New series Suitable for all readersAction-oriented/low level of violence

 

A NEW CAPTAIN SCARLET STORY

written by Nike

 

"Scarlet to Spectrum... I'm coming home,"  Captain Scarlet said through the intercom and pressed a few buttons on his control. He grabbed the control column with both hands and pulled it towards him. The Spectrum shuttle roared to life as the massive vehicle got off the ground, and took to the red Martian sky.

He closed his eyes for a moment and sighed. He looked back at what had happened in the last few hours; things had gone horribly wrong, Scarlet knew, but he had no idea exactly what had happened.

The last time he left Mars all by himself he had had Black's lifeless body with him, zipped up in a body bag. The thought still sent shivers down his spine; the idea that he was still down there, somewhere, either dead... or worse... back under Mysteron control.

As it passed through the Martian atmosphere, the shuttle stopped shaking and it floated gently, high above the planet. Scarlet switched to autopilot so the craft would automatically rendezvous with the orbiting main body.

He tried again to get in touch with Spectrum. He pressed a few buttons: "Scarlet to Central Control."

Nothing.

"Scarlet to Central Control, come in." Still nothing. 

Scarlet searched for any errors on his screens but could find none. I’ll try it again later, he thought and he got out of his seat. He removed the gloves of the armoured spacesuit he was wearing and pushed himself up and floated to the back of the shuttle's cockpit.

 

 

* * *

 

 

"Scarlet to Spectrum... I'm coming home."         

Colonel White glanced at Lieutenant Green who gave him a puzzled look. The colonel pressed a white button on his desk and said, "Scarlet, are you alright? What happened?"

 No response.

"I'm running a diagnostic now, sir," Lieutenant Green said, from behind her desk as she quickly typed on her massive holographic computer.

A few minutes later, on the other side of Central Control, an elevator came up and opened. Destiny Angel and Captain Blue walked out of it towards the colonel's office.

 "Any word from Scarlet?" Blue asked as soon as he walked into the office.

"Yes, Captain.  We got a message from him but we seem to have lost all communications. We know he and Black landed safely on Mars, and left the ship onboard the Bison. What exactly happened after that we are not sure of, but there is one thing we now do know." 

"What?" asked Blue, as he and Destiny followed the colonel out of his office towards Lieutenant Green.

"We lost their signal right here,"  White explained, and he looked at the lieutenant who called up a satellite image of Mars.  The image quickly zoomed in on an unnamed crater. "We suspect, that they did find the Mysteron city but what exactly happened then, we just don't know.   However, seven minutes later, the Bison’s signal resurfaced at the bottom of the crater and moved away to the edge of the crater where it stopped for a few more minutes and then returned to the shuttle."

"So... What do we know, that doesn't really help us?" Blue asked puzzled.

"This is very likely the location of the Mysteron city, Captain," Colonel White said, and pointed to the screen.

"But what did the message say, sir?" Destiny asked the colonel nervously.

In the past few weeks the atmosphere on Skybase had changed - a lot. Scarlet's absence was clearly noticeable, and the fact that he was together with Captain Black made the whole situation even stranger.

The colonel knew that out of all the people, Destiny was affected the most. As much as she tried to hide it, it was obvious she wasn’t sleeping much, and as much as he hated to admit it, he wasn’t either.  During his years in MI6 he had had many sleepless nights, but this was different. One of his best men, if not his best, had disobeyed a direct order and helped a captive escape. But that wasn't the fact that bothered him, the whole situation was just extremely awkward, as no one on board really knew what to say or how to act.

"Well…" The colonel walked back into his office and pressed a small button on his desk to replay the message.

 ‘Scarlet to Spectrum. I'm coming home." Scarlet's voice echoed loud in the nervous silence of the room. 

"That's all?" Destiny asked sharply.

 "I'm sorry, Destiny, I'm afraid that's all there is. I would like to hear more. I want them both back on Skybase as soon as possible," the colonel said.

"So we have to wait... for another two weeks." Destiny sighed and dropped her head a little in frustration.

"Not necessarily, we might fix the communications.  How is it going, Lieutenant?"

"Nothing yet, sir; I can't seem to find anything wrong.   It's not our equipment.   The Space Agency just called, there was no interference on the  signal. It could be solar interference, but I think that is unlikely in the present situation," the lieutenant answered.

"So what do we do?" Blue asked as he looked back at the colonel.

