FISH OUT OF
This little story
was written for the April 2007 Tracy Island Writer's Forum
Challenge and has since been revamped.
do you suppose Tin-Tin wants to show Alan … in the
ago rumour was running rife and I wasn’t the only one to laugh
at Dad’s reaction to that classic Scott Tracy line.
now, when Virgil’s asking the exact same thing in reverse, am
I doing nothing but frown and roll my eyes at him? Could it be
the fact I saw enough of things yesterday when I inadvertently
walked in on them in the bathroom? Or is it because the sheer
mention of that line still conjures up visions of a swamp
swarming with some not so friendly giant alligators?
thing’s for sure though; I’m still coming to terms with the
size of some of those guys.
called it “a freak mutation.” You don’t want to know what I
started out as a fairly low key rescue effort a few months
back ended up spiraling completely out of control, with me
holed up in a basement with a gun pointing at my head and
three giant alligators who weren’t about to take no for an
answer. Add to that a vial of “freak mutation” floating
somewhere out there in the river and you’ve pretty well summed
up one of the most terrifying experiences of my life.
the terror wasn’t only confined to me.
believe it when Virgil told me about a certain little brother
and his crazy over the top heroics. Only Alan would be foolish
enough to blatantly disobey orders and use his hover bike as a
decoy to try to lure the alligators away. Humph …and only Alan
could scare everyone half to death by falling off the said
hover bike with an alligator almost the hell smack-bang on top
of him. I can tell you right now I wasn’t the slightest bit
amused when I heard.
doesn’t realise how lucky he was Gordon lived up to his
reputation as International Rescue’s crack shot. Well, he
realises it now; namely because I had no hesitation in
pointing it out to him all the way back home. His stupid
little stunt not only almost left him number one on the lunch
menu; it could also have put me straight in the firing line
for the record … Dad potentially chewing me out for Alan
almost ending up in the jaws of an alligator is not the
reason why I’m frowning.
old line about the bathroom might have temporarily reminded me
of past history, but I know for a fact that what Virgil’s
referring to at the moment has (a) nothing to do with
alligators and (b) nothing to do with what I walked in on in
the bathroom. If Tin-Tin’s about to show Alan what I think she
is up there, it will be the finishing touch to the day we’ve
had around here today.
A Fish out
I swear if
I hear those words just one more time I’m going to explode.
I owe it to everyone to explain the reason for my aggravation,
and to do that I need to take you back to this morning when
the whole fiasco began.
in case you haven’t guessed it yet, the name is Tracy.
when it comes down to International Rescue, I’m not in the
habit of doing comedy.
eldest. I'm disciplined and if nothing else I like a sense of
order in my life. I don't always get it. I just like it. The
rescue business is unpredictable and I’ve learned how to deal
with that in the months we’ve been operational. I distance
myself when necessary and I focus on the job. I achieve the
impossible because I have to and because I’ve learned to do it
from the best.
the other side of my life is an entirely different story. Call
me old fashioned if you like but I quite like being
predictable. When I'm not working nothing pleases me more than
to enjoy a peaceful existence amongst the palm trees. That’s
what life’s all about for me these days; saving lives when
required and soaking up the good life with my brothers.
It was a
peaceful existence amongst the palm trees I was hoping for
today when I rolled over and gave the dawn my usual one-eyed
acknowledgement. At the time, it looked like I was going to be
rewarded. The shadows on the wall were familiar; the curtains
rustled in and out of the open balcony door; the sea below was
calm. The smell of freshly brewed coffee beckoned from
downstairs in the kitchen; an aroma which provided the perfect
encouragement to drag oneself out of bed and see what life had
planned for International Rescue today.
usual shower and shave, and a warning from Grandma to go
nowhere near the kitchen, it was time grab a cup of coffee and
head to down to the beach with Virgil. Virg and I met on the
beach every morning to enjoy an early morning meander along
the shore together. Watching the sun rise and having an off
the cuff chat with my brother always left me in a good mood,
even today, when I knew the subject of the discussion would be
co-piloting Thunderbird Three for the rotation of the two
month in International Rescue had once again flown by and it
was time for Johnny to return to his beloved Thunderbird Five.
