Pre-series. How might the first meeting between Brains and Jeff Tracy gone?
A Fateful Meeting
Authors Note: Since no one really knows Brains real name as he only used an alias when given a proper name in the series I've given him the name James Backer.
New York International Airport
Dr James Backer or Brains to the few friends that he still had walked nervously towards the arrival's hall of terminal one of New York airport. He had no idea why he was here, all he knew was that yesterday he had received a vidcom call to his apartment in Seattle from a representative of Tracy Industries.
Apparently Jefferson Tracy himself wanted to see him for some reason though the representative hadn't been inclined to say why, in fact James had the distinct impression that the person who had contact him had no idea herself. A courier had arrived at his apartment a short time after the call, the courier having come from the Seattle office of Tracy Industries with a package that contained air tickets both to and from Seattle for today.
More than a little intrigued as to why one of the richest men in the world wanted to see him personally James had come here to New York as asked. Before he had come though he'd done a little research on Jefferson Tracy on the internet. There was a lot of information about his accomplishments in the business and science fields like building the first commercial aircraft powered by scramjets and constructing the first practical fusion power plant in Europe. But surprisingly little information about the man himself other than the fact that he had once been an astronaut and one of the first men to return to the moon and that he was a single parent to five sons having lost his wife to illness many years ago.
Reaching the arrivals hall he found a tall handsome man standing there holding out a sign with his name on it. James moved over and couldn't help but feel a little intimidated. The man who was waiting for him was much taller than he was and very broad shouldered, he looked like he could easily pound him into a pulp.
"Dr Backer," the man queried.
"Y...y...yes," James replied his nervousness making his stutter worse than it normally was.
"My name is Johnson," the man replied smiling warmly and reassuringly obviously fully aware of the fact that his size and obvious strength was intimidating James. "If you will come with me I will take you to Tracy Industries. Would you like me to take your bag?"
"N...n...no that's alright," James replied fingering his battered old travel bag that contained an overnight change of clothes.
"Very well," Johnson replied and turned away and started to lead the way through the airport. James kept close to his huge chaperone - even though Johnson intimidated him no end - he had never been to New York before and had no desire to get lost.
"Why am I h...h...here," James asked hoping to get more information on the reason for his summons here.
"Mr Tracy has asked to see you," Johnson replied. "Why I do not know I have just been instructed to bring you to him."
"I see," James replied not particularly surprised that Johnson did not know why he had been summoned. I guess I will have to wait until I see Mr Tracy himself to get some answers, he thought as he continued to follow Johnson through the airport.
A few minutes later James found himself out in the car park being led up to of all things a limousine. Johnson used a small remote to unlock it then he opened one of the rear passenger doors.
"Please," he said indicating to James that he should get inside. James did just that and was immediately blown away by the interior of the limo. All the seats were a white synthetic leather whose colour matched the carpet, the windows were polarised so they were one way transparent, there was full air conditioning that reduced the searing heat of the summers day to a pleasant cool temperature, and there were fittings in hear including a small vidcom unit, an entertainment centre and even a small bar. The interior of the limo spoke of money on a scale that James had never seen before. If I only had this much money then maybe I would see my dreams come true, he thought. He was so taken in by it all that he barely noticed when Johnson closed the door and walked around to the driver's door and climbed in.
"Dr Backer please just sit back and enjoy the ride," Johnson said from the front via an intercom system then James was sure he heard the engine start though it was hard to tell as the walls of the passenger area of the limo were insulated against outside sounds.
After a moment the limo started moving and James did as Johnson had instructed him, he sat back in the incredibly comfortable seat and waited for this stage of his journey to end. But even as he relaxed he couldn't help but wonder one thing.
Why did Jefferson Tracy want to see him?
A Short Time Later
James was brought out of his contemplation of the mystery of why he had been summoned when out the window he noticed everything come to a stop. Through the frosted glass screen between himself and Johnson he saw Johnson get out of the limo and start moving again.
A moment later the door beside him opened.
"We're here," Johnson's voice said.
Carefully James climbed out of the limousine and looked away from the road at the building they had pulled up outside. He saw that they had pulled up at the front of a plaza whose central path was lined with planters filled with well kept plants with flowers in a variety of colours. Beyond the plaza a huge conical tower rose high into the sky.
