A narrator recounts his life around trains. How being boxed in by four because of a novice at the switchboard had allowed for a community to form. How he was assisted in facilitating other train jumpers evade the law and ticket prices by his two companions, Bonnie and Cole. BeRT (the only reference the narrator gives to his name is the failed acronym for 'be right there'), after leaving the organization he helped create, now creates trouble for any that remind him of his old self. He is as talented in keeping the runners off the train as he was keeping transit officials off his trail. After detaining anyone looking for a free ride, he suggests they ride with him.
BeRT unofficially works for the railway company. He has access to any cars they have in their lot. He hopes that by fighting with the same people he would have once helped, they would see the error in their ways as he sees it. The narrator tries to make a customer out of the emptiest of pockets. He wants promises from the most deceitful of people. He continues to patrol any cargo cars regardless of how well his other venture is going. He drives a hard bargain.
The hub, as it was affectionately called, was home to a community of narcissists. An older generation of the runners that BeRT now apprehends. Cole, Bonnie and BeRT looked after those who were only looking after themselves. The train hopping syndicate functioned extraordinarily. It was impossible for any in the group to get hurt feelings when they knew they would have acted the same.
The narrator works to understand exactly what happened with the hub. If the hub is still around. If he would be welcomed back the same leader he thought he was.
The narrator is off the rails. Find out why.