Away From Perpetual Memory

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bentj96
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Away From Perpetual Memory

Post by bentj96 » Sun 1st Jul 2012

CHAPTER 1 - THOSE GOLDEN EYES

AU. No major OCs, just adding a lot to EC's universe. Starts at the end of Atlantis Complex, although a bit modified. Orion didn't reveal as much, and Artemis is being treated at home. Enjoy and review!

I own nothing.


Falling asleep was easy enough for Artemis, but as always, one always had to wake up. Under normal circumstances, this would have been no problem as Artemis always woke at 6:30 to operate at his utmost on only seven hours of sleep. It had been his custom to live a rigid schedule to maximize his performance since Artemis Fowl Senior's departure eight years ago.

When the roots of Atlantis Complex had begun to set in, this sacred ritual had become increasingly hard to maintain. Artemis's nights were sleepless or else a collection of fleeting nightmares. In the mornings, he would rise from bed, heart beating wildly, with a cold sweat and torn pillows scattered across a damp, wrinkled landscape of Egyptian cotton sheets.

The boy genius sank deeper and deeper into an abyss of self-hate and pity as the complex progressed. Just a week after returning to the present with a nearly extinct species of lemur, Artemis began to have recurring dreams. Each time, it would occur the exact same way, no matter how Artemis willed himself to act.

Artemis found himself on the bow of a great oaken battleship, looking down into the water. As he looked down, he saw that he wore his St. Bartleby uniform which was soaked with blood, with the left sleeve cut and the jacket shredded beyond repair.

Holly stood above him leaning on the railing and gazing across the water at a light three hundred yards away. The hanging mist pressed in on all sides, obscuring the source, but the woman was watching intently. Butler was there as well, hunkered down so he could be on eye level with the Major. Although disoriented and somewhat lost, Artemis swallowed his words and watched silently.

As Artemis looked, the light source dimmed and seemed to turn. All of a sudden everything was clear. The bold, red print on the flank of the sinking boat was fading, but it was easy enough to read.

"A perpetuam memoria," Artemis mouthed the words, and then, "Away from perpetual memory."

The meaning was clear to him. He glanced back at Holly, and then to Butler. The pair was already receding into the darkness. As if experiencing this for the first time, Artemis began a panicked plea for help, for forgiveness, for anybody to come to his side. The ghostly smirk on the Major's lips and the hateful gleam in her eyes was all that was needed to ensure Artemis that he was beyond hope. In a last attempt to free himself, Artemis called out to Butler.

"Butler, friend! Free me of these bonds! I beg you, one last chance." Artemis screamed desperately. "Domovoi, please. If this is the last thing I ask of you, so be it."

A begging tone began to seep into Artemis's vain voice, but even that came to a choked stop when Butler's deep chuckle echoed across the water followed by Holly's razor sharp, sub-zero tones.

The Major's cold voice froze Artemis's heart solid. "One last chance eh, Mud Boy?"

"Are you hearing this Butler?" Butler chuckled again, and then Holly laughed coldly. "That would be just another too many. Goodbye, Artemis, for good."

And then there was silence. Artemis slumped against the bow, head bowed, defeated. He took no notice as pieces of wood floated by, or even when the bodies of the Fowl family surfaced. Three children and their father, all raven-haired, and the soft colors of their mother were present. The two smaller bodies were children of no more than four and the other was nearly a man.

Hours passed, but the mist did not lift, night did not pass unto day, no fish swam in the ocean. There was only misery for past regrets, for lost love. The water began to turn pink, and then red but Artemis took no notice, for it did not seem to matter. A broken soul had no care for such petty burdens.

Days passed, but the boy did not stir.

Months passed, the ocean froze and Artemis was trapped.

Years passed, seasons changed, uncaring, and yet the darkness did not lift.

Artemis's face changed slowly from a boy's to a man's and that was when he met another wreck. Neither person reacted for the longest time. They took comfort only in each other's embrace and the broken souls fed from each other as they healed. It was the strangest, and so the most powerful, of matches. The tiny, pale hand of a beautiful woman lay in the shattered hand of a dying dark-haired man.

