head…
Just a dream, No.1 thought. A terrible, chaotic dream.
"Why did you wake me up now?" No.1 asked nonchalantly. "What's going on?"
Doodah Day shrugged his shoulders and motioned his hands about the cabin. "We're here."
It was then that No.1 realized that the plane had not been moving for the entire duration of their conversation. He looked out his window and noted the Las Vegas scenery. Their private strip really captured the essence of the Southwestern atmosphere.
No.1 sighed. "I guess it's time to suit up then," he spoke aloud to himself. He closed his eyes and spoke his séances, activating his disguise spell.
Nicole Zeta stared at the plane and its steps with tremendous fear and anxiety. On the outside, she seemed so well composed. On the inside, she was a wreck. She and the limo driver were late. This was definitely not something that Billy Bank would want to hear. The man was a perfectionist. When someone asked for his limo services, he expected Nicole and the driver to greet the guest early, if not exactly on time. Now finally in front of her, and 7 minutes behind schedule, she was waiting with angst for someone to walk out of the goddamn thing.
What bugged her even more was that she couldn't find that much information about the high-roller himself. She knew that his name was Mr. Frederickson by the room reservation, and she knew that his 'body guard,' would accompany him. As for whom exactly he was, what he did for a living, and why exactly he wanted a specific villa exactly, no one could say. Even The Bank databases were drawing a blank.
As she thought about this, she noticed that someone appeared to be coming out of the aircraft. She obviously recognized the whale from the ID photo sent to their offices. He appeared very cocky. He seemed like a silver spoon star. She noted his sweatpants, tacky Hawaiian shirt, and spiked hairdo that made him out to be a caricature of some rich punk asshole from the 90's.
As he got out of the aircraft and went into the limo, Nicole looked back up to notice-
Well hello handsome! Nicole thought to herself in shock. She gulped a little bit in her throat when she saw the body guard. A small bead of sweat made its way down her forehead. It was as if her entire surroundings got turned up to 98 degrees.
The bodyguard wasn't shaved, but he wasn't' scraggily looking either. He had a nice fit and well toned body. His height, structure, and body composition made him look young, but his poster was so well fixed and straight that she could tell that the body guard was a very mature man. He appeared to be in his early 40's if not late 30's. He was also dressed to the nines; decked out in a flattering business tuxedo if Nicole could say so herself.
Even his nose was attractive. Although large for many women and possibly intrusive, Nicole found that the nose added much texture and shape to his face. You know what they say Nicole, she thought to herself. Big nose….big…..
He reminded her of Leonardo Dicaprio.
As the body guard walked down the steps of the private leer jet, Nicole walked up to the bottom of the steps, greeting her clients.
"I'm so sorry for the wait Mr…." Nicole spoke.
As No.1 made contact with Nicole's eyes, he worked hard to make sure he didn't smile. This was perfect. Not only was his disguise working, but it was working flawlessly. Being a warlock, No.1 had an act for reading emotions. The emotion surging through Nicole's body at the moment was a mixture of curiosity, fear, and lust. She was hooked.
However, No.1 began to fret when he realized now it was now time to test out the voice. He had practiced it many times in the hotel room privately, but only privately. After getting the negative reaction concerning his nose, he really didn't feel like sharing any of his ideas with anyone, knowing they would probably get shut down. This would be the first time ever using the new voice.
Well, No.1 thought, gathering courage. There is a first time for everything.
"Pepperidge," No.1 spoke in his disguise and new magical voice. "Lenny Pepperidge. And there's no need to apologize. I regretfully must say that my boss wanted me to inform you that he was waiting for seven minutes."
….Keep it together girl. Nicole thought to herself as she tried to snap out of her daze. She was trying bashfully not to appear like some southern bell swooned off her feet. The voice…..It had to have been the voice of Lucifer himself. Such temptation. It had a soft low rumble while also containing an almost inhuman soprano. It was warm and inviting, yet calculating and cold all at the same time. It was a voice that could give Benedict Cumberbatch a run for his money.
Both No.1 and Nicole began walking towards the limo. "We received your $3 million cash deposit, and would like you to know that what we normally do-"
"Mr. Fredrickson won't take a line," No.1 responded; smooth and quick while also jumping the gun. His demeanor made him seem like a man of business. "My boss is a man of extraordinary discipline. He's willing to risk 3 million and not a dollar more."
"When you reserved the room, did you mention something about how Mr. Fredrickson being in real estate?" Nicole asked curiously.
"Absolutely," No.1 replied with a business mono-tone; a slight infliction of annoyance underneath his cool exterior.
"I only ask because his name doesn't seem to come up on our standard file database," Nicole announced.
"And that's the way my boss intends for it to be," No.1 proclaimed as he finally reached the vehicle. "We work very hard to keep it that way."
"Exactly what kind of real estate did you say Mr. Fredrickson was involved in?" Nicole remarked.
No.1 turned smoothly towards Nicole. His facial expression showed some amount of annoyance, but his voice had a tint of pride about it. It was almost as if No.1's character, Lenny, loved addressing this aspect of his job.
"Understand this," Lenny urged. "Mr. Fredrickson and his linage, although of Irish descent, own all the air south of Beijing."
Nicole was confused and silent for quite some time. "…..The air?"
No.1's character smiled. "Let me put it to you this way, try building a building more than 3 stories high south of Beijing and see if his name pops up in your registry then."
