Sorry this took so long to update, just kept forgetting to post it if I'm honest. I'll try and be a bit better in future, but no promises.

The K+ Rating is for the inclusion of some mild coarse language.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Thunderbirds (they belongs to someone who is not me, I don't actually know who it is now) and I am not making any money from this story. None of the characters are intended to portray any living or dead person and any similarities are entirely coincidental.


10. A Rescue of Sorts


Rushing down the strip-lighted corridors, John desperately tried to remember the way down to the isolated laboratories. Took a wrong turning at one point and ended up at a door, that looked suspiciously like it lead to a hanger. He left that well alone, not wishing to endure the wrath of his father if he popped up in the wrong place, had happened before and wasn't something he planned on revisiting.

Dashing past another side corridor, he pulled up short and took a couple of steps back, staring intently down the hallway. Deciding, that that direction was in fact the one he wanted to be following, he made the right turn and set off at a near sprint again, almost running into a large metal door, as he skid around the corner, black rubber marking the clean floors.

Recognising it from his rapid tour the day before, John realised that he didn't know the entry code for the small data pad beside the door. Thinking on the spot, he reached into his jeans front pocket and pulled forth his PDA, still with the computer link-up wire attached from earlier. He powered the small device up and ran his fingers around the edge of the door data pad.

He felt the small telltale depression of a hidden compartment and pushed down, finding to his surprise that the grey-plastic cover simply fell off. Not great defences, Dad, he thought briefly before continuing with his task. Revealed below was a connector-port, a standardised USB in fact. Muttering a quick 'thank-you' under his breath, John coupled his PDA up to the data-pad via the cable.

A few finger-presses on the touch-sensitive screen loaded up one of the more basic programmes John had written. Numbers began to flash across the display and three seconds later the light above the door lock flashed green and the fifteen year old hacker unplugged his device and turned the handle of the entrance.

Swiftly descending the stairs on the other side, normally shy, and quiet; John forgot all of this for the moment. Having sensed that there was something very wrong from the tone of his father's voice, the fifteen year old just wanted all of his brothers safe, standing before him.

"Brains? Mr. Hackenbacker, sir?" He called out to the vast space that was Tracy Island Laboratories. He stalked between the tall shelving units and workbenches looking for the elusive, young engineer. "Brains?"

A noise to his left startled him, making the young boy jump into the air and spin round to face whoever or whatever was there, instinctively raising his arms protectively before his face.

"J… John?" Brains sounded confused at the younger boys stance, as though he was expecting a hit squad of Marines, or something.

"Brains." The hacker sounded positively relieved to have found the blue glasses, white coat clad genius, and lowered his hands into jeans pockets. "My father said to find you, and tell you the Weather Station called."

"What d… did they say, ah, John?"

"A storm's on it's way in. Imminently." John fidgeted, wanting to get away and find his younger brothers.

"Oh, I, ah, s… see. I'll get the, ah, s… shelter ready, t… then. If you, ah, collect your, ah, b… brothers, and bring t… them back here, I'll, ah, t… take you to the s… shelter."

The blond haired teenager nodded, exiting the room at a fast walking pace, but not before kicking over a fire-extinguisher (located on the top platform of the entrance stairs) into the path of the heavy metal door, impeding it's ability to close. It meant for easy access later, when he returned. Plus, he didn't really want Gordon and Alan to see 'his way' of opening the door.

Then John dashed off back in the direction he had come, towards the outside; raging winds and all.

Same time, open water (almost);

The little crimson speed boat raced through the violently churning water, bouncing across waves, spitting water up into the faces of it's two occupants. The younger man aboard raised his voice and shouted, to be heard above the sound of crashing liquid.

"He would have gone somewhere quiet. Not the main beach, Gordo and Alan had said they might go down there."

Jeff nodded to show he had heard the message, never taking his eyes off the water rolling over the front of the small vessel, hands certainly not leaving the throttle and steering column, eyes searching out the coast line through half-shut eyelids. Scott was watching the edge of the Island slowly pass by, searching for any sign of his younger brother, as the boat made sluggish progress over each white-tipped crest.

