The Ghost of a Chance

 

A "Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons" and "Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)" crossover

by Scarlet Lady

 

 

Chapter One

 

Captain Scarlet turned his collar against the cold, damp air of the evening. There were certain things that never seemed to change. London's appearance must have changed at least 1000 times over since it was established, but he felt sure that the city would always feel cold and damp. He leaned on the handrail by the Thames and looked across the river. Rhapsody would have commented on how pretty it was, had she been there, and he grudgingly admitted that she would be right. The lights of the city and the colours of the sunset reflected in the water and gave the city a reasonably pretty appearance. He shivered and turned away; it was still cold! Perhaps it was time to call it a night and go back to his hotel room.

 

"Lovely night, isn't it?" A man's voice remarked.

"Mmm," he replied, turning his head to face the speaker. "If you don't mind London fog."

"Oh it isn't that bad..."

The man stopped suddenly and stared at him. Scarlet eyed him carefully. He was about the same height as him, with pale skin, blue eyes and dark hair. He was dressed in an entirely white suit. "What is it?"

"Let me get this straight... You can see me?"

Scarlet rolled his eyes and wondered why the nutter always decided to talk to him. "Don't tell me... You just invented an invisible suit, and nobody is supposed to be able to see you."

"No!" the man laughed.

"Good, because you stand out like a sore thumb in that white suit."

"Yes, well... There is a reason for it."

"Is there really?" Scarlet leaned on the rail, and tried to seem as politely interested as was possible.

"I don't suppose I should tell you. You'd never believe it anyway."

"Suit yourself," Scarlet sighed and returned to his car. "Nutters," he muttered to himself, as he started up the car and pulled away. "The city's full of them!"

"Charming," the 'nutter' remarked, from the passenger seat.

The Captain almost cried out in surprise, but stopped himself. He glared at the man sitting beside him.

"You're a terrible driver. Watch the road."

"You sound like my partner," he grumbled.

"You behave like MY partner," was the reply.

"Splendid. Now, I don't know who you are, but I would like you to understand that I'm tired. I've had a long day and would like to go back to my hotel."

"That's nice. I'd be happy to go anywhere."

"Now look," Scarlet was seething now. "Surely you must have somewhere to go? You certainly don't look as if you spend your nights sleeping rough."

"For a very good reason."

"If you don't want to tell me who you are or what your game is, you can GET OUT."

There was no reply. Scarlet glanced to his side, but the passenger seat was empty. "You've been overdoing it, Paul," he told himself. "Too much work and worry, not enough sleep. Next time, listen to Adam and Doctor Fawn."

Upon arriving back at his hotel, Scarlet went straight to his room and kicked off his shoes. "That's better," he remarked, sitting on the bed.

"This is a nice room."

"You again?" the Captain scowled at him. "Why are you following me? Who are you?"

"A lonely spirit in a lonely world. I only tried to talk to you because I thought you looked the way I felt."

"That's very nice, but why don't you go home?"

The man shrugged and sat beside him. "I can't. Not until a certain evening in 2069."

"That sounds like an unusual legal settlement."

"It's a very unusual settlement," he agreed. "But I'm forgetting my manners. My name is Marty Hopkirk. I'm the greatest private detective that ever lived."

"Really? I take it you've never heard of Sherlock Holmes?"

"He's fictional," Hopkirk replied. "Besides, I can do better than him. I can follow a man without being seen."

Scarlet was about to argue, but changed his mind. He hadn't seen Hopkirk follow him up to his room. He hadn't even heard him let himself in. "Alright," he said at last. "You've made your point. Now, how did you do it? You have to be good to get past me."

Hopkirk stood up. "I don't suppose you believe in ghosts?"

The Captain narrowed his eyes. Up until very recently, he would have said 'no', and that would be it. But he had witnessed so many strange things that he didn't quite know how to answer. In the end he merely shrugged and said, "I keep an open mind."

"Good. Because I am a ghost."

Scarlet watched him walk backwards through the door of the ensuite. Still unsure about whether or not he was imagining things, he opened the door and walked in, to find Hopkirk sitting on the edge of the bath.

"Impossible!" he whispered to himself.

Hopkirk smiled and vanished.

"Good, he's gone," Scarlet gathered up his pyjamas, deciding that it was definitely time for bed.

"Impossible, eh?"

The Captain looked up to see Hopkirk sitting on the ceiling.

"Do you believe in ghosts, yet? A ghost can materialise anywhere..." he vanished.

Scarlet jumped as his tormentor appeared beside him again.

"Anytime. Without warning."

"You've made your point. Thankyou for your display," the Captain said, trying his best not to seem the least bit shaken.

"If you've had enough, I'll stop. I have to say, you're taking this very well - most people are terrified of ghosts."

