The Eavesdropper - Part 1

Date Posted: January 22, 2022

This chapter was written by Scylla.

It was the usual morning routine. Scylla would pick up muffins over at the bakery stall, perhaps stop to heckle Amon’s out-of-tune fiddle over in the corner, and then they would walk to the shop and share a morning meal over debate, and even sometimes, over laughter. At first, she would explain their time as a healer’s duty; while the bard had made excellent progress in his healing, he still had a while to go. But their conversations would drag on through the morning, spirited debates going on until lunch.

Zuri and the others of the Free Company would often visit, looking for the newest blend of tea that Amon managed to mix up. Yet, despite the tension in the air about dark spires appearing in random locations and scores of tempered, they seemed distant as they spent time together in the relative sheltered peace surrounded by the scents of steeped leaves and herbs.

But this day was anything but ordinary. First, the appearance of a wayward stranger sported a familiar face, though Scylla could not place the name or where she saw him. To the citizens of Eorzea, the stranger was another lost adventurer wandering the streets. But the former lady of Allag sensed something else.

An Allagan- or at least someone who studied Allag incredibly well, though Amon’s reaction cemented Scylla’s thoughts that the traveler belonged to the former category. Though he outwardly covered his belongings in Eorzean trappings, Scylla caught the glimmer of ancient runes on his weapon.

The white mage decided not to make herself known, trailing closely behind the two as they made their way to Amon’s little tea shop. The tea shop kept him busy, though it was the slow season at this time of year, compounded by the expeditions to the Tower halted as the rumors of Ascians and darkness filled the streets. Peering through the crack in the door, she heard it all, how Amon’s long-past cousin had come to this time, Clio’s involvement, the time-travel, all farfetched and unbelievable to most.

It was the truth. Scylla knew it. During her time in Allag such “gifts” were hushed, despite her lack of control of when it would come and go. The Allagan Emperor and Amon himself - found ways for those who openly flaunted it to disappear or end up the subject of the next chimerical experiment.

But the most farfetched statement followed. 

That this Amon, the Amon that had awoken to this new world, was a clone.

A clone.

Not Amon put in a clone-body, but a clone. It was an impossibility!

“He’s not a soul-job…” She whispered through the crack in the door.

These concerns existed in ancient Allag. Any mage trained in Azys knew the signature of a person versus a clone. Such safeguards and training were paramount to prevent unscrupulous interests from replacing individuals for personal gain. 

The most advanced clones she knew of could be patterned with a personality but were simple in purpose. They didn’t deviate from such purposes – not as this Amon did! They didn’t start tea shops and busk in corners willingly. He didn’t even know himself to be a clone, not like modern tales Unei and Doga.

She had virtually grown up with Amon in her presence and house. She knew the soul of the freckled lanky boy with too-large ears. She felt the soul-scarring history of recovering from a life of extreme aether-jacking on his being. 

Experiences… Losses… Feelings! 

Such things were unique and could not be replicated or shaped by the finest of the aether-masters of Allag. Even Amon at the height of his power could not dream to develop such a creation.

The man before her was Amon! It was the truth.

But this Tad was also telling the truth.

What she knew and what she sensed left her mind clouded pure irresolution.

Scylla didn’t even notice the bundle of morning muffins drop out of her grasp as she leaned forward against the door. 

“This is… an impossibility!” The words creaked out of her lips.