"There's a beach, a little off to the side of the main one. He might have gone there, it would have been one of the first places he reached."

"OK."

Scott momentarily contemplated the fact that he actually had no control over where the boat was going, and therefore, the point in his father wasting time to tell him his plan was minimal, annoying him. However he had little time to think about it, and he supposed there was little else of comfort to speak about.

Rising over the peak of another wave, that shouldn't have by rights been there for another half an hour according to the S.P.W.S., the little speedboat rounded another jutting outcrop to where the small, said beach was. Scott let out a yell, causing his father to take another, harder look at the area, through droplet-lined eyelashes.

Clinging to an almost-ledge, the water level having ascended at an astonishing rate; was his missing son.

Back up at the villa, down weaving corridors;

John urgently ushered his protesting brothers down the same corridors he had travelled along twice already today, hoping that his father and two other siblings were already in the laboratories. Pulling the door open, John kicked the cylindrical extinguisher again, this time out of the way of the door, and the three boys passed through.

"Brains? I've got Gordon and Alan." The trio stood at the bottom of the steps for a moment, waiting.

"G… good. What about, ah, y… your father and other b… brothers?"

"Are they not here? My father told me just to get these two." The pair in question were currently staring at all of the things that they hadn't had to the time to admire before during their father's brief, and somewhat disappointing go round; glass jars filled with strange liquids, rows upon rows of computers all busily calculated and designing, arm-like machines constructing large sheets for something.

"I'm, ah, s… sure he'll a… arrive soon, John. C… come on, let's get you three in the, ah, s… shelter."

Obediently they followed their new friend through his workspace, careful not to touch anything, but intrigued all the same by the amazing feats held within. John planned on have a talk with his new 'friend' soon, it appeared they had much to discuss in his opinion.

At the back of the room was another door, this one without a keypad lock, in case admission was needed when power was down, despite the main laboratories being perfectly weatherproof and safe.

It was a space, hollowed out from beneath the volcanic island-side, but with another exit hidden behind a reinforced tool-steel cover, presumably that lead straight to the surface. It was furnished with school-style plastic chairs, boxes of what looked a lot like military rations and a radio set.

There was something though in the room, that none of the Tracy's had expected, something that drew Gordon and Alan's attention immediately. The elder of the pair went straight over to look and held out his hand to it.

"H… her name's, ah, Amy." Brains supplied. A small, tabby cat crept out from underneath a chair to nose Gordon's hand, who gentled ruffled her fur in return. "S… she stays down in the, ah, labs w… with me normally."

"Hey, Amy." The feline purred, moving to rub up against the young swimmer's outstretched arm.

"You never said you had any pets." Alan accused of Brains.

"It w… wasn't r… really important. TinTin or, ah, Kyrano, bring h… her down a t… tray of food each evening, and, s… she's happy to, ah, stay down here most of the t… time. G… Goes outside every now and, ah, a… again though. C… can be quite the, ah, explorer, w… when she wants t… to."

While Alan exclaimed something that sounded rather like 'cool' and went to pet the animal with his elder brother, something clicked in John. The third tray of food… his father, Brains and Amy had received the trays, not another person like they had all thought. He'd have to let Scott and Virgil know, when they arrived, that the third and final unknown, was no longer that.

'Maxwell Beach', same time;

Pointing frantically into the waves, Scott yelled to his father.

"He's there."

Seeing the stranded boy, he pulled the boat around, fighting against currents desperate to keep him out at sea, to reach the young teenager. Pushing the throttle up, the vessel struggled free of the equilibrium holding it in place, pushing it's way through the water, reaching the cliff face just as Virgil lost his grip on the wet rock.

Scott saw his younger brother's head fall below the water, while his father battled against nature to keep the boat in place, and waited desperately a few seconds, hoping to see the brown hair resurface. It didn't.

Finally finding a way of keeping the boat in the same place (at an exact point the thrust equalled the drag from the sea and thus meant stationary motion), Jeff could stretch his attention further and took a moment to realise what had happened. Forcibly moving Scott to take over his job, he stripped off his weatherproof coat, and jumped into the twisting waters.

