Disclaimer: I don't own Artemis Fowl sob

Chapter 1: Blame Game

Four fifty-seven on the moonometer and Foaly just had his 38th argument, and counting, for the day with Sool. Not to mention that it just wasn't as fun as it was with Julius. At least he laughed every once in a while, or had a telltale twinkle in his eye that said he agreed. And put up a good argument about good-old fashion stuff, like knickerbockers. (well, they really weren't that good, but when you think of someone close to you that died, you tend to think better of him) He sighed and took a big gulp of his carrot juice. He typed half-heartedly for a few minutes then stopped. Then he did something so conformist, it was scary.

Foaly switched on a television screen.

"Helloooooo Haven Lower Elements Police. This is LEP Entertainment and Relaxation's 5 o'clock show, Blame Game. I'm your host, Lily Frond," said the TV.

"Oh. Dear. Frond. Not again," Foaly thought aloud. As of recent, the heads of the Lower Elements Police in Haven's city council decided to become "more" understanding of the officers. There was too much time spent arguing. They knew how much work they had to endure and decided to let them watch TV, with one condition. The only channel available would be LEP Entertainment and Relaxation Television, in short, LEPER TV. There were plenty of shows, but the saying quality not quantity comes to mind when watching them. It was strange, really. No matter how stupid and pointless the shows were, the officers could not help but watch them. The arguing did decrease. Now, time was wasted talking about the shows and complaining about them. There were two officers who enjoyed them; one was Grub Kelp, but everyone thought that his opinion was worth as much as a stink worm in the Arctic, and Lily Frond, who was almost in all of the shows as the hostess. She wanted the extra pay and the chance of becoming a star.

The TV continued, "Today's topic is-"

Foaly was just about to change the channel, he had modified his channel box (being the ingenious genius he was) to have multiple channels besides LEPER, including Mud Man cable, when he heard the next six words.

"…the death of Commander Julius Root."

His ears pricked as he heard his late companion's name. This should be interesting, Foaly thought to himself. He sat himself back down on his swivel chair.

TV, "Remember Folks, the point of Blame Game is to find the source of blame. It's not really a game, but it sure is fun. Lily has an overenthusiastic smile that said, 'I'm only doing this for the extra income.' The first list is the "It's your own fault" list. Was it perhaps that Julius Root was responsible for his own demise? His passion for crime fighting led him to his own death. He had been through several near-death adventures, a few of which have been due to that particular Mud Boy, (this Lily said with a vehemence, as instructed by the directors,) Artemis Fowl.

Roars could be heard down the halls and Foaly winced at this. He was still unsure if he was friends with the Fowl boy, but he had gone on the straight and narrow, for the most part and Artemis had helped in the capture of Opal Koboi. Too bad not everyone knew what really happened.

"We'd like to blame Artemis, as well, but most of his information is Top Secret. But what we can discuss is that he's a Mud Boy who is escorted everywhere with a giant Mud Man called Butler. And here's also a warning, don't never EVER go near Fowl Manor. This Lily said with a horrendous impression of some elfin actress on some sitcom and was wagging her finger vigorously. "

Foaly chuckled, remembering Butler taking on a full LEP Retrieval squad and winning, leaving only Grub conscious, but only to act as messenger.

"Also, had he not died from a bomb, would he not have popped off from a heart attack? He was got so red some times and steamed up so easily, Commander might have died from stress," the TV went on.

Foaly stopped chuckling and frowned. Although true, the script-writers put this so coarsely, Julius would have turned in his grave, had his body not been recycled and used to nourish the earth.

"Now for the Reprobate Roster. As Julius Root was a commanding officer, he obviously dealt with a lot of criminals. Here's an image of one now. There is a large projection of a certain dwarf with his back facing the camera but his neck turned so you could just make out his face. His bum flap is opened but the exposed rear end is pixilated to save People from getting scarred for life, unlike the editors of the show."

"Where in Haven do they find these pictures!" Foaly thought outloud and guffawed. He laughed even harder when he realized that Mulch could be watching the show, as well. Foaly had wired a cable box in Mulch and Holly's PI office as a request from Mulch. He heard from Foaly talking to Holly about LEPER. Mulch was sure that he'd be included in some of the shows, the notorious kleptomaniac that he was. Mulch had taken a strange addiction to some of the shows and Foaly remembered Blame Game being one of them. They had done a whole segment on LEP malfunctions blaming (and making fun of) Foaly and using Mulch as an example. That killed two stinkworms with one stone for the dwarf. The picture that the television screen now showed would probably change that short scapegrace's opinion of the show.

