Whumpay Day Eight - Passing Out
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 |
I feel like this one was a little more angsty than whumpy...? It’s quite Kayo centric because I wanted a short break from the boys 🖤
Thanks to @liseylou @lenna-z and @janetm74 for their continued support :D. And this is for @thunderwing27. I don’t know if your favourite character is Kayo but here ya go anyway XD
As the sun shone its baking hot rays down to Earth, Kayo wasn’t sure how much longer she could cope. Her water supply had run out an hour ago and now her throat was begging. If it hadn’t been for Havoc, her Thunderbird would still be in the air. Heck! She’d probably be back home safe on Tracy Island right now.
But no. That’s not how her life wanted to take her. Instead, it shoved her into a mad loop of survival, hope and desperation.
She needed water.
Dehydration was kicking in fast as the rapidly growing ache in her head got worse.
She’d done her DofE award as a girl. She knew how to survive in the wilderness, nature and the countryside. But a desert? That was another story. Maybe and should’ve listened to her desert survival coach instead of focusing on martial arts...
“Thunderbird Shadow to John,” Kayo spoke into her wrist controller. “It’s Kayo. I have a little situation of my own here. Can you send Scott or Virgil to help me?”
“Kayo? What’s happening? Your vehicle tracker hasn’t moved in over an hour,”
“I know. That’s why I need help. Havoc crashed Shadow in the desert and my water supply has run out. I’m losing myself fast,”
“Understood. I’m sending Scott to come now.”
Then the line went dead.
As soon as Kayo hopped back into Shadow, the cloudiness in her head came forward like a sand storm. Pun not intended.
For a few moments, she lost her balance and her head hit the back of her seat. Luckily it was padded for safety. Then Kayo felt her eyes flutter shut. No! She can’t drop off now! She must stay awake for Scott’s sake.
The heat was too much; it overcame her.
Dehydration took over and Kayo passed out.
Unfortunately, she didn’t hear Scott’s voice shouting, “Kayo! I’m here to help!”
— FIN —
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New chapter is up!
Here’s a little taster of the latest chapter and my boys are pissed! Warning for lots of strong language, harsh and necessary.
The man roughly shook her off, shoving her aside. "What are you trying to do? Defend this pretty boy? What, has he been flirting with you and you liked the attention?" He laughed, a sound that was as cruel and mocking as his tone and the look on his face.
"No, I-" Isla started but Scott jumped in.
"I was doing nothing of the sort and I thank you not to throw allegations around like that."
Scott felt more than saw John appear by his side, obviously drawn by the commotion and his brother’s raised voice, as had a number of other customers who had turned to watch.
“Everything OK here?” John touched his shoulder to Scott’s letting him know he was right there and backing him up all the way. It wouldn’t be the first time that Scott had been recognised by someone and trouble had started, although usually it was a different Tracy that acted as the buffer.
“I think so,” Scott said, giving the man a glare that showed that it was anything but OK, practically daring him to argue.
“No, it’s not OK,” the man said. “This twat has been making eyes at my staff and putting her off her job.” The man swept a look out over the dining floor and the customers that had been looking quickly averted their eyes away from the argument, leaning in to whisper among themselves.
John frowned, something about the man's attitude, coupled with his rough Scottish tinged accent made him pause. Could this be…
“Chris, it’s alright, leave it be,” Isla soothed but once again he pushed her aside and she couldn’t hide her gasp of pain as her hip connected with the counter top behind her.
"Are you OK?" Scott asked her but Chris butted in again.
"She's fine, but you won't be if you don't back off."
Continue reading here on AO3
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KAYO GOT A SAP
STANKY ASS PUSSSSSSSS
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Whumpay Day 8: Wake Up/Passing Out.
There are lots of reasons for passing out, John reflects. The one particular reason that it is happening to him escapes him for the moment – along with a lot of other things like where am I? – but he knows many, many reasons.
A sudden drop in blood pressure. John tries hard to think. Did he stand up too suddenly? Was that what happened? If so, then reasonably he should be on Five and EOS is already in frantic communication with, if he’s lucky Virgil, if he’s unlucky Scott. If she’s really worried then Grandma, and that thought causes John to pause.
If he is still on Five why can’t he hear anything? Sure Five is in space and is a tightly sealed environment, but contrary to popular opinion you can hear in space – well, you can hear on Five, because she is a well-oiled machine, and machines make the barest of noises. He is so in-tune with Five that the noise no longer registers. But it is still there, and here it is not.
Anxiety, fear and emotional stress. Well, John does have plenty to worry about in his day-to-day life. What with sending his four brothers and sister off to daily death and destruction and praying that today is not the day that one of them…yeah, well.
Was there anything in particular today that had caused his anxiety to spike? No, nothing he can think of. In fact, he can’t think of anything he was doing. Were his brothers out without him to direct, to safeguard them, to keep them safe? Now he can feel his anxiety ratcheting up a lot. So, anxiety is not the main cause of his passing out, but if he continues down this path it may well be the cause of the second.
Hunger and Thirst. Yeeeaaah. That is a distinct possibility. John so frequently forgot to eat and drink while working that EOS had taken to locking him out of all electronics until he did. That, and threaten to tell Scott and let him up in the elevator. John shuddered. That was almost a fate worse than death, the threat of smothering older brother up here, contained on Five.
Yet all of these reasons don’t feel right. For one thing, any and all of these reasons still places him on Five, and he definitely isn’t there. For another thing, if he had succumbed to any of these the other place he would be is the island, with his family fussing around him.
And here he is most certainly alone.
There was, of course, one other reason why he might have passed out.
Alcohol and/or Drugs. This one worries him. John isn’t a big drinker, sure he had his occasions – these usually involved Scott, or bizarrely Penny – but they were few and far between events. Had he been on shore leave? There was a tentative flare of memory at that thought. He had been on shore leave.
He’d been shore leave.
And he hadn’t been alone.
He is assailed by a memory so strong, of a bar, bottles of beer. And red flannel. And dancing, not him of course. But Virgil, kicking it back and relaxing, had been asked to dance by a girl sporting more red flannel than his brother was. And John had watched, amused, as Virgil line-danced with the best of them.
What the hell had happened since then? And where was Virgil? John racks his brain. Or, he tries to, his brain is having none of it. Why can’t he remember? Why had he passed out?
Only one thing for it then, John decides. Struggling to sit up, John has an epiphany. Of course, finding out where he is and where Virgil is would be far easier if he just opens his eyes.
One eye peels open at his demand, and John is most definitely on the floor. The room is sparce, even by John’s standard. Just a cot attached to the wall and a toilet. There is a familiarity in the room. Oh, not for him, but yeah. He knows where he is. There is a certain relief in that knowledge. Now John just needs to work out why he is here and where his brother is.
John turns over onto his back and closed his eye again. And groaned. The movement sets off nausea, but he doesn’t have the energy to move to the toilet and thus fights the feeling the only way he knows. Astronomy. Murmuring the equations for calculating the distance, age and composition of pulsars soon has him back in control. And he laughs.
The laugh. He remembers. The girl had been laughing as Virgil swung her around, straight into a fist. And then all hell broke loose. There had been a fight. Of course John had got involved, Virgil was being swamped.
John sighs. All this for a girl. He’d expect that from Scott. From Gordon even, but never from Virgil. Maybe I should just get up off the floor, John thinks. And of course that suddenly brings all the pain to the forefront.
He decides to catalogue the hurt. Bruised cheek, black eye, split lip. Hmm, sore ribs, cracked knuckles. John laughs. It had been a good fight.
There is a clang. The door opens.
A very disappointed Scott stands on the threshold, a very sheepish Virgil behind him. And the policeman is smirking.
‘So, you’re awake then.’
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. “You can set a direct course for your future by defining your goals, or, you can take the opposite position and just let the future haphazardly unfold by itself.” — Catherine Pulsifer
. “”It doesn’t matter where you are coming from. All that matters is where you are going.” — Brian Tracy
“We do not develop anything with one giant step. No matter who you are, or what you do, each one of us had had to take a lot of individual steps to accomplish a task, a job, a career, or even a hobby.” — Catherine Pulsifer
. “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” – John Wooden
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn
. “Begin with the end in mind.” — Stephen Covey
“Most “impossible” goals can be met simply by breaking them down into bite size chunks, writing them down, believing them, and then going full speed ahead as if they were routine.” – Don Lancaster
“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning
“Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.” – William Shakespeare
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn
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Revenge c2: Rescue?
Whumpay Day 7: Mercy/Rage.
Follows on from Day 5: Down
A lot of requests were made, and this is the result, a completely unplanned fic...
Trigger warnings for kidnapping, beating and shooting.
Scott was livid. He was incandescent. In fact, he didn’t think he had ever been in such a rage. They had fallen into a clever trap, and now his two youngest brothers were missing.
It was all his fault.
