This story is set during the new CGI version of Captain Scarlet ©. Captain Ochre and Lieutenant Green are female characters, Captain Grey is Scottish and Captain Magenta is 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 Rio-Jade Younger (Eternity Angel).
THE ANGEL TRILOGY: STORY 1
A ‘New Captain Scarlet’ story
By Kelly Winkworth
The skies above Europe...
The winter sun hung low in the sky, illuminating the huge metallic aircraft carrier that the Spectrum’s “Swift” passenger jet was approaching. Its passenger, Rio-Jade Younger, was less than thrilled to be back. Angel pilot and friend nursing a broken heart, she was returning to Spectrum Skybase after a six month mission with the Federal Agents Bureau. Commonly known as “FAB” to those in the know, it was a spy organization originally set up and run by Lady Penelope Crighton-Ward. It had eventually disbanded but the organization had recently been set up again and Rio had been one of the first former spies they had contacted to help get things started and solve one final case. Her dark brown eyes hidden behind her dark glasses, Rio watched Skybase grow bigger in the jet’s windscreen, the winter sun gently shimmering on her jet black hair.
Glancing over at her colleague, Symphony Angel thought about asking Rio how she was feeling, just to make conversation and to break the painful silence that had settled between them, but she knew that it would be a stupid question. It was pretty obvious how Rio was feeling. Symphony had been the one who had volunteered to tell Rio what happened to Captain Black on the return trip to Skybase. As much as she had hated to do so, she felt it would have been better coming from her as Symphony had been given the duty of collecting Rio for the return trip to their headquarters. Rio would have found out eventually, as it would have been hard for her not to notice that her best friend was missing. Everyone had agreed that it was better for Rio to find out sooner rather than later.
Lieutenant Green’s voice spoke through the radio system, bringing a welcome break to the silence between the two women. “Swift Passenger Jet, you are clear to land.”
“S.I.G,” Symphony replied, putting the jet into its landing sequence.
The Amber Room was brisling with anticipation. Melody Angel had been the one who had initially seen the passenger jet approaching through the portal shaped window and couldn’t resist making a comment.
“It looks like miss Dark Angel is back,” she said with a grin.
Rhapsody and Harmony tried desperately to stifle their giggles. “You are so mean, Esther,” Rhapsody said, trying to look all serious. “You just can’t resist giving her a hard time, can you.”
“Don’t get me wrong, Caroline, I like Rio. I really do,” Melody paused for a moment and look back out into the sky. “But I just wish she would open up to us a bit more, that’s all, and didn’t hide behind her uniform quite so much”.
Rhapsody joined her counterpart at the window. “Just don’t go giving Rio any grief, okay, not today anyway. Chances are Yoko’s told her what’s happened and Rio’s going to be feeling pretty cut up about it.”
Melody gave her a mock salute and grinned. “Yes sir!”
“I mean it Esther! If anything she’ll be needing some space right now.”
“Okay, okay, I promise. But only if she doesn’t give me any grief first”.
Out of all of the Angel pilots, Rhapsody Angel probably knew Rio best. They had worked together in FAB, Rhapsody Angel had been her boss at the time and she knew all about what had happened as regards to her mother’s unfortunate demise. It was her who had given Rio compassionate leave to be with her mother when she was really ill and was on her deathbed. Rhapsody knew what it felt like to have a family member who had suffered serious illness, as her own mother had battled against cancer.
The piece of news that Symphony had no doubt delivered by now would definitely shake Rio to the core. Captain Black had been her closest friend and confidant and Rhapsody realized that Rio would be devastated knowing that he had been taken by the Mysterons.
The Angels weren’t the only ones had noticed that Rio was on her way back to Skybase. Captain Scarlet was in the Officer’s Lounge and had noticed the jet from where he was sitting. Although he was glad that he would finally be getting to see his friend again, he was still feeling anxious all the same. He knew that Rio had been close to Captain Black and no doubt she would be devastated about the fact that he had been lost to the Mysterons.
Captain Scarlet leaned forward towards the glass table and put down the book he had been trying to read for the past hour. He decided it was best to stop fighting the restlessness that had been threatening to overwhelm him. Rubbing his temples, and trying not to let the oncoming headache get the better of him, he stood up and made his way over to the coffee machine. He had been so caught up in his own thoughts that he hadn’t even noticed that he had since gained some company.
“I’m sure Eternity Angel is going to be fine, she’s a lot tougher than we give her credit for.” Captain Scarlet inclined his head around to find the voice belonged to Captain Blue. The one thing Scarlet had noticed about his friend was that he seem to have a knack of knowing exactly what he was thinking.
“That may be so, but that doesn’t change the fact that she’s lost her best friend. You know as well as I do that Eternity had a tough time fitting in when she first joined Spectrum. The last thing she needs right now is this.” Scarlet picked up his coffee and turned back around to face his American colleague properly.
“This may not mean much coming from me but, if it helps your mood better, Eternity always seems her happiest when she’s with you. She likes you a lot, that much is obvious.”
Captain Scarlet couldn’t help but smile a little. It was true, Rio always seemed to be a lot happier whenever she was in his company. From the first time they had met, something had clicked between them and they had remained the firmest of friends ever since. Some even suspected that their friendship might grow into more than that one day. Captain Scarlet knew all about those rumours and he couldn’t help but find it ridiculous. At least, that’s what he always insisted whenever his colleagues mentioned the subject; they were just ridiculous rumours, he was just friends with Rio and wouldn’t ever see her in any other light. Yes, she was a very attractive woman, but there was so much more to her than just a pretty face.
“Why don’t you go and talk to her when she lands,” Captain Blue suggested. “I’m sure she could do with a friendly face to talk to right now. If anything it might stop you from driving the rest of us crazy.”
Captain Scarlet raised an eyebrow. “Meaning?”
“You mean apart from being a pain in the butt to the point of me wanting to slap you?”
Captain Scarlet laughed as he remembered the last stupid argument that had kicked off between himself and Captain Blue a few days beforehand, and all because his anxieties over Rio had gotten the better of him. It seemed so stupid now when he thought back to it. He couldn’t even remember what it had been about.
“Okay, fine, I’ll see her. But you do realize there’s a possibility that she may not actually want to talk to me right now.”
“Won’t know until you try,” Blue added before Scarlet could argue any further. “What’s the worst she could say?”
Rio was grateful to be in the relative solitude of her private quarters. As much as she liked Symphony Angel and enjoyed her company, Rio wanted some time on her own. She felt so upset that the people she had seen as friends had kept something so big from her for six long months. Symphony had tried to make it easier on her friend by explaining to Rio that they had only done so because Colonel White had felt the news would affect Rio’s judgment on the spying mission she had been working on at the time the incident had happened. Despite understanding why the colonel had decided to do so, but it didn’t stop Rio feeling very hurt. Did they honestly think she was that fragile that she wouldn’t be able to cope?
The lights of her quarters were on low and classical music played softly in the background in the silence of her room. Rio stood in the middle of the room for a brief moment, contemplating everything she had been told about the Mysterons and Captain Black. Just thinking about the name made Rio want to cry. In an attempt to try and stop the oncoming flow of tears, Rio forced herself to unpack her suitcase, which she had abandoned on top of her bed. At least it would give her something else to think about for a while.
Opening the lid, she began to pull out the contents, piling her clothes into those that needed putting away and those that really needed to see the inside of a washing machine. Pulling a pair of trousers out of her suitcase, Rio found her framed photo of herself and Captain Black and picked it up. It had been taken the year before on the day when Spectrum had been officially launched: July 10th 2067.
This was the one thing that proved too much for Rio and she sat down on her bed, unashamed of the tears that now flowed down her cheeks as she looked at the picture. How she bitterly regretted not telling Captain Black how she felt about him, that her feelings for him were starting to go beyond friendship. But her loyalty to Destiny Angel had stopped her from doing so. Rio knew, deep down in her heart, that she wouldn’t have been able to live with herself if she had wrecked their relationship.
Rio was so caught up in her own musings that she didn’t even notice that the chime to her quarters was ringing. It wasn’t until it hang rung for a third time that Rio snapped out of her daydream like state, dried her eyes and answered it. Seeing the face her friend, Captain Scarlet, was probably the nicest surprise she could have hoped for, even if she didn’t really fancy the idea of visitors at that moment in time.