"This dwarf is Mulch Diggums. He is well-known for being a kleptomaniac on the surface world, was responsible for the Oscars heists, among several things. Diggums is out free because the warrants for his belongings were all mysteriously done a day early (this she said dramatically). This slightly falls with the first list in that it was criminal scum like Diggums that drove Julius more nonexistent grave turning; only select People where allowed to call him by his first name to do his job.

"And now for the, It looked like it was your fault, Holly Short!" TV Lily introduced as if she were the host of a game show. What followed was a series of pictures of Holly. Like Hindenburg, her banging the bed while being held captive, and of course, shooting the late Julius Root. Foaly just shook his head and thought, these pictures are so one-sided. "Holly Short was the first, and so far last, female in Recon."

After this statement, Foaly could have sworn he heard Chix Verbil sigh in one of the surveillance cams he had stationed throughout LEP offices.

"Former Captain Short was actually caught on tape, delivering the final shot that killed the late Commander. Here is a short clip. View discretion is advised."

The infamous video played a three foot fairy shooting a burly gnome followed immediately by an explosion coming from Root's chest.

"See, now doesn't that look awfully suspicious?" Opal asked in a sickeningly cute voice, "That right there is why Holly Short holds part of the blame. After the Opal scandal, she resigned. She claimed that she wouldn't be able to work under the conditions Sool wanted. Who knows, maybe she would have been tempted to shoot another commanding officer," she said with a shrug.

And now for a commercial break," the TV finished this last sentence as Foaly's telecommunicator buzzed.

Foaly, Holly and Mulch each got one so that they could talk to each other whenever. It was supposed to be for if Holly and or Mulch needed help on a case or if Foaly had developed something new for them to use. What they were actually used for were when either Mulch or Holly was getting on each other's nerves from being together for a long time, when they came across something funny, or if they were just plain bored. Foaly also used the last two reasons himself. These little gadgets, however, where kept secret from Sool who'd probably blow a gasket and more if he found out. He definitely did not want Foaly working with "those things." Foaly, of course, was upset when he heard Sool refer to his friends as if they were lifeless objects. He had no right to call them that and Foaly told Sool so. Sool promptly asked him if he'd like to quit and then join his buddies in with their PI agency. Foaly then said no, with a grinning Sool walking away. Foaly honestly would have liked to, but it would be completely illogical to go from a not-high-enough paying job to a when-are-they-ever-going-to-pay-me job.

Foaly decided to let it ring; the humming of all of his equipment didn't exactly have a beat to dance to. Besides, the ringtones were the main reason that Foaly, Holly, and Mulch bought those particular telecommunicators, but not for the same reason as most of Haven's teens. The only ringtones were Mud Men and only the caller could choose what the ringtone would be. It turned out that it wasn't a very popular idea amongst the teen population of the People and therefore became the cheapest model available. Luckily, it came with all the standard features; live video, camera, recorder, email, online library, and moonometer. There was much more of course, not to mention Foaly's "tweaking" that followed after purchase.

The theme from the surface world's TV show "Cops" indicated that it was Mulch who was calling. Foaly paused and listened until the first chorus with "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you…"

"Hullo, Mulch," Foaly greeted.

"Pony boy," Mulch returned, grinning.

"D'Arvit! What did I say about you calling me that!" the centaur protested, obviously P.O.-ed.

"Calm down. No need to get into a hissy fit," Mulch said with his hands up for surrender.

"Dang reprobates, never have any respect," Foaly grumbled, then he remembered and smiled. "Are you watching 'Blame Game' right now?"

"Yes. And quite the flattering picture. Too bad only LEP and our PI office get this channel. Otherwise, I'd have female dwarfs hanging on my every word," Mulch replied.

Foaly clacked. Only Mulch would think so, he thought. He decided to change the subject, since he was losing the battle. "Hey, you look different today. More, uhm..."

"Clean? Yeah. Holly's in one of her 'moods'," the dwarf said rolling his eyes and using air quotes.

"Really? Which one? The time of the month, or the mourning for Root," Foaly asked opening his desk drawer.

"The "you-better-be-nice-but-act-like-your-old-self-or-I'll-shoot-you-with-my-brand-new-Neutrino-that-my-stupid-centaur-friend-made-especially-for-me" one. You just HAD to give her a new gun," Mulch accused.

"Who better than the best sharp shooter there is to try out my new contraptions? So it's the latter, huh?" Foaly assessed, pulling out a shiny new foil cap, just in case Holly called. When either Mulch or Holly called, the other one would inevitably call up after. They only had each other to gripe to.

