A “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” story
By Kelly Haycock
I do not own the characters of this story; I am just using them. I intend to make no profit from this story. I have used unknown names, such as that of Captain Brown, from other stories.
Thank you also to Chris Bishop and Joanna Hollis for their suggestions.
My name is Adam Svenson. It’s been about three months since it happened, and I haven’t stopped looking over my shoulder since.
I’m jumping ahead of myself and I’d better explain. I used to be a field agent for the security organisation, Spectrum, with the codename Captain Blue. We were originally an anti-terrorism organisation. A fateful trip to Mars changed all that.
Conrad Turner (Captain Black), a former colleague of mine, was on a survey mission to locate the source of some strange signals we’d picked up at Spectrum headquarters. They definitely found the source! A beautiful, multi-coloured complex belonging to a race of Martians, known as the Mysterons. Conrad, unfortunately, panicked when their scanning devices focussed on them, and, believing them to be hostile, destroyed the complex. It was then that the race demonstrated their powers of ‘reversing matter’, rebuilding the complex with little or no effort right in front of the passengers of the Martian Exploration Vehicle. Within no time, the complex had returned to its original splendour, but the Mysterons were an unforgiving race.
For our ‘acts of aggression’, they vowed to take revenge on us slowly but effectively, thus our priority became the safety of the world. They took over the mind and body of Conrad, sending him back to Earth as their head agent, carrying out their bidding without question. He was a ruthless and efficient killer, where he used to be a pacifist.
Not only did they have the power to gain and keep control over Conrad, but they also had the power to recreate an exact likeness of an object or person, a process later dubbed as Mysteronisation. This copy would be a slave of the Mysterons, caring not about death, only the completion of their orders. These reconstructs, these Mysteron agents, were our worst enemy, only detectable using a Mysteron detector. They showed no outward sign of being different as they possessed all the thoughts, feelings and memories of the person they were copied from, allowing them to act the part flawlessly.
Every week, the speakers would crackle to life and the deep and intimidating voice of the Mysterons would threaten us with their next strike. We never knew why they warned us, some believe they were testing us; others say that this was their punishment, the pressure we were put under trying to succeed, sometimes even the guilt of failing.
Anyway, this particular time, the one that started this all off, we received a very strange threat…
“They’ve what?” Paul Metcalfe (Captain Scarlet), my partner, asked.
“They’ve threatened to destroy Spectrum,” Colonel White replied.
“How?” I asked. “I don’t understand; Spectrum is spread over the entire planet!”
The Colonel sighed, rubbing his chin. “It’s baffling me just as much as you, gentlemen. There’s little we can do but to put everyone on red alert and perform regular Mysteron detector sweeps of all personnel.”
“S.I.G., Colonel,” Paul said, then after we were dismissed, we got up to leave.
Once outside, Paul turned to me. “Are you okay, Adam?”
“Okay? Why wouldn’t I be okay?”
“You just seem a bit more to yourself, I dunno, more…” He waved his hand around in a small circle, clicking his fingers as he tried to think of the word. “Distracted, that’ll do.”
I smiled at him. “I’m alright, Paul. I’m just fed up of chasing after the Mysterons. They’ve been pursuing this War of Nerves of theirs for over five years!” I quite often found myself wondering when this would all end, when we’d all be free to return to fighting terrestrial terrorists, rather than extra-terrestrials.
Paul put a comforting hand on my shoulder. “We’re all fed up of the Mysterons, but we have to keep fighting them, we can’t let them win!” He sounded more and more determined every time he said that. I knew why.
This all began with the Mysterons first threat, to kill the World President. He and Steve Blackburn (Captain Brown) had been killed and both were recreated to carry out the Mysterons’ will.
Steve had been transformed into a walking bomb, with intentions to blow up the President, but he had failed, succeeding only in destroying the Maximum Security Building we had placed the President in. The quick thinking of the leader had saved his life.
Paul, on the other hand, was given a different task. He returned to Cloudbase as a Mysteron and was to fly the World President to a more secure location, but he kidnapped him. If we had known then that he was a Mysteron at the time, we wouldn’t have sent him, but I would have lost my best friend.
After kidnapping the President, he took him to the London Car-Vu to be picked up by a Mysteronised helicopter, but I was there to stop him. As part of my duty, I was forced to shoot Paul. The bullet pierced his heart and he fell 800 feet from the top of the Car-Vu. This fall somehow broke the hold the Mysterons had over him and he was freed from their control, retaining one very important aspect, his virtual indestructibility. Because of what the Mysterons did to him, and all the mistrust he felt upon his return, he became one of the most loyal members of Spectrum, always there to try and thwart another Mysteron threat.
