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.

PLEASE!!!! Mail me on Marco if there's anything.

Queen of Hearts



"And I will not lay down and die
Cause someone tells me death's coming around
When I go to my grave my head will be high!"

Bob Dylan, 'Let me die in my footsteps'

USS Saratoga, the 58th's Quarters

"Mass equals five point…five point…Damn" she threw the pencil down, swearing to herself. Lt. Anne Schjerven had for hours worked on the stupid math questions. Being frozen down 53 years sure made the difference if she should get a job after the war. Vanessa had told her over and over that if she got out of the war alive, this way she didn't have to spend the next years studding. Easy for you to say, she thought bitterly. You don't have to spend all your free time doing this. She stood up. It was 22:46; the others would come back from the Tun Tavern soon. She went to the showers. The room was dark, warm and quiet. She turned on the lights and got undressed. She would regret taken a shower tomorrow when her hair stood all the ways, but she needed this time for herself. She turned on the water. It was cold and she jumped back on instinct. Nothing seemed to work for her nowadays. She damned the shower to hell and turned the cold water off.

"Nice moves, Schjerven" a voice commented dryly.

She didn't even have to turn to know who was watching her. "Thanks, Marco" she said and took on her bra. Despite living together with the 58th for a few months, she still felt a little strange when she undressed in front of them. Most of the time they were to tired to notice her, and she too tired to notice them. But sometimes she looked at the male members and remembered how it had once been. Before she became an ice queen.

"Hey! That's not standard Army issue" Polo said and studied her underwear as she took it on. "Nope, that good old fashioned black silk panties with matching bra. Not to be nosy but...Having a date?"

"No, having 6 hours of sleep" she said sarcastically and walked out. Marco shook his head grinning before he undressed and turned on the water. He didn't mind a cold shower...

Most of the Wild Cards were laughing. "Serious" Phousse started. "I thought he was going to faint when you asked him about his wife"

Beate laughed with her. "Yeah, well…That was his problem. I was more concern with stopping the need to throw my drink in his face, Call me old fashion, but I'd like to think that SOMEONE would stay faithful"

West grinned. "Forget it. When you are alone here, it gets really..." his voice trailed off.

You should know, Anne added to herself. You haven't gotten anything since you left Earth. She laid back in her bunk. It seemed to her that the others were giving Hawkes a full sociology class.

The other quickly went to their bunks, knowing that tomorrow they had an 24 hours patrol of the planet Ylesia, which to them sounded like something from Star Wars. Anne had to agree on that one, the planet had a very special name. It was also HOT, and no one was allowed on the surface. Anne closed her eyes as she drifted into dreamland.

The music. The heavy beat. The room was filled with it. Hawkes nodded to the beat and turned it louder despite ugly looks from all the assigned members of the 58th USMC Squadron. Hawkes just grinned, if they really wanted him to turn it down they would just say so. "I am a hungry wolf!" He sang with the lead singer of the group X.

West had given Coop up on this. Ever since Vanessa taught him to sing he had singe along on his favourite songs like any 10 year old. Only Hawkes was six. But what did age matter in the 58th. The CO had been alive for about 21 years, or less. Their hot shot marksman was six and they had a woman who was about 80. Nemo Problemo on age -also they were all younger than Lieutenants and captains normally would. The course of War.

"..She loves her mate as he loves her and they lived together-"

"SHUT UP!" Marco yelled in Coop's ears. "Shut up, I haven't slept and no one can function in this state of mind. And I am pissed"

Hawkes turned to face the Latino. "What? You got a problem with me?"

"Boys and their toys" Shane muttered and threw Nathan a look.

West's smirk fell off his face as he stepped in between Coop and Polo. "Okay, guys. Let's get something straight. We are here to knock the shit outta the enemy, not each other." West knew that in a fight Polo wouldn't stand a chance. Hawkes' In Vitro strength could beat almost everyone, except the Colonel and that Ray Butts. Nathan knew what Hawkes' glances meant, he had too often been in the receiving end of a punch.

"Is that an order, WEST?" Hawkes hissed.

Nathan nodded, knowing he could handle this. "Yes, Mister Hawkes. This is an order from the XO"

"Roger, sir" Polo sneered and backed off.

