THE ETERINTY CODE BY EION COLFER
BOOK 3 OF THE ARTEMIS FOWL SERIES
EXCERPT FROM ARTEMIS FOWL’S DIARY. DISK 2. ENCRYPTED.
FOR the past two years my business enterprises have thrived without parental interference. In this time, I have sold the Pyramids to a Western businessman, forged and auctioned off the lost diaries of Leonardo da Vinci and separated the fairy People from a large portion of their precious gold. But my freedom to plot is almost at an end. As I write, my father lies in a hospital bed in Helsinki, where he recovers after a two-year imprisonment by the Russian Mafiya. He is still unconscious following his ordeal, but he will awaken soon and retake control of the Fowl finances.
With two parents resident in Fowl Manor, it will be impossible for me to conduct my various illegal ventures undetected. Previously this would not have been a problem as my father was a bigger crook than me, but Mother is determined
that the Fowls are going straight.
However, there is time for one last job. Something that my mother would not approve of. I don’t think the fairy folk would like it much either. So I shall not tell them.
PART I: ATTACK
CHAPTER I:THE CUBE
EN FIN, KNIGHTSBRIDGE, LONDON
ARTEMIS Fowl was almost content. His father would be discharged from Helsinki’s University Hospital any day now. He himself was looking forward to a delicious late lunch at En Fin, a London seafood restaurant, and his business contact should arrive any moment. All according to plan.
His bodyguard, Butler, was not quite so relaxed. But then again he was never truly at ease – one did not become one of the world’s deadliest men by dropping one’s guard. The giant Eurasian flitted between tables in the Knightsbridge bistro, positioning the usual security items and clearing exit routes.
‘Are you wearing the earplugs?’ he asked his employer.
Artemis sighed deeply. ‘Yes, Butler. Though I hardly think we are in danger here. It’s a perfectly legal business meeting in broad daylight, for heaven’s sake.’
The earplugs were actually sonic filter sponges, cannibalized from fairy Lower Elements Police helmets. Butler had obtained the helmets, along with a treasure trove of fairy technology, over a year previously when one of Artemis’s schemes pitted him against a fairy SWAT team. The sponges were grown in LEP labs, and had tiny porous membranes that sealed automatically when decibel levels surpassed safety standards.
‘Maybe so, Artemis, but the thing about assassins is that they like to catch
‘Perhaps,’ replied Artemis, perusing the menu’s entree section. ‘But who could possibly have a motive to kill us?’
Butler shot one of the half-dozen diners a fierce glare, just in case she was planning something. The woman must have been at least eighty.
‘They might not be after us. Remember, Jon Spiro is a powerful man. He put a lot of companies out of business. We could be caught in a crossfire.
Artemis nodded. As usual, Butler was right, which explained why they were both still alive. Jon Spiro, the American he was meeting, was just the kind of man to attract assassins’ bullets. A successful IT billionaire, with a shady past and alleged mob connections. Rumour had it that his company, Fission Chips, had made it to the top on the back of stolen research. Of course, nothing was ever proved – not that Chicago’s district attorney hadn’t tried. Several times.
A waitress wandered over, giving them a dazzling smile.
‘Hello there, young man.