A Rough Chrismas Eve In More Ways Than One

The following is a rewrite for my story for the 2013 Christmas challenge


The assignment: The theme of the challenge is “A Christmas Rescue” and the Thunderbirds story we would like you to write should follow this theme and to make life interesting it also MUST commence with the following:-

“It was the night before Christmas but it was the last thing he cared about right now...”


A Rough Christmas Eve In More Ways Than One

by vicki1963


It was the night before Christmas, but it was the last thing he cared about right now as he waited to hear from his brother Virgil. Scott’s mind was in turmoil as he waited to hear if the ten people Virgil had gone down in the Mole to rescue were alive. While he waited his other brother Gordon, who was in the Firefly, was working in the area where the cellar was where the people were trapped.


Scott’s mind wasn’t just in turmoil about his worry over Virgil; no his mind was also full of thoughts of what Christmas Eve now meant to him. It wasn’t full of joy that’s for sure.


No, Christmas Eve was not a day Scott enjoyed anymore. No one knew he didn’t enjoy it any longer as he hid it well. Watching as the others prepared for the celebration on Christmas Day even helping them in said preparations, but his heart wasn’t really truly involved. He felt like he was just doing the motions and nothing else. When he was able to he would escape down to the beach or Thunderbird One’s hangar, but Virgil would always find him and bring him back.


Saying that no one knew about his heartache wasn’t true. He had told Virgil after it had happened, but no one else, and that’s why Virgil always came after him always making sure he was all right, like he would do with his younger brothers including Virgil after a difficult rescue.


Bringing his thoughts back to the rescue they were on Scott thought the minutes were going way too slow for him as he waited for Virgil’s call.


Finally, Virgil’s call came through ‘Mole to Mobile Control’.


Mobile Control to Mole, how’s it going Virgil?’ Scott asked sounding calmer than he actually was.


‘Just breaking though now Scott, will be able to check on things any time now’ Virgil told him.


‘Good. Be careful there, Gordon says the whole factory could collapse anytime’ Scott told him.


‘FAB I’ll be as quick as I can’ Virgil answered and signed off.


As Scott waited he would watch his brothers do the actual rescue as they were in the line of fire so to speak most of the time, Scott hated the waiting during a rescue. Although it wasn’t the first time he had to sit and wait while his brothers did the actual rescue, it was more frustrating to him to wait as it made him feel helpless. He hated feeling that. Although there were times he actually was involved in the actual rescue, those arose when he was the first on the scene (which he always was) to access the situation. Then if he saw action needed to be taken quickly he would dive in and do what had to be done, but would let Virgil know what was happening before doing so.


‘Firefly to Mobile Control’ Gordon’s voice came over the radio bring Scott out of his thoughts.


‘Mobile Control, Gordon go ahead’ Scott answered.


‘The factory is starting to collapse Scott. I can’t do anything else to stop it’.


‘FAB, move to a safe distance and then do what you can after it finishes collapsing’ Scott told Gordon.


‘FAB’ Gordon replied.


Cutting the connection to Gordon Scott tried to call Virgil.


‘Mobile Control to Mole’ Scott called over the radio.


No answer.


‘Mobile Control to Mole’ Scott tried again.


No answer still.


‘Mobile Control to Mole: Virgil! Please answer’ Scott tried a third time over the radio.


No answer again, but just when Scott though the worse.


‘Mole to Mobile Control’ Virgil’s voice finally came over the radio.


‘Virgil have you got the people?’ Scott asked in as calm a voice as possible, breathing a sigh of relief inward that Virgil was safe.


‘Yes, we’re already on the way out’ Virgil told him.


‘Good as the factory has finally collapsed’ Scott told him.


‘Will be on the surface in approximately two minutes; will need the paramedics to attend’.


‘FAB’ Scott said and then notified the paramedics.


Breathing in deeply and letting a large sigh of relief out with the knowledge that his brother was safe and had gotten himself and the people trapped out in time before the factory had finally collapsed.


‘Firefly to Mobile Control’ Gordon called.


‘Gordon go ahead’ Scott answered.


