A/N: I'M BACK! After ending Apollo, I gave myself a year's absence to work on other fan fictions. Now that those are out of the way, I can focus on another chaptered structured long fan fiction. YAY!
To those who did not like Apollo, looking back on it, I understand the hatred. Not my best work, but it did help me experiment with long chaptered structured stories. I've learned from my mistakes and have decided to do another long story-arc fan fiction of Artemis Fowl. I've taken 24 pages of notes before hand to plan out each chapter, and hopefully you all will enjoy my latest work. It's basically a giant piece of fan-service, but done as if Eoin wrote it himself. Consider this fan fiction a lost last book of the Fowl series.
I want to thank BeckettSimpleton for the inspiration, motivation, and the idea's to tinker with for this new fanfiction. An now, without further ado, here it is.
*2 years after The Last Guardian*
One has to admit that because of the advent of technology, humans have emotionally stunned their evolution to the point of acting like whining children. Phrases such as "I need my IPod," or "I need the internet," have shown how in the course of the late 80's to the latter half of the 2000's, humans have psychologically confused their wants with their needs. Many would believe after "The Great-Techno Crash," humans would recognize that this was their chance to start over. And for the first 6 months, it appeared that way. But alas, humans wanted that all too familiar feeling of comfort, and within 2 years after the Great Crash, civilization had continued on as if nothing had happed. Life returned to a state of "normalcy," (If you'd considered the late 2000's normal).
However, there were 3 major things to come out of the great techno-crash that changed how human beings behaved and lived their lives forever.
1. Food and fuel.
For a good 6 months, produce stores and mini-malls had lost all of their costumers to local produce markets and greenhouses. Since many vehicles and processing plants were lost during the explosions, prices for groceries had skyrocketed to ridiculous amounts. The human race basically gave the middle finger to grocery store chains and got their food from the local hippy friend down the street, or better yet, they purchased the seeds themselves to grow in their backyard. For a while, these new age thinkers had become the saviors of the universe. Of course companies such as Microsoft and Apple kicked their asses off the platform of unanimous attention and dazzled people with their newest products.
However, the philosophies and techniques that these people lived by had suddenly become the norm. Water was no longer something you drank for your health; it became a fuel for the newest line of Ford vehicles. With the constant paranoia of the now realized truth that technology could fail, humans had to preserve and recycle their natural resources for their own personal benefit as well as the benefit of others. Those who had purchased large quantities of seeds and stocked up on provisions after the initial two weeks of panic began to open greenhouses for the general public and made a decent if not fantastic living. In 2 years, they started to chain their stores across the globe. Food and fuel had without doubt become redefined and popular in the wake of "The Great Techno-Crash," even after society found its roots once again.
Golden Age thinking became a very popular behavioral thought process for most people. They wanted to live in the past. They wanted to achieve a happier life that had occurred so many years ago. They wanted to re-experience a time when there was no threat of random explosions or earthquakes; no acid rain or nuclear bombs; no political arguing. Of course, these ideals where basically manifestations of extreme denial disorders, but one can dream can't they? All of these expressions where placed into the most expressive outlet of them all; art.
Steampunk bars made a killing. Traditional Japanese paintings were sold for millions upon millions of dollars. The old silk-toned voices of radio DJs regained their thrones upon the newly popularized radio. And even after the popularity of the radio had crashed, the DJ's found a new life in podcasts and commercials. But above all, home and business décor shifted its focus towards that of reminding people of the 'good-old days' rather than trying something new and innovative. Las Vegas is a perfect example of this nostalgic aspect. Tuxedo's, lavish colors of red and yellow, and swing music all made a homecoming in order to be reminiscent of "The Rat Pack," days. The topic of Las Vegas also transitions nicely into the third major change that came out of the "Great Techno Crash."
It's a common fact held amongst most men that in times of crisis, faith is placed heavily on a certain entity; most of the time it is religion. In the case of "The Great Crash" however, money became the new God. Millions flocked to change their two dollars into 2,000 dollars, in any way, shape, or form. Gambling in casino's however received the largest amount of attention. Gambling had always been a form of escape. People forget that they were playing with money, when they would look down and see cards in one hand and poker chips in another. However, the motivation had always been money, and humans REALLY needed motivation after the crash.
Everyone who was considered rich at some point got into the Casino business. In fact, the Fowl empire found themselves in the midst of the casino business at one point. And it's because of this fact, Artemis Fowl found himself in a position where the services of his magical friends were needed once more. What was this position?
Artemis Fowl Senior was in a coma.
Although the world slowly tried to adjust itself above ground, below ground reconstruction took place in a heartbeat. Many things changed; the small things mostly. The big things however remained the same. For example, Goblins were still idiotic troublemakers.
The biggest problem that came out of Opal Koboi's final plan was that many of the goblins and trolls that were released from their cages were now loose on the streets. It became a weekly thing now with the L.E.P. A call would come in about a sighting in some street or alley. Teams would go in and raid the monsters and bring them back to jail or in some extreme cases, tossed them into a zoo (the majority of those inhabiting zoos were mostly trolls. Goblins got the shaft and went to jail).
Holly Short was extremely pissed about this.
She had not been to the surface in over 10 months. This was the longest period of waiting ever, and she was getting anxious. She longed to revisit the surface as most elves and magical creatures did. It was in fact in her nature to want to live on the surface. She didn't care how polluted the world had become. She wanted to breathe smoke.
The last time she went to the surface, she had to wait for 8 months before getting a surface visa. It wasn't necessarily the difficulty of acquiring a visa that caused these long periods of waiting. But she had a job to do; KICK GOBLIN ASS!
And the longer these green little blockheads kept her from the surface, the harder she would kick their asses.
The night was shaping itself up to be a typical raid. Someone had called about disturbing noises coming from a storage facility in one of their rather larger storage units. An L.E.P. squad-bike pulled over to exam the place and determined that they would need more back up. Holly Short had found herself in one of the three van units dispatching itself towards the Goblin sighting. Being that she was a commander, once they were within three miles of the area, Holly explained the plan to them.
