Death and Rebirth
Warning - Strong Language and Violence
It had been five years since the destruction of Tracy One and with it, the death of the Tracy family. The close friends had been questioned about the attack on the aircraft but with the suicide of Brains Hackenbacker, then the investigation was closed.
Tracy Island was left abandoned, stories came from the aircraft that tried to fly there. These stories extended out to make it feel that the island was haunted, some aircraft had been safely diverted off to neighbouring islands while others had been shot down and waited for rescue to arrive.
The disasters around the world continued to cost lives but with thanks from unnamed charities, FEMA and other smaller organisations were able to receive the donations they much needed to buy the equipment they needed for dangerous rescues.
Lady Penelope Creighton Ward sighed to herself as she straightened out her long black skirt, she had long ago given up in wearing the bright pink colours that she was known for. She no longer had the heart to wear the bright colours that always brought smiles to her close friends that treated her as family.
She looked at her reflection in her small compact as Parker focused on flying the black limousine, FAB One remained locked away in Creighton Manor gathering dust with her loyal manservant occasionally slipping away to give the car some much needed attention.
Her suit, once a variety of pinks was now a variety of blacks. Lady Penelope wore a long black skirt that fell to just above her ankles, with a matching black shirt and a lighter black, almost grey jacket over the shirt. She knew that it would be too much once they landed in the tropical climates of Tracy Island, but she continued to wear her black clothing.
Sighing softly, she watched the ocean pass below them and remembered the variety of journeys to the island with the occasional surprise escort from the magnificent rescue craft better known as the Thunderbirds. When she saw the island approaching, she ordered Parker to fly over to check the status of the security systems and the state of the runway.
As they flew over the island, Lady Penelope could see how the main shape of the island had changed slightly as the jungle continued to mature but as they circled around to the main complex she had to pull out her binoculars to see that the jungle had been fought off away from the building, it seemed that there was some kind of natural fence built around as to shut out the jungle from the house.
Lady Penelope could see though that the jungle was fighting against the fence, trying to climb up or go under it but something was keeping it back and she was sure that it wasn't the fence that had blended in with the natural beauty of the island.
She remembered time and time again about how Kyrano told Jeff about how fast the jungle grew but there it was, the main housing complex that once held the Tracy family and friends, it didn't seem any different since she last saw it over five years ago.
"Approaching the runaway M' Lady" Parker spoke up from the drivers seat as he focused on the landing procedures, seeing how the main computers on the island had accepted their security clearance.
"OK Parker, set her down gently if you can" Lady Penelope replied before hearing a soft gasp of surprise.
"I'm afraid that won't be possible M' Lady" Parker said as the runaway came into view.
The runway was in an awful state, like someone had hit the whole thing several times with different bombs, but that wasn't the case. Concrete had been tossed aside to make room for the thick jungle vines to grow from the ground below, and a few trees were now covering vast parts of the once smooth runway.
"Turn around Parker, we will have to land on the beach and walk to the complex" Lady Penelope said before sighing softly, she hoped that if they did want to restart the rescue organisation then they would need to get the runway back to working order.
She remembered from when the rescue organisation was up and operational, how Thunderbird Two, the transporter of the fleet would appear from under the hidden compartment under the main complex. The palm trees would slide to make room for the massive aircraft as it rolled up the airstrip and got ready to take off to some part of the world.
"Yes M'lady" Parker replied, sounding solemn and worried for what they would find once they touched down on the island. "Pardon me M'lady but it appears that the island defences has recognized the limo and is letting us in" He soon added, seeing the familiar signals light up on the steering wheel.
The manservant couldn't believe in what had happened in the last five years, of how his mistress had changed so much. From the bright, energetic and happy lady to this dark and emotionless person that he didn't know how to act around.
She had lost the closest friends she ever had, he had lost his friends. They both lost the people that opened their arms and invited them into their extended family, and the world had lost something which caused them to plunge into the rescue organisations that still existed and bring them back up to take the place of International Rescue.
Parker inwardly sighed to himself as he watched the black limo's flight controls carefully, he had never used this limo to arrive at Tracy Island before so it felt strange to him that he was now flying it there instead of the FAB One.
FAB One, he missed that car. She had special characteristics that made her different to all of the cars that was held in Lady Penelope's possession, it wasn't the cloaking abilities, the flight and aqua surfing abilities that made her special.
