Chapter 22: Lead Box Conference
Butler felt pressure all over, he felt air wising by him at speeds he couldn’t estimate, he knew that the guy which had run at him in the silo of the flour mill must be doing this to him but he wasn’t sure how. His brain couldn’t ask his body to move, he was paralyzed all over, all he could hear was a male voice saying over and over again “come on.” He breathed in and coughed, this was because he couldn’t. It made no sense; he felt air but couldn’t breathe?
The ground came to Butler before he could see it. His body landed face down on a cold cement floor. His hearing came to him at once, he heard Holly groaning next to him. So they were safe, or were they? Butler’s first movement was his hands, then his toes, when he successfully completed this analysis he propped his upper body on his elbows and slowly got to his knees. His body ached slightly from hitting to ground so hard. Butler lifted his head and looked around. They were in a dark rectangular room about eight feet tall, ten wide, and forty long about the same size of a large car garage. There was one light in the middle of the room which was dim enough so he was unable to see the other side let alone Holly beside him. Butler searched around for Holly knowing that just a moment ago he had heard her groan. Butler found her about three feet away from the hand which had held her so tightly when the silo’s ceiling exploded.
Holly wasn’t injured, though she seemed to have the same symptoms as Butler, a mixture of confusion and aching muscles.
“Where are we?” Said Holly, her mind not completely taking responsibility for her body. Butler helped Holly up off the ground and examined the room. It was a possibility that they had been somehow to a cell of some kind, they had fallen for a trap, and Butler was the one wrong, yet again.
“I’m not sure . . . first are you okay?” Butler looked down at Holly; she stood up, now fully awake. Butler did the same and faced the other side of the room, in darkness still.
As if the lights had read his thoughts intense white florescent light flickered into existence all along the roof of the cell. The sudden change in light caused both Holly and Butler to shield their eyes as they adjusted to this new illumination. Butler took off his sunglasses, and Holly stood unshielded though her helmet still on her head, unstrapped. Butler’s eyes adjusted and he looked across the room at the person who had turned on the lights. Holly recognized the young man, who had grabbed Butler seconds before the tower had fallen, his hand rested lightly on a light switch at the opposite end of the room where a low table and three chairs sat waiting she noted the fact that there were no doors on that side either, where were they?
Though the lights were bright enough to cause Butler worry, they somehow did not reach the long corners of the room; it was that where the voice came from.
“I’m a fool for doing this . . . ,” Said an ominous dark female voice. A figure appeared suddenly in the light. A girl, about seventeen years of age, stood her back leaning on the wall on the left side of the room. She straightened up and stood looking at them with an expression that could only be described as piercing, and perhaps a tad paranoid. She was wearing a black pin-striped pant suit with athletic styled black shoes, and a light purple colored shirt. Her long blonde hair was wrapped loosely in a bin which seemed to stick out in many directions; this added to the slight craziness in her expression, which Butler thought rather threatening. She stood about 5’3”, was muscular in certain places, and had very precise looking hands. Butler noted her long oval face in his mind, her eyes focused on her prey, she looked like an FBI agent.
“And why is that?”Said Butler, smiling, the girl smirked evilly, not like a vampire, but at least like one who had been bitten
“Where are we?” Asked Holly. “Why have you brought us here?” The girl seemed to chuckle slightly and shook her head.
“You are currently ten feet under solid Earth inside a box made of reinforced concrete, outwardly lined with lead, with a sophisticated array of underground sensors and an electromagnetic field to keep out wireless communications. We are completely shut off from everything, there are no doors, only a breathing vent, which, sorry Butler, you can’t fit through.” Butler looked at the long vent on the ceiling in the center of the room. She was right, he couldn’t fit through that.
“I won’t get into our trip here . . . ,” Said Butler, he made sure not to take his eyes off her, nevertheless she didn’t look away, not a good sign. “So I’m sure you can answer the question of why you have brought us here, there must be a reason.”
“You mean you have no idea why you’re here?” Butler looked gravely at her.
“No we don’t.” The girl nodded and bit her lip.
“Okay let me start from the beginning. During our capture of Artemis Fowl, my college, which you’ve met Butler, do you recall Blossom?”
