A Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons Story
“They also serve, those who stand and wait.”
John Milton (1608-1674)
The idea for this story came from a discussion on the Spectrum Headquarters forum started by Marion Woods. Within seconds I was carried along by the thought of a story. The whole idea of who’d be left in charge might be stupid but is necessary to carry this off. I hope that my Guardians will pop up in other stories as they are presented here as a cameo.
Lieutenants Peach and Purple appear in We Will Destroy Unity City! Comic story reprinted 1994 and Lieutenant Tan appears in We Will Destroy the Observatory Network! comic strip reprinted 1994. Although Black kills Tan, I’m using some poetic licence.
Melody was the standby Angel, going up to her jet as Rhapsody came down following her patrol.
“Hallo, girls, have I missed anything?”
“No, as quiet as a cathedral,” Destiny murmured, flicking the pages of a fashion magazine.
Rhapsody was on her way to change her uniform when Colonel White’s voice came through the Cloudbase intercom.
“All senior officers and available Angels to the conference room.”
Rhapsody groaned. “Oh heck! Just as I was about to change.”
“Fear not, I’m sure this will be a short sojourn,” said Destiny standing.
“I wish I knew what this was about.”
Captain Scarlet fiddled with his jacket’s zip and replied to Captain Blue’s comment as they sat around the conference table. “I should think something to do with the Mysterons,” he said.
“Or maybe we need our hair trimming,” joked Captain Magenta to Scarlet’s right.
Scarlet shot Magenta a look. “That was just a dream, as if the colonel would make us sit here for that.”
The Angels walked in and, from habit, the captains stood politely, waiting until the women had taken their seats before resuming their own.
“Very good, gentlemen,” said Symphony with an appraising smile. “It’s nice to see that chivalry survives in an emergency…”
“Ah, Symphony, that is because we have them almost house-trained, at long last,” added Harmony. Rather to the surprise of her companions – it was not often the softly spoken Angel joined in the friendly banter between the sexes.
“A-ha,” chimed the captains.
The laughter cut off as Colonel White strode in with files tucked under his left arm. His face was straight and strict in appearance, he paused momentarily.
“Nothing, sir,” Scarlet said quickly.
“This is an operational base, not a holiday camp!”
White sat down and cleared his throat. “I have been in conference with World President Younger and he has suggested an exercise that will involve us all.”
Nobody spoke as White shuffled his files. “As the Mysterons have been keeping a low profile since the attacks on the world cities, the president has suggested that the senior staff, including the Angels, go on a field exercise.”
“What kind of field exercise, sir?” asked Ochre.
“War games - with the World Army in the Mojave Desert.”
“Oh, joy,” Scarlet said sarcastically, folding his arms.
“Quite, Captain. As this will involve us all, I am initiating the procedure ‘Cloudbase Alpha’ to bring the background personnel online. Not that they’re offline and have no duties, but to update them to the duties you all occupy.”
White opened a file. “The Guardian Angels will naturally replace the Angels. Lieutenant Green will command the standby officers.”
“Lieutenant Green will command Cloudbase, sir?” asked Blue.
“Yes, I can trust the lieutenant well enough with Cloudbase for the duration of the FieldEx –which is going to last a week.”
“What if there is a Mysteron threat, sir?” Magenta queried.
“I hope that there may not be a threat, it has been quiet recently and it would be a shame. But, if there is, then the officers will deal with this as equally as any of you.”
When nobody else spoke, White closed the open file.
“People, begin packing. We leave tomorrow morning at 0400.”
* * *
“Allow me, Destiny.”
“Thank you, Patrick.”
Magenta lifted Destiny’s holdall and placed it inside the SPJ’s hold. He shut the compartment and said, “So, are the Guardian Angels up to scratch?”
“Indeed they are.”
Magenta leant against the side of the SPJ. “You know I’ve never met any of the Guardians.”
“They’re based in London and train most of their time. They’ll be flying in from London to take up their stations here.” Destiny replied. “They’ll replace us during our absence.”