We walked through Cloudbase towards security in near silence. I knew he was thinking along the same lines as me, how were the Mysterons going to try and fulfil their threat this time?
A few times I wondered if it had anything to do with the major power cut the week before.
Something had happened on Cloudbase, resulting in an almost complete power failure on the base. The only things that hadn’t failed were the lights and heating and air conditioning systems so for two days while the fault was repaired, we had no light, aside from the natural sunlight, and no heating.
Where Cloudbase hovers at an altitude of 40,000 feet, we all suffered for the lack of warmth in our environment. We constantly had our thick coats on, and most of the time even gloves, though when it came to writing reports and doing any other paperwork, we had to remove them. Though we tried to do the work with gloves on, we just couldn’t hit the right keys.
We reached our destination and found the desired items, Mysteron detectors. After checking the security officers, who were clean, we let them take over the sweep. They had over 600 officers to test, so we left them to it.
“Would you like to come with me to the galley?” Paul suddenly asked.
I looked at him and smiled. I was sure he was reading my mind. “Yes, I’d love to, I’m starving.”
“You didn’t skip breakfast again, did you?”
I could feel colour coming to my cheeks, so turned away.
“You did, didn’t you? Adam, I’ve told you about that! You’ll make yourself ill again!”
“I know, but I had loads of paperwork to finish this morning!”
He crossed his arms and looked at me, an eyebrow raised. “Paperwork?” he asked, sceptically. “At the time of morning you get up, you shouldn’t be awake enough to concentrate on paperwork!”
I sighed. He’d found me out again. “Alright, alright! But if we’re going, can we go now?”
He smiled. “Okay, come on, before you waste away!”
I had been ill before. About a year before this happened, I was on a mission with Paul, Patrick Donaghue (Captain Magenta) and some of the newly commissioned lieutenants. We had thought it would be a routine security assignment, but the Mysterons had infiltrated and ambushed us. They killed all three lieutenants before we even had a chance to draw our weapons. There was an exchange of gunfire, which resulted in the Mysteron threat being neutralised, but at a cost. Not only did they kill the lieutenants, but also Pat.
It was this failure that led to my illness. I spent weeks blaming myself for their deaths, believing I could have done more. Soon I stopped eating and my sleep became erratic.
I was suspended from active duty, but remained in my quarters, still blaming myself. I was granted leave for two months to recover and get to grips with things, to get my life back. I wouldn’t have been able to if Paul and Edward Wilkie (Dr Fawn) hadn’t been there to help me.
They would visit me at my parents’ house on a regular occasion and soon, I was getting better, no longer blaming myself for the deaths caused by the Mysterons.
We reached the galley and looked about, there weren’t many people there, only Karen Wainwright (Symphony Angel) and Richard Fraser (Captain Ochre). I only needed to hear Karen’s melodic laughing to know that Rick was probably telling jokes.
She saw us and waved, indicating for us to join them. After picking up a tray laden with food each, we did so.
“Hey, you two,” Rick said with a smile.
“Hi,” I said, starting on my lasagne. “How are you so cheerful?”
He shrugged. “I dunno, why do you sound so crabby?”
I glanced up at him. “I’ve heard the threat, haven’t you?”
He chuckled. “Oh, I heard it alright, but it doesn’t bother me. They won’t succeed.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“We’ve had enough practise!” He managed to get a laugh out of Paul and Karen for his efforts there. “They’ve tried to bring us down before, like when they tried to cut off the oil supply. They didn’t succeed then, did they?”
“I guess not,” I said, taking another mouthful of the hot repast.
I didn’t know why I was so doubtful about this threat. Just as Rick had pointed out to me, we’d overcome many threats before then, but something in my mind just told me this would be much more of a challenge than any we had been set before. I wish I hadn’t been right. It started that very evening…
Paul and I were heading to the Officers’ Lounge. We had spent the entire day doing regular detector checks and found nothing.
On arrival, I collapsed onto a sofa and put my feet up on the table in front of me.
He chuckled as he walked up to me and tapped my booted feet. I lifted them from the table just long enough for him to get past, then replaced them, let my head drop back and closed my eyes.
It was then that I heard it, a strange noise coming from behind me. I turned round to look, but saw nothing there. I listened closely and heard it again. It sounded like a million voices whispering quickly, but all saying the same thing.
