International Rescue: The Next Phase

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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2172 is a reply to message #2171] Sun, 29 July 2012 19:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: ArtisticRainey Sent: 10/5/2006 4:09 PM

"I think...yes, there is it, and it's intact." Brains smiled briefly in thanks. "We're going to be able to deal with the thruster without having to get inside."

He and Callie had made their way across the void of space to the fused satellites, their tethers snaking behind them like streamers. Callie's eyes caught the access panel Brains was talking about. She was certain is was the correct one, as it had 'Emergency Thruster Control' emblazoned across it.

"Nice of them to label things in case of emergency," she quipped.

"Somehow, I doubt they ever thought something like this would happen," Brains said.

The two anchored themselves by the satellite's bulkhead, and Callie felt around the edges of the panel for the release mechanism. With a few tugs, it came loose and slid aside on purpose-built runners, revealing the controls.

"Excellent. They're in perfect condition."

Brains reached across with one gloved hand to punch in the code for the deactivation sequence...and nothing happened.


He tried again, and still nothing.

"There's no sign of any damage -- there couldn't have been unless the outer panel was compromised, which it wasn't," Callie said.

"Unless," Brains said, "the force of the collision has caused a problem with the internal circuitry."

"That's possible," Callie said. "We'd need to get underneath this control panel."

"Exactly. Can you see anything that may be some sort of release for this panel?"

The two scrutinized the panel, lit by their helmet lights, before Callie reached out and pushed in an innocuous-looking button in the upper left corner.

"Hey presto!" she said as the casing of the control panel slid to the side, revealing the technology it was designed to protect.

"You're good at that," Brains said.

Callie chuckled.

"Someone's got to be."

Brains scrutinized the circuitry before him for a few moments, before reaching into his utility belt and pulling out a thin, long-handled tool. Callie was familiar with it; it acted as a sort of screwdriver and soldering iron all in one, fit for use in space.

"I wonder... It could be as simple as one circuit being damaged. If I can perhaps ascertain whether power can be brought back online..." After a few moments of diagnostic work, Brains clucked his tongue. "Yes, I think we're in luck. Hold this for me, will you?"

Brains handed the thin tool to Callie, and pulled out a thin strip of metal.

"I get it," Callie said. "It's so simple, like something a kid would do in a tech class."

"Indeed. But, as I've always believed, sometimes the old methods are the best methods."

Together, the two worked to repair the damaged circuitry of the control panel using a simple practice akin to soldering -- though using more appropriate materials for their job than the average technology student would have possessed -- and soon enough, power returned and the panel burst to life.

"Look what I made today, Ma: a real working satellite!"

Brains chuckled at Callie's words, before sliding the inner cover back into place. He keyed in the deactivation sequence again, and this time he was rewarded with the sight of the thruster shutting down, and having it confirmed as fact on the panel before them.

"There we have it," he said.

"Great! Now all we have to do is separate these babies," Callie said. "But something tells me it's not going to be easy..."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2173 is a reply to message #2172] Sun, 29 July 2012 19:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/5/2006 4:18 PM

Dominic opened his eyes. The world looked odd to him. He shook his head then decided that it wasn't such a good idea as a stab of pain lanced through it. He glanced around and realized that he was upside-down, in an almost jackknife position. The restraining straps dug into his shoulders as they kept him from falling to the debris cluttered ceiling below.

Last thing I remember was Dianne shouting something about bracing....

A low moan from next to him brought his focus to Nikki, who was just opening her own eyes. She lifted a heavy hand to her head.

"Did anybody get the number of that lorry...?"

Dominic smiled wryly. "That wasn't a lorry. It was a bloody tornado."

A strange hitching sound refocused his attention and he looked over at the source.


Dianne was, like them, upside down, but unlike them, her face was turning blue and she was struggling to breathe. Dom unbuckled himself carefully, grasping the arms of his seat and moving his legs and feet slowly down what was now the floor of the cab. The floor slanted towards him and he had to climb a bit to get to the pilot's chair.

"Damn!" he said as he saw the problem. The front of the cab had been crumpled in the impact with the medical cabin. The windshield was spider webbed with cracks, and smashed through in several places. But the steering yoke had been pushed up hard into Dianne's abdomen, just below the ribs and it was this that was keeping her diaphragm from expanding to fill her lungs. One leg dangled, making the problem worse, while the other stood out straight, her foot seeming to disappear within the control panels' cabinetry.

"Nikki, I need your help!" he shouted back to his companion.

Nikki unbuckled herself and tried to follow his lead about gradually setting herself down onto the floor, but eventually just fell into a heap. "Ow!" she cried, putting a hand to her ankle. "Damn! That hurts!" She crawled out from under her chair toward the back wall, using it to brace herself as she tried to she tried to stand.

"You okay, Nik?" Dom asked, concerned as he examined Dianne's seat.

"No, but I'll do," she replied, shoving off the wall and hobbling over to the pilot's chair. "I think I've sprained it."

Dom nodded tersely. "I'll help you with it in half a mo." He motioned to the side of Dianne's chair opposite him. The doctor's wheezing was becoming more and more labored and her eyes pleaded with her nurses for relief. "We need to move her seat backwards," he said. "You take that side and I'll take this one."

"Lean it back?" Nikki asked, taking hold of the chair, trying to keep from putting weight on her ankle.

"Yes, but push it back to a different spot, first. I've got the manual control. Ready, set, push!"

It took three tries to get Dianne far enough away from the steering yoke to ease her labored attempts to breathe. She seemed to be caught by the steering yoke's pillar and was hard to move. In the end, leaning her back was most effective. Nikki hobbled to get the first aid kit that was mounted by one of the outer doors. She also ducked into the lockers on the back wall of the cab, pulling out some bulkier equipment, most importantly, an oxygen bottle and mask. She fitted the mask to Dianne's face, turned on the O2, and both nurses sighed with relief to see their patient's color improve.

"Now what?" Nikki asked. "She's stuck and still upside down."

"Now we see if we can communicate with Mobile Control and get some help," Dom said, sliding over to where he had been sitting. He rummaged around in the debris that had fallen to the floor and came up with his visor, and ear comm. He put it in one ear and tapped it.

"Mobile Control from Thunderbird Seven, come in Mobile Control."
Virgil pounced on the signal.

"Thunderbird Two here. What's your status, Thunderbird Seven? I'm patching in Thunderbirds One and Five on the tricircuit."

Dom took a deep breath. "We were sucked into a twister just off of South 39th Street. It ripped the medical cabin off and tumbled us about, and then we collided with something hard. I think it might have been the medical cabin because the front end of the cab is smashed in and the windshield is smashed too. We are upside down and Doc is caught by the steering yoke. We can't move her. Angel seems to have sprained an ankle, but beyond that is okay and so am I, just minor bruises and bumps. Doc was in respiratory distress from the steering yoke's position but is now on oxygen and her color is good for being upside down. Angel is applying a soft cervical collar to her neck...."

Nikki realized that Dianne's head kept flopping forward. "This might help you keep your head more stable," she said with a gentle smile.

"Hurts," Dianne whispered.

"What hurts?" Nikki asked.

"Leg hurts."

It was then that Nikki noticed the drops of blood that were plopping, one by one, onto the ceiling.

"Da -- Tynan, we have a bleeder!" she called to her companion.

"We need some help pretty quickly here, Thunderbird Two. Doc is bleeding from somewhere... Angel, can you see where the bleeding is?"

"Her left leg as far as I can determine. Her uniform trousers are soaked with it. I'm going to find a blanket and see what I can do to keep her from getting shock."

"F-A-B, Thunderbird Seven. Help is on the way. Did you get all that, Thunderbird One?"

"F-A-B, Thunderbird Two," Elise replied.

Virgil's voice sounded in Dom's ear, then a low whistle. "I've found the medical cabin. One corner is all smashed in. I'm closing on your position now."

It was more than just one corner. The medical cabin lay on its side, leaning against a stand of trees, the wide sliding doors facing the ground, the damaged edge and rippled side sticking up. Scott got up to look out, standing beside Virgil with his hand on the pilot's chair. He went over the layout of the medical cabin in his mind, and sighed with relief as he realized the smashed corner was mainly storage, and the morgue. I'm almost afraid of how the cockpit looks if the med cabin looks this bad! With that thought, he looked ahead to see the white gleam of the cockpit not far away.

"There they are," he said quietly. "There's a place you can set down, about five hundred yards on the other side. Do it!" He turned to face the others in the cockpit. "Sweet, get the medical bay ready for patients. MGM, you help her. Van Gogh, stay here and in constant contact with Quasar. We need to know if any more tornadoes are heading this way, and we'll need to lift off as soon as we have the medical team aboard. Big Mac, Cousteau, you're with me. Let's get ready."

tornado trial, part two, by ArtisticRainey and Tikatu, with some help from Hobbeth

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2174 is a reply to message #2173] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: ArtisticRainey Sent: 10/5/2006 4:33 PM

Dominic scooted back over to Dianne and braced himself so he could look at her leg. The blue material of her scrub pants was soaked through, and he knew that it would have to be cut away.

"Is there a scalpel or a pair of scissors in there, Nik?" he asked.

"Here's a scalpel. Be careful!" Nikki said. She opened the space blanket she had brought along, and began to tuck it in around the restraining straps that held Dianne in place.

Dom nodded and carefully began to cut away the scrub pant leg. He had done this before, and years of assisting surgeons in the operating room had made him a deft hand at using a scalpel. Eventually, the material was cleared, and Dominic had a few choice words for what he saw.

"She's caught on part of the steering column. The shard doesn't seem to have nicked the tibial artery, but there is a lot of blood."

"We need to get her lying down, but how are we supposed to? She's stuck." Nikki's face was tight with concentration as she tried to figure out what they could do.

"We're gonna have to cut that metal first, but damned if I know how," Dominic said.

Dianne groaned in pain, and her eyes fluttered closed, then open again.

"It'll be okay, Dianne," Nikki said. "We'll get out soon enough."

Dianne looked at the young nurse, who maintained a steady, confident expression. We'll get out, I know it, she thought.

"Thunderbird Seven from Thunderbird Two, can you read me, Tynan?"

"Tynan here," Dom replied quickly. "Reading you strength five. What's the situation?"

"Well, I'm at your position now," Virgil said, bringing his Thunderbird around to hover over the upside down portion of Seven. "The cab looks pretty smashed up on the starboard side and... damn!"

"Smashed up" was an understatement, and the other occupants of the cabin sucked in breath, clapped hands over their mouths, and swore both quietly and loudly. The starboard side, which faced the road, was scored with a ripple of maltreated metal. Edges of the door stood out from their joins and the big red "7" on the door was badly scraped, wide swathes of white and even gunmetal gray showing where the metal was laid bare. But what made Virgil curse was the front. It had a massive dent, almost full center, wide and deep and concave. Ridges of metal from the hood could barely be seen from his vantage point, but he knew there would be an accordion-like folding where the nose had been pushed toward the cab. He could almost imagine how the dented edge of the medical cabin would fit into that dimple. He huffed out a deep breath, a sigh made from equal parts frustration, anxiety, and sheer disbelief.

"Damn!" he exclaimed again.

"What's wrong?" Dom asked.

"You have company."

Nikki turned and Dom looked up to see the film crew. They had reached the cockpit, and were trying to film through the spider webbed reflective glass. Nikki quickly turned back to Dianne, shielding the doctor's face as well as her own, while Dom slipped on his visor.

"Is anyone in there? Are you all right?" Gavin called.

"What do you think you're playing at?" Nikki shouted, her expression one of abject disgust. "The media! Can't they keep their noses out of anything?"

Gavin ignored the comment and turned to Mike. "I can barely see in there. Can you get anything?"

"No," Mike said. "This stuff is too opaque."

Gavin glanced up at Thunderbird Two. "Try to get some shots of him, then."

"Okay." Mike aimed his camera upward.

"Oh, no, you don't," Virgil said with a grim smile. He reached over and activated the camera fogger. "Take that!"

Mike suddenly pulled his camera away from his eye. "Damn. They've blocked us."

"Gentlemen!" Virgil's voice boomed over Thunderbird Two's seldom used loudspeaker. "No pictures, please." Someone other than Scott gets the fun part for once, he thought.

"Don't worry," Gavin said quietly. "We got what we need." He glanced behind him. "Here comes emergency services. Figured they'd be out in a jiffy when they learned a Thunderbird was down." He turned away, and motioned to Mike and Eric. "Let's clear the way."

The brief levity was gone, and Virgil was busy trying to land and ascertaining the condition of the exits. "Have you tried the door releases?" he asked.

"Not yet, Thunderbird Two," Dom said. "Stand by."

