So, here’s me comin at ya folks, with the latest installment of my Bleak Horizons series! And don”t worry, I’ll update Ascension and It All Began With An Owl, soon, too. But first things first…LOLLIPOPS AND ICE CREAM!!!!! Ninja Air Conditioners of Death!!! I promise you, there will be an ample amount of Goblins and evil pixie cults in this installment and the next…did I mention the evil pixie cult? Of DOOM? Well, actually, the “doom” is implied, like in most “evil cults”…anyway, eat broccoli dipped in horseradish mixed with Ice cream. It’s good for..uh…your lower intestines. VIVA LA VIDA!!!!
Chapter 3: Into the Goblin Caves
Artemis blinked. The first thing he noticed as he swam out of unconsciousness was the fact that his head hurt-a lot. There was also a deep, throbbing pain in his arm. As he came to, Artemis dimly realized he was lying on his back, and somewhere underground, too. The world around him swam, and everything in his field of vision was blurry. He could make out a dim, green light on the roof of whatever cave or tunnel he was in. Artemis tried to move, but his hands and feet were bound by something extremely hard-and sticky. Artemis tried not to think what it was that had him bound so tightly.
Artemis lay there for a few minutes, feeling the rough rocks, dirt and gravel on his back, then, when he figured he had recovered enough strength, began to use his legs, which were still bound together at his ankles, to move himself slightly. After a half-hour of exhausting physical exertion, Artemis managed to get himself into a sitting position, with his back against the wall of the cave-it was definitely a cave-looking around at his surroundings.
“Holly or Butler could have done that in a minute” Artemis said, rivulets of sweat running down his face.
Artemis jumped slightly, as his own voice echoed loudly in the cave. He made a silent resolution to remain quiet from then on, and hoped his captors had not heard him…wherever they were. Artemis was in a cave, and a large one at that. Strangely, it seemed to haven ot exits or entrances. Artemis looked at himself, inspecting his suit, which was now coated with a fine layer of dirt and dust from all the rolling around in the ground he’d done. Artemis glanced at his feet to inspect his bonds. To his surprise, they glowed a faint green, the same as the lights on the ceiling. In a second, he realized what the hard, crystallized material had to be- dwarf spittle.
That means whoever is holding me has a dwarf on their side, thought Artemis. That was bad news. The last thing he’d seen before he passed out was a goblin, and for a dwarf to be allying with goblins-things must be bad in Haven. Suddenly, a loud rattling sound emanated from the far side of the cave. As Artemis watched, stunned, the entire side of the cave vanished. It didn’t slide into some hidden corner-it simply vanished.
Squinting, Artemis could make out two figures emerging from the hole in the cave wall, which seemed to extend out into some unknown darkness. As they stalked closer to the small circle of light that the lights and Artemis’ bonds provided, h began to make out their features. One was a short, stubby dwarf in grey armor, which rather resembled that of the LEP, save for a triangular visor. He held a modified rifle in his hands-human weaponry in the hands of a dwarf.
A tall pixie, almost Artemis’ height, stood behind the dwarf. He was dressed in solid grey robes with white trims. His hood was down, and his smooth black hair lay slicked back on his head, and he stared at Artemis with his startling green eyes. He brought to mind a snake, coiled up and waiting to strike. Artemis saw a cold, intelligent look in the pixie’s eyes which warned him that this pixie was a force to be reckoned with. A small, yet wicked smile rested on the pixie’s face.
The pixie stepped in front of the dwarf, the pale luminescent light casting o n his face in a strange way.
“Kix, please provide us with some light. The dwarf bowed slightly and began to scurry around the cave, applying his saliva to the cave wall. In a minute, the light had increased significantly, and Artemis no longer had to squint to see the hole in the far wall. The pixie stepped forward and began to speak.
“Master Artemis Fowl. A…pleasure to meet you. I am Jarit Orin.”
Artemis looked up, glaring straight into the shocking, snakelike green eyes of Jarit. The pixie stared at Artemis, then broke eye contact, shifting slightly. Artemis smiled slightly, knowing he had made the pixie uncomfortable. Jerit cleared his throat and resumed speaking.
“As I was saying, Master Fowl, you are now a prisoner in the Goblin Hall, Deephaven, which, long ago, was the first refuge of The People when they fled underground. You are several miles beneath the surface, in a labyrinth of tunnels only navigable by my friend Kix, here, or one of his kin. Escape is impossible, Master Fowl.”
Artemis coolly looked up at the pixie.
“For you, perhaps, that is true. But not for me.”
Artemis smiled, a cold, chilling vampire smile that all who knew him had long learned to fear. The pixie stumbled, nearly tripping over his robes. This mud-man disturbed him. Disturbed him HIGHLY.
“Kix, relieve Master fowl of his consciousness while we transport him to the base, please?”
The dwarf silently stalked over to Artemis, who calmly sat and waited for the fearsome dwarf to advance. The last thing Artemis saw was a grimy, white-clad hand reaching towards him-then darkness.
LEPrecon Captain Holly Short stepped over the unconscious goblin’s body. Cocking her gun, she stared at the 5-foot wide hole in the ground. It seemed purely metallic, and as Holly stepped closer to investigate, she heard the sound of goblin voices wafting up to her from deep below. There was no trace of Artemis in the rest of the store.
Holly raised her hand and pressed down tightly on her left earlobe, which should have activated the voice transmitter that was installed in her skull, giving her a direct feed with Foaly. However, she heard nothing. She pulled harder, but her ear simply ached in pain. Grunting in frustration, Holly glared at the hole once more. It wasn’t that deep, she could tell, and probably simply an auxiliary tunnel for Haven. But if she went down there…who knew if she would ever come back?
“Oh, gods, Mud-boy, just for you-just this once.”
Holly jumped into the hole.