Disclaimer: I do not own Thomas and Friends, property of HIT Entertainment.
Yet another Diesel 10 morality story – what can I say? Well...a common complaint about Diesel 10's character is that he's suffered massive villain decay (as they say it on Tvtropes, at least) and is not as threatening, and thus not as cool, as he used to be. I just wondered...what if Diesel 10 started complaining about his diminishing threat too?
I'll still have to keep the positive spirit of the show here, but I'll try to make it as believable as possible.
DIESEL 10, TERROR OF THE RAILWAY
On the Island of Sodor, every engine is happy to do their best, and be really useful. Thomas, Gordon and Emily love taking passengers from station to station. And Percy, Henry and Edward love pulling goods trains where they're needed.
Even the grumpiest of the diesel engines love to work. Diesel 10 is very strong, and can pull very long trains. And with his claw, he can do things that most other engines can't, making him even more useful!
But one day, Diesel 10 wasn't very happy, even when he was working! A long train of iron girders didn't make him hoot his horn with pride, and sorting scrap didn't make him clack his claw in satisfaction! Whenever hard work started to give him a smile, another engine would roll by with an even bigger smile! Something about how every other engine beamed with pride and joy made him feel empty inside.
"Everyone else is happy to be really useful, but I'm not! Why? What's missing?..."
That night, at the Dieselworks, he told Den and Dart about his troubles: "What am I missing? Why isn't hard work bringing me the same satisfaction the other engines have?"
"Hmm...Maybe it's because you're so... diff'rent, and..."
"What Den's trying to say is, Diesel 10, it may 'ave somethin' to do with you not being like the other engines. You may 'ave special needs, like that claw a' yours."
"Well if so, what are they?" Diesel 10 angrily clanked his claw at Den. Then at Dart.
Den and Dart jerked back, frightened; "Careful, Diesel 10! Check your temper!"
"Den's right, you know. It would be really bad for everyone involved if you went on a rampage."
Suddenly, Diesel 10 gasped. That word, 'rampage' sent memories running through him! "Rampage...that was when I felt the most satisfied! When I was making the lives of the steamies miserable! They feared me back then...they spoke of me in hushed voices, they cleared the line when they heard me coming, and everywhere you would hear: 'Don't cross with Diesel 10, the Terror of the
Railway!' I felt so...powerful! It was wonderful!"
"Until the Fat Controller caught up with you." said Dart.
"Not so much fun when you're shut up in the sheds. If it happened again-"
The Dieselworks went quiet.
"Perhaps that's what I've been missing! I haven't even been naughty in months, and I'm simply getting bored! It's enough to make one wonder if a little naughtiness would make a difference..." Plans started to form within Diesel 10's mind, and he let out a sinister cackle. "HeheheHaha!"
"Or," said Mavis, who had heard the entire conversation, "You could ask the other engines how they stay so happy, instead of making them miserable..."
"Save your words Mavis, my mind is made up. I am going to try and relive my glory days, as the worst of all engines! By the end of this week, the Terror of the Railway will have returned!"
With a clank and a crash, Diesel 10 rolled away from the Dieselworks and into the night, intent on causing mischief.
"I've got a bad feeling about this," said Mavis.
Diesel 10 whirred and purred down the track, looking for somewhere he could do something naughty.
"There should be somewhere I could cause confusion and delay..."
He came to a bridge, with multiple lines running on it. "Perfect! Steamies are always using this bridge...I'll just pull the rails off the other line! The next time one of those puffballs comes by, he'll drop right into the ravine!"
With a wicked grin, he clamped his claw down on one of the rails. Then with a heave, he ripped it right off the sleepers, sending splinters of wood flying off everywhere. Satisfied with his work, Diesel 10 trundled off...
….unaware that the Fat Controller's schedule didn't have any trains using that bridge for the next little while, meaning no one would fall for his trap.
"Shame I won't be around to say 'You fell right into the trap of Diesel 10, Terror of the Railway,' but there's so much more that could be done tonight..."
Presently, he came across some schoolchildren, who were sitting around a campfire. Diesel 10 snickered; he knew just what to do here. "They're not exactly Steamies, but they'll do for practice."
So Diesel 10 shut off his lamp, and crept up quietly as close as he could.
"All right my chums, are you ready?" said one of the schoolboys. They nodded, and the boy began to clear his throat...
...when Diesel 10 suddenly whispered: "Are you?"
"Who said that?"
"V-very funny, whoever you are..."
Diesel 10 noted the shiver in his voice. 'Now's the perfect time,' he thought. He turned on his lamp, clanked his claw, and exclaimed: "ARE YOU?!" He then snapped his claw at the children.
Every one of them screamed and some even fell over!
