Categories > TV > Thunderbirds > Enhanced
Chapter Twenty Seven: Evolution Part Three
Scott looked down worriedly at John; he had only just caught him in time when John passed out again, this time obviously from a very bad headache. Thinking about what Brains and John had said about the nanites being in John's nervous system now and the way John had read the data on the diagnostic beds control panel in the blink of an eye Scott would bet good money that this was not an ordinary headache. Even when John had one of his infrequent migraines it didn't make him loose consciousness from pain, though it could get amusing when John walked into things because he couldn't see where he was going.
"Oh great now what are the nanites doing to him," Virgil said from just behind him. "Haven't the infernal things done enough to John already?"
"I don't know Virg," Scott replied. "Though if I had to hazard a guess I would say that it's the nanites in John's nervous system that caused the headache that resulted in John doing the dying swan act again."
"That is the m...m...most logical h...h...hypothesis Scott," Brains agreed. "We s...s...should scan John again to s...s...see if we can c...c...confirm it."
"Good idea Brains. Virg will you help me carry sleeping beauty by here back over to the diagnostic bed. Given what the nanites have done to his appearance he's probably quite heavy now, not that he wasn't heavy enough before."
"Sure thing Scott," Virgil replied walking around Scott and gently grabbing John's legs. Together the two of them began carrying John over to the diagnostic bed and despite himself Virgil was surprised by how heavy John was now though a guy with muscles as big as the ones he now had was bound to be heavy. Just like I'm quite heavy, Virgil thought remembering that he himself weighed two hundred and twenty-five lean pounds the legacy of being a quarterback on the college football team and living in a family that had always been into physical fitness big time. I wonder if John weighs more than me now, he thought with a mental shrug. He would find out later.
After a few more moments they reached the diagnostic bed and with great tenderness they laid John down on the bed. John murmured something softly in his unconscious state but didn't awaken as Scott and Virgil returned to the control console where everyone else was waiting. Scott nodded at Brains in a silent command to begin the scan; Brains nodded back indicating he had understood the order before manipulating the settings for the diagnostic bed then starting it up again.
The diagnostic bed activated with the familiar humming sound. Everyone watched as the scanning energy band grew between the bio-scanner units then slowly began to scan John again. Scott raised an eyebrow when he saw the scan seemed to be going faster this time than at any other time since Brains and Gordon had installed the bio-scanner units.
"It's going faster this time," he commented.
"Yes. I p...p...programmed it to only s...s...scan John nervous s...s...system Scott," Brains replied drawing Scott's attention. "That is w...w...why it's going q...q...quicker." Scott nodded in understanding and turned his attention back to watching John.
After a few moments of anxious waiting for everyone in the room the scan completed itself and the computer began its analysis. Scott looked over at Virgil.
"Virg why don't we move John from the diagnostic bed to one of the bio-beds so he'll be more comfortable," he suggested.
"Good idea," Virgil agreed. "Though John is probably sick and tired of waking up in here. I know I would be."
"Think we all would be," Gordon added. "Though it could be worse, at least he's here on the island in familiar surroundings unlike I was when I was in that hydrofoil accident. Let me tell you waking up at that hospital in Hawaii got depressing after awhile."
"Bet it did," Scott agreed wincing as he remembered the incident that Gordon was referring to, the one that had ended the promising career that Gordon had had with the World Aquanaut Security Patrol and almost taken Gordon's life. The months Gordon had spent in that hospital first in a coma then afterwards when he'd woken up had been a very trying time for the Tracy family, especially when it was feared that Gordon would never walk again. Yet with typical Tracy stubbornness and determination Gordon had refused to admit defeat and with the love and support of his family - especially Alan who'd been with him every step of the way when most of them couldn't be - had made a full recovery.
Scott shook off the memories of that very difficult and uncertain time and forced himself to start moving. Accompanied by Virgil he returned to the diagnostic bed and gently picked John up by his shoulders even as Virgil took John's legs. Without speaking the two of them gently moved John over to one of the regular bio-beds and laid him down upon it. In a tantalising sign that John was not completely unconscious merely in an incredibly deep sleep, John turned over onto his side with a soft murmuring sound and moved a few times until he was comfortable. Taking a spare sheet from one of the other beds Scott gently laid it over his sleeping astronaut brother so that he would be comfortable. He looks so peaceful, Scott thought looking down at John's sleeping face, he looks like nothing's wrong with him. There's no sign that the nanites are doing anything else to him unlike last time.
"Scott the s...s...scan analysis is c...c...complete," Brains called from the control console drawing Scott's attention. Scott took one last look at John then headed over to the console, wondering what the scans had revealed. Virgil followed just behind him like Scott wondering what the scan had revealed about whatever it was the nanites inside John were up to now.
"What have you found Brains," Virgil asked.
"The n...n...nanites in John's nervous system a...a...appear to be i...i...integrating more heavily than b...b...before," Brains replied. "They a...a...appear to be interfacing with the s...s...synapses of his brain."
"What effect will that have," Scott asked worrying that when John woke up again he wouldn't be the John they all knew and loved but have become someone else. Would they suddenly be facing a stranger with their brother's face?
