Artemis stared at the screen. It was blank now. He'd viewed every single file on the microdisk, hoping at eventually one of them would spark off some memories, but he'd hoped in vain.

He'd known, when he finished watching the video that he sent to himself, whatever memories he was trying to uncover were gone for good. If the one and only person in the world that he trusted completely (himself) had been unable to convince his subconscience that his old memories were in fact real, then there really was no hope anymore. Looking at all the files had been more of an attempt to familiarize himself with his situation than a last resort to gain back his memories.

This is complicated beyond belief, thought Artemis. He closed his eyes and rubbed his temples gingerly with his fingertips. Ridiculous, really. Maybe I really am going insane. Yet somehow insanity was harder to believe in than fairies. After all, he trusted himself, and his mind was the one thing that had never let him down.

"So my memories aren't coming back," whispered Artemis with a weary sigh. "But I am in a better position now than I was before. I have knowledge now." The files on the microdisk had proved invaluable. A goldmine of information as it were. He was armed now. He knew the rules of the game, thus he could develop a strategy to save his life and the life of his friends.


The concept was still a hard one for Artemis Fowl to understand and it occurred to him as he was mulling it over, that the people he was thinking of as his friends actually weren't his friends. They were the friends of the Artemis who had risked everything to save them during the B'wa Kell uprising. The Artemis who'd given up half a ton of gold in exchange for his mother's sanity and who had been willing to do whatever it took to save his father's life. That Artemis was the one who'd saved Captain Short's career after her trigger finger was severed and who concocted a scheme worthy of a mad scientist to save Butler's life. But unfortunately for those friends, that Artemis was dead.

It was true that the body Artemis occupied was the one that had done all those things, but that personality had been deleted right along with those memories. He wasn't the Artemis that they needed him to be. He was merely a watered down forgery.

Artemis sighed again and buried his head in his hands as an idea occurred to him. Forgery was his specialty after all.

Right now his friends, or rather the people who thought he was their friend, needed the original him. Or at least they thought they needed the original Artemis, and maybe they did, but any chances of getting him back were gone now. Ironic that they were the ones who'd destroyed him, but there was no help for it now. They would have to make due with the counterfeit him. He couldn't be the person they wanted him to be but he could pretend that he was.

Honestly the idea of faking this made him sick. He wondered if he could really pull it off. Could he lie to Butler, the closest thing he (the current he that is) had to a friend and the person who knew him better than anyone alive? Could he stare into Holly Short's huge hazel eyes and convince her that she was the friend she remembered him being? Somehow pretending to be the person who they genuinely cared about seemed even worse than thievery or extortion, even though he'd be doing this for their own sakes.

More than that, he'd failed once before, which was troublesome. Captain Short had seen through his lies on top of the Temple of Artemis. She knew him better than he'd anticipated. If he wanted this charade to work he couldn't make a mistake like that again.

"I can do this," Artemis whispered. He steeled himself and took a deep breath. Then he opened the door and stepped outside, ready to pull off the worst scam of his life.

Well, what do you think? Please review and let me know. If people like this story, I'll keep on writing. If not then I shall, to borrow a phrase from the books that we all love, move on to more tasteful ventures.