Beate shook her head, as usual. "Stress" she said. "I read about it. People that are all stressed out g--"

"Thanks, Beate" Phousse cut her short. Bertheussen smiled back. "She is turning into our Mr. Data"

"At least I ain't Wesley Crusher"

"Who'd think that Star Trek: The Next Generation would survive this long." Anne took on her flightsuit, grinning at BB's remark. "We just let it out on the teachers" she said and zipped it up. "Don't know about you guys, but I feel like piloting today"

"Negative" Vansen cut in. "You and Polo are on my team, and I am piloting. Polo is on the gun, Schjerven has the radio and LIDAR. West, you are in charge of team Alpha, Polo, Schjerven and me are Bravo. Got that?"

"Got that" Nathan took his helmet. "Bertheussen, Co-pilot. Hawkes, guns. Phousse, LIDAR"

"The call is Macaroni, the answer is cheese. Got that? Macaroni!"

"Cheese" the other members replied.

"I have a feeling she's running out of ideas" Beate marked to Anne who almost burst out in laughter.

"We're the Wild Cards. Callsigns call" She clapped her hands together, making a muffed sounds as glove hit glove. "Let's move it, people!"

The Wild Cards walked out of their quarters, but Beate stopped as she came to the board. "Look at this" she said, pointing at an poster. "They are having some arrangements for Ross' birthday and need people to perform"

"Keep it away from Hawkes" Marco marked and nudged Coop who send a death striking gaze at his fellow Marine.

"I bet you'd never do that" Shane whispered to Anne.

She smiled. "Sure I would. Making an ass out of myself is what I do best, remember"

"Wanna bet?" Vansen pushed the issue further.

"What? Broke already?" Schjerven met the challenge. "I decide my song. And you must also have an act"

"All right. Fine" they took the pens and listed their names up.

"Hey!" West read their name.

"Hoo-rah, girls" Vanessa pattered the girls back. "Now you are going to do this for the honour of the 58th!"

"And the ears of Ross" Bertheussen added, looking at the watch. "We are late"

The gang ran the rest of their way to the loading bays. Marco and Schjerven walked into the ISSAPC while Shane signed for the Carrier. "What song are you planning to sing?" he asked her while she took her seat.

Annie thought for a moment. "Shania Twain or maybe 'Dear John Letter'. I can't hold a tone very well" she confessed.

"Just don't sing 'Happy Birthday'. The Commodore would hate that" he started, but shut up as Vansen came in and walked up to the cockpit.

"Alpha Team to Bravo. We are ready for launch" West's voice cracked through the radio.

"Roger that, King of Hearts. We are ready" Anne responded. "See ya outside, King"

"Ready in Five...four...ready...steady...go" Shane counted and they launched from the Saratoga. "This is West, I'm on your five"

"Roger that, Nathan " Shane said smiling. "Milk run. Radio silence for 1 hour"

"Queen of Hearts, this is Ace of Spades. What's up, Annie?" Beate said over the radio, glad the one hour was up. She had been bored to death explaining her High School years to Hawkes.

"Nothing on the LIDAR. The planet is 5000 MSKs away and closing. No sign of Chigs" Schjerven responded while she surfed trough the frequencies. "Wait!" she said as she saw a light on the LIDAR. "I am picking up something. Single craft...no, Chig attack squad!"

"Battle stations!" Shane yelled.

"Let's toast some Chiggies!" Marco laughed and made himself ready.

"Closing on our three. One is braking formation! He's on your six, Alpha!"

"Roger that!" Nathan yelled as he also saw the Chig. "Man.." he whispered as he piloted. "Can't shake him!"

Hawkes sweared as he missed a shot. "Hold her steady, dam nit!"

"If I hold her steady we'll get a missile up our ass!" West barked back.

Phousse's eyes grew wider as she looked at her LIDAR screen. "He's locked!"

Beate looked at the instruments. "We're toast" she whispered, biting her lip.

"King of Hearts, this is Queen of Diamonds -we're on its six" Nathan heard Vansen say. "oh my-"

Her voice was cut off by a huge sound. The ISSAPC was shaking like a mad horse on a rodeo. Nathan held tight on the jock stick, trying to keep her under control. "Shane! We're going down!"