Scarlet sat on the bed. "That's probably because most people don't believe in them. Even if they do, the majority don't see them, and those that do are rarely believed..."

"Why do you think I'm so lonely and bored?" Hopkirk demanded. "It wasn't so bad when Jeff was alive, I used to follow him around and help him with his cases..."

"Jeff?"

"Jeff Randall, my other half in the business. Randall and Hopkirk. Ever heard of us?"

Scarlet shook his head.

"I don't suppose I should be surprised, really."

"Let me get this straight..." the Captain said at last. "You are the ghost of Marty Hopkirk, of the detective firm Randall and Hopkirk. When you died, you stayed on and helped your partner..." he frowned. "I thought you said that nobody could see you."

"No, I said that it's very difficult to find someone that can see me. When I got the chance to come back, I had to choose someone to contact. I had two choices, and I knew I would have frightened my poor lovely wife Jeannie... So I chose Jeff."

Scarlet closed his eyes and nodded slowly. "I think I've got all that. So... Why don't you go back to Jeff?"

"Jeff died," Marty shook his head sadly.

"Oh, I see. So, you decided to find somebody else to bother."

"Well, I've been..." Hopkirk drew a sharp breath and glared at him. "If that's how you feel, I'll leave. I only thought I'd... OH!" He closed his eyes and vanished.

Scarlet looked around. "Good, he's gone."

 

The night passed uneventfully; which was just as well, because Captain Scarlet was surprisingly tired. The following morning, he returned to Cloudbase.

 

Sitting in the cockpit of the Spectrum Passenger Jet, his thoughts wandered back to the occurrences of the night before. He wondered whether he should talk to Doctor Fawn about it, seeing as the hallucinations seemed to have been brought about by his tiredness. He shook the thought from his mind. The last thing that Spectrum needed was him being diagnosed with some mental disorder while the Mysterons wreaked havoc with Earth's defences.

He landed his SPJ and jumped out into the hangar.

"Captain Scarlet!" His partner, Captain Blue, waved to him from the Passenger Jet he'd been checking. "Meet me in the lounge in a half hour or so. I'll get you a coffee."

"S.I.G., Captain. I have about an hour before my debriefing."

"Great. How was London?"

"The usual. Dull, damp, cold..."

"I resent that!" a voice shouted at him.

He turned his head, but nobody was there. "Did you hear that?"

"Hear what?" Blue frowned at him.

Scarlet shrugged. "Nothing. Probably a techie."

"Well, anyway..." Blue stood up and rubbed an oily hand across his brow. "I'll get myself out of these overalls and go meet you in the lounge."

He nodded and slung his bag over his shoulder before leaving quickly.

"So, this is where you work," Hopkirk remarked, appearing beside him and falling into step. "I thought you had something military about you..."

"Nobody is supposed to know about this base."

"Fantastic. I'm the only ghost who knows then, eh?" He rolled his eyes as Scarlet cast him a suspicious glance. "I'm not exactly going to tell anyone, am I? My only contact here on Earth was Jeff, and he's been dead for a long time!"

"Stop shouting at me. I still don't even know what you want."

"I want friendship, company. You look as if you might need a soul mate..."

"You aren't sharing my soul - or my body!"

Hopkirk sighed tiredly. "Will you calm down? Look, you're starting to get some funny looks from people! I don't like the way that fellow's pointing at you - want me to blow in his ear?"

"That's just great," Scarlet muttered darkly. He hurried down the corridor and let himself into his quarters before anything else happened.

 

Setting his bag down on the bed, the Captain began sorting through his gear whilst muttering darkly.

"You're very rude, you know," Hopkirk informed him, appearing behind him. "Jeff would never have shut a door in my face like that - however angry he was!"

"'Jeff' must have been a saint, then," he replied through gritted teeth.

"Hardly, but he was nicer than you. I can hardly wait to see him again."

"How long have you got?" Scarlet was interested, now. He could hardly wait for this aggravating ghost to be reunited with his partner, either.

"Three months."

"Oh," he'd been hoping that the time would be shorter.

Hopkirk stretched out on the bed. "Nice room. Not as grand as the hotel, but a charming little place just the same."

"This is a military base, MISTER HOPKIRK, not a fancy hotel," he winced, realising that his choice of retorts was very much like one of Colonel White's. "Have you ever been around a military base, before?"

"Never. But my partner was in the army, once."

"Then you probably know all about it, don't you?"

Hopkirk scowled up at him. "Don't use that tone with me, Mister... uh..."

"CAPTAIN Scarlet, if you don't mind."

"Scarlett? Isn't that a lady's name?" he laughed.

"It also happens to be a colour - a shade of red. My partner is Captain Blue."

