Original series Suitable for all readersMedium level of violence


This story was originally published in two parts in Issues 82 and 88 of  the “Power Star” fanzine. It was posted on this website on 2000, without the authors’ permission, with respect to their beautiful work, and is re-posted now for the 2009 Annual Halloween Challenge. We salute the authors, wherever they are. – C.B.


[The Mysterons...sworn enemies of Earth, possessing the ability

to recreate an exact likeness of an object or person--but first,

they must destroy.  Leading the fight, one man fate has made

indestructible.  His name:  Captain Scarlet....]


Pawns of Evil





By D. Lynn Bivens And Kimberly Murphy








File-ID: <1.05633.69.0C51514D@cloudbase.spectrum.gov>

Organization: Spectrum Cloudbase (Colonel White, Commander-In-Chief)

Summary: Mission transcript--contains background information, video data, and restricted personnel information





Beginning transferral of data pertaining to Spectrum mission codenamed "Pawns Of Evil":



Background--Pre-Spectrum History


It is 2068.  The world's governmental structure is now unified under one president, James Younger, and one congress at the newly built fusion zone known as Unity City ("Futura City" to its detractors).  Yet the world is not at peace.  To the east of Europe lies Bereznik, a small but predatory state.  Below the Pacific Ocean lies the hostile kingdom of Titanica.  And the world is still reeling from a series of Atomic Wars in the early 2000s which disrupted technical development and lives worldwide.


The problems caused by the Atomic Wars resulted in a proposal to bring together the finest elements of the military and paramilitary forces worldwide into an elite planetary defense force that would take care of extraordinary defense measures, similar to the Green Berets or the SEALs of the 20th century.  The study resulted in the signing of a charter by the World President on 10 July 2067 that founded an organization that truly encompassed all the worldwide elements.  Its name, appropriately enough:  Spectrum.


Spectrum became the first truly worldwide organization with offices in nearly every nation.  Its command center would not be in any country, but rather above all of them:  A flying aircraft carrier that came to be known as Cloudbase.  Only the elite of Spectrum would serve on Cloudbase, a senior core of officers whose identities would be protected by code names taken from the colors of the rainbow.  Its defense would come from five female fighter pilots code named the Spectrum Angel Flight.


By 2068, humanity had embarked fully on its healing process along with the planet.  Thanks to extraordinary efforts by such organizations as the unified World Military, the World Space Patrol, the World Aquanaut Security Patrol, and Spectrum, mankind had reclaimed its place in the universe.  Even the technologies stalled by the global devastation of the Atomic Wars had begun to flourish once again.  All seemed well and the world was once again adhering to the peace so vigilantly enforced by Spectrum.


Then came April 2068...the ill-fated Zero-X mission to Mars led by Spectrum's own Captain Black...and the Mysterons...




<Attachment #1: Video File #4871237-14D, dated 18 January 2069>



In the Conference Room on Spectrum Cloudbase, a meeting has been called.  Seated in the hollow center section of the round conference table is COLONEL WHITE.  In the seats around the circular table:  CAPTAIN BLUE, CAPTAIN OCHRE, CAPTAIN MAGENTA, CAPTAIN GREY, DR. FAWN, and Fawn's newest assistant, DR. JOYCE HOLLANDER from Spectrum Medical Center.  LIEUTENANT GREEN sits in the recording secretary's seat off to the side.  One chair the seat next to Captain Blue is noticeably empty.




All requested personnel present and accounted for, sir.




(to Green)

Thank you, Leftenant.

(to the rest of the table)

Members of Spectrum...I have called this meeting to discuss a very difficult issue that has the concern and attention of the World President himself.  The World President has been in contact with me frequently as of late regarding the ongoing activities of Captain Black and our efforts to track him down and capture him.


(nods toward empty chair)

As you may have noticed, Captain Scarlet is not in attendance.  He is, at present, in Sickbay, recovering from injuries suffered during our latest encounter with the Mysterons.  However, rather than wait for his recovery, we are holding this meeting without him...because it would be best if he were not in attendance.




Why?  Captain Scarlet is without a doubt the most important operative in Spectrum.  Why leave him out of this?



White manages to convey strong annoyance at Blue's impertinence despite his rigid expression.