He should have been the one to go with Gordon to the investment meeting, but the GDF had called with an urgent ‘request’ for a meeting, one he could not turn down. Still, he didn’t really want Gordon to go alone, and Alan had volunteered. TI business may not be on Alan’s agenda just yet, but Scott knew his brother was as shrewd and as bright as the rest of them.
So while Gordon and Alan attended the meeting in California and then spent the rest of the day and night surfing and living it up, Scott was holed up in a stuffy meeting discussing the latest attempt of the GDF to get their hands on iR technology.
Only, it didn’t quite work out like that.
By the time Scott had landed, made sure he was both prepared and presentable, Gordon should have been winding up his meeting. Scott strode with confidence through the halls to the designated room, nodding at people as he passed. His escort was nervous, and possibly a little awed, but they handled themselves well, depositing Scott in a meeting room with three other people, one of which he knew well.
‘Colonel Casey,’ he said, inclining his head in greeting. She gave him a tight smile. ‘Scott. I’m sorry to drag you out here at such short notice. May I introduce you to General Bron and General Grafton. These gentlemen have raised concerns about International Rescue that I have not been able to allay.’
He spent the next four hours repeatedly saying ‘No’ in varying ways and degrees while the two pushed and pulled and tried their best to tear down every argument he used. It was another fruitless and frustrating day. Why they thought that because they were Generals it would have any different outcome Scott didn’t know. What he did know was that he didn’t trust these two men at all.
Looked like iR had more people to worry about.
Still, he put the wasted time out of his mind and, removing his tie as he settled in his jet, he called John. ‘I assume you heard all that?’ His brother nodded. ‘There’s something not quite right about this situation, John. I want you to run those two through your databases.’ John grinned. ‘You already did, didn’t you.’ It wasn’t a question, and it was accompanied by an eyeroll.
‘There isn’t much on either of them, both exemplary records, but I agree, something doesn’t seem right about all this. I’ll get EOS digging.’ Scott sighed. Why they had to go this far to protect themselves, protect their ships, often dismayed him. ‘FAB, John. Can you patch me through to Gordon, please? They should have finished three hours ago I suspect they will be dining out by now.’ And with that he started his pre-flight checks.
‘Scott, they aren’t answering.’ Scott frowned. Sure, they may be living it up a little, but Gordon would never ignore a call. ‘John?’ His brother was frowning. ‘I can’t find either of them!’
It took them 18 hours to track down what had happened and where their brothers were being held. It turned out that their kidnappers were either stupid, or there was more going on here.
If Kayo was white hot with fury over the death of three of her security personnel, it was nothing compared with the rage at what might have happened, be happening, to her brothers. The three of them set off in Two to go get them, Virgil just as angry as everyone else. His bear didn’t often come out, but it was out in full force today.
The building was part of an abandoned industrial estate, and Virgil wondered why those who wanted to harm his family so often chose such sights. Two wasn’t a quiet gal, so she was set down quite a way back, and the three were soon joined by Penny and Parker.
Getting in was easy, which made everyone wary. John and EOS were an unstoppable team on Five, and soon electrics were shorting out and things were going haywire. Distraction was good, and soon John had sent a map pinpointing life signs. There were eight, five going in one way and three in another, and they split up, Virgil, Penny and Parker after the bigger and Scott and Kayo after the smaller group.
Gordon and Alan had drifted off. Despite their injuries, just being together was enough comfort to allow sleep to claim them. But they were rudely awoken by the door slamming open, and all six men rushing in. For a wild moment Gordon thought they were being rescued, but the men wasted no time hauling both brothers up by their bound hands.
The men were livid, he could see that, but as they exited the room, Gordon found himself dragged one way with his three original captors plus one of Alan’s, while Alan was pulled the other way. He tried to shout and struggle, only for the extra man to gag him and cuff him solidly. It left his head ringing. And from the muffled noises that were rapidly diminishing, Alan had suffered the same treatment.
He was dragged by two men, and one in front and one behind. They really wanted to keep him, it seemed. They hadn’t got far though, before the man in front, going around a corner, disappeared. There was no sound, and the man bringing up the rear came forward. Only to collapse and fall backwards the minute he turned the corner. There was the tiniest ‘phut’ sound, one that Gordon was very familiar with. His captors tightened their hold.
Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward was just as at home in a figure-hugging black catsuit and knee-high black boots as she was in her normal attire, and as she rounded the corner with Parker and Virgil in tow, she still looked the glamourous lady she was. Not a hair was out of place. Even the snub-nosed pistol in her hands looked like it was made for her (it was).
Gordon’s mouth dropped open as she dispatched both men in quick succession. God, he loved this woman, and by the twinkle in her eyes as she stepped up to him and gently closed his mouth after removing the gag, he was pretty sure that she knew it. Parker made short work of his bonds and then Virgil was there. Hug first, scanner second. And did Gordon need that hug.
The scanner showed several cracked ribs, none fully broken thankfully, and multiple bruises. His brother looked a mess, and the bruising on his face was vivid. As they moved to get back to Two, Gordon pulled away, trying to go in the opposite direction. It didn’t take much to figure out where he wanted to go, and Virgil grinned at him as he said, ‘don’t worry, Scott and Kayo have gone after Alan.’
With that Gordon relaxed, and with that relaxing came all the aches and pains he had been hiding for Alan’s sake. Thank goodness Virgil was strong enough to help him to Two’s infirmary.
Alan had been treated in much the same fashion, two thugs pulling him along as that man walked ahead. They walked quickly through several corridors until they entered a room. There was a chair and Alan was forced into it, hands undone and bound behind him and ankles tied to the chair too. The two men were sent out and Alan was left alone. With him. And he stood behind Alan, leaving him in no doubt as to what he was. He was a shield.
There was a small noise and then silence. Then his brother and sister entered the room. The man behind him stepped forward, placing his hand on Alan’s shoulder and what felt like a gun against his temple. Great.
Scott’s eyes widened in surprise. This was not the person he was expecting, and the smirk on the man’s face showed that he knew it too. He watched hi squeeze Alan’s shoulder until the teen gasped. Scott automatically stepped forward as Kayo stepped to the side.
‘Enough. Stay where you are, both of you, or I’ll blow his brains out.’ They froze. Both might be very skilled in combat, but they weren’t fast enough for point blank range. ‘That’s better. You know, you never cease to amaze me. You got here faster than I had anticipated, which is a shame, because I’m not quite ready for you yet. Nevertheless, I am a man who can improvise.’
He removed the gun from Alan and pointed it at Kayo, but his eyes never left Scott’s. ‘I wasn’t expecting this one,’ he said, squeezing Alan’s shoulder again. ‘I was expecting you. Well, my intel may have…Stop or I will put a bullet in you.’ He’d seen Kayo inching forward, but she stopped at his words.
Scott needed to get control of the situation, and he couldn’t do that while they were effectively at stalemate. So he did the only thing he could.
‘If you want me I’m right here. Let my brother go and I will come quietly and willingly.’
As expected, that statement was met with various reactions. Alan, despite the gag, was making it very clear what he thought of that, as was Kayo, in her silent way, her eyes narrowing in displeasure.
‘Hmm, I think I could be persuaded to do that. If…’ the man paused, and Scott knew he was being bated. The others had strict instructions to take Gordon back to Two, not to follow them, and even if they had, with Alan in such a position it wouldn’t have made any difference.
‘If what?’ The grin was slightly unnerving.
‘If you shoot your partner.’
Scott had been prepared for all sorts of demands. Shooting Kayo had not been one of them. He knew it was a tranq dart, but still, the thought of purposely shooting her…as if he could read Scott’s mind the grin widened while the grip on Alan’s shoulder intensified.
‘If you don’t shoot her, then I will.’ His finger tightened on the trigger.
Scott looked to Kayo and she gave the slightest of nods. Scott tried to apologise with his eyes, even as he raised his gun.
And shot her.
It seemed that time had slowed down suddenly as Kayo crumpled to the ground, and Scott couldn’t help but worry. The sedative was practically instantaneous and she’d be out for around three hours, plenty of time for someone to get away.
Finally, the pressure on his shoulder was released, and Alan watched with fearful eyes as the man came around to the front of him and aimed his gun at Scott now. His brother smiled warmly at him. ‘It will be alright, Allie,’ was an easy lie that fell from Scott’s lips, and Alan struggled hard against the bonds as the two men disappeared from the room.
Penny was getting concerned. They were taking too long. She looked at Parker and he nodded. Turning at Virgil’s sigh, she offered him a small smile, and he nodded in return. Just as the two started to move, John swore.
‘Scott’s dropped off the scanners and Alan is back up.’ Penny and Parker ran for the building while Virgil asked about Kayo. ‘She’s still there, but her telemetry has changed. She looks like she’s asleep?’ It was Gordon who spoke though. ‘What has our idiotic big brother done now?’ There wasn’t even a hint of amusement in his voice, and John kept the comms open while their London agent and her man investigated.
