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Chapter Three: And Then There Were Four

Another deafening BOOM! and Thunderbird 2 rocked and shook with the force of the increasing wind. Virgil had managed to set her down on an empty patch of grass but it was more of a collision than an actual landing and he knew he’d damaged more than enough to prevent her from flying any time soon. The news of his eldest brother’s demise had shaken him to his core and Alan and Gordon were in a pretty bad state, hell he was in a pretty bad state. He was pretty sure he was in some kind of shock but there was no time for grief as he watched the tiny light on the display screen that represented the hurricane grow nearer and nearer with every passing minute. They needed to get out of the ‘bird, out of the area, immediately, preferably to somewhere with cover.

Slowly, so as not to startle his little brothers because they looked like they were currently made of glass, he knelt down beside Alan and Gordon who had stopped crying and were just sitting silently holding one another’s hand. Virgil added his own paw on top of them and spoke quietly but with enough urgency to let them know it was important.

“We need to get out of the open.” Alan’s bloodshot eyes drifted to him slowly as he continued,

“I’m going to try and raise Thunderbird two so we can get a pod, okay?”

Blue eyes that looked paler than they ever had looked away just as slowly as they had before, like he was moving underwater, but Gordon nodded. The squid looked exhausted; his eyes were puffy and red and he seemed almost folded in on himself, his usual bounce and vigour drained completely.

Forcing himself to his feet, Virgil put on his ‘big brother’ hat and flicked the switch on the dashboard for his craft to raise up on its stilts to allow the cargo bay to be emptied. Nothing happened. He flicked it again but only a low, angry whirring noise drifted up from the belly of the ‘bird. No movement whatsoever.


Fists slammed down on the console and the noise echoed through the space like a gunshot, startling the younger Tracys to their feet.

“What’s wrong?” Gordon was still holding his little brother’s good hand and they looked just as they had when they were small, when the rest of the household gave them their nickname ‘The Terrible Twins’.

“The cargo bay’s stuck. Nothing will deploy.”

That simple sentence seemed to give the aquanaut a new lease of life and he suddenly dropped Alan’s hand, much to Virgil’s dismay as he thought his youngest sibling might topple over from the loss of contact. How could one person go through so much in so little time and still be able to function normally? He was jostled from his thoughts as Gordon began smashing buttons and pulling levers to his side, desperately trying to find a way to get Thunderbird 2 on her feet. After almost a minute of swiping his hand over anything and everything, including the shower controls and coffee machine, Gordon slumped in the pilot’s chair, defeated. He looked up at Virgil, eyes wide with grief, sorrow and dejection.

“Thunderbird 4’s stuck in there. I’ll never get her back.”

A lightbulb clicked on in Virgil’s head, finally understanding his brother’s panic moments before. He put his large hand on Gordon’s shoulder and tried a smile. It felt like a Halloween mask on his face, hollow and void of any real emotion, but he wore in nonetheless in the hopes that it would somehow soothe his squid of a brother.

“We’ll get her out after the storm.”


Virgil nodded and a chuckle escaped his lips, “Promise.”

Something heavy clanged against the side of Thunderbird 2, sending them rocking and sliding about the cockpit and Virgil knew they had to leave now. He grabbed Alan’s good arm and whipped the sling off with his free hand in one swift motion. His little brother didn’t even flinch but when the medic began to tug on his injured arm the patient’s face contorted into one of pain and he tried to slap Virgil away.

“Keep still, Alan. I was going to do this when we got home but that’s not happening any time

Virgil grabbed Alan’s elbow and wrist and told him to take a deep breath. The blond did so and his brother yanked the arm as hard as he could until a loud crunch and pop let him know that the shoulder was back in its correct place. He quickly looped the sling back on as Alan blinked away the sweat that had dripped into his eyes, something that didn’t go unnoticed by his brothers. He was most likely running a fever; being out in the cold rain for so long would definitely not be good for anyone, especially someone who seemed so out of it in the first place.

With brown eyes that seemed almost back to their usual awareness, Gordon turned from where he’d been pressing buttons on the display screens and pointed to a holographic map of their location.

“Here,” a long finger poked into the shimmering image of the beach and towards a reasonably sized town about half a mile from where Thunderbird 2 was sitting, “We should be able to make it to the town before the worst of the hurricane hits.”

Without any other options, Virgil nodded and ruffled Gordon’s hair, the same thing Scott would do whenever he had the chance. The thought knocked the breath from Virgil as he realised his big brother would never do it again but he bit down on his lip, hard enough to draw blood and continued the task at hand. He opened the large steel exterior door. It seemed like night had fallen outside; the sky was dark and foreboding, the only light source the lightning that lit up the world like a giant camera flash every few minutes. Trees had been uprooted and branches were floating through the air like feathers on a gentle breeze. It didn’t seem like the best idea International Rescue had ever had and Virgil wished that their comms were working so that he could ask John whether they should risk it or not. Their communications had gone out hours ago, however, and so the only thing they could do was take their chances. They certainly didn’t want to be stuck in Thunderbird 2 when the hurricane was in full swing, all that metal and electrics would be a terrible combination and certainly not a safe place to use as a shelter.

