Another Idyllic Day

It was a typically idyllic day on Tracy Island. Members of International Rescue were sunning themselves around the pool. The aquanaut was diving from the highest board, making barely a ripple in the pool's surface. The youngest Tracy and the engineer's assistant were playing tennis. And indoors, the head of International Rescue and CEO of Tracy Aerospace and Construction was eyeing a new proposal, one with the potential of making the multi-billionaire a multi-multi-billionaire.

The CEO tapped a pencil on a strong chin while reading. Hmm. This is intriguing. I'll have to look into it further....

Suddenly, a loud beeping filled the lounge, and the eyes of the portrait nearest to the desk began to blink. The CEO morphed suddenly into commander and reached for the switch to open communications with International Rescue's manned satellite and eye-in-the-sky, Thunderbird Five.

"Base to Thunderbird Five. We read you. Go ahead."

"Thunderbird Five to base... uh, well, we have an emergency...." The space monitor pushed a golden curl out of cornflower blue eyes. Then another. And another. All the while fumbling with a clipboard of sorts.

The commander sighed. "Next time you are dirt side, you are getting a haircut!"

"Uh, sure, base," said the space monitor, who finally righted the clipboard and stood up straight.

"I, uh, have a message from a small town in Fiji. There's a volcano rumbling and they need help."

The commander sighed again. "What kind of help?"

The space monitor consulted the clipboard and frowned. Reading sotto voce, the voice of International Rescue finally came to the crux of the matter. "Uh, there's a research station full of bul... val..."

"Vulcanologists?" came a voice from the other end of the lounge as the pilot of Thunderbird One stepped inside.

"Yeah, whatever! Anyway, they're trapped in a little bitty research center on the side of the volcano and can't get out. And the volcano's supposed to re... ear..."

"Erupt." Another voice was heard from near the piano as Thunderbird Two's pilot sat down at the bench of the baby grand.

The space monitor smiled. "Yeah, thanks!"

"Okay, Thunderbird Five, we have the message. Transmit coordinates to Thunderbird One once it's airborne." The commander turned to the pilot of the rocket plane. "We need...."

"Already gone," said the pilot, using the wall sconces to gain access to the lead Thunderbird. Sharp blue eyes now rested on the musician, who sighed and went to stand by a picture of a rocket.

"I'm going. What pod should I take?"

"Take Five with the Firefly and the extra winch equipment."

"Can I get some help on this one?"

The commander nodded at the aquanaut. "You go this time and double crew."

The aquanaut rolled amber-brown eyes, but said simply, "FAB," and headed for the passenger elevator.

The picture tipped up and Thunderbird Two's pilot began the long journey to the green cargo carrier. The tennis player swung a racket, dropped sullenly into a chair, and complained, "Why don't I get to go this time?"

"Because my calendar tells me you're about to become a bitchy whiner," responded the commander curtly. "The others don't need your attitude right now."

The tennis player got up and left in a huff, dragging along the engineer's assistant.

"Come on, Tin-Tin, let's play some more tennis."

The roar of Thunderbird One's engines passed by quickly outside as it rose swiftly from its hidden launch bay under the pool. The commander sat back, then turned to the space monitor.

"Don't you have something to do?"

"Uh, oh yeah! I have to tell Thunderbird One where to go. I'll do that now. Thanks. Bye-Bye!"

Communications closed and Jeff Tracy put his head in his hands and shook it.

Lucille, why in the world did you have to leave me with five girls?