I was driving along a US highway, when I spotted a group of young men on the side of the road and what looked like a pile of equipment lying beside them. The men were dressed in what had once looked like crisp uniforms, but it looked as if they'd travelled a long way and there was a lot of road dust on their clothes and gear.

I asked them who they were, and it turned out that they were all the active service personnel of International Rescue - the pilots Scott, Virgil, Alan, Gordon and John who normally flew the marvellous Thunderbirds vehicles into so many disaster areas in Gerry Anderson's Sixties TV show.

It turned out that their vehicles were all laid up for routine maintenance - I think they'd all failed their MOT - and they all had to hitchhike to the latest disaster scene, lugging along their equipment with them. And in the distance, I could now see a plume of black smoke on the horizon.

Gordon, I think, pondered how Cousins Yuri and Valentina were coping, and hoped they would be able to hold on until they got there. I wondered where the Tracy family had picked up Russian cousins, and then the alarm went off.

More thoughts in The Stainless Steel Blog post of the same name.

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