And with that, No.1 entered the back of the vehicle.
Nicole waited outside for a little bit. Her brain seemed to be working out some sort of complex equation. The manner in which Lenny addressed her was very convincing. One could believe that owning "the air," could indeed be a thing that was possible. But the context itself was laughable. It didn't make any sense. How can someone own air?
Meanwhile, No.1 looked at Doodah Day and smiled greatly. "Like your disguise?"
"Your magic works well my friend," Doodah Day whispered back. "I'm still not sure about the nose though."
No.1 smiled. "Well bro, the nose plays. Ha ha, yes. The nose plays well."
*The Bank Hotel. Main lobby*
Nicole scanned the crowd as she typically did during her off hours. As Billy's right hand man, while Billy worked out the tax details, the management of the entertainment, and future plans for opening night; Nicole was in charge of keeping the employees on their toes up until that point. She made sure everyone was in their positions and that everyone was prepared for anything.
As she did this, the nagging thought of what happened to her earlier at the airport began to wean on her conscious. Lenny Pepperidge was indeed convincing, but it still had an air of suspicion in Nicole's mind. How in the hell could someone own air?
As she thought about it more, she began to re-discover other odd details surrounding the new client's registration. Why did they not go through the traditional route with betting their money and asked The Bank to not hand out a line? What was so important about them having the villa closest to the elevators?
Her train of thought then passed by other seemingly odd aspect surrounding the hotel. They began with the simply odd interactions she had with her employees on the hotel staff. Most were pretty normal, but there was a rare few that acted…..reserved? She couldn't quite find the correct word for the facial expression or emotion that the certain employees projected during her interactions with them, but it was as if they were hiding something. Some even had a strange, glazed over look in their eyes that made them appeared….stoned? It was like they were hypnotized.
Then her thoughts focused on the odd characters she came in contact with inside the building. She never had direct contact with them, but she always could swear she thought she saw the same individual (in fact, individuals) in multiple different locations, and each time she did see them, they were dressed in something different. It was as if the crowd inside the hotel was consistently made up of twins. She shrugged it off because she never got an actual good glimpse at them, and these moments were so few and far between to really take dire notice of; until now of course.
She then also thought about how weird the five diamond reviewer was acting. She felt somewhat guilty for thinking these thoughts. Billy had informed her over and over again not to question any request or question proposed by the reviewer. The Five Diamond Review award was at stake. She had to keep her opinions to herself. But on the inside, she thought the events surrounding his check-in, as well as subsequent questions and interactions seemed rather fishy.
In fact, the more she thought about it, there were several aspects surrounding multiple different things involved with the hotel that seemed rather fishy. The whole place stank of something, but she couldn't put her finger on it.
It was then she thought back to the day Thanes Mourn entered Billy's office talking about a possible earthquake. The conversation that Thanes and Billy had wasn't really the part that caught her attention, but it was rather the guest afterwards which was plaguing her mind at the moment.
Fredrick Gee Kaftan was the name of the man. As he exclaimed on that day, he was a freelancing federal agent that worked for the Nevada Gaming Commission from time to time. He said 24 words on that day that were now echoing inside the walls of Nicole Zeta's cranium.
"My presence for being here concerns a person that you know as Artemis Fowl. I have a suspicion that he's planning to rob you."
Nicole Zeta finally had her epiphany. She finally realized what all these strange occurrences were amounting to. She finally realized what the stench was. It was the stench of FOWL!
….but was it really? Even if she was 99.9999% sure that Artemis was behind these strange occurrences in the hotel, there was still that 0.00001% that she was wrong. If she went about this the wrong way, her job would be at stake. Going in go hoe meant taking on aspects of her job that were on lines she dare not cross, like the Royal Five Diamond award.
As a result, rather than freaking out and announcing on her cell phone to Bank and all his employees that they were experiencing a code red, Nicole decided it would be much better to go a more composed and traditional route.
She remembered that directly after Kaftan announced his theory, Billy Bank straight up laughed in his face. The whole idea that Artemis Fowl the Second would have the balls to rob Bank made him chuckle. To Mr. Bank, it was ridiculous, and could never happen in a million years. So he laughed, and continued laughing as he directed Nicole to lead Katfan (or as he referred to him "This looney Ruskie") out of his office.
But once outside his office, Kaftan offered up his business card. "If anything seems fishy, call me."
And that was exactly what Nicole was doing at the moment.
Reaching into her purse, she looked for her wallet which contained the card. Once she found the card, she began dialing the cell-phone. There were 4 short rings, and finally, an answer.
"Hello?" the voice asked on the other line. His voice seemed to contain a bit of grogginess.
"Yes, Mr. Fredrick Kaftan," Nicole announced into her cell phone. "My name is Nicole Zeta. You offered me your card when you visited The Bank hotel last-"
"Oh yes," the voice interrupted on the other line. "I remember you perfectly. Does the whole situation at the whole hotel stink of something right now?"
"Oh you bet," Nicole retorted. "You see, there are a couple of character here that I'm not too sure about."
"Ok. Just give me their names and I'll check them out," Kaftan responded.
"Right away," Nicole replied with glee. "Just a quick question though. Exactly how does this process work and how long does it take?"
