By E.M. Megs
There was no denying the feeling she got when she walked into Fowl Manor and found it empty. Some strange mixture of apprehension, fear, and absolutely agonizing grief whipped through her body as all reason left her and all her senses simultaneously assaulted her with what was happening.
The smell was metallic and sharp. And it seemed to permeate everything around her but she couldn't find its source. She knew what it was all too well after all the healings she'd performed on her human friends. It was blood. Human blood.
Unwittingly she drew her neutrino, her ears prickling with anxiety.
There was a stillness that she didn't quite understand. There was normally a lively family of five running around this house with two Butlers and a small security team lurking in the shadows to watch over them. Her elven ears could pick up the smallest of sounds within 100 feet, yet there didn't seem to be much, if any, life in the entire house that she could hear.
Her heart thrummed in her ears, picking up speed, as she advanced through the house. One thought seemed to push through everything else, distracting her even when she knew that she needed to be calm and professional.
Oh Gods, let Artemis be okay. Please. He needs to be okay.
Fowl Manor hadn't ever been one of her favorite places on the planet, though it had grown on her over the years considering how many of her adventures with Artemis Fowl the Second had occurred there. She also had the unpleasant memory of being kidnapped and kept locked up in the basement of this house. The same unpleasant memory was also the time she'd last smelled blood in this house - which was directly after Butler had been mauled by a troll and was dying.
Artemis, Artemis, Artemis.
The stench got worse and she started to see the trails of crimson on the carpet. A ragged handprint with bloodied fingertips dragging down the wall. Holly, against her better judgment, imagined the scream that would have accompanied the frenzied victim as they were dragged.
Her heart nearly stopped when she came upon the sight of a much smaller hand print. This one would belong to just a child. She felt tears sting her eyes.
Myles and/or Beckett.
She stamped down on the thought of the twins quickly and leveled her neutrino determinedly. She discovered, with a vague trace of horror that the trail was leading her toward Artemis's lab. She could hear her heart beat ferociously in her ears as the amount of blood that seemed to soak into everything it could around her increased the closer she got to the lab that belonged to her best friend.
Oh Gods, not Artemis.
His lab was probably one of the most secure rooms on or in the entire Earth short of Foaly's Ops Booth and perhaps The Deeps in Atlantis. But even still, with the reaffirmation of this fact, the smell surrounding the cracked open door seemed to completely overrule every other fact that she knew.
The door being open did nothing to quell her sense of fear.
"Oh Gods," she breathed, feeling on the verge of a panic attack. She had not gone through all of those misadventures with Artemis just to find him slaughtered in his own home, had she? She shut her eyes just for a moment and breathed in deeply to calm herself. Of course she wouldn't. That would just be too anticlimactic. To battle gobins, trolls, evil pixies, bloodthirsty demons, an insane elf, greedy businessmen, his younger self, and even brought him back to life just for him to be killed so horribly without her even being there to do anything about it, that just wasn't justified.
Though she had always said that he had the worst karma imaginable.
She took another deep breath through her mouth to try and avoid that awful metallic scent. Her steps were careful as she stepped through the door, cringing at the pool of blood that her foot sank into. She forced herself to scan the room despite how horrible it was.
There was that terrible crimson liquid caked on every surface, darkening as it dried.
And then she saw them and she wasn't sure if her initial response should be to stare, flee, or scream. Some part of her urged her to run because obviously there was some kind of sick plot underway, possibly by an old enemy from Artemis Fowl Senior's crime days. Yet another couldn't stop staring, watching the stuff drip off of the perfectly carved wooden surfaces.
Only a fool wouldn't recognize them for what they were.
6 coffins with their tops secured and bloody beyond belief, the carvings in their side both horrific and works of art at the same time. Next to them sat two more, their surfaces untainted and tops waiting it seemed.
In all her years of knowing Artemis and his family, she had never ever expected to walk in on something like this.
Her ears tingled with barely suppressed apprehension. Something wasn't right here. She flipped the visor of her helmet down and tried to bring up a link to Foaly, only to find the lines jammed. She closed her eyes. Though she had an idea of what terror might reside in the boxes in front of her, she didn't want to look. She opened her eyes and blinked a few times.
