A Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons short story

Written by Scarlet Lady

 

Part Two – Trial and Error

 

Things never were straight forward, Stanton reflected as she stared out of the window at a peaceful-looking courtyard.  She had been led to believe that her training would take place at Koala Base, Australia, but then Colonel White had decided that it might not be a good idea, due to her retrometabolism.  She could have quite easily swore – why did the Mysterons have to make life so complicated? As if it wasn’t complicated enough! She sighed.  White was right, of course – it would be VERY difficult if her fellow officers-in-training were to discover her unique abilities.  Well, Captain Sapphire was to be her first partner and her training would go on just the same.  Apparently, she was in for special treatment.

Lieutenant Lake?” Captain Sapphire entered the lounge area to find her new partner standing at the window, small holdall at her feet full of her few possessions.  She was dressed in jeans and a bright red polar neck jumper, as she hadn’t been issued with her uniform, yet.  “Come on, Lieutenant, I’ll show you to our quarters – I hope you don’t mind sharing?”

Lake turned, smiling.  She had a feeling that she had little choice in the matter, and Sapphire was just being polite.  “Not at all – I’m used to company.”

“Then in that case…” Sapphire slung the holdall over her shoulder and began to lead the way, “I’d better lay down the rules.  I don’t mind chatting – as long as it doesn’t go on too late – and I’ll let you play music as long as it’s quiet and respectful.  Is that fair, so far?”

Lake nodded.  “Seeing as I was expecting the rules to be more along the lines of ‘new recruits should be seen and not heard’ I’d say it’s VERY fair, Captain.”

“Splendid,” Sapphire grinned.  “I think we’re going to get along fine.” She put the holdall on the floor in front of a door and took a security card from her pocket.  “You’ll be issued with one of these when you get your uniform.  In the meantime, you’d best stick with me so you don’t get locked out or something.”

Lake nodded.  “Seeing as I’ll probably get lost pretty easily, I s’pose that’s the wisest thing to do anyway, Captain.”

Sapphire nodded, smiling.  “Just one more thing – you don’t have to keep calling me ‘Captain’.  It’s fine when we’re on duty, but the rest of the time, my name is Chris,” she dragged the holdall inside, holding the door open for her partner.  “What’s your name?”

Elizabeth,” Lake smiled shyly and followed the Captain inside.  “But I prefer to be called ‘Ems’.”

The Captain smiled.  So, she wasn’t allowed to keep her old name, but she still uses her pet name… “‘Ems’, eh? Why are you called that if your name is Elizabeth?”

Lake’s face was rapidly becoming the same colour as her top.  “My full name is Elizabeth Murray-Stone, but that’s a bit long, for my taste.”

Sapphire nodded.  Ems it is, then.”

 

***

 

Lake made short work of unpacking her few belongings.  The last thing she pulled out of the bag was a mobile phone.  She smiled at it, fondly, and put it on her bedside table.

Sapphire frowned.  “You won’t need the mobile any more, Ems.  We have our own radios in order to keep in touch.”

“I know – Colonel White has already told me that, Chris,” the Lieutenant picked it up and began going through the menu,  but it was a present from my parents.  Anyway, it has an organiser and notebook and I can’t do without it.”

The Captain nodded her understanding.  “If you don’t want to part with it, I’ll say no more.”

Lake began to go through her photo album.  A lump came to her throat as she saw all the loving faces of lost friends and family members.  Up until now, she’d seen them so often she’d almost taken them for granted.  It was hard to imagine never being able to see them again – not even being able to call someone for a quick chat.  She turned the device off and put it back down.

Sapphire went to her side.  “I know it’s hard, Ems, but things will get easier – I promise.”

The Lieutenant blinked away the tears that had been forming in her eyes.  “How do you know, Chris? Have you ever been ‘officially dead’ before? Do you know what it’s like to think of family and friends, knowing you’ll never see them again?”

The Captain was silent for a moment, not quite knowing how to react to such an outburst.  Finally, she spoke.  “No, I don’t know what it’s like.  I can only imagine – and sympathise.”

