Ascent – Part 6

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Scylla’s face flushed with anger.

“You stupid fool!  What are you doing!?”  She yelled in Amon’s face, roughly grabbing his ear and pulling it back and forth.

He’s doing this! 

It was like this before.  When he hurt Clio because he couldn’t let go of the aetherdrugs. There was no doubt that the sorrow probably led to the severity of her illness.  At least Scylla believed that.

I should have known that he’s still Amon of the Tower. He’s going to ruin the whole thing because he won’t let go of that last shred of power.

“It’s just like before!” Scylla clenched her fist and looked up at Ben in abject defeat. “He’d rather die than let go, and no one can do a damned thing!”

“There’s more to this than just that,” Ben murmured. “True… he’s hungry for the power. But the power… also hungers for him.”

The mage gave a concerned look down at the turmoil written on Amon’s face. His own expression noted that something was going very, very wrong.

“I’m sorry,” Ben told her, moving one hand over the purified aether that still lingered in the air. He then gently waved it in Scylla’s direction. “He needs your help. I will continue to work from here.” 

“What?  Wait… Ben…?”

Scylla crossed her eyes as a blast of blinding light exploded in her vision, blurring away the world into tones of blue and sparkling light.   She looked at her hand before her as it came into focus.  It suddenly was very quiet, the flashing and blaring alarums of the machines fading away into the soft singing of an empty, cavernous tower.


She found her hand gripping nothing but the cold, still, air as the walls of crystal spread upwards into her vision.  A very faint wavering of the distant light was the only sign that this was but an illusion.

This is a thought…. a vision…  I’m in Amon’s mind!

Scylla touched the side of her face, squinting into the distance as she bent her frame around the corner, where there were voices, and the wavering of shadows.

I don’t know how Ben did it…  He must have the Echo… but how could he… transfer… my mind… to…

She didn’t have time to think long before she heard a familiar voice, shaped into a scream of anguish.


“’Tisn’t…. ‘tisn’t possible!” Reality began to work its way into Amon’s mind, terrible realization waking him. He heard himself whisper, “You’re dead. You’re dead…”

What was this? Why was he seeing this? Could it be that the aether…

-I WILL NOT LET YOU GO!-  The vision of Xande roared, lunging towards him in an unnatural motion. The Emperor’s huge fist grabbed for him, just as strong as it had been in life.

“My Lord!” Amon plead, stumbling back to keep out of reach. But there was nowhere to go.

The energies began to swell, seeping into the once-serene center. The voices pounded within his mind as he felt the tendrils tighten around his body.

“Stave off! You are mine to control! …Not something that controls me!” Amon commanded, putting every ounce of strength into the words. Hoping that his determination was enough to make it so.

The only answer came from Xande as the Emperor continued to stride forward – a cold, emotionless laughter. Darkness streaked through his form, tracing the aether veins black and purple. The colors of the Void. 

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