Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the TV program "SPACE: Above and Beyond" are the creations of Glen Morgan and James Wong, Fox Broadcasting and Hard Eight Productions, and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended.

Email contact: Geek

Heffalumps and Woozles



Taylor strolled through the corridor school bag slung over her shoulder; her pale green shirt hanging out the back of the bottle green jumper that almost came to the bottom of her short skirt, thigh high black socks disappearing into large black boots, all of it not quite breaking the schools uniform regulations, just pushing them to the limits.

She knew she was late again but, hey this time she had an excuse, she'd just spent the last hour getting her termly lecture about how her parents spent a great deal of money on her education, how it was expected of a young lady to behave, and how she really must do something about her appearance. Short-cropped black spiky hair was NOT acceptable at Hanover House. She sighed, pink hair hadn't been acceptable last term either, nor white the term before that.

Pushing on the classroom door she ambled in, thinking about what she was going to do after school broke up in, she checked her watch, an hour.

" Miss Miles, How kind of you to join us today." The tall dark haired teacher smiled sarcastically," take a seat please. As you're late there's only one name left, you my dear, get Colonel TC McQueen."

Taylor sat, wondering what Miss Harris was talking about, who the hell was Colonel TC McQueen when he was at home? And why did she get him? She stuck her hand in the air.

" Er, Miss Harris?" she asked

" Yes?" the teacher sighed

" Who's Colonel McQueen and what am I supposed to do with him?"

The rest of the class erupted into laughter as she looked around frowning, what the hell was their problem?

" If you'd been listening yesterday I explained that we are going to be writing to the men and women fighting for us, to keep us safe in this war." Miss Harris told her,

" Umm, but why. I mean why'd some guy out there wanna hear from me?"

" Because Miss Miles," the teacher glared at her, " it will help him if he's feeling homesick and lonely. It will let him know someone cares."

Yeah right, she thought, like I really care, or he's going to give a damn what some kid thinks. She barely registered what her teacher told them next,

" You will be writing a letter to send, I expect to see the letters so please don't seal them. I want them on my desk by 9am tomorrow morning." She stared over at Taylor, " that includes YOU Miss Miles!"

Taylor sat through the rest of the class, only half listening to the discussion about what sort of things they should write in their letter, and how to write a letter correctly, she was as usual day dreaming about the day school finished and she would be free forever, she sighed, shame that's not for years yet.

She sat in front of her computer thinking about what she was going to say. After several attempts to start she finally settled on `Dear Colonel McQueen'.

Her mother came in to check she was doing her homework; she hated it when her mother did that

" Mom go away I'm trying to write a letter here!" she complained

" Who are you writing to honey?" her mother asked reading over her shoulder

" Mom don't DO that! " she sighed, " I have to write a letter to this guy but I don't know what to say,"

" Try telling him a little about yourself first," her mother suggested with a smile, leaving her in peace.

She sighed, and sat staring blankly at the screen.

An hour later her father appeared, " Hello Ty, mom tells me you have a letter to write?"

" Yes dad, but I'm never gonna get it written if you keep disturbing me." she groaned

" Colonel McQueen? You know that name rings bells, see if there's anything about him on the net. I know I've heard it before."

She looked at her father, " You sure?" she asked

" Yes, I'm sure." her father laughed before heading out of the room.

With a huge sigh she began to search for Colonel TC McQueen on the net. What she found both surprised and delighted her. Not only was he well known and a decorated war hero, he was an Invitro, which meant she'd have to revise her letter, damn! She looked at the pictures of him, boy but he was cute, not for the first time did she wish she was older. She settled down to finish her letter using her revised knowledge, pleased that she'd actually found out something about him. She'd include a picture of herself too. She reasoned that as she knew what he looked like, it was only fair he should know what she looked like too.

When she finally finished, she hadn't changed anything at all, after reading as much as the net could give her about him, she'd decided he wouldn't read the letter anyway so why waste time trying to butter him up.

Colonel TC McQueen ducked inside his quarters having escaped he was sure, only by the skin of his teeth from those damn idiots with the camera. If they knocked at his hatch he was going to pretend he wasn't in. He pulled his boots off and reached for a book before flinging himself full length on his bed, as he did so a letter floated to the floor, he glanced at it, realising it was the one `Phousse had brought him, it turned out he'd got two letters in the last mail call. In his temper he'd snatched it from her without even saying thank you and had flung it on the desk to deal with later. He sighed, he owed `Phousse an apology, and now was later, quite a bit later, so he might as well read it.