“Okay,” Virgil’s voice seemed to be carried away in the gusts of wind as he turned to his brothers, “Let’s do this quickly.”

Hands above their heads and bodies leaning into the encroaching gale, the three brothers made their way towards the only salvation they thought possible and just hoped that they would make it in time.

~ o O o ~

Okay, thought John as Thunderbird S tilted and shuddered madly through the air, Maybe this wasn’t such a brilliant plan after all. The craft had made it to the mainland but the redhead was having an extremely difficult time keeping her in the air; he needed to set her down somewhere remote but the beach was littered with debris from something huge and metal and the spare patches of grass were becoming more and more cluttered with pieces of flying metal and fallen trees. He remembered Brains saying something about Thunderbird S’s ability to land vertical, ‘like a woodpecker’ is how Alan had described it, but he wasn’t exactly sure how or where he could even try that.

From the viewing window, John saw the rooftops and steeples of a town. It looked quite small, maybe three miles square, but it was better than nothing. The ‘bird bucked and sashayed, caught on currents of wind that it was never meant to have to cope with, but John held firm and guided her towards an open stretch of road on what looked like the main street of the small town. White knuckled hands gripped the controls and lowered the craft downwards, knocking over a streetlight in the process. She was almost completely down when a powerful blast of wind sent her flying sideways. The right wing pierced a shop window, sending its contents spilling outwards like intestines full of glass and cuddly toys. It may have been rough, and John was pretty sure Kayo would murder him when he got home, but he had landed safely.

The town seemed to have been evacuated; bikes and cars lay abandoned in the streets, streetlights flickered and some lay completely on their sides like huge pens that had rolled out of a giant’s pencil case. The few shops that still had their windows were dark inside and the only sound John could hear over the wind was the faint whooping of a car alarm a few blocks away. Taking all of this in only took a matter of seconds, enough time for the astronaut’s brain to realise that he was no better off standing in this empty town than he was hundreds of miles away on Thunderbird 5. He still had no way to communicate with his brothers and now he didn’t even have all of the tracking equipment to see where they were.

He could have punched himself for being so reckless. Not only was he no closer to helping his brothers but now he probably needed rescuing too. What an utter failure.

“Idiot,” he mumbled to himself as he fumbled for a torch in his sash.

“I’ve always thought so.”

The familiar voice jerked John from his task and the torch went skidding across the tarmac until it was stopped abruptly by one large blue boot. Virgil picked it up and tossed it back to John, who caught it without taking his slack-jawed stare from his brother.


“What’re you doing here, Spaceboy?”

Virgil seemed smaller to John somehow, like a balloon that had started to deflate.

“I came to rescue…”

His words faded into the wind as Gordon and a very pale Alan joined them, the latter of which stumbled into John’s embrace, wrapping his good arm as tightly as he could around his new oldest brother. Teal eyes frowned quizzically at Virgil over Alan’s head and when the only response he received was a strangled sob from Alan, John spoke.

“Where’s Scott?”

Alan’s grip tightened on his brother and Virgil just shook his head, eyes to the floor. The single tear that trickled down John’s face was plucked from his cheek by the wind and he buried the rest in Alan’s hair as he held him closer. Somehow he knew the day would come when his big brother would do something that meant the utmost sacrifice. He didn’t even need Virgil or the others to tell him how or why Scott had done it, he simply knew their big brother had saved one or more of their lives by sacrificing his own. Their leader wouldn’t even have thought twice about it, John thought, he would have simply accepted it and chosen whatever option he could to save someone else.
With a sudden realisation that he was the eldest now, John felt the responsibility like a lead weight on his shoulders. How could he ever take Scott’s place? What was he supposed to do now? He’d always had his big brother to ask for advice, anything from girls to quantum physics, but now it was his duty to take charge and lead the team. He wasn’t ready, wasn’t nearly ready.

Thankfully, Virgil seemed to have already made the decision to act now and grieve later as he guided his family into a tall, ornate building that looked like it could possibly be the town hall.
They forced the heavy wooden doors shut and stepped into the large empty hall. Chairs were scattered around; it seemed that the townsfolk had been having a meeting when the hurricane warning had been called and loose flyers carpeted the wooden floor, strangers’ 2D faces staring up at them like death masks. There was a small kitchenette just off the main hall and Gordon took Alan to get some water whilst the eldest brothers checked out the structural integrity of the building. As they looked, John asked what Virgil was hoping he wouldn’t.


“Alan said he cut his grapple to save him.”

John nodded and his voice came out as a whisper, “Always the hero.”

Terrified eyes that didn’t suit the brawny brother’s otherwise strong persona pleaded at John,

“What do we do now, Johnny?”

“First we keep ourselves alive, then… Then I don’t know.”

After checking the main walls of the town hall they realised that it would be the strongest building in the town. Whether or not it would hold against a category five hurricane was another question altogether, though, and both John and Virgil felt helpless as they waited for the worst of it to hit. All they could do was block the windows with chairs and tables, sit with their backs against one of the supporting walls and wait.

