Original series Suitable for all readers




A “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” short story


by Cwissy



        The deep rumbling tones of the Mysterons  came over the loudspeaker of the officers' lounge, "... a moving fossil will be destroyed ..."

        "Fossil ... FOSSIL?" queried Captain Scarlet.

        "A moving fossil," amended Captain Blue.

        "Could they be referring to a living fossil or do they mean someone moving a fossil from one location to another?"

        "Living fossil ... mmm ... old fossil ..." murmured Captain Magenta.  "I wonder if they might be having a second go at Colonel White?"

        "I dare you to tell HIM that!"  exclaimed Captain Ochre.  "And I want to be there when you do."

        "I want to have a camera handy," snickered Symphony Angel.  "He's not that old and I bet he could run fairly fast chasing Captain Magenta with a lump of wood in his hand."

        Some more laughter and jibes were poked at the unfortunate Magenta.

        "Children, children ... Please!" called out Captain Blue.  "We are getting off the track a bit."

        "Yes, what could they mean?" Captain Scarlet furrowed his brow once more.  "Does anyone here know anything about fossils?"

        "There's a enormous book on them around here someplace, I suppose," Magenta answered helpfully.

        "What do you mean, 'I suppose'?  It either is or it isn't."

        "Well, it's been quite a long time since I saw it."

        "How long?"

        "Let me put it this way; Captain Black was reading it the last time I saw it."

        "WHAT?  Are you sure?"


        "Was this before or after the Mysterons took him over?" asked Symphony Angel.

        "Before, of course."  Magenta sounded nettled.  "Just how dumb do you think I am?"

        There was a hushed silence, a bit of face pulling and some lip twitching before Captain Ochre hissed between his teeth and said: "Temptation!"

        "Calm down," said Blue soothingly to Magenta, seeing him about to sputter a retort.  "Now, are you sure it was a book on fossils, not something else?"

        "Yes.  I can remember distinctly asking him if they were once friends of his."

        Groans were heard all over.

        "Brilliant comment," murmured Symphony.

        "He is older than us and ..."

        "Not that much." said Blue.  "I bet he gave you short shrift for that, he didn't suffer ... comments like that lightly."

        "Strange, as soon as I said it - without really thinking ..."

        "Surprise, surprise," Captain Ochre murmured sarcastically.

        Magenta gave him a sideways glance and decided to ignore him.  "As soon as I said it; I expected to be barked at - but he didn't.  He stared at me for a while and then slowly shook his head; then he commented that they weren't friends of his, because they all had died out a few years before he was born and that he never got to meet any of my ancestors."

        "Ha!  He got back at you," expressed Symphony with great delight.  "I bet he was looking at ape fossils."

        "Well you're wrong, he wasn't."

        "How do you know, did you look?" Ochre jumped in.

        "No, he told me.  He made quite a point of it too ... you know, that man had a definite cruel streak in him."  He sounded aggrieved.

        "Go on, you're not stopping there, what did he say?"

        "He told me he was looking at a picture of stegosaurus bones and emphasised, and I mean emphasised, that it had the smallest brain/body ratio of all the dinosaurs.  He really drove home the point, even started doing little calculations on a piece of paper ... couldn't get out of there quick enough."

        "He certainly knew how to handle you," Ochre sighed.  "What a pity he's not on our side anymore."

        "Is this it?" gasped Rhapsody Angel, interrupting them, as she limped over towards them lugging a great heavy tome.

        "You found it, great."  Magenta beamed.

        "It found me," she answered in disgust, throwing the book on a table with a great thud.  "It fell on my foot!"

        "These things usually aren't coincidental," he told her, "there's a clue here, they are probably trying to tell us something."  He opened the book at random and found himself looking at a stegosaurus drawing; he quickly flicked the pages to another section, briefly glanced at it and then he snapped it closed hurriedly.  "It's coincidental after all," he concluded, to the amusement of the others - they had seen the words 'Missing Link'.

