(I don't own anything from the show "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons", they belong to ITC/Polygram/Carlton. I only own the Robertson family: Julia, Megan, and their parents.
Author's note: This story takes place three days after 'Winged Assassin', from the viewpoint of one of my characters, a person the world believes to be dead.)
The service was spectacular, at least from my point of view, and the Memorial was definitely one of a kind. However, Captains Blue and Ochre of Spectrum were there, which was one of the reasons that my companion and I were watching from a nearby rooftop. Another reason was somewhere in that crowd, the two surviving members of my family, my mother and my twin sister, both of which believed I died in the plane crash three days ago. It would be better for them this way, than to know the truth. To know that I still live, but as the prisoner of Earth's sworn enemy.
I will admit that a good portion of my current situation is my fault, but the blame can also be laid on the doorstep of the fickle Lady Luck. You see, I first met my companion after he shot the mugger who was attacking my sister. At the time, his brown eyes were as warm as humanly possible and his voice had this beautifully rich timbre that resonated deep within my heart. I didn't think about how unlikely a man with his appearance would sound like that, or how he could disappear so quickly when the police arrived, as I was more worried about my sister's survival at the time.
The next time I saw the stranger, I had just missed my flight, due to the flat tire that my taxi had. Well actually, by the time I'd arrived, I could either try to break the world record for the intra-airport dash and hope I'd make it to the gate on time, or I could save myself the exercise and watch the plane take-off from the rooftop cafe. Considering the odds of my being able to be completely successful at the first option, I headed up the stairs to the cafe where I could give Dad a goodbye wave. The place was packed with well-wishers and the only place I could find to stand and watch without feeling closed in was beside the man I met earlier. Taking a deep breath, I squeezed through the crowd to his location, then took a step back, not wishing to crowd him either. From there I saw Flight DT19 turn off the tarmac and head for the runway. I still waved at it, even though it was unlikely that Dad could see me from the taxiway.
After the jet took off and the well-wishers had left, I had pulled out my 'antique' cell phone to locate a low-priced room and to make arrangements to be on the next flight to London. When the other guy started talking to thin air, I simply noted the change in his voice and tried to ignore him. For all I knew he had one of the newer phone models, that is until I heard the other entity warn him that I was within hearing distance and then tell its puppet to take care of the problem. Yes, puppet, for I instinctively knew that he was the stranger who saved my sister, wielding the same gun that he used in the alleyway. I knew then that I was in deep trouble, but I still had a few cards up my sleeve to play.
Looking at my obvious captor, I asked his superior if that's what it meant by taking care of me. I must have really given them a shock, because I could almost hear what sounded like computerized error messages. Then I had to push my luck by asking them why they saved my sister from that mugger. They told Black, the man holding the gun, to take me down to his car, without any obvious signs of coercion or force, until they decided what to do with me and I, acting ever so much the dolt, quietly went with him, instead of running away or screaming bloody murder first chance I got. What tidbits I gotten about my sister's rescue didn't seem to make sense, something about a psionic pulse releasing a Mr. Turner from their hold for nearly 20 minutes. Finally, they decided that I should be studied, and my sister watched, to see my ability to hear them somehow ties in with that pulse that was mentioned earlier.
I fingered the filigree bracelet I now wear, marveling at how the crystals could hold enough power to level the building I stood on, before resuming my search. The bracelet was one of their gifts, which they said was designed to detonate if I went to the police or Spectrum for help. By this time I heard the news about my dad's flight, how it had been captured by a terrorist organization to kill the Director General of the UAR. I decided not to test my captors' claims about the bracelet, choosing instead to spend my last few days of relative freedom to prepare a bouquet for the memorial service and to get my sister to go to said service. It took me a while to remember how to put together the artificial flowers and arrange them to convey a message. The night before the service, I went to get last bloom I needed for bouquet, a Ruby Heart rose, and to drop the bouquet off, before returning to their base.
Which brings us to today. You see, my captors needed me to point out my sister so they can keep an eye on her. They couldn't spare an agent to risk the visit to her in the hospital, so I had to lure her out into the open to where my companion, Black, could see her. My glasses drift across the crowd again, then locked on to the pair sitting beside the azure Spectrum captain. Wondering what it was that drew me to the lady in the wheelchair, I increased the binoculars' magnification until I could see my sister's face ... and read the depth of her mourning arranged into the flowers she carried. Then I lowered the glasses, my own eyes threatening to cloud with tears.
"So, Julia, is Megan at the ceremony?" Black asked, in the cold metallic tone of his controller.
"Yes, she is," I answered mechanically, trying not to let my emotions show. "My sister's the one in the wheelchair beside Captain Blue. Front row, right hand side."
As he focused his glasses to look at that row, I turned away, sickened by my own betrayal. That's when I noticed the second Spectrum car pulling up beside the alley where our vehicle was stashed. Two officers climbed out of the vehicle, the driver wearing red and the pale-looking passenger was in pink. The guy in the pink vest went ahead, while the red-vested one put a splint on his right arm, followed by a sling. I kept my eyes on them, trying to figure out why the red officer would fake an injury at a memorial service.
Unfortunately Black, having found my twin, decided that now would be a good time to leave, and saw the officer below us. Snarling the other's code name, Black pulled his pistol out and aimed it. I don't know where I found the courage to keep Black from firing, especially when my bracelet started to flicker, but I did know that there would a lot more trouble if I didn't stop him.
"Why do you resist now, Robertson?" he growled, trying to shake my hand off his weapon. "Why are you fighting me now?"
"Two reasons, Black," I whispered in response. "One, there are too many people nearby and I don't want to be killed in your place or, worse, watch you die with this booby-trapped trinket still locked around my arm, and two, this is not the time or the place for a personal vendetta."
"You wound me, Julia, to borrow one of your human phrases. But, still, Scarlet gets around pretty well for a man who should have been dead thrice over. Even with that broken arm."
"His arm isn't broken," I muttered, thinking about Black's statement. Just as my comment gave the agent a start, a part of his sunk in. " Captain Scarlet nearly died? Three times? Did one of your people try to replace him one of those times, Captain?"
Black simply nodded, thinking about what I said now. His face was harder to read than most people, so, instead, I watched Scarlet catch up to the officer in pink, and let out a sigh of relief when they joined the crowd of mourners. The flickering lights around my left wrist died down quietly as I headed down the fire escape with Captain Black a little ways behind me. I may have chosen my fate the first time I heard the Mysterons in my mind, but this time I had sealed it, with my own, voluntary, acts of treason. It's good thing that today is supposed to be my last day on this Earth. I'd hate to see what else I'd do willingly with this bracelet on my wrist.
The last thing I heard as I climbed into the car was, appropriately, the bugler playing taps. The last thing I sensed as we drove away was my sister's surprise when she found my bouquet.
Goodbye, Megan. Message received. Over and out.
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