They could hear the sound of cars being picked up and slammed against walls and Virgil knew the worst was about to reach them. An almighty roar filled the air and Gordon felt like he could almost reach out and touch the sound, like it would be palpable because of the intensity of the noise as it surrounded them. Glass shattered inwards as the windows gave way to the winds, showering the brothers in shards. John felt like tiny knives were digging into his cheek as he shielded Alan from the blast and winced as he tasted blood. The flyers that had covered the floor spiralled around the room like tiny paper tornadoes, spinning and slicing into skin as they passed. The brothers huddled together as the chairs and tables against the windows tumbled down and splintered on the floor beside them. That was when all hell broke loose.

Plaster began to peel from the walls as the force of the hurricane rose and shook the building, revealing the snakes of electrical wires beneath the surface. The wires were torn from their clips and flailed wildly in the air as the winds picked up. Blue, red and brown wires fractured, their exposed metal whipping at the floor and walls like reeds in the ocean, causing sparks to fly. Something was leaking from a pipe running along the bottom of the wall and whatever it was was flammable. The spark bit into the liquid and flames whooshed into the room, huge and angry. The fire spread upwards and outwards, a wall that would certainly encase the room and the brothers if they stayed where they were. John pulled Alan to his feet and all four of them kept close to the opposite wall as they headed for the staircase. Perhaps getting higher would keep them from the fire and debris.

No such luck.

As they climbed the staircase an earth-shaking BOOM! took out the side of the stairwell, exposing the brothers to the street outside and the barrage of flying cars and glass and god knows what else that was being whipped around by the winds. Virgil pulled Gordon to his feet and started to shove him firmly up the stairs; the upper floors were untouched and looked safer than their current location in the open wound of the building and so he guessed that being up there would be better than nothing. Before he could push on any further, a fireball so huge and loud that it sent tremors down their bodies exploded from a gas station down the street. Fire burped into the air and caught in the funnel of a smaller twister that had formed in the wind. It wound upwards until the entire tornado was on fire, setting trees alight as it flopped and turned along the street. A nearby car was pulled into it and exploded as it hurtled into a flower shop, sending petals and leaves floating around like colourful snow.

John felt his hair tug in the direction of the tornado and knew it was soon going to be upon them. If they were caught anywhere near it then they would surely be pulled into it with no way out.

“We need to get further into the building!”

It was too late when John saw the car hurtling towards them. Before he could react it hit the stairwell a couple of steps beneath them and took out the entire bottom portion of the staircase. The handrail disintegrated beneath their hands, making them stumble and bump into each other, and Gordon and Virgil clambered to the next floor on their hands and knees. Alan had fallen behind a little when the wall had imploded and now, with nothing to hold onto with his good hand, he slipped. His legs dangled over the edge of the remaining stairs and John grabbed him firmly by the wrist. Months on end in space wasn’t exactly a workout for the muscles, however, and soon the youngest Tracy was slipping from his grasp.

“Virgil! Grab him!”

Perhaps ten seconds passed and suddenly John, Virgil and Alan were lying in a heap at the top of the stairs. Virgil had lived up to his reputation of being the strongest brother and yanked his siblings up the stairs, one in each arm like some kind of weird wrestler. He lay out of breath under them, arms still tightly wrapped around their waists until Gordon spoke up from the end of the hall.

He was looking out of the window, towards the fire-tornado that had just been born before their very eyes.

“Err, guys? That twister is coming this way.”
Chapter Two: Ties that Bind

The descent towards Earth in the space elevator seemed longer than it ever had before as John waited impatiently for it to touch down on Tracy Island. He stared uselessly out at the stormy skies above his home; the sea was rougher than he’d ever seen it before, crashing against the palm trees harshly, and the sky looked ominous. Huge black clouds rumbled and boomed as they collided like giant boulders in the sky and great flashes of lightning bleached the island over and over.

When he finally landed, John bounded out of the elevator, ignoring the whirring of its doors as he forced them open prematurely. Grandma Tracy was visiting friends in England and Kayo and Brains were at a conference with the GDF so there was no one to interrupt the astronaut’s manoeuvring through the hangar, although it would have been nice to have his grandmother around simply for the moral support. She was nothing if not caring for her grandsons. He shook his head and cleared it of sentiment, trying desperately to construct some sort of plan that would both prevent Virgil and Gordon entering the storm and retrieve Scott and Alan from the eye of it. The only thing that came to mind was to go in himself and drag them back, much as he had done many times when his brothers had decided to do something reckless. John had always been the moderator of the brothers, always there with a sensible option or a way around the problem but now, as his brother’s very lives hanged in the balance, he could think of nothing but to go rushing in blindly after them. And that’s exactly what he would do.

