Their didn't appear to be very much on the newspaper in terms of events today. Just a few minor things here and there pertaining some new things coming out. Queen City Museum was opening up a new exhibit, Keystone pipeline was Vetoed, JFK international in New York was going through some updates and changes, a few things about ISIS. Bah, that didn't concern him anymore, it's not like the Pentagon was knocking at his door anymore; in fact the world thinks of him to be virtually nonexistent now. Not that it really made much of a difference to him. After all, he was virtually a nobody now, which is how liked it; no press, no phone calls at three in the morning, no dealing with the brass upstairs about some bullshit pertaining to what happened back in the 1950s. It was very peaceful for once. However the keyword here would be WAS.
The 5:35pm from Mabitou Plaza was en route to the Queen City transit station at the downtown district just south of the Museum; it was the end of the day for him at the power plant and he was aiming to return to his home and relax for a few. they were scheduled to arrive at approximately 5:57 on the nose before departing again at 6:00 pm. Some would drive others would take the bus, or carpool. He preferred the public train. Safer, efficient, and comfortable. It gave him some time to catch up on his reading. Unfortunately that was short lived since things on the train were about to change.
Flipping through the pages of his paper, he heard something going above them; as if someone was working on the roof or to say the least was running around on the top of the passenger car. He heard a few thuds and grunts while whatever was going on above ensued. Normally, he would take a peek, but he just ignored it. It was none of his business after all. He hasn't been involved with the heroics since about two or three years ago. Why should he? It's not like the city has enough heroes protecting it. Besides, he likes living a normal life. Sure, he was alone but that doesn't mean that he could continue living. It's what Helen would have wanted him to do. Although he did notice that the train was picking up in speed. Plus the conductor was not doing his rounds. Concerned, he sighed to himself after the noise stopped over his head. He got up to find the rest room. These cars did have one. But the nearest one was to the front by the engine. Which is where he was heading to.
Upon passing a few passengers, he finally enters the rest room and uses it for a second. His hearing, which was somewhat sensitive; thanks to his training as a soldier and the Nuclear Testing in the 1950s following the McCarthy Period, picked up on a conversation going on at the engine side.
"Did we get them all?" one voice asked.
"I think so. The passengers are safe. I got them all together and locked away in the box car towards the back" a second one answered. "The Engineer is also being patched up in the next car.
"Uhnnn. . . guys, I think wee might have another problem." A third voice grunted. He could hear the squealing coming from the outside like someone was trying to apply the brakes to the massive beast. "I can't tame this massive beast. It's not responding."
"The brakes aren't working?!"
"Nnngh! It's going. . . too fast!" The first voice perked up. "Keep applying the brakes. I'm going to try and slow it down from the outside."
"I'm right behind you!" the second voice concluded. He groaned a bit at this. Wonderful. . . Three of the guardians for this city was attempting to save the day and all of a sudden the train was now a runaway and they couldn't stop it. Their was three of them. All female from what he could tell. But he didn't really identify them since he didn't know them. At least he didn't think so. He tried to ignore it though. Washing his hands after using the facilities and returning to his seat in the main car.
Picking up his paper to resume reading, their was a constant nagging in the back of his brain about it. He should at least try to help them somehow. No, he doesn't do that sort of thing anymore. He hasn't done heroics in a while. They have it under control. Thats what he thought until he felt a sudden jump as the train kicked in faster. He tried openeing his car window for some air to keep himself from responding. Again his hearing could pick up the conversation:
"It's going too fast! I can't slow it down!"
"Keep pushing! The passengers are counting on us."
"We need more brakes!"
"Nnngh! I'm TRYING!!!"
Suddenly the train picked up speed as if the brakes were getting knocked back.
"It's going too fast!"
"We're almost to the city!"
He closed the window again trying to ignore the call. Resuming his paper reading. The nagging in his brain getting worse. Looking around, he could see a few passengers concerned about what's going on. To his right their was a mother and an eight year old with her. Their was also an elderly couple seeming concerned as well in the far side of the car. Groaning, he finally caved in to the nagging. "God dammit. . ." he muttered under his breath sighing as he set his paper down folding it neatly and placing it on his seat. He walked to the back of the car heading to the end train.
On his way through he could see the concerns from the other passengers. Maintaining his cool, he kept moving along not paying attention to the passengers who seemed to be watching him. Possibly thinking he was heading to the back towards the central point. He was sort of. Until he reached passed the car and opened the door leading outside. Looking around making sure no one could see him, he could tell how fast the train was going based on how quick the telephone poles raced by him. He grabbed ahold of the ladder attached to the side of the car hoisting himself up to the top of the cars. For a second he had a flashback to his early days in World War II when he tried to take out a train in control of the Third Reich. Moving towards the back, he looked around for a second trying to find something to use to help with what he was doing. A thick chunk of steel would work well if he had one. He finally decided to dig into one of the cars and grab a thick piece of steel. Bending it a few times, he moves to the end train and attached the makeshift brake attached to his feet taking a deep breath. "Here goes. . ." He said as he finally grabs ahold of the end car.
With his feet planting against the rails, Sparks started to fly as he slowly moved to reach for the framing of the train itself. Upon gripping it firmly, he applied pressure to his makeshift brakes. Letting the piece of metal dig into the rail for extra friction. Pressing hard against the piece of metal at his feet. This was how he stopped trains in the past with help from others. It was extra friction to add momentum reduction. Simple laws of physics. Plus with the three up front trying to stop the train, it should show some progress. Sure enough, it did show. He looked over to the sides watching the poles counting the seconds in his head between poles; gritting his teeth trying to add friction to the massive runaway beast. The seconds increased to minutes, slowly the time each pole passed by increased in seconds. Finally, the train came to a screeching halt. A soft hiss could be heard as the engine itself rested. He lets out a soft sigh in relief taking a second to smile at the results. It's been a while, but he hasn't forgotten the feeling that comes with saving the day like this. It almost tempted him to get back into it. Almost.
His moment of glory was interrupted by a light in the sky. Looking over, he could see a news helicopter flying towards them and the three voices were heard in the distance about checking on the passengers. He slipped out of his makeshift brake and found his way back inside the car. Not wanting to raise suspicion, he hid in the restroom for a second waiting for the heroes to pass that was inside the car. When it was clear, he calmly returned to his seat picking up his paper and resumed reading it. Despite the fact he left behind a piece of evidence that the three had help, no one would suspect he was actually aboard the train with the rest of the passengers. Still, with the press and the authorities there, he would wait until the green light was given and someone resumed taking the train to the downtown station so he can collect his things and head home. Of course for those whom knew their history, would be very familiar with the clue that he left behind at the End Train. He was the only hero in history that pulled off stopping trains using a makeshift brake of his own.