The Thunderbirds are not mine. They belong to Gerry Anderson. Here's to all for the fun and joy of writing about the Thunderbirds. The variety is amazing. Hope you enjoy this as well.
Alan has misgivings about his place in the Tracy family. Do to illness he loses his bigest supportor. Without support can he show his many hidden talents that his family has yet to discover.
Alan – 12, Gordon 18, Virgil – 20, John - 21.5 Scott – 23, Jeff - 45, Grandma Tracy – 67, Penny –30, Fermat – 10.5, Tin Tin – 11, Brains – 34.
Crash. The dish fell to the floor and shattered. Ruth Tracy stumbled forward. Had her twelve year old grandson not caught her and helped her into a chair she might have fallen all the way to the ground. Her mouth seemed awkward and her left side felt heavy and she couldn't make her arm or leg do what she wanted; which, caused her heart and mind to race. She knew Alan was talking to her, but she couldn't understand his words.
"Grandma, what's wrong?" cried Alan. He tried to keep his panic under control, but having a hard time, especially when his grandmother tried to talk to him, her words were slurred and garbled and he could not understand what she was trying to say. "It's okay grandma, I know what's wrong now. I'm calling 911 for an ambulance!"
"911 – What is your emergency?"
"My grandmother is showing signs of a stroke. I need an ambulance sent to 42012 Talbot Road, right away." Alan kept his voice calm, but on the inside he felt like crying, and he was petrified he was going to loose his beloved grandma Ruth.
"I am sending an ambulance and rescue squad now. Stay on the line with me. Can you tell me about her symptoms? When did they start?"
"Just a few minutes ago. She can't seem to make her left side move and she can't get her words – I mean I can't understand them!" Alan's voice was shaky as he tried to stay calm.
"Help is on the way. Open the door, so they can get in when they arrive." The operator asked a few more questions, trying to keep Alan calm and focused.
"I can hear the sirens now! Yes they're pulling up now."
"Okay Alan I'm going to hang up now – you did a great job for your grandmother."
"Thanks." He hung up the phone. He ran to lead the medics to his grandmother, explaining on the way what had happened. The medics did a quick assessment then placed Mrs. Tracy on the stretcher, and headed toward the ambulance.
Alan pulled the door shut to their home and ran to get in the ambulance. He was stopped by one of the rescue squad members. "Hold on. You'll have to ride up front."
"But my grandma needs me!" he cried desperately.
"Sorry that's the rules. You need to be in the front with a seatbelt on. Don't worry the team is doing everything they can for her."
Alan wasn't happy about being separated, but he didn't argue, as he did not want to delay her treatment.
The rescue worker identified himself as Tom. "What's your name? Where did you learn about the symptoms of a stroke?" he asked, trying to get Alan to relax as he made sure his seatbelt was secure.
"I'm Alan. I just finished a basic first aid class with my boy scout troop."
"We'll they can be real proud of how well you did. Is there other family living here ?"
"No just me and grandma, but I have a number to call to notify my father. I couldn't call from the house cuz the line was still being held by the 911 operator. So I guess I'll have to find a phone at the hospital."
"Just let the nurses know and they can help you."
The driver climbed aboard. "All set to go?"
"Go ahead, he's buckeled."
"Okay let's get to moving. With that the ambulance drove down the road.
The driver noticed how Alan kept twisting around trying to see what was happening with his grandmother, but the door between front and back had been closed and Alan was beginning to panic.
"Take it easy. My partner Joe is one of the best. He has started an IV to give any medicines the hospital might order, and he is monitoring her vital signs. We'll let you see her before we take her in, okay?"
Alan slowly turned back towards the front, "okay."
"Are there any other adults coming to the hospital?"
"Well I need to call my dad when I can get a hold of a phone."
"Once we get your grandmother taken care of, I'll give you a hand."
"Thanks Tom." Alan said quietly. He was worrying of how the rest of his family would react to the news. Would they blame him? It was just two days ago on his twelfth birthday that he heard his father and grandmother talking about whether or not he should be sent to boarding school as maybe he was getting to be to much for her to handle, especially since he insisted in being involved in so many activities.
