Disclaimer: I don't own Artemis Fowl.
A/N: This is loosely based on 'Planet of the Apes'. The first chapter doesn't have much humor because it's focused mainly on Artemis.
The following is a report compiled by Dr. J. Argon. On May 12th, 2012, a disk was deposited on top of his desk drawer in his clinic mysteriously. Following such said event, a series of other paranormal occurrences were reported around the world. The disk in question was supposedly sent by Artemis Fowl the Second, and part of this report is based on the information on it. The rest has been compiled based on other evidence and interviews.
Fowl Manor, May 11th, 2012
A few weeks after the incident with the Berserkers, Artemis Fowl had discovered a rather queer sort of bacteria near the place that the Berserker Gate had been. While it seemed that all creatures around Fowl Manor, including the humans, had been affected to a certain extent by the Berserkers' presence, these bacteria had leached over ninety percent of their magic. Artemis was sure that there weren't bacteria like them anywhere else in the world.
For one, these bacteria actually used magic to a small extent. This was discovered rather accidentally when No1 had visited Fowl Manor after his trip to the moon had been cut short due to technical difficulties. Perhaps the word technical difficulties is inappropriate, because what had actually happened was that several components of the base had exploded when the younger Opal Koboi had been shot, and if it had not been for No1's magic and Foaly's paranoia (he had made a small escape vessel completely out of his own parts for the station) the fairies on the moon would never have gotten back alive.
As it was, No1 got pretty excited once he felt the magic from the bacteria. Artemis was equally so. Later on, they would win the Crazor Prize (fairy equivalent of Nobel Prize for any of you who do not know) for the discovery of this bacterium after a lot of ruckus from the selection committee who protested for three days against a human winning the prize until the Council threatened to shut down the entire thing completely.
Anyway, of the properties of the bacterium, later named Fowlis numeris, the most important was its ability to synthesize a cure for Spellotropy. Unfortunately, the cure was only synthesized once the bacterium reached eighty years of age, a side effect of the Berserker's magic. It was quite impractical to wait so long for them to grow to that age, and any genetic modification would have probably killed or otherwise altered the bacteria.
So, with the help of Foaly, No1 and Artemis constructed a special type of bioreactor: one in which time would move differently inside than outside the reactor. Initially, the Council vehemently protested against the idea until Artemis pointed out that technically they were not time traveling, only making time flow faster in one area than in another, which was basically what the Time Stop did and what the fairies had been doing for centuries. It was only after Foaly, No1 and Master Qwan confirmed this and pointed out that it couldn't be used for multicellular organisms because they would be too large and most of their cells would rupture. As it was, only an estimated thirty percent of the bacteria were expected to survive to produce the cure.
In the original disk, Artemis Fowl explained various equations regarding the working of this machine. Being unable to make heads or tails of them myself, I showed them to an elf, a gnome and a pixie who had done PhDs in space-time mechanics, who had later requested that their names be removed from this report. The elf had zoned out, the gnome had begun stuttering like crazy and the pixie, a good seven hundred years old, began crying for his mommy when he saw the explanation.
Hence, I have deemed to cut out the explanation (which later a human girl managed to sort out by the name of Minerva, but that comes later on) and proceeded to the day on which the testing of this new bioreactor took place.
No1 had to been on site to work, but Foaly was monitoring everything using various equipment that had been installed around a hill near Fowl Manor with Artemis' permission. Artemis' family along with the Butlers had gone a picnic a few miles away, but Artemis had decided to remain with the excuse that he had to work on his college applications.
That would be interesting thing to put on my list of skills, he thought. Been through several life-and-death experiences with fairies and saved the human and fairy races several times, he probably would not write in his hypothetical application.
"Press the button Foaly," he said.
"Press the button? Press the button? At least you can appreciate my genius enough to know that it's not simply about pressing a button, Mud Boy," Foaly whined.
"Yes, we all know how complicated this device is. Now push the button," Artemis snapped. Miles below the earth, Foaly sighed. Artemis and No1 were standing around a white cylinder about as big as No1 himself. Looking at it, one would think that it was more likely to be a giant paint can then something that could make arcane bacteria grow at an exponential rate.
Artemis had so many sensors spread around the hill they were standing on that a spider could have tripped them. As several had around five hundred times Artemis modified them to pick only large objects. No humans were going to come here now.
No1 said that all connections were secure. No1 had poured some of his special magic into a lithium battery beneath the bioreactor, which gave the reactor its odd abilities. Foaly said that he thought everything was fine.
"I concur," Artemis said. Foaly finally pushed the button while playing a very annoying drum roll on the speakers
Nothing happened. Artemis hadn't expected anything visible to happen anyway. It would be the data from the instruments he had placed inside the bioreactor that would confirm what he had expected. Artemis approached the bioreactor and laid his left hand on it.
