Ting, Elizabeth and Flakey watched Carole walk the short distance to platform 7. Three medium sized drones, alerted to her presence flew in delta formation over head shining bright, intrusive lights along the deserted platform. The leading drone entered the waiting room, if something, or anything was hiding in the shadows it wouldn't stay hidden for long.
Carole stopped to allow the drones to pass by without detecting any movement. She also stopped because a compelling idea introduced itself to her and wouldn't go away. Stealthily the Sound walked back to the train. 'I'm going to the see if there's anything wrong at the signal box, are you coming?'
'What about the ducks?' Ting worried how the delay might endanger their rescue mission at Spear Point Tower. 'We can't leave them where they are.'
'I'm sorry, we have to include a slight delay and go to the signal box. I have to make sure something or someone isn't left behind.' Carole's expression let Ting know hers was the only option on the table. 'If, as you say the Sounds are safe while they stay inside the plastic shaped liked ducks they will stay safe until we get there and rescue them.'
'What if the train starts to move and we're not on it?' Flakey didn't like this turn of events at all.
'While the light doesn't change the train will stay where it is.'
'What if the light changes to green?' Flakey stared at the glowing signal believing any moment now the train will be instructed to continue its journey to Astringham Vale. Looking along the track the timid Sound could see automated activity around the base of the water tower. 'They're getting ready to load coal and refill the water.'
'Don't worry, you just stay on the train Flakey, I think it's probably best if you all stay on the train. If it moves I'll meet you at the station on platform 7.' Carole ran through the puddles to a two storey brick-built building. Inside the signal box, some of its lights were still on. The effects of endless corrosive rain washing over the brown bricks were causing untold damage to all four external walls, turning the brickwork from dirty brown to filthy blackened grey.
Entering through the only door the building possessed Carole made her way up to the higher level for better view of the country line and to see if anyone had changed the signal to red.
Wiping the dirt from windows in the partition separating the corridor from the main controls Carole could see four screens with wires entering from all ports, each conveying a stream of data appertaining to the well-being of the rural line. Careful not to activate the alarm system Carole opened the door and crept in. A drone buzzed overhead. The lights went out.
'Is anybody in here?' Carole called. 'Did you change the signal from green to red to stop the train?'
A beam of powerful white light aimed by the lead drone entered the interior of the signal box. Carole covered her eyes with her hands and her body with a thick blanket she saw hanging on the back...