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Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony - 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 Lost Colony

Artemis Fowl and the Lost Colony

Synopsis

Ten millennia ago, the fairy people were defeated in a great battle with mankind, forcing them to move underground. Only the 8th family of fairies remained undefeated: the demons. But now one demon has discovered the secrets of the fairy world, and if humans get hold of this information, the fairies are in BIG trouble. Only one person can prevent this disaster – teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl.

Extract

Happy was not a word often used to describe Artemis Fowl’s bodyguard. Jolly and contented were also words that were rarely applied to him or to people in his immediate vicinity. Butler did not get to be one of the most dangerous men in the world by chatting with anyone who happened to stroll past, unless the chat concerned exit routes and concealed weapons.

On this particular afternoon Butler and Artemis were in Spain, and the bodyguard’s Eurasian features were even more taciturn than normal. His young charge was, as
usual, making Butler’s job more complicated than it needed to be. Artemis had insisted that they stand on the pavement of Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia for over an hour in the afternoon sun with only a few slender trees to provide them with cover from the heat or possible enemies.

This was the fourth unexplained trip to foreign locations in as many months. First Edinburgh, then Death Valley in the American West, followed by an extremely arduous trek to doubly landlocked Uzbekistan. And now Barcelona. All to wait for a mysterious visitor, who had not as yet made an appearance.

They made an odd couple on the busy pathway. A huge, muscular man: forties, Hugo Boss suit, shaven head. And a slight teenager: pale, raven-haired with large, piercing
blue-black eyes.

‘Why must you circle so, Butler?’ asked Artemis, irritated. He knew the answer to his own question, but according to his calculations, the expected visitor to Barcelona was a minute late, and he allowed his annoyance to transfer to the bodyguard.

‘You know perfectly well why, Artemis,’ replied Butler. ‘In case there is a sniper or an audio-tech on one of the rooftops. I am circling to provide the maximum cover.’

Artemis was in the mood to demonstrate his genius. This was a mood in which he frequently found himself. And as satisfying as these demonstrations were for the fourteen-year-old Irish boy, they could be intensely irritating for anyone on the receiving end.

‘Firstly, it is hardly likely that there is a sniper gunning for me,’ he said. ‘I have liquidated eighty per cent of my illegal ventures and spread the capital across an extremely lucrative portfolio. Secondly, any audio-tech trying to eavesdrop on us may as well pack up and go home as the third button on your jacket is emitting a Solinium pulse that whites out any surveillance tape, human or fairy.’

Butler glanced at a passing couple, who were bewitched by Spain and young love. The man had a camcorder slung round his neck. Butler fingered his third button guiltily.

‘We may have ruined a few honeymoon videos,’ he noted.

Artemis shrugged.‘A small price to pay for my privacy.’

‘Was there a third point?’ asked Butler innocently.

‘Yes,’ said Artemis, a touch testily. Still no sign of the individual he was expecting.‘I was about to say that if there is a gunman on one of these buildings, it’s that one directly to the rear. So you should stay behind me.’

Butler was the best bodyguard in the business, and even he couldn’t be a hundred per cent sure which rooftop a potential gunman would be on.

‘Go on. Tell me how you know. I know you’re dying to.’

‘Very well, since you ask. No sniper would position himself on the rooftop of Casa Milá, directly across the street, because it is open to the public and so his access
and escape would probably be recorded.’

‘His or her,’ corrected Butler. ‘Most metal men are women these days.’

‘His or her,’ amended Artemis. ‘The two buildings on the right are somewhat screened by foliage, so why handicap yourself ?’

‘Very good. Go on.’

‘The cluster behind us to the left is a group of financial buildings with private security stickers on the windows. A professional will avoid any confrontation he is not being
paid for.’

Butler nodded. It was true.

‘And so, I logically conclude that your imaginary sniper would pick the four-storey construction to our rear. It is residential, so access is easy. The roof affords him or her a direct line of fire, and the security is possibly dismal and more than likely non-existent.’

Butler snorted. Artemis was probably right. But in the protection game, probably wasn’t nearly as comforting as a Kevlar vest.

‘You’re probably right,’ admitted the bodyguard. ‘But only if the sniper is as smart as you are.’

‘Good point,’ said Artemis.

‘And I imagine you could put together a convincing argument for any one of these buildings. You just picked that one to keep me out of your line of vision, which leads
me to believe that whoever you’re expecting will turn up outside Casa Milá.’

Artemis smiled. ‘Well done, old friend.’

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