 

 

Scarlet opened his eyes, and looked at the metal ceiling above him. He unbuckled his belt and got out of his sleeping compartment. He floated to the shuttle’s cockpit and looked at the main control screen.   It had been thirteen days since he left Mars,  and still there was no word from Spectrum, or anyone else, for that matter. He had never felt so lonely in his entire life. Even after his parents died, he still had his sister to look after, friends to support him and a job he could focus on, but now he could do little else then wait. Last time he was coming back from Mars alone,  he still had communication with Spectrum. The continued silence in the ship started to get to him.

He was glad that the Earth was getting bigger and bigger through the windows for the last few days as he looked at the Navigation System. Seven more hours until I am home, he thought to himself.

He had written his report days ago, and described every little detail he could remember: the pulsing city, the power source exploding and every word the Mysterons had said.

Black believed he was free, but no-one escapes our dominion.

Scarlet shivered when reading back through his report. He had been so close to dying there, the second time. 

The Mysterons killed me, he thought to himself, they killed Paul Metcalfe, and rebuilt his body from retrometabolised matter. If Adam hadn't shot me, I would still be doing the Mysterons' dirty work, or more likely I would be dead anyway.

The Mysterons would have destroyed humanity dozens of times already if it wasn't for you,’ Adam had once said to him.  Being alone for the past thirteen days hadn't done Scarlet any good; he kept thinking about the Mysterons, making up all kind of hypotheses about them and doubting himself: if even he couldn't escape the Mysterons... what had they meant anyway?  He didn't want to think about it, but he knew that when he got home, his problems were far from over. Conrad resurrecting wasn't good for Destiny either; he’d always known that she still had feelings for him, and he knew that this situation hadn’t made things easier at all.

Well, plenty of time to worry about that later. Right now I have to get home first, he thought to himself, as he started to prepare for re-entry. 

 

 

"Right, that's the plan," Colonel White said, as he stood up and looked at the assembled group of men and women in his office around him.

Captains Blue, Magenta, Ochre, Orange, Indigo and Grey were all there, as well as Destiny Angel and Doctor Gold.

 "So... as soon as they land we need to arrest them?" Blue asked, surprised, as he went through the colonel's plan in his head again.

 "For all we know, Paul Metcalfe and Conrad Lefkon are dead.  God knows who, or what, is or are flying that shuttle," the colonel said. "It's just a precaution, Captain;  Doctor Gold will not only do DNA tests but will also monitor brain activity. If they are cleared, they are back on the force, but we need to take safety measurements if we don't want Skybase to be sabotaged again." The colonel was obviously thinking of what  had happened in the weeks after the Mysterons had declared war and Scarlet returned from Mars. Captain Blue still looked a little stunned at the news he just heard, but understood it was a necessary precaution.

"Destiny, as soon as the shuttle enters the Earth's atmosphere, I want the Angels to escort them to the Space Agency. I don't want them to land anywhere else but there. If they alter their course, they are to be shot down."

"Yes, Colonel, SIG," Destiny responded.

Although the last month had been hard on everyone, as soon as an operation was prepared, everything seemed to return to normal. Everyone did his or her duty.

White continued: "I know this seems harsh, but we all know what happened the last time. I haven’t given up on them, and I am positive about their survival, but I also don't want to take any chances. Is that clear?"

"SIG, Colonel," Captain Magenta answered, as all the captains nodded in response and left the room.

Colonel White walked towards Lieutenant Green and asked for a status update.

 "The Spectrum shuttle will enter the Earth's atmosphere in twenty-six minutes, touch down at the Space Agency in thirty-two minutes,” Green reported. “Still no word from them, Colonel.”

The colonel nodded in response and looked out over the spectacular panorama of the flight deck and to the open sky beyond it.  At the end of the runways, circular platforms dropped down and the Falcon aircraft were raised on to the flight deck.  A few seconds later, the aircraft accelerated and rocketed along the length of the runway and into the sky.

 

 

* * *

 

Scarlet looked out of the window and saw the outside view turn from black to bright orange.   The entire craft shuddered violently as the Spectrum shuttle entered the Earth's atmosphere.  After a few minutes, the bright orange flames that were blocking Scarlet's view died out, and the sky was bright blue.

With an enormous sigh of relief, Scarlet relaxed a bit and flew the spacecraft towards the ESA. He looked down through the cockpit’s windows and saw the desert race by below him.  His radar suddenly sprung into life and started bleeping faster and faster. He saw that there were five fast aircraft tailing him and, a few moments later, the five Falcons passed above the shuttle and decelerated to form an escort around it.

