A 'Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons' story
by Vicki Lister
July 5th 2071
The woman gasped as she staggered back against the wall behind her. Her hand had flown to her bosom as the bullet entered her chest and she stared dumbfounded at the blood now blossoming over her fingers.
With her face screwed up with pain, she sank down against the back wall, gazing up at the man who stood over, his figure gently slipping in and out of focus.
“No… please…” she gasped, fighting off the cloudy haze that was fogging her vision.
“It’s too late. You should have known that I would get you… would track you down eventually.” She winced as his hard, dark voice pounded through her aching head. The man grimaced, and raised the gun once more, aiming it squarely between her eyes. The woman shook her head pleadingly, looking deep into the eyes of her colleague, her friend, searching for that old glimmer that she knew so well… But the cold eyes that gazed back into her own were wrought with hatred and disgust. She gave a sob of despair. His finger tightened on the trigger and she choked, tasting blood in her mouth.
“Please, please don’t do this…” she began, but it was useless. Adam Svenson pulled the trigger and a second gunshot rang around the chamber.
And he watched, a cruel smile lingering over his lips, as Rhapsody’s lifeless form sank to the floor.
March 31st 2071
Glancing at his watch once more, he sighed and sank back against the chair, his eyes flicking around the room restlessly. Captain Scarlet observed him over the top of his newspaper, struggling to suppress a grin.
“Problem, Adam?” he asked casually, returning to his paper, pretending not to notice the quick response from his colleague as he flipped his eyes round from the door where he had been looking.
“What? No…. of course not… why do you say that?” he remarked quietly, attempting to imitate his usual, casual voice, but failing miserably. Paul grinned at him, folding up his newspaper.
“Adam, you have just checked your watch four times in the last two minutes. What are you waiting for?”
“Wha... waiting for?” he asked. Paul gave a curt nod, arranging his features into an innocently puzzled expression.
“Nothing, Paul!” Adam laughed hollowly. Paul smirked.
“It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Angel patrol is due in, now would it?”
“Er… no… of course not…erm… are they? I had no idea…” Adam blushed and avoided his friend’s gaze as he picked up the discarded newspaper and began flicking through it.
“Adam.” Paul smiled gently as he watched his friend. “You don’t have to pretend you know. I know you well enough by now to know when you are lying to me.” Adam looked up and nodded with a defeated sigh.
“Oh all right. I was waiting for Symphony, ok? Are you happy now?” He frowned at Paul, annoyed as his friend’s face cracked into a triumphant grin. “No need to smirk about it.”
“Sorry, Adam,” he grinned happily and Adam grunted in response. “You finally gonna ask her out then?” Adam jerked involuntarily then muttered angrily as the newspaper slid out of his grasp… spreading itself over the floor.
“I can’t think what you mean,” he muttered, stuffing the papers back together and shoving them back on the table.
“Come on Adam.” Paul, no longer smiling, gazed at his partner. “You know perfectly well what I mean.” Adam surveyed him quietly then opened his mouth to speak but shut it again hurriedly as the chute doors slid open, and Destiny, Rhapsody and Symphony, extracting themselves from their seats, walked in. Paul grinned as Adam leapt to his feet. Destiny and Rhapsody grinned at Adam, and then settled themselves down next to Paul. Symphony, removing her helmet, wandered over.
“Hey Adam!” she smiled breezily, ignoring the hearty sniggers that were coming from the sofa. “You okay?” Adam nodded wordlessly. Paul sighed and nudged him with his boot, sending him forwards. He turned around and threw a disgruntled look back at Scarlet, who smiled at him innocently.
“Er… I was wondering…” he muttered, turning back to Symphony, “If you fancied coming out for a drink tonight. I’ve got leave you see, and I just wondered….”
“Great! I’d love to!” She smiled at the somewhat startled expression on Captain Blue’s face.
“You… you would? Great!” he grinned happily. “So… er… I’ll pick you up at 8?”
“8 it is,” she returned his smile and nodded gratefully. “I’ll see you then, ok?” Adam nodded reverently and sank back into the chair, trying- without much success- not to look too pleased with himself, as Symphony left the room.
“What?” he asked innocently at his three colleagues who were smirking at him. “I don’t know what you’re looking so happy about… it’s just a few drinks, between friends…”
“Course it is, Adam. You just keep telling yourself that,” replied Destiny with a grin. He gave her a withering look and climbed to his feet once more.
“Well, I must be going anyway… things to do…”
“Dates to prepare for…” continued Rhapsody and Paul simultaneously. Adam sighed and attempted a frown at them, but after a few seconds he gave up and grinned at them both.
“Whatever. See you later, guys…” And with that he left the Amber Room with a slight spring in his step. Paul shook his head in amusement as his partner left.
“If he was any happier he would be skipping,” remarked Paul with a grin. “It’s about time those two got themselves together.” Destiny nodded whilst Rhapsody observed Paul quietly. Noticing the direction of her gaze he turned to look at her. “What’s wrong?” he asked and she noted the subtle concern in his voice.
“Nothing,” she replied with a smile. “I was just thinking…”
“About what?” Scarlet leaned towards her, struggling to keep the curiosity out of his voice. Rhapsody smiled vaguely, biting her lip and looking at the floor.
“Well seeing as they are off out tonight… I was just wondering…”
“If I fancied coming out for a drink too?” Scarlet grinned as Rhapsody nodded blushingly. “I’d love to,” he replied, causing Rhapsody to look up again, smiling.
“You would? Great! Er… 8’o’clock?” Paul nodded happily and Rhapsody returned his grin, then stood up. “Well I’ll see you later then, Paul. See you, Destiny!” And with that she departed. Paul watched her go then sat back in his chair, pretending not to notice the mocking grin that Destiny was now throwing him. His eyes flickered over the paper once more, not really seeing it. Scarlet fought to keep a stern face as he felt a bubble of happiness rise within him at the prospect of a dinner date with Rhapsody.
March 31st 2071
Paul stopped dead, and felt his mouth drop open, as Rhapsody emerged from her quarters. “Heya Paul…” she trailed off seeing him staring at her unnervingly. “What? Why are you staring at me like that?” she asked worriedly.
“Nothing,” he replied quietly, shutting his mouth abruptly. “It’s just… you look stunning!” Rhapsody grinned and twirled around, her deep red floor-length dress springing out around her as she did so.
“Do you think so?” she remarked quietly. Paul smiled softly and wrapped his arm around her waist.
“I know so,” he murmured, as Rhapsody blushed furiously. “Come on, let’s get going.”
March 31st 2071
Adam watched Symphony quietly as she talked. It was strange, he remarked, how easy it was to talk to her. How comfortable he felt. He had been longing for this for months but at the same time he had been worried that he would mess it up somehow, that the words would get mixed up whilst en route to his mouth and he would end up saying something stupid or offensive, but it was in fact no harder than it was talking to Paul, or Rick. Symphony paused to take another sip from her glass. She watched him over the brim, surveying him silently.
“Adam…” she asked cautiously, lowering her glass.
“Why did you invite me here?” Adam reeled back at the question. Why? What did she mean? Was he supposed to have some ulterior motive? Wasn’t she enjoying herself? Adam’s mind flooded with panic as he searched frantically for an answer.
“Why? What do you mean, ‘why’?” Symphony smiled gently, amused by the sudden panic that she had evidently caused the self-conscious captain. She calmly reached across the table and took his hand.
“I meant why today suddenly? Was it just because you had leave or what?” Adam relaxed- but only slightly.
“Well… sort of… yes I suppose…” he mumbled.
“Sort of?” The Angel raised her eyebrows quizzically.
“Well… I’ve actually been trying to pluck up to courage to ask you for months” he mumbled, feeling his face flush red as his spoke. But Symphony simply smiled at him and gave his hand a squeeze.
“I’m glad you did. Cause I’ve been waiting for you too as well!” Adam looked up at her, wondering if she was joking, but the shy and embarrassed smile that she flashed him confirmed that she was telling the truth. He smiled back happily.
“Are you ready to order, sir?” Adam nodded at the waiter then proceeded to place his order.
April 1st 2071
“Come on, Paul, I know you’re hiding something.” Paul looked up from his cup, stirring his coffee and smiling in what he hoped was an innocent way.
“What? I’m not hiding anything!”
“Paul! You have been grinning to yourself all day! I’m not stupid you know!” Captain Scarlet struggled to suppress a grin as he seated himself opposite his colleague.
“Look at yourself Adam!” he retorted, both trying, and failing, to sound annoyed.
“Yes but we both know why I’m grinning. Why are you?” Paul sat back in chair smiling. Adam frowned at him. It was unlike his friend to keep secrets like this. He watched him for a while then sighed and gave up. “Fine,” he muttered angrily. “You wanna keep secrets then go ahead and be my guest.” Paul sighed at the irritated expression on his friend’s face. It wasn’t that he was trying to keep secrets from his comrade… it was just… things were complicated. If anything ever did happen between him and Rhapsody then he knew that Colonel White would have to be informed and he wasn’t sure that either he or Rhapsody were ready to face up to that just yet. No. It would be better if they kept it quiet… for now at least.
“I’m sorry Adam, it’s not that, it’s…” Paul watched his partner’s face as it gazed into his, curiously. “I’m grinning because…” He hesitated. “I’m grinning because Colonel White said yesterday that I’m being given an additional week of paid leave. I’m going to go to Spain I think,” he grinned guiltily. “I’m really looking forward to it.” He didn’t like lying to his friend but what choice did he have? Blue observed him for a moment but then thankfully he accepted his explanation without question. It wasn’t really a lie after all… he had been offered a week’s paid leave, in August, … it was just a slight adjustment from the truth, that was all.
“Anyway what about you? How did your date go last night?” Adam blushed and grinned. “Well then, I take it?” Adam nodded silently. Paul smiled at his friend and waited for him to continue, knowing that his excited nature would overcome his embarrassment sooner or later. He was right.
“It was perfect!” he gushed happily. “We’re going out again tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow? Wow she’s keen!”
“I know!” Blue smiled happily and Scarlet grinned at him. This was the happiest he’d seen his friend in months.
April 16th 2071
The woman stood waiting under the shelter of the bridge. Rain swept across the path in front of her and she shrank back against the stone wall behind her, pulling her black hood further forward to hide her face. A man appeared at the end of the lane, and walked down to meet her.
“How do I look?” asked the woman, pulling back the hood, and stepping out into the light of a nearby street lamp. He observed her quietly then nodded.
“Perfect. Did you get it?” The man’s deep voice echoed quietly, bouncing back off of the stone walls.
“Yes. It’s here.”
“Nope. They checked my image and asked me a few questions. There were going to give me a finger print scan, but I just fluttered my eyelashes at the security guy a few times and… presto,” she smiled darkly at the man who nodded his approval.
“You know what to do, then?” he enquired darkly. She nodded.
“I’m ready when you are. As soon as I get my next orders.”
“Good. I will contact you soon. Be ready.”
April 17th 2071
THIS IS THE VOICE OF THE MYSTERONS. WE KNOW THAT YOU CAN HEAR US, EARTH MEN; WE ARE TRANSMITTING ON ALL OF YOUR TELEVISION AND RADIO FREQUENCIES. ONE OF YOUR SPECTRUM AGENTS WILL BETRAY YOU ALL. OVER THE WEEKS AND MONTHS YOU WILL SUFFER GREATLY AT THE HANDS OF SOMEONE THAT YOU ONCE CALLED A FRIEND. YOU WILL PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR YOUR ACTS OF AGGRESSION ON MARS, EARTH MEN. YOU WILL BE BETRAYED.
April 17th 2071
“Lieutenant Green? Call an emergency conference. I want Captain’s Scarlet, Blue, Magenta and Ochre summoned to my office immediately to discuss the latest Mysteron threat.”
“Meanwhile I want you to start analysing our personnel files please. I want this traitor located.”
“Right away, Colonel.” The colonel merely grunted in response and sat himself down behind his desk. Within a few minutes the four captains were seated around the desk alongside him. He observed them all quietly.
“I trust you all heard the latest Mysteron threat,” he enquired. They all nodded.
“Do we have any suspects sir?” asked Scarlet.
“Not at this point Captain. The lieutenant is analysing a list of all of our Spectrum personnel in an attempt to find a possible target. But, apart from that, all we can really do is sit back and wait for them to make the first move.”
April 25th 2071
Rhapsody Angel moaned softly and turned over in her sleep, her soft red hair flowing over her pillow. A shadow paused outside the door, listening hard, listening for the soft and steady breathing that comes with sleep. As the desired sound reached his ears, he smiled, leaning over to type in the personal code to the door lock. With a soft beep the door slid open and the figure stepped inside, sliding it shut behind him.
Rhapsody stirred slightly but slept on soundlessly. The figure advanced.
A floorboard creaked underfoot, causing Rhapsody’s eyes to snap open, but as she was facing away from the door this action went unnoticed. The shadow moved on, causing Rhapsody to freeze and brace herself for attack. As his cold fingers closed over her shoulder she flipped round delivering an expert karate chop to his head. The figure gave a startled yell of pain and surprise and staggered backwards, crashing to the floor. Rhapsody leapt out of bed ready to continue to attack. Paul moaned weakly from the floor, and Rhapsody, recognising the voice quickly switched on the light then covered her mouth in horror when she realised the identity of the intruder.
“Ow! Dianne, that hurt!” he groaned feebly. She hurriedly knelt down beside him, biting her lip to stop the laughter escaping from her lips.
“I’m so sorry, Paul, I didn’t realise it was you!”
“Jeez, are you this welcoming to all your boyfriends?”
“No, just the ones that try to sneak up on me when I’m sleeping!” Although Paul complained she knew that he didn’t mind really, after all, it wasn’t as if he was going to be permanently injured, now was it? Even as she watched she could see the blood on his forehead slowing and drying as the skin knitted itself back together.
“I wanted to surprise you!”
“Well you did, and once more I had the pleasure of surprising you back!” She smiled at him and pulled his arm around her shoulders, dragging him to his feet. He moaned again and with her help staggered over the bed, making a big show of groaning with each movement and holding his hand to his bleeding head. “Oh trust you to milk it for all it’s worth!” She smiled at him again and went into the bathroom, returning with a damp flannel which she then used to mop him up. He sat watching her quietly as she cleaned the already half healed wound.
“Sorry Rhapsody, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“For the last time, Paul, call me Dianne, please. And it’s ok. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
“Yeah well I’m sure you can always find a way to make it up to me…” he remarked quietly smiling at her gently. She studied him closely then neatly folded up the flannel, leaving it on the bedside table.
“Oh really? And what might that be?” she enquired with a grin. Paul smiled broadly as he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into a soft embrace. Her arms wound around him and she murmured softly into his ear… “Oh… so that’s what you have in mind, is it?”
April 26th 2071
“Colonel, I have Spectrum Headquarters, London, on the line. They need to speak with you Sir. They say it’s urgent.”
“All right, Lieutenant, put them through.”
“Colonel White? This is Agent Blackburn, Spectrum Security. I need to discuss a minor break in with you that took place yesterday.”
“A break in? At Spectrum Headquarters?”
“Yes sir. That’s why we are contacting you. We think that this is linked to the Mysteron threat.”
“The items stolen were several papers and reports concerning Spectrum and Cloudbase. Documents that would be of little use to thieves but which are of great importance to Spectrum. Documents that could prove to be devastating if they fell into the hands of the Mysterons.”
“I see. Do we have anything to go on?”
“Well, we know that it must have been an inside job. The safe where the documents were being kept can only be opened by Spectrum personnel with a Spectrum ID card.”
“So this could be the traitor that the Mysterons were referring to?”
“Well it certainly looks that way sir. I’m sending details of the theft through to your central mainframe. Such as, times, etc. I want you to do a run down of all the Spectrum personnel with ID cards that were off duty during that time.
“Yes sir. I will get Lieutenant Green to report any findings we have.”
April 26th 2071
“I have that report, Colonel.”
“Well done, Lieutenant. Any leads?”
“Well sir, Captains Ochre and Magenta were off but they can confirm each other’s alibis sir. The report states that the break in occurred between the hours of 12 o’clock, midnight and 1:30 am. In order to reach there in time, the traitor would have to have left Cloudbase by 11 pm at the latest. They each confirm that they stayed up in the Amber Room for a nightcap until 11:30pm.”
“Very well, Lieutenant, you may strike them from your list. I trust the security footage in the Amber Room has been checked?”
“Yes, sir, their stories check out.”
“Very well, who else?”
“Rhapsody and Symphony Angels were both off duty too sir. Captain Blue says that he…er… met up with Symphony after his and Captain Scarlet’s shifts ended at midnight, so that cancels her out.”
“Very well. What about Rhapsody?”
“She says she was alone in her room all night. Her shift ended at 10pm so she certainly had the time to get there, but Rhapsody wouldn’t….”
“Don’t allow your personal feelings to interfere, Lieutenant,” replied the colonel sharply. The lieutenant’s dark cheeks flushed slightly and he stared resolutely at the screen in front of him.
“So she’s a possibility then. Anyone else?”
“No sir. She is the only one with a Spectrum ID pass who would have had the ability to get there in time. Everyone one else was on duty sir.” The colonel nodded solemnly.
“Very well. Please inform the London Headquarters of this.”
“Yes sir. What about Rhapsody?”
“What about her? We have no proof that she has done anything wrong. It may well have been another member of Spectrum from one of the other bases. She remains on duty unless we find any evidence that we should do otherwise.”
“Yes, Colonel White.”
April 30th 2071
“RHAPSODY!!!” Rhapsody stumbled forwards, covering her ears with her hands in response to this sudden outburst. Rubbing her ears, she turned around to see Captain Scarlet running full pelt down the corridor towards her. Smiling at the worried looking captain, she removed her hands from her ears.
“Hey Paul. Sorry I didn’t quite hear you then… some idiot felt like bellowing my name and I seem to have gone temporarily deaf as a result.” Paul frowned at her light hearted humour as he reached her.
“Dianne I’ve been looking for you everywhere! Where were you?” The Angel looked into his eyes, frowning at the concerned look on the fellow Spectrum officer’s face.
“Sorry, I was in sickbay. Why, what’s wrong? Has something happened?”
“You’re under suspicion, you know, for the robbery at the headquarters!” he hissed, glancing around worriedly as he did so. Rhapsody hung her head, her strawberry blonde hair spilling out over her shoulders.
“I know,” she muttered thickly. Paul sighed and slipped his hand under her chin raising her head until he was looking straight into her eyes.
“Why didn’t you tell them? I could have given you an alibi!”
“But we agreed to keep it quiet, Paul!” she whispered softly. “It doesn’t matter if they suspect me. I know I’m innocent, you know I’m innocent, and sooner or later they will catch the real culprit and then everyone will know that.” Paul nodded silently, appreciating the sacrifice that she was making for their relationship. He drew his arms around her as she buried her head in his shoulder.
“It’s ok,” he murmured softly. “I’m here. It’s going to be fine.” She nodded bleakly, but as the memory of their conversation washed over Scarlet he froze slightly, pulling her back from his shoulder.
