Harry Potter and a Warm Night Between
Based On J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter
Influenced by many things
History items copied and or paraphrased from Wikipedia
Recommendations for 1986: Warren Zevon. The Kinks. Emma Lazarus. Studio Ghibli. Gainax. Gamera!
13-24 January 1986: The South Yemen Civil War
"Of course," Luna says, "This doesn't make the news until it's over. About 20,000 dead, mostly civilians, but it's Yemen, so the west doesn't care."
Olmayra gets out the map, and looks over the area, "Too close to Saudi, too many people, too much desert, too many ships, we can't do anything as we are."
"Nope, we need more money and more bodies. A lot more bodies."
24 January 1986: Voyager 2 reaches Uranus. Official pronunciation quickly changes
Luna learns really quickly. She can already speak Spanish well enough for general usage, and is learning her military jargon quickly.
None of the gang speaks any of the African languages yet, although Olmayra can cuss in Swahili, so Lessa, Luna, and Olmayra have a translator recommended by Dian with them. He's adapting to riding around in a dragon's LCE fairly well.
Unlike the plan, the old men of the village have insisted on participating, and are preventing the women from talking.
"Harry," Lessa calls Harry Crewe, who's in charge of the squad she's carrying today, "Could you take your boys and distract the men? Next time we'll bring another translator, and you can take them off to talk to separately from the beginning."
Harry suddenly smiles, "I've got just the thing!" he waits for the old man talking to pause, and then speaks up. "While the girls are making girl-talk with the mothers and grandmothers, I'd like to take the men and examine the defenses of your village." This is met with general acceptance, and soon the men are all off with Lessa's squad.
Olmayra breaths a big sigh of relief, "Now that they have left, let's see if we can actually help you help your village."
"Why are you talking to us? We don't run things," one woman with grey hair and a few wrinkles on her dark face says.
Olmayra smiles at her, "That's what my Grandfather would have said, too. Men tend to find similar solutions to other men, and men's solutions aren't working in Africa. So I want to find women's solutions, and women's problems. At worst, it won't help."
The old women all nod, and the mothers look thoughtful.
25 January 1986: National Resistance Army takes over Uganda. Half a million people believed killed over the previous five years of fighting
Ramoth, Olmayra, and a translator drop onto the front steps of the presidential palace.
"You need," Ramoth starts, and the translator relays, "To stop being assholes in the north."
28 January 1986: Space Shuttle Challenger spontaneously disassembles 73 seconds after launch
"That's kinda fucking sad," Luna says in English, watching the Challenger launch go wrong on the news again, not quite vertical pillar of smoke with a puff and the diverging trails of the solid rocket boosters to either side. "The only way we could have stopped it today was calling in a bomb threat, and then it would have blown up in a week," she shakes her head a moment, half smiling sadly, "Because it'll be cold there next week, too, and they'll be even more impatient."
"How do you know?"
"It's not my second time through this week."
Olmayra gives Luna a hug.
29 January 1986: Yoweri Museveni sworn in as President of Uganda
"How is Uganda doing so far?"
"They've improved things in the north, but I don't know if they're still breeding bandits. The Lord's Resistance Army would be a nasty piece of work if we don't manage to disrupt, no, preempt them," Luna says, "Any Contras to be found?"
"No attacks in a month, but Sandinista intelligence says they're still in Honduras."
"Want to go patrol with me?"
"Sounds fun, give me fifteen minutes to grab a squad and get them loaded."
3 February 1986: Pixar Animation Studios opens in California
Luna's busy with something, Olmayra's talking to the women of another village in Africa, and Ramoth has finally found the Contra camp she's been looking for.
The camp is huge, covered in lots of camo net, and actually has a tank. A T-34 that is probably older than everyone in the camp, but still a tank. One that, according to the track marks, at least ran recently. "Harry," Ramoth starts, "I'm estimating four hundred people in this camp."
Harry nods from his place in her LCE, "That's what I'd guess, too."
Harry watches a moment, "Call back, and have them send the HINDs out. We'll stay here and keep them from escaping."
