The Last Hope 

A “Captain Scarlet & the Mysterons” story

By SCARLET LADY

 

 

 

Captain Blue walked down to the Sickbay.  It had been about an hour since he'd brought Captain Scarlet back from their latest mission, to stop the Mysterons destroying a power plant.  From what Doctor Fawn had said, the British Captain had FAR from fully recovered, but was already trying to escape from the Sickbay.  He entered one of the many rooms, and looked expectantly at his partner.  "How are you feeling?"

"Fine."  Captain Scarlet said, hotly, "Don't make such a FUSS, Adam! After all, I've been worse!"

"Yes, you have, haven't you?"

Captain Scarlet glared angrily at him.  "And what's THAT supposed to mean?"

"Nothing.  Are you SURE you're all right? You still look..."

"I SAID that I'm FINE!" Captain Scarlet said quickly, "Will you just leave me ALONE?"

That settled it.  Captain Scarlet only snapped at his best friend if there was something very wrong.  Now Captain Blue knew there was something, all he had to do was manage to catch him off guard.  He tried a new approach.  "What happened to you in there, Paul? Do you want to talk about it?"

"Nothing happened."  Captain Blue gave him a no-nonsense look.  "Please, Adam, don't look at me like that." Captain Scarlet sighed, heavily, "Black was in there.  When he saw me, he tried throwing something at me... I don' think it hit... We had a fight," he gave Captain Blue a strange smile, "I had the advantage.  I'm bigger, heavier, stronger...I enjoyed kicking the living daylights out of him!"

"PAUL!"

"WELL...!" Captain Scarlet smiled, slyly, "It was HIM or ME!"

"Okay.  What happened then?"

"I don't know... The rest is hard to remember.... He picked something up... A drum of something.... He... He knocked me out...But there's something else..."

"Okay, don't worry about it.  It's probably going to come back in it's own time-"

"You sound like Fawn!"

"Where IS he, anyway? Scared him off, did you?"

"No such luck! He's just gone to get some test results."

"Are you sick? You really don't look well..."

"I don't THINK so."

"What do you mean, you don't think so?"

"I don't feel right... Tired..."

"I think you'd better get some rest.  If Fawn sees you like this, he'll keep you in here all day!"

"Adam, I hate to admit this... But I'm scared."

"WHY?"

"I don't know what Black did to me... I don't even know whether I WANT to know... If there's ONE thing I hate, it's not being in control."

"Yeah, I know THAT! That's why you hate the Mysterons so much.  You HATE the fact that they made you indestructible!"

"They also made me attempt to kill you, AND they blew Steve up."

"Okay. I was kidding."

At this point, Doctor Fawn came in.  "Well, I've got the results.  There's good news and there's bad news.... And there's irrelevant news that SHOULD make you happy.  What do you want first?"

Captain Scarlet rolled his eyes.  "Just tell me for pity's sake!"

"SIG.  The good news is that you are still virtually indestructible.  Black did nothing that harmed you really..."

"What do you mean, REALLY?"

"Well, somehow you got some sort of chemical in your system,"

"What sort of chemical?"

"It can't be identified.  But it looks as if you swallowed it.  Anyway, it wasn't strong enough to do you much harm..."

"That's GREAT news!"

"I'm not finished.  That STUFF attacked your immune system.  It's weakened your immune system quite a bit and that's why you don't feel right."

"I see.  So, what's the OTHER news?"

"England beat Sri Lanka in the test match by 11 runs and 4 innings!"

"Great! Now, can I get up?"

"I said your immune system's been weakened."

"What are you getting at?"

"I don't want you leaving Cloudbase until you've fully recovered."

"Doctor," Scarlet protested, "I feel MUCH better.  Can I at least leave the Sickbay?"

"If you must.  But take it easy... And listen to your partner."

"SIG."

"I'm going to give the Colonel my report.  I'll tell him EXACTLY what I think, so don't get any ideas about leaving Cloudbase before I've made SURE that you're FINE!"

"DOCTOR!"

Captain Blue laughed, "Don't worry, Doctor, Captain Scarlet's pretty good at taking orders!"