"Do not be ridiculous Jefferson," she had said. "Alan and I are doing just fine. As far as all the running, it keeps me young."
Alan figured all bets were off now, but as long as his grandmother was alright he would do whatever was decided. Though the truth be known he really wished he could be home schooled like Tin Tin and Fermat. They were friends that already lived on the on the island his father had purchased several years ago. He and Grandma Ruth would come for visits for all holidays, birthdays and part of the summer. He loved the island and having his entire family around. If he couldn't be with them, then he wanted to stay with his Grandma Ruth, whom he dearly loved had lived with since he was nine years old.
When he visited the island Fermat, Tin Tin and he would go exploring. They had found the huge hangers, but didn't tell anyone as Fermat had said they were planning something special, but it had to be kept a secret, his father Brains had told him. Fermat had snuck Alan into his father's lab once and showed him drawings of huge rockets. Alan wanted to know more about them, but promised Fermat he would not say anything, so Fermat wouldn't get into trouble. Shortly after their discovery a new rescue group had appeared, they were called the 'Thunderbirds'. They were fast becoming everyone's newest heroes. Alan knew since he had seen the hangers the "Thunderbirds" were his family. Often he would find himself daydreaming as he thought about the big ships, he dreamed of someday being a 'Thunderbird', along with his father and brothers. His day dreaming of this would get him into trouble with his teachers and his father had threatened more than once to send him to boarding school for more discipline. Luckily, grandma always came to his defense, but now?
"Here we are. Come on and you can see your grandma before we go in." Tom guided Alan over to his Grandma's right side. Alan took his grandmother's hand. She opened her eyes and tried to reassure him, but her words were garbled and incomprehensible. A new wave of panic swept through him as she was taken behind locked doors and he was left standing in the entrance.
"Oh grandma," he thought to himself, "You just have to be okay. I—I need and love you so much." Alan was startled when a gruff security guard took hold of his shoulder and said, "move along out of the way now. There are sick and injured people who need to get through. You go sit in the waiting area out of the way." He gave Alan a small shove. Alan felt his temper start to rise, but then took a deep breath to calm himself. He did not want to cause any trouble that might disrupt his grandma's care. Slowly he walked over to one of the many hard plastic chairs and sat down. Ever so often he would see the guard watching him. He didn't know why but the guy made him feel uneasy.
It was about twenty minutes later that a nurse approached him along with the ambulance driver, Tom.
"How's my grandmother doing?" he asked anxiously.
"She's holding her own for now. Tom says you recognizes the symptoms immediately and called 911. Well done. Now I need to know as close as possible the exact time you noticed the symptoms, and a number your father can be reached at. If we're within the window of time we'll need permission to use a clot dissolving drug, TPA. The CT (cat-scan) shows it is an ischemic rather than a hemorrhagic stroke. If we can give the TPA, it may stop the deterioration and help restore blood flow, helping to minimize the already affected areas. Time is our enemy right now."
"Here's the number," he handed her a piece of paper. "I tried calling from the desk, but had to leave a message, cuz no one answered. She seemed fine until 12:15 when she suddenly dropped a bowl. Then she couldn't move her left side and we barely got to the chair, then I could hardly understand her."
"So we're looking at approximately one and a half hours since the first symptoms, thank you." She turned and headed back through the locked doors. Just then Tom's beeper went off. "Sorry Alan gota go. Good luck!"
Alan waved goodbye and once again sat in the hard chair, hoping they could get through to his father, so they could take care of his beloved grandmother. He thought more about the conversation his dad and grandmother had had about his being to much for her to handle. Could this be his fault? Did he make his grandmother sick because of all the extracurricular activities he was in? Maybe the rest of the family would blame him. "Oh grandma I'm so sorry if I caused this to happen to you. Please God help her." He took a deep breath, fighting back the tears that threatened to fall. His stomach churned and he was sick with worry. He clasp his hands together and looked down at the floor, though not really seeing anything.
