Categories > Books > Artemis Fowl > The Charity Case

New Business

by shadowgirlvg 0 reviews

Holly's agency gets a customer and Artemis meets his new charge.

Category: Artemis Fowl - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Artemis Fowl - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2005-12-21 - Updated: 2005-12-22 - 1318 words

Chapter Two: New Business

Holly Short was many things; she was a cool reasoner, a righteous fighter, a bold daredevil, and-she had recently discovered-a complete idiot. Four months ago she had quit the Lower Elements Police force and set up a detective service open to all problems under the earth. Now, after months of labor the total number of cases presented to the Short-Diggums Detective Agency was three. To their credit they had been able to solve all three cases but none of them had exactly been the type one would hope for when breaking into the detective business.

The first case had raised Holly's hopes. She had been completely baffled by the Case of the Missing Painting when at had first been presented to her. It had seemed like the type of problem that would puzzle the mind of many an investigator. She had put in a call to Artemis in hopes of throwing light on the situation. He had given her several tips on where she could search and what to ask the suspects, resulting in a lengthy conversation with an equally lengthy phone bill. She hadn't really minded at the time feeling it would be worth the money but just then Mulch had burst in declaring that he had solved the case.

It had turned out that the owner of the painting himself had stolen it and shoved it into one of the drawers of his bureau in an attempt to collect the picture's insurance. In the end he was to pay a fine for fraud and the disgruntled fairy didn't give his detectives a cent. Holly wasn't entirely sure but she also thought she had heard him call her and Mulch "meddling kids." Oh well, it wasn't like she really wanted to be able to pay her phone bill anyway.

The weeks that had followed had been nothing but mindless tedium and trying to keep Mulch out of trouble for trying to fence a previously stolen diamond. When they had finally gotten another case Holly had been disappointed to find that it was only a frantic little sprite that had lost his mother. Although the boy's parents had been grateful for the return of their son the sum they gave out of gratitude was barely enough to make ends meet. Sadly the sum Holly received after the whole incident repeated itself, thus bringing the caseload up to three, wouldn't have been enough for the elf to make ends meet even if she had decided to give up eating.

So overall it was fairly obvious that business was not going well. Every day to pass the hours of boredom Holly would berate herself for being the idiot she and giving up her wonderful, and it seemed more wonderful every day, job in recon. In her heart she knew that she wouldn't have been able to stay there after all that had happened but she also knew in her heart that she only had a week left to pay the rent on her apartment and the shabby office they were using for business. It was a tough battle but now-a-days nostalgia seemed to regularly beat out reality, things were just easier that way.

For the millionth time that day Holly looked out the window in the hopes of seeing something interesting. As luck would have it there was something that caught her eye, there was a frazzled looking centaur across the street. She seemed to be debating with herself but finally she took the plunge and trotted right to Holly's door.

The former captain tried to calm herself as the centaur came inside, she knew she shouldn't get her hopes up. After a quick mental prep Holly faced her potential customer.

The centaur spoke nervously, "Is this the Short-Diggums Detective Agency?"

Holly smiled, "That's what our sign says."

The girl sighed with relief, "Thank goodness, I was worried I might have gone the wrong way. I have a very important case for you."

The elf's expression didn't change even slightly but inside she was doing back-flips, if the matter was as urgent as it seemed then it could turn out to be just the break she'd been hoping for.

"Well Miss I can assure you that me and my partner will do everything we can to help." She stood up and stuck her head into a room at the back of the office. "Hey Mulch! We've got a customer, get out here."

With a whoop that matched Holly's feelings exactly the dwarf raced out to the front of the office with a note-pad to take down everything the young centaur had to say.

However happy Holly Short might have been at that moment it had absolutely no affect on the mood of Artemis Fowl. He had now been waiting outside the gate of a crowded, noisy airport for the last three hours. The flight which Matthew Burbenshire had taken to reach Ireland had been delayed. That wouldn't have bothered Artemis very much but it had been one of those irritating delays where a series of miscommunications within the air-service led all people concerned to believe that the flight they were expecting was about to come in every fifteen minutes and you could never be sure when to really believe it.

This meant that for the past three hours Artemis had been trapped in his cheap plastic chair with the paranoia that as soon as he left the flight would arrive and the boy he was entrusted with guiding to the school would be lost and alone having no one to blame but Artemis. This idea did not suit the Fowl boy at all, the plan he had devised would be tricky enough as it was, he had no desire to add overcoming a bad first impression to it.

After fifteen more minutes Artemis was considering getting up and stretching his legs just to make sure he still could after sitting in that uncomfortable chair for so long when he saw the glorious sight of people exiting the gate. The plane had finally arrived.

He quickly looked himself over. He had worn his school uniform although the term had not officially started so he could be easily recognized. He now adjusted the St. Bartleby's patch on his vest to make it stand out more and scanned the departing travelers.

The boy he was looking for was one of the last to depart; he had apparently been hindered by his large, overstuffed duffle bag. Artemis was surprised that the bag had been allowed on the plane as carry-on luggage, it would have been a tight fit to even get it x-rayed. Setting the minor mystery aside Artemis looked at Matthew more closely. He knew it was him because of the uniform he wore which matched with Artemis's almost exactly save its somewhat looser fit and the absence of the required tie. The boy was a little short for his age (he was two years older than Artemis), but he was roughly Artemis's height making him about one meter and 67 centimeters. His weight would have been more difficult to guess but he was certainly a skinny, gangly lad. He had light brown hair to about his ears, green eyes, and a fairly handsome face if one thought about it objectively. He seemed like a relatively kind person but his wide-eyed, innocent demeanor and the loose fit of his uniform gave away his common roots. Overall he wasn't the worst person Artemis might have imagined but he certainly wasn't all that he could have hoped for.

Matthew was looking around anxiously so Artemis walked up to him. "Mr. Burbenshire I presume?"

The older boy looked relived at being addressed and nodded. "You must be Artemis then right?"

Artemis would have answered but it was at that moment that there was bang and he suddenly felt himself pinned to the floor.
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