Ascent – Part 1

It was strange to be the one lying on the observation table. It wasn’t all that comfortable, either. As much as he’d tried to make it a bed, a table was a table was a table.

Amon slightly regretted the choice of putting a glaring light right over the bed. Each time he tried to crack his eyes open, his senses were blasted with unwavering white light. Great for the observer. Not for the observed.  

It was too late to make changes in décor, however. He was already strung up with cords that attached to tubes, using mis-matched tape that attempted to masquerade as electrode pads stuck on his bare skin. It was the best they could do with what they had.  

I sure make for a fine looking experiment.

Amon grimaced weakly. Even his own humor was lost to him at the moment.

While everything else about his body felt lagged, his heart beat rapidly, loudly proclaiming his fear and will to survive. The sound thundered in his ears, his only real comfort. He knew as long as he could hear it, he was still drawing breath.

His golden eyes cast across the room, managing to make out the humming machine on the other side of the barrier. Lights flickered and cascaded over the device’s many screens, everything running as intended.

Beyond that, he could make out Scylla, ironically dressed in a lab coat.

How the tables have turned.

After last night, he found much of his anxiety around the woman’s unknown intentions fading away. If she wanted him dead, he could have already been. Instead, she worked herself to the bone to keep him alive yesterday. And she was right back at it that morning – her crimson eyes fixed on the machines and the readouts.

Ben was also present. Probably because he felt he needed to be due to his job… moreso than for any real concern over what the outcome would be. Amon didn’t know if the mage really knew much about aether transfer, but if having company made Scylla feel better, then so be it.

The Allagan then thought through the plan, hoping that would help him focus on something other than his fear.

The idea was to draw as much of the corrupted aether out of his body as could possibly be done without killing him. It was a fine line to walk, but until the wild aether was released into the lifestream, it would remain angry and destructive within him.

Then, the magic of the choker he wore was to be reversed. Rather than keep the aether held within him, it would instead draw in natural, clean aether to replace what the machine had released.

The hopes were that this aether would “stick” and start to build up his life reserves again. But if it didn’t… he was facing a bleak future.  

If any part of this tricky process broke down, he wouldn’t live to see another day. And yet, he had to go through with it. Those were just the facts.

No more hesitation.

“’Tis time,” Amon told Scylla, trying to sound calm. But his heartbeat and the quivering of his ears told the true story. 

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