A 'New Captain Scarlet' story
By Adam Blue
Captains Blue, Magenta and Scarlet were on vacation for two days, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The first time they had had time off in three months. It was a real guys’ holiday, especially for Magenta who, wherever he went, was checking out the ladies. Blue wanted to do some surfing and Scarlet just wanted to relax by the beach.
“There are some really lovely girls here,” Magenta said, eyeing up two young women in bikinis, walking past him.
“Well, I guess getting the ladies’ numbers for the next two days will be your top priority.” Blue smiled.
Scarlet just rolled his eyes. “That’s all he ever does, wherever we go!” he said.
“I’m surprised he can do or think of anything else!” Blue joked. Magenta just frowned at him behind his back.
The young men were heading for a restaurant right by the beach. It was a small place, but it was well decorated with life size statues of native girls performing the hula dance in front of two big pictures of the sea hanging on the left and right walls and brown furniture with white seat pads. There were vases on each table, with fresh flowers from the near-by florist. The restaurant’s poster at the entrance boasted it did the best food in the area, so they had decided and gave it a shot.
They choose a table nearest the front door and sat there. After a few moments the waitress walked over. Magenta looked up and checked her name badge.
“Hello... Maria,” he said, beaming what he thought was a friendly smile at her.
“Good afternoon, sirs, and what can I get for you?”
“Sorry sir, that is not on the menu.”
“It is on his.” Blue started laughing at Magenta.
Used to dealing with over-friendly male customers, she knew how to not encourage Magenta. “Sorry, sir, I am - as you say - taken.”
Magenta shrugged his shoulders disappointingly. “In that case I think I will have the 6-inch thick base meat feast pizza with endless salad, please.”
Maria wrote that down.
“Anything to drink, sir?”
“Ice-cold beer, please.”
Blue butted in: “Make that times three.”
“Ok, sir. And what are you having for lunch?” Maria asked, pleased to get away from Magenta. She looked toward the blond American.
“I’ll have the quarter-pounder with fries.”
“And you, sir?” She smiled at Scarlet.
“I’ll have the lobster, with salad.”
“Lobster? Typical Englishman!” exclaimed Blue.
“And what’s wrong with that?” Scarlet asked in bemusement.
“It’s not! I really like lobster.” Scarlet defended his choice with a strong tone to his voice. Sometimes Blue could have a childish side to his humour.
“Snob!” Blue said in good fun.
“Ha-ha,” Scarlet said sarcastically.
The waitress left.
“Plenty more fish in the sea, Mario,” said Scarlet.
“Don’t forget your rod,” Blue joked.
Whilst continuing to discuss Magenta’s love life, the guys felt what they thought was an earthquake.
Everyone was looking around, wondering what was going on. Glasses were shaking and falling off the shelves. Then there was a massive explosion. The windows exploded, which sent glass flying into the restaurant, along with other debris. They covered their faces.
Once the quake stopped, they looked up slowly and saw the mess. All they could hear were car alarms and people screaming.
“What the...?” asked Blue.
“Are you two alright?” Scarlet asked concerned.
“Yeah, we’re fine,” Blue replied, clearing his throat.
Scarlet looked round to check if anyone else in the restaurant was injured. Then he went outside to see if anyone there needed help. He was joined by the other two, who went in different directions, checking for injured residents.
They ran to join Scarlet and saw him bending over the wreckage of a car.
They looked over Scarlet’s shoulder to where he was pointing and saw green liquid oozing from part of the engine.
“What on earth?” Blue said Scarlet stuck his finger in the green liquid and squished it between his thumb and first finger.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s thick gooey stuff,” he said, pondering.
Magenta took his Spectra-Tech communicator out and scanned the liquid.
“It doesn’t know what this stuff is. But it is the colour of our dearest friends,” he said whilst folding his communicator up.
“The Mysterons wouldn’t do this. There are not enough people around and it’s completely the wrong type of target,” Blue said out loud.
“Local thugs then?” suggested Magenta.
“Could well be. We’ll let the police deal with the aftermath. Just what the hell is this green liquid?” Scarlet said, wondering.
Blue suggested to take a sample and get Doctor Gold to have a look at it.
Then all of a sudden Scarlet’s Spectro-Tech rang.
