Patience is not a Virgil (virtue)

This is my entry in the 2015 Rescue Me challenge for TIWF.

 

Assignment for this challenge is that one of the canon characters finds themselves needing to be rescued - this can be from any point in their lives; it could be a rehash of something in the series (e.g. Ned's or Joe's thoughts from TINYC), an "emotional" rescue, such as Jeff or Scott needing help in the aftermath of Lucy's death, or a physical rescue such as one of the boys getting into a pickle on a call or falling down a well as a kid.

 

Patience is not a Virgil (virtue)

By vicki1963

 

The whole island had no power of any sort, which meant every electronic door was either stuck open or closed up tightly. This was not good. Anyone who was in a room with the doors closed was not getting out anytime soon. Luckily no one was, except Brains. Communications were also down and with no incoming or outgoing calls of any sort meant no contact with Thunderbird 5. Even their watch communicators weren’t working. This wasn’t just a power failure.

 

 

Jeff sat at this desk, assuming John was okay and trying not to worry about not being able to make contact. It wasn’t the first time John on 5 had been out of touch. It did make him worry though, and not just about John. He was also concerned about his other sons as well as the other residents living on the island.

 

 

Luckily the power failure had happened during the daytime. It would have been much worse if it had occurred during the night when everyone was asleep and in bed. With communications out there wouldn’t be any rescues. Mulling over that wasn’t doing anything to restore communications or reinstate the power. Until that was done, they couldn’t respond to anyone’s call for help.

 

 

Gordon thankfully had been swimming in the pool when the outage had occurred. He was now with Scott trying to get through to Brains who was currently stuck in his lab. They were trying their best to open it up, as they weren’t getting any answer from him. They knew he had last been seen in there before the power went off. Scott believed he was still there, but probably wearing earplugs. Irrespective, they were trying everything to get the lab door open without causing too much damage.

 

 

Grandma Tracy had been in the kitchen when the power had gone off. She thought she had blown another fuse until Jeff assured her she hadn’t. Kyrano was also in the kitchen at the time and was now making sure no one opened the refrigerator so things didn’t start to get warm and have to be thrown out. That went double for the freezers. There was plenty of food that didn’t need refrigeration or much preparation, so he figured they were right, at least for the time being.

 

 

Tin-Tin and Alan weren’t on the island, so Jeff was glad of that. Alan was visiting Lady Penelope and Tin-Tin had gone as well. That only left Virgil, and at the moment he was missing. Jeff had a vague idea that he was in Thunderbird 2’s hangar working and might not be aware of the power outage as it had its own separate backup generator. Scott said he would check on him, but first they needed Brains to help get them back up and running until then, Virgil could wait even though he wouldn’t be happy.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Virgil had spent the morning pretty well buried in a routine check of the systems in Thunderbird 2. He’d started with a system check and then moved on to checking every wire, nut and bolt in areas he believed were due. He loved tinkering and working on his bird just as much as he loved painting, playing his piano and writing music.

 

 

It was now early afternoon and Virgil’s stomach was growling. It had been some hours since breakfast and it was fair to say that he was starved. Finishing what he was doing, he checked the time on 2’s console and saw it was past midday. Lunch was definitely something he needed to have before Kyrano came looking for him with a tray or told his father that he’d missed it again. The last time that had happened his father had given him a lecture about missing meals and putting Kyrano out. He was told in no uncertain terms that he was not to let it happen again, and not to inconvenience both Kyrano and his Grandma who looked after the house and cooked the meals. So with that in mind he headed to the exit to go for lunch, albeit a little late.

 

 

What he wasn’t bargaining for was the door, not opening. He tried and tried again, but it wasn’t budging. Thinking something was wrong with it, he headed for the other exit on the far side of the hangar, but it too wouldn’t open. If this were a prank by his brother Gordon, there would be hell to pay Virgil thought. He really didn’t need another lecture from his father.

 

 

Resorting to his watch communicator to call Scott for help, he found that it wasn’t working either. It seemed to be working okay as a watch which was strange as the complete device always worked no matter where he was. Knowing there was a third exit up in the control room above him, he decided to head there. Climbing the stairs, he found that the door was closed as tight as the other two. It was then that he noticed that the communications and system panels in the room was dead. No lights blinking and no sound either.

 

 

‘What the hell is going on?’ Virgil said out loud.

