Chapter 5: Off-Roading
Artemis could hardly move, then again people whose hands and feet were tied, couldn’t see anything, and mouths were gagged weren’t able to move much at all anyway. Artemis could feel the car, he was in, move quickly on a paved road and he could hear the radio blaring. The girl who he had spoken to not too long ago, he recognized her by her voice, was singing loudly to the music which was playing. It could have best been described as Alternative Rock and she seemed to know every word to every song, and sound excited when she heard another song she knew. Artemis listened to this for about an hour before something happened. The girl suddenly reached back and tore off his blind fold and gag. Artemis’s eyes were temporarily blinded by the Arizona sun as the car suddenly dropped a foot off the asphalt, and onto an unmaintained dirt road. The girl slammed on the brakes, before his eyes had adjusted. Artemis, due to this sudden change in speed, flew forward, toppling over the center counsel; hit his head on the glove box, and landing seat first on the front passenger seat floor of the car. He uncovered his eyes and felt the back of his head tender to the touch.
“What’s going on?! Why did you insist on doing that?!” Yelled Artemis, but there was no answer, and the car lurched forward at a quickened pace, Artemis felt individual rocks on the dirt road as the car’s tires hit them.
“Sit up Mr. Fowl, you’ll hit yur head again if you sit down there the whole trip, it gets kindda bumpy.” It was the voice of the girl he had met in the book store, only this time more direct and orderly, not cutesy. Though her voice was the same, Artemis looked up and saw a completely different person. This girl had blond hair tied up in a lose bun, jeans, tan skin, scars on her arms, and strong looking hands. She had the same build as the girl he had met in the bookstore though, and Artemis quickly made the connection, remembering the colored contacts. He got up off the floor and lurched himself forward, still holding his head as if it were to fall out if he didn’t hold it in place. Then he looked at her.
Her eyes where a dark unforgiving blue that seemed very direct, forward, and merciless. She didn’t look at him instead focusing entirely on the road ahead. Her driving was above average, and she seemed to know exactly where to keep her tires lest she harm her car’s suspension or its undercarriage. This didn’t change the fact she was going 20 mph.
“Who are you, and what the heck is going on?” Said Artemis. She did not take her eyes off the road and instead turned up the radio where a song was just beginning.
“This is our song Artemis, its called The Pretender, doubt you’ve heard of it.” Then she began to sing. She didn’t have a bad voice; her low tones helped her master and male singer. “Keep you in the dark you know they all pretend, keep you in the dark and so it all be-g-aaaa-n.” She continued to sing each word. It didn’t take long for Artemis to understand why she had said this was their song. The whole song was about two people, both were accusing one another of pretending, and both had their own way of expressing that frustration or anger. Artemis wasn’t sure who he was in all of this, the pretender, or the one out pretending the pretender. When the song was finished she turned the music down, as a slightly happier song came on, the irony made lifted Artemis’s spirits slightly. Artemis looked outside; they were in the middle of nowhere. He couldn’t see one bit of civilization anywhere, and they were on an unmaintained dirt road dodging washes and large rocks. She was driving a red Hyundai Elantra, a small car for American standards, South Korean made, simple dash controls, and a four cylinder engine. Artemis looked over to her speedometer and found that the MPG rating read 45.2, an impossible feat for such a car. Artemis said nothing, he was thinking of a way to get out.
“I wouldn’t even try if I were you.” She said coming almost to a stop as they cleared a small handmade bridge, which consisted of only two metal beams, over a large wash surrounded by prickly trees and bushes.
“Oh really?! You have no idea what you’ve done, you have no idea who will come after me, and you’d survive a lot longer by taking me back right now.” Artemis tried to sound threatening, but his attempts seemed to not have worked because she smiled.
“First I will mention a misconception on your part, who among us would kidnap you without fully understanding the consequences, besides; you fail to see the point. Are you not interested why on Earth I would kidnap you, and how I did? I mean I must have a death wish right to want to pick a fight with Butler, and everyone else? What do you think?” Artemis wasn’t sure what she meant by “everyone else” but played along.
“I think you work for someone who has a death wish.” She laughed evilly.
“I work for a team Mr. Fowl and I assure you I do not have a death wish.” She frowned.
“Then what do you want?” Asked Artemis. She seemed to be thinking about telling him, her body language spelled volumes, instead though she stared him in the eyes. Artemis fell over hitting his head on the inside of the door, and passing out for the second time that day.