International Rescue: The Next Phase


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1515 is a reply to message #1514] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Virgil made a mental note to thank his space-bound, mind reading brother when he came back dirtside. A break would give everyone a few minutes to get it together.

John looked at Callie. "Want anything in particular?"

"A glass of skim milk. It always helps soothe my nerves."

Christopher looked around, a dazed look on his face. Picking up his drawing, he walked away and sat down in a corner.

Scott stood and stretched, and leaned his head over towards Virgil. "I don't know about you, but I'm wiped. But it's really important that we get this out in the open, or we'll be dealing with the aftermath twice as long."

Virgil looked thoughtful for a few moments, then replied, "You know, we're all so tired, there are going to be things said that wouldn't ordinarily. We may have to deal with them, even into the days to come."

Dianne was about to get up when she felt warm hands on her shoulders. She turned her head to see Lisa behind her. Her mother's hands massaged her neck and shoulders, relaxing her. "How's Jeff?" she asked.

"Cherry send him off to bed around eight," Lisa informed her. She leaned in closer and confided, "He yawned." Dianne chuckled. "I'll warn you, though. He insisted on sleeping in your suite," Lisa said quietly. Dianne's chuckle turned into a groan.

"It's gonna be a bear t' get him out of bed later this mornin'," she said with a sigh.

Callie breathed deeply as John returned with a big glass of skim milk. "Thanks, John."

"You're welcome." He helped himself to his glass of water.

Christopher looked up. "I want to get this all over and done with."

"We will, Christopher," Scott assured him. "But it's a good idea to let people get their thoughts together and maybe steel themselves for this. It won't be pretty."

"I can't believe that you are being calm!" Christopher cried as he returned to the table.

All too soon, the ten minutes were up and everyone reassembled in the dining room. None looked like the break had done much good, but they all looked resolute, as though they wanted to get this over with.

"Who is going to start?" Christopher asked, cradling a fresh cup of tea in his shaking hands.

Why don't we let the ladies go first?" Scott suggested. "Callie? Do you want to begin?"

"Okay, Scott. Even though I wasn't down there at the actual rescue scene, some of the events did shake me up. Hearing 'black tag' just... made me shiver. I never thought I'd have to deal with that again in my lifetime."

After explaining to the others of her childhood experience, she continued. "I admit that being the interpreter was a bit more challenging than I thought, but at least I was able to translate as quickly as I could. What worries me now is how I'll be able to handle the situation when I'm back on Earth helping with the rescues in person. What if I panic?"

Nikki spoke next. "I've been in situations as bad as this before. Being a trauma nurse makes you a bit more... dispassionate about such things. But I felt frustrated at times. Even with Callie's and John's help, it was difficult to communicate with the patients. The language barrier made it difficult to find out what was really wrong, or to comfort them.

"Plus, when patients usually came into the hospital from such an event, they had already had some treatment in the field. For the first time, I was the one treating them in the field. It was different... and sometimes overwhelming. There were only three of us, and so many to treat."

Kat took a deep breath, wanting to spill it all out at once, yet not really wanting to say anything at all. "I guess I never knew what real fear was until I climbed into that bus. All those little faces, wide-eyed and so scared. I felt helpless, I wasn't prepared for this."

"If it wasn't for John and Callie, I wouldn't have known what to do or say to those poor children," added Kat. She blinked away the tears that were threatening to spill. "And so many to comfort. Those kids had no one. No parents, no Grandmas... no one! They all needed to be hugged and loved and told how brave they were. I just wish I could have done more." Kat's tears had overflowed and she couldn't stop them. "I wanted to just hold them all, hold them and never let anything hurt them again! They were so frightened." She sniffled.

Heads turned to Dianne.

"Ah'll put in mah two bits when y'all have talked," Dianne said, her drawl heavy. "Mebbe Christopher should go next."


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1516 is a reply to message #1515] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Christopher swallowed. "I spoke to the girl, found out her name, where she lived, hobbies, her career. I stayed with her until help arrived. She was telling me all her plans before she started screaming in pain." Christopher was stony-faced. "Then as we were getting close to Thunderbird Seven, her heart failed. After much coaxing, Belinda stabilised, then her heart failed again," Christopher paused, remembering every detail, "I just stood there as she was taken inside. I've never felt so helpless before."

"Chris, what could you have possibly done that Doc and the others hadn't already tried?" Brandon asked softly.

"It's okay, Chris. Tell us what you really feel. No one is going to admonish you for it," Virgil gently prodded.

"I wish we could have saved Belinda." Christopher looked around. "I wish we had more time to do so. I feel like I let her down."

Callie thought, I can't understand how he feels because I wasn't there, but I want to help him as best I can, too.

"We need rescue equipment at the scene a lot quicker," Christopher said, "A smaller version of Thunderbird 2 with all the essentials onboard ready to go at a moment's notice." He looked around the table. "And then if we need the heavy gear the Big Beast can bring it."

"The point I'm trying to make is that we need to give ourselves more time." Christopher blushed.

John spoke up next. "That's just it. Sometimes time is not on our side, either. We never know how long it can be before it's considered too late."

"Ah agree that time was against us in this emergency," Dianne said quickly. "An' I've said before that Thunderbird Two needs a refit t' make her faster. But anothah vehicle isn't the ansah. All the equipment's gotta get there at the same time as th' operatives. We can't go out in another vehicle an' then sit around waitin' for the Mole or Thunderbird Four t' be brought t' us."

"I flew an experimental cargo jet in the RAF that would have made a good rescue vehicle," Christopher mused. "It was smaller the T2 and faster, but it had a lot of room AND it was modular in design. Oh well," he shrugged, "just a thought."

If only we could try what that old show Star Trek did, Callie thought. Too bad that was just a cheap special effect.

"Dom?" Scott said quickly, before Dianne could continue. "What about you?"

Dom sat for a few long moments before answering. "I've been in similar situations before. Having multiple victims with polytrauma. Considering that we didn't have medical personnel swarming all over the scene like there would be in the UK or US, I think we did a damn good job.

"Since I have been in similar situations, it's easier for me to be more dispassionate about things. And Dr. Tracy told us right up front that we were not going to be able to save everyone. We were called out to save the bus full of kids. We did that, and did it well. Look at the successes we had, and not the failures.

"I'll never forget that amputee. He was a critical case. Under any other circumstances, he would have died. But, because we were there, he didn't." Dom caught the eye of each and every one of his new teammates. "We made a difference."

"Never a truer word spoke there Dom, me old mate." Christopher smiled for the first time in a long time. "I have to think about that lovely little one in the Sickbay."

Scott sat back. "Y'know, when International Rescue was first started, most of our rescues involved people who either could help in their own salvation or, with a little bit of reviving, were able to assist us in getting them out. But as time went on, things got tougher. And it affected us. We felt like failures. But our commander kept reminding us not to give up. And that's what happened today. None of us gave up.

"We kept at it, despite what we saw, despite the death and pain. And as the site commander, I am proud at the way you all upheld our motto."

"Um, what is the motto?" Callie asked curiously.

The Tracys looked at each other, and in near unison, said, "Never give up. At any cost."

"Then I guess that's something I need to remind myself when it's my turn to help with a rescue when I return."

"Callie," Brandon remarked to his friend," if you're as skilled on the ground as you were on this assignment, you'll have nothing to worry about."

"Brandon?" Virgil asked. "What about you?"

Brandon grew thoughtful, thinking about what he had seen. "I admit that I was shaken when Scott and I got to the victims and they were already dead. I nearly gave up right there, thinking it was pointless to continue looking. But Scott encouraged me to keep going. And it wasn't easy to keep going lugging that oxyhydnite tank on my back."

Brandon winked and smiled, letting them know he was joking with them. "Seriously, without Scott, without all of you, I don't think I would have pulled through this."

"I was glad to help, Brandon," Scott replied. "And FYI, the tanks are heavy because the gas needs to be heated. As Virgil and I found out the first time we used it!"

"What happened?" Brandon asked.

Virgil smiled wryly. "During testing, we both passed out!"

"You what!?" Callie asked in shock.

"Yeah," Alan added. "Later, as they bravely used it during a fire situation, they weren't affected at all. That gave Brains the clue about heating the gas."

Nikki turned to Dianne. "I guess it's your turn. How did you manage to cope with all of this? Especially since you had Mr. Tracy to worry about here. If I had all that on my mind, I might not have done as good a job as you did."


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1517 is a reply to message #1516] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Dianne shook her head slightly. "Ah had to put Jeff out of my mind. Ah knew he was in good hands here and it made it easier to focus on mah patients. An' really, theah was too much work to do for me to think about anything more than what Ah was doing just then. When yoah at a rescue like that, you live in the here and now." Her voice dropped. "Ah must admit that makin' the call on Belinda was hard. But then, it's always hard."

"How long are we going to feel like we do? I mean, how long will it take us to get used to feelings like this?" Kat asked.

Alan looked at her and replied, "Like I said to you before, Kat, you never really get used to it. But, with time and experience, you learn how to deal with it and manage it the best you can. That's why it's so important for us to have these debriefings."

"That's right," Dianne agreed. "An' if any of you need t' talk to someone, Ah'm available. So are the older boys. They've been through this before an' can help you put things in perspective."

Nikki yawned hugely, trying to hide it behind her hand. She looked around, blushing slightly. "I'm sorry," she said. "But I don't think I can keep my eyes open much longer. Do you think we've said everything we need to say?"

"John? Callie?" Scott asked. "Anything else from you?"

John said, "Actually, there is one important thing. Our translator needs some serious upgrading. It didn't work as well as we thought it would."

"I'll discuss that with you, John, when we're both coherent," Brains said, hiding a yawn.

"I need to find my wee one," Dom reminded them.

Callie said, "And I really need to get some sleep. Just doing all the translating got me exhausted."

"Do you guys need anything else from me?" Brandon asked sleepily.

"Nothing else?" Scott asked. The people around the table shook their heads or murmured "No." He yawned. "Okay then. This debriefing is adjourned."

Lisa just then walked into the dining room to see if the debriefing was about over. She said, "Dominic, Joshua is fast asleep in my room. Why not leave him there until tomorrow? And you all should get some rest."

"I'd like to take a quick look in at him, if you don't mind, Lisa," Dom said with a wry grin. "Over anxious father, don't you know."

"Of course, Dominic. And don't worry about him in the morning. Sleep yourself out. Cherry will help me keep an eye on him until you get up."

He followed Lisa out of the room, while the others, sleepily murmuring their goodnights, headed to their beds.

Post by ArtisticRainey, FrankieCTB2, TheWrongTrousers, Hobbeth, MagicMaster8, Tawnyangel22 and Tikatu on 04/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1518 is a reply to message #1517] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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While the debriefing was going on, Lena and Elise were in Thunderbird 7. They had been awakened by the roar of the engines of the two ships as they returned to base, and found themselves unable to go back to sleep. So they dressed and arrived in the kitchen as Kyrano and Lisa were getting the food ready to take into the dining room.

"Why don't you two go back to bed," said Lisa. "You won't be needed for the briefing."

"I'm not sleepy now," Elise answered and Lena nodded agreement.

"Dere must be someting we could do to help. Someting physical, so dat when we go back to bed, we will sleep."

Kyrano and Lisa looked at each other. "Well," she said, "Dianne mentioned that Thunderbird 7 would need to be restocked as soon as possible, in case of another emergency. I suppose you could do that, if you want to."

Elise and Lena looked at each other. "If we have access to it, but I don't know how to get dere, do you?" Elise shook her head.

"Once we have served the others their dinner," offered Kyrano. "I would be more than happy to take you two there, if you still wish to do that."

"Dat would be fine."

"I'll help, too."

Half an hour later, they were standing inside Thunderbird 7, looking around. "It sure looks clean for something involved in a rescue where there were victims of a crash and an avalanche," Elise remarked.

"I believe that Dominic started cleaning procedures, once they had left the site," Kyrano answered. He began to open some of the cupboards to see what needed replenishing. He frowned and said, "This is not good. They used a lot of black tags."

"Black tags?"

"It is what is put on people who have died."

There was silence as the two women thought about what Kyrano had said. Then Lena mentally shook herself and said, "Well, dis Tunderbird isn't going to restock itself. Kyrano, please show us where we can get de supplies. And," she added, looking at the biobeds, "de sheets to make up dose beds."

Soon they were hard at work. Lena had managed to bring up the inventory list on an onboard computer and they carefully and thoroughly went through it. By the time they were finished, the medical vehicle was stocked and ready for another rescue.

"I hope this isn't needed very soon," Elise remarked, as they left to return to the Villa.

Lena smiled tiredly at her. "Dat's a hope everyone shares, young lady. But isn't it good to know dat if it is needed, it's here. And so are de people. It's too bad more people aren't like dis - willing to help in any way dey can, to save otters. It must be frustrating, but very rewarding."

Elise looked sharply at her, but didn't see any sign that Lena was directing the remarks at her personally. But what Lena had said gave her food for thought. They arrived back in the Villa's kitchen and parted, each heading in a different direction to get back to bed and get some sleep.

Post by Hobbeth on 08/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1519 is a reply to message #1518] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15, 2068, early morning, Tracy Island

Jeff woke suddenly, the feeling of pressure in his groin alarming him with its urgency. He turned his head to see Dianne sleeping in the king-sized bed next to him. She hadn't disturbed him when she came in; he had no idea when she had come home and come to bed. Another turn of his head and he saw the clock; four a.m.

Reaching out with his good arm, he shook Dianne by the shoulder. "Dianne? Dianne, honey? Please wake up. I need to go! Please wake up!"

With a groan she stirred and rolled over to face him. "Whust th' matta, Jeff?" she slurred, half asleep, her eyes still closed.

"I've got to use the toilet, Dianne. Right now!"

Her face screwed up into an almost painful grimace, and her eyelids parted fractionally. With a loud sigh, she turned on the light on her night stand. Then she threw back the covers and stumbled out of bed, putting a hand down on the bed for support as she made her way around to his side. Jeff pulled off his covers and tried to lever himself into a sitting position with his good arm. He managed to swing his left leg off the bed, followed by his right, but there was no rail to grip with his right hand so he couldn't pull himself up fully.

Dianne faced him, squinting. "Give me your hand," she said, her voice sounding scratchy. He did so, and she pulled him into an upright sitting position. "Jeff, this is why Ah insisted you sleep in the sick room. It's a helluva lot easier t' get you out of bed!"

"I'll remember that for tomorrow night, I promise," he said as he reached out to put his arm around her shoulders. She dipped down, bending her knees, and then stood, bringing him into a standing position with her and then pivoting him around and into the wheelchair. He activated it, and wheeled it into the bathroom. Dianne followed, stumbling a bit. She knew he'd need help on and off the toilet.

Jeff sighed heavily as Dianne helped him sit on the commode. This was not what he was used to; he was a stand-up kind of guy and could hardly wait for the day when he could do target practice in the bowl again. But finally the crisis was over and Jeff sighed again, this time from relief. Dianne, who had gotten herself a quick drink of water, came back to help him rearrange his pajama bottoms and get him back into the chair. Then he made a multi-point turn to get headed back out in the right direction and followed his wife back into the bathroom. Neither of them worried about the lights; they were on a motion-sensitive switch.

He maneuvered his chair back to his side of the bed and put on the brakes. Dianne stood before him, ready to help him up and over onto the mattress. She got him up out of the chair, and took two steps backwards. Suddenly, she stumbled and fell back onto the mattress, with Jeff landing right on top of her, his face buried in her cleavage!

"This is a pleasant surprise," he said, smiling to himself. He began to kiss whatever of Dianne's skin he could reach with his lips, and, with his good hand, stroked what he couldn't kiss. Using his good right leg, he pushed himself up along her body some more and felt a welcome warmth that he didn't try to squelch.

"Jeff," Dianne moaned, "Ah've only had two hours of sleep, an' you want t' get all amorous? Y'know Ah'll probably fall asleep on you."

"I most certainly hope not," Jeff said as he continued trying to arouse his wife. Of his own arousal, he had no doubt; it was in full swing.

"Ah suppose that if'n Ah don' satisfy you, Ah'll be helpin' you change yoah pajamas, won't Ah?" Dianne groused as she tried to sit up.

Jeff wouldn't let her sit up, instead positioning his body across hers so that she had no choice but to endure his advances. He continued arousing her with his lips, and hand, and despite her body's pleas for sleep, Dianne found herself responding to him. She moaned softly as her hands wove themselves through his hair and held him closer. It had been too long.

Jeff knew he should slow down, but he couldn't. He knew his wife needed to sleep, but he also knew her body well. The more he thought about how delicious she was, lying beneath him, the more he suddenly realised he wasn't going to be able to wait. Dianne moaned as her lips softly touched his skin. It was all he needed.

He tried to hold back, tried to mumble something to his wife, but it was too late. He gasped, his breath coming quickly. Then his breathing slowed and Dianne felt him relax. She knew immediately what had just happened.

"Honey, it's okay. Ah understand." she said with a sigh.

He looked at apologetically and kissed her. "I'm so sorry, I just..."

She held a finger to his lips. "Shhhh... Ah said it was okay." She smiled then added, "Ah suppose Ah'd better get those clean pajama bottoms for you after all! Especially if Ah wanna go back to sleep!"

Jeff Tracy smiled at her. God how he loved this woman!

Post by Tikatu and FrankieCTB2 on 08/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1522 is a reply to message #1519] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15, 2068, 9:30 a.m., Tracy Island

Dianne picked up the letter and read it again. Do I really want to do this? There was so much hurt, so much anger and even hatred. Things are finally cooling down after so long; the mail screening service says they haven't seen one of those awful letters for a while now. She shivered as she remembered the threats and the hate mail that came her way in the wake of the bombing.

She looked at the letter again. What time is it in Greenville, anyway? Four thirty yesterday I think. Reaching out, she dialed the phone number on the stationery. Maybe this will be a final healing.

The phone rang twice and was picked up by a smart looking secretary.

"You've reached Martin and Freeds. Good afternoon, how may I direct your call?"

"Ah'd like t' speak to Mr. Boyd Martin. Is he available?"

The secretary unconsciously wrinkled her nose a bit at Dianne's drawl. Dianne had to wonder if the woman knew that she had that unbecoming tic.

"Who is calling, please?"

"Dr. Dianne Tracy."

"One moment, please."

Despite her attempts to appear cool, the secretary's eyes widened a bit at the Tracy name. Dianne had gotten quite a bit of press on her marriage to Jeff, exposure that she had hoped wouldn't impair her functions as an IR operative. So far, so good, she thought. No one has connected IR's 'Doc' with Dr. Dianne Tracy. In the meantime, my married name seems to carry a little bit of clout, even now.

The muzak that had filled her ear while she was on hold ceased, and Boyd Martin's silver hair and pudgy face filled her screen.

