Perchance to Dream...  

A “Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons” story for Halloween

 

By Marion Woods

 

          Captain Scarlet avoided the Halloween party-goers and slipped into his quarters with a deep sigh.  He had waved goodnight to Blue a few minutes ago and left the American planning to go along to the officers’ lounge to see what his compatriots had devised this year.  He had invited the Englishman to come along but, mindful of the trick he had played on them last year and the round condemnation he had received from everyone – not to mention the good thumping from Blue – Scarlet had declined.   Anyway he was tired.

He threw his cap on the table and dragged off his boots, wiggling his toes in their red socks.  He grinned – it was a craze to have colour-coded socks – and quite daft because no-one ever saw them, of course.  Dianne had given him these – she’d found them on a trip to Edinburgh and apart from the little green & purple thistles around the tops they were exactly the same colour as his tunic.  Mind you, they made you go cross-eyed if you looked at them for too long!

He shrugged off his tunic and hung it over the back of a chair. He knew he ought to put it away, but what the hell?  He picked up his newspaper, plumped up his pillows and lay down on his bed to read the football reports.  After a few paragraphs the words started to dance before his eyes and he stifled a yawn.  Tireder than I thought, he mused as the paper slipped from his hands.

A few minutes later a gentle snoring was proof that Captain Scarlet had fallen into a deep sleep.

 

 

Captain Blue walked into the lounge and received a face full of black confetti and strands of silver tinsel from a giggling technician.  Tonight was the one night the technicians got access to the lounge and it was liberty hall – no-one stood on ceremony.  Blue smiled politely and removed several handfuls of paper from the neck of his uniform tunic. Whilst he was doing this, Melody skipped up and dragged him off to one side.

“Come on, we need you!”

“Why and who?”

“Pat’s set up a séance…”

“Oh no, Mags… I hate those things.”

“Hush, come on! We need another to complete the circle.” She tried to drag him towards a poorly lit alcove away from the main party area.

“I don’t believe in all this... especially when either Magenta or Ochre is involved,” objected Blue as he reluctantly followed her insistent tugging.

Magenta looked up and waved a hand at the spare seat.  “Park your carcass and prepare to be scared….” He grinned mischievously and carried on with setting out the table top with lettered and numbered cards and the odd punctuation mark.

“Pat, do you really think this is a good idea?” Blue began. He looked round the table.  Magenta was sitting at the head, flanked by Destiny and Lieutenant Green with Melody and Symphony completing the circle.  The spare seat was between Destiny and Symphony Angels.  He tried to look under the table to see if someone was hiding beneath it.  It wouldn’t be beyond Magenta’s imagination to dream up something like this with the intention of scaring the Angels – if no-one else. “I’m not sure I want to get involved in this,” he added.

 A chorus of protests rang out.

“Oh, go on, Captain!” Lieutenant Green pleaded.

“Don’t be such a spoilsport,” chided Melody with a sigh.

Symphony looked up at him from her seat and took control. “Just sit down and give me your hand.  Give Destiny the other one and listen to what you must do.”

“But Karen…” he protested.

“Sit.”

He sat and delivered his hands to the Angels either side of him.

Once everyone had linked hands and the giggling had stopped, Magenta assumed an air of concentration and intoned in a sepulchral voice, “Is there anyone there?” several times.  Nothing happened.

Magenta repeated his chant, adding, “One knock for yes, two for no!”

Lieutenant Green sniggered and Melody nudged him. “Concentrate!” she hissed.

Suddenly there was a thud and everyone jumped.  The glass in the middle of the circle of letters moved slightly.  Blue scanned around the curtained alcove, looking for Ochre with one of his radio control modules.

Magenta asked, “You wish to contact someone on this side? If the person is here, can you spell the name with the glass and those letters?”

The tumbler juddered.  After a couple of jerky attempts and one instance when it fell over, it edged towards one part of the circle and topped onto a letter.

A   - Five voices breathed.

Destiny reached over for the second time and placed the glass back on the spot in the middle of the circle of letters. She took hold of Blue’s hand again and held on more tightly than before.

The glass started its slow progress to a second letter.

D

Then the third letter.

A

Captain Blue was already getting cross before the glass wobbled to a halt at the next letter –M.  “Very funny, Pat,” he grimaced. He’d been right, this was some sort of trick and he’d been set up.

