Okay, I just updated this, and added the first chapter back in as well as I could remember, but it still didn’t work when I posted it. I’ll just summarize it. Basically, Artemis has to take voice lessons to heal his voice which was injured. This will be explained in a later part. At the voice lessons, he discovers his teacher is Minerva, and she kind of hints that she likes him. After the lesson, Artemis and Butler head underground to talk to Holly and Foaly.
Okay, now I’ll add the other chapters up to 9, then you’ll have to read part two, which has 10-17.
Haven City; LEP Headquarters 6:00pm
A voice that Holly knew to belong to Foaly was emanating all the way down the hall as she walked towards it. Either Foaly was upset, or he had a new toy. It is very possible that it was both, but judging by her Chatterbox 73, another of Foaly’s toys that allowed you to know someone’s mood from their voice, it was the latter. Her suspicions were proved correct as she neared the end of the hall.
Foaly was saying, “So all of that gas condenses and is used as- I’ll pop a human term in there that really isn’t that great- ‘green’ energy source to power the speakers. Also, the electricity rides on this particular type of gas fairly well, so not many wires are needed. Oh, and my personal favorite point, it’s already small enough to hide behind a piece of latex behind your ear.”
At this point, Holly walked in. “Alright Foaly. We can hear you all the way down the hall. Enough gloating.”
“Ah, yes, but the reason you can hear me so far away is because of my latest invention. Oh, and guess what! I named it after you. The Holly-er. You get it? It’s a speaker, so it ‘hollers’,” Foaly said excitedly dancing with his back hooves. “It should make life a lot easier for deaf people. This will make them hear like they’re not. Deaf that is.”
“So who were you talking to then? No one is here.”
“Thats just the thing. They were skeptical that it actually worked, so I sent them to a room down the hall and had them close the door. Thats how well this works. Oh, and I forgot to mention, it sounds the exact same volume where ever you are, provided that you’re in its range.”
“So who’s they?”
“They? Oh, sorry. I forgot to mention. Its Fowl and Butler.”
“What?!?” Holly exclaimed. “You brought them down here just for this? Are you sure you’re not crazy?” She went on like this for some time until she ran out of breath and exclaimed, “Foaly!”
“Hey, hey, hey! Careful what you say about the mud boy. He can hear you. And for your information, Captain, I did not bring him down here just for this. Actually, I allowed him down here. He asked, not me.” At this point Foaly clopped over to the computer bank and turned the speakers off. “It sounds like he has some girl problems he wants to talk to you about. He says its something he couldn’t talk to his mother or Juliet about, but he needs female advice. Oh, and don’t tell him I said that. I said I wouldn’t.”
Just then an all too familiar voice, yet slightly different, grainy somehow, came through the speakers that were supposed to be off. “I hear you loud and clear Foaly. I might just have to shave you for that, ” he said and smiled at his own joke. “Oh, and great to see you, or rather hear you, Holly. As Foaly has betrayed, I do need some private conversation, but I’ll come down there for that.”
As Artemis said this, Foaly just stood there spluttering. “But, but, it was off! I had firewalls and viruses in place to protect anyone from hacking them.” After a moment, he said, “You never cease to amaze mud boy. One day you’re going to get yourself in trouble though. Watch yourself.”
“Yes, yes. Enough idle talk now. I’ll meet you down there in a moment,” and with a crackle, the speakers turned off. Holly and Foaly just smiled. Artemis was too smart for his own good.
When Artemis walked in, Holly said, “Good to see you Arty. I hear you need some girl advice.”
“Yes, but I would like to be alone. Really alone, not in a room where every little sound is recorded,” Artemis said. As soon as he said that, Holly knew something was wrong.
“Artemis, what happened with your voice?”
“What happened with my voice is the reason why I’m here at all. I was doing some experiments on a new kind of whale. Since I didn’t know if it would be comfortable being moved from it habitat, I had to go to its own. I was taking a small skin sample and it got angry. I was trapped at the neck and also yelling for help around the breathing device. The combination of very little air, salt water, screaming, and pressure on the vocal area had a negative effect. I now have a solution that I will tell only to Holly.”
