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Qolmodori Crisis

Chapter Text

The boy stopped the snowmobile next to one of the buildings. It was one of the biggest buildings in the town, at 4 stories tall. He disembarked and removed his helmet, as did Ruby. One of the penguin-people walked out of the front door and towards them.

"Well, there you are, you reckless little rascal!" he (or she) squawked, "Just what do you think you're doing, leaving without notifying anyone like that? We thought you'd disappeared!"

Every time the boy tried to explain, the penguin-person just kept going. "I've just had to notify the retrieval team of your disappearance and now I've got to phone them again and alert them of a false alarm! Do you know how much of my time you've wasted? Have you any idea how much red tape this will cause?"

The boy finally managed to make himself heard. "What I was doing, Mrs. Mondak, was escorting this young woman to town," he gestured to Ruby as he said this. "She is a... Visitor, just like myself."

The boy placed an unusual amount of emphasis on the word 'Visitor.' Did that mean something?

"How did you know she was out there?" Mrs. Mondak asked, sounding suspicious.

"Simple. Whenever a Visitor appears, there is a large spike in the energy readings around the location where the wormhole appears. Once you find the precise location of that energy spike, you find the Visitor."

"Well then, why didn't you just alert someone? They could have escorted her here without you needing to get all gussied up and go out there by yourself."

"It is quite cold in those snow fields, Mrs. Mondak. I did not want to risk the possibility of this new visitor freezing to death before the team arrived. Regardless, I have questions of my own for Miss Rose, and if you'll excuse us, I would like to conduct an interview in peace."

Mrs. Mondak grumbled irritably, but stepped aside. The boy, who Ruby had only just now realized had never told her his name, gestured for Ruby to follow him inside the building. Mrs. Mondak mumbled something that sounded like "Mammals..." before they entered. A blast of warm air greeted Ruby's face as the two of them passed through the doors.

"Ah, Master Fowl, welcome back!" called the receptionist from the other side of the lobby, "We were starting to worry about you. Mrs. Mondak was convinced you'd just disappeared! Hehe!" This receptionist was altogether a different beast to Mrs. Mondak and the other bird-like people here. He looked like an enormous cat, his mane braided and decorated with rings of gold and gems. His spoke with a rasp in his voice, rather than the squawk of Mrs. Mondak's voice.

"Oh, hello, who is this one?" the receptionist said, only now noticing Ruby.

"Rodrim, This is Ruby Rose. She is a Visitor, like myself." The boy said.

"Ah! Another Visitor! Such a rare occurrence for two to appear so close together, no?"

"Yes, it does seem quite fortuitous."

"Miss Rose shall need accommodations. I believe the room next to yours is available, Master Fowl." Rodrim ducked under the desk and grabbed a plastic card. "Here you go, Miss Rose, the key to your home away from home," he handed Ruby the plastic card with a warm smile, which she attempted to return.

"Thank you..." she said.

"You are very welcome, Miss Rose. All are welcome here, after all," he turned his attention to the boy, "Now, Master Fowl, why don't you show our new friend to her room? In the meantime, I shall acquire some basic supplies for you."

"Thank you, Rodrim. This way, Miss Rose," the boy said, gesturing once again for her to follow. They walked across the hallway to a set of stairs, which they began to climb. Ruby could hear Rodrim shout to someone else in the hotel.

"Akili! We need more supplies! We have another Visitor!" An argument ensued, but what was said was lost as they ascended the stairs further. They stopped climbing on the third floor and headed down a hallway.

"Right here, Miss Rose," the boy said, stopping next to one of the doors. Ruby stepped in front of it and examined it briefly. Room 329. She'd have to remember that. Ruby swiped her key-card through the door lock and it beeped at her. She opened the door and stepped inside. The room was small, but quaint. The walls were lined with dark blue wallpaper, festooned with what looked like spacecraft. The floor was thickly carpeted, and the bed looked quite comfortable.

"Please, Miss Rose, have a seat," the boy said, gesturing to the bed. Ruby obliged, sinking a few inches into the plush fabric. He closed the door behind him, moved a chair from the corner of the room and sat down in it, facing her. "Now, then, Miss Rose. As I mentioned previously, I have some questions regarding your experience today. However, having been in your position myself several days ago, I know you must have questions of your own. I think it prudent to answer your questions before asking you mine, if only so you understand why I am asking."

"Okay..." Ruby started, shifting herself on the bed, "Who are you?"

The boy briefly looked taken aback. "Have I not introduced myself?" he asked. Ruby shook her head. "Well, my name is Artemis Fowl, and I am a 'Visitor' in this universe, just like yourself."

"What does that mean, you're a 'Visitor?'" Ruby asked.

"It means I, like you, am not from this universe. I, like you, have been brought here from another universe to this one." Artemis said.

"How? What brought you- me- us here?" Artemis paused.

"That- remains to be seen."

"What? What do you mean?"

"I mean, I do not know. And neither does anyone else, it seems."

"You knew when I'd show up!" Ruby countered.

"Yes, the scientists of this world have developed methods to detect the arrival of a Visitor. However, none of them seem to have found the cause behind this phenomenon. There are several theories, but none of them explain everything."

There was a silence as Ruby tried to think of more questions to ask. Most of the questions she still had didn't seem to have an answer now. Eventually, she settled on the only question she had left.

"What do we do now?"

"That, Miss Rose, is what I wanted to discuss with you. But first, I have a few questions of my own to ask you. Where are you from?"

"Um... I live on an island called Patch."

Artemis sighed.

"What planet are you from?"

"Oh... uh.. Remnant."

"I see. Can you tell me more about Remnant?"

Ruby and Artemis continued to talk for some time. For every question Ruby answered about Remnant, Artemis seemed to have two more. Where on Remnant was Patch? Was it a country by itself, or part of one? What did she do on Patch? What was a huntress? What was a Grimm? On and on the questioning went, and Ruby was starting to lose her patience. Artemis was in the middle of asking her to clarify the differences between the different forms of Grimm when she finally reached her limit.

"Ugh, why do you need to know!? What does this have to do with anything!?"

"Patience, Miss Rose. If I am to enlist your help, I need to know your... qualifications."

"Help? Help with what?"

Artemis sighed, again.

"There is an explanation for this phenomenon, Miss Rose, and I intend to find it. However, I cannot find it alone. I would like your help, but first I need to know if you can help me. This is unfamiliar territory and the journey might be dangerous."

"Journey? You mean, like an adventure?" Ruby perked up at the prospect of an adventure. Yang had promised her one, after all. A spark seemed to light behind Artemis's eyes and he leaned forward in his chair.

"Yes, like an adventure. And adventure of which you can be the hero. But first, I need to know if you're up for it. So, tell me," Artemis said, steepling his fingers, "Are you up for it?"