WARNING: This story contains strong emotions. Viewer discretion is advised.
|Jason's Lost Friend|
|Season 4, Episode 18|
|Air date||July 14th, 2015|
Cows and Whistles
The Wrong Sort of Coal
Edward was resting in Tidmouth Sheds one early sunrise, waiting to set out on his branch line. He looked over to see Donald and Douglas chatting. "Have you seen Jason lately?" asked Douglas. "'Fraid not laddie. Why do ya ask?" said Donald. "He's been seemingly more... depressed, I guess is the word." explained Douglas. "I wonder why that is. The lad's tougher than a brick wall at times." "I wouldn't just go and ask him, Donal'. That'd be a terrible idea. It could easily set him off" "I suppose ye're right. Still though... I wonder what's up." and Donald puffed away to work on the Little Western. Edward was surprised. "Douglas, is what you said true?" he asked worriedly. "I dinna like to think aboot it, but yes." sighed Douglas. "Where is he?" asked Edward. "He's currently in Knapford Sheds. All the engines that normally rest there have already left." "Then that's where I'll go. I don't have to go to my branch line for a while, anyhow." "Take care, lad!" called Douglas as Edward puffed away.
On the Main Line, Edward didn't see many engines about, except a few early risers. He whistled to each of them, but he couldn't keep his mind off his old friend. "I do hope he's not... taking it that badly." he worried. Soon, he arrived at Knapford Station. Molly was there, delivering some coal. "Hello Molly. Have you seen an apple-green tender engine pass through here?" Edward asked. "Umm... yes actually. He looked terribly sad. I wanted to help him but I had a delivery to make. Is he a friend of yours?" asked Molly. "Yes. Thanks for telling me." and Edward puffed away to the yard. In Knapford Yards, Edward puffed past shunters, who were shunting early trains. But he didn't pay any attention to them; he was too busy being concerned. Soon, he puffed to the shed. "Jason...? ...Jason?" Edward asked quietly, "It's me, Edward. You don't have to hide from me." Steam flooded the shed and slowly but surely, Jason puffed out of the shed. "Oh, thank goodness it's you... I... I really need someone to talk to." he said. "It's about... that... isn't it..." "Yes, Edward. I... just can't get over it." he said sadly. "It's alright, just get it out of your system. If you don't mind me asking... can you tell the full story? I don't know everything, and If I do, maybe I can help you." Jason sighed, and a small tear fell down to the ground. "If you say so, Edward... But... keep in mind this happened a long time ago." "I understand." said Edward. Jason looked down at his buffers, then up to the sky. "Where to begin... I suppose I should start with who he was..."
Jason's best friend was named Robert. Robert was the same class as Jason, but he was completed later than Jason. Jason puffed into the shed, to find the new engine was already there. "Hello there. I'm Robert!" "And I'm Jason. Nice to meet you." The two engines quickly hit it off. By the afternoon, Robert and Jason were happily shunting trucks together; they found it fun to bump them. Despite the trucks' protests, Jason and Robert just laughed. "Isn't this great fun?" asked Robert. "Indeed." laughed Jason, "It's so much fun to hear them shriek!" "That's not funny." fumed the trucks. Over the next few days, Jason and Robert grew a strong bond, and they soon learned a lot about each other. One day. the two were approached in the shed. "Did we do something wrong?" asked Robert worriedly. "Nonsense. I'm sure we're just being asked to do something." whispered Jason. The manager of their railway walked up to them. "Jason, Robert, I'd like you two to pull a special double-header on our line tomorrow... if it's not any trouble." "Told you," chuckled Jason, "We'd be happy to, sir." "I agree." puffed Robert. "Excellent." and the manager went away to make arrangements. The next day, the two, with Jason in front and Robert behind, were coupled up to a long series of coaches. "Are you sure we can pull all of that?" asked Jason. "I'm sure of it." scoffed Robert, "You worry too much." "I worry for good reason." snorted Jason as the two took off. The journey was a splendid one; lighthouses flew by and the landscape was gorgeous, with green fields, pretty flowers, and birds that flew all around. "Isn't this the life, dear friend?" asked Robert. "I'd say so." grinned Jason. Soon, the two engines puffed into the last station. "Jason, can I ask you something?" Robert asked as the passengers cheerfully unboarded the coaches. "Oh, of course, Robert." "Jason, you... are my friend, right?" asked Robert. "Why, of course! Why do you ask?" said Jason. "Well... can we be best friends?" Jason thought for a moment. "I'd like that; that's an excellent idea." he grinned. Robert grinned too.