        "Give it here," Captain Scarlet ordered, as he reached for the book.  "Good Grief, it is heavy," he frowned at Rhapsody, "you shouldn't have carried it all that way in your condition."

        "Condition!" she snorted.  "It's only a sore foot, I'm not that weak!"

        "You could have compounded the injury, oh sweet delicate little flower of womanhood," Magenta taunted.

        "Shut up, or I will make it worse by kicking you."  She then winced and sat down.

        "Trilobites," said Captain Scarlet, whilst looking at the pages it opened to.

        "They are quite cute," added Captain Ochre.

        "They look like giant slaters to me," grumbled Rhapsody.  "Trust a man to take a fancy to them."

        "Look here, it shows a sign of great intelligence to like trilobites - studies have shown this, so watch what you say," cautioned Ochre.

        "What studies?"  Captain Blue frowned.

        "You are not supposed to ask such questions."

        "Well I am asking."

        "You don't need studies for what common sense tells you; but if there were studies done, it would show just what I said."

        "So you just made it up?"

        "Just a logical deduction."

        "Yeah, well I think studies would show that such people had contorted minds," Magenta added.  "Having said that, I like them too."

        "A big thing like that would eat you," Rhapsody had her say.

        "Most of them are small," Scarlet told her, "you can place one in the palm of your hand."

        "And get bitten, the name ends with 'bite' and they might be poisonous."

        "No, no no, it says here that trilobite means three lobed - nothing to do with savagery."

        "Besides, they are extinct ... no more, gone forever so to speak," Blue told her.

        "So why would the Mysterons want to kill something that is already dead?"

        "We don't know what they mean yet, that is what we are trying to figure out."

        "Spectrum Pursuit Vehicles look like trilobites," Ochre informed them all, "and that could be what they mean by 'moving' fossils."

        "Nothing in that, the man who designed them had armadillos in mind," Captain Blue corrected.

        "I disagree.  They are more like trilobites, SPVs don't have tails or little pointy ears."

        "They don't curl up in balls either."

        "So?  Not all of them did and armadillos can curl up too."

        "Were there any giant armadillos in the past?" asked Symphony.  "Could they rate as 'living' fossils?"

        "Good point,"  Captain Scarlet went to the index.  "Yes, it is mentioned."  He turned to the page.  "Wow!  Look at that thing, a Glyptodon ... it doesn't look like a SPV though, unless you are very imaginative."

        "None of them do," Captain Ochre still hadn't finished.  "They look like trilobites."

        "Armadillos," muttered Blue.

        "I always thought the Maximum Security Vehicles were the vehicles designed after armadillos," Captain Magenta couldn't help stating.

        "Don't you start," Captain Blue flashed an annoyed glance at him.

        "Never get angry at someone for being right," Ochre came to Magenta's defence.  "That's another proof of my trilobite theory."

        "You are being very persistent about this."  Scarlet looked up from the pages he was studying.

        "Because it is the only thing that has made sense so far, what other reason could there be for mentioning fossils, living or otherwise?  Unless they are talking about something important that looks like one ... simple."

        "We'll keep it in mind, let's move on and tick off the 'living' fossils to make sure we haven't missed anything."

        "How are we supposed to know what they are?" whined Rhapsody, starting to get very bored indeed.

        "This book devotes a whole chapter to them.  Now let's see ... mmm ... I think we can rule out the Chambered Nautilus, Coelacanths, Horseshoe Crabs, Turtles and Crocodilians, unless the Mysterons want to make a 'fashion statement' - which is highly unlikely."

        "Horseshoe Crabs are supposed to be distantly related to trilobites," Captain Ochre felt duty bound to point out.

        "I'm getting sick of hearing about those wretched trilobites," groaned Blue, "if they weren't already extinct I'd make them!"

        "You never know, a deep sea dredge might just turn one up one day ... stranger things have happened.  There are all sorts of mysteries waiting at the bottom of the ocean, even in these times."

        "God, I hope not, we'd never hear the end of it if you were proven correct."

