The Ride Home – Part 3

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

“Oh, we haven’t unleashed anything, I assure you. I’ve made it very clear he’s to remain in his quarters, on the far side of the ship,” Ben arched an eyebrow drolly. “We haven’t locked him below deck, but he acts as if we have. He does not like being told what to do, does he?”

The mage pursed his lips before continuing, “But he has, so far, complied. I think he realizes he’s walking a slippery slope and has burned some of the trust he earned.

“I am quite aware of what his intentions were in bringing you, who was at the time unaware, to the Crystal Tower. And my reports have gone back to Gridania, for the most part unaltered. I’m not sure what the Elder Seedseer and the Guild there will decide to do with him after this. They just might take your advice.”

Ben crossed his arms, furrowing his brows.

“But before you completely dismiss Amon, let me confide that when I found you both in Azys Lla, he was doing everything he could to try to save your life.”

“Save my life?”  Scylla questioned.  “Why would he do this?”

“For what purpose would he bring back the alleged killer of his long spurned-lover?”

The woman looked to the side, cheek laying against the pillow.  “That’s not how Amon works, at least… not anymore.”

“How his mind has been twisted and tainted by his lust for the aether-drug vein-pumps. With him, everything has a purpose to further his fevered insanity-filled purposes.”  Scylla mused with a flat voice.  

“Doing things without purpose or usefulness to his goals is not Amon’s way.  He doesn’t do anything out of kindness or regret… there is only anger and revenge in his mind.  I made the mistake of believing different of him long ago.”

Scylla shook her head, and looked back up at Ben.

“You believe that there is good in him.  But that desperation you saw might have merely been his desire for a living test subject as his latest vivisection experiments.”

Ben appeared to be expecting this response. His own was without hesitation.

“I said nothing of judgment, good nor evil. I’m just telling you what I found when I arrived. If you need proof beyond that, then you need only look to the fact that you are still alive. If Amon had wanted to exact revenge, he had plenty of time to do that while you were alone with him and unable to defend yourself.”

The mage spread his hands.

“It’s true that I’m the type that prefers to offer more chances than people probably deserve. But I’ve also seen a lot of reasons to hold on to that philosophy in my life.”

He leaned over to study one of the bandages on her arm. Thankfully, the ship had some medical backup that provided much cleaner dressings and enough supplies to get them back where they came from. After that, he really wasn’t sure what would come of the two Allagans — neither of them had responded to this situation in a way the Gridanians hoped.

Yet…

“I know you bear deep wounds from the past. I know that Amon was a source of this pain,” Ben told her. “However, while he hasn’t spoken much to me, I have felt the turmoil within his thoughts. There’s something he’s newly learned that has made a large impact. I didn’t pry to learn more, but I can only guess it has to do with meeting you.”

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