My entry in the FicSwap challenge TIWF 2014 as a result of a request submitted by fellow TIWF forum member JoTracy123

 

Assignment: "I would like a story explaining why Scott took TB1 on vacation with him (in the episode 'The Perils of Penelope')."

 

Interesting Vacation

 By vicki1963

 

The sky was clear and brilliant blue, almost the same colour of his eyes, with the occasional white fluffy cloud. Scott was in Thunderbird One heading home to Tracy Island after a week’s vacation.

 

As Scott travelled back home, his thoughts went back to why he had been sent on a week’s vacation.

 

Jeff Tracy sat at his desk as usual with Scott, Virgil, Gordon and Alan, still in uniform, sitting while they debriefed after the latest rescue they had returned from.

 

‘All right if that’s all then hit the showers boys’ Jeff said.

 

All four got up and headed off to clean up, but just before Scott left Jeff called out to him.

 

‘Scott before you go clean up I need to talk to you’.

 

‘Ok, father’ Scott said and returned to the sofa he had been sitting on before during the debriefing.

 

Jeff looked at Scott as he sat on the sofa. Taking a deep breath Jeff broached the subject that he knew Scott wouldn’t like.

 

‘Scott I want you to take a week’s vacation’.

 

‘Why?’ Scott asked.

 

‘You’ve been on every rescue since we started, you need a break’ Jeff told him.

 

‘I’m fine dad I don’t need a break’.

 

‘I think you do’ Scott started to protest but Jeff held up a hand to stop him ‘the others have all had some down time it’s only fair you have a break’.

 

‘But dad I feel great I don’t need a break’.

 

‘Sorry, Scott but I think you do. So next week I want you to go have some fun’.

 

‘I don’t have a choice do I? Scott asked.

 

‘No son you don’t’.

 

Seeing the serious, determined, brook no argument look on his father’s face Scott knew he had no choice he had to agree to the order. ‘Fine I’ll go’ he said getting up and headed to his room for a shower and change of clothes.

 

When he left the lounge, he was angry with his father that he didn’t think he was capable of doing his job. But as he showered the hot water not only eased his muscles, but also the tension he had felt from what his father had said. He had finished his shower and dressed by the time his mood was a lot better. He still wasn’t happy that he was being forced to take some down time, but he was slowly thinking it might do him some good to take a break. It was just a week, after all.

 

Scott headed to the kitchen grabbed a sandwich and went down to the beach. Normally he would go down to the games room and play some pool, but he didn’t feel like that; he just wanted some time alone to think.

 

Sitting on the beach always relaxed him. Watching the waves lap the shore not far from where his was sitting, he considered where he wanted to go for his weeks’ vacation.

 

His Grandma was back in Kansas, and he missed her, especially her apple pie, and thought it would be nice to visit her and his old friends, as well. As he thought about it, he felt it was a good idea. He started to think of other things he could do, including visiting some of his old Air Force buddies, but to do everything he would need more than a week.

 

Making a final decision that visiting his Grandma was the best way to go he headed back up to Tracy Villa and some pool with one of his brothers.

 

A few days later Jeff called Scott in as he had something to talk to him about in regards to his vacation. When Scott arrived his father was doing some paper work, he wasn’t sure if it was for International Rescue or Tracy Enterprises. Clearing his throat Scott made his presence known.

 

Ah, Scott there you are. Take a seat’

 

Scott took the seat next to his father’s desk. Waiting as his father moved his papers aside and grabbed a file from behind him. Scott was curious as to what his father wanted, as in a couple days he would be off to Kansas and his Grandma.

 

‘Scott, have you made arrangements for your vacation?’

 

‘Yes father I have’.

 

‘Good. Can you possibly change them if needed?’

 

‘Yes I guess so. Why? Is there something you want me to do while I’m away? If it’s to check on Grandma, I’m planning to stay with her and visit friends’.

 

‘I’m happy to hear your planning to visit your Grandma, but that’s not what I need you to do’.

 

‘Then what is it?’

 

‘I need you to go to a place in the Egyptian desert. There you will meet a man who will give you a parcel. In this parcel, there are some very important components for various projects that Tracy Enterprises and International Rescue are involved with’.

 

‘Landing Tracy One in the desert isn’t going to be easy’ Scott said.

 

‘I know that, that’s why you’ll be taking Thunderbird One’.

 

‘How long will I be in the desert?’ Scott asked.

 

‘Unfortunately it will be most of your week off’.

 

‘Why so long?’

 

‘The contact wasn’t actually able to give me an exact time and date he would be at the meeting place. So you’ll need to wait’.

 

‘So I’m going to spend all my vacation stuck in the desert’.

 

‘No, not at all, you can still visit your Grandma for two days before you need to head to the desert. I can’t give you any longer. I’m sorry’.

 

‘If I’m taking Thunderbird One where am I going to put it while at Grandmas’?

 

‘I thought you could take Tracy One and pick up Thunderbird One on the way to Egypt’.

 

‘It’ll take more than two days to get to Kansas and back with some time there to visit. I know Tracy One is fast but not that fast; I’ll need to make a stop during the trip each way’.

 

‘Ok, find a site near Grandmas you can park Thunderbird One for the two days, and let me know. I’ll think about it, as well. Also, when you’re in the desert you’ll need to camouflage Thunderbird One just in case’.

 

‘Ok dad, I’ll check in with you later when I’ve had time to check things out in Kansas’.

 

’Fine son’ Jeff said and watched Scott leave.

 

The day before Scott was due to fly out to see his Grandma in Kansas; Scott approached his dad who was sitting at his desk going over some papers.

 

‘Dad’ Scott said to get his attention.

 

‘Yes Scott’.

 

‘I’ve been able to find a place near Grandmas to set Thunderbird One’.

