I do not own any of the characters in the usual Thunderbirds universe, for their origins we are all greatly indebted to Gerry and Sylvia.
I have to 'thank' KatZen and Sad-Blue-Eyed-Angel 2010 for putting this concept into my head with their marvellous stories
If anyone had told him three years ago that he would be here waiting to hear if his son would be convicted of double murder he would have said that they were crazy. There was no way that any of his sons were capable of cold blooded murder.
Then his son disappeared and, despite every resource available, no trace of his whereabouts was ever discovered until that tragic day. The day that everything changed forever.
His thoughts turned to the chaotic scene at the hospital where the medical staff had been trying, in vain, to save the life of his daughter-in-law. The relief that his granddaughters had been found unharmed, physically, overshadowed by the shooting of their mother and the policeman.
Trying to get past his own grief, still strong after the death of his own wife years before, to support the son who'd virtually collapsed when informed that his wife had not survived the shooting.
The shock when the unidentified patient at the hospital, in ICU recovering from being shot as well as severe drug withdrawal turned out to be his missing son. The joy at his son being found alive quickly replaced with shocked disbelief when he was told that his son was the only suspect for the two shootings and would be arrested as soon as he had recovered enough to be questioned.
Three weeks later, after the funeral, his son finally regained consciousness and had recovered enough to be questioned.
True to their words the police had arrested him before starting with their questions. The charges related from conspiracy and kidnap right up to the two counts of murder.
The jury were returning to deliver their verdict, in a few moments he'd know if he would be able to take his son home, for the first time in over three years, or if his son would have to face a death penalty sentencing hearing.
Although he hoped for the former he believed that the sheer amount of evidence against him would result in a guilty verdict for his son.
Waiting in hopeful silence he watches as his son is lead into the court to hear the verdict.
The court was in total silence as the defendant was lead into the court ready for the verdict.
He knew that he was innocent but the evidence against him was damning.
After over three years his fate would finally be decided. Almost eighteen months since the murders that tore his family apart. Hopefully after today things could start to get better, the family could somehow begin to rebuild their lives, hopefully together.
Standing in court waiting for the jury to give their verdict, hoping against hope that they'd find in his favour, but fearing the worst.
The charge 2 counts of Murder. The prosecution had choosen not to proceed with the conspiracy and kidnap charges that were part of his original arrest, there was more direct evidence for the murder charges after all.
A mother killed in front of her 3 children.
A policeman killed at the same time.
The defendant found at the scene.
His fingerprints on the gun.
Residue on his hands and clothing, proof that he had fired a gun that evening.
It was the clearest case the police had seen in years.
The evidence against him damning.
Amazingly he'd claimed to be innocent, claimed that he hadn't fired the fatal shots.
The evidence against him was so overwhelming that his lawyer had actually advised him to plead guilty and hope for clemency, he'd disregarded the advice and entered a not guilty plea instead (after all why should he admit to something that he hadn't done). With hindsight probably not his best decision.
He couldn't actually remember much of what happened that day (or the preceding year to be honest) but he knew that he had not killed his sister-in-law, of that he was certain. He did have a vague impression of hearing her voice calling his name as he collapsed into drug induced unconsciousness.
The only crystal clear memory of that day however was the look of terrified horror on the face of his niece as the then 5 year old tried to protect her younger siblings from the threat that she couldn't fully understand.
Unfortunately there was no way that the only direct witness to the murders could be asked to testify, his niece was still far too fragile to risk her recovery from the ordeal, he couldn't put her through that even if it was the only way to save his life.
One small word.
He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Time seemed to stop for him with that one word.
Just six little letters.
Everything had changed with the verdict.
Guilty - of a crime that he didn't commit.
Instead of being able to go home he now had to face the penalty phase of this capital trial.
Silent anticipation as the court waits for the sentence to be passed
Life or death?
If he had thought that his trial had been bad then this sentencing hearing was a thousand times worse.
Having to listen whilst the prosecution detailed, in chilling clarity, the reasons why he should be sentenced to death.
His brother's victim statement detailing a child so traumatized that she'd now become virtually mute, a far cry from her normal chatterbox self, the videos showing the changes in her behaviour since the murders were heartbreaking to watch.
She'd refused to speak a word to anyone outside the family since her mother's death and now could not be separated from her siblings without becoming hysterical with fear for their safety
The written statement from his former fiancee detailing that whilst she may be able to forgive the murders, she would never be able to forgive the drugs. She wouldn't raise her son around an addict, especially as drugs had destroyed her birth family.
Either way he knew that he would never see his island home again.
His brother had refused to even acknowledge his existence once he'd been formally charged with the murders.
Understandable as one victim was his brother's wife.
His fiancée had left him, taking their young son with her. The son he'd never seen, he didn't even know what name she'd given their son. The court order banning him from making contact with them had broken his heart when he was told about it.
He had no idea where they where, if his family knew they couldn't even tell him, he wasn't allowed to know. He could only hope that they were being taken care of, surely his family wouldn't have abandoned them both?
The rest of his family didn't know how they should react. The initial relief that he'd been found, after being missing for over a year, quickly changed to shock and anger when he was arrested whilst recovering in hospital.
The victim statement from the policeman's widow telling the court how the murder of her husband had effected both her and her young children.
Hearing every mitigating factor that his defence lawyer could imagine to justify life without parole rather than execution, the best hope being his drug addiction at the time. He'd be lying to himself if he tried to deny the fact that he still craved the drugs, still craved the escape from reality they had provided.
The medical report that stated that it was highly unlikely that he'd been capable of coherent thought at the time and should not be held accountable for his actions.
The actual statement that he wouldn't have been able to stand much less handle a gun had been dismissed by the prosecution as mere speculation.
Waiting for the jury's sentencing recommendation, he has to force himself to breathe.
Life or death, death or life
He almost collapses when the jury recommend execution and not life in prison, especially as it's a unanimous decision meaning that the judge has to choice but to confirm the death penalty sentence.
There's mixed reactions from the spectators when the sentence is passed. Cheers from the family and friends of the policeman killed and cries of dismay from his own family.
He doesn't hear his lawyer confirming their intention to appeal, both the conviction and the sentence.
He turns round and finds himself unable to meet his brothers' eyes, still in shock as his hands are cuffed behind his back.
His heart breaks as one by one his brothers all turn their backs to him, their rejection of him clear.
Only his father was watching, in stunned disbelief, as he was lead from the court.
For Jeff Tracy it's his worst nightmare. Having to watch helplessly as his son is taken from the court to spend the rest of his life on Death Row, hoping for a reprieve that may never come.
I'm No Superman - KatZen
Kiss it all Better - Sad-Blue-Eyed-Angel 2010
If any beta-readers would be interested I could use the help.