Notes from the author:
This story is set in the summer of 2070 and is set during the new CGI version of Captain Scarlet ©. Captain Ochre and Lieutenant Green are now female characters, Captain Grey is Scottish and Captain Magenta is now Italian. Doctor Fawn has been replaced with a new character called Doctor Gold and is Austrian. Symphony and Harmony have also swapped nationalities, so Symphony is now the Asian member of the Angels.
I do not own any of Gerry Anderson’s shows or characters so please don’t sue me. The only character I technically own is Eternity Angel (Rio-Jade Younger).
THE ANGEL TRILOGY: STORY 3
A ‘New Captain Scarlet’ story
By Kelly Winkworth
2069... To Rio Younger, this had felt like the longest year in history. It had been the year when she had been brought back from the dead by the Mysterons. They had desecrated her burial place just so they could make a point to Spectrum.
Rio had come so close to destroying Skybase; the heart of the Spectrum organization. But she had fallen to her death from the maintenance platforms of the main generator room. Her fall had been caused after a terrific fight with Captain Scarlet. It had freed her from the Mysterons hold but had caused a severe case of amnesia in the young woman. Over time her memory had begun to return in the form of flashbacks. She had also developed a very strong telepathic link with Captain Black and had been known on occasions to be able to “see” exactly what the Mysterons were going to do whenever a threat was issued. Colonel White hoped that one day her premonitions would lead them to Captain Black.
Now, eighteen months later, Rio’s memory had very nearly returned to normal, although there were some things she still couldn’t remember clearly. Her family was one of those things. Although Rio was aware of having two elder sisters, she couldn’t remember anything from before her first “death” at the hands of the Mysterons. At first, her sisters had found it hard to accept what had happened their baby sister. How could she still be alive? What had these alien creatures done to her? Would they come back for her one day? Try to regain control of her? It was hard work for Rio, trying to persuade her sisters to accept her again but at times it proved extremely difficult. Rio had finally learned to start accepting that maybe she should back off a little bit and allow them time to get use to the idea that she was back from the dead. Once they were ready to take her back into the family unit, they would come to her.
For months Rio hadn’t been able to explain why she felt such a strong connection with the World President. It wasn’t until Colonel White had explained the president was her father that Rio had realized what the feeling had been. The World President was her father! The thought scared her. Finding that her mother had been dead for the past five years had been extremely upsetting for Rio and it had taken her a very long time to get use to the idea. Why couldn’t she remember her mother’s death? Rhapsody Angel had told her that she had been at her mother’s bedside when she died but Rio had no recollection the incident ever taking place. It felt awful.
There was one thing she had remembered that her male counterpart, Captain Scarlet, had never remembered. Rio could remember nearly everything from her time under Mysteron control. Rio could remember being shot; the pain as the bullets had hit her; the desperation of Captain Scarlet who had tried in vain to keep her alive. Although, for some strange reason, she had hardly any recollection of Captain Black or what had happened to him. There were vague memories; a hazy recollection of being on Mars, but mostly she only had what her Spectrum colleagues had told her. All of these lost moments and hazy half memories really bothered her.
Recalling such things had been difficult, not only for the Angel pilot, but for everybody on Skybase. None more so than Scarlet himself, who had hated having to watch her suffer. He had felt so helpless. He had been there every step of the way while she had been recovering from her ordeal, not only as a friend but as a confidant and the occasional shoulder to cry on when Rio had found life a bit too tough to deal with. This ordeal had begun to bring the two officers closer together, but her regained Mysteron memories ended up having the opposite effect. It was driving a wedge between them and it seemed that, no matter what Rio or the other Spectrum officers did, Captain Scarlet was becoming more and more distant from her. Deep down, Scarlet didn’t want to feel that way about Rio but the whole Mysteron thing was really bothering him.
“I don’t understand, how can Rio remember yet I can’t?” Scarlet sat up from the examination couch. He had initially gone to sick bay for his medical, but he had been unable to keep his concerns to himself any longer.
Doctor Gold looked up from his computer. “Well, I do have one theory, captain. You are a clone, a copy of your original self. Rio, on the other hand, her body was stolen from her coffin and reanimated. In all essence she is what some might refer to as a ‘zombie’. Maybe this has had its own effect on how your memories have behaved.”
This explanation still didn’t ease Scarlet’s feelings of bitterness and resentment. The Austrian doctor seemed to sense his mood. “Don’t push her away, captain. Work through it with her. You have such a strong friendship; don’t turn your back on that.”
Doctor Gold’s words made sense but Scarlet knew that speaking to Rio would be very difficult. He couldn’t ignore his feelings as easily as that. He loved Rio but felt angry at the same time. Ever since Rio had joined Spectrum, she had been constantly messing with his head, unintentionally toying with his emotions. He had missed her greatly when she had been away with the Federal Agents Bureau, but he had put that down to the fact that they had a close friendship. Scarlet had even had a brief, but passionate, relationship with Destiny Angel while Rio had been away so he hadn’t given his feelings about Rio much consideration at the time.
Over time, both Destiny and Scarlet had realized that their relationship had been little more than a rebound reaction after Captain Black had become a Mysteron agent. Destiny had been upset over his loss, Scarlet had been there for her and it had just happened. Not that Destiny had regretted sharing her bed with Scarlet, but they had both been grown up enough about it to realize that maybe it wouldn’t work in the long term. It had been little more than a fling that they were happy to put down to experience; one of those little life experiences that happen when you least expect it, but you just go along with it anyway and learn from it, rather than trying to fight it.