 

‘Ah yes, I’ve also found one too. Sorry, I’ve not had a chance to tell you before’ Jeff said.

 

‘That’s ok dad. I haven’t actually been around much to talk to’. Scott was referring to the rescues that he and his brothers had been on. There had been a series of rescues so during that time Scott tried to look for a safe place near his Grandmas in between the rescues and sleep, what little there was. Finally he had come up with a place, and a way to get to Grandmas safely. Now it just left him to tell his father what he had come up with.

 

‘Take a seat son’ Jeff said moving his papers aside. Grabbing a map to the area around where the Tracy’s farm was. He then showed Scott the place he believed to be the best place.

 

‘This is the only place I can find where Thunderbird One can be safely placed and camouflaged from anyone who by chance may wander into the area. Normally no one goes anywhere near there’.

 

‘That’s the only area I found as well’ Scott said thinking that great minds think alike.

 

‘Good now that’s settled how do you plan to get to Grandmas?’

 

‘I’ll go by hover bike’ Scott told his father.

 

‘That’s going to be risky. It could be identified as International Rescue’.

 

‘Not with a cover it won’t’ Scott said.

 

Jeff looked questioningly at Scott.

 

‘Brains has come up with a cover to go on top of it, so to make it look more like a normal bike. We’ve tried it out, and it looks pretty good’.

 

‘Does it work? Does it look stable enough not to come off?’

 

‘Y-yes Mr Tracy it does’ Brains said as he entered Jeff’s office.

 

‘Good that’s all I ask. Brains have you installed the new camouflage netting that Scott will need?’

 

‘Y-yes Mr Tracy, It’s all installed’ Brains said.

 

‘Brains has shown me the new netting and it looks like it’s better than the old one. Not that the old one wasn’t any good’ Scott said hoping he didn’t upset Brains as the netting old and new were his designs. Looking at Brains, he noticed he wasn’t upset, so he continued. ‘It should mask Thunderbird One well. The only way anyone will find her will be to run into her literary’.

 

‘That’s good to hear. Will it be able to adapt to any climate?’ Jeff asked as Scott would also need it in the desert, not just for bushland.

 

‘Y-yes Mr Tracy it sh-should’.

 

‘Good. Scott have you finished packing yet?’

 

‘Mostly I just have to check the supplies for my desert stay, and I’m ready’.

 

‘Well go take care of that then’ Jeff said dismissing Scott.

 

‘Yes sir’ Scott said and got up leaving Brains with his father to discuss other International Rescue matters.

 

The day dawned clear and bright with Scott waking up as soon as the sun rose. Scott wasn’t one to sleep long hours, not like Virgil. Getting up, Scott got ready to leave having breakfast with his father, and only two of his three brothers that were on the island at the time. 

 

Scott double checked everything in Thunderbird One after breakfast before heading to see his father before leaving. After saying goodbye to his father, and any brother who happened to be around in the lounge at the time, Scott moved over to the wall where the entrance to Thunderbird One’s hangar. Putting his back to the wall, he put his hands up to the wall lamps positioned there and activated the switch. The wall did a 180 degree turn putting him in the hangar and a duplicate wall with wall lamps in the lounge he had just left. The walkway then extended out with him to Thunderbird One where a hatch had opened letting him enter his “bird”. Once inside he pressed a button closing the hatch, then instead of changing into his uniform which he would usually do he sat in the pilot’s seat and pressed the button to start the downward trip to the launch bay. While this was happening, Scott went through the pre-flight checks finishing by the time he had reached the launch bay. Once in position Scott radioed he was ready for launch he waited for clearance to do so, as they had to check the radar to make sure there was no air or sea craft anywhere around. Having gotten clearance Scott hits the thrusters to send Thunderbird One up into the sky.

 

Once airborne Scott contacts Base; ‘Thunderbird One to Base changing to horizontal flight’.

 

‘FAB son have a good vacation’.

 

‘FAB dad see you in a week’s time’ Scott says and closes the channel.

 

Entering the co-ordinates for Bailey Kansas Scott headed towards some peace and quiet and hopefully fun, but most importantly he was heading to his Grandmas apple pie.

 

Arriving in Bailey, Scott checked his radar to make sure all was clear for him to land safely in the secluded place where Thunderbird One would be for the two days he would be there for. After landing and doing the post flight checks, he unloaded his hover bike and bike cover for it and assembled it in quick time, then grabbed his bag he had packed for this part of his vacation. He then deployed the camouflage netting for Thunderbird One; making sure everything was secured he left to go to his Grandmas.

 

Arriving at his Grandmas, he saw she was in the front garden.

 

‘Scott honey it’s good to see you’ Grandma said upon seeing Scott.

 

‘Hi Grandma it’s good to see you too’ Scott said giving his Grandma a hug.

 

‘Well come on in, you can put your bag in your room and then you can have some pie’.

 

‘Apple’ Scott asked hoping.

 

‘Of course what else’ Grandma said with a smile.

 

An hour later Scott headed into town to meet up with some old friends. Knowing he had only two days before having to leave he planned to make the most of his time in Bailey as he could.

 

Before long Scott was saying goodbye to his Grandma and heading back to Thunderbird One, and the mission his father had set him. Making sure no one was anywhere near the site Thunderbird One was he quickly packed his hover bike and bag in and removed the camouflage netting. Double checking yet again to make sure the area was clear he lifted off and headed off to Egypt to meet up with the courier.