Scarlet commenced final approach and saw the Space Agency launch facility appear on the horizon. He hovered the massive spacecraft above one of the landing pads, the same one they used for the launch, little over a month ago. He looked at one of his monitor screens and saw two Albatross aircraft standing near the landing pad. He slowly landed the shuttlecraft and felt an enormous wave of relief wash over him when he felt the craft touch down. He turned the shuttle's systems off and left the cockpit.

 

 

Outside, Captain Blue stepped out of the Albatross aircraft. The cabin was filled with Spectrum special forces.   He led this team, and Captain Grey the other. He quickly ran towards the Spectrum shuttle, closely followed by his men. As they neared the massive craft, the door on the side opened and the automatic walkway extended.  Blue was relieved to see Scarlet appear in one piece in the doorway. He looked at his team and they nodded as they raised their weapons and aimed at Scarlet.

Scarlet glanced in bewilderment  at Captain Blue and said, "Adam, what's going on?"

"Keep your hands high, away from your weapon and walk this way," Captain Blue said.

Scarlet understood right away:  he was suspected of being taken over by the Mysterons again, and for all he knew they were right.   If Black wasn't free, was he?

He held his hands up and walked towards Captain Blue.

Captain Blue aimed his gun at Scarlet and asked, "Where is Black?"

"He’s  gone, Adam.  He’s either dead or back under Mysteron control,"  Scarlet said and fell silent, as he was handcuffed and taken on board the Albatross.

As the second team entered and cleared the shuttle, the massive grey Albatross aircraft started its engines and took to the sky, heading for Skybase.

 

 

* * *

 

"This is Control, can you hear me alright, Gladwyn? What is your ETA?" said a sharp Russian-accented voice.

"Roger, Control,” Captain Gladwyn said. “I hear you loud and clear , although I will never get used to your weird ass voice, Alex. We are about to cross the coast, ETA Paris fifty-six minutes." The forty-five year old, grey-haired, Air Force veteran was at the controls of a B-83 transporter, an aircraft specifically designed to carry the very load it was carrying right now: two uranium enriched nuclear warheads. The cargo was on its way to Paris, where they were to be unloaded for decommission. For the past twenty-five years, active nuclear weapons were getting rarer and rarer, and many were dismantled and the Uranium core was used for power instead of destruction.

Gladwyn's twenty-four year old blond-haired co-pilot, Lieutenant Jones, sat right next to him, checking the aircraft's systems.

Captain Gladwyn could see his image reflected in his co-pilot’s large metallic sunglasses and smiled to himself. "Alright then: five, four, three, two… one, here we go!" Captain Gladwyn said and changed course. The man always liked to make 'routine' flights as exciting as possible, much to his co-pilot’s annoyance. Although the two men had very little in common, they worked together really well.  Jones was always trying to do everything according to the book, and Gladwyn liked to make fun of pretty much everything.

The B-83 Transporter wasn’t just a conventional transport plane; it was covered in radar absorbing paint and well-armed; although not specifically designed for attack, it did mean the plane didn’t need conventional escort, even when it was carrying a precious cargo like nuclear weapons, which proved a very popular target for terrorists during the Global Terrorist Wars.

Gladwyn was gaining altitude when suddenly out of nowhere, a bright green electric spark came out of his control panel and shot through the cockpit. He fell motionless back in his seat, his blue eyes wide open.

"Sir!" cried Jones. He pressed the auto-pilot  button and unbuckled his belt to bend over the controls and check for a pulse on his unconscious captain... none.

Suddenly, there was another bright green flash, and it hit him; he was thrown across the cockpit, hitting his head against a steel pipe and falling to the floor. He felt a sharp pain on the back of his head, and was barely able to remain conscious as his vision blurred and the pain was getting unbearable. He saw two green rings of light sweep over the windows of the cockpit.   His vision blurred furthermore, until he collapsed and lost consciousness.

The airplane, now under Mysteron control, changed course.

 

 

* * *

 

"B-83 726351, come in please.  B-83 726351, come in please. Come on, Gladwyn, don't bullshit me," said aircraft controller Alexander Glaukos.

Inside of the Scilly Base control tower, where the plane had left just minutes ago, tensions had risen over the past few moments.  It was always a bad sign when contact was lost with a plane; but considering this plane not only carried a good friend, but also two twenty-two megaton nuclear warheads, this increased the tension even more.

"This is Captain Gladwyn. Sorry Alex, dropped my damn earpiece again."

Glaukos sighed in relief and smiled "Good. I thought I’d lost you back there, I heard a lot of electric static."

