Categories > TV > Thunderbirds > Enhanced0 Reviews
After participating in a rescue at a US research base John begins experiencing strange and amazing side effects.
Chapter Five: Homecoming
Virgil put the drive unit of the Mole into full speed reverse and the great drilling and tunnelling machine began moving back along the tunnel they had bored into the ground earlier. He hoped that the Mole was quick enough to get back along the tunnel before the river caught up with them.
Sensors mounted near the front of the Mole showed that the level they had just left was flooding quiet rapidly and would be completely underwater in a few minutes. If the water caught up with the Mole before they reached the surface they would be in real trouble as it would break the grip between the drive belts on the sides of the Mole and the wall of the tunnel. If that happened they would be stranded.
Virgil began to relax when he saw that they were outpacing the floodwaters. They were going to reach the surface before the water, which was only just starting to spill into the tunnel to chase after the fleeing Mole and its human passengers and crew. Still he wouldn't relax completely until they were back on the surface and he was back at the controls of his beloved Thunderbird Two heading for home.
"How are you doing Virgil," John asked from the back passenger compartment where he was with the rescued researchers.
"We're almost to the surface," Virgil answered.
"F.A.B," John answered and although his voice was calm and professional in full International Rescue mode Virgil clearly heard a note of relief in his older brothers voice. Anyone who didn't know John would have missed it but Virgil heard it as clear as a bell. John would be happy when this mission was over. Virgil couldn't blame him as he felt the same way. He hated it when they dealt with the military. Especially the US military as he hadn't forgotten how one of their trigger-happy captains had almost blown him and Thunderbird Two out of the sky. The kind of 'shoot first, ask questions later' behaviour displayed by the Sentinel's captain irritated Virgil to no end.
After a few more moments the Mole broke the surface and immediately began moving back onto its transporter unit even as it rose backend first from the hole it had bored earlier. In moments the Mole was back on the transport unit in exactly the same position it would be in just prior to launch. With a series of resounding thuds docking clamps engaged holding the Mole stationary in launch/retrieval position. And then the powerful hydraulic pistons that moved the part of the transporter that the Mole rested on began to move. In moments the Mole was back horizontal again and stationary.
Virgil pressed a few controls deploying a ramp from the side of the Mole and opening the hatch. Proximity sensors alerted him to medics with stretchers running up outside to take care of the researchers.
"Okay folks journey's end," Virgil called back into the passenger compartment.
At his younger brother's words John released his seat restraints and stood up.
"Okay people you heard him time to get off," he said to the researchers even as he moved over to release the restraints of the two injured researchers. The other three released themselves.
As soon as all the researchers were up on their feet they filed out of the Mole all professing their thanks for being saved from certain death. Hearing there simple but heartfelt thanks made John smile as it made his and his families chosen job worthwhile.
John waited until all the researchers were clear of the access ramp before using a panel of controls besides the hatch to retract the ramp and close the hatch.
"That's it Virgil," John called forward.
"F.A.B John," Virgil answered before turning on the communications unit. "Mole to Mobile Control all passengers disembarked. Returning to Thunderbird Two."
"F.A.B Virgil," Scott responded immediately.
John smiled as he heard the transporters motors start with a powerful rumble that while almost completely muted here inside the Mole was still noticeable. A faint vibration suffused the deck as the Mole began to move. John started moving forward to join Virgil in the control cabin.
He had only taken a few steps when a wave of dizziness rippled through his head and he stumbled forward and grasped the arm of one of the seats to keep from falling over. For several seconds the world spun sickeningly and then as if a switch had been thrown the dizziness vanished.
Cautiously John stood fully upright again. What was that, he thought thinking about the strange dizziness he'd never felt anything like it in his life before. But after a moment he shrugged. Whatever it was it was gone now. Thinking no more of it he forward to rejoin Virgil.
As the Mole started its return journey to Thunderbird Two Scott smiled in relief glad that this particular mission was almost over. Now that the scientists had been saved he had better pack up mobile control and return to Thunderbird One.
