International Rescue: The Next Phase


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Learning The Ropes [message #65] Sat, 21 July 2012 21:47 Go to next message
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Jeff Tracy has finally recruited his expanded team. With the additions of Brandon, Callie, Christopher, Dominic, Kat, and Nikki, the burden of rescues can now be shared. But before the new recruits can be of best use as International Rescue operatives, there are many details that need to be ironed out. There are decisions to be made, and instruction and training to be accomplished, all complicated by Jeff's own physical condition and removal from the scene. Their new lives have just begun, and the rookies find that they must learn the ropes of International Rescue's operations and work together to become a team.

Post by Tikatu on 05/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #66 is a reply to message #65] Sat, 21 July 2012 21:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Wednesday, February 29, 2068, 3:30 p.m., Tracy Island

Elise Collins looked around carefully as Virgil helped her out of the jet. The sun was bright and she squinted.

"Welcome to Tracy Island, Elise," Virgil said with a grin. "Hope it's everything you imagined."

"I'll let you know," Elise said as she stepped gingerly down to the tarmac. Gordon groggily climbed out after her.

The day of her discharge, Gordon and Scott had whisked her away to the Tracy Industries building in a limousine. They walked her through the building's ground floor then out the back door and into a cab that stood waiting at the curb.

"Hey, Bernie," Scott said, giving the cabbie a grin.

"Hey, Scott, Gordon. Nice t' make yer acquaintance, Miz Collins," Bernie said in a definite Bronx accent. He took off from the curb.

"Where are we going?" Elise asked.

"Your place. You can put together a suitcase and oversee the packing of your belongings." Scott had told her. "Then we'll take you back and put you up at the penthouse overnight."

"Yeah, then off to Tracy Island you go!" Gordon said as he sat back, hands behind his head.

"My belongings? Who said anything about my moving to your blasted island? I thought I'd just be there until I recovered from my injuries!" Elise protested.

"Nobody said anything about your moving out there, Elise. But while you're gone, your household things are better off in storage, right? That way, no one would have a chance to steal them. And when you got back, we could find you something a bit different in the way of an apartment. Some place with good security," Scott reasoned. Elise missed the wink that passed between the two brothers.

Elise sighed, exasperated. "Well, okay. What you say sounds reasonable. I'll go along with it... for now."

Bernie the cabbie had already been given the address and he pulled into the side street around the corner from the building. Scott, who had already scoped the place out, brought Elise and Gordon to a little used back door, where the super was already waiting for them.

"Thanks, Mrs. Alagbadah. We appreciate your help," Scott said as he peeled off a hundred dollar bill and handed it to the super. She refused to take it.

"The reporters, they are here day and night ringing the bell. Waking the other tenants. No offense, Ms. Collins, but glad I will be to see you safe... elsewhere." The plump dark woman patted Elise on the shoulder. "You can use the back entrance to come and go as you pack things up. The moving crew showed me their identification and are already here working. God speed, Ms. Collins and I hope you feel better soonest. Oh, and Misters Tracy? I hope your father recuperates."

"Thanks, ma'am," Gordon said with a smile. "He's awake and doing better. We've even managed to tear Mom away from him for a while."

"Which is a miracle in itself," Scott muttered. "C'mon, Elise. Show us your apartment."

She lead them upstairs to her dwelling and suddenly was struck by how shabby it all must seem to them, these young men brought up to wealth and luxury. ~Just a little second story walk-up in Greenwich Village, she thought, cringing. ~They're used to penthouses and tropical islands. This is going to be so... so tacky to them. Even to Scott, who I know has seen the seedy side of life. It's been so long and... well, how well do I know him anymore?

But surprisingly, Gordon looked around the place, nodding, while Scott made himself at home on her sleeper-sofa.

"Your place is nice. Well laid out," Gordon commented. He sidestepped one of the five moving men who were busy looking around, planning out where to start.

"Ms. Collins, we'd like to start with the kitchen and work our way out, doing the living room last," their supervisor said. "We'll pack up everything for you. You won't have to lift a finger. Leave it all to us."

"O-Okay," Elise said hesitantly, looking over at Scott, who merely smiled at her. "Go ahead. I don't have a lot of choice in the matter it seems."

"If you would pack up your clothes and other personal items, we'd be obliged."

"Okay. I can do that."

Scott got up. "Where are your suitcases?"

"In the closet."

Scott made a beeline for the bedroom while Gordon went and emptied all of Elise's trashcans. She looked at him quizzically. Gordon grinned.

"I know these guys. They'll pack up a trash can full of trash if you don't empty it for them!" The way his eyebrows wagged up and down made her laugh, even though laughing was still painful.

Scott had opened up one of the suitcases on her bed when she came in. He had started to take the clothes out of her closet, hangers and all, and lay them down on the bed. She began to open drawers and put the contents into the suitcase.

"You said you managed to get your stepmom to leave the hospital, to leave your dad. Who's watching him if not her?"

Scott hauled out another double armload of skirts and blouses. "My brothers, John and Virgil, with a little backup from our grandmother. Virgil and Gordon will be taking you to the island tomorrow. I've got to hang around and hold down the fort at corporate. We're hoping to have Dad home within a week or two. Depends on how things go with the other surgeries." He rolled his eyes. "Mom will be back there within twenty-four hours, I bet. But she promised to go to the penthouse and get some decent sleep. Besides, my little brothers and sister missed her."

"Last I knew you only had the four brothers and no sister. When did the other siblings come about?" she asked as she continued to fill her suitcase.

"When Dad remarried. Mom was a widow with three kids. He adopted them after they married. Wanted to be a real father to them and not just a stepfather."

Elise smiled. "That's sweet. And from what I've seen of your dad, very much in character." She sighed and shook her head. "I'm just glad he's going to make it."

"Sure looks that way," Scott agreed. "Oh, by the way, I checked with that realtor. Dad's purchase agreement had transmitted after all. He bought the cottage."

"Ohhh! Your stepmom is going to love the place!" Elise proceeded to tell Scott all about it. Then a thought struck her. "I hope he takes her there and it's not a sad reminder of this damned crash."

Scott stopped what he was doing and turned Elise around, putting his hands on her shoulders. "He'll take her there. Not because of the place, but because he loves her. It may be a while before he's up to it, but believe me, he'll take her there."
Elise nodded and gave Scott a small smile. Then they both got back to packing.

The night at the penthouse was interesting. Dr. Tracy was nowhere to be seen until the next morning. But Elise made the acquaintance of the younger Tracys: Cherie, Alex, and Tyler. They all treated her with great respect because, as Tyler put it, "You saved our Dad's life." After breakfast, Dianne came to see Elise and gave her a last physical check before sending her off with Gordon and Virgil to the hangar.

"You enjoy yourself when you get there and don't worry about a thing. We've made all the arrangements," Dianne assured her as they got into the elevator. Elise nodded and the doors closed.

Elise was glad to meet Scott's next-in-line brother, Virgil.

"He told me a lot about you, when we were in the Air Force together, and some of the scrapes you all got into as kids. He said Alan was the worst of the lot of you, though. Where is he, by the way? I didn't get to see him. Or John for that matter."

"He swapped places with me this morning at the hospital," Virgil explained. "Just hope Grandma doesn't throw him out on his ear, that's all. He's been whining and complaining that he's not had enough time with Father."

"Sounds like the way Scott described him," Elise said with a chuckle. Virgil and Gordon laughed right along with her.
Gordon took the controls on the flight from New York to LA, where they refueled and Elise got out to stretch her legs and take some medication. Virgil took the pilot's seat for the rest of the journey while Gordon napped. Elise napped, too; her painkillers made her slightly sleepy.

And now she was there, on the island, headed up to the house on the rise in a hovercart driven by an older Asian man named Kyrano. Some people who were on the patio of a large building jutting out of the cliff where the airstrip ended leaned over and waved at the Tracys, who waved right back.

"Our new recruits," Virgil said. Elise nodded, though she didn't understand.

A plump woman who introduced herself as Dr. Tracy's mother, Lisa, escorted her through the cool corridors of the house.
"Here you are, dear: our guest suite. Just make yourself at home and let me know if you need anything," Lisa said with a smile. Then she left Elise alone, to gaze dazedly out of the window at the sea, and sun, thinking about how alien it all was to her and would she ever feel comfortable knowing that somewhere here lay a secret that the world must never know.

Post by Tikatu on 05/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #67 is a reply to message #66] Sat, 21 July 2012 21:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tuesday, February 28, 5 p.m., Tracy family penthouse, New York City.

Dianne stood at the door to the games room of the penthouse. It wasn't as extensive as the room back at the Villa; Tyler wasn't there often so there were no pinball machines or video games. The pool table dominated the center of the room and she looked at it, tears in her eyes. She walked over to it and rolled the cue ball back and forth absently as she remembered a turning point in her life. A turning point that involved a game of pool. Her eyes became unfocused as she reminisced.

**********

Dianne focused on the white ball and its trajectory. She slid the cue between her fingers once, twice, and then hit the ball with controlled force. It traveled along the path she had envisioned, striking the five ball where she wanted it to, and sending that ball into the side pocket. She straightened up, bringing the cue to attention, and sighed. She had come down here to distract herself with the game while Jeff and Penelope went for a walk on the beach.

"What's up, Doc?" came the now familiar query. Dianne turned to see Gordon lounging in the doorway, leaning on the doorjamb, hands in his pockets. "Whatcha doing?"

"What does it look like Ah'm doin'? Ah'm improvin' mah pool game," she retorted, a slightly irritated tone to her voice.
Gordon sauntered into the room, pulling one hand from a pocket and inspecting his nails. Dianne went back to shooting pool.
"I don't think so."

"You don' think so? Then what do y'think, Mistah Gordon?"

"I think you're hiding. I think you're hiding from Penelope."

"Hidin'? Whatevah gave you that ideah?" Dianne laughed. "Why would Ah want to hide from a li'l slip of a thing like her anyway?"

"Well, you know Penelope's gone for a moonlit walk on the beach with Dad." He made it a statement and not a question.

"Yeah, so?"

"You know what she's gonna talk to him about."

"Mebbe."

"You know. I know you know."

"An' how exactly d'you know Ah know?"

"Tin-Tin told me. That, and your drawl is showing. That only happens when you're angry or upset."

Dianne stopped potting pool balls and looked over at him, then straightened up. A sly smile briefly crossed her face. "Mistah Gordon, theah are othah times that mah drawl becomes pronounced," she informed him. She leaned back over the table again. "Not that you'll evah know...."

Gordon snorted. She put the eight ball in a corner pocket. He took down the rack and began to pull the balls from their resting places at the end of the table.

"Rack 'em up," he said, pulling a cue down from the wall. "Let's see how much your game has improved."

Dianne smiled grimly and put the balls into the triangle frame.

They played for a while, quiet with each other except when calling a shot. Gordon was still the better player, but he could see that she was releasing her frustrations with every ball she sunk. Finally, he took the eight ball and the game was over.

"Rack 'em up again?" she asked. He nodded, and then as she was busy with the balls and rack, he looked over to the door. She didn't notice him hand his cue off to someone who had quietly come in, in fact, she didn't notice him leave until his replacement came up to her and asked in his deep voice:

"Mind if I play?"

Dianne stood up, startled at the sight of Jeff standing by the side of the table. She recovered her composure and motioned towards the cloth.

"Be mah guest."

Jeff broke the formation, and Dianne took the turn from him. He watched her carefully line up a shot, take it, and miss. His turn, and he took advantage of her missed opportunity.

Very casually, he said, "I took a long walk on the beach with Penelope tonight." He put another ball in the side pocket, and then moved around the table. Missing his shot, he straightened up and watched her as this time she took advantage of his flub.

"So Ah heah." The heaviness of the drawl caused him to raise an eyebrow. She made her next play and sank a ball, then studied the table.

"She asked me to marry her."

If he was hoping that there would be a huge reaction to his statement, he was disappointed. Just a soft snort of air from her nostrils, and she leaned across to try another shot, missing. He studied the balls and saw an opportunity.

"And?" was her query.

"I said no, I couldn't marry her," was his response.

This caused a reaction; he could sense it even if he couldn't see it. He lined up his shot and winced when it went wide.

"Cayah to tell me why?" Her next sally was picture perfect and she took another turn, flubbing the ball on the second go.

"She's younger than Scott. For as old as she acts and sounds, I just can't get my head past the age difference. I feel like I'd be robbing the cradle." His shot was close, so close that it elicited a loud "Tch!" from him as it stopped right at the edge of the pocket.

"Hmmph." Dianne took advantage of the strategically placed ball and sank it. She moved around the table to see what shots were available. Shaking her head, she attempted to put a ball in the side pocket, but it went wide and wild. Jeff, who had been leaning on his cue watching her, now moved in.

"She went on a bit of a rant after I said no, I'm afraid." He sank the ball that Dianne had tried for and went after another. "She ranted for a while about you."

Dianne watched him sink another ball. He stood up and looked over at her, their eyes meeting.

"What did she say about me?" she asked, a challenge in her voice.

The game was momentarily forgotten as they faced each other. His blue eyes met her brown ones frankly.

"She said you were in love with me." Jeff moved closer to her. They stood there silently for a bit, then he asked, "Are you?"

Dianne looked away, drawing a breath in through her nose and letting it out through her mouth in a heavy sigh.

"That, suh, is a loaded question." She looked back at him again.

"Well?"

She swallowed and licked her lips. "Ah'm very attracted to you, both physically and intellectually. Ah have great respect for you and your work. Your presence lights up a room for me and your voice sends shivahs down mah spine. Ah miss you when you're gone. The thought of you with her Ladyship made mah blood boil." She paused. "Even though Ah've tried to keep things cool and professional between us, it's been increasin'ly hard to look at you in a merely clinical way."

Dianne laid her cue across the table. "Ah guess what Ah'm tryin' to say is that if Ah'm not in love with you... Ah don't know what Ah am."

She walked over to him and reached up to his face. Cupping one cheek with her hand, she gently kissed the other, then turned and was gone, leaving Jeff holding his hand to the cheek she had kissed and staring after her, an unreadable expression on his face.

************

The tears fell as the memory faded, and she felt a welling up of both pain and love. Pain for the situation as it stood. And love for the man whose presence she missed so very, very much.

She looked at the balls, racked up so neatly on the table. Then, tossing the cue ball up and down once, she put it on its spot, picked up her favorite cue, and started to play.

Post by Tikatu on 05/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!

[Updated on: Sat, 21 July 2012 21:59]

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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #68 is a reply to message #67] Sat, 21 July 2012 22:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island, February 29th 2068

Kat went to her apartment to change into her working clothes, and headed for the boat pen. Finding no one around, she went on to where the planes were kept. There she found Brains busily working on one of the jets. He looked up when he heard Kat arrive.

"Hi, Brains, need any help?"

"Yes, please, I am just checking the compressor. In a minute can you start up the engine?"

Kat scrambled into the cockpit of the plane and sat at the controls; they seemed very complicated. Brains guided her through the complexity of starting the plane

"Now, please, Kat." Brains called out.

The engine burst into life. Gosh, Kat thought, I would love to fly one of these.

Brains emerged slightly oily from underneath the engine. "That seems okay,"

"What else needs doing?" Kat enquired.

"Nothing more here," Brains replied. "I have to go and help Tin-Tin with the Thunderbird crafts."

"Can I come and watch, please?" Kat asked.

"Sure, follow me." And he led the way back to Thunderbird Two's hangar.

There was no sign of Tin-Tin, so while they waited for her, they started talking.

"I think that once Dr. Tracy and the rest of the family return with Mr. Tracy, you may undergo some form of official training as International Rescue personnel," Brains explained.

"Ooh, you mean that I may actually go out on a rescue?" Kat exclaimed. "Wow, that would be unreal!"

Brains laughed. "Well, the chances are slight, but there may be rare occasions when your expertise would be needed."

Kat digested this piece of startling information. It had never occurred to her that she could actually be involved in a rescue. Surely the others were more qualified than she was. But if Brains had intimated that there may be the odd occasion, who was she to turn the opportunity down?

"So, Brains, how did you become involved with International Rescue?"

Brains explained the background to him meeting Mr Tracy and being asked to become a member of International Rescue.

"Of course, I knew John from college days," he explained. "My parents are both dead, they died when a hurricane destroyed our home. I was adopted by a Professor at a University in Cambridge. One day, I was giving a lecture, and not doing very well, being very nervous. In those days I had a stutter, which didn't help. Mr. Tracy approached me and told me I was the kind of person he was looking for and he explained what he had in mind."

Kat listened intently to Brains. "So now there is the need for an extra pair of hands to help with the vehicles? Perhaps even the Thunderbird crafts, eventually?"

"Yes, I have developed all kinds of projects, not only vehicles but gases and other equipment used by International Rescue." He went on. "Perhaps, at some point in the future, I could leave some of the repair and maintenance to you, which would free me to concentrate on new ideas for both vehicles and equipment."

Kat was stunned at this. "And to think John told me I would just be helping with the routine tasks of the boats and planes. I can't wait for the training to begin."

"Well, he may be right. I'm not entirely sure of all of Mr. Tracy's plans in that direction." He smiled. "Of course, having the boats and planes off my plate is a big help." He glanced at his watch and scanned the room for Tin-Tin. "As soon as Dr Tracy returns, I think the others will all be taken around on an intensive tour."

"Yes," Kat said. "At least I know all about what happens here. I had a very good tour with John. I hope that we can all take our turn in Thunderbird 5, that would be something absolutely wonderful."

Brains raised an eyebrow, but said nothing. At that point Tin-Tin arrived and work on the Thunderbirds began.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 08/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!

[Updated on: Tue, 24 July 2012 13:53]

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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #69 is a reply to message #68] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tuesday, February 28, 7:30 p.m., Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City

Penelope sat in the VIP waiting room, thumbing through a magazine. She was waiting for Jeff to return from the imaging labs. Since he had been awake for a day or two, the surgeons were now getting ready to fuse the cracked vertebra and the scapula. Penny hoped that Dianne knew of this development; depending on what the imaging labs told the osteopathic surgeon, the surgery might be scheduled quickly.

A discreet knocking on the door caught Lady Penelope's attention. The door opened slightly, and a priest, an elderly gentleman with a sympathetic face, poked his head in.

"Are you with the McBride family?" he asked politely.

"I am sorry, but, no, Father. Perhaps one of the other waiting rooms?" Penelope answered kindly.

"Of course, Miss. Sorry to disturb you. And God Bless." The priest backed out before Penelope could thank him for the blessing.

She picked up the magazine again. It was a news magazine, and, yes, one of the news articles was about the crash and Jeff's hospitalization. There was a picture of the crash site; the helijet had been removed as quickly as was feasible. A portrait shot of Jeff had been included, as well as one of the pictures he had authorized to be circulated of him and Dianne at their wedding. Speculation on his well-being was part of the text, as was speculation about its affect on Tracy Industries and the world's stock-markets. There was a quote from an official news release and a small picture of Scott, asking if he was the "heir apparent" to the huge conglomerate.

