Thanks to Hazel Kohler – with some help from Mary J. Rudy – who had graciously offered to be my beta reader and had proof-read this story. This is this chapter revised version. C.B.)
Captain Grey’s fever had increased by several degrees; delirium had taken hold of him, and he was drifting in and out of consciousness. Destiny, who was tending to him, was worried sick. Help had better come soon, if there was to be any chance of saving Grey’s life.
Where was Captain Scarlet? Had he reached the top of that mountain and found the transmitter? Had he succeeded in contacting Spectrum? Destiny had no doubt now he would try his very best, so they would all be rescued. But the weather outside was so bad. Climbing that mountain could only be hazardous in all that cold, wind and snow… If he were to fall, what would happen then?
Well, he would surely survive, she mused. He did survive an 800 foot drop, and on top of that, his body was crushed and buried under tons of falling metal. Nothing could really stop him then. What worse could he endure, up there?
Destiny shook her head. She wasn’t really worried about him, but about Grey… and herself. Stop being so selfish! she thought angrily. He is still human enough to feel pain… You have seen it with your own eyes.
Hours had passed since his departure. It should not be much longer, now, before he came back…
Destiny heard sounds coming from outside, throughout the whistling wind. Footsteps, she realized; and they were approaching the door. She stood up from where she was seated, next to the feverish Grey.
“Captain Scarlet?” she called.
Since she didn’t receive any answer, she went to the door and pulled the blanket aside. She didn’t have time to actually see who was on the other side before a violent blow hit her over the head. Stunned, she fell on her back. Throughout a mist, she saw booted feet entering the capsule. Black boots, not red. It was not Scarlet. Looking up, Destiny saw the face of her attacker. And blood chilled in her veins.
Commander Jim Torey, his eyes icy, his features implacable, walked up to her and pulled her up by the collar of her coat. “Surprised to see me?” he asked ominously.
Destiny’s throat was too tight, she could not even speak. Torey pulled her to her feet and dragged her toward the seat where Captain Scarlet had previously been cuffed. The handcuffs were still attached to its metal foot, the free end of it still smeared with Scarlet’s blood. Torey pushed Destiny brutally to the floor, in front of the seat, and, keeping hold of her left arm, took up the handcuffs. Seeing his intention, the Angel pilot struggled to stop him. He backhanded her across the face, threaded her slender hand through the empty handcuff and then squeezed the cuff tightly shut around her wrist.
“That should keep you still long enough.” Torey slapped the girl again, sending her sprawling on the floor. Fighting her fear and disbelief, she stared up to him, trying to show herself as defiant as she could.
“You should be dead!” she shouted. “I shot you!”
“Oh, that…” Torey negligently brushed off his bloodstained yellow coat. There were still bullet holes apparent on his chest. “You’re a fool, Earthwoman. Did you really think simple bullets would actually be enough to stop me?”
Understanding dawned on Destiny and she paled. “You’re like Captain Scarlet,” she murmured, shaking her head in despair. “Oh, God…”
“So you see you cannot stop me. You can’t stop the Mysterons!” Torey gazed deeply into her eyes. She instinctively drew back; there was nothing human in his eyes… They were cold and unfeeling, with some alien presence in them. The Mysterons’ presence. “You will die, Destiny Angel. And your friend here will die with you.”
“I won’t let you…” Destiny’s loud protest died in her mouth as Torey slapped her again and she fell flat on the floor. The Mysteron agent stood up and stepped back from her.
“Be quiet, woman! You can’t escape your fate now!” He heard moaning behind him, and looked back; Captain Grey was restless, still caught in his delirium. “Your friend is the lucky one. He won’t be aware of his own death.” That said, Torey turned on his heel and went to the back of the cabin. Destiny followed him with her eyes, wondering what he could be up to. She saw him opening a compartment in the floor and searching it. He took out two cylinders that looked strangely like compressed air containers. He also took out a box that he opened in front of Destiny’s curious eyes. She saw a charge of plastic explosive, a timing device, and some wires.
“A bomb?” the Angel said, frowning. “You intend blowing us up?”
“I should have used it sooner,” Torey replied. He looked up at Destiny. “It’s not ready yet, I didn’t have time to put it completely together before I landed on your Cloudbase… Otherwise, your base would have been blown to pieces!”
“You were already a Mysteron then?” Destiny murmured, opening her eyes wide.
