Coming to Terms - Part 1

Date Posted: February 9, 2019

This chapter was written in collaboration with Scylla.

Sunlight slipped away into a moonless evening, with only the gentle rocking of the glowing lanterns as a guide in endless sea of clouds. Soon this would all be over. From Ben’s words, it was no doubt that the whole of this Allagan venture might be brought to light in front of Eorzea. He seemed concerned that the both of them might be… in trouble.

Then what? I did not do anything wrong! It was NOT my fault!

Afterall, Amon had practically kidnapped her, taken advantage of her muddled state and tried to open the tower. It was all his fault, and he would be appropriately punished and most certainly locked away in some aether-dead mountain prison. That was, until he would manipulate some other poor good-hearted idiot into doing his bidding and escape yet again.

Amon’s already working his wagging tongue and sob stories. Ben is eating straight out of his hand… he might escape before we ever get back to Gridania.

Scylla did not trust the man in green, apparently the new darling of Gridania’s secret authorities. There was something unsettling and otherworldly underneath the green folded robes marked with spilled tea stains and cookie crumbles. She could feel as if his aether had been manipulated… disguised as if she was staring at the shadow of a creature with something to hide.

Someone needs to dig further in on this guy.

But for now, she had greater concerns. She limped, holding most of her weight on her rod, back to small wood-framed storerooms in the hold area, where Amon had made his quarter. She clenched her fist, tightening it into a fist.

I’m not Ben. I’ve known Amon nearly all my life, and I know when he’s trying to get out of trouble.

Scylla’s fist slammed on the door harshly.

The Amon who held regret for anything died long ago. All that is left is the mask.

And this meeting would only prove it.

Amon was taken on board the airship, too tired and battered to argue. They gave him a cabin, tended his wounds, and even provided a change of clothes – good thing as his previous garments had been shredded in many areas where Scylla had attempted to run him through with anything not nailed down in the lab in Azys Lla.

Bits and bobs were bandaged, and he had a few bruises to show for it. But really, the archmage had taken the brunt of her own anger in the end.

He didn’t fully understand her fit of rage, but he couldn’t entirely blame her. She’d seemed very set on punishing him, and even that luxury had been taken from her.

No one bound Amon or kept him from leaving his cabin. They didn’t need to. His change in clothing came without any sort of facial cover. Knowing no one, not even the man who came to their “rescue” and called himself “Ben,” his anxiety at not being able to obscure his face from a whole fleet of strangers mounted and grew until it keeping it under control was his main focus.

It was all he could do to stay holed up in his cabin, curled with the sheets over his shoulders and head in a makeshift hood. Even then, he jumped at the sound of any approach near his door.

So when the demanding pound came, Amon nearly fell out of bed. Instead, he hid deeper under the bedclothes and tried to level his voice, but it still sounded jittery and paranoid.

“A-aye? Who’s there?”

“Open the door, Amon.” Scylla grumbled. “Someone has to take out the rubbish.” 

Amon straightened in surprise at the familiar voice.

Could it really be…? And if so, why?

He probably should have been thinking more about his own well-being at that point, given the incident that led him to being where he was at the moment. But curiosity got the better of him.

Half-tangle in his blanket, and looking 100% bed head, the Elezen stumbled to the door. Slowly, he opened it, peering down, face half-shaded by the not-at-all-mysterious-looking sheet.

Scylla shoved the door forward, with the full intent of knocking him down. If she had been well, it might have come out that way, in her weakened state, it barely shoved open enough for her to wedge her way in, tapping the Elezen in the head. 

The room was poorly lit, and the single porthole on the side had been covered up by hung linen. Casks of oil and sacks of various goods lay stacked and strapped on wooden shelves, with only a makeshift bed and scattered mast-patched blankets and scraps scattered about.

The white mage shook her head in frustration, hiding the pain she felt as she hobbled over to the corner.

“What an absolute sty!”

Half-eaten dishes were piled in the corner, and the room carried a stale, musty odor of being left sealed. His appearance was at best disheveled, far removed from the manicured velvet coated Allagan master who once shadowed over all. It was a mess by any standards, but she had known the technologist to get into fits of closed-off fits of anger and madness, especially when he had hyper-dosed on his aethercocktails.

I hope he didn’t find anything -interesting- in the lab while I was out… Last thing I need is for Amon to be in an aether-drugged state.

It was when he was when he was in his little aether-blissed moments… that he could be at his most dangerous.

Everyone in the Tower knew of this.

Scylla looked around for a few moments, trying to hide the splinted fractured ankle by judiciously leaning on her staff. Scarlet eyes stared straight into Amon’s face, giving sign of nothing but contempt.

“What act are you trying to pull now, Amon?” The woman dug her fingernails into the length of her staff, voice rising. “What falsity or woven tale do you have to draw from now to get out of this?”

Amon watched as Scylla proceeded into his room with all the air of her royal heritage. Her nose turned up slightly, in that way he remembered, when she was judging something she considered far below her. Her verbal dismissal of the state of his room coincided with the disgust on her face.

Some things never changed. Next thing she’d do was remark something about his ears. Surprisingly, that hadn’t already happened.

Amon just pursed his lips, gave an anxious look over his shoulder and pushed the door to. Scylla probably wouldn’t like him closing it, but if she wanted it differently, she knew how to find the exit.

“Act? There is no act.” The Elezen spread his hands, taking note of the way she favored one foot as she limped. “Would it do me any good to try to explain? You’ll not believe a word I say, anyhow. So why did you go through all this pain to come here?”