This chapter opens at the same place the last one ended(semi-unusual for this book). Root and Foaly are watching Mulch's camera go
dark, and Foaly confirms that his heartbeat has stopped.
Foaly is on a roll with figuring out complicated plans though,and he's about to share a theory on Mulch's "death" with Root when
the fairy analysts Cumulus and Argon burst in.
They finally got the loophole in Artemis's video that he'sbeen waiting for them to find, and the loophole is basically what they were
going to do anyway—they can enter the house as long as Artemis isn't alive.
The only real adjustment this knowledge makes to the overallplan is that Root can pay the ransom to get Holly back and then recover it
after they bio-bomb the house.
Right when Foaly is trying to contact the Council (we guessthese are the higher ups?), there's a commotion outside and a little parade led
by Cudgeon approaches.
Apparently Cudgeon, being the complete psycho that he is, gotapproval to release that troll from the beginning of the book inside the house—and
sadly this was backed by the same Council Root is trying to contact.
Even though they've been talking about the bio-bomb this whole time, somehowthis is way over the line for Root and he is completely disgusted by the kind
of massacre Cudgeon is about to unleash.
Root still puts his plan into action, figuring that the wholetroll thing is going to go haywire.
Meanwhile, Holly creeps around Fowl Manor trying to avoidrunning into Butler until she can find some of that discarded fairy technology.
She gets out the way in the nick of time when Butler bargesthrough the door and runs toward her old cell, shouting for Juliet.
Holly enters the room he just left and runs into Artemis, whomshe ignores until she finds a Retrieval helmet—the helmet is broadcasting Foaly's
voice telling her to take cover because they're sending in a troll.
Artemis keeps annoying Holly with his manners, so she(justifiably) punches him in the face.
Holly gets on the radio to Foaly and gets briefed on thesituation with the troll—she can see on Artemis's monitors that the troll's
cage is being wheeled up to the door at the same time that Butler, carrying a
loopy Juliet, is crossing in that direction.
Holly nabs a set of Hummingbird wings and her Neutrino 2000,and tells Artemis to stay exactly where he is.
Cudgeon and the sprites blow up the Manor door—enter thetroll.
We jump backward a few minutes to that moment right afterButler bursts out of the surveillance room and runs to rescue Juliet. Family
first, even if that means leaving Artemis unprotected.
Butler manages to drag Juliet away from her imaginedwall-sized television filled with wrestling, and heads out to the lobby just in
time to hear Artemis telling him to take cover.
Butler stashes Juliet behind a suit of medieval armor andwaits for whatever is approaching the building. He stays there to protect her
even though his training tells him to search for higher ground and get out.
Butler sees the troll and immediately recognizes a primalanimal, which gives him the first tinge of fear we've seen him have this entire
The troll senses their presence and leaps across the hall, soButler shoots it a bunch of times, but to no effect.
The troll viciously guts Butler and throws his broken bodyacross the room.
We learn that Holly has been watching this all go down, and insome strange bout of ethics she dives in to save Juliet after Butler gets
Holly tries to blast the troll with some sonic waves but can'ttell if it works because the troll just gets mad.
With no other option than direct contact, Holly hits the trollin the face with her boots, gets nabbed, and is about to become food.
She hears Foaly's voice yelling in her ear to turn on thetunnel lights again, but nothing happens when she tries. Holly figures out that
she picked up one of the helmets that Artemis had ripped open for parts, and
Root and Foaly pretty much just know that she's going to die.
Holly gets angry and headbutts the troll for good measure,which of course makes her high beams flicker on, blinding the troll.
Holly ends up tossed over where Butler is and is passing outwhen her arm lands on Butler's near-lifeless body and her magic takes effect.
Butler wakes up abruptly as he's healing, and decides to tryhis luck with the troll again. Crazy.
Root and Foaly lose visuals when Holly goes down, and theirscreen comes back up on Butler, strapping on the medieval armor. They can't
really believe what they're seeing as Butler fights a troll with a mace.
Butler, having learned his lesson, slowly and methodicallyattacks the troll until Holly, finally waking up from the magical healing, asks
him to withhold the killing shot. Because Butler is all about honor and he does
owe Holly his life, he lets the troll be.
The troll's unconscious body is launched out of Fowl Manor,and even Root and Foaly are impressed.