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Welcome Aboard The Galactic Express

by Jason Ray Morton 15 days ago in Sci Fi
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Shanghaied Into The Chance Of A LifetimeThe

The locomotive's rumbling engine shook the sleeping room as soft groans grew louder in the hall outside room six. Inside the small, private room lay a man opening his eyes and taking in his surroundings. The sleeping room was older, nearly an antique. The walls of the room, covered in cherry wood, had slight age marks. The man inside recognized that he wasn't in familiar surroundings.

"Shit, I'm on a train," exclaimed Bryan.

Looking around the room, Bryan had just the clothes on his back and a pair of boots on his feet. They weren't his boots. He'd never seen them. His head was in a fog and memory hazy. Bryan struggled to think straight. His focus was on the train and how and why he was there.

"A ticket," he spoke to himself.

He looked through his pockets and then rifled through the room. Bryan didn't have a ticket and couldn't remember being on the train before waking up. Confused, he half stood up and went to the window of the sleeping room. Opening the blinds, Bryan stood there with his mouth agape. Looking at the scenery in the window as the train sped along the tracks, Bryan had more questions than answers.

He dropped onto the bench along the window and stared blankly at the room around him. Yesterday, Bryan was in Jedda. It was a simple job. He was to get close to the royal family and arrange a deal for safe passage through the country for company executives. Now, he was on a train in the middle of a nightmare from which he couldn't seem to wake.

Image by ianskelton1977 from Pixabay

Bryan stood and tested his bearings. His balance was starting to return. The shock to his system was slowly beginning to fade. Bryan knew he wasn't finding answers from inside a train sleeping compartment. On the train, Bryan might find the answer to why he was there and how to get home.

He slid the door open and stepped into the outer corridor. Bryan turned to his right, finding two other compartments before another car. He walked onto a passenger car, looking around before he strolled through the empty rail car. He wondered, "where's the rest of the passengers?"

The sights he saw outside the car were too incredible to fathom. He needed to find the engine if that was the correct term. The engine car needed an operator on every train Bryan ever heard of, so there'd be someone to question. Then, he could figure out where he was, where the train was taking him, and why.

By the time he got to another car, staring out the windows as he slowly made his way toward the back of the train, Bryan had a flash from yesterday. He remembered men carrying him through the train car and glimpses of the ceiling. They were the prince's men.

He remembered Prince Bin Ala Saheem being there when they put him in the sleeping quarters. It was the prince that doped him with something. Bryan rubbed his hand over his neck, over the injection hole, still sore from them putting something in his body. He realized that they'd used a chemical package on him.

Image by Thomas Wolter from Pixabay

Bryan stopped inside the next car, staring at the only person he'd seen on the train. A caramel-complected beauty in white floated in front of him. She was young, pretty, and seemed to belong there despite being barefoot and in the middle of the strangest train ride Bryan could dream up. He began believing he was in the middle of a dream, and the heavenly girl in front of him only served to prove as much.

"Hello," said Bryan, afraid to get overly close until she acknowledged him.

Bryan's head swam in the possibilities. Even in a dream, they weren't on Earth. She might look human, but what if she wasn't? He was in uncharted territory. Bryan thought he was dreaming. What if it were real? Then, he was on a train, traveling through space, and the only other person on the train was a shoeless young woman in a dress.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"I'm called Mira," answered the woman.

"Have you seen anyone else on the train?" asked Bryan.

Mira floated down, putting her feet on the coolness of the compartment floor. She walked toward Bryan, looking deeply at him. She looked so deeply at him that Mira pierced his soul with her gaze.

"Do you see anyone else here?" asked Mira.

"You haven't looked around the train, checked the other cars?" asked Bryan.

Image by WikiImages from Pixabay

Bryan realized Mira was more than just a passenger. She was alarmingly casual about their interaction. A human, in 2025, does not take trains through the galaxy. However, Mira seemed accustomed to the train and traveling this way.

"Why are you here?" he asked her.

Mira smiled at him as she explained, "It's not why I'm here that matters. It's as the universe wants it to be, and that's why you are here."

"I didn't imagine that," he said. "The prince and his men put me here."

"Of course they did," chuckled Mira. "How else do you think you got here?"

