Title: Family Ties
Author: N'kala
Disclaimer: I don't own 'em.
Summary: Movieverse. Someone wants revenge on Jeff Tracy and plans on using Alan to get it.
Author's Notes: My muse is back! I got to thinking about the family sitch, and I realized I could find next to nothing about Lucille Tracy. Everything that happens from here on out is strictly AU, so canon followers beware!

Family Ties
Chapter One

Leaves whispered quietly as a gentle breeze swept across the sleepy campus of Wharton Academy. The old Massachusetts school was lit dimly by several lamp posts placed strategically about the campus, but in the early hours of the morning it was left mostly in shadows. In the dormitories, the students who attended the prestigious school slept on, unaware of the three dark shapes making their way silently across the grounds.

The three figures were all about the same height, and all were clad in black clothes and black ski masks. They moved swiftly and surely, their destination set firmly in their minds.

Not a sound was made as the three entered one of the newer dormitories on campus. Bypassing the security locks had been child's play; they had been planning this mission for some time now. As one, the trio moved through the dimly lit halls.

Pausing outside of one door, one figure effortlessly bypassed the room's security locks and pushed the door open. The three filed into the room and shut the door slightly, leaving it ajar. They would need a quick escape once they obtained their goal.

Two boys slept peacefully in the only two beds in the room. With a quick glance to one another, one man moved to the left, where a small boy with dark hair lay. They wouldn't need this child, but he would have to be restrained while they made their escape.

His two companions hovered over the boy sleeping on the right. His blond hair was in disarray, some falling into his eyes. With a final nod to his companions, the first man reached out and clamped a hand down firmly over the blond boy's mouth.

Alan Tracy wasn't sure what was happening. One minute, he was soaring through the air in the cockpit of Thunderbird One, racing to rescue a town from an impending flood. The next, two dark figures were standing over him, holding him down.

Fear seized Alan's heart, and he began to thrash against the men's restraining hands. Who were these men? What did they want?

He twisted around, trying to see if Fermat was all right. Unfortunately, the strange men in their room blocked his view of his best friend.

"Do it already!" the man holding Alan down hissed.

Alan felt a sharp stab of pain in his neck, and he released a cry that was muffled against the hand over his mouth. Almost immediately, his vision began to swim. His struggles abated.

"About time!" the second man hissed, straightening. Alan felt the restraining hands fall away and tried to move, but found that his limbs were too heavy. Panic swept through him, making his heart race.

The two men retreated for a moment, moving over near Fermat's bed. Alan managed to move his head to his right, wondering about his friend's safety.

A third man in black was just moving away from Fermat. The young boy was lying in his bed, bound and gagged. Fermat's wide eyes met Alan's; his fear was palpable.

Darkness was swimming on the edges of Alan's vision, but he fought against it. He couldn't fall asleep; if he did, he wouldn't be able to protect himself.

Not that he was any use now, Alan realized when another attempt to move an arm failed. He froze as the three men turned to him.

"Why isn't he asleep yet?" the second man whispered.

"He's fighting the drug," the first man answered. He moved closer. "Go to sleep, Alan. It'll be okay."

As Alan succumbed to the crashing waves of darkness, a thought floated to the forefront of his mind. How does he know my name?

He knew no more.

Sunlight filtered through the window in the dorm room, chasing away the last of the shadows. The sleepy campus was beginning to stir as the boys of Wharton Academy awoke to start their day.

Fermat struggled against the ropes binding him for what seemed like the millionth time, then fell back against his bed. Tears of frustration clouded his already blurred vision. He hadn't made any progress in freeing himself during the course of the night, and he was worried sick about his best friend. If he didn't find some way to free himself, the kidnappers' trail would run cold and he might never see Alan again.

Through the wall beside his bed, Fermat could hear an alarm clock go off. An idea formed in his head. Maneuvering himself further down onto his bed, he shifted his body until his feet were pointing at the wall. Taking a deep breath, he began to kick at the wall, hoping that his neighbors would get annoyed enough to come over and see what was going on.

