White and blue

I awoke in a white room. White ceiling, white walls, white curtains. I did not immediately recognize it, for I had not often seen it from this particular perspective. But slowly I realized that I was in the sick room back on Tracy Island. Back home.

A woman's face, framed by blonde hair, looked down at me. She turned to speak to someone out of range.

"Evan. Kyrano is awake." I now recognized Lady Penelope, and as he came into view, Dr. Evan Longfeld, International Rescue's doctor-on-call. He shone a light into my eyes, and checked the diagnostic panel above my head.

"Welcome back, Kyrano. You've given all of us quite a bit of worry." Dr. Longfeld said with a smile. He held up a cup with a straw to my lips. "Sip this slowly."

I complied and tasted cold, fresh water on my tongue. It was all I could do to keep from gulping it down instead of sipping slowly as directed. Finally, my mouth moistened and my thirst somewhat slaked, I whispered to him, "How are the Tracys? How is Jeff? And my Tin-Tin?"

Dr. Longfeld's smile grew wider. "The Tracys are, by and large, whole and healthy. Some bruises and scrapes. I don't know what you did to Gordon, though. It took us quite a while to bring him around. He has a mild concussion. Tin-Tin has only a few scrapes, but she has some nasty memories of her ordeal and will need much patience to see her through it. Hiram, on the other hand, is being sent to a plastic surgeon friend of mine in Melbourne. Those deep gashes on his face will need to be cosmetically repaired in time for his wedding. Bekkah is here and Parker will be flying them out momentarily."

As if calling her name could conjure her up, Dr. Barnes came to my bedside. She took my hand in hers and grinned at me.

"You did it! You brought them all back, and yourself, too!" Her tone sobered. "I saw the staff all covered in gore. I guess I didn't realize it could be a.... skewer. I'm sorry you had to use it that way."

That memory, the memory of Belah's impalement, prompted me to ask, "What about Belah? Is he dead?"

Dr. Barnes looked at me sadly. "I don't know. We don't know. Jeff said that they were so concerned for you that they didn't even think about him. But when they came back after taking you to Thunderbird 2, he was gone and the staff left behind. So, they're not sure if he's dead or alive." She looked up and out the door, put up one finger to whoever she saw standing there, then turned back to me.

"I've got to go. Parker is ready to take us to Melbourne." She leaned over and kissed my forehead. "Thank you. For bringing them all back. But especially what you did for Hiram." Then she was gone.

Jeff Tracy appeared to take her place. His face was bruised and scraped and he had three or four squares of gauze at various places on his face and neck. However, his eyes were clear and his voice robust as he spoke with me.

"I suppose you'd like to know what happened after you left the temple with Tin-Tin," he offered. I nodded. I did want to know how he and the boys fared after my departure.

"Well, Scott came around first and left the dungeon room by way of the door you so thoughtfully left open for him. He found John, Alan, and Virgil in the corridor and tried to wake them, but he didn't get very far. He left them propped up along the wall, and went in search of me. He found Gordon where you had left him and had no luck at all in bringing him around. Then he ventured into the great hall and found me. I had come to, and working together we managed to pry me loose. I went down and helped the three boys get on their feet, then we went looking for you, Tin-Tin, and Brains."

"We found Tin-Tin right away and I sent John and Alan out to Thunderbird 2 with her. They couldn't get in at first, but Brains was awake and out of bed by that time and he used the override code to let them in. Alan stayed behind with Brains and Tin-Tin, while John came back to help with you. I tell you, Kyrano, when I saw all that blood on you, I thought you were dead. I am thankful that most of it was his." Jeff stopped for a moment to control the waver of emotion in his voice.

"We got you back to Thunderbird 2 and did what we could to patch you up. Then I sent Scott and Virgil back for Gordon. The crew's bunks were full on the trip home because we sent Brains back to bed as well. Scott flew Thunderbird 1 home, Virgil piloted Thunderbird 2, and John took home the helijet we found near the ruins of a house. And here we are. Thanks to you, old friend." Something suspiciously like moisture formed in the corner of his eyes. He clasped my hand firmly for a moment, then turned away to see after Gordon.

Dr. Longfeld gave me another drink and offered me a pill to take for the pain that throbbed both in my shoulder and in my ankle. I politely declined the medication, prefering to deal with my pain through mental discipline. I cleared my mind and did some focusing exercises, then entered a trance-like state once again. My mind reached out to find another, one other in particular.

In the velvety blackness, I saw the points of light that indicated other minds. But instead of many, there were only two. The fiery one that indicated my half-brother, and the icy blue that belonged to his partner, Heimana. They appeared before me, the fire dampening, dwindling, and darkening. Then they merged, and what had been a plain blue light became a cold blue flame. The fire was gone from the other, and it finally died, leaving no trace of the mind that had been Belah Gaat's.

The blue flame burned with a bright iciness and seemed to recognize my presence on this mental plane. I felt a cold feathery touch on my mind and heard a soft, cool voice whisper in my mind's ear: "The war has begun... uncle."

I shivered. Now Heimana, my neice, had the fire that had made her father so dangerous. The power that made him so evil. She was right. The war had only begun.