The thought of the priest brought a small smile to her face, and she began to remember the personal aftermath of her ill-fated marriage proposal.

*****

Penelope had gone back to Foxleyheath and waited. Waited to hear from Tracy Island. Waited for an apology from Jeff Tracy. Waited... and was miserable.

The staff, even Kat, tiptoed around the house. Penelope's mood swings were sudden and unpredictable. She would burst into tears at the slightest provocation, or get angry. No one would forget when she flung her Wedgewood tea service, one piece at a time, at poor Parker when he mentioned that Kyrano had called to let him know that her Ladyship had left behind a pair of sandals. Fortunately, Penny was more interested in hearing the crockery smash against the wall than in actually hitting her butler/chauffeur.

Finally, Parker decided it was time to do something. He carefully and quietly took a tea tray, filled with Lady Penelope's favorites, to her private sitting room and knocked on the door. He didn't wait for an answer before entering; he knew that if he did, she would just send him away. He found her sitting in the armchair by the empty fireplace.

"'Ere's yer tea, milady," he said in his most respectful tones. It hurt him to see his usually well-coiffed employer looking so sad with dark circles under her eyes and her clothes all rumpled.

"Take it away, Parker. I am not hungry," was her automatic response.

"That h'Oi will not, milady," Parker said stoutly. "Yew need t' h'eat. h'An' Lil, she fixed h'all yer fa-vor-ites."

"Parker..." Lady Penelope warned, turning to him for the first time.

"Milady, 'asn't this gone h'on long h'enough? H'Ain't ye sick o' bein' so miserable?" he asked softly.

Penelope sighed. "I suppose you're right, Parker. But I don't know what to do. I don't know where to turn for advice. I don't know who to speak to about my burden."

"If ye don't mind me sayin' so, Milady, p'raps it's time t' pay a visit t' th' vicar?"

Penelope paused for a long moment, and then seemed to relax. She smiled faintly at Parker. "You know, Parker, I believe you're right. It's time I went to see the vicar." She hesitated and then reached out to pick up the teapot. "I will tell you when to bring the Rolls around. After I have my tea."

"Yus, Milady." Parker smiled and turned to leave.

"And Parker?"

He turned back. "Yus, Milady?"

Penelope smiled slightly again, this time with gratefulness. "Thank you, Parker."

"You're welcome, Milady."

Within the space of an hour, Penelope was on the road in FAB 1, Parker at the wheel. She wasn't going to the nearby village to visit the pudgy, bustling man who ministered to that tiny flock. Nor was she going to see the tall, handsome scholar who had the next largest town as his parish. No, she was going to see her vicar. In the seediest area of London, far from the comforts of Penelope's own home, lived her vicar, shepherding a tiny, ragtag congregation and doing her best to help the people of her parish in ways both spiritual and physical. Penelope's sister confessor and old school chum from her days at Rowden, Keziah Bosman. Her vicar.

Keziah was the oldest daughter of a well-to-do South African Afrikaner man and a Nguni woman. Her parents were shocked to find that their daughter rejected their wealthy lifestyle in her homeland to pursue the seemingly lowly life of an Anglican vicar in what they considered the slums of London. Her defection struck a chord with Lady Penelope, who was turning her back on her life as a pampered aristocrat to follow her heart in the exciting underworld of espionage. The two became good, if unlikely, friends, a friendship that had remained fresh through phone calls and visits. Lady Penelope came to Keziah in tears when her actions caused the death of someone she was pursuing, and Keziah could always count on Penelope to offer her sanctuary when the pressures of her parish got to be too great for her. Now Penelope was going to her old friend for advice and comfort in the wake of her rejection.

Parker opened the door for her and she stepped out of the Rolls. She knew herself to be the object of some scrutiny and interest by the denizens of the small street where the vicar's home stood, a stone's throw from the tiny church building where Keziah labored. She had timed her visit so that she would find her friend at home. She rang the bell as Parker prepared to take the Rolls away and park it elsewhere. The door opened, and Keziah's eyes opened wide.

"Penny! What a pleasant surprise! Please do come in!"

Penelope smiled and entered the small house. Once inside, the two friends embraced and kissed each other's cheeks. Then Keziah looked at her friend and asked astutely, "Penelope, what is wrong?"

She guided the aristocrat to a chair and offered her a sherry, which Penelope gratefully took; Keziah's taste in wine was excellent. Penelope took a few sips while Keziah made herself comfortable.

"Now, my friend, tell me what is wrong? Is this a personal or a professional problem?"

Penelope sighed. "Personal."

Keziah studied her keenly for a moment, and then made a guess. "Does this have something to do with that Tracy fellow?"

Penelope smiled, a painful smile. "It has everything to do with 'that Tracy fellow'." And she proceeded to open her heart to her vicar.

When she was through, Keziah was silent for a while. Penelope sipped her sherry again, feeling strangely comforted now that she had told her friend what was bothering her so much. Finally, Keziah shifted in her wing chair and spoke.

"You know, Penelope, I don't know which bothers you more. The fact that this man, though he does care for you, does not love you as you love him, or the fact that you went and blurted it out, making a fool of yourself, or what you consider to be such."

"I don't know either, Keziah. I know I shouldn't have gone and done what I did. It was very foolish of me, perhaps not to tell him how I felt, but to ask him to marry me. But, I love him so! And I didn't want to see the other woman get her claws into him. Especially if she wants him only for his money."

"Why do you think she wants him for his money? She is a physician, is she not? She is capable of making a more than comfortable living. She does not need him. Not for that."

Penelope looked thoughtful. "Yes, I suppose that is true. Though the idea of marrying so that one would not have to work might be appealing."

"Not if one loves one's work," Keziah countered. She took a sip of the sherry, and sat forward. "Penelope. There is an old saying that I think might apply in this case."

"Yes?"

"Let me see if I remember it correctly. Ah, yes! 'If you love something, set it free. If it comes back to you, then it is yours. If it does not, then it was never meant to be'." She fixed her gaze on Penelope until the aristocrat's blue eyes met her brown ones. "Do you understand?"

Penelope sighed. "Yes, I believe I do. I need to let Jeff go. If he turns towards the doctor, then... that is his choice."

"Yes. If he does not, then perhaps there is still hope for you," Keziah said gently. "And even if he does not return to you, you still have something of his."

"What is that?"

"His trust. And his friendship."

Penelope sighed. It would have to be enough.

********

Penelope looked up to see Dianne's worried face, as she came into the waiting room. She had spent twenty-four hours at the penthouse, as she had promised her stepsons she would, and now she was back to watch over her husband again.

"He's in the imaging labs," Penelope said, answering Dianne's unspoken question. "The surgeons will decide where to go from there."

"Thank you, Penelope," Dianne responded gratefully. "I've really appreciated your support these past few days."

Penelope smiled. "I am so glad I could be here to give it. After all, what are friends for?"


Post by Tikatu on 08/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #70 is a reply to message #69] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Ubiquitous one

Wednesday, February 29th Three P.M.

The sun shone brightly on Tracy Island, but its brightness could not penetrate the thick veil of concern that had settled over its occupants. Things were in turmoil. No one knew what to do next or what Jeff's plans had been for the new recruits; not even Virgil.

"I wonder what Dad would have done first?" he wondered. "Some sort of basic training? Evaluate each recruit to tailor training to their needs?" He sat back, looking at the portraits on the wall. "Maybe I'd better ask Scott." He speed-dialed the penthouse in New York. The phone rang for a bit, then Scott answered, looking sleepy.

"Do you know what time it is here?" he asked.

"Yes, it's 11:00," Virgil said with a small smile. "I wanted to ask you: do you know what Dad wanted to do first with our new recruits?"

"As a matter of fact, yes, I do. He wanted to take them on a tour of the facilities."

"Hey, that's a great idea. Gordon, Brains, Tin-Tin and I can do that today. We don't necessarily need Dad for it."

"Right. You go ahead. I'll call you later and we can discuss the next step. But right now, I need my sleep. Day starts early at corporate."

"I know. Any news on Dad?"

"They'll be fusing the vertebra and scapula first thing in the morning. Mom's back at the hospital." Scott made a face. "I'll try to pry her away again later, after the surgery."

"Okay, Scott. Thanks for the update. Talk to you soon." He broke the connection, and then set about making the arrangements for the tour.

Elsewhere, the others were going about their activities. Brains and Tin-Tin had been working on the Thunderbirds, showing Kat the ropes, but now Tin-Tin and Callie were in the lab, working on the formula for the new fabric, Cherry had taken the boys swimming and Brandon was releasing some of his energy and anger in the work-out room.

"Who does that jerk Christopher think he is?" Brandon swung at a punching bag hanging in one corner of the room. "He knows that stupid cat doesn't like me." He swung again and smiled with satisfaction as his fist connected with the bag, producing a solid 'thwack'.

Callie came into the workout room wearing a sleeveless tank top, shorts, and walking shoes. She had a towel around her neck and her hair pulled back. Hi, Brandon," she said politely as she made her way to a treadmill. "How are you today?"

"Hi Callie," Brandon grunted as he kept swinging at the bag. "Doin' okay. And you?"

"I'm fine. Just needed to escape the lab. Tin-Tin is about to tear out her hair over this new fabric she's trying to develop. It was getting tense in there." She started up the treadmill and began to walk. "I need to walk off some steam anyway. It's hard to watch the Tracys trying to deal with Mr. Tracy being so far away and in such poor condition."

"It's tough not knowing. I really feel for them." Brandon had gone over to the free weights. Picking out a set of hand weights, he began to do bicep curls.

"Can you imagine being halfway around the world from someone you love that needs you? Or even worse, being in orbit?" Callie said as she bumped the treadmill up to a jog.

"No Callie, I can't. Growing up, my family and I were always tight. Even when I moved out and joined WASP, I always kept in touch. Living here on the island is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.

"Same here. My family and I are very close. I moved around a lot, but my roots were still in Alabama." Callie sighed. "I think John will be back in a day or so. Then I'll be going up to Thunderbird Five with him to start my training."

"Good for you Callie. I have no idea when my training will begin."

Callie bumped the treadmill up another notch so she was actually running. Sweat glistened on her skin. "I'm sure it will start soon. Once Mr. Tracy is out of danger and his surgeries are done, I'm sure most of the family will be coming back. Then things will really get hectic." She gave Brandon a curious look. "What did you wear on the rescue, anyway?"

"I snagged one of Scott's uniforms. It fit okay but the sleeves and legs were a little long on me," Brandon replied with a small chuckle.

"I understand from Tin-Tin that what Dr. Tracy wore was a prototype of a new uniform. I think I like it better than the current one," Callie puffed out.

"I wasn't too keen on wearing the current uniform, but I didn't have much choice. I'm glad they're changing the design."

Callie slowed back down to a jog. "I hope they have some kind of artificial gravity on Thunderbird Five. Though I must admit, I didn't see Alan floating around in the station." She chuckled. "I can hardly wait to get up there. Wherever it is, they've hidden it well. I've been in space dozens of times and never saw a hint of it."

"Hey if you could see Thunderbird Five, it wouldn't be a secret any more, would it?" Brandon made the weight circuit and went back over to the punching bag.

"No, I suppose it wouldn't." Callie moved her speed down to a cooling walk. She patted her face with her towel.

They both looked up to hear Virgil's voice come over the household intercom. "Will all new recruits please assemble in the lounge."

Callie turned off the treadmill and stepped off. "Wonder what this is all about?"

Brandon, hearing the message, came up beside her. "I have no idea, Callie. You don't think..."

"Think what? More bad news? I hope not," Callie remarked as they headed for the lounge.

As Brandon and Callie headed to the lounge, they encountered some of the others, who were wondering aloud what was going on and all were hoping that the news wasn't bad.


Virgil looked up from the desk as the newcomers assembled before him, looks of puzzlement and apprehension on their faces. He smiled, and some of them relaxed.

"At ease, everyone," he said, "Nothing to worry about. It's just that it's come to my attention that none of you, with the exception of Kat, have had a proper tour of our facilities. Thought that this would be a good time for it."

He turned to Kat. "I know you've seen most of the plant, but this will be even more comprehensive than what John took you on since we'll be getting down on the floor of the pod bay and introducing you to all of the pod vehicles. So I think you should come along, too." Kat nodded, surprised.

Virgil listened to the excited voices for a few seconds before calling for their attention. "All right," said Virgil, "everybody hold it down, please."

After the voices calmed down, he added, "Considering the number of recruits we've added recently, I think it's best if we split into two groups. Brains and I will lead one group of three while Gordon and Tin-Tin accompany the other group."

Virgil looked at the eager faces before him. "If there are no questions, we'll meet at the monorail terminal."

Callie said, "How about Kat, Christopher and myself in one group, while Brandon, Dominic, and Nikki go in another?"

Brandon liked the idea, especially since he DIDN'T have to go with Christopher. I'm definitely for that, he silently said, Thank you, Callie.

Post by MagicMaster8, Tikatu and TracyFan4Ever on 11/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #71 is a reply to message #70] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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(Warning--Jeff and Dianne steam and spice alert!)

***********************************

Wednesday, February 29, 2068, 8 a.m. Mt. Sinai Hospital, NYC

"Dianne?" Jeff's voice was sandpapery and quiet, but caught his wife's attention right away.

"Yes, love?"

"Am I going to be able to walk again?"

Dianne smiled. "Yes."

Jeff closed his eyes. "You're sure?"

"Absolutely. It will take a while. Your long bones have got to heal and your foot especially will take some therapy. But you'll walk again. Even dance."

"I-I'm worried about this vertebra that they're going to fuse. I'm worried I'll be... paralyzed."

Dianne stroked his hair away from his face. He opened his eyes again to see her concerned look. Then she glanced around to see if anyone was listening and got close to his face.

"Jeff. Everything I saw in my scans on Thunderbird Seven, and all the imaging they've let me see here in the hospital, show me that the fractures are not deep ones. They don't affect your spinal cord at all and they won't, either. The only reason they're doing this surgically is to ensure that the breaks don't get worse. Once that is done, the rest of the surgeries will be easier to deal with. Please don't worry about it. For once, I'm not concerned. If there was trouble they would have taken you into surgery last night instead of waiting until this morning." She reached over and pinched his right knee.

"Ouch!" he said, frowning.

"Hey! You felt that!" she said, a facetious tone to her voice. "And you're going to continue to feel it. I know it."

"Okay. I'll take your word for it. It's just that the thought of being paralyzed, of not being able to be a proper husband to you, well... it scares me."

"You, not be a proper husband to me? Will never happen. Jefferson Tracy, you know damned well that sex does not a marriage make," Dianne said seriously. "Besides," she added slyly, "there are other ways of pleasuring me that have nothing to do with the lower part of your anatomy."

"I know." Now Jeff was smiling, as much as his bruised face would allow. "Hey, what do you say to climbing in here with me and...."

Dianne laughed aloud. "Jeff Tracy, you are incorrigible!"

"Well, a sick room bed is where we first made love. Remember?"

"As if I could ever forget."

"Neither could I."

And he couldn't. He had come to her in the sick room, sore and stiff the day after an afternoon of playing football on the beach with his sons. It wasn't often that he got physical like that with his boys, and he had an ulterior motive: he was trying to reach out to Dianne's two sons by teaching them the game. He was disappointed that they didn't seem to be interested, but he still had a good time with Scott, Virgil, Gordon and Alan.

"You overdid, Mr. Tracy, that's all. You're all tensed up and those tensed muscles are hurting," Dianne said, bustling around in the infirmary. "I think that easing up those muscles is called for."

Jeff made a small moan as he tried to put his shirt back on. "I suppose I'll go soak in my Jacuzzi for a while."

Dianne came around in front of him and looked him in the eye. "No, I don't think the Jacuzzi will be enough. Maybe after I treat you, the Jacuzzi will help. What you need right now is a therapeutic massage."

Jeff's eyebrows rose. "A... massage?"

"Yes. A deep tissue massage. I'm very skilled at it," she said, her manner brisk as she got out a couple of tubes. Jeff looked at them askance.

"What are those?" he asked.

"Creams for lubricating my hands. The massage doesn't feel good without them." She rolled her eyes. "Don't worry. I haven't picked out anything with a frou-frou fragrance. Just a nice spicy smell." She opened the tube and waved it under his nose. "See?"

"Okay. If you think this will help...."

"Believe me, Mr. Tracy. You'll feel so much better when I'm through with the massage. Now, I'll just go back here so you can strip down to your skivvies and lay face down on the diagnostic bed."

"Strip?"

"Yes, of course, strip. Down to whatever you wear to cover your privates. Your leg muscles are just as sore, aren't they?"

"All right," he said reluctantly as she went behind the portable divider that shielded him from her gaze and from anyone peering in from the hallway. Not that it was a real problem; the door to the infirmary was closed.

"Let me know when you're ready."

Jeff took off his clothing, all but his boxers, feeling rather uncomfortable with the whole proceedings. Here he was, nearly naked, alone with a beautiful woman who was going to give him a massage. A beautiful woman who said she was in love with him. He hoped he could control himself, because ever since they had spoken in the games room, it had been increasingly difficult to look at her as just a doctor. He had begun to realize that she *was* a beautiful woman. And more importantly, that she mattered to him, that she had mattered to him from the beginning. Her anger following her discovery that the Tracy family was International Rescue had bothered him, had hurt him. Her admission of attraction to him made him feel good, very good. She meant something to him. She was special.

Why? Why does she mean so much to me? It's not like I'm in love with her... am I?

Jeff took a deep breath, and followed her instructions.

"I'm ready, Doctor."

"Okay. I'm coming."

He could hear the rustling of the divider as she stepped behind it. Jeff could hear her rubbing the cream all over her hands and could smell the spicy scent, not at all feminine, but very soothing and invigorating at the same time.

"Put your head on your right arm while I do your left."

Jeff did as he was told. With his head turned towards the left, he watched as she started with his upper arms near the shoulder and massaged and kneaded his arm all the way down to the wrist. Her warm hands were strong and her thumbs reduced particularly tense muscles to relaxed ones. She massaged his hands and rubbed his fingers, one by one. When she was done, his arm felt heavy, but pain-free.

"Now for the right arm."

Dianne swapped sides and did the same to his right arm. It took longer, as he was right-handed and his hand was particularly tense. But she finally finished. His arms felt so good.

"Now, your head on both arms and I'll do your neck."

The bed was lowered, and he could feel her body brush up against him as she kneaded his neck His head drooped, and his eyelids, too, as the tension and pain ebbed away under her ministrations.

"You still with me, Mr. Tracy?"

"Mm-hmmm."

"Good. I'm going to do your shoulders next."

This time it wasn't the strong fingers as much as it was the palms and heels of her hands that created the deep relaxing of the muscles in his shoulders. She brushed up against him again and again as she worked, then swapped sides to do the same to his right shoulder. He was nearly asleep when she announced, "Now for your ribs."