"Yeah, I know.  Just like he was taking orders when he hit the Colonel!"

"That was different!" Captain Scarlet said sharply, "That's not fair, Fawn!"

Captain Blue pulled him out of the door, before anymore was said.

 

 

Captain Scarlet flopped down in a chair on the promenade deck.  "I can't believe he had the nerve to say THAT!"

"Take it easy." Captain Blue said gently, "You look tired, maybe you ought to get some rest..."

"I'm alright.  It's just Fawn."

"I know.  He was trying to upset you."

"Well, he did a good blasted job!"

"Try to calm down.  I'll go tell Colonel White that you're out of the Sickbay."

"Don't bother.  I expect Fawn's already told him AND said that I'm too ill for duty!"

"I'm sure he was kidding!"

"I don't know...."

"If you rest up, you'll be fine before he has a chance to say anything."

"I get the point." Captain Scarlet said, smiling at Captain Blue, "You drop VERY heavy hints, you know."

There was a screech from the loudspeaker above them.  Then came the voice that had the same affect on Captain Scarlet as fingernails on a blackboard.  "THIS IS THE VOICE OF THE MYSTERONS, WE KNOW THAT YOU CAN HEAR US, EARTHMEN!"

Captain Scarlet got up so quickly that his chair toppled over behind him.  "I've had enough! Why don't they just go away and leave us alone?"

"WE INTEND TO FINISH OFF YOUR PLANET BY TAKING YOUR LAST HOPE.  WE WILL BE AVENGED!"

Captain Blue put a hand on his friend's shoulder, "Are you alright?"

"Yes.  I just want to know WHY they won't give us a break!"

"This is the MYSTERONS we're talking about, right?"

 

The speakers hummed again, this time Lieutenant Greens voice called "Will Captains Blue, Magenta and Ochre report to control immediately."

"Right!" Captain Scarlet clenched his fists, "I'm going down to the Sickbay.  If Colonel White wonders where Fawn is, tell him Captain Scarlet carried out a threat of his own!"

"Paul, don't do anything you might regret."

"Don't worry, I'm not going to regret it!" Captain Scarlet muttered, ominously, "I'm going to wring Fawn's neck.  I'll enjoy that."

"You ought to get some rest..."

"That would JUST make his day, wouldn't it?"

"Well, you could always report to control, and see what the Colonel says." Captain Blue said, offering his friend a roguish grin, "After all, being told to rest up has never stopped you before."

"And the good Doctor ONLY said not to leave Cloudbase!"

"You get the idea!"

 

In the control room, Colonel White was growing impatient.  "Where the devil could he have got to? Lieutenant, call him again, will you?"

Captain Blue hurried in, closely followed by a rather pale Captain Scarlet.

"AH, the Wanderer returns!" Colonel White remarked, glaring crossly at Blue, "What took you so long?"

"Sorry, sir... I... er..." he shot a quick glance at Captain Scarlet, "I had something to deal with, first."

"Alright, Captain.  Take a seat." He stared at Captain Scarlet, "As for YOU, Captain Scarlet, I thought you were supposed to be resting."

"I'm fine now, sir."

"Are you SURE? You still look very pale."

"Of course, sir." Captain Scarlet said. He could feel his heart pounding.  He hated lying.  "I wouldn't be here now, if I didn't feel well enough!"

"Alright, Captain.  You're included in this mission."

Captain Scarlet sighed with relief, taking a seat on the stool that had just lifted out of the floor, next to Captain Blue.

"We think that the Mysterons are going to sabotage the launch of the latest space probe." Colonel White stated, "Captain Blue, Captain..." he looked at Captain Scarlet doubtfully, " ...Scarlet, you are to travel on the rocket.  Captains Ochre and Magenta, you are to deal with security at the launch station."

Captain Ochre glared at Scarlet "Hot shot has all the luck!" He muttered.

Colonel White glanced curiously at Ochre, "Did you say something, Captain?"

"SIG, sir."

"Right, dismissed.  Go and get ready... Not you, Captain Scarlet, I'd like a word."