It was the way that she shone in the sunlight, of how she would take every twist and turn, every bump and dent in the road with ease and without grief. He would spend hours just being outside, polishing every millimetre of that car but now.
Now FAB One sat alone in the garage, Lady Penelope had asked him to lock the car up as she did not have the heart of getting her destroyed but instead, she was to be locked away and forgotten about.
But Parker couldn't keep away from the pink car, he snuck in while his Ladyship was away and switched the artificial lights on or sometimes pushed her outside to get some sun and spend the same hours polishing her, checking her over in case she was called forward.
He wondered why that suddenly earlier that morning during breakfast that Lady Penelope had called for him and asked him to get out the black rolls for a trip out, she told him the co-ordinates and he was surprised to see that it was Tracy Island. Parker didn't think that she would fly over and visit that island ever again in her lifetime, but leave it as a dying tale to the planet.
A tale of a team of specialists with special machines, that once use to appear at danger zones across the planet then disappear without a trace.
But now as they landed down on the water, using the aqua-jets to move around to one of the beaches that looked quiet and deserted. It was untouched until the black limo pulled up onto the sand, "Jungle gear might be needed Parker, never know what is on this island now" Lady Penelope warned the manservant as she climbed out of the car.
The air was as humid as they both remembered from their many visits back when the Tracy family was alive, she looked around seeing how the jungle looked unruly and wild like it had the many times she walked along the well kept paths leading from the landing strip to the main complex of the tropical island.
"Right M'lady, but does something appear to be different to you?" Parker asked as he opened the compartment at the back of the limo, fetching out his own bag of assorted items including a machete that he thought would be useful to get up to the housing complex.
"I do not see anything of the sort Parker, only that it seems that we've only completed a small part in our mission today" Lady Penelope replied and let him lead the way to the main path they both knew would take them up to the main complex.
The walk through the jungle was surprisingly calm, even though they had expected to be hacking their way through the walkway but this one was well tended as they stopped at one point to look at the sides of the jungle path.
Looking closely they could see that there was a thick natural weave created by the vines found scattered across the jungle floor, it was being used to keep the path clear but at the same time to make it seem natural.
"What do you think caused this Parker?" Lady Penelope asked in a hushed tone, ignoring the stifling heat of the jungle as they continued to walk under the canopy feeling the light breeze fight through to give them a light refreshment.
"Some of it looks natural M'lady while other parts look like they were done by someone here on the island... but that is impossible" Parker replied, his face turning into a small frown tightening his hold on the handle of the machete.
"Let us keep walking Parker, we can't be much futhur till we reach the house" Lady Penelope said softly and calmly, letting the manservant lead the way through the jungle hiding her own suspicions and worries for now until they were out of the jungle.
They gasped when they saw the main complex come into view, the once glistening pools were drained and growing moss from the lack of use while the complex itself looked dark and abandoned.
Each time they had come for a break away in this tropical paradise, everything around them was breathing and full of life but to see a rough fence built up of the jungle foliage to help keep the jungle from taking over the man-made structure made them wander who had done this and why.
Parker looked over the fence to see that it had been cleverly made, hidden by the wide canopies growing overhead to hide it from the sky yet to help get into the large house on the hill.
"What do you make of this Parker?" Lady Penelope asked as they looked at the care that had been put into looking after the Tracy Villa.
The foliage of the jungle rustled in the breeze hiding its secrets, however, to the side of the wide open entrance of the house a few overgrown vines hid a shadowy figure. Unable to focus on the intruders, the man could only watch as the encroaching trespassers passed by him unaware of the weapon trained on their backs.
Stepping backwards the man pulled his mane of mattered blonde hair from his face and silently crept round the roughly hacked archway.
"I don't know M'lady, but there's someone been here and recently." The voice was familiar but the face didn't fit.
"The place is spotless Parker, how do you know...." The vision in black was as familiar as the man, but she looked wrong. They both looked so wrong, they didn't exist just like his brothers they never existed, never. He was alone, he was always alone.
"As a great detective once said, Elementary my dear M'lady. The house has been kept intact and in good nick since the Tracies died, the plants have been hacked back recently as there's not enough dead foliage around the cuts for it to be longer than a week. The place is dust free and someone's got the electricity still going. I know we turned it off when we shut up the island."