The two hearts, healed of injury, beat in unison as fairy and human looked into each other's eyes. A mismatched pair of ice-cold and soft-hazel gazed into a pair of deep, smoldering gold. An unmistakable passion blossomed and grew to a baneful inferno. And yet, forlorn eyes continued to search for an end.

As the mist lifted, the moon revealed itself. All was silent except for the indistinct sound of a ship cutting through water. Still, Artemis took no notice. Nothing mattered but the soft sounds of water and the sad look reflected in those eyes of molten gold.

The woman's eyes widened and then died. The silent flame was no more. Looking down, Artemis realized what he had done. A long, ornate knife was plunged deep into the woman's chest and Artemis's hand rested on the hilt. And then there was blackness, dark choking darkness.

Each morning, Artemis would wake with haunted expression in his eyes. With each day, the boy's figure became gaunter and his eyes began to tell a tale of great age.

Each morning, there would be somebody lying beside him. Some days it would be Angeline and others it was Butler. Every time, there would be a tear in their eye as they repeated over and over the same message.

"You will never be alone, Artemis. Never, never, never."

"She has only golden eyes." Artemis would reply in a raspy voice, "Who is she?"

Frozen in fear and devoid of any energy, Artemis could never do anything but rest, defeated, until the sun rose to warm him in a passionate embrace. When the radiance failed to appear at sunrise, he would be bedridden, sometimes for the rest of the day.

Even as Artemis worked, he would be distracted. All he could really think about was the sad golden eyes looking into his own mismatched ones. The condition continued to deteriorate like this until one day; Holly called and spoke to him of love. Artemis thought he was saved, but he would soon learn of his mistake. Those golden eyes did not belong to Holly.

Author's Note: I just wrote this story today so there may be some parts that are unclear. This is not a one-shot. I am trying to get this up to 40k words at minimum. Tell me what you think, should I continue? Anyway, the golden eyed girl is not an OC but is based off of a character made by EC. I took the character off on a completely different tangent. I do not own anything.\



CHAPTER 2 - TO SPEAK OF LOVE

Note: I own nothing.

Artemis’s eyes snapped open as the first rays of sun began to shine through the great, glass skylight above his bed. Butler, who sat at the foot of the bed, looked up suddenly, his formerly tired expression instantly becoming alert.

All of a sudden, the young man grasped his chest as if looking for a wound. Gasping, Artemis looked around in fear as if looking to escape. When nothing was to be seen, he gave a great sigh of relief and fell back into his remaining pillows. It was then that exhaustion set in. It took all of Artemis’ energy to just sit and gaze through his windows at the green tones of the Fowl Manor grounds.

Butler began to relax as Artemis leaned back in his bed. Occasionally, the young genius would launch into a rage and demand to know who did it, or who forced him into a nightmare and sometimes he would demand who the golden eyed girl was. Without restraint, the he would often threaten to injure himself or try to kill anybody nearby. Either way, he would soon collapse in terror and tiredness. It was a sight to see. Under normal circumstances Artemis would never be seen so dishevelled and so frightful. For Butler, seeing his master in such an uncharacteristic manner was unnerving.

For fear of his charge’s safety and his own conscience, Butler would speak the same words to Artemis every day like a mantra. “You will never be alone, Artemis. Never, never, never.”

The words seemed to give Artemis solace and strength, but, often, it would still take many hours for him to find the energy just to speak again. Sometimes, even words were not enough. Artemis’s defeated posture and tired eyes sometimes didn’t leave him until the following morning when the sun would rise to greet him.

Luckily for Butler, that morning was not an exception. Still, he sat waiting for hours until Artemis spoke quietly.

“She has only golden eyes…Who is she?”

Butler did not speak. It was his custom. To him, it seemed as if Artemis did not want to know the answer. Once he had replied, “I don’t know Master Fowl.” For the rest of that week, Artemis had refused to speak, sleep or move. The event had scared Butler like nothing else could. Even when he had had a grenade stuffed in his mouth by a metal man, or when he had been nearly killed by Spiro’s bodyguard, the manservant had not felt a fear so piercing. Previously, Butler had always believed that Artemis would have been able to take care of himself despite the conditions. Knowing that Artemis could be defeated so utterly was not comforting.