It took a short while to get to the room where John had pinpointed the signals coming from, and they carefully crashed in to find an unconscious Kayo and a frantic Alan. Rushing over to undo the gag, Parker got an earful of Alan’s shout, ‘he’s taken Scott,’ a completely unnecessary observation since Scott was obviously not here, and neither was the man. Come to think of it, they hadn’t even asked Gordon who the other person was, too intent on getting him treated. ‘Who was it, Alan?’ he asked whilst cutting through his wrist bonds.
‘It was Colonel Janus, or rather, the man we know as Janus.’
That made things a little more complicated. The man was supposed to be in prison, yet again it seemed that the GDF couldn’t hold it’s important prisoners. For the last time Penny had seen him, Janus had sworn revenge, and now it looked like he was going to get it.
‘And Kayo?’ Penny asked, checking her friend over. ‘He made Scott shoot her or he was going to do it himself.’ Penny frowned. She wondered if Janus knew that iR only used tranq darts, but she guessed it didn’t really matter, the end result was the same.
Scott Tracy was now at the mercy of a man who had sworn to kill him.
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The world was blurry as he let his head slide on one hand and stared out through the kitchen window. Gordon was in the pool, swimming his morning laps. The sun had yet to rise and Virgil had broken several laws of physics rising himself. This time of day should not exist. But then it didn’t, because it wasn’t day yet because there was no sun!
But no, supersonic big brother wanted to do some special training today. Training that for some reason had been scheduled at sunrise.
It was possibly important, likely scheduled just to get his ass out of bed at this godawful hour. Occasionally there were some issues with having your brother in command. Brotherly love only went so far, brotherly snark had more mileage, and Scott did have that twist of his lips when he announced the schedule.
Four pairs of eyes had immediately turned to him and his return glare had been insufficient to deflect the amusement that followed.
But it was okay. It was fine. He had his own skill drills up his sleeve. Two am would be convenient for him next time, definitely. After all, they all had to keep their skill sets up, didn’t they?
In the meantime, it was black coffee and repeated attempts to focus on Mateo. Mateo was distinctly blurry, and dark and...
“Hey, Virg!” Alan whacked him on the back.
His face nearly ended up in his coffee. “Alan? What the hell?”
“And good morning to you, too, big bro. Ready for this morning’s run?”
He stared at his bright and peppy, yes, peppy, youngest brother. Augh. “Go away.”
“Aww, did the big bear have to get out of bed a little early?”
“C’mon, Virg, it’s gonna be fun. A race around the island, wind in your hair, blood pumping...it’s gonna be awesome.”
Virgil stared at him, his brain slowly picking up that something wasn’t quite right. “Alan, why aren’t you comatose?”
“What do you mean, big bro?”
A slow blink. “You hate mornings almost as much as I do. Who are you and what have you done with my little brother?” His eyelids drooped all of their own volition.
“It’s called prepared, bro. I’m in it to win it.”
Virgil’s eyes narrowed. “Are you on something? Because if you are, Scott’s going to kill you, and once I’m awake, I’ll resuscitate you so I can kill you again.”
“That’s violence, bro. It’s cool, I promise.”
An arched eyebrow that almost hurt. “What did you do, Alan?”
“Nothing. Well, nothing you aren’t already doing.”
“You drank coffee.”
“What did you do?”
“A little caffeine is all.”
The arched eyebrow flipped into a frown. “How much?”
Virgil’s back straightened. “Alan.”
“I’m fine, bro, I promise. I know what I’m doing. I’m not stupid.” A blond frown. “Besides, it’s not like you don’t do the same with your coffee after coffee after coffee technique.”
Virgil’s lips thinned, but to be honest, the kid was right, he didn’t have a leg to stand on. But... “You’re not yet an adult, Alan.”
“Yet, I take the responsibilities of an adult, Virgil.”
“Your body isn’t fully mature!”
“Well, thanks for that, Doctor Virgil!”
“You have to look after yourself!”
“Hard to do anything else when I have four brothers mother-henning me all the time!”
“We worry about you!”
“Well, don’t! I can look after myself.”
“Hey! What the hell is going on here?!”
Virgil found himself looming over his little brother, one brain cell after another slowly catching up with what the hell was going on. Bright blue eyes were staring up at him defiantly, his little brother’s shoulders tight and fists clenched at his sides.
Virgil forced his own fists to uncurl. There was a reason why he preferred not to see this time of day. Disturbed sleep disturbed his calm, his control, and things like this happened.
Scott loomed over the both of them and Virgil took a step back, slumping back onto his seat and hulking over his coffee almost in a pout. “Better ask Alan, he’s the one being stupid.”
“Speak for yourself, Virgil.”
“Both of you, shut it.” Scott could glare with the best of them, but Virgil had exhausted what little energy he had and ignored him. “Alan, dosed himself with caffeine.”
He could feel the laserbeams shooting out of Scott’s eyes switching targets and landing on Alan. There was no satisfaction, just blergh. Here we go.
And sure enough, Scott started in on his little brother. There was, of course, shouting. Virgil idly wondered how come Scott got to yell and he didn’t. But then Virgil didn’t really like yelling anyway.
Coffee. Its warmth drifted down his throat and spread into his bones. Oh god, he needed it. Maybe a second one after this? But then the word ‘caffeine’ came up amongst the explosions beside him and he reconsidered. No need to become a target himself.
He let his foggy mind drift a little. It was all his fault really. He could have gone to bed early, but he had made the mistake of getting into a discussion online with an engineering idiot. The topic had become heated, chemical formulas launched like bombs and laced with reactive equations enough to take out half the engineering community. In the end, he’d thrown a hissy fit and sat up to three am writing up his argument. He’d chucked it onto his blog with a great deal of satisfaction and was looking forward to rubbing it in the man’s face.
Just as soon as he could boot his brain.
Coffee, give me strength.
Gordon wandered in at some point, a damp towel around his neck. Being Gordon, he prodded the conflagration in progress and got burnt. The argument became three sided.
Virgil considered snoozing on the counter.
Then he hit on the idea that he could possibly sneak back to bed. He stood up slowly.
Brains bounded into the room, tablet in hand. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Brilliant, so b-brilliant!”
The argument came to a sudden halt, four pairs of eyes turning towards the engineer.
The engineer didn’t notice, eyes glued to his tablet. Max bounded in behind him, whirring excitedly. It was the robot who prevented the distracted Brains from walking into the kitchen counter.
“Oh, thank you, M-Max.” His eyes didn’t leave the tablet. “Did you see the p-polymer ratio? Amazing! Such elegance. You know, I am quite d-disap-pointed that I didn’t think of this myself. The applications are going to b-be in-numerable.”
The distraction was enough to break the fuel lines of the argument and Scott settled for a final threat, Alan a final glare and Gordon, a snort of derision. The moment to escape was lost and Virgil slumped where he sat.
“Virgil, you going to eat before we run?”
Alan was right, Scott mother-henned.
“Maybe.” Ugh, c’mon coffee kick in. He needed operational braincells.
Scott was peering closely at him. “Earth to Virgil.”
“Shut up, Scott. You got me up at the ass end of the day, I’m here. Don’t expect much more.”
His brother grinned, and Virgil had the odd urge to thump him. Just because this was his element, didn’t mean he had to be a smart ass about it. “Your next physical is going to be hell.”
The grin faltered. Aah, that’s better. Hmm, perhaps his brain was slowly booting. Go, coffee.
“Virgil! You h-have to see these equations. They are brilliant!”
What? Brains’ tablet shifted the remains of his coffee to one side and Virgil found himself staring at a series of numbers that made little sense at this time of the morning. “Brains, looks great. Can I review them later? I’m not all here yet.”
The engineer didn’t appear to hear him. “Look at the polymer decay to reaction ratio! This is a self-healing polymer!”
Huh? He frowned and forced himself to focus. The appropriate neurons clicked into place in his brain and suddenly what he was seeing made sense.
He grabbed the tablet, eyeing the equations and spinning calculations in his head. Brains was right. This was perfect. The polymer would be able to self-heal with the application of a mild electrical current. Give it a pattern to follow and it would populate and keep it populated, even after disturbance.
“Did you discover this, Brains?” He frowned. There was something familiar about this. Maybe they had discussed it recently.
“Oh, no, this is V. T. Green. The man is brilliant.” There was that word again. Brilliant.
But it still took a second for it all to click into place.
V. T. Green was his blog. V. T. Green was his pseudonym online, used for obvious reasons to keep his identity hidden. The blog had been for amusement originally. A place to stash his favourite music and art, but at some point, he had found himself venturing into engineering circles and getting into discussion with the online community. It made for interesting discourse and he was able to keep up to date with some of the latest innovations. Not that he could share his own much and IR was well ahead of the majority of the world thanks to one Hiram Hackenbacker, but on occasion he would fiddle with ideas and make suggestions. It was also a great place to postulate out-there concepts.
The equations on Brains’ tablet were Virgil’s.
“Where did you get these?”
Brains was full of far too much energy for this time of the morning. “Green p-posted them during the night and they have h-hit the world by s-storm.”