“You and your companions were already doomed the minute you boarded the jet, Earthwoman,” Torey replied. “Now it is time to take our revenge.” He gestured toward the components of the bomb. “When that bomb is completed, I will hook it to those cylinders. They contain a substance comparable to liquid napalm. I’ll put them at strategic points around this capsule. When the bomb explodes, the capsule will become a giant fireball… in which you and Captain Grey will be trapped.”
Destiny looked at him in complete horror. He closed the box, put it under his arm, and got to his feet. Taking the two cylinders by their straps, he strode toward the opening. The female pilot desperately struggled against the cuff restraining her. She understood now, much to her dismay, how frustrated Scarlet must have felt when he was in the same situation, a few hours before.
Torey put his burden down next to the door and looked at the young woman. Obviously, the thought that she could use the same drastic solution as Scarlet to free herself must have crossed his mind, for he came close to her to take the toolbox. He slid it away from her, toward the other side of the cabin. Destiny stared at it in desperation, before casting a disgusted glance at the Mysteron agent.
“Why not finish us with a gun?” she angrily asked. “Why expose us to such an horrible death?”
“Don’t you understand, Destiny Angel?” Torey replied coldly. “The Mysterons don’t only intend to exact revenge on your pitiful race. We want to strike fear into your collective heart. Your deaths, horrible as they will be, will be testimony to the extent of our rightful anger.”
“But there won’t be anyone to witness it,” Destiny protested.
“You’re wrong. There will be a witness,” Torey said with an evil grin. “Captain Scarlet should be here shortly. I have a remote control for the bomb. I’ll make sure he sees you burn. And he will be unable to save you.”
“You can’t possibly hope to get away with this!” Destiny told him dryly.
“I live only to follow the Mysterons’ instructions, Destiny… Or did you forget that?”
Destiny desperately tried to lash out at him, all claws out, anger overwhelming her mind and heart. He repelled her assault with a violent backhand and stepped back to keep out of her reach. He felt a hand grabbing at the bottom of his trouser-leg and looked down. Captain Grey, his face awfully pale and covered with sweat, was using what was left of his strength in trying to help the Angel pilot. He actually succeeded in pulling himself into a sitting position. But he couldn’t keep it up. Torey got out of his hold, without much difficulty, and hit him over the head, sending him sprawling back on the floor. He then gave Grey a vicious kick in the side, driving him toward a worried and horrified Destiny’s feet. Under the brutal blow, Grey let out a cry of pain and then went silent.
“Mon Dieu! Brad!” Destiny crawled to her fallen companion. His eyes were closed, but he moaned softly when she touched him and gathered him against her, with her free arm, in a comforting and protective gesture. “You’re a monster!” she cried out in fury, looking up at Torey. “He has been injured… He’s so weak, he can’t even defend himself! And you have not hesitated to hit him!”
“He should have stayed where he was!” Torey shouted back. “Anyway, it is of no importance. He will die shortly… and you with him.”
“Captain Scarlet will avenge us!”
“Then, perhaps, I’ll get the chance to kill him too!”
Torey went back to the door. He took the two cylinders and the box containing the bomb and went out, without looking back at his intended victims. Destiny stared for a moment at the blanket, her eyes filled with fear.
“Destiny?” The weak voice of Captain Grey drew her attention to the injured officer. His head was resting on her shoulder. With her free arm, she held him close to her, gently stroking his damp hair.
“Shh… Don’t you worry, Brad,” she whispered in his ear. “We’ll get out of this one…”
“Looks mighty bad…” Grey faintly said, without even opening his eyes.
“Rest, please... Don’t tire yourself anymore.”
“Sorry I wasn’t… strong enough to help you…”
The words trailed off as Grey passed out in the young woman’s arms. She could feel his heart beating against her breast. At least he was still alive, she thought. She closed her eyes, repressing a sigh of complete despair. She knew their situation was hopeless.
Oh God… How long now, before this maniac kills us? How much time is there left to us?
* * *
For Captain Scarlet, it seemed to take an eternity to climb down the mountain and get across the plateau where the jet had crashed. He couldn’t run fast enough. The snow on the ground was too thick, and more was still falling. Captain Ochre was doing his best to keep up with him, limping on his bad foot, clenching his teeth, but never complaining. He, too, was terribly worried about what might happen at the capsule. At least, they were walking downwind, pushed forward by it. They finally left the plateau, and went down into the valley.
At a distance, the two men could see the flickering flares. They must be almost covered with snow, Scarlet realized, suddenly fearing that it was already too late. He pressed on, leaving Ochre stumbling a few feet behind, his heart pounding faster against his chest.
