This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.
Words of anger blended into screams of rage as she landed on his prone form, hitting him wildly across the chest.
“I HATE you!” Scylla screamed. “Murderer!”
He tried to deflect her blows with his hands and arms, causing her to slam her fist into his right ear.
A guilty pleasure rose to her chest saw the start of utter fear fill his eyes.
“Please don’t?” Sand kicked up from the force of her blows as Scylla slammed his form down again into the beach.
“PLEASE… DON’T?” The white mage frantically repeated. “Isn’t that what I said when I found myself trapped in a cage, attached to demon-dog creatures?”
She reached up her hands, materializing a sparkling orb of vapor above their forms. No apologies would save Amon this time.
“I won’t let you hurt anyone again!”
She released the spell, transmuting the vapor cloud into a column of water crashing straight into his face.
Amon gasped for air as a deluge of water poured over his head, his limbs flailing in response. This was not a time for talk or compromise. Scylla was truly enraged and out for his blood, and his instinct-to-survive now kicked in.
His ears rang from the blows she’d dealt him, but he was still aware enough to devise an escape. Though not fully coordinated, the Elezen still had some natural strength to him, even if it was clumsy. It was enough to grab the woman and try to forcefully shove her off him with a water-drenched shout.
Scylla rolled on her side, covered in sand and blood-streaks, quickly lunging again as Amon made an attempt to scramble away.
Just as he tried to shove her off, she leaped at his back as he tried to rise to escape, pulling her arm around his neck in a choke to take him down.
Scylla reached around to grab Amon with her other arm, but found it restrained by an energy tendril. She looked behind her, only to see the red alarum-mode glow of the small Allagan node that had followed.
“Restraint mode activated. Authorities have been notified.”
“No! Don’t you interfere! I have to stop him!” Scylla growled as she struggled to peel the energy rope away. But just as she was free, another restraint followed, and then another, slowly forming an entangling web which pulled her away from prone bard.
“No! You can’t do this! He’ll get away!”
Her eyes blurred in rage as she could feel a sleep spell spilling into her mind. Amon seemed to be being dragged further and further away, blending into a green-robed blob.
Before she succumbed to the darkness, she thought heard Amon’s choker make a small ping. It was a sound that she knew well – the sound of crystal starting to crack.
Sight and sound blended into a blur of sensation as the pounding in his head grew more painful. He’d successfully managed to push Scylla off of him, only for her to grab him from behind as he made to escape, trying to choke the life out of him.
Things happened – Amon wasn’t sure what – but he did realize he’d somehow survived and that another set of hands now held him. He fought against them at first, until he realized he had no chance to cast them off, and he recognized the voice they belonged to.
“Calm down… calm down.”
It was their friendly neighborhood correctional officer, Ben.
Amon tried to splutter words at him, but the sounds didn’t come. Instead, he felt a burning constriction at his throat. His ears caught a piercing sound, magnified many times over, thanks to his own hearing and the ringing that already existed in his ears.
No one had to tell him what it was. He already knew.
“Gaaah…!” The Elezen’s hands instinctively reached up for the shard on his choker, though he paused, afraid to touch it and discover how much damage it’d taken.
“Amon,” Ben’s voice was calm with a level warning. “Calm… or your aether will pressure it more.”
This was logical. It was enough.
Amon summoned up immense self control and forced down the storm of conflict that threatened to pour out and make matters much worse. Being eaten alive by his own escaped aether was not on the to-do list for that day.
Though his vision still swam, Amon peered across at where Scylla was restrained by the Node… it looked as if she’d also been subdued.
“What… happened?” The Elezen blinked, still trying to make sense of her wild response.
He knew that he deserved the grief that she gave him… but what he’d just experienced was pure hate. Not that he wasn’t familiar with hate and what that led to.
Ben didn’t answer his question. It was rhetorical anyhow. “Can you stand?”
“Possibly,” Amon winced, pushing himself up with a groan.
“Let’s get you both back to the Free Company house,” the mage was obviously restraining what he thought of the entire scandal. Disappointment, if nothing else. “You think you can manage to get to the infirmary without causing a scene?”
“No promises,” the Elezen limped along, not feeling the lightness he forced into his response. There were a lot of stairs between the beach and their house near the top of the hill.