 

 

Not expecting an answer, he sat down and wondered what else he could do. He hoped it was just localized in Thunderbird 2’s hangar and not the whole island. With his communication watch down it seemed a bit too similar to what happened a while ago. Luckily, that had only affected communications and long-range ones at that.

 

 

“Well, I might as well do some more work. No telling how long it’s going to be before things are back up,” Virgil thought to himself.

 

 

Starting down the stairs, he had just about gotten to the bottom when the auxiliary lights went.

 

 

‘Ahhh!’ Virgil cried out as he promptly fell the last half a dozen stairs to the concrete floor.

 

 

‘Shit,’ he said slowly sitting up, feeling battered and bruised from his tumble.

 

 

Luckily he wasn’t any higher up otherwise he may have really hurt himself. Picking himself up, he took a couple of steps to make sure he was okay and nothing was broken. Taking the torch from the pocket of his overalls, he switched it on, grateful it was still working after the fall. Thunderbird 2’s hangar had a small generator which had a life of about 6 hours, but they had never actually had to use it. They did do routine checks on it, just in case, nothing other than that. He hadn’t even realized that the backup power had been working at all. What puzzled him was why the generator for the whole of the island wasn’t working? Then he realized why.

 

 

The main generator had been taken over to their supply island which was not far away from them. They’d needed the power to do a major refit of Thunderbird 4, and then Thunderbird 3, when it also needed some major work done. In the end, they’d decided to leave it as it seemed a waste of time and man hours moving it to and fro every time they needed the power. Their father had given them the okay to leave it, he guessed that had been a bad idea. Mind you, they’d thought it was a good one at the time. As they had never had any major problems with their power before, not since moving to the island, and not since they moved the backup unit to the other island.

 

 

Well, something wasn’t right that was for sure. Whatever the problem was Brains would probably sort it out and soon.

 

 

Deciding to head back to the flight deck of his bird to wait for the power to come back on, he hit the light switch praying everything was working at least. It was. Setting his torch down, he tried the radio on the off chance it was working as well. No joy there. He had done most of the work he had to do and any work he could have done in the cockpit and elsewhere in Thunderbird 2 had already been finished. Any work outside couldn’t be safely done as he only had the light of the torch so he just sat waiting. He also wondered how long it would take them to realize he was missing and come looking for him. In the meantime, he tried to think if there was any other way for him to get out.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Jeff went to check on his mother and Kyrano in the kitchen. Luckily they didn’t have to worry about elevators in the house, unlike the hangars there were only stairs to each level.

 

 

‘How’s everything going on in here?’ he asked.

 

 

‘Fine, Jeff. Just fine. Lunch is almost ready if you want to eat,’ his mother said.

 

 

‘Great I’ll let the boys know.’

 

 

Jeff headed back to where the boys were still trying to get into Brains lab. It was only down another flight of stairs from the main house. This lab was only a small one compared to the larger one down further underground like the hangars. It was the only room used on a regular basis other than some storage rooms and the laundry that was housed there.

 

 

‘How’s it going boys?’

 

 

‘We’re trying everything we can,’ Scott told him.

 

 

‘Hold it right there!’ Gordon suddenly cried out.

 

 

‘What is it Gordon?’

 

 

‘I think… I might have got… the door to open a tiny bit,’ Gordon grunted through his effects of getting a small gap in the doorway. ‘Hand me that chisel.’

 

 

‘Chisel?’ Scott wondered why his brother would want that particular tool.

 

 

‘Yes, the flat part should be able to slide in and wedge the door open. It’ll help us to start getting this door opened,’ Gordon said.

 

 

Scott handed over the chisel and watched as Gordon tried to get it in the gap. Watching, Scott noticed it was working.

 

 

‘It’s moving Gordon. Can we put our hands in yet to pry it open?’

 

 

‘Not… yet,’ Gordon grunted out with the effect he was putting into the door.

 

 

‘If you want I’ll take over,’ Scott started to say.

 

 

‘No. If I let go now…’

 

 

Scott nodded, knowing what that meant. So he waited, watching his younger brother do what he could. He only hoped that he wouldn’t strain his back while he was doing it. He had tried, both had alternately, in attempting to pry open the door. All their efforts to get Brians to acknowledge them had failed. He had to be wearing earphones.

 

 

‘Scott, can you try and get a grip on the door now?’ Gordon asked his brother.