Once the other Captains had left, Colonel White looked at Captain Scarlet, carefully, "You are CERTAIN that you're alright, Captain?"

Captain Scarlet said nothing.  He knew it was hard to fool the Colonel, but he MUST have made his lying TOO obvious.

"Captain, I won't lye to you, I need you on that rocket.  Ochre and Magenta are top men, but they aren't familiar with space travel.  But you really don't look well.  If you don't feel well enough..."

Captain Scarlet made his decision, there and then.  He'd come clean.  "I don't feel ill, sir... Just a little run down.  I think I'm alright."

"Fair enough, Captain.  Get ready for your mission... But take good care of yourself.  I can't risk losing my top agent!"

Captain Scarlet gave a short laugh, "Is that why you put up with me?"

"One day, I'll lose patience." Colonel White couldn't help smiling, "Now, go, and get prepared, before I send you back down the Sickbay!"

"SIG." Captain Scarlet hurriedly left.

 

Four hours later, Captains Scarlet and Blue arrived at the rocket terminal.  "Siberia!" Captain Scarlet muttered "Lovely!"

"Are you alright?" Captain Blue asked, anxiously, "Oh, Captain, you're shivering!"

"It's below freezing, out there!" Captain Scarlet pointed out, "Of COURSE I'm shivering."

"Alright, I know, I'm over-reacting." Captain Blue replied, "But you ARE my best friend, I'm supposed to care about you."

"There ARE limits!"

A man hurried towards them.  He spoke in a strong Australian accent "Hullo, Spectrum agents, right?"

Captain Blue nodded.  "That's right, Captains Blue and Scarlet." He pointed out of the window at two men at the main entrance, "That's Captains Ochre and Magenta.  They're in charge of security."

"Okay, sport, anything I should know?"

"No, not yet." Captain Blue replied, "But perhaps you could tell us your NAME!"

"Name's Wally."

Captain Scarlet said nothing, but it WAS tempting to say 'I can see why'.  Captain Blue smiled and said: "So, what's your job here, Wally?"

"I'm one of the lucky astronauts to be accompanying you on this mission."

"I see.  I guess you're also responsible for us, huh?"

"That's right."

"GREAT," Captain Scarlet muttered, "Just great!"

Wally mouthed the words 'Is he okay?' at Captain Blue.  Captain Blue looked at his partner, "Captain, are you alright?"

"I will be," Captain Scarlet answered, "It's just so COLD in here." Captain Blue put his arm round his friend, trying to warm him.

"I'll get you a hot drink, Captain," Wally said, "It looks like you could do with one."

"Thanks."

While they were alone, Captain Blue tried asking Captain Scarlet if he was feeling all right, but he didn't answer.

Wally returned, handing both captains a steaming mug of coffee.  "Are you alright, sport?"  Wally asked, "You don't look too good."

"If I got a penny for every time I was asked that!"

Captain Blue looked anxiously at him, then turned to Wally.  "Have you got a room where we can get some rest?  The probe doesn't take off for over two hours, yet, and..."

"Sure thing, sport, come with me." He led them to a room that had two freshly made bunks.  "This room is for any astronauts who haven't had much time to rest before preparation.  Hope it's okay for you."

"Thanks," Captain Scarlet sighed, flopping down on a bed, closing his eyes "That feels MUCH better."

"Well, if you need anything, I'll be in the lounge, next door."  He looked down at Captain Scarlet, who was already asleep, "Hope you feel better, sport."  Captain Blue smiled at Wally, "Thanks, Wally." He nodded in the direction of Captain Scarlet, "Sorry about my partner.  He's been pushing himself too hard.  He'll make himself sick, if he's not careful!"

"Well, I'll leave you alone.  If you need anything, just ask."

"SIG- I mean okay."

