Artemis Fowl walked leisurely but pointedly down the tiled, sterile lab hallway floors of Police Plaza. All the lab workers had long since left, as most were headed up to the surface in that mob he got caught in on his way back down here. Only a janitor occupied the hallway now, and as Artemis walked past, the janitor gawked at him. The unfortunate soul, named Chael, had only heard legends of the great Artemis Fowl, and his descent into insanity. And here he was, calmly walking down the hallway as if he owned it. Artemis nodded at him, and he quickly his behind a mop on his cart, not wanting to face an insane genius.
They haven’t heard. Good. The great Artemis Fowl is healed, but they don’t know.
Artemis searched the hallway he was walking for Foaly’s name plate on the lab door. They apparently remodeled the laboratory during his… ehh…. demise and he needed to find Foaly’s lab for their meeting. He smiled. During his year being gone, one of the people he missed most was Holly. She was always an inspiration to him, as she pressed on through all the things they had gone through. She unknowingly taught him so many things in life, from morals to kindness. Although he was a genius, he hadn’t known the basic morals most people knew. As Holly would say, “Artemis Fowl, a genius you may be, but you don’t know the consequences of your own actions.” She had helped teach him those things. Constant guidance was needed, even for a genius.
He had just passed the first three doors when the last one he passed was flung open, narrowly missing his face. Out came Holly, who ran out and stretched as high as she could, giving him a jubilant hug.
“ARTEMIS!!!! You’re back! I’ve missed you so much!” she yelled, squeezing hard. Then, doing a very Holly- like- thing, she punched him on the arm. She stepped back, looking bewildered, and punched him harder.
“You’ve gotten muscular,” she said, poking his arm and giving him a disbelieving look, “and taller. No fair. But since when have you been muscular?”
Artemis smiled. Same old Holly. “I’ve missed you too, Holly. During episodes of Orion learning to fence and Butler more than willing to help him, I’ve gotten more muscular. But be careful, Holly, I have gotten reasonably good at it.”
Holly beamed. “I should fence you some time. That would be fun. Good job, Artemis Fowl, for doing some physical fitness exercises for once.”
She spontaneously hugged him again, saying as she did so, “Oh, Frond, Artemis. I’ve missed you so much. Don’t tease me, but I actually missed your witty and sarcastic comments. “
Artemis turned his riant, mis-matched eyes on her. “Glad to know someone missed me while I was gone. I wasn’t forgotten after all.”
“Of course not! That’s what best friends are for, after all.” She released him, and walked alongside him as they continued forward.
“Foaly has been going crazy trying to hack your computers while you’ve been gone. But judging by the d’arvits I hear from there all the time, he hasn’t gotten in yet.” She smirked. Foaly would probably kill her now for mentioning it.
“Well, let him try. He won’t get in, though. I’ve still monitored my security system, thank you. I was not totally gone. ”
They stepped into Foaly’s lab, Artemis taking in the changes that had erupted since he was gone. Foaly’s lab had been extended, with a large conference table set up near the front. Behind that were large counters covered in lab equipment. Even farther, along the back wall, was a wall length window, going two- thirds of the way to the floor, with computers running along the bottom edge.
Foaly trounced along near the computers, waving his hands to an imaginary orchestra. He tutted, and turned toward them with a test tube in hand. Seeing them standing in the doorway watching his act, he blushed, but quickly recovered in his excitement to see Artemis.
He rushed over, grabbing Artemis in a large hug only a centaur could accomplish.
“Hey Artemis! We’ve missed you! You would not believe how hard it is to not have someone to explain your genius inventions to and them to understand it. So hard, so hard. Are you okay, now? No more embarrassing love confessions?”
He said that last part teasingly, watching to see if there was any reaction. And, to his satisfaction, Artemis colored slightly, looking sheepish for once.
“Hello, Foaly. I’ve missed you to. And I understand that problem… it is very frustrating. I am absolutely healed and under control. Orion is still here, but is the exact same as myself, so if I were to switch, it would be the same. But,” Artemis added dryly,” thank you for your concern over my self-esteem.”
Holly hid a smile as she watched her genie spar with words. She had long since gotten over the embarrassment of Orion’s words, learning to laugh alongside Foaly. But she didn’t make fun of Artemis. That was just cruel. But she also didn’t make fun of him for another reason. One she would tentatively investigate.
There might have been some truth in those confessions.
