As Artemis made his way to him study, he could feel Butler’s eyes boring twin holes between his shoulder blades. The sensation faded as the door to the study quietly clicked shut.
He glanced around the room, but actually took in very little of it. He sat down in his oxblood leather chair, still lost in thought.
Thoughts that were back at the Ops Booth, wondering, exactly, what had happened.
Thoughts about Holly.
About feelings that were only acknowledged by Orion, but had to have been there because he and Orion had shared the same mind. But they still awaited proper acknowledgement by Artemis.
He was pulled from his reverie when his monitor beeped.
Something on the bug sweep.
Obsidia glanced at her silver and mother-of-pearl wristwatch. A prize from one of her victims. Her sentries would be here any minute.
She gazed up at the almost complete silver disk in the sky. I wish Ismyra could see this, she thought. Her best friend had been killed in the rebellion. She always had such a unique view of the world. She was the best-
Her thoughts were cut off as a silver glint on the horizon caught her eye. The sentries. She turned in a circle and saw six more glints, but did not see the one sent to the northeast. The seven sentries lined up, sending magical transmits to her of their reports before dissolving.
Once they were all gone, she turned to the northeast and murmured, “All clear in every direction except this one. Might as well go check it out.”
She hopped out of the tree and started off.
Artemis was staring at the odd little silver creature, currently residing in a Plexiglas cube, when Butler walked in. “You wanted to see me Arte-“he cut off when he saw what the teenage prodigy was staring so intently at.
”Do you know what it is?” asked Butler.
“No, but I am going to ask Foaly if he sent it, though I doubt it. There are no visible seams to indicate some sort of automaton, and when I scanned it, it didn’t even register as a known metal or otherwise. It’s like a living statue.” replied Artemis, never taking his eyes off the box.
After a few minutes, he connected his communicator ring to his monitor and webcam, placing a call to Foaly.
The centaur’s face appeared on the screen.
“What is it, Artemis? If you’re calling about Holly, I haven’t seen her since-“
“It’s not. I picked up something on the bug sweep, and I wanted to see if you knew what it was.”
Foaly frowned. Artemis had detected his bug in the past, and pretty frequently, too, but had never contacted him over it. What made it even more odd, was that he hadn’t sent a bug to Fowl Manor in over a year.
Something was amiss.
Artemis continued, “I am almost certain that it is not one of yours, because there are no visible seams to indicate some sort of automaton, and when I scanned it, it didn’t even register as a known metal. Human or fairy.”
Foaly’s brow wrinkled as he spoke.”Can I see the specimen?”
Artemis picked up the Plexiglas cube and held it to the cameras’ lens. The little anomaly fluttered around a bit at the sudden movement before settling back in the box’s bottom. Foaly stared blankly at it for a moment, then a brief look of recognition crossed his eyes, but it was quickly dismissed.
The look was not lost to Artemis.
“What is it, Foaly? You know something.” said Artemis with a hint of suggested accusation.
Foaly moved to a computer off-screen and could hear him typing on is ancient V-board.
The only thing that was visible, were the centaur’s hindquarters and his swishing tail. Not the best view.
“What are you doing?” asked Artemis, when Foaly did not answer his first question.
Still off-screen, Foaly answered,”Calling Holly. She’s going to have to get over her irritation at you, because I need another set of eyes up there that’s familiar with the obscure. Fairy eyes.”