Original series Medium level of violenceAdult situations

 

A Hallowed New Moon, A 'Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons' story, by VMR

 

A feeling of satisfaction filled Grey; they had done it! It had been close but the latest Mysteron threat had been averted. He looked across the room at Ochre, to see him, leaning back in his chair, arms above his head having a good stretch. A small smile touched his face; they had worked well together, even though Ochre usually worked with Magenta.

Grey sometimes wondered if his fellow officers could follow his logic.

‘Let's face it’, he thought, ‘my experiences are different to theirs, so it’s no wonder I think about things in a different way to them. And hey, that’s a good thing, right? It means that I might notice things that they might miss. In fact it’s because of those experiences that Ochre and I were able to scuttle the Mysteron’s plans this time.’

“Well, that’s that,” stated Ochre. “I’ve looked through all the footage and the door logs and I don’t see that there’s any way we could have missed any other duplicates. So I guess we can let Cloudbase know that we all wrapped here. And I will be very happy if I don’t see the inside of another sub for a long time. I don’t know how you could stand it, Grey. Just the thought of all that water…, well, need I say more?”

“It’s really no different from being on Cloudbase, Ochre. You’re surrounded by a cold and basically non-breathable environment up there.”

“I know, I know, but somehow it just feels different. Maybe it’s because we’re still in the sunlight.”

“That’s true. Still, coping with being in this environment comes down to your state of mind. If it’s really important, then you learn to cope with the difficulties”

“Fair enough. Now are you going to contact Cloudbase, Grey? Or will I?”

Out of the corner of his eye, Grey noted the door to the control room opening and saw Commander Panos, of the Greek WASP base, come striding in.

“All’s well? Have you finished what you needed to do?” the commander asked.

“Yes we’ve completed the final checks,” Grey answered. “Everything’s secure.”

“Good, good. I’m so pleased. Are you going to be contacting your commanding officer? If so, please, I would like to speak to him as well.”

“We were just about to report in. So I‘ll ask if he could talk to you.” Because of the commander’s request, Grey moved to a communications desk to contact Cloudbase. “Grey to Cloudbase, are you receiving me?”

“Loud and clear, Captain.” The distinct tone of Lieutenant Green came over the airwaves. “How are things going?”

“The WASP base is secure and so is the mine,” Grey reported. “All personnel have been checked and cleared. As well as all the equipment, so I think you can tell Colonel White that Mysterons’ threat has been stopped, Lieutenant Green.”

“Great, he’ll be pleased to hear that, Captain Grey.” There was a short pause as Green organized things before he continued: “Okay, Captain. The colonel’s scheduled a debriefing, so a SPJ will pick you two up from Nikos Kazantzakis Airport in two hours time.”

“S.I.G. Lieutenant. Before I go, I have Commander Panos who would like to talk to Colonel White if it’s possible?”

“S.I.G.”

There was a slight delay, and then Colonel White’s voice was heard: “Greetings, Commander Panos. What would you like to speak to me about?”

“Greetings to you, Colonel White,” Panos said, standing beside Grey. “You have some very fine men under your command… Am I right in hearing that they are to fly back to their base in a couple of hour’s time?”

“Thank you for your commendation, Commander. And yes, you are correct: they have a debriefing to attend.”

“Is it possible for it to be delayed? You see, we would like them to join us for a meal as our guests. To show our appreciation for what they have done. For us Greeks, it’s not good to let visitors go without sharing a meal with them.”

“Oh? Hmmm… all right, I suppose. I see no reason for your request to be denied, Commander. My officers can stay for a time.” There was pause. “Captain Grey, Captain Ochre: You two have until 1300 hours, WGST, before I expect your reports, and to see the both of you for debriefing. Until then, consider yourselves off duty.”

“S.I.G., Colonel,” answered the captains at the same time.

“Thank you, Colonel White,” Commander Panos also said.

Lieutenant Green’s voice came through the speakers again: “I’ve rescheduled the SPJ for you two. Pick up now 2300 local time, same place. That should give you time to get your reports done.”

“Ah ah. Very funny, Lieutenant,” replied Ochre. “We’re not Scarlet you know. Our reports will be finished in time. Anything else we need to know?”

“No, not at the moment. Cloudbase out.”

“Well, isn’t that a turn up for the books,” Ochre noted. “The Colonel allowing us some down time.”

“It’s not like he hasn’t done it before,” stated Grey.

“You’re right, Grey. Well, I’m going to make sure I enjoy myself.”

Still standing beside Grey, Commander Panos looked a little nervous. “You are happy to stay and share dinner with us?” he asked. “I know you might think it bad manners that I did not ask you before I spoke to your colonel, but for us, it would be considered bad manners to let you leave without eating. Especially as it is to celebrate our victory in stopping the Mysterons.”

“We are happy to join you, Commander,” Grey replied.

“Good, good. We will have a nice feast at the ‘Waters of Giofiros’. We often eat there on special occasions. They have a room that we use so that security is kept. It is a very nice place. My upper command is always pleased to go.”

“There’s one problem,” put in Ochre. “What are we going to wear if we are going out? I mean our uniforms are looking a bit worse for wear.”

“Will you not have spares at Spectrum Athens?” Commander Panos asked.

“Well, yes, we do, Commander. But they’re there and we’re here,” noted Ochre.

“That would be no problem: one of my craft can get you there and back in less than an hour. That would still give the two of you a couple of hours to see the sights and get ready.”

“Ahhh, I don’t think that walking around the town in uniform off duty would be a good idea. Folk might get the wrong impression,” said Grey.

“True.” Ochre sat down and thought for a moment. “Do we need to be dressed up for the meal, Commander?”

“No, the restaurant is relaxful but the food: megaloprepis! As you would say in English: magnificent. That is why we go.”

“Civvies, Grey?” Ochre asked with a raised eyebrow. “We should be able to pick up some.”

Grey answered with a nod of his head. “Sounds good to me.”

And with that decided, the captains lost no time in getting things sorted out.

 

The next few hours saw them shown around Heraklion, before finding themselves seated in a pleasant Greek dining room, making the most of the superb food that was presented to them.

The time had gone quickly and satisfyingly, with both of them enjoying their time off. Coming towards the end of the main meal, Grey’s conversation with a hydrophone officer was interrupted by a waitress asking if he would like a drink; he opted for some lemonade. It didn’t take long for her to bring and put it before him. Thanking her, he took a mouthful, and finding the flavour to be very agreeable, had drunk over half of it before he knew it.

‘Hmmm…, I think I will have to ask who makes this and see if I could get a supply for Cloudbase. I’ m sure the others would like it.’

He was about to tell Ochre that he should try it as well, when he was stopped by a question from one of the WASP officers. Settling back into the flow of conversation and food, Grey soon found that he needed to go somewhere. So after excusing himself, he made his way to the gents.