Holly stood by the table and studied Artemis. He had changed. Not only physically, with his height and muscle, but his personality. She didn’t know whether it was side effects of the Complex, or just growing up, but she liked it. He was more open- well, to her anyways. The old Artemis Fowl would have shied away from any hug, but especially from a lady. But he had accepted it, without restraint.
Artemis Fowl would have shied away from any hug, but especially from a lady. But he had accepted it, without restraint.
“Hey, where’s the big man? Shouldn’t he be with you right now, glaring down his nose?” Foaly asked, looking slightly confused.
“Ah, yes. I… eh… let him in to your weapons cache. He is ‘crying salty tears of admiration,’ as I’ve said before. It is only in the next room.”
Holly coughed, feeling a little worried. “Can we trust him there?”
Foaly rolled his eyes. “I hope.”
“Well, Foaly, it is high time I show you my discovery. You will be eager to see it.” Artemis said, pulling on his V-gloves and waiting for them to shrink to his skin.
“You might want to sit down. It’s that important.”
His face took on a more serious cast, but unlike old times when he revealed projects, there was not a hint of maliciousness to it. Whatever this project was, it was big.
The computer accepted his gloves, and he opened a virtual file in the air. Around him floated pictures and diagrams, all displaying charts of the major blood and nerve areas of the human body. The data was changing, as though it were actively monitoring the person. Holly realized it was Artemis being monitored.
With his face glowing eerily from the holographic images, Artemis started explaining his information.
“While I was incarcerated Argon Clinic, I was tested on with magic. It should have helped speed up the process of my healing, but it didn’t. It was because of my own mind and Dr. Argon that it was so fast. But that magic did do something for me.”
He slid an image to the center, and enlarged it with his fingertips. It showed electrical pulses flowing outwards through the body.
Artemis glanced at Foaly and Holly, who were staring intently at the data before them. He chose his next words carefully.
“Humans used to have their own magic. Quite a lot, at onetime. But because of our advances in society, we no longer used it. Now, humans still have one at their disposal, though since it’s a one time use, so most humans are without.”
“That one power is the power to change the natural paths of fate, if there is enough emotion in it. When they use that power, they start to die, and lose all possibility of discovering their other magical potential. Hence our shorter life spans. But because of my intellect, I never used that power.”
He saw realization dawn on Holly’ face.
Her eyes wide, she whispered, “You… so you have magic?”
“Precisely. My friends, I have discovered human magic. Dr. Argon’ magic released mine. I am a magical being now.”
Silence. Holly blanched at him. Human magic? That was extremely hard to comprehend. Foaly took it in fine, though. He looked scientifically curious. But she was not calm.
“Artemis! Do you have any idea what you’ve done!? This is exactly what brought on your Complex! Your little playing with magic! Not to mention the risk of other humans finding theirs!”
Artemis looked at her calmly, further irritating her.
“Yes, Holly, I do know. This will not bring on any Complex, since it is of humans, not fairies. I’m safe. No other humans have any magic. I’m the only one, since all other humans have used theirs unknowingly.”
Holly was silent, still processing the fact. Foaly had something to say, now.
“So…. What can you do? I mean, can you heal like us? Mesmerize?” Foaly scratched his long chin.
Artemis smiled, a smile that did not make Holly feel any better.
“Oh, that and so much more Foaly. I believe there to be more magical powers, though I haven’t found them all yet. So far I have found four.”
Holly, seething in anger, asked through ground teeth, “And they would be?” She glared dirtily at him.
“Well, I seem to be able to heal, but only to an eighth of the degree you can. I can levitate items, and create bursts of energy that are quite destructive. I can also control other magic, to some degree. I know there is more, but I need some assistance in finding it.”
“Of course. The great Artemis Fowl can’t leave without a favor…” Holly said, rolling her eyes. She was more than angry. How long had he been hiding this? Why had he lied to her again? He said he’d dropped the whole magic deal.
“I could have just kept this information from you and let other humans find magic, if that is what you would have preferred, Holly. I brought the magic here so that you could study me, as I knew Foaly would want to. Then you can assess our threat to your kind.” He looked pointedly at her, his gaze searching, then resuming his speech.
“My only requirement is that I have a mentor to teach me how to control magic. If I can have that, you may humanely study my magic.”
Artemis looked from Foaly to her. His eyes were cold and determined.
“Now, do we have a deal?”
(yes, riant is a word)