Artemis might be in one of them…
She stopped the thought and shook her head, pulling in deep shuddering breaths. Unbelievable. Even the air filters of her LEPrecon helmet didn't have the power to get rid of the stench of spilled blood. The tingling of her ears persisted as she forced herself to go to the nearest coffin and push the lid aside with shaking hands.
She covered her mouth to stifle a sob as the part of her that had originally told her to run started up a whole new rally.
RUN YOU MORON! FROND! SOMEONE KILLED BUTLER! WHAT MORE PROMPTING DO YOU NEED?
Still she looked at the shot up corpse of Domovoi Butler and couldn't feel anything but sadness and barely suppressed rage. Whoever this person was had to be incredibly skilled to get past his defense, but somehow the danger didn't faze her. She just wanted to find whoever had done this and make them suffer.
That sense only grew as she pressed on to the other 5 sealed coffins. Her breath caught, the tears springing even more at the sight of Juliet Butler lying, peaceful but for the bloody hole in her chest and the spots of red on her pale cheeks.
Yet, still, a traitorous part of her whispered: But no Artemis. That's good, right?
Two of her friends were dead and all she could think about was whether Artemis was okay. Unbelievable.
Four coffins left now. If the Butlers were dead then she could reasonably conclude that they would hold 4 of the 5 members of the Fowl family. Which four she wasn't sure until she pushed aside the lids each in sequence, forcing herself not to look at who was inside until all four were open.
She looked over all four of them with a single sweeping glance and swallowed the lump in her throat as her fingers tightened around her neutrino.
Artemis Fowl Senior. Angeline Fowl. Myles Fowl. Beckett Fowl.
But no Artemis Fowl the Second.
Hot tears burned at her eyes at the horrible loss of life that sat in these six coffins. She couldn't breathe around the stench of death that made her want to vomit. Two little boys had been murdered. A reformed crime lord and his completely innocent wife. Two loyal bodyguards and friends. Why?
And where the hell was Artemis? If he wasn't in one of the coffins, then where was he?
She inspected the coffins again, looking closer at the carvings along the sides. She even mourned for the trees that the wood had invariably come from. What kind of monster…?
Then she noticed something that made her stomach flip. Among the undeniably beautiful designs, the foots of coffins all had a set of initials to go with them that perfectly coincided with the bodies resting inside of them.
DB. JB. AFI. AF. MF. BF.
Her stomach curled in knots as she glanced over the final, unfilled two.
She scrambled away from them toward the door immediately at the sight of her own initials carved into the wood of a coffin, the only conscious thought in her head screaming, RUN, RUN, RUN. GET AWAY.
Her thoughts raced as she scrambled for the door, feet slipping on the floor and limbs knocking against metal tables and other miscellaneous furniture. Artemis's coffin hadn't been filled. That meant that he was okay, right? He must have gotten away from this horrifying travesty, right?
And yet another thought, even more terrifying than the one where he was possibly dead.
Why would a criminal enemy of Artemis Senior put my initials on a coffin?
She stopped at the sight of him standing in front of her, blocking the door. She nearly cried with relief. Artemis was alive. He was standing in front of her, crumpled shirt bloody and looking slightly disheveled, but alive. Holly resisted the urge to throw herself at him and sob. She lifted her visor, purposely breathing through her mouth to at least damper the overwhelming reflex to chuck up the nettle smoothie she'd had for breakfast at the scent that surrounded her.
"Artemis. What happened?"
He stared at her for a long time. She gazed back, waiting for him to either break down at the horror of everything that he'd gone through or just explain as though from a distance, as she expected of him more than a break down. When he didn't speak, she asked again, gently, "Artemis? I need to know what happened."
He let out a breath and ran a hand through his scraggly black hair. "I've been having nightmares again, Holly."
