Eastern Terminal, Platform 6
The windswept landrail platform looks like any other here in the metropolis: a polished slab of black marble with a handful of brass benches, all arranged in back to back pairs with a circular rubbish bin at each end. Looking distinctly out of place is the old tramp, stumbling around nearby and rambling quietly into what appears to be the broken handset from a public phone, perhaps from one of the call boxes further down the platform. A security guard is standing with his back to you both, looking up in disgust at the incessant rain pouring down on the glass roof overhead. Affixed to one of the iron pillars supporting the roof is a polished steel mirror, in which you can see a battered old suitcase at your feet; a suitcase that is conspicuously absent in reality.
Well done to you Stormchild.
Joint second goes to: revgilbert:
Lower Thannington-Thwaite train station is something of an anomaly. Due to a misprint on the plans, the platform stretches into the distance for three miles - making catching a train here something of a game of Russian Roulette.
Of course, catching a train is the last thing on your mind at the moment. The suspicious looking suitcase left here by the visitor from the planet Jrr rests on the ground a few steps in front of you. The disheveled form of Hubert the Incredible Exploding Tramp waits a few feet to your left, gazing at you intently. Neither of you dares make a move for the suitcase while the other watches.
Out of the corner of your eye you see a battered ceramic rubbish bin. You catch a glimpse of a face in the bin, peering out and trying to look inconspicious. No doubt it belongs to the inept security guard who's been spying on you since your escape from the Hancroft Corporation.
On the wall, the public phone begins to ring loudly. Hubert's stare narrows and you raise an eyebrow. It seems that the end game has begun.
Waiting engines spit steam against the station roof, feeding the hot grey fog that envelops the platform and waters the eyes of the smartly attired guardsman and the vagrant he struggles to remove. The low clouds ebb and roll, hinting at the objects hidden within – the rim of a near-full refuse barrel, the long, black handle of a speaking telegraph and, just a few feet from the first-class carriages, a lonely leather case, too expensive to be abandoned without good reason.
What worries you most about the train station is how normal it feels, yet how empty. You've never been outside the citadel. Nobody has. With the train station as the only way in or out you'd expected to see the place crawling with the city guards. But there's only one security guard here, wearing the usual black-visored helmet and standing in an intimidatingly robotic pose, arms folded and gun at his side.
There's an empty train on the tracks, silent and still, but you can't access it. There's a high electric fence and a force shield that would have to be turned off first. The track itself goes off into the distance until it's completely devoured by the ever-present fog that wraps around the citadel. Who knows where the train really goes, or if there's actually anything out there?
With the train-sized hole in the citadel's force shield, it feels like the fog has claimed the train station for it's own. It swirls around the wheels of the train and sits on the platform, daring anybody to use the train. Your side of the fence the hanging fog makes the station look even greyer. You can see why no-one comes here. There's an empty rubbish bin against a wall and a broken public telephone next to it. There's a tramp sitting in one corner, but you still couldn't be sure if there's anything alive left in this station.
You spot a suitcase by itself near the west of the room. It's positioned upright on the floor by itself. You look around instinctively for it's owner, but it seems completely alone. You wonder if the previous owner left it on purpose, by accident or was prevented from taking it if he was taken away himself. You wonder if the guard's decision to leave it there means it's particularly important or particularly useless; or particularly dangerous.
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