Amon placed the broken pieces of the ancient Allagan node upon the desk in his Lilly Hills apartment. This had become like a little workshop for him, somewhere away from the bustle and uncomfortable glares of Shirogane.
He had other plans for the place – perhaps someday, if things went well. But for now, this was where the once-Technologist tinkered and restored the Allagan tech he managed to find along the way.
Like this busted node he brought back from the unexpected excursion to Azys Lla.
Based on what he observed, Amon knew this had once been the property of Scylla’s father – Lord Diokeles. It was a name he’d almost forgotten in the haze of all that had happened.
Though the Elezen couldn’t reverse the things he did to her in the past, this node was certain to be something that Scylla would treasure. It was also something he was fairly sure he could fix.
As Amon gathered his make-shift tools on the counter, his mind strayed back in time. It felt lifetimes ago.
The first time he’d seen Lord Diokeles was soon after he arrived at the Tower. Amon had been a primitive Elezen-child of the forest, transplanted into the great Allagan city that glimmered at the base of Syrcus Tower. So very much out of his element. So anxious and eager to prove himself.
There, he met this strange man with royal ruby Allagan eyes, someone who radiated wonderfully eccentric knowledge – and best of all: science. Though steeped in the ways of the Technologists of Allag, the man was delightfully jovial and quickly put Amon at ease.
That was the beginning of an exciting life-long mentorship.
Though there was no love lost between Amon and Scylla, her father welcomed him to Syrcus Tower, and into a fantastic world of learning. The man embraced the boy as he might have his own son, supporting Amon’s advancement, backing his projects, and allowing him to shadow his work.
Really, much of Amon’s early success had to do with Lord Diokeles, who always appeared to have an unwavering belief in Amon’s skills. Even as things got darker, even as time passed and Amon’s methods became more erratic, Lord Diokeles stood behind his student… until the day of the mentor’s death.
Was not something Amon liked to think about.
Even now, the Elezen felt his throat tighten. Golden eyes squinted, focusing on the node frame as he pieced it back together. His memories had strayed so much, it seemed like no time had passed at all in his work of restoration.
Amon put his tool down and sucked in a breath.
It was time for the smoke test.
Running his fingers over the control point, he powered the node on. It flickered, struggling to find and conduct energy. And then… it came to life, lifting gently to float above the counter top.
“Yes,” Amon whispered victoriously. Then, he cleared his throat and instructed, “Report your identification UPPC.”
The node hovered silently, not responding.
The Elezen repeated his instructions, watching for any sign that the machine picked up the verbal input. Reading the diagnostics, his words seemed to register, but the node was not responding. Or was not yet able to respond.
It appeared that some internal pathways had been more damaged than he realized. Either that, or the reboot had locked up the system and some kind of security protocol was preventing interactivity.
Either way, he’d repaired enough for the node to serve its purpose.
Later that afternoon, Amon set an open-topped box next to the door to Scylla’s room. Inside, he placed the restored node, which he’d powered down.
He left no note with the gift. Scylla was certain to know where the node came from and who had fixed it.
And though it was probably the last object Amon had access to that gave him any connection to his late mentor, really, the node belonged in all right to Lord Diokeles’ daughter. The Elezen knew that. Knew it was the right thing to do.
It was still hard to turn around and walk away.