She didn't understand what that had to do with anything but she nodded, understanding that he was probably dealing with this tragedy in his own way. However, she couldn't think of a way to help him when she could hardly focus due to the death and metallic taste in her mouth. She strode toward him and gently led him out of his lab and into a neighboring room where, though the smell wasn't completely gone, at least the substance didn't drench every piece of furniture.
She gently pushed the shocked boy down on a couch in the sitting room near his lab. Holly, though part of her told her not to put the neutrino away, holstered her weapon and sat next to him slowly. "Alright Arty," she murmured soothingly, placing her hands in his and trying not to imagine what might have happened to him that had splattered his pale skin so readily with crimson. "What are these nightmares?"
His fingers twitched under hers and she noticed his gaze shift distractedly around the room like it had occasionally when she was telling him the stories of their adventures. She squeezed his fingers reassuringly and he started speaking very quietly. "It's… the usual."
She nodded. He'd had nightmares about all sorts of things during the time that he was recovering his memories. Chinese mummies, hormonal trolls, killer crickets, goblins with softnose lasers, Opal's decaying body, Butler in a cryogenics unit, Hybras, Nopal, giant squids, just about anything that could be considered relatively terrifying to a normal child somehow wormed its way into his dreams.
His fingers tightened on hers fractionally as he continued, "Worms, dirt, Opal dead, green light, roses, the usual for the most part." He frowned slightly and his blue eyes seemed to swirl in confusion for a moment before settling again into their blank dazed look again. "But then… coffins." He swallowed and even she felt the shudder go down his spine. She raised a hand and brushed his hair away from his face gently, pushing it behind his ears.
"I was trapped in a coffin and the ground was crushing me. It was… awful. Like dying all over again. Did I ever tell you what dying felt like?" She remained silent, knowing exactly how it had felt like to her and that's all she really ever wanted to know. She already knew how much it hurt to watch someone die. She didn't want to think about what it felt like to actually be the one doing it. When she didn't answer, he pushed straight on forward.
"It felt like agony. My soul was ripped from my body and it was agony. It was like being taken apart in the time tunnel and put back together again except you don't actually get put back together. Bloody agony. And then nothing just numb, dark, cold, stuck in the ground feeling nothing but the worms surrounding you and the dirt crushing your chest even though you don't have a bloody chest.
"There are hardly memories. Nothing to hold on to. Because you are literally nothing in that state, nothing. You are the wind and the ground and pure magic caged by the earth around you without a single means of escape without a body. Six months and I didn't know who or what I was. I didn't know anything, Holly. I woke up and I almost didn't remember my name."
"Artemis." She felt tears pricking at her eyes again and fought to keep them back. It wouldn't do for her to break down now, even if he was describing what she had always thought was her worst nightmare.
"And the voices. The voices of the echoes of those fairy warrior spirits nearly drove me insane because they were just as lost as I was except for the difference was that they knew what they were there for because they weren't actually there. They were just the echoing cries of warriors waiting alone for the final charge."
"Artemis, please," she pleaded.
"And I wished, oh Frond, I wished that I had actually just died. I wished that I had let myself slip away with all those fairy souls that fled. But I didn't because something told me not to. Some nagging suspicion in the back of my nonexistent mind told me to hang on just a little longer because everything would be better."
"And then I woke up in this body and… No one knows what that's like. You read in books that the dead float off toward the light and are at peace but no one knows that that isn't how it goes. You are trapped in the ground alone and lost forever."
His head snapped up, eyes boring into hers with the realization that he'd gone off on a tangent. His eyes had always been disturbingly blue to her since he'd come back to life. She'd gotten so used to them being a part of each other and now it felt like she held a part of him, but he didn't hold on to her anymore. Like she was a toy that had been pushed aside and forgotten.
He drew in a shuddering breath, leaning his head into her hand as it came to rest on his cheek. He covered it with one of his own, closing his eyes. She noticed that he was just barely rocking his body. "Frond," she breathed, "What happened to you?" Her other hand found the opposite side of his face and she pulled his head down to rest against hers. "You're safe," she added in a whisper, "No matter what's happened here, Arty, you're safe now."