"I d...d...don't know," Brains replied.
"Whatever the effect is Scott we will soon know," Tin-Tin said speaking for the first time as she too read the information on the diagnostic bed screens. "According to these readings the nanite integration is already forty percent complete. At this rate John could wake up in anywhere from ten minutes to an hours time."
"Someone should stay here with him then," Scott replied.
"I'll do it," Gordon said. "I didn't get to sit with him last night you and Virgil hogged the spotlight."
"Alright Gordon," Scott answered reluctantly. He had wanted to be the one to sit by John again but he knew he had to be fair to his brothers, plus he had to advise Alan and Dad about what had happened this morning. "I have to let Alan and Dad know what's happening anyway."
"Alan should be easy but are you sure about Dad Scott?" Virgil asked doing a quick time conversion in his head. "I mean its half past ten in the morning here but with the time differential it will only be half four in the morning in New York where Dad is. You would stand little chance of waking him up with a wristcom alert; even if you could Dad wouldn't be with it."
"True Virg," Scott replied sighing and mentally cursing the time zone difference between Tracy Island and New York. He also knew Virgil was right about their father. Jeff Tracy was quite a heavy sleeper it took a very loud alarm like the International Rescue alert to wake him up, and even then he wouldn't be really human until he'd either had a shower or a cup of coffee. "I hate time zone differences."
"I think we all do Scott," Virgil said chuckling.
"I'll just call Alan then," Scott decided with a sigh. "Dad will have to wait a few more hours. Though no doubt he'll call us for an update anyway as soon as he's awake and fully with it. I better not put off calling Alan."
With that Scott left the sickroom to go to the living room to call Alan, after a moment Virgil began to follow but not before giving John's unconscious form a last long look. I hope this is the last time the nanites decide to change on us, he thought leaving the sickroom, I don't know how many more episodes like this any of us can take. Especially John.
Ten Minutes Later
"Are you sure John's going to be alright," Alan asked from the screen that had replaced his portrait on the wall.
Scott had spent the last ten minutes explaining everything that had happened so far today to his youngest brother. To say that Alan was surprised was an understatement, he was as stunned as the rest of them by John suddenly sporting a much more muscular physique and being even stronger than before. But like the rest of them he was also obviously worried about this latest development with the nanites merging with John's brain. Worried and to the eyes of both Virgil and Scott frustrated that he couldn't be down on the island with them.
Looking at Alan's live feed Virgil felt a deep sympathy for him, here on the island they had each other to rely upon and share their fears with, up their alone in Thunderbird Five Alan had no one. Virgil blinked as for perhaps the first time he actually realised just how lonely space monitor duty was for both Alan and John. It was a somewhat disturbing revelation to him, realising how lonely it could be up there, it was no wonder that Alan sometimes tried to avoid going to Thunderbird Five it didn't just take him away from Tin-Tin but it also got major lonely up in orbit. I'll have to talk to Dad, Virgil thought, there has to be something we could do to make things more tolerable up there on Thunderbird Five for whoever's on duty up there. Might help to talk to Brains as well - see if we can crack the problems with those holographic communicators that he's been working on for months.
"We think so Alan," Scott replied not noticing the thoughtful look that had appeared on Virgil's face. "But we won't know for sure until he wakes up which according to Tin-Tin and Brains could be anytime from now."
"I see," Alan answered not looking happy with the answer and Scott couldn't blame him. He wasn't happy either but it was the only answer he could give at the moment as it was the only one he had. "Will you let me know when he wakes up Scott?"
"Sure I will," Scott said. "Though I could also go one better and ask John to give you a call when he stops doing the sleeping beauty bit." Scott inwardly smiled when his words brought a smile to his youngest brother's lips momentarily displacing the worry that was extremely visible on Alan's very expressive features.
"I would like that Scott," Alan replied at last. "Thank you."
"Not a problem bro," Scott answered. "Before I go is there anything going on in the world that we need to be aware of?"
"Not really," Alan replied. "It's mostly quite. Mount Baker finished erupting sometime overnight after going at it for almost twelve hours. The winds dispersing the fallout cloud out to sea so there shouldn't be anymore problems with that. The forest fire the lava and pyroclastic flows caused is being contained by local services so there are no problems there. There is a hurricane brewing in the Atlantic that I'm keeping an eye on but so far it doesn't look like its going to cause any problems. It's barely even category one at the moment. I'll keep you advised if anything changes."
"F-A-B, Alan. I'll let you get back to work and don't worry I'll get John to call you when he wakes up." Alan nodded on the screen.
"Thanks Scott," Alan replied then disappeared, his image being replaced by his portrait as Alan broke the connection from his end. Virgil looked at the image of Alan looking as proud and handsome as the rest of them in his International Rescue uniform.
"You know Scott I didn't really realise until now just how lonely it must get up there on Thunderbird Five," he said at last. "How helpless Alan and John must feel whenever one of us is hurt or ill and they're stuck up there in orbit."
"I know Virg," Scott replied standing up from behind the desk. "I just wish there were something we could do to make it easier for whoever is on duty up there. But unless Brains sorts out the datastream integrity problems with the holographic communicators I don't see that there is anything we can do."
