One day, the Fat Controller called some of his engines to Knapford Station.
"Attention, attention!" He called, "I would like to inform you all that I have acquired new engines!"
"New engines?" Asked Gordon, "There are more than one?"
"That's guid. We haven't hud a pair o' twins in a lang time!" Donald said.
"Aye. Tis aboot time we hae anither," agreed Douglas.
"For better, or worse," said Henry grimly.
"Probably for worse," said James, "Have we ever had a sane pair of twins?"
"Ye wadna be saying that the baith o' us aren't sane, urr ye?" Asked Donald angrily.
James stammered, "N-no! Not at all! W-why would I? I... Henry, back me up here."
"Ahem!" The engines silenced, and the Fat Controller continued, "I wouldn't say they are a pair, James. There are not, in fact, two."
"How many are there, then, Sir?" Asked Edward.
"There are actually three. I designed them myself. However, I wasn't able to build them at our works. Thankfully, I have a friend who's currently working in the United States. I sent him my blueprints, and he agreed to build three engines and send them here. They were finished recently, and will arrive today at Brendam Docks! As long as it does not conflict with your schedules..." he paused, while glaring at Dennis the diesel, "I would encourage you stop by and meet them. Well, that is all! Back to work!"
"Yes, Sir!" The engines chanted.
Later, Edward arrived at Brendam with a train of tankers. He saw BoCo, who was getting loaded by Cranky the Crane.
"Hello, BoCo! Have the new engines arrived yet?"
"Engines? What new engines?" Asked BoCo.
"Three new engines are arriving from America soon."
"Three?" Asked BoCo, "I speak from experience: two engines are hard enough. I hope they're hard workers!"
"I hope they're quiet workers!" Snapped Cranky, "Bill and Ben are a nightmare! I'd rather be pushed into the ocean than be forced to deal with another one!"
"Don't worry," said Edward assuringly, "I'm sure at least one of them will be somewhat sane."
Cranky was interrupted by a ship horn. Olivia the steam ship sailed towards the dock, with not three, but four engines on her deck.
"Well, that's pretty much my entire life story!" She chattered, "Now, let me see if I have your names down now. Let's see, it's... oh, I forget! What's your name again, Red?"
"Dawson," the little red tank engine said.
"Yes," Olivia went on, "So there's Dawson... and David?"
"Yeah, that's right," the little blue engine said quietly.
"And then there's Dawson, David, Dawson, and... Dailey?"
"Actually," the pink engine said, "It's Dailey, Dawson, Damian, and David! I'm the oldest."
"By literally one hour," said Dawson.
"Well, it sounds like a brilliant story, but it seems we've made it to the Island. Welcome to Sodor!"
"Do I see four engines?" Asked Edward.
"NOOOOO!!!" Gasped Cranky, "I CAN'T TAKE IT!!! Someone, throw me overboard!"
"Whoa, whoa!" Cried BoCo, "Calm down, Cranky."
"Calm down? Calm down?!? CALM DOWN?!? Don't you tell me to 'calm down,' because my life is about to be ruined by four crazy tank engines!!! I HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN UNCALM!!!"
Then the Fat Controller arrived.
"Have the three new engines arrived yet, Edward?"
"Well, they've arrived, but there isn't three."
"Bother! Did those bumbling colonists forget all three? I specifically said I wanted three! I have a very specific plan, and two won't do!"
"Will four do?" Asked BoCo innocently.
"Take a look."
The Fat Controller looked to Olivia, and he was shocked to see the four tank engines.
"Olivia! What is the meaning of this?" He asked sternly.
"Oh, is there a problem, Sir?" She asked.
"I only asked for three engines."
"Really?" Said Olivia, "I was told to take these four. Perhaps there was a miscommunication."
"I asked my friend in America to build me three engines," the Fat Controller went on, "I can't understand why there are four."
"Well, Sir, your 'friend' was impressed with the blueprints, and wanted to build another one just in case," explained Dailey.
"That's where Dave came along," said Damian, the orange tank engine.
"But he got word that you wanted all of us," continued Dawson, "I guess he thought you actually meant all of us. What's worse is that thereafter, the blueprints were lost!"
"That's preposterous!" Exclaimed the Fat Controller, "I never knew a fourth engine had been built! Cranky, unload these engines, then we'll sort this out."
But Cranky didn't respond. He stammered while his teeth chattered violently. "B-b-b-b... ngeeh, egh..."
"It appears that Cranky is recovering from a state of shock, Sir," said Edward.
Olivia had to unanchor and move only a few meters forwards to make it to where another crane could unload the engines. Soon, their wheels were on the ground.
"So, what are your names?"
"And I'm David."
"We're quadruplets!" They finished together.
"Well, I have an issue on my hands now! So, I only ordered three. One of you should not be here. It's a good thing you're all different colours, or we'd have another 'Donald and Douglas' incident! Only times two!"
"So, what you're saying is one of us is not going to stay?" Asked Dailey.
"Yes. I only need three, so I can send one of you back. Keeping all four would basically be stealing, since I only paid for the construction of three, and..."
"No, you paid for all four of us," said Damian.
"Pardon?" Asked the Fat Controller.
"He put all four of us on your tab, because he thought you wanted all four."
"Hmm, very well. If I paid for all of you, I suppose another engine won't hurt."
"I b-b-beg t-to d-d-differ!" Stuttered Cranky.
"What's the deal with him?" Asked David.
"Trauma," replied BoCo.
"I'll label this a trial. I'll see how well you can work, and if all goes well, you four can stay. But if you cease to impress me..." He paused impressively, "I will send... at least... one of you back."
"Did he say 'at least?'" Dailey asked.
"Edward! Show them to the Clay Pits! I have business to attend to." The Fat Controller spun on his heel and stormed to his car.
"Well," said Edward, "I guess you're working at the Clay Pits. Bill and Ben work there. They're twins, too."
"We're not twins," said Dailey.
"We're quadruplets," finished David.
"Yes, well... regardless, let's be on our way!" And Edward chuffed off to the China Clay Pits, with the four new quadruplets.
TO BE CONTINUED