One more to add to the list :
There was silence.
Colonel Alexander Gerald Mace opened his eyes slowly and stared at the devastation before him. He was propped up against a crumbling wall, with debris scattered around him. That didn’t faze him though. What made his face pale were the broken bodies that lay across the ground, battered and bloodied, and most certainly dead. He closed his eyes once more as he stumbled to his feet, trying not to look at the faces of the people who had fallen, but he couldn’t help glancing down. There at his feet was the body of a private in D-section, Marion’s responsibility. His brain finally caught up with his situation. He was standing in the wreck of the Valiant that had fallen from the sky, alone but alive, and he hadn’t even remembered his own fiancée. He cast his mind back to where he had last seen her – of course! – She was down in communications. He ran.
Mace got down to the door of the room she was in and shouted her name. There was no answer, and with a growing panic, he kicked down the door. The room was filled with smoke and Marion lay prostrate in a chair with her earpiece still in. She wasn’t breathing. Mace tore into the room and picked her up, carrying her out of the room away from the source of the flames. She was limp in his arms, and he quickly lay her down outside the door and began to give her mouth to mouth. After a while, Mace started to think it was hopeless, but suddenly, Marion gasped loudly, drawing in a long and laboured breath. She opened her eyes and whispered his name softly. He pulled her up and hugged her tightly, and for the first time, he began to cry in front of her.
“Everything’s going to be okay, dear. I promise it will.”
Months later, Marion and Mace stood side – by – side in front of a monument erected in the names of the fallen members of UNIT. Two pairs of eyes scanned the names in silence, hands clasped tightly together as they recalled the memories, both good and bad, of being with these people – their colleagues; their friends. Marion began to speak, and Mace continued to look at the monument, but cocked his head to show he was listening.
“Sometimes I feel like resigning, you know? It’s like we’re the last of a generation, considering how few people got out of there alive. But I couldn’t do that to them. I look at all these names and I think how disappointed they’d be if we just gave up.”
Mace replied, “I don’t think they’d be disappointed, but I know where you’re coming from. I feel like we have a duty to them somehow, to keep fighting, like their legacy.”
They stood quietly again before he turned fully to her to speak once more.
“I-I know we haven’t had chance to talk about it much, what with all of this, but I was thinking...I know we haven’t got some of our friends with us, but I think they’d want us to set a date, for the wedding. If you still want to, of course.”
Marion looked at his face, the uncertainty seeming an alien expression for him, and felt a rush of affection.
“Of course I do. Yes, I think it’s time.”
The car was ready and waiting outside and Marion studied her reflection nervously. Her matron-of-honour entered the room and came up beside her.
Marion smiled. “Is this the obligatory pep talk?”
Julia walked up behind her and looked from her to the mirror.
“You look lovely. Nervous?”
Marion laughed shakily.
“Of course. Didn’t you feel nervous when you married David?”
“Yes, but it was the best thing I ever did.”
Julia quickly checked her own reflection and turned to Marion.
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“More than anything else in the world.”
The car pulled up outside a small church surrounded by greenery. The wedding was by no means elaborate, but the people who were most dear to them were there. The wedding march began and Mace sighed nervously standing at the altar. He glanced quickly to his right, and David, his best man, grinned back at him before turning to watch his sister walk up the aisle. Mace imitated him, and through the haze of people, his eyes fixed on Marion who was being led by her uncle. She smiled happily at him and caught the glances of the friends and family in the pews. The Brigadier was stood with his wife near the front and winked at her as she passed, causing Marion to blush and return her gaze to the front. When she reached him, Mace took her hand in his own and the nerves left him completely.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today...”
The music in the reception had changed from slow waltz music to the ‘dad dancing’ classics, and Marion sat sipping champagne and laughing, watching the teenage daughter of a friend staring in hopeless horror at her father’s attempt to body pop. Her new husband came up beside her with his own glass and followed her gaze.
“Looks like John’s had a few too many.”
She agreed and amused herself by looking back to find the teenager now trying to physically restrain the man from dancing, until Mace tapped her arm.
“I’ve just being talking to the Brigadier...and he’s offered me a placement in Canada.”
He watched Marion for a reaction, but she only sat quietly and waited for him to continue.
“Of course, I told him that there wasn’t just me to think about anymore, but he told me that they also need a second in command – a captain. It’s your choice. I just think it would be good to get away from here.”
Marion smiled faintly, and watched her brother coming towards them as the music went slow again.
“Can I have a dance?” David asked.
He took Marion’s hand in his own, and they began to dance. He studied her face for a moment, and then said
“So? What’s up?”
“Alex has just been offered a placement in Canada, and he’s told me that it’s my choice whether we go or not.”
“Well wouldn’t it be good to have a fresh start? Just hear me out. I’ve watched you over these past few months and you’ve changed. You’re sad, and I think this place does that to you. Because you’re here, it’s easier for you to remember the time on the Valiant and easier to remember the dead. I know you might think that you would be betraying them if you moved, but I think they would be happy for you starting a new life.”
The song ended and David drew away from her. She thought about what he had said and by the time Mace took her hand ready for the next, she had decided. She looked at him and smiled.
“I think we should go. For them.”