 

Approaching Egypt Scott set the co-ordinates in for the area he was to wait for the courier. Arriving at the site Scott combed the immediate area by scanner, radar and visibly before putting down close to the oasis which was the place of the meeting. Securing the camouflage netting into place Scott set up camp in the oasis to wait for the courier to arrive. About an hour after arriving the proximity alert sounded that Scott had set up, not wanting to be caught unprepared in case it wasn’t whom he was expecting. After setting up camp, Scott had set up the proximity alerts around the oasis and locked down Thunderbird One. Now the alert coming from the east of the oasis signalled an approaching vehicle. Scott hoped whoever it was would just pass him but it was showing it was heading straight towards him at the oasis and not veering. About 50 miles east was the small town of Mishta El Nishwa. Believing it could be some locals from the town, it was too soon for the courier to be arriving that’s what he thought, Scott tried to relax and not worry about Thunderbird One being found. Keeping his gun handy but concealed he waited.

 

The desert vehicle approached the oasis where Scott waited; it slowed down coming to a halt near Scott’s campsite. The person exiting the vehicle was a nondescript person, neither man nor female in appearance, dressed in the clothes that was common for both men and women of the desert. This person was no different with their clothes the colour of the sand that surrounded the oasis; they also had a turban of sorts with a long scarf attached to it over their face almost completely covering it except the eyes, which were an emerald green, making identification extremely hard if not at all.

 

When the person approached Scott they said something but it was muffled due to the scarf over their mouth. Scott assumed it was a greeting in Arabic but wasn’t too sure, he wasn’t the one with the language skills, that was John. Seeing that he didn’t understand the person slowly unwrapped the scarf from over their face and took the turban like hat off revelling long black shiny hair that went just past the shoulder. Scott just stared in surprise, to find that the person was a woman.

 

‘Sorry about that I forgot it’s hard to make one understood through a scarf’ the woman said with a slight English accent.

 

‘That’s all right. Are you lost?’ Scott asked wondering why this woman was there.

 

‘No, I’m not lost. I’m to meet someone here actually that wouldn’t be you?’

 

‘I don’t think so’ Scott said hesitantly.

 

‘Shame that’s for sure’ she mumbled.

 

‘Sorry?’ Scott said not hearing what she just said.

 

'I must have the wrong oasis I’m sure I put in the correct GPS co-ordinates. Well sorry to have troubled you’ the woman said turning to leave but turned back again. ‘Oh, by the way, are you alone here?’

 

‘Yes why do you ask?’

 

‘Well I don’t see your vehicle anywhere around, how did you get here?’ the woman asked.

 

‘A friend dropped me here. They had to go on further into the desert but said they would return soon. Scott said hoping the woman believed him. At least she wasn’t able to see Thunderbird One which was a relief.

 

‘Oh, that’s good to hear, well I better get going I’m supposed to be meeting someone’ the woman said and started to head back to her vehicle.

 

‘Oh, meeting anyone in particular?’ Scott asked, curious to who she would be meeting all the way out in the desert. Was she the courier he was to meet, but he was told it would be a man.

 

‘Yes actually I am’ she replied eyeing Scott more closely. ‘I’m wondering…’ she trailed off. ‘No, probably not, oh, what the hell. My name is El Hawass’.

 

Scott watched the woman with interest as she seemed to be talking more to herself than to him. His eyes widened in shock when she told him her name. He was expecting a man, as his father told him it would be, not a woman.

 

‘By that look you’re the one I’m to meet. I take it you weren’t expecting a woman’.

 

‘Sorry, yes I meant no I wasn’t I was told it would be a man’.

 

‘Yes, well that was supposed to be my father you were to meet originally, but he got attacked in the town before he was to head out here, and the parcel was stolen from him’.

 

‘Is your father ok?’ Scott asked.

 

‘Yes thank you. He’s trying to find the men who attacked him so he can locate the parcel and try to get it back. He sent me out here, to contact you and let you know what’s happening’.

 

‘That’s not safe for him to try to tackle those men on his own they may be armed and dangerous’.

 

‘He knows that, he’s able to take care of himself, I promise you’.

 

‘Look I’m here for the parcel, maybe I can help to get it back so he doesn’t get hurt. I’m use to this type of situation he’s not’.

 

‘He is too, so I’m right in guessing you’re an agent from International Rescue?’

 

‘Yes, my name’s Scott’.

 

‘Hadiya, but Hadi will do’.

 

‘My father wasn’t sure if someone from International Rescue or Tracy Enterprises would be turning up. He knows the connection between the two as he works for Mr Tracy as an agent out here for him. Mr Tracy knows my father has told me about his work as I work very closely with him and his work he does for both International Rescue and Tracy Enterprises’.

 

‘That’s good to know. Can’t be too careful if you know what I mean. Well I guess we better get going’.

 

‘Sure but what about your gear?’

 

‘Let me pack up, and we can go’ Scott said and went to dismantle his camp.

 

‘Need any help?’ Hadi offered.

 

‘Thanks I’d appreciate that’.

 

Together Scott and Hadi packed up the camp. As they were loading it into Thunderbird One Scott noticed Hadi’s eyes light up in wonder as she saw Thunderbird One for the first time.

 

‘So this is…’ Hadi started to say staring.

 

‘Thunderbird One’ Scott finished for her. ‘Yes it is’.

 

‘Wow, its great’ Hadi said.

 

‘I think it is’ Scott looking admiringly at his “bird”.

 

‘Sorry, I’ve only heard about this aircraft, I didn’t expect to see it. Hey, I don’t remember seeing it when I arrived’ Hadi said.

 

‘Good, that means my camouflage netting is working’.

 

‘Are you sure you want to leave it here out in the open’.

 

‘It’s safe enough and I don’t believe anyone will come this way. If they do the proximity alerts I’ve set up will notify me, and I can come back here’.

 

‘What if it’s too late?’ Hadi asked.

 

‘I’ll deal with it at the time. Anyway no one will be able to get in, too many security features’.

 

‘Ok well I guess we better get going its 50 miles to the town’.