Rio stepped through the doorway and into sick bay. Part of her was dreading it, mainly due to the test results she would be getting that day. For the past eighteen months her menstrual cycle had been erratic and, occasionally, nonexistent. It had been bothering her immensely and eventually, on the advice of the other Angels, she had gone to doctor Gold to find out what the problem was. She suspected it may have had something to do with what the Mysterons had done to her. Before the incident, her periods had always been as regular as clock work, to the point that Rio could pretty much predict to within a few days when her periods would be.
Sitting on the examination couch, Rio got straight to the point and asked, “well, doctor, have you managed to find out what’s happened to me?”
Doctor Gold looked at her sympathetically. Rio didn’t like it, obviously it was something serious. “I’m afraid there’s no easy way to tell you this,” the doctor began. “Looking at the results of your tests, it appears that you are semi-infertile. Hence why your menstrual cycle has been so erratic since you were Mysteronised.”
Rio’s face paled. For a few seconds she felt like she was unable to speak. “What!...Y-you mean I can’t have children?”
Doctor Gold nodded slowly. “There’s a small possibility that, with the right treatment, you may be able to conceive but I must warn you now that it doesn’t always work. Considering your unique condition, it may not work at all. Your body could reject the treatment.”
“What do you think caused it?” Rio asked, fighting against the overwhelming urge to cry.
“Judging by the way the Mysterons have altered your DNA, I feel your infertility was caused by their genetic testing on you.”
Rio couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It all seemed so cruel and unreal. Not only had they tried to murder her family and had succeeded making her lose her memory, they had now wrecked her body and ruined her entire life. She leaned forward and rested her head in her hands. She had always dreamed of one day having a family but now it seemed like that wouldn’t ever happen. Doctor Gold rested a hand on her shoulder, causing Rio to look up.
“If it makes you feel better, the fact that you are still occasionally having a period is a good sign. It shows that you are ovulating. If you were to take the option of any treatment, hopefully this fact would work in your favour.”
Doctor Gold carried out the rest of the medical mostly in silence, only talking when he needed her move or remove any clothing. Once her medical was over, and doctor Gold was happy that everything was in order, Rio got down from the examination couch. As she began to walk towards the door, doctor Gold felt he should speak up about what Scarlet had said to him. At any other time he wouldn’t have gone against the patient confidentiality rule, but he was fond of the Angel pilot and felt she had a right to know, especially as she was close friends with Captain Scarlet.
Doctor Gold caught her by the arm. “Before you go, I think there’s something you need to know.”
“Oh yes?” Rio asked. “Sounds ominous.”
Doctor Gold paused for a brief moment. “It’s Captain Scarlet... I’m not sure if he’s dealing with your recovery very well.”
Sitting Rio down in the nearest vacant seat in his office, Doctor Gold continued to explain. Rio couldn’t believe that Scarlet was feeling so bitter about her mental recovery. She was having a tough time as it was, trying to regain the memories that she had lost, the last thing she needed was for her friend to start turning against her. It would certainly explain why he had been so cold and moody with her recently.
Scarlet was sat in the Officer’s Lounge, brooding over a mug of coffee. Captain Blue was playing a game of chess with Captain Ochre. His dark haired female challenger looked like she was most definitely winning. Blue never had been able to beat her at chess, but he never quit trying. Having just been relieved from duty by Lieutenant Silver, Lieutenant Green strolled in. She grinned as she saw Blue and Ochre huddled over the chess board, as she grabbed herself a coffee and sat down next to Scarlet. Why doesn’t Adam just admit that he’ll never beat Elaine? She thought to herself.
“How was your medical?” Green asked Scarlet, in an attempt to try to make conversation.
“Fine!” Scarlet answered abruptly.
Blue and Ochre looked up from their game, looked at Scarlet then at each other. It was so unlike Scarlet to snap at the lieutenant. Although he hadn’t been in the best of moods for a while. It was obvious that something was bothering him and had been for some time but nobody seemed able to find out what is was, not even Captain Blue.
The door slid open and Rio walked into the room. She had really hoped that Scarlet would be alone but realized that probably would have been too much to ask for. What she had to say needed to be said in private. Putting on a strong façade, she strolled across the room and looked over Blue’s shoulder.
“Why don’t you just face it, Adam, you’ll never beat Elaine at chess,” Rio said, draping an arm around his shoulders.
“What? And actually admit defeat? You gotten be kidding me!” The American replied. “You guys would never let me forget it!”
“Check mate,” Captain Ochre’s smooth Irish accented voice said, as she moved her piece across the chess board. “I do believe you now owe me dinner sometime.” Captain Blue frowned, he’d lost again.
“Thanks for putting me off, Rio,” Blue muttered indignantly.
Rio laughed. “Me making you lose? It was pretty obvious that Elaine was kicking your butt without my help!”
Rio looked over at Scarlet, debating whether or not to ask if she could talk to him. Her feelings were gnawing away at her and it was driving her crazy. How had he kept it all bottled up for so long? She had always thought they were close enough to be able to talk to each other about anything, no matter how personal it might be. Scarlet didn’t look at her as he continued to brood over his coffee. Leaving Blue and Ochre to argue over which restaurant they would go to and to put away the chess set, Rio cautiously approached the British officer.
“Paul,” she whispered tentatively, “could I talk to you in private?”
Glaring at her, he spat “why don’t you say what you have to say right here?”
