My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

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FadingLight
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My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

Postby FadingLight » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:18 am

This is my first time posting a new topic, so if I'm doing anything wrong, please tell me. I'm a bit nervous about posting my fanfiction here at all, but really, it's the only way I'll get feedback. This occurs after the Last Guardian, and may contain minor spoilers. I was too lazy to put together a whole story, so this a fragment. The quote I found in another fanfic, Why One Must Not Attempt A Child Genius, on fanfiction.net. Please tell me how I can improve my writing. Note: I haven't thought of what Artemis's "new discovery" really is yet.

From the video diary of Artemis Fowl II:

The world is recovering from Opal's bid for power. The Internet is being rebuilt. Information retrieved from the nether. And I think the world is a better place now. Perhaps humans have finally learned about the dangers of global warming.
But as the world recovers, not all is well in my mind. I do not believe I have any sort of mental illness, though I know some crackpot psychologists who could come up with a dozen diagnoses in as many minutes.
Rather, I believe the conflict is between my newfound conscience, and the long legacy of Fowl teachings.
I have discovered something. A new resource which could revolutionize humankind. Even my intellect has difficulty comprehending the possibilities.
But there is a quote that intrigues me. "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.", from one Arthur Schopenhauer.
I am a genius; it is not extrapolation, simply the truth.
Now, the quote itself is a metaphor, so let us consider another metaphor: If others can't see the target, how long will it be until we can't, either? And if we can't see it, how will we know the consequences for hitting it?
If you don't know what will happen once you hit the target, should you aim at all? Should you try to reach your goal if you don't know the effects of your discovery?
My discovery could grant humans enormous powers. But the earth is fragile, and the fairies are still on the verge of discovery. Mankind as a whole is not known for making wise decisions. Opal was right, in a way. Most of the humans on this world are quite narrow-minded. Money motivates them.
Money motivates me, as well. I wonder how much.
What I may decide to do goes against all the old Fowl teachings. Aurum est potestas. Gold is power.
But perhaps the Fowls can change. We already have.
And yet, I could make millions from my discovery. Is it worth it? Should I aim at all?
Perhaps I could change my aim. Perhaps I could change my motivation.
Of course, I still intend to reap profits from my efforts. But money for the world is not a worthy tradeoff.
I am a Fowl. I will find a way. I think that for once, I will set aside thoughts of monetary gain and focus on helping the rebuilding effort.
That I can consider this at all makes me shudder.
But they need a genius, after all, to hit the targets they cannot see.

Entry ended.

Artemis did not reveal this particular discovery to humankind, although it is rumoured that he always kept his most precious discoveries on a secret, heavily encrypted disk, and in code on a similarly encrypted file.
He did not tell the Fairy Folk either, although for months after you could find a very determined centaur sitting in front of a screen and attempting to hack through a series of increasingly sarcastic failure messages. Foaly finally gave up when he realized that his own system was being damaged more than Artemis's.
I said you were smart, Mud Boy. I was wrong; are exceptional.—Qwan
Which do you think seems more suspicious? An alien-looking craft hovering in the yard of a country home, or a floating doorway with a centaur standing in it?—Domovoi Butler
We can only change the future, not the past or present.—Artemis Fowl II
I'm trying to care, Artemis. But I thought it was all supposed to be over when the fat lady sings. Well, she's singing, but it doesn't appear to be over.—Holly Short

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Re: My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

Postby jkdnp » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:54 am

Great job so far! This is really good and I'm interested. I love the concept of Artemis at battle with himself over his morals. I can't wait to see where you go with this. Keep it up! :shiny:

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Re: My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

Postby FadingLight » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:29 pm

Thanks! I don't know what I might write next. I'm currently working on a fanfic about what happens during the six months near the end of the Last Guardian:

Chapter One:
Artemis should have been long gone.
His soul should have either gone to the afterlife, or faded away.
Two things stopped Artemis Fowl's spirit from dissipating:
His own willpower, and Bruin Fadda's ancient magic.
Bruin Fadda had been a powerful warlock in his day, and his spell had lingered for thousands of years. But now the strands of magic holding Artemis together were weakening.
Artemis concentrated. He knew he didn't have much time.
Six months, he thought. Just six more months to grow a clone. If they'd understood.
He focused on himself.
My name is Artemis Fowl. I am fifteen years old developmentally and eighteen if you go by years. I have the highest tested IQ in Europe…
He could remember his friends. Holly. Butler. Foaly. Hopefully they had gotten his message.
Artemis could feel the magic weakening.
Six months, he thought. Hopefully.