“You were in sickbay?” he asked. Rhapsody smiled at the pained look of worry that was now spread over the young Captain’s handsome face.
“Yes,” she smiled tauntingly. “I was getting some sleeping pills, I’ve not been sleeping that brilliantly lately.” Scarlet frowned confused and she smiled at him, snuggling against him once more. “You snore, Paul.”
May 12th 2071
Symphony gasped and her hands flew to her mouth as she gazed around the room in rapt silence.
“Adam… this is so… incredible!” The room was covered in flowers and there were candles glowing softly in each of the four corners. Lying on the bed was a large present wrapped in gold paper. Adam appeared at her shoulder smiling sheepishly.
“You like it?” The Angel in front of him turned around and wrapped her arms around him, planting a soft kiss on his lips.
“I love it. But you didn’t have to do all this…”
“I know I didn’t but I wanted to. It’s our six week anniversary, you know!”
She smiled at him warmly. “I know,” she whispered. “But I still can’t believe that you did all this for me.” Captain Blue smiled and drew her into a kiss, closing the door behind him.
May 20th 2071
“Colonel White? There’s been another break in. A Spectrum pass was used to rob a top security vault in New York yesterday.”
“What was stolen?”
“The research of a top nuclear scientist. He was working on a new chemical explosive.” The colonel sighed.
“Another typical Mysteron target. What time?”
“It was in the morning sir. It’s estimated that the robbery occurred somewhere between the hours of 9am and midday.”
“Yesterday morning? Didn’t Rhapsody Angel request to have yesterday morning off?”
After a fractional pause the young man sighed and confirmed the colonel’s suspicions with a nod. The colonel sighed and bowed his head. “I’m going to have to report this to London Headquarters. Have Rhapsody Angel summoned to my office will you, Lieutenant.”
“Yes sir,” replied the lieutenant, sounding much more saddened than his usual upbeat self. With a glum voice he bent over the radio and muttered “Rhapsody Angel, report to Colonel White’s office immediately.”
May 20th 2071
Tears streaming down her face, Rhapsody ran blindly through the maze of corridors, searching for her own quarters… searching for somewhere to hide… to be alone. Salt tears blinded her vision as she ran on, stumbling blindly without a clue where she was or where she was running to. A blue haze moved into her line of vision, but with less than a second to react, the collision both seemed, and was, inevitable. White and pale blue pounded to the floor in a jumble of colours and body parts with the owners of each moaning greatly and trying to no avail to extract themselves from the other. Adam groaned and pulled himself up, rubbing his arm.
“Rhapsody? Are you ok?” She nodded numbly, trying subtly to wipe her face on her sleeve. Please she thought desperately I can’t be seen looking like this! Adam frowned at her and pulled her arm away, seeing the tears spouting from her eyes before she had a chance to cover them.
“Rhapsody?” he asked incredulously. “Rhapsody what’s wrong?” Rhapsody just shook her head desperately and scrambled to her feet, looking for somewhere else to flee to but Adam was too quick. Leaping to his feet, he pulled her round to face him.
“Rhapsody what is it?” he asked, so softly that the Angel felt herself weakening.
“It’s Colonel White,” she sniffed at last. “He’s… he’s suspending me from duty.” The Angel fought hard against the wave of emotion that those last four words brought, but struggled to hide the agony that she was feeling. Adam stepped back in surprise.
“Suspending you? Why? What for?”
“There’s been another break in. In New York. It happened whilst I was on leave and they think I did it. He says that although they can’t convict me without proof, he feels that it is ‘his duty to protect Spectrum’ and in order to do so he feels that he has to suspend me.” Adam nodded, not knowing what to say. Of course he’d heard the rumours going round but had always scoffed at them. Rhapsody would never do anything like that, but now it looked as though the evidence was stacked against her.
“For how long?” he enquired quietly.
“Indefinitely,” she mumbled. “Basically until they find out who’s really behind all this.” She wiped her face resolutely. “I’m sorry Adam, I’ve got to go.”
“Are you sure you should be alone right now?” he enquired delicately. “Do you want me to get Symphony to stop by?” She shook her head sadly.
“No, thank you. I think I would rather be alone.” He nodded, watching her as she trailed off, head drooping. Could Rhapsody really be behind all this?
May 20th 2071
Adam held up the jewellery box, tilting it forward so that the other Spectrum officers could see the glittering mound of sparkling diamond within it.
“Ah man! Talk about rock samples, you must have half the world’s supply of carbon wrapped up in that thing!” Blue smiled at Captain Ochre as he said this.
“A fair amount of it, yes, thank you Rick.”
“Isn’t this a bit soon Adam?” asked Magenta. Adam frowned at him, but it was Paul that spoke first.
“Who cares? It may have been only two months since they started going out but it’s been a lot longer since they first fell for each other! As far as I’m concerned you two are made for each other, mate, it’s just a shame that it took you both such a long time to realise it!” Adam grinned at him thankfully.
“True. And I can see that you’re going to make the perfect best man. Or at least do a good speech.” Paul shook his head laughing.
“No way mate, I’ll be your best man gladly but for me that’s just about as soppy as it’s going to get!” Rick and Pat laughed at that whilst Adam just raised his eyebrows at his friend.
“So when are you going to get married? Ooh, you should have it at Halloween, it’s the perfect setting and it will give you plenty of time to prepare!” Rick burbled excitedly.
“You and your Halloween, Rick,” replied Patrick with a grin, shaking his head in mock despair.
Adam laughed. “Hold your horses you two, I haven’t even proposed yet!”
Rick smiled sheepishly whilst Paul hooted with laughter. “So you’re going to go all out then? All Angel bridesmaids…. The full works?” Paul asked with a grin.
“That’s the plan? Apart from Rhapsody obviously… I guess that depends on the…er.. ‘situation’ with her at the time.” Adam smiled, slightly confused as his friend’s smile faded.
“What situation?” he enquired quietly, trying to keep his voice light and jokey. Adam gave his partner a surprised look.
“Well you know, what with her getting suspended and all…” He trailed off at the look of horror on Paul’s face.
“What do you mean, suspended? Why?”
“Well after the break in New York she’s quite a heavy suspect I think,” replied Adam, confused by his friend’s behaviour.
Paul scrambled to his feet. “Is she ok? I’d better go and see her.”
Adam stood up, his brow furrowed. “Paul, she said she wants to be alone. Why are you so concerned anyway?” Adam asked, stepping back in alarm at the look of fury that Paul shot him as he headed out the door.
“I’m her friend, Adam,” he replied, striding out the door.
May 20th 2071
A furious banging on her door raised Rhapsody from her state of half collapse on the floor. Her, and half the dead. She staggered over to the door, wiping her face on a tissue as she did so. “Who is it?” she slurred half heartedly through the door.
“It’s Paul, will you let me in?”
Rhapsody scowled and pressed the button next to the door, causing it to slide open. Paul stepped in and looked around for a moment before spotting her. Shutting the door quietly, he stepped over to her. “Why are you sitting in the dark?” he asked softly, quickly removing the whisky glass from her fingers.
“Dark’s nice…” she muttered sleepily, sliding down the wall next to the drinks table. Paul sat himself down next to her, wrapping one arm around her and pulling her close to him. “I’m going, Paul,” she whispered miserably. “I’m leaving Cloudbase.”
He frowned at her. “Don’t be silly, you’re not going anywhere, you’re just drunk, that’s all.”
“I’ve been suspended…”
“I know you have but that doesn’t mean that you are getting kicked out, Dianne!” He tried to give her a hug but she pushed him away angrily.
“I know it doesn’t but I don’t care. I’m leaving. I’ve got a flight booked for tomorrow. There’s no point in staying here if I can’t work.” As he listened, Paul felt a heavy weight falling through his stomach. He stared at her….leaving? She can’t… she couldn’t leave…
“Rhapsody, you can’t leave! They made a mistake, they’ll realise soon…” He trailed off at the sight of her shaking her head sadly. “Please, Rhapsody, Spectrum needs you. I need you!” Rhapsody sighed and slid over to him, wrapping her arms around him and resting her head on his chest. He clung to her desperately, not wanting to let go.
“I’m sorry, Paul. I’ll miss you too but I can’t stay. My mind’s made up. I leave tomorrow.”
“Tomorrow? But… but what about me?” he asked quietly. She smiled up at him sadly.
“I love you, Paul, but I can’t stay here for you. It won’t be for long. Just until this gets sorted. It’s for the best.”
Paul nodded sadly, stooping his head to give her a kiss. “I’m going to miss you,” he whispered. She sighed and hugged him closer. Paul shook his head. “No, I’m not giving in this easily. What were you doing the morning of that break in anyway? Weren’t you on patrol?”
“No, I had the day off. I was on leave.”
“Where?” he asked, but Rhapsody only shook her head in response.
May 28th 2071
“All Senior Personnel, please report to Central Control immediately, this is a red alert, repeat, all senior personnel to Central Control immediately…” Captain Scarlet looked up as the cool female voice sounded the red alert through the Officers’ Lounge. Captain Blue was already on his feet, waiting for his partner to rise alongside him.
“Come on Paul, we’d better get going,” he said impatiently. Paul grunted in response, sliding his newspaper down onto the table before climbing to his feet. Adam sighed as they headed out of the room. Paul had been so moody lately, and he couldn’t work out why. For the week since Rhapsody left he had been so quiet and sullen, very unlike his usual self. He had taken to spending the majority of his off-duty time alone in his room, and it was only by sheer force that he had managed to drag him out today for a quick cup of coffee before their shift.
“Paul… are you sure you’re ok?”
“Fine.” His monosyllabic and emotionless reply made Adam shiver slightly. He hated it when Paul spoke like that. It reminded him of when Paul was under Mysteron control…
“Are you sure? It just seems like ever since Rhapsody left…”
“Rhapsody should never have left Cloudbase. She was innocent.” His sharp reply was tinted with a rare anger that made Adam look up in surprise.
“She chose to leave, Paul. It was her own decision. I didn’t realise that you two were so close…”
“We’re not. She’s just a friend.” Paul sighed and headed on towards Central Control, pulling ahead of his partner and leaving him to trail after him alone. He entered Central Control a few seconds after Scarlet and hurriedly seated himself between Captains Ochre and Magenta, all who were awaiting his arrival. Captain Grey smiled at him quickly as he slid into his seat. Once he had sat down Colonel White cleared his throat and turned to address them all.
“I called you all here to discuss a very serious matter that has arisen. There has been another robbery. The Spectrum Headquarters in Washington D.C. were broken into a few hours ago by a senior member of staff of the Spectrum organisation.”
At last though Captain Scarlet silently. Rhapsody is in England, so at least they can’t pin it on her this time.
“A staff list of personal details for all the senior members of Spectrum was stolen. If this fell into the hands of the Mysterons then it would prove to be devastating.”
“What sort of details did the list include?” asked Magenta quickly.
“Specific names and addresses. Family details. Details that could be used to blackmail individual members of Spectrum.” Magenta nodded gravely.
“Do we have any leads sir? Rhapsody’s in England at the moment, isn’t she?” asked Captain Ochre curiously, not noticing the sharp glance from his fellow Spectrum Agent as he muttered the Angel’s name. Colonel White only sighed and lowered his head in reply.
“Roll the footage, Lieutenant,” he muttered gravely. The seven men in the room turned to look at the oval screen as the image of a high security vault flickered onto it.
“This is footage from one of the security cameras,” remarked Lieutenant Green, somewhat sadly. The five captains watched silently, as a slender figure, clad in black, crept onto the screen. She performed an impressive back flip onto the top of one of the motion sensors in the corner of the room. She fitted it quickly with a mirror, causing the laser beam to bounce back into itself, disabling the alarm. The woman then flipped back onto the floor and used a small detonation device to open the main vault doors. As she heaved back the heavy door, her black hood slid down, revealing her face. It was Rhapsody. Her light red hair was tied back in a pony tail and she smiled sinisterly into the camera before heading off back out the door, clutching the papers. Captains Blue and Ochre gasped whilst Captain Magenta simply nodded in somewhat stunned but accepting shock. Captain Grey stared blankly at the screen, quietly accepting what he already knew. Captain Scarlet stared open mouthed at the screen, unable to accept what he was seeing. No… no surely… not Rhapsody… it couldn’t be… But wait. It couldn’t be. Looking at the time display in the bottom right hand corner told Scarlet that the robbery occurred at 4:03 in the afternoon. That would make it about 9pm in England. A time at which he was speaking to Rhapsody on the phone.
“All of Cloudbase is now on red alert. Rhapsody has now been positively identified as the Mysteron threat.” Colonel White’s sharp words broke through the shocked haze that was enveloping Scarlet’s mind, breaking his chain of thought.
“She must be located and brought in before she can cause any further damage, and before this list is handed over to the Mysterons. I have fed her photograph into the police system in America, under the pretence that she is an international terrorist. If she is caught on any security camera in America, then we will know.”
“What if she’s escaped overseas, sir?” asked Blue, glancing worriedly at his pale friend sitting opposite him as he did so.
“Although that is a possibility, as only two hours have elapsed since the crime, I think that it is safe to assume that she is still in the U.S. As soon as she is sighted, Angel One will be dispatched to capture her, with Angels two and three and two captains as backup.” The captains all nodded in agreement, apart from Captain Scarlet who continued to stare up at the screen, a shocked and somewhat dazed and confused expression on his handsome face.
“You four,” he said, indicating Scarlet, Blue, Magenta and Ochre, “will take it in turns, in shifts, to be on standby in case she is sighted. Six hours on, six hours off, round the clock, until she is caught. Captains Ochre and Magenta will be on duty first tonight. I want Captains Blue and Scarlet ready to relieve them at 0600 hours tomorrow. Captain Grey will continue his usual duties but will stand in for any captains that find themselves indisposed during their shift.”
“Yes sir,” rang hollowly through the room as the five men muttered their response.
“Very well. Dismissed.” Four colourfully clad Spectrum captains rose heavily to their feet and headed out the door. Once outside, Captain Scarlet speeded up suddenly and strode off in the direction of his quarters. Captain Blue watched him then followed him quickly, running to catch up with him as he turned the corner.
“Paul! Hey, Paul!” Adam sprinted around the corner and immediately collided with a mass of red tunic, which had paused just around the corner to see who was yelling to it. Adam staggered backwards and fell over, whilst Paul hurriedly scrambled back onto his feet.
“What?” he grumbled, brushing down his scarlet jacket and offering a hand to his friend, who took it gratefully.
“I just… I just wanted to check you were ok. What with Rhapsody…” Adam fell silent and Paul’s face tightened dramatically as the Angel’s name escaped his mouth.
“It wasn’t her,” he muttered darkly before turning around and heading off down the corridor again. Adam watched him go sadly, knowing that it would be useless to follow him. Maybe he just needed some time alone, he remarked thoughtfully. He had received a great shock when the woman’s hood fell back. He’d been the one person that seemed truly convinced of Rhapsody’s innocence. Adam sighed and headed back to his own quarters. Symphony Angel would be off duty in a couple of hours and he wanted everything to be perfect for his special night…
May 28th 2071
“Dianne? Dianne, are you there? Pick up please! Dianne? DIANNE?”
“Ok ok, Paul, I’m here! Jeez, no need to shout!”
“Sorry, what took you so long?”
“I was in bed! What’s wrong? Has something happened? You sound worried.” Paul couldn’t help smiling a little at that. That was so like her. She was always so concerned with everyone else, always first to notice when someone was upset…
“Paul? Paul, come on, we spoke two hours ago. If you’re phoning me again then it means that something’s happened. What is it?”
Paul swallowed hard and told her about the third break in.
“But… but that means I’m off the hook. You said it was in Washington, right? And they know I’m here. And if they got security footage…”
“Yes they did. Of you.” A stunned silence followed this sudden announcement.
“What? What do you mean ‘of me’?” she asked shakily.
“Exactly what I say. They have footage of you robbing the vault, Rhapsody. They think you’re in America. You’re wanted by the police.”
“How… I don’t understand…” Rhapsody’s weak and panicky voice throbbed in his head, making his heart twist with worry and concern. “Paul, you believe me, don’t you? I’ve been here! In England! How could I have got over to the U.S. so quickly?”
“Of course I believe you, I was on the phone to you when it happened, so unless there are two of you…” Paul froze as the words left his mouth.
“Paul? Paul are you still there?” Rhapsody’s voice echoed in the handset as it slid through his fingers and dropped to the floor. Staggering, he sank to his knees fumbling to yank out the phone chord as he did so. It has been his idea to use an old fashioned phone instead of a video link, as they didn’t want Spectrum to know that they had been in contact with each other. As the old phone wasn’t wired into the central control computer it was a lot harder to trace. His heart ached as his mind reached for the only possible conclusion. Rhapsody was a Mysteron. She must have teleported there or had another Mysteron on the end of the phone, using him as an alibi whilst she robbed the Spectrum Headquarters of vital information. Scarlet sank down to the floor fighting against the surge of helpless tears that were collecting on the edges of his eyelashes. He gave up and howled into the carpet, arms wrapped around his knees with his hand pressed into his chest as he sobbed bitterly.
I’m gonna get them for this he hissed angrily to the floor. They are going to PAY!
May 29th 2071
Symphony rubbed the back of her neck tiredly. God she thought these 8 hour shifts will be the death of me I swear. She quickly typed in the code to her quarters and staggered in through the door, ready to collapse onto the bed. But the bed she turned to didn’t have a wrinkled quilt lying half on the bed and half on the floor, as it usually did. Its pillows weren’t strewn haphazardly across the mattress, and it wasn’t dotted with assorted garments that she had carelessly flung onto the bed after changing out of them. The bed had been made using a navy blue quilt, with a gold pattern over the top. White rose petals had been sprinkled across the duvet, spelling out the words ‘I LOVE YOU’. Symphony stared open mouthed at the three words, noticing for the first time the small jewellery box that had been placed on the pillow. Her stereo system suddenly switched itself on, and she smiled as the opening words of Aerosmith’s song ‘I don’t wanna close my eyes’ reached her ears. She slowly made her way around the bed, plucking the small box from the pillow as she reached it. It opened with a soft click and Symphony smiled, surprised, at the small key that lay within it. Her thin fingers deftly plucked out and unfolded the small piece of paper that was folded into the lid.
FINDERS KEEPERS! XXX
Symphony smiled at the note then turned over the paper to look at the roughly drawn map on the back of the slip. It was a drawing of her room, with a smiling picture of her where she was standing. There was a dotted line leading her into the bathroom, where there was a picture of Adam. She opened the door to the bathroom, and was immediately showered with more white rose petals. In the middle of the floor was a large treasure chest with a fancy lock. Symphony carefully used the key to open the chest and threw back the lid. Sitting on a bed of navy silk, was the most gorgeous gold engagement ring that Symphony had ever seen. As she gazed at it, Adam slipped in behind her, gently placing two hands over her eyes.
“Guess who…” he murmured softly into her ear. Symphony turned around, smiling at him, with one tear trickling down her cheek. Adam picked up the ring from the chest, sinking down onto one knee as he did so.
