The Arctic Incident - Artemis Fowl 2 by Eoin Colfer

The Arctic Incident - Artemis Fowl 2 by Eoin Colfer

Author:Eoin Colfer
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Fowl, Artemis
Published: 2010-11-08T08:00:00+00:00

Chapter 9: NO SAFE HAVEN

OPERATIONS' BOOTH, POLICEPLAZA

FOALY was sitting in front of the LEP mainframe waiting for the results of his latest search. Extensive laser brushing of the goblin shuttle had revealed one complete and one partial thumbprint. The complete print was his own. Easily explicable as Foaly personally inspected all retired shuttle parts. The partial print could well belong to their traitor. Not enough to identify the fairy who'd been running LEP technology to the B'wa Kell, but certainly enough to eliminate the innocent. Cross-reference the remaining names with everybody who had shuttle-part access, and the list got considerably shorter. Foaly switched his tail contentedly. Genius. No point in being humble about it.

At the moment, the computer was crunching through personnel files with the partial print. All Foaly could do was twiddle his thumbs and wait for contact with the surface team. The magma flares were still up. Very unusual. Unusual and coincidental.

Foaly's suspicious train of thought was interrupted by a familiar voice.

'Search complete,' said the computer, in Foaly's own tones. A little vanity. 'Three hundred and forty-six eliminated. Forty possibles remaining.'

Forty. Not bad. They could easily be interviewed. An opportunity to use the Retimager once again. But there was another way to narrow the field.

'Computer. Cross-reference possibles with Level Three clearance personnel.' Level Three clearance would include everybody with access to the recycling smelters.

'Referencing.'

Of course, the computer would only accept commands from fairies whose voice patterns it was programmed to recognize. And as a further security precaution, Foaly had coded his personal log and other important files in a computer language he'd based on the ancient tongue of the centaurs: Centaurian.

All centaurs were a touch paranoid, and with good reason, since there were less than a hundred left. The humans had managed to kill off their cousins, the unicorns, altogether. There were probably six centaurs under the Earth who could read the language, and only one who could decipher the computer dialect.

Centaurian was possibly the oldest form of writing, dating back over ten millennia to when humans first began hunting fairies. The opening paragraph of The Scrolls of Capalla, the only surviving illuminated Centaurian manuscript, read:

Fairy creatures, heed this warning,

On Earth, the human era is dawning.

So hide, fairy, lest you be found,

And make a home beneath the ground.

Centaurs were known for their intellect, not their poetry. Still, Foaly felt the words were as relevant today as they had been all those centuries ago.

Cudgeon knocked on the booth's security glass. Now, technically, Cudgeon shouldn't be allowed in Ops, but Foaly buzzed him through. He could never resist having a crack at the ex-commander. Cudgeon had been demoted to lieutenant following a disastrous attempt to replace Root as Recon head honcho. If it hadn't been for his family's considerable political clout, he would have been booted off the force altogether. All in all, he might have been better off in some other line of work. At least he wouldn't have had to suffer Foaly's constant teasing.

‘I have some e-forms for you to initial,' said the lieutenant, avoiding eye-contact.



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