Finally sick of Scarlet’s foul mood Captain Blue stood up, determined to defend the Angel pilot. “What is it with you, Paul? Just because you’re having a bad day, it doesn’t give you the right to take it out on everybody else!”
“Well, excuse me!” Scarlet snarled, standing up.
Rio glanced desperately between the two men. The last thing she wanted to do was to start a fight. The two officers were closer than brothers and she didn’t want to the cause of a ruined friendship.
Seeing the on coming argument, Captain Ochre grabbed Blue by the arm and said “I think we’d better leave Paul and Rio alone. It’s obvious they need some time alone to sort this out.”
Ochre’s dark eyes glared at Blue as if to say ‘don’t you dare argue with me’. She gave Lieutenant Green a meaningful look too. Green got the hint and nodded, leaving with the other two officers and taking her coffee with her. She didn’t fancy being on the receiving end of Scarlet’s bad mood again.
Looking over her shoulder at Rio and Captain Scarlet, Captain Ochre added “and remember, this is the Officers’ Lounge, not a boxing ring. I don’t want to be forced to help doctor Gold clean up the dead bodies.” The three officers left and the door slid shut behind them.
Rio looked back at Captain Scarlet. He turned away from her and walked across to the window. He crossed his arms across his chest and chose to watch the dark storm clouds approaching rather than make eye contact with the Angel pilot. Rio felt her eyes well up with tears but she refused to cry in front of Scarlet out of pure stubbornness. Why give him the satisfaction in knowing that he had succeeded in reducing her to tears?
“Paul, what have I done? Please tell me.” She asked, struggling to keep her voice calm and level. She couldn’t stand his coldness.
Scarlet remained silent, still looking out at the ever darkening sky. It seemed fitting considering his mood. The storm had been threatening to hit for most of the day, and the citizens living on the land below Skybase would no doubt be grateful for a big storm to break the humidity of the hot summer they were having. He suddenly became aware of Rio standing right behind him, as she placed her hands on his upper arms and rested her head against his back.
“Doctor Gold told me about how you’re feeling,” Rio whispered.
Scarlet frowned and turned around to face the young woman, trying hard to keep his temper in check. “What ever happened to patient confidentiality?”
“Why didn’t you tell me you felt this way? I can’t help what’s happened to me. I didn’t choose to remember any of this---”
“It doesn’t change the fact that you remember,” he answered bitterly, cutting Rio off in mid sentence.
The coldness was so obvious in Scarlet’s voice that it snapped Rio’s already frail emotions. The tears finally spilled over and trickled down Rio’s cheeks as she slowly backed away from him. There would be no reasoning with him all the while he was in such an awful mood.
When Rio finally found the will to speak again, it was barely above a whisper. “Maybe you would have preferred it if I’d stayed dead in Canada. Then I wouldn’t be such a problem for you.”
Unable to bear being in the same room as him anymore, Rio turned on her heels and left the room as quickly as her legs would take her. Captain Scarlet cursed inwardly as she left, hitting his hand against the wall around the window out of frustration. At the same time there was a huge roar of thunder as the storm finally erupted. She just had to go and mention the Canada incident again, didn’t she. She did have to remind him of the one mistake he regretted most of all. The one mistake that meant that Rio was no longer the same woman he once knew.
Rio walked quickly through the corridors of Skybase, with the intention of going to her quarters. She was so caught up in her emotions that she didn’t even notice Captain Magenta coming towards her from the other direction. It wasn’t until Rio walked right into him that she aware of his presence.
“Hey signora, it might be good to watch where you’re going...” His voice trailed off when he noticed that Rio had been crying. “You’re upset, what is it?”
With tears still streaming down her cheeks, Rio whispered “Paul...” Before breaking down again.
Wrapping his arms around the woman’s shoulders, Magenta held her close to him. It made him so angry the way Scarlet seemed to be treating her. It wasn’t her fault what had happened to her or what was going on inside her head. He could feel the woman trembling in his arms as Rio rested her head against his chest and continued to cry. Why couldn’t Scarlet see what he was doing to her? All she wanted was somebody to help her and give her some comfort but Scarlet seemed determined to break her heart.
Rio looked up at Magenta. “Why is he doing this to me? It isn’t fair. I thought he, of all people, would understand how I feel.”
“How about we go get a coffee in the cantina and you can tell me all about it.” With a smile Magenta added, “believe it or not, I’m actually a pretty good listener. But then you already knew that.”
Rio managed to force a smile. Captain Magenta had always been a very good at being a listening ear from what she could remember of him. If nothing else, Rio knew she could trust Magenta not to betray her confidence by mentioning anything she had told him in private.
The two of them seemed unaware of the fact that they had an audience. Captain Blue was heading back to the Officers’ Lounge and he had stopped just at the corner when he had seen them. He had been heading that way mainly to check if Rio was okay but also to have it out with Captain Scarlet. His foul mood was still bugging the American and he was determined to find out what was going on. Blue ducked out of sight as the two officers walked past his hiding spot. Blue watched them walk out of sight and he was about to continue on his way to the Officer’s Lounge when he felt somebody tap him on the shoulder. The American nearly jumped out of his skin. Spinning around Blue was met by the sight of Lieutenant Green.
“What are you up to, Adam?” Green asked. “You’re looking guilty.”
“No I’m not!” Blue protested.
Green grinned, folded her arms and leaned up against the wall. “Yes you do. You weren’t spying on Rio and Mario, were you?”
