Hello lovely people! I'm back! *large collective groan* Didn't I say I would be! *emphatic nods* Anyway, I hope all you screaming fans of SB and lovely new people *big wave* hi! are well. If, after reading this fic, you find yourself not, I claim no responsibility… ;)
DISCLAIMER:All right then, we're going to do this once and only once 'cos I'm a lazy bitch. I do not own any Artemis Fowl related indica and Eoin Colfer does and I hate him for it. I own any little original and insignificant characters you see, which you are welcome to use (as if you would want to) provided you say they're mine. Not that I'm in any way possessive. I also don't really own the general plot idea… I got the original plot idea from an episode of Charmed a while ago which had people struck by the sins… I just remember Piper was greed, Phoebe was lust, Prue was pride and Leo was sloth. So yeah, the Charmed people kinda own that. And although I had the idea way before it was posted, a fic was posted a while ago about the sins where one AF character was each assigned a sin. Can't remember who wrote it but I have a feeling it was one of the Criminality lot. So anyway, I do know this other fic exists, I am not copying (people always seem to be stealing the ideas straight from my head…) and yada yada yada, please don't sue. That was the one and only disclaimer! *thank God the readers cry* Glad we did that. Feel we all benefited. ;) *silly giggles*
A/N:I'll shut up in a minute, honest. Anyway, this fic is quite simple really. It will have a prologue, a chapter each sin, then an epilogue. *happy sigh* nice and simple. Artemis will not be in it, though there is a faint possibility he will be mentioned, and there will be NO PAIRINGS. Except, that it, for those which occur under the influence of magic… *cackle* which will be one sided. Anyway, hope you like it. And if you just read all that crap, I highly commend you. You have a will of steel.
This is dedicated to my wonderful beta, who is fantastically generously proof-reading this fic for me, even after the year-long slog that was Strictly Ballroom. Love ya Mei.
Another gaggle of protesters appeared to have collected outside Police Plaza as Captain Holly Short forged her way through the maddening crowd. She'd almost reached the first step up to the marble entrance when a pair of hands wrapped themselves around her arm, pulling her back. Wrenching herself free, Captain Short spun to face her assaulter.
A pasty-faced gremlin with a wickedly pointed nose and slitted eyes stared arrogantly up at her. Holly ground her teeth, forcing herself to be polite. LEP policy. Suck up to the civilians.
"Yes sir? Can I help you?" She almost spat the words, her mouth twisting into a deformed smile. The gremlin didn't seem to notice her lack of authenticity.
"I want to know when your department will be releasing the East Bank warlocks. You have no grounds on which to hold them, it's a violation of their civil rights!" His voice was high and nasal and it corkscrewed right into the centre of Holly's brain, making her head ache dully.
Captain Short laughed. "No grounds on which to hold them?" She snorted. "So what would you call sixteen eyewitnesses, including, might I add, fifteen humans, a mangled strip of motorway and three guilty-looking, wand-bearing warlocks then?
The gremlin looked slightly taken aback. "That still doesn't answer my question."
Holly abandoned all attempts at good behaviour, settling instead for the time-honoured blunt approach. "They will be released when either Commander Root or myself feel like releasing them. Now get out of my way or you can join them for obstructing an officer."
Needless to say, the gremlin got out of her way. Captain Short continued up the steps and had just reached the top when she heard someone muttering behind her. She was about to move on when she caught one of the words: Mimbowlus. A word solely used in the casting of hexes.
She whirled just in time to see a gremlin back disappearing hurriedly into the crowd. She thought about going after him, but decided against it. She was late enough as it was, and besides, she doubted the spell had worked. If she hadn't grown fur by now, chances were that she wasn't going to.
Removing her helmet, Holly skipped past Root's office and into her cubicle. A pile of brightly coloured memos lay neatly in her mail tray. She groaned. More mission reports she'd omitted to do earlier. Why was it that these things always came back to haunt her?
The videophone on her desk beeped and a small light next to 'Operations' began to flash gently. Holly sighed and picked up the vocal receiver. "Hello Foaly. What didn't I do?"
On the other end of the line, Foaly chuckled. "Plenty, I assure you. Are you using magic, Captain?"
Holly frowned. "No, I'm nearly out. That reminds me, I need to book a shuttle tonight, unless you've invented a way to complete the Ritual underground since I last saw you."
The centaur brayed. "I'm working on it. But we have a slightly more pressing problem. The tracer's showing up magical abnormalities on your person. Report to Ops immediately." The line went dead and Holly was leave wondering what under earth was going on.
Foaly was waiting for her at the door of the operations magical screening lab when she arrived. He led her into a booth and after shutting the door, appeared a moment later on the view screen before her.
Holly ground her teeth at the sight of his slightly smug expression. "Is this really necessary? It's probably just one of your precious computers malfunctioning again."
The techie switched his tail, but his face remained blank. "Better safe than sorry. Not a preferred philosophy with you recon jocks, naturally, but it works well enough for the rest of us."
"Yeah, yeah, Foaly, I get the picture. Are you going to scan me or not?"
Grinning, Foaly pushed a multitude of buttons and the booth filled with an eerie emerald light. Green sparks danced along Holly's form, teasing blue ones from beneath the skin, then sending them back again when sufficient information had been gathered. The feeling was not entirely unpleasant, though not comfortable either.
After at least ten minutes, the light finally faded from the enclosed space and Holly stepped stiffly from the cubicle. The centaur was consulting the on-screen read-out of the results collected from the scan as she came up behind him.