 

 

Moving to where he could get a good hold Scott managed to get his fingers through the opening Gordon had made holding on with all his strength so the door didn’t slip back closed. Gordon dropped the chisel and joined Scott. Scott was above Gordon, which left Gordon to have a hold lower on the door so they could pull it evenly.

 

 

‘Okay, Scott on the count of three. One, two, three.’

 

 

Both Scott and Gordon pulled with all their might. Finally, they were successful in getting the door opened. It hadn’t been easy as when the door had closed it had sealed air tight to render it sound proof. Even with the help of suction cups. They didn’t want to use the laser, their father wouldn’t have been too happy about the mess. After first making sure it wouldn’t close again, Jeff left the boys panting from their efforts and walked over to Brains to tap him on his shoulder. Jumping, Brains took his earplugs out.

 

 

‘What… can I do for you ah, Mr. Tracy?’

 

 

‘Brains, haven’t you noticed there’s no power?’

 

 

‘Ah, no I haven’t. Why not?’ Brains asked, puzzled.

 

 

‘The power is out right throughout the house and hangars. There’s also no communications incoming or outgoing. Say, why is it you’ve got power in here and elsewhere hasn’t?’ Jeff asked, noticing that in the lab, including the lights was still working.

 

 

‘I… ah, have my own power source separate from the… ah, main one and the house.’

 

 

‘How come?’

 

 

‘It’s so my… ah, experiments don’t… ah, interfere with everything causing problems in case something… ah doesn’t go right with them.’

 

 

‘Okay. What I’m more concerned about is getting the power back up and running again. Then finding out why it went out in the first place.’

 

 

‘Yes ah, Mr. Tracy. What about the… ah, backup generator?’

 

 

‘It’s on the other island.’

 

 

‘Oh. Yes, I remember now, sorry. Well, um, I better go… ah, check things out then.’

 

 

‘Yes, but first lunch is ready and my mother will be expecting us. You can check the systems out after that.’ Turning back to his sons. ‘You boys okay now?’

 

 

‘Yes, Dad we’re fine,’ Scott said, after seeing Gordon nodding in reply.

 

 

‘Good. Your Grandma has lunch waiting.’

 

 

Scott held a hand out to Gordon to help him to stand. Giving him a look that asked “are you okay?” Gordon returned a nod to indicate he was. Gordon knew his brother was worried about his back, but he’d made sure he had not put a strain on it while trying to pull the door open. Thankfully, Scott had not voiced his concern aloud to worry his father. Both headed to the kitchen with Brains for lunch. Jeff went to his desk once more to check on communications with Thunderbird 5, but they were still out. Deciding there was nothing else that could be done, he headed off to eat.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Virgil’s stomach was still growling. He was hungry and not doing anything to keep himself busy made it more noticeable than he thought. He knew he couldn’t get to the kitchen, so what was he to do? One thing for sure he was going to have a proper breakfast before working on his bird the next time and not just grab an apple on the way. Then he suddenly remembered the emergency rations that were stored on board. Getting a couple of energy bars, he returned to his seat to wait. It felt like hours, but when he checked his watch, it had only been two. He couldn’t sit any longer. There had to be a way out. Finally, he came up with something, but would he be able to succeed?

 

 

He knew there were air and air conditioning vents that ran throughout it which led to the outside or to other parts of the house above the hangar. Picking up the torch, Virgil headed out and searched for one of them. Finally finding one he made his way towards it. Getting up wasn’t too hard and getting the cover off was easy. Checking it seemed to be big enough for him to crawl through. Holding the torch in his mouth Virgil hoisted himself up and into the vent. Heading off, he hoped that it didn’t take too long before he was able to get out and inside the house or outside.

 

 

Moving slowly through the ventilation system, he realized that it started to slope upwards. This gave him hope as he now knew he was heading in the right direction, but as he continued on he began to worry. Exactly how long would it be before he made it out? Now the shaft was beginning to narrow. He only hoped it didn’t get too narrow for him, otherwise, it was going to pose a problem. Unfortunately, it did and it became hot and stuffy and so tight that moving was starting to get a little difficult. Then he came to what looked like a dead end. All his efforts had come to nothing and he’d now have to try and reverse back out. Before he did, he looked around properly with the torch and it was then that he noticed it went off ninety degrees to the right.

