Sorry for the delay. Another short chapter. Thanks to Anne Messervy, Susan Popplewell, and everyone else who reviewed.
In his hotel room, The Hood (holographically disguised as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ben Gurion) was just retiring from the night when he heard the Emperor's voice in his head. Agent 79, the prisoners are unwilling. They will be cloned and killed. The clones will be sent to relieve you.
The Hood grinned. While he enjoyed being the Israeli Prime Minister – and his son enjoyed being the American President – he looked forward to being able to do his regular missions.
It was the trial of the century. At least, that's what the headlines proclaimed. The "traitorous rebel", Jeff Tracy, head of International Rescue, was to be put on trial before the World Court of Justice. It was to be covered live by every news channel.
ON TRACY ISLAND II
The family were planning to implement a rescue plan. However, carrying it out during the public trial itself was too risky. So, in the meantime, they sat down to watch it.
PICO DE ORIZABA, MEXICO
In a secret underground facility, Emperor Edward IX was impatiently pacing outside the lab, waiting for the results. The door to the lab slid open with a hiss, and a doctor scientist stepped out. "Well?" Edward asked.
"Success," the scientist grinned. "Ben Gurion and de Jersey were successfully cloned. Their clones should have completed growth in a few hours. Chips have been implanted in their brains to program them to effectively be our robots. They have been programmed with ben Gurion and de Jersey's real voice and movement patterns, so no-one will be able to tell the difference – apart, of course, from a radical change in policy."
"Excellent!" Edward responded. "My complete takeover is almost complete. Very soon, I shall truly rule ALL the inhabited universe!"
IN THE WORLD COURT
Jeff's trial was rigged from the start. He had no hope of winning. The trial was merely a formality – give the people a false perception of fair justice. If anyone really believed that.
The judge, Merrick Garfield, was listening to Colonel Lucy Casey's claims and evidence for Jeff's treasonous activities and private beliefs. He was more than ready to sentence Jeff then and there on the spot – but there were, of course, formalities of "justice" to go through first. Expecting to get the final incrimination on Jeff, Garfield asked, "And how do you know all this?"
Before she could answer, Jeff piped up, "Because she's my wife."
The court was stunned. There were audible gasps from those present. No-one had expected this – Casey had always made out that she had never married, and gave the impression of a virgin. And she now was the traitor's wife?!
"Is that true?" an astonished Chief Justice Garland asked Casey.
"Yes, it's true," a slightly nervous Colonel Casey replied. "But I'm his ex-wife. We divorced years ago."
"Which you never disclosed with your other private and background details to any authority," Garfield pointed out. "You directly claimed you had never married, not even had sex. You directly lied in getting your position."
Casey swallowed. She knew what happened to traitors – or even innocents merely suspected of treachery. She had served the New World Order – aka the Illuminati – with complete and absolute loyalty. And yet, she knew she now faced almost certain imprisonment – and likely darker consequences – due to false suspicions. The system she had helped perpetrate, she knew, would absolutely turn against her. Defences in these situations were almost always useless.
"This session is adjourned," Judge Garfield announced. The media left the room. "Take the prisoner back to his cell," he ordered Jeff's guards, who proceeded to obey. He then motioned two more guards toward him, and spoke in hushed tones with them. They nodded. Colonel Casey knew what that meant.
The two guards came up to her. One of them said, "Colonel Casey, you are under arrest on suspicion of treachery against the state." She didn't bother to resist.
PICO DE ORIZABA, MEXICO
A section of the mountainside slid away to reveal a large opening. Inside, an old spaceship (not the Reptilian II) was ready and waiting for launch. President de Jersey and Prime Minister ben Gurion were escorted aboard.
Emperor Edward came in and stood gloating over them. "Goodbye, Mr President and Mr Prime Minister. Such a pity you could not see to work with us. Now you will be killed, and your clones will replace you and work for us. And no-one will be any the wiser."
"You'll never get away with this!" Donald de Jersey spat angrily.
"I already have," the Emperor replied. "This rocket has been set on autopilot. It has been set on course – with hyperdrive – to the planet Charn, in the rebellious Pleiades. You will be on a direct collision course with the house of the parliament of the planet's most rebellious country, Newburn. And we've timed your arrival so that it will be in full session. It won't destroy the country, but it is the first shot in the coming war which we WILL win!" With that, he turned and left.
ON THUNDERBIRD 5
John was monitoring communications, as he always did. A beeping caught his attention. A rocket was being launched from Pico de Orizaba in Mexico – the exact same place that de Jersey and ben Gurion were taken into! He touched the holographic blip, and information about the space ship was projected. It was the same one! He floated over and went to press the button to contact Tracy Island – before remembering it no longer existed. He instead pressed the button to contact Tracy Island II.