"Please follow me," Johnson said closing the door to the limo and using the remote on the key ring to lock it.
Taking a deep breath, trying to quash the butterflies of nerves fluttering about in his stomach James nodded and followed Johnson away from the limo, across the plaza and into the building.
The foyer of the Tracy Industries building was brightly lit and extremely spacious, furniture and potted plants were placed tastefully around the large room. But what struck James the most was the warm, friendly atmosphere that this place carried. He had been in buildings owned by many big corporations in his always useless attempts to secure funding for his ideas. They had always been cold and heartless places where people came to work and nothing else, this was altogether different, it was designed to completely put you at ease coming in here. And James found that it worked, he could feel some of the tension leaving his body even as he followed Johnson over to the front desk.
The attractive young Hispanic woman looked up at their approach and smiled.
"Good afternoon sir," she said politely to James. "What can we do for you?"
"I am h...h...here to s...s...see Mr Jefferson Tracy," James replied a little embarrassed at his stutter. The woman smiled and checked her computer.
"Dr James Backer," she said.
"Y...y...yes that's me," James replied. The receptionist looked back at him and smiled. Over the desk she handed him a security pass and held out an electronic clipboard with a stylus.
"Please sign here for your visitors pass Dr Backer," she said. James took the electronic pad and carefully filled in the details on the form displayed on the screen before handing it and the stylus back. "Thank you. Mr Tracy is expecting you."
"This way please Dr Backer," Johnson said leading James away from the front desk deeper in to the building. James followed closely feeling his nerves return full force at the prospect that in a few minutes at most he would be meeting one of the richest but most mysterious men in the world.
The receptionist watched them leave then she picked up a small phone and pressed a button on her intercom panel. For a moment the phone buzzed in her ear then a voice came through.
"Yes," Jeff Tracy's voice asked.
"Sir Dr Backer is on his way up," she reported.
"Excellent thank you Ms Ramirez." Then the phone clicked off and the receptionist put the phone down to return to her duties.
A Few Minutes Later
James swallowed nervously as the lift doors opened with a soft ping onto the 135th floor of the Tracy Industries building.
"Relax Dr Backer," Johnson told him as they stepped out of the lift into a very tastefully decorated anteroom. "Mr Tracy does not bite." James smiled slightly at Johnson's attempt at reassuring him.
"Are you c...c...coming in," James asked as he nervously adjusted his glasses.
"No," Johnson replied. "My orders are to wait out here for you. You must go in alone." James grimaced even though it was what he had expected.
Taking a deep breath and praying - as strange as that was for a man who did not generally belief in religion - that he wouldn't make a fool of himself James walked across the anteroom to the door in the wall that had the nameplate on it that said Jeff Tracy. For a moment he hesitated then with sudden courage knocked on the door.
"Enter," a powerful voice said from the other side of the door. James turned the handle and opened the door and nervously walked into Jefferson Tracy's office feeling as if he was going into the lion's den.
As he would have expected the personal office of Jeff Tracy was a large spacious room that took up most of this part of the floor. But it was decorated differently to what he would have expected going on his past experience with such places. Previous offices for heads of big business that he had been in had been cold and impersonal places, just somewhere where you could meet the mouth of a faceless corporation. But this was very different.
The office was tastefully decorated, the floor covered with a thick deep pile blue carpet. The whole of one wall was nothing but windows that looked out over the skyline of New York, the other walls were all covered with light wood panelling. Along one wall James noticed a series of glass discs in which he could see photo's of five young men that ranged in age from a man that looked to be in his mid to late twenties to a teenager with blond hair and startling blue eyes. Similarities in the way the five people looked let James know that they were all siblings.
As with the foyer far below potted plants and furniture was tastefully placed around the room, furniture that included comfortable looking chairs and small tables. Yet despite the calming, reassuring atmosphere that there was James could feel the authority in the room, the power. He knew that this was the office of someone whose wealth meant he would have no trouble crushing him like a bug if he so desired.
James looked down the length of the office at the desk that was there. It was a large oak thing that looked very sturdy. Behind it was a comfortable synthetic leather chair out of which a middle-aged but still fit looking man was getting. Taking a final deep breath to try and calm his nerves James started across the office to meet him even as Jefferson Tracy came around the desk and started walking towards him.
