A “Captain Scarlet & the Mysteron” story
At last Captain Scarlet found a few moments to relax. Captain Ochre was in a pretty irritating mood, and hadn't stopped winding him up. He'd even considered this time complaining to Colonel White, but the old man would probably just tell him to fight his own battles, or try to ignore the aggravating...
Sighing, Scarlet sank into a chair on the Promenade Deck, and switched on the music player. As he allowed the soothing classical music to wash over him, the captain closed his eyes to enjoy it properly. Suddenly, there was a faint "click" and the relaxing tune became heavy rock. Scarlet opened his eyes instantly, to see Ochre, standing there, grinning from ear to ear at him. "Hi, Scarlet!"
"I'll KILL you!" Scarlet spat at his tormenter, angrily jumping to his feet.
"Go on, then!" Ochre shot back, mockingly, "If you're not afraid, that is."
"I'm NOT afraid! Why, if I wanted to-"
Rhapsody entered at that moment. Seeing the angry look in her friend's eyes, she started toward Scarlet. "Paul, what's going on?"
Ochre and Scarlet continued staring at each other. Ochre saw murder in his friend's steel blue eyes and decided it was time to stop. "Sorry." he switched off the player, "It was only a joke. I... thought you were asleep..."
"Well, if I WAS, that RUBBISH would've put a stop to THAT!"
"Hey, just because you don't like it, you shouldn't call it rubbish!" Ochre offered a grin.
Scarlet glared at him. "I don't mind SOME rock music, when I'm in the mood... which I'm NOT, at the moment."
Ochre could see that Scarlet was still annoyed. "Oh, don't get angry!" he whispered, shrinking away, "PLEASE don't hurt me!"
Rhapsody watched silently, wondering whether she should step in. Captain Ochre could be SUCH a pain in the neck, when he wanted...
The door slid open behind her. "What's going on in here?" Colonel White demanded, entering.
Both captains looked guilty for a moment, then Ochre pointed at Scarlet. "It was HIM! He was gonna kill me!"
"No I wasn't!" Scarlet retorted, "Anyway, you TOLD me to!" he looked embarrassed, as he realised how stupid that probably sounded.
Colonel White gave both his junior officer a tired and annoyed stare."What are you, Ochre? Scarlet?"
The two men exchanged glances. "Spectrum officers, sir." Scarlet began.
"And do Spectrum officers behave like children?"
"No." oth captains shook their heads.
"If you're going to behave like KIDS you'll get treated the same. Ochre, go to your quaters. I'll speak to you later."
Scarlet smirked to himself as he watched Ochre leave. The colonel turned to him. "And as for YOU, Captain Scarlet, You've only been on duty a few hours and already you're in trouble."
"It wasn't HIS fault!" Rhapsody began.
Colonel White cut her off with a glance. "I know it isn't always easy, but the two of you should at least TRY to get along. I don't think death threats are acceptable either-"
"It was a figure of speech!"
"You should know better."
Scarlet sighed. "Yes, sir. I know - I'm sorry. I'll try to keep out of trouble."
"You do that."
* * *
Captain Scarlet joined Blue in the officers' lounge. Rhapsody had stayed with him for a while, but was due in the Amber Room. Blue could see that there was something wrong with his friend, and finally got it all out of him about the incident with Ochre. "You're SURE lucky the colonel knows how Ochre can be annoying, Paul!" he told his best friend, "Otherwise he might have put you back on computer duty!"
"And I certainly wouldn't like THAT. It was bad enough last time!"
"Yeah, I know." Blue nodded, sympathetically, "At least I got Fawn to record all the games for you."
"For which I'm very grateful." Scarlet smiled, then sighed, "It's not the same, though. I should have been watching from the STAND!"
"But at least the guys WON, huh?"
"Yes. NEXT time, I MAY get a chance to enjoy it fully."
"But CAN you keep out of trouble - especially with Ochre around?"
"Well, I can try. Anyway, I've got a while, yet."
"How about a few laps on the race track, Captain?" Blue asked, in an attempt to change the subject.
"Uh, no. I've had enough sport for one day. Do you want to go up to the Promenade Deck, for a bit of quiet? Ochre is gone from there, now…"
"Have we switched places?" Captain Blue asked, half-humorously.
"No, you're trying to take my mind off of that- of Captain Ochre."
"How did you know?"
"Because usually, I’m the one who try to drag YOU down to the gym." Scarlet's eyes smiled mischievously at Blue.