 

Wally wandered around in the lounge, not quite knowing what to do with himself.  He made himself yet another cup of coffee, took a sip, and put it down.  He checked the time again.  Only an hour left... He'd have to wake the Spectrum officers, soon.  He picked up his coffee, gulped it down, and began reading his magazine again.  Suddenly, he threw it down.  The room was so HOT! He tried to call out, but his throat was dry.  He staggered towards a door, but the room seemed to be spinning.  He collapsed and lay still.  Two green circles of light swept across his body, then disappeared.  Suddenly, there were two Space Major Wallys - one dead, and one VERY much alive!

 

 

Wally walked casually into the bedroom.  Captain Blue was reading and Scarlet was still sleeping.  Captain Blue looked up, "Hi, Wally," he said, in a whisper, "Time to go, already?"

"I'm afraid so, sport.  I left you as long as I could."

"SIG." Captain Blue gently woke his partner, who sat up, slowly.  "Feeling better, Captain Scarlet?"

Captain Scarlet leaned his head back, against the wall, closing his eyes.

"Captain?" Blue sounded alarmed, "Are you alright?"

Captain Scarlet opened his eyes and smiled at his friend.  "I guess I wasn't ready to get up!"

"Maybe I should send you back to Cloudbase..."

"NO!" Wally shouted; then controlling himself, he added, "I thought you needed every man you could get."

"Yes, but Captain Scarlet's sick."

"No, I'm NOT!" Captain Scarlet got up, slowly, "I'm just tired.  I'll be fine, don't worry."

Captain blue sighed, "You push yourself TOO hard." Then he saw the look on his friend's face and knew that there would be no point in arguing, "If you're SURE you're okay..."

"I am."

"Let's go."

 

They headed for Space Probe H.O.P.E.  Wally smiled to himself.  This was going to be too easy!

Captain Scarlet went in first.  Straight away, he began looking for possible traps.  There were none evident.  This didn't make him feel any happier.  Then he remembered Captains Ochre and Magenta.  Maybe they'd come up with something.  He dropped his radiocap microphone.  "Captain Ochre, here," Called a familiar voice, "How're you feeling, Captain? From what I heard-"

"I'm feeling fine, thank you.  Do you have anything to report?"

"No, everything’s fine."

"Same here."

"What are you saying?"

"Things are too quiet.... The Mysterons SHOULD have made their move, by now."

"I'll keep in touch, Captain Scarlet." There was a pause, then Ochre added in a concerned voice "PLEASE take care of yourself.  The Colonel would kill Blue if..."

"SIG." Captain Scarlet laughed and shook his head.  Everyone thought they knew what was good for him, but he could take care of himself.  'After all,' he thought, 'I AM indestructible!'

Captain Blue was being given a guided tour, by Wally.  Suddenly, the Space Major asked, "What makes you so SURE the attack's against the PROBE?"

"It's named the H.O.P.E. isn't it?"

"Yeah, you're right, what else could it be?"

Captain Blue gave him a strange look. If he were a Mysteron, he'd be almost sure that he was trying to tell him something.  Wally hadn't seemed quite right since they'd got on the probe, but as he'd been cleared... Anyway, it was probably just nerves.

Captain Blue met Captain Scarlet.  He couldn't help noticing that Scarlet was now looking better than he had before.  "So, what's the plan of action?"

"I don't know." Captain Scarlet sighed, "The Mysterons MUST make their move SOON, but Ochre just told me that nothing has happened that's the LEAST bit suspicious!"

"I know, this one's not going to be easy.  Maybe the threat's not against the Probe..."

"Come on, what else could it be? Colonel White had Ochre and Magenta checking on that new computer system for hours.  This was the only BIG thing that it could have been."

"What did you say?"

"This is all it could mean...."

"No, you said it was the only BIG thing it could be."

"So?"

"What if the Mysterons didn't want to destroy something in the public eye?"

"Like WHAT, exactly?"

"I don't know, but we'd better call the Colonel and get off of here!"

"Now, wait a minute, what if the threat WAS against this rocket, after all, and we just left it unguarded..."

"Yeah, you're right.  But I'm calling the Colonel!"

 

 

Colonel White sat bolt upright in his chair.  "What do you mean, Captain Blue?"

"Well, it just seems strange... The Mysterons haven't made a move.  Colonel, what if the threat was against something ELSE? Suppose... Suppose it was against something important to the SAFETY of Earth?"