When Angeline had found out, she had shaken Artemis, screamed at him and even slapped him a few times. Butler had tried to calm her by putting a large hand on her shoulder, but she had shaken him off, looked him in the eye, and stormed off. Minutes later, she had returned with a wet cloth and a wash basin with tears in her eyes. Artemis Fowl Sr. was standing outside with a blank expression. Despite the outwardly appearance, any fool could gaze into the man’s eyes and see the deep regret and pain he felt.

The two men had stood, watching, as Angeline cleaned her son’s face. Afterwards, Butler exchanged glances with the two other adults. The meaning had been very clear. After that incident, everybody made a silent vow never to answer Artemis’s question ever again.

It was then, as Butler was contemplating his experience with Atlantis Complex that Artemis’s ring communicator vibrated. For a moment, nobody moved. Artemis seemed not to have heard the sound at all. Unfolding his legs from beneath him, Butler slipped off of the bed and reached over for Artemis’s ring, which lay on a desk beside the bed. The band was warm to the touch despite the coating of gold. The activated circuitry generated an incredible amount of heat despite its fairy origin.

Perhaps it holds secrets, this ring, Butler thought fleetingly. Secrets I have yet to discover.

By now Butler was able to tell who was calling just by feeling the vibration of the ring. He had become accustomed to answering the communicator after Artemis had become ill. Almost every time it had been Dr. Argon, enquiring about Artemis’s wellbeing. Occasionally, there would be a call from Mulch, who would ask for advice when he encountered a difficult case. In his depression, Artemis would rarely communicate through the ring and would instead whisper his responses and have Butler send them across. When Artemis refused to respond, the manservant was forced to step in and supply answers instead.

Today, the feeling was unique. The ring first gave two short vibrations followed by one long, rattily one. Butler tried to mouth the words but was unable to come up with a solution.

Perhaps it’s Holly, Butler reasoned. Or I’m too tired to recognize a simple signal.

As if to confirm the suspicion, Artemis rolled his head over to look and spoke. “It’s the Captain. Holly.”

Butler yelped in surprise and cursed as he dropped the ring. He had not expected Artemis to speak at all, let alone in such a strong voice.

“Yes, I think it is.” He responded, embarrassed. Then, I am definitely getting too old for this.

Artemis surprised Butler again by sitting up and reaching out to take the communicator from Butler’s palm. Surprisingly, the interested, bemused sparkle had returned to young man’s eyes.

Slipping the ring back on, Artemis smiled. He hadn’t received a call from Holly since his departure from Atlantis’s mental health institute one year ago.

The young genius’s reaction to the call was rather interesting. Artemis had not even mentioned Holly’s name since returning home to his sickbed. Butler had assumed that something had occurred between the two in the midst of the multiple personality stage of Atlantis Complex. The manservant knew it had something to do with what Orion told Holly of Artemis’s feelings towards her, but when he had tried to ask about the details, Holly had turned red and stormed off, muttering something about little dolphins and bivouacs.

There was a slight buzz as Artemis fiddled with the settings on the ring communicator. After a moment, Holly’s tired visage appeared, floating a meter in front of Artemis’s face.

Looking up, Holly spoke with a pained expression. “Hi, Artemis.”

Artemis’s mouth hung open for a moment and then he replied in a soft voice. “You look different, Holly. Have you been growing your hair? It’s very beautiful. And do try to not look so down.”

There was a short pause on Holly’s side.

“You’re not mad then? “ The elf’s voice was quiet. “That I haven’t called?”

This time, Artemis paused. “No. I would not fault you for that.”

Sighing in relief, Holly asked, “How have you been doing? We weren’t exactly on great terms when you left and you were entering the most dangerous stage of Atlantis Complex. I would have warned you had I known.”

Artemis cupped his face in his hands and slowly shook his head. “Captain, look into my eyes and tell me what you see.”

“Please don’t call me Captain. I know I’ve hurt you, that I have no way to make it up to you, but I want to fix this. I will do anything.” Holly said, looking as if she was about to cry.