Alan tried to recall some of the conversations he and his grandmother had had over the last two years, and again just a few days ago when he had been very disappointed that his father and brothers would again miss another birthday. After they had missed his tenth birthday, Alan asked if his father and brothers even loved him anymore, and asked why his friends could live with their parents on the island, but he couldn't. Grandma tried to reassure him that his father just wanted him to have a more normal upbringing like his brothers had. Then when they missed his eleventh birthday, he had asked if it was because he was a 'mistake'. That's what the kids at school told him. "Look how much younger you are than any of your brothers! It doesn't take a genius to figure it out!" they had laughed. His grandma had tried her best to reassure him, but he still had strong doubts. He knew how much his grandma loved him so she might not tell him the whole truth in this matter. He seemed so disappointed that once again his father and brothers would miss yet another birthday, she told him that they were busy training, as they were a new kind of rescue team that could go and help when others couldn't, but he could never tell anyone about them as they must maintain absolute secrecy. "Grandma, my family are the 'Thunderbirds' aren't they?"
Grandma sighed, "Yes Alan, -they are, but how did you know?"
"Grandma I did a lot of exploring and I watched them design them from a special place I know of. Why couldn't they trust me?"
Grandma sighed and said they did not tell him of the secret before, because this had to be a kept secret and they were afraid he might accidently let it slip out if he got angry or forgot.
This in itself made Alan feel angry and even more left out, "But grandma, you know I can keep a secret!"
Ruth's eyes twinkled, "Of course I do Alan, that's why I'm telling you now, but you cannot let your father or brothers know I told you just yet. I think they want to surprise you when they feel the time is right. And I know you're going to get your own cell phone this year!" She put her finger to her mouth and laughed. "Then maybe you'll want to share some of your own secrets."
"Thanks grandma, I know you had to do a lot of talking to get dad to get a phone for me. Maybe I'll show them instead of telling them. What do you think?"
"I think they will be very surprised and proud of you, just as I am." Grandma Ruth gave him a big hug.
"Grandma, do you think they'll let me be a "Thunderbird" someday?"
"Sweet heart I think they're hoping you'll want to be a 'Thunderbird' one day."
But now his Grandmother was in the hospital unable to move her left side or talk so that you could understand her. He could not get through to his family and no one was telling him what was happening or if they had gotten a hold of his father so they could give the drug that may help his grandmother get better. Alan felt like crying. He was frustrated, and was starting to feel very guilty about what happened.
He had been left with grandmother since he was nine years old. His older brother Scott, went to the Air Force Academy, John to NASA, and Virgil to a college in Denver. Gordon left the high school in town, to go to a prestige's military school school for boys where he also trained for the Olympics, and now had a 'gold' medal, and was working as an aquanought for a unique military group called "WASP". His dad was very busy with work. They all took turns calling him on the vid phone, but it just wasn't the same as when they had all lived together with grandma. He always had fun being with them and felt safe and loved, then one by one they went off to accomplish their own goals. He missed and loved them all so much and looked forward to holidays and vacations when they would all come back to grandma's house. Then his father had moved the family to an island, and instead of them coming to the farm he went to the island for visits with his grandma Ruth. There were two other kids who lived on the island with their families and the rest of his family. Fermat and Tin Tin, he quickly became good friends with them and they would sneak off exploring whenever they got the chance. Sometimes he would go off by himself, it was on one of these early morning self exploring trips that he had found the vents and explored them multiple times after that as he found he could get to just about any of the major rooms and no one knew he was there. On many later visits he would often go in to the vent above his father's office. A part of him felt guilty for 'spying', but he justified it to himself by telling himself it was the only way to know what was going on with his family. He watched and listened to his father and Fermat's father Brains discuss plans for the 'Thunderbirds' and he had seen drawings of huge rockets. He longed to discuss this with his father and brothers, but knew his father would be furious if he knew Alan was eavesdropping. His new friends were home schooled, but Jeff felt with his being away so much starting up new phases of his corporation and the other boys at school, Alan would be better off with his grandmother. The following year just before his eleventh birthday his brothers had moved back to the island, but he had not been asked to come, and his visits to the island were becoming less frequent. He knew they were working on getting the new rescue group ready, but it hurt so much that they did not want to include him. Even so he knew it was a secrete and he would tell no one of his knowledge. The fact that he was not included intensified his doubts, and gave what the kids at school had said about his being a 'mistake' even more credance despite his grandma's reassurance. He tried his best to come up with ways he thought would impress his family, so they would want to include him. His new business being one of them, "they will be so proud, just as I am," his grandma said. He was going to surprise them when they came for his twelfth birthday, but they didn't come and now his grandma was sick. He again started to think of overheard conversations.