        "I wonder if they are going to do something to affect deep sea fishing on a commercial scale," Magenta interrupted excitedly, as the thought struck him.

        "They don't have to, it has been banned for a while now," explained Captain Blue in a patient manner.  "Fish from those depths take so long to grow and are so slow to reproduce that the time it took to replace them was a concern."

        "Most of them are the most vile looking things too," Symphony added, with sounds of disgust.  "Who in his right mind would want to eat them anyway?"

        "Tuataras have a third eye," Scarlet suddenly announced.

        "HUH?" was the combined startled response.

        "Just wanted to get your attention ..."

        "What ... what is a tuatara?"  Rhapsody asked.  "I bet it's another revolting prehistoric animal."

        "Nice dragony looking lizards actually that aren't really lizards, but are a more ancient form of reptile ..."

        "I rest my case."

        "And the third eye is a light-sensitive structure under the skin at the top of its head."

        "What is the significance of that?"  Captain Blue was interested to know.

        "I'm not sure. I was hoping it would jog something in your brains ... are there any tests or experiments going on to do with night vision for instance that could have anything to do with this?"

        "Sounds like a pretty weird long shot, but it can be checked out, I suppose ... er ... you don't suppose the Mysterons are just simply making fools of us for the hell of it?"

        "That thought often crosses my mind.  Let's go on to trees ... Magnolias, Cycads and Ginkgoes to name a few."

        "Ah!" exclaimed Magenta, "some people take Ginkgo compounds for bad memories, I had an old distant relative who used to swear by it."

        "Did it do him any good?"        

        "Well, um ... er ... he could never remember my name and he carried a green fly swat with him at all times, because he had a persecution complex about Leprechauns harassing him."

        "Good God!" groaned Symphony, "insanity runs in his family, or should I say skips and sings!"

        "Jealousy is a curse," Magenta responded.  "Having an Irish heritage is something to be proud of."

        "Worried about, more like," she shot back, "look at how many Irish jokes there are."

        "About as many as there are Blonde ones," he quickly retorted.

        Symphony was taken aback, but quickly rallied.  "Touché.  But then, realise, it is a good thing you aren't a Blonde Irishman, isn't it?  The world would be in real danger then," she added to the accompanying sounds of coughs and snickers.

        "I think we can rule out the trees," Captain Scarlet broke in before a sparring match really started, "besides, they don't move anyway ... by themselves I mean ..."

        "So where does that leave us?"  Captain Ochre queried.  "It seems to me that my idea is the best one and ..."

        "Cloning," Captain Blue said in a rush, so that he didn't have to hear that terrible 'T' word again.  "I think we should look at what is being done in the way of cloning extinct animals, we might be exploring technology that the Mysterons don't want us to know about."

        "That is the most sensible and logical idea I've heard so far, at least we have some possibilities to report to Colonel White - it hasn't been a complete waste of time."

        "I wonder what Captain Black is up to at this moment?" mused Captain Magenta, "I bet he is picking on some poor ignorant slob."


*   *   *   *   *


        The man Captain Black was eyeing off was neither poor nor ignorant.  He was a paleontologist who worked for a prestigious museum and who was not adverse to selling rare fossil finds on the side, or doing anything else he considered to his advantage.

        John Jeremy was making demands on his - or what he thought was his - latest prospective buyer.  "Look, I want full payment in advance for what you want ... no ifs or buts," he said more forcefully than he felt.  He also wondered why they had to meet on the edge of a stinking fetid swamp.  The dark-haired gaunt man dressed all in black gave him the creeps and he noted that even the voracious mosquitos didn't dare molest him.

        Captain Black took a step in the man's direction and said in his ominous voice; "You will get the full payment you deserve, Earthman!"

        "What? ... er ... Arrrgh!"  John Jeremy felt himself pushed backwards with a considerable force and landed right in the middle of a patch of quicksand.

        "What the hell did you do that for?" he demanded of the Mysteron Agent, as he regained his senses and realised he was sinking fast.

        Captain Black didn't answer, he just cocked his head to one side and watched with an air of detached curiosity.