He’d had a busy but enjoyable month helping us out in the
field as well as the odd day or two lecturing about astronomy
on the mainland. It was good to have John around whenever we
went out on rescue. His quiet wit and steely determination
were invaluable during tight situations we always seemed to
find ourselves in.
now, there was no talk of John’s impending departure; as my
brother and I walked side by side down the shore.
an interesting twenty four hours." Virgil finally observed;
his eyes fixed on the horizon. "From what Gordon had to say,
Tin-Tin spent the best part of last night trying to convince
Dad Thunderbird Three’s computer needs another overhaul."
hard to disguise my amusement at the ingenuity of Miss Kyrano
and what a co-incidence it seemed to be that Thunderbird Three
only developed problems on the twenty ninth day of the month;
every second month; when little brother Alan just happened to
be coming home from the satellite.
it seemed she was going all out.
overhaul of the computer system would a lengthy business and
one that would mean spending hours below ground in a space no
bigger than a postage stamp. The perfect place for their
little pre-arranged “love fest”, especially when they would
only be expected to come upstairs for meal breaks and give the
mandatory progress reports to Dad.
agreed to do it, of course.” I smirked, trying not to laugh.
stifled a grin too. “But of course. Wouldn’t you?”
All of a
sudden his laughter cut loose and the sound of it echoed down
the shore. “To be honest, Dad told her that as soon as the
rotation was over, she and Brains needed to get right on to it
so we weren’t out of operation too long.”
Now it was
my turn to test out the echo with a laugh.
I exclaimed. “Err somehow I don’t think that’s quite who she
had in mind Virg.”
raised his eyebrows.” You honestly don’t say?”
aside, Dad was absolutely right in deciding the right man for
the job would be Brains. Thunderbird Three’s computer should
be overhauled under the supervision of our resident
engineering specialist but I had to wonder if that was the
real reason Dad went out of his way to select him. Dad’s sixth
sense was a like a radar when it came down to what was going
on between those two and short-circuiting their plans for a
happy “subterranean reunion” was the latest and greatest
evidence of it. Alan would be expecting uninterrupted time
alone with Tin-Tin and Dad being Dad wasn’t about to give it
to him. Alan was gonna spit the moment he walked through the
right. It would certainly be an interesting twenty-four hours
on the shores of Tracy Island. There was no way I was going to
miss being around when Dad broke the news to Alan OR when
Brains figured out he’d just spent five hours in the silo
overhauling Thunderbird Three’s computer system for nothing.
Thinking about the look on their faces was enough to keep me
laughing all the way to breakfast.
on rotation day was a meal made in heaven; with Grandma taking
charge in the kitchen and refusing to let anyone help. By
anyone; she meant everyone and made it very clear Kyrano was
no exception. Kyrano didn’t really mind being banished. He had
learnt a long time ago the best place to be whenever Grandma
took control of a spatula was in the garden and these days he
happily stayed there until somebody told him the coast was
morning he had already made sure he was out of harm’s way;
briefly waving to Virgil and myself as we came up barefoot
from the beach. Grandma was already in her element and an
array of John’s favourite foods had been lovingly laid out on
the table. Thankfully for us, the favourite foods by no way
resembled Alan’s; whose obsession for half burnt toast and
hash browns was enough to make a man feel bloated and air-sick
the whole way from earth to Thunderbird Five.
thank goodness, was a connoisseur of fresh fruit and cereals
and he didn’t choose to wallow in a sea of self-pity either
because he had to return to the satellite. Alan was terrible
on rotation day, even though we knew most of the theatrics
were designed purely to get the desired attention from
wasn’t into theatrics any more than he was into self-pity. He
was happy to count down the hours until blastoff by enjoying
his coffee, chatting to Dad and assuring Grandma he honestly
would remember to eat more this month when he returned to
controversial weight loss.
It was the
beginning of the end to what started out as just another
peaceful day in paradise.