“Not intentionally,” he muttered. “I was only going that way because I wanted to talk to Paul.” Give him a good slap more like, he thought to himself.
Green shook her head. “I don’t think that’s a good idea, Adam, Paul seems to be in a really bad mood. Wouldn’t it be better to let him cool off for a little while before confronting him? If you go steaming in there guns blazing, whilst you’re both still hot headed, you’ll only end up regretting it.”
“I am not hot headed!” Captain Blue argued.
“Tell you what, how about you come and keep me company for a while? I’m not back on duty again until tomorrow morning. And, from what I remember, neither are you.” Green gently took hold of his hand as she said it.
A smile finally crossed the American’s lips. “You’re not propositioning me, are you, miss Lewis?” He teased. Not that he wished to sound like he was complaining.
“Only one way to find out,” she replied, her face breaking into a mischievous grin.
Nice one! Blue thought to himself as Green led him off in the direction of her quarters. Had the lieutenant finally decided to take their relationship to that next stage? They walked quickly to her quarters, trying their hardest to make it look like they weren’t in a hurry. The air crackled with sexual tension and by the time they reached Green’s room, it was driving them crazy. Green had to practically fight Blue off as she tried to type in her security code for the door. But then they were interrupted by the one voice neither of them hadn’t wanted to hear...
“This is the voice of the Mysterons, we know that you can hear us Earthmen. We will be avenge for your act of aggression. Our next target will be to strike at the heart of London. We know that you can hear us, Earthmen.”
Captain Blue, known for his unlimited patience and laid back temperament, for once snapped. “God damn it!” He spat angrily. “What do I have to do to get some time alone with you?”
Green, who was leaning with her back on the door, cupped his face in her hands. “Hey you, grumpy! I’ll still be here after this all blows over.”
If she was feeling mad over the interruption, she was hiding it well. Green stood on tip toe and treated Blue to a gentle, longing kiss. Blue gathered her up in his arms, wanting to savour every moment before he was called to duty. At any moment they both knew that Lieutenant Silver’s voice would be calling him away.
Colonel White glanced around the Control room at his officers; Captain Scarlet, Blue, Grey, Ochre, Indigo and Magenta. After careful consideration, it was decided that the target of the Mysteron threat was the Houses Of Parliament. The British government now had around ninety-five percent control over the country. The Royal Family had the very little say in matters of state and had been kept mostly for tradition’s sake. Although the king got to have the final word in the most serious matters. If the government were destroyed it would throw the country into disarray.
“The British prime minister has been made aware of the current situation and is expecting you. We don’t know how exactly the Mysterons will attack but you are to monitor all people entering and leaving the Parliament building.”
The gentle whirring sound of the slide door alerted the officers to the entrance of another member to their meeting. “You wanted to speak to me, colonel?” Rio inquired as she walked across the room.
Colonel White nodded. “Yes, Eternity, I want you to go to London. I feel your assistance will be greatly needed on this mission, considering your strong telepathic link with Captain Black.”
“Understood, colonel,” Rio replied, ignoring Scarlet’s icy glare.
Colonel White dismissed the other officers. As they began leaving Colonel White took Rio to one side. “I’m worried about you. Is everything all right between you and Captain Scarlet? Has something happened that I should know about?”
“No sir,” Rio lied, although she wasn’t sure if she sounded very convincing.
Colonel White raised an eyebrow. “Are you sure there isn’t anything you wish to tell me?”
“It’s kind of personal but it’s nothing that I can’t deal with on my own,” Rio insisted politely. “But thank you anyway, colonel.”
“What’s up, Adam?” Captain Ochre asked they left the Control Tower. “You look like you’ve lost a pound and found a penny.”
Blue frowned. “Damn Mysterons! They couldn’t have picked a worse time to issue their threat. They did have to go and pick the first decent night off Serena’s had for the past three weeks, didn’t they.”
“Oh, I see...” Ochre said with a knowing smile. “These threats are no fun when you’re on a promise, are they.”
It was no secret that Lieutenant Green and Captain Blue were in a relationship. No doubt they were finding it hard to have some time together, on their own, without the Mysterons constantly issuing threats. It wasn’t always easy to find the time to be alone with the one you love all the time Spectrum were caught up in a war of nerves.
There was a definite atmosphere between Rio and Captain Scarlet that the other five officers couldn’t help but notice. There had been an icy silence between them for the entire journey to London. The Spectrum ‘Hummingbird’ helicopter landed on the roof of the Parliament building and, as the Spectrum personnel disembarked, they were met by several armed police officers who escorted them down from the roof to the main entrance hall of Parliament.
They were greeted by the prime minister, Tanya Turner. She was a petite woman, but she was well known for being a tough negotiator, with a temperament that matched her short, spiky fiery red hair. She was dressed in a black trouser suit, looking every inch the executive with her brown eyes hidden behind stylish black rimmed glasses.
“Ah! Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I assume you’re here about the Mysteron threat,” she said, shaking hands with each of the officers in turn. “And you must be Captain Scarlet,” she added, taking in the tall crimson clad captain.
Captain Scarlet nodded. Although he was no higher in rank than Blue, Grey, Indigo, Ochre or Magenta, it was pretty much agreed amongst the officers that he was generally in charge in serious situations.
“Mmmm, this should be interesting,” Captain Ochre said as she took in the large disused office. It was filled with several camp beds, all covered in the basic bedding.