I looked round and saw that Paul had copied my idea and had leaned back in his chair, his eyes shut and his hands locked together behind his head. “Paul?”
“What?” he asked, his eyes remaining shut.
“Can you hear that?”
“I’m not sure. Come on, you’ve gotta hear it!”
“I can’t hear anything aside from you moaning at me.”
I frowned and listened again. The voices had fallen into unison, all were whispering in time. “We will be avenged…”
I leapt from my chair once I’d figured out what they were saying.
“What?” Paul asked, startled by my sudden movement.
“CAN’T YOU HEAR THEM?” I yelled. I could hear it over and over, but Paul just looked at me as if to say I was losing it.
“You think I’m going mad! I can hear voices and you can’t!” I put my hands over my ears, trying to block out the sounds; it was getting louder.
I looked up at him, he’d stopped moving, had tilted his head and his face had drained of all colour.
“I can hear them, now,” he said, looking down at me. I removed my hands from my ears; the noise was dying down. “I heard them, that was the Mysterons!”
We weren’t the only ones to hear the whispered threat, reports flooded into the Control Room from all over Cloudbase. It was enough for Colonel White to call a meeting of the senior staff to discuss possible meanings and motives.
I sat in my chair on the outer perimeter of the circular table while Colonel White sat in the centre, his chair slowly spinning so he could regard each officer present.
“What suggestions have we come up with as to this whispered threat, then?” he asked.
“It is my opinion that this is something to do with the Mysterons. The words heard by myself and many other members were ‘We will be avenged’, a phrase commonly used in their threats.”
“But what are they trying to do?”
“I believe that the Mysterons may be playing with our minds,” Paul said. “While we’re trying to figure out this minor thing, they’re off somewhere, creating something major for us to do.”
“I concur,” the Colonel said, “but I don’t see what we can really do, other than to not dwell on it. I want the findings from the latest detector sweep on my desk as soon as is humanly possible. Dismissed.”
And that was it; we left. What more could we do? How do you combat a voice?
This was the first in a series of minor occurrences, the next happening later that same night…
I lay on my bed staring at the ceiling. A brief glance at my clock told me it was almost twenty past midnight. I sighed and turned onto my stomach, resting my chin on my hands and staring at the wall, trying anything to shake the insomnia and get to sleep.
Then I realised there was something not quite right about my wall. It seemed a different shade. I looked again, closer, and it was gone. I shook my head. I was beginning to see things, I was sure of it, but then I saw a faint green light glide across the wall.
My eyes shot wide and I reached for the lamp, switching it off. I had seen a glowing! In the corner of my room, behind the desk, glowed a faint green light, which got brighter and brighter. As I watched, the source of the illumination came into view and two vivid green circles snaked across my wall.
More and more unusual occurrences began to happen, first the lights, which were seen by not only me, but also various other Spectrum agents, then minor machines began to fail. The coffee filters would drain the liquid through the coffee, but never heated the liquid. The appliances in the galley all broke down at once, spoiling a large quantity of our supplies. But these were only the minor things. The major incidents started to happen exactly one week after the threat…
I was sat in the Control Room with Colonel White and Paul discussing possible ways the Mysterons may carry out their threat against us when I heard the voice of Dianne Simms (Rhapsody Angel) ringing clear over the comm. “Angel One to Cloudbase, patrol completed, request landing clearance.”
I listened as Seymour Griffiths (Lieutenant Green) granted her request, then turned my attention to the observation tube where I could see Dianne making her way towards the landing platform.
We all turned back to the desk when we heard the urgent voice of Bradley Holden (Captain Grey) over the comm.
“What is it, Captain?” White said.
“We’ve received reports of the latest detector sweep. There are Mysterons on Cloudbase!”
“WHAT?” White yelled. Everybody’s eyes went wide at this revelation. Who could have gotten onto the security tight base to carry out the task? “WHO?”
Brad started rattling off a list of people who had been killed and recreated by our enemy, but for some reason I turned my attention back to the window. When I did, I was just in time to see Dianne come in to land, but her Interceptor never touched the runway. I jumped up as it exploded into a massive fireball and came crashing to the flight deck in a flaming, twisted heap of metal.
“Oh, my god! Rhapsody!” I yelled, but I knew it was too late; she was already dead, no one could have survived an explosion that great.
The impact shook the entire base and my cry made the Colonel snap to face me. “What happened?” he asked.
I took a shaky breath. “Angel One has exploded, sir. Rhapsody Angel is dead.”
