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Thomas the Tank Engine Tales - Ep. 3 (Season 2)

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The Moonwalk Express

Written by holmesman

Uses elements from the Regular Show episode “Don” by Benton Connor, Kat Morris, and J. G. Quintel






A while had passed since Clarence’s arrival, and things were not looking so good for both him and Duck. Duck grew tired of seeing Clarence do everything he did a million times better. He had hurt Clarence’s feelings not only for a second time, but also enough to make him consider leaving Sodor. Duck was sure he would not need his help anymore.

One day, Sir Topham Hatt had gathered all the engines at Knapford for a special announcement. “Pay attention, engines! ‘The Moonwalk Express’ is due for the Mainland.” he boomed. “I will have Hiro deliver it by sundown.” With that, Sir Topham Hatt went into his office to make arrangements. All the engines were excited, but Percy was confused. “What’s the ‘The Moonwalk Express’, Edward?” he said to Edward. “‘The Moonwalk Express’, Percy,” Edward smiled. “is a goods train that is pulled backwards. Think of Gordon pulling the express, only he’s doing it tender-first.”

Percy wondered why an engine had to pull the train backwards. “Did you know that ‘The Moonwalk Express’ was named after a singer that did a dance move called ‘the moonwalk’?” Thomas puffed. “It had him walk backwards a very strange way, hence the name ‘Moonwalk Express.” “I think the singer himself was named Michael….” Duck said. “or, maybe he was named Jackson….” Oliver added. “Actually, it’s BOTH names!” Hank laughed. “I saw him once when I was still living in the states.”

Percy then had another question. “Does this mean Gordon will be pulling ‘The Moonwalk Express’?” he asked. Gordon overheard what Percy had said. “Not a chance, little Percy!” he fumed. “ME?! A proper express engine like me would NEVER pull that train in a million years! Besides, if you paid attention like The Fat Controller said, you’d know that Hiro is to pull the train, not me.” “I wonder why Hiro is pulling ‘The Moonwalk Express’ and not some other strong engine like you, Gordon.” Thomas wheeshed. “Well, little Thomas, Hiro has that strange knuckle coupling on his front bufferbeam, like Clarence does, instead of a normal screwlink coupling.” Gordon explained. “Every truck that’s part of ‘The Moonwalk Express’ has those knuckle couplings on both the front and back, but Hiro and Clarence only have theirs on the front, so that’s why they pull the train facing backwards.” Henry added.

“Speaking of facing backwards, Henry….” teased James. “Gordon once pulled a train backwards, himself. Everyone thought he was a new tank engine. Don’t you remember, Gordon?” Gordon said nothing as James and Henry laughed. Just then, Sir Topham Hatt stepped out of his office with some bad news. “Everyone, I’m afraid Hiro cannot pull ‘The Moonwalk Express’ this time.” he sighed. “He’s too busy working on his railway in Japan. I might as well have no choice but to have Clarence pull the train instead.”

Duck was afraid Sir Topham Hatt would bring up the name Clarence. He can well remember what he said to Clarence the other day, and he still felt cross with him, even though he knew Clarence felt hurt. “Sir....” Duck went on to ask. “if I could have one of those knuckle couple-a-things on my front bufferbeam, maybe I could pull ‘The Moonwalk Express’ instead of Clarence.” Sir Topham Hatt wasn’t sure. “Very well, Duck,” he said. “although Clarence might have to teach you how to operate a knuckle coupling first before you do.”

Duck didn’t want ANY mention of Clarence. “Oh, that’s alright sir,” he wheeshed. “I don’t need any training. Great Westerners learn whenever a problem arises. That’s how I was able to learn how to use my slip coaches.” “Oh really, Duck?” Oliver huffed. “Then you might as well learn from a problem Clarence has been having ever since you wished he was never built.” “Clarence really is that upset, Mr. Duck.” Toad added. “He’s thinking of going back home to Chicago.” “That’s AMAZING!” Duck smiled. “I won’t have to hear OR see him ever again!” And Duck left for the Steamworks. Oliver was left very unsure. “Don’t worry, Mr. Oliver….”. Toad sighed. “He’ll get himself in trouble for sure.”

At the Steamworks, Victor and Kevin installed a knuckle coupling on Duck’s front bufferbeam, just like Hiro. “Thanks for the help, boys!” Duck whistled. “You’re a credit to this railway!” “What about Clarence?” asked Victor. “He’s a credit, too, boss-I mean… Duck.” said Kevin. Duck immediately left the Steamworks as soon as Victor and Kevin spoke.