Blue emerged in the open hatch of the SPJ. “Any sign of the others?”
“Nope,” said Magenta.
Lieutenant Green watched the SPJ rise onto the flight deck of Cloudbase and heard Captain Scarlet’s voice over the intercom.
“Permission for take-off.”
“SIG,” answered Lieutenant Purple pressing the intercom button.
The SPJ rolled down the flight deck and into the clear sky. Green allowed a sigh to leave his lips and went to sit at Colonel White’s desk.
He smiled as he settled and ran his hand over the console and then noticed Purple watching.
“Don’t just sit there, Purple, get Angel One on standby.”
“Sir,” Purple turned his chair. “Angel One to standby readiness.”
Daphné Merneux strode towards the cabinet in the Amber Room and took her helmet. With her slim fingers, she placed the helmet over her brown hair and walked towards the pilot seat that would take her to the Interceptor.
“Good luck, Daph,” called Sarah St. James from the sofa.
“I might not need it. We shall see, we are pilots and must be ready to leap into action.”
“All the same.”
Daphné was taken to Angel One; once inside the cockpit she flicked switches to bring the plane to readiness.
Daphné – Spectrum Angel codename Faith - was, like her counterpart Destiny, a Frenchwoman. Daphné came from Bordeaux. Her father had been a leading wine seller, with exports across the globe.
When she was twelve, young Daphné was taken by her father to Paris to see the one hundred fifteenth celebration of the liberation of that great city from the Germans. At this show, a flight of preserved antique planes - Spitfires flanked by Harrier jump jets - flew overhead in salute.
Craning her neck, Daphné watched in awe and fell in love with them.
Leaving school at age sixteen, she ran away from Bordeaux to learn flying and avoid going into the family business. As much as she loved her father, she did not want to work in the business and could not contend his hatred of her flying.
Daphné trained for a year and became a pilot; she entered the World Army Air Force and flew fighter planes. When a Fireflash jetliner was hijacked, Daphné was the responding fighter.
The Fireflash was heading for London and was not responding to calls. Daphné received orders to fire on the jet once it reached the city boundaries.
She fired on the Fireflash, damaging its rudder. The Fireflash veered away from the city and crash-landed in nearby Kent. The hijackers were arrested and charged with terrorism.
Her actions were noticed by Conrad Turner who recruited Daphné into Spectrum. She was to head the backup Angels known as the Guardian Angels. Conrad Turner was Colonel White’s right hand man, his codename was Captain Black. Black had been allowed to form the Guardian Angels; these would be the replacement fighter pilots when the regular Angels were needed elsewhere. Black explained to Daphné that the Angels were important members of Cloudbase and were to be present for duty all the time.
Now here she was, Faith Angel.
Below in the Amber Room, Hope Angel - the London born Sally St. James - stretched her legs and groaned. She glanced at the other three Guardian Angels.
“Think we’ll see some action?”
“Possibly,” answered Jane Ashton – Charity Angel.
“Unlikely,” added Rachel Tanaka – Fortitude Angel.
“I defer my answer,” muttered Hannah Johnson –Justice Angel.
Blonde-haired Sally was the opposite of her fellow Englishwoman Dianne Simms. Granted, they both came from London and were the same age but their characteristics and personalities were different. At school, the spoilt Sally – daughter of a wealthy barrister - would invariably get into trouble. Expelled from school for behavioural problems, she fell in with a London gang specialising in smuggling arms to the guerrilla fighters in Brazil that were outnumbered by government forces but still rebelling.
She took a crash course in flying and flew heavy cargo planes from England, until she had been caught a few years ago. During her interrogation, in an anonymous warehouse which rang with the echoes of their voices, Sally discovered herself talking to a man in a white uniform. The white-haired man asked her to join the organisation he commanded and forget her past.
Sally was left to think and an hour later agreed to join. She found herself as the second in command of the Guardian Angels and a willing tennis partner for Rhapsody.
Hope stood and paced the Amber Room. She hated waiting.
Charity watched her pace and said, “That won’t help.”
“I wish it would, I’m bored.”
