Original series Suitable for all readersAction-oriented/low level of violence

 

Murder on Cloudbase 

 

(A Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons story for Halloween)

 

by  Polly Amber

 

 

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons is a Gerry Anderson creation licensed by Carlton International Media. This story is intended for entertainment purposes only.  All the other characters not featured in the television series are my own. 

 

 

  Lieutenant Green turned his swivel chair to face Colonel White and apologised for interrupting his meeting.

 

"Yes what is it?" The Colonel asked urgently.

 

"It's a message from your Father.  He arrived on Cloudbase this morning. He was wondering if you would be able to join him, and his companion for dinner tonight, as you were unavailable for lunch."

 

"My Father? I thought he wasn't arriving until tomorrow. It is the 30th today or am I mistaken?"

 

"It's the thirty first.  October the Thirty First.  Halloween sir."

 

"Yes. Thank you Lieutenant Green."

 

Colonel White looked uncharacteristically flustered.  The truth was, he had completely forgotten about his Father's visit.  The events of this morning had pushed everything out of his mind.  He felt rather angry with himself for this slip up.  His Father, a ninety year old retired Mathematics Professor, was staying at Cloudbase for security reasons, and was to be given a colour-coded name like the rest of the Spectrum personnel.

 

"Companion?" he asked, "You say that he has bought a companion with him.  He didn't mention this to me!"

 

"Yes sir.  A Mrs Elsie Peacock. She's a widow and I believe they met at an over 80's salsa dance club."

 

"Yes, yes...." blustered the  Colonel, anxious to silence the eager young Caribbean Lieutenant who appeared to know more about his own Father's social life than he did. "Tell him that I am in the middle of a very important meeting at the moment.  Give him my apologies, and arrange for Captain Grey to give him a tour of the facilities."

 

"Sir, I believe Captain Grey has already done that.  He left your father in the leisure area."

 

"Well tell him to show him round the promenade area."

 

"S.I.G. Colonel." Lieutenant Green turned his swivel chair back to the communications console. Colonel White resumed conversation with his visitor.

 

"'I'm sorry about that."

 

A tall man sitting opposite Colonel White, wearing a dark civilian suit, solemnly nodded. Colonel White continued.

 

"Now you were saying, Inspector...  I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch your name."

 

 " Waddington, Sir," replied  the man, in a flat monotone.

 

"You were saying Inspector Waddington...  that this was murder!"

 

 

 

 

The subject of the meeting lay on a trolley behind closed curtains in the Spectrum Medical Bay.  He was a handsome man in his early thirties, and he was no stranger to the sickbay, or to Dr Fawn who stood over him scratching his chin pensively.

 

"But what could possibly be gained by killing him like this...  We all know that he's indestructible.  I mean if anyone of us really wanted him dead, we would have used the Mysteron gun or high voltage electrical current."

 

Captain Blue, standing next to him, looked equally puzzled.

 

"I don't understand it either.  I had just come from the coffee room and that's when I found them.  Captain Scarlet was lying on the floor bleeding from a head wound and Ecstasy Angel was bending over him, screaming."

 

Their attention was distracted as the door to the medical bay opened, and a man wearing plastic scrubs strode purposefully inside.

 

"Dr Fawn, Let me introduce myself I'm Dr Magnolia, I'm a pathologist, and I have been instructed by Inspector Waddington of The Criminal Investigation Department to perform an autopsy on the late Captain Scarlet."

 

"Autopsy!" repeated Dr Fawn incredulously, "Why the hell do you need to do an autopsy! In a couple of hours this man will be able to tell you who killed him himself!"

 

"Yes, I admit this case is a little unusual, but it's standard Police procedure I'm afraid.  He may not remember his killer.  We have to establish the cause of death.  The head wounds are obvious, but there is also the gunshot wound and the stab wound to his neck.  We need to know which one actually killed him, if we are to find out who.  A crime has been committed on Cloudbase and the killer must be caught."

 

 

 

 

       "A crime has been committed and the killer must be caught," stated Inspector Waddington as he stood in front of Colonel White.

 

"Well, my staff and I will co-operate in any way we can."

 

"Then I would like to speak to Captain Blue.   I understand he was first on the scene and also Captains Ochre and Magenta too.  They may have heard something."