Later on, Foaly and No1 would both agree on what they saw. A flash of blue light surrounded Artemis and the container, and then both were gone. Foaly and No1 were both left speechless.
"Um, did Artemis pull a Houdini on us?" Foaly asked. No1 had no idea what Foaly was talking about, but after fifteen seconds both of them realized that something had gone horribly wrong.
On the other hand, what Artemis reported was that as soon as he touched the bioreactor, it felt as if some force was pulling him upwards. The world vanished around him to be replaced by a black void, and suddenly he smashed into the ground along with the bioreactor.
Even Artemis is uncertain regarding how long he was unconscious. The only thing that he remembers was waking up. From what Butler had told him, Artemis knew not to wake up instantly. From what had happened, he had probably been kidnapped. Instead, he used his senses aside from sight to explore where he was. The first thing he noticed was that wherever he was, it was smelly. It reminded him of that time he had visited that hippopotamus tank in the zoo with Myles and Beckett. The only one who had liked that had been Beckett.
The second thing that he noticed that he was laying on the ground, on something very hard, probably of wood. A minute later, he heard some voices. Oddly enough, they were talking in Gnommish.
"Is this the one?" a voice asked in a hushed tone, as if it was trying to go unheard of.
"Yes," a slightly higher pitched voice replied. Artemis got the vibe that it belonged to a female.
"Was it in those clothes when we found him?" the male voice asked.
"Yes, along with whatever that thing was at the side. Dr. Zeris wants to examine it personally," the female voice said.
Artemis noticed two things. The first was that these people, whoever they were, had probably found him lying on the ground somewhere. That meant that they were not holding him hostage. Also, it appeared that they were calling him an it, which was rather flummoxing. (It was one of Artemis' favorite words, though he rarely got to use it to apply to himself.) Analyzing the conversation again, as the voices had gone quiet, he realized that they thought that his clothes were strange. He was wearing one of his normal suits.
Pondering all of this, he reached the conclusion that the bioreactor had malfunctioned, and now he had been stranded in some unknown place in a different time. Judging by the fact that the people outside were speaking Gnommish, he had probably been stranded in the past when fairies still ruled the surface and humans were still primitive beings. In that case, he reasoned, it would be better to wake up.
"Good morning, both of you," he said in a pleasant voice that was quite unlike him, but he had calculated that speaking patronizingly in this situation could have adverse consequences. Especially since Butler was not there to help him.
The two guards outside his cage leaped at the noise, and stared at him. Artemis repeated the greeting, and it was clear none of them could believe their eyes. Or rather their ears. It was just then that Artemis realized what was wrong with the scene. The guards were apes. It is rather strange how he that had not come to him instantly. But then again, time travel can unravel anyone's sense for some time.
"You're apes!" he screamed, once again, unlike him, and recoiled back. He realized that both of them were wearing clothes, and also he realized that he was in a cage.
This is really getting strange, he thought. But then again, he had been in weirder situations before.
"He talks!" the male ape said, confirming Artemis' suspicion that they were intelligent. The other ape had no response but to stair dumbly.
The apes were dressed in some weird green uniform with a wooden baton at the belt. They both had black hair and looked like normal apes, except that they stood straighter and Artemis could see the intelligence in their eyes.
"It doesn't matter," the female said. "We have to get him to the council at this time anyway." She opened the door to his cage, and pulled on something, and Artemis felt something around his neck that had not been there before. It was a leash.
"Cut the leash," he ordered. He decided to try behaving like he was in charge and if other people didn't do what he said then it would not turn out good for them. It had worked before, but these apes were not used to taking orders from a human.
"What do we do?" the male asked.
"Don't cut the leash. Regulations state that men and fairies are not to be led outside into the city unleashed." They tugged on his leash, and Artemis had no choice but to follow them. He was contemplating horrible revenges on these two, but he was stopped as he noticed the other cages.
He got the impression that they were in some kind of a research facility. Where humans and fairies were the lab rats. He passed lots of humans and fairies of all kinds. One look at them told Artemis all he needed to know. They were all mute, primitive and unintelligent. He could see other apes treating them like animals.
Possibilities ran through his head. Could it be possible that apes had once ruled the planet, and then fairies had evolved from them and adopted their language? And following that, though a few thousand years later, the humans had risen against them and soon things like the Battle of Tailite followed?
As he was lead outside, he looked out onto the city. All the building seemed to follow the fashion of buildings he had seen once, those of Ancient Rome. Except the apes didn't wear Roman clothes. Instead, they all seemed to be dressed in the exact green uniform that the guards were in, except they didn't have batons. He did see some old-fashioned guns though.