Artemis was not the only thing affected by the magic.
Before, Bruin Fadda's ancient spells had created black ivy and oversized crickets (don't ask). But now, it whispered to the earth and the life within.
It encouraged the little seeds that normally never sprouted. It changed their very genetic structure.
Soon after Artemis's death, a small green sprout sprang up from the soil. It looked nothing like what it would become.
A rose.
I said you were smart, Mud Boy. I was wrong; are exceptional.—Qwan
Which do you think seems more suspicious? An alien-looking craft hovering in the yard of a country home, or a floating doorway with a centaur standing in it?—Domovoi Butler
We can only change the future, not the past or present.—Artemis Fowl II
I'm trying to care, Artemis. But I thought it was all supposed to be over when the fat lady sings. Well, she's singing, but it doesn't appear to be over.—Holly Short

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Re: My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

Postby FadingLight » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:39 pm

Hopefully this doesn't count as spam…

This part is just what I imagined characters' reactions to the will might be:

Holly felt nervous, going to the reading of Artemis's will. It sounded so final. There was also the small matter that she really wasn't supposed to go, and was only there because Foaly had logged her as "going to complete the Ritual".

They weren't having it done legally and officially, because "fairy" and "LEP" would be hard to explain to the authorities, and besides, many of the official buildings were still being rebuilt.

Instead, it was just them—Artemis's family, and his friends. Everyone mentioned in the will. Almost. Butler had refused to come, because he refused to believe that Artemis was gone for good.

"He's even more determined than we are," commented Foaly. He was looking out of a screen on the wall, which had miraculously stayed whole throughout the whole disaster. He was also wearing tinfoil hat and munching on a carrot.

Holly glared at him. They'd decided not to tell anyone else about their plan. Not yet. No need to give false hope. Artemis'a family was already distraught. A disappointment like that…

It seemed Artemis had been prepared—as usual. The will was quite comprehensive:


“The last will and testament of Artemis Fowl the Second:
Being the final wishes of Artemis Fowl in the event of his death at the hands of the pixie Opal Koboi. Should he survive for forty-eight hours after the date of writing, this will becomes null and void, and shall have no legal weight in any court, human or fairy.”


Foaly piped up. "Technically, it wasn't Opal that killed him, but…"

He trailed off as he noticed everyone else's expressions. Apparently people here had no appreciation for technicalities.

"Um, never mind."


“I, Artemis Fowl the Second, being of exceedingly sound mind and reasonably sound body, bequeath my estate and advice as follows:”


Holly smiled faintly.

"Exceedingly sound mind. As smug as ever. I actually agree, but if he heard that, his head would explode. It's already big enough as it is."

Juliet sighed.

"I wish he were here. Big head and all."


“To my father, I leave the three hundred million dollars in bearer bonds that are hidden, believe it or not, under my own bed, the last spot anyone would look, and possibly the most booby-trapped place on Earth. Butler will know how to disengage the security measures.”


Artemis Senior shook his head in admiration.

"And not a single trap exploded. Arty was a genius."

"Yep," agreed Foaly. "You have no idea how much of my budget he ate up. He was the best hacker I'd ever met, though. Don't tell him I said that."

Holly guessed that this was Foaly at his sincerest, despite the tinfoil hat and half-eaten carrot.


"To my darling mother, I leave my stocks portfolio, including my shares in ethical funds and registered charities, which I know she will manage with her usual moral determination, and I also bequeath to her the department store on New York's Fifth Avenue, which I had planned to give to her on her birthday."


Mulch looked offended, in the this is unjust sort of way.

"A department store as a birthday present? And all I get is—"

Holly interrupted.

"A complete pardon, plus a medal from the Council. Be grateful."