 

The Colonel instructed Lieutenant Green who put out a call.

 

Several minutes later the three Captains were seated in front of Colonel White and the Inspector.

 

"Now gentlemen," began the Inspector, "You know why you have been called here, and I'm sure you will all want to get to the bottom of this mystery.  I have been assured by the Colonel of your co-operation.  I know Captain Scarlet was a good friend."

 

"He still is," answered Blue.

 

" Now Captain Blue," continued the Inspector, "I understand that you were first on the scene."

 

 "Well not quite, Ecstasy Angel was the one who found him.  I heard her screaming."

 

 "And where were you when you heard her screams?"

 

"I was by the vending machine getting myself a coffee."

 

"What time was this?"

 

"Must have been around 11.30... 11.45."

 

"From which direction were the screams coming from?"

 

"From the Library."

 

"And did you enter the Library when you heard those screams ?"

 

"Er –  no."

 

"Why not?"

 

 "Well the door was closed."

 

 "You heard screams, and yet you did not go and find out what was happening because the door was closed?"

 

Blue looked distinctly uneasy.  " I was drinking my coffee."

 

 "Drinking your coffee!"

 

Blue went red in the face. "Well... it was Ecstasy Angel... she often screams."

 

"What do you mean she often screams?"

 

Blue started to fidget nervously, "It's just something she does."

 

"And do you ignore her screams? "

 

 "Well yes... usually."

 

"And why does she scream?"

 

Again Blue looked awkward.  Ochre and Magenta exchanged smirks as Blue flustered.

 

"Well... well... she's kind of... expressive..."

 

Ochre and Magenta both started to cough loudly.  The Inspector narrowed his eyes and exhaled through his nostrils.

 

"Captain Blue," he continued, "When you had finished drinking your coffee, and you entered the Library, what did you find?"

 

"Ecstasy Angel was bending over Captain Scarlet.  He was unconscious and bleeding from a head wound.  Ecstasy was hysterical, she is one of the new Angels here, and isn't yet aware that Captain Scarlet is indestructible.  She was very upset.  Dr Fawn took her away and sedated her."

 

"Well, when she has recovered I will need to speak to her later.  Anyone who does not know of Scarlet's powers of retro-metabolism could be considered a suspect."

 

"Yes, I suppose you are right," agreed Colonel White. "I mean all of us who work with Scarlet know that he can only be killed by a Mysteron gun or high voltage electricity."

 

"Could this be some sort of practical joke?" suggested Ochre.

 

"Well it's not April Fools Day!" snapped the Inspector. "It may be a warped Halloween trick, but in my book, killing a person even one who can rise from the dead is still a crime.  The killer is obviously unstable, and must be caught."

 

"I can't believe that this could have happened here," said Colonel White. "We run a tight ship. We are all professionals. My staff are all disciplined and level-headed.  We have to be to keep ahead of the Mysterons. Captain Scarlet is one of our finest officers.  Is it possible that a Mysteron clone could have infiltrated Cloudbase?"

 

"My men have already spoken to most of your personnel.  But I would like to speak to the people who have recently joined Cloudbase and to all visitors."

 

"Even my Father!" cried Colonel White. "But he's a ninety year old pensioner, Surely you can't suspect him.  He only arrived this morning."

 

"And Captain Scarlet was alive this morning."

 

The Inspector turned his attention back to Captain Blue. "I would like you to tell me more about Ecstasy Angel."

 

"Well, she started at the beginning of the week. She and another Angel came straight from the academy. They said she was an excellent flyer, sir."

 

Magenta nodded. "You can say that again." Ochre swiftly kicked him in the shin.

 

"Do you know if she had any feelings for Captain Scarlet?"

 

 "You mean was she in love with him?  No. I don't think so.  She had only seen him a few times, but I think she liked him.  All the Angels did.  They were leading her on about his ‘special abilities’.  I know she wanted to get to know him, but I think she liked us all equally.  She's a generous fun loving girl."

 

"So that rules out a crime of passion then," said Magenta.

 

"There really doesn't seem to be a motive at all," said Blue.

 

The inspector took out his pen and proceeded to draw on a sheet of paper on the Colonel's desk. He drew a corridor and marked the Library with an X.