The shunting yards were reserved for the rolling stock used for “The Moonwalk Express”. As Duck saw “The Moonwalk Express” being prepared, he could see goods trucks he had never seen before. There were boxcars, big tank cars, coal hoppers, autoracks, and a big shiny red caboose at the end. Hank was organizing “The Moonwalk Express” as he saw Duck. “These here trucks come all the way from my country: the good ol’ United States of America!” he huffed. “Thank you, Hank. I’ll be taking over from here.” Duck whistled. Hank was confused. “I thought Clarence was going to take ‘The Moonwalk Express’. I was at Knapford with all the other engines.” he said. Duck smiled, knowing he didn’t want to hear about Clarence ever again. “Oh, don’t worry…” he huffed. “I know what I am doing!”

Duck used his new knuckle coupling to attach himself to “The Moonwalk Express”. Everything looked fine at first. He slowly reversed, pulling the train backwards along with it. “Goodbye, Hank!” he whistled. Hank was worried as Duck left. “Shucks… That feller sure seems determined, but he doesn’t know how to use those knuckle coupling things.” he said to Stafford. “I’m just worried about Clarence, Hank....” Stafford huffed.

And just how Clarence was doing, you may ask? Cranky could see Clarence trying to wait for a ship to Chicago. He was cross. “For the last time, Clarence…” he creaked. “There are NO ships waiting to take you home!” Clarence was too sad to even care. “What’s the point? I can’t make even a fellow Great Westerner think positively….” he sobbed.

Meanwhile, Duck was busy taking “The Moonwalk Express”, and in due time, too. “You see that, driver?” he smiled. “I told everyone I didn’t need Clarence’s help! It’s the Great Western Way!” Soon, Duck arrived at the top of Gordon’s Hill. “This should be easy with this brand new knuckle coupling I have.” he wheeshed. However, as Duck climbed the hill with his cab facing forward, he felt a strange feeling, but he was too proud and confident to notice. In fact, he closed his eyes and hummed a merry tune as he reached the top, not realizing his grip was getting weaker, and the heavy train was slipping away.

Then, as Duck opened his eyes, he saw he wasn’t coupled up to “The Moonwalk Express” anymore. The train rolled down the hill and into a siding. Duck wasn’t disappointed at first. “Oh, well… Practice makes perfect.” he said to himself, and tried coupling up to the train again. However, the second time was just as unsuccessful as the first, as the train once again rolled down the hill. Duck tried a third time, and then a fourth time, and then even an eleventh time! “What’s the matter with this train?” he complained. “I’m quite certain these trucks aren’t troublesome.” Just then, Thomas puffed by on the other side of the tracks. “Maybe you should ask Clarence for help.” he suggested. Duck was reluctant to do so for a second, but then realized that he wasn’t really good at pulling “The Moonwalk Express” as well as Hiro and Clarence would. At last, he finally decided to ask Clarence for help.

Duck arrived at Brendam Docks to see Clarence still there waiting for his ship to arrive. “Clarence!” he whistled. “I need your help…. ‘The Moonwalk Express’ is due for the Mainland by sundown, but I….” “That’s okay, Duck….” Clarence glumly interrupted. “You don’t have to let me help you if you don’t want to…. I’m sure you don’t want me on this railway anyway….” Duck decided to finally apologize. “Look, Clarence…” he began. “I’m REALLY sorry for what I said to you the other day, but now’s the time to forget all about that, just this once!” “Why bother forgetting?” Clarence sighed. “You probably still upset that I’m from Chicago to even care…”

Duck wanted to give Clarence a proper explanation. “No, Clarence!” he whistled. “It wasn’t just because you’re from Chicago! It’s EVERYTHING! Ever since you came to Sodor, I felt like I was in your shadow. You did everything I did just a good, if not BETTER, than the way I would do it. You even handled ballast trucks in a way that would make the Master of the Railway jealous! I mean, it was AMAZING how you handled them without even trying! Why did you have to be so much better than me?”

Suddenly, Clarence stopped being negative and realized the truth. He felt very bad. “Oh, my….” he gasped. “ I… I’m sorry, Duck! I didn’t mean to steal your thunder! I was only trying to be just like you!” Duck was curious. “Tell me why.” he asked.

“Well, Duck” Clarence answered. “during my time on the Chicago Great Western Railroad, I heard stories about you. I was told of the time you and Percy stopped the bigger engines from teasing you. And then, I heard about how brave you were trying to prevent a serious accident at the barber shop. There was even that time you tried to help Toby take a vet to rescue some sheep. That’s kindness right there. I thought you were the coolest engine I ever heard! I even wanted to be painted green just like you! And… when I was finally sent to work on Sodor, I was excited. I finally got to meet you in person, but I would NEVER think you would ever say all these bad things to me.”