"Both questions totally rely upon you ," Kaftan answered. "Typically, once you give me the names, I check them out using various databases, legally of course, and if anything suspicious comes up, I typically report them to you. However, due to privacy laws concerning my background as a federal agent, by law, I cannot tell you over the phone. So if you see me in your hotel sometime in these 6 months, it means I've got a lead and I'm there to either make an arrest or come in for questioning. If by six months, I don't find anything, I'll call you and you can tell me if you want to cancel the service or continue the investigation, and the cycle starts all over again. Are we clear?"
Nicole smiled. "We're crystal," she stated. "Now, here are the names of the individuals I want you to check out."
*The Bank hotel. 's villa.*
No.1, still in his human disguise form, unhinged the air vent gate and removed it while standing on the dining room table provided in the villa. As Doodah day looked into the black abyss that he soon would enter into, he tried to come up with a way to get out of doing the mission.
Meanwhile, Holly and Artemis stood on either side of No.1 and stared into the black gate as well. Holly found sights much easier to examine now in her human form. At least now she could stand taller and get a closer look at things. She, along with all other operatives in the mission required to do so, carefully remembered every day to take the serum to stay human till the mission was over. Foaly's major concern was the fact that in the midst of trying to fix the black jack machines, the team soon would run out of serum. Fortunately for him, there was enough serum on reserve to delete any possibility of such an event from occurring. The one thing that Foaly couldn't control was Grub Kelp's supply, since he only took enough for the scheduled amount of time that he would be staying on the plant. The strike he threw now had the whole schedule jacked. But, thinking ahead, Artemis directed Foaly to double Trouble's serum supply so that he could give Grub a boost.
No.1 jumped down off the table, and looked right at Doodah Day. "Ok, up you go," No.1 directed. He moved towards Doodah Day as he spoke. "Once you get on the table, I'll be able to give you a boost."
It was then that Doodah Day decided to blow the gang's minds. "No."
Artemis's eyes snapped and directed themselves right at Doodah Day's eyes. "No?" He was filled with righteous Irish Fowl anger. His voice was slow, deliberate, and sinister. "The Hell do you mean no?"
"I mean that I'm not going up there," Doodah Day stated, standing his ground. "Do what you want to me, I ain't budging."
"Are you so sure about that?" Artemis stated in his ominous mastermind tone that use to send shivers up anyone's spine.
Holly Short tried a different tactic from Fowl's. "Ahh, Doodah Day c'mon," she pleaded. "It's not that bad."
"43 MILE PER HOUR ELEVATORS, 83 STORIES HIGH, AND YOU HAVE THE BRASS COJONES TO TELL ME THAT IT'S NOT THAT BAD?!" Doodah Day exclaimed. "Well, Miss Short. I suggest you do it."
"Too risky for Holly," Artemis Fowl proclaimed. "She's too liable of an aspect for this mission."
"Oh and I'm not?" Doodah Day screamed indignant.
"Well…kind of," No.1 said awkwardly while shrugging his shoulders.
"Oh Jeez, thanks," Doodah Day exclaimed.
"Look," Holly Short explained, holding her hand down, demonstrating her frustration. "Aside from Trouble, no one else on the council knows about this mission. Trouble was able to cover his post with some 'vacation/co-op' mission bullshit. But he's under good word with the council due to his fantastic reputation as a commander and how it's his second year in the council."
"If Holly Short dies," Artemis stated, "The council would be rearing its ugly face into our mission like bloodhounds on the scent of a runaway criminal. This is also why we cannot perform a time lock large enough to cover the security room of the hotel."
"Small uses of magic as healings and mesmerisms, along with small amounts of fairy technology like mind wipes and helmet scanners are easy to keep on the down-low," No.1 added his two cents. "The time-lock would cause a whole mess of a stink. This is why we need you Doodah Day."
"I always seem to perform the small diminutive tasks that put my life in jeopardy, but usually never amount to squat, like that time I drove the car in Minerva's," Doodah complained. "I risk my ass and what do I get, a few years working in Short and Diggums P.I. Well fuck that!" Doodah screamed. "I ain't sticking my neck out no more. Here is where I draw the line."
"But the stick jump you preformed was a lot more dangerous," Artemis regaled.
Doodah Day bit his lip. He knew this day would come. What Artemis was referring to was how Doodah Day was able to travel to the surface years before the techno-crash. He basically was able to get past security and enter a fairy shuttle which shot to the surface, landing him in Costa Rica.
He didn't necessarily get passed security, but rather, he became intertwined with it. He provoked security to arrest him, and when they had him in Jail, he was able to escape thanks to some inside help (Foaly), providing him with keys to a shuttle, and made his way to the surface.
But what exactly did he do to provoke the L.E.P. to arrest him out of the blue?
A video went viral in the underground of Doodah Day basically challenging and threatening the police. Part of this video not only contained the verbal threats used to aid in his arrest, but also a parkore video demonstrating his ability to dodge and elude police. One of these videos showed Day basically playing chicken with the stick transportation system, which moved at about 67 mph.
However, there was one aspect of the video that he didn't address.
"It was fake," Doodah Day exclaimed.
"I beg your pardon?" Artemis Fowl asked.
"It was fake," Doodah Day exclaimed, now much more aggravated. "Everything physical that I did in that video was actually digitally enhanced."
Artemis's face contained the perfect expression of shock, bewilderment, and anger. It looked like he just shat his pants in complete frustration. In-fact, everyone in the room had the same look.