"I suppose your going now," the corporal who'd been assigned liaison asked. Over the course of the rescue the corporal's attitude had undergone a change becoming positively friendly as opposed to sullen and resentful like it had been earlier.
"Yes," Scott answered as he powered down mobile control and began to disassemble it. "Our task here is done."
The corporal watched in amazement as the complex mobile control station split into two units that individually folded down and compacted until they looked like nothing more than large metal cases. They even had handles so Scott could carry them.
"You must be strong to carry those," the corporal said. Scott just smiled. Like all his brothers he was in top physical shape you had to be in their line of work.
"I am quiet fit," Scott answered as he picked the two units that made up mobile control up one in each hand. "You have to be in my line of work."
"Guess so," the corporal answered. He made way for Scott as the IR field commander started walking carrying the two units back towards Thunderbird One.
A Few Minutes Later
John sighed to himself as settled down in one of the passenger seats on Thunderbird Two's control room as Virgil settled down at the pilot's station and began prepping the great green transport for departure. He was glad that this mission was over and that they had been able to save the lives of the researchers.
John leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. He could feel a headache starting to form in his head for some reason.
"John are you alright," Virgil asked looking back at his brother in concern.
"Yeah I'm fine," John replied opening his eyes. "Just a slight headache."
"Are you sure," Virgil queried considering that the military had been researching something here, something that in the paranoia and obsession with national security didn't want to tell them about. He wondered if John had somehow been exposed to something.
"I'm sure Virg," John answered. "The stress of the rescue and the stress of having spent two months on Thunderbird Five is catching up with me that's all. You just concentrate on flying us home."
"Alright if your sure your alright," Virgil said.
"I'm sure." Virgil gave John an unconvinced look then turned back to the controls and hailed Scott on Thunderbird One.
"Thunderbird One from Thunderbird Two. Ready for departure."
"F.A.B Virgil," Scott replied. "See you back at base."
"F.A.B," Virgil answered before signing off with Scott. A press of button turned on Thunderbird Two's VTOL jets. With a roar of power the six VTOL jets came to life and Thunderbird Two lifted off the ground.
Virgil used the VTOL jets until Thunderbird Two was almost a mile in the air before starting Thunderbird Two's main drive and setting a course back to Tracy Island while continuing to climb.
Scott watched on Thunderbird One's external sensors as Thunderbird Two lifted off and rapidly climbed into the sky while moving off in the direction of the Pacific Ocean. He supposed he should get underway himself when out the corner of his eye activity on the scanners caught his attention. He saw on the external camera's Colonel Graves speaking into a walkie-talkie.
Getting the distinct impression that Graves was up to something Scott kept all of Thunderbird One's external sensors on full alert and double checked to make sure the stealth system was working properly. He wouldn't put it past Graves to try to attach a homing beacon to Thunderbird One at the last minute. And he wouldn't put it past most senior generals in the upper command echelons of the US military to order him to do it. After all the US military would have a field day if they found out where International Rescue's base was located.
Powering up Thunderbird Ones engines Scott used his VTOL jets to get his baby up into the air. Almost immediately he heard the automatic camera detector start sounding its warning and the same time sensors alerted him to a small very fast moving projectile streaking towards Thunderbird One. It hit the underside of Thunderbird One and something attached to the hull with a faint clang. Now I wonder what that is, he thought sarcastically as his sensors detected the object emitting a low frequency signal that could be tracked by orbiting GPS satellites.
A grin appeared on Scott's face as an idea occurred to him. While he could deal with the tracking device right here and now by simply running electromagnetic charge along the outer hull of Thunderbird One he decided he would play the military's game for a little while. But first he would deal with that camera. Using the sensors he located the source of the camera alert. A single private in the shadow of one of the tents, pointing a video camera at him. A camera that used magnetic tape. Honestly how amateurish can you get, he thought. After outwitting the various attempts the Hood had made over the last few years to swipe their secrets dealing with Graves' pathetic attempt.
He switched on the external speakers.
"Colonel Graves I know you have ordered your man by the command tent to photograph us," he said into the microphone. "We do not appreciate such action. Sorry about this but our organisation will remain secret even from the US government." As he spoke Scott pressed some controls.
