Note: title is a reference to The Third Lie by Agota Kristof, which was a big inspiration for Mother 3
"Have you ridden the Green Train before?"
Lucas shook his head. He didn't really want to answer the question, even though it was perfectly innocent. He wanted to be left alone, to lounge across the full row of seats, back against the window, occasionally glancing over his shoulder at the sights hurtling past him at such a speed that it all looked like a rainy smear. Every sudden jolt as the wheels struck a stone on the track made him flinch. It couldn't be the lightning, not any more, and the chimeras never bothered the train, but he still associated sudden loud noises with bad things. Sometimes it was more relaxing to close his eyes and enjoy the speed and the rush of the wind and the jolly Green Train theme played over the radio.
"Better than the boring old red one, isn't it?"
He shrugged. The green was a soothing colour, he supposed, the music was nicer and the higher ticket price meant it was never crowded. On the good days, he had the entire carriage to himself, free of nosy old men with suits and briefcases.
"You got a job with the clayman factory yet?"
"Thought so. All the boys your age work there now. This place is finally making a name for itself in the world of industry. Shame the generator broke down. We'll run out of power to activate the claymen if they don't fix it soon."
He shrugged. He didn't want to be the one to tell the old man that he was the one who sabotaged the generator, that it was the same machine responsible for randomly striking peoples' homes with lightning if they disobeyed Master P, or that he thought the old man was being terribly narrow minded if he thought the factory was the most important thing at stake when the entire world was falling apart around them.
"I don't suppose you could take a message for me? Saves me a visit and could make you a but of extra money on the side. I know the foreman..."
"Not going in today," he muttered.
"Why not? You ill? Don't want money that badly, huh?"
"Family emergency," he said.
"That so? Well, we're supposed to put progress and civilisation before such primitive concerns, but between you and me, you don't look up to a day's work anyway. Sort out whatever's making you like that, then come and talk to me again. The name's Marcassin."
Lucas shrugged, then yawned and turned over. He didn't really feel like going to sleep but he hoped the acting was good enough to get the message across and anyway he didn't want the old man to see his tears.
Yeah, okay, the Green Train's fun, he thought to himself, but not without the brother you're supposed to take everywhere with you because you're basically not whole without each other and the only language you can really express your true feelings in is a language that only two people speak.
Once the old man had left the carriage, talking loudly into a small device, Lucas fished his battered notebook from his pocket and added 'ride the Green Train' to the list of things he was going to take his brother to do as soon as they were reunited.
Claus was definitely still alive. Brothers knew these things. It felt... wrong, but not dead wrong.
It wouldn't be long now.