“Karen, ever since I first laid eyes on you I have loved you. More than you could ever know. You are my world. Karen Wainwright, will you marry me?”
May 30th 2071
Paul groaned as the shrill ringing of the videophone cut through his aching head. He raised his head and gazed around his darkened room blearily. He could just make out the dusty outline of a bottle of Jack Daniels lying on its side on the floor. He groaned again and dragged himself out of bed and towards the still-sounding videophone. He rubbed his eyes and yawned, pressing the ‘RECEIVE’ button as he did so. Rhapsody’s image materialised on the screen in front of him. He started backwards and suddenly realised that he was standing in nothing but his boxers.
“Paul? Hey do you always answer the phone like this?” Rhapsody smiled at the sleepy captain as he scowled and grabbed a shirt, yanking it on over his head, causing his dark hair to spring up around his head. Rhapsody suppressed a smile.
“Are you ok? I’ve been calling you frantically since you hung up on me the other day…”
“We’re not supposed to keep in contact via videophone, Rhapsody,” replied Paul flatly. Rhapsody started a little, stung by his curt and emotionless tone.
“I know,” she replied shakily. “But you unplugged the phone. I was worried…Are you avoiding me, Paul? I… I thought you believed me…”
“I don’t know what to believe. Look, Rhapsody, I’ve got to go. Don’t contact me again, we’ll be caught.”
Tears misted Rhapsody’s eyes as she stared at Paul’s cold exterior, gazing into his emotionless eyes. “Paul? Paul what’s happened? Why are you being like this?”
“I’m not being like anything. I’ve got to go. I’m due on patrol in a minute.”
“Patrol… you mean… to catch me…”
Paul turned back to look at her, as tears brimmed in her eyes and she turned away from the camera. He couldn’t help it. He still loved her. “Don’t worry, Rhapsody,” he whispered softly, as she turned her tear streaked face back towards him. “It’s going to be fine. We’re going to work this out…”
An alarm sounded over his head. He jumped and gazed up at the flashing light above his head.
“What’s happened?” asked Rhapsody quickly “What’s that alarm?”
“It means… it means you’ve been sighted…” said Paul slowly. Rhapsody stared at him, confused and scared.
“Paul, what’s going on? I don’t like this.”
“I don’t know. I’ve got to go. Speak to you later.”
Rhapsody nodded. “Ok. See ya.”
“Bye.” The screen went blank and Paul scrambled around his room, pulling on clothes hurriedly and trying to ignore the stabbing pains in his head as he did so.
May 30th 2071
“Launch all Angels, Lieutenant. We have her.”
“SIG, Colonel,” replied the black lieutenant, pressing the radio call button. “Angel One immediate launch.”
“SIG.” Around them they heard the sound of Symphony Angel taking off.
“Angels two and three, immediate launch.”
“SIG.” Destiny and Melody headed on up to their planes and were in the air moments later.
“Which captains are on duty at the moment?” asked Colonel White, turning away to face the observation deck.
“Blue and Scarlet just came on duty sir.”
“Good. Send them out too.”
May 30th 2071
“Paul, come on!” Captain Blue’s sharp words cut across his colleague’s mind, startling him out of his puzzled trance.
“What?” he asked, forcing his mind to return to the present situation.
“Paul, you’ve been in a daydream ever since we left! This is so unlike you, not to focus on a mission, especially such an important one!” Adam spared his friend a quick and worried look before returning back to his controls. They were currently flying over the Indian Ocean.
“I’m sorry, it’s just… there’s something not quite right about this.” Adam frowned as Paul resumed his thoughts, gazing out the window as he did so.
This doesn’t make sense he thought. This means that there must be two Rhapsodys running around out there, but why would the Mysterons make two reconstructions? But then…what if one of the Rhapsodys is still real? But if that’s the case, why didn’t the Mysterons kill her off? Unless… unless they wanted us to kill her off… to kill off the real Rhapsody… if there is one, that is…
“Penny for your thoughts?”
Paul started slightly and turned to look at his friend. “You what?”
Adam smiled gently at his colleague. “You look like you’ve got a lot on your mind.”
“I have,” he mumbled, disgruntled. Adam sighed, turning back to face the control panel. ‘If he felt like discussing it, then he would’ he told himself sternly. But all the same he couldn’t help but worry about his fellow captain. He had the feeling that he’d been hiding something from him for a while now, but even if he was then there wasn’t really anything that he could do about it. It was Paul’s choice what he did and did not tell him. But then… he had hoped that he meant a bit more to his friend than that.
May 30th 2071
“Central control, this is Symphony Angel. I have visual contact with the suspect. She is heading South South East down highway 101, in a black saloon, just south of the village of Newton.”
“SIG, Symphony. Maintain visual contact from the air. Captains Blue and Scarlet will be with you shortly.”
“SIG. She’s heading for an old farm. She’s getting out…oh no, she’s going after the SPV!”
Back in Central Control the younger lieutenant turned to his superior.
“But sir! How is that possible? How could she get an SPV? Didn’t she hand in her Spectrum ID badge when she was suspended?”
“Yes, Lieutenant, she did, but I guess she’s found a way to make a seemingly legitimate copy of it. Besides, she’s well known as an Angel now. It wouldn’t difficult for her to get a new one under the pretence that she lost one or something.”
“But sir, they always do Mysteron checks before handing out new ID badges, don’t they?”
“Yes, Lieutenant, in which case there are only two possible options. Either someone got sloppy at the Agency Supply Board, which is unlikely, or she’s not a Mysteron.” The lieutenant’s dark cheeks paled considerably at the colonel’s last four words.
“Not… not a Mysteron? You mean… she’s doing this out of free will?” His question was answered by a swift look from his Senior Officer. “No…” He spluttered. “No… she wouldn’t… not Rhapsody…” The colonel sighed wearily and laid a hand on his assistant’s shoulder.
“I’m sorry, Lieutenant. I know that you liked her a lot. But you must accept that she is no longer one of us.”
Green nodded harshly, lowering his head to shield his damp eyes from his Commanding Officer.
“I’m sorry, sir,” he muttered.
May 30th 2071
The red vehicle pulled up into the gas station and Captain Scarlet exited the car and stepped up to the mechanic who pulled himself out from underneath the car he was working on to address the man standing over him.
“Can I help?” he asked.
“Captain Scarlet, here for SPV 482.” The man nodded and pulled himself to his feet.
“Your identification please?” The dark haired man unfolded his ID and presented it to the man. Nodding, the mechanic leaned behind his desk and flipped a switch. There was a large clang from nearby as a parked lorry broke apart, revealing the SPV.
“Thank you.” As the Spectrum Agent headed off towards the SPV he was joined by his blond colleague and together they climbed in and headed off down the road, leaving the mechanic to get back to his work.
May 30th 2071
“We are heading down highway 101 in pursuit of the rogue agent. We do not yet have visual contact but she should be in sight in the next 7 minutes.”
“SIG, Captain Blue. Let us know when you have her,” came the crisp reply before the radio went dead. Captain Blue sighed and pedalled the accelerator. Captain Scarlet looked up in momentary alarm.
“Easy, Adam, we don’t want to crash!”
“No, but we do want to catch her. It’s a hard thing to do considering she’s in an SPV too, with a ten minute lead on us!” Captain Scarlet sighed heavily and nodded.
“I guess you’re right,” he remarked thoughtfully.
“Symphony Angel to Captain Blue.” Adam’s mike lowered to his mouth before he responded.
“Yes, Symphony? What’s wrong?”
“I have lost sight of the target. She turned off over some open moor land and she’s sheltered by the trees.”
“SIG Symphony. Keep patrolling the area and let us know if you catch sight of her again. Can you send us the co-ordinates of where she turned off please?”
“Yep, they’re coming through now.”
“SIG. Blue out.” His mike returned to his cap and he continued driving, pressing the pedal even further into the floor. Paul watches him thoughtfully.
“So. Did you ever get round to asking her?”
“Asking who what?” his colleague replied innocently, avoiding eye contact. Paul smiled, knowing what the answer would be. He leant forward.
“She said yes didn’t she?” he remarked with a grin. Adam’s boyish face cracked into an ear-splitting grin and he nodded frantically. Paul smiled at his best friend’s laughter.
“Yep! And you’re now looking at the happiest guy on Cloudbase!”
“With a grin like that you look more like the happiest guy in America!”
Adam laughed. “What about you anyway? You got any gals in mind at the moment?” Paul’s stomach clenched painfully at the thought of the one girl that had been on his mind almost constantly…
“No. Not at the moment,” he replied easily.
“Aww shame! I don’t know why though, you always seem to be a personal favourite of any and all female personnel…”
“Mayday mayday. I am under attack. Incoming fire from the SPV.” A panicky female voice broke in over the radio and Adam, recognising the voice of his fiancée, gave a strangled cry and started speaking in a stricken voice into his mike.
“Symphony? Symphony where are you?”
“Over the moors, am taking evasive action.”
“Symphony return fire!”
“It’s too late… no! Missile lock, I have missile lock!”
“GET OUT OF THERE!” Adam screamed maniacally. There was a resounding crash and the radio went dead. Adam went white.
“Adam, don’t worry, she probably ejected…” started Paul quickly, but Adam ignored him. Paul gave a startled yell as they shot forward at 180 miles per hour, speeding frantically over the pebbly road.
May 30th 2071
Symphony drifted down towards the floor, watching the crashed SPV wearily. She had fired back at the last moment before she ejected, an action which would have been impossible a moment later. The missile had struck home, causing the SPV to career off and crash into a tree. But the back facing seat would have saved the driver surely, she thought quietly. However, there had been no sign of movement since it had crashed, but this was not all together reassuring. She landed with a soft thump on the grassy earth and scrambled to undo the belts that were holding her to the chair. Once free she threw herself forward, shielding herself from her enemy in the dense bushes. And not a moment too soon. The door slid out sideways… expelling Rhapsody, who fell forward off of her seat. Symphony nodded in quiet satisfaction as her friend-turned-foe staggered to her feet. She had a large bump on one side of her head, and a large cut above her forehead. She gazed around blearily then staggered off towards a small granite cave not far off, that was half-hidden in undergrowth. She disappeared into it and Symphony watched the opening silently for a minute or two before reacting. She lowered her mike. “Symphony Angel to Central Control, come in please.” An exceptional amount of static fuzz entered her eardrums and she winced, cursing as she pulled off her helmet. The radio must have been knocked out by the blast, she thought, wondering what to do next. She eyed the cave entrance thoughtfully. ‘Well she’s not in such a good state for attack. Maybe I can capture her alone,’ she thought, removing her gun from its holster. Quietly she crept forwards towards the mouth of the cave.
May 30th 2071
The woman leant against the hard rock wall, shivering. She winced as she raised a hand tentatively to the cut on her forward, moaning softly as she felt the lump on her head. “Damn that stupid bitch,” she whispered savagely, wiping the blood from her forehead. Crunch. She froze. Crunch. There it was again! “That stupid cow,” she muttered with a grin, sliding round behind the rock and pulling a knife out of her belt. The Angel tiptoed carefully into the cave, glancing around wearily as she did so. A small grin lingered over the ex-Angel’s lips as she pulled herself up on top of the rock. Symphony’s head flipped round as the soft grating sound of cloth against rock reached her ears. With a snarl, her assailant sprang forth, leaping on top of the young girl. Seeing the knife just in time she managed to grab the woman’s wrist, forcing the weapon away from herself. The gun went off; missing its target by millimetres as she knocked Symphony’s arm away. Symphony grunted, head-butting the young woman and using her foot to throw her off into the wall. The knife spun away across the floor and Symphony sprang up to retrieve it. The woman was up in a flash, throwing herself after the knife just as Symphony reached towards it. Symphony brought her hand forward once more, but her colleague, seeing what was coming, kicked her hand, forcing her to drop the gun. Symphony shrieked with pain and lunged at her attacker with renewed force. Two white hands reached for the knife. One hand deftly closed over it, thrusting it into its opposition’s chest. With a gasp of pain the young woman’s hand came up, grasping the weapon that had impaled her. Her eyes glazed over and she sank down to the floor, her lungs shuddering with each laboured breath. She gazed blearily at her attacker, her friend, trying to comprehend her actions. Finally, her chest ceased all movement and she lay still. The remaining Angel scrambled backwards over the rock, panting, watching the body suspiciously. With a trembling hand she raised the gun and pulled the trigger twice in quick succession. Well, she’s definitely dead now, she thought grimly.
May 30th 2071
“Where is she?” Adam’s agonised voice rang through the air and Paul put a hand to his brow, shielding his eyes from the bright light as he scanned the landscape.
“I don’t know, mate,” he replied softly, searching the area for any sign of the Angel’s whereabouts.
“I don’t like this,” his friend remarked worriedly, and Paul sighed.
“Nor do I but at least we know she’s alive. We have her seat and parachute here so she obviously landed and headed off somewhere.”
“Somewhere? Probably after Rhapsody you mean!” he snarled back. Paul sighed. Adam glanced back at the hurt look on his friend’s face and immediately regretted his short temper.
“Sorry, Paul. I’m just worried you know…”
“I know.” He offered his friend a comforting smile before turning round to continue the search. Paul, noticing something, crouched down to examine the soft earth in front of him.
“Found something?” Asked Adam hurrying over.
“Yes,” he murmured softly. “Tracks.” He looked up, trying to ascertain the direction in which they were heading. After a short space the thick grasses returned, erasing any possible footprints that Symphony may have left. “Over there. What’s that?” he asked, raising his hand to direct his colleague’s attention to the small rock opening that he could see. Someone had clearly exited it in a hurry. All the gorse and ivy climbing up the rock had been roughly yanked off as someone went past. Adam nodded and ran over, with Paul in hot pursuit. Adam entered the cave first, gazing around in the semi-darkness. He pulled his torch out of his belt and flicked it on. Paul, arriving beside him a moment later, did the same.
“Careful, Adam. It could just as easily be Rhapsody in here, you know.” Paul remarked grimly as Adam started forward.
“SIG,” he muttered through gritted teeth. He directed his beam around the cave, advancing forwards warily at the same time.
“Symphony?” he whispered cautiously. The beam of light fell upon a pair of legs, the body half hidden behind a rock. With his heart in his mouth, Adam sprang forward and screamed when the sight of his beloved and obviously dead Angel met his eyes.
The torch dropped from his hand and he leapt forward, gathering his fiancée up in his arms as tears poured helplessly down his cheeks. Paul ran forward, gasping at the sight of the Angel’s mangled body. A knife was sticking out of her chest and there were two bullet holes in her head. Paul sank to his knees. No he thought desperately no, not Symphony! Adam sobbed bitterly, his head bent down over her face. Paul watched him through bleary eyes, forcing back the tears in the face of his friend’s pain.
“Adam…” he whispered softly, not knowing what to say.
“I’M GONNA KILL HER!” Captain Blue screamed suddenly, raising his head to gaze with eyes that were blazing with fury into the eyes of his friend.
“SHE’S GONNA PAY FOR WHAT SHE’S DONE!” he screamed, his voice so alive with pain and anger that Paul actual stepped back in alarm.
“I’M GONNA GET HER! YOU SEE IF I DON’T. I’M GONNA KILL YOU, RHAPSODY!”
June 2nd 2071
“Was it done?” The dark man demanded, his harsh voice ringing around the deserted alleyway. Deserted, that is, apart a young, red haired woman who was standing in front of him.
“Yes. I’d escaped by the time the two captains got there.”
“And the Angel?”
“A knife in the heart and two bullets in the brain. Yes, I’m sure.”
“Good. You must wait before your next assignment. In two weeks’ time I will contact you again with your next instructions. Understand?” The woman sighed and folded her arms.
“Another one? I hope you’re paying me for this, I’ve already done far more than we agreed.”
“You will be paid once you have completed your final assignment. Two weeks’ time. Be ready.”
June 11th 2071
“Come in, Captain Blue.” Adam Svenson looked up as the man spoke, and entered the room silently. Six eyes watched the captain as he quietly seated himself at the table next to Captain Scarlet, who watched him sympathetically. Adam had pretty much given up on himself since Symphony died. A two week old beard covered his chin, and his uniform was tatty and stained. His hair hang lankly, neither washed nor brushed, and he was looking worryingly thin. Captain Scarlet wondered if he’d eaten at all since it happened. Colonel White surveyed him quietly for a moment, and then cleared his throat loudly, causing the other four captains in the room to turn their focus to him instead, relieving Adam of their scrutiny.
“Thank you for coming today, Captain Blue. I can appreciate how hard this must be for you but your continued dedication to Spectrum is encouraging.” Captain Blue gave a silent nod and resumed his glare at the floor, ignoring his surroundings.
“Now as we all know, Rhapsody Angel is still our primary target, now more than ever. She has not been sighted since… since the last episode… but we have security guards at all the major airports and her photo is still being put out, still under the illusion that she is an international terrorist. The sooner we find and apprehend her, the better. I am having two new Angel pilots shipped out here tomorrow, Trinity and Chastity Angels. As of Friday, they are all on full duty. They will take it in turns to run in patrols of every area within 100 miles of the last attack. This will be every 5 hours.” At this point Colonel White paused and glanced across at the one captain, clad in pale blue, who was sitting with his head bowed, carefully avoiding eye contact with everyone in the room. “Captain Blue, I am extending your bereavement leave.” At this the captain looked up sharply.
“What? No! Sir… I want to help! I want to find Rhapsody!”
“I can appreciate that, Captain, but you are in no fit state for command. You will be off duty for the next four weeks. We will then review your case and I will decide then if you are fit to return to work.”
“No, Captain. As much as I appreciate your offer of help at this time, it seems to me that your desire to help in the search for Rhapsody is more through the need for revenge as opposed to the need to prevent further damage at her hands…”
“Further damage?” Adam asked incredulously, rising to his feet. Scarlet rose with him, laying a comforting hand on his friend’s shoulder. Cold anger and defiance shone from his friend’s once handsome face.
“I’m sorry, Colonel…” Scarlet began apologetically, his worried eyes on his colleague, who thankfully remained silent.
“Don’t be.” Colonel White rose to address them. “Captain Blue, Symphony Angel was a tremendous loss, both to Cloudbase and to all the people on it. I know that no one felt her loss more heavily than you, Captain. I understand that you proposed to her the night before…” He trailed off under the furious glare of Captain Scarlet. Adam had covered his face and was trying without much success to stop the tears that were now flowing freely down his face. With a disgruntled look at his superior, Scarlet quietly led him out. Once outside, Paul quickly led his grieving friend into the Amber Room, where he collapsed onto the sofa, still sobbing bitterly. Paul seated himself opposite him and offered him one of the many boxes of tissues that had appeared on Cloudbase since Symphony’s death. Adam took a handful thankfully and mopped himself up, gradually getting himself under control once more.
“I’m sorry, Paul,” he muttered thickly, wiping his eyes.
“Don’t be stupid, Adam. No one blames you for being upset you know, everyone is.” He looked his friend up and down critically. “And another thing. Starving yourself isn’t going to bring her back. You’ve got to eat, Adam.” Adam looked up at him sorrowfully.
