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Thunderbirds and all related elements are © Carlton International Media Limited.
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The contents of this page are © Lorraine Clarke.

by Lorraine Clarke

      "I thought most babies were born with dark hair..." Jeff Tracy commented.
      Lucille his wife laughed.
      "This little one's a little different Jeff."
      They both looked down at their newest arrival.  A cute little baby boy, with vibrant blue eyes and short white fluffy hair. 
       The door to the nursery opened, and through it popped the small head of Scott, their first born.  Yes indeed, one and a half years earlier, they had been blessed with a sweet dark haired child.  The toddler walked over to them in slightly unstable toddler footsteps.
      "Hi Scott!" Lucille said, smiling at her first-born.
      The child clambered up into his father's lap.
      "Say hi to John Scott."

       Two months after the birth of John, Lucille called Jeff into their bedroom.  The baby was sleeping quietly in the nursery and Scott had gone to visit his grandparents.
      "What is it honey?" Jeff asked her.
      "I'm pregnant."
      Jeff nearly fell over, a mix of shock and excitement.
      "Again?  That's great!  But we just had a baby."
      "Well we're gonna have another one pretty soon."
      "How long gone are you?"
      "Only about a month."

      So eight months passed.  Like his elder brother, John had learned how to walk early.  Now ten months old, he could indeed walk quite well, but couldn't talk yet.  Scott now, now over two years old was full of seemingly endless energy.
       The two boys were bundled off to their grandparent's while Lucille went into hospital.  Her labour with her third child was relatively quick, but, as the others were, was incredibly painful.
      "I hate you Jeff Tracy!" she screamed, "If you were in half as much pain as me you'd be passed out on the floor!"
      Her screams could be heard all over the hospital, but were quickly silenced by the crying of her newest arrival.
      "Oh, he's so beautiful!"
      Jeff smiled.  It was like this every time.  At first she wanted him dead, then as soon as she saw her child, all was forgotten.
      "He looks like you." Lucille commented, cradling the small child in her arms.
      "He's got your eyes." Jeff said, stroking the child's cheek.
Lucille smiled up at Jeff, tired, but contented.
      "I can't wait to bring him home…"

       With three energetic young boys to cope with, Jeff found less and less time for his space career.  Eventually, he resigned his commission and started up his own business in construction and aerospace. 
       It seemed like time was flowing twice as fast as it should.  Before they knew it, young Virgil was eight months old.  Scott had taken a great deal of interest in his youngest sibling, as had John.  Jeff and Lucille had become somewhat worried about their second born, who was nearly two years old, yet still could not speak at all.
      "I wouldn't worry yet," the doctor had assured them, "some children just learn speech slower than others."
      But the silence continued; even after the next Tracy arrived.  Jeff and Lucille were blessed again with a fair-haired child whom they named Gordon.  Shortly after Gordon was born, Scott started school.  Despite not having much contact with children his age, Scott fitted in well.  He enjoyed every minute of school and made many friends.
       Lucille became increasingly worried.  At one and a half years of age, Virgil had already began to say words, but John was still silent.  Now nearly three, he was taken to a speech clinic.
      "It seems to me that this young man can speak, I heard him when I was out of the room, but as soon as I arrived he was quiet again."
      Lucille looked anxiously at Jeff.  John was squirming about in his arms; he clearly didn't want to be there.
      "But why does he not speak to us? Jeff asked the doctor.
      "I'm not sure, but I am sure that we will be able to fix the problem."

