A “Captain Scarlet” story for Christmas
By Devon Ricks
“It’s not going to be the same without him okay? I need to call Mom and see if she can send him here,” said the pretty blonde Angel.
“I don’t know how she’d be able to get him here in time, Honey. I know we’re over Asia and all but it would take too long,” replied Adam Svenson.
“I’ve never had a Christmas without him and I am not about to start now,” she replied.
The major concern here was a baby. Not just any baby either. Karen ‘Symphony’ Svenson, one of the Spectrum Angels, had left a rare and beautifully hand decorated piece of porcelain at her mother’s home in Iowa. This baby was part of a nativity set her grandmother had given her as a child, and that she loved dearly. Each piece was superbly crafted and when the whole set was up, it was very impressive to look at. She was looking at it under the Christmas tree at that moment. Mary and Joseph were kneeling beside a manger, three kings, and several shepherds stood nearby a burro, some sheep, and a cow. Somehow the manger seemed so bare and even though she only placed the baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve, not to have him there was unthinkable. She looked at her husband and left their quarters to go and talk to Captain Green.
As she entered the Communication centre, Captain Green glanced at her and smiled.
“Merry Christmas, Symphony. How’s the day going?” he asked.
“Merry Christmas, Captain. Not quite that well I’m afraid. I need to get hold of my mother. I’ve left something at home and I need it here and hopefully by midnight if I can,” she told him.
“Okay, I’ll get a link set up to her. What do you need her to send you?” he replied, wondering what would necessitate this kind of speed.
“My baby Jesus,” she said.
“Um, pardon me?” he questioned, startled at her reply.
Symphony quickly explained and he nodded, and then opened a relay to communicate with Spectrum, Des Moines. From there a link was set up [and she was soon telling her mother, whom she had woken due to the time differences about the missing ornament. Her mother agreed and with Captain Green’s help they arranged it so the baby would start on the first leg of his trip to catch up with the massive flying carrier. Feeling better now that there was a chance the baby would arrive; she gave the startled Captain a hug and left the communication room, a smile on her face.
In Iowa, a Spectrum Security vehicle was sitting outside a nondescript house. A young security officer was inside helping to carefully wrap the baby in question.
“I appreciate your help at this Sergeant, it must get to Cloudbase, and hopefully no delays”, said the Angel’s mother, Lynn Wainwright.
“We’ll do the best we can Ma’am but we know there’s bad weather near Los Angeles. We have to change planes there for a trans-Pacific route,” said the young Sergeant.
“If you’ll excuse my putting it this way Sergeant, this is a special delivery and better arrive on time,” said Mrs. Wainwright.
The young man decided to refrain from making a comment and after carefully making certain the ornament was secure, he left and headed to the airfield to board the courier plane and be on his way. When he reached the field, he was told that there was a storm front along his route and he would have to fly a bit higher than normal. Silently the young man prayed that the weather hold long enough for him to get to L.A.
The flight seemed to go faster than he expected, and the weather seemed almost perfect until he was over the Sierra Nevada range, when it turned sour. He managed to reach L.A., his stomach a bit queasy from all the bouncing and jostling he’d received. Checking the baby, he sighed with relief that he was unharmed and he went to report in, and get the small bundle on the next leg of his trip.
His superior there was in a foul mood, partially due to concern about the weather over the Pacific. He told the sergeant that no plane could leave until he heard of it clearing. Trying to reason with the man brought no success. The younger man looked up and shook his head.
A hand fell on his shoulder, startling him.
“Got a problem young man?” asked a dark-haired, but slightly graying gentleman standing behind him.
“Sort of sir. I need to make a delivery and it has to be done tonight if at all possible,” he replied.
“Must be a special kind of package to require running around in weather like this,” the man remarked.
“The people who want it think it is,” said the Sergeant.
“My wife and I might be heading in the direction you need to go. How about you come with us and we’ll give you a lift,” he said. “Better to have a couple of pilots on board, than one and get tired halfway through the trip.”
“I really shouldn’t sir,” said the young man.
“Don’t call me sir. I’m Michael, all right? You come with us and we’ll get you where you need to go.”
“Alright… Michael,” he agreed still a bit hesitant.
“Come on then, boy. Gotta catch some good winds to get where you need to go,” chuckled the older man.
A youngish woman approached and looked at Michael. “Up to your tricks are you, Michael?” she grinned.
“Now Mary, its important for the lad be someplace. We’re headed his way. Chris is still going to be there when we arrive,” he told her.
“Michael, where are you headed anyway?” asked the Sergeant.
“Why, Bethlehem, boy. We’re going to see our son, Chris,” the man said grinning.
“Are you stationed there?”
“You could say that. We’ve got family there. Going to join them for the holiday, then we’re going back to Jerusalem,” said Michael. “That’s where we’re headed to eventually. Come on, let’s get a wiggle on.”
It was then the Sergeant noticed the Spectrum Security badge on Michael’s shoulder and he wondered why he hadn’t noticed it before. They headed out to a plane that was ready to go, a sleek private jet, similar to an SPJ. They boarded and the jet was soon taking off and winging on its way westward. Mary and Michael spoke to their passenger and learned his name was Gabe. He’d been recently assigned to Des Moines and this was his first chance to get away from it. Not that he didn’t like his posting, of course. Michael chuckled at the young man’s opinion of the area.
“Lot of good corn comes from Iowa, Gabe. Mary makes some of the best cornbread around and she likes the corn from there best,” he said.