"Good day, Dr. Tracy. I'm gratified to hear from you. I wasn't sure I would with your husband's accident and all. How is he doing, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Hello, Mr. Martin. He's doing well, especially since he's back home. Thank you for askin'. Ah'm calling about this... invitation you sent, t' speak at the memorial service. Ah'm sorry for not getting back t' you sooner; Ah didn't even see the letter 'til we'd arrived back home." She looked down at the letter again and back up at Mr. Martin. "Is it too late t'... accept the invitation?"

Boyd Martin looked as if he'd been stung, then he smiled. "Oh, no, Dr. Tracy. It's not too late. We were about to ask someone else to speak if we hadn't heard from you by the end of the week, but... no, it's not too late at all. Thank you for accepting our invitation."

"Thank you for inviting me," Dianne returned. She frowned a bit. "Ah am curious, howevuh, as t' why yoah committee chose me. In years previous, y'all'd rathuh Ah an' mah children stayed home altogethuh."

The man on the other end of the vidcall sighed heavily. "I know, Dr. Tracy, and I apologize for that attitude. I don't know if you've heard, but... La Fontaine has been convicted. And both Homeland Security and the FBI have officially closed the case. They issued a statement saying that La Fontaine worked alone."

Dianne swallowed hard at the name La Fontaine. Charles La Fontaine had been a close co-worker of her first husband, Rick, and had even dined with them from time to time. To discover, months after the bombing, that La Fontaine, presumed dead, was hiding with the members of a confirmed terrorist cell in Los Angeles, had been a hard blow for Dianne and her children. But his capture was the one thing that had cheered her as well. She knew that eventually the whole story of the bombing would come out, and her Richard, suspected and reviled, would have his name officially cleared. Now it had happened.

"Thank you for thet news, Mistuh Martin. Ah hadn't heard with all the anxiety surroundin' mah husband aftuh the crash. Ah feel like mah Richard has finally been vindicated."

"He has, Dr. Tracy. Most decidedly so. And as a gesture towards healing, the memorial committee unanimously decided to ask you to speak." Boyd lowered his gaze for a moment, then looked up. "We'd also like permission for something else."

"For whut, Mistuh Martin?" Dianne asked, a hint of suspicion in her voice.

"To move the memorial to your husband...."

"What? Why d'you want to do that?" Dianne cried. "Aftuh all the hassle we went through t' get it anywhere on the grounds at all... now y'want t' move it?!"

"Dr. Tracy! Hear me out, please!" Boyd called out loudly. When Dianne subsided, still glowering, he put a finger under his collar to loosen it. "We want to move the memorial to its proper place, Dr. Tracy. To ground zero, where your husband was standing when that bomb went off. And we wish to dedicate it to his memory, something we never did for fear of stirring up more... unrest." He paused for a moment. "Please, Dr. Tracy. I know we can't make up for what you and your family went through while the whole investigation dragged on and on. But please let us make what overtures we can to apologize for, if not actively participating in your pain, turning a blind eye to what was going on." His voice took on a note of pleading. "Please... let us make what amends we can."

Dianne took a couple of deep breaths to calm and compose herself. "Ah will nevuh unnerstan' why mah Richard was suspected in the fust place. Nor will Ah evuh unnerstan' why people hated me and mine so much. We didn't deserve the hate mail and the threats. But we endured. Mistuh Martin, if'n 'twill make you feel bettuh, please, go ahead. You have mah permission t' move the memorial. You can clean it off while yoah at it; Ah'm sure it's been defaced agin. Ah look forward to see it finally in its rightful place."

She swallowed and brought her voice, which had been rising in volume, back down to a normal level. "Ah won't apologize for gettin' hot, Mistuh Martin. This has been a long time comin'. Now, when d'you want me there?"

"If you could be here next Wednesday for a run-through of the program, we'd greatly appreciate it," Boyd Martin replied. "The run-through would be at 10 a.m. I will email you with the particulars."

"Ah will be there," Dianne told him. Her voice was steady now, but she knew it wouldn't be for much longer. "Could someone please make sure that there will be a chair for mah husband?"

"Yes, Dr. Tracy. I'll make sure of it myself." He scribbled down a note. "Will you need anything else?"

"Nothin' Ah can think of," she replied. Except a whole mess of courage.

"Then we'll see you Wednesday at ten," Boyd Martin said, a tone of relief in his voice. "Goodbye, Dr. Tracy."

"Goodnight, Mr. Martin." She deactivated the call. Looking at the now-silent vidphone, she felt her tears, held back by sheer determination to not cry in front of the man she faced, slide down her cheeks. And in the privacy of her suite, she cried, shedding tears of sorrow, anger, and relief that a painful chapter of her life was about to come to a close.

Post by Tikatu on 09/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1523 is a reply to message #1522] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15, 2068, 8 a.m. local time, Kabul, Afghanistan

Tin-Tin adjusted her head scarf as she stepped from the taxi. She had opted for a long, traditional Malaysian batik blouse with coordinating slacks and a head scarf, in accordance with the local traditions. Behind her, Emily Tracy wore a nearly ankle-length skirt and a white blouse under a coordinating jacket. She, too, wore a head scarf, though she had grumbled about it.

"Why can't the locals let their visitors dress as they please? If they visited the States, they wouldn't have to change their clothes to match our traditions!"

"Mrs. Tracy, the United States does not have a single religious tradition," Tin-Tin had said with a sigh. "It's much more open. Here, we do not want to offend, and so 'In Rome...'."

"Do as the Romans do," Emily finished the old saw and sighed.

The manufacturing plant looked very modern and up-to-date. They were met at the security gate by a Mr. Fudail al Kadar.

"I am so happy to meet the creator of such a unique fabric, Ms. Kyrano," Fudail said, bowing to her.

She returned the bow, and introduced Emily as her chaperone. "I hope we can discover why there has been such trouble manufacturing my fabric."

"Truly, we share the same goal." His gaze shifted from Tin-Tin to a tall, thin blond who had come up behind her. "Ah, Mr. Tallman. You are in good time." Fudail smiled widely. "Mr. Tallman is considering placing a large order at our plant."

"Giles Tallman," the blond said, taking Tin-Tin's hand and bowing over it.

"Tin-Tin Kyrano," she answered graciously. She indicated Grandma Tracy. "My chaperone, Emily." Emily glowered at him.

Giles smiled toothily. "Charmed, I'm sure."

Fudail rubbed his hands together, then presented each of the visitors with security badges. "Now," he said, his dark eyes shining eagerly. "Let me show you the jewel of our company." With that, the foursome entered the building proper.

Behind them, a small man, dressed in native garb, watched them enter. Satisfied, he climbed into his ancient car and drove away.

And outside the gates, another man, large and dark and dressed in shirtsleeves and jeans, watched the small party go inside, and then the other watcher drive away. He got back into his own truck and pulled out a small, sophisticated computer. Typing quickly, he sent an email message.

"Our pigeons are being hunted."

Post by Tikatu on 10/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1524 is a reply to message #1523] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15, 2068, 1 p.m., Tracy Island

Christopher finished his mopping of the deck plating in Thunderbird 2. Wiping his forehead, he looked around. "Come on, Christopher," he muttered to himself, "pull yourself together."

Virgil, who was restocking the oxyhydnite tanks, was also keeping an eye on the new recruit. He noticed that Christopher was vigorously working on Thunderbird Two's maintenance duties. Working a little too vigorously.

Time for that talk I promised myself I'd have with him, Virgil thought as he stowed the last tank. He pulled two bottles of water from the newly-stocked fridge and headed out to the flight deck.

"Here, Chris. Time to take a break," Virgil said with a smile, holding out the bottle of cold water.

Christopher's head whipped round, startled. Then he saw his colleague approaching, and Virgil saw him visibly relax.

"Thank you, Virgil." Christopher accepted the bottle, then sat down. He opened the bottle and took a long swig. "That is good stuff, what do you put in it?"

"Nothing, really. We import it from New Zealand," Virgil said before taking a drink. They sat quietly for a moment, then Virgil asked, "What's that floor done to you lately? You seem to be giving it a brutal mopping."

"Was it that noticeable?" Christopher looked at Virgil. "I've seen things that would make your Grandma's hair curl, but death is something I've never experienced before."

"Hmm. It's hard, isn't it? Especially when it's someone you've tried your damnedest to save," Virgil observed, his voice full of understanding.

"Maybe it's the stereotypical British reserve." Christopher looked at his feet. "But I was always taught not to express my feelings. It was a hangover from my father's upbringing."

"A military man?" Virgil asked.

"No!" Christopher laughed. "He was a bank manager. But his dad was in the RAF, so was his dad before him."

"Ah. I see now. I do understand. My dad was military. Air Force and Space Agency. He brought us up with that 'stiff upper lip' attitude, too. Especially after our mother died. He grieved silently for years," Virgil said, sitting back against a bulkhead. "He expected us to suck it up, too. And to some extent, we do. Or we did. Now our stepmother makes sure we have an outlet when we need one."

"Can I ask you something?" Christopher took another swig. "What did Scott think of us RAF people? You know, when he came over for an inspection tour?"

"I don't know. He never really talked about it. At least not to me. He might have talked about it to Dad, them both being Air Force and all," Virgil said mildly. "And even if he did, he'd probably not have been uncomplimentary. Our grandmother has drummed it into our heads that if we're not going to say something nice, we're not to say anything at all." Virgil rolled his eyes and took another mouthful.

"Belinda and me had a lot in common." Christopher's eyes misted over. "We knew the same parts of the world. Probably knew all the same places to get a good bag of chips, or the best pubs. I wish I could have gone back there with her." He smiled faintly. "I wonder if I can ever learn to be detached and in control like you established people." Christopher wiped his eyes. "Kat was beside herself about those orphans."

"What would you have done if you had gone back into the surgery with Belinda?" Virgil asked.

"I wouldn't know anything to do," Christopher admitted. "All I'd be good for was to hold hands and try and encourage her, but that wouldn't have been very good at the time."

"You're right, there. There was nothing you could have done but encourage. Which you did before she got there. But it wouldn't have changed the outcome, would it? And you might have even... delayed things. So, it was best that you didn't go back." Virgil sighed. "As far as being detached and in control? You'll learn, through practice. You'll learn that in a rescue, you live in the here and now. Get out the next victim. Follow the plan. You can't take time for grief or even joy until it's all over. And you do learn to count your successes, like Dom said. Otherwise, you get overwhelmed by the loss."

Christopher sighed. "You are right. It will take me some time to get used to." He looked at Virgil. "I'd better get on with learning to fly this craft, and looking after Asterix. I won't let any of you down." He finished his water. "I'm feeling rather peckish."

"You should be," Virgil said, looking at his watch. "It's past time for lunch. C'mon. Let's get something to eat and I'll schedule you for the simulator at four. Will that work for you?"

"Perfect." Christopher got to his feet. "Thanks for the talk. I needed it."

"You're welcome. Anytime," Virgil said, meaning every word.

Post by TheWrongTrousers and Tikatu on 10/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1525 is a reply to message #1524] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island; Thursday, March 15th, 2068; 4:30PM

Lena opened the French doors to the balcony and walked over to a chaise. The record-a-line program had been perfected and installed, and she had shown Brains, Jeff, Dianne, Scott, Alan and Virgil how to use it. It had been a long day, and she hadn't gotten that much sleep the previous night. She was tired - too tired to do any more of her needlework. Besides, she was running out of thread. She had a photo album in her hand that she wanted to look at for a while.

She sat down and opened the album. It contained pictures of her family, and as she looked at each picture, she thought, I miss my babies. My work here is done, so it's time for me to go home. I was only supposed to be here for a few days and it's been over a week. I must talk to Mr. Tracy about dat tomorrow. But I...

A knock on the door interrupted her thoughts. She got up and went over, opening it. Lisa was outside, holding a tray with two cups of tea and some cookies. "Jeff reminded me that we haven't been very sociable, and I thought you'd like some tea and company before dinner."

"Tank you, Lisa. Dat's very toughtful. But I don't know what kind of company I'd be right now. I'm ratter tired and..." She paused.

"Homesick?" Lisa nodded at the album in Lena's hand. "I imagine that contains pictures of your family."

"How did you know?"

"If I took a picture album with me when I went away from home, that's what would be in it."

Lena smiled. "Okay. Please come in. Let's go onto de balcony. It's pleasant out dere and I feel de need for some fresh air." She turned and led the way. Lisa went over to a small table between two chairs and put the tray on it. The ladies sat down and began to sip their tea.

Lisa indicated the album. "May I have a look?"

Lena handed it over to her. She opened it and slowly turned the pages. "You have a fine looking family. Oh, is this your husband?"

Lena leaned over to look. It was a wedding picture, and she and her husband were obviously very much in love in it. They were smiling, but not at the camera. She remembered that just after the picture was taken, he kissed her. In fact, he made a habit of kissing her after every picture that was taken, not just on that day, but during their entire marriage. She imparted that tidbit to Lisa, who smiled and sighed, "How romantic."

Lena chuckled. "Sometimes de kisses weren't very romantic. He would get in dese silly moods and just as he moved in for de kiss, he would cross his eyes."

Lisa laughed. "Love and humor. An excellent combination in a marriage."

"Yes, exactly."

Lisa continued to turn the pages. She stopped at a single large picture of a young Lena holding a baby. It appeared to be slightly scorched around the edges. The child didn't look like any of the ones in the other pictures she'd seen. "Who is this, Lena?" She turned it to the other woman.

Lena looked up and her face saddened. "Dat was my first-born son."

The other woman looked startled. "I thought you only had one son."

"I do. Dis one was killed when de house we lived in caught fire."

"Oh no. How horrible. How old was he?"

"Ten monts and tirteen days." Lena looked off into the distance, as memories flooded her mind. "My husband and I had gone out to celebrate our anniversary. We had a sixteen year old daughter of a friend as a sitter for my Daniel. When we returned tree hours later, de firemen were dere and de house was engulfed. De sitter was getting oxygen at an ambulance, but when I asked where my baby was, she just looked blankly at me. I pulled de mask off her face and grabbed her by de shoulders, lifting her to her feet. I screamed at her, "Where is my baby?!?," and she started crying and pointed to de house.

Lisa stood up and put the album on the seat. She went over to Lena and knelt beside her, putting her arms around her. "Oh, Lena, I'm so sorry."

Lena returned the hug. "It was over forty years ago. I don't know what I would have done witout my husband. He was so supportive. I was pregnant again wit twins and Mark reminded me dat I had two more to tink of and said our son would not want me to neglect dem, because he was gone. And he held me and grieved wit me at night, which drew us closer to each otter."

"Did they ever find out what caused the fire?"

"Yes. It was a frayed lamp cord. It had shorted, which caused de curtains to catch fire. De sitter had fallen asleep, even dough it wasn't late. She'd inhaled a lot of smoke and was unconscious when de fire department got dere. Dey had been called by neighbors. She'd just regained consciousness a few moments before we arrived."

"How terrible for you, Lena. I can't even begin to imagine how I would have reacted if that had happened to one of my children when they were that young."

"Well, dey told me afterward dat he never felt any pain, since he actually died of smoke inhalation, which was some comfort. Then my twins were born five and a half monts later, and during dat time we had to find a new place to live, buy new close, new furniture, everyting. But dat picture is de only ting of my son's dat survived de fire."

"I'm sorry if talking about it has caused you any pain, Lena." Lisa stood up.

Lena looked up at her and smiled. "No, not much. It is good to remember. Daniel Abayomi brought us much joy and love while he was wit us. I don't ever want to forget him.

"That's a good attitude to have." Lisa looked at her watch. "Goodness, the time flew. How are you in the kitchen?"

Lena laughed, a sound that pleased both of them. "I don't burn anyting, if dat's what you mean."

"Then you've just volunteered to help Kyrano and me. Shall we?"

Lena nodded and, after she put her album on the nightstand, opened the door for Lisa, who had the tray in her hands once again. The two women left the Round House and headed to the Villa's kitchen.

Post by Hobbeth on 11/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1526 is a reply to message #1525] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15, 2068, 11:30 a.m., local time, Kabul, Afghanistan

Tin-Tin was getting antsy. Mr. al Kadar was taking them systematically over the entire plant, pointing out every little detail of the operations. She had to admit that she was impressed by the quality of the equipment they had available, but she was anxious to get down to work on finding the root of the problem with her fabric blend. And so far, there had been no mention of her particular problem. She hoped that after Mr. Tallman had been shown the plant, they could break for lunch and then Tin-Tin could get down to brass tacks.

Giles pretended to be interested in the manufacturing plant and its equipment, but he was much more interested in watching the two women, especially Ms. Kyrano. He could see her growing agitation, her itchiness to get down to business. He surreptitiously watched Emily, too, trying to discern her real purpose in following the young woman around. She couldn't be an intelligence agent... or could she? Her stated purpose of chaperoning the younger woman just didn't ring true to him. But he couldn't figure out any other reason for her presence.

Emily was bored. She had been interested in the plant and the equipment at first and had approved of Tin-Tin's choice of manufacturer for her new fabric. But after having been shown the sanitary facilities (of which there seemed to be many), the offices of every junior executive (and been introduced formally to each and every one), and even the heating and cooling controls, her feet hurt and her head swam with all the unfamiliar terms and names. She wanted nothing more than to return to the hotel, put up her feet, and have a nice lunch. And she didn't trust this Mr. Tallman, either. She caught him gazing at Tin-Tin when he thought she wasn't looking, and she knew he most certainly wasn't as interested in the equipment and facilities as he was in Tin-Tin. She had also felt his eyes on her from time to time, and wondered just what he thought of a young woman having a chaperone in this day and age.

Finally, they had returned to the foyer from whence they had started the long tour.

"And here we are, back at our beginning," Fudail said with a toothy grin. "Have you any questions?"

"Yes, Mr. al Kadar. As you know, I am here to discover why my new fabric formula is not working. When can I speak with your engineers and begin the process of finding out what is going wrong?" Tin-Tin asked bluntly.

Fudail looked at his watch. "I understand your concern about your creation, Ms. Kyrano. We are now at the lunch break and our workers will go home for their meal and afternoon rest. They will return at two. Perhaps if you could return then as well? I will have our head engineer ready to assist you at that time."

Tin-Tin sighed. "Of course, Mr. al Kadar. I will make arrangements to return then."

"If I may make a suggestion," Giles said with a charming smile. "Why don't we three share a taxi back to the city and have luncheon together? I am very fascinated with your project and would like to hear more about it."

Emily sent a warning glance to Tin-Tin. The Malaysian girl smiled apologetically.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Tallman. Perhaps some other time. My employer is very anxious that this project remains under wraps for the time being. For security reasons. I hope you understand."

Giles smiled again, and Emily noticed that the smile didn't extend to his eyes. "Of course, Ms. Kyrano. I understand your employer's concern. Perhaps some other time, for purely social purposes. Where could I reach you?"

Tin-Tin glanced quickly over at Emily, who shook her head just the tiniest bit. "I hope to be leaving by tomorrow, Mr. Tallman. I'm afraid I won't have time to have dinner with you."

