Singing Sword 

A “Captain Scarlet & the Mysteron” story

 

By

SCARLET LADY

 

 

PART 3

 

 

 

As soon as they were back on Cloudbase, Captain Scarlet was taken to Sickbay. Blue would have wanted to stay with his friend, but Lieutenant Green reminded him that the Colonel would be waiting in the Control Room. 

 

“Do you mean to tell me that the Mysterons sent us on a wild goose chase?”

Blue and Green exchanged glances.  “It looks that way, Sir,” Blue replied.  “But… why?”

“Just when we thought that we knew something about them – they don’t make hollow threats!” The colonel muttered, frustration showing in his tone.

“We DID find this…” Green held up the disc he’d wanted to listen to at the studio. 

“Congratulations, Lieutenant, you managed to smuggle an ABBA CD back to Cloudbase!” the Colonel noted with an irritated tone. 

“The Lieutenant thinks this might be something to do with the Mysterons…” Blue had the feeling that the explanation sounded stupid, now.

Colonel White sighed, tiredly. “Alright, if you think there might be something of help, try to see what it is.”

 

***

 

“Captain Scarlet, would you stay STILL?”

The Captain muttered under his breath. 

“What did you say?” Doctor Fawn stared at him.

“I said ‘I can’t help it, I’m COLD’!”

“I don’t see why, the room’s at a comfortable temperature, and you’ve changed from that wet uniform,” the Australian doctor replied.  “Now, stay still.  I can’t run tests on you very easily when you fidget.”

Doctor Fawn finally managed to finish checking the Captain over.  “Well, Captain Scarlet, your injuries are healing properly-”

“Great.  Can I get up?”

“Hold it.” Fawn held him back.  “When your injuries have healed, you should be fine, but ever since you’ve come in, you’ve been complaining of feeling cold.  I want to find out why.”

“But doctor-”

“Forget it!”

Scarlet shivered uncontrollably.  “I’ll be fine.”

Captain Blue knocked on the door.  Scarlet smiled happily at him.

“Stay back, Blue,” Fawn warned him.  “I’m still checking on Captain Scarlet.  I think he may be sick.”

“If I was going to be sick, I think I’d know about it!” Scarlet retorted, half-humorously.

The doctor glared at him.  “I MEANT you might have a sickness.” He turned his attention back to Blue.  “If you want a conversation with Scarlet, I suggest you use the intercom.” He took a blood sample to the computer.

Blue did as he was advised.  “Paul, Lieutenant Green and I will be testing the disc we found, but we convinced the Colonel to wait for you.”

“Me?”

“Just in case.  You’ll probably know if it has to do with Mysterons.”

“Yes, I see.  In that case, don’t run the test until I get out of this dump.”

“OK,” Blue nodded, then added in a very quiet voice “How ARE you feeling?”

“Better.  Just a little cold…” Scarlet glanced in Fawn’s direction.  As he’d suspected, the Doctor had glanced round at him.  “I mean I’m still FEELING a bit cold, ” he explained, quickly.

Blue frowned.  “You shouldn’t be.”

“But I am…” Scarlet shook his head.  “If you ignore that, I feel fine, though.”

“Doctor Fawn will put you right, at least.  Take care of yourself.” Blue turned to go.

Scarlet sighed as he watched his partner leave.  He wished Blue could have stayed with him a little longer.  He felt better when there was a friendly face near.  It would be better still if he was free to leave.

“What is it?” Fawn turned to stare at him, with folded arms.

“Nothing…” Scarlet yawned, suddenly.

“Are you still tired?”

“A bit…”

Fawn frowned as the Captain rubbed the bridge of his nose.  “Captain Scarlet, are you feeling alright?”

“Just a headache… probably because I’m still tired, it’s only a dull pain…”

“Oh, right.” The Doctor shrugged.  He turned toward his computer, as he heard it spitting our its verdict on the blood sample.

 

***

 

Colonel White was deep in thought.  Captain Blue and Lieutenant Green were getting some rest, seeing as they were waiting for Scarlet to investigate the disk, and Captain Magenta had kept his station at the computer. “Is Scarlet still in the Sickbay, Captain?”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Right, let me speak to Doctor Fawn.”

Magenta put the communication through. 

“Colonel White, Captain Scarlet has some kind of sickness-” The Doctor began.

“What is it?” the Colonel demanded, anxiety clear in his voice.

“An unidentified virus. I’ll have to test both Captain Blue and Lieutenant Green for the illness.”

 “Yes, of course.” Colonel White was deeply concerned.  “That’s the LAST thing we need!”

 

***

 

Later, after many long minutes of tests, Doctor Fawn got the verdict from the computer.  “Well, Captain Blue, after a careful examination, I can find no trace of sickness.” he grinned at his patient.  “You’re free to leave.”

Blue looked relieved.  “Whew! That’s good news.”

Fawn turned to Green.  “Lieutenant, you’re clean, too.  You can both return to duty.”