"Hold tight, West" Shane's voice was like a tight breath.

"Vansen, I'll try to land her on the planet. Remember the coordinate and send someone after us. The LZ is hot, and we ain't coming in quiet" West looked at Bertheussen. "We'll be alright"

"West, don't go doing somethin' stupid" Anne cut in.

"Don't worry. King of Hearts out" he shut of communication. "Just in case something goes wrong -I don't want to be remembered going down on a planet screaming like Cooper" he explained, grinning foolish.

"Take it easy, I will scream with you" Beate smiled. "It was nice serving with you" she muttered. Nathan popped an eye brow up. "Just in case"

"This is West. Strap yourself up. We're doing a landing and it won't be pretty"

"Roger" Hawkes replied as he and Phousse strapped themselves in.

"We're in the planet's atmosphere!" Nathan yelled.

"Keep her steady" Bertheussen whispered.

West frowned. "Easier said than done"

"Looked out for those threes!" Beate suddenly yelled. Nathan jerked his head up to see what she saw. It was too late....

USS Saratoga, Three hours later

"Sir" Vansen cut in. "They are alive"

McQueen looked at Shane. "I know. I wish we could send a SAR after them, but the planet is hot and we are under so-"

"Fuck that" Anne frowned. "What if we went in?"

McQueen shook his head. "Negative" he paused. "Look, I wish that it didn't have to be these way. You know my meaning about the 58th, but orders are orders"

Vansen bit her lip before speaking. "Sir, I know you care for us. I also know you will do the right thing"

Ty frowned as he thought about the situation. After a minute he shook his head. "Orders" he said and left.

Marco yawned. "Rock" he said.

"I'm going after them" Anne stated.

"Negative, that's not our order" Shane said emotionless.

"Look, Shane" Anne hissed. "Those Marines out there are our friends. I know you trust the Colonel, and so do I. But he is under orders to not go down planet. He can't fly anymore, but we can. We have Polo who can brake into the 'puter. We can pilot the ISSAPC and get them out" she looked Vansen into the eyes. "We have people on the planet we care for and love. Nathan, Beate, Vanessa and Coop. We can't leave them"

Vansen closed her eyes and recalled the face of the missing soldiers. After a while she opened them. "That's going AWOL"

"If that's what it takes" Schjerven stated and Shane remembered when she said those words to Nathan a long time ago on Cer.

Ylesia, coordinates 5-2-6-2-8 North West of Bulls eye

Cooper Hawkes opened his eyes slowly, frowning over the light that stabbed into his pupils. He licked his dry lips, tasting his own salt blood. He must have bitten his lip while landing. He tried to remember the landing, but all he got was a terrible headache. He looked at Phousse strapped up next to him. She looked okay. "Vanessa" he grunted.

Her eyes flew open, and she too frowned. "My head" she moaned. "What the hell happened to the wall?"

Coop looked at the place where normally there was a huge metal hatch and a metal wall. It was gone and the sunlight lighted up the small vessel. "Crap" he said. There was no way they could fly her out. Remembering flying, he suddenly thought of someone. "West and Beate" he said and unstrapped himself. He stood up too quickly and waved on his feet until the dizziness faded away. He ran to the hatch separating the cockpit from the cargo. He pushed the codes and mostly to his surprise it opened. The cockpit was dusty, crampy and dark. Only the sunlight made enough light for Hawkes to see. Nathan was bleeding from the head, but Coop could hear him breathe. Beate looked okay until he went to get her out of her seat. She was bleeding from her legs. Right under the knees he saw two huge cuts. She must have been cut during the landing. "Vanessa!"

Damphousse came in behind him and strangled a cry of horror. To Coop's surprise, Beate opened her eyes, tears running freely down her cheeks. "Fuck" she said. "It's not too bad, I can feel my feet. It hurts...get me out of here"

Cooper and Phousse helped her out and laid her on the bunk in the ISSAPC. "See if you can wake West. The longer he is unconscious thus worse is the damage"

Motivated by her words, Cooper ran towards the cockpit and to Nathan in the Pilot-seat. "West" he said and grabbed his head. His eyes were closed and his lips were parted. He looked like he was sleeping, only he had this strange thing over him. "Come on, Nath" he turned the other man's head so he could look at his eyes. With a mourn he man opened his eyes, glassy eyes staring into Coop's hazel. "Hey!"