Jeff could feel her get a knee up on the bed so she could reach both sides at once. He began to feel a warmth in his loins, one that he had felt infrequently during his 20 or more years of celibacy, a warmth that usually meant an exertion of will over his body or perhaps an embarrassing trip to his private bathroom to deal with the consequences. He tried to stay relaxed, tried to relax that member of his body that was beginning to tense and stiffen.

Her hands moved down his body from under his arms towards his buttocks and stopped just at his hips. The strong movements relaxed his sides even as he felt stimulated elsewhere. Then, without warning this time, Dianne began to massage his mid and lower back. The palms and heels came into play again, and she pulled his boxers down a fraction to finish the job, pulling the waistband back up when she was done. Part of him wanted her to continue pulling them down, but the rational part of him was glad she had stopped.

"Now for your legs and feet. Please turn over."

Turn over? She wants me to turn over? Ohmigod, she's going to see just how... stimulated I am!

So? She's probably seen it countless times. Turn over already!

Jeff gulped as he turned over. He could plainly see what was happening to his boxer shorts in front and he began to think frantically about how he could stop it. She brought him a pillow while he turned and he hoped she didn't notice what was so unnerving to him. Dianne said nothing as she made her way down to his feet and began to rub and knead them as she had his hands. She did each foot, then moved up to the ankles and then to the calves, her back turned to him as she massaged each one. Jeff squeezed his eyes shut trying to ignore the fact that his leg lay on her thigh as she worked, trying to control his one unruly and stubborn organ. But he knew he was in a losing battle. Especially the first moment that her hand brushed his thigh.

Can I control this? Can I get into a cold shower directly from here? God, she is so close! Just a little further and I won't be able....

He sat up suddenly and grabbed her wrist.

"Do you know what you're doing to me?" he croaked hoarsely.

She moved closer, lifted her brown eyes to his intense blue ones, and said, "Yes. Ah know."

He swallowed convulsively. Then he reached for her shirt and undid the top button.

**********

Jeff never did remember how he divested himself of his underwear. But later he would remember the scent of her skin, and the smoothness of it as he kissed it roughly. He would remember the texture of her hair as he ran his hands through it, and the touch of her lips on his and on his face and on his neck. He would remember her arms around him, exploring him, the cries of pleasure that issued from a throat other than his. He would remember the taste of her sweat as she clung to him, willing him, coaxing him to go faster, deeper, harder. But right then and there all he could think of was himself and his need and his own ecstatic, explosive, release!

When he came to his senses, he was lying on his side on the diagnostic bed, sweaty, limp, exhausted, and tangled up in the sheets. He turned to roll onto his back and was stopped by something behind him. His eyes widened as he realized that this was not a something but a someone, and that this someone was as sweaty and unclothed as he was himself. Then the memories of what had just happened flooded into his brain and he groaned.

Tracy, what have you done? You have assaulted your own doctor!

The instinct to flee kicked in and he tried to release the bars on his side of the bed, bars that hadn't been up before.

"How do you open these things?" he muttered to himself.

"With great difficulty," came a voice from behind him. "Theyah made that way to keep th' patients from wanderin'."

He felt her shift, sitting up, moving down towards the end of the bed. He turned back and watched her come around to him, her body bare, her neck and shoulders bruised by his kisses, her hair mussed by his hands. She released the bars with practiced ease and he sat up.

"Doctor, I-I don't know what to say. I am terribly sorry for what has happened here. I-I..."

She cut him off.

"Sorry? What for?"

He blinked. And blinked. He knew his jaw had dropped.
"But... but... I couldn't control myself. I've hurt you and basically... taken advantage of you. To put it mildly."

She put two fingers to his lips to hush him.

"Ah'm th' one who should be apologizin', Mistah Tracy," she said, dropping her gaze. "Ah went into this massage to do exactly what Ah said Ah would: relax your sore muscles. Ah did not foresee the effect it would have on you... or on me. Ah should have, and Ah'm sorry."

He put a finger under her chin and raised her eyes to his. "You mean, you were feeling...?"

"Yes, Mistah Tracy. Ah got out of control mahself there." She moved beside him and scooted up to sit on the bed. "Ah don't blame you if you don't believe me. You know how Ah feel about you. But Ah assure you, Ah had no intention of seducin' you." She looked at him, a small smile playing around her lips. "It's been a long time since Ah had a man like that."

He met her gaze. "It's been even longer since I had a woman... like that," he admitted.

She cocked her head. "Really? Ah would think that a man like you, so virile and handsome, would have had any number of women since your wife died."

"You forgot the 'rich' part," he said wryly.

"'Rich' didn't even cross mah mind," she replied.

"You're the first, then. Any other woman, with the possible exception of Penelope, has seen the dollar signs first," Jeff said, raising a finger to caress her cheek. "You're also the first to really get under my skin since Lucille died. Ever since you came here, what you've said to me has mattered, what you've thought of me has mattered. My life was hell all the time you were angry with me about IR. And, somehow, when you told me how you felt about me, I felt... good. Confused, but... pleased that you were in love with me. Now I know for sure that I have feelings for you as well."

"Th' same feelin's Ah have for you?" Dianne challenged.

Jeff gazed at her steadily, turning over his feelings in his mind and heart. Then he sighed.

"I don't know. I don't know how strong they are. Not yet." He put a hand on one of her cheeks. "It's hard. I've spent half a lifetime mourning the one woman I thought had captured my heart and soul. Ending the mourning and opening my heart to another isn't going to be easy for me. But if you're willing to be patient with me, I'm willing to try. To see if I can love again the way you say you love me. But know this much: I do care for you and care about you."

"That's a start," Dianne said softly, taking his hand and planting a kiss in the palm of it. "Ah don't expect to replace your Lucille. Theah's no way that Ah could. But Ah fully intend to carve out mah own niche in your heart, if you'll let me. Ah'm glad that you're willing to try and love again. And Ah'm honored that you've chosen me."

Jeff stood and took her hand, pulling her gently from the bed. He enveloped her in a strong, warm embrace, and then planted a tender kiss on her lips. He could feel her respond, her arms around him, hands rubbing over his back as she returned the salute, her lips brushing across his, light as a butterfly's touch. He then pulled back and held her gently by her upper arms.

"Before this goes any further and we end up back there again," he indicated the diagnostic bed with a nod of his head, "we'd better get dressed."

She raised an eyebrow and gave him a coquettish look. "Are you sure you don't want to end up back theah again?"

Jeff smiled and kissed her forehead. "I would love to end up back there again. But this isn't the most private place and unfortunately, duty does call. For both of us."

She rolled her eyes and pursed her lips and sighed. "Okay, Mistah Tracy. You win." As she stepped away to find her discarded clothing, he reached out and grabbed her by the wrist again. She gave him an inscrutable look as he kissed it on the inside.

"I think, Doc-- Dianne, that after what we just shared, and in light of what we're about to embark upon, that we should be on a first-name basis, don't you?"

Dianne laughed, a pleasant throaty laugh, and then raised her captured hand to his face. "Ah think you're right... Jeff." He grinned, and let go of her to search for his own garments.

Jeff's reminiscence was broken by the arrival of the osteopathic surgeon and two nurses. The doctor smiled at him.

"Ready, Mr. Tracy?"

Jeff looked to Dianne, who leaned over to kiss him on the lips. "I'll be here when you get back." He was heartened by the lack of drawl in her voice. Then she nodded and stood back.

He looked toward the doctor. "As ready as I'll ever be."

The nurses released the brakes on the bed and began to roll it out. Jeff kept his eyes on Dianne until he couldn't stretch back that far any more. Behind him, Dianne sighed, and went in search of some breakfast.

Post by Tikatu on 11/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #72 is a reply to message #71] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Wednesday 29th February 2068 4.12pm Tracy Island

Strangely enough cats don't really have need for knowing what date it is, or what time it is, or really where they are but Asterix did wonder that for a moment before recognising his Master's distinctive scent in the room he was in.

He mewed softly in his 'Master are you there?' voice, but not getting any response, he meowed loudly in his 'Master I'm hungry and I'm scared!' voice.

Asterix sat there for a moment, waiting for his Master to appear, fussing over him as he usually did. But he didn't.

After much thought, and some cleaning of his fur, he decided to take a walk.

Leaping off the bed, Asterix padded out of his Master's apartment, and into a long corridor. Looking around, he sniffed the air. He caught the scent of that horrible man who tried to stroke him, in the room opposite.

He walked forward cautiously, just in case he was there waiting for him. The door opened much like the door of his new home.

Asterix wandered inside and looked around. He hated the smell the assaulted his nostrils. So he flexed his paws, and decided to sharpen his claws on the bedside cabinet.

Then his eyes saw the curtains.

----------------

Eventually Asterix emerged from Brandon's apartment, with what could be construed the cat equivalent of a smug grin on his face.

Licking his paws, he decided to move on. Eventually, he came to some more doors that also opened of their own accord. Asterix looked inside, the lights were brighter and the space bigger.

He entered the strange object and leapt up onto something that looked like a comfy seat.

After a while of not much happening, he decided to have another wash. And his stomach was rumbling, which for a cat is not a good thing.

Then the strange thing he was in began to move. Asterix looked around as the thing moved rather quickly towards a stop.

The doors opened and he leapt out, meowing what he thought was a gesture of thanks, which wasn't answered.

Suddenly, his nostrils twitched. Chicken!

He broke into a trot, following the smell until he ended up in what his Master called the kitchen.

He looked around for the source of the tantalising smell, "Mrrrooowww?"

"And what would you like young cat?" a kindly old face looked down at him, before picking Asterix up and stroking his head.

Asterix cocked his head sideways. He liked this one straightaway, he had a wonderful trusting face for a human.

"Are you hungry?" The old man looked at him. "I have some chicken that you might like."

"Mrrooow," Asterix said in what could be an attempt as "Yes Please".

"Well if you would like to wait I will get you some," The man smiled. "My name is Kyrano by the way and I understand from your Master that you are Asterix".

Kyrano disappeared for a moment, then came back with a plate of chopped up chicken breast and placed it on the floor, stroking Asterix's head.

"Enjoy your chicken Master Asterix." Kyrano smiled as the cat started eating. "You are welcomed to our family."

Post by TheWrongTrousers on 11/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #73 is a reply to message #72] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Wednesday, February 29, 2068; 3:57 p.m.; Tracy Island (en route to the monorail)

On the way to the monorail, Kat started a conversation with Callie. "Oh, this is so exciting! Even though I have already had a tour, this is going to be so much better. I will be able to see the Thunderbirds that I may eventually be working on."

"I'm thrilled about this chance, too," Callie agreed. "I'm so happy you're part of the team. Sorry I couldn't tell you about my considering joining International Rescue when we first met a few weeks ago."

"That's okay. At first I was rather hurt that I hadn't been told at my interview. I felt that as I had been working for Lady Penelope and had met the Tracy family that I would have been more trustworthy, but that is history now, and I am a member of the most famous rescue team in the world."

"Lady Penelope? I'm afraid I don't know who she is. I was so busy at WSA I didn't have time to read a newspaper."

"Lady Penelope is International Rescue's London agent, and a great friend of Mr. Tracy. She had known him for years. I was her mechanic for four years, and she recommended me for the position of mechanic to the family fleet. Little did I know that that could mean working on these fabulous Thunderbirds."

"Wait a minute...is her last name Creighton-Ward? I did hear that mentioned around the International Space Station."

"Yes, that's the lady. Very well known in social circles."

"I've never been that fortunate to meet her. I'm so into the books that I never think about a social life sometimes."

"Well, I didn't know much about her until I started working for her. She is a very good and considerate employer. I didn't guess until I was being shown round by John what part she actually played in International Rescue. In hindsight she seemed to know instinctively what was needed by me as regards furnishings for the apartment, et cetera."

"Perhaps I will get a chance to meet her soon...and maybe have a social life. I sometimes work so hard I feel like I'm ready to just burn out. I guess the world won't end if I take a break once in a while."

"No, you should meet her. She is the nicest, kindest, most considerate employer I have ever had."

"It's sure nice to know wealthy people who are that nice, kind, and considerate. I've known quite a few who aren't, only caring about the bottom line, not the people who do the work."

"She is so not like that. Her manservant, Parker, is an ex-prisoner, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for her. I only hope that working here is a nice as working with her was."

Callie smiled; knowing she and Kat both had so much to look forward to as part of International Rescue. Their jobs may not have been exactly the same, but their excitement was equal.

Post by Tawnyangel22 and TracyFan4Ever on 11/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!

[Updated on: Tue, 24 July 2012 14:04]

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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #74 is a reply to message #73] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Wednesday, February 19, 2068, 11:30 a.m., on the FireFlash enroute to London

Penelope sat back and put down the fashion magazine that was failing to hold her interest. Her beautiful face was pensive as she remembered saying goodbye to Jeff and Dianne just a little while ago. Jeff was still groggy from the surgery anesthesia, so she just planted a kiss on his cheek and gave him an encouraging smile. Dianne walked down to the hospital entrance with her.

"I really appreciate you coming and being such a support to the family right now, Penelope," she said. "We've needed it sorely."

"As I have said before, Dianne, I was glad to give it. I would stay on longer, but Parker tells me that there's work to be done at home. So I must go." Penelope embraced the older woman. "Please, do let me know if there are any changes for the worse. And keep me up-to-date on his condition as he gets better." She wagged her finger at Dianne. "I want to be there for his homecoming party!"

Dianne laughed. "I wouldn't have it any other way." Now it was her turn to embrace the aristocrat. "You take care of yourself, too, Penny. Let us know that you got home safe and sound."

"I will."

Penelope slipped gracefully into the back of the limousine parked at the curb and within moments it had whisked her away to the airport where her flight waited.

Now she thought about Jeff, and Dianne, and the true turning point in her relationship with both: the day she truly let Jeff go.

*****

Penelope was once again on Tracy Island, unexpected and unannounced, but this time she was walking the beach with her rival. Jeff was in New York and Penelope had timed her arrival so the two women could discuss the object of their affections without said object becoming involved. Dianne's children ran ahead of them, flying kites in the breeze coming from the sea. Penelope smiled to see such innocence. She turned to Dianne.

"I wanted to talk to you about Jeff."

Dianne smiled wryly. "I figured."

"I'll be blunt, Doctor. Are you in love with him?"

"I can be equally blunt, milady. Yes, I am."

"Does Jeff know?"

"Yes, he does."

So, there it was, out in the open. Penelope sighed. She could see that letting go was going to be her undoing.

Dianne stopped walking and turned to confront the aristocrat. "Look, no matter what Mrs. Tracy tells you, I didn't come here looking for a rich husband. I'm no gold-digger."

"Then why did you come here?"

Dianne was silent for a moment. She looked down at the sand, and when she lifted her head to meet Penny's gaze, the Brit was surprised to see tears in her eyes.

Dianne sighed. "I came... I came here to escape my ghosts."

"What do you mean?"

Dianne turned to start walking again, and Penelope did the same. "I don't know how much you know about me, but I am a widow. My husband died over five years ago in a terrorist bombing. And even though I'd been through grief counseling, even though I thought I'd finished with grieving for him, I was still holding on. The grief was still there, just buried. I wasn't moving on with my life, with my children's lives. I was shackled by the memories. Life was dull and gray and I still felt like I was going through the motions of living. So when this job was offered to me, I took it."

She slowly moved her eyes over the sea, the beach, and the palm trees. "He's not here. My Rick is not here. Not like he was back in the States, in our little house. I feel... free now. Of course, I still miss him. But not the way I did. I feel alive again."

She shot a slightly embarrassed look over at Penelope. "As crazy as it sounds, that's why I came here. For a fresh start. Romance was the farthest thing from my mind." Her voice lowered. "But now..."

Penelope felt that something of import was behind Dianne's last statement.

"But now?"

Dianne sighed again. "Jeff and I have had an...encounter. A...physical encounter. Neither of us meant for it to happen, and neither of us were prepared for the... intensity of it either. But when it was all said and done, Jeff admitted that he had feelings for me. And that he wanted to pursue a relationship."

Penelope gasped, an unexpected breath that she turned into a sigh. "What kind of feelings does he have for you? If I may be so bold as to ask?"

"He's... uncertain about the depths of his feelings right now. He said he cares for me and about me and that I... got under his skin. That what I said and thought mattered to him. He asked me to be patient with him so he could learn to love again."

Tears sprang to Penelope's eyes: this had been what she had hoped for from Jeff for herself. And now, here he was, choosing another. If I let him go, he will not return to me. But, then, what choice do I have?

She swallowed and brought herself under control, then stopped and took her rival by the forearm, locking gazes with her.
"Dianne, I want you to know that I... I will not stand in your way with Jeff. I love him, have loved him for over two years now and because I love him, I want him to be happy. Please, make him happy."

Dianne closed her eyes and tears spilled down her cheeks. She took a deep breath and then opened her eyes again.

"Ah will. To the best of mah ability."

Suddenly, Penelope found herself in Dianne's strong embrace, and her rival was whispering, "Thank you" in her ear. She could control herself no more. There on the beach, in the arms of a woman she wanted to hate, Penelope vented her grief to the person who best understood her feelings for the man, Jeff Tracy.

They were rivals no more.

*****

Penelope's eyes were moist when she came back to the here and now. It had been the right thing to do, letting Jeff go. He was happy: happy with Dianne, happy with his expanded family, happier in ways that Penelope could never have foreseen and could never have given him. And Dianne? She had become a friend, a good friend. She had never thrown Penelope's sacrifice back in her face; in fact, she had made it a point to show how much she appreciated it.

Penelope smiled. She was glad to have been there to support them both. Keziah had been right. Jeff had come back to her, not as she had envisioned, as a lover, but as an even stronger friend. And he had not come back alone, but had brought Dianne with him.

Post by Tikatu on 13/07/2004



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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #75 is a reply to message #74] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Brandon stood at the monorail station with the others. They had split into two groups to take the grand tour of the facilities. While on the tour, they'd see the equipment they would be using. He was talking to Nikki and Dom when Virgil's voice called out loudly.

"Gordon, you take Dom, Brandon and Nikki and get going." Gordon acknowledged his brother and ushered the three trainees into the first monorail car. As it left the station, Brandon looked out the window with subdued excitement, wondering what surprises lay around the corner. He and his companions didn't have long to wait as they stopped above Thunderbird Two's hangar.

"Whoa, Gordon, this is fantastic!" Brandon said in awe as he looked down.

"Glad you like the view, but it looks better from the floor." Gordon indicated for them to follow him as they took the elevator to the hangar floor. If he was impressed by what he saw before from above, Brandon was even more so seeing the craft up close. While Nikki and Dom were asking questions of Gordon and Tin-Tin, Brandon walked around the craft, taking in its size, imagining himself in the pilot's seat. He was about to take off in TB2 when he was startled out of his daydream by Nikki, who was calling his name.

"Brandon, come on. Gordon and Tin-Tin are going to take us inside Thunderbird Two."