Feeling the relief, Grey was about to go and wash his hands, when he felt the presence of someone behind him, just before a hand seized his upper arm. As it did, he felt as if he was being pricked by hundreds of needles. Just as quickly, his arm was released. “What the hell?” he swore, as the suddenness of the incident shocked him.

Spinning on his heel, he saw his attacker back off as he automatically went for his gun and cursed, realizing it wasn’t hanging from his hip, but instead hidden away behind the flap of the jacket he was wearing. By then, he discovered his attacker was female. Wondering what the hell was going on, he managed to get his gun out and was about to question her when he started getting unsteady on his feet. He had been drugged.

Despite his best efforts, he had no way to counter the effects of the drug; his mind was starting to mist and he couldn’t even use his gun, which escaped his grip. He had to alert Ochre of what was going on and so, he stumbled towards the door.

He didn’t even reach it, and fell face first on the floor, unconscious.

 

*************

 

Ochre was thoroughly enjoying the evening and he could see that Grey was too. Seated between a good-looking female lieutenant and a captain, who also was a bit of a joker, he couldn’t fault the company, the food or the place. The only thing that annoyed him was the waitress, who kept on asking if he wanted another drink. After declining once more, he was pleased to see her leave and pester some of the others, Grey being among them.

While having fun with the lieutenant about trying some of the food, he saw Grey leaving the table; a bit concerned he watched until he noticed where Grey was going.

The lieutenant turned out to be inventive in her ways of getting Ochre to try things and he was relishing her attention. So much so, that some time had passed before he realized that Grey hadn’t returned. Troubled, he headed to the gents to see why.

Entering, he saw that no one was in the room. Worried, he started to inspect it and reached for his personal communicator to contact Grey – only to stop as he came face to face with a woman. Before he got over the surprise in finding her in this pace, she had reached out, grabbed and released his arm.  He stepped back, rubbing his arm; it was starting to tingle.

“Who the hell are you? And what the hell are you up too?” he asked

She gave him no reply. Annoyed, he started towards her, drawing his gun, intent on getting some answers, when he became aware that he was beginning to feel light-headed. He stumbled and landed on his knees. Alarmed, he grabbed his communicator to send a S.I.R.

He didn’t have time; his consciousness disappeared before he could.

 

The woman gave a nod and with a quite command, got her colleagues in the ceiling to once again swing into action and removed Ochre from the room. With that done, she joined them and they ferreted away with their victims, leaving no trace behind them.

 

Slowly, Grey became aware of his surroundings, as whatever it was that was used to knock him out dissipated. The first thing he became conscious of was that he was upright, along with the realization that he had been bound by his shoulders. He could feel his brow; wrists and ankles were the same. Close on the heels of that, was the shock of realizing that he was naked. Unease ran through him. What was going on?

What he saw, when he opened his eyes not only baffled him even more, but also caused acute embarrassment. Standing in front of him was a woman. As he noticed her, he also noted that although she was not old, she wasn’t young and that, oddly, she was wearing clothing similar to what was worn in ancient Greece. His anxiety increased as he watched her assessing him, making him feel as if he was a stallion or a bull on parade. Looking beyond her what he could see of their surroundings was enough to tell him that he was underground.

‘Where’s Ochre? Is he okay? Is Spectrum looking for us?  Do they even know what happened to us?’

“Who are you and what the hell is going on?” Grey demanded angrily.

“I am the holy exalted priestess of the Goddess Cynthia, and you have been chosen by Her to be part of a very important hallowed ceremonially,” the woman answered.

“Are you mad? The people I’m working for do not take kindly to seeing their employees being kidnapped! Do you realize how much trouble you will be in when they catch up with you?” he retorted.

“I’m under the protection of my Goddess,” was her haughty reply.

Grey just looked at her in perplexity. Was she insane? “Lady, you have no idea who you’re messing with. Spectrum will stop at nothing to look for me and you would not like what Spectrum Intelligence will do to you when they catch you.” ‘Let alone the colonel,’ he added in his thoughts.

The priestess shook her head. “I have no fear about that. Now you and the other will be cleansed and sanctified by the full moon before being tested to see which one of you is worthy of the highest honours. I will not speak to you again until I make my choice.” And with that, she turned and walked away, leaving Grey with a whole lot of questions.

He didn’t have long to think because, as soon as she had left the chamber, two other women came in. The next period of time became one of embarrassment and discomfit as they did what the priestess alluded to, taking no notice of anything he said. Then without being freed, he was gagged and taken to another chamber that was bathed in moonlight. There he was left fastened to one of its walls, from which he could see the full moon. To his dismay, Ochre was also brought into the chamber and he saw that his colleague was in the same state as he was.

So many questions ran through Grey’s mind, as he desired to know just what was going on and why the two of them had been abducted. Was Ochre okay? He appeared to be, considering the circumstances, but with both of them gagged, they would have to be creative in the commutation department. Thinking along those lines, Grey grunted in Morse code and Ochre indicated he understood. Both Grey and Ochre shared what info they could, but it wasn’t easy and it took ages.

Hour after hour, the moon’s light shone on them, as it moved across the opening of the chamber’s roof, and as the night wore on, the cold took its toll. By morning, both of them were feeling its devastating effects, as well as the stress of speculating on what else was going to happen to them.

 

There were times when Colonel White really appreciated his posting. The times when they outwitted the Mysterons or when he managed to surprise his subordinates. However there were other times where it seemed that things were conspiring to cause him a headache.

And this was one of them.

Sitting at his circular desk, he listened with concern as Commander Panos reported that Captains Grey and Ochre had disappeared. Why it had happened, he had no idea; the two captains were supposed to be having some R and R, because they had done such a good job during the recent threat. Now they were missing and he doubted they had gone A.W.O.L. No, this was more serious.

After getting all the information he could from the WASP commander, Colonel White called for Captain Magenta.

 

Heading for Nikos Kazantzakis on Crete, Captain Magenta tried to work out how he was going to find out where his fellow captains had disappeared to. He knew that the colonel had sent him because even though Ochre was the one with the police background, he was the one with the best set of skills for the situation. With what he had picked up working with Ochre, and knowing how to move and use the criminal underworld, he was confident that he would soon be on the trail of his team-mates.

After landing, he met up with the investigation team from Spectrum Athens and Commander Panos, who wanted to help in any way he could. Once they were all together, they headed to the restaurant where Grey and Ochre were last seen. Meeting the restaurant owner, who was mortified that something like that had happened on his premises, Magenta asked him to round up his staff that worked during the dinner. Questioning them didn’t give him or the team any leads, which left him with what could be found out from examining the gents, and what CCTV footage there was.

