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Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident - Eoin Colfer - And Another Thing... - Eoin Colfer – Douglas Adams's Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: 6of3

And Another Thing… by Eoin Colfer

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Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident

Artemis Fowl and the Arctic Incident

Synopsis

Someone has been supplying Class A illegal human power sources to the goblins. Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit is sure that her arch-enemy, thirteen-year-old Artemis Fowl, is responsible. But is he? Artemis has his own problems to deal with: his father is being held to ransom and only a miracle will save him. Maybe this time a brilliant plan just won’t be enough. Maybe this time Artemis needs help…

Extract

The two Russians huddled around a flaming barrel in a futile attempt to ward off the Arctic chill. The Bay of Kola was not a place you wanted to be after September, especially not Murmansk. In Murmansk even the polar bears wore scarves. Nowhere was colder, except perhaps Noril’sk.

The men were Mafiya enforcers and were more used to spending their evenings inside stolen BMWs. The larger of the two, Mikhael Vassikin, checked the fake Rolex beneath the sleeve of his fur coat.

‘This thing could freeze up,’ he said, tapping the diving bezel. ‘What am I going to do with it then?’

‘Stop your complaining,’ said the one called Kamar. ‘It’s your fault we’re stuck outside in the first place.’

Vassikin paused. ‘Pardon me?’

‘Our orders were simple: sink the Fowl Star. All you had to do was blow the cargo bay. It was a big enough ship, heaven knows. Blow the cargo bay and down she goes. But no, the great Vassikin hits the stern. Not even a back-up rocket to finish the job. So now we have to search for survivors.’

‘She sank, didn’t she?’

Kamar shrugged. ‘So what? She sank slowly, plenty of time for the passengers to grab onto something. Vassikin, the famous sharpshooter! My grandmother could shoot better.’

Lyubkhin, the Mafiya’s man on the docks, approached before the discussion could develop into an all-out brawl.

‘How are things?’ asked the bear-like Yakut.

Vassikin spat over the quay wall. ‘How do you think? Did you find anything?’

‘Dead fish and broken crates,’ said the Yakut, offering both enforcers a steaming mug. ‘Nothing alive. It’s been over eight hours now. I have good men searching all the way down to Green Cape.’

Kamar drank deeply, then spat in disgust. ‘What is this stuff? Pitch?’

Lyubkhin laughed. ‘Hot cola. From the Fowl Star. It’s coming ashore by the crate-load. Tonight we are truly on the Bay of Kola.’

‘Be warned,’ said Vassikin, spilling the liquid on to the snow. ‘This weather is souring my temper. So no more terrible jokes. It’s enough that I have to listen to Kamar.’

‘Not for much longer,’ muttered his partner. ‘One more sweep and we call of the search. Nothing could survive these waters for eight hours.’

Vassikin held out his empty cup. ‘Don’t you have something stronger? A shot of vodka to ward off the cold? U know you always keep a flask hidden somewhere.’

Lyubkhin reached for his hip pocket, but stopped when the walkie-talkie on his belt began to emit static. Three short bursts.

‘Three squawks. That’s the signal.’

‘The signal for what?’

Lyubkhin hurried down the docks, shouting back over his shoulder. ‘Three squawks on the radio. It means that the K9 unit found someone.’

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