"Ah!" Giles exclaimed, still smiling, but not quite as eagerly as before. "Well, then. It has been a pleasure meeting you, Ms. Kyrano, Emily. Mr. al Kadar, I will be in touch." He shook hands with each of them, and left the plant. Emily's eyes followed him as he was picked up by a car and driver, not a taxi.

"I shall summon a taxi for you, ladies, and I shall expect you back at two this afternoon, if that is suitable," Fudail told them.

"Thank you, sir. That will be fine," Tin-Tin replied. She and Emily stood quietly waiting for the cab, not wanting to talk about what they had seen and heard until they were in private. Emily turned over the encounter with Giles in her mind and she frowned.

There's just something about that boy that I don't like. I can't put my finger on it, but I'd better keep him away from Tin-Tin!

Post by Tikatu on 12/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1527 is a reply to message #1526] Fri, 27 July 2012 00:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island; Thursday, March 16th; 7:30 PM

"Lena," Jeff said as he wheeled himself into the lounge after dinner, Brains and Lena following him, "I'm sorry we didn't get to chat the other night like I said we would, but..."

"Dere was an emergency, a rescue to be done, and dat must take precedence. Now dat tings are back to normal, so to speak, it's as good a time as any to have our talk." She grinned. "Especially since you don't know when de next call to action will come."

Jeff chuckled. "You are so right. So let's get down to business."

They spent the next hour going over the details of Lena's becoming an agent for International Rescue. They decided to upgrade both her home and office computers, and give her a state-of-the-art laptop. Brains pointed out that it meant her home would also have to have a security system installed. Lena wanted to protest, but realized that it was necessary. But it doesn't mean dat I have to like it. She sighed as they continued.

One point of contention was his insistence on paying her extra for her services as an agent. Lena was adamant, stating that she didn't need more money, nor did she want it. Finally, an idea came to her, to establish a trust fund for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jeff like the idea and agreed to set up an account in the bank of her choice. The money would go directly into it.

Finally the details were worked out, and they shook hands. Jeff asked, "Is there anything else you need?"

"Well, my work here is done, and..."

"And you want to go home."

"Not dat I haven't enjoyed being here and working wit Brains, but I miss my family."

"Of course. I understand. Well, we do have to go to New York to pick up Gordon."

He noticed Lena's inquiring look, and added, "Another son. He stayed there to look after the business, while the rest of us came home." He fell silent for a moment, remembering how he felt upon returning to Tracy Island. "Yes, I really do understand your desire to go home.: He suddenly remembered an earlier conversation with his wife. "A thought just occurred to me. Dianne will be going to South Carolina for a memorial service and I'm going to accompany her. Perhaps we could all go together. We could spend a few days in New York before heading south. And stop in DC to drop you off when we go."

"Dat brings me to anotter concern, Mr. Tracy. De employee dat had been taking charge of de DC group in my place sent me a few emails telling me dat de I&M supervisor in your New York offices has been complaining vociferously dat he wasn't informed, or kept informed, about what happened wit de glitch."

"Should you have, prior to coming here?"

"No, sir. I tought de problem was limited to de D.C. offices."

"Then there was no reason for him to be notified, and none for him to be complaining."

"Well, perhaps I could go see him in person, to explain to him why he wasn't notified and maybe smoot tings over."

Jeff turned to his computer and brought up the employee roster. "Here he is. Leonard Peterson." He read the reports on him. "Do you really want to talk to him, Lena? From what I've read here, he isn't the type to be easily appeased. He may even be jealous of the fact that you came here to fix the problem, and not him."

Lena hesitated. "Well," she mused, "if I go, I might be able to make him realize he has notting to be jealous about."

"I doubt it. You're far more qualified than he is to do such work. He is an adequate supervisor, good for going to meetings and taking care of his department. His computer skills are fair, but not out of the ordinary; in fact his people do all the work in that area. He seems to use his terminal mostly for writing his reports, and sending out memos via email. He doesn't seem to have any initiative." He looked at her. "In fact, I'm beginning to think he would be better used in another department. The problem would be replacing him."

"I'm sure one of de people under his supervision would do very well in his job. Dere usually is one who would qualify. And I tink dat I should be de one to talk to him. It might be easier all around if he hears about what happened wit de glitch from a peer, instead of higher up. So I'll talk to him."

"Okay, then. You have my approval. And I'll take your suggestion under advisement, Lena. Thank you."

"Once I got tings straightened out with Mr. Peterson, I could hop a commercial plane. I am anxious to get back home, to my family and my," she grinned, "regular job."

"You wouldn't mind? You would be welcome as our guest."

"Not at all. But tank you for de offer."

"All right, then. I'll arrange for transportation to the airport, a first class ticket - no arguments, Lena," he added as she began to protest, "and transportation from BWI to your home. I always take care of my agents."

She was chuckling. "Apparently you do. But I'm not about to take advantage of it. Even dough it wouldn't be hard to get used to dat kind of treatment."

He laughed along with her. "Okay, then. I'll make the arrangements. We'll probably be leaving in the next day or two." He sobered and said, "You know, I'm going to miss you around here. I've enjoyed our talks."

"So have I. Well, I'm sure dis isn't de end of dem. We'll be seeing each otter again."

Jeff smiled. "I'm sure we will."

Post by Hobbeth on 12/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1528 is a reply to message #1527] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15, 2068, 6 p.m., local time, Kabul, Afghanistan

Tin-Tin dropped her small briefcase on the suite's sofa and sighed. She flopped down into a chair, kicking off her shoes and unwrapping her head scarf, then leaning back and closing her eyes. Emily shuffled in behind her, immediately removing the offending cloth and moving quickly to her own room. Tin-Tin rubbed her temples. A headache was coming on: a headache born of frustration.

Her afternoon at the plant had not been productive. The engineer she had been assigned to work with, one Siddig al Bashir, was by turns arrogant, patronizing, and desultory. He could not believe that a person as young as she was, and a woman to boot, could come up with a formula as complex as the one they were working with. Tin-Tin bit her tongue and worked as fast as she could. Emily had been sitting in the corner, doing a crossword puzzle from a book she had brought along, but Tin-Tin could almost feel the heat of Emily's silent seething. To her credit, she kept silent, allowing Tin-Tin to deal with this man in her own way.

Every time Tin-Tin felt that she had the answer to the problem, her "colleague" dismissed it as being impossible or improbable. At last, Tin-Tin saved her work and closed her laptop with a decisive snap! She stood regally and regarded the other engineer coolly.

"Mr. al Bashir. Your conduct here has been unbecoming a professional. Rest assured I will be reporting it to Mr. al Kadar. And I will also tell him that your inability to work with me on the problem has made me reconsider doing business with this firm. Now, you will escort me to Mr. al Kadar's office so I can speak with him immediately on this matter."

Al Bashir looked mutinous, and Tin-Tin was afraid he was going to refuse. Then Emily got up out of her chair and faced the younger man. She silently glared at him, daring him to show her any disrespect. Then she said very quietly, "You'd better hop to it or believe me, you'll be out of a job tomorrow."

It seemed that Emily's intervention did the trick. He turned and said sullenly, "Follow me." The two women looked at each other and gathered up their things to follow the sulking engineer to his superior's office.

"There is a problem," he said bluntly.

Fudail looked up at Tin-Tin and asked, "So, have you discovered why your formula is not working?"

"I believe I have. But Mr. al Bashir does not concur. In fact, he has been of little help at all. I have found him to be arrogant and patronizing, constantly insinuating that because I am a young woman, I cannot have developed such a formula," Tin-Tin said coldly. "Every time I have suggested a possible cause for this problem, he has dismissed it. His behavior is making me reconsider doing business with your firm."

"What have you deduced the problem to be?" Fudail asked.

"Temperature. For some reason, the temperature of the mixture has fluctuated from the very specific parameters I set in my formula," she explained. "Either your equipment is at fault or your employees aren't monitoring it well enough."

Fudail turned to Siddig. "Your opinion?"

"Her formula cannot be produced," the engineer stated flatly.

Tin-Tin and Emily gasped at this bald-faced lie. The older woman's face took on a stubborn expression, but a touch from Tin-Tin's hand stayed her angry words.

"Since your engineer seems to think this cannot be produced, I will have every copy of my formula, digital or hard, removed from your premises," Tin-Tin said resolutely. "Now. I am withdrawing my order."

Fudail looked surprised at her forcefulness. He thought about who she was rumored to be representing. I cannot afford to alienate such a powerful possible client. He looked over at Siddig who stood stoicly, as if daring him to contradict his conclusion.

"Ms. Kyrano. If before you pull your order, let us give your idea a trial run. Tomorrow we will set up the equipment for mixing your formula. You may be on hand to see our operations, and to oversee the manufacturing process. We will take every care to adhere to your specifications. If it should happen that under ideal circumstances, the formula cannot be manufactured, then you have every right to cancel your order. I shall gladly hand over every piece of documentation surrounding it. And I will purge our files of it as well. But, if it turns out you are correct and temperature is the issue, then would you please reconsider pulling your order?"

Tin-Tin looked from Siddig to Fudail and back again. "All right. I will be here tomorrow to oversee the mixing of the forumula. But if I will not work with this man again."

"Agreed," Fudail said, smiling. He rose from his seat and shook Tin-Tin's hand. "Please, let me escort you out."

Emily came out of her room and sat down in a chair across from Tin-Tin. She regarded her "adopted granddaughter" with a critical eye.

"You need a good meal, and hot bath, and some sleep, child. I've ordered room service."

"Oh, thank you, Mrs. Tracy," Tin-Tin sighed gratefully.

Emily shook a finger at her. "I've told you time and time again, Tin-Tin. It's either Grandma or Emily. Your choice."

"Okay... Grandma," Tin-Tin said with a slight smile.

As the room service came, Emily's sharp eyes noticed a small man, dressed in native garb, cleaning the inside of the windows at the end of the hall. This is an odd time to clean windows. It's dark outside. I think I've seen that little man before, following us. And that Mr. Tallboy was in the lobby, too. I'm sure he was waiting for us. Something's going on here and Tin-Tin's at the center of it all. I'm glad I came along to help protect her!

Post by Tikatu on 12/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1529 is a reply to message #1528] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15th, 2068, 7:30 p.m, Tracy Island

After dinner, Nikki decided to take a walk on the beach on her own. Images of last night's rescue were playing on a loop in her mind. She had to admit she was surprised that she managed to sleep through the night after the rescue with those haunting images plaguing her mind. In the end, she put it down to major exhaustion. She came to a stop and sat down on the sand with her back leaning against a rock.

Her hand roamed in the grainy sand, picking up small pebbles and shells. When she had a good group of them in her hand, she stood up and began skimming them into the rushing ocean.

She turned when she heard footsteps crunching on the dry sand towards her. "Hi."

"Hey. I saw you from the balcony and thought you'd might like some company."

Nikki glanced at her hand and dropped what pebbles and shells that remained to the ground. "Thanks, Alan." She sat back down in her previous place.

Alan sat beside her. "You seemed pretty quiet today."

Nikki smiled slightly, keeping her eyes on the waves. "I'm always quiet."

"Not this quiet. Are you okay?" Alan watched her face to see what emotion she was showing.

Nikki nodded. "I was just thinking about last night's rescue. I'm used to seeing injuries and worse, but never on such a grand scale."

"I know. It took me a long time to get used to seeing what we saw last night. In a way, I'm still not used to it," he commented.

She looked down at the sand as she trailed her finger in it. "I must have sounded a bit cold hearted during the debriefing. Seeing those people didn't affect me in the same way as it did everyone else."

"That's not your fault. You were a trauma nurse before you came out here. Seeing injuries and death like that was an everyday thing for you. No one thought of you as being cold hearted. They understood why you would feel how you felt. Just remember, you're not the only one who had feelings that might've been seen as dispassionate."

Nikki turned to Alan for the first time since they sat down. "Thanks, Alan."

"Any time. If you ever you need to talk, you can always come and find me or Mom." Alan advised her.

Post by Nikki-browneyes1 on 12/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1530 is a reply to message #1529] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 16, 2068, 8 a.m., Tracy Island.

"Kat," Jeff called down the table to the mechanic. "I've got an assignment for you today."

Kat looked up sharply. "You have Mr. Tracy? Do you want me to report to you in the lounge for instructions, or down in the Thunderbirds' hangar?"

Jeff chuckled. "I can tell you about it right here, Kat. Besides, I'd rather make only one trip down to the hangars today in this thing." He indicated the wheelchair and took a sip of his coffee. "Are you familiar with pre-flight check procedure?" he asked.

"I am very familiar with pre-flight procedure check. I often carried out that procedure for Lady Penelope. If you would tell me what time the flight will be and which plane you are using, I will carry out all the required checks. If everything is in order, I will leave to make a start. These checks cannot be hurried in any way, and as you know, there are no short cuts."

"My, you are an eager one," Jeff commented with a smile.

"We'll be using Tracy Three and we'd like to get airborne by eleven this morning. Dianne, as pilot, would normally do the pre-flight checks, but she'll be doing our packing. We're taking Lena home, then Lisa, and staying for the memorial service in Greenville later next week."

He sipped his coffee again. "Our procedures may differ a bit from what you're used to, but there's a data pad in the hangars that will tell you what we require."

Kat sat finishing her breakfast, taking in what Mr Tracy had said. There shouldn't be too many differences between what she had done for Lady Penelope, and what would be required here.

Having finished her breakfast, she stood up. "With your permission, Mr. Tracy, I would like to make a start."

Jeff nodded.

"One more thing, Kat. Alan will be taking Tracy One this afternoon for part one of his birthday present. He might ask for your help with the pre-flight checks there too."

Kat grinned. "I shall carry out the pre-flight checks on Tracy Three first. When I am absolutely satisfied, I will go and find Alan to see if he needs any help." And with that Kat left the room.

Smiling to herself, she thought, This is really why I am here. Sure, I was helpful on the rescue, but to be honest, this is more my forte. This is what I imagined it would be like being here on Tracy Island, helping with the many different planes.

Jeff shook his head, smiled, and finished his coffee.

Post by Tawnyangel22 and Tikatu on 15/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1531 is a reply to message #1530] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island Friday March 16th, 8:15 am.

After Scott had showered and dressed he finally managed to track down his father's whereabouts and told him of the decision Elise had made.

"Scott, that's wonderful news! How did you manage to convince her we needed her?" Jeff was curious.

"Well, actually Dad, it was more Virgil's doing than mine," Scott confessed.

"How's that?" asked a puzzled Jeff.

"We didn't see eye to eye on a few things, and well, after she left the study, Virgil went after her."

At his father's bemused look, Scott added, "He and Alan had heard the end part of our conversation."

Scott cleared his throat, obviously a little embarrassed about telling Jeff that he and Elise had been in a screaming match. The look on his father's face told Scott that this wasn't news to Jeff. The Tracy patriarch had a knack for knowing when the Tracy temper had reared its ugly head in the house, especially when Scott was involved!

"Well, son, I suppose we need to get Elise set up here. Aren't her personal belongings still in New York?"

"Yes. We put them in safe storage. I guess she would need to go back and sort them out and have them sent here."

Jeff thought for a moment then said,

"We're leaving around 11 this morning. Do you think she would want to go now? The quicker it's done the better everything will be."

Scott nodded in agreement. "I'm sure she'll go Dad. I'll go talk to her now."

They exchanged the same warm-hearted smile, then Scott left to find Elise.

Stuffing the remains of a donut in her mouth, and licking her fingers was how Scott found her. She looked like a hamster with its cheeks stuffed and Scott started to laugh.

"Mop!" came a muffled reply.

Somehow the word 'stop' just didn't come out right. She made a production of swallowing the last bites and glared at Scott.

"What now? Can't a girl eat in peace around here?"

"You call that eating?"

She shot him a look of total disbelief that he, ex-Captain of her Flight, would make such a comment.

"I'm teasing!" Scott quickly rectified the situation.

"I just wanted to let you know that I talked to Dad, and he is thrilled that you've decided to join IR. He wanted to know if you wanted to fly to New York with him and Dianne this morning to take care of shipping your belongings here?"

"This morning as in...TODAY?!" was the question she barely squeaked out!

"Yes, today. Dad thinks the quicker you do it, the quicker we can start with your training."

Elise didn't hear the last thing Scott said, she was still trying to digest the part about going to New York TODAY!

"Let me get this straight... Just this morning, I told you I wanted to stay and now you want to ship me off to New York?"

Scott exhaled slowly. Did she just not hear everything I said? Why does she make my life so difficult sometimes?

"Elise, I'm not 'shipping' you off anywhere. Did you not hear me? Dad thought you just wanted to get your stuff here as soon as possible, that's all!"

She remained silent for a few moments, then spoke softly. "Okay, fine, I'll go. I'll meet them in the hangar at 10.30 am."

"Good. I'll let Dad know."

Post by FrankieCTB2 on 16/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1533 is a reply to message #1531] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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******Friday, March 16, 2068; 9 a.m.; Thunderbird Five******

Things had quieted down since the rescue. Callie was working on the daily diagnostic check on the computer when she felt some discomfort and pressure in the area just below her stomach. She adjusted position a few times, attempting to make herself comfortable again.

John entered the control room and noticed her shifting several times. "Is anything wrong?"

"No, not really, John. I'm feeling a little uncomfortable. I think something I ate doesn't agree with me."

"Well, just take it easy. If the discomfort persists, let me know and I'll get you something for it."

"Thanks, John." She went back to work, the pressure subsiding. I just hope this doesn't turn into something worse.

******About 20 minutes later******

Callie's discomfort progressively worsened, despite her best efforts to make herself comfortable. I knew it, I just knew it...

John returned to the control room and noticed Callie fidgeting badly. "Callie, are you--"

"No, I'm not okay, John!" she snapped. "This is the last place I wanted to have cramps!"

"Cramps? Oh, no..."

She realized what she had done. "John, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to blow up at you. Why did this have to happen now?" She blushed with embarrassment. "Have you ever had to deal with this situation?"

John had to blush himself. "Uh, you mean dealing with a woman having cramps?"

"Uh, yeah," said Callie, her blush becoming a deeper shade of red.

"To be honest, no, and especially not here." He raised an eyebrow, a look of rising alarm on his face. "Do you need anything for--"

Callie laughed at his reaction. "Relax, John. When I spent time at the ISS, I made sure to pack the things I needed. I remembered to bring everything here, too. You'd better watch your back today because I'll be a mean bear at times."

He swiped a hand dramatically across his brow, wiping non-existent sweat from it and dashing said invisible perspiration to the floor. "Whew! Here I thought we had an unscheduled visit from Thunderbird Three in our future."

She rolled her eyes and shook her head. The clock caught her eye and she cried, "John! The tournament! We forgot about the tournament!"

"The rescue kept us away from what's been happening with the tournament. We'd better check with espn.com and see who advanced and who went home." He brought up the website on the screen and shook his head. "I knew Harvard didn't stand a chance. How'd Alabama do?"

"They're playing right now, but we can't--"

"See the game?" John pressed a button on the panel. "How's this for live?"