 

 "This is where the body was found." He drew more rooms. "This is the Leisure area with the Billiard room, and next to the Library, the Study. To get to the Library you have to walk past the Chapel and the Refreshment room.  Most of the people my officers have spoken to have been able to vouch for each others whereabouts, but you Captain Blue, have not told me where you were before you went to get your coffee."

 

Blue fidgeted uneasily. "That’s kinda personal," he muttered.

 

"You must answer Captain Blue," ordered Colonel White.

 

"I'm Captain Scarlet's friend I would never do anything to harm him!"

 

"That's not true, is it?  You have killed him before," accused the Inspector

 

"That was different," snapped Blue, "I was given strict orders to shoot him. Captain Scarlet was under Mysteron control and threatening the life of the World President.  When I shot him I actually saved him from the Mysteron's influence and he became human again..."

 

"Human?" The Inspector raised a quizzical eyebrow.

 

 "Well human apart from being able to recover from fatal gunshot wounds, and repair shattered bones after crashing to the ground from about 800 feet."

 

"I see.  Did you believe him when he claimed to be free of this alien influence?"

 

"Yes.  We all did.  He was still our colleague."

 

 "But you may have had cause to mistrust him again.  Is there someone who could vouch for your whereabouts, Captain Blue?"

 

Blue mumbled again.

 

"Speak up man!" snapped the Colonel.

 

"Lieutenant Lavender can vouch for me sir."

 

Ochre tried hard to suppress a splutter, as Magenta's jaw dropped in surprise. "You were with Lavender!"

 

"I was in his hairdressing salon," said Blue defensively.

 

"What time was this?"

 

"About 9.45."

 

"How long were you there for?"

 

"About an hour or so."

 

"An hour or so?  That's rather a long time for just a simple haircut."

 

 Blue turned pink with embarrassment, " He was re-touching my roots."

 

 "And we all thought you were a natural blond," laughed Ochre

 

"Well Symphony did mention ... " began Magenta, but Ochre kicked him again.

 

They were interrupted by a bleeping from the console.  Lieutenant Green flicked a switch and cupped his hand to his earpiece.

 

"Excuse me Colonel White,"  he interrupted, "You're wanted in sickbay."

 

"Go ahead," motioned the Inspector,  "It's a good time for a break we can resume in an hours time."

 

Colonel White looked rattled.  He was liking the Inspector less and less .

 

 

 

 

When Colonel White returned from the sickbay half an hour later, he was enraged to find the Inspector sitting at his desk questioning two bemused and apprehensive pensioners.

 

"Waddington!  Just what game do you think you are playing?" he exploded. " You have no right to harass the Professor and Mrs Peacock in my absence! And Dr Fawn has just told me about the autopsy you ordered.  You had no right!  Dr Fawn is in charge of Spectrum's sickbay.  Dr Magnolia had no right to go over his head."

 

"Who's Dr Magnolia?" hissed Ochre

 

"New bloke," answered Magenta, "A bit bland, but popular with builders, so I'm told."  Ochre smiled.

 

"I was not, as you put it 'harassing'  Mrs Peacock and Professor Gray, sorry you are all code-named up here, he's known as Professor Plum, isn't he?  In fact they have been most helpful.  I have also spoken to your Chaplain and the other Colonel."

 

"Reverend Green has nothing to do with this and neither has Colonel Mustard," spluttered Colonel White. "Colonel Mustard is here as my guest.  I took over from him when he retired. He has been thoroughly cleared by security."

 

"Ah, but he was in the Billiard room with your Father.  And he left suddenly, in the middle of a game at about 11.20, roughly the time of the murder. He was away for about 20 minutes.  Mrs Peacock remembers seeing Reverend Green polishing the candlesticks in the chapel and now one of them...  the very heaviest, appears to be missing."

 

"So let me get this straight, you are saying that Reverend Green could have killed Captain Scarlet in the Library with a candlestick!"

 

"Maybe. Or Colonel Mustard in the Study with a revolver."

 

"Ridiculous!" snapped Colonel White.

 

"Or Professor Plum in the Billiard room with a knife." 

 

"I just don't believe it!" shouted Colonel White

 

"No," agreed the Inspector calmly, "Neither do I."

