A/N : After reading and reviewing many AF fan fics, I am writing one of my own. I do not own Artemis Fowl. Please R and R.

Holly stared at Artemis. The vacant look in his mismatched eyes and the soundlessly moving lips were so unnerving to see on him. "Fowl! Are you with me?" She looked at him with a hard edge to her voice, trying to get his attention. "You need to focus so we can get back to Foaly and to safety, now!"

Earlier, as the fairy probe was bearing down on Artemis, Holly jumped from the roof of Great Skua and quickly excavated the centaur with her bare hands from his undignified head plant in the snow. Foaly righted himself, then reactivated his monocle which miraculously had stayed on his eye. "Why won't the probe respond?", he muttered, as he tried various command codes .

Artemis, meanwhile, was realizing that the probe may be real. "Death, four words, death", he said. Then, "Get hold of yourself, Fowl, don't let this beat you", he thought, struggling, fighting the delusions. Finally, with his last string of lucid thought, he yelled to the LEPRecon captain, "Holly, get to the Ice Cube, now and point it at the the probe's cone!". "Fifteen, good", he thought and succumbed back to delusions.

Holly, her military training kicking in, sped to the cube hoping the assertiveness in Artemis' voice had some genius behind it. Foaly thought a second, and then figured out Fowl's plan. "Yes, fire all the nano-wafers directly in front of the probes sensor array, which is in the cone. Do it quickly!"

Holly reached the Ice Cube, and directed the cannon-like muzzle at the probe's cone. The probe had slowed, almost hovering, seemingly stalking Artemis as he ran haphazardly away from it. Artemis had lost his last sense of reality and was pointing at the probe shaking his finger at it. Not noticing the teenager and concentrating on the work at hand, Holly peered just an instant at the wires and chips under the bowl of the device, finding a red button wired to what looked like a fairy-designed power source. The fleeting thought of anger at Artemis still using fairy technology was quickly forgotten at Foaly's cry. "Now or it's going to fire again!"

Looking up, Holly saw another orange bubble forming in front of the probe. She punched the button and grabbed the muzzle to ensure the aim and steady the machine. Rumbling into life, the machine hummed then suddenly emitted a shower of small, white wafers, creating a cloud of what looked like snow in front of the probe.

Suddenly, the probe began to behave erratically, pitching and yawing, right, left, up, down then backwards. "Keep the muzzle pointed at the cone!" shouted Foaly. Adjusting the aim, Holly kept the cloud of nano-wafers just in front of the probe's pointed front. The probe continued to jerk and stagger, like a drunken bird unaware of it's location. Suddenly, the orange plasma disappeared. Small doors along the side of the craft opened, extending antennae type devices, which looked rather antique, compared to the surrounding fairy technology. Once the antennae were fully extended, the probe's erratic motion stopped. The engines revved up, and the craft turned sharpley, lifting it's nose and roared away from the Great Skua and the trio of stranded compatriots.

"What the hell just happened" asked Holly, forgetting Artemis for the moment. Foaly took a breath, gathering himself. "The nano wafers were designed to reflect sunlight." replied Foaly. "Those same characteristics, made them perfect for reflecting the probe's sensor signals. By shooting them into the path of those signals, right at the array from which the were emitted, the probe was blinded. It only escaped, because I designed a back-up system of mud-man level radar sensors. While primitive, they give the probe just enough information to navigate and escape. That design did work brilliantly".

Holly was unimpressed. "That's the only thing that worked right, unfortunately". Foaly wasn't listening, "I got hand it to mud-boy, he thought of the solution to get us out of this mess". Holly started, "Where is Artemis?" and immediately began a search.

She quickly located the wayward genius through the infrared filter in her helmet visor. His warm body stuck out like a beacon against the cold, snowy background. Bringing him back to relative safety and conducting a rational conversation, was another matter, entirely. Activating the wings in her shimmer suit, the LEPRecon captain caught up to Fowl in under a minute. When she landed in front of the running boy, he stopped for a moment. "This is all just a figment of my overworked imagination, he said, pausing, then smiling satisfactorily at the 10 word sentence. "You are not really here. As soon as I get away from this icy place, all things will be normal." He began running again, in no certain direction, just away from her.

Exasperated, Holly fired up her wings and took after him, again landing in front of him, but this time grabbing him and shouting, "Does this feel like your imagination?". Artemis looked at her aghast, "Holly that is six words! The gods don't like six." He tried to escape her grasp, but she would have no part of it, her strong hands holding him like a vice. "OK, Arty, OK, I'll remember," she said slowly, as she counted. "But please, you must come with me right now…"she paused and counted, "Artemis", she added, reaching 10 words.

Artemis relaxed some, but his eyes kept looking around, unable or unwilling to focus on the red haired elf. Holly repeated, "Fowl, Are… You… With… Me?", she said slower, emphasizing each word, looking earnestly into his eyes. He looked back into hers and froze. His lips stopped moving and his eyes for a moment, seemed to lose focus. Then, his countenance changed abruptly. The blank, confused and frightened emotions were suddenly gone. His stance went from defensive to confident. He smiled an almost smarmy smile that was more repulsive to Holly than his vampire smirk. "Why Captain Short, it is such a pleasure to see you.", he said smoothly, even warmly. "Even in this frigid environment, I feel comfortably warm…it must be because you are holding me so tight"

Holly stared at the boy. "Artemis, are you all right?", "None of those sentences were multiples of 5", she thought to herself. The boy answered, "Artemis, that fool is gone. Allow me to introduce my self. Orion, at your service.", he said, bowing low to the ground and rising with that same, smarmy smile. Holly's jaw dropped open…she was utterly speechless.