"Such as?"

"I don't know."

"Alright, Captain.  Keep me informed.  Captain Grey is back from Australia.  I'll put him on that new computer system to look for ANYTHING which may be the target." There was a pause, "How is Scarlet?"

"He seems a little better, sir."

"Good.  See that he takes care of himself."

"SIG."

Captain Blue sighed.  Well, that was all they could do... He just hoped they WERE in the right place, because if they weren't...  Well, anyway, he'd better get back to Captain Scarlet.  It was true that the British officer was quite capable of looking after himself, but only when he felt like it! Captain Blue was beginning to wish Fawn hadn't told Scarlet that it wasn't possible to get ill, and that there wasn't much that could kill him.  Captain Scarlet had taken his word TOO seriously.  After all, no one really knew what the extent of the Mysterons' power was.

He found Captain Scarlet in the lounge area, reading.  He cleared his throat loudly, "Aren't you meant to be RESTING?"

Captain Scarlet had obviously been startled.  He gave Blue an angry glare, "I'm feeling MUCH better, thank you very much!"

"I seem to recall you saying that to Doctor Fawn, earlier."

"A- Captain Blue!" he said, hotly, only just managing to keep himself in check, "I really AM feeling better.  Perhaps not QUITE a hundred percent, but..." He closed his eyes, leaning his head back, weakly.

"Captain?"

 

Wally looked in through the lounge window.  Was Captain Blue STILL playing baby sitter? He walked in casually, smiling at Captain Blue the way you would an old friend.  "I was looking for you, sport.  Where did you get to?"

"I needed a quiet place so I could call Colonel White."

"Nothing wrong, is there?"

"No, not at all." Captain Blue smiled at the concerned Major, "There were just a few details that I-"

Colonel White's voice called over his radio, "Captain Blue, come in please."

He hurried out of the room, to receive the call.

"I'm here, Colonel."

"What took you so long?"

"Sorry, sir, but it's pretty noisy in the lounge, and..."

"Never mind.  Where is Captain Scarlet?"

"I left him in the lounge."

"DON'T leave him on his own!"

"WHAT? Why, sir?"

"It was something Captain Grey came across... A report.  In it, President Roberts describes Captain Scarlet as being 'our only hope'."

"Oh NO!"

"I know he's not going to LIKE this, but I want you to stay with him at ALL TIMES."

"I understand."

"I'm going to call Scarlet now, anyway.  PLEASE don't let him out of your sight."

"I... I'm going back to the lounge."

"SIG."

 

Captain Scarlet sighed with relief as his friend hurriedly left him.  As much as he liked Captain Blue, the Yank could worry a bit too much.  He was quite capable of looking after himself, for pity's sake! Wally sat down next to him.  "What's the matter, sport?"

"I don't know?"

"Not getting space sick BEFORE take off, are you?"

Captain Scarlet smiled at Wally.  "That's an interesting thought... Perhaps you should've been a doctor!"

"Nah! Wouldn't suit me." Wally said, jokily, "I prefer making History!"

"I just prefer excitement, adventure," Captain Scarlet replied, "I can't STAND hanging around, waiting for things to happen."

"Typical hero."

"Well... I just do what I feel is right.  I don't think THAT's heroic."

Wally decided that if he were going to do something, he'd have to do it NOW.  Then Captain Blue ran in.  "Thanks for taking care of him, Wally."

"That's okay, sport.  With a bit more time, I could've done a proper job." With that, he turned towards the door.  "If you want me, I'm at the controls of H.O.P.E.  Once we touch down on the Moon, I'm COMPLETELY at your service.  In fact... I'll see you before that, anyway, because the second crew takes over about midway.  Anyway, I'll see you both later."

Captain Blue turned to Captain Scarlet.  "So, how are you feeling?"

"Better."

"Good.  I'm sorry if I annoy you, but you don't seem to care WHAT happens to you any more."

"Sorry... I just put everyone else first.  I CAN take care of myself."

"When there's no one ELSE to worry about!"