With only a slight hesitation, John dashed towards where Kayo’s craft sat on the podium and climbed inside. Thunderbird S was smaller than the other flying crafts but it made up for it in stealth and manoeuvring abilities; it was fast, too, and John hoped it could reach the storm around the same time Thunderbird 2 would. Although he hadn’t been trained in the newest addition to the team, Brains had designed the controls to the same specifications as his brothers’ ‘birds and John quickly understood which buttons and levers needed to be moved in order to fly her. With a knot in his stomach that threatened to send him into a full blown panic, the redhead guided Thunderbird S out of the hangar and into the chaotic skies, heading towards the hurricane and his brothers. He just hoped that he would make it in time.

~ o O o ~

Burning. Smoke. Icy wind.

Alan’s blue eyes fluttered open slowly. His first thought was that he’d fallen asleep on the floor again but this image was soon blown away as he felt a strange rocking momentum throughout his body. Something was tight around his left ankle, pulling tighter every second and growing heavier, too. Shards of glass seemed to be inside his right shoulder and as he tried to move his left arm towards it, the world seemed to shift with a tremendous clatter. The noise brought him out of the hazy daze and Alan was able to take in his surroundings.

He was underneath Thunderbird 1 but she wasn’t on the ground, she was balancing precariously between an outcrop of rock and a huge billboard that had been stripped, save for the metal frame, by the hurricane. Alan’s strap was caught on a sharp piece of metal that was protruding from the undercarriage of the craft and he was dangling uselessly about one hundred feet above the rocky beach below. Something cold and wet was dripping from the cockpit, covering him in a slick oil-like substance and he could see thick, billowing smoke seeping out of the nose cone.

The tugging on his ankle was starting to get painful and he looked down to see what was causing it. His eldest brother was hanging about fifteen feet below him and had somehow managed to grapple Alan’s leg to prevent himself plummeting to the beach below. Scott was unconscious, however, his body dangling limply like a ragdoll. A dead weight on Alan’s slender ankle.


The youngest Tracy closed his eyes as a gust of wind propelled both he and his brother sideways, slamming them both against the rock face. The movement shifted the loop around Alan’s ankle and for a moment that seemed to last a lifetime, he thought it was going to unravel and send Scott falling. Pain grew in his shoulder, which was most likely dislocated, as Alan used his other arm to grip the metal that his strap was caught on. It stung as the sharp edge cut into his glove but he remained resilient and held tight.

“Scott! Wake up!”

A movement below.

“Scott?!” Alan sounded like his younger self, shouting for help from his big brother.

A moan now, and finally Scott opened his eyes. He touched a hand to his head and winced as it came away bloody. Ever the leader, he took in his surroundings quickly and assessed the situation before locking eyes with Alan. The young blond smiled weakly.

“Scotty! How’s it hanging?”

“You okay?” Scott’s eyes were already scanning Alan for any signs of injury but he seemed pretty much undamaged.

“I think my shoulder’s dislocated but I’m okay! You?”

“Just a bump on the head.”

Another gale force wind, stronger than before, blew against them and crashed them into the rocky outcrop once more. The movement was strong enough to shift Thunderbird 1 and the billboard it was so perilously balanced on began to buckle, sending lose bolts hurtling towards the brothers.

“Alan, can you reach the rock face?” Scott was yelling over the sound of the gale and he had to squint as dust and debris blew into his eyes.


Swinging as hard as he could, Alan reached out his arm for the rocky cliff; he managed to grab some of the long grass but the weight and momentum of the pendulum that was he and his brother tugged him in the opposite direction and he lost his grip. He tried twice more but the weight of them was too much for his one good arm.

Another crunch and the billboard leaned further over, like a broken umbrella that had lost its fabric cover. Thunderbird 1 skidded downwards, a giant dart aimed at its pilot and Alan. It would only be a matter of minutes before it lost all traction with the grass and rocks and came hurtling towards them both. Scott knew this. He knew that he had to take action and save his little brother from harm. He felt the movement of Alan trying once again to grab onto the rock face but the effort was feeble and his strength was wavering. Rain poured down on them both, making them shiver and Scott’s teeth were chattering as he shouted up towards Alan once again.

“We’re too heavy for you to grab on! You’re not strong enough!”

Ever the rebellious teenager, Alan jutted out his bottom lip and frowned down at his brother,

“I can do it! I’ll try again!”

As Alan went to force himself forwards again, Scott saw his brother’s strap begin to slip from the jagged piece of metal that was holding them both up. The shard started to bend further downwards and if Alan continued to swing he would slide right off and fall.

“Alan stop!”

Dangling legs stopped swinging and the teen swung loosely for a moment as he looked down at Scott. In that moment Scott thought he looked just as he had when he was a toddler; he’d always wanted to know what his older brothers were doing, was always getting in the way and trying to be involved. They had scolded him but their father had said he was simply inquisitive and interested in everything that was going on around him. Alan had always been that way and Scott hoped he would never stop being that way. Something wet trickled down Thunderbird 1’s pilot’s cheek as he looked up at his baby brother as he clung on for his life and it was as though Alan had read Scott’s mind. His face crumpled into one of pure horror and he shouted, almost screamed down at him.

“Scott! What’re you- No!”

