Captain Scarlet, Spectrum’s star agent, is feared dead after a fiery air to air collision with an aircraft under the control of the Mysterons.
The drama unfolded late yesterday evening as Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue were returning from an International Conference in Geneva. As they reached cruising altitude and reported to Cloudbase, their Spectrum Passenger Jet was buffeted by the shock-wave of another aircraft passing at high speed.
Captain Blue attempted to radio the other craft, but picked up nothing but static on the radio. It didn’t take long for Lieutenant Green to report that the mysterious aircraft was the Avenger 7, a World Air Force bomber that had been stolen from Matthews Field Air Base less than thirty minutes earlier. The crew of the aircraft had been found dead moments after it launched, despite the fact they had been seen boarding it.
Evidently the Avenger 7 was in the hands of the Mysterons and they hadn’t seized control of it to go on a joyride.
Captain Scarlet scanned their flight path and determined that the most likely target was the newly constructed Grant-Morgan Nuclear Plant on the east coast of England, and they would reach it in less than ten minutes at their present speed. Captain Blue engaged the SPJ’s boosters and the agile jet surged forward, trailing their Mysteron target through the darkening sky.
When they were in range, Scarlet tried a firing a missile, but the Avenger 7 released a spread of flares at the last moment and the missile exploded well clear of the target. Scarlet tried again, but once more the flares blazed from the enemy aircraft and the SPJ’s missile exploded harmlessly in empty sky.
The SPJ shook as it took a direct hit from the Avenger’s rear-mounted cannon. Scarlet stabbed at the fire control once more, but to no avail. The missile launcher had been put out of action by the Avenger’s explosive charge. Dismayed, he ordered Captain Blue to close the distance between the craft so that he could try an air-to-air transfer.
Knowing his friend wasn’t one to make such suggestions lightly, Blue complied, but every time he got the SPJ close enough for Scarlet to fire a line, the enemy pulled away.
There were only mere minutes left until the Avenger would be in range of the Nuclear Plant and the Spectrum team were rapidly running out of viable options.
As the Mysteronised craft began to dive, Scarlet knew that he didn’t have a choice. With a brisk farewell to his friend, Scarlet pulled the pilot ejection lever and Captain Blue was blasted clear of the SPJ. Scarlet looked through the view port and saw the parachute deploy far below, carrying Blue to safety.
Then, with his jaw set in grim determination, he pushed the yoke forward and followed the Avenger’s steep dive. The two aircraft passed through the cloud layer only seconds apart and there in the distance, shimmering in the fading light of the evening, was the Grant-Morgan complex. Any second the deadly missiles would be streaking from the Mysteron plane and the whole area would be vaporized in an atomic blast.
The terrible image flashed across Scarlet’s mind as he rammed the throttle control to maximum. The SPJ lurched forward, speeding furiously towards the Avenger.
Scarlet saw the missile doors opening on the enemy craft just a split second before the nose of the SPJ slammed into it, plunging through one of the wings and sending the Avenger corkscrewing crazily towards the ground.
Scarlet was only dimly aware of the explosion in open countryside, and the knowledge that the disaster had been averted, because he was fighting for control of his own craft. The SPJ bucked and spun out of control, damaged beyond repair.
The ground loomed in the view port ahead and Scarlet pulled on the ejection lever. But the escape circuitry was dead and the ejection seat didn’t fire. The SPJ hit the ground still travelling over 400 miles per hour and exploded in a spectacular fireball.
The latest reports indicate that Spectrum recovery personnel are on the scene, but it seems impossible that anyone could survive such a crash…