Soldiers, researchers and army medics on the ground were treated to the sight of a diffuse blue cone of energy suddenly shoot out from the underside of Thunderbird One and briefly bath the soldier holding the video camera in its glow. Before it shut off.
"I've magnetically wiped the video tape your recording and camera tape is now useless. So long." With that he switched off the external speakers and engaged the main engines and Thunderbird One shot away towards the pacific.
"Thunderbird One to base," he said into the comm unit.
"Go ahead Scott," Jeff Tracy responded immediately as his face flashed up on one of Scott's screens.
"Father the military have attached a homing beacon to the underside of Thunderbird One."
"Get rid of it," Jeff ordered.
"I've got a better idea dad. They want us so I am going to let them think they've got us."
"What do you mean son," Jeff asked.
"There's a old abandoned military base on an island seven hundred miles north west of home correct."
"Yes," Jeff said cautiously.
"Well I'm going to fly there first, land, then remove the homing device and hide it. By the time the military arrive and find the device and realise they've been tricked I will be long gone."
"I like it son," Jeff replied a grin breaking through his habitually serious expression. Scott smiled back.
"Guess I've been hanging around Gordon to long but I like it to," Scott replied.
"I heard that," Gordon's voice came faintly from the radio clearly he was in the same room as dad. Scott just laughed and broke the connection and changed his course heading for his target island.
A Short Time Later
Scott stood besides Thunderbird One holding the homing device he had just removed from the underside of 'his' thunderbird. Looking over at the old aircraft hangers only one of which was in reasonably good shape having been sheltered from the elements he decided he would drop this there.
Walking over he moved deep into the shaded interior of the hanger before putting down the homing device. Then he took a card from his pocket and wrote a short message for the military forces that were bound to find this. What he wrote was simple he just wrote 'better luck next time' and signed it International Rescue before putting it down on top of the homing device.
Then laughing his head off Scott headed back to Thunderbird One and climbed aboard before taking off for Tracy Island. He just wished he could see the look on the faces of the US troops when they found his little message.
That Same Time
Virgil sighed in relief as he Thunderbird Two's landing sequence completed and she was safely back in her hanger. It was always good to get back home and what he wanted to do now was go to his room and have a nice hot bath. It was sort of a tradition he had after a rescue.
Turning in the pilot's chair he looked over at John to see that his brother had fallen asleep in the chair. Smiling Virgil stood up and went over and shook John's shoulder.
"John," he said. John's blue eyes flickered open and John immediately winced in pain. "John what's wrong?" Virgil demanded in concern.
"Headache," John moaned leaning forward and flinching. "And the light hurts." Virgil frowned.
"Sounds like you've got a migraine," he said to his older brother. "You should go straight to bed. I'll get Tin-Tin or grandma to bring you some painkillers."
"I intend to," John said through his throbbing head. Awkwardly he got to his feet and headed into the passenger lift to the surface while Virgil watched worriedly until he disappeared. With a sigh Virgil took off his uniform and got into his normal clothes and folding up the uniform so it could be washed before leaving Thunderbird Two himself.
John awkwardly stumbled into his bedroom. He could barely see where he was going the light hurt his head so much. As soon as he'd stepped off the passenger lift into the villa dad had taken one look at him and ordered him to bed, while Tin-Tin had gone off to the sickroom to get the headache tablets.
Entering his room he flinched at the bright light streaming in through the open curtains and stumbled over and closing them. Then he stripped off his uniform before awkward climbing into bed and closing his eyes wishing for the welcome release of sleep.
His bedroom door opened and John reluctantly opened his eyes again to see Tin-Tin coming in holding a glass of water in one hand and a pair of tablets in the other.
"Here you go John," she said softly and handed him the tablets and the water. And John awkwardly took the tablets swallowing each with a sip of water before handing the glass back to Tin-Tin.
"Thanks Tin-Tin," he said.
"Your welcome now go to sleep I'll see you in the morning," Tin-Tin answered and left the room.
John buried himself in his bedclothes and closed his eyes again before descending into a deep sleep.