Because of the nature of the World President's concerns... and the reason for this meeting.   Before the disaster of the Zero-X mission which resulted in Captain Black's capture and this war of nerves against the Mysterons, Captain Black was one of our colleagues...and Captain Scarlet, his star pupil.  They were fellow officers and close friends.  This war with the Mysterons has been hard on all of us...but it has been hardest on Captain Scarlet because of his unique encounter with them.  After all, for six hours, he was under their control and forced to obey their orders... and much of what has happened since his awakening from that control has been beyond our comprehension.  Captain Scarlet has been through experiences we can never understand...physically and psychologically.  The World President fears--and it is a valid fear--that he could suffer some sort of breakdown if pushed too far.  And what has been proposed could easily be that "push".

(turns to Dr. Fawn)

Dr. Fawn, if you would care to explain...




Of course, sir.

(to the rest of the table)

What we must understand in dealing with Captain Scarlet's ability to recover from injuries--some of which our best surgical techniques could not hope to correct--is the tremendous stress under which his mind is placed.  Surviving death--the so-called "near- death" experience--always has profound effects upon the individual's mental state.




But isn't it true, Doctor, that Captain Scarlet has no recollection of his "death" when he recovers?




No conscious recollection, Captain Ochre.  But we have no way of ascertaining to what extent his subconscious is affected.  Despite extensive testing and numerous attempts at mental stimulation--particularly after the Mysterons' hold on him was broken--those memories remain locked away.  But the fact that he has an extreme sensitivity to the Mysteron presence at times--a sensitivity that cannot be sufficiently explained physically,  though it manifests itself in very physical symptoms such as headaches or nausea--tells me that those memories are indeed there and cause him some sort of psychosomatic trauma.




Which, of course, brings another puzzling consideration to mind.




Indeed, Colonel.  Is it possible for Captain Black to be shaken from the Mysterons' control the way Captain Scarlet was by his 800-foot fall from the London Car-Vu?  Or has Captain Black been too long held captive by the Mysterons?  Is he now beyond help--beyond redemption?  For that matter, is it possible that Captain Scarlet might not truly be free of the Mysterons--that he might one day slip back under their control?  Is his current state merely temporary--or worse, a devious plan to put an indestructible agent into the heart of Spectrum, waiting to reactivate him at just the right moment?




That's ridiculous!  I know Captain Scarlet...and I'd stake my life on his loyalty!  I have, numerous times!  Captain Scarlet feels he owes his life to Spectrum and   would do anything for any of us...does that sound like someone still in the hands of the   enemy?  Besides, there have been numerous times where it would have been in the Mysterons’ best interest to have an insider-- why has this "reactivation" you're worried about not yet occurred?




Perhaps, Captain Blue, their plans for him are more involved than any of us can conceive.  It could be that our Captain Scarlet may be the ultimate time bomb...just waiting to explode.



The tension in the room runs high, as if Dr. Fawn's words awakened an unspoken fear in all of them...except Captain Blue, who looks incensed at the very idea of questioning his friend's loyalty.




Thank you, Doctor.  I think you all now fully realize the importance of holding this meeting while Captain Scarlet is recuperating.  As sworn protectors of the World Government, we can hardly risk the very subject of our plans knowing about them.




Plans, Colonel?  What "plans"?



White looks toward Fawn and nods some sort of approval.




We hope to use Captain Scarlet's suppressed memories to finally locate Captain Black. 




<end of Video File #4871237-14D>


<Attachment #2: Video File #4871237-14E, dated 18 January 2069>



In Sickbay, CAPTAIN SCARLET lies quietly in a bed in the hospital area.  He is hooked to both an EKG and EEG machine, both of which register improving vital signs.  Several minor wounds are still visible, but it is obvious that his retrometabolism healing process is in full swing.  Scarlet moves slightly, as if he has just crossed the line from injury-induced coma to normal sleep...and the rest of the wounds fade away.



<end of Video File #4871237-14E>








<Attachment #3: Personal journal of Captain Scarlet, dated 18 January 2069>



I have lately been remembering--if such a term is applicable to the experiences I have during my retrometabolism-enhanced recoveries-- more and more of my first encounter with the Mysterons...the day Captain Brown and I were first killed.


I have had fleeting images at night as I sleep (which, amazingly, I seem to do less of since my recovery from the Mysteron attack) which take the form described in 20th century medical documentation as "near-death experiences".  In my case, of course, they are actual-death experiences.