Paul jumped from his seat, he ran over to where I now stood and looked at the flaming mass on the runway. “Dianne?” he whispered. That would hit him hard; he had been close to her, very close. I looked at him to see tears forming in the corners of his eyes, but he brushed them away before turning back to the Colonel.
“I’m going to the armoury to get an electron gun and I’m going to find those Mysterons! They must have sabotaged her craft!”
I was right, it had hit him hard and he was retaliating in the only way he knew how, to take it out on those who did it.
The Colonel merely nodded. “S.I.G., Captain. Go with him, Captain Blue.”
I nodded and ran after him.
We kept on edge, knowing there were Mysterons on the base. Our hands remained on the hilts of our pistols, ready to be drawn should the need arise.
The armoury was up ahead, I could see the entryway, the course to it was clear with no Mysterons in sight, but one glance at Paul told me otherwise. He had gone pale and was sweating; he raised a hand to hold his head.
As well as having virtual indestructibility, Paul had gained a sort of sixth sense in that he could detect if a Mysteron was nearby.
“Round that corner,” he said quietly, pointing.
I looked, listening carefully and heard a faint whispering. He was right. The problem was that if they were ahead of us, they had access to the armoury.
“Two.” In recent years, he’d learned to develop his sense to be able to estimate how many Mysterons he could detect and he had rarely been wrong.
I eased my pistol from its holster as beside me, he copied. Together, we silently edged forward along the corridor.
I peered round the corner and saw two Mysterons, armed with electron weapons.
Drawing back, I glanced at Paul and nodded. “One each,” I said quietly. He nodded back, showing his understanding and agreement. We moved round to be stood in the hallway and pointed our weapons at them.
They looked up and saw us, obviously hearing our approach. They seemed to smile maliciously. “Ah, so we finally meet Captain Scarlet!” one said, moving a step closer.
I noticed Paul raise an eyebrow. “You won’t be telling anyone we’ve met,” he said calmly. They raised their weapons but we were quicker, shooting them down before they had a chance to squeeze the trigger. They dropped to the floor like stones and we ran over to them, seizing the anti-Mysteron firearms from them and using them on the fallen enemies.
They may have been Mysteron agents, able to recover from any injury, but like everything, they had an Achilles’ heel, they were killed by high-voltage electricity. The anti-Mysteron weapons had been designed with that in mind and were the most effective item in our inventory.
“Two down,” Paul said grimly.
“But how many more?” I asked.
I never received an answer. A deafening high-pitched noise filled the air and he fell to the floor. Wasting no time, I spun and fired at the single Mysteron who had been hiding round another corner. The electric energy instantly killed the agent.
I turned back round to him, crouching down by his side. When he collapsed, he’d fallen forwards, landing face down. He lay with an arm above his head and the other out to the side, his head resting on one cheek and his legs stretched out behind him.
I rolled him onto his front and gasped in shock, he was dead. My best friend was dead. ‘Get a grip, Adam,’ I told myself, ‘he’s indestructible, he’ll be back.’
I moved over to the fallen Mysteron, the one who’d shot him. He held only an electron gun. My breath caught in my throat as I frantically searched the agent for any other weapon, but deep down I knew he wouldn’t have had time to put it away before I’d killed him.
I covered my mouth and crawled backwards away from the agent. My eyes were wide. I moved back to where Paul lay. He was motionless, and as I realised that’s how he’d now remain, not recovering, tears formed in my eyes.
“Paul?” I put a hand on his arm, but he didn’t respond. I don’t know why I’d expected him to.
I lowered my head and activated the radio in my cap. “Colonel White?”
“What is it, Captain Blue?”
“It’s Captain Scarlet, sir.”
“Is he alright?”
I sighed. “No, sir. He’s been shot.”
“Get him straight to the sickbay. We’ll notify Dr Fawn and let him know you’re on your way.”
“There won’t be any need, sir.”
“What?” I could clearly make out the confused tone in my superior’s voice.
“He’s dead. He was shot by a Mysteron armed with an electron weapon.”
I heard a shaken breath being drawn in at the other end of the link. “What?” White asked quietly. “No.” I could tell he didn’t want to believe. “No, that can’t be possible, he can’t be dead!”
I bowed my head again. I was having so much trouble coming to terms with my loss. It was at this point I heard footsteps behind me. My hand lowered towards the electron weapon lying on the floor in front of me and I quietly took hold of it.
“Adam?” I relaxed slightly hearing the soft voice of Karen behind me. “What’s going-” I knew she’d seen Paul when she broke off suddenly. I got up slowly and turned to her, not releasing the grip on the electron gun should I need it. “What happened? Will he be alright?” She sounded unsure, though she knew of his retro-metabolism, the power he had that enabled him to heal from any injury.
