Disclaimer: Commander Julius Root and all his officers belong to Eoin Colfer but Captain Julius Root and all his problems belong to wittle ol' me.
Author's Note: This is a story which is all about Root having a life and so it is Root-centered. This contains my reasonings as to why he is such a BBBEEEEEP when it comes to some things and why he's so … sentimental … when it comes to others. It is a ten part series which will probably end up being about 15000–18000 words long.
400 years ago
The soft pitter-patter of running feet was all that could be heard in downtown Haven. The feet were approaching the cargo shipping docks and if you were listening even harder you would be able to hear the mechanical buzz of the WingZipper prototype wings from far ahead. The invention of mechanical wings so that all fairies would be able to fly was a recent idea and actually inspired by some of the flying designs by the Mud Man called Leonardo DaVinci. It was amazing how a Mud Man could actually beat The People to anything but he had, and the runner was currently cursing this fact.
Each time Captain Julius Root's feet would hit the ground the impact was vibrating in the most annoying manner up and up, from the toes of his fancy LEPrecon boots to the very tips of his ears. The uniform tri-point hat he was supposed to wear, with its leather belted strap, had fallen off when he had started the pursuit quite close to the town centre. The Council just couldn't see the reasons for changing the design of the LEPrecon uniforms because they thought that the green knickerbockers and little red vest with huge brass buttons was rather quaint. But they weren't the ones who had to run for streets in them. Nor were they the ones who had to make shoes for the Mud Men when they were discovered. Most LEP officers that Julius knew had abandoned that pretence years ago and just used a little mesmer instead. Bloody impracticality of the Council.
The crook he was currently pursuing was just a petty thief but Julius had been grounded for improper behaviour on a mission to capture some Witchers. He was gaining on the fairy because the wings were starting to fail on him and if Julius was to fire at the wings now he could bring the crim' down, literally. He slowly dislodged his pistol (another Mud Man inspiration) and brought it to aim while still running. The airborne fairy stalled again and dropped a few feet and just as he was steadying himself again, Julius fired. The iron pellet punctured the right wing at the junction and the fairy dropped like a stone onto the hard ground below the docks.
Julius climbed down with the ease and grace that most young elves didn't have and sedately walked up to the fallen thief. He was on his backside and trying desperately to start his wings again as he slowly backed away from the advancing, admittedly badly dressed, LEP officer.
"You might have gone faster if you weren't being weighted down by such unnecessary items … such as priceless jewels. They really won't do you much good at Howler's."
"H-Howler's … P-P-Peak?"
"Yes, I'm sorry, but that's the only place with beds available. It is in share accommodation with a female Goblin and her cubs but you should be alright. If you'd like to stand up, put your hands behind your back for the shackles and hand over your loot we will be right on our way."
The prospective prisoner sat very still and glared at Julius who definitely didn't like his manner.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. LEP Captain Julius Root, your arresting officer. Get up. Now!"
The thief jumped to his feet and a heavy gold broche feel from his knap-sack. Julius stooped to pick it up and smiled at the fairy in a truly disconcerting manner. The man held his hands out for the shackles and Julius obliged with an accompanying bombardment of friendly banter all the way to the station.
Commander Root pulled a small, framed sketch from behind his bottle of Whisky in the bottom right-hand drawer of his desk. It was a small and insignificant type of drawing - the kind you might get for a few bucks in China-Town. The paper - the parchment, for that is what it was - had crinkled at the edges and in the lower corner the small elfish girl with fabric play wings on her shoulders was smudged slightly because the charcoal hadn't been able to withstand the ages. Root gently rubbed his thumb over the glass and frowned hard, creasing all the lines in his face to twice their usual depth. Why on earth does the world have to work the way it does?
Corporal Lili Frond cleared her throat at the doorway and Root jumped halfway out of his seat. He came back down and leant forward to replace the frame in the drawer, causing the bottle to clink invitingly.
"Um…Sir?" The Commander gave a weary nod. "I just wanted to ask if you … um … would like anything to eat. It's way past lunchtime and we thought you might need to have something to eat."
"Me, Captain Kelp and Corporal Kelp, Captain Vein, Captain Shor…"
"I'm fine. I don't need anything." He said, turning his back on the Corporal.
"But Sir, we know you haven't eaten anything today. We're just worried about you."
"Well, don't be! Dismissed, Corporal."
Lili scampered from the office where the air-conditioning must have been stuck on 'Arctic'. It wasn't worth it.