A short story in the Thunderbirds fandom.
Sometimes all you can do is work in silence, because there is nothing to say, because if you try to speak you’ll break down and you can’t do that. Not now. Not yet. Sometimes all you can do is carry on, regardless, hating what you find, wiping tears away with the cuff of your sleeve, and hoping no one notices. You work on, surrounded by others, yet all of you as alone as if you were the only person here in this god-forsaken place. You work, knowing it is hopeless yet refusing to give up. That little voice at the back of your mind keeps telling you that maybe the next one.. or the next… but it doesn’t happen. Ever.
Someone calls a halt in the end, and you stop and straighten and turn around, aching and exhausted, seeing your brothers standing there looking drained and ashen, their pale blue uniforms, even as filthy as they are, standing out among the dayglo vests and dark service jackets of the other men and women here. No one speaks. What could they say apart from clichéd phrases and meaningless words? You turn back to dig on, before a hand stops you. No one else is moving now and you know they are right. There is no hope. There never was.
Sometimes all you can do is fly home and clean the mud and filth and memories from your machine and yourself. You make sure that everything is ready for next time and then you sit in the lounge and stare out at the ocean, remembering the slight weight of a child in your arms, remembering wiping mud from unseeing eyes, remembering placing yet another small body alongside all the others you have found.
Sometimes you wonder what sort of god could do this to the innocent. And you pour a glass of bourbon, just a small one, because you might be needed again soon, and you go to bed.
And sometimes you don’t dream about your failures, but tonight you know you will.