A Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons short story

Written by Scarlet Lady

 

Part Three – Lieutenant Lake

 

“Welcome to Spectrum Climbing Centre, Lieutenant Lake,” Captain Scarlet announced, as the two stepped into a large warehouse.

“What do I have to do, Sir?” the Lieutenant asked.

“It’s a pretty straight forward mission, Lieutenant,” Scarlet told her.  “You have to track down a Mysteron agent.”

Lake stared at him.  “But… Sir… I mean… on my own?”

The Captain’s face broke into a huge grin.  “It’s an exercise, Lieutenant.”

Lake nodded her understanding.  It was more a game than a mission.

“The Mysteron could be anywhere,” Scarlet continued.  “Once you enter the next room, you are on your own.  I’ll give advice if you request it, but you must apprehend the Mysteron agent alone.”

“Right, Sir,” Lake replied.  “Do I need safety equipment?”

“Yes,” Scarlet fetched a harness and strapped it to the young woman securely.  “There are ropes in there, next to the climbing apparatus.  They are easy to fasten and you should be able to manage by yourself, but tell me if you can’t.”

Lake nodded.  “Right, Sir.”

“There are also sections that can’t be reached without a power-pack – ignore them for now.  The Mysteron won’t be there.” Scarlet stared at her intently.  “Is all that quite clear?”

“Yes, Sir!” the Lieutenant replied, eagerly.

“Then the mission starts as soon as you’re ready.” Scarlet watched her go through the door.

 

Lieutenant Lake froze upon entering the room.  It was huge, and full of what looked like a construction made of scaffolding poles.  She could see no-one on the ground, so she attached one of the provided ropes to her harness and began to climb.  Captain Scarlet’s voice came to her through a radio she had on her harness.  “Any sign, Lieutenant?”

“Not at the moment, Sir.  I’m climbing to see if I can spot him.”

“S.I.G.” the line fell silent again.

When she reached the first platform, she noticed a manlike shape somewhere above her.  She frowned, and rubbed at her forehead as a slight pain hit her between the eyes.  I better not be catching a cold! Chris’ll be angry with me for going outside! She frowned.  Of course, that’s if it’s still possible for me to catch a cold any more…  She decided to ignore her discomfort and began to climb again.

This time, when she reached the next platform she could definitely see the shape of a man trying to conceal himself – but he was in a section that she could see was out of her reach.  “Captain Scarlet, I can see him,” she reported in a low voice.

“Good work!” came the reply.  “Where is he?”

“I can’t reach him without a power-pack, Sir.”

There was silence at the other end for a brief moment.  “Are you quite sure?”

“I’m certain, Captain.”

Scarlet muttered beneath his breath.  “What on Earth is he playing at? He KNOWS that…” he cleared his throat.  “Right, Lieutenant, on each of the platforms is a power-pack – you just need to find one.  Once you have it, climb to the topmost platform.  I’ll explain how to use the power-pack then.”

“Right, Sir.” Lake clambered down to the platform she had just began to leave and searched for the power-pack she required.  The piece of equipment was hidden in the centre of a maze of pipes, iron grating and wooden supports.  Quickly, she strapped the Spectrum equipment to her back and began to climb again.

She was nearly at the top when a shot rang out.  Lake jumped and lost her grip on the pole she had been clinging to and fell backwards.  She suddenly realised that her rope – her lifeline – had been severed by a bullet.  In a panic, she tried to grab hold of something, but she was falling too quickly, weighed down as she was by the power-pack.

LAKE!” Scarlet’s voice screamed at her through her radio.  “The power-pack! USE THE POWER-PACK!”

The Lieutenant’s body hit the ground with a sickening thud.  Scarlet ran to her side quickly, but before he’d reached her he knew that her neck had been broken and she was dead.  He stared at the Lieutenant as he tried to work out what could have happened.  He saw the snapped rope, and wondered how such an accident could have occurred.  Then, he began to feel a slight wave of nausea, and realised that it wasn’t an accident.  He looked up to meet the cold eyes of a Mysteron agent – and the barrel of a gun.

