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. He doesn’t belong to me… etc. but boy oh boy do I wish he did. Dylan Mackenzie belongs to me.

Notes: This is my first SAAB fic….so….if it sucks…sorry.

Thanks to Karen for being the best beta, as always.

McQueen's Match



Chapter 1. Dylan.

Dylan woke with a start, banging her head on the metal wall. A cold fear rose for a second before she realised where she was. She took a look around her at the inside of the transport. The seats, well, they were never made with anyone’s comfort in mind. The webbing storage racks, empty now except for the small pack containing her meagre belongings, looked, she thought, how she imagined the inside of a cargo container would look. Which in effect it was, and she was the cargo. At this point in time, at least, a cold, tired and hungry cargo to be sure, but still cargo, sent to wherever it was she’d been sent. Such tiny details they hadn’t bothered to tell her. She sighed with frustration. * Where in hell was she, and more importantly, why? *

The transport was landing judging by the series of bangs and clangs she could hear. Wherever they’d headed, it looked like they were there now. The pilot came down to where she sat waiting patiently. If nothing else, the past few days had taught her more patience than she had ever had before.

“We’re here. Grab your pack – we need to leave ASAP!” Then he was gone, back to his co-pilot and his cockpit.

All through the many hours the journey had taken, neither the pilot nor the co-pilot had spoken to her other than to tell her to “buckle up” as they took off. She didn’t know why, nor did she care. She’d dumped her pack and made herself as comfortable as possible, then gone to sleep.

The door clanged open, spilling what in comparison was a bright light into the doorway. Instinctively she hid herself from view, away from the light. With one hand firmly grasping the doorframe, she very slowly peered around the edge, fearing slightly what she might see. . . where she might be.

What she saw, she was not expecting. There in front of her, standing to attention, were seven people, six of them United States Marines, in full dress blues. Her eyes widened, there was another man too, in the dress uniform of a Naval Officer.

She pulled her head in quickly and looked over her shoulder. Was there somebody else on board? Someone who’d come aboard as she slept? Someone important? There didn’t seem to be, it was just her. She looked back out, confused and a tiny bit afraid. She met the startling blue eyes of the Marine directly in front of her; his eyes flickered as she stared directly at him. He was laughing at her! Not outright, but it was there. She could see it. All fear disappeared as indignation took over. How dare he? Pulling herself to her full height, which wasn’t saying much, she doubted that she’d even come up to his chin, she took a deep breath and stepped down into the landing bay.

The Naval Officer stepped forward introducing himself.

“Welcome to the USS Saratoga. We’ve been expecting you ma’am. I am Commodore Ross and this is Colonel McQueen. He will show you to your quarters, and once you are settled, I’d like to meet with you to discuss our orders.”

He smiled at her and nodded towards the Marine with the blue eyes. “Colonel McQueen, if you please?”

The marine stepped forward.

“This way Ma’am.” He turned on his heel and led the way out.

Her eyes darted about, trying to take in as much as she could. There were five marines and two of them were women. One of the male marines was tall - menacing looking almost - but as she passed him, she caught his eye and somehow felt that maybe he wasn’t as bad as he looked. She almost smiled. Instead she hurried to catch up with Colonel McQueen.

He walked fast, much too fast for her, through the rabbit warren of walkways that was the Saratoga. Several times he had to stop to allow her catch him up - once because she had stopped to stare out of a window at the stars. So she found herself focusing on the back of his neck, seeing the silver curls that disappeared under his hat, the strange raised bump just visible over the collar of his jacket. It was a nice neck she decided. She rather liked it.

Eventually they came to a door, which he opened.

“These are your quarters. The commodore has extended an open invitation to dine with him at 19.00. ” He nodded to the inside of the room and excused himself.

She was left; feeling rather bereft, standing inside the door, wondering why the hell she was there, and what exactly was expected of her.

McQueen had been angry - no furious in fact - that Commodore Ross had asked – no - TOLD him that the 5-8 was to provide an honour guard to the “guest” they were expecting. The whole idea behind it was ridiculous He had argued with Ross until he was blue in the face, but the “high ups” had decided that this was a good idea, and could be of benefit to the Corps. So he had no final say in the matter. Humiliating - that’s what it was. Damn humiliating he felt.

The transport door opened and it seemed at first that no one was there. Then slowly a hand appeared, white knuckles gripped the doorframe, a pale, fearful face peering around the edge of the door followed it slowly. Eyes widened as she saw them standing there, her short, brown, curly hair bobbing slightly as she pulled her head back fast, to look behind her. Looking for someone, he thought, as she turned back and stared straight into his eyes with piercing blue eyes of her own that seemed to see down into his very soul. Seeing the amusement he had felt as she first slowly appeared. She made him feel uncomfortable just by the way she looked at him, damn her!

On route to her quarters he had had to stop three times to let her catch him up - once because she’d stopped to stare out at the stars! Damn civilians! A carrier was not the place for them. He delivered her to her quarters and gave her the Commodore’s message. He left, anxious to get away from the eyes he could feel boring into the back of his head, anxious to get out of his dress blues and into his regular flight suit. He’d feel better then, he told himself.

She stood in the doorway as the door closed behind her, surveying the room. To her right was a bunk, made up with a couple of blankets she was sure weren’t of army issue, and a pillow. The height of luxury, she thought sardonically. Directly in front of her, and sited in front of a large window, were a desk and chair. A computer terminal was mounted on the desk. She could lie in her bed and stare out at the stars as much as she liked. She loved the stars, in a strange way she found them calming, comforting even. At home she would often lay on her back halfway up the mountainside, staring up at them. To her right was a doorway. Poking her head through, she could see a shower, a toilet and washbasin. The head, she thought, smiling at the remembrance that had been dredged up from a long lost memory, culled from goodness knows where.

She dropped her pack on the bed, and tried out the pc terminal. Maybe she could find out a little about where here was. But she found to her dismay that she couldn’t even turn it on, she turned back to the bed and decided to unpack her belongings. It didn’t take long - a few clothes and a couple of dog-eared, well-thumbed books. * Not much to show for a life * she thought grimly. She almost laughed out loud. * Life? What life? * She wondered.

She sat on the bed and stared out at the stars. She’d found herself doing that a lot lately. Her stomach growled. Maybe she should take the Commodore up on his offer of dinner, she thought.

Next : Chapter Two
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