Flippin’ Tables – Part 4

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

“Father?”  Scylla turned around in recognition of the voice, half expecting to see the sad, disappointed eyes and bearded frown of her father.  She released her hold of Amon’s ear.

Instead all she saw was the glowing little node bobbing up and down, spinning in a feigned frustration at the pair.  Since Amon had repaired the little node, they had found a few more routines programmed into the neural transfer along with a complete beta-tested personality routine overlay of her father.  

Amon often let the little node work as an assistant in his makeshift lab.  But just like Amon, it seemed to keep a distance from her.  For some reason, it had followed the two into the open lands of Shirogane.  The little node spoke with a tinny, voice through the central speaker.

“Amon has been injured.  He requires the services of a healer.”

Scylla grumbled down at Amon, kicking some of the small puddles of tea at the prone Elezen.  “It’s just a little scratch. He’ll be fine.”

The node spoke more insistently, repeating the line a bit louder.

“Amon has been injured.  He requires the services of a healer.”

“You aren’t going to leave me alone until I fix him, are you?”  Scylla muttered at the node.

“No.”  The node floated up to the both of them.  “I am programmed to correct maladjustments in behavior between the two of you.  This must be remedied.”

“The node is just like him…” Scylla ground her teeth with a deep sigh as she looked at the bard, examining the injury on his lip. “See.  He even favored you over his own blood in death.  You do nothing wrong in his eyes.”

Amon flinched away from Scylla’s hand, summoning what little pride he had left. Straightening up, he fished a tea-soaked handkerchief out of his pocket and pressed it against his lip. Perhaps it had healing properties of its own – he wasn’t sure – but it did something to soothe the sting.

“I don’t require the service of a healer. Especially not her.”

The Elezen shot her a bit of a glare, though he knew there was no one to blame but himself for what just happened. Such was the way of things. He stuck his neck out, he took the risks, he took the fall.

Why would navigating any sort of truce with his rival be any different? She couldn’t take anything with a grain of humor in their younger days. She was just as rigid and domineering now.

The node addressed Amon with a bold voice. “SHE… is what remains of my creator’s legacy… and lest you forget is the last royalty of the Allagan Empire.”

“I’m nothing of that to this man, node.”  Scylla spoke bitterly as she tried to maneuver around Amon’s hand, trying to ignore the conversation. “Will you stop being stubborn and let me take a look?  You’re just making it worse!”

Amon grumbled, feeling his mood sour further as he was chided by a machine.

“So I’m just supposed to take orders from her because I was born in the forest and she with a silver spoon in her mouth? I did my share of pandering to royalty… and you see where it got me.”

He jerked back a few more times. But Scylla was insistent, so he finally pulled the blood-stained cloth from his chin so she could see.

“Fine… fine…”

“Silver spoon?”  Scylla pouted as she worked her magics across his injury, sealing the lip and wiping the remaining caked blood with his handkerchief. “What silver spoon, what silver?  And royalty of what?  You certainly aren’t a loyal subject?”

“You came looking for a fight, Amon.” The white mage flipped up Amon’s darkened glasses with a droll look, before gathering up the scattered papers and books. “What is your problem today?”

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