“Paul!” She exclaimed, greeting him with a hug.
“Thought you might fancy a coffee,” Captain Scarlet said, pulling back and showing why he hadn’t been able to return her hug properly. In his hands were two mugs of hot coffee.
“Are you sure you’re not just using that as an excuse to come and check up on me?” Rio asked, eyeing him suspiciously.
Giving her a mock hurt look, he replied “me? Checking up on you? As if I would do that.” He handed her the coffee as Rio moved to one side and allowed him to enter. With a gentle whirring sound, the door slid shut again.
“No need to ask what’s been going on while I’ve been away,” Rio started.
Captain Scarlet grimaced at the comment. He hadn’t really wanted to have this conversation, even if Rio had started it. Seeing the pain on his face told Rio all she needed to know so she decided that maybe it was best not to continue with that particular conversation.
Looking at her for a moment, Captain Scarlet asked, “stupid question, but have you been crying?”
“It’s nothing, I think I’m still getting use to the idea of what’s been going on. I’ll miss Conrad, that’s for sure.” Rio had hoped that the low lighting would have hidden her red, puffy eyes.
Sitting down on her sofa, she invited Captain Scarlet to sit down too. Apart from her bed and a coffee table, the sofa was about the only other piece of furniture in the room. Catching up with him after six month away made Rio feel a little better about her return and seemed to make the situation feel not quite so bad after all. There was something comforting about Scarlet’s presence. But that wouldn’t bring Captain Black back again, not in the way that Rio was use to anyway. The two officers made a point of not talking about their fallen friend.
Their conversation was brought to a close when Rio had another visitor. The face that greeted her that of a Spectrum cadet. Rio recognized the young man as Grant Mayall, a recruit who had been training at Spectrum Koala Base the last time she had seen him. His blue eyes studied her with a certain apprehension, the setting sun glowing on his sandy coloured hair.
“Sorry to disturb you ma’am, but Colonel White wishes to speak to both Captain Scarlet and yourself in the control room.”
Rio couldn’t help but smile at his nervousness, surely I’m not that scary she thought to herself. But to the recruit she said, “no problem, we’ll be there shortly.”
“I think that’s my cue to go,” Captain Scarlet said, picking up his empty coffee mug and heading towards the door. “And no doubt you’ll be wanting to get changed too.”
At that comment Rio suddenly remembered she was still wearing the civilian clothes from her trip back to Skybase. Colonel White certainly wouldn’t be impressed with her turning up in jeans and black skinny tee shirt.
“Thanks for the coffee...and for the chat, it was nice to talk to somebody.”
“No problem,” Scarlet said with a smile. With that he headed off in the direction of the control room, the young cadet heading in the opposite direction with the empty coffee mug. Rio stifled a laugh, it just so like him to pull rank and delegate a trainee to get rid of his coffee mug for him. She watched her British colleague disappear around a corner before retreating back into her quarters.
Shutting the door and walking the short space between the door and the built in wardrobe on the other side of the room, Rio typed in the code, opened it and pulled out the Angel uniform. She laid the uniform down on the bed and took off her top, revealing a bandaged stab wound on the right side of her ribcage. She had received the wound during the last two weeks of her mission, when a captured terrorist had decided to attack her with a hidden knife whilst he was being taken into custody. Rio ran her fingertips across the bandage. The FAB medical team had wanted her to stay on for a little longer so that they could keep an eye on the wound, but Rio had convinced them to let her go with the excuse that Spectrum Skybase had a more than capable doctor who would look after her. Her stitches were due out that day and Rio intended to go down to sick bay later that day to sort it out.
Slipping off her trainers and jeans, Rio put the Angel pilot uniform on. It felt strange to be wearing it again after a six month absence. She pulled her long black hair up into a high ponytail, secured it there with a pink hair tie and placed the radio earpiece into her right ear, making sure the tiny microphone was positioned correctly by the corner of her mouth. It made her feel like she was wearing the earpiece of a cell phone’s hands free kit. With one last glance in the mirror on her en suite bathroom wall, making sure everything looked okay, Rio left the confines of her quarters and headed towards the control room.
Washington DC......The heart of the World Government. Every country in the world had its own president, prime minister or royal family which passed and enforced their own laws. Presiding over all of them was the World Government, lead by World President Younger. He was the most powerful man on the planet. If anything were to happen to him, the world would be thrown in complete and utter chaos.
A young woman headed down the corridors of the White House, her blonde hair flowing out behind her. Tara Mai was so glad she was finally getting a break, she had been working her feet off all morning. It wasn’t always an easy job working as the World President’s personal aide but Tara wouldn’t have it any other way, even if it did occasionally meant working until late into the evening. Despite its occasional difficulties she enjoyed the job. World President Younger was a good, kind man but Tara had the feeling that he was hiding a dark secret. She had noticed, on her first day, the framed photo of him with a beautiful Spanish woman and two young children. Tara hadn’t dared to pry as to the identity of them as she got the impression it was personal and he didn’t want to talk about it.
One thing she didn’t like was having to wear a suit. Tara Mai frowned as her blue eyes saw her reflection in a window and saw her grey suit. She quickly carried on walking. As she walked across the car park, Tara rummaged through her handbag, trying to find her car keys. She found them as she reached her car, which was parked on the far side of the car park, partially hidden by a huge oak tree. Tara had been so busy looking for the keys that she hadn’t noticed the man following her. The stranger was dressed from head to toe in black. Pulling out a hidden gun, he silently approached the woman and shot her in the back with the silenced weapon. Tara Mai’s back stiffened and she slumped to the floor, seconds later two mysterious green rings glowed across her. Footsteps alerted the dark stranger to the fact that he wasn’t alone anymore, as a blonde woman appeared at his side but she didn’t so much as glance at the dead body on the floor.
“You know what you have to do. Find out where they are hiding,” Captain Black told the Mysteron agent.
The replacement Tara Mai nodded. “Don’t you worry about that, I can find out where he’s hidden them.”
Tara Mai kept up with her usual routine of visiting a local delicatessen for a coffee and sandwich, which she didn’t eat, but returned to the White House and hid the food in her office. The more she kept to her routine the better, the last thing the Mysteron agent needed was to be suspected of anything. Gaining access to the World President's office and breaking into his personal files, she began searching for the information the Mysterons needed.
Taking up the offer of a seat from Captain Blue, Rio sat down. Her wound was still sore and had decided to start giving her grief again. No doubt it was because she had just had the stitches taken out by Doctor Gold, the Chief Medical Officer of Spectrum. They weren’t the only two in the control room. Captain Scarlet and Captain Magenta were also there. Lieutenant Green was sat in her usual place at the communications console.
Colonel White looked up from his control panel. “It’s good to have you back, Eternity Angel, I trust that the mission was a success.”
Rio nodded. “Yes it was. The United Asian Republic shouldn’t be getting any more trouble from that particular band of terrorists, not for a while anyway. The last I heard their butts were all in jail.”
“Doctor Gold informs me that you were injured.”
“It was just a flesh wound. One of the terrorists didn’t take kindly to getting arrested by a woman.” Rio didn’t want to be reminded of that, she was already in pain as it was.
Before anything else could be said, the familiar sound of the Mysterons broke through the Skybase radio system.
“This is the voice of the Mysterons, we know that you can hear us Earthmen. You will pay for your act of aggression. Our next target will be to kill the World President. The youngest of three will pay a high price for their part in the attack on our Martian base. All those closest to the president will suffer.”
The voice disappeared as quickly as it came. Rio felt light headed and she thought for one awful second she would be sick. Putting her head in her hands, Rio tried to ignore the feeling of nausea. Feeling a hand on her shoulder, Rio looked up and met Captain Scarlet’s gaze.
“Are you feeling okay?” He asked, his stunning blue eyes glinting with worry.
“It’s nothing.....really,” she emphasized, noticing the funny looks she was getting from her male counterparts. She hated having to lie, but she couldn’t tell them what it was about the threat that was bothering her. They didn’t know that there was a possibility she could get dragged into this threat on a more personal level than they could ever imagine. She couldn’t put them through that just yet, although she knew that they would probably find out eventually. That was a prospect she wasn’t looking forward to.
In an effort to divert attention away from Rio, as it seemed obvious she wasn’t enjoying the close scrutiny, Colonel White coughed gently and said “well, gentlemen, it looks like Eternity Angel will be getting her first taste of the Mysterons.”