Strangely, everything was much calmer under the surface, looking up you could still see the waves crashing into the rock face but you didn't feel it so much. The water was still fairly clear, sand was being kicked up more than usual, but visibility wasn't exactly terrible. Spinning around in the water Jeff looked for his falling son, but saw nothing.

Breaking the surface, he gasped for air again, and then went back under, and in doing so caught sight of something large moving downwards in the water to his right. Kicking hard to propel himself along, he stretched out a hand, and grabbed a fist-full of material, dragging it behind himself towards the surface and boat.

Lifting his head from under the water to take in another mouthful of cold, rain-soaked air, Jeff pulled his drowning son up. Drawing energy from deep within himself, he took a firmer hold of Virgil and lifted the boy so that his head was also out of the main body of the ocean.

Scott saw and managed to manoeuvre the boat slightly closer, at the same time as his father continued to kick towards the boat. Releasing the controls for a moment, the seventeen year old reached over the side to pull his younger brother aboard, and was set to help his parent onto the boat also, until an order was barked to get back to the wheel.

Reluctantly obeying, already unable to ignore a direct command, Scott left Jeff to haul himself onto the speedboat, and once he was safely over the plastic-edged side, he pushed on the throttle, wanting nothing more than to be out of the damn, frigid water. Glancing back behind him, he saw his father hunched over Virgil, but couldn't allow himself to dwell on it; the ocean was a far more pressing matter.

Jeff leant close to his middle child's face, trying to feel some air being expelled, and when he couldn't, the ex-astronaut pinched the fourteen year old's nose and breathed sharply into his mouth once, pulling back to see if it caused any reaction. Beginning to fear the worst Jeff prepared to try again, when Virgil's head suddenly moved sideways as he coughed up a mouthful of water and sand.

"Shhh. It's OK. You're alright now." He soothed, as the adolescent struggled to replace the oxygen he needed, still not opening his eyes. Turning towards where his eldest was standing, he raised his voice. "Scott, I need you to come here and look after your brother. It's too dangerous for you to take the boat in next to the pier."

Nodding in agreement and seeing the sense, as he had never been in the powerboat before, the duo exchanged places, Scott kneeling down on the wave-drenched metal floor beside his brother.

"Hey, kid." He reached out, placing a cold hand on his brother's shaking arm, before removing his own jacket to place that, and his father's previously discarded one over Virgil. "It's gonna be OK now, just you wait and see."

Sitting more comfortably on the deck, Scott pulled Virgil up close to him, wrapping his arms around the younger boy, holding him tight and whispering quietly into his ear, ignoring the pools of water now seeping through his clothes. And that was how they were still sitting when Jeff turned off the motors to the powerboat, and turned to see Scott gently brushing wet, curling hair back from his brother's forehead.

He noticed the blue colour his middle son's skin had taken, and the same colour that was beginning to stain Scott's lips, and made a decision.

Leaning down, he scooped the youngest of the pair up off the floor, coats and all, into his arms, as he used to back in Kansas when the boys fell asleep in front of the fire. Grabbing Scott's arm at the same time, he pulled his eldest into a standing position, and knowing he would follow, headed straight off towards the villa, through the pounding, mind-numbing rain.

Stalking down the corridors, leaving reflective, water puddles behind him, Jeff shouted out to his closest friend and engineer. A reply was made as the laboratory door swung open before the trio, revealing a concerned looking John and an anticipating engineer.

"M… Mr. Tracy?"

"I need a bed, now, for Virgil."

Brains took one look at the still, blue-ish looking teenager, and hurried off to clear one of the beds, that would, in a few years, form part of the most technologically advanced medical departments in the world. Jeff followed and laid his son down, standing back to allow the genius near, before turning to face Scott.

The seventeen year old was shivering violently, despite the somewhat humid air that surrounded the Island, and his father stole a blanket from the pile Brains appeared with, to wrap around him. Glancing over, he saw his other son being well taken care of, blankets piled up high on top of him, heaters directed straight at his cold form.

And then, something that made him smile.

Virgil opened his eyes, looking confusedly around, but it didn't matter, as there, in those labs and sheltered rooms, his family was together and safe.