Jason sighed. "Those days were back in England... But then Robert and I went to Sodor." "I remember," said Edward thoughtfully, "It was way back..." "Yes. I remember when Robert and I were first bought by the Fat Controller. I was just shunting, while Robert was taking a passenger train when our manager told us to head to the shed."
"I called you two here today for an offer." said the manager. "An offer, sir?" asked Robert worriedly. "Yes, Robert, from the Isle of Sodor." "The Isle of Sodor?" questioned Robert. "It's an island off the coast of here," the manager explained, "The offer is for you two to work on that island. It has been requested by Sir Topham Hatt." Robert and Jason looked to each other worriedly. "But shouldn't you decide?" asked Jason. The manager sighed. "That's why I'm here; I'd like your opinions on the matter. I want to help him, but still, you two are good friends of mine." Robert gulped, while Jason remained a bit calmer. "Sir, we will do what you think is right. We're getting less work here anyway." said Jason. The manager's face lit up slightly. "I know; that's part of the reason I think it'd be best if you go there. There are other steam engines there, while here you'll eventually be scrapped." Robert was about to cut in when Jason spoke first. "Excellent, sir. I think it'd be best if we go to Sodor. It was wonderful knowing you, but... I just think it's for the best." Jason replied. The manager nodded and walked away to make the arrangements. Robert was furious. "I don't want to leave here, Jason! You know I don't!" he cried. "I didn't know actually; you should've spoken up." And Jason crossly steamed away. Robert's eyes turned to slits.
The next day, Jason and Robert were at the railway's dockyard. The manager was there, as well as a few of the other engines. Robert was feeling particularly unhappy. "Do I have to leave sir?" Robert pleaded to the manager. The manager smiled sadly. "Sorry Robert; there's no turning back now." Robert felt like bursting into tears. "Why?! Why do I have to leave?!" wailed Robert as the dockyard crane started lifting Jason into the air. "Sir Topham Hatt's already purchased you... Sorry, Robert; plus Jason's your best friend .You wouldn't want to be apart, would you?" asked the manager. Robert scowled. "If he makes a selfish decision like that, then yes." Jason's jaw dropped as the crane put him down onto the ship. "Robert... I-I thought we were friends." Jason cried. "Friends my tender!" Robert burst out, "You're making me leave my home, my friends, and my controller!" The manager sighed. "Robert, please-" "No!" was all Robert said as the crane started to lift him up into the air. He regained composure and looked down at all his friends. "I'm... sorry, everyone. Goodbye; I'll never forget you." The engines smiled and whistled. But before Robert could say anything else, he was put onto the ship, next to Jason. Robert looked away, not wanting to make eye contact.
Jason looked down at his buffers as a small tear fell onto his right buffer. Edward puffed up next to him. "That was the argument, wasn't it?" he asked sadly. "Yes," Jason said, "I never told anyone; not even the ones who rescued me." "Why?" asked Edward worriedly. "Because nobody else should know." Jason glared darkly. He then realized who he was talking to. "I'm so sorry dear friend. It's just-" "-the pain." the blue engine said, "I understand. What happened on the ship?" "Just a bunch of arguing, the more I think about it." Jason muttered, "When we arrived on Sodor, the engines that were there gave us a huge welcome... Which wasn't very much." "I think only I and a couple of Coffee Pots were able to visit." chuckled Edward.
