Chapter 9: Underground Assistance
Foaly had been bored lately, there was no progress on trying to locate the whereabouts of Opal Kolbi, and although he was in no way ready to admit defeat; the lack of progress was discouraging. He was attempting to solve a computerized rubrics cube when he received a message from Butler. Artemis kidnapped. Need assistance. Fairies involved. Need assistance! At first Foaly couldn’t believe his eyes, he hesitated, Artemis Fowl kidnapped? Foaly’s hand raced to his keyboard to contact Holly.
Holly was on a do nothing patrol mission, and immediately dropped what she was doing, and came to the Section 8 headquarters. She was shocked at what she found.
“What’s going on? What happened?” She asked Butler’s head now projected onto the screen. Butler hadn’t slept and he looked like he was about to destroy the room around him, he was so angry.
“Artemis and I were on a mission to retrieve a priceless vase, well, who knows if there even is a vase, and while we were waiting on a man to give us information on the artifact Artemis went over to a . . . “ Butler could hardly contain himself, he had let it happen. “I let him get out of my sites.” Both Holly and Foaly looked shocked.
“How did it happen Butler, tell me everything that happened and everything you’ve found.” Said Holly in a voice that could only be described as delicate calm. Butler proceeded to tell them everything he knew. About the man Hugo Gonzales, about the girl who called herself Blossom (Foaly seemed very alarmed by that development), and the little information he had found from the security monitors in the store. Holly and Foaly sat for a moment until Foaly finally said.
“Send me the tapes I’ll see if they tell us anything.” Holly looked at Foaly as if saying, ‘like you’ll find anything, if they were able to kidnap Artemis I doubt they wouldn’t cover their tracks,’ but decided to keep the actual words to herself.
“One more thing I’ll send, I thought that you could see if this was a fake transmission or not Foaly. There are two devices on Artemis that could tell us where he is, however both are transmitting from different places.” Foaly looked at the message he had received.
“These cameras are old; I thought Mudmen would have advanced more.” Butler sighed. “I’m sure I’ll find something Butler.” Said Foaly reassuringly.
Holly asked Butler how he was doing, and they spoke for a few minutes about any changes that had occurred since they had last met. All in all, it was small talk, something to help Butler cope, and although Butler knew it, he seemed to appreciate the notion. Foaly was almost done with his analysis, and had already, in his mind, begun work on the bugs on Artemis.
“Well, these cameras give us something at least.” Butler looked interested, Foaly rolled his eyes.
“These cameras are horrible, but I did see Artemis.” Foaly sent the images to Butler who looked at them skeptically. “From what I’ve been able to decipher the hacker have done, he seems like a professional. It looks like he tried to loop the cameras right before and right after, he was trying to throw me off. However I found out what he really did. He covered up what he wanted to, while the tape was rolling. This means there were other mudmen on the outside tampering with this. That was when I ran into a problem.” Butler still looked anxious, and Foaly sighed. “He wired a virus into the system. Unfortunately this means if I tamper with it even more I’ll be hit with a mega virus, and well.” Holly didn’t understand the problem.
“Can’t you defend yourself from such an attack?” Foaly sat back and looked at his monitor.
“There are three things that prevent me from doing so,” He said, “One, whoever altered this was perfectly aware that I would be looking at it, this tactic was meant so I go for it blindly without any real understanding of what will be attacking me. Two, the amount of image that I have from what I was able to liberate from his vault is all, I think, of what he wants us to see. Finally, I have no idea who I’m dealing with, and I don’t want to risk my system.” Holly looked slightly disappointed, so Foaly reiterated his claim. “Look they’ve already kidnapped Artemis, something that, no one to my knowledge was able to do, they used a bio bomb in blind daylight, and they were somehow able to convince Artemis to walk out of that store like nothing happened!” Butler’s and Holly’s ears perked up.
“Walked out?” Said Butler. Foaly ran the tape he had worked on.
It was the camera facing the middle of the store with about a fourth of it eyeing the aisle from which Artemis disappeared. Artemis was looking at a few books with no one around him. Suddenly the small black and white Artemis looked up as if someone had called his name. He put down the book he was reading and walked toward the camera and around the aisle. The aisle, one side of which was the wall, was slightly wider, but no one was there. Butler watched as Artemis stopped and stared at something in front of him. Butler saw as Artemis walked toward something, something, he looked to his right and spoke, his mouth moved as if what he was talking to was right. Suddenly he straightened up as if he were called to attention; he looked forward and walked away from the camera. Artemis turned around, his face full of pain and anguish; he faced the camera, and waved. Butler felt his stomach drop to the floor. Finally Artemis turned on his heal and walked casually out through the emergency exit. The alarm had not sounded, Butler remembered, not that it was difficult to rig one not to do so. The tape stopped. “Wait!” Though Butler.
“I’m going back to the scene.” Holly knew what he was doing, but Foaly did not.
“Are you mad Mudman? What do you suppose you can find their?” Butler stood up.
“Butler I’m coming up there to see you okay? I’ll meet you there.” Holly made her way to the other side of the room. Foaly stood up too.
“What do you think you’re doing Holly? You have responsibilities here now.” Holly stopped and turned around to face the centaur.
“I also have a responsibility to Artemis.” Foaly back down.
“I’ll stay here; if we’re dealing with something that has to do with fairies you’re going to need me.” Holly nodded.
“What do you think we’re dealing with Foaly? I have a feeling that there is more to this than it seems. I mean, why would Artemis go with them?” Foaly looked at the floor before an idea occurred to him.
“I know who we can ask.” Holly raised an eyebrow.
“Who else do we call upon when we need mystical assistance?” Holly nodded understanding.