Title: The Space Between Us Author: Karen Fandom: Exosquad Characters: Maggie Weston and Alec Deleon Disclaimer: Exosqud, along with the characters of Maggie Weston and Alec Deleon are the creations of Bandai, Sunrise Productions and any other creators and producers, and are not mine.

"The Space Between Us" by Karen

"Knowledge and strategy are the best weapons, and if that fails, deploying a huge bank of explosives works pretty damn well, too."

Maggie Weston realizes she is talking to herself again but it does not faze her. As long as you don't answer yourself then there's nothing to worry about, right?

Maggie usually does not spout off random chatter, but it's been a long mission and they are only half ways to their destination. From a logical standpoint it made sense for a bunch of outlaw space pirates to make a hideout within the moons of Saturn.

"It will just take longer to smoke them out when we're trying to find them."

She hopes that it sounds halfway decent as it gets filtered through the audio pickup from the communication channel of her exosuit. Given her partner for this mission, Alec Deleon. He is usually absorbed in his own thoughts. No response. "Alec?"

"The space pirates would no doubt agree with you, Maggie, but JT. said this is strictly a drop and deliver mission."

"No time for a short blowing things up party?" She is only half serious about the suggestion even as the thought formulates.

"Not unless you would like to get caught up in the festivities," Alec laughed, "You can explain that one to JT. After all, if you want to play a rather dangerous game of tic tack toe with a bunch of crazy pirates, kindly leave me out of the party."

"Come on, Alec," Maggie wheedled, only half serious, "Where's your sense of adventure?"

"Firmly intact, but I like this thing called life, I'd like to keep doing it for a while longer."

Maggie thought about that particular scenario for a few seconds, as she pictures having to face her commanding officer and explain her reasoning, sound or otherwise, behind their decision to confront the space pirates. A few seconds of weighing the pros and cons quickly came up in the 'not a good idea' category. Right now their own government is trying to negotiate a cease-fire with the pirates, and consider themselves to be an independent republic. As matters stands right now, the pirates outnumber theirs ten to one. She could picture the fine lines around JT's eyes crinkling even further in annoyance; disapproval and she shook her head to clear her mind of the inevitable cobwebs. Her red hair, underneath the helmet damp with sweat. "Okay, I see your point."

"How you holding up?" Alec asked.

"Fine, batteries haven't died yet."

"What's our ETA?"

"Only a few hundred meters until we reach the drop point." Maggie pulled up alongside Alec's yellow and black exosuit noticing how her own distinctive red one contrasted nicely with his.

"Confirmed rendezvous coordinates." Alec was back to the serious business of their mission. Yet, when she thumbed the control that brought up the visual as well as the audio channel she saw that Alec's stoic visage had slipped a little and he was grinning.

"Did I ever tell you that if you didn't smile once in a while your face would freeze like that?" Maggie asked.

Alec, through the visual connection stared back at her, then laughed

"Probably, but it's nice to be reminded every so often."

"Well, we can't hover indefinitely and the cargo isn't getting any lighter, so let's mosey on over, and get this over with, eh, partner?"

"Affirmative, Sir," Alec replied, grinning.