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A Tracy by any other name

By grnfield

Children / Scifi

Chapter 1

"Post's here, Father," Scott announced quietly as he walked into Jeff's office, using his right knee to push the door open due to the fact that his hands were full of mail. "Looks like Gordon's got another stack of girly fan-mail, as per usual. Your book has arrived and there's a very official looking letter here for John."

Jeff looked up as his eldest son entered the room. "Scott, good morning. I didn't hear the plane."

"Yes, it was here early today. Eric's mother is in hospital so he set out earlier than normal to get back earlier and sit with her." Scott handed the brown-paper parcel to Jeff while still looking at the envelope that was addressed 'For the personal attention of Mr J. G. Tracy'. "The return address says it's come from…" Scott paused as he tilted his head - and the letter - towards the bright morning sun that was streaming through the window, in order to read the tiny print on the back of the envelope. "Why Father, it says it's from Hines & Huberts Solicitors in Tasmania. What on earth would someone in Tasmania want with our resident Spaceman?"

Jeff shook his head. "I don't know, Scott. I don't recollect John ever mentioning visiting there and it's not for you to speculate nor discuss with the others. I'll open it after breakfast and then relay the contents to Thunderbird 5 if it's relevant. It's probably just another one of those crackpots who's taken something out of one of John's books way too seriously and feels the need to get in touch with him. I can quite understand now, how come some of the more prominent writers of this world have ended up with a long list of restraining orders against their so called fans."

Scott merely nodded slowly before pursing his lips and letting out a quite 'Hmmm'. As he dropped the envelope gently onto Jeff's desk he couldn't help thinking that there was more to its contents than just a simple letter from a crackpot fan. Catching sight of the postmark he couldn't help but comment, "The letter was posted over a week ago, Father."

Jeff looked up from where he was carefully slicing open the packaging on the book that he'd ordered. "Yes, Scott, I can see that for myself, thank you very much. You know as well as I do that the mail-plane only drops off here once a week. Another couple of hours of that letter being unopened are going to do no-one any harm at all. Now…" With a flourish he finally freed the book from its wrappings and placed it carefully in the centre of his desk, twisting it until it was perfectly aligned with the edge of the blotter pad. "Let's go see what wonders Onaha has cooked up for breakfast and you can deliver Gordon's…" Jeff paused as Scott wafted the pile of pastel coloured envelopes in front of his face. The eldest Tracy brother smirked as his father rolled his eyes before murmuring 'God save me' before continuing in his usual speaking voice, "You can deliver Gordon's perfumed love letters to him. That boy never ceases to amaze me!"


After a wonderful breakfast and a great deal of teasing of Gordon by Scott and Virgil, Jeff finally returned to his office. He fully intended to take a look through his new book before starting the ever-present pile of paperwork in his in tray but as he sat down his eye was drawn to the letter for John that Scott had left on the desk. He picked it up and turned it over before shaking his head and reaching for his gilt-covered letter opener. Even though John had asked his father to open any post that arrived for him while he was on rotation in Thunderbird 5 Jeff had never been entirely comfortable with doing so, although it had proved prudent on the occasions when John had received official documents regarding his writing career.

The letter opener sliced cleanly through the envelope and Jeff removed the contents. As he opened up the folded papers several photographs fluttered out and came to rest on top of the book. He immediately dropped the letter to the desk and gathered the pictures back up so they couldn't fall on the floor and become damaged. He looked through them as he picked them up and felt a cold shudder run through his whole body. Quickly he snatched the letter back up from the desk and began reading.

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