Nathan tried to focus on Hawkes, but he couldn't see much more than fog. "What...?" he asked hoarsely.

"You landed us safe and sound. Bertheussen is wounded, you have a head wound that I wouldn't take to lightly" he helped West up and half dragged, half carried the lighter man to the back of the ISSAPC. "You guys saved our asses" he marked as he laid West down beside BB.

Nathan looked out and lost his breath. The wall was gone! He looked at Beate 'BB' Bertheussen who was no doubt in pain. Hawkes walked up to her with a shot of morphine. She closed her eyes and waited for the sharp needle, but Hawkes had no doubt done this before and was as always careful. She looked at West. "Nice landing"

Nathan smiled sheepish as Phousse bandaged his head. "Thanks, couldn't have landed without you"

"Liar" she breathed, but his words did please her. She looked at Hawkes who was finished with her legs. "Not bad" she said in admiration.

Hawkes grinned, his dimples showing up on his face. He wasn't used to be commented like this, and coming from Bertheussen was almost like coming from Shane or McQueen. West moved his hand to his head. "We're stranded here" he marked, looking around in the ISSAPC.

"Vansen will come after us" Vanessa said. "Nothing can stop her"

Nathan wasn't that sure. It seemed that when Shane got more control over the squad, she moved from them. He loved her still, she was like a sister he never had. But she had changed a bit, maybe grown older under the weight of command. He stopped his thoughts and focused on Beate, who had no doubt talked for a while. "...I can see 'em already, raising hell on the Saratoga" she marked

USS Saratoga

"Didn't I give you an order, Ty?" Ross asked angry. "I remember my lips moving, so I must have said something. I told you to keep your kids on the 'Toga"

"I know, sir" McQueen said, staring into the Commodore's eyes. "But they must have gotten to the ISSCV somehow-"

"I know what they did, Ty" Ross barked, but his eyes betraying him as he looked at his friend. "The worse part is that I would have done the same and so would you. But there's a war on, and if Marine go AWOL"

"Schjerven isn't a Marine" Ty said automatically, having heard the line from Ross one time too much.

"Still she is under you command. For all I cared for she could have been a green man from Mars" Ross said. McQueen smiled at the mental picture this gave him, Schjerven with green skin, four eyes and a spacesuit.

"But sir, if anyone can get the 58th back it's Vansen" McQueen stated.

Ross looked at his friend. "And you told me West was the only one who would go AWOL" he smiled briefly then took back the part as his Commodore. "I would hate for those kids to die because of this. I'll give them a few hours, and they better come back alive so I can court-martial them, string them up and throw them out of the nearest air lock"

"Yes sir" McQueen said and left his friend to the Blues.

"If elephants could fly I'd be a little more optimistic
But I don't see that happen anytime soon
I don't mean to sound so pessimistic
But I don't think that cow really jumped over the moon"
Shania Twain 'When'


"You hear that?" Hawkes asked, his high-level In Vitro senses registering the sounds and smells much better than Vanessa, BB and Nathan. "Chigs"

West sat up, looking more like a Rambo-wannabe than himself with the white bandage around his head. Phousse loaded her M590. "If you and Phousse go" Beate said to Hawkes. "You can get out of here"

"No way" Phousse breathed. "They'll either kill you or take you with 'em"

"We are only holding you down" West told her. Coop knew it was true. "If we stay, we're toast. If you get away you can either attack or get the others to save us"

"One for all and all for one" Hawkes muttered. "You told me that a while back"

BB swallowed. "Not if it costs you your life"

"We're not leaving without you" Phousse said. "And you shouldn't ask"

"Okay" Beate took her gun. "West, you are such a good thrower of Smart grenades, make it happen" she teased.

