010 - Electric Locomotive No. 10 – “Rezistanzskvaar” (The Square of the Resistance)
Class/serial no.: Komiizaar/KV538207E
Weight: 100 tonnes
Max speed: 165 kph
Nmr. 10 Lokomotiv, “The Square of the Resistance” is rolling past you. Have your pen at the ready. Make sure to enter the serial number in your notebook before you slip it back into the pocket of your all-weather nylon coat. KV538207E, Komiizaar Class. What of these locomotives, then? Huge, heavy and immensely powerful, thundering along the track toward you, they present an awe-inspiring sight. Motorised vehicles in our country – locomotives, lorries, limousines - were built for power rather than speed. There’s no getting around it, though, no escaping the truth of the matter. These machines are not objects of beauty. They are, in fact, very ugly indeed. The twin panes of the windscreen peer myopically over the bulk of the high nose. Their fading paintwork is long overdue attention. Viewed head-on, they bring to mind ancient and ponderous sea-creatures, cetaceans, perhaps, or sirenians. The louvered grilles opening in their sides resemble the gills of primitive fishes, grown gigantic while dwelling at unimaginable depths. And yet they retain a certain majesty.
The naming of things holds great significance for us, then. “Rezistanzskvaar” is named after the open space at the heart of Tarrinstøy, our capital city. Renaming is important too. The square has changed designation numerous times. For centuries, it was known as Niiklaasplaaz. It was only after we’d gained independence at the end of the First Pan-European War that it took on its present name. For a while, under the fakziista dictatorship, it was known as Kvestjaanaskvaar and then, in the progresivaa era, it became Kabakplaaz. When we won back our freedom following The Twilight of the Autocrats, it reverted to its revolutionary name and Nmr. 10 Lokomotiv did likewise.
At this hour, the square is deserted. It’s a long time since the paving stones were swept and tall weeds sprout in the gaps between them. Its statues are spattered with pigeon shit. The cafés and shops are all closed. The grand buildings look forlorn, apparently abandoned. How did this come to pass?