Engines in Sidings: Diesel in the Dark

Diesel didn’t much like working in the shunting yard these days. Half the sidings had sad steam engines sitting idle in them. They made him uncomfortable with their long faces and longing looks. When he rolled by to arrange his trucks, they would try to talk to him and ask about the goings on at the station.

“I can’t sit around here with you,” he’d say snidely. “I have work to do.”

He did have work to do, but he also didn’t want any other diesels to see him talking to the steam engines. The diesels were quite proud of how well they were replacing steam. When they worked in the Yard, most of them would leer and jeer and honk their horns at the steam engines. Steam, they said, was going to be abolished soon. Diesel didn’t know what “abolished” meant exactly, but he could guess that the steam engines would all be scrapped because of it.

One night, he was putting some trucks in order for the next day when he heard something along the track out of the Yard. (more…)

Once, and Then, No More

2903 wasn’t sure what possessed him to accompany U-505 up to the roof. On any other night, he would have suspected a trick or trap of some sort. Not that he thought U-505 would actually do anything to him – no one wanted to make trouble for the museum – but there was no reason why U-505 should want to invite him to the roof and it would be foolish not to be wary around an enemy.

He didn’t think U-505 would have asked on any other night though.

Today had been one of U-505’s reunions. Crewmen from the American ships who had captured him would get together and visit him about once every ten years. These events had always been a matter of malcontent for U-505 and he’d be more terse and cutting than usual in the days leading up to them. 2903 had to admit though that U-505 remained professional and would be a good, albeit stoic, sport while their veteran seamen were there. It helped that Pioneer and 999 would turn on their practiced charm and run interference whenever the men would say something tactless or to divert the topic when U-505 chanced to ask what news there was of the ships who had captured him. The ships never attended these parties and he’d stopped asking after them two reunions ago. When the men would leave, U-505 would wait out the rest of the day’s work, then make himself scarce to brood about having to play nice with Admiral Gallery and his rapidly aging crewmen.

This reunion, however, was the first time U-505’s own crew had attended as well.