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Thomas the Tank Engine Tales - Ep. 24 (Season 1)

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Alex Gets Creative

Written by holmesman

Introduces Ludwig the Helicopter Engine and Professor Gizmo





Alex is a big, orange tank engine that normally handles goods trains at Knapford, so Gordon doesn’t have to, but he also does some passenger services every now and then, making him a mixed-traffic engine.

When Alex first arrived on Sodor, he helped Donald and Douglas play a trick on Thomas; they wanted him to pretend that he was Percy, seeing that Percy and Alex had a similar shape. Of course, Thomas fell for the trick, but Alex was happy to help because he thought Donald and Douglas came up with a very creative plan, and he got to be Thomas’ friend for the day, too.

However, the thing most engines should know about Alex other than his willingness to be friends with everyone, is that he loves creativity very much and strives to come up with creative, new ideas.

One day, Alex was at the Sodor Search and Rescue Center. He had just helped rescue Sam the Virginian Engine, who had gotten into a nasty accident. Because Sam was so big, Alex had to use Rocky, Jerome AND Judy to help get him and his tender back on the rails. “Boy, Rocky. That sure was some rescue we did.” Alex sighed. “It was a tough one.” “Nothing we ‘Crew-Up Cranes’ can’t fix, right Jerome and Judy?” Rocky laughed. “Right you are, Rocky!” Jerome and Judy said together. Just then, Alex saw Harold the Helicopter fly over the rescue center with some news. “Molly has crashed into the back of an engine shed! We need the cranes to get him out, Alex!” he exclaimed. “I can’t! I have to go back to Knapford and handle goods!” “I’ll go!” Belle ding-a-linged. “I’ll put out any fires if there any!” Jerome and Judy knew this was the job for them. “It’s time to “crew up”, you two!” Rocky whistled to Jerome and Judy.

Belle took Jerome and Judy to where Molly had her accident. As for Alex, he saw Harold fly somewhere else. He was intrigued by the fact that Harold was a helicopter, and wanted to know what it would be like to fly himself. “Y’know, Flynn… there ought to be an engine that can fly like Harold, instead of always be on the rails.” he said to Flynn. “There is.” Flynn explained. “His name is Ludwig. He’s a flying steam locomotive, created by the world-famous Italian ‘locomotologist’ Professor Gizmo. You should meet him sometime.” Alex thought Professor Gizmo came up with a very creative idea, seeing that he liked being creative himself. “I’ll think about it.” he said as he went to Knapford.

Alex’s goods train was waiting for him near platform 2. Gordon was very relieved not to always pull goods trains, so he can concentrate on the express. “Y'know, Alex.... A proper express engine like me should NEVER have to do the jobs YOU do.” he boomed. Then, as Gordon started to depart, he heard a painful cramping noise. “Oh! My… boiler! It hurts!” he groaned. He wasn’t playing a trick on Alex like he did with Bill and Ben; he really WAS in trouble this time.

Alex took Gordon to the Steamworks. “Oh, dear, my friend. You have twisted your tubes.” said Victor. “We need to get them straightened back to the way they’re supposed to be, or steam won’t travel through to your pistons.” Alex felt sad. That meant Gordon won’t be able to pull the express. He knew he had to do it as well as his own work. “Don’t worry, Victor. I’m a mixed traffic engine.” said Alex. “Really?” asked Victor. “Yeah… I am. I prefer goods trains over passengers, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do it.” Alex answered.

Alex had to put his goods train aside to pull the express. Gordon thought tank engines couldn’t pull the express, but he knew that Alex was the only exception, for he was strong enough for the job. “All aboard for… um….where am I taking this?” Alex asked the stationmaster. “To Kirk Ronan.” the stationmaster answered.

At first Alex liked pulling the express as well as his own goods trains. However, he started to get very tired. After his third express run of the day, he completely forgot about the goods train he left behind. “Perishing pistons! My goods train!” he said as he rushed back to get it, but the time he finally delivered the train, he was late. “Oh, I almost had it!” he said to himself.

Gordon was at the Steamworks for a very long time, and Alex had to do EVERYTHING in his place. That meant he had to take the express, but be late for his goods. Not only that, but when it was the other way around, he took his goods, but was late for the express! Alex had had enough. He wanted to purposely get into an accident so he could get fixed alongside Gordon, but he knew it wouldn’t be alright for him. He tried to get creative and come up with an idea, but for the first time in his life, he couldn’t think of anything.

Alex puffed sadly to Knapford Sheds. “It’s no use!” he fumed. “Gordon ought to be fixed by now! I just wish there was SOMETHING I can do. It’s not like I can't pull the express and my goods trains at the same time….” Suddenly, the idea he wanted to come up with flew right into his funnel! “Or... can I?” he asked himself.

The very next day, Alex put his plan to action. “Alex! You’re a genius!” he said to himself. “All I have to do is shunt my goods train to Gordon’s express. The shunter will connect the goods train with the express coaches, and I will be able to carry BOTH at once!”

Just like Alex said, the shunter coupled up both trains together, and Alex was ready to take his masterpiece around Sodor. “This is my most creative idea, yet!” he chuffed to himself. “I’m surprised no one has ever done this before…. at least, as far as I am aware, that is.” The passengers got onto the express coaches, but were very surprised to see a goods train as part of the train. “I’m sure it won’t be as bad.” Alex thought.