 

 

Moving on, he slowly inched his way around the corner, but then he hit his next problem. And it was a major one. With half his body in yet to turn to the right, the vent was now following a sharp ninety degrees to the left. The unexpected v section made any chances of escape virtually impossible.

 

 

Virgil wasn’t a big man, but he was average height and muscular. Manoeuvring around the two angles was hard work and he was drowned in sweat by the time he finally got through. But now he had to face an obstacle that he wasn’t going to be able to get past. There in front of him, not 5 feet away was a solid steel beam.

 

 

‘Bloody hell. You’re kidding me.’ he said, upon seeing it. ‘Who the hell put that there?’

 

 

Knowing he couldn’t continue on he made the move to go back the way he came, but much to his horror he couldn’t. He was stuck. He couldn’t move back into the v section no matter how hard he tried. He wasn’t going anywhere. Using his torch he checked to see if his watch was working again, he found it wasn’t. Sighing, he knew he would have to be rescued by his brothers, and that was not something to look forward to.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

After a quick lunch, Brains went off and worked on the problem with the power supply. Two hours later it was fixed. The first thing Jeff did was to check with John up in 5. John had been worried about the communications blackout with the island. Luckily International Rescue had not been needed. Jeff decreed that the power supply, as well as every backup generator on both islands, was to be checked and tested once a month, no matter what. He also said to order another backup generator and wanted to see a permanent power supply for the other island in place as well. He didn’t want this to ever happen again.

 

 

After the meeting, Jeff let everyone do their own thing, but was concerned as Virgil hadn’t turned up once the power was back up.

 

 

‘Scott, have you seen your brother?’ Jeff asked.

 

 

‘No, he’s probably still working on 2.’

 

 

‘Call him would you.’

 

 

‘Scott to Virgil,’ Scott called through his watch communicator, which, thanks to Brains was now working again. Getting no answer, he went to his father’s desk and tried calling from there. Still no answer. Instead of going off like the others, he went to Thunderbird 2’s hangar. Calling out and hearing his voice echo through it, he got no answer. Quickly checking Thunderbird 2 itself, he found no trace of him. Thinking he may have returned to his room to rest and fallen asleep, he went to check there, but when he arrived he found the room empty.

 

 

Scott’s brotherly instincts told him there was something wrong. Virgil was in trouble, but he didn’t know where or what that trouble was. Racing back, he came to a halt beside his dad.

 

 

Taking a deep breath, Scott said, ‘Virgil’s in trouble.’

 

 

‘What kind of trouble?’ his father asked.

 

 

‘I don’t know. I just know he is. I can’t find him anywhere.’

 

 

‘All right,’ Jeff said.

 

 

Knowing that Scott had already tried calling himself, he wanted to confirm that Virgil wasn’t answering. Receiving no response, he turned to the others who had now returned.

 

 

‘Okay, did anyone check on Virgil when the power came back on?’ Jeff asked.

 

 

No answer came.

 

 

Seeing them all turning to look at each other, Jeff decided now wasn’t the time to blame anyone.

 

 

‘Scott, didn’t you check on your brother? You said you were going to check on him once the power was back up. You knew he was missing while the power was down.’

 

 

‘I forgot to Dad. I’m sorry I know I should have,’ Scott said meekly. ‘I thought that once the power was back on he would be okay.’

 

 

‘Well, apparently that’s not the case.’

 

 

Hoping his missing son had his watch on, Jeff flipped a switch and watched Alan’s portrait change to a display of the house with each room marked. Pressing another button to try and track Virgil’s watch he saw nothing on the map. That wasn’t a good sign, but it did mean he wasn’t in the house. His location was still a mystery. Flipping another switch, the map changed to one of all the hangars for the Thunderbird craft. Clicking on a series of switches Jeff hoped this time it would work. Otherwise, he dreaded to think what might have happened. Breathing a sigh of relief, there in Thunderbird 2’s hangar was a red flashing light. Virgil was there, well at least his watch was.

 

 

‘Scott, go down to 2’s hangar and get him,’ Jeff said not sounding too happy.

 

 

‘I’ve already been Dad, he’s not there,’ Scott said.

 

 

‘He has to be.’

 

 

‘If he is, I don’t know where,’ Scott stated.

 

 

‘All right then. Tracy Island to Thunderbird 5,’ Jeff called.