‘Nothing else I can do here now; the local fire service said they’ll be able to deal with what’s left, now that the factory has collapsed’.


‘FAB, pack up then’ Scott told him.


‘FAB’ Gordon replied.


‘Mole to Mobile Control’ the call came.


‘Virgil, go ahead’ Scott answered.


‘All the people rescued have been taken care of and I’m now heading back to the pod’.


‘FAB, Gordon’s already heading back there now himself; I’ll contact base to inform them’ Scott told him.


‘FAB’ Virgil replied.


Cutting all connections to his brothers Scott hit the button to contact Base.


‘Mobile Control to International Rescue Base’ Scott called. Normally he would call Thunderbird 5, the space station stationed above the Earth, but with John at home for Christmas it was on automatic and was being monitored from the island for the few days he would be down with the family to celebrate the holiday.


‘International Rescue Base to Mobile Control, go ahead son’ Jeff Tracy said in his baritone voice.


‘Dad the factory has finally collapsed, Virgil was able to get what people were trapped in the cellar out in time’ Scott told him.


‘That’s good to hear son’.


‘Virgil and Gordon are just packing up; the locals can now handle the rest of what is still burning and the clean-up’ Scott told his father.


‘Fine Scott, if you’re not needed anymore head home’.


‘FAB, I’ll contact you again after I've checked with the locals, and I'm in the air’.


‘FAB Scott’ Jeff replied and closed the channel.


After securing the radio Scott let out a sigh of relief, the rescue had turned out to be a success and not a failure as it could have ended up being. Walking over to the Fire Chief and the Police Coordinator he checked with them to see if everything was going all right and if they could handle things themselves. Getting the all clear from them and their thanks for International Rescue’s help Scott went back to Mobile Control and started to pack up. Once he had stored his equipment away in the locker there was for it he entered his “bird” to head on home.


Once he was strapped in and ready for lift off he contacted his brothers to see how they were going.


‘Thunderbird One to Thunderbird Two’.


‘Thunderbird Two here, go ahead Scott’ came Virgil’s voice over the radio.


‘All clear with the locals, they can handle the rest and the clean-up’ Scott told Virgil.


‘That’s good to hear’.


‘How long before you’re ready to head home?’ Scott asked.


‘Almost there now, just waiting for Gordon to come up from the pod before we head off’ Virgil said.


‘Good. I’m off then, see you at home’.


‘FAB, will contact you once I’m in the air’ Virgil said.


‘FAB’ Scott acknowledged and closed the channel down.


Scott started the engines to Thunderbird One and then hit the thrusters to start lifting off into the sky. Once he reached the safe cruising height of two thousand five hundred feet he plotted his course that would take him back home to Tracy Island, the home of International Rescue.


Once Scott was on his way he contacted base again to inform his father he was on the way and that Virgil and Gordon wouldn’t be too far behind in heading home.


As Scott was heading back home, he thought about the rescue they had just finished. The call had come in early in the morning on the island so they all knew that most of Christmas Eve would be spent on a rescue. But they had no idea exactly how long that would end up being.


The rescue had been sixteen long hours, (not including the travelling time to and the return trip), with the last two hours the hardest and worse of it. That was because they only found out that ten people had only been reported to be missing and possibly in a cellar which was located under the factory. No one had bothered to check or even attempted to check the number of staff that had been working in the factory at the time the fire started. No, they were only told everyone had been evacuated safely. It wasn’t till someone finally did a head count that it was noticed that people were missing. Then some of the workers started to mention that they hadn’t seen their workmate knowing they were in the factory at the fire started. Once it was finally determined exactly how many were missing International Rescue was notified by the Police Coordinator that ten people were missing and possibly in the cellar that the factory had or otherwise they didn’t make it out before the fire consumed the factory. With the way the fire was consuming the factory, it was almost too late when they received the report of the missing people.


