*Any mistakes here are mine. For the disclaimer see Chapter 1.
"So what are we looking for again?" Gordon asked as he and Virgil sat opposite the computer in Brains's lab. A monitor on the wall behind them revealed John's image as he watched the proceedings, ready to provide any of his own information that he found.
"We're looking for any information on Doctor Gerald Smith, his disappearance and anything we can find on him that might be of some use to us," Virgil replied. He typed his password - Beethoven - into the box and pushed the enter button. After being instantly transported to his homepage, complete with a background depicting an image of the Tate Modern Museum, London, he accessed the Internet.
"Now what?" Gordon inquired, "we type Dr Gerald Smith into the search engine?"
Virgil shook his head. "We do that and we'll get millions of results; there's bound to be more than one Dr Gerald Smith in the world. We'll waste time searching for the right person."
"How about adding 'disappearance' to it and the year as well," John suggested. "It might narrow it down a bit."
"It's worth a shot," Virgil agreed, adding the required text to the search engine. Instantly the screen flashed up a list of results, everything from newspaper articles to promotions for Dr Smith's acne vaporising cream.
"Look," Gordon pointed at an article about a third of the way down the page. "'Doctor Disappears After Chemical Invention.' An expert in the field of Chemistry, Medicine and Botany disappeared after creating a slow acting toxin using the roots of the Rosaceae Aquaticus, a new species of blue rose discovered off the coast of Australia. If fully developed the chemical would have been utilised in penitentiaries as an optional alternative to barbiturates for prisoners on death row. Authority's say that such an invention would have been beneficial because it could be used to execute prisoners efficiently but still give police a chance to extract any last minute information if needed. However, its inventor, Doctor Gerald Smith (40), from Oklahoma City disappeared before its properties could be fully tested. Doctor Smith was last seen walking towards the Santa Fe Depot on Tuesday 30th November 2061. Despite a thorough investigation no trace of the doctor has ever been found, though police continue to follow any leads they may get…Do you think this could be the guy?"
"It certainly sounds like it," Virgil agreed. He studied the rest of the article. "Hmm, it says here that Dr. Smith's wife Helen moved to Detroit about a year after the disappearance. John, do you think you could bring up any information on Helen Smith?"
John nodded. "Leave it to me bro. I'll have information for you in no time."
"But how is information about Helen Smith going to help us find Scott and Alan?" Gordon wanted to know.
"She may have information about her husband that she didn't reveal to the cops," Virgil replied. "Failing that, she'll know his personality and state of mind before the disappearance. That way we may know the type of person we could be dealing with."
"So do you think this Doctor Smith could be dangerous?"
"Gordon, this man most likely has one of the most dangerous toxins in the world on him, he disappears without a trace and could now have two of our brothers captive, or is at least working for someone who does. Something tells me that he may not be the nicest guy."
Gordon nodded and then bit his lip in anxiety. "I hope they don't try and use that stuff on Scott and Al, we could lose them for good otherwise."
Virgil squeezed his younger brother's shoulder. "Don't worry, we'll get them back, I promise."
The medical room reminded Alan of the one back on the island; extremely white and clean with an antiseptic like smell wafting around. However, this place didn't give Alan the feelings of reassurance like his own one did. What's more Doctor Gerald Smith didn't treat Alan with the same respect that Brains did. The scientist liked to be as careful and gentle as possible when treating his patients, almost as if they were fine china, but Gerald Smith had no such qualms when it came to handling his patients.
Alan found his bruises and burns both poked and prodded as Doctor Smith treated him. He tried not to give the doctor the satisfaction of showing his pain. Instead he bit his lip and turned his head away; maybe if he couldn't see what was going on, the pain would be easier to ignore. This plan lasted for about five minutes until Doctor Smith suddenly grabbed hold of Alan's shattered kneecap. A terrible pain shot through Alan's leg and he gave a startled cry.
"Did that hurt?" Gerald Smith's voice gave off a disgustingly sweet tone. If Alan wasn't fully aware of the predicament he was in, he could have sworn he was getting a check up…a very weird, tortuous check up.