 

‘Ok, let’s go’ Scott said finishing locking down Thunderbird One and following Hadi to the vehicle.

 

Scott got in next to Hadi, who drove the vehicle back to town. Once there they headed to an area where there were houses mostly. Getting out Hadi led Scott to a house near where a small garden market was set up. Checking the house out Hadi then led Scott through the market, as he was led through the market Scott kept a keen eye on everything not wanting to get ambushed like Hadi’s father had. Hadi seemed to know where she was going, and Scott started to become suspicious of that fact. Scott kept himself alert and continued to follow Hadi feeling more and more uneasy.

 

They had gone some way when they came to a stop. They had long since moved out of sight of the garden market going through streets till they arrived at a large central market which seemed to be Hadi’s destination. Seeing her looking around the area for something or someone made him get a bad feeling creep through his body. Tensing Scott waited to see what would happen, he kept a close eye on things around him. Seeing a man approaching them, Scott felt in his pocket for the gun he was carrying, feeling it he clutched it in readiness just in case he had need of it.

 

The man approaching had a smile on his face and when he was closer said something in Arabic and then hugged Hadi, who returned the hug quite happily. Seeing the affection they had for each other Scott relaxed a little bit, but was still wary in case it was a trap of some sort.

 

Turning to Scott Hadi introduced the man to him. ‘This is my father Scott, father this is Scott the man you were to meet’.

 

‘My name is Mohamid Zahi El Hawass’ the man said extending his hand in greeting.

 

Taking his hand Scott shook it ‘Nice to meet you Mr El Hawass’.

 

‘I am sorry that you have come at a bad time with what has happened to me. I promise you I will get the parcel back that you came for. Please excuse me if my English is not good I try but I speak more in Arabic than English most days, though my daughter here tries to keep me in practice’.

 

‘Your English is fine Mr El Hawass’ Scott said appreciating the man’s honesty.

 

‘Please call me Mohamid’.

 

Scott acknowledges with a nod. ‘Do you know where those men who attacked you are now?’ Scott asked believing it was best to get things moving in a positive way if they were to retrieve the parcel.

 

‘Yes they went to a hotel not far from here’.

 

‘Are they still there?’ Scott asked.

 

‘They should be, I checked and saw them order some food and drink’.

 

‘All right then let’s go then’.

 

Mohamid led the way to the hotel where the two thieves were last seen. From what he had said they looked like they were acting like nothing had occurred, like attacking and stealing the components, to put anyone looking for them off their trail, or they were waiting for someone to meet them, only time would tell.

 

Arriving at the hotel they all entered and seated themselves not far from the two thieves who were still there, but not close enough or in sight of them to identify Mohamid as the man they had attacked for the parcel of components. Ordering some food and drink themselves they sat and watched making conversion as they did to see what would happen next. They could see that the men seemed like they were waiting for someone to arrive. Not long after they their food arrived the men received a message and from the looks they gave they weren’t happy about it. Mohamid translated what could be overheard from the thieves.

 

‘Scott it would seem the person they are to meet is not coming. Some sort of delay. They are not happy as it means they need to stay longer in town than they would have liked’.

 

‘Do you know when the meeting will now occur?’ Scott asked hoping it had been mentioned.

 

‘No, I did not hear that’ Mohamid said.

 

Hadi got up and started to follow the men as they were now leaving.

 

‘Hadi, where are you going?’ Scott asked.

 

‘Just to the ladies I’ll be back shortly’ she said and moved off leaving Scott and her father alone together.

 

‘So do you like my daughter?’ Mohamid asked.

 

‘What!’ Scott said surprised by the question.

 

‘She is beautiful is she not?’

 

‘Yeah, I guess so. I mean yes she is’.

 

‘You are not married?’

 

‘No,’ Scott answered then he realised what Mohamid was implying. ‘We’re not allowed to get involved in any relationships while in International Rescue’.

 

‘That’s a shame’ Mohamid said.

 

‘Yes well...’ Scott said trailing off hoping that Hadi would return.

 

Hadi returned soon after Scott had the thought about returning so as he didn’t have to continue with the conversion he had with her father. When she had returned, she was smiling but all she did was to sit down and said nothing.

 

Scott finally decided to ask her why she was smiling. ‘Hadi, what are you smiling for?’

 

‘I talked to the waiter who gave those men the message’.

 

‘You did’.

 

‘Yes and he told me that they wouldn’t be back for two days as the man they’re supposed to meet can’t get here till then’.

 

‘So we wait for two days or do we try to find them and get the parcel back?’ Mohamid asked.

 

Scott thought about Mohamid’s question, as even he had that same question in mind. He still had five days before he was due back home with the components, so there was still time to get them back. Making up his mind, he told Mohamid and Hadi his decision.

 

‘We’ll wait the two days and return here. In the meantime, I’ll get a room here and get to know the place and the surrounding area. I’ll have a plan worked out by the time the men return on how to get the parcel back’.

 

‘You don’t have any luggage with you’ Mohamid stated.

 

‘I do but I’ll have to return to my camp to get it. I’ll return and book in then’.

 

‘Be careful Scott those men are extremely dangerous’ Mohamid said.

 

‘They’ll be no problem, I can handle them. Well I better get going’ Scott said and stood up to leave.

 

‘I’ll drive you’ Hadi offered.

 

‘Thanks I’d appreciate that. It was nice to meet you Mohamid’ Scott said shaking hands with Hadi’s father.

 

‘It was nice to meet you Scott. I hope we’ll see each other again soon’.

 

‘I hope so too’ Scott left with Hadi, who led the way back to the vehicle. The walk and trip back were made in silence. Scott’s mind was trying to work out how to get the components from the thieves without them finding out who he was and from. Getting his bag out of Thunderbird One Scott returned to the town with Hadi and was dropped outside the hotel. Having made arrangements with Hadi to meet up the next day, he entered the hotel, registered and was shown up to a room that overlooked the street.