Angeline Fowl was crying too much to speak. Mulch subsided into grumbles. Although maybe it was just his stomach rumbling.


"I wish my brother Myles to inherit my laboratory, and all its equipment, with access to the species projects room to be granted on his eighth birthday, when he will be mature enough to deal with other dimensions, aliens, and time travel."


Myles wasn't happy about the age restrictions. Actually, he disliked restrictions in general, as proven by the time Artemis locked the lab.

"Why eight?" he demanded. "I am perfectly capable of understanding such things now."

He pointed to Holly.

"That, I know, is a fairy."

Foaly rolled his eyes.

"And that," he muttered, "is why there's an age restriction. Imagine him saying that in a restaurant."


"For my brother Beckett, I have purchased a lifetime's supply of slime, so he can coat himself in gunge as often as he pleases. I also wish Beckett to have the ant farm, provided he promises not to eat any of the ants."


Beckett was perfectly happy with this, although how much value his promise was actually worth was up for debate.

"Beckett slime!"

Myles leaned over to his mother.

"Beckett simple-toon," he confided.

Mulch perked up, probably at the word eat.

"Hey, can I have the ant farm?"

Holly rolled her eyes, then shuddered at the thought.


"My faithful bodyguard, Butler, is of course entitled to his generous severance package, and is under no obligation to stay on, but it would be greatly appreciated if he renewed his contract and remained in the employ of the Fowl family. Apart from his pension, I wish Butler to become legal owner of the apartments in which he has lived since I was born, and the dojo where he tried to teach me to fight."


Juliet frowned. She was wearing a shade of green eyeliner that seemed a little too glittery for the occasion.

“Dom still won't accept that Artemis is gone. Mrs. Fowl and I go down to the dojo all the time, but…“

She sighed in a way that clearly implied they'd been unsuccessful.

Holly and Foaly looked at each other, but said nothing.


“To Juliet Butler, who has protected my brothers so faithfully, I leave my sound system, which is based on gel speaker technology, and which should make even her collection of modern music sound reasonably non-offensive. I also leave to Juliet the three sports cars, and a lifetime subscription to the wrestling channel.”


Juliet blinked in surprise. Not something you saw often.

"Three sports cars? And, um… My music is offensive?"

Artemis Senior laughed—justifiably, given his memories of a huge pile of classical CDs and one David Bowie disk.

"To Arty, most modern music was offensive. Don't take it personally."


“To my friend, Captain Holly Short of the Lower Elements Police, I leave the thirty-seven solid gold bars that were the price of her release when I kidnapped her all those years ago. I know that I can never make up for that crime, but hopefully you think of me as a friend when you do think of me.”


A tear trickled down Holly's cheek.

Mulch grinned—and a dwarf grinning is quite a sight.

"Hey, can I have a few bars? You know, expenses?"

Holly glared at him. If looks could kill…

Mulch clammed up. Highly unusual for him, but when Holly got that look on her face…


“To the dwarf Mulch Diggums, I leave the refrigerator warehouse in London docklands that is stocked with enough frozen chicken to satisfy even his appetite for several decades.”


Mulch didn't stay silent for long. Soon he was jumping up and down, as he only did at the mention of food, gold, or good teasing ammunition.

"How fast can I get to London?"

Angeline had managed to stop crying. She smiled weakly.

"I was wondering where that order for chicken came from. Arty usually avoided mass-produced meat. He called the conditions they were raised in 'deplorable'."

She started crying again.

Mulch shrugged. He snagged a beetle from his beard hair.

"Hey, I eat dirt."


“To the centaur Foaly, I leave the blueprints to an interstellar craft that is so advanced it makes his spacecraft look like hot air balloons. I have hidden the design inside his own system, where he would never think to look for them. To find them, Foaly must open his own security file on me, blink eight times, and say the words ‘Artemis Fowl is smarter than I am’. If this does not work, then at least I will smile in the afterlife.”


This managed to cheer the others up considerably.

Foaly crossed his arms. He stomped his hoof—one of his ticks, and one of the reasons the floor of the Operations Room was reinforced.

