The 58th "Wildcards" was a United States Marine Corps squadron that served aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga in the year 2063 and are the focus of the science fiction series Space: Above and Beyond.

The original members trained together at the USMC facility at Loxley, Alabama, under Sergeant Major Bougus. Despite a rough start, these pilots managed to be served honors at their graduation ceremony for having saved Earth at the Battle of the Belt.

The most notable members included:

Lieutenant Colonel Tyrus Cassius (T.C.) McQueen "Queen Six"

Originally the commanding officer of the ill fated 127th Squadron "The Angry Angels", McQueen suffered a debilitating injury and had his flight status revoked. McQueen went on to command the 58th squadron. He was one of only two in vitros to serve on the U.S.S. Saratoga at the time. He lead with great passion, and cared for the pilots under him as though they were his children. He also had a very dry sense of humor :

McQueen is about to head out to a seemingly suicidal dogfight with Chiggy Von Richthofen.
Commodore Ross : "I'll be a son of a bitch if I go to your funeral, Ty."
McQueen : "We can talk about your mother when I get back."

Lieutenant Shane Vansen "Queen of Hearts"

Shane had the unfortunate childhood experience of witnessing a traumatic event : her parents (both enlisted in the military) were murder in their home, at the hands of the silicates. This event left her in charge of her two younger siblings and somewhat bitter.

She decides to enlist in the Marine Corp to escape the responsibility of being in charge of her siblings ; she wanted to do something for herself. Her strong personality and ingrained leadership skills wind up putting her in charge of the "Wildcards", and she is eventually promoted to Captain.

Lieutenant Nathan West "King of Hearts"

Nathan and his sweetheart Kylen Celina were part of the Tellus colony project. This was a dream that they both shared. However, shortly before liftoff, they are made aware of a bureaucratic mandate that 10 invitros must be part of the roster, or the mission would be scrubbed. They are informed that only on of them may join the colony, since 9 other colonist had already been replaced. After a valiant effort to stow away on the vessel, Nathan is ejected from the project.

Nathan joined the Corp in the hopes that he might be able to reconnect with his lost love. He discovers during training that the Tellus colony came under attack by an unknown alien force, and that all were feared lost. The hope that Kylen survived drives Nathan to do some irrational things, but in the end he proves to be a valuable and capable Marine.

Lieutenant Cooper Hawkes "Jack of Spades"

Hawkes, as with all in vitros, was born in a gestation tank, where he spent the first 18 years of his life. He broke out of the in vitro training facility at a young age, so his "education" was incomplete. While biologically he was 24 years old, technically, he was 6, and confronts both a planet that is at best indifferent to his kind, and a well of emotions to become accustomed to.

After having tried to exact revenge on a small gang of "coworkers" who tried to hang him, simply for being an in vitro, and subsequently taking out his frustrations on a police cruiser, Cooper is sentenced by a judge to serve in the military. Being an unwilling student, he is more of a liability to his squadron. Time, necessity and the death of a friend soon motivate him to become a team player.

Lieutenant Vanessa Damphousse "Ace of Hearts"

Vanessa joins the Marine corps because she is looking for "direction". She graduated at Cal Tech with degree in Nuclear Physics, and often uses her technical knowledge to the benefit of her squadron.

Lieutenant Paul Wang "Joker"

When Paul began his career in the military, he lacked self-confidence. This is something that is quickly changed. Despite an impoverished childhood, Paul appeared very well educated and well read. The undying Chicago sports fan, Paul lent a great sense of humor, unmatched cynicism and a talent for navigation to the team.

Kelly Ann Winslow "Queen of Spades"

Kelly was a late recruit to the 58th squadron, and a short lived one. Her only fatal mistake, besides an engagement with Chiggy Von Richthofen, was to hit on her commanding officer McQueen. That lapse in judgement engrained her with a stronger understanding of In Vitros and personal relationships.

Mike "Pags" Pagodin

Pags was a friendly, funny recruit who met an untimely demise by enemy fire after having incorrectly identified the song Blitzkrieg Hop as having been performed by "The Pink Floyd". It is unclear if the two events are related. I suspect that the alien was in fact Joey Ramone. He was the only trainee to have been kind to Cooper, a fact which had a profound effect on Hawkes.

Lieutenant Colonel Raymond T. "Kicks" Butts

The seemingly selfish Ray Butts commanded the 58th for one mission to bury the bodies of Ray's previous squadron and recover their planes. In the end Ray sacrifice his life to save the 58th squadron during their escape. Loved pancakes and indeed kicked Butts.

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