It was a simple sting operation. Stealth was to be their biggest ally. Not knowing what the Goblins could be packing, it would be the first van's duty to scout the area. Holly's van, the second van, had another ally on their side; the element of surprise. After the first fan would give the all clear, Holly's troops would blast the ever-loving crap out of those Goblins, but only on her signal. She was in charge, and she wouldn't have her over-eager recruits get themselves killed without her say so. Setting all their Neutrino's on the highest and most painful level of stun, Holly had only one major piece of advice to give to her troops.
"Spread out once you exit the van," she exclaimed. "But remain in teams. Only two people per team. I do not want to see my entire squadron go down because of stupidity!"
The van stopped about 75 yards away from the building. Holly opened the front door of the van, and held her arm up in the motion of waiting. Then she pulled on her helmet and slammed her aiming visor down. Silence immediately followed.
It was a beautiful day as far as Haven was concerned. The artificial sun was rising early in the sky and a gentle breeze created by the artificial air simulators in Haven made a slight yet exhilarating feeling brush across Holly's skin. It was these calm moments before the storm that she savored.
She saw out in the distance, a troop giving her the thumbs up. The waiting was over, and she was to take the first shot. Aiming her Neutrino at the door, her purpose was to blow down the front door and have her team rush in. She would follow closely behind, taking part of the attack but having a good view as to what her team-mates were doing.
She began to squint her eyes down as the red aiming laser inside her helmet placed itself on the door handle. It really didn't make no difference where she aimed at the door. The size of the neutrino ball that would emit from the barrel of her gun would be big enough to engulf the entire door frame and then some. But it always made her a little more smug to know that she had it aimed exactly on the door frame. All she needed was perfect concentration.
Suddenly, noise filled the entirety of her head set. At first her heart rate jumped drastically. She was not expecting any sound whatsoever and was justifiably shocked. However, once she recognized the noise, a mixture of anger and curiosity coursed through her body. Curiosity flowed through her veins because what she was hearing in her helmet was the specialized ringtone that Foaly picked out to play when Artemis Fowl called Holly's communicator. Anger coursed through her body, because Foaly picked the song "Don't you want me," by "Human League." As the lyrics were sung, Holly's anger was on the verge of boiling.
"I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar/ that much was true."
Holly answered the call. Just why was Artemis Fowl calling her at this moment? She made her intentions known.
"Artemis," she proclaimed. "I'm fairly busy right now and I would love to chat, truly. But if this isn't important, I'm hanging right back up."
Artemis didn't waste any time. "My father's in a coma…."
Holly felt cold. It was the perfect words said at the perfect time. Her brain tried kick-starting itself a few times after the initial shock, and once it did, she still couldn't believe the words that came through the headset.
"What?" she asked in utter shock.
She heard a breath on the other end. It sounded repressive. It clearly brought forth an emotional response from Holly. Her heart was breaking. Her mind was racing. Exactly what was happening in Artemis Fowl's world?
"My Father is in a coma and I need your assistance," Artemis Fowl proclaimed on his end. His voice had that shaky and quick quality to it that one's voice acquires when they are trying to relay emotionally painful information. It also had that general Fowl charm that Holly had grown accustomed to. "Get Trouble Kelp and Grub Kelp as well. I will inform you of your duties when you arrive at the Tara shuttle port. Oh, and try to find a way to get Foaly to come to the surface with you. I'm pretty sure there's more than just one individual who can commence the shuttle launches. Juliet and Butler are rounding up a few others as well as me….Please respond and tell me you're coming."
Holly was greatly confused. She couldn't understand why she would be needed. Was she supposed to heal Artemis Fowl Senior out of his coma? Bad feelings were starting to return at the thought of doing something like that. However, after reintroducing the Fowl family their newly cloned son, Holly had grown close to the entire family; Angeline, the twins, Artemis Fowl Senior, they all had a special place in her heart. So if they needed help, she was automatically by their side. This was no exception.
But what about her troops? Could she leave them behind to defend for themselves and get the job done?
She reviewed the situation. Goblin raids typically didn't last long. The average time frame was 5 to 10 minutes and they were always boring. There would be some fighting, sure. But once the leader of their gang got taken out the rest would crumble like a ton of bricks. As settings went for Goblin raids, there wasn't really anything too difficult that presented itself. As long as her squadron didn't panic, they should be fine and in fact would be protected by the other squadrons as well.
Her decision was a no brainer.
"I'll be there," Holly announced into her helmet. She heard the communicator click off. Lifting her vision visor, she turned to her troops and made a quick announcement.
"Well Guys, it looks like you'll be doing this mission without me," Holly exclaimed, much to the confusion of her staff. The young boys looked back and forth at each other, wondering if this was a normal thing for a superior officer to do. "But don't worry," Holly assured them. "This is a simple sting operation and I have the upmost faith that you'll be fine. Goblins are generally stupid creatures so if you find yourself in a one-on-one situation, just let them do all the work and eventually they'll hurt themselves. Keep the ammo heavy and the ammo use light. watch your brother's six, and as always, I get the first shot."
Without even looking, Holly stunned the boys as she lifted the Neutrino behind her head, and with the gun upside down, she perfectly struck the door. The fire ball erupted and all hell broke loose. The stunned crew quickly came to their senses and leapt out of the vehicle. Holly leapt out of the vehicle as well but instead of heading towards the storage unit, she ran to the street, hoping to catch a hover cab. Luckily for her, the wait wasn't too long. Once she got inside, she directed the driver to head to the address of Trouble Kelp's house.
As the cab moved, she vaguely wondered who else Artemis, Juliet, and Butler were rounding up.
*The Moon. Section 8.*
Fairies were great at the art of covertness. They had a moon base ever since the 1930's and Neil Armstrong along with many others just waltzed right passed it. Of course, not all of the credit could be given to the crafty and elegant nature of magical creatures. Foaly's design of cameo-foil which covered the whole base proved to be an excellent aid in hiding.
The moon base was located on the Far East side of the moon; just passed the astrological lunar shadow known as "Oceanus Procellarum." It was about 300 square kilometers in length and the highest dome of the compound was roughly 12 kilometer's high. The base was split into seven domes, each one built at a different point in time and each one had their own unique purpose devoted to Section 8 activities, missions, and research. All domes belonged to Section 8 and one dome in particular was the housing area for each crew member working in space.