“Gee, lucky you,” Captain Magenta added. “You get to be one of us now!” Rio answered the comment by elbowing him hard in the ribs.
“Any ideas what this threat might be about, Colonel?” Captain Blue inquired. “Okay, so the bit about the World President is pretty obvious, but what’s with this whole ‘youngest of three’ business?”
Colonel White was silent for a moment. “My only assumption is maybe it is a reference to the president’s family. He has three daughters, one of whom works for Spectrum.” Nobody doubted this statement from Colonel White, he had known the World President for a long time and knew more about him than most people.
A silence settled in the control room for a few brief moments. The colonel dismissed the three captains but requested that Rio stay behind. As he was leaving, Captain Scarlet glanced over his shoulder at her. Rio noticed the look in his eyes, they both knew that when Colonel White wanted to speak to somebody alone, it was usually very serious.
Colonel White leaned forward so that only Rio could hear him. “Well, you heard the threat. There’s no way you can keep it a secret from the others now. As much as I hate to say this, you’ll have to tell them who you really are.”
Rio nodded feebly, avoiding his eyes. “I don’t have much choice in the matter, do I? The Mysterons have forced me into a corner.”
It seemed incredible to Captain Scarlet that Colonel White had come to a conclusion as to what the Mysterons were going to do so quickly. But he didn’t know what the colonel knew. Along with Rio, Captain Scarlet was now in the Spectrum “Hummingbird” Helicopter and heading towards Portsmouth, England to collect the president’s two eldest daughters. It didn’t take them very long to get there, especially when Skybase was floating in the skies just over France. Their instructions were to collect the two women and return with them to Skybase.
Scarlet couldn’t help but notice that Rio seemed extremely preoccupied during their flight, almost like she was dreading something truly awful. He had tried to coax it out of her but she only clammed up even further, so he had given up. If she wanted to tell him, she would do so in her own time. Scarlet knew better than to try and force it from her.
The helicopter landed with a gentle bump in Gunwarf Quays Plaza and Captain Scarlet powered down the engine as Rio jumped out of the passenger door and took a few steps around to the front of the helicopter. It had been a long time since Rio had been in her home town and it felt weird. It must have been the best part of twelve years since she had left home to join the armed forces and Rio had only made brief visits to the city since then. Captain Scarlet got out of the other side as several security men and women came running over to them from the direction of the East Side Plaza.
“Are you the Spectrum officers?” The woman nearest to Rio asked. She was a petit oriental woman with green eyes, which Rio found extremely unusual. Oriental women didn’t usually have green eyes. The woman was dressed in black trousers, white shirt and a black waist coat style piece of clothing that looked almost like a bullet proof vest that police SWAT teams wore. A radio was strapped to her waist band and crackled away quietly.
Rio nodded as the woman took in her Spectrum Angel uniform. “Yes, I am Eternity Angel and this is my colleague, Captain Scarlet. I do believe you were informed of our arrival by Hampshire Police Force.”
“Yes, Chief Inspector Malley did inform us. Do you have ID?” She asked.
Rio pulled out her Spectrum ID and Captain Scarlet followed suit. The woman checked over their ID cards and then handed them back. Rio explained to the security that they were there on Spectrum business and had been sent to collect two civilians.
“We have good reason to believe they still live in the apartment block on the front there,” Rio said, nodding in the direction of the apartment blocks next to Gunwarf Berths.
Satisfied that they were who they said they were, the security personnel allowed them to continue on their mission. Before they got too far out of earshot, Captain Scarlet spun back around and asked “could you keep an eye on our helicopter?”
“No problem,” said the nearest male, a tall burly man with short black hair who looked like he should belong in a rugby team with his slightly off centre nose. He too, like his female colleague, was also dressed in black trousers, white shirt, the black vest with a radio hanging at his side. With that the security team formed a human barrier around the craft and made sure the newly formed crowd of civilians stayed back.
“What is it with us always causing a crowd?” Captain Scarlet asked as they walked off across the complex.
Rio looked over her shoulder at the intrigued shoppers who were gathering by the craft, pointing and talking excitedly, and shook her head with a smile. “I’m surprised they find us so interesting with a naval base so close by. I thought people around here would be use to aircraft landing in strange places.”
“Maybe they think Spectrum are far more interesting than the navy,” Scarlet added with a grin.
Walking along City Quay, Rio told him as much as she could remember of her home. The city; it’s navy; the Gunwarf complex and how it had been a site owned originally by the Royal Navy and the controversial Spinnaker Tower, probably the most loathed building in Portsmouth apart from the Tricorn Centre, which had once stood in Commercial Road before it had been demolished in 2004 and that had since been turned into a new shopping and housing complex. There was also the successful football team, who had recently become premier league champions for the seventh year in a row
Spectrum weren’t the only ones who knew where the president’s two eldest daughters were living. Tara Mai had also found out where the World President’s children had been hiding. Using their powers, the Mysterons had transported Tara Mai to Portsmouth so that she could kill them first. The president would have to wait, attacking him so quickly would ruin the whole plan, especially with Spectrum being so closely involved. No, the Mysterons would strike at the those closest to him first and save him until last, his death needed to be planned properly. The World President was surrounded by security day and night, even more so now that the new Mysteron threat was out. He had also been taken to Spectrum Skybase the moment the threat had been announced, so the Mysterons wouldn’t be able to get to him.
Tara Mai’s car pulled up at the traffic lights just outside the Vernon Gate of Gunwarf Quays. From her view point, Tara noticed that Spectrum were already there and, no doubt, had found the targets. Tara cursed inwardly and drove straight through the red lights and turned into the road for the underground car park. Several cars swerved and beeped their horns in anger at her. Tara ignored the angry drivers as she drove away, she was determined not to lose her opportunity to the enemy.
Meeting her sisters again after such a long time was the strangest thing for Rio, and the hardest thing too. Captain Scarlet hadn’t taken long to work out that she was hiding something and, unable to keep it from him any longer, Rio had yielded to her feelings and had told him.
“You’re the World President’s daughter?!” It didn’t seem real to Captain Scarlet. The two of them were stood out on the balcony of her middle sister’s apartment, waiting for her sisters to get themselves together. “Why didn’t you tell me? I thought we were friends.”
“How could I say anything? You would have all held it against me. You would have thought that I had used my father’s name to get into Spectrum. I couldn’t take that chance, plus it would have been dangerous to broadcast such a fact to just any old person.”
Captain Scarlet leaned against the railings and looked out over the harbour. Even though he felt hurt that Rio hadn’t told him about her true identity, it made sense at the same time. As somebody who was so closely related to such a powerful person, it would have been dangerous for Rio to mention it, as it would make her a target for assassination attempts. An evening breeze had begun to pick up, the setting sun illuminating the complex in a red glow.
Resting her back on the railings and gently placing her hand on his arm, Rio said “I’m sorry if you feel I lied to you, but please try to understand it from my point of view. I wanted you to accept me for who I am as a person, not because of who my father is.”
Placing his hand over her own, he looked at her and smiled. “No, I’m the one who should apologize, I’m being a idiot!”
The chime of the door announced that Rio’s two brother-in-laws must be back with the children. A barrage of noise confirmed as much as three young children, two girls and a boy, came running out onto the balcony. All three of them had dark hair and tanned skin, like Rio, and were dressed in the black and red uniform of Portsmouth Grammar School.
“Aunty Rio!!” They cried in unison, as they flung their arms around her waist.
Nearly collapsing under the enthusiasm of the group hug, Rio laughed. “It’s nice to see you too.”
The two girls, twins, extracted themselves from their aunt and stared in awe of her uniformed Spectrum colleague, their dark eyes studying him with some curiosity. It was the little boy who spoke first. “Wow, you’re a Spectrum officer!”
“Yes I am,” Captain Scarlet replied. “I’m Captain Scarlet.”
The boy’s face split into a huge smile. “I want to be a Spectrum agent one day, like aunty Rio.”
“Well, I can’t promise that will happen,” Scarlet said, “but you might get part of your wish.” The boy looked puzzled and looked at Rio for an answer.
Rio leaned forward so that she was looking him in the eye. “I want you to listen carefully, Steven, and you too,” she said looking at the twins. “There are some nasty people out there who want to hurt you. So I’m taking you all to Skybase with me, we need to hide you away for a little while.”
