Meltdown – Part 2

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Scylla was still in her nightclothes as she hurried down the hall, holding the node under one arm. The house was silent, with everyone still fast asleep.  She quietly knocked at Amon’s door, staring through the lock.

“Amon! Get up you no-good Elezen!”  Scylla hissed. “The node is awake!”

Amon must have fallen asleep at his desk again, as he came awake with his face in a book. With a yawn and a grumble, he straightened up and rubbed his eyes. He’d thought he’d heard someone call his name… and that sounded suspiciously like Scylla.

Why would she break the stalemate?

Maybe he’d just dreamed the whole thing…. Or, so he thought… until he heard a rapid banging on his door again.

The Elezen pushed himself to his feet and shuffled across the room, opening the door to peer out. Sure enough, Scylla stood there, looking a little frazzled, with the node in her arms.

So she had found it. The node he did his best to restore. Though, without proper tools, he wasn’t able to do nearly as much as it needed.

Amon couldn’t tell if she was happy or upset at the surprise he’d left for her. Excited about something… yes.

“Good evening, Princess,” the Bard murmured. “What brings you here so late?”

“Evening?”

Scylla gave Amon a baffled stare, before shaking her head.

“It’s far closer to morning, Amon.”

She peered under his arm into the dark of his room. “And we have to talk.”

Amon frowned quietly, but any change of mind that led to Scylla initiating a conversation was… probably… maybe… hopefully?.. a good one? He motioned into his lab-like chambers with one hand, taking a step back from the doorway as to make room for her entry.

“Unexpected,” the Elezen said. “But feel free to come in. Nothing here bites, I promise.”

Of course, his “lab” was not really much of one seeing he had no real equipment to speak of. It was mostly an assortment of shelves with some bits and pieces of things he’d gathered – some plants, some parts of wildlife – as he’d put some time into learning the study the Eorzeans called Alchemy now. The study was nothing even close to the intricacies of  aetherochimerabiology… but it was something to pass the time.

Scylla’s face twisted into a frown, as she began to take in the trappings and surroundings of the makeshift lab.

Flamboyant and outlandish – just like everything she remembered of the wayward Elezen.

There was a small desk surrounded by Allagan and Eorzean equipment meshed together with monster heads and tipped potions laying about.

I shouldn’t have come here…  I’m a fool to believe that he’s capable of even a shred of true remorse.

“Really… Amon…?”  She eyed the stack of books and paper laying on one of the laboratory benches. Her eyes caught onto one particular bookstack with a guarded frown.

“Anatomy of Chimerical constructs?”  She grabbed the gold-lined tome in disgust, sending the other books tumbling off the desk. “You’re starting this all over again, now with the Eorzeans?”

Scylla looked in his eyes, tapping on the node.  “Do they get the same treatment as your criminals, clones, or unlucky princesses that get blamed for your crimes?”

“You’ve hardly walked through the door and you’re already judging my intentions?” Amon frowned and crossed his arms defensively. “Is it wrong to gather up the sliver of information these people have retained simply out of curiosity and to get a sense of what they know and what they don’t?”

Of course it was a mistake to invite her into his chamber. She’d only see it the way she wanted to see it – as something dark, conniving and twisted. Where innocent Eorzeans were targets for his plots and plans.

Not that he could blame her for thinking that. Even if it wasn’t true.

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