Chapter 13: Extendes Eden
The bed was too hard for his taste but he figured that he was in no position to complain. Artemis had laid down on the former Extendedes’s bed, coat and all. His ankles hurt badly still and he found walking difficult, he was tired, he hadn’t been through this many surprises in one day for a while. Old age, thought Artemis, though he was only sixteen. He had considered trying to find a way out of the room by breaking in the windows, considering there was one on either side of the room, but he knew that if he were out in the middle of nowhere he wouldn’t get far, and they would find him.
Artemis Fowl was back, the images in his mind of all that had gone on created a feeling he had had many times before, just not lately. Artemis’s mind was in full swing, and now that he had a handle of the situation at hand he believed that he could find a way out of it without his intervention. He was thinking about all he had learned during his talk with Gig; though he had a sneaking suspicion that there was more to be revealed. He was also thinking about Spin, was she the same girl who had slapped him across the face, and yet could not bring herself to ask for help. Was she so keen to his movements that she had anticipated his actions up to this point? Why had he not heard of her before, or at least seen her face. Someone like her must be a genius to capture him, her plan was perfect, and he had fallen for every part of it. She must have immense capital and recourses in order to commit such a crime without retribution. Who was she, and more importantly why did she hate him so much? He had fallen over a number of times that day, and hated how powerless he felt. The Extendedes as a whole were an odd group of kids. After all so far they weren’t exactly professional, Gig was a perfect example, admitting you leader has a weakness is a bad idea, Artemis couldn’t wrap his head around it. What about the names? Were they calling each other by these code names simply for the fun of it, perhaps it was to ketch him off guard, or was it indeed to protect their identities as he assumed. Artemis pondered more, even if his ankles were an accident and the desk restraints were indeed simply a mishap. It was ingenious considering now he could hardly walk, and was therefore unable to escape on foot.
There was a fiddling of a latch and a hard grinding sound as the submarine-like door was opened and Gig, in only a muscle shirt and shorts, stepped in, not caring to lock the door behind him. He walked up to Artemis who sat up, leaning his weight on his hands. Gig looked much more relaxed now that they had talked, and Artemis was now ready to speak with him as well. There was something about Gig that reminded him of Butler.
“Hey, yur ankles still hurt’ in ya?” Asked Gig, Artemis nodded.
“Thanks to Spin.” He replied without any pity or humor in his voice. Gig only smiled.
“Well ya better get up now; everybody wants to meet you and everybody’s almost here. I’ve got to get you down to the Common Room pronto.” Artemis looked at his ankles. The last thing he wanted to do was walk, but he knew better than to upset his captors.
“Fine,” Said Artemis, and began painfully getting out of bed, “I’m wondering though, is it really a good idea to let me out of here, are you not afraid I’ll escape?” Gig laughed, and walked toward the door. Artemis grabbed his coat automatically, and painfully stepped toward the door. Gig smiled.
“So you want to escape do ya?” He opened the door with one hand, exposing the natural light from the Arizona sun. Artemis looked over a small incline, out into the abyss which was the Mojave Desert. The summer heat from the outside came in as if Gig had just opened an oven, though Artemis noticed that the sir had indeed cooled must since the middle of the day. “Go!” Said Gig, Artemis looked at him and gulped. He knew he wouldn’t last a minute being as exposed as he was. “I think you’d like to meet the gang than go hungry, am I right?” Artemis didn’t understand, his eyebrows furrowed, and Gig looked a little frustrated.
“Like I’m going to be your maid! God who do you think I am?” Said Gig. They walked out onto an iron platform, outside the room, which was supported on stilts, a good three feet above a wash filled with green plants.
Artemis saw for the first time the place he was being held. He was in a horse shoe shaped wash or dry river bed, which was quite a common occurrence in Arizona. The wash was a deep one with high walls from which Artemis saw the platform circle on the inside of the horse shoe shaped wash. The entire enclosure was shaded by tall desert trees. Artemis recognized Pala Verde, Mesquite, and small bush-like creosote bushes which were the smallest trees. The rest of the under growth consisted of lush green plants, Artemis was amazed to find vegetables, fruit, and lentils, living and thriving in such a harsh environment. Artemis felt a hand on his shoulder, Gig noted Artemis’s surprise.
“This is Spin’s baby; she designed this place to be practically self-sufficient just, in case.” Gig point to the garden. “This was once a really big wash, all these trees you see were already here, but after some good watering, they grew really thick and ended up shading this whole area.” Artemis looked at the platform which went out to his right against the wash’s wall. He looked back only to find that, all the time he had been in that room, he had been underground.
“This is all underground.” Said Artemis astonished. Gig smiled. Artemis knew how the natives in Arizona had used similar techniques to make buildings, all from sod; he thought they were called the Pueblo.
“Yeah who knew?” Artemis traced the platform, on the left this time, turning a one-eighty. He watched as the platform made a gradual right turn on the far side of the wash and came out again right in front of him. Artemis was beginning to see everything. On the far side as well as the side he was standing on he could see doors just like his in the side of the banks wall!
“Where am I? Is this a dry river bed that you converted into a compound of some kind? Where do you get your power? Water? Do you drive . . . ?” Artemis answered his own question as he remembered the car he had been in not too long ago. Gig nodded and clasped his shoulder pointing him to the left.
“This was once a wash, yes, we planted the plants, we constructed this thing from nothing, it took years to build and lots of cash. We each have a room, and then we have a Common Room, the whole place is just a giant horseshoe, the Common Room’s in the middle there.” He gestured with his head to a pair of tinted sliding glass doors.
Artemis was lead along the left side of the horse-shoe shaped pathway to the end of the compound. Artemis passed four more doors like the one he had just stepped through on the straight side and one catty corner to the rest. The outer walls were a sod infused concrete, a combination which created the color of the clay but the strength of concrete. As Artemis passed the door in the catty corner of the base he saw a keypad on the wall just to the right of the door latch. Making a mental note, he continued walking without a word. Money they must have, but brains perhaps not.