I didn’t need to say anything, she knew it was bad. “What happened, Adam?” she asked again.
“He was shot with an electron gun.”
Her eyes went wide and she clamped a hand over her mouth. “You mean, he’s dead? He’s really dead?”
I merely nodded, being unable to speak. I looked up to see her begin to cry and so leaned forward to pull her into a gentle embrace.
“Come on,” I said, finally. “We can’t stay here, it’s not safe.”
“You’re right about that one thing, at least, Earthman!” I looked at her shocked. She pulled a pistol on me and I backed away from her. She started to squeeze the trigger but didn’t get the chance as I fired the Mysteron gun at her. She dropped to the floor, twitching slightly as the current flowed through her.
I pushed myself against the wall, breathing hard. I couldn’t take much more of this!
In the space of only an hour, I’d watched Dianne come crashing from the sky, seen Paul, my best friend, shot dead, never to revive and had to kill the woman I loved! After having to kill Paul at the Car-Vu tower, I went through all sorts of emotions, mostly guilt and sadness. Now, after having to kill Karen, I was living it again.
I don’t really remember what I did after that. I moved round Cloudbase trying to find and eradicate the Mysterons who had infiltrated us.
I moved with purpose through the base, a Mysteron detector my only guide, an electron firearm my only defence.
I reached the Amber Room and peered through the door. I saw Chan Kwan and Magnolia Jones (Harmony and Melody Angels respectively) huddled in the corner, with some Mysterons in front of them. The two women were trying their best to defend themselves from the group of enemy agents. I could see from my vantage point at the door that they were losing their fight; they were both covered with bruises and bleeding badly.
I sighed. In a way I was happy, if the Mysterons were attacking them, they, at least, were still alive and fighting for Spectrum.
I fired off my weapon at the Mysterons, quickly dispersing them. They were both very grateful and glad to see me by the looks of it, but they also looked very scared.
“What is happening?” Chan asked.
I looked over at the oriental Angel. “There’s been an infiltration. We’ve got to get to the Control Room.”
“You’re not going anywhere, Earthman!” A chill ran down my spine when I heard that voice. I knew then that we were losing. Turning round, I saw Colonel White stood in the doorway.
I stepped in front of the two Angels, determined to protect them, no matter what. “What do you want?” I asked the now Mysteron Colonel.
“What do you think we want! We want to take our revenge. It is time to end this war, but we will not come quietly, we will not agree to the peaceful settlement you Earthmen wish for so dearly.” Charles Gray, no longer deserving the title bestowed on him by Spectrum, took my gun from me, then narrowed his eyes, tilting his head slightly.
I knew what he was doing; I’d witnessed it so many times before. He was contacting or being contacted by another Mysteron agent, maybe even the Mysteron Seniors. A few months ago, we learned that Mysteron agents had started to refer to the Martians as this, and so coined the phrase so as to make a distinction between the Earth agents and the actual Mysterons on Mars.
I watched the man I used to admire and respect, now feeling nothing but hatred for this replica.
His head moved back to be upright again. “We have company coming. I suggest you sit down; he may take a while to get here. He’s a busy man, so many people to kill on the way.”
That was too much for me to take. I lunged at him, but he shot me in the shoulder, making me hit the floor. I glared up at him, holding my wound. “You bastard! Why are you killing us all? It wasn’t us who destroyed your complex! Even that was a mistake! Are you so perfect you’re above mistakes and can’t understand it when someone else makes one against you?” I snapped.
Gray just looked at me, amused at my attempts to get through to him. His head tilted again and an evil smile spread across his face. “Get up!” he barked. I remained where I was, glowering angrily at him.
He shot me an evil stare, then in one swift motion, he grabbed me by my collar and hauled me to my feet. “I told you to get up! Are you disobeying my orders, Captain?”
“I don’t take orders from Mysterons!” I spat.
I received a sharp blow round the face for this and was about to get another, but a deep, menacing voice stopped him from continuing his attack.
“That’s enough, Charles!” Conrad Turner said from the doorway. Gray released me, pushing me away from him as he did so, but putting pressure on my already injured shoulder in the process.
I grimaced in pain, then looked up. “You! How did you get onto Cloudbase!” I yelled, getting up again and moving towards Turner as I questioned him. I kept an eye on Gray as he levelled his gun at me, his was hand steady and he was ready to pull the trigger.