He had stopped wearing his foil cap since the incident with Opal and the B'wa Kell. But lately, Mulch and Foaly's behaviors have been based on Holly's mood. It helped sooth her and to act as if things were the same, more or less, before Root died. It was a joke at first, wearing that ridiculous bonnet of tin again. But the way it made Holly so happy…

X.x.X.x.X.x

(flashback)

Holly's in tears once more, sobbing on Foaly's shoulder. Before, when she had a problem, she went to Trouble for help. They had more things in common than she with Foaly; they were both elves, Recon jocks, and went outside the LEP building during missions. But Foaly was closer to her former Commander, and she no longer worked with the Lower Elements Police.

They were in a café in the outskirts of Haven. Foaly was on a lunch break, and however short it was, any excursion away from Sool was worth it. Root had perished almost a month ago, and Holly was still grief stricken. She had barely eaten anything.

"At least take some home with you," Foaly chided. "Otherwise, you'd die of starvation and I'd be left to talk only with a flatulent dwarf and a couple of Mud Men."

The clinking normally heard in such a diner stopped and everyone turned their heads to face the fairy that said "Mud Men." It was as if he had said an extremely rude expletive. After the Opal Koboi scandal, as it was called on the news, the level of paranoia of the People had reached Foaly's. Of course, it was only if you added up every single individual's, but that still was quite a bit of paranoia.

Foaly lamely tried to make up an excuse, "I was just talking to my friend here about this horror movie…"

Immediately, the chatter started up again. Civilians, excluding myself, he thought, are soo gullible.

A small smile struggled to appear on his elfin friend's face, but didn't make it. The centaur turned around looking for the waitress who had served them. He cleared his throat.

"Excuse me. Miss?" The sprite fluttered to him slowly. "I'll need a doggie bag, but with extra foil, please."

Their waitress nodded and went to fetch the things asked of her. "Here ya go," she said as she handed him the tin sheets and container, and then left to get his bill ready. Foaly took the foil put it under the table, shaping something. These actions finally caught the attention of Holly, who had been brooding. She raised an eyebrow, amused.

"What are you…" she started but then was hushed by Foaly. He acted as if he was a wizard and was about to perform some extraordinary feat.

When the product was complete he gingerly placed it on his head as if it were a crown that he yearned to wear but was long denied. Then, Holly laughed. It was silvery and melodic. And not forced. That was the ticket that Foaly was looking for. He gave an inner sigh of relief. Then with a smug look, and pretending to not notice the stares that came his way once more, he offered his arm to Holly and escorted her outside of the diner to her PI office. But right after he exited, he rushed back in to pay the bill. They laughed all the way, and when Foaly got back to LEP HQ, even Sool couldn't damper his mood.

X.x.X.x.X.x

(back to the present)

Mulch grinned as he saw Foaly take out the foil article.

"Oh and a heads up to you," Mulch said

"Whaa.." Foaly asked.

Mulch cut in, "Holly made a new one for. It's gold. Fake, else I'd have pocketed it by now. It's made from…"

"Chocolate wrappers." It was Foaly's turn to interrupt.

"Wise guy. How'd you guess?" the dwarf asked.

"Just lucky," Foaly lied.

X.x.X.x

In truth, Foaly himself had delivered them to Holly, and chocolates were hard to come by in Haven, at least the good ones from the surface were. Trouble had handed him a packet marked 'for Holly' and winked. It was his way of getting back at Sool for not allowing Holly to attend Julius Root's recycling ceremony.

"I heard somewhere that this stuff helps moody females," was all that Trouble had said, not wanting to get caught trafficking illegal substances. Sool was known to spy on his officers. Not very father-like compared to Julius. Root trusted his officers.

Foaly's reply was that it was just an old gnommish wife's tale, but he accepted the brown papered package nonetheless.

Sool then walked by, scratching his head and then murmured something about thinking that a certain centaur could never get a girlfriend let alone a mate, and wondering when Trouble had time to get a hold of over-the-counter anti-depressants. He distinctly remembered sending him off to arrest a chocolate smuggler and him coming back empty, save the smuggler, of course…

As soon as Sool was out of range, they let out a sigh, and Trouble proceeded to laugh as Foaly snorted with indignation.

"How did he not notice to whom it's addressed…?" Foaly wondered aloud.

"Too oblivious, I think," Trouble tutted.

And the chocolates worked. Until they ran out, that is. Then Foaly and Mulch were back to square one.