“We’re too heavy, Allie. You can’t reach the clifftop.” His voice cracked on the last syllable and he cursed himself for being so weak.

“Then we’ll just wait ‘til Virgil gets here!” Alan’s lip was trembling and tears had begun to pool in his baby blues, “We can wait, Scott!”

Scott smiled and shook his head,

“Your strap’s slipping. We’d both fall before they got here.”

“No!” Alan had started to swing again, determination painted on his face.

“Alan Tracy you listen to me!”

Scott was surprised at how calm he felt. There was no fear, no terror. Instead he felt pride. Pride for his little brother growing up so well, pride for himself for being so brave. He placed his gloved hand on the wire holding him onto Alan, feeling more of a connection to him that way.

“I’m sorry, Alan,” the rain slashed against their skin, hiding the tears that were now running freely down both their cheeks, “I never wanted to put you through something like this.”

“Then don’t!”

The power had gone from Alan’s voice. He knew he’d resigned to what Scott was about to do, knew there was no way of preventing it. Scott would always be the big brother, the one who rescued everyone else and saved the day and there was no way of changing his mind when he’d decided on something. Their matching blue eyes met as Scott spoke once more.

“Don’t be scared, okay?” He swallowed thickly and smiled and then they both winced as Thunderbird 1 shifted above them, “You wait until Virg’ gets here, alright? I’m so proud of you, you know.”
Alan whimpered in response and placed his fingers on the wire between them. Scott opened a pouch on his hip and pulled out a small laser cutter and placed it against the thin wire.

“Don’t look, Allie.”

A strangled cry escaped Alan’s throat and he took one last look at his big brother before clenching his eyes shut. A moment later he felt the pressure on his ankle release and knew that Scott was gone.

That’s when Thunderbird 1 screeched and hurtled forwards over the edge of the cliff, straight towards where Alan was hanging. He swung wildly towards the rocks and felt his strap slip completely off the metal splinter and felt himself hurtling through the air. The craft whooshed past behind him, towards the rocky beach below, and Alan slammed hard against the dirt and grass on top of the cliff. He’d been light enough to swing himself to safety, thanks to Scott.

A heaviness seemed to encase him then, like a lead blanket that sucked all of the breath from his lungs. A sharp pain pierced his chest and he gripped at it with his one working hand as he curled into the foetal position, a tiny child out in the open without his big brother. He didn’t cry. Huge gasps escaped him now and then but he didn’t shed a single tear as he lay in the grass and dirt atop the cliff. Alan felt numb, he didn’t notice the gale force winds nor the torrential rain that pelted his body and soaked his hair. He didn’t even feel the large, safe hands of Virgil as he shook him firmly and picked him up.

~ o O o ~

Inside Thunderbird 2 was much quieter than outside in the open and the sudden lack of noise shook Alan to a state that was more awake than he’d been in hours. Virgil was sitting beside him on the cold metal floor of the craft, pulling his arm into a sling, and Gordon was pacing back and forth behind them, arms folded around himself.

“Virgil?” Alan croaked.

Virgil sighed loudly and placed his hand against Alan’s cold cheek.

“Hey, Al.”

He wanted to quickly ask where Scott was and shake answers from his little brother but the look of
utter pain, and not just physical pain on Alan’s face made him pause. Not only did he not want to worry Alan any more than he seemed to be but he was actually afraid of what Alan might have to say. Gordon, however, had no such tact.

“Where’s Scott? We saw Thunderbird 1 on the beach but we couldn’t land there safely.”

“We couldn’t land anywhere safely,” Virgil shook his head, “We crashed.”

“So is he with TB1?” Gordon was crouching beside Alan now, ready for answers and prepared to have to go and save his big brother if necessary.

The response the brothers got from Alan was not what they were expecting. Their happy-go-lucky little brother slapped his good hand across his mouth and his eyes bulged. Fat, heavy tears spilled from his shimmering eyes and loud, trembling sobs wracked his small body. His brothers stared at him, dumbfounded and terrified of what he might say. They stayed silent as Alan continued to cry loudly, something he’d only done as a child a couple of times, but when he didn’t seem to be calming down Virgil gripped his shoulders with his large hands and looked him in the eyes.

“Alan? Where’s Scott? What happened?”

Alan bit his trembling lip and looked from Virgil to Gordon and back again,

“He- I’m sorry!” he was shaking as Gordon sat down beside him and put his arm around his shoulders.

“Just tell us, it’s okay.”

“We were too heavy. Hanging from the cliff.” Another sob, “We were both going to fall so he…”
Virgil watched as his little brother’s eyes grew wide again and knew what he was trying to say. Gordon seemed to have understood, too and his face fell into his hands. Jaw clenched, Virgil nodded and blinked away the tears that threatened to pour from his eyes. He knew that if he let them fall now, they would never stop. Instead he used his broad, strong body to encase his brothers, capturing them in a bear hug in the hopes that it would somehow help, somehow squeeze some of the pain and loss out of them.