“It’s only been an hour,” Charity said.
“Don’t care,” Hope sat down and closed her eyes.
Jane Ashton was the oldest of the Angels by one year and the mother figure. Being a mother figure struck the Chicago born Charity Angel as ironic. She had been orphaned shortly after her birth by the deaths of her parents in a train crash just outside of Chicago.
Jane had left the orphanage she lived at just after her eighteenth birthday and, looking for a job, joined the US Postal Service and flew mail across the country. She demonstrated her ability to fly through severe weather and dreadful conditions during her tenure as a pilot and also with a brief stint in Antarctica aiding a scientific expedition.
It was, in fact, Doctor Fawn who had brought Jane to Spectrum’s attention.
Fawn had been in the Rocky Mountains with friends, fellow doctors from America and Canada, when one fell and was badly wounded. Severe snow hindered their route back and they were trapped. Fawn repeatedly sent distress messages and Jane, flying a mail run in her Jump Jet, picked one up.
She brought the jet in, and managed to set down on an outcrop by the doctors’ party and took the wounded doctor back. An hour later, a helijet came to rescue the remaining men.
Jane had a quiet determination to do the best or rather, the best of her abilities. She was well liked by her fellow pilots and often engaged Doctor Fawn in games of tennis or squash.
Now she checked her watch and exhaled. It was going to be a long wait.
Doctor Beige wiped his brow and returned to examining the medical reports of the officers on Cloudbase. It had been Fawn’s suggestion so that he could be better acquainted with their medical histories in the event of an emergency.
Beige was Fawn’s fellow doctor, rarely seen about Cloudbase as he spent his off duty hours writing and swimming. A former medical officer in the German Home Army, he was tall and handsome, his real name being Heinrich Lang.
Beige pushed the file of Captain Scarlet away; it was fascinating stuff but Beige was rather bored by there being nothing to do in sickbay. No one was ill and therefore ready to come to sickbay.
Beige smiled turning. “Ah, Lieutenant Peach.”
Red-haired Lieutenant Peach – helmsman of Cloudbase - sat down on a biobed. “Anyone with the plague yet?”
Doctor Beige flicked a hypodermic needle smiling. “Ah, Australian humour.”
“Sorry, Doc, fancy a game of squash? I’m off duty until night.”
“No, thank you, Lieutenant, I am on duty.”
“Trying to score brownie points with Fawn?”
“That’s Herr Doktor Fawn to you,” Beige said with raised eyebrows. He caught Peach’s eyes rolling and moved to the next biobed on from Peach.
He laid his right arm down on its elbow and held its hand ready. Peach got off his biobed and took the hand with his own; the two proceeded to arm wrestle.
Rachel Tanaka liked having the name Fortitude Angel but disliked being one of those who stood and waited.
Born in San Francisco in the city’s Japan Town, Rachel had initially wanted to join the San Francisco Police. Her Japanese father had been an officer, retiring just after Rachel joined Spectrum. Her English mother had been something of a daredevil.
Rachel’s mother had been twenty-seven when she had Rachel and considered most of her life wasted until that point, despite marrying the admitted love of her life. She made a ‘things to do by thirty list’ and did all manner of things.
One included taking
two year old Rachel skydiving; despite
her young age, Rachel recalled
Rachel flirted with joining the SFPD until her late teens when she began flying. It would not be unusual to see a jet ‘beating up the field’ over San Francisco by coming in at low altitude.
Rachel joined the World Army Air Force and earned herself a reputation for grace under pressure. Yet following the crash of a fellow squadron mate, she was made a scapegoat and kicked out of the WAAF.
In the two years following, she did a series of odd jobs before Colonel White brought her into Spectrum.
The San Franciscan disliked being on the sidelines and yearned for action now that the Guardians were active.
Hannah Johnson –Justice Angel - emerged from the shower room in her uniform. Her golden-brown hair shone damply.
“I go on standby in ten, when do you go?”
“Midnight,” answered Fortitude.
Justice clicked her tongue against her teeth. “You’ll get your chance to sit in Angel One. Just calm is needed.”
