I started this a very long time ago with a friend of mine, Stopmotion, and then abandoned it for months. I stumbled upon it again a week ago and decided to finish it.

I'm really not sure what the hell was going on in my brain while writing most of this, so beware of Sherlock!Artemis, MagnificentBastard!Vimes, and HealthExpert!Colon. Mainly the last one more than the first two, though.


The smog drifted high above the roofs of the buildings. Commander Sam Vimes of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch leaned back in his chair, chewed on his cigar, and stared skeptically at Angua.

"Really, Captain? Are you sure the Bursar wasn't hallucinating?"

"No, sir, of course I'm not; there's no way to be sure of that. But he seemed more lucid than normal, so I thought I should tell you."

"Hmmm… But why, Captain, would a young, well dressed youth be on the top of the University? Is he an Assassin?"

"Well, I wondered about that as well, sir, but if he were an Assassin then he probably wouldn't have toppled forward and landed in the duck pond face-first, sir," she said.

"Good point. Well, I suppose we should try to figure out what on earth is going on. Put Cheery on it, would you?"

"Yes, sir. And one more thing, sir. The Bursar said he might be a vampire, he couldn't quite tell."

"Oh, damn," muttered Vimes, "Put Sally on it as well then, okay?"

"Of course, sir."


"No, sir, he's not a vampire," said Corporal von Humpeding, lounging languidly in a chair across from Vimes' desk. "His teeth aren't quite pointy enough. Sorry. I do know how you love vampires. Sir."

"Hmm. Well. Good. What is he, then?" Vimes spun around once in his new swivel chair and came back glaring at the corporal. She gave him a cheeky smile.

"Human, sir. Apparently. Cheery thought he might be a werewolf, but trust me, sir, I would know if he was."


"Yes, sir. Most definitely."

"Has he woken up?"

"Yes, sir, but he was talking about imps and warlocks and such, so Z-gor put him back under."

Vimes paused. "Z-gor?"

"Igor decided his name wasn't distinctive enough."

"He's an Igor, dammit! His name isn't supposed to be distinctive!"

"That's what we told him, but he said, and here I quote: 'I'm tired of being oppreshed by the opinionsh of the public'."


"He said a lisp wasn't singular enough."

Vimes closed his eyes and sighed. "Very well. When the boy wakes up, bring him to me. And send in Nobby. You're dismissed."

"Yes, sir." Sally saluted half-heartedly and prowled out of the room. Vimes glared at the chair she had been sitting in.


As it turned out, Nobby and 'the boy' arrived at the same time. Only one of them was conscious.

"What is it?" the boy asked politely. Nobby's head lolled over the armrest of the chair on which he had been deposited.

"Human," answered Vimes crisply. "We think."

"How fascinating." His voice was somewhat nasally, and Vimes didn't blame him. Many people, upon meeting Nobby for the first time, tried very hard not to breathe through their nose.

"Right. The point is, Mr….?" Vimes raised his eyebrows at the boy.

"Fowl. Artemis Fowl II."

"Well, Mr. Artemis Fowl II, would you care to explain to me exactly what you were doing on top of the Higher Energy Magic Building of Unseen University?"

Artemis inspected his fingernails. "No, not particularly."

"Mr. Fowl, I would appreciate it if you would tell me what you were doing on top of the University."

"I'm sure you would."

Vimes' fist pounded the desk.

"Fowl, tell me what the bloody hell you were doing on top of the UU."

Artemis crossed his arms and glared at the Commander, looking, for an almost-adult, incredibly child-like.

"It's none of your business."

"It's my bloody business because I can bloody well fine you for manslaughter of the bloody ducks you fell on."

Artemis regarded him for a second. "You seem a very bloody-minded person, Commander Vimes."

Eyes locked, and finally Artemis gave in. "Fine. I got involved in what might be termed a slight temporal and special miscalculation. Well, I say slight." He raised his eyes to the ceiling. "Rather major, actually, now that I think on it."

Vimes swore violently. "So you're a wizard." "A wizard? Goodness, no. I just… take part in experiments."

"Yeah, right. And what are you going to now that you're here?"

"Oh, that's easy, Commander. Try my absolute best to get back." He wrinkled his nose. "This city certainly isn't a fresh flower."

Vimes raised an eyebrow Patrician-style and gestured at the boy's filthy suit. "Pot calling kettle black."

Artemis' glare was frigid, but dealing with frigid was Vimes' home turf. No one could be as frigid as Vetinari.

"Believe me," said Artemis testily, "I would be thrilled if my suit was duck intestine-free."

"So would the ducks, I'm sure," retorted Vimes, who had realized several moments ago that he was acting increasingly like Vetinari, and was considerably disgruntled by this.