This is where the warlock No.1 found himself at the moment. He was walking from one hallway to the other, going towards his favorite dome of the facility; the imagination observatory. Much like the Holodeck in Star Trek (which was actually the inspiration of the dome designer's plans for the observatory), the IMO as most called it could construct physical matter based upon the person who stepped inside it. The imagination of the individual was the only limit as to what could be conjured up. Nothing could be taken out of the room, and anything destructive could not damage the IMO. If someone injured themselves inside the IMO, that was their problem. As No.1 etched closer and closer to the dome, Qwan followed closely behind.
"I highly advise that you take some more time out of the day for mediation," Qwan suggested as he struggled to keep up with the much younger warlock.
"I do, every morning," No.1 advised him. "And besides, the IMO helps me relieve most of my stress and also aids in manifesting my subconscious to deal with personal problems; isn't that good enough?"
"It would be," Qwan retaliated, "but I fear that soon you'll fall victim to the temptations facing creatures your age and routinely morning meditation won't be enough. "
No.1 raised a brow. "What kind of temptations?" No.1 began to smile a little bit. He knew exactly what Qwan was referring too and for some reason (quite possibly the demon blood inside him) he got a sadistic thrill watching the older warlock squirm in embarrassment as he tried to explain the birds and the bees to him.
Qwan however had caught on to No.1 thrills and quite frankly got a little angry. "You know damn well what I'm talking about!" he proclaimed. "You're a growing warlock No.1. Naturally, you'll feel the urge to claim a mate and being near the last of your kind, finding a mate to satisfy you will be tremendously hard. I fear that without enough mediation or some form of relaxation, you'll violently release your anger onto the general public."
No.1 sighed. "Relax father. I've been perfectly able to conduct myself well within public ever since I came to the moon base. Besides that, my constant work with Section 8 crime details and interrogations keeps my mind too occupied to trifle with mates. I have a feeling, that when I leave this rock, and when the time comes for me to find a mate, I'll be in complete control of my emotions and I won't cause any trouble."
They had arrived at the entrance door of the IMO. Just at that time, Qwan had stopped to quirk a brow. "You think so? Are you confident that this is the case?"
No.1 turned and flashed a smile. Qwan had to shiver a little bit. No.1 was allowed one communicator call per day to the outside world unless someone tried contacting him first. He usually called a certain Irish lad, and Qwan began to suspect that he was picking up one too many tricks from him.
"If I say I'm confident that this would be the case, it wouldn't mean much considering that I'm typically a happy and confident person all the time," No.1 explained as his predatory smile transformed into a natural smile; illustrating what he was speaking about. "So I am going to say that I am not only confident, I'm positive that this will be the case."
Qwan smiled and placed a hand on No.1's shoulder. "I'm so proud of the mature being that's standing before me."
No.1 genuinely smiled back and hugged Qwan. "Thanks pops," he proclaimed. No.1 had greatly grown attached to the man while on the moon base. He had a few friends here and there but never in his life did No.1 have a father figure. Qwan quickly became that figure and the warlock welcomed that idea with open arms. He was proud to call this great magical creature his surrogate son.
No.1 let go and turned back to the door. He swiped the card that hung around his neck on a chalice which contained the access code to the door; showing that he was indeed allowed authority to access the IMO. As the carbonated locks sprang open, No.1 took off the communicator that hung from his ear as a piercing and placed it in Qwan's hands.
"Can you hold this for me?" he asked. "I don't like being disturbed while in the Imagination Observatory."
"Certainly," Qwan responded. No.1 dropped the communicator in his hands. Then he proceeded to walk inside the room. As he did, Qwan called out "Remember, you have only 30 minutes." Then his voice vanished as the doors behind No.1 sealed shut.
No.1 waited for a few seconds in giddy anticipation before setting up his surroundings. He started off slow. The room inside transformed from a blank technological grid into looking like something located inside a Victorian Age mansion. He envisioned a fire place and voilà, one appeared lit and it greatly illuminated the room. He envisioned a large queen size bed with greatly high-numbered thread count sheets and a red embellishment. As if on cue, one sprang up from the ground.
Then No.1's thoughts drifted to a far darker place. If not darker, they at least got supremely perverted. He was now at his favorite point of all his IMO visits. This is where he constructed the girl.
As always, she was human. He often wondered why he was attracted to human girls. He was demon and he should've been attracted to demon girls, or at least warlock women. But, oddly enough, it was the humanoid race which excited him the most. Maybe it was the forbidden quality that came from such an idea as mating with a human. Whatever the case, this was what he wanted his lifestyle to be. This is what his lifestyle would lead to. No matter how crazy it appeared, No.1 wanted to touch, feel, and taste that which was human.
He decided that his woman for that night would have black hair and pale skin. He imagined luscious red lips, and brown eyes that made you want to sink into them. He decided to do something drastic and instead of giving her D-cup breasts as the norm, he settled for a C cup to B cup range. And, as always, the lingerie she wore was scandalous at best.
When No.1 opened his eyes, the picture he painted would've encapsulated the attention of millions of teenage boys and a few very impressed employees of Victoria's Secrete.
The only difference here was that unlike the before mentioned magazine, this was not a picture. This was a living breathing valiant achievement; as self evident when the woman spoke.
"It's so good to see you again baby," she spoke in a whisper. She grabbed the pillow and held it close to her body as she began to tumble about in the bed playfully. "I get so lonely."
No.1's smile grew enormously. This certainly solved Qwan's fears of finding a way to kill the urge. Although this was probably not what he had in mind.
"As do I," No.1 exclaimed happily as he traveled towards the bed. "But never fear, because, I am here."
As he walked closer and closer to his lovely figment of his imagination, he conjured up a bottle of cold champagne to fall into his hands. Once he crawled into bed, he brought to life two fancy glasses for them to share. As he poured the liquid, he began to create her back-story as usual.
"So tell me," he spoke with interest as he would if this woman were actually real. "When we last left off, our topic of conversation had something to deal with Russia in some way."
"Mm-hmm," the woman responded. "We were talking about my assassin training experience. "
"Ahh, exactly," No.1 stated. "So tell me, how was that?"
The woman sat her glass down at the end of a table which No.1 imagined right then and there. Then, she began to regale her tale, all of which, No.1 previously thought about beforehand.