 

 

‘Thunderbird 5, go ahead, Dad,’ John answered, but then added upon seeing his face, ‘What’s the problem?’

 

 

‘Can you do a scan of the island and locate Virgil,’ Jeff asked.

 

 

‘Sure, just a minute,’ John said and moved to do as requested. Coming back to his father, ‘Dad, did you do a scan yourself, first?’

 

 

‘Yes, I did,’ Jeff said, he didn’t like being questioned about the orders he gave. ‘What is it?’

 

 

‘Well, from what I can tell he’s in Thunderbird 2’s hangar.’

 

 

‘We got the same reading, but Scott’s checked and he isn’t there.’

 

 

‘That’s strange. Let me do it again,’ John said. Finally, he returned with the results, ‘He’s definitely in 2’s hangar Dad.’

 

 

‘Where?’ his father asked.

 

 

‘You’re not going to believe this, but he’s in the air conditioning vent.’

 

 

‘He’s where?’ Jeff said in disbelief.

 

 

‘What!’ Scott and Gordon said at the same time. ‘He can’t be.’

 

 

‘Well, he is.’

 

 

‘Are you sure?’

 

 

‘Yes Scott I’m sure,’ John replied. ‘I did a scan on not only to locate his watch, but also a heat scan.’

 

 

‘So he’s moving through the vent?’

 

 

‘No, he’s stopped by a massive steel beam.’

 

 

‘If that were the case, he would have just returned the way he came.’

 

 

‘Yes and no. He seems to be in between the beam and a v section in the system, it may have been a tight fit going through it.’

 

 

‘Could be why he hasn’t been able to get out,’ Scott stated.

 

 

‘He’s not answering any calls,’ Jeff said.

 

 

‘He could be unconscious, it would be pretty hot in there,’ Scott remarked.

 

 

‘At least the air con is working again so that should cool him,’ Gordon added.

 

 

‘Yes, but he still needs to be rescued from there. Okay, John, tell us exactly where he is and we’ll take it from there,’ Jeff requested.

 

 

‘FAB, Dad. Sending to you, now. I’ll contact you later to see how it all went.’

 

 

‘Fine John,’ Jeff answered, ending the connection with 5. ‘Now let’s have a look where that brother of yours has gotten himself stuck.’ Both Scott and Gordon moved in for a good look.

 

 

‘How the hell did he get there?’ Scott asked upon seeing exactly where his brother was.

 

 

‘That’s what I’d like to know. But first we need to get him out of there.’

 

 

‘I think I see how we can do it,’ Gordon said and then went on to explain his theory.

 

 

Once they had finalized what needed to be done, they headed to Thunderbird 2’s hangar.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Virgil could feel a cool breeze and thought that it was coming through the open door of his room and out to his private balcony. Stretching, he thought he would feel the softness of his bed, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, he could hardly move and he was sore all over. That’s when he remembered where he was, stuck in the air conditioning vent somewhere in Thunderbird 2’s hangar or in between that and the house and outside. The cool breeze he had felt was the air conditioning working again, which also meant the power was finally back up. He didn’t know how long he had been unconscious. Between being exhausted and with the heat he must have fallen asleep soon after he had become stuck. Now with the cool air, he was starting to feel a bit chilled. He just hoped he didn’t catch a cold, that would really make his day.

 

 

Before he had a chance to try his communicator, he thought he heard some noise. Hoping it was working again, he decided to call Scott.

 

 

‘About time! Are you okay?’ came Scott’s reply.

 

 

‘Yeah, but um… I’m kinda stuck.’

 

 

Kinda stuck?’

 

 

‘Yeah, I’m stuck all right and I can’t get out.’

 

 

‘We know.’

 

 

‘Oh! So you know where I am?’

 

 

‘We do.’

 

 

‘We? As in everyone?’ Virgil asked, dreading the answer.

 

 

Yes, Virgil everyone,’ Scott said.

 

 

‘Oh great.’

 

 

‘So, do you want to explain why you decided to go into the vent?’

 

 

‘No, I don’t,’ Virgil stated.

 

 

‘Well, hang tight we’re almost there.’

 

 

‘FAB.’

 

 

‘Oh, by the way, it may get a bit warm in there shortly.’

 

 

‘All right, got you,’ Virgil said, wondering what Scott meant by that.

