The bluish emergency light started to flicker and I could instantly tell this wasn’t going to be an ordinary day. As the smell got more intense Matt and I locked eyes and visually examined each other then proceeded to do the same to the other passengers. Only then did we notice that the front two rows were empty and fuming. Our Trans was one of the older models with five rows of four seats. Luckily we were in row four sitting next to the emergency exit. “Matt, do you think these exits have been used in the last 100 years.” “More importantly do they function.” “No time like the present to find out.” We hardly noticed that the others were watching and waiting for us to open the door. We quickly read the instructions and opened it.
The external Trans lights were pulsing. We could see up to 28.8 meters from the Trans in either direction. “Where is the Conductor?” Matt, as usual was detached. “Good question.” Then I remembered that the front two rows where empty and that, that is where the Conductor would have been sitting. “We are on our own for now people.”
Although of low rank, Matt and I were of the commander cast and it was assumed that we would know what to do to lead the group to safety. We didn’t. We both checked our side arms and instructed the others to sit just outside of the Trans while we examined the area. Matt went to check the tube emergency beacon, while I did the same for the one on the Trans. The clearance between the tube and the Trans was a close but adequate 30 centimeters. Matt cleared it easily and was out of sight quickly. I found my target and wrestled it from its cradle. “Dead! My line is dead. Any luck over there?” “I think we are good here. Making the call now.”