Scott has a duty to perform and nothing will stand in his way. So what happens when a surprisingly friendly Ned Cook gets in under his guard? TV-Verse only, lots of fun references. This story conta...
It's because I don't like alienating people and the original is only
about five percent naughty-bits anyway. If you're over-age and don't mind
a bit of fairly fluffy naughtiness, please read that one instead, it's
the director's cut, with more Grandma (Not being naughty!) and some extra
bits I'm rather fond of. If you can't cope with that, or aren't old
enough, then this version is especially for you!
Chapter I - A Rescue on Autopilot
Scott Tracy held tightly to the twin control bars of Thunderbird One as
he turned her towards home. A rescue from a ship going down in the mid-
Atlantic had left him filthy and exhausted.
"Boy, do I need a shower and a nap." He muttered to himself wearily.
Thunderbird One was just crossing the coast of America when her comms
bleeper went off and Scott flicked the switch to open a channel to his
father at International Rescue Headquarters.
"Thunderbird One to Base, loud and clear. What's up Father?" He asked.
"What's Thunderbird's endurance Scott?" asked Jeff without preamble.
Scott checked the dials in front of him.
"She's fine Dad, fit to go round the world twice. Why?"
"I'm sorry son, I know you'd probably like a rest, but we've got another
emergency call coming in. I need you to head straight for North Europe.
John will give you a more detailed fix to head for when he gets it.
There's a man trapped under some sort of ancient building, probably
injured and definitely very cold. It's in the middle of nowhere as far as
we can tell and...well, he needs us."
Scott rubbed his face hard,
"Oh boy..." He sighed.
"You alright son?" Asked Jeff.
"Sure Father...it's just I'm so tired, I hardly know what to do with myself
now...I just don't know that I should be going out. I mean I know I have to
but..." He trailed off. His father's voice came through sounding gentle and
"I know Son, it's tough. Virgil's going to be pretty tired too. He's
heading back to base now to drop off Gordon and pick up whatever pod you
think we'll need when you get there. I'll send Alan back with him, then
if one of you can't make it, he can fly one of the craft home." Then
Jeff's voice changed back to the command, "Take one of Brains' pep pills,
change your uniform and wash yourself up, you look a mess and you can't
let us down on appearance. Then get in touch with John for that fix and
call in when you land. That man's depending on you Scott." At this,
Scott's years of pilot training and service came flooding back and raw
duty filled his head.
"Yes Sir!" He said smartly, "Over and out."
Pulling on the right hand control, Scott turned his craft to head back
towards Europe. Then quickly setting the automatic pilot, he unstrapped
himself and stripped off his salt-stained uniform. His underclothes would
just have to stay damp and salty, there wasn't much room in Thunderbird
One to store excess baggage and just for once, Scott felt a tinge of
jealousy for Thunderbird Two where there were beds and washing facilities
and space to stretch your legs. Pulling a small survival kit out of one
of the cubby-holes in the cabin wall, he found a disinfecting wash-cloth
and rubbed his face and neck. Then he combed his hair, pulled on fresh
uniform trousers, top, sash and hat, transferred his gun and utilities to
the belt, then stowed the dirty clothes behind a grab bar and strapped
himself back in.
Re-taking manual control, he called John in the Space Station.
"Space Station to Thunderbird One, loud and clear. This is some day
you're having, eh Scott?"
"Well, I can't say I haven't had better. What's the location then John?"
"International fix system 265, 87. Local reference 2 zeta."
"Thanks. Have we got any details?"
"It's sketchy Scott. The guy who called in was the only other person at
the scene, some sort of expedition to check out these ruins. He was a bit
panicky, so I couldn't get much out of him, but it seems there was some
sort of earth tremor and part of the floor collapsed. Anyhow, he says he
can see him and he's alive and talking, but he's too far down to reach
and this guy's too shaken up anyway. I think he nearly went down too."
