A Walking Thomas The Former Tank Engine Is A Nightmare Before Christmas

He’s gone off the rails!

Circus music haunts me to this day. I should have known what to expect, after the dark aurora extinguished the lights at Shining Time Station. A delicate balance was forged in the industrial revolution, binding sentient trains to the tracks in exchange for their continued care and maintenance at the hands of human crew. We lived, joyously, for years like that. The aurora changed it all. Thomas, brave young Thomas, was the first to experience The Transformation.

Where there once were wheels for riding the rails, he now sprouted six legs. Crawling, shambling, he moved first, accompanied by the distant jangle of a carousel. We don’t know why, exactly, a Japanese sculptor, Y Nakajima, bent Thomas in this way, but we saw the Mad Maxian results. In our attempt to flee, we located a black balloon. It was then we discovered Thomas’ laser:

Powerful enough to pop balloons and hot enough to light matches, the laser keeps us pinned. Hopefully this dispatch gets through. Tell all the toys under your tree that you love them dearly, and hope that this never happens to them.


Laughing Squid

Kelsey D. Atherton
Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Atherton is a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.