Un Cambio de Direction Muy Ferro

A/N :  I do not own any of the characters from Starlight Express, any of the story and this story is written purely for the enjoyment of some.  The characters are taken out of their normal personalities in the play, and I apologize for the torture of Rusty.

The day was long.  The metallic blue circus car had been on a run for most of the day.  The bubble gum popped in her mouth and Sapphire looked thoroughly bored.  Mostly because, she was. "Rustyyyy…"  She started.  The steamer sighed, wondering what she was going to complain about now.   "Can you go any faster?  This ride is killing me… and Jazz is getting anxious.  Please?"

            "I can't go any faster."  The steamer informed her, but before he could continue, she interrupted him,    

            "You mean this is as fast as you can go?  How exactly did you win the match?"

            "I won the match because I wasn't carrying an entire circus train," he said, his patience low with this coach.  "I also had enough coal and water to produce enough energy and I didn't have to travel 1213 miles, across English countryside, on a hot day, in the middle of August, on a weekend, when it's not even my run!" 

            "Whatever," Sapphire said, unimpressed.  "It's not my fault you had to accept the run for that diesel.  You did that all on your own." 

            The sun was beginning to set in the distance and the iridescent blue coloring on her frame turned greenish.  "Can we get going, steamer?  Really, I want to get there before the show starts!  Man, if any of the other engines took us, we'd have been there hours ago!" 

            Rusty had been pestered enough by the coach.  The locomotive gained speed and began putting out more steam. 

            "That's a little better. But tell me you can still go faster than this." 

            "If you want to get there in one piece, then no."  The ride was quiet for a while and the only light on the horizon was emitting from his headlights. 

            Most of the ride was quiet, that is. When the new station was barely in view, the coach spoke up again.  "Rustyyy…. we're almost there, so do you think you could speed up just a little."  She smiled to herself.  It was common knowledge that she did it only to annoy the steamer.  And it was oh so effective. 

            "Fine," The steamer led out another sigh and forced his pistons to rotate faster. 

            "Rusty…" 

            Before she could finish, the steamer picked up so much speed that she was inclined to shout for him to slow down.  Unfortunately he mistook her pleas to be ones calling for more speed and so he gained even more.  The rhythm suddenly jumped several tempos.  The wind began to steal the moisture in his eyes.  So he closed them to keep them from drying out further. He's gonna crash! She though as they raced passed the station. 

            Sapphire had had enough and released her grasp from his couplers.  It took her several clicks to finally stop.  Rusty disappeared from her view within moments.  "Rusty!"  she shouted. Psycho engine.  It was hopeless.  No matter how loud she yelled he would never hear her.  "You'd think he'd notice the resistance was gone." She sighed and turned back to the station. 

            The conductor noticed something a little odd.  "Where's the engine that was to bring you?"  He pondered out loud. "You couldn't have come all this way yourself." 

            "He just kept going and I unhitched.  At the rate he was going he'll be in Ireland by now!"  the circus car explained.  "And it's not even connected to the main land!"

            "I'll call it in."  The conductor said to the distressed coach.  He turned on the mike and spoke, "Attention!  Attention! We have a runaway train on the loose!"

            "He's a reddish brown, rebuilt, slightly rusted steam engine." She thought for a moment recalling the short-tempered locomotive.   "On the short side, not particularly muscular and he's wearing…a red headband…"

            "Look out for a small, reddish brown, dilapidated steam unit.  He'll be sporting a crimson diadem." 

            "Uh…well…close enough."  She said with a shrug.

            Finally Rusty slowed down enough to be able to speak. "Happy now?"  he said.  Turning towards her he for the first time and found that his train had abandoned him, or rather he had abandoned them.  "Oh, Starlight…now what?"   The blaring announcement rang across the yard.  "What's a diadem?"  He pondered, while rubbing the back of his hand across his forehead.  

The announcement permeated the air a second time and Rusty thought aloud, "Reddish brown, steam, crimson?  Hey…"  He paused for a moment to think and then knew who they were talking about, "I have a twin!"  It seemed as though the rate at which he had been moving seemed to eliminate some of his awareness of the world around him.

At that moment a diesel pulled up onto the same track and the result was not pretty.  It ended up with Rusty on the ground and the diesel standing powerfully over him with a small pink coach behind him.  "Greaseball," the coach spoke, "are you okay?  What idiot train ran into you this time?"