Much to Scarlet’s surprise, they didn’t seem very frightened. A tall, slim woman appeared in the doorway of the balcony. It was Rio’s middle sister, Paris. She had black hair, cut to a length lying just under her jaw line. She looked very much like Rio, except for the fact she had grey-blue eyes instead of dark brown. She was dressed in the shortest white summer dress that Captain Scarlet had ever seen.
“Serena and Venus aren’t bothering you, are they?” She asked.
Rio shook her head. “No, they’re fine, it’s Steven we’re getting the ear ache from today.”
“We’re ready to go now, if you’re finished out here. Phoenix is here, she’s gotten her stuff.”
Looking over at Captain Scarlet, Rio nodded. “Yes we’re finished....for now at least.” The three children ran back inside.
It was at that moment that Captain Scarlet was hit by an awful feeling of nausea. He hesitated, catching his balance on the railings. It could only mean one thing, Mysteron agents were near by, and that could only mean trouble. He didn’t need to say a word as Rio had already guessed what was happening, especially now that she knew of her friend’s uniqueness. Looking over the railings they both recognized the figure lurking on the walkway below them. It was Captain Black.
Great, that’s all we need! Scarlet thought angrily. He grabbed Rio by the arm and dragged her back inside. This was the first time he had seen, or met, Rio’s brother-in-laws and they seemed slightly taken back by his rough handling of Rio. They were naval officers, dressed in full uniform on that day. Turning around to shut the balcony doors, Scarlet looked back at them and said “I’m going to need your help. A Mysteron agent is here. He will no doubt try to prevent us from leaving and will most probably try to kill us. Are you armed?”
“No, but we soon will be,” one of them answered. The officer who had spoken was Paris’s husband, Lieutenant Chris Leyton, the taller man of the two with short dark blonde hair. Lieutenant Commander Harry Martin also had short hair, but it was auburn and he had bright green eyes.
As the officer opened a drawer on a nearby chest of drawers, Captain Scarlet looked over the lieutenant’s shoulder and noticed it contained several weapons and guns with a clear panel over them. A keypad was built into the screen, the “locked” light was on at that moment. It almost looked like it had been engraved into the glass itself. Keying in a code the panel slid back and the lieutenant took out two guns, one for himself, the other he handed to Lieutenant Commander Harry Martin. Captain Scarlet knew that the guns wouldn’t do much harm to Captain Black, but hopefully they would slow him down long enough for them to escape.
“Eternity, we’ll go first and make sure the area is clear. I’ll radio when it’s time.”
Rio nodded, making sure her radio earpiece was still secure and the tiny microphone attached to it was still positioned correctly. This was it, it was now down to Captain Scarlet to protect all of them or, at the very least, the women and the three children, as it seemed that the two officers seemed willing to fight along side Captain Scarlet. Opening the door, Scarlet nodded at the two men to join him.
Captain Black knew he wouldn’t have much chance to get close enough to the group to kill them, not while Captain Scarlet was with them. Which was why he was hoping plan B would work. All Tara Mai needed to do was keep them in the building long enough for him to set up the explosives to the base of the apartment block and prime them. Then all he had to do was quietly slip away while the whole block disappeared, along with the Mysteron targets, Tara Mai and Captain Scarlet. Captain Black liked that idea. If he was blown to pieces, there would be no way that Scarlet would be able to come back from the dead, and Tara Mai would have served her purpose by then. Captain Black planned to kill the president himself. As a former Spectrum Agent, Captain Black knew better than anyone which maximum security hide out he would be hiding in.
Activating the remote and attaching it to the bomb, Captain Black left the apartment block without so much as a challenge. With the detonator hidden in his pocket, Captain Black headed along the path way along the front of the apartment block and towards the Wight Link ferry port car park.
Captain Scarlet peered around the corner of the corridor to check that the coast was clear. He looked over his shoulder and gave a quick, silent nod to let the other two know it was okay to proceed. This was proving way too easy and he didn’t like it one little bit. What were the Mysterons up to?
Scarlet radioed Rio. “Eternity Angel, it’s clear. Proceed to lifts at the end of the corridor, the lifts we used to get here.”
“S.I.G Captain,” Rio’s voice crackled through the radio.
In the distance, Captain Scarlet heard the faint click of a door closing. Within a few minutes Rio, her sisters Paris and Phoenix and the three children were with them, along with four medium travel bags. Rio was armed with her standard Spectrum gun and looked like she was willing to use it too. Pressing the button to call the lift, the group waited in silence. But what met them when the doors opened was not what they expected or needed. It was Tara Mai.
“Stay where you are, Earth man. You won’t get to play the hero this time, Captain Scarlet. I’m here to make sure of that.” Tara Mai’s eyes flashed green for a brief second as she pointed her weapon at him.
“Eternity, I want you to get everybody back, find another escape route if you have to,” Scarlet said, not daring to take his eyes off the Mysteron whilst trying desperately to ignore the wave of nausea washing over him again. The group backed away.
Tara Mai flashed a wicked smile. “So, you want to be first, do you?” She asked Captain Scarlet. “How heroic of you. That’s fine with me, I can kill the others without anyone to stop me.”
A gunshot rang out. Scarlet opened his eyes to see Tara Mai lying on the floor. Turning to see where the shot had come from, he saw Rio lowering her gun, smoke emanating from the barrel. “I think it’s time to get going, that bullet won’t stop her for long” she said. With that, the group got into the lift.
Rio and Captain Scarlet hurried the group across the complex back to the helicopter. With both Captain Black and a Mysteron agent loose in the area, they couldn’t afford to hang around. Rio strapped herself in as Scarlet powered up the engines. The blades began to spin and they slowly began to raise into the air, the security guards keeping people back.
Sat in his car in the ferry port, Captain Black had no idea that they had escaped. He took out the detonator and looked at his watch, it was time. He pressed the button and took great delight in hearing the proceeding explosion. The car door opened and Tara Mai got in. Captain Black looked across at her. She seemed to know what he was about to ask.
“They escaped,” she admitted quietly.
Looking out of the side window of the helicopter, Rio saw the building come down and become nothing but a pile of smoking rubble and fire. If they had been there any longer, Rio knew they could have been killed in the explosion.
Down on the ground Captain Black saw the “Hummingbird” helicopter leaving. He looked over at Tara Mai and said “this is not good enough, the Mysterons do not tolerant failure. How could you let them escape?”
Without giving her a chance to answer him, Captain Black promptly shot the Mysteronised aide through the head and pushed her body out of the car door. As he drove away, Tara’s body dissolved into thin air. From now on, Captain Black decided, he would do things himself.
“Sounds like you had some excitement in Portsmouth,” Destiny Angel said as Rio went into the Amber Room. The pilot was sat with her feet up on the sofa, reading a fashion magazine.
“You could say that.” Rio paused and sat down on a nearby armchair before going on. “Captain Black was there, he was behind our ambush.”
Destiny didn’t react to the name but that didn’t fool Rio one bit. Rio knew all about Destiny’s relationship with Captain Black, mainly because he had never really kept it a secret from her....or anyone else for that matter. Part of Rio had always felt envious of Destiny’s closeness to her friend. Not that she would ever admit that, as it would mean having to admit how she had really felt about him. Rhapsody, Harmony, Melody and Symphony all came bursting into the Amber Room, talking quickly and making no effort to keep their voices down.
“The colonel wants us all to go to the Conference Room. Says you’ve got something to tell everyone,” Harmony said in her strong American South accent, looking over at Rio as she said it.
“I think that’s our cue to get moving,” Rio said, getting up from the armchair she was sitting on. She had wanted to tell Destiny personally about them all going to the Conference Room but Harmony had saved her the trouble.
“It must be important for you to want all of us to go to the Conference Room,” Destiny added.
The six women walked in silence. Doctor Gold and the captains were already in the room when they arrived. Rio met Captain Scarlet’s gaze for a brief moment as she walked into the room and took her place beside Colonel White. Now was the time that she would reveal her secret to her colleagues. Breaking eye contact with Scarlet, Rio looked around the room, her Angel colleagues had settled themselves either in the nearest vacant seats or were standing up. She hoped and prayed that they wouldn’t hate her for what she was about to say, hoping that her fellow pilots and the other officers would understand why she had kept it quiet for so long.
