((A lot of headcanon in this one about how my Amon survived defeat in Syrcus Tower.))
Koh opens her book, pen posed for writing. She eyes Amon from over the pages.
“I bought you supper last night.”
“Aye, you did,” he agrees.
“So, does that mean you’ll honor your promise and answer my questions today?”
“I technically didn’t promise anything. I said I’ll think about it,” Amon sprawls out in the chair, but seems a bit on edge. The sessions they’ve had lately have been a little more uncomfortable for him to talk about.
Koh chooses to push on. He’d decide whether to answer or not, she knew. “Yesterday we discussed how some Allagans, yourself included, were of greater than normal stature.Today, my question is, how come you’re not now?”
“Obviously, this is a cloned body,” Amon shrugs. “I think I’ve mentioned that before.”
“Yes, you have,” she nods. “But that doesn’t answer why you chose a clone more in line with the average person. I’m assuming you had options.”
This inspires a deep breath from him.
“Am I wrong?” Koh prods. She can tell he’s on the edge of actually talking this time, and doesn’t want to lose the opportunity.
“Then, what happened?”
Amon runs his fingers through his silvery hair and stares up at the ceiling as if he isn’t comfortable looking at her as he talks. His voice takes on a deeper, almost ancient tone, something she’s never heard from him before. She feels a thrill of shivers rush through her at the sound.
“The Tower defenses were going down one by one as the invaders took out everything we had. When Glasya fell, I was thinking: ‘’Tis it. The final performance.’ I knew my time was ticking down. All I could do was stall the inevitable. Create a diversion. Buy myself a few more minutes.”
Koh swallows, listening so intently she forgets to write.
“They stormed up the corridors… these Warriors of Light… this new breed of people… of Hydaelyn’s Chosen. You talk about us Allagans, but they were unlike anything I’d ever seen,” he murmurs. “And if Xande chose to fight – which I knew he foolishly would – he would die and everything was finished. Everything we built would fall. ‘Twas no going back to how things were before.”
“You survived somehow.”
“No. I was slain.” He says with a note of finality. Then, he looks at her for the first time during the exchange. “But…”
“But?” The word held a quiver of excitement. Koh chides herself for getting to caught up, knowing he has a way of mesmerizing with words.
“For all the stories that tell you that us Allagans were completely out of touch with everything and blah-blah-blah, I had a plan,” His grin reappears, transforming him back into the more familiar Amon she knew. “I’d been experimenting with an automated form of aetheral life-force transfusion. ‘Twasn’t fully tested, and ran a lot of risks, but my other option was death. So, ’twas as good a time as any to test run it.”
“And that means…”
“I set the system up to allow me to trigger a remote transfusion of my aether into a cloned body the moment of my death.”
“I see,” Koh looks up at him. “But that still doesn’t answer my question. You could have returned in a more powerful form, obviously…”
“To what end?” Amon shakes his head. “To be hunted down like a monster and slain again? No… ’tis no place for what I once was in this world.”
“And you happened to have a clone ready for that?”
“I did,” he purses his lips. “I suppose I always knew that when the breaking point came, my only escape would be to become something less than I used to be. Only, ’tisn’t been all that easy to do.”
Koh finds herself reaching a hand across the table to him, but stops short before she dares to touch him. Of all the crimes and atrocities that this man had committed, things she couldn’t even imagine, she still felt something for his plight.
Maybe it was because Amon seemed to genuinely feel something, too. Regret, maybe? Sorrow? Did he really carry the weight of the years under that smile? It was so hard to tell.
“I think that’s enough for tonight,” she tells him, closing the book.