Categories > TV > Thunderbirds > Enhanced0 Reviews
After participating in a rescue at a US research base John begins experiencing strange and amazing side effects
Chapter Nine: In Search Of Answers
Jeff Tracy entered his office and sat down behind his desk, he would call International Rescue's Washington agents in a few minutes see if they could find any information on what exactly the US government had been researching at that base. Information that could shed light on what was happening to John. But first he needed to bring Alan up to speed on what was going on. Last night he'd spoken to Alan and Alan had been understandably worried when he told him about John's sudden mysterious illness and how it had seemingly corrected itself.
With a sigh Jeff opened a hailing frequency to Thunderbird Five.
"Base to Thunderbird Five," he said. "Base to Thunderbird Five respond please."
A moment later Alan's portrait on the wall vanished replaced by a real time image of Alan himself. Alan's face was covered in sweat and from the looks of it he was in the small gym that there was on Thunderbird Five as opposed to the main control room. Jeff inwardly smiled to himself realising he'd interrupted a workout.
"Go ahead father," Alan said. "How's John this morning?"
"That's what I'm calling you about Alan," Jeff replied. Alan caught the tone of his father's voice.
"What's happened dad," Alan questioned.
And so Jeff told him. Told him about what John had described about hearing a conversation when he'd woken up that he shouldn't have been able to hear. What happened at the breakfast table this morning with the lid of the jam jar and how John's unexpected strength had wrenched it off the jar and sent it fly. How the scans they'd done in the sickroom had shown that somehow John was changing at the cellular level and Virgil's educated guess that whatever the sub-cellular thing causing John's cells to alter had been picked up by John on the rescue to the US research base yesterday.
In all it took six minutes - six minutes when Alan silently listened to what his father was telling him. When it was over Alan was quiet obviously mulling over everything that Jeff had just told him.
"Is there anything I can do to help dad," Alan said at last a determined gleam in his blue eyes. Alan would do absolutely anything to help John. All Jeff's sons would.
"I don't know Alan," Jeff admitted. "I'm going to contact our Washington operatives see if they can find any information on what the US government was up to in that base."
"I understand," Alan replied then looked thoughtful. "I could try breaking into the US computer network. There is bound to be information in there." Jeff blinked he hadn't thought of that and he silently berated himself for not thinking of it.
Alan and John were both experts with computers and between them had developed many of the computer systems used by International Rescue with only a small amount of assistance from Brains. With the resources of International Rescue's computer network behind them either Alan or John could slip into a government database and find information without being detected. Alan arguably had a better chance finding some information on just what the United States government had been up to on that base than there Washington operatives.
It would actually be wise to pursue both avenues for finding some information.
"Do it," Jeff instructed. "Get back to me as soon as you have something."
"F.A.B," Alan replied. Jeff broke the signal and Alan disappeared from the screen replaced by his portrait. Jeff sighed and spun around to the main radio unit as the telecom unit in the desk that was linked to the portraits only went to certain locations like the boys wristcom's, the Thunderbirds, and Lady Penelope. All other agents would have to be contacted through the other unit.
Alan swept some of the residual sweat from his run on the treadmill from his forehead after his father broke the connection from Tracy Island. He had been about to hit the weight machines when the call had come in from the island. Now that would have to wait until later. But he didn't care about that. Getting to the bottom of what was happening to John was much more important than a simple workout. What his father had just said worried Alan deeply and he wanted to get to the bottom of it now.
With a sigh he left the gym which like the main lounge and the sleeping quarters he himself used as opposed to the ones next to the control room on the level above.
A few minutes later having quickly had a shower and getting into uniform Alan walked into Thunderbird Five's control room and sat down at the main computer workstation. He had some work to do.
Scott Tracy was getting concerned. John had left the villa just over three hours ago and he had still not returned. He was sitting in the living room. Virgil was uneasily tapping away on his piano trying to loose himself in his music and not really getting anywhere. Gordon had disappeared to go help Brains and dad was in his office trying to loose himself in work relating to Tracy Industries but like Virgil not really having much luck. They were all to worried about John to do anything really.
Scott stood up from his seat making a decision. He was going to go see if he could find John. He wanted - no he needed - to see if he was all right.
"Where are you going Scott," Virgil asked noticing him stand up.
"I'm going to go and look for John," Scott replied heading out of the room. Virgil almost opened his mouth to stop Scott but decided against it. He knew that Scott had his mind made up and nothing that he could say to his older brother would get him to change it. So he kept quiet and watched Scott leave the room.
