To the Rescue?
Baron could feel the ground shaking slightly as the engine pulled up slowly, she had lowered her speed when she had seen the end of his train not moving. She grinded to a halt right beside him and he was just as surprised as the last time he'd seen her. She was enormous to say the least, matte black, and above all else, a beautiful engine. She was nearly twice his size, in length and height, he couldn't believe his eyes! Beside him sat perhaps the largest engine in the world, a 4-14-2 Russian masterpiece, on her side it read in big silver letters "Valkyrie".
"Wow, it really is you." He said astonished, she was in perfect condition, as new as the day he had seen her ten years ago.
"You remember me?" she asked, seeming surprised.
"Who could forget you? You must be the largest engine ever made!"
She felt her face get hot, she seldom got to speak to other engines, always being so busy. "You…are the same engine that passed me ten years ago right? We are the only two who works this line."
"Ya that's me…seems you have aged a lot better than I have." He laughed out.
"So it is you then? The Red Baron? The most famous engine in Europe? And the engine who fell off the Ocean Bridge?" she asked quietly not wanting to upset him.
"Please, just Baron…is that your name on your side? Valkyrie?"
"Yes, though I must tell you, I am not the largest engine in the world, I used to be though." She smiled down at him.
"What could be larger than you?"
"It's an American now, just recently finished the first one, they call him "Big Boy". He is a 4-8-8-4, I've seen a picture."
"Two sets of drive wheels?"
"Yes, two engines and one boiler, he almost looks like two engines smashed together." She giggled out, for such a large engine she sounded very childlike. "So…if I might ask, what's wrong?"
"My boiler cracked and the water spilled into my firebox, I can't move." He said with a sigh.
"If I may…why have you not been restored? Why are you in such bad condition? You were the most handsome engine I had ever seen." She said without thinking and again she felt embarrassed.
"Our section of the railway is really pressed for money…there have been a lot of disasters and break downs…we just don't have the money to fix me."
"That's awful…no engine should have to live like that…" she wondered what her driver would do about any of this. "What should we do Driver?"
"What can we do? We need to move on or risk getting caught in tonight's snow storm."
"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine." Baron said trying to sound cheerful.
"Are you sure? Will someone come to get you?" she asked nervously.
"I don't really know, the only engines who would really care if I got lost are all tank engines. Getting out here on their own wouldn't be easy, not to mention they have their own duties to perform. I'm more concerned with my train really."
"Well, I do have to go the rest of the way back to your last station. Driver, could we take the rest of his train for him?"
"Well, I don't see anything wrong with that, shouldn't take much longer than our normal trip home."
"You would do that?" baron was baffled, it wasn't as if it was a long load or anything, he just hadn't been shown kindness like this from anyone besides Joan or his driver.
"Of course" she smiled to him as a blush went over her cheeks, she didn't realize at the time, but looking back on the scenario, Val realized she couldn't have been more obvious.
Baron was uncoupled from the last of his cars and Val had gone backward to find one of the few sets of points that linked the two's tracks. She returned shortly behind his train and coupled up, pulling them back to the points. When she returned she was pushing the trucks and halted shortly beside him. "I hope someone comes for you soon, if you are still stuck here two days from now on my next run then I'll arrange to take you either back to Britain or home with me to Russia."
"Okay, thank you very much. I hope I can see you again soon, rather than have to wait for one of us to break down." He smiled up to her.
"I would like that," she giggled a bit before setting off down the line, leaving Baron alone.
"Huhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," he sighed loudly and decided now would be as good a time as any to get some sleep, the sun had just gone down a small while ago and it was not as if he needed to be somewhere. He promptly nodded off falling deeply into sleep.
He figured he had been dreaming for a few hours, before hearing a whistle in the distance behind him. He came out of his dreams and heard a voice far behind me, echoing through the night.
"Barooonnnnn!" he heard before another long soft whistle.
"Joan?" he was surprised to say the least, he hadn't expected anyone at all, never mind today, or it being Joan.
"Baron!" she yelled happily as her lamp lit up the back of his tender and she slowed to a stop.
"Joan, you're here," still in disbelief.
She came buffer to buffer with him and he heard her sniffling a little bit, had she been crying? "I'm so glad you're okay." She said, her voice a bit shaky.
"Yes I am okay, please don't cry, I didn't mean to make you sad."
"I'm not sad you big dummy…I'm really glad you're safe."
"Oh…" gosh, he didn't know she cared that much.
"Cracked boiler, out of water and my fire won't start." By this point all the water left in his boiler had drained out onto the ground around him. "Do you think you can pull my home by yourself?"
"I can give it a shot, but I'm really worn out from work today, and coming all this way to find you."
"Then we should rest, the whether isn't as bad around here as it is back home. We should be able to sleep here."
"Okay, well…Goodnight I guess."
End of chapter 5
Okay, so I did get one review today, and it was not only positive feedback, but it came with a question as well.
"Will we see any engines from the NWR"
The answer to that is not determined yet. Technically, the engines of Thomas the Tank Engine and all of it's stories would take place very close by to my own.
It wouldn't be too hard to incorporate Sodor railway into these stories, but they would not serve a large purpose in my story.
Maybe a cameo here and there, but none of them would become main characters.
Also you would need to consider the fact that this series isn't exactly "Goody Goody" like the new Thomas show is.
I personally hate the new show and anything after when they started using CGI instead of Model Railroading.
I have kept up with the new characters in the show however and know them all very well, so it wouldn't be hard to incorporate them in small ways.
In short, we will see, I may take it down to a vote.
But anyways, as always, please review! =]