Brains frowned at him. “Haven’t you heard of V. T. Green, Virgil? He is o-one of the leading engineers on this p-planet. I have been f-following his b-blog for over a year n-now. You r-really m-must check it out.”
“Um, must have missed that one.”
“H-how could you m-miss such an important s-site? I know you k-keep up to date. The man is at the centre of a massive discussion about polymer cohesion and decay. Last night, Coloncous in Spain had the nerve to challenge him in the most ridiculous manner. I was so close to cutting him off myself, he was embarrassing us all, but Green replied with this. As expected, it is a brilliant explanation and Coloncous had no choice but to concede and crawl back into the hole he should never have come out of in the first place. He was a fool to think he could go up against Green. But this solution has so many possibilities. Do you realise this could be integrated into Two’s cahelium hull and she would be able to heal damage midflight? Four would be able seal herself in an underwater emergency. So brilliant.”
Virgil stared at the engineer. He didn’t think he had ever heard Brains say so many words in a row. And his stutter had disappeared two sentences in.
“What did you say about sealing Four, Brains?” Gordon’s ears had obviously pricked up at the mention of his ‘bird.
Brains’ attention was immediately drawn to the aquanaut, his verbal diarrhoea spilling all over Gordon and freeing Virgil.
Taking the opportunity, he pulled out his phone and brought up the website.
He had notifications enough to clog his inbox. Due to the early hour, his phone was still on silent and he hadn’t heard any of them. A quick glance identified several prominent names and universities.
Shit. His eyes widened.
He glanced up at his family who were now eagerly discussing safety seals for Thunderbird Four. Even Scott’s eyes were wide and enthusiastic.
He needed more coffee.
V.T. Green (one of my absolute favourites :D)
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NO SEE I’M GONNA GO CRY OVER THEM AND THIS RANDOM PARALLEL I LOVE TWO CASTS THAT HANGOUT IN LA AND EXPLORE 🙌😍😩🥰✌️✌️
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Random John fact:
He wrote his university thesis on Contact with other planets and matter at the edge of the Universe.
I've managed to read about six lines of it, he's far too smart for me.
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Whumpay Day Six: ‘Can You Hear Me?’ / ‘I Don’t See You’
Scott shuddered in the cold and damp. At least, he attempted to, but his body was having none of it and protested – loudly. It hurt so much that he wasn’t sure exactly where he hurt, the pain was all-encompassing. And as for the coughing, that was most definitely a bad idea. It was dark too, and that didn’t help either. The lights on his helmet had gone out. Thank goodness he still had his helmet on.
‘Ok, Scott. Time to take stock.’
Breathing hurt, and there was a definite creaking, so maybe a cracked rib or two. Left arm, hmm, left arm hurt to move but he was pretty sure he was moving it, even if he couldn’t see it. He tapped his helmet and yeah, it hurt but it wasn’t broken. A bonus. Right arm and both legs seemed to be pinned by something, probably debris from whatever had happened, so he wasn’t moving any time soon.
It was then that he realised it was quiet. Well, other than the ringing in his ears. Where was John? Or Virgil? He must have damaged his comm somehow. Still, he needed to let his brothers know where he was.
‘John? John, can you hear me?’
That wasn’t good. How was he going to tell them what was going on, where he was, if he couldn’t get through? Sure, they could read the telemetry of his suit and that would give them a good idea, but he needed to talk to John, to someone.
All he could do was try again. And again. And again.
All he got back was nothing.
So Scott waited.
‘I lost him!’ John cried out in alarm. One minute the rescue was going fine, then suddenly there was something interfering with the comms for a minute, and the next thing John knew Scott’s connection was gone. He could, however, read his brother’s suit, and the readouts were not good.
‘Thunderbird Five calling Thunderbird Two. Virgil, how close are you and Gordon from wrapping up?’ Virgil frowned. John sounded a little stressed, even if he spoke in the same calm manner he always did. Virgil could tell. ‘Wrapping up now, Five. What’s wrong?’ He could see John tapping away, and suddenly Virgil felt it. His Scooter sense was going haywire.
‘John, what’s going on? Where’s Scott?’ Virgil watched as John ran his hands through his hair. ‘He went on a rescue, couple of cavers trapped, one with a broken leg. It was supposed to be a straightforward in and out job or I would never have sent him alone.’ Caves were one rescue they tried hard to do together rather than alone, but with Alan and Kayo out beyond the moon, and he and Gordon tied up here John probably had no choice. ‘Don’t worry, John. We’ll be out of here in five minutes. Send us the co-ordinates and keep trying to raise him.’ John nodded. ‘FAB, Virgil.’
Packing Two up quickly wasn’t a problem, and soon the pair were on their way, Virgil pushing his bird to maximum to get there as quickly as possible. It would still take them nearly 20 minutes, and while he concentrated on piloting them, Gordon kept on trying Scott as well.
The longer they went without hearing from their oldest brother, the more concerned they became.
As Two came in to land beside her sister, Gordon busied himself getting the Mole pod ready, just in case. John had reported a temporary disruption in communication, and that could often happen underground, but it also happened when there was a cave-in. John was dubious, though. There were no signs that the cave was unstable anywhere, and he hadn’t picked up any explosions. Whatever had happened, they didn’t know exactly where Scott was nor the situation they were facing, so Gordon was going to be prepared.
The entrance to the caves was clear, and there didn’t seem to be an issue at all so far, so the two made their way to Scott’s last known position on foot. Virgil could always bring the Mole down remotely if she was needed.
Reaching the correct coordinates, Gordon almost fell himself into the hole that was there, Virgil’s quick reflexes saving him from the tumble they were almost certain Scott had taken. Shining his torch down, they could see the bottom, but there was no sign of their brother. Checking with John that there wasn’t a strong possibility of another hole forming, they quickly set about rigging a single rope longhorn 8 system.
Virgil rappelled down first, checking in case it really wasn’t safe, but it seemed that the rock was now holding. He could hear water in the distance, and he guessed there was an underground river that had probably caused the issue in the first place. He signalled Gordon and he followed swiftly behind.
They couldn’t see Scott, though, even with their powerful torches. Testing the vibrations, Virgil gave a low shout, and, thankful nothing happened, raised his voice. Soon the cave was echoing his brother’s name.
‘Scott! Scott!’ It was muffled by his helmet, but he could still hear his name being called, and Scott shouted his loudest, despite the pain it caused. ‘Over here! I’m here!’ It caused a coughing fit that hurt a lot, but the resultant ‘where? I can’t see you?’ was worth it.
It took a bit of doing, figuring out the acoustics to pinpoint Scott’s location, but they got there eventually, only to find him half buried almost in the water. Fortunately, the debris pinning his legs and arm down were not large pieces, and it didn’t take long to clear him.
Unfolding the stretcher, they immobilised Scott as much as possible before setting off back to Two, a journey of almost half and hour. While Virgil settled Scott into the med bay, Gordon discussed with John the whereabouts of the original cavers who were waiting for a rescue. Once John and EOS had managed to find the right frequency to boost Five’s scans they were easily located, not that far ahead of the cave-in that had caught Scott, so Gordon set off to retrieve them.
Soon Virgil was dropping the cavers and Scott off at the local hospital, where they had been ‘guests’ before, and the same song and dance whenever one of the boys was injured began.
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Touches Ask Game: Hugs
27: piggy back hugs, any characters
Thank you for the request! @janetm74
And again sorry, it took too long.
And it was the first time I wrote Wee!Tracys, and yes I wasn't sure. 😅
I hope you will like it! 💜
Actually, the day started very well. His daddy had left the island for a few hours to get Grandma. Scott said it might be a good idea to go to the beach. He could never say no to that, the beach was perfect.
There was a pool, yes, but the beach, sea and sand were much nicer.
After a while, Scott said it was time to go. He didn't want to go. He wanted to stay here until he got bored. Even Alan, who could only say a few words, was whining. But Alan stopped whining with the promise of ice cream and chocolate.
He was on Scott's shoulders and he was happy. But Gordon didn't want ice cream or chocolate, he wanted to stay there. Still, he followed his brothers unhappily.
John realized he was clearly not happy. "Come on, Gords, we can come here later."
Actually, he didn't have to go with them.
He could go to the beach himself and return whenever he wanted. He just had to run in the opposite direction of the way they were going. It would have been difficult for them to find him, as they are currently in the forest area.
Or it would be easier for him to be lost... Couldn't hear the sound of the waves, couldn't hear the sound of his brothers, only the forest...
He had panicked and didn't know what to do. He didn't realize he was stepping on a slippery stone. Annd... he had hurt his ankle. Although he didn't want to admit it, he wasn't sure he could find the way to the beach.
He was lost. His ankle was painful.
"If you get lost, just wait where you are. If you walk away from there..."
It was one of his daddy's emergency lessons. Wish he'd listened all, but at that time... he was busy... But that was enough for him.
Still, how would they find him if he stayed where he was. Time was passing, he could no longer stop him tears from falling. The tears were followed by a few muffled sobs.
A rustle was heard. The voice was getting closer to him. "Gordon..?"