 

Scott hadn’t planned to stay in town but with the way things had turned out he had no choice. As it was a few hours before dinner, Scott decided to take a walk around the immediate area of the hotel, not wanting to venture too far afield for the time being.

 

Just a short walk from the hotel, maybe two blocks, he came upon the central market area. All sorts of wares were on sale from clothing and jewellery to fruits, vegetables and spices as well as local street food. Looking through the market Scott decided he would get some gifts for his father and brothers, but for all intents and purposes this trip was more to familiarize himself than anything. So he resolved to return the next day to do some shopping.

 

It was late in the day when Scott’s stomach made it known it was time to eat. Heading back to the hotel, he entered and went to the restaurant. Ordering he looked around the room and noticed not many people were there. This gave Scott time to survey the place better since the thieves would be returning to this place for the exchange. After finishing dinner, Scott took a stroll around the hotel trying to get the lay of the land just in case it was needed. This he did for an hour or more trying to be inconspicuous before retiring to his room.

 

The next day Scott headed to the market after having breakfast. Hadi had just met him just as he was leaving the hotel. Together they went to the market where Scott brought gifts for his family. After spending the morning shopping for his brothers, father and friends Scott headed back to the hotel and some lunch. After lunch he got Hadi to show him around the town in case the information was needed, so he didn’t get lost. Usually he would carry a GPS unit with him to help with the surrounding area he was in that he wasn’t familiar with, but he didn’t want to do that as it would attract undue attention, and it would identify him as International Rescue. He felt better having knowledge of the local area in his mind anyway. The idea he had finally come up with would need to work with that information. During the afternoon, Scott told Hadi the plan he had come up with, and she agreed it would work. But she did make Scott aware they may have little time to go through with it after the thieves had arrived before the real person came for the components. Scott realised it would be tight time wise, but it was worth the risk; actually it was the only way they had.

 

After discussing the finer details of the next day with Hadi, Scott decided to invite her to dinner at the hotel. Hadi accepted and then left to tell her father of the arrangements for the next day to get the components back. Scott returned to his room and relaxed for the few hours before dinner. Scott had told Hadi not to dress up to much as he didn’t have a dinner suit with him, not expecting to have his meals anywhere but at the oasis.

 

Thinking back to when Hadi’s father Mohamid had asked him if he had like her Scott had been shocked. Now that he had a chance to talk and get to know her he did like her but only as a friend perhaps and nothing else. It wouldn’t be the first time he had met an attractive woman only to dash their hopes of a relationship with him. Maybe one day in the future, he’ll meet someone he could love like his father had with his mother, and have a family of his own. But that was not possible at this time for him or any of his brothers expect maybe Alan, who had Tin Tin.

 

Before he knew it, it was time to go meet Hadi. Heading down to the foyer, he found that Hadi was already there waiting for him.

 

‘Hi Hadi’ Scott said as he stepped up to her.

 

‘Hi Scott, I know I’m early’.

 

‘No you’re not I’m late if anything’

 

‘You’re a diplomat as well as a pilot’.

 

‘Only when it involves beautiful ladies’ Scott said smiling to see Hadi blush. ‘If you’re ready we can head in’.

 

‘Yes why not’.

 

Scott led Hadi to the restaurant where they were shown to their table. After ordering they talked about different things for, they had already made the arrangements for the next day. Finding out that Hadi had attended Cambridge University in England as he had done for a short time they talked about that. They continued to talk right through the whole meal. After dessert and coffee were served a band started to play. Not many people got up to dance, though the restaurant was almost full by this time compared to earlier when Scott and Hadi had arrived.

 

Thinking it would be nice Scott asked Hadi to dance which she happily accepted. It had been some time since he had last danced with anyone. Dancing in close vicinity to Hadi made Scott realise he was really attracted to her. Her smell was of roses and sunshine; it was quite heady, and it made him feel he should kiss her. But she was the daughter of an International Rescue agent, and he knew it was wrong to take advantage. Hell, it was wrong on so many levels but he couldn’t help himself. He looked into her eyes and just went for it. He leaned in and lightly brushed his lips to hers. Pulling away to see what reaction he got, what he saw was surprise but no rejection. So he kissed her again, deep and lingering. She felt so good; he deepened the kiss even more, forgetting where he was. She gladly returned the kiss but then quite quickly ended it.

 

‘I’m sorry Scott’ Hadi said looking away from Scott’s eyes.

 

‘No, I’m sorry I shouldn’t have done that’.

 

‘It’s getting late I should go’.

 

Scott watched Hadi leave the dance floor and go back to their table where she collected her bag. Scott followed her; he walked with her to the entrance of the restaurant paid the bill and then helped her with her into the lightweight jacket she had brought with her for the cool air of the desert night.

 

Turning to Scott Hadi said ‘I’ll be fine from here’.

 

‘Ok if you’re sure’.

 

‘Yes Scott I am. Thank you for a wonderful evening’.

 

‘Will I see you tomorrow still’?

 

‘Of course we have those components to retrieve’.

 

‘I was just wondering. I mean after I kissed you it seemed like all you wanted to do was get away from me’.

 

‘I’m sorry I didn’t mean for it to look that way. It’s just that we have to work together’.

 

‘Of course I understand completely’ Scott said sighing inside for another lost chance at a relationship with a woman, he knew he really couldn’t. No matter if he felt like it might have worked between them.

 

‘Good night Scott’.

 

‘Good night Hadi’.

 

Scott watched as Hadi left and then headed up to his room. Thinking through his plan for the next day he just hoped it worked.