Gerald Smith twisted Alan's knee again. This time the astronaut's pained cry was slightly louder. Sweating, he glared at the doctor with a look that clearly said, 'if I wasn't strapped down I would kill you.'
The doctor merely smiled and shrugged. "My, you're a loud patient, aren't you. Why don't you try being like your brother over there; he hasn't said a word since he was brought in?"
As Alan looked across the room to where his older brother was also being treated by Doctor White, one of Smith's assistants, he felt it would be redundant of him to point out that Scott was being quiet because a giant brute of a soldier currently had his left hand clamped tightly over his mouth, while his right arm was wrapped around Scott's neck in a headlock.
Doctor White had taken General Yang's 'No anaesthetic' words to heart and had ordered Scott's wounds to merely be cleaned with iodine and sewn. Each time the needle pierced his skin, Scott's body would automatically jerk with the pain as he tried to get away, only to have the brutish soldier hold him back.
Alan cringed as he watched. His brother's body was shredded and bloody, but that wasn't what had Alan worried: it was the look of fear on Scott's face and his pain filled eyes, which would occasionally dart around the room.
Suddenly Alan caught Scott's eye and his brother's facial expression morphed almost naturally from pain to concern and he mouthed something.
Alan may have been on the other side of the room but he knew exactly what Scott had just said:
"Are you ok?"
'Damn it!' Alan thought. 'Why did he always have to do that?' Scott could have been dying a thousand times over, and yet his number one concern would always be the safety of his brothers. Alan admitted that he enjoyed having someone around who cared for him as much as Scott did, someone whom he could share his worries with when Gordon either wasn't around or wouldn't take him seriously. However, there were also times - like this one - when it drove him up the wall.
Nevertheless, Alan knew that now wasn't really the time to moan about his brother's 'paternal' instincts. Instead he forced a smile and gave a quick nod to show that he was putting up with the situation as best as he knew how.
Scott returned the nod and then suddenly jerked again as the needle and thread were pulled through one of his deep cuts.
"Can't you give him something?" Alan pleaded to Dr. Smith, who was busy dressing the last of Alan's burns.
"No can do," Dr. Smith replied. "General Yang's orders. I don't want to find myself in the firing line if he finds out I disobeyed him. Besides, I think your brother is tough enough to ride it out; my men are almost done with him. It will then be time to test out my Enigma."
"What the hell is this Enigma?" Alan demanded to know.
"Oh, something very special, and you two will be the first ones to try it out."
"Good news guys, I found an address for Helen Smith." John was feeling slightly more relieved than he had been since he had discovered two of his brothers were missing. Now with this information they could at least find something out about this Dr. Smith.
Virgil and Gordon had since retreated back to the lounge. Gordon, who seemed to be hyped up, was busy pacing a hole in the carpet. The more calmer Virgil was sat at his piano, although the lid was currently shut - not that he was in any mood to play it.
Jeff was at his usual place, seated behind his desk, though as soon as John had made his announcement he jumped up and came around to the other side.
"Let's here it then John," Jeff got straight to the point. "What have you discovered?"
"Well I decided it would be easier to look up more on this Dr. Smith, since I presumed there would be more information on him, then track his wife that way. Lo and behold, turns out this guy has his own small website - of course he hasn't updated it since he disappeared - and there was a section about his private life, including the fact that his wife is a nurse at the Henry Ford Hospital.
"That's great son," Jeff said. "Right, here's what we're going to do: Gordon, I want you to fly down to the hospital and see if you can find this Helen Smith and talk to her. Find out anything she knows about her husband and his disappearance."
"What about me, Father?" Virgil asked. "Shall I go with him?"
"No, son, I don't think that would be a good idea."
Jeff sighed. "Don't take this the wrong way son, but we need to handle this delicately, and for that Gordon is the better person. He's more proficient at making casual conversation, which is what we really need right now. We don't want to scare this woman off and if I send you out there I'm worried it will turn into an interrogation and we don't want that."
Virgil frowned. "But Father…"
Jeff held up his hand to stall his son's argument. "No, Virgil, my decision is made. Besides, there's something else I need you to do: take Thunderbird Three and go and pick up your brother."