“So what’s this big piece of news you want to tell us?” Captain Magenta asked, “you’re not pregnant, are you?”
Rio didn’t feel much like laughing at his joke, although any other time she probably would have. Either that or she would have hit back with a comment of her own. Part of her wished she was pregnant, at least that would seem like an easier alternative to deal with.
“It’s far more serious than that,” she shot at Captain Magenta, harsher than she had intended. Taken back by her mood, Magenta kept quiet. Whatever it was, it must be serious for Rio to snap at Captain Magenta.
Captain Scarlet came to her rescue. “I think we should give the lady a chance to talk, it’s something we all need to hear.”
A silence settled over the room as they all looked expectantly at the Angel pilot standing next to Colonel White. Rio took a deep breath. “I’m more involved in this Mysteron threat than anyone could possibly imagine......” She looked around at her colleagues, “My name isn’t Rio Phoenix, it never was......it’s Rio Younger....I’m the World President’s daughter. I’m the youngest of three the Mysterons spoke of.”
The looks on the faces of her colleagues said all she needed to know. They were obviously hoping this was some kind of sick joke. Rio wished she was joking but it wasn’t to be. Fighting the overwhelming feeling that she was going to cry, Rio backed away a few steps and walked over to the other side of the room, keeping her back to the other officers. It was Colonel White who spoke first.
“Due to this unfortunate turn of events, Eternity Angel will be going into hiding with the World President. Her family will be kept in a separate security strong hold for their own safety.” Looking across the table at his top officers, Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue, Colonel White added, “I want the two of you to accompany the World President and Eternity Angel to the Canadian security strong hold.”
Rio heard the movement and footsteps of the Spectrum officers leaving, but she didn’t turn back round. None of them spoke as they left. The silence from them was unbearable. She became aware of a hand resting on her shoulder.
“That was a very brave thing you did,” Colonel White’s voice said gently.
“Part of me wishes I hadn’t now. They probably hate me for lying to them.”
“I doubt if that is true,” Colonel White added with a knowing smile. “If anything, the male officers on Skybase are smittened with you. Nothing you could do would put them off.”
Rio tried to laugh but the weight of impending doom seemed to drag her mood further and further down with each passing minute. She knew that her commander in chief was trying his hardest to support her but it wasn’t working as well as he obviously hoped. Colonel White gently turned her around so that she was now facing him.
“When I found out you were going to be asked to join Spectrum, I made a promise to your father that I would look out for you. That’s why I want you to go to Canada for your own safety. It’s a lot more secure than Skybase. You also have my two best officers with you.”
With a feeble nod, Rio replied “thank you.”
Once again Rio was in her quarters, packing her small suitcase. But this time she wasn’t leaving to deal with terrorists, she was leaving because she was the target and was most certainly going to put her colleagues in danger. Given the choice Rio would rather she was leaving to deal with Asian terrorist groups again. Leaving the bathroom with a very full toiletries bag, the framed photo of herself and Captain Black that was sat on her coffee table caught her eye. Feeling the tears fighting their way to the surface, Rio laid the photo face down and pushed the toiletries bag into her suitcase.
She walked alone along the corridors of Skybase towards the hanger where the Albatross Special Deployment Craft was held. Word had spread around Skybase like wildfire as to the true identity of Rio. Staff huddled in groups, whispering to each other as she passed. Rio hated it, it made her feel like some sort of circus freak. The sooner she got on that Albatross, the better.
Captain Scarlet was waiting for her when she arrived. He seemed to be the only person in Skybase still talking to her, everyone else was giving her the silent treatment. Not that Rio blamed them after what she had told them. Rio took comfort in the fact that maybe Scarlet had gotten use to the idea quicker than the others.
“Everyone else is already onboard. Once we get on, we’ll be going,” Captain Scarlet informed her.
Before the two of them could take another step, Destiny’s voice rang out across the hanger. “Eternity! Wait!” The young woman was running across the hanger towards them and stopped in front of Rio.
“What is it, Destiny?” Rio asked.
Rather than answering her with words, Destiny just hugged her. “Be careful, Eternity, I want you to come back in one piece.”
Rio was touched by Destiny’s kindness. Letting go of Rio and walking over to stand in front of Captain Scarlet, Destiny pointed a finger at him and said “I want you to look after Eternity, she’s one of my best pilots and I don’t want her to come to any harm. Otherwise, indestructible or not, you’ll have me to answer to!”
Captain Scarlet cracked a smile and nodded. “I’ll take good care of her, Destiny.”
Rio didn’t feel much like talking and allowed Scarlet to continue speaking as they climbed onboard. He told her that the Maximum Security Vehicle that was onboard would be used to take Rio, the World President, Captain Blue and himself to Canada once they landed at their destination. Another MSV would be waiting at the rendezvous point to collect the rest of her family to take them to another safe house that had just been built in Ohio.
It all seemed so surreal, like some horrible dream. Rio couldn’t stand the thought that her best friend, Captain Black, was under Mysteron control and now was intent on harming her. Walking into the Albertross passenger hanger, Rio encountered her father for the first time. He was tall, greying man who defiantly had that air of authority about him. He had broken off his conversation with Captain Blue and was watching her intently, which made Rio feel nervous.
All of the stories her mother had told her about her father came flooding back to Rio’s mind. It seemed so strange to Rio, for as long as she could remember she had always wanted to meet her father, but hadn’t done so due to the fact that her mother had always warned her not to. Her mother had told her that they had gotten divorced before Rio had been born and he hadn’t had any contact with them ever since. The danger involved with his job had been the main reason behind their split. He knew that, if his political career ever went any further, it could become more dangerous for him. With so many cranks in the world, what would stop them from harming his family too?
As much as he cared about them, president Younger hadn’t wanted his family being put in unnecessary danger. After the split her mother had immigrated to England and, six months later, brought Rio into the world. That had been thirty years ago and Rio guessed that this was the first time the World President had seen her.
“I don’t believe we’ve had the pleasure of meeting before, although there’s no doubting who you are of course,” president Younger said. He reached out a hand, which Rio promptly shook, although she didn’t really mean it. “You look very much like your mother. How is she these days?”
Rio swallowed hard, trying not to let the tears overwhelm her again, and dropped her hand from his grip. It was only three years her mother had died and Rio still hadn’t properly gotten over her death. Part of her wanted to shout at him for being so insensitive but, at the same time, she knew that due to the non existent contact between them since their divorce he probably didn’t know she had been ill in the first place, let alone died of breast cancer.
“She died three years ago.....cancer,” Rio finally managed to force out.
President Younger seemed to grope for words. “I....I’m sorry to hear that....I had no idea.”
“I don’t expect you would have.......” Rio’s voice trailed off.
Rio’s sisters, Paris and Phoenix, looked at each other. They obviously wanted to say something but thought better of it. Rio glared over at her sisters, how could they have not told him, they had been in the Albatross with him longer than she had, they could have at least had the decency to tell him. Not wanting to cause an argument in front of her sisters’ children, Rio chose to keep her emotional state to herself and sat down in the nearest vacant seat, and remained silent.
After the detour to Ohio, it was late by the time they reached Canada. It was cold and a thick layer of snow had settled, hiding everything in a glittering sheet of white. Stepping out into the moonlight, the occupants of the MSV shivered. Rio and President Younger hadn’t spoken for the entire journey. To Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue, it almost seemed like Rio had taken her father’s comments over her mother very personally. The news had come as a shock to them too, as neither of the two men had known her mother had succumb to cancer. The reasons behind why Rio had never spoken about her family were all beginning to finally make sense.
Captain Blue radioed through to Skybase to let them know that they had arrived safely at the hideout and, with that transmission, the MSV began to slowly sink under the ground. Once the trap door pulled itself back over the top of the vehicle, it looked exactly as it had done, like nothing had ever happened or existed there.
So much had happened that Rio didn’t think it was possible for it to have happened all in the space of one day. She shivered and pulled her coat closer around herself, trying to keep the cold out as her mind worked on overtime. It didn’t help that she only had her Angel uniform on under the coat, making everything seem a lot colder than it probably was. At any other time she would have loved being out in the snow under a clear moonlit sky, but she was tired due to the changing time zones and Rio didn’t much feel like star gazing. It was only just becoming nighttime in Canada
“I think we should be getting inside, sir,” Captain Blue said to the president.