"I moved to Russia when I was thirteen. I had already learned the language so the accent was easy to pick up on. I made friends here and there, and life was pretty much good. I mean, what isn't fun about shooting weapons on a range half the day and then 'training' on an obstacle course for the second half?"
As she spoke, No.1 teenage hormones caused him to focus on every curve of her body. He studied how her stomach rose slightly when she inhaled breath. He watched as he lips puckered and stretched with each word. He followed the trail of her legs as they lead to the one place which he desired the most.
"I can only imagine," No.1 responded.
"The only thing that I hated about that school was its strict policy concerning PDA," the woman exclaimed. "You couldn't wear this, you couldn't do that. I mean, half of the female assassins would be trained to seduce their target before killing them. How are we supposed to learn the art of seduction when the faculty is too uptight about sexual conduct within the school?"
"Naturally you fought your way around the system, correct?" No.1 implied.
The woman smiled as she took another sip of her drink. "My roommate and I pooled some money together. And in the spring we traveled to town and picked up a prostitute. We gave her the address to our room and at night we snuck her in and she showed us all of her moves."
No.1 smiled greatly. "Care to give me a demonstration?"
The imaginary woman lifted her leg up and over No.1, resting her thigh on his collar bone. "Certainly," she said with a toothy grin.
No.1 leaned in for the kiss.
Suddenly, No.1 heard the sound of pressurized air door cogs twisting and turning. Fear struck the poor demon warlock as he heard an all too familiar voice.
"Hey No.1 you got a call from…..BOY! WHAT IN THE NAME OF THE GODS ARE YOU DOING?!"
No.1 immediate rolled off the bed and collapsed onto the floor with a thud. It was painful, but he didn't much care for the pain in his bones. The pain concerning his pride hurt the most. As he fell, the imaginary world around him dissolved into nothingness. The IMO became that blank grid board again.
No.1 pushed himself up off the floor, and was embarrassed to see that a certain part of his anatomy was showing. He covered himself with his hands, and too embarrassed to look Qwan in the eye, he accepted whatever fate that was coming to him.
"WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT?!" Qwan shouted with a tone laced with shock and disappointment.
"Qwan…it's not what you think," No.1 began uninspired. "This isn't….or was what it looked like."
"Oh," Qwan responded sardonically. "So I didn't see you in bed with a human girl?"
No.1 sighed. "Ok, maybe you saw too much."
"Damn right," Qwan grumbled. He looked at the palm of his hand, which contained the reason for his presence in the room. He tossed the communicator towards No.1, who quickly imagined a pair of pants to throw over himself so he could remove his hands from his junk to capture the device before it struck the ground.
"Artemis Fowl was on the line, I figured it was important," Qwan stated.
No.1's interested immediately picked itself up. He began to attach the communicator to his ear.
As Qwan walked away, he paused for a second by the door.
"Now, I understand the urges and why the IMO would seem like the perfect place to carry out those urges," Qwan addressed No.1. "But the human girl thing…..being that you're a warlock, unfortunately, that isn't really natural. Not that I care whom you're attracted too…..but it is a bit odd considering how you're one of the last of your kind….I'll have to discuss this with Foaly. We'll talk about this later….but much later….right now, I'm not really in the mood to discuss much of anything."
The door closed and Qwan was again separated from No.1's world. This time however, No.1 was not interested in self enjoyment. He placed the communicator inside his ear piercing and immediately dialed Artemis.
He answered after three rings. "Hello?"
"Artemis. It's No.1. You called me for something?"
"Why, yes I did. It appears to that I am in dire need of your assistance. I was hoping you could get a surface visa from Section 8 to assist me personally."
"Certainly bro. What seems to be the problem?"
"My father's in a coma."
Holly thanked her cab driver, paid the fee, and stood at the bottom of the apartment stairs as the cab drove off along the street. Holly looked up at the building. She was amazed by how good-looking it was, but she wasn't surprised or caught off guard. It was predictable. She knew that ever since Trouble got promoted to council, he had received more income than any of his days when he was inside the L.E.P. as a commander. What really shocked her was how well he took it. Gun-hoe Trouble Kelp had seemed to relax in his later years. But at the moment, past-lives didn't concern her. What concerned her was if he would accept the mission.
As she walked up the steps, she had a sneaking suspicion that wherever she would find Trouble, Grub Kelp would be close behind. Thus her lack of shock when she knocked on the front door and Grub answered.
The green elf was paralyzed with fear when he noticed Holly standing before him. He was in trouble. He reportedly told Holly this morning that he was sick. He never mentioned that he was at his brother's house, nor did he believe that at any point Holly would look for him at his brother's house. Holly and Trouble hadn't been dating for two years now, so why would she show up on Trouble's doorstep? Knowing this, when he decided to play hooky from work, he asked his brother if he could crash at his pad. Although skeptical at first, Trouble allowed it but only for this occasion; reasons' being that all the L.E.P. did nowadays was either cleanup from the crash, Goblin raids, and paperwork. Rarely were there any retrieval missions on the surface.
Grub thought he was in the free and clear. Now, death had appeared on the doorstep, and death sported a cheeky grin, a green jumpsuit, and flaming Auburn hair.
Immediately, Grub tried to save himself by fake coughing. After hacking a few good rounds, Grub stated in his best sick voice, "Hey Holly….what's up?"
Holly smiled an evil smile. "Grub Kelp!" she stated with pseudo-charm. "Fancy seeing you at your brother's house. I thought you were sick."
Grub began to sweat. In the back of his mind, he hoped the sweat added onto the performance. "I know! Weird right? I was like sick you know….which is why I wasn't at work and, Trouble was like 'dude, I'm your bro, I'll take care of you,' so I had to drive my ass over here and I've been crashing on his couch sick as a dwarf who ate bad rocks….yep…that's what happened."
Holly raised a brow. "You wouldn't skip out on work just because we had another Goblin raid going on right?" she proclaimed sarcastically.
"No, never," Grub Kelp commented. "And I especially wouldn't be crashing at my brother's house because he had a western movie marathon going on."
