“We will discuss this later.” Virgil’s baritone had dropped to a threat. The man turned and strode across the room in her direction. She slipped further into the shadows, but he turned and approached the wall beside the portraits. Turning around, he reached up and grabbed onto two light fixtures. She heard him mutter something about having to fly the tin can and then the wall ate him. A rumble of machinery echoed through the panelling.
Okay, that made her jump and not a little guilty. John was looking in her direction, so she slipped out of hiding and ‘scooted into the room. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to intrude.”
John sighed. “You didn’t. Please excuse Virgil, he is not really approachable before his morning coffee.”
“Where is he going?”
Another sigh. “There was an incident in a Brazilian skyscraper early this morning. A fire. Thunderbird Two attended with Alan and Gordon along with Brains for engineering advice.” What? She’d slept through that? John must have read her expression. “The villa is well soundproofed for most of our launches. Only one really disturbs the main house enough to wake those deeply asleep.”
As if in demonstration, the glass doors onto the balcony clicked and began to close. John smiled just a little. “You might like to watch this.” He led her to the edge of the room where she could see the pool just beyond the balcony. Using her ‘scoot to her own advantage, she raised herself up higher for a better view.
The pool was moving, retracting into the house, a gaping hole left in its wake.
“There is only one thing Virgil hates more than early mornings.” Beneath her feet the building made an odd clunk sound as the pool fully retracted. “And that is piloting Thunderbird One.”
Something exploded beneath them. The whole house shook in its foundations and to her astonishment, the famed rocket plane of International Rescue burst forth from where the pool used to be, a blur of red, grey, blue and white alphabet tore vertically into the sky.
Her jaw was on the floor.
“That’s Scott’s Thunderbird?” She could barely hear the roar anymore, much less see the craft.
It was gone.