This is just a tiny 'plot-what-plot' story about Virgil. I dedicate it to JoTracy123 for being a true Thunderbirds fan who reads and reviews almost everything on the board and always has nice things to say about everyone else's stories. Hiya, Jo!


When Virgil Tracy graduated from the Denver School of Advanced Technology with honours, no-one was surprised. Except Virgil. For Virgil Tracy was a modest man, a quiet man, not prone to crowing about his achievements.

Virgil Tracy spent hours as a child repairing things. Bicycles. Go-karts. He reattached wheels to skateboards that would otherwise have been abandoned. He designed pulley systems for winching baskets of drinks and snacks into tree houses. He tinkered with his mother's kitchen appliances. He was the only one allowed to touch John's telescope. He never had accidents like Gordon. Nothing ever went on fire. Virgil planned ahead. They trusted him.

Virgil's fingers were long, blunt, the nails squared off at the ends. His knuckles were prominent, his wrists sturdy. Worker's hands, yet surprisingly dexterous. Virgil could hold tweezers gently between thumb and forefinger and separate tiny components without touching the others. He was patient. Deliberate. He concentrated. He was focused.

Virgil was not an attention seeker. Not like Gordon. Not like Alan. You could put Virgil into an empty room and he'd amuse himself. He'd design something. He'd picture something in his mind, so clearly that you could reach in and pull it out. An engine. A flywheel. A whirligig for the garden. Mechanical arms that dropped balls into buckets and set dominoes tumbling.

Heath Robinson inventions.

A plodder, is how Virgil would describe himself. Someone who goes the distance without fanfare. Slow and steady wins the race. If you start something, see it through. Don't leave things half cocked.

He was quiet. Serious. He could sit for hours with a sketchbook. Leonardo DaVinci, Scott called him. Look at him. You could drop a bomb on him and he wouldn't notice.

If Scott was speed, then Virgil was endurance. Virgil was the base, the foundation, upon which Scott constructed his ideas and reached for the sky.

On his last day of college, The Denver School of Advanced Technology wished Virgil Tracy well. He will go far, they said. He has vision. He's destined for greatness. One of our success stories. But then he disappeared, and no-one ever heard of him again. A shame. He showed such promise. He liked his jazz. He must have become a musician instead. Given up on the engineering. It happens.

For the most part, they forgot.

One day the principal of the Denver School of Advanced Technology looked up as a shadow passed and saw something flying overhead. It was big, green, lumpy and bulbous. Its wings were on backwards. That thing shouldn't even be up in the air, he thought, squinting his eyes into the sun. And yet- it's beautiful. And an image came into his mind- that of a young man with chestnut hair and an easy grin, striding purposefully across campus. A young man who could easily envisage such a thing.

Virgil Tracy. I wonder whatever became of him?

And as he looked, he could have sworn the big green thing tipped its wings. Then it was gone, and he went about his day.