"The chap wearing the latest fashion - blue overalls and oil?"

"The man who invited me to join him for a coffee. He happens to be far better company than a blob of ectoplasm!"

There was a knock at the door.

"PLEASE make yourself scarce," the Captain hissed, before opening the door.

"Paul," Rhapsody Angel was standing there, looking rather anxious. "Are you alright? Captain Ochre told me that you've been talking to yourself..."

"Dianne, Captain Ochre is a twit."

"He's also a good friend. He was worried about you."

"He likes to behave like a court jester. I wouldn't pay any attention to him, if I were you."

Rhapsody entered his quarters and sat at the foot of the bed, staring up at him through tearful eyes. "What's gotten into you? Did something happen in London?"

"I don't want to talk about it," he muttered, staring distractedly at his bed.

"As bad as all that, eh? Come on, Paul, it's me."

"I know," Scarlet replied. He stiffened suddenly. "YOU can shut up!"

"Paul!" the Angel pilot stood up, hand on hips.

The Captain lowered his gaze sheepishly. "I'm sorry, Dianne, I didn't... mean to upset you."

Hopkirk stood behind her. "Is that the best you can do? Come on!"

He glared at him over Rhapsody's shoulder. "I'm just... a bit wound up after the mission, I suppose. There's still a lot on my mind."

"I can see that," she reached up and kissed his cheek. "I'll see you later, Paul."

Once the Angel pilot had gone, Scarlet gave his pillow a few good thumps. He turned his head sharply to see Hopkirk cringing beside his desk, shifting his 'weight' nervously from one foot to the other.

"Satisfied, GHOST? Even Dianne thinks I'm going insane - DIANNE!"

"Uh... She's a very pretty lady. I don't usually think much of red heads myself, but she's..."

"SHUT UP! Do you hear me? I want you to SHUT UP!"

"I'm sorry. Really. I just forget myself sometimes. And... this is great - the first man who can see me in..."

"I don't care!"

"Alright, I'll leave you alone. I'll find a spare room - there must be one that's free, and I don't even need a bed! - and I'll settle in. Just call me when you need me."

Scarlet stared at him in disbelief. "You can't stay here! You... What do you mean, 'call me when you need me'? I don't need you!"

"Jeff Randall thought so, too. Until he almost got killed, that is. I almost didn't bother, but my wife's wellbeing depended on the survival of him and our business."

"Charming, aren't you? Well, I don't think I'LL bother with YOU."

"You don't understand! He said...! Captain?" he moved to his side, anxiously trying to get his attention as he unpacked. "Captain? Captain Scarlet? Paul?" he gave a shrill whistle.

Scarlet didn't even flinch.

"If that's what you want, I'll go," he waited a moment, expecting a hasty apology. Receiving none, he vanished.

"Thankyou very much," Scarlet growled going back to unpacking.

 

Upon entering the Officers' Lounge, Scarlet noticed Captain Ochre watching him from the far end. He was just trying to come up with an explanation for his earlier behaviour when Captain Blue caught his attention.

"Hey! Paul! Come join me!"

He sat beside his best friend and partner gratefully.

"You ok?" Blue asked. "You look a little fed up."

"I feel more than a little fed up," Scarlet admitted.

"Why? What happened?" he frowned, as his partner looked away. "Come on, Paul, it must've been bad for you not to want to talk about it."

"It's difficult to explain, really," he replied. "It was just a very trying mission, I suppose."

Blue nodded. "Just remember that I'm here if you wanna talk."

"I will do, Adam. Thankyou."

Captain Ochre could stand it no longer. He stood and went to the table that Scarlet and Blue were sharing.

Scarlet looked up at him with an aggravated expression. "And what do you want?"

"I wanna know why you suddenly went crazy in the corridor..."

"Huh?" Blue stared up at him. "What are you talking about, Rick?"

Scarlet shot Ochre a murderous glance. "That's what I'd like to know."

"You know what I'm talking about!" Subtlety had never been Ochre's strong point. "When you started shouting at the wall, before running off to your quarters like a frightened rabbit!"

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Scarlet shouted at him, standing up.

Captain Blue hastily stood between them. "He's winding you up, Paul. Ignore him."

"I'm not!" Ochre moved closer. "I just wanna know what you were doing."

"I was going 'home', after being away on a mission, Rick. What did it look like?"

"It looked like you were going crazy, trying to have a fight with your shadow!"

Blue groaned. "Rick..."

"Shut up, Adam - you weren't there! Anyway, you're bound to side with him, aren't you?"

"Shut up yourself!" Scarlet hissed, turning to go.

Blue grabbed his arm. "Sit down, Paul," he turned to Ochre. "I think you've done enough, don't you?"

