I do not own UFO or its characters. I'm just borrowing them from Gerry Anderson for this wonderful little tale.
Dragonlots aka Dana Bell
It had all been so easy Alec reflected as he took out a cigarette and lit it. His exhaled smoke mixed with the falling rain. His brown eyes drifted to the large metallic sign displaying 'Harlington – Straker Studios'. A sleek gold car drove in and the sole occupant exited, racing to the entrance while the valet moved it into its coveted spot.
He took another puff and snuffed the cigarette out under his heel. Nasty habit. One he should have never started, but he'd wanted to be believable. Of course, he could always replace the damaged organs. He'd been promised that much.
Waiting a few more minutes he sauntered into the main building. With a flirting look and a smile, he greeted Miss Ealand, the staunch protector of Ed Straker's studio office. "You look wonderful today," he complimented.
She did. A tight blue dress accenting all her curves and her blonde hair flipped attractively. Maybe one day he'd ask her out.
"Flatterer," she bantered back. "He's expecting you."
"Of course." Entering Straker's office the door closed firmly behind Freeman. He walked over to the neat desk and picked up the cigar box. "Alec Freeman."
It made the usual response and the scene outside the window changed from the dreary London rain to a concrete wall. It finally settled and the doors opened into SHADO control. The female guard at the door smiled at him and waved him through.
He put his hands in his pockets and headed from Straker's real office. The doors were open in invitation and Alec wandered in. It was as neat as the studio one with an abstract moving display behind it. He moved to the bar and poured himself a drink.
"A little early in the day isn't it?" Straker asked, raising his head from the report he was reading.
"Nice suit," Alec complimented.
"Trying to look the part." Ed's new suit was very fashionable, a white jacket over matching pants and a blue turtle neck. It brought out the commander's robin's egg eyes, pale complexion, and ashen hair.
"Haven't we had this conversation before?" he teased back.
"Several times." Straker put the report aside. "You weren't home last night. I tried to call you."
"I was out." He tossed down the drink and put the glass down on the edge of the desk.
"Was she pretty?"
"Very." Better the man believe that than the truth.
"We had a UFO sighting last night."
"Interceptors or Sky One?" He already knew the answer.
"Neither. It escaped us."
"Sent the Mobiles after it I assume."
"Now that's the odd part. It lifted off after about an hour after it landed."
"Anyone missing?" Humans sometimes were taken, or their mutilated bodies left behind to be found by loved ones or SHADO personnel.
"Not this time." The commander got up and moved around his desk. "I have a meeting with Henderson in about an hour."
"What does he want this time?" Too bad the aliens had missed the first time they'd tried to take the man out. He'd been a nuisance ever since.
"Not sure. He refused to tell me anything over the phone. Said I had to meet him in person."
"Need me along?"
"No. Just keep an eye on things while I'm gone."
"Not sure that's a good idea."
"Don't worry. I know you can handle it for a couple of hours."
"Didn't work out too well the last time."
"Alec." Straker gave him a friendly smile. "Different situation. Besides, Foster is here if you run into anything difficult."
"Nice to know." He liked the younger man and newest recruit. Too bad about what was about to happen.
"I'll be back soon." Ed headed out. "Keep my chair warm."
Freeman smiled. "No problem." He sat down and leaned back closing his eyes. It would all be over very soon.
His next thought was how it all started all those many years ago. They'd needed an inside man, someone close and who would never be suspected. Records were easy to change on such a backward planet. They'd set up his identity, his outstanding Air Force record, even altered people's minds so they'd tell convincing and decidedly false stories about him.
Alec opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. Once he'd made friends with Straker, the rest was easy. Arranging problems at the right moment to keep Ed away from his wife Mary so she'd leave him. A wonderful last minute emergency taking her husband away from her side when she'd needed him most in the hospital. Yet playing the part of a good friend and offering the man a cigar to celebrate the birth of his new son. Even the situation of trying to catch a UFO when his son lay dying so the needed antibiotic never reached the boy on time.
All carefully calculated to destroy the one person who could stop them.
"And you'll never know," he muttered into the room. He got up and wandered the stark corridors, watching the various people go about their duties. Foster saw him and nodded before reverting his attention to the computer console.
It was almost time. Freeman went back to Straker's office and took the small object out of his pocket. He put it under the desk and made sure the timer would go off as planned. Then he left the underground complex, went back up in the office elevator, gave Miss Ealand a wink and exited the building.
Hours later Harlington – Straker studios was nothing more than a huge crater. Bombs fell on every city and town all across the planet. Alec watched the images dispassionately from the one station that was still on the air. He lit another cigarette and took a drag.
He looked up as a red suited figure walked through the door of the cottage where he spent the time during the massive attack. It saluted him.
"You did well," he complemented. "Now bring me Straker."
The figure turned and motioned. Two more like him dragged in the man. His white outfit was mud splattered and there was a bleeding gash on his face. He lifted his head and stared at his once long time friend. "Why?"
"Because we need to survive," he answered. "Your planet will give us everything we need, including spare parts." Alec smiled. "This one is mine."
As what he meant sank in, Freeman saw the look of shock and horror on the human's face.
"Yes, Ed, that's right. I haven't kept you safe for any other reason."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I kept noticing how Alec Freeman always seemed to call Straker away at the wrong moment during his life and cost the commander his wife and son. This story is presented as one possible explanation.