The examination showed up nothing in the room that helped and even though the corridor had CCTV, because it led to the storerooms, it only showed that both of the captains had entered the gents. As it didn’t show them leaving, Magenta suspected that it had been tampered with. So with nothing else that he could do for the moment, he headed to Spectrum Athens, to scrutinize the footage, leaving the others to collect what evidence they could.

 

*************

 

Magenta couldn’t understand it. His team of experts had subjected the footage to all the techniques they knew of and it hadn’t shown anything new. In fact, he had to consider that it hadn’t been tampered with. So where did it leave him?

He ordered for the staff from the restaurant to be interviewed again and for all the CCTV footage from around the restaurant to be reviewed. He also ordered the restaurant to be investigated over with a fine toothcomb. As that was being done, he started putting out his feelers into the local criminal underworld.

For four days, he and his team from Athens went over, through and studied all the information they had gathered, coming up with dead ends again and again.

It was so exasperating. The question of how his colleagues could have disappeared kept nagging Magenta. After going over the forensics from the restaurant again, he decided to go back, thinking that maybe they must be missing something. Walking around it, he went over what they knew that had happened that night. Doing so, he entered the gents.

‘How would I make someone disappear from a room like this?’ he wondered.

Looking around, he dismissed the door. Nothing that could be used to hide a body had shown up on the CCTV footage. There was nowhere that Ochre or Grey could have been hidden and the room had been checked that night. The windows were too narrow to permit a grown man to go through them. The floor was solid, apart from the drains and they were too small to allow someone to enter this room through them. No hidden passages had shown up in the walls, during the investigation.

He looked around again; they must be missing something, but what? He looked up; the ceiling looked solid and the examinations of it showed only small service ducts.

‘But what if…?’ Playing a hunch, he started to re-examine the ceiling, very closely. To his, not so surprised, surprise, he came across tiny indications of tampering. After a fair bit of prodding and assessing, he managed to loose a part of the ceiling. Going through it, he finally found some evidence of what had happened to Ochre and Grey, as he saw disturbance in insulation and fire retardant creating a trace to follow.

Now, finally, he had a lead.

After he and his team had done their preliminary investigation, he returned back to the Spectrum offices in Athens with his new findings. As he entered, he came across someone pacing relentlessly in the lobby. It was Commander Panos, who had been waiting for him all day. As soon as he saw the Spectrum officer entering the building, he went to him and shook his hand.  Magenta had not seen Panos since the first day of his investigation.

“Glad to see you again, Captain.”

“Glad to see you too, Commander,” Magenta said. “Is there something I can assist you with?”

Panos sighed deeply. “Actually, Captain…. It’s me who hope will be able to assist you.” He hesitated slightly. “I have something to tell you, that might help in your investigation.”

“Oh?”

“One member of my crew’s gone A.W.O.L.”

Magenta tensed. “And you think that man’s disappearance is related to that of my colleagues?”

“It’s a woman, not a man who disappeared. And I suspect it might have something to do with your colleagues’ kidnapping, yes.”

“And why’s that?”

“Because…,” Panos hesitated a fraction of a second. “It just so happens that it was under her suggestion that I invited your colleagues to dinner at that restaurant the night they were kidnapped. A restaurant she also suggested. I did not think it odd going to that one for we have often gone there but she was very insistent about it.”

Magenta mulled over the information for a few seconds, and thought about his discovery at the restaurant. Then he gestured to Panos to follow him. “Come to my office, Commander. We’ll have a talk…”

 

Ochre had no idea how long they had been held captive. Being underground, there was no indication of time. All he had to go on were the instances when he had been allowed to eat and rest and even those were not regular. It hadn’t been an easy time, as he had been put through situations that had tested his strength, endurance, cleverness and determination to stay alive. Like being forced to swim with no way of being able to rest – or worst, being left to hang by his hands above a dark hole that he had no idea of what was in it or how deep it could be. A shiver ran down his spine as he remembered another incident: being trapped in a cavern with an angry bull – for how long he didn’t know, but it had taken skills and luck to avoid the beast. The relief, when the opportunity to escape finally presented itself, was considerable, even though he knew he still wasn’t free.

Sure enough, he had ended up being herded into a small cage where his captors, all women, were able to restrain him. That’s how it had been, constrained or knocked out when he was moved. He had been given no opportunity to escape.

Now he and Grey were once more bound upright, just like they had been at the beginning of this nightmare. Both of them were gagged as well. Wondering what was going to happen next, he watched as the woman who called herself the exalted priestess inspected them anew.

“The time has come, the moon is new. Day and night are equal. The creation of the next holy exalted priestess must happen,” she stated standing before them. “Both of you have pleased the Goddess by surviving her testing, but I can only choose one of you to be my consort.”

Ochre flicked a look of astonishment at Grey who returned it with a hint of uneasiness, echoing Ochre’s feelings. They watched as the priestess walked around them again. Returning to the front, she nodded.

“It is you I choose,” she said, focusing on Grey. Turning to the other women, who had been their subjugators, she ordered: “On with your tasks, you know your responsibilities.” With that, she left.

There was a flurry of movement as the other women, the priestess’s minions, began their tasks. Ochre could only watch as two of the women, after getting a trolley, homed in on Grey and started to wash and groom him. He could see that Grey was feeling very uncomfortable but there was nothing either could do about it. As soon as they had finished, two others came back into the chamber carrying a cup and bowl each containing a liquid. They removed Grey’s gag and, pinching his nose, forced him to drink what was in the cup. Then they started to sponge him with the content of the bowl, making his skin turn a golden colour.

As that happened, Ochre noted Grey’s behaviour changing; he became careless and amorous – almost drunk-like. The situation no longer seemed to embarrass him; he was totally off-handed about it.

‘What did they give him? It must have been some kind of drug,’ Ochre realized.

Concerned and stressed, Ochre watched as, not long after they finished, Grey was released from his bounds and, without him opposing any resistance anymore, was taken out of the chamber.

He didn’t have long to worry as two of the women soon returned, carrying another cup. Like Grey, he was forced to drink from it. After that, he also ended up enduring the embarrassing discomfort of being washed and groomed. What were they going to do with him now? That question was causing him more concern. However, he soon started to feel light-headed; where he was and what was exactly happening slowly faded from his consciousness.

 

A feeling of intense satisfaction ran through him, as he inspected the state-of-the-art aircraft, which stood in front of him. Climbing in and strapping down, he ran through the take-off procedures and headed to the runway.

The power of the take-off felt like a loving caress, as the craft lifted into the sky and the joy of seeing wide blue sky expended around him was exhilarating. Feeling the plane’s light and instant response to his slightest touch sent waves of pure pleasure over his entire body. He could have stayed up there for all time. Nevertheless, the rules of propulsion meant that fuel was used and soon he will only have just enough in order to land.