Dominic glanced at Nikki, who gave him an affirmative nod. She made her way across the cabin and tried the release on the undamaged side. Nothing. She tried again and again, but the door wouldn't open. Then she shifted her attention to the undamaged sliding rear door, the one that would normally lead to the now-AWOL medical cabin. She pulled on the manual release, braced as well as her injured ankle allowed, and straining with the exertion. It wouldn't budge. Finally, she glanced at Dom, shaking her head silently.

"Damn," he muttered. "Thunderbird Two, one door is smashed and the other two are not operational. We're stuck. And we need to get some cutters in here to get Doc out so we can deal with her injuries."

"F-A-B, Thunderbird Seven," Virgil said, his lips tightening at the word 'cutters'. "The oxyhydnite equipment will be with you as soon as I land. Stand by."


"Dom," Dianne whispered.

"Yes, Doc?" The nurse came close to Dianne's face.

"Give me a general analgesic then a local for the leg," Dianne instructed in a whisper. Dominic pulled a hypospray out of the medikit, selecting the analgesic ampule first and injecting Dianne with it. Then he selected a local anesthetic and pressured it into Dianne's leg just below the knee. The results were gratifying; Dianne almost immediately relaxed.

"Better," she murmured.

"Good," Dom said.

As one patient was relieved of pain, however, another's became apparent. Nikki yelped in pain and clutched at her ankle, her face pulled in a tight grimace. Dominic turned around and his frown grew deeper.

"We need to do something about that," he said.

"It's fine," Nikki replied. "What we need to do is concentrate on Dianne."

"Don't be daft."

"Really, it's fine."

"No, it's not."


The two nurses turned towards the prone doctor, both suddenly aware of how childish they were being.

"Dominic, wrap up Nikki's ankle. Nikki, let 'im. Both o' you, Ah have eight kids, an' Ah don't need any more..."

"Sorry, Doctor," they replied together.

Nikki slid down to the floor and Dominic fetched a medikit, and the task was done in moments.

"Sorry we don't have any crutches handy, Nik," Dom said apologetically.

"I'll do," Nikki responded.

Their heads both snapped up at a sudden pounding on the windows, which was accompanied by a shout.

"Do you need any help in there?" A tall dark-skinned man in an EMS uniform called to them.

"Our people are on the way," Nikki called.

She glanced over at Dominic, and then Dianne, before shifting her weight to keep it off her injured ankle. And they can't be too soon...

tornado trial, part three, by ArtisticRainey and Tikatu

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2175 is a reply to message #2174] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: ArtisticRainey Sent: 10/5/2006 4:38 PM

Scott, Gordon, and Brandon hurried towards the mangled wreck that had hours before been a fully-functioning Thunderbird. They carried with them the cutting equipment that would get the trapped crew out, as well as a medical supply kit from Thunderbird Two's sickbayWhere the hell is Elise? Scott thought for the thousandth time. We're going to need One's speed. A substantial group of emergency services personnel had gathered at the crash site. Scott motioned for Gordon and Brandon to get started while he turned to address the people who were approaching them.

"Thanks for the support, folks," he said. "We've got the equipment to get our operatives out, but we could use some more substantial medical equipment."

"We'll be glad to help you out," said one man, who proffered a large hand. "Dave Kandagaye, Kansas Region II EMS."

"Thanks," Scott said, accepting the handshake.

Meanwhile, Gordon and Brandon had donned their protective gear.

"Thunderbird Seven from Cousteau, we're coming in. Keep clear of the starboard door and stay as far back from the windshield as you can. We're going to pass cutting gear through to you to release Doc, but you'll be exiting through the side."

"F-A-B, Cousteau," Dom said. "The sooner the better."

Don't I know it, Gordon thought. He took up his position at the front of the wreck beside Brandon, who handed him a crowbar. The taller aquanaut had a cahelium hammer in his hands already, poised to start the demolition work.

"Ready?" Gordon asked.

"As always," came the reply.

"Okay, on three. One, two, THREE!"

The strength of the two men took a substantial chunk out of the windshield, and they stood back, satisfied. Then Brandon passed his cutter and some safety gear through the gap, while Gordon made his way to the side door, and began to cut.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2176 is a reply to message #2175] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: AmandaTracyandFred Sent: 10/6/2006 9:13 PM

Unaware of what was happening to International Rescue at the moment, Heather saw Elizabeth pat a silver curl in her hair and approach her as she looked at the racks of nightgowns, teddies, and peek-a-boo two pieces. Heather found something that said medium. It was red, loose-fitting, and that's all she cared about.

"Hi, my name is Elizabeth. Everyone calls me 'Lizzie'. May I help you, dear?"

Heather liked the apple red cheeks and the graying hair. "Uhh... yes. I need one day outfit, I need some kind of nightwear, underthings and I just can't hardly stand up. I need like one of those ladies travel kits?"

"The one from France?" Elizabeth asked as she stepped behind the glass counter.

"That's the one!"

As Heather recited tiredly, Elizabeth kept a keen ear towards her and began selecting just what Heather needed, while Jackie watched a stack of clothes grow. Taking a chance, Elizabeth added a pair of satin bedroom slippers and a nice bathrobe by her cash register. To the stack, Heather added a white turtleneck shirt, a pair of slimming khaki slacks, and trouser socks for daywear.

When Heather slowed down, Elizabeth began to ring everything up. "Also, I can add as a gift, a very nice makeup kit as well. It has everything you need in it. You use warm colors?"

"Yes, I do. Thank you very much," Heather said gratefully.
Once everything was rung up, and Heather paid with a charge card, she gathered everything up and headed right out the door. Jackie sneaked over to Elizabeth's counter to see the total sale, and her mouth dropped open.

"She just needed a little help," remarked Elizabeth. "She looked so tired."

With her arms full of boutique bags, Heather made her way back to the spacious gold lobby to find the elevators. As she neared the elevators, she saw the lobby TV set on the meteorology channel she used to set her HDTV on. Live cameras displayed the devastation between Wichita and El Dorado. With an unstable dark gray atmosphere as the weather forecaster's backdrop, Heather became fixated on the ribbon of up-to-the-minute news that crossed the bottom of the screen:

"This just in! While rescuing disabled children from a local school, a tornado dropped down catching Thunderbird 7 in its destructive vacuum. More to follow as this information is updated! Stay tuned!"

Flopping into the nearest chair, she crossed herself, feeling an insane desire to run out and help. But someone must already be there, she thought logically, and I'm in no shape to offer any help. By the time I figured out their location, and gotten there, it would be too late. Thunderbird 7? I think that's Dr. Tracy's vehicle, and no doubt, she was flying, too. I hope she's going to be all right.

Afraid to sit any longer, Heather got up, making her way to the elevators. As she stepped into the sparkling glass booth framed by reflective chrome, and felt it push her up to her floor, the broadcast reminded Heather of Jeff Tracy's offer. Sun, surf, and sand, and all I have to do is risk my life every now and then, she mused.

As she slid past the fifth floor, she thought about how losing her home might actually have been a blessing in disguise. Maybe this God's way of telling me where I'm supposed to go next. Of course, this is one heck of a way to tell me! It could have been worse. I could have been home when it happened. Then I wouldn't be here--there's my floor!

As she gathered her stuff together and climbed out onto her floor, Heather concentrated on simply finding her suite. Her key card read 15B which put the suite to the back of the floor. Just figures, she thought as she slipped the card in and pushed the door in. They would stick me in at the back end of the corridor. Of course, I could have asked for help, but did I think of that? Oh no, not me!

Grabbing all her bags and her peevishness, she walked into the sumptuous suite. As soon as the door closed, locking itself automatically, Heather leaned back and let out a gasp of relief she'd been holding in all day. "All I want to do is just--hide!" she groaned.

Leaving her bags by the door, she didn't bother to shower, but shed everything she wore, dropping it all on the floor. Forsaking the nightgown she'd just bought, she crawled in between the cool sheets of her bed, pulled the covers over her body and cried hot tears.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2177 is a reply to message #2176] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: TracyFan4Ever Sent: 10/7/2006 5:50 PM

Callie and Brains had successfully shut down the thruster to the HDTV satellite, which had been fused with an antiquated weather satellite.

"So far, so good," said Callie. "I'd better notify Indy. Ursa to Indy. Ursa calling Indy. Do you copy?"

Inside Thunderbird Three, Alan was in a state of disbelief when he heard her calling. I'd better not show any emotion right now. Shaking off any feelings he had about Thunderbird Seven's dire situation, he concentrated on what his two comrades were doing on the satellite. "This is Indy. What's the status of the thruster?"

"The good news is we've shut down the rocket thruster, and we're finally slowing down." After breathing a sigh of relief, she added, "That also means the ISS won't collide within the time frame over Quito, Ecuador."

Brains was more cautious. "Yes, but it changes things around. It won't be within four hours, but it can still collide with this pair of satellites."

Alan rubbed his chin. "Hmm, what do you think we need to do?"

"We've got to separate these satellites," Callie said firmly. "The problem is, the way these satellites are fused together, we may not get them separated in time to prevent the collision."

Thinking carefully, Brains contacted Alan. "Indy, do us a favor. Get Quasar to contact the ISS and tell them we've stopped the satellite's movement. Our current position places us over the open Pacific Ocean, approximately 2000 miles south of Hawaii."

With a nod, Alan said, "F-A-B, Einstein. I know exactly what you and Ursa need right now." The ISS's position in relation to where the satellite is now to see if it will still collide. He opened communications with John. "Thunderbird Five from Thunderbird Three, do you copy?"

In the space station, John heard Alan's call. Trying to handle both emergencies started taking an emotional toll on him. "Thunderbird Five, reading you strength five. How are the satellites?"

"Stopped. I hate to do this to you, Quasar, but you need to contact the ISS and tell them to give you their current position. It's important because the satellites are now positioned over the open Pacific Ocean."

John breathed deeply in attempt to calm down. "All right, Indy. I'll do it. I'm still keeping communications open with Seven at the moment, and some people have volunteered to help Maverick, Big Mac, and Cousteau with getting the med team out." After taking another breath slowly, he asked, "Do Ursa and Einstein know about--"

"No, I haven't told them yet. Telling them might distract them from trying to separate the two satellites."

John opened up communications to the ISS. "International Rescue calling International Space Station. Can you read me?"
In the ISS, Colonel Roberts answered the call. "This is the ISS, International Rescue. You're coming in at full strength. How goes the situation?"

"We've been able to stop the thruster on the fused satellites, and it's now in a position over the open southern Pacific Ocean. What I need from you now is your present position. Even though we did stop the satellites, we have to check to see if you're still on any collision course."

Peter nodded. "Understood. Our current position places us over the Sahara Desert. At our present orbital path, I fear we'll collide with the satellites within two hours. That won't give you a lot of time to get the satellites out of the way."

"Don't worry, ISS. We've got our team working on the problem right now. I'll let them know what's going on. International Rescue, out." Although he thought he was calming down, John was still very anxious in his heart. Mom...please, God, don't let anything happen to her. She means everything to Dad and all of us. She's kept everything glued together for not just our family, but for all the new recruits we've gained in these past months.

On the satellite, Callie and Brains worked feverishly to separate the two satellites. "We'll need that position soon," Brains said nervously. "I'm not even sure how much time we have."

"I know," she said. "The problem is these two satellites are so heavily fused, I'm afraid time may be running out."

Alan waited for John to return with the coordinates. "Thunderbird Three from Thunderbird Five. I've got the current coordinates for the ISS. Unfortunately, now the window has dropped to just two hours."

"Two hours!? Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm afraid so. Orbital path will put it on the collision course again."

Alan spoke with Callie and Brains. "Listen, time has gotten much shorter now. There's only two hours before the ISS will collide with the satellites. We need a plan, now."

Callie shook her head. "Our only option is to send the satellites out of Earth orbit entirely. To do that, though, we'll have to literally turn the satellite and then activate the thruster again."

Brains said, "Wait. We'll need to move the satellites out of orbit, but instead of us turning the satellite, we tether it to Three."

Alan concurred. "I agree. Einstein, I want you to come back to Three and grab the special net and tether line. You two will put the net over the satellites. Then I'll tether that to the hull with magnets."

"That sounds good," Callie said. "Then we move it out of the trajectory, and reactivate the thruster."

"And finally," said Brains, "before we send it off, we place a tracking marker to alert other space traffic. I'll get the net and tether line. You stay here and keep working on this as best you can."

She nodded. "F-A-B, Einstein."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2178 is a reply to message #2177] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: ArtisticRainey Sent: 10/8/2006 11:21 AM

Dominic accepted the gear Brandon had passed through, and firstly applied a protective covering to Dianne's leg to prevent further injury. He then quickly put on the visor and gloves, and picked up the heavy gear. This is not going to be easy, he thought.

"Be careful, Dom!" Nikki said, standing back.

"I can't be anything but," Dominic quipped, but he could already feel the sweat beading on his forehead.