        "Get me out of here, have you gone mad?  People don't go about attacking each other in a civilised society!"

        "No, they don't.  They don't lie, cheat and steal either."

        "How dare you try to take the moral highground!" the sinking man declared in a fit of such indignant red-hot anger, it was a wonder the boggy ground around him didn't boil.

        "We don't have to 'take' what is already ours."

        "You have a damned nerve!  You are not going to get what you want any other way!" the paleontologist sputtered, thinking to himself that there was no way he was going to do anything for this man once he was free.

        "Yes, we will," was the answer.

        "I'm the only one who has access, you can't make a better deal with the others; they are all a bunch of dewy-eyed idealists in any case ..."

        "That information is most reassuring, Earthman."

        "Earthman?  Look, if this is some sort of joke ... this has gone too far ... I don't find this funny ... get me out!  ... there's hardly any time ... HELP, HEL..."  He was cut off when his head sank beneath the surface in a bubbling frenzy.

        After a few minutes, twin green circles passed over the area where the hapless man had submerged, then his replica was standing next to Black.

        "You know what to do," spoke Black to the latest Mysteron slave, who answered in the affirmative.



*   *   *   *   *


        "What the hell do you have there?"  sputtered an outraged Colonel White to Captain Blue, in complete disbelief, while seated at his revolving desk in the Control Room.

        "It is a lion cub, Sir, but not your everyday lion cub."

        "I can see that it is an unusually large lion cub, but what is it doing here on Cloudbase?"

        "We thought it would be safer here, that's all," Blue said, while making an adjustment to get a better hold on the squirming animal.


        "Doctor Jeffries and I thought that the Mysterons wouldn't be able to get to it up here and there was hardly any security where it was bred.  This way I can concentrate on any other possibilities that may arise concerning the latest threat."

        Colonel White looked at the cub's breeder and whispered to Blue; "Has she been cleared by the Mysteron detector?"

        "Oh yes, of course."

        "And that animal?"

        "The cub?"

        "Yes, the cub."

        "I don't think that they would Mysteronise a baby animal."

        "How would you know?  That creature could be a ticking time bomb, get it cleared right now," the Colonel barked.

        "Yes Sir," Blue responded and sat the cub on the startled Colonel's lap, then he sprinted out the door.

        "Just what do you think you were playing at?" fumed Colonel White, when Blue returned with a detector.

        "She was getting heavy and I didn't want to drop her, that is a very valuable animal."

        "Yes, he's right," added Dr. Jeffries.  "You are very privileged to see her, let alone hold her like that."

        "All clear," announced Captain Blue, pulling an x-rayed picture of a lion's head from the camera and trying to avoid seeing the Colonel's reddened angry face.

        "What an amazing device," declared the doctor, and pointing to the x-ray added, "see the dentition is slightly different to the average African Lion and notice that ..."

        "Forget the picture, get it off me now!" roared an uncomfortable Colonel White.  The cub had started to lick his neck and she had a very rough tongue.

        "She likes you, you must have a way with cats," smiled Dr. Jeffries in a disarming way, as Captain Blue removed the overgrown furry feline.

        "Er ... yes, they do seem to like me ... er ... what is so special about it ... her."  The Colonel then blushed.

        "Teshadina Antoinette, that's her name.  She is a hybrid between an African Lioness and a Cave Lion from the last ice age.  Remember when there was all that excitement over the discovery of a frozen Cave Lion a few years back?"


        "Well it was a male lion and it still had viable sperm cells in its ..."

        "Yes, yes, I get the picture. What do you hope to accomplish with this female hybrid?"

        "Usually hybrids are sterile, but with cloning techniques we hope to be able to use some more of that sperm with her eggs and produce a three-quarters cave lioness and so on with each successive offspring until we have a purebred cave lion."

        "That seems quite plausible - how long will it take?"

        "We estimate that about five generations should do it."

        "This must be the most exciting event in the world concerning prehistoric animals then?"

