Jeff Tracy has trouble sleeping
and seeks advice from Brains.
woke up suddenly to find himself once again covered in heavy
perspiration. His bed clothes were lying in a mangled heap,
some on the floor and the rest hanging precariously over the
edge of his bed, threatening to join the others any second. He
sighed and glanced at the clock on his bedside table, frowning
when it registered the time as 2.45a.m. Hot and thirsty, he
heaved himself up and went to splash cold water on his face in
his en suite bathroom. After putting on his robe he made his
way to the kitchen to get a cool glass of milk.
the table alone, he drank the milk and asked himself why he
was suddenly getting plagued by a series of vivid nightmares
that were robbing him of much needed sleep. He was beginning
to feel exhausted, and a long and difficult rescue hadn't
helped matters, even though the boys had made it home safely.
He had to face it and admit to himself that he was going to
have to get some kind of medical help soon, before he
collapsed from exhaustion.
at the kitchen clock and wondered if the island's other
resident insomniac was still up, and if so, if he would be
able to do anything for him. He didn't want to let his sons or
his mother know of his problem. Jeff Tracy was a man used to
dealing with his own private stresses and his very nature
prevented him from showing any sign of weakness of character,
and to him, having fears about nightmares was the same sort of
his milk and rinsed the glass, then went into the silent, dark
lounge and to his desk. He quickly pressed a red button that
connected him to the laboratory and asked, "Brains, are you in
few seconds the reply came, "Y-yes, Mr. Tracy, what's wrong?"
wrong as such, Brains, I just need to talk to you," Jeff
replied. "Hang on, I'll be right down."
minutes later Jeff was sitting in the laboratory facing a
puzzled looking scientist, who was wondering why he was being
disturbed at this hour by his employer.
"I hope I
haven't disturbed you, Brains," Jeff told him.
n-not really, I was just l-looking over some of the p-plans of
the n-new life rafts that we w-were g-going to put in
Thunderbird Four," he replied.
just wondering if you could give me something to help me
sleep, Brains. I've had a lot of disturbed nights lately,"
Jeff confided in the young genius opposite him. "I'm beginning
to feel exhausted and I need to be alert for when the boys get
called out on rescues."
won't be a problem, Mr. Tracy," Brains replied. "D-do you know
why you s-suddenly have b-begun to have them, is it b-bad
dreams or c-can you not g-go to sleep at all?"
dreams, Brains. Not necessary bad, but they keep bothering me,
and they are so vivid I wake up wondering if they're real or
not. It sometimes takes me a while to realise they were just
dreams," Jeff answered.
y-you want t-to t-tell me about them? It might help," Brains
I can tell you, because the whole thing is so ridiculous and I
could laugh about it if it wasn't making me feel so tired,"
Jeff told him. "It begins with my family, Brains. I keep
dreaming I have a long lost daughter, born after Alan. She
always seems to have been away somewhere, like at school, and
she just shows up here on the island out of the blue and
disrupts everybody's lives. And when she isn't weeping and
wailing over something trivial and getting all the boys to
comfort her, she's announcing she wants to fly the
Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds, Brains!"
looked over to where his young employee was studying his face
intently. "And that's not all, Brains," Jeff continued. "I
have this other dream, too, where she isn't born after Alan
but has somehow been born as a twin to one of the other boys
instead. So far only Scott's the only one who hasn't had this
twin sister born with him. Now I was at the hospital when all
my sons were born, Brains, and I can state quite definitely,
that not one of them had a twin sister. So where she keeps
coming from, I just don't know."
anything else?" Brains asked.
Brains, there is," Jeff answered. "This part is worse than the
others. The boys themselves suddenly change their appearances
and I can't recognise them anymore, I don't know one from the
other. I'm going out on rescues with them and we're all
wearing strange uniforms, grey coloured jumpsuits with
different coloured stripes going down the sides. They have to
have their names on so I know who they are and I'm worrying
all the time about security. That's not all though, you have a
son the same age as Alan and the two of them are at school
together. Kyrano has found a wife and Lady Penelope and Parker
are in her car flying around in the sky chasing after master
sounds l-like a v-very b-bad dream, Mr. Tracy," Brains agreed.
"I w-wouldn't like t-to have a dream l-like that. I c-can give
you s-something to help you sleep now if you l-like."
later Jeff was back in his bed again. He felt a little better
after confiding in Brains and now realised how crazy the whole
thing was. He had taken a mild sedative and settled down to
enjoy some more much needed rest. On his way back to his room
he had paused in the lounge and studied the five portraits of
his sons hanging on the wall there. All wearing their familiar
International Rescue uniforms and all with the faces he had
known and loved since they were born. No girls' portraits had
been next to them, only Lady Penelope's on the far side of the
lounge. Everything was normal and comforting, and he began to
relax and drift off to a pleasant dreamless sleep.
down in the medical room, Brains was poring over some medical
journals to research possible causes of sudden nightmares and
insomnia. After a little searching, he found some articles
that related to a sudden outbreak of the very condition that
Jeff had described, spread out across several parts of the
world way back in the summer of 2004. It seemed to have lasted
over the next two years or so before fading away again. Some
psychologists had even given it a name – Frakenism.