Dear Colonel McQueen,

At my school we're doing this thing where you write to soldiers on the front lines. Miss Harris, that's my teacher by the way, she put some names in a hat…I got you. We're supposed to say things like, `I hope you're okay' and `all of us here at home appreciate what you're doing for us', stuff like that, but you know what? That's just pointless, I mean I don't know you and you don't know me…so why are you gonna wanna read stuff like that?

Ok, my mom just told me that perhaps I should introduce myself first. Jeez, don't you just hate moms; they're so damn nosy, always peering over your shoulder when you're doing your homework! Hey at least you don't have to worry about that, LOL. (That's laugh out loud by the way) I mean I bet your moms not peering over your shoulder, right? Right so I guess I better get on with it then, before she comes back to moan at me for not doing it! Me, I'm Taylor, Taylor Miles, my dad calls me Ty, I'm 14 and it sucks…I mean I'm just fed up getting pushed around all day by other people, know what I mean? I go to Hanover House Day School, that's a very expensive girls school in New Hampshire, as my mom keeps reminding me whenever she gets a letter telling her what a pain in the ass I am…LOL

So, my dads just come in now too! He tells me he's heard of you and I need to do some research, are you famous then? Heh! My classmates will be so jealous. I guess I better check you out on the net.

Oh crap! Well I checked you out and I put my foot right in my big mouth didn't I? I mean you're an Invitro, like you have parents, duh! So I can either delete my whole damn letter, or I can send it to you anyway. I figure from what I read about you, (I mean wow you've got medals bursting out your ears, it was you killed who Chiggy von Richtofen, it was in all the news), you won't mind if I leave it in, you don't come across as the prissy kind. Of course I may be wrong, and you'll just get peed off and throw this letter in the trash, which of course you probably will anyway. I mean who really wants these letters anyway? Like you wanna read a load of trite trash from some stupid school kid, you got better things to do. I guess I better think of some stuff to ask you but I don't know what. The bio I read had a few pics, you're pretty hot, you do know that right? (They'll edit that out, `cos they'll say it's `inappropriate') I'm sticking a pic of me in, so you can see who the stupid kid hassling you is, it's a pic of me my mom took this summer.I'm the geek in black, scowling, I hate having my photo taken but then you don't look too happy in the pics in your bio, LOL Maybe we've got that in common?

Okay, I really don't know what to write, so I reckon I've hassled you enough, I'm supposed to say hey write me back, but we both know the likelihood of that is like a zillion to one right? If you got nothing better to do, feel free, but it's not like you don't have more important things to worry about is it? So I guess this is goodbye (I read that in a book LOL)

Look out for yourself…be safe…and, `if you look round to see a Very Fierce Heffalump looking down at you, sometimes you forget what you were going to say.' ­ Winnie the Poohs way of saying it's ok to be scared. LOL


He stared at the letter in his hand. Who the hell thought these things up and how the hell did they get his name? That was all he needed, 14-year-old girls writing to him! Telling him he was hot! Where did they learn that stuff anyway? He took a closer look at the picture that had fallen out of the letter, she was right, she was scowling, and he smiled despite himself. Hell this was as bad as the damn film crew waiting out there to catch him! What was he supposed to do ­ write back? He sighed, he knew he ought to, after all if she'd gone to the effort to write to him, and checked him out on the net it would only be polite to thank her for the letter, and it was her homework for school. He wondered briefly if she'd get into trouble if he didn't write back. He looked at the picture again; she looked like the sort of kid always in trouble anyway. Why the hell was her hair pink?

He sat up, what the hell was he supposed to say to her? Damn she expected him to trash it so he would! He screwed it into a ball and flung it on the floor. Picking up his book he began to read. Try as he might he couldn't concentrate, between the geeks with the camera and the letter on the floor his concentration was shot to hell, he found himself glancing repeatedly at the ball of paper that's was Taylor's letter. With a sigh he put the book aside, picked up the letter and sat at the desk, if he answered it, it would be one less thing to worry about, but what the hell was a Heffalump?

