|A day shy of a week ago Robotech Master was out on his e-bike when an SUV struck him and drove off. According to the most recent news available, he passed away from his injuries at around 2:00 this morning. I have kept some news up on his user page and, at this point, ask that anyone wishing to leave messages or tributes do so on either his talk page or another page that can be used for such things. His account here and all of the stories he has gifted the Shifti community with will be preserved in memoriam, as we also did for Morgan.|
User:Michael Bard/A Rabbit's Life
A Rabbit's Life
The Transformation IRC has its good days, and it has its bad days. This day started like a good day, and I'm still not sure how it turned out.
It all started when I was standing there on all fours, minding my own business, listening to the silence as most people just stood around occasionally saying hello or good bye as others came or left. That was when Phil showed up as his cute white bunny self.
Everybody greeted him but then he warned them off because he had a cold. I can live with that I thought, I've had my flu shot. And we're different species too. Somebody then joked about Phil might be having a TF flu which would be a terrible thing. I thought that was impossible: not only did Phil have a COLD and NOT a FLU, and secondly, how could a TF engendering cold be a bad thing? I still don't understand that.
Of course, the next thing I know is that Phil is looking at me, I'm looking at him, and then I felt a sneeze coming on. After struggling for a bit I let it out and then I felt strange. All around me the world stretched, everybody grew larger and larger. I stumbled, felt two of my four centaur legs being sucked into myself. The world spun, sounds changed, grew, faded. Scents of various animals rose around me.
And then, terrified, I hopped and scurried under the couch to cower with Phil.
Turning, I looked at him, barely making him out through the layers of massive dust bunnies and acres of shed fur. I realized that I was under the couch, as was Phil, and that, like Phil, I was a cute white bunny rabbit.
"Bless you," Phil said.
I looked around. Dust bunnies? Massive rabbit sized dust bunnies? Does anybody ever VACUUM in the IRC chat rooms? Dimly, out from underneath the couch, I could see the acres and acres of 6" deep shed fur.
If there's one thing I've learned from my days of random TFs, it's that one might as well go with the flow. Fighting the TF, hating what you've become, only makes it last longer, if not eternally. So, letting my instincts take over, I pressed myself against Phil and we snuggled like, well, like a pair of rabbits.
Probably because we WERE a pair of rabbits, all alone in the wide, dangerous, and very dirty world.
Too soon I realized that I needed to get going, I needed to return to my work place and take the bus home. Regretfully I pulled myself away from Phil, squeaked "Good bye" to everybody, and mystically transferred myself from the IRC chat to the computer I had been standing in front of. Centaurs don't sit very well.
After I burrowed out from the shirt I'd been wearing, and feeling REALLY glad that my shoes did NOT end up nailed to my rabbity feet, I prepared to get going to catch the LAST bus of the night.
Then I discovered my first problem. My wallet was in a pouch, and in that wallet was a picture of my centaur face for identification for things. Critical things like... my bus pass. Fortunately the Toronto Transit Commission offers a low-priced option to upgrade to a metamorphic pass for all of us transformers and it didn't take too long for me to work the pouch open, drag out my wallet in my teeth...
Gah! Fake leather tastes HORRIBLE!
...get it open, pull out the plastic Photo ID with my teeth...
Plastic doesn't taste much better.
...and touch one forepaw to the picture. Upon being touched, the smartcard compared my physical neural-mental energy state with the state it had earlier recorded, confirmed that my soul was still my soul, and changed the photo to my new appearance.
Hmmm... actually, I looked quite dashing. A brilliant thickly furred white ball with the only colours being the pale pink of the inside of my long floppy ears and my cute pink dainty nose. I could have learned to like that, except for the lack of hands.
Hands are good. Hands are useful. Hands are needed in your neighbourhood.
Knowing that I had to wait until I got over the Bunny Cold, I put the PhotoID back into my wallet, folded up the wallet, put the wallet back into the pouch, and closed the pouch.
Gah! Fake leather.
I thought about grabbing a quick drink of water before leaving but a glance up at the massive water cooler towering far far far FAR over me convinced me otherwise.
So, judging my thick luxurious fur was enough to keep me warm, I tightened the strap on the pouch as tight as it would go and wiggled into it as though I was slipping my neck into a wire rabbit trap. It ended up that the strap was around my neck and the pouch was on my back. Then I hopped to the door.
The very very big door with the very very ROUND handle.
I sighed. A very cute, tiny, rabbity sigh, but still a sigh.
Then I remembered that I'd installed a voice command system since my days as an Elkasus and Harbour Monster (thanks Equestrian, don't worry, I'll reward you appropriately one day) and with a simple voice command the door opened and I frantically hopped backwards to not be hit as it swung towards me. Then I hopped through it, the pouch strap digging into my neck with the beginning of each hop, and the pouch slamming into my back at the end of each hop. Stopping, I turned, somehow kept the pouch balanced on my back, and told the door to close and lock.
And realized that I'd forgotten the lights.
The lights which don't have voice command.
