**I know I said I would get this chapter in by the end of the month but, the truth is, I haven't a damn moment to work on it because of all these projects. Even now, when it's winter break, ZERO TIME.can't get any rest or free time.**

**So I apologize for this EXTREMELY short chapter. I'm not sure if my future chapters will be as long as the ones before either. Along with my lack of time, I have been brainstorming and rewriting over and over trying to figure out the rest of the plot for this story, so yes, I am also suffering from Writer's Block.But I do hope you accept my apologies and this chapter as probably short and boring as it is. It was annoying to write to, but it's important to have this part I guess.**

**I am so dyinggggggggggggg to reveal who Agent Z is!!!! But I just have to wait . . . . . and who knows HOW LONG that'll take . . . . But I DO KNOW WHO HE IS!!!!**

**And yes, I had to make Chix cool for once. Even though I don't like the fact that he likes Holly, he's a cool character ^.^**

**Here's the out of character parts.**

**Enjoy the story, as much of it anyway.**


Root's feet stomped heavily on the ground as he spun the prison keys with one finger and led the group to Mulch's prison cell. Captain Kelp, Private Chix, Foaly, Artemis Fowl Senior, and Juliet followed closely behind looking from cell to cell and side to side wondering which one they were going to stop at. From one gray dark room to another, they passed everyone. Finally, Root's footsteps came to a halt. Everyone stopped behind him.

He pulled out the prison keys from his pocket. He shuffled through the keys and pulled out one. He stuck it in the lock and pulled the door open. Everyone glanced into the room, Root at the front.

No one was there.

"Get LEP authorization on this," Root grumbled as he turned around. "I want to know where they moved Diggums to."

All of a sudden, Root was on the floor without a moment's notice. A small dwarf hung on the doorstep and jumped down and began running. "See ya later Julius!" He yelled as he bolted through the hall.

"GET HIM!" The red faced Root ordered as he stood up.

Chix began flying in front of everyone, taking a different way than Diggum's to meet up with him. He flew, dodging the workers of the prison. He waited at the end of the hallway that Diggum's was still running in.

"Going somewhere?" Chix grinned as he popped out.

Mulch almost ran into him but he stopped himself and began running in the other direction. He ran all the way through that hallway and began taking the hallway that Chix had used to catch up with him. He sprinted down the hall panting until he got to the end of the hall where Root was waiting for him.

"Gotcha!" Root yelled with a grin of glee.

"If you do, then why don't you catch me yourself?" Mulch began running down that hallway, but not for long.

In two doorways right across from each other, Juliet and Mr. Fowl sat in each and held their arms across the hall steadfastly. Of course, Mulch wasn't looking where he was going and he tripped instantly over their arms. He landed face first on the ground. Juliet and Mr. Fowl quickly got to their feet as Root and Chix came over from their places. Foaly came walking over in front of Mulch as Mulch lifted his head slightly.

"Good work, everyone," Foaly began abnormally loudly. "Just make sure he doesn't tunnel out of here with the secret tunnel of dirt that is one foot in front of his face."

Mulch took the invitation: he immediately crawled a little forward and began to "dig".

"YOU IDIOT!" Root screamed at Foaly. "YOU LET HIM HIS ESCAPE!!! YOU LET HIM ESCAPE!!!!!"

"Well, maybe I did," Foaly began with a sly grin. "But I'm sure that Captain Kelp won't let him."

Mulch lifted himself out of his finished tunnel to freedom. He grinned widely and thought, "that was too easy," and then realized-it was too easy. LEP would never let a criminal escape like that unless .

That's when he felt a buzz baton on his behind.

He groaned. "Not again .Ugh, okay Holly, I won't move," he grumbled as he didn't hesitate to turn around and face "her".

Trouble laughed. "I /would/ like you to stay put, but I'm not Holly."

Mulch dared to turn around and there he saw, Captain Trouble Kelp standing there with the buzz baton in he same exact position Holly had threatened him with all those years ago. "Is that stance standard in your training?" He asked out of the blue.

Trouble looked at him weirdly, but answered, "no. We don't learn to do something like that. They expect it to be common sense. I just know that this stance is the best position to be in while keeping the criminal under control."

"Oh, because Holly was standing and holding the buzz baton in the same exact way." But of course, Holly had been shorter then and since now Trouble was much taller, the stance was lower.

Trouble stared at him while his eyes widened. Memories flooded into his head and played back one of them before his eyes:

/////////////"Ugh, this is so annoying! I can do everything else, but this stupid buzz baton messes me up when I use it!" Private Holly complained as she threw it to the floor.