X.x.X.x.

"Riiiiight," Mulch said, not believing a word. But as a 'former' criminal, he knew the importance of not knowing certain things. "So. With the gun problem. Can you put some kind of lock on it or something. I wouldn't want to get my butt burned."

"Sure. But do you know how hard that it is? Considering how far you guys are from here and…" Foaly began as he started typing in the controls then stopped. "Hey! D'arvit! That was a blatant reference to my…" He faded, frowned, then terminated the link as the dwarf laughed. It was just in time, too. The rest of Blame Game was about to go on.

"D'arvit. Damned dwarf," Foaly muttered as he checked his rear. "You could barely tell if you looked," Foaly said aloud, trying to console himself. Then he turned his attention back to the TV screen.

And his pride was hurt even further.

TV, "Welcome back, to the Blame Game, where we blame a whole mess of People, probably including you! (then Lily spoke really fast) Disclaimer: this show is not liable to offense taken by any Persons and what we broadcast maybe false." Then under her breath, although every heard her because of her mike, "Why the hell do we do our disclaimer in the middle of the show…" Then someone offscreen, presumably the director said in a not so hushed voice, "Hey, the camera's still rolling, keep to the script!"

TV Lily rolled her eyes but obeyed. "The next victim she winks as if she was the cleverest fairy under the world for coming up with that, like it says to on the stupid script is Foaly! Hey, how come he only has ONE name! What's his last or first one? Or is that a middle name?"

Foaly reminisced for a moment about his first records changing at LEP.

The director then began roll on the floor in fetal position, "Script, script! Why can't the bimbo stick to the frikkin' script. Not like she's even real actress."

The bimbo, err-, Lily then gave the director an evil eye and thought about also giving him an unpleasant hand gesture well-known to the common Mud Man, but she decided not to stoop so low and possibly lose her chance to be on camera.

"Anyways. Back to how this can be Foaly's fault. We came up with several reasons, actually…"

"They probably won't even make sense," Foaly neighed to no one in particular.

"…one of them being, that the centaur was plainly not smart enough…"

"Wh-what!" Foaly spurted out angrily. Murmurs could be heard throughout the LEP offices. Everyone at LEP knew that they'd be practically nothing without the extremely intelligent centaur. It was his inventions that were keeping the People safe for one thing.

Foaly continued to watch with a frown on his face.

"…Indeed, if Foaly were perhaps a tad cleverer, maybe Opal wouldn't have been able to outsmart his technology. That video we previously showed is proof. Why is there no sound? Hmmm?"

"Why is there no funding?" Foaly retorted to the screen.

"Another reason to blame Foaly would be that maybe he was too smart."

"…What under the earth…?" Foaly was officially annoyed at the wishy-washiness of the hostess.

"If Foaly wasn't so smart, Opal wouldn't have been so competitive at trying to beat Foaly in the first place. Foaly had won the science medal at the university they attended for his iris cam. Opal thought her wing design was way better and that he only won because he was male.

"Our next subject is Opal Koboi herself. Center of the O.K. Scandal, mastermind, and insane former pixie, Opal was the Person who probably has the most blame for Root's untimely death. At least it is according to Holly Short, whose credibility is shot. According to her, Opal tricked them.

"And now for the last person on our list…

"What! She IS the one to blame for Julius' death. And she only gets what, four sentences?" Foaly was then whinnying angrily.

"…Is Opal's father. If Mr. Koboi was a tad more subtle about wanting a boy instead of a girl, Opal might not have turned out the way she was. To drag it even further, if Mr. Koboi had used, ahem, protection, he wouldn't have fathered a child at all. So, to make a long story short, Commander Julius Root died because of a lack of protection."

The end credits began to roll, too fast for any normal Person to read because no one really cared for them anyway. Foaly just sat with his mouth agape. That was it. I wasted 30 minutes watching this piece of-

Suddenly, there was a hiss from his pneumatic doors. Sool came in, apparently for round 39 of their argument. Even though he lost the past thirty-eight disputes, he came in unphased. It was time for Foaly to teach him a lesson. This oughta be fun.

And then of course, his telecommunicator rang.

E.n.d.C.h.

A/N: OK, I started this a LONG time ago and just recently picked it up again. I wrote with the purpose of trying to tie up some loose knots, but I think I lost my focus.

Also, I realize that there are probably way too many flashbacks, but I decided to keep them anyway.

There should be a continuation, but I can't make any promises because of school. And writer's block. And all the other usual excuses.