"That's impossible. Nothing makes my designs look like hot air balloons. Besides, I would've found out if anything had been hidden in my own system. I mean, I know what I said about Artemis's hacking, but still…"

Holly grinned.

"Why don't you check?"

"Yes," added Mulch. "We can record it and put it up somewhere. It'll go viral!"

Foaly scowled. Everyone else laughed. Juliet grinned.

"Hard luck, pony boy. No pain, no gain."
I said you were smart, Mud Boy. I was wrong; are exceptional.—Qwan
Which do you think seems more suspicious? An alien-looking craft hovering in the yard of a country home, or a floating doorway with a centaur standing in it?—Domovoi Butler
We can only change the future, not the past or present.—Artemis Fowl II
I'm trying to care, Artemis. But I thought it was all supposed to be over when the fat lady sings. Well, she's singing, but it doesn't appear to be over.—Holly Short

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Re: My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

Postby Rocket Axxonu » Tue Apr 28, 2015 5:12 am

Haha! These are so awesome. (I particularly like the latest one, the reactions to Artemis's will. It's one of those things from the series that you wished you could have seen, but there probably just wouldn't have been room for.) All their reactions were so believable, it felt just like them.

(On the spam question...I think the no double-posting rule applies to all the portions of the forum outside the media section. At least, I think I remember reading that somewhere. I know when I was posting fanfiction here, I just posted all mine right in a row, and that seemed to be okay. It's been a long time since I read the rules. X3)

But anyway, these are great. Have any plans for future stories? :J
“After all, absolutely no one can help but suspect a criminal, liar, and manipulator of committing crimes, lying, and manipulating. And of course, no one is more aware of that simple fact than Artemis Fowl.”

Opal sets into motion her most diabolical scheme yet, to frame Artemis and turn his closest friends against him. Only this time she has a new calculating partner who knows Artemis better than he knows himself. [Post TAC]

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8336552/1/Noble-Heart ...Shameless self-advertising, guys! C;

(And if you're really bored: http://axxonu.deviantart.com/gallery/28912232/Artemis-Fowl AF fanart. ;J)

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Re: My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

Postby FadingLight » Sat May 02, 2015 9:09 pm

Wow, I'd almost forgotten this thread…

Thanks! I was really happy someone liked what I wrote. I did write a few more scenes a long time again, but in the end I didn't bother putting them up since I just didn't like my writing. I do have my version of when Foaly finally cracks and says "Artemis Fowl is smarter than I am", and a bit while Trouble Kelp overhears Holly and Foaly talking about a chrysalis. And a few more that I want to edit a lot. It think I'll just put this up, though…

-x-

Holly decided to visit the day Foaly after the will. She was feeling down—really, the will felt so final. Trust Artemis to continue annoying them no matter the circumstances—Holly was touched by the gesture, but she had no idea what she could do with half a ton of gold. She was considering donating it back to the LEP, where it would probably be put to good use. Chairman Cahartez might indulge in some vole curry, though.

Foaly was typing away at a computer in his Operations Booth. There was a long list of new email alerts in the bottom right corner of the screen, but he paid them no heed, even as Holly watched another alert appear. She had a fairly good idea what he was busy with. Sure enough, Artemis's security file was open on the screen. So were numerous failure messages.

Foaly was grinding his teeth. As Holly approached, she couldn't hold back a snicker.

"Heh, maybe Mr. Tech Genius has finally met his match."

Foaly munched another carrot. "This is not funny, Holly. Not even remotely funny. Does he find it amusing to install viruses capable of wiping out the entire LEP network? The one we just got back to full functionality this week? I've spent the past three hours just doing damage control!"

"He probably trusted you to be able to do damage control," Holly replied.

"If a run-of-the-mill techie had opened the file—"

"He probably also trusted you to be the first to open the file." Holly noticed his tinfoil hat. "Still paranoid? I thought yesterday was a one-off thing. Didn't you stop wearing that after you met Caballine?"

Foaly lowered his voice. "Well, I did, but after that…"

He pointed to a corner of the booth, where the supposed key to Artemis's plan resided beside a pile of junk, including, oddly enough, a plasma cannon labeled Orphanage.

