No matter how long ago it was, Delta could still remember every detail clearly.
First there was sight.
Or lack thereof. Even with eyes stretched to their absolute widest, delta couldn't even see his trembling hands in front of his worrying face.
Next came sound.
In his panic, delta turned his head and stretched his arm out to his nightstand in hopes of finding his phone. That's was when he noticed the sound. A loud bellowing that he was surprised he didn't notice earlier. The sound of air rushing into his ear.
All three other senses congealed into one experience after the revelation. Delta could feel the air blow through both nostrils and opened mouth, overpowering smell and taste.
But that was not the main sensation grabbing his attention. Instead that honor was reserved for the unmistakable shifting of his innards as the truth came to light. He wasn't in his bed. He wasn't in his bedroom and he was far from safe as he continued to fall. Powerless to do anything, anything but scream.
In a sudden gasp, delta was pulled from his reminiscing and brought back to his current condition. He was still in his castle. Seeing both it and Doctor Frankenstallion through false eyes. Using his equally faux ears, delta could make out the sounds of his own legs walking across the smooth stone floor in rhythm, along with Frankenstallion’s voice.
“After all those demands on whether or not it's finish, you don't pay attention for when it is.” The doctor dryly told the emperor. Had anybody else said that to delta, there wouldn't be anything left to resemble a body, but this was Frankenstallion. In the time Frankenstallion has been with delta in This “war”, he came to know Stallion and his mannerisms. Whenever he made comments of any kind, delta, as well as the other members of the royal house, knew it was never out of malice or any sort. Just a simple observation. No more. No less. It was this demeanor and eye for observation that got Frankenstallion to where he is. And through even the toughest of projects.
“So it's finally ready?” Delta asked the good doctor.
“Just about.” Frankenstallion replied as he meticulously shifted a part from what looked like a boot into place. “Lately it's been a very busy time for me, my liege. First the flying transport I was working on up and leaves me without so much as a note on the tracks, then I get the call saying you were no more, only to be called by you. In This… predicament of yours.”
After the prerequisite pause, Frankenstallion continued.
“So until I am able to return you proper, the best I can do is offer a better vessel to contain yourself in.”
And with that, Doctor Frankenstallion stepped out of the way to allow delta a look at the new him.
What stood before the shambling body of the Emperor was in every way an improvement: Four, strong, sturdy Hooves made from only the best materials the empire had to offer . None being cobbled from some lowly cave. Each leg alone towered over delta’s whole body as they bore the immense weight the torso had to be exerting. The chest was broad, decorated with the colors of black, bronze and hints of gray, all tied together with a short cape that showcased its user’s status.
The entire carapace hummed a certain melody of sorts. No doubt it was some kind of inner mechanism by Frankenstallion to make driving this behemoth easier on delta.
From the shoulders, delta could make out the fierce mask adorning the smooth helmet on top. A face that despite seeming new, looked as though it has been through some damage.
“Doesn't matter.” Delta thought. “As long as it works, I am happy with it.”
He took one last look at the body as a whole. Each and every feature he listed previously complimented one another beautifully. It was a worthy vessel for the Ruler of the Deltic Empire.
“Stallion.” Delta suddenly shouted to the scientist as he rested his sole frontal limb on the chest of the body. Not noticing its song had ceased. “How do I start this thing up?”
“You already started.” The scientist calmly stated from his new position. From somewhere beyond the doorframe of his workshop.
Then why are you hiding?!” Delta began to trot after the suspicious scientist, only to realize his three limbs remained where they were. Looking down, delta could see that it was worse than that. The Dulled, golden, glow that been keeping the emperor together was now receding. What were once his hooves had crumbled into dust on the cold hard floor. The suit’s melody of hums and mechanisms suddenly boomed back to life at ever deafening volume as the glow receded further and further. Delta could feel every stone, every pebble, every fragment and every particle of his being slip away.
As the last remnants of his torso shifted for the final time, a through raced through Delta’s ‘head’:
“Why is he hiding from this?”
“He wouldn't be hiding if this was just a transfer..”
Delta looked around himself. Papers, the pencils that were used to write on them and lab equipment of varying sizes, all began to swirl and dance to the mad machine’s tune. This hadn't happened before. No. Delta knew what this was
“Frankenstallion you back stabbing-” delta tried to finish his spiteful sentence, but couldn't as the bottom edges of Xiphos’ helmet turned impromptu head curved forward to the momentum of the golden aura. Overwhelming what little taste and smell delta could sense to begin with, along with the ability to form clear words.
Whichever word delta chose to finish that sentence instead became a intelligible mutter lost to the now deafening hum of the Goliath. Deafening in the sense that delta had now lost both ears to it. With vision beginning to fade, delta couldn't believe it was going to end. After all his suffering. All his planning. All the effort to bring them here. And His plan revenge was cut short by the hooves of the one he trusted most. And with the last remnants of his vision fading to black,delta was powerless to do anything now. Anything but scream.
Twilight was arriving. She was coming soon, but not soon enough. No, not that twilight, although that one was more than welcome to come by cloudrail 6. No, the twilight coming was none other than the intermission of the princesses’ reigns. Day and night were beginning their dance with one another, a sign that the day was reaching its end. Much to the joy of the current passengers of cloudrail, who wanted little but to see this day end.
“So after he spaces out for no fuckin reason, he has the nerve to get mad at me for not looking out for a dragon that was OUR responsibility. He doesn't even yell at KP for anything. He just goes after me for no bloody reason! And you know what happened next? His dumbass almost gets the lot of us killed in that marketplace!”
“Trust me, his shithead friend wasn't any better to be with!” TheLostNarrator began, continuing the dark tension her friend Obabscribbler started, almost as dark as the outside of the sleeping car had become.
“ so I tried talking to her and she wouldn't answer me. I walk up to her and you know what she did? She almost crushes my trucking face in with that mic!” PenWrite shouted the tale with both raised voice and a raised hoof that accidentally slammed into a cupboard door. “And you don't wanna know what happened with the wires.”
Charmless did his best to listen to his friend’s venting while also stocking the fridge and aforementioned cupboards with whatever he and the mares were able to snatch. A bundle of grapes, an onion, two cans of crushed tomatoes, a jug of milk and a styrofoam cup of coffee that by some act of Faust was still full. And the last thing he wanted to see right now.
“I swear I still can't feel my wings.” Kp asked her fellow pegasus, Hunter, as he placed the last covering on the control board, and on his patience.
“And why are you telling me this again?”
“Well sorry if I'm just trying to start a conversation, jeez!” Kp suddenly cried out at the out of necessity mechanic. With a final huff and sly raspberry when hunter wasn't looking, kp opened the door and slammed it as she exited. Leaving him alone in engine car illuminated by the light shining from the front windows.
“Wait a minute…”
Before Hunter could finish his revelation, the door was slammed again, this time opened as the other tenants of cloudrail stormed the conductor’s cart and through the door outside. Twilight was here and she wasn’t alone.