The three brothers sat and held one another on the floor of Thunderbird 2 for over an hour, until the frame of the craft began to rattle with the force of the approaching hurricane.

“We need to find somewhere safer than Thunderbird 2,” Virgil spoke, voice hoarse and scratchy,

“This storm is going to be a bad one.”
Chapter One: The Approaching Storm

A chilly breeze ruffled the emerald leaves of the palm tree Gordon Tracy was currently leaning against, making them whisper secrets out into the sparkling ocean. He’d been swimming only moments earlier but the warm water had started to pull him out into its waves with a little more force than he was used to, a definite sign that a storm was on its way. It was unusual for the waters surrounding Tracy Island to be unruly and even stranger for them to become choppy and the aquanaut had not been pleased with the interruption to his morning swim. Every morning he would try to get some time in the water, even if it was just in the family pool; what he enjoyed most, however, was the open ocean where he could explore a little and not be interrupted by four enthusiastic brothers every few minutes. Now, as he leant against the rough trunk of the swaying tree, he could hear their voices drifting towards him from the house and it brought a smile to his face. Though they may not be the most serene of families, he certainly wouldn’t change them for the world.
Virgil Tracy was furiously beating some eggs in a frying pan when his brothers entered the kitchen; he was usually the second to wake up in the morning, the first being Scott, and savoured the quiet time he had to himself in the morning before his brothers would arrive to disturb the peace. The early rising did mean that he almost always ended up making breakfast for them, though, and before he could finish beating his scrambled eggs a pale freckled hand had scooped some of the mixture onto a fork and was shovelling it into his tired face.

“Hot! Hot!” Alan gaped like a fish as the sizzling eggs assaulted his tongue and Virgil shot him a ‘serves you right’ glare as he poured what was left of his eggs onto a plate.

Arms stretched above his head, Gordon sidled into the kitchen and threw some bread into the toaster before sitting down at the table next to his brothers. Alan was shovelling some cornflakes into his mouth, ever the elegant eater, and Virgil had already demolished the six or seven eggs on his plate and was contemplating making some more when Scott joined them. His dark hair was still wet from the shower he’d just taken; he liked to get up early and jog on the beach before breakfast and usually didn’t make it back in time to eat with the others. Today, however, the weather was colder than usual and the spray from the sea wasn’t just a light speckling of water, it was more like someone setting a hose on him. The smell of burning toast wafted into his nose, overtaking the previously pleasant aroma of fried eggs, and he gestured towards the toaster as smoke began to rise from it.

“Toast’s burning.”

“Ah! Crap!” Gordon yipped.

He scrambled to the toaster just in time to see two blackened squares of charcoal pop up from its depths. Delicious. Trying not to gag at the burning smell, he tossed the ruined toast in the trash and opted for the safer option of cornflakes before re-joining his brothers at the table. They sat in silence, something they often did and something that was no more awkward than sitting alone, and listened as the wind began to pick up outside. Trees wobbled and swayed as the light breeze became more of a gust and the sea began to slam against the sand rather than lap. Dark clouds loomed overhead, promising rain and maybe even thunder. Alan hoped it would only be the former.
Something banged loudly against the large window facing the ocean and Alan almost swallowed his spoon. Virgil patted him heavily on the back as he tried to contain his laughter and went to inspect whatever had hit the window. It was a small rock that had been lifted from the beach and carried by the wind like a torpedo, slamming into the glass.

“Looks like a storm’s coming.” Virgil noted as he returned to the table and picked up his plate and Alan’s simply out of habit.

“Better get ready,” Scott gulped down the rest of his orange juice and got to his feet, “There’ll probably be some rescuing to be done if it’s as bad as it looks.”

Gordon sighed, “And here I thought we’d be having a day off.”

A blinking orange light informed the team that John was on the line and moments later his holographic face appeared above the table in the lounge. The brothers gathered around to hear their first assignments of what looked to be a busy day.

“International Rescue this is Thunderbird 5.”

Gordon smirked at Alan as John spoke; the spaceman was always so professional. Perhaps being all alone in space for months on end was effecting his human interaction skills.

“Go ahead, John.” Scott had his game face on, ready to accept whatever John had to throw at them.

“There’s a category 3 hurricane heading towards the mainland of Japan. With the path it’s currently on it should miss hitting it head-on but there may be some collateral damage as it passes.”

“Best to be on the safe side,” Virgil folded his arms across his plaid chest.

“F.A.B, John. We’re on our way.” Scott cracked his knuckles and pointed to Alan, “Alan, you’re with me in Thunderbird 1, Virgil and Gordon you two take 2 and 4, we may need some heavy lifting.”

The teams split up to board the crafts, a buzz of anticipation filling the air as they did so. Rescues were what they lived for, what their father wanted to do from the very beginning, and it made each and every one of them feel not only closer to one another but closer to him too. Helping people in need was their only reward and sometimes it was a risky business but they wouldn’t change what they did for anything. Saving lives was their day job.