"Come on, Holly," Corporal Trouble Kelp picked the buzz baton up. "You have to learn how to use it, it helps a whole lot keeping the fugitive or criminal under control."

"I'm trying, I really am. And I know that if I don't learn the basic stuff, they might pull me out LEP and just give me traffic duty. But I don't get how anyone can use this thing so well . besides you."

He handed her buzz baton to her. "Here, I'll show you a way to stand and hold the baton up the someone."

"Okay," she shrugged.

"Okay," he went up to her. "Now put your right foot, which is your strong foot, up slightly forward. Bend it a little," he instructed.

"And what would be the point of that?" She asked trying to learn.

"So that if the criminal starts to run, you're ready to lunge or run after them. Next take your buzz baton and put it right next to their neck," Trouble instructed. "That thing is off, right?"

"Yeah, of course, what do you think?" She did what Trouble told her to do, and Trouble let her do it to him.

"Now the point of having the shock at the neck is that is will stop movement for quite a while," Trouble grinned as Holly laughed with him. "Even if you don't get the neck, you can always get the criminal in other . . . places . . ." And they both shared another laugh. "You can try it on me."

"I lied, Trub," Holly giggled (yes, Holly did giggle, one of those rare moments with Trouble) "The buzz baton isn't off," and she lunged.

Trouble let out a shout as he tried to get away, but she got him and he fell to the ground. But nothing happened, and Holly began to laugh again. "Gullible, Trouble, very gullible," she he smiled warmly at him and she held out a hand to him.

He smiled and took her hand and stood up. They laughed together again as their faces began so close to each other's . . . //////////

"Captain Kelp, I presume you've got him?" Foaly, Root, Chix, Mr. Fowl, and Juliet ran over to him.

Trouble shook away the memories and looked at them. "Yessir, this criminal won't be going anywhere out of our reach," he replied.

"Nice work, captain," Foaly started. "Now let's get Diggums inside the commander's office ASAP."

Mulch Diggums groaned. This was not a comfortable feeling having Trouble's buzz baton a few inches away from his neck and marching to the Commander of LEP's office. No, this was not one of his better days. What could they want, anyway? Of course, he had learned to answer his own questions. He would have made a good LEP officer, if he'd not turn to a life of crime. The first thing he noticed was that Captain Holly Short wasn't there. He grinned to himself. Had Captain Short been kidnapped again?

"Sit down, criminal," Root commanded and pointed to a chair across his desk.

"Julius, you must know that I prefer to be called my real name. Surely you must know that? And if you don't, it would lessen your chances of me helping you rescue Holly," Mulch scoffed.

"How do you know that Holly's been kidnapped?" Trouble demanded as he grabbed Mulch's shirt.

"Jeez! Calm down, I guessed, okay? Holly wasn't there again, and I guess! Now put me down!" Mulch shouted frantically. Trouble dropped him back in his seat. "Disadvantage for me when Foaly invented that groal or whatever it was called," he mumbled. They looked down on him and it was obvious that he hadn't grown an inch since the last time they'd met. "So anyway, down to business, you want me to get Holly out of wherever she is?"

"And Artemis too," Juliet added.

Mulch's eyes widened at that comment. "You mean the mud boy who came down years ago?" He gasped. "I have to save him too??"

"Yeah, because they're both kidnapped together!" Root began to get impatient explaining everything when he wanted to get into action right away. "Yeah, we've found the location, and I want you to break in and get em out of there!"

Mulch rubbed his chin with his dirty round fingers. "Tell me, what kind of security does this building have?"

"Foaly, you and Verbil; give the stats," Root ordered. "I expect that you do remember."

"Of course," Foaly replied as Chix nodded. He cleared his throat. "There are guards, Mud Man, may I add surrounding the building."

"Which will be cake to get past," Chix rolled his eyes.

"Cudgeon managed-"

"Whoa whoa whoa, you didn't mention anything about Briar.he's alive???" Mulch questioned flabbergasted.

"Much to our dismay, yea," Chix shrugged.

"This will add to the price," Mulch faked a sigh and shook his head while Root shot him a glare.

"Plasma DNA cannons guard the areas around Holly and Artemis's room, but only a few. These are probably leftovers from Koboi," Foaly rolled his eyes. "I could make so much better defenses than that."

"I didn't ask for you to brag to Mulch about your technology, so get back to security," Root snapped. "Whatever you say, Julius. There are /more/ Mud Men with some kind of "weapons" made from Koboi patrolling the hallways, um, there are cameras over watch of the halls too, and uh, that's it," Foaly concluded. "Oh yes," he added again. "The surrounding twenty feet area is asphalt, which of course, we know you can do nothing about. But the rest is pure soil and clay. I'm sure that you can find your way through that," Foaly eyed Mulch.