They met halfway across the office and Jeff held out his hand in greeting.
"Dr Backer welcome as you might have guessed I am Jeff Tracy," he said warmly.
Up close James could feel the authority radiating off Jeff and he could tell that it was a natural authority, a natural ability to command. It was offset by a sense of warmth and kindness that Jeff also gave off and James knew that this was someone who would move heaven and earth to help someone if he had the means to help them. Instantly James found himself liking Jeff Tracy.
"A p...p...pleasure," James stammered taking Jeff's hand and they shook warmly though the strength of Jeff's grip did come as a bit of a surprise to James despite the fact that Jeff obviously did keep himself in shape.
"Please come and sit down," Jeff said releasing his hand and leading him back across the office to his desk. James shyly sat down in front of the desk. "Would you like something to drink," Jeff asked. "Tea, coffee, something stronger?"
"A c...c...coffee would be n...n...nice thank you," James replied. Jeff smiled.
"Milk and sugar," he asked.
"Yes two s...s...sugars," James answered and was rewarded with another smile. Then Jeff turned away and walked up to and went through a small door that James hadn't seen. And James was stunned to realise that Jeff was actually going to make the coffee himself, most company bosses he'd met had their underlings do that for them, as if something as mundane as making coffee was beneath them.
After a moment Jeff Tracy returned carrying two mugs of steaming hot coffee. He gently sat one down in front of James.
"T...t...thank you," James said. Jeff smiled as he walked around his desk carrying his own coffee and sat down.
"Now I am sure you are curious as to why I have asked to see you," Jeff said.
"The thought has c...c...crossed my m...m...mind," James admitted. "W...w...what do you w...w...want with me?"
"Your help," Jeff replied. "With a project that I am planning. A project that will help a lot of people in need. I know of your beliefs, I know you believe in using science to benefit humanity. I am offering you a chance to do just that."
James looked at Jeff in total disbelief, for one of the few times in his life stunned beyond words. What he was hearing beggared belief; someone from big business was actually talking about a project that could help humanity, something that wasn't charity, something that could really help.
"I'm i...i...interested," James said. "What is this project?"
"Something that could be of great benefit to humanity," Jeff replied. "But also something that in the wrong hands could conceivably be used for war. The world has enough weapons we do not need anymore which is why this project is going to be top secret from all but a few individuals." He looked James straight in the eye.
"Before we go any further though Dr Backer I want you to promise that what we have discussed so far and what we are about to discuss will not be shared with anyone other than whom I designate," he said.
"Of c...c...course," James replied with all the honesty he could muster. Jeff smiled.
"Good," he replied seeing the truth in James eyes. Though he wasn't particularly religious he did strongly believe that a persons eyes were the windows to their soul and that the eyes never lied.
Calmly he opened a drawer and took out a slim file. It contained all the information that he had so far worked out for his families rescue organisation though he had yet to decide on a name, included was a very broad outline on the kind of machines they could need. He offered the file to James.
"Here is some very basic information on what I am planning," he said to James. "Please read it and don't speak until your done."
James nodded and accepted the file from Jeff before taking a sip of his coffee. Then he put the mug of coffee down on the table and opened the file. He adjusted his glasses with one hand then started to read through it.
What he saw amazed him to no end. Jeff Tracy was talking about setting up a completely new rescue organisation, one with access to more advanced technology than any other force on earth, technology that did not yet exist it would have to be developed. An organisation that could respond quickly to an emergency anywhere on or off earth, and it would all be secret, based on an island that Jeff had recently purchased that would be completely covered by the appearance of a private retreat for him and his family.
Reading the information James could already feel some ideas for the machines and the base technology required for them forming in his head. The challenges would be enormous but James liked challenges that stretched the capabilities of his phenomenal intelligence, as would the costs involved though James knew cost would not be an obstacle for Jeff Tracy. Being the owner of a company that made a billion dollars in revenue every week he had money to burn.
Reading the last of the information James then and there made a decision that though he did not know it yet would change his life forever. He wanted in on this project; he wanted to be part of developing this organisation and its technology. The concept of the organisation was beyond his wildest hopes and dreams and James knew that he could easily devote his life to it.