~ o O o ~

Up in the silence of space, John Tracy floated calmly as he watched the tiny flickering blips on the hologram in front of him move out. The blips were those of Thunderbirds 1 and 2 setting off on their path to Japan and John took both pleasure and a sort of peace knowing that he could track and monitor his brothers and know exactly what they were doing even from over one hundred miles away, up above the atmosphere.

He took a moment to simply watch the pulsing lights travel across the Pacific Ocean, towards their destination and tried to imagine what his brothers would be talking about on their journeys. Scott would probably be lecturing Alan on safety procedures and making him check the first aid boxes tenfold, whereas Gordon was probably telling Virgil some cheesy jokes or chomping at the bit to travel all the way to Japan in Thunderbird 4. The thoughts brought a smile to John’s face and he took a mental note to use the elevator as soon as the mission was complete to go and see his family in the flesh. It had been almost four months since his last ‘drop-in’ and, although he would never tell them as much, he did occasionally miss the company.

A bright red warning light dragged John from his reverie like an icy hand to his spine. The pale orange symbol that had indicated a category three hurricane had suddenly morphed into a red triangle, the symbol for a category five. The difference between the two was devastating; a three meant some uprooting of trees and loss of power for a few weeks whereas a five could mean absolute destruction. Not only that but the speed and power of winds up to 160mph meant that the ‘birds may not be able to land let alone fly in those conditions. John needed to inform his brothers now, before they got any closer to the storm. Attempting any sort of rescue in those conditions would be reckless and dangerous.

With fingers like those of a concert pianist, John tapped the necessary holograms to contact Thunderbird 1. Scott was their appointed leader after all and would inform the others of the impending danger in time for them to turn around. Thunderbird 2 was a lot slower than 1 and so Virgil would be able to turn around easily. According to the tracking information on the screen before him, however, John could see that Scott and Alan were almost in the danger zone. Perhaps another thirty minutes and they would be in real trouble. He needed to warn them immediately, before it was too late.

“Thunderbird 1 this is Thunderbird 5 please come in.”

A moment of silence and then the familiar tones of his youngest brother filled the stale air of the space station.

“Hey John, what’s up?” The holographic image of Alan looked excited like he always did when heading out on a mission.

“Alan, the hurricane is no longer a category three, it’s increased in size and is now a five. You cannot fly into that.”

Alan’s face shimmered and then blinked out completely.


“Thunderbird 1?”


The astronaut stared intently at the blinking light that represented Thunderbird 1 and his brothers.

“What was that, John? You got cut off.”

It was Scott’s voice now but there wasn’t enough signal to produce an image. He sounded further away somehow, like they were shouting at each other down a long tunnel. They were losing signal, fast.

“The hurricane is no longer category three, it’s a five! Do not fly into that storm!”

~ o O o ~

Scott looked at his baby brother with a raised eyebrow as John’s image flickered into nothingness.

“What did he say? The signal’s cut off, must be this storm messing with the equipment.”

Alan shrugged, “Sounded like he said, ‘I really need to pee, I’ll take a dive’.”

“Oh,” Scott shook his head and smiled, dimples and all, “I’m sure that’s exactly what he said.”

~ o O o ~

John slammed his fist into the nothingness at his side and tried his best to calm his mind; he was the calmest of the brothers and was known for keeping his head in tough situations. When it came to the safety of his brothers, however, keeping calm was easier said than done. Mumbling to himself, he tapped Thunderbird 2’s icon and listened as a barrage of static wafted through the speakers.

“Thunderbird 2 do you copy. Virgil are you there?”

“What’s up, John?”

Virgil’s image didn’t come through static-free but it was clear enough to let John know that Virgil wasn’t close enough to the storm for it to effect his equipment yet. He and Gordon were still safely out of range.

“The hurricane is no longer a category three, somehow it’s jumped to a five.”

Thunderbird 2’s pilot disappeared and for a moment John thought he’d lost signal with him, too.
After a few seconds Gordon’s tones came through, though, and the astronaut could relax a little.

“What?” Gordon sounded shocked and John imagined his blond eyebrows knitting together, “How is that even possible?”

“It may have picked up speed whilst travelling, I’m not sure. But the crafts will not be strong enough to fly through or anywhere near it. You have to turn back.”

“F.A.B,” Virgil paused and then his voice was suddenly more intense, “Did you tell Scott already?”

“I tried but the storm must be effecting the electrical equipment on board Thunderbird 1. I don’t think they heard me.”

John looked down through the gravity ring towards the glowing blues and greens of Earth beneath his feet. He could practically see where Scott and Alan would be, could almost touch it with his hands but had no way to warn them of their predicament. All this technology and no way to stop his brothers flying towards such chaos.

It had been almost a full minute since John had told Virgil about losing communication with Thunderbird 1 and he was beginning to think that the same had happened with the bigger craft when Virgil’s voice echoed into the quiet space.

“We’ll go and get them.”

“What? No, Virg-“

“No arguments. T2 is more stable than Thunderbird 1, she can take it. We’ll get close enough to regain comms and tell them to get their butts out of there.”

John shook his head, causing his red hair to flap in his eyes, “No way. It’s too dangerous.”