He lined up with a beautiful tropical island runway. With flair, he landed his plane flawlessly. Climbing gracefully out of cockpit and onto the wing, he alighted to the ground, where four strikingly gorgeous ladies, who were anxious to show their appreciation of his skills, engulfed him. This was how it should be, he avowed, with him being the best and being acknowledged for it.

Swiftly, he was led into the tropical bush, where he saw a clearing, decked out with mats, cushions and throws. Once they had reached the spot, the beautiful women surrounding him proceeded to undress and caressed him. Unable to resist their obvious advances, he was soon enjoying the pleasures of their bodies.

For how long, he didn’t know and frankly, he didn’t care. All that mattered was the ongoing fulfilment of his desires and subsequence releases. Every time his energy flagged, one of the women gave him an exquisite tasting morsel that, once eaten, sent a powerful jolt through his body, invigorating him once more.

It occurred over and over again, and he became lost in a web of need, desire and aching.

 

With a snap, the delusion shattered, and Ochre found himself lying on a very narrow and cold stone block, unable to see clearly or to understand what was happening. Shivering, as his body went from hot to cold and back again, with pain radiating out from his frenetically pounding heart. Fear ran through him as he realized that he was restrained and gagged and as a shadow came towards him, he started to struggle.

Fear ran through him as he realized that he was restrained and gagged and as he started to automatically struggle, he felt hands on his shoulders and a weight across his hips. Through a haze, he began to make out a face. It was a woman. Not one from his dream, but one of his captors and from the sounds around him, he could tell she wasn’t alone.

If it hadn’t been for the gag, he would have yelled in horror as he realized what she was doing to him and how he was being used. It made him feel defiled. This was nothing at all like his dream. And the way his body responded to her without him being unable to stop it, made him feel even worst.

His mind fought to escape but as it started to succeed and his awareness began to fade. The gag was removed and something was pushed into his mouth, before the gag was put back again. He could feel the object melting and as it did so, his body became revitalized once more and he found that the intense stimulation stopped him from passing out.

Lying there, unable even to escape mentally, engulfed by desire, agony and torment, he spiralled down into despair and fear.

 

 

Finally, after fourteen days of frustration, dead ends, tangled leads, bad information, obstructions, disappointments and interruptions, Magenta had managed to uncover the possible location where Grey and Ochre were being held.

So now on this moonless night, he stood outside a small farmhouse inside which, he was convinced; Ochre and Grey were held captive. He wasn’t alone; Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue had joined him. A backup consisting of ground agents and a medical team from their Athens base was also with them, with instructions not to enter, until they were called. Too many weird things had happened during the course of the investigation, and they didn’t know what could be waiting for them inside that house. One false move could result in the death of both Ochre and Grey. And nobody wanted this to happen.

For Magenta, getting to this point had been a lesson in dogged determination. Tracing his colleagues from the ceiling of the restaurant to here, had been almost impossible. The first trace of them he had followed ended up at freight distributing centre – where, of course, no one knew anything. Tracking down all the possible packages the centre could have used to smuggle Grey and Ochre in (some of which, although indicated in their system, didn’t even exist) had taken an enormous amount of time, stretching Magenta’s nerves almost to breaking point. If it hadn’t been for another part of the investigation, he might have lost it.

But now, they were here. On the island of Nisos Rineia.

Looking at Scarlet and Blue, Magenta raised his gun and on his order, they crashed into the house. There was no one in the first room, so they spread out, checking the rest of the residence. There wasn’t that much for them to search; the place was very small.

They found no sign of their colleagues. 

Magenta’s heart dropped. He had been so sure this was the right place. All the clues were pointing to it.

Standing in the middle of the biggest room, wondering if they would ever find Ochre and Grey, he watched Blue, as he started a closer examination of the room. Walking between a table and a chair, Blue stopped and with a puzzled look on his face, called to both of them.

“Scarlet, Magenta, come here.”

Moving over to Blue with Scarlet, Magenta hoped that something had turned up.

“Can you two feel that?” Blue asked.

Shifting a little, Magenta felt what Blue meant; there was a very slight draft coming up from the floor.

“Well, what do you know?” he muttered. “Thanks, Blue.”

Both Blue and Scarlet understood what Magenta meant. They still had a chance to find their friends this night.

Getting down on his knees, along with the others, Magenta studied the edges of the flagstones.

“Here.” Scarlet pointed and with the blade of his pocketknife, lifted up a hidden handle. Taking hold of it, he stood, lifting a reasonable size slab. Surprised to see how easy it had been to lift it, he gave it an examination. “It’s made mainly of polystyrene. No wonder it’s so light.”

Shining his torch into the hole, Magenta saw steps going down. After a quick look at his colleagues, he descended, with Scarlet and Blue right behind him.

They found a passage at the bottom of the steps, and started to move swiftly but carefully along it. It wasn’t long, and opened up within ten meters from the stairs, into a chamber carved out of the rock. There, they were faced with their first dilemma, for there were a number of passages leading from this room, going deeper underground. Which one should they take? There were also some signs like the remains of candles, showing that humans had used this place…, but for what purposes exactly, they couldn’t tell.

As Magenta and Scarlet checked the start of each of the passages for more clues, Blue did a quick circuit of the chamber, scrutinizing what was in it to see if he could learn anything useful.

Stepping into one of the openings, Magenta was sure that he could hear something, coming from around a bend in it. He motioned to the others and they promptly joined him. Standing still for a moment or two, they too signalled that they were hearing something.

Magenta and Blue waited as Scarlet, in a low voice, used his communicator to contact the team above, and update them on their findings.

When this was done, they made their way along the passage. Which, like the first one, wasn’t very long. Rounding the bend, they stopped as the way before them was lit by light coming from beyond it. Extinguishing their torches, they quietly and carefully made their way almost to the end, before stopping again, so they could survey what lay beyond.

The passage opened into a large cavern that had the look of an underground temple. There was a large sculpture of a well-endowed woman standing opposite them, ringed by a double crescent of candles. Two rows of smaller statues, of bulls, stylized trees and the phases of the moon, formed an avenue between it and the passage in which the three of them stood. More candles behind the small statues made it difficult to see past them.

Although Magenta, Blue and Scarlet could not see anyone, they knew that someone was in there; they could hear grunts, groans and moans coming from behind the line of the small statues on their left. More than one person, judging from what they could hear.

Magenta, recognizing Grey’s voice, stepped cautiously past the opening and entered fully into the temple, his hand resting on his gun. He turned to where the sounds were coming from and stood shocked by what he saw. Gasps behind him told him that Blue and Scarlet had not only followed him, but that they too were similarly stunned by what they saw.

They had found Ochre. He was naked, gagged, restrained, and being molested by four women.

