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This page is a transcription of End of the Road (Audio Story)

Eddie Houseman: "It's clearing.... We're through! Bang on schedule."

Chuck Taylor: "Great!"

Mr. Cheng: "Congratulations, Mr Houseman."

Eddie Houseman: "Thanks, boys! There'll be a good bonus for this. OK, let's go take a look."

Mr. Cheng: "Rock fall! Rock fall!"

Eddie Houseman: "Reverse back! REVERSE BACK!"

Mr. Cheng: "That was close!"

Eddie Houseman: "It was. Well, let's get back to base."

Narrator (Brains): "Oh, hello there. Welcome to Brains' laboratory. I'm just running through some video tapes of International Rescue operations. You've just heard the start of what turned out to be a very tricky rescue indeed. We call it 'The End of the Road', and it was just about that for Eddie Houseman, who was trapped in a precariously balanced Explosives Truck. This one proved to be a real tough test for Virgil and Thunderbird 2, the biggest of all our rescue craft. We had to negotiate a narrow, man-made canyon, with inches to spare on either side, and he wasn't helped any by the stormy weather conditions. You see, the Gray & Houseman Construction Company had been contracted to complete a through-road in mountainous and jungle-choked terrain. And they were racing against time, trying to complete the work before the start of the monsoon season. In their favour, they had some really fantastic equipment, and first-class men. But, for a time, it looked as if Lady Luck had turned her back on them. Let's go back and join them before the trouble really starts."

Bob Gray: "Eddie, you did wonders! I never thought you'd get through the mountain this side of the monsoon."

Eddie Houseman: "With any luck, we're gonna make that date."

Bob Gray: "Let's drink to that."

Eddie Houseman: "It's our first big contract. If we fall down on this one, we've had it."

Bob Gray: "Well, Eddie, you've played your part. Now, I'll play mine. Provided I can get that road finished before the rains, we'll be OK."

Eddie Houseman: "Yeah, I guess it's over to you, now."

Bob Gray: "You just go off and enjoy your vacation, and don't worry. Oh, by the way, where are you going to? Anywhere special?"

Eddie Houseman: "I'm just uh... looking up an old friend."

Gordon Tracy: "Aircraft approaching the island!"

Gordon Tracy: "It's going."

Scott Tracy: "You're wrong, Gordon."

Jeff Tracy: "Sounds like it's coming in to land.... It IS coming in to land! Operation Cover-up!"

Narrator: "Operation Coverup involves putting an everyday front on the Tracy Household. It had been designed for just such an emergency. I had rigged up a control panel which hid all trace of the International Rescue set-up. For example, the large wall pictures of the Tracy boys in uniform were covered by other photographs of them in everyday clothes. All the communications equipment slid into recesses, to be replaced by innocent-looking ornaments. Of course, John was advised to use the secret communications channel in the event of a rescue operation call when visitors were on the island."

Tin-Tin: "I wonder who it can be?"

Scott Tracy: "Well, whoever it is, I hope they don't stay long."

Jeff Tracy: "Yeah, it'd be kind of awkward if we get an emergency call."

Kyrano: "A gentleman to see you, Mr Tracy. A Mr Eddie Houseman."

Tin-Tin: "Eddie? Eddie Houseman!"

Narrator: "It seems that Eddie and Tin-Tin had been at school together, and he had stopped of to say hello on his way back to the road camp after his vacation. However, a call from Bob Gray cut short his stay with the Tracy's."

Virgil Tracy: "Lucky we didn't have a call while he was here, wasn't it, father."

Jeff Tracy: "Yes, it was, Virgil."

Scott Tracy: "I wonder what sort of trouble they've got on that road."

Bob Gray: "Oh, Lester. According to the weather reports, we're just gonna make it. The rains are due in about two days."

J. B. Lester: "Yeah, but take a look at this. The instruments are picking up earth tremors in the mountains."

Bob Gray: "What?! How bad are they?"

J. B. Lester: "It's hard to tell. The signals are faint, but that doesn't mean a thing."

Bob Gray: "Let's go and take a look for ourselves."

J. B. Lester: "Look! Look at that!"

Bob Gray: "I've seen enough!"

J. B. Lester: "That's bad."

Bob Gray: "The monsoon will bring that whole range down into the cutting we've made. We'll never finish the road on time now!"

Eddie Houseman: "We can't give up now, Bob, we can't!"

Bob Gray: "Eddie, it's too late. The rains have started."

Eddie Houseman: "Well, what do we do? Just sit here, for the landslide to ruin all our work to date?"

Bob Gray: "That's what we'll do. And then, in the spring...."

Eddie Houseman: "In the spring? That means we'll lose our contract."

Bob Gray: "We'll just have to try and get an extension, that's all."

Eddie Houseman: "Extension! Why, the only reason we got the contract was because we gave an early completion date. If we don't make the date we said we would, this company is nothing. You're out, I'm out, everything we planned for and worked for goes up in smoke!"

Lester: "There's no other way, Eddie."