"Neither do I Scott, neither do I. What shall we do now?"
"I don't see that there is anything we can do Virgil since Dad won't be up yet," Scott replied. "And John's still unconscious. All we can really do is wait and hope he wakes up sooner than later."
"True," Virgil replied heading over to his piano to play a piece of music that would hopefully reflect his current mood.
Gordon looked up from the newest issue of one of the many diving magazines he subscribed to as a soft groan came from the bed. Looking at the bed he saw that John was at last stirring from his sleep. Slowly, ever so slowly John's expressive blue eyes opened, Gordon smiled down at him as John came to full consciousness.
"Welcome back sleeping beauty," Gordon said grinning. "How are feeling?"
"Fine," John replied smiling at the oh so typical words of Gordon's even as he sat up in bed. "How long was I out?"
"Just over an hour," Gordon replied. "Do you feel any different John?"
John considered for a few moments before responding to Gordon's question. Truth be told he did feel different, and the light hadn't hurt for more than a millisecond when he had opened his eyes. Almost as soon as he had opened his eyes they had adjusted to the bright tropical sunshine filtering in through the fine netting over the windows of the sickroom. The adjustment almost instantaneous and now that he thought about it he realised he could think more easily, his thoughts were smooth and fast. On a hunch John tried to remember what exactly he had had for breakfast two days ago and everything flooded back on him. Sight, sound, taste everything exactly as it had been but seemingly even sharper, it was like he was there at that moment again.
Unbidden other memories began surfacing bombarding in his brain in an onslaught of memory. He remembered everything that had happened in the last few days, every experience he had had. They swept through his mind as a slipstream blur of experience yet he understood them all. John gagged as the tide swept through his mind, pulling him down as if he were drowning in an ocean of memories. Stop please, he thought trying to fight against the tide of recollections.
"John!" Gordon's voice barely penetrated through the hurricane of memories raging in John's head but John desperately mentally reached for the sound. "John what's wrong?"
Grasping the sound of his younger brother's voice with the desperate strength of a drowning man clutching a life line John began pulling himself out of the ocean of memory. The slipstream of experience began fading away and with breathtaking suddenness that drew a gasp from his lungs he found himself back in the sickroom, with a worried looking Gordon watching him in alarm.
"I'm okay now Gordon," John said his voice shaky as he became aware that his whole body was shaking with the reaction to the intrusion of his memory. "I was just remembering."
"Remembering what?" Gordon asked. "And are you sure that you're alright? Do you want me to call Brains or someone?"
"No its okay Gordon I'm fine, you don't need to call anyone," John replied as the reaction in his body subsided. Cautiously he moved the bedclothes off himself, swung his legs over the side of the bed and stood up. "I was just remembering everything that's happened in the last two days all at once. Every sight, every smell, and every sound as if I was there again. They raced through my head so fast that I couldn't control it, yet I understood every single memory. Guess it's another nanite related thing that I am going to have to master."
"Guess so," Gordon answered. "You really remembered everything from the last two days?"
"From when I've been awake Gordon yes."
"Wow. Now that really is impressive John," Gordon said. "Probably even more impressive than your superhuman strength. Though to be truthful John I suspect that perfect recall is just the tip of the iceberg as far as your abilities are concerned."
"You're probably right Gordon," John agreed as he moved around the bed to join Gordon. "In fact I am certain that you are correct, if I do have even more abilities now then I'll have to master them as I discover what they are. Let me tell you it's a hell of a learning curve."
"For all of us," Gordon pointed out. "Not only do you have to learn how to control and live with your powers but we have to learn as well. Though I do have some idea of what you're going through from when I had to learn how to do everything like walking, running and swimming again."
John nodded in agreement with his copper haired brother, of his whole family Gordon was the best equipped to understand how hard it was for him to learn to control his powers. Granted with Gordon it had been different and more frustrating as he remembered being able to do it before, but it did give the aquanaut a good grounding to understand his feelings and frustrations. It was why when he'd wanted to talk about his feelings it was the redheaded prankster that he had turned to more than anyone else. When he wanted to be Gordon could be a very good listener, they all could be, even Alan.
"I know Gordon," he said at last. "Come on lets go see everyone."
"Yes. Lead on then John," Gordon replied. "Everyone is going to be so glad to see you up and about. I just hope the nanites don't do anything else to you, I don't know how many more of these dying swan acts of yours any of us can take." John laughed.
"We can but hope bro. We can but hope," he answered grinning broadly even as he led the way out of the sickroom into the rest of the villa to see the rest of his worried family. At those that were on the island with them. "I don't like these dying swan acts anymore than the rest of you."
"That's true," Gordon said. "But let's be quiet now. We're almost to the living room and we don't want Scott to hear us coming, be fun to surprise him." John grinned and exchanged a mischievous look with Gordon. Then the two of them moved quietly through the villa heading straight for the living room where Scott was almost certain to be, distracting himself from worrying by doing paper work. This is going to be fun, John thought grinning, Gordon must be rubbing off on me but this is going to be fun.
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