"I was about to go, anyway," Ochre muttered. He glared at Scarlet. "I'll be watching you. Any more funny stuff, and the doc will hear about it, understand?"

Scarlet stifled a tired sigh and turned his attention to his cup of coffee.

"You ok?" Blue asked him, anxiously.

"Who cares?" Scarlet muttered in reply.

"I do!" his partner almost shouted at him. "You're my best friend! Paul, I want you to talk to me. What's wrong?"

Just as he was about to attempt an explanation, Hopkirk materialised beside him.

"I thought something might be wrong. I could sense you, and you seemed... tense."

"TENSE?" Scarlet exploded, making both Blue and Hopkirk jump.

"Now, be careful. You've already made yourself look like an idiot once today..."

"I made MYSELF look an idiot? Are you sure?"

"Paul?" Blue touched his arm, but Scarlet shrugged him off.

Hopkirk shook his head. "You're being very childish! I was only offering to help!"

"HELP?! I was coping perfectly well on my own!"

Blue hastily poured his friend a stiff drink. It wasn't really allowed, but he had to calm him down somehow. "Paul, drink this..."

"Adam, don't humour me!" he sighed, seeing the hurt look on his friend's face. Of course, it wasn't Captain Blue's fault that he was concerned. He accepted the glass gratefully. "Sorry, Adam. Thankyou."

"Is that stuff allowed on a military base, CAPTAIN Scarlet?" Hopkirk asked, eying the glass. "That had better not be whisky!"

"Retrometabolism fights the effects of alcohol before I can get drunk," Scarlet answered, before downing his drink.

Hopkirk stood in front of him, glaring at him doubtfully. "Does it? And what's 'retro... thingy'?"

Blue frowned, refilling his friend's glass. "Paul?"

"Lay off that stuff!" Hopkirk snapped at him. "What's retro... retro...?"

"Retrometabolism. It... It means I'm indestructible."

"I know that, Paul," Blue frowned at him. "What's wrong, ol' buddy?"

Scarlet shrugged, taking a sip of his drink. "Just uh... thinking aloud. I don't have to worry about drinking too much, because I know that my body can fight it faster than I can drink it."

"Unless you drink about twenty bottles of something strong..."

"Which is stupid," he finished.

"Very stupid!" Hopkirk added.

Scarlet addressed him with a scowl.

"What's the matter, Paul?" Blue asked him again.

"Nothing. I... Just remembered something, that's all."

The Captain frowned, but said nothing.

"You'd better watch it," Hopkirk warned him. "He's starting to worry about you."

"And whose fault is that, might I ask?!" Scarlet exploded again.

Hopkirk sighed and sat on the arm of a vacant seat, so that he had his back to the Spectrum Officers. "You shouldn't treat me like this, when I'm just trying to help you! I might decide not to bother!"

"Good!"

Blue stood and went to the comm. as casually as he was able, leaving his partner talking to the empty chair.

Hopkirk sighed. "You might change your mind yet, you know. When you have to rescue a hostage, and you don't know where the enemies are... or... or if you want to spy on someone, and bugs are out of the question..."

Scarlet gave a snort of laughter.

"You'll change your mind. Jeff did. But THIS time, I won't be as forgiving!" This said, the ghost vanished.

"You done yelling at the furniture, Paul?" Blue asked carefully, returning to his seat.

"I was NOT yelling at the furniture!"

Blue folded his arms and waited quietly for an explanation.

Seeing that his partner wasn't about to be intimidated into backing down, Scarlet took a deep breath and tried to find a good explanation. Finding none, he decided that he'd have to tell the truth. "I have a... a ghost following me around, Adam. He met me last night, in London, and latched onto me when he realised that I could see him."

"OK, Paul, maybe I shouldn't have been so easy with the liquor..."

"I'm serious, Adam! He won't leave me alone! I tell him to go away, he vanishes for a while... and then he comes back and..."

Hopkirk appeared directly in front of him, waving his hands madly. "PAUL!"

"Oh... What now?" Scarlet asked with a resigned sigh.

"There are some doctors coming - they're almost here! - they've got one of those..." he crossed his arms as he tried to think of the name of the item. "... funny jackets!"

"Funny jackets?" Scarlet's eyes widened as he realised what the spectre meant. "A strait jacket?"

Hopkirk nodded. "Yes, one of those."

Blue watched as his friend leapt from his chair and made a dash for the door, whilst trying to decide whether his partner truly had gone mad or if he really was talking to somebody. How could he possibly know about the medical team that he'd called for, if he were simply a gibbering wreck?

 

END OF CHAPTER ONE

TO BE CONTINUED IN CHAPTER TWO

OTHER SCARLET LADY FAN FICTION

FAN FICTION ARCHIVES

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