"All right." Mulch paused for a moment looking down. "Well, first I need to make sure that it is possible to get through that craphole, get them back, and out again. . .so, I suppose I'll just tunnel my way through and end up. . .?"

"You'll end up in the room that's right next to Artemis's and Holly's. We already made the calculations," Trouble spoke up for once in a long time.

"And what do you suggest I do next? Walk out and get shot in the head and get blasted by the DNA cannons?" Mulch snickered. "Honestly, there has to be something more you thought up."

Everyone was silent and no one dared to look at each other. "Well." Foaly hesitated.

"I've got an idea," Mr. Fowl interrupted the silence. "It'll be risky and the success will have to rely on speed but-" Mr. Fowl took a breath. "That captain of yours was quick to save me, so she'll be fine. And I trust that my son will escape safely with his speed."

Root leaned back on his chair and motioned his hands. "All right, let's hear it."

"As we observed before, I noticed the west wall of the room is right next to Holly and Artemis's cell, with the bars on the other side," Mr. Fowl explained. "All we have to do is knock down the wall and voila! Right there! They can come back into the hole that Mulch dug and crawl to the other side. . . quickly . . . and that's when the speed comes in. Plus, we'll probably have to give Mulch a weapon of some sort, just in case someone happens to be in the room, so he'll silence them."

"No! I refuse to endanger my officer and the Fowl boy and risk tighter security! What if they fail? What if they can't go fast enough? What if the tunnel collapses? I'm sorry, Fowl, but that plan of yours is too risky and fallible," Root shook his head.

"It's the only way we can! What else can we do?" Juliet exclaimed slamming her fists on the Root's desk. It made quite an impact, denting the hard oak wood, Trouble saw, as he watched the Super Girl's muscles bulge.

"I don't know about you, but I'd rather not get obliterated by cannons when I first walk out the door. Maybe Mud Men, but not cannons," Mulch shrugged looking at his nails. "And that's the only plan that I'll go with, even though a Mud Man /did/ make it up."

Root sighed and shook his head. "Fine. . .we'll go with that one, but if it fails, I'll have your head on this one, Diggums."

"That is, if it isn't shot. Now, let's talk about my price for doing you this little favor. . ." Mulch clasped his hands together excitedly. "I want five years alone with none of you damned LEP agents sneaking around stalking me. Then you can chase me."

"No way!" Root yelled slamming his fists on the desk. Trouble saw no dent and sighed. . .wow, he was really bored. He was watching fists slamming on desks for entertainment . . .

"Fine, three years! And that's my final offer!" He cleared his throat. "Now, to continue when I had been so /rudely/ interrupted, I don't want Julius Root ever chasing me down ever again. You can send any other officer, but /you/ are not allowed to chase me anymore. . . I want to look forward to retirement. . ."

Root began to grit his teeth, but he said nothing.

"Don't worry, commander, you can always send me to nab him," Trouble winked.

"Watch yourself, Kelp," Root retorted.

"And last, I want ten dozen bars of gold," Mulch concluded.

"The council is not gonna be happy about that. . ." Foaly shook his head.

"Well the important thing is that /I/ remain happy, because if I'm not, then I won't do any of your dirty work," Mulch scoffed. The Commander scowled as he kicked back from his desk against the wall. The dwarf stuck his hand out. "Shake on it, Root. Shake on it, or no rescue operation."

Root threw his hand out and they shook briefly. A memorable moment: Root and Diggums, rivals forever, agreeing. Even if it was for a few seconds, before Root pulled back his hand violently. "All right everyone, let's get to work!"

**Comments. . .**

**J Catz: Well I updated once again, but sorry to say, not that soon after. . . .*turns red* . . . yes bad me. . . . well, I hope you enjoy this short chapter.**

**crazygirly007: I'm glad that you liked the chickens and pigeons ^.^ yes, one of those rare humor me moments of this fic, and I'm glad that many people liked it including you. Couldn't help but get Juliet swearing, I haven't used much of her or Mr. Fowl in the fic. She had to have one or her moments . . . Yes, Cudgeon is horribly mean, but I'm happy that I could portray has the evil villain jerk that he is and I dunno if the hug will work . . . but perhaps the lollipop! I'm extremely sorry for not updating in the longest time, and you probably still might loathe me for this short chappie but at least you know I'm not dead! Hope you like the rest of the story continuing on!**

**animefanatic07: I'm thrilled that you like it and still tolerate me even after my long absence. I hope you'll enjoy this chapter!**

