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



Not Such a Restful Night, A 'Captain Scarlet' story for Halloween, by VMR


The view from the Spectrum saloons windscreen hadnt changed for over three hours; the road still ran dead straight, off into the distance. Wooden poles carrying power and phone lines marched in their unvarying spacing alongside it and an odd cactus poked up out of the deserts ground every now and then. However, the sun had started to set on the left and slightly behind the saloon and Scarlet felt like cursing the sat nav that had directed him to take this route.

He had already been driving for most of the day and now there seemed to be no end to this road he was on, yet alone any signs of civilization. Wondering if he was really on the right road, he checked the sat nav. His destination - a WAAF research base, Fort Coyote – wasnt showing, so he expanded the map. There it was, still a fair distance away and change of direction at an up and coming crossroad.

Scarlet felt relieved; he would have hated to have been lost out here. He turned on the saloons headlights; their beams illuminated the heat waves that were still coming off the road. It was turning out to be a long trip, just to deliver some documents. Okay, they were very important ones, but delivering them meant an extra night on the ground. Annoyingly, it also meant that he would miss a dinner date with Dianne. However on the plus side, he had also missed the Halloween party on Cloudbase. He had to grin about that.

With the night drawing in and the air cooling down, he wound down his window to let in some of the fresh cool air and with it the smells of the desert, the sun-baked tarmac of the road and rocks as well as the scent of the night blooming cactus flowers. Another glance at the sat nav showed that the crossroad was still about five odd miles away; then there was another seventy miles to drive before he would reach his destination. It was going to be a late arrival. He hoped that the guards at its gates were expecting him. The last thing he wanted was to be held up and hassled after such a long drive.

What a time for things to fail.

Not long after Scarlet had used the sat nav, it stopped working, and so had the saloons clock. Still there was no way he could miss the other road he needed to take and then it was a straight drive to the WAAF base. So he wasnt too worried.

Something wasnt right. Scarlet felt like he had been driving for ages and that he should have come across the intersection by now. He looked at his watch and got a shock: three hours had passed since he had last looked at the time. He pulled over and stopped; he tried to get the sat nav going again. No luck. He decided to contact Cloudbase to get a fix on where he was. There was no reply.

What was going on?

He sat back and contemplated whether he should turn around and go back, in case he had miss the intersection, or keep going, in the chance that the sat nav had gotten the distance wrong and the intersection was still up a head. Who knew, it might not have been working properly before it failed.

He decided to get out and have a look around. He needed a high point which to scout from, so he climbed onto the roof of the saloon and from there he was able to see a gleam of light in the distance. Was it the crossroad, a town or something else? Whatever it represented, it would be better than staying where he was or hoping that in driving back he would find the crossroad.

Getting back into the car, he once more began to drive along the road.

It wasnt the crossroad, nor was it a town. The light turned out to be from a sign and building of a hotel. As he turned into its car park, Scarlet started to feel weary and heavy headed. Upon getting out, his eyesight clouded for a moment as a wave of tiredness washed over him.

One thing was certain, he wasnt going to be driving anymore tonight.

A gust of wind almost took off his kepi and brought with it a faint sound of a tolling bell. As he walked to the hotel entrance, the door was opened by a very beautiful lady.

Welcome to Haven in Hell sir. Im known as Rebecca and will be your host, she said. We have a slight problem with the lights at the moment. So if you would follow me, I will guide you past the darkness to where we do have some.

After saying that she lit a candle and proceeded through the hotels lobby and down a hall towards the back of the building. As Scarlet followed her, he couldnt help but think, as he took in the exquisite decor, that this certainly was a haven, and that he was lucky it showed up. He would not have liked to have ended up spending the night sleeping in the car.

However I do hope that she or anyone else dont ask too many questions or this night could end up being awkward, Scarlet thought.

Clearing his throat he introduced himself: Thank you for your welcome, Rebecca. Im Captain Scarlet, from Spectrum. I dont need much, just something to eat and a room to stay in, away from your other guests. I dont want to cause them any alarm.