"Yeah, well that's because I don't get so frustrated that I need to break a piece of machinery!"
If Rick had decided to wind YOU up, the way he did me,
you TOO would want to break a piece of machinery!”
"You know I'm right!"
"THIS IS THE VOICE OF THE MYSTERONS. WE KNOW THAT YOU CAN HEAR US, EARTHMEN. THE SINGING SWORD WILL SLICE YOU DOWN. WE WILL BE AVENGED."
Back to his quarters, Captain Ochre instantly forgot his model plane and stood up, waiting for someone to call him to the Control Room.
At the same moment, Captains Scarlet and Blue prepared to leave the Promenade Deck. Since Ochre’s last prank, the music player was unplugged, and Blue was making one last check to ensure everything about it was in order. "Attention all personel!" Lieutenant Green's voice called, suddenly, "Cloudbase is now on yellow alert. Can ALL captains on active duty report to Control immediately."
"That's us. Let’s go, Adam." Scarlet called from the doorway.
"Alright, alright, I'm coming." Blue answered his impatient partner.
* * *
Captain Ochre entered the Control Room last. Captains Scarlet and Blue were already here, alon with Captains Grey and Magenta, all seated in front of the Colonel, waiting. He did his best not to catch Scarlet's eye. The colonel noticed the tension and decided that it would be a good idea to distract his two junior officers. "Now, I take it you've all heard the latest Mysteron threat..."
"Yes, sir-" Scarlet began.
"'Singing Sword'," Ochre interrupted, "Hmmm, sounds mythical."
"Not necessarily," Captain Scarlet answered, "As a sword is a weapon, I'd-"
"OH! A sword is a weapon?" Ochre cut in, sarcastically. "Well, I thought it was a kind of PLANT!"
Scarlet glared at him. "Look, if you can't think of anything SENSIBLE to say, at LEAST hear me out."
Colonel White nodded. "Go on, Captain Scarlet."
Scarlet kept himself from sighing and began again. "When they say 'Singing Sword', could they mean some kind of musical weapon?"
"Like a radio in a swimming pool?" Ochre continued derisively.
Colonel White cleared his throat. "Captain Ochre, would you PLEASE stop mocking? Captain Scarlet has made a valid point. Now, if the pair of you are going to be at each others' throat all day, perhaps I should keep the centre of the problem here..."
"Good idea, sir. Keep Scarlet here if you want"
"I was referring to YOU as the centre of the problem, Captain Ochre."
"I'll keep you here until this childish behaviour stops."
"It has, sir. - I'll behave, now. I’m sorry."
"Very well." White turned his attention to all of his men. "Any ideas WHICH weapon they may use?"
The radio in the pool IS a good one, Captain Blue thought, but I'd best not encourage Rick. he said aloud "Sir, what about radio?"
"I don't see-" Captain Magenta began.
"They can transmit almost ANYTHING via radio and satellite," Scarlet explained, "NOT just music!"
Captain Grey frowned. "So this isn't MUSIC that we're up against."
Scarlet laughed in spite of himself. "How on Earth can MUSIC harm us?"
"Well, there WAS a song, called 'Gloomy Sunday', which was believed to cause suicides-" Blue began, helpfully.
Magenta laughed loudly. "Yeah, right! The strange things people come up with, huh?"
"It's true enough," Ochre answered, "I've heard of 'Gloomy Sunday' - it was banned."
Pounding rock music should be banned, Scarlet thought, but said, brightly, "So the Mysterons might use some form of deppressing music?"
"I shouldn't think so." White answered. He frowned. "Now, this conversation is VERY interesting, but we're supposed to be looking for a place to start."
Scarlet shook his head. He HATED this stage of a Mysteron threat, not knowing what they could have in store....
The colonel was obviously thinking something similar. "Well, we'll just have to stay alert, won't we? Seeing as we're not sure WHAT they can mean..."
At S.W.O.R.D. Radio Broadcasting Studio, a pale, black clad man stalked toward the reception desk.
"Can I help you?" A young blond secretary in her early twenties asked, politely.
Captain Black pulled out his Spectrum I.D. "I must speak with your top broadcaster - urgent."
The girl looked carefully at the identification, but didn't guess the aweful danger she was in. "Oh, right sir. You mean Tom Blackmoore... Do you have an appointment?"
Black met her eyes and the poor girl stopped dead. "Sixth floor." She mumbled, staring straight ahead with glazed eyes.
