A short New Captain Scarlet story for Halloweíen
by Talia Gray
Dead... again.† Alone... for now.† Free again...† What am I saying?† Free?† How can I even suggest that?† I can never be free from them and they know it.† I have this short time to myself, much good it does me.† I canít DO anything... apart from remember what I have done, have seen MYSELF do...†† But itís not me.† Itís not me!† ITíS NOT ME!† Itís... not...
Iím laughing!† Iím actually fucking laughing! Iím...
Oh, dear God, I donít know how much more I can take; the loneliness, the knowledge, the guilt...† I canít DO anything.† Someone, please, help me!
Who is there to know? People see what they expect to see Ė yes, even you, Paul† Ė† and thatís not me.† Itís not ME!† Itís him, but not ME!†
What am I?
Who am I?
Iím even beginning to doubt myself now.
I thought I knew, thought I could hold onto ME at first, but... what if it is actually me after all?† Have they drawn on a part of my psyche that was so deeply hidden within that I didnít recognise it myself?†† Is that what this travesty is?† My Nemesis.† People say that we all have an inner demon.† Have they unleashed mine?† Is that who everyone sees now?† They see him, not me.† But I see through his eyes, an observer.† Powerless.† The things he does in my guise!†
What if it IS really me, after all?† Set free from my inhibitions, all moral restrictions, my dark self free to express itself.† Sociopath.† Sadist.† Is it possible?† Maybe I deserve this fate Ė just retribution for my actions on Mars, for the darkness that lies at the heart of me.† Stripped of all human values, what would be left?† If that is true, then what hope is there for any of us?† Perhaps the Mysterons are right after all Ė we are a violent species.† Better to wipe it out altogether.
What am I saying!
No... NO... I cannot let myself believe that.† If I do, what hope is there?† I have been trapped by him for too long.† I MUST hold on to who I am, to who we are.† Iím NOT him Ė heís NOT part of me.†† Fight, Conrad, fight!
I have this time at least... before he returns.† I must use it to remember, to cement my belief in myself.† Iím still here.†† I can think, can reflect, can... hope?†† There are times when their control slips.† Paul, you have seen it, you KNOW Iím still here.† At least, you used to.† For pityís sake, donít give up on me... if you can bring yourself to have any pity for me, after all that I have done.
Iím free for a short time, while the retrometabolism is working.† They donít bother with me then; he is not here.† They know how powerless I am.† Maybe they donít even know that I still exist, that Iím trying to resist.†† They misjudged your resistance, Paul.† A mistake, and it cost them dear.† If only you knew the depth of their anger at your defiance, at their... failure!† You hurt them badly, dear friend.† If only I could do the same.† I feel the consequences of their cold rage, their malice and determination.† They wonít make the same mistake again, Paul; they hold me too tightly.† You give me hope, though.† There must be a way, a chink in their armour, somehow.† You did it!† I have to believe that or I fear Iíll go mad.† If I give in, then I admit defeat to them.† They win.† I canít let them, Paul, I canít...† Maybe thereís a way I can fight them, during this time, when theyíre unaware of me.
But... what if I succeed?† If I break free, what then?† What life would I have?† You were so lucky, Paul.† Your freedom came so soon, before you...† Ah, you have been spared the deaths, the torture, the... Ďpleasureí that my nemesis has taken at their insistence.† How could I live with that?† It wasnít me but, deep down, just how sure can I be?† How could any of you even bring yourselves to look me in the eye, let alone ever trust me again. I have become their creature; THAT is all people see now.† Beyond redemption.† Damned by my... by his actions.† Paul, could you ever forgive me for what happened to Susan Todd?† Driven mad by what they did to her.† Driven to her death with you powerless to prevent it.† How he relished the pain it caused you.† But not me, Paul, not me! If only I could have...††† And Destiny...† Oh, Destiny.† Better that you maintain your hatred for me.† Itís easier that way - easier for you, anyway.† Try to remember me as I was, not this monster that they have created.
I shall cultivate my hatred for them, my determination.† I MUST!†† I have little enough else left now.† If they donít know, then maybe I can make a difference after all.† Maybe I can fight!
What if this is another of their games?† What if they are watching me right now, amused by my futile attempts to reassert myself, safe in the knowledge that thereís nothing I can do?
Can you hear me?
ANSWER ME, YOU BASTARDS!†
Iíve tried to beg forgiveness, God knows I have!† What else do you want from me?† What do you fucking WANT from me?† Why donít you just end this now?† Why do you keep me here?† You have him.† Or... do you need me so that he can exist?† Is that it?† Does it amuse you to watch me? ANSWER ME!
As if they would.† I fool myself.† My voice has no substance; my thoughts cannot scream out loud.† I am nothing to them.† A diversion, perhaps, but little else.† An interesting artefact, a by-product of their control?† The remnants of a human mind.
It wonít be long now. I can feel my bodyís strength returning.† Those tendrils of his essence are beginning to pervade my mind... or whatís left of it, anyway.† If only I had more time, Paul, but it is a luxury I no longer have.† My Ďfreedomí seems to become more fleeting each time.† Am I fading away as he grows stronger?
Iím scared, Paul.† I never thought Iíd admit that to anyone, but Iím scared.† I donít want to die... finally.† Not like this.† But, do I want to live?† Could I live with what they have made me?†††† I can hear you now, Paul Ė youíve always said that Iím too much of a pessimist, but I donít know how much longer I can take this.†
If you could just look into my eyes next time we meet, look beyond him and find me looking out at you...† Give me some indication that you know... some hope to cling on to.
Heís coming!† Smothering me, draining me, I canít...
ĎCaptain Black.† You are our instrument of destruction...í
Okay, Scarlet.† Showtime.
Notes and Acknowledgements
When New Captain Scarlet managed to break free of the Mysteronsí control, he told the colonel that being controlled by the Mysterons was Ďas though I didnít exist anymoreí; Black, as we know, remains under their control.† In the episodes ĎBest of Enemiesí and ĎDominioní we are given a glimpse of what† remains of Conrad Lefkonís human part, powerless to intervene in the actions of his mysteronised self† Ė his ĎNemesisí Ė but remembering everything.† I have often wondered what emotional anguish this must cause him Ė to be filled with guilt and self-loathing at what he has been forced to become, reviled by those he once held dear and unable to do anything about it; a truly horrific fate!†† It may well be that a similar fate is suffered by the original Black Ė we donít really know what happened to him on Mars; maybe Conrad Turner is still in there somewhere, suffering similar mental tortures.†
I suppose, in a way, that this is for them Ė I think they deserve a break.
Many thanks to Chris and Marion †for their invaluable beta-reading and helpful observations.† If any mistakes remain, they are down to me.
As always, my enduring thanks to Gerry and Sylvia Anderson for creating these wonderful characters, with whom I continue to spend countless delightful hours.
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