Scarlet froze.  “What’s your game?” he demanded, keeping one eye on the pistol that was trained on him.  “I didn’t know there had been a Mysteron threat.”

“No, Earthman, you were foolish enough to stumble upon our first move.”

“I see,” Scarlet replied.  “Well then, couldn’t you have left the girl alone? Was it necessary to kill her?”

“If the Earthwoman was foolhardy enough to chase me when I was holding a gun, she deserved to die,” came the cold reply.

Scarlet frowned.  He wasn’t about to explain to the Mysteron that they were there on an exercise and that if he had played along they wouldn’t have suspected him.  “Well, yes,” he said at length, “the girl was new to Spectrum, and… a little foolish.”

The Mysteron smirked.

“But I’m not,” Scarlet added, in a measured tone.  “Now, what are you going to do with me? You can’t keep me here indefinitely with a dead partner.”

The Mysteron agent considered this, and then leapt from his platform, firing up his power-pack as he did so.

Scarlet watched him, waiting for an opportunity to do something.  Quickly, he drew his own weapon and fired.  It made no difference.

The Mysteron grabbed him swiftly, knocking his gun from his grasp, and dragged him into a cupboard.  He removed Scarlet’s cap and shut the door on him, locking it.  “You will wait there, Earthman.”

“Wait?” Scarlet repeated.  “Wait for what?”

“To be blown back to Cloudbase,” came the prompt reply.

Scarlet tensed.  “You’re despicable!” he shouted at the Mysteron outside.  “You are murdering scum!”

“Thankyou,” the Mysteron replied.  “But I don’t have time to stand about and listen to compliments all day – I have a job to do.”

The Captain frowned.  He had no radio, no means of escape, no weapon and above else, no time.  If Lake could recover herself quickly they were in with a chance, but how quickly could any retrometabolic person recover from a broken neck? It would take her hours.  He stood and began to wander around the perimeter of his prison, looking for signs of any weakness.  He could see none.  As far as he could tell, their only hope was that someone would try to get in touch with him and investigate when they received no reply.

 

Lake opened her eyes.  She was extremely weak and in a lot of pain, but she was conscious.  Carefully, she looked about her.  There was no sign of the Mysteron agent, but for all she knew, he might have still been in hiding among the scaffolding frame.  She looked about her once more, this time noticing Captain Scarlet’s cap a short distance from her.  Carefully, painfully, she dragged herself towards the discarded cap.  After what seemed an age, she picked it up and tried to make the radio work for her.  At last, something happened.  The microphone moved in a swift, swinging action, almost hitting her in the nose.

“Captain Scarlet, come in, Captain Scarlet…”

“C… Colonel White?” she asked, weakly.

“Captain Scarlet? What’s happened to your voice?” the Colonel demanded.

“’S Lakes’been an incident… Myst’ronttack… Scarlet missin’… I’m… ‘urt…”

“Are you able to look for him?”

“Can’t… move.  Feel… ill… neck and back… hurts badly…” she blinked.  She felt as though she was either going to pass out or be sick.  She tried to avoid doing either.

“Alright, Lieutenant, I’ll send assistance to you.  Are you still in the Spectrum Climbing Centre?”

“Yeah…” Lake managed to roll herself onto her side, and then she blacked out.

 

“Lieutenant?” White called into the microphone, “Lieutenant?”

Lieutenant Green was staring at him with an expression of concern.  “Is she still there, Sir?”

The Colonel shook his head.  “She must have passed out.  Lieutenant Green, make this a red alert.  We have no idea what’s happened down there or what may be found.  Get me Captains Cerise, Ochre and Blue.”

“Yes, Sir.” Lieutenant Green turned back to his console.

Colonel White frowned as he tried to work out what was happening.  Lake had reported a Mysteron attack, yet there had been no threat.  He had a feeling that the said attack was in fact a first move that had been stumbled upon early.  If that were the case, would there be some clue at the Climbing Centre? He had to consider something else, too, which was why he didn’t want Captain Tourmaline involved… Lieutenant Lake could very easily have something to do with it.