**Artemis Fowl the Second: Yes, I do plan on having a Foaly/Opal thing. . . I always love it when two rivals get together and fall in love. . . .it makes it a lot more interesting and fun to write. ^.^ I will count on having more romance in the future but in the mean time, thanks for reviewing!**

**Butler: Thanks for reviewing and the complement. It's always nice to read encouragement from reviews when you're having a helluva bad time at school.**

** Hyper_shark: Here's the update! Not sure about the faster part though . . .**

**Windswift: Yup, Chix has been underground, someone already alerted me of my mistake, but it was fun torturing Chix a bit . . .**

**Melody: Thanks. ^.^ I'm glad that you liked it, and there is going to be a third book coming soon, maybe you know this already, but it's called "Eternity Code". Hope you enjoy this chapter.**

**Slime frog/Freaky girl: Yes, you have been reviewing this story for the longest time since the beginning and I want to tell you how much I REALLY appreciate it. ^.^ I'm so glad that you enjoyed this story and I hope that you like this chapter even though it's not really what I think is my best. Lol, you can claim your spot for biggest fan. =) Sorry for not updating, and yes AOL gets so annoying doesn't it? The Agent Z theory is extremely good, but I'm not saying anything! It's very creative. And don't worry, I like the ramblings.**

**Evil Genius Mouse: Yes, the Root Bashing is fun, isn't it? I'm glad that you liked that part and the fic! Nope, I haven't gotten any reviews from BFW, and I do hope that I never do. . . .I've never really reviewed his/her stories, as . . . /different/ and /unappealing/ to me as they are, because I don't really like to insult people on writing ability . . .but it's just my opinion . . . .hopefully no flames though . . .**

**Talon Dragon Friend: It's nice to know that you enjoy it and here comes Holly for the out of character, but just for this memory. . . .I guess in the past she /could/ have been out of character.**

**noneofurbiz: Well I'm sorry it displeases you, but I don't think I'll take your suggestion into consideration.**

**Say: Yes, I have decoded the message at the bottom and when I was done, I must say I was extremely happy. It was awesome and now I use the code with a lot of my friends at school. Thank you for the tidbits!**

**Kelti: Torture and suffering is fun, isn't it? Especially when you're writer, and I bet lots a people will agree with me. I feel terrible about Trouble too, because his kind of emotional torture is too much to bear sometimes *bursts into tears* I love Trubby. . . **

**Keira: Thanks for thinking it's cool.**

**Tess: Hehe, well here's my update . . . after two months . . .horrible for two months, I know.**

**Bride-of-Lister: I'm glad that you think so and I'll take a look at you're story. ^.^ Yay, I'm on a favorites! Just to tell you everyone. . . .I LIKE THAT *HINT HINT* **

**T'iana: No problem at all, besides, it's like a month later when I finally update. I know that tons are gonna be on my back for this long update. Wow, this story is the only one you like? Well, maybe it's different now, but I'm honored that you like my fic.**

**Jayde: Thanks for reviewing and I hope you'll like the future parts with Artemis and Trouble.**

**Tie Kerl: Nope, end of February . . . .I am extremely sorry, and I hope you forgive me for the delay.**

**Shichan Goddess: Wow! What a complement! I am pleased and honored that you think that, and I hope it continues to entertain you, even though this chapter is not a good example . . .**

**Book_Review_Chick: I updated =)**

**Jacob: No prob, hope you liked it.**

**Artemis's Dark Love: Yes, the damn teachers are annoying . . . Fanfiction would be a much more satisfying hw . . . and I probably will bring the life span dilemma up and love triangles are fun, but sometimes sad too =(. Another fanfic, or rather, songfic I wrote is "The Hardest Thing" that fared pretty well here. It is a love triangle with Artemis, Holly, and Juliet. Check it out. Also at Fiction Press, I have a story called Battle 2043, which I'm trying to get published.**

**Sweenian Birch: No, I don't recall having a part where Foaly was kidnapped . . .maybe it was a different fanfic?**

**skybluebabe: If only . . . *sigh* And that's okay, I like craziness. =)**

**Crystalia: It's nice to know that you like this fic so much and I'm sorry I didn't hurry.**

**Thundermage: Hehe, yes, I like writing back to the reviewers, but the only annoying part of it is finding where you first left off . . .I updated!**

**Wow, I'm really glad how the results of the last chapter turned out! 3 pages of reviewers! Thank you guys for reviewing soooooo much and for all those who read! You make a girl feel so loved. ^.^**

**Hope you'll review for this one, though it'll probably not be as much as the other.**