"Coming, Nikki," he replied, walking quickly to the group.

Once inside, Brandon had a lot of questions and directed them the tour guides. Both Tin-Tin and Gordon fielded his queries, giving him the answers he sought. After the Q & A session, Brandon sat back, his brain trying to absorb all the information. One thing wasn't mentioned and kept coming to the forefront in Brandon's mind.

"Thanks for all the info, you two. I have one more question before we continue the tour. What do you do for security when you're on a rescue? You can't call the local authorities for help. What's to prevent someone from walkin' into the ships and taking pictures?"

Gordon smiled. "Dad thought of that when he decided to create International Rescue. All of the ships have automatic camera detectors. If anyone comes close to the ship with a camera, we know about it and can take steps to prevent a more serious security breach. And, as far as the local authorities are concerned, we do call on them if need be and they have the manpower to spare."

Brandon let out a low whistle. "After what I've seen and heard, you guys are prepared for just about anything, aren't you?"

"Yes we are, Brandon. Now all we have to do is make sure that the six of you are just as ready as we are." Gordon looked at his watch. "We'd better get moving. There's more to see and I'd like for us to get the tour done today." Brandon followed the others, giving TB2 one final look.

Post by MagicMaster8 on 16/07/2004



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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #76 is a reply to message #75] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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The monorail glided along on the tracks, and Dominic ooh-ed and ah-ed as they passed through each of the hangars and silos. He had still been impressed at Thunderbirds One and Two, as they stood, proud and stoic in their hangars, even though he had seen them both in action already. The monorail car made its way through from the boat pen - the Tracys had an extensive fleet, it seemed - and as they entered the next silo, what Dominic saw more than took his breath away.

A gleaming red rocket rose upwards through the silo, standing on three pronged jet engines. It was a huge cylindrical ship with dark fan-like objects adorning the middle, and it tapered into a blunted point at the top. Dominic was amazed at the sheer size of the thing; he had never seen any ship as big in his life. The monorail car did a circuit of the silo, and Gordon chuckled at Dominic's blatant open-mouthed amazement.

"It's very impressive, isn't it?" He said.

Dominic could do nothing more than gape and nod dumbly. Brandon whistled through his teeth and stared up to the top of the rocket. Nikki didn't seem to be able to believe what she was seeing, either.

"Thunderbird Three is Alan and John's baby, International Rescue's rocket." Tin-Tin said as Gordon stopped the car so they could look for a little longer. "It's nearly 300 feet high and 80 feet wide down near the rockets. Vertical launch, with a launch thrust of 4.5 million pounds. It has an acceleration of 1-6Gs. We use it on space rescues and also as a link to Thunderbird Five, our space station."

Dominic's face twisted into a confused frown as he tried to digest the strange information. He pushed his black bangs from his face and adjusted his glasses.

"I have no idea what you just said, but it sounded impressive. And this rocket sure looks it! It's amazing! But, that's one thing," he said. "You will never find me in space."

Brandon quirked an eyebrow; Gordon cocked his head to the side inquisitively.

"Really?" he asked.

Dominic pointed a finger at him and shook his head again. "Not on your life, sonny-Jim. Much as I like thrills, an explosive death in space does not appeal to me."

Gordon chuckled, and Tin-Tin smiled, but Dominic suddenly realized everyone in the monorail car was staring at him. He was hit by a wave of shyness and laughed nervously. "Well, at least, that's what I think, anyway." He gave them a wobbly smile.

Tin-Tin tried to look encouraging; she knew that nervous feeling. Gordon started the monorail car once more, and they picked up speed quickly.

"Next stop, the pod bay."

Post by ArtisticRainey on 16/07/2004



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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #77 is a reply to message #76] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Virgil and Brains led Callie, Kat, and Christopher in the other monorail following the first group.

Brains noticed the curious looks on their faces. "We're coming to the Thunderbird Two bay. I think you'll like it."

Callie reacted almost immediately when the craft came into view. "Oh, wow! That's Thunderbird Two? I've never seen anything like it!"

"Just wait, Callie," said Virgil. "You're going to see what it looks like on the inside."

The professor felt like an excited child.

The monorail came to a stop in the hangar, where all five people stepped into an elevator, which went down to the floor.

Noticing the size of the craft, Callie wasted no time asking questions. "How do you get into Thunderbird Two in the first place? How big is that thing, really? How does it take off? How--"

"Whoa, slow down, Callie," Brains said. "We'll get your questions answered soon enough. Take it easy."

She blushed. "Sorry, I'm just excited."

Christopher smiled. "You definitely have that scientific curiosity."

"When I see something for the first time, I'll start asking questions in a hurry." She looked at the tour guides. "How do you get in there? It doesn't look like there's any door."

Virgil nodded. "That's right, Callie. I get to Thunderbird Two by flipping over on the rocket painting. From there, I slide into the seat of the craft. When others are needed, they take the passenger lift into the craft near the back of the cockpit."

"Next question: How big is Thunderbird Two?"

"It's 250 feet long and 60 feet high with a 180-foot wingspan," Brains answered.

Christopher whistled in disbelief. "That's bigger than any plane I've flown in my lifetime!"

"Repairing Thunderbird Two will be a real challenge!" Kat exclaimed.

After a good laugh amongst the group, Callie asked her next question. "How does it take off and fly?"

Virgil answered, "Before it can take off, the appropriate pod is needed. The conveyor belt moves under Thunderbird Two until the proper pod is in position. Then I lower the cockpit and engines down around the pod, and it locks into place."

"What's next?"

"The cliff face swings out and opens downward, which allows Thunderbird Two to roll down the runway. Near the end of the airstrip, the runway is tilted up at a 45-degree angle to make it easier for the craft to blast off."

"But what about all that--"

"Exhaust?" Brains said. "A blast shield comes up behind the engines to give the force something to push against, channeling the exhaust away through ducts beneath the runway."

Callie smiled. "Then it blasts off into the sky, on its way to another rescue."

Brains and Virgil nodded.

"Any other questions?" Virgil asked.

"Just one. Some missions will require me to be here, right?"

"Right. There's a mobile laboratory near the back of every pod, and we will need scientific knowledge ever so often."

"I understand now. That's all the questions I have."

"In that case, let's move on to the lab, shall we?"

The group went back to the elevator and returned to the monorail to resume the tour.

**Thanks to Tikatu for helping with technical aspects.**

Post by TracyFan4Ever on 17/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #78 is a reply to message #77] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Nikki stood outside of Thunderbird 7. She had seen it before when she first visited the Island with Dominic, but it didn't cease to amaze her.

Tin-Tin opened the doors to the ambulance and led the tour group inside. She pointed out every piece of equipment and explained its use.

"In Thunderbird 7, as you can see, we have twelve fold down biobeds which monitor and records patients conditions, like heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and much more." Tin-Tin pulled out an anti-gravity stretcher. "Here is one of our anti-gravity stretchers. You might hear us sometimes call it an AG stretcher for short. All together we have six of these on board."

Tin-Tin laid the stretcher on the ground and asked for a volunteer. Brandon walked forward. Tin-Tin instructed him to lie down on the stretcher and she strapped him in securely. She began to show them how to activate it. The stretcher began to float to the amazement of the group.

"Whoa." Brandon said as he felt the stretcher lift from the ground.

Nikki smiled as she watched Brandon on the stretcher. "We could have used these at the hospital. It would of made life much easier. I'm definitely looking forward to working with all this equipment."

Gordon walked forward towards the floating stretcher. "I like the AG stretchers the most. I wanted to race on them when we were first introduced to it. But Mom wouldn't allow it."

The group laughed at Gordon's joke. Tin-Tin shook her head as she smiled and lowered the stretcher Brandon was on. She had a feeling that Gordon was being serious about that.

Nikki looked around and walked towards an object. She picked one up. "Are these doctor's charts?"

Tin-Tin turned to look at what Nikki was looking at. "These are our data pads which acts like a doctor's chart. It records scanner readings and information that our biobeds record. We can also add verbal notes to it. The pads are passed onto the medical facility with the patient and then returned to us."

Nikki put the pad back down in its rightful place. Dominic began to ask his own questions. Tin-Tin answered them all with ease.

"Ok, let's continue with the tour of Thunderbird 7." Tin-Tin led them towards the next piece of equipment.

Post by Nikki-Browneyes on 19/07/2004


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[Updated on: Tue, 24 July 2012 14:11]

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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #79 is a reply to message #78] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island Wednesday, February 29, 2028

Kat followed Callie and Christopher as they hurried along after Virgil and Brains. She was very excited. Although she had had a basic tour with John, this was going to be a more in depth tour.

They headed for the pod bay.

Virgil explained the various pods and what each pod contained. Stopping at pod 5, he looked at Kat. "I think that you will be interested to see the auxiliary vehicles."

"Oh, yes, please!" Kat said in an awestruck voice.

"Here we have the Mole."

Kat walked around the vehicle.

"It travels on its own trolley, and on arrival at danger zones, tips upward to near vertical position. A rocket fires at the rear to activate the mole, which begins to turn its massive screw and burrow underground."

"How does it reappear from underground?" Kat asked.

"The heavy duty caterpillar tracks enable it to grip the sides of the tunnel it is boring and to return to the surface safely," Virgil replied

"How is it powered?" Kat asked.

"It's powered by a nuclear fusion reactor," Brains explained.

"I suppose the nose is made from a special metal?" Kat asked again.

"Yes, it is made from cahelium, a super-strong metal that Brains invented," replied Virgil. "The nose is made of Formula C 30/1, a cahelium-derived alloy." He grinned at Kat, "Any more questions?"

"Yes, just one more," Kat said.

Callie groaned. "Come on, Kat, there is still a lot for us to see."

"It looks pretty big; how heavy is it?"

"It weighs about 30 tonnes." Virgil replied. "Now shall we proceed to the other pods?"

Kat blushed. "Sorry, Virgil, but I find it so interesting."

Next they came to the pod that contained Firefly. Again, Kat looked round it with ever-deepening interest.

"This is International Rescue's principal fire-extinguisher," Virgil started to say. "Ahem, Kat, can you stay with us?"

Kat had wandered off to the other side of the Firefly. "Sorry," she called, "I was just looking at something."

Virgil went on. "The Firefly's main skill is to enter the very heat of the blaze and let loose nitro-glycerine shells which cause a blow-out. The plough blade is made of that Formula C30/1 that I mentioned. It can stand the most blistering temperatures. The blade can be raised to position the cannon bore to a more flexible angle. It can work like a giant bulldozer." He smiled at Kat. "What, no questions?"

"No, not at the moment, and anyway there is still a lot to see, isn't there?"

"Yes," Virgil replied. "Shall we continue with the tour?"

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 19/07/2004


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[Updated on: Sat, 21 July 2012 23:47]

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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #80 is a reply to message #79] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island Wednesday February 29th 2068

Christopher smiled to himself as he saw how enthusiastic Kat was, but now it was time to continue the tour.

He walked past an alcove and saw something that made him gasp. The rest of the group, who were in front, stopped and turned to look at him.

"Is that what I think it is?" Christopher pointed, a huge smile on his face,

"That," Virgil said as he brought the others over, "is Thunderbird 6"

"Even better than that!" Christopher exclaimed. "It's a vintage Tiger Moth!"

Brains turned to the other recruits. "We use it for rescues where the other craft can't go, and it can be landed on larger craft in flight, like the Skyship One"

Kat and Callie started asking questions. Virgil watched as Christopher walked around the plane, tentatively touching a bit of fuselage or a flap.

"My Great-Grandfather flew one of these," Christopher said. Everyone looked at him. "He used to train pilots in the Second World War to fly Spitfires and Hurricanes."

"A De Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth." Christopher smiled. "Twenty three feet long, wingspan of over twenty nine feet, maximum speed of 160 miles per hour."

He looked at everyone there. "Perfect aircraft."

"Noble sentiments Christopher," Brains said. "Shall we go?"

"Just one thing though," Christopher said as he rejoined the group, "When can I fly her?"

Virgil looked at Christopher then at Thunderbird 6. "We'll let you know".

Post by TheWrongTrousers on 22/07/2004


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[Updated on: Sat, 21 July 2012 23:53]

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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #81 is a reply to message #80] Sat, 21 July 2012 23:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island, Wednesday Feb 29th 2068

Since being deposited in the guest room of the Villa, Elise had managed to unpack some of her things, albeit slowly, and was now sitting down in a comfy chair looking out of the vast expanse of ocean. She didn't like the ocean anymore; not since the day it took her parents away and left her stranded and clinging to a capsized boat. She had been nine years old. She pushed the memories away and started to wonder how long she was going to be here. Can't be more than three weeks, I would think She shuffled around to get comfortable and had just found her spot when there was a knock at the door.

"Come in," she called. The door opened slowly and a young woman entered carrying a tray of food and what appeared to be some medical items.

"Hello," she said, smiling warmly at Elise. She closed the door behind her and set the tray down, her brown ponytail swinging around as she did so. Elise figured her to be around 25 or so and realised she must be one of the new recruits that had waved at Virgil and Gordon when they'd arrived earlier.

"Hi," Elise replied. The woman walked over to her and, extending her hand, introduced herself.

"I'm Nicole, Nikki for short. I'm one of the nurses here on the island." Nikki wasn't sure how much Elise knew about International Rescue so didn't offer any more information.

Elise shook her hand and smiled. "Nice to meet you, Nikki."

"I've brought you something to eat and wanted to just check on how you were feeling. Dianne, our chief doctor, is still in New York with Mr. Tracy, so she had asked me to take a look at you and let her know how you are." Elise merely nodded. She was still feeling apprehensive and Nikki picked up on that right away. "Do you have questions? You look a little unsure of something."

Elise smiled and answered, "Well, I suppose I'm a little overwhelmed with everything that's happened, and then being whisked away to here!" She waved her hands, indicating the room.

"I can imagine, I've only been here a short while myself, so I have an idea of what you must be feeling."

Elise detected her British accent and asked, "How did you end up here?"

Now it was Nikki's turn to feel awkward. "Err, I was approached by Dr. Tracy while I was still working at a hospital in London. She thought I'd be qualified for this job."

Elise looked at the young woman and knew she wasn't telling her everything. "You're part of International Rescue, aren't you?"

The question shocked Nikki and she took a moment before she answered. Elise had been very forthright and obviously knew more than Nikki thought she did. "Well... yes... actually I am."

Elise sensed Nikki's unease and quickly added, "It's okay. I know about IR. I, err, stumbled across them recently! My old Air Force buddy Scott is part of them it seems!"

Nikki had to laugh at Elise's humorous take on it and immediately the tension in the room lessened. "Well, let's get your check-up done then, shall we?" Nikki took all the routine vitals information, making careful notes as she did so. "How's the numbness on your cheek?" Nikki was closely examining the bruised, swollen area with gentle fingers.

"Not too bad. The pain has eased up, but I still can't feel anything."

"It may just need time. Your ribs seem to be healing nicely and I don't think there'll be any problems, but I'll let Dr. Tracy be the judge on that."

They smiled at each other and then Nikki left so Elise could eat and rest. It wasn't 10 minutes later that another knock was heard. Thinking it was Nikki coming back again, Elise called out "Come in, Nikki." Only it wasn't Nikki, but Lisa Parkhurst, Dr. Tracy's mother, who had settled Elise in earlier.

"Hi there! Hope you don't mind me dropping in, dear, I wanted to see how you were and if there's anything you needed?" Elise liked this woman, she was genuinely kind, and had a way of looking over her glasses that reminded Elise of her aunt.

"I'm fine, thank you."

"Are you sure?" came the direct reply.

Elise noticed that this lady wasn't one to miss a beat and obviously wouldn't be satisfied until she heard what she wanted. "It's okay, honey, you can tell me whatever's on your mind. I won't tell a soul." Lisa sat down and waited.

Elise sat down across from her and asked, "Maybe you can tell me what's really going on around here? I mean, this looks like a hotel/spa luxury hideaway, and yet isn't this the base for International Rescue?"

Lisa answered immediately, "Well, it is, but we operate undercover. My son-in-law, Jeff, runs this operation very seriously and keeps it close at hand. We can't afford mistakes when saving lives. But, we are still a family above all that. It's imperative that IR remains a closely guarded secret. I understand your confusion, but right now all you need to worry about is getting better. You did a fine job, Elise, saving Jeff's life. We are all eternally grateful."

"Thank you, but I just did what I'd been trained to do. I'm sorry that the accident happened."

"From what I understand, it could have been much worse for both of you."

Elise asked after Jeff, and Lisa told her what she knew. After reassuring Lisa again that she was fine, Elise sat back down to rest, taking her dose of painkillers and closing her eyes. Her last thoughts before drifting off were about returning home to New York and back to her job. Three weeks, I'll be home in three weeks.

Post by FrankieCTB2 on 23/07/2004



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[Updated on: Sat, 21 July 2012 23:58]

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Thursday, March 1, 2068, 9 p.m. Mt. Sinai Hospital, NYC.

"Surgery in the morning again," Jeff said morosely. "Will it ever end?"

"Tomorrow should be the last, love," Dianne assured him. "And tomorrow you should be moved to a regular room, where the younger ones can come visit. They arrived back in town today."

"It will be nice to see them. Are you going back to the penthouse tonight?" he asked.

"Yes. Em twisted my arm. Said I looked a wreck and needed the sleep."

"I wouldn't say you looked a wreck...."

"You'd never say I looked a wreck. Covered in three inch layers of muck and slime from some rescue and you'd still tell me I was beautiful."

"Well, you still would be." Jeff said softly. Then he smiled a bit. "I might tell you that you smelled bad...."

Dianne laughed. "It's nice to see you getting your sense of humor back."

"Hmm. I guess. Wish I could actually laugh without pain," Jeff groused. He looked up at her, his eyes imploring. "Will you be here in the morning?"

"Wild taxi drivers couldn't keep me away."

"Taxis? Why don't you take the limo?"

"Too slow and too showy. Don't need to let Ned Cook know of my comings and goings. He's still hangs around from time to time, looking for that exclusive interview."

"Hmm. I'm sure you can give him the slip."

Dianne looked at Jeff keenly. "What is wrong, love? You seem down tonight."

He reached up with his good hand to take hers. "I'm tired of all this medical rigamarole, of being prodded and pricked and opened up to have my insides repaired. I miss... everything. The island, the kids, Kyrano's cooking, Gordon's practical jokes, even the pressure of rescues. But most of all, I miss... you. I know you're here beside me but I can't touch you, as I would like to. And you can't touch me because you might hurt me. I want you so badly, Dianne. And I want this all to be over."

"It will be over, Jeff. Not today, and not tomorrow, and maybe not even next week. But it will end, and, one day, when you're not even looking for it, you'll realize that you're whole again. But it will go faster if you maintain a good attitude and keep your eyes on the prize," Dianne explained. She stroked his cheek with the back of her free hand.

"You are my prize," he said, as he suddenly turned the hand he held and kissed her palm. She lowered her eyes and smiled gently.

