Nearing the huge stone structure that had loomed in the distance, Obsidia paused and blew a handful of the silver dust towards it. That should erase her from ant surveillance technology. She could enter unnoticed.
She came up to the massive gate and stood directly in the path of the first camera she saw, waving pointedly at it. Lesson one; always check to see if your spell took effect.
When nothing happened for several minutes, she began walking around the ten-foot cement wall, looking for a way to get over it, but found nothing.
“Alright, Plan B.” she murmured, picking up a rock slightly larger than her fist. She slammed it into the wall exactly three times before she dropped it. Gripping the edge of the new grove in it, she hoisted herself over the wall.
She dropped to the ground without a sound and began looking for an entrance. Eventually, she found a window that was cracked open about an inch. She peered through the small opening, seeing a little boy’s room. Curled up on the bed was the boy Obsidia assumed the room belonged to, who didn’t look much older than four or five.
She quietly pushed the window higher on the frame and slid into the room. After putting the window back in its original position, she scanned the room for anything that would make noise if stepped on, but only saw dirty clothes strewn around on the floor and a wooden sword leaning up in the corner.
She made her way towards the door slowly, just in case.
Once the door clicked shut, she stopped and concentrated, magically reaching out, trying to sense if her sentry was here. She felt it nearby, but couldn’t pinpoint exactly where. She sighed. It was beyond her power.
She moved quietly down the corridors, peeking doors she passed in search of the sentry. She saw several rooms, including the bedroom of another little boy, though this one spotless, but didn’t find the sentry. Rounding the corner, she heard voices floating down the hall. She moved towards the sound until she was met with a huge set of oaken double doors. She paused outside them and listened to the voices. “…not register it as any known metal. Human or fairy.”
Obsidia’s blood ran cold. A Mud Man found my sentry and knows of the People. This is a problem.
Another voice spoke up.
“Can I see the specimen?”
Her sentry was in that room, under examination. She needed that sentry back now.
She slipped back out of the house and made her way to the study’s window.
“No! No way, not a chance in hell.” hissed Holly. Foaly had called her down to the Ops Booth, saying that it was extremely important.
Of course, Foaly also thought having someone check his tail for gray hairs was extremely important.
What Holly didn’t expect was for him to ask her to go to Fowl Manor after what had happened earlier that afternoon.
Foaly’s hands shot up to cover his face, expecting to be hit. “Whoa! Let me finish! It’s not what you think, just let me-“
“I don’t care! I don’t want to go see the Mud Whelp, just to have him spout that romantic nonsense again!” she interrupted.
“Holly! Just hear me out! I can’t force you to go, so it won’t kill you to look.” He brought up the video conversation between him and Artemis. She scowled, but watched their exchange. When the box containing the “specimen” appeared on the screen and Foaly hit the pause button, freezing the odd little creature onscreen.
“You know what this could mean, right?” asked Foaly, worry coloring his tone.
Holly nodded and walked toward the door.
“Where are you going?” Foaly called behind her.
“To clear a shuttle. I need to get to Fowl Manor.”
Obsidia peered carefully through the window of the study. She was relying on the darkness for cover as she spied on the Mud Man with her sentry.
The raven-haired human was studying the sentry trapped in the clear cube. He tapped gently on the top of the box, causing it to stir. Then, he stopped and began to fiddle with a rather ostentatious ring on his middle finger. He tapped the keyboard and the image of an auburn- haired elf with mismatched eyes appeared on the monitor. She didn’t look very happy.
Obsidia tilted her head to the side so she could hear what was being said.
The elf spoke first, “Foaly filled me in on the critter. I’m on my way up there to check it out.”
“Thank you. And about earlier, Holly, I’m sorry. That was out of line.” said the boy so softly she almost couldn’t hear.
“Yeah, Mud Boy, it was.” snapped the elf, Holly.
“I didn’t know what else to say. The polygraph-“
“Save it, Artemis.” interjected Holly, and then the feed cut off.
The boy, Artemis, sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
Obsidia slid away from the window, panic beginning to set in. if the elf recognized the sentry and her magic, she would know what she was. She also ran the risk of being caught by the elf while she was on the Manor’s grounds. She had to act and get that sentry back.
If she didn’t, her life was about to get a whole lot more complicated.
Holly set the shuttle down gently, just inside the front wall, and jumped out of the cockpit. She opened her wings and flew around to the window of Artemis’ study. It was on the first floor. But its ledge was barely short enough she could tap on it, much less climb through.
Floating at what would be a couple of inches taller than Artemis, Holly rapped sharply on the window. Behind her, she heard a twig snap and turned, while shielding, simultaneously. She scanned the area but saw nothing.
It was probably just a rabbit, thought Holly that is, assuming Mulch left any.
The latch on the window quietly clicked open and Holly turned to it, switching off her shield.
Artemis held the window open and Holly flew inside, not looking at him.
“So where is this mysterious little creature?” she asked, still not looking at him.
“Right here.” said Artemis crossing to the mahogany desk. He picked up the Plexiglas cube and, hesitantly, held it out to her.
She eyed the box for a moment, and then glanced up to his face. She looked into his eyes, both now a vibrant blue, and saw a boy who was desperately trying to say he was sorry. She sighed at took the box.
Relief flashed in his eyes.
She studied the box a moment, her face becoming a shade paler.
“Artemis, this looks like a-“
Something made a sharp click against the window, like a small stone was thrown against it.
Holly whipped around, still holding the creature, and scanned the area outside the window. All she saw was the inky night.
Not speaking, Holly handed Artemis back the box and drew her Neutrino 1000. The 1000 was the only operational model, but Foaly was working on a brand new Neutrino 4000.
She opened her wings and shielded, the slight shimmer floating about seven feet off the ground. She moved toward the window as fast as she dared, not wanting the engine on her wings to get too loud. Once she was in place, Artemis crossed to the window and opened it. He leaned out a bit before jerking back inside, realizing what a vulnerable target he made himself. Then a silvery fog began to stream through the wide-open window and fill the room.