Bryan was confused. How did the prince and his men get him onto a train through the solar system? There wasn't such a thing, as far as he knew. Mira was cryptic. She only gave non-committal answers. The woman was mysteriously traveling the stars with no answer as to why.

Bryan moved through the compartment, walking past Mira. He still needed to find answers. The answers he sought were somewhere past Mira. They were somewhere else on the train.

He pushed to the next car, searching for clues to the mysterious Galactic Express. The car was a dining car. God, was he hungry? He ran over to the stairs and down to the galley level. Hitting the bottom of the stairs, he just stopped and looked around the kitchen.

"Nobody," he sighed. "What the hell is going on?"

Bryan didn't wait long to move on to searching the kitchen. There was bread, chopped meats, cheese, mustard, and mayonnaise. He had all the prerequisite items for making a great sandwich. So, he helped himself to the train's supplies realizing there was enough for a fully loaded train and a very long journey.

"First rule of survival," Bryan reminded himself, "is surviving."

He knew he was right. Whatever was happening to him, he had to keep his strength up if he was to combat it. Bryan took a huge bite of the first sandwich and then made a second one, wrapped it up, and put it into a paper sack. He wandered back up the staircase to the upper level, finding himself in the empty car.

"Trains usually stop along their journey, picking up other passengers," Bryan said aloud. "Why hasn't this one?

By Sara Cervera on Unsplash

Bryan rushed back toward the front of the train, passing the floating woman in the compartment before the sleeper car. He just nodded at her when in passing.

Bryan had no idea how many others were on the train before he arrived, but a near-empty train should be stopping along different routes. There had to be more than just the two of them. Still carrying his sandwich, he rushed from the rear of the train to the front end. Whoever was driving owed him an explanation.

ushed back toward the front of the train, passing the floating woman in the compartment before the sleeper car. He just nodded at her when in passing.

Bryan had no idea how many others were on the train when he was put there, but a near-empty train should be stopping along different routes.

When he finally found the engine car, pushing his way through the doors, the site in front of him was enough to stop him in his committed tracks. He wanted answers. With each turn, he only found more questions.

"What are you?" asked Bryan, staring at a grizzled robot.

The robot looked at Bryan, his amber eyes alarmed that someone was in the crew compartment without a security clearance. This had never happened before. Even Voss-9 was confused by the turn of events.

"I am Voss-9, an intergalactic guide droid from Terra-12. You are Rider-2, or on your world, Bryan," said the robot.

"Um..." Bryan stopped there. The robot's speech and acknowledgment were too real to fathom.

"Alright, Voss-9, if you're a robot, then you have to follow the first rules of robotics? questioned Bryan.

"I am familiar with Isamovs rules of robotics. As I was not built on earth, I am not subject to them. Now, Bryan, please return to the back of the train with your fellow human. It is imperative you two become friends," Voss-9 announced in his robotically pitched voice.

"Oh, and why is that?"

"You two must repopulate. She is not of your world, but is a compatible companion," explained Voss-9. "Until then, you and Mira are welcome aboard The Galactic Express."

Image by Andy from Pixabay

"Wait, what?"

"For you're train ride to stop, you and Mira must become very close, and repopulate the human race, otherwise you'll be on this train forever."

Bryan stood there, his sandwich dropping to the floor, staring out the front screen and into a quantum hole in the universe. He suddenly screamed, "Waaaaaaaaaake UP!"

Sci Fi

About the author

Jason Ray Morton

I have always enjoyed writing and exploring new ideas, new beliefs, and the dreams that rattle around inside my head. I have enjoyed the current state of science, human progress, fantasy and existence and write about them when I can.

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (6)

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  • Heather Hubler12 days ago

    You packed a lot into a short read, well done! I liked the twist at the end :)

  • Mariann Carroll12 days ago

    Enjoyed this entertaining story. Your story is the first I read ,that used food to survive . Which very true , we need food to survive as mere mortals. Great Job 🥰

  • Cathy holmes12 days ago

    Good story, Jason. Very well done.

  • Babs Iverson12 days ago

    Loving this! Awesome story!

  • Gm14 days ago

    Ha good stuff! I like the part with the robot and the fact that he's not subject to Asimov's rules. Clever.

  • Qudir Ayodele15 days ago

    Wow, this story was amazing!

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