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Edition 19: Final Journey by Stephen C. Ormsby

flag Ausralia

A last trip, the last time as nGeneer, the last of a bond with the metal behemoth. When one is relegated, removed from a position of usefulness, how do they survive? A finalist in the 2014 Story Quest competition.  SY


I am a part of this train, and the train is a part of me: I am nGeneer. This steel behemoth is not just connected to me; it is part of my DNA.

My forefathers were engineers and ran the trains, but then scientists decoded the human genome and built the technology to create unfathomable cross bred machinery. At an early age, I showed the same aptitude as my father and grandfather, and my body became this joined beast of metal and skin, an nClass 21 diesel locomotive transporter unit.

It nourishes me and I guide it, and together we travel across the Australian landscape, supplying fuels and foodstuffs to the major cities. Merged, we separate only out of courtesy for the workers who have not grown accustomed to this interbreeding.

My smooth metallic panelling warms in the early morning sun, as the passengers board and shuffle for seats. Energy builds as my diesel engine heats, until I have the strength of a dozen machines. The hills will challenge my wheels and my axle yet again, but this will be the last time.

My final journey will begin in a matter of mere minutes.

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