 

Captains Cerise, Blue and Ochre came to attention before Colonel White’s console.  He quickly briefed them on all the information they had – which wasn’t much – and sent them on their way.

Lieutenant Green turned to his Commander-in-Chief with a thoughtful expression.  “You don’t really think that Lieutenant Lake might be involved, do you, Sir?”

“It’s a possibility, Lieutenant,” White replied.  “It just seems a little strange that she should become wrapped up in some form of Mysteron attack during her first session of training – and it’s unannounced, as well, which makes it all the more suspicious.”

Green nodded.  He had to admit, it did seem suspicious.

“Why did you want to know, Green?”

The Lieutenant frowned.  He wasn’t really sure why he’d asked the question.  He guessed that he was thinking of Captain Tourmaline, more than anything else.

 

***

 

Captain Scarlet had long since decided that he’d had enough of sitting about doing nothing.  He was completely helpless in his prison, but if he couldn’t fight the Mysteron, he was at least going to insult him.  He began to shout the rudest and most insulting names he could think of.  “Hey, half-wit, are you out there? Come on, surely you haven’t forgotten me!”

 

Captain Ochre stood at the entrance to the training centre, listening.  He could hear nothing inside.  “What do we do?” he whispered to Captain Blue.

“Get in there and find Captain Scarlet!” Blue returned.

Cerise cast a quick glance about them.  “We can’t wait here, anyway,” she said, quietly.

“If only we knew what’s going on here, there could be an army of Mysterons up at the top of the climbing apparatus,” Ochre muttered.

Blue scowled at him.  “Thanks for the vote of confidence, Captain, it makes me feel a whole lot better.”

Cerise went to the door and opened it a crack, peering in.  “I can’t see anything,” she whispered.  “I’ll go first, and…”

“No, Sue,” Captain Ochre grasped her arm, gently, not allowing her to move any further.  “I’LL go first.  You wait here with Captain Blue.”

Cerise watched as Ochre crept through the door.  She knew that there were plenty of places to hide, as this centre had been created with hiding, seeking and confrontation practice in mind.

“It’s ok,” Ochre’s voice hissed over the radio after what seemed an age, “I can’t see any signs of life.”

Blue and Cerise carefully crept into the training room, looking about them for signs of danger – and more importantly, their colleagues.

Captain Blue was the first to spot Lieutenant Lake, and rushed to her side.  It was clear that she was quite seriously unwell.

“Captain Cerise,” he hissed into his cap microphone.  “I’ve found Lieutenant Lake – she’s in pretty bad shape.”

Cerise hurried to his side and looked down at the Lieutenant.  “I’ll take care of her, Captain – you help Ochre to find Captain Scarlet.”

As if on cue, Lake opened her eyes.  She groaned, weakly.

“Lieutenant?” Cerise put a gentle hand on her shoulder.  “I’m Captain Cerise – we’re here to help you.”

Wh… where’s Scarlet?”

The Captain shook her head.  “I was hoping that you could tell me.”

Lake groaned.  “Dunno.  Dunno.”

“Alright,” the Captain said, gently.  “It doesn’t matter, we’ll find him.  I’ll get that pack off you, and try to make you more comfortable.  Where do you hurt?”

The Lieutenant winced.  “Back… neck… head…”

Cerise nodded.  “I’ll go easy – I promise.”

“Feel… bit sick…”

“I expect you do,” she responded.  “I’ll do everything I can for you, alright?”

“Thanks,” Lake replied.  She tried to keep her eyes open, but their lids felt like lead.

“Rest,” the Captain told her.  “It’ll make it easier for us both.”

“N… no…” Lake forced herself into a sitting position.  Me head hurts… maybe… it’s a Mysteron…”

Cerise tensed slightly.