And the sight they could witness beyond that distressing scene was even more surprising: Grey was being very intimate with another woman, without seemingly concerned of the predicament in which Ochre seemed to be.

The shock of what the three Spectrum officers saw prevented them from immediately recognizing what exactly was going on. It took a few seconds for them to realise that Grey, just like Ochre, wasn’t exactly consenting. Even from this distance, they could see he wasn’t acting like his usual self; it wasn’t difficult to realise he had been drugged into submission.

Once they did realise it, they started to move in to end it.

They didn’t get far because, just before they could walk between two of the small statues a wave-like wall of pure light energy, that blinded them on the spot, blocked them.

“Males! Trespassers! Aggressors!” A female voice echoed through the cavern. “Defilers, how dare you enter to disrupt my sacred ceremony?”

The three officers watched as, before their eyes, an insubstantial presence slowly formed into the flesh and blood image of the female sculpture that was in the temple.

“I will not allow you tainted males to go any further,” the apparition pronounced. “My desire will be fulfilled! Then I will decide what to do with you.” With these words, the woman faded into thin air, but the wall of light curved to fully enclose them.

Magenta was almost at his wit’s end. The last two weeks had been so stressful in trying to find Ochre and Grey and now they were just there, in distress, less than ten meters away. And he couldn’t even help them.

Frustrated, Magenta stepped forward; he wasn’t going to let some stupid wall of light stop him; his friends needed him. Without really thinking about it, he raised his arm. And as he did so, he heard Scarlet’s shout behind him.

“Magenta, don’t!”

In the split second before he touched the surface of the wall, he felt strong hands pulling him back, and watched as the momentum of Scarlet’s intervention caused his English colleague to stumble into the energy wall. A capsule of light enveloped Scarlet and sent him back right into the Irishman’s arms. A tongue of pure light had followed Scarlet and as it made contact with Magenta, he felt pain, and nausea hit him as he fell on his backside, his vision becoming a blur.

Half-groggy, Magenta shook his head, to regain his senses fully. As his vision cleared, he found Blue crouched beside him.

“Are you okay?” asked Blue, concerned.

Magenta ran a mental check of his body; he felt alright, aside from being cold from his sitting on the floor. His head was clearing.

“Yeah, I seem to be. No pain.” His eyes fell on Scarlet who laid not far from him. Shifting his weight, he moved to his English colleague’s side. He couldn’t see any obvious signs of injuries, but Scarlet was definitely out cold.

However when he touched Scarlet’s shoulder, he was relieved to hear him moan. “Scarlet, you’re okay?”

“Yeah… I’m okay.” Scarlet grunted. He pushed himself up, to find Magenta and Blue giving him a hand. “I’m fine, you two. There no need to worry about me. I’m not hurt. Just… shocked, I think. Give me a minute to find my breath back.”

“Are you sure?” enquired Blue. “It looked like you got quite a jolt.”

“Yes. I’m sure. Whatever happened, it didn’t cause me any lasting harm.”

“Thanks, Scarlet,” Magenta said. “I hate to think what I would be feeling now if I had managed to touch that wall.”

“What was that thing?” Blue wondered. “Electricity, you think?”

“Don’t know… If it was, I might not even be standing here to speculate about it,” Scarlet answered.

 Magenta turned on his heel to face the barrier again. He swore, realising it was still there. Then he started to pace.

“You’re sure you’re okay too, Magenta?” Blue asked him.

“Yes. I’m sure.” Turning, Magenta fixed his gaze on Blue. “It’s not me you need to be concerned about. We need to find away to get to them.” He waved his hand towards where Grey, Ochre and the women were. Angered and frustrated, he resumed his pacing.

 

On determining that Magenta was okay, Scarlet, still a bit groggy by the shock he already received, moved his focus to the barrier. Blue moved to stand by his side. Magenta was right; they had to overcome it, if they were going to rescue their fellow captains. It was solid enough to block their way, but they could see right through it, although their vision of what was going on beyond was somewhat distorted. The scene had barely changed; he could see the women surrounding both Ochre and Grey and giving the intruders little attention – as if they were not there at all.

Anxiety built within Scarlet as he suspected that what was done to Grey and Ochre was much worst than met the eyes, and he wondered what effect all this was going to have on them. It needed to be stopped as quickly as possible.

“We have to get through this thing,” he muttered to Blue.

His colleague agreed. “Yeah, but how?”

A thought came to Scarlet’s mind and he turned his attention to the huge statue. ‘Could it work?’ From what he knew about cultic rituals, symbols and statues were significant and the apparition, he didn’t know what else to call it, had looked exactly like that statue. ‘If it was harmed in any way would that shift the focus on us?’ He decided to give it a try and aimed his gun at the statue.  Blue watched him with concern.

“Will it go through?” he asked. “It won’t bounce back?”

“I got through it for a split second before the barrier threw me back,” Scarlet replied. “I’m betting a bullet will pass through with no problem.” He closed an eye, taking good aim. “We’ll see in a second…. Heads’ up guys!”

He let off a couple of shots, praying he was right in his assumption, but sure they would cause something to happen. Both bullets hit the statue dead in the forehead and, as he had hoped, the barrier disappeared.

Elated, he stepped forward, only to be stopped by the sudden reappearance of the feminine apparition right in front of him.

“YOU!” she shouted, pointing at him. “You dare to desecrate my sacred image! For that, your life is forfeited!”

In saying that she lifted her right hand and a ball of light started forming in her palm. Scarlet watched, as if mesmerised.

At the same moment, behind the apparition, Grey crumpled onto the cushions that the woman he had been with had been lying on. The latter, having finally noticed what was happening at the entrance of the temple, gave a brief order to the other women who were by Ochre, causing them to leave him. They joined her as she lead them away, through an opening that seamed to have appeared beside the statue.

Emerging from his torpor, Scarlet raised his gun, just as the ball of light left the apparition’s hand and came right at him.

He just had the time to see Magenta stepping in front of him, and throwing something. He blinked as the ball of energy hit his colleague, flaring up in a huge, blinding light.

“Magenta!” both Scarlet and Blue yelled together.

The blinding light vanished and Magenta was still standing, but the apparition had started to dissipate.

“You may have stopped me for now. But I will return.”  She pointed a menacing finger in Scarlet’s direction. “I will have his life!” Those were her last words as she disappeared into thin air.

The three Spectrum officers stood there, slightly stunned.  Blue was the first to find his voice: “What… how…?”

With a tiny smile, Magenta held up something and answered, “Because of some of the things that occurred during the investigation, I thought that I had better come prepared.”

“What?” repeated Blue. “What is that thing you threw at this…, fireball to stop it that way?”

“Holy water,” Magenta explained. “And this medallion of the Archangel Michael, blessed by a Catholic priest, protected me.” He grinned widely as he showed his two colleagues what he held in his hand.