        "Oh no, there are strong rumours of something even bigger.  Apparently there is a very strange unknown creature that has been discovered in Antarctica."

        "Antarctica!" Captain Blue moaned.

        "Yes, very unusual for that to happen."

        "But, it is so cold there ..."  He suppressed a shudder.

        She laughed.  "That is why the creature was frozen to death and is still frozen.  The group that found it were actually only looking for fossils from the Cretaceous Period, but ended up finding something from the Pleistocene Epoch."

        "Is it still there?"

        "As far as I know it is.  Only one man has studied it and he guards it jealously, when he left the site for a couple of weeks, he had it locked in a freezer that only he has the key to.  It will have to be moved soon and ..."

        "Moved?"  Colonel White pricked up his ears.

        "Of course, you can't study it properly in Antarctica and with winter coming on, well ..." she shrugged.

        "Captain Blue ..." the Colonel started.

        "I'm on my way," he sighed in response.  "What about the cub?"

        "It will be all right - I think Dr. Jeffries will be able to handle her own baby animal until you get back.  And pick up Captain Scarlet on the way there too."


        The Colonel turned back to the doctor.  "Now tell me some more about this remarkable animal."  Teshadina had wandered back over to him, when Captain Blue had sat her on the floor; the Colonel reached out and scratched the itchy bit between her eyes, causing the animal to half-close her eyes and seemingly smile.



*   *   *   *   *


        "Why did it have to be Antarctica?" moaned Captain Blue for the hundredth time, as they touched down on the continent.

        "Cheer up," Captain Scarlet told him, as their helicopter was immediately surrounded by beaming faces, "the people seem friendly." 

        "Desperate, you mean, for anything that is different - as anyone who had to spend months in this bleak hole would be.  Little wonder they look like inmates from an insane asylum."

        "Go on with you, most good scientists are a little ... eccentric.  Would you prefer it if they were serious all the time?"


        Captain Scarlet's answer was prevented by the door of the helicopter being pulled open.

        "Hello, my name's Carl, it is so good to meet someone different and of some importance," grinned a fresh faced youth, as he grabbed Scarlet's arm and nearly shook it off.  Captain Blue received similar treatment.

        It took them an hour to get a word in, so eager were all the workers to tell them about, and show them all over, the complex.

        "Ahhh, so you've heard about our latest find," said Carl to them appreciatively, when they were finally able to mention it.  "Secrets are hard to keep, even on Antarctica."

        "Can we see it?" asked Captain Blue, eager to get it all finished with.

        "Lordy no," he laughed, "Mr. Jeremy guards it with his life, so to speak."

        "Can we speak to Mr. Jeremy then?"

        "Should be able to, he's just got back from South America a few hours ago.  I'd leave it for a while, if I were you, he seems a little grouchy and the first thing he did was to check on the frozen creature to make sure we hadn't tampered with it.  That was silly of him, we wouldn't do that."

        "You have seen it though,"  Captain Scarlet asked.

        "Yes, I found it."

        "So, what does it look like?"

        "It's hard to say ... it's ... different, that's the most I can say ... although, if really pushed, I would say it was a medium sized cat-like creature ..."

        "CAT!" exclaimed both captains in unison.

        "I said cat-like; I said that to Mr. Jeremy, but he told me not to talk such idiotic irresponsible nonsense and that it was impossible for any feline species to be in Antarctica at that time and what we were looking at was just an ancient seal of unknown species."

        "It was right in front of you, couldn't you tell?"

        "It was and is still covered with compacted ice, so visibility was limited, and since it wasn't too large, it could be placed it in a freezer until we could thaw it out properly.  I took some photos ..."

        "Great, where are they?"

        "They are not developed yet.  Mr. Jeremy wasn't happy when he found that out, I'm to give the film to him and he is going to get them done. I wonder if the green glow will show up?"

        "Green glow!  It had a green glow around it?"

        "Yes, it seemed most unusual.  Mr. Jeremy told me I was imagining it and not to talk such piffling hogwash ... he gets a little crabby at me sometimes, but I'm sure he doesn't mean anything by it," Carl happily ended.