“Or… or even… an EX-Mysteron…”

The Captain stared down at her.  “Do you think you can locate Captain Scarlet?”

“Can try…” Lake sounded weak but determined.  “Can only try.”

The Captain gently removed the power-pack and lifted her, but Lake was too weak and passed out again.  She gently lay her back on the floor and put her into the recovery position.  “Thanks anyway, Lieutenant.”

 

Captain Blue stopped dead.  “Listen!”

“Do you hear something?” Ochre asked him.

“I thought I heard Paul…” Blue looked about him.  “Whatever I heard, it’s stopped, now.”

 

Captain Scarlet thumped the door of the cupboard.  “Come on, let me out, murderer! Or are you scared that I might beat you? Come on, give me a REAL contest, this time!”

 

Ochre nodded knowingly.  “That’s Scarlet.”

”It’s coming from… over here, I think,” Blue said, guiding Ochre to the cupboard.

Ochre frowned.  “Locked.”

“Not for long,” replied Blue.  “I’ll try shooting through the lock.  Captain Scarlet, if you can hear me, stand away from the door.”

“S.I.G.,” Scarlet replied.

 

In no time at all, Captain Scarlet was released.  “Thank goodness you thought of coming after us,” he remarked.  “A bomb has been planted somewhere, and the caretaker of this place is in the hands of the Mysterons.  We have to get away from here.”

“Then we better get Captain Cerise and Lieutenant Lake and run for it – we’ve been here long enough!” Captain Blue remarked.

“I’ll carry Lake,” Scarlet said.  “She’s very small and light, and she’ll still be unconscious.”

 

***

 

Captain Sapphire hadn’t expected to be headed for Cloudbase again so soon.  As it happened, she hadn’t been recalled but was anxious to see her partner.  Upon entering the Sickbay, she was directed to the guests’ waiting room.  She was surprised to find a small number of Spectrum personnel already there.  Captain Tourmaline was seated next to a porthole, which he was staring through as he wrung his hands nervously.  Sapphire wasn’t sure whether she was pleased or sorry to see the sight, after the attitude he had taken the previous time his sister had been in Sickbay.  Captain Cerise was also there.  She stood slowly and approached her.  “Chris…”

“How is she?” Sapphire asked, quietly.  “I haven’t been told anything, yet – only that there was an accident.  How is she?”

Captain Cerise shook her head.  “She’s recovering slowly, Captain,” she said, quietly.  “But she isn’t in a deep sleep – she keeps waking up.”

“That’s good, isn’t it?”

Captain Tourmaline looked up.  “Doctor Fawn isn’t sure, Captain.  It’s not what he expected from someone who’s retrometabolic.  He says they usually go into a deep sleep until they’ve fully – or near enough fully – recovered.”

Cerise turned to him with a compassionate expression.  “She’ll be alright – she’s a fighter.”

Tourmaline was about to turn on her, but thought better of it.  “Yeah,” he muttered, trying to believe his colleague’s words.  “Yeah, she’s a fighter.”

Sapphire sat down beside Captain Cerise.  “But what happened?” she asked, quietly.  “How did she come to be hurt?”

The Captain explained all that had happened down there.  “And THEN,” she added, bitterly, “THEN we found out that the Mysterons hadn’t done as they’d said they would, after all – they changed their threat!”

Sapphire stared at her.  “Then… is it all over?”

Cerise shook her head.  “We’re still on yellow alert.  Half of the Senior Staff is on the ground.”

“I hate it when they play games,” Sapphire sighed tiredly.  “I wonder what they have planned for us…”

“Whatever it is,” Tourmaline remarked, pessimistically, “we don’t want to know… but we will, anyway, soon enough.”

“Captain,” Cerise began, quietly, turning to Sapphire again.  “You… you don’t think the Lieutenant…”

Sapphire shook her head.  “I don’t think so, Captain.  I’d certainly like to think that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, just like everybody else.” She was surprised to find herself a little angry at Cerise’s openly voiced doubt.  But after all, she reasoned, nobody thinks to doubt Captain Scarlet, any more.  Of course, Captain Scarlet had already been put through a hard time, when he had first escaped Mysteron control.