Holly had questioned the wisdom of locating the chrysalis within a place regularly frequented by various techies, officers, and Commander Kelp himself, but Foaly had quoted the saying hidden in plain sight, asserted that no one else could understand the mechanics anyway, and pointed out that they needed it needed it nearby so he could monitor the clone's growth and intervene in case of a malfunction. Holly wasn't so sure about the no one else can understand point—she'd heard Foaly's nephew Mayne was rising through the ranks of techies—but she had to admit that Foaly was right. They needed the chrysalis close by.

Artemis's plan had to work. It had to.

Holly turned back to the screen. She felt a pang as she scanned Artemis's file. Words popped out at her. Twelve… C Cube… Squid… Ah, memories.

Foaly began typing again. "Please let that have been the last virus… oh no… not again!"

The screen turned black. The words You should probably stop me before I reach the mainframe appeared.

After a few more minutes of Foaly typing furiously and Holly holding back more snickers, the screen returned to normal. Techies were going around doing their business, completely unaware of how close their beloved system had been to crashing.

"You could just say the words," suggested Holly. "It's not like you're—"

Foaly stomped a hoof. "I am not giving up!"

"Well, how else are you going to get your blueprints?"

"Those blueprints were hidden by a Mud Boy. And he is not smarter than me!"

The centaur looked like he was about to throw a temper tantrum. Honestly. Holly considered telling Caballine about this the next time they met for lunch, but she wasn't that cruel.

She did have a communicator palmed in her hand, though. It was muted, and Mulch was on the line.

"Come one. If Artemis hides something, you know you won't find it unless you play it his way."

Holly could tell from Foaly's face that he knew she was right. She could also tell that he was far too full of himself to just concede the point.

"I'm sure I could hack it… given a few more…"

"Hours?" Holly suggested. "Days?"

"Well…"

He was cracking. That was good. "You could just say the words. It's not like anyone will hear except me."

"Just to clear things up, he is not smarter than me."

Holly held up her hands placatingly, after surreptitiously tucking the communicator in her pocket. Why did geniuses have to be so full of themselves? "Yes, of course, you're the greatest, blah blah blah. Now, the words?"

Foaly looked like he'd been commanded to do the polka hop while singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star". "Can't you leave for a moment? Or, you know, go spontaneously deaf?"

Holly grinned. "No can do. This morning's my break, and I'm staying here. Also, Trouble's threatening to dock your pay if you don't get back to work by noon. Nice timing, huh?"

Foaly made one last effort. "I'm sure I could hack it…"

He didn't even manage to fool himself. He took a deep breath. Now he looked like he'd been commanded to swallow troll dung.

"Alright…"

"Just get it over with."

"If this gets out, you'll have lousy net access for a year."

"You're making a pretty big deal out of this. No need to threaten me. No recording device, see?"

Foaly turned to the screen. "Fine. I guess that's what data charges are for… okay. Deep breath.

"'Artemis Fowl is smarter than I am.'"

Several things happened at once.

The first was that Mulch Diggums, who was currently in London enjoying his stock of chicken, burst out guffawing. Neither Foaly nor Holly heard.

The second was that a nearby technician looked at the LEP tech consultant like he'd lost his mind.

The third was that a video began to play. Artemis's face filled the screen.

"Congratulations, Foaly, on managing to swallow your pride. I'm guessing that either Holly or Mulch is listening right now, giving that they would most definitely find this amusing."

Holly couldn't help but think, he had time to make a plan, get the things he needed for the plan, trick me, and plan a prank on Foaly?

Foaly huffed. "Yeah, yeah. Now where are the blueprints?"

Holly had to swallow at that. Foaly sounded like he thought Artemis could hear him.

Maybe Artemis couldn't hear him, but he sure was good at predicting what he'd say.

"As I'm sure you remember, I stated in my will that the plans were hidden in your own system, and where you'd never think to look. I also stated that in order to find them, you would have to open my file, and simply admit that I am, in fact, smarter than you."

Holly couldn't hold back a "Get to the point, Artemis". Honestly, things moved slowly when you had two puffed-up geniuses in one room. The only difference was that one was a human with a smug smile and the other was a centaur growing increasingly irritated with the smug smile.