        The two captains rather diplomatically kept their thoughts on that subject to themselves.  Captain Scarlet has more important things to think about anyway. 

        "Take me to him right now and have one of your assistants take Captain Blue to the place it was found."



*   *   *   *   *


        "Mr. Jeremy, Mr. Jeremy, this gentleman would like to talk to you," Carl panted, as he ran into the man's office.

        "And take your picture," added Scarlet, pointing a detector in the man's direction.

        "What's this?  I don't have time for interviews and signing photographs, I'm a busy man - come back later," Jeremy growled in discomfort.

        "It won't take long, I can assure you.  Then I'd like to see the fossil."

        John Jeremy's copy moved out of the way of the detector.  "That will be all Carl," he told the youth, then he turned to Captain Scarlet.  "I will show you the remains of the creature first, this way."  He strode off.

        "Wow!  he must like you, he wouldn't make an offer like that to just anyone,"  gasped Carl, as he was leaving.



*   *   *   *   *


        Captain Scarlet very warily entered the freezer room, but nothing seemed amiss - in fact John Jeremy was standing next to the largest freezer with the lid up and he was smiling.

        "This is what you wanted to see?"

        Scarlet approached.  "I don't see any green glow."

        "That Carl," Jeremy shook his head.  "Of course you don't see a green glow ... Earthman,"  with a sudden movement he toppled Captain Scarlet into the freezer and added, "that is not the fossil, it is just frozen meat!"  Then he closed the lid.

        The surprised captain found that lifting the lid of a freezer from the outside was a completely different proposition from the inside.  The vacuum seal made it impossible to open, however much he kicked and hammered at the lid.  After a while he started feeling numb and sleepy ...



*   *   *   *   *


        "Paul, Paul, wake up," Captain Blue urged his friend, slapping his face, "quick, wake up, c'mon Paul, you can do it."

        "What, what ... where is he?"  Scarlet stammered, regaining his senses.

        "Mr. Jeremy left in your helicopter.  He said he had your permission to do so." Carl informed him, then added with awe.  " Gee, you are lucky, I would have thought you were too far gone to recover like that."

        "He's pretty hot blooded," Captain Blue stammered out a clumsy answer, then turned his attention back to his friend.  "I have told Cloudbase and they are sending the Angels out to intercept him."

        "Good, I will contact them."  Scarlet adjusted his cap/mike and found himself talking to Rhapsody.

        She in turn told him that she was there alone and had lost contact with Cloudbase soon after being given directions, and that the other Angels hadn't caught up with her, because in her words, 'something strange was going on'.

        Neither Captains could contact Cloudbase either and then Rhapsody sighted the helicopter near Mount Erebus; they told her to shoot it down over land, but not to blow it up - because the Mysteron had the fossil with him.

        "I have ejected," were the next words they heard from her.

        "Why, did he shoot you with a missile?" the red captain inquired.

        "No, toe cramp."


        "That foot of mine that the book fell on, well, I had a severe spasm in it and that caused me to jerk involuntarily and I accidentally hit the eject button."

        "You're joking!"

        "I wish I were.  You will have to send a ground crew to pick me up when you can, but don't worry there seems to be people camped nearby - they are heading in my direction.  At least the Angel jet didn't hit their camp, so that's good."

        "Absolutely marvellous!" spat the disgruntled captain.



*   *   *   *   *


        It was many hours later before they were all assembled back on Cloudbase and were able to fill Colonel White in on what had happened.

        "The Mysteronised Mr. Jeremy crashed the helicopter into Mt. Erebus," Rhapsody told him.  "The people that rescued me saw it all happen."

        "So what did you find at the crash site?" Colonel White asked in exasperation.  He'd had a tough day.

        "There wasn't one.  The volcano was erupting and he flew right into it, that's what those people were doing there - studying the effect of the volcanic emissions on the ozone layer, you know, it has quite an impact and ..."

        "Never mind that ... it seems we will never find out what the frozen remains were actually of and why the Mysterons were so desperate for us not to know."

