“A Mysteron? Are you certain?” Blue asked tensely, drawing his pistol and scanning the charred rubble around them.
Scarlet nodded, wiping a hand across his sweating brow and readying his own sidearm, “I’m sure of it, they must be near.”
The two Spectrum Captains stood back to back in a classic defensive position, their eyes alert for any sign of movement.
“It can’t be a member of the investigation team,” Blue whispered as he indicated the distant forms of the police officers at the perimeter corden, “They’re too far away.”
“Agreed,” Scarlet replied, steadying himself, “But then where-?”
Before either man could react, a towering figure burst from a pile of debris beside them and hurled them to the ground. Scarlet’s head struck a broken piece of masonry with a sickening crack and he let out a gasp of pain.
The assailant tumbled over Captain Blue, then spun around to press the attack. Blue was already staggering to his feet. His hand went to his holster, but his gun had been knocked away in the surprise attack. Instead, he placed his feet in the stance of a Judo expert and brought up his hands ready to defend himself.
The attacker lunged again, his huge hands groping for a hold on Blue’s neck, but Captain Blue grasped the man’s right hand and twisted his body so that the man flew over his shoulder and landed hard.
Any normal person would have been badly winded by the fall, but the man didn’t even seem to be phased. He got to his feet almost instantly and then, sighting something in the surrounding debris, snatched up a length of metal rebar.
Blue took a step back, manoeuvring into an area where he had more room to avoid the oncoming attack. The other man advanced menacingly and swung the heavy metal bar at the Spectrum Captain’s head.
Blue dived to the ground in a forward roll and kicked out at the back of the man’s knee. There was a small grunt of pain, but then the metal bar was swinging down again and it caught Blue a glancing blow along his leg.
He cried out in pain and managed to jacknife out of the way of another heavy blow. There seemed to be nothing that could stop the attacker. He raised the weapon again.
Suddenly, with a cry of defiance, Captain Scarlet launched himself from behind the scorched remains of a wall and tackled the man around his muscular neck.
The piece of rebar clanged to the ground as Scarlet grappled with his opponent. He could scarcely believe the man’s strength. It certainly wasn’t what anyone could describe as human.
Then, sensing that Scarlet wasn’t giving up, the man fell backwards, pinning Scarlet to the ground with his huge frame. His hand reached out and found a jagged piece of glass on the ground.
Quickly, he spun around and held Scarlet’s struggling body with one hand, while brandishing the shard of glass with the other.
A shot rang out.
The man stiffened slightly in surprise and Scarlet used the moment of confusion to struggle free and get clear.
He looked in the direction from which the shot had come and saw Captain Blue propped up against the remains of a street lamp. Smoke was curling from the barrel of the pistol in his hand.
The two Spectrum agents looked down into the eyes of the man on the ground.
His breathing was laboured, but his tone was defiant as he spoke, “You will never defeat us, Earthmen. We will continue to strike when and where you least expect it.”
With that, the man’s eyes closed and his body became still.
After a few moments, Captain Blue spoke, “Was this whole thing just a trap to get us both here and try to kill us?”
Scarlet looked over the scene of devastation before he replied, “It’s possible, Adam. But something tells me this was just the tip of the iceberg.”