“I am eating…” he muttered without much hope. Paul sighed.
“Let me get you some food, Adam. Please.”
“No, Paul, it’s ok. I’ll eat later. I’m not hungry.” He blew his nose into a tissue and looked over at Paul.
“You know, you’re not looking so hot yourself, mate!” he remarked worriedly.
“I’ve not been sleeping too well.” Paul replied shortly. Adam looked at him quizzically and Paul gave a weak smile in return. If he was completely honest he hadn’t exactly been a big eater lately, either. Dark bags circled his eyes, and his tunic had a new bagginess that was an indication of the weight they he too had lost. He had not heard from Rhapsody since May 30th, but, again, if he was honest he was making no attempt to track her down. Trying not to let your feelings interfere with your judgement was much easier said than done, but it was an ideal that Paul was currently striving for.
“I’d better get going,” Adam muttered, glancing at his watch and standing up. Paul knew that the Angel patrol would be in soon and he didn’t really want to be caught up in a load of sobbing girls. That was the last thing he needed right now.
“Ok. Are you going to go back down and stay with your family?”
“I’m not sure. I think I’ll probably stay in a hotel or something. To be perfectly honest I think I would rather be alone.”
Paul nodded sympathetically and watched his friend walk out silently. “And Adam?” Halfway to the door, Adam paused and turned around. “What?”
“If you need anything, then give me a shout, ok?” A small smile flickered over Captain Blue’s lips, and he nodded briefly before heading out the door.
June 16th 2071
The phone rang briskly, its ringing echo rising and fading in the narrow halls of room 121 of the grotty B and B. The woman groaned and rolled over, reaching for the phone without opening her eyes.
“Hello?” she muttered thickly.
“I told you to be ready,” came the cold reply. Groaning as she recognised the voice, she dragged herself into a sitting position, stifling a yawn with her hand.
“I am ready, I just didn’t realise you mean 3 in the morning ready,” she muttered glancing at her watch as she switched on her bedside lamp. The man grunted in response.
“There is an atomic device hidden in an underground cellar in a nuclear power station, in North Dakota in North America. You will travel to the nuclear power station, use your pass to get through security and into the underground system, and then…”
“I steal the bomb?”
“You steal the atomic device.”
“Yeah, yeah, ok, when do I do this?” she asked, yawning again and sinking down against her pillows in a sleepy fashion.
“Two weeks on Thursday,” the man replied sternly. “On the 5th of July at midday they are shipping in a new device, which will provide distraction. Besides this, you can also convince them that that is your purpose for being there.”
“For security you mean?” she murmured sleepily, her eyes drifting shut once more.
“I will send you coordinates nearer the time.”
“OK. And one last question? Why couldn’t you have told me all this last night when I was awake?” With an angry grunt the man slammed the phone down, causing the woman to jump suddenly. “Ooh moody,” she muttered, settling herself down once more and switching off the light.
June 16th 2071
Rhapsody crossed the floor, staring hard at the video link in front of her.
“Come on, Rhapsody, just do it, you’ve been putting it off for two weeks, just do it, just call him…” she muttered to herself, resuming her pacing. Finally she stepped up to it hurried dialling the number before she could change her mind. After 7 rings she was on the verge of hanging up, when the screen flickered to life in front of her. She started at the sorry sight of the clearly less-than-well Paul who was on the screen in front of her.
“Paul?” she asked worriedly. “Paul what’s happened? Are you ok?” Paul started back and went deadly pale at the sight of her.
“Dianne???” he stuttered, staring at her incredulously. “What the…? Where are you?” His voice suddenly hardened as he recalled the last time she was captured.
“I’m at home,” she said, still watching her boyfriend worriedly. “What happened to you? You look terrible!” Paul looked down at himself, struggling against the wave of emotion rising inside him.
“I’m fine,” he muttered flatly.
“Paul, what happened before? You said I’d been sighted but, I was talking to you, and… Paul what’s going on?” Paul forced himself to look up at her once more, and saw the fear in her eyes.
“You were seen in America. We were sent out after you,” he said, pondering the obvious problem that they presented, still wondering about the possibility of two Rhapsodys. He eyed the woman in front of him nervously. Which one was she?
“In America? But… how can that be? Paul, something’s going on here and I don’t like it one bit. What happened anyway? Was it an impostor? Did you capture her?”
“No… Symphony cornered her in a cave, and…”
“And what?” she asked cautiously, sensing the hesitation in his voice.
“And now she’s dead,” he finished heavily. Rhapsody reeled back in shock.
“She… she what? No… not Symphony… no, that can’t be right….” Tears spilled out of her eyes as she shook her head, refusing to take in the truth. Paul watched her sadly, but suddenly she turned away, hanging up on him. The screen flickered and went dead. He sighed. Most people preferred to be left alone with her grief, so he would extend her the same courtesy, and leave her in peace.
June 22nd 2071
“Colonel White? May I speak to you a moment?”
“Of course, Captain, what’s wrong?” Captain Scarlet bit his lip as he nervously entered the office. He had been fighting a losing battle with his conscience for over a month now, and he had finally decided to tell Colonel White the truth. Although it would incriminate both him and Rhapsody, it could also prove to be important in apprehending the real culprit and stopping the Mysteron threat.
“I need to tell you something sir. Something important.”
“Indeed? It sounds serious.”
“It is, Colonel.”
“Very well, sit down.” Captain Scarlet sat down and faced his superior, taking a deep breath to prepare himself for the act of total idiocy that he was about to commit.
“I have been seeing Rhapsody…” he began, before he was interrupted.
“You’ve seen Rhapsody?” the colonel yelled, springing up from his chair. “Where? When?”
“No…” soothed Scarlet, irritated by the exaggerated reaction that his words had received. “I meant… seeing her. Personally. As in dating her.” The look of triumph and panic on his superior’s face faded, to be replaced by one of anger and confusion.
“You… you’re seeing her?”
Scarlet nodded. “We got together the same night as Blue and Symphony. But I haven’t seen her since she left Cloudbase…”
“I SHOULD HOPE NOT!” Colonel White bellowed, rising to his feet. “You know that any… close relationships between Spectrum members are prohibited, Captain, and should be reported to your Commanding Officer. This is a serious offence, Scarlet.”
“I know, sir. We didn’t want to tell anyone until we were ready though. But… our relationship changes certain matters, sir.”
“Too right it does,” spat Colonel White, shooting a look of pure venom at Paul. Paul sighed with forced patience.
“What I mean, is that certain details concerning Rhapsody can be clarified.”
“Details? Like what?”
“Like her whereabouts. Like the identity of the assailant…”
“Captain Scarlet, Rhapsody Angel has been caught on camera doing these things. There is no possible doubt that she is the one behind the Mysteron threat.”
“But sir, something doesn’t add up. Because if that’s the case then there must be two different Rhapsodys running around somewhere.”
“Yes, sir. I was with her the night of the first break in. I was also on the phone to her when she was supposedly robbing the headquarters in Washington, and was on the video-link with her two weeks ago when she was spotted in the US. One copy of her, the one I’ve been seeing, is still in England, sir, whilst the other appears to be roaming round America, working for the Mysterons.”
Colonel White looked visibly taken back at these words and seemed to be struggling to come to terms with them. “So you can provide her with alibis?”
“Yes sir, on three counts. In two of which she was seen in another place, so it can’t be a simple case of mistaken identity.”
“Yes, Captain, if you’re telling the truth then this could prove to be very serious,” the colonel muttered thoughtfully. “Well, if that’s the case then we need to get in contact with the Rhapsody that you say is currently residing in England, to clarify your story.”
“Yes, sir.” Captain Scarlet nodded and rose to his feet.
“Lieutenant Green?” The black lieutenant looked up from where he had been sitting miserably, head hanging, listening to their conversation.
“Get me Rhapsody Angel on the video link. I want to confirm it’s her and not an impostor imitating her voice.”
“Yes, Colonel.” The lieutenant sighed heavily before bending over the controls. After a moment he turned around and said, “It’s ringing sir.” Colonel White nodded and turned to address the oval screen at the back of his desk. After almost a minute’s ringing, the image of a dishevelled Rhapsody, clutching a tissue, appeared on the screen. At the sight of the colonel and Paul, she jumped backwards in horror, staring open-mouthed at the two men on the screen in front of her. Her right hand quickly wiped her face using the tissue, whilst the left deftly dusted down her clothes.
“Y…yes, Colonel?” she asked weakly.
“Hello, Rhapsody. I see that what Captain Scarlet has been telling me is true, and you are indeed, in England.”
“Yes sir, but not for long,” she muttered darkly, disregarding the news that her superior knew about her fleeting love affair with Paul.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean I’m flying out to America tonight to get that bitch that killed my friend,” she hissed savagely. Colonel White sighed.
“I’m assuming Paul told you of her death then, assuming you weren’t present…”
“NO, I WASN’T BLOODY PRESENT!” she yelled angrily. “I would NEVER do that to a friend!”
“Language, Rhapsody,” muttered the colonel curtly. She glowered at him.
“If there is someone going round, imitating me and killing my friends, sir, then I want her stopped.”
“We all do, Rhapsody, but you are to stay in England. And that’s an order,” he added sternly, seeing that the Angel was steeling herself for an argument.
“Really? Well, sir, I’m afraid that you no longer have the authority for that,” she replied defiantly. White looked shocked.
“Don’t have the authority?” he asked.
“No sir. You see, I have since been rejected by Spectrum, after the actions of my Mysteron counterpart and therefore no longer have to follow your orders, sir,” she replied simply. Scarlet watched Colonel White trying to think of a response. She was perfectly right, of course. According to Spectrum rules, as she was no longer a member, she no longer had to obey the chain of command. She was free to do what she liked.
“So I’m sorry, sir, but I intend to find this woman. I’m flying out tonight. See ya all.” And for one brief moment her eyes fluttered over the room and settled on Captain Scarlet. She smiled weakly. “Bye, Paul,” she whispered softly. The screen went blank as she hung up.
June 25th 2071
Adam Svenson sighed and adjusted the frequency of the radio. Hearing static once more, he picked it up and removed the back cover for the third time, inserting a screw driver to try to fix the aerial. Well, not fix exactly, more adapt…
With a resounding crackle the radio burst into life. Adam smiled grimly, refitting the back cover before adjusting the frequency once more. The main radio station fazed out to be replaced by the low grumbling of a man talking. He turned up the volume.
“That is correct, Angel One, your orders are to capture only. Colonel White wants Rhapsody alive. Continue your patrol as scheduled and report back if you find anything.” Captain Blue’s cheeks flushed with success. He had done it. He had successfully tuned into Spectrum’s wavelength, enabling him to over hear all of their aerial radio conversations. He sighed and leaned back in his chair.
“Now I’ll catch you, Rhapsody,” he thought grimly. “And unlike some, I haven’t been ordered to bring you in alive…”
June 26th 2071
Dianne Simms shivered bitterly, pulling her jacket closer in around her. A wind swept by, seeping through her tatty clothes and chilling her to the bone. She knew that she was wanted by the police; well, one of her was wanted by the police anyway. And THAT meant steering clear of anywhere with security cameras. Something that is easier said than done. She had managed it through the airport, but she supposed that was because she was entering the country and Colonel White had been informed of her plans before she left. She shifted herself on the damp and dirty floor of the alleyway, trying to make herself more comfortable.
“I need a radio,” she muttered thoughtfully. “Otherwise I’m never going to find this girl.” She glanced around at the half a dozen dustbins that surrounded her, all of which were spewing old newspapers and mouldy apple cores onto the floor around her. “And I don’t think I’m going to find one here.” She sighed and huddled back against the wall. “I’ll sort out one tomorrow,” she thought sleepily, letting her eyes drift shut. “First thing.” The minutes ticked by and she sank into a light and uneasy sleep, the damp from the floor gradually spreading through her clothes, causing her to shiver and sneeze with cold. A man, passing by, noticed her on the floor. A smile flickered over his lips as he leant forward to inspect his discovery.
“Hmmm, little late to be out alone, isn’t it?” he whispered, grinning, as he leant over her limp and huddled form. The whisper was enough. Her eyes flickered open, and seeing the unknown guy before her she screamed and leapt backwards, smashing her head on the cold stone walls. She shook her head blearily, trying to clear the dizzy stars that were now dancing before her eyes. Seeing her injured state and subsequent inability to retaliate, his grin widened and he reached forward for her.
“There, there now, no need for alarm…” Rhapsody forced herself to her feet, backing away from the guy and further down the alleyway.
“I’m fine, I don’t need any help,” she replied coldly, still retreating down the dark street.
“But I say you do,” he replied. His eyes flickered over her as he advanced, reaching into his back pocket as he did so. Rhapsody watched him worriedly.
“He’s going to pull out a gun!” she thought desperately, her eyes snapping back and forth over the street, searching for an escape route that wasn’t there. He pulled out his hand, bringing with it, not a gun, but a carving knife. A slight improvement, but only a slight one.
“Get back,” she warned threateningly, keeping her voice steady and empty of fear.
“What are you going to do?” he asked mockingly, still advancing. “Cry on me?”
A wall blocked off her exit, preventing her from retreating any further. She knelt down, her hands searching the floor around her for anything that could pass as a weapon. She forced the bins aside, her hands skating through the rubbish frantically.
“Come on love… give it up…” he breathed, reaching forward for her.
“I’M NOT YOUR LOVE!” she screamed. Her hand closed on a dustbin lid and she swung it forward with all her might, slamming him in the face with it. With a yell of pain and fury he staggered backwards, both hands flying to his face as he dropped the knife and crashed to his knees. She ran forward skating around him but he lunged forward, grabbing her ankles. She screamed, flying headlong amongst the dustbins, hitting her head and twisting her ankle as she fell. He grasped the knife and crawled forward, tightening his grip on her.
“You bitch!” he yelled, lunging forward. She twisted around frantically, kicking him in the chest as he threw himself forward. His grip was loosened and she pulled herself forward along the floor, but it was too late. He landed heavily on her as she scrambled to her feet, his full weight sending her crashing down against the floor once more. She heard a brief snap and groaned heavily as he pinned her to the floor, holding the knife to her throat.
“Now you’re gonna pay for that little trick!” he hissed furiously, digging the knife into the soft pink skin of her neck. This is no time to fight fair she thought grimly. She spat in his face. He threw his head back, yelling madly, and she rammed her knee up hard. He rolled over grunting in pain as she scrambled to her feet, panting. Swaying slightly, she ran, hobbling on her injured ankle, heading for the end of the alley. Seeing her plans for a hasty retreat the guy grabbed his knife and threw it at her with deadly accuracy. It hit her shoulder, cutting into her skin before flying off to her right. She stumbled forward, swallowing a cry of pain as she crashed to the floor, her left hand finding her wounded shoulder, feeling the blood slowly spreading through her already dirt-encrusted uniform. Taking advantage of her injury the guy yanked himself forwards, grabbing her extended foot and pulling her backwards towards him. She shrieked, writhing, her fingers scrabbling over the cobbled floor searching for a non-existent hand-hold. “Now I’ve got you right where I want you,” he taunted, straddling her and pinning down her arms against the floor with his own. She kicked out furiously trying to wrench herself from his grasp. His face crept closer. She screamed and turned away… smelling his putrid breath on her neck, feeling the prickle of his stubbled face grazing against hers.
“Get off-” Her words were cut off as he smashed his mouth against hers. Rhapsody closed her eyes in horror, trying to wrench her head away from his, grimacing as she felt his tongue sneaking its way into her mouth. She bit down. Hard. The guy yelled and rolled off her... spitting blood onto the floor. Rhapsody scrambled to her feet dazed… her shoulder, ankle and head throbbing painfully. She stumbled forwards, skirting her enemy as he forced himself to his feet, both hands still blocking the flow of blood from his injured tongue. He eyes narrowed as he saw her speeding up.
“You bitch!” he screamed, spraying blood over her uniform as he lunged at her once more. She dodged him quickly, staggering backwards into the wall, knocking over the dustbins. A glint of steel caught her attention. Seizing the knife from where it had fallen after its attack on her shoulder, she turned and rammed it deep into his hand. Blood spewed out from the soft meat between the thumb and the first finger. His face quickly went through a show of emotions, starting in surprise, and then going through anger before coming to rest on pain. His scream echoed blindly around the alleyway as Rhapsody sped on up the road, trying to block out the pain-wrecked shrieks that pierced the calm air. She escaped out into the night, with a black eye, two broken ribs, a sprained ankle, a cut shoulder, and a trickle of blood seeping down her throat from the knife. Seven streets later she collapsed in a heap, panting. “No more alley sleeping,” she told herself firmly.
June 28th 2071
A slim red-haired woman stepped up to the counter, quickly removing her sunglasses as she did so. The man behind the counter watched her slowly, twitching his jacket with one hand as he did so. She swept off the glasses, flicking her hair expertly back over her shoulder as she did so. Her eyes reached his and she smiled, leaning over the counter towards him.
“Hey,” she whispered softly, her eyes flicking to the name badge pinned on his chest. “Rupert.” The small, rather stringy man blinked behind his thick glasses, and just managed to avoid peering round to clarify who she was talking to.
“Er… Hi,” he said nervously. Her smile widened.
“Hey, I’m one of the Angels on Cloudbase. I’ve been sent down to check over security for the atomic device in the Harbor Atomic Center.”
“Er… right.” He sat up straighter in his chair, not really concentrating on what she was saying. She smiled again, leaning over the desk, so that her low-cut top fell forwards. The man glowed.
“You see the thing is, is I’ve forgotten my security pass. I was just wondering if you could run me off another one?” The man snapped back to life.
“Right…er…. Yes,” he whispered, his voice sounding strangely squeaky. “Ok, I’ll need to see your ID, and check your photo…” He said gesturing towards the strange looking camera behind him. Too bad it only takes X-Rays he thought with a sigh. “And I’ll need your print,” he added, pushing forward a fingerprint scanner. The woman grinned, pulling an ID out of her pocket. “Dianne Simms… Rhapsody Angel…” He read quickly, comparing the photo to its life-sized counter-part. He nodded, picking up the Mysteron Detector. He struggled not to smile as the woman posed, ruffling up her hair and fluttering her eyelashes. If only it were a real camera he thought again, pressing the trigger. He waited a moment then pressed the small button on the front of the device. A clear X-Ray image popped out of the top, and after glancing at it briefly, the man sighed and tossed it aside. Seating himself back at the desk he nudged the fingerprint scanner towards her. She smiled, reaching forwards over the desk and taking hold of the man’s tie. He started in surprise but allowed himself to be drawn forward until his face was about an inch away from the woman’s. His glasses became misted and he wiped them hurriedly on his sleeve.