 

Six days after leaving Tracy Island Scott knew he had to go ahead with his plan for getting the components back. Heading downstairs at the required time he checked to see if the thieves had returned as yet. There was no sign of them. Seeing Hadi arriving, he met up with her and went into the restaurant to sit and wait. Sitting in a corner out of view of anyone but still able to see people enter and exit the restaurant they ordered coffee and sat back and waited. It seemed like hours but finally the thieves arrived.

 

Watching them carefully Scott waited long enough before making their move. Getting up, they walked over to the two thieves.

 

Hadi greeted the men in Arabic and asked if they spoke English, but they shook their heads in the negative. Turning to Scott Hadi said ‘they only speak Arabic they have no knowledge of English’.

 

‘Ok, ask them if they have the components’.

 

Hadi relayed this, but the reply wasn’t what she expected from them.

 

‘They said what proof do we have they are who we think they are and have what we ask for. What do I tell them?’

 

Scott thought time was running out when the real person the thieves were to meet would arrive. Thinking on his feet was one of the things he was good at. ‘Tell them the proof is we watched them attack the man carrying the parcel and describe it as much as you know. That should hopefully be enough proof for them, but hurry I don’t know how much time we may have left’.

 

Nodding Hadi relayed what Scott wanted her to, so it proved he was not a fake, even though he was. Listening to Hadi, and then the men’s reply Scott nervously waited, knowing that time was running out for them. Finally, Hadi turned to Scott smiling.

 

‘They have finally acknowledged we are who we say we are’.

 

‘Good now get them to hand over the components’.

 

Hadi once again turned to the men and relayed Scott’s request, but this time there was no smile and only harsh words and anger from Hadi; even Scott could tell. Knowing things had not gone according to plan this made him frown.

 

‘What’s wrong?’ Scott asked before Hadi said anything to him.

 

‘They don’t have it with them’.

 

‘What! They were to hand it over here today. Why? Where is it?’

 

‘It’s at the oasis’ Hadi told Scott

 

‘Exactly which oasis out in the desert? It could be anywhere?’ Scott said.

 

‘You’re not going to like this’.

 

‘No, not that oasis, not the one where...’ Scott trailed off realising which one they meant.

 

‘Yes that one’ Hadi confirmed.

 

‘Jesus’ Scott said running his hand through his hair. He did not like the way the situation was going. ‘Wait a minute. They’ve put it in the oasis where I was camped, but when? The proximity alerts haven’t gone off since I arrived here at the hotel. How long before I arrived did your father get attacked and the components stolen from him?’

 

‘Maybe a day two at the most’ Hadi answered.

 

‘Fine then they must have been there before I arrived’.

 

‘They are willing to take us out there where they can hand it over’.

 

‘I’m not liking this’.

 

‘Scott we’re running out of time we have to do something’.

 

‘Fine, tell them yes they can take us to the components’.

 

Hadi relayed Scott’s words once more. Nodding the men rose and started to head out.

 

‘Wait’ Scott said putting a hand on one of the men. ‘Hadi your father is outside in the vehicle isn’t he?’

 

‘Yes he is, oh no!’ Hadi said.

 

‘Tell them to meet us at the edge of town in ten minutes’.

 

Hadi told them and added something else to it.

 

‘I told them to wait a couple of minutes after we leave before they can go’.

 

‘Good thinking now let’s go. You go get your father out of sight I’ll meet you outside once I’ve got my things and paid’.

 

With a quick nod, Hadi left Scott, and they went their separate ways to do what needed to be done.

 

Luckily Scott had already packed, so it was just a matter of grabbing his bag and paying the hotel bill. Heading outside Hadi was waiting in the vehicle along with her father.

 

‘My father wishes to come with us’.

 

‘That’s not a good idea. One; they could recognize him and two; they may feel threatened with three of us against their two and not hand over the components’.

 

‘I can hide. You may need help, and I want to’.

 

Scott thought about it; this was starting to get way out of hand. His original plan had been so simple, well life wasn’t meant to be easy as they say.

 

‘Fine let’s go they’ll be waiting’.

 

Hadi drove to the edge of the town; meeting up with the thieves they followed them the 50 miles to the oasis. They had tried to get Scott and Hadi to go in one vehicle, but Scott vetoed that more as a safety precaution, he didn’t trust them, as well as Hadi’s father would have to be left behind. As they approached the oasis Scott was alerted by the proximity alerts set up when anyone approached the oasis, turning it off as received, before the thieves heard it, he watched as they slowly arrived.

 

Once parked Hadi got out after the thieves had left their vehicle to check what was now going to happen. Scott slowly scanned the area and noticed no one else around, not that he was expecting anyone especially as no other proximity alert had gone off. Not seeing Thunderbird One he knew his “bird” was still safely hidden under the camouflage netting. Exiting the vehicle himself, he headed over to Hadi and the thieves.

 

Arriving Scott noticed that Hadi wasn’t happy. Looking at her asking a silent “what’s wrong” by just his look she answered.

 

‘They want us to wait here while they retrieve the components’.

 

‘No, we go with them. Tell them that or the deal is off’ Scott said hoping his bluff would work.

 

Hadi relayed what Scott said. They didn’t answer Hadi straightaway instead talking softly between themselves. Finally turning back to Hadi they nodded agreement.

 

Moving off the thieves headed to the area where they had hidden the components, luckily it was in the opposite direction from where Thunderbird One was waiting. Following them Scott and Hadi kept a close eye on the two men. Not long after they arrived at the spot the thieves dug down and removed a bag that the box of components was inside of. Handing the box over to Hadi she then passed it to Scott who opened it and checked all was there. Closing the box he started to walk away with Hadi joining him. But both stopped suddenly in their tracks when they heard the sound a gun, actually two guns, being cocked ready to be used. Turning slowly around to face the thieves both Scott and Hadi faced two very angry mean looking thieves as well as their guns that were pointing directly at them.