Some of the apes looked at him curiously as he went passed. Maybe they think I'm part of a circus act, Artemis thought bitterly. He was lead to a very grand and large building that was clearly city hall or something like that.
The guards outside, who looked identical to the ones with Artemis, saluted as they passed.
As they advanced, Artemis' guards were hoping that when they had heard Artemis talking, it was some sort of a hallucination. Artemis had not talked because he was too busy analyzing everything around him.
He was finally thrust into a room behind a highly polished door. There, there were a lot of apes in some dark red robes. All of them were seated around some wooden tables. One of them, who had bright red hair instead of black, was wearing the finest robe of them all and was on an elevated chair. Probably the mayor, Artemis thought.
They had clearly been expecting the two guards, who then bowed and left the room. Artemis was tied to a small pole, and no one bothered looking at him.
An ape that was sitting near the mayor or chairman or whoever stood up.
"Dr. Zeris addresses the council," the mayor/chairman said. Dr. Zeris uttered a note of thanks and began,
"One day ago, a few of our scouts found a strange object near a river. The object was cylindrical and white, and is currently being held in the museum. Also, this strange human was found near it, and oddly enough it was clothed. My team has been trying to uncover what these events mean, though we have yet been unsuccessful."
"Then perhaps I can be of some help," Artemis said. Every single ape in the room turned to him as if Artemis had suddenly sprouted wings.
"He talks!" Dr. Zeris said, the first person to react.
"Of course I talk," Artemis said, resuming his usual haughty tone. "And I would say that you loosen this leash and allow me to explain what has probably happened."
The other apes were stunned. The mayor/chairman called out,
"Mera! Sayer! Come in here at once!"
The two guards bustled into the room, and bowed before the mayor/chairman, who Artemis began suspecting was more like a king.
"This human talks! Did you not notice anything wrong with it?"
"Yes sir, but we thought we were mistaken at first," Mera, the female ape said. "We are sorry that we did not report the incident, but we were afraid we would be laughed at."
The mayor/chairman/king dismissed the two rather rudely, and then turned to Artemis.
"If you can speak, tell me where you're from," he said with authority dripping from his voice.
"Cut my leash and I will begin," Artemis said, not afraid though he was facing a bunch of apes all alone.
The king frowned, and said to two guards in the room, "Unleash him."
The guards hesitated but obeyed. Then, Artemis told them about he had ended there, and his theory as well.
"From what I have seen, I suspect that you apes are an earlier race who lost in the battle of evolution. I have been stranded here from my own time. I merely seek assistance to return to where I came from," he concluded.
None of the apes said anything. Dr. Zeris was once again the first to reply,
"In that case, your honor, I believe that this human may verify my theory. I request that I have some time to study this creature and-"
The king or whoever cut him off. "Now, now, Dr. Zeris, we both know that man cannot be tamed. This mutant, this, this, anomaly is clearly trying to fool us with the lies he is spouting. Time travel? What kind of a ridiculous idea is that? However, I suppose you may have him for two days before he is handed over to my own personal apes to take care of."
"Thank you Lord," Dr. Zeris replied. Before Artemis could protest, he was leashed again and was led out with Mera, Sayer and Dr. Zeris. They were discussing about going back to that research facility.
"I wonder, why is that your buildings are so old-fashioned compared to your other devices?" Artemis asked. From things around him, he guessed that the apes had technology of around the 1400s of human time, though a few of their other things were a bit less advanced. Dr. Zeris replied before his brain processed that Artemis was a human and so should be unable to talk.
"Well, ape society has generally been copying the early generations for a long time. We like our old ways and buildings, which is why I believe our technology has advanced so slowly. And new theories are rejected almost instantly," he said, before he had the sense to keep quiet. He looked around to make sure no one had heard, and Artemis had the feeling that the guards had looked… different when Dr. Zeris had made that last statement. Artemis thought it likely that Dr. Zeris was talking about the king ape or someone high up, perhaps even blaming.
Sayer pulled on Artemis' leash. "Can't you walk any faster?"
"No," Artemis replied. His lack of physical coordination had clearly surprised the apes almost as much as his intelligence and his ability to speak.
For two days, Artemis was kept in a cell that was better than his earlier one, though not by much. No one came in, except Dr. Zeris who asked him where he really came from, and Artemis told him the same story again. Artemis was sure that he didn't believe him.
Then, on the morning of the second day, Artemis noticed something as he woke up. He wasn't in the room that had been given to him. He was in some vast, dark cave. And sitting in a chair a little distance from him was an elf.