Hannah had been born in the deep Outback of Australia; her parents were part shepherds - part rangers. Hannah started flying at the tender age of fifteen, crop dusting fields and barn storming at fairs.
When her parents died in a house fire, Hannah sold the farm and left with the little Piper Cub aircraft. She joined a flying circus and ended up in Melbourne. The circus went bust there and Hannah was at a loss. She tried to hold her own and was seen to by a family friend who was also a colleague of Doctor Fawn’s. Fawn saw her during her treatment and having just recommended Charity, did the same for Justice.
Justice was a close friend with Sally St. James – Hope Angel - this was surprising considering that Hope was something of a rebel and Justice could be quite quiet and reclusive at times.
Justice collected her helmet as Hope Angel came down from standby, the two exchanged pleasantries before Justice slid her helmet over her golden-brown hair.
“Catch you all later,” she said sitting on the jump seat.
* * *
“Can anyone see them?”
Captain Magenta scrambled at the side of the sand bank until he could look over the lip to the sea of sand before him.
“Nope,” he replied answering Blue’s query.
Captains Magenta, Blue and Scarlet were on their own. Separated into teams by the instructors of Tiger Base in the Mojave Desert. The teams were ‘fighting’ each other, each team trying to outdo the other in an effort to improve performances in the field. Magenta saw little point to it all; there was a part of him – despite regulations- that wanted to flee to Las Vegas. Stopping him beside the fear of Colonel White, was that he didn’t quite know which way was Las Vegas.
“The Angels will get us, you watch,” grunted Scarlet wiping sand from his forehead and cursing as he realised how much sand was on him.
The temperature had dropped enough for the exercise to continue but it hadn’t stopped the officers wishing they were back on Cloudbase.
Blue settled the rifle on his lap and tipped his cap back. “Only a few more days to go.”
“You keep saying that,” Magenta sighed. “Doesn’t stop the heat, does it?”
Scarlet chuckled. “Maybe the Mysterons will do us the favour of getting us out of here.”
Magenta laughed and pretended to activate his radio. “Calling Captain Black.”
The three officers began joking when a flurry of sand hit them on the front of their uniforms and an American voice shouted. “You’re dead!”
Magenta spat out sand. “Great, we’ve been captured by the Angels.”
Symphony, Destiny and Rhapsody grinned down from the opposing bank.
“We could hear you a mile off,” said Rhapsody.
“Bloody, made too much noise,” whispered Scarlet cursing the fact that he and his friends had made too much noise and then aloud. “Conduct unbecoming an officer, should’ve stopped joking and made an effort.”
“Now we get the leader’s words,” grunted Blue standing and dusting himself down. “There is always tomorrow.”
“Come on, back to base,” Destiny ordered and they made off.
* * *
“This is the voice of the Mysterons. The colours of the rainbow and their wings will be eliminated by those closest to them. Hear us, Earthmen!”
Green’s eyes shot across to where Lieutenant Purple sat over the console. “Launch all Angels.”
“Angels One, Two and Three immediate launch,” ordered the Canadian.
Below in the Amber Room, Hope and Charity Angel went to join Faith on the flight deck.
Faith in Angel One spoke into her intercom. “Hear we go, girls, let’s make this a good one.”
“SIG,” chimed Hope and Charity.
“Angels airborne, sir,” Purple said to Green. The Trinidadian met his colleague’s gaze. “It would have to happen now. Well, Colonel White’s expecting us to help. Get me Tiger Base.”
Purple toggled his console. “Tiger Base this is Cloudbase, come in Tiger Base.”
Static roared over the speakers. “No response, sir.”
Green tapped his console and bit his lip. “Keep trying, lieutenant.”
Faith banked her Angel as she led the flight over Tiger Base and could not see the base through a blanket of sand.
“Cloudbase, this is Angel One, Tiger Base covered by sandstorm. I cannot raise any of the Spectrum team - on any frequency.”
“Acknowledged, Faith, maintain patrol. You’re on red alert; any signs of trouble take action.”
