both created by Gerry Anderson MBE
(c) Carlton International Media
It was night. Most of the Spectrum personnel were in the Room of Sleep, save for Colonel White. The Spectrum commander in chief was pacing the corridor that lead to the World President’s specially assigned quarters. There was a spring in the colonel’s step, and there was good reason for it.
He stood before the door, pressed the buzzer, and from the other side of the door, a faint call to “come in” could just be heard.
White walked in, and saw the President, sitting up in bed, a little groggy, but fine nonetheless. White pulled up a chair.
“Mr President, I’m sorry to have woken you up so soon after Dr Fawn gave you that sedative, but I’ve got some great news.”
President Younger’s face suddenly became a little more alert. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve just come off the radio with Professor Burgoyne in America. As he was the person who had designed and constructed the time machine in Germany, he was the best person to consult on the matter. Basically I will put it like this. The Mysteron has failed in his attempt to alter history. Had he succeeded, history would have been changed now, and you and I would not be having this conversation. The past does not exist parallel to our own time. Time is linear, so the past has already occurred. It is finished, and we are not still waiting for him to make his attempt on your mother’s life, as we assume that is what he wanted to do. No, he has made his attempt and failed. I’m sorry sir, I wish we could have gotten you the news sooner.”
“That’s OK, Colonel. It’s not your fault,” the President said, now with a smile on his face that indicated very clearly just how relieved he was.
Colonel White continued, “I only wish I could have spoken with this professor before you went to sleep three hours ago. He is, I’m afraid, a very difficult man to get in touch with. According to Sub-Commander Shore over at the WASP’s in Marineville, he has this insistence on working alone, and not being disturbed. He doesn’t even carry a communicator with him, and he only has a com-board installed in his apartment, not even in his laboratory, which is several miles from where he lives.”
“Some people just don’t want folks around them,” said the President.
“Indeed, but the important thing is this. You are now safe.”
“Yes.” Robert Younger nodded his head, relief written all over his face as the news sank in that he had, for the second time, cheated the Mysterons. “And I would love to have met the person who stopped him. I’ll bet he’s dead now”.
The central corridor at Roosevelt House, home of the President of the World, was lined with pictures of the current incumbents five predecessors, South Africa’s Garth Botha, the Austrian Nikita Brandraik, Kamar Singh from India, Canadian Dianne Brook, and Ishmael Frobje from Israel.
The special guest who had been invited to the presidential mansion was fascinated by the history before him. He took a long time in walking past each picture, escorted by Colonel White, who has arranged the meeting on the President’s behalf.
At the end of the corridor stood the President. He shook hands with the man, and beckoned his guest to come into his office and sit down on one of two Winchester settees situated on the far side of the office, by a very inviting open fire.
The President sat on the opposite settee, and still in awe of the person he was looking at, took a deep breath, and began, “I’m very grateful you have come here to see me. All I want to do is just thank you, albeit some forty-one years late.” He paused, as tears began to well in his eyes. He looked at the floor, shook his head, bit his lip, and continued, “Goodness knows I’ve read enough about you guys and the heroics you got up to in the 2020’s, 30’s, and 40’s. I just don’t know where to begin.” He held out both his hands as if in apology for something.
The guest began, “I’m only too happy to be able to make this journey, sir. As I’ve already explained to my brother-in-law here, when a photograph of the man who had disappeared was shown on the television, and the news was leaked out about the time machine, I had a shock. The man who was known to the authorities as Herbert Vimmer, was the man my brother Scott and I tackled on that hill all those years ago.”
The President sat, transfixed. His guest continued.
“We just could not understand how he had come back to life. I found him dead at the bottom of that tram, and yet he came to life again. There was a news blackout on the incident. This was imposed by the World Intelligence Network. We of course co-operated, and for weeks we could not fathom out what happened. For days afterwards it was all we could talk about. Even when we decided to retire, and close down the organisation in 2047, we would still talk about it from time to time. However we never went public on the subject. In 2048, when we decided to reveal our identities to the world, we still honoured the order by the WIN. We felt it was for the best. It just seemed the right thing to do.”
The three men talked into the night. Going over momentous events in history. Before long though, their guest had to leave. His daughter Elizabeth came to collect him in a private Helijet from the Presidents helipad at the rear of the mansion.
The Helijet rose gently, and the guest smiling broadly waved from the co-pilots seat. As the small aircraft disappeared into the night sky, the President turned to face Colonel White.
“I can’t believe it, I just can’t. Thunderbird Two pilot Virgil Ivan Tracy, famous pianist, son of the well known English concert pianist Nancy Lucille Tracy, is your brother in law.”
The colonel modestly replied, “Yes, sir. You see my father Bob Gray, an American, became an agent for International Rescue in the late 2020’s as a favour to the Tracy’s for saving his business partner’s life. We were all sworn to secrecy as a family. Neither Jean, my sister, nor myself were told until we were old enough and responsible enough to handle such knowledge. Anyway, Jean and my father went on a special visit to the island a number of years after he began working for Jeff Tracy, and there she met Virgil for the first time. They married in 2036, and had their first child, Elizabeth in 2041. They also had two sons. David, in 2043, and Jeremy in 2045. They both work in civil engineering, taking after their grandfather. Elizabeth is a pianist like her dad and grandmother. She once wrote a book on her life in music, I must lend it to you, that is unless you’ve already got a copy in your massive library here. It’s called ‘Like Mother Like Son Like Father Like Daughter’, it’s a darn good read.”
“I’ll see if I’ve got it,” the President said. “What about the other sons of Jeff Tracy?”
“Four of the five sons had children, Scott had a son, Shane, who’s now an astronaut with the WSP, Alan married the daughter of the major-domo, Tin-Tin, they had two children, Matthew and Christine, who are both in the diplomatic corps and John had a son, Raymond who bought back the old family farm in Kansas and has now converted it into a museum based on the Thunderbird rescues.”
The two men walked side by side into the large open door of the house, and back into the Presidents main office.
Colonel White sat down on one of the settees. The President walked over to the drinks cabinet and poured out two small two ounce measures from a bottle of 20 year old port. He walked over to the colonel, sat down next to him, and handed one of the glasses to him.
“You know, Colonel, even now, 23 years after they called it a day, they are still saving lives. The debt we owe them is a debt we will never be able to pay, never. I actually sat in the library and, using the computer, counted the number of rescues they undertook during those 21 years from the Fireflash in 2026 in London, to the attempt on the life of my predecessor Dianne Brook in 2047 in Budapest. 210 rescues, and only six of those saw them fail to get to the people in danger. It’s amazing. They have saved lives, cities, and on more than one occasion, they have literally even saved this planet. They are worth an entire chapter in any book of World history, for they have committed acts and deeds that are forever woven into the very fabric of history. Thanks to them, forty-one years ago, history has been very kind to us all, especially me.”
Robert Younger, sixth executive president of the planet Earth, and its colony planets in the solar system, raised his glass.
“HERE’S TO HISTORY, CREATED, AND CRUSHED.”
Any comments? Send an E-MAIL to the SPECTRUM HEADQUARTERS site.