 Scarlet gave a slight shake of his head as he tried to assimilate what had happened exactly. However, a groan coming from Grey, lying on the cushions, sharply brought his and the others’ attention back to their companions.

“Blue, call the team above and see to Grey. Magenta, go and help Ochre. I’m going after those….” He struggled in the search of the name he should use to label the women who had kept his friends captive, “… vixens,” he finally concluded.

He then took off towards the opening through which they had disappeared.

 

Magenta didn’t need to be told twice. Sprinting to Ochre’s side, he was appalled by what he saw; his colleague and closest friend was lying on a carved stone block, bound to it, covered in a sheen of sweat and shivering. His eyes where closed but as Magenta bent on his knees to get closer, they flew open and a pain-filled groan came through the gag blocking his mouth. A look of fear came into them and he started to struggle against his bonds.

“Rick…, It’s okay, Rick. It’s me, Pat.” Magenta hoped that his positive and soothing voice would be recognized and will be enough to calm his friend. He wondered if Ochre would even recognize him to begin with; he seemed in such in a bad way.  But he squashed the anxiety from his mind, as he knew it only got in the way of doing what he needed to do.

To his relief, Ochre stopped his struggling and his eyes focused on him.

“It’s good to see you, Rick. How about we get you a bit more comfortable, eh?”

Saying these words, Magenta carefully removed the tape from Ochre’s mouth and covered him with his vest. Then he started to remove the restrains that held Ochre to the block. Ochre seemed terribly weak and Magenta could see marks and rope burns on his body. Obviously he had spent a lot of time restrained. He also didn’t like the way Ochre was breathing either. ‘Where in the hell are the medics?’ he asked himself. He was about to call them, when Ochre ineffectively tried to sit up.

“No, Rick.” Magenta laid a hand on his friend’s shoulder. “I know it’s uncomfortable, but it’s probably best for you to stay lying down.”

“Pat?” Ochre’s voice sounded tired and faint.

While he was talking, the backup and medical team finally arrived; Blue quickly sent the other officers after Scarlet. While half of the medics, to Magenta’s relief, came over to him and Ochre and after introductions and a ‘please move, Captain Magenta’, they started to see to Ochre. As they did, he threw a look towards Blue who had taken the other half of the medical team to Grey. He watched as they started to transfer Grey to a stretcher, with Blue hovering nearby, with a worried look on his face. Looking closely at Grey, Magenta noticed that their colleague was unconscious and that his skin had an odd colour. He could also see the agitation in the medics taking care of Grey; it didn’t look good.

Magenta’s attention was sharply pulled back to Ochre, as the doctor taking care of his friend, a Doctor Woodsman, removed a blood pressure cuff abruptly from Ochre’s arm. After it was off, Woodsman left and headed swiftly to the doctor on the other team. They talked earnestly with each other, with Woodsman indicating towards Ochre. Magenta looked at his friend; he could see that things were not looking great for him either.

“Captain Magenta!” Woodsman called, motioning for him to join them.

After a last look at Ochre, whom the medics were starting to get ready to be transferred to a stretcher, Magenta stood up and went to Woodsman.

“You wanted me?” he said, noticing how tensed they seemed. He had a really bad feeling about all this. It was confirmed by the abrupt way he was asked: “How good a friendship do you have with Captain Ochre?”

That took him slightly aback. “Very good. Why?”

“Because we need someone who can keep him calm and awake,” stated Woodsman. “Seeing the condition he’s in now, keeping him stable while moving him is going to be difficult. So the calmer and the more aware he stays, the better.”

“Oh.…” Magenta flicked his eyes back to Ochre. “I’ll try my best.”

“Thank you, Captain,” said Woodsman. “Now, let us get out of here.”

“I’ll contact Cloudbase and let them know the change of plans,” the other doctor put in.

“Change of plans?” Magenta asked.

“We’re not taking them back to Cloudbase yet. We need bring them to a nearby hospital first. Until they are better stabilized.”

Troubled, Magenta nodded his understanding and with that, went back to Ochre.

 

The transfer of Grey and Ochre, from where they had been found to the nearest military hospital, had been nearly as gruelling on Magenta as it had been for Ochre. Trying to keep Ochre awake and as calm as possible had taken some creativity, but somehow, he had managed it. Then the waiting, the hardest part, started. The fact that they hadn’t gone straight to Cloudbase highlighted the seriousness of both officers’ condition. Magenta had always found the interval between events hard, especially when he had to wait and see how one of his fellow officers, hurt during a mission and receiving medical care, would fare. This one hadn’t been any different.

The relief Magenta felt when he was finally told that both Ochre and Grey’s lives were out of danger, and that he, Blue and Scarlet were heading back to Cloudbase was immense..., but it was, all the while, undermined by the knowledge that, while his friends will likely survive, they were still not out of the woods yet. The ordeal they had endured had left some scars that would take time to heal.

And for that, Magenta swore inwardly that he would find those responsible – and make them pay dearly.

 

After handing his report to Colonel White, Magenta stepped back and perched on the stool that had risen from the floor; he watched, feeling a bit nervous, as the colonel made his preliminary reading. A movement to his right made him glance and he caught the eyes of Blue and Scarlet as they came up to the colonel’s desk. Blue gave him a slight nod of greetings, and Scarlet greeted him with a quick wave.

Without looking up from what he was reading, the colonel gave a small wave of the hand, indicating that they were to sit. Two more stools rose, so they did.

After a few seconds, Colonel White closed the folder and put it aside. He looked up to Magenta. At hard as the latter tried, he was unable to read on his commander’s set expression any of the thoughts that might be running into his mind. White was good at that; no-one new how to hide his thoughts and feelings better than him.

“Captain Magenta, for the benefit of Captain Scarlet and Captain Blue,” White waved in direction of the two officers, “I would like for you to give us a spoken account of your report.”

Magenta nodded briefly. “Of course, sir.”

“Start with the hidden breach in the ceiling. What made you re-examine it.”

“Logic, Colonel. There was nowhere else to go. The gents were sandwiched between the restaurant, a storeroom and an alleyway, both of which had CCTV. The examination of the footage showed nothing and it hadn’t been tampered with.”

“Hmmm.” The colonel nodded thoughtfully “And that led you to a freight distributing centre?”

“Yes, sir.” Magenta answered, adding quietly to himself, “and what an exercise in frustration that was.”

“What was that, Captain?”

A sheepish look crossed Magenta’s face. “I was just recalling how frustrating that lead was, sir.”

“I fully understand that. I also understand that W.A.S.P. Commander Panos had information for you?”

“Yes, sir. As one of his lieutenants had also disappeared at the same time.” With a nod towards the colonel, Magenta carried on: “As you probably read from my report, Lieutenant Davos was the one who suggested the restaurant where Ochre and Grey were abducted. In fact, she insisted they would go eat there.”