With the way the fire was, it would be a miracle if anyone survived, even in the cellar especially if the factory collapsed, which was looking even more likely as time went on. The people trapped in the cellar seemed to be lucky or unlucky, depending on how you looked at it, to be stuck down in the cellar when the fire cut the power supply, which meant the elevator which was the only way in or out as there was no stairway to it at all, was unable to be run. If they had made it up from the cellar, they wouldn’t have survived due to the fieriness of the fire in that section of the factory. They would never have been able to escape no matter what.


When Scott had been informed about the trapped people, he dreaded the thought that International Rescue would for the first time fail in getting everyone to safety, especially at Christmas time. He pushed that thought aside and went about getting the people out and to do what was needed to be done to achieve that. He got Virgil to get the Mole out and ready to dig down to the cellar, but only once the plans had been made available of where exactly the cellar was located and all the pipes and cables that may be buried in the ground around the site.


Most of the fire had been dealt with between Virgil and Gordon, but there had been some intense moments as they removed some very volatile chemicals, not to mention the atomic rods that were the main power source to the laboratory in the factory as well as being used in some work the factory was doing. Most of the factory except for the lab ran on electricity as this was the safest energy due to the fact they were dealing with experimental scientific inventions.


Once Scott and Virgil had taken care of the atomic rods and other chemicals they joined Gordon, who was fighting the fire while they did the delicate work. From the start, Scott knew he would need to help his brothers, even though the local services were doing what they could. After the delicate job of the atomic rods had been dealt with, Scott went back to Mobile Control he then would give his brothers breaks when necessary. All in all between the three of them they did pretty well. At one stage, all three were working to control the massive fire, Scott in the Fire Truck, Gordon in the Fire Tender and Virgil in the Firefly. The factory was huge, and all three had been needed especially when things were at there worst with all the different materials and chemicals there were throughout the huge factory. As things eased towards the end, Scott handed control back to his brothers and went back to Mobile Control.


It wasn’t long after Scott had returned to Mobile Control and was checking things were going as they should that he received the report that ten people were missing and possibly trapped in the cellar of the factory. Alerting his brothers they went into action and luckily they were able to get everyone to safety. But it was a close call, one that shouldn’t have happened if the locals had told them earlier of the missing staff.


Scott was brought out of his thoughts of the rescue by the radio coming to life.


‘Thunderbird Two to Thunderbird One, Scott’ Virgil’s voice came over the radio.


‘Virgil, are you on your way?’ Scott asked.


‘Yeah, just leaving now eta to base two hours’ Virgil said.


‘Ok Virgil, see you guys when you get there’ Scott answered.


‘FAB’ the reply came.


For the rest of the flight home, Scott went over the rescue; he tried to think how to avoid potential disasters of this type in the future; that nearly happened this time and shouldn’t have. Keeping his mind on the rescue was hard especially now he was alone and not around anyone, his mind wanted to go to his hurt he always felt on Christmas Eve. Knowing he wouldn’t be about to get these thoughts out of his mind he willed himself to wait till he got home.


Scott was almost home when he contacted his father again.


‘Thunderbird One to Base’ Scott called.


‘Go ahead son’ Jeff Tracy answered.


‘Will be arriving in five minutes’ Scott told his father.


‘Good to have you back son’ Jeff said checking the radar to confirm no sea or air traffic was in the area of the island so the Thunderbirds could land.


‘Virgil and Gordon will be arriving in one and half hours’ Scott told his father.


‘Yes I know they’ve been in contact already. You have permission to land when ready’ Jeff said pressing the switch that sent the pool sliding to the side to allow Thunderbird One to land in its launch bay.


‘FAB’ Scott said.


Landing in the launch bay under the pool Thunderbird One slowly climbed up the ramp to its hangar where it waited for Scott to take her out on a rescue mission. Scott did the required shut down procedure as he always did upon returning home: after that was finished he was ready to leave his “bird”. The retractable walkway came out to meet up with the door that was opened letting Scott exit to step onto the walkway. Once Scott had stepped out of Thunderbird One onto the walkway it retracted back to the entrance to the hangar. When he was there he turned leaning against the wall; he then put his hands up to the lamp brackets; this activated the swinging mechanism and then it turned around 180 degrees depositing him into the lounge of Tracy Villa.