“Purple, get Peach and Tan up here.”
Seconds later Lieutenants Peach and Tan walked up the walkway to Green; the two lieutenants looked tense and alert.
“Get down to Tiger Base; try to make contact with Colonel White. Bring them back here. The Angels are on patrol.”
“We’ll leave now,” Peach turned on heel and paused as Green called his name.
“Good luck, guys.”
The two lieutenants were airborne in a SPJ within minutes and it took them twenty minutes to reach the base blanketed by the sandstorm, that was effectively laying siege to it. Ahead of them, in the calm blue sky that belied the sandstorm below, were the Guardians.
“Angel One, any change?”
“None, Lieutenant, the base is still covered and there has been nothing untoward.”
“We’re going in.”
Peach nosed the SPJ into the storm; sand scraped like sharp fingernails across the windows and made Peach bite his lower lip. The SPJ shook as Tan kept his eye on the artificial horizon screen.
“One hundred feet, eighty… speed is two ten MPH.”
Peach began to sweat despite the air conditioner, the controls vibrated more in his hands and he swore. “She’s going to break lose!”
“Speed’s dropping rapidly!” shouted Tan.
The SPJ began to buck like a wild bull, the nose threatened to rise up and to confound matters, the sand was getting thicker. Peach began to wonder if the Mysterons controlled the sandstorm.
Tan was feeling sick; the artificial horizon was spinning all over the screen and the altimeter kept rolling up and down. Alarms wailed and he gripped the steering column before him.
“I don’t know where we are!”
“Here’s a clue, blind as a bloody kangaroo and out of control!”
Peach swore as the computer began chiming. “Stall, stall.”
The SPJ dropped like a brick and this time the engines stopped, as the computer switched off. Peach flicked the ejector switch but nothing happened. His first field mission and he was going to die; he was no Captain Scarlet and would not come back to fight again.
He clenched his eyes shut and began muttering Waltzing Matilda.
Then it all went black.
The officers tried not to get impatient with Colonel White as he paced the lounge allotted to the Cloudbase personnel. His arms were behind his back and he occasionally glanced at the windows lashed by sand.
Magenta sat with Ochre, Grey and Blue playing cards. He looked at Ochre and then to the other American captains. “Say, if we threw Dick into the sand would he merge into it?”
“Ha, ha,” said Ochre, “funny guy. Hey, at least my uniform isn’t a Barbie doll reject.”
“What’s a Barbie doll?” asked Grey placing a card down.
Magenta replied, deadpan, “Ask Dick, he’s got the whole collection.”
Ochre glanced at Magenta, the two captains had been needling each other the entire exercise. Little comments by either captain and the heat of the desert were combining for tension that would go off like a firework. The tension had been taut, overriding the knowledge that they would be scuffling before Colonel White. Before anyone could react, the two captains went down in a flurry of colour, Blue and Grey watched with smiles as they scuffled and then they went to stop it upon seeing White’s reaction.
“Sorry, sir,” Magenta and Ochre chimed as White halted his pacing at their table.
“I should think so, Captains, you’re officers not children!”
White walked back to the windows where Scarlet joined him. The captain murmured, “They’re just letting off steam.”
White allowed a thin smile to cross his face. “I can understand, Captain, but we must maintain discipline.”
Outside there was a tremendous crash and explosion; abruptly the sandstorm vanished and in the centre of Tiger Base’s helipad was the crumpled form of a burning SPJ.
“Christ!” shouted Scarlet turning for the doors. “Come on!”
Scarlet and the other captains ran out onto the helipad and came to a shuddering stop. “The cockpit.”
The cockpit and nose section was untouched; visible behind the controls were the slumped forms of Peach and Tan.
Scarlet drew his gun and began to smash the screen, the others joined in and some used their boots. Meanwhile the flames were coming closer. Scarlet could feel their heat and suddenly remembered the flames of the burning SSC as he and Captain Brown were murdered all that time ago. The crash of the SSC en route to New York to escort the World President was a fresh memory for the captain, unfortunately Brown was dead, unlike Scarlet he would not become indestructible. Scarlet shook his head and brought himself back to the present.