“So, what’s wrong with Paul?” Blue shot a glance into the isolation room, next door, where his partner was sleeping.  Every now and then, he’d mutter something, and writhe.

“He’s pretty sick.  My guess is this has to do with the Mysterons.” Fawn replied.

“But… if Green and I didn’t catch it, does that mean it’s not contagious?”

“Hard to tell.  I don’t want to risk anything.” Fawn shook his head.  “I’ll have to run some more tests.”

Blue nodded.  “OK, Doctor…  If it ISN’T anything contagious, can I stay with him a while?”

“We’ll see…” Fawn smiled, looking into the isolation chamber.  “I can’t help thinking how lucky Scarlet is-”

“Lucky?” Blue snapped at him. “He’s been put through all this by the Mysterons, and you say he’s LUCKY?”

“Yes.  He’s got a friend like you, who’s willing to stand by him – he’s pretty lucky.”

Blue calmed down instantly and gave a faint smile. “That’s what friends are for,” he replied, shaking his head.  “I sure hope he’ll be OK.”

 

***

 

“Captain Blue,” Colonel White turned to the American captain.  “I would prefer to wait for Scarlet, but as we don’t know how long he will be in Sickbay, you’ll have to begin testing the CD without him.  Lieutenant Green will assist you.”

“Yes Sir.” Blue stood up, slowly, from his stool.  “Is there any news on Captain Scarlet’s condition?”

“Not yet, but I’ll keep you informed.”

“Thanks, Colonel.” 

White watched Blue leave.  Like the captain, he was worried about Scarlet.  As the virus was unknown, there was very little that could be done for now.  He shook his head and returned to his work.

 

***

 

“The disc seems normal.” Blue shook his head.  “What makes you think this has to do with the threat?”

“It’s just a feeling, Sir.” Green was studying the disc, carefully. 

Blue chuckled.  “That’s probably down to spending too much time with Paul!”  Then clearing his throat:  “May as well try listening to it, I guess.  Seems harmless enough…”

 

Meanwhile, Spectrum’s chief medical officer was having the usual problems with Captain Scarlet.

 “Doctor, I’m fine.” The Captain folded his arms, glowering crossly at Doctor Fawn.

“That’s not what the tests say.” Fawn glared back at him.

“Alright, what’s wrong with me, then?”

“My guess is that it’s a Mysteron virus-”

“Your GUESS?” Scarlet lifted an eyebrow.  “But you’re not sure?”

“Look, I can only go by the facts.  It’s unidentified, and seeing as your retrometabolism isn’t coping with it, I’d say it may be something from Mars.”

“What about Blue and Green?  They’re not infected by that virus?”

“No, I already checked them.”

“Does this mean that the other members of Spectrum won’t be affected, then?”

“I can’t say for sure.  I don’t want to put it to the test.”

“But the logical answer would be that it is only contagious to retrometabolic bodies.  I’d be a health hazard toward Mysterons only.”

“Yes, but I don’t want you to leave Sickbay.” Doctor Fawn saw that Captain Scarlet was about to protest, so explained quickly,   “If anything were to go wrong for you, I’d want to know that you’ll be in safe hands.”

“But-”

“I’m sorry, Captain.”

 

***

 

Captain Black walked around in the SPJ hanger, as silently as a shadow.  He glanced about him.  Nobody seemed to be there.  Everything was silent and nothing moved.

Suddenly, he thought he heard Scarlet’s laughter, as some old memories came to mind.  Come on, Conrad!” Scarlet grinned at him, “You won’t be gone that long! What can possibly go wrong?”

Black shivered.  You HAD to ask, didn’t you, Paul…

A voice came to life within his head, disturbing the memories and snapping him back to reality.  “Captain Black, this is the voice of the Mysterons.  The Earthmen are listening to the Singing Sword, you know what you must do.”

“The Mysterons shall not fail.” Black replied, before heading into the corridor cautiously.

 

***

 

Rhapsody Angel had been in a world of her own ever since word had reached the Amber Room about Captain Scarlet’s illness.  Symphony finally put down her book.  “Are you alright, Rhapsody?”

Her red-haired friend didn’t so much as blink. 

“Dianne?”

“Hmm?” Rhapsody jumped and looked up.  “Sorry, Karen, what did you say?”

“You’re worried about Paul, aren’t you?” Symphony sat next to her friend.  She knew all about the “secret” relationship going on between her two colleagues.  Rhapsody had been the one who’d told her.

“I want to see him, or at least find out what’s wrong.”

“I know you do.” The American Angel smiled her understanding.  She felt the same way about Captain Blue – Adam – and knew what Rhapsody was going through.

“As soon as I get the chance, I want to see him,” the British Angel decided.

“Alright.  If you want me to cover for you-”

“I don’t think I’ll need it, but thank you.” Rhapsody smiled.  “I’ll just tell Doctor Fawn that we all want to voice our concern, and I was the first to get away.  After all, that’s true enough.”