"You want me to come back?" John asked.
"Yes, John, we're going to need all the help we can down here. Therefore, I am going to have Tin-Tin replace you. Is that ok Tin-Tin?" Jeff looked over at where the young Malaysian stood in the doorway.
"Yes, Mr. Tracy. That's fine with me."
Jeff smiled. "Good girl." It wasn't very often that Tin-Tin took a shift on International Rescue's satellite, however she was just as well trained as the rest of them in handling the workings that came with being Thunderbird Five's monitor.
Virgil had resigned himself to the fact that he wouldn't be accompanying Gordon, though that didn't mean that he was ok with it. "Gordon, if anything happens contact me and I'll come down right away, you got that?"
Gordon refrained from his usual sarcastic, "yes Mother" and instead merely smiled and nodded before disappearing towards the hangar.
After Gordon had left, Virgil turned back to his father. "When do you want me to leave?"
"Well there's no time like the present," Jeff replied. "Are you ready John?"
"I will be by the time he gets here, Sir."
"Very well son. Virgil, off you go." Jeff activated the controls that would send Virgil into the bowels of the island where they stored Thunderbird Three.
Inside the spacecraft, Virgil went through the pre-flight checks in the meticulous manner that he always did, especially since he wouldn't have a co-pilot for this leg of the journey. Luckily, Three could be flown just as well with only a single astronaut at the helm, though they usually only did this with runs to and from Thunderbird Five. Try mentioning this particular fact to Alan though; it was the cause of much 'discussion' between Jeff and his youngest son, who insisted that he didn't need a 'babysitter' when he took his precious craft up into the atmosphere. Jeff had pointed out that it wasn't piloting Thunderbird Three that required two people, it was the rescue afterwards: if someone was required to go outside then another would be needed to remain in the craft to keep an eye on the systems. Alan had reluctantly agreed to this point and was further pacified when Gordon had pointed out that even though Scott accompanied Alan on Three, the young blonde was still in charge, and how often did Alan get the opportunity to issue commands to his big brother?
"Thunderbird Three to base requesting permission to launch," Virgil's voice was and business-like.
The reply from his father was an immediate, "Permission granted, safe journey son."
The rumbling of Thunderbird Three's engines was drowned out by the soundproof walls until the silo opened and the rocket took to the skies, allowing the sound to echo around the Island. Jeff Tracy stood on the balcony and watched as the craft disappeared out of site.
Having had his burns and other injuries treated, Alan watched in silent fury as Gerald Smith's underling, Doctor White, finished sewing his older brother up. Smith had momentarily left the room in order to fetch what he referred to as the "Enigma", leaving just Doctor White and the brutish soldier left. The fight had all but left Scott, who had become too exhausted to struggle anymore and mere sat slumped in his seat as the last of his wounds were stitched. His head had flopped down, so Alan could only see his mop of dark hair. The blonde was worried that Scott had passed out and the thought that he would be left alone filled him with dread. The soldier that had been holding onto Scott stood a couple of centimetres behind, ready to make a move should Scott stir again.
Five minutes later the last of Scott's wounds had been stitched. Doctor White nodded to the brutish soldier, beckoning him forward. "O'Connor, I need you to hold him while I wrap the gauze around him."
O'Connor gave a curt nod and moved forward to do as he was told. Doctor White slowly undid the arm straps and pulled the pilot up so that he could work easier. O'Connor held onto him while Doctor White moved towards a cabinet in order fetch the gauze.
However, moving Scott caused the pilot to seemingly snap back to reality. Realising that his arms were now free he started to struggle slightly, flailing his arms and attempting to push O'Connor off of him.
"Get off me!" the pilot growled menacingly. "I swear to God if you don't, you will regret it."
Despite being the larger of the two, O'Connor found himself struggling with Scott, whose determination to get free and protect his little brother seemed to give him extra strength, despite his injuries.
Seeing that the soldier was struggling, Doctor White dropped the gauze and attempted to assist O'Connor in calming the prisoner.
