Anything You Can Do… Part 1

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Concentrate…

Scylla slowly raised her hands up in front of her, with the aetherfocus clasped over the sword.  Her eyes focused on the very center of the wood dummy, feeling the energies well up through her arms.

The focus began to glow brightly, sparkling against the morning sky.  With an exhale, she let her mind and body relax, streaming the energy into the enchanted stuffed man.   It rocked lightly back and forth before coming to rest.

The mage shook her head.

Not focused enough.

In another world, another time, this would be easy.  With a simple thought, Scylla the Archmage of Allag could have obliterated this very practice yard, leaving only a crater.  She could freeze people into solid blocks of ice with just a simple glance.

The woman tightened her gloves, starting the exercise again with a small sigh. 

Scylla the archmage was no more, her long broken form lost to the nightmares of the past.  This form was a rushed solution to escape death, unlike Amon’s more well thought out plans.  What little inherent energies that flowed in this form had been shaped to heal.  Her ability to summon the dark-aspected aether was woefully uncontrolled.  The previous night’s practice with thunder ended with smoking boots and hair that stood up for the rest of the night.

With another deep breath she released the aether into the dummy, watching it wobble over just a little more this time.  

Amon knew destruction. And the magic that destroyed. He knew it very well – so well, in fact, he’d created his own type of music-blended magic during his days in the Tower.

Like everything else, magic was a platform for experimentation. A part of his toolbox in the lab, Amon sought to control the bits that would support his projects. He didn’t need to understand the rest of that – no, he left that to the stuffy archmages with their proper Tomes and classes.

Just like nearly everything Amon got his hands on in his past life, he’d used magic in his own reckless ways. Sculpted it to work for his designs. He twisted aether to do as he pleased – and the natural rules of the magical world could go rot in those dusty halls as far as he cared.

But…

That didn’t seem to be working for him now.

If Ben had been like one of his school masters of eld, Amon would have spent a lifetime in detention by now due to his blatant disrespect for the laws of magic in the world of Eorzea. Instead, his tutor was content to stand by and let Amon burn his knuckles for yet the sixth time in the space of an hour’s lesson.

“Why does this not work?” Amon grumbled to himself. And by “work,” he meant “bend to my will.”

He glanced over at where his retro schoolmate  – How life does work in cycles, doesn’t it? – Scylla was meagerly throwing aether at the practice dummy.  Rolling his eyes, Amon imagined a million ways he could do it better than she displayed.

She was far too cautious. Amon was convinced she was doing it on purpose. As if she was subconsciously afraid that releasing her true potential might restore the power she once held as a high Allagan Archmage.

For some odd reason, she didn’t seek to restore that part of her. And Amon couldn’t fathom it.

“Come now, Scylla,” he finally spoke up in a teasing tone, watching as she merely rocked the practice dummy like a baby in a cradle. “Shall I come and show you how to light a flame?” 

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