Dour Diagnosis – Part 4

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

“You are willing to bet the fate of the world on Amon’s ability to -understand-?”  Scylla put her hands in her face and pulled her cheeks in frustration. 

“And you want me, the person who violently reacts to his outbursts, to be an example to him?”

Scylla threw her hands up and gave an audible groan. 

“Sometimes, you just don’t make sense, Ben!”

“One can dream, can’t they?”  He shrugged slightly in return. Then he gave her a serious look. “You have to choose your own path in this, Scylla. But I am going to give him these results. If nothing else, he has a right to know. I’m not going to let anything get out of hand beyond that, you can rest assured.”

“You sound exactly like my father, Ben… right before he died to Amon’s creation.”

Scylla put her hand against her forehead in sadness. 

For some reason, Ben believed that there was a little nugget of good buried deep within Amon’s twisted, wicked soul.  Just like her father, who believed that somewhere, that his beloved, lanky, golden-eyed assistant was just hidden away.  They both believed there was something worth saving in Amon. But they had not had their form ripped away and corrupted under his reign of terror.  

The white mage felt a pang of guilt as she looked at Allagan healing staff hanging up on the wall. She reminisced of her oath to the Gridianian Padjal to heal those in need.  And other than bold words, Amon had done nothing to harm her. It was Scylla that had come blows with Amon. He always talked big, planned big, and of course failed big.  

But she had really hurt him this time.    She could have easily killed him on the beach, had the crystal shattered. He was weak, far from the master that once stalked the halls of the Tower, and more like the awkward child who got his ears stuck in the Tower vending displays.  How she remembered the same youthful, awkward Elezen, who made his lonely speeches to trees along the Syrcus Green, reciting his grandiose plans to save the burgeoned Empire from decay. 

These gave way to long-winded holo-presentations in front of the great Allagan Technosenatorial Alliance. How Clio cheered as he stood on pedestals, winning awards for methods for incurable ailments of mind and body.  Dare that she would say that she admired Amon and Clio in those early days. But something had happened to that idealistic child, turning him into the ugly, masked man at the side of the destroyer of an entire world, and a destroyer of the only person she was ever really sure that he loved.   This world was betting that under that corruption, that boy still existed. 

And even if this boy existed, there was only a slim chance that he could be cured.  He would most likely be dead by the next full moon. With this grim reality in mind, the white mage made her decision.

Scylla stood up, clenching the letter in her hand, brushing off the remaining sand along her elbows.  Despite that she would be telling her enemy of his likely imminent demise, she found no joy in the task.  

“Come… I will tell Amon…”  The white mage muttered.  “But I don’t think you are right about him.”

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