" Taylor honey, you have a letter" her mother called as she was getting dressed, " it's from Colonel McQueen!"

She flew down the stairs and snatched the letter from her mothers' hand. He'd written back! She could hardly believe it; just wait till she waved this under Miss Harris's nose! She flung herself onto a sofa and ripped the envelope open, dammit it was short, really short!

Dear Taylor,

Thank you for your letter. The zillion to one odds came out in your favour. So you got stuck with me, I hope I'm not a disappointment. As for being famous, I took out one Chig, that's all; anyone could have done it.
I believe parents can be a pain, be grateful that you have them; family is the greatest gift you have. Of course, I'm an Invitro, so I'm no expert.
I guess I'm flattered that you think I'm "pretty hot", and looking at the picture of you, you don't look like a geek to me, and believe me I've seen some geeks.
I'll be sure to keep my eyes open for "Heffalumps"…LOL Feel free to write again.


Ps. My name is Ty too, that's two things we have in common.

She sat there, well at least he'd written, and he'd said she could write again. She ran into the kitchen. " He wrote me back! Look! He says I can write again! "

Her mother couldn't help the smile as her usually morose daughter beamed like the Cheshire Cat.

The next mail call found McQueen catching up on his paperwork when West stopped by with another letter.

" Colonel, this came for you." he said with a grin, " You weren't there so I brought it to you."

" Thank you West I appreciate it." he said putting the letter on the desk, making it obvious he wasn't going to open it straight away.

With a sigh West walked away.

Getting up and closing the door McQueen sat back, put his feet up on the desk and opened the letter, a small book fell out into his lap, ignoring it, he read the letter.

Dear Colonel,

You said I could write again, so I thought hey why not? Thanks for bothering to write back to me. Everyone said you wouldn't, especially when they found out you're an invitro. Don't worry though, I told them they were scum, of course I ended up in Mrs Macafferty's office again, but possibly that was because of the black eye I gave Lucinda (jeez what a name!) Green. Mom got a letter about that…LOL

So you're a Ty too? Don't you think that's kinda weird? I mean it's like the twilight zone; you have seen that I take it? I guess you don't watch much TV out there do you, so what do you do? So what's your Ty short for?

Can I ask you some personal questions, is that ok? Of course you don't have to answer them, but I'm just a nosy geek I can't help it. In your bio it says you joined the Marines after your time in the mines. You were a miner? That must have sucked, dad says I'm not to pry, that it would have been real awful, and you probably won't want to talk about it. I just wanted to say wow; I don't know how you managed, if that was me I'd have freaked, I freak in small spaces, as it is, claustrophobic in the extreme LOL

I found more pics of you, but they're all old ones, could I have a new one of you, would that be ok? I promise not to show it around to anyone, though my mom thinks you're pretty hot too…LOL

What's it like to really be up there, fighting Heffalumps, have you ever actually seen them up close? Have you ever had to kill one up close? Is it true that they just kinda melt?

Ok I gotta go I'm gonna be late for school…again!

While your watching for Heffalumps remember that Woozles are out there too! LOL


He smiled; this is a girl? Blacking someone's eye, over him. He shook his head, noticing the small book in his lap. Picking it up he saw that it was a tiny book "Winnie The Poohs Little Book of Wisdom". Opening it he saw she'd written inside,

" From one Ty to another. I love this book, it's full of things to make you think. I hope you like it."

He flicked through it quickly, not really sure what to make of it. He put it to one side and with a sigh took his feet off the table to carry on with his paperwork. His mind kept wandering back to Taylor's letter. He knew he wouldn't tell her anything about his time in the mines, she was 14 for god's sake, she really didn't need to know, but a photo wasn't totally out of the question. Damn, her mother thought he was hot too, for a brief second he wondered what her mother looked like. Those damn Heffalumps had turned up again, he smiled, so that's what she called Chigs? So if Chigs are Heffalumps...Woozles are…AI's? He reached for the book again, this time reading it from cover to cover; it didn't take long being such a small book.

Once finished he smiled, well, it was different. He wondered how the 5-8 would respond if he quoted them Winnie the Pooh instead of his usual eastern philosophy, which turned his smile into a grin, and then a quiet chuckle, hell it was worth doing just to see their faces.

Back : To General Fiction