 

***

 

Lake opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling again.  Still here, she thought, tiredly.  Wish my stupid body would hurry up and fix itself – I THOUGHT I was invincible!

“How are you feeling, Lieutenant?” Nurse Finch came into her field of vision.

“Sick and tired,” Lake muttered.

Finch came nearer.  “In what way?”

Lake painfully turned her head to grin at her.  “I’m sick ‘n’ tired of beein’ stuck in here!”

The Nurse chuckled with dry humour.  “Well, I see that your sense of humour hasn’t suffered very much.”

“No, well, you need a sense of humour – it’s all you have to keep you going, sometimes.”

Finch smiled.  “Can I get you anything? You must be hungry.”

The Lieutenant gave this careful consideration.  She didn’t feel hungry, for she was more aware of the amount of pain that she was in.  She didn’t feel any better than she had the last time she had awoke, and she had an inkling that this was a cause for concern, judging by the way the medical officers were fussing over her.  “Yes…” she said, still thinking, “I think I might need a bite to eat…”

“Right,” Finch smiled at her.  “I’ll get you some soup, for now.”

“Great,” Lake replied, with more enthusiasm than she’d expected to feel.

 

Later, Captain Tourmaline entered.  He was relieved to find his sister sitting up in bed, looking much better than she had when she’d been brought in.  He moved towards the bed.  “Hi, Ems, how’re you feeling?”

 “Oh, I’m much better now I’ve eaten something,” the Lieutenant replied.  “But apparently, I need to eat more…”

Tourmaline laughed.  “Well, it’s a good thing I brought this, then!” He handed his sister a large basket of fruit.  “Don’t tell ol’ Fawn, but there’s some chocolate in the bottom of the basket – I thought you might need a boost.”

“Thanks, Pete,” She replied, quietly.  “It’s appreciated.”

“You’re welcome,” Tourmaline stood and went to the door.  “I better go – you’ve got a girt queue of visitors outside, and we don’t want to tire you out.  Take good care of yourself, and I’ll see you soon.”

The Lieutenant gave him one of her warmest smiles.  “I will – see that you do the same.  Thanks for coming by, Pete.  God bless!”

Her brother turned, grinning.  “Your goodbyes get longer every time I see you, you know.”

Lake chuckled.  “It’s a way of making people stay that bit longer.  Bye, Pete, see you soon.”

“You bet you will! Bye!” With that, he was gone.  Lake put the basket on the table beside her bed, and took a peach from its selection of fruit.

 

Lieutenant Lake awoke later in the day to find herself feeling much better.  She was stronger, and her neck only throbbed slightly if she turned her head too quickly, as opposed to constantly aching.  She jumped slightly, as someone quickly moved into her field of vision.

“Sorry, Lieutenant,” Captain Scarlet said, gently.  “I thought you’d heard me come in.”

“I… I wasn’t paying attention…” Lake stammered.

The Captain smiled.  “It’s good to see you looking so much better.”

“Thankyou, Sir.  I was relieved to hear they managed to find you before the place went up.”

Scarlet shook his head.  “The Mysteron was bluffing, Lieutenant.  I hear you tried to help with the search to locate me, though – I was impressed.”

The Lieutenant shook her head and winced.  “I wasn’t trying to prove myself – I didn’t want to leave you there.  I mean… I’d hate to be the one left behind and forgotten.”

“Thankyou, my dear, but I wouldn’t have been abandoned any more than you, or any other Spectrum member.”

Lake could feel her face reddening with embarrassment.  “Well… no… but… I… I just… wanted to help.”

Scarlet smiled warmly at her.  “I know, Lieutenant, and it won’t be forgotten.”

The Lieutenant was staring intently up at his eye.  Although it wasn’t very obvious, as the wound had already nearly healed, she could make out traces of a rather nasty injury on the left side of his forehead, beside his eyebrow.  “How did you come to be wounded, Sir? Was it when the Mysteron threatened you?”

