A "Captain Scarlet & The Mysterons" story by
Captains Scarlet and Blue were enjoying the still, quiet weather of Norfolk, England. After a hectic time on duty for Spectrum, Colonel White had decided they both needed a rest.
"So, what do you have planned for today, Paul?" Captain Blue asked, grinning at his best friend, and usual partner when on duty, "Fishing again?"
"I was just going to suggest a short stroll," Captain Scarlet replied, "After all, there's lots to see and do, here. We could even go down to the nearest beach..."
"I guess we'll have to take that radio, though, huh?"
"Yes, just in case the Colonel DOES have to contact us."
"Well, I sure hope he doesn't! I want this lull to last a lifetime!"
"Alright, Adam, let's get going," Captain Scarlet was growing impatient, "I want to leave EARLY!"
The phone rang, and Scarlet hurriedly answered it. "Hello? Oh, hello Colonel...." the smile on his face vanished "The 'Giant Emerald'? No, Sir, I haven't..... Yes, Colonel, we'll head back as soon as possible." He turned to Captain Blue, "Sorry, Adam, the holiday's ended a week in advance."
"Ah, well, at least we had ONE week off," Captain Blue smiled, "and the weather held up, too."
"Yes, it hasn't been bad, at all. Especially after all the complaints I got from you about England when I suggested Norfolk!"
"Alright, alright! So I was wrong, OK?"
Colonel White sat at his desk, looking through the various reports from Spectrum Intelligence and Ground Forces. He looked up, as Scarlet and Blue entered. "Sorry about the delay, Colonel," Captain Scarlet said, as he and Captain Blue came to attention before their commanding officer, "There was a problem with our plane."
"Well, at least you're here, now." Colonel White indicated the two seats before his desk, "Please, take a seat, gentlemen." He looked at his top agents, carefully, "Do either of you have ANY idea what the Mysterons may mean when they threaten the 'Giant Emerald', at all?" Captain Blue shook his head, but Captain Scarlet was staring into space, thinking hard. After a while he said "Colonel, what about... IRELAND?"
"WHAT?" Both Colonel White and Captain Blue stared at him.
"Ireland is sometimes referred to as the ‘Emerald Isle', because it is so green, and beautiful." Captain Scarlet said, frowning, "You said yourself, Colonel, when you were on the phone that they said DESTROY the Emerald. That would mean it was probably a ship, or...or a place!"
"Alright Captain, head for Ireland, and try to find a way the Mysterons could destroy Ireland."
When they arrived in Dublin, the captains soon found that their job was going to be harder than they thought. There was a new WAAF instalment being planted under part of the city. There was a radar centre near-by, too. Captain Scarlet sat in the main office of the Ground Forces' staff, glaring icily. Captain Blue was talking quietly to the man in charge. "I just want to understand WHY we weren't informed," Captain Blue said, trying to keep his voice level, "This is important. Call Cloudbase and put Colonel White in the picture. Captain Scarlet and I are heading for the Air Base." They left quickly.
"If you hadn't got me out of there so quickly, I might have MURDERED him!" Scarlet said, angrily,
"Why do you think I got you out?" Captain Blue answered, as they got in their car. "I could see you were losing your temper."
"Sorry, it was hard on you, and I certainly didn't help!"
"It wasn't your fault. Come on, let's go."
If they had had trouble at the Spectrum Ground Forces' Building, they were in for far more when they arrived at the Dublin Air Base.
Colonel White sat at his console sifting through numerous reports from Spectrum Intelligence and Ground Forces.
"Colonel," Lieutenant Green said suddenly, "There's a report coming in from Spectrum Ground Forces, Dublin."
"Put them through, Lieutenant."
"Colonel White, we had Captains Scarlet and Blue here, earlier..."
"Yes, I know. I sent them to see if you had any information of help."
"Well, we didn't think it important at the time, but the WAAF are installing something big here."
"What is it?"
"Oh, an underground hangar, power sources, rockets, missiles..."
"I get the picture. Please tell me WHY we weren't notified sooner."
"You sound like Captain Blue! Sorry, Colonel. We were told by the General in charge there that it was none of our business. We were also told that Spectrum WOULD be notified by the General, himself."
"Now I see. Being told this, you saw no point..."
"Sorry, sir. Er, is there anything else?"
"Yes. Can you tell me who this General is? I'll have to contact him."