Artemis repeated himself, this time more strongly. “Captain, look at me, and tell me what you see. Please.”

“Arty, don’t call me Cap-” She started.

“Holly, do this for me.” This time Artemis sounded exhausted.

Tears welled in Holly’s eyes as she gazed into Artemis’s mismatched ones. “I see loss, loneliness, longing, an-an-and… many decades of guilt and sadness. Artemis you look haunted…”

Artemis nodded. “Thank you.”

“Oh, Artemis. I can’t bear to see you like this. I’m so, so sorry. Sorry for everything I’ve done.” Holly’s desperation was becoming clear. “You didn’t deserve this, these six months of silence. I hope you can understand that I’m scared for us. The Council will never understand, Trouble will never understand, nobody will.”

With Artemis’s silence, the flood gates opened. Tears began to flow easily.

Holly began to babble. “Artemis, I’m willing to try this, to try us. I’ve been thinking these past months, thinking about what we’ve been through and what it means. I’ve struggled, even refused to believe my own feelings. It’s been hard, Arty, so hard. Please, please understand. I can’t lose you… I just can’t. It will destroy me, and that’s something both of us know.”

A tear rolled down Artemis’s cheek as Holly continued quietly.

“I was once in love. It was an elf in my neighbourhood. We had been best of friends for well over forty years. As a child, we were as close as brother and sister, but that changed. I was thirty when I began to understand my feelings towards him. I didn’t tell him, I never could. By then, my mother had begun her travels above ground, and his mother with her.”

“Continue.” Artemis replied coldly.

“Artemis? Have I said something wrong?” Holly looked searchingly into Artemis eyes.

With a voice as hard and cold as the ice-blue of his eyes, Artemis spoke. “Continue.”

With no other choice, Holly continued. “We spent days upon days together. My love for him grew, until one day, I asked him, I asked him if he loved me. He told me yes, he said that he loved me with all his heart that he would love me forever.”

She paused to study Artemis’s blank expression.

“The next day, we got news of the accident. I was there, with his arm around me, when I heard the news. I was so furious, so hurt. I was young, and I didn’t know what else to do. I blamed him, for everything. I blamed him for moving to Haven, for speaking to me, for involving my mother in above-ground matters, for expressing his love, for everything.”

Artemis’s expression changed slightly, as if in recognition. Holly pressed on.

“I remember the expression on his face. He looked as if I had cut his chest open. I immediately regretted what I had said, but it was too late. I knew that I could not take those words back. Over the next few weeks, I didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t go to school, or go to work. I thought I had it bad enough, but him… H-he was worse. His father had tried to visit me every day, to tell me how much I had hurt his son. I never answered the door, and so I never really knew how he was doing. I-I learned afterwards that he had refused everything, even nourishment. The day before I had decided to talk to him again, he killed himself. He had found an old human gun in his mother’s laboratory, and h-he… he put a bullet through his head. There was nothing the medics could do.”

Artemis’s shoulders relaxed and he let his head hang. “I see.”

“I hope you understand why I’ve told you this and what it means for our future.” Holly said, reaching out her hand as if to touch Artemis on the arm. She mouthed three more words, but seemed to be unable to speak them. To Butler the meaning was clear, I love you.

The young man raised his head so he could look Holly in the eyes. Tears of joy and sadness spilled from his eyes freely. He had been saved by the one he loved and now had his life to look forward to. Artemis no longer cared about his uncharacteristic show of emotion. He knew he was freed from the Atlantis Complex.

“To speak of love,” Artemis whispered. “Is to live.”

“To speak of love.” Holly echoed. “Is to live.”

Gazing deep into each other’s mismatched eyes, they spoke together. “To speak of love is to speak of life, of freedom, of absolute power.”

Author’s Note: Please review guys! I need some feedback before I continue. Next chapter, we’re going to see what Opal’s up to.
I'm a crazy Whovian, watch out!

