Chapter 21: Golden Glow
Spin’s face looked much better down around her face. It was surprisingly long considering Artemis had only seen Spin thus far with her hair up in her signature messy bun. The idea that Spin, the paranoid, overly emotional, girl who had slapped him across the face and told him he was going to die was sitting on a smooth rock in her pajamas as if she had just walked out of her home her family inside.
“So what does your family think about all of this? I assuming they don’t know anything about you and the Extendes.” Spin was looking at the sunrise, her eyes glazed over slightly lost in the moment. The idea that Spin could be anything but ‘Spin the terrible’ seemed absurd. However in a small way Artemis understood that from her point of view. She saw him as someone who was taking all of the responsibility away from her, someone who could indeed bring them down if he did not handle everything correctly.
‘They don’t know a thing . . . but not for the reason you might assume.” Spin said. Artemis looked puzzled, she smiled.”They don’t know I exist, I left them a long time ago, or at least it seems like a long time ago, I think it’s been about three years. I knew that if I tried to balance my life and theirs I would end up failing both.” She looked at Artemis without any self pity in her eyes. “Now I’m a legally emancipated teenager, who works hard at school, gets good grades, lives with friends or something, no one’s bothered to check up on me so I’ve never had to worry about faking a residence, and somehow does this all without working.” She smiled evilly. Artemis couldn’t believe it; she had chosen to become an orphan to spate herself from her parents.
“How do you feel about that?” Asked Artemis, though he was making note of her reaction to each question he also sincerely wanted to know the truth.
“My Dad once told me a story about a psychiatry class he took in college. He told me that it’s not the job of the psychiatrist to diagnose a symptom or help you through a problem. They say things like, “How do you feel about that?” so you can work through your problem on your own. If you’re attempting to be what I’ve just described then you’re out of luck Hunter.” Artemis blinked at the nickname, was that his new name like Spin’s, Gig’s, and Wolf’s name?
“Hunter?” Spin’s eyes narrowed, thinking.
“Yeah I think that fits doesn’t it? It doesn’t matter.” She looked a little anxious, but being questioned by Artemis Fowl, even in this calm setting would cause most people some trouble.
“How did you raise money? You’ve already explained that you are not wealthy yourself, so how could you do this?” Artemis was truly interested; after all he himself had received enough money to replenish his family fortune.
“Of all the things I’m not so great at the Arizonan economy is not one of them. I’m quite capable of making money from money in this city; after all it’s my home. My dad was a real-estate agent and, well, he taught me a lot by just going to see clients with him and hearing them talk. I know real-estate very well because of this exposure. We own outright all of the land you can see here. I bought it really cheap when we started. I bet on the city growing outward in this direction, and I was right. This land is now worth about three times that much, even with the economic and housing slowdown.” Artemis was intrigued, he was very much aware of the housing boom in places like Arizona and Nevada but had never himself put any thought into putting his own money away to invest in real-estate. “It came pretty natural, I had about $50,000 start up, and now we are collectively worth over two million dollars, if you add the current land price and all of our assets here.” She turned around slightly motioning to the complex.
The sun was now about halfway up the sky and the air was becoming hot and dense around them. The trees gave some shade which cut the actual temperature in half. Spin didn’t seem to notice as if the rock was indeed where she had slept last night. Artemis, though embarrassed because he was noticeably sweating, himself not yet use to the hot climate, continued to ask questions he might not get this kind of chance again.”
“So are you and Gig together?” He asked. Spin looked at him surprised that he would even ask such a question.
“Do I look like I have a death wish?” Artemis chuckled.
“Well I thought you might be when you kidnapped me.” Spin leaned back and smiled evilly.
“She doesn’t look mean but Vicious can get very jealous very fast, never mention this to her, or she’ll get really mad.” Spin paused. “I assigned Vicious to the Secondary post because they need a heavy hitter over on that end. I mean, otherwise everyone else’s powers are not really so much designed for attacking purposes. I need to make sure that that base was properly protected; however I need Gig here because he’s quite capable and is my second in command. Needless to say, Vicious is already suspicious of my intentions, truth be told, Gig is the most caring people I’ve ever met, notice how attached to you so quickly?” Artemis nodded. “Yeah Vicious would kill me if she even had a 5% chance of doubt, she is very possessive of her man meat.” Spin smiled, leaning forward once more, studying her toes.
“Would you mind if I asked exactly how intelligent you are? You haven’t told me you’re a genius or anything, so I’m wondering who captured me?” Spin smiled.
“Okay, now you’re just show’en off.” Said Spin, she gave him a dirty look that could have made Butler do a double take. Artemis shook his head.
“I’m being serious . . . not on a scale form one to ten, but your IQ what is it?” Artemis wasn’t desperate, but he did want to know.
“You will be depressed to discover that I am not what you say, I have average intelligence, nothing more.” Artemis blinked, and looked questionably at her once more.
“Not even above average?” Spin shook her head.
“And to think I had been foolish enough to assume you were a genius.” Spin laughed for the first time since they had met, it wasn’t much of a laugh, but it was enough to deem in worthy of being noted here.
“You were taken out by a girl with an average IQ, a bunch of teenagers with advance infantry training, one of the best hackers in the world, months of planning and re-planning, unreliable underground sources of information and money, and finally an idea that perhaps you can be our savior.” The comment caught Artemis by the throat and refused to let go. Did they really think he was going to be their savior? He decided not to ask that question.
“You forgot to mention the fact that all of you are not human.” Spin smiled again, but this time it was more of a smirk.
“Not all of them are of the subspecies known as Extendes. My DNA has never been tampered with.” Artemis looked at her stunned.
“But I thought you were . . . ,” She shook her head as if she were punishing a puppy.
“No ‘fraid not, Gig never told you that, I received my ability from Hawk he entrusted it to me because he thought I was the most capable and deserving of all the people he had ever met. I carry the burden.” Artemis was dazed for a moment and then nodded in understanding.
“Well any way time to have breakfast! Some of them don’t get up till ten, but I’d think Nerv, Cross, and Blossom are up already.”
Spin jumped off the rock landing on one foot, she twirled on the dusty ground and landed perfectly, despite the fact she wasn’t the thinnest girl in the world she was quite agile. Her pink shirt tilted slightly to show a most of her shoulder. Artemis stood still as he watched her walk away; her thick long blonde hair wisped lightly from side to side, the sun beat on it causing it to emit a golden glow. Artemis took a deep breath, it was a new game and he was now playing it.