“My hands can do other things too you know… more… worthwhile things,” she whispered seductively. His cheeks flushed deep red and she smiled, releasing him from her grasp. He looked a bit put out about that. She slid a piece of paper over the counter towards him. “Give me that security clearance and I’ll show you just what I can do…” she whispered, flexing her fingers and running them through her hair. He couldn’t give it to her quick enough. He typed furiously on the computer for a moment and then hit the print button with such force that the entire table wobbled. He slid the paper back over to her after stamping it with the Spectrum crest and signing it furiously. She snapped it up, folding it up and slipping it into her pocket along with her ID. She put on her sunglasses once more, gave him one last smile and flounced out, her hips swinging. Rupert Flinchly sank back into his chair, clutching the piece of paper that she had slid into his hands and staring after her blankly. “Bye…” He whispered, his grin broadening at the thought of what the guys would say when he told them about his encounter. He smoothed the paper and looked down at it. He blinked. He turned it over. The paper remained blank. He visibly crumpled. Life was so unfair. That stupid bitch, he hissed furiously to himself. He crumpled the paper and threw it across the room furiously. Those stupid Angels are all the same. He froze.
“Rhapsody,” he muttered. He span around in his chair, addressing the board behind him. It took him a second to spot the photo and his mouth opened in horror as he recognised the face smiling back at him from the board. “Well,” he thought, his gaze still drawn to the oh-so-familiar woman in front of him. “At least I got that picture I wanted.”
June 29th 2071
Rhapsody ripped a strip of material off the bottom of her jacket and used it to wipe the grime off the small jogging radio that she had just discovered. “Not exactly what I had in mind,” she thought. “But I guess it will have to do.” She sighed, rubbing her shoulder and sliding down onto the floor, folding her legs over into a more comfortable sitting position. Digging into her pocket she extracted a small screwdriver and carefully removed the back of the radio. Now, she thought grimly. This could take a while.
June 29th 2071
“Colonel White? I have a Mr. Andrews from Spectrum Security Base, Ohio, on the line.”
“Security Base?” Colonel White frowned. “What the devil do they want?”
“He says he wants to speak to you in person sir. He says it’s urgent.”
“Very well Lieutenant, put him through.”
“Colonel White? This is Sergeant Andrews, Spectrum Security. I have some news for you on the ‘Rogue Agent.’” The colonel gave a small, strangled yell and sat up straight in his chair.
“You’ve found Rhapsody?” he asked breathlessly.
“Well no… not exactly. She has been spotted though.”
“Yesterday about eight thirty. AM.”
“Yesterday? But why are you only reporting this to me now then?” Colonel White demanded angrily.
“Well the guy who spotted her has only just come forward, Colonel,” he replied in an irritated tone. “She came into headquarters yesterday for a security clearance.”
“Wait- you mean she actually came into the headquarters?” he asked in a disbelieving tone.
“Well yes… apparently the guy who saw her was too flustered to register who she was until after she’d left.”
“Flustered? What does that mean?” he demanded. Lieutenant Green cringed back, sensing the anger in his superior’s voice.
“Well… she’s an attractive woman. And poor Rupert doesn’t really get out much…”
“DO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME,” he bellowed “THAT THE WHOLE OF SPECTRUM’S PERSONNEL IS NOW AT RISK JUST BECAUSE ONE STUPID GUY CAN’T GET HIMSELF A DATE?”
“Well… no not exactly…” came the stuttered response. Colonel White’s outburst had clearly taken him by surprise.
“No?” the colonel continued coldly, fighting to control the anger in his voice.
“Look I just thought I should warn you… he gave her a security clearance you see and…”
“He gave her a security clearance?” Colonel White’s voice was rising again and Mr Andrews, clearly sensing that he was on dangerous ground spoke quickly.
“Yes, to the Harbor Atomic Center for security,” he babbled. “But he checked her ID and fingerprints… oh no wait… no he said he…er… forgot the fingerprint scan…”
“Well… no not exactly forgot… she…er… well put him off it.” There was a cold silence at the end of the phone.
“I see,” murmured Colonel White darkly.
“Yes well we just thought we should warn you about the Harbor Center … you know.”
“What was the date?”
“Yes the date. You have to date-mark security clearances I believe?” he snarled.
“Oh…er…right… yes you see the thing is about that…”
Colonel White groaned. “You didn’t date it.”
“So basically we are now looking for an attack that could have already happened or could be happening sometime next year.”
“Er… yes. I guess so,” said the man brightly, seeming extremely pleased that Colonel White had cottoned onto this fact without the usual yelling. “Anyway… as I said it was his fault not mine! So I’d better be going now anyway. Good luck Colonel. I will have a word with the… with the personnel. My apologies again, sir. Good day.”
Colonel White briskly cut the radio without bothering to mutter a response. Lieutenant Green watched him warily and heard him mutter something briefly that sounded a lot like “Trigger-happy” before he turned towards him.
“Contact the Center, Lieutenant. I want a detailed analysis of the best possible target and time for her attack. Launch Angel One and tell her to get up there and put the base on red alert.”
“Yes sir,” said the lieutenant, quickly turning back to his console.
“Angel One, immediate launch.”
June 29th 2071
“Did you get it?”
“Yes I got it,” replied the woman irritably, shaking the rain off of her hood. “And you could be a bit nicer to me you know.” The man glared at her a little, holding out his hand to inspect the wanted document.
“Need I remind you that you are being paid for this?” His cold voice rumbled around the room, bouncing back off the walls. The red-haired woman shuddered.
“Yes well, you’ve only paid me about a third of the agreed price so far you know,” she replied angrily, regaining her composure.
“You will be paid once the Mysterons’ instructions have been carried out.”
She blinked. “Mysterons? Is that what your bosses are calling themselves now?”
“They are not bosses.”
“They are rulers and they will crush this planet.” The woman backed off a little. Who was this guy? Up ‘til now she had always thought he was on the level. Apart from all the bombs and killing, that is.
“Crush the planet?” she asked sceptically. Was this just his way of trying to scare her? If so, then no can do buddy she thought grimly. You’re not getting out of payment that easily. Cold silence answered her.
“You still haven’t handed me all the papers you know.” The woman drew herself up.
“I told you,” she said briskly. “I’m not giving you anything- anything- until I’m paid.” A cold snarl answered her. He had his instructions. DO NOT Mysteronise the girl. If he did how would she get through all the security checks after all? But still. His hand crept towards his gun.
“You will get all the documents when I get my money. That was the agreement. Now, if we are done then I will ask you to please leave my room. I have things to do.” He glared at her and swept out the door.
“Do not fail us,” he remarked darkly as he departed. “The Mysterons do not reward failure.” And with that he disappeared down the dark hallway. The woman sighed and shut the door collapsing onto her bed as she did so.
“Ooh I’m so scared,” she muttered angrily.
June 29th 2071
“Colonel White? I have contacted the Harbor Atomic Center. I have analysed the most likely target and time as you requested.”
“They are having a small nuclear device shipped in a week’s time. She could easily enter in as part of the security there for it.”
“Not exactly, Colonel. It’s been created to extend work into the field of atomic isotopes and radioactivity. It sends a controlled beam of radioactive pulses towards a set target.” The colonel stared at his lieutenant.
“A radioactive gun. In the hands of the Mysterons a machine of those capabilities could do unspeakable damage.” Lieutenant Green nodded gravely.
“What date is this being shipped in?”
“Very well. I want Captains Ochre and Magenta out there immediately to set up security. I want a team of guards sent out there and Angel patrols of the area every three hours.”
“Yes sir. What about Scarlet and Grey?”
“They are off duty at the moment, but they will be ready to relieve Ochre and Magenta at midnight.”
“Yes sir. And Captain Scarlet…”
“Is still one of my finest officers,” Answered the colonel. “But we do need to be wary of his personnel involvement here. If Rhapsody is sighted then I would prefer to have it on Magenta and Ochre’s shift.”
“Well sir, if they are having 12 hours shifts then I could organise it to make sure that Captain Scarlet is off duty and on Cloudbase at the expected time of attack. The colonel nodded.
“Yes I think that would be best. Do it, Lieutenant.” Seymour Griffiths nodded. It was going to be a long week.
July 5th 2071
Life in Spectrum has definitely gone downhill in recent weeks, thought Captain Scarlet grimly, unfolding his newspaper. His eyes flickered over the contents, seeing it without really taking it in. He was sitting in the Amber Room, alone, waiting for his next shift to start in just under three hours time. Since Captain Blue had left, Captain Grey had taken over accompanying Scarlet on his patrol shifts, whilst they were on standby. With his best friend gone, his girlfriend wanted, him in the doghouse for his secret affair, and everyone still mourning the death of Symphony, life had definitely taken a turn for the worse. He sighed and folded up his paper once more, stowing it away on the table. There had been no word, no sighting of neither hide nor hair of either Rhapsody since he had confessed all to Colonel White. He assumed that that meant that both Rhapsodys were now in hiding somewhere in America.
The minutes trickled by.
Suddenly for the second time an alarm went off above his head. Captain Scarlet leapt to his feet, watching in horror the red flashing light above him that signalled the sighting of a Mysteron Agent, and action stations. In this case, that Mysteron Agent was Rhapsody. With only a second’s hesitation, he made up his mind and sped out of the room in the direction of Central Control.
Colonel White was sitting at his desk, bellowing orders at the somewhat exhausted looking lieutenant who was flying back and forth along the Control Panel, desperately fighting to keep up with his superior. Captain Scarlet ran in.
“Sir, I heard the alarm, what’s happened? Is it…”
“Captain Scarlet, you are not on duty, and I will thank you to return to your quarters until you are summoned.”
“But sir! It might not be the Mysteron sir, it might be my Rhapsody…”
“As far as I am aware, Scarlet, you do not currently own that woman. You never have and in light of recent events I can safely say that you probably never will. Both Rhapsodys are still wanted by both the police and by Spectrum. Both stand accused of murder and treason and I want both captured. Therefore we go to red alert regardless of which Rhapsody it is that has been sighted.” Scarlet regarded his Senior Officer coldly, his mouth hanging open. He snapped it shut briskly.
“Sir, I want to help find her.”
“Out of the question.”
“But sir, I can help! If it is m-… if it is the Rhapsody that I have been dating then she will respond to me, and we are more likely to be able to capture her without any casualties.”
Colonel White surveyed him for a moment, his mind going over this quickly. Finally he nodded.
“I guess you are right, Captain. But I want to make it perfectly clear that I am assigning you on this case for purely official reasons, not because of any romantic attachments that you may or may not have with the suspect. I want you obeying my orders down to the letter, and the slightest hint of a change in that and I will have you brought straight back here. Is that clear?”
“Yes sir. Perfectly.”
“Very well. Go and get yourself sorted.” He consulted his watch. “It is now 9:19 am. I want you ready for departure at half past on the dot.”
“Yes sir. Thank you.” And with that, Scarlet ran out.
July 5th 2071
“Sir I am ready and waiting to go. Request take off clearance.”
“Captain Scarlet you are clear to take off.”
“SIG Lieutenant.” The SPJ shot off down the runway, rising into the air and speeding off towards its destination. Scarlet set the controls to maximum efficiency cruise, and then settled back to ponder his current predicament.
“Am set to MEC. ETA Harbor Atomic Center, North America, 2 hours.”
“SIG Captain. The remaining Angels should be there in about 30 minutes. I have informed the Atomic Center of your departure and pending arrival.”
“Yes sir. What time is the delivery of the atomic device?”
“In about two and a half hours’ time. Rhapsody has been spotted about 20 miles south of there by a street security camera.”
“And we think she’s heading up there?”
“Well yes. The security footage is fairly recent, about 20 minutes ago.”
“Okay. What about Magenta and Ochre? Won’t they wonder why I’m coming too?” Both Colonel White and Scarlet had agreed that it was in the best interests of everyone to keep Scarlet’s affair with Rhapsody secret. With everyone still mourning the loss of Symphony, Paul didn’t fancy having to explain to everyone why he was dating her supposed killer and Colonel White didn’t want any fights to spring up on base. “In order to operate efficiently,” he said, “we must work together with trust. We cannot do that whilst there are fights and arguments amongst the personnel. Therefore I want this kept strictly confidential.” Scarlet had been only too pleased to agree.
“They will be informed that you are being sent due to the nature of your capabilities. You may be useful in a tight corner… we do not want any other Spectrum Members to be lost.”
“SIG sir. I will radio in when I arrive. Scarlet out.”
July 5th 2071
A tall, blond-haired man, sitting in a small café, quietly rolled up his newspaper and tucked it under his arm, rising to his feet as he did so. He dug into his pocket and deposited a few coins on the table before snatching up the radio and heading out the door. Adam Svenson had the look of someone who had lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time. Dark rings circled his eyes as he moved towards the red saloon waiting outside. A cold smile flickered over his lips and his eyes glittered with a cruel vengeance that had never been seen before. His obsession had changed him just as much as the loss of his fiancée had. He had thrown himself into research, staying up long into the night, tuning into the Spectrum radio and attempting to hack into their main database for more information. Now after weeks of patience he was finally going to get her. He was finally going to make her pay for what she had done to his beloved Symphony. Climbing into the car, he pulled out a map and began searching through it. “Harbor Atomic Center,” he muttered searching through the index. “A-ha!” He located it and flipped to the correct page, quickly scanning to find the quickest possible route. That done, he deposited the map on the passenger seat and started up the engine, speeding off towards his destination. Just you wait, Rhapsody, he thought darkly. Just you wait.
July 5th 2071
But the woman he sought was already half-way there. Rhapsody Angel stood by the side of the road, shivering and holding out her thumb. No one’s gonna wanna pick me up in this state! she thought desperately looking down at her rain-soaked, mud-splattered and blood-stained uniform. But to her surprise, bare moments later, a car pulled in. The woman behind the seat looked at her worriedly.
“You ok, hun?” she asked, leaning over to open the passenger door. “You look like you’ve been through it!” Rhapsody nodded and thankfully slid into the seat beside the woman. “Where are you headed?” she asked kindly, her eyes still flickering between the woman’s swollen ankle, her blood-soaked shoulder and the blood that was matted into her hair.
“I’m heading up towards the Harbour Center,” she muttered, trying to hide some of her uniform from the penetrating gaze of the woman whose frown was deepening at her last words.
“The Nuclear Center you mean? Why on earth are you going up there?”
“I’m a member of the police.” The woman looked at her sceptically. Rhapsody sighed and showed her the official looking Spectrum logos on her sleeves. “A special branch of the police. There is a special shipment there today and I was part of the security team. I was attacked last night on one of my patrols. I need to get back up there.” The blond woman’s eyes still danced with doubt.
“I think you should probably go to a hospital first,” she said, noting each of her injuries in turn.
“My Squad Commander can take me but I need to get up there soon to let them know what happened and that I’m ok. The guy who attacked me is a highly likely suspect and I need to inform them of what’s happened straight away.” After a moment’s hesitation the woman nodded and Rhapsody sighed with relief. Well at least she’s not asking why I haven’t called them, or why I’m telling her all these details, she thought, settling down on the seat as the woman headed on up the highway. At least the woman didn’t ask too many questions, something for which Rhapsody was immensely grateful, as it left her free to ponder the conversation she had overheard.
“Rhapsody has been spotted about 20 miles south of there by a street security camera.” That means she can’t be far from me. I must be about that… she froze, then sighed, muttering angrily. It was ME that they saw not her! They just thought it was her! Damn it! Rhapsody groaned, and the woman shot her a sharp and worried look. She reached over to the glove compartment and handed her some tissues and a bottle of water.
“You might wanna clean yourself up first,” she said kindly, pressing the two items into Rhapsody’s grubby hands. Rhapsody nodded thankfully, and got to work.
But, she thought, pouring a little water onto one of the tissues and using it to clean her face. Even if they did see me, they are still heading for the Nuclear Station. That means that they know that is where her next attack is expected… she smiled, shaking more water onto her hands and wiping it over her arms, face and neck. Maybe she is already there. And with that grim thought Rhapsody headed on up the highway towards the station where her Mysteron look-alike would be waiting for her.
July 5th 2071
“Central control to Captain Scarlet, come in please.” Captain Scarlet’s radio lowered to his mouth and he responded quickly to the sound of Seymour Griffith’s voice.
“Scarlet to Central Control, come in, Lieutenant.”
“Captain, we have been sent a copy of the security footage on which Rhapsody was seen.”
“We wanted you to have a look so that you know what sort of state she is in at the moment. Especially as she may be in disguise.”
“State she’s in? What does that mean? And how can she be in disguise, she will need to match up to her security ID.
“Hmmm, that’s a good point. Well I’m sending the video link through to your SPJ now.”
“Green Out.” The microphone swiftly retreated back into his cap and Captain Scarlet waited patiently for the image to come through. After a few minutes he turned to the small screen on his right as it flickered to the image of a dark alley. There were cars parked up and down it and it was obviously the backing for several houses. A slim woman in a tatty Angel uniform was creeping her way up the alley. She was hobbling slightly and her shoulder was sore and bleeding. Scarlet winced as he recognised the signs of an infection. Her normally bright and bouncy hair was lank and greasy and matted with dirt and as she passed under a streetlamp he saw that she also bore a black eye and a split lip. Scarlet watched her, his heart in his mouth, as she limped on up the street. He froze as he saw the slightest glimmer of metal around her neck. He rewound the tape and paused it. Zooming in and leaning very close to the screen, Scarlet saw a slim silver chain around her neck. His birthday present to her last year. On the front was a dainty Angel pendant with jewelled wings, one that she had adored and had worn ever since. “It’s Rhapsody,” he muttered, his throat constricting with the words. “It’s Rhapsody, the real one… MY one…” The mike was halfway to his mouth when the slightly desperate smile on his mouth faded. The colonel wouldn’t care what Rhapsody it was and if I told him it was our one then he would probably just have me transported back to Cloudbase, he thought. Without a word the mike returned to his cap and he sped on, increasing his speed. He had to get to her before anyone else did.
July 5th 2071
“You have your orders.”
“Yes, yes, I have my orders, and I’m on my way now ok? Or at least I would be if you didn’t keep ringing me every two minutes!” The irritated red-head sighed impatiently, holding the phone clamped under her chin as she shrugged her jacket on over the top of her Spectrum uniform.
“Spectrum are on to you. You won’t have much time. However, they are foolish enough to believe that you are actually after the atomic device that is being shipped in, so they have simply upped security. If you use the back entrance you should get in without a problem.”
“Look, I do know this! Relax ok, trust me. Anyway, on the subject of payment…”
“You will get you payment after….” There was a pause. Why not? he asked himself grimly. She had served her purpose now. She had gotten the security clearance. Besides, a Mysteron would make a far more effective thief. “Afterwards,” he finished, a slight smile on his lips. The phone went down with a click and the woman listened with slight surprise to the distant humming of the broken phone call from down the handset.
“God, they get weirder every time,” she muttered, slotting the phone back into its hand-rest and heading out the door.
July 5th 2071
The thick mist that hung over the road obscured her vision and she desperately wiped the windscreen, praying for better visibility.
“How the hell can I drive in this?” she muttered crossly, peering into the fog. The car came out of nowhere. The headlamps appeared at the last minute and the woman shrieked and swerved off to the right, missing the black saloon by inches. She crashed off the road and swerved on through the trees, fighting frantically to regain control of the vehicle. Dense undergrowth thrashed at the windows and she ploughed on through the woods. She never even saw the drop coming.