“That was enough to consider she was suspicious?”

Magenta shrugged. “At the time, sir, I wasn’t quite sure. It was a possible lead, anyway.  Lieutenant Davos, Panos told me, was a very private person. Secretive in some aspects. She was very competent in her job, but she wasn’t very social, even with her colleagues at the W.A.S.P…, which actually made her suggestion of the restaurant suspicious to Panos. She rarely ever joined anyone on any meal.”

“That’s hardly damning evidence, Captain Magenta.”

“I know, sir. But I don’t believe in coincidence. So I played a hunch.”

White nodded his understanding. “And I believe you played it well. So you and Commander Panos entered Lieutenant Davos’ quarters?”

“Yes, sir. As she had been missing for a week, the commander used a part of their rules and regs to allow us access to her living space.” Feeling rather unsure about the colonel’s thoughts on what was next in the report, Magenta hesitated. He saw his commander nodding encouragingly to him.

“Please, continue, Captain. Explain us about your findings.”

“I know it might seem hardly relevant, sir...”

 “To the contrary.  The fact that it helped you find Captain Ochre and Captain Grey makes it highly relevant.”  White raised a brow. “Or are you telling me you put something in your report that wasn’t?”

“No, sir.” Magenta cleared his throat. “Commander Panos and I found a hidden shrine with…,” he hesitated slightly, “a stone altar, a small clay goddess figure…”

He noticed the interrogative glint in his commander’s eyes, but White said nothing, which prompted him to continue: “We also found a crescent-shape medallion… another sculpture showing the phases of the moon, and candles…” Again, Magenta stopped, looking at his commander. Still, he couldn’t guess what he could be thinking exactly.

“Surely, these findings weren’t enough to condemn that woman,” Colonel White commented. He shook his head. “I fail to see how that could have led you to Captain Ochre and Captain Grey.”

“Ah…. That will become clear, sir.”

“I’m sure it will.” White nodded again, thoughtfully. Of all his ground officers, Captain Magenta was the only one who had no military or police training. He obviously still had some difficulty making a proper report, although this one was a definite improvement over those he had presented at the beginning of his career within Spectrum.  He just needed some encouragement. “Please, continue with your report, Captain,” he asked again.

“As Commander Panos and I were leaving Lieutenant Davos’s place, we were stopped by a priest.”

“A priest?” White repeated.

“Yes, sir. Father Boosalis, the base’s Catholic chaplain.”

Magenta exchanged glances with Blue and Scarlet who sent him looks of support; they had briefly talked about it, they knew what was coming up next.

“What he told me was hard for me to believe,” Magenta then said. “At least…, at first I found it ludicrous, but….”

“To the point, Captain.”

“Father Boosalis explained to us that Lieutenant Davos was a member of a very ancient and secret cult dedicated to the goddess Cynthia and that the pagan cult was into the arcane. He also was certain that the cult had been behind other abductions, during the last years. Unfortunately, he had no proof of that. Which was why he had been watching the lieutenant.”

“That explains your odd findings,” White realised, frowning.  “But…, how Father Boosalis knew all that, to begin with? And why would he take it upon himself to watch her?”

“He told me he was a member of a secret Christian order, which had been fighting the pagan cult of Cynthia for centuries,” Magenta continued. “So he knew a lot about it.  It was him who informed me of the worship sites of the cult. And by working with the information from the freight distributing centre, I was able to work out where Grey and Ochre might be.” He smiled thinly. “Father Boosalis also provided with a couple of…, gifts, that were very useful later on.”

“So that’s where you got the holy water you used against the goddess in that… temple,” Blue suddenly noted, earning him a glare from the colonel.

“Yeah…,” Magenta turned to Blue. He was getting more comfortable with disclosing his account now. White tilted his head to one side, as he saw the Irish captain physically relax. He said nothing, as Magenta continued: “When he realised he was right all along about Davos, Father Boosalis gave that holy water to me. Along with the medallion that protected me. He said that I had no idea what we were up against…. That this cult was very powerful – and that their goddess was even more powerful. Only a Christian artefact, blessed by a member of his order could stand a chance to face her magic and protect those who will hide behind it. He also said she would not be able to abide holy water. So he gave them to me and explained how to use them.” Magenta shrugged, and smiled sheepishly as he turned back to address the frowning Colonel White. “I wasn’t sure if I should believe all of the weird things he told me, so I…, well…, kind of humour him. My mother had always told me to give priests the respect they’re due. Panos told me afterwards that the personnel at the base considered Father Boosalis ‘a saintly man’. Beside, some of what he was telling us was adding up. Especially when he indicated to us how to find this cult’s whereabouts. Ultimately, that’s what led us to find Ochre and Grey.”

White nodded slowly, unsure if he could believe all of Magenta’s account. He looked back at the closed folder on his desk, containing the written account of Magenta’s report. There was a look of scepticism on his face. “I know that we have come across weird situations in our fight against the Mysterons but this…,” he gestured to the report. “Did you really run into such opposition?”

“That is what happened, Colonel,” Magenta answered truthfully.

“Of course,” White said, scowling. He wasn’t about to dismiss this entire cockeyed story on the sole fact it was incredible. Magenta was certainly sincere. And Scarlet and Blue had already confirmed the odd events that had happened in the cave. “So that…, creature that appeared to you? You believe it was that…, goddess Cynthia?”

“I don’t know, sir.” Magenta sighed. “But because Father Boosalis’ advice had been on the money so far, I guess I instinctively decided that he was right about the holy water. So when I used it against her, I did it only by instinct.” He shook his head. “And I’m thankful to that man, sir. And feeling a bit sheepish for not believing him at first. However, now I have to agree that he had been right all along.”

“Hmmm.” The colonel wasn’t all sure what he thought exactly of all those events. He turned to Scarlet. “What are your thoughts about the threat against your life, Captain?”

Scarlet shrugged dismissively. “I can’t see how it could come about, Colonel. I’m no longer in the area and it’s been four days since it was made. If she was as powerful as some people thought, then I’m sure she would have struck by now.” He shrugged again. “Anyway, we all know what the eventual outcome would have been.” Leaning forward he asked, “what are the news on Grey and Ochre, Colonel?”

“Doctor Fawn’s pleased with the progress they have made so far. But he’s going to wait a couple more days before transferring back here.”

“Oh.” Scarlet didn’t say more. White could see he was somehow disappointed and concerned. They all were.

Colonel White looked down at the folder containing Magenta’s report. Next to it were two other folders, each containing Captain Scarlet’s and Captain Blue’s respective reports on the latest assignment. He would have time to read them all later.