I remember the car crash...feeling the flames on the back of my neck as I tried to struggle free of the burning wreckage...then everything fading to blackness.  That much is not new.  However, what follows in my dreams is different from anything I had remembered in the past.


In my dreams, I see myself floating above my battered, burned, and bleeding body, lying a few feet away from the wreckage, and I see Captain Brown's body, twisted at a grotesque angle.  I sense Brown's spirit nearby...and even recall non-verbally communicating with him.  I cannot recall what was said, but I can still feel our mutual shock and confusion and a strange realization that we were, indeed, dead; not even a chopper ride to Cloudbase would be able to save us.


Then I feel something strong nearby...something cold...something evil.  At one point, I might have thought I was in the presence of Satan himself.  Now, of course, I know it was the cold, calculating evil of the Mysterons.  They had found the tools to execute their vicious plans to kill the World President...us.


The next thing I see is another body...whole, unbroken, but lifeless and cold.


It bears my face.


Not much is clear after that.  I recall feeling pulled inextricably toward that cold, lifeless body...and then everything else is lost to me.  I wake up in a cold sweat, shaking uncontrollably.


Someday, I hope to pierce that last veil and see what my consciousness endured during those six hours I was under the Mysterons' control.  Perhaps then I shall have the key to unlock the remaining experiences that occur during my numerous deaths and recoveries.


Perhaps then I will truly be free of the Mysterons.



<end of Personal journal>





<Attachment #4: Video File #4871237-14F, dated 18 January 2069>




The time stamp on the video image reads "17:30--18/1/69" as Drs. Fawn and Hollander enter the Sickbay.  Both cross toward Captain Scarlet, now visibly completely healed but still unconscious.




Amazing.  If I hadn't seen him when he was brought in, I would never know he was on the verge of death just two hours ago.




It never ceases to amaze me.  As many times as I’ve witnessed it, it never ceases to amaze me.

(looks at monitors)

Pulse is still a little thin.  Probably some unresolved trauma.  He'll sleep for a while.



Scarlet stirs, then opens his eyes and looks around the room, trying to get his bearings.



FAWN (continued)

Or maybe not.




Hello, Dr. Fawn... Dr. Hollander.




Welcome back, Captain Scarlet.  How are you feeling?








(slight laugh)

Not surprising.  It takes a lot of energy to rejuvenate a body.  But you do have this knack for reviving close to mealtimes.  What would you like?




(starts to sit up)

I can go to the galley on my own, thank you...




(holds him down)

Not till I release you.  And I can't do that until I've completed the fitness-for-duty exam.  Now, you can lie here and be hungry...or you can eat something and get your strength back so the results of the exam will be better.  Which will it be?




You're enjoying this.




Keen observation.

(pulls out a notepad)

Your dinner order, Captain?



As Scarlet rattles off a list of food better suited for a group than an individual, Dr. Hollander looks strangely distracted, as if mesmerized by something.



FAWN (continued)

Dr. Hollander?



(jumps, as if startled)





Are you feeling all right?  You seem...distant.




Oh, no, I'm fine.  Guess I was just thinking.  You were saying?




I was asking if you'd mind terribly ringing the galley and asking them to send the items on this list down here for Captain Scarlet's dinner.  While we're waiting for them to arrive, I can start the usual exams.




Oh, of course.

(studies list, then looks up at Scarlet)

You must have quite an appetite, Captain Scarlet.



Scarlet meets the woman's gaze...as intense as his own.  It almost seems as if she is trying to stare through his eyes into his soul.  They hold the gaze for a moment, then Scarlet breaks and stares at the ceiling, his eyes reflecting an inner disturbance of some sort.


As Fawn begins the exam, Hollander leaves the hospital area and heads into Fawn's office.




Now, then, Captain Scarlet... let's begin.


He presses several buttons to reset his monitors.



<end of Video File #4871237-14F>





<Attachment #5:  Video File #4871237-150, dated 18 January 2069>



In the other room--Fawn's outer office, away from the hospital area--Hollander snaps off the Spectrum intercom, then retrieves a pen radio out of her pocket surreptitiously.  She looks around for a moment, then twists the pen to activate it and whispers into its microphone.




Black Knight to King's Pawn...the fox is in the henhouse.  Repeat:  The fox is in the henhouse.  Operation Twister should commence on schedule.  Will update progress at 2300 hours.  Black Knight out.