“Does it really matter?” he asked, his tone surprisingly composed.
“Yes! I want to know how you broke through security!”
Turner shrugged. “As you wish, you Earthmen need everything explaining!” While more Mysteron agents entered the room and moved over to cover the two Angels at gunpoint, he moved towards me slowly as he elucidated. “Do you remember that power cut you had last week?”
My eyes went wide. “You got here then?”
Black smiled and turned to Gray. “That was a distraction. While you were all fiddling about with the systems, Captain Black snuck aboard your base,” Gray said.
“I got here by a plane, isn’t that obvious?”
“We would have detected you!”
“You really are stupid, aren’t you! You had a power cut, everything was down!”
“Why didn’t the Angel on standby report seeing you?” I asked, glancing at the two fearful women who stood frozen in the corner. “Even if they couldn’t radio and report it straight away, they would have eventually.”
“Ah, he’s asked a sensible question! We have a new trick. We can alter people’s minds, making them believe whatever we want. It came in useful for this purpose, and for the people in the hangar. None of them have any recollection of my landing. I have been waiting for the signal from the Seniors. It came in the form of the whispering and the lights.”
“You’re sick!” Mag suddenly shouted from behind me. I could see her watching the gunmen nervously. “Stop torturing us!”
One of the Mysterons near her turned to look at Turner briefly. The latter nodded his head and the Mysteron agent grinned evilly, his attention returning to Magnolia and Chan.
“You might want to watch this,” Turner said as Gray grabbed my arm and spun me to face them. I made eye contact with them momentarily before Magnolia was shot dead. Chan screamed as she saw her friend fall, then was grabbed by a Mysteron. He took hold of her wrist and pressed his pistol against her head. I didn’t even have time to blink as he put a bullet into her brain.
I lowered my head briefly, then rammed my elbow hard into Gray’s stomach, making him drop the weapon he’d stolen from me.
I grabbed it and fired at him, killing him instantly, quickly moving to dispose of the other Mysteron agents occupying them room. I whirled to face Black, intending to kill him, but he was no longer there. I frowned. The Mysteron Seniors must have noticed the potentially dangerous situation and had removed him from harm’s reach.
I cursed myself, throwing a fist against the wall for being too slow to react. I grimaced as pain shot from my shoulder. I’d used the hand on my injured arm.
I looked round the now blood-spattered Amber Room and felt despair. Then the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and a shiver ran right through me. Then I heard the threat.
“This is the voice of the Mysterons, we know you can hear us, Earthmen. We have warned you over and over again that we will be avenged. Now it is time for Spectrum to be completely shattered. It started with confusion, continued with death and will end with the destruction of Cloudbase!”
The ominous voice faded, only to be replaced by the warning system voice.
“Warning, core pressure increasing, engines failing. Explosion estimated in approximately twenty minutes. Evacuate Cloudbase.”
From there, all the way to the hangar, all I found that night was death. My friends and colleagues all lay slaughtered at the hands of our adversary; most of them had been killed in horrific ways. I will never get the sight of slit throats, bullet wounds and stabbings. Some had been killed by being thrown into machinery, some being electrocuted, some being marred.
Not only did I find the bodies of my friends, but I also found their copies. Over and over I was forced to kill them, knowing there was no way I’d be able to appeal to any humanity they may still have, it was too far buried, deep within their minds, suppressed by the will and mind of the Mysteron they had become.
By the time I reached the hangar bay, I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. I knew I was going to have a hard time recovering. I climbed into an SPJ and started her up. As I flew away from the base, my home for the past five or more years, I looked sadly back at it. We had lost to the Mysterons, after all we had gone through, we had lost.
I turned back to the controls, plotting in a course to the closest Spectrum institute, but my attention was diverted when an explosion rocked the jet. Turning back, I could only watch as Cloudbase erupted into a huge fireball, engulfing the view from the window. Another explosion and Cloudbase began to fall, picking up momentum as it went crashing to the ground.
I never made it to any bases. They’d all been completely destroyed. While we had had problems, so too had all Spectrum establishments. Mysterons had infiltrated them all and planted bombs, or used the “Captain Brown method” and sent in a walking booby trap. I didn’t really know where to go. I had nothing now and knew I wouldn’t have much in times to come. With the downfall of Spectrum, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Mysterons started taking it out on the general public. What got to me the most was that there was absolutely nothing I could do. I was just one man against a race with incomprehensible powers.
I headed towards Boston, hoping my old friends might be able to help me. On arrival, I realised times had changed and so had the area I lived in.