"Perfect! Want some popcorn?"

"Sure, I'll get it. Don't want you being cranky and miss your team."

Callie grabbed a copy of The Tracy Quasar and threw it at him with a grin on her face.

John ducked to avoid getting hit with the book. "Okay, Callie, okay. I'm going."

She checked the website scores to see how their chosen teams did. She smiled wickedly. "Looks like John's going to do the chores. Kansas lost to Manhattan, and Duke crushed Alcorn State."

Post by TracyFan4Ever on 16/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1534 is a reply to message #1531] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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******Friday, March 16, 2068; 9 a.m.; Thunderbird Five******

Things had quieted down since the rescue. Callie was working on the daily diagnostic check on the computer when she felt some discomfort and pressure in the area just below her stomach. She adjusted position a few times, attempting to make herself comfortable again.

John entered the control room and noticed her shifting several times. "Is anything wrong?"

"No, not really, John. I'm feeling a little uncomfortable. I think something I ate doesn't agree with me."

"Well, just take it easy. If the discomfort persists, let me know and I'll get you something for it."

"Thanks, John." She went back to work, the pressure subsiding. I just hope this doesn't turn into something worse.

******About 20 minutes later******

Callie's discomfort progressively worsened, despite her best efforts to make herself comfortable. I knew it, I just knew it...

John returned to the control room and noticed Callie fidgeting badly. "Callie, are you--"

"No, I'm not okay, John!" she snapped. "This is the last place I wanted to have cramps!"

"Cramps? Oh, no..."

She realized what she had done. "John, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to blow up at you. Why did this have to happen now?" She blushed with embarrassment. "Have you ever had to deal with this situation?"

John had to blush himself. "Uh, you mean dealing with a woman having cramps?"

"Uh, yeah," said Callie, her blush becoming a deeper shade of red.

"To be honest, no, and especially not here." He raised an eyebrow, a look of rising alarm on his face. "Do you need anything for--"

Callie laughed at his reaction. "Relax, John. When I spent time at the ISS, I made sure to pack the things I needed. I remembered to bring everything here, too. You'd better watch your back today because I'll be a mean bear at times."

He swiped a hand dramatically across his brow, wiping non-existent sweat from it and dashing said invisible perspiration to the floor. "Whew! Here I thought we had an unscheduled visit from Thunderbird Three in our future."

She rolled her eyes and shook her head. The clock caught her eye and she cried, "John! The tournament! We forgot about the tournament!"

"The rescue kept us away from what's been happening with the tournament. We'd better check with espn.com and see who advanced and who went home." He brought up the website on the screen and shook his head. "I knew Harvard didn't stand a chance. How'd Alabama do?"

"They're playing right now, but we can't--"

"See the game?" John pressed a button on the panel. "How's this for live?"

"Perfect! Want some popcorn?"

"Sure, I'll get it. Don't want you being cranky and miss your team."

Callie grabbed a copy of The Tracy Quasar and threw it at him with a grin on her face.

John ducked to avoid getting hit with the book. "Okay, Callie, okay. I'm going."

She checked the website scores to see how their chosen teams did. She smiled wickedly. "Looks like John's going to do the chores. Kansas lost to Manhattan, and Duke crushed Alcorn State."

Post by TracyFan4Ever on 16/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1535 is a reply to message #1534] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island, Friday 16th March, 9.30 a.m.

Phew, that is everything checked. Kat pushed her hair out of her eyes, and surveyed the data pad. The young mechanic had worked for just over an hour, making absolutely certain that all the pre-flight checks had been carried out, in some instances going over things a second time, just to make perfectly sure.

I must go and report to Mr Tracy that everything is in order for their flight, she thought as she headed out of the hangar. Coming in to check his plane was Alan.

"Hi, Kat," he called. "What are you doing down here?"

"Carrying out pre-flight checks on Tracy Three for Mr. and Doctor Tracy," she replied. "While I am down here, Alan, do you want any help?"

"Why, if you're offering, then yes, please," Alan said as the two wandered over to Tracy One. "You are looking better now, compared to last night."

"Yes, that debrief was very traumatic, having to re-live the rescue, but I have talked with Doctor Tracy and have been reassured that what I felt was normal. Although she did say that you never get used to it, but it does become easier to cope with as time goes on." Kat said with a sigh.

"Which is exactly what I said, both at the rescue and last night, if you'll recall."

"Yes, that is very true, Alan." She sighed, then brightened. "Anyway that is enough talk about the rescue. It's history now. I bet you are excited about going to watch a grand prix. I am sure I would be."

Alan smiled at Kat. "Yes, I am. It's a terrific present. I can't wait to get there! I'm meeting a old friend of mine, Kenny Malone. He was my mechanic when I was on the racing circuit."

"You used to race!" Kat exclaimed. "How wonderful!"

Alan smiled. "Yep, I raced in a few grand prix myself back in those days. Different division, though."

"Wow!" Kat went on. "Dad and I went to the British Grand Prix when I was younger. It was so thrilling! I used to have a 'thing' about Johnston O'Neill, the British driver. He was so cool and so good looking."

"Well, I think he's still racing." Alan told her. "Kenny has a pass to the pits and if he's there, I'll get his autograph for you."

"Ooh, Alan, would you? That would be awesome. Thanks a million."

"Sure, no problem!" Alan glanced over at the jet he would be using. "Well, I'll take you up on your offer to help with my pre-flight checks."

Kat laughed, "After what you have offered to get for me, I should do it alone."

"Nah," Alan replied, shaking his head. "I'd rather keep my hand in, so to speak."

With that, they began the process of going through the pre-flight checks together.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 16/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1536 is a reply to message #1535] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 16, 2068, 8:00 a.m., local time, Kabul, Afghanistan

Tin-Tin walked along behind Fudail al Kadar and his production manager, Fatma Khalil, all three of them dressed in protective garments, heading for the first step of the manufacturing process. The two women had hit it off right away and Tin-Tin was relieved to see that Siddig al Bashir was nowhere to be found.

"Your chemical formula is mixing at the moment," Fatma told her. "I will show you where and we will watch it carefully, especially the temperature."

"Thank you, Fatma," Tin-Tin said. The production manager had insisted that she be called by her given name, and Tin-Tin reciprocated.

Emily had decided to remain at the hotel; she said she had not slept well and wanted some extra rest. Tin-Tin understood; she had also had a restless night, tossing and turning, worrying about her formula. Would it be successful? Or was it, as al Bashir had said, impossible to manufacture.

International Rescue needs this fabric! I just don't know how to protect our operatives if it doesn't work.

"See, over here, Tin-Tin," Fatma said, directing her to a series of large vats. "This vat has your formula in it. And, as you can see, the temperature is the one you noted. Let us see what happens."

They waited for the mixers to finish, and then the focus was on the machines that drew the blend out into thin threads.

"Hmm," Fudail said, a look of curiosity on his face. "This is where we had difficulty before. The threads were brittle and would break. These seem to be strong." He looked up at Tin-Tin. "It seems that your investigations brought you to the proper conclusion, Ms. Kyrano. We will have to investigate further to determine how this happened."

Tin-Tin relaxed and smiled. Fatma saw this and cautioned her, "We are not, how do you say, out of the woods yet. We must see how this thread stands up to the rest of the manufacturing process."

"I have every confidence in it, now that it's gotten out of the first stages," Tin-Tin said.

And indeed the thread was woven into cloth, a gray cloth that was both lightweight and durable. Fatma tried to cut it with a pair of scissors, only to find that it was next to impossible.

"This is a very tough fabric, Tin-Tin. For what do you intend to use it?" she asked.

"It's going into uniforms," Tin-Tin said, and added nothing more. "We still have to see how it takes a dye, don't we?"

"Yes," said Fudail. "A second mixture is in the process of threading and small spools will be dyed with all the colors we can provide. Then we will weave the cloth and test it for color fastness. Still, I wonder why we had such trouble with the temperature?"

"At least we know that it's possible to manufacture the fabric itself," Tin-Tin replied. "I'm sure you'll discover the reason for the earlier problems. How is this batch coming?"

"Very well," Fatma responded. "I foresee no more problems in the manufacture of the fabric. The dyeing will take the rest of the day, and then we may color test tomorrow. Is that satisfactory?"

"Yes, it is," Tin-Tin said. "I was hoping to leave Kabul today, but I see no reason why I can't stay longer in light of our success today. I'll call my employer and let him know."

"Excellent!" Fudail said happily. "It is near lunch time. Let me summon a taxi for you and escort you out, Ms. Kyrano. You may leave your project in Fatma's capable hands."

"Thank you, Mr. al Kadar. I'll return tomorrow morning for the colorfastness testing. I'm very anxious to get this fabric into full production," Tin-Tin said. She turned to Fatma. "It was a pleasure to meet you and to work with you. I'll see you tomorrow."

"Likewise. I will see you tomorrow," Fatma said, shaking Tin-Tin's hand and smiling. The Malaysian girl returned the smile, and followed Fudail out.

As soon as they had left the manufacturing floor, Fatma went to her office and closed the door. She pulled out a cell phone and speed dialed a number.

"Sir? It is Fatma. She has left. Yes, I followed your instructions. The fabric is viable, but I cannot separate the chemical formulas of the two components. There is a catalyst in there somewhere on top of the temperature specifications. No, she will be back tomorrow. She said it was for uniforms. No, sir. No more than that. I see. Then I will continue with the manufacture and dyeing and let you handle Ms. Kyrano. Yes, sir. I will expect your bonus. Goodbye."

Fatma ended the call. She spared a thought for Tin-Tin; she had liked the young engineer. But the prospect of a bonus from her employer for both the information she had given and her earlier sabotage was of more importance than her new acquaintance. She regretted that she was unable to give her employer what he desired, but she knew that he would find his own way to get what he wanted. With a smile, she headed back out to the manufacturing floor to resume her duties

Post by Tikatu on 17/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1537 is a reply to message #1536] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday 16 March. 8.15am. Tracy Island.

The cheery sound of baby talk filled the air, and Joshua Kelly was one happy little boy. His daddy was back! And he was spending lots of time with him. Not that his daddy didn't usually. But it seemed like he had been away for ages, and now he was back, and hadn't left him alone! The little boy could find it in his heart to forgive him; he always did. Of course, he was only two years and three months old, and couldn't really understand things, but all he cared about was that his daddy was back, at last!

***

Dominic sat, cross-legged on the balcony outside his apartment, on a folding chair he had found in a closet near the sliding glass door. The sun was shining -- as it tended to do on a tropical island, he thought with a smile -- and the view of the morning sea was fantastic. From his vantage point in the cliff house he could see right down the sweeping runway and out to the expanse of sea that went on for miles without fail. What had made the morning extra special was that he had his little son on his knee, who had been enjoying being read to very much. All the child seemed to need to hear was, 'Once upon a time', and he was perfectly attentive, and calm, ready to listen to his father's gentle tones.

Unfortunately, the story was now over, and Joshua was clamouring for attention and squirming around. He wrapped one little fist around a strand of Dominic's middle-length hair, and kept babbling in his pseudo-English. By now, of course, Dominic could discern what his son was saying -- most of the time, anyway. Joshua was getting better every day, which unfortunately meant getting louder every day, too. But that was just what kids were like, it seemed.

Dominic palmed one of his eyes tiredly and stifled a yawn. He hadn't slept very much since they had gotten back from the rescue, partly because of Joshua, and partly because, well, he didn't know exactly. It was how he had always been after a particularly harrowing experience with LifeFlight. Like after searching for hours in the cold and wet looking for that teenager a few months ago. Boy, that was tough. I didn't sleep well after that for about a week. I guess I'll have to get over this. Ah, well. Joshua tugged harder on the fist-full of hair he had grabbed, and Dominic scolded him gently.

"What have I told you about pulling hair?"

Joshua, after a moment's thought, relinquished the hair, and flung his arms around Dominic's neck, jumping up and down and saying, "Walk, walk!" Dominic unfolded his legs and got up off the chair, supporting Joshua in his arms. He glanced at the chair, but decided it wasn't worth putting Josh down to put it away; the kid would only yell, or run away. Either option was not something he particularly wanted to deal with. So, he left it, and made his way back through the apartment and towards the elevator, to catch the monorail over to the villa. Perhaps there, Joshua could find some entertainment.

***

Jeff idly flicked through one of the magazines that he had plucked from the rack beside one of the lounge couches, wondering why the place was so empty. The villa was quiet; it seemed as if everyone was off doing other things. Scott had left not long ago to find Elise. He smiled. He was very glad she had decided to stay with them, and hoped she wouldn't have a problem with going for her things so quickly. We need to get her trained up as soon as possible, and get on with training all our new recruits. They've shown how good they are already; with more experience, they'll be one crack team, all right.

He looked up when he heard voices coming up from where the monorail came in from the Cliff House. He guessed it would be one of their 'newbies', and was proved right when the little blond child, Joshua, toddled in, with Dominic close behind. The young man took his gaze from his child for a moment to give Jeff a courteous nod; morning sunlight glinted off his glasses. Jeff smiled back; now would be the perfect time to start to get to know all the new members of IR better.

"Good morning," he said, and he watched as the little boy, ever inquisitive, edged his way towards him. He's probably more interested in this chair than me! he thought, fond memories of his own boys as children coming back to him.

"Good mornin', Mr Tracy. How're you gettin' on?"

"Excellently," Jeff said. "I'll be out of this thing in no time."

"Good, good."

Their conversation stalled, and Dominic stood by, somewhat awkwardly, watching the child. Joshua walked shyly up to Jeff, and stared up at him through his large, well-smudged glasses. Jeff looked from Joshua to his father, and back again. The kid must've got his looks from the mother's side. He's blond, Dominic's dark-haired. Joshua looked down again and retreated to safety behind his father's leg. Jeff chuckled.

"They don't stay that shy for long."

Dominic shook his head.

"Tell me about it. This'un's already starting. Just wait till he gets t' know you a bit better. He'll not leave you be."

The young man stifled a yawn with one hand, and shook his head, as if trying to rid himself of his weariness. Joshua reached his arms up, wanting to be held, and Dominic obliged, only to be asked, "Juice?"

"Alrighty, young man. How's about we get you some breakfast, huh?" He smiled at Jeff and shrugged. "You know what it's like."

Jeff nodded.

"Oh yeah, I know."

The two chuckled, and Dominic headed towards the doorway that led to the hall, and would take him downstairs to the kitchen. Jeff smiled fondly. The little blond reminded him a lot of Alan when he was a tot, all cherubic with big blue eyes. It brought back memories, all right, the majority of which were indeed, very happy.

Post ArtisticRainey on 17/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1538 is a reply to message #1537] Fri, 27 July 2012 01:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Malaysian Grand Prix, Kualar Lumpar. March 16th/17th (Part 1)

Alan had been given the all clear by Virgil to take off. Smoothly the plane ascended into the clear blue sky. His thoughts went back to his family. What a splendid birthday present his Mom and Dad had given him. He couldn't wait to arrive. He had hoped that Gordon would have been home to come with him, but Gordon was still in New York, and not expected home until after the memorial service. He felt relaxed for the first time since his birthday, if truth be told.

After he had touched down on the landing strip at the edge of the Grand Prix complex, Alan headed for the Arrivals lounge. Waiting for him was his old friend, Kenny Malone. The two young men embraced.

"It's great seeing you again, Kenny," Alan said.

"Yeah, it's been too long," Kenny, replied.

"Hey, here's someone I think you would like to see again," Kenny said as he waved to a tall, dark-haired young man.

"Well, I'll be," Alan gasped. "If it isn't Tom Jackson! How are you these days?" Tom Jackson had been a racing driver in Alan's early racing days.

"I'm just fine. Say, what are you doing now?" Tom asked.

"Oh, I work for the family firm," Alan replied.

"What? Has your old man let you out for good behaviour?" Tom joked.

"Nope, this is a birthday present." Alan nearly said from Mom and Dad.

"Say, how old are you now?" Tom asked.

"Twenty-four," Alan replied.

"Then you ought to let Kenny take you to the Lotus Flower Night Club," Tom suggested, winking at Kenny.

"Yes, I've already planned to go there," Kenny said, returning Tom's wink.

"So, then Tom, what brings you here? Don't tell me you are still racing!" Alan said.

"Yeah, Tom's racing here tomorrow," Kenny replied.

"I'm just on my way to start the qualifying laps for positions for tomorrow's race," Tom explained. "Want to come and watch?"

Alan nodded and the three young men headed for the pits and the other contestants. He and Kenny watched as Tom set out on his first lap. Unfortunately Tom didn't do too well and ended up at the end of the session as fifth behind the defending World Champion, who had had a disastrous few laps.

"Tough luck, Tom," Alan said. "Those chicanes are hard to drive around."

"I know," Tom replied. "Coming off the straight and driving through them is tricky. As you could see, a few never made it."

"Say, Tom, is Johnston O'Neill driving this weekend?"

"Yeah, that's his team over there, why?"

"Oh, I promised someone back home I'd try and get his autograph," Alan answered.

"Come, on then. I'll introduce you to him."

"Hey, Johnston," Tom spoke to a tall, thin, dark haired man. "How's things?"

"Oh, so-so, you know, didn't do too well in the qualifying. The car seems to be playing up. The mechanics are working on it at the moment. How did you do?"

"Not too good either," Tom replied. "Say, I have an old racing colleague who would like your autograph for a member of his family."

"Sure," Johnson smiled. "What name?"

"Kat," Alan replied.

"Who's Kat?" Kenny asked.

"Oh, just someone working for the firm," Alan replied.

"To Kat," Johnston wrote, "with all my best wishes, Johnston O'Neill."

"Thanks, Johnston," Alan said. "Kat will really love that."

"Happy to oblige," Johnston said as he walked away.

"Well, I need an early night before tomorrow," Tom said. "See you, guys." And he headed back to the competitors' quarters. Alan and Kenny headed back for the luxury hotel at the far end of the complex.

Once Alan was in his room, he suddenly felt tired. He showered, changed into his pyjamas. and getting a beer from the well-stocked fridge, settled down to enjoy a quiet evening watching the television. Later he put a call through to Tracy Island to let them know that he had arrived safely.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 17/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1539 is a reply to message #1538] Fri, 27 July 2012 11:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Ubiquitous one

Friday, March 16, 2068, 12:45 p.m., local time, Kabul, Afghanistan

Tin-Tin entered the cool lobby of the luxury hotel, sighing with relief at the air conditioning as it hit her face. The taxi ride from the plant had been hot in more ways than one. The taxi had been an older model, at least 20 years old from the looks of it, and its air conditioner was broken if, indeed, it had ever worked at all. The gap-toothed driver with the wildly curly black hair had leered at her, and had deliberately misconstrued her request, taking her miles out of her way, so that the ride which usually took twenty to thirty minutes became thirty to forty. It was only when she pulled out her cell phone and calmly began to dial the police that the man made a wild U-turn and headed back the way he was supposed to. Now the driver was dealing with the local law enforcers outside the hotel, while Tin-Tin, having given her statement, was finally cooling off, physically and emotionally.