"Er... General Ward. He was moved there recently...."
"You know him, sir?"
"Oh yes, I know him. Well, at least we know what we're up against. Thank you."
As soon as they arrived at the Air Base, both captains could see that things were NOT going to go smoothly. First, they were not even allowed to enter the grounds. Captain Scarlet hit the gate in front of him as the sentry headed for the phone to call the General. "I haven't had this much trouble with a base since dealing with Frost Line HQ!"
"Yeah, I know, Captain," Captain Blue replied quietly, "but don't snap yet."
"Thank you! I won't snap!" Scarlet replied, indignantly. He calmed slightly, "You're right, though. I just want to know what's taking so long."
"I know what you mean. I don't like this much, either." Captain Blue shivered, "It's getting cooler, too."
"Well, if he's not back in five minutes, I think I'll try jumping the barrier..."
"Patience!" Captain Blue laughed, "Paul, if we try anything like that, we'll probably get thrown off the base, we won't find anything..."
"I know, I know! I just hate all this hanging around."
The sentry returned, and glared at them. "Spectrum isn't welcome here," He said loftily, "the General doesn't want you sticking you're noses in." He smiled unpleasantly, "Why don't you go tell your Colonel THAT?"
Captain Scarlet finally snapped. "Well, if you're General wishes to tell us something," he shouted, his face turning a similar colour to his uniform, "Why doesn't he want to talk to us himself? Is he AFRAID of us or something?"
Captain Blue had been staring at his friend. He could certainly lose his temper, but this sort of outburst was unusual. "Captain," he hissed in his friend's ear, "Careful what you say!"
The sentry had certainly been bowled over by the outburst. He looked from one captain to the other, as if trying to reach a decision. "OK, if you want to see the General, be my guest," He opened the gate, glaring at Scarlet, "but let me warn you, he won't be best pleased!"
"Thank you, very much." Captain Scarlet said, after entering the main building, "Now, THAT wasn't so hard, was it?"
Captain Blue decided it best to interrupt, before Scarlet could go too far, again. "So, where do we find the General? It's so big in here! Like a maze!"
"This way, captains." He began leading them through a corridor, then stopped, suddenly, turning to Scarlet, "Look, if you don't like it here, Red, I can have you thrown off the base, OK?"
They started walking again, and Captain Blue stayed next to Captain Scarlet. "What were you doing?"
"Why's he threatening to throw you off the base, then?" he sighed, tiredly, "Look, Paul, we're not wanted, here. If we don't watch what we say and do, they'll find the excuse they need to get rid of us too easily."
"Right. Sorry. I'll keep my mouth shut."
General Ward looked up, as they entered. "What do YOU want?"
"It's good to see you, too, sir." Captain Blue said, trying to be as polite as possible. He extended his hand.
"I said WHAT DO YOU WANT? That OLD FOOL sent you here, did he?"
Captain Scarlet knew he HAD to keep his temper in check, but it was very tempting to take this General down a peg or two. He calmed himself quickly, then said politely, "No, sir, Colonel White sent us, not an 'Old Fool'."
"And WHY did th- Colonel White send you?"
"The Mysterons latest threat, sir."
"None of your-"
Captain Blue hastily interrupted "We think they aim to destroy Ireland..."
"Sir, please can you explain what you're doing here?"
"That's no concern of yours!"
"PLEASE, it'll give us an idea..."
"I said NO!" he looked at Captain Scarlet, "And get him out of here! My men have taken enough from HIM!"
Captain Blue sighed and turned to go. "OK, sir, if that's your final word..."
As soon as they were off the base, Captain Scarlet began releasing his tension. "Well, of all the... You'd think that even HE could have been a LITTLE more helpful!"
"Don't worry!" Captain Blue laughed, "He'll help us, next time!"
"WHAT? What makes you so sure?"
"I'm going to call Colonel White, and HE"S going to call someone that even Ward can't argue with!"
Meanwhile, Colonel White had been arguing with General Ward's secretary. "I only want to TALK to him," the Colonel was saying, doing his best to stay calm, "Can you put me through, please?"
There was a pause, then a familiar voice: "Colonel, I've had two of your BEST men here."
"What do you mean by that, General?"
"They were causing trouble here. I had to throw them off the base! Red, or whatever his name is, was especially rude to me and my men."