Eddie Houseman: "That's where you're wrong. There's one way. Let me take a gang of men up there, with carefully placed Nutomic Charges, I could blast the peak and make it fall away from the road, instead of into it."

Bob Gray: "You couldn't do it."

Eddie Houseman: "Try me."

Bob Gray: "Eddie, the seismograph shows that peak could collapse at any second! And even a small slide could cause a charge to explode while you were working on them. If you weren't blown to bits, you'd be buried alive."

Eddie Houseman: "I know my job."

Bob Gray: "And I know mine! And since I'm the senior partner, I say we apply for the extension."

Eddie Houseman: "It'll break us!"

Bob Gray: " Maybe. But you'll be alive. Look, I'm not going to argue. The decision is made."

Narrator: "It looked like like the end of their dream, but Eddie was a stubborn guy. He decided to go it alone. So, once every one was asleep, he crept down and loaded some Nutomic Charges aboard the Explosives Tractor. The noise of the Tractor leaving disturbed Bob Gray, but by the time he had gathered his thoughts, Eddie was well on his way. He tried to contact him on the Audiophone."

Bob Gray: "Hello, Eddie? Eddie, can you hear me? No word for half an hour."

Lester: "You'd better try again."

Bob Gray: "Eddie, this is Bob. Call in. Call in! No good. I guess we'll have to...."

Eddie Houseman: "Hi, Bob. This is Eddie. I've planted the charges."

Bob Gray: "Eddie, then get out of there! That peak's cracking up! There'll be a landslide any minute!"

Eddie Houseman: "Then I guess I'd better fire the charges now."

Bob Gray: "You'll be too close! Get away from there, you'll kill yourself. The company isn't worth it! Eddie? Eddie, can you hear me? He cut off. He cut off!"

Bob Gray: "Eddie? Eddie! Can you hear me?"

Eddie Houseman: "Yeah. Yeah, I can hear you."

Bob Gray: "You did it! You're OK. Eddie, the cutting's in no danger now. We can see from here."

Eddie Houseman: "Bob, listen. The blast took my tractor right to the edge. I can't get out. If I move to the door, the thing will overbalance."

Bob Gray: "OK. Keep calm, Eddie. We're on our way."

Eddie Houseman: "There's worse to come. I've still got a case of Nutomic Charges on board. If this goes over the edge, I'm gonna be blown sky-high."


Part Two


Narrator: "Oh, boy. What a spot to be in. This was one situation the Construction Company wasn't equipped to handle. Time was also against them. At any second, the tractor could slip off the edge to disaster. Suddenly, Bob remembered International Rescue. Within seconds, John in Thunderbird 5 had picked up the SOS."

Bob Gray: "That's right. You get the picture?"

John Tracy: "But you can't reach the tractor because of the state of the ground?"

Bob Gray: "The explosions cut the ground up so bad we just daren't chance our weight on it."

John Tracy: "OK, Mr Gray. We're on our way."

John Tracy: "I told him we'd be there, father. I hope I did right."

Jeff Tracy: "Of course you did right, son. What's that supposed to mean, anyway?"

John Tracy: "I left the name of the guy we're going to rescue till last."

Scott Tracy: "Why, who is it?"

John Tracy: "Eddie Houseman."

Alan Tracy: "Eddie Houseman!?"

Scott Tracy: "Hey, father, he knows us."

Jeff Tracy: "That's right, Scott. Eddie knows us."

Alan Tracy: "That means we can't help? Is this what you're saying, Dad?"

Jeff Tracy: "No, Alan."

Scott Tracy: "But if we go through with this job, we're gonna break our cover. And we know how essential it is that this outfit remains secret."

John Tracy: "What do we do? Turn this call down?"

Jeff Tracy: "No, John, we don't turn down any call! We've done everything we could to hide our identity, but not at the risk of wasting a life. Carry on, Scott."

Scott Tracy: "Yes, sir."

Narrator: "As usual, the Thunderbird craft were standing on their launching pads. The nuclear engines of the machines were charged to allow upto 6 months flying time. Scott entered his machine via the moving ramp which connected the Tracy lounge directly with the nosecone of Thunderbird 1. As the pre-launch checks were carried out, he changed into his duty uniform. Then the craft slid gently down the ramp on to the launch pad. Within a matter of seconds, Thunderbird 1 blasted up through the hole where the swimming pool had been but a few moments before and was off to the rescue area."

Scott Tracy: "International Rescue, from Thunderbird 1. Changing to horizontal flight."

Narrator: "As Thunderbird 1 reached top speed, Mr Tracy was completing his instructions to Virgil and Alan."

Jeff Tracy: "OK, Virgil, that's the brief. Use the magnetic grabs. Alan can help you on this one. Any questions?"

Virgil Tracy: "No sir."

Alan Tracy: "No sir."

Jeff Tracy: "Away you go. Good luck."