“OMG! Deja vu!” exclaimed Foaly half mockingly half serious. “The exact same thing happened to me. Of course, I found that variety of whale much earlier than you mud men. I found it in your year 1890. Oh, and let me guess, your options to heal your voice are gargling vinegar or voice lessons. Let me also guess that you chose voice lessons. Its what I chose. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just go see a medical warlock. The answer to that is knowledge. I thought it might come in handy, and it did. It helped with the start of my relationship with Caballine.” So he proceeded to sing a selection from the opera ‘Carmen’ which was human of course. He had to stick with his theme.
Just as he was getting to a particularly dramatic part, Holly cut him off. “That sounds, uh, wonderful Foaly, but we have a privacy situation here.”
“Oh, that? I’ve had that figured out for a while. Just take him to your apartment. There’s no surveillence there.”
Holly looked at Foaly, eyebrows raised as if to say, “You’re serious? Him to my house?” She sighed. “I suppose. Lets go mud boy.” She set off purposefully down the hall. Artemis had to jog to keep up, Butler strolling along behind him.
As soon as Artemis was gone, Foaly made sure that the speakers really were off and trotted over to the conference screen. He chose the LEP traffic officer closest to Holly’s apartment by using the trackers and displayed himself in his visor. He didn’t want any problems here. “Officer Maple,”
“Yes sir, um…”
“Yes, Foaly, sir?” Maple asked excitedly.
“Do you have any bugs on you?”
“Of course not, I shower every day,” he said indignantly.
Foaly sighed. “Not real bugs, bugs as in spying devices. Preferably sound recording.”
“Yes sir, I have six, the standard amount,” Maple reported.
“Very good. I would like you to go to apartment 463 and plant a sound bug inside. If this is innaccessible, inside the lock with suffice.”
Officer Maple looked quizzical, but he did as he was told. “Yes, Foaly, sir. Right away, sir.”
“Very good. I will have to see that I recommend you for a higher rank. Thank you officer. Over and out.” Foaly stuck that old phrase from walkie-talkie days just to add a little spice to life. No doubt it would confuse the officer. He would have a laugh later when the most popular fairy search engine, Loafy (Foaly all mixed up) came up saying that “over and out” was being searched, but now he had to get back to the task at hand. If Artemis wanted privacy with Holly where nothing was being recorded, of course Foaly was going to record it. Things could get juicy.
As they passed through the streets, Butler and Artemis drew in some pretty strange faces. “I’ll be hearing about this for a while,” thought Holly. “Oh well. Its what I get for helping Artemis with his problems.”
When they arrived at Holly’s apartment a traffic officer was just leaving. He looked at Holly as if she were his most precious dream. Actually, she probably was. Almost every officer on traffic wished that they were an LEP captain. Holly just looked at him quizzically. “Shouldn’t you be outside, Maple?” she asked reading his name tag.
“Yes ma’am, but I’ve recieved a direct order from higher LEP personnell. I’ll be heading back out now.”
Holly thought she knew exactly who gave the order and what it was, but she just said, “Alright, just get back out there.”
“Yes, ma’am,” said Maple and scurried away.
When they arrived Holly was about to tell Butler to check for bugs, but Artemis beat her to it. “Run a quick bug scan, Butler. I have a feeling I know who this higher personnell is,” he whispered.
Holly unlocked her door with her pass chip and Butler ducked inside the tiny doorway. Inside, he could barely stand up straight. Nevertheless, he fidgeted with his first suit button, then spun in a slow circle. Surprisingly there was no trace of any bugs.
“Huh. I guess Officer Maple really did have orders.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure of that,” Artemis said, “but we don’t have to worry too much. I was just concerned about on the spot teasing from Foaly,” he choked out his scratched throat. “Now. Butler, I know it worries you, but I would like to be really alone with Captain Short,” he said and winked. “Could you watch the door? Sorry old friend.”
Butler sighed, but did as he was asked and stepped outside and closed the door. Right before he did this he turned and said, “I know you’re just talking, but be careful, Artemis. You too, Holly. Whenever you two are alone it always invites trouble.” He closed the door.