THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!

QUESTIONABLE METHODS

WRITTEN BY ZARIUS

(contains spoilers for 1X01 "EarthBreaker")


Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward left the prison feeling very accomplished. Her faithful butler Parker, however, was feeling quite mystified.

"Something troubling you Parker?" she said as she got into her sparkling pink limousine, Parker heading to the driver's seat.

"Nothing that need interrupt the flow of the day m'lady" he replied, a slight nervousness in his voice.

"Very well, I'll patch myself through to the boys so I can inform them my suspicions seem to be well-founded" she replied. Parker nodded.

As the car sped away from the prison, Parker kept his thoughts to himself, and started to wonder if his own methods would have been more preferable to what he had witnessed in The Hood's cell.

The Wards had always been devilishly methodical in their methods, but even Parker felt Penelope was pushing it a tad. Getting under the skin of The Hood in ways that perhaps nobody had ever managed before, but doing so in frankly too complimentary a manner.

He could tell from the way the conversation was going that both were enjoying the banter a little too much. Penelope knew the right words to say, she complimented The Hood on his guile and sophistication, and not a trace of it was laced with cynicism or jest.

When she dealt the killing blow, the implication that The Mechanic had made a mess of his grand show, that a little piece of mayhem that she felt only The Hood's hand could have helped shape and sharpen had been diminished to little more than tranquil playtime by the sheer thunderclap of the Tracy family, The Hood denied himself the luxury of her presence.

And Penelope obliged. She had skated around the rims of the rink, while he had plunged head first into the ice. He was the one who came off cold, she remained visibly full of warmth.

Parker had tried to rationalise it as having more to do with her family's ability to remain professional and precise in how they dealt with those that threatened the security of the world they served, and the people they had given their unconditional loyalty to. Indeed, she had made a point of that in their conversation.

But he had been around enough members of the highest forms of society to know the tell-tale signs of genuine flirtation at play here. And the thought of a Ward thinking along those lines filled him with potent dread, and great cause for concern. Having witnessed the success of the methods, he feared it would compel his employer, and friend, to try her hand at it again, for as long as she deemed proper.

So long as The Hood could react in ways similar to how he did today, she'd surely feel assured.

The Hood. Assuring her.

Too many signals, too much to take in. Parker knew he had to keep his wits about him, as well as keep both of his eyes fixed on Penelope, before she crossed already blurred lines.

Inside his cell, The Hood remained seated at his desk, awaiting the inevitable delivery of predictably petty prison food, that and one other thing, something that only a cybernetic attachment connected to one of his pupils would provide.

A message. From The Mechanic.

He had much to tell the messenger in return.

Security cameras didn't matter much to him, he had his means of evading them. And he hoped that Lady Penelope had no intention of evading him in future.

Her visits suited him just as adequately as his stripes and her coat did the pair of them.

There was method to his madness, and Penelope was wise not to question it. Instead, she chose to interrogate him in complete acceptance of it, in putting up a front, she let him know, in her own way, it was ok to let your guard down. So long as nothing could be proven.

That had been the one thing denied to everyone present to their playful, and promising, exchange.

The unsettling evidence on display.

It would take someone who knew Penelope extraordinarily well to see what both of them saw in each other this day. And even then, they would endure several sleepless nights pinpointing the reason behind all of it.

Human nature was a cruel complication, and rationality was never the key to unravelling it.

That was the message he intended to give The Mechanic, so that incidents like the one with the EarthBreaker need never happen again.

But it was a lesson that ensured so many more days like today would.

Question it not.