Nathan grinned and took the grenade. He kissed it and took out the pin. "Let's send a rattle snake right up their-" he threw it and it flew high towards the advancing enemy. The Chigs never saw what hit them. The huge roar of the explosion rocked the ISSAPC. West swung the M590 up to bear and fired with Hawkes at the last remaining Chigs. Cooper hit them all.

"You're bleeding again" Beate marked to West. He brought his fingers to his head and touched the bandage. When he brought the fingers down to look he saw they were covered with bright red blood. Bertheussen loaded her gun. "Okay...we'll keep our position as long as we can. If it doesn't work out, West'll order Phousse and Hawkes to move out"

West nodded. "But!" Hawkes said annoyed. "I won't leave ya"

"Are you willing to disobey my order? Cause if you are just say so, and I will make sure to get you to the brig when we return" Nathan said serious. Hawkes swallowed, after all West had command now. "Didn't think so"

ISSCV, Destination Ylesia

"Our ETA?" Vansen asked, looking at her controls.

"50 mikes" Schjerven muttered.

"Repeat, and this time like I can hear it" Shane replied annoyed.

"50 fucking Minutes, Captain" Anne said again, putting pressure at the number.

"Can you two CUT THAT OUT?" Polo turned to face Anne. "You have been buggin' each other since we high jacked this ISSCV and left the 'Toga!"

"Sorry" Shane muttered to the man. "It's just-"

"Just that West, Hawkes, Dampie and BB are down there" Marco finished for her.

"This is the Commodore speaking. 5-8, what you are doing is stupid. The planet is hot, you'll get toasted before entering the atmosphere"

Schjerven turned on the radio. "Boss Ross, this is Queen of Hearts. You can yell at us when we come back with the rest of the Wild Cards"

On the other end of the line McQueen was smiling proudly. "I do not have to mention that this is a court martial offence. I'll have you head on a platter if you don't turn 'em and burn 'em right now" Ross continued.

"Sir, we have friends down there. And just because they haven't send out a SOS Mayday doesn't mean they aren't alive. I...WE won't let them down there to be killed and get their eyes and heart cut out" she was just about to cut the connection when she thought of something. "By the way, Happy birthday sir. I'll bring a rock or something from the planet" with that she cut the line.

"He'll kill you for that" Shane marked.

"What? For telling that he could kiss my ass on this, or for telling the people that it was his Birthday?" she grinned. "We're screwed anyway"


"We're almost out of ammo!"

"The Smarties are up"

"Please tell me you are talking about the chocolate"



"My M590 is jammed!"

"Use your knife to unjam it!"

"They are closing in!"

"Oh God.."

"Phousse! Hawkes! Fall back!"

"Negative. Live together, die together!"

West looked at Cooper. "Damn you, Hawkes" he said with an passion which reminded of the attitude towards the In Vitro like he had when they first met each other.

"You can damn me to hell, Nath" Coop grinned and fired at the enemy, not wasting a shot. "Glad I am not a virgin, I would hate to go out as one"

Phousse shook her head over Cooper. "You are one step from turning into Marco" she yelled over the firing.

"If these Chigs get any closer we might as well invite 'em over for tea!" West added and looked up in the sky. "They won't come in time"

"Nathan..." Beate looked at West who was now sitting down, dizzy. "What was the most exciting and crazy time of your life?"

West looked at her. "Expect from this war?"

Bertheussen signed. "Yes please"

"Well, it involves sex" Nathan muttered.

"I'm listening" Beate handed him her loaded M590.

ISSCV, Destination Ylesia

"I am reading some strange heat waves, must be battle" Anne said to Polo. "They are under fire"

"Shane, can you get us there any faster?"

Vansen looked again at her instruments. "Not without a damn good co-pilot"

"Anne?" Polo asked, but Schjerven was already on her way into the cockpit.

Vansen looked at the lieutenant. "Hey"

Anne sat down. "Just focus on the flying, I'll get the speed" she said and for a tiny moment Shane looked at the woman like she had been any other marine.

Shane frowned as she felt the ISSCV go faster. She checked the controls and almost lost it when she saw the numbers. "35% faster?"

Annie turned her head to look at her honcho. "Over 2000 hours in a SIM. I can fly anything from a 2058 Pigeon to a ISSAPC. It is surprisingly how bored you get when you are a DI for three years" she marked as an afterthought.