Dianne opened her eyes and pinned him with a look that conveyed more than words could have, and Dom nodded.

"It'll be fine," he said, and activated the gear.

Suddenly the hours of cross-training were worth it. Part of him had thought: this is a waste of time, as Gordon trained him on the oxyhydnite equipment. I'm a nurse, I'll never need this. However, as he stared at the metal digging into his doctor's leg and began to cut it to free her, he appreciated everything International Rescue had done for him.

It was delicate work, trying to slice the metal cleanly and quickly without causing further injury. He could hear Gordon cutting through the starboard side and Nikki's quiet breathing, and the smell of the gas was pale through the protective mask. He could feel his heartbeat become progressively stronger, in his temples, ears and wrists, and he briefly closed his eyes as the last of the metal was cut, and Dianne could be moved.

"See?" He said to her as he switched off the equipment and lifted his visor. "Didn't make a scratch."

"Jus' get me outta heah," Dianne said, but with a tight smile.
Dominic nodded, and turned his head as he heard Gordon's voice become suddenly clearer - he was in.

"No problem. The cavalry has arrived."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2179 is a reply to message #2178] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: FrankieCTB2 Sent: 10/9/2006 8:07 PM

Elise let out a whistle at the sight beneath her as she brought one in to land. As soon as the aircraft came to a rest, she threw down the ladder and hit the ground running. Spying Scott, she immediately ran over to him.

"Where the hell have you been, Frankie?!" Scott practically jumped down her throat.

"Breaking speed records to get here! Where d'ya think I was? Out sightseeing?" Her voice dripped of sarcasm; her feathers were now ruffled.

Scott realized he'd snapped and he probably shouldn't have. He knew Elise would have flown hell bent for leather to get here. "Sorry," he mumbled.

Elise sighed. "Okay," then added in a warning tone, "Just don't do it again. Now, what's the plan?" Scott filled her in as they watched Brandon and Gordon work.

"Who are all these guys?" Elise asked, noticing the gathering of various people nearby.

"Local EMS mostly, and the media," Scott said the last part with disgust.

"Typical. Ambulance chasers, just what we need." She paused, and then added, "Yes, I activated the camera fogger!"

Scott smiled slightly at her uncanny ability to read his mind sometimes.

They turned their attention back to the rescue. It seemed that there were twenty different things going on all at once.

Outwardly Scott was the role model of a field commander but inside, Elise knew his stomach must have been churning. Just as he finished talking to Virgil, Elise asked, "I bet base is worried sick about this."

Scott was hesitant in replying, which prompted her to ask, "They do know, don't they?"

Scott looked at her, glanced away and then looked back at her. "No, not yet."

Elise was stunned, but before she had a chance to say anything, John called Scott. It took but a few seconds for Scott to become irritated with his brother. "No, I haven't yet, and yes, I do know!" Elise glanced sideways at Scott through her visor as he let out a frustrated sigh. "I'm on it, okay!? Maverick out." He looked at Elise but no words were needed. He reached up to adjust his earpiece again, dreading what he was about to say, and called base. "International Rescue base from Maverick."

The reply was instant. "Go ahead Maverick."

Jeff had been waiting to hear the official stand down from Scott. John had kept him informed of the weather, except the rogue tornado, which had happened so quickly and during the space rescue as well. As Jeff paid closer attention to his son's face on the vid-screen, he noticed how tense and worried Scott looked and he didn't like it. The hair on the back of his neck stood up. Something was wrong and Scott was about to tell him it wasn't good.

Scott quickly decided to get to the point. There was no use beating around the bush. "We have a major problem here, Sir; we were hit unexpectedly by a rogue tornado after the initial rescue. Thunderbird's One and Two and the pod vehicles are secure, no damage. Thunderbird Seven took a direct hit from the tornado." Scott swallowed as the news sunk in.

"WHAT!" Ohmigod, Dianne! Jeff's heart dropped into his stomach. "How bad is it?" Jeff managed to ask.

"Pretty bad, I'm afraid. Tynan, Angel and Doc are all injured." Jeff let out a breath; thankful to hear they were all alive. "We're cutting into the cockpit in right now to get them out. It looks like Doc's injuries are the worse."

Jeff closed his eyes, praying that when he opened them he'd be at his wife's side, holding her, helping her, anything but what he was doing right now. When he opened them, he knew he hadn't been praying hard enough. "Maverick, who is cutting them out of the cockpit?"

"Cousteau and Big Mac and we have some local EMS personnel on hand to help if needed."

"I'm going to call Cousteau to find out how serious Doc's injuries are and in the meantime I want you to make sure Thunderbird One is ready for transporting A.S.A.P."

"F-A-B." Scott signed off as his father called Gordon. He looked at Elise who'd been standing there the entire time. "Think you can get One ready for patient transport in record time?"

She smiled softly and replied, "Consider it done, Commander." Giving a mock salute, she ran back to Thunderbird One.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2180 is a reply to message #2179] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/9/2006 10:07 PM

Saturday, August 4, 6:10 p.m., Kansas (Sunday, August 5, 11:10 a.m., Tracy Island)

Gavin Belle glanced around to see if there was anyone close who might stop him. Some state police had shown up to close the road; the word about Thunderbird Seven's crash had gotten around and those who has seen it had managed to track it down. But they were out directing traffic, and not nearby. He wanted a word with the man who was obviously in charge, wanted to find out who had been hurt and how badly. So when the female pilot ran off toward Thunderbird One, he told Mike and Eric to stay put, and approached the leader.

"Hey," he said. He held out his hand. "I'm Gavin Belle, and I'm with MWAN."

The commander looked at him briefly. Gavin couldn't tell what the man was thinking; the visor he wore hid his eyes quite effectively. However, the man's lips thinned and he turned away. "I have no comment," he said brusquely.

"Listen. I know we got off on the wrong foot here," Gavin said earnestly. "But could you just tell me who got hurt and how badly?" He waved an arm in the direction of the damaged Seven. "People all over the world are going to want to know about what's happened. Right now, all they know is that this Thunderbird is down. Isn't it better that they get facts than rumors?"

The man shook his head. "I have no comment," he repeated.

Just then, the sound of the news chopper approaching caused both of them to look up. "I can call that chopper off," Gavin offered. "I respect your 'no pictures' policy. But I need just to know who got hurt and how badly. We can help each other here."

The man sounded disgusted and fed up. "I don't have time for this." He tapped the speaker in his ear, and turned away from
Gavin. The reporter couldn't hear all of what he said, but "upping the gain" and "fogger" came through.

Gavin sighed and looked around. There are other ways to find out. I'll get closer to the action, and hear what I can.

So when Scott turned back to Gavin, the reporter was gone. But a few moments later, the news hound was pulling his comrades back to the van. "I got what we need," he said. "Overheard a couple of EMTs talking. Three people injured, no fatalities. Seems no one was riding in that back part over there. But get this! Their doctor has the heaviest injuries!" He climbed into the seat. "Let's get out of range. I need to get this news to the office, pronto!" He glanced up at the chopper, who was circling. "Hope Harry gets some good footage. We could use it."

With that, Eric pulled headed back the way they came while Gavin tried to dial the office and give them this important tidbit.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2181 is a reply to message #2180] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/9/2006 10:13 PM

"Where'd that reporter get to?" Scott muttered to himself, scanning the crowd. He glanced up. "I hope that boosting the gain on the camera fogger works. We don't need the media frenzy on top of all this!"

His earphone buzzed for his attention. "Maverick from Cousteau."

"Maverick here."

"We need to make some room in here so we can get Doc out of her chair. Can you get someone to help Angel out? Her ankle's sprained at the very least."

Scott's eyes widened. "F-A-B," he said, "I'm on it." With a quick tap of his earpiece, he called, "Sweet from Maverick."

In Thunderbird Two's sickbay, Tin-Tin straightened suddenly and put a hand to her ear. Kat noticed the movement and stopped putting fresh linen on the medical bed. "Sweet here. Go ahead, Maverick."

"We need someone to help get Angel out; she's got an injured ankle."

Tin-Tin nodded, even though Scott couldn't see it. "Say no more. MGM and I are on the way."

"F-A-B." Scott sighed with relief. Then, not content to stand by while others worked, he jogged over to Seven's control cabin. "Excuse me," he said as he pushed past the EMTs who were crowding around the entrance and inside.

"I'm not sure, Boss. Let me patch you through to Tynan," Gordon was saying, his face tense with the difficulty of trying to deal with a tightly focused and extremely concerned Jeff. He gave Dom a pleading look. The latter, speaking quietly with Dianne as the EMTs tried to figure out how to get her down, heard his name called and glanced over, then nodded. Gordon tapped his ear, and Dom, rubbing his neck, retreated to the farthest corner of the cab to apprise Jeff of the situation.


Scott glanced over to the cut open doorway. Tin-Tin and Kat were there, trying to get in and get to Nikki.

"Let them in," Scott said to the EMTs, nodding. The group parted, and Tin-Tin entered with Kat close behind.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2182 is a reply to message #2181] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Nikki-browneyes1 Sent: 10/10/2006 1:26 PM

Tin-Tin made her way to the dark-skinned nurse, who was sitting down while leaning against the siding and immediately noticed that she was holding some gauze on the left side of her forehead. She removed Nikki's hand and the gauze, which had a faint stain of blood on it. She looked closely at the gash. "It doesn't look deep, but it still needs to be dressed."

Nikki nodded slightly, but soon regretted it as the headache that threatened to make an appearance on many occasions after the tornado roller coaster made itself known.

Tin-Tin then saw Nikki's foot, undid the bandage and examined it closely. "It looks slightly swollen at the moment." She wrapped it back up again. "Any other injuries?"

"Just some bruises and the creeping headache. Plus my neck is sore, probably whiplash."

Tin-Tin smiled comfortingly. "Let's get you over to Thunderbird Two. How are you for an escorted walk?"

"I guess I can use the support," the female nurse replied. She still felt shaky after the accident.

Tin-Tin looked over to Dominic. "Tynan, how are you doing?"

"I'll be alright, Sweet. It's just minor bumps and bruises," Dominic answered.

Tin-Tin nodded before asking Kat to help her with Nikki. With Kat on her left side and Tin-Tin on her right Nikki was able to slowly, but efficiently make her way to the mammoth craft.
Kat looked thoughtful for a while before speaking up. "Doc will be alright, won't she?"

"She's a strong woman. I'm sure she'll recover from this," Tin-Tin said confidently.

'I really hope so,' Kat thought.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2183 is a reply to message #2182] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:15 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/10/2006 1:40 PM

Scott watched them head for Thunderbird Two's rescue capsule, which they had used as a sort of elevator to get them to the ground level. He nodded, and ducked back in.

He moved up next to Dianne. They'd managed to pull the chair backwards as well as lean her back so she was now free of the steering column. He noticed a lumpy bandage wrapped around her leg and realized that must be where the piece of metal had done its damage, and that it was very likely still in there, waiting for the surgeons to remove it. She was pale and drowsy looking.

"We've almost got you out of here, Doc," Scott told her, giving her an encouraging smile. "Then I'll fly you to Wichita..."

"No." Dianne murmured, vaguely waving a hand. "Not Wichita. Los Angeles."

"Los Angeles?"

"Come 'ere."

Scott did as he was bid, and she turned her head to whisper hoarsely, "Wichita's swamped. L.A's got bettah imagin'... an' an agent who's chief o' surguhry. Mercy General. L.A."

"But this is only a leg..."

She shook her head as best she could. "No. Theyah's also internal... oh God!" She groaned, her face contorting. With one hand, she feebly shoved him away seconds before she vomited.

Dom turned quickly. "Get her down! Now!"

The EMTs gathered around, as did Gordon and Brandon. Dom himself got beneath her as hands crossed her body, taking hold of her arms and legs on from opposite sides. Scott backed away, unsure what was needed.

"Mav!" Scott looked back. Dom was looking at him with an intense expression on his face. "Be ready. Five minutes!"

Scott nodded, and headed out the door. He heard Dom say, "On three! One, two, three!" There was the snick of a latch letting go. He paused outside the door to see the group of men and women lower Dianne to the level of the Stokes basket that the EMTs had brought in, untangling her from her restraining straps. Then he ran for the waiting and ready Thunderbird One.

"Maverick from Base," Jeff's voice sounded in Scott's ear as he ran. He reached up to touch his earphone.

"Maverick here."

"Give me ETA to Wichita Memorial."

"Negative, base." Scott was climbing into Thunderbird One. Elise glanced down and got out of the pilot's chair. "CMO has specified Mercy General, Los Angeles."

There was no surprise in Jeff's voice as he replied, "F-A-B. Calculate ETA. I want to know the second you hit the helipad there."

"F-A-B." Scott clambered into his chair. "You'd better give our agent in L.A. a heads up. I'll call the hospital from here."