He pulled away sharply, shaking his head furiously. "No. No. There's no escaping. There is no safe." He kept his eyes closed and then kept telling her about his nightmares like he hadn't stopped explaining them. "I'm in a coffin and the weight of the earth in crushing me. And I hear these voices." His eyes popped open. "It takes me a while to see through the darkness but once I do, it's all horrifyingly clear. The voices are Butler, Juliet, my parents, the twins, and… you. You're all there with me.
"I start slipping back into consciousness but then it all just grips me and holds on for life. It's just… death, Holly. Everything and everyone I love dying. My parents, the twins, Juliet… B-Butler… Yo-You." His hands were shaking uncontrollably when she took them gently. "You're all dead, stuck in that same terror. But you understand. You all finally understand what a horror that is."
The very tips of her pointed ears now urged her to acknowledge that something was wrong but all she could really do was stare at him, her mind racing as she tried to take in everything that he was telling her and lock it in with the pieces of the puzzle.
"Artemis," she murmured, stroking his hair again, "what does this have to do with what happened to your family in your lab?"
He stiffened, his eyes, if possible, getting bigger. His breaths came rapidly, his hands holding hers so tightly she almost thought he might break her fingers. "What do you mean?" he asked in a sort of off voice that was higher than his normal one.
"Run, run, run," her subconscious whispered.
Very gently, she closed her eyes and pressed her forehead to his. "Artemis… they're all dead."
She pulled away just enough to see him staring into space with those blue eyes dimly blank, in a daze. Then he let out a gasp and scrambled away from her.
And then he was sobbing, haunted by the images behind his eyes. He curled up in a heap at the end of the couch, crying in hysterics. Her heart broke, watching this mud boy who had grown on her so much over the last decade. She reached for him, gently tugged his arms away from his head and pulling him into her arms and cradling his head to her chest. The entire time those haunted blue eyes watched her.
"Artemis, who did this?" she murmured into his hair once he had calmed down enough to speak. He shook his head and pressed his face further into her collar bone. "Artemis. If I'm going to help, I need to know who did this."
He shook his head again and whimpered a little. D'arvit, she hadn't seen him like this since he'd been in Argon's clinic with Atlantis Complex. And back then, he'd been consumed by paranoia and the conviction that the number 4 was absolute death. Back then, he'd been half out of his mind in such a way that a whole new personality had emerged from his normal one.
"Arty," she soothed, rubbing his back and feeling incredibly like a mother caring for a scared child. Though she supposed that Artemis wasn't much more than a child. Though… Hell, she didn't even know what age he really was anymore. Legally 20, 17 without the years missed in Hybras, and somewhere in between the two biologically. He was almost an adult, even if he'd been acting vaguely like one since age 10. "Was it an old business partner of your father's?"
Another shake of the head. No, she hadn't thought so. Not when her initials were carved into one of the coffins in his lab. His fingers tapped restlessly against her arm, which he gripped like life itself. She couldn't help counting them. Twenty. He stopped and drew in a deep breath as though trying to calm himself.
Yet running through all the fairy enemies they had, she couldn't figure out who would do this horrible thing. Artemis himself abhorred actual murder, despite how awful some of the parts of his plans had been in the past. In which case, she understood how this had put him in the state he was currently in.
Opal was dead - all three of her. Turnball as well. Cudgeon was out of commission. Really, even if she ran through the humans that they'd crossed over the years she couldn't think of anyone that had learned her full name. Spiro hadn't ever known that she existed. Minerva…
No. The thought of Minerva…
Still, she sucked in a breath. "Minerva?"
Artemis snorted almost like his normal condescending self and shook his head.
Okay. So she guessed that had been a bit of a stretch. Especially since she and Butler had become rather close friends over the time that she and Artemis had been off in Hybras. There was always Billy Kong, but Holly was almost certain that he hadn't known her name. She scowled, puzzling and puzzling to figure out this grand mystery.
Her heart pounded and her ears prickled when he whispered, "Fowls are poison. My nightmares… They were always dying. And it was always me." He curled tighter in on himself as the dread in the pit of Holly's stomach expanded into nausea.
