Aether Sick – Part 5

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Amon took all of this in silently. He tried very, very hard not to let the cold chill of fear show on his face. After all he’d done, all the death he caused, both intentional and not… did he have a right to fear his own demise?

And yet, he did. Deep down, he had the same reaction any creature who desired life had.

The Elezen tried to school his reaction, dipping his head and scrubbing his fingers through his already scraggly hair. Should he laugh? Should he cry? After years and years of suppressing everything, he didn’t even know how to properly respond.

“Sounds like an awful lot of trouble to go through to save my lousy tail,” he finally said, voice more choked with feeling than he wanted it to be. “Save your efforts for someone who deserves it… ‘tis unlikely there are any proper tools or resources to create something to make for a safe aether release in this time and place.”

Amon cast his gaze out the window, his voice somber. “You’ll not have to worry about fighting with me anymore, aye? You’ll be the last of our people left, and with Allag forgotten, no one will be any the wiser.” 

“That’s it?”  Scylla suddenly broke from her calm demeanor. “After all the trouble you caused in your efforts to save your own tail, you just give up like that?”

Amon’s eyes widened. “After all the trouble I’ve caused in efforts to save my own tail, I’d expect you to be happy to see me lose it.”

Scylla gave him a deep gaze.  “If I wanted you to die, I wouldn’t have made the choice to tell you anything.”

“As for the old Empire….” The woman put her hands square on the sides of her hips. “You and I both know that I am not the last Allagan.  There were others asleep in the Tower… they cannot sleep forever.  They’ll wake up to another world.  Maybe a better world without us complicating matters.”

“I know…”  Scylla turned away with a sigh. “I shouldn’t have brought that up.” 

“This decision does not come lightly… and should not be made now in the presence of someone like myself.” Scylla frowned. “Talk with the others… Koh, Zuri, Mocho… maybe even Ben.”  Scylla stared Amon in the eye.  “People that matter in your life, your friend… maybe they can give you better guidance than your most hated rival.”

“I… can’t talk to them,” he murmured. “Koh is fairly aware of the basic situation, and apparently so is Ben. But Zuri knows nothing of my past or my troubles. Besides, she’s on her own journey right now. And Mocho… well… who knows what that spy knows.”

Amon sighed.

“They’re not really my friends. They’re just people who… happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and got wrapped up in my situation. I’ve mostly tried to keep them out of it, to be honest.”

He pursed his lips.

“You know that if I had a choice, I want to survive. I don’t know why I’d be successful in surviving the fall of the Tower only to self-implode here and now like this. It doesn’t make sense. But perhaps that’s the hand I’ve been dealt.”

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