Duck understood why Clarence did what he did. “Thank you for telling me all this,” he puffed. “but it’s okay if you don’t want to accept my apology…” “But, Duck.. I do.” Clarence smiled. Duck was confused. “Wha…. Why?” he asked. Clarence smiled even bigger. “There’s only two ways of doing things, Duck: the Great Western way and the wrong way.” he said. “Not accepting your apology would definitely be doing it the wrong way.” Duck began to smile, too. “You really think so?” he chuffed. “I KNOW so, buddy.” said Clarence. “Now, c’mon, Duck! Don’t be negative: we gotta get this ‘Moonwalk Express’ train to the Mainland before it’s too late! You with me?” Duck saw the sun setting over the horizon. He knew Clarence was right. “You got it, Clarence!” he whistled happily. “Show me how to do it!”

Duck and Clarence arrived at the siding where “The Moonwalk Express” stood. “I tried to use the knuckle coupling as best I could, but it kept slipping.” Duck sighed. “That’s because you didn’t have a firm grip.” Clarence explained. “Lemme show you, OK?” Duck watched as Clarence used his knuckle coupler to attach himself to the train. Then, he saw Clarence grip tightly onto the train. “You gotta… apply pressure… or you’ll lose your grip!” Clarence groaned.

Clarence pulled “The Moonwalk Express” up Gordon’s Hill. Duck watched as he made it all the way through. When they got to the next hill, Clarence gave the train to Duck. “Now it’s your turn to try.” he smiled. This time, Duck used HIS knuckle coupler to attach himself to the train, and just like Clarence said, he applied pressure and gripped hard. His face was red like Bertie the Bus, but he knew the train had to be delivered on time. “Sweet mother of Paddington! It hurts so much!” Duck strained as he pulled the train up the hill. “Hang in there, pal!” Clarence honked. “That’s the feeling of success! You’ll get used to it after a while!”

The train was really heavy, and Duck felt like giving up, even after reaching the top and coming down the other side. Duck and Clarence reached the Vicarstown Bridge, one step closer to the Mainland. “You’re almost there, Duck!” Clarence cheered. “Don’t be negative!” Duck put the biggest amount of effort he possibly could. When the two finally reached King’s Cross, the Mainland Controller greeted them warmly. “Well done, Duck!” he exclaimed. “You delivered ‘The Moonwalk Express’ on time!” Duck was very relieved. “May I PLEASE let go of the train, now, Clarence?” he panted. “Be my guest.” said Clarence. Duck let go of his grip. He was very tired, but felt very proud. “Take me home, please….” he sighed.

Clarence used his screwlink coupling to couple himself to Duck, and the two set off for home. “You did it, buddy!” Clarence said to Duck. “Not only did you deliver the train on time, but you also needed my help! I am VERY proud of you!” Duck smiled. “I just had to not be negative.” he said. Clarence knew that Duck still had a knuckle coupling installed on his front bufferbeam. “Aren’t you going to get rid of that thing?” he asked. “What? This here knuckle coupling?” Duck answered. “A reminder of our adventure together? No! I’m going to keep my knuckle coupling, so that way, I can learn how to pull trucks from Chicago!” Clarence chuckled a little. “Whatever you say, Duckie Boy.”

Clarence was a very happy engine; he got to see his idol and managed to help him out as well. However, Duck was the happiest of the two; he now has a new knuckle coupling on his front bufferbeam, but most importantly, he had made a new friend……

……...and all it took was not being negative.



                                                   
                                                      THE END
The third and final part of Season 2's "Duck and Clarence" story-arc is here! It seems now there's some cosmetic changes made to Duck. I figured there ought to be an explanation as to why Hiro has a knuckle coupling on his front bufferbeam instead of a screwlink coupling. Hopefully, this story will be able to answer that very question.

Y'know, I've been thinking of what Clarence's voice would be like if he were an official Thomas character. I'm thinking of having Clarence's voice actor be John DiMaggio, the voice of Bender from "Futurama" and Jake from "Adventure Time". Any other suggestions?




No copyright infringement intended. This story was written purely to appreciate both Thomas and Regular Show and is NOT meant to make a profit.


Credits:
Thomas and Friends (c) HiT Entertainment
Regular Show/Adventure Time (c) Cartoon Network
Futurama (c) Comedy Central
© 2015 - 2021 holmesman
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AntonioAlexisHuerta's avatar
Everything is perfect. I also think John DiMaggio is a perfect Clarence.
I think so, too. I really wish HiT hired veteran voiceovers like Tom Kenny, Tara Strong, Kevin Michael Richardson, Jeff Bennett, ect., even though Thomas and Friends is a British TV show.
AntonioAlexisHuerta's avatar
I know. Kevin would make a nice Gordon.
I'm quite used to Kerry Shale as Gordon, but yeah. I personally wouldn't mind Kevin voicing Sam the Virginian Engine if he wasn't a merchandise-only engine.