Author's Note: I'm really not sure where this one came from. It's more or less an AU fic where Commander Root has to face off Turnball. Enjoy!
Blood Runs Deep
An Artemis Fowl Fanfiction
Underground, Somewhere Near Haven City
"Don't resist," growled the fairy, his Mud Man gun resting against the captain's head. The captain in question squirmed, but winced as the fairy's hand tightened around her throat. Her eyes met those of her commander, cold and determined. "It's not worth it. Either way this girlie dies."
Commander Root swore under his breath and forced his face to mask his inner turmoil. "No, really," he said, as if they were fifty years old again, as if they were brothers again, going to some school party, voice cool and cordial, "I insist. Why don't you put down that gun, and we can have a talk. It'll be just like old times."
Rule One in the LEP Handbook: Do not anger the opposing fairy, as it may lead them to rash acts. Like putting a Mud Man bullet through my captain's head, thought Root dryly. His trigger finger twitched, and he had to consciously force it to stay still.
Turnball spoke again, clear and commanding, with that voice that had first gotten him into the LEP. But the words were faded and blurry in Root's mind, and he heard them as if from far away, listening, but not really hearing.
It should have been like any other Recon mission. Find the fairy, kill the fairy or arrest him, return to the Plaza a hero. But this was his brother. This was his great older brother Turnball, who had pressured Julius to be his best since he had been a baby fairy of twenty. This was the one who had supported him in his choice to join him in the LEP rather than take over the family restaurant. He couldn't bear to kill him. Blood sometimes ran too deep to cross.
Rule Fifteen of the LEP Handbook: Never, ever, ever let your emotions get in the way of your duty. Ever. Because he was doing such a good job of it.
At first, when he'd heard the fairy's description from the Ops Booth assistant, he had hoped against hope, to no avail. His brother – no, not his brother, just Turnball and nothing else – spoke again, and this time his words registered.
"Read the inscription, brother dear. Read the fine print." Damn. Turnball still remembered those glasses.
On the bottom of the last page of the LEP Handbook it read: I, the undersigned, hereby give my life for the good of the People, in service to the People, to protect the People from any and all dangers they face. He had signed with a green pen, back when they were all the rage because green was obviously so much more fairy than red.
The commander's blood boiled, and he clenched his free hand into a fist. And at such a simple statement, he thought. Really. Maybe I should renew those anger management pills.
Just then, a voice crackled to life near his ear, emitted from his earpiece. "Hey Julius," chirped the centaur. "Those Recon Jocks are all within a few minutes of your location. You want backup?" Julius shook his head, knowing the centaur wouldn't be able to see, but not trusting his voice.
Rules Thirty-four and Thirty-five in the LEP Handbook: Always speak clearly into the earpiece. The centaur is always right. Coincidentally, the handbook had been written by the centaur in question.
Julius terminated the link with a fierce blink. He breathed in, steadying his hands. He clenched his teeth. His trigger finger twitched again, and this time he made no move to still it.
Rule Three in the LEP Handbook: Always stay calm, especially in emergencies. If this wasn't a n emergency, he didn't know what was.
Root's finger tightened on the trigger of his Neutrino 1500. His eyes blurred with droplets of sweat or tears. Then the enormity of what he was doing hit him. This was the last surviving member of his family. His grip faltered on the gun, and he lowered his arm.
Turnball jeered. "Is that your final answer, brother dear?" His finger tightened on the trigger. "Glad to see blood runs deeper than loyalty." Captain Holly Short's breath hitched. Time seemed to slow.
Turnball's finger jerked backwards. Holly dropped to the ground, rolling into Turnball's knees. A sphere of deadly silver shot past Julius' cheek. Blood trickled along the cut, dripping off his lower jaw. He knew it should have hurt, but there was nothing. Julius's eyes blurred with what he knew now were tears, and he closed them. His finger pulled back as his gun arm went up automatically, aiming for the target he saw in his mind's eye. His shot clipped the convict's left ear. Turnball staggered upright, hands scrabbling for Holly's throat.
Root brought the gun to his shoulder, aimed, and fired again. The beam cut through the air and disappeared into Turnball's chest. Time stopped. Turnball Root's body hung suspended in the air for a moment. Then it crumpled onto the earthen floor like a molted feather, and time returned to its usual pace. Julius' gun clattered to the ground.
For Commander Julius Root, blood ran deep, but loyalty ran deeper.