Artemis Fowl II sat patiently in his study, tapping his slender fingers lightly on the cherry wood desk. It was the day before Christmas and as usual the family is going all-out in terms of preparations for the said event. Hisparents have already sent out invitations to the family's close friends and business partners for the Christmas Ball that the family hosts annually. Juliet even came all the way from Mexico to celebrate the season holidays with the Fowls. However, unlike the past Christmas events, this year's event will be different from the usual. Aside from having lots of VIPs attending the ball, the family will be joined by some special visitors; two special visitors to be exact.
At the thought of his visitors, Artemis bit his lip but couldn't stop smiling.
Holly informed him that Commander Kelp granted her a week off and Artemis took this as an opportunity to invite his best friend over for Christmas; after his mother's constant prodding. Of course, Holly couldn't say no, half of it was because Artemis Fowl is very good in persuasion, but the real reason why she couldn't turn down the offer is because the Fowl matriarch herself was there when Artemis extended the offer through a video call. The scene alone gave Holly the impression that it was all the Mudboy's doing, by which he denied without missing a beat.
Holly said she would be a few hours late though she didn't exactly tell the reason why but she promised to come the day before Christmas. And due to some unknown reason, Foaly will be coming too, though Artemis wasn't sure who invited the centaur in the first place. Artemis suspected his Mother did it since Foaly helped curing in Artemis' Atlantis Complex.
Then he remembered another visitor.
Two days ago, he received a call from Minerva. She was planning on visiting him in the past months but couldn't because of some family matters and that day she called, telling him that she was coming for a visit. Of course, Angeline Fowl overheard the conversation and gladly invited the French girl to the Ball.
Artemis slightly smiled at this thought; this is something to look forward to. The last time Minerva and Holly were in the same building it didn't go well because of the abducting incident but he trusts that they would be on their best civil behavior for the sake of his parents and the twins. Of course, without a doubt, Foaly would love to show off his intelligence to Minerva like the way he always does to him, Artemis was sure of that.
Artemis closed his eyes and sighed.
As of now, his family went for the last minute shopping for the said event and Artemis gladly volunteered to stay and wait for his guests to arrive. Juliet accompanied the rest of the family to provide security and of course, Butler stayed to watch over Artemis.
So far, everything is under control - or so he thought.
Something fell with a loud crash.
Artemis immediately stood up from his chair to look at the one who made such noise. He initially thought it was some box or a stack of files that just tumbled over, so imagine his inward surprise when he saw two teenagers lying on the floor. The girl is already drifting to unconsciousness but the boy is fighting to stay awake; pain clearly evident in the boy's facial expression. Then suddenly, in a heartbeat, the door opened and in came Butler with his gun and immediately pointed it at the boy.
"Are you alright, Artemis?" the bodyguard asked not taking his eyes off the unknown boy
"I'm fine. I wasn't hurt" answered Artemis as he walked cautiously towards the two teens.
The boy looked at Artemis for a while and then his expression relaxed and somehow he looked relieved. Somewhat perplexed by this, Artemis studied this boy's appearance. He must be around thirteen or fourteen; normal physical built, pale skin, tousled raven black hair and blue eyes. He has a few wounds and cuts and it didn't look comforting.
"Who are you and what do you want?" asked Artemis, he didn't mean to sound so frank but these two people are intruding and not to mention, by passed his security.
The boy winced. He moved his arms and it's only then did Artemis notice the big blood stain on the side of his sky blue long sleeve shirt. He let in a deep breath, obviously trying you calm his nerves and then spoke in a surprising even tone. Though Artemis is not surprised of the male teenager's calmness and collectiveness, what he said next definitely caught him unaware.
"My name is Artemis Fowl III, I'm from the future to warn you because -" he stopped, wincing. Artemis felt his heart skip a beat with dread as he started to break into cold sweat. Normally, he would mask his uneasiness but the weight of what the male teen said made him froze on the spot, gaping, dumbfounded and clearly surprised. Of course, it has to be a delusion, an imagination; a joke for there is no possible way that what the male teen was saying is true.