“What about her?” Said Butler gravely.
“She informed me that you wished to speak further on the topic of why we have captured Artemis, and other questions which you may have.” Holly caught on immediately.
“So you’re Spin?” The girl smiled fully, and so did Holly.
“Yes, and Butler requested a meeting with me, an appointment I would rather not miss, I brought you along as well Miss Short I hope that’s okay.” Butler looked at the young man standing near the light switch; he averted his eyes quickly clearly shameful at what had taken place.
“I’m not so much interested in talking as I am interested in getting Artemis back.” Said Butler forcefully, Spin’s smile vanished.
“All the better then, I don’t believe that this situation can be resolved without communication. Can I assume that you understand what has happened so far, meaning your complete understanding that we are returning Artemis to you tomorrow at 10:37 AM?”
“I have informed both Holly, and Foaly, but you already knew that.” Spin nodded shyly.
“Good, well I have arranged this and we have,” Spin looked down at her watch, and looked up for a moment as if doing some quick math in her head, “about five hours, are you going to corroperate?” Butler looked at Holly, and Holly at Butler. Holly gave Butler a look of “What do we have to lose?” Butler nodded in appreciation.
Butler straightened up and walked toward the low table and chairs on Spin’s side of the room. Spin looked taken a back as Butler sat apathetically in one of the chairs. Spin’s mouth opened slightly, her eyes wider than before, she said nothing. Holly did the same, her small legs hanging off the seat without touching the floor. Both leaned forward and looked at Spin. Spin smiled as if thanking them, nodding lightly, and sat down, the meeting had begun.
Spin began by explaining everything that Artemis had been told about the Extendes. They were not humans, they were genetically different than fairies, and they were being hunted. At the mention of fairies being involved in a number of attacks on the Extendes, Holly was about to lose it.
“Fairies wouldn’t do such things! We don’t hunt people, or anything else! We don’t like killing, we don’t see the point!” Holly’s eyes were red, and she was breathing hard. Spin’s eyes dropped.
“I understand your reasoning; however that does not negate the fact that I have, personally seen, on a number of occasions, fairies, implicated in attacks on the Extendes.” Spin was trying to keep calm, and she was doing a pretty good job considering the circumstances, however Butler knew otherwise. Spin had her hands clasped and they were rubbing on another, a clear sign that Spin was worried, and trying to calm herself.
“Why didn’t you go to LEP about this?” Asked Holly, still sounding slightly desperate, after all being informed that and genocide was occurring and the fairies were to blame was an alarming fact.
“Don’t assume I didn’t think of all my options, however I predicted a disastrous end if LEP were to get involved.” Holly looked at her amazed.
“You think we’re Control?!” Butler kept his eyes on Spin.
“No we have confirmed that the LEP have never been involved in any incidences, but to explain my reasoning earlier . . . ,” Spin sighed. “My team and I have access to LEP’s official policy book, if you will. From that I concluded that, since the Extendes an LEP have the same sources of information, that you would get to the same place in your investigation that we have, which is nowhere. Made aware of the rules for LEP personnel I knew that the only action that LEP could take would be to mind wipe us and, either leave us alone to be slaughtered, logically it would get rid of another dangerous human-like race from being produced. Or wait, and gather intell on such attacks, then proceeding with arrests, which I also didn’t wish to happen because it would be sacrificing our lives without our knowledge of the results and then what?” Spin took a deep breath after her quick explanation; she looked at Holly, her dark eyes studying Holly’s reaction to her rationalization. “Am I incorrect?” Said Spin as if she were challenging Holly to prove her otherwise. Holly looked at her hands for a moment, her eyes moving side to side thinking about what LEP’s policy would be in this situation.
“Assuming that we come to the same ending, and don’t have much to show for it, then I see those kinds of things happening. However that’s assuming the Extendes have the same resources as LEP which is hard to believe.” Spin nodded.
“However we do so I’m correct in my calculation of LEP’s possibly actions if we made ourselves known to them.” It was Butler’s turn.
“If you knew that Artemis was your only hope then why not simply ask him?” Spin smirked.