"I did, at no point, state that the plans were here. I simply assumed you would come to my file and attempt to hack this attachment I planted, instead of first searching the rest of the system."

"So where are the plans?" Foaly snapped, stomping a hoof. It did more damage to his hoof than the floor.

Screen Artemis leaned forward. "Check your email," he whispered.

The video turned off. Foaly cursed. Several more technicians gave him the have you lost your mind look.

Foaly scrolled down his list of emails. Holly had to admit, she was surprised he'd managed to accumulate so many in the course of three hours. Several were from an extremely irate Trouble Kelp, and one appeared to be an ad for vole curry. Foaly deleted it and muttered something about gotten past my anti-ad programming again.

"Well?" she asked. "Are the blueprints there?"

Foaly shifted his hooves.

"Um…"

"Well?"

"Yes… but he is not smarter than me! And nothing makes my designs look like hot-air balloons!"

Holly rolled her eyes. "Whatever."

Foaly muttered something else about how his day couldn't possibly get worse.

Holly slid out her communicator. "What was that?"

Foaly squinted at the communicator. He paled. Mulch was on the screen. He was still laughing, and appeared to be holding a recording device.

Oh, no. He was never going to live this one down.
I said you were smart, Mud Boy. I was wrong; are exceptional.—Qwan
Which do you think seems more suspicious? An alien-looking craft hovering in the yard of a country home, or a floating doorway with a centaur standing in it?—Domovoi Butler
We can only change the future, not the past or present.—Artemis Fowl II
I'm trying to care, Artemis. But I thought it was all supposed to be over when the fat lady sings. Well, she's singing, but it doesn't appear to be over.—Holly Short

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Re: My fanfic: Artemis's video diary

Postby FadingLight » Sat May 16, 2015 9:01 pm

Also…

-x-

Once upon a time, Trouble Kelp would have looked at Haven and felt a sense of pride, a sense of duty to protect the largest fairy metropolis.

Now, he looked at Haven and sighed.

The city was being rebuilt, but there was only so much you could do with a resource shortage. Money, supplies, fairies. They didn't have enough of anything, really, except maybe swear toads.

The whole thing was a fiasco. First Foaly had vanished without warning, and his techie nephew helpfully explained that he'd gone to see his wife. Then it turned out that a large platoon of goblins were descending on his wife's house, which both cleared up the reason Foaly had left and made Trouble curse the centaur's recklessness. What was he going to do, throw a keyboard?

Then, Foaly had made contact with Holly via on of his gadgets. Arc-dragonfly-thing. It became immediately apparent that something was not quite right, as she was crying as she told them that Opal was dead and the humans hadn't collectively vanished off the face of the earth. Both those things were good news (despite his general dislike of the Mud Men, he didn't like needless death), and Holly didn't cry, ever, not even at really bad Opal-Koboi related news.

Standing in the room with her were Mr. Convicted Criminal, Mulch Diggums, and the man-mountain Butler. However, Mr. Insufferable Mud Boy Artemis Fowl was conspicuously absent.

That was about the point where Foaly, looking none too dry-eyed himself, informed the LEP commander that the insufferable Mud Boy in question was dead, having sacrificed himself to save his race, and in the process prevented the next Ice Age, if the centaur's calculations were correct. And they generally were.

Trouble had to ask him to repeat that. Twice.

Trouble had never liked Artemis Fowl very much. First of all, he was a fairy police officer, and he had first heard of Artemis Fowl when the twelve-year-old human kidnapped another fairy police officer, who he'd happened to respect quite a lot, given that she'd saved his hide during her own initiation.

Since then, this Artemis Fowl proceeded to build a supercomputer from fairy tech, which had promptly been stolen by another human. He'd cheated a mindwipe, gotten involved in the demon incident, been involved in another incident that led to the arrival of a second Opal Koboi, as if one weren't enough, and developed a mental illness that required his bodyguard to live for a stretch belowground, causing panic whenever innocent tourists spotted the giant Mud Mountain with a small army's worth of weapons.

