The train was not what Jim was expecting.
It was a great, hulking bonze steam engine that seemed to move silently towards the station. Every inch of it was gilded to perfection, and upon closer inspection the reason for its silence was revealed - there were no wheels. Inscribed along the front of the engine was the name of the thing:
The whole thing glided above the rails, an almost imperceptible hum emitting from beneath it as it slowly halted and the doors opened smoothly. Doc marched onboard, and Jim shuffled rapidly after him.
Onboard, the decor was immaculate - ornate Art Deco walls and door frames were matched with golden upholstered seating. The train was empty, save for a woman near the back reading a small green bound book. Doc waltzed over to her, reclined on the opposite seat and beckoned Jim.
He shuffled closer, and the woman looked up - into his very soul, it seemed - with her bright blue eyes.
"Argent - a pleasure to see you again, you bad penny. And you must be Jim - I wasn't expecting somebody like you to live this long around the Doc." She smiled, and raised her hand to shake his. Doc shook her hand with a genial grin, then arched his back before straightening himself and closing his eyes.
He seemed asleep, but he was sat bolt upright and his muscles taut. "He's mediating again - he does it quite often. What got you into all this, James?"
Jim's heart skipped a beat. The last time somebody had used his full name, it had been the smarmy bastard from the Inland Revenue - he did not want that memory flooding back into his head. But she sat there, still smiling expectantly as Doc remained in his controlled reverie.
"A bit of a mistake, really," he said, forcing the words through the lump in his throat. "Assassins were after him, but missed by two apartments. Nothing special about me." He gave a half-hearted smile, and took a few deep breaths before continuing. "What about you?" She laughed - a strange, almost ringing noise, but filled with cheer and joy - before replying.
"Me? I'm one of the originals. The first four to get involved. Same with Argent, Aurelia and Emmy - we were the pioneers."
"We were the ones," she continued, "who developed all this technology. The Sacred Amy, the turbopistols-" Jim shot her a look of confusion, only to be met by a hand wave. "All this technology was developed and created by us. We were the people who found it all and started to use it. Valentina was the first of us - we all followed after, with Argent being the most recent." Jim nodded.
"I think I get it... you guys are mad scientists?" Jim asked, perhaps a tad too hopefully. He was met with another strange ringing laugh.
"No, not quite. Though Aurelia may have gone a little round the bend and Argent here knows next to nothing about proper science, so there's that much to go on." A low growl began to emerge from between Doc's unmoving lips. "He's not that bad, though - he has his uses," she quickly interjected.
"Like what?" Jim grinned. "Go on - what does this one do? You three make all this technology, and he... what?" She smiled, and leaned in conspiratorially.
"We have names, you know. Emerald manages the biological aspects of the technology, I manage the fuel sources - Ruby, by the way - Aurelia is an experimental nut who I think is trying to create life again, and Argent..."
There was a solid thump on the roof of the train.
Then, another. The thumbs started moving down towards the doors, and Ruby stood.