“Captain, Colonel White here. We hear there has been another explosion and this time, not too far from your hotel.”
“Yes, sir, it was too close for comfort.”
“Are you all ok?”
“Yes, Colonel. You said another explosion?”
“Yes, Captain, this is the third in two days. The first was in a small town called, Little Bird, in Illinois, U.S.A. A main building in the centre was hit. The second was two office buildings in Newcastle city centre, England. No one was killed, thankfully. However when the firemen turned up to the first two explosions, the buildings that had been hit weren’t even there!”
“They had just disappeared, Captain. Not a single bit of debris,” said White.
“I spotted some strange green liquid coming from part of a car engine,” replied Scarlet. ”We haven’t been able to identify it yet, sir.”
“Hmm. I wonder if that liquid was present at the other two locations?” said White, thoughtfully.
“We need an airlift, sir. We have a sample to bring to Doctor Gold to analyze.”
“An Albatross will be with you in one hour, Captain.”
“S.I.G, sir. Scarlet out.”
“Oh well, there goes our holiday,” Blue said frustratingly.
The Albatross arrived an hour later, and landed in a nearby field about a hundred meters away. The captains jogged and went on board, then sat down. Scarlet looked out of the window behind him and saw something strange.
“I’m seeing things. This can’t be! Don’t take off!” he ordered the pilot.
“What can’t be, Paul?” Magenta asked, whilst looking out of the other window.
They saw that nothing and no one, was moving! It was as if time had stopped.
Then, all of a sudden, green circles went over the objects and buildings that were destroyed in the explosion. Even people who were hurt or saw the explosion, just disappeared.
A handful of people remained, however, and were walking about minding their own business, seemingly unaware of what had just happened.
Blue was looking out Scarlet’s window. “What on earth?!” he exclaimed.
The captains left the Albatross, with their guns drawn, and walked to the empty space that was the restaurant. They looked around, bemused as people walked by, without paying any attention to their new surroundings.
“They’re all acting like nothing has happened, like everything is still in its place. Just caring on with life as normal,” said Scarlet in dismay.
“It’s like the Mysterons have wiped everyone’s memory,” replied Blue.
“What the hell is going on?” questioned Scarlet.
“I think we’d best ask someone?” Blue suggested, looking around.
“Good idea.” Scarlet spotted a couple getting out of a bench not too far from the area, walking by the gaping hole. He ran to them and called. “Excuse me, ma’am, sir? Sorry to intrude but have you seen the big hole next to you, on your right?”
The couple looked in the direction indicated by Scarlet before staring at him in confusion.
“No, I hadn’t,” the man said. “It doesn’t look like anything has been there for a while. Why?”
“How about you, ma’am?”
“Why, should there be something there then?”
“I was hoping you would tell me,” Scarlet said in a polite tone whilst looking into the couple’s eyes. Nothing. He really didn’t think they were lying! “Ok, thank you.” He walked back to his friends who were looking at him.
“Well?” Blue asked in anticipation.
“Nothing. They had no idea the restaurant was there! They weren’t even sitting that far from the scene.”
“This is definitely something we haven’t dealt with before,” Magenta said rubbing his head.
Then Scarlet contacted Colonel White. “Scarlet to Skybase.”
“The area has been Mysteronised, sir. I think that’s what could have happened to the other buildings. Everything and everyone that was hit by the blast have just disappeared.”
“What would the Mysterons be doing blowing up these particular buildings?” pondered White. “Okay, Captain, get back to Skybase as soon as you can.”
“Yes, sir. Scarlet out.”
“Lieutenant Green?” said the colonel.
“Have any other unexplained explosions been reported?”
“No, sir, it’s all quiet.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant,” the colonel said. He sat back, staring out to the flight decks, trying to imagine what the Mysterons’ plans might be.
An hour later, the Albatross arrived back at Skybase. The captains headed to the Control Room were Colonel White was waiting for them and sat around his desk.
“I don’t understand any of it, Colonel, it just doesn’t make any sense! And that green liquid? What is that stuff?” Scarlet said, adopting a pose reminiscent of the colonel himself.
“I have an answer to that question, Captain. Doctor Gold has analysed the “stuff” and come to a conclusion. I can see why the Mysterons “borrowed” the green goo. Its chemical compounds are explosives.”