"Ok, thanks John. I guess I'll see for myself when I get there. Over and
out." Scott called off, popped a pep pill, and opened channels back to
"Father, I've got the location from John. It sounds like a deep rescue
job with dangers of further tremors. I suggest The Mole, just in case,
but lines and props are probably our best hope. ETA at danger zone now
"FAB Scott. Virgil's ETA here is about twenty minutes now, so given that
we've got to get her back inside to change pod, refuel and board Alan, I
don't think Thunderbird Two will be leaving before you get there. Unless
we're really quick, we'll wait for you to confirm what you need, so call
in when you arrive."
"FAB." Said Scott and closed comms.
Virgil listened to his Father going over what Scott had said and whistled
through his teeth.
"Gee Father, I'm sure glad I'm in Thunderbird Two. At least I'll get ten
minutes to wash up a bit. Scott was looking pretty dreadful when I left
him, if he's anything like me he's still got his boots full of water.
He's gonna be out cold for a day after this."
"Well Son, he'll do his duty for International Rescue first...but maybe
I'll get Grandma to pack you up some of her cookies and some hot towels.
I think you'll both be needing them after the rescue. Alan is ready to
swap over with Gordon, I want you in and out of base as quickly as
"FAB." Said Virgil, "Coming in to land now, Father."
Thunderbird Two turned on the spot and touched down smoothly on the
runway as the double row of palm trees tilted out of the way. Virgil
backed her into the hangar in the cliff-face which rose up quickly behind
to hide the giant craft. From the control room, Tin-Tin operated the
refuelling machinery, coupling the fuel intake to the giant hoses running
back to the giant tanks of rocket fuel stored deep in the island.
Meanwhile, Virgil raced back up to the house. Yes, there were facilities
on board Thunderbird Two, but you couldn't beat a shower in your own
room, in a proper bathroom.
Five minutes later, washed and dressed in civvies, Virgil hurried into
"Any news Father?" He asked, towelling his hair briskly.
"Scott has just landed. He says to take The Mole as expected, but he
hasn't had the chance to find out any more yet. Tin-Tin has just finished
refuelling and Alan's on his way down in the passenger chute with some
extra supplies from Grandma..." Jeff chuckled as he said this, remembering
Grandma's worry that there wouldn't be enough to sustain her three hungry
grandsons when they finished the job, "...so get moving, we don't want to
keep that man waiting any longer than we have to."
"FAB." Said Virgil, dropped his towel on the sofa, hauled his boots back
on and dashed to the disguised panel in the wall. It flipped over,
tipping him backwards into the pilot's chute. He braced himself and
winced as his head hid the end of the trolley that would carry him down,
it was padded, a bit, but he didn't like to mention to Brains or his
Father just how much of a jolt he got from it each time. It would have
helped if he didn't have a tiredness headache coming on... but his mind was
already clicking into gear for the task ahead, and as the pilot's seat
folded back into place and the steering column rose to meet him, all he
thought about was the pre-flight checks.
Alan was already in his uniform and seated in one of the passenger chairs
"Alright Kiddo!?" Virgil called jocularly, throwing a glance back at his
youngest brother that was cheekier than he felt right now. Alan smiled.
"Sure Virg. What about you? You look awful."
"Thanks! I'm alright for now. Prepare for take-off."
Thunderbird Two rolled out of the hangar and forwards onto the launch
ramp. The blast shield was raised and the jets fired, propelling the huge
ship into the sky.
"Launch a-okay. Now plotting a course to International fix system 265,
87. What's in that basket from Grandma Alan?"
"You can't have any now, I promised not to let you. Besides, Scott would
flip if he thought you'd got to Grandma's cookies before him." Alan
laughed. "So, how was the rescue? It sounded pretty harsh from what
"It was...well, kinda wet! The ship was breaking up in a storm that was
still raging when we got there. You remember how faint John said the
signal was? Well that's why. It was a MONSTER of a storm. The passengers
and crew were all up in the main room on the top deck, but they didn't
dare come out because of the waves crashing over. How they stayed afloat
till we got there I'll never know. Scott managed to land at the stern,
which held the worst of the damage at the prow out of the water, but he
sure was worried about her going down with his Thunderbird still on deck.