Grandma took it upon herself to state the obvious; Dad decided
it was a prime opportunity to air the concerns he had about
the current state of John’s health. Why he’d waited thirty
whole days to do it I don’t know, especially as he’d never
been backward in the past when it had anything to do with our
you to promise me you’ll take proper care of yourself son,”
the prelude to the lecture began. “Proper sleep and regular
meals are important in the life of any astronaut. Adequate
nourishment in space is one of the first things they teach you
in the program; John. You’re not supposed to forget that.”
listened to Dad attentively, no doubt wondering at what point
he should interrupt and remind Dad he was nearly twenty-five
Father.” he said instead, in his calm, serious voice.
little more prompting he ended up divulging his weight loss
should have been well and truly expected. Working on his
latest book had taken a lot out of him lately and he guessed
he’d been too wrapped up in the details to think about
anything else. He promised Dad he would pay strict attention
to his diet from now on and take things easy during the month
which lay ahead.
make sure I have double helpings of apple pie, Grandma...” he
assured her with one of his gentle smiles. “… so don’t go
worrying on account of me ma’am, OK?”
Dad seemed quite satisfied the problem was only temporary, but
Grandma wasn’t too sure double helpings of anything would
achieve the desired result. John’s lean, athletic build had
worried her for years.
ask me; I think you’re headed in exactly the same direction as
your Father went when he left home to join the Air Force.” she
commented, eyes unmoving over the rim of her tea cup. “Lost
way too much weight in the first few months and then tried to
cover it up by saying he’d been far too busy to eat.”
uncharacteristically uncomfortable. The last thing he wanted
to do with an impending astronaut rotation on his hands was
defend himself to Grandma.
he frowned. “I was too busy to eat back then.
You know I was training all day, every day and they still
expected me to find time to study and meet the requirements of
When Dad took the time to correct Grandma it usually meant he
had memories of some monumental life struggle somewhere and
everyone around the table would have to hear all about it and
the lessons in life he had learned. It also meant the verbal
tennis match would soon be on, particularly if Grandma didn’t
mind herself or decide to back down.
loved Dad, and there was no argument from anyone at how deeply
Dad loved her, but they were both equally renowned for their
stubbornness. They’d exchange one-liners for hours if they
didn’t agree on a subject and continue on until one of them
took aim and fired an ace right down the centre of the
argument. Things were still pretty amiable at the moment, but
it didn’t take much prompting for the to-ing and fro-ing to
man’s never too busy to eat Jeff.”
Mother. A man can be perfectly healthy and still have no time
makes the time if he cares about his health, son. You just
said so yourself.”
different for me back then, Mom. I was honestly too busy and
too tired to make time for anything.”
management was never one of your problems, dear. You just
couldn’t grasp the concept of how to prepare food.”
Mother, I take exception to that. You know as well as I do I
was very capable of taking care of myself.”
memory Jeff, the only thing you and your Father took care of
was what was on the table in front of you.”
not true Mother!!”
she served the ace.
Tracy, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten what happened the last
time anyone trusted you to prepare food alone in a kitchen.”
Game – Set
– Match - Grandma.
couldn’t look left, right or sideways when she reminded him of
his past. Even I was indelibly scarred from the memory of
Grandma’s fifty seventh birthday breakfast when Dad decided to
express his love for her by preparing her a special
I may have
only been nine years old at the time, but Dad nearly burning
the kitchen down is still one of the more vivid recollections
of my childhood. He probably would have succeeded too if
Grandma hadn’t smelt the smoke when she did and come barging
out of the shower in a last ditch attempt to find the fire
remember that day as one of few times I laughed out loud in
the terrible months after my mother died. Dad was mortified.
Not only did he allow himself to be distracted by his cell
phone; Grandma scared the hell out of him with her half-naked
dash into the kitchen.
go easy on him either when the fire was finally out. For
months afterwards, every time Dad hinted he might like
something special for breakfast Grandma would say she’d love
to help him out but unfortunately the kitchen was still closed
“for fire renovations.”