The window shattered and Scarlet jumped inside, boots crunching broken glass. He unbuckled Tan and lifted him up, Blue and Magenta took him the rest of the way.
Scarlet turned to Peach and hit the release button, but it did not come loose.
The flames were ever closer now, the heat was growing and Scarlet began swearing. Sweat blinded him and he ripped at the belts. Peach opened his eyes and muttered weakly.
“Relax, John, I’ll get you out.”
Blood was running from Peach’s mouth and he gasped. “You’re all in danger, Mysterons…”
Scarlet leant closer. “What about the Mysterons?”
“Oh, Lord,” whispered Peach and died.
Scarlet momentarily dipped his head and swore. “I’m sorry Peach, I was close to getting you free.”
“Come on, Paul!” shouted Blue from outside.
Scarlet was about to climb out when he saw Peach standing in the doorway of the cockpit that led down into the aircraft. The Mysterons had taken little time in creating a duplicate of Lieutenant Peach.
“Oh, hell’s teeth,” swore Scarlet and reached for his gun.
“Sorry, Captain Scarlet.”
Scarlet was hit by a piece of debris that rendered him unconscious.
Blue stood back as Peach stepped out carrying Scarlet. “He was overcome by the flames.”
Magenta was kneeling by Tan and cradling the young South African’s head, waiting for Fawn to come.
“What happened, Tan?”
“Lost control, sandstorm brought us down.”
“Why are you here?” asked Blue.
“Mysterons threatened to… to kill you all,” Tan swallowed heavily. “Came down, lost contact.”
Blue held his hand to his forehead, as the Angels roared overhead. “Guardians.”
Tan was carried in after Fawn made a quick examination; the lieutenant would be all right but needed rest. Scarlet would also recover quickly.
White listened to Peach’s report and once it was finished, he nodded.
“Lieutenant Green has acted commendably. We will leave; there is the SPJ we came in, so we will use that. Captain Blue, try to contact Cloudbase and make it’ll work.”
* * *
“Thanks, Captain Blue, glad to hear you’re all right.”
“We’re on our way to the SPJ now, Lieutenant. Lieutenant Tan is hurt slightly and Captain Scarlet likewise. Doctor Fawn says they’ll be fine.”
“SIG,” Green cut the line. “Angel One, this is Cloudbase. Escort the officers back to Cloudbase.”
* * *
With Scarlet and Tan on stretchers, the officers and Angels walked towards the hangar that housed their SPJ. Above, the Guardian Angels maintained their vigil.
Blue and Ochre went forward to start pre-flight checks whilst Grey and Magenta helped the Angels on board and made sure that they were all right.
“Are we all aboard?” asked Blue.
“Yep,” Magenta said from the doorway and looked aft frowning. “Wait, Peach’s absent.”
Ochre’s arm shot up. “Look!”
A SPV was racing from the vehicle hangar on the other side of the helipad, its blue skin coated in sand already.
Blue felt a sinking feeling. “Somehow, I don’t think it’s a send off.”
The radio on the SPJ crackled. “This is Tiger Base security, somebody’s stolen an SPV! Reports say it’s a Spectrum officer.”
“Black,” grunted Ochre.
“Peach,” Magenta muttered. “It has to be.”
White had now appeared from where he had been sitting in the back, one of the last to board the SPJ. “Gentlemen, discussions are irrelevant right now. Get this aircraft moving!”
Blue nodded. “SIG Colonel, but this could be a bumpy ride.”
He started the engines and then moved the throttle to full. The SPJ rocked hard and then sped forwards, the SPV had raced around the wrecked SPJ that had brought Peach and Tan and was now on a collision course.
Faith, we have to act!” Sally cried as she saw the SPV race past the wreckage. Faith shook her head. “We might hit the SPJ.”
“I’m going in, even if no one else comes.”
Charity spoke, “I’m with you, Sally.”
Faith sighed. “Angels, tally ho.”