       Slowly and painfully, John came out of his silence.  The family was quite content, their eldest was thriving at school, their second oldest was about to begin school in the next term, and Virgil and Gordon were enjoying their childhood years.  When Gordon was nearly one year old, Lucille found herself pregnant.  Again.  Nine months later she gave birth to a beautiful child whom was named Alan.
       The family were thriving, when tragedy struck.  While out walking shortly after Alan's birth, Lucille was killed in a hit and run accident.  The driver of the car was never found.  Life became very difficult for Jeff.  He had the painful job of telling the boys that their mother had 'gone away on a little trip'.
      "When's she coming back?" Scott asked.
      "N-never son, she's dead."
      Gordon and Alan were too little to understand, but Scott, John and Virgil missed their mother terribly.
       Despite the tragedy in their lives, the boys did move on, but never forgot about their mother.  Scott, John and Virgil all entered their secondary education, leaving Gordon and Alan in their primary school.
      "You take care of Alan now, won't you?" Scott asked Gordon.
He nodded, and Scott smiled.

       Over the years, all of the boys developed unique interests and talents.  Scott was enthralled by planes and flying, Virgil had an uncanny talent for music and art, John was deeply interested in the stars and space travel, Gordon, at young age of sixteen had won Gold in the Olympics in freestyle Butterfly stroke.  Alan was fascinated by cars and high speed.  He was determined to become a successful racing driver.
       Each of the boys reached their goals.  Scott enlisted in the air force and was decorated for bravery in the face of danger many times.  Virgil, with his gift for music, became a professional pianist and composer.  John became a renowned author, publishing four books on outer space, each with a cover illustrated by Virgil.  Gordon, after winning the gold, joined the World Aquanught Security Patrol and spent a year underneath the surface studying marine farming methods.  Alan became a world known racing driver, winning many championships and succeeding in everything.  All of the boys did this while training to become astronaughts, so their father's dream could come true.
       Yes, Jeff's dream.  International Rescue, a rescue organisation with the most advanced technology around.  But before this, Jeff became a victim of mutiny.  He was lost in the pacific for a number of months.  But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining.  He was abandoned near an unpopulated island.  He explored and found it the perfect place for his organisation.  Secluded, quiet, it was the perfect place to conceal their secret.  Eventually, Jeff was found as a result of the incessant searching of his five young sons.
       Scott and Gordon were out searching the pacific.
      "We haven't checked those islands yet." Gordon said, "Let's go."
      They sped over to the islands.  In the distance, Jeff saw a speedboat and his heart raced.  He sent up flares, and Scott and Gordon sped towards them.
      "I think this is it!  We've found him!" Gordon said excitedly.
      "Don't get your hopes up yet," Scott warned him, "it may not be him."
      But for once, Gordon's optimisim paid off.  The first thing Jeff said to his two sons was:
      "I've found the perfect place for International Rescue." 
       After a few months of recuperation, Jeff met up with a young man, roughly the same age as John, who went by the pseudonym of 'Brains'.  The young man was brilliant.  Intelligent beyond his years.  He was orphaned when he was very young, and spent some time in an orphanage.  He was adopted by a professor who realised the child's uncanny ability for learning, and became a vital part of International Rescue.  Together, the Tracy's and Brains designed and built the five Thunderbirds.  Thunderbird one: a high-speed jet, designed to get to the disaster and asses the situation.  Thunderbird Two: a huge transporter designed to transport people and rescue equipment to the scene of the disaster.  Thunderbird Three: a spacecraft used for space rescues and transporting people to Thunderbird Five. Thunderbird Four: the smallest of the Thunderbirds, a high-tech submarine designed for underwater assignments.  Thunderbird Five: the ears of International Rescue, able to pick up radio signals from across the globe and able to be contacted on any frequency.
       Finally, the equipment was ready.  Scott, Alan and John made the first trip in Thunderbird Three.  John took the first duty of being the space monitor.  Their first assignment was that of the peril of the Fireflash, a high-speed jet, and high tech jet airliner.
      "Okay boys, that's the brief.  It's our first assignment, so make it look good." Jeff had said.
       Despite the tragedy in their lives, the boys thrived.  Scott, at twenty six, John, at twenty five, Virgil at twenty four, Gordon at twenty two and Alan at twenty one made up the International Rescue team.
       With those famous words, a new chapter of their young lives began.
      "Thunderbirds are Go!"