Dad wasn’t prepared to dwell on that. Safer to agree with
Grandma, smooth over the memory and try to change the subject.
guess you’re right about that Mother.” he admitted with a
deep-throated chuckle. “I did make rather a big mess of things
that day didn’t I?”
nodded her head, pleased he was finally admitting to it.
did…a very big mess;” finally ended the conversation.
accepted he had lost the argument, things around the table
returned to normal. John became the centre of Grandma’s
attention again, Virgil and I continued to debate who’d be
co-piloting in Thunderbird Three and Tin-Tin cornered Dad with
a hundred new excuses on why Thunderbird Three suddenly
didn’t need an overhaul of its computer system.
letting anyone off the hook after his little altercation with
Tin-Tin.” he interrupted her with his usual air of authority.
“I think we’ll go with your original judgment. Even if it
isn’t necessary, I don’t want to take any chances when it
comes to the safety side of our operations.”
turned to me.
want to get the rotation underway as soon as possible. I’d
like you to go with John. Once Thunderbird Three is back,
Brains and Tin-Tin can get to work.”
scheduled blast-off for rotation was usually timed for 1000
hours but as requested by Dad, John was happy to go upstairs
and immediately grab his things. By 0800 he’d said a quick and
painless farewell to Dad and the guys, made a solemn promise
to Grandma to put on weight and had taken charge of
Thunderbird Three ready to set course for the satellite.
know about you, but I can’t see anything wrong with any part
of this thing.” he frowned. He had already set and re-set
Thunderbird Three’s computer several times and nothing
appeared to be faulty. After two more attempts he shook his
head and lifted his eyes from the controls.
what I think, don’t you?”
what?” I muffled through the International Rescue Uniform I
was pulling over my head. It would be most interesting to know
what John thought about Alan and Miss Kyrano; considering the
rest of us witnessed what was going on, or should I say what
they said wasn’t going on, on an almost daily basis.
looked away and jabbed at a few more buttons; obviously
debating whether or not he should say anything. Eventually
when he did, he didn’t pull any punches.
I’m wrong but it seems more than just a little co-incidental
to me that a fault’s found in Thunderbird Three every single
time its my turn to return to Five from rotation. Last time it
was the retros. The time before that was the safety beam. Now
it’s supposed to be the computer again. I’m telling you Scott,
I’m sure Tin-Tin‘s making all this up so she can come down
here for a little private canoodling time with Alan.”
I berated him, pretending to sound shocked. “Replacing
Thunderbird Three’s computer system is a kind of big expense
for Tin-Tin to justify if all she wants is a little action.”
“I dunno …
maybe, “John shrugged as if he hadn’t thought about the money.
“But Dad isn’t going to be too pleased when he figures out
there wasn’t any thing wrong.”
at the serious expression on the face of my no-nonsense little
brother. Since when had he started worrying about wasting
think you need to worry too much about Dad’s reaction, John.”
I smiled with genuine affection. “Somehow I think it’s fair to
say he might already know.”
And so the
rotation in Thunderbird Five proceeded with its usual minimum
of fuss. Granted, re-entry into the atmosphere could have been
a little smoother and Alan could have waited at least five
minutes before he began to complain about incarceration; but
even so, the change-over went without a hitch and before long
Thunderbird Three was back in its silo deep within the earth.
Oh boy. If
only the rest of the day had gone so smoothly.
to the lounge from the satellite was met with a mix of cheer
and agitation, with Gordon grinning from ear to ear about Lord
knows what and Virgil pacing around and around the room in
you guys.” I nodded, rising to my feet with Alan. “Why the
glum face, Virg? Surely it can’t be that bad dealing with the
thought of the kid coming back to earth.”
Scott.” retorted Alan who was already on his way through the
dining room, eager for his reunion with Tin-Tin. “One of these
days you guys are gonna learn to appreciate me and the
sacrifices I make for this outfit.”
too sure about that one.” I joked back after him. I was still
recovering from the rocky re-entry he had just given me into
the earth’s atmosphere and I wasn’t about to let him forget
about it too easily. Alan was a talented astronaut but on
rotation day the caution factor tended to slip right the hell
off the radar. I could sympathize that after spending thirty
days sleeping with nothing but the constellations and his
pillow; all he’d want to do was get back to earth and make up
for lost time with Miss Kyrano. What I didn’t appreciate was
hanging on for grim death while he pulled out all stops to get
actually quite surprised when Virgil chose not to join in the
ribbing. He normally enjoyed teasing Alan. But when I saw
Grandma sitting at Dad’s desk busily scanning his papers; I
soon worked out the reason for his anxiety.