"Really" Vansen said surprised. "Never knew you were a Drill Instructor"

"Never knew you could pilot" came the reply, followed by a devilish grin. "We're closing in...I hope. Vansen, I was wondering...I keep hearing about West and this girl. Y'know, like he has a girlfriend back Earth or"

"Kylen" Vansen smiled bitterly. "She was a Tellus survivor -West was supposed to be with her on Tellus but he was thrown off. He joined up. It was kind of a bummer back in boot that he was taken, cause there were many girls who were interested in him. But he was kinda an asshole with Hawkes, who wasn't a prince himself. Anyways, Nathan combed the universe for Kylen, so to speak. She became a symbol of hope and peace to all of us. Then we found her, on the cost of Lt. Paul Wang's life"

"That's how you got the scar?" Schjerven asked, referring to the scar Shane had from her ear to her jaw, it was not a big scar and it didn't really show that much, but it was there.

"Yeah. After she returned to Earth Nathan got Dear Johned. Really broke his spirit, especially since he feels responsible for Paul's death" Shane closed her eyes for a brief moment as she remembered her friend's anger and sorrow. He had finished that night with getting drunk, trash the Briefing room and at last crying in Vansen's arms. "Look" she finally spoke again. "Nathan likes you. And if you ever do anything to hurt him, those 2000 hours won't help you. I'll blow you out of the sky"

Schjerven had to agree with that one. "But we are at war, and I am a professional" she stated. "I won't get involved with anyone in the 58th or any other Squadron." Besides, she thought bitterly. I lost Markus, I can't loose another lover. Not bow. It would kill me. And I don't want to be hurt again. She looked at Shane who was also thinking. Now we'll see if they are alive or dead.


"...and we were pretty close if you know what I mean" Nathan continued, blushing slightly. "And then suddenly the plane must have entered an air pocket because in the next moment we were both in the air. My foot landed in the toilet and-"


Beate ducked down, her hands grasping her pistol. "That was close"

A new explosion and Nathan looked out. "That was worse. The cockpit is gone!"

"I hate this. Who the fuck send me here anyway? Get McQueen on the radio so I can tell him hoe much I hate that judge, the Marines and especially him for giving us this order!" Hawkes yelled, meaning every word. "I am so pissed right now!"

Vanessa was mumbling a pray, a pray that they might be saved. She prayed for their souls, their bodies and mostly for getting outta here.

"What the!" Hawkes yelled and pointed at the sky. Suddenly a few shots rang out and blew s few Chigs away. "That's Vansen!"

"Hoo-RAH!" Phousse sat up and grinned.

"I knew they would come" Beate said almost too sure. "If not, who would they borrow money from in the future?"

"Jii-HA!" Nathan yelled as the last Chigs were blown away.

Hawkes came up and helped Bertheussen as the ISSCV landed. Polo opened the hatch and yelled. "Come on! There are more coming!"

Coop picked Beate up and ran towards the ISSCV while Phousse helped Nathan. They all jumped in the ISSCV and sat down. The hatch was closed as Shane lifted them up towards the ionosphere. "Go check on them" she told Anne who got up and walked to the back. She eyed Beate and her blood red flightsuit, Nathan and his bandaged head, Hawkes with some small woods in the face and Phousse who had spangled her ankle running.

She walked to the radio and turned it on. "Saratoga, this is Queen of Hearts. We have four Wild Cards here with us. Request medical attention upon landing"

"Roger that, Queen of Hearts. Congratulations, you did well" McQueen replied, smiling briefly. "Queen6 out"

Hawkes took his position as the gunner as Marco took the LIDAR. "Thanks" Beate said as Schjerven gave her some morphine.

"Don't worry" she said to her friend. "I won't let you forget"

Bertheussen just shook her head grinning. "I won't laugh at you when you sing then"

Schjerven stood up. "Oh shit...Ross" she looked at Polo who burst out in laughter. "Not funny" she said. "I have some major butt kissing to do for the commodore in the future"

"What about staring to train for your act. Three days and ticking" Phousse said as she laid back on one of the bunks. "Any plans?"