Suddenly, a loud gun-shot was heard coming from inside the room. Due to the tonal quality of the sound, Holly immediately recognized that it had to be a fake gunshot; possibly coming from a fairy TV (which was different from mud men TV's in the area of picture quality, sound quality, and portability). Afterwards, the sound of stampeding horses filled the room and emerging from behind Grub's shoulder, was a very ecstatic Trouble Kelp. His smile was constructed around a fungus cigar. He patted his disappointed and defeated brother on the back, not noticing Holly at the moment.
"Boy," he began. "He may have a problem with filthy language, but I tell you what, that Tarrintino mud man can make a great western flick."
His eyes finally caught glimpse of the guest standing just outside the front door. Trouble's smile gained an emotional tint of mischief. It was somewhat similar to the smile that Holly had painted on her face as well. He tsked his brother playfully. "You're in trouble now, aren't you?" he exclaimed to his brother sarcastically.
"Shut up," were the only two words that the terrified Grub Kelp could utter at the moment.
"Trouble Kelp," Holly called out with her hands on her hips, happy to see a former co-worker. "What I sight for sore eyes. I never could recall a time when you were so jumpy; save for the years before you became commander."
"Mmm-hhm," Trouble hummed in confirmation. "That job was just a stress filled road to an eventual heart-attack."
"Tell me about it," Holly sighed. "I can see why you jumped on that offer to be on the Council so quickly."
Trouble took a big inhale of smoke from his cigar. "So, what bring you to these parts," he asked politely. He patted Grub's shoulder again. "My little brother isn't in trouble for playing hooky from work is he?"
"No, not yet," Holly Short proclaimed with a toothy grin. Grub shivered in fear. "We'll have to figure out something later. Though I doubt it will be too painful or tedious."
Grub Kelp sighed in relief. But then curiosity struck him. "Why's that?" he inquired. "Did work get canceled today? Are the offices being fumigated or something?"
"No," Holly Short assured the two brothers. "It's just another Goblin raid."
"D'arvit," Trouble Kelp exclaimed with a slack jaw. "How many is that for this week?"
"Five," Holly responded.
"My Gods. These things keep popping out of nowhere," Grub Kelp spoke, finally feeling at enough ease to speak with his commanding officer. "How did this one go this morning?"
"I wouldn't know," Holly Short commented. "I ducked out of there to meet you guys."
Trouble Kelp was stupefied. "Wait a minute, you abandoned your post?! This isn't the Holly Short I know!"
"Relax," Holly Short exclaimed as she held her hands out, finally finding that button to press to bring the commanding Trouble Kelp back. "I wouldn't walk away unless I felt that my crew was strongly ready and up for the task. And trust me, being the 5th one this week, they're defiantly ready." She placed her hands into her L.E.P. suit pockets and stepped inside. "Besides, I got a call from Artemis Fowl today. He needs our help."
Trouble and Grub both tilted their heads in a curious nature. "Really. What for?"
*San Juan, Costa Rica*
"FRUSH FRUIT!" the slightly dwarfish man screamed as he traveled in and out between customers at his fruit stand. "Get your fresh fruit here!"
His partner meanwhile was giving a family of four their change back in return for purchasing seven fresh oranges. "Thank you and God bless," he stated as he sent them away. "And be sure to tell others about this place as well."
The fruit and vegetable stand was booming and the two short gentlemen couldn't be any happier.
Even though most of the other countries on planet earth had regained their footing, most third world countries were either completely wiped out or totally devastated after the crash. Costa Rica, which once was a complete tourist hot-spot, had now been completely estranged from the outside world. This happened to be a very good thing for the two gentlemen inside the stand. Since no one on the outside really gave a damn about what was happening in Costa Rica, magical creatures could live life amongst humans and no one batted an eyelash just as long as they covered themselves in appropriate attire.
For Mulch and Doodah Day, this meant only one thing. Life was good.
It had been good ever since "The Great Techno-Crash." After the events at Fowl's mansion, Mulch decided it was time to take a break. Although he wouldn't admit it, after a thorough examination of himself, he concluded that it was his kleptomaniac lifestyle that caused him to get into life-or-death situations. What he needed was a place to get away from it all. He needed a place where there was literally nothing of value to steal, and yet also be a place where he could relax and be comfortable and still have mischievous fun.
Although not a fan of the sun or the hot weather climate, Mulch felt that Costa Rica, due to its third world nation background, would be the perfect place to start anew. Aside from that, he actually loved the culture and the food that the country offered so he wasted no time going there.
He just happened to stumble upon Doodah Day when he arrived there.
Doodah Day had a bit of a bad falling out after the "Short and Diggums Private Investigators" closed down. Although he could operate every vehicle ever known to man or fairy kind, people just weren't interested in hiring him. Most jobs that he could grab were mostly crap jobs; burger stands, working as a garbage man; stuff like that.
Having enough of Haven, and feeling a sudden urge to explore more, Doodah day, just a year before Artemis Fowl was checked into J. Argon's clinic, pulled off one of the most daring plans ever conceived. Managing to get past security, he found himself inside a fairy shuttle and planed on traveling to the surface, staying there for good.
There was only one slight problem with the reentry. Although he could basically drive anything, he discovered on that day that it takes a lot more skill and training to pilot and L.E.P. shuttle. The results were somewhat disastrous. Crashing into the shuttle walls, Doodah Day had flung himself out of the pod once her reached land and knocked himself out. When he came to, he found himself in a hospital bed in Costa Rica.
The woman who nursed him back to health was beautiful. It was safe to say that it was love at first sight.
Her name was Esperanza. She was a Hispanic woman whose heritage remained confined within the nation of Cuba for many generations. She had taken a job as a nurse when she was 17 and when Doodah Day met her, she had just turned 22. Not knowing who he was (and assuming that he was human), Esperanza simply tried to keep the relationship professional.
But she had to admit that after a while, the flirting and the compliments were beginning to butter her up. Doodah Day (going under the pseudo-name of Ricardo) always appreciated her presence and would point out how he either liked her hair or her shoes that she was wearing that day or whatever else caught his eye. After he was dismissed from the hospital, he sent her flowers and thank you notes and on some days after work, he would catch her and the two would grab some coffee.
This lasted for a good 3 months before Esperanza's walls finally came crumbling down and the two went on their first date.