Some people bring out the best in you. Some bring out the worst. And some bring out your inner Vetinari, which was why Artemis soon found himself in a room being interviewed by the Fred Colon and the newly-awakened Nobby Nobbs.


Sally was running a betting pool on how long Artemis would last before breaking.

"Has Nobby flirted with him yet?" asked Angua, sidling up next to the vampire and glancing at the betting sheets.

"Carrot thought that would be cruel and unusual punishment, so he confiscated Nobby's wig and perfume. The poor kid'll be spared that."

Angua snorted. "Poor kid indeed. The Commander is pissed. I think he's a little disturbed by how much Fowl resembles the Patrician."

The two sat in companionable silence for a moment, watching Colon explain avidly to the young man what he referred to as 'proper dietary habits'.

"Do you think bacon grease really is a preservative?" asked Sally eventually.

Angua considered this. "Possibly, if only of a large stomach."

"Case in point," snorted Sally, nodding at Colon.

There were a few more minutes of silent examination before Artemis broke.

"Caviar is NOT A TYPE OF SALAD DRESSING!" he shrieked at the rotund sergeant, who glared up at him suspiciously through small, piggy eyes.

"Lad, I've lived for far longer than you, and I think I know what I'm talking about when I say that it is." Colon scratched his nose haughtily, or at least in a manner he appeared to think looked haughty, and leaned back. "Now, what kind of accident was it that landed you on top of the University? Did you try to eat caviar plain?"

"No!" shrieked Artemis, wild-eyed. "Number One, this warlock demon, was trying to sneak me into an oil-mining conference I'd been uninvited to because of my recently-forged ties with various "save the forests" organizations! I was supposed to pinpoint the weak member of Doil Co. and attempt to bribe him or her!"

"With caviar?"

There was utter silence. Artemis, speechless with aggravation for the vocabulary ineptitude of his interviewer, let his head fall slowly forward until it banged against the desk. Still face-planted, he let out a low, hopeless moan.

Nobby and Colon stared at him.

"Should we do something about that?" asked Nobby eventually, in the voice of someone who is wondering whether they're going to have to pay for medical bills.

"Yes, Corporal, we probably should," said Colon, nodding sagely. "We should go get Captain Angua."


Angua and Vimes stared at the prone teen, who still hadn't moved.

"Should we do something about him?" Angua asked Vimes.

"Yes, Captain, we probably should," Vimes said, nodding sagely. "We should drop him off at the Oblong Office."


The tension was palpable. Dark blue eyes met icy ones. An eyebrow raised in silent challenge was answered in kind.

Lord Havelock Vetinari, Patrician of Ankh-Morpork, steepled his fingers.

Artemis Fowl the Second, Definitely Not Heir to a Criminal Empire, stroked the beard he did not have.

After exactly ten seconds of silence, Vetinari said, "As I understand it, you are from the Roundworld."

This wasn't what Artemis had expected. "Pardon?"

"The Roundworld," repeated Vetinari, with the patience of an angel or, quite possibly, the Devil, "you are from it."

"Oh," said Artemis after a moment's rapid cognition. "Yes, I am." He risked a glance at the Patrician's face, which was frozen in a portrait of stern disbelief. He gave up. "My apologies, what exactly is the Roundworld?"

"A world that is, strangely enough, completely spherical. It is kept by the wizards at Unseen University, the very university that you so unfortunately landed on. I hear that you were brought here via a magical accident?"


"Please don't be flippant. You may manage to aggravate dear Commander Vimes with that method, but with me you will simply waste your time, and we have so little time."

Artemis couldn't tell if that was a reference to the Patrician's busy schedule, a philosophical comment on the fleeting nature of life, or a threat. He decided to cover all his bases. "In that case, yes. A magical accident of sorts. I did explain all this to the sergeant," he added testily.

"Men and women will say all sorts of things to escape the merciless questioning of Sergeant Colon and Corporal Nobbs."

"Including that caviar is a type of salad dressing?"

Vetinari frowned. "I admit that perhaps the Commander may have been a tad harsh in assigning those two to interview you."

"Indeed. All right, long story short is that a friend was working on a spell to transport me somewhere on the... Roundworld, and something must have happened that diverted the 'destination' part of the spell. So I found myself on top of your University, but I slipped and fell into the duck pond, hence the rather undesirable state of my suit."

"Hmm. And do you wish to return to your world?"

"What do you think?" Artemis leaned forward.

Vetinari narrowed his eyes. "I don't enjoy repeating myself, Mr. Fowl. Think back to our earlier conversation concerning flippancy."

There was another momentary staring contest, which Vetinari won.

"Fine." Artemis gave in. "Yes, I want to go back. However, I find what I know of this city to be absolutely fascinating, and would appreciate it if I could spend a few days here observing it before my return."