This office was to serve as temporary sleeping quarters for the Spectrum officers whilst they were on their mission. Colonel White had preferred the idea that they stay on site for the duration of their mission as there was no way of telling how long they would be there or when the Mysterons would attack. The Spectrum team needed to be able to react immediately when the attack finally happened.
Due to the Mysteron threat all politicians, including the prime minister, were restricted to using only the main entrance to the Parliament building, with immediate effect. It was hoped that this idea would hamper any Mysteron replacements trying to sneak in and attack and would make it easier for the Spectrum officers to keep an eye on all people coming and going. With the Mysteron detector being used on all the people coming in, it would be near impossible for any Mysterons to get into the building without their knowledge. The officers took it in turns to monitor the entrance whilst armed police patrolled the area and stood on guard at the other entrances to prevent anyone sneaking in.
This continued for the following few days but with no sign of Mysteron activity. Nobody within Spectrum enjoyed the apparent silence from their alien enemy. Captain Blue said as much during one such morning when he, Captain Grey and Captain Magenta were on their spell of guard duty. The apparent lack of action was getting to him.
In the disuse office that doubled as the sleeping quarters for the officers, Captain Ochre was sat down on the camp bed, enjoying a well deserved mug of strong, sugary coffee. Captain Scarlet hadn’t that long left the room, having been called down to a meeting with the prime minister. Rio was stood by the window, staring out over the London skyline. The early morning sun hadn’t that long begun to rise up and was glinting off River Thames.
“A penny for them,” Ochre said suddenly, breaking into the other woman’s thoughts.
Rio glanced over her shoulder and tried to force a smile. “It’s nothing,” she said quietly.
“Don’t give me the ‘it’s nothing’ routine. Something’s bothering you.”
“I don’t want to talk about it,” Rio muttered.
Ochre rolled her eyes. It was obvious Rio was still brooding over Captain Scarlet. Ochre’s first idea was to suggest trying to speak to Scarlet, but she knew that Rio had tried that idea many times without success, and Ochre knew she would probably get a rude reply from Rio if she dared to suggest it. Captain Indigo strolled into the room, having just returned from the main to find out the latest developments from Blue and Magenta. Lack of developments more like, Indigo had thought to himself on the way back to the room. He sensed the awkward silence right away.
“Not a bad time, is it, ladies?” The dark skinned officer asked uncertainly.
Rio shook her head but remained facing the window. Ochre just glanced at him with a ‘don’t ask’ look on her face. Indigo realized what must have been said between them and had the sense not to tackle Rio about it. After what he had heard about the fight between Rio and Scarlet, he didn’t fancy being on the receiving end of one of Rio’s beatings.
The oil tanker pulled up outside Regent’s Park Barracks. Unaware of what would be waiting for him, the driver drove the vehicle into the barracks and into one of the hangers. Totally oblivious the stranger dressed in black lurking nearby, as the driver climbed out of the cabin of the oil tanker and slowly walked over to the hanger doors with the intention of locking them until the fuel was needed later that day. While his back was turned, the unsuspecting driver was met with a violent blow to the back of the head. He slumped to the floor, unconscious. Kneeling down by the fallen man, Captain Black took the keys for the truck. Grabbing the man’s legs, he dragged the body out of the way and hid him away in the shadows.
Climbing into the driver’s seat, Captain Black started up the engine and drove the oil tanker straight threw the closed doors of the hanger. Several workers were forced to leap out of the way of the speeding vehicle as it crashed through the metal gates and out of Regent’s Park Barracks.
As it wasn’t her turn to be on guard duty, Rio had gone for a walk around the grounds of Parliament, using the excuse that she had a headache and needed some air. The real reason was that she couldn’t bear to be near Captain Scarlet any longer. He had managed to be completely insensitive, yet again, and had really hurt Rio’s feelings. It seemed like it was becoming a regular thing with Scarlet. Every time they were near each other, it seemed to bring out the worst in them. Leaning against the wall of the building, Rio looked out over the river Thames towards Saint Thomas’ Hospital.
It was then that Rio was hit by one of her telepathic visions. She let out a cry of pain, clamping her hands on either side of her head and closing her eyes. Sinking to the floor, Rio hugged her legs into her chest and rested her forehead on her knees. Although it wasn’t unusual for her have these visions, she had never suffered one that was physically painful. The images flashed passed in the darkness of her closed eyes. Captain Black had gotten possession of an oil tanker and was at that moment making his way across London towards the Houses Of Parliament. Fighting the wave of nausea and light headedness, Rio struggled to her feet and made her way back inside and back to the offices that were being used as their make shift bedroom.
Staggering through the door the office, Rio began to lose focus and caught hold of the door frame to keep her from falling. She became aware of somebody catching hold of her but she was unaware of the fact that it was Captain Blue.
“Black... heading this way... he’s driving an oil tanker...” She finally managed to force out before she passed out.
Captain Blue and Magenta exchanged worried looks as Blue lifted Rio up into his arms and laid her down on one of the camp beds. Captain Blue finally said, “we’d better let Captain Scarlet and Captain Grey know. We need to get the building evacuated immediately.”
The building had almost been evacuated. The only people that remained were Captain Scarlet, Blue and Magenta and a few armed police, who had helped with the evacuation process. The last few MPs who were yet to leave. The reluctance of the remaining fourteen politicians to leave was driving Captain Scarlet crazy. Why couldn’t they understand that they were in mortal danger? The Mysterons were about to attack at any moment but the politicians seemed more worried about their stupid meeting than their own lives. He was trying his hardest to keep his temper in check, but the stubbornness of the MPs was proving hard to take. At least the Prime Minister, Tanya Turner, had seen sense and left at the first opportunity.