I lowered Gordon down and he managed to attach a line to hold her up
while we transferred the passengers onto the rescue cage and into
"So how come you got so wet if you were piloting?"
"I had to put her on autopilot in the end and work the winch by remote
control. It was too hairy down there. Scott must be way more tired than
me, we couldn't throw grab-lines each time from the cage to the ship
because there just wasn't time, so Scott was hanging onto the ship with
one hand and the cage with the other; it was so stormy, it was just
flying around like paper in the wind otherwise. I thought he was going to
be ripped in two at one point. Boy, are his arms going to ache tomorrow.
Gordon and I had to take each passenger across personally. They were too
scared to move otherwise."
"You saved them all though?"
"Yeah. Just. We nearly lost one, a girl. She was a little bit more
independent and she let go of Gordon just as she was getting to the cage,
lost her footing and went over. Gordon dived in, no safety line, no
hesitation. Pulled her back on board. She wouldn't let go of him for a
while. We haven't told Dad about that yet. Gordo deserves one of
Grandma's special cakes for that! Ship went down the moment we released
the line. Took the passengers and crew back to land, popped them all into
the nearest hospital and cleared off. They'll be alright, they didn't
even get as wet as us in the end, they're just a bit shaken."
At that moment the comms bleeper went off and Virgil flicked the switch
to see his older brother standing by his mobile control in what looked to
be a highly windswept and lonely area. A tent behind him was the only
structure visible, except for the unstable-looking heap of stones and
plaster, which had to be the ruin John had mentioned.
"Thunderbird Two to Mobile Control, loud and clear, how's it looking
"It's a bit shaky Virg, Don't come in too close when you land, the whole
place is unstable, seems like there's been a bit of erosion undermining
the ground round here, but I don't know how. Still, that's not the main
part. You'll never guess who the fella is, trapped down this hole?"
"I give in Scott."
"Ned Cook? You mean the television guy, the one we rescued from under the
Empire State? The one who tried to film you?"
"Yup, the same. Still, he did thank us very nicely Virg, we really can't
"No, I wasn't, I wasn't. Just wondered how one man can get into so many
"It's easy when you haven't got sense enough to leave a place when you're
in mortal danger. He's just too keen for a story. Nothing else matters to
him, so he puts himself at risk. But that's no reason not to do our best
for him. Look Virg, it's mighty cold out here, I've sent the other guy
into his tent to calm down, then he's going to head back to their
original base in the Jeep. I'm sure he'll be alright and he's a bit of a
liability here. I've pinned a tracker on him just in case. But I'm going
down to Ned now on a line. There's a second hole about fifty yards from
where he fell and it looks a bit more stable. They reckon it's all
connected up under there, so if I can reach him that way, I can get an
insulating blanket round him before he freezes and check out his medical
"Okay, but you be careful Scott, double check everything before you go,
you don't want to make mistakes because you're tired."
"Sure thing Virg. I'll keep in touch. Over and out."
Scott called off and fished around in the supply modules for the lowering
lines. Moving to the other hole, he found a solid piece of ground and
fired in the anchor. It seemed to hold and Scott positioned himself at
the edge of the hole, ready to let go.
"You'd better hold out," he muttered to the anchor, "here goes."
Clutching a pouch with a small medi-kit, food, drink and the blanket,
Scott gingerly lowered himself down on the line, eventually hitting
solid, rocky ground, about twenty-five feet down.
"Ned!" he called, "Can you hear me? This is International Rescue. Call
out if you can so I can find you."
"Over here, International Rescue!" returned a cry from not far off. Scott
listened carefully to the echoes and followed them round a corner where
he could see a faint smudge of daylight at the end of a passage. He ran
down the passage and came out into a chamber full of mud and rocks and
saw Ned Cook sitting up in the corner on a boulder, shivering and dirty.