"Don't worry. We are continuing on our way to Paris. We just hit a little turbulence but we're fine now."

Alex looked at his female colleague next to him and said, "Roger that. So everything is alright?"

"Fine, sir. Just fine."

"Good, we'll talk later. Report back in ten minutes."

Alex lay down his earpiece and smiled. "I'm gonna get a coffee, you want one, Emma?"

"Sure, milk and sugar, please," she replied.

"Yes ma'am," Alex said as he stood up and walked towards the coffee machine on the other side of the room.

 

 

"I barely escaped. I stopped at the edge of the crater when the entire city exploded.  I watched for a few minutes but it did not reform, like it did last time," Scarlet explained from his cell. 

In front of him, on the other side of the bright blue plasma beams were Captain Blue, Doctor Gold, Colonel White and Destiny Angel.

Destiny lost all colour in her face when Scarlet told them about Black being taken over by the Mysterons –again – and them almost killing him.

"When I got back to the shuttle, I sent a message, but it didn't send properly. I don't think it arrived.”

 "It did," said Colonel White, "but we were unable to restore communications after that. We were hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst."

"I noticed," Scarlet said, as he looked from Colonel White to Captain Blue, his voice filled with frustration.

"Thank you, Scarlet, we'll get back to you," the colonel said, and the four officers walked out, leaving Scarlet alone.

In his frustration, he threw his coffee mug across the room; it broke into pieces as it hit the metal plated wall; several pieces bounced against the plasma beams and melted instantly.

Scarlet sighed. He knew he wasn't under Mysteron control; it would only be a matter of time before the results of Doctor Gold’s tests would come in, and everyone was convinced that he was the man who went to Mars. In the meantime, he just had to wait.

Like he hadn't done enough of that for the last weeks.

 

 

* * *

 

"You are quite sure, Mason?"

"Yes, Colonel, it is definitely Scarlet, or at least, the same person that went to Mars four weeks ago.  Also, his brain patterns appear to be normal." Doctor Gold said in his Austrian voice.

The colonel stood up and turned towards the window, looking at the bright blue sky.

Suddenly Lieutenant Green's voice filled Central Control:  "Colonel. Scilly Air Base South-West of England has been destroyed and Royal Air Force High Command just asked for Spectrum's assistance."

"What happened?" the colonel asked, as the mood in Central Control changed suddenly.

"Reports are still coming in, but it looks like a renegade Vampire Squadron has destroyed the base in an air strike. This happened after  contact was lost with a B-83 transporter plane. It’s transporting two uranium-enriched nuclear warheads ready for decommission to Paris. When the plane failed to report back a few minutes ago,  the base was put on red alert, and a Vampire squadron was launched to investigate.  But instead, it suddenly turned opened fire on the base." The lieutenant looked at the colonel.

"What about the transporter?" White asked in concern "Where is it now?"

"Right after the attack, the B-83 turned off its transponder. And the plane is covered in RADAB paint. So there is no further contact or known information about its present location. The Vampire Squadron was destroyed during the attack on the base."

"Terrific," Captain Blue said sarcastically, as he looked at the colonel. The transporter losing contact could be a poorly-timed false alarm, but in the present situation it was more likely to mean something far worse...

"Launch the Angels!" White ordered.

He didn’t want to take any chances.

 

In the Amber Room, alarms blared and Lieutenant Green's voice was heard through the intercom:

 "Spectrum is Red, Angels, immediate launch!"

Before the lieutenant had even finished her sentence, all five Angel pilots had dropped what they were doing and were running towards the elevator.  When the elevator doors opened next, the five Angels entered the Hangar Deck and ran to their Falcon interceptors.

 

Destiny looked up quickly and entered the activation code as the canopy closed above her. The circular platform the plane was standing on rose up and rotated, so when the platform stopped, the plane was pointing along the runway. As the F.R.E.D. robots signalled the Angels their procedures, Destiny lifted her thumb back at the robot, and it signalled her to fire her engines. Then it dropped to one knee and pointed along the runway.  Destiny eased her throttle forward and in a burst of acceleration, the plane rocketed along the runway and took to the sky. All this happened in no more then two minutes since the moment the colonel gave the order.

"Angel leader, check your IFM transponder,” Lieutenant Green instructed. “I’m sending targeting data. Target is a B-83 transporter plane with RADAB paint, making it very hard to track. Target is carrying two nuclear warheads and was on course to Paris. It was last seen heading North-North-East from the island of Guernsey. I'll send you the grid reference.” 

"SIG," Destiny said, as she took in all the information and changed course.