"Artemis. What are you…?"
The pieces suddenly fit together perfectly as the desire to be sick escalated. She could feel her body growing more rigid as the terrible truth washed over her. Instances flashed through her head of everything that had happened since she'd arrived and the time leading up to it.
The initial sense that something was wrong. The presence of six filled wooden coffins in Artemis's lab.
Butler's voice on the phone, "He's been locking himself up in his lab a lot more lately. I believe he's taken up wood-working. Probably best if you come visit soon and drag him out of there for a while."
Her initials carved into the wooden surface of one of the coffins when any enemies that may have wanted to dispose of Artemis and Holly were indisposed or didn't know her name. That look in his eye when he'd discovered her in his lab, running from the scene like it was part of her worst nightmare.
The overall appearance of Artemis, unruffled and bloody, but completely unharmed. His apparent obsession with describing dying in brutal detail. "Fowls are poison."
No criminal business partner of Artemis Fowl Senior had done this. No one they knew would have been able to pull off killing two Butlers and the Fowls without the smarts to create a plan.
Artemis had those smarts.
She closed her eyes and slowly started pulling away from him, not wanting to alarm him but also wanting to get as far from him as she possibly could. She cursed the part of her that had told her to run for being right. "Artemis," she said, attempting to keep her voice level and failing. "Did you… Did you murder your family?"
"They needed to understand." He still seemed so out of it. Like he didn't really understand the gravity of what he had done. He remained curled up in a ball even as she backed away from him, slipping off the couch deftly. "No one understood. Now they will."
She felt something hit her suddenly. He was insane. Some delusion had convinced him that his family would go through the same thing that he had and then they'd understand. She swallowed and murmured quietly, "Artemis… You know that what happened to you and what's happening to them is not the same thing, right?" She inched toward the door.
He snapped, standing abruptly and shouting, "No, of course, I don't realize that, Holly! Do you think I would put them through that? No! I wouldn't want to put anyone through that. This is ensuring that they won't!" Her heart jumped in her throat as he pulled a small gun from somewhere on his person. She stared at him like she had never known him.
"Artemis, this isn't you."
"Of course it isn't," he snapped irritably. "The Artemis you know, died, Holly. I would have thought you had figured that out by now. I'm not the same person. I can't be the same person."
"Oh, yes," he stated, lips curling as he answered her unasked question, "I have all the memories. But those memories are so loose. They don't feel real even though I see you and I know they are. Your devotion is enough to show me that all of that actually happened. Bonded by trauma, right?"
He was scaring her. She swallowed the lump that was forming in her throat as he waved the gun around. Her own fingers twitched, wanting to grab hold of her neutrino and stun him at least. In her mind, she saw Butler's corpse and realized just how much he had utterly betrayed everyone he loved. How much it must have hurt Butler as he was dying to look up at the boy that he had practically raised and watch him fire a bullet into his forehead. Or to see your own flesh and blood son and brother maniacally yet methodically shoot every single person important to you.
To be forced to watch your best friend wave a gun around while certainly being completely out of his mind. To have to observe the exact moment when he realized that you were almost out the door and crawl even deeper into insanity.
He fired in her direction and though he missed by several feet, she still felt that lump of fear deep within her threaten to overwhelmed her. She flipped her visor down again, desperately trying to get a line through to Foaly as she activated her wings and shimmered out of sight.
"Are you really going to just leave me, Holly?" he asked, seemingly turning back into the defeated boy that he had been when she first got there. Her heart broke because although he was currently trying to kill her, he was still her best friend and he was still hurting.
"Of course not," she whispered, moving so that when he fired his weapon in the direction of her voice, he'd miss. "I could never leave you like this, Artemis. You need help."
"Help from whom?" he growled, shooting off a random bullet that just barely missed her ear. She froze and held her breath then crept very slowly forward and to the right. "Human authorities will take one look at my lab and lock me up in a high security mental facility. The LEP have no authority here unless I actually manage to kill you and even if they did, they'd probably act similarly to human authorities." He laughed harshly and muttered, "I'm insane by your standards, aren't I?" She swallowed and let him keep ranting because it allowed her to get closer to him. "I am not insane, Holly. I have merely realized the truth of my life. I am not supposed to be alive. It isn't normal to come back from the dead."