John Tracy sat quiet on a rock looking out to sea deep in thought. He had wandered around the island for awhile before coming to his spot on the eastern side of Tracy Island where he could just sit and think. And try to avoid thinking about what was happening inside of him and his fears about what he could transform into. But try as he might he couldn't stop thinking about it. Why is this happening to me, he thought, what if I turn into a monster like in those old movies? Would I be able to stop myself from hurting my family? /Would I even still be me? /
The sound of approaching footsteps caught his attention and distracted him from his fears about possibly changing into a monster. For which John was grateful, as his thoughts and his fears had been becoming darker and darker. Even though the fears might actually prove to unfounded. John looked over in the direction the footsteps were coming from to see a figure walking along the beach towards him rippling in the heat haze of midday. John blinked startled he hadn't released it had gotten that hot because strangely he wasn't feeling the heat. He was perfectly comfortable despite the searing tropical heat of midday.
John tried to make out who the approaching figure was and what happened next startled him. His vision seemed to focus in on the creature like he was looking through a telescopic lens. The heat haze evaporated and John saw that it was Scott. John blinked and shook his head. And when he looked again he saw that Scott's approaching form was once more obscured in the heat haze. How did I see like that? John wondered, guess my vision is another thing in me that is changing. Will these changes in me never stop! What is causing them? And what are they doing to me?
Soon Scott was close enough for John to see him normally.
"Hey Scott," he said in greeting.
"Hello John," Scott said coming to the rock that John was sitting on and carefully climbing up beside him. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," John lied. Scott gave him a look that said 'pull the other one'. John sighed to himself he should have known better than to think he would be able to fool Scott. He was good at hiding his feelings from his brothers the only siblings who could see through him were Scott and surprisingly Alan.
"No that's wrong," John admitted looking back out of the tranquil blue ocean surrounding the tropical island paradise that was his home. "Truth is Scott I'm scared. No that's to tame a word. I'm terrified."
"I can understand that," Scott replied putting an arm across John's shoulders. "What's happening to you would scare anyone."
"What's going to happen to me Scott?" John asked even though he knew that Scott had no answers. "What did they design whatever this thing that's changing me to do? What if I...?" John's voice trailed off he didn't want to put the fear gnawing away at him into words for fear of sounding stupid.
"What if you what John?" Scott prompted. "Spit it out. I promise whatever it is I won't laugh." John sighed.
"What if I really change Scott?" he said. "What if this thing inside me transforms me into a monster."
Scott didn't answer for a moment. He could see where John was coming from. All those movies they'd watched when they were kids featured this kind of thing. A mysterious organism usually a retrovirus covertly developed by someone - usually a government or rouge intelligence agency - that caused the person infected with it to undergo a horrifying metamorphosis into a monster that would promptly go on a killing rampage without any sign of the human it had originally been. This situation with John was like something out of one of those movies.
"I don't think that's going to happen John," he said honestly.
"You can't be sure of that though," John replied.
"You're right I can't," Scott answered. "Though John if you were going to go through that kind of metamorphosis I would have thought there would have been some sign of it by now. As it is all that's happening is you're getting really, really strong and your hearing is better."
"And my eyesight," John replied. "Virtually from the moment I looked over at you I saw you perfectly as if I was right next to you at one point. The distance and heat haze just didn't seem to be there." He looked over at Scott and smiled. "You know Scott I think you're right. If I were going to start transforming into a monster it would have shown before now. But there is no way to be sure that it won't still happen."
"Guess the only way we'll know is when Bra..." Scott's voice trailed off when both his and John's wristcom's began bleeping for attention.
Scott answered his wristcom. And wasn't surprised when his fathers face appeared in place of his watch display.
"Yes dad," he replied.
"Scott is John with you," Jeff asked.
"Yes he is dad why?" Scott asked.
"Brains has finished rigging up that bio-scanner unit in the sickroom," Jeff replied. Scott exchanged a look with John. Though John was not thrilled at the idea of another visit to the sickroom - like all of them he avoid that room like the plague only going in when he had to - today he was eager to get some answers about what was happening to him and what was causing it. Still they were both surprised that the bio-scanner was ready now.
"Already," Scott replied. "Thought he said four hours."
"He did," Jeff responded. "But with a little help from Gordon he was able to get it done in just over three hours." Scott nodded in understanding. While not as good an engineer as Virgil or Alan the copperheaded aquanaught was still formidable when it came to using a spanner or screwdriver. Especially when he had sufficient motivation like now.
"We'll be right there," he answered his father. Jeff nodded and broke the connection. Scott looked over at John to see John was already hopping off the rock onto the beach to begin the journey back to the villa. Smiling Scott hopped off the rock himself and caught up with John. Together the two oldest Tracy sons headed back towards the villa.
Both hoping that at last they were going to get some answers.