"You heard the lady, everyone out!" Harry relays. He calls Teniente Gonzales, their air support officer, and gives her the information about the target. "They have a real tank, and it has moved since the last rain."
"I'll let the pilots know, they'll be really happy to get to shoot a tank."
7 February 1986: 'Baby Doc" Duvalier flees Haiti
Olmayra had been hoping that the rumors of death squads were just that. Even as a human, she can hardly move through the destroyed village without stepping in someone's blood or on someone's body parts.
The smell is overwhelming, the iron tinge of blood, fresh, but already rotting meat, feces, urine, burnt wood and bodies.
The attackers killed all the livestock, except, apparently, a rooster who's crowing in a tree outside the village, and set fire to every hut. Olmayra blinks, realizing that the tiny scrap of flesh, head stomped flat, next to her foot isn't a monkey.
She unfolds, pictures the stars from that morning, just before the sky started to get light, and dives Between, leaving her squad behind.
It takes her a half-hour to find the attackers, sitting around a campfire, waiting for their breakfast to finish cooking, getting ready for a hard day of rape, murder, and pillage. Olmayra lands in the campfire, smothering it, flinging hot coals everywhere, crushing five men in her landing.
One man starts yelling, trying to organize a defense. Olmayra bites his head, picking him up with her teeth in his neck. A quick shake of her head, and his body falls, knocking one man down and scaring another dozen into fleeing.
Olmayra spits his head out, and it rolls after the fleeing men a moment.
She slides over the man she knocked down, crushing him, and hits the closest man with a closed-mouth strike, which hurts her nose. The man drops, ribs and spine shattered, and she bites the next man, giving him a quick flick, then throwing him at the fastest man, thirty meters ahead. He drops, screaming, and Olmayra slithers over him, turning back to catch the last running man gently in her teeth. She rears back, and drops him on one of the men who's still breathing. There's a lovely crunching noise, and her man screams. She picks him up again, and drops him on a different man. By the third time, he's stopped screaming. By the sixth, he's stopped breathing.
Only a couple of them are still alive, one of whom is trying to crawl away. She gently pushes him flat with her nose, shoving him into the dirt, and he gasps, suffocating, fighting for breath, just a little flatter with every exhale. She continues to hold him down for a moment after he stops struggling, then slithers over the last man.
She double-checks that all of them are dead, then takes to the sky before diving Between.
She pops out, muddy, bloody, and dripping, over an intact village, and a surprised squad.
15 February 1986: Maiden flight of the Beechcraft Starship
"These men, these death squads," the old man in charge says, "Are operating out of Sudan, and have money, weapons, from somewhere else. Sudan doesn't have the money to attack us like this. More, Sudan doesn't have a reason, they can barely hold on to what they have."
"Maybe," Harry Crewe asks, "They are attacking for a reason other than conquest?"
"I don't know why they would. We're not Muslim, but we don't go trying to talk people out of being Muslim. We are not bandits, this is not a bandit camp. What reason could they have?"
"Maybe they want to get violent young men out of their country?"
"It would be cheaper to kill them."
"Maybe they want to make everyone afraid."
"Why, and of what? Some of these people maybe, they leave a few alive, so they can tell what they want, but killing everyone, killing all the livestock, throwing dead bodies in the wells, why would anyone do that?" the old man asks, "Why spread suffering, if it doesn't even do anything for you?"
19 February 1986: U.S. Senate ratifies UN anti-genocide convention after 37 years
"How do you unfold into different dragons?" Olmayra asks Luna, "It would have been easier to kill those bandits if I hand hands," she pauses, "And I could have captured one alive, if I'd thought of it."
"You unfold into your proper shape, right?" Luna says, gesturing, "So you need to see what you want to unfold into, just as you chose what you want to look like when you fold yourself up again."
Olmayra unfolds into a feathered serpent with cafe-au-lait arms, and laughs at herself, "Could you demonstrate?"
