This wasn’t supposed to happen.
The Complex wasn’t supposed to return, and that freak Aqua wasn’t supposed to be out there ruining his life.
Artemis had to think. He glanced sideways at the rest of the Alters. Orion and Leo were hooked up in an arm fight and most of the others were watching intently. Capricornus was the only one locked in his bedroom quietly. They’d all claimed that this wasn’t a stage of the Atlantis Complex, but who knew? And it was obvious that they all awaited the chance to get out of here.
He focused back on the mind screen, where Aqua had quickly recovered from Holly slamming the door in his face and was headed out to have a better look around. Obviously, unlike Orion, this Alter seemed to have more of an interest in life than impressing women.
Aqua stared at the huge painting. Artemis had honestly done that? He had to admit, it was “kind of awesome” and be on his way for lunch, where the whole of the Fowl family (except his father, of course. Some freaking conference business) had already gathered. He took Artemis’s place between Beckett and Myles. One of the toddlers was trying to sort a Rubik’s Cube while the other was counting the legs of an ant crawling on the table. Aqua already knew from Artemis’s experience who was who.
Myles looked up from his work. “Did anything interesting happen, Arty? You spent two hours locked up in your room.”
“No, not really, but I met the girl of my dreams. Man she’s hot. Arty is the luckiest guy on the planet.”
Angeline, Beckett, Myles and Butler stopped whatever they were doing and stared wide-eyed at him, as if he’d grown a chicken’s head or something.
It’s probably going to cause chaos if I tell them that I’m not Arty, thought Aqua. Turns out, he had already given it away. “I-I meant Arty as in myself,” he corrected, weakly grinning at the others.
Inside his head, Artemis screamed.
“I guess that’s great, Arty,” said Angeline, tone disbelieving. “But I do hope this isn’t a trick to stop me making you wear jeans or something, like coming up two weeks later saying your girlfriend likes you better in Bespoke suits.”
Tell her that is was a trick, thought Artemis. Please, please, plea–
“Nope,” said Aqua.
“And what is her name?” asked Myles. “If you come up with something cheesy, we know it’s a lie.”
Aqua tried to think. Everyone here knew who Holly was, so that wasn’t going to work. “Eh…I hardly think it is any of your business what her name is.” oh Yeah! Maybe if I keep talking Nerd style they’ll think I’m Artemis.
And who are you calling a nerd? shouted a voice from the back of his head.
What the heck am I going to say next?
Shut up, Aqua. Let me out and I’ll take care of this.
Na huh. You’re not the only smart guy here, Arty. And what do I say?
You’re only killing my dignity here, should you care?
“What did this girl look like?” Angeline pressed on. “At least you could tell us that.”
Aqua paused. “”Eh…well, she was pretty. And hot. And kind of cute, and…”
I can’t believe this total idiot is in charge of my body! groaned Artemis.
“Apart from your opinion?”
“Oh y-yeah,” stammered Aqua. “Yeah, she was…uh, she had a face, and…two eyes, which were lovely, and hair…uh, I mean…”
The other Alters either giggled or moaned.
“She’s just too good for words,” Aqua finished, lamely. Artemis slapped his forehead.