Memories of Eld: 2-6

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Amon snapped out of his daze and quickly put the oversized clothes on. His brow furrowed as he proved to be proficient in dressing himself, expression growing more and more puzzled as the man talked.

Technologist robes? Assistant? Witnessing a project? Getting his uniform dirty?  

“Sir… I don’t understand.” He picked his words carefully. “I’m not here for a reprimand?” 

“Reprimand?” The technologist wrinkled his nose and squinted. “Ah, what’s a few practical jokes amongst friends?  I figure that you two are mature enough to work it out between each other.”

“But I was told by the instructors and the Searchers that you have a talent that needs careful development.” Diokeles spun around with a grin, opening his hands up wide to the whole of the laboratory.

“And what better way to inspire the youth of this generation by starting their experiential training early on?”

The technologist put his hands on Amon’s shoulders.

“Allag is dying.” Diokeles grumbled as he pointed around at the node-cast monitors.  “You see it in the border node-feeds… Even though they aren’t big losses, we are losing ground to enemies on all sides these days.” 

The technologist looked at the holopicture of his wife in the corner.

“Amon, it may not be one-hundred years, or one-thousand years, but Allag is decaying under its own weight.  That is why we sent out the Searchers… to find talents like yours to save our world.”

“The reports sent to Syrcus show that your aether potential tested off the chart.” Diokeles drew his breath between pursed lips.  “And the aetherologists at the Tower have found ways to further enhance such potential.”  

With that, he reached for a bubbling blue luminescent tube on the counter and showed it to Amon.

“I have been told that this will enhance your potential beyond its natural limits.”  The technologist rolled the little blue glowing tube in his fingers before putting it in Amon’s hands. “But just having you as a patient seems such a waste for a talented mind.  In exchange for a little help around the lab, I could teach you how to run the equipment… it might give you an edge in your practicum courses.”

“You’ll have to discuss it with your parents, as you are not of age.” Diokeles leaned back. “And think it over for yourself.  All of this is completely voluntary, of course.”

Amon swallowed hard as he struggled to digest everything the scientist had just told him.

Allag was dying? Why hadn’t his parents told him this? Everything had always seemed thriving and vibrant in the forest. Perhaps, that’s why they didn’t know these things there? It was easy to overlook when everything seemed okay in the forest.

It all seemed a little scary.

Amon knew that he was considered unusual among his people, and that was the reason that he was chosen to come to the Academy in the city to begin with. But to be considered talented among the people of the Tower? Was he really that important?

The boy didn’t understand everything the man told him. But he stared at the swirling aether within the tube, holding it carefully.

Amon then peered up, gold eyes reflecting an innocent sincerity. “Sir… I don’t know if I can save the world. But if you think there’s something I can do to help people, I want to try.” 

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