This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
“So that’s it?” Scylla peered at him from the corner of her eye. “You can disappoint your friends, take advantage of people, and drug yourself into nothing more than a beast, all for your desired outcome?”
“The master technologist is stubborn to the end.” She laughed a little. “Spouting off about results-based outcomes as the tower sunk down into a mire.”
“And yet… I thought you were supposed to be a genius, Amon.” Scylla raised her hand, speaking a fake-gruff voice. “Genius and talent that comes once in three-lifetimes, father said!”
“If only they knew…” Scylla shook her head. “You make the same mistakes, over, and over, and over again. Just like a stupid gaelicat that attempts to fly off a cliff without wings.”
“Think about it, Amon. What if people didn’t want your technology or your ways?” Scylla frowned in disgust. “What if you couldn’t get them to see your vision? What would change this time that didn’t before?”
Amon’s expression turned flabbergasted.
“Not… want… it? They would be insane to not want the technology I could give them. I mean, they’re already dabbling in using it here… there… just about everywhere. Even without the knowledge of what it does, they seek it out! They obviously want it!”
He motioned to himself.
“I could not only give it to them… in working condition… but teach them what it all means!”
“She… didn’t want it.” Scylla pointed accusingly. “And how did that turn out?”
Amon’s face fell at this statement, posture slumping. He tried so hard to keep that part of his past out of mind. Now that Scylla had made it clear that she had nothing to do with Clio’s fate, the archmage seemed to enjoy tossing these memories right back in his face time and again.
“That was different,” the Elezen murmured.
“But it isn’t that different, Amon.” Scylla explained. “You cared about her. She’s the only thing I ever saw that you really cared about.”
“So, I find it near impossible to believe that you can care again. But if you really cared about this world… these friends you say that you made, you would accept that it isn’t ready for all of Allag, and certainly not your vision of things.”