Categories > TV > Thunderbirds > Enhanced
Chapter Twenty Nine: Reunions Part One
Washington DC, USA
A Few Hours Later
Jeff Tracy smiled as he closed his mobile phone and slid it back into his pocket. His mother, Rose, had just called him from Kansas, she was ready to return home to Tracy Island after a few weeks away comforting and supporting an old friend of hers who had just lost her husband. Jeff would take Tracy One to Kansas and pick her up before flying them both back home to the island. It will be nice to have mother back on the island, Jeff thought, we've all missed her, especially her cooking. Though she is going to be in for a very big surprise when she sees John in person, though both myself and Scott have been keeping her up to date with what's been happening with him since the time we first detected the presence of the nanites.
The sound of someone clearing their throat for attention brought Jeff out of his thoughts about his mother, John and the nanites. Looking up he saw that a muscular young marine with a hair style and colour that was eerily like Gordon's was standing over him.
"Mr Tracy?" the young marine asked in a voice that had a very pronounced Texan accent.
"Yes?" Jeff asked.
"Admiral Hayden is able to see you now sir, would you kindly follow me to his office."
"Certainly," Jeff replied standing up wincing slightly at the stabs of arthritis in his knees and hips, something only exasperated by the hard plastic chair he had been sat on. Old age doesn't come by itself does it Jeff, he told himself with a mental sigh.
"This way please sir," the marine said and led the way out of the waiting area into the rest of the Pentagon. Jeff followed closely, though he had been to Admiral Hayden's office a few times on other business trips here to the nerve centre of the United States military. As a result he well remembered the way, enough that he didn't really need a security escort. Though he always ended up having one, given the almost institutionalised paranoia about potential security breaches that seemed to permeate many of the militaries upper command echelons. Jeff could understand why they didn't want a civilian running around unchecked, even though he hated the implication that he wasn't trusted.
It only took a few minutes for Jeff and his marine security escort to reach Admiral Hayden's office. As they approached the door to the office opened and two very unhappy looking individuals came out, one wearing a smart business suit similar to the one Jeff himself wore, the other wearing a military uniform.
Jeff recognised the weasely-looking, grey haired, skinny man in the business suit immediately. He was Trevor Johansen the current head of the National Security Agency - Jeff had locked horns with the man on many occasions over the last few years for a variety of reasons, as a result himself and Trevor hated each others guts. Jeff knew from experience that when Trevor got involved with something it was never a good development.
Like the agency he led Trevor was paranoid and ruthless and would rapidly move to deal with any perceived threat to US national security - even if that meant stealing technology or assassinating someone. /Or try to deal with the 'threat', /Jeff thought knowing that Trevor and his NSA lackeys had tried to investigate International Rescue in the past as they wanted the technology for themselves. Jeff would not be at all surprised if the nanites that were now in John and the sensor design that Alan had found while looking for information on the nanites were pet projects of Trevor's. They were exactly the kind of projects that Jeff would expect Trevor to be involved in.
Looking at the other man standing beside Trevor, the one in army uniform Jeff found that he recognised him as well. Though they had not met directly Jeff recognised him as Colonel Marshall Graves the commanding officer of the troops protecting the research base where John had been first infected by the nanites. Colonel Graves was another person whose actions and behaviour did not endear him to Jeff, even though his attempts to tag and track Thunderbird One had been amateurish to say the very least, especially compared to the many complex and devious schemes and plots to get their secrets that villains like the Hood had made over the years since they had begun operations. Someone Jeff wasn't surprised to see him with Trevor, Colonel Graves struck him as one of those officers that Trevor would find easy to use for his purposes.
"Mr Tracy," Trevor Johansen said in a forced civil tone of acknowledgement of Jeff's presence though Jeff could practically see Trevor's mind working to determine all the potential scenarios as to why Jeff could be here at the Pentagon to see if they were potential threats.
"Mr Johansen," Jeff replied in a cool collected tone looking into Trevor's eyes as if daring Trevor to say anything about his presence. For the moment the two of them gazed in mutual cold hostility to each other, then Jeff was escorted into Admiral Hayden's office by his marine security escort.
"Jeff Tracy sir," the marine said introducing him while saluting the admiral.
"Yes I can see," Admiral Hayden - a short grey haired man around the same age as Jeff himself - replied. "Leave us please and close the door behind you."