Symphony laughed, shaking her head.  “Has Paul been giving you lessons on how to get your way?”

Rhapsody Angel blushed, and turned away.

 

Meanwhile, Black was walking down the corridors very cautiously.  He hadn’t been spotted.  He was in search of the disc the Spectrum officers had brought with them to Cloudbase. He knew that it could already be working for him, to help him on his mission.  It didn’t matter if it didn’t make a huge difference, yet.  It would when he had hold of it.  As Black saw it, it was a shame that plan A had failed, but there was always plan B, and this plan, the Mysteron agent was certain, would NOT fail.

 

Scarlet winced, suddenly. 

“Are you alright, Captain Scarlet?”

“No, Doctor, I… I have a headache…”

“What can I get you? I mean, the painkillers I have aren’t strong enough for you, are they?”

Scarlet knew the doctor was right.  “Can I just have another glass of water, in that case?”

The Doctor nodded.  He could see that Scarlet was in pain.  He was very pale, and looked so tired…

Scarlet gasped in pain, thinking for a moment that he was going to pass out.  He could feel himself shaking violently, probably because he still felt very cold. 

 

Black had reached sickbay and was walking his way through it.

He stared through the door into a small room.  He could see Scarlet, looking far weaker than he had for a long time.  A pang of guilt hit him.  That was his friend in there, and as he watched, Scarlet saw him and tried to pull himself to his feet.  Don’t, Paul… He couldn’t bear watching, yet he couldn’t turn away.  Then, as suddenly as the emotion had hit him, the Mysteron was his ‘usual’ self.  He gave an evil smile, and continued to walk on.

 

Captain Scarlet had looked up, and got a glimpse of his archrival looking in at him.  What the… Black? Here? He wondered, groggily, as he hauled himself to his feet and took a staggered step, but lost balance.  Doctor Fawn heard a startled cry and came running to find his patient stretched out on the floor.  “What happened?” He asked, helping him back to his bed.

“Captain Black was watching…”

“Now look, Scarlet, Captain Black isn’t here!”  It was wrong to use such a harsh tone and Fawn sat next to the shaken Spectrum Captain, touching his arm in an effort to reassure him.  “He’s not here.”

Scarlet swallowed hard.  “I didn’t imagine it! I SAW him!”

“Of course you didn’t imagine it.” Fawn offered his patient a friendly smile.  “I’m not saying that I doubt there was someone there… but it certainly wasn’t Captain Black.”

“My headache has gone now.  You know how it is when there’s a Mysteron around – surely that’s proof enough – and will you PLEASE stop patronising!”

“Scarlet, listen…”

“No, YOU listen!” Scarlet shot back at him, “I SAW him!”

Fawn put his arm around the feverish man.  “Calm yourself, Captain,”

“I’ll calm myself when Black’s apprehended!”

Fawn sighed, but then nodded.  “Ok, if it makes you feel any better, I’ll warn the Colonel.” He had a feeling that Scarlet had just convinced himself that Cloudbase was under attack, and that he was taking every ache and pain as a warning from his built-in Mysteron detector.  Seeing how bad he was right now, who could say whether Black wasn’t just another figment of his over-active imagination?

 

“And Scarlet’s convinced that he saw Black?” Colonel White could barely believe his own ears when he heard Fawn’s report over the comm. link.

“Yes, Colonel.  He’s convinced alright.  I’m worried about him.”

“Are you certain that he is delirious?” Colonel White asked.  Captain Scarlet had rarely fallen ill before he had become indestructible, so it was hard to believe that he was in such a bad way now.

“All evidence points to delirium, Colonel.”

“I see.  Thank you, Doctor.”

White broke contact and sighed, heavily.  What could have happened to Scarlet?

 

***

 

Black crept as stealthily as possible toward the research area.  Every now and then, an odd sound, like footsteps, banging doors and chatter, would force him to make himself scarce, but he was making progress.  A strange instinct was leading him in the right direction.  Before long he’d have the entire base where he wanted it.

 

***

 

"How is he?" Rhapsody asked, glancing in her fiancé’s direction.

"Tired and weak," Fawn told her.  "But Captain Scarlet is sleeping, right now.  Perhaps you should come back later."

"Can't I at least sit with him? I won't disturb him," the Angel almost begged.

"Well…" the Doctor frowned, not sure whether he should agree.

"Please, Doctor?"

"Go on, then." He watched as the British Angel's face lit up.  "But don't wake him."

Rhapsody nodded the affirmative, before taking a seat next to the Captain's bed.  The room was very small, she thought as she glanced about her.  It was little wonder Scarlet had wanted to get out.  She picked up a magazine off the floor, and began to read it.  It wasn’t long before the Captain became aware of the rustle of paper and awoke, blinking as his eyes tried to adjust.  "Rha-" he coughed, surprised by the dry feeling in his throat.  "Rhapsody?"

"I'm here, Paul."  She handed him the glass of water, which was standing on the table beside his bed.