"Jefferson, how do you expect Alan to feel when you and his brothers are together and he is left out even if he is with me. He misses you all terribly. -Yes I understand this is an important and dangerous time for you and my grandsons, but I disagree with your not including him more. I just hope someday you do not regret your dissicion on this matter.-That is why I let him do all the extra activities. - Yes, it is hard sometimes, but it keeps him from becoming to lonely. -Yes, he is learning to control his anger."
So his grandma had been tired of running him here and there, and even she was disappointed that he could so easily let his temper get the better of him. That was one reason she let him take up martial arts, she had hoped that would help him learn control. He had taken to it "like a bee takes to honey" grandma said. When he showed an aptitude for the computers she let him design programs and try them out around the farm. The security program he had designed was so good in her estimation that she had contacted a lawyer friend and they helped him to develop his own company. Ruth's lawyer couldn't believe how well Alan had understood a lot of the complicated jargon and was even more surprised at some of the programs he wanted the money to be allocated to. His security program quickly became a top seller. They named it the AT-11 (Alan Tracy age 11).They put it under his grandmother's mother's maiden name to help conceal it, he had hoped to share it with his family this year. Surely that would show them he was capable to help. Niether he or his grandmother had not told Jeff or his brothers as he had wanted to surprise them. He knew he was being left out and he was desperate to learn things that someday might let his father and brothers be proud of him and let him once again be a part of the family. He knew how much his grandma loved him, she would never complain, and he had been so intent on his goals that he only thought of himself. Now his grandma Ruth was sick, and it was his fault.
Alan took a deep breath and tried to shake the negative thoughts from his head. It had been several hours now and no one had come to tell him anything. He slowly walked over to the desk and waited his turn, then asked the receptionist, "Can you tell me how my grandmother is doing?"
The receptionist looked up from her computer and said "who would your grandmother be?"
"Oh," replied Alan sheepishly realizing she would not know who he was talking about. "I'm sorry. Her name is Ruth Tracy."
"Ah, yes she has been admitted to the ICU (intensive care unit). I do not have any other information."
"Can I go and see her?"
"No, I'm sorry, but children are not allowed up to the patient floors. Maybe I can get one of the nurses to come talk with you."
"Thank you mame, I'd really appreciate …." Alan started to say before he was cut off by the same gruff voice that had shoved him earlier, when he had been in the entrance when he first arrived. "excuse me I …"
"I've no time for arguments. Can't you see how busy it is? You're holding up the line now either go and sit down and behave or you'll have to leave the premises."
"But my family isn't here …" Again he was cut off. Seeing the anger in the guards eyes that there was no adult with him, he knew he had said to much and turned back towards the chair, but stopped when he heard the guard telling the receptionist that maybe they should contact social services and the police letting them know that there was an abandoned child here that should be picked up until his family could be found.
"Cliff, leave the boy alone. He has been a perfect gentleman, and he's not bothering anyone."
Again panic started to take over as he tried to decide what to do. Alan could not understand why the guard was treating him in this manor. He had done his best to stay out of the way, and only wanted to know how his grandmother was doing. His father would not be happy if he caused problems. He decided to go to a chair in the farthest corner from the desk, hoping they would just forget about him until his family could get there. He sat there quietly watching hoping they would come soon, though he wasn't even sure if anyone had been able to contact them.
