A/N: First of all, spoilers for TLG, of course. Also, this fic makes several references to Artemis's will, which can be found in the Gnommish running under the pages of TLG. If you haven't read that yet, it shouldn't be too hard to find a translation online.
Wow! Wasn't that a great ending to a great series? Now, please excuse me while I mourn the ending of my childhood.
Any kind of feedback is welcome!
Disclaimer: I don't own Artemis Fowl.
Mulch attends Artemis's funeral underground.
He tunnels to a nice patch of clay near the hill, curls up, and listens to the vibrations filtering through from above. Hearing all of Artemis's melancholy relatives gets to Mulch after a while, his heart gets heavy, and life starts to get all serious. He wants to leave, escape this aura of sadness, but he's rooted to the spot, like he feels that he has some kind of… obligation. Which is ridiculous, of course. Because Mulch Diggums does not owe Artemis Fowl anything. But he stays.
Eventually, he feels footsteps leaving the area, and Mulch figures it's his turn. He digs forward and upwards until he finds himself sitting on top of Artemis's wooden coffin. Though he's underground and clearly alone, Mulch looks around suspiciously before bending to lick the coffin.
"Mahogany," he murmurs. "You've got good taste, Mud Boy." Mulch smiles. "You've got good taste in burial sites, too. I'm loving all this basilica." Sighing, Mulch slaps the wood underneath him and tries not to imagine the boy's lifeless body inside.
"You know, I can't believe you went off and died on me. I mean, all those times I risked my bumflap to rescue you from certain death! And it was all for naught." He frowns, shoulders slumping.
"It's a shame you developed a conscience so soon after we met. Can you imagine the possibilities? The tiara heist was only the beginning."
Mulch sits for a moment more in silence before giving a soft farewell toot (a dwarf custom), and heading back for his lair under Fowl Manor. He decides to continue planning his heist of Artemis's art collection. After all, the boy would enjoy the irony, Mulch liked to think.
The news gets to Minerva somehow, even with the plunging of the entire world into the Dark Ages.
She looks out her window at her father sitting in the courtyard. He wouldn't be there if not for Artemis.
Artemis is dead.
Artemis is dead, and she laughs. Because the last time he was dead, he came back three years later.
Artemis Fowl Sr. finds his wife in front of his son's grave, again. There are tears on her face, as usual, but, this time, she's smiling.
She turns to him, her face a walking contradiction.
"You know, they say he died a hero. Can you imagine that? My little Arty: a hero."
There are some times, very rare times, when he wishes that he had never been rescued from Russia. Artemis would have remained cold, distant, but, most importantly, incredibly selfish, alive.
But where would they be, then?
Fuming, Holly watches as two workers unload the gold into her living room. That D'Arviting Artemis! Did he really think that giving back the gold which had bought her freedom all those years ago (the same exact bars, too, with the same fairy engravings) would earn her forgiveness? No. The Mud Boy had lied to her, drugged her, and then sacrificed himself, with no thought to all those who cared about him.
But I'm coming back, she can imagine Artemis saying to her. You would have died permanently. I already brought you back to life once. Another time is just asking too much, even for me.
Holly crosses her arms and ignores her imagined Artemis's logic, irrefutable, as it always was. It hurt less to be angry at him, than it did to miss him.
She walks over to the pile of gold which now sits in her apartment. One bar is enough weight to make her arm sore. She has no idea what to do with it all.
Turning to her television, she flips to a special channel that Foaly had set up: a live stream coming directly from his secret lab.
She taps her fingers on the screen in a rhythm, like Artemis had showed her before. Naturally, the clone does not respond.
"Could you grow any slower, Arty?" she mutters.
On occasion, she finds herself deep in the past, fighting someone else's battle, thinking thoughts that are not hers. It's a residual effect from being possessed, and, while it's horribly annoying, it seems to be getting better with time.
She is roused from one of these episodes by Beckett, tapping her knee and pointing into the distance where his parents sit atop a hill covered with orange roses.
"Why are mommy and daddy so sad all the time, Jules?" he asks, eyes wide with innocence.
Seeing as it's been three months since Artemis's death, Juliet kneels in front of Beckett, worried about the boy's mental health.
"Don't you miss your big brother, too?"
Beckett crosses his arms. "Of course, I miss him. But I don't get too sad about it because I know he's coming back."
Juliet tries not to panic, and she takes one of Beckett's little hands in hers.
"Why do you think he's coming back?" she asks delicately.
Beckett rolls his eyes like the answer is too obvious. "Artemis is the smartest person I know."
It is in this moment that Myles decides to enter the conversation.