The area had become desolate, totally uninhabited. As I walked through the abandoned streets, I realised I’d lost touch with my old way of life. I had nothing, now. No home, no friends, no family to turn to.
Two years ago, the Mysterons had threatened to torture the members of Spectrum and so the bases were put on red alert. We didn’t realise until it was too late that they didn’t mean us directly, they meant mentally. They murdered our families and Mysteronised them, meaning we had the added pain of having to kill them to protect others.
We were all heartbroken, despite the status of our relationships with our families. To lose them, then be forced to execute them certainly did torture the members of Spectrum.
I ended up living in the SPJ, on an abandoned airstrip. It wasn’t comfortable in the least, having not been designed to be accommodation for any length of time. Over time, the jet became less and less hospitable and my life went from bad to worse.
Only a month after the fall of Spectrum, I was visited…
I woke up that morning, and realised I was no longer lying on the sofa in the back of the jet, but on the floor. I also had a headache and a bump on the back of my head. I guessed I’d just fallen out of bed again.
“I really should move that table,” I said to myself, rubbing the sore spot. I sighed and climbed up off the floor, sitting on the couch and pushing the table away with my foot. I leaned back, resting my head on the back of the worn seat and stared up at the ceiling.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up just seconds before I heard a knocking on the hatch.
“Who the…?” I never had visitors; I’d led an isolated life since it happened, so I was puzzled as to the knocking on the outer hull of the old jet.
I pushed the thin blanket off me and walked over to the hatchway and looked outside. There was no one there that I could see. I frowned and opened the hatch, stepping out into the crisp morning. I shivered slightly as I looked around, but I could still see no one. I moaned and climbed back into the jet, only to see none other than Conrad Turner stood behind me.
My shock at the situation didn’t last long, and I moved swiftly across to the cockpit where I’d put my pistol.
“Wait! Adam! No!”
“What? You’re asking me not to shoot you?! After all the pain you’ve caused me, that’s the least I can do!”
“Adam, please don’t!”
I kept my guard up, but looked at him carefully. He was bruised and battered, his clothes ripped and ragged and his left arm badly damaged and hanging lifeless at his side.
“What happened to you?” I asked, my weapon still trained on him.
He looked at me “The Mysterons…” he said, before passing out. I shifted to catch him, and moving him onto the sofa. I sat near him, thinking. His voice sounded so different, it sounded just like it used to, before the mission to Mars.
He came to an hour later and looked at me. “You don’t trust me, do you?” he asked weakly.
“I don’t know how I can trust you. After what you did…” I looked away; I didn’t want to remember what I went through.
“I know what I did, but I did it out of my own control.”
“So why have you been released?”
“They told me they no longer needed me, from here they could continue without my help.” I looked passed the swollenness of his right eye to look into them carefully. I could see true fear in them.
“What happened to you?” I asked him, shuffling on the uncomfortable seat I was occupying.
“When I left Cloudbase, the Seniors asked me to somewhere, I don’t remember where. When I got there, they asked me to wait until someone showed up to tell me what to do. I thought this strange, they’d never done so before, but I did so anyway.” I watched him as he spoke; he seemed to be having a hard time relating to me what happened. “I waited there for over a month and a half, until last week. Four Mysteron agents arrived and started to attack me. At first I didn’t realise they were Mysterons and assumed the Seniors would help me, but they didn’t. I wasn’t like the other Mysteron agents, I didn’t get the retro-metabolic capabilities, I was just a puppet to them, one they controlled and moved as they pleased. I felt worse when I realised they’d released me from their control. I passed out almost straight after I felt them leave me. When I woke, I found my arm shattered and all the other injuries.”
I didn’t know what to say. I was tempted to believe him, but I was still incredulous as to where his loyalties truly lay. I thought hard about what he’d told me and about all the things that were filling my mind. My hand moved to rub the bump on the back of my head as I thought of something.
“Conrad?” He looked up at me. “How did you kill Colonel White?”
He averted his gaze, and lowered his head, closing his eyes tightly. “Charles…” he whispered. “Forgive me Charles…”
He and Colonel White had been very close friends for as long as I’d known them, longer. They met before the formation of Spectrum and remained close friends right up until his return as a Mysteron agent. It had come as a great shock to the Colonel when he found out that the Mysterons had taken his friend.
He looked back at me with sadness and despair in his eyes. “I killed him… Forgive me, Charles, please forgive me…” He covered his face with his hands. “I…” He took in a deep breath. “I can’t believe it, how could I have done such a thing?”