"J- John? I'm here..." He quickly wiped his tears. The voices quickened and finally met eye to eye with anxious aquamarine.
"Sorry- I'm so sorry, John. I will not do it again, promise..."
He wrapped his arms around him gently and brought his face closer to his chest. He savored his warmth and hugged him.
"You okay?" He was going to nod his head, but John was following his gaze and checking his ankle. "Gordon-"
"You scared me a lot." And he kissed his forehead. "Is there anywhere else that hurts?"
The words stuck in his throat, but he could still speak. "No."
He continued, showing his ankle. "Okay. Better not step on it for now."
"So how about you go home?"
He was really surprised by the question. "How... can you not get lost?"
He answered with a real smile, his eyes shining. "Since you promised never to do that again," He started to turn his back towards him. "I can teach you this later." He turned his head back and looked at him.
Later. It was a relative word. But if John said so, he would have taught him.
"Let's go home, Gords."
Softly he slid his arms around his neck and wrapped his legs around his waist.
As he leaned his head on his back, something never mentioned occurred to him.
"Sorry for getting you in trouble."
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I love these friendships!! 😄
Honestly I also wouldn’t mind if we got Upton + Atwater / Halstead + Ruzek pairing up for an episode of PD too!!
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Alan eats dog poop
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Scott used to be a prostitute
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All I can say is sorry for this...
She was tired, so very tired, but still she paced the floor, trying to soothe the ear piercing wails that rattled the walls. How could something so small make so much noise and manage to rule an entire household? This was not something they ever told you when you were pushing your baby dolls around in their strollers and feeding them water that they would pee out later. That was an idyllic fantasy, one where you could stuff the baby in a toy box as soon as you got bored or were done playing and forget about it. She’d never had this trouble with the other two, but this one…
She bounced him gently in her arms, trying every trick she knew, everything she had learned while bringing up her babies, but nothing was working. Her husband, that despicable scumbag who had dared, DARED, to not be here when she needed him, was tucked away safely in space, leaving her to handle everything as she tried to cope with a 5 year old, a two year old and a teething five month old that just refused to be soothed or to sleep because his precious nightlight had broken.
She looked up to the dark ceiling, devoid of the swirling constellations that usually calmed him. He was one of the most lively, inquisitive and alert babies she had ever met, his eyes constantly on the move, always watching, taking in everything that was going on around him.
He was usually a dream, quiet, calm and more than happy to be put down while she sorted breakfast or got one of his brothers dressed, unlike the other two. She’d lost count of the times she had come in to check on him in the night to find him wide awake, watching the little pinpricks of light projected above him, not having uttered a sound, perfectly content with whatever was playing in his own little head. Which was why she was having such a hard time now, she didn’t know what to do, she’d never had this trouble with him before.
“Please, baby,” she whispered, cradling him against her chest, feeling his angry little fists smacking at her shoulder as his body stiffened, going silent for a second as he sucked in another deep breath, ready to scream anew.
“Mommy?” a small voice called to her from down the hall. “Baby OK?”
“He’s fine, darling,” she called back, “just a little grumpy, try to go back to sleep.”
The baby screamed again, almost deafening her and once more.
“I can’t sleep, he’s too noisy.”
“Just try your hardest,” she called back, raising her voice to be heard over the wailing. To her surprise the baby actually quietened down, just a little. She looked at him in shock, would drowning him out actually work?
She looked around for inspiration but the nursery contained nothing of the noisy variety, the baby not being fond of those sort of toys. She glared at the broken nightlight, the cause of all the trouble. The sight of it triggered something at the back of her mind, a long forgotten memory of a TV show she had watched with her Grandfather.
Desperate now she started to hum, finding that the tune was just as familiar now as it had been all those years ago. The baby lifted his head, staring at her as if she were crazy, but his wailing slowly faded into gulping sobs and then a quiet whimpering as he rubbed his tired eyes, his reddened, sore cheeks wet with tears.
The more she hummed the more came back to her and she found herself singing little snippets of the lyrics, the words growing clearer in her head as she repeated them over and over. She paced as she sung, moving from a bouncing rocking into a gentle swaying. The baby's head swayed with her, his eyes starting to droop.
I wish I was a spaceman.
The fastest guy alive.
I'd fly you round the universe,
In Fireball XL-5.
Way out in space together,
Conquerors of the sky,
My heart would be a fireball,
Every time I gazed into your starry eyes.
The baby’s head came to rest on her shoulder, his damp little face nuzzling into her neck, his hitching breaths having calmed into the soft, gentle breathing that she was used to.
We'd take the path to Jupiter,
And maybe very soon.
We'd cruise along the Milky Way,
And land upon the moon.
To our wonderland of stardust,
We'll zoom our way to Mars,
My heart would be a fireball,
If you would be my Venus of the stars.
The little body in her arms grew heavier as he finally gave in to the lure of sleep. She continued her gentle rocking, lulling him into a deeper slumber, singing for another ten minutes before her arms began to ache and she thought it might be safe to put him down.
Carefully, inch by inch she lowered the sleepy bundle into his crib, covering him with the light blanket and tiptoed to the door. Now to check on the other two and then the large glass of wine that was awaiting her.
She was halfway down the hall when the peel of the doorbell echoed through the house. Who could that be at this time of night? She broke out into a run, sprinting down the stairs, skidding in the hall as she grabbed for the door handle, desperate to stop whoever was outside from ringing again and shattering her hard earned peace.
“Mrs Tracy?” the delivery driver asked, squinting in the light that poured from the house.
“Package for you, sign here.”
She scribbled her name on the screen he held out and took the offered package, thanked him and shut the door.
Curious, because she hadn’t ordered anything, she carefully opened the box, pushing aside the packing paper. Nestled inside was a brand new replacement for the broken nightlight.
“I take it back,” she whispered to the quiet of the house, “you aren’t that bad a husband, after all.”
She crept back into the baby’s room and unplugged the broken one, swapping it out for the new. A press of a button and once again the ceiling lit up with twinkling, swirling pinpricks of light.
She brushed a gentle hand over the soft mop of red hair that topped his head.
“Look, Johnny, Daddy sent you a present.”
“It’s OK, Allie, it’ll be alright,” Scott soothed, jiggling his baby brother in his arms as the toddler continued to wail as if his heart was breaking, which was pretty close to the truth. “It’s gonna be OK, just please, settle down.”
He’d been walking the little boy up and down for the past hour and nothing, but nothing, was working to settle him. He was still crying, a tired, wailing scream that tugged at the heartstrings and pierced the ears at the same time and honestly, Scott was only just resisting the urge to join him.
How were they supposed to cope on their own? How were they supposed to go on without the person that mopped up their tears and kissed their pain away? How were they supposed to go on when the pain they were feeling was because she wasn’t there?
“Please, Allie,” he whispered, “please go to sleep, I don’t know what you want, I don’t know what to do.”
His brother declined to answer him, his face as red as a tomato as he sobbed, his little legs kicking as he tried to break free of Scott’s hold.
“I know,” Scott sighed, “I know you don’t want me, you want her, I do too. I wish she was here, I wish-”
“Let me try,” a soft voice offered.
Scott turned to see his middle brother standing in the doorway, the light from the hall painting his tired, drawn face with stark shadows.
“You forgot his nightlight,” John murmured as he crossed over to switch on the little glowing orb that would project its blanket of stars onto the ceiling, although there was no accusation in his tone, just the same weary acceptance as Scott’s.
Alan’s sobs stopped abruptly, his eyes drawn to the ceiling and the gently revolving lights that made up a galaxy above their heads. Wordlessly Scott handed over the toddler.
Instead of standing with him John settled himself in the nursing chair that their mother always used. Scott swallowed the lump in his throat at the sight of someone else sitting there, in her spot, taking her place.
It hurt, more than he could put into words. This shouldn’t be happening, they shouldn’t be going through this, she should be there with them.
Scott turned for the door, unable to keep standing there, unable to watch as his brother attempted to fill a tiny part of the gaping void that had opened up in their lives.
He pushed the door closed, leaning his head against the door frame as the soft, low sound of his brother’s voice floated on the air.
I wish I was a spaceman, the fastest guy alive...
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Running Away c2: Scott
Well, my muse is not working today, so here is something I wrote earlier!
Chapter 1 here.
The time had come for his new baby brother to be born. Scott didn’t remember a time without John, so he was eager to be involved this time. Mommy was really big. She kept complaining that she looked like a whale. Scott and John didn’t know what to make of this as they had watched a program about blue whales, and they were huge! Daddy told them, when Mommy wasn’t listening, that the whale was a baby one and that’s how come it fit inside Mommy. Jeff was horrified when Scott and John both burst into tears, claiming to their horrified mom, and embarrassed dad, that they didn’t want a whale for a brother. Jeff was in the doghouse over that one!