He heard the male teen gasp for air as his facial expression showed the pain he is feeling. If Artemis had to guess he would easily conclude that the male teen was slowly losing consciousness. However, there was a faint hint of determination in his eyes that showed that he was struggling to stay conscious to finish what he was saying. Apparently, try as he might, the male teen was in no position to fight so when he could take it anymore the teen gathered his last strength and said one word that Artemis didn't expect to hear.
"Koboi," the boy said, sounding more like a whisper because he doesn't have enough energy to say it out loud.
But Artemis was good at lip reading and he caught what the male teen uttered; clear as a crystal.
There was a moment of silence. As Butler checked on the teens on the floor ever so cautiously, not even letting his guard down, Artemis on the other hand, felt paralyzed; it was like as if a glass of cold water was poured down his spine. Though he just stared at the unconscious form of their sudden intruder, his mind was already working - putting the pieces together, trying to draw a sensible conclusion at this unexpected encounter. He was so occupied in his thoughts that he didn't notice Butler's worried look when the huge manservant glanced up at him.
"Artemis?' inquired Butler, stopping Artemis in his train of thoughts, "What are your orders?"
"Tend the boy's wound and then take them to one of the spare rooms. Don't put them together. And keep an eye on them from time to time." Artemis ordered. The manservant nodded and lifted the boy on his shoulder and the girl on the other shoulder as if they weigh nothing. He was about to leave when Artemis remembered something, "And Butler?"
The manservant turned, "Yes Artemis?"
"Keep it secret. Don't let anyone know the boy's name, not even Juliet." Artemis answered, then he turned away and walked towards the huge glass windows of the study, taking sudden interest in the snow covered landscape before him.
"Of course," was all the answer Butler could say before he left.
Temmy went to his room and locked the door behind him before he sat down in front of the Grand Piano and began playing the first piano piece that entered his mind; the La Campanella by Franz Liszt. It doesn't hold any special significance, he just like because it's a good piano exercise; a great piece to show of his piano skills to every listener.
It was his Grandfather and Grandmother's 49th wedding anniversary and to celebrate the occasion they held a banquet in the garden; for relatives, close friends and acquaintances. Everybody was already dressed up for the occasion and some of the servants were busy hurrying thru and fro getting things ready since the guest are starting to arrive. His Uncle Beckett and Uncle Myles would be arriving from Sweden and France with their families any time soon to join them in the said celebration. Mylyne, his Uncle Myles's daughter, was already two years old and his Uncle Beckett's wife was already pregnant with their first baby; making his Grandmother Angeline extremely happy.
Of course in every Fowl celebration, the Butlers are always present. Juliet and her husband along with Theos and Jordan, their two sons, flew all the way from Mexico to Ireland since his Grandmother insisted that they should come and join the celebration. Butler's wife deliberately took a day off from work and immediately took the first flight from Japan to Ireland just to attend the event. And, of course, Temmy was looking forward to seeing Cerise again. She's his best friend and since she has to study in Asia, the two teens haven't seen each other in two years.
Young Temmy Fowl was in the middle of his favorite part in that piano piece when someone knocked on the door. He stopped reluctantly and stood up to open it and was about to say something about disturbing other people but those words never came out when he saw who it was.
It was his brother Julies Riley, wearing one of his best suits and best poker face on. With his brother, holding his hand was their little sister, Angel, dressed as a sparkly pink fairy; complete with wings and a wand - it was quite ironic really.
"Guests are arriving, we should be heading down," Riley said.
Temmy nodded and stepped out of the room; closing the door behind him in the process. None of them said a word as they walked towards the garden. Since it was a special gathering for all the Fowls, young Temmy couldn't help but to feel a little tense. Half of his was expecting to find someone special in this gathering, someone he hasn't seen in years; five years to be exact.
"Don't expect so much Tem or else you'll just end up disappointed," Riley said, not even bothering to look at him; his face expressionless.
'Was I that obvious or Riley is just good at expression reading?' Temmy thought
Temmy looked at his brother for a while then he noticed Angel looking up to Riley then to him with a slight confused expression. He smiled down at his sister reassuringly as they walked across the garden. Temmy scanned his surroundings, looking for the face that he was looking for.
