Hey there, I'm actually writing this a while after writing chapter 13. I decided to come back and fix a few typos. Just for the record, it gets better the farther you read, so try to make it to around chapter 6 at least if you can. Thanks for reading my debut fic!

Prologue

Hook Head, Several Days Ago

Opal Koboi was still for a few moments, mentally checking her faculties. Nothing was broken, thanks to that suit. Holly's suit, made by Foaly. The irony rankled her. Presumably the human, Artemis, had survived the blast; surely, having shot the kraken himself, he would have had a plan for survival. Once she got out, he would pay. Him, and that elf Holly, obviously Foaly, Fowl's bodyguard, that little dwarf, and possibly Trouble and the Brill brothers, just for good measure.

Still frozen in the pile of rubble that had buried her after Fowl shot the kraken, she vaguely considered where the Brill brothers were now. After all, she was eight years ahead of her own time, and had no idea what had occurred during that time. Disconcertingly, Fowl and the others were still alive, which meant either that she had made it back to her own time, but failed to annihilate them, or worse, she was to be defeated when she was and imprisoned. She wondered offhandedly what would happen if she didn't make it back to her own time. Would another Opal take her place? Surely not, how many times could nature create a creature of such beauty? Or would the time paradox become reality?

She tried to reach down to key this suggestion into her wrist computer, and when her arm didn't move, she was jolted back instantly to the problem at hand. She was trapped, presumably with the future LEP after her, and who knew what new gadgets that idiotic centaur had dreamt up in most of a decade? The only weapons she had were the suit and helmet, which was running out of oxygen at an alarming rate. First of all, the helmet was most likely being tracked, so whatever her plan evolved to be, she wouldn't be able to take it with her.

Opal spent several minutes considering and rejecting various schemes, before realizing that her magic and science wouldn't be much help to her now. Blinking her eyes and twitching her fingers, she set the scaled suit to be completely flat, slightly limiting her range of motion but making her almost completely frictionless. Keeping the helmet on, she slowly wormed and wiggled her way upward. The air in the helmet began to smell more and more like methane, and her foot was cramping, but she persevered until at last a ray of moonlight filtered through the helmet's visor. She wiggled like a fish out of water until she was completely freed from her subterranean prison. At the last moment, she remembered the helmet she was wearing. Ruefully yanking it off of her luscious locks, she jammed it back down the tunnel she had created and then collapsed the unstable soil and rock over it. No need to make thing any easier for the LEP.

With a few more blinks and finger twitches, wings emerged from the recessed grooves in the back of the suit. She found herself ruefully admiring the efficiency of Foaly's work. She, of course, could design a far better suit if she so chose, though, she told herself. Which was fortunate, because the centaur would be dead within a week, the pixie told herself. Him and all of his friends.

And with that thought, she soared into the air, calling up the People's news mainframe on her wrist computer even as she left the ground. Soon, she had been brought up to speed on all that had happened in the last eight years. She did not like what she read. Scrolling through the archives, she read about her failed alliance with Cudgeon and the goblins. A tear for her own genius came into her eye as she read about the Zito probe, which quickly turned into a tear of rage as she read about how Holly, Artemis, Butler, and Mulch had thwarted her. At least she'd killed Julius. That little bit of information gave her no end of pleasure. Julius had been the one who had convinced the Council to force her to give up all of the lemur brain fluid that she had stockpiled. If not for him, she would be truly all-powerful. But she'd gotten him eventually, of course. Smiling again as she read about the trap she'd set for Holly and Root, she rocketed toward Dublin. She had no plan yet, but she had a feeling that when she did, this was where it would begin.

Finished with the LEP site, she navigated to her own encrypted diary, expecting to find some more accurate details of the events. She was even more delighted but what she found instead. An entry had been keyed in the previous day. Delightedly, she cracked her own code, and read the message from her current self. Her pretty face contorted with fury as she found out that she was in jail. Her. Opal Koboi, in a common prison. Well, that would not do at all. Changing course, the pixie flew toward Atlantis instead, shielding her suit's signature as she went. She heard its tiny hum die as it stopped broadcasting. Now she had a plan.