Back with the next story. Still AU. Sorry it's been a while, I just haven't had the time to write recently. The ideas have been there, and hopefully getting better the more I've been thinking.

Large parts of this story are set in Greece, and well, not wanting to absolutely destroy the language with crude, automatic translators, any Greek, in general, is written in italics instead. Just image it, if you could.

The T rating is based on some mild, coarse language, and some violent themes that will occur later. Doubting there'll be much on the blood and gore- side though.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Thunderbirds (they belong 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.

This disclaimer applies to all chapters posted for this story.

Set October 2063

1. Raceway

Alan Tracy flashed past in a streaky blur of scarlet-red, and ivory-white accents, flying across the start-finish line whilst rocketing from fifty miles-per-hour cornering speed to near on two hundred down the home straight. Steadily graining tyres fought to hold on to the taupe-grey tarmac, whilst the Ferrari began braking again to make the first corner of it's final lap.

The targets for the penultimate race of the season were clear; finish in front of his team-mate and rival. Achieve this, and Alan Tracy would live to fight another round at the end of season closer at the Brickyard. Come in behind Tagen Hopkins and the season long bid for the championship title was over. All or nothing.

On the rooftop terrace of the pit-lane garages, Virgil Tracy (surrounded by other racers' family, and brown business-suit clad, prospective investors) urged on his youngest brother. Stray brown wisps brushed across his forehead with the slight southerly winds, as he leant over the metal railings to get a better view, whilst golden, yellow rays highlighted his already sun-kissed face and arms.

He muttered soft encouragement under his breath, never having been the one to shout out loud and draw attention, even in a house of five boys. That was especially true when there was no chance of the person his words were aimed at, of ever hearing.

As Alan disappeared from view round the first corner, the number 82 car of his Pro-Drive Racing team-mate appeared from the final bend, his Ferrari engine roaring with barely controlled power as the season leader of the American Super-Cars series (by a mere two points) hunted down his similarly, crimson sprayed-and-painted prey.

The team cars were covered in the traditional Ferrari red; the prancing horse, large and black on the shining hood. The racer's numbers were printed in big, stunning, white outlines above the logo and ivory lines were used to devastate; accenting the curves of a car designed around the special Enzo production, which had been manufactured at the turn of the century. Very bold. Very eye-catching.

Sponsors logo's littered the side pods and the roof, jostling for space, and boasting to other teams just how popular the Manufacturers Championship winning team of the past three years was; just how unstoppable they were.

The championship had been a two-man race most of the way, with the other three top teams securing only four victories between them. The rest of the spoils had gone to the two up-and-coming drivers of P-D Racing, both of whom were tipped to be offered drives in the GP2 and F3000 series for next season, so long as they could make it that far without killing one another on track.

Behind the glossy-paged, blinking-white-lights world of motor racing, Alan Tracy and Tag Hopkins were firm friends, something much of the media couldn't believe nor waste their time turning flashing-bulbs and clicking cameras on. The pair spent nights out together pursuing gold-digging females, who they couldn't possibly afford to keep in the Versace couture they demanded; and trying to best each other on the latest video games.

For Alan, Tag was the brother-away-from-home. A temporary substitute for the family orientated madness in which he had grown up. Life on the road could be a little too organised sometimes. The reciprocal was that Alan was like the brother, only child Tag had never had. Both turned to each other for help, and roughhoused a little even sometimes.

It was a strange thing for the Super-cars paddock to see; after all, racing involved competitiveness, which nearly always leads to envy and jealousy – not exactly the right foundations for making friends.

On track though, like all other teams, friendship was left behind; being first over the line was all that counted and right then Alan was on the way to do so. His championship bid on the line.

Downshifting viciously, the young driver slid his car round the flowing ribbon of tarmac that made up the cornering complex of the in-track section at Gateway International Raceway, Illinois, revving the V12 bio-fuel engine harshly. A flick of his eyes towards the right-hand side wing-mirror showed a looming, red Ferrari closing him down.

This last lap had been about beauty, super-smooth transitions and staying on the track. Heroic, fastest runs and breath taking almost-skids could turn into unforgivable monsters of fury in a heartbeat and spit back as hard you hit them. Alan just needed to finish, not win stunt awards.

Back up on the terrace, Virgil Tracy was attentively viewing the in-track section through the Bilby Handheld Broadcast set, that was used trackside to allow spectators to continue watching the action they wanted, after it had disappeared from view. From this he was following his youngest brother's plight for the win.

Glancing across at the man's screen that was standing beside him, he saw the final sprint between his brother and Tag playing out in-sync with his own hand-held. Apparently everyone was watching the two Ferrari's race for the line. All other on-track battles seemed to have been forgotten and left, dusty, on the shelf.

Audibly, excitement was growing in the stands opposite the pit garages, and looking back down to his screen, Virgil saw that Alan was about to round the final corner, but he gasped aloud, when he saw how close Tag had managed to get himself to the back of his brother's racer.

Inside the car, Alan was quietly muttering to his vehicle, urging her on, much the same as Virgil had been doing for him.

"Come on. Come on. We can do this. Just a little further."

In his desperation to clear up the season championship, Tagen Hopkins was pushing his car to the limit, and was right up behind Alan's rear bumper, leaving the only option as a drag to the finish. He who dared was going to win.

