Jefferson Anderson Tracy, head of Tracy Industries tapped his pen against the report he was supposed to be reviewing. Instead, he was lost in a daydream, staring at a photograph sitting to his left. One of many, it showed him and his youngest son Alan, both with blackened faces, laughing hard. It had been taken only three months before, in the garage of the Townhouse in Boston. The wing of Gordon's car could just be seen behind them, and Jeff smiled when he remembered how the simple task of doing an oil change had suddenly turned into a farce. Jeff had painstakingly talked him through the process, only to have Alan give him a cocky smile with a raised eyebrow and slide down under the jacked up car. Before he knew it, Alan had drained the oil, taken out the filter and begun to fit the new one. Jeff had pulled him out and demanded an explanation. In a gesture of frustration, Alan had swept his hand across his forehead and through his hair, completely forgetting the black crud that was stuck to the surgical glove he was wearing. When Jeff had stopped laughing, Alan had wiped one finger down the side of his father's cheek. Five minutes later, Virgil had come down to find out what the noise was, only to find his father holding his baby brother in a headlock, the two of them laughing uncontrollably. A flash of light had brought the both of them back to earth, and they looked up to see a camera in Virgil's hand.
"Hey dad, what are you up to?" Scott asked as he wandered into his father's large office. He realised what his father was staring at and shook his head ruefully. The sixteen year old had turned out to be better at car maintenance than the rest of them.
"Just day dreaming, Scott. I should be getting on with these reports." He glanced down at the paper and rolled his eyes upwards, placing the pen down. "You?"
"The same." He held up a sheaf of paper and waved it up and down. "But I'm done for the day. I'm going to head downstairs and catch some TV, I think."
He hid his smile as he watched the invisible cogs turn in his father's brain, the devil on his shoulder waging war with the angel, telling him to join his son. After a few moments, it appeared that the devil had won it's war and he stood and joined his eldest, walking down towards the TV room.
Virgil and Gordon were already there, Gordon stretched out on the floor by his older brother's feet, engrossed in the magazine he was flicking through.
"Are either of you watching this?" Scott asked, picking up the remote. Virgil nodded, taking it back.
"I am. Turn it and you die."
"What is it?" Virgil flushed when he heard his father's voice, fearing a tongue lashing for threatening his older brother. "It's the new under 18's motocross rally. 250cc motorbikes. It's only on for a half hour. Then you can watch whatever you want." Virgil reminded him.
Jeff however, was watching Gordon. His second youngest son had let the magazine close and was staring at the tv intently.
"Gordon, is there something you would like to share?"
Gordon didn't seem to have heard his father, but fumbled behind him for the remote, grabbing it and turning the volume up.
/This is James Ducky reporting from the 1st Wharton Mountain SuperMotoX Off-Road Rally. As you can see in the distance behind me, we are on the grounds of the Wharton Academy who have graciously allowed the use of their woods for this event. Over past six hours, we have been watching and observing what seems to be the newest up and coming scramblers and riders in this under 18's event. The age limit, of course, has been upped to 16, so most of the competitors in this event are pretty evenly matched in skills and experience and this may prove to give us a nail-biting finish. First up today was a newcomer to this event, one of Wharton's students, replacing Dick Mathews who has pulled out with a broken wrist. Alan Tracy, 16, on what I have been told is his year's shop project, a bike they have built from scratch. He is the Wharton representative in this event./ The commentator disappeared and Jeff's jaw dropped open as the screen showed his youngest son tugging on a helmet before gunning the engine and taking off down the track sending a hail of mud and gravel behind him.
"I know, Scott."
"I know Virgil!"
In the silence that followed while the Tracy men were staring at the TV in shock while Alan completed the first part of the time-trail rally, Gordon was quietly texting Alan.
Lying back in a bath of steaming hot water, Alan blinked tiredly at his phone. HEAD 4 THE HILLS. GRDO
He sat up quickly, sending a stream of water over the side of the bath. No. They couldn't have…
Gordon raised an eyebrow and shook his head, texting back motox ring a bell? Watching u now. U r so dead.
Alan banged his head against the back of the bath and sighed heavily. This was so not good.
Gordon snorted and slipped the phone back into his pocket, ignoring the stare Scott gave him. "You warned him?"
Gordon grinned, looking back at the tv. "Just giving him a sporting chance. Woah." He fell silent as Alan's bike skidded wildly on a patch of gravel and the back end began to fish-tail. From what they could see, Alan quickly got it back under control and sped on up the narrow mud trail.
/And that was a skilful manouver from this unknown teenager. While he is currently 3 seconds behind the leader, putting him in 4th place, this is definitely one rider we will have to keep an eye on/
"We'll all be keeping an eye on him." Jeff muttered darkly, sitting down beside Virgil. "Gordon, give me your phone."
Sensing what his father was going to do, Gordon hesitated, but catching the look on his face, he fished it out of his pocket and handed it over.
What were u thinking?
Alan grimaced and dropped his towel, carefully avoiding looking in the mirror.
Built bike 4 shop. Teacher wanted me to try it out. Told me he'd entred me this morning after dk broke wrist falling out of bed. Had no choice. Did good tho. Got 2nd. Gonna ask commander if I can do this agin. Bruises will fade.
/And that was a nasty spill taken on the last corner by Tracy. Amazingly enough, he skidded past the Gate, and has been placed 2nd. With three other competitors left to go, it looks like Montenegro is set to romp hom-"
Jeff looked back at the phone and hit reply. Alan, ths is cmmndr. over my dead body. And tell your shop teacher to expect me in person tomorrow.
Alan sat on the front steps to the red bricked school, rubbing his face tiredly. It was still early morning but he knew his father's flight had gotten in at least an hour before. That meant that he would be arriving any minute.
"Mr. Tracy, you are up quite early this morning!" James Joeseph, the headmaster announced, as he clambered out of his car.
Alan grimaced. "Uh, yes, sir. My father is coming, sir. I thought I had better be here to…um…try to calm him down before he reaches either you or Mr. Monk."
James froze. "This is about yesterday?"
Alan nodded and James suddenly wished that he was anywhere else. At the bottom of a deep shaft on the moon…yeah…that was a good place to hide. Letting out a loud sigh, he sat down on the steps beside Alan and shook his head.
"This is going to be worse than a detention, isn't it."
Alan turned his head and looked at the headmaster with an odd look in his eyes. "You have no idea, sir. No idea."