The lights which will have to wait until I'm over my Rabbit Cold.
Checking my watch which shrank as I transformed (thanks MUSFAH ENTERPRISES), I turned and scurried down the hallway, down the stairs, and to the front door.
The very very big front door that does NOT have voice command. But does have a lever instead of a round knob.
This wasn't going to be easy, and I was running out of time.
A quick sniff to check for enemies, and then I hopped up, slammed into the handle, which slipped out of my grasp, skidded down the front of the door and landed flat on my cute round puffball tail.
Ow. No, it was more like OWWWWWWWWWW!
Knowing I didn't have time to waste, I hopped up again, missed, hopped, missed, hopped, caught latch, slipped, fell, hopped, caught latch in my teeth...
Gah! Too many dirty gloves had been there!
...and pulled the latch down.
The wind, the nice kindly wind, pushed the door open and I scooted out. I decided to let somebody else close it as there's no way I could do it then. Stupid cold.
Knowing I was even shorter on time I madly hopped along the hard, cold, hard, wet, did I mention HARD?, cement sidewalk and up the street. Hop, land, OW. Hop, land, OW! Hop, land, OW!
I was too occupied to notice the cat watching me go by, but my nose told me and I just hopped faster.
Reaching the corner, my claws skidded on more cement and I raced down Queen St praying I could catch the LAST bus. Fortunately human traffic was minimal, okay absent -- it was almost 2am --, and the only thing was a loud, stinking, really really scary car that went obliviously roaring by.
You'd think somebody would have at least stopped and looked at the pretty white rabbit hopping down the street. Sigh.
Reaching the corner where I had to cross and skidding to a stop, I looked down under the railroad bridge and saw the LAST bus turning towards me. Crap! I looked at the lights... red. I looked at the traffic... none. I looked at the bus getting closer... Hell! I bounded across the street and up to the bus stop.
And realized that the bus wasn't going to see me. Wasn't going to stop. And that I was going to have to hop all the way home on the sidewalk, ensuring that I wouldn't have any paws left by the time I got there.
So, I did what any rabbit would do. I started hopping up and down screaming out "BUS! BUS!"
How else do you call for a bus to stop?
Thank God the bus stopped and Thank God even more that the streets were dry so that I wasn't drenched in water.
The door hissed open and I hopped up the rubber-lined stairs and stopped in front of the bus driver. The very very BIG bus driver. "Give me a minute to get my pass out."
I could smell only myself and him on the bus, our scents mingled with the odour of wet and dirty rubber.
Quickly I wiggled out from the hoop of the strap that was around my neck, opened the bag with my sharp hard teeth, pulled out my wallet, opened it, grabbed the PhotoID with my teeth and dragged it out. "Hmph!" I shouted around the card in my mouth.
Dropping the PhotoID I dragged out the pass and, holding it in my teeth, looked up and again said, "Hmph!"
He peered at it, checked the number written on it to the number written on the PhotoID, and then nodded. The doors closed and he, kindly TTC driver that he was, put the cards back into my wallet, put my wallet back into the pouch, closed the pouch and hung it around my neck before he turned and drove the bus off at a madly excessive rate of speed.
Usually a part of me enjoys a bus running late, late at night. Usually I'm also a large centaur standing on four large hooves that provide a nice stable platform to stand on. Unfortunately, as a very new, very tiny rabbit, the journey was not so pleasant.
Panicking, I hopped to the very back of the bus and squeezed under a seat, fortunately before the bus turned the corner.
"Sorry...!" the bus driver called back.
"No problem! I survived!"
After waiting for my breath and heartbeat to calm down to something approaching normality for a rabbit, I creeped out from under the seat, hopped up onto the seat -- the cushion was far more comfortable -- wiggled around a bit to settle down, got the pouch off from my back and off from around my neck, worked the catch open, and carefully worked out my copy of "Quest for the White Witch" by Tanith Lee. Trying to ignore the stabbing pain from my paws, I managed to get it open, pulled the bookmark out with my teeth and shoved it between a pair of other pages with some difficulty, held the book open by partially sitting on it, and resumed my reading.
Everything was peaceful as the bus roared along. Nobody got on. Everything was nice and calm. I'd just reached the scene where Vazkor transformed the old woman into a youthful woman...
When the bus hissed to a stop at Bloor and the subway station. The doors opened and people started walking on.
Before I knew it I was back under the seat shaking with fright.
I'm a sentient being, not a wild rabbit! I thought over and over again.
Forcing myself under control I crawled out from underneath...
...and scurried back under.
That wasn't going to work.
Fine, a quick raid, and then I'll stay under. Happy? I asked my new instincts. Happy, they responded.
So I looked around, sniffed around...
Gah! Do any of these people ever wash?!
...noted the location of my book where it was lying on the floor, wiggled out, leaped up on the seat, wiggled under the pouch and through the strap, bounded to the floor, hopped to my book, grabbed it in my teeth, and zipped back under the seat and was safe.
Thank God it was all dry! The floor, the book, and under the seat.
