He would do whatever he had to, to escape the Steelworks and return home. He looked intently at the main gate…then to Frankie and Hurricane's shed. It seemed like he'd have a chance. Then a low thunderclap sounded overhead and Thomas could see the moon being covered by the coming storm. Frankie and Hurricane were still asleep. Then Thomas made his move.
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He huffed quietly outside his shed and slowly towards the gate. He stopped suddenly when he saw a small deer outside the gates, but a flash of lightning scared it off. Frankie and Hurricane stirred somewhat, but didn't wake up. Thomas resumed his movement until he was at the gate. He very carefully pressed his front against the gate, but it still wouldn't open. The latch was still secure. This made Thomas even angrier…but he suddenly remembered…maybe all those heavy loads he was slaved to do would come in handy. Sometime later, Thomas had gathered three large flatbeds with steel pipes and proceeded towards the gates.
He banged the flatbeds hard against the gate…and the noise woke up Hurricane. She and Hurricane came gliding out towards Thomas. But Thomas was too determined and angry to listen. He charged even faster towards the gate, and as he hoped, the gates broke open and he was out at last, but closely followed by Frankie and Hurricane as the rain came down.
The flatbeds took off down one line and Thomas tore down the other line. He looked back and could hear the whistled behind him.
They're after me! Eventually, Thomas saw a switch and a siding up ahead. He stopped as soon as he could while his driver prepared to turn the points. He could still hear the two engines on the line, looking for him. Thomas thought it best to stay quiet…but not before he heard another new voice. I love hiding! It sounded very kind and optimistic.
And stealth engines are designed in a special way to make them invisible. Close your eyes," said the voice. Hurricane and Frankie had doubled back and were now looking more carefully. Thomas shut his eyes and dared not make a sound. Soon enough, Frankie and Hurricane had moved on and Thomas was safe. You're safe," said Merlin.
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You're with the best hider ever. All you have to do is close your eyes and keep very still and nobody will be able to see you. That was enough for Thomas to feel safe again. He closed his eyes and for the first time since he left Sodor, he slept peacefully and untroubled. He may have not been back on Sodor yet, but Merlin's guidance and wisdom was something he could count on at least until the morning. The next morning at the Steelworks, Frankie and Hurricane woke up again in their shed.
Frankie was not pleased with Thomas' escape. Hurricane was unhappy too…but he still had his proposal in mind. Why don't we look for an engine in Bridlington to replace him and move on?
If we want someone to help us, that's our best chance. Meanwhile, after Thomas had awoken to find that Merlin was gone, James had already arrived at Bridlington Goods Yards in an attempt to find any trace of Thomas. He called for him a few times, and suddenly ran into a familiar engine.
It was one of the Shunting Diesels from the Great Railway Show, and he did not look too amused by James' awkward smile.
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You can't expect me to remember every blue tank engine. The diesel saw another one of his kind to the far left. We've got a lot of engines coming and going. Bridlington is a very busy goods yard. Thank you anyway," called James.
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But then something else got his attention. It was a certain line of trucks. No sense of direction! Don't be silly.
Thomas got completely lost. An engine called Hurricane brought us here! James was not interested. One more question. Do you know a big Steelworks where an engine named Hurricane may be working? James was still following the diesel, when he suddenly bumped into another engine. He looked up and…. Thomas, meanwhile stumbled back upon where he first met Theo and Lexi. They were excited to see him again, asking him how his trip to the mainland went and if he made it to Bridlington…but that made Thomas feel depressed again.
Although he was safe from the Steelworks, he had made so many mistakes. He failed to deliver his trucks properly, he fell into a trap of confinement and wanted to go home to Sodor…but he still had no way of knowing how. He felt like he was a useless engine who did everything wrong…mainly because of how he failed to consider Emily or her feelings.
In his moment of depression he felt as though he should be scrapped. But Lexi and Theo had no intention of letting him wallow in grief. They suddenly burst into song. They sung of how everyone makes mistakes at some point. It turned out that the reason Theo and Lexi looked so unusual was because they were built with great excitement and haste. As such, they were unusual and unique, with too many or too few funnels, cogs or gears. They sang that they were so unusual, they could not do anything.
But their song was interrupted by a familiar voice Thomas heard. And then Merlin appeared for the first time. He was a magnificent engine with three funnels and silver-like, almost reflective paintwork. He called for invisibility and let off a huge cloud of steam. When the steam cleared, Thomas could still see him, singing to himself before he let off steam again…and was on a different track after that.
To Thomas' surprise, he was right beside him. After a while more of singing, all three experimental engines settled down and let Thomas talk again. We'll do everything we can to help you, Thomas. Just tell us what the problem is…" said Merlin.
Thank you! I need to go home to the island of Sodor, but I I don't know which way to go. I'm terribly sorry. We don't know anything about any place other than here," added Lexi. Thanks all of you. But I'll be alright.
I'll find my way home…somehow. Good luck," said Theo and Lexi. Merlin looked on and thought for a moment…then set off himself. Thomas headed back along the branch line again, trying to remember the route he had taken before. This looks familiar.
I think I recognize this place.