He was only a few yards from the capsule; he could see the torn-off door on its side, with the blanket covering the hole, flapping in the wind…
A violent explosion erupted at the tail of the capsule, stopping Scarlet in his tracks; his eyes widened in horror, he saw flames rising into the sky, spreading quickly across the surface of the capsule, covering it almost entirely in an instant.
“Dear God, no!” Scarlet cried out. He had arrived too late… just a few seconds too late.
An overwhelming presence near him prompted him to throw himself sideways. Commander Torey had appeared from out of the blue, swinging a heavy metal bar at his head. The Spectrum agent tried to dodge the blow, but caught it on the left shoulder. He sprawled in the snow, the Mysteron coming after him for another attack.
Ochre arrived at that moment, and furiously jumped at Torey, rolling with him on the ground, wrestling for the bar. The fight brought them dangerously near the burning capsule.
Scarlet got to his feet and drew his pistol. “Get out of the way, Ochre!” he shouted, taking aim.
His colleague heard him and quickly scrambled clear. Torey was trying to stand when Scarlet pulled the trigger several times. He literally riddled the Mysteron agent with bullets.
Torey fell into the wall of flames at his back, and disappeared right into it, through a large, new hole in the side of the capsule, caused by the recent explosion.
Scarlet looked on, fully expecting to see the Mysteron coming back. It didn’t happen, but he thought he saw movement…
“Are you okay?” Ochre was next to Scarlet. The Brit motioned him to keep silent. He could have sworn he heard… There! Coughing! And a call for help, in a female voice!
“My God! There’re alive in there!” Scarlet murmured.
Ochre went pale. “They’ll burn alive!” he cried, his throat tightening.
Scarlet put his gun back into his holster; an alarmed Ochre saw him moving closer to the wall of flames; his intentions were quite clear. Ochre grabbed him by the arm. “Don’t be crazy, Scarlet!”
“I won’t leave them to die that way!” Scarlet replied furiously. “I must try to get inside…”
“Not like this. Think, man! There must be another way.” Ochre looked around. His eye fell on a large piece of wreckage lying some feet away. “There! Help me. We’ll use that as a bridge to get across the flames!”
Scarlet nodded. The two Spectrum captains hurried to heave the heavy piece of metal, and dragged it toward the rip. They let it fall through it. The flames smouldered under the improvised bridge, which provided them with a safe passageway to the interior of the capsule.
“That won’t hold long,” Scarlet said. “Let’s hurry!”
He stepped over the bridge and jumped inside the capsule, closely followed by Ochre.
Not far from them was Torey’s body, lying on his belly, surrounded by the flames, his clothes on fire. Then they saw Destiny and Grey, where Torey had left them earlier. The young woman was seated on the floor, clinging to her apparently unconscious companion, while trying to cover her mouth and nose with her free hand. She was coughing through the smoke rapidly filling up the restricted space of the cabin.
Destiny’s eyes lit up when Captains Scarlet and Ochre approached her. “You’re alive,” she murmured with relief, staring at Ochre, before coughing again.
“Grey…” Scarlet then said, looking at his injured colleague. “Is he…”
“He’s alive,” Destiny answered quickly. “Just unconscious…”
Scarlet eyed the young woman’s handcuffed wrist. “Ochre, the key.”
Captain Ochre took it out of his coat pocket and put it into Scarlet’s open palm. The Brit hurriedly inserted it in the cuff lock.
It refused to open.
“It doesn’t work!” he shouted at Ochre.
“What?” Ochre yelled back. “That’s impossible!”
“It’s not the right one… Don’t you have another key on you?”
“No! I… It must be that key, Scarlet!”
The British officer tried it again, with no more success; he examined it closely and raised his eyes, to encounter the desperate look in Destiny’s own. “It’s definitely not the key Spectrum issues for those cuffs,” he said heavily.
“How can it not be?” Ochre replied in a groan.
Scarlet took his pistol and aimed it at the handcuff’s chain. Impossible, he realised almost right away. I don’t have a good enough angle on it. Destiny’s hand is too close. I could take her fingers off with that shot…
He shook his head, putting the gun back in the holster. “Take Grey and get outside,” he ordered Ochre. “I’m staying to get Destiny out of those cuffs.”
“Then I’m staying too…” Ochre started.
“Don’t be a fool!” Scarlet barked, turning angrily to him. “You’ve got Grey to think about! Do as I say!”