 

"Well that leaves Mrs Peacock.  What is she supposed to have done?  Accost him in the Ballroom and force fed him poisoned mint imperials?!"

 

"Sir.... We don't have a Ballroom...." interrupted Lieutenant Green, but he was silenced by an angry glare from his superior.

 

At that moment the door opened . Dr Magnolia entered; he tossed a file and a plastic bag filled with a brownish sticky substance onto the desk in front of the Inspector.

 

"Results of the autopsy," he stated.

 

Blue pulled a face. "Ugh!   That looks like his stomach contents."

 

"Was he poisoned then?" asked Colonel White.

 

"No he wasn't poisoned," said Dr. Magnolia. "He was killed by a blow to the head.  But I'm pleased to say he has now made a full recovery."

 

As if on cue the door opened, and in strode Captain Scarlet looking fit and well.

 

"There is one last person I would like to call," announced the Inspector. "The other new Angel... Gluttony."

 

"She'll be in the canteen," said Lieutenant Green, "I'll go and fetch her."

 

 

 

 

     Several minutes later, Lieutenant Green and Gluttony Angel entered the room on the moving travelator.  Gluttony swallowed the last few crumbs from her bag of crisps.  Her copious flesh wobbled with the vibrations of the travelator.  When she saw Captain Scarlet, she screamed and covered her face with her podgy fingers.

 

"Oh no! It can't be...." she cried.  

 

"Why?  Because you believe he is dead?" stated the Inspector.

 

Gluttony started to hyperventilate.

 

"It can't be possible ....  He must be a ghost ...  Don't let him near me ... I will tell you everything!"

 

"You were the one who killed Captain Scarlet, Gluttony.  You entered the refreshment room just after he did, and you were seen by Professor Plum as you chased Scarlet into the library."

 

"He... he... he made me do it!" sobbed Gluttony. "He knew how much I wanted it...  He was laughing at me... teasing me... dangling it in front of me...  then he... then he..."

 

"Then he did what Gluttony?"

 

"THEN HE ATE IT!"  she wailed.

 

Inspector Waddington picked up the plastic bag and held it aloft.

 

"Captain Scarlet," he announced, "was killed because he ate the last Mars bar in the vending machine!"

 

Gluttony broke down completely.  Between great gulping sobs she told how her mind had gone blank, how she had suddenly found the candlestick in her hand, and brought it down on Captain Scarlet's head.  He fell onto a glass vase which severed his neck as it broke. He reached for his gun to try and stop her but she had hit him again harder; as he fell he had his finger on the trigger, he fired and the bullet went into his thigh.

 

"But you had an accomplice, didn't you? Someone handed you the candlestick stolen from Reverend Green's chapel."

 

Gluttony pointed to Mrs Peacock.

 

"It was her.  She promised to take me to another world, where I could eat all the chocolate I wanted.  She said that she could change my bloated body and make me look like anyone I wanted."

 

"Oh Elsie!" cried the Professor in dismay.

 

"Foolish Earthman," hissed Elsie, as she pulled off her blue rinsed wig and hurled it onto the floor.  She made a run for the door but stumbled on her heeled shoes and was apprehended by the Inspector.

 

"Not so fast..." he began, but stopped in amazement as he realised that Elsie had vanished into thin air, and all he was holding were a tweed skirt, twin set and support stockings.

 

"Colonel White ushered his shocked Father towards a chair.

 

"I knew there was something wrong," he gasped, " She hasn't been herself since she tripped over a broken paving slab outside Tesco.  She kept having these funny turns... staring with blank eyes and muttering, 'We will be avenged'.  But I thought she was just referring to the Local County Highways Department.  She said she was going to sue them."

 

"Colonel White.  Gluttony Angel has just escaped!" cried Lieutenant Green. "She's making her way toward the aircraft."

 

"Shall I go after her?" volunteered Scarlet.

 

"No need," said the Colonel. "She'll never get off the ground. That's assuming she gets as far as the planes, she'll probably get stuck in the lift."

 

"What I need right now is a stiff brandy," said Colonel White's Father. " And you should have one too, Son.  An alien was almost your stepmother! "

 

 

  the end   

 

 

Inspiration for this story came from the game 'Cluedo' manufactured by Waddington’s Games.

   

 

OTHER STORIES FROM POLLY AMBER

 

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