Last part, peoples! Hope you like it! 🙂
Time passed, and Artemis was true to his word, fulfilling all his threats of torture on the poor elf. She had long ago given up pleading and begging with him over the little torture sessions, even when he had moved up and started breaking things, deciding it was a waste of breath, as he didn’t listen either way.
But as more time passed, they both got more and more worried.
The final night, Artemis stood at his computer. The three days were almost up and the troops from the LEP had yet to pull back. He looked at the screen. Mysterious fires, houses toppled over, the highest death rate increase in decades. Artemis sighed, people just thought this was a stroke of bad luck.
If only they knew.
If only they knew that fairies were trying to kill them all off, to make them extinct.
Artemis glanced at the clock. It was almost midnight at the end of the third day. He swallowed down the fear of what he was about to do.
He turned to Holly. Some of the recent cuts on her arms and legs were still bleeding, and the dried blood from older wounds covered her body as well. She was already withering under his eyes, shaking her head lightly, with tears in her eyes. She knew what was coming, and she wouldn’t be able to stop him.
“Artemis, please,” she begged. “Please. There has to be another way. You don’t have to do this. Please.”
“I’m sorry, Holly. I have to do this. You know that.”
“But why? It’s not going to stop the LEP from coming and destroying all humans!”
“Maybe all the other humans, but doing this will represent that any fairy that tries to go near me and my family will suffer.”
“Even me, apparently,” Holly murmured, looking at the ground sadly.
Before he could respond, Artemis’s computer beeped. He strode to Holly, putting the gag in her mouth. He couldn’t have her saying anything stupid, or wake his mother and father with her screams.
Artemis opened the link, making sure that the people on the other end could see Holly clearly. He smirked as he saw Root and Foaly.
“Well what Fowl? You know damn well that we can’t stop them all now!” Root bellowed.
Artemis shrugged, “Just checking. I don’t want to do this without positively knowing that I wasn’t making a mistake. In fact, if you could guarantee that you could stop this, I would not do this.”
Root thought this over. He was working on it, and could buy her sometime time. But then again, that would just continue her torture. Not knowing if she would be alive the next day or not. “I can’t do that to her,” he whispered, giving Artemis a disgusted glare.
“Very well then. Anything to add Foaly?” Artemis asked.
The centaur couldn’t form words in his mouth, leaving him silent for once. He shook his head and look down sadly.
“I thought not.” Artemis replied. He turned to Holly, grabbing the knife off of the desk. He strode to her once more. The elf was trembling and struggling against her bonds, though it clearly caused her pain, tears falling down her face now. Artemis kneeled in front of her, reaching up and putting the tip of the knife to her heart.
“One last chance, Julius,” he stated, turning to look at him. Root didn’t say anything. “I’ll take that as a no then.”
Artemis slowly pressured the knife, lowering it deeper into her skin and finally breaking it. Holly screamed from the pain, still begging and pleading with him. Though they were muffled from the gag, he could still make out some of the words, please and stop being prominent among them, along with his name.
He looked up from his work, and she caught his eyes. The message was repeated in the as well. He felt his resolve slowly start to melt as he stared into her usually bright hazel eyes wide and dark with fear.
No, he reminded himself. You have to. Do it.
But he couldn’t. If he plunged that knife into her heart, he realized, he’d never forgive himself if she didn’t have enough magic to heal it. But she did have enough magic to stop the blood flow for a while…
He drug the knife down, not going down in further, but instead moving it down her body. She moaned in pain again, and taking a deep breath, he thrust the knife into her stomach.
This time it wasn’t a moan, she actually screamed in pain, until she was out of breath and couldn’t anymore. Artemis took the gag out and cut the binds, and the elf dropped out of the chair on her knees, coughing and gagging up blood.
Artemis went to the computer and looked dead at the camera. “If you want her, take her. You’ve got about ten minutes at most, give or take a few, before she loses too much blood and dies. I’d get here before that. And don’t make me regret my decision.”
Root stared at him in shock, his eyes drifting from Artemis to the elf on the ground. It took him a minute to regain his voice. “Why?” he demanded.
“Holly has been a good friend to me. The People aren’t the only ones who owe her debts, Julius. Now I’ve paid mine.” He leaned in closer to the screen. “Stop the rebellion. That’s my condition. You end this once and for all, or I will hunt the Captain down again and end her once and for all.” He leaned back. “I’ll leave the window open. Don’t forget; ten minutes.” And before Root could respond, he cut the connection.
Artemis whipped around to face Holly. Blue sparks were already forming around the wound, but they were weak. She must have had less magic then he thought.
He walked over and opened the window before turning back to the elf on the ground on the other side of the room.
He began walking slowly over to her, his hands raised.
“No,” she whispered when she saw him heading towards her. She was up on her knees again, one hand clutching at her stomach and the other underneath her, using it to support her. “S-stay back. Stay away from me.”
“Holly, it’s okay,” Artemis said gently. He knelt beside her and grabbed her arm, helping her support herself. “I’m not going to hurt you anymore.”
“No,” she murmured, trying to pull away from him. “I don’t believe you. Let me go.”
“I’m going to,” he promised. “Just not yet.”
“Artemis, let go of me,” the elf cried, tugging a little harder, not that it made much difference, it was still a weak attempt. “Please.”
There was a soft thumping sound from across the room, and Artemis looked around in time to see Root vibrate into the visible spectrum. “Hand her over, Fowl,” he said softly.
Artemis nodded, slipping his arms under Holly and hoisting her into the air. She protested, but he ignored her as he walked over and gingerly laid her in her commander’s arms. “Take care of her,” he whispered. “And remember what I said.”
Root nodded, and turned around and jumped out of the open window. Artemis watched him until he faded into the distance, then turned back to the empty room with a sigh. He shook his head lightly once, and then left the room to to change his suit.