"So what's wrong with me?" she enquired, making him start. He quickly recovered.
"The sensors detected a hex of some kind, a very fresh one. The computer is searching for a match right now."
Holly helped herself to a seat. "D'Arvit." she muttered. "The little piece of troll snot's spell did work after all."
"I'm sorry, what was that?"
Holly related the events of her arrival and her encounter with the gremlin back to him.
Foaly winced. "We've got to teach you recon jocks some manners one of these days." The computer beeped suddenly and a message written in Centaurean flashed on the screen. The techie read it and turned pale.
"D'Arvit." he muttered, fingers flying over the keyboard, double-checking the result. Holly decided against beating the problem out of him, instead leaning on the console and settling to wait. The more time she spent in here, the less she spent on paperwork.
The search parameters confirmed the results. Running a hand through his curly hair, the centaur hit a button on his coms panel.
"Commander Root? It's Foaly. Can you come down to Ops? There's something you need to see." There was a pause. "Oh, it's good." He terminated the link.
Captain Short could only be patient so long. "Tell me, centaur, before I feed you your hooves."
He shook his head, infuriatingly smug grin back on his face. "Patience, Captain. Commander Root will be here soon."
Holly considered strangling him, but thought better of it. Instead, she contented herself with annoying him as much as possible. Feet on the console, fiddling with the controls, 'testing' gadgets, knocking over piles of disk. Foaly was about to throw her out when Commander Root arrived.
"This had better be important, centaur." He suddenly noticed Holly's presence. "What's going on?"
Foaly called up a window on the main screen. It was written in Gnommish this time. "This morning at about 9:07 the sensors detected magical abnormalities around Captain Short's person. I called it in, ran a scan and the results showed she'd been hexed, recently. We pinpointed the actual time of the incident to 9:03 this morning. The computer analysed the results and came up with this." He gestured to the screen. "The curse of the Seven Sins. The victim experiences each of the seven deadly sins each day for a week, starting the day after the hex is cast."
There was silence while this sank in. Holly was not looking in the least bit happy. "How do we cure it?"
Foaly grimaced. "That's the thing. We can't. It's like a virus; it has to run its course."
Holly rubbed her eyes. "Great. What are we up against then?"
The centaur settled comfortably into the explanation. "The Seven Deadly Sins are an old tradition, originally created by the People and later adopted by the Mudmen. They refer to the seven vices of society – greed, sloth, gluttony, avarice, lust, wrath and pride. They'll play out in that order. The first three shouldn't cause too much of a problem – they're not dangerous and people are unlikely to notice. Avarice, or common jealousy, could turn nasty but as long as we're careful you should be fine. It's the last two I'm worried about. Lust will be the most obvious to other people and the most humiliating, but – "
Holly held up a hand to stop him. "Hold it there, centaur. We are talking about blood-lust here, right?"
Foaly smirked. "'Fraid not, Captain. This is full-on, passionate, sexu – "
"We get the idea, pony-boy." Root interjected quickly. Captain Short looked very sick indeed.
"Anyway, as I was saying, it may be the worst for Holly, but it's not too dangerous." He sniggered. "Not dangerous, that is, unless she's into some seriously kinky – "
Holly gripped him expertly by the throat, pinning him to the wall. "You finish that sentence, centaur, and I swear to Frond I won't only feed you your hooves, but whatever you have for genitalia as well." She squeezed a little harder and Foaly's face took on hue to rival Commander Root in even his most foul moods. "Got it?" He nodded frantically and she released him.
He coughed delicately and straightened his uniform. "The next sin will be wrath." He shot a look at Holly. "As she's already proven, this one is the most obviously dangerous and she'll need to closely monitored throughout the day. That'll need to be the case for lust as well." He took a breath. "Now, the last sin, pride, has the potential to be the most or least harmful of the lot."
"Meaning this one alone affects different individuals in different ways. Someone with very little initial pride, for example, would be hugely affected while someone with an excess of pride would hardly be affected at all. That's the black and white of it though. There are thousands of exceptions. In fact, only about 3% of victims fall into those categories. So basically anything could happen."
Holly was understandably confused. "Why can't I just stay away for everyone on the bad days and come back to work when it's over?"
Foaly shook his head. "Nope. You were cursed on the threshold of this building so it is in this building that you must complete the curse."
"Poetic." muttered Root.
Holly ignored him. "D'Arvit. Can't you just lock me in a holding cell?"
"Too suspicious. Someone would find out what was going on and the knowledge could get into the hands of someone who could abuse it. We just need to act as normally as possible and hope for the best. You'll be suspended from active duty, obviously."
Holly rolled her eyes. "Well, thanks a lot, Foaly. That's a lot of help. Just promise me one thing."
"On the fifth day, whatever else happens… Keep me away from Chix Verbil."
*sigh* I hope you didn't hate it too much. Anyway, whatever you think of it, please review! *big cheesy grin* I will be ever so grateful and constructive criticism is welcomed. As to updating, I have already started writing the next chapter, but it's going to be a lot longer and the specific plot details are a bit hazy as yet, so it may take a while. However, I am about to be on Christmas holidays so I'll have more time then and I've also almost finished my GCSE mocks, so all that horrible stress is gone (for a few weeks anyway) so I will do my best. Hopefully it'll be up quite soon (though those who know me from SB know how soon 'soon' is… *dark look*) so anyway, yeah. I'll do my best. But this isn't a one-shot, it is gonna be finished (unless unforeseen circumstances smight me down) and I have a really good ending so I wanna get there.
REVIEW, MY DARLINGS, REVIEW!