DISCLAIMER : The characters and situations of Space : Above and Beyond depicted in this story are legal property of Glen Morgan and James Wong, Hard Eight Production and 20th Century Fox Television and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement intended.

Author note : This is my first attempt. So, comments are more than welcome at marle a

Challenge nr.1


Marle A

Sommartel, November 19th. 2063

Dear Colonel Mac Queen,

From the deepest end of my heart, I want to tell you how grateful I am.
I can't explain the comfort you brought me by writing a personal letter to announce my beloved husband's death ! In moments like these, it's so sweet to know somebody used to appreciate my Salomon enough to take time to pay tribute to him.
Even if I'm aware my man wasn't the best Marine of the Corps, all these nice things about him went right into my heart. And since I know you are an In-Vitro, those words have just become much more valuable !

Thank you Colonel. For everything.

It's so important for me to know that my baby's father didn't die alone, that someone was by his side and held his hand ! So, he'd been able to go away quietly, peacefully. He was so afraid of falling without any friendly face around him !!

He was a nice guy, you know ! The husband every woman would like to have beside her.
Oh, I must agree he wasn't Marlon Brando ! But inside, he was the most beautiful man of the world.

I remember the first time he talked to me... He was animating a birthday party, dressed up as a bunny. With his chubby face, he was absolutely delightful ! I fell for him when he offered me some carrots instead of flowers, with this so personal smile on his face, with all these stars in his grey eyes ! He was so funny, so surprising, always ready to joke, the first to laugh...
But most of all, he was a tender-heart person ! Eveybody loved him. He was sweet and romantic, always looking for the goodness in everyone, in every situation !

Ask his mother : the perfect son was named Salomon ! Every mother want to have such a child. Till he joined the Corps, everyday was mother's day. He never spent 24 hours without a phone to his parents !

He didn't have time to be a father. He would have been so happy though ! The day he died, I was eight months pregnant... All he wanted was to be at home to watch his kid's birth ! He would so much wanted to have a little girl, and give her the name of Zarah... But his son is born without him. Salomon Junior will never know his father. The only thing he'll ever get are some pictures of a fat man in uniform, proud to be part of the Space Marine Corps, ... and a cold medal. He'll never hear his voice, nor the sound of his laugh... He'll grow up without the feeling of a proud father's look upon him... It's so hard to be alone. There was so many things we wanted to do together, so many words we didn't say...
We will never walk hand in hand in the rain anymore... Watching him burst out laughing is from now on a hurting memory...
All these projects, that new house full of children, a trip across Europe, and so on... Everything is dead now, as the sun in my life.

For my son. For OUR son, I must go on, keeping a smile on my face while my heart just want to cry. I must forget the whole little things I used to adore in him, as his smell after a jogging, the way he used to hold his beer, or the sweet voice he used to call my name...

I miss him so much ! Everything of him, the good and the bad, the virtues and the flaws...

But he was a Marine.
Both of us knew that horrible thing could happen. Sometimes, we talked about that. He used to tell me "If God calls me back to him, promise me to be brave, to be strong. Your life must go on... And Honey, as long as I'll stay on your mind, I'll be with you. I'll go there, on that star, below Orion Belt, and I'll protect you..."

Really, I try to reassure me, to believe in his faith... But the pain is so strong ! How can people deal with this terrible feeling ? How can I watch my son growing up, looking like his father more and more each day, and not cry, shout to the whole world the life is unfair ?

My husband is dead now ! The man I loved, the one I was living for, ... I was made for !
Oh God ! What am I supposed to do now ?

Did I say to you Salomon joined the Marine Corps to protect his family, his country? He believed in his mision. He was so proud to wear the uniform.

In his latest letter, he told me you vere going to be his CO for a while, dear Colonel.
He was so glad, so excited by the news ! And very intimidated too.
For him, you were the ultimate soldier, you know. You were his hero, the man he would secretly like to be ! He was afraid of not being good enough, for you. He heard about you while he was at Loxley. Your courage, your acts during the AI war had impressed him so much... Your were a model for him.
So, that's why I've been so touched by your letter. From where he is now, I'm sure he's happy, more than that, he's the proudest man of the world, knowing what you thought about him.

It's odd ! I've heard so many cruel, stupid things about In-Vitros !
But I have to tell you, Colonel : among all the messages I've recieved after Salomon's death, yours has been the most comforting. Because every word in it sounded sincere, true. You didn't turn my husband into a super hero, as so many friends did. You pictured him as what he was : a man, with nice and bad sides. This is all my heart and my soul were looking for. And because of that, Colonel, I'll be eternally grateful to you.

May God bless you, and protect both you and your squadron during that horrible and useless war. May peace come soon, and bring back happiness and friendship on Earth !

Sincerely yours

Yasmine Monk, and Salomon Junior

P.S. Please, accept in my loving Salomon's memory, that quince's jelly. It was his favourite one, and I used to make it only for him, for you now... And please, dear Colonel, I want you to know that my house always will be open for you and your squadron. Salomon has not been part of 58th, but everyone of you were with him during his last moments, and that makes you some kind of brothers and sisters... some family members.

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