True to his word Mercer had woken Elora up “earlier” than she probably would’ve prefered. In fact it might have been earlier than she’d ever seen him do anything
other than stumble home dreadfully intoxicated. Despite what she might have thought when he jingled the open door of her cage (he’d apparently not bothered locking it last night--or he hadn’t slept--) he was not just trying to torment her by hauling her sore assed body out of bed before noon. He’d even cooked breakfast the way he used to and had even made some for her which was something he hadn’t done since nearly drowning her in the bathtub of his old apartment. Progress was indeed measured glacially for a slave of Mercer Amsterdam.
Why he’d gotten her up proved to be the arrival of several musicians… a morning packed with them before the bar opened in the early afternoon. They were a varied group, Eridani singers and human hopefuls each with their own unique sound and set of dreams, and Elora knew exactly how Mercer planned to replay what had happened to him on them to exploit them for their talent. Where most people might have taken the lesson from his professional misfortunes to take a good look in the mirror and work on their shortcomings, Mercer had taken an entirely different and more primal take on that and his more recent professional setbacks; if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Unfortunately all of these acts who had paraded through the bar this morning had one thing distinctly in common, however well they played it didn’t seem to be up to whatever standard Mercer had set.“Oh for the love of--- stop.. Just stop, please, I think my ears might start bleeding if I have to hear one more note enough!”
He sat at a table in the approximate middle of the floor facing the stage where the band that was currently playing broke off one by one with a kind of discordant trailing off. He reached out grasping the bottle of whiskey set out for him, rather than the glass, and tilted it back to take in some of the burning, smoky flavor. Pulling it down, pausing to wipe a single drip that appeared in the corner of his mouth he shook his head. “Let me ask you is there something wrong with that?”
As he asked that he pointed at the instrument a young seeming woman was holding. She glanced uncertainly at her companions then down at what she held in her hands and shook her head slowly. “No? Come here then,”
Mercer gestured her over to where he was sitting and with a good deal of reluctance the girl inched down off the stage and approached the somewhat inebriated owner of the bar and at a following gesture of impatience extended the small device that resembled a flute of sorts. It was fancier of course. Instruments like this were often keyed into holographic displays so that the computer formulated an image that moved and changed with the music itself. It was playing music on a whole new level almost marrying the mathematical crossover between music and programing.
Mercer’s long strong fingers turned it over in his hands examining it closely and then lifted it quite suddenly to his lips. Sound pure and strong sounded out, and presently a fluctuating image appeared; it lacked shape and form at first just random bursts of light and color. Presently though that shifted as he started striking up a tune. Elora would never have seen him play this instrument before, the truth was he never had, but those few experimental moments were all he needed to learn the basics of almost anything except the most complex of devices designed to make it. Within five minutes a holographic display began to take shape, a doe dashing through a wood, leaping over streams with wild free abandon. The tune seemed to carry the joy and energy and vitality of the creature making it feel almost as alive as if you could touch it. Then quite abruptly he stopped and just stared at the woman for a few minutes. Then with a snarl he hurled the device across the room to break against the wall.“Then obviously the problem is with you isn’t it? Get out of my bar. And do yourself a favor look for another line of work!”