‘Scott good to have you back’ Jeff greeted his son who was still in uniform. Scott hadn’t bothered to change as it was late, and he would be heading to bed almost straightaway.


‘It’s good to be back dad’ Scott said feeling tired as it had been an extremely long day.


‘You look exhausted’ Scott’s father commented noticing how tired Scott was looking even through the dirt and soot on his face, his uniform was just as bad. Jeff knew that his other sons Virgil and Gordon probably looked the same or worse.


‘I am’ Scott answered.


‘Go have a shower and get some sleep’ Jeff told Scott.


‘I just might do that’ Scott said and headed to his room.


Once in his room Scott stripped out of his uniform which was covered with the remains from the fire they had fought. Getting under the warm water, he breathed a sigh of relief as the water cascaded down from his hair to flow over his body. After washing his hair with shampoo and then his body he towelled off and dressed not into his pj bottoms that he usually wore to bed but a t-shirt and jeans. He really didn’t feel like sleeping now that he had freshened up, and went back to the lounge.

‘Didn’t think you’d go to bed’ Jeff said upon seeing Scott walk in to the lounge.


‘No, I’ll wait for the others to arrive back’ Scott said.


‘You do realise that won’t be for another hour’ his father said to him.


‘I know’.


Jeff nodded and went over to the sideboard grabbed a glass and filled it. Going over to where Scott was sitting on the lounge he handed Scott the glass.


‘Here’ Jeff said handing Scott the glass.


‘Eggnog’ Scott said looking at what was in the glass.


‘Of course, what else on Christmas Eve’ Jeff said a little surprised that Scott didn’t think he would get any eggnog which was a tradition with them as they grew up after they were old enough to have some.


‘Thanks dad. Didn’t think I would get to have any this time’ Scott said to his father.


‘Well you did. You did well with the rescue, you all did. We’ll debrief sometime tomorrow’.


‘Thanks. Why don’t you go to bed and I’ll wait for the others’ Scott said to his father noticing he was looking tired but wanting more to be alone with his thoughts.


‘You know I always wait till all you boys are back’ Jeff said.


‘I know, but you look tired, and I can wait just as well as you’ Scott said.


‘All right son’ Jeff said reluctantly but started to head off to bed. Just as he reached the doorway, he turned back to Scott and said ‘Merry Christmas son’.


‘Merry Christmas dad’ Scott returned and watched his father leave to get some sleep leaving Scott to his thoughts till his brothers came home.


Just over an hour later Virgil and Gordon arrived back.


‘Scott where’s dad?’ Virgil asked not seeing his father after coming into the lounge where he usually met them after a mission.


‘In bed’ Scott answered.


‘Is he sick?’ Virgil asked worried there might be something wrong with his father.


‘No, just tired’ Scott said hoping that would stop his brother worrying.


‘How did you get him to go to bed? Threaten him’ Gordon asked.


‘No, he just agreed’.


Both Virgil and Gordon just shook their heads not believing it. Their father always waited for all of them to return from rescues no matter what time of the day or night.


Scott had wondered about why his dad had agreed so easily himself, but put it down to him being really tired, and it was Christmas after all.


‘Here guys’ Scott said as he handed his brothers each a glass of eggnog.


‘Eggnog’ Gordon said.


‘Yes Gordon eggnog’ Scott confirmed.


‘But I thought we missed out this year’ Gordon said knowing they would usually have a glass of eggnog with their father on Christmas Eve whether there was a rescue or not. It had been a tradition for them as a family Gordon remembered ever since their mom had died, though they had milk till they were old enough for the eggnog, their grandma made sure of that.


‘Technically you did, it’s after midnight’ Scott said.


‘That sucks’ Gordon replied.


‘But somewhere it’s still Christmas Eve’ Scott said trying to cheer things up for Gordon.


‘You’re right Scott somewhere in the world it’s still Christmas Eve’ Virgil agreed knowing that Scott was trying to cheer Gordon up about missing Christmas Eve at home. Gordon loved Christmas Eve; they all did.


‘Here’s to Christmas’ Scott said raising his own glass.