Rusty didn't want to have to take something from another coach today.  He stood and spoke in a voice that even he was surprised at, "I didn't run into him.  Maybe if he watched where he was going he would have noticed me!"

"You better watch what you're saying, steamer," the locomotive warned.

"Steamer?" One of the coaches piped up from behind Pearl.  "Is he the psycho train they were talking about in the announcement?"  The brown coach whirled her head around the cars in front of her and shrieked.  "It is him! Someone, grab the psycho engine, don't let him get away!"

"No," Rusty had to explain, he wasn't the psych train, "that's not me, that's my twin!"

"You have a twin?" Pearl pitched in, "That's so cool!"

"Really?" The diesel added with a full tone of sarcasm.  "Well, what's his name then?"

"I don't know.  I've never had a twin before."

Pearl's face saddened for a moment but she again became vivacious when an idea crossed her mind.  "Hey!  I'll help you find your twin!"

Greaseball looked a little uneasy at her declaration, "Pearl, you don't honestly believe him do you?  And why would you want to help a psycho train anyway?  Stay with me, at least then you'll know you're safe!"

"Please, Greaseball, do you think a tiny thing like him could hurt me?  Besides, he doesn't look so crazy to me…" 

Rusty blushed at the pink coach's remark, taking it as a compliment.

"I'd love to help you… What did you say your name was again?"

I don't think I said my name, the engine thought to himself.  "My name is Rusty, what's yours?"

"What does your mother not like you or something?"  The smoking car stated to prevent Pearl from answering while pulling out another cigarette for herself.

"I don't have a mother… I don't even have a father… All I have is a twin…" Rusty replied, obviously upset.

"Oh you poor thing!  Don't worry, I'll help you!"  Pearl squeaked grabbing his couplers.  And off they went, searching for his nonexistent twin.

Greaseball turned around and looked at the remaining coaches.  Dinah had been behind Pearl, and finally got her chance to hitch up with Greaseball, because Pearl always came first in the engine's mind.  She was followed by Buffy and Ashley.  The diesel locomotive gave an unconvincing chuckle.  How could a psycho steamer take the newest thing around away from him?  "So, how long do you think it'll take before Pearl comes speeding back home?" he asked the remaining coaches.

Dinah just looked at him, hoping the pink observation car wouldn't come back.  "Greaseball stop it…"

"Let's just go," the buffet car spoke quickly before Dinah got her usual answer of "shut it".

Rusty pulled the pink coach to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, but they just kept going.  "Rusty," Pearl started.  Great, he thought, she's going to be just like Sapphire.  "Do you have any idea where he could be?"

"Who?" The steamer found himself asking.

"Your twin, silly!" She squeaked.  "Where do you think he is?"

"Well, he has to be around here somewhere, that announcement was made not to far from where I ran into you guys."

"Oh…"  The pink coach sighed, hoping they'd find his twin soon.  It was getting late and her wheels were sore.  Just as she was about to ask him if they should rest at the next station and continue looking in the morning, another steamer speed past them.

"Hey, you!" The duo found themselves shouting at the same time.

The steamer slowed to a halt, a little ways away from the odd pair and turned back to meet them.  "You wanted something?"  The engine seemed blunt.  Even though he appeared to be just like Rusty, his personality was something that was quite the opposite.

Rusty and Pearl both gaped at the similarities of the two engines.  Pearl found herself looking back and forth between the two.  They were identical, the only proof that there was no mirror hidden somewhere was the difference in the eyes.  Rusty's had an innocent child-like quality, while the other's were more serious and seemed troubled by all the world's problems.

"What's your name," Pearl asked.

"Why do you want to know?"  Was the reply that she had received from the locomotive.

"I want to know because we're looking for his twin."  She pointed to Rusty.  "And you seem to look just like him.  No, you do look just like him.  I'm Pearl, and this is Rusty.  Now, what's your name?"

"Did you say Rusty?  My name is Ferro."  The engine replied.

"Ferro… What does that mean?  It's Spanish, isn't it?"  Pearl spoke, rubbing her brow.

"Yes, it means rusty."  Ferro had to admit, it was quite coincidental that his name was the same as Rusty's in a different language, and they looked extremely alike.  "You said you were looking for your twin?"

"Yeah, my twin.  Have you seen him?"  Pearl almost hit herself on the head.  Could Rusty really be that thick?

"I haven't seen him, so to speak.  I never knew I had a twin, but you've proven me wrong.  Who's your dad?"

