EXERCISE Genre Bender: The Train Job

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Revision, May 6, 2012.

  1. The point of a genre-bender is to take a well known, genre related trope or story starter and transplant it into another genre.

    The Train Job

    You've all seen the westerns with a group of outlaws robbing a train for its goods. No matter if they are heroes or villains, chances are they will rob that train and half of the train might end up coasting to a stop as the hitch is undone. So how would you envision the Train Job in another genre? Take this wild west trope and adapt it to another genre with no wild west elements other than the train job itself! Have fun and good luck, cowboy!
     
  2. An attempt at transporting the Train Job into sci-fi, with a twist:

    The Pangaea Express is the world’s most famous train, which travels all around the globe, only stopping at the capitals of the most important countries, and is one of the most advanced vehicles on the planet. Just a single car of the Pangaea Express is worth more than a million dollars, without the wares it carries. As such, it is protected by many redundant security systems, guards and even experimental technologies, not to mention that it does not run on normal rails. No, this train travels on rails suspended in the air, making even approaching it difficult.

    But the Pangaea Express also has another factor, which contributes to its security: anyone who attempts to attack this vehicle is considered to be an enemy of the United Nations and the whole world. Even if one would destroy the rails on which the train travels, it would still be considered an offense against the modern world, and soon, every single police force in the world would be after them. Thus, all experts agree that attempting to rob the Pangaea Express is impossible, and no criminal would ever do it. They were wrong.

    On a cloudy day, the Pangaea Express arrived in a Moscow without power. The whole city was blacked out, and not a single light was on. The computer controlling the express suspected a massive terrorist attack, thus ordered the vehicle to switch to emergency power, and continue on without stopping, while simultaneously alerting the authorities all over the world. Mere minutes later, an anonymous report came in from Moscow, stating that the city was attacked by terrorist. The Russian army was immediately mobilised along with the militaries of the neighbouring countries. Soon, the attention of Eurasia was on Moscow, focused on taking down the threat as the Pangaea Express continued its journey towards China.

    However, the train would never arrive there. A few kilometres away from the borders of Kazakhstan, the train’s emergency brakes were activated because of an inconsistency in the rail. Immediately, the computer asked for a maintenance crew and engaged the security systems. Half an hour later, a maintenance crew arrived on location, but instead of repairing the rails, they overloaded the rail section’s electric grid, disabling the primary systems of the Pangaea Express. Simultaneously, an incredibly well-timed projectile tore the locomotive’s armoured doors into pieces, not to mention that the rail segments at the front and the back of the vehicle were dislocated.

    The train was stuck in one place now, but backup power kicked in soon, and the security systems were powerful enough to repel any attacker who came from the outside. Unfortunately, nobody expected an attacker from the inside, so when a guard killed all of his team-mates and sabotaged the security system of the locomotive, there was nothing to defend the Pangaea Express anymore. The maintenance crew shed its disguise and turned into a band of thieves, who cracked the computer of Pangaea Express, disabling the whole train. The thieves begun disassembling both the railroad and the train as huge trucks arrived at the scene. Soon, the whole Pangaea Express was packed into the trucks, and nothing was left of the world's most famous train.
     
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