Artemis’s security may have been compromised, but LEP camera upgrades still hadn’t affected his Bulldog Messenger: a program he designed himself to alert to trespassing hackers and impossible to detect. Artemis opened it and his heart pummeled to the soles of his feet. O.P. had been reading his email… that paranoid centaur, no less. Artemis went red with embarrassment. If Foaly had read his sent emails, which he would certainly would, considering this was not the first time he decided to stick his nose where it didn’t belong. He had underestimated the influence his meddling would have on his PC defenses. The LEP would know of his motive, plan, and personal stuff he’d prefer to keep hidden.
He sighed, and started to grin. There was no need to be so cynical. After all, they don’t know the plan and they will be too late to stop it…
Artemis was too arrogant to realize LEP technology had improved greatly since his disappearance. When section eight fused with the LEP, so did its budget for Foaly to invent with. Trouble had also taken the trouble to rebuild LEPretrieval One (no pun intended).
The improvements were now being paid off. Foaly’s newly patented gravity shields were a wonder to behold for many podsick officers, and up-to-the-minute pods could hold up to ten instead of sending in fairies one by one on separate magma flares, which benefited the LEPretrieval greatly for speed. Trouble thought of Holly, trapped in Fowl Manor as he rode the hotshots, but he also was thinking about the mud boy. Oh, how they were so alike, which made it all the more difficult. Trouble was no stranger to loss, as his dead sister came to him as a huge blow.
Jaki started poking his head through the fireplace. So this was Fowl Manor. He was just chucking over the elf ornaments when he noticed little rotating heads following him. Hah. Amateur mud men. Jaki was shielded and they could never see him. How very wrong he was.
Artemis had bought the LEP cameras from eBay for a reason. They came with anti-shield filters that even demigods couldn’t defend against.
Back at the study, Artemis’s eyelids began to droop, if it was not for the fact that a rather shrimpy man just appeared out of the fireplace. Artemis grinned. It was time to put the plan in action.
Jaki may have been a demigod, but he still possessed fairy powers from his ancestors. His fairy intuition was on to this place like cops to footprints. He whipped around to the staircase just to find the presence of an adolescent boy with bright blue eyes and pale vampire skin. Jaki paused again even though he was sure that the youth would not be able to see through his shield. His fairy sense was beating through his skull like hornets. Jaki had not known that Artemis had modified the LEP helmets’ anti-shield filter to accommodate his hazel eye.
Artemis approached the fireplace, his features remaining static. Jaki could hear the blood pounding in his brain. Relax. He can’t see you, you’re perfectly safe… Again, he was not so sure. He had heard reports about this Fowl character, and they weren’t exactly adorned with flower petals. He backed up cautiously, although he didn’t know it, right where Artemis wanted him. The tinsel that lined the perimeter that Jaki had assumed was only for decoration glowed with energy.
Artemis smirked. The LEP’s warlock magic files had granted him exceptional studies in the course of magic after he had hacked them. When will Foaly learn that he shouldn’t leave the LEP’s toys lying around when Artemis Fowl was on the loose? It had been a simple matter for him to master magic in half the time it took ordinary warlock needed to master, when you’re a genius like him anyway.
The sealing spell had been activated when Jaki had stepped into its perimeters. The tinsel had only acted as a medium for the magic to flow through. The magic circle tightened against Jaki.
Butler, who was atop the banisters, fired a tranquiller dart. Jaki slumped to the floor. Before he lost consciousness, however, he had spared a glance at the arguing giant and youth before him.
Butler raised his voice (something he rarely did at his principal). “Artemis, I’m glad that this heist wasn’t for gold, but we promised each other we’d limit each other to more tasteful enterprises.” Artemis looked guilty, even for himself. “Butler, I know this isn’t exactly something you approve of, but this is necessary for-”
Butler’s eyes narrowed. “For what?” Butler inquired but flinched as Artemis shot him a icy glare which said it was better not to ask. Butler had forgotten over the course of three years that it was futile to dissect a mind like Artemis’s. He would only reveal the plan when he thought was the time. Butler grudgingly admitted (in his mind) that when Artemis Fowl thought the time was right, it generally was.
Out of the millennia of mud men and fairies alike, no one had even managed to even catch a glimpse of the elusive, yet this kid cornered him like a rat in a trap.