The Fat Director smiled from ear to ear as he walked up to the two new arrivals. "Ah, glad you two could make it here. I'm Sir Topham Hatt. This here is Edward, and those two engines are a couple of 'Coffee Pots'. Or at least, that's their nicknames." "Pleasure to meet you." said Edward. "I'm Glynn," said one of the Coffee Pots, "I'm the current number one engine. Of course, I don't brag about things like... someone does." "Ey, I like being here. What can I say?" laughed another Coffee Pot, '"I'm Andrew, by the way." Robert snorted and puffed away. "What's his problem?" asked Andrew. "He's just a bit homesick I guess." said Jason quickly, "I'm going to go follow him, if you don't mind, sir." and Jason puffed away. The Fat Director was confused, but Jason was already gone. "What was all that about?" asked Glynn. "I'm not sure," muttered Edward, "But I think they'll settle in soon."
In the sheds, Robert was angrily talking to himself. "My past is gone all thanks to that traitor! Why?! Why did he have to do this?!" "Robert?" asked a voice angrily, "You were very rude to our new friends." Robert scowled as Jason puffed alongside. "Oh, of course you'd say that, wouldn't you!? They're no friends of mine, and neither are you!" "Robert, listen here; just let go. I loved England as much as-" "Then why did you leave it along with me, who you selfishly dragged into this, huh!?" Robert interrupted. Jason was furious now. "We have to face the facts, Robert! We could've either been scrapped or we could've been brought here! Take your pick!" Jason said. "I'd rather be scrapped on my home railway than brought to this island with you of all engines." Robert fumed. "What did I have to do with this?!" "You know exactly what you did;" scowled Robert, "You interrupted me before I could say anything. It's not all fine and dandy like you think it is, Jason! You're no best friend! A best friend wouldn't act on their own urges!" Jason was stunned. "...not best friends anymore, eh? Fine; if that's the way you want to do play this 'game' of yours, then you're not my friend either." he said quietly, yet firmly, "I hope you see the error of your ways before it's too late." And Jason huffed away back to the other engines. "...who needs 'im... I can go on my own... Go back to my railway... Somehow." Robert thought.
Robert and Jason worked hard on the North Western Railway, but Jason felt more at home than Robert was. Robert always slept in a goods shed while Jason slept with the others at Vicarstown. He even got to know Andrew and Glynn better. "I do hope you're enjoying your stay here," said Glynn kindly. "Oh, I am indeed. It's just my... acquaintance that's holding me back." "Acquaintance? You mean that other engine, Robert?" Andrew asked. Jason sighed. "Yes; he used to be my best friend, but we've gone down the slope of distrust." "Don't give up hope yet," chuffed Glynn cheerily, "Maybe you can sort things out." "I'm afraid the scars are too deep for that," said Jason. "Well, either way, you are welcome here, Jason." said Andrew. "Thanks," grinned Jason. The two pulls passengers and goods without fuss, and Jason soon made friends with the railway's number three, Henry, and number four, Gordon. But neither Jason or Robert even dared to look at each other.
That night, the Fat Director was finishing up plans to expand the Main Line with a new number five, since the work was getting to be a bit heavy. "Hmm, yes. That engine sounds like a nice one." he said to himself as he pointed out a picture of an engine. Suddenly his phone rang. The Fat Director picked it up. "What is it?" he asked into the phone, "Is that you? The Other Railway? Oh, what a pleasure to hear from you. What's that? You need an engine to loan? Oh, I think I can do that... I'll send Robert over, one of my new engines. I can spare him for about a week. That'll do? Oh, wonderful! Cheers!" and the Fat Director hung up. "Now, back to my plans..." The Fat Director wrote down the schedule for the next day. Morning soon came, and the Fat Director drove directly to the goods shed. "Robert, the Other Railway needs you right away. Take the Vicarstown Bridge to the Mainland, if you don't mind." he said. Robert was overjoyed; not only would he able to leave Jason for a while, but he'd get to go back to his home country. "Thank you, sir!" Robert puffed with glee and he set off at once. "Heh heh... enthusiastic when he wants to be." chuckled the Fat Director.