She turned her head and smiled at him. Im sorry, Captain, but that just isnt possible. You see, tonight is a very important night and all our guests have to participate in the observance.

As she said this, she opened a door that was at the end of the hallway and stepped through it. Scarlet wasnt happy with the idea of having to take part in any ceremony or festival and had decided that maybe it would be better to spend the night in the car after all.

He turned to go back but found his way blocked by a two handsome young men.

Are you going to leave us so soon? one of them asked. You only just got here, at least have something to eat with us.

As there was noway to leave without having to push forcefully past them, Scarlet decided to be polite and accepted their invitation. He stepped through the door as well. As he did so, a number of voices called out a welcome.

The door opened out onto a courtyard, with Rebecca standing in the middle and a very rhythmic and tonal music playing from an unseen sound system. Also in the courtyard were more attractive young men, who were dancing to the music. Rebecca came to stand beside him as he took in what he saw.

Thank you for joining us, Captain. As I have said, this is a very special night being the eve of All Hallow. Would you like something to drink?

All Hallows Eve? Scarlet asked puzzled. You mean Halloween?

It is sometimes known by that designation, Rebecca replied.

Scarlet frowned; didnt the others on Cloudbase have their Halloween party the night before? Then he remembered that Cloudbase was stationed by Fiji, on the other side of the international dateline, therefore a day ahead.

Do you want a drink, Captain? Rebecca once again asked.

Yes, thank you, he replied. Some fruit juice if possible, please. Nothing alcoholic though. Im still on duty. He looked at the dancing going on around him, I hope that you will not expect me to join in the dancing, Im not really dressed for it.

Oh…” Rebecca drawled as she handed Scarlet his drink, this is an exceptional dance. You see, it makes those who take part in it remember or forget things.

Oh? Scarlet said sceptically, before taking a mouthful of his drink. The taste of it exploded in his mouth making his tastebuds tingle, reminding him of a superb wine he had shared once - a long time ago - with Destiny. Whats this? he questioned in surprise. This isnt wine, is it? I asked for something non-alcoholic.

My dear Captain, Rebecca laughed. It is not wine. It is a special cordial recipe handed down from daughter to daughter since nineteen sixty-nine. It uses grape juice, but its categorically not alcoholic.

Ah. Well then, he took another taste. It is really nice, he commented and proceeded to finish it.

He was looking for some place to put the glass down, when it was taken out of his hand. His arm was grabbed and he found himself pulled into the middle of the striking young men dancing. There he was spun, swung, pushed and pulled from one youth to another. He tried to evade them and get back to the edge of the courtyard, thinking that once he was there, he would make them understand that he didnt want to dance.

However Scarlet soon realized that he was becoming disorientated and befuddled, and there wasnt a thing he could do to stop it. Soon, his mind started to recall past events. The first time he broke a bone. The time when he and a cousin got almost trampled by a raging bull. All the while he was aware of the pulsating, rhythmical music and being passed and spun around like a ball. He remembered the occasion when he got caught in some rapids, while crossing a river and nearly drowned, and the first time he was shot while on an assignment in the WAAF.

As the memories went on, his awareness of the courtyard faded and he not only saw the events, he began to feel them as well. His breath caught in his throat as he started to relive his first death after he had returned to duty - following the fateful event at the Car-vu. He experienced the same alarm that he felt as he saw the wall of the radar-building by the runway racing towards the S.P.V. , felt the force on his head and body as he was pushed back into his seat by the impact of it hitting the wall. Then - as the nose of the S.P.V. rosed up over the rubble - the wallop of being thrown against the seats restraints, and the blow of his head hitting the steering and control column. He could even feel the blood and pain from a gash on his temple.

The pain grew and then faded, as Scarlet found himself standing in a lift - a very large industrial lift. Its steel net cage was rising fast and he just had time to take in his surrounding before a blast of very hot air and flames came roaring up the lift shaft. They made everything shake and almost cooked him, but before he could do anything about it, rubble started to rain down on him. Every bit of rock, concrete, metal and anything else that hit him hurt like hell and he began to find it hard to breathe as the weight of the rubble, and the dust from it, began to smother him. And in the background he could hear the very concerned voice of Captain Blue, as well as the even fainter reverberation of music.