"Acknowledged," Jeff said. Then his voice broke. "Take good care of her, Scott."

"Always," Scott said softly. He turned to Elise. "We'd better take all the med crew to L.A. at once. Can you tell Sweet and MGM to bring Angel over?"

"F-A-B," Elise said. She climbed out. "I'll see if I can speed things up a little."

Scott watched her pelt over to Thunderbird Two, then directed his attention to the group of four men and one woman who were carrying Dianne his way. Brandon and Gordon were in front, and the stretcher bearers were followed by Dom, who was himself flanked by Dave Kandagaye. Scott got out of his chair, Gordon climbed up into One, and with the help of Brandon and the others, they got Dianne into the cockpit. Scott frowned in concern at his stepmother's pallor. Her eyes fluttered closed, then opened, but it looked like she was having trouble staying awake.

"We need Angel," he told Gordon as his brother was climbing out of the cockpit. Glancing out his windscreen, he saw that Elise and Tin-Tin were supporting Nikki as they walked over to One. "They're coming, but going slow. See what you can do."

Gordon gave Scott a curt nod and went off. Dom climbed in, and Scott could hear the booming voice of Kandagaye call, "Get yourself checked out. You've likely got whiplash!"

"I shall! And thanks!" Dom called. He double-checked that the basket was securely fastened, and strapped himself into the jump seat. "Let's go, Maverick."

"Need Angel," Scott replied. He glanced out the windscreen again. Gordon and Brandon had taken over, and made a chair with their arms, carrying Nikki toward One at a good pace. "Just a moment more... ah, there they are." He climbed out of his seat again and helped Nikki into the cockpit. Her forehead was bandaged. "Strap in. We're out of here!"

He retracted the ladder, closed the hatch, and lifted Thunderbird One into the air. "This is International Rescue Thunderbird One calling Mercy General Hospital in Los Angeles. We have three patients, two stable, one critical on the way to you now. ETA, six minutes."

The chopper continued to circle the Danger Zone as Scott sped off. Wish I had time to chase that out of the area, he thought, his eyes narrowing in frustration. He glanced down at Dianne. But there are more important things to do.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2184 is a reply to message #2183] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/10/2006 2:45 PM

"How's it going, Ursa?"

Callie wished she could swipe her forearm across her brow. "Not good, Einstein," she said, powering down her laser cutter. "These two pieces of junk are too fused to cut apart."

"Then we go with Plan B," Alan said, his voice sounding in her ear.

"Yes. We've got the tether and the magnetic net," Brains said. "Ursa, you'd better get inside Three. You've been out here longer than the rest of us. Indy is suiting up. He can help with this project."

"But what happens if someone from the ISS calls? Won't they recognize my voice?"

"If that happens, let Quasar handle it," Alan said. "He can relay the messages."

Callie thought for a moment that they were putting a lot of pressure on John, especially when there was still a rescue wrapping up on Earth. "Are you sure?" she asked.

"It's okay, Ursa." John's weary voice sounded in her ear. "You don't need any more exposure to the solar radiation than you've had already. I can handle any message relaying."

"All right, then," Callie said. She hung her laser cutter on her tool belt, and activated her jet pack to bring her back to the airlock. As she reached it, the door slid open, and both Alan and Brains floated out. Alan was holding what looked to be a gun of some sort, while Brains had a pillow sized packet tucked under on arm. They both tethered themselves to Three, and gave Callie's helmet a friendly tap as she passed by them into the airlock. She activated the door, which slid tightly shut and started the sequence that would allow her to take off her helmet, and enter Three's atmosphere controlled innards.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest

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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2185 is a reply to message #2184] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: susanmartha Sent: 10/10/2006 6:28 PM

The priest looked out over the congregation. "Are there any other prayer requests?

A tall, skinny woman stood up. Anna Hanson, sitting 3 rows behind her, recognized Janet Simons. Since Janet was normally extremely shy, Anna straightened up in her seat and took notice.

"You all remember the tanker truck crash and the resulting chlorine leak last year. And that my brother was injured in the resulting pileup. International Rescue responded within 20 minutes to contain the spill and neutralize the chlorine. They were able to get people out of the wrecks and give them medical help on site."

"My brother lost his leg in the crash, but not his life, thanks to them. He still talks about the wonderful doctor who saved him and how amazing Thunderbird 7 was. Well, I just heard Thunderbird 7 was hit by a tornado and crashed. They say some of the International Rescue people were injured. I would like to ask for prayers for the people on board and the other people in that organization."

Anna remembered the accident. Some idiot had decided he wanted to go faster than the rest of the traffic. He lost control of the car and hit another car, which crashed into a tanker truck.

It hit a bridge support right next to a major shopping mall. It had been a 23 car pileup. The driver who started it all had driven away unhurt. When the chlorine started to leak, there was no way to get people out of their cars in time or to evacuate the mall. Eight people, including 2 police officers, had died. Fifteen more had been badly injured. If International Rescue hadn't been there, the casualty count would have been a lot higher.

One of her patients after the accident was a 14-year-old daughter of a paramedic. She and her mom had been in the pileup and had watched the gas cloud get closer and closer. She couldn't say enough about the men from International Rescue, including the 'really cute' brown-haired guy who had cut her and her mom out of their car. As a way to get the girl to write about her experience, Anna had suggested she start a fan club and write a letter to International Rescue thanking them. It had worked beautifully and Anna had finally been able to help her deal with what happened. As far as she knew, the fan club was still going strong.

I will definitely add them to my prayer list. If for no other reason than, because of them, I had to deal with a terrified girl and her mother instead of a grieving 40-year-old colleague. Maybe I should call the family this afternoon and see how they are handling this.

"Let us pray for the whole people of God, and for all people according to their need." The service continued.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2186 is a reply to message #2185] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/10/2006 9:00 PM

Sat, Aug 4, 4:30 PM local time, L.A.(6:30 PM, Kansas; Sun, Aug 5, 11:30 AM Tracy Island)

Jeff picked up the phone and dialed a number that he hadn't had to use yet. It was the direct line to Drew Carmichael's cell phone -- the one that had been provided to him by International Rescue.

In Los Angeles, Drew was preparing for the arrival of Thunderbird One. He had a good idea just who the critical patient was; after all, it was the reason he'd been told the secret of the Tracy family and been recruited as an agent. He stopped in his tracks though when his cell phone vibrated in a peculiar rhythm that he'd been instructed would mean just one thing: a call from International Rescue's commander.

He ducked into the hospital's chapel, quiet and clearly deserted at that time of day, and answered the call, plugging an earpiece into the phone for more privacy.

"It's me. I know why you're calling. They're about to set down on the helijet pad. When will you be arriving?"

Jeff sighed, a heavy sigh made out of both relief and deep sorrow. "As soon as Maverick gets back to base, I'll be on my way."

"All right. Two caveats, as from a physician to a patient."

Jeff frowned, then nodded. "Go ahead."

"One, do not do the flying yourself. Grab whoever is available and let them fly you out."

"That'll have to be K; everyone else is out on rescues."

Drew's eyebrows climbed. "Everyone?"

Jeff nodded. "We got another call for a rescue in space. Every able-bodied operative is either in Kansas, in orbit, or setting down on your helijet pad."

"He'll have to do then. Caveat two: bring... bring his partner, and the kids."

"The kids?" Jeff sounded incredulous. "They don't need to see..."

"Wrong. They do need to see. They lost their father, they almost lost you, and now their mother? They're going to need a helluva lot of reassurance that she isn't going to die on them, and the only way they'll get that is to be here."

Jeff thought this over for a moment, then nodded. "All right."

"Good man. By the way, you're staying with us."

"Drew, we can't..."

Drew's mouth set in a firm line. "You can and you will. No arguments now."

"What about security?"

The doctor ran a hand through his hair. "I'm open to any suggestions. I have your reasons for shipping her here to me covered, but beyond that... we'll have to wing it. The secure floor is being prepared though. Now, I've got to go. I'll see you when you get here. Have K's lady give my partner the heads up."

"I will," Jeff replied. He smiled a little, a wan and weary smile. "Thanks."

"Don't thank me yet," Drew warned him. "The hardest part is yet to come. Gotta go. See you soon."

With that he terminated the call, and folded up his phone. He looked at the altar, its honey colored wood lit golden by diffuse, indirect lighting, and stopped to breathe a quick prayer before heading out to deal with his newest -- and most newsworthy -- patient: his own niece.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2187 is a reply to message #2186] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Hobbeth Sent: 10/10/2006 9:49 PM

The team members still on the ground watched as Thunderbird One quickly disappeared into the clouds. The EMTs got a call and headed out shortly afterward. Soon there was silence, then Virgil cleared his throat and swallowed hard. "Okay," he said to the others. "Time to get back to work. We need to get Seven into the pod."

"How do you propose we do that, Van Gogh?" Elise asked.

He paused for a moment, looking at the two sections lying half a kilometer apart. "First, we turn the control cab upright. Brandon, I want you in the Firefly on one side, lifting; Elise, get in the DOMO. You'll pull from the other side. Kat, once it's right side up, see if you can get it running, or at least get the electromagnets functioning, so we can reattach the two sections. It'll be easier if we can get the whole thing in at one time. We may need to dig a path to the pod. Tin-Tin, go get the chains and ropes; Kat you help her. We may need to tow the parts inside, and I want to be ready. Let's move!"

Everyone quickly separated to do their assigned tasks. Virgil raised Two, enabling the others to get the equipment out of the pod. Brandon and Elise soon got their vehicles in place, and ten minutes later, the control cabin was righted. As they moved off to work on the medical cabin, Kat began to check out the motor, with Gordon assisting.

"Van Gogh, if this engine is repairable, I can't do it; I don't have enough training to handle this much damage. But I think I can reroute enough power to activate the electromagnets."

"Do it, then." He looked at Tin-Tin. "Sweet, it's up to you to determine where to place the chains and ropes; you have the expertise. I'll help you take the chains and ropes; we'll go to the medical cabin first. It'll need to be hauled to the control cabin. Then if Kat is successful, we'll reattach them, and move the chains." He tapped his earpiece. "Cousteau, head to the medical cabin. We'll need to haul it to the control cabin."

"F-A-B. On my way."

When they arrived there, the medical cabin had been righted. Virgil called Brandon. "Start clearing a path to the control cabin. Then do another to the pod." Brandon answered in the affirmative and moved the Firefly into position, then lowered the blade and began clearing the way.

Virgil and Elise helped Tin-Tin attach the ropes and chains, and Virgil contacted Gordon about half-way through, telling him to bring the Excavator over to haul the medical cabin to the control cabin

It took an hour, but, with help from a farmer and his two sons, Seven's cabins were finally reattached, and ready to be towed into the pod. Tin-Tin had used some of the chains to connect the two cabins, in case the magnets failed again. Gordon started up the Excavator and slowly began towing the Thunderbird toward the pod. Once he got it inside, he shut down his vehicle and got out to remove the chains. The others began putting the rest of the equipment into the pod.

A thought occurred to Virgil as he looked at the field and the damage they had caused, and he turned to the farmer, thanking him, then asked if he knew who owned the field they were in. As it turned out, it was the farmer's and Virgil apologized for the damage.

"No apologies needed. This field was left fallow this year. You just saved me some of the plowing up. Now you go on and get your people home. You've done a good job around here, and we appreciate it."

Virgil shook his hand and thanked him again, then hurried to his 'Bird. He lowered it over the pod. Soon pod and 'Bird were one, and he lifted off again. As he started to head out, he had two thoughts. Sure hope Mom recovers and Better make a pass over the farm to check out how things are there. He piloted Two on a heading that would take it over the Tracy farm.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2188 is a reply to message #2187] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Evil Genius
From: Tikatu Sent: 10/12/2006 8:28 PM

Saturday, August 4, 2068, 4:35 p.m. local time, Los Angeles(6:35 p.m. same day, Kansas; Sunday, August 5, 2068, 11:35 a.m., Tracy Island)

There was an emergency team waiting for them as soon as they hit the tarmac of the helijet pad. The people were very professional, pulling Dianne out, Stokes basket and all, beginning their triage of her right then and there. Another team came up as soon as the first was away, and these folks insisted on taking charge of Dom and Nikki, asking questions, providing a wheelchair for Nikki and support for a now-swaying Dom. Scott pocketed three data chips, and spoke to the two people who remained. One was the head of security, who introduced herself as Carol Ferris; the other, an officious looking public relations man who shook his hand vigorously and said his name was Geraldo Montoya.

"Should I leave One here, or is there somewhere else I should take her?" he asked Carol, as he buttoned up his Thunderbird and armed the security systems.

"We're making other arrangements for your vehicle, clearing some parking lot near the back of the building where it won't be so conspicuous," she said as she fell into step with him. "I'll let you know when we're ready."