Oh...there you are.



Hollander quickly hides her radio in her pocket and turns around to see Fawn standing in the doorway between the hospital and his examination room/office.



FAWN (continued)

I was beginning to wonder if you'd gone round to the galley to deliver the order in person.




Oh, I was just...making sure I got the order right, Dr. Fawn.  I...had a little trouble making out some of the items...



FAWN (sarcastic)

You must be a dedicated doctor indeed to spend that much time on a patient's room service order.

(takes list, reads it to himself)

Of course, I do admit to sloppy penmanship. Too many years of hastily scribbled civilian prescriptions and battlefield logs, I suppose.




You wanted me for something, Doctor?




Oh...yes, I did.  I was wondering if you would assist me in completing Captain Scarlet's fitness-for-duty exam.  There's so many blasted monitors to read, and Captain Scarlet is so impatient to get back to work that he hates any kind of delays.




 Oh, of course, Doctor.  I'd be more than happy to.



They leave the room together, heading back to the hospital unit.



<end of Video File #4871237-150>






<Attachment #6: Video File #4871237-151, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras, 5th Street Diner, New York City, New York, United States Of America>



Early in the morning in the largest city in the world, customers come and go from the 5th Street Diner.  This day, a new customer dressed all in black--black overcoat, black broad-brimmed hat, black shirt and pants--enters quietly and sits in a corner booth. A WAITRESS comes over to serve him.




Can I help you, sir?



The man looks up toward the camera...and his face is that of a walking corpse.  His eyes are sunken, his skin is pale, and his heavy five-o'clock shadow accentuates his gaunt cheeks.  It is Spectrum agent-turned-Mysteron terrorist CAPTAIN BLACK.


The waitress backs off and heads behind the counter, getting the attention of diner owner SOL BELLATORA.  Bellatora looks scornfully at the stranger in his diner, then gets out his baseball bat and brandishes it menacingly as he heads for the corner booth.




All right, pal...I don't know what you're sellin' but I ain't buying!  We don't serve bums here.  Get yourself on down to the shelter or somethin', but get outta my diner before I make that cheesy hat a permanent part of your head!



Black glares up at him, almost sneering, as if death has no true meaning for him.  He stands to face Bellatora, unfastening his coat as he does.



BELLATORA (continued)

(backing away in horror)

Oh, my God...I saw your face on the news...you're the guy Spectrum's lookin' for... Captain Black!




Very observant.



With that, he whips out a sub-machine gun and shoots Bellatora in cold blood.  Bellatora drops to the floor, dead.


The diner patrons begin to scream in panic...but Black's non-stop shooting silences all of them until only the waitress is left.




(cowering by the counter)

Oh, no… oh, God, please, no... please don’t kill me...




I am sorry...but I need all of you.



He fires one last time, and she falls dead behind the counter.


Black holsters the gun as an eerie hush falls over the diner.  Then, two circles of greenish light pass over each dead body, then seem to draw paths on the floor.


Clones of the now-dead victims begin to materialize, then slowly come to life.


Black nods his approval as the replicants rise to their feet and begin clearing the floor of the dead bodies.  When they finish, they stand before him, mindless Mysteronized soldiers awaiting orders.




(echoing, in voice-over)

The Mysterons must avenge themselves against the race which attacked them on Mars.  They must prevent their spread and their inevitable intrusion into space.  Ours is a true mission of the only justice known to exist, one we must undertake.  You are the privileged few chosen to engage the enemies of the Mysterons in a grand battle.  Together, we will destroy Spectrum itself...and its glorious hero and  "secret weapon", Captain Scarlet!


In the stillness that follows the declaration of war on Black's former friends and the enemies of his masters, one image becomes striking:


A single tear rolling down Black's cheek.



<end of Video File #4871237-151>





<Attachment #7: Video File #4871237-152, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras onboard local Security Patrol Cruiser 451>



With sirens screaming and light-bar flashing frantically, Patrol Cruiser 451 speeds through traffic and stop lights in an almost reckless fashion in response to a silent alarm tripped at the 5th Street Diner...the same 5th Street Diner that Captain Black has just attacked.  SECURITY OFFICER BRYSON is driving; his partner, SECURITY OFFICER SIMPSON is checking his handgun.