“So that was what caused the explosion?” Scarlet said whilst slightly nodding his head.
“Yes, Captain. But where this liquid has come from and if it’s alien or not is beyond me. And why such insignificant targets?”
“Target practice, Colonel?” Magenta suggested.
“Could be, Captain. I wonder if we can find out where this goo came from.”
“Sir?” Green said, whilst turning her chair to face her commander.
“I think I know what the “stuff” is, Colonel, and where it originated from. I got in contact with a friend, who is a scientist with NASA. He recently went on an expedition to Ganymede with a scientific team. They found a greenish substance in a rock. Seeing at how it’s so cold on Ganymede, the substance was cool, so, just in case, they kept it that way. They brought back quite a big sample. But two days after they got back, half of it went missing. So it sounds like the same substance because when they did tests, and they brought it to a normal temperature, it came back as the same explosive compound.”
“The Mysterons stole it!” Blue said excitedly.
“Looks that way, Adam,” replied Lieutenant Green. “I can send NASA Doctor Gold’s test results, and see if it is the same substance, sir?”
“Okay, Lieutenant, if only to make sure. But I won’t be surprised to discover it is indeed the same.”
“The question now is, what is the Mysterons’ next target, and is it the real one this time?” Scarlet said pondering.
The colonel thought for a few seconds. “Lieutenant, check if any of the explosions were near any major buildings or targets such as nuclear stations.”
“Sir.” Green spun around and pressed a few buttons. Moments later she said: “I have something, sir. It seems that just a fraction before each explosion, a radio signal originated from the middle of the area and was sent to a world Government military plant in Paris, France. Interesting,” she added after reading it.
“What is?” replied White.
“It seems that in that plant, they’re making a new type of weapon for the army. It enables the soldiers to get close to terrorists, by making them invisible. It can last up to six hours. And, sir, that weapon was stolen from the plant, only a few days ago.”
“That sounds like it could be it, then,” Colonel White said.
“I have an image of the weapon.”
Lieutenant Green pulled the picture up onto her screen. It was a black tube, with gold edges, and a white rectangle shaped screen in the middle.
“Wow! It’s a small weapon for such a big capability,” Blue said looking hard at the picture.
“Yes, Captain. That would explain why everything they attack has disappeared. They’ve obviously been able to modify it, so it can hide anything.” said the colonel.
Scarlet sat down, mumbling to himself. “Green liquid and now a weapon that turns buildings, people and other objects invisible. It doesn’t make sense! What target or targets are they after?”
“Are you ok, Scarlet?”
“Yes, sir. Just trying to think what the Mysterons’ target is.”
“Maybe we’ll find out soon? Captains, you must head to the weapons plant, as soon as possible. And take Grey with you. You’ll need all the eyes you can get, as it’s a very large building. Update him on what is going on. See if you can get any information on how the weapon has managed to ‘disappear’ from the plant.”
“Yes, sir,” said Scarlet.
“I want the Albatrosses deployed in thirty minutes, Lieutenant Green.” “S.I.G., sir.”
It took two hours to get to the weapons plant. Once they landed, the belly of the two Albatrosses opened up and the two Rhinos shot out and sped towards the plant.
They pulled up to the gate. The doors opened and the four captains got out and walked to the two uniformed guards standing in front of the gate. Both of them were looking at the Spectrum officers with confusion.
Scarlet, Blue, Grey and Magenta presented their credentials, and once their identity had been established, they were granted access into the plant. As they walked through the white corridors, they could see a lot of armed soldiers keeping guard in front of different doors. They had to go through another security check, before meeting with Major Johnson, the director of projects, who thanked them.
“Yes, one of our weapons has disappeared,” the major had to admit to Scarlet. “That’s why there are more guards on duty than normal, Captain. We are trying to find the missing weapon’s whereabouts.”
“We think that a terrorist group might have something to do with it,” Scarlet then said.
“And, we know where it was for the first three explosions,” added Blue.
“Yes, last was all the way to Hawaii! But then it just disappeared,” Major Johnson said.
“How did you know that?” asked a confused Magenta.
“Well, every time the weapon is used, no matter where, the data is bought straight back to our computers.”
“That must be the radio signal Green mentioned earlier,” Scarlet commented.