It was the happiest day of Doodah's life.
Esperanza was responsible for two major changes in Doodah's life. 1.) She introduced him to gardening and vending. Her mother and two sisters had a garden behind their house which grew an assortment of different vegetables and fruits. Doodah felt a strange attraction towards this and began gardening simply as a way to pass the time. When he opened up his first stand 2 months later, Doodah realized that he could make a decent living off it and choose to do so.
2.) Health. Esperanza not only nursed the dwarf back to health but also got him interested in obtaining a healthy life style as well. Through fitness, dieting, and exercise, Doodah Day lost some weight and actually found himself to be in unique physical fitness. Although he never bragged about it, Doodah Day found that he could stretch farther and jump farther than he could back in his days when he ran from the L.E.P. It was only a pity that these benefits came at a different time in his life.
Unfortunately, the relationship between Doodah Day and Esperanza ended in tragedy. During "The Great Techno Crash," Esperanza was trampled in a street riot. Because of the lost of his lover, Doodah Day grieved for a good 3 weeks. He experienced severe depression. He never left his room; he never turned on a light. He was just content to curl up with a bottle of Whisky and let the alcohol wash over his pain.
It just so happened that on the first day Doodah Day came out of the house from his depression that he stumbled upon that old flatulent friend of his.
The two immediately rekindled their friendship. As for the incidents of what occurred during the falling out of "Short and Diggums Private Eyes," both dwarfs considered it to be a situation of "No harm, no Fowl." Doodah Day ended up giving Mulch a place to crash and introduced him to gardening as well. However, Mulch was immediately awestruck by the fact of how successful the vending business was in Costa Rica. The two began making a killing off it, as they were today with the hundreds of residents running up to buy a peach or a mango or a head of cabbage.
A few moments later, Doodah Day was carrying the plywood used for their stand under his arms as he walked alongside Mulch who was counting the profits they made off of today's vending.
"20 for you, 20 for me," Mulch sang as he counted the cash. "1…2…3...40 for you, and 40 for me. Damn, we made a killing today."
"A year and a half of this and you're still surprised?" Doodah Day asked in a grunt as he carried the supplies.
"Hey, I'm just stating the obvious," Mulch proclaimed. "I think maybe within a month, we might have enough cash to purchase that car we talked about."
Doodah Day turned to face Mulch. "That Ferrari? You mean the one that those white folk have wanted to give away three weeks ago?"
"Yep," Mulch replied with a smile.
Doodah Day returned the smile. "Dude that's sick." Doodah Day was about to tell Mulch about his plans on retailing the car, But before Doodah Day could exclaim anything more, he tripped on a rock and almost lost his balance. Had this happened, all the plywood and nails would've crashed to the ground. Thankfully, this did not happen, but Mulch caught the expression on Doodah Day's face.
"Hey, you need help with that?" Mulch asked inquisitively.
"Nah, I'm good." Doodah Day grumbled. "Besides, our house is just up on the hill a little ways."
"Well I know that," Mulch stated indignant. "I was just asking because…..hey, did you leave the front door open?" Mulch asked this question as he stared at their house curiously.
Doodah Day turned his head to look at what Mulch was looking at. Immediately he noticed Mulch's cause for alarm. Their front door was hanging wide open. Being that Costa Rica had some crime problems, Doodah Day feared the worst and figured that his house had been broken into. However, reacting with only enough brain power to set the boards down beside their fence and exclaim "What the heck?" Doodah Day charged into his home.
He was greeted with a kick to the face.
Mulch watched as Doodah's body became airborne as if he were clotheslined upon entering his home. The recently attacked dwarf fell to the ground directly on his back; hard. It was safe to say that Doodah wasn't waking up anytime soon. Mulch stood just outside the home, down the hills a little ways bewildered. What the heck just happened?
Emerging from the corner of the doorway, stood a 6 foot tall beauty, whose mere presence caused terror to travel through every nerve inside Mulch's body. The Jade princess smiled.
"Mulch," Juliet proclaimed with a happily evil voice. "How've you been? Nice place you got. But I'm sorry to say that you'll have to leave it for a few months. It seems that we are in need of your services."
Mulch backed away slowly. He knew that if he ran at this moment, he would lose. Juliet was much faster and stronger than him. Perhaps he could negotiate for a head start. Still, something nagged him at the back of his mind. "We?" Mulch asked shuttering.
Juliet pointed at something behind Mulch.
Mulch turned to face the giant, who accordingly bitch-slapped Mulch, causing the dwarf to pass out.
Butler smiled at his sister. "Did we really have to take them in by force?"
"Not really," Juliet proclaimed as she dragged Doodah Day's body out of the house. "But I thought it would be fun. Besides, haven't you been waiting for a perfect moment to slap Mulch for the longest time?"
"Indeed," Butler replied as he took the initiative to hoist Mulch onto his shoulder. Juliet did the same. "How do you think Artemis would react if he found out though?"
"You remember what he said right?" Juliet told his brother as they walked down the path towards the shore. They had to walk away to the harbor, before they could get on their sea plan, which they would pilot towards Florida and exchange back for their private leer jet to fly back into Dublin. "He said 'take them by force if necessary.'"
"But it wasn't necessary," Butler proclaimed.
"It was necessary for my enjoyment," Juliet remarked.
*Have City, L.E.P. Ops Booth*
Foaly carefully dropped a tiny amount of liquid into the Petri dish. He examined the contents closely under the microscope. He smiled when he found that the cell was reacting as predicted in his hypothesize. The chemical outlook was changing drastically, causing the D.N.A. strand of the cell to mutate. But also as predicted, nothing of harmful nature was happening to the cell. The cell's cytoplasm wasn't dispersing or exploding. Everything remained intact, causing the centaur genius to smile.
He trotted his way over to the vials. They sat themselves up in pretty rows of seven. He had gone through seven trials and the last three batches had worked successfully. But now it was time for the true testing. This would either make him or break him, literally.
He gulped in fear as he grabbed a vile. He looked towards his desk and noticed the letter he wrote to his dear beloved Caballine. He had also wrote a note to Holly specifically telling her that if she were to discover him dead in the Ops booth, that it would be her duty to inform Caballine of what had happened.