Lake nodded, trying hard not to cry.  “I’m sorry.  You… you’re being very kind and he… helpful… and I… I’m…”

Seeing that it was steadily becoming harder for the Lieutenant to stay strong, Sapphire put an arm around her.  “You’re upset – that’s why I’m being so kind and helpful.  Now, I suggest you try to get some rest – and don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”

The Lieutenant blinked and nodded.  “Thanks, Chris.”

Sapphire smiled at her.  “We’ll get you through this together – you’ll see.  It WILL get easier, I promise.”

“I know,” Lake sniffed.  “I’ll be strong – and we’ll give those Mysterons all they deserve!”

“That’s the spirit!” the Captain squeezed her arm gently.  “We’ll show them.”

 

***

 

Sapphire looked down at the sleeping Lieutenant sprawled across the bunk opposite hers.  Quietly, she moved away to find somewhere more private.  She decided that the bathroom was best, being the only part of her now shared quarters with a separating door.  She contacted Doctor Fawn.

“Captain Sapphire,” Fawn’s voice greeted her cheerfully.  “How is your new partner – is she ok?”

“I hope so,” Sapphire returned.  “She still seems depressed and confused, at the moment.”

Fawn was silent for a second.  “Well, Captain, that was to be expected – at least for a while.  I agreed to send her into training now to give her something else to think about.  I’m sure she’ll be fine, once she has a sense of belonging.”

Sapphire had to agree that this made sense.  She ended the call and checked that her partner had not overheard – the last thing she wanted was for her to feel that she was being spied on.

 

She needn’t have worried – Lake was clearly very tired as she was sleeping soundly.  Sapphire looked up at the clock on the wall.  Although the Lieutenant had clearly been in desperate need of rest when she’d arrived, it was time to wake her or else they would miss lunch.  Gently, she shook her partner’s shoulder.  Ems, are you hungry?”

There was no response.

The Captain sighed.  She was probably enjoying the first restful sleep she’d had in a long time.  She shook her again.  “Come on, Ems, we both need to eat, you know.”

Lake jerked slightly and opened bleary eyes.  S’rry mum, what time bissit?”

“Can you repeat that?” Sapphire asked, carefully.

The Lieutenant blinked.  “Sorry, Chris…” she yawned into the back of her hand.  Waz I ersleep verry long?”

“Not long enough, by the look of you, but it’s lunch time and if we don’t get moving we’ll go without until dinner – uh, I mean tea time.”

Lake stood slowly.  “I get the message – ‘urry up.”

“I’m sorry, but I’m very hungry,” the Captain replied patiently.  “I’d cook something myself, but I thought you might prefer to explore on the way back from the canteen – besides, it’s a chance to meet some of our colleagues.”

The Lieutenant gathered up a change of clothes and headed for the bathroom.  “I’m up for that!”

Sapphire smiled.

 

***

 

Lieutenant Lake entered the cafeteria with Captain Sapphire.

Sapphire consulted the screen displaying the menu.  “What would you like, Ems?”

“Uh…” Lake tried to ignore the many strangers staring at her and glanced up at the menu.  “Can I have fish?”

“Sure,” Sapphire looked around for an empty table.  “Go and find a seat – I’ll get the food.”

That didn’t seem right to the Lieutenant.  “Are you sure, Captain? I mean, you outrank me, shouldn’t I do the fetching and carrying?”

The Captain smiled.  “If I outrank you, you should do as you’re told – go and find us a table.  Oh, and what would you like to drink?”

“Uh… I’ll have a tea, please,” Lake gave her an awkward smile.  “I’ll get that table, then.”

Sapphire nodded.

 

As Lake took a seat at a table, a man dressed in plain clothes and a Spectrum security badge approached her.  She looked up.  “I’m sorry, were you sitting here?”

The man took a seat opposite her.  “No, I just wanted to talk to you.  Are you Captain Sapphire’s new partner?”

The Lieutenant nodded.  “Yes, I’m Lieutenant Lake.”

Conners,” the man put a file on the table in front of him.  “What do you make of Spectrum HQ?”

Lake shrugged.  “I’ve not seen very much, yet,” she admitted.

“I see,” Conners replied in a quiet, friendly manner.  “So, what have you done with yourself, since your arrival?”

Lake shrugged again.  “Sleeping.”

He stared at her.  “You haven’t done any work, then? You haven’t even been shown around?”