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bentj96
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Re: Away From Perpetual Memory

Post by bentj96 » Fri 6th Jul 2012

CHAPTER 3 – WHAT PRETTY EYES

NOTE: I did quite a bit of thinking, and decided that I do not want Opal to be nearly as strange or crazy as she is in EC’s books. Really, the Opal in my story will be a completely different character. Treat her as an OC, as she will have nearly no similarities with EC’s Opal.

A quick summary: Think early Artemis Fowl, when everything was intelligible. Despite her intellect, Opal’s temperament is much like Holly’s. She’s willful, but has a tendency to get overemotional and overwhelmed. She’s only slightly mad, with a warped sense of grandeur and a hint megalomania.

One more thing, I’m not too proud of this chapter. Definitely not my best work. Please comment, review, and CRITIQUE. I need the help.

The little girl act came to Opal Koboi as naturally as the foreign tongues that flowed from her lips. Oddly, the woman was incredibly skilled at acting, and yet she had originally been disgusted by the idea. Opal had been fighting her whole life to prove that women were independent and had the potential to best males in any field. Pretending to be an innocent, weak girl wouldn’t exactly bolster that image.

After a bit of reasoning, Opal had decided it would be for the best. All she had to do was wear a knee-length summer dress, and a large straw sunhat to conceal her body and her ears. Her pouty lips and large, pretty eyes were ideal for the role of an innocent little girl. If she needed anything, she had only to use her puppy-dog eyes. If necessary, it was possible to use a touch of mesmer, but that risked attracting attention from fairy spies.

Today, Opal was masquerading as a schoolgirl on a trip to see the UN’s Security Council in session. She planned to approach the current president of the UN Security Council as he waited for his own daughter at a nearby park and persuade him to adopt her. Of course she had already prepared the paper work and a history of her stays at various orphanages. Opal had even gone as far as visiting the orphanages in person and convincing the staff that she had stayed there.

Her plan was to find a place into the president’s household and his heart and then exploit that in order to find a way to control the Security Council, where she would slowly reveal evidence of the People and instill suspicion of Artemis Fowl the Second over a month. Opal still wanted to rule over the entire world, but not in the way her older self had went about it. Her goal was to unite the People and the humans but ensure that all gave her the credit she deserved. At first, the idea had been to prove that women could do anything, but as the plan evolved, Opal began to appreciate the sound of Queen Koboi.

There is no risk in becoming Queen if I have done so much good, is there? Opal mused as her bus rolled over the last speed bump, No there isn’t, but I do have to get rid of the image of the Opal of this time.

The large, yellow vehicle lurched to a stop.

“We’re here. Now, get off my bus! Be back by three, or you’re walking back to Ireland.” The driver shouted in his husky, angry voice.

The headmistress, who sat at the front, stood up. “Thank you driver… Off we go girls! And do be polite, we’re representing all of Ireland here.”

The bus driver gave a bark of laughter. “Thank me when I’ve got that big paycheque you promised me, headmistress.”

He managed to make ‘headmistress’ an insult like he did with the titles of anyone who employed him. The headmistress blushed at his comment, embarrassed, but didn’t say anything.

“Yes, mistress. Of course, mistress. We will be on our best behavior.” Opal heard herself say along with the rest of the girls.

Opal rose, smiling, when it was her turn. But, the only thing she could think was, this is something I need to remind myself to put a stop to, this ridiculous practice of all-girls boarding schools.

The recent months had been a challenge for Opal. Dealing with the teachers at an all-girls boarding school had been more difficult that she had thought. The school work required nothing more than a glance and Opal had found it easy to avoid conflict by being as sweet as possible to the instructors. The problem, she found, was the constant reminder to be polite and lady-like. Most annoyingly of all, there was the silly idea that putting elbows on the dinner table was unacceptable. It took an unconscionably large amount of effort to avoid speaking out.

Once, during a dance class, the supervisor had told Opal to be more elegant. Opal was about to reply, “I believe men enjoy elegance much less than they enjoy gaping at my bottom and breasts when I lean forward like such.”, but caught herself. The comment would have been exceedingly shocking coming from the lips of a supposed nine year old. Without much choice, Opal complied.

Upon exiting the bus, the headmistress did a head count. When she was satisfied, she addressed the entire group.

