Title: In the Wake of Things

Author: Macx

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: none, really

Author's Voice of Warning (aka Author's Note):
English is not my first language; it's German. This is the best I can do. Any mistakes you find in here, collect them and you might win a prize g> The spell-checker said everything's okay, but you know how trustworthy those thingies are.....

Disclaimer: John's not mine. Crap. Neither are Scott, Virgil, Jeff, Gordon, Alan and the rest of the TB cast. Bummer. They all belong to someone else and I just happily play with them. Don't we all? :)

Archive: sure, archive away

Universe: Movie

Feedback: empty inbox seeks emails g>

I hadn't planned on writing another movie story, at least none that was directly linked to events of it and the prior two stories I did. But then I watched the movie (again!), more or less as background entertainment as I was writing emails. It was one scene, the fight of Parker and Lady P against Transom and Mullion that launched this stupid thought. The thought was 'what a mess!' after the couch had sailed through the glass…

Here's what came out of it:


Everything was a mess.

The couch area had been… rearranged. The orange seat had been flung halfway across the wide open space, shattering the glass partition instantly as it had hit it. Shards of glass turned the floor into a dangerous pathway. The kitchen was nothing more than a chaotic array of more broken glass of all colors, dented pots and pans, and spilled food.

Debris crunched under his feet as Jeff Tracy walked into what had once been the center of his home. The main area with its kitchen, table, seats, the access to the wading pool, a fantastic look down toward the swimming pools and out into the South Pacific, the view rimmed by palm trees and rock formations.

Now it was... the scene of a fight.

Just one of many, he mused and picked up a broken vase, placing it onto the couch table. There were cracks running through the white material of the table top, as if something heavy had crashed into it. Like many things, he would have to dispose of it.

Lady Penelope had told him of the confrontation she and Parker had had here. Fighting against The Hood and his helpers. She had lost, but it hadn't done anything to dampen her spirit.

Making his way to the edge of the upper level of the house, Jeff gazed onto the deck below. There were no signs of struggle. Nothing had been disturbed. The chairs and tables were still there, the pool the usual calm blue, and a gentle breeze was ruffling his hair. He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply.

Nothing much had changed. Cleaning had yet to commence, even though it had been more than twenty-four hours since The Hood's attack and subsequent kidnapping of Thunderbird 2. Jeff had just now returned with his injured son and John had crashed instantly, already dead on his feet from the long flight.

Kyrano and Onaha had done what was possible, but he had asked them to wait. He wanted to… to know. He wanted to see. He needed to see.

The Hood had breached his fortress, his home, and he didn't want to return home to a perfect place once more. There was more than enough to do elsewhere.

Brains was all over the ships, hooking them up to the main diagnostic center, running first checks, and he knew the scientist was itching to give him updates.

And Jeff wanted... needed to know that, too.

But first things first.

Turning around he let his eyes scan the destruction. Wearing his flight uniform, looking like everything had just happened a few hours ago, Jeff felt his mind blank. There was so much going through it, it was like a defensive mechanism of sorts. He just stared.

Finally his body seemed to jerk out of whatever paralysis had caught it and he briskly walked across the floor, ignoring the loud crunching noises. Kyrano was awaiting him.

"Shall I start?" he asked quietly.

Jeff nodded. "Yes. Thanks."

"Mr. Tracy?"

The softly voiced question stopped him from continuing into the house. Jeff looked at his friend and housekeeper. Kyrano's dark eyes were filled with a guilt and remorse Jeff knew only too well. The man was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

"I am sorry," Kyrano said sincerely.

"It wasn't your fault, Kyrano"

"He is my brother."

"Yes, but you didn't tell him who we are, where to find us. Nor did you invite him in when he came. Just because he's your brother doesn't mean you are like him, Kyrano. You are not to blame. I won't and my sons won't either."

Kyrano hesitated, then nodded slowly.

"Kyrano, I trust you," Jeff told him firmly. "I trust you with my family, my life, our secrets. You were nothing but loyal to us, and what happened came from a sick individual's thirst for revenge... That he is your brother adds to the breach of privacy and I can only feel with you."

"I thought he was dead," Kyrano murmured. "He should have died in that mine accident."

"He didn't and he took us leaving him personally. I never would have left anyone behind, knowing he's alive." Jeff sighed softly. "Never."

"I know that, Mr. Tracy. I do not blame you for that. My brother..." Kyrano stopped and visibly steeled himself. "He should have died," he repeated.

"Yes, maybe he should have. Kyrano... neither of us can forget about this, but we should continue with our lives. We have to."

The other man met his eyes, then finally nodded. "Yes, we have to. Thank you, Mr. Tracy."

Jeff gave him a smile and clasped his shoulder briefly, relaying his support.

He continued toward the control center, the second place of invasion. He stepped into his office, the main control room, and braced himself against the ever more personal feelings of someone breaching his privacy so intimately.

The Hood had been here.

In this place.

Sat in his chair.

Jeff almost laughed. He sounded like one of the seven dwarves.

Thing was, he felt like one, too.

And he felt violated.

This was his inner sanctum and it held family memorabilia. To think that this lunatic had looked at his wife's pictures, at his family photos, and had held their lives in his hands... it made him want to throw up.

Sinking into his chair, Jeff gazed out over the ocean. It usually had a very calming effect on him.

