Categories > TV > Thunderbirds > Enhanced0 Reviews
After participating in a rescue at a US research base John begins experiencing strange and amazing side effects.
Chapter Three: Things Get More Complicated
Two Minutes Later
Soldiers and researchers alike turned their heads up as Thunderbird Two came in to land beside Thunderbird One. Despite being absolutely massive far bigger than any aircraft operated by the US airforce or any airforce in the world Thunderbird Two moved with an easy grace as it set down the awesome force of its VTOL jets creating a wind that blew dust everywhere. Researchers and soldiers stared in equal amounts of awe and humility as the great machine set down realising that what they were seeing was the power of a technology more advanced than anything currently in existence anywhere else in the world.
For a few moments Thunderbird Two sat silent on the ground and then a warning buzzer sounded and Thunderbird Two began to rise on powerful hydraulic legs. The whole of the green leviathan aside from the central interchangeable pod section rising up to expose the door of the pod. In moments the pod was fully exposed and the great door/ramp lowered to the ground.
Then from inside Thunderbird Two's pod came the rumble of an extremely powerful engine. Watching soldiers and research staff watched in amazement as a massive drilling machine on a powerful mobile track emerged from the pod. The name Mole was proudly written on the side.
The great drilling machine moved forward with a speed that belied its huge size much to the amazement of the watching troops and staff. Then it came to a stop and the powerful pivot on the transport sled raised the great machine rear end towards the sky while the cutting head dropped towards the ground. With a whirr the cutting head started up and quickly reached full speed. Jets on the back engaged and the machine's moved forward and immediately ate into the ground and disappeared beneath the surface kicking up a plume of dust as it disappeared underground.
John Tracy smiled enjoying himself as he handled the controls to the Mole. It was rare that he really got to operate any of International Rescue's vehicles beyond Thunderbird Three. Though like all his brothers he was fully qualified to pilot all of their vehicles. He was just didn't often get the chance. For some reasons things tended to be quiet on the rescue front whenever he was down on Earth. So he was enjoying being able to pilot the Mole while Virgil got the oxyhydnite equipment ready. The need to use electrically heated gas cylinders to evaporate any escaping fumes meant that the equipment was quiet bulky and required specialised harnesses to use it. They didn't know enough about the underground corridors to use their hoversleds so they would have to carry the oxyhydnite equipment on their backs.
In a few short moments the ride was over as the Mole tunnelled right into the side of the underground base.
"We're through," John called back to Virgil even as he powered down the Moles drive and drilling head.
"Oxyhydnite equipment is ready," Virgil answered grunting slightly as he put on one of the harnesses and felt the weight of the gas cylinder full force until he did the harness up properly.
"F.A.B," John answered even as he climbed out of the Moles pilot seat and went to put own his own oxyhydnite harness.
Like Virgil before him he grunted from the weight of the gas cylinder as he put the harness on.
"Damn we must have a word with Brains see if he can make these things lighter," he said to Virgil while Virgil retrieved the masks that would allow them to breath clearly - since the air in the underground levels was probably contaminated by dust and smoke and which would protect them from any fumes they might encounter. Virgil retrieved gloves for that same purpose.
"I wish it would make them a lot easier to carry," Virgil agreed as he handed a mask and gloves to John before putting his on. "Maybe we should talk to him about it when we get back to base. Brains is always open to suggestions for improvements."
"Yeah that might be an idea," John agreed as he pulled his gloves on before putting on the breathing mask.
Before moving over to the hatch in the Moles side John and Virgil thoroughly and efficiently checked each other's equipment to make sure everything was correct. Naturally it was. Their equipment was always kept in perfect working order. There would be absolute hell to pay if it weren't. Still they always checked before moving, as one could never, ever be too careful.
"Mobile Control this is the Mole," Virgil said into his mask's microphone.
"Go ahead Virgil," Scott responded at once.
"Scott were about to leave the Mole is there any new information?"
"I'm afraid not Virgil. You'll just have to manage."
"Understood. How many emergency doors are we looking at."
"It they've all closed between you and your destination then they will be twelve of them. One every ten metres."
