“What exactly does that mean?” Artemis asked, eyebrows raised.
“I am sure I proved my point,” replied Taurus. “Except perhaps my last suggestion, but I suppose you do not intend to do it anyway.”
The Irish boy suddenly thought of something. Taurus, unlike the others, didn’t seem to want to get out. Maybe this alter was worth trusting.
Cancer, who was leaning sloppily on Artemis’s desk, made an odd sound between a snort and a whistle. “Wow, this guy seems to be your most developed personality, Arty.”
“I indeed am,” Taurus agreed, not sounding as proud as he should have been.
“Developed?” asked Artemis, raising an eyebrow. “Does that mean, smarter than the rest?”
“No,” said the alter. “Being a developed side of your personality means, qualities I resemble are shown more in the main body, in this case you. My intellectual ability is more than clearly visible in you, and so is Orion’s limitless display of loyalty and affection of those close to you. Fairly stated, Aqua and Pisces are your least developed sides.”
The latter mentioned snorted. He was sitting on the desk in an immature manner. “I think I like being ignored, thank you very much.”
Gemini stopped what he was doing, namely tapping away at a game console he’d managed to get. “Hey look, Piss talk-eth!”
Artemis sighed. “Honestly? Talketh?”
He shrugged. “Well, it was kinda funny…”
“What is your personality again?”
“I’m your funny side, man. I actually got some humor!”
“What about Cancer?”
The Irish genius moaned. “Well, Taurus, I’d like you tell me more of this…personality dilemma.”
“Cancer resembles your…irresponsibility and laziness.”
“True,” admitted Cancer, yawning.
“You originally have twelve alters,” Taurus continued. “The last, in reality the first, used to be on top. Sagittarius. Standing for a side of you that barely exists now, a side driven by selfishness and mistrust. But you changed your ways. Ever since you began to lose your knack for greed and limitless power, it has had a rather adverse effect on him, as well as Aries, who was eliminated completely, years ago.”
Artemis frowned. “Eliminated?”
“At the start, Orion didn’t exist. He is Aries’s replacement, in simple terms. You will also notice, Orion isn’t a sign of the Zodiac. His personality was formed in you only after you realized your…feelings, to say the least, for Holly.”
The human colored slightly. “There is no such thing. We are only friends.”
“Right,” said Taurus, nodding once. “Maybe it is friendship, maybe it is love. The important thing, however, is that now you are almost a whole new person altogether. Aries is gone, and Sagittarius doesn’t have much time left.”
So that was it. Twelve alter egos with complex structures and personalities of their own. Opal Koboi back from the dead. Aqua making a fool of him. Beautiful.
If Holly wasn’t going to stun Aqua and give him the shock necessary to get back in control, Artemis Fowl knew that he had no option left but to come up with a saving-the-world plan stuck inside his own mind.
——————-Aqua walked in cheerily to the OPS booth. Foaly’s eyes perked up, noticing his horrendous, non-artemis like attire, but soon remembered who this really was. He smiled brightly. Hey ,Orion had been fun. This new guy had to be like him.
“Hi Pony Boy!” he greeted. The centaur whined. Aqua’s face fell. “Uh…sorry. I just thought-”
Shut up,” snapped Holly. “Foaly, meet Aqua, the personality who’s ten times as annoying as Orion. Artemis Fowl’s teenage side.”
“Arty has one of those? This’ll be fun.”
“This is annoying!”
“This is awesome! Hey LEP officers, Arty has a friggin’ adolescent alter ego!”
The elf glared at him. “This is serious, Pony Boy. If the Council finds out that his Complex is back, or something like that has happened, Koboi or not they’ll ban him from Haven.”
“Ooooh,” said Aqua. “So that’s the big deal? Dun worry, they ain’tgonna find out.”
Foaly snorted. ‘What’s the bet? They’re gonna find out the moment they see you wearing that.”
“There’s nothing wrong with my clothes!”
“There’s everything wrong with your clothes! Artemis Fowl does not turn up in the center of a distinguished gathering wearing JEANS!”
“Got some spare clothes, Foaly?” asked Holly, getting straight to the point.
“Yes. Aqua, the changing room is that wa-PUT YOUR SHIRT BACK ON, YOU IDIOT, THERE’S A LADY IN THE ROOM FOR FROND’S SAKE!”
“Oh, sorry,” said Aqua, carelessly sliding his shirt back on. “So what should I wear?”
Foaly snorted. “Oh, pretty much something that doesn’t give it away that you are not Artemis and the council won’t lock you up.”
Holly shot him a glare.”You said you had something ready for him.”
“Yeah, and I kept it in the shower room, presuming you would go there, instead of trying to change here.”
“I’m not Artemis,” Aqua reminded him. “And I don’t know every single detail about how the universe works, so you can’t really expect me to…”
Foaly’s main monitor flickered to life and the red face of Commander Kelp appeared on it. “Foaly,” he barked. “What on Frond’s beard are you doing in here, while the rest of the Council is already prepared for the meeting?!”
The centaur raised up his palms defensively. “Hey, not my fault!”
Trouble would’ve yelled something else if he hadn’t seen Aqua -Artemis as long as he was concerned- giggling madly in the corner of the room.
“What?” he snapped.
Aqua grinned. “Chill, man. I just thought it was funny seeing Foaly’s face when you yelled at him.”
“Did you just say the words Chill, man?”
He had already blown it.
Virgo smirked. “Getting bored, are we?” he asked, observing Artemis’s twitching fingers. “Yes,” replied the Irish Mastermind. “This is infuriating. Aqua is nothing more than a senseless fool who, heaven forbid, seems worse than Orion.”
“It’s in his nature.”
“How can that idiot possibly be part of me?”
Virgo shrugged. “Taurus should know.”
Artemis spared a moment to look at the rest of his alters. The were seated in a circle and spinning a can of soda.
“What are they doing?”
“Truth or dare. I got out of it, and Taurus is suffering.”
Suddenly, Artemis realized that he’d rather play with Beckett than with his own personalities.
“FINALLY!” yelled Gemini. “Piss got the dare!”
Pisces scowled. “Shut up!”
Taurus frowned at him. “That is rather annoying.”
“What? Piss or talketh?”
“Quiet!” thundered Orion. “It seems the can has landed in between myself and Pisces. Which means, by the regulations set by Knight Leo, we must both do the same dare.”
“Cool,” said Cancer, yawning. He fell face first to the floor and started snoring.
“I dare you to discontinue this game, please,” Scorpio said, softly. “Please?”
“That means we get to do the grand finale!” crowed Leo, fist pumping the air. “Piss, the honor is yours!”
Taurus was momentarily puzzled. “Excuse me?” All doubt was knocked out of his face when Pisces picked up the can, pulled it open and sent a wave of watery liquid into the air, which fell like a shower over everyone’s neatly combed hair, or in Cancer’s case, his backside, and Pisces yelled, “TO ANNOYING ARTEMIS, TILL HE GETS SO ANNOYED HE’S GOING TO USE A BAD WORD!”
Leo, Orion, Gemini and Libra screamed back the toast. “TO ANNOYING ARTEMIS!
“Commander, we can explain,” said Holly. “I…This is not the Atlantis Complex, we know that for sure. It’s only temporary and should soon be over.”
Aqua smiled. “Soon, you wish. It won’t be over till all twelve alters get to use this body.”