Okay, I can’t fix this. Ignore the huge, paragraphless section in italics. I have tried countless times to delete it. Sorry, guys. 🙂
Stand back, human. You don’t know what you’re dealing with.
Five minutes earlier
Somewhere very far away, another ‘Star’ was checking for cracks in The Machine. FowlStar. Her long hair was tied back in a sloppy ponytail, and the feather duster in her hands was filthy.Her job finally finished, FowlStar paced back and forth around her side of the Machine, waiting for the signal. The Machine itself was a large metal box the size of a gymnasium, and it was covered in dials. And, on one side, a button. The button was being stroked by SilverSong, who was slowly giving in to the temptation. If she pressed this button, she could create anybody she pleased, as long as the person and the settings around him/her existed on paper. After a long moment, she began talking excitedly into a handheld radio. “FowlStar, I am ready. We have waited long enough. This is your signal!” FowlStar thrust the key into the hole, so fast that it seemed it would get stuck. But apparently it didn’t, because Silver pushed the button, and the machine began shaking. And humming, showing signs of life. And then it hummed, and shook some more. The Machine was working, actually doing what it was meant to do (whatever that was).Suddenly it stopped. “That does what remind me?” FS asked.Silver looked worried. “It creates book characters. The reason we see nothing is… well, I don’t know.” But, FowlStar knew. “Books, just as I thought. The reason we see nothing is because the product can come out wherever. The person you set it to could appear anywhere on the globe. Who did you set it to?” SilverSong turned bright pink. “Artemis Fowl.”
“The status is ‘Minor’, as in, minor issue that won’t affect anyone but us,” CrazyChick said, reading the top of the screen as if everyone else hadn’t. “It could also very well be a glitch. We’ll keep a tab on it, and see what it does…”
If anyone had to add to that, we shall never know, as the phone had begun to ring. Star blinked, and picked up the phone and answered it. Everyone’s attention was yanked from the computer as Star began to speak.
“Yes, we currently have four members… Really?! Booot camp and everything? …Yes, I suppose that might be an issue… BUDGET CUTS?! But that’s the minimum, isn’t it? Well, yes. Don’t worry; we have thirty of them… Poor, but the computers are fine. Uh… Thanks!” and then she hung up. “That’s the government. We get a new member tomorrow. ”
“Great,” said Falcon. “Now go order some plane tickets, because we still need to at least look at the blip.”
Here, Star frowned. “That’s the problem. They’re also cutting our budget in half, mostly because we haven’t done a single thing for hundreds of years. Only a few of us can go.”
Short was eager to end the conversation, and she did so by saying: “We’ll sleep on it. The blip is probably just a glitch. By tomorrow, it will probably be gone. That new guy/girl will also be here tomorrow. But not today.”
So they broke up, and eventually showered and went to sleep.
The next morning, there was a buzzing noise in the air that actually was more a feeling than anything else. It came from the nervous girls, who were cleaning. Actually, they considered it multitasking, as they were avoiding looking at the computer screen, which isn’t easy when your brain is begging to figure out what happens next.
Finally, CrazyChick broke the chilly quiet. “It smells like rotten milk in here.”
Nobody was surprised. They’d been cleaning the remains of the whipped cream fight from the moment they woke up. Of course, this didn’t change the fact that if the cotton up their noses fell out, they would all puke.
“Maybe we ought to go to Target and buy a whole bunch of air freshener,” replied Falcon, who was failing horribly at sarcasm.
“Wal-Mart’s cheaper,” FowlStar argued.
“They pay their workers, like, two cents an hour!”
“Blip,” Short said urgently. “Blip. Big blip.”
Sure enough, the blip had grown from ‘Minor’ to ‘intermediate’ overnight.
“I’ll go,” Falcon said after a moment, then suddenly she had a strange feeling she had broked a sacred silence.
“I will too,” added Short.
And so it was decided that Falcon, CC, and Short would check out the blip, and Star would stay behind and manage the computers ect.
“Somebody’s got to,” were her convincing words. It was very true, somebody did need to stay behind. Next was the issue of getting to the airport, because:
1) The blip was in Ireland.
2) The airport was 57 miles away.
3) None of them had a licence.
Short, for once, was on the ball and thought of something. “Fal and I will fly ourselves. We only need tickets for-”
“The doooooor bell is riiiiiiinging!” sang the recordable doorbell. It was Ckat, out to meet her new friends.
Ckat rang the doorbell, then stepped into the cabin. There were four girls, who she would soon come to know as Star, CrazyChick, Falcon and Short, and she would someday figure out that they were in the middle of a conversation about plane tickets. Of course, she knew none of this.
“…Her too, I suppose,” said one of the girls, who had red hair and blue eyes. A speach died in Ckat’s throat. Greeting words like that are enough to make anyone scared enough to be confused.
After a moment of awkward quiet, Star caught on. “You’re the new girl, right? CrazyChick means that we’re going to buy plane tickets for you, too, unless you want to stay here.”
Instantly, Falcon, CrazyChick, and Short caught on in a flurry of words.
“Hey, I’m Short! As in, that’s my name!”
“I’m CrazyChick, call me CC!”
“My name’s Star!”
“I hope you’re crazy like the rest of us.”
Eventually, this turned into a flurry of questions:
“Want a welcome feather?”
“What’s your name?”
“Are you crazy?”
Ckat sighed. “And I thought I was crazy. My name’s Ckat, and I love cats, and cookies.”
And then they herd it again. The blip. Reiminding them.
“Are you going, or not?”