For a few seconds, Ochre stared at Scarlet’s determined face. He saw his British counterpart would not change his mind. And anyway, he was right. Ochre sighed and shrugged quietly. “All right. It’s your call.” He took Grey under his armpits and carefully lifted him across his shoulders. Then he stood up, his eyes still on Scarlet. “We’ll wait for you outside, at a safe distance from the capsule.” He was trying to render his voice as assured as he could, but wasn’t sure he had actually succeeded. Scarlet said nothing but nodded his acknowledgement. Ochre turned on his heel and went out.
Scarlet returned his attention to the handcuffs. Destiny gave him one desperate, yet resigned look.
“You should get out of here too,” she murmured to him.
He feigned not to have heard her and looked all over the place, hoping to find something that might be of help. He saw the toolbox at the other end of the capsule and went to it; he burned his hand on the metal surface, trying to pick it up. Ignoring the pain, he got hold of it and dragged it hurriedly to Destiny’s side, where he knelt again, before searching the contents of the box.
“It’s useless, Captain,” Destiny told him. “There’s nothing in there which can open these shackles…”
“I must find something,” Scarlet muttered, not even looking at her.
“Didn’t you hear what I said?” Destiny said again. “You must get out of here!”
“I won’t let you die!” Scarlet snapped, suddenly raising his head to her. She saw the anguish in his blue eyes. He cupped her face in his trembling hands. “I won’t let you die,” he repeated in a whisper, shaking his head. “Not this way.”
“You can’t do anything about it.”
“The Hell I can’t! I won’t stand idle while you burn in front of my eyes! I won’t accept it!”
Until now, Destiny had been wondering what an indestructible man could possibly fear. Now she knew. What the man in front of her was most afraid of was to actually see everyone around him die, without being able to stop it. It was killing him to know he would continue to live on… And how awful that pain and fear must be, when loved ones and those close to him were involved.
“Rhapsody told me your heart can be broken,” Destiny remarked, with a faint smile, gently stroking his cheek.
“Juliette…” Scarlet rasped, his throat tightening.
“Let it go, Paul,” she replied. She was not even surprised that she had used his first name, for now she knew it was really him. “You can’t free me. Unless you’re willing to break my hand, like you did yours.”
Scarlet shook his head, horrified at the thought. She would never recover from that kind of injury; her hand would be irrevocably lost and she would never again be able to fly a jet. Beside, he could never bring himself to hurt her willingly in any way.
He pressed his forehead against hers, closing his eyes.
“If only we had that key…” he murmured. It hit him. He drew back, gazing straight into Destiny’s eyes. “Torey must have taken it,” he realized.
He looked toward the body of the Mysteron agent, lying some feet from him. That must be it… Torey must have somehow taken that key from Ochre’s pocket and exchanged it with another one. He went to the side of the dead man; fire was spreading across his clothes. Quickly, Scarlet removed his coat and used it to smother the flames. He knelt beside Torey’s burned body and frantically searched his pockets. Nothing there, he realised, grimly. He turned the body on its back.
For a moment, the horrible sight of the blackened, half-burned face took him aback. Almost all of Torey’s hair was gone, and he had lost part of one ear. The smell of burned flesh was sickening, and Scarlet forced himself to overcome his repulsion. Destiny’s coughing behind him reminded him of the urgency of the situation.
Opening Torey’s coat, Scarlet thought he had found the object of his search inside the pocket of the UAE uniform. His fingers closed around a key and he examined it with hope. It looked exactly like the key issued for the handcuffs restraining Destiny.
“I think I’ve got it!” he called victoriously.
It was at that moment that he saw the dead man opening his eyes. Stunned by the sight, Scarlet didn’t even react when a burned hand closed around his throat.
Destiny’s horrified scream filled the cabin as Scarlet felt himself being pushed backward. His head roughly connected with the floor, stunning him. He gasped for air, looking deep into the mutilated features of the Mysteron, who pinned him down with his own weight.
“You can’t save the girl, Earthman!” Torey hissed in his face, between clenched teeth. “You can’t even save yourself!”
Only half-hearing him, Scarlet struggled to get free. The tight grip on his throat was incredibly strong and was choking him. His right arm was trapped under the Mysteron’s knee, while he couldn’t get a good enough hold with his left hand. He had the precious key in that one, and he didn’t dare risk losing it.
“Now,” Torey continued, his distorted face twisting in a grotesque, evil grin, “You will die… Nothing will stand in the way of the Mysterons’ revenge!”
Captain Scarlet tightened his hold on the key… and used it, ruthlessly; now was not the time to play fair. He plunged the sharp end of the key into the Mysteron agent’s eye.