Virgil and Gordon raised theirs to Scott.


‘Merry Christmas guys’ Scott said.


‘Merry Christmas Scott’ both Virgil and Gordon said together.


All three glasses came clinking together before they all drank up their eggnog.


‘Now get to bed guys you need it’ Scott said trying to sound like their father.


‘What about you?’ Virgil asked.


‘I’ll just be a minute, and I’ll be going to bed as well’ Scott told him knowing Virgil was worried about him.


Virgil and Gordon nodded at that and headed off to bed, once they both had a shower to clean themselves up. Just before Virgil left the lounge he turned back to see if Scott was all right only to see him heading out to the patio. He knew his brother was hurting, but he couldn’t do anything to help. Virgil waited to see if Scott was all right before heading off to bed.


Scott walked out to the patio with what was left of his eggnog and stared out at the ocean which was simmering with the moon’s reflection on it. As he stared out at the ocean, his thoughts turned to a previous Christmas Eve, which made him sad. It was always the same at Christmas for him, but Christmas Eve was what he always dreaded now. It wasn’t always this way, no he always loved Christmas especially with his father and brothers but that had changed the last Christmas before International Rescue started.


It was two years ago on Christmas Eve that the woman he believed he loved and still felt something for left him. This was before International Rescue officially started. He knew in his heart that she had probably moved on and found someone else by now, even though he hadn’t, not that he could now but it still hurt to think she may have. He still loved her with all his heart no matter what he tried to tell himself, and Christmas always reminded him of that fact, now Christmas was always hard on him since then.


When he had told her he was going away she told him she couldn’t live with the knowledge he wouldn’t be around anymore she didn’t think that a long distance relationship would work, but not to tell her why he was leaving or unwilling to explain why really hurt her. She knew he had left the Air Force to do whatever it was he was now planning to do, but she couldn’t comprehend why he couldn’t tell her. She had come to the conclusion that he didn’t trust her and if he couldn’t trust her then there was no way they could have a relationship. She told him trust was an important part of any relationship, so if there was no trust there was no relationship. Scott knew she was right about trust; he wished she wasn’t. He tried to tell he could still see her but not on a regular basis like when he was in the Air Force she had said no to that and refused to change her decision. So on Christmas Eve she had walked out of his life for good and he hasn’t seen or heard from her since then. After she had gone he had made his way to be with his family, and with a heavy heart he celebrated Christmas with his family and they didn’t notice a thing, except for Virgil, who got it out of him and through the holiday season.


Virgil was the only one who ever knew about her and he was glad he had confided in him; they had always been close. Not even his father knew about her or his heartache, not that he believed, but knowing his father he probably did know, but never said anything, which he was grateful. Scott believed his father knew how hard it was for him at this time of the year that’s probably why he let him wait for the others; it was way too easy to get him to go to bed, and for that he was truly grateful for that his father felt for him.


Knowing it was getting way too late to be up Scott raised his glass and toasted his lost love. ‘Merry Christmas my love, where ever you are’ and he finished the rest of his eggnog.


After hearing Scott toast his lost love, Virgil sighed, turned and headed off to his room and bed leaving Scott alone knowing he would be turning in himself soon. Virgil had made it his duty as a brother since that Christmas that Scott had his heart broken to keep him cheerful and not let him get too moody and brooding. No, he made sure Scott always had a good Christmas no matter what. He knew eventually Scott would move on and enjoy himself again without any help but till then he would be always there doing what he could. He would do it again this year and every year after till his brother didn’t need him and had moved on. He hoped that Scott would find someone new one day that he could tell about what they all did and not hide it, but that was a long way off at this time.


Scott sighed and headed back into the lounge from the patio; he was tired. Securing everything Scott headed to his room and to bed. Once back in his room he changed but went to his desk before climbing into bed. Opening a drawer in his desk, he removed the photo of a woman and himself. Sighing he placed it back in and closed the drawer and crawled into bed.


As he fell asleep Scott’s thoughts were of what could have been and maybe one day would. ‘Merry Christmas my love, Merry Christmas’ he whispered as he finally fell asleep at last.