About two years after…
Captain Scarlet, his cap in hands, standing on the Promenade Deck, gazes thoughtfully upon the upper runway deck, where he can see Angel One, actually manned by Destiny Angel, on stand by for take off. The big exotic plants surrounding him are a far off sight from the empty room he had first entered, two years ago, on his first boarding of Cloudbase.
Quite a lot has changed over that period of time, he thinks. Quite a lot, indeed… As Paul Metcalfe, he has joined Spectrum, of course, along with all the Angels and the five other men he had encountered during this fateful rendezvous in a certain warehouse in Perth…
Adam Svenson has been right about his father’s bad reaction upon his joining of Spectrum, and giving up his identity to become a certain Captain Blue… that didn’t change Blue’s decision in anyway, and the blond American had worked hard to prove to his new companions that he was anything but a rich kid from Boston. He had become one of the very best agents Spectrum has, often being assigned to the most dangerous mission, along with Scarlet.
Bradley Holden, Captain Grey, had some difficulty in the beginning, to make the others forget he has been “Captain Black’ ‘spy”… but the ex-WASP officer has such a sympathetic personality and a professional way to carry on his duties that it wasn’t very long for the others to all become very attached to him.
Patrick Donaghue, as Captain Magenta, had left his past life as New York State mobster without any hesitation or regret. Ever since then, he has shown a rather eager to please attitude that sometimes has annoyed his colleagues… and even Colonel White, at some occasions.
Richard Fraser had not join in right away. He has shocked the other trainees, and the world at large, when his name appeared on the newspapers, about a week after his companions’ arrival at Koala Base for the beginning of their training: he was reported killed, murdered by a bombe who had been wired to his car… Surprised even more were the trainees when they saw him appearing at Koala Base, the day after, his beard completely shaved, ready to take on his new life as Captain Ochre. He has chosen to do so like Donaghue, on a clean slate.
Steve Blackburn has taken on Becky Evershaw on her word to go out with him. They married six months after the beginnings of his training at Koala Base. Because Blackburn was the one with the least experience as a field agent, when he received his commission as Spectrum Captain Brown, he was assigned as Captain Scarlet’s field partner… as Scarlet was regarded as the more experienced field agent of the lot… baring Captain Black.
All the Angels became the best fighting pilots the world had ever seen… regardless of their gender. Colonel White took personal pride in training them, even coming himself to Koala Base to do so.
While Destiny’s relationship with Captain Scarlet never found the chance to take off anew, the pair had remained very good friends. In the meantime, the one between Symphony and Captain Blue had continued to blossom, while Colonel White didn’t seem to be none the wiser about it.
Captain Black had been a ruthless instructor, doing nothing to become somewhat more sympathetic to his trainees. There were no lost love with them, especially Blue, who would never forget the gun Black had pulled on Symphony, one day. Black didn’t care much about what the others could think of him. He was only concerned about training all of them to become the best field agents he could produce. The only ones to sympathize with Black would be Colonel White, who knew him enough to be aware of the real character he were, Captain Grey, who was willing to tolerate him, and Captain Scarlet, who had grown to respect the man.
But that all was before that fateful mission to Mars.
Some six months after Spectrum had become fully operational and was presented to the World as the new all-around security organisation of Earth, Black has gone on that Zero-X mission he was so excited about. He had trained like crazy for it and had deemed himself ready when he had take off… Scarlet still remembers to this day about Black’s promise to bring him back a Martian souvenir…
Some souvenir! Scarlet thinks grimly.
Captain Black was not ready for what he found on Mars. For there WAS life on it. A life called the Mysterons… Upon discovering their city, Black, thinking they were about to attack the Earth’s expedition, destroyed it… For the first time of his life, he lost his nerves… and the consequences of his decision would have a dreadful impact.
The Mysterons vowed revenge and somehow took control of Black’s body, using him to wage a war of nerves against Earth. Possessing powers beyond the knowledge of men, they would use it without mercy. As Earth ultimate task team of defence, Spectrum received the responsibility to thwart the Mysterons’ subsequent attacks. But neither Spectrum, nor anybody else has any idea what could be the extend of the Mysterons’ powers.