Jason sighed sadly again as more tears dropped down to the ground. Edward puffed closer to Jason. "Jason, it wasn't your fault, just like I said long again.. It was the cruel people of the Other Railway at the time. Or, at least, some people...." said Edward. "I may know that Edward, but that doesn't excuse what I did. I should've considered his feelings... I should've never said he wasn't my best friend at the time... Why... Why did they have to take him, Edward?" asked Jason. Edward wasn't sure how to answer. Jason didn't wait for one. "I remember when we got the news... Everyone was there..."
The Fat Director walked sadly over to the platform of Vicarstown, where all of his engines were waiting. "I wonder what's happened," whispered Andrew. "Hopefully it's nothing too bad," agreed Henry. The Fat Director cleared his throat. "Engines, it is my responsibility to regretfully inform you that one of our engines is no longer with us." "Who?" asked Gordon quietly. "It was... Robert. Those scammers on the Other Railway! B-but there's nothing we can do now... I'm so sorry this had to happen." apologized the Fat Director. "No sir; there's nothing to apologize for!" retorted Glynn, "The best we can do is mourn." "Indeed," sighed Edward, "It will be quite... painful though." "I-I can't believe it." wailed Henry, "He was a good engine." "That's right, dear Henry... Why did they have to be such cruel people?" agreed Gordon. Jason was the only engine who didn't say anything at all. All he did was look up at the sky. "What have I done?!" he whispered as tears welled up in his eyes. Edward overheard Jason. "Jason, it wasn't your fault." "No Edward, it is. If I wasn't so selfish, none of this would've happened." Jason weeped. "Jason... Whether Robert was happy or not, the Other Railway still would've taken him. Just... Just be grateful that you knew him in the first place. Remember the good times you two had..." Jason sighed. "I-I just need some time." he said, and he puffed away, leaving a trail of tears along the rails.
"Y-you know the rest from there, Edward. I was boarded up to prevent being scrapped after working on a branch line and was eventually found again. B-but I should've been there for him... I should've been a better best friend." "Jason, I said this before when we first heard the news, and I will say it again; it wasn't your fault." Edward persisted. "Maybe so, but... I still should've made up to him..." "...maybe he can hear you." "Huh?" asked Jason. "Perhaps... maybe he'll hear you if you apologize." Edward suggested quietly. Jason took a big puff and looked out into the sky. The sun was up, and birds were flying across the sky. "If you think it'd be best, Edward." Jason sighed and puffed out of the shed, then began. "Robert.... Please... If you can somehow hear me, please.... forgive me. Forgive me for my selfishness, forgive me for my ignorance, and forgive me for not being a good best friend... I'm sorry this all happened... I hope.... I hope you're doing alright, along with any other scrapped engine. Just... remember Robert... You're my best friend... You'll always will be." Jason's voice started to break as tears flowed down his cheeks. Edward winced and puffed alongside. "That was a fine speech, my friend." he whispered. Jason looked over and sniffed. "Thank you Edward... That... did help a little bit." "I can tell the Fat Controller you're not fit to work today," Edward said, "That'll give you some more time to... mourn." Jason smiled slightly. "That would be nice." Jason agreed. Edward whistled and puffed off to Knapford. Jason looked up at the sky again. He wasn't sure if he was hearing things, but he swore he heard Robert's loud whistle somewhere up in the sky. "I meant what I said, Robert... I'll miss you... You'll always be my best friend." Jason said, this time, smiling sadly.
- Donald and Douglas
- Henry (flashback)
- Gordon (flashback)
- Glynn (flashback)
- Robert (flashback)
- Andrew (flashback)
- The Fat Controller (flashback)
- Charlie (cameo)
- Samson (cameo)