 

The men said something in Arabic to Hadi, which Hadi translated for Scott. ‘They want the box back’.

 

‘Well they’re not getting it’.

 

‘They have guns Scott if you haven’t noticed’.

 

‘I can see that’.

 

‘Do you?’ Hadi asked wondering if Scott was packing.

 

‘Yes but they’ll shoot before I can get it out. Do you have one on you?’

 

‘Yes my father didn’t raise a stupid girl. I knew I might need one’.

 

Scott knew that if they went for their guns, they’d both be dead before they got them out. He knew he had to do something, or they wouldn’t be getting out of this alive.

 

‘Ask them why the guns’.

 

Not happy with the reply she received Hadi said ‘they don’t trust us for their payment’.

 

‘Tell them they’ll get paid once we’ve had a chance to check these work and haven’t been damaged from being buried in the sand’.

 

Telling the thieves what Scott said Hadi ended up in an argument with them. Finally it came to a stop, Scott had no idea what had been said, but decided to say something that may or may not appease them.

 

‘Tell them they will get paid when I get paid for them’.

 

Hadi told them what Scott said, and they seemed to be slightly pacified by it. Turning to leave again, Scott and Hadi started to walk away when two shots rang out. Both dropped to the ground waiting to see what was happening. Scott knew he hadn’t been hit and wondered if Hadi had been. Looking over at her, he saw she was looking at him seeing the same query he had about her on her face. Pulling his gun out Scott slowly scanned the area but couldn’t see anyone around, well not from where he was lying on the ground he couldn’t.

 

Passing the box of components over to Hadi and signalling for her to stay down Scott rose slowly and moved off to gain more cover, what little there was around. Once undercover he took stock of the area but saw nothing. He did notice the two thieves lying on the ground and not moving; he assumed they were dead but wasn’t sure till he could check them, as they were the only others there with Hadi and himself. Suddenly Scott caught movement in his peripheral vision to his left, turning that way he saw Hadi’s father Mohamid moving towards them a gun raised in his hand on guard.

 

‘Mohamid’ Scott called trying to get his attention.

 

Hearing his name Mohamid turned toward where Scott was. Rising up Scott started towards Mohamid but he was still holding his gun up now pointing it at Scott as he approached him.

 

‘You can lower your gun now’ Scott said to Mohamid.

 

Mohamid was hesitant in doing so, but looking back to where the two thieves were he saw his daughter slowly getting up; finally he lowered the gun.

 

‘Did you shoot them?’ Scott asked.

 

‘Yes, I followed you and kept hidden, watching what was happening. Seeing they weren’t letting you go I moved to a position where I could shoot them without hitting you’.

 

‘Thank you’. Seeing Mohamid smile Scott continued ‘we better check those two are dead’. Seeing Mohamid nod Scott moved to check on the two thieves, to see if they were still alive or not. Reaching down to them, he checked for a pulse in each of them. Finding none he realised they now had to get rid of the bodies.

 

‘They are dead?’ Mohamid asked.

 

‘Yes’ Scott answered.

 

‘I will take care of these men’ Mohamid offered.

 

‘Thank you. I’ll help put them in the vehicle’ Scott offered.

 

Both Scott and Mohamid got the two now very dead thieves into their vehicle. Mohamid planned to take them further out into the desert where it would be virtually impossible to tell who or why they may have been killed. After putting the bodies securely in the vehicle, Scott and Mohamid returned to where Hadi was waiting for them.

 

‘Well I guess that’s it’ Scott said.

 

‘Yes it is. Here is the box of components you came here for. I guess you’ll be leaving then?’ Hadi asked.

 

‘Yes I will be’ Scott answered.

 

‘We need to get going so we can be back home before night falls daughter. I will drive their vehicle, and you can follow’ Mohamid said.

 

‘Yes father I’ll be right there I just want to say goodbye to Scott’.

 

Mohamid turned to Scott. ‘It was nice to meet you Scott. I hope that we may meet again in the future’.

 

‘It was a pleasure to meet you too. I hope we’ll meet again too’.

 

‘Goodbye Scott’.

 

‘Goodbye’ Scott watched as Mohamid left and headed to the vehicle waiting at the edge of the oasis leaving Hadi alone with him.

 

‘I guess this is goodbye then’ Hadi said.

 

‘I guess so’.

 

‘Will you be leaving straight away’ Hadi asked.

 

‘No, I’ll wait till you and your father are a good distance before I take off’.

 

‘Well then I hope you have a good trip back’.

 

‘Thanks’ Scott said.

 

Leaning in Hadi placed a kiss on Scott’s cheek, leaning back just a little to look into Scott’s beautiful blue eyes. Scott was surprised when Hadi had leant in and kissed him on the cheek. Now staring into her eyes all he wanted to do now was kiss her. So that’s what he did.

 

Scott moved in and kissed Hadi. Surprised at Scott’s kiss at first, Hadi leaned in to help deepen the kiss that Scott gladly deepened at her invitation. Scott put his arms slowly around her waist and pulled her closer to him, she in turn put her arms up around his neck holding on as the kiss went on and on. Suddenly the sound of a horn broke the moment, and they pulled apart. Catching their breath both slowly stood apart sadness showing in their eyes as they had to part.

 

‘I have to go’ Hadi said.

 

‘I know’.

 

‘Maybe I’ll see you again’.

 

‘Of course I’ll contact you’ Scott said wondering if he really would or should for that matter.

 

‘Here’s my email and mobile number don’t be a stranger’ Hadi said handing Scott a piece of paper then quickly leaning in to place a quick kiss then just as quickly turned and left. Hearing both vehicles start off Scott gave a sigh. He knew he probably wasn’t going to see Hadi again, and he didn’t know why he accepted her contact details, maybe he should keep in touch with her but maybe not, he would think about it later.