“Nothing gets past you, does it?” Scarlet mumbled, rubbing at his head absent-mindedly.  “I was sent to sort Captain Black and some of his agents out.  It… got a little ugly.”

“No place for a trainee, then,” Lake summed up.

Scarlet shook his head.  “I wasn’t going to tell you about it – I think you’ve had enough for one day.”

“Oh, no, Sir!” she was determined to prove that she was not to be put off.  “I’m quite fit, now.”

“Lieutenant, you will learn more as and when you need to.  Right now, I want you to relax and get well.”

Lake scowled at him.  “Don’t you think that that tone is a little uncalled for?”

Aggravated, the Captain glared back at her.  “And don’t you think a Lieutenant should respect a Captain?”

“Oh, yeah, bring the ranks into it, just because you can’t justify yourself in any other way!”

Scarlet’s eyes blazed back at her.  “Don’t start, Lake.  You’re new here, and it’s advisable to fit in, before you start throwing your weight around like a spoilt brat.  I’m sure you wouldn’t be expected to allow a student to talk to you in such a manner.”

Lake fell silent for a moment.  “I’m sorry, Captain,” she said at last.  “I suppose I’m still tired.”

“That’s alright, Lieutenant – I know how it feels to be stuck in here, all day.  BORING!” he grinned.  “It makes a nice change for it to be somebody else.”

“NOW who’s asking for it?” Lake asked, narrowing her eyes.

Scarlet held up his hands.  “Sorry! I won’t say another word.  Bye, Lieutenant!”

Lake watched him leave and lay back with a weary sigh.  He’s right, she thought, it’s VERY boring in here!

 

***

 

“Lieutenant Green,” Colonel White turned to his aide, thoughtfully.  “Would you mind being sent on a mission of mercy?”

“Sir?” Green looked puzzled.

White explained, patiently.  “Captain Scarlet reports that Lake seems to be suffering with cabin fever.  I thought that she might welcome a friend who isn’t too busy and only able to stay for a short while, and who is the same rank so that she needn’t feel awkward.”

“Someone like me,” Green summed up.

“If you agree,” the Colonel added.

 

Moments later, the two were seated together, chatting away.  Lake and Green soon found that they both had a great passion for music, and were soon comparing notes.  Green told his new friend that he had a guitar, and she had shown great interest. 

“Really?” she asked, eagerly.  “I’ve got an old acoustic guitar – can’t play a note, mind you, but I’ve always wanted to learn.”

“I’ve got an acoustic, too – I think they sound nicer than the electric ones, for my style of music, anyway.”

Lake was spellbound.  “You can play?”

“Uh… sure…” he looked embarrassed.  “Would you like me to teach you?”

“Oh, that would be wonderful, Lieutenant Green!”

Green gave her a shy smile.  “You don’t have to keep calling me ‘Lieutenant Green’ – I’m ‘Seymour’ or ‘Griff’ to my friends.”

It was Lake’s turn to feel embarrassed and shy.  “Well, Seymour, I would love to learn to play the guitar.”

“So, what are your interests, then, Miss… uh…?”

“’Elizabeth’, or ‘Ems’ to my friends,” Lake addressed him with one of her sweetest smiles.  “Personally, I prefer ‘Ems’.”

Green grinned.  “And what are your interests, Ems?”

“I like art and crafts, but I don’t know how Spectrum can use me in those fields… but I have some skill in photography, and that should be of use.”

“I wasn’t asking you how much use you’ll be,” her friend reassured her.  “I just want to know what you enjoy doing.”

“Oh,” Lake could feel herself reddening again.  “Well, I like creating – art, crafts, photography, poetry, stories, mess…”

Green laughed.  “Mayhem, too, by the sound of it!” he became serious.  “I write, too.  Not stories, but I write song lyrics.”

“I’m no good at that.  Poetry I have no problems with, because I just go about it in my own way – it’s effortless – but you have to think about lyrics.”