Some of the guests were already there. Majority of them were his Grandparent's friends and business partners - as always. His Uncle Beckett has just arrived and they were being welcomed by Angeline Fowl, who was obvioiusly gushing over her grandchild. Some of the Butlers were talking to some of the guests, acting ever so casual as if they were just normal attendants of the event. (But be not fooled, they just sometimes use that as a cover as they scout the surroundings.) Theos and Jordan were already sampling the food laid on the table and Cerise was talking to his Grandfather and his Father. Then, his Uncle Myles arrived so his Grandfather and his Father welcomed them.
Everyone was there.
'Everyone, except Mom.' Temmy thought bitterly He let out a sigh as he looked at his brother, who was at that time looking at back at him.
Riley was right, expectations hurt.
'Maybe I should give up and accept the horrible the fact that she will never come back,' Temmy thought as he bit his lip and before he knew it, he was spacing out.
"Temmy, are you alright?" Angel asked, dragging Temmy back to reality.
"I'm fine," Temmy lied, smiling reassuringly, not wanting to trouble the peaceful mind of his four-year-old sister "I'm just a little nervous, that's all."
Riley's eyebrows shot up but didn't say a word. Then he looked down at Angel "Do you want to go to Daddy?"
The little girl nodded and smiled sweetly "See you later, Temmy"
Temmy watched as they walk towards their Father, who was sitting near the banquet table. Artemis Fowl II was watching the dancing couples with an expression Temmy always saw in his face whenever he saw him alone. He missed their Mother. It's been five years since their mother left their father, up till now, didn't get over it.
Temmy remembered coming home one day. The house was so gloomy. His Grandparents were in Spain that time and Juliet, who was visiting for the week, was rocking a baby to sleep in her arms. Young Temmy was about to ask whose baby was that when he heard a loud crashing sounds and thuds coming from upstairs. Curious, he went up to check on it. Surprisingly the noise came from his father's usually quiet study and when he was near enough he could hear Butler trying to calm his father down but instead more noise escaped the room, this time it wasn't a thud, it was the shattering of glass.
Temmy, being the kid he is, was getting curious so he peeped inside. The whole place was a mess. His father's new computers were on the floor, his books thrown here and there and some of them were ripped to pieces.
"Why? Why Butler, why?" Dad asked. Temmy never saw him so stressed in his entire life.
"Artemis…" Butler began but somehow couldn't continue what he is going to say.
"Butler, she left. She left me. She left her own children, saying that she never want to see them again." Artemis II said, tears streaming down his eyes. Young Temmy couldn't believe his own eyes, for the first time, he saw his father cry. "After all these years, how could she do this to me? What did I do wrong? How am I suppose to raise our daughter- our children without her,"
It's only then did Temmy realize everything; their Mother left them - she abandoned them.
Before Temmy could realize it his eyes suddenly hurt and then slowly he felt tears flowing down to his cheeks as he ran away from his father's study. Frankly, he doesn't understand. They were happy together as a family. Honestly, he can't see the reason why she would leave them. Young Temmy was only eight years old back then and even though he finished psychology and all, he couldn't supply himself with answers and advices he expected to know.
How could his mother do this?
Temmy sat on the stair case and cried. Then someone sat beside him, it was Riley; he looked miserable as their father is.
"Why did she leave?" Temmy asked immediately
Riley sighed, "I…don't know," he answered in a pained tone then wrapped his arms around his brother and hugged him. Temmy smiled a bit at the sign of affection from his brother. Riley was always having trouble with expressing his emotions due to his somewhat distant attitude but now he is stepping out of his usual demeanor for his brother.
"Have you seen our sister yet?" he suddenly asked. Temmy shook his head as Riley let go of him, "Then come and let's have a look at her,"
Riley led his brother to the nursery and there Juliet lovingly placed the baby in the crib so that both brothers can look down to her to see her clearly. Like them, their sister's hair was black but her eyes were similar to their mother's eyes. The baby looked at them for a while then giggled playfully, uttered some baby words and happily lifted her arms, as if she wants them to carry her.
She's like an angel.