“Hey – it is not me,” Magenta asserted.

The glass shuddered and moved again.  Laboriously it spelt out:

WHERE AM I?

“This is Cloudbase and you are amongst friends,” Magenta said reassuringly. “Who are you and what’s your name?” he prompted.

ITS ME PAUL

“Paul?   Patrick, I’ll throttle you!” Blue warned, trying to pull his hands free from the women. The glass rattled as if in protest.

DO NOT BREAK THE CIRCLE.   The pace of its movement speeded up.

ADAM?  HELP ME I CAN’T FIND YOU

 “Adam’s here, Paul,” Symphony said gripping the struggling Blue’s hand tightly.

“Stop this – it isn’t funny!  Just like Paul’s daft prank last year wasn’t funny!” Blue protested angrily.

“Where are you, Paul?” Melody asked. She was grinning at the excitement of it all, but she was the only one who was still so light-hearted.

ALL ALONE HERE

HELP ME

“I’ve had enough!” Blue tried to stand, but his hands were held firmly by the Angels on either side.  Destiny was struggling to release her grip but her fingers were locked around the tall American’s strong hand. She tried to let go of Magenta who was sitting next to her, but that link too was forged solid.

Sacrebleu,” she murmured suppressing the need to cross herself.

 “Is it Ochre under the table?  If this is some prank…I will personally kill the pair of you, Patrick!” Blue repeated.

“Hey, I told you – I am not doing anything and no-one is under the table,” Magenta said heatedly.

“He is telling the truth,” Destiny added. “We are all as surprised as you, Adam.”

The glass was still moving spelling out messages that spoke of bewilderment and fear.  Green and Destiny concentrated on spelling out the frantic sequence of letters, as the rest of them struggled to make sense of the jumble, stammering out the words the glass spelt.

WHY CANT YOU SEE ME?

WHY CANT I TOUCH YOU?

HELP ME

PLEASE

The table shuddered and the glass rocked back and forward. The pace slowed and the messages became more cryptic.

CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST ASSIGNMENT

I HAVE A FEELING THEY ARE ALWAYS WITH US

The glass returned to the centre marker and remained still for a moment, before it began to skid around the table at great speed.

THE CAR – THE TYRE HAS BURST

WE ARE GOING TO CRASH

FLAMES – FLAMES EVERYWHERE

ADAM

HELP PLEASE HELP ME

CONRAD TAKE MY HAND SAVE ME FROM THE FLAMES

CONRAD?

NO I WONT DO IT YOU CANT MAKE ME DO IT

 

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS MUST BE OBEYED

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS WILL BE OBEYED

 

The glass rested momentarily before it began to spell out its message once more.

 

YES SIR COLONEL I WILL TAKE THE PRESIDENT TO SAFETY

THE ANGEL INTERCEPTORS ARE ATTACKING US WE MUST EJECT

 

Another pause. “Almost,” Symphony whispered, “as if it is a conversation with two voices.”

 

NOW CLIMB THE TOWER AND RENDEZVOUS WITH THE HELICOPTER

THEY ARE FOLLOWING

GET OUT – GO OVER THERE AS FAR AS YOU CAN FROM THE PURSUIT

THEY ARE HERE – YOU MUST KILL HIM

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS MUST BE OBEYED

 

I SHOULD KILL BLUE? WHY?

 

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS MUST BE OBEYED

 

NO I WONT DO IT –  WHY MUST I KILL ADAM?

 

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS MUST BE –

 

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS   WILL NOT BE OBEYED

ADAM – DON’T SHOOT ITS ME PAUL

DONT YOU KNOW ME ADAM?

 

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS MUST BE OBEYED

 

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS WILL NOT BE OBEYED

MY ARM –  THE GUN – I WILL NOT

I WONT SHOOT MY FRIEND

 

HE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND BUT YOUR ENEMY –  KILL HIM

THE MYSTERONS ORDERS MUST BE OBEYED

 

ADAM NO

PAIN SO MUCH PAIN

I CANT HOLD ON

I AM FALLING

FALLING

DIANNE

 

DIANNE

 

 

Across the base Captain Scarlet woke suddenly with a terrified scream.  Beads of sweat drenched his face and he was shaking. He swung his legs over to the side of the bed and put his head in his hands.