"ARE YOU SHITTING ME?!" Holly screamed.
"No," Doodah Day said under his breath, embarrassed.
"HOW THE HELL DO YOU POSSIBLY HAVE THE BRAIN POWER TO DIGITALLY ENHANCE SOMETHING?" Artemis proclaimed, anger coursing through his veins, walking back and forth and kicking over the kitchen chairs. Marvelous; they were neck deep in the mission and only now did he want to bring up the contents of the video.
"I'm not just some grease monkey criminal dwarf," Doodah Day announced. "Besides, Foaly helped me."
Artemis crouched down and slapped his knees, and then gave forth the most sarcastic grin that basically made him look like he was on the verge of a stroke.
"Yeah, of course, Foaly," Artemis exclaimed with anger. "I'm going to choke out that donkey boy!"
"Why the hell didn't he tell us?" Holly stated under her breath.
"He probably just wanted to send Doodah Day through hell just for shits and giggles," No.1 addressed.
"You're probably right," Doodah Day stated under his breath with a little shrug.
Artemis sat down in one of the chairs that he had kicked over a few moments ago. Placing it back up, then sitting down, he looked into the air-vent. It was like a gaping hole in the ceiling, and now it was there for no reason. "fffffffffffuck," Artemis breathed out bitterly.
It was then, at this low point that Holly was struck with an incredibly awesome idea. She knew, after years of officer training in the L.E.P on how to emotionally intimidate her opponent. It was time to put that training to use.
"Well….at least Artemis Fowl Senior is in hospice. With assisted living, he might live to see his next birthday….but I doubt it. January is so far way."
Artemis Fowl the Second looked up at Holly with an agape expression, as if to say why the hell would you say that?
Holly turned her head towards Arty, and winked.
Artemis picked up on the social cue immediately. It was genius. Using his knowledge about acting, he expressed himself as being morbidly sad.
"Yes," Artemis Fowl proclaimed with a sniffle. "It looks like I let my father down. I'll have to tell the rest of the guys that we just struck a deal with Spiro for no reason. It's over. I just wish my father knew how hard I tried."
Doodah Day finally broke. He no longer could take it.
"Balls," he stated under his breath.
The gang looked up.
Doodah Day then looked up, flashing each individual the bird, and screaming "BALLS" into their face.
"GODDAMNIT, FINE!" Doodah Day announced after his tirade."NO.1, LIFT MY TINY ASS UP THERE. I'M GOING IN!"
*The Bank hotel. Air ventilation and elevator system*
"SHIT!" Doodah Day exclaimed as he pushed himself back from the edge. Another elevator shot passed him. 43 miles per hour doesn't seem so fast for any individual driving a car. But for any individual in front of that car, 43 miles per hour was life threatening.
Now, Doodah Day was faced with the task of facing 43mph elevators; elevators with no driver, with no way of stopping. He somehow had to jump between the system, and get over to the middle, climb up many more stories, jump over to the other side, and place a tracking device from the crew to use in order to not only set off the explosives if they could use them, but to also find the room for later if they discovered an alternative route. It was a whole lot of work for little to no payoff.
But damnit, someone had to do it for Timmy.
Doodah Day still remained in the air shafts for quite some time, swallowing air as fast as he could, trying not to panic. It would be very easy to. He was out on the edge of oblivion. One false move and he was gone.
Taking a deep breath, Doodah Day closed his eyes and praised the multiple Gods.
Opening his eyes, he reached out and around, grabbing the first pole to his right, and kept himself tight to it as he swung out into oblivion.
He gripped the railing tightly as elevators zoomed past him on either side of his body. They were going so fast, Doodah Day could've sworn the hair was being ripped off from his body. Regaining his courage, Doodah Day cocked his head to the side trying to visualize his next goal.
Once he saw his target in sight, he positioned himself around the railing to where he could be upright and face his target directly. Building momentum, he jumped towards the second pole.
Narrowly missing the elevator, he screamed lightly into his throat out of rational fear. But swallowing the blackness once more, he crawled up the "scaffolding" until he had reached the perpetual promise land.
A series of large square beams arranged themselves as a sort of puzzle maze, all that Doodah Day had to do was follow them to the edge of any elevator currently not moving. Once he determined whether the elevator was going up or down, Doodah Day was given an instant free ride.
Of course, he had to strive to keep his balance as other elevators zoomed past him.
He found one elevator, on his level of beams, not moving. Balancing himself towards it, he stood next to its side and watched closely, waiting for any movement.
When the doors closed, he noticed a slight upward jerk motion. He crawled on top of the elevator quickly, and silently. Now, Doodah Day had a free ride.
Of course, this elevator did not go all the way to Doodah Day's destination, just as he predicted. Scrambling off the elevator and back onto the new set of beams, he waited again for another elevator to reach his level.
He continued this process for 30 minutes, until finally; he had arrived at maintenance center on the floor of the diamond showcase room.
The maintenance center was a series of pipes, tubes, and cables that provided electricity, water, and security for the showcase room. If ever there was an electrical problem, the only way to check the series of cables was to have a maintenance guy ride the elevator until he was a floor below it. Then, the maintenance guy would have to open the roof hatch in the elevator, crawl out of it, and enter the small, hexagon shape opening (that, of course, was covered with a grate like all the air-vents) leading into the system.
