A Captain Scarlet Christmas Story
"In world where light follows dark,
winning follows losing,
peace follows war,
life is what follows after death,
and the discovery of it makes up for what is missing."
It is 20:56. Destiny and Rhapsody and me got back at 20:01. Captains Scarlet and Blue got back at 20:03. Christmas has nearly come again. It is weird how fast the year flies, but we have been so busy this year that I guess no one has really had the time to stop and think much. The Mysterons have been causing problems with their threats, and this year they have succeeded on many occasions. It is not a good thing and everyone is put down by it, especially Scarlet. I know I should not listen in on conversations, but Symphony and Rhapsody have talked about him in great detail. It is rude of me.
Scarlet gets hurt a lot more often than anyone else because of who he is. He is the main man who would sacrifice his life if it stopped the Mysterons. Dr Fawn has told me it is the worst thing on earth, when Scarlet wakes up and he must tell him that he failed his mission. This one time has hurt more than most because the person who has died is someone of importance to him. They assassinated General Sir George Samuels.
The Mysterons were smart. They used a decoy fighter jet to keep me and the girls busy whilst the assassin moved into position. I do not know how they did it. That information I will learn later on. Scarlet and Blue were exhausted. From what I heard Symphony say, Colonel White isn't expecting any reports from them until tomorrow. There is better news; Paul didn't require medical assistance so Edward was not disturbed from his rest. He never uses the Room of Sleep. He prefers natural sleep, and so do I. It is more therapeutic.
I always try to see the positive side of a situation. It is better than remaining sad. That is why I stopped mourning and crying for Richard, when he died on Halloween. He died in 2064, five years ago last month.
My brave Richard. He flew a plane out into the Pacific Ocean, battling fierce winds, grappling for control. I admire him for that. I will never be the pilot he was, even though I am an Angel. He was a bit of a rascal when I first met him. A wild child, I guess. I was attracted to him. I still have his first love token, an old RAF badge that had been on his jacket. It used to smell of him but his scent has faded over time. I also have a picture taken of him before he died and a few other trinkets. I recently dug out the photo, as I do every Halloween, to remember him, and I have dug it out again for Christmas. Richard liked Christmas. He enjoyed being jolly and wearing silly hats and eating turkey and the present giving, but he was also religious. He would pray and light a candle for his mother. She died many years ago now. I have other photos of Richard and some are at Christmas, but he only wrote on that one of him in uniform,
My heart belongs to you, Chan.
Love Richard, XXX
He looked good in uniform. Very nice, standing like a hero. Actually, he was a hero. I remember his warm smile and firm bum. I always used to give it playful pinch. He would complain afterwards he was sore, but he was only teasing me. He was very playful, even in his later years away from the flight competitions and moving home every few months, riding his old Triumph motorcycle here, there and everywhere. He grew into a fine young man who my Father liked and loved as a son. Father was so happy when we became engaged, so pleased with his decisions. I guess I enjoyed flying that little bit more just because he was the one who made it look so effortless when I was a teenager.
Richard showed me a world that was free and powerful, yet graceful and elegant. Being an Angel pilot is certainly elegant and powerful. I owe him for the flying.
I loved Richard a great deal, accepting his marriage proposal, flying together and enjoying nights out at fine restaurants. It was the perfect life, and then Richard died. The curse of curses. Why did he have to die? We were so young and in love. I do not despair or cry now, because I do something better. I guide him on his way.
Earlier this year, I was able to get a forty-eight hour shore leave, to return home, and be with my mother for a special event. It was short, but I thanked Colonel White for allowing me to go. I left for the Ghost Festival, on the fourteenth night of the seventh lunar month or 'Ghost Month'. This is when the spirits and ghosts of our lost loved ones come out of the lower realm and into our realm. On the fifteenth day the realms of Heaven and Hell and the realm of the living are open. Many rituals are done to help the suffering of those who have died. My mother and me spent the time burning ghost money to please the visiting ghosts and spirits. We also released miniature paper lanterns on the river, to help guide lost ghosts and spirits. My mother still grieves for my father. I guess I got over the grief of his death over the years and that of Richard's, but I miss them in my heart. My father died of a heart attack, but Richard was lost in the storms over the Pacific Ocean. I hope the lanterns helped guide him to safety, that he is no longer lost in turmoil, somewhere over the ocean. In Chinese tradition, he will have returned to his realm, but in his own tradition, he is still here. He always said he will always be here, even when he's not. I can sometimes feel his presence unless it is just me. But at everywhere Christmas, I am positive I can hear his laughter and feel him with me as I go on Angel One duty to allow the others to celebrate. I do not celebrate Christmas, but I guess I did enjoy Richard's way of celebrating it. Maybe I don't feel him in the same room, but he is still alive. He is alive in my heart, where he will always be. The brave Richard Samuels, the son of a General.
It did not take me long to put two and two together to make four when Rhapsody showed me a picture of General Sir George Samuels in one of the British papers. It had been taken a few days before. The General and his sons had done a charity event, or something. I did not notice much. I focused on the General and his sons. There were two. They shared one thing with their father. They had the same ivy-green eyes. Richard's eyes. Richard had told me before he died that he had two brothers, that his father was in the military, a general to be precise, and he also told me that he rebelled against his family by not joining the military, not following tradition. It all fitted. And now General Sir George Samuels went to his grave not knowing what his third son, Richard, had achieved before he died.