July 5th 2071
Rhapsody Angel slowly climbed out of the car, staring with dark and brooding eyes at the Atomic Center before her. Although the main entrance was out in the open, the side paths were hidden beneath a thick covering of trees. Good. She thought grimly. That will be most helpful. She looked at the security booth ahead of her. Even though Spectrum hadn’t arrived yet she knew they would be checking security. I have about half an hour before they go to full alert, she thought. Slowly she walked towards the security booth pulling out the security pass from under her jacket, and glancing up at the nearby security camera as she did so. She stopped, stooping to pick up a small stone from the ground. She paused and took aim as the camera turned back towards her. With a tinkling of glass the rock found its target and the camera smashed. ‘Bout twenty minutes before they send someone out for that she thought to herself as she turned back towards the booth. The man, alerted by the sound of breaking glass and seeing the figure approaching, folded up his newspaper and sat up, waiting patiently for her to arrive. Her face materialised in front of him, her red hair swaying with the breeze as she silently held out the security pass for him to see. But he didn’t notice. At the sight of her half the air seemed to vanish from his lungs, and he abruptly swallowed the yell from his throat. He remembered the fax they had received a few weeks earlier, entitled International Terrorist. The story had included several grisly murders and bomb thefts and had left him feeling a little sick. Their security had been warned of an impending attack but… snapping out of his temporary paralysis he thrust his hand forward to activate the alarm but she was too quick. Her hand smashed through the thick glass covering and he jumped in surprise, hesitating momentarily. Her arm crashed down on his and he screamed in agony as he felt all the bones in his arm crumble under the pressure. She seized his tie and yanked him forward, so his pale face poked out through the broken shards of the window. WHAM! With an immense force that he would have found surprising if his thoughts hadn’t been blocked by the incredible pain, she slammed his face down onto the broken partition of the window. Blood splattered the walls as his nose and front teeth smashed and he gave a small cry that was muffled by the flow of blood from his own face. She raised his head again. He had barely a second to register what was happening before the broken shards impaled his face for a second time, ripping at his cheeks. An agonised scream tore at his throat as one jagged piece of glass sank into his left eye. Her hand continued to thrust his head further down, forcing him down towards the desk. The glass rose upwards, passing through his eye and spearing the soft matter of his brain, and with a last moment of searing pain his mind shut down and he knew no more. She left him slumped over the desk, held up by the shard that passed deep into his skull. Stepping forwards she wiped her bloodied hands on his shirt and leant over the mangled body, pressing the release to open the thick-wired gate. She paused to snatch a couple of tissues from the box beside his desk, and used them to wipe down her face as she returned silently to her car and climbed in. She slowly trundled into the car park, turning the car around so that she was parked in a position semi-hidden from the security camera by the overhanging trees. Keeping her back to the camera she quietly stepped out of the car and vanished into the darkness of the shrubbery.
July 5th 2071
Captain Scarlet silently guided in the SPJ, landing it just outside the perimeter of the Nuclear Center. He directed his attention skyward as the roaring of jets met his ears and he watched as Angel One, no doubt bearing Destiny, sped overhead. He raised his hand in greeting to her and then headed on towards the nearest entrance.
“Captain Scarlet, Spectrum. I’m here as part of the security for the new Atomic Device.”
“I need your ID, thumbprint and Security Clearance.” Captain Scarlet nodded in approval as he handed the required documents and his Spectrum ID over to the young man, then pressed his thumb into the small rectangular screen that the man was holding out to him. He paused as the man scanned through the documents quickly before handing them back with a nod. The side entrance gate opened and Scarlet stepped in, watching as it shut again with a clang behind him. I can’t see her getting in here, he thought, noting his approval as he continued on up the path.
July 5th 2071
The car pulled in to the bus station briefly and Rhapsody clambered out, mumbling her thanks. The woman gave a brief nod in response before speeding on up the highway, her lips pursed in disapproval and disbelief. “Wow,” Rhapsody muttered to herself as she watched the car disappearing from sight. “I think I’ve made a friend there.” She sighed and turned back towards the Center, the top of which was just visible above the tall trees. Wincing slightly as she stepped out, putting weight onto her swollen ankle, she headed on up the path, walking as fast as her wounded ankle would allow. The security booth soon came into view and she hesitated. How the hell am I going to get though this? she asked herself silently. She crept forwards, surveying the high barbed wire fence that enclosed the place. She froze. As the security booth came into her direct eyesight, the image of a blood spattered body hanging through the broken window of the booth reached her eyes. Horror rose within her as she tore up the path, ignoring the cries of protest from her aching ankle. Reaching the desk, she stared around in shock at the blood-splattered walls. Taking a deep breath she seized the body and pulled it free of its holding. It slid backwards out of her grasp and hit the ground face up and Rhapsody began to scream in shock at the sight of it. The bloodied mess gazed up at the sky with its one good eye whilst the other had been reduced to an oozing, blood soaked crater. His nose had been completely obliterated and his gums shredded. Dark gore was smeared over his cheeks and forehead and a large portion of glass remained embedded in his skull. Turning away in panic, Rhapsody retched, thankful of the fact that the absence of food in her belly made it impossible for her to throw up. She clung weakly onto the wall of the booth for support as she kept her back to the mangled corpse, heaving in great shuddering breaths. Without turning back, she stumbled forwards through the open gate, heading for the Center, desperate to put as much distance as she could between herself and the bloodied, one-eyed man.
July 5th 2071
“Not bad timing,” he muttered to himself as he pulled up into the car bay. Adam Svenson climbed out of his car and stood still, peering around at the scene before him. “Now if Spectrum are here I’d better keep quiet or they’ll just have me sent back to base with a bollocking,” he told himself absent-mindedly as he looked around for a passable entrance. Seeing an opening between the trees he climbed back into his car and headed on down the pathway, unknowingly following Rhapsody’s route. His car slowed as the security building came into view, but his alert and expectant eyes picked out the blood stains and the body on the floor instantly. Pressing down on the accelerator he sped forward, his mouth hardening as he reached the booth and climbed out. Even for his tough stomach the scene was hard to take. His mouth opened in horror as his eyes swept the scene before him, coming to rest on the blood-filled eye-socket of the young man. He covered his mouth with his hand and had to take several deep breaths to control himself before he could trust himself to speak again without vomiting. “Rhapsody.” As the single word was uttered aloud a boiling hate erupted in his chest. She had done this. She was the reason Symphony was dead. She was the reason he was standing there instead of up on Cloudbase with the rest of his fellow captains. “You think this is bad?” he asked quietly. “You ain’t seen nothing yet.” He threw himself back into his car and pummelled the accelerator, zooming through the open gateway, and speeding on into the car park.
July 5th 2071
A silent woman surveyed the captain from between the trees. The Atomic Device was being shipped in at midday. As the foolish men still stupidly believed that that was her target, they would be maximising security around that area, waiting for an attack on it whilst it was being moved. Leaving the rest of the Center relatively unguarded by comparison. A grim smile twisted on her lips as she followed the hidden path ahead with her eyes. The device she was after was in the basement, that much she knew. And now she knew what to do with it too. She looked at her watch. Ten minutes before it arrived. That should give her plenty of time to get into the building and down into the cellar undetected. Stepping back again into the cover of the trees she headed on up the pathway towards the Center. As she reached it she looked around contemptuously. “All too easy,” she told herself. The side of the Center was perfectly shrouded by the undergrowth. As there were no doors, no-one seemed to consider it a security threat, as there were no cameras, no personnel, nothing. But there were windows. Crouching down to look into one of the lower ones, that was situated about 6 inches from the ground, she peered in, recognising an access route to the basement. Bringing her arm back she punched swiftly through the glass, the bones in her hand and arm shattering under the impact. The glass smashed leaving a small hole, just big enough for her to slip through. Blood seeped from her crushed and mangled hand down past her wrist, dripping onto the floor, but she barely noticed. Sitting down, she pushed her legs through the window first, expertly flipping herself through so that she landed on her feet with minimal injuries from the glass, excluding her partially impaled hand and arm. Gritting her teeth, she surveyed her surroundings quickly before heading towards the nearest door.
July 5th 2071
A slim red-headed woman, a mirror image of the earlier figure, watched quietly from the safety of the bushes as her replicant slowly crept down towards the wall, keeping low to the ground and well out of sight of the Spectrum Officers nearby. She quietly followed her skulking friend, being sure to keep out of sight at all times. She watched silently as the figure crouched down in front of the low window, pulling her arm back. Dianne realised at the last second what she was about to do and shut her eyes just as the resounding crash and tinkle of broken glass echoed through the air. She opened her eyes again, looking sadly at the figure’s mutilated and bleeding hand. The woman swung her legs over the shards of broken glass and slipped silently through the window, disappearing into the darkness and vanishing from sight. Rhapsody waited about 20 seconds before she could be sure of there being no immediate re-emergence and then crept forward to examine the smashed window. Imitating her predecessor she swung her legs in first and pushed herself off the ground in a valiant effort to clear the broken glass of the window and land on her feet. However, her injuries would not allow her the grace and the flexibility that they had allowed her clone. She skittered over the glass, grazing her back on them as she slid through the window. She bit down on a cry of pain, forcing herself to remain silent. She landed with a clang on the floor, tottering on her feet for a moment before her injured ankle gave way beneath her and she collapsed onto the floor, her hand wrapped around her throbbing foot. She allowed herself a ten-second breather before forcing herself back onto her feet. She took a hesitant step towards the door-testing the ankle- and paused. Her holster was empty- she had handed in her gun, her knife was gone… she was completely unarmed, and completely defenceless. Not if I can help it, she thought looking around for anything that could pass as a weapon. The room was littered with abandoned items and old junk and she sought through the mess desperately for a minute or two before she came across the bat. It was badly splintered and the end had been snapped off. This, she supposed, had been the reason for its disposal, but nonetheless, as a weapon it would suffice. Clutching the bat firmly between her shaking hands she walked firmly towards the door.
July 5th 2071
Captain Blue observed the car quietly. He had noticed the blood on the door handle the second he had pulled up next to it and had gone to investigate. He had found blood on the seat, the dashboard, the steering wheel and outer door. Hardly a coincidence he thought grimly, thinking of the corpse that he had just left behind. A-ha. Crouching to the floor he examined the incomplete footprint. I’m guessing she stepped in something she didn’t anticipate he thought quietly, examining the dried blood that made up the imprint. There were four more, each getting a little fainter as the blood from her shoe wore off. From this he managed to deduce two things immediately. One, whoever made this imprint had a liberal amount of blood on her right foot, blood which almost certainly came from the maimed security guard that he had just passed, and two, she had headed into the trees.
Tracking was never Adam’s favourite thing, he usually left it to Captain Scarlet who was generally was much more gifted in that area, being more capable of spotting things and analysing them. The footprints appeared and disappeared in the soft earth, the blood from her shoe having finally worn off. They would disappear for a period of time during which he would continue in the same direction, searching the ground until another imprint told him that he was heading in the right direction. But the direction in which the feet took him weren’t towards the main entrance where he could hear all the Spectrum personnel gathered. They led away from it, leading alongside the Center. Maybe she’s planning on a surprise attack, he thought, scanning the earth once more as the footprints vanished for the umpteenth time. By now his tracking skills had led him directly alongside the Center and it was here that the footsteps finally stopped. But it only took a quick glance around to tell Captain Blue where his enemy had gone. Noticing the window quickly, he hurried over, pausing to examine the fresh blood on the spiked glass of the rear ledge. The thought of her pain gave him a feeling of grim satisfaction as he shrugged off his jumper and laid it over the top of the glass, protecting himself from similar injuries. Threading his legs through the window first, he jumped quickly, bending his knees as he hit the floor but straightening up quickly.
“I know you’re in here, Rhapsody,” he murmured aloud. “And you are going to wish that you had never been born.”
July 5th 2071
“Captain Scarlet? I think you should take a look at this.” The request was given by an aging member of the security team. Captain Scarlet, whom he had been addressing, turned.
“What is it?”
“Of the suspect?”
“Not exactly, but I think you should take a look.” Captain Scarlet nodded briefly and strode after the man quickly, leaving the security guards whom he had been standing with alone. The short and balding man quickly led him into a darkened room and after a moments with the TV on the desk inside, fiddling an image flickered on to the screen before him. “This was taken about 45 minutes ago,” muttered the man, stepping back to allow the captain plenty of room. Captain Scarlet watched silently, as the camera turned slowly, scanning over the area around the security booth.
“Where is this one situated?” he asked over his shoulder.
“It’s the security booth at the main entrance,” the man replied, somewhat hesitantly. As the camera twisted back round to the right, Captain Scarlet had a split second view of a young woman with red hair before a small rock came flying out towards the camera and the image abruptly vanished to be replaced with a liberal amount of static.
“This one is from the car park a few minutes later,” the man continued, fiddling with controls for a moment before presenting his second find to the captain. They both watched as a red car pulled into the car park, but disappeared suddenly out of sight as the camera continued to rotate. By the time it had swivelled back, the car had been parked and the woman had vanished.
“We kept checking footage to see if she returned to the car…”
“And?” Paul Metcalfe cut in abruptly, turning to face the man.
“She hasn’t returned yet but there was a man caught closely examining the car about ten minutes ago. He walked off into the bushes afterwards.”
“A man? Can I see this please?”
“Of course.” A few more knobs were twiddled and a third image appeared onto the screen. A red saloon rolled into the car park, and after circling it for a moment it parked next to the first car. As the blond haired captain left his vehicle and hurried over to the car, Captain Scarlet gave a gasp of shock and worry.
“You know this man?” asked the security guard cautiously.
“Yes,” Captain Scarlet replied briefly, his eyes fixed on the screen. The camera swivelled to the right once more and Scarlet let out an exasperated sigh, waiting with all the patience he could muster for the camera to roll back. When it eventually did, Scarlet was relieved to see Adam still there, now crouching down on the floor, examining what Scarlet guessed were footprints of some kind. Although he could make out a somewhat blurred dot on the screen it was a little difficult to ascertain exactly what the young captain seemed to be focusing his attention on. After a moment or two, just as the camera continued its path back round to the right hand side of the car park, Captain Blue rose to his feet once more and strode off into the bushes.
“He’s following Rhapsody.” Scarlet froze, his eyes still fixed on the screen. “He’s going to kill her but…” He froze as a second thought rose in his mind. “What if it is my Rhapsody? He’s… he’s going to kill her!”
“What? Kill who?” asked the Security Guard urgently, but Scarlet ignored him. His microphone flipped down to his mouth and he left the room whilst speaking into it.
“Captain Magenta, security footage of the supposed criminal has been found entering the grounds. Remember our orders are to capture, not kill,” he muttered quickly, hurrying down the corridor.
“Yes, fine, where is she?”
“The security footage is a little unclear but about half an hour later, Captain Blue was caught on the same camera. I’m going now to investigate.”
“Captain Blue? Wha.. what’s Adam doing here? How did he know we were here anyway?” came the shocked reply.
“I guess he hacked into our radio frequencies,” he replied stiffly, bursting out through the front door and hurrying up towards the car park. “But we need to get to Rhapsody before he does. He’s not thinking clearly. If he kills her….” Scarlet hurriedly swallowed the lump that was rising in his throat, “then he could be arrested. I’m going to find him now. Maintain security. Our first priority is to get that Atomic Device in safely, ok?”
It didn’t take long for Captain Scarlet to reach the car park and it took even less to locate the red saloon that he recognised as Captain Blue’s. Upon reaching it he glanced around and quickly spotted the black car that obviously belonged to Rhapsody. He ran over, skidding to a halt as he reached it. His heart thudded painfully as he slowly reached out to touch the dried blood that was encrusted on the door handle. But Adam was examining this so he can’t have been responsible, he told himself sternly. The fuzzy image of Rhapsody - his Rhapsody – rose in his mind, limping down the dark alleyway, her clothes stained with blood and dirt. This must be from a previous injury. But at least she’s alive and moving. That means she can’t be too bad. Flicking his eyes to the floor, he picked out the musty footprints that Captain Blue had been seen examining, barely 15 minutes ago. Straightening up he quickly followed the imprints into the bushes.
A few minutes of solid sprinting later and he skidded to a halt by the side of the Atomic Centre Center. Stepping forward he quickly spotted the broken glass and the sky-blue jumper that had been threaded through the window. Drops of blood littered the glass around the window and he guessed that one or the other of the two Spectrum members that he was currently pursuing had cut themselves rather badly on the broken glass. A bloody handprint just inside the window frame suggested that it was Rhapsody. Swivelling on to his front Captain Scarlet quickly thrust himself through the window and landed with a thump on his rear. Leaping to his feet, he removed his gun from its holster and headed towards the one and only door.
July 5th 2071
Rhapsody paused, her ears straining hard for the slightest noise. She knew she was close. The soft padding of footsteps reached her ears and she shrank back against the wall, into the shadows. Backing in to the nearest room, Rhapsody armed herself against the intruder. The room was dark and dirty, the only light coming from a small light further up the hall. The smell of damp mould was over-powering. The footsteps drew nearer. She was going to pass by… Digging into her pocket Rhapsody threw a small handful of coins towards the door. The footsteps stopped. Crouching down she wound her hands around her weapon, keeping her breathing slow and steady. The door creaked open as the visitor cautiously crept into the room. Rhapsody threw herself upon the woman before she even had a chance to raise her weapon. The two women collapsed to the floor, each struggling to land on top. A bat swung upwards causing one woman a glancing blow to the head. She rolled over to the side, seizing a brick that had fallen to the floor and flinging it at her opponent. Rhapsody, who had been in the process of rising to her feet once more crashed back to the ground as the second woman renewed her attack. Springing across the floor towards her, the second woman landed heavily on the first, smashing her head with the brick, and scratching her face with her hand. Stars twinkled before her eyes as she thrust her foot up, sending the other woman sprawling in to the wall. She staggered to her feet, forcing back the unconsciousness that was threatening to take over. A foot swung out of nowhere catching her in the ribs and knocking all the breath out of her as she thudded to the floor again, her hands searching feverishly for a new weapon. The second woman’s hands closed on the bat and the brought it down upon the other, striking her ferociously in the back and forcing out a small cry of pain. The woman on the floor bit her lip, spinning around on her knees and quickly knocking out the feet from under her foe. Both women crashed to the floor. Fumbling in her belt, Rhapsody yanked out the small blade, holding it in front of her as the second Rhapsody dragged herself up, her dark eyes bright as she snarled at her enemy. Gasping from the pain in her head she launched herself across the room. The momentary surprise in the woman’s eyes was apparent for that split second before the blade sank into her stomach. She gave a yell of pain and fury twisting on the ground, her strength waning as the pain of her injuries spread over her. Rhapsody watched her, quickly grabbing the bat from where it had been left discarded on the floor. She swung it round her head once and crashed it down onto the head of her enemy. All movement ceased and the woman lay still. Panting, the remaining woman staggered out of the room and back down the corridor, clutching her aching chest and head. Seeing the door nearby, she quickly thrust herself through it, shutting it behind her and leaning on the wall for support as she gasped. Slowly she staggered forwards into the room. A small security camera winked on the wall above her and she followed its aim to the small door that lay ahead of her. She tried the handle. Locked.