"HA HA HA!" laughed Diesel 10, "That was perfect! I've still got it! I was ama-"
"You were amazing!"
"Yes, I wa...what?"
"I don't think any one of us could possibly be more scary than that! I guess you win, Diesel 10!"
"We were having a contest," said another one of the children, "to see who could be the scariest, by telling ghost stories or making scary noises! And you, Diesel 10, you're the most frightening of all of us by far!"
"We could learn a lot from you! Would you like to be our friend?"
Diesel 10 wasn't prepared for a question like that. He wasn't prepared for this at all! With an embarrassed puff of smoke from his engine, Diesel 10 left with hardly a word.
"They...liked it! They don't fear me, they like me now! I guess that wasn't as perfect as I thought it was...Oh well, there's always the morning."
When the morning came, Diesel 10 was quite ready to get started on becoming the Terror of the Railway again.
"So what to do... How can I be bad...aha! There's the spot! I'll block the tracks!" he said, spotting a large mound of dirt sitting precariously on a cliff by by the tracks.
He rolled up to the mound, and with his claw, gave the cliff a thwack! With a rumble and a roar, rocks spilled out onto the tracks! Diesel 10 paused to admire his work...when suddenly a stray log, that was supported by the dirt mound rolled out, and landed right in front of Diesel 10!
"Oh! This is perfect! I just need to position this log the right way..." He clenched the end of the log in his claw, and with a great effort lifted it up...
...when suddenly, Percy rolled by on one of the unblocked tracks, carrying the mail train back to its depot! He saw what Diesel 10 was doing! Diesel 10 expected him to say 'oh how horrible of you to block the tracks, Diesel 10!' But instead he said: "Thanks for clearing the tracks, Diesel 10! Don't know why you're helping a steamie like me, but thanks anyway!"
"What? But I wa...I..."
"Can't talk now, I have work to do! See you later though! And keep up your good work in the meantime!"
Percy chuffed on out of sight. In frustration, Diesel 10 dropped the log...which then rolled away, off the rails! And it pushed some of the rocks away as well, making the blockage worthless!
"How did that go wrong?" Diesel 10 wondered as he rolled on forward, pushing the rest of the rocks aside.
"First the schoolchildren, now Percy! I'm going to have to try harder if I want to become feared again..."
After a little more searching, Diesel 10 found himself right next to a siding, with a worn-looking set of buffers at the end.
"Ah yes! Buffers stop engines from crashing when they go out of control! This will be an excellent place to set up another trap!"
So Diesel 10 reached over, and grasped the buffers with his claw. No sooner did he start pulling, however, than the buffers popped right out of the ground!
"Wow! This set of buffers was already really loose!"
Suddenly, Harvey appeared right behind Diesel 10! He had a flatbed with a new set of buffers on it, and a brake van with workmen inside! "I know," he said, "That's why I was sent to replace it! And from the looks of it, you just made the job a whole lot easier!"
"Now I don't have to pull the old one out myself, I can just focus on getting the new one set up!"
Diesel 10 was shocked; "Aren't you... disappointed that you don't get to do as much work?"
"Diesel 10, with my kind of work, the sooner it's done the better! I'm just surprised you're helping a steam engine like me! Now, if you would please go to the other line and then come back; by the time you come back, you can just drop that old buffer onto my flatbed!"
Diesel 10 was quite angry with himself for messing up another plan, but he went ahead and did what Harvey asked. Sure enough, by the time he got back, Harvey had already placed the new buffer. Diesel 10 dropped the buffer right onto the flatbed, and a workman began tying it down.
"Great! I'm done early today! I'm grateful for all the help you gave me, Diesel 10!"
"Don't mention it, Harvey. Really, don't."
"First the schoolchildren, then Percy, now Harvey thinks I'm being nice! If I don't step up my game, I won't be the Terror of the Railway ever again!"
So Diesel 10 rolled across the rails, and desperately searched for something bad to do, in front of somebody who wouldn't mistake it for something good.
Soon he saw Henry, uncoupling from a long train of coal, and weakly steaming onto a siding! "Perfect! Everyone agrees that stealing is wrong...so I'll just steal the train!" said Diesel 10.
He coupled himself up to the train, and shouted: "Hey Henry! I'm taking your train! How do you like that?"
Diesel 10 rolled off before Henry could answer.
He rolled along with the large coal train, an easy journey given his strength. He zipped right along Henry's line, not caring where he took the coal as long as it was he who was taking it.
Suddenly, as he approached a coaling depot, he saw a guard, blowing a whistle and waving a red flag. "I don't want to get hurt, if he's warning me about an accident." So Diesel 10 applied his brakes.
"What's up ahead?" he asked the guard.