Luna nods, and unfolds into a great, gold, dragon, then folds herself into a girl who looks like Olmayra's longer-haired twin. A few minutes concentration, and she unfolds into a stupid-large turtle-shaped dragon, with fangs. She waves a clawed hand big enough to hold Olmayra's feathered serpent form, and Olmayra flies up to settle on her shoulder, examining Luna's enormous, crazy eyes.
"Damn, that's scary."
"Scary hot," Luna agrees, and suits actions to words, breathing fire and setting several trees alight.
Olmayra rubs the side of her face against Luna's turtle-face, "Pretty fucking cool," she agrees.
19 February 1986: Mir space station launched
"Roland was a warrior, from the land of the midnight sun," Lessa sings to herself, cleaning her rifle after a day at the range, pausing to drop a cleaning rod down the barrel from the chamber end, continues, "On a dark and stormy day, so they set out for Biafra, to join the bloody fray. In sixty six and seven, they fought the Congo war, with their fingers on their triggers, knee deep in gore," she pauses, changes the dirty swab for a clean one, oils it, and pulls it through her barrel again, "They killed to earn their living, and to help out the Congolese."
"Hey, GM," one of her Soldado, she reads his nametape, Jones, starts, "What is going on in Africa?" He waves his hand, "Here, the U.S. was fucking with things, and keeping assholes in power to help American companies, and we're killing off the capitalist running dogs who want the U.S. back in here to fuck over everyone."
Lessa's lips quirk up, wondering if he just didn't notice, or if he doesn't consider the rich to be people.
"But the U.S. isn't fucking with Africa, so what's wrong?"
"The U.S. is involved in Africa, but they aren't the big problem," Lessa says, "Africa's problems date back to slavery. Different tribes, at different times, stole various of their neighbors and sold them to white men. On top of that, European countries divided Africa up between themselves, along map, not ethnic, lines, so most African countries are made of of members of two or more tribes, some of whom have genuine grievances against their neighbors. We have Ethiopia, which was a member of the League of Nations, invaded by Italy, another member of the League of Nations, in 1937, and annexed."
"Conquered, but the legal part, not the fighting part," She pauses to refit her bolt, spring, and Click bolt cover, "And the Italians at that point weren't even running their own country well," she runs through a functions check, then sets the rifle down, "After the war, the colonial powers gave up, but only after doing their best to make sure their former colonies would not succeed," she pasues, sighs, "And then we have the cold war and the International Monetary Fund."
"I thought the IMF was supposed to help countries."
"Top down economics never works. That's why trickle-down in the U.S. is leaving poor kids hungry enough to eat Ronnie Wax, that's why life sucks for a lot of people in the Soviet Union and China, that's why things aren't so bad here. The IMF gives countries loans, and imposes economic changes on them. They take a country that is money-poor, but everyone has enough to eat, and demand that they start growing cash crops and using artificial fertilizer. So now the country no longer has enough to eat, has their topsoil blowing away, no cash crops to sell, and debts to the IMF."
Jones nods, "That makes sense now. Add in proxy warfare between the U.S. and Soviets, and," he sighs, "You have a big mess. Olmayra wants to fix it? How?"
"We can't fix it, unless we kill everyone in Africa, and that's not a good fix. We can help the Africans fix Africa."
Jones rests his head on his hand, thinking for a minute, "You said top-down economics doesn't work. So we're going to do bottom-up economics?"
"Indeed. We're talking to the people with the greatest investment in Africa, the mothers and grandmothers, about what they need to make things better for their children."
"Don't the fathers and grandfathers want what's best for their kids?"
"Probably, but all of the big 'projects' that have failed in Africa were made up by men, to solve the problems the men saw. I don't know if it is nature or nurture, but they keep coming up with similar solutions that keep failing. Instead of trying to fix big, expensive problems, we're gonna solve little, cheap problems, but a lot of them."
"If we make enough little things better, it'll make the big things better?"
"That's what we're hoping. And killing a lot of bandits never hurts, either."
