Standard Disclaimer:This is a work of amateur fiction not meant to infringe on copyrights held by Twentieth Century Fox Television, Hard Eight Pictures, Inc or anyone involved in the making of the TV series _Space: Above and Beyond_.

Paula Sanders

In Keeper's absense, Ruler witnessed,
The House of Cards in its collapse.
His promise to protect,
His knowledge of war -- conflict.
Obligation's weight heavy to his heart.

Once thought unshakable were,
The noble King,
And stately Queen,
Galant Joker and daring Jack,
The sturdy Ace capped the turret's roof.
Five bound in solidarity,
Atop this towering house.

However, the Ruler knew,
One word from him, one order given,
Could topple this stalwart house.
Unseat the steadfast King and Queen,
Unbalance the mighty Jack.
Send sure-footed Jester tumbling,
And bring grand Ace crashing from her perch.

He had brought that fateful day to bear.

Precarious, the Cards they shook,
Caught up in battle's chaos.
They rallied 'round,
To hold their ground.
The gale too fierce, this time.

The Ace did slip from her tower.
The Queen tumbled from her great height.
Alone, Jack trembled where he stood.
While King held fast and struggled to remain,
Watching Joker sway dangerously, then fall.

The King and Jack softly landed,
Face up amid the pile.
A reminder of the Ruler's burden,
What was left of this glorious house.

Carefully, he lifted the lonely King.
The grieving Jack lay cradled in his palm.
The sharp Ace, he would replace in her loft.
And regal Queen would sit her throne, again.

The Joker, he did find obscured,
Among the scattered number cards.
He fingered bright Jester,
Now wrinkled and tattered from his fall,
For the vital loss, he would mourn.

This House of Cards,
With its proud guards,
Would surely rise strong once more,
Forever changed from this day on.

-- Semper Fi, my friends --

For Commodore Ross - a man who has difficult decision to make every day, but this one had to surely weigh heavy on his gentle heart.

House of Cards - Spades

Paula Sanders