"You only know fourteen people, simple-toon. Artemis being the smartest out of all of them means practically nothing." Myles turns to Juliet, his words much more precise than Beckett's. "But Beckett is still correct. Artemis is one of the smartest people who has ever lived. And if there was a way out of that big green orb alive, he found it."
Juliet blinks away tears and hopes like hell that two four year-old boys are smarter than she is.
Butler's used to waiting by now. Back when they'd had that whole incident with Hybras and the demons, he'd found plenty of ways to make the days fly by.
But it's different this time. This time he doesn't have an exact date, calculated to the very second by Foaly, and a dead boy without a body. This time, all he has are some vague last words from Artemis accompanied by a grave that is most certainly not empty.
The worst part is that nobody blames him. Somehow, after all that had happened, nobody blamed him, except for himself. He had one job (admittedly, that one job encompassed many subcategories, such as: cook, nanny, conscience, etc.), and Artemis hadn't even lived to see eighteen.
Butler takes a step away from the punching bag he'd been demolishing for the past hour. Walking to the window, he looks out, searching for something, anything. Perhaps the familiar image of a fairy shuttle in the process of decloaking. Perhaps a three foot tall elf walking alongside a centaur with tin foil for a hat. Perhaps a teenage boy, wearing a suit too old for him, hair immaculately done, as always.
Just like every other day, he sees nothing.
According to the Glorious Republic of Ireland, Butler now owns the dojo and apartments in which he has been residing since Artemis's birth. There is no word in the English language that can describe how much he wishes he didn't.
Foaly's emotions are a mixture of shame and annoyance.
He was actually giving in to Artemis's last taunt. Unbelievable.
He can't help it. Artemis's derogatory comment about hot air balloons had him incensed.
"Hot air balloons," Foaly grumbles, "says the boy who built a plane that needed a dwarf's fart to take off."
He could stop here. No one would ever know.
But now he can't help it. The curiosity is burning him from the inside out.
Plus, if the craft is as advanced as Artemis claims, then maybe they'll be advanced enough to earn Foaly a few raises, send Caballine and him on a nice vacation.
Foaly pauses. He'll regret this one day. "Artemis Fowl is smarter than I am," he chokes out, knowing, without a doubt, that some part of Artemis's program is filming the words so they can be saved for all eternity.
All that appears on his screen is a video file, an endlessly looping recording of Artemis laughing maniacally, and Foaly knows that he's been duped.
Foaly finds something else, a text file on his desktop, and, opening it, he finds,
Take this as a compliment, Foaly. Though I endeavored to make the blueprints I mentioned in my will a reality, I have been unable to improve upon your designs significantly enough to warrant designing a whole new vessel. This is what I am actually leaving to you: your one victory.
(Although, if I were you, I might recheck the efficiency of the dimensions of your engine ports on your latest shuttle model.)
"My one victory?" Foaly yells at Artemis's laughing face. "I have outsmarted you before, Mud Boy!" With several more blinks, he adds the engine ports to his To Do List.
Foaly finds, that while he had been reading, his background, which had previously depicted his beautiful wife Caballine, had been changed to the same video file of Artemis laughing. There is no doubt in Foaly's mind that it will take several weeks to disentangle Artemis's program from his network. He'd better start soon, before word spreads.
His cellphone vibrates as he receives a text message from his wife telling him to come home soon, and when he returns to the main screen, he discovers that his phone background has also been swapped. Artemis's pale skin and sharp teeth give his laugh an eerie feeling, but a tiny, tiny part of Foaly enjoys seeing the boy in such a jolly mood, something he was usually without. He decides that maybe the debugging could start tomorrow.
Foaly closes his phone, and the expression on his face could almost be described as fondness.
Brains over brawn, Artemis thinks smugly to himself, as his consciousness flies uncontrollably across the Earth. It's just like I told you Butler, intelligence is all one really needs for victory. In fact, I would probably be dead if it weren't for my genius. How much help would your "Jujitsu" be in this situation, I wonder? Had he a mouth, he would have grinned.
He's capable of directing himself to where he wants to go, but it takes concentration and energy that he can't really spare, since that's all that's keeping his consciousness from dissipating. He means to save it for important things, like keeping tabs on his clone's growth, but sometimes he can't help himself. Every once in a while, he checks on his family, Butler, Holly, and everyone else for several seconds before he feels himself being whisked away. He's slightly surprised by how many mourning friends he seems to have. Even though he'd renounced his criminal ways several years ago, he's still not used to having so many people who care for him. It's an odd feeling.
Mourn not, dear friends. Only a few more months and you will bear witness to Artemis Fowl's greatest feat yet: rising from the dead!