Change of Heart – Part 5

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Spoken like a true actor.  He’s just trying to get out of it!

Small dots of sweat lined on Scylla’s brow, as she tried to flip through reasons in her mind why what she was doing was right.  She was no stranger to battle, but this was the first time that she would deliberately harm someone in such a helpless, pitiful condition.

Despite every reason there was to go forth, something about it felt so dirty, so wrong.

“Well… then… if we’re being honest with each other for these last moments.”  

“I know you won’t believe me.” Scylla turned his face so that he had to look at her straight in the eyes. “I must tell you, I had nothing to do with Clio’s death… at least insomuch as to what I am aware of.  We had met not long before her capture… she still was asking about you, even though I told her you were just a worthless piece of thoughtless trash.”

The white mage threw her arms up in exasperation.

“And even when they did capture her, I thought she would receive a slap on the wrist, or even prison time… not death!”

Scylla hobbled over to the console, bowing her head in guilt.

“Amon, just the same, I don’t think you had anything to do with her capture, as much as I want to believe it.  Somehow, I knew that you still loved her.”

Scylla reached over to the panel, running her fingers over the final command button.  She merely had to flip the switch and the irreversible process would begin.

“For being an Archmage, and for you being the Master Technomancer, I get the feeling we were both deceived like a couple of squabbling idiots.”

Scylla’s words dropped like a weight in the pit of his stomach. It took him a moment – a luxury he didn’t really have – to sort through what all the mage had just said. As it sunk in, he felt a befuddled shock course through his system, which must have been accurately reflected in the expression on his face.

Normally, he would never have believed anyone so readily. But something about this rang too true. Why would Scylla be claiming innocence in the final hour, when up until then, she’d done nothing but try to make him feel the misery of his lost situation?

It made no sense. Why not gloat over her part in the plot to bring Clio to her death to make him feel worse? Unless…

“You… did… not…?” Amon struggled to work the words between his lips.

The implications of that were huge. If Scylla really had nothing to do with Clio’s execution… if he had been lied to… and he allowed himself to be manipulated by the lies because of his own blinding emotion…

“Then… I…”

…was used to strike against Scylla…

He had acted on the lies with vicious intent of revenge for something that… maybe… never took place. Everything he’d done was designed to torture to Scylla until she knew depths of the madness he felt… When she maybe really… did… not…

“No…” Amon’s voice rasped as he lifted his hands to cover his face, a motion that spoke utter disgust with the sudden revelation. But mostly disgust with himself.  

Someone had set those wheels in motion long ago. But he had punished the wrong person.

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