Grumbling to myself I wiggled out just enough to get enough light, nosed the book open, found where I'd been, and got back to my reading.
The rest of the trip north passed quietly as I read. I don't know if anybody saw me, or if they did and simply didn't care.
The Big City. Where anything can happen and everybody ignores it.
The kindly bus driver called off the major stops and enough of me paid attention to recognize when I was close to where I had to get off. Carefully I sniffed -- everybody else had left but me and the driver. One of the benefits of taking the LAST bus and starting near the beginning of its route and getting off almost at its end. Nosing the bookmark into place -- I HATE people who fold the pages! To think that ANYBODY could damage a book that way! -- I closed the novel, gently grabbed it in my incisors and shoved it back into my pouch, closed the pouch with my teeth, closed the latch with my teeth, my poor overworked teeth, shoved the pouch out from under the chair, wiggled under it and pushed my neck through the hoop of the strap...
...And realized that I couldn't see out of the bus.
Another cute rabbity sigh.
I hopped up onto the nearest seat along the side, stretched out and up the back of said seat, and looked out the window. It took me a second to realize where I was...
GAH! NEXT STOP!
I looked around frantically. How to stop the bus? How to stop the bus? How to...
Looking up, way up, way way up, I saw the cord that one pulled to ring the bell.
Well, my weight would pull it. And I could certainly hop. So, I wiggled my back, balanced myself, and made a mighty leap upwards...
Just as the bus hissed to a sudden stop and blasted its horn at some idiot driver.
...and I went flying forward as the bus stopped around me.
Arcing up, I grabbed the cord in my abused teeth, got yanked forward and downward, the bell dinged, I let go and went flying forward until I slammed into the back of a seat with a loud thud.
I would swear that I slid down with a slow squeak like a cartoon character, but I probably just slumped to the seat below me.
Ow! screamed each of my paws. Ow! screamed my back. Ow! screamed my belly. Ow! screamed my ears which whipped forward and into the back of the seat as I suddenly stopped.
"Are you alright?" the driver asked.
"I... think... so..."
"Let me help you..."
"No! Stay away! I've got a Rabbit Cold! You might catch it!"
"Oh don't worry, we're immunized against that kind of thing." As he said that he gently picked me up and wonderfully petted my thick fur as my poor tortured muscles relaxed.
All I can say about that is that getting groomed as a centaur has NOTHING compared to being rubbed as a bunny.
Gently he carried me forward. "Where are you going from here?"
"The...Wilson... bus... west..." My voice kind of oozed out of me.
Setting me in his warm soft luxurious lap, and still rubbing my back (having pushed the pouch around to my side) he called on the radio and then waited until the Wilson bus stopped, and then carried me aboard it. Somehow I managed to whisper my stop to the new bus driver as the old bus driver put me down on a cold hard seat before returning to his bus.
The new bus roared off, the other passengers dutifully ignored me, and I was far too relaxed to even be nervous. So relaxed that I drifted off into a warm sleep...
...And jerked awake as the new bus driver touched me. I bounced upward and back onto the seat, still being dutifully ignored by the other passengers. It took me a second to recognize the person who had touched me, and the fact that he was wearing the same uniform as the other bus driver with the oh so nice and gentle hands helped keep me calm. He opened the door and adjusted the pouch on my back and watched as I hopped down and out.
Out into the cold world. Out into the hard world of pavement.
Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow, went my abused paws as I landed outside the bus.
It's not far now I thought. So I hopped along the sidewalk, not too far, hopped across the street, the hard hard cold hard wet hard street, and then reached houses.
Nice cold SOFT VELVETY lawns. Gentle, tender lawns. Lawns which were NOT pavement.
Stopping, I sniffed at the grass. The gasoline fume impregnated grass.
Jerking backward, finally fully awake, I looked at the sidewalk for a second, decided that the fumes were the lesser of two evils, and hopped across one lawn after another, trying to ignore the pain of the hard paved driveways I had to cross.
Soon I was home.
Hopping up the driveway -- I think my paws were numb by that point -- and around back, I hopped up the nice somewhat soft wooden stairs, and to the door.
Another fortunately voice activated door.
Telling it to open, I hopped in and onto the welcome mat. Dutifully I wiped my paws, inhaled the scents of home: the course scent of burned rice (from my roommate who is not as good a cook as I am), the soft scent of soap, the bitter scent of harsh cleansers... It didn't matter though as I was home.
I stopped and looked around, and looked back at the little bloody footprints my poor abused paws had left behind.
I hate pavement. Or at least I do as a rabbit.
Making a mental note to clean it up in the morning, I hopped down the hall, pushed open my bedroom door (which I generally don't close), and then wiggled under the soft warm covers that smelled so reassuringly of me.
So, there you go. A day that I may yet classify as good, or bad, on the Transformation IRC. Today I'm staying home and I'm not going out until I recover from my Rabbit Cold.
Sorry Phil, but being a rabbit is not for me. It's a nice creature to be for a little while, but I really don't want to be one forever.
Although the cuddling and petting ALMOST makes it worth while.