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/The Truth about Bard

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The Truth about Bard

Author: Michael Bard

The truth is a three edged sword, or so the Vorlons say. I don't know how true it is, but just to keep things straight, this is my truth. Not necessarily the truth, but certainly my truth.

It all started early Friday. It might have started earlier for others, but for me anyway it started just before noon. I think the transformation got held up at the border. Regardless, I was standing at the special desk I have, carefully painting the last lizardmen to fill an order. Normally painting is an exact and demanding art, but when one goes from amateur artist to professional, the standards drop a lot in favour of speed. One doesn't lose much quality, but through technique one gains greatly in speed. I was just painting the pupil of one eye when the transformation hit.

The first indication I had of anything being wrong was when the brush suddenly slipped and put a streak of black across the entire snout. "Fut!" I muttered - another thing about professional painting is that one doesn't make mistakes because correcting a mistake results in a great loss in time and efficiency. Then the brush slipped out of my hand and clattered to the table.

That was when I noticed that I no longer had fingers. Just feathers. Feathers that grew in length and size.

Oddly, this was the first transformation I'd ever experienced - the last one I'd been asleep during - so this was all new to me. So new, so, well, not unpleasant so much as odd, that I fell backwards onto my rump with a clatter of hooves and thumping of flesh.

That was when I noticed that my hooves were cloven. Somehow I had missed the clang and bounce of the rubber-coated centaurshoes popping off as the shape of my hooves changed.

"Hey Bard, what's going on?"

"I don't..." and then I bugled.


I snorted as my arms moved to my back, my chest expanded, and my nose exploded in front of my eyes.

"Somebody call the ITD."

My head was pushed down as my horns rose up and against the ceiling.

"Bloody TSA list - don't they know that some of its members have businesses?"

Then I knew it was over. With the ease of long practice - elkusus and centaur legs work more or less the same - I clambered to my hooves and arced my neck around to look at myself. At my...


"Bard are you all right?"

"Ooooof cooouuuurse," I answered. My new mouth tended to round the vowels.

"You should go and see the local Transformation Agent - I think he's got an office at the Addiction Centre."

I have co-workers with strange tastes.

"And make sure to stay on the ground. You've never flown before!"

"Aaaoooowwwwlllll right," I said. Then, with some difficulty, ducking my head down and clenching my arms... err wings against my body, I squeezed through the door.

"Somebody's going to pay for this," I head from behind me. "Send them another copy of Form 3A - project delay due to transformat..."

One of the constant factors of my life, ever since my first transformation, is an unfortunate combination of places I have to go every day and narrow winding staircases. I'd moved out of my apartment about a year ago, and then ended up working on the second floor of a re-conditioned alcohol refinery (I think that's the right term) which has the requisite narrow winding staircase. I'd had enough trouble getting up and down when I was a comparatively small centaur, as an elkasus my size had increased, so it was nearly impossible. Nearly, as at the cost of the old wooden railing (wings are STRONG) I was able to get down and outside.

A coincidental factor of where I work, or so I believed, was its nearness to the addiction research hospital (former insane asylum) on Queen St. It required only a quick trot up to Queen and a quick trot east to reach it. The hospital is surrounded by a park, complete with trees with bricked up holes. It was a cold day, gray, rainy, and I walked under a tree and took a break from the continuous rain. Unfortunately, with the wind, the tree wasn't much shelter.

I could hear the wind calling.

In fact, with a blink and a slight fading of vision, I could see the wind curling around itself in layers of air movement. Layers that called to me...

Shaking my head, I leaned down and tried nibbling the grass.

It was then that I made my glorious discovery, and ultimate mistake. Instinctual it may have been, but as I nibbled the over-fertilized grass, I stretched out my wings to shake off some of the rain, and the next thing I knew I was galloping.

Yes, galloping.

But I couldn't gallop. I should be on the ground in pain.

But I wasn't.

Instead I was accelerating, my lungs panting and my heart beating, muscles moving my legs and wings in tandem. I screamed out something, I think laughter, and then...

Then I was airborne.

It was glorious. Amazing. Wonderful.

My legs tucked against my body, by snout poking a path through gaps between the layers of wind that indicated the right way to go. My horns angled for control. My wings...

My wings pulsing up and down, gripping the air like the water in which I used to swim years ago.

I was galloping, my body working, but I wasn't. Galloping anyway. I was flying, and this was better.

Far, far better!

I'd never go back, ever! This was the ultimate of thrills, the most wondrous of joys.

It was perfection.

Bugling my joy, I flew off to the Toronto Islands to look for water plants.

I was tired of complication, and just wanted to relax and enjoy. Flight was NEAT!

The rain cleared up by the evening, and I flew around the city, up the Don Valley, along the 401, down the Rouge River, and even landed on the top of the Skydome and planted some waste product to give it some colour. Life was great. Life was wonderful.

Until Saturday afternoon.

It was warm, sunny, a perfect day to fly around the CN Tower and flash my privates at the shocked tourists. A day to write home about. A day to fly.

At least until I felt a familiar tingling...

The reverse transformation was much quicker than the original transformation. So much easier that I went suddenly from happily flying elkasus to unhappily falling centaur.

Yes Virginia, centaurs do NOT fly.

They do, however, fall very well.

Through luck, and more skill than I deserve, I missed the trainyard, missed Lakeshore, missed the Island Ferries, missed assorted gawkers in boats, but didn't miss the most recent patch of toxic goo in the Toronto Harbour.

My current transformation is neither aesthetic nor painfree. In fact given the entirety of the Canadian Navy (all three ships) are sailing the harbour surface above dropping depth charges, I would tend to say terrifying.