"Thanks Scott," John put in.
"Thanks." Scott signed off.
"Well here we go," John said nervously wondering what they would find when they left the Mole. The fact that the military and scientists who ran this base refused point blank to tell them what they were researching here made him very, very uneasy. What was it that they were so desperate to hide? And he could tell the Virgil felt the same.
"Yes," Virgil agreed as he started to operate the hatch controls. "Lets just hope we don't run into anything nasty."
The interior of the research base was dark and gloomy. The air was thick with smoke and dust and the strength of things burning that were not meant to burn. Like metal, plastic and flesh. Pale emergency lights barely penetrated the gloom but what they revealed were plain and narrow concrete corridors.
"Imagine trying to work in a place like this," John said to Virgil as they advanced cautiously mindful of the debris that littered the corridors.
"Don't care to," Virgil replied. "There's one of those emergency doors."
Sure enough ahead of them was a thick metal door but it hadn't closed fully instead it was stuck half way between open and closed. A quick look showed that the force of the initial explosion had warped the tracks it ran on. The gap on one side was narrow but they were able to squeeze through.
They advanced cautiously deeper into the base moving carefully over the debris that littered the floor. As he walked cautiously sweeping a flashlight from side to side in a searching motion John found he liked this base less and less. It was all dark and gloomy there was no cheer here. How could anyone live and work in this place. Even when he'd been with NASA before the foundation of International Rescue the space stations he'd been on had been brighter and warmer than this though the corridors had been just as narrow. John did not understand how anyone could work in this place.
Most of the emergency doors they came to were open or like the other one jammed half shut all warped or not off line by the explosion. But as they approached the core of the base they came across a door that had actually closed and was blocking the corridor. Virgil tried to operate the door release mechanism but the door remained stubbornly closed its motors dead.
"Looks like we'll have to burn through after all," John said to Virgil taking the torch for the oxyhydnite from its clip on the harness.
"Looks like it," Virgil agreed taking out his own oxyhydnite torch.
Almost in unison they lit the torches and got to work on the thick metal door. It didn't take long to cut through. The powerful oxyhydnite cut through the metal as though it was paper eating through the tough metal far faster than a laser could. In moments the door was no longer and obstacle a single kick from Virgil sent it crashing to the floor.
After turning off the oxyhydnite torches they resumed their trek through the base. They encountered no other closed emergency doors between them and the central core. As they passed the lifts and stairwell doors that lined the core shaft John paused. He could hear something, some that sounded like bubbling water and it was coming from the stairwell.
"Virgil can you hear that," he said.
"Yeah," Virgil replied. "The river must be getting in somewhere below us. Think we should take a look?"
"I don't think we have much choice. Though we should advise Scott first."
"John to Mobile Control," John said into his comm unit.
"Yes John," Scott responded immediately.
"Scott we may have a new problem. We can hear water coming from below us in the direction of the stairwell I think the river containment wall has been breached and its coming in. I'm going to take a quick look to see how fast its rising."
"F.A.B be careful John," Scott replied.
Moving quickly but cautiously John headed over to the stairwell and slowly opened the heavy fire door half expecting river water to come blasting through. None came. Still being cautious he moved into the stairwell and looked down. Muddy water was coming from the level below and rapidly cascading down the stairs to the lower three levels. From the look of it level twelve the bottom most level and the tip of the underground pyramid was already under water. Ugh oh, John thought seeing how quickly the water was rising. They wouldn't have long.
"Scott, Virgil," he said into his comm unit. "The water is rising pretty fast looks like level twelve is already flooded. I don't think we have long."
"Damn," Virgil answered.
"Agreed," Scott added. "You two have to move more quickly."
John moved back out of the stairwell, closing the door behind him though the door would only hold off the rising river water for a short time once it reached this level. But even if it held off the river for only a few minutes it would be a few more minutes to save the trapped researchers. A few more minutes which could be critical.
"Come on," Virgil said as John rejoined him. "We have to hurry."
"Don't I know it," John agreed as they got moving again both of them knowing that things had just gotten more complicated.