 

 

* * *

 

Scarlet was released from his cell and joined Colonel White and Captain Blue in Central Control. They watched over Green's shoulders and saw another report coming in.

"We’ve got it, Destiny; we have spotted it.  It has just crossed the English coast not far from Portsmouth.  I'll send you the exact coordinates. It's now heading towards London: ETA nine minutes," Lieutenant Green said quickly.

 "Do you think this has anything to do with the Mysterons?" Captain Blue asked.

Scarlet looked at him. "I don't know, Adam.  I saw their complex being destroyed, sucked into a black hole and then explode. But we are dealing with the Mysterons, so I just don't know. The way the attack is planned does look like their work though," He added and turned to the colonel.

White had a very concerned look on his face and with good reason. This was bad: the Mysterons seemed in control of an aircraft carrying two nuclear warheads and it was heading towards London. If the Angels couldn't reach it in time – in ten minutes time – millions could die. And as much as he hated to admit it, they wouldn't reach the transporter plane in time.

 

 

All five Angels were pushing their planes to their very limits; their cockpit instruments were issuing warnings, but they kept on going at full speed. Destiny checked her ETA... eleven minutes. No matter how hard they tried, they just wouldn't make it in time. They just wouldn't make it.

"Skybase, ETA 11 minutes. We can't get a lock on the target until we have a visual contact," she reported.

"Destiny, you have to try, there is no time for... –" The colonel’s voice was suddenly cut off and the speaker was silent.

Destiny frowned in concern. "Skybase? Come in Skybase..."

 

 

"Lieutenant, what the blazes is going on?" White demanded.

"We’ve lost contact, sir, something’s jamming us.  We can't call anyone, we can't warn anyone," Lieutenant Green said in shock as she quickly ran a diagnostic. Scarlet and Blue looked at each other with wide eyes filled with anguish.   The transporter's ETA timer on Lieutenant Green's screen had just reached 01:10...

The colonel looked at the lieutenant before walking towards his office; he sat down at his desk. Scarlet and Blue stood at the lieutenant's station and were counting every second as the timer hit 00:47.

 

 

* * *

 

In London, it was a busy Friday night; all the shops were open and millions were outside, enjoying the warm evening weather. In one street, a young couple were sitting on a bench. A few meters away, an old woman was walking with her dog and a few kids were playing in the grass with a radio-controlled helijet.

Suddenly a small black dot appeared high in the sky.

As the Mysteron-controlled plane flew above the Westminster Bridge towards the newly rebuilt O2 Arena, it opened its cargo bay and dropped part of its cargo.

A few miles away on a construction site just outside the city centre, a group of construction workers who were taking a break during their late shift, looked at the small dot in the sky. "Look at that!" one of them said as he pointed to the falling object.

In a matter of seconds people’s curiosity turned to terror as they realised the object in question was a large grey-yellow striped bomb, which grew bigger and bigger as it approached the ground.

After falling for some twenty-five seconds, the grey dot vanished in a bright white flash. As the spectators quickly covered their eyes with their hands and turned away from the light and kneeled to the ground, they could see the bones in their hands and felt every piece of exposed skin beginning to burn. When their clothes suddenly caught fire, they quickly jumped into the river. A brief moment later, the bright flash faded and a bright orange mushroom cloud appeared. The orange cloud slowly turned black when, after a few seconds, the blast arrived and turned Greater London into a burning ruin.

Every tree, car and building was knocked over, burned or destroyed and the busy streets turned into a abandoned and burning apocalyptic cityscape.

 

 

* * *

 

When it became obvious they wouldn't be able to prevent the devastating explosion, the Angels fell back at the last possible second, so the Falcon squadron would avoid being caught in the blast. They didn't look back at the moment of the explosion, but the intense light that suddenly appeared made it clear what happened. Now flying at a safe distance, the Angels could see with horror the mushroom cloud as it stopped growing. The dust was slowly settling.  The cloud loomed victorious over the ruins as it slowly faded away and was spread by the wind.

Communications were suddenly restored and the Angels were able to transmit pictures back to Skybase.  Everyone in the control room fell silent as they watched the first pictures of the destroyed capital appearing on the screen. The colonel sat behind his desk but could see the images on the lieutenant’s screen from there; he pushed his hands through his hair and looked down at his desk. 

“It was them, Colonel," Scarlet said. "I know it."

The colonel nodded. He pressed the sealing button on his desk and the round glass walls around his office closed. He turned around to face the open sky. He looked out of the window and sighed as he knew the Mysterons were far from destroyed, and probably now angrier then ever.

