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.
This story is not open for distribution or sale in either fanzines, ftp-sites or elsewhere without the permission of the author.
I wanna thank Lia Melo for giving me ides to this story. Lia, thanks for being such a good mail-friend.
The planet NRK, Hercules-system. 2065
Lt. Anne Schjerven felt the heat decreasing. She nodded to West.
"It is burning out. My guess is that within one hour we can get out of here."
"Hope so, it's an oven in here," Bertheussen muttered, wiping the sweat from her forehead.
"Do you think Phousse and Shane and Polo made it?" Cooper asked.
West nodded. "Yeah, they are probably on the 'Toga by now, raising hell to anyone who tries to stop them from coming back here."
"Or they can think we are dead…under normal conditions we wouldn't have stood a chance," Schjerven pointed out a matter of factly.
"If they think we are dead this can be a new Demios."
Hawkes and Nathan looked at each other. Bertheussen stared at Anne. "What the hell is Demios?"
"Y'know when we had this BIG attack on the Chigs, all earth forces were in but some squadrons were abandoned on Demios. Of 20 squadrons only 7 survived I think," Schjerven looked at Hawkes and West.
"The 58th was one of them. I think the 68th and the 13th was there too, I can't be sure"
"I don't remember which other squads that were there, but if this is gonna be a new Demios I better use my spare bullet right now," West told them.
Beate looked at him. "Was it so bad?"
"It was hell," Cooper informed her.
Anne looked at them. "In that case, if it is getting like Demios you can lay off a bullet to me too, 'cause I ain't thinking about having a new Nes Fort."
"What happened there?" Beate looked strangely at her.
"Well…it was during Operation Seaway. My squadron -the 83rd -was getting fixed before France attacked Norway. If you ask me that was bullshit but," she pointed out. "It was when everyone thought that WW3 would start. My Squadron was in this cage, hiding dynamite and weapons when France fired. The passage for the cage was destroyed and we couldn't get out. Slowly one after other of my squad died. I guess they must have found us just before I was gone. I was the only survivor."
West and Hawkes looked down. Bertheussen laid a hand on Schjerven's shoulder. "Poor you…it must have been hell"
Anne smiled. "It was hell on Earth, but it's years past and I don't remember so much from it. I am just glad that they didn't start WW3 that day."
"No…didn't the US help Norway?"
"Yeah…" Schjerven stood up, stretching her legs. "Guess you saved our asses again that day."
USS Saratoga, the 58th's room
Vansen looked at Nathan's empty bunk. Her eyes were red and puffy. She looked at Phousse and Marco, the only remaining of the 58th. It was strange the way it had all happened; Nathan loosing Kylen after all and dying and Cooper dying. She was going to miss them, even Bertheussen and Schjerven.
She hadn't gotten too close with the two women, but Beate she liked. Beate was a strong woman with humor. But no talents in being a soldier, on that point Schjerven was winning. Her ability to analyze and thinking out a good way to get out of a fureball had amazed Shane that time in the bar. She had heard Anne say in the showers: "There are three ways of doing things, the right way, the wrong way and the military way."
Marco looked at Shane. He walked over to her. "Shane…I am sorry," he said.
Vansen looked at him. "For what? You didn't know West or Hawkes!"
Marco gave up and walked over to the 'Tun. He sat down and ordered a Martini. "How do you want it?" the bartender asked.
"Dry, so dry that you can lit a fire on it," Marco told him.
The bartender gave him the drink. "What's your problem?" he looked at Polo while cleaning some glasses.
Marco grinned. "Lost 4 of my squad-members. I didn't know them, but now the girl I like is really pissed off."
"She's been with the four for a while?" Captain Al Fangor looked at the man with the Martini.
"Yeah, since boot-camp. But just with two, the other two has been here just as long as I have," Marco looked down in his empty glass. "Hit me."
"All right" Al pored another drink. "Which squadron?"
"The 58th," Polo muttered.
"Sorry to hear. Who died?" Fangor poured himself a shot of Brandy.
"Schjerven, Bertheussen, Hawkes and West"
"Great loss," Al Fangor said. The two men looked at each other. "Bertheussen had great legs."
Marco laughed. "Yeah, and Schjerven with her breasts,"
"M-M!" Al told him. "Wanna have another drink, Marine?"
NRK, Hercules-system, 2065
West had dozed off, lying with his head on Anne's. Hawkes watched, feeling a little down. It seemed like they had this connection that he couldn't have. Cooper looked at the body he held. Beate had her head on his chest and her arms around him. He glanced at the watch. The three hours where up. He shook Bertheussen slowly. "No, mom. I don't wanna go to school, my German teacher hates my guts," she mumbled.
Cooper smiled. "Hey, Beate. Wake up."
She opened her eyes and looked straight into his. Cooper took a chance and bend down to kiss her. She stared and then she hit him. "COOPER HAWKES" she yelled. "What in the name of Marco BLESSED Polo are you doing!?!"
West and Schjerven woke up, looking at the two others.
"Oh man…" Anne walked over to Beate and grabbed her arm. "Do you wanna yell louder? I think Chiggie von Richthofen could hear you down in hell!"
"He tried to kiss me," Bertheussen explained.
"So?" Nathan looked at Hawkes. "He tries to kiss everything with two legs"
"Screw you," Cooper muttered.
"Okay, this is getting out of hand" Anne informed them. "Let's try the radio, I don't wanna stay here to long."
Beate walked over to the Bravo 8's radio. "Dead…" she whispered.
"We don't have a radio anymore. The AI took it," West took the cover off and looked out. "Oh man."
Cooper popped his head out. "Fuck!"
Bertheussen and Anne soon joined them. "Herregud (Oh my God)" Beate said.