As the flight continued and the weather got worse, Michael was fighting to keep the jet under tight control. Gabe thought he saw him, his eyes looking upward at one point, and it almost seemed like the weather would suddenly behave for him. Turbulence that should have buffeted them about was minor instead.
Mary looked at the wrapped bundle. “So is that what you’re taking to Cloudbase, Gabe?” she asked.
“Yes Ma’am. Far as I know, it belongs to one of the senior officers there,” he replied. “It’s a porcelain rendering of the baby Christ.”
She looked closer at it and smiled slightly. “I can understand why she wants it then,” Mary remarked. “Makes me think back to when our son was born. Michael had some business that had to be done and so we had to go there just before I was due.”
“I hope everything went alright,” said Gabe.
“It did, with a bit of fuss. Chris was born in Bethlehem. Several of Michael’s friends were involved with the same business and came to check him over,” she grinned.
“The guys had a good chuckle over him. They brought him a couple presents as well”, Michael chuckled.
They reached calm airspace and continued onward, the dark sky was clear with a multitude stars twinkling in the midst of it all. One seemed to twinkle brighter than others, almost as if it was guiding them on their journey and with a bit of difficulty, Gabe could see a large silhouette in front of the soon to be setting full moon.
“Unidentified aircraft, you are approaching restricted airspace, veer off”, came an accented voice.
“I forgot about that,” groaned Gabe.
“Don’t worry about it lad. We’ll be able to get him there,” said Michael. “Cloudbase, this is a special delivery flight from L.A. We have a special passenger on board that needs to get to his manger.”
On board Cloudbase, Captain Green looked at his communication board in surprise. He’d heard that nothing had left L.A. and had not wanted to tell Symphony that the cherished item wouldn’t arrive. He looked at Colonel White.
“I’d let them land if I were you, Captain and tell Symphony,” said the Colonel.
“Yes sir”, he turned back to the communication board. “Delivery flight you have permission to land.”
“SIG,” came the response.
The plane landed and was lowered into the hanger. Several technicians began to check it over, the flight having been quite a long one.
Michael rose from his seat and stretched, Mary looked at him - a smile on her face. She glanced at Gabe. “I had to make him stop stretching in the cockpit, he’s so tall that he almost broke a kneecap one time trying to relieve some stiffness during a flight,” she told the young man.
They disembarked from the jet and had reached the security vestibule and the routine security examination had begun, when a new Security officer came into the room. He stopped and did a double take, looking at Michael and Mary. He broke into a huge grin for a moment.
Mary looked at him. “Chris, what’s wrong?”
“Not a thing, Mom. I just didn’t think you and dad were going to make it past L.A.. I heard the weather was foul,” he bent over and hugged her and Gabe watched the reunion.
“Nothing was going to keep me away from seeing my grandson born,” Michael grinned.
“Well you better get back on board your jet, she’s in labor and she’s early,” Chris grinned. “I’ve just got permission to go and join her.”
“Fair enough, we’ll get you there son,” Michael said with a smile and looked at Mary. “Seems to be our night for delivering infants.”
She smiled, then laughed lightly and looked at Gabe. “Better get going, Gabe, that lady’s waiting for her baby.”
Gabe gave a start and nodded, then made his farewells and gave his thanks to the two of them congratulated Chris on becoming a father and then went to meet up with Captain Green. He reached the command room and he and Green spoke briefly about the package. Symphony was in Angel One at the time doing her shift and so Green called Captain Blue. It wasn’t long before he entered the Command Centre, saw the waiting courier and smiled. Gabe handed the well-wrapped package to him.
“Thank you for bringing this for her, Sergeant. This means a lot to her,” Blue remarked holding the delicate object. “I’ll give him to her when she gets off duty.” They shook hands and Captain Green started to make arrangements for Gabe to get home.
When Captain Blue took the figurine to their quarters, he found Symphony looking at the nativity scene, under their tree. She had an unhappy look on her face. She knelt beside it and placed something in the manger, having no idea what Adam had in his possession.
“Honey, what did you do?” he asked coming up behind her.
“I figured I’d put something there, since it doesn’t look like he’s going to make it in time,” she replied standing up to face him.
He looked down at the manger and then at her. “What is that?”
“Something I was saving for you, for later,” she remarked.
He bent over, reached for the item and picked it up to look at it. He looked at her, then the object, then at her once more. He grinned and handed her the small, carefully wrapped package, making her gasp in surprise. She opened it carefully and started to smile happily when she saw the contents. At that moment, both their watches chirped, and Adam grinned broadly.
“Right on time. He had some good help getting here too, I might add. A bunch of angels helped him on his way. And from what I heard from Seymour, those angels are also waiting the birth of a baby, right below us. You know Chris Carpenter in Security?” Karen nodded. “Well it’s his wife, Noelle, that’s expecting. He was on his way to join her.”
She smiled happily and knelt to the nativity scene, tenderly placing the baby on his bed of straw. She fussed with him for a moment then stood and looked down at the babe in the manger.
“For unto you, is born this day… In the city of David…” she said softly.
Adam enfolded her in his arms and gave her a tender hug as he too looked down at the manger. Then he raised the object taken from it and looked at it.
“Is this a hint of something good to come?” he asked, dangling the baby bootie in her face and smiling.
She grinned and nodded. She looked up and his eyes followed her gaze to see a sprig of mistletoe. He grinned and gave her a Christmas kiss. His epaulettes flashed and he grabbed at his cap.
“Morning Seymour,” he said quietly.
“I thought you might want to know Sergeant Carpenter’s wife had a baby boy. Mother and son are doing well and they named him Joseph.”
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