Lake didn’t quite know how to answer that.  She realised too late that she had allowed herself to seem lazy.

“Mister Conners,” Captain Sapphire was standing behind the SI agent with a laden tray.  “Would you mind moving? My partner and I are very hungry, and would like to eat.”

“Of course, Captain Sapphire,” Conners stood and allowed her to take a seat.  “I was merely asking the Lieutenant if she likes it here.”

“I’m sure we’ll get along fine,” Sapphire replied in an annoyed tone.  “Now if you don’t mind, we’d like to eat in peace – good bye, Mister Conners.”

Lake watched as the man nodded, picked up his file and left.  “Chris, that was a bit unnecessary, wasn’t it?”

“That man is a weasel – trouble,” Sapphire handed the Lieutenant her plate and cup.  “It’s best to ignore him, if you can.”

The Lieutenant was surprised.  “Why?”

“Look, let’s just eat, shall we?” Sapphire looked up at her partner, pointedly.  “You must be starving.”

Lake took the hint, digging into her meal.  “This certainly is very good…”

Mmm,” the Captain grinned.  She wanted to make up for the bad humour that Conners’ sudden appearance had caused.  Ems, do you have any music with you?”

“Yes,” the Lieutenant nodded.  “Pete went and got me whole CD collection for me – don’t know what he said to mum, though.”

Sapphire decided it was best not to talk too much about family.  “What do you have?”

“Oh, allsorts – ELO, Lighthouse Family, Robbie Williams, some various praise compilations, classical music…”

The Captain grinned.  “Probably a lot that I’ve never heard.  I imagine I have a lot that you’ve not heard before, too.  What kind of music do you like?”

“Just about anything, but I prefer rock – the old kind, from about 100 years ago.”

“Sounds interesting,” Sapphire smiled.  “We can share some entertainment tonight, then.”

“Ok,” Lake pushed her half-eaten meal away.  “Sorry, but I can’t eat any more.”

The Captain shook her head.  “You should be hungrier than that.  Come on! You need to eat, or you’ll get sick.”

“Not likely,” the Lieutenant grinned.  “I can’t get ill, and I’ve never eaten huge amounts – especially when I’m tired.”

Sapphire didn’t push the matter in case someone should overhear them, but decided to have a further talk on the subject when they returned to their shared quarters.  “Alright, but I haven’t finished, so you’ll have to wait for me anyway.  You may as well try to eat some more, or you’ll be hungry later.”

“You win,” Lake pulled her plate back toward her.

 

***

 

Mister Conners was going frantic.  Some highly important notes had gone missing from his file – he’d been through it more times than he could count trying to locate them.  Now he was searching through his quarters, but they didn’t seem to be there, either.  He was beginning to think that someone had taken them from his file, somehow, but he’d never left them lying about.  Then he thought of Lake – she was new, no one knew much about her, and she’d had an opportunity.  The more he thought about it, the more sure he became that the Lieutenant was the culprit.  He hurriedly left his quarters to find Senior Agent Wade.

 

***

 

“Well I came a long way to be here today

And I left you so long on this avenue.

And here I stand in the strangest land

Not knowing what to say or do.

As I gaze around at these strangers in town,

I guess the only stranger is me.

And I wonder, yes I wonder,

Is this the way life’s meant to be.”

 

Lake shook her head, sadly.  She’d heard this song so many times before, but it had never really meant anything.  Now, it was pretty much describing how she felt – a stranger.  Yes, she was a stranger to Spectrum, but she was also a stranger to her home, to her family and friends – and to herself.  Colonel White was convinced that she was Emily Stanton with a second chance to live and a new name and job description.  Before she’d been sent to London, she had spoken with Father Ivory about her feelings, and his words had been reassuring enough.  “What happened to you was not your fault and you should let it go.  You have been given a second chance to live and you should live it in the way you feel fit.  If your faith is in God, let Him lead you to make the right choice.” She smiled.  He was right.

She continued to listen as the song played on, a silent tear running down her face as she wondered how much her home had changed…

 

“Although it’s only a day since I was taken away

I’m left standing here looking in wonder.

The ground at my feet, maybe it’s just the old street,

But everything that I know lies under.

And when I see what they’ve done to this place that was home,

Shame is all that I feel.