"Father… I never knew my father…"  Rusty replied, obviously upset.

 "Hey!"  She realized, "You guys could be twins!"  Pearl turns to Rusty with a pleading look on her face.  "Can we take him home?  Please?"

"E-Excuse me?"  Ferro piped in.

"Well, you're Rusty's twin, you two are finally together, it'd be a tragedy if you were separated, and he needs to take me home soon, the other coaches are probably worried, they think he's crazy…" Pearl explained, "Does he look crazy to you?  They think that he could hurt me, ha!"  Rusty gave a smile to show that he wasn't crazy and Ferro had to hold back his laugh.  This was unbelievable, they were probably the strangest people in the train world that he had ever met, but somehow they were so endearing.

"I can't go with you.  I've got my own coach here, and besides, I don't think one station can handle two steam engines…"

Rusty cut him off before he could finish his thought, "Oh, we all ready have two steam engines.  No one will mind."

"Well, one station can't handle three then.  I'm off!  Have a good run."  And with that Ferro turned around to return to his station where he had been bothered by those who worked there accusing him of being the run-away train.  Now, he thought, I can prove them wrong.  It wasn't really me!  That'll show them.  The locomotive disappeared from view within seconds.

"That was interesting."  Pearl said.  "Let's go home, Rusty.  I'm tired."

"Yeah, I can't wait to tell the others I met my twin!"  He turned around and looked back at Pearl, waiting for her to grab his couplers so they could go back to Apollo Victoria.  The pink coach's fingerless gloves wrapped gently around his brown couplers and she smiled at him showing that she was ready.

The pair took off at speeds few could match, racing to get home as soon as they could.  The wind pulled Pearl's pink hair back like a small streamer that followed them the whole way home.  Another day and evening had passed by the time they reached the station; Greaseball and the other coaches were waiting for Pearl; while Sapphire and the rest of the circus train were there waiting for Rusty.

Ruby did not seem pleased when Rusty pulled up with a different coach in tow.  Greaseball also looked rather distraught at the fact that a rusted steam engine had taken Pearl out for the whole evening and was returning so late.

Rusty and Pearl both seemed overly excited and enthusiastic.  The two of them were recalling the story at hyper speed so that everything ended up as a jumble of words.  Everyone just stared at them and waited for them to slow down so that they could actually hear the story.  The two seemed to stop at almost the same time and were waiting for their reaction. 

Greaseball just looked at the two of them; then pulled Pearl to his side, where, in his eyes, she belonged.  "Pearl, girl, what happened?  What took you so long to get back, baby?"

The pink coach looked appalled at the pet names Greaseball had given her, but he didn't seem to take any notice.  "We found Rusty's twin!"  Were the only words that came out coherently when she spoke.  Everyone just gawked at her.  Whatever Rusty did, now she was crazy too.  That's just great, Greaseball thought, now we have two psycho trains.

"C'mon doll, what really happened?  You know he doesn't have a twin."

Pearl was so frustrated, why didn't they believe her?  "First of all, I'm not your doll.  And secondly, he does have a twin and his name is Ferro."

"Ferro.  Pearl, I know you're more creative than that," Ashley said taking a puff of her freshly lit cigarette, "we all know that means rusty in Spanish."  I didn't know that, Rusty admitted silently to himself.

"No, I'm serious, we found his twin!  He was created in Mexico and then was transferred to a station not to far from here.  He looks so much like Rusty.  The only difference is their eyes, there was something about Ferro's eyes, they were so…" Pearl's thoughts drifted off to earlier that day when she had met Ferro and a dreamy look found its way to her face as she recalled the rusted steamer.

"Whatever, Pearl.  We've got a run to do.  I think we should return to the coaches' shed and get a good night's sleep."  The buffet car didn't seem convinced either.  In fact, when Pearl's eyes searched the crowd of trains, none of them seemed to find her story that convincing.  It seemed as though they had deemed her crazy. 

But, then again, even I wouldn't believe my story if someone else had told it.  She thought, I mean, Rusty's twin who happens to have the same name just in a different language?  It's a little, okay, a lot unbelievable, she admitted to herself.  The pink coach and the steam locomotive seemed to silently agree that it was just a story they made up while they went out sight-seeing, and the reason they were gone so long was to prove their meeting with Rusty's twin had actually happened.

Pearl went over to Rusty and whispered, "It's our little secret."  The steamer smiled and nodded as a shade of pink brushed his cheeks.

The End