“Have you got any CCTV?” Grey butted in.
“Yeah, it’s all around the building. The security people are sieving through it as we speak.”
Scarlet nodded. “Good, then hopefully the cameras would have caught anyone taking the weapon. Tell us more about it, Major”
“Well, once it turns the target invisible, the invisibility will last for about six hours. Then the matter that was “covered”, to make it easier to explain, will “uncover”, and the target will re-appear bit by bit until it appears completely again.”
“The object is invisible, but still there,” Scarlet said. “So you can touch it, then?”
“No, it is a bit more complicated than that,” Major Johnson said. “The object becomes intangible. It’s like the weapon spreads out the molecules of the object in a way that you can walk right through it, and not be aware that it even exists. In a case of a battle, for example, if enemy soldiers are hiding inside a building, we would be able not only to see them, but also get them easily.”
“Wow!” Blue said in amazement. “Like an elastic band, when you say, stretch it? Sounds like science-fiction gobble-de-gook to me!”
“To tell you the truth,” Johnson said, “I wouldn’t be able to explain exactly how it works. It was a fluky discovery, and our scientists are still trying to fully figure it out.”
“So it’s a prototype, then?” Scarlet enquired.
Johnson nodded. “It’s the only one we have. But it’s fully operational. What we’re trying to do now is to find a way to use it so that our soldiers are ONLY invisible, and not intangible. We don’t know yet what the effects of being intangible will have on a human being, so you understand why we don’t dare test it yet!”
“The Mysterons don’t have the same thinking,” Scarlet grumbled. “There were people touched by that weapon in Hawaii and the other two places.”
“We know. We’re hoping they will be all right when they’ll reappear. That will be interesting to see for our researches.”
Scarlet frowned a little. He didn’t quite like the aloofness in which Johnson had said those words, but he said nothing.
“So, if say, a building was destroyed and the weapon was used on it then, would the whole building re-appear or just the debris?” Scarlet asked with interest. “Seeing as it is intangible, it wouldn’t run the risk of being destroyed?”
“It’s still possible to destroy it,” Johnson explained. “While using ultra-sonic frequency blasts. It seems it’s able to break out whatever bond remained between the molecules of the invisible object. When it will reappear, if it reappears, yes, it will only be debris.”
“If it reappears?” Scarlet repeated.
“It depends on the intensity of the ultra-sonic blast. If it’s highly powerful, we fear the object might be obliterated from existence.” Johnson hesitated. “But it’s only a theory. We have not tested this yet.”
“I’m betting that when the green goo explodes, it has about the same effect as an ultra-sonic bomb,” Blue commented as his stomach sunk. “That means we might never see these buildings and the people in Hawaii, Little Bird and Newcastle again.”
The phone rang at that moment, and Johnson answered. There was a short exchange or words, and then the major thanked his interlocutor and hung up.
“We’ve found footage of someone stealing the weapon,” Johnson said, turning to the Spectrum captains. “Thankfully he’s not a member of staff. Must be a thief then. He seems to be wearing all black.”
The Spectrum agents exchanged gazes, the same thought forming in all their minds.
“No-one else would have the balls to steal something like this,” Blue said in an un-surprised tone.
Scarlet lowered his microphone.“Scarlet to base.”
“White, here. What have you found out, Captain?”
“The invisibility weapon was indeed stolen, sir. And Black paid a visit.”
“That makes sense. He does rather like stealing things that would be useful to his masters. Thank you, Captain. Lieutenant Green has also been doing some more digging and has found that scientists from around the world are meeting to show off their new inventions to the World Defence Committee in Texas. They’ll be at the Defence Empire House building in about six hours.”
“So that’s their target!” Scarlet said.
“There’s a strong chance, Captain. The coordinates will be sent to your Spectra-Tech communicators.”
“S.I.G., Colonel. He cut communication. ”Right, I think I know where the terrorists are heading next.” He explained to his friends and then turned to the major. “You need to update everyone, whilst we go and find the device.”
“Ok, Captain, good luck.” The four Spectrum officers left the plant and walked out towards the Rhinos. Hearing a beeping sound coming from his Spectra-Tech communicator, Scarlet checked it out and read the coordinates that had been downloaded by Lieutenant Green.
“Right, we’re off to Texas!” he announced with a smile.