He nodded. "I may not be here that long, depending on what my commanding officer says. But I appreciate the effort."

"Uh, sir?" Montoya had trouble keeping up with Scott's long stride. "I was wondering if I could release some statement from you and your organization, especially with regards to just why you chose our hospital. The press will be pounding on our door any moment now and I need to have something to tell them."

Scott bit back his first, caustic reply, then remembered Dianne's words. He smiled faintly. "Well, sir, our CMO knew that the hospitals in Wichita were already swamped with casualties from the tornadoes that have ravaged the area. She chose to go elsewhere to spare them the extra burden, and she chose Mercy General because of its superb imaging facilities."

Geraldo's face was covered with a beatific smile. "Oh, thank you, sir. That's perfect." He picked up the pace. "Come along and meet our chief of surgery. He'll be working on your people himself."

Wouldn't you be surprised if you knew that I've already met your head surgeon, Scott thought as he hurried along.

The emergency department was a scene of controlled chaos, one that Carol threaded through with practiced ease. She took him to the room where Dianne was being evaluated. The blue scrubs had already been cut away and Scott winced at the glimpses of deep bruising he saw on his stepmother's abdomen. If those damn scrubs were made of Penelar...

"Come over here." Carol took his elbow and guided him to the central station. Scott relaxed slightly to see the tall figure of Drew Carmichael standing there, looking over a data pad. "Dr. Carmichael, this is the International Rescue member who brought our latest patients to us."

Scott put out his hand. "You can call me Maverick." Drew shook it, then Scott pulled out the three data chips. "Here are pertinent vital statistics for our three operatives. This is for Tynan, the dark haired man. This is Angel's information; she's the nurse with the sprained ankle. And, this is Doc's info; she's the one who has the worst injuries."

"Your doctor is among the injured?" Montoya asked, incredulous.
Scott nodded. Drew focused on the chips as he slipped them into fresh data pads. "I remember meeting Angel and your doctor briefly in Samoa."

"You know them?" Montoya's voice was nearly a squeak.

"No, I don't 'know' them, Gerry," Drew said impatiently. "I met them. Briefly. I was impressed."

"So was our doctor," Scott said, suddenly knowing another reason he could give for choosing that hospital. "That's probably one of the reasons our doctor chose Mercy."

"Possibly. I'm sure she had other, better reasons." Drew called out to a couple of interns. "Dave, Terry! Here's info for the IR patient in room five, and this one's for the patient in room eight." He handed the data pads to the young man and the young woman who had answered his summons. "Let's keep all this under wraps as much as possible."

"Yes, sir." "Of course, Doctor." The two interns hustled off to deliver the information to those working on the IR nurses.

"Now, let's see about your doctor," Drew said. He gave Scott a small smile. "She's in my hands now and I'm going to my best for her. Carol here can show you where you can wait."

"F... Thank you," Scott said. He watched as Drew entered the trauma room, then the doors swung shut and Carol led him away to an empty VIP waiting room.

"I'll be preparing the secure floor for your people," she told him. "If you need anything, just call."

"I will, thank you." And with that, he was left alone with his thoughts and his exhaustion.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2189 is a reply to message #2188] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Evil Genius
From: Tikatu Sent: 10/13/2006 12:30 PM

"Hello there."

The familiar voice made Dianne open her eyes just a crack. The corners of her lips tugged upwards in a slight smile.

"Good to see you again," Drew continued. "Wish it were under better circumstances, but with your line of work, disaster is pretty much a given."

"Goo' t' see you too," she whispered drowsily. "Wha's th' verdict?"

"Internal injuries. Bruising, possibly some lacerations. We're going to start anesthesia here and take you straight up to the surgical imaging suite." He spoke to someone out of Dianne's line of vision. "Is the suite ready?" There was an answer that Dianne couldn't hear. It was taking all of her energy just to focus on her uncle. "Who's on for orthopedics? Singh? Willis? Damn. Figures. He'd want to be in on this, wouldn't he? Oh well. Have Singh prep as assistant, and let Dr. Willis know that it's my orders."

She feebly waved a hand in his direction. He glanced down at her, his smile tight, a sure sign to those who knew him that he was worried. "Mah nurses?"

"They're being treated. You worry about yourself right now. Ray? Let's put her under."

A mask was fitted to her face and she breathed as normally as possible. She wasn't even aware when the moment came and she passed from conscious thought to no thought at all.

Drew checked his team. "How are we doing, Ray? Everything looking good?" He looked around. "We've got to do something to keep people from... ah! Juanita, you're a genius."

So it was that a few moments later a gurney rolled out of trauma, accompanied by two security guards. A cardboard box, cut out on two sides, created a screen to veil the face of the person in the gurney as it disappeared into the patient elevator and headed upstairs to surgery.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2190 is a reply to message #2189] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Evil Genius
From: TracyFan4Ever Sent: 10/13/2006 7:28 PM

Callie had finished getting out of her space suit and had entered the main control bridge for Thunderbird Three while Alan and Brains were working on getting the fused satellites tethered to the space rocket. She sat at the controls and contacted John. "Thunderbird Five from Thunderbird Three," said Callie. "Come in, Thunderbird Five."

In the IR space station, John rubbed the temples of his head, the emotional trauma of his stepmother's injuries clearly taking its toll on him. He heard Callie's call and answered wearily, "Thunderbird Five here, Ursa. How's the satellite situation?"

"Indy and Einstein are putting the special net around the satellites, and hopefully we'll get it tethered to Three within the next 30 to 45 minutes. I know it's going to cut it awfully close with the ISS coming, but they're doing as best they can right now."

"F-A-B, Ursa. Knowing them, they'll get the job done."

Hearing the strain in John's voice, she knew something wasn't right. "Quasar, is everything all right? I've never heard you sound so tense before."

"I'm all right," he answered, exhaustion prominent in his voice.

"You don't sound all right to me. Quasar, I want to know what's going on."

Hearing her persistent tone, he sighed. "All right. Since Indy already knows most of the story, I may as well go ahead and tell you. The rescue in Kansas...Doc, Angel, and Tynan were all caught in a rogue tornado. All three were inside Thunderbird Seven, and it's suffered severe damage."

"Oh, my God," she gasped. Growing more concerned, she quickly asked, "How are they?"

"Angel and Tynan's injuries aren't that serious. Doc, though, has suffered internal injuries."

Callie pushed her head into the back of the chair. "Damn it!" she muttered. "First the Boss and now Doc?! What did they do to deserve this? I would give anything to have stayed in Kansas--"

"No, Ursa," John said clearly. "Your expertise in space was more needed on this current mission. Even if we both were in Kansas, there's nothing we could've done. Even International Rescue can't stop Mother Nature's fury."

Trying to fight back tears, she said, "I know, but Doc had just helped me last week with my nightmares. I'm also going home for my birthday in a few days. Maybe I should cancel the trip."

John shook his head. "Don't do that, Ursa. Doc would want you to be there with the ones you love. Your family is the most important thing you have."

"You know what's really bad about this? I can't tell my family about my encounter with the Hood or the very fact I work with IR. I hate the idea of not being able to tell them the t."

"I know; it's never an easy situation. Oh, excuse me, the ISS is calling in. Let me handle this part, okay? You keep an eye on Indy and Einstein."

"F-A-B, Quasar." She changed frequencies to contact Alan and Brains. "Ursa to Indy and Einstein. How much longer?"

Outside, they just finished putting the net around the satellites. "Good news, Ursa," said Einstein. "We've completed the first part of the task. Now you just need to pull the tether in and connect the satellite to the hull magnets."

"F-A-B, Einstein." Pressing a button on the controls, she watched the tether line slowly approach the hull of the space rocket. "I suggest you guys get back in here fast before I accidentally magnetize both of you to the hull."

"F-A-B," said Alan and Brains.

She heard a beeping sound on the control panel. "John's calling in," she said to herself. "Go ahead, Quasar."

"ISS just called in. They'll be in your area in 45 minutes. The satellites won't be a threat anymore with the tether, but Thunderbird Three is only a few feet away from the ISS's trajectory. You need to move it out of the way, or there could be a collision between you guys and the ISS."

"Thanks for the tip, Quasar. Satellites are now inside the net, and the tether line is moving in. Hull magnets will be activated when net is within 100 feet of the exterior."

John breathed a sigh of relief. "F-A-B, Ursa. Keep me updated."

"Right. Thunderbird Three out."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2191 is a reply to message #2190] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Evil Genius
From: Tikatu Sent: 10/13/2006 8:11 PM

Jeff pinched the bridge of his nose, going over his options in his head. His thoughts seemed to swirl; unwanted visions of his wife, Lucille, after the accident that had claimed her came to the fore and made it hard for him to concentrate. I lost Lucille this way. I can't lose Dianne, too. I hope, I pray that the difference is Scott and Thunderbird One.

Finally, he had the bare bones of a plan. I can't abandon the desk, not while the operatives are out still out there working. So, I need to get Scott back here. Soon as that happens, then I can take off... no, we can take off. Drew's right. The kids need to see Dianne, no matter what happens... all of the kids. I can't have a repeat of Lucille. If she doesn't... No. I can't think that way either. She's going to be all right. She has to be all right.

Turning to the intercom, he paged his retainer.

"Kyrano." It was hard to keep his voice steady.

"Yes, Mr. Tracy?" Kyrano could hear the edge in his employer's voice, and put down his cleaver. Emily, who had been working with him on making lunch, stopped what she was doing as well.

"I need for you and Lisa to gather up the children and bring them up here quickly. There's been an... an incident."

Kyrano and Emily exchanged glances. "Do you want me up there, too, Jeff?" Emily asked.

Jeff took a deep breath. "Yes, Mom. I need you up here, too. As soon as possible."

"We are on our way," Kyrano said firmly. The connection closed, and the kitchen's denizens began to put their perishable things into the refrigerator. "It sounds ominous," Kyrano said as he washed his hands.

"It does," Emily agreed. "You get Lisa. She's watching Joshua, so he'll have to come along. I'll find the children and meet you in the lounge."

"Yes." Kyrano nodded and the two went on their separate missions.
Meanwhile, Jeff was talking with his eldest son.

"The security head has arranged for me to move Thunderbird One to a less conspicuous spot," Scott told him.

"What have you heard otherwise?"

Scott sighed. He knew this question was coming. "I haven't gotten an update yet. I'm not sure who to ask."

"Well, find someone!" Jeff snapped. "I need to know how our people are doing!"

"F-A-B," Scott replied sharply, emphasizing each syllable. "I'll find out now. Maverick out."

The connection quit, and Jeff ran his hands through his hair. That was uncalled for, Tracy. You don't need to take your frustration out on him. He's not the reason your wife is in the hospital. You'd be better off figuring out how to tell your children that their mother is injured. He glanced up to see Kyrano come in with Lisa, who carried Joshua in her arms. Following in their wake were Cherie, Alex, and Tyler, all of whom had apprehensive - Make that downright scared - looks on their faces. Bringing up the rear was Emily, who had a comforting hand on Tyler's shoulder

"Sit down, please," Jeff said as he rose from behind his desk. He eyed Joshua as the others sat down. Will I someday have to tell that boy that his father is dead or crippled? God, I hope he's not badly hurt this time!

"I'll get right to the point, everyone. About an hour ago, Thunderbird Seven was picked up by a strong twister." He paused as the people around the room gasped in horror. Tyler let out a whimpering little, "No!" and sat close to Emily, nearly hiding behind her.

"What happened?" Emily asked sharply.

"I don't have all the details, but Thunderbird Seven was really - banged up doesn't cover it - really badly damaged."

"Is... Is everyone okay?" Cherie asked tentatively.

Jeff ran a hand over his face, then went to sit down next to her. "No, Princess, they're not. Dominic, Nikki and your mother were all injured in the event."

"Injured?" Alex said, picking up on the word and using a cautiously hopeful tone. "Not... dead?"

"Not dead," Jeff said firmly. He leaned forward and made eye contact with everyone. "Dominic and Nikki seem to have relatively minor injuries, but your mother is hurt more. They are all at the hospital in Los Angeles where your great-uncle Drew works. He's going to make sure they all get the best of care."

"Surgery?" Lisa asked bluntly.

Jeff was equally blunt. "Yes, at least in Dianne's case. But she was conscious and alert long enough to make that decision, which is a good sign."

"Can we go see her?" Alex asked, his tone half hopeful.

"Yes. That's part of the reason I called you all here. I need you to pack your clothes and get ready to go to Los Angeles. Lisa, I'm under orders from Drew to have you call Maggie and bring her up to speed. He says we're to stay with them, and won't let me argue about it."

"Of course he wouldn't. Family stays with family." Lisa got up and handed Joshua off to Kyrano. "I'll call right now." She moved over to Jeff's desk to make her call.