"Not with Doctor Hackenbacker's defences M'lady, any boat or plane that tried to land would have been blown apart if they had come anywhere near." Parker looked around, "The main computer's on-line and the generators are powered, I wonder...."
"Parker the Island has internal defences and cameras after the Hood tried to set us all up, wouldn't they be active if the main systems were."
"M'lady, the only way to activate the system is to be keyed into the mainframe and only three people on this planet have that access still and the Professor is currently in Russia completing construction of their latest Cold fusion reactor. The other two are standing right here, the system can't be hacked and can't be fooled it needs six types of identification."
"So..." Penny's eyes widened, "That's impossible, none of them survived."
"So it appeared M'lady." Parker responded as he brought up the surveillance footage from the internal cameras, "But one of them evidently did."
The screen rolled allowing the most recent footage to come to light, four days beforehand a single slight figure walked around the room cleaning every square inch, hacking away at the foliage and repairing any damage that may have occurred. Freezing the picture Parker zoomed the system into the gaunt and wrecked face, the long tatty blonde hair and matted beard barely took away from the scarred face and missing eye on his left hand side.
"John?" Penny whispered.
An explosion engulfed the monitor and keyset as a trio of bullets ripped into them turning the entire set up into scrap, a fourth bullet took Parker in the upper arm swinging him around and to the floor.
Lady Penelope dropped to the ground taking cover behind the massive desk, she looked to Parker who lay on the deck unconscious bleeding profusely from his injured arm.
"I don't know what you want." A gravelly and whispering voice said, "But considering you don't exist I'm going to kill you one way or the other."
"You would know my name, I imagined you, you and everyone else." John replied, "No other person has ever lived here except me you see, everything i can see is all in my mind. But then you would know that wouldn't you?"
"John It's me it's Penny."
"No." The accusation was final, he turned the corner and looked down at the black clad woman. She had been in so many of his fantasies before, pretty in pink and nice as pie. This monstrosity was simply a perversion of his memories....
*NO* he shouted in his mind, *My fantasies, she was never real.*
His eye glazed as he looked at her a cruel smile moving the uninjured side of his face, pushing her down onto the floor he pushed the gun barrel to her forehead. "Poor little Penny, so spoiled, so pure, so innocent. Couldn't choose between anyone so had them all, so good, so nice JUST A WHORE" He pushed the gun harder into the terrified woman's flawless skin, an imprint from the hot barrel already burning a perfect circle into her head.
"Time for another imaginary monster to die." John whispered.
The gun fired the hammer clicking on an empty weapon, John growled like an animal and threw the gun away intent of closing his hands around her throat. His slight and emaciated form hid his true strength from her as he simply smashed a fist into her left shoulder almost causing her to lose the use of the arm.
Unable to fight off John in this feral state she closed her hands around his ears and threw his head to the side, his skull bouncing off of the console seemed to do nothing to the psychotic Tracy causing him to redouble his efforts to kill her.
Closing his hands around this imaginary threat's neck the vast majority of his mind was concentrating on eradicating this remnant of his nightmares, the fantasies and dreams of a time that he didn't.... couldn't allow to have existed. He was all that existed in this world and once this nightmare version of an ancient fantasy was extinguished then he would once again be alone to live in peace forever.
"So sorry Mr Tracy." That hated second voice came from behind, John's head hadn't even moved as the fire extinguisher slammed into the side of his head sending the younger man flying off of the body of his employer. "I'm afraid that I shall have to put you down for the time being Sir."
Parker pushed down on the extinguisher's handle enveloping John in the Carbon dioxide mist blinding him for a few seconds, using them wisely Parker threw a massive right cross into stomach of the Tracy brother and followed it with a single solid uppercut which almost lifted John from the floor. Exhausted from the Adrenaline rush and the exertion beyond that he was used to John simply hit the ground in a heap unmoving.
"Sorry to have allowed him to sneak up on us M'lady." Parker said, "But I was unfortunately detained by an injury to my arm."
"Oh Parker." Penny gurgled her throat damaged by the murder attempt, "I think that can be forgiven, is he..."
"Alive M'lady, and it is Mr John Tracy. He survived, but it seems not without damage." He grasped his arm, "We need to tie him up or something, before he comes around. Then we find the infirmary, I think we need some medical treatment."
Neither saw the tear moving down the face of the last remaining Tracy Brother.