"You were never normal," she blurted without thinking and immediately felt the piercing pain of a tiny metal projectile hit her in the chest, driving straight through the material of her suit. She choked and fell to her knees, her shield dropping. "Artemis," she gasped, keeping a hand pressed to the place where the bullet had entered her.
He was staring at her, breathing rapidly. "What…? Why did I…?" He blinked a few times and she just barely caught the sight of tears there before her own vision blurred. He threw the gun away from him as though it had burned him and lurched forward, dropping down next to her. "Holly. Oh God, Holly. I'm sorry."
She could practically feel the life flowing out of her and flopped onto her side. Blue sparks searched around her but they couldn't heal anything because the bullet was still inside of her. She coughed, back arching with the effort to try and draw in oxygen. The bullet had lodged itself in a lung and it felt like drowning.
She vaguely felt Artemis's shaking hands lift her head into his lap, popping the releases on her helmet and pulling it off. Foaly's voice filled the speakers seconds later. "What in the name of FROND did you do, Mud Boy?"
Artemis took a glance at the helmet's camera. Foaly would catch on sooner or later when he watched the footage from her helmet. "Arty," she rasped. He looked back at her with those wide empty, sad, eyes. "Why…?"
He shook his head, tears flowing down his cheeks as he realized that he had just killed his best friend. She understood that he couldn't explain what had happened to him. He didn't even know what was happening in his mind anymore. He was invariably lost.
Foaly's voice was dark as he came back on the speakers. "I'm going to make sure you rot in the worst place you can possibly think of, Fowl. Capital punishment is too good for you."
"Foaly, stop," Holly managed, back spasming as her pierced lung attempted to draw in more of her very much needed oxygen. "He… doesn't…" She gasped, struggling to inhale again. "Understand."
"Holly, I'm so sorry," Artemis whispered, his fingers tangling in her hair. She could vaguely imagine him going through the same thing as he held the mother that he'd gone back in time to save and the brothers that he'd hardly gotten to know. The thought just made her sad, all thoughts of vengeance on the person that had killed the Fowls and Butlers deserting her. "I don't know… I couldn't…"
"Shhhh, Arty." She managed to lift a hand and place it on his cheek.
"Why aren't you healing?"
Aside from the bullet resting in her lung, she was also low on magic as she'd been planning to perform the Ritual after visiting him. "No… Magic."
"You never have magic when we need it," he choked. She closed her eyes just for a brief second and the hand still in her hair tightened. She opened them again and watched him as he stroked his thumb over her cheek just under his eye. Something flickered in his eyes and then he breathed, "I'm such a monster."
"No," she gasped.
"I should have pushed you away after I kidnapped you. I shouldn't have…" He seemed to tear himself apart mentally and let out a sob, leaning his head down to rest against hers.
"Retrieval's on the way with Trouble at the head. You better have a damn good explanation, Fowl, and Holly had better be alive or he might just skin you alive." Foaly was still pissed beyond belief then, despite her insistence that he wasn't at fault.
Artemis's tears fell on her face, hot and grief-stricken. Her hand wrapped around the back of his neck as she tried to cling to life, even though she knew it was pointless. "Artemis… I… You... Another Time..."
He just seemed to cry harder at that, regret at what he'd done bleeding into a grief so strong that it wiped out all reason. "I can't do without you," he mumbled, lips brushing her cheeks and forehead. She smiled even as the last of life drained out of her.
Trouble Kelp approached Fowl Manor with the intent to kill. An hour ago, he'd been informed that the life signs from Captain Holly Short's suits had all gone flat after a fatal encounter with a bullet shot by Artemis Fowl. His fingers curled tightly around his neutrino as he led a team inside. He wasn't sure what he would find but the stench was enough of a clue.