Rio noticed somebody place their hand on her arm. Rio looked away from the starry sky and took comfort in realizing it belonged to Captain Scarlet. Knowing he was around made her feel a little safer. “Come on, we’d better get inside. It’s cold out here,” he whispered.
The group made their way towards the log cabin, fighting their way through the thick snow. The cabin sat near the edge of a mountainous cliff by a pine forest. From the outside it looked like any other cabin, just an innocent looking building sat in the snow. Scarlet looked over at Rio but she wasn’t looking at him anymore. She was looking down at the ground, not paying attention to the fact that he was looking at her. Captain Scarlet wasn’t the only one who had noticed that Rio had withdrawn into herself, Captain Blue glanced over his shoulder at Rio then at Captain Scarlet. They entered the cabin in silence. Moving a secret panel on the wall on the right hand side of the door, Captain Blue entered a code into the keypad. On the other side of the room a bookcase moved to one side, revealing a secret lift.
The lift took them down half a mile underground to the secure secret hideout. As she stepped out of the lift, the Angel pilot thought the open plan lounge and kitchen looked like it went on forever. The room was decorated in deep reds and dark browns and had wooden floors. There was a a soft faux leather sofa, matching armchairs, a beautiful log fire that Rio could definitely get use to, accompanied by a harthrug. The kitchen gleamed.
“There’s also six bedrooms over in that direction, all en suite,” Captain Blue said, nodding towards the door on the left, as if he had read Rio’s mind. “And through door number two,” he continued, walking towards a door on the right, “there is a multi gym and a library. The library also is fully equipped with various communication equipment. You don’t have to worry about the Mysterons picking up on the radio frequencies, our Spectrum engineers made sure the equipment has been properly coded.”
“At least I can keep things running whilst I’m not in the office,” president Younger added with a slight smile.
Without so much as a word, Rio split away from the three men and headed off in the direction of the bedrooms. Everything felt so crazy, how could so much have happened in one day? All Rio had wanted to do when she returned to Skybase was to have had a hot bath and spend the rest of the day with her feet up. But that hadn’t happened. Instead she was hiding from a dangerous enemy that had control over matter itself. This was the one thing that scared her, knowing that a faceless enemy that could take the disguise of anything or anyone was after not only herself, but her entire family. Rio wasn’t use to such personal threats. Part of her wanted to hide in her room forever, not wanting to face what was going on or face her father. The father she had never known or met in thirty years. Rio couldn’t figure out which one she was most afraid of, the Mysterons or president Younger.
Rio heard a gentle knock on the door and it creaked open behind her. Captain Scarlet’s head appeared around the door. “You okay?” He asked gently.
“What do you think?” Rio said, as she threw down her suitcase in a fit of frustration and sat down on the end of the bed.
Captain Scarlet let out a bearably audible sigh. “I wish there was something I could do to change all of this. With everything else that’s happened, you don’t deserve any of this.”
“Nobody has deserved what the Mysterons have done to them. All of those people the Mysterons have harmed or killed for their own ends....it isn’t right!”
Letting himself in, Captain Scarlet closed the door behind him and sat down with her. “If the Mysterons want to hurt you, they’ll have to go through me first. I won’t let them harm you all the time I have breath left in my body.”
Rio didn’t need to ask if he meant that, she knew him too well to ever doubt his word. Rio knew she could trust him. Feeling herself getting emotional all over again, Rio stood up and took a few steps across the room. Captain Scarlet stood too and turned Rio around to face him. The warmth of his embrace made Rio feel reassured as she rested her head against his chest, letting the tears trickle down her cheeks yet again. Eventually he released her from his hold, held her at arm’s length and smiled sympathetically.
“Why don’t you join us for something to eat? Adam’s cooking!”
Rio couldn’t help but smile at the thought. Captain Blue was the most unlikely candidate when it came to such things, especially when he had insisted for months that he couldn’t cook. Drying her eyes, Rio nodded, “okay, can’t wait to see this.”
The wintery conditions hadn’t hindered Captain Black in the slightest. Now that he was this close to the two prime targets of the Mysteron threat, he wasn’t about to let a little thing like snow get in his way. He had abandoned his car from the outset and had made most of the journey to the Spectrum maximum security hideout on foot.
Rio couldn’t eat another thing. If nothing else, Captain Blue was a good cook when he put his mind to it. She refilled her glass with more of the non alcoholic white wine and looked across the table at the American, making a mental note for herself to let the other Angels know about Captain Blue’s secret talent.
“So, captain,” president Younger said, looking over at Captain Scarlet, “have you ever thought about settling down after your career comes to an end?” This was the current subject of conversation for the dinner table, instigated by Rio, who had been curious about some of her mother’s life before her time in England.
Captain Scarlet seemed to hesitate before he answered. “Well, there is a woman I care about.....but I’m not sure if she feels the same about me.” He glanced in Rio’s direction as he said it.
“I’m sure she’ll realize soon enough, given time,” Rio commented, meeting his gaze, feeling her heart racing.
She couldn’t help but feel he was talking about her. Why else had he looked at her in that way when he had said it. But wasn’t he in some sort of relationship with Destiny? At least, that’s what she had heard from the other Angels when she had come back to Skybase. The last thing she wanted was to get tangled up in a messy love triangle.
President Younger leaned back in his chair and looked at his watch. Tiredness was getting the better of him so he excused himself and retreated to him room. The remaining three Spectrum agents agreed that maybe it was a good idea to follow suit and get some sleep. Rio wasn’t fully convinced she would be able to though. Leaving the men to worry about the washing up, Rio disappeared to her room. She had been awake for nearly twenty three hours, thanks to the changing time zones, and it was beginning to get to her. Rio collapsed on to her bed, fully clothed, and kicked off her boots. Getting changed into her night dress seemed far too much of an effort. Closing her eyes, Rio’s body finally gave into the fatigue and she fell into a restless sleep.
Having given up trying to sleep, Captain Scarlet was sat on the faux leather sofa, watching the flames of the log fire burning low in the grate. Apart from the low glow from the fire, there were no other lights on in the room. He was on his own with only his thoughts for company, as Captain Blue was above ground keeping watch and, Scarlet assumed, both Rio and the president would be asleep by now.
Sitting back in the sofa, Scarlet drained his coffee mug, and went back to his brooding. He really didn’t want to be there. Not that he didn’t want to be protecting the president, far from it, he just hated the idea that Rio was in such terrible danger. He was going to stick to the promise he made to Rio earlier that evening. The Mysterons would have to kill him first if they wanted to take Rio’s life.
Hearing footsteps behind him made Scarlet leap to his feet and very nearly made him draw his gun. His sudden movement made Rio leap back, startled, and she looked like she was about to land a punch on him.
“Hey it’s only me. Geez aren’t you the jumpy one!” She joked once she’d recovered from the surprise.
Feeling foolish, Scarlet looked at her slightly sheepish. “I’m sorry, you just startled me.” He sat back down.
“Don’t mind if I join you, do you?” Rio asked, walking around the sofa. “I couldn’t get back to sleep and I was getting fed up with looking at the ceiling.”
Scarlet shook his head to indicate that he didn’t mind. “Sure, I could do with some company. Good to know I’m not the only one with insomnia tonight.”
Rio sat down and curled her legs up onto the sofa. There was a moment of quiet before Rio asked, “so.....how’s things with you and Destiny? I’ve been hearing whispers from the other Angels.”
Scarlet smiled good naturally. “No....it kind of fizzled when we realized that, maybe, we just weren’t meant to be. It became obvious that our hearts belong elsewhere.”
Rio seemed to ponder something before she spoke again. “In that case.....What you said earlier, about the woman you care about. Were you talking about me?”
Scarlet continued to watch the flames in the fireplace, not wanting to make eye contact. “I’m not sure if now is the time to talk about this. My priority is to protect you and the president. How I feel about anyone isn’t important.”
“Is that a yes or a no?”
“Neither. Lets wait until this is all over.”
It was obvious that he didn’t really feel like talking about it. Rio decided to take the hint and ended her persistence in the conversation. She, too, began to watch the flames. There was something comforting about them, as the flames danced around the glowing logs, bathing everything in a golden light.
“You cared about him a lot, didn’t you,” Scarlet suddenly said, breaking their quiet contemplation.
Rio dragged her eyes away from the flames and looked at him. “Who?” She inquired, unsure of what he was talking about.
