"Dude, I think you killed him."
Thorn and Stormwall hovered over where I cowered on the ground, the earth pony sounding upset as he said this.
The pegasus snorted. "I didn't hit that hard."
If that wasn't a hard hit, I really didn't want to find out what it felt like when she actually tried. The impact had left me groggy, sore all over (I faintly realized I wasn't breathing - I suppose I didn't need to anymore, though I sure felt winded.) In any case, no use delaying the inevitable, right?
I slowly opened my eyes, blinking a few times from the suns glare. This earned a snort from the big blue behemoth of a pegasus.
Thorn sighed. "Come off it Stormy. Poor dudes already freakin' out as it is." That was possibly the understatement of the year. I shook as I twisted my neck to take a look at them, Stormwall glaring down and Thorn looking worried. Apparently the green pony was something of a softie, as his next comment took me off guard. "Come on, get yer rump up and lets take a look at you. Dunno how we're gonna tell if you're hurt or not without..." He gestured vaguely. "Ya know."
No. No I did not know. Regardless, I awkwardly struggled onto four appendages.
And promptly fell over again, expressing pain voicelessly.
"Well, if anything he's less intimidating then the friggin' dig-dog you gave directions to."
Thorn snorted, stooping down to peer at me. "That dog was a big wussy puppy for Celestia's sake," He stopped, looking a bit distracted. "And now we have a scary looking wussy colt. Weird stuff."
I was glancing back and forth between them as they talked - one can't input much when you're confused and mute, and I would rather just let them ramble then become a kickball for the pegasus.
Stormwall, however, was proving to be less then amiable. "I swear you're a walking, talking gluestick sometimes dude. Always taking things at face-value," She gestured at me with a wing. "I think we should leave it here and scram before I need to friggin' bail your sorry rump outta trouble. Again."
I finally managed to stagger to my hooves (I was fairly comfortable saying, while odd looking, they where in fact hooves) and shook my head no, eyes wide. Hell no. I did not want to be left out here alone. I didn't even know where here was!
"You know, I'm pretty sure the dude has a name. Calm the heck down Storm, he seemed pretty confused," He glanced back towards me. "Plus he seems to be pretty sure he doesn't wanna get ditched out here."
Stormwall groaned. Sure, I could see her angle on this; I was weird, and had already done something bizarre, so I could be dangerous. She looked down at me again. "I am going to regret this, but fine, whatever," She jabbed him in the chest with a hoof, not looking away from me. "But don't say I didn't warn ya."
Thorn rolled his eyes, turning to me. "I guess you can come with us then."
That sounded fine to me. I cracked a smile, turning towards my bus - Perhaps this wouldn't be so ba-
All thoughts where put on hold as I crashed down. With my first step came my first trip as I toppled over, unused to my new body. Thorn exclaimed something as Stormwall laughed. Gritting my teeth, I tried again, made it a few steps and proceeded to eat dust. Not exactly tasty.
A third attempt left me cross. I didn't need to move, I decided; I was just fine and dandy exactly where I was. I would have blown my hair (which looked just as cloudy and ethereal as the rest of me, small glimmering specks faintly visable in it) out of my face if I could actually breathe anymore, the purple tinged grey mass of stuff having fallen over one eye during my last marvelous attempt.
"Can't even walk?" Thorn looked down at me again, confused, but clearly making an attempt to avoid contact; not that I could blame him. Stormwall guffawed. I grimaced from my position on the ground. Well, now I had to try again.
With a silent groan, I shoved myself back to my hooves, shot the blue jerkass a glare and slowly made my way towards my bus. Sure, I stumbled and teetered, but I managed to get to the door. Pausing, I looked in the side mirror, curiosity getting the better of me.
The first things I noticed where my eyes. Still hazel, brilliant green currently pushing the dark brown off towards the outer edges of my iris - with me, that usually meant I was either stressed or sick; my family had often joked that I had mood rings for eyes. Very familiar slitted pupils graced their centers though - a chill ran down my spine as my own eyes darted back and forth, legs stumbling me back a step, letting more of me show in the tiny mirror.
Was I freaking out? Fuck yes. I never was very good with change - I either froze up or started babbling in a pseudo-excitement as I tried to rationalize.
In this case I locked up. A small breeze kicked up, blowing my mane about my muzzle. My body had felt almost normal until I got a good look at it - Then all the unfamiliar feelings flooded in.
I was built from some sort of cloudy mass - turbulent grey and purple, almost black towards the hooves, mane shades lighter, making my eyes stand out like a sore thumb. I was thin - It almost looked like someone had crafted a pony out of wire and covered it in mist. My unworldly body occasionally glimmered, as if there was something shining right under the surface, though I had no Idea what that could be. I now knew for a fact my mane and tail flowed like the clouds they where in the wind.
I silently whimpered, turning and stumbling around the door to the drivers seat. My tuque sat to the side, apparently having fallen off, my olive-drab jacket over the back of the other seat still. My other clothes where missing, I noticed - my glasses, for starters, though It seemed I could see fairly well without, but a glance into the back of the bus told me that a suitcase full of clothes and a messenger bag where gone as well, possibly a few other things following suit. Sighing despite not being physically able, I went to grab the tuque.