 

 

After his watch disconnected, Virgil sighed. He wasn’t looking forward to all the questions from everyone, especially from his dad on why he was in the vent in the first place. The worse part was that his own brothers had to rescue him. In hindsight, he should have just waited, but he hadn’t known how long that it would be. He took a risk and it didn’t pay off. Now he would have to face his family with the embarrassing outcome of getting stuck and needing to be rescued.

 

 

Scott wasn’t wrong about it getting warm. The air around him was getting stifling hot even with the cool breeze of the air conditioning coming though in the opposite direction. He was sweating again and was worried how long it would take to release him. Then he noticed a glow to his right near his head and knew where the heat was coming from. They were trying to cut him out and it wasn’t long before a long piece of the vent came away to his right. Blinking from the bright light, it took him a few moments to focus.

 

 

‘Well, that’s interesting!’

 

 

‘What is it Scott?’ Gordon asked.

 

 

‘It looks like some kind of new life form,’ Scott answered grinning.

 

 

‘Oh, what do you think it is?’ Gordon was smiling too now.

 

 

‘I’m not sure. It could be a Virgil-pillar,’ Scott replied, trying not to laugh now.

 

 

‘What’s that?’ Gordon was also trying not laugh as well.

 

 

‘It’s a Virgil in its first stage when it goes into its cocoon before hatching into its adult form.’

 

 

‘Should we disturb it?’

 

 

‘No, we should let it be, so it can hatch.’

 

 

‘Hatch into what?’

 

 

‘The dreaded Virgil-Thunderfly,’ Scott finally got out before cracking up with laughter, along with Gordon.

 

 

‘Okay, you two knock it off. How about helping me get out of here?’

 

 

Both Scott and Gordon were trying to stop laughing but couldn’t help themselves. Finally calming themselves down, they helped Virgil onto the platform and headed back down to the hangar where Jeff and Brains were waiting. Once there, Virgil attempted to get up only to find himself falling backwards. Fortunately, Scott had caught him before he went too far.

 

 

‘Are you all right?’ Scott asked all the laughter gone and replaced with concern.

 

 

‘I thought I was.’

 

 

‘How long were you up there?’ Jeff asked.

 

 

‘I don’t know Dad, probably a few hours at the most. I must have fallen asleep soon after I found I couldn’t back my way out.’

 

 

‘You look pale. Scott, help your brother into the infirmary. Brains can check him over.’

 

 

‘Yes, Dad,’ Scott said and with an arm around his brother made their way out of the hangar.

 

 

‘Gordon after Scott’s done that he’ll assist you in repairing that vent,’ Jeff said.

 

 

‘Yes, Dad,’ Gordon replied.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Following his sons and Brains from the hangar they all went to the infirmary. Once Scott had gotten Virgil onto one of the beds, he left to help Gordon with the repairs. Jeff assisted Virgil out of the overalls that he was still wearing. Seeing his other clothes were soaked through with sweat, he got him out of those as well. After getting Virgil into some dry clothing, Jeff moved away to let Brains tend to him. Seeing there wasn’t much he could do while Brains looked him over, he left to check on the work in Thunderbird 2’s hangar.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Scott and Gordon had made quick work of repairing the section of the vent they’d cut away to rescue their brother. Once that was done, they went off to see him. Their father had said he would probably be there for a while till he recovered from his little adventure. When they arrived, they found Virgil in bed with a saline drip attached to him.

 

 

‘Hi, how are you going?’ Scott inquired.

 

 

‘Fine, but Brains doesn't believe me,’ Virgil replied.

 

 

‘Why’s that?’

 

 

‘He said I’m dehydrated from sweating so much.’

 

 

‘That’s understandable. You of all people know you need to keep hydrated. It’s like after we do a run or jog around the island. You keep telling us to keep up the fluids,’ Scott said.

 

 

‘All right, I get it.’

 

 

‘Good, now what else did he say?’

 

 

‘Nothing much. I’m a little weak because of the dehydration and being cramped in the one spot for too long. I also hadn’t eaten much. That’s why I kinda collapsed after getting out of there.’

 

 

‘Well, if you weren’t so fat you could have gotten yourself out,’ Gordon piped up.

 

 

‘I am not fat!’ Virgil growled.

 

 

‘If you're not, then why were you stuck?’ Gordon asked.