The elf was old. Extremely. His entire frame looked like a withered tree, and Artemis had never seen any elf look that old. He was old in a way that was impossible for a human. Artemis knew he was being redundant by repeating 'old' over and over, but he just couldn't get over how old he was.
The elf actually spoke. In English too.
"Nice to see that you've woken up. You have no idea how hard it was to retrieve you from those accursed apes," the elf said in that weird, mixed-up accent that all fairies spoke in when they spoke in Tongues.
"Who are you? How can you be talking if this is a time when fairies have not evolved enough to speak?" Artemis asked. He saw that the elf was wearing a worn out LEPrecon uniform. It was quite possible that this was all a trap that he had laid down. Artemis didn't recognize the elf, but he was sure that there were a lot of fairies who didn't like him. Even after what he had done to save the world countless times. Even in that case, Artemis knew it was best to gather more information and bide time by getting this fairy to talk.
"Let me start at the beginning. You, lad, are currently six thousand and three hundred years ahead of your time, give or take a few decades," the fairy said.
Artemis processed this information. How was it possible that the humans and fairies had become less advanced?
"Four thousand and five hundred years after your time, the humans discovered the fairies. Oddly enough, they didn't fight us. It was strange. The humans had gotten lazy. They were too lazy to fight us. They were too lazy to even poison the planet as they had been doing for a long time. Even some fairies began feeling like that, and strangely enough the stupider that the humans and fairies got, the smarter the apes became. In the end, after five hundred years, a last alliance of humans and fairies fought a battle for Ireland, much like the Battle of Tailite. We lost, and I was one of them. I remember how sweet time was back then, when I was young and had a head full of dust." The fairy paused here, lost in his memories of a time long ago.
"Then why am I here?" Artemis asked, which he thought was the more pressing matter.
"You see, I managed to salvage what I could. During the battle, a nuclear weapon went off, killing most of the fairies, humans and apes. This is a thousand and three hundred years after that, and the humans and fairies have degraded while the apes evolved. I had this time device from long ago with me, and I've been spying you. You shone like the sun in a sea of candles. Artemis, you've been though more than anyone would care about, and you've had magic as a human, been healed countless times, traveled through time and dimensions, had parts rearranged with a fairy, been cloned and had your disembodied soul inserted into your clone. It was impossible to miss you. I wanted your help, you see, so I tried to bring you to me when you went near that bioreactor. There was a lot of time magic near it, so all I had to do was trigger it. But you came out a few miles away from what I had expected, and I had to use up most of my magic to shield and mesmer to get you back," he said. "If you want, check through that device. I still haven't figured it out, but I think you might."
Artemis walked over to what appeared to be a dark sphere, with an opening that shone blue. Artemis could actually see the time stream through it, and various images and places flashed before his eyes. Artemis had solved temporal equations before, and this would be no different.
"Do you have some disks that I can use?" Artemis asked. The fairy nodded and took what felt like a million years to reach a shelf and hand over four disks to Artemis. Artemis took them and connected them to a laptop. It was rather high-tech by human standards, but it wasn't good enough for Artemis to believe it had come from over five thousand years in the future. The elf answered as if he could read Artemis' thoughts.
"Artemis, most of this stuff was salvaged from fairy museums below the earth. I couldn't find much technology of my own time. Even this suit is millennia behind what was there during my day. What are you doing anyway, lad?"
"I'm sending a message for help. If you want me to help you, which I think I might, I'll be needing some of my friends," Artemis replied.
"I couldn't bring them. They weren't as beat-up as you were so I couldn't try to take them. If you're wondering, that machine was built by your friend, No1, and my name is Lafer, by the way." It was clear that Artemis didn't care much for the fairies' name. Instead, he uploaded all he had experienced into the three disks. One, he planned to send to Foaly and the other to Butler. The last one he wasn't sure of, but he decided to send it to Dr. J. Argon. Foaly and Butler would have the news destroyed if they could not save him, but he wanted the world to know what would happen to it if he couldn't' stop all of this from happening. He told Argon to report the findings on the disk to the public if he didn't make it back. He approached the device No1 had supposedly made, and waited. He had to time it exactly right. The disks, one by one, were dropped into the time stream. Artemis could tell that it was too risky to send a living object through it, like himself, without magic from some warlock like No1.
"Now," Artemis said, turning to the elf. "Tell me exactly why you brought me here. What is it exactly that I'm supposed to do or fix? I am not deciding anything until you tell me everything you know."
Lafer sighed, and he looked even older while doing so. He clearly didn't have much time left. But then again, Artemis knew that 'not much time left' could be thirty or forty years by fairy standards. Lafer looked at Artemis intently with his dark grey eyes and began.