Disclaimer: The concept of and all characters from Space: Above and Beyond belong to Glen Morgan and James Wong, Fox Broadcasting and Hard Eight Productions. I'm just borrowing them. No money was made from this, and this was done totally for fun.
Feedback: Any and all comments are welcome.

Notes: Thanks to lasairfhiona for the title and the quick beta.


The Lt. Colonel stood on the deck of the space carrier, looking out at the stars and the planet they were quickly approaching. He'd been in the Marines for fifteen years--he was a lifer and he knew people died in war. He knew that. But this time, they were his "kids", his responsibility. He'd never wanted this squad, and yet they had somehow worked their way into his very being.

He'd sent his kids to that planet with the intention of them coming back, not dying or disappearing there. His kids, though, they never did anything the easy way. They had earned their name, their place; after all, the Wildcards were the best at what they did.

"Colonel McQueen." A naval ensign approached quickly, stopping just outside of the Colonel's personal space.

The colonel turned from his view as he recognised the voice of the Commodore's aide. "We were getting a very weak beacon signal. The Commodore's sent in a SAR team. It will be returning in 90 mikes. Bay 5."

McQueen nodded and turned back to the planet and his silent watch.

Ninety-two minutes later, Colonel McQueen watched the bloody images his imagination had built fade away as his squad came out of the rescue vehicle. For the most part they were all moving under their own power. A limp here, a gash there, exhaustion in their eyes, but they were alive.

"Med-bay with them all," he commanded, staring them each in the eye. "Then I want to know what the hell you were doing down there that caused you to lose expensive military equipment."

The "sir, yes sirs" came almost immediately. He was going to follow them to med-bay, make sure they all got checked out and tried not to skip out. Then he'd yell at them. He waited a moment longer before following, letting the relief he felt flow through his body.

- end -

© Susan August 2004