It seemed like a lot of hard work to get to something that typically would need to be checked frequently. But frankly, had planned from the beginning to have this particular maintenance center be a problem to get to. He didn't' want anyone messing with it unless it was absolutely necessary.
With a smile on his face, Doodah Day did just that, as he pulled out his mini-blaster (provided by Holly) and shot a hole big enough for him to enter through the grate.
Once inside, Doodah Day planted his "tracker," onto the pipes.
Much later, the gang would use the tracker to find their way into the much evasive air-vent system that ran directly below the case, using the security room two floors below it to get inside the vent, and then using x-ray vision goggles, fairy magic, and anything else that might've been needed, the gang would be able to determined how exactly they could be able to get the diamonds.
Doodah Day sighed in relief once he activated the tracker, and began to walk towards the burnt in grate opening. The hard part was now over. All that was left was for him to head back down.
Or so he thought.
As he walked through the grate, grabbing the railing to his left like he did once he tried to enter the beam system, he clutched tightly after swinging over and began to arrange himself around the pipe so that he could jump onto the beam system.
Little did he know that as he did this, his pant legs began to catch themselves in between some spaces between the railings and the walls.
Finally, positioning himself just right, he jumped…..
….only to fall straight down, and slam face-first against the wall behind him.
His heart rate elevated to a dangerous level as he began to realize what exactly was going on. Much to his dismay, his pant legs where too intertwined within the spaces between he railing and the wall. Now, hanging upside down, the pant leg was the only thing keeping him from falling to his eventual doom; but how long could he keep this up?
Reaching for the cell-phone attached to his belt, he dialed Artemis quickly for emergency. He tried desperately to hold back the tears and feminine wails of fear before he called Artemis.
It was a valiant effort, but alas, he cried like a little bitch once the lines were connected.
*The Bank hotel. Fredrickson's villa.*
No.1, Holly, and Artemis causally ate their Thai cuisine provided by Ling Sue as they watched their watches, noting the time.
"45 minutes," No.1 announced. "Should it really take him that long?"
"We scheduled this mission for today for a particular reason," Artemis Fowl reminded No.1. "Only Nicole and Billy have complete and total access to the viewing room. Each day, at exactly this time, Bank and Zeta take very private guests to the room using the two private elevators located two stories below the viewing room."
"In other words," Holly said. "Doodah Day had to wait for a specific elevator to turn on once he reached the 106th, floor. And after that, he had to be quick with his planting before they took the private elevator again."
"Otherwise the dwarf would have to make a two stories high leap of faith towards the next beam system," Artemis concluded. He then looked down at his Rolex, "but since it is indeed 3:45 by our watches," Artemis stated, "He should be coming through the air-vent sometime soon."
At that moment, Artemis's phone rang.
Artemis shot his guests and inquisitive look once they all read the call I.D. After shrugging in confusion, Artemis answered the call and turned on the speaker phone.
"Hello?" Artemis asked out of confusion.
"BWHAHAHAHA OH MY GOD I'M GONNA DIE!"
Everyone at the table clutched their ears as the loud and abusive sounds pummeled their eardrums. The screaming wails were so high pitched that dogs a state over could've been howling.
"I'm sorry, what?" Artemis asked as he tried to remove his hands from his ears and listen to what the actual fudge was being said.
"MY LEG!" Doodah Day screamed. "OH SWEET FROND MY LEG!"
Now, everyone was attentive. Taking their hands away from their ears, and getting as close as possible to the phone, the gang was complete 100% invested into what the hell was happening next.
"Doodah, Doodah Day," Artemis recited as though he was ground control at NASA. "Can you hear me? What exactly did you do to your leg?"
"It's stuck," Doodah Day recited. "I'm caught between the elevator walls and….what looks like scaffolding," Doodah day managed to say between his in-coherent babbling.
No.1 paled. "Doodah Day, did you see an elevator go pass you after you got in the maintenance area?"
"Yeah, of course," Doodah shouted. "Who gives a shit about that?"
No.1 sighed. "Good, he missed his elevator."
"Doodah Day, listen to me," Artemis announced. "What No.1 was referring to was the elevator that only Billy Bank and Nicole had access to. We briefed you on this, remember?"
Doodah Day paled. He was in fact briefed about this fact. He just forgot it due to his immense panic. "THEN THAT MEANS I'M A PANTLEG AWAY FROM FALLING TO MY DOOM!"
Before anyone could say a word, Holly stood up and shouted into the phone, "I'M ON IT," before ending the call.
As she tried to reach the air-shaft, Artemis was flabbergasted.
"Wait, what?" The Irish lad asked confused.
Holly stopped her frantic jumping as she tried to reach the open air-vent (even in her human height, she was still too small) and stared Artemis right in the eyes. "I'm going in to save him."
Artemis walked on top of the table and grabbed Holly's hands, trying to stop her erratic jumping. "Holly, I'm afraid I can't let you do that."
Holly's look in her eyes changed from ecstatic fear for her comrade, to a driving edge, to innate bile and anger. "You know damn good and well that I'm the only one that can help him." As she continued to speak to Artemis, he noticed vaguely that she seemed to be taking off her clothing.
He tried not to think about it as he responded. "I understand that you have the physical capabilities to help him out, but your honestly to important to me to let you-ok, just what the hell are you doing?" but to no avail. Artemis had to ask the question.