And I wonder, yes I wonder,

Is this the way life’s meant to be…”

 

Sapphire looked across at her partner and gave a tired sigh.  “Maybe this wasn’t a good idea…”

“I’m ok, Chris,” the Lieutenant rubbed her eyes and picked up her phone to access the photo album.  “I’ll show you all my friends and family members, and tell you a bit about them all.  Maybe it won’t make me feel so far away from them.”

The Captain shook her head.  “We’ll see, Ems.  But I don’t think you should dwell on the past too much.  You need to move forward, for the sake of your own sanity.” Besides, I don’t want to spend my time treading on eggshells for fear of upsetting you!

“I know,” Lake nodded and smiled.

“Well, let’s see these photographs,” the Captain took a seat beside her on her bed. 

 

There was a thump at the door.  Lake turned her phone off and hid it in a drawer as Captain Sapphire answered the persistent knocking.  Opening the door, the Captain came face to face with an angry-looking Martin Conners.  “What do you want?”

“Where is she?” Conners fumed, trying to push past Sapphire.  “She’s got something of mine which is very important.”

“What are you talking about, Mister Conners?” the Captain demanded, keeping herself between him and the doorway.

Lake has taken some highly important documents out of my file – she did it while I was sitting with her at lunch time,” Conners again tried to shove past Sapphire.  “I’ll prove it, if you’ll let me in.”

“What right have you to accuse my partner of committing any kind of offence? She only arrived today!” Sapphire was rapidly losing patience.

“For all we know, she could be a Mysteron impostor – maybe we should check.”

“For all I know, YOU might be a Mysteron replacement,” the Captain replied.  “Now go and take your ridiculous, malicious accusations elsewhere, because I don’t want to hear it.” She watched Conners storm into his quarters next door and went back inside.  Poor Ems, having to hear all that…

Lake was curled up on the bed with her face hidden in her hands.  Sapphire gently put a hand on her shoulder. 

“It’s ok, Ems, he’s gone.”

“You said ee was trouble,” the Lieutenant said in a quiet voice, muffled by her hands.

Sapphire nodded.  “Yes, I’m afraid so.”

“Thanks for defendin’ me.  Don’t know what I’d have done if he’d said that stuff to me face…”

Cry, probably, the Captain thought.  She cleared her throat.  “Well, he’s gone, now…”

“Until he decides to blame me for something else.  Bet he lost whatever it was he was lookin’ for himself!”

The Captain shrugged.  “I couldn’t say, but he should certainly not have blamed you just because you’re new here – it’s not fair.  Besides, you’ve not been out of my sight.”

Lake sat up.  “Try tellin’ HIM that.”

“I’ll tell Senior Agent Wade – that’ll show him!” Sapphire’s eyes were flashing dangerously.  “Ha! I’d like to see how HE’D like to be blamed for something that’s not his fault!”

The Lieutenant shrugged and began to go through her CDs again.  “Well, let’s forget him for now.  Would you mind me listening to some Christian rock?”

“Anything, as long as it cheers you up,” Sapphire replied with a shrug.  “You have to get out of your depression, Ems, or else you’ll be good for nothing and make yourself sick.”

“But I can’t…”

The Captain glared at her with annoyance.  “You CAN get sick, Lieutenant.  For starters, you need to eat more than you did at lunch, today – I couldn’t survive on that amount, and I don’t have retrometabolism.  Have you spoken to Captain Scarlet?”

Lake stared at her partner with wide eyes.  Suddenly, she remembered the headaches she’d got around him.  “Captain Scarlet is a Mysteron?”

“An ex-Mysteron,” Sapphire corrected.  “And he eats much more than you eat – easily.  When he’s in recovery, he needs even more than normal.”

“Wow,” Lake was taken aback.  “But, I really can’t eat like that – I’d make myself ill.”

The Captain shook her head, tiredly.  “Then we’ll have to work on it.  If you get seriously hurt, your retrometabolism will need fuel.  It’s a wonder you recovered as quickly as you did with the amount of food and sleep you got…”

Lake nodded.  “I understand, Captain.”

Sapphire touched her arm.  “I just want you to take good care of yourself.  I know you can make it as a Spectrum agent – but you need to get through all this and build yourself up.”