 

 

‘I had overalls on and that v section in the vent was hard to get through in the first place.’

 

 

‘Because you’re fat.’

 

 

‘I’m not, Gordon,’ Virgil said starting to get out of bed.

 

 

‘Whoa, there Virgil, you’re not going anywhere,’ Scott stepped up putting a hand on his brother’s chest to make sure he stayed put. ‘Gordon if I were you, I’d go.’

 

 

Getting the hint Gordon left, but still with a big grin on his face.

 

 

‘He is so going to get it when I get out of here! Fat indeed.’

 

 

‘Well, you could do with losing a pound or two,’ Scott said grinning.

 

 

‘Not you too,’ Virgil felt exasperated.

 

 

‘Well, you didn’t have to haul that body of yours out of the vent.’

 

 

‘I know I’m not light, but I’m not overweight either,’ Virgil sounded dejected.

 

 

‘Maybe go easy on the fatty foods a bit.’

 

 

‘Maybe,’ Virgil replied now sounding really sad.

 

 

‘Look, don’t worry about Gordon. When you're out of here I’ll help you with the payback,’ Scott tried to lighten Virgil’s mood.

 

 

‘Thanks. Hopefully, Brains is going to let me go tomorrow, but I’ve got to take things easy for a day or two.’

 

 

‘Could pose a problem if a rescue comes up.’

 

 

‘No, I’ll get Gordon to do all the heavy work,’ Virgil told him with a smile on his face.

 

 

Scott smiled too, seeing his brother cheerful again, and already planning his payback.

 

 

‘Ah, Virgil I’ve got some chicken broth for you,’ Grandma said as she came in.

 

 

‘Thanks, Grandma, but I’m not hungry.’

 

 

‘Well, I’ll leave it anyway in case you feel peckish later. Scott, don’t be too much longer. Your brother needs his rest.’

 

 

Both boys watched their grandma leave. Once she had, they both took a deep breath and inhaled the aroma of the delicious chicken broth.

 

 

‘Mmmm, smells great.’

 

 

‘Yeah, it does and it’s all mine,’ making sure Scott knew not to touch it.

 

 

‘Has Dad said anything to you?’

 

 

‘Yeah, I got a lecture and a half from him about my stupidity in what I did. He told me I was lucky I didn’t do something worse to myself. He was definitely not happy.’

 

 

‘He wasn’t happy with me either,’ Scott told him.

 

 

‘Why?’ Virgil asked.

 

 

‘I should have checked on you when the power was back up. I forgot and I’m sorry. Forgive me?’

 

 

There’s not much to forgive. It happens. I should have just waited instead of trying to get out myself. I know you guys wouldn’t have left me there forever.’

 

 

‘Thanks, bro. Well, I’d better leave before I get into trouble for not letting you rest.’

 

 

‘Okay.’ Scott started to move. ‘Oh Scott,’ Virgil called out and watched his brother turn back towards him. ‘Thanks again.’

 

 

‘No problem bro.’

 

 

After Scott had left, Virgil settled back to relax, thankful that he was safe all due to his brothers and their training as International Rescue operatives and making a promise to himself not to do anything stupid where he had to be rescued by his brothers again.

 

 

~~~~

 

 

Jeff sat at his desk, thankful that Virgil was going to be all right. He had returned to the infirmary after seeing Scott and Gordon had the repairs well underway. He had found Virgil hooked up to a saline solution to help rehydrate him. Brains had told him Virgil would be released the next day, but would need to take things easy for a couple more. Rescues would have to be assessed as they came in to see if he was up to them and until he was 100% again. He had just checked in with John on 5 and things looked to be calm so Virgil would get his time to recover fully. Jeff had also had “words” with Virgil about his stupidity in getting himself stuck in the air conditioning vent. He knew he was a little hard on him, but that was because he loved his sons. One thing that had come out of all this was that changes were needed, both in the design of the house and the hangar areas, to ensure nothing like this happened again. He made a note to discuss his thoughts on the changes with Brains later.

 

 

After a quiet afternoon, or what was left of it, dinner was also a quiet affair. When everyone had finally turned in for the night, Jeff made a trip to the infirmary to check on Virgil one last time. He was sleeping peacefully and was no longer on the saline drip. He would be all right till the next time he ended up in here. Until then, Jeff supposed, he could at least get some sleep himself and then headed up to his own room to do just that.