Stuck in Place is an upcoming episode.
Rocky is a large mobile crane that works hard on the Island of Sodor lifting heavy engines and objects on the line. Though he is extremely strong, he needs an engine to move him from place to place because he doesn't have an engine of his own that could transport him.
One morning, Rocky was at Knapford Station lifting some heavy machinery onto the side of the line beside the platform, when Gordon pulled in with the Express. "Ugh, those Skarloey Railway engines are always late! They constantly have something else that needs to be done on their line making them late for MY Express. Their stupid Quarry has caused more delays than all of my past ones combined- and I am the one that gets trouble from it. Disgraceful!" Gordon puffed angrily. Gordon did manage to keep time regularly, but when he was late, he would always complain about it. Rocky considered what Gordon was saying and wondered what was going on at the Blue Mountain Quarry.
"Gordon," he inquired, "what are they doing at that Quarry these days? It seemed as if they just finished their last project there!" Gordon looked over huffily at the red crane. "That little blue bugger told me they were building a new stone cutter in the rock-face and they are blasting the escarpment to make room for it. The little engines are late because they need to haul away the rubble that remains from the blasting. Why do you care, anyway?" Rocky enjoyed working at the Blue Mountain Quarry and wondered if there was any work he could do there. Lifting stone, perhaps? "Just curious," Rocky said to the big blue engine.
The next morning, Rocky was resting at the Sodor Search and Rescue Center when the Fat Controller arrived in Winston. Winston tooted his horn and woke up the sleeping crane. Rocky opened a sleepy eye. "Oh, hello sir," he mumbled tiredly. "Good morning, Rocky. Sorry to bother you so early, but I had a job for you-" the Controller said, but Rocky interjected him before he could finish, "at Blue Mountain, sir!? Oh good, I can't wait- who shall take me there? Edward? BoCo? I do love working there!" The Fat Controller was taken aback. "No, Rocky, I need you to go work on Gordon's Hill. We need to replace some track at the top and you are just the crane for the job. I don't know where you heard about the job at Blue Mountain, but I've sent Harvey to work there instead, only because he can move without another engine to push him along- it is easier to load the Narrow Gauge Engine's trucks when you can move by yourself. I know Gordon's Hill isn't quite as extravagant, but it is quite important. Edward will fetch you and bring you up later, but first I need you to finish your job at Knapford. Good day!" and the Fat Controller left in Winston, leaving Rocky quite surprised- but upset. Am I not as useful as Harvey because I don't have an engine? Rocky thought, as he was coupled up to James and taken to Knapford.
At Knapford, Rocky was thinking solemnly about his position when two small yellow saddletank engines puffed up cheekily beside him. "What do you think is quite wrong with him, Bill?" one asked. "Haven't a clue, Ben, but perhaps we should clear the line and shunt this truck of scrap to the Smelter's," the other said. "No, no!" Rocky said, being snapped back to reality, "I'm just thinking." "What about?" jeered Bill. "Do you think I'm not useful because I can't move on my own?" "Oh definitely. If only you could move by your own power... Then you would be really useful. If only..." Bill stated sneakily. "But wait!" said Ben, "there is a way. The laws of gravity make it possible for you to move... Perhaps a staged accident to prove you could move independently." "Stage an accident?- oh, I couldn't do that..." Rocky replied. "Suit yourself. Pity Harvey will always get the better jobs. Oh well," Bill concluded as he and Ben puffed away.
Later, Rocky was working on Gordon's Hill. He was chatting with his dear friend Edward. "Only a few more pieces of track now! Great job, Rocky!" Edward said, happy to support his friend. Rocky couldn't help but smile at his friend, but he was still thinking about what Bill and Ben had said. "Edward," said a workman, "run down to the bottom of the hill and fetch a new truck of ballast to lay next to these rails. Then we can get outta here." "Right away sir," Edward said, and his driver pulled the lever and puffed back down the hill. "Ugh, this wind is making work hard," said the workman as he sat down on a flat truck with a sandwich and some coffee. Then Rocky saw a chance. If something goes wrong, I can blame the wind- if nothing does, the Fat Controller will choose me for better work. Rocky thought. Rocky knew how dangerous this was, but he was so determined to prove himself that he didn't care. With a sudden gust of wind, Rocky bumped forward, and went flying down Gordon's Hill!! Rocky had never felt so free! He whipped past trees and clattered over tracks, he was having the time of his life. Until he arrived at a bend.
The workmen say it was recklessness- Rocky says it was wind (though both were true), but one moment Rocky was dashing down the hill and another he was completely off the rails- crane-first into a large oak tree. Rocky was miserable, and he sighed sadly as a tree branch fell onto his bufferbeam. I never should have done this... Rocky cried in his mind.
Later, Edward arrived with the Fat Controller. "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?" he boomed at the crane. "I am really sorry, sir, but I thought you didn't think I was useful, so I tried to move on my own. I know I was being dangerous and stupid. I have never been so 'non-useful' in all my life. I don't know what got into me." Rocky moaned. "I would have to agree with you, Rocky, but you are normally a very useful crane, and I could never replace you. It's just that sometimes there are others better fit for certain jobs, but that doesn't make you any less important. Half the jobs you do couldn't be done by five Harvey's, but he is still really useful too! Every engine is useful in their own way, understand that, Rocky." The Fat Controller said. "I understand, sir, I am sorry." "I know that, Rocky and I hope from now on you will realize that there is a job for every engine on my railway."
Next day, many breakdown cranes managed to lift Rocky back onto the rails. But he was a different Rocky, a more understanding Rocky. Since that day, Rocky has never complained about another job, for he now truly knows what the Fat Controller meant by what he said that day. Every engine is needed to do something that can't be done by another, and what makes you unique is truly what makes you golden.
- Bill and Ben
- The Fat Controller
- James (does not speak)
- Winston (does not speak)
- Sir Handel (mentioned)
- This is the first episode written by ReallyUsefulEngine24.
- When this episode was first thought of, the original character was Marion, from Tale of the Brave, but not enough was known about her to make an episode about.