Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Track Travels

The lag storm had left the air clear and bright; perfect for continuing on. The little Wind-Whittlesea Steam Dynamo was soon back under full steam and puffing away happily. As the boiler pressure slowly evened out I checked the ornithopter for damage, but thankfully Miss Tombola had built the little craft nice and sturdy and everything appeared in good order.

Taking to the air once more, I came upon two very modern looking stations in quick succession, but still no sign of rail transportation, or as was becoming usual on the Mainland, people.

A careful hand was required on the crafts controls as the blazing red lettering of privacy wards lurked at the edge of the track.

High up above to my left a more familiar looking balloon hung in the air, while ahead a wheelchair hung above the railway line from a cage. For what purpose, I cannot say…

Passing a spectacular tree house that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Tanglewood I came upon the buffers marking the end of the line and had to pull a sharp roll and turn to narrowly avoid a privacy barrier that had sprung up ahead of me.

From the rail map I knew the track must continue on not far ahead, but how to reach it was the question. I continued West, skirting the privacy field until I hit a raised road and a break in the field that let me continue Northwards.

As the burning bands of the fields vanished along the roadside to my right, I was able to turn back onto my original route just in time to catch the start of the next section of track.

A little way beyond the buffers I caught my first sight of a Mainland train. Although of a wonderfully streamlined and modern design this one appeared to have fallen afoul of some kind of problem as it hovered several feet in the air, it’s engines and wheels churning away at nothing. I landed and attempted to right it, hoping to put some of my days as a circus strongman to good use, but the engine would not budge.

I set off once again, hoping that the rest of the Mainland rail network had not been afflicted by a similar problem. Having come all this way it would be a shame not to be able to ride a Mainland train. Undaunted, I pressed on. If nothing else the rails still proved a good navigation aid.

Thankfully, I was not to be disappointed. There, pulling into the station ahead of me, was a seemingly fully functional Mainland train…

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