“Now what could be in here?” she asked herself quietly.
July 5th 2071
Adam Svenson paused outside the door, his heart thudding in his chest. His right, slightly shaking hand, was grasping his gun whilst his left rested on the doorknob. He leant against the door trying to slow his breathing. He had just watched the embodiment of all his hate and anger going through it and now he was standing here outside having second thoughts? “I’m not having second thoughts,” he hissed at himself savagely. Then why are you waiting? “Just…preparing,” She killed Symphony. Adam’s throat restricted as this last thought drifted across his brain. One hand clamped down on his gun whilst the other tightened on the doorknob.
“It’s now or never,” he remarked grimly, his eyes dancing with pain and anger. “Now you are going to pay for what you did to her. Now Rhapsody, you’re going to die.” And with that he flung the door open and, holding his gun up, ran inside.
Emerging out of the darkness his gaze fell upon the young red-headed woman that stood in front of him, facing the opposite door. She had fresh blood in her hair and her breathing was harsh and rasping. She was in a sorry state, staggering slightly, her clothes matted with blood as she gasped with pain. But her injuries did not bring rise to any sympathy in him, only a grim and remorseful pleasure in the knowing that she had suffered. “Hello Rhapsody.” As soon as the words had left his mouth the woman spun round looking alarmed. But before she even had a chance to react he had pulled the trigger. Rhapsody gasped as she staggered back against the wall behind her. Her hand flew to her bosom as the bullet entered her chest and she stared dumbfounded at the blood now blossoming over her fingers. With her face screwed up with pain, she sank down against the back wall, gazing up at the man who stood over, his figure gently slipping in and out of focus.
“No… please…” she gasped, fighting off the cloudy haze that was fogging her vision.
“It’s too late. You should have known that I would get you… would track you down eventually,” she winced as his hard, dark voice pounded through her aching head. The man grimaced, and raised the gun once more, aiming it squarely between her eyes. She shook her head pleadingly, looking deep into his eyes… But the cold eyes that gazed back into her own were wrought with hatred and disgust. She gave a sob of despair. His finger tightened on the trigger and she choked, tasting blood in her mouth.
“Please, please don’t do this…” she began, but it was useless. Adam pulled the trigger and a second gunshot rang around the chamber.
And he watched, a cruel smile lingering over his lips, as Rhapsody’s lifeless form sank to the floor.
July 5th 2071
Paul sprinted down the corridor his heart pounding in his mouth as the second shot resounded down the hallway.
“ADAM!” he screamed breathlessly, his scarlet boots pounding on the rough concrete. “ADAM, DON’T IT WASN’T HER, IT WASN’T HER!” he bellowed forcing his protesting muscles to work harder, forcing himself forwards down the corridor. He skidded to a halt in front of the open door and flew through it, barely stopping to breathe. He slammed onto his heels as he saw the figure of Adam Svenson standing in front of him, turning round to see who was yelling. His breath caught in his chest at the sight of his friend standing silently in front of him, his gun hanging loosely at his side and his cheeks damp with tears.
“Adam, what-” Adam shook his head slightly, cutting him off and silently stepped aside. Paul’s eyes widened in horror as Adam moved and Rhapsody’s body came into view. She was lying crumpled on one side. There was blood smeared across her chest and right leg and her face was dark with bruises. Her head lay in a dark pool of blood that was slowly spreading across the floor. Her left hand lay across her, stretching out over the floor in front of her whilst her right was folded beneath her.
Paul stared dumbfounded at her body, feeling his heart stagger under the shock and pain that it was suddenly experiencing. Adam stood frozen by his side watching the immense pain flickering across his friend’s pale face.
“RHAPSODY!” Scarlet sprang forward with a cry that caused Adam to jump and go rigid with shock. Gathering up Rhapsody in his arms, Scarlet howled, his head bent down over hers, his arms wrapped tenderly around her and he clung to her desperately, willing her to be alive even though he knew that she was already lost. The spreading puddle of blood and her ashen complexion told him this much, but he begged anyway, praying for her, by some miracle, to come back to him.
“Paul…” Adam started, feeling both shocked and somewhat horrified by his obvious show of affection that he had demonstrated for the fallen woman.
“ADAM!” Paul screamed, tears streaming freely down his face.
“Paul! She’s a traitor, you saw what she did to Symphony!” he yelled back, his stomach churning at the sight of his friend clinging so tightly to the murderer of his beloved Symphony.
“IT WASN’T HER, ADAM, IT WAS THE REPLICANT!” Paul screamed back, still hugging her body to him as if hoping to stir her from her deadly sleep. Adam went white trying to comprehend what Paul was telling him.
“Replicant? But… you saw her… it…it was her… how can you tell anyway?” he replied hastily, his mouth fumbling over the words as his heart twisted painfully with the memories of Symphony and the guilt of causing the agony that was now so apparent in his friend’s face.
“BECAUSE SHE WAS WITH ME!” he bellowed, looking down at Rhapsody once more, his mind aching and his heart throbbing painfully as he realised that he would never be with her again.
“With you? But… how… since when? YOU? You… and her? You’re together?”
“We… we were…” Paul whispered hesitantly, feeling as though his heart would break in two with the words. Bending forwards he softly laid a last kiss on Rhapsody’s forehead before laying her back down on the floor and rising to his feet. Seeing this action Adam stepped back nervously, but instead of coming towards him manically Paul simply staggered to the wall and slid down against it, covering his face with his hands. Adam watched him sadly, the guilt in him rising knowing that it was he that had brought this upon his friend. The image of the dead Symphony rose in his mind and his face contorted forcing back the tears that were threatening to overcome him. He walked to Paul’s side and crouched down next to him. He didn’t need to say anything. His presence was enough. Through the pain Scarlet realised that Adam alone knew what this felt like, the agony of losing a loved one.
“Paul, I’m sorry, I didn’t know…” Adam muttered thickly. Paul waved the apology aside and it was a few moments before he could trust himself to speak.
“We need to get her out of here. Back to Cloudbase,” he said stiffly, rising to his feet and wiping his face, forcing himself to regain control of his emotions. Adam rose nervously at his side.
“Ok, I’ll take Rhapsody.”
Scarlet hesitated briefly but then nodded, swallowing hard to rid himself of the rising lump in his throat. Paul backed off towards the door, unable to watch her body any longer. Adam stepped towards her, wiping his face and stooping low over her. Her foot swung out of nowhere, knocking his feet from under him. He collapsed to the floor with a startled cry, just as Rhapsody’s body began twisting around on the floor, rising to its feet. Scarlet let out a yell of surprise as he turned to see his beloved Rhapsody clambering to her feet.
“PAUL, SHE’S A MYSTERON!” roared Adam, using his feet to push himself back along the floor towards Paul. Paul’s fingers closed around his gun, but paused. How can I shoot her? he asked. His momentary hesitation was enough. Rhapsody sprang across the room, bringing her arm crashing down onto Paul’s head. He cried out, staggering sideways into the wall. Adam was back on his feet in a flash, and she whirled around, catching his fist in her face. She staggered backwards but then surged forwards once more, renewing her attack on him. Blue drew his gun but she knocked it aside, sending it skidding along the floor. She lunged for him, knocking him to the floor as she wrapped both hands around his neck. He choked desperately, his hands yanking on hers whilst his feet kicked out at her desperately. A sudden bang echoed around the room, and Rhapsody’s grip suddenly loosened in surprise. Adam twisted around, knocking her back to the floor and pinning her down. Paul crept forward, Adam’s gun still held out nervously in front of him.
“Paul, shoot it again!” Adam cried as the woman began struggling in his grip. Paul pulled the trigger twice more. The woman lay still as her breath left her. Adam released her, gasping.
“She…. She’s a Mysteron,” Paul muttered, his eyes not leaving the twisted figure that lay before him.
“Yes and it seems that she still has a job to do Paul,” said Adam gravely, watching his partner. “She’ll be reviving again soon.” Paul nodded. It was a well known fact that when a Mysteron was killed, if that ‘person’ was still deemed necessary to carry out the Mysteron threat then they would revive, and would continue to do so until they had carried out their task or had been rendered useless.
“But… But what does this mean? Surely Rhapsody must have been killed then but…”
“It means that I need you to go and get a Mysteron gun NOW,” said Adam softly. Paul turned to him, his eyes swimming with unshed tears once more.
“But, but if it got Rhapsody, then…”
“Then she is dead. I’m sorry, Paul, but you know this just as much as I do. Now please, I really need that gun, Paul.” Paul nodded and slowly handed the gun back to his partner.
“Ok. Just hang, here I’ll be back soon,” he muttered, disappearing out of the door. Adam nodded and sighed, returning his gaze to the subject before him as she began to stir slightly. He fired two more bullets into her and she lay still once more.
“Come on, Scarlet,” he thought with a sigh, turning back to the door. “Save my butt.”
July 5th 2071
Paul walked numbly down the hallway, every now and then breaking into a brisk trot for a few moments before slowing back into a walk. Thoughts pumped through his head as he stumbled along, most of them asking Why and pleading for, by some miracle, Rhapsody to still be alive. But they can’t reconstruct without killing first, he told himself sternly. But then what has Rhapsody been doing for the past few months? There have definitely been two! She’s been with me half the time! His mind replied, And how did she get through the Mysteron detectors anyway? If she was a Mysteron… this doesn’t make sense! Scarlet raised a tired hand to ease his aching head as question after question pounded through it. He paused, looking around at the grimy walls of the dark corridor. Reaching out hesitantly to touch a dark spot, he felt the blood on the wall as he brushed his fingertips against it. He looked to the floor. There were more splattered drops on the floor. “What did she do that injured her so much?” he asked softly, following the trail along the ground. “I don’t know, but whatever it was I hope it really hurt her,” he replied with a snarl. He followed the blood droplets off down another narrow corridor, stopping in front of the door at the end. The handle was smeared with blood and the door was splintered where she had clearly shoved herself through it. He kicked the door open, and had to bite back the scream that rose in his throat. A second Rhapsody was lying curled over on the floor. A short blade was sticking out of her stomach and her head was lying in a fairly large pool of blood. Her right shoulder was encrusted with dried blood and her ankle was badly swollen. She bore a black eye and various other cuts on her face. Her left hand was curled around the handle of the knife, whilst the other was bent up towards her neck, clutching something that was hidden in her hand. Scarlet stared at her horrified. No please he thought don’t let her have died like this, don’t make her suffer please. He started towards her but the drew back in shock as the sound of harsh and raspy breathing reached his ears. He threw himself forwards once more. She’s alive! She’s still alive! Rhapsody’s body was crumpled and battered. She had been beaten, cut, kicked and stabbed, but she battled on. Unconscious, but alive. Scarlet crouched down beside her, leaning forward to look at the knife that was still buried in her stomach. His eyes fell on her right hand and he bent over her, gently opening it. Upon doing so, his gaze fell on a small medallion of a flying Angel, with jewelled wings.
He looked back down at her face, taking in all the signs of pain and suffering that she had undergone.
“Hold on Rhapsody,” he whispered gently, pulling off his tunic and folding it under her head. “I’m going to help you. Just hold on.” He planted a soft kiss on her forehead then leapt to his feet and sprinted out again, lowering his radio mike as he did so.
“Captain Scarlet to Captain Magenta come in please.” His feet pounded down the stone corridor as he sprinted on, yelling into the mike.
“Magenta to Scarlet, what’s up, Scarlet? You found Captain Blue yet?”
“Yes, and Rhapsody. I can’t talk now but we need paramedics with a medical-kit, a Mysteron detector and a Mysteron gun to the west side of the centre immediately. There is a broken window there leading into the basement. I will be back there shortly, I need them there NOW please.”
“SIG, Scarlet, we are on our way.” Paul silently thanked Magenta for his competence and his acceptance of Paul’s requests without questioning as his microphone returned to his cap. He sped on skidding to a halt as he turned into the room. He leapt up at the broken window, ignoring the cuts on his hands as he scrambled out into the sunlight, tumbling onto the soft, yet blood-spotted grass. He leapt to his feet, racing on to the corner. He had barely reached it when four men came racing into view. Magenta, Ochre and the two paramedics raced after Scarlet as he beckoned to them, running back to the window. Throwing himself onto his back he slid through it feet first, stopping inside to help the others through.
“How did you get the paramedics so quick?” Scarlet asked as he helped Magenta inside.
“They are onsite doctors. Best we could do at short notice, but an ambulance is on its way and Cloudbase has been alerted. Dr. Fawn is preparing the sickbay. Who’s injured? Is it Blue?” Scarlet shook his head in response, leaning forward to take the first paramedic’s bag as he helped him through the window.
“No time. Come on. I need the two paramedics and the Mysteron detector to come with me, and I need the Mysteron gun down the hallway where Blue is.” Magenta and Ochre exchanged confused looks but knew better than to waste time questioning him. Ochre stepped forward, holding the Mysteron detector in his arms.
“Ok, Scarlet, just show us where we are needed,” Magenta nodded, holding up the bulky Mysteron gun.
“Where’s Blue? I’ll go help him.”
“Straight down the hallway, there is a security door on your left but it’s a fair way down. Call out to him, he can direct you.” Magenta nodded, disappearing down the dark hallway. Scarlet nodded to the three men left standing behind him and ran out and on down the hallway, the other three in close pursuit. He flew into the room where he had left Rhapsody and knelt down by her side. The three others came roaring in, and the paramedics immediately got to work, but Ochre froze.
“Paul..,” he started, falling silent as he shot him a sharp look. Use of personal names on duty was forbidden.
“Scarlet, I mean, it’s… it’s Rhapsody, but she’s a Mysteron…”
“We’ll soon know if she is or not,” Scarlet remarked, nodding towards the Mysteron detector. Ochre nodded, fumbling with the device as he raised it, pointing it at Rhapsody. The paramedics leant out of the way as Ochre took a clean shot of her, lowering the detector once more as he did so. The paramedics bent over her again. Scarlet waited patiently, chewing his lip as Ochre slowly pressed the small button on the side of the device. A picture popped out of the top and Scarlet suddenly felt tears springing to his eyes once more. He cleared them quickly and rose to his feet feeling giddy with relief. The picture showed a clear x-ray shot of a rather battered looking skull. She wasn’t a Mysteron. She was his, and she was alive.
“We need to get this knife out of her, Scarlet, I need you to come and help here.” Scarlet hurried over and knelt beside the man, awaiting further instructions. The man handed him a thick wad of material.
“I’m going to pull the knife out and when I do, she’s going to bleed like mad, ok, so I need you to put as much pressure on the wound as you can. Don’t be worried about hurting her, because the more pressure you apply, the more chance she’s got, ok?” Scarlet nodded. The paramedic wrapped his hand around the weapon and quickly drew it out and Scarlet placed the wad of material over her, covering the sudden swell of blood that was welling up from the wound. He leant heavily on it, exerting all of his weight onto the wound to slow the bleeding. Rhapsody let out a faint gasp as he did this and Scarlet swivelled round to watch her.
“Rhapsody?” he asked incredulously, but the other medic who was examining her head, shook his head.
“That was a subconscious reaction I’m afraid. She’s gonna be out for quite some time.” Scarlet nodded slowly, watching him as he examined the side of her skull.
“Is she going to be ok?” he asked.
“I don’t know. She has severe injuries, multiple fractures to her skull, the stab wound and by the looks of things several broken ribs as well as the other, more minor injuries. But the fact that she’s hung on this far is encouraging. She’s not giving up.” Scarlet gave a faint smile as he took her hand in his.
“I know. You’re a fighter, aren’t you, Rhaps.”
Ochre, who had been standing silently in the corner, finally sprang to life. “But Scarlet, she’s the traitor! She broke in! She’s not the same girl we used to know…”
“Yes she is!” replied Scarlet fiercely. “The Mysteron down the hallway with Adam and Magenta is the traitor who broke in. This is our Rhapsody.”
But despite his insistences Scarlet still saw that flicker of doubt behind Ochre’s eyes and he sighed impatiently. “I don’t have time to argue this out with you, Captain! This woman’s life is at stake – now help us or get out!” he growled. Ochre gave him an uneasy look but then moved forward to help with a sigh.
Come on Rhapsody, you’ve held on this far! I won’t let you die now, I WON’T!
July 5th 2071
Adam Svenson had just fired a shot into the Mysteron’s head for the fourth time when he heard footsteps pelting along the hallway.
“Captain Blue? Captain Blue, where are you?”
“Magenta? In here mate, security door on the left, where’s Scarlet?” Magenta slowed down and quickly located the direction of his colleague’s voice. Having done this he ran through quickly to be greeted by a very relieved looking Adam.
“Thank god, I was beginning to think Paul had forgotten about me!” he joked. Magenta offered a weak smile in return and gestured to the Mysteron.
“Is that her…” The question died on his lips as he recognised the blood-soaked body before him. Adam nodded gravely and looked around.
“He’s off with Ochre and the paramedics.”
“Paramedics? Why, is he hurt?”
“No I don’t think he is. I’m guessing he’s found a security guard or something, someone that’s met her…” He gestured towards the figure lying in front of him, just as she began to stir once more. Magenta didn’t need Blue’s call to snap into action. Expertly raising the specialised gun to his eye he delivered a fatal shot of electricity. The body arched in pain and then crumpled to the floor and lay still. Dead. Adam heaved a sigh of relief.
“Well we’d better get this one-” He nudged her leg with his foot “-back up to Cloudbase. Dr Fawn can run some tests on her.” Magenta nodded in agreement, slinging the weapon over his back and stooping forward to gather her in his arms.
“I’ll take her out, you go find Scarlet. He may need some help.”
“Have you called an ambulance?”
“Yes, once I’ve got this one away I’ll go take them through.”
“See you in a bit.” Blue nodded and hurried back through the doorway and down the corridor, followed shortly by Magenta, carrying the body in his arms.
July 5th 2071
The ambulance skidded into the car park and came to an abrupt halt in front of the waving figure. Two paramedics leapt out, grabbing their bags and a stretcher from the back as they did so.
“Where is the invalid and what are their injuries?” One asked, whilst the other quickly gathered equipment from the back.
“I’m not sure exactly what his injuries are but you’d better come quick,” Magenta replied briskly, grabbing one end of the stretcher. The two followed him quickly. When they reached the window, the man to his right hurried forward first and Magenta was surprised with the agility that he demonstrated as he slid through, landing on his feet unscathed. Magenta silently fed the stretcher and the bags through to him then clambered in himself, pausing to help the last man through. Grabbing their things once more, they hurried on. Moving on down the corridor, Magenta easily recognised the sounds of Scarlet and Blue’s voices and it didn’t take them long to locate the chamber. They ran in. Four figures were bending over the body that was half hidden by both the people and by the flickering light. A fifth man, Blue, stood in the corner and was pointing at the body and yelling whilst the two Spectrum personnel crouched nearby tried to calm him down. But Magenta could see that Ochre seemed to be more on Blue’s side rather than Scarlet’s and was gradually edging away from the body that lay in front of him. Magenta frowned. It wasn’t like Rick to leave an injured man unattended. Woman, he corrected silently, seeing the slim but shapely figure stretched out before him. It’s a woman.
