(EDIT) A note to incoming readers:
This was started over a year and a half ago, and it needs to be rewritten. Like, seriously. There are OOC moments aplenty, and it was extraordinarily badly planned. I sound like a whiny brat in a bunch of the ANs, and I made some comments I didn't think through very well.
That said, please read on. I like to think that despite its glaring flaws, this is a fun story. Think of it as escapism, and then head over to the sequel, Six Feet Under. That one has been planned ahead.
On the day that two worlds collided, it was foggy. Mist drifted over the ground, but not properly eerie mist; it was a clingy, irritating mist that lacked the standard attributes of Fateful Day Weather. A few indistinct figures trudged miserably down the path that led to the nearest town.
A group of teenagers became visible through the soup of fog. They were talking quietly between themselves and making expansive gestures to explain that yes, it was Percy's fault that they were stranded in the middle of Ireland with no means of communication.
"I mean, you could have told us that Zeus didn't like it when you took airplanes!"
"I did," mumbled Percy, "But did you listen? Oh, no, of course you didn't. Why should Leo Valdez ever listen to what silly Percy Jackson has to say? Absolutely no reason whatsoever. Nope. Don't blame me. I tried to tell you, but you thought it would be all right, didn't you? Just a group of teenagers on vacation, you said. Zeus won't pay any attention, you said…" his voice trailed off at the sight of a huge building looming through the mist.
Leo whistled. "Wow. That is quite the house. I wouldn't mind living in a house like that. Very impressive."
"Yeah… guys? Something's weird here. Like, really weird. I think we should go in the opposite direction from that house."
"What's the matter?" Percy asked.
"Well… I'm getting a massive gold reading. So big I don't even have to concentrate to feel it. There's probably close on a billion dollars' worth of gold here. Whoever lives here is really rich. But that's not all. Some of the gold is… pure. Untainted. That sort of metal should be nigh on impossible this close to a big source of pollution—Dublin. I don't know what's going on. It's like nothing I've ever felt."
"Well, I agree with Hazel. Let's turn around."
"I hate to tell you this, Frank, but I'm not sure we could find our way back to where we landed. And anyway, we need directions. We can kill two birds with one stone: find out how to get to the nearest village, and find out why Hazel is getting such strange readings."
"Okay…" said Frank nervously.
They padded slowly up the hill, Frank starting at every shadow that flickered, every animal that stirred. The mist swirled around them, but contrary to laws of fiction worldwide failed to be mysteriously ominous. It simply made them slightly wet.
By the time they reached Fowl Manor they were tired, damp, and irritated.
Domovoi Butler pushed back his chair and stared at his employer.
"What?" he said finally, always a bad word to use in the presence of Artemis Fowl II.
Artemis allowed a flicker of irritation to cross his otherwise blank face.
"You heard me. There is a group of teenagers coming up the hill toward us. There is hardly anywhere else they could be headed. There is nothing noticeably odd about them, except the fact that they are approaching a heavily guarded—although they are not to know that—mansion without being invited. They don't appear to be intoxicated, and they are clearly not from around here."
"Clearly?" Butler raised an eyebrow, a talent he'd perfected at the cost of dozens of hours' practice in Morocco.
"Yes. I doubt that any sober teenagers from around here would approach this particular manor without invitation. We have a reputation, Butler. A reputation," he smirked, "that is not, I believe, entirely due to your own fine self. It appears I have become rather infamous in the district. I'm sure I don't know what I could have done to have earned such notoriety."
"Yes," muttered Butler, not entirely under his breath, "It couldn't be your patronizing attitude, or the various art thefts and expeditions with fairies you've taken part in over the years. People might not know about most of it, but it does create a certain atmosphere."
Artemis eyed him balefully.
"The point is, Butler, that with the rest of the family out, I am left with the charming opportunity of talking to a group of people my age. Do you see the problem?"
Butler had to admit that there was a problem. If anyone wrote a book called Saying Hello for Dummies, Artemis Fowl the Second would be first in line among the world's teenagers who could best make use of it.
"Listen, Butler," he said, "Frankly, I am tired, and I do not feel particularly enthusiastic about being laughed at by a group of idiot adolescents. I am going to get this over with as quickly as possible."
"Yes," Butler nodded, "but… Artemis, be careful. These people look rather odd on the cams."
Artemis gave his vampire smile. "Butler, I hardly think that you need give me advice on when to be cautious. I have learned that lesson many times over. Thank you, however, for your concern."
Butler just eyed him for a moment, worrying slightly about his young charge. Certainly, what Artemis said was true, but still… Butler fretted that Artemis was altogether too confident in some situations, and he was certain that the juvenile genius would eventually pay the price.
But I'll be there to make sure the price isn't too heavy, he thought.
"Could you keep an eye on me through the hall's surveillance cameras? I have the feeling that this may not go well, and I would like to have you around for back-up."
"Of course, Artemis. I would have done so anyway."
Artemis smiled again, although this time it was more genuine. "I know, old friend. Holly has told me many times how lucky I am to have a friend such as you to guard my back. She has also informed me that she doubts I would have survived kidnapping her if it weren't for you." He looked slightly miffed at that, but it boosted Butler's spirits.
"Really?" he said lightly, "Holly said that?"
"Oh, yes. She did. And now, it is time for me to go downstairs and try to survive my fellow adolescents."