Better have your weapon ready, partner!  The silent alarm was a Code Three--no tellin' what we're headin' into at Bellatora's!




Yeah, that guy knows how to take care of himself!  I've been in this precinct for over five years and I've never known him to need any help!  Maybe we should call in some backup...




No such luck, Simpson.  Everyone's up to their   eyeballs in this precinct...and you know the   others aren't gonna offer any assistance without some kind of up-front bonus!



Kinda makes you wish this was the kind of thing Spectrum had jurisdiction over.




We'll manage.  Hey, in my great-grandfather's day, there were actually cops on these streets!  And they didn't need any fancy-schmancy Spectrum to bail them out, either-- they did it all on their own!




Wasn't your great-granddad around during the time of that terrorist bombing at the World Trade Center back in `92?




Sure was!  So was my granddad...course, he was just a rookie at the time.  And my dad was an impressionable young lad...




Later with the memories, partner.  5th Street just ahead.



Bryson slows down, then stops before the diner.




Head's up, buddy... we may have to "come out shooting".







The two men release the safety catches on their guns, then head into the diner.



<End of Video File #4871237-152>




<Attachment #8: Video File #4871237-153, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras inside 5th Street Diner>



The armed and armored Bryson and Simpson enter the diner, gun arms straight out, guns aimed into diner.




Everybody freeze!




Nobody move!



The diner, full of apparently normal patrons having apparently normal meals, gets very quiet.  Everyone turns toward the door.  Sol Bellatora quickly comes around his counter to confront the confused officers.




What is this?  What's the matter with you Security guys?  You crazy or something?  Put those guns away--you're scarin' my customers!




(reluctantly relaxes his stance)

Now, wait a minute...the Precinct's auto-dispatch system registered a silent alarm from this establishment, Mr. Bellatora...and we're   not goin' anywhere ‘til we get some answers.




Oh, I'm afraid that was my fault, Mr.  Bellatora... I accidentally bumped into the  "panic button" when I was serving these gentlemen at the end of the counter.  I didn't think it was hard enough to set off the alarm!



Bellatora turns an angry glance at his waitress... a glance seemingly out of place for the offense.  Bryson and Simpson relax a little more but notice the tension in the room and appropriately do not re-holster their weapons.




No harm done, ma'am... accidents happen, you know?  Truth be told, we're kinda glad it was a false alarm.




Sorry to trouble you folks.  Please, go back to enjoying your meals.  We'll just report back to the auto-dispatcher and cancel the alarm.  Of course, Mr. Bellatora, you might want to consider getting a shield or something for that button so this sort of thing doesn’t happen again.




Good idea.  I'll get on it soon as the stores open.  We don't want you boys-in-blue on wild goose chases, now, do we?



He chuckles hollowly...an unnerving laugh which is parroted by first the waitress, then the other patrons in the diner.  Bryson and Simpson begin backing toward the doorway, looking more and more uneasy.




Uh... yeah.  We'll be on our way...




...We’ve got a lot of ground to cover on our patrol before we get off for the day.



Both officers hurry for the door...then notice the black-clad stranger seated at a table by himself.  The man appears to be making a conscious effort to conceal his face.




Come on, Bryson...




In a minute.

(turns to the man at the table)

I think I've seen that guy before.




(looks at the same man)




Bryson nods, then moves closer to the table where the stranger is sitting.  He grips his gun a little tighter.




Excuse me, sir... would you mind answering some questions?




Hey, hey, hey!  Quit bothering my customers!  You guys need my permission to talk to anybody in here, in case you forgot the law...




...Only if we walked in voluntarily.  We were called, remember?




But that was an accident!




Doesn't matter.  Once we're inside on a call, we pretty much have carte blanche to question anybody who even looks suspicious.




And this guy's definitely suspicious.

(turns full attention back to the table)

Now, friend, I said I wanted to ask you some questions...now!



The man at the table slowly raises his head to reveal the gaunt, pale, unshaven face of Captain Black.



BRYSON (continued)

Oh, my God... Captain Black!




Very good.



As the wanted man holds the officers' attention, Bellatora and his waitress walk up behind the two officers.  Bellatora cracks his baseball bat on the back of Bryson's head; the waitress thrusts a carving knife into Simpson's back.  Both men drop to the floor, dead.


Black stands and nods his approval to his servants, then looks at the bodies.