Captains Scarlet and Brown had the doubtful honours to be the first to learn it, the hard way, as they were killed in a car crash accident, and their bodies reconstructed by the power of “reverting energy into matter” of the Mysterons… to do their bidings, by trying to kill, or kidnap the World President, as part of the Mysterons’ first “act of retaliation”.
Killed, Scarly thinks somberly. I still have a hard time about that one. How the hell are the Mysterons able to do something like that? To kill somebody, destroy something, reconstructing him or it, for their own evil purposes… But that was really the point, wasn’t it? The Mysterons weren’t from Earth… There weren’t anyway to tell if they were even from Mars, to begin with…
Brown had been killed, without any mercy. Two times. The second time, his reconstructed body was boobytraped into a living bomb that were supposed to kill the World President… But the attempt had failed, and Brown had died. This time as a traitor, an assassin. Steve Blackburn was certainly not any of that. And knowing that they had lost a good man, Spectrum officials had announced to the World that the Captain Brown who had tried to kill the President was in reality an impostor, who had previously murdered the real Brown, in order to take his place. Even his wife, then with child, would not know the real truth behind Steve Blackburn’s death.
Of course, there were other reasons behind Spectrum official version. First, they were well aware of the general panic that would have swept all over Earth population if people were to learn that they were facin an enemy who could destroy and reconstruct anyone as their own puppet. Paranoia all over the planet, doubts amist families, entire countries… Wars could have followed… The Mysterons would then have achieved thir goal of ultimately destroying the entire civilisation of Earth without even really trying hard.
The other reason was Captain Scarlet’s own unusual case.
Killed with Brown, reconstructed like him, he was instructed by the Mysterons to kidnap the World President, after Brown’s attempt on his life had failed. But Spectrum was on to the Mysterons’ plans. By that time, the real bodies of the two murdered Captains had been found and Spectrun succeeded in trapping the renegade Scarlet, who had already kidnapped the President, on top of the London Car-Vu… Where, after beeing shot through the heart by a dismayed Captain Blue, he felt to his second death, over a 800 feet distance to the ground.
Miraculously, the reconstructed body of Scarlet survived… And when he recovered in Cloudbase’ sickbay, before the eyes of the startled Doctor Fawn, Colonel White and Captain Blue, he had no recollection of what he has done under the Mysterons’ influence. The last memory he had was of his car tumbling down a ravine, and him desperatly trying to survive.
To this day, Scarlet still doesn’t remember what had happened to him during those fateful six hours he was under the control of the Mysterons. The only thing he knew for sure was that it changed his life forever.
For since then, Doctor Fawn, along with the Spectrum scientists, had discovered that he had retained one extraordinary hability of the Mysterons’ reconstructs. He now was able to heal from any wound, and even a fatal one, like a bullet through the heart or a dreadfull fall, would take him only hours to recover completely. Without even a scar.
He had became indestructible.
Well, virtually, has often pointed out Captain Blue. For there was no way of telling what really was the extend of Scarlet newfound hability. He certainly could feel pain, and was still fairly vulnerable, especially when he was “out of it”. And there were certainly ways to kill him. Some Mysterons agenst have been destroyed before, by some rather violent explosions… and high voltage electricity, as Spectrum has found out recently, was their Achilles’ heel. It could kill Mysterons as well as humans… And, probably, Captain Scarlet too.
But, for now, Captain Scarlet has become Spectrum most special agent, taking on missions that would have meant certain death to anyone else. Because he was able to come back from the dead, again and again, Spectrum had suffered a minimum of lost from its war against the Mysterons.
That wasn’t to say that the Mysterons hadn’t made some victims during their acts of retaliation… They were plently of them, first of all the poor people they had killd to use as their unwilling pawns…
“I’ve should have know I would find you here.”
