In the first Artemis Fowl novel, earlyish in the novel Artemis uses fairy law to prevent Holly from leaving the house.

'We are both fully aware of the rules here, Captain. This is my house. You must abide by my wishes. Your laws, not mine. Obviously my wishes do not include bodily harm to myself, or you attempting to leave this house.'

Later, Holly says to Mulch.

'I can't. I'm under eyeball orders not to leave the house.'

What do eyeball orders mean? It couldn't mean eyecontact (al la mesmer) because artemis was wearing glasses when he gave the instruction so why are the constraints by host on fairy called an eyeball order?

1 Answer 1


Eyeball orders, otherwise known as 'eyeball-to-eyeball orders' in military parlance, are those that have been given directly by the commander to the individual being ordered (e.g. while they're looking directly at you to ensure that understanding has occurred), with the implication that there's no scope for creative misinterpretation.

For example, instead of saying "Defend along this line,” I prefer to elaborate with, "Do not allow the enemy to get south of this line with anything larger than a com- pany, and do not allow direct fire on this road. You may give ground to the south of this mountain temporarily, but you must eject any force that gets there.” The two missions that require the most lengthy explanations are "delay” and "screen.” Those jobs are very hard to do under the best of circumstances, and they become impossible if the doer does not grasp what is demanded of him.

Along with a careful description of what is desired, there should be an explanation of why. Only through an awareness of what the boss is trying to accomplish can subordinates make intelligent decisions that will support the purpose.

Eyeball-to-eyeball orders provide a chance to sense if intentions are fully understood. Accomplishing this well forward in the area of operation also gives an opportunity for commanders to see the ground together and to share views and firsthand knowledge. That becomes especially important in the attack.

Quarterly Review of Military Literature, Volume 62, Issue 7

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