Suddenly, the wall exploded.

Opal laughed shrilly, strutting like a cat from the debris. "I have you at last!" she cackled. "Soon you will both be dead and Haven will be mine!"

She looked around, her wicked black eyes gleaming with triumph. Then, confusion passed over her sharp features. There was no screaming, taunting, begging or pleading coming from her greatest archenemies, Artemis Fowl and Holly Short. In fact, the best word to describe them would be…bored.

"Well?" Opal barked. "Aren't you going to tell me how I'm a lunatic and how I'll never get away with this?"

Artemis sighed and put down the china teacup he had been stirring. He inclined his head for several moments, gathering his patience, then looked up. "Look, Opal," he said. "You have tried to take over the world, kill me, become all powerful and destroy fairykind in various combinations twenty-seven times now. You have broken out of Howler's Peak five times, although I wonder why they put you there, seeing as you are a pixie, not a goblin, increasingly higher security prisons an additional nine times, stolen some kind of 'doomsday device', so to speak, seventeen times and made attempts on the lives of each of my family no less than thrice each."

Opal blinked, stunned, but quickly regained composure. "You impudent little—" she began, her voice breaking through the octaves.

He ignored her, continuing. "You have schemed and plotted and connived and all yours plans became steadily more ridiculous—I personally thought the one with the coffee machine and electric eels was entirely too much–less likely to work while your body count remained at one the entire time. With each of these plans we have come up with even more unlikely ways to thwart them. I'm afraid we stopped taking you seriously after the—which time was it, Holly?"

The elf in question glanced up from her nails, which she had been examining in a deliberately preoccupied manner. "Hm? Oh, the eighth time. Shortly before you turned sixteen, remember?"

"Ah yes, the eighth time, thank you," said Artemis, nodding appreciatively. "Anyway, we both know what's going to happen next. I'm going to spend the next ten minutes engaged with witty banter with you while Holly here screams accusations of your insanity, at which point you will launch your final attack, which will be circumvented by some kind of magical loophole or previously unmentioned technological marvel. After that, you will escape, I will have some moral development, and in the epilogue there will be a plot twist that will somehow make your return possible once again."

"Yeah, Opal," Holly put in. "It was fun and all, but you're just not very fearsome anymore."

Opal sputtered, heat almost literally rising from the top of her head. "But—but I worked so hard!" she said, her voice cracking. "I tried and I tried and I tried and every single time it's you two messing everything up in the exact same way! It's not fair!" Her lower lipped trembled as her tiny hands curled into fists.

Artemis nodded again, sympathetic. "I know, I know. But it will never change, I fear. You are the villain, I am the protagonist, and Holly is my love interest. Your schemes are mostly just here so Holly and I can have character development as we repeatedly save each other's lives."

"Yeah," Holly said, shrugging. "Nothing personal, right?"

Opal just sniffled and put her arms around her torso.

"Listen," Artemis said reassuringly. "How about this? We both just leave and pretend you escaped as we reversed your plot yet again. In two months, launch another scheme—here, I even drew one up for you to save time—and Foaly can contact me with news of you then, and of course we'll have to start it all up again, but for now, we'll all just take a nice break. Have a beach trip or something. You've deserved it." He had, of course, after spending so much time in Holly's healing rays of joy, light and goodness, become completely reformed. He now donated to charities regularly, never lied, cheated or stole, and always did his best to be a productive member of society.

"Alright," Opal replied mournfully, sighing in defeat. "See you then."

"Right," Holly announced. "I have to make out with Artemis for a few minutes in front of a glorious sunset now. Goodbye." She grabbed Artemis's tie and pulled him toward the exit. "Come on, Mud Boy."

"Yes, dear," he said flatly, wondering when she had gotten so pushy after three years of marriage. "And don't tug so hard!"


Opal gazed acidly in their direction for several minutes and then went back to her stolen shuttle, muttering about unappreciative archenemies. She paused. "Alright," she said to herself. "Maybe the eels were a bit much."

Thousands of miles below the surface, the centaur Foaly watched. "Emotional creatures, elves," he said contemplatively.


Crapped this out shortly after encountering yet another 'Opal returns to take over the world' story. Surely they would have fallen into a pattern by then? Oh well, I suppose the damn things will always be around. If it weren't for parody I would have committed suicide years ago…