Disclaimer: Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons and the characters therein belong to Gerry Anderson and other entities. I make no claim to it at all.
The photograph was lit by the setting sun. If one looked carefully, one could discern that it had been taken on a military base in a desert, although exactly where it was in the world was not apparent. Two men were framed in its center. One looked to be in his late thirties, the other just entering his. Both had dark hair, and wore jeans, t-shirts and leather jackets -- if they were military men, they were obviously off-duty. The older man was grinning widely, his cock-eyed sunglasses revealing one greyish brown eye that glittered with mischief and rare unguarded joy. He had his arm slung over the shoulders of the younger man, who was grinning weakly and looked positively green.
One might have guessed they were brothers.
"You've never been on a motorcycle?" Conrad Turner asked in disbelief, "it's the closest you'll ever get to flying on the ground, Paul. You can't be serious?"
"I'm afraid I am serious," Paul Metcalfe replied, getting slightly nervous at the amused and roguish gleam developing in his friend's eyes. He had the feeling he should start running away, "The opportunity just never presented itself."
It was an unpleasant and depressing task, but it had to be done. Captain Black was not going to be returning to Cloudbase any time in the foreseeable future. His quarters had to be cleaned out and his belonging put into storage. Colonel White decided that of the available members of Spectrum's senior staff only two would be appropriate to go through the belongings of the intensely private man that Conrad Turner had been; Colonel White himself, and Captain Scarlet. It was taking much longer than either had expected.
"...next thing I know, I'm holding on for dear life as we're tearing across the outback," Captain Scarlet chuckled, "all the time Conrad is shouting into the wind that I should really learn how to drive one of those contraptions...just in case!"
Colonel White shook his head, laughing. He watched Scarlet study the picture lingeringly, as if to burn its image into his memory, before he closed the album it was in and began to reach for some paper to wrap it in.
"I can't imagine that Conrad would mind if you kept that picture, Captain Scarlet," White said in a clipped tone that betrayed emotion, even as it was meant to sound emotionless.
Scarlet opened the album again and removed the photograph from its protective covering.
"Thank you, Sir."
He set the picture aside, and they resumed packing up Captain Black's belongings.
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