 

 

"Alright, this is the situation," Colonel White said, his voice tense and strained. "Scarlet and Black's attempt to destroy the Mysterons was not successful. In fact, they immediately retaliated by taking over a B-83 transporter plane, killing the crew and at the same time, using a squadron of Vampires to destroy Scilly Air Base, where the transporter and its cargo took off from. The transporter plane dropped a nuclear warhead  above the city of London. Reports are still coming in, and there are no exact figures yet, but so far, there are 5.3 million people missing or dead." The colonel’s voice was filled with anger. The Mysterons had won battles before, but this was something else.  This wasn't just an oil field, or a single person; this was a whole city with millions of inhabitants, men, women, children. "We must not let our morale get blown away by this. We are at  war, gentlemen, and we will win it."

Colonel White looked at his top captains around him, and he knew that the team assembled in the room would do its very best to save the planet.

White left his office, and walked towards Lieutenant Green. “Report on the situation in London, Lieutenant.”

"Within three hours after the attack, the Nuclear Emergency Support Team arrived in London, sir,” Green answered.  “They immediately set up a secure mobile base and started a systematic search for survivors," she said.

“Do they need any help?" the colonel asked as he glanced at his executive officer.

"They have not requested outside help so far, but I can ask them if we can do anything for them."

"Alright. Tell them we will help them in any way we can."

Lieutenant Green nodded. "SIG, Colonel."

 

 

* * *

 

Later, in the quiet, empty canteen of Skybase, Scarlet was having something to eat when Destiny walked in.  He suddenly noticed how devastated she looked as she sat down in front of him.

"How are you?" he said softly and Destiny looked at him. Her beautiful face wore a subdued, weary expression that just made her look broken.

"I'm fine," she said blankly back to him.

"No Simone, you're not. I can see that you're not."

Suddenly Destiny stood up. She felt this anger suddenly rise up; what the hell was he interfering with? She wanted to shout at him, but then common sense got the better of her. They had a relationship for months, of course he saw that she was far from fine; but Conrad's return had turned her feelings upside down. She suddenly realized she still loved Conrad – even though he was most likely dead. Conrad had told her himself. 

Conrad Lefkon died on Mars, the Mysterons killed him, she thought to herself.

She sat back down. 

"I’m sorry, Paul. I don't want this... and I don't know how to say this... But I still love Conrad.  I thought I was over it, because of him dying and everything.  But I know it was really him." As she said these words, Destiny was wondering if what it was true. Was he really free? Or was it just some trick like Scarlet thought? "I just don't know how to feel, Paul, I'm sorry..." She stood up and walked to the door. Scarlet quickly followed and grabbed her arm to stop her from exiting.

"Destiny, listen..."

She still wanted to leave.  "No, Paul, let me go. I don't want to talk about this right now!" she said as she fought the tears that were building up.

"Listen, Destiny, listen!" Scarlet suddenly found himself being hugged. He sighed and looked out to the sunset outside; he was glad there was no one else in the room. "I know how you feel, Simone, and I also know that... this isn't working between us. But I promise you... I would do anything to bring him back, and I am so sorry things turned out the way they did. I didn't want to lose him either. He was also my best friend."

Destiny looked up at him, her eyes filled with tears.

"I know, and that’s what hurts me the most: that it really was him whom I talked to in the executive cell. But what do you really think, Paul? Where is he now, is he gone or...?"

They both took a seat near the window.

"I don't know, but I know he’s still out there.  I can feel it," Scarlet said slowly as he looked at her. "But I swear, I'll do everything to make things right... If he’s out there, I'll find him..."

Suddenly Scarlet was interrupted when the door opened and Captains Magenta and Ochre came walking in, followed by Symphony and Rhapsody. Destiny stood up and left, leaving Scarlet sitting alone near the window. He looked down at the clouds far below Skybase and wondered if Conrad was still alive…

And if he was, where was he?

 

 

At the same time, as the sun slowly rose above the destroyed centre of London, a lone figure walked through the radioactive ruins. The figure turned around, revealing a man with black hair, dark eyes and thick eyebrows. He was dressed in a black Spectrum uniform. For a second, his eyes flashed bright green.

Captain Black looked across the water to the ruins of the Westminster Bridge and Big Ben. 

He smiled malevolently and walked away into the shadows, unnoticed, as a Spectrum Rhino passed by, followed by several Nuclear Emergency Support Team Vehicles as they drove through the destroyed city centre.

 

 

 

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