Still, she was not cool enough, for when she was bumped while waiting for the elevator and her briefcase was knocked to the floor, she sharply scolded, "Why don't you watch where you're going, you clumsy, insolent lout!" To which she received the reply, "Oh, Mademoiselle Kyrano, you cut me to the quick! Here, let me help you retrieve your luggage." A pale hand raced her tanned one for the handle of the briefcase, and reached it just before she did, and as the clumsy, insolent lout stood with her attaché in his hand, she found herself meeting the pale blue eyes and the sardonic grin of Giles Tallman.

"Your portfolio, Mademoiselle," he intoned politely as he handed the case over to her.

"Oh, Mr. Tallman! I'm so sorry! The past hour has been very frustrating, and... well, I shouldn't have taken it out on you," Tin-Tin said in a hurry.

Giles shook his head. "No, my dear, the fault is all mine. I was not looking where I was going, for if I was, how could I miss someone as lovely as you standing there? No, Ms. Kyrano, mea culpa and I apologize profusely for bumping into you."

Tin-Tin looked at his now solemn face and laughed. "I accept your apology, Mr. Tallman. But in the future, please be more careful."

Giles smiled, his eyes twinkling behind his round-lensed glasses. "I shall." He hesitated, and then asked, "When do you and your escort leave today?"

Now it was Tin-Tin's turn to hesitate. She knew of Emily's dislike of the Englishman, and was wary of his motives, especially when he showed such a keen interest in her project. But she also abhorred lying; it reminded her too much of her father's half-brother and all of his deception.

"We are not leaving today," she said simply. "My project requires that I stay another day."

"Ah!" Giles said, a non-committal sort of exclamation. Then, as if weighing his words carefully, he asked, "Might I... might I make up for my insolent loutishness by inviting you to lunch?" He added hurriedly, "And your chaperone, too, of course."

Tin-Tin regarded him carefully. He really did seem to be a nice man, and since her break-up with Alan, she had longed for a little masculine attention. Christopher was nice, and she liked talking and joking with him. Perhaps there was even a possibility of romance there in the future. But he was on Tracy Island, and Mr. Tallman was here, and... it had been a long time since she had been out to eat with a handsome man.

"I think I'd like that, Mr. Tallman," she said with a smile.

His thin face lit up with delight. "Oh! Well. I'm so pleased. Shall I meet you both down here in say, a half hour?"

"Yes, that would be fine. I would like to freshen up." I hope that Grandma Tracy will allow us to go. If anything, we can find more about him and why he is so interested in my project. Perhaps if I put it to her that way....

"Well, then. You toddle off and I'll wait here and try to find the London Times," Giles said with a grin. Tin-Tin returned the smile, and headed off to the elevator.

At least he didn't insist on coming up to our suite. I think that's a point in his favor, Tin-Tin thought as the elevator rose smoothly to her floor. She slid her key card into its slot and the door slid open obediently.

The suite was quiet, and there seemed to be no sign of Emily. "Grandma?" Tin-Tin called, pulling off her headscarf and heading to her room to put her briefcase away. When she had washed her hands and freshened up her make up, she returned to the sitting room. "Grandma?" she called again. She made her way over to Emily's bedroom and quietly opened the door. Grandma Tracy was lying on the bed, sound asleep.

I am not going to wake her, Tin-Tin resolved. I'm sure the change of time and of climate have made her feel poorly and she's sleeping off that headache she had this morning. I'll leave her a note and bring my cell phone with me.

Tin-Tin took a piece of hotel stationary and wrote a quick note to Emily, folding it and standing it up on the desk in the common area. Then she grabbed her cell phone and slipped it into her purse, adjusted her headscarf, and went back downstairs. She felt a tad guilty, but much more excited about going off on the luncheon date without Grandma Tracy.

I appreciate her motives in wanting to keep an eye on me and protect me if possible, but I am a grown woman and can take care of myself.

The elevator door opened, and Tin-Tin stepped out. She looked around for Mr. Tallman, and found him sitting in a comfortable armchair, reading the Wall Street Journal. He rose quickly from his seat when she approached.

"There you are! And you look lovely, too." He craned his neck to look around her. "Where is your chaperone, the scintillating Emily?"

"She's feeling indisposed, so I came by myself," Tin-Tin replied, raising her chin regally.

"Oh, I'm so sorry to hear she is ill, but frankly, and between us, I should think we'd have much more fun without her," Giles said in a confidential tone. Tin-Tin giggled. He formally offered his arm. "Shall we?"

"Oh, yes!" she replied, and the left the hotel together.

Their movements did not escape the notice of a well-dressed man sitting in a corner, seemingly reading a magazine. He frowned as Tin-Tin and Giles left, then got up to follow them. The two found themselves a taxi right away, but the well-dressed man was unable to hail one. Instead, he ran to his dusty truck, and got in, pulling out into traffic to follow the cab.

Post by Tikatu on 18/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1540 is a reply to message #1539] Fri, 27 July 2012 11:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Thursday, March 15, 2068, 3 p.m. local time, somewhere over the Pacific (having crossed the IDL)

"How's everybody doing back there?" Dianne called from the cockpit.

"Fine!" Alex replied, not looking up from his computer game.

Tyler sighed. "I'm bored!" he whined.

"Well, then. Read your book!" Cherry chimed in.

"I already did," Tyler continued.

"Shhhh!" Lisa cautioned in a low tone. "Don't wake your father!"

"Too late," Jeff muttered from the chair where he had been napping. "Tyler, find something to do. Take out your computer game, your music player, whatever. But find something to do."

"Young man, perhaps your grandmotter and I could play cards wid you," Lena suggested, catching Lisa's eye and winking.

"I think that's a fine idea!" Lisa said with a grin. "I think we have Dutch Blitz back here." She got up to find the game.

"Dutch Blitz? I don't tink I know dat one," Lena said.

"Oh, you'll like it! It's lots of fun!" Tyler eagerly assured her.

"Can I play, too?" Cherry asked, moving to one of the four seats that now faced each other.

"I guess so," Tyler replied, less than enthusiastically. He leaned over to confide to Lena, "She always wins."

"Not today, Spud. Grandma Parkhurst is in the house!" Lisa said triumphantly as she brought back the card game. Sitting down, she began to explain the rules of the game to Lena, Tyler and Cherry jumping in to help, until poor Lena was totally confused.

"Don't worry. We'll play a couple of practice hands and help you learn," Lisa said hastily. She dealt out the stacks of cards and the game began.

Elise smiled as she watched the game progress. She was not very comfortable, not because she was feeling any pain, or because the Tracys hadn't made her welcome, but... well, she didn't really know. Jeff had gone back to sleep and was snoring slightly. Alex was totally absorbed in his computer game, and this left Elise at loose ends and with time to think.

"You're mighty quiet back there, Elise," came Dianne's voice. "Why don't you come on up here and keep me company?"

"Sure," Elise said. But as relieved as she was to have something to do, part of her was reluctant to make her way to the cockpit.

This is ridiculous, she thought. Dr. Tracy's not going to bite you! So get up and go!

With a deep breath, she heaved herself out of her seat and slowly made her way to the cockpit. As she stood between the pilot and co-pilot seats, she looked out the windshield to see the light, fluffy clouds ahead, floating in a peaceful blue sky. Suddenly, they weren't light and fluffy anymore; they were gray and threatening in a rapidly darkening sky. Elise gasped sharply and closed her eyes, and when she opened them, the clouds were back to being white and benign.

Dianne had not missed the gasp and turned to see the sudden paling of Elise's face and the wild look of terror in her eyes. Then the eyes closed and when Elise opened them, blinking, the look of terror faded.

"Are you okay, Elise?" she asked gently.

Elise gave her head a little shake and smiled wanly at Dianne. "I'll be okay. Just... just it's been a while since I've been in the cockpit of a plane."

"You're sure you're all right?" Dianne pressed.

Elise nodded. "Yes. I am." She moved forward and took the co-pilot's seat, putting the headphones on and strapping herself in.

"We're really glad you decided to come on board with IR," Dianne said with a smile. "We really need more pilots. And from what Scott tells us, you're a crackerjack one."

Elise snorted a laugh. "He's a bit biased, I think. I was in his flight and he'd never say that anyone under his command was less than the best. Something to do with his ego...."

Dianne laughed. Elise looked at her carefully. "I seem to remember saying something about going home the last time you examined me and all you did was smile. Was recruiting me some sort of conspiracy or something?"

"Wellllll," Dianne drawled, "I knew that Scott was pushing for you to be asked and frankly, I was hoping you'd accept. But I wasn't going to say anything one way or another until Jeff and Scott had had a talk with you. If you had said 'No', we wouldn't have kept you from returning to New York, really we wouldn't have. But Scott was certain you'd say 'Yes'. Personally, I'm glad you did. It's good to have someone on board who keeps their head under pressure."

Dianne's offhand comment silenced Elise for the moment. Behind them in the cabin, Jeff stirred and made a sound. Elise looked back, and suddenly, she saw him as he was in the helijet, gray and lifeless, buried under debris. A whispered, "No!" rose from her lips and she shut her eyes tight, wrapping her arms around herself and shivering as if she were cold again. Dianne shot her a keen, concerned glance. Then Elise opened her eyes again and drew in sharp breath. Jeff was now just sleeping, looking healthy beneath the blanket. She let out the breath in a shuddering, relieved sigh.

"Elise?" Dianne prodded.

"It's nothing," Elise lied. She smiled shakily at the physician. "Just... a memory."

Dianne didn't press the issue again. She suspected that being in the cockpit was triggering flashbacks in the helijet pilot.

Elise unbuckled her safety straps, removed the headphones, and rose. "I... I think I'm going to go back to the cabin and try to get some rest. How much longer to LA?"

"Three and a half hours," Dianne replied. "I think you've got a good idea there. Get some sleep if you can."

Elise nodded and carefully made her way back to the cabin. Dianne turned back to watch the gauges before her and listened to the air traffic talkback. But her mind was on what she had just seen. I'm sure she's suffering from PTSD. There's nothing I can do about it right now, but later... later it will be time to put on my psychiatrist hat again. Been doing a lot of that lately with the rescue and all. Not to mention Jeff's own flashbacks to the crash. She sighed internally and called back to Alex. "Son, why don't you bring that game up here and keep your mother company?"

"Sure, Mom," Alex said agreeably as he rose to join her in the cockpit.

Post by Tikatu on 18/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1541 is a reply to message #1540] Fri, 27 July 2012 11:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 16, 2068, 3 p.m., local time, Kabul, Afghanistan

Tin-Tin sipped the strong coffee, and smiled at her luncheon companion. Their meal had been satisfying in more ways in one. Giles had been a fascinating conversationalist, and it turned out that they knew many of the same places, Tin-Tin having grown up in Paris, and been educated in England and the US. Giles, for his part, gleaned much more from her conversation than she suspected. Every bit of information that he got from her gave him a better picture of who she was, what she did, and what place she occupied in her employer's company. He refrained from talking directly about her project; he knew that if he did she would clam up and there would be nothing more to be gained from dealing with her so carefully.

"Oh my!" Tin-Tin said suddenly, looking at her stylish watch. "It's nearly three-thirty! Emily will be very anxious about me!" In fact, Emily had tried to contact her through her telecomm watch and it had vibrated. When Tin-Tin looked at her watch, she pressed a hidden stud on it, sending an acknowledgment of Emily's silent message.

"Oh, well, we mustn't have your chaperone worrying, no indeed," Giles said amiably. Then he frowned. "It does beg the question of why an intelligent, poised young woman like yourself needs a chaperone in this day and age."

Tin-Tin blushed. "My father is a very staid, old-fashioned gentleman and he understands the mindset of the culture here. He felt I would be better able to deal with the men here if I had someone... grandmotherly... along to keep an eye on me. After all, it wasn't too long ago that women weren't able to go anywhere without a male member of their family accompanying them." The story that the two women had previously agreed upon tripped glibly off of Tin-Tin's tongue. Father was concerned about my going alone, she rationalized.

"Ah, I see. He is a wise man," Giles commented. There was a moment of silence between them, then Giles sighed heavily. "I suppose I should return you to her. But it has been a marvelous time. I don't often have the opportunity for such fascinating conversation with a lady as lovely as you are, Tin-Tin."

"I have enjoyed myself as well, Giles," Tin-Tin admitted. "But you are right, I do need to get back to my hotel."

"All right. Let me take care of the financial end of things here and I'll have the doorman summon a taxi for us," Giles said, smiling widely. "Then I can escort you back to your hotel, and I can return to mine."

"Just be careful about the cabbie!" Tin-Tin warned. "I had a horrible experience with one this afternoon."

"I shall."

The waiter came by and Giles used a card to pay for the meal and gave him instructions about the cab. Tin-Tin sipped her water and studied her companion. Really, he's been the perfect gentleman. I've had such a good time! I hope Grandma will understand.

Giles rose from the table as the waiter returned. He offered an arm to Tin-Tin as she rose and she took it, blushing unaccountably. Then they left the elegant restaurant, heading for the entrance where a cab awaited them. Giles gave the driver the name of Tin-Tin's hotel. As they drove through the streets, Tin-Tin marveled at the city. "It has made a wonderful comeback from the war-torn years near the beginning of the century, hasn't it?"

"Yes. The city has become a good place to do business. I feel this will be a very fruitful visit for me," Giles said, smiling.

After just a little bit, the cab pulled up in front of Tin-Tin's hotel. The doorman opened the door, but before Tin-Tin could climb out of the car, Giles suddenly took her hand and kissed it gallantly.

"Until we meet again, my dear."

Post by Tikatu on 18/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1542 is a reply to message #1541] Fri, 27 July 2012 11:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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******Friday, March 16, 2068, Thunderbird Five; 8 p.m.******

John and Callie had completed watching the tournament games for the day, but she didn't tell him what had happened until...

"John, I hate to break this to you, but remember that little bet we had for the tournament?"

"Yeah. How did our two chosen teams do?"

"Duke had no trouble with Alcorn State, but I'm afraid you'll have to do the chores for a month. Kansas was upset by Manhattan."

"The Jayhawks lost in the first round? You're kidding!"

Callie, though, felt sorry for John, seeing he had to deal with these tasks all the time. "Wait a sec. You've got all the experience here and on the island, and it's not fair for me to sit around. I'll reduce that month to a week, okay?"

"A bet's a bet, though."

"I don't care, John. I'm gonna be fair to you and drop it to one week. Now take it before I change my mind."

John backed away slightly and smiled. "Okay, Callie, okay, you win. I'll do the clean-up around the station starting tomorrow. How about we tune in SportsCenter and see all the highlights?"

"You got it." Callie turned the channel to ESPN so they could see the highlights from the games of the day.

Post by TracyFan4Ever on 22/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1543 is a reply to message #1542] Fri, 27 July 2012 11:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Los Angeles,Ca. March 15th 2068,7:00pm.

After finally touching down at LAX, the Tracy entourage had arrived at the very expensive, very exclusive Concordia Hotel. As they proceeded to the check-in desk, bellboys scurried around to get the luggage all sorted and sent to the appropriate rooms.

"Wow, Grandma! Look at that!"

Tyler was staring at the lavishly decorated fountain that took up most of the center of the main lobby. Lisa looked down at the child whose hand was firmly gripped in hers.

"Yes, it's wonderful!"

"Can I throw some money in it?"

Lisa smiled at Tyler's excitement. "Maybe later. We need to get checked in and up to our rooms first. I don't know about you, but I could do with some food and some nap time!"

"Aw, Grandma, I'm way too big for naps!" protested the little boy.

"No, you're not!" Alex couldn't help but start teasing his brother.

"GRANDMA!"

Tyler's loud request for help from his grandma echoed around the lobby, and got him instantaneous glares from his parents. He became quiet and tried to shrink behind his grandmother. Cherie just rolled her eyes, and Lena and Elise tried to smother some smiles by looking elsewhere in the lobby.

"There you are, Sir, Ma'am," said the bellboy, nodding as he opened the door to the suite Jeff had reserved.

Dianne pushed the wheelchair into the lounge area of the suite, followed by Alex, Cherie, Tyler and Lisa.

"Thank you." Dianne smiled to the young man as she handed him a tip.

As soon as the door clicked shut behind them, Tyler was off and running all over to check everything out.

"That boy has too much energy some days!" commented Lisa. Jeff and Dianne chuckled.

As Alex and Cherie went off to explore, Lisa decided to depart. "Well, I'd best be leaving you all to settle in. I'll be just next door if you need anything."

"Thanks Mom."

Dianne hugged her mother and after seeing her out, walked back to Jeff.

"Ah suppose Ah'd best be gettin' you ready for bed first. Those three in there can bounce on the bed 'til Ah'm done, and Ah'll pretend Ah didn't know what they were up to!" She smiled at Jeff deviously and he laughed.

"Ah, sweetheart, if only we were alone. Do you know how much we could enjoy this suite?" he implied.

"Mr. Tracy! We are here for only one night, and Ah intend to get some sleep! Which is exactly what you need, and so do mah children, who seem t' think beds were made for bouncin'."

The noise from the adjoining bedroom was getting louder. Thumping and giggles and loud bangs were enough to make Jeff wonder, Is bouncing all they are really doing in there?

The atmosphere in the suite next door was somewhat calmer, as Lena, Elise, and Lisa settled in.

"Goodness! Wat is all dat racket comin' from over dere?" laughed Lena as the thumps became louder.

"My grandkids! I'll bet money on it!" replied Lisa, shaking her head and smiling.

Although a little smaller than Jeff and Dianne's suite, the room was still quite breathtaking and more than what the ladies were used to.

"I can't believe we're only here for de night. Shame we can't stay de whole week!" Lena was laughing as she unfolded her nightgown and laid it across her bed.

As Lisa and Lena fussed about, Elise quietly got out her toiletries and asked if she could use the bathroom first.

"Sure honey, go right ahead," replied Lisa.

Putting her things down on the counter, Elise took a deep breath as she looked at herself in the mirror.

What the hell is wrong with me? It's not like I've never flown before! Come on Collins, pull yourself together!

Her mind thought back to her reaction on the plane and Dianne's concern. Why? Why would I react that way? I've never done it before, and I've been in other bad flight situations. She found no answers in the bathroom so, after going through her personal care routine, she returned to her bed.

Lisa noticed how quiet the girl was. "Everything okay, Elise?"

"Oh, yes, just tired I guess. Glad to have a nice bed for once! Beats layovers in the crew lounge that's for sure."

"I can imagine dat!" added Lena.

Shortly all three women were comfy and relaxed in bed, each looking forward to a good night's sleep. Lena and Lisa had no trouble falling asleep, but for Elise sleep was a while coming. She lay awake in the stillness, the thumps from next door having subsided a while ago, and thought about tomorrow's flight. She only hoped she wouldn't have a repeat performance of today. Tossing onto her side, and fluffing the pillow, Elise forced herself to sleep.

