The Technologist and the Tower - Part 12

Date Posted: May 10, 2023

After having a filling and tasty breakfast – Amon was slowly getting used to the slightly strange tastes of the First – he spent the rest of the early afternoon organizing a corner of the chamber as his new workspace. He was able to find resources from the old labs, and with the help of Node, set them up in an acceptable arrangement.

Tad helped him move an old, wooden L-shape desk – a true piece that belonged in a museum – and a few of the lab monitors that were still of a regular size. It had always been a little strange working in the normal labs for Amon during his Allagan lifetime because his staff had not be subjected to the size enhancements that he and the Empire’s leadership had been gifted.

Amon had taken to rummaging around in his massive closet – a place that seemed to span on forever, wherein hung all manner of costumes, outfits, hats, masks, and strange objects that he’d saved over years of performing as an actor within the Tower. Most of this was far too large for him to do anything with now, but there was a small shelfing area where he’d stored things that had belonged to him in his smaller days.

Much to the Allagan’s surprise, he found some rather low-tech items such as old picture books, boxes of small keepsakes, various tomes and even some old journals - all of which he’d forgotten had existed. Though curiosity tugged at him to peek within, he told himself that getting lost in old memories would distract from the job at hand.

In reality, he just didn’t know if he could handle the memories of his younger life and a better time.

In deciding to put things away, for nothing here was of assistance in setting up his new data workspace, his foot bumped against a small but solid wood case leaning in the far corner. Amon paused as his eyes took a moment to absorb the shape of the object before recognition dawned on him.


Tad leaned into the doorway an asked, “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing I just found…” the Elezen reached down, and taking the case in both his hands, extracted it from the forgotten corner of the closet. He blew on it a few times to dislodge any dust, while holding it up to present to Tad.

“Is that…?” his cousin asked with upraised eyebrows.

Amon didn’t answer immediately. Instead, he placed the case on the small desk and popped it open.

Inside was a rustic and time-worn fiddle. The strings had long since popped or eroded, which spoke some concern to whether the sound post was still standing properly within.

The wood, inlayed with lovely scripted designs of vines and forest leaves, had some signs of aging. The bridge rattled around loose in the bottom of the case, but upon further inspection, the instrument didn’t show signs of cracking or open seams.

 “My mother’s fiddle,” the Allagan said quietly. “I’d forgotten all about it.”

“Do you think ‘tis still playable?”

Amon picked up the wayward bridge and inspected it. “Mayhaps. I’ll need some new strings and…”

He then carefully lifted the fiddle and shook it slightly. He didn’t hear rattling or any signs of a fallen sound peg.

“Well, mayhaps just strings. Do you know if ‘tis a music shop in the Crystarium?”

“Not precisely a music shop, but there are some tinkerers here. I’m sure they can find you some strings,” Tad responded, tapping his chin in thought.

“’Tis not pressing, of course. I mean, I have more important things to be tending to,” Amon murmured. So many memories swirled through his mind at the sight of the old instrument.

He’d fallen in love with his mother’s forest fiddle and the songs that she once played in his youth. This very instrument was the one he had learned to play, as she had been ever-generous in allowing him to share the fiddle despite it being something he knew she deeply valued.

Even to that day, Amon remembered the forest songs. He often played them when busking in Gridania, thinking that they might be pleasing to the people and spirits of the Shroud alike. If it wasn’t for him, he knew that the old tunes would have been forgotten with the fall of Allag. People often seemed delighted to hear music they’d never heard anywhere else before.

His instrument back home was even more rough and cobbled-together than his mother’s rustic fiddle. In fact, this instrument, though aged, was clearly well-built despite its humble origins.

Slowly, Amon placed the instrument back in the case with an expression of slight regret. He had so many things he needed to tend to. He couldn’t allow these memories to take away from his research.

“Hey,” Tad said, putting his hand on his cousin’s shoulder, “How about I got out and see what I can find. Strings, I mean. That’ll let you keep working on your lab setup.”

The technologist glanced over with upraised eyebrows. “Would you do that?”

“Of course. ‘Tisn’t like I’m going to do you much good here once you dive into your work.”

“Now, now…”

“Besides, unlike you, I can’t abide staying cooped up in this Tower for hours on end,” Tad teased with a wide grin. “I’ll be glad to get out and about the city some more. ‘Twill give me a chance to see what else has changed.”

“Well, if you really don’t mind.”

“Nah. ‘Tis all good.”

“Thanks Tad,” Amon gave a slight smile, truly grateful. “I’m in your debt for all of this.”

His cousin just barked a laugh. “I’ll hold you to it!”

“I know you will.”

Tad then hopped spryly to his feet and gave a long stretch. “’Tis anything on your mind that I should bring back for supper tonight?”

“Mmmm…” Amon thought for a moment, then gave a shrug. “Naught that I can think of. Surprise me.”

The other Elezen gave a playful half-bow in response. “One Surprise-Me take out coming up. I’ll check in with you later.”

And with that, Tad headed out of the chambers, towards the waiting city below.