Having recovered the fainting fit she’d had, Rio had agreed to help Captain Ochre, Captain Indigo and Captain Grey direct traffic away from the Parliament building with the help of the emergency services. Once so busy, the roads around Parliament were now deserted and it made Rio feel uneasy. She couldn’t explain way, it just did. It made her feel like she had wondered into a scene from the movie ‘28 Days Later.’ She half expected rage fueled zombies to jump out from some nearby hiding place at any moment.
Hearing the roar of engines and the screeching of breaks, Rio spun around on her heels. Feeling incredibly nauseous, she realized that the oncoming vehicle was the Mysteron controlled oil tanker. Captain Ochre, who was talking on her radio to their colleagues in the building, had her back to the vehicle and obviously hadn’t noticed that it was heading straight for her.
“Elaine! Look out!” Rio screamed as she ran towards her.
Captain Ochre looked at her, utterly bemused and then inclined her head around. Fear seemed to pin her to the spot when she saw the tanker heading straight for her. It wasn’t showing any signs of stopping or that the driver had even noticed her. With a huge leap Rio threw herself at the officer, rugby tackling her out of the way of the vehicle and they both landed on the nearby pavement. It missed the two of them by mere inches as it continued on its way, heading towards the main Parliament building. They didn’t notice Captain Black jump clear of the tanker’s cabin as it continued, under the influence of the Mysterons, to speed towards its target.
“Captain Scarlet! Get yourself out of there, it’s coming right for you!” Ochre yelled into her cap microphone.
Ochre pushed herself onto her elbows and watched helplessly as the tanker hit its mark. Explosions ripped through the building as her radio greeted her with nothing but static. Then there was a deathly silence. The two women slowly climbed to their feet as they watched the building begin to smoke and burn. There were screams as some of the unlucky politicians who hadn’t been evacuated tried to escape the flames and the rubble. Rio walked slowly towards the burning building, dodging her way in and out of the emergency crews running back and forth. She felt like she was in a daze. There was innocent lives trapped in that rubble and Rio felt totally helpless. She was suddenly stopped by a police officer.
“I’m sorry, madam, I can’t allow you to go near the building.”
“But my colleagues are trapped in there!” She protested.
Smiling sympathetically, the police officer added, “try not to worry yourself, the fire crews will get them out.”
Don’t worry! That was easy for him to say. He wasn’t the one with friends trapped in burning building that could collapse at any moment and crush them to death. That’s if they weren’t already dead of course. No mustn’t think like that, she thought to herself, in any case Paul can’t die!
Rio felt a gentle tug on her arm and heard a gentle, Scottish accented voice speaking to her. It was Captain Grey. “Come on, we’d better move out the way. There’s nothing more we can do here. We have to trust the fire crew to do their job.”
That didn’t change the fact that the three men she cared for were trapped. Walking away from the disaster area, Rio found Captain Ochre sat on the curb on the opposite side of the road. Sitting down next to her, Rio couldn’t help but notice that she looked very shell shocked. Rio sat down on the curb with her and gently placed an arm around her shoulder. Joined by Captain Grey and Indigo the four officers waited for news on their fallen colleagues. It seemed like nothing would quash the feeling complete helplessness. Captain Grey radioed in to Skybase to explain what had happened and that Scarlet, Blue and Magenta were trapped and that they had absolutely no way of knowing if they were still alive.
It seemed like a lifetime before the fire crews managed to start pulling out survivors. The paramedics began taking the badly wounded to hospital. The “Swift” passenger jet had arrived a few hours before to collect the fallen Spectrum officers. The paramedics, convinced that he was dead and not knowing about his rapid healing abilities, had been all for taking Captain Scarlet’s body to the nearest mortuary. They had found it totally crazy that the Spectrum personnel wanted to take his body back to their base. But it would have been impossible to explain what was going on when he promptly recovered.
Regaining consciousness, Captain Scarlet found himself in sick bay. This in itself wasn’t unusual anymore. Whenever he was injured, sick bay was always the first place that Scarlet was taken to. Although he was surprised to find Destiny Angel sat at his bedside. He slowly became aware of the incredible feeling of thirst.
“Nice to see you awake at last,” the Angel pilot said gently. “You were in a pretty bad way when you got here. We were worried about you. How are you feeling now?”
Scarlet managed to force himself to speak. “A drink of water would be good.”
Destiny poured a glass of water from the jug on the bedside table. With Destiny’s support, Scarlet lifted his head of the pillow and gladly took a drink. After spending the past few days unconscious it felt good to feel the cold liquid go down his throat.
Scarlet rested his head back down on the pillow. “Are Adam and Mario okay?”
Destiny nodded. “Yes, they were found, alive thankfully. But they’re not in the best of shape. It’s nothing that Doctor Gold can’t fix though.”
“What about the politicians? Did they survive?” Scarlet asked.
Destiny didn’t answer and dropped her gaze. Captain Scarlet took that as a no. He sighed; if only they hadn’t been so stupidly stubborn. But he knew there was nothing more he could have done. If they didn’t want to leave then that hadn’t been his fault. Then why did he feel so bad about it?
Many days later...