He suffocated his fears in an intense mental act of bravery. Studying the contents of the glass vile, he whispered, "For Science." Treating the liquid as though it was cough syrup, he sucked the contents down his throat as quickly as possible. He coughed in disgust at the horrendous taste. He sat the vile down as he looked down at his watch.
He began to sigh in disappointment, nothing appeared to be happening.
Then, about 30 seconds later, Foaly felt a tiny twinge of pain as the changes began to occur.
The first thing to happen was pigment transformation. Being a blue centaur, Foaly started to watch in amazement as his skin turned into more a peach color. He was curious as to why he was turning white.
The second thing to happen was the bone structure. This part was painful. He felt like he was going to throw up as his backside began to seep into his skin and disappear, leaving him only two legs.
Skin structure was the third thing to change, as the fur disappeared inside his arm to be replaced by a human arm.
Muscles transformed making him somewhat beefier. His nose shrunk into his skull and then re-grew as a normal one. His ears became rounder and began to grow lobes. His eyes amazingly didn't change at all.
When the transformation was fully complete (which took about 3 minutes), Foaly quickly grabbed a mirror that sat on the desk right next to the microscope. Once he pulled it close to his face, he smiled. Staring back at him was a mud man, fully grown, and smiling as well.
"Success," Foaly proclaimed. "And I'm actually pretty damn sexy too."
Suddenly, the door to the Ops booth opened.
"Foaly," a female voice called out. "We need your help for…" suddenly, there was a pause as if tension was in the air. The next sound was the sound of several Neutrinos charging and apparently taking aim at Foaly. The female voice screamed, "OK, JUST WHO THE HECK ARE YOU?!"
Foaly turned to see his destructors. Holly Short was the leader of the pack, taking perfect aim at Foaly's head and having her legs placed in perfect attack position. Trouble Kelp and Grub Kelp were on either side of her shoulders, both holding their guns just inches away from her shoulders. Grub aimed at Foaly's left knee while Trouble aimed to kill as Foaly noticed the red dot was pointing at his chest.
Foaly noticed all this in the vicinity of 2 seconds. He immediately raised his hands in the air. His left hand held the recently empty vile. He spoke quickly, knowing that Holly Short apparently wasn't in the mood for any games nor small talk. Would Holly still be responsible to tell Caballine what happened if she were to be the cause of his death?
"Guys, Guys," he shouted. "It's me."
Holly lowered her brows in confusion and shock. She recognized the voice. "Foaly?" she spoke.
The recently turned mud man centaur nodded his head.
Holly lowered her weapon and the Kelp brothers did so as well. Holly Short began to stand at ease. "What in the name of Frond happened?" Holly Short's voice contained an amazed sense of wonder.
Foaly smiled cheekily and tossed the vile over to Holly. "This happened," Foaly explained. Holly caught the vile before it hit the ground. A tag on the side read "experimental serum: human morphing agent."
"You see," Foaly began. "I've been working on this new product ever since I was finished constructing the Artemis Fowl clone. Rarely do we have any more retrieval missions on the surface; that's part of the reason why I had enough time to work on this. But I always wondered about our stealth strategies. We always use shimmer to keep us invisible and if we were discovered it would take countless mind wipes and mesmers to get everything back to normal. I always thought that there had to be a better way to disguise ourselves. So, I worked hard, did some research, and I created something that only science fiction writers dreamed about.'
"Getting laid?" Trouble Kelp sarcastically inquired.
"Ha ha ha, good one Trouble. And by the way, it's nice to see you again," Foaly announced. "No, I created a serum that when taken by any magical creature: goblin, fairy, or centaur, it transforms that individual's molecular structure into that of what they would look like if they were human."
"In other words," Grub Kelp added, hoping he was on the right track. "If you drink it, you become the mud-man version of yourself?"
"Exactly," Foaly stated.
Holly was astonished. "Foaly….this is incredible!"
"Yeah, too bad we didn't have these in the field two years ago," Trouble chastised playfully.
"Like I said, it isn't my fault that we haven't surface missions ever since Opal died," Foaly replied. "If anything, blame her death. After all those Goblins got out they've basically been the only thing we've ever dealt with." He then turned around and sat on the edge of his desk, realizing that all of his chairs were created to only seat a centaur: the disadvantages of being a human. "So, what brings you all into my offices?"
"We need someone to initiate two shuttle launches to the surface," Holly answered as she walked closer inside the room.
Foaly hummed in curiosity. "Tara shuttle port I presume," he boasted. "It's only been two years and that Irish brat has already gotten himself in trouble."
Holly sighed. It was a sigh that concealed her anger at such an accusation but it also revealed the deep sadness that Holly was experiencing at the moment. "It's not like that…..His father's sick. Really sick."
Foaly paused for several seconds. The smug grin that he had on his face from his earlier comment remained. The only difference was now it showed just how awkward Foaly felt. "And the award for biggest asshole in Haven City goes to….Foaly. Foaly congratulations. You just acted like a total buffoon." After the centaur exclaimed all of this, he laid his head down in his hands.
"You're coming with us too," Grub announced.
"I suppose that's why you need two shuttle launches," Foaly commented. "One for you and Holly and the other for me and Trouble."
"Do you know anyone who can control the shuttle launch sequence?" Trouble asked.
Foaly looked up in the air; as if he was calculating an imaginary equation. Then he grabbed his communicator and began to dial a number. "I'll contact my nephew Mayne," Foaly announced. "He's a good kid. Smart enough to keep the Ops booth under control during that whole Techno crash. He'll help, I'm sure." As he placed the communicator into his ear, he said aloud, "I hope that genius kid is ok."
Holly stared into a computer screen. She remembered that this computer screen had something significant about it. Then it clicked. It was the same monitor where she watched Opal Koboi as she was shot and killed two years ago. It was here that her thoughts drifted towards what Foaly said. Holly realized that the only answer to Foaly's question would arrive when they would arrive on the surface. She watched her standard issue L.E.P. watch. Time just wasn't moving fast enough.
*Dublin, Ireland. Tara Shuttle port. 1 hour later*
Time just wasn't moving fast enough. He stood outside the limousine, patiently taping his foot and watching his Rolex crawl away at the minutes left in the hour. He felt nervous; worried even. For some reason, his insides crawled and his brain raced. He was concern about the whereabouts of his old friends. He felt a crucial concern for one particular friend.