Trouble had to admit that each of those times, things had turned out okay, and it probably would have been a whole lot worse if Fowl hadn't been present. But the Mud Boy seemed to get involved in some sort of trouble every few months, and almost inevitably dragged the fairies along with him.

Despite all this, Trouble realized he missed Fowl. After listening to months of supposedly tough, macho LEP officers griping about paper cuts or the tech shortage, it became fairly apparent that there were more annoying people in the world (cough, Grub, cough). The earth was still the regular temperature and Opal Koboi wasn't High Queen of the People, so Trouble decided they owed Artemis Fowl.

Plus, though he'd never admit it, a Mud Boy genius would have been useful to the a rebuilding effort. Haven was still in a bad state. Atlantis was pretty much the same. Most of the Council was dead—something about exploding cell phones—and the casualties, while small by human standards, were pretty big for the fairies. When you were only three feet tall, and your biggest city had the population of a human town, almost everything was big, really.

This whole thing was a mess, but there was no point in moping about it. Trouble decided to go down to the Operations Room and yell at Foaly—a fairly reliable way to get himself out of moping mood and into a yelling one.

It was only after he left that he realized the centaur had been acting strangely.

Trouble had not become LEP Commander for nothing. He noticed details, and his hunches were generally correct. And right now, he had a little hunch that Donkey Boy wasn't telling him something.

Trouble tried to remember the Operations Room. Little things popped out in his memory. Fowl's file open on one screen, Foaly deliberately standing in front of another. The partitioned-off corner. The centaur's nervous tics—if the floor hadn't been reinforced, there would've been a dent in it from all the tapping.

What was Foaly up to this time?

Right off the bat, Trouble guessed that it wouldn't be legal, and he wouldn't like it. Both signs that this situation had something to do with Mr. Deceased Mud Boy, who'd seemed to revel in illegal things that the LEP didn't like.

Trouble decided to circle back. Quietly. He wasn't in the mood for a long, excuse-filled lecture. Luckily, all those hours spent training in the Academy had paid off. Trouble could creep like a cat. Albeit a three feet tall one with a temper.

The hallway was empty. Most officers were out on their assignments, except for a poor few who'd gotten mountains of paperwork. Figurative mountains, of course—digital forms killed a lot less trees than paper ones, and you'd think the officers would be grateful they weren't getting fireballs or gaseous emissions launched at them.

The door to the Operations Room was open a crack. Voices drifted out into the hallway.

"You really should close the door, Holly. Who knows, maybe Commander Kelp is right outside listening. "

Trouble suppressed a chuckle. Good old paranoid Foaly.

Holly's voice responded. "You saw him leave five minutes ago, Mr. Genius. But fine."

The door slid closed almost all the way. It would've shut completely, but Trouble jammed a nearby bit of wire into the crack.

The sound of feet scuffling, then quieter voices. Trouble strained to hear. "The clone's growing pretty well do far. It's creepy, though. I keep on feeling like it's staring at me while I work. I mean, I've even started wearing my tinfoil hat again. You never know."

Clone?

This is a joke. It has to be a joke.


Trouble could imagine Holly rolling her eyes. "You never know what? That maybe a mindless clone has somehow developed mind-reading waves, deflectable only by a tinfoil hat? Hasn't Caballine chewed you out for the hat yet, by the way? She generally has good fashion sense—unlike you."

Trouble stayed still. Plenty of interesting information, which his tech consultant and best field officer had somehow simultaneously forgotten to mention.

The sound of hooves shifting. "I haven't, um, showed Caballine yet. Besides, if everything goes according to plan, it won't be mindless for much longer. It'll be Artemis soon, after all. And I'm betting Artemis already has that mind-reading device tucked away somewhere—because, well, he's Artemis. Tinfoil is useful stuff! Hey, do you want to try out my new—"

"No. I'm not a guinea pig, for Danu's sake. I just came here to check on the clone. In fact, I should probably go now. One of the dwarfs has been caught diluting his spit with water. Again. I mean, leave it to a dwarf to figure out how to commit spit fraud."

Trouble ducked behind a corner as Holly came out of the Operations Room, looking annoyed. She turned and walked down the hallway.