        "So it seems Colonel," Captain Scarlet spoke up.  "Why couldn't we contact Cloudbase and why weren't the other Angels sent?"

        "I was wondering when you would get to that," Colonel White responded in a dangerous tone.  "Let me tell you about what has been happening up here, whilst you have all been enjoying yourselves on the ground."

        They all knew better than to try to dispute that.

        "Firstly, who's brilliant idea was it to send Captain Magenta to New Zealand to look into studies of Tuataras?"

        "Mine," confessed Captain Scarlet, wondering what that was leading to.

        He soon found out.      

        "Well, I received an call from a very irate New Zealand Government official; it seems that he thought we were accusing their government of vivisection and experimentation on a protected species, it took me a good part of an hour to reassure him that we weren't doing any such thing."

        The room was filled with silence as they digested that information.

        "Secondly, we come to Captain Ochre ..."  the Colonel continued.

        "He wanted to go there himself," Captain Blue quickly pointed out.

        "I know.  I had just finished a harrowing time with the New Zealand representative, when I had a call from the factory where the SPVs are assembled.  It seems they were all ready to go on strike, because Captain Ochre had them in an uproar.  They had got it into their heads that he was poking fun at them, in a very sarcastic manner, and accusing them - on Spectrum's behalf - of prehistoric designs and work practices ... That was another hour of my time wasted and I was told, quote:  'To remove that ranting madman from there immediately,' close quote."  He paused to let the effect sink in.  "And now finally to Captain Blue."  He directed a narrow-eyed stare in the man's direction.

        "I haven't done anything," Blue shot back in surprise.

        "This brings us back to your ... your lion cub and the main cause of all the pandemonium that has been going on for the last six hours."

        "What could that baby girl have done even if she did act up a bit?  I thought people would more likely want to play with her, if anything."

        "You are right there, everyone did want to play with her.  Do you know what happens when a cat gets overexcited and has a full stomach?"  Colonel White asked Captain Blue with firm precision.

        "Oh no!" Blue covered his face.

        "Oh yes.  Right on the moving walkway, causing Dr. Jeffries no end of embarrassment I can tell you ... not to mention the smell."

        "Smell?" Blue squeaked, as an eye peeked out from between his fingers.

        "Yes, the smell, I was not very popular with Lieutenant Green when I suggested, at first, that he might have been the cause of it.  It seems that once a week the cub is given a special treat of a concoction that is a mixture of cream, blood, the strongest fish emulsion you could ever imagine, minced liver and various other components ..."

        Sounds of disgust and groans greeted the description and realisation that it was better to be on the ground after all, when that happened.

        "But Colonel, Sir, that doesn't explain why you were blacked out for so long," Captain Scarlet had to know.

        The Colonel's face took on an icy smile.  "Captain Blue's lion cub was not content with that, she had to make friends with Lieutenant Green and in doing so, she jumped up onto the computer and walked across it with her very large feet; then she became playful and decided to have a 'mad cat' moment when the Lieutenant attempted to remove her - causing a complete lock out of communications and other systems that took hours to rectify.  Ever tried to catch a boisterous, clumsy, and seemingly deranged, lion cub that is tearing around the place at, what seems to be, the speed of light and have it leaping, sliding and falling everywhere?  It was utter chaos."

        Captain Blue didn't look up to see the chilly glare directed at him, but he felt it.

        "Ah yes, its long been known that cats and computers don't often mix," Captain Scarlet suddenly said in a feeble attempt to cheer up his superior officer and to remove some of the anger from his friend.  "I take it that we won't be keeping the cub as a mascot then?"

        A killer scowl was the immediate reaction he received.

        "We had the photographs developed," he hastily added, thinking that a quick change of topic was in order.  "But they didn't come out too well. The Mysterons beat us there too."

        "Hand them over."

        Colonel White looked at them in astonishment, instead of a frozen corpse - there was printed on the pictures, in green lettering, the words:  'You Lose!'





30th May, 2001








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