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I'm trying to read an internet novel, but I got stuck on some questions with omitted words. The text and my partial translation is below. It's the very beginning of the novel, so it's all the context there is.

最終電車を見送る駅長。しかし去ったはずの最終電車が戻ってくると、そこには銃を持った男が乗っていた……。

The stationmaster is seeing the last train off. However, when the last train that was supposed to leave comes back, a man with a gun gets on it.

男の目的は何か? 駅の待合室で男が語る物語は?

How to understand what words are omitted in the last two sentences?

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  • 銃を持った男が乗っていた => “a man with a gun was on the train.”. it doesn’t say where he boarded. – A.Ellett Sep 6 '20 at 22:47
  • i think it would be useful to see how the story continues from those two sentence fragments. can you post a link to the story? – A.Ellett Sep 6 '20 at 22:49
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    If you say grammatically omitted, I don't think the second to last sentence has anything omitted. – broken laptop Sep 7 '20 at 0:53
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i think i found the short story you’re referring to. what you’ve quoted is from the summary of the story. though in my opinion it reads more like a teaser. the genre is horror or suspense. (technically the summary says it’s horror but to me the story reads more like suspense with a good dash of horror.)

the teaser is from the two sentence fragments you’re unsure about.

男の目的は何か? seems to be pregnant with much possibility. what did the man have in mind? what was his plan of action? there’s much that can be read into these vague words. i’m not very good at translating, but i would render this first fragment along the lines of “did this man have some kind of objective?” but i’m already reading too much into it.

駅の待合室で男が語る物語は? seems easier to understand but i had to start reading the story to make much sense of it just because i couldn’t make a connection between the two fragments—they’re just very incongruous next to each other. “what was the story the man told in the station waiting room?” but again i’m reading a lot into this.

both these sentences are cliff hangers meant to grab you. i don’t think a native japanese would really be able tell you definitively how to finish those fragments. they’re meant to grab you and make you ask, “what’s going on here?”

just the juxtaposition of a man suddenly appearing with a gun from the train that should not have returned and then the almost benign sounding second teaser about someone telling a story makes you wonder what could be going on here.

and truly the story does start off very horrifically.

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  • Thank you for the detailed answer! Yes, that is the story. I admit I didn't read ahead because I was curious about these two sentences. I have an a small question about the 男の目的は何か? part: is 何か one word or it is the word 何 and the particle か? – ash Sep 7 '20 at 13:40

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