"Good to see you…" the Captain smiled, weakly.  "Just came off duty?" he sipped the water, and put it back on the table.

"I should be in the Amber Room, but Symphony and Destiny were kind enough to cover for me."

"For how long, exactly?"

"A while."

Scarlet sighed.  “But not long, and we’ve wasted time already.”

"It’s not MY fault that you were asleep when I came in." The Angel offered a friendly smile.

“You could’ve woken me – I wouldn’t have minded.”

"I’m sure you wouldn’t." Rhapsody patted his arm.  "But I wouldn’t dream of it.  I can see that you’re tired."  She hugged him, gently.

The Captain laughed, then his face fell and he sighed.  "Fawn’s around, you know.  We’ll have to be careful."

 

***

 

Blue was still working on the disc when a strange feeling sprang on him.  He ignored it, at first, but it was gradually worsening.  He was beginning to think that perhaps HE was going down with something too…  The room seemed to spin.  He grabbed hold of the worktop in front of him, for support.  “Sir?” Lieutenant Green watched the Captain anxiously.  “Are you alright?”

Blue blinked, turned to him and grinned.  “Yeah, I’m OK.”

“Perhaps you should go visit Doctor Fawn, Sir,” the Lieutenant began, awkwardly.

“No, I’m fine.  Let’s get on.”

Green noticed the change of tone.  Blue seemed irritable, now. He rarely behaved like this - he was usually so patient… Was there really something wrong? A feeling began to creep up on him.

 

Captain Black watched with interest.  The disc was working well…

 

***

 

Scarlet sighed heavily.  “Dianne… would YOU believe me if I told you about my hunch?”

“What sort of hunch, Paul?”

“I think the Mysterons want to attack us, somehow.” The Captain frowned, still thinking carefully.  “I believe they’re here already.  They want to take Cloudbase over, or destroy it.”

Rhapsody frowned. “Why on Earth do you think they’re here?”

“I saw Captain Black.  Just then.”

Rhapsody frowned at him.  “Are you SURE, Paul?”

“Look, I know how it sounds… But I DID see him.”

“Paul, that doesn’t make any sense.” Rhapsody told him, gently, “You know how the Mysterons work. What about the ‘Singing Sword’? That has something to do with that SWORD broadcasting studio, doesn’t it?  That studio would have been used to attack Cloudbase? What would the connection be?”

            “I don’t know, I… Maybe that disc Lieutenant Green found… It may have something to do with it. Maybe THAT’S the ‘Singing Sword’… But why in the World would they call it that?”

Rhapsody hugged him, gently.  “Try not to worry about it now.”

“But-”

“I’ll talk to the Colonel about your theory,” the Angel reassured him.  “But you are very ill, and shouldn’t really concern yourself with anything apart from recovering.”

Scarlet sighed in defeat.  “Yes, alright.  You win.”

“That’s good.” She hugged him closer to her.  “I didn’t mean to upset you, though.”

The Captain sighed, contentedly, and hugged her back.  He felt better just by knowing that his fiancé was near him.  “You didn’t upset me, Dianne.  I just hate it, finding myself so weak and useless.”

Rhapsody felt her heart go out to him.  She knew how frustrating it must be for Paul to find himself forced to rest, when normally he was one of the most active members of Cloudbase’s personnel.

 

***

 

Black smiled, wickedly, as Captain Blue and Lieutenant Green fell into a trance.  He entered the room, switched off the disc – which he could only hear as a high-pitched whine – and turned to speak to the two Spectrum officers.  “You are to report to Colonel White.  Tell him that the disc is perfectly normal.” There was nothing to indicate that the men understood him, so he continued:  “Afterwards, you will do as your Colonel instructs.  You will behave as you always do.  Do you understand?”

“S.I.G., Captain Black,” Blue answered, quickly.

“Yes, Captain,” Green agreed at the same instant.

“Good.” The Mysteron agent was about to let them go, and keep the disc, when he changed his mind.  He handed Blue the disc, saying: “Captain Blue, I would like you to take this with you.”

Blue took it.  “S.I.G.”

Black leaned closer, lowering his voice.  “This is what you must do…”

 

Once he was satisfied, Captain Black turned to the door.  “Dismissed.” He watched the two officers leave, then disappeared.  He knew that everything about the disc was almost completely undetectable, and the only Spectrum member immune to the soundwaves was confined to Sickbay.  It couldn’t have worked better! Now it was time to put the second part of the plan into action.

 

The Colonel looked up as Lieutenant Green entered.  “Did you find anything of help about that disc?” 

“No, Sir.  The disc is perfectly normal,” Green answered.

White watched his expression, carefully.  Something was wrong – he looked so tired… “Are you alright?”

“I… yes, Sir.  I’m alright,” Green answered.

White narrowed his eyes at Green. “All the same, I think you should visit Doctor Fawn.  You look tired.”

“Yes, Sir, but I think that it was only all the research – THAT was tiring,” Green replied.  “I’m sure I’ll be fine in a moment.  Captain Blue and I just spent a long time trying different theories.”