Schjerven just smiled wicked. "You'll see"

USS Saratoga, 24 hours later. Ross' office

"The colonel cannot discipline you since you are not a US Marine. But as the Commodore of this vessel I can" Ross barked as he eyed the Soldier standing in front of him. "You have a problem, Schjerven. At that is your attitude"

"Sir" Anne said, looking at the Commodore. "With my attitude I should have been a Major"

"Why not" he said sarcastically. "You act like one! As you know there are two types of soldiers. Old ones and Cocky ones but there are no old cocky soldier. Get my drift or do I have to use shorter sentence and easier words?"

She almost burst out in laughter. She liked Ross, he was cool. And he did now forget that she was the oldest of them. "Sir" she said. "I know what you mean. And I am sorry for my attitude, but I didn't have anything to loose"

"And you didn't have anything to win."

She nodded, her face still serious despite the urge to smile at him. "I know you, as my superior officer, are worried if I can handle this. I mean, handle this life in a year which I never imagined live to see. I can. It is no different from my time. The wars are still there, the streets are alike and people's attitudes towards people who are different have not changed. I can handle whatever comes"

Ross looked at the woman. "And if not?" he asked.

"Then I'll die," she answered. "Am I dismissed, sir?"

He eyed her for a few more seconds before nodding. "Dismissed, lieutenant"

He watched her leave and sat down in his chair. A man came out of the shadows. "I hope you are satisfied, sir," Ross said sourly. "The file has been terminated. But I just want to say that I don't like this. Aerotech has bugged into every mistake the 58th make. Why?"

The man ran his hand through his blond hair. "Why? Because we have plans for them," he said. "I'll see you, Ross," he said as he walked out.

"Yes, Mr. Bertheussen" Ross whispered. "I am afraid I will see you again."

Sick bay, USS Saratoga, Three days later

"Nathan, you have a phone call" the nurse said and gave him a cell phone.

"Nathan?" A voice said on the other line. He felt his heart stop. The voice! "Nathan, it's me...Kylen"

"K-Kylen?" he asked, his voice trembling.

"Nathan. I'm sorry over what I wrote. I didn't think clear. Maybe we should get back together" Kylen Celina said calmly.

West swallowed. "But what about those things. We have both changed, Kylen"

"I know" she said. "But I think I love you. And you being out there.."

West closed his eyes, remembering everything about her. "I can get killed out here" he said a matter of factly. "I don't think this is such a good idea"

"I believe in you" she said, her voice casting her spell.

"I believe in you too, Kylen. But...I don't know. I'll call you" he said and hung up. He laid his head back against the pillow and turned his head. Bertheussen was looking at him before nodding her approval, It was too soon for him.

The Oberservation Lounge. USS Saratoga, 22:04

"Today we are here to honor a man which deserve it. Our own Commodore Glen van Ross! I am Commander Christian 'The Rocket' Jackson. You know my voice from some of the greatest hits around here" the man grinned at his audience. "Like 'Hammerhead engagement frequency, 'All personnel clear the flightdeck', 'Roger' and not to mention 'Red alert' which we all have learned to love"

The audience laughed and clapped. Jackson took a deep bow. "Okay, we are going on Callsigns. First out is our own Wild cards Queen of Diamonds with a classic we have all heard her many times. 'Let the Teardrops Fall'!"

Shane swallowed and walked on the stage. Her long, Navy Blue dress with sparkles (Which she had borrowed from a more than excited Bertheussen). She took the mike and looked at the audience. She saw the Colonel, the 58th, the 32nd and the Commodore. She smiled to Cooper. Then she heard the music and started to sing. "Let the teardrops fall. You said you wasn't gonna call. You didn't love me at all. So let the teardrops fall" as she got the rhythm she moved towards the audience, moving her body to the music. "Since you've been gone. I've been so blue. And I've spend my time, just thinking 'bout you" her eyes moved to the Colonel, who to her surprise was smiling to her.

"She's damn good" Polo whispered.

"Hush!" Nathan pushed him a little and looked at Vansen, so beautiful in the long dress and with her hair up.