“Perhaps you’re forgetting a key point about Artemis Fowl.” She looked at Butler with managed calm; did he think she was an idiot? “The Extendes have nothing to offer Artemis; we don’t have incredible sums of money, priceless artifacts in our possession, connections to different worlds, or anything that someone like Artemis Fowl would be the slightest bit interested in.” Butler sat back.
“It seems pretty fool hardy for you to assume that you can convert him into thinking that you and your little group are worth his time and effort.” Spin tilted her head and raised her eyebrows.
“My point exactly, I attempted to quell a movement in the Extendes concerning that very subject. This whole, converting thing, as you’ve described it was not my idea, I wanted to find something of great importance to Artemis and then kidnap him. Unfortunately the majority of us did not want to go that far, so this plan was adopted.” Holly looked confused.
“Well Artemis has changed slightly, he is becoming more, ummm, aware of his affect on people, as well as he’s beginning to take others into consideration besides himself.” Spin’s eyes narrowed and she suddenly stood up and began pacing.
“I’ve noticed that and it has me concerned.” She began power walking the line she was fallowing turning around don her heal each time. “So you’ve noticed that Artemis is beginning to have a conscience, however from my understanding it hasn’t progressed this far. I’ve witnessed points in which you could almost call him respectful, thankful, and caring, though it was my understanding that none of these traits previously existed. This is all assuming that my calculations are off.” She looked back at both Holly and Butler.
“Well I have noticed that but even you must have known all the things he’s done for the People?” Said Holly, Spin blinked.
“Yes holding you ransom, holding Haven ransom if he didn’t get his father back, making the C-cube and losing it, all admirable things he’s done.” Holly’s eyes tapered.
“He’s done other things! He’s changed immensely other that last few years, he’s hurt the People, yes, but he’s helped us a lot too!” Yelled Holly. Spin stopped in her tracks and crossed her arms.
“For example? You mean like with Opal this last time?” Holly was ready with defensive material.
“Well, no, he let her escape, but that wasn’t his fault! How was he supposed to know she was there?” Spin’s eyebrows came together she looked thoroughly confused.
“Are we talking about the same thing?” Asked Spin.
“You’re talking about the most recent incident involving Artemis Fowl and the People?” Spin nodded as she spoke.
“Yes with the Opal, he knew everything that was going on, well, near the end he did, what do you mean he didn’t know she was there, everything happened at the same time.” This time Holly was confused, she looked at Butler who seemed just as clueless.
“No he didn’t he came across her when he went back in time to save his mother, he needed a leamer, which had gone extinct, so he went back in time to find the cure.” Though Spin’s eyebrows were still together she raised her eyebrows all the same at this news.
“What on Earth are you talking about? A leamer, what, when did this happen?” Spin paused and looked at Holly for a moment, then at Butler. “You’re telling me the truth aren’t you?”
“Your information must be out of date.” Said Butler in a low voice, Spin shook her head, and began pacing again.
“That can’t be right; I couldn’t get my information form a better source, what the hell’s going on here?” Spin placed her hand against her head, she stopped pacing, turned around not facing the, and thought for a moment. When the idea hit her she raised her head to the ceiling and turned around to look at her company. She lowered her hand and head staring at them her body frozen. “Do you still work for LEPrecon, as a Captain?” Asked Spin in a subdued voice, she looked at Holly, her eyes were red and her blood pressure was so Spin’s skin was turning pink. Holly looked at her curiously.
“Well technically no, I work for a branch of LEP called Sector 8.” Spin looked to her left at the wall.
“What about Foaly?”
“He was the one who told me about Section 8 after I got out of LEP.” Spin straightened up and made a quick intake of breath. “Did you not know that?” Spin shook her head and shivered. She looked at Butler.
“When was the incident concerning the C-cube then?” With his experience with trauma victims Butler could see the Spin was on the edge of a mental breakdown.
“About five years ago.” Said Butler not understanding why this was so important, and beginning to become concerned for the leader of the Extendes health by the way she looked.
“Mercy,” Said Spin forcefully, the young man standing against the back wall responded reluctantly. “I need Wolf NOW!” She looked wildly back at him as he hit the wall with his left hand exposing a number pad and a small screen.