“Conrad, how? I never found him, I need to know!”
He turned to look at me. “When he was alone, I knocked him out and dragged him to his quarters. I…” He screwed his eyes shut as he spoke. “I hung him by his feet and slit his throat. He died a slow and painful death in his quarters. I hung him from a bar I’d hooked up in there before hand.” Throughout his clarification he began to shake, a movement that became progressively worse as he reached the end.
When he finished, I looked at him wide-eyed. How could he have done such a thing? No wonder I didn’t find the Colonel, though, if he’d been killed in his own quarters.
Then without warning, Turner suddenly jumped at me, grabbing the weapon from me. Not being ready for this action, he managed to obtain it from me, and I prepared myself for the worst.
I watched him carefully, waiting for him to raise the gun and use it on me, but he never did. When he raised it, I flinched slightly, then heard him say something.
“I can no longer live with what I’ve done!” he shouted. I knew instantly what he was about to do.
“Conrad, no!” I yelled, moving forwards to stop him, but I was too late. He squeezed the trigger and fell to the floor, a bullet in his head.
I sat there next to him, my head bowed. I offered a silent prayer for him, knowing that he had left this life not as a Mysteron, but with a conscience for his actions.
Since that day, I haven’t seen anyone. I have lived alone in this rundown jet with only my thoughts as company.
Every night I would look up at the stars knowing that the Mysterons could eradicate us whenever they wanted now we weren’t there to stop them.
Many times I found myself contemplating suicide, I had nothing to live for. I would be able to return to my friends and not be there when the Mysterons finally did move in.
Out of the 600 staff inhabiting Cloudbase, over 570 were killed, all of my closest friends included. The few survivors went to ground, but even then, most of them were killed.
The radio in the aircraft, being the only thing I kept in working order, was my only window to the outside world. By tuning into police reports, I was able to learn these things, but only feel regret at not being able to help and I dropped further into despondency.
As the days go by, I wonder how long left I have before the Mysterons will fulfil their promise of vengeance, and every day, I wish there was something, anything that I could do to prevent the inevitable.
A solitary figure stood at the top of a tall hill, watching the airstrip below him. He raised his binoculars to his eyes when he spotted the old jet, then carefully scanned all round the aircraft, but could see no sign of movement.
Lowering his binoculars, he slowly made his way down the side of the hill and over to the plane.
As he reached the craft, he put a hand on the side, as if remembering something. He remembered using these craft many times before. In his former life.
He shrugged the thought off and made his way round to the hatch. Opening it, he climbed in. Inside was dark and smelt musty, but he didn’t notice it. He moved through the craft with purpose, looking for something, or rather, someone.
He stepped into the back of the plane and found him. Lying on the old couch was the thin and pale form of Captain Blue. Crouching down, he looked at the officer and checked for a pulse, not expecting to find one. The Captain had been dead for some time now.
The man got up and looked about, straightening his tunic. He felt no emotions or feelings over finding the Spectrum officer dead; Mysterons felt no such things. He simply looked at him with curiosity, wondering how anyone could let themselves go, enough to lead to death. The officer had died with guilt and remorse filling his heart. He had starved himself and eventually, this led to his slow death. He knew this from what the Mysteron Seniors had told him, when they warned him of how he would find the officer. He was Black’s replacement, after all. The Mysteron Seniors believed him stronger than Black. More useful. That was why they wasted no time to re-Mysteronise him upon his death. Retaken him once again.
He sighed and tilted his head, closing his eyes. Within moments, two green circles moved through the compartment of the plane and rested over Blue’s body.
Soon after, a replica of the former Spectrum agent stood in front of him, ready to do the Mysterons bidding. “Captain Blue. You have been recreated in the services of the Mysterons. You’ll know what you’ll have to do.”
The recreated Captain Blue merely nodded his understanding and left the jet, but the other man stayed where he was.
He turned to look at the body of Captain Blue, the real Captain Blue. His eyes softened slightly as he pulled off his red tunic to cover the body’s face, his best friend and former partner. He looked at him for a moment, then turned away. His eyes once again cold, Captain Scarlet stepped out of the jet to complete his next mission.
This story suggests a possible ending to the Mysterons’ war of nerves. I have read a few stories where the war is won in favour of Spectrum and wanted to know the reaction of seeing a scenario where the Mysterons win. I didn’t mean to offend anyone when I wrote this, and I apologise now if I have.
Any comments? Send an E-MAIL to the SPECTRUM HEADQUARTERS site.