Finally he looked up at Jeff Tracy again who was watching him intently.
"Well," Jeff asked conveying all sorts of questions with that one word. James smiled.
"I'm i...i...impressed," James replied putting the file down on the desk. "The c...c...concept is amazing and f...f...fascinating. The c...c...challenges are enormous but with t...t...time and work they could be o...o...overcome."
"Do you wish to help with this project Dr Backer," Jeff asked already guessing what the answer would be, he hadn't built one of the most powerful and most successful corporations in the history of the world without long ago developing the ability to read people.
"Y...y...yes Mr Tracy," James replied. "I'm in." Jeff smiled warmly and James was sure he saw some relief in Jeff's face.
"Excellent Dr Backer," Jeff replied.
"Brains," James interrupted.
"What?" Jeff asked confused.
"My f...f...friends call me Brains," James elaborated.
"Very well Brains," Jeff replied smiling warmly thinking how much the nickname suited Brains. "Officially you will be employed by me personally and you will have to do some work in the aerospace arm of my company. Unofficially you will be free to work on this project as much as you desire."
James smiled aerospace work on its own would be challenging and interesting on top of this project it would challenge his abilities no end and James welcomed the challenge with open arms.
"I u...u...understand," James replied.
"Good," Jeff replied. "Johnson will take you to a hotel where you can freshen up and stay the night. I will have your official contract of employment drawn up by the morning."
"T...t...thank you," James replied.
"Do you have any further questions," Jeff asked. James smiled.
"When do I s...s...start." That question earned him a soft laugh from Jeff.
"My you are eager," Jeff replied amused and pleased. "You can begin as soon as you can move here to New York from Seattle. Don't worry about finding an apartment we will do that for you and pay for the rent, as well as make a contribution towards utility bills and transport costs."
James was shocked for a moment that Jeff would do that for him, for someone he did not yet know that well. But then he realised the Jeff wanted to get the development of his pet project off the ground as soon as possible. That was perfectly fine with James and it would be nice to have a job to go to, a job he believed in to boot, rather than just working here and there wherever he could get a job.
"Thank y...y...you," he said.
"Your welcome," Jeff replied. "Anymore questions?" James shook his head he could not think of anything at the moment. "Then you can go."
Jeff reached over onto his desk and pressed a button on there. After a moment the door to the office opened and James looked back in time to see the man mountain that was Johnson come through the door.
"Johnson here will take you to your hotel," Jeff said.
"Thank you." Jeff smiled again as James stood up.
"It was nice meeting you Dr Backer," Jeff said holding out his hand again, James smiled and took it and they shook hands again.
"The p...p...pleasure was m...m...mine Mr Tracy," James replied. "Thank you for the c...c...coffee."
"Your welcome," Jeff replied as they released each other's hands.
Then James left accompanied by Johnson his mind already filling with concepts and ideas that he could use or develop to make Jeff Tracy's incredible and worthwhile dream a reality.
Jeff watched Dr Backer leave his office and close the door behind him. He was very pleased with the way the interview had gone and the way James - Brains he mentally corrected himself - had reacted had told him all that he needed to know about his character. Brains was going to help and not because he wanted the job but because he genuinely believed in what they wanted to do, what they wanted to build.
After a moment the door to the side room where he had made the coffee and which also contained a small rest area and a door to a small bathroom opened again. Jeff looked over at the door as his second born son came through having been listening the whole time to the conversation.
"Well what do you think Virgil," Jeff asked moving over to one of the sitting areas away from his desk and sitting down. Virgil followed and sat down opposite his father.
"I believe dad that he's the one we've been looking for," Virgil replied. "He wants to help us and he genuinely believes in what we are doing. We won't have to blank his memories of this meeting as we had to with the others we have approached."
"I agree," Jeff replied. "Do you think he will be up to the challenge?"
"I've studied the information we have on him," Virgil replied, "and I am very familiar with the ideas that he has, I have read many of the papers and articiles that he has authored. I believe that he is more than up to the challenge and I believe that whatever he comes up with will be better than what we hoped for."
"I agree," Jeff answered, "Virgil cancel all furthur interview plans for this project. We have found the person we were looking for." Virgil smiled.