Crying out in pain, Torey lost his hold on Scarlet’s throat. The Spectrum officer pushed him to the side and struggled to his feet, greedily gasping for air. He looked as the Mysteron stepped back, one of his hands covering the bleeding cavity of his put-out eye. With one quick and fluid movement, Scarlet threw the key to Destiny, who caught it with ease. Knowing that the pilot would now be able to free herself, the Brit turned his attention back to Torey. The wounded Mysteron agent was furiously coming on for another attack, but this time, he found his opponent quite ready for him. A direct punch to the stomach stopped Torey on the spot, and Scarlet pressed on with a hook to the chin. He pounded into the Mysteron until he finally drove him to his knees.
Destiny was finally free from her handcuffs and she stood up, looking expectantly at the fight taking place a few feet from her. A last punch threw Torey at her feet. Obeying to an instinctive impulse, the French woman snapped the handcuff closed on his wrist, imprisoning him.
“Quick, now!” Scarlet called, stretching his hand out to her. “Let’s get out of here!”
He took the girl by the hand and the two of them ran for the large hole in the side of the capsule. They could hear behind them the roar of frustration of the doomed Mysteron agent.
Scarlet and Destiny stepped over the improvised bridge and jumped outside. It was just in time. The flames engulfed the opening completely just as they passed through it.
Scarlet could see Ochre, standing at a safe distance, Grey lying at his feet. The British Spectrum agent glanced over his shoulder at the fiery inferno he and Destiny had just escaped. They were too close to it. It could blow up any second now…
“We’d better get away from that thing now!” he said to Destiny. Taking her by the shoulders, he guided her toward Ochre and Grey, as fast as they could run in the thick snow.
They were about ten yards from the capsule when it exploded violently. The blast knocked both Scarlet and Destiny to the ground. The Brit quickly threw himself on top of the young woman’s body, in order to shield it with his own.
“Don’t move!” he shouted in her ear, over the thunderous roar coming from behind them.
She nodded, her head safely cradled against Scarlet’s chest. Explosions followed one after another, although less violently than the first one. Bits of fiery wreckage were falling all around the two agents’ motionless bodies. Scarlet suddenly felt a sharp pain, tearing at his left side. It made him flinch against Destiny’s body. She saw his face crease and he closed his eyes for a few seconds, before looking down at her again. She gave him an interrogative look. He held on to her, protecting her the best he could.
“You run when I tell you to…” he told her, between clenched teeth.
The signal came less than ten seconds after that. Destiny quickly scrambled to her feet, Scarlet helping her, and the two of them broke into a run, toward Ochre and Grey’s safe position.
Captain Ochre had witnessed the explosions and had dropped onto his knees next to Grey, shielding his eyes from the blinding blast. He had seen Scarlet and Destiny fall and for a long, dreadful moment, thought they had been hit, if not by the initial explosion, then by those which followed, or even by the falling shrapnel coming from the capsule. He blew off a sigh of relief when he saw them actually standing up and running toward him. He patted Grey’s shoulder in a reassuring way. The wounded Spectrum agent was now conscious and, supporting himself on one elbow, was looking worried as his two colleagues quickly came their way.
“They’re all right now, Grey,” Ochre told him with a satisfied tone. “It’s finished now.”
“Yeah,” Grey answered, slowly. “It’s finished…” He couldn’t help but consider the fact that they had lost their only shelter and that they were stranded in the middle of nowhere, exposed to the cold winds and snow… Would they be able to survive, if they were not rescued soon?
Now safely away from the burning capsule, Scarlet and Destiny had stopped running and slowly walked the remainder of the distance separating them from Grey and Ochre. The latter came to meet them; he noticed that Scarlet was holding his left side and was limping slightly, but did not make much of it. He smiled at his British colleague while he affectionately hugged Destiny against his heart.
“I swear,” he told the two of them, “I thought you both had had it!”
“Can’t keep a good man down,” Scarlet replied, smiling back faintly.
“Or a good woman,” Destiny added, looking at him.
“Or a good woman,” he nodded in agreement.
Sounds of jet engines in the sky made them all raise their heads. They saw lights coming their way. Then three sleek fighter jets passed quickly overhead, at a very low altitude.
“Angels!” Ochre exclaimed excitedly.
“They must have seen the blast,” Scarlet realized.
The three jets came round for another pass. The one taking the lead waggled its wings as it passed over their heads.
“They have seen us,” Destiny noted.
“Yeah,” Ochre agreed, grinning widely. “Won’t be long now before a helicopter lands to pick us up.”