Dianne finally climbed into bed, feeling the warmth of her slumbering husband next to her. The kids were finally settled down, but not until Dianne had mockingly threatened to give them extra homework assignments upon returning to the island. She positioned herself on her side and reached out a hand to softly touch Jeff's cheek. She leaned forward and gently kissed him.

"Goodnight, love."

Her soft whisper stirred him and his eyes fluttered open. He smiled, and whispered, "Goodnight, love," and tenderly returned the kiss.

He sighed as he resumed lying on his back.

"Try not tah need anythin' before mornin' honey. Ah need mah beauty sleep!"

Jeff turned his head to look at his wife. "You're beautiful enough already, Dianne."

"If that's your way of telling me you're gonna wake me up later, forget it mistah!"

They both laughed and then let sleep claim them.

"GRANDMA!" Tyler stood outside Lisa's room and yelled. Knocking hadn't worked so, he did what he thought was next best. The door flew open and there stood his grandma.

"Child, what are you yelling for out there in the hall?" Tyler skipped into the room talking non-stop.

"Grandma, you said we could look at the fountain downstairs, you promised and then we have to go to breakfast because I want to get there before Alex does as he'll eat all the good stuff, and then can we throw money in the fountain and..."

"Goodness, Tyler, slow down and take a breath!"

"But Grandma..."

"But nothing, young man. Does your Mother know you're here?"

"Yes, she told me I could come get you while Dad and her finished getting ready."

The innocent little eyes gazed up at her. Lisa didn't fall for it! "Hmm, I'm sure she did! Well, now that you're here you can help an old lady with her bags."

"You're not old, Grandma!" Tyler giggled as he hugged her.

Minutes later, Lena, Elise, Lisa and Tyler were heading to the elevator, along with a bellboy and their bags.

"So, did you sleep at all last night dear?" Lena asked Elise as they rode the elevator down.

"Yes, finally, I did, once I got comfortable."

"Good ting you did, it's a long flight to New York."

"Hmm, I know," Elise replied more to herself than to Lena.

In the dining room, Lena and Elise were shown to the table reserved for Jeff Tracy. Lisa and Tyler were off looking at the fountain so Lena ordered coffee for all three of them and chocolate milk for Tyler.

"Hope de little one likes it."

"I'm sure he will."

As the coffee was being served, Dianne, Jeff, Alex and Cherie came in. Having a large round table made it easier to pull the wheelchair up to, so Dianne was glad she'd reserved it when they'd checked in.

"Good morning everyone," Jeff said with a smile. "I trust you all slept well?"

"Oh yes, tank you very much," Lena answered.

"How about you, Elise?" inquired Dianne as she sat down next to Jeff.

"Can't complain. I got some sleep."

Dianne smiled, though it didn't reach her eyes. She knew something was wrong, but it would have to wait. It wasn't something to be discussed at breakfast. As they all began ordering, Tyler and Lisa returned and took their seats.

"Order whatever you want, it's a long way to New York." said Jeff.

Alex, Tyler and Cherie took that statement literally and piled their plates. Once breakfast was over, it was on to the airport. Everything had gone smoothly and upon arrival, the aircraft was fueled and ready to go.

"I want everyone in their seats with safety belts on, and ready to go, please," Dianne informed her passengers.

She completed her pre-flight checks and radioed the tower. Once permission was given, she lifted the plane smoothly into the air and climbed to her set altitude. A little while later, she thought about asking Elise up to the cockpit. Now would be a good time to talk to her, and she hoped being up here wouldn't terrify the new recruit again.

Post by FrankieCTB2 on 22/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1544 is a reply to message #1543] Fri, 27 July 2012 12:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Malaysian Grand Prix (Part 2)

The next morning, feeling refreshed, Alan wandered down to breakfast and met up with Kenny.

"Did you sleep well?" Kenny asked.

"Like a log," replied Alan.

After a leisurely breakfast, the two men headed for the Grand Prix circuit and went to find their seats in the stands. As the race was not due to start for another hour and a half, they wandered back down to the pits. Kenny, being a mechanic and also a friend to some of the drivers, had a pass. They walked among the mechanics of the various teams, met the girls who held the umbrellas over the drivers to keep them cool once they were in the cars, and some of the commentators. It was very busy. It brought back memories to Alan of the days when he was racing. He didn't think he had missed it until now.

"The race will start soon," Kenny reported. "We'd better get back to our seats."

Alan settled down in his seat, prepared to enjoy the race.

Once the green light was on, the cars roared down to the first corner where there was a dreadful accident! No one quite knew actually happened, but as the cars all tried to navigate the corner, two cars spun off, one landing on its roof, while another clipped the side of a competitor, taking off part of its bodywork. It was chaos. The safety car was brought on and the cars all formed in a procession behind it, completing two laps, while the stewards tried to clear the course of all the wreckage.

"Is Tom okay? I can't see him," Alan asked Kenny

"Yep, there he is in number 10, the dark blue car," Kenny replied.

Eventually the safety car was called in and the race continued. It was very exciting! The defending World Champion gradually worked his way up through the vehicles, eventually leading the race. Tom made an early pit stop, but his mechanics couldn't seem to get the fuel in quick enough. He lost valuable time and came out, joining the race one place down from when he had entered the pits. There were a few thrilling over takings by some of the drivers but no further major mishaps. However, Tom would only finish fourth, just off the podium.

Kenny and Alan struggled to get down to the podium in time to see the first three placed drivers, sluicing everyone with champagne.

"Hey! That was some race!" Alan laughed. And to think I have the Monaco Grand Prix to watch as well, care of Mom and Dad.

"How about we have a night on the town?" Kenny asked his friend.

"Mm, sounds good to me," Alan answered.

They headed back to the hotel for a much needed shower and change of clothes.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 22/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1545 is a reply to message #1544] Fri, 27 July 2012 12:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 16, 6 p.m. local time, Kabul, Afghanistan

A subdued Tin-Tin sat across from Emily Tracy in the hotel restaurant. The old woman had given her a serious talk about "gallivanting about with strange men in a strange city" that had Tin-Tin's cheeks flaming red with a mixture of anger and embarrassment. It didn't seem to matter to Emily that Tin-Tin returned safely, having had a stimulating conversation with a well-traveled and genteel young man. Grandma had taken a dislike to the man, one that she couldn't explain beyond, "He makes my skin crawl" and once Grandma Tracy had done that, there was no gainsaying her.

Tin-Tin was very happy that they would be leaving the next day after the colorfast testing. She knew that Mr. al Kadar was hoping that she would consider having the plant do more than just manufacturing the new fabric; he all but counted on their plant dyeing the cloth as well. But Jeff Tracy had left specific orders about that: Tin-Tin was to note down all the dye lots that did well on the new blend, and then he would make arrangements for two different plants to color the fabric. His reasoning was that having one place dye the fabric for both the uniform pants, in their distinctive light blue, and the jackets and waistcoats, in the new dark navy hue, would cause suspicion in the minds of the cloth manufacturer once it became apparent that IR had new duds. However, depending on how the fabric took the dye in the colors that the team members had requested, Tin-Tin had the authority to have bolts done up in each color for the trim on the uniforms.

She looked over her PDA while absently sipping her wine. Let's see. According to the messages I've received, the interim new uniforms are en route and should be at the pick-up point by Monday. The places that have been doing the separate uniform pieces are all equipped with laser cutting systems and the latest in sewing technology. They should have the specialized needles already. And some are on their way to us so that we can sew on the logo patches. I'll have to ask if this stuff should be sent to a hat maker to make the baseball caps. It might be helpful.

A waiter approached the table, bearing a portable vidphone in his hand.

"Ms. Kyrano? Ms. Tin-Tin Kyrano?"

"Yes, I am Ms. Kyrano."

"Vidphone call for you."

"Thank you." The waiter put the phone down at the table and Tin-Tin rewarded him with a tip. Emily frowned as Tin-Tin pulled out her cell phone's earbud/microphone combination and plugged it into the phone.

"Hello?" Tin-Tin said hesitantly. The picture of Giles Tallman appeared on the screen and she smiled. "Oh, hello!"

"Hallo, hallo. How are you this evening? Did you get in trouble with the ever-watchful Emily?" Giles returned the smile.

"Yes, a bit," Tin-Tin replied, thankful that Emily couldn't hear his part of the conversation. "I am having dinner right now."

"Oh! Then I shan't keep you. What are your plans for tomorrow?" he asked, sitting forward. "I should like to take you to lunch again. With your chaperone, if she is feeling well."

"I... I don't think I can. We're leaving as soon as the dye testing is complete," Tin-Tin explained. "My employer is anxious to get the results of my trip here."

"Oh, that is too bad," Giles said mournfully. "Perhaps I might call you? Once you return to your home?"

"I would like that," Tin-Tin said with a soft smile. "Could I have your number? And your email address? I would like to stay in touch."

"Of course, my dear. I shall send it over in the morning. Though we may be seeing each other again anyway. I'm to be at the plant to do some haggling with old al Kadar sometime during the day. In any case, do expect my card in the morning."

"I shall."

"Then I will say goodnight. Until we meet again, my dear."

"Until then. Goodnight."

The vidphone's screen went blank. Tin-Tin slowly disconnected the earbud jack and sighed heavily.

"Who was that?" Emily asked sharply.

Tin-Tin raised her chin in a show of defiance. "That was Mr. Tallman. He wanted to take us to lunch tomorrow. But as you heard, I've told him it's quite impossible."

"Why did you want his number and email address for?" Emily queried. "You're not thinking of contacting him, are you? There's just something about that boy...."

"...That you don't like. Yes, Grandma. You've made that very clear. But to me, he was a gentleman and an excellent conversationalist. And it's been a long time since a handsome young man has admired me and taken me out to dinner." Tin-Tin looked down. "Don't you remember how it was when you were a girl?"

Emily's severe face softened. Of course she remembered. And she had always thought that her fifth grandson, youngest of Jeff and Lucille's boys, had made too much of his "My work is too dangerous for me to share my life with anyone" while dangling this pretty girl on a string with hope.

Alan was a fool and he drove her away. And being the stubborn people they both are, they'll probably never see eye to eye long enough to get back together. I don't suppose there's any harm in her corresponding with him. After all, he won't be nearby but that sharp young man Christopher will, and he's got his eye on Tin-Tin if I know anything about it! I'd better back down and just keep an eye on her.

"Of course I do," Grandma Tracy said, much more kindly. "If you want to correspond with him, I guess I don't see any harm in it. I couldn't stop you if I wanted to. But as far as luncheon goes, that's out of the question. I want to get home to my own bed and to help your father since Jeff and Dianne have left for the States."

"I understand, Grandma. I'll be glad to get home, too," Tin-Tin replied. Though my lunch with Mr. Tallman has made what would have been a very frustrating trip a touch less frustrating.

At his hotel, Giles poured himself a generous libation. He picked up the phone and dialed a secure number he knew very well.

"Jacques? I don't think I'm going to have the Penelon formula for you this trip, old boy. Why not? Because I'm cultivatin' a little 'friendship' with the lovely Ms. Kyrano. She's high into the hierarchy of Tracy Industries, and I think she'd be of more use to us as a conduit that way. Don't worry, Jacques. We can wait. We've time. By the time I'm through, not only will we have the formula for Penelon, but a wedge into Tracy's secrets that we've not had before. Yes, I'm sure. All right. Goodbye."

He thought a moment, then made another call.

"Fatma, love, it's me. Anyway you could... draw out the dyeing process? No? Ah, a pity, that. Well, it won't matter. Yes, love. Tomorrow. Ciao, dear!"

Giles sat back and turned on the television. He sat back and began to watch a soccer match, sipping at his scotch. He smiled to himself when he thought of the possibilities that Tin-Tin Kyrano could provide.

Yes, Giles old boy, we can afford to wait. Get the girl well and truly on the hook. Then... use her to penetrate Tracy's security and get his secrets.

Post by Tikatu on 23/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1546 is a reply to message #1545] Fri, 27 July 2012 12:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 16, 11:00 a.m. PST, somewhere over the US

"Do you need something, Di?" Lisa asked, making her way to the cockpit. "Something to drink?"

"That would be good, Ma, thanks."

Lisa made her way back to the small galley and returned with a can of soda. Dianne smiled as she turned to accept it, then her eyes fell on Elise and her smile faded a bit.

"Elise? How about coming on up and keeping me company again?"

The sound of Dianne's voice startled Elise and for a split second, Lisa thought the girl had the look or a terrified deer on her face.

"Um, okay... sure. I'll be right there." Elise replied trying to sound confident.

As she made her way to the cockpit, her hands began to feel clammy. She breathed slowly and prayed her fears wouldn't surface.

"Thanks for coming up here. It gets lonely pretty quick when I'm by myself," said Dianne.

Elise half smiled as she sat in the co-pilot's seat. Dianne immediately noticed how edgy Elise seemed.

"So, are you looking forward to New York? I know you hadn't been living there long before the accident."

Dianne did her best to make the last two words flow with the rest of the sentence. She herself had to get past the events of nearly four weeks ago. She glanced quickly at Jeff, who was playing Dutch Blitz in partners with Tyler and smiled. Then she turned her attention back to Elise.

"I'll be glad to see my things again. Can't say I've missed New York though, as I wasn't there long enough to feel really at home."

Dianne sensed Elise was going to add something, but instead the girl turned her head and looked out of the window. Dianne decided there was no easy way to begin what she wanted to say, and so dove right on in.

"So how does it feel to be back in the air?"

Elise knew where Dr. Tracy was going with this, and knew she'd have to tell her sooner or later. Suppose sooner would be better... oh well... here goes

"Actually I'm a little more nervous than I thought I would be."

"How so?" Dianne probed carefully.

"Yesterday, I had...um, well, a flashback, and it scared me. I've never experienced that before."

"Have you ever crashed before?" Dianne spoke softly.

Elise chuckled, "No, unless you count the 'almost' incident with the Fireflash!"

Dianne looked puzzled.

"Ask Scott," was all Elise replied.

Dianne considered her words carefully. "So, you've experienced something that's new to you, and frightening. And it's coming back to you, especially now while we're airborne." Dianne didn't make it a question.

"But why now? It's been weeks since the accident! Surely I would have had dreams or something!" Elise answered. "I've had bad flight experiences before, flown through horrible conditions, yet nothing like this has ever happened!"

"I can see this upsets you, Elise, and I'm sorry, but I think you really need to talk about it. From what I understand, a lot of pilots, even the very best, sometimes go through this."

She lowered her voice as she continued. "Jeff would have my hide if he knew I was telling you this, but while he was in the hospital, it happened to him, too."

Elise looked at Dianne, shocked. The other smiled and added, "Honey, he's been to the moon and back, can pilot anything made to fly, and yes, he had flashbacks that frightened him."

Dianne took a sip of her soft drink. "The doctors at Mt. Sinai diagnosed him as having PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's something he and I have had to deal with in a patient-doctor setting since he came home. But Elise--"

Dianne reached out to touch Elise's arm gently,

"He doesn't remember half of what happened that night. You've got a whole lot more memory to work with and I would think that the stress would be greater because of it."

"I suppose...," Elise said hesitantly. "I'm finding that I'm almost afraid to fly again."

"It's only natural, Elise, that you would feel this way. But I believe that you can overcome this. Once the boys have you training with the team, you'll be too busy to let this get you down."

Elise smiled a little, then suddenly looked anxious. "Oh, no... you won't tell Scott about this will you? I don't want him to find out."

Dianne soothed Elise's fears. "No, I won't. But I can't promise he won't pick up on it. He makes a point of knowing what is or isn't bothering the team members and that includes his brothers."

"Thanks" Elise answered, softly.

"When you have a flashback, come to me and we can talk about it. Facing the fears is what will help you get over them," Dianne suggested.

She looked out over the blue sky with a snowy white bank of clouds making a deceptively firm surface below them. "You'll fly again, Elise. And with the love you had for it before the crash."

"I hope you're right Dr. Tracy, I really hope you're right." Elise, too, looked out over the vast expanse of blue and white. I only hope I can overcome this soon.

Post by FrankieCTB2 and Tikatu on 22/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1547 is a reply to message #1546] Fri, 27 July 2012 12:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 16, 2068, 3:30, local time, New York City

"TRI 003 requesting permission to land," Dianne intoned.

"Permission granted. Use runway 23 Left," came the reply from La Guardia tower.

"Roger, tower," Dianne responded. Behind her in the cabin, everyone was buckled in, ready for landing.

The landing was smooth, and Jeff smiled when the wheels hit the ground gently. He was proud of his wife's flying ability. She taxied over to the Tracy Industries hangar, where a limousine awaited them. With great excitement, Tyler, Alex and Cherie, got out of their seats, intending to leave the plane. Lisa glanced sharply at her grandchildren. "Hey, make sure your father is safely off before you try to leave."

"It's okay, Lisa," Jeff interrupted. "Let them leave first, it will give Dianne more time to negotiate my wheelchair."

"Hey, Dad! Can I sit up front with the driver?" Alex asked.

"You mean you don't want to sit in back with Gordon and the rest of us?" Dianne asked over her shoulder as she and Lisa worked to help Jeff into his chair.

Alex bit his lip and gazed at his mother. He was obviously torn between sitting alongside the driver or with his older brother, who he hadn't seen for what seemed like ages to him. To make things worse, Gordon got out of the limo and waved at them cheerfully.

"Can I sit by Gordon, please Mom?" Cherie sighed. She really wanted to sit by her older brother.

Gordon laughed. "Hey, there is room for both of you to squeeze in." Actually, there was much more room than that, so Alex and Cherie both sat beside their brother, one on either side.

Bernie, their chauffeur for the nonce, made short work of the luggage, putting it all into the limo's spacious trunk. "Make sure you put Mrs. Matumbo's luggage aside," Dianne instructed. "She'll be stopping at Tracy Towers for a little bit and then will be heading out again."

At last, everyone was situated in the stretch limousine and it headed out into heavy weekend traffic. Dianne leaned back wearily. Jeff watched his wife. She was looking tired. He guessed that piloting the entire flight been very tiring for her. He made a promise to himself that for the moment, she would be able to totally relax. He made a mental note to ask Lisa to take care of Tyler, Alex and Cherie so that Dianne could have time to relax with him. He knew that she was in for a testing time at the memorial service and he intended that nothing, but nothing, should worry her, and that everything would go as smoothly as clockwork for her.

In the seat facing them, Lena looked out the window, gazing at the sights of New York City. It looked exciting, but not as exciting as the prospect of getting home to see her babies.

Elise also looked out at New York, a mixture of feelings surfacing. She had begun to make the city her home and now her life was upside down... again. She saw a helijet in the distance as it rose from the top of one of the skyscrapers and she shuddered. Memories of that last fateful journey still haunted her. She could still see in her mind's eye that fateful flight, with Jeff helpless and injured, and herself calling for help. Would she ever get over these feelings?