"Does she have a name yet?" Temmy asked
Juliet shook her head, "Do you want to give her, her name young Master Fowl?" she asked
"Angel," both brothers answered in unison.
"Temmy?" he heard a voice inquire curiously. Temmy bit my lip as he remembered that incident. Ever since she was born, Angel never met their mother in person. She just saw her thought pictures and videos. He and Riley haven't told her much about their mother's sudden 'decision' either.
"Artemis III," the voice repeated and shook his arm.
Once again, Temmy was back to reality. He looked at the girl beside him. She was wearing a dashing sky blue dress and black high heeled sandals. Around her neck was a diamond necklace in the shape of a snowflake and her hair was pulled back in a stylish bun with some sort of glittery stuff decorating it. The person caught him off guard and now he was trying to figure out who that girl is.
"Are you alright, Temmy?" the girl asked, worriedly. Then finally it hit him. How could he not notice, it was Cerise. Honestly, he didn't recognize her in that dress.
"I'm fine," Temmy lied hoping that he sounded truthful enough so that she would believe him and just let slide but Cerise knew him better than that. She is his best friend after all.
"Oh really," she said, raising one delicate eyebrow and smiled "You mean spacing out like that is considered fine?"
Temmy gave her a smile.
She looked at him in the eyes and sighed "I know you missed your Mom and probably hate her for leaving you and for breaking your father's heart but Temmy, please at least try to make this event memorable to your grandparents. They are worried about you,"
Temmy looked once again at where his father was sitting but he wasn't there anymore. He was dancing with Angel while Riley was dancing with their Grandmother. Temmy looked back at Cerise, she just smiled and shrugged.
"I guess you are right," Temmy finally said at last then he bowed in front of her like a gentleman and mockingly asked, "Then can I have this dance?"
At first she just stared at him, and then she rolled her eyes. "You're trying to annoy me are you?"
"More or less, you look good by the way." he answered. She scowled "I'm telling the truth, it's only through this kind of occasions that you would look like a girl,"
This time she glared at him while he just laughed and added, "You wanted me to make the best out of this event right? So I'm asking you for a dance,"
She sighed and took his offer with a 'you-owe-me' look.
Temmy indeed tried to enjoy the event as he had promised to the Butler Girl but unfortunately for her, she became the object of Temmy's entertainment as he teased and teased her for the whole day; especially about her dress knowing well that she hates those kinds of dresses.
But nevertheless, Temmy still wished for the event to end. Unfortunately, it's a truthful fact that when you're waiting, the hours seem to stretch till it seems like forever.
Finally, much to Temmy's relief, the grand event ended and soon the all of the guest were gone; with Myles and Beckett being the last to leave before the rest of the family finally entered the house.
"That was very tiring," His father said as he entered the living room carrying the already asleep Angel in his arms.
"Yes very," Temmy agreed as he sat down on the couch next to Riley. That was when their grandparents entered the living room, still holding hands and had a big smile on their faces. Temmy mentally smiled, 'I guess this is a really special day for them,'
"Once again, Happy Anniversary," Riley greeted
Artemis Sr. smiled, "Thank you, Julius"
Temmy grinned while Riley tried his best to hide his scowl. Artemis Sr. never liked calling his eldest grandson Riley, as it seems so plain to hear, so instead he keeps on calling him by his first name, Julius. However, Riley on the other hand, preferred to be called as Riley than Julius but of course the young Fowl couldn't tell his grandfather that.
There was a peaceful moment of silence.
There goes the living room wall. The Butlers immediately turned to defense positions preparing for anything; all weapons out.
A growl was heard followed by a shrill laugh; the kind of laugh that one would hear whenever a witch in a movie is depicted. A woman walked in the room through that huge hole in the living room wall, her short black hair was a little dusty due to the explosion and she was wearing something that looked like a designer hunting outfit.
"Remember me Arty?" she said with a menacing smile. Artemis II's expression changed. He immediately gave the now awake Angel to Riley and stood up. Good thing the woman is so preoccupied with Artemis II to notice Temmy as he started to slowly backaway from the couch towards the door.