Artemis Fowl the Second mentally scolded himself. Who was he kidding? Holly Short wasn't just a friend. She was more than just a friend. In fact, she was part of the reason that he and Ashton broke up.
He thought of the name as if it were bile. She was simply a boring and inconsolable woman. The only reason he dated her for six months was because of her status as a journalist. In fact, that's how they met. Artemis remembered the day as clear as crystal blue lakes. 'You never forget your first' as the saying goes.
It was about 6 months after he came back from the dead. His father had held a press conference/party in honor of his son's return to health. They had created a story saying that he was injured into a comatose state and that even though he arose from his coma six months ago, he needed more time to heal and recuperate. It worked out well in the general public because the funeral that the Fowl family held on their estate was completely private. Of course, because his father made the press conference/party public, every Tom, Dick, and Harry associated with the press kept asking the same banal questions. "What was the recovery process like?" "What Caused you to go into a coma?" "What's next for you in the future?" Bla Bla Bla.
She was one of the last one's to interview him. By the time she came up to the table, he was enjoying the desert that his father had presented; white cake. (It worried Artemis that his clone had a propensity towards sweets; something that he didn't remember having at all, from what he could gather at the time). The first thing he noticed was her dress. Silk black and strapless with red rubies making up a belt. She reminded the genius of a black widow. The irony was that she was eating his soul away every since that night.
She was blonde, had green eyes, and an attitude. This attitude was presented when she sat down next to Artemis Fowl, after asking for permission to interview him. She began with this question. "What's the relationship between you and your father? Since both of you had been presumed dead at one point in each others lives, I was curious to know if this created any interesting discussions."
The Irish lad's eyes widen somewhat. This chick had guts. Those guts reminded him of someone extremely close: someone with hazel eyes and brown skin. After answering her first question greatly, the two began talking on a more personal and unreserved level. Part of this reason was because the two began a talk on types of wine they were interested in, and they started to have a small taste test of these wines as they were being passed about, by the bottle.
The memories of that night had been shaky at best. But from what Artemis could remember, he remembered running off with her into one of the many guest bedrooms in his estate. He remembered the sudden urge to have her body that overtook him: to the point that he couldn't wait to get her inside the room and he began grind upon her just outside the door.
He remembered losing his virginity. That much was crystal clear. But that was about as far as his memories went for that night.
He dated Ashton for a good six months after that. She seemed like a fun, brash, and clever young girl. Her personality was deep and inviting, and although compared to Artemis she lacked in brains, she was smart enough to write decent columns in New York Times from time to time.
But the relationship just didn't work out. The two would get into constant fights, which typically ended with hollow sex marathons lasting through the deep hours of the night. Ashton always accused him of loving someone else. Unfortunately for Arty, she was right. Her body was just a canvass and Artemis Fowl had painted over that canvass with the face of someone he longed to have more.
That someone had just arrived in a shuttle. Artemis Fowl turned his head to watch as the two shuttles landed safely side by side at the shuttle port. Steam pooled in around his ankles and he squinted as he tried to distinguish four shadows emerging from the fog.
Holly was the first to step out. Artemis smiled at the sight of her. Sadly, he knew he could never relate his feelings towards her; but that was a matter to worry about some other time.
The Kelp brothers were the next ones to emerge from the fog. Grub appeared to be greener than usual. Perhaps he wasn't use to riding a shuttle with Holly Short. This thought made the Irish genius chuckle.
The last one to emerge from the clouds was….."Foaly?"
"Good to see you Fancy Pants," Foaly saluted Artemis. "You're not the first to be concerned about my physical appearance. It's all thanks to my latest invention."
Artemis Fowl the Second huffed sarcastically. "I'm going to miss referring to you as Donkey Boy."
"Wait for the next 71 hours. Then you'll get your chance," Trouble Kelp commented.
Holly walked closer towards Artemis. Her eyes contained an emotion that Artemis couldn't identify. It puzzled him. All those years of studying and having the highest IQ of anyone in the world and yet he still couldn't read the emotions presented on Holly's face. Was it longing? No, no, no, it seemed more like….concern.
When she was just a few feet away from him, she spoke her first words after that long period of silence.
"Pop Quiz. We're in the Arctic. Something happens to me. What happens, and how do I respond?"
Artemis now understood the look of unease that was upon Holly's face. Trust issues were expected since he was in fact just a clone. He gave Holly his signature vampire-like grin with an extra boost of smugness in his smile.
"You lost a finger and I performed a make-shift version of the Ritual. You returned my good favor's with a punch in the face. You said 'Now we're even.'"
Holly fought back the tears that welted behind her eyes. Holding on to her emotions strongly, Artemis could sense the effort that she was giving off. So when she leaned in to hug him, Artemis thought that it only seemed fair to hug her tighter. Unfortunately, this caused her to cry, which made him feel terrible.
"You're back. You're truly back," Holly shook and bawled into Arty's shoulder.
Artemis remained silent for quite some time. "I never left," was the only line he could think of.
Holly pulled back as she laughed. "I never thought you were one for cheese," she retorted. Her laugh and comment only made Artemis smile. But it was a genuine smile and that meant something.
Then she said it. "How's Ashton?"
A twinge of regret flared up in Artemis's heart. He had been speaking to Holly on and off ever since he came back. She spent several weeks on the surface helping him regain his memories. Why wouldn't she bring Ashton up? He never told her what happened. Apparently, now was the time to inform her of his recent return to the life of being single.
"We broke up 6 months ago," Artemis stated.
Holly's eyes flared with that concern look again. Sympathy was mixed in with that hazel color that Artemis wished he could sink into. "Oh Gods. I'm sorry."
"It's ok," Artemis answered. "It's not her plight."
A cough emerged from Foaly. Artemis and Holly looked back to see that the group consisting of Trouble, Grub, and Foaly had move closure towards them. They apparently looked impatient.
"While I appreciate the two of you catching up on the times," Foaly commented. "I would like to know exactly what has happened to Arty's dad."
A/N: the cover art is by "Demon - Lance" on Deviant Art.