Butler nodded and walked out if the room, and Artemis turned to Holly. “You don’t seriously think that I’m going to keep you here against your will, do you?” She didn’t answer. “Holly?”
“Why not?” she asked. “You did kidnap me.”
“I wasn’t really thinking of it as kidnapping,” he admitted. “More like a rescue attempt. Would you rather have me take you and drop you off back there?”
Her eyes widened. “No. Please.”
He smirked deviously. “That’s what I thought.” Then the smirk dropped. “But seriously, Holly, I wouldn’t do that to you ever again. I told you that.” He frowned on the look on her face. “What?”
Her voice was quiet as she asked, “again?”
He groaned. “I forgot. You don’t remember. This is going to be fun to explain.”
“Artemis?” she asked weakly. “What do you mean?”
He was saved from trying to finish that statement as the door cracked open. “Fair warning,” Butler said, stepping in, “the entourage is on their way. About ten minutes at most, then you two are going to be bombarded.”
“Okay. Thank you, Butler.” He took the stuff from the man’s hands, the dismissal clear in his voice. He turned back to Holly and began taking the IV out of her arm.
Without looking up, he said, “try to remember something. I am sure that the memories are still there, perhaps just buried deeply.
Holly nodded and closed her eyes, concentrating. “Wasn’t there… there was… goblins?”
“Yes,” he said, nodding encouragingly. “The goblin revolution. That was the second time we met. Also the first time we met Opal Koboi. Do you remember her?”
“Opal…” Holly mused quietly. “I think. She’s a pixie, isn’t she?”
“A deranged pixie at that, but yes, she’s a pixie.” He dropped the remains of the IV in the biohazard container, the peeled open a blue band aid and stuck it on her arm. “Also our nemesis. She’s tried to kill us on several occasions.”
“Good to know,” Holly muttered.
He smiled gently and sat down beside her on the bed. “Do you remember anything else?” He began pulling off wires from where they were attached on her body.
Holly winced as one tore some skin off with it. “Um… no. Not off the top of my head.” She paused, then asked, “can I stop now?”
“Of course.” He used the rag to help him remove the last wire from her skin. “There,” he said, sounding satisfied. “No more machines. Better?”
“Yes,” she agreed. “Thank you.”
“No problem. It’s the-”
He was cut off by a loud banging on the door. “Hey Mud Boy, we’re coming in, so there better not be any PDA going on in there!”
Artemis groaned. Mulch. “No, come on in,” he called.
The door flew open, and Mulch and Foaly entered.
“Hello,” the centaur greeted.
“Hey Mud Boy,” Mulch said. “Do you have any food in here?”
Artemis rolled his eyes. “No, Mulch, if you want food you know where the kitchen is.”
Mulch shrugged. “Then I’ll be raiding your kitchen for food when I’m done here.”
“What’s here?” Holly asked.
All eyes turned back to her. “The recently recovered missing elf captain, that’s what,” said Mulch. Holly still looked confused. “Oh Frond, is something wrong with her?” he asked.
“Then why didn’t you tell us that, Fowl?”
“I tried to, Foaly, but as soon as I told you I got Holly you said you were coming to the surface and you hung up on me. I didn’t get the chance.”
Foaly’s face got red. “I suppose that’s true. Why doesn’t sure know what were talking about?”
“Okay,” Holly cut in. “I may not know exactly what you’re talking about, but I’m not stupid. I know enough to know that you’re talking about me. What is it I don’t remember this time?”
“Amnesia,” Foaly sighed. He sat on down by her bed. “How much do you remember?”
“Not much,” she admitted. “A little of the goblin revolution. Opal. Most of my own identity. That’s about it.”
“Do we have any idea what caused this?” Mulch asked, his food hang up forgotten for the moment and replaced by worry for his friend.
“I have a theory,” Artemis said quietly. “But I can’t prove anything.”
“Then spit it out, Mud Boy!”
“I think maybe when she gave up hope of being rescued, she also suppressed all memories of us because they caused her to hope, as she would remember that we had helped her before, and after so long it hurt her too much to hope that she would be rescued. After a while, since she was not thinking about us and trying to block out any thoughts of us, she just forgot about us. It would be a slow process, and it could take awhile, but if she was pushing hard enough, three and a half months should be sufficient time, don’t you think?”
The room was silent.
“I suppose it does kind of make sense,” said Mulch. “But how do we get them back?”
“In the case that this theory is correct, I think the recovery process should be relatively easy,” Artemis answered. “All she needs is simple reminders, little things, to help trigger recall. I think the memories are there, just buried deeply. Perhaps if we recounted the stories, she would remember as we went along.”
“So it’s kind of like how she would need to get her memories back if she were mind wiped,” Foaly mused. Artemis nodded. “Interesting. This shouldn’t take long.”
“Well, it depends. I think some of the memories will take a little more coaxing than others, the ones more powerfully suppressed. But it shouldn’t take a relatively long time, perhaps a month or so.”
“What about you guys?” Mulch asked. “Your relationship? How are you going to get that back?”
“I…” Artemis swallowed, looking at the ground. When he spoke again, he sounded sad. “I don’t know,” he said quietly. “I think that’s going to be something redeveloped with time. I don’t think that there’s really anything I could do to trigger it without taking rather drastic measures, nothing I think she’s in any state for right now. I think it’s best to leave that alone for now.”
“Oh. Okay then.” He paused. “If you need me, I’ll be raiding your kitchen now.” He stood and walked out of the room.
Foaly stood up. “I’m going too. You coming?”
Holly sat up. “I’m starving. Can I come?”
Foaly gave her a weird look, then looked at Artemis kind of funny as well, like, really? but said nothing. Artemis nodded. “Of course, Captain. Need help?” He offered his hand, and she took it. He pulled her to her feet and released her hand, though with obvious reluctance. “Come on, I’ll show you where the kitchen is.”
Does my explanation make sense? I think so, but I did have trouble kind of putting it into words, so it might seem odd. Either way, please review! 🙂