“This has not been an easy mission and there are parts of it that are likely to have long term consequences,” he said. “However we cannot let what has happened distract or disrupt our ability to do our job.”  He offered a reassuring nod. “Be assured that Doctor Fawn is doing all he can to help both Grey and Ochre,” he said more softly. “He is the best in his field. And you know that Spectrum will be calling on any other specialists if there’s a need for it. We owe it to both these men.”

“Of course, sir,” Scarlet said, echoed by Blue.

“Thank you, Colonel,” Magenta added, although a little dejectedly.

White nodded again, and stood on his feet, in a way to indicate the debriefing was over. “Considering what you were up against,” he said, “all of you, you did well. You are dismissed for now.  Take some much needed rest.”

 

 

Gazing at the cloud tops hovering below his feet from the observation tube, Colonel White contemplated the details from the discussion he had had with Doctor Fawn about the good doctor’s report on Captains Grey and Ochre.

The news was not good. Fawn’s own series of tests, examinations and studies of the two captains’ condition with his medical equipment on Cloudbase had not only confirmed, but also expanded the initial findings of the doctors at the Greek military hospital.

Both Captain Grey and Captain Ochre had been seriously harmed by the terrible ordeal they had been victims of. The physical and mental abuse caused by the drugs used on them meant that, for the time being, neither of them would pass the medical and physical requirements needed to be field agents – and that, for an undetermined amount of time. That was, if they were to recover at all.

With a shake of his head, he recalled the last couple of weeks. It hadn’t been easy for him or any of his senor staff, especially for Grey and Ochre. Doctor Fawn had been on their case from the very beginning, working with the medical personnel of the military hospital they had been taken to. They had been able to counter the effects of the drugs that the two captains had been given, but unfortunately, it seemed it wasn’t before serious damage had been done to both men.

The colonel knew that it hadn’t been easy for the doctors, as the toxicity profile from each captain had been slightly different from the other.  Making the treatment of them, so Doctor Fawn informed him, harder, as for what worked for one hadn’t necessary worked for the other.

Pinching the bridge of his nose, Colonel White recalled Fawn’s report. According to it, one of the drugs that were used on Grey and Ochre to elevate their heart rate had combined with another that Ochre had been given, causing damage to the valves in his heart. Getting him back to full fitness might take a considerable amount of time and a lot of work. The good doctor also had warned him that it might not be possible for Ochre to be fully restored.

Colonel White sighed. For Ochre, dealing with the consequences of what happened to him wasn’t going to be easy.

Captain Grey hadn’t been left unscathed either, but the effects the drugs had on him were not as obvious. It had taken Fawn some time to realize that one of them, a very strong hallucinogenic, had caused Grey to develop a severe form of narcolepsy. It certainly wasn’t an ailment one needed when living on a hovering airbase. Fawn plainly informed the Spectrum commander that Grey was going to need carefully monitoring, so that an understanding of his condition could be formed and a way of countering it found. If possible.

So, Grey had also been signed off-duty, for an indefinite amount of time.

White reflected on the impact all these latest events now had on the smooth running of his base. Headache material, all of it. As for what else might crop up for Grey and Ochre – the good doctor didn’t know at this point.

Now Colonel White was faced with a number of things and questions to sort out. He had to do what was best for Spectrum. Such was the price of leadership. Still at the moment, he could afford to wait; there wasn’t a conflict of needs. But he would have to make some decisions soon.

The colonel could feel his anger rising; the thought of what had happened, and of those responsible for this, was starting to strain his self-control.

He felt his anger spike as he remembered that none of the perpetrators had been caught. They had got away; even Scarlet, who had been right on their tail, could not figure out where they had gone to. White didn’t believe in thin air disappearances – well, outside of the Mysterons – but he had to wonder in this case. Even Spectrum Intelligence, who had taken over the case, was not having any luck tracking the women down. They were well hidden.

A quiet apprehensive laugh escaped his lips, as he recalled the World President’s reaction to his report. ‘You could have knocked him over with a feather.  And the look on his face…As I reported my Captain’s inferences. He probably thought they I was going crazy. Although I know the feeling. Just as well he’s as open-minded as he is. Of course, considering what has happened during his tenure, I’m not surprised. At least his understanding makes things easier for me in the running of Spectrum.’ It hadn’t been an easy report to do, but at least now he was free to do what need to be done.

Putting himself at ease, White took a couple of deep breaths and reined in his feelings. A clear head was needed to deal with the consequences of what had happened in Greece. It was going to take sometime to sort out everything and to work out just what they could do for Grey and Ochre. Fawn had already indicated to him that they weren’t going to be completely vacating his domain anytime soon; he had only just started to let them for a few hours each day. So that left the Spectrum commander with some time to work out what to do with them until they got better.

He wanted to be positive about it, but he had to come to term that they might never be better, or that it would take a long time before they would. In the meantime, Spectrum couldn’t do with two ground agents less.

‘It’s never easy replacing staff.  This has left me with a nice mess to sort out.”

With another sigh, Colonel White headed back to his desk; back to the one hundred and one tasks needed to be done to keep Spectrum running.

 

With a cup of tea in hand, Scarlet leaned tiredly against the bench in his kitchenette, rueing the need for him, Blue and Magenta to do extra duties, in order to cover for Grey and Ochre’s. The added duties had made it hard for him to visit Grey and Ochre after they had returned to Cloudbase, but he had finally managed to do it. They didn’t seem to be too down in the dumps, but having worked with them for as long as he had, Scarlet knew that they were probably feeling more depressed than they had let on.

A sense of umbrage at the whole situation rose in him and with a scowl of annoyance, he finished his drink and headed towards his bed. The whole Greek incident was one that he found difficult to make logical sense of – there were just too many odd things that had happened. That was making him wonder just what exactly they had been up against.

Preparing to get into bed, Scarlet gave himself a mental shake; whatever that apparition was, she was no longer for him to worry about. That was in Spectrum Intelligence’s court now. Doing his duty and helping Grey and Ochre, however he could, was what he needed to concentrate on. It would serve nothing for him to dwell on the past.

As he lifted the sheet, A faint noise behind him caused Scarlet to spin around, bringing him face to face with a woman. One that he had already encountered twice.

Before he could even think about why she was there, and how had she got there, she announced in a cold, ethereal voice, “Mortal, I told you I would have your life. I am always true to my word.”

And as she said the last word, Scarlet felt an extreme pressure wrap around him, forcing a long scream of pain from his lips.

 

AUTHOR’S NOTES:

 

One is grateful for the wonderful imagination of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the creators of Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons. That opened the door for this story and I acknowledge that the copyright belongs to someone else, not me.

I also want to express gratitude to Chris for her hard work in helping me to get this story finished and suitable for the website. Thanks, Chris.

 

My story has been written for mine and others’enjoyment and not for any financial gain and any mistakes are mine.

 

 

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