As Alex paraded around Sodor with his train, the other engines were amazed, but not in a good way. “Who does that engine think he is, doing a thing like that?” James huffed. Duck pulled his slip coaches and thought what Alex did was very bizarre. “So unorthodox…” said the first slip coach. “That engine is just as strange as one of Gizmo’s creations.” continued the second slip coach. “Not a normal engine, I say.” finished the third slip coach. Alex didn’t care what the other engines thought. The passengers were very happy, for they got used to the idea of a goods/express combo, and Alex was making good progress. He delivered BOTH the passengers and the goods to their destinations on time, just like a really useful engine would. “Finally! Right on time!” he exclaimed happily. “I gotta see how Gordon is doing.”

Alex arrived at the Steamworks, but he didn't see just Gordon; the other engines were there as well, and so was Sir Topham Hatt. “Alex!” Sir Topham Hatt boomed. “Today you have been a very strange engine, indeed! Why would you pull both goods AND the express?” "It's nothing we've ever seen before!" Edward exclaimed. “I thought that you pretending to be me just to fool Thomas was strange. But now, I think what you did today was even stranger.” Percy wheesed. Alex began to cry. “But… I wasn’t late this time….” he sobbed. “There’s nothing wrong with being… strange.” “Strange like one of Professor Gizmo’s engines?” Gordon fumed, who was now fully repaired. “I think so!” agreed James.

Just then, they heard the sound of a helicopter blade. Everyone thought it was Harold, but it wasn’t. There, flying towards the ground was not a helicopter at all. It was an engine that could fly! “Ludwig?” Alex asked. “Guten tag. Someone must have told you who I am.” Ludwig chuffed as he landed on the rails. The engines were amazed. Then, who should climb out of Ludwig but Professor Gizmo himself.

“Professor Gizmo…” Victor glared. “I should have known it was YOU that made that… that… flying engine thing.” “Well, excuse me for my love of the strange and unusual.” said Professor Gizmo in an Italian accent. Sir Topham Hatt recognized Professor Gizmo almost immediately. “Fabritsio Pasqually Gismondi III....” he boomed. “What gave YOU the right to be here?” “Allow me to explain. And… my name, it’s GIZMO, not Gismodi!” Professor Gizmo huffed. “I was on one of Alex’s coaches. I knew all about the fact he had a goods train attached to the express. The passengers and I agreed it was different from the usual everyday routine.” The engines stopped and paid attention to what Professor Gizmo was saying. “What Alex did, it was a grand thing to be done, just like my mama’s tomato sauce recipe!” the professor continued. “He is right in saying there is NOTHING wrong with being strange. Strange is what makes the world go round, not everyday normal! I create engines that are strange because I know that a locomotive can go BEYOND really useful and do extraordinary things.”

Alex was puzzled. “What creations other than Ludwig did you make?” he asked. “Well…” Professor Gizmo began “I’m sure you’ve heard about Belle and Diesel 10, right? I gave them something.... how do you say... 'special'.” The engines thought for a moment, and then realized what he meant. “You mean... YOU gave Diesel 10 a claw?” Thomas exclaimed. “YOU gave Belle water cannons?” Percy bubbled. “Yes I did!” the professor answered. “I modified them and turned them into Gizmotives, but, back to Alex…. he did absolutely NOTHING wrong. He just simply tried something new, and it was successful. We need to try something new to make our lives interesting and easier. That’s why I am a ‘locomotologist’, a scientist who specializes in making engines’ lives interesting and easier.”

Suddenly, the other engines knew that Professor Gizmo was right. “I don’t see why YOU can’t try being everything he said.” Ludwig insisted. “Take it from me; I don’t have to wait for red signals. I go OVER them.” James decided to say something. “I sometimes have to take The Flying Kipper, but I prefer passengers.” he chuffed. “Maybe I can get them BOTH over and done with if I pull both at the same time, too. I just have to make sure the porter tells the passengers to keep the windows closed, so they won't smell the fish, that's all.” Gordon said something, too. “The Fat Controller put Alex in charge of goods so I don’t have to,” he wheeshed. “but maybe I can pull them both at the same time as well. I might want to put the express in front of the goods train, so it would seem like I’m pulling the express when I come out of a tunnel and I get my picture taken.”

Alex was pleased the engines knew he was right, and so all of them tooted their whistles in delight. The next day, everyone tried to pull passengers and freight all at once. They managed to get their work done twice as early, and it was all thanks to Alex. “You have come up with a good idea for my railway!” Sir Topham Hatt boomed. “You are a really useful engine!” “And… a creative one, too!” said Professor Gizmo. “I am so pleased with your amazing idea, it has inspired me to come up with a new idea for rolling stock, but I need your help. What do you think?” Alex thought for a moment. “Maybe... it could be a coal truck…. and a small passenger coach…. mounted together on a flatbed?” he said. “Great idea!” agreed the professor. “I shall call it…. a troach! 50% truck, 50% coach! Come on, Ludwig! Let’s fly to my workshop!” Ludwig was ready to fly. “Ya. Will do. Auf wiedersehen, Alex.” he whistled.

As Alex saw Professor Gizmo fly high into the sky in Ludwig, he knew that today his creativity went BEYOND really useful, just like Professor Gizmo’s creations.



                                               
                                                   THE END
Alex, the character I introduced in "Thomas' Revenge", now has his own story, alongside a character I wanted to introduce for a LONG time. Hopefully, for those that complained about Belle and Diesel 10 being too unrealistic, this is the story for you.

By the way, if you haven't checked out "Thomas' Revenge" yet, I would advise doing so. This episode is NOT Alex's first appearance.



No copyright infringement is intended. This story was made purely for fun and is NOT meant to make a profit.

Credits:
Thomas and Friends (c) HiT Entertainment
© 2015 - 2021 holmesman
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