"Mom, could you take Joshua?" Jeff asked. When Emily nodded, he continued. "I've also been told I'm not to do the flying, which means you'll have to take the pilot's seat, Kyrano."

"Of course, Mr. Tracy."

Kyrano rose and brought Joshua to Emily, who settled the toddler on her lap and looked at her son with an expression of concern. "When will you be leaving?"

"When Scott gets back here. I'm not leaving the desk unmanned or you alone," Jeff told her.

"Has there been any news about Marion?"

Jeff shook his head. "No, but I've probably got some voice messages to listen to. I'll check them once Lisa's finished with her call."

He rubbed both hands over his face, then glanced up to see Tyler standing before him. "Dad? Is Mom going to... die?"

Jeff opened his arms and settled his youngest son on his lap. Holding Tyler close, he told the boy, "I don't know for sure, Ty, but I don't think so. Scott got her to the hospital in Thunderbird One, so you know she got there quickly. And Uncle Drew... well, he's not going to let her die, not if he can help it."

Alex joined them as Cherry leaned up and put her arm around one of Jeff's. "I'm scared," Tyler whispered.

"We're all scared, Ty," Cherry said. "But Dad's right. Uncle Drew's on the case. He won't let Mom die."

"He may not have any choice," Alex said gloomily.

"Now that's nonsense, Alexander. Your uncle would move heaven and earth to save your mother. And don't forget: your mama made us a promise, and you know she's going everything she can to keep it," Lisa said, coming up to the little group. "Everything's set with Maggie, Jeff. She'll be waiting when we get there... whenever that is." She held out her hands to her grandchildren. "Come along, Tyler, Alex. Come with me, Cherie. Let's get packed up and be ready to go."

Jeff hugged Tyler hard before letting him get up. He patted Alex on the back and ran his hand though the short blond hair, then he kissed Cherie on the cheek and on the forehead. The children moved away slowly, with many a backward glance, but urged on by their grandmother.

"I will prepare Tracy One for flight," Kyrano said. He bowed, a courtesy not used much between them anymore, and followed Lisa out.

Jeff sighed heavily and returned to his desk. John's portrait was still active, but muted. All of the other "portraits" had been moved to icons on his desktop computer. Unless the operative was in a vehicle, they showed up as CGI characters on his screen. He called up his answering service, and began to listen to the messages, something he never did during a rescue. But he knew his mother's mind; it wouldn't be at rest until she had news. Besides, he was concerned about the caretaker at their family farmhouse, too.

Emily looked up as her son let out a sigh, one that sounded relieved. "Jeff?" she asked as she bounced Joshua on her lap.

He gave her a smile, small but genuine. "Good news, Mom. Marion called Jeanette, who relayed the message to me. She was in town most of the day, so she's safe. She hasn't been out to the house, though."

"Oh, that is a relief," Emily said, returning his smile. She put Joshua down, and stood, taking his hand. "I think this young 'un needs some lunch. I'll make sure you get some, too, Jeff." She approached the desk and put her free hand on Jeff's shoulder, squeezing it. "She'll be fine, son. She's in good hands."

Jeff merely nodded. Emily kissed him on the cheek and led Joshua off to feed him.

Putting his head in his hands, Jeff agonized silently. What the hell am I going to do? There's so much to think about! I need to focus on the team... but how can I? How can I put my wife on the back burner and think about others?

His eyes fell on Dianne's picture, the one that sat on his desk. It had been rigged to function like those of the boys, showing Dianne's face as she piloted Seven, but was rarely used now. He took a deep breath and put her picture face down on the desk. He let out the breath, and reached into the cabinet behind his desk. Pulling out a bottle of fine Scotch and a glass, he poured himself two fingers worth, downing it in one shot. Then he put away the liquor, laid the glass on his desk, and went to call Scott.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2192 is a reply to message #2191] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Hobbeth Sent: 10/13/2006 9:10 PM

Saturday, August 4, 9 PM; Lena's house

Lena was working some more on the communications security program, trying to modify it for sending data. But she was having a hard time concentrating, due to the news that International Rescue's medical vehicle was damaged. She desperately wanted to call Tracy Island and find out how the medical team was, but knew she couldn't. All she could do was pray.

Finally she gave up. I can't concentrate on dis until I know dey are okay. She shook her head as she saved her work and shut down the computer. As she left the room, she thought, First Jeff, now Dianne and de nurses -- what were deir names again? Oh yes -- Nikki and Dominic. I pray dey recover completely.

She went into the living room and turned on the television, searching for news of International Rescue. She saw an update come on, but it didn't say much more than she already knew. It's amazing dat dey aren't hurt more often. I hope it doesn't happen again to any of dem for a long time.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2193 is a reply to message #2192] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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Evil Genius
From: lillehafrue Sent: 10/14/2006 6:07 PM

Scott paced the length of the small waiting room. He glanced up at the clock for the hundredth time since he'd brought Nikki, Dom and Dianne in.

He sighed. The call home had been rough. While Scott knew his father was merely concerned with Dianne's condition, Scott still resented being snapped at. I'm just as worried as he is.

He paced the length of the room again. That's it. I've had it. Time to find out what's going on. He marched out the door and went in search of the doctors.

The hospital staff was rushing around; most ignoring his presence, though a few sent curious glances in his direction. He walked over to a nurse's station. "I'm looking for my teammates. Can you tell me where they are?"

The woman nodded. "Let me look, sir." She looked down at her computer for a moment. "Your two nurses are being admitted now. They're being kept overnight for observation. Your doctor is still in surgery."

Scott closed his eyes briefly. "Thank-you."



"I...I hope things turn out all right."

So do I. "Thank-you. Which way do I go?"

The woman pointed down the opposite hallway. "That way, sir. I'll make sure some one keeps you appraised of your other teammate's condition."

"Thanks again." Scott made his way down the hall, stopping in front of one of the doors. He knocked briefly, then stepped inside.

Dom looked up as he came in. "Scott! How's the Doc? These blokes won't tell me anything!" he said irritably.

Scott shook his head. "She's still in surgery. I'm as much in the dark as you." He tried to smile. "How are you feeling?"

Dom shrugged, carefully. "Sore. No concussion, but whiplash. And a marvelous variety of bumps and bruises. They're insisting I stay for observation, but what about Josh?!" he said agitatedly.

"Easy, Dom, Josh is being taken care of. I'm sure Grandma and the others just love having him all to themselves." He gave Dom a stern look. "Now, worry about getting better so you can get back to him."

"FAB." Dom smiled wearily. "Can you let me know as soon as you hear about the Doc?"

"You know I will. Get some rest." Scott gave Dom one last look before going in search of Nikki. He got to her room just as the doctor was coming out of it.

"There you are, good. Saves me from having to go look for you."

The man smiled warmly at Scott. "I'm Dr. Stephan Mansfield. Your colleague," He glanced down at the chart in his hands. "Angel?" Scott nodded. "Well, she's going to be fine. There was no break to the ankle, just a bad sprain. And a nice case of whiplash on top of it. I've given her a mild sedative to help with the pain, and she's sleeping. I'd rather you left her alone for the time being. You can go in later."

Scott nodded again. "And Tynan?"

"Again, nothing serious. Whiplash and bruising, mostly from the seat restraints. I'd like them to both stay overnight for observation."

"That will be fine. But I will insist on some sort of security. I don't want anyone getting into these rooms unless it's you or me," Scott said, his tone brooking no argument.

The man didn't flinch. "I can assure you, son, nothing is going to happen to them here."

"All the same, I'd rather not take the chance," Scott persisted.
Dr. Mansfield nodded. "I can have guards up here in a few minutes. As to only me being allowed in, I do have other patients. The nurses will have to attend to your teammates as well."

"Fine," Scott growled, his temper near the breaking point. He wanted food, bath and sleep, not necessarily in that order. And he knew he wasn't likely to get any of them any time soon.

Just then Carol appeared at their side. "Maverick? We've secured the area for your...ship. You can move it anytime." She looked closely at Scott. "Can I get you something? Coffee? A sandwich?"
Scott smiled gratefully. "Both would be great."

She smiled back. "Consider it done." She pulled something out of her pocket and handed it to him. "This is a pass-key. It will open the doors to the secure wing. There will be guards posted as well."

Dr. Mansfield nodded to Scott. "See, everything will be fine. Now, go move your ship, then get some rest. You won't do your people any good if you end up there with them." He shook Scott's hand once more, then walked off down the hallway.

Scott turned to Carol. "Do you have any news concerning my other colleague? Last I was told, she's still in surgery."

"Let me see what I can do." Carol told him.


"Come, let me take you to the parking lot." She led the way down to the lower level. "Back there, we've cleared Parking Area B. It should be large enough for your ship, and it's a secure lot so the press won't be able to get close."

"Sounds perfect." Scott turned to her. "Thank-you again for your assistance."

"It's my pleasure. I'll be inside when you're through."
Scott made his way back to Thunderbird One. He sat in the pilot's chair for a moment, his thoughts whirling. Dom and Nikki will be fine. We'll figure out how to get them home tomorrow. Who knows how long Mom'll have to stay...He sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. He could feel a headache of enormous proportions sneaking up on him. Dad should be here soon. I just hope I have some news by then...

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2194 is a reply to message #2193] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/14/2006 8:03 PM

Saturday, Aug 4, 7:45 PM Kansas (5:45 PM, L.A.; Sunday, Aug 5, 12:45 PM, Tracy Island)

"Oh no," Virgil breathed. He closed his eyes momentarily, then called Gordon forward.

"Is that...?" Gordon asked, his voice sad.

"Yeah. I'm recording it and I'll upload it to Five." Virgil toggled a switch. "Thunderbird Five from Thunderbird Two."

John sounded bone weary. "Thunderbird Five here, reading you strength five. What's the news?"

"I'm uploading images for you."

There was silence in the cabin. Elise came forward to peer at the screen, then drew in a sharp breath. Tin-Tin joined them, murmuring a sympathetic, "Oh no."

Finally, John's voice could be heard, breaking as he spoke. "Damn. Just... damn."

"What is it? What's wrong?" Kat asked as Elise sat back down. Brandon turned in his seat to listen as Tin-Tin returned to her seat.

The engineer sighed. "The Tracy farmhouse. It's been in the family for generations. Now... it's gone."

Kat put a hand up to her mouth, her eyes round with alarm and shock. "Oh no! How dreadful! Was anyone hurt?"

Tin-Tin sat back, a worried frown creasing her features. "I don't know if the caretaker was there or not. I hope not."

Virgil glanced up at Gordon. There were tears in his brother's eyes, and one was running down his cheek. Virgil reached a hand up to squeeze his brother's shoulder. "I know."

"It's... it's too much." Gordon said. He blinked, and wiped his eyes, then took a deep breath. "Looks like about half the barn was spared. But the house... it's gone."

"Yeah. I'd like to say it's just a building, but it's not. It's been an anchor for us." Virgil squeezed Gordon's shoulder again, and his brother nodded. He returned to his seat. Brandon had moved so that Tin-Tin could sit next to Gordon. She rubbed his back across the shoulders in a comforting way.

"Quasar? You still with us?" Virgil asked quietly.

"Yeah. I am." John's voice sounded thick.

"What's going on elsewhere?"

"The Thunderbird Three team have turned off the thrusters on that one AWOL satellite, and they can't cut them apart. So they've tethered the thing to Three, and they plan on releasing it outside of geostationary orbit. They're going to be a while yet just getting up beyond geostationary."

"Do they know about... Doc?"

"Indy and Ursa do. I think Indy's told Einstein by now."

"F-A-B. What's the news from L.A.?"

"Don't know yet. Haven't heard from Maverick."

"Base knows?"

"Yes. He knows."

Virgil sighed. "Don't let him see this, not yet. He's got enough on his plate."

"GM will want to travel out and salvage what she can."

"I know. But she'd agree that people take priority." Virgil's voice dropped to a lower, softer tone. "Let's take one thing at a time."

There was a pause, then John replied, "F-A-B." Virgil could hear John's frustrated sigh. "I... I just wish I could be down there right now."

"I'll discuss that with Maverick when I get back to base. Are there any instructions for me?"

"I'll check. You may be needed to swing by L.A. and pick up Tynan and Angel."

"You focus on Three. I'll hail Maverick and find out what he wants us to do."

"Right. Thunderbird Five out."

Virgil stayed still for a few moments, holding Thunderbird Two in a stationary position over the farmhouse, staring at the devastation. It took Elise's hand on his shoulder to rouse him from his reverie.

"I can take her for a while, if you like," she offered, a sympathetic smile on her face.

He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Thanks, but no thanks. I think I need to fly her for a while. Therapeutic in a way. But if I get tired, can I take you up on that?"

"Sure," Elise said. She squeezed his shoulder. "We'd better go. Don't want to draw suspicion."