“That’s a point – where IS Blue? Shouldn’t he have reported here with you?”

“He was very tired, Sir, so I offered to report here alone.”

“I see.” White was still doubtful that everything was alright.  “In that case, perhaps you should spend some time off duty, as well...”

“S.I.G., Colonel,” Green replied.

“Right, that’s it, dismissed.”

Magenta turned to the Colonel as the Lieutenant left.  “Do you think there’s something wrong, Sir?”

“I don’t know, Captain,” White answered, thoughtfully.

“At least we know it’s not down to the virus that Scarlet caught, Sir,” Magenta said, brightly.  “Doctor Fawn already checked them over.”

“That’s right.  He reported them both to be fine.  If there was anything wrong, the doctor would have picked up on it.” He frowned.  “What in blazes is going on?”

 

***

 

“You OK, Blue?” In the officers’ lounge, Ochre looked over his paper at his friend.

“Fine, thanks, Rick.  I just had a long day, that’s all.” Blue settled down in the chair beside Ochre and Grey.  “Is it OK if I put some music on?”

Grey took a look at the CD he’d brought with him.  “Where’d you get this?”

“The Lieutenant brought this in from the SWORD building.”  Blue felt tired.  Was the information right? It sounded right, but…

“You like ABBA?” Ochre asked him, surprised.  “Do you like ANY kind of music at all?”

“Not ANY music – I HATE heavy metal… and I don’t like rap much, either.”

Grey laughed.  “You like all music besides rap and heavy metal.  Well, at least that gives you a lot of choice.”

“Sure does.” Blue grinned.  “Now, can I put this disc on or not?”

 

***

 

“I want to get out of here!” Captain Scarlet was livid.

“You were fine when Rhapsody was here.”

Doctor Fawn had unwittingly touched a raw nerve.  “What are you suggesting?”

“I’m not SUGGESTING anything.  Calm down, Captain.”

“CALM DOWN? I feel like some kind of caged animal!”

“You’re behaving like one, as well.” The Doctor tried to approach his patient again.

“Can you BLAME me?” Scarlet lashed out.  “This place is like a prison cell!”

“Look, I’d allow you to leave if I thought it would help you, but I can’t.” Fawn shook his head at the Captain.  “This virus is unidentified – I don’t know how it’ll effect you, or what the cure is.” He didn’t break eye contact for a moment. “But I’ll find a cure, Captain Scarlet.  Even if I have to wrestle it out of Captain Black himself!”

“I’m sure you will, but that’s not helping me at the moment.  I feel as though I’m trapped!” 

Fawn took on a stern tone.  “Look, to find the flamin’ cure I need to get on, without having to worry about what YOU’RE getting up to.  I could do without escape attempts, right now.”

Scarlet felt himself turning red. He instantly calmed down.  “I’m sorry, Doctor.”

“No problem.” Fawn’s tone returned to normal.  “Just don’t try it again, because next time I won’t be as quick to forgive.”

 

“Captain Blue,” Colonel White entered the Officers’ Lounge, “why didn’t you report to Control with Lieutenant Green?” he kept his tone calm, but in the ominous way that made Grey and Ochre wince.

“I…  I was told I didn’t need to…” Blue rubbed his forehead.

“WHO told you?”

“I… can’t remember… it wasn’t you, Sir.”

“No, it certainly was NOT me.” White watched the young man’s reaction.  He was clearly in distress.  “Are you alright?”

“I… no… I don’t know.” Blue shook his head. He looked as though he was about to pass out. “I feel kind of tired…”

The Colonel immediately forgot his irritation.  “Alright, Captain, relax.” He turned to the two Captains who were also sitting around the table.  “Captain Grey, can you give me a hand?”

Grey nodded, and helped his Commanding Officer to lift Blue out of his seat.

“Wh – what are you doing?”

“Relax, Adam,” Grey told him, “We’ll get you down to Sickbay.”

“Sickbay?” Blue was really alarmed, now.  “I’m just tired, that’s all! Just help me back to my quarters.”

“No, Captain.  You will do as you are told.” White emphasized every word, as if to ensure that his junior officer understood him perfectly.  “Once Doctor Fawn has taken a look at you, you can return to your quarters – PROVIDED he feels that you should.”

“Yes, Sir.” The Captain blew out a frustrated sigh.  He felt alright, just tired, really, and couldn’t understand why everyone was fussing over him.

Ochre watched the three men leave.  As he moved to pick up his paper, he noticed the disc that had been left.  “Let’s see what Blue sees in this kind of music – I mean, it’s about a hundred years old!”

 

Scarlet pressed a hand against his forehead, closing his eyes.  He suppressed a groan.

Fawn touched his patient’s arm.  “Captain? Captain Scarlet, are you alright?”

“No… my head…”

“Alright, mate.” The Doctor patted his shoulder.  “I’ll get you another glass of water, OK?”

Scarlet gave a slight nod.  “Thanks.”