Suddenly, a bright light shone into his eyes, he was on his back with his face covered. He could feel two round things on his forehead and sensed that there were people around him. However, before he could say or do anything, an overwhelming jolt of electricity surged through him, from his head to his toes. It caused all his nerves to retract in excruciating pain. He was just recovering from the shock when it happened again, and then again and again. Each of the jolts getting stronger each time, making him writhe in pain, but it didnt last for long, as another jolt sent him into blackness.

The interior of another S.P.V. was the first thing he saw, when his eyesight cleared. Right beside the S.P.V. was a red truck. With a bang, they came together and the red truck ricocheted off the road and into the desert. Unfortunately, Scarlet found that he had also lost control and the S.P.V. was on a collision course with an oil storage tank. The impact shattered the tank, spilling oil all over the S.P.V. which quickly ignited, trapping him within. At first, it wasnt too bad, as the S.P.Vs shell and life-support systems kept him safe, but the size and ferociously of the fire started to overwhelm them. The first sign that things were going wrong was the increased heat as the temperature in the cabin rose and continued to rise. He tried to keep himself hydrated with the water that was in supplies, but it was becoming harder to move in the heat. Then slowly, smoke began to find its way in and he found that he to fight to breathe. It was a frightening situation and only got worst until he became aware of nothing except maybe the beating of his own heart.

That beat became louder and turned into the sound of helicopter blades, as he found himself inside a big wooden crate. In there with him was a nuclear reactor. It didnt take him long to recognize where he was. Alas, before he could do anything, the helicopter jolted upward and the reactor slid toward him, crushing him between it and the wall of the crate, breaking one of his legs. As he struggled to stay conscious, through the piercing pain, the voice of the scientist who was telling him how to shutdown the reactor called urgently in his helmet. He knew that he needed to pull one last wire and, with great effort and agony, managed to do so, just before the helicopter crashed into a nearby building site and burst into flames. Trapped between the reactor and the crate with a broken leg, he knew that there was no way he could avoid being burned and as he got ready to endure what was about to happen, he once more reflected on how he hated being burnt. He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth as the flames began to caress his skin.

The pain of his burning flesh was just starting to overcome him when the sound and reverberation of the music, that had always been there in the background, suddenly stopped.

And so did everything else as utter darkness claimed him.

Slowly, Scarlet began to become aware of things again, and as he did so he thought he heard distant, echoing voices greeting him.

As he became more aware of his surroundings, he realized that he was lying on his back on top of an unbelievably soft surface. When he opened his eyes, he got a hell of a shock as he saw himself. What the? Did the Mysterons somehow copy him again? The thought ran through his head for a brief moment, until he realized that there were mirrors on the ceiling, and that it was his own reflection which was staring back at him. His head was bear and with his cap gone, it meant that he had no way to contact base. Swiftly, he tried to sit up, but found that he could not, nor could he move his arms or legs.

What was going on? Alarmed, he tried again to move, and was still unable to; the only part of him that was able to was his head. Turning it to one side confirmed what he thought: he was on a bed and the room around him looked like it had been transplanted from almost a hundred years ago, with loud vibrant colours and psychedelic patterns.

When he turned to the other side, he saw a small table, on which stood an ice bucket with a long gold foil-wrapped necked bottle poking out of it. Beside it, Rebecca sat on a chaise longue, holding a champagne flute filled with a pink bubbly liquid.

Whats going on here? Scarlet demanded. Why cant I move? Why are you keeping me here against my will?

No, Captain, Rebecca replied. Its not me that holds you. Any prisons here, are of your own making. After taking a slip of her drink, she placed it on the table and stood up. Now, Im sure that you must be feeling absolutely famished. Why dont we go and have something to eat? she asked. We are very lucky tonight, as weve been invited to dine in my mentors chambers. Its going to be a very special feast. She moved towards the door. Are you going to come, Captain? she asked him from over her shoulder.