“Danger is my middle name,” Gordon now.

“Your middle name is Cooper,” the older brothers chimed in unison.

“We’re going and that’s that,” Virgil’s voice was almost drowned out by the whirring and clattering of Thunderbird 2’s engines roaring faster, “We’ll be back before supper, promise.”

And with that the communications between the brothers fell silent. John knew that if he were in the same quandary as Virgil he would probably do exactly the same thing as his brother but it felt so wrong to just let them fly right towards the danger. Feeling like a lame limb on an otherwise working body, John flicked on ‘away’ mode and made his way to the space elevator. He’d be damned if he didn’t at least try to help.

Meanwhile, on Thunderbird 1 things were starting to get bumpy. About ten minutes after they’d lost communications with John the wind had started to increase in speed, sending the ‘bird wobbling in the wrong direction a few times. It was nothing Scott hadn’t dealt with before though and he kept his calm as he corrected their course manually.

As they flew further and further into the storm, however, Scott knew something wasn’t quite right. The dials and monitors started to flicker and rise and by the time they could actually see Japan’s coastline through the main window alarms were starting to sound and a flashing red light lit up the brothers’ faces. Scott was using all of his strength to keep the craft on course but it was a futile effort; Thunderbird 1’s nose started to dip and rise sporadically, sending it bouncing over the crashing waves like a skipping stone.

“This wind is crazy!” Alan had to yell to be heard over a loud alarm that was sounding.

“We just need to find somewhere to set her down!”

Scott gave his brother a smile and tried his best to hide the panic in his voice. Thunderbird 1 was almost totally out of control and its systems were beginning to fail. If he couldn’t get a handle on the situation they were going to crash into the rough sea. The pilot looked out of the viewing window towards the fast-approaching land and tilted the rocket towards it as best he could. White-knuckled hands gripped the thrusters and he sent more power to the engines in the hope that he could get there faster and in one piece. That’s when something very fast and very large hurtled towards Thunderbird 1 and crashed into its right side.

An almighty screech filled the cockpit as the metal peeled away from the ‘bird like skin from an apple. The impact sent the craft twirling in large circles as thick black smoke billowed around it. Something had hit them and pierced at least one engine. Fuel was spilling out, covering both Alan and Scott in slickness as they spiralled out of control.


The older brother looked over at Alan, neck straining against the spinning motion. Alan looked terrified, big blue eyes filled with panic and confusion, and yet he still looked to his big brother for assurance that they’d be okay. He trusted Scott with his life and would follow him into an active volcano if he said to. Scott grabbed Alan’s trembling hand in his own and shouted over the wailing and screeching of his beloved ‘bird.

“We’re going to crash! But I’ll try to keep her steady!”

Alan only nodded silently in response, his large eyes fixed on his brother.

“Hold on to something, it’ll be bumpy!”

And with that, Scott gripped the steering levers with both hands and pulled with all his might towards the island of Japan. Land came up on them faster than he’d anticipated and with Thunderbird 1 still spinning all he could do was keep her level and hope for the best.

Land. Sea. Land. Sea. Land.

An earth-shattering thud and suddenly everything was silent. Darkness enveloped both the craft and its occupants.

Journal History


Group Shot
Hetalia and Free! by JennieJutsu
A group of your favourite anime/manga characters holding up a sign of your choice!
Yaoi Pairing
Request: Sweden x Finland by JennieJutsu
I created this piece to compliment a friend's fanfiction... It took approximately 2 hours to complete and is hand drawn using a graphics tablet and photoshop. Want your favourite characters or OC's drawn together? Let me know!


JennieJutsu's Profile Picture
Artist | Hobbyist | Varied
United Kingdom
Hi! I'm Jen...
I'm a 24 year old youtuber (visualsounds1) with a passion for the unknown.

I love to draw.

My favourite things are anime, manga, comics, tmnt and anything supernatural and I will draw the fudge out of them.

I have an Etsy shop… where I sell some of my creations and take requests!

Tumblr: kawaii-otaku-in-wonderland.tum…

Thanks for dropping by!


Add a Comment:
Discombobulated1895 Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the favourite! :) x
anrebkyo1990 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch back hun <3 no problem I seriously adore writers like you. :D
Not to mention you draw great as well :) AND YAS. did i forgot to tell ya, ya look great on ur pictures as well? XD see ya around :D

JennieJutsu Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
>///< Well thank you very much!!
TheFlamingCactus Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2015
Hai ^-^

Thank you for the watch!!!

Although I don't...make anything...
butthead1992 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2015
You make a great Honey Lemon!!!
ashtheechidna Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015
Happy bday 
andyroo95 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015
Happy Birthday from Australia :) Hope your day has been enjoyable. 
BlueEyesNeko Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015  Student General Artist
Happy Birthday! :iconballoonplz:
TheFlamingCactus Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015
Happy Birthday!!! La la la la 
ei9 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2015
Happy Birthday Jennie and may it be a most fabulous and wonderful one for you and yours. God loves you everyday of your life!
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