“You’re a great help, Chris,” she smiled at the Captain.

“That’s good,” Sapphire returned the smile.  “You need to know that your feelings are going to be difficult to handle…”

The Lieutenant nodded.  “I gathered that.”

“But I’ll help you, so you won’t go through it alone.”

“Thanks, Chris,” Lake felt like hugging the Captain, but stopped herself.  She still felt awkward, with the difference in rank between them.

 

***

 

Martin Conners was frustrated and angry.  Senior Agent Wade had seen no reason to suspect Lake of doing anything wrong and wasn’t even going to question her.  Who else could have been to blame? The Lieutenant was the only person who had had any opportunity and Wade was doing nothing! Scowling, Conners cast the clock on the wall a glance.  It was getting late, and he was tired.  Deciding to call off tidying his quarters and working on a method of getting a confession from Lake, he went to bed.

 

***

 

Lieutenant Lake yawned and stretched out on her bed.  She put a Robbie Williams CD into the player and set it to random play.  As the music played, she closed her eyes and focussed on it.

Captain Sapphire took a seat beside her, grinning.  “Not going to sleep, are we?”

“No, just listening to music – Robbie don’t make me cry.”

That’s a relief, Sapphire thought.  She smiled at Lake, who was listening quietly to the music that was playing.  “What’s this one called?”

“Revolution,” Lake replied, quietly.  She snapped her eyes open as the lyrics began to dawn on her.  “Chris, listen to the words!”

 

“…I’ll talk you through memories,

Just keep breathing with me.

It’s time to hold my hand,

And walk into the revolution.”

 

Sapphire stared back at her friend.  “Why?”

“Just listen, Chris – the song’s talking to me!”

 

“When there’s no-one to touch

And you’ve been thinking too much,

You only hurt yourself when you think

About retribution.

I see the pain in your face

And you’re paying rent for the space.

It’s time to lead you into the revolution.”

 

Sapphire was listening carefully.  She smiled and nodded at her partner.

 

“When you can’t keep on keeping on,

And everything you lean upon is all but gone,

Everybody falls sometimes but love shines on.

With love in your eyes and a flame in your heart,

Gonna find yourself some resolution.

A million miles with one step

And you’ll find yourself yet

When you’re walking with the revolution.

 

Love lingers on you’re just feeling it wrong.

I know you’re tired but when it’s time to sleep

You’re gone forever.

Make friends with your past

Then you can leave it at last.

It’s time to find yourself in the revolution.”

 

The Captain put a hand over her mouth so as not to laugh – that bit definitely seemed to be about her partner!

 

“When you can’t keep on keeping on,

And everything you lean upon is all but gone,

Everybody hurts sometimes but love shines on.

With love in your eyes and a flame in your heart,

Gonna find yourself some resolution.

A million miles with one step

And you’ll find yourself yet

When you’re walking with the revolution.”

 

“Time and tide’s on your side,

There’s no need to hide.

I feel your pain.

Don’t talk to me about evolution.

A million miles with one stare,

And you’ll find yourself there.

When you’re walking with the revolution.”

 

Captain Sapphire turned to her partner.  The Lieutenant had turned the player off again once the song had ended and was reading the lyrics through.  “Well, did that help?”

Lake nodded.  T’were good – encouraging.”

“Good,” the Captain smiled.  “You can listen to that one as much as you like.  Right now, though, I think we should think about sleep – it’s getting late.”

“Can I put some music on quiet, in case I have difficulty sleeping?” Lake asked.

Sapphire nodded.  “As long as it IS on very quiet, and we don’t have complaints,” she yawned into the back of her hand.

“What about ELO? They’re me favourite group.”

Sapphire shook her head.  “Half of the tracks you’ve played have reduced you to tears! I think you should listen to something a little more positive.”

The Lieutenant looked away, unhappily.  “I still like them – I’m just too emotional.  But I thought… perhaps it’s better to listen to things that make me cry, so I can get it out of my system.”

“Well, I agree that you don’t want to bottle all your feelings up inside, but you don’t want to keep dwelling on your feelings either.  You need a balance.  Besides, I want to sleep.”

Lake nodded.  “You’re right of course, Captain.”