Inexplicably, Scarlet found that he could now move and that indeed, he was very hungry. The oddness of the place and what had happened to him faded as his hunger grew. Thinking he might as well satisfy it, he followed Rebecca down the hall.

When they arrived at two ornate bronze doors, Rebecca pushed one and stepped through, holding it opened for Scarlet to do so as well. As he did, he was surprised to see the young men from the courtyard. They were all standing around a number of tables, laden with food and drinks.

But that was not what caught his attention the most: what was rather unnerving was the fact that each of then were inspecting or sharpening long silvery knifes.

Come, Captain. Come and take the place of honour. Rebecca gestured to a table, positioned in one of the corners, the walls of which were covered by curtains. Come, she repeated before she moved towards the table.

For some unknown reason, Scarlet found himself following her. When they reached it, Rebecca went and stood between the table and the walls and gestured to him to stand beside her.

Once he had, Rebecca turned to the others in the room. Its time!” she said, and with that, she grasped and pulled the curtains that were behind her. Once the curtains had fallen to the floor, a shout rose from the young men.

Theres the beast! they cried.

Startled, Scarlet turned, his right hand automatically going for his gun, only to find that his holster was empty. However, he had no time to wonder how that could be, for what he saw shocked him even more.

Behind him wasnt a cage or an animal, as he expected to see, but instead a reflection of the room, revealed in mirrors that were attached to the walls. It was that image that stunned him. For, even though the mirrors showed Rebecca and the young men exactly as they were, it wasnt the same for him. His mind almost blanked at the sight.

Where he stood, there was instead a scared, ragged and emaciated lion.

How that could be? He struggled to comprehend but he didnt have a lot of time to think about it, because beside him Rebecca gave a sudden cry:

The hunt is on!

And before the echoes of her announcement ended, he found himself fighting and running for his life, as she and the young men pursued him around the room. He dodged around the furniture, ducking under tables, turning some of them over, even pushing chairs into the paths of his hunters doing everything he could to keep himself away from his pursuers and their sharp knifes. Some of them did manage to wound him - just like he had managed to neutralize some of them - but thankfully, not too badly. Yet he knew that it was only a matter of time before he would end up with a significant injury. He had to get away.

Somehow, with speed and tenacity that surprised even him, he made it to the door. He didnt know how but somehow he managed to evade the last two hunters, who tried to stop him, and exited the room, slamming the door behind him.

Once in the corridor, he looked around and seeing a large table pulled it across the door, trapping his pursuers within. Then, knowing his pursuers would eventually get out and come after him, he ran down the way he thought he had came from, wanting nothing more than to put as much distance as he could from them.

After turning a couple of corners, Scarlet stopped to catch his breath. He looked around him in dismay, for now he found himself at an intersection of multiple passages.

How could that be? He had no idea and it also made no sense; it was just another weird thing in this strange and deceitful night. Which passage should he take and what might happen if he chose the wrong one? He didnt know and there was no indication that any were safe or dangerous for that matter.

With a shake of his head, he chose one at random and started to walk it down.

After some time had passed and a few corners had been turned, Scarlet saw that the passage had come to a dead end. There was nowhere else to go, as he had not passed any doors along the way.

He turned around and retraced his steps. Coming back to the intersection, he chose another passage and headed down into it. It was only to find that it ended in a dead end as well. He came back to the intersection, and chose a new path, again and again and again, each time getting more and more irritated.

Five different passages he had tried and they all went nowhere. There was only one of them left, and it had better lead somewhere or Scarlet rubbed his face; he didnt know what to make of it. Nothing made sense, this entire situation couldnt be real. Maybe he had crashed his S.S.C. and this whole thing was a hallucination?

He shrugged dismissively. There was no way of really knowing, and anyway, even if it was or wasnt, he would rather be doing something than sitting on the floor doing nothing.

So with that thought he walked down the last passage.

Just like the other ones, it had a number of corners so he couldnt see its end. He certainly hoped that it ended up somewhere as he walked it down. Turning the last corner, he was ecstatic to see the hotels lobby and its front door. Eagerly, he sped up and moved towards the door

 … Only to have his path blocked by a large, muscled body.