"We have a THREAT to concern ourselves with!"

"I know.  I was meaning to talk to you about that..."

Captains Ochre and Magenta burst into the lounge.  Spotting the other Spectrum officers, they made a beeline for Captains Scarlet and Blue.  "Hi Captain Scarlet, Captain Blue," Magenta said, seeming glad to see them, "Did Colonel White tell you?"

"What?" Captain Scarlet asked, now alert, "What are you talking about?"

"We know what the threat's against!"

"It isn't the rocket?"

"No, it's YOU!"

"Stop playing games, Magenta, I'm NOT in the mood."

"I'm NOT playing games!"

Captain Blue piped up, "He's right, Captain.  Colonel White told me the same."

"You're joking!" Captain Scarlet stared at each captain in turn, they all looked deadly serious.  "Alright, if you aren't joking, perhaps the Colonel is.  I'm going to call him."

"Won't be told, will you?"

"I've had enough lectures, thank you, A- Captain Blue." 

 

 

Wally sat at the controls of the probe, staring darkly into space.  How was he going to kill SCARLET? Why couldn't the Mysterons have decided to kill an easier target, like Blue? Oh well, there was no time for thoughts like that.  He had to be CONSTRUCTIVE and as no one was on to him yet.... "You okay, Wally?"

Wally whirled, then seeing the co-pilot grinning at him, nodded "Yeah, I'm okay, sport."

"You sure?" the co-pilot continued, "You've been staring into space for some time, Wally."

"I was just... er... Just concerned about Captain Scarlet..."

"I'm sure he can take care of himself."

"Yeah, but..."

"Look, we've got a bigger crew than normal because of this threat.  If you wanna stay with those Spectrum officers, you can."

"Thanks."

 

Wally hurried back to the lounge area.  Two Spectrum officers were there, but they weren't Captains Blue and Scarlet.  Suddenly afraid that his target may have left, he ran up to the officers.  "Where's Captain Scarlet, and Blue?"

"Hello," Captain Ochre said, "It's 'Wally, right?"

"That's right.  They... er... They let me get away, because I'm responsible for the Spectrum personnel onboard the rocket."

"I see.  Captains Scarlet and Blue are in their bedroom.  We're coming along, too, because there's been a change in plan."

"What sort of a change in plan?"

"Captain Scarlet's-"

"Captain Scarlet's the Mysterons target!" Captain Magenta interrupted, "So we're keeping an eye on him, too."

"Really?" Wally was well and truly worried, now.  Spectrum had worked it out somehow, and now his job was going to be VERY difficult.  Captain Ochre took his reaction as fear for a friend and said, "That's just a theory.  We don't know that for sure.  After all, Scarlet's pretty tough."

"What difference does THAT make?"

"Well, would you try to kill someone who is... Forget it, you wouldn't understand."

Wally headed for the door, then turned, "I'll see you later.  I just want to check everything's okay with Captains Blue and Scarlet."

"SIG- I mean that's okay Wally." Captain Ochre smiled at the astronaut, "But don't worry about Captain Scarlet.... He's tough."

Wally left quickly and Ochre turned to Magenta, "Why did you go and tell him Captain Scarlet was the target?"

"Sorry, Rick, I just... I just..."

"You just didn't THINK."

"Sorry."

"I bet you are.  Well, anyway, there's no harm done.  Just be careful what you say in future."

 

Wally knocked on Captain Scarlet's door.  Captain Scarlet opened it a crack, then, seeing Wally, opened it all the way.  "Hello, Wally," He smiled happily, "Captain Blue's in the shower.  I suppose you're here to baby-sit me now, are you?"

"Something like that."

Captain Scarlet stared at him "Wait a minute, aren't you meant to be piloting the probe?"

"Yeah, but they let me off, 'cause I'm meant to be responsible for you Spectrum members."