Two greenish light circles trace both bodies, then two empty spots on the floor.


Seconds later, clones of the two officers stand before Black.



BLACK (continued)

Get rid of the bodies.  It is time.


Obediently, the diner's patrons carry the two dead officers out of the dining area and clean up the blood, then proceed as an army of zombies out of the diner.


Black starts to follow, then turns toward the security camera, aims his pistol, and fires...ending the video with static snow.



<End of Video File #4871237-153>





<Attachment #9: Video File #4871237-154, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras inside Spectrum Cloudbase, Sickbay section, hospital area>



The timestamp reads "19:00--18/1/69".  Captain Scarlet, sitting up in bed, finishes a hefty meal that would have satisfied four or five men as Dr. Fawn and his assistant, Dr. Joyce Hollander, watch in amazement and amusement.  He takes one last sip of coffee.




Mm-m-m... That hit the spot.  I feel much better now.




I should think so...you've eaten enough to replenish a platoon, much less one man!  I don't imagine you could have eaten that much before all this happened.




I suppose Dr. Fawn should have warned you...full-bore retrometabolism regeneration burns a substantial amount of calories.



Hollander looks at Fawn, irritated that she was not informed.  Fawn shoots Scarlet a look of irritation at the Captain's all-too-correct deduction.




Well, I didn't think it was significant.




Dr. Fawn... I am here from the Spectrum Medical Center to research retrometabolism with the foremost expert in the field and the only   known survivor of the process.  There is no such thing as an insignificant fact when it comes to retrometabolism.  If Spectrum ever expects to be able to combat the Mysterons on even ground, we must gain a greater understanding of their ability to reverse matter.  You owe it to me to provide complete disclosure...if for no other reason than as a professional courtesy.



Now Scarlet is genuinely amused...and makes no effort to hide it as he watches the two doctors squabble.  Fawn gives Scarlet another exasperated glare, then turns back to Hollander.




Very well...during Captain Scarlet's first retrometabolic incident, we discovered that certain aspects of his physiology were accelerated to a previously unimaginable degree.  We noticed that his body was consuming up to 150 calories per minute during the height of the regenerative process.




(not certain she heard him right)

Per minute?




Precisely my reaction.  A human body could not possibly burn calories to that degree and still survive.  A human body with the genetic ability to re-engineer matter, however, could...and does, obviously.  But even Captain Scarlet needs to replenish that fuel in order to shorten the recovery time...something we did not know that first time and only discovered by accident during a subsequent incident.




I woke up extremely hungry once from a recovery and asked for something to eat.  I ate continuously for almost an hour but felt worlds better afterward.




Thus, the "mega-meal" you were asked to order, Dr. Hollander.




Most of the time, retrometabolism has no effect on my everyday activities...save for the fact that I seem to tire less easily and need less sleep than I did before.  But now...I can almost feel the calories burning off from that large meal, replenishing my body’s stores.




Talk about a "binge-and-purge" diet... I’d wondered how you were able to stay so slim. Must be a piece of cake.




Please don't mention "cake".  I'm stuffed.



She laughs, amused at Scarlet's deadpan joke, then immediately forces her reaction below the surface, as if afraid to form an attachment to her research subject.




Well, it's nice to see that your experience as a Mysteron "puppet" hasn't diminished your sense of humor, Captain Scarlet.




(mildly irritated)

One needs a sense of humor to deal with difficult situations.




Yes, but most Brits don't show theirs.  Did you show yours before?




(more irritated)

I did a great many things before, Doctor.  The only difference between then and now is that I can cheat death and I can't remember doing it.




Well, of course.  I didn't mean to imply...




(cuts her off)

Of course you did.  That is why you're here, isn't it?  To study the differences between a "normal" human and a Mysteron clone of one?




(guilty as charged)

Now, Captain Scarlet, there's no reason to get upset.  This is, after all, very important work if we ever are to hope to understand the Mysterons and find a way to stop them and cure their unfortunate victims...




I don't enjoy being gawked at as if I were some microbe in a petri dish in your lab.  I also have the same feelings I had before...and they include a need for a certain degree of dignity.  Now, if you're going to do your research, get on with it.  Ask the questions you need to ask.  Take the samples you need to take.  But don't imply that I'm a "victim" in   need of a "cure".  And don't act as if I’m something from another planet...only my immunology is.