He came to a sudden stop. You better not try and stop me or trick me into staying, he growled, because Im getting out of this mad house.

Relax, Im just the night watchman, the big man in front of Scarlet said. As for checking out, youve already been deceived. For you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave!

And with that, the watchman pulled out a long silvery knife identical to those Scarlet had seen in the young mens hands. The stunned Spectrum officer tried to dodge away from the blade, but he was too slow, and the watchman thrust it into his side.

Scarlet grunted against the pain. However, his evasive manoeuvre had carried him past his attacker and right to the front door. Without another thought he took the opportunity and dashed through it to the outside, with the knife still lodged into his side.

As he stumbled out, he was relieved to see his Spectrum saloon was still there, parked nearby. In pain and feeling woozy, he made his way to it, hoping to make contact with Cloudbase with the onboard communicator, or at least make use of its first-aid kit to bandage his wounds.

Unfortunately he only got as far as the drivers door, before his injuries took their toll, and became too much. He lost consciousness, collapsing at the side of the S.S.C.


Had he heard something?

Captain, can you hear me?

Scarlet thought he did.

Paul! There was no doubt about it, he had. Come on, pal, give me a sign that youre going to be okay.

Now Scarlet could feel hands touching him, running over his legs, arms and body. Fingers lifted one of his eyelids, letting an annoying ray of light in. The light was a shock to his brain and he flinched.

Thats it, Paul, the voice encouraged him. Time to come around.

With rapid blinking, his eyesight slowly cleared and the speakers face came into focus. Of course his identity wasnt a surprise to him, as he had finally recognized the voice.

Blue, he acknowledged roughly, as he started to sit up. What are you doing here?

Hunting for you, Blue replied. He gave Scarlet a hand to sit up, positioning him so he could use the side of the S.S.C. as a backrest. When Fort Coyote alerted Cloudbase that you hadnt arrived, and Lieutenant Green couldnt contact you, we started to get worried. And adding to that the fact that the G.P.S. of your S.S.C. wasnt active, Colonel White took it as a good indication that you had ran into trouble. Blue presented Scarlet a bottle of water and added, And seeing you lying there on the ground by your car, I presume that you did didnt you?

Scarlet took the bottle offered to him but didnt drink from it. He just was not thirsty, or hungry for that matter, which was odd, considering what he had been through. He also noted that there didnt seem to be any bloody stains on his uniform. It was dusty and a little bit worse for wear, but there was no blood.

 “Ah, I…” Scarlet was about to answer in the positive, when a wave of doubt hit him. Quickly, he looked to his side; there was a hole in his uniform, where the blade had struck him, but no sign of the wound it had caused. Of course, he wasnt too surprised by that. What did surprise him though was the fact that there was no blood from the wound on his uniform either. He took a quick look around him.

There was no knife as well.

What the hell was going on?

Seeing the confusion on his companions face, Blue felt somewhat concerned. Are you alright, Scarlet? Should I request a medical copter? he asked.

No, Im okay, Scarlet replied. Just a little bit stiff. That should go once I get moving.

Why did you stop here, in the middle of nowhere? queried Blue. “Fort Coyote is only another ten miles further on.

“Ah… What do you mean ‘the middle of nowhere’?” Scarlet asked, surprised. “You need your eyes checked, Blue, if you haven’t seen the hotel behind us.”

“Hotel?” Blue repeated with a frown. “There’s nothing there apart from some old rubble, Paul.”

“What?!” Startled by Blue’s statement, Scarlet swiftly stood, staggering to his feet, and turned to look over the roof of the S.S.C.

A shudder ran through him. Blue was right. The S.S.C. was parked just in front of some time-worn ruins, in which the outlines of an ancient building was scarcely recognisable. He couldn’t believe his eyes.

“What the hell? There’s nothing there.”

That’s why I asked,” Blue explained. “It seems a very odd place to stop, especially as you were so near to the end of your journey. Why did you?” But Scarlet didn’t seem to have heard him. Concerned, Blue laid a hand on one of his friend’s shoulders. “Paul? What’s going on?”