Holly replied non-chalantly, "Taking off my clothes."
Artemis shot her and inquisitive and confused look that reminded Holly of the way a child looks when he or she has their first taste of something sour.
"And…..why on earth would you do that?" Artemis asked confusingly.
"You must be Looney thinking I'm going up in that elevator system in a dress that has no aerodynamic features and that can easily get caught or ripped, causing me to die," Holly responded.
"So…..you're going up there in your bra and panties instead?" Artemis responded.
Holly laughed. "Silly mud boy," she replied. Then she turned to No.1. "No.1, in Doodah Day's suitcase, I assume that he brought some sort of lounge wear; like a pajama shirt and bottoms or something."
No.1 eyes flashed with registration, and he opened the suitcase quickly while Holly snapped her fingers standing in only her bra and panties, signaling for No.1 to 'hurry up.' No.1 tried his hardest to comply, and after immediately recognizing the pajama shirt and bottom, he tossed them over to Holly.
There was a major height difference between disguised Doodah and human Holly. While the clothes would've been loose fitting for Doodah Day, Holly found them tightly wrapping to her core, chest, and legs as she hastily put the clothes on. They covered her like sportswear.
"Perfect," Holly announced to herself. Then she looked up at the ceiling, noting the open air-vent. Then she looked back down at Arty, who still shot her that 'sour' and completely befuddled face. "Well….lift me up Arty."
The Irish genius snapped. "How the hell do you expect to get to him?!"
"The same way he did, genius," Holly sardonically spat back.
"You're so head strong, do you know that commander?" Artemis shouted.
"Headstrong, you think I'm head strong, you selfish Irish prick!" Holly screamed back.
The two began shouting back and forth at each other and for a good 30 seconds, it was all out war. No.1 would've laughed at the situation in another circumstance because it was so clichéd that it should've belonged in a movie.
But the stakes were dire and on top of that, No.1 was also a demon warlock. He could just feel the emotions discharging from their bodies. It was almost intoxicating. He could sense the frustration; it didn't take some relationship expert to understand that. But when he added that emotion along with their increasing subconscious lust, and passionate romance, No.1 came to a conclusion that he did not expect. No.1 stumbled upon possibly one of the biggest affairs in his life.
And with a team member's life on the line, they decided now would be a good time to begin arguing like a married couple.
Not if the demon had anything to say about it.
Jumping onto the table, he screamed, "HEY!"
The couple turned.
"Look," No.1 began. "I don't know what's going on between you two, but it doesn't matter. Our friend's life is at stake and we need to get him some help, fast. So Arty, as much as it may piss you off, Holly is a risk we have to take. She's been through many recon missions in the past, remember?" No.1 said the last part as mockingly as he could manage.
Artemis was awestruck by No.1's spine. Arty didn't want to see Holly putting herself in danger, but the demon had a point. She was more than capable to get both her and Doodah Day out alive. She did indeed have the brass cojones to make promises with her mouth that her body could keep. As much as it pained him to admit it, no one else could save the day, but Holly Short.
"Ok," Artemis breathed. Artemis turned to Holly and held out his hand. Taking the cue, she placed her foot on the palm of his hand, and he hosted her up into the air vent.
"Just remember," Artemis announced. "Once you find Doodah, you'll have to find a way to get him to jump up towards you. There should be some wires to the side that you can use to climb up towards him. After that, you need to evade security and begin crawling down the floors. You need to be about as quiet as possible with this mission-"
Artemis was silenced, when Holly, fully in the vent, placed a quick kiss upon his lips.
"Piece of cake," Holly announced afterwards.
And with that, she crawled towards the elevators.
Artemis watched her go, with a flutter of love in his heart and a pain of fear in his gut.
A few seconds of silence floated by him.
"So….." No.1 began. "Anything you want to talk about?-"
*The Bank hotel. Air ventilation and elevator system*
Piece of Cake, were the words that Holly Short thought to herself over and over again as she constantly dodged elevators while grasping the pole tightly of the 'scaffolding.' Noting her speed, distance, and rate of velocity, through a combination of thought and pure instinct, she leaped out from her pole, and grasped the center beam of the elevator system.
Another elevator whizzed past her; its speed causing her hair to get tossed about. Still gripping tightly, she managed to climb up the beam as more elevators made their way mere inches beside her.
The hairs on her neck began to stand. It was an exhilarating rush.
She longed missed the days where she was a major part of the action. While she knew that helping Artemis was the right decision, and although she was cheerful to finally be in a leader position, she felt that the Goblin raid that she was leading the day she got the call was the last chance she would've had as a major in action. It was her last chance to truly have some fun, before the situation down below ground would eventually find its way back into normalcy and she would be forced into a life of desk work.
And she blew it; literally. She blew the door open, and that was it. No action-packed kung-fu fest, no death defying stunts and pistol wars. She took one shot, and made her way here, to Las Vegas.
This is why she enjoyed this aspect of the mission so much. Although it was particularly unplanned, and although a pain to have to go through, she felt alive once more as the crawling, hopping, and balancing she had to do as elevators ran past her going 43 miles per hour caused the synapses in her brain to excrete themselves like teenage girls at a boy band concert.
This was marvelous.