"Since Kyrano came along with the boys, I can see about getting you some of his cooking," she offered.

"I'd like that very much." They were quiet for a few moments, and then Dianne sighed.

"Well, I'd better go before Em sends the troops out after me." she said.

"The troops being...?"

"Scott, John, Gordon, and Alan."

"Oh." He gazed up at her. "Before you go, would you... sing for me? I think I remember you singing to me before...."

"You remember?" Dianne gasped, sitting down.

"Yes, I don't remember the words or the specific tune, but I do remember your voice singing. Please sing to me. I want to dream with your voice in my ears."

"All right." Dianne swallowed to get past the lump in her throat, thought a moment, smiled slightly, and began to sing softly.

Stars shining right above you
Night-breezes seem to whisper: I love you
Birds singing in the sycamore-trees
Dream a little dream of me.

Say night-y-night and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you'll miss me
While I'm alone as blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me.

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss
I'm longing to linger till dawn dear
Just saying this

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me.


By the time Dianne had reprised the last two verses, Jeff was asleep. She kissed his cheek, then picked up her warm coat and left the room, turning out the light as she went. She smiled at the nurses, who called out, "Goodnight, Dr. Tracy." "See you in the morning, Dr. Tracy."

She made her way down to the lobby, shrugging on her fur in the elevator.

"A taxi, Dr. Tracy?" Gerry, the doorman asked.

"Yes, please, Gerry."

He whistled, and a bright yellow hover cab came to the front. Gerry opened the back door for her, and she got in gracefully. She gave the driver a smile.

"Hello, Bernie. Nice to see you again."

"Hey, Dr. Tracy. Tracy Towers?"

"Yes, Bernie. Tracy Towers."

Bernie knew his way around Manhattan and within a few minutes had deposited Dianne at the entrance to the impressive glass and steel structure. She paid for her ride, added a generous tip, and Bernie stayed at the curb until he saw her disappear into the entrance, met by a security guard.

Dianne rode up in the penthouse elevator, leaning with her back against the wall and her arms wrapped around herself. She left the elevator and, with the swipe of her security card, entered the penthouse apartments. Aline, the maid, came and took her coat with a murmured, "Good evening, Dr. Tracy."

"Good evening, Aline."

Dianne made her way to the kitchen, where Kyrano was already working to prepare things for the next day's meal.

"Greetings, Dr. Tracy. It is good to see you again. Is there anything I can get for you?"

"It's good to have you here, Kyrano. And, yes, a glass of red wine, please."

The Asian pulled a wine glass down from the rack and filled it from the chilled bottles available in the wine cooler. She took the glass from him with a murmured thanks, and slowly walked towards the floor-to-ceiling windows that looked out on the lights of New York. Pensive, she sipped her wine as she stared out, seeing nothing. Not even Emily's reflection as she came up behind her. Dianne jumped, nearly spilling her drink as the older woman touched her arm.

"How is he?"

"He was sleepin' when Ah left. What about th' kids?"

"They're in bed. The boys are enjoying a night on the town together." Emily frowned at the drawl. "What's upset you, Dianne?"

Dianne took in a deep breath and let it out in a rush. "He's scared. Ah'm scared. Ah'm scared he's gonna give up."

"What makes you say that?"

"Jes' th' way he was talkin' tonight." Dianne wiped a tear away, trying to head off a Niagara of weeping. She turned to her mother-in-law. "Em, Ah'm tryin' to be there for him, Ah really am. But...."

Emily cut her off, putting her hands on Dianne's shoulders. "But you've been there almost non-stop since he was brought in, not to mention what happened out there at the rescue site. You've given and given and now you're almost given out. You need some sleep and some time away from the hospital to rest. Finish that wine up now and I'll draw you a hot bath. Then to bed with you. The little ones will need to see your smiling face for reassurance in the morning."

"Ah promised Ah'd be there for th' surgery...."

"You can go. But when he comes out of surgery, you will come back here to get some more rest. I'll stay at the hospital with him and take the children to visit for a while. The boys will want to be there to say goodbye, too. Now, listen to your old mother-in-law and do as I say. No excuses."

"Yes, ma'am," Dianne whispered, tears streaming down her face now. Emily took one look and guided them both to a sofa, taking the glass away and sitting so she could take her heart daughter in her arms. She rocked back and forth, letting the younger woman sob out her fear and pain until at last, exhausted, Dianne fell asleep in Grandma Tracy's supporting arms.

Post by Tikatu on 23/07/2004



Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #83 is a reply to message #82] Sun, 22 July 2012 00:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 1, 2068, 11:45 p.m. Mt. Sinai Hospital, NYC

Jeff stood in a large room, paneled in knotty pine with hardwood floors and a huge fieldstone fireplace. There was a fire on the hearth and it made the paneling glow with a golden warmth. There was no furniture in the huge room and the ceiling stretched far above Jeff's head. He turned slowly around the room, gazing at it carefully. It felt familiar, yet was not.

As he turned, he found himself staring at floor-to-ceiling windows that stretched up in an A-frame shape. Outside, the stars twinkled in the night sky.

Stars shining right above you
Night-breezes seem to whisper: I love you.


He could hear Dianne's voice singing sweetly.

"Dianne? Where are you?" he called. He glimpsed a shape outside on the deck and opened the doors to approach the person who was standing there, leaning on the rails.

"Elise? Elise Collins?" he asked. She turned to him and smiled.

"Your wife will adore this place!" she said enthusiastically. "It's gorgeous!"

The night breezes seemed to blow a little harder, feel a little colder to Jeff. The stars began to be obscured by clouds, and flakes of snow began to fall. Jeff shivered.

Stars fading but I linger on dear
Still craving your kiss


"Dianne? Where are you? I hear you singing!" Jeff kept looking around for his wife. The snow began to get thicker, swirling around him and Elise. The winds began to howl.

Without warning, they were in a helijet. Elise, white-faced and tight-lipped, was struggling with the controls.

"I've never seen a storm like this before Mr. Tracy; I'm doing the best... Ohmigod!"

As if in slow motion, Jeff got up from his seat, trying to reach the co-pilot's chair that remained so tantalizing out of reach.
I've got to get to the controls! he thought as he thrust his body forward. But instead of reaching his goal, he felt himself falling into an ever-swirling darkness, his body going cold, colder. Yet even in the fading light, he could hear the sweet, soft voice of his wife singing to him.

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me.


"Dianne!" Jeff cried as he woke, drenched with sweat. An alarm went off as his heart rate increased, and a nurse came hurrying in.

"Mr. Tracy! What's wrong!" she called, turning on the light.

Jeff blinked several times, his eyes finally focusing on the face of the nurse who hovered over him. Another nurse came in and the first one said, "Get the doctor."

"N-No. No. It was just a dream. A nightmare. I'll be fine. Doctor's not necessary," he gasped. The nurse made notes on the heart rate's increase and watched as it began to slow back down into a more normal pattern.

"Let's let the doctor be the judge of that, Mr. Tracy," the nurse said firmly. The doctor came hurrying in, his med scanner at the ready. He consulted briefly with the nurses, and then approached Jeff.

"So, I hear you've had a nightmare. Must have been a doozy to cause such a physical reaction. Why don't you tell me about it?" he asked, all the while checking Jeff's vitals and making sure his dressings and splints were still in place.

Haltingly, Jeff began to relate his dream to the doctor. Somehow, he thought it was important to do so. When he was finished, the doctor smiled.

"That wasn't a nightmare, Mr. Tracy, though it might have felt like one."

"Then what was it, Doctor?" Jeff asked peevishly.

"It was... a memory."

Post by Tikatu on 23/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #84 is a reply to message #83] Sun, 22 July 2012 00:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 2, 2068, 9:55 a.m., Mt. Sinai Hospital, NYC

The entire family, sans Virgil, stood around in the VIP lounge waiting for Jeff to be returned to the ICU from the foot surgery. They had been told it would take two hours, and Alan was constantly checking his watch, tapping his foot.

"They should be done any minute," he kept muttering.

"Alan!" Emily's sharp voice cut through the air.

"Yes, Grandma?"

"Stop fidgeting and looking at your watch. They'll be done when they're done."

Gordon, on watch in the hall, came back to the lounge. "He's coming back!"

The family members who were sitting now rose. Dianne hurried into the hall and down to Jeff's room, beating the hospital bed by mere seconds. The nurses smiled at her as they settled Jeff back into his monitors. "He won't be here much longer, Dr. Tracy," one of them said. "Just until they have that private room ready."

Dianne smiled, a wide, genuine smile. The surgeon came in, his data pad in hand. He came around to see both Jeff and Dianne. "Let me tell you what we did, Mr. Tracy. We fused several bones in your foot and had to do some reconstruction near the ankle. We also set the long bones in your leg and injected them with growth stimulator, as we have done with all of your bones. As soon as the security floor is ready for you, we'll move you to a regular room where your family can visit for as long as you can stand it."

"Thank you for the update, Doctor," Jeff said wearily. "Dianne, can you tell the family?"

"Of course, dearest," Dianne replied. "I'll send the older boys back two at a time. They have to leave and would like to say goodbye."

"That will be fine. Mr. Tracy, I'll be back when it's time to move you to a new room." The doctor walked out with Dianne. "Something you should know, Dr. Tracy. The doctor on call last night said that your husband had a nightmare that included elements of the helijet accident. He may be on the verge of remembering the incident."

"That's wonderful!" Dianne said excitedly. "May I ask him about it?"

"Yes. The more he recounts the dream, the more it might unlock the memories of the incident." He smiled. "Your husband has come a long way from when he came in last weekend. He's a real fighter."

"Yes, he is," she said softly as she reached the door to the lounge, where the rest of the family waited eagerly for her news.

Post by Tikatu on 23/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #85 is a reply to message #84] Sun, 22 July 2012 00:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 2, 2068, 12:45 p.m., Mt. Sinai Hospital, NYC

"Now, you three stay here while we get you something to eat," Emily warned. "Cherry, you keep an eye on your brothers." She and Scott headed off in the direction of the cafeteria lines.

"It would have gone faster if we had gone to help. Grandma doesn't always know what we like," Tyler groused.

"She just wants us where she can find us again," Alex said, matter-of-factly. He sat up suddenly. "Hey, isn't that the TV host, Ned Cook?"

Cherry groaned. "You're right, Alex. And he's coming this way!" The three of them put their head together briefly. "You remember what Mom said to him? Good. Let that be our motto."

Ned Cook had been haunting the hospital for the past week, looking to interview someone, anyone, about Jeff Tracy's accident, even though the story was barely news any more. The involvement of International Rescue had given him a fever of sorts and he was determined to get that exclusive. So it was with a lifted heart that he saw an elderly woman who had been identified to him as Jeff's mother, Emily Tracy, escorting three children down to the cafeteria.

Those must be his adopted kids! It would be a real coup to get their perspective on this whole thing. No one, and I mean no one, has been able to get to them since their adoption. I'd better brush up on their names. He consulted his very handy PDA. Since the accident, he'd dug and dug and dug some more and had a whole folder on the Tracy family.

Lessee. The girl is Cherie, the two boys are Alex and Tyler, with Alex being the older. He must be the blond. Okay, now to wait for an opportunity.

He watched as the foursome met up with a dark-haired man that Ned identified as Scott, the oldest of Jeff's now eight children. There was some discussion, then the three children sat down at a table, and the adults went off.

Now's my chance. Ned walked nonchalantly over to the table, coming to a stop before the three children. The youngest looked up at him with curiosity, the middle with indifference, and the oldest, the girl, gazed at him with an expression uncannily like that of her mother. Ned put that aside, and smiled his most ingratiating smile.

"Say, aren't you Jeff Tracy's kids? Here visiting your dad, are you?"

The three kept looking at him, saying nothing. Undeterred, Ned pulled up a chair, turned it around, and straddled the seat, resting his arms on the backrest.

"Well, are you? You're being awfully quiet and I think that's rude."

The middle one rolled his blue-green eyes, then said, "If we were, do you think we'd tell you? Besides, you're the one being rude; you haven't introduced yourself."

"Yeah," the youngest piped up, "we've been taught not to speak to strangers."

Ned's face twitched, and his smile became a wry one. "Point taken. Well, lady and gents, I'm Ned Cook, host of The Ned Cook Show. I was wondering...."

The girl interrupted with a soft Southern drawl that made her sound very much like her mother. "We know who you are, Mistah Cook. Just as Ah'm sure you know who we are. You wouldn't be talkin' with us if you didn't." She leaned forward, eyebrow raised haughtily. "Now, Mistah Cook. You aren't really going t' take advantage of three children whose fathah has been seriously injured, are you?"

Ned sat up, blindsided by Cherry's comment, sputtering, "Well, no, not exactly. I was just wondering if I could ask you how your father was?"

Before he could recover his composure, Cherry smiled, a lazy smile like a cat's. "Well, in that case, Mistah Cook, you should ask the public relations department at Tracy Industries. They've been issuin' updates on Fathah's condition every day."

"Ah!" Ned found himself back on solid footing. "I have been and they've been very informative. But I was hoping for your opinions on how he's doing. Are you hopeful he'll recover? Does this whole situation scare you? How does it feel to be a Tracy kid, anyway?" He smiled winningly. "My listeners are very interested in you three."

"Ah'm sure they are," Alex said, his face angry, his own drawl showing for the first time.

"You're jes' a nosy busybody, Mistah!" Tyler shouted.

Cherry put a hand on each of her brothers' arms. "Now, now, boys. No need t' go gettin' all hot about it." She turned her attention back to Ned. "You'd like a few words from us?"

Ned smiled and nodded. "Yes, I would."

Cherry exchanged glances with her brothers. "Well, then Mistah Cook, we'll give you the words that our mothah gave you."

And in unison, the three said, "Mind your own business."

Ned began to protest, but stopped at the sound of a cleared throat. He looked up to see an angry Emily Tracy, her hands on her hips, and behind her, a glowering Scott, his hands holding a tray full of food.

"Now, Mr. Cook, don't try to tell me you're taking advantage of my littlest grandchildren!"

"Uh, no, Mrs. Tracy. I was just... conversing with them." Ned got up. "I can see that this conversation is over. Good day, Mrs. Tracy, Mr. Tracy, children." He beat a hasty retreat.

"Nicely done, kids," Scott said as he put the tray down. "I caught the tail end of all that."

The three kids grinned. "Well, Mom told us what to say to any reporter," Tyler replied, reaching out for the drink that Grandma had indicated was his.

"And I'm glad you remembered," Grandma said. "Now, eat up and we'll go upstairs to see your father. He should be in his new room by the time we're through."

"Okay!" Alex said as he bit into his burger and joined the rest of the little group in fortifying himself for the rest of the day.

Post by Tikatu on 23/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #86 is a reply to message #85] Sun, 22 July 2012 00:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Saturday, March 3, 2068, 1:30 a.m., Tracy Island

"I'll see you, and raise you twenty," Virgil said to John as he examined his cards. A chorus of "ooooh" ran around the table. He dropped his chips into the growing pile in the center. "Brains?"

Brains studied his cards. His hand reached for some chips. "I'll see you, Virgil, and raise you another, uh, twenty." This time there were groans around the table.

"I'm out. It's too rich for me," said Alan, who sat next to Brains.

Gordon shook his head and put down his cards. "I fold." Which brought the game back to John.

He gazed across the table at Brains, giving him a speculative eye. The scientist gazed back, his mild expression never wavering. He looked down at his cards. He had four of a kind, all jacks, not a bad hand at all. He again contemplated the man across from him, and then reached for his chips.

"I'll see you." He added the required amount. Then he reached for them again. "And I'll raise you... twenty-five."

There were groans again. Virgil shook his head. "I'm out." He put down his cards. "You two had better have the hands for this."

Brains now contemplated John, who put up an eyebrow in challenge. He glanced at his cards, and then reached for his chips.

"I'll see you," Brains said, "and raise you... fifteen."

Gordon got up and pulled out a beer from the mini-fridge and offered Alan one. Virgil indicated with a motion that he wanted one, too, and then tipped his chair back onto its back legs as he watched the last two players battle it out.

"I'll call," John said quickly, adding his chips. The opponents looked at each other across the table.

"I'll call," Brains said, then lowered his cards. "Straight flush."

"Damn!" John shouted as he put down his cards. "I was sure you were bluffing."

Brains smiled and pulled the chips towards him.

"Well, this is dejà vu all over again," Alan commented. "I seem to remember another poker game when Brains won the pot."

"When was that?" John asked, curious.

"A couple of years ago," Alan said. "You were upstairs. Scott was playing."

"Oh yeah!" Gordon said, a smile lighting up his face. "And Brains took our little side bet, too."

"Side bet? Did I miss something?" John asked.

"Uh, yeah, you did," Virgil admitted. "We were betting on... uh...."

"We were betting on your father and, uh, Dianne's trip to Paris," Brains said as he shuffled the cards.

"Oh?" John exclaimed.

"Yeah, I remember it really well," Alan said as he got up to stretch. "We had started out by playing poker...."

******

"The game is hold 'em," Scott said as he dealt the cards to the young men at the table. "Starting bet is five, with a limit of thirty."

There was a bit of silence as the men looked at their hands and tried to decide what to do with them.

"So, Brains," Gordon said conversationally. "You ready in case of a medical emergency? With the Doc here, you've had it easy in the sick room."

"I'm ready," Brains said simply.

"What do you all think of this... relationship of Dad's?" Alan asked skeptically.

"Is it a relationship?" Virgil asked. "I mean, all they seem to do is walk on the beach."

It got quiet for a few moments and he looked up to see his brothers gazing at him with amusement. "What? Did I miss something?"

"Lots of things, it seems, Virgil," Scott said amiably.

"Such as?"

"Such as the night they went for a walk on the beach and didn't come back until morning," Gordon said, looking at his cards.

"Or the time they took the cabin cruiser, just the two of them," Alan added.

"Or the times when they've been in the sick room and the doors have been locked, but neither of them has been, uh, sick," Brains pointed out. This last statement caused all of the brothers to look at him.

"The sick room? They've been making out in the sick room?" Alan asked. Brains nodded.

"Whoa," Gordon said softly, blinking. There was silence after that for a few minutes.

"Now he's taken her to Paris," Scott stated.

"To look at medical equipment," Virgil reminded him.

"Yeah, right." "Sure, Virge, sure." "Do you believe that?"

"Well, why else would they have gone?" he challenged.

"There are a couple of possibilities," Gordon said. "Maybe they're just getting away from us for a bit. Dad might want to show her the sights of romantic Paris. I call and raise you fifteen."

Scott disagreed. "I think there's more to it than that. I think Dad's going to ask her to marry him." He threw some chips into the kitty. "I call, and raise you five."

Alan chuckled. "Wouldn't it be funny if they went to Paris to elope?" The resulting silence made him look up from his cards. "What? Do you think they'd really do that?"

"It is a possibility," Brains admitted, tossing his chips into the pile.