"Yes, sir," the marine replied before leaving the room and closing the door behind him leave Jeff and Admiral Hayden alone. Jeff smiled in greeting at the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was a very old and trusted friend of his. Indeed they had attended the same school as children and remained friends their whole lives - though their paths in life had been very different.
"Hello Jeff it's been awhile," Hayden said smiling back. "Would you like a drink before we get down to our business."
"Indeed it has been awhile David," Jeff replied. "Much as I would like a drink I must pass as I'm flying home later."
"I see. Guess you're anxious to get away from the hustle and bustle of civilisation and back to that island of yours."
"Something like that. Cities are too crowded for my taste these days," Jeff replied. "A lot different to where we grew up."
"Yes it is. We better get down to business then. We have a lot to talk about."
"Yes," Jeff replied sitting down and getting comfortable, "we do."
Four Hours Later
Jeff stepped down out of Tracy One onto the tarmac of the single runway of the small private airport that he was meeting his mother at.
"Excuse me sir," a pleasant voice said from his right side, Jeff looked over to see a young woman in mechanics overalls had appeared seemingly from nowhere.
"Yes what is it," Jeff asked.
"Sir would you like the fuel tanks topped up on your aircraft before you depart the airport?" Jeff considered for a few moments. Tracy One was a very modern long range personal jet, albeit one customised by a few unique features that Brains had designed and installed for him. The fuel storage capacity of her tanks was surprising but still Jeff decided a top up wouldn't be a bad idea.
"The tanks are half full still a top up wouldn't be a bad idea," he said at last. "Refill the tanks for me."
"As you wish," the mechanic replied. "If you will follow me a moment sir I need you to quickly fill in an authorisation and payment form then we can do it for you." Jeff nodded having expected that would be the case, it was a normal thing in small private airports like this which lacked the facilities of the bigger airports.
The mechanic turned away and Jeff followed her knowing this would only take a few minutes of his time, then he could go and meet his mother who he knew would be waiting inside in the small terminal block next to the three small hangers that the airport had. Once he met up with his mother it wouldn't take long to get her and her things aboard Tracy One, then they could go home.
Rose Tracy waited with growing impatience in the semi-comfortable seat in the small waiting room of the airport. Where was Jeff? She knew he had landed, she'd observed Tracy One land a few minutes ago but Jeff hadn't come in here yet. Maybe he's having Tracy One refuelled and is hanging around to supervise, Rose thought a moment before the door to the landing strip opened letting in a welcome burst of fresh air. The air conditioning system in this building wasn't the best Rose had encountered and was only just able to keep the air cool enough so as not to be uncomfortable. It did nothing about the humidity in the building, unlike the villa's air conditioning system back home which cut out the heat and humidity that was a near enough constant feature of life on Tracy Island.
Looking over at the door Rose smiled when she saw that at long last it was Jeff, though silhouetted as he was against the bright summer sunshine streaming in through the door it was hard to make out precise details of his features. But Rose didn't need to clearly see him to know that it was Jeff, she could tell simply from the way he was holding himself. Jeff's features resolved as he came fully into the room and the doors closed, the tinted glass of the windows eliminating the worst of the suns glare.
Awkwardly Rose got to her feet winching at the stabs of arthritis in her knees and hips, especially in her hips. Jeff frowned as he saw his mother wince in pain like that, it wasn't something that he was used to seeing her show.
"Mother are you alright?" he asked in concern.
"I'm fine Jeff," Rose replied with a warm smile. "Just noticing my arthritis that's all its nothing to worry about."
"I see. Are you ready to go home mother?"
"I'm more than ready to go home, I've missed you all terribly," Rose replied as she picked up her handbag. "Have you any more news about John?"
"I'm afraid not," Jeff replied picking up his mothers suitcases and started to lead the way out of the passenger lounge. "Last report I had before I went to the Pentagon this morning was that he was feeling better and on his feet again, the headache that sent him to bed having cleared." Jeff spoke carefully as he didn't want anyone around him to hear what had happened to John, he doubted anyone around would understand what they were on about, but still he wouldn't risk it. Secrecy had become a way of life for him and his family over the last few years since before International Rescue had started when they were still building it all.
Rose nodded understanding what Jeff was telling her and it was nothing that she hadn't already heard from Scott when she'd spoken to him earlier. Still she was worried about John, about how he was coping with those things being inside him. She knew in her head that John was alright but her heart continued to worry, a worry that Rose knew she would continue to feel until she saw John for herself and could look him in his blue eyes and see how he truly was. Rose was a firm believer in the old saying 'the eyes were the window to the soul', if John could look her in the eyes and say he was alright with what had happened to him, it would be only then that she would really stop worrying about him.