Lisa watched her three grandchildren as they interacted in the seat across from her. Tyler had put his head in her lap and was dozing. She stroked his hair absently as Gordon made Cherie and Alex giggle with his latest jokes. She sighed. She had missed Gordon, and for the first time, she was looking at getting home with some trepidation. For the first time, she wished that she could stay on the island, with Kyrano and her family. For the first time, she was not looking forward to resuming her life as a hair stylist. But she had other children, too, who had a right to see her, and clients who missed her. And she knew how much support Dianne and the children would need in the days to come.

She gazed down at Tyler and smiled, then stared out the window as she was lost in her own memories. She glanced over at Jeff; he was so good for Dianne and the children, and his other boys had accepted their stepbrothers and sister. In fact, it was as if they were not considered as stepsiblings at all. Yes, everything was just great. The only decision was left with her, that was to leave everything that she had known and move to Tracy Island. Here, her thoughts were broken into with the arrival at Tracy Towers. Lisa sighed and resumed her position as mother, mother in law and grandmother.

Bernie hopped out and began opening doors. Dianne watched as Gordon got out of the limo. She was glad to see that he seemed to be feeling well and showed no sign of pain. But when he came to offer his help in getting Jeff out of the car, she waved him away.

"You don't need to reinjure that back of yours. You see to the little ones. Ma and I can handle Jeff."

"Lena," Jeff called as he emerged from the limo. "Wait for us inside, and I'll get you signed in with security."

"All right," Lena said amiably. "I'll be waiting. Dis wind is brisk! Brrr!"

He chuckled as he watched her go into the Towers, followed by the children, Gordon, and Lisa. Elise stood on the pavement looking upward. Jeff wheeled his chair up to her and tapped her on the shoulder. She started and then looked back at him.

"You're to stay with us until you've got your things in order. When we get back from South Carolina, then we'll all travel back to the island together."

"Oh. Okay," Elise said hesitantly. "Thank you."

Jeff just smiled and said, "You're welcome. Let's get inside. Lena's right. The wind is brisk today."

With that, Dianne, Jeff, and Elise filed into the towers, while Bernie brought up the rear with Lena's bags.

Post by Tawnyangel22 and Tikatu on 22/11/2004


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1548 is a reply to message #1547] Fri, 27 July 2012 12:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Friday, March 16th; 4:30 PM; Tracy Industries headquarters in New York City

Lena and the Tracys walked into the Tracy Industries building together, and Jeff signed her in at the security desk. He had arranged to have a badge ready for her, so if she ever had to return, she would be able to pass through quickly. The guard gave it to her, and she clipped it on her jacket lapel.

"This is where we part company, Mrs. Matumbo. Will you be okay from here?"

"I'll be just fine, sir. You arranged for de car to take me to de airport, as well as for a plane ticket and a car to take me home. It has been a very interesting experience. I'll be in touch wit you all in de near future."

"I'll be looking forward to hearing from you again. Take care, and if you need anything else, please don't hesitate to ask."

"I won't. You take care of yourself."

She shook hands with him, and Elise, Dianne and Lisa hugged her, then they headed toward the elevator to the penthouse suites. Lena turned to the guard and asked, "Which floor is de I&M Department on?"

He looked it up on his computer. "Eighteenth floor. The elevators to your left will take you there. If you'd like to leave your suitcase and bag here, I'll be more than happy to watch them for you."

"Tank you, young man." She handed them to him, then walked over to the elevators and very shortly was heading up to the I&M offices. When she arrived, she asked the first person she met to direct her to the supervisor's office. Moments later, she was knocking on his door.

She heard a gruff, "Come in," and opened it. A heavyset man with thinning brown hair was sitting at a desk facing her, gathering up some things and putting them into a briefcase.

"Mr. Peterson, I'm Mrs. Matumbo, head of de I&M department in de Washington D.C. offices.

"Oh, yes. I received a memo saying that you would be stopping by. Well, it's late, and I'm getting ready to leave, so I suggest you make this quick and to the point."

"Okay. I was informed you had a problem wit not being advised of de email problem." She walked in, closing the door behind her.

"That's right. I should have been informed immediately. Why wasn't I?"

Although he hadn't invited her to sit, she did so anyway. "Dere was no reason for us to do so. No one knew dat de New York offices had been - or would be - affected; in fact, dey weren't until a day or so after de D.C. offices were."

"Nevertheless, I should know about things like this. I expect that in the future, you will inform me whenever something like this happens."

"No."

"What?"

"Do you plan to inform me when someting occurs here?"

"Of course not. I am head of the New York offices, Tracy Industries headquarters, not you. Therefore..."

"Derefore you are responsible for what happens to de computer systems in de New York offices, and have no need to know about problems elsewhere. Would you ask de I&M supervisor in London to report to you?" He looked at her in astonishment, then shook his head. "I didn't tink so. Dey are not your responsibility, and neiter are de systems in D.C., or anywhere else, for dat matter. Plus, as I understand it, you don't have de autority to demand such tings. So I and my team will not be informing you of anyting, unless we feel it is imperative dat you need to know."

"Mrs. Matumbo, you may have spent time with the Tracy family recently, but that does not give you the right to just come in here and try to ride roughshod over me."

"Is dat what you tink I'm doing? I assure you, it was not my intention. I came here to personally inform you dat if I'd had any inkling dat de New York computers would be affected, I would have notified you. However, because some of de emails contained sensitive information, I felt dat it was imperative to get to de source of de problem quickly.

"And you felt that you were the only one who could do it? Wasn't that presumptous of you?" he replied disdainfully. "Had you notified me, the situation might have been rectified much sooner. I should have been the one to notify Mr. Hackenbacker, and gone to wherever they live to make the necessary repairs, not you. I do have seniority, you know."

"Your seniority isn't in question. As I said, dere was sensitive information in a few of de emails dat I felt should not go any furder. So I took de steps dat I believed necessary. When I contacted Mr. Hackenbacker, I tought dat he would be de one to fix it. It came as a complete surprise to me when he asked me to go to de Tracy home and do de repairs myself." She shook her head, still somewhat astonished at what had happened during her stay. "As I said, had I had any hint dat de New York offices would have been affected, you would have been notified. I don't tink, dough, dat you could have solved de problem any faster. But dat's neiter here nor dere. What's done is done."

She paused. "But I do mean what I said before. You will be informed of a problem if it is believed dat it will affect de systems in dis building. But tings dat occur in offices in otter cities are not your business. So take care of de computer systems here, and I&M supervisors in dose otter offices will take care of deirs."

He stood up, red-faced. "How dare you!? Do you think you can just waltz in and tell me my job? I have some pull around here, I tell you. I could have you severely reprimanded for your impudence, possibly even fired! The Tracys live in a penthouse upstairs in this building and one of them is there right this minute. If I called up there I could..."

"Actually, more of dem are up dere right now," Lena replied calmly, but there was a fire in her eyes. "Mr. Tracy arrived wit me - along wit some odders - and knows de reason for my visit. So call upstairs, if you wish. But I don't tink any of dem would be interested to hear what you'd have to say. And even if dey did, I doubt dat I would be de one to be adversely affected by it."

He had his hand on the telephone. In fact, he had picked up the receiver. But when she finished talking, he paled, hung up and sat back down. His mouth opened and closed a few times, but no sound came out. Lena leaned over and picked up her purse, then stood up. "I tink we understand one anotter, and are finished here. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to catch."

She walked out, closing the door behind her. She sighed, thinking, Tank goodness, dat's over. Now I can go home. But I wish dat, just once, I wouldn't have to mention someone else's name to get cooperation. She headed to the elevators and was soon back in the lobby. She retrieved her bags from the guard and started toward the chauffeur who was beckoning to her, but was stopped by a man who was vaguely familiar looking. He held a microphone up, and she noticed a cameraman standing off to one side.

Now what? she thought tiredly.

"Mrs. Matumbo, I'm Ned Cook, reporter for NTBS. I understand you just got back from visiting the Tracys. Our viewers are interested in Jefferson Tracy. Would you care to comment?"

"What makes you tink I was visiting dem?"

"I was at the airport when their jet landed and saw you and Mr. - Mrs. Tracy get off."

"You just happened to be in de right terminal at de airport at de right time?"

"Well, I got a tip the Tracy jet was heading here, and its approximate arrival time."

"From whom?"

"I have my sources. Look, I'm the one who is supposed to be asking the questions. Now, what can you tell the viewers about Mr. Tracy's condition? Has he had a relapse and is that why he's returned to New York?"

"Mr. Tracy is improving daily. Dat's all I have to say about him." She started to walk on, but he swiftly moved in front of her again.

"We'd like to know more, and I'm sure you can tell us. Now why has he re..."

"I have notting more to say, Mr. Cook. So please . . "

"But surely you must have more you can tell my viewers. After all, the people do have the right to know."

"No, dey don't."

"What do you mean by that?" Ned argued. "Mr. Tracy is a public figure, and..."

"Den dey can read or hear about his public appearances. But his private life is none of deir business. It is only for him and dose dat share it wit him."

There was a pause, then Ned, still feeling humiliated from his last encounter with Jeff Tracy, continued. "Did you share it with him, Mrs. Matumbo?" he asked, an unmistakable innuendo in the tone of his voice.

Lena looked at him disdainfully. "Dat was an offensive and intrusive question. It was low, even for you. I suggest you leave now, while I still have some control over my temper. Or I'll have you trown out." She indicated the security guard, who was intently watching them, and looked ready to come to her aid.

Ned turned to his cameraman, making a slicing gesture. The cameraman lowered his video recorder and turned away. "All right, have it your way for now. But I know there's a story in all this, and I'm going to get it one way or another."

"I can't stop you from trying, Mr. Cook, but I suggest dat you consider very carefully how you try to get dat story. De consequences of your actions could hurt your reputation and your career. And don't try it wit me or you might not like what I do - or say. Now, if you'll excuse me," she replied, handing her suitcase to the chauffeur, who had walked over to her, "I have anoter plane to catch. Good bye." He stepped aside and she followed the chauffeur out of the building and over to the car.

Post by Hobbeth on 23/11/2004
[


Jeff heartbeat Dianne plain My IR:TNP OTP!
Re: Growing as a Team [message #1549 is a reply to message #1548] Fri, 27 July 2012 12:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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size=2]Malaysian Grand prix (Part 3)

Alan and Kenny met in the foyer of the hotel.

"Okay, are we really going to a night club?" Alan asked.

"Yep, the Lotus Flower is a very exotic night club, where the girls are...," and Kenny rolled his eyes.

"Boy, wait till I tell Scott and Virgil. Won't they be jealous!" Alan remarked.

Kenny had already called a taxi.

"The Lotus Flower Club," he informed the driver, and they were driven off at speed.

The Lotus Flower nightclub was set slightly out of the centre of Kualar Lumpur. Kenny was right; the girls were very exotic, wearing very little apart from a garland of flowers around their necks, and a thin, flimsy sarong around their hips. Alan gasped to himself, Oh yes, Scott and Virgil will be so jealous!

They were shown to a table towards the back to the club, and one of the girls glided over to take their drinks order. Both Kenny and Alan ordered exotic cocktails. A suave young man came up to them.

"Why, hello, Mr. Malone. It's good to see you again. You and your friend are just in time for the show."

Kenny rubbed his hands together eagerly. "Good! I want my friend here to have a very good time!"

Kenny laughed as Alan coloured.

The lights on the stage suddenly turned on, bright and blazing. A slow jazz number with a pounding beat sounded out, and two beautiful Asian girls stepped out onto the stage. They were dressed in tight, Chinese style dresses with mandarin collars and a slit on both sides from the hem to the hip. They began to slowly gyrate to the music, seductively swaying their hips in rhythm to the beat of the music. With gracefully sexy moves, they began to remove their clothes. Before long, they had stepped off the stage, and, as a spotlight followed their every move, they took off in different directions, dancing around the tables, lingering here and there for a few moments before moving on.

One of the girls paused at Alan and Kenny's table. Kenny let out a long whistle. Alan clapped and cheered. The girl stood in front of Alan, slowly dipping her knees, looking at him all the time. Slowly turning this way and that she sashayed around the table, ruffling his hair and then Kenny's hair. Alan longed to hold her, but when he tried to, she moved away, smiling seductively. Both Alan and Kenny were getting hot under the collar.

"Phew!" Alan joked. "Is it me, or is it hot in here?"

"It's hot in here, and it ain't just the temperature," Kenny replied.

Shortly after she left, the second girl approached their table. She too, seductively swayed to the music, causing both Alan and Kenny to whistle and slap the table appreciatively. She moved off, and when the routine ended, both girls were back on stage. They smiled, waved and blew kisses. Alan thought that one of them blew a kiss right at him and grinned at her.

"Wow, oh wow, wait until I tell the folks back home." Alan murmured to his friend, still recovering from the titillation of the dancing.

Kenny grinned, "By folks, why do I get the impression that you are going to boast to your brothers?"

Alan grinned back. "Yep, Scott and Virgil are going to wish they had come along."

Finishing their drinks they left the club and walked back into the centre of the town, and found a pub run by an Australian. This was seemed quite quiet, after the scenes at the Night Club. Anyway after several beers and a few games of darts, Alan and Kenny left to return to the hotel.

Alan slept well that night, dreaming of exotic dancers and cocktails and motor racing all jumbled together. The next morning, Kenny drove him to the airport terminal.

"You know, we should do this again sometime," he told his friend.

"Well, I am going to the Monaco Grand Prix in May; part 2 of my birthday present. Why don't we meet up there?" Alan replied.

"You're on, I'll hold you to that."

The two friends embraced, then Alan boarded his plane, and having gained clearance, headed for home.

Oh, yes, he thought to himself. I will really rub it in about those girls to Scott and Virgil. They will be so envious that they didn't come with me.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 22/11/2004[/size]


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1550 is a reply to message #1548] Fri, 27 July 2012 12:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Malaysian Grand prix (Part 3)

Alan and Kenny met in the foyer of the hotel.

"Okay, are we really going to a night club?" Alan asked.

"Yep, the Lotus Flower is a very exotic night club, where the girls are...," and Kenny rolled his eyes.

"Boy, wait till I tell Scott and Virgil. Won't they be jealous!" Alan remarked.

Kenny had already called a taxi.

"The Lotus Flower Club," he informed the driver, and they were driven off at speed.

The Lotus Flower nightclub was set slightly out of the centre of Kualar Lumpur. Kenny was right; the girls were very exotic, wearing very little apart from a garland of flowers around their necks, and a thin, flimsy sarong around their hips. Alan gasped to himself, Oh yes, Scott and Virgil will be so jealous!

They were shown to a table towards the back to the club, and one of the girls glided over to take their drinks order. Both Kenny and Alan ordered exotic cocktails. A suave young man came up to them.

"Why, hello, Mr. Malone. It's good to see you again. You and your friend are just in time for the show."

Kenny rubbed his hands together eagerly. "Good! I want my friend here to have a very good time!"

Kenny laughed as Alan coloured.

The lights on the stage suddenly turned on, bright and blazing. A slow jazz number with a pounding beat sounded out, and two beautiful Asian girls stepped out onto the stage. They were dressed in tight, Chinese style dresses with mandarin collars and a slit on both sides from the hem to the hip. They began to slowly gyrate to the music, seductively swaying their hips in rhythm to the beat of the music. With gracefully sexy moves, they began to remove their clothes. Before long, they had stepped off the stage, and, as a spotlight followed their every move, they took off in different directions, dancing around the tables, lingering here and there for a few moments before moving on.

One of the girls paused at Alan and Kenny's table. Kenny let out a long whistle. Alan clapped and cheered. The girl stood in front of Alan, slowly dipping her knees, looking at him all the time. Slowly turning this way and that she sashayed around the table, ruffling his hair and then Kenny's hair. Alan longed to hold her, but when he tried to, she moved away, smiling seductively. Both Alan and Kenny were getting hot under the collar.

"Phew!" Alan joked. "Is it me, or is it hot in here?"

"It's hot in here, and it ain't just the temperature," Kenny replied.

Shortly after she left, the second girl approached their table. She too, seductively swayed to the music, causing both Alan and Kenny to whistle and slap the table appreciatively. She moved off, and when the routine ended, both girls were back on stage. They smiled, waved and blew kisses. Alan thought that one of them blew a kiss right at him and grinned at her.

"Wow, oh wow, wait until I tell the folks back home." Alan murmured to his friend, still recovering from the titillation of the dancing.

Kenny grinned, "By folks, why do I get the impression that you are going to boast to your brothers?"

Alan grinned back. "Yep, Scott and Virgil are going to wish they had come along."

Finishing their drinks they left the club and walked back into the centre of the town, and found a pub run by an Australian. This was seemed quite quiet, after the scenes at the Night Club. Anyway after several beers and a few games of darts, Alan and Kenny left to return to the hotel.

Alan slept well that night, dreaming of exotic dancers and cocktails and motor racing all jumbled together. The next morning, Kenny drove him to the airport terminal.

"You know, we should do this again sometime," he told his friend.

"Well, I am going to the Monaco Grand Prix in May; part 2 of my birthday present. Why don't we meet up there?" Alan replied.

"You're on, I'll hold you to that."

The two friends embraced, then Alan boarded his plane, and having gained clearance, headed for home.

Oh, yes, he thought to himself. I will really rub it in about those girls to Scott and Virgil. They will be so envious that they didn't come with me.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 22/11/2004



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[Updated on: Fri, 27 July 2012 12:58]

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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1551 is a reply to message #1550] Fri, 27 July 2012 13:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Silver Springs, Maryland; Friday, March 16th, 2068; 8 PM

Lena walked in her front door, followed by the chauffeur with her bags. She turned and thanked him, as he tipped his hat and left, closing the door behind him. She walked over to her favorite chair and sank down with a sigh. It's so good to be home, she thought. She sat there for several minutes then, with another sigh, got up and picked her bags up, taking them into her bedroom. She quickly emptied them, putting all of her clothes in the laundry basket, then put the bags away. She headed into her bathroom and ran a bath. While it was filling, she picked up her cordless phone and called her son.

"Mattew? I'm home," she said, when he answered.

"Mom, why were you gone so long? Where were you? When did you get back? Couldn't you call? It's all very well and good to get emails, but when I'm used to talking to you three or four times a week, at least; it isn't the same."

"I just walked in de house about fifteen minutes ago. Honey, I'm bone tired. Even dough we spent de night in Los Angeles, it isn't de same as being in your own bed. I'm going to make a quick call to your sister, soak in a nice hot bat, have a bite to eat, den get some sleep. Maybe we can talk tomorrow." She headed into the bathroom as she spoke and turned off the water.

"I'll call you around 11. Okay? Maybe we can get together this weekend, all of us, and you can tell us about your trip."

"Dat sounds like a good idea. Dat way I don't have to keep repeating myself. Okay. Now, give de children my love, and tell dem I'll see dem soon."

"All right, Mom. Take care of yourself."

"You, too. 'Bye."