earlier, Grandma had once again pushed Dad to the limit of his
patience; so much so that he’d agreed to a little trading of
places to hopefully teach her a lesson. Virgil said Dad was OK
about Grandma taking up residence at his desk as long as I was
back at the base to keep a watchful eye on her. Virgil said
Grandma wasn’t the one everyone should be worrying about. The
main worry of the moment was Dad and how successful he was
going to be in the part which included supper.
am I expected to do about International Rescue while all this
is going on?” I tried to communicate behind clenched teeth.
“Grandma hasn’t got a clue what to do if John patches through
a distress call.”
that.” Grandma said, without looking up. “I’m old Scott Tracy
but I’m certainly not deaf. And for your information, son,
you’re wrong. I’m perfectly able to handle myself and
International Rescue in the face of any emergency.”
right there.” Gordon piped up from his position on the couch.
“Grandma’s had to deal with just about every emergency there
is over the past twenty-two years.”
to turn around and point out to Gordon that Grandma losing her
reading glasses or not being able to coordinate the clothes
pegs didn’t constitute a life threatening emergency; but I’d
already seen the mess she’d made of Dad’s ego and wasn’t
willing to risk it. Maybe it wasn’t such a bad idea to let her
be in charge anyway. It might teach her how much Dad had to
put up and with Thunderbird Two and the Fire Fly in close
proximity to the villa, I was fairly confident we could handle
the danger factor of Dad being in charge of the supper.
in the back of my mind I was still very uneasy. What if Dad
did mess up? I honestly didn’t think I could handle
Grandma running through the house half-naked again, especially
with twenty more years of gravity strategically weighing her
oughtta see him, Scott.” choked Gordon, with hilarity. “He
looks like a fish out of water in the middle of all those pots
and pans. Honest; I don’t think he even remembers which way to
open the refrigerator.”
Gordon up and down without saying a word.
I could see the funny side of Dad’s lack of culinary skills.
It was a refreshing change to finally find something he wasn’t
very good at. Over the years, he’d surrounded himself with as
much armor as he could to avoid any contact with domestic
activity. Kyrano looked after his diary and cooked his meals;
Grandma handled his laundry. Whenever he was away on business
he only ate in restaurants and he was an expert when it came
to how to load up the “same day” dry cleaning bags.
something inside me had drawn the line when it came to
Gordon’s comment about the refrigerator. Gordon could laugh
and joke all he liked but I remembered all too well watching
my tearful Father searching refrigerator shelves in the middle
of the night trying to find Alan’s bottle.
know how to open the refrigerator, Gordon.” I suddenly
growled, still feeling sorry for how hard it was for Dad
during those times. “He knows more about things like that than
you want to give him credit for.”
Gordon your Father does know.” Grandma piped up, completely
oblivious to how I felt. “The trouble only starts when the
shrugged, still glaring at Gordon and secretly hoping Dad
managed to whip up a five star banquet to prove the two of
hoped; or more like prayed; that the
world wasn’t going to need International Rescue until he
somehow managed to do so.
Grandma was firmly entrenched as head of International Rescue,
I decided it was a good idea to leave her to get on with
things and fix myself some lunch. Dad could probably use the
moral support anyway and it was a good opportunity to reassure
him I was in a position to handle things in the event we
received a call.
get too far when I was nearly ploughed over by an unhappy Alan
storming down the hall in the opposite direction. By the look
on his face Dad had just informed him Tin-Tin was more than
fully occupied replacing Thunderbird Three’s computer with
hell’s eating you?” I snapped as his whole body barreled mine.
that’s what,” he spat and continued to push past me. “It’s no
skin off my nose if she chooses to spend what little time we
have together up front and personal with Brains.”
like the news didn’t go down too well huh?” I observed to
Father later, taking an extra large bite of my double ham and
cheese on rye. I’d been perched at the bench for the best part
of half an hour and Dad still hadn’t said anything about Alan
or his outburst.
