Spectrum were initially left baffled by a security breach in which a Mysteron agent escaped after stealing a rare and highly valuable coin.
The incident happened late yesterday evening when an armoured truck arrived at the Tower of London to deliver a collection of coins, jewels and antiques for an upcoming exhibition.
A security cordon was in position around the perimeter of the tower and all personnel were being checked in and out of the area. The unloading was almost complete when a man dressed in black threw several projectiles emitting smoke at the personnel surrounding the loading bay.
In the confusion, the intruder was able to evade the security team and reach the armoured truck, from which he extracted a single coin and made a daring escape before he could be captured.
CCTV footage captured several images of the suspect and these were quickly run through the latest image processing computer-banks in order to enhance the pictures. When the process had been completed, an alert was triggered automatically and a call was put through to Spectrum.
The suspect in question appeared to be Captain Black, a known agent of the Mysterons from Mars and the investigation was quickly turned over to Spectrum personnel.
Colonel White commented, “While it may seem baffling that a highly trained enemy agent would steal a coin in an apparently random act of theft, you can be sure there will be a reason and careful planning behind it.”
The Colonel assigned Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue to the case, but the pair found very little to go on initially.
Then, after several hours of fruitless investigating, the voice of the Mysterons uttered a chilling warning over Spectrum wavelengths.
“This is the voice of the Mysterons. We know that you can hear us, Earthmen. Your warlike ways will be repaid three times over. We have not forgotten.”
“Warlike ways?” pondered Scarlet, “They still think of us as the aggressors.”
Blue frowned, “And they intend to continue repaying us for our mistake. Yet they’re the ones who are still killing, destroying and now stealing from us.”
“Yes. That coin,” Scarlet said, “What could it mean?”
Then Scarlet straightened suddenly, “Just a minute! Adam, that coin! What kind was it?”
“According to the inventory, it was a 1937 Edward VIII Brass Threepence.” he met Scarlet’s eyes, “A threepence – repaid three times over!”
“That can’t be a coincidence, Adam. Let’s get onto Cloudbase and see if they can turn up any other leads!”
Quickly the two agents contacted Spectrum’s floating headquarters, where Lieutenant Green ran the details through the Spectrum Information Centre computer. He relayed the findings to Scarlet and Blue.
“According to the computer, there’s a prototype atomic-powered World Army transport airship being constructed at Wilkin Aerospace Incorporated. It is to be named King Edward VIII.”
Scarlet’s fist crashed down on the dashboard of the SPC, “That’s it! If something went wrong with the atomic reactor, it’d be catastrophic! Come on, Captain Blue – let’s go!”
The patrol car shot off like a bolt of red lightning and was soon winding its way closer to Wilkin Aerospace Incorporated.
Blue raised his voice over the howl of the engine, “The area is being evacuated, but there will be a big area to search. We don’t know exactly when the Mysterons intend to strike or how much time we have.”
“We’ll just have to do our best to cover the area as quickly as possible.”
The SPC raced through the perimeter checkpoint and blazed across the flat apron of the huge construction complex to the hangar where the airship was being assembled. The car came to a halt with a squeal of tortured tyres.
“I’ll take the starboard side, you take port. We’ll meet in the centre.” Scarlet said, making for the nearest access gantry.
“S.I.G!” Blue called back and ran for the gantry on the far side.
The steel catwalk rattled as Scarlet’s pounding feet raced along it before he halted and entered an access hatch to the craft itself.
Recognising the ring-shaped assemblies from a similar room on Cloudbase, he knew he was in the ship’s gravity compensation suite. There didn’t appear to be anyone around.
Cautiously, he made his way between the rows of silver rings and reached the door leading to the next section.
Meanwhile, Captain Blue was making his way through the bowels of the craft on the lower port side. The hatch in front of him slid open and he found himself in the control room for the main reactor.
He stepped up to the observation window, looking into the reactor room itself. Everything appeared to be normal.
Then a movement caught his eye. For a split second he thought he saw a figure in black moving in the shadows near the reactor, but then the figure was gone.
“Come in, Captain Scarlet! I’m in the reactor control room. I think Captain Black may have been here!”
Within moments, Scarlet ran into the room, his pistol at the ready.
“Any sign of him?” Scarlet asked.
“None, but I’m sure he was in there.”
“Right, I’m going in – alone.”
“It might be a trap.”
“All the more reason for you to keep watch here, Adam.”
With that, Scarlet went through the doorway and began inspecting the reactor.
Blue spoke through his cap-radio, “See anything?”
“Yes. It looks as though he’s been meddling with one of the reaction control actuators. There’s something here. If I can just… Aha!”
Scarlet emerged from the reactor room and held out his hand. Blue stared down at the shiny bronze threepence piece.
“You mean that he…?”
“Yes, he’d placed it in such a way as to jam one of the actuators. If it had remained undetected before this airship took off it might have been disastrous.”
“You can say that again! Well it looks like the Mysterons have failed this time. Let’s get back to Cloudbase.”
“We need to make a detour on the way, Adam. I suspect the Tower of London will want their coin back!”