Pinning Scott's arms to his sides, Doctor White leaned close to him. "Stop struggling!" he growled. "You're only going to make it worse."
But the pilot refused to listen and continued to thrash from side to side. "Let…go…!"
Across the room Alan watched with wide, anxious eyes, at the struggle taking place. He wanted to cry out, to tell them to stop, but for some reason he couldn't. He understood why Scott was struggling so much; his brother hated hospitals, hated being treated, even if it was serious. Alan had always wondered why this was though. Sure, no one liked being in a hospital, but if it meant getting the treatment you needed then surely it was worth it? John, the most intellectual of the brothers, deduced that the hatred stemmed from Scott's greatest fears: feeling both useless and out of control.
"But what does that have to do with hospitals?" Alan had asked John.
"Think about it, Al," the older blonde replied. "Hospital's bring out both of Scott's anxieties in a big way. Being in a hospital means that you need treatment and that means that you are useless and not in control. Someone like Scott doesn't like that. It's the same when one of us is hurt, Scott feels useless because he can't do anything to help us. You know how 'mothering' our big brother can be."
Alan smiled. Boy, did he ever know.
"What is going on here?"
The stern voice snapped Alan out of his thoughts. He looked towards the door of the room where Gerald stood with his arms folded across his chest. "Honestly, White, I leave you alone for five minutes and all hell breaks loose."
Doctor White who still had Scott's arms pinned, looked apologetically towards the older man. "Sorry sir. Scott here won't stop struggling and listen to reason."
Doctor Smith smiled and shook his head. He started to walk across the room. "He'll listen White, you just have to give him the right incentive." Reaching the same cabinet from which Doctor White had retrieved the gauze, he pulled out syrringe and a bottle of clear liquid. He turned and held them up so that the struggling pilot could see them.
"If you don't stop struggling I will be forced to use this."
Scott growled. "What's that?"
"This is a strong sedative," Gerald Smith explained. "If you do not calm down I will use it on you and as a result you will be knocked out for several hours."
The threat didn't seem to work as Scott attempted to jerk his arms out of Doctor White's grasp.
"Think about it Scott," Doctor Smith continued. "If you're knocked out then anything can happen to young Alan over there, and you won't be able to help him because you didn't listen to reason." The word "anything" came out as a threatening snarl.
Scott froze suddenly. He looked from the contents in Doctor Smith's hands then at Alan, who was staring at him with a feeling of dread. Being burned and injured, Scott knew that there wasn't any way that Alan could put up much of a fight should they decide to torture his little brother more.
Coming to a descision, Scott slumped in his seat, hanging his head and allowing his struggling arms to go limp. He hated it when people used his brothers against him, mostly because it always worked. His protectiveness for his siblings was both his greatest strength and weakness and people knew this. If his brothers were struggling in an ocean storm, then Scott would rather die trying to save all of them, rather than allowing just one to drown.
"Good man, I knew you would see sense." Doctor Smith smiled in satisfaction. "Doctor White, you may continue to dress Scott's wounds, I don't think he'll give you any more trouble, will you pilot?"
Scott gave a small shake of his head, indicating that he would do as he was told.
The pilot remained still, while his upper torso was wrapped up. O'Connor held him forward so that Doctor White could reach the gauze around Scott's back. Afterwards, his arms were strapped down again.
"Excellent," Doctor Smith remarked. "You may leave us now."
The two men saluted and vacated the room. Gerald Smith watched the door shut and then turned to the two men. "Right gentleman, today is a great honour for both of you because you are about to become the first test subject of a marvellous concoction." He pulled a syrringe out of his coat pocket, filled with a dark blue liquid. "This is Enigma, a very slow acting poison, so called because when it was tested on animal subjects every single one of them showed different side effects before succumbing to the poison. It has never before been tested on humans…until now."
Doctor Smith held up the syrringe. "So…which one of you men would like to be the first to make history?"
So that's what this 'Enigma' is!
What? You didn't think it was going to be anything good, did you?
Finished my first year of Uni a couple of days ago. I wanted to concentrate on that before I started updating again. But now I'm home for the Summer so it's Fanfiction! Fanfiction! Fanfiction!