She then called her daughter, who wasn't home. Her granddaughter, Naomi, answered. "Mom's doing the grocery shopping. Leslie had to take Siti to the hospital, because she was having trouble breathing. Everything's okay now, but you know Mom. She had to be there, too. Anyway, she didn't get to the supermarket this afternoon, like she usually does."

"Okay, Naomi. I just called to let her and you all know dat I'm home, safe and sound. I've already told your uncle. He tinks we should all get togetter dis weekend so I can tell everyone at once about my trip."

"Cool! I'd like to hear about it, Nyanya. I'll tell Mom."

"Dat's fine, sweetie. Take care, now, and I look forward to seeing you all, real soon."

They hung up and she got into the tub, sighing with pleasure. Gradually, she relaxed and, after half an hour, got out feeling refreshed. She wasn't very hungry, so she just made herself a sandwich and when she'd eaten it, left the plate in the sink. She headed to bed, slipping between the covers with yet another sigh. I'm sure sighing a lot, today, she thought to herself with a smile. That was her last thought, as she fell into a deep, restful sleep.

Post by Hobbeth on 23/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1552 is a reply to message #1551] Fri, 27 July 2012 13:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Saturday, March 17, 2068, 2:30 p.m. Afghanistan time, somewhere over Asia

Emily sat back in the copilot's seat. She was relieved to be finally on her way home.

The day had gone well. Things went smoothly at the manufacturing plant. The colorfastness testing showed that both the navy dye and the light blue would do well in Tin-Tin's fabric. The reds didn't do as well in colorfastness, and the orange was dicey, all of which concerned Tin-Tin, but most of the other colors were fine. Tin-Tin confirmed the order of fabric, made the arrangements for some of it to go elsewhere for dyeing, and selected the colors that would be dyed there in Kabul. Mr. al Kadar was very gratified.

"We'll just have to find a substitute fabric or maybe a different dye for Dianne and Dominic's uniforms, that's all. And possibly Gordon's as well," Emily had told the engineer, who had nodded. She knew that the girl was tired and disappointed. Disappointed, that was, until lunch time.

They were eating a quiet last meal in the hotel's restaurant when a messenger came to their table. "Ms. Kyrano? Ms. Tin-Tin Kyrano?"

"I'm Ms. Kyrano," Tin-Tin said. The messenger smiled, then presented Tin-Tin with a lovely bouquet of flowers. She gasped, her disappointment swallowed up in her delight at the blossoms. Calla lilies, pink tea roses, pink carnations, and white chrysanthemums filled her arms, and she took a deep sniff of the roses.

"Oh, how beautiful!" she cried. "Who sent them?"

The messenger reached into a pocket and, with a flourish, presented her with a card. She opened it, and blushed. Emily's sharp eyes did not miss the flush of the girl's cheeks and could guess from whom the flowers had come. As she identified the flowers and wracked her brains for the meanings of each, she was surprised at how chaste the sentiments were that the flowers represented.

Pink carnations mean "I'll never forget you," and the calla lilies, mean "majestic beauty". The pink tea roses mean "I'll always remember," while the white chrysanthemums mean "truth". Hmm. There's more to this Giles Tallman than meets the eye. Perhaps I've misjudged him.

Tin-Tin tucked the card in her purse. He had written on it, "Until we meet again." And he had included his cell phone number and an email address.

The bouquet now sat on one of the seats in the passenger area of the Ladybird, wrapped in wet paper to keep them fresh. The scent of the lilies and the roses filled the cabin. Emily glanced at Tin-Tin, who seemed to be wrapped in her own world.

"Earth to Tin-Tin," Emily said quietly. Tin-Tin turned her gaze to Grandma Tracy and she smiled.

"I'm sorry I haven't been chatting much, Grandma. I'm just glad to be on my way home." Tin-Tin sighed contentedly. "It turned out to be a productive trip, didn't it?"

"Yes, it did, child," Grandma agreed. In more than one way for you, I suppose, she thought with an inward sigh.

Back in Kabul, the man with the dusty truck also sighed, but with relief. His charges had gotten off safely and he hadn't had to intervene. He didn't know who the blond Brit had been, but he would describe the man for his superior in London. Right now, he sent off an email to the Pink Lady: "Our pigeons are flown and on their way home."

The wiry little man who had been washing windows at night, also watched as Ladybird took to the sky. He made a phone call to that effect and got a curt reply for his pains.

In his hotel room, Giles Tallman, aka Hightower, hung up the phone after getting news of his subject's departure. He turned to the dark-haired woman who awaited him, her naked form half covered by the sheets. He smiled at her.

"Ms. Kyrano is on her way home. You did a wonderful job for us here, Fatma, my love. We don't forget our friends."

"I am very pleased with the bonus you have given me, sir. Working for your firm is proving to be very fulfilling. In more ways than one," she replied, reaching over for a glass of champagne on the nightstand behind her. Giles watched with interest what the movement did to her trim figure. She handed a glass to him, and then reached back for another. They clinked their glasses and drank the wine, then Giles lazily ran a hand down her face and neck and further down, eliciting a low moan from his partner.

"Now, Fatma, my beauty. Where were we?"

Post by Tikatu on 24/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1553 is a reply to message #1552] Fri, 27 July 2012 13:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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March 16, Tracy Penthouse, New York.

Elise found herself once again unpacking the things she would need while she was in New York. She was glad she'd thought to bring some cold weather clothes; New York still was chilly this time of year.

She started making notes in her head as she settled in, and the first priority was to get her belongings taken care of and shipped. As she wasn't exactly sure where her stuff had been taken, she decided to ask Gordon. After all, he was at the apartment helping pack it all before Scott had her whisked off to the island!

She left her room and began looking for Gordon. Elise knew the layout of the penthouse from when she stayed there after leaving the hospital and before she left for the island. Virgil had been here then; now it was Gordon who was the resident Tracy. She heard him before she actually saw him. Following the noises of a disgruntled sports fan, she found him slouched on the couch, munching on chips and complaining to a sports announcer who was oblivious to the fact that Gordon's tirade was directed at him! Elise watched for a minute, amused, until Gordon sensed her presence and looked up.

"Elise! Hi! Um... how long have you been standing there?"

"Long enough!" she smiled back at him.

"Sorry!" he mumbled as he sat up.

"S'okay. I know how you guys are with sports!" Gordon laughed.

"Yeah, it's a genetic thing. Can't help it, I'm afraid! What's up with you?" he asked, casually.

"Actually, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind coming with me tomorrow to locate and take care of my stuff. You know... the stuff you put in storage?"

Gordon looked a little lost and then realized what she was talking about.

"Oh yeah! Sure, no problem. It won't take long to get it taken care of. You wanna go early to do it?"

"Yes, the sooner the better. Thanks."

He flashed his boyish grin at her and she smiled back. As he started to stand up, his back gave him a twinge, and Elise noticed.

"Are you okay?" she asked, concerned.

"Yeah, it's just a cramp." He twisted his torso around a bit, loosening the muscles. Elise thought about a remark she'd heard Dianne say at the airport. Something about Gordon re-injuring his back?

"Gordon? Did you injure your back?"

He didn't reply right away, contemplating on what to tell her. He hated to talk about it, and even more, he hated the sympathy people usually tried to offer him. Gordon liked to pretend he was never injured in the first place.

"Well? Did you?" she persisted.

He nodded, "Unfortunately... yes. Yes, I hurt it a long time ago, but I recently re-injured it."

Elise saw the far-away look that had appeared on Gordon's face. He looked sad, and then almost angry, but in a flash it was gone. She walked around the couch and sat down.

"How did it happen? On a rescue?"

Gordon sighed heavily and sat down, leaning back against the couch. "No, not on a rescue. It happened before International Rescue."

"Ah, I see."

Gordon knew the tone of her reply meant she wanted details, details he wasn't sure he wanted to give.

Why the heck does she even want to know?!

He looked at her and noticed her eyes were staring off to nowhere. He studied her for a few minutes.

There's something bothering her, something bad.

He knew that look. He had seen it time and again; on the faces of the victims he'd rescued, on the faces of his brothers, and on his own face.

She was trying to mask her fear.

"Elise?"

"Hmm?"

"Is there something bothering you that you want to talk about?"

She looked at him, but averted her eyes quickly.

"No, not really. I was just curious about your back, that's all."

LIAR!

He knew a tall one when he heard it. He hadn't spent years concocting the best lies in the world for nothing!

"I'll be fine, don't worry," he assured her.

They arranged a time to leave the next morning and said their goodnights.

Gordon was up early and was surprised to see Elise ready and waiting to go.

"Anxious, are we?" he joked but noticed how jittery she seemed.

"I was awake earlier than I expected, so figured I'd get ready."

"Okay then, let's go."

Gordon grabbed the keys to the car that was kept downstairs in the garage and they headed out.

Post by FrankieCTB2 on 24/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1554 is a reply to message #1553] Fri, 27 July 2012 13:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Monday, March 19th; 7:30 AM; Tracy Industries Washington DC offices

Lena sat at her desk checking out her new computer as she waited for her staff to arrive. She had a half smile on her face as she remembered her reaction when she went into her computer room the previous Saturday. She hadn't taken three steps into the room when she noticed what was sitting on her desk. She'd stopped dead, shocked. I locked up my house good. How did anyone get in to do dis? Then she noticed an envelope on the desk. She went over and took out the sheets of paper that were inside.

"Dear Lena," it said. "I would have let you know I'd had this done, but I didn't receive confirmation until just after we parted company. This is your new state-of-the-art computer, and you'll find the one in your office at Tracy Industries has also been upgraded. I'm not going to tell you how we were able to get in without alerting anyone," (she could just picture him grinning as he wrote that) but I intend to make sure no one else can do what we did. We have also installed a security system in your home. Since I couldn't inform you of that, either, it wasn't armed. But I expect you to arm it every time you leave the house, and when you go to bed. The instructions are enclosed. I want to ensure your safety as much as the safety of International Rescue.

"Again, it was a pleasure meeting and talking to you, and Brains informed me that he enjoyed working with you, and looks forward to doing it again.

Jeff Tracy"


She'd spent part of Saturday and most of Sunday familiarizing herself with the new computer. She'd also spent Saturday afternoon and evening with her family, giving them an expurgated version of her two weeks with the Tracy family. She would never lie to them; whenever anyone asked her a question she felt she shouldn't answer, her reply would always be, "I'm sorry. I can't answer dat. I promised Mr. Tracy."

Now she was familiar with the new systems and left her office when she heard her staff coming in. Each one expressed their happiness at her return, to which she laughingly replied, "Are you telling me dat you couldn't work under Tom's supervision?"

They all laughed with her. "Something's missing when you're away, Lena," Louise replied. "We have no problem working together whether you're here or not, but it's far more enjoyable when you're around." The rest of the staff agreed.

"Why, tank you, Louise. Tank you all." She proceeded to tell them a little about her trip, then they all went to their desks and got to work. She returned to her office, feeling humble. She knew her staff liked her, but didn't realize how much. It made her feel, well, like she was where she belonged.

Post by Hobbeth on 27/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1555 is a reply to message #1554] Fri, 27 July 2012 13:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Tracy Island, Monday 18th March

Nikki and Kat were doing some serious sunbathing down by the pool. Suddenly a male voice interrupted their thoughts. Virgil, Alan, Christopher, Brandon, and Dominic with Joshua made their way down to the pool.

"Hey, how about us all playing a game of water polo?" Virgil shouted to them.

Without opening her eyes, Kat replied, "No chance, Virgil. Not until we have extra females on our side."

"Aw, come on," Alan added. "We just want to relax."

Still with her eyes closed, Kat remarked, "You are not going to beat us just because you are obviously bored."

Virgil knelt by her chaise. Kat glanced at him through half opened eyes and said, "If you really want to relax, why don't you ask Brandon and Christopher to have a game of tennis with you, and Nikki and I will come along and watch."

"Did someone mention tennis?" Christopher asked, "Come on Brandon, let's see how good you are at tennis."

"Oh, do play tennis," Nikki said eagerly. "I will umpire for you."

"Right then, tennis it is, Virgil agreed. "Now we must find a job for you," he said to Kat, laughing. "I know! You can be our ball boy."

"Charming!" Kat, responded, but with a smile.

"Say, Kat," Nikki looked at her friend. "It will be fun, seeing the Tracy boys beaten."

Kat nodded, but Brandon didn't look too sure about that. Laughing and chatting, the group made its way to the tennis court. Dominic and Joshua settled down, prepared to watch an interesting game. They played three sets, with Virgil and Alan winning two sets to one.

"Okay, you girls, now how about mixed doubles?" Alan asked.

"Don't look at me," Kat said. "I haven't played tennis since I was at school. I must be very rusty."

"Oh, come on Kat! It will be fun," Nikki urged her friend.

"We'll toss who plays against who," said Alan, tossing a coin. "Heads!"

Heads it was. "I'll play with Nikki," Alan said.

"Sorry, Virgil, you are left with me and I can't play very well," Kat said apologetically. "Like I said, I haven't played for years."

The game started, and to everyone's surprise Kat and Virgil managed to win two sets.

"Hey, you're not too bad," Virgil stated.

"Oh, it was a sheer fluke, beginner's luck. You were the one who did all the real work," replied Kat modestly.

"I think that drinks are in order now," Brandon said, glancing at his friends.

"I vote that Alan and Virgil get them," Nikki replied.

"How come?" Alan inquired.

"Well, you are our hosts, in a way, and we have obliged you by playing tennis with you," Christopher added.

Laughing, Alan looked at the newbies, "Yeah, okay, but just this once. From now on you must all take turns." And he led them back inside to the kitchen.

Post by Tawnyangel22 on 27/11/2004


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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1556 is a reply to message #1555] Fri, 27 July 2012 13:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Monday, March 19, 2068, 3:30 p.m., Tracy Island

"Tracy Island, this is TRIC 078, requesting permission to land."

"TRIC 078, permission granted. I'll see you down at the airstrip."

"Roger that."

Scott turned off the communicator and turned on the intercom to reach the kitchen.

"Kyrano? The cargo plane has arrived. Just thought you should know."

"Thank you, Mr. Scott. I shall be there directly."

Scott scrambled outside and hopped into the hover cart that sat at the base of the steps from the house. He waved to Brandon, who was swimming laps in the pool, and gestured to Alan.

"Alan! Come on! I'll need your help!"

"Coming, Scott!"

Alan hurried to the hover cart and together he and Scott maneuvered the small vehicle down to the airstrip. By the time they got there, Kyrano was already outside with a hover float, and Christopher was leaning over the rails of the Cliff House patio.

"Could you blokes use an extra hand?" he asked with a shout.

"Sure could!" Alan replied with a yell.

"Be right there!"

Meanwhile, Tin-Tin had arrived to take charge of the manifest. She smiled widely; the orders from the uniform makers had finally come! She knew that she and Grandma Tracy would probably be working hard to put on the patches that had been requisitioned from the embroiderers. The people who made the various parts to the uniforms didn't know who they were making them for, with the exception of the embroiderers, who gladly made the patches for International Rescue and kept quiet about it. Still, even they didn't know where the patches went once they were shipped out. An agent would collect the patches from a dummy address and send them off to a central location, where the other boxes would be assembled. There was always a middleman, or two, and in some cases, three, when they dealt with outside suppliers.

"Thank you, Gary," Tin-Tin said as she signed the manifest. Gary was their regular cargo plane pilot, and on the Tracy Industries payroll, and, like Juan the mailman, made regular trips to the island. He usually came with items too bulky for Juan's little puddle jumper. But even he had no idea what was in the boxes.

Nikki sauntered out to the plane to idly inspect the packages. Her face beamed as she saw one with a familiar address.

"Yes! The gear I had shipped has finally made it!" she exclaimed. She turned and looked up at the Cliff House, the patio of which towered several stories above them. "But just how am I going to get it up there?"

"Do not worry, Ms. Jackson. We will make sure it gets to your apartment," Kyrano soothed. "But first I will take these parcels up to the main house."
"Is that everything?" Gary asked, brushing his dark hair out of his eyes. "If so, I've got another delivery to make on the way back to Wellington."

"Yes, it is, Gary. And thanks again," Scott replied with a genial handshake. "Let me get upstairs and we'll give you clearance for take off."

"Right," Gary said as he headed to the cockpit. "See you later this week!"

The little group waved, and dispersed. Scott drove Kyrano and part of the cargo back up to the villa, then checked the radar before giving Gary the go-ahead for his departure.

I'll tell Dad about this when we have our daily check-in. It will cheer him immensely to know that our new operatives now have their official uniforms. It will take a while for my brothers and I to get used to the new design, but I think it's far more practical than what we've had up to now.

Post by Tikatu on 27/11/2004



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Re: Growing as a Team [message #1557 is a reply to message #1556] Fri, 27 July 2012 13:23 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
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Monday, March 19, 2068, 5 p.m., Tracy Island (Monday, March 19, midnight, New York City)

"Hi, Dad."

"Hello, Scott. How are things going back on the island?"

"Things are okay. We got a shipment today from the clothiers..."

"Excellent. Have the items been distributed?"

"Yes. They have. Much to the acclaim of our new people."

"Good. Please tell Tin-Tin that another set will be have to ordered once measurements have been taken."

"Right! Elise! How are things with her?"

"She and Gordon went out yesterday morning to see to her things. They're to be shipped tomorrow."

"Good. We'll look for them, though they might not be here by the time you return."

"Understood. What else came in the shipment?"

"The satellite phones. They've also been distributed, with the appropriate warnings. I have a list of which numbers are attached to which person. There are four left."

"Yes. I ordered them by the number of apartments we have, occupied or unoccupied. So when we return, Elise will already have one available. Anything else?"

"Not that I can think of. How are things in New York?"

"Brisk. Lena's back at home, everything is set up for her. Dianne plans on going shopping tomorrow with Lisa and the children to get them appropriate clothes for Thursday. I have an appointment at Mt. Sinai early Tuesday, before we fly to South Carolina. Hopefully my casts will be gone by the end of the appointment. It would remove a lot of stress all the way around. Gordon seems to be doing okay though he has avoided being examined by his physician. If he continues, I'll probably have to step in and lay down the law."

"How is Mom doing? I know that this is a difficult time for her."

"She's not sleeping well, which concerns me, especially since she's our main pilot. Gordon may have to fly us south and back so she can get some rest. Fortunately the press has stayed away so far. That may not last; one of the security guards reported that Lena was accosted by Ned Cook as she was leaving Friday night."

"What?! Man, I wish I were there. I'd give the high and mighty Ned Cook what for! What is the man after?"

"An interview with me, it seems. I'll have Bernie keep an eye on Dianne, Lisa, and the kids as they shop tomorrow." Sigh. "Well, son, it's after midnight here and I'd best get to bed. Dianne's waiting for me. Give our greetings to everyone."

"Right, Dad. And give our love to Mom, Grandma P and the kids... including Gordon. Tell Elise I said 'hello'."

Chuckle. "All right, son. Goodnight."

"Goodbye, Dad."

Post by Tikatu on 28/11/2004


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