“Captain Blue, she is not a Mysteron! She has passed through the detector test!” Scarlet yelled angrily.
“I JUST KILLED HER SCARLET! I JUST KILLED HER LIKE FIVE TIMES!”
“No, you killed the Mysteron reconstruction, I don’t know how but she is still alive, ok, and we are fighting to keep her that way.”
“But she’s still a traitor, Scarlet!”
Scarlet answered Blue’s cry with a swift and furious look. “No she isn’t,” he said quietly, turning back to the woman before him. Magenta moved forward, his brows furrowed, and as he did so the woman’s face slid into view. His mouth dropped open and he looked from Rhapsody’s pale face to Blue’s somewhat angry and confused one, before flickering over to Scarlet’s annoyed but rather pale and concerned pallor. Mouth open, he looked to Blue for an explanation but Blue only shook his head in response, still staring, dumbfounded, at his partner.
July 5th 2071
Dianne Simms was rushed to hospital, arriving just after 1pm on July 5th. After being administered a combination of drugs and antibiotics, she underwent an operation to repair the internal injuries caused by the stab wound in her stomach. She was lost twice on the operating table, but the doctors thankfully managed to revive her. Captain Scarlet cried when he heard that the operation had been a success. Both he and Captain Blue had remained behind at the hospital for news, whilst the others took her impostor back to Cloudbase for analysis. Once Rhapsody’s condition had been stabilised, Captain Scarlet radioed Cloudbase who made plans for her immediate return to Cloudbase, under the care of Dr. Fawn. She arrived back at Cloudbase just after 10pm, giving rise to much confusion and speculation. She had a tough time ahead of her.
July 5th 2071
“Scarlet you should get some rest.”
“No thanks, Doc, I’m fine.”
Dr. Fawn sighed, looking him over with a critical eye. Ever since Rhapsody’s return to base he had sat faithfully in Sickbay, sitting with her whenever Dr. Fawn permitted him to and sitting outside waiting for news when he didn’t.
“How is she doing?”
“Scarlet you are going to make yourself ill, she’s fine and you need your rest.”
“How is she doing?” Scarlet repeated, insistently, ignoring the doctor’s last statement. Dr. Fawn sighed.
“I have completed my check-over of her. Fortunately the blade that caused the main extent of the damage was fairly short, which is why she managed to survive. A longer blade would have killed her instantly.” Scarlet nodded, paling a little. “She has extensive injuries to her muscle tissue as well as three cracked ribs, a sprained ankle, an infected shoulder and multiple fractures on her skull. I have cleaned up her shoulder injury and that shouldn’t cause too much bother once the antibiotics have taken care of the infection.”
“So… she’s going to be ok?”
Doctor Fawn nodded. Captain Scarlet smiled thankfully and collapsed backwards into the chair behind him. “Thank god.”
“But there is one other thing. Did Rhapsody happen to tell you that she was currently about 3 months along?”
Scarlet blinked back in confusion. “You mean - you mean she’s pregnant?”
Dr. Fawn nodded slowly. “She visited me towards the end of April with sickness and stomach pains, which is when she found out.”
“In April?” Scarlet asked, his brows furrowed in shock and confusion. Then suddenly it came back to him. The day Rhapsody had been accused she had been coming out of sickbay. He snorted. “Sleeping pills,” she’d said. He smiled a little. She must have been scared of telling him. He looked up at the doctor, a rare smile bracing his lips at the thought of his baby with Rhapsody. “Is the baby ok?” Doctor Fawn shook his head sadly, causing Scarlet’s stomach to somersault.
“I’m sorry. When Rhapsody was stabbed, although the knife was not deep enough to penetrate far enough into her body to harm the baby directly, it was deep enough to damage the placenta. It caused internal bleeding within the amniotic fluid and there was a transfusion of Rhapsody’s blood into the baby’s.” Scarlet blinked.
“But what does that mean?”
“It means that Rhapsody’s injury has caused her blood to mix with the blood of the infant. Her blood poisoned the baby.” Scarlet reeled back in shock.
“I’m afraid the baby has died. They discovered this in hospital. The foetus was removed during her stomach operation.”
“Does she know?”
“She is still unconscious, but should be coming around within the next 6 hours.”
“Can I sit with her please?”
Dr. Fawn surveyed him silently for a moment then nodded. “Ok, but you must promise not to disturb her in any way.” Scarlet nodded reverently and moved towards the door. “And Scarlet?” Scarlet turned back to face the doc.
“You don’t have to answer but I’m guessing that I can make a fairly safe bet about who the father is. It may be advisable for you to break the news of the baby to her. I think she would appreciate a friendly face there.” Scarlet nodded silently, not trusting his wavering voice to behave if he spoke. He turned the handle, entered the room and quietly settled himself down beside the bed.
July 6th 2071
Squeezing her eyes open and peering groggily through the slits, Rhapsody looked around the room, the sickbay gradually sliding into focus. She muttered a low groan and clenched her teeth to battle the sudden wave of thudding pain and nausea that swept through her head. Opening her eyes once more she looked around, recognising her surroundings. “Cloudbase,” she muttered thickly, a wave of emotion sweeping through her as she realised that she was finally home. Her throat constricted further as she recognised the scarlet-clad figure sitting on the chair beside the bed, his head and torso leaning forward, resting on the bed whilst his arms wrapped around himself to form a makeshift pillow. He was breathing gently, and her left hand was clasped in his. Her eyes flickered down herself and she saw the bandages around her midsection and felt more wrapped around her head. Moving slowly, and wincing as she felt pain shoot through her sore shoulder, she slowly moved her right hand over to him, her fingers slowly sliding over his coarse and unshaven cheek before softly ruffling his hair. He stirred, turning his head towards her and slowly opening his eyes. His eyes locked onto hers and there was a split second of blankness before he smiled, his face transforming with a burst of recognition, relief and love. His hand came forwards once more and clasped hers firmly.
“Rhapsody!” he croaked “You… you’re ok!” She nodded weakly, unshed tears shining in her eyes.
“How did I get here? What… what happened?” Her mind spun over the last few events in her mind as she sought for an answer to the question in her own memory banks. One image floated towards her. Herself. She sat bolt upright, causing Scarlet to jump in shock at the unexpected movement. A sudden wave of agonising pain rammed itself home through her midsection, and she gave a small cry, biting down on her lip to smother it. Paul quickly leant forward, wrapping his arms around her as he gently pushed her back down onto the bed.
“Rhapsody, please, please don’t do that! I’ll get Doctor Fawn, he can give you some painkillers…”
“No!” Rhapsody grimaced with the words, her hands now clamped over her throbbing stomach. “No, I’m ok. I just want to know what happened! Where is she? Was she captured?”
“Yes, relax. She was caught and killed with the Mysteron gun. It’s over. You’re cleared.”
Through the sickening pain, Rhapsody gave a relieved smile. “Really? You mean it? I can come home?”
Scarlet nodded, smiling back at her. But her expression changed, as her eyes flickered down to her stomach, taking in the heavy bandages that were there. Her eyes widened in horror, and Paul guessed what she was thinking about. He leant forwards and tenderly took her hand.
“I’m so sorry, Rhapsody.”
Her eyes locked on his, shining with new tears. She swallowed hard. “The baby?” she whispered desperately, her voice thick with tears.
“I’m sorry, when you were stabbed, it caused you to have a miscarriage. The baby… our baby died.”
Rhapsody closed her eyes, tears sliding down her cheeks as she battled against the wave of pain and despair that she was now experiencing. Scarlet gently leant towards her, wrapping his arms around her.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked, whispering softly in her ear, as she clung to him, desperately seeking his comfort.
“I…I was scared. I didn’t know… I’m sorry.”
“You didn’t know how I would react?” Scarlet pulled back a little, using one hand to softly caress her cheek, and wipe away the flowing tears. She nodded dumbly. He gave her a sad smile and pulled her towards him once more, holding her gently yet firmly in his arms. Never wanting to let go.
July 10th 2071
“Ah there you are Captain Scarlet. Take a seat.” Captain Scarlet nodded to the colonel and seated himself down at the table between Captains Magenta and Grey. As his eyes flickered around the table, he spotted another friend sitting opposite him and offered him a small smile. Adam grinned back, sheepishly.
“Well, now that Captain Scarlet has arrived, we can begin our meeting. We are all aware of the events that took place a mere five days ago. And at the same time we are all still aware of the Mysteron threat that was delivered to us on April 17th, nearly 3 months ago. Roll the tape, Lieutenant.” Lieutenant Green nodded, and flicked a switch on his console. The voice of the Mysterons filled the room immediately as it bleared out through the speakers.
“THIS IS THE VOICE OF THE MYSTERONS. WE KNOW THAT YOU CAN HEAR US, EARTHMEN; WE ARE TRANSMITTING ON ALL OF YOUR TELEVISION AND RADIO FREQUENCIES. ONE OF YOUR SPECTRUM AGENTS WILL BETRAY YOU ALL. OVER THE WEEKS AND MONTHS YOU WILL SUFFER GREATLY AT THE HANDS OF SOMEONE THAT YOU ONCE CALLED A FRIEND. YOU WILL PAY THE ULTIMATE PRICE FOR YOUR ACTS OF AGGRESSION ON MARS, EARTHMEN. YOU WILL BE BETRAYED.” A ringing silence fell as the last words of the threat died. Colonel White cleared his throat.
“We now know who the Mysteron threat was referring to, but as usual they delivered the threat in the form of a riddle, using trickery to turn us against our own men. Although the Mysteron traitor was Rhapsody, it was not the Rhapsody we know. She both was and is innocent,” He turned to Captain Scarlet. “How is she doing, Captain?”
“She’s better sir, still in a fair bit of pain, and still very upset obviously, but Doctor Fawn says she is no longer in any real danger.”
“Good. But this still leaves us with several questions. How did the Mysteron replicate a Rhapsody that could get through the Mysteron detectors? Why didn’t they kill our Rhapsody when they did it? But I believe we can now work out the answer to these questions. Lieutenant?” The lieutenant pressed another switch and an image flickered onto the oval screen above their heads. It was Rhapsody. She was lying in a bed, with a white sheet pulled up to her neck. Her skin was bruised and her ashen complexion showed that she was quite clearly dead. Scarlet’s breath caught in his throat.
“This is the body of a woman who was found dead in her car just two days ago. She had driven off a cliff, down a very high drop. “
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! are you telling me we had three Rhapsodys going round?” Ochre asked, his voice torn between shock and disbelief.
“No. After testing and finger print scanning on this woman, it became quite clear that she was NOT Dianne Simms.” Everyone stared at him curiously, waiting for him to explain. “I have had Captains Blue and Grey doing field search for the past few days, gathering information. This woman is Sarah Jackson, aged 26 years. She was born in Kent, England, and moved to America when she was 17. Three months ago she was employed by a man known as Mr Turner.” At these words everyone in the room looked up sharply, and one word buzzed around the room.
“She went through a severe plastic surgery, to transform her into the Rhapsody that we would recognise. She was not a Mysteron, merely a young girl, desperate for a bit of cash. After stealing Rhapsody’s looks and identity it would have been fairly simple for her to obtain a Spectrum pass, making them believe her to be our Rhapsody. She was the one that broke into the security vaults and stole the papers.”
“But, but she was a Mysteron!” Scarlet broke in, looking stunned. The colonel nodded.
“Tests show that this woman was killed about five days ago. Killed in a freak accident. I think we can safely say that is was her that was Mysteronised, not Rhapsody.”
“Sir? Does this mean that Rhapsody will definitely be rejoining the Angel crew?” Asked Scarlet.
“Yes. I have spoken to Chastity Angel, and she has requested to return to Spectrum headquarters, to her original job. She will be leaving as soon as Rhapsody is back on her feet.”
“And me?” Blue asked quietly.
“You have already been reassigned to field officer duties, Captain. You have been restored back to your full duty now. As the ‘Rhapsody’ that you attacked was in fact a Mysteron, you could hardly be court-marshalled and put on trial for that.”
Captain Blue nodded, looking relieved as Colonel White turned back to address them all.
“We have all suffered at the hands of the Mysterons over the past few months. The loss of Symphony was a great one. She was an incredible pilot, and a wonderful woman, one that can never be replaced. Her loving attitude and her dedication to her job will never be forgotten. And yet, in many ways we have been lucky. If Captain Blue had… er… shall we say ‘mixed up his targets’ things would have turned out very differently. We all know about the Mysterons’ love of spreading pain, sadness and mistrust. They succeeded in turning us against a friend and ally. Fortunately, we realised our mistake before it was too late, but next time we may not be so lucky. We must take note of this as we continue our fight against the Mysterons.”
July 10th 2071
Rhapsody looked up at the faint knocking on the door.
“Come in.” The door opened and Adam Svenson’s nervous and embarrassed looking face popped around it. Rhapsody’s face cracked into a delighted smile. “Adam! I’d been wondering where you’d got to! Come on, come in, come in!” Adam returned the grin and entered the room, clutching a small bunch of daffodils, which he handed to her as he approached the bedside.
“Here, I got these for you.”
She smiled and took them from him, sniffing them as she did so. “Thanks! They’re really lovely, Adam!”
“Do you want me to find you a vase?”
“Nah, don’t worry. I’ll ask Dr. Fawn for one a bit later.”
“Has he already been in today?”
“Yes he came in earlier.”
“Nothing more really… general check-up, I’m improving but still need a lot of work. He says I should be in for at least another three weeks!” Rhapsody finished dramatically, leaning back on the bed with a sigh, one hand rubbing her bandaged head angrily.
“Well, you have been through a lot, you know, Rhapsody! I heard him say earlier that he was amazed how fast you were recovering.”
“Exactly! I’m recovering fine and yet I’ve just been confined to three weeks of sheer boredom!”
He smiled. “Aww, come on, it can’t be that bad! You get visitors, after all.”
“Just Paul mainly! The Angels have dropped by once or twice and Rick and Pat once but that’s it. No one trusts me,” she remarked sadly.
“Yes they do!” he protested, biting his lip with guilt for not coming to see her sooner. She looked up at him.
“Oh yeah? Where have you been then?” she asked accusingly. Adam lowered his head shamefully, and Rhapsody sighed, then reached forward and took his hand.
“I’m sorry, Adam. I know this has been hard for you, but it’s been hard for me too. I know I look like the woman that killed Symphony, but that’s just it! I look like her. I’m not her herself!”
“I know. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. Just please, I need all the friends I can get right now. I’m still mourning her too. And… and my baby.” Adam looked up, shocked, to see a single tear sliding down her cheek.
“You… what? You’re pregnant?” She shook her head.
“No. I was though. The baby died in the attack.”
“Oh my god, Rhaps, I had no idea! I’m so sorry!” He stopped suddenly and his eyes widened further. “Oh god, it was Paul’s, wasn’t it!” She sighed, then nodded slowly. Adam stared at her in bewilderment.
“He’s spending all his time alone in his room, and he always seemed so over-concerned with you but… why didn’t you tell me?”
“When could I have? I’ve not seen you!”
“OK, but then why didn’t he tell me?”
“I didn’t want everyone to know. I told you because I want you to know that you’re not the only one on Cloudbase that is grieving and you are NOT the only one that misses Symphony. She was one of my best friends, Adam, and she died thinking it was me attacking her. That is something that I will never be able to forgive myself for.”
“Forgive yourself? But you’ve done nothing wrong!” he protested.
“But that didn’t stop you trying to kill me, did it?” she snapped. “It’s eating me alive, Adam! It hurts me that my friends so easily turned on me. How could they believe that I would do that to her? Even Paul was doubtful at times but…” Adam silenced her words by moving towards the bed and swiftly pulling her gently towards him and engaging her in a firm embrace.
“I’m so sorry. I know there is nothing I can say that will make up for everything, Rhaps, but you have my trust, totally and 100 percent. And I want you to know there isn’t a day goes by that I’m haunted by how this could have turned out, if it really was you that I’d attacked.” He sighed and released her. “But I felt that I was being eaten alive. I felt like I was disrespecting her memory by just sitting and twiddling my thumbs when the person who killed her was still out there.”
“But revenge isn’t always the best way to remember someone. Have you thought of putting on a memorial for her? Now that all the hullabaloo is over, it might be a good idea. A way for people to pay their final respects to her or something.” He looked at her thoughtfully.
“Yeah. I think that’s a brilliant idea! We can have photographs of her, and play her favourite songs. Ooh, maybe I can perform them! As one last departing gift to her or something?” Rhapsody smiled at his enthusiastic attitude, and opened her mouth to respond, but was cut short by the door opening. Paul walked in smiling at her, but stopped suddenly at the sight of Adam, his eyes looking suddenly panicky, as they sped over Rhapsody, obviously checking for any obvious signs of trauma.
“Hey, Paul!” Rhapsody grinned at him reassuringly. “Adam just came to see how I was.” Paul looked at Adam slightly warily but then nodded and moved towards the bed. Adam stood up, looking rather upset about his friend’s peculiar behaviour.
“Don’t worry, Paul, I only came in to talk,” he remarked heavily. “I’ll just be going.”
“No don’t!” cried Rhapsody looking worried. “Stay a while, Adam, please!”
He offered her a small smile. “Nah I’ve got this memorial to organise, haven’t I, especially if I’m performing!” he grinned. “But I’ll come see you again soon, if that’s ok… with you both?” He grinned and locked eyes with Paul, who was now looking thoroughly embarrassed by his suspicious behaviour.
“That would be great,” Rhapsody smiled and waved as he left the room in the direction of his quarters.
“What’s wrong?” Paul asked, after she thoughtfully fell silent for a moment or two.
“Nothing. Adam just decided he was going to organise a memorial for Symphony.”
“That’s a great idea! Did you suggest it?”
“Mmmm. But that’s not what I was thinking about.”
Paul frowned. “No?”
“He said he was going to perform her favourite song for her.”
Paul froze, looking scandalised. “He didn’t!”
“And… I suddenly realised that three weeks in sickbay didn’t seem so bad after all!”
Inspiration and Author's Notes
All the characters involved are based on the ones from Gerry Anderson’s Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. I cannot take credit for any of them. My ideas for this story came from a variety of different areas. First mentioning should go to the author of ‘Parallax View’, Chris Bishop. That was one of the first stories I read and it was so good that it inspired me to write my own. Because of this there may be a few unintentional similarities between them so I thought I should mention them just in case someone spots a few and complains. The idea of a non-Mysteron replicant was based around the ideas used in the episode named ‘Skin Deep’ of Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet. To my knowledge there is no such place as the ‘Harbor Atomic Center’ and this was entirely my own fabrication.
Thanks should also go to Melissa Gaffney and Sophie Cade who helped along with a few ideas etc. as I was writing it.
And one last thanks goes to all the other stories that are currently on this page. I have read most of them now and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them so thanks guys!