“Doctor Fawn!” Nurse Finch hurried in, and the chief medical officer turned to her.  “You have another patient.”

“I’ll be right there,” Fawn told her.  Fawn went out, and Captain Scarlet followed the nurse with his eyes, as she approached him and began pouring water from a pitcher into his glass.  He wondered if the headache was a signal to tell him he needed rest, or his Mysteron detector.  As she noticed the edgy way Scarlet was watching her, Nurse Finch frowned at him, puzzled.  “What’s the matter?”

“Nothing.”

The Captain spoke far too quickly, in much too innocent a tone.  She narrowed her eyes at him.  “Something’s wrong, I can see that.”

“I’m alright.” He shrugged, smiling at her.

“You don’t LOOK alright,” the nurse told him.  “Far from it, actually.  That illness isn’t worsening, I hope?” She handed him the glass.

“No.  No, I just feel a little tired and run down…” Scarlet sipped the water, and handed it back to her.  “I hate being stuck here, which really isn’t helping,” he added with a sly grin.

“Captain, I can’t release you.  Only Doctor Fawn-”

“I know that.  I was merely answering your question.”

“Now come off it! I know you far better than that, Captain Scarlet.” She saw the young man’s weary, downcast expression and her heart went out to him.  “I’ll have a word with the Doctor when he returns.”

“He won’t let me leave.  He feels it might put me in danger, because my condition may change at any time.”

“Oh, I see.  In that case, the best idea would be to try to rest.”

“I can’t sleep.”

The nurse suppressed her annoyance and fetched some books.  “Here, these should keep you busy for a while,” she told him with a friendly grin.

 

***

 

Captain Blue rose from the examination bed.  He turned his head to gaze anxiously at the chief medical officer. “What’s wrong with me, Doctor?”

“Well, it’s most likely that you’re overtired.” Doctor Fawn touched his arm. 

“But I’m OK?”

“As far as I can tell.  Get some sleep, then come and see me again.”

“S.I.G.” The Captain picked up his cap and turned to go.

“Did you get some rest when you arrived back?” Fawn asked, suddenly.  “I thought the Colonel mentioned-”

“Yes.  Lieutenant Green and I spent a while in the Room of Sleep.”

“I knew simulated sleep wasn’t good enough!” the doctor practically crowed. He clearly was glad that his theory had finally been proved right.  “Get some REAL sleep, in your quarters.”

“Yes, Doctor.  See you later.”

 

Meanwhile, Captain Ochre was slumped in his chair in the lounge.  By all appearances, he was sleeping, and the disc he had been listening to was still playing.  Grey entered the room and grinned at his friend.  “Rick, it’s time to wake up,” he called, softly.

Ochre didn’t so much as twitch.  Grey was about to hit him with the paper in front of him, a payback for some of the tricks he’d suffered from recently, when the music began to take a hold on him too.  He was aware of a strange voice as it began to speak to him.  It wasn’t the singer, and the voice seemed to speak inside his head… he couldn’t escape it!

 

***

 

 Doctor Fawn walked into Scarlet’s secluded room.  “How is he?” 

“Captain Scarlet’s having trouble sleeping, Sir,” Finch told him, quietly.  “I had to give him a pile of books and puzzles to keep him occupied, seeing as he won’t take sleeping drugs.”

“OK, I’ll look after him now.  Thanks, Nurse Finch.”

Fawn turned his attention back to his patient as the Nurse left.  “How are you feeling?”

“Doctor, I’m stuck here, on my own and bored out of my mind! How do you EXPECT me to feel?”

“Try to get some rest, for now.  You certainly could do with it.” Fawn wanted to know why he couldn’t sleep – he was clearly tired enough.

“Right, Doctor.” The Captain nodded his agreement and settled back, trying to allow his weakness to overpower the restlessness that he still felt.  He sighed and shifted.  “It’s no good.  I still feel too active.”

Fawn told him that he could listen to the radio, provided he kept the volume turned to minimum. Scarlet agreed with the suggestion, and Fawn turned on the sickbay’s music player.  Scarlet lay back again, allowing the music to wash over him.

 

Black called to Ochre and Grey.  They came out of their trance, looking about them groggily.  “Leave the disc on repeat.”

“Yes, Sir,” Captain Grey obeyed quickly. 

They clearly didn’t recognise the Mysteron agent.  The disc was far superior to the drugs that mankind had come up with, in the past.  The high frequency sound waves were too intense, and the music that delivered it made the victims listen calmly.  Captain Black quickly dealt his instructions, then made himself scarce.

 

***

 

Nearly all of the senior staff members were part of the Mysterons’ plan, now.  Black was still cautious around the base, however.  He gave members their instructions, then hid again.  He had no intention of allowing Spectrum to capture him.  Black was also well aware of the fact that the disc hadn’t been tested properly.  This meant that there was no telling how long the influence would last…

 

Lieutenant Green went back to the Control Room.  The Colonel looked up from his paperwork as he entered.  “Feeling better, Lieutenant?”

