Steamie was pink with pride at being
made Head of the Yard; everyone else, not so much. He had already pissed off
most of the engines on his previous visits, and soon made enemies of BoZo and
Cromwell. Private Parts the Mad Military Helicopter felt a great surge of
resentment towards him too.
"Take care to watch that
one!" he advised anyone who would listen (and they didn't). "He's
sure to let all the hippies in while the oily bloke is away, what!"
Steamie was very cruel with the trucks
and coaches, belting off-key songs about friendship and hugs all day long until
their little brains melted into porridge. Pip and Emma were distressed.
"Such awful noise!" they told
each other as their coaches babbled incoherently. "It's a nightmare just
trying to have an intelligent conversation! Even an unintelligent one’s too
much for them!"
But Steamie didn't care. Whenever he
was approached about his methods, he'd simply smile sweetly and say:
"Well, they have been so very much
trouble for you recently, haven't they? I'm only trying to keep them all in
order for you until Diesel got back. I've done that at least, haven't I?"
At which point, the other engines would
mutter grudgingly about how much less horrid the coaches and trucks had become
and slink off back to their jobs.
A few weeks and lots of duct tape
later, Diesel came back from the Works. When the coaches and trucks told him
how horrid Steamie had been to them, Diesel was so confused that he forgot to
laugh at their suffering.
"It certainly sounds as if
Steamie's the same old psycho he's always been," he thought to himself,
"but then why keep sucking up to me all those weeks ago, and why save my
life at the fuelling depot? Was it all to get my job as Head of the Yard - or
has he really changed?"
He was so busy thinking that he'd
forgotten he had stopped in the middle of a level crossing. The morning
commuters honked their horns and swore loudly, and didn't stop pelting Diesel
with their boiling hot coffee cups until the Driver released his brakes and got
the hell out of Dodge.
You see, the Works had left Diesel's
handbrake very stiff, mainly because they had forgotten where it actually went
and stuffed it back in wherever they could find room. It made his brakes very
hard to unlock and tighter than the Thin Git's wallet during Happy Hour.
As a result, Diesel and his trains
often got stuck at crossings, sidings and platforms. Diesel found this most
relaxing, as it meant he didn't actually have to do his jobs, but gradually his
Driver learned to be extra careful and kept his lazy lump of an engine rolling
with little delays.
One day, however, Diesel's Driver was
ill after twenty-eight tequila shots too many at a friend's stag night and a
minimum wage Temp had to take his place. At the junction near the airfield, he
made Diesel round up all the trucks Arry and Bert couldn't be bothered to shunt
that morning and arrange them into one long line. Steamie was due in with the
Sh*t Train soon and the line had to be cleared for him pronto.
The Temp had coupled Diesel to the last
of the trucks and joined the Guard and Station Master on the platform for a
quick f*g before they left. The Temp knew nothing about Diesel's handbrake and
so smoked away without care, while the shunter simmered unhappily beside him.
"Not long now!" he called, as
he saw Steamie slowly and noisily approaching. "Come on, move your
The Driver finally scrambled back into
the cab and prepared to move out, but Diesel's brakes were still hard-on (No
laughing at the back, there!) and suddenly he felt his wheels lock completely.
He tried to start on his own, but he
couldn't with his Driver frantically yanking every lever and twisting every
knob (Hey, I said no laughing!). He tried to toot a warning, but he couldn't do
that either - the Works didn't have a new horn handy, so they simply stuck a
bicycle bell on him in the meantime.
Diesel, the Driver and the trucks were
all stranded on the platform.
"START! START!" shrieked
Steamie in the distance, "I CAN'T STOP AT THIS SPEED!"
He whistled and shouted as loud as he
could, but Diesel, with plenty of grip, kept right where he was.
All of a sudden, a boisterous bellow
went out down the line.
"SHIFT, YOU LAYABOUT!"
There, ready for action, was Private
Parts. The crazy chopper had heard what was happening from his nearby hanger
and spluttered awkwardly into the sky.
About time too, as Diesel was getting
"I need to move! I need to
move!" he wailed pathetically. "Don't let me die now, God! I have a
loving Driver and so many friends! Kill them instead!"
As Steamie neared the station, Diesel
saw Private Parts swoop overhead. The helicopter dived down low enough for his
winch and hook to fly straight into Diesel's cab and skewer his controls.
Without stopping to think, he soared into the air and hoisted the screaming
shunter high into the air, his trucks squealing in horror behind him.
At last, Steamie thundered through the
junction, screeching to a halt as Diesel and the trucks crashed down in a
nearby field. Both engines were very relieved; then they thanked Private Parts.
"Think nothing of it!"
whirled the Private. "I just didn't want you hippies spraying sh*t all
over my airfield! Besides, if that annoying green one hadn't been screaming and
whistling his head off at me about you being in trouble, I'd have slept right
through the whole thing! What if you had been Communists, or Mongolians, or a
hideous race of worm-people? That would never do!"
Diesel ignored Private Parts' insane
ramblings and gazed in awe at Steamie. He couldn't believe it. His old enemy
had saved his life not once, but twice - and of his own free will, to boot!
For the first time in his little,
black-hearted life, Diesel the Diesel Engine actually respected a steam engine.
"Phew!" remarked Steamie.
"That's twice I've nearly killed you since I got here! We must never let
this happen again, Diesel, old chum!"
Wearily, Diesel agreed with him and the
two engines laughed long and loud until well after the credits had finished
TO BE CONTINUED...