At that moment Jeff opened the door to the airstrip outside and Rose blinked in the bright sunshine until the lenses in her glasses darkened automatically in response to the bright light. Not speaking Rose followed her only son across the landing field to where the ultra-sleek form of Tracy One stood waiting, Rose noticed a small tanker truck pulled up beside it with a fuel feed line joining the two. Rose smiled softly she had been right Jeff was having Tracy One refuelled for the journey home to the island, even with the fact that the jet could do Mach 2 it would take a few hours to get back there from here.
After a moment Rose noticed a reasonably attractive young woman in mechanics overalls appear from the other side of Tracy One and approached them even as another mechanic who they couldn't see that well started to disconnect the fuel feed.
"Mr Tracy," the young mechanic said.
"Yes," Jeff replied.
"We've completed refuelling of your aircraft. My colleague is disengaging the fuel line as we speak. Is their anything else we can do for you before you leave?"
"No its fine," Jeff answered with a smile. The mechanic smiled back.
"Then I wish you a safe flight to wherever you are going."
"Thank you. Your most kind." The mechanic smiled the disappeared back around the other side of Tracy One to the waiting fuel truck. Jeff turned to look at Rose and saw his mother smiling at him. "What?"
"Nothing," Rose replied. "You're an old charmer Jeff you know that."
Jeff shrugged and went aboard Tracy One and put the two somewhat heavy old suitcases in the storage compartment at the very back of the passenger cabin next to the entertainment system. Which saw regular use whenever one of the boys was on Tracy One with him, which wasn't often these days as it was rare for the boys to leave the island for long lengths of time, though Jeff made sure the boys did get holidays from time to time and he didn't stop them going to conventions or things like that if they wanted to go. Turning around to go to the cockpit Jeff noticed his mother struggling to get up the steps into the aircraft. Her arthritis must be really playing up today, he thought as he raced over to help her. Holding out a hand he helped the eighty odd year old woman aboard the aircraft.
"Thank you Jeff," Rose said as Jeff pressed the button that retracted the boarding ramp, then closed and locked the hatch.
"Your welcome mother. You better go and strap in we'll be taking off in a few minutes," Jeff replied. Rose nodded and made her way to one of the comfortably padded seats and sat down and began fastening her seatbelt. Jeff watched her for a moment before turning away and heading into the cockpit.
Five Minutes Later
Jeff sighed in relief as he levelled Tracy One off at a height of thirty five thousand feet on a course home to Tracy Island.
"Okay mother you can unbuckle now," he called back to his mother undoing his own seat restraints, though the restraints were pretty much an anachronism on Tracy One. Tracy One like all modern aircraft had inertial dampeners that prevented the people inside from feeling the planes movements and acceleration, still no one had yet done away with the mandatory requirement of seatbelts and Jeff hoped they never did. To his mind it would be dangerous just to rely on inertial dampeners for safety, especially during take off and landing.
Reaching out Jeff pressed the radio control.
"Tracy One to Tracy Island respond please," he said into the microphone. Immediately Scott's face and torso appeared on the communications screen.
"Go ahead father," Scott said.
"Scott I've just picked up your grandmother and we're on our way back to the island. I estimate our flight time to be six hours."
"Okay father," Scott replied just as off screen on Scott's end of the conversation Jeff heard someone faintly speak. "Dad Kyrano wants to know what you fancy for food when you and grandma get back."
"Nothing in particular Scott. Kyrano can cook whatever he wants to cook." On the screen Scott nodded and turned away obviously relaying the message to Kyrano, when Scott looked back at the screen Jeff asked the question that was burning on his mind. "How's John Scott?"
"He's okay Dad," Scott replied. "He's got some new powers that he's intermittently trying to figure out but other than that he's okay."
"Can I talk to him?" Scott shook his head.
"I'm afraid not Dad. He's gone out for a run for a bit, at least that's what he said. My guess is he just needed some time on his own to think about things." Jeff nodded in understanding, it would make sense that John would want to be on his own for a time to think about what had happened to him, especially if he had more powers now than before.
"I see. If you see him tell him we will see him very soon."
"F-A-B, Dad." Scott signed off at that moment, Jeff sighed and with another flick of a switch switched on the cockpit music system. Within seconds the sound of traditional country music filled the cockpit, keeping Jeff company while he guided Tracy One on her long journey home to Tracy Island.
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