also no further advanced in his preparations for supper
either. There were a lot of bowls and plates being moved from
left to right to centre again but I’m sorry to say he didn’t
seem to have a clue what he was actually going to use them
for. By the look on his face; Alan blowing up like Mount
Vesuvius probably counted for nothing.
cool down.” Dad grumbled. “It’s this role swapping thing with
your Grandmother that isn’t going down too well. I can’t
believe I let her talk me into doing this. Hell, I don’t know
why she thinks me being able to cook will improve the way we
do things around here. All it’s doing is making me feel like …
like … like…”
and screwed up his face in frustration. He obviously didn’t
know what the hell he felt like or if he did he was having
second thoughts about who was around before he opened his
mouth and said it.
out of water, Sir?” I offered with a grimace; remembering
out of water.” he groaned, surveying the empty plates
unhappily. “That just about sums me up. I’m floundering in
here and I know I am. What’s worse; I know your Grandmother
knows it too and she’s never going to let me live it down. ”
looked at me.
“Do me a
favour son and go and find Kyrano for me. Tell him to make
contact via our private wrist communicators.”
stage, I had to admit things around here were beginning to get
a little tense.
requested by Dad, I stalked the length and breadth of the
house trying to corner Kyrano. When I did, he was more than a
little worried about talking Dad through the culinary process
by means of traceable wrist communicator.
please.” I stressed as quietly and firmly as I could. “Father
you too Sir.” I added soon after, once again visualizing the
outcome of Grandma’s fifty-seventh birthday breakfast.
still sulking about Tin-Tin and taking out his frustrations on
everything that moved. Doors banged; chairs crashed.
Possessions better identified as errr… private were dumped in
the middle of the hallway for everyone to see. He didn’t need
their photographs. He didn’t need her letters. And while he
was at it he didn’t need to play Daddy anymore to those two
stupid fish she’d talked him into buying the last time they
were on the mainland.
grown piranha that lived in a state of oblivion right in the
corner of his bedroom. Until today, the rare and dangerous
fish had given both he and Tin-Tin the perfect opportunity to
be together both before and after the lights went out on Tracy
Island. Tin-Tin said despite their rather carnivorous nature
the fish were very playful and she enjoyed watching them swim
backwards and forwards in their tank in the privacy of Alan’s
don’t know about being playful but by the way Alan removed
poor old Romeo and Juliet from his room, those fish wouldn’t
be doing too much of anything in the next couple of days.
Before anyone had the chance to say anything, the two fish
were disposed of with a sickening splash right into the pond
in the middle of Kyrano’s garden.
didn’t seem to worry bur it kind of made me nervous about what
might happen to Kyrano if he got carried away giving Dad
instructions on the communicator and accidentally fell in.
Alan.” I tried to caution him. “I’m not so sure the garden’s
the right place to keep those types of fish.”
not mine. They’re hers” was all he had to say.
ridiculous temper tantrum wasn’t enough for a man to deal
with, it suddenly occurred to me I still had no idea if
Thunderbird Three was in any way operational. Tin-Tin and
Brains had been down in the silo for hours and there hadn’t
been any updates. The thought flickered through my mind. What
in the blazes were they doing down there?
again, maybe I didn’t want to know.
meantime, Grandma had finished reading Dad’s paperwork and was
busy expending her energies trying to sneak back into the
“Oh no you
don’t” I blurted in a panic as she tried to inch her way out
the door. The thought of her discovering Dad receiving
instructions from Kyrano on the wrist communicator had to be
any man’s idea of a fate worse than death.
stammered, when she gave me one of her ”looks”… “I mean, I
think you should stay right out of that kitchen until its
supper time Grandma. You know what Dad’s like when he’s trying
to design anything.”
believe I came up with that one. It was dreadful. Designing
had nothing whatsoever to do with supper. Grandma didn’t think
so either. Instantly she went all huffy and announced she
didn’t intend to spy on Dad if that was what I was implying.
She was only intending to go into the kitchen to fetch a cup
of coffee. It wasn’t her fault Kyrano wasn’t taking care of
her like he took care of Dad.
have to come up with something better than that Grandma.” I
smirked with more than a knowing look. “Don’t you remember how
many times you’ve said to Dad you can’t abide the stuff?
up moments later when we all began to notice the delightful
smells which were emanating from the kitchen. Instantly she
Kyrano then?” she demanded with suspicion. “I haven’t seen the
man since breakfast. I hope he understands Jeff’s expected to
do all the cooking on his own.”