“You are young girls of Rathdown, so remember, be polite and be pleasant. Bring a friend with you wherever you go and don’t wander far. Please make sure to be in the Westminster Central Hall by noon. Now, off you go.” She said.

Again, Opal chimed in. “Yes, mistress.”

At that point, the girls split into groups of four. Opal found herself paired with a young girl of eleven and a pair of twelve year old twins. The youngest girl introduced herself as Adriana and the twins were Athena and Minerva.

How clever, the same goddess with two names, Opal thought sourly. Her lips said, “Those are clever names.”

The two girls looked at Opal curiously, as if confused. “How?”

Opal smiled sweetly but gave them a scathing look. “Athena and Minerva is the same person, but one is Greek.”

Neither Athena nor Minerva seemed to understand, which Opal thought ironic, but Adriana squealed in recognition.

Giving Opal a quick squeeze, she exclaimed. “Oh, Opal, you’re so smart!”

Opal smiled and gave the girl a quick squeeze in return. “Thank you, Adriana! You’re smart too.”

Have I become so desperate for acknowledgement that I get a thrill from a little girl telling me I’m smart? Opal thought, not sure if her pride had been injured or not.

The four girls stood in silence for a moment, each deciding what they would like to do next, when he headmistress walked up to them.

“Hi, girls. It’s five before noon. It’s about time we get to the central hall. Now, hold hands with your partner and follow me.”

Opal felt Adriana grasp her hand tightly as they walked up the steps to the main entrance. Two great, glass doors stood at the entrance with two bodyguards standing at each. Glancing up, Opal could see hints of snipers lining the roofs across from the building.

The men at each gate pulled the doors open and held them open as the girls stepped through into the air-conditioned interior. Opal craned her neck to get a better look at the vaulted ceiling hundreds of feet above her. The great, stone arches started at the carpeted floor and rose half way to the ceiling, where they joined the arch across from it. Above that, there were massive stained-glass windows that depicted various biblical events or characters. Reaching up towards the ceiling were inch-thick, stone half-arches that split into six separate pieces. The pieces were backed by a solid piece of stone, giving the entire thing a shell-like appearance.

The only sound to be heard was the quiet whisper of shoes on the intricate patterns on the carpets. Gazing in awe at the display of workmanship rising into the sky, the long walk to the central hall seemed nothing more than a moment for the group.

As the girls approached the doors, the headmistress stopped. “Quiet now girls, they’re already in session.”

Then, without a sound, the doors swung inward and opened. The high-ceilinged room was the size of the theatre of an opera house. The oaken desks and chairs in combination with red velvet gave the place a grand feeling. Soft, yellow light spilled from massive lights lining the walls and a huge, illuminated golden chandelier hung overhead. Opal gazed at the huge scale of the room and thought to herself, this is what us fairies need, space.

Despite all the People’s technology, they did not dare to expand too far. The size of Haven had already begun to raise issues. Some people feared that a city any larger would create a risk of detection and others thought that it could cause stability issues. Even the Council had a ridiculously small building. It was said that at least twenty copies of the Council room could fit inside the Westminster Central Hall.

A secretary was waiting for the group as they entered. Speaking quickly into her microphone, the woman motioned for the girls to follow. She turned to her left and started down the hallway at a brisk pace. Scrambling to keep up, Opal’s feet caught the carpet and she almost tripped.
They passed by a dozen heavy, oaken door, all numbered with soft gold digits. There was a steel plaque on each set of doors that had the name and ethnicity of the representatives etched in cursive writing. The flag of the country hung on the opposite door, incased in a glass display. Another plaque was nailed to the wall above the doors with the country’s name emblazoned in solid gold letters on a velvet red background.
The secretary was still talking busily, muttering phrases in multiple languages, when she halted in front of a smaller, plainer door. Past the portal, the ornate doors continued along the curve of the hallway. As the girls reached the door, it swung in on itself as if by magic. The twins seemed puzzled when they stepped through and saw that nobody held the door, but didn’t bother to think on it any further.

