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The contents of this page are © Jerry Attwooll.

 
   
  HOSTAGE
by Jerry Attwooll

Chapter 1:  Gone Fishing

       The small boat moved almost imperceptibly up and down in a rhythmic motion in time to the gentle ripples of the ocean. The sun was shining out of a clear blue sky, its reflection shimmering in the gentle waves of the water.  It was this kind of perfect day that could make this part of the South Pacific seem like heaven on earth. Just a few hundred yards away from the little boat, lay a small island, which was located at the top of an extinct volcano. To the casual observer, the island was simply a small oasis of land in a seemingly never-ending expanse of clear blue ocean. Few people in the world knew what lay beneath its seemingly peaceful facade. 
       The only visible signs of life from the boat were two fishing poles with lines extended into the water and the blonde haired figure of a man hunched with intense concentration over one of the poles. 
       "If I'd have known you were just going to sit there sunning yourself all day, I wouldn't have bothered to have you come along." Announced Alan Tracy to one of his elder brothers, the copper-haired Gordon who was lying contented, his hands behind his head, eyes closed as he basked in the glowing warmth of the day. 
       Gordon opened one eye and looked at his kid brother mischievously. "Ah, stay cool kid, who wants too much strenuous exercise on a day like this"
       "Well there's no danger of you doing that" replied Alan petulantly.
       Suddenly Alan's line want taut and the rod started to bend.
       "I've got a bite. It's a big one" said the youngest Tracy brother proudly.
       Gordon was not about to let something as mundane as a fish on Alan's pole disturb his relaxation and ignored Alan's fight with the creature.
       "C'Mon Gordon, I need your help" 
       He gently kicked his older brother's feet.
       "Alright kid, guess I'm not gonna get any peace until I help you reel in this whopper"
       With Gordon rising to his feet and the boat being pulled by the catch, it started to rock. Alan suddenly started to feel himself losing balance.
       "Hey steady on Gordon you're rocking the boat" 
       "Just hold it for a while Alan, play it, give it a little more line"
       "I'm not letting this one get away" Alan said with determination.
       Gordon was shaking his head as he wobbled unsteadily towards his younger brother.
       "Now be gentle, don't be too eager" Gordon told Alan as he grabbed the rod.
       "Hey let go, just be ready with the net" Alan ordered. "Gordon you're rocking the boa……Aghhhh"
       Neither brother was quite sure how it happened, but Alan lost balance and fell over the side of the boat making an ungainly splash in the previously calm water. Fortunately Gordon still had hold of the pole and with some expertise managed to start reeling in the catch whilst his younger brother bobbed about angrily alongside the boat.
       "Hey Gordon what's the big idea?"
       "Don’t worry kid," said Gordon dismissively. "I've got it. I'll soon reel it in. Hey, don't look so sore, I've got a feeling this one will feed a few of us tonight, It'll be worth a quick dip in the ocean, you'll see"
       "Huh. that's easy for you to say," muttered Alan indignantly as he started to climb aboard the boat. "Seeing as you're not the one soaking wet"
       It was around thirty minutes later when Gordon and Alan entered the lounge, Gordon having triumphantly reeled in the catch. Alan had already dried out somewhat from the noonday sun and was hoping to sneak into the house, shower and change before anyone noticed his appearance.
       Virgil looked up from the book he was reading and quickly caught sight of Alan's damp and bedraggled appearance. 
       "Well did you catch………" He broke off and a smile passed on his lips. "What on earth happened to you?"
       "It was Gordon's fault" Alan scowled.
       "Alan, the idea is to use bait and rods to catch the fish, not go diving in after them" quipped Scott Tracy.
       Alan had a mock smile on his face. "Yes ha ha very funny, get them all in while you can."
       Even Jeff Tracy looked up from his desk and smiled at both Alan's appearance and his eldest son's quip.
       "Did you actually mange to catch anything son?" Asked Jeff, trying hard to stifle a laugh.
       "Sure did" Gordon replied triumphantly holding up a huge fish. "I'll just take it into Kyrano, Alan and I will have it for supper. I don't think there's enough for the rest of you"
       "Quite right too, after all the trouble Alan has gone to catch it " Joked Scott.
       Alan ignored this latest joke at his expense and turned and headed for the showers. He bumped into Tin-Tin as he was leaving the room. The beautiful Eurasian girl was like a sister to the Tracy boys, but perhaps a bit more to Alan. She was running an errand for Brains, but stopped in her tracks abruptly as she saw Alan's appearance.
       "My what happened to you?" 
       "Ask Gordon" He told her with a hint of petulance as he passed her.
       Tin-Tin looked to the copper haired brother who was crossing the room with the  catch to take it to the kitchen.
       "Just a little accident" He told her innocently
       Alan was still sulking somewhat as he picked at the fish meal Kyrano had so lovingly prepared for him and Gordon. The latter had almost finished tucking into his huge portion.
       "Ah that was good Kyrano"
       "Oh, thank you er Mr Gordon" the gentle Asian replied courteously "Is there something wrong with the way I have prepared the fish Mr Alan?"
       "Oh what…oh er no Kyrano, it's fine, guess I'm not real hungry tonight" 
       "Now eat up son, you must keep your strength up. We never know when a real emergency will be received.
       "Yeah, and after all the effort you went to to catch it" smirked Virgil, which brought sniggers from Scott, Gordon, Jeff and even Tin-Tin.
       "Oh another masterpiece of wit" Alan replied sarcastically as he forced another mouthful of the succulent meal into his mouth.
Jeff, seeing that the humour was perhaps getting too much, decided that Alan had endured enough teasing for one day. 
       "Okay boys that's enough, now I've got a feeling an emergency call is not far off, so I suggest we all turn in for an early night after supper has been cleared away.

On to Chapter 2