- wherein a call comes in to Tracy Island, specifically to the vicinity of Virgil's bedroom -

J: Afternoon, Virgil!

J: Virgil?

J: It's against regs to mute your comm.

J: You're not supposed to be able to mute your comm.

J: Time for Brains to update his firmware protocols.

J: Anyway, you can't hear me.

[ \

\\network: TI-SECURE

\\\sys: virgpc

admin: tb5override

password: hunter2

load: 3, t:0:00, v:+50]

V: Auuuuuuugh.

V: I'm off rotat—

J: Nope, just cleared your twelve hour mark. Afternoon, Virgil!

V: It's quarter to four in the morning. Why do you refuse to keep island time?

J: Because UTC is the International Standard? We're International Rescue. Disasters don't keep regular hours. I like Universal Time. It's orderly.

V: You just like it because it has the word "universe" in it. We are the only people who's schedules you have an impact on and yet you insist on being twelve hours out.

J: What schedules? We don't keep schedules. I need you, I call you. I call you, you get up. Are you getting up? Next on the playlist is Don't Stop Believin'.

V: Yeah, yeah, I'm getting up. What's the situation? Can't be that urgent if you'll burn time blasting classic rock and arguing about timezones.

J: Well, technically I need Gordon, but I need Gordon inland and he can't get there on his own. There's a crude oil pipeline in the Great Lakes in danger of a catastrophic failure. Needs a patch job, ASAP and TB4's the best utility sub available at short notice.

V: Oh, thanks. Great. Big Green Taxi.

J: Gordon's already awake.

V: Fuck Gordon. Gordon's a freak.

J: Gordon's already suited up and waiting in the hangar bay. He grabbed extra protein bars and made a smoothie for you. You have two minutes to hit the hangar, or I'll tell him you called him a freak and that he should probably eat your breakfast.

V: I'm going, John.

J: Virgil's on his way down. Load up your module, Gordon.

G: What, 4?

J: For the pipeline out at Lake Erie.

G: Yeah, I know. 4, though?

J: I forwarded you a situation briefing, you were supposed to read it while I got Virgil up.

G: Yeah, I read your briefing, it was all technical specs for the repair I'm supposed to do. But what, am I loading 4?

J: Have you got water in your ears? For the pipeline. Great Lakes. Pressure readings are critical. Needs repair urgently or there'll be an oil spill.

G: …okay, so I'm loading module 2 with repair pods?

J: I don't know why I even send you briefings. I need you in Thunderbird Four. There's a pipeline about to burst beneath lake Erie. Underwater. No pods.

G: I asked if you wanted me to load module 4!

J: And I'm having a really hard time understanding why you haven't done it yet.

G: Because you wouldn't tell me what module to load!

J: Obviously if I called you, it's because I need TB4.

G: Right. Fine. Loading Two now.

J: No, load 4.

G: Loading Thunderbird Two.

J: With module 4.

G: Yes.

J: Not 2.

G: Right. Why don't you go micromanage Virgil for a sec, how 'bout?

J: Oh, t-minus two, he called you a freak.

G: What? When?

J: Two minutes ago. Eat his breakfast.

G: What for?

J: For calling you a freak.

G: No, what'd he call me a freak for?

J: Hold that thought.

J: Why are you in the kitchen.

V: Because you said if I didn't hit the hangar in two minutes Gordon would eat my breakfast. I wasn't ever gonna make two minutes, so I took a one minute detour to grab a burrito. I'm going now.

J: Gordon's preloaded Four for you, you two can launch as soon as you're both aboard.

V: Yeah, great. I'm going. Is this gonna need Two?

J: No, I don't think both of you will need to engage, just one should be fine.

V: What, One, too?

J: No, just Two.

V: Two and Four.

J: I've got Gordon in Four, obviously I need you in Two.

V: Okay, so you need me in Two to back up Gordon in Four.

J: No, he'll be fine on his own, it's all underwater work. That's what Gordon's there for.

V: Yeah, I know why Gordon's there, but why is One gonna be there?

J: One's not going to be there, it's just you two.

V: Okay, so if One's not there, then am I only bringing Two to taxi Gordon out, or will you need me to be in Two, too?

J: Where the hell would you be if you weren't in Two?

V: …Okay. Lemme get aboard and we'll sort it out once we launch.

J: Skies are clear, you've got a projected ETA of 22:00h

V: Yeah, in what timezone?


V: Fucking damn it, John.

G: Yeah, fuck off with your UTC, John.

J: You two are awfully touchy this afternoon.

G: This afternoon is this morning, and you only like UTC because it has the word "universe" in it. Keep island time like a normal goddamn person.

J: As though there are any 'normal goddamn people' represented on island time.

G: Real funny, space oddity.

V: Thunderbirds are gumming up the comm line with nonessential banter.

G: Thunderbirds tend to be unprofessional at this hour of the morning.

V: I'll call you back when we're airborne, Thunderbird Five.

J: FAB, Thunderbird Two.

V: Good morning, Gordo.

G: Yeah, mornin' V. What'd you call me a freak for?

V: Did you load Four?

G: Loading Four doesn't make me a freak, John told me to load 4. Was I supposed to load 2? Because I loaded 4.

V: No, you were…obviously you were supposed to load Four, why would you be along if you weren't supposed to load Four?

G: Dude, I don't know! All I've got are technical specs for a pipeline and John thinks I read them, but I haven't actually, because I was busy grabbing breakfast for me and you.

V: Oh.

G: Yeah.

V: Where's my breakfast then?

G: I ate it. Because John said you called me a freak. And you've got a burrito sticking out of your pocket where your spare grapple's supposed to be, that's against regs.

V: It's fine, I've got like six of them aboard. Six grapple packs, only one burrito. Why'd you eat my breakfast?

G: Why'd you call me a freak?

V: You're a freak because you're up at four in the morning.

G: Who the hell told you I was up at four in the morning? John called me at three AM and yelled at me until I dragged my ass down to the hangar to preload Two, because you still had to clear another half hour of sleep before you were good to fly.

V: …right.

G: I drank your smoothie, too. This is why we make John stay in space, you know. If he was on Earth someone would've throttled him by now.

V: What module were you supposed to load?

G: 4. Probably.

V: No, not probably. Call John back.

G: Fuck no, this is your fault. You call him.

V: It's not my fault, you're the one who loaded—

G: While you were still sleeping, to do you a favour, after grabbing you breakfast.

V: ...I'll call him.

G: Whoops, no you won't.

J: Why haven't you two launched yet?

G: What module was I supposed to load?

J: …are you in some sort of protein coma? Is this an overdose? Why would you eat two extra protein bars if this was going to happen?

G: Cram it up your ass, Sputnik. 2 or 4?

J: Two and Four, and you're going to be late.

V: Okay. Just double checking.

G: Go for launch? Mean Green Macguyer Machine, standing by.

J: Why are you standing by? You've been go for launch for the past two minutes.

V: Okay. We got it. FAB. Roger. 10-4

J: I think one of Four is actually already kind of excessive.

G: You wanna fuckin' go, space ranger?

J: Actually, I'd really prefer it if you two could bring yourselves to fuckin' go.

V: Going!