"F-A-B." Virgil took one more look at the camera images, then changed direction and headed west, toward Los Angeles.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest

[Updated on: Sun, 29 July 2012 20:33]

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Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2195 is a reply to message #2194] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Hobbeth Sent: 10/14/2006 9:46 PM

Each person sat quietly, lost in his or her thoughts. There had been so much destruction, some of it close to home for a few of them. Kat looked around at the others, wishing she could say or do something to ease the sadness.

She began to feel dizzy, then faint. Oh no, she thought as she checked the time. It's been too long since I last ate! She checked her pockets and found a Muesli bar. Quickly opening it, she began to munch on it.

The sound aroused Tin-Tin and Gordon, who both looked at her, then at each other. "It's been too long since any of us had something to eat. Whether or not we feel like eating is irrelevant," she said. "We need sustenance, if only to have enough energy to get through the debriefing when we get back to base. Thanks, Kat, for reminding us."

"You're welcome, although that's not why I did what I did."

Gordon smiled slightly. "Then maybe we should thank your blood sugar problem for making the rest of us realize we need to eat."

Kat giggled a little. "Always glad to help whenever I can."

Well, let's get the MREs distributed," said Tin-Tin. "Gordon, will you help me?"

"Okay, Tin-Tin," Gordon replied. They got up and went to where they had the MREs stored. They began to pass them out to everyone. Elise asked for two, saying she'd take the other one to Virgil when she finished eating hers. That way he could have his while she piloted Two.

They chowed down, making sporadic comments once in a while. But no one felt like talking much.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2196 is a reply to message #2195] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/14/2006 10:09 PM

Scott closed his eyes when his Virgil's voice sounded in his ear. "Maverick from Van Gogh. Come in, Maverick."

He pulled the earpiece from his ear, and took off his visor. Reaching forward, he switched the communication over to Thunderbird One's console. "Thunderbird One here, go ahead, Thunderbird Two."

Virgil's eyebrows went up when Scott's weary face appeared in his viewscreen. "You look like hell," he observed.

"I feel like hell," Scott snapped. "The only news I have on Doc is that she's in surgery. Tynan and Angel have whiplash, various bruises and cuts, and Angel has a sprained ankle. They've both been admitted overnight for observation." He began to fasten his restraints. "The security people here have cleared a parking lot for me. I'm going to move One there."

"F-A-B," Virgil said mildly. "I guess you don't need us in L.A.?"

The fight went out of Scott and his shoulders slumped. "Of course I need you here. I need someone here I can lean on for a change. But you're better off heading back to base. The Boss should be on his way out by now and I have no idea who he's left behind. And I'm not leaving until either he arrives or I have word on Doc... or both. You have Seven?"

"Yeah, we have Seven safely stowed in the pod." Virgil's voice dropped. "We also have vid of the farmhouse."

Scott sat up straight at this and his eyes widened. "Is it... is it bad?"

Virgil nodded. "It's bad. In fact, it's gone."

"Damn." Scott closed his eyes and grimaced, then shook his head. "I guess our luck ran out on this one, didn't it?"

"You could say that," Virgil replied. "I'm changing heading now and will get back to base. Let us know the minute you have any news, and don't forget Quasar. He's doing double duty right now and is under a lot of pressure. In fact, I want to talk to you about possibly having Three stop and pick him up."

"F-A-B. I'll think about that, and I promise to be on the horn to everyone as soon as I know anything." Scott gave his brother a tight smile. "Don't forget to eat. Those MREs aren't the best, but I bet you and the crew haven't had anything since breakfast. And since Doc isn't here..."

"F-A-B, Maverick. Message received." Virgil's voice softened. "You take care of yourself, too, Mav."

"I will. Thunderbird One, out."

Virgil sighed and shook his head. He glanced up to see Elise standing beside him, an MRE in her hand.

"You need to eat," Elise said firmly. "Let me take her. You take this and head back to the crew's quarters. I suppose you'll scarf it down to get back here ASAP, but the change of scene will do you good."

Virgil smiled. "I just got orders of the same sort from the field commander," he said as he rose from the pilot's seat.

"Well, then. Listen to Scott for a change." Elise handed him the MRE, and slid into his place. "Sometimes he even knows what he's talking about."

"I'll tell him you said that," Virgil teased.

"He won't believe you," Elise huffed.

Virgil allowed himself a small chuckle, then sighed again and headed back to the crews' quarters. Scott was right; he did need to eat, and Elise's idea of a change of scene was good, too. A sudden thought struck him, and he stopped at the door to the back portion of the command level.


Those in the cockpit looked back at him expectantly, except Elise, who was focused on flying Two.

"The field commander isn't here, so this falls to me." He glanced at the chronometer on Two's control panel. "Stand down from rescue, 20 hundred hours, local time. Log it, please, Elise."

"F-A-B," she said softly.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2197 is a reply to message #2196] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/15/2006 11:08 AM

Setting Thunderbird One down in the secure area, Scott gathered up his visor and cap and was prepared to head back into the hospital when his father's voice sounded out over the comm panel.

"Maverick from Base. Come in, Maverick."

Sighing, Scott toggled the switch. "Thunderbird One here. Go ahead, Base."

Jeff's face showed up on the comm screen. He looked tired, but had a determined set to his jaw that set warning bells off in Scott's head. He's about to get stubborn. Well, sir, I can be just as stubborn!

"What is your ETA to base, Thunderbird One?"

"I have no ETA to report, base."

Jeff's eyes narrowed. "I am waiting for your return to base so I can leave for Los Angeles, Maverick."

This took Scott aback. "May I ask why... sir?"

"Because I have been ordered by our Los Angeles agent that I should not fly out myself, and should bring the... troops with me. This would leave only GM here by herself, with Tynan's child. I will not leave her here by herself, nor will I leave the desk unmanned. Therefore, I order you to return to base immediately."

Scott thought about this for a moment, then straightened. "I understand your reasons, sir, and I sympathize with them. However, someone should be here at all times for security purposes, and for... for Doc when she wakes up. My assessment of the situation tells me that you wouldn't be here in time for that event, even if I was at base this very moment." He took a deep breath. "Therefore, I must respectfully tell you that I am staying here."

Jeff's eyes widened as Scott continued. "Thunderbird Two is on its way back to base at this moment. It would be far better to have more than just one person available to GM, especially considering that we have currently have a team in space." His voice softened. "A half hour isn't going to make a lot of difference at this point, Boss. Besides, you can snag another pilot for the trip. Someone's got to take Tynan and Angel back tomorrow anyway."

There was silence between them for a moment, then Jeff's brows knit in a scowl. "Regardless of Thunderbird Two's status, I want you commanding in my absence. As you have said, we still have a team out in space, and you are best fitted to deal with that.
Again, I order you to return to base immediately."

Scott shook his head. "No, sir. You know I'm right, but you're not thinking logically right now. So I respectfully tell you to take your order and shove it."

There was a sound in the background, like someone scolding, and Jeff turned his head away briefly. Scott tried hard to hide a smile; his grandmother was weighing in on the subject, and it sounded like she was on his side.

Jeff turned back to look at Scott. He drew in a deep breath, and let it out noisily through his nose. "Very well, Thunderbird One. You may stay until my arrival. But we will discuss this insubordination at a later date."

"F-A-B, sir." Scott said sharply, resisting the urge to salute.

"Base, out."

Scott blew out a relieved breath. He shook his head as he put his visor back on, double checking that his earpiece was in properly, then ran his hand through his hair before donning the cap again. He put on the camera fogger, and set the security measures, climbing out of the cockpit. Glancing toward the hospital's emergency entrance, he saw Carol Ferris waiting for him.

"I have a meal waiting for you inside," she said as he fell into step with her. "But you should know that Gerry Montoya has a press conference scheduled a few moments from now."

"Damn," he muttered. He looked at his companion. "Any way I can listen in?"

"Of course," she said. "The networks are carrying it live."

"Wait up a moment." He stopped in his tracks, and tapped his ear piece. "Thunderbird Five from Maverick."

A little icon of John showed in Scott's heads up visor. "Thunderbird Five here, go ahead."

"There's to be a press conference in a few moments, given by Mercy General's public relations people. Can you notify base, and record it from where you are?"

"Yes, I can."

Scott could hear John's unspoken question. "I'd notify base myself, but at the moment, I'm being insubordinate."

The eyebrows on the icon went up. "I see. In that case, I'll comply. But I'll want an explanation later. Thunderbird Five, out."

Scott tapped the earpiece again, and gave Carol a tight smile. "Let's go," was all he said.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2198 is a reply to message #2197] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/15/2006 1:04 PM

"Is everyone here?" Geraldo Montoya asked his assistant.

"The room is packed." She handed him the data pad on which his statement was printed. He glanced over it, then straightened his tie and gave his hair a last brushing.

"Here I go," he murmured as he stepped out onto the small podium, and into the harsh lights.

His assistant was right. There was standing room only in the conference room he'd commandeered for the press bulletin. He smiled, and put his data pad on the podium, which had the hospital's crest prominently displayed on the front.

"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am sure you have all heard about the arrival of International Rescue's Thunderbird One a little earlier this afternoon. The craft was airlifting three patients, one in critical condition, from the Wichita area to our facility, on orders from International Rescue's chief medical officer. Two of the patients have minor injuries and have been treated and admitted for overnight observation; the third is in surgery. The surgeons working on the case are our chief of surgery, Dr. Andrew Carmichael, and our chief of orthopedics, Dr. J. Edward Willis. I am told that International Rescue chose Mercy General because they wished to spare the already burdened hospitals in the Wichita area, and because of Mercy General's state-of-the art surgical imaging equipment."

He took a deep breath, then said, "I'll take questions now."

A woman near the front raised her hand. "Is this related to the reported downing of Thunderbird Seven by a tornado outside of Wichita earlier today?"

"Yes, it is." Geraldo nodded.

"Are the patients IR personnel?" someone else asked. "The reports out of Kansas say that the doctor and the two nurses were injured in the crash."

"Yes, IR's physician and two nurses are the patients that were brought in."

"It's been reported that the doctor is the one with the more serious injuries," a NTBS reporter said. "Is this true?"
Geraldo nodded again. "Yes, the doctor -- who, I understand, is also the CMO -- has the more serious injuries and is in surgery as we speak."

"What kind of injuries have the IR personnel suffered?"

"I can't answer that question due to patient privacy issues." Sweat was beginning to bead on Geraldo's forehead. Sure is hot in here!

"We understand that Mercy General has the finest surgical imaging technology to be found anywhere," a local reporter asked, his tone slightly sarcastic. "But there are certainly other fine institutions between here and Wichita, some even closer to the scene of the crash. Are there any other reasons why this hospital was chosen over others?"

Geraldo paused, then made a decision. "I was informed by Dr. Carmichael that he had briefly met with International Rescue's physician and one of their nurses during the tsunami relief efforts in Samoa. He was impressed at the time."

This caused a lot of writing and murmuring among the reporters. "So you believe that their physician may have been equally impressed with your Dr. Carmichael and come here on the strength of their... acquaintance?"

The public relations man shook his head. "I can't say one way or the other. I can only give you Dr. Carmichael's statement."

"International Rescue is almost fanatical about its security and anonymity. What steps has Mercy taken to ensure their security?"

"Our head of security has asked me to refrain from giving details on the arrangements we have in place. Suffice it to say, we will do our best to keep International Rescue's operatives safe and secure."

One of the television reporters asked, "Are you expecting the arrival of any other International Rescue personnel or craft?"

"Not at this time." He looked around the room, then smiled. "I'm afraid that's all the time I have, ladies and gentlemen. We will be sending out press releases and holding conferences as the situation warrants. Thank you for coming."

With that, he strode off the platform, the unasked questions of the press sounding behind him. He stepped outside the room into the coolness of the hallway, and strode briskly to his office, his assistant trying to keep up. Once behind his desk again, he took out a handkerchief and wiped his face.

"Whew!" he said. "How do you think we did?"

"I think we did well," his assistant replied. "But the real person to ask would be the guy who brought in the patients."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2199 is a reply to message #2198] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: ArtisticRainey Sent: 10/15/2006 2:28 PM

The bed sheets crunched a little as Dominic shifted once more, trying to move in a way that would alleviate the gradually increasing pain in his neck. He closed his eyes and listened to the heartbeat of the hospital: heels clicking rapidly on the hard floors, gurney wheels squeaking both slowly and quickly, and the mumbles of doctors and nurses and patients and visitors.

He took a deep breath of the antiseptic air through his nose, and let it out through his mouth.

His thoughts were heavy on his brows, and he scrubbed at his face with his hands. There was a dull ache present in most of his muscles, and he was now finding it difficult to keep his eyes open. What a day, he thought. I don't even want to think about it. He felt disconnected from the person, Tynan, who had ridden a tornado and cut his doctor free from the steering column of Thunderbird Seven. The man lying on an L.A. hospital bed was just plain Dominic, who had a slight tremor in his hands and wanted to go home to his son. I wonder what Joshua will make of Daddy's rainbow of bruises. Probably want to poke 'em all...