"You tell Him, girl" Anne told her smiling. They where met by the sight of burned earth. Everything was black and dead.
They walked out, looking around. The ashes were still warm and made a dry sound under their feet. West walked to a big lump of electronics, ashes and melted plastic.
"An AI," he said.
The rest came up behind him. "Can we use him to repair the Radio?" Anne asked. Hawkes and Bertheussen looked strangely at her.
"Yep, it can be fixed. Take him…or her with you," West told her.
"What about just calling her/him 'it'?" Bertheussen laughed. They picked it up and carried towards the foxhole.
USS Saratoga, loading bay 9
Aerotech employee Jens Martin Bertheussen jumped out of the ISSCV. The man was tall, a slightly overweight and with a blond beard. He looked at Commander Glen van Ross.
"Ah, Ross. Nice to meet you. My name is Jens Martin Bertheussen and I am Sewell's replacement."
Ross looked at him. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Bertheussen."
"Heard my sister is on board," Jens Martin said.
Ross looked at McQueen who had just appeared in the hatch. "I have some bad news about your sister, Mr. Bertheussen. I'll let McQueen inform you on that."
NRK, Hercules-system, 2065
Nathan was sitting on his knees trying to put pack the pieces of the Radio. Bertheussen looked over his shoulder.
"Where did you learn that?" she asked him.
Nathan grinned. "I used to take my dads radio apart and then put it back together when I was a kid."
Beate smiled. "Did you try to contact aliens?"
"How did you guess?" he laughed. Anne came up behind them.
"Can you give me the C130-tranmitter?" he asked.
"Sure thing" Schjerven gave him the little piece of electronics.
West put it in place, taking his screwdriver between the C130 and the wall. "That should do it" he muttered. "Who wanna try it?"
Bertheussen pushed him gently away. "Saratoga, this is WildCards. Is anyone out there?"
USS Saratoga, the Bridge
Corporal Lia Melo pushed in the codes. A voice came trough the static.
"Sa…ga…bzzzz…WildCards …Come…bzzzzzzzzzz…this …is the WildCards, respond…"
"WildCards, this is the Saratoga. Give me your position" she said, her voice bright.
"2…bzzzzzzz…bulls-eye. Bzzzzzzzz…two degrades south for bulls-eye…"
"WildCards, we are coming after you!" Lia turned towards a Major. "It's the 58th, get Colonel McQueen here now!"
NRK, Hercules-system, 2065
Beate laughed. "They are coming after us."
"Hooo-rah!" the boys jumped up. Anne closed her eyes.
Hawkes took his rifle. "Do you hear that?" he asked.
Schjerven took hers and loaded it. "I hear it."
"What?" Beate looked confused at both of them.
"Silicates," Cooper muttered and prepared his rifle. "From the right."
"Fire on five" West whispered. They all stood there until Anne had slowly counted down. Then they jumped out of the foxhole and fired like hell. The crippled Malcolm X-model hit the burned dirt. Schjerven walked over to it, looking down. She smiled and raised her head high over her long neck. "
Did we get him?" Nathan asked.
"Yeah…and I'm glad for it" she looked at the AI again. "Keep me my ass!"
USS Saratoga, 58th's room
Vansen took down the single picture from Schjerven's bunk. She turned it and read the lines that was behind the photo of her and her parents.
Two is a Party
Happy 13th birthday, Anne
Shane grinned. 13th birthday, that must have been in 1999. She dropped the picture when McQueen came in, grinning.
"They received a message from West, Hawkes, Schjerven and Bertheussen. They are fine"
Phousse jumped down from her bunk. "Yes! Thank God!"
Polo laughed. "I knew that they couldn't be dead" He smiled. "I knew that I couldn't be ride of her so easy"
"Son of a bitch" Vansen threw a sock after him. Then they started to laugh with relief.
ISSAPC on the way OUT off NRK
"Oh man…it's so good to be warm again," Beate sighed from her seat.
"Oh, I thought you would be disappointed, not having Cooper to snuggle against anymore," Nathan laughed before sipping some of the hot water they had gotten.
"Look who is talking? Mr. I-really-REALLY-like-Schjerven," Bertheussen warmed her fingers.
"Oh you little…" he tried.
"Don't we look good," Schjerven told them. "We look like we have been dragged trough a minefield."
They looked at each other. West with dirt and ashes in his face, his eyes bright under the helmet. Bertheussen's hair was greasing and her face was just as green as her combats. Hawkes face was just as dark as his hair and the two bright flames in her eyes lighted up Anne's face. They started laugh at the sight of each other.
USS Saratoga, ISSCV loading-bay 6
Captain Shane Vansen waited for the ISSAPC. Marco stood there with a flag with Welcome to hell, please throw all burned items include your body away in the Tun written all over it.
The ISSAPC landed and four glad, dirty soldiers stepped out to be welcomed by Phousse, McQueen, Vansen and Polo. Shane threw her arms around West and Hawkes who grinned from ear to ear. Back on the ISSCV-bay stood Jens Martin Bertheussen and looked at the Marines. He smiled and stepped forward towards his sister. Beate saw him and threw her arms around him.
"Jens Martin" she whispered.
"It's good to see you, sis. I thought you were dead," he said.
She grinned. "You are not getting rid off me that easily. Jens Martin, this is West, Hawkes and Schjerven."
"Hyggelig å møte deg (Nice to meet you)," Schjerven replied.
"Norsk! Wow, er du Norsk? (Norwegian? Wow, are you from Norway?)" He asked in surprised.
"Yep," Anne laughed and took her arm around West.
"Remember that kiss" she asked him. He nodded. She took his head down, her mouth millimeters from his. "You can dream again for that to happen," she whispered and gave him a kiss on the cheek.
The 58th laughed at that remark. McQueen smiled briefly. The 58th were back together.