The Albatrosses then flew up in the air and took of to their destination.
An hour later, the captains landed the Albatrosses about one mile away from the Defence Empire building.
“How are we going to find the explosive liquid and the weapon in...” Magenta looked at his watch. “In the next five hours?”
“We have to try, Mario,” Scarlet said.
“Well, we’d better get started then,” Blue said with his usual determination.
They drove the Rhinos to the front of the building. Once they pulled up at the entrance, they got out, with their guns drawn.
“Right, it’s best we split up, once inside. We can cover more ground that way,” Scarlet said.
The captains had to announce to security who they were and what they were doing there.
“Everything is fine and quiet,” replied a fully armed guard, standing at the entrance.
“Our commander wanted us to come down, just to make sure,” Magenta replied.
“Ok, well, I’ll have to do DNA checks, just to prove you are who you say you are.”
The captains put their palms on a coloured screen and the machine checked them all, and everything was reported as code green. They walked further inside the building and went their separate ways.
Ten minutes later and on the second floor, Blue made his first report: “Blue here, nothing yet.”
“Same this end,” replied Magenta.
“Same here too,” Grey sighed.
When Scarlet didn’t respond, Blue become anxious. “Scarlet? Scarlet? Are you there?” he asked.
“Yeah, Adam... I’m not feeling too good, so I think I’ve found it,” Scarlet finally answered.
He was in front of a closed door, bent over with a nauseous feeling he had when close to something Mysteron-based.
“Ok, where are you?” Blue demanded.
“I’m on the other side of level 2. In front of room 216.”
“Ok, we’re coming. Don’t move!”
Magenta, Blue and Grey ran towards Scarlet. Once they reached him, they took out their guns. Scarlet, obviously feeling better at their arrival, straightened, nodded at his friends and then kicked in the door. They rushed in, quickly checked the room and saw a locked door in the corner. Scarlet’s chin sank into his chest, as he felt even worse than he did before. He shook his head to snap out of it.
“Right, I’ll go first,” he announced.
“You sure, Paul?” Blue asked, worried about his friend.
“Yeah, it’s fine, Adam.”
Blue and Magenta had his back and watched him walk to the door to open it, slowly. They saw a big metal container on the floor. Scarlet went over, checked it with his communicator and saw from the screen that the box had the same highly explosive alien material in it they had discovered in Hawaii.
“Right, the liquid is in here,” he reported. “It seems to be kept at the right temperature for it, so it won’t explode at this moment in time. Now to find the invisibility weapon.”
“You stay here with that box. We’ll go and have a look in the other rooms,” Grey said.
“Ok, Ian, but be careful!”
Magenta, Blue and Grey left and started checking the other rooms.
Scarlet carefully opened the lid.
“Damn! There’s a lot of green liquid in here. Ahh, a thermometer.” He lifted it up and saw the temperature rising. “I’d better not leave it here any longer, just in case it goes off!” he was thinking what to do and then had an idea.
He pulled his microphone down.
“Scarlet to Skybase, come in.”
“Yes, Captain?” Green said.
“I found the green goo. I need an urgent pick up from the roof of the Defence Empire House Building. Can you arrange for an Albatross to land here?
“Of course, Captain. Give me two seconds and I’ll be get back to you,” Green said. Scarlet walked to the first door and jammed it open with a heavy box. He saw a staircase out in the hall, leading to the roof. Just then he heard his microphone go.
“That was quick. More than two seconds though!” he joked.
“Ok, Captain. The Albatross has been given the all clear. The pilot is already on his way,” Green replied.
“S.I.G. Tell him to land it and come through the roof door to room 216, second floor, in the right wing. I’ll have my Spectra-Tech on so he will be able to find me quicker,” ordered Scarlet.
“S.I.G., Scarlet. Green out.”
Scarlet sat by the container and waited.
The pilot and co-pilot flew the craft to the top of the building and landed on the roof. They got out, ran to a small door and then took the nearest lift down to level two and looked for room 216.
“Here it is!” the pilot, James, yelled. They went in and saw Scarlet in another, smaller room, seated next to the container. They jogged to him.
Just then, Magenta contacted him.
“We’ve found it, Scarlet. The invisibility weapon was in a cupboard, hidden under a load of luggage. We’ve managed to get in and have a look. It seems intact.”