"I see..." It was then that Captain Scarlet's head began spinning.  He held onto the arm of his chair, leaning his head against his hands.  Seeing this, Wally saw a way of killing him.  He made the Captain a coffee, slipping into it the same poison that Captain Black had used earlier.  Captain Scarlet took it gratefully, drinking it down quickly.  Captain Blue came in from the shower.  He smiled when he saw Wally.  "Hello, Wally, what brings you here?"  Captain Scarlet groaned loudly, collapsing on the floor.

"I'll go get help!" Wally called, running out of the door.  Captain Blue lifted his friend up, carefully, "Paul," he said quietly, "Paul, can you hear me?"  No answer.  "What have you done to yourself? I said you'd make yourself sick, didn't I?"

 

 

Captain Scarlet opened his eyes.  He couldn't be sure where he was, but by the din, either the rocket had now taken off, or he was worse than he'd thought.  He tried to sit up, but a hand held him down.  "Take it easy, Paul," That could only be Captain Blue.  He tried to focus his eyes.  "Adam?"

"Yes, I'm here.  I wish you'd be more careful."

"Where am I?"

"On the rocket, remember?"

"Oh, yes..."

"Wally went to get help, when you passed out, but he hasn't come back yet.  I've been stuck here trying to look after you on my own!"

Captain Scarlet groaned loudly.  Captain Blue stared anxiously at him.  "Paul?"

"I... I feel sick..."

"Okay, take it easy.  I'll get you down to Sickbay, if you think you can make it."

"I just want to stay here."

"I know you don't like doctors, but-"

Captain Magenta's head poked round the door and he grinned at Captain Blue.  The smile vanished when he noticed Captain Scarlet.  "Hey, what's going on?"

"Hi, Captain," Captain Blue sounded relieved, "Wally finally found you, then."

"Wally? No, we haven't seen anyone.  We were unpacking.  I thought I'd see how you were getting on."

"I guess Wally missed you.  Captain Scarlet's sick.  I want to get him down to Sickbay, but he doesn't want to know."

"Typical."

"I heard that." Captain Scarlet tried to sit up, then changed his mind.  "You've got an awful lot of nerve, Magenta."

"How do you feel?"

"I don't know...."

"I'll get Captain Ochre.  If you don't go down to Sickbay, we'll have to do all we can for you here."

"Magenta!"

"Look, you need SOMEONE to take care of you."

 

Wally had gone back to the controls of the probe.  The co-pilot had taken over from him.  "You're back then, Wally?"

"Yeah.  They've got everything under control.  Didn't need me."

"It was Captain Scarlet who you were worried about, though."

Wally gave a strange smile.  "Yeah, but he's looking better than I've seen him on this whole voyage."

"Fully recovered, has he?"

"You might say that."

 

Captain Ochre sat on the bed opposite Captain Scarlet.  He was asleep again.  "Any idea what's wrong with him, Adam?"

"No.  He was fine when I left him," Captain Blue sighed, "then he passed out when I came back."

"Who was with him?"

"Wally.  He.... We've got to find him!"

Captain Magenta looked from one man to the other.  "Hey, just because Wally was here when Captain Scarlet got sick, you don't have to jump to conclusions."

"I know, Pat," Captain Ochre explained, slowly, "but we have to cover every possibility.  What if Wally HAD been taken over, and we didn't check..."

"We checked him out at the rocket base...."

"The Mysterons had time AFTER that."

"I s'pose you're right, Rick.  I just like Wally.  He seems a really nice guy."

"Right, Captain Blue, you stay with Captain Scarlet.  Pat and I will check the crew out."

 

When Captain Scarlet awoke, he was still in his bedroom.  Captain Blue touched his forehead.  "We really should get a doctor to take a look at you."

"Fawn will do that."

"Paul, this is going to come to you as a surprise, but you have to remember.  Did Wally give you ANYTHING to eat or drink?"

"Well... YES... Yes, he gave me a cup of coffee.  Why, Adam?"

That confirmed it, then.  Captain Blue sighed.  "I just wondered.  Don't worry, Paul."

"Adam?" Captain Scarlet could see something was wrong, "Adam, what is it?"

"Nothing.  It's not important." Captain Blue had to change the subject, "So, how're you feeling?"

"If I got a penny every time someone asked me that!"

"What?"