He found Artemis sitting against a wall in his lab, head laid against the wall and eyes staring off at nothing. His fingers were absently stroking the auburn hair of the dead elf in his lap. His eyes shifted to the Commander as he entered, retching at the smell.
"Commander Kelp," Fowl muttered, "Come to put me out of my misery?" He seemed to smile sardonically, like he would gladly welcome death. His expression cracked as he glanced down at the small body in his arms. "I would have done it myself, but I ran out of bullets."
Trouble growled in disgust and ramped his neutrino setting up to 'burnt to a crisp'. "I want to hear your explanation first, Fowl," he spat. "You killed Holly?" All he did was nod numbly, staring again off into space. "And the Butlers?" Another nod. "And your family?" Yet another nod, this one pained. Kelp strode forward quickly and kicked him in the side. He barely winced at the contact. "What kind of sick monster are you?"
He shrugged, gazing idly over the other fairies in his lab, looking around them in horror. Trouble caught sight of Holly's coffin and whirled around to punch him before Artemis interrupted him. "It's faux wood. I thought she'd appreciate it more than killing a tree to bury her."
Trouble's lip twitched halfway to a sneer before he realized that talking with the boy was not the thing that he wanted to do. He looked down at his Captain in the arms of this Mud Boy and curled a hand into a fist. "Why, Fowl?" he asked evenly, trying desperately to get the vision of Holly's pale sickly skin out of his head.
Fowl shrugged. "Madness comes over the most intelligent of minds," he said quietly. "I… I'm sorry. Something… Broke. And…"
Trouble held up a hand. "I don't want to hear your apologies, Fowl," he snarled. "I want my officer back. I couldn't care less that you killed your entire family, but you crossed a line when you decided to murder my officer." Artemis pursed his lips and nodded, bowing his head for a moment in consent.
When he moved to stand a chorus of shouts made him freeze. He looked at Trouble with his gun held aimed at the boy's head and then moved toward the line of bloody coffins. He placed Holly carefully in the one with her initials and turned to face the commander, holding up his hands to show he wasn't armed. Trouble glanced at the coffin where the small three-foot body of Holly Short laid then he shook his head and raised his neutrino, looking around once at his team, all of whom had hardened looks on their faces as well.
"Did you know, Mud Boy?" the Commander asked with an surprisingly soft voice.
"Did I know what?"
"That she refused me because of you."
Artemis's shoulders sagged. "Just shoot," he whispered, waiting to finally be taken from the world properly. "Please. I wasn't supposed to come back to life. That much is apparent by the fact that I killed everyone I love. Please."
Trouble snorted as if he had never once wavered and fired. "You asked, Fowl."
Not a single fairy in the room questioned the commander's choice as the body of Artemis Fowl the Second fell to the ground. Chix Verbil was the first to leave, muttering angrily to himself about Holly's death. Commander Kelp glanced at a few of his officers and motioned to Holly's coffin. "Come on. We'll take her underground for her recycling in that but I want it burned separately as soon as she's safe."
On the floor, Artemis watched them as his final heart beats drilled out of him. "In another time," he breathed with just the slightest hint of his vampiric smile on his face.
A/N: Cheery, cheery. You'll excuse how depressing this is. My muse wouldn't let me write anything even remotely happy until this had gotten out of my head. Also the idea of an insane/serial killing Artemis is just too tempting for me to NOT write about.
Fun fact: Originally Holly had told Artemis that she loved him right before dying but that didn't seem even vaguely Holly-like to me and it bothered me when I re-read it, so I changed it. Ahaha? Actually, the first draft was completely different where Butler called Holly because Artemis was locked in his lab for a long time forever and when she went in his lab and saw them, Artemis ended up shooting her. End result is still the same.
Okay. Now that my dark side is finished maybe I'll be able to get out what my ACTUAL first response to TLG was. Erm. Maybe. (There's actually a lot more dark ideas in my head than… anything else really…. I need help… Psychiatric help.)
Leave a review, if it pleased you. Even if it didn't and you're bawling your eyes out (hey, YOU clicked the link), leave a review and tell me what could have been better.