“Ok, Magenta, good work. You should take it back to the plant. Use the last Albatross.”
“How about you?” asked Magenta.
I’m getting the green goo to the other Albatross, which is currently waiting on the roof. Its temperature is rising, so it’s in danger of blowing up at any moment. It needs to be taken away quickly.”
“S.I.G, Paul.” Magenta cut contact.
“Right, guys, let’s flex those muscles,” Scarlet instructed to the pilot and co-pilot, taking deep breaths. They lifted the container as carefully as possible; they took it to the lift and carried it to the Albatross.
“God, it’s heavy! Think I’m getting a hernia!” moaned the co-pilot, Jake.
“Almost there,” Scarlet said smiling.
Once they got the container inside the cargo bay, Scarlet turned to the two men.
“Right, I’ll take over from here, guys. I’m not risking your lives with this.”
“What? Oh, come on Captain, miss out on some action? You got to be kidding me,” co-pilot Jake said looking very unhappy.
“I’m with Jake. Please, Captain, I know you want to protect us, but we can fly this better then you. For once you’re not going to be the only hero!”
“I don’t know when this goo might go off! So that’s an order!”
“NO!” they both yelled at Scarlet. The pilot and co-pilot just walked to their seats at the front, and sat down.
“Are we going or not?” James called out whilst he started the engine up. Scarlet didn’t have time to continue the conversation, so he reluctantly gave in. He lowered his microphone.
“Magenta, come in.”
“I’ve secured the cargo and am about ready to take off. I’m going to drop the container in mid-ocean, where it will explode without doing any harm. The pilots won’t stay behind. They want to help. So they will be with me. They won’t listen to reason!”
“Well, you’d best get going then,” Magenta said in a worried voice.
“I want you to let the plant know you’re on your way with the Invisibility weapon. I’ll meet you there.”
“I’d feel better if we waited to make sure nothing happened to you and the pilots.”
Scarlet scowled. “Don’t worry about me. Just worry about them when we get back. The colonel won’t be happy with them.”
“Yeah, I will. I know. That’s my kind nature for you. See you there.”
Staying in the cargo bay, Scarlet ordered the pilots to take off. When the landing legs had folded up, he looked at the container again but this time saw light shooting through the gaps. He checked the temperature with his Spectra-Tech this time, as he didn’t want to open the lid just in case. It was higher than earlier. He was getting worried it could be priming itself to explode.
“Ok, how long ‘til we get to the ocean?” Scarlet enquired.
“About ten minutes, why?” James asked.
“Because I think it’s going to blow up very soon!”
“Ok, Captain, we’ll speed up,” co-pilot Jake replied.
Scarlet then used his cap microphone to contact Skybase. “Scarlet to Skybase.”
“We’ve found the green goo and the invisibility weapon, sir.
“Yes, I know, Magenta has updated me. Do you know how long you have before it blows?” White asked with concern.
“No, sir, it could go any time now, for all I know.”
“Magenta has also told me the pilots are with you. Those damn fools! They should have left when you told them!”
“I know, but they’re as stubborn as a pair of mules. They wouldn’t listen, sir.”
“I know, Captain. I’ll deal with them when you’ll be back on Skybase. In the meantime, good luck!”
The minutes passed, slowly to Scarlet. And then James’ voice made itself heard from the cockpit:
“We’ve arrived at a safe distance from the coast and any inhabited island, Captain.”
“About time. This thing is getting worse, and the light is getting more and more powerful. I can feel it’s going to go off any time now.”
Scarlet pressed a button and held on to something, as the cargo doors opened below the container; it fell with a screech of air passing over it. Scarlet pressed the button again to close the doors.
“Right, you’d better prove you are better at flying this thing out of here than me!”
The pilots pulled the steering towards them and the Albatross shot upwards. They flew it as fast as they could.
Then the container blew up in spectacular style. A huge wave of energy shot over the sea, with blobs of green goo flying everywhere, some bit hitting the Albatross along with some water, and then falling into the ocean.
“Phew! That was close!” The co-pilot said sighing with relief.
Scarlet wiped his forehead and leaned back against his seat, taking his hat off.
“I’ll update the colonel, now.”
The Albatross then levelled out and headed to the weapons plant.
