Home Fun Captain Scarlet: White’s Gamble – A Gerry Anderson A21 News Story

Captain Scarlet: White’s Gamble – A Gerry Anderson A21 News Story

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Continued From Previous Report

The wheels of the Spectrum Passenger Jet touched down on the runway at Site Q at 10-30 hours precisely.

The three Angel aircraft that had been escorting the SPJ wheeled gracefully in the bright morning sky and soared off to patrol the perimeter.

Captain Blue and Captain Black disembarked the craft and made their way to the nearby reception building where Captain Ochre was waiting to drive them out to the Javelin spacecraft, which was standing ready on the launchpad.

“Ready?” Ochre asked.

“As ready as we’re ever going to be,” Captain Blue replied.

“It’s quite a job they’ve given us, but I’m glad the Colonel asked me to be a part of it,” Captain Black added.

The transit to the base of the gantry didn’t take long and soon the two men were in the elevator heading towards the control deck.

The elevator came to a halt at the top of the gantry, where Captain Magenta was waiting to see them off.

“All systems look good. Launching will take place in T-Minus 81 minutes,” Magenta said, “Good luck!”

He gave the others a small wave and stepped into the elevator, descending to ground level while Blue and Black began pre-launch checks.

On Cloudbase, Colonel White listened as Ochre and Magenta reported in to confirm everything was proceeding according to plan.

“Thank you, Gentlemen,” he replied, “Now all we can do is wait and see what happens next.”

The last minutes until launch ticked by, the final checks were completed and then, at 12 noon exactly, the rockets of the Javelin flared into life and the huge spacecraft blasted off its launch pad and hurtled into the sky.

It climbed rapidly through the atmosphere until the bright blue sky outside the view-port became the familiar deep black of space.

“So far, so good,” Blue said cautiously.

“Yeah,” Black agreed, “If anything was going to go wrong, I would have expected it to be at launch.”

The mighty craft soared onward towards Mars. Slowly and with each passing hour, the glowing pinprick of red-orange light became larger and more defined.

At last they began their final approach towards Mars orbit.

“This is it,” Captain Blue said, “The Colonel’s final instructions are pre recorded on this.” He held up a small reel of magnetic tape, “The transmission delay between Mars and the Earth makes real-time communication impossible, so now we’ll find out exactly what to do next.”

Black nodded and took the tape from Blue, placing it onto the playback reel and pressing the play control.

Colonel White’s voice filled the control deck as the message played through the speakers, “This is Colonel White speaking. By now you will be making your final orbital approach to Mars. These are your instructions. You are to orbit the planet once and on the second orbit, fire all of the Javelin’s weapons at the Mysteron complex. The weapons are pre-programmed and will carry out their assigned task. Once the complex and the Mysterons have been destroyed, you will return to Earth. Good luck.”

The message spooled to an end.

“Well,” Blue said, “That’s that. Prepare to move into orbit.” He reached forward for the controls.

“Stay where you are, Earthman.” Captain Black’s voice was low and emotionless, devoid of its earlier human quality.

Blue turned his head sharply and looked at the other man. His face was gaunt and there was a terrible look of strain as though he was struggling to speak.

Black continued, “The Mysterons cannot be destroyed. Spectrum’s plan has failed. Your death will be the next step in our continuing vengeance. Once you are dead I will return to Earth and use this space vehicle’s weaponry to wreak further destruction!”

Black raised his Spectrum pistol and took aim at Captain Blue.

Captain Blue didn’t flinch. Instead he replied, “The Mysterons have made two bad mistakes, Captain Black. Firstly, this isn’t an attack craft. It’s a run-of-the-mill space freighter that has about as much firepower as a kid’s pop-gun.”

Black’s eyes widened a fraction, his finger tightened on the trigger.

“And secondly,” Blue continued, “The Mysterons ought to know by now that Spectrum doesn’t take chances!”

The shot was incredibly loud in the enclosed space of the control deck.

Black’s pistol flew out of his hand and crashed against the console. He grabbed his wrist, a look of pain on his face.

“Hold it, Captain Black!” Captain Scarlet warned as he stepped from the shadows at the rear of the room. A small trickle of smoke drifted from the muzzle of his own weapon.

“Scarlet!” Black spat contemptuously, “You were on board all the time. It was a trick.”

“Coming from you and your Mysteron friends, that’s more than a little ironic,” Scarlet replied coolly, “Are you alright, Captain Blue?”

“Just fine. Looks like the Colonel’s plan worked. He knew the Mysterons wouldn’t be able to resist showing their hand if they were right in the firing line. I guess Captain Black was never really free of them at all.”

“That’s true, isn’t it?” Scarlet said, gesturing at Black with his pistol.

The Mysteron agent said nothing.

“In any case,” Scarlet continued, “You’re coming back to Earth with us. We’ll be keeping a very close eye on you from now on.”

“I don’t think so, Earthman,” Black said as a triumphant smirk crossed his pale lips.

Suddenly, before Scarlet and Blue could make a move, Captain Black faded from their view as a bizarre, unearthly sound echoed around the control deck.

“He’s gone!” Captain Blue said in amazement.

“The Mysterons have taken him, but I doubt that’s the last we’ll see of Captain Black.”

Scarlet sat down in the co-pilot’s control chair and looked at his friend.

“Come on, Adam. Let’s get back to Earth – the fight’s not over yet!”

THE END

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