Dateline: Friday – November 30th, 2068
The Mysterons had failed – Spectrum had stopped the attack on Ben One, the World Navy’s Coastal Training Base.
Bruised, but undefeated, Captain Black beat a hasty retreat, breaking out through the base’s perimeter in a stolen staff car.
A Spectrum Saloon tore after him with Captain Scarlet and Captain Grey inside.
“Scarlet calling Captain Blue – Captain Black is less than a mile ahead. See if you can stop him before he reaches the bridge to the mainland.”
“SIG, Captain Scarlet!” Blue’s voice came back through the radio.
As the two vehicles sped along the road beside the sea, Scarlet and Grey saw a Spectrum helicopter appear over the crest of a tall sand-dune on the opposite side of the road.
“Here he comes!” Grey said, “He’s got a clear shot. Black has nowhere to hide!”
Seconds later there was the deep booming of the helicopter’s machine-cannon and the road ahead of the stolen car burst open as if it was a swarm of angry flies.
Black’s car swerved violently towards the dunes, caught one at an awkward angle and rapidly rolled onto its roof.
The Spectrum Saloon screeched to a halt behind it and in a flash Scarlet and Grey leapt out, their pistols at the ready.
But Captain Black was on the move too. Crawling from the crumpled car, he was quickly on his feet and running.
“He’s heading into the dunes. See if you can cut him off, Grey. I’ll get after him!”
“SIG!” Grey replied, and swiftly made his way up the sloping dune to their right.
Above the trio of colour-coded agents, the Spectrum helicopter hovered with rotors whirling. Sand was being kicked up by the downdraft.
“I’ve lost him!” Blue radioed to the others, “He’s gone to ground somewhere in one of those large patches of marram grass.
“Right, Captain Blue,” Scarlet responded, “Pull back and patrol the perimeter. With luck he’ll think he’s in the clear.”
Blue acknowledged and took the helicopter out and away towards the sea.
Scarlet spoke softly into his cap radio mic, “Did you get all that, Grey?”
“I got it. He’s got to be somewhere in the centre of that large patch over there. Let’s close in, nice and easy.”
“SIG, but be careful.”
The two Spectrum agents cautiously began to move into the valley in the centre of the mounds of sand, towards one patch carpeted by thick and spiky marram grass.
Scarlet’s eyes were keenly searching for an area darker than the rest, one that would indicate the presence of their hidden foe.
Minutes passed without incident until finally the two men stood barely ten feet apart.
Grey looked around, puzzled, “I don’t get it. Where is he? He couldn’t have slipped by us, Blue would have seen him.”
Scarlet was still looking intently at the surrounding grass, almost three feet high in some places.
“He’s here… somewhere,” he mused.
With the speed of a striking serpent, a figure erupted from the sand beside Grey.
Grey spun and fired, but a hand caught his arm in a vice-like grip and twisted the pistol away so that the shot went wide.
The two men grappled, trading vicious punches and kicks.
Scarlet leapt forward in a flying tackle and caught Black around his neck. They both fell to the sand, rolling over and over in a death struggle.
Gasping for breath, Grey scrabbled in the sand for his pistol. He found it and snatched it up.
“Enough!” he yelled hoarsely, firing a warning shot in the air.
The two figures on the ground stopped moving.
Black was on his back with his arm tightly coiled around Scarlet’s neck, effectively screened from Grey’s line of sight by Scarlet’s body.
“One move, Earthman, and Scarlet dies.” the zombie-like voice rasped at Grey.
Grey looked at Scarlet, reading the look on Scarlet’s face. Then Scarlet gave an almost imperceptible nod.
Grey aimed and fired.
The shot hit Scarlet in the shoulder and he gasped in pain.
Caught by surprise, Black released his grip on Scarlet, who fell away.
Grey fired twice more and the shots found their marks in the Mysteron agent’s chest. With a rattle of breath his head fell back onto the sand and he lay still.
Scarlet was struggling to sit up and Grey rushed over to him, “Are you alright?”
“I’ll live,” Scarlet said with a pained expression, “Good shooting.” He turned and looked at Captain Black’s body.
“Get Adam to pick us up. Let’s get Black’s body to Cloudbase.”
Hours later, Scarlet, Grey and Blue were seated in front of Colonel White in the Cloudbase control room.
Scarlet’s shoulder was covered in surgical tape, but his remarkable power of retrometabolism had already begun to work and the injury was well on its way to being healed.
“Gentlemen,” Colonel White said, “I’d like to thank you once again for your efforts in foiling the Mysteron attack on Ben One. But the apprehension of Captain Black is an unexpected bonus. As you know, like Captain Scarlet, Captain Black is indestructible. I have posted double guards on the sickbay and Captain Ochre is stationed inside with Doctor Fawn at this very moment.”
“What about the airlocks to the flight deck and emergency escape hatches, Colonel?”
“Already taken care of, Captain Blue,” the Colonel replied, “Every precaution has been taken.”
A Fawn-coloured indicator light flashed urgently on White’s control desk.
“Yes, Doctor Fawn?”
“Colonel, he’s regaining consciousness.” Doctor Fawn replied on the intercom.
“Lieutenant Green, put the video feed from sickbay on the main screen.”
White spun his desk to face the oval wall screen, where an image of the Cloudbase sickbay was projected.
They could see Black stirring on the recovery table. He had been secured with restraints as an additional precaution.
“Doctor…Fawn?” Black said slowly.
“His voice!” Scarlet exclaimed, “It sounds normal!”
On the screen, Fawn spoke clearly and distinctly, “So, you know who I am, but who are you and where are you?”
Black looked around for a moment and then back at the Doctor.
“I’m Conrad Turner – Captain Black. This is the sickbay on Cloudbase.”
Then Black’s eyes suddenly went wide with realisation.
“And that’s not all,” he continued in awe, “I’m free of the Mysterons.”
TO BE CONTINUED…