Obsidia pushed the spent human corpse into the trash compactor and hopped nimbly off the edge, hitting the ground without a sound.
She took a deep breath and looked up at the waxing moon. Only four more days until the full moon, then she would have to leave the area or risk detection by other fairies.
“I can’t let them know I, we, still exist,”she murmured.
She rubbed her palms together and a fine, powdery silver dust sprinkled down. It hovered in the air for a moment then split into eight little clouds, which then morphed into little creatures that vaguely resembled snakes with dragonfly wings.
Each of them zipped off in a different cardinal direction. These little creatures were sentries that would return in a few hours and tell her which direction it would be safest to travel. They detected all forms of life, but were looking specifically for magical creatures.
She scaled a young oak tree, no doubt a product of someone’s Ritual, and watched the moon, waiting for her sentries to return.
Well, most of them anyway.
Holly’s face was and angry red. But, then again, she was angry enough to make a troll cower.
“You can’t what?!” she almost shrieked.
She stormed over to Artemis and got right in his face. He shrank back into the chair, obviously unable to move. “You can’t WHAT?!?!” she yelled even louder.
Artemis’ face was an odd combination of nervousness, fear and a little bit sheepish, too. He swallowed hard, his throat holding about as much moisture as the surface of the sun.
Holly whipped around and stormed form the room, but not before Artemis saw a wet glimmer in her eyes, Was she crying? thought Artemis. Surely not. Not Holly.
He sighed and ran his pianist fingers through his hair. Foaly shifted from foot to foot for a nervous moment, then began to unhook the wires from Artemis. He glanced at the pale youth as he worked. The teen seemed to be lost in thought as he stared at the door.
Foaly paused long enought to pull Artemis from his stupor.
“Is something wrong?” he asked absently.
“Nothing.” Foaly muttered.
Maybe it is nothing, he thought or maybe it’s something else entirely.
Artemis stepped out of the shuttle, piloted by Chix Verbil instead of Holly. He hadn’t seen her since she stormed out of the Ops Booth in a furious rage.
The shuttle’s door soundlessly closed and the craft shimmered out of sight.
Artemis walked toward the manor and was met at the door by Butler, who was slightly out of breath, but he hid it well.
Butler had remained at Fowl Manor because he could barely make his rounds at the Manor, let alone travel to Haven. The plasma bolt hindered him nearly as badly as when Arno had shot him.
“Welcome back, Artemis.” said Butler, his voice betraying a hint of his breathlessness.
“Hello Butler.” said Artemis in an absent tone that greatly surprised him. The boy barely gave Butler a second glance, making a beeline to his study.
Butler watched his young charges’ retreating back, with only one thought. What happened down there?