Clone?

Trouble waited until she was out of sight, then turned and trudged down the hallway in the opposite direction, thinking over what he'd just heard.

His tech consultant and best captain were involved in something that sounded highly illegal, and Trouble had feeling that line about tribunals wasn't an exaggeration.

Trouble wasn't stupid. He just had the misfortune to live in the same world as people such as Foaly, Opal Koboi, and Artemis Fowl. Holly and Foaly were growing a clone. From their conversation, it was a clone of Artemis Fowl, insufferable Mud Boy extraordinaire. And they were planning to make it sentient. Sentient.

The idea was mind-bending, to say the least. Cloning was illegal for some religious reasons, but mainly because a clone was basically the body of a fairy (or human) which spent its not-especially-long life as an essential vegetable. No thoughts, no feelings, no awareness whatsoever. The shell of a living thing. Unethical.

However, as much as it galled him to admit it, if anyone could find out a way to remedy that, it'd be Foaly. And once again judging from their conversation, they were trying to give it Mud Boy's mind.

Essentially, they were trying to bring Fowl back to life.

When the realization hit, Trouble groaned. Why did all these moral dilemmas have to be so complicated?

At this point he, Trouble, being a responsible commander of the LEP, should report this new revelation to the Council, testify in the inevitable trials, etc., etc, and the result would almost certainly result in severe punishment and demotion for both his tech consultant and best field officer.

Unfortunately for all the rulebook fanatics, Trouble Kelp, while not quite as much of a loose cannon as Holly Short, the aforementioned best field officer, was not above bending the rules. Occasionally.

Ignoring this wasn't just bending the rules, though, it was bulldozing over them, stomping them into the mud, then spitting on the remains. He could be allowing the possible creation of a poor dumb creature, which would spend its brief life in a constant state of unawareness and organ failure, and he could be allowing someone to come back to life, which was also ethically questionable, given the huge amount of people and People dying every day and staying dead.

There were questions that needed to be answered. Did he trust Foaly and Holly to do the right thing?

Yes.

If they failed, however, Argon would soon have custody of Unauthorized Experiment 15. Extremely unauthorized.

With this in mind, reporting what he'd heard was an excellent and reasonable decision.

Unfortunately, there was also the small matter of Mud Boy himself. Without him, humans wold be extinct, the world would be in the grips of an ice age, and Opal Koboi would be giving the orders, likely while wearing thick winter clothes as the rest of the fairy People shivered. Instead, Fowl was dead, and a clone was growing in the far left-hand corner of the Operations Room.

Trouble realized that he was pacing the hallway. He'd have to decide fast, before some passing sprite noticed and drew the conclusion that the LEP commander had finally lost it, and who could blame him?

The rules clearly stated that cloning was illegal. Always.

But Trouble wasn't above bending the rules. Occasionally.

I owe Mud Boy, he though again.

He didn't like the feeling much.

It wouldn't take much to just walk away from this whole thing, and let Foaly and Holly follow through with their plan, with the bonus that he could get rid of that pesky feeling of debt.

What if they fail? What if they create a shell?

Trouble knew that Holly was good person. She'd already weighed the moral pros and cons of the whole process, carefully, and he trusted her judgement.

Trouble hated owing people. Especially, as he'd just found, people he disliked.

Maybe he was capable of bulldozing over the rules and stomping them into the mud… although he'd probably omit the spitting part.

With that, the decision was made. Trouble Kelp turned and stalked down the hallway, yelling
at a passing wide-eyed sprite to move it already, the paperwork isn't going to do itself!

You saw nothing, he told himself. You heard nothing.

And as an afterthought,

We're even now, Fowl.
I said you were smart, Mud Boy. I was wrong; are exceptional.—Qwan
Which do you think seems more suspicious? An alien-looking craft hovering in the yard of a country home, or a floating doorway with a centaur standing in it?—Domovoi Butler
We can only change the future, not the past or present.—Artemis Fowl II
I'm trying to care, Artemis. But I thought it was all supposed to be over when the fat lady sings. Well, she's singing, but it doesn't appear to be over.—Holly Short


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