Captain Scarlet was pleased to see that his partner was finally able to sit up. Captain Blue grinned when he saw the British officer walk into Skybase’s sick bay. Both of his legs were in plaster casts and, from what he had been told by doctor Gold, Blue wouldn’t be going back to active duty for a very long time. Captain Magenta, who was lying in the next bed so that he could talk to his American counterpart, had injured his back in the explosion and doctor Gold was worried that he wouldn’t be able to return to active duty. The medical team had done all they could to fix his back, it was now down to his body’s own recovery.
Captain Magenta, on the other hand, was convinced he would recover and would work again. Everybody knew that the Italian had a stubborn streak and wouldn’t let a little thing like an injured back stop him from returning to active duty. But, for the time being, he would be spending quite a few weeks in sick bay, strapped to a spine board in an attempt to allow his body the time to rest.
“Good to see you’re up at least,” Scarlet commented as he crossed the room and sat on the end of Blue’s bed.
Blue grimaced. “Can’t say I’ll be going very far anytime soon though. Doctor Gold thinks I’ll be out of action for at least six months. It drives me crazy!”
Scarlet knew that this was going to be the one thing that Captain Blue would find hardest to deal with. Whilst the other officers were going to be racing around the world saving the human race, he was going to be stranded on Skybase, unable to even stand unaided let alone be any part of field missions. He was too much of an action man and he would hate not being able to do anything. It seemed that the visits from Lieutenant Green were having the desired effect, at the very least, as he seemed a little more cheerful than when they had first got back to Skybase.
“Have you spoken to Rio since we got back?” Blue asked.
Scarlet didn’t answer but he shook his head. That was the last thing he wanted to talk about. Rio had gone straight back her quarters when they had returned to Skybase and she had hardly spoken to anyone ever since, only appearing to do her share of Angel standby duty or to go to the cantina to eat. Then she would retreat back to her room and would refuse to talk to anyone. Blue closed his eyes, shook his head and sighed quietly.
“She’s really upset, Paul, you really should make it up with her,” Captain Blue insisted.
“Yeah right, like we’ll be able to talk to each other without it turning into a blazing row!” Scarlet muttered bitterly, “Rio hasn’t exactly made things easy for me recently.”
“Oh will you shut up and listen to yourself? You’re brooding like you’re the only victim in all of this,” Blue said, feeling totally exasperated. “Rio has been trying for weeks to sort things out with you but, being the stubborn bastard you are, you’ve pushed her away every time! She didn’t choose to remember all that stuff about the Mysterons. Rio thought she could rely on you to be there when she needed you and you’ve let her down. Now she’s sat in her quarters with a broken heart, totally convinced that you hate her and feeling like she has nobody else to turn to!”
“He’s right you know,” Magenta said. He moved his head slightly so that he could look at Scarlet. “She hasn’t really stopped talking about you in one way or another for days. It’s pretty obvious to everyone how she feels about you.”
Captain Blue continued to glare at his British colleague. “It’s not Rio’s fault what happened... just remember that. She didn’t ask to be turned into some Mysteron freak show experiment. All she did was try to protect her father.”
The words hit there mark, Blue could tell. He just hoped they would be enough to make the British officer see sense. Scarlet had always felt that Rio’s death had been his fault. It had been his duty to protect Rio and the World President from harm but she had been gunned down by Captain Black when she had attempted to shield her father a Mysteron attack.
Rio lay on her bed in a foetal position, hugging a pillow and staring blankly into space. She had no idea how long she had been lying there but she hadn’t stopped crying for the entire time. Why did unrequited love have to hurt so much? Although she was aware of the chime of her quarters ringing, Rio ignored it. If it was important, they could come back later or use their personal code to let themselves in. She closed her eyes, not caring who it was who had just let themselves into her quarters.
Feeling somebody sit down on the bed next to her, a gentle voice whispered “do you plan to get up at all?”
Finally forcing herself to open her eyes, she saw that it was Captain Scarlet. Why had he, of all people, come looking for her? He had made it very clear what he thought about her.
“Please, just leave me alone,” Rio muttered, looking away from him. She rolled over to face the window.
Scarlet frowned. “No, I won’t leave until I know you’re okay. I don’t want you to go and do something stupid.”
“Like you care!”
“Yes I do care! You’re not the only one here who knows what it’s like to suffer. I’ve been there too. I’ve suffered pain and heartache so terrible you feel it will never end. When the Mysterons took you away from me, I thought I would never get over it.” He paused and gently stroked her hair. “That day when I found you at the abandoned factory, I really wanted to believe I was getting a second chance...” Scarlet’s voice trailed off.
Rio instantly noticed the pain in his voice. Much to her own annoyance, something in his words touched Rio’s heart. Maybe he did care after all. Part of her tried hard not to give in and forgive him. He had been so obnoxious that Rio knew that he didn’t deserve to get off so easily. But, in her heart, all she wanted in her life was the man sat on her bed, asking forgiveness, trying desperately to make it up with her. Rio knew there was no way she could keep ignoring how much she was in love with Scarlet.
“Please... I want some time on my own. If you care about me so much, you’ll do that one thing for me.”
Scarlet knew he wasn’t about to win this round. It was obvious that Rio was going to make it difficult to earn her forgiveness. If it meant having to beg for that forgiveness, he would, but now wasn’t the time. Rio would open up to him in her own time. If he tried to force the issue he knew it would only have the opposite effect and would drive Rio further away from him.