"Nothing.  I feel... weak... WEAKER than I'm used to..."

"Flu?"

"I don't know... I can't remember feeling like this.... I feel terrible."

 

 

Captain Ochre peeped round the control room door.  Wally was in there, all right.  He photographed him and hid, looking at the shot.  "He's Mysteron," he whispered to Magenta, "You know what to do."

"SIG." Captain Magenta caught Wally with the electron rifle before he even knew what was happening.  His body crumpled on the floor.

Ochre touched Captain Magenta's arm.  "Good shooting, Captain.  Let's get back to Scarlet and Blue."

"I guess Captain Scarlet will HAVE to see a doctor, now."

"Yes.  Persuading him won't be easy!"

 

Captain Blue had called in the ship's doctor while Captain Scarlet slept.  He didn't want to upset his best friend, but he had to get someone to take a look at him.  The doctor made short work of his task.  First analysing the coffee that Wally had left on the table in his hasty leave, then checking his patient over carefully.  "You were right, Captain, he HAS been poisoned.  I'm going to take him to the Sickbay."

Captain Blue stared anxiously at his best friend, still laying on the bed, deep in sleep.  "He will be alright, won't he?"

"'Course he will! Don't worry, he'll be fine.  But he needs medical attention."

"SIG."

 

 

Captain Scarlet awoke slowly.  He felt as if he'd been drunk.  His head ached terribly and his eyes wouldn't focus properly.  He didn't try to sit up, until a familiar voice asked, "You had me worried, Captain."

"Colonel?"

"Yes, Captain?" Colonel White put his hand on the Captain's shoulder.

"I... I'm sorry I was such an idiot."

"You remember, then."

"Yes..."

"You didn't when you awoke earlier."

"I'm sorry... For EVERYthing."

"Don't be, it wasn't your fault."

"I made myself ill, like Captain Blue warned me..."

"No, 'Wally' or whatever he called himself tried to kill you with poison."

"WHAT?"

"No one guessed, no one suspected a THING."

"Oh..." Captain Scarlet sighed.  "I... I didn't make things easy for anyone... Perhaps if I had..."

"Yes, well, you didn't and that's just your nature."

"Yes... Just like President Roberts!"

"Do you think Captain Blue would've behaved differently?"

"Well...."

"No, he wouldn't.  He told me as much himself.  Do you want to talk to him?"

"Yes, please."

"I have work to do.  You're to stay here until you have fully recovered.  Captain Blue will help Doctor Fawn."

"Thank you, sir."

"See that you take care of yourself, this time."

 

 

Captain Blue entered the small room nervously.  He stood looking at his friend expectantly for a time.  "So..." He said, finally, "Are you alright?"

Captain Scarlet grinned mischievously, "I will be."

"If you REST, Paul."

"Alright.  Look, I'm not going to do THAT again.  I think I've found that even I have limits."

Captain Blue laughed and shook his head.  "You are something else!"

"What do you mean?"

"If you'd let me take better care of you, Wally wouldn't have found the chance-"

"To poison me." Captain Scarlet finished, "I KNOW I should have listened to you.... I knew you were right at the time... That was what annoyed me!"

"Colonel White explained it all, did he?"

"Well... He told me Wally tried to kill me.... And that you wouldn't have reacted very differently, under similar circumstances..."

"Doctor Fawn told me that the poison he used was pretty strong.... A little could EASILY kill a man... But Wally didn't use ENOUGH on you.  The way Dr Fawn sees it, the stuff wouldn't have even AFFECTED you if it hadn't been for those chemicals ALREADY in your system."

"But I was getting over it!"

"You hadn't fully recovered."

That was a statement, not a question.  Captain Scarlet sighed, "No."

"The two combined- you could've been killed-"

"I understand." Captain Scarlet suddenly looked very tired, "I think I'll get some more rest..."

"Are okay?  Paul?"

Scarlet looked up at his best friend for a long moment, then said, "After being told all that, would you EXPECT me to be alright?"

Captain Blue let him sleep.  He looked as if he'd need it.

 

 

THE END

 

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