"No. There's no way. Dad would never do that to us," Alan said, shaking his head vehemently. "I call, and raise you ten."

"He's not getting any younger," Virgil said. "He's been through one wedding. He might not want to mess with another one."

"I bet they come back engaged," Scott said.

The five men looked at each other and each began to smile.

"Okay, we'll start a betting pool," Gordon said. "Four possibilities. One, they went to see the medical equipment. Two, they went to spend some romantic time together."

"Three, they come back engaged," Alan added.

"And four, they come back, uh, married," Brains finished.

"Or any combination of the above?" Virgil asked.

"Yes, though the engagement and marriage are exclusive, one or the other," Scott said. He got up and pulled out a score pad. "Betting starts at fifty bucks, winner takes the kitty. We'll ask Kyrano to hold the money and the bets."

"Should we call John about this?" Alan asked.

"Nah. He's at a disadvantage. He hasn't seen a lot of the stuff we have lately," Scott said as he handed out paper and pencils. "Write down what you think is happening, and your bet."

"Okay."

******

Alan looked around the table and squarely at John. "So we did. And Dad and Mom had a romantic week away from us and came back engaged. They never even looked at the medical equipment. Brains took the pool."

"Wonder if they know you were betting on that," John said wryly, accepting the beer that Gordon handed over.

"Uh, I don't think so. You aren't going to tell them, are you, Johnny?" Gordon asked worriedly.

"If you remember to include me in the next betting pool you have, I'll keep quiet." John stretched and yawned. "I need to get some sleep and so do you, Alan. Got the Thunderbird Five run later today and we've got a passenger that we need to impress."

"Right," Alan got up from his seat and stretched. "Goodnight, guys. See you in the sunshine."

"Goodnight, Alan, John." "See you later." "G'night, guys."

Virgil looked at the other two men. "Pool game, anyone?"

"Sounds good to me," Brains said, getting up.

"Remind me to tell you about a pool game that Mom and I had before she and Dad started seeing each other," Gordon said as he gathered up the cards to put them away.

Post by Tikatu on 23/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #87 is a reply to message #86] Sun, 22 July 2012 00:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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9am 3-03-2068

"Okay, this is the LAST straw." Brandon said half-aloud as he marched down the hall in search of Christopher. He was so single-minded in his quest that he failed to notice Callie. He ran into her, nearly knocking her down.

"Hey, Brandon," said Callie jokingly, "you need to be careful." Then she noticed his face. "Are you all right?"

"No, I-am-not-all-right! That damn cat of Christopher's got INTO my apartment, clawed my nightstand, and shredded the curtains! When I find his owner...."

"Calm down, Brandon," Callie said, putting a hand on his shoulder. "It's not going to help anybody if you lash out at him."

"Maybe not, but I'll sure feel better. That cat has had it in for me since we got to the island!"

Callie stood in front of her friend. "Brandon, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but what's going to happen if--no, WHEN--you and Christopher have to work together on a mission? There's always going to be a little friction between new people meeting and all, but if you two keep this up, it could compromise the lives in danger."

Brandon nodded. "You've got a point, Callie. I need to keep things professional. I didn't come here to win a popularity contest. I was hired to do a job. And maybe the cat doesn't have it in for me; maybe he's just as nervous as I am about being here. "But how can I deal with Christopher? Every time we encounter each other, it turns into a confrontation." Brandon sighed.

"Hmm. There's got to be something that can alleviate the situation. If I can only figure out what," Callie said thoughtfully. Looking over at Brandon and the serious look on his face, she said teasingly, "The two of you DO have one thing in common."

"Oh? What's that, Callie?"

"You're both hot-heads."

That remark earned her a sour look. "I would hope that we'd have something a little more in common than that," Brandon replied.

"You're both sports fans, right?"

"Yeah, we are, just different kinds of sports." Brandon looked at Callie intently, wondering what she had in mind.

"There must be one sport you both like."

"I don't know what it would be, Callie. I'm into extreme sports and Christopher's more into the organized sports."

"There must be a way to resolve this before Mr. Tracy returns," she said with concern. "We can't have him coming home to two members fighting with each other."

"Maybe there is a way. I'll let you know if it works."

Callie stepped in front of him again. "If it's what I think you're going to do, don't even go there. I know Scott or Virgil would just LOVE to hear about all this. And I can tell on both you AND Chris."

"What ARE you talking about Callie?" Brandon noticed the seriousness in her green eyes and he laughed nervously. "Don't worry. I'm not going to start a fight with Christopher if that's what you're worried about."

"That's the one thing I was worried about. Maybe I can get the two of you to face each other, to air out your differences peacefully, with me as a mediator."

Brandon balked at the idea of Callie mediating what, to him, was a personal matter. "Come on. Don't you trust me to control my temper?"

She decided to be straight with him. "Right now, no, I don't."

Brandon tried to argue with Callie but she would have none of it. So it was that the two of them went off to find Christopher.

Post by MagicMaster8 and TracyFan4Ever on 23/07/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Learning The Ropes [message #88 is a reply to message #87] Sun, 22 July 2012 00:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island, 10.00 am. Saturday March 3rd 2068

Kat was leaning over the outboard motor of the small boat. Brains had left her to try and get the revs right. So far things were not going very well. She struggled to keep her balance as she reached far inside the engine. Brushing her hair back from her face, she passed some of the oil from her hand to her face.

She was so immersed in her work that she didn't hear the light footsteps come into the boat pen.

"Brains said you would be here." John's amused voice rang out in the silence.

Kat nearly knocked herself out as she jumped at the sudden voice. She turned to face him.

"Gosh, you made me jump! I have been left with a slight problem which is difficult to assess at the moment." She flicked more hair from her face and transferred more oil to her cheek.

"Sorry for startling you. How about having a break for a moment?" John said, pulling up and turning over a wooden box and sitting on it.

Kat wiped her oily hands on an equally oily rag and sat on a box beside him.

"How's Mr Tracy?" she asked.

"Slightly better. In fact, he's finished with surgery and is now in a regular room"

"Oh, that's good news," Kat replied. "It will be so nice once he is back here on Tracy Island."

John smiled. "It will, but there is still a lot to do. We have to make sure that all the new recruits are trained fully in all aspect of Thunderbirds and rescues."

"Really? I shall be trained to go on rescues?"

"Possibly. Even if you are not actually involved in a rescue, we may need to ask your advice at times. Better you be trained to deal with whatever comes, I suppose, just like Brains and Tin-Tin. In any case, you will be an invaluable member here back on Tracy Island. Now," said John, "for the real purpose of my visit to you. I am due to leave for Thunderbird 5 shortly along with Callie to give her some training for a month. When I come back, I intend to honour my promise and take you on the roof to show you the stars and constellations, if you still want to."

"Oh, John, yes please, I would love to learn all about the stars and constellations."

"I hear you are settling in very well. In fact, from what Brains tells me, you even corrected him when he was wrong."

Kat blushed, "Well, I wasn't quite sure whether to agree with him or not, but I just couldn't let him go on thinking he was right. As it turned out, he was just testing me. I shall have to get my own back on him."

Kat remembered that Brains had said that he and John were friends from college days. "I suppose you and Brains talk a lot. I shall have to be careful what I say."

"How else do you think I know what's going on when I am up in Thunderbird 5?" John laughed. I like to know how everyone is down here, while I am up in space." He got up off his box, "Well, I must be off. I have to get ready to leave, and make sure that Callie is ready as well. I just wanted to let you know that I'll be away from now for a month, but when I come back we will visit the roof."

"Thanks, John. See you when you return."

"Yes. Oh, and if ever you want to talk to me it's allowed, you know."

"Thanks. I'll remember that, if I ever get the time."

And with that he left her sitting on the box, thinking what a good friend he would be.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 23/07/2004



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[Updated on: Tue, 24 July 2012 14:20]

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John whistled softly as he made his way through the Villa and towards his room. He still had some packing to do before Callie and he headed up to TB5. He was looking forward to showing off his 'baby' and was looking forward to showing Kat the stars upon his return. He didn't see Gordon heading towards him until he'd bumped into him.

"Hey! Don't you ever look where you're going?" asked Gordon, rubbing his arm.

John looked up and smiled "Apparently not. Sorry, Squirt, bad habit I got, I guess!"

This earned him a playful thump on his own arm. Gordon laughed as John mockingly claimed an injury.

"Owww!"

"Aren't you supposed to be heading upstairs soon?" queried Gordon.

"Yeah, I'm taking Callie, get her started on her training."

Gordon nodded his approval. "I guess that's what Dad's got planned for the recruits next."

The two brothers looked solemnly at each other, their thoughts with their father. "Yes, and I need to finish packing."

They continued to chitchat for a few minutes outside John's room and the guest room.

Elise had been watching a movie when she heard muffled voices coming from outside her door. Slowly getting up, wincing as she did so, she shuffled over to the door and opened it. Two sets of eyes simultaneously turned in her direction.

"Hello." She smiled.

"Hi yourself," came Gordon's grinning answer.

"Hi, Elise," John said.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. I heard voices and couldn't resist being nosy," Elise offered.

"That's okay, no problem. I was just on my way back to the lounge anyway," said Gordon, and then turning to John, he added, "Have a good trip up to 5. See ya when you get back, bro!"

"Thanks," replied John as Gordon walked away. He turned his attention back to Elise.

"How are you feeling?"

"Better every day!" she replied, then added, "Do you have a minute or two? I'd really like to thank you for keeping me sane during the helijet accident."

She stood away from her door and motioned for him to enter.

"Sure, I have some time, and you don't have to thank me, honestly," he replied sincerely as he entered the room.

The two sat down and Elise told him how his voice had kept her focused throughout the whole ordeal.

"Having had plenty of survival training, I knew what you were trying to do John, but I still wanted to say 'Thank-you' in person. It was so hard to focus on much of anything and hearing your voice kept me going. If it hadn't of been for you, I don't think either one of us would have made it."

John could tell that talking about the crash and the aftermath was upsetting for Elise, and he spoke gently to her as he squeezed her hand reassuringly.

"Elise, all I did was keep you awake; you helped save my father's life. Believe me, I know how tough that was, and we all thank God that you both made it. I know it wasn't easy finding out about Scott being with International Rescue, and what with all that happened at the hospital, I'm surprised you're still talking to any of us!"

They both laughed softly. "Yeah, I feel like I've been caught up in this big whirlwind, but I'm grateful that your family agreed to have me stay here to recuperate before I head back home."

John didn't say anything to that last comment.

"You know, most of the family and our new personnel will probably get together later in the lounge. Why don't you join them? Get to know them some more?"

Elise smiled and agreed to the idea.

"You just have to turn right out of here, and go through the wooden double doors at the end of the hall on the left-can't miss it!"

"Okay! I'll do that and thanks, John... for everything."

He smiled and stood up. "Well, I have some packing to finish. If you need anything, just knock on the wall, I'm right next door!"

Elise laughed as John returned to his room.

Post by FrankieCTB2 on 25/07/2004


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[Updated on: Tue, 24 July 2012 14:30]

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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #620 is a reply to message #619] Tue, 24 July 2012 14:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Saturday March 3rd. 12.25pm. Tracy Island.

A skilled pair of hands deftly smoothed down the newly changed, crisp sheets on the sickroom beds. Dominic placed his hands on his hips as he surveyed the room and his work of the morning. He had wanted to become as familiar as possible with his new workplace in a short space of time. Although he had specialized in surgical nursing, Dominic had spent his first few years on the general wards, and he welcomed the chance at doing the more 'traditional' nursing once more in addition to assisting in surgery.

He had gotten up and, after spending a few hours with his cheerful little son, had gratefully deposited Joshua in the care of Lisa Parkhurst, and had set to work. The sickroom was spotless and organised; Dom had expected this, considering it was under the jurisdiction of Dr Tracy, who seemed like a more than competent doctor. Nevertheless, he had donned one of the round-collar, blue and white tunics provided and scrubbed every surface. Then, he had checked the inventory of supplies - and found nothing missing, as he had expected - and then had changed the bed linen. It never hurts, he thought.

He glanced at his watch: lunch time. Dominic cast one last glace over the pristine sickroom before going out to find Lisa and to sort out some lunch for his young charge.

***

In the kitchen, Alan was snooping in the cupboards looking for something to eat for lunch. Both Grandma and Kyrano were gone, leaving the Tracy sons to sort out their own food. He smiled as the tall, slim, dark-haired new recruit Dominic came in, his young son toddling along at his side.

"Good afternoon, Alan," the man said in his soft, oddly accented voice.

"Hey there," Alan said, closing over the cupboard door. "Looking for some lunch?"

"Yeah, we've no food yet in our apartment. I was hoping I could sort the little guy out here."

Joshua walked around the kitchen table and hung onto one of the legs, staring up at Alan with wide, curious eyes.

"Of course. What would he like?" Alan grinned down at the small child, who attempted to hide behind the table leg, but kept his eyes on this new man.

"Uh, he likes tuna sandwiches. But he doesn't like any spread on the bread." Dominic shook his head fondly at the child. "Typical picky eater."

"We do have some tuna," Alan said, taking a tin from one of the cupboards he had previously raided.

"Good stuff. I'll let you get back to what you were doing, there. I'm a deft hand at making tuna sandwiches these days, 'cause of Josh."

Alan nodded, and as he was turning back to the cupboards he caught a glimpse of Dominic sticking his tongue out at the child, who reciprocated and then walked over to his father and tried to peak up to see what he was doing. Dominic hoisted the child up onto his hip as soon as he had finished, and the child took up one quarter of the sandwich and began to eat. Dominic was chatting away to the young boy, who seemed content to eat and listen to his father talk. Alan shook his head. He knew he wouldn't even dream of becoming a father as young as Dominic, especially a single father.

Post by ArtisticRainey on 25/07/2004


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[Updated on: Tue, 24 July 2012 14:51]

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Saturday, March 3, 12:30 p.m. Tracy Island

Tin-Tin blinked. And blinked again. She ran the numbers through the computer again. They came out the same as before. She smiled, hesitantly, barely daring to breathe.

"Brains?"

"Yes, Tin-Tin?"

"Would you come here for a moment, please?"

"Sure." Brains walked over to Tin-Tin's computer station. He looked at the complex equation on her plasma screen, reading it through once, then again. He shot a hopeful look at Tin-Tin. "Did you run the equation again?"

Tin-Tin nodded vigorously. "Yes. I'll run it a third time. Watch."

The complex chemical equation reloaded. Every figure fell into place as before and it all balanced out when the calculations were complete.

Brains beamed at his assistant. "By George, I think you've got it!"

Tin-Tin began to laugh. "I think I do! It's taken forever, but I think I've finally found the way to mix Penelon and Kevlar and come up with a usable fabric. Now to see if one of our distributors can actually manufacture the fabric."

"Do you think it will take dyes?"

"Yes, I think so. We'll have to test it to see what dyes it will and won't take."

"How about cutting? If it's going to be bullet-resistant, then scissors won't go through it. Will lasers?"

Tin-Tin sighed. "Yes, lasers will be able to cut through it, but with difficulty. I was wondering if a pair of cahelium scissors might do the trick."

"An interesting idea! I'll construct a pair in my copious free time," Brains quipped. "So, the next step is to get some of this miracle cloth manufactured. Will you give me a hand with Thunderbird Eight while that's going on?"

"Of course, Brains." She stretched and yawned, then sat up with a start and said, "Computer, save file!" She looked at Brains sheepishly. "I almost forgot to save it!"

"I think you should take the rest of the day off, Tin-Tin," Brains said seriously. "Mail this off to our fabric provider in the morning, but rest your mind and body until then." Then he grinned. "Oh, and don't forget to call Scott and tell him about your accomplishment."

"I think I will. I've worked hard on this thing!" Tin-Tin grinned back. "In fact, that's the first thing I will do! It's still Friday in the States. Let's see: he's probably at dinner. Where's the penthouse phone number?" She found it on her computer, and called from the lab vidphone.

In New York, Scott, Emily, and the children were sitting down for one of Kyrano's good meals. Dianne had taken a portion of it to the hospital to share with Jeff. The vidphone rang.

"Who's calling us during dinner?" Scott groused as he got up from the table.

"I bet it's Ned Cook again," Alex said around a mouthful of mashed potatoes.

"Alex, dear, don't talk with your mouth full," Emily chided. "And if it is Mr. Cook, tell him to talk to our lawyers, Scott. This is becoming harassment."

"Yes, ma'am," Scott said as he left the room. He activated the insistent machine, trying to wipe the sour look off of his face.

"Hello, Scott!" Tin-Tin cried.

"Tin-Tin! What a surprise! Is there something wrong?" Scott asked.

"No, Scott. Something is very, very right! I've finished the formula!"

Scott broke into a wide smile. "Wow! That's wonderful, Tin-Tin, congratulations! I'll pass the news on to Dad. I'm sure he'll be thrilled."

"I'll be sending off the formula tomorrow to our fabric manufacturer in Kabul and see what they can do with it. But I just had to tell you!"

"Thanks, Tin-Tin! Hopefully we can get those new uniforms made up soon. Hey, Tin-Tin. Can you make sure everyone's measurements get taken? Especially before the TB5 crew goes up? Then maybe get the new prototype made up quickly in the same fabrics we used for that?"

Tin-Tin blinked. "I suppose so, Scott. I'll do Callie and John before they leave and catch... Alan when he returns. We'll have to decide on the new colors for the recruits."

"Ah, yes. I'd forgotten about that. You can poll them and ask them what colors they'd like. Just remember; we Tracys are no longer having pastels," Scott said with a wink.

Tin-Tin laughed. "I'll remember, Scott. I still can't believe that Grandma took John seriously when he made that joke about wanting lavender."

"Served him right and taught him not to joke with Grandma like that. She's always been able to give as good as she gets," Scott said with a grin. "I'd better let you go. My dessert awaits."

"Ooh. Wish I were there. Though I think that Lisa made some brownies to eat with lunch. Hopefully Gordon hasn't scarfed them all down. Give my love to everyone and especially your father. Tell him I want him to get well and come home soon."

"F-A-B, Tin-Tin. Talk to you later. You want to talk with your dad?"

"Please."

"Okay. I'll call him." Scott lifted his telecomm only to hear a throat being cleared behind him. He turned to see Kyrano standing there.

"Ah, here he is. Bye, Tin-Tin and congratulations!" Scott turned and let Kyrano take over the screen.

"Hello, Father!"

"Hello, my daughter. I understand that you have accomplished your objective? Congratulations!"

Post by Tikatu on 25/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #622 is a reply to message #621] Tue, 24 July 2012 14:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Saturday March 3rd 1:30 pm

"Asterix!" Christopher knelt down to look around the base of the potted plant, "Come on, mate!" He sighed and looked around. Where could he be? he thought.

Callie and Brandon searched through the corridor of the first floor, both hoping to find Christopher. ""He's got to be here somewhere. We've got to find him," Callie said. "If we don't start settling things soon, I'm going to miss my space flight."