"...Well it's you I dream of and you don't know so tell me you'll be mine. Oh the sun don't shine, and the moon won't glow. And all this lonely nights all pass to slow..."

"Wow" McQueen breathe, not knowing he did that.

"...Sweet memory. I still need all, but I miss you so. So let the teardrops fall!" she finished.

The audience clapped wildly and she felt herself blush. The Rocket walked again on stage and handed her a flower. "Queen of Diamonds, ladies and gentlemen. Now, we have also got a comedian here. You know him from the mess, I give you our only drag queen: Lady Rosendale!"

A man walked on the stage. He had very much makeup on and wore a dress and a fur-coat. He waited until the people stopped clapping before speaking. "Hi. I was just on safari and got this beautiful fur" (s)he looked at the audience. "Don't look at me like that, I didn't kill him. He died and left me everything"

West burst out in laughter and almost spilled his drink. He looked embarrassed but saw that more people were laughing and almost spilling their drinks. "When's Schjerven coming?" he asked.

Beate looked up at him from her wheelchair. "After this one" she said.

"...I think I am in love. Yes I saw him yesterday. So tall, handsome and dark. And he's English" Lady Rosendale smiled. "He was at the Kentucky Darby, number five with the three white socks"

The audience laughed and clapped as the Lady bowed so that his hair fell off. The man, a young Private with red hair, just laughed and picked it up. "And people wonder why we call this 'rat hair'" he pulled out a mouse. "What a ratten way to do stuff" he said and smiled at his walked off the stage and received his rose.

"Next up we have another Wild Card. What is it with the 58th? First they fight and then they bet? Well, I'd like to see some of the guys up here" Jackson grinned. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you one of the newest Wild Cards; Queen of Hearts!"

Schjerven walked nervous in on the stage, wearing thigh jeans and a long-sleeved shirt; nothing fancy. She took the mike and spoke into it. "Well, I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to our Commodore. We are all glad he is on our side of this war" she grinned.

The music went on and she sang out the words she had know for many years. "If you gave me a coin for every time we say goodbye. Well I'd be rich beyond my dreams, I'm sorry for my weary life. I know that I'm not perfect but I can smile. And I hope that you see this heart behind my tired eyes..."

West looked at her in awe. He had never seen her like this. Sure, he'd seen her in the showers but this was different. She was so sexy and so...And her words was so true for her. He looked at her with his lips parted. McQueen bend towards his Marine. "West, you're drooling"

Nathan jerked himself up and was rewarded with a suddenly dizziness. He looked at his CO who was hiding a grin. "Very funny, sir" he marked and smiled.

"...I know that I can be afraid but I am alive. And I hope you trust this heart behind my weary eyes. I'm no angel, but please don't think that I won't try and try. I'm no angel, but does that mean that I can't leave my life. I'm no angel, but please don't think that I can't cry" she looked at the audience and especial Ross and West. "I'm no angel, but does that mean that mean that I won't fly..." her voice died out with the music.

For a moment it was all silent and she bit her lip, thinking she must have sucked. But then McQueen started clapping and soon the whole room was clapping. The Rocket came up and gave her a rose. "Ladies and gentlemen, Queen of Hearts with 'no angel'!"

Schjerven walked down stage and sat down with Shane and the rest. "Hey, Anne" Vansen said smiling. "Wanna have a drink, marine?" she asked.

Anne smiled. "Sure"

Vansen ordered drinks on everyone. "Good singing" she said.

Anne smiled at looked over her glass at Nathan. "Thanks"

Nathan looked at her and got up. He threw her a look and walked away. Schjerven quickly excused herself and walked after him to the corridor. "You were fantastic" he told her.

Anne smiled. "I guess the applause gave me a hint on that"

He laughed and looked her into her eyes. "I...I got a call from think I am-"

"Red Alert. Enemy attack squadrons. All hands to battle stations"

Schjerven threw him a look before running off to the 58th's quarters. Nathan stood there as a fool. "Is this a sign" he mumbled. "What the fuck has the universe against me"

He decided leaving this matter behind, boxing it up and placing it in the back of his mind for 'another day, another time'. With eyes that caught every move and a face set to kill he moved to his quarters, after the Queen of Hearts.


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