Black chuckled wickedly and headed for the elevator.
* * *
Some few hours later, Captains Scarlet and Blue were still in the Control Room, with Colonel White, researching documents for some eventual clues. "The 'Singing Sword'," Blue muttered, for the upteenth time, "What can it mean?"
Scarlet groaned, "There are TOO MANY things that they can mean!" he stated, continuing to research the papers before him.
"Well," Colonel White added, clearing his throat, "is there ANYTHING which stands out?"
"N- wait!" Scarlet pointed at something. "There! SWORD RADIO - SINGING SWORD!"
Meanwhile, Tom Blackmoore, star disc-jockey of the ‘Sword Radio’ station, was busy preparing to go back on air. When Captain Black found him, he was busy scrutinising a faulty lead. He heard a noise and turned to face the Mysteron agent. "You're the repairman, huh?"
Black merely nodded his answer.
"Great. That was quick!" Tom pointed at the microphone he had been studying. "I hate to do this to you, buddy, but I'm due on the air in a few minutes - can you fix this lead?"
Black took the mic away, seemingly working on it carefully. He certainly cleared the fault, but added something extra...
Moments later, Captain Black returned the mic to its owner. Blackmoore took it without a second thought, turning it on. "Best test it, I guess..." A surge of electricity shot through him. Black watched his masters duplicate the body on the floor, an unfeeling look upon his face.
"You're sure that you think they mean the radio, Captain Scarlet?" White asked.
"But what about the bit about 'cutting us down', Captain?" Blue asked, frowning.
"I don't know - it's... it's just a feeling..." Scarlet stared at the document before him.
"And we know all about THEM," Blue muttered beneath his breath.
"Yes," the Colonel nodded, "all right, Scarlet, I trust you're instinct. Head for Sword Studios - good luck."
"Thank you, sir
." Scarlet acknowledged.
"S.I.G." Blue added.
As they were quickly leaving, Lieutenant Green turned a curious glance toward his –Commander-in-Chief. "Sir?"
The Colonel sighed, tiredly, knowing what was coming. "Yes, Lieutenant?"
"Can I join to help?"
"Green..." Colonel White began, with a warning tone.
"They may need me - the Mysterons could plan using a computer - as the radio IS supplied via internet access tooand -"
"Oh, go on, then." Green grinned and jumped to his feet. "But remember, son, this isn't a game."
"I know, sir. I'll be careful."
"I'm sure you will." White watched the young man exit hurriedly. An immediate unsettling feeling made him wonder whether he had made the right decision.
A beeping noise from his desk interrupted further contemplation, however. "Request launch clearance," Scarlet's voice announced over the radio.
"Temporarily denied, Captain. Wait for Lieutenant Green."
In the waiting SPJ, Captain Scarlet
exchanged glances with Blue,
* * *
"Mister Blackmoore, you will carry out our threat. Pick up the object to your right."
Blackmoore obeyed. It was a normal - enough - looking disc, with 'Winner Takes It All' printed on it.
"ABBA?" he wondered out loud.
"This will be your weapon. You will play this when the time is right."
Blackmoore said nothing, but Abba really didn't seem like much of a weapon, somehow.
While Captain Blue had a quick word with a security guard, Captain Scarlet and Lieutenant Green went to the reception desk. The girl looked up as they approached. "More Spectrum officers?" she asked, "We've already had ONE here. Do you want to see Mr Blackmoore, too?"
Scarlet and Green exchanged quick glances. "We're the first Spectrum members to be dispatched here," Green told her.
"But... he was HERE!"
"WHO was here?" Scarlet demanded.
"He - I didn't catch his name."
"Well, what did he LOOK like?" Scarlet asked, losing patience."Surely you can give a description?"
"Ye-es," the girl replied, doubtfully, rubbing her head. "He wasn't in uniform... he had dark hair, and didn't look all that well... He was dressed all in black."
"BLACK!" Scarlet hissed. "Quickly, where did he go to?"
"Mister Blackmoore' studio."
"Come on, Lieutenant."
"Now, you hang on a minute," the girl told them. "You need an appointment before-"
"YOU 'hang on'." Scarlet answered, curtly, "If Captain Black is - or WAS here, it may already be too late." He turned to Green, "Fetch Blue." as the Lieutenant hurried away, Scarlet turned back to the receptionist. "That man you saw works for the enemy - NOW WHICH FLOOR?"
"Right. Thank you." Scarlet sprinted for the lift, punching the 'UP' button.