Much to my
relief Kyrano came in from the garden less than ten seconds
after she spoke. He looked at me, smiled nervously and then
asked if he could speak with me in private on a matter of
great urgency. He was concerned Alan may be still tired from
his month away in the satellite. Was I aware he had thrown
live piranha in the pond situated in the garden?”
really starting to get frustrated. The whole place was going
completely nuts. First Grandma … then Dad ... and now Alan’s
jealous rage was being pin-pointed on too much time in the
satellite. The only thing that could make matters worse was an
unexpected distress call.
distress call came in five minutes later, John looked at me
like I was crazy when I rolled my eyes and said “I told you
monorail; he began; three carriages dangling off the rails and
about to fall into a canyon. No-one dead from what he’d
ascertained … but the carriages were full and people were
panicking. He had the co-ordinates. We needed to fly.
sat calmly listening to John’s summary. When he was finished,
she stood to vacate Dad’s chair and motioned for me to take
over. International Rescue needed to get airborne if we were
going to save those lives, she said, and saving lives had
nothing to do with Dad’s cooking expertise or whether Alan and
Tin-Tin were talking. I agreed. Saving lives to all of us was
a deadly serious business.
and the guys were assembled in the lounge within two minutes
of the distress call and nodded their heads as I began to bark
out instructions. Alan was to go in One, Virgil and Gordon in
Two. We needed Brains. All lines of communication were to
remain open. Thunderbirds were go.
fellas.” I urged. “We haven’t got much time.”
it easy flying low in that canyon, boys. I flew through that
one when I was in the Air Force and it’s dangerous.” The voice
behind me rumbled with authority.
lounge room emptied he made no attempt to take control of the
rescue. He simply perched himself on the corner of the desk
like Grandma would do and watched me study a map of the area.
treacherous terrain, son” he observed as I traced the length
of the canyon. “No wonder the monorail was considered a twenty
first century masterpiece How the hell do you think they
This is a tough one Scott. You might need to pull up a copy of
the original construction plans. “
here where the …”
for Pete’s sake mother; what now?”
smoke coming from the kitchen again Jeff!!”
Oh shoot, not again.”
watched my Father grab the fire extinguisher and run like a
madman down the Hall, Grandma turned to me with a smile of
that’s your Father’s new way of saying “I think you should
carry on Scott.”
think that’s where this all ends don’t you and it probably
should to make for a good ending to a story. But I think you
all deserve to find out what Tin-Tin’s about to show Alan in
let me summarise.
set fire to the kitchen again, well only
a little, but I’m afraid the steaks he was preparing for
Alan’s welcome home dinner ended up a little charcoaled.
decided once and for all that Dad was never meant to be
domesticated and in the interests and survival of all it was
better if he never set foot in a kitchen again.
reported that Thunderbird Three’s computer actually did need
urgent replacement and luckily Tin-Tin and detected it.
Without her attention to detail, Thunderbird Three could have
been involved in a very serious accident.
went like clockwork and everyone on board the monorail was
saved. As usual, Alan did fly my Thunderbird a little too low
and too fast for my liking but on the whole he did do a
terrific job. And between you and me; I also enjoyed Dad
watching me take command of International Rescue …even if he
was burning the house down around us at the time.
As for the
latest developments in the saga of my little brother and Miss
Kyrano. … well what can I say?
The two of
them are back to normal again, whatever “normal” is supposed
to be for those two. I’m still not one hundred per cent sure
what she’s about to show him in the bathroom but I hope for
his sake it’s going to be the fish. Before the two of them
made up this evening, Kyrano happened to mention to Alan that
Romeo and Juliet were missing from the pond.
to think he was helping Tin-Tin teach the kid a lesson but now
I’m not so sure.
just announced we’re having fish for dinner, courtesy of the
quick thinking of her “dear, dear, sweet, young Gordon.”
Tracy Island. I swear you don’t stay sane for long.