Right now he didn't feel very calm. There was an inner turmoil in him that put a typhoon at shame.

Running a hand over his face he felt a day's stubble scratch his hand.

Right.

He had sat with John for the whole observation period of twenty-four hours and except for catching a little nap here or there he hadn't slept.

Jeff knew he needed a change of clothes, a shower, sleep, but despite his physical exhaustion he couldn't rest.

It had been about revenge. Petty, stupid revenge. A man who had been left for dead, coming back to the world of the living, and terrorizing his family. The Hood had nearly killed John and then almost killed Alan right in front of his eyes.

The images still made him break out in cold sweat.

Jeff moved his sore muscles, felt bruises make themselves known once more. The collision with the hard cell bars had done a number on his back. Not to mention his stay in the stuffy, hot and dying Thunderbird 5.

Yes, he needed rest.

Lots of it.

They all did.

"Dad?"

The voice startled him and he almost whirled around. Jeff fought the impulse and just turned slowly, looking at one of his sons.

Virgil was dressed in leisurely clothes, his hair as spiky as ever, but it couldn't hide the dark circles under his eyes, nor the paleness.

"Heard you were back," he said tentatively. "Is John okay?"

"Yes. He crashed already. He's pretty out of it."

Jeff rose and smiled reassuringly at his middle son.

"Okay." Eyes older than his actual age scanned him briefly. "You look like hell."

He laughed a little. "Yeah, I guess. I haven't changed yet."

"Figured as much." There was a little smirk.

"I'm about to catch up on that."

Virgil fell in step beside him as they walked down the corridor.

"Brains is still overhauling Thunderbird 2," he said, trying for normalcy.

Thunderbird 2 being Virgil's 'baby' Jeff understood his son's edge as he told him of the checks. The Hood had kidnapped Virgil's 'bird and it didn't sit well with him.

"He also said something about Thunderbird 5 taking a while to be repaired, but I guess you should talk to him first thing after getting some rest."

Jeff nodded, smiling faintly. "I will."

Virgil just gave him a dubious look, but he didn’t comment. He just waved at him and they parted ways, Virgil heading into the general direction of the hangar once more.

Jeff hesitated a moment, then by-passed his room and went to the lab. He needed to talk to Brains.

° ° °

The lab was its usual organized clutter. The tables were full of electronic equipment, gear, tools and half-finished inventions. There was a miniature rocket engine sitting on the side table, secured to the sturdy table top with metal cables, and a read-out screen was next to it, flashing in all kinds of colors.

Brains, the master of this domain, was bent over a laptop. His brow furrowed in deep thought as he typed a few commands and watched the results appear.

"How are things on the engineering front, Brains?" Jeff asked.

The scientist startled out of his readings and blinked. "Mr. Tracy! I didn't know you were b-b-back!"

"I'm not sure I am. I still feel like I've just passed through several time zones." He smiled ruefully. "And whatever happened to calling me Jeff?"

Brains looked uncomfortable at the reminder that he had addressed his employer-- who also happened to be a very good friend-- by his first name. It had been the first time since meeting so many years ago, and Jeff had been positively surprised.

"How's John?" the scientist asked instead of answering the question.

"Sleeping. He'll be fine soon."

And Jeff let the 'you called me by my first name' topic slide.

"Good," Brains said firmly. "Thunderbirds 1 to 3 are hooked up to the d-d-diagnostics at the moment. Thunderbird 2 in particular took some h-h-heavy damage electronics-wise."

Jeff frowned. "What did The Hood do to it?"

"N-n-nothing invasive, really, but the k-k-k...children tore out the guidance processor for safe-keeping. It was put back in and Thunderbird 2 worked, but it has now degraded. I have to recalibrate everything."

He nodded. Alan had told him on the flight to the hospital what had gone on and he had been proud of the fast thinking on Fermat's part.

"All right. How's the station?"

"Bad," was the quiet reply.

Jeff sighed. "Yeah, well, she was shot up..."

"After you left, the remaining oxygen tanks depleted completely. Thunderbird 5 cannot sustain life at the m-m-moment," Brains told him. "Diagnostics are sporadic. Most of the central processing unit has been destroyed. I believe I have to b-b-be there to give you a full report."

He nodded again. "The moment Thunderbird 3 is fully operational again, Gordon and Virgil can fly you there."

"I'll be ready."

"How's Fermat?" he suddenly asked.

Brains was surprised for a moment. "Fine, Mr. Tracy. He's fine."

"Good. You can be very proud of him, Brains. He and Alan and Tin-Tin saved us all."

Brains smiled; a smile filled with the pride Jeff Tracy had for his own sons, too.

Jeff ran a hand through his already messy hair and briefly closed his eyes, feeling exhaustion race through him. For a second he had the sensation as if the whole world was uprooting itself.

"Mr. Tracy? Jeff!"

The insistent voice made him snap his eyes open once more. He blinked, trying to focus on his old friend.

"You need to s-s-s...rest," Brains insisted.

"Yeah, I know. Was on my way there." He smiled wryly. "I got side-tracked. Well, keep me informed, Brains, okay?"

"I will. Now go."

"Yes, Mom, I will."

Brains shot him an almost evil look from behind the thick glasses. Jeff chuckled and left.

This time, he actually made it into his bedroom.

tbc...