From the conversations that I overheard, I guess that Scarlet, despite apparently knowing the General well, did not know about Richard either. Every reference was about two sons. Not three. Richard committed the crime and he paid for it. His existence was erased by his family, like it always had been just the two sons. It is horrible. I know something about the General that no one else knows, and it is terrible. What if I am called a liar? Or worse, a joker? Apparently Richard does not exist when he did. He won pilot of the year award more than once and was known as 'Ready Old Rick'. He was well-loved by my family and by his friends, and there were a good number. Everyone wanted to be his friend. He was so friendly. He would not even say boo to a ghost. He was a living legend to many: hailed a hero, a fantastic pilot, a top-rated captain. But is this the measure of man? I think it is. I wish his father had seen it his way, maybe tried to understand why Richard was different, instead of forgetting he even existed. I guess he doesn't exist now, and hasn't for five years.
I wipe back a tear. I shouldn't be crying. I loved Richard. He made me who I am now. He taught me to fly. The memories of him are no longer the tragic ones I had last year and I will not cry like I did last Christmas. Now I see the true happiness of them. I have moved on but I cannot just forget Richard Samuels. I will never forget him and his achievements over his twenty-seven years of life. But I will not remain quiet about them. Last year I was still grieving in a little way, but not this year. I am strong, and Richard's life must be known. Richard told me that his mother died when he was little but his brothers and other family were still alive. They deserve to know about their missing relative, even if they do not want to know; at least my conscience would be clear.
At that, I leave my quarters. I do not want to be in here. It is too small to think anymore in here. I leave not really knowing where I want to go but the direction I am walking will take me towards the Officers’ Lounge.
It is quiet. Very quiet. It always is after a major blow like this. General Sir George Samuels was a powerful man who many had faith in. I am sure there are things I do not know, but what I do know is that he had a secret son. I sigh as I head towards the windows. It is so bad. Knowing a family's secret when they do not know me. I sigh and rest a hand against the glass. It is strong and cold to the touch.
Why did you let me figure it out, Richard? Why did you not tell me who your father was? You were so secretive about your family, trying not to think about them. It must have been hard, breaking away, letting them forget you.
I feel eyes watching me. I turn round and see Captain Scarlet sitting there. That is funny. I did not see him before. He looks miserable, but at the same time concerned. His misery disappears slightly, seeing my face. He knows there is something on my mind. His eyes. Has he been crying?
What else is there to say? It is obvious he feels negative about what has happened.
"Is there something wrong?" he asks, unsure if it's the right thing to say.
This must be the first time we have ever done this. Just him and me in the same place, the Lounge darkened. It matches the mood we are in. He has never asked me if there is something wrong. I have always kept my personal matters personal. I find reasoning and answers alone, but tonight is different.
He looks at me with surprise. This is a new experience for both of us. I have never opened up about Richard to anyone, and to Scarlet of all people. It seems coincidental that we are together, thinking of the loss of the general, feeling down inside yet from different angles.
"Want to talk about it?"
He joins me at the window, as if his previous position on the sofa was too far away. It is unusual for him to seek companionship from another senior officer who is not Adam or Dianne.
"Yes," I reply. I will tell him about Richard, in Richard's memory. Besides, Christmas was one of Richard's favourite times, and Christmas was a time for sharing after all.
He looks at me curiously. No matter how hard he tries, when I look into his eyes, I can see the turmoil beneath that brilliant blue. I feel his pain.
"General Sir George Samuels has sons, does he not, Paul?"
"Yes," replied Scarlet, turning to look out the window.
His voice has changed slightly. I can tell this thought has been on his mind.
"I've served with both of them, Daniel and James. They are incredible officers."
I try to hide the tears that forming in my eyes. He doesn't know about Richard. No. I will not cry.
"What makes you ask that?" he asks blankly.
The tears disappear as a calming warmth fills my body. I loved Richard and he loved me. He was my fiancé. This is want he said he would be. Be here, forever, immortalised.
"The General had another son," I state, looking at Paul.
He looks at me confused. I pick up quickly.
"His son rebelled against family tradition."
"I've never heard of a third son," Scarlet said slowly.
"He was a great pilot. A hero to many. I fell in love with him when we were much younger, and then I became engaged to him." I look out the window. "He died on Halloween, five years ago, in a thunderstorm over the Pacific Ocean."
I can tell Paul is now very curious about this third son. He knows I would never lie to him or any of my friends, especially now, in a time of sorrow when they are supposed to be happy that Christmas is nearly here. It is a great time of celebration and joy.
"What was his name?" Paul asks.
I look at him with a smile on my face.
"His name was Richard."
I can feel Richard smiling, knowing that this Christmas is to be remembered.
The Writer Writes Once More
Well, here it is, the converted Halloween story. A few tweaks and it's better that what it was originally (me thinks anyways), This is much later then I had planned, after I lost all my computer files, I was put off re-doing this fic, but I've done it now, and this year will hopefully be a productive one.
This story is purely for the love of writing and I have no intention of gaining profit from it.
Thanks to Chris for accepting this fic and Marion for beta reading it.
All research concerning Ghost Month was found via www.google.co.uk
Happy New Year and I you enjoyed Christmas
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