But the time when Mommy had marked off on the calendar as when their new brother, who was to be called Virgil, was to arrive had gone. Scott climbed up the chair onto the table every day and counted the squares after the big red circle. It was now 10 days. Mommy was unhappy, she said it was uncomfortable. Daddy was running around trying to fix everything so Mommy could be happy. Today, though, today something was different.
John was still in bed. He had not slept well last night. Daddy came into their room and started packing some of their clothes into a backpack each. ‘Scott, can you please get John up and the two of you need to get dressed quickly please,’ Jeff said as he packed enough clothes for a couple of days stay with his parents. They were admitting Lucy today and had plans to induce her. There was some concern that the baby was going to be too large for Lucy, so the surgeon was on standby in case a caesarean was needed.
Scott woke John up and helped his sleepy brother get dressed. Coming downstairs they were greeted with some toast for breakfast while Jeff packed the boys’ bags and Lucy’s baby go-bag; and settled Lucy in the front. As soon as the boys had finished eating, they were installed into their individual car seats. Lucy had thought ahead and placed books and colouring pads ready for them.
Scott was curious. No-one had yet explained what was going on. The decision to bring Lucy in had only been made that morning, and Jeff had busted a gut to get everyone ready in less than an hour. A miracle in his household! Looking in the mirror, he noticed that John had fallen asleep again, cuddling his bright purple star. Scott seemed to be reading, but Jeff noticed he wasn’t turning any pages. He had been surprised that his eldest had not questioned what was going on – Scott was insatiably curious and needed to know everything. John looked like he was going to follow his big brother in this area.
Half an hour into the drive, and John was woken up by Scott suddenly exclaiming ‘we’re going to see Grandad and Grandma!’ He woke Lucy up too, and she turned as best as she could to smile at the two. ‘That’s right, Scott. Mommy’s going into the hospital for a couple of days, then Grandad will bring you both over to meet Virgil.’ Scott frowned at this. He didn’t quite understand, but it seemed that he and John were being left. He scowled. He had been promised to see Virgil! Jeff caught the thunderous face Scott was pulling and tried to head off the tantrum that promised to follow.
‘Scott, John, there will not be room for you at the hospital as Mommy has to have special care. That means you get to stay with Grandpa so that I can take care of Mommy. Ok?’ It was not ok, but Scott understood his dad was asking him not to make a scene. John just nodded, he seemed happy enough, but then maybe that was because he was still half asleep.
The handover of the two boys went smoothly enough, although Grant mentioned that Scott seemed quieter than normal. Jeff explained how he had nearly had a tantrum at being left, but the four adults thought no more about the situation. Jeff and Lucy drove off and the boys came into the kitchen for second breakfast. Scrambled egg and bagels – John’s favourite!
The day passed peacefully enough for the two boys and their grandma, with Grant working. If Scott was a little quiet, and seemed a bit preoccupied, neither adult mentioned it. John was oblivious. He happily spent the morning colouring in the pictures in the book of planets his grandma had given him. A short nap in the afternoon and a couple of hours of TV and John was perfectly happy. Grandad came in for dinner at six, then they spent an hour reading before putting the boys to bed. At least, that was the plan.
As the evening wore on it became obvious that Scott was getting upset. He kept asking for his mom and Virgil. Three times already Ruth had sat him down and explained that Mommy was staying in the hospital until Virgil was born, but the answer didn’t seem to soothe him as much as they thought it would. Putting him to bed was awful. John had quite happily gone down half an hour earlier, but Scott was refusing to go to bed, even though it was obvious he was tired.
Eventually the tearful toddler cried himself to sleep in Grant’s arms. Both grandparents were at a loss as to what was the issue. Although Scott hated going to bed, it had never been this difficult. Putting him into bed, Ruth decided she would call the hospital and find out how things were going.
Jeff answered on the third ring. Lucy had been induced in the late afternoon, but there had not been much progress until late evening. The doctors had decided that Virgil was getting a little distressed and were prepping Lucy for a possible emergency caesarean. He looked a mess of worry, but Ruth was able to comfort him with the knowledge that this was a standard and well-practiced procedure, and nothing would go wrong. Jeff appreciated his Mom’s comfort. He asked after the boys and Ruth told him they were both sleeping. She didn’t want to worry him with Scott’s behaviour – he had enough going on. Promising to call either when the baby was born or before breakfast, whichever came first, Jeff hung up.
Something woke Grant up. Working on the farm for all his life, he had learnt long ago to trust his instincts when they flared into life before the usual rising time of 5am. Slipping from the bed and dressing quickly in the dark, he peered at the clock. 1.40am. What on earth had disturbed him? Ruth was still asleep, gently snoring as usual. He headed towards the boys’ room. Pushing the door open slowly to minimise any noise, he could see John’s outline in his bed, but Scott’s bedcovers were thrown back and the youngster was nowhere to be seen. Grant pulled the door to and headed downstairs. A quick search revealed that Scott wasn’t anywhere in the house.
Ruth was woken up by a gentle shaking of her shoulder. Thinking that Jeff had been on the phone, she shot up and out, almost banging heads with her husband. ‘What is it?’ she whispered, catching hold of Grant’s arm. ‘It’s Scott. He’s gone.’ Ruth just stared at her husband. How could Scott be gone? He wasn’t even three-and-a-half yet was the irrelevant thought that entered her mind. She jumped up and dressed quickly. ‘Have you checked the house?’ she asked. Grant nodded. ‘Everywhere indoors I could think of. His outdoor shoes are missing.’ Ruth paled at that. Both boys knew to leave their outdoor shoes in the utility room so they didn’t bring mud into the kitchen.
Checking that John was soundly asleep, they made their way to the kitchen. The kitchen had two back doors, one led to the utility room and the other led directly outside. Ruth pointed to the door leading outside. There was a scrap of fabric on the dog door. ‘I can’t believe he crawled through that!’ Ruth said as she bent down and retrieved the fabric. It was torn from Scott’s pyjamas.
‘Lord, I wonder what has got that boy so wound up?’ Ruth went upstairs and collected John, putting the sleeping child into his coat, while Grant checked around the garden. The front gate was open. Grant got the car ready while Ruth place John in his seat. Having not fully woken up, John was soon fast asleep again. Joining her husband in the front, Ruth whispered ‘where do you think he’s gone?’ Grant pondered.
‘I reckon he’s heading for either home or the hospital. He was crying for his mom earlier, so I would think he’d head for the main road. It’s the only way he knows.’ Ruth was appalled. A toddler on the main street at this time of night! Scott didn’t stand a chance of being seen. She wondered how fast the boy could walk – he’d been missing now a minimum of 30 minutes. Grant starting the car broke her train of thought. ‘We best be quick,’ he said, voicing her concerns. ‘He could well have reached it by now.’
Grant drove slowly, high beams sweeping the road and trees around them. They’d been driving for 10 minutes when the lights threw a small figure into relief against the road. There was his eldest grandson in his blue aeroplane pyjamas and green wellies. Scott carried on walking, heedless of the car coming up behind him. He was needed. Something was wrong, not that he could have voiced this conviction if asked.
Ruth and Grant exchanged glances as the car pulled up behind Scott. Leaving the engine running, Grant slipped out and caught up with his grandson. Scott carried on, almost as if he was unaware his grandfather was walking beside him. They carried on this way for almost another five minutes; Grant was loath to stop him in case he was sleepwalking. Eventually, the tired little boy tripped over something on the road and fell. Grant immediately picked Scott up and held him tightly.
Walking back to the car, Grant was concerned that Scott didn’t seem to be here at all. He had expected the child to protest, but there was nothing. Reaching the car, Ruth stepped out so they didn’t disturb John. She ran her hand through Scott’s hair and shared a worried look with her husband.
Scott was exhausted. With all the emotions he’d displayed over the last few hours, the lack of sleep and the long walk, the fall had taken his last reserves. Safe in his grandfather’s arms, he simply stared ahead, tears falling silently. His grandmother’s approach, and her running her hand through his hair, startled him back to the here and now. Grant passed him over to Ruth.
‘Scotty, baby, what’s wrong?’ Ruth asked. His stillness was unnerving her, as was his silent crying. Scott turned in her arms to hug around her neck. It took several attempts until he could actually speak. And it broke her heart to hear him sobbing for his mom and his brother again. Grant opened the back door, removed Scott’s booster seat and helped Ruth climb in, assisting with the seatbelt. Climbing in the front, he swivelled round and simply said: ‘might as well head to the hospital. This little one is not going to be happy until we do.’ Ruth nodded her agreement, shifting Scott slightly so that they were both more comfortable. She felt John’s hand latch on to Scott’s ankle, yet he seemed still asleep.
Jeff had not managed any sleep. The doctor had decided against the caesarean, Virgil’s head was too engaged, and it would cause more damage to both mother and child. Lucy had been screaming for what seemed like hours. Finally, at 2.15am Virgil was delivered. He was a hefty baby, and he was immediately whisked away for observation. The doctors were taking no chances since he had been distressed for quite a while. Jeff waited while the nurses helped Lucy clean up and gather herself together.