It must have weighed half a ton.
Well, not really, but I couldn't lift it. Grabbing it with a hoof produced that strange glow (magic, I supposed) and a load of resistance, and attempting to grab it with my teeth just resulted in a hurt face. I was usually by no means a strong man, but this was just ridiculous.
Silently grumbling over yet another defeat, I crawled up over the seat and into the back, surveying what I had. I was missing the aforementioned messenger bag, and with it a tablet and a large chunk of books that would probably have been of no use anyways, plus a suitcase with possibly useless pills and changes of definitely useless clothes.
I did, however, have two guitars in cases, an amp, the power inverter, the bus itself and a pair of headphones attached to a Musical Programme Type-3 player (Which it seemed the charger was still in the dash.) All of which I couldn't even move. Continuing my mute mumbling, I turned in the confined space.
What I saw wasn't supposed to be there.
I had retired the black bag ages ago, face worn with the many years of service and decorated with pins from numerous shows, carefully leaving the large emblem on it's face un-obscured. A triangular prism, stabbed through with white from the left, exploding into the spectrum of a rainbow on the right, a white corona like ring encircling the design. It sat, flap half askew, showing a black book spine within, a familiar emblem, just shades lighter then the book itself, upon it.
A shout interrupted my inspection of the out of place bag. "Hey, Stormy! Ain't this the Wonderbolt’s Emblem?"
Thorn had spotted my jacket, the patch in question sewn onto the left shoulder, one of the more subtle signs of what my interests where. The pegasus hauled the green pony out of her way before pulling herself half ways onto the drivers seat to get a look at the symbol.
There was a moment of silence as she inspected the jacket. The whole thing, sans the patches, was a sturdy cotton canvas and had a faux military cut to it, large brass snaps on the passant, pockets and sleeves (I knew there where straps inside to hold the sleeves up if they where rolled) and a large brass eyelet in each lapel.
Looking thoughtful, Stormwall tugged the jacket towards herself. I bit down on a corner of it. Like hell I was going to let her mess with my stu-
She tugged me and the article of clothing out of the bus with no effort. From the lack of strain on the fabric, it was clear that I weighed practically nothing. Great.
With an unheard harrumph, I let go of the fabric (it weighed a thousand or so pounds to me, so I didn’t have much of a choice) and let her go over it.
Besides the Wonderbolts patch, there was a metal badge, a large red star with golden laurels wrapped under it, two very familiar crossed implements emblazoned in gold across the star, a tiny pair of swords crossed under a shield pinned beneath it. Both lapels had a pin – the right side was a shield, blue bordered with gold and white, the same red star shimmering in the morning light from it’s center, Russian looping about the inner circle's edge - a military award. The left lapel just had a simple round pin reading 'OMY<3' in bold letters. All of those had been gifts from various friends.
The last patch however, had taken a bit of asking about to get for myself. Stormwall looked a touch shocked as she flipped the jacket over, the patch sitting centered where my shoulder blades would have sit, if I was still human.
"Is that..?" She glanced at me with an odd look on her face before looking back down at the patch. A familiar griffon, wings half spread - Gilda. Wait, I was in Equestria. I should find her and get an autograph or something. After dealing with, you know, all this.
I snapped back to reality.
There was silence for a while, setting me on edge. Thorn looked as confused as I was at why this was so fascinating to the blue pegasus. Finally she looked up, shaking her head. "Heh. Reminds me a particular collection of quills I went to flight camp with back in the day," She smirked, wings spreading. "Avoided me for some reason."
She went back to inspecting the jacket, Thorn joining her, glancing over the badges and construction with curiosity. I in turn took a better look at her and her companion.
Stormwall was, in fact, actually huge If me and Thorn where anything to judge by - It wasn't that she had been looking down at me or hovering. Her muzzle was past the top of my head, and she was toned - Not a wall of muscle, but sleek and primed for flying, looking more like a predator then a pony, the amber eyes not helping in that regard. Her mane was medium length, shaggy cut, and charcoal in colour, having a tendency to fall over one eye when she looked down. Her cutie mark (oh how I thanked the gods they where both distracted - all I needed was one or the other to think I was checking them out.) was a stylized golden rising phoenix - you know the likes, wings raised up either side of the head, the entire thing within a circle. Unlike Thorn, she had hefty looking steel horseshoes capping off her hooves.
Thorn was a bit shorter then I was, and almost as scrawny. The green earth pony had a mane and tail like a buzzsaw, brown and making him aggressive looking. His eyes told the truth though - the grey spheres looked as hard as the clouds, which going by Stormwall was where his head was. He, unlike the pegasus, carried saddlebags. His cutie mark was...
Covered by scars. I couldn't make it out, four long scars going through the image, any colours lost to me. I suddenly began noticing all the other scars along his body, most of them small. His face seemed untouched, and he seemed to smile a lot.
That smile was directed at me once more as he looked up from the clothing. "Wonder how you got that. Seem to have a lot of stuff you can't really use."
Observant. I let a half grin come to my own muzzle. I raised a cloud-forged hoof.
He regarded it for a moment. Stormwall looked up, then narrowed her eyes. "You'd better not be-"
Her comment was cut short as Thorn reached over, touched my hoof and the world flipped before my eyes.