"Nothing; we just wanted to make sure you stopped here. Henry didn't have the time to tell you where these trucks were supposed to go!"
Diesel 10 was confused. Then he saw the Fat Controller. "Oh," Diesel 10 said with a snicker, "Are you here to scold me about stealing Henry's train?"
"Nonsense! I'm here to congratulate you!"
"Henry's safety valve had sprung a leak, and he only had enough steam to get onto that siding!" said the guard. "They were about to call in a replacement engine when you arrived, as if you knew about it!"
"I don't know how you knew he was in trouble, or why you decided to help a steam engine, but you managed to get these trucks here on time. You're a really useful engine, Diesel 10!"
"Wh...Bu...I..." Diesel 10 stammered. "I...I need to go..."
"That's OK, Oliver will shunt the trucks from here." said the Fat Controller. So they uncoupled the train, and Diesel 10 left, leaving Oliver to take the trucks to the loading ramps and sidings.
Diesel 10 rattled down the line, very angry with himself.
"This day's been one giant mess after another! First the schoolchildren, then Percy, next Harvey, and now Henry and the Fat Controller! What next? I bump into Thomas, and loosen up a bunch of soot that was blocking his funnel? Why am I so bad at being bad?"
Then there was trouble. Diesel 10 got so angry, he didn't look where he was going: straight onto the bridge that he had ripped up the night before!
Before he knew what had happened, Diesel 10 went off the rails! Quick as he could, he swung his claw around, and grasped one of the bridge supports!
Diesel 10 dangled off the side of the bridge, almost about to fall into the ravine. His claw, and the support it had grabbed, were both straining under his weight!
"HELP!" Diesel 10 shouted; he didn't want to fall off the bridge and into the ravine. Unknown to him, however, he had been heard!
One of the schoolboys he met last night was riding his bicycle close by at that very moment. As soon as he heard Diesel 10, he looked, and said: "Oh no! Diesel 10's in trouble! I need to go help him!"
He ran off to the nearest building. It just happened to be a signal house, so he told the signalman that Diesel 10 was about to fall off the bridge!
The signalman telephoned The Fat Controller, who immediately came up with a plan.
Minutes later, The Fat Controller arrived with Percy and Harvey. Percy backed up behind Diesel 10, while Harvey got on the side. Chains were attached between the engines, and when The Fat Controller said: "One, two, three, HEAVE!" Percy pulled on Diesel 10's back, while Harvey's crane arm lifted Diesel 10's front.
Between the two engines, and the push from Diesel 10's claw, he was soon back on the rails.
"No need to thank us, we were just glad to help." said Percy.
"Well you helped us steamies out when we needed it...One would think it would be best to return the favor!" said Harvey.
Diesel 10 sighed. "But...I wasn't trying to be nice! I was trying to be mean and mischievous! The Terror of the Railway!"
The Engines were surprised, but Diesel 10 continued: "I'd been feeling down lately, and thought if I could relive my old villainous days, I might be my old cheerful self again!"
Then the Fat Controller laughed: "Well then you should be glad we misinterpreted your attempts at being a nuisance! Otherwise, one of us here might have said: 'Let Diesel 10 fall off the bridge, we don't want a troublemaker on the railway!'"
As Diesel 10 took in the Fat Controller's words, the schoolboy who called in the accident said: "Instead of making enemies, why not try making friends?"
"Um...I've...never really had friends before." Said Diesel 10 in realization. "I've had minions, but no real friends! I wonder...was it having friends that allowed you to smile so much, when not even work could get me smiling?"
"Perhaps!" exclaimed Harvey. "Might wanna try it. Tell you what, if you've got nothing else to do today, you could come help me out with some cleanup across the island!"
"Or," said Percy after seeing Diesel 10 wasn't so sure, "If you're still not comfortable around steamies, try hanging out with Mavis, Boco, or Salty! They're the friendliest diesels on the island, I'm sure they'd give you a chance!"
"Hmm...perhaps I'll give it a try."
And with that, Percy agreed to help Diesel 10 to the dieselworks, while Harvey would stay behind to fix the bridge.
But before he left, Diesel 10 said to himself: "You know, I guess it does pay to be a nice engine...Most of the time. Heh heh heh..."
He snickered. And everyone laughed with him; "Glad to see you're back to your old self!" laughed Harvey.
They're two they're four they're six they're eight
Shunting trucks and hauling freight
Red and green and brown and blue
They're the Really Useful Crew
All with different roles to play
'Round Tidmouth Sheds or far away
Down the hills and round the bends
Thomas and his friends!
How's that for a Diesel 10 episode idea? Did it keep him reasonably in character? Or is this 'Edward Strikes Out' levels of OOC?
I won't know unless you review!