The tense silence in the room seems to last forever...even though the timestamp on the videofile indicates it only lasts 2.38 minutes.  Both Scarlet and Hollander are angry and suffering from wounded pride...and Fawn is uneasy.




Look, both of you...we do have a job to do here.

(turns to Scarlet)

You're not released for duty yet.

(turns to Hollander)

And you have research you wanted to accomplish.  Now, both of you, settle down.   Have this argument on your own time.



Hollander turns a frosty gaze toward Scarlet.




I think I've said all I need to say.




(equally frosty gaze)




The tension is still high.  If such were recorded on the videotape, the temperature in the room would probably be akin to that inside a meat locker.




Perhaps, Dr. Hollander, it would be better if you went into my office and called up Captain Scarlet’s medical records on my computer.  They might be more cooperative in answering your questions.

(glares at Scarlet)

I'll deal with our "patient".




(Incensed anger detectable)

I'll do that.



She leaves the room.  Scarlet watches her go, his gaze still icy.




(to Scarlet)

Now... just what the Devil did you think you were doing?  That is one of our most respected scientists, not some lab technician you can brush off!




I grow very tired of being treated as if I'm some freak of nature instead of just another Spectrum officer who happens to have a unique medical condition.




I already know that.  But what made you explode at her?  Honestly, man, if I didn’t know better, I'd swear you liked the girl and she hurt your feelings.




(scoffs, perhaps a little too quickly)




(eyes widen knowingly)

Well, I'll be...



<End of Video File #4871237-154>





<Attachment #10: Video File #4871237-155, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras inside Spectrum Cloudbase, Sickbay section, Dr. Fawn's office>



Seated at Dr. Fawn's meticulously kept desk, Dr. Hollander proceeds to access data pertinent to Captain Scarlet's condition, including sensitive Rainbow Clearance material.  She hesitates a moment, then types in a command on the keyboard, and the red lights on the secondary cameras in the medical suite wink out, leaving only primary security cameras that are controlled through Lieutenant Green's console in the Control Room--from which these records were taken.  She then returns to studying the files on the screen intently.




(to herself)

No, that's not it...it's got to be here somewhere...ah, there it is.  Psychological profile.



She reads the section intently, noting the color-coded graphs that accompany it.  She takes out her communication pen and twists its top to turn it on.



HOLLANDER (continued)

(surreptitiously, into the radio)

Black Knight to King's Pawn...I may have found the chink in the armor.  Repeat:  I may have found what we've been looking for.



<End of Video File #4871237-155>





<Attachment #11: Video File #4871237-156, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras at Precinct Central #59,  New York City>



The "usual suspects", as the line from the old movie goes, parade through this modern police precinct as several computer operators keep tabs on the Auto-Dispatch System that now practically runs the station.  Officers Bryson and Simpson--or rather, the Mysteronized clones of them--ENTER the station and walk through it as if hypnotized, ignoring everyone around them as they head toward the office of the Precinct Commander.



<End of Video File #4871237-156>





<Attachment #12: Video File #4871237-157, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras at Precinct Central #59,  New York City--Precinct Commander's office>



Bryson and Simpson ENTER and stand before PRECINCT COMMANDER DUGAN's desk, covered with paperwork.  The Commander barely acknowledges their presence.




What's on your minds, fellas?  I'm up to my eyeballs today...

(gestures over paperwork)

I thought the computer age was supposed to bring with it the "paperless office".  Does this look "paperless" to you?  Lousy punks and their vandalism "initiation rites"...more arrest reports in triplicate, all in some finicky computer's specialized format...




I don't believe you'll have to trouble yourself with such insignificant details any longer, Commander Dugan.



The chill in Bryson's voice makes Dugan stop working with the papers.  He looks up at his officers.




Bryson?  You O.K.?



Simpson slowly and discreetly slips his weapon out of its holster.




Of course, Commander.  And you will be as well.  But we are in need of your body for a task that you could never hope to understand.




Now wait a minute...



Simpson fires his weapon.  The report of the bullet is absorbed into the office's soundproof walls.  Dugan drops to the floor, dead.


Two greenish circles of light pass over the body, then trace a spot in space.


Bryson reaches up to the security camera and grasps it firmly, then pulls hard.



