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Chaotic dark energy danced off the walls of the transformation chamber, held at bay unimaginable power siphoned through space and time from the core of a star several systems away, its very creation reversed. The unlucky sun would certainly go nova, but the Halan galaxy was full of such useless balls of fire. The Tech Wizard, monitoring the various gauges, paid no attention to the screams of his subject, slowly having his molecular structure morphed from archangel into dragon. He adjusted a large dial, turning it deftly, listening to the pitch of his subject. He liked the color of this one, pale green – pretty.

He turned, one wing dragging the floor, no longer able to retract it. The feathers on it’s tip had grown dirty white, not having been washed for months. So busy, so much to do.

Turning and bending down, the mathematical seer looked at a pressure dial, then tapped it, wondering if it was stuck again. If it was, everything, he calculated with 29.0995532 probability, would explode. Hm…

All around him, steam hissed as pressure valves released in spurts. He rose up and looked over at his subject, staring through his thick green goggles. Pressing a metal index finger up against his good temple, he rested his head against it, waiting. A smile slowly crept over one side of his face. This was his favorite part – the scaling of the skin was almost complete.

To make a good dragon is as much art as science, he thought. That was the problem in the beginning, everything was rush, rush, rush. War this, rebellion that, never enough time to get things right. ‘Half-baked’ as he used to say. That is why most of the dragons went insane, but desperate times called for…incomplete measures. Every baker knew correct ingredients, the right amount of heat and time, all made for a delicious outcome. Baking a good dragon, though more difficult, was just such a process. He set the timer on his arm. Just a few more hours…then… a masterpiece!

***

The Tech Wizard shuffled out of the containment area, turning a valve. Steam cylinders actuated, he closed the massive iron doors to the transformation chamber. Lights flickered above him, hung from the ceiling of the vast cavern a hundred feet above. It didn’t matter that some no longer gave their light, he’d grown used to his dim world. In fact, he preferred it.

Dark tech littered his path, but muscle memory guided him as he stepped over the scattered pieces of his technical greatness.

“Where’s that worm, Rose?” he growled. “I need oil!” His left leg, a steam powered replica of the one blown off, squeaked as he walked.

I must remember to beat her soundly…he mused.

***

“Bring me oil!” he shouted, finding Rose at last.

After a moment, she came timidly towards him, lubricant in hand. A tall, thin woman, black hair pinned tightly back, spectacles slipping down her nose, edged closer, “Where my Lord?” she asked.

He pointed.

Oil flowed in small droplets into his mechanical joint, seeping down into the mechanism. He stretched it out, and the intricate metal limb worked without noise.

With a wave of his back hand he dismissed her.

***

The divan, repaired in several places, lounged in a corner of his workshop. A spiral door stood at one side, several inches think, shut tight as a drum. He lay back, rubbing his good temple, for an explosion several centuries back had blown off the other side of his face. The reconstruction was a slow, painful process and, frankly, he’d grown impatient, leaving the left side bare metal, not bothering to match his remaining flesh. What’s the use anyway?

Reclining, he felt the aches in his body, but his heart hurt more. Emotional pain, the very thing he’d weaponized for love, ate at him like a cancer, consuming his soul. It had been all for her, he’d done it for Honey B.

Everything.

Standing on the precipice of dark mathematics, a realm of anti-creation, he’d made sacrifice after sacrifice. His very soul burned upon the altar of her desire, eternally writhing in a flame that consumed every part, yet left him unmercifully alive.

Don’t tear up, he thought, you’ll rust again.

Chest letting out a heavy sigh, he instructed a little metal helper to turn it on. The small machine, obeying his thoughts, carried itself on little mechanical legs, flipping a switch then standing aside. Great gears whirred above, steam hissed, and a large sling of chains began threading through pulleys, lifting a heavy iron bell-shaped cover. The clicking of the mechanism clattered as a round pedestal revealed itself, then her feet, so dainty and perfect, peered out from under the chiffon gown.

He gasped, he always did seeing her – The Red Seraph, Beauty incarnate. My Honey B!

Three sets of wings, pink in color, graced each side of her female form. Long, shapely legs with perfect hips, melted into a cute little bump belly, round and alluring. Perfect breasts flanked by exquisite arms, led up to shoulders so graceful he could not imagine better. Then her face, those features, demure, framed in golden hair, eyes of pale red gazing right at him. Ah, my love, my desire, my…

He nodded. The little automaton flipped another switch and music began to play. It was their song. Life-sized at nearly eight feet tall, her likeness slowly rotated, wings moving with precision, the haunting melody of the chief musician filling his grimy corner and his ears with bittersweet notes.

Her lips pressed to his

As always, he lay back, looking at her twirl and smile, remembering the fateful moment he’d first seen the bright and shining one in all her glory, perfect in beauty. Her eyes, flaming with passion, looked so deep into his angelic soul that he became transparent before her, completely undone by her magnificence. Then. . .ah then, she’d come so close, the warmth of her true form radiating like the sun as her lips pressed to his.

He shuddered, the notes playing on as the object of his desire turned before him. He looked at her face, “Set me free, my love,” he begged.

Eyes shutting, his mechanical breathing slowing, the Tech Wizard drifted off into whatever rest his tortured mind could find. The little helper walked off on short, tottering legs, leaving the image of the Red Seraph to twirl before the fallen archangel as he slept.

Gnossiennes No.1/Erik Satie [Music Box]

Honeybee by Steampunk Giraffe

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