Rails of Ice: Part One

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3 of Rails of Ice


Nickel let out a small moan as he sat up in his got, reaching up he rubbed the back of his neck and popped it several times. The tan and white husky allowed for his eyes to adjust to the light before taking a look around him. The light from the morning sky shone in through the cabin windows, lighting up the inside of the cabin. The light would only last for about 8 hours before fading away again, day time was always shorter than the night time up here in the North. Getting up, Nickel stretched, yawning loudly while showing his pearly white teeth. Smacking his lips a few times, he walked over to the clothes rack by the door and slipped into his heavy gray snow pants and dark blue parka. The chill of the morning was soon just a memory soon to be forgotten. Going over to his small desk, he grabbed the holstered revolver from inside of the drawers then put it around his waist. The peacemaker seemed almost harmless just hanging on his side, but anyone who handled guns before knew better than to let looks deceive them. Putting on his shoulder bag, the husky then headed for the door, grabbing his key from the shelf as he walked past it. Once he unlocked the door and went outside on to the porch, he turned round and relocked the cabin door then slipped the key into his pocket. The husky then turned and looked out at the town of North Point with a small smile. How he loved the outdoors, the thrill of adventure, the sense of danger lurking around every corner. This was why he moved north from the southern regions of the continent. He wanted to get away from the life he knew for good, just leave it all behind and turn a new leaf. Joining the North Guard has helped him begin the next chapter of his life. Here, he could make a difference.

"You're up early"

Nickel's ears perked at that and he turned to grin widely at the black and white border collie leaning against the post farther down the right side of his porch. With a snort, he turned to face him.

"This is usually the time I wake up, I just never leave the cabin till later"

The collie snorted at that, "Sure whatever. Come on, let's go to headquarters. I hear they may have a job for us"

Nickel chuckled then motioned for the collie to go first, then followed the dog into town. Townsfolk were going about their own business, not paying much attention to anyone else. Though at the sight of the recognizable insignia on Nickel's parka, they would often nod to him or grin softly. Some would even say hello and Nickel would always return the favor. The North Guard headquarters was a large brownish red building in the middle of town, every now and then getting the usual visitor carrying news. As he followed the collie inside, a German Shepherd wearing the same uniform walked past them.

Grinning at the two, he said, "Nickel, Collin, about time you two got here! Things have been a bit hectic around here lately, from what I heard there was a train wreck about 50 miles down the rails. Everyone's being dispatched immediately, uh, except for you Nick, the Director wants to see you in her office"

The husky looked to Collin who merely shrugged and said, "You better go Nick, she doesn't like being kept waiting. I'll keep you posted about what's going on"

Nodding, Nickel turned and headed for the stairs. With every step he took, the sound of his padded feet hitting the step seemed to echo up and down the narrow stairway. Why did the Director want to see him? The last time he was called up to her office he got chewed out for accidentally setting off a pack of TNT while on a mission. It wouldn't have been a big deal if not for the fact that it resulted in a massive mine collapse.

But it wasn't his fault that he had tripped and dropped the torch he was carrying, how was he supposed to know that the ground was slippery? Soon he reached the top of the stairway, finding himself at the beginning of the hallway that led straight to the Director's office. Making his way towards the door down at the other end, the husky would glance at the closed doors that were on either side of him. There was about ten doors: Five on either side. Each door led to a different part of the upper area of the building. As he passed the final pair of doors, he reached out and knocked on the Director's door.

After a moment there came a voice, "Come in" With a deep breath, Nickel went in.

The Director was sitting at her desk directly across from the door, she looked to be working on a small stack of paperwork though once Nickel came in she stopped what she was doing and sat up. The border collie was wearing the same uniform that he was wearing, though her parka was a dark red instead of a dark blue.

"You can shut the door behind you Nick, this won't be one of those conversations that any passing ear within earshot can eavesdrop on"

Shutting the door, he then looked back to her, "What is it that you wanted to see me for Molly?"

She cleared her throat, then got up and walked over to the wall over to the right of the room, where a large map of the entire Northern Territory hung.

"You heard about the train wreck, didn't you?"

He nodded, "Yeah I heard about it, any idea on what happened?"

"I have an idea, but the reports that came in weren't very much help. Though I do believe that there is more to it than what the reports say. I think that it was sabotage"

At that Nickel's eyes widened in surprise, "Sabotage? What makes you think that?"

It was then that Molly turned to look at him, "Because why would a train simply jump off the rails? I read the report of the Rail Maintenance, and it said that there was nothing wrong with the rail roads. The report had been given two hours before the crash"

She was right, nothing about it added up. Two hours were plenty of enough time for someone to mess with the rails themselves.

Nodding slowly, the husky said, "So what is it you want me to do?"

The Director went over to her desk and opened a drawer. After reaching in, she pulled out a file and came over to him while holding it out.

"I know it's not in your job description, but I need you to do a bit of detective work. Think you can handle it?"

With a grin Nickel took the file from her paw and took a look at it before bringing his eyes back up to hers.

"You can count on me"

*****

END OF PART ONE