by A21 Reporter Andy Clems
Captain Ochre of Spectrum says she’s fortunate to be alive after a failed Mysteron assassination attempt.
Ochre, a Spectrum veteran with a distinguished service record, was on a routine mission investigating reports of Mysteron activity at a new resort complex under construction on the outskirts of Las Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, eyewitnesses reported seeing “strange lights” moving in the mass of beams and support columns.
Finding no evidence to back up these claims, the LVMPD passed along the information to Spectrum. Colonel White says he found the information to be, “flimsy at best. Las Vegas is full of lights and laser shows. Nevertheless, in my experience, any lead is worth following and the Mysterons had been unusually inactive for a time. I decided to send Captain Ochre to investigate.”
Captain Ochre recalls, “The Colonel knows how much I love a wild goose chase, I figured that’s why he sent me! However, an assignment is an assignment, no matter how hopeless it might seem on the surface. As soon as I got to Vegas I questioned the witnesses, but they didn’t add much to the information the LVMPD had given us.
I decided to have a look for myself and drove my Cheetah out to the edge of the city, where the development was located. I couldn’t say much for the architecture, but I supposed that one lot of buildings under construction looked very much like any other. At first there was nothing out of the ordinary, quite the reverse – it couldn’t have been more normal. There were construction vehicles, tools, building supplies and everything else you’d need to get a multi-million dollar project off the ground.
Everything was closed up for the night and I was just about to give up and report to Skybase when everything went mad. I was maybe 50 feet from the site entrance when the nearest excavator suddenly roared into life and swung its hydraulic arm right at me. I barely had time to roll out of its path and as I sprang back to my feet, I noticed two things at once. First, the excavator had no driver, and secondly, it wasn’t the only vehicle with a crush on me. I got a bad case of the chills when I saw the eerie green glow around the controls of the machine and decided to make a quick exit.
I made a run for the main gate, calling Skybase to report the situation as I went. A dumper truck screeched in front of me, blocking my path and threatening to bury me under a few tons of concrete. I doubled back, coming face to face with a huge bulldozer. With nowhere to dodge, I took a flying leap onto the top of the blade and managed to jump onto the engine housing. From my precarious position I saw the excavator moving in on me again as the bulldozer reversed towards its mate’s outstretched shovel.
Passing the end of a horizontal beam, I reached for it and was able to haul myself up and onto it. If I’d been a few seconds slower the arm of the excavator would have smashed me right off the bulldozer and that would have been the end of me. One miracle down, but I wasn’t out of the woods by a long way. The beam I was lying on began to move and with a sinking feeling I looked skywards to see it was attached to the end of a steel cable connected to a crane. The crane that was swinging the beam with a fair bit of force towards the rest of the half-built structure. I had two choices: jump off and run the gauntlet of the other Mysteron machines, or hold on for dear life and try not to die.
As choices go, I wasn’t thrilled by either option, but I decided to hold on. The crane was swinging the beam faster still and I acted before I really knew what my plan was. I launched myself off the beam, but not to the ground. I landed on a first story balcony, or at any rate something that would one day be a first story balcony. I didn’t pause for breath when I landed, but continued towards the center of the structure as fast as my legs would carry me, hearing the deafening clang of steel on steel as the arm of the crane smashed into the side of the supports behind me.
I knew there was only one way to go and that was up. Determined to put as much distance between me and the chaos below, I started climbing by any means I could find, the odd ladder here and there, partially completed stairwells, you name it. The Mysterons didn’t take kindly to my plan. The machines went berserk and started smashing against the support columns on the ground floor.
The building quivered beneath my feet and gave a sickening lurch. There was a loud throbbing somewhere above me and as I looked up to see what it was, my heart lifted. A Spectrum Hummingbird, and there was Captain Grey leaning out and calling to me. I didn’t hang around, I climbed faster, reaching for the folding ladder dangling just above my head. The building gave a colossal groan and as I jumped and caught the bottom rung of the ladder, I turned my head to see the whole lot collapse and crush the Mysteron equipment in a cascade of metal and sparks.
Thanks to some quick action by Skybase, the area was sealed off and a thorough investigation revealed no sign of the Mysteron presence anywhere in the wreckage. I’m none the worse for my ordeal, though I don’t think I’ll be undertaking any D.I.Y. projects for a long while yet…”