He kept looking up, in search of the anticipated craft. Destiny’s attention was drawn to Captain Grey, still lying at some distance from them. It didn’t seem right to leave him there, all alone. She went over to him, a reassuring smile on her face.
“We’re safe, now, Captain,” she told him, as she approached. “In a few moments, you will receive the care you need.”
Grey watched her approach, and she saw him frown, tilting his head to one side. Then she saw the worry in his wide-opened eyes. “Destiny, you’re hurt!”
She stopped, perplexed. He raised his hand and pointed to her right side. She looked down.
Blood had soaked her yellow coat; the entire side of it was a dark red. She gasped in surprise. She didn’t feel wounded in the least… where was all that blood coming from?
Destiny realized it almost instantly. It wasn’t her blood at all… She spun around.
Captain Ochre was still looking in the sky; behind him, Captain Scarlet was standing rigidly, but wasn’t looking up; he had lowered his gaze to his left side, which he was still holding. Blood was oozing between his fingers and dripping in profusion to his feet, where a large stain had already formed.
“Oh, my God!” Destiny cried out. “Rick!”
Surprised at the sound of his name, Ochre looked in Destiny’s direction; she was gesturing toward Scarlet. Ochre turned to face him; he saw the large red spot on the white snow, the bloodstained uniform, and Scarlet’s awfully pale face, looking down at the blood covering his hand.
Ochre went pale, as Scarlet stared up at him.
“I think I overexerted myself…”
With these words, Captain Scarlet took one tentative step and collapsed straight into the arms of Captain Ochre, who caught hold of him. “Easy now, my friend,” he heard the American say softly in his ear. “I’ve got you. I won’t let you down. Not this time.”
Scarlet moaned faintly. Supporting him, Ochre led him to Grey’s side where he gently laid him down.
“In God’s name, what happened?” Ochre asked Destiny, while removing his coat. “When was he hurt?”
“I don’t know,” the Angel replied. “He was fine when we got out of the capsule…” The memory of him flinching when he was shielding her with his body suddenly came to her mind. “He must have been hit by a piece of wreckage when the capsule exploded…” She dropped down on her knees at Scarlet’s side. “My God, he’s so pale…”
“He’s losing a lot of blood,” Ochre noted. He covered a shivering Scarlet with his coat. “Paul, stay with us, buddy!” he implored his colleague.
Scarlet’s eyelids fluttered as he looked up at Ochre. “Cold,” he murmured. “I’m so cold…”
Not surprising, Ochre mused. All that blood he has lost… “Hang on,” he told the Brit. “The helicopter’s on its way.”
“You’re actually… worried for me?” Scarlet asked, finding the strength to smile, although very faintly.
“Why shouldn’t I be worried?” Ochre retorted in an unnerved voice. “You’re my friend… I hate it when my friends are hurt. I’ve got so few of them.” He could see a dark red stain forming under Scarlet’s body and rapidly widening.
“Oh, Lord, he’s bleeding to death,” Ochre croaked, staring at Destiny’s worried face.
The young woman took Scarlet’s head and put it on her lap, to keep it out of the snow. She gently touched his deathly pale, handsome face and planted a kiss on his forehead. “Hang on, Paul,” she pleaded him, tears coming to her eyes. “I beg of you, stay with us.”
Scarlet looked up to her and saw her tear-filled eyes. He frowned with disbelief, weakly shaking his head. “Don’t cry for me,” he whispered softly. “It’s not… worth it.”
“Don’t you dare tell me what is worth crying for!” she replied angrily, her throat tightening.
“You don’t understand…” Scarlet could feel his strength ebbing rapidly. “You forget what I am…”
“I don’t care what the others say!” Destiny retorted. “I don’t even care what I saw you doing today. Right now, I can see you’re dying… And I don’t want to lose you again!”
Scarlet smiled faintly. Sounds of a helicopter were now coming to his ears; he saw Ochre raising his head to the sky.
“The helicopter is here, Paul,” Ochre told Scarlet. “Just hold on a few minutes longer…”
“I can’t…” Scarlet glanced to his side where Grey was lying; the grim-looking American was supporting himself on one elbow, staring at him. He still seemed quite feverish, but managed to appear in quiet control of himself. “Explain everything to them, will you, Brad?” Scarlet whispered with a voice so low Grey almost wasn’t able to hear him.
“I will, sport,” Grey answered serenely. “Don’t you worry about a thing…”
Captain Scarlet nodded his thanks to him and then closed his eyes; the last of his strength finally left him and he passed out.