Enveloped in Darkness

Alan Tracy smiled as he undid his seat belt on Thunderbird 2. He enjoyed going on missions, partially because rescues he went on were, in Alan's opinion, few, and far between. He had been thrilled, therefore, to be taken on this mission. Alan grinned at Tin-tin as they headed for the stairs that would give them access to the pod. He had been surprised when she had been brought as well. Usually the adult Thunderbirds only took one of the 'learners' on a rescue. Fermat was back at base, helping his father man central control, but Alan didn't mind.

Jeff Tracy looked at his youngest son grinning at Tin-tin. Penelope had told him just before the Hood had overrun the International Rescue that there was a 'thing' between them, but Jeff knew Alan was happily oblivious to it. Jeff frowned as the two teenagers joined Virgil in the pod. He wasn't happy that he had two of the 'learners,' as Gordon had dubbed them, on a mission so soon after their induction to International Rescue, but the mine collapse had been so huge, and was spread out over such a large distance, the group had needed the extra numbers, especially with John newly returned to Thunderbird 5, and Gordon recovering after breaking a rib on the last call out International Rescue had received. Jeff inwardly sighed. Hopefully this rescue would be straightforward.

Alan carefully steered Mystery 1(+) down the mine shaft, his eyes scanning the dark path ahead for signs of life. He had been surprised when he had been allowed to finish of scanning this area of the mine, while his father hurried of to start scanning another area. Tin-tin was working with Scott at the other side of the mine, while Virgil cleared away the rubble, allowing emergency vehicles to access the danger zone. Alan shook his head and focused ahead, but only found a dead end. Alan sighed and turned Mystery 1 around, heading back to the surface. Alan keyed in his fathers code on his wrist communicator, and was greeted with seeing his father's grimy face.

"Dad" Alan greeted, cheerfully.

"Alan, did you find any one" Jeff asked, relieved to see his youngest son's face. Although Alan was almost finished training, he still feared for his youngest son's life every mission he went on, he feared for all of his sons' lives.

Alan shook his head, "Negative, dad, I'm heading back upto the surface. Has Virg reported how this happened?" Alan asked, glancing upwards when the roof above him creaked. Jeff frowned down at his son's face

"Alan, what wrong?' he asked, worriedly

"Nothing, so what caused the cave in?" Alan repeated his earlier question, ignoring the increasing volume of the creaking.

"There was an earthquake, and there is still a fair bit of activity down here, so keep the line open." Jeff told his son. Alan nodded

"FAB, Dad." Alan ended the communication and fought the steering. Mystery 1 suddenly started to vibrate fiercely swore under his breath.

"Great, come on, M1 he muttered, talking to the machine. Alan was forcibly reminded of Scott and Virgil and how they talked to their 'birds. Alan laughed, then stopped as Mystery 1's engines stalled. Alan swore again and tried to restart the motor, but to no avail. Alan muttered and tried several times more, but got no results. Alan reluctantly contacted Jeff again

"Dad?" Alan timidly asked, knowing he would get an earful when he told his father he was having mechanical difficulties

"Alan, what is it, is something wrong?" Jeff answered his communicator

"Dad, Mystery 1 is acting up, she stared vibrating, and then stalled, and I can't get her started up again. What should I do?" Alan explained

"Well, it sounds like the batteries have shot, which means you are stuck. How far from the surface are you?" Jeff frowned, making a mental note for Brains to check all of the craft batteries.

"About 250, maybe 300 metres" Alan guessed, but a beeping from his watch interrupted him. Virgils voice was heard.

Thunderbird 2 to all mobile units, there is going to be an after shock, get yourselves out. I repeat, Get yourselves out, there is going to be another earthquake" Virgil yelled.

"Alan, run for it" Jeff ordered. Alan didn't need telling twice. He grabbed a spare torch and leapt from Mystery 1's cockpit. Alan raced to the front of the large vechile, but didn't get any further. The earth around him gave a loud rumble, and the roof of the mine shaft collapsed, burying Alan and Mystery 1 with rock and fallen roof supports.

A.N. Evil laugh. Cliff hanger. Oh by the way, the name of Mystery 1 came from Mine Rescue Equipment, or MR E, so I decided to call the craft 'Mystery.' Funny, huh