The Captain went through the CDs belonging to her partner, carefully.  She wanted to find something that wouldn’t upset her at all.  “What’s this album like?” She held up a disc with black cover with a white man-like shape on it.

“That’s Survivor Songs – worship music for young people,” Lake smiled awkwardly.  “I don’t know what you’ll think of it…”

“That’s the Christian rock music you mentioned before?”

The Lieutenant nodded.  “I used to sing some of those songs at church – they’re really good.”

Sapphire inserted the CD.  “Why is it playing track 8 first?”

“Because I put the player on random mode – I like it better that way.  You don’t mind, do you?”

The Captain chuckled and shook her head.  “Just checking that it wasn’t another message for you, Ems.”

The two laughed happily.  Lake put an arm around her new partner, at last feeling more at ease.  “Thanks, Chris.”

Sapphire was about to ask why, but changed her mind.  Lake was tired, and she felt it was best to just allow her to relax and listen to her music.  I hope she starts to pick up, soon.

 

***

 

Lieutenant Lake opened one eye as Captain Sapphire quietly left their shared quarters.  Strange, she thought, I wonder where she’s going. Carefully, she crept out of bed and went to the cupboard, pulling out a spare blanket.  She put that under her blanket, hoping that, if the Captain should come in, she would think that she was still fast asleep.  Next, she unplugged the portable CD player, found its remote control, and ensured that both had batteries.  She smirked, craftily, and selected a song from her many CDs – she knew just the one she needed.

 

***

 

How long had he been asleep? He couldn’t tell, but it certainly wasn’t morning, yet.  From outside of his window was coming the sound of some loud, heavy-beat music. 

“HEAR ME NOW!”

Conners was about to go to the window when there was a heavy knock at the door.  “Alright, alright, I’m coming!”

“Mister Conners,” Senior Agent Wade was at the door, and he looked very tired and angry.  “What do you mean by playing that awful racket at this time of night? You may not want to sleep, but I can assure you that there are plenty of people who do!”

 

Lieutenant Lake ducked to the floor as she recognised the voice.  She felt that she should head back for her quarters before she was spotted, but she knew that she couldn’t go and leave the CD player in Conners’ quarters.  She held her breath and waited.  The weather was chilly, and she shivered slightly.

 

“Mister Conners, Captain Sapphire here has already had enough cause to complain about your attitude,” Senior Agent Wade was saying.  “If this continues, I shall have to take stern measures.”

“I suggest you turn that… noise… off,” Sapphire’s equally annoyed voice added. “Before you wake my partner.”

“It’s not mine,” Conners began.

“Then why is it coming from YOUR quarters, Mister Conners?” Queried Wade.

“It’s coming from my window – I left it open,” Conners attempted to explain, as he moved inside.  The music stopped abruptly.

 

Lake had turned the music off with the remote and swiftly grabbed the CD player.  Putting it down on the floor, she quickly slid Conner’s window shut, crept to the open window of her shared quarters and practically leapt through it.  She arranged the bed the way it had been before Sapphire had left, putting the spare blanket back in the cupboard.  This done, she returned to bed and lay still, listening and waiting.

 

“I thought you said that you’d left the window OPEN, Mister Conners,” Wade reminded his agent in a dangerously quiet tone.

Conners didn’t know how to reply.  He KNEW that the window had been open, he KNEW that the music had not come from his player… but how could he prove it?

Captain Sapphire shook her head, tiredly.  She was fed up, and in urgent need of sleep.

Senior Agent Wade looked across at her, before turning to Conners once more.  “It’s late, and we’re all very tired.  I would appreciate it if you would keep your music at an appropriate and respectful level.  Good night, Mister Conners.”

Conners watched miserably as they left.  Sapphire dealt him an icy stare but said no more.  He had a feeling that he had been a victim of some kind of sick joke tonight, but he was too tired to think on it.  Shrugging, he returned to bed.

 

Lake jumped when Captain Sapphire entered their shared quarters.  She lay still, hoping that her partner would think that she was asleep.

“Are you alright, Ems?” the Captain asked, quietly, as she crept into the sleeping area.

Lake didn’t want to reply, but a cold shiver ran through her.

Ems?” Sapphire had seen her move.  “Are you ok?”

The Lieutenant sat up and groaned.  “Sorry, din’t mean to ignore you, Chris.  Jus’… was ‘opin’ I could go back asleep.”