 

Noticing it was getting late in the afternoon Scott hoped Hadi and her father Mohamid would make it back to town before dark. Deciding to head back home in the morning Scott set up camp for the night. Settling down for the night, Scott made sure the box with the components was safely locked away in Thunderbird One, and the proximity alerts were working before he got some sleep.

 

The next morning Scott rose and had breakfast. Taking his time he slowly packed his camp up and stored everything away including the proximity alerts in the locker on Thunderbird One. After storing his gear, Scott took care of the camouflage netting which he also stowed away. Climbing into the pilot’s seat Scott prepared to take off. Now doing the pre-flight checks Scott readied his “bird” to head on home. Hitting the thrusters Scott lifted Thunderbird One up and plotted a course to Tracy Island.

 

A vicinity alert sounded in the cockpit of Thunderbird One thus bringing Scott out of his thoughts. Checking his instruments he noticed he wasn’t that far from home. When he was about five minutes from home, he hit the remote to open the pool which was the entrance to Thunderbird one’s hangar and launch bay after checking the radar to make sure it was clear for him to land.

 

Contacting base he announced his arrival home. ‘Coming in to make vertical landing father’ Scott said.

 

‘Welcome home son. Sorry, not to have a big reception party to meet you after your leave we’ve got a major rescue operation in hand’.

 

‘Ok, father I understand. I hope I’ll be able to help too’ Scott said and closed down the channel. Scott concentrated on landing Thunderbird One, as it made its way up to its hangar from the launch bay Scott readied himself to exit his “bird” and to see his father for the first time in a week. Grabbing the box of components after arriving at the hangar, he exited his “bird” after the retractable walkway had come out and met up with the hatch of Thunderbird One. Stepping onto the walkway, he let it retract back to the wall of the hangar and the entrance to the hangar, once he was up against the wall holding one of his hands up to one of the wall lamp brackets activating the mechanism which swung the wall 180 degrees to deposit Scott in the lounge of Tracy Villa.

 

Once back in the lounge he greeted his father by giving him a hug after handing over the box of components he retrieved. His father then gave Scott a recap of what was happening.

 

‘So you see Scott the forces of International Rescue are converging on the city of Anderbad from three directions’ Jeff was saying to Scott to bring him up to speed. He continued to tell Scott what was happening, with Virgil, Gordon and Alan to land on a hill with a view of the tunnel the train Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy was on. They would be meeting with Parker in FAB1 before Parker headed down to the train station to meet the train. As his father continued he mentioned that Gordon had gone with Virgil and Alan to give him a break from underwater rescues.

 

Scott knew that Gordon had been on a fair few rescues himself; there had been a spate of underwater rescues over the last couple of months. For their father to say Gordon needed a break from them meant Gordon's back was starting to give him trouble from the constant strain he was experiencing from the physical side of underwater rescues and that the break from that type of rescue to land based ones would be a welcome relief to him, if only for a short time.

 

Virgil radios in to say they are due to arrive an hour before dawn and that Parker had relayed that Lady Penelope had settled down for the night. Nothing was expected to happen till after she had arrived in Anderbad.

 

Scott realised everything was going well, so he headed back to Thunderbird One to unload his gear. Arriving back, they receive a call from Virgil telling them the train was stuck in the tunnel due to a power failure. They standby with the Monobreak just in case they are needed, but it wasn’t needed as not long after the train exited the tunnel and arrived. The only thing is that both Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy are missing. Gordon and Virgil go into the tunnel to find them.

 

Scott really wanted to have a more active role in the rescue even offering to fly to Anderbad but knew he wouldn’t make in time, which his father only confirmed when he told him exactly the same thing he was thinking. Although he looked calm and comfortable even at one stage perching on his father’s desk only belied the way he really felt. He wanted to be in the thick of the action. Technically Scott was still off duty and on vacation till the next day but that still didn’t stop him wanting to be more actively involved. Inside he was raring to go but on the outside he appeared calm and relaxed not worrying about not being involved in the rescue.

 

As they waited to hear what was happening, they received a call from Alan, who was just as worried and wanted to act after yet another express train had exited the tunnel a while before, and there was no sign of his brothers with the others. As they were talking Alan suddenly announces that they had finally exited the tunnel and everything looked to be fine.

 

After everyone had met up with each other, they debriefed via video link about what had happened to Lady Penelope and Sir Jeremy on the train in the tunnel, and after they were taken off. After they finished the debrief Jeff gave the boys permission to spend the night in Paris with the proviso, they return back home the next morning. With his brothers away in Paris (or on Thunderbird 5 where John was) it left only his father and himself at home on the island. After dinner, Scott finally did his debrief on his vacation/mission to his father over a drink. His father was surprised about what had happened and even more so that he wasn’t notified about it when it had happened. Jeff would have a word with Mohamid his agent in Egypt about his lack of communication of important information. Scott told his father it was no big deal as it had ended well, with the components being where they were supposed to be in the end. His father agreed but emphasised that he should be informed no matter what next time, Scott readily accepted this decision.

 

After another drink with his father, Scott said good night and headed to his room to get some sleep. The villa was quieter than normal; Scott missed his brothers but didn’t envy them the time they would spend in Paris though Alan was probably sulking that he couldn’t go to the clubs like Virgil and Gordon, but he would have Tin Tin to spend time with as his father thought it only fair she had some down time, as well. Anyway they would all be back tomorrow, and he would be back on duty, as well.

 

As Scott prepared for bed, he thought back to Hadi. She was quite nice and very attractive just maybe he could have a relationship with her, maybe. Well that was something to think about in the future. Maybe when he was in London next time, and she was there also they could meet up and see where things took them. With that thought running through his mind, he drifted off to sleep.