He let his arms drop back onto the bed and shifted again. I now have renewed empathy for all of those auto-accident patients I've assisted on. I forgot what whiplash was like... He thought back to the car crash he had been in as teenager, and snorted at the comparison. I think this one has well surpassed that in crappiness...

He mulled over the events of the rescue and afterwards for a little while longer, before slipping off to sleep.

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2200 is a reply to message #2199] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/15/2006 9:31 PM

Saturday, August 4, 6:30 p.m., Los Angeles (Sunday, August 5, 1:30 p.m., Tracy Island)

"What is this stuff?" Dr. Willis asked as he pulled another metal shard from the wound on Dianne's leg. He dropped it with a clink into an emesis bowl. "I've never seen metal like this before."

"I don't know, Jonah, and I'm not asking," Drew Carmichael said. He looked at the scanner's screen. "Where is that laceration?" he muttered to himself. "Ahhh. There you are. you little bugger. Gotcha!"

As he began to repair the tiny laceration, he asked, "How's she doing, Ray?"

"Better since we intubated, Drew," Ray replied. He was keeping an eye on Dianne's blood oxygen levels and the anesthesia they were using to keep her under. "She's going to find just breathing painful for a while."

"And not just because of those bruises, either," Drew said, keeping his eye on his work. "I still want to fuse those cracked ribs."

"Doesn't International Rescue believe in airbags?" one of the nurses said as she used suction on the laceration site.

"I bet they will after this," Drew replied. In fact, I'll make sure of it!

Dr. Willis stood up. "I think I've got it all. Nan, here are the metal fragments. Package them up, please. A little souvenir of this adventure." He handed the bowl to the nurse, then shucked his gloves. "Dr. Singh, would you close?"

"Yes, Dr. Willis," the young doctor murmured. He motioned to the nurse for a clean pair of gloves to be slipped on over his current pair, and took up Willis's position next to Dianne's leg. Dr. Willis left the operating theater, passing through the electronic anti-bacterial barrier before opening the door to the scrub room.

"Sorry about that, Rajeev," Drew said distractedly. "I should have known he'd want to be in on this. Any chance to become famous."

"No apologies necessary, Dr. Carmichael," Rajeev replied. "I know Dr. Willis and his ways well. They do not bother... me..."

Drew frowned. He didn't dare take his eyes off his work, but he knew that something was wrong. "Talk to me, Rajeev. What's wrong?"

"A bowl, please, Nancy." There was a pause, then a tiny clink. "It seems that Dr. Willis may not become famous after all, but rather infamous." Another tiny clink sounded, then another.

"Damn the man!" Drew said with a scowl. "Nancy, make sure you keep what Dr. Singh is pulling out and what Dr. Willis has already done separate. I want clear proof of this malpractice." He paused, then said in a more moderate tone. "More suction please."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2201 is a reply to message #2200] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/15/2006 9:38 PM

Saturday, August 4, 7:00 p.m., local time, Los Angeles (Sunday, August 5, 2 p.m., Tracy Island)

Scott was in the secure floor's waiting room again. He'd been there for a while now. Both Dom and Nikki were asleep, and the nurses were keeping him better apprised of Dianne's progress. He kept flipping the channels on the television, and shook his head when nearly all he could find were special bulletins about Thunderbird Seven and the situation in Los Angeles. Even the soccer game he had settled down to watch had a news crawl across it, giving the details of the day over and over again.

Too bad that what happened to us seems to have totally overshadowed the rest of the destruction out there in Kansas. And I wish to God we could suppress that footage of Seven! I wonder if Dad has seen it yet. Maybe he could get the agents on the case... though it's probably too late for that by now.

He sipped the coffee he'd gotten from the little kitchenette. The nurses had brewed a fresh pot, just for him. It's better than what Mt. Sinai used to have.

His thoughts began to turn back to the last time he waited in a hospital for news. Wasn't half as complicated as this is. How are we going to handle people coming to see Mom? I wish my brain was working on all cylinders, but I am whipped.

His communicator beeped in his ear. "Maverick from Van Gogh, come in, Maverick."

Virgil! He stood and began to pace as a tiny icon of Virgil popped up on his visor. "Maverick here. Go ahead, Van Gogh."

"Just wanted to give you a heads up. We're back at base, safe and sound. I've been put in charge for the moment. The crew is eating, and we'll debrief as much as possible once that's done."

Virgil remembered how surprised he'd been to find his younger siblings, Lisa and Kryano already waiting in the aircraft hangar, as he backed Thunderbird Two into its spot. And how equally shocked he was to find his father closing up his attaché case, ready to leave.

"I'm handing the desk over to you, Virgil. Your brother, Scott, has seen fit to disobey my direct orders and I'll be dealing with him later. But right now, I'm on my way to Los Angeles to be with Dianne. I know I can count on you to keep things running smoothly."

"Yes, sir," Virgil had said, feeling a bit dizzy at the abrupt departure. "Is... Is there anything I need to know? When is the Thunderbird Three crew due back?"

"Last update I had," Jeff had said, stopping at the top of the steps to the study, "they were roughly an hour from the geosynchronous orbital layer. Once they clear that, they'll let go of the satellite, reignite the thruster, and send it on its way. I'm sure that you, John, and Alan can handle it." He gave Virgil a small smile. "We'll be staying with Drew and Maggie. Contact numbers are on the desk." A brusque nod, a hurried, "I'll see you soon," and Jeff Tracy had left. Kyrano asked for departure clearance less than fifteen minutes later.

"So, that's what's happening on this end," Virgil said as he gave Scott an abbreviated version of the events. "You can expect the Boss and company to land in Los Angeles at roughly 2300 hours your time."

"Thanks for the heads up, Van Gogh," Scott said gratefully. "Wish I had some news on this end. Tynan and Angel are both asleep, but Doc isn't out of surgery yet. The longer it takes, the less I like it."

"I agree," Virgil replied. He paused, then said, "You remember that I mentioned talking to you about Quasar?"

"Yeah, I do. You said something about having Three pick him up?"

"Yes. We could either automate Five or ask Einstein or Ursa to stay for just a couple of days. You know he's going to want to see Doc. He could use the respite, too, after today."

"It's okay with me," Scott said. "Just don't ask Ursa, okay? I think she's not ready yet, and besides, she has leave coming to her soon."

"F-A-B. I'll bring it up with Einstein, then. Like I said, it'd only be for a few days."

Scott sighed, and his voice lowered. "Have you talked to GM about the house?"

"No, not yet. Let her get Tynan's kid down for the night and some food into her. Maybe even a good night's sleep. She'll face it better then."

"We'll have to make arrangements about that, too." Scott shook his head. "There's so much to do and the Boss? The Boss isn't thinking right now."

"I know." Virgil sighed as well. "I'd better get some food, and bring Quasar and Indy up to speed. Call as soon as you have news on Doc. And take care of yourself, too."

"F-A-B," Scott replied. "Maverick, out."

With that, Scott turned from the door and pulled up his visor, rubbing his tired eyes. Back on the island, Virgil glanced up to see Emily come in with a tray for him. "Kat has Joshua right now," she said as he came to her to take the tray. "I want to know if you saw the farmhouse."

Virgil put the tray on his father's desk, then sighed. "Well, Grandma, it's like this..."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2202 is a reply to message #2201] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: TracyFan4Ever Sent: 10/17/2006 6:37 PM

Alan and Brains had successfully placed the fused satellites into a special net. Callie had tethered the line and had activated the hull magnets on Thunderbird Three's exterior. As soon as the men were safely back inside the space rocket and the satellites were locked onto the exterior, they moved to a point 100 miles southwest of the International Space Station's trajectory. As a result, neither Thunderbird Three nor the ISS was in any danger of a collision in space.

Alan smiled at Callie and Brains. "That part of the mission is now complete. With no one in danger, all we have to do now is place a tracker on the satellites and then send them off into space."

"I guess all those HDTV customers will have to go without it for a while," Callie joked, "at least until a new one can take the faulty one's place."

Brains shook his head. "Most TV companies nowadays have several replacements, so don't be surprised if a new one gets up there within three days."

Standing up, Alan said, "Okay, I'm heading back out there with a tracker and remote device. I don't want Three to be caught up in the thruster. Callie, go ahead and release the hull magnets' hold on the satellites."

"F-A-B, Alan," she said as she pressed the button. "How long will this take?"

"Probably no more than 30 minutes. I can get the net off, and you can bring it in. I'll hook up the thruster's wiring to the control device, and we'll have plenty of time to get out of here before firing it."

Brains said, "The thruster should fire just fine by the way we have it set up."

Checking how far the satellites were, Callie noticed the safety zone. "The net's now out of range, so I'll deactivate the magnets." Pressing the button to turn off the magnets, she said, "Okay, Alan, she's all yours."

"Thanks, Callie. As soon as we fire the thrusters, contact Thunderbird Five and base for stand down time."

As she nodded, Alan put on his helmet and placed the tether line on his back. Floating out into space, he went up to where the satellites were and took off the net surrounding them. "Ursa, bring in the net."

"F-A-B, Indy. Tether net coming in now."

Alan had no trouble connecting the thruster's wires to the remote device. Then, he placed the tracker on the top of the HDTV satellite. "That should do it." Returning to Thunderbird Three, Alan undressed himself from his space suit and said, "Everything's set. Callie, press the button to activate remote device."

She did so, and the thruster activated, sending the satellites safely out of Earth's orbit and into the depths of space. "Thunderbird Five and base from Thunderbird Three. Mission completed. Satellites are now moving away from Earth. Stand down time is at 1503 hours local time."

On Tracy Island, Virgil heard Callie's stand down time. "F-A-B, Ursa. Good work, all of you. Now I need you to make a side trip to Thunderbird Five so Quasar can switch out with Einstein for a few days."

Surprised to hear Virgil on the other end, she thought, That's weird. It's usually Scott who's behind the desk when Mr. Tracy's gone. What's going on? Oh, never mind, I'd rather just get this over with so John can get to be with his mother, too. She shrugged and said, "F-A-B, Van Gogh. We're on our way now."

John spoke up. "I've contacted ISS, ISC, and ElecSignal. They're all saying thanks. Right now, though, I feel like going home."

"Don't worry, Quasar," said Alan. "We're on the way to pick you up now."

"F-A-B, Indy," said a clearly exhausted John. "Just give me time to pack some clothes for a few days."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2203 is a reply to message #2202] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
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From: Tikatu Sent: 10/17/2006 7:15 PM

Saturday, August 4, 8:15 p.m., local time, Los Angeles (Sunday, August 5, 3:15 p.m., Tracy Island)


Scott startled from his doze. Drew stood before him, a tired smile on his face. "We're finished."

"Where is she?"

"Recovery. We're waiting for her to come around."

"Can I...?"

Drew chuckled. "Of course. Your... boss will want a full report."

Scott smiled hesitantly, and stretched as he got up from the chair he'd fallen asleep in. Drew turned, and the younger man followed him down the hallway.


Dianne slowly became aware of sounds around her. Machines beeping, the hiss of a ventilator, sounds she was so familiar with, but from a different perspective. There was something wrong with her breathing; her own natural inclination and rhythm fought against an unnatural force that now controlled it. Her eyes opened a crack, and uncoordinated hands waved as she tried to bring them up to the breathing tube.

"Dianne," a soft, familiar voice whispered into her ear as a strong hand caught hers. "Doc," the voice said, louder now. "Come on, sit up and let's get this tube out."

Arms slid behind her, helping her to sit up and her eyes opened further, still dulled from the drugs. "Cough for me, Doc. Cough."

She tried to gather breath to cough, and after a few painful gasps, was finally able to help expel the breathing tube from her throat. "Gah!" she rasped. "Tha' hurts."

Drew and his nurses eased her back against the upraised head of the bed. She finally focused on the faces around her, and smiled slightly. Scott stood behind the medical personnel, wearing visor and hat, watching. He smiled at her, then glanced at Drew, motioning with his head so that Drew could tell. The doctor made the connection, and began to usher his nurses out. "Let's give them a minute."

The door closed behind them, and Scott removed his facial camouflage. "Hey, Mom," he murmured. He leaned over to kiss her on the forehead. "Welcome back."

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest
Re: Home is Where the Heart Is [message #2204 is a reply to message #2203] Sun, 29 July 2012 20:53 Go to previous message
Lillehafrue is currently offline  Lillehafrue
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TB Pilot
Evil Genius
And with that we end Chapter Eight: Home Is Where The Heart Is!

98% pure evil...and loving every minute of it.
Luke Morel Rommel in Vest

[Updated on: Sun, 29 July 2012 21:46] by Moderator

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