(Music: Eye Of The Tiger)
It is dark, quite dark, there is no moon tonight, and it is approaching 3 AM. An urban landscape can just be made out close at hand. Our birds eye view swoops to a monorail track where we can just make out a darkly clad figure standing at the base of a support pylon. A pair of gloved hands reaches around the steel cylinder in a giant hug, and there is a soft thud as the figure's legs are tucked in front of them and the sole of first one boot then the other is planted into the side of the pole. Shuffle, thud, shuffle, thud. The figure inches their way upwards like a human jumar.
We cut to a control room. A video wall on one wall is populated with CCTV feeds, lines of status messages, and indicator icons and meters. A man sits slouched back in his chair, feet on the desk in front of him. He wears shiny black leather shoes, pressed black slacks, and black knitted pullover with a logo on the left breast. Fans whirr and power supplies hum loudly, reminiscent of a server room. The man glances round at a fluttering tweet followed by a tapping sound as a small bird deposits itself on the window sill outside, and a smile flickers over his lips.
Fifty metres away in the darkness beyond, a youth is reaching the three quarter mark of a greyish-silver pole, its finish without blemish, like the face of that English girl with the blue eyes and long dark hair who used to smile at you as you left Statics. He pauses, wraps his legs around the pole, releases his arms and clamps down with his legs as his weight is transferred. Directly above him is a spider's web of barbed wire and steel bars. In a sit-up like movement, the youth's top section lowers then swings upward. His arms outstretch and legs release simultaneously, and he is suspended from the anti-climb a moment later. A half chin-up half frontflip, and he is crouching with both feet on different spars, recovering his balance. A few careful steps, and the figure reattaches himself to the pole and resumes his ascent as if nothing had happened. Barely a sound comes from his body, his breathing is soft and steady.
Ding dong diiing. A synthesised but natural sounding female voice echoes through a virtually empty railway station.
"The three o'-clock ser-vice from Dartmoor is now arriving ooon platform one."
A tremendous whoosh fills the tunnel leading to the station, and a few moments later a dull yellow glow emerges, growing steadily larger and brighter. BWHOOOOOOOOO. The mandatory blast of the air horn is startling in the silence only recently destroyed by the compression of air preceding the incoming monster. The air being trapped in the tunnel escapes at the other end with a horrific boom, and the sound of a powerful electric motor can suddenly be heard. A single headlight now shines blindingly in a fingerlike beam, staring menacingly down anyone and anything that gets in its way, and a scene that could be from Monsters, Inc. plays out as the yellow and black stripes of the Tiger Rail Bombardier flash past below on their way into the station.
Sometimes I come here and watch, body pressed against the cold steel, as the first train for the morning pulls in.