“Yes thankyou, Sir,” he smiled, “I feel fine.”

“Good.” The Colonel shook his head, “You work too hard, son.”

Green grinned.  “I think we all do, Sir.  The Mysterons see to that.”

This was true enough, and Colonel White nodded his agreement.

Green took up his position at the computer console.

 

Symphony looked up from her book as the base lurched.  “What’s happening?”

“I don’t know!” Rhapsody cried out, clutching the table in an attempt to steady herself.

The two Angels tried to keep calm as they searched for an explanation.

“Could be turbulence from a storm beneath us,” Symphony suggested. 

Cloudbase rocked again.

 

Scarlet groaned as he felt the base lurch violently.  “Doctor, what’s going on?”

“I’m not sure,” Fawn told him, “it’s probably nothing to worry about.  Just relax.”

The Captain shuddered.  “I don’t like this…”

Fawn rolled his eyes.  “You know as well as I do that it’s probably just atmospheric turbulence.”

“Probably…” Scarlet repeated doubtfully, under his breath.  He held his head again.

“Relax, OK?” Fawn touched his shoulder.  “I’ll get you something to help you sleep.”

Scarlet frowned.  Did Fawn think that his body was weak enough to allow the drugs to take effect?

As he watched Fawn leave the small room, he made a decision and scrambled out of bed.  Creeping into the corridor, he dragged himself toward the engine room.  Something was amiss, and he couldn’t stay quiet any longer.  The rocking of the base made it difficult for him, as he was already tired.  Scarlet hadn’t gone far when he thought he saw someone, creeping around a corner.  The Captain cursed himself for not bringing a gun, in case he’d encounter an enemy.  He knew that Black might well be stalking the corridors.  He picked up the first object that came to hand – a hammer left by a mechanic, who had been doing some minor repairs.

“Whoa!” Blue stared at him with surprise, “What are you doing, Paul?”

Scarlet threw aside the makeshift weapon, looking embarrassed.  “Sorry, Adam, I…” he cleared his throat, “I thought you were someone else.”

“Who?”

“I don’t know… a Mysteron, perhaps.”

“Perhaps?” Blue asked, staring at him.

Scarlet closed his eyes.  “I thought I saw Black, earlier.”

The American shook his head.  He’s worse than I thought!

“You don’t believe me,” Scarlet accused, miserably.

“’Course I believe you, Paul.  It’s just that…”

A noise from somewhere further along the corridor made both men jump.  “What was that?” Blue asked.

Scarlet held his head and fell to his knees.  The pain was coming back.

Blue suddenly felt something calling to him, and walked away without a backward glance at Scarlet.  The disc was taking effect, again.

 

Black smirked with satisfaction.  The mind control had slowed the personnel, and now Green was obviously doing his task.  Before long, the Singing Sword would send Cloudbase crashing to Earth.  He vanished into the shadows.

 

“Scarlet?” Upon entering the small room, Fawn looked about him.  He was surprised that the ill Captain had found the strength to get up.  Angry with himself for leaving Scarlet alone, the Doctor called the Control Room.

“You LOST him?” The Colonel asked him, in disbelief.

Fawn had nothing to say to that.

“What happened, Doctor?”

“I went to get him something, and… I guess he walked out.”

“In his condition?” White asked him incredulously.

“I know it’s difficult to believe, Sir, but that’s the only explanation.”

“Alright, Doctor, we’ll launch a search.”

“Right, Colonel.”

 

Cloudbase lurched violently, and the Colonel was almost thrown from his chair.  “What in the World is going on?” he demanded.  Noticing that Green didn’t reply, White frowned at him.  Strangely, the Lieutenant didn’t even seem alarmed.  “Lieutenant Green?”

He stood up, and made his way to Green’s console.  What on Earth is he doing?

Then he realised.  He seemed to be toying with Cloudbase’s engine controls.  It was for that reason that the base was pitching and rolling.  “Lieutenant!” He said, sharply. 

Green ignored him. 

“What do you think you’re doing?” he demanded, losing patience altogether. 

At last, his words took effect.  “What? Where?” the Lieutenant stared at the monitor in front of him, “What happened?”

“You were cutting the power to the engines.  What were you thinking?”

“I… I wasn’t thinking, Sir.”

Strangely enough, that makes a lot of sense, White realised, mind control would explain a lot…

 

Scarlet watched his friend walk away.  He couldn’t understand what was wrong with him.  “Adam?”

Blue didn’t so much as turn around.

Scarlet closed his eyes.  What’s happening? Picking himself up, he followed his partner carefully.

 

***

 

Blue wandered around the engine room, listening to the voices within his head.  “Captain Blue, Lieutenant Green has played his part, and now it is YOUR turn.” Blue found the electronics that Black had singled out for him.  With the use of some anti-electric gloves, he pulled them out.

“Adam! What do you think you’re DOING?” Scarlet crept forward, tiredly.

