The Ride Home – Part 4

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

“Turmoil… about me?”  

Scylla laughed, half wincing as pain shot up her back. “You surely must be mistaken, Ben. In Amon’s mind, I destroyed the only sane, good part of his life.”

“Amon has been plotting revenge on me since the beginning, starting back from the day we first met and I made innocent fun of his hound-ears.”  Scylla explained.

“Of course, the stakes grew, with myself being an arch-mage… and him being an aether-maddened washed-up technologist.   It would follow in his haze-filled brain that I would have killed her.  Makes sense… his greatest rival would just want to kill his long-lost lover.”

“I would suspect the only turmoil he is going through right now, is that he can’t get to me in while I’m in such a vulnerable position.”   Scylla closed her eyes in denial, trying to comfort herself in Amon’s condemnation.  “He believes I killed her-Clio.  There is only hatred there. How could I believe he is capable of feeling much else?”

“But am I right to assume that you didn’t kill Clio?” Ben asked, poking his nose in where it was probably not wanted. 

“No!”  The white mage yelled, before curling back up in pain.  “Aggh… of course not.”

“She was a stubborn fool… that Clio, but I certainly didn’t want her dead.”  Scylla muttered, turning away. “Always poking her nose where it shouldn’t have… and in the end, she was almost as disfigured and twisted… just like him- so committed to her cause… bringing down the very god-emperor which Amon formed and then worshipped.”

Scylla lifted herself up, managing to prop herself up to sit on the bed.  Her hands felt tingly and weak, but the pain was subsiding as long as she didn’t make sudden moves.  She squinted at Ben as she moved to explain the situation.

“Amon and Clio were ex-lovers on different sides of a war, but with the same obsessive compulsions towards their opposing causes.”  The white mage looked straight at Ben.  “When Clio was caught, I had thought that they would give her a slap on the wrist… being from a highly respected family of technologists.  But Clio would not yield from her battle with the Emperor, and Amon would not turn his loyalties.”

“And so, Amon let her die to impress his beloved liege, who he loved more than anything in this world, and still does.” Scylla snorted.  

“The emperor was starting to take favor with myself and my allies.  Being his rival at court, I’m sure it was easy for him to make up stories that the evil Scylla destroyed his lover in spite.”

“Nothing changes, Ben.” Scylla looked towards the far deck, staring at the clouds in the distance.  “Seems Amon’s infatuation for his creation didn’t change when the tower awakened again.  He almost gave this world to the voidsent for his beloved emperor.”

The white mage gave a pained sigh.

“She probably believed in him until the last seconds in the death chamber…  Damned fool…”

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