Whatever has brought that back on? he thought, trying to control his shivering and feeling the rapid rate of his heart-beat begin to slow once more. He hadn’t had that dream for some time now and he had almost forgotten how bad it made him feel.  Strange - this time it had been slightly different – this time he could have sworn that he saw his friends watching the whole thing unfolding, their surprise and anguish written on their faces.

A good job it is Halloween, he tried to console himself – no-one will take notice of any screams they hear tonight!

 

 

The glass had been shattered by the force with which it had hit the wall.  The table tipped over and the circle of officers broken and scattered.

Blue struggled to his feet and looked down at his red hands before reaching out gingerly to help Karen. Destiny, sobbing quietly, was being comforted by a shaken Magenta and Melody and Green were scrambling to their feet, both looking dazed and confused.  Melody looked across at him, her dark eyes brimming with tears.  Karen clung to him, her face buried against his chest.  She was shaking.  He stroked her hair whilst he struggled with his own emotions then very gently he moved her to one side and stooped to right the table.

 He looked with distaste at the scattered cards and broken glass. He glanced back into the lounge where the party-goers had all stopped whatever they were doing and were staring at the group around the table with concern.  He gave a rueful smile and said with a forced jollity, “You wait until I see Captain Ochre...”  There was quiet ripple of laughter from the room as slowly the party returned to normal.  Blue looked sternly at every one of the participants in the séance as they made the attempt to pull themselves together.

 “Okay,” he said, “lets get this tidied up and put to rights and no-one is to ever tell him about this – Understand – Never!”

Symphony looked at him and asked in a voice edged with fear, “But Adam… if that was Paul – is he alright?  Maybe he’s… he’s dead!” She broke down again and covered her face with her hands.

Magenta was on his feet. “We ought to check – someone should go and check…” he looked at Blue.

Captain Blue sighed, it was obvious from Magenta’s tone just who he thought that ‘someone’ was. “Clear all this up and see that nothing is left lying around, Pat.”  He turned on his heel and strode through the door.  Such was the expression on is face that neither of the technicians dared throw their confetti at him as he left.

 

 

Scarlet was very cagey about admitting his visitor.  It was Halloween after all and he’d had tricks played on him before. 

“Who is it?” he asked.

 “Me.” Captain Blue’s voice was muffled by the door.

“Me who?” Scarlet temporised as he went to peer through the security peep hole.  He wasn’t letting Ochre in tonight - no matter how good an impersonation he did of Blue.

“Svenson, Adam John…. Codename Blue.  Do you want my ID number as well?”

“Oh, that me… come on in, me.”

Scarlet went back to his chair and then, as the door swished open; he suddenly swivelled round to hide his whisky glass.

Blue came in, glancing across at his red-faced friend with some concern.  “Did I interrupt something… personal?”

“No, not at all,” Scarlet said airily.  “What can I do for you? I thought you were going to the party.”

“Yeah, well it wasn’t up to much and I’m not in the mood for practical jokes.” Blue could see Scarlet was hiding something.  He began to suspect that his friend had been playing another trick on them – as he had done last year.  “What’ve you been doing?”

Scarlet frowned. “I fell asleep, if you want to know.  The football match was a 0:0 draw – so the match report was hardly riveting.” He could see the answer had not satisfied his friend.  “Actually, I had a nightmare – one I’ve had before but not for many, many months now.  I was having a nightcap to soothe my nerves.” He produced the whisky glass.  “Care to join me?”

“What was the nightmare about?” Blue asked abruptly.

“The usual – when I was Mysteronised.  I wish I could remember it – it might help me remember my lost hours – I only know it scares me witless and I always wake up as I’m falling … from the Car-Vu.” Scarlet looked up and said with concern, “Are you alright, Adam?  You’ve gone as white as a sheet.  Sit down before you fall down.”

Blue shook his head. “No, I’m okay.  If you’re okay I’d better get back. I only popped in to see you were okay.  You are okay?”

“Yes… I am okay – not so sure about you.”

“I’d better get back…”

“You already said that.”

“To Karen…  Yes to Karen.  Goodnight, Paul.”

“Goodnight, Adam.  Thanks for… popping in.” Scarlet watched as his friend turned and walked in a rather dazed state out into the hall again.  He really did not like Halloween at all – far too many strange things went on and people often behaved as if they were crazy.  He shook his head as the door slid shut and swigged his whisky. 

 

 

Other stories from Marion Woods

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