Back at the plant, the Albatross carrying Blue, Magenta and Grey landed. Both Blue and Magenta started carrying the box with the weapon in, when they spotted two guards running over, accompanied by Major Johnson. The captains put the box down on the ground, gently.
“Thank God!” said the Major. “You found the weapon. I think there will be a big party tonight! Want to join us? Bring ah.... Scarlet with you!”
“Sounds great. But we’ll have to turn down the invitation, sorry,” Blue said looking disappointed. He could do with a good knees up; after all, he was meant to be on holiday!
“That’s a shame.”
Just then, they saw the second Albatross in the sky, approaching their position. A few moments later, it landed, and Scarlet stepped out of it, jogging to the group.
“Scarlet!” shouted Blue.
Scarlet waved. “Hi, guys.”
“I take it everything’s ok?” asked Magenta.
“Yup! I dropped the container, and it went off safely with plenty of green goo flying everywhere. Almost got a swimming lesson too!” He laughed.
“Is the weapon damaged?” Major Johnson asked.
“It doesn’t look like it, no,” replied Magenta. “But we’re no experts.”
“I’ll take a look at it, but first, I’ll get help to take it back inside,” the major replied.
Using his radio, he asked for two employees to come.
“We’re outside the front. Okay, thanks.” He turned to the Spectrum officers. “They’re on their way, Captains.”
Just as one of the guards was about to ask Magenta why his uniform was pink, the two men called by Johnson came running towards them. They picked up the container, slowly, and carried it inside the plant, followed by the major.
Once inside and safely in a secure room, guarded by armed soldiers, the major pressed a little compartment door which slid to reveal a button that he pressed down; the latches unlocked and the lid opened.
The captains waited for his answer.
“It looks intact.” He inspected it a little closer. “Yes, it is, it’s in perfect condition.” He closed the lid. “Thank you, Spectrum!”
“Good, now we can go home!” Scarlet sighed.
“I second that, Paul,” agreed Blue.
Each team boarded its respective Albatross, and they flew back to Skybase.
Back on Skybase, the captains were ordered to debrief Colonel White.
“Excellent work, Captains. The scientists have managed to get updated data from the weapon and have noticed there’s been a few tweaks to some of the parts. They don’t know exactly how it happened but we were right, the Mysterons had modified it, to make sure it was working to their specifications.”
“How else would it work at that level, sir?” said Scarlet.
“Indeed, Captain” Colonel White sighed. “Unfortunately, this is war, and this particular battle cost many innocent lives this time. Captain Blue, as you suspected, the green goo, when it exploded, had exactly the same effect as an ultra-sonic blast. The buildings that had disappeared from the three locations reappeared after the six-hours delay. Sadly, the people didn’t.”
“The Mysterons played dirty this time,” Scarlet said morosely. “They didn’t leave much to chance.”
“They always play dirty, Captain, you know that,” White replied. ”Which is we must keep our eyes open. In the meantime, Captain Scarlet, Captain Magenta, Captain Blue… you three still have one day of your vacation left. I reckon you deserve it. So I suggest you go and enjoy yourselves.”
“Thank you, sir, we were hoping to,” said Blue.
White raised his right eyebrow. “Dismissed, Captains.”
They all nodded and walked to the lift.
“Oh, Scarlet,” called White.
Scarlet stopped in his tracks and turned round. “Sir?”
“I had a word with the pilots and they have said they would follow all orders coming from any captain from now on. And that they apologise for disobeying a direct order.”
“S.I.G., sir, thank you.” Scarlet continued to the lift. He hoped the colonel had not been too rough on the two pilots. After all, Spectrum indeed needed courageous men like them.
“What are we going to do for the one day?” asked Blue.
“Well, whilst you three enjoy your last day, I’m off to my room, get changed and head to the gym,” said Grey.
“We can go anywhere there’s a beach, Mario,” said Scarlet.
“And being a beach, there will be lots off lovely women in bikinis waiting for a tall, dark handsome man to come along and whisk them off their feet,” Magenta added with a grin.
“Ha! Have you heard your chat up lines? You couldn’t pull a squirrel with those!” Blue said laughing afterwards.
Magenta just gave him an evil look.
This story was beta-read by the Spectrum Headquarters beta-reading panel.