It wasn’t that she was reluctant to carry out the destruction of what was certainly a Mysteron, but she was fearful of fulfilling the Mysterons’ plan by destroying the SPJ accidentally.
As they had proved the Guardian Angels could be calm and cool under pressure, the term grace under pressure was applicable to them.
The three Angels screamed downwards in perfect V shaped formation. Faith brought her fighter forward and waited until the SPV came into her crosshairs.
The shells exploded into the tarmac before the SPV. The SPJ piloted by Blue and Ochre was fighting to get airborne. The explosion knocked the SPV a little off course, but it soon resumed its route.
Hope Angel came in. For a little while she was back in her past, smuggling arms and running the gauntlet of the dictatorial Brazilian government’s forces.
She kept diving even as the altimeter entered triple digits.
“Hope, this is Faith, pull up!”
Hope squeezed the trigger and pulled up, just missing the SPV with the belly of her Interceptor. The shells hit the SPV and once more knocked it about but amazingly, it kept going.
Now it was Charity’s turn. This was different now to the Post routes she used to run. As she drew closer to the runaway SPV, she noticed the scorch marks from Hope’s shots. “X marks the spot,” she muttered and pressed the fighter downwards.
Ochre watched the Angel come in. Blue was now bringing the SPJ up.
“Do it,” Ochre whispered. “Blow him to Mars.”
Charity was about to fire, when an alarm sounded. A quick check saw that MALFUNCTION was flashing across her engine screen.
“This is Charity Angel, engine malfunction!”
Hauling back on the yoke, the Chicagoan gasped as the Interceptor slammed into the top of the SPV. The nose broke and her left wing snapped like a twig. As the Interceptor, trailing smoke, hurled itself into the air, she punched the eject button and sailed clear as her wounded aircraft crashed and blew up.
The SPV now raced on, the SPJ was climbing into the sky but this didn’t stop the Mysteronised Peach activating the SPV’s cannon. He fired rapidly, the shots exploding like cotton buds around the SPJ.
Hope Angel had been angered when Charity crashed. Of all of the Angels to crash it had to be Old Mother Hen. Hope broke away sharply from Faith and dived for the desert below. She sped on a diagonal course below the climbing SPJ and sighted the SPV.
“Come on, you bugger,” she whispered, licking her lips.
Her equipment warned her of overspeed but she carried on. Getting closer she waited until the SPV grew in size and fired. She fired twice more and then brought the yoke to her chest. The ground appeared to aid her as the fighter’s momentum combined with the ground to propel her into the sky. it wasn’t she was planning on doing again quite so soon.
The double hit of Hope Angel slammed into the SPV head on and the second strike by Hope Angel blew the top off the SPV. Secondary explosions exploded the cannon shells and the explosions from them killed Peach.
Hope rejoined Faith, the two Angels fell into formation with the SPJ and, in salute, Hope waggled her wings.
* * *
The conference room was crowded that afternoon. Present were the captains, the lieutenants, minus Purple and all the Angels, except Destiny who was on standby duty.
“Lieutenant Green, you did well. You were put in a difficult situation and responded calmly. Well done,” White moved his console so that he faced the Guardian Angels standing behind Rhapsody and Melody.
“You also did well, particularly Faith, Hope and Charity. It is a shame that you crashed, Charity, but it is one of the risks we all take in Spectrum.”
White clasped his hands. “However, Hope Angel, your behaviour was reckless and at times you were insubordinate.”
“But you destroyed the SPV and saved us all; you will be mentioned to the World President for your actions.”
Hope flushed pink and this surprised her fellow Guardians. Sally wasn’t easily swayed by compliments.
“I hope, if the situation arises again that you all do as well in your duty.”
There was some clapping for the Guardians as well as some whoops from the captains. With a twinkle in his eyes Colonel White faced Ochre, standing between Scarlet and Magenta.
“Now, Captain, I’m interested in how you know so much about the Barbie doll.”
Ochre blushed as the others laughed.
This wouldn’t be the Guardians’ last mission for soon they would return to frontline action and show again that they also served.
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