She climbed the beam before finding another scaffolding set that worked itself perpendicularly into the beam-maze. Knowing this, she jumped from the beam and grabbed the scaffolding rods with one hand. As she gripped this, she used her momentum and body weight to swing her legs around, grabbing onto the pole as though she was going to crawl across it. Once she was securely wrapped around it, she did just that. She grabbed the beam-maze set with one hand, and swung herself on top of the main beam before laying down flat.
Stars of pleasure were flashing in-front of her eyes. If she could have any auditory hallucination, she would be listening to some bad-ass rave or techno music. This moment was killer, and the adrenaline in her veins was pumping wildly.
It did fall shortly however, when and elevator stopped right beside her once she stood on the scaffolding, and noted that it was going up. Stepping on top of it, she waited patiently for her short ride to the top to end.
Luckily for both her and Doodah Day, the elevator went all the way up to the highest floor it could possibly go before running into the private elevator shafts. She made her way onto the beam system, and looked up at Doodah Day.
She busted out into gut laughter as she finally saw the frantic dwarf dangling for his life.
"IT'S NOT FUNNEH!" Doodah Day shouted in complete panic.
Holly cackled as she brought her mind back down to a realistic level. "I know," she repeated. "I know….." She placed her hands onto her hips. "Now, how are we going to get you out of this one?"
Doodah Day was pissed. "DUHHHH, I DON'T KNOW, TELL ME CAPTAIN!" Doodah Day shouted in a particularly nasty tone.
"That's commander to you," Holly unwittingly stated under her breath as she began to analyze the scene. She noticed one air vent, with a grate, just a few feet above her human height on the side way; just under another set of scaffolding. She also noticed the wires the elevators used which ended just below a cement layer that lay upon the scaffolding, separating the "public," elevators from the "private," elevators. She also noticed how Doodah Day, if pushed towards that direction, could grab the wire, in theory, and ride it down for a quick bit before jumping again.
It was a risky move. It was bold move. It was most definitely an insane move. Moves like this could only happen in movies. In order for the move to work, Holly would have to perform a frontwards arm extension roll, push herself up in the air so that her forward moment could cause her feet to grip the grate, continue jumping up using all of her core muscles for balance and forward thrust, grab the scaffolding and secure herself; she would also have to jump from the scaffolding, grab Doodah Day, hope the weight and momentum would rip the pants and cause him to fall, have both him and her grab the pulley system, slide down for a few floors before releasing themselves, and finally land, squarely (as well as painfully) on the lower beam maze.
It was these ridiculous life or death moments that she missed so much.
"Ok Doodah Day," Holly said. "Here's the plan. Once I get up to you, I'm going to bear hug you and pull you down. We're going to glide on over to those pulley wires and ride down them like firemen. After a few feet, once we see the next set of beams, we'll have to jump off the wires and pray to the gods that we'll land on the beams. Are you read?"
Doodah Day was silent. "You know…after much consideration of your crazy plan…..I think I'd rather prefer to plummet to my death."
Holly flashed a toothy grin that Artemis would've been proud of. "No can do. You paid a contract with Mr. Fowl. And making a deal with Fowl is like shaking Sinatra's hand. There's a code amongst those who shake Sinatra's hand."
And with that, she was off.
Although the support beams casting out the layers for each floor of the build was wide enough to run across, a frontwards arm extension roll would be a bit of a challenge. Nevertheless, after running towards the wall at full speed, Holly did just that, and with ever fiber in her being screaming for strength, she pushed herself up into the air and was airborne.
The tricky part was the tucking and rolling. Already having a forward momentum, she was going to keep rotating forward, but she had to control her roll. Go too fast, she would end up delirious; too slow, and she wouldn't be able to have her feet grip the grate.
By a miraculous occurrence, she did just that. With a perfect roll, her body became like an infant in the womb, with her feet barley grasping the top edge of the grate (she gained, apparently, too much height in her boost upward), and with a powerful push in which every muscle in her body scream "UP" Holly flew skywards towards the scaffolding.
At just the approximant moment where she lost her momentum upwards, her hands grasped the scaffolding pole and she pulled herself up. Wrapping herself around the pole, she faced and mesmerized and utterly spellbound Doodah Day.
"Damn," Doodah Day stated slack jawed. "You're good."
"The best," Holly replied as she leaped towards Doodah Day.
*The Bank hotel. 's villa.*
Artemis sat patiently for 15 minutes in complete concern as he tapped his fingers out on the table. Logically, he knew 15 minutes was the perfect window of opportunity for success in Holly's mission. Any minute more would be pure torture for the great mastermind. Any minute past 15 minutes symbolized a possible failure. Doubt and fear began creeping into his system. He was already on the verge of losing his father, could he really bare the loss of his love.
Suddenly, a loud BANG echoed across the villa. The sound came from the air vent directly above them. The banging continued as No.1 emerged from the couch in the villa and stood next to Arty's side. Both looked up at the air vent in complete puzzlement. Just what the hell was making that racket?
Falling from the opening of the air vent was Doodah Day. He gracefully landed face first on the table. The loud crack that was audible unfortunately didn't sound like it came from the wood. Doodah Day groaned in pain.
Holly popped her head out from the air-vent in an almost cartoonish fashion, and blew a strand of hair away from her face as she looked down on Doodah, Arty, and No.1 while scoffing.
"Relax Doodah, it's just a broken nose," Holly confirmed the dwarf. "I can fix it."
"Besides," No.1 stated. "It could've been a lot worse."