"SCARLET! Right, General, I'll talk to them about this and deal with them accordingly."
"Good! After you've spoken to them, I want an explanation."
"Yes, General, I'm sorry about that."
He cut off.
"I WISH he'd stop doing that!" the Colonel shouted, angrily. Lieutenant Green jumped slightly, and looked up. "Sorry, Lieutenant," Colonel White calmed himself, quickly, "but that General REALLY gets on my nerves!"
"Do you think Captains Scarlet and Blue would have gone to the base causing TROUBLE, sir?"
"Well, their idea of trouble is quite different to that of Ward's," the Colonel said, thinking aloud, "Just asking questions that he doesn't want to answer is 'causing trouble', in his book."
"But he said Captain Scarlet was RUDE to him...."
"I find that hard to believe," the Colonel agreed, "even when it's Scarlet who we're talking about."
A blue light blinked on the desk. "Go ahead, Captain Blue. I was just about to call you."
"You were...? Colonel, Ward is in charge at the Air Base. When we tried to get some information at the base, he made it as difficult as possible. THEN he ordered us to leave, just for asking questions about the instalments going on at the base!"
"Calm DOWN, Captain." Colonel White said quietly, "I was just talking to the General, myself. He told me it was the pair of YOU being difficult, and Scarlet was even rude..."
"DIFFICULT!" Captain Blue responded, indignantly, "WE weren't difficult, sir."
"Well, he WAS losing his temper, but under the circumstances..."
"That's NO excuse!" Colonel White said, sharply, then calmed himself, quickly, adding quietly, "Is that all you called for, Captain?"
"No, sir, I thought you could call someone who might get that foo- GENERAL to listen."
"Fair enough, Captain," the Colonel replied, "I'll see if the World President can make the FOOL General listen!"
"Thanks, sir, sorry about the slip of the tongue!"
"S.I.G, Captain, don't worry about it. I know what the General can be like. Just don't let him SEE that he's getting to you."
"S.I.G, sir, thanks again!"
Captain Blue joined Captain Scarlet outside of the Spectrum Ground Forces' Building. For some reason, neither really wanted to go in, after the events of the morning. Captain Scarlet shivered and pulled on his coat. "The weather has CERTAINLY turned chilly," he commented, looking at the sky, he added, "It looks as if it might rain, as well."
"I wonder what it's like at Norfolk..." Captain Blue muttered, half hoping his friend wouldn't hear him.
"Better than THIS, I'll bet," Captain Scarlet answered, "but never mind that, Adam. What are we doing NOW?"
"Waiting for Colonel White to come through."
"Yes. But who is he calling?"
"Wait and see! Honestly, you Brits have no patience!"
"I'm too cold to keep ANY patience!"
"Well, let's get inside, then."
Once they were inside, they met the same man as before. He quickly got them a hot drink each, and sat with them. Not wanting to risk losing his temper again, Captain Scarlet avoided talking about the progress of the morning. Now feeling much better, and knowing all they could do was wait for the moment, he joked light-heartedly. Andrews, the chief of the Irish Spectrum Ground Forces, was much more comfortable with both captains, now. After a few minutes' light conversation, the secretary called. "Sorry to interrupt, sir, but I have an Air Force officer here, who would like a word..."
"Send him in," he sighed apologetically, "Captains, would you mind staying? I would like you to hear what he has to say..."
"S.I.G." Captain Scarlet answered, "We wouldn't mind at all."
The door opened, and in came a slender man, in his early forties, wearing a WAAF Major's uniform. "Major Hawkins, here for some equipment..." he stopped looking at the two unfamiliar Spectrum personnel, "And you are...?"
"Spectrum, Captains Blue and Scarlet." Captain Blue stood to shake hands with the Major, but Captain Scarlet didn't move.
Captain Blue turned and looked at his friend, "Are you feeling alright, Captain Scarlet?"
"No," Captain Scarlet answered, holding his head. Captain Blue put his hand on his friend's shoulder. He didn't look well at all. "You must've been out in the cold too long," he said, reminding Captain Scarlet of Doctor Fawn, the medic of Cloudbase's Sickbay, "I've told you about that, before,"
"No, I don't think it's a cold, or a virus of any kind... It's... It's... HIM."
