To Build A Lab – Part 1

Amon took inventory of the equipment that would serve as the start of his future lab. Mostly, it was odds and ends that he managed to salvage from the junk bins of Allagan relic expeditions, mingled with a few items he snagged when left unattended around the alchemist guild.

The most it amounted to was a few beakers and vials, some primitive measuring tools, a number of rusted components that may or may never work again, and one burned-out energy condenser that once looked to have run on crystal energy.

It was depressing, really. And far from what it would take to build even the foundation of a lab that could help wrest the Elezen out of his lethal predicament.

Looking at the items scattered over one of the back rooms of their Free Company house, he allowed a rare, somber sigh to escape him. It didn’t go unheard.

“That sounded sad,” Ben noted as he came to stand next to the bard.

“I rather think I have a good reason to.”

The mage pursed his lips and looked at the Elezen. He didn’t inquire. He simply waited.

Eventually, Amon grudgingly said, “You very well know that time is slipping through my fingers. Yet, ‘tis naught I can do being forbidden to search for resources from the Tower, or even what’s left in Azys Lla. Surely the Gridanians mean to let me waste away at this rate, for I can’t make any progress on a solution for my situation.”

Ben looked thoughtfully at the few supplies that littered the room and agreed, “That is a problem, isn’t it.”

“I’m glad someone thinks so,” the bard complained sulkily. “Yet you agreed to play the part of the Seedseer’s watchdog. You’re no better than the rest.”

“Based on your previous behavior, they simply feel that you could pose a risk,” the mage noted. “I happen to agree… until you’ve shown me otherwise.”

Amon just crossed his arms and let out a sharp snuff through his nose. So much for getting help there.

“But that doesn’t mean I… nor the Seedseer… wish to see you left helpless.”

“Well, then. ‘Tis a catch 22, aye?”

“Not entirely.”

The bard arched his eyebrow, “Enlighten me.”

It was Ben’s turn to give a musing look, tapping his finger against his chin. Amon had to admire how the mage paused for dramatic effect. It certainly did ramp up the tension. Perhaps the fellow had some mummer’s blood in him somewhere.

“As you know, I have been given leave to travel to Azys Lla,” Ben stated simply. Though he never explained how or why he was privileged with such things. “And I’m not aware that the technology there is under anyone’s jurisdiction.”

“And rightfully so,” Amon grumbled. Who were these people to think they had claim to one of the last in-tact bastions of his Empire?

The mage didn’t acknowledge this. He just continued, “I am willing to travel there in your stead and bring back what I can.”

This proposal surprised the Allagan, but he didn’t let it show. Ben seemed sincere. He seemed to want to help. That was unexpected. But there was one issue.

“Ah, I do appreciate the offer,” Amon told him. “But even if I should go into detail about what I require, would you be able to pick apart what was what, much less tell what technology is still in a semi-functioning state?”

“While I do have a little experience in dabbling with machines, you’re correct,” the mage admitted. “That could very well be a snag.”

The Elezen sat thinking for a while. It was a real shame that he had a lead here, and that again, it was blocked because he himself was not allowed near the floating continent. He doubted even Ben could change the mind of the council in Gridanian on this.

Scylla, too, was banned from returning to her homelands due to their past scuffle – something he was sorely beginning to regret. She may have been able to identify some of the tech in his place, but she was also out of the question.

That’s when he paused, another previously unexplored thought striking him. His ears gave a slight twitch upwards.

Ben must have taken note, because he said, “Something has come to you?”

“Aye,” Amon answered slowly. “Mayhaps ‘tis someone I can entreat to go in my place.”

“Oh?”

“I shall have to speak with them first. Wait here,” the Allagan rose to his feet and made for the door, knowing he could not delay. This was the first time since all this had come about that he felt a spark of hope in seeking out a solution. “I will bring you word as quickly as I can.”

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