The rest of the girls were already settled in and were waiting for the president to continue the meeting. A minute after Opal found her seat; the president strode in from the rear of the hall with a brace of security guards on either side.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant settled himself in his seat and spoke. “Sorry for the delay, Security Council, there was a temporary issue with security. Nothing to fear thankfully.”

With that, Security Council was in session. The topics ranged from the aftermath of the revolution in Syria and Egypt, where daily battles still occurred, to the newly established embargo on Iran and the defense of Israel. Per usual, not much had been decided and there were now more questions than answers. Russia had somehow used their power to veto and nothing had truly been resolved.

Not much was of interest to Opal. She had already hacked into government computers the day before and knew the information that had been presented and the information that had been hidden. Opal knew from experience that not much would happen and took no notice of the proceedings except for when somebody said something intelligent. In her opinion, though, clever humans were rare and a clever idea was a miracle.

Just like the Council, Opal thought dryly, likely something I should change.

The first hour and a half passed very slowly for Opal and the anticipation of meeting and tricking the UN Security Council’s president was constantly nagging at her. She tried to busy herself by developing her plan to sneak herself into UN Security Council meetings, but Opal had already perfected it so it didn’t take up much of her time.

Opal slouched slightly in her chair, bored, when she heard something interesting. Someone had said something about Artemis Fowl the Second without her meddling. Opal sat up and swiveled her head to hear the speaker more clearly.

The French representative, Gérard Araud was speaking. “From what we’ve gathered, Artemis Fowl Jr. been convening with the heads of state of Iran and Israel. This is only a suspicion, however, and we have only heard rumours.”

“You have no evidence then?” The president said tiredly. Lack of good evidence had become a bad habit of the French government’s and there was nothing to be said. The French would be inflamed if anybody mentioned it and that would cause problems with any UN organ involving the French government.

Araud seemed to harrumph, but continued levelly. “The French military knows a Pakistani smuggler who specializes in the movement of rich clients into and out of various middle-Eastern countries. Early this morning, the General received a call from this smuggler who claimed he had smuggled Artemis Fowl Jr. into Iran and out. He also claims that he shipped the boy along Iraq’s border and into Jordan.”

This got the attention of the entire Council. Hushed conversation began to echo through the room.

Grant spoke up. “Just how trustworthy is this man?”

“Admittedly, he is not very trustworthy, but he has never lied about somebody as important as Artemis Fowl Jr.” Araud replied, shamefully.
At that point, the German ambassador spoke up. “We had the same story, possibly from the same person, although our contact claims to be Jordanian.”

At that, Opal sat back in her chair. The talk of Artemis had nothing to do with the People or any overly suspicious activity on the boy’s part. Opal had been keeping some tabs on Artemis’s whereabouts since last meeting him over a year and a half ago. Such an expedition had become a regular thing for Artemis in the past weeks and it was likely coincidence that he had been sighted in Iran and Jordan. Either way, the clashing evidence of the Germans and the French would likely cause the president to push to drop the issue.

Suspicion of the Fowl family without empirical evidence had never gone anywhere in the past. When Artemis Fowl Sr. appeared at a hospital with only a leg missing, the family had managed to deflect suspicions. Even when Artemis Fowl Jr. had disappeared for three years and returned without aging a moment, enquiries were erased within a month. The family was incredibly secretive and it was well known that they only held the most trustworthy contacts.

Within a minute of broaching the subject of Artemis Fowl Jr., the meeting was adjourned. The president had asked to drop the issue for the meantime until further evidence was found and no one had opposed the motion. The conclave rose together and one by one, they began to exit their respective rooms.

When the hall below them had emptied, the headmistress rose and began to walk towards the exit. The girls quickly fell in line behind her and they exited the room in an orderly fashion. By then, there weren’t many people left in the halls. A security guard stood by each set of doors and there were several groups of ambassadors who spoke to each other in hushed voices, but the hallway was otherwise empty.
As they walked down the hall, some girls whispered to each other, but the group was otherwise quiet. This time, nobody was leading them to the exit. The headmistress was going the right direction, though, so Opal did not voice any complaint. Within two minutes, the glass doors at the exit were visible.

