Not happy with this, and I probably shouldn’t be posting it, but it is 3.30am and I need to go to bed. Will probably re-write it sometime in the future.
Warm Rain, Virgil/Kayo, After ‘Made for Heavy Lifting’, some of the events surrounding the bullet wounds.
Kayo was covert ops. She was lithe, silent and deadly.
Virgil was logistics and heavy machinery. He was muscle, methodical and anything but quiet.
An extended argument with Thunderbird Five gave him enough information to locate her whereabouts. He may have broken John in the process, but he would apologise later. He needed to do this. John had to understand.
Scott had to understand.
They all had to understand.
Kayo was his sister, but she had become so much more and regardless of whether those feelings were returned, he had to do this.
The alternative was too horrifying to contemplate.
So he located her and, as with any rescue, he strategised his entry and the retrieval of the rescuee.
The buildings were old, part of an abandoned palm plantation in the middle of desecrated rainforest in Indonesia. Scans from Thunderbird Five revealed a considerable underground network of tunnels.
Kayo was being held in the centre of the main building.
In a pit of some kind.
The thought brought a flare of anger, but he fought it down. Now was not the time.
Back to being anything but quiet.
Unlike Thunderbird Shadow, no one could miss the arrival of the Thunderbird Two. Her sheer mass vibrated the air around her, a roar sending the palm trees subtly shivering. It could have been considered a disadvantage.
But it wasn’t.
TB2 tore into their airspace, her bulk displacing a massive volume of air sending old windows rattling and a few tinkling to the ground. He fired her central grapple, securing a zip line to a wall, and within moments, he was flying through one of those shattered panes.
A flick of his wrist and Thunderbird Two was moving again, becoming the main attraction in the show. A deployed laser saw several deserted outbuildings losing their roofs.
As for Virgil, he ran.
Fortunately the main building was scarcely populated. Convenient, if a little worrying. He held his tablet in one hand, while his shoulder mounted laser glowed threateningly.
With a dash of luck, a hell of a lot of noise from TB2, and a little attempted stealth of his own, he made it to the door of her room mostly undetected. The ‘mostly’ involved two separate men, now both out cold thanks to a good hard right and a little instruction from Kayo over the years.
Her door, of course was guarded.
Outside he could hear gunfire.
John hadn’t been able to locate any heavy firepower on the site, but he cringed anyway. Another flick of his wrist and he moved her off a little, instructing the autopilot to perform what evasive manoeuvres she could this close to the ground. He also programmed in a swooping run and deployed flares.
The alarmed yells in the distance were somewhat satisfying.
The guard was edgy, and Virgil took that to his advantage. He aimed and took out a chunk of wall on the other side of the man, forcing him to flinch in that direction.
Two steps and he was on him.
He knocked the gun flying and then knocked the man out as neatly as possible.
Virgil caught him as he fell, and just like the two other unconscious men behind him, placed him the recovery position.
Then he grabbed the gun.
He knew how to use one, of course. Both Scott and Gordon had made sure all the brothers were trained in handling firearms. Didn’t mean he had to like it.
The door was locked, but the guard had the key. A twist of tumblers and the door opened quietly.
“Well, well, well. If I had known grabbing Kayo, could net me both a Tracy and a Thunderbird so easily, I would have done it earlier.”
It was a pit. The room had no ceiling between it and the next floor. A railing ran around the top edge of the mini arena.
Kayo was tied up at one end. The moment she caught sight of him, her eyes widened in fear. She said something, but the gag in her mouth made it unintelligible.
The Hood stood far above on the mezzanine, staring down, ever so confident.
“So which one are you? The pilot of Thunderbird Two? Vincent? Virgo?” He smiled smarm. “Virgil Tracy.”
Virgil didn’t answer. He simply walked towards Kayo.
Halfway across the room a gun went off and the dirty floor at his feet chipped violently. He paused a second, before resuming his calm walk.
“You must be the slow one. Being shot at usually means stop.” This time the gun in the Hood’s hand fired much closer and Virgil did flinch and come to a halt.
“What do you want?”
Kayo couldn’t help but stare at her brother.
The last time she had seen him, he had been sweaty from that crazy workout. She had reamed him out for endangering his recovery from the incident in Guatemala. Under his uniform she knew he was still sporting new scars all over the right side of his back. He wasn’t supposed to even be on duty.
Yet, here he was.
He looked fully fit, calm and composed. But then this was Virgil. He looked the same in the middle of a raging forest fire or walking into a collapsing building.
He just usually wasn’t being shot at at the time.
“What do you want?”
“What I always want. Thank you for delivering yourself and your craft to me.”
Virgil turned back to her and began walking in her direction again.
Yet another gunshot took out a chunk of the floor at his feet and he staggered sideways. But then he calmly looked up, his brow crinkling momentarily in concentration and his laser lit up. Above her she heard a screech, a curse and stumbling steps.
And then Virgil was in her face, his arms wrapped around her, fiddling with her bonds. “Time to go.”
“I believe I told you to stop.” And there was the sound of another gunshot. Virgil shuddered against her.
She yelled into the gag.
But he didn’t stop attempting to free her.
“I said stop!”
And this time the gunshot staggered him into her and he almost fell, his gasp hot on her cheek.
But her hands were free.
She grabbed the stolen gun Virgil had stashed in his belt and shot at her uncle.
The first bullet missed and he snarled.
The second didn’t.
The room fell quiet.
Virgil was listing to his right.
She grabbed at him with one hand and ripped the gag out of her mouth with the other. “Virgil!”
“We gotta get out of here.” His voice was breathy and he was struggling to lift his left arm. Somewhat impatiently he grabbed his left with his right and using her shoulder, stabilised his left side in order to activate his remote. Holographic Thunderbird Two appeared in front of her eyes.
Several indicators were not happy. It was obvious she hadn’t gotten off scot-free, but she was functional. His brow furrowed, his right hand flipped up the control and she could hear the roar of his ‘bird outside change direction and get nearer.
He didn’t answer, just glanced at her before returning his concentration to his holographic display.
Two seconds later there was a hissing screech and Thunderbird Two cut a hole in the roof above them.
Ceiling plaster rained into the centre of the arena and TB2’s roar became deafening.
But then suddenly there was another roar beyond that. A familiar one. “Thunderbird One to Thunderbird Two. Status, Virgil.”
He hit his comms with his right hand, voice tight. “Can you cover us? Distraction?”
“Oh, I think I can think of something.” A pause. “John says you’re injured.”
“I’m on final retrieval.” And Thunderbird Two was lowering her rescue rig.
Outside there was a sudden almighty crash.
Kayo didn’t fail to notice that more and more of Virgil’s weight was leaning on her.
“Virgil?” She reached a hand around his shoulders to help support him and he gasped, pulling away.
Her hand came back red.
His movement threw him off balance and he began to fall sideways. She grabbed him.
“We gotta get outta here.” His voice dropped to a whisper.
The rescue rig clattered to an abrupt halt in the middle of the floor, its landing anything but soft. Shoving her arms under his armpits as he all but collapsed against her. She dragged him stumbling across to the rig, levering him into a seat and securing him. Accessing his remote, she ordered his ‘bird to retrieve them.
As the rig retracted up, and she clung to the frame, checking her brother’s vitals and attempting to keep him awake, she didn’t bother to spare a glance at the body of her dead uncle.
He had made his choice.
And she had made hers.
To be rewritten?