“Secure call happening now, all other transitions are still nonexistent.” Spin reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a cell phone. Butler saw silver something glint against the light above, Spin had been armed this whole time, she wasn’t taking any chances and she was twice as paranoid as she had looked earlier.
“Wolf,” Spin was breathing hard. “I need you to run a level five test on everything we have from our source, you need to make sure our connection to him is solid. After that I need you to put the whole system on level five alert, be ready for him to attack, cut it off if you have to, I don’t care as long as we have basic communications, don’t let anything in.” The person on the other side must have asked her why because of the way she answered his question. “We’ve been breached Wolf, that’s why.” Spin closed her eyes for a moment, and closed the cell phone, she looked at the ground. Then with all of the rage coming up through her veins she looked up at Holly and Butler.
“The information that I based all of my assumptions on was five year old knowledge that we took as fact. How we even succeeded with the kidnapping I have no idea, we should all be dead.” She took a few very even breaths. “You may go, thank you for cooperating,” she turned around and looked at Mercy. “Mercy see them back to the surface, I need some time to think.” The young man looked at Spin awkwardly and began to walk forward to Butler and Holly. Butler stood up, Holly fallowing.
“What just happened? We haven’t even finished our discussion! Who was your source?” Spin gripped the cell phone tightly in her right hand and stopped walking toward the wall.
“For the past seven years I deluded myself into thinking that our source was infallible, that he couldn’t lie. I never thought to consider what the consequences would be for searching in the shadows for information.” She paused.
“So who was your source?” Asked Holly, Spin hesitated.
“Foaly, seven years ago we tracked a transmission which lead to him, with some help for our resident computer genius we were able to find the shadow world of LEP’s computer database, where all reports are eventually filed. I never considered the fact that the system, because it’s so vast and complicated, that the files would need serious time to sink in that low in the pool of information which Foaly had made for LEP. It seems as if it takes five years for files to go all the way down the shadow level, I thought getting into the working increments of his system would set off an alarm.” Spin shook her head, and placed her right hand on her forehead. “F@&k me.” She said under her breath.
“So you screwed up.” Said Butler. “Why don’t you stop these stupid games and give up Artemis?” Spin raised her head, and in one fluid motion replaced her cell phone in her jacket pocket and pulled out a black .45 semi-auto glock, with a laser which activated on human contact, from her shoulder holster. A small red dot appeared on Butler’s forehead before he could even touch his own weapon; Holly was the same, unaware that Spin was even armed.
“I’ve heard they during hostage negotiations your suppose to keep you cool and act like you don’t care about the other person’s problems.” Spin’s aim was perfect the dot hardly moved, a bead of sweat became visible on Butler’s temple as he gritted his teeth. “It’s a good thing I’m bad at negotiating . . . . ,” Mercy had since gotten as far from being road kill as possible, not a simple task. “Luck’s also on my side since this isn’t even a real kidnapping!” She paused. “So . . . I don’t have to at all calm and cool n’ stuff, but I DON’T have to care about your problems!” Spin lowered her hand a quarter of an inch, a sign to Butler that she had no intention of shooting them, Butler relaxed slightly. Spin smirked, and gestured with the gun to a cowering Mercy crouching next the wall. “I trust you won’t give my man any hassle when he brings you back to the surface. I need him to bring me up as well, or else I’ll die from lack of oxygen.” Spin looked at Butler in earnest.
“No problem,” Said Butler his low voice gracefully bouncing off the lead lined walls.
Back in the truck Holly turned to Butler.
“So what was that all about at the end?” She asked, Butler sighed.
“Spin’s not one to go back on her word, her and I are a lot alike in a small way. I got the feeling that she is trying to, or serves a different purpose, and hearing her talk about Hawk, and the Extendes, it makes me think she’s putting everything on the line so they can be safe. Though I’m still angry about Artemis, at least I know that Spin is good o the inside, I guess she’s kind’of like Artemis in that regard.” Holly looked out the window.
“So she sacrifices everything, she’s hard on the outside and soft on the inside, and you trust her with Artemis’s life.” Holly smiled. “Sounds like she’s kind’of like Root.” Butler sighed.
“Yeah, she’s kind’of like Root.”