'I hope this is not one of those women that wishes to marry my father after hearing that his wife left him,' Temmy thought
"Opal Koboi," Temmy heard his father say which sounded more like a hiss than anything else
"You remembered, I'm touched, but I don't go by that name anymore. You see I got married and now I am Belinda Chevlette," the woman answered
"Really and who would want to marry you?" Artemis II answered back in a somewhat surprised yet disgusted manner. Instead of being insulted the woman just laughed like an idiot.
'Opal Koboi.'Temmy mused. He had heard that name being mentioned many times by his Godfather before. According to his Godfather, this Opal Koboi was a paranoid pixie who turned herself into a human and wants to kill anyone who foiled her plans in the past. To put it quite simply, she is a psychopath seeking revenge.
"Mock all you want Artemis," Opal answered threateningly, "After all, this day will be the last you'll ever mock me,"
"What do you want Koboi?" Artemis II asked bluntly, no longer in the mood for wise cracks or modest questions.
"Revenge, Arty. Sweet Revenge," Opal answered with a smile "Revenge on you and your despicable race,"
Then she laughed like there is no tomorrow.
'Yep, He was right alright. This woman is demented,' Temmy thought
"I heard you have a machine. A time machine," she continued "That's why I'm here. I'm going to use this little machine of yours to help me against you,"
"And how do you expect to do that?" Riley asked, speaking for the first time.
"The past is the root of the future," she answered simply "If the root dies, so does the plant."
At that moment, both Temmy and Riley looked at each other; immediately understanding what she meant with that statement. Now Temmy is convinced that the woman before them is far from crazy; she is demented. She's going to stop the Fowl family from existing.
The demented woman smiled contently as she studied all of their facial expressions.
Her smile grew as a group of huge creature walked in the house, almost robot like. Temmy felt cold inside, as if his insides dropped to his feet and his soul ran out of his body to hide. Temmy only saw those creatures in his father's archive pictures before and they are a lot different in real life.
They were big, scary and obviously not in the nicest mood. They were Trolls.
Then two small people, pixies as Temmy guessed, appeared entered the room with a device that looked like a modernized version of the most modernized gun that Temmy has ever seen.
"All family members in that corner now or I'll shoot you," one of those pixies threatened. All of the Butlers sprang into action, attacking every troll who tries to harm the family. For a while Temmy just stood there watching them fight with his hand resting on the door knob.
"Tem!" Riley shouted, Temmy looked and was not surprised to see him helping the Butlers with the fighting. He wasn't as skilled as they are but at least he is helping. Theos and Jordan were already unconscious and Juliet was carrying them to safety-wherever that is given the current situation. "Escape now. You know what to do,"
Every attention was diverted to the young Fowl.
Thinking quickly, in a blink of an eye, he immediately ran out of the room. The demented woman ordered the trolls, though Temmy wasn't sure how she managed to do that, to follow him and even kill him; if necessary. That was enough to make his heart pound faster than before. Temmy even didn't have time to use the elevator and instead he just ran up the stairs to his father's study, formulating a plan as he ran; switching on every source of light he passed by.
He can see lights
At that moment, after he opened his eyes, all Temmy wanted to do is to shut them again but something inside him keeps on shouting to fight and open those heavy eyelids.
After a few attempts, he finally forced them to open and tried to sit up but that sudden movement made him feels dizzy so he just simply slumped back to the bed.
"You're awake at last," a man said
Temmy looked around the room to see who it was and wasn't really that surprise to see the huge Eurasian bodyguard, Butler. Once again he tried sitting up and fortunately, this time, he managed.
"What happened? What's going on?" Temmy asked immediately, rubbing his hands on his face to wipe away the weariness. Something popped inside Temmy's mind, recalling something as his hand immediately went to his side where the deranged woman shot him; no wound.
It was healed.
'So, that's the reason why I passed out,' Temmy mused
"I believe that's the question I should be asking," a cold voice answered. Temmy's head snapped up just in time to see the Irish Genius walk in the room with his usual pokerface façade on.
"Where's Cerise?" And yet despite of his intimidating presence, this is the only question Temmy could think of. Maybe he had a concussion or something because for some reason his brain is not functioning well.