"And what exactly is it about Ankh-Morpork that you find so fascinating? It certainly can't be the scenery. A waste heap has better architecture."

Artemis snorted. "True, from what I've seen. But your government is quite interesting. You seem, no offense, to be a tyrant." He held his breath, preparing himself for the explosion.

It didn't come. "Go on," the Patrician prompted. He seemed to be finding this highly amusing.

"Really? Oh. Well, although you seem to be a tyrant, your police force is fully functional, and the Commander seems like a very honest man. The sort of man who generally would not serve silently under a dictatorship."

"I am impressed with your analysis of the good Commander Vimes."

Artemis smiled. He was having fun. "I'm not done. The Captain, Angua, she is also an honest cop. Perhaps not in her actual policing, but she does not strike me as the sort of woman who would suffer mass injustice. In addition, you have an institute of learning which appears to function with complete autonomy. Not standard tyrannical behavior."

"Go on."

"In addition to all of this, you have let me, an outsider from a world which I doubt you know much about, converse freely with citizens, although admittedly citizens who happen to be cops. You know nothing of me. I could be a rebel. I could bring ideas of insurrection, of democracy. If your people are in a tyranny, I'm sure they would welcome a republic."

This did not achieve the result he expected. Vetinari looked as though he was trying very, very hard not to laugh. "Democracy," the Patrician said, savoring the word like a fine wine. "They are trying this out in Pseudopolis. Perhaps that would mean more to you if you knew where Pseudopolis was, but no matter. The rest of the city-states of the Circle Sea are waiting patiently for the inevitable coup, and are ready to give Pseudopolis a helping hand up when they fall, albeit for the right price. We like having Pseudopolis around. They are so... optimistic. We chortle at them quietly when their back is turned."

Vetinari sighed and shuffled some papers on his desk for a purpose unclear to Artemis, as everything was already pristine. "I think your interview is done. Thank you for sharing your deductions, they were most entertaining."

Artemis blinked. "So, can I stay for a week or so? Or am I returning right away?"

"My dear sir, you overestimated the wizards. Even if we wanted you back home this moment, it would take them several meals to get around to working on the problem, and a wizard's meal lasts over two hours on average. You may shadow a member of the city watch for a week while the wizards work on a solution to return you. Drumknott, please escort Mr. Fowl back to Pseudopolis Yard and explain the situation to Commander Vimes."

He gestured with a thin hand at a man standing some way across the room. Artemis had never seen a more clerical-looking clerk.

The man nodded. "Indeed, my Lord."

"Good. It was a pleasure talking with you, Mr. Fowl. Do not let me detain you."


Vimes was livid.

"The bloody bastard's going to be stalking one of my officers for an entire week?"

"Well, sir, not stalking exactly..."

"Oh. sorry, just following around absolutely everywhere they go. What the hell did the kid do that convinced Vetinari to give him permission?"

Angua sighed. "Sir, I have no idea, and I understand why you're annoyed, but maybe it's a blessing in disguise."

"What the bloody hell do you mean by that?" the Commander demanded, swinging around to face her.

"Well, sir, remember A. E. Pessimal?"

"Remember him? He's one of my best officers."

"Exactly, sir. And he came here on Vetinari's orders too."

Vimes squinted at her. "Are you suggesting that Fowl is going to end up one of my best officers?"

"No, sir, of course not... well, yes, sir, I guess I am." Vimes glared at her, but she smiled back hopefully. "He doesn't smell so bad now that he's had a shower, sir," she added reproachfully, as though this was all that mattered.

Vimes still glared.

"He's not a vampire?" Angua tried. "Look, sir, if it bothers you that much, just dump him with Detritus."

Suddenly, Vimes stopped dead. "Angua, you are a genius," he said softly.

"I am?"

"Yes. I know exactly what I'm going to do with Fowl."


"...and this is your temporary locker." Angua was giving Artemis the tour of Pseudopolis Yard. "I know you're not going to have armor or anything, but you can put your clothes or notebooks or whatever it is you don't want to carry around in there." She glanced at the clock. "And the officer you'll be working with should be here soon."

There was a clatter of sandals at the entrance to the locker room.

"Ah, speak of the Devil..."

"My apologies for being late, Captain. I got tangled up at Short Street. There was some sort of heretic who was-"

"Yes, yes. This is Artemis Fowl. He's going to be following you around for a week. He's from another world," Angua added helpfully. Then she took a very careful step backwards and started sneaking toward the door.

"Oh. Yes. Well. A pleasure to meet you. Now tell me, have you considered the benefits of Omnianism?" asked Corporal Visit-the-Infidel-with-Explanatory-Pamphlets.