25 February 1986: Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos goes into exile.
"Well, that's one asshole out of power," Jones says, "Any idea if Aquino is another asshole?"
"She isn't," Luna says, looking up from her newspaper, "They'll continue to have problems, but things do get better during her Presidency."
25 February 1986: Egyptian military police set fire to and loot four luxury hotels in salary protest
"Does it feel weird having separate names for your different faces?" Olmayra asks.
"Does it feel weird to answer to Olmayra when you're a boy?"
"No, not really."
"I'm still not used to answering to Angharad, but Lessa's the same as Harry to me, now. There are some differences, depending on which face I'm wearing. Lessa sings, Angharad loves hugs, Harry's better at hiding, but they're all minor things."
"Why don't you sing as Harry?"
"My voice sounds much prettier as Lessa, and I think there might be some internalized homophobia there, too."
"Yeah, only girls and faggots sing, according to my uncle. I got the strap for singing "Jingle Bells" once."
Olmayra gives him a hug, and he tries not to flinch
9 March 1986: Navy divers find the crew compartment of Challenger, with the bodies of all seven astronauts still inside
"So they were alive until the crew compartment hit the water," Olmayra asks in English, turning to Luna.
Luna nods, "That's why the manned rockets have crew escape rockets on top, to get the crew safely away, but the plane design limited the safety of the Shuttle, and the complexity of the thermal protection system, among other factors, limits the turnaround time, so it will never be what they wanted it to be. Too big, too heavy, too expensive, too dangerous."
27 March 1986: Russell Street Bombing in Melbourne kills a police constable, the first Australian policewoman killed in the line of duty
Olmayra looks down at the raped, then mutilated, dead girl, then up at the unfortunate survivor of the attacking party, "I think your dead buddies are lucky ones today," she tells him in English.
He doesn't understand, so the local contact tries Swahili, then Luo before he does.
"Why?" he asks, through the translator.
"Because I'm going to make an example of you."
A fence post is appropriated, about as big around as Olmayra's fist. She unfolds into a blue Pernese dragon, and pushes the post into the ground until it is about waist high on the prisoner. He folds into a rather more muscular boy, and uses a machete to sharpen the end of the post. He gives the post a bit of a shove, decides it is sturdy enough, and unfolds into a blue dragon again. One taloned hand picks up the quite justifiably terrified prisoner, the other tears his pants open. Olmayra takes a deep breath, then gently wiggles the thrashing, screaming man's rectum onto the pointed end of the sharpened post, stopping when his feet barely touch the ground.
Olmayra folds back into girl-shape, and watches the man slowly quiet, pressed up on his tiptoes, his face a mask of torment. His leg muscles quiver, and he drops slightly, screams, tries to push himself up off the stake, then goes quieter, breathing heavily.
Olmayra turns, walks behind one of the burning huts, and vomits.
5 April 1986: Berlin Discotheque Bombing, 3 dead, 230 injured
"Why are drugs illegal?"
"Because it makes them more expensive, and then there are more profits."
"Then why isn't booze illegal?"
"They tried that in the '20s, in the U.S., and realized it made too much profit for the crooks, and not enough profit for everyone else," Harry pauses, "And the crooks were getting too violent with each other."
13 April 1986: first child born to a non-related surrogate mother
"Are we going to Hands Across America?" Luna asks, looking at Olmayra.
"It won't do much," Lessa says, then rolls to her feet, "But it won't cost much time or effort, either."
"It might be fun," Olmayra says, looking at her raw-scrubbed hands, "Ten dollars American each?"
"Yep," Luna says.
"Who is actually doing good work we'd approve of, in America, right now, not just staging for publicity?" Lessa shakes her head, "Most of the problems in America are political, so we're not going to fix any of them the way we are going. Maybe we can support someone who is at least going the right way, too."
"P-FLAG," is Luna's answer.