It was approximately ten pm. Alan was worried, exhausted and hungry. Unfortunately he had been in such a hurry to get to the ambulance he had forgotten his wallet at home. His father would feel this was very irresponsible. He was thinking of going over to the fountain for more water, when he saw the guard pointing to him, as he talked to two women, one carrying a brief case. He became more panicked when they and the guard walked over to him.
"Hello, my name is Sharron. I understand you've been here a long time, and no family has shown up."
"They'll be coming I left a message for them," replied Alan warily.
"Well as of yet no one has contacted us. I understand your grandmother is seriously ill, and we cannot leave you here alone, so we will have you come with us to a place you can be safe until either your family shows up or your grandmother recovers enough to take you back."
"I'm not leaving. My family will come. I'm not going anywhere until they do or I see my grandma and I know she's okay," said Alan stubbornly.
The guard took a hold of Alan's arm, squeezing unneccessarily hard. "Now look boy we've been very patient with you, boy. You can not stay here by yourself, so you will go with these ladies to the shelter and behave yourself."
Alan felt anger taking the place of panic, "I'm not going anywhere. I haven't caused anyone any trouble. I'm just waiting for my dad and brothers to get here. Now let go of me!"
"Boy, you will do as you are told or I'll have the police take you in as a juvenile delinquent."
Alan felt his face redden with anger. "I haven't done anything wrong, and I'm NOT going anywhere!"
Just then a couple of police came through the doors with a man in handcuffs, blood flowing from a head wound. The man was cursing and struggling with the officers. "Hey" one called over to the guard, "you got a room open we can get this guy into?"
The guard let go of Alan and growled, "stay put," and went to assist the police.
Alan sat between the two women thinking about what he should do. If only his father and brothers would come, or if he had a phone he could call them and ask them what to do. One of the women, called Sharron tried to be reassuring.
"It will just be until someone comes for you."
"No! If I can't be here, then I'll just go home."
Sharron laughed lightly, "don't be silly you'd still be alone at your house, so that would not gain you anything. At the shelter they'll be people to watch over you."
Her laughter angered Alan, "I'm old enough to take care of myself." He said as he stood up and turned towards them. "I just want to stay here until my family comes. I'm not bothering anyone, so just leave me alone!" Alan didn't see the guard and two officers come up behind him. Suddenly he felt someone grab his arm. He winced as the guard squeezed tighter as he jumped from being startled. One of the officers clicked his handcuffs.
"Alright boy, no more arguing or I'll turn you over to the police," snarled Cliff
Alan didn't know the police officer was just readying the cuffs to go back on his belt. All he could think of was the guards' threat to have him taken away as a juvenile delinquent. And he certainly wasn't going to be taken way from his grandmother. Alan used a jitsu hand-hold on the guards arm to force him to let go and as he did Alan turned around and using a move he learned in his karate class, he flipped the guard over.
"Alright kid that's enough," one of the officers growled and went to grab him, but this time Alan's small stature and quickness came into play and he slipped between them and took off running towards the entrance of the hospital, the police in hot pursuit. He wasn't sure where he was going he just knew he had to get away. The officers and Sharron yelled for him to stop, but Alan was in a full panic now. He narrowly missed being hit by a car as it turned into the hospital parking lot. They chased him several for blocks Alan turned down a couple of alleys, then ducked in behind some trash bins. He watched from his hiding place as the police went by him several times. He was very good at hiding from the times he had used to play hide and seek with his brothers. Finally they seemed to give up the search. Slowly Alan crawled out.
He looked around trying to get his bearings wondering what to do, everything had suddenly gone from bad to worse in a matter of minutes. He couldn't go back to the hospital, and it was about twenty-five miles to his house. It had started to drizzle and it was windy. He was worried about his grandmother, angry that his family had not yet come, frustrated, exhausted, hungry, and now wet and cold, as his jacket was still sitting in a chair in the waiting area. He just sat down and let the tears fall as no one would know as the tears were hidden in the drizzle. Alan could not ever remember a time when he felt so scared and alone. No wonder his family had not told or wanted him to be a part of the thunderbirds, they were saving people, they certainly didn't need a cry baby to watch out for. He cried until he drifted into an uneasy sleep.