Doodah Day, still facing down in pain, agony, and just sheer shame on the table, lifted up his right hand and flashed the bird. He made damn sure that the middle finger protruded proudly and waved it around for everyone in the room to see.
The gang laughed.
*TheBank hotel. Sir Frank Tana's Villa*
Artemis arose from his slumber slowly and softly. This was an almost vague state for him. He was caught in that dimension between reality and dream. It was those wee moments in the early morning that one awakes to, and softly try to fall back asleep again.
But Artemis was immediately awake when he noticed Holly standing by the window.
Artemis and Holly had been sleeping together ever since "the incident." Tonight was the first night however, that Arty asked Holly to sleep with him in his villa (aka "the Eagle's nest") instead of having him sleep over in her room at the Holiday Inn across from the hotel. He knew that she would probably have a hard time adjusting to this change.
But from her facial expressions of her distantly staring out into the Las Vegas strip, Artemis didn't note any sense of personal peril or distress. She however, seemed to be in deep thought. She had that mythical 'thousand yard stare,' that many veteran's talk about. Perhaps re-living a high like the one she experienced in the elevator shafts was a lot to handle.
Artemis pulled the covers away and walked towards her. The crazy lights reflecting on her made her seem like some sort of futuristic depiction featured in a Stanley Kubrick film. Arty wore only his boxers while Holly was topless.
Holly turned her head and noticed Arty walking towards her. Both acknowledged each other with subtle head nods. Holly then turned her head back and looked out into the city.
Arty crept up behind her and slowly wrapped his hands around her waist and pulled himself to her back tightly in an embrace. Slowly, he kissed the crook between her neck and shoulder sweetly, before laying his chin on her shoulder and looking out into the city skyline with her.
Holly for a brief moment looked down at her hands. After the initial wave of euphoric emotions worn off from the now dubbed 'elevator' incident, Holly got back to her duties as a 'planner' and began looking through blueprints of trying to find the possible air-vent on the 106th floor leading to or under the diamond showcase room.
"I've gone through so many blueprints, I can taste the ink through my fingers," Holly commented.
Artemis hummed in acknowledgement. "I too, could taste the ink on your body," he commented with a low and sexy monotone voice.
"The only other access point is through that fabled air conditioning duct," Holly stated. "But, after some investigating from Trouble, apparently there's a security both on that floor and none of the bribed or Mesmered employee's can move him."
"Could we try a Mesmer on him?" Arty asked.
"Too risky," Holly stated. "The camera's could catch it. We need someone to get on his good side and get in the booth and have him leave for a bit."
"We have to move that guard then," Artemis concluded.
"But we don't have anything on him," Holly replied.
Artemis smiled deviously. He kissed her ear lobe. "You know me, I'll find something."
The couple continued staring out into the vibrant Las Vegas city. New York really had a war over Las Vegas over 'the city that never sleeps,' title. Las Vegas seemed to be bumping. Rows of cars created traffic just on the main strip. Although very high in the air, Artemis could see the people moving in and out between building after building. He could imagine them laughing, drinking, and having an incredible time.
He, unlike Billy Bank, and finally regained his humanity back and no longer looked at people from the height perspective as ants.
The woman close to him was the major reason for that change.
But there of course was someone else. Someone who rarely got enough credit.
"Did I ever tell you that my father taught me how to play craps in Las Vegas as a child?" Artemis inquired.
Holly was intrigued. She sighed. "No, tell me more."
"My father came out here with Butler and, of all people, Billy Bank, one day for some business related purposes," Artemis began. "It ended with a night of debauchery that my mom had to take me away from before I saw anything too corruptive." Artemis smiled. "I remember him telling me the next day that he got to shake Frank Sinatra's hand." The Irish lad then shook his head. "That's not the point. The point is, I stood by his side while he played his hand. He told me, 'Never play hard ways or double sixes.'" Artemis grinned. "He found ways to straighten me out in the oddest of fashions."
Holly smiled in faint bliss of a memory.
"When you were still a clone, recuperating your memories," Holly began, "I went to the surface to visit you and knocked on the door. I told Angeline I would be there, but instead your father answered the door."
Artemis was sighed. "Were you nervous?"
"Oh, I was terrified of the giant at first," Holly commented.
Artemis laughed. "You've faced troll, a 12 year old me, and death; yet the image of my father scared you?"
"At the time, yes," Holly commented. "But you know how the story ends."
Artemis chuckled. "I came down from my room seeing you and my father eating breakfast at the dining table."
"We were having his signature 'Timmy Fowl,' Blue berry pancakes," Holly remarked.
Artemis smiled. "The best."
They continued looking out into the night sky. Las Vegas was noted to be the most sinful place on the planet. IT was, after all 'Sin City.' But on top of which, many American author's observed this place as the death of the American dream. Hunter S. Thompson, a man who was deprived and lived in his sin and insanity, and who loved every moment of it, was quoted to saying that the love of the 60's was "riding the crest of a beautiful wave," and that "less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back."
But at this point, Artemis really could care less of this city was the house of broken dreams and shattered impurity. He had his dreams and purity as long as he was with Holly.
"The Town has changed," Arty commented as he looked out at the casinos.
Holly tilted her head and neck to face him behind her. "You've changed to."
Artemis slowly moved his face close enough to graze her lips with his tongue.
"I wouldn't have it any other way," he remarked.