Scarlet just shook his head and ran a hand through his hair. “It must have been a dream,” he said quietly, almost to himself. “No, a frigging a nightmare.”

And as he stared at the ruins,  trying to come to terms with what obviously wasn’t there, he became aware of the sound of ringing church bells. That caused him to recall that he had heard the same sound when he had first arrived at this place.

“Do you hear that?” he asked Blue

“Hear what?” replied Blue.

“Those bells.”

“What bells? All I hear is some wind, and maybe a couple of birds, but no bells.” Blue scrutinized Scarlet, noting that his friend was pale and was showing signs of anxiety. “Are you sure that you are alright, Scarlet?”

“Yes, Blue,” Scarlet answered, as he continued to stare at the ruins. “I’m fine.”

Blue didn’t believe him. He sensed that something had happened to Scarlet the night before, but what it could be, he had no idea.

“What happened last night?” he had to ask.

Scarlet finally turned to face Blue, with a troubled look in his eyes. What could he say? The events of the night were unmistakably clear in his mind, but there was no evidence to support his memories. Was he going mad? And would Blue even believe him, if he told him?

And even Scarlet was starting to wonder if it had really happened. At this point, he didn’t know anymore.

But then, how to explain the hole in his uniform? Did he tear it somehow, and did not recall how?

‘No,’  he decided. “It’s probably best to keep it to myself.”


“Look, I got lost, okay?” Scarlet stated with a dismissive gesture. “The saloons sat nav stopped working and I had no idea where I was. I did try and contact Cloudbase, but there must have been some sort of interference, because I wasn’t able to. Also, I was getting weary. So I pulled over into what I thought was a rest area. I didn’t know that I was this close to Fort Coyote or I would have kept going.”

“Okay,” Blue responded, accepting Scarlet’s rather terse account. However, he couldn’t help wondering if it was the truth, and if not, what could really have happened to his friend. “Well, seeing as you’re up and about, we had better get those documents that you were supposed to deliver to where they are meant to be.

Turning, Blue headed towards the S.S.C. that he had arrived in, and which was parked just behind Scarlets vehicle. Why dont you grab them, while Ill arrange for your ride to be collected? Ill drive us to Coyote Base.

“Why should you drive, Blue?” Scarlet asked, irked by Blue’s suggestion.

“Because I’m not happy about the way you looked when I found you,” Blue retorted. “So unless you tell me what really happened, I’m not going to let you drive. Maybe you were ill, or something.”

“Me, ill?” Scarlet retorted with a frown. “I don’t get ill, Blue, you know that.”

“Well, you certainly looked like hell when you came to and you still don’t look too good now. So I’m driving.”

“Oh.” There wasn’t anything else Scarlet could really say. Annoyed, he moved to the passenger side door of his car and opened it. Bending down, he looked in and went to reach for the documents…

… Only to stop in disbelief and alarm.

There, on top of the briefcase containing the documents, was a long silvery knife, exactly like the ones those people who had chased him had possessed.

With a swift motion, he grabbed it and threw it as far away as he could into the desert. Mesmerised, he watched as it landed on the ground, and the hot wind immediately started to cover it with the grit and sand of desert.

Standing up, he saw Blue staring at him. I know Ive said this before, Blue, he told his friend. But Ill say it again: I really dont like Halloween.

Synopsis. Captain Scarlet is given the simple task of delivering some important documents to a W.A.A.F base in the middle of a desert. What could go wrong?



Thank you, Chris, for the time and effort that you put into beta-reading this story and for this website. However, any mistakes in the story I’ll own, for it’s my story and I am the one responsible for it.

Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons’ copyrights are owned by someone else and not me. I also acknowledge that The Eagles wrote the song ‘Hotel California’ which was the inspiration for this story.

I am not doing this to get any money, I’m just doing it so that other can have a chance to read my efforts and for the pleasure.








Any comments? Send an E-MAIL to the SPECTRUM HEADQUARTERS site