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  GENESIS
by Katie Oliver

Chapter One: The Meeting

      It is a little known fact that the Tracy dynasty began with a broken paving stone. If Sarah Creighton-Ward had not tripped over a cracked paving stone that spring day in the year 2037, she would not have sent handsome young astronaut Jeff Tracy sprawling on the dirty London streets. Then she would never, by way of an apology, invited him to her engagement party, and he would never have met her fiancée's sister, Elizabeth. As she did trip, Jeff and Elizabeth met, fell in love and were married six months later.
      The two weeks after the wedding were a social whirl but all too soon the young couple found themselves at London airport ready to fly to Jeff's American home.
      Elizabeth said tearful farewells to her parents, her brother Richard and his wife Sarah (of paving stone fame), then turned her back on her old home and mounted the steps to the aeorplane that would carry her into her new life.

      Just two months later the happy couple found they would be joined by a third, and the birth of their son Scott in April 2039 brought fulfillment to both parents. It also brought changes of another kind.

      Jeff decided that he wanted to spend more time with his wife and son than could be allowed by the demands of the Space Agency, and resigned his post. Instead he founded a company, Tracy Engineering that looked at advanced materials that could be used by the Space industry. The company grew quickly and so did young Scott. He was a bright little boy and brought pleasure to his parents with his joy of life. When Scott was joined 18 months later by a brother, John, the proud parents felt they had nothing left to wish for.

      Elizabeth was tired by the needs of a new baby and the demands of a bright lively toddler so the Tracy's employed a young girl, Rachel, to help. Rachel was a real find. Although just out of college, where she had studied childcare, she had a natural gift with young children. Scott took to his new friend immediately and together they explored the small town the Tracy's lived in, while Elizabeth cared for young John.

      It has to be said that the 10-month gap between John and Virgil, the next Tracy, was a mistake and led to many changes for the young family. Virgil was born two months early and was at first a delicate baby. Elizabeth had had a difficult time, and was also ill for some time after the birth. This meant that the care of two-year-old Scott and young John fell increasingly to Rachel. It also hastened the family's removal to Tracy Island.

      This was an island in the South Pacific Ocean that Jeff Tracy had brought soon after the founding of his second engineering company. The family had been building a villa there and it was nearing completion. With Elizabeth needing rest and quiet, the family moved when baby Virgil was only 3 months old. The constant building work caused further problems and after some discussion Jeff, Elizabeth and Virgil set off to England to visit Elizabeth's family. Scott and John were left on the idyllic island in Rachel's capable hands.
      The visit was very beneficial for Elizabeth, and after several weeks with her parents the family set off to visit her brother, Richard. Richard and Sarah had just had their first baby and Elizabeth was delighted to find that little Lizzie had been named after her. Richard and Sarah also threw several parties for their guests, and to one came Sarah's brother, Hugh and his wife Amelia. Their daughter, Penelope was 21 months old and a delightful mixture of precociousness and fun. She was fascinated with the tiny baby her Uncle and Aunt- by- marriage had brought from America. Still small for his age Virgil was like a little doll.

      Elizabeth was equally fascinated by the little girl, and that evening whispered to Jeff
      "Wouldn't you like a daughter?" Jeff was worried. The last baby had nearly cost his beloved wife her life. He was not going to take that risk again.
      "Don't you think three children under four is enough for any woman?" he teased her. But he could see that she was serious.
      "Oh Jeff! I'm quite well again now. I don't think anybody can have enough children. I'd like a full football team!"
      "What about that girl?" teased her husband. Elizabeth was indignant.
      "Jeff Tracy! Are you implying that girls cannot play football?" Jeff backpedaled fast.
      "No, no not at all," and with that he quickly ended the discussion with a passionate kiss that meant his wife did not wish to talk further!

      Both of them were missing their older two boys and as Elizabeth was now quite well again they were soon on their way back to Tracy Island. The villa had been completed in their absence and reunited with their children it would be hard to find a more contented couple anywhere in the world.

On to Chapter Two: Tragedy.