Rio lowered her eyes. “Yes, he was my friend, of course I cared about him.”
Scarlet shook his head. “No, I mean more than that. There were times when I couldn’t help but feel you wanted it to be more than friends.” He locked her gaze with his sky blue eyes.
Rio answered his meaningful look with a smile. “If I didn’t know any better, Paul, I’d say you were jealous.”
The realization of how stupid he was sounding dawned on him. But he wasn’t about to tell Rio that he felt strongly for her, that his heart felt empty when she wasn’t around. He also wasn’t going to admit to the fact that she had been the very reason that he and Destiny had become estranged emotionally. They had both realized that Scarlet’s heart really belong with Rio and that wasn’t going to change anytime soon. Now wasn’t the time to discuss it. Yes, maybe he was jealous. Jealous of how close Rio and Captain Black had become before his “death”.
“Yes, maybe I did care about Conrad, a lot. And yes, part of me wishes I could have been more than a friend, but Destiny is my friend too and I wouldn’t ever do anything that cruel. The Conrad I knew and loved is gone and I have to live with that now. I lost my chance, perhaps for good, and I can’t go back and change those decisions. I just hope that, with time, my heart heals.”
Admitting all of this was making it easier for Rio, easier for her to accept what was going on and how she was feeling. It was the first time she had admitted out loud to anyone that, just maybe, she had been in love with Captain Black. Rio saw that Scarlet was watching her with mild interest. Leaning forward, Rio gently kissed her protector and friend. Scarlet’s guard dropped for the briefest of seconds, forgetting for those few moments that he was locking lips with the World President’s youngest daughter. She moved away and gently brushing her hand across his cheek.
As she stood to leave, Rio added, “thank you for listening. I think I needed to get that out in the open.”
“Sweet dreams, Angel.” It was about all that Scarlet could manage. He was so startled by Rio’s goodnight kiss that he had nearly lost the power of speech. They held their gaze for a few moments longer, before Rio disappeared into her room.
It was a good ten minutes before Captain Scarlet regained his senses and remembered that he should have radioed through to Captain Blue by now to get an update on what was happening above ground. It would be his turn to keep watch soon and Scarlet wanted to know how things stood half a mile above their heads. But his radio signal gained no response. Scarlet tried again, to no avail. It wasn’t like Captain Blue to ignore him, not without good reason.
Taking the lift back up to the surface, Captain Scarlet stepped out into the cabin. “Adam! Where are you?”
It was clear to Scarlet that he wasn’t in the cabin any longer. This was completely out of character for Captain Blue, he would never disappear without warning. Captain Scarlet stepped out into the cold night air and glanced around the immediate area, hoping that maybe the American officer had only gone outside for some fresh air and had suffered some sort of radio failure. At that moment, Scarlet heard the feeble groan of a person in pain. Walking over to the nearby trees directly ahead of the cabin with his gun drawn, Captain Scarlet could make out a shape, it looked like a person. But in the darkness of the trees it was hard to tell from that distance. It wasn’t until he got close enough that he realized it was Captain Blue.
“Adam!” Scarlet said, kneeling down to roll him over and shaking him awake. “Adam! What happened?”
“Got jumped.......” Captain Blue struggled to force out.
Radioing through to Skybase, Scarlet said, “we have a problem, Captain Blue has been attacked by an unknown assailant.” The familiar wave of nausea hit him within seconds of him saying that. “It’s the Mysterons, they’re here...they’ve found us.”
Looking around the corner of the front of the cabin, Captain Black was pleased to see that his plan was working. Knowing that Scarlet couldn’t ever resist helping the fallen or generally playing the hero, Captain Black knew that he would be too occupied to worry about what the Mysteron agent was about to do next. Pulling his head back into the shadows of his hiding place behind the cabin, Captain Black’s eyes glowed green.
“Eternity Angel, can you hear me? I need to see you......to speak to you......please......help me...........”
Rio woke with a start. She was sure she had heard Captain Black’s voice calling to her through the darkness. But he couldn’t possibly be in her room. Had it just been a dream? The voice had seemed so unsure, scared even. She heard the voice again. This time more distinct, sounding more urgent and insistent. Rio couldn’t help but feel compelled to follow it, to help Captain Black. She couldn’t stop herself. Pulling on her boots, Rio took the lift to the surface.
“Eternity, please help me!”
Rio didn’t even notice the cold as she stepped out into the snow. She didn’t notice Captain Scarlet a few yards away with Captain Blue, neither did they see her as she disappeared around the building. Rio couldn’t fight this almost magnetic hold that the voice had over her. She had no control over her feet. Stopping at the back of the building, Rio stood looking at the thin patch of trees, beyond them was a cliff edge. Rio came to her senses and suddenly realized where she was. She shivered, feeling stupid and puzzled and unable to explain to herself what had just happened.
Captain Black grabbed the unsuspecting woman from behind, wrapping one arm tightly around her waist, pinning her arms against her sides, and clamping a hand over her mouth before Rio could scream. Rio tried desperately to struggle free.
“If you do as you’re told, you may just live to talk about it,” Captain Black’s cool husky voice whispered in her ear.
“Where the hell is she?! You were suppose to protect us, captain!” President Younger was so angry that he could hardly stop himself from laying into Captain Scarlet.
Scarlet had returned to the below ground with the now conscious Captain Blue, who was still nursing a sore head, and the three men had since discovered that Rio was missing when Scarlet had gone to check on her. The captain knew that he made a terrible error and Rio could now be in danger. But he couldn’t abandon his colleague either, Captain Blue had also needed his help.
The lift whirred into action and a few seconds later, they were joined by four Spectrum security officers, who had been stationed nearby at check points should Captain Scarlet and Blue had needed any assistance.
“Eternity Angel has gone missing. We need to search the immediate area,” Captain Scarlet told the four officers. I just hope she’s safe and hasn’t gotten too far, he thought to himself, remembering the promise he had made to her.
Leaving two of the men behind to protect the president, Scarlet, Blue and the remaining two officers went above ground. The search seemed to take forever and turned up nothing. Captain Scarlet could feel himself become more frantic, surely Rio couldn’t have gotten that far. But then again, nobody could be sure how long she had been gone before they had noticed she was missing.
A gun shot ran out from the nearby cliff top trees, killing the security officer that was with him. Spinning on his heels, Scarlet ran towards the trees from where the bullet had come from, his Mysteron sixth sense screaming in his head. Captain Black was through those trees and no doubt he would have Rio. Why else would he be hanging around, apart from wanting to get the president?
The branches seemed so stubborn and made his progress difficult. The cliff top seemed deserted when he got there, maybe his nemesis was still hiding out the forests? Captain Scarlet had no time to ponder on the thought or turn back as he was confronted with the sight he hoped he wouldn’t have to deal with.
“Captain Scarlet, so nice of you to finally join us.” The shadowy shape emerged from the trees. It was Captain Black and he had Rio with him, a gun pointed directly under her chin. He still had an arm tightly clamped around her waist. Scarlet had never seen Rio looking so terrified.
Captain Scarlet took a step forward but Captain Black pushed the gun into the woman’s chin for emphasis. “Take one more step, and she dies.” With an evil grin he added, “and I wouldn’t want to damage such a beautiful face.” He ran the barrel of the weapon across Rio’s cheek.
“What do you want?” Captain Scarlet asked, but he knew this was probably a stupid question.
“The World President. Bring him here, now!”
“No! Paul, don’t!” Rio cried. “Don’t do it, I’d rather die than let the Mysterons kill my father.”
“Rio?” Scarlet asked uncertainly.
“You know the score. We’re Spectrum agents, we knew when we accepted this job that this could happen to one of us one day.” Rio’s eyes were filled with a determination that Scarlet had never seen before. She meant every word of what she had said, Rio would rather she sacrificed her own life if it meant that the president would be safe.
“Wise words,” Captain Black’s voice added from behind her, “shame they won’t save you.”
“Yes they will, captain, let her go.” Captain Black snapped his head around and saw that the new voice belong to the one target he truly wanted. The World President. “I asked you to let my daughter go. You have what you want.”