“Maybe I can teach you how to do that, too – or at least turn one of your poems into a song for you.  What do you say?”

Lake was touched.  “You’re very kind, Seymour.  I’ll see what I can come up with.”

“No hurry,” Green replied, smiling.  He fetched a pen and scrap of paper, to scribble something down.  “Here’s my personal e-mail address – send me some of your poems, if you like.  I’ll put music to them, if I can, and maybe sing them to you.”

“That’d be wonderful, Seymour…” the young woman smiled fondly at him, before yawning into her hand.  S’cuse me…” she mumbled.

“You need to rest – Spectrum’s gonna need you, real soon.” Green gave her hand a gentle squeeze.  “You know, I think we’re gonna be glad to have you aboard, Ems.  There’s something special about you…”

Lake gave a short laugh.  “I bet you say that to all the girls…”

“Not really, no,” the Lieutenant gave her hand another squeeze.  “To be honest… I really like you… a lot.”

“I really like you, too.  You’re natural, and easy to talk to…” she gave another yawn.  “Sorry… I’m being ‘credibly rude…”

Green shook his head.  “You’ve been through the mill, Ems.  Look, I better go – I can see you’re fighting to stay awake.”

“Huh,” Lake offered him a lop-sided grin.  “I’m retro… retrometabolic… right? That means I’m indestructible… so I should be fine.”

“It’s not as easy as all that – you need to talk to Doctor Fawn and Captain Scarlet.”

“Chris said that…” Lake gave another yawn and promptly fell asleep.

Lieutenant Green gave her hand a kiss, and left her to recover in peace.

 

***

 

The following day, Lieutenant Lake returned to London.  Captain Sapphire led her into their quarters, closing the door behind them.  “It’s good to have you back, Ems – it was quiet, without you!”

Lake smiled, and gave Sapphire a big hug.

Woah!” the Captain laughed.  “What’s all this in aid of?”

“Dunno,” the Lieutenant shrugged, and released her partner.  “Thanks for putting up with me an’ being here, I guess.”

Sapphire smiled.  “How are you feeling?”

“Uh… happier – MUCH happier, actually… ready to fight some Mysterons.”

“Plenty of time for that, Ems,” the Captain assured her.  “You have to complete your training, first.  Captain Scarlet’s planning on taking you climbing, for your next session…”

“MORE climbing?” Lake groaned.

Sapphire stared at her, with concern.  She realised that Lake might well have developed a fear of heights – or at least long falls – after the last training session, and tried to reassure her. “If you want to postpone it, I’m sure he’ll understand, under the circumstances… but… I think he wanted to be sure that you’ll be ok with heights, after what happened yesterday.”

Lake nodded.  “Maybe that’s wise.  If you fall off a horse, and don’t get straight back on, you’ll never ride again.”

“He was thinking of trying some rock climbing, Ems – and there won’t be any Mysterons involved, this time…”

The Lieutenant smiled.  “I know just the place to go!”

Sapphire grinned.  “You’re an eager one, aren’t you?”

“I just want to make a difference – it’s what we’re here for!” she smiled.  “The quicker I get through me training, the better!”

The Captain laughed.  “That’s true, but you should take it easy…”

“Oh, come off it – I’m indestructible!”

Sapphire sighed.  She was about to point out to her partner for what must have been the hundredth time that she was only virtually indestructible, but decided against it.  Lake was clearly very happy, for the first time since she’d been introduced to Spectrum, and she didn’t want to spoil it.  “Come on,” she said, grabbing her by the hand.  “Let’s go outside, while the sun’s out!”

Lake smiled, and grabbed her coat.  “S.I.G.!”

“It’s warmer out there in the daytime, and when you’re not just wearing pyjamas,” Sapphire remarked, laughing.

The Lieutenant laughed, too.  “Admit it – you wish you’d helped me!”

“I’m not saying a word, Ems,” Sapphire chuckled, and winked.

  

 

The End

 

 

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