Caer sat and ‘stared’ at the instrument on her lap. Her leg wrapped in cooling packs to keep the swelling down, back propped up by pillows. Incense burned in little pots next to her and she felt somewhat relaxed. The trip and the walk had cost her, but it had been worth it. Even as she looked down at the instrument in her hand, fingers running over the strings and the shape of the instrument, it almost didn’t seem real.  She brushed another finger across a single string and listened to the sound of it ring true. She inhaled slowly as if tasting the note, mulling it over like a wine flavor. It had a sweet sound to it, if she could put a color to it, it’d be yellow.

Tom had surprised them with a trip and had surprised Caer pleasantly with a synth-viola. The man, Zanzibar an apparent friend of Tom, had been kind enough to indefinitely loan her one of the treasured instruments; his theater recently upgrading their instruments.  Caer wasn’t sure how Tom had worked it out, but she was grateful for the instrument. It didn’t matter to her that it was previously used, that meant it was used to being played, far easier to work with than a brand new one.  A new one would mean breaking in the strings, forcing the instrument to become used to being played.

She picked up the bow, the looking it over, it seemed in immaculate condition; whoever had owned this instrument last had taken very good care of it. She saw only a little bending as there should be in a bow; the grip was somewhat worn but again that only gave the bow character. It was flexible enough to make it easy to play.

The synth-viola was well cared for, the neck seemed undamaged at any rate and the upper bout and lower bout were carefully cared for and only a scratch or two indicated an accidental bump on the side. Nothing that would damage the sound of the instrument. The scroll work was a little dinged but it was expected when one got into their work. Caer’s own Mandovial had its share of small dings and dents or scratches. She took great care to observe the finger board and noted absolutely no wear or tear on that, which was to her, the most important thing.

Bringing the chin rest to her chin, she fitted it close to her and exhaled slowly Bringing the bow hand up to the instrument she placed it at the waist, just a couple inches from the bridge of the instrument and slowly drew the bow across the “A” string. It sang out with a mournful sound and she smiled.  Caer carefully played over the D, G and C strings, each giving them a few times over to hear their keys ring through the air. Her fingers pressed against the next, attempting different ranges and found that at least the fingerings were not that much different from her Mandovial; good. That meant she would learn a little more quickly.  It was tuned and for that she was grateful, Zanzibar or someone had tuned it before passing it onto her. She’d have to learn how to do it herself, but that only made her more excited at the prospect of getting so intimate with an instrument.

It would take her months to even grasp the basics. It would take her years for her to become decent and it could take decades for her to even be considered good.  But it had taken her nearly twenty years to learn the Mandovial as well and she had the patience for that at least.

Lowering it she smiled down at the instrument. She brought her fingers to slide down the strings and listen to the sound it made, giving a smile of enjoyment. It had given her something else to think about other than Kosruk, Neirov or even the rapidly rising pain in her leg. At least her side had stopped hurting; all thanks to Raiyden.

Sighing, she set the instrument in its case and sealed it shut. She carefully laid it aside and got comfortable in bed.

Maybe I should have been a professional synth-viola player instead of a Jedi… 


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