The Arctic Incident

The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

Book: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Eoin Colfer
Tags: Fiction - Young Adult
start. I need you to immobilize him, and show him this.” Holly handed the bodyguard what looked like a diver’s watch.
    “What is it?” asked the manservant.
    “Just a com-screen. You just put it in front of Carrère’s face and I can mesmerize the truth out of him from down here. It also contains one of Foaly’s doodads. A personal shield. The Safetynet. A prototype, you’ll be delighted to know. You can have the honor of testing it. Touch the screen, and the micro reactor generates a six-foot diameter sphere of tri-phased light. No good for solids, but laser bursts or concussion shocks are okay.”
    “Hmm,” said Butler doubtfully. “We don’t get a lot of laser bursts aboveground.”
    “Hey, don’t use it. Do I care?”
    Butler studied the tiny instrument. “Six-foot radius? What about the bits that are sticking out?”
    Holly thumped the manservant playfully in the stomach.
    “My advice to you, big man, is to curl up in a ball.”
    “I’ll try to remember that,” said Butler, cinching the strap around his wrist. “You two try not to kill each other while I’m gone.”
    Artemis was surprised. It didn’t happen very often.
    “While you’re gone? Surely, you don’t expect me to stay behind.”
    Butler tapped his forehead.
    “Don’t worry, you’ll see everything on the iris-cam.”
    Artemis fumed for several moments, before settling into a passenger chair.
    “I know. I would only slow you down, and that in turn would slow down the search for my father.”
    “Of course, if you insist . . .”
    “No. This is no time for childishness.”
    Butler smiled gently. Childishness was one thing Master Artemis was hardly likely to be accused of.
    “How long do I have?”
    Holly shrugged. “As long as it takes. Obviously, the sooner the better, for everybody’s sake.” She glanced at Artemis. “Especially his father’s.”
    In spite of everything, Butler felt good. This was life at its most basic. The hunt. Not exactly the Stone Age, but the principle was the same: the survival of the fittest. And there was no doubt in Butler’s mind that he was the fittest.
    Butler followed Holly’s directions to a service ladder, scaling it quickly to the doorway above. He waited beside the metal door, until the light above changed from red to green, and the camouflaged entrance slid noiselessly back. The bodyguard emerged cautiously. While it was likely that bridge was deserted, he could hardly explain himself away as a homeless person, dressed as he was in a dark designer suit.
    Butler felt a breeze play across the shaven dome of his crown. The morning air felt good, even after a few hours underground. He could only imagine how fairies must feel. Forced out of their native environment by humans. From what Butler had seen, if the People ever decided to reclaim what was theirs, the battle wouldn’t last long. But luckily for mankind, fairies were a peace-loving people, and not prepared to go to war over real estate.
    The coast was clear. Butler stepped casually onto the riverside walkway, proceeding south toward the Saint Germain district.
    A riverboat swept past on his right, ferrying a hundred tourists around the city. Butler automatically covered his face with a massive hand. Just in case some of those tourists had cameras pointed in this direction.
    The bodyguard mounted a set of stone steps to the road above. Behind him the jagged spire of Notre Dame rose into the sky, and to his left the Eiffel Tower’s famous profile punctured the clouds. Butler strode confidently across the main road, nodding at several French ladies who stopped to stare.
    He was familiar with this area of Paris, having spent a month recuperating here after a particularly dangerous assignment for the French Secret Service.
    Butler strolled along rue Jacob. Even at this hour, cars and lorries jammed the narrow street. Drivers leaned on their horns, hanging from car windows, Gallic tempers running wild. Mopeds dodged between bumpers, and a

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