Scarlet swirls around to see his best friend, Captain Blue, who has just entered the Promenade Deck, approaching him with a big smile. Blue always was the more sympathetic of all his colleagues, and he was the only one of the Captains Scarlet ever was able to confide to. Since Brown’s death, Blue had become his usual field partner and Scarlet was very well aware that Colonel White was considering them to be his best team.
“The Promenade deck has always been your favorite place when you want to retire and think by yourself”, Blue notices to his friend. “What is it that bothering you, this time? This new Mysterons threat?”
Scarlet shakes his head. “I don’t believe there really is a traitor amidst Spectrum. So that don’t bother me much. I think the Mysterons are trying to confuse us this time.”
“Right,” Captain Blue says, with a sceptical tone. “That’s why Colonel White send us to Koala Base Cadet Training Camp to investigate those hovercrafts malfunctions.”
Scarlet smiles. “I just took a trip down memory lane. Remember the first time we were all together at Koala Base?”
“As if I could forget!” Blue sighs. He smiles back at his friend. “Don’t worry. I’m quite sure you won’t sleep in the brig this time. I’ve heard the commander of the base, Major Stone, is one of your admirers.”
“I often wonder…” Scarlet stops in his track.
“What?” Blue asks him. “what do you wonder?”
Scarlet shakes his head. “I don’t know… How things would have been different it I had chose not to join Spectrum… Who would have been killed in my place, when the Mysterons have taken me and Brown over? Would he have succeeded where I failed?” His features become gloomy as he looks way past the blue sky beyond the glass bay. “Would Steve Blackburn be alive today, and be with his wife and newborn son?”
There is a moment of silence, while the two Spectrum top agents both have a special thought for their fallen comrade and friend.
“Nobody knows what could have happened, Scarlet”, Blue finally says. “Like nobody knows what the future may still hold for us. We made decisions with our life and afterward, we have to hang on to them. Do you now regret to have joined Spectrum?”
“No.” Scarlet looks at his friend, and thinks about the words giving to him by Colonel White, two years ago. “Not one day. Never.”
“Well, for one, I’m sure glad you did join in. For, even if I sympathise with what the Mysterons have done to you… I don’t think anybody else but you would have come out of it the way you did.”
Scarlet lowered his eyes. “Adam…”
“You shouldn’t call me that when we’re on duty, you know”, Blue protests gently.
“I don’t care”. Scarlet ‘s attention reports on Blue. “It has been months, now, Adam. I don’t think I even had the chance to thank you properly.”
“Thank me?” a puzzled Blue asks. “Thank me for what?”
“For what happened at the Car-Vu.”
Blue scowls. “Rather strange that you should thank me for that. I shot you down.” He hesitates. “I killed you, Paul.”
“Difficult to say?” Scarlet asks his friend.
“Difficult to even think about it.” Blue mumbles. “I’ve still got nightmares over this.”
“Don’t.” Scarlet urges him. You know I don’t remember a thing about what happened then, but you told me you had no choice in the matter. I was firing at you.”
“That is part of my nighmares, you know?”
“Think of the ones you would have if you hadn’t been able to stop me…” Blue shudders at the thought, as Scarlet continues: “You saved President Younger’s live… You save MY life…”
“Says the man who cannot be killed.”
Scarlet sighs. “All right, then. Let’s say you gave it back to me…” He smiles slightly. “…with certains improvements about it.”
“Don’t kid me, pal. I know you’re rather uncomfortable with that virtual indestructibility of yours.”
“Yes, but I try to make the better of it.”
“You always do make the better of everything. That much hasn’t chance.” Blue makes a pause. “By the way”, he adds, “you have repaid me your life by saving mine countless of times. So you don’t have to thank me.”
Scarlet gives a broad smile and then puts on his cap.
“All right!” he sighs. “We shall go now. Before Colonel White send a search team after us.
Blue smiles. “As a matter of fact, he did: I AM the search team he has send after YOU.”
The two friends depart the Promenade Deck while laughting.