"Are you SURE?" Captain Blue asked, watching the Major the way you might a deadly snake. Captain Scarlet nodded. Not knowing he was being watched, the Major continued gathering various cables. He then tied them up, pulled the coils over his left shoulder, and left. Captain Scarlet jumped to his feet and chased him out of the building. The moment he was SURE nobody was around whom he could endanger, he fired at the Major. He only hit one of the cables that were trailing from his left shoulder. "Blast!" The Major was on to him, now, so Scarlet hid before the Major could return the favour.
"Where are you?" Came a shout nearby. Bullets ricocheted everywhere as the Mysteronised Major went into a frenzy. Then there was a series of clicking noises, followed by a thud. 'Has he abandoned his gun because he's ran out of bullets, or is it a trick?' Captain Scarlet asked himself, 'I'll BET it's a trick!' He could just see the Major from where he was... If he could JUST get ONE clear shot at him...
The Major saw him at the same moment, and fired a fresh gun at him. Stung into action, Captain Scarlet leapt to his feet and fired a single bullet... Right through the Major's heart!
Captain Scarlet felt cold, and weak. He didn't feel like walking back to the Ground Forces' Office. Instead he dropped his radio cap microphone "Captain Blue... I've taken care... of the Mysteron... He shot me in the leg... Get a Mysteron rifle and finish the job... Then can you deal with me?"
"With the RIFLE?" Captain Blue's voice asked, jokingly, "OK, Captain, don't worry. Can you make it back to the main building, while I take care of the Mysteron?"
"No... I'll wait here for you..."
"OK. Hold out."
Captain Blue was startled by his friend's condition. Captain Scarlet had lost a lot of blood and was shivering violently. Quickly, he took off his coat and draped it round Scarlet's shoulders. "Now, let's take a look at that leg," he said, softly. He and Andrews carefully rolled up his trouser leg, and wrapped a bandage round the wound. "There, that's the best we can do, for the minute, Captain." Andrews said, putting his hand gently on Captain Scarlet's shoulder, "We'd better get you to a hospital. But, tell me, how did you KNOW he was a Mysteron?"
"I can detect Mysterons," Captain Scarlet answered, smiling, "Call it a sixth sense."
Captain Blue cleared his throat, "I'd better call Cloudbase," he said, "Colonel White will want us back. Captains Ochre, Magenta and Grey are checking the Air Base out. Ward didn't want US to go back, and seeing as you're hurt..."
"Typical!" Captain Scarlet retorted, rolling his eyes, "Ward gets his way AS USUAL, and you make a fuss over a little... SCRATCH!"
"SCRATCH?" Captain Blue answered, "Look at you, Paul! I'm calling Cloudbase, and we're BOTH going back... AND THERE WILL BE NO ARGUMENTS!"
Back on Cloudbase, hours later, Captain Scarlet left the Sickbay and headed for the control room. The other officers were already there and waiting. Captain Scarlet had now fully recovered, in less than three hours. Colonel White looked up as he entered, "Ah, Captain Scarlet, how are you feeling?"
"Fine, thank you, sir."
"You all did a fine job," Colonel White stated, looking at each member in turn, "Even if there WERE a few problems."
Captain Scarlet looked at the floor. He had a feeling Colonel White would give him a good talking to, later. "Well, anyway, you all did your best, which, under the circumstances…" he shot a quick glance at Captain Blue, "…was all that could have been asked of you. Thank you gentlemen, dismissed."
Captain Scarlet stared at the Colonel in amazement, as the other members turned to leave. "Do you want to talk to me, Captain?"
"Well, no, sir, not exactly..." he hesitated.
"What is it, Paul?"
Captain Scarlet smiled, awkwardly, "Well, after my behaviour, earlier, I would have expected a..."
"If I'd been in your place, with irritating fool of a General speaking to ME the way he did you, I'd have HIT him."
"The temptation WAS strong, sir."
"But YOU were STRONGER. Go and join the others."
"Thank you, sir."
Lieutenant Green turned to Colonel White, after the Captain had left. He couldn't hide the grin on his face. "What are YOU smirking at, Lieutenant?"
"Nothing, Colonel, but you said earlier that they shouldn't be encouraged..."
"Yes, well," the Colonels face darkened, "What do YOU think I should have done then, Lieutenant? Put him in front of a firing squad?"
"NO, sir, of course not!"
"GOOD. Now, get on with the job you're PAID to do."