When Scarlet reached the door, he paused and glanced over his shoulder at Rio. She hadn’t moved. She was still facing the window. Scarlet was really starting to hate himself for what he had done. It had taken a good telling off from his best friend to make him realize how what an idiot he had been and it now seemed like it might be too late to do anything about it. It was no more than he deserved, he knew that. Maybe he didn’t deserve Rio’s love or forgiveness after all.
It was several more days before Scarlet and Rio spoke to each other again. It took another prompting from Captain Blue to convince Captain Scarlet to make more of an effort. He told Scarlet all about what he had seen on the day of their argument. Rio had been wrapped up in the arms of their Italian colleague, Captain Magenta, and she didn’t seem all that bothered about breaking out of the embrace quickly.
“If you’re not careful, Paul, you’ll lose her for good,” Captain Blue said quietly during one of Scarlet’s many visits to sickbay to see his friend. Lucky for them, Captain Magenta was heavily sedated and was in a deep sleep.
“You think Rio might still feel something for Mario? I thought that was all over!” Scarlet protested.
Blue shook his head. “That’s not how it looked to me. She didn’t seem too bothered about how close they were at the time. If anything, she seemed to be very happy in his arms.”
Walking back towards his quarters, Scarlet was thinking over the new piece of information. It looked like he now had competition in the fight for Rio’s affections. Scarlet allowed himself a small grin when he remembered that, at least for the foreseeable future, that competition was out of action. He knew it was cruel to think that way, as Captain Magenta hadn’t asked to get injured, but the British officer couldn’t stand the idea that Rio might run off with another man. He had to do something... And fast! Running into Captain Ochre in the corridor on the way to his quarters gave him the perfect excuse.
“Hey Paul, aren’t you and Rio suppose to be on leave this weekend?” She asked.
“Last time I checked, we were, yes.”
Ochre grinned. “Oh good. I was supposed to be going out with Adam on Friday evening for my chess winning restaurant date. But, of course, with Adam being injured that isn’t going to happen. It’s already booked and it would be a shame to waste it.”
“You want me to take the reservation, don’t you,” Scarlet finished for her.
Ochre nodded. “Thought you could use an excuse to try and sort things out with Rio. I think she deserves cheering up after the way you’ve behaved recently.”
Deciding to take his chances at talking to Rio again, Scarlet set off to find her. As she was on duty he guessed she would be in the Amber Room. He had obviously walked into the middle of a crazy, girlie chat as Rio, Destiny and Harmony were all collapsed in laughter as he was walking in.
“Not interrupting anything, am I?” Scarlet asked sheepishly.
Harmony grinned. “Of course not, Paul, come on in. What can we do for you?”
“Well, it’s Rio I wanted to talk to. In private if possible.” He glanced over at Rio. “That is, if you want to talk to me.”
It felt like forever before he got a reaction. Thankfully it was the one he wanted. Rio nodded and stood up. Destiny and Harmony gave each other a meaningful look. They politely made an excuse about going for a coffee and quietly left, leaving Rio and Captain Scarlet alone.
“What did you want to ask me?” Rio asked, rather more meekly than normal.
“Well... I was wondering if you’re free on Friday evening? And, if yes, how do you like the idea of going out for dinner with me?”
Rio looked slightly surprised at his request. “What’s brought this on? I was under the impression that you didn’t exactly like me right now.”
“I suppose it’s my feeble attempt at saying sorry for being such a pig headed moron towards you recently.”
After what felt like an life time, Rio’s face finally broke into the gentle smile that he missed so much. “I guess there isn’t any harm in dinner. I was planning to stay with an old college friend this weekend but I suppose I could do a detour and go home to Portsmouth afterwards.”
Scarlet felt his heart skip a beat. “Is that a yes then?”
Rio nodded. “It’s a yes.”
The evening was a success in Captain Scarlet’s eyes. It was obvious that Rio was finally softening towards him. The ‘Hummingbird’ helicopter landed with a gentle bump on the solid concrete paving slabs of Gunwarf Plaza. As they stepped off the craft Scarlet gently took hold of her arm and pulled her to one side.
“I just wanted to thank you for tonight,” he said gently.
A shy smile crossed her lips. “It was nice of you to ask me to join you. I thought I’d be the last person you’d want to be with.”
“I just hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me,” Scarlet replied.
Scarlet couldn’t help but notice how beautiful Rio looked in the moonlight, her long black hair cascading around her shoulders and down her back in soft ringlets. He gently brushed his finger tips across her cheek. Rio felt a shiver run down her spine and her stomach felt like a raging pit of butterflies. Resting his hand under her chin, Scarlet dipped his head and gently kissed her. Rio closed her eyes and gave into the warm caress of his lips against her own.
A gentle sea breeze swept around them, feeling cool against Rio’s warm skin. Rio shivered slightly. She broke away and turned around briefly to pick up her small travel bag and her jacket. “I should really be going.”
Rio took a few steps then paused and looked back at Scarlet. They gazed at each other for a few moments before Rio smiled, turned back around and continued to walk. It was clear to both of them now how they felt about each other. Maybe it was the red wine they had been drinking that had weakened Rio’s defenses. For one crazy second Rio had thought that it would be entertaining to just cancel her weekend with her friend, book into a hotel and spend two nights alone with Scarlet instead. Rio had pushed the idea to the back of her mind. Now was not the time to start acting like she was easy.
Walking away towards the East Side Plaza, Rio was determined that it would take more than dinner and a moonlight kiss to win her over. Although she knew that determination would be extremely hard to stick to...
Any comments? Send an E-MAIL to the SPECTRUM HEADQUARTERS site.