Narrator: "The enormous bulk of Thunderbird 2 dwarfs the other craft, and understandably so, as this is the freighter ship of the International Rescue fleet. All the heavy rescue gear is stored in 6 Pods in the hangar, and once Virgil has selected the required equipment, the gigantic hull of Thunderbird 2 settles over the Pod, and the entire unit then proceeds to the launching ramp. So, Virgil made his way directly to the flight deck by means of a chute, again connecting the Tracy lounge to the craft. As he did so, Alan entered the machine by means of the passenger elevator. As you all know, Thunderbird 2 is housed behind a sheer cliff face, which slides away mechanically to allow the craft on to the ramp. Virgil eased his giant charge on to the ramp, the launch procedure was carried out, and they were airborn, with a deafening roar. Meanwhile, back at the camp, things were getting desperate, for Lester couldn't seem to raise International Rescue."

Lester: "International Rescue, come in, please. It's no good. I can't reach them."

Scott Tracy: "Thunderbird 1 to Rescue Area."

Lester: "Come in, Thunderbird 1. Come in."

Scott Tracy: "Listen, Rescue Area, it'll be a few more minutes before Thunderbird 2 gets here. I'm gonna try and do something about those boulders."

Lester: "OK, check. I don't know what you can do. We were gonna try and build a barrier, but we haven't got the necessary gear."

Scott Tracy: "Well, we have. So, here goes!"

Narrator: "Although the bulk of the rescue equipment is always carried in Thunderbird 2, Scott in Thunderbird 1 has a few emergency tricks up his sleeve. A part of his equipment includes a battery of high-tensile spear firing tubes. He let loose a salvo which studded firmly into the rock face, and these acted as a protective screen against the falling boulders."

Lester: "Wow! Did you see what I saw?"

Mr. Cheng: "Some machine!"

Lester: "And here comes another one!"

Scott Tracy: "Thunderbird 2 from Thunderbird 1. I'm glad to see you, fellas. Now, here's the situation, Virgil. I've laid down a steel screen to stop any boulders from knocking the tractor over the edge. Now, lower your grabs and pick it up."

Virgil Tracy: "FAB, Scott."

Virgil Tracy: "OK, Alan."

Virgil Tracy: "OK, Scott, I'm coming in now."

Scott Tracy: "I'll guide you in."

Narrator: "And so, Virgil began the tricky task of maneuvering Thunderbird 2 into a canyon not much wider than its wingspan. With Scott's help, he reached a position immediately over the tractor, and then...."

Scott Tracy: "Pull away, Virgil! Your vertical jets are tipping it over!"

Virgil Tracy: "What are we gonna do, Scott? We'll have to go in close if we're gonna make contact with the grabs."

Scott Tracy: "We've got to think of a way of stabilising that tractor while the grabs are attached."

Virgil Tracy: "Scott! Couldn't they fix a line that would hold it steady?"

Scott Tracy: "No, Virgil, I'm sure that's not possible. The ground near the tractor is so badly cracked that even a small increase in weight could tip that balance. Hey, wait! I've got an idea."

Scott Tracy: "If this works, Virgil, come straight in and grab it."

Scott Tracy: "Stand by, Virgil."

Virgil Tracy: "F.A.B."

Narrator: "Now it was Scott's turn for some tricky flying. Being smaller, Thunderbird 1 was able to negotiate the canyon more easily. But Scott had to get to a position with his nose angled towards the canyon wall, and underneath the precariously balanced Tractor. He then held the Tractor up while Virgil tried again."

Scott Tracy: "OK, Virgil. Come in now. I'll take the strain."

Virgil Tracy: "F.A.B. Coming in now."

Narrator: "This time, it worked, and Alan lowered the grabs, which were then electronically locked on to the Tractor."

Alan Tracy: "OK, Scott. We've got it!"

Narrator: "It looked like plain sailing from then on, but...."

Scott Tracy: "It's all yours."

Alan Tracy: "It's too heavy for the grabs! We're not gonna hold it!"

Narrator: "Easy, Virgil! He's slipping! Oh, sorry about that. I guess I... I got kinda carried away."

Scott Tracy: "Virgil, hold her steady. Eddie's jumping for it."

Narrator: "Eddie leapt on to the mountainside at the first opportunity."

Scott Tracy: "OK, Virgil. He's clear. Now get the tractor to level ground so we can get to the Nutomic Charges."

Virgil Tracy: "F.A.B, Scott."

Narrator: "But now, there were only two grabs supporting the Tractor. Virgil raced Thunderbird 2 as swiftly as possible from the scene, heading for open country. It was touch and go all the way, but he made it."

Virgil Tracy: "Nearly there."

Alan Tracy: "We can't hold her. She's going!"

Narrator: "The Tractor finally broke free, and plummeted earthward. There was a shattering explosion!"

Lester: "You saved the road, Eddie. You saved the road!"

Eddie Houseman: "Did I? If you ask me, International Rescue did all the saving around here. I'm sure looking forward to thanking those guys."

Bob Gray: "Doesn't look as though you're gonna get a chance."

Narrator: "Thunderbirds were heading for home, thankful for their successfully accomplished mission, and pleased that the security of the International Rescue organisation had been maintained."


THE END

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