Jeff reclined comfortably in a chair beside the pool and took out a newspaper. He and his sons, along with Brains, had been working nonstop in repairing the damage the Hood had done to their home a week and a half ago. They had managed to complete the repairs to the Thunderbirds, as well as their living quarters, but they still had a ways to go in fixing Thunderbird Five. The damage had been extensive. Rather than go by the original schematics, Jeff, John, and Brains had begun developing new schematics for Thunderbird Five to make it even more effective in their rescue operations. They were months away from completion; in the meantime, they had cobbled together a remote operating station in the lab that would take Thunderbird Five's place until it was finished. Though they were still working out some of the bugs, Jeff had to admit that it was nice to have his four eldest sons together again.


At least, that was what Jeff kept telling himself.

Another beautiful day had dawned in the South Pacific, and Jeff had decided to take full advantage of it by relaxing for a few hours. He should have known that, after all of the work they had done the last week and a half, his sons would find some way to release all of their excess energy.

Gordon raced from the house, darting around his father and running for the far side of the pool. Jeff glanced up from his paper briefly, curious as to who his second youngest had antagonized this time. The incensed bellow could have belonged to any of his boys.

His curiosity was satisfied almost immediately. Virgil was hot on Gordon's trail, a look of fury on his face. Jeff was mildly surprised at this; it usually took Virgil some time before he lost his temper. The Tracy patriarch wondered what Gordon had done to incur the wrath of his middle child so quickly.

Gordon ran easily around the edge of the pool, his expression equal parts fear and amusement. Jeff watched his sons from the corner of his eye as he resumed reading his paper. He knew that Virgil would eventually catch Gordon; Gordon was fast, but he had yet to achieve the speeds that the youngest Tracy was capable of. Chalk it up to four older brothers, but Alan was fast.

Jeff's mind wandered as his thoughts drifted to his youngest child. Despite all of the arguments and difficulties, he was very proud of Alan. Alan had proved himself to be an invaluable member of the team over spring break during the fiasco with the Hood. Jeff only hoped that Alan would settle down and finish school with the effort Jeff knew he was capable of. Only time would tell.

"Hey, Dad. Anything interesting?"

Jeff smiled as John ambled down to the pool and sat at the edge. John flashed a smile at his father, then turned his attention with mild interest to his younger brothers at the opposite end.

"They bothering you?" John asked as Virgil finally caught Gordon in a headlock.

"I'm trying to decide if I really need to tell my adult sons to quick the horseplay by the pool," Jeff answered.

John let out a huff of laughter. "Kids, huh?"

Jeff responded with a laugh of his own.


All conversation and activity came to a halt when Scott suddenly ran outside, his face a mask of concern. Jeff immediately tensed, half-rising from his chair as he set his newspaper aside. Even Gordon and Virgil had forgotten their fight as they waited for Scott to speak.

Scott ran up to his father. "Dad, Alan's school is on the phone. They said they need to talk to you right away."

Confusion flickered across John's and Virgil's faces, but Gordon began to snicker.

"Who wants to lay odds that Alan's gotten himself kicked out of another school?" he asked.

Virgil punched Gordon on the arm.

"Did they say anything else?" Jeff demanded, starting for his study with his eldest by his side. He could hear his other sons following.

Scott shook his head. "No, nothing. Dad, I don't like it. The headmaster sounded . . . worried."

That assessment heightened Jeff's own concern. Despite what Gordon had mentioned, if Alan had been in trouble, the headmaster would have at least said as much to Scott. Something was wrong.

By the time Jeff reached his study, he had broken into a jog. He sat at his desk, taking note of the headmaster's careful composure on the screen before him.

"Headmaster Wallace," Jeff greeted. "What can I do for you?"

Wallace took a deep breath. It was clear that he was uncomfortable; possibly even scared. "Mr. Tracy, I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but there was an incident last night."

Jeff felt his heart skip a beat. Behind him, he could feel his sons tense up. "What?" he asked, breathless.

The headmaster shifted in his seat. "Perhaps, Mr. Tracy, it would be best if you came out here so we could talk in person."

"Why?" Jeff demanded, feeling his pulse race. His stomach tied in knots. "What's wrong? Has something happened to Alan?"

The headmaster's eyes dropped to his desk for a moment, then lifted back up to meet Jeff's wide, blue eyes. "Mr. Tracy . . . it appears that Alan was kidnapped last night."