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Today we’re going to answer a question from Irobert, one of the people who help make Kemono Cafe possible.
He asks: “Kona, did you ever try to figure out how the Escapade works?”
I got the first question?!
Hello, Kona… Yes you did.
I got the first question! How do you like them apples, Maxine!
I… I am thoroughly unsettled by this. This is supposed to be a happy moment, Kona.
Trust me. I am very happy.
So you want to hear about my train, huh?
It is a gosh dang mystery, ain’t it?
And I think I know just where to start…
Oh good. Where?
I need a coffee. I’ll be back once you’re done.
Joke’s on him. I just finished the pot. Heh.
But, in all seriousness, thanks for asking me. That’s real kind.
The story of the Escapade starts when I found her. My memory is really fuzzy about those days. But she looked a lot like how the station does now.
The forest is always trying to reclaim all of Fable, you know. It grows real fast, faster than any other world I’ve seen.
If Jill wasn’t working overtime to keep it in check, I bet we’d all be in tree houses by now.
Fable was way smaller back then. Not a lot of people to tell me what to do. We picked up a lot of residents on the train.
Are we to the part where you picked me up yet?
Oh, hey! You wanna help me with this?
I’d like that. I missed you.
So here’s the first spooky part. I had to clean the Escapade, sure. But nothing about it was really broken up. No rust. No muss.
I detached the caboose for my house and played with it a bit to see if I could get her to come to life. But no luck.
Why didn’t Jill make you a house? She made me one.
Hah. Well, funny story about that. I love camping… so I never really asked for one.
Well that’s strange… They are kinda nice.
They take your time and I don’t have any to spare. This rabbit’s got to be free.
I also remember the train’s tunnels being blocked both ways by rocks. And even behind that were some boards deeper inside… Someone shut them down hard.
But then why did you take them down? Doesn’t that sound dangerous?
… Huh, yeah. I think I get what you mean.
You’re only just now thinking of this?
Heh. Yeah. How often do I get to go down memory lane?
Seriously, though. How far back was this again? It’s so hard to remember.
We were at the part where you cleared the tunnels. Why’d you do that?
Something said I couldn’t go there. So you know what I had to do!
I’ll keep that in mind if I ever get to be a cop.
You’ll like this part, though.
The train woke up right as I was done! I came back out of the tunnel to see its bright light come on.
Imagine my heart at the sight… I got on board to check things out and it started moving all on its own!
Someone needed help!
It pulled all the vines apart and sped up right into that dark tunnel. I was so scared that I screamed and laughed and cried all at once.
We charged off into the night… I’ll never forget that inky blackness all around me. Tiny lights went by that looked like the windows of homes on a rainy night. I had hours to think about what I’d done all alone on the trip.
Did you regret it?
I was scared, sure. But I didn’t regret it. If that was how I was gonna go, that’s how I was gonna go.
You ever wonder what’s out there, Miko?
Only because I think this is where I come into the story.
You know it. The train stopped somewhere strange in the middle of all that ink. One lamppost was still standing out in the middle of nowhere, lit up bright and gold like a moon in the night’s sky.
And nowhere else was like that?
Never. I’ve been riding the train for years and it’s never done it since.
You probably don’t remember. But it looked like there was a floating bridge just out of sight in the dark behind you. You could almost see the corners of the buildings that were supposed to be there.
And under that lamppost, huddled up with her back against it, was you reading your ticket. The train parked up along a piece of floating stone so I could get off.
I’m really grateful you took me home, Kona. You didn’t have to do that.
Like I had a choice! Who would just leave someone there? Ticket or no ticket, I had to come out and get you.
And a good thing I did, too. I’ll never forget looking back on that lamp. Right as we started taking off…
The light went out.
So I guess that’s how the train works. It sends the tickets out ahead of it and then flies between worlds. Once it gets to a world, it looks very ordinary.
It doesn’t stand out once it gets there. So I guess it’s lucky that every world it visits knows what a train is.
And no one ever blinks at me when I walk about. I admit I’m guilty of collecting candy bars from every world, too. I love those suckers.
Someday, I hope we can find your world. Maybe if we find it again, we’ll be able to get someone to come here and-
It’s okay. I don’t think about it all that much anymore.
I like it here.
I’ll never understand you homebodies. It’s a mystery! Don’t you wanna know?
Eh. I know how it ends.
And I’m back…
Oh hey, there you are. What took so long?
Some jerk didn’t put on a new pot of coffee after using up the last one.
So what did I miss?
Just my tragic backstory.
Oh, is that all!
I think we got it all covered. I wish the train had a few more uniforms in it… This one’s just a tiny bit too tight.
Maybe you should stop collecting candy bars.
Or switch to something low fat, like stamps.
Well, then I guess we have to leave off there.
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