Everything his team manager had ever told the hot-shot, was running through Alan Tracy's head. Focussing him on the stretch of grey-black tarmac before him, and nothing else.

Keep the car flat while cornering – meet the markers. Decrease braking into apex. Tease throttle. Forgo mid-corner speed. Make Tag wait. Accelerate hard. Straight-line exit. Concentrate.

And then, instinctively, coming out of the sweeping bend, Alan cut his car in front of his team-mate, forcing Tag to ease off of the gas, and move off the ideal racing line just enough to allow Alan to break away – removing the benefiting slipstream and draft he'd been giving the car behind, and letting him pull away, increasing the gap to enough.

Still accelerating fiercely, Alan stormed across the line, under the chequered-flag, to take the win, whilst less than a second later, Tagen Hopkins crossed the start-finish line, to end second.

Inside his helmet, Alan yelled out, whooping and punching the air when he could spare a hand. Championship result; undecided. Next round; all to play for.

Pulling into parc fermé, Alan unfastened his seat restraints, fumbling the catch through his gloved fingers in his desperation to get out and celebrate. Beside him, Tag had stopped in the 'number two' bay, and was taking a little more time to exit his vehicle, taking off his gloves and helmet, before unpinning the netting and levering himself out of the window section.

Approaching his team-mate, and more importantly friend's car, Tag forced a tight smile on to his face,

"Good race, huh, Al?"

Still with his helmet on, but gloves since forgotten on the driver's seat, Alan bear hugged the other man, slapping his shoulder in a macho, well done, commiserations kind of way.

"Yup. You got that right. I thought you were going to catch me down the home straight! That was immense, man."

Laughing slightly at the younger man's excitement, and starting to lose just a little of the frustration of taking the championship undecided to the Brickyard, Tag slapped Alan's visor down.

"Same time, new place, next week?"

Un-strapping the bulky, red and yellow, safety device, and lifting it off his head, Alan replied,

"If you want. Your death sentence though. I'm going to kick your butt again."

"Sure, Al." Rolling his eyes, the only just senior one of the pair, gently pushed his friend in the direction of the weighing room, and towards the podium area. "Come on, we've got another couple of big, gold cups to collect."

"Well, I was thinking of skipping the whole fiasco. It's not like we need any more to polish exactly, Tag."

Still with a hand on his friend's shoulder, steering him in the right direction, and stopping him from veering off course, distracted, Tag laughed, before replying.

"I think P.D.R. wouldn't be too happy, if we win the races and then 'forget' to bring the silverware home. It's a little bit of wasted journey, don't you think?"

Fussing, casual clothed men, stiff collars unbuttoned, and sleeves rolled up to the elbows, handed out dry, white towels, and crisp, bottled water. Downing half a bottle in one, long drag and upending the other half of the rainbow tinted liquid upon himself, Alan rubbed his hair over to soak up some of the water, before taking the lead, and heading out to a familiar place, the wood and plastic built podium on track in front of the pit garages.

Applause, cheers and catcalls rang out across the raceway, welcoming the drivers out through a symphony of excitement and wonder, to where they stood tall and proud to receive their winnings.

Still standing above the racetrack on the pits-roof terrace, alongside those who had stayed to watch the presentation, Virgil Tracy clapped with the crowd, his chest swelling just a little as his youngest, and possibly most precociously talented brother (although it was hard to tell when you matched him up to the achievements of the next youngest Tracy) received his first place trophy, and popped open the champagne bottle, allowing the bubbly, fizzy liquid to pour out over his team-mate.

Around the same time, Greece, Europe;

Wispy-hot, still damp air spiralled upwards on the continuous air currents, passing up through the bright skies, and the clouds, that hung like so many white, cotton-puffs on thin, wire-y silver. The last drips of moisture on leaves, were falling down to the muddy, brown earth below, as the feverish sun began drying out the newly-fallen rain, leaving a masterpiece of tropical greens and dying reds behind.

Red roof tiles turned to two-tones as they warmed and toasted in the mid-day sun, framing the chalky, bleached, concrete walls of homes around the town.

A middle-aged man, with a sunk and waxen face scurried down a deserted street, whilst near-on everybody else hid inside their homes, avoiding the recent showers and the ardent mid-day heat.

A piece of scrunched up paper was tight in his fist, and stopping briefly he rechecked the address etched on to it, and looked up at the houses. They were all similar, three storeys high, and typically Mediterranean in appearance. Nothing to mark anyone of them out as different. Damn.

Further into the heart of the small, rural town a Church bell rang out. Once. Twice. Two o'clock. Frustrated and knowing his time was running out, the man looked around the street again, this time noticing a pair of children who were beginning to venture back out on to the street.

Probably had school or something to be going to, but the man quietly approached them anyway. What was the worst they could do? No, actually it was probably better not to think about that. Addressing them both, he asked, his voice little more than a hoarse whisper,

"Excuse me. Could you tell me which house is number eleven?"

Both children started, and a fleeting look of fear, anxiety passed over their faces. Whether they were braver than most adults around the area, or just a little more naïve, it was hard to tell; but still the older looking of the pair eyed the man warily, raised a finger to their lips and hushed the man. Then they pointed towards a white house that stood behind a small, black, wooden swing-gate, and replied,

"Kakos. Evil."