Finally, he could sit next to his wife, his exhausted and drawn Lucy. She gave him a watery smile. He kissed the top of her head. It was over. Virgil had taken his own sweet time to enter the world, 10 days late and a difficult ten-and-a-half-hour labour. The midwife was fussing over them both, it was the same one who had helped with Scott and John. Jeff knew she was talking – he could see her mouth moving – but he couldn’t hear a word. He was happily exhausted too, although wise enough not to say this to his wife, after all, she had done the hard work.
After another half an hour the midwife, damn if he could remember her name, brought Virgil into them, already bathed and swaddled. She settled him in Lucy’s arms, and the happy couple gazed on their third son for the first time. He was almost twice the size of John and, although both John and Scott had been long, Virgil was compact. He had almost a full head of hair, as Scott had, and it seemed almost black. Opening his eyes, his doting parents looked into blue eyes that were already showing deep hints of brown. Maybe this child would have Lucy’s eyes.
Kissing Lucy again and leaving her to feed their hungry new-born, Jeff left to call his parents as promised. He knew they wouldn’t mind being woken this early. He was, however, very disturbed when the phone just rang and rang. Where were they? He tried his mom’s mobile, but it went straight to answerphone. Jeff spent 15 minutes retrying before giving up and returning to Lucy. He wasn’t going to upset her with this news, but she could see something was wrong. ‘What’s the matter, Jeff?’ she asked, immediately concerned for both her boys and her in-laws, who she loved as if they were her own parents.
‘There’s no answer. Not on the landline or Mom’s mobile,’ Jeff replied, sitting down heavily. Lucy grasped his hand with her free one, hugging Virgil close while he fed. Lucy tried to comfort him. ‘They’ll be asleep. It is the early hours, try again at 5am, Dad’ll be up then.’ Jeff nodded. Settling down to watch as Lucy put Virgil up on her shoulder to expel any wind, he grinned. Probably Scott had given his grandparents the run-around, if his almost-temper tantrum when he was dropped off was anything to go on.
Half an hour later Virgil was back in his crib, Lucy was just drifting off and Jeff was on the verge of doing so himself when there was a knock at the door. An apologetic nurse popped her head around the door. ‘I’m sorry to disturb you,’ she started, ‘but there are some people here to see you. It’s highly irregular, but they are insistent that it’s important.’ Puzzled, Jeff looked at Lucy, who nodded. ‘Ok, show them in,’ he said, wondering who would be here at 3am in the morning. He was surprised when his parents came in carrying his two children.
Jeff shot out of his chair, rushing over to his mom to take Scott out of her arms. His eldest was awake, but very subdued, and there was evidence of tears. Grant held a still-asleep John. Scott cuddled into his dad. ‘Hey, my little man, what’s the matter?’ he asked. Scott looked at his dad, then at his mom and baby brother. ‘Mom and Virgie,’ was Scott’s only reply. Reaching over, Scott’s gestures were asking for his mom, and Lucy took him from Jeff, tucking him into her side while Jeff brought Virgil over to meet his big brothers. John was still asleep, but Scott sat up straight as Lucy took Virgil in her other arm so Scott could see better. He grasped his baby brother’s hand gently and was rewarded with Virgil opening his eyes and staring into Scott’s. The two boys stared at each other for several moments before Virgil yawned and closed his eyes. Scott immediately yawned in return and snuggled into his mom, dropping off almost immediately.
Confused, Jeff turned to his parents. ‘What’s going on, why are you here now?’ he asked. Ruth, now sitting in the chair Jeff had vacated, sighed heavily. ‘Scott just wouldn’t settle. He refused to go to bed at 7:30pm as usual, asking for Lucy all the time. Then he started crying; eventually he fell asleep in your dad’s arms. Grant woke up at around half one and Scott had gone.’ Jeff and Lucy both paled at that. It was Lucy who whispered, ‘he ran away?’ Grant and Ruth both shook their heads. ‘No, Lucy,’ Grant replied, ‘he was heading here.’ Both Jeff and Lucy’s mouths hung open.
‘When we found him, about half an hour later, he was walking along the road. I walked beside him for about five minutes until he fell,’ Grant continued. ‘He was crying all the time and just keep asking for you and Virgil, Lucy.’ She pulled the now sleeping child closer, kissing his head. ‘So, we thought it best to bring them straight here. Scott didn’t stop crying until about 30 minutes ago.’ Ruth noticed both Lucy and Jeff start at that. ‘What is it, Jeff?’ she asked. ‘It was 30 minutes ago that the nurse finally brought Virgil in after he was checked over. It was a difficult birth and he had become distressed.’ Lucy looked up to her husband. ‘It must be a coincidence. How could he have known?’ Jeff lent over and kissed first Lucy and then Scott. ‘Well, we have a lifetime to find out,’ he replied, ‘we just have to teach Scott to stop running away first.’
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Callisto (Part Three - Bit 1)
Part One - Bit 1 | Bit 2 | Bit 3 | Bit 4 | Bit 5
Part Two - Bit 1 | Bit 2 | Bit 3
Part Three - Bit 1
And here we are back on our way out to Callisto with a bunch of grumpy Tracys, their Dad, their Uncle and a former enemy. It’s all sunshine and lollipops...not. :D But there is some great scenery :D
As always, many thanks to @tsarinatorment @scribbles97 @janetm74 and @onereyofstarlight You guys are absolutely amazing and so patient with my crazy. Bri, you are a great teacher for a dunderhead like me :D
Anyways, here we are back on board the Excel. I hope you enjoy. :D
Virgil ended up dosing Gordon as the aquanaut turned positively green after the second jump.
He dragged his brother to the infirmary and made him lie down for the rest of the ion pause. Gordon protested the anti-nausea injection, but Virgil wasn’t willing to risk airborne innards. He was barely holding it together himself.
John, surprisingly wasn’t much better. Not that the casual observer would be able to tell. His space brother was the master of self-control. But Virgil could see the tightness around his mouth, the slightly pale cast to his skin…he kept an eye on him.
By the third jump, Virgil was dosing himself with anti-nausea meds.
It was the oddest feeling. His body wanted to register it as a g-force, but it wasn’t quite the same. It hit his stomach and his head and it was like spinning in both directions at once.
Ergh, even thinking about it was nauseating.
John didn’t need any medication. Or so he claimed. As far as Virgil was concerned, it came damned close. He kept an eagle eye on his space brother anyway.
As for the rest of the crew...Scott and Alan didn’t appear to even notice the issue, their Dad grunted a little and Uncle Lee made several salty comments.
Michael just arched an eyebrow when Virgil queried him.
Before the fourth jump he forcibly dragged them all through the tiny sickbay, just in case.
The whining was extensive.
But this was new technology. A threat to call back to Grandma was all it took to shift both his father and Uncle Lee. Who could have known their uncle was mildly terrified of their grandmother.
His father was rather amused. The story behind that one was not fully divulged, but it lightened the atmosphere a little.
Michael worshipped Mrs Tracy, as he called her, and was out of his seat so fast, he created eddies in the artificial atmosphere.
Virgil was not going to question that one at all.
Ultimately, Virgil didn’t find anything wrong with any of his brothers or the others, but he did record all observations. Perhaps the reason could be found and negated sometime down the track.
In the meantime, Gordon and himself were suitably drugged up and Alan’s smart-ass comment on the matter stamped on by Scott.
Finally, thank god, they emerged from the fifth jump and Alan was able to shift to more familiar spaceflight permanently.
Beside Virgil, Gordon let out a relieved sigh.
The ship shuddered as the ion engines were once again engaged. Alan’s skill was ever so prominent and Virgil felt nothing but pride for his little brother. He must remember to mention it to the squirt later on.
John, still looking a little green, ran his fingers over his board and brought up their forward view on the main ‘projector.
“Well, I have to say that is quite a sight.” Dad’s voice was suitably awed.
Virgil’s jaw dropped.
It was massive.
And far more impressive in person than through a telescope.
The huge gas giant was still distant, but the sun behind them lit it up in all its glory. Its brilliant swirls of colour were in such contrast to the black around it, it was like a hole in the fabric of space-time, a window to another dimension.
Its iconic red spot glared at them like an eye.
Virgil knew the planet well from both photographs and Five’s telescopes. Its colours were fascinating and inspirational. He’d done a few pours in acrylic to emulate the gaseous agitation with mixed results. One hung in John’s room, even. But nothing compared to this.
“That is one honkin’ great big ball o’ gas.”
Virgil flattened his gaze and glared at the back of Uncle Lee’s head. Beside him, Gordon snorted.
On the hologram, labels suddenly appeared identifying each of the features in the space-scape. Ganymede coasted slowly on the left, Io was a tiny dot casting a shadow on Jupiter’s surface and an arrow pointed out where Europa was obscured by the giant planet.
Jupiter’s ring was located, along with several of its seventy-odd asteroid moon hoard.
A glance at John had Virgil smiling. The expression on his space brother’s face was a sight to behold. It was as if he had discovered the holy grail…which, considering the importance of the Jovian system, was a good analogy.