Christopher stood up and looked around, Asterix had never gone missing like this before, and now he was getting very worried. He started looking again. His mind was so focused on finding Asterix he failed to realize he walked fast--fast enough to bump into Callie.

"Ow," she said, holding her arm.

"Sorry," Christopher said, rather absent-mindedly. "Have you seen Asterix about?"

Callie shook her head. "Sorry, Chris, I haven't seen him."

"He's still a bit nervous about his new surroundings." He looked at them. "I'm worried about him."

"Why don't you try my apartment?" Brandon replied, just loud enough for Christopher to hear.

"Sorry, Brandon?" Christopher smiled. "No, I've checked in there, and he sharpened his claws by the looks of it." He paused. "Look," he said exasperatedly, "do you want something? Because I have a nervous cat wandering about and I'm worried about him."

"Yes," said Callie sternly. "I know you're worried about Asterix, but we have another pressing concern...the attitude between you and Brandon here."

"It's not me who has the attitude." Christopher looked at Brandon. "I'm not the one being supremely arrogant!"

Brandon's face flushed an angry red as he lunged toward Christopher. "First the cat and then you!"

Callie quickly stepped between the two men before any harm could befall Christopher.

"Stop it, both of you! What's going to happen when there are lives to save and you two act like a pair of immature babies?"

"I shall be my usual professional self on the job." Christopher looked at Brandon warily, then turned to Callie.

"Can you do that when you and Brandon have to work together?" she asked. "Because believe me, you WILL have to work together eventually. Your flying skills and his skills on the water working together can mean the difference between life and death. But it won't look good for anyone if you two keep fighting, and I'm sure Mr. Tracy wouldn't be happy about this."

"Yes, I can do it when we have to work together. Off duty though, all bets are off," Brandon growled.

Callie thought carefully. "Wait, I have an idea. How about you two do something neither of you know about? Something like tennis?"

"Never played that before." Christopher chewed his bottom lip. "Although I did go out with a ball girl from Wimbledon for a while."

"Tennis? Man, Callie, can't you think of something else? I mean, the game's so boring," complained Brandon.

"Come on, Brandon," Christopher chuckle. "Afraid to pull on a pair of tight shorts and leap about with a tennis racquet?"

"Brandon, have you ever played tennis, or have you watched it on TV?" Callie asked.

This isn't going to be easy. But, if I don't do it, Christopher will never leave me alone. "No I'm not afraid. You just decide when and I'll be there." Answering Callie, he replied, "I watched it on television a little bit between the power boat races."

"Why not try a three-set match? Even if you lose, it's good exercise to relieve stress," Callie suggested.

"Excellent!" Christopher rubbed his hands. "When shall this game be played?"

"How about right now? Asterix is somewhere in the area. After all, this is an island," Callie responded eagerly.

"Okay." Christopher smiled. "Might take my mind off things. See you in half an hour?"

John's voice was heard on the intercom system. "Will Callie Spencer please report to the lounge area? Thunderbird 3 launches in 20 minutes."

"Oh dear," Christopher said. "Looks like it'll have to wait."

"Callie, is there any way you can postpone the flight for, say an hour?" Brandon asked, a note of desperation in his voice.

"No, Brandon. As an astronaut myself, I know how much trouble a delay can cause. If John says 20 minutes, then 20 minutes it is."

Christopher smiled to himself as he went back to searching for his errant feline companion.

Callie pressed a button on the intercom. "John, I'll be done packing in 10."

"Okay, Callie, but this sofa won't wait," John replied.

"Can you two at least try to play while I'm gone? At least one match? I'm sure that one of the Tracys knows how to play tennis. Ask around. Please?" Callie asked.

"I promise Callie," Brandon told her. At least I'll try to play.

"Good. Now I've got to run," Callie said, suiting action to words and mentally cursing at herself for having to break up their fighting, and at them for having such rotten attitudes toward each other.

Post by MagicMaster8, TheWrongTrousers and TracyFan4Ever on 27/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #623 is a reply to message #622] Tue, 24 July 2012 14:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island. Saturday. March 3rd, 2068

Kat tapped gently on the door of Elise's room.

"Come in, it's open," called Elise

Kat opened the door and went in. "I hope you don't mind, but I thought you might like some company." She went over to where Elise was sitting. "I'm Katie-Jane Williamson, Kat for short," she said, holding out her hand.

Elise took the proffered hand. "Hi, Elise Collins," Elise replied, shaking Kat's hand.

"How are you feeling?" Kat asked. "We have all heard how you saved Mr Tracy's life."

"I am still pretty bruised and sore, but I am beginning to feel better now, thank you." Elise said. She gave Kat a shrewd look. "So, Kat, how did you get to be on this island? I am assuming that you are one of the new recruits?"

Kat looked at Elise and frowned. Elise smiled and rolled her eyes.

"It's okay. I know all about International Rescue, although I have to say it came as quite a shock to find out."

"Tell me about it," Kat replied. "Well, I have been recruited as mechanic for the Tracy family boats, planes, and maybe even the Thunderbird crafts themselves eventually. I am working with Brains and Tin-Tin. Oh, but of course, you will not know everyone here yet will you? You must come down to the lounge and meet everyone."

"Oh, yes, John and Gordon both invited me to join everyone."

"I am afraid I haven't seen much of Gordon," Kat said, "but John brought me down from England for my interview and flew me back again." She went on, "He has promised to take me on to the roof and show me the stars when he returns from Thunderbird 5. I am so looking forward to that."

"Tell me, how has such a petite young girl got a job as a mechanic?" Elise asked.

Kat groaned. "How long have you got?"

Elise smiled. "Do I sense an 'oh, no, not again' question?"

Kat laughed. "Maybe I should write a placard and place it around my neck, so that I don't keep on having to tell people." She paused, looking at her watch. "If you like, we can go to the lounge now. I am sure that everyone will want to meet you and thank you themselves for saving Mr Tracy."

"Okay, Kat, I'll come. Lead on, but go slowly, please. I am not exactly skipping around just yet."

Laughing, the two women headed for the lounge.


Post by Tawnyangel22 on 27/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #624 is a reply to message #623] Tue, 24 July 2012 14:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Another squeal of delight sounded, and Gordon deftly caught the blond two-year old in his arms once more, before tossing him up again. Dominic rested his chin on his hand and grinned as he watched his son having so much fun. Virgil looked at him, and then at the child Gordon was swinging around, and shook his head. He had deliberately taken up a seat near Dominic, one of the shyer newbies, in order to, hopefully, draw him into the beginnings of a friendship. He seemed like an affable young man, who was the same age as John and a little similar in temperament. He saw Dom brush some of his long black hair from his eyes and smiled.

"I don't know how kids don't fly apart when they're tossed around like that," he said, gesturing at Joshua and Gordon.

Dominic started, but smiled shyly back. "Ack, once you're a father yourself you'll realize that kids are virtually indestructible, but only when they're having fun." Dominic said. "You wouldn't see him that brave facing the point of a needle, I'm tellin' you."

From their positions on a pair of chairs near the portraits, the two men watched as Gordon brought the child to the ground and then started to tickle his sides, causing Joshua to squeal again. Virgil chuckled at his brother's boisterous play with the young boy

"So where are you from, exactly?" Virgil said, returning his attention to Dominic. "I detect a strong twang from the Emerald Isle in your voice."

Dominic grinned as his homeland was mentioned, and turned right around to face Virgil, his shyness abating somewhat in favour of talking about home.

"Yes! I'm from Dublin, originally. Hence the strong brogue." He grinned. "But I've lived in Cork and Kerry in the South, Clare in the West, Wicklow in the East and also Tipperary, Sligo and Laois. But I went to uni up in the North, in Belfast."

"You're some traveller." Virgil said.

"Well, I had to follow me mam wherever she got jobs. She was a teacher - a wild good one, too - but she got restless easy. Hence the jumpin' around."

Just then, Kat and Elise entered the lounge. Virgil gave them a friendly wave, and they headed over to the small arc of chairs where the two men were sitting.


Post by ArtisticRainey on 27/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #625 is a reply to message #624] Tue, 24 July 2012 14:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Elise started to lower herself onto a green sofa, when Virgil got up quickly and escorted her to his chair.

"Sorry about that, Elise," he said with a wry smile. "That sofa's not the best place to sit right now."

"Why?" Elise asked, puzzled, settling herself in his seat with a tiny groan.

"Stick around and you'll see," he replied, grinning now.

"You should have seen this place the day of Mr. Tracy's rescue!" Kat exclaimed. "Everyone scrambled for their vehicles! Scott and Dr. Tracy disappeared through a revolving wall. Now I know that it leads to Thunderbird One's hangar. And Virgil here stood by that picture of the rocket and the wall tilted up and he slid into the dark." Kat cocked her head at Dominic. "Where did you, Brandon, and Gordon go, Dominic?"

"Downstairs to a passenger lift that took us directly to Thunderbird Two's cockpit. It was quite a ride!" Dom replied.

"Those of us left behind were very tense, listening to the rescue through the portraits on the wall behind you. It was a big relief when Scott told us that you'd been taken to the hospital and they were all heading back," Kat finished.

"It must get like that a lot around here," Elise commented, looking around the room, not really believing what she had been told.

"Yeah, it has been like that lately," Gordon said, coming over with Joshua on his shoulders. "This is probably the longest stretch of quiet time we've had for a while."

"Yeah," Virgil agreed. "I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, and we're deluged by rescues again."

Everyone looked up as John entered the room, dressed in his uniform and sash, with his hat on his head. He grinned and put his overnight bag down on the green sofa. He was joined by Alan, dressed in his off-white sash.

"If I am lucky, this will be the last time I'll have to wear lavender!" John declared. "Tin-Tin just took my measurements for the new uniform!"

"Oooh!" Virgil quipped. "No more pastels!"

"Yes, I can hardly wait. I've been assured that my new uniform will be accented in a nice, deep purple," John said with a contented sigh. "Tin-Tin will be around to measure the rest of you soon. Then you can choose your colors. I think she's doing Callie right now."

"I'm sticking with off-white," Alan said. "Tin-Tin can measure me when I get back."

"We get to choose our colors? How exciting!" Kat said eagerly. "Then she frowned. "What will Callie wear?

"Civvies for now, I think," Virgil said, moving over to the desk. "No use in making her a uniform when she's going to get a new one on her return.

"Yeah, no one will be seeing her but us IR folk anyway," John agreed. He looked at his watch. "I hope she gets here soon; we blast off in less than 10 minutes."


Post by Tikatu on 28/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #626 is a reply to message #625] Tue, 24 July 2012 14:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Saturday, March 3, 2068; 1:45 p.m.; Tracy Villa Lounge

John started to grow concerned. "Callie's going to put this a little too close for comfort."

She ran into the lounge with her suitcase full of clothes. "Sorry, John. Tin-Tin wanted to take my measurements for the new uniform. I decided on the neon aqua look for the shirt. Anyway, I'm here, and I'm rarin' to go!"

"Good to hear it. I'm glad to see how eager you are about going up to Thunderbird 5. You'll love it."

"It'll be amazing to see, since I never saw it at all while working at the International Space Station."

Virgil smiled. "Well, it's nearly time. It'll be nice to have a Tracy back at the space station again. This time, though, you get to train someone about the controls, functions, and the like."

"And something tells me," said John, "that Callie will be just fine once she gets all the controls mastered."

Callie blushed slightly. "I don't know if I can do it in just a month, but I can certainly try." She looked at Elise and said, "Miss Collins, I want to get to know you better, but today's just not the day for me."

"I understand," Elise said with a smile. "Now be careful going up there."

Alan looked at the clock. "It's time to go."

"Right," said Virgil as he nodded. "Have a nice trip, you three, and Callie, just relax and enjoy the ride."

"Yes, sir."

Virgil pressed a button behind the desk, allowing the sofa to go down on a hydraulic lift.

Callie turned around and noticed another sofa going up. "What's that for?"

"That sofa takes the place of the one we're sitting on now," said Alan. "Some people would get suspicious if they saw an open floor and no sofa."

The sofa came to a rest on an open railroad car, which traveled down a long corridor to the Thunderbird 3 hangar. When the car came to a stop underneath the space rocket, the sofa was lifted into the lounge level of the ship by the same hydraulic lift used to lower it.

John stood up and said, "Take up launch positions."

"F.A.B.," Alan said.

Callie was a little confused. "What does this 'F.A.B.' mean?"

"It's just our code for 'Roger' or 'Will do.'"

"I may have a hard time getting used to saying that." She took one of the seats and fastened the belt around her waist. "Tell me, Alan, how long does it take on average for Thunderbird 3 to get to the space station?"

"It takes about 3.5 hours in standard acceleration." Alan raised an eyebrow. "Oh, by the way, one of the reasons you've never seen Thunderbird Five is that the ISS is in geosynchronous low Earth orbit. Five is in geostationary high orbit. There's no way you could have seen it."

John took an elevator up to the main control room of Thunderbird 3 and sat down at the controls. "Thunderbird 3 to base. Ready for blast-off."

Virgil spoke into the microphone. "You're clear to go, John. Good luck."

"Stand by for blast off." He pressed a button, and the engines quickly fired up. "Lift-off." He pressed another button, causing the space rocket to lift into the sky through the hole in the center of the Round House.

Inside, Callie felt a slight increase in pressure. "Must admit, it's not half as bad as some of the lift-offs I've been a part of."

"Once you get used to it, it'll become second nature."

John spoke to them over the intercom. "We'll be leaving Earth's atmosphere in 10 seconds. Callie, join Alan in coming up to the control room. We're going to show you how to work the controls."

"Yes--I mean, F.A.B."

Alan laughed lightly. "You're getting used to it already."

The pair took the elevator to the control room to join John.

John went over all the controls carefully. "You never know when you might need to go to 10 G in an emergency situation."

"Like you had to do with the first Sun Probe mission," Callie said.

"Right," said Alan. "Even at that speed, it took us nearly three days to reach it."

Callie looked at every button to make sure she was ready to fly it soon. "So, when it's time for one of us to switch with the other, the third person will pilot Thunderbird 3?"

"Not quite yet," said John. "We'll have to get you on the simulator when we get back to Earth. And in normal switch-overs, Scott's usually piloting our way up. It puts a little less pressure on us."

Alan smiled. "Don't worry, Callie. Once you've got the training covered, we can fly each other and take a little pressure off Scott."

John sent out a call to the space station. "Thunderbird 3 to Thunderbird 5. Approaching space station."

Braman responded, "Docking. Permission. Granted."

"Thanks, Braman."

"Uh, who?" asked Callie.

"Braman, Brains's robot. Since Alan came to Earth to visit Dad, Braman's had to keep tabs on all transmissions around the world."

"I guess Braman will go home as well?"

Alan nodded. "I'll be taking him back to the base. He's earned a vacation."

"Okay, you two," said John. "Take the seats here and buckle up. We're about ready to dock."

"F.A.B.," Alan and Callie said in unison, causing a giggle between them.

John moved the rocket around to where its nosecone fit into the airlock hole of the space station. It only took a couple of minutes for Thunderbird 3 to complete its docking procedure. "Well, we're here." He talked into the microphone again. "Braman, we're here. Open airlock please."

"Open. Airlock."

When the airlock opened, Callie's eyes widened in disbelief. "Wow..."

John said, "Callie, welcome to Thunderbird 5."


Post by TracyFan4Ever on 29/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #627 is a reply to message #626] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island, Saturday, March 3, 2068

Elise watched as Callie sat on the sofa next to John and Alan. John looked at Kat and smiled. "See you in a month's time, Kat."

"Okay, bye for now and have a good trip. Bye, Callie." Kat replied.

The sofa began its descent, to be quickly replaced by an identical one.

Elise gasped. Virgil smiled. "See what I mean."

Virgil came over to talk to Elise and Dominic. Kat went down on her knees to Joshua. "Hi, little one. Shall we go and watch Thunderbird 3 take off?"

"Anyone else coming?" she called.

Although Virgil and Gordon had seen Thunderbird 3 take off many times, they agreed to join Kat, Elise, Dominic and Joshua.
Just as they were about to leave, Tin-Tin came in.

"Ah, Kat, just the person I was looking for. I want to take your measurements."

Virgil laughed. "Just put 'tiny'."

Kat gave him a look, but just before she could speak, Virgil put his hands in the air. "Sorry, just teasing."

Kat gave Tin-Tin a wry smile. "Guess I am getting used to all this teasing. Tin-Tin, could you possibly measure me after Thunderbird 3 has taken off? I really would like to see the launch."

Tin-Tin smiled, "Why yes, of course. It is certainly a sight worth seeing. Come back to my room afterwards."

They all stood and watched at the mighty rocket appear from the centre of the Round House. Joshua wasn't too sure about this and buried his face in his father's shoulder.

Elise and Kat looked on in wonderment. Virgil smiled at them. "It does seem amazing for the first time, doesn't it?" They both agreed.

"Well," Kat said, "I must go and be measured. See you guys later." And she left Virgil and Gordon to escort Elise, Dominic and Joshua back to the lounge.

Tin-Tin looked at Kat's measurements. "Well, I won't need much material for your uniform. What colour trim would you like?"

"Green, please. Either Emerald Green or perhaps a darker green, say Forest Green."

Emerald Green was decided upon and Kat left Tin-Tin to try and find out where the rest had gone. She found the lounge empty for the moment. She wasn't too sure what to do next. She thought that maybe she should find Brains. Even if he didn't actually need her, maybe she could watch him work.

She first looked in at the boat pen; there was no sign of him. She wandered down to the planes, but he wasn't there either. Okay, Brains, she thought to herself, then you must be in the laboratory.

Not thinking about knocking first, Kat opened the door.

"Hey, Brains," she said excitedly, "I've just said goodbye to John and Callie and watched Thunder..." She stopped and looked embarrassed as she saw that Brains had visitors. Gordon and Virgil were talking to him.

"Hello," said Virgil smiling. "Come and join us, we were just looking at the plans for Brains latest invention."

"I just wondered if you wanted any help, Brains," Kat asked, "but I can come back later."

"Kat, don't go on our account," Gordon said. "I am sure you would want to see Brains's latest Thunderbird?"

Kat stood between Virgil and Gordon and leaned over the plans.

"It's a hydrofoil, Kat," Brains said. "It will be carried in the pod with Thunderbird 4."

"Gosh, what a brilliant idea! I can't wait until I can work on it."

"Work on it?" Brains said, "I think that maybe you could help me build it."

Virgil laughed. "This I must see, you working alongside Brains, little and large."

Kat glared at him. "Just because I am small, doesn't mean that I can't do the job," she replied angrily.

Gordon smiled. "Say, Virgil, I think you may have upset the lady."

Kat looked at Virgil. "You still can't get over the fact that I can work as hard as Brains, can you?"

"I'm sorry, Kat, I didn't mean to. I was only teasing." Virgil said.

Kat turned away and continued talking to Brains.

"Gosh, Brains, it would be wonderful to actually help build it. I can't wait to start."