Opal looked at the time and smiled. It was 2 O’ clock and she was just on time. Grant’s daughter went to school just a block north of the church. It was his custom to meet his daughter at a park across the street from where Opal was currently. The idea was that Opal would spend some time there so she wouldn’t be seen as suspicious when she approached the president.

Still holding Adriana’s hand, Opal walked up to the headmistress and asked, “Headmistress, can Adriana and I play at the park over there?”
The woman looked at her, slightly confused, until Opal pointed. “Over there.”

“Of course, but being a few more friends with you.” The headmistress replied, “Perhaps the twins.”

Opal, spun on her heel, throwing Adriana off balance. Grinning, she said. “I’ll race you!”

Running down the sidewalk gave Opal a rare rush of exhilaration, one that she hadn’t felt since escaping Artemis Fowl nearly a year and a half ago. The feeling was second only to the thrill of completing a new project in Koboi Laboratories or the unbridled power of enhanced magic, neither of which Opal had had the chance to feel for a while.

Still running, Opal looked back to see Adriana struggling to keep up. By the time she turned to looked forward, she had already reached the street corner, where a man leaned against a telephone pole wearing a black hood. Unfortunately, Opal did not have enough time to stop and instead yelped as she crashed into the hooded figure.

Luckily, the man managed to catch her before she fell. Opal recovered quickly, her schoolgirl’s manners taking over.

“Thank you, sir. I’m so sorry for crashing into you. I was in a hurry you see.” Opal apologized, looking carefully into the man’s eyes. What is happening to me? I’ve become exactly like these pesky little girls. Perhaps I have spent too much time in waiting.

The man pulled back his hood to reveal black hair and pale, white skin. Most surprising, however, were his eyes. He had mismatched eyes. One was an icy blue and the other one was hazel.

Artemis Fowl smiled ever so slightly. “So you recognize me. Not surprising.”

All Opal could do was gasp. How did he know? I’ve been so careful.

“And what is your name, girl?” Artemis continued, eyes twinkling with amusement.

Opal wasn’t sure how to continue. Surely Artemis would be suspicious if she said her name and that was if he wasn’t suspicious already. Then again, if Adriana came running up at that moment, she would not have much of a choice. It was then that the light turned green. Opal was about to step onto the street when Artemis spoke again.

“Look at me girl; let me see your eyes.” He said.

She complied, telling herself that she was doing it so that Artemis would have no reason to pursue her further.

Artemis’s face had slackened in an expression of weariness. “What pretty eyes, and so rare. I wasn’t aware golden eyes were even possible.”
Opal did not wait a moment longer. Turning, she raced across the street, leaving Artemis standing on the street curb, confused. She did not stop until she had reached the far side of the park, where she sat down against the wall that bordered the grass and faced the river. An overwhelming need to hide had taken over.

As Opal leaned back, and sighed deeply, not sure what emotion to feel. No one has ever noticed that, not since Foaly. I’ve never let anybody else see. How could Artemis Fowl Jr. of all people see it? I hate the man. He’s been in my way since the beginning.

Opal sat, lost in thought, until Adriana rounded the edge of the wall, gasping for air.

“Who was that man? Are you alright?” She asked worriedly. “I’ve been looking for you for twenty minutes! I looked everywhere.”

Opal replied after a long pause. “That… was Artemis Fowl the Second.”

“Oh,” the girl replied, “so why did you run away so quickly? He didn’t seem so scary.”

“He scared me.” Opal responded truthfully. “Somehow, he knew me. He told me I had golden eyes”

The young girl gave Opal a small hug.

“That doesn’t seem too bad, Opal. At least you’re alright”

Opal smiled, schoolgirl façade switched back on. “Yes, that I am.”

“Anyway, your eyes are brown, not golden.” Adriana said reassuringly.

By then, Opal had stopped listening. The president of the UN Security Council was standing thirty feet away from her, greeting his daughter by the docks.

Opal stood up and began to walk towards the man, her voice already layered with mesmer.

Note: Again, please do not say Opal is OOC. She’s a very, very different character. So much in fact, I would suggest treating her as an OC.
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