This was John paradise.
“Receiving recognition signal from Callisto.” His space brother’s expression shifted to one of quiet amusement as his fingers poked his console.
“How the hell did you get here so quick?!” The hologram that suddenly appeared in the middle of the cockpit was energetic to say the least. Graeme Walters was a bald, heavy-set man in his fifties. Fiery eyes set deeply below steel grey eyebrows were striking by themselves, but it was the extravagant moko that was the dominant feature of his expression. The black etched design on the entirety of the right side of his face spoke of his mother’s Maori ancestry.
Those dark eyes didn’t wait for an answer as they glanced around, only to fixate on Virgil’s father. “Jeff?”
“Hey, Gray. Long time, no see.”
The man stared for a long moment, lips pressing together. A drawn in breath. “Good to see you, Space Jockey.” The relieved smile that infused his face was a big one.
But it didn’t last long.
Scott spoke up. “Mr Walters, we are responding to your distress call. What is your situation?”
Dark eyes flickered to the commander, a frown forming between them. “Ju and Kate were exploring the caves beneath the Base. They extend for hundreds of kilometres in all directions. They took three staff and one of our spelunking crawlers towards the north. Kate is fascinated by the Asgard impact zone and in particular Burr crater. They had planned to be gone a week. We lost contact yesterday, only two days in.” A map appeared in the hologram. “We think they made it to Burr, but we are unsure as our sensors are swamped with interference.”
“Interference?” John sat up straighter. “Send me a radiological profile of the area.”
Walters blinked and gestured at something out of range. “It’s yours. Though I’m hoping that big fancy rocket you’re riding has more bang for its buck than our orbital.”
John’s voice was calm. “I can assure you, Mr Walters, we have plenty of bang.” His brother was intent on his console, frowning at whatever the Base commander had sent him.
“Good.” He turned back to Jeff. “Looking forward to a beer in your honour, Jeff. Park your rocket in orbit and I’ll see you down here asap.” A curl of his lips. “Watch the Jefferson. I’ve just had her waxed.” The hologram blinked out.
Nobody answered him and the cockpit was suddenly quiet.
Virgil wondered if it was pure accident his father didn’t know or if Scott and John had left the name out of the briefing on purpose. Hell, why hadn’t Uncle Lee told him? Perhaps they had meant to approach Dad later in private. Perhaps Virgil should have done that himself, but the rush to leave…
The massive space hauler that had brought the Callisto mission to the moon had left Earth in 2056 a year after their father had gone missing.
Virgil sighed internally. ‘Gone missing’ was a euphemism for ‘died’ that they all used. They didn’t name spaceships after people they thought might be coming back.
“On approach.” Alan’s words snapped him out of his thoughts.
His little brother tweaked the view on the main projector.
Dad was tight-lipped as he stared up at the scene.
Jupiter still hung in the distance like a massive Christmas ornament, but its second largest moon was swelling in the foreground.
Callisto was a moon of rock and ice. Unlike her sister, Europa, the surface was not one continuous blanket of white. More a cratered wasteland, the moon’s ancient crust sparkled like it was dusted with glitter. As the Excel powered into orbit, that glittery surface turned its eye towards them.
And it was an eye. Not like the red spot that continued to stare at them from Jupiter, but a single massive crater outshining the millions of smaller ones, glaring up at them from the surface.
Words appeared on the display yet again. Valhalla.
“Wow. Something hit hard.” Gordon’s voice beside him was little more than a whisper.
The Excel swooped past and around the moon, turning away from Jupiter as she caught the curve of a new orbit. Virgil’s attention was focussed on Callisto, so he didn’t see the approach of the other ship at first.
“There she is.” Alan’s voice was awe itself. “The Jefferson Tracy.”
“You let them name a ship after me?”
Again that silence enveloped the cockpit.
Scott sighed. “It was a sign of respect, Dad.” His eyes were sad as he looked up at the display.
Jeff stared at the commander for a long moment. Scott simply stared back, the expression on his face enough to clench Virgil’s heart.
Uncle Lee was either oblivious or strategic in his words. “Jeff, she is a beauty. Just look at those engines. She hauled the entire base all the way out here and didn’t blink.” He grinned at the ship as she slowly floated past. There were enough similarities in design between the Jefferson and Thunderbird Two in the way the hauler carried chained ‘modules’ and sported a massive rocket on her backend for Virgil to admire. But she was many times the size of his ‘bird, had never seen planetfall and never would, having been built in space.
Zero X technology had been the next step in space exploration.
The Zero X had failed.
The Jefferson was the result. Alternate technology named after the man the original technology had taken.
Most of her modules were missing and no doubt deployed on the moon, but the hauler was still massive, her giant hull decked out in blue and silver.
A splash of red on her bow completed the illusion. While she was built more like a giant Thunderbird Two, she drew her paint job from a much smaller craft.
“Well, that looks familiar.” Gordon murmured beside Virgil.
He had to agree. Even the white lettering down the side of the huge craft that spelt out their father’s name was an echo of the Thunderbird lettering down One’s flank.
“Why?” Their father didn’t specify who he was addressing, but it wasn’t necessary.
Scott sat straighter in his seat. “As I said, they wanted to show their respect. I couldn’t see the harm. Tracy Industries was a major sponsor, after all.” And they had been hurting.
Virgil remembered far too well. Scott had received the request after a long and hard day. He had been vulnerable and had sought out Virgil’s counsel.
It had been like declaring Dad dead and it had hurt so much. But the opportunity to see their father so recognised, so esteemed by the planet he had sacrificed himself for…in the end there had been no question of giving permission.
It was what their father would have wanted.
They hadn’t expected him to actually see the Jefferson Tracy.
Again Uncle Lee spoke up, this time his voice was unusually quiet. “Berry and Ju just wanted you to keep them safe, Jeff. You were our lucky charm, after all.”
Virgil’s father frowned at the engineer.
Jeff opened his mouth, but Alan cut him off. “Orbital stability achieved and locked in.”
The Jefferson passed them at a respectable distance on its own orbital trajectory and sailed off towards the moon’s curved horizon. Below them, another very large impact crater slowly rotated into view.
The word ‘Asgard’ appeared on the display.
Scott’s voice was sharp as he unstrapped himself. “That’s our target. John, what are the specifics?”
The astronaut turned his seat around to face them all. “The Base is contained within Doh crater, part of the Asgard complex.” An arrow appeared on the display pointing at a tiny shadow at the centre of the massive crater. “The docking facilities are large enough to support Thunderbird Three. Alan, I recommend a rear landing. Let’s not drill a hole in their hangar.”
“Well, yeah, derrr.”
Gordon piped up. “No, it’s D’oh, little bro.” The aquanaut grinned.
John did not roll his eyes. Not quite.
Virgil had no such control and just groaned.
“What? I’m right, aren’t I?”
“Gordon.” Scott’s voice was firm, but Virgil could see the slight crinkle around Scott’s eyes and appreciated Gordon’s effort to break up the atmosphere a little.
John ignored both of them. “Gravity is only 0.126g, even less than Earth’s Moon, so no stupid stunts.” Virgil wasn’t going to argue with the glare John sent in Scott’s direction, but when Uncle Lee picked up on it, the snort was a big one.
“It will be like being home on Alfie again.” The whack Lee planted on their father’s back was a solid one. “Hey, Space Jockey.”
The glare Dad shot at Uncle Lee was scathing. “Don’t you start.”
“Oh, it’s all coming back to me now.”
Virgil’s father grunted in disgust.
Uncle Lee only grinned more.
“We have a mission here, people.” Scott glared at all of them.
That shut up everyone and Virgil felt like throttling his brother. They were on pace. The break in tension was worth the moment.
Virgil straightened. “We have a number of pods available. I recommend a combination of all-terrain. We have the Dragonfly geared for low gravity environment, but it will depend on the size of these caves. John?”
“I’ve only just begun analysis, but as the Commander Walters said, Base sensors are badly compromised. I’ve tapped into the Jefferson with similar results. Using Thunderbird Five I hope to locate and negate the issue. Eos is working on it as we speak. My focus once the last communications buoy is connected, will be finding lifesigns and assistance with mapping the reported caves.”
“Thank you, John. Alan, you’re in Thunderbird Three. Virgil and Gordon, you’re with me. Dad-“
“I’m going down with you, Scott.”
“Me, too.” Uncle Lee was virtually bouncing in his seat.
Scott’s lips pressed together. “As I was saying, gear up and I’ll see you in Thunderbird Three.” The commander’s eyes flitted to Virgil ever so briefly, but the medic got the meaning immediately.
Medical supplies would be fully stocked.
Scott pushed off from his chair.
“Thunderbirds are go.”
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The world was in a mess ... but their hair was perfect!"
Getting ready for another cult film live-draw! Tune in to TCM and log on to Twitter at 8 PM EST for the John Waters classic Hairspray! I'll be live-tweeting and working on some new live-drawn Ricki Lake fan art!
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