Blue stared at the wires in his hand, as if he couldn’t understand how they ended up there.  “What happened?”

“You attacked the circuitry for the engines! What are you trying to do?”

The American shook his head.  “I don’t know…”

Black emerged from the shadows. 

Scarlet didn’t seem the least bit surprised, but Blue jumped back.  “What’re YOU doing here?”

“You can’t remember, Earthman?”

“Remember what?”

Scarlet stared at Blue.  “Don’t tell me you’re a Mysteron!”

Blue stared back at him in amazement, stunned that his friend should consider this.

Black saw the chance to act, and made a lunge at Scarlet.  The British Captain saw him coming and sidestepped, almost sending his enemy into the sparking cables which Blue had severed.  Scarlet tried to move away, realising that he was vulnerable.  Black kicked out at his legs, knocking him off balance. 

“Paul!” Blue picked his partner up, carefully.  He scowled at Black.  “Leave him alone! He’s sick.”

Ochre and Grey burst in, with weapons drawn.

Thank goodness! Captain Blue thought, with relief, Something’s actually going right!

Something didn't seem 'right', however, as he saw both men glancing about in confusion. Then he saw the evil smirk on Black's face as Grey and Ochre walked menacingly towards him and Scarlet.

“What’s happening?” Scarlet asked, quietly.

“I don’t know,” Blue hissed back, “looks like the work of the Mysterons.”

 

“Come on, he couldn’t have just disappeared!” Fawn was anxious to find his patient.  There was no telling where he was, nor what condition he would be in.

Magenta sighed.  “Where would he have gone, Doctor?”

Fawn was about to snap, but calmed himself.  “I don’t know.  Probably looking for Mysterons, after the nonsense I’ve heard from him.”

“Mysterons?” Magenta stared at him.

The Doctor explained, quickly.

“I get it,” his microphone swung down in front of his face.  “This is Captain Magenta,”

“Captain, someone is in the engine room.”

“Right,” he turned to Doctor Fawn, “we might have found him.”

 

***

 

The disc had taken total hold of Grey and Ochre, as they were walking toward Blue and Scarlet.  Blue stepped in front of his partner, wondering what he should do.  Drawing his gun, he tried to find a safer place for Scarlet.

Captain Black, finding himself free to act, contacted the Mysterons for further instruction.  Scarlet gasped in pain, as the Mysterons’ presence suddenly became too much for him and fell on his knees.  He glanced in Black’s direction and saw him in a trance, and realised instantly that he was communicating with his masters.

Black turned his attention back to his task, while the Spectrum members were otherwise occupied.  Blue had done serious damage to one of the engines, but that alone wasn’t enough.  As he pulled on anti-electric gloves, the door opened a crack, behind him.

 

Magenta crept in carefully.  Something was wrong, and he didn’t want to give himself away until he knew what was going on.  He kept himself from gasping when he saw Blue and Scarlet under attack from Grey and Ochre.  What’s happened here? He asked himself.  It was then that he saw Black.  What the…? He recovered himself, and instantly fired at Black.

In surprise, Ochre and Grey turned round to see what was happening.

Blue saw his chance to act, and kicked Ochre aside.  Grey turned on him again.

 

Doctor Fawn was standing outside, with a security guard.

“Sir,” the guard began, “why are they firing guns?”

Fawn took a deep breath, then drew his gun.  “Hull, notify Colonel White, and then follow me in.  Perhaps Scarlet was right after all, and if that’s the case…”

Hull nodded the affirmative, and Fawn entered the engine room.

 

Magenta had managed to force Black away from the vital equipment.  The Mysteron agent was in an awkward position now, awaiting the intervention of one of his temporary recruits.

 

Grey was holding Scarlet down, with minimal effort, while Ochre wrestled with Blue.  Fawn went straight to Grey. “What do you think you’re doing?”

Surprised by the question barked at him, the Captain snapped out of his trance, blinking his eyes as if he’d been sleeping.  He stared down at Scarlet with wide eyes. “Paul?”

Scarlet coughed loudly.  “Get off me!”

“What were you playing at?” Fawn demanded, dragging Grey to his feet.

The Captain shook his head.  “I… I don’t know…”

“Doc!” Blue called out, from the floor, “Some help, please?”

Ochre was holding his throat in a tight grip, which tightened gradually.

Grey stood over him.  “Don’t you think that’s enough, Rick?” Ochre didn’t even look up.

“Captain Ochre!” Fawn yelled at him. “What do you think you’re doing?”

The question reached home, and Ochre shook off the disc’s affects.  “What? Where?” He saw Blue in his grip, as if for the first time. “Adam?”

 

Magenta listened carefully, but didn’t take his eyes off Black.  The Mysteron, however, was watching the scene near them with a dissatisfied expression.  As soon as it was clear that Spectrum had regained the upper hand, he vanished into air.  Magenta, realising that he had allowed his enemy to escape, let out a cry.  “Not AGAIN!”

 

TO BE CONCLUDED

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