"She's still unconscious but fine," The Irish Genius answered, his expression not changing.
Temmy was speechless. Thunderstruck.
Hedidn't know what to say. True the teen in front of him is his father in the far future but honestly speaking they weren't close. He even hated him for years. The family bonding, which is not much, slowly faded ever since his mother, Lady Fowl, left. That, plus the fact thatthey hardly talked to each other because Temmy was always at school; like every Fowl offspring he and his brother were sent to Saint Bartleby to study.
"Butler, I think you should give us some privacy." Artemis II said
Butler nodded and left without a word. Temmy watched his father, now in teenage form, as he walked across the room to sit on the couch, crossed his legs and rested his temples against his pointed fingers while his elbows rested on the arm of the couch.
'This could get a little hard to get used to,' Temmy thought then he mentally scoffed, 'Who am I kidding, a little? I'd never get used to this'
"I believe you said your name is Artemis III, am I correct?" Artemis began, not entirely sure how to take this conversation.
"Just call me Temmy. That's what Grandmother Angeline calls me," Temmy answered with a nod.
Artemis II looked at him, blinking twice so Temmy just gave a casual shrug as a response to the blink.
"So, Temmy," Artemis started once again and this time he wasn't sure how to phrase his question. He just could bring himself to ask but he knew that he needed to, "Areyou…are you my -"
"Yes, I'm your son." Temmy cut him off, saving him from further uneasiness. However, the answered itself was not at all calming either but nevertheless, Temmy continued, "Your second son to be precise. You have three children, if you must know. Julius Riley, age 18, is the eldest. I'm the second, age 13 and the youngest is Angel Nichole Hannah, age 4."
"And you mother?" he asked
"Well, Mother…she's…well she…" Temmy sighed.
He didn't have much of a choice so he just told him their family story, starting from how his parents got married - leaving some details, of course - up to how he and Cerise ended up crashing in his study moments ago; assuming he wasn't unconscious for more than a day. Temmy also told the Irish Genius if front of him that he had temporarily paralyzed the time machine so Opal can't use it immediately. When Temmy finished the story,Artemis II just sat there in that sitting position with his eyes closed. For a moment, he looked as if he fell asleep while Temmy was retelling the events.
Temmy was about to say something when Artemis II looked up, suddenly, as if he made a very mind-conflicting decision and sat properly.
"So Opal wants to erase the Fowls from existence," he said.
Temmy nodded. If it is true that he and Riley think the same, especially on certain situations like this then Temmy was positive that Riley would surely find a way to give him the help that he need.
"How do plan on stopping Koboi then if you just temporarily paralyzed the machine? She is too paranoid to just stop." Artemis II asked
"If it is true that Riley and I think the same when it comes to troubles like this then he would surely find a way to give me the help that I need" Temmy answered, not sure where he got his sudden confidence.
Artemis II raised an eyebrow, "And if he doesn't?"
Temmy swallowed "That means he's dead,"
There was a moment of silence.
"Then Temmy lets make an agreement to keep all of this a secret till the time is right. We'll deal about this later when the occasion is over,"
Temmy nodded automatically because he knew the reason why.
There was another moment of silence. But it was short lived because it was only a few minutes after then someone knocked on the door and before either of the Fowls can move to open it, Butler's head appeared into view. But, the huge manservant just looked at them; making both Artemis II and Temmy looked at him inquiringly
"Is there a problem, Butler?"
"No. I'm just here to inform you that the young lady has gained consciousness." The bodyguard answered
Temmy immediately stood up, "Is she alright?"
"Father, can I go and see her?" Temmy asked his father. He and Riley never called him 'Dad'or 'Daddy'or anything besides 'Father' and 'Sir' and it would take a miracle for that to change.
"Yes you may and please stop calling me Father. Remember the agreement," Artemis answered with a stern look
Temmy nodded, mentally slapping himself for forgetting. Then without any delay Temmy darted out of the room. That's when he realized that he didn't even asked where his companion's room is. So sheepishly, Temmy returned and ask where the room was. Artemis II gave him an annoying smile.
"Third room on the left,"