"Well, I think that now John and Callie have left, maybe we can start work, but it will have to fit around your training."

Virgil walked over to Kat, "Kat, I apologise. I must have sounded rude, and that is the last thing I want to appear to be. No hard feelings?" he asked.

"I accept your apology, Virgil, and no hard feelings," Kat replied, "but also please no more remarks about my size. I can get very irritated, and I can give some very caustic replies, as no doubt you may remember from Lady Penelope's New Year's Eve party. I just can't stand people who are forever talking about my size."

Virgil smiled at her. "Okay, the subject of tiny mechanics is closed. I will say no more about it." But he added, "I guess I have never seen so petite a young woman doing a man's job."

Kat glared at him. "Okay, okay, I am sorry!" Virgil laughed, raising his hands in the air in mock terror.

"Virgil, I think we had better go," Gordon said, "before you get yourself into more trouble."

With that the two young men left Brains and Kat to continue discussing the new Thunderbird.


Post by Tawnyangel22 on 29/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #629 is a reply to message #627] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Monday, March 5th, 2068, 7AM EST; Tracy Industries Washington D.C offices

Mrs. Lena Matumbo always enjoyed arriving in her office an hour early. The quiet allowed her to get into the rhythm of the workday. She first checked her voice mail for messages. There were only two this morning, a reminder of a meeting of department heads and a call from one of her employees, letting her know he would not be in, due to a family emergency. She then turned on her computer and went to her email.

The program she had developed that automatically scanned the messages for viruses (and set them aside for tracing) quickly checked her inbox, then chirped at her, letting her know the scan was complete and as usual, no viruses were found. Once de program was in place and de viruses already der were traced to de source, no one has dared try to infect de Tracy computers, she thought with great satisfaction. She opened the oldest message and began reading, taking notes and sending replies.

Thirty minutes later, she sat up in surprise. In her mailbox was an email addressed to Jeff Tracy. Quickly she scanned the rest of the messages and found another one, also addressed to the CEO. She set them aside in a private 'For Eyes Only' type file, and continued to check the rest of her messages. Near the end of them, she found a third, addressed to one of the VPs. She shook her head and added it to the file, then finished checking her own messages.

When her staff arrived at eight, she called them into her office for a quick meeting. When they settled down, she said, "I found some emails in my box not addressed to me. I want each of you to check your boxes as soon as you get to your desks and de scans are complete, and see if you find any of de same. If you do, don't open dem. Just forward dem to me, den delete dem."

One of her staff spoke up. "I found one yesterday, while you were out. I saved it, and forgot to tell you when you returned."

"Okay, Michelle. Forward it to me and any otters you may have gotten since den. Has anyone else gotten any such emails so far?" Everyone shook their heads. "Den your first order of business is to check your boxes. Once you have done dat and forwarded any misdirected messages you find to me, start your normal day." A few chuckles greeted her last statement, and she grinned at them. "I know, I know, normal isn't an applicable word to dis job, but since unusual is normal for us, it works for me. Now, get to your desks and make de rest of de departments happy; and do me proud, like you 'normally' do."

Once her team had gone to their desks, she turned to her computer and wrote a priority email to everyone in the building, asking them to do the same thing she told her staff. An hour later, she had twenty more emails, some addressed to Jeff Tracy, some to his immediate subordinates and the rest to various members of the Tracy family. She opened them only to see to whom they were sent. She frowned as she found different addresses on them, but only one on each email.

Why would dis be happening? It makes no sense. She started by arranging them in order from the oldest to the newest, and noticed the first email was sent two days after the crash that put Jeff Tracy in the hospital. The first emails were sent to the Tracy's personal email addresses, then to their business ones and finally to other people at Tracy Industries. Hmm. Someting happened wit de Tracy personal mailboxes, linking dem to de mailboxes at de business locations? Dis is strange. Well, I won't solve dis just sitting here.

She got to work, writing a program that would trace each email to find the source of the diversion to other locations. She also called some of the VPs to see if they had gotten their emails.

Each one she was able to contact had replied in the affirmative. She told them she was tracking down the source of the problem and would let them know when the trouble was located and corrected. Then it was time for the department head meeting.

When she returned from the meeting two hours later, she decided to quickly check on the progress of the trace, before heading to lunch. She found five more emails that had gone to five separate locations as well as - probably - to their intended destinations. She opened them to check the addresses, and some words in the messages leaped out at her. She gasped, her appetite gone, as she read the emails and realized the truth.

Jeff Tracy is de head of International Rescue!


Post by Hobbeth on 29/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #630 is a reply to message #629] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Monday, March 5th, 2068, 1:00PM; Tracy Industries Washington D.C. offices

The phone rang, bringing Lena out of her contemplations. She answered, bringing her thoughts quickly back to the here and now. One of the other supervisors whom she had contacted wanted to know if she had made any progress, and she told him what little she could. After she hung up, a rumble from her stomach told her to get something to eat. Might as well. Dere's notting much I can do until de trace is complete. She locked the program from prying eyes, got her purse out of a drawer, grabbed her jacket, and left.

When she returned an hour later, she had phone messages to take care of. She did so, quickly and efficiently, and then turned to her computer. Four more emails had been transferred to her that went to people in error and she added them to the others. She then checked the program and found that the trace was closing in on the source of the problem. So she left her office to check on her staff and see how they were doing.

Few problems had been called in and all had been dealt with very efficiently. She was proud of her staff. They were well trained and creative enough to find solutions to odd problems. They all had a laugh when one of the staff told of a call from someone who couldn't get a particular website to come up. It turned out that the person was misspelling one part of the url, and was getting a children's website with some of the goofiest sounds they'd ever heard. "Imagine, two websites so diametrically different, yet so similar in urls," the employee said, still chuckling.

"It's a mind boggler, all right," Lena answered, smiling. "Well, good ting it was simple to figure out. I'm glad it's been a quiet day for you all. If you need me for anyting, I'll be in my office." She turned and headed in that direction, feeling refreshed by the fifteen-minute interlude.

When she got inside her office, her computer was chiming, signalling that it had tracked down the source. She opened the program and read the codes easily. "Well, isn't dat someting? De problem originated at de Tracy home. Now, tink, Lena. Who do I contact about dis who would be dere to take care of dis?" She sat back in her chair, pondering.

Hmm. I remember someone . . . Hiram somebody. It took her several minutes and rejections of several variations of the last name before she had it. Hackenbacker! She immediately went into the address file and looked up his name. When she found it, she started working on a priority email to him, taking her time to word it carefully.

"Mr. Hackenbacker, I am Lena Matumbo, head of the computer I&M department at Tracy Industries in Washington D.C.," she wrote. "A glitch has developed in the system that has caused several emails to also go to mailboxes other than the ones they were addressed to. I notified all employees here and had them forward any they received. I have received about two dozen, so far.

The program I created to trace the cause has in fact located it in a server at the Tracy home. Since some of the emails contain what appears to be highly sensitive information, I feel that this should be checked out ASAP. Please respond as soon as you get this.

Lena Matumbo"


Post by Hobbeth on 29/07/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #631 is a reply to message #630] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island, Tuesday, March 6th 2068 12:15 a.m.

With the excitement of Thunderbird 3's launch over, quiet had once again returned to the island. But Virgil was worried and he needed to talk to Scott. Elise had now seen TB3 launch and Kat had happily given her all kinds of information, not intentionally, of course, but it was enough to make him feel uneasy. Elise wasn't part of International Rescue and he wasn't sure what his father had planned. He liked Elise, but at the present, she was a security risk.

Making his way to the lounge, he sat behind his father's desk and activated the call button for Scott's comm-link. It was 8:15 a.m. the previous day in New York. Scott was looking out over the city from the penthouse lounge window. He was about to take a drink from the cup of coffee he'd poured when his comm-link sounded.

"Hey Virgil, what's up?"

"Hi, Scott, glad you're awake. I've got a few things I need to run by you, but first, how's Dad?"

Scott gave his brother the latest update concerning their father, and was happy to see Virgil smile. "Yeah, apparently Kyrano's cooking seems to be the miracle cure for Dad at the moment! Grandma is making sure he eats every bite!"

Both the boys laughed together and then Virgil got serious. "Scott, have you any idea what's going on with Elise? She's doing great out here, seems to be healing well, but I'm not so sure she should be seeing all that goes on concerning IR."

Scott mulled this over in his mind for a few seconds. He'd been meaning to talk to his father about the possibility of bringing Elise on board as another pilot. He just hadn't found the right moment.

Virgil continued talking. "I mean, Scott, she's seen TB3 launch and heard all kinds of information. I know she's overwhelmed with it, but she's also convinced she's returning to New York and her job in 3 weeks! She's a security risk with what she knows, and I know those newshounds will start to bug her again."

Scott took a deep breath and replied, "I know, Virg, I know."

He remained silent for a few seconds, and then added, "I've been meaning to talk to Dad. After what she's been through, I don't think it's wise for her to return to New York."

"What are you thinking Scott?" asked Virgil.

"I think Dad should bring her on board as an IR pilot."

It was now Virgil's turn to be silent for a few minutes. "Well?" Scott pushed. "What do you think?"

"If it's okay with Dad, then I guess it's okay with me. It's Elise you may have the problem with! She was quite adamant about NOT moving here if you remember?"

Scott chuckled a little. "Yeah, I remember, but she'll come around, I know she will. Listen, I'll talk to Dad as soon as possible and get back with you."

"Sure Scott. No problem. Tell Dad I love him, and give a hug to Grandma and Dianne and the kids, tell them I love them too."

"I will, little bro, I will. Goodnight."

Scott signed off. He'd have to talk to his father today; it couldn't be put off any longer. As Scott prepared for the office, Virgil sat thoughtfully in his father's chair. Things were certainly changing around here.


Post by FrankieCTB2 on 02/08/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #632 is a reply to message #631] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Monday March 5th. 11.45pm. Cliff House, Tracy Island.

Brandon stood on the top floor balcony of the cliff house, at the front of his apartment with his arms crossed and his feet spread shoulder-wide. His gaze was fixed on the horizon, and he watched as a few wispy clouds drifted across the bright moon.

I'm really beginning to settle in here, he thought, and I want to start training as soon as possible. It will be a great challenge, and it'll be great being able to help people like this. One corner of his mouth quirked up in a half smile, and a light gust of wind ruffled his short hair and blew at his clothes.

His gaze shifted to his left as one of the doors of the apartment to the left of his opened, and Christopher stepped out onto the balcony. The two men shared a curt nod - be polite; you promised Callie, Brandon thought - and they stood in silence, both watching to sky above, neither mentioning the pending tennis match they were to play.

Suddenly, Brandon heard the unmistakable tones of Dominic saying, "To Callie!" This was followed by three female voices repeating the same. The he heard Nikki - it was definitely her - saying, "To the Tracy family!" which was again repeated, and was then followed up by the another female voice - no doubt Kat - saying, "To International Rescue!" and was once more repeated by her companions. He shared a sideways glance with Christopher before both men walked to the balcony rail and looked down.

Kat, Nikki, Elise and Dom stood holding tumblers filled with a clear, fizzy liquid. Beside Nikki sat a bottle - soda; ingenious, Brandon thought - and the four were laughing and chatting as if they were old friends. It's good to see the group gelling together. When he moved one of his feet, he kicked a stray pebble, which bounced down to the balcony below. Nikki looked up and smiled, and Kat waved. Elise toasted them with her glass.

"Come on down, youse two," Dominic said, "join in the celebrations."

"All right then," he called down.

He headed to the stairs, followed by Christopher. Dominic appeared from his apartment after going in to get more glasses and handed both of them one. Once they were topped up with soda, Nikki set the plastic bottle back down.

"What shall we toast now?" she asked.

Christopher raised his glass.

"To old friends."

The group chorused his words, and clinked their glasses together before taking a drink. Then Brandon lifted his.

"To new friends."

"To new friends!"

They drank again, and Brandon surveyed the group around them. Each face looked determined and eager; even Elise, who would be leaving the island sooner or later. To new friends, indeed.


Post by ArtisticRainey on 02/08/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #633 is a reply to message #632] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Monday, March 5, 2068, 10:28 a.m., somewhere in the North Sea

The skipper of the fishing trawler Saucy Lady looked out to sea. The gathering storm clouds made it look darker than it would have been at this time of day. The iron-grey waters of the North Sea seemed to merge with the low menacing clouds, giving the impression that they were cocooned in a large bowl of darkness. The wind was bitingly cold and he knew that the water would be freezing as well. Large waves were crashing over the bows of the ship as it pitched and tossed helplessly.

They had been fishing for more than a week, and the catches were not good. In fact, they seemed to be the worst for a very long time, hence the reason for staying out as long as possible. The weather forecast that morning had been for heavy weather and the skipper knew the problems of storms in the North Sea; he had been a fisherman all his life, it was the only life he had ever known. His crew gathered on the dangerously wet and slippery deck. They were all seasoned fishermen, all family men, and this was their very livelihood.

"We can always head back early, if the storm begins to break," he told them.

The storm hit earlier than had been forecast. It broke with such ferocity that it alarmed the skipper. He had seen many storms in his lifetime, but none as bad as this appeared to be. Miles from land, they had no option but to try and weather it out. Whilst cranking the heavy chain to wind in their catch, they were all horrified to see that tangled in the nets was a moored mine, a relic of World War Two. Just the slightest touch from any of the spikes would blow them sky high. To make matters worse, somehow the chain of the mine had fouled the propeller and the Saucy Lady was drifting along helplessly, lashed by both heavy rain and seas.

"Skipper!" one of the trawler men called out, but his breath was taken by the howling gale and his words disappeared as if he had never spoken.

Slipping and sliding on the dangerously wet deck, the trawler men tried to free the bomb free by cutting the chain, but the more they tried the more hopeless it became. The Saucy Lady was beginning to roll and pitch in a frightening and dangerous way, and with no propeller they were absolutely helpless.

The skipper waved his arms indicating that they were to leave it where it was. His philosophy was that left where it was, the mine would not come any closer, but just be dragged along behind them. He hoped and prayed that this would prove to be the case.

Now as the skipper surveyed the storm, and the mine pulling along behind them, he felt suddenly so very helpless. He had a crew of men, all of them with families to take care of. He wasn't sure if the Navy or indeed the Life Boat crew would be able to help them.

He went down below deck and ordered the young man on the radio to contact the Navy.

"Mayday, Mayday!" the young man almost shouted into the radio.


Post by Tawnyangel22 on 04/08/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #634 is a reply to message #633] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Monday, March 5, 11:13 a.m., World Navy Naval base, Lossiemouth, Scotland

"We've picked up a mayday from the fishing trawler, Saucy Lady, Commander," the communications specialist informed his superior. "They're in heavy seas and seemed to have pick up a... mine? It's wrapped around their propellers and they can't get it loose. Engines stopped dead."

"A mine, ye say? Mus' be one o' those ol' Werld Wair Tue moored ordnances. They were nae all accounted far after th' wair. E'en now they kin be a real danger," Commander Charles McDivitt explained. "Bettair have th' Excelsior set owt wi' thair explosives specialists abard. Usually wit' those mines, whair thair's one, thair's mair t' be found."

"Aye-aye, sir," the radioman said as he passed on the orders to the Excelsior.

*********

Monday, March 5, 11:20 p.m., Thunderbird Five

"John?" Callie called to her teacher as she listened to the myriad messages that murmured over the airwaves and ended up coming out of the speakers in Thunderbird Five's control room.

"Yes, Callie?" John moved towards the speaker system, his ears already trying to catch what had piqued his student's attention.

"There was a mayday out of the North Sea, giving coordinates. It was a fishing trawler that picked up a... a... mine." Callie looked at John with a puzzled expression. "Mine? Are those the explosive devices that were laid in the sea to disable ships?"

"Yes. Let me hear what you've got."

Callie played the mayday over again and found that this time, an acknowledgment of the mayday had been sent from the naval station at Lossiemouth. John frowned.

"Their ships are fast, but experience with mines has shown that where there's one, there are usually more. Especially with the kind they're dealing with."

"Those things are over a century old! How dangerous could they be?"

"Very dangerous. Most of them are still live and they're hard to spot in that particular piece of ocean."

"The Navy has dispatched a ship from Lossiemouth to aid the trawler," Callie told him. "They should be able to deal with it."

"Just the same, put a priority flag on that one and continue to monitor it. I'd like to be prepared if we're needed on that one."

"F-A-B," Callie said and turned back to do as she had been instructed.


Post by Tikatu on 04/08/2004


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Re: Learning The Ropes [message #635 is a reply to message #634] Tue, 24 July 2012 15:41 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
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Monday, March 5, 2068; Thunderbird 5; 11:50 p.m.

Callie continued listening to the transmissions and started to grow concerned. "John, should we contact base to let them know what's going on?"

John thought for a moment, and then nodded. "It wouldn't hurt to give Virgil a heads up. The situation sounds like something we just might get called in on."

"So, who's going to make the call? You or me?"

"You should, Callie. This will be good practice for you in understanding Thunderbird 5's main function."

Callie pressed the button to contact Tracy Island. "Thunderbird 5 to base. Thunderbird 5 to base, come in, please."

******Same time at Tracy Island, Tracy Villa Lounge******

Virgil noticed the clock on his father's desk. The sooner Dad's back here, the better, he thought uncomfortably. He saw John's eyes flashing on the portrait. "Uh-oh, I hope it's not the time for a rescue, not with all the new recruits." He pressed the button on the desk to activate the radio. "Go ahead, John." To his surprise, it was Callie's face and not John's. "Oh, sorry, Callie. I thought it was John."

"It's okay, Virgil. John's letting me practice this part of the job. Speaking of which, we wanted to let you know of a possible situation in the North Sea."

"Really? Okay, Callie, give me as much detail as you can."

"Apparently a fishing ship in the North Sea has caught a live World War II land mine. It's sent out a distress call to the Navy, and we're keeping track of the transmissions."

"F-A-B. Keep an ear out and let me know if things start to escalate. I'll have Gordon prep Thunderbird 4, just in case, and have Alan get the cold weather gear ready, too."

"F-A-B, Virgil." Callie's image was replaced with John's portrait.

Virgil contacted Gordon and Alan via their telecomms. "Alan, Gordon, come to the lounge immediately."

The two younger brothers arrived fast. "What's going on, Virg?" asked Alan.

"We've got a possible situation developing. John and Callie are listening to constant transmissions between a fishing vessel in the North Sea and the Navy. Gordon, have Thunderbird 4 in its pod and underneath Thunderbird 2, ready for launch if we get the call."

"Sure, Virg," Gordon said.

"Alan," said Virgil, "get as much of the cold weather gear ready. We may need all the new recruits on this one."

"Do you think they're ready, Virg?" asked Alan.

"We can't wait for them to be 'ready.' They'll have to use the skills they already possess." Virgil smiled ruefully. "If this situation turns into a rescue, they'll be getting some on-the-job training."


Post by TracyFan4Ever on 06/08/2004


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