When we last visited the Lynchian-like Wonderland that is the stupid wooden train set in Amy's basement that she is obsessed with beyond all that is good and decent, things were bleak. Track shortages had left gaping holes in the railway line. A labor dispute over the protected marshlands had shut all development down on the northeast side of the island, Sir Topham Hatt was blitzed out of his gourd, and Thomas had met his evil twin, Samohto Monteban, who repeatedly foiled his plans to be a Really Useful Engine. Usually by Not Working Together and Getting the Job Done Fast Instead of Right. Tsk tsk, Samohto!
Since then, massive infrastructure investments have been made, as well as a move towards renewable energy in the form of a windmill. Al Gore even visited the island for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Things were looking up.
Unfortunately, the windmill contract ended up in the hands of organized crime, who quickly began producing "flour," and yet the children of Sodor regularly went without bread or birthday cakes.
The crime syndicate did manage to get the work stoppage lifted, but then quickly converted the marshlands to a scrap yard, where vehicles often ended up under mysterious circumstances.
"Fuck all of y'all," said local law enforcement. "I'm getting off this rock and going to Boca."
After that, nobody even bothers to fish the bodies out of the lake anymore.
"The sign says 'No Fishing'," said Thomas sternly. "We mustn't break the rules."
The other engines all agree that Thomas was one dumb shit, but are too busy fighting for the "flour" delivery job to care about dead bodies.
Tolls skyrocketed. Deforestation further threatens the island's ecosystem.
Thomas tries to keep smiling, but at night he cries a lot.
Heavy concentrations of lead have created a population of depressed and suicidal hermaphroditic dairy cows.
And there's some REALLY weird shit going on at the Olde Genetics Mill.
Yes, things are still bleak on the Isle of Sodor. Is Samohto behind it all? Can he be stopped? Can Thomas and Al Gore save the day? Will James and Gordon ever stop being so fucking cross all the time? And which, if any, of these photos are staged, and if they were NOT staged, whose imagination should we be most concerned with, mine or Noah's?
Find out in the next installment of SODOR PEAKS: CHOO CHOO CH'BOOGIE WITH ME.
(Okay, I'm gonna take full responsibility for this one, and yes, I am very ashamed of myself.)