On the surface of Terry's missile base, International Rescue's field commander, Scott Tracy, nursed a growing fury. He rubbed his eyes with the heel of his palm before making a security sweep of the base through Virgil's favorite pair of electronic binoculars. There was a good possibility his father's tormentor, Terry Johnson, could crawl his way to freedom, while Virgil and Gordon, struggled to rescue Amanda down in an inferno straight from hell itself. He started out at the crack in the Earth created by Space Observatory 3's primary laser on the western end of the base and swung the glasses for a hard look at the access hatchway nearby David Smith's stolen chopper, finishing his sweep at the inert radio dish out in the eastern end of the base. "He's insane!" Scott muttered to himself as he noticed 6 the crack in the left side of the dish. "No, he's beyond insane!"
It was one thing when Terry insisted on hurting Jeff any way he knew how, and another thing to hurt the whole family in the process, but it had gone to hurting everyone who got in his way. "How many people has he hurt or killed just to get at Dad?!" growled Scott under his breath. "I've been ordered to kill, I've seen men die, but never have I ever wanted to see a man die until n---"
From Gordon's Doppler system behind Scott, the seismic alarm began to sound as a tremor passed through Thunderbird 2's bulkheads all the way up to the retired airman's feet. "Oh no!"
Through the binoculars, Scott watched the fracture in the radio dish grew quickly towards its center. Whipping his body around, Scott returned to the western edge of the base, concentrating on where Space Observatory 3 had perforated the ground with its primary laser. Instead of a roughly ten foot diameter hole into the communications center of the base, he saw a fissure widen as the communications control room rapidly caved in on itself. "Oh come ON!" he snapped. With his heart beating in his mouth, Scott shouted into the mic of his telecom. "Virgil! Gordon! The base is collapsing! Repeat...the base is collapsing! You've got to get out of there!"
"FAB, Scott!" Virgil radioed back as he guided the atomic motored digging machine. "Breaching the shell of the decontamination room! Ready to go, Gordon?"
"Yeah!" said Gordon, fighting the tiredness that was weighing heavily on him under the fire retardant jacket and helmet he'd thrown on. He was near the end of his body's reserves. "Base! What do we do if we find Terry?"
One second passed and the Commander did not answer. Virgil swallowed. Another second passed and still no answer. Three seconds passed--- "Dad!" Virgil echoed Gordon more urgently. "How do you want us to han---?"
"If Terry's willing to go with you, bring him up! If he attempts to prevent you from rescuing Amanda," the Commander snapped angrily, "shoot him!"
Down in the tunnel, Terry pounded his fist in anger on the antique electric switch that would have raised the last blast door if there had been power to activate it. Behind him, the fire was nearly upon him. "You can't stop me, Jefferson!" he shouted. With his bleeding hands, Terry caught the bottom of the blast door. Muscles honed from prison life swelled and flexed, until the veins in his neck and arms bulged, but the rusted six thousand pound barrier refused to budge. Frantic, Terry slapped his body, wildly searching for something, anything that would free him. The effort caused the frayed string of fragmentary grenades he'd found earlier to bump off his thigh. Snatching three of the dirty green eggs, he shoved them frantically underneath the bottom of the massive steel door.
The firelight illuminated the damage the bombs created and there was just enough room to scurry underneath on his hands and knees into the decontamination room. "Almost there!" he thought. "Almost there!" Behind him, the fire reached the doorway and stretched its fiery limbs into the debris littered room. Up ahead of him and to the right was the doorway to the access room with its escape ladder. As he made his way to the exit, he heard a cry and instinctively turned towards it. A wild-haired Amanda rose out of the debris, struggling to push herself up on her hands and knees. At the same time, the wall behind her exploded and a nightmarish spinning nosecone thrust its way into the billowing smoke.
The second it cleared enough of an opening, Gordon dove out the hatchway and dropped himself into a hellish fiery world. Sparks spread in front of him and the ground shook beneath his feet. One look at the decontamination room had his heart sinking into despair. "How can she be alive?" he said to himself as he searched the crumbling ruin. Up above, a ceiling plate waved and suddenly dropped, striking the floor with a loud clang. At once there was a long high-pitched scream. "Oh God, there she is!" Gordon shouted as loudly as he could. "AMANDA!!"
Throwing his own equipment on, Virgil hurried after Gordon and joined him in shouting. "AMANDA!!!"
It was the most wonderful sound Gordon had ever heard. They fought their way through the fiery rubble to where Amanda struggled to push herself up again. Time slowed as they worked together to gather the woman into their arms and rush back to The Mole. As soon took the beleaguered girl was safely inside, Virgil turned to look back into the burning realm, but the smoke and flames now filled the room so he couldn't see.
"Pedal to the metal, Virgil!" Gordon yelped as he nearly threw Amanda onto one of the couches and strapped her down and followed suit.
In the cabin of Thunderbird 2, Scott groaned a sigh of relief when Gordon officially announced the mission successful with delirious excitement. "Scott! We found her! She's alive!"
Before he could respond to Gordon's news, Jeff barked an order, devoid of any joy. "Scott! Get over to Thunderbird 1 and prepare to lift off. Go!" Setting his binoculars down, Scott complied with his father's orders and hopped off to the elevator as Terry appeared at the mouth of the missile base's hatchway and crawled onto the dew-covered Earth. His fingers rubbed the wild grasses he laid in and fainted with relief. It was a short rest, though. The shaking ground soon had him on his feet again. As he stood, a huge, smooth, green ship filled his eyes. Passing up his only opportunity for escape in David's chopper, Terry approached Thunderbird 2 with awe. While incarcerated, Terry remembered how everyone from his fellow inmates to the warden of the prison had ideas about who funded and ran International Rescue. Rumor had it that one man set out to discover exactly who that was and sell the information to the highest bidder. No one knew whether he was successful or not or if the story was even true.
Jeff's words echoed all around him as Thunderbird 2 dwarfed him as he drew closer. "'I am the creator, financier and commander of International Rescue---'"
Was it possible Jeff was already planning this organization so many years ago? How could he have done it and kept it all secret, while they together built Tracy Industries from the ground up?
"'My sons are the captains, pilots and astronauts of my organization, of which you have no part!'"
His best friend, Jeff Tracy, had seen the future and might even have offered Terry a part in the organization, but Terry gambled all the unseen possibilities for a chance at big money. It still wasn't fair. "I have nothing to lose, Jefferson!," Terry cried out to the morning sky only to hear his own voice trail off in a whisper, "And you have---everything."
"'My sons---'" Jeff words of pride echoed all around him, taunting him cruelly. "'My sons---'"
As the elevator dropped Scott towards the ground, the field commander frowned. Unaware of his father harboring the same feelings back at base, Scott refused to celebrate until Thunderbird 2 was in the air and heading for Orlando's best hospital.
Jeff's first of his five precious sons felt the elevator come to a smooth stop, but when the door opened, Scott gasped, numb with shock at the living breathing nightmare that stood in front of him.