Sapphire moved closer.  “Did Conners wake you?”

“Oh, is that what the noise were…?”

The Captain frowned and stared closely at her partner.  “Are you shivering?”

Lake didn’t quite know how to answer that.  The fact of the matter was that she was only just starting to warm up after being outside dressed in pyjamas, but of course, she couldn’t very easily explain that to the Captain.  “I’m ok, Chris,” she replied, hoping she sounded convincing.

Sapphire took hold of one of her hands and stared at her with fresh concern.  “You’re frozen!”

The Lieutenant smiled at her.  Thankfully, she had a good explanation at hand.  “Sometimes I get a bit like that when I’m overtired – I’m alright, I promise you.”

“Are you sure?”

Lake smiled and nodded.  “It’s nothing to worry about,” she assured her partner.

The Captain narrowed her eyes at her.  “You’re SURE you’re not going down with something?”

“I’m sure.”

The Captain smiled.  “Alright then, but I’ll be keeping an eye on you.” She stood up, and looked down at the floor by the window.  She shrugged, grabbed her nightclothes and headed into the bathroom.

 

***

 

Lieutenant Lake awoke still feeling cold.  She shivered and pulled her covers about her tighter.  Hope I don’t have to get up yet.

“Are you awake, Ems?” Captain Sapphire folded her arms and waited for a reply.  “Come on, I saw you move.”

Lake groaned and dragged herself out of bed.  “Yeah, I’m awake… ish.”

“You’re tired, aren’t you?” the Captain chuckled.  “That’s what comes of playing games late at night, Miss Murray-Stone.”

“I didn’t play games in the middle of the night – I never touched the computer!”

“Nice try,” Sapphire looked down at the floor for a moment.  “Why is there grass on the floor, under the window?”

Lake swallowed hard.  She hadn’t even thought about the grass!

“Look,” Sapphire continued, pointing at the floor.  “There are grass cuttings under the window, and they seem to leave a little trail all around here – to the closet, to the bed…”

The Lieutenant didn’t know what to say for a moment.  She watched as Sapphire pulled back the covers on her bed.

“Oh, look! There certainly wasn’t any grass HERE yesterday!” Sapphire looked up at her silent partner.  “And perhaps you’d like to explain why you were so cold, last night? It was certainly warm enough in here, but of course, OUTSIDE…”

Lake looked away.

“Now, my little friend, I thought you were a Christian,” Sapphire began again.

“I am,” Lake stared up at her partner.  “What do you mean, Chris?”

The Captain shook her head, tiredly.  “I didn’t know you were supposed to seek revenge, Ems.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but I always thought you were supposed to forgive people when they upset you.”

“If they’re REALLY sorry,” Lake replied.

 “Well, I WAS going to see that he would be… but it seems that you have your own methods.”

“I’m sorry,” the Lieutenant replied quietly.

Sapphire relented.  “Well, perhaps he had it coming.”

Lake looked up nervously.

“But don’t pull a stunt like that again,” the Captain added quickly.  “If Senior Agent Wade found out, there’d be trouble.”

“I won’t,” the Lieutenant assured her partner.

“Good,” Sapphire cleared her throat and changed the subject.  “Captain Scarlet wants to take you on your first training session, today.”

“Great!” Lake brightened considerably.

The Captain concealed a smile.  “Yes, I thought you’d be eager to get on with it,” she remarked.  “Just do as he says, and you’ll be fine.  He just wants to look at the skills and qualities you already have, and see what you need to learn, from what he’s told me.  Nothing to worry about.”

The Lieutenant smiled.

“Well, before you rush off, you need a good breakfast,” Sapphire remarked.  “An army marches on its stomach, as I’m sure Captain Scarlet will be happy to tell you.”

Lake rolled her eyes, and took a seat at their small table.  “I’ll just have a…”

“If you were about to say you’d just have a yogurt, you can think again,” Sapphire cut in, sharply.  “I’m making pancakes, and you’d better eat them!”

The Lieutenant sighed.  “You know, I’m starting to feel as if I’m still at home!”

 

End of Part Two

 

 

TO BE CONCLUDED IN PART THREE

 

BACK TO PART ONE

 

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