<End of Video File #4871237-157>





<Attachment #13: Video File #4871237-158, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras at Precinct Central #59,  New York City>



Bryson, Simpson, and Dugan ENTER the working area of the precinct.  Bryson and Simpson head toward the Auto-Dispatch computer.




Listen up, people...we've got a situation developing that's going to require some immediate and irregular changes to our current setup!  First of all, Officers Bryson and Simpson will be reprogramming the Precinct   Patrol Perimeter in the Auto-Dispatcher.   Secondly, these officers and I will be   requisitioning heavy-duty arms from the Ordinance Cabinet and taking them out on a special reconnaissance mission.




But, Commander, according to regulations, no one can break out the heavy stuff without a special O.K. from the World Police Commander and formal notification to Spectrum Headquarters Cloudbase...




And what makes you think I haven't already done all that?  Now...anybody else who wants to question my authority, speak up now...and prepare to go cash your final paychecks!


The room falls silent.  Dugan nods to Bryson and Simpson, who begin reprogramming the Auto-Dispatcher.



<End of Video File #4871237-158>





<Attachment #14: Video file #4871237-159, dated 18 January 2069-- screen snapshot of Auto-Dispatcher at Precinct Central #59,  New York City>



The image is of a large grid map of New York City.  Patrols that are normally clustered close together are now suddenly spread out all over the city.  The image is that of a fine spider web instead of a tightly woven net.



<End of Video File #4871237-159>





<Attachment #15: Video File #4871237-15A, dated 18 January 2069-- from security cameras at Precinct Central #59,  New York City>



Dugan walks over to the arsenal cabinet and enters a multi-digit code into the electronic combination lock on the heavy doors.  The lock "clicks", and Dugan opens the cabinet and issues high-powered firearms to Bryson and Simpson, then takes some for himself and relocks the cabinet.  The trio head toward the exit carrying enough firepower to hold off an entire World Army platoon as the rest of the officers look at their colleagues as if they had lost their minds.



<End of Video File #4871237-15A>





<Attachment #16: Video File #4871237-15B, dated 18 January 2069-- compiled from security cameras at various points around New York City>



Two construction workers casually cross the fenced-in foundation of what would one day be yet another towering tribute to untold tons of steel, concrete, and glass.  With strides as devoid of humanity as their eyes were of some spark of a once-free spirit, they enter the on-site trailer of the construction foreman.  Once inside, they proceed to murder the unsuspecting boss in cold blood...then allow the Mysterons to resurrect him as yet another "Pawn of Evil".  The trio then calmly exit the trailer and calmly walk over to a shed containing explosives and detonators used in construction duties, gather a substantial amount in canvas bags, and stroll boldly out of the area.


In a hospital several blocks away, a nurse and the handsome young orderly with whom she had been sharing breakfast at Bellatora's proceed to overpower the physician-in-charge with a lethal injection...turning him into a deadly pawn as well.  The Mysteronized medical professionals then gather enough deadly painkillers to stock a small pharmacy and exit the hospital in plain view of everyone, as if listening to a call louder than any voice around them.


A bus driver climbs into his bus and drives past his stops, picking up several pawns from Black's attack at Bellatora's, including Bellatora himself, all armed with whatever weapons they could carry--Bellatora's baseball bat, his waitress' meat cleaver, a lead pipe clutched by a financier whose usual prey consisted of his fellow stockbrokers on Wall Street--as a predetermined plan of dastardly proportions begins to unfold.



<End of Video File #4871237-15B>





<Attachment #17: Video File #4871237-15C, dated 18 January 2069-- compiled from security cameras atop the Empire State Building, New York City>



Captain Black looks on at the streets below through the powerful-but-antiquated observation binoculars that were normally used by what few tourists still went to the Empire State Building.  He watches his slaves converging on a predetermined area of New York...an area where the highest concentration of people live and work, from lowly janitors and fast-food vendors to highly-paid VIPs and decision-makers, the movers-and-shakers and those moved and shaken by them.  It is a microcosm of the human race...exactly as the Mysterons intended.



(into the air, as if to his Mysteron masters)

The pieces are falling into place.  Soon a blow of dark victory will be struck.  Spectrum will most certainly respond...and send the great Captain Scarlet.

(a beat)

And then, the trap will be sprung...and Spectrum, Scarlet, and all of Earth will fall.



<End of Video File #4871237-15C>




To be continued in Part 2










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