Rio felt the arm holding her prisoner loosen up from around her waist and push her away towards Captain Scarlet. Scarlet caught her before she tumbled over the edge of the cliff. The winds were whipping up around them, the cold tearing through them. Rio clung to Captain Scarlet, watching helplessly as Captain Black held her father at gunpoint. It all felt so wrong, her conscious was gnawing away at her. Suddenly, completely on impulse, she ran forward and turned herself into a barrier between herself and the president, pushing her father out of harm’s way as several gun shots rang out. All Rio felt was intense pain as the bullets torn through her body. She was sure she heard a voice cry out “no!” as her vision blurred and she crumpled to the ground. What she didn’t see was that her father had been dragged to safety by Captain Blue.
Captain Scarlet felt numb, unable to move. It had all happened so quickly. He stood where he was, looking at Rio’s lifeless body lying in the snow. He looked at Captain Black and for the briefest of seconds, he was sure he saw a flicker of regret cross his face. It passed so quickly that he couldn’t be sure. The red mist then descended over him and Scarlet went after Captain Black, as he disappeared into the shadows of the trees. So angered was he by Captain Black’s assault on Rio that Scarlet wanted make him suffer. But it didn’t look like Captain Scarlet was going to get his wish, as it seemed that Black had disappeared.
He stood there in the darkness of the trees for a moment and suddenly it hit him; Rio was still lying where she had fallen. Was she still alive? Scarlet turned on his heels and ran back to the clearing, falling to his knees at Rio’s side.
“Rio?” He asked gently, cupping her face in his hands. “Rio...please talk to me. Please be alive.” He looked for a pulse. Her Angel uniform was now the same colour as his tunic, as was the snow where she had been lying.
Rio suddenly took a huge breath and opened her eyes. “Paul,” she whispered.
“Rio, you’re alive.” Captain Scarlet lifted her up into his arms with great tenderness and held her close, holding her gaze, “stay alive, Angel, just stay alive. We’ll get you back to Skybase, doctor Gold will help you.”
Rio shook her head, fighting against the pain. “No, Paul, he can’t. I--I won’t make it that far.”
“But you have to. I won’t let you die.”
The dying Angel placed her hand on his face, “let me go. I’ve lost too much blood....I’ll die before we get there.” Her hand lowered and she closed her eyes.
“Stay awake!” Scarlet begged, shaking her gently.
He could feel her breathing getting shallow, her pulse getting weaker by each passing second. She was becoming cold but he couldn’t be sure if it was the cold weather or her blood lose that was causing it. Like it or not, she was going to die there in his arms, but he just couldn’t accept it. Rio forced herself to open her eyes once more.
“You’re a good man, Paul. You’ve been a great friend to me...I want you to know that.” Pulling him closer with her remaining strength, Rio gently kissed him one last time in way of a good-bye.
Scarlet hoped desperately that it wouldn’t end but her lips began to move away. Her eyes lost their focus and, after taking her last breath, Rio’s life slipped away. Scarlet was sure his heart was about to break, as he held Rio tightly in his arms, resting his face against her own.
“I’m sorry, dear Angel, please forgive me,” he whispered, regretting that it had been Rio who had been shot and not himself. “I failed you.”
It was a cold, dark day when Rio’s funeral took place, reflecting the mood of her Spectrum colleagues. On the wishes of her sisters, her body was to buried next to her mother in Kingston cemetery in her home city of Portsmouth. Acting as paul bearers Captain Scarlet, Blue, Magenta and Grey carried her coffin across the cemetery towards the plot where she would be laid to rest. The Angels, Lieutenant Green and Captain Ochre followed behind, unashamed of the tears that they shed for her. Even Colonel White was unusually quiet and somber.
President Younger himself had also attended the funeral, wanting to say good-bye to the daughter he hadn’t had the chance to know until recently. He placed a single white rose on her coffin lid as it was gently lowered into the ground.
Captain Scarlet stayed at the grave as the others filtered away. Captain Blue stopped and looked over his shoulder, noticing his friend hadn’t left with them. His shoulders relaxed with a certain understanding.
“You guys go on, I’ll catch up,” Blue said to the rest of the group and walked back to join his friend.
Without so much as looking at Captain Blue, Scarlet whispered, “I broke my promise, I failed her.”
“Don’t talk stupid, Paul, you didn’t fail,” Captain Blue said. “Rio chose to give her life for the president, you couldn’t know what she would do or stop her from doing so.”
Turning his head, Scarlet added, “it should have been me taking those bullets, not her. It was my job to protect her but now she’s dead. It wasn’t meant to be this way.”
The following week.......
A sadness had settled over Skybase every since Rio had been lost to the Mysteron threat. There was a strange emptiness in the Amber Room, despite the presence of the five remaining Angel pilots. As a result of Rio’s death, Colonel White had decided to go ahead with his plan of starting to train more pilots as replacements should anything happen to the existing Angels.
Rhapsody stepped into the room and looking directly to the spot where Rio had usually sat. But the couch directly in front of the Amber Room’s door was empty. Rhapsody couldn’t get use to that. Rio had always liked sitting there when she was on duty, as she was able to greet her fellow Angels whenever they came in. Harmony, Melody and Symphony had been given a few days of off duty compassionate leave, on the condition they get straight back to the Amber Room should there be an emergency. Unaware of the fact that Destiny was already in the Amber room, Rhapsody was startled when she suddenly appeared at her side on the way out of the room. They silently looked at each other and Destiny went into the corridor.
Captain Scarlet stood by the huge windows of the Promenade Deck, resting his hand on the frame and staring out in the clear blue sky. If this was what grief felt like, he didn’t like it. He looked down at the photo of Rio in his left hand. Rio had given it to him the day she had left for her journey to the Federal Agents Bureau, so that he could remember her when she was away. On that day he hadn’t had any idea that picture would end up meaning so much to him.
The Promenade Deck had become his new favourite place over the past few days. It seemed like the only place on Skybase where he was able to have time to himself, to deal with his emotions on his own in peace. He felt so empty and lost without Rio, it almost felt like his soul had left him. Resting his forehead against the glass, Scarlet closed his eyes, wishing the ache in his heart would stop.
Everybody had noticed Captain Scarlet’s change of mood. While they all knew that people often changed during such a stressful time, Scarlet seemed more grief stricken than most. Worried for his friend’s mental stability, Captain Blue took his concerns to doctor Gold. Walking into sick bay, he was grateful to see that doctor Gold was in his officer alone. He really didn’t want to discuss this in front of anyone else. He had made sure that he got there before Melody was due for her medical and, thankfully, she hadn’t got there early.
Doctor Gold looked up from his computer console and smiled. “Ah, captain, I believe you wanted to speak with me.”
The American nodded and sat down in the nearest vacant chair. Captain Blue got straight to the point. “I’m worried about Captain Scarlet. He hasn’t been completely all there for days.”
With a sympathetic smile, Gold said “Captain Scarlet has just lost somebody he cared about. You know as well as I do that he was very close to Eternity Angel. Maybe he’s just having a hard time accepting she’s gone.”
Captain Blue sighed. “I guess so.” They were all finding it difficult to get use to what had happened.
“Just give him some time. I know from experience that everybody has their own way of dealing with the death of a friend or a loved one. Captain Scarlet will need his friends around him. Make sure you’re there for him when he needs that friend.”
Their conversation was cut short by the entrance of Melody Angel, who had arrived for her quarterly medical examination. The looks on their faces told her that she had interrupted something. She grinned sheepishly as she backed out of the office.
As Captain Blue went to leave, doctor Gold caught his arm and added, “unfortunately, captain, there’s no cure for a broken heart. Let Captain Scarlet make the first move when he’s ready to talk.”
Note from the author:
I just thought I’d better add this to say a quick thank you to Ladyhawke, who I met through the ‘Spectrum Headquarters’ fan fiction web site. She helped me come up with the original concept for this story and for Rio Younger (Eternity Angel). We came up with these ideas way back in 2001 but I have only recently had the chance to sit down and work on them. This story was going to be set during the 1967 series but, when the recent CGI series was released, I decided that my ideas would be better suited to the new series. The web site for the new Captain Scarlet series can be found at:
I do have a slightly bias reason behind why I included Portsmouth in my story and bias reasons behind the inclusion of Gunwarf Quays and why Rio Younger hails from Portsmouth. I’m a Portsmouth girl myself and I use to work in Gunwarf Quays in a shop called “Bookends”.
Anyone wanting to know more about “Gunwarf Quays” should check out the following web site:
Any comments? Send an E-MAIL to the SPECTRUM HEADQUARTERS site.