14 April 1986: 1 kg hailstones fall in Bangladesh, 92 dead
The great name debate continues unabated, with the Banshees, the Assassins, the Vipers, SHADO, SPECTRE, Cobra, the Dragons, and nine or ten other names being proposed. Harry is against Banshee because they have no artillery, SHADO, SPECTRE, and Cobra are TV and movie villain groups, and the Vipers because none of them are venomous. Luna probably will get her way, simply by being so sure about it.
15 April 1986: American warplanes bomb Libya, at least 15 killed
"Hey, GM," a soldado Angharad doesn't recognize starts, "Do we have the next tape of Robotech yet?"
"Dana just got let out of jail?" she answers, "Why do you call me gee-em, anyway?"
"'Cause you're the Guild-master," she, Angharad manages to read her name tape, Gordon, answers.
"Oh, that's good to know."
26 April 1986: Chernobyl disaster
"Whell," Lessa stares at the TV, as video footage of the smoking ruin of the Soviet nuclear power plant plays again, "That is a mess."
"It didn't get much play in the Wizarding press, but weren't they testing emergency procedures or something dumb like that? I couldn't figure out any way to fix it."
"There probably isn't," Lessa sighs, "How many dead and how many poisoned?"
"Hundreds dead, thousands poisoned," Luna says, giving Lessa a hug.
9 May 1986: Short Circuit released
Olmayra sets down her second bag full of African volunteers, and they spread out into the scrubland. They're not hunting death squads today, just ordinary poachers. Her squad drops out of their pouches on her LCE, and follow suit, setting up the ambush.
Once they are all set, Olmayra folds into girl-shape, then unfolds into her most-comfortable feathered serpent form. She dives between, appearing on the other side of the poacher's camp, and rears up, mouth open, wings spread wide, and hisses louder than a locomotive.
The poachers look up, screaming, and most of them flee immediately. A couple brave ones shoot at her, and one charges with a machete. She bomps him with her nose, hard enough to break his neck.
The shooters break and run. She flicks one trying to run past her with her tail, then whips it around to catch one on the other side. She hits him to hard, and he pops like a grape.
No one else tries to run past her.
23 May 1986: Somali President Siad Barre is injured in a car accident in Mogadishu
This time the company is guarding it's own compound, and going to the movie in shifts. The soldiers are traveling more comfortably, only 16 per bag, and the three great gold dragons set them down in the clearing near Playa Hermosa before finding their own clearing to fold back into girl-shape. Angharad, taller and green-eyed rather than dark eyed like Lessa, smiles barely down at Luna, and Olmayra's curly-haired prettiness is taller, manages to fold into her clothes this time. Olmayra has much better consistency.
Everyone is inspired by the movie's upbeat message, as Number Five moves beyond what he was to become a good person.
25 May 1986: Hands Across America: At least 5,000,000 people attempt to form a human chain from Long Beach, CA, to New York, NY, to combat hunger and homelessness
Luna has Olmayra on one side, Harry on the other, and about a hundred Assassins past him, leading down along Interstate 40, about half-way from Albuquerque to Grants, ten miles east of the Continental Divide.
After the fifteen minute's time ends their part of the line breaks up, and the adults around ask about the group of mostly-unaccompanied young people.
"We're a youth group dedicated to promoting social justice and ending poverty," is Harry's answer.
4 June 1986: Jonathan Pollard pleads guilty for selling U.S. Military intelligence to Israel
"Another day, another Contra camp," Angharad says, "They are getting really good at hiding."
"Because we've killed most of the ones who aren't good at hiding," Harry Crewe says agreeably, "So we've got to be improving the quality of Contra remaining."
Angharad laughs, nodding.
9 June 1986: Rogers Commission report on the Challenger disaster released
"Did you know that the Honduran government is running death squads?"
Lessa looks at Jones, "No, but they're a bunch of assholes. What did you hear?"
He holds out a large burlap bag full of money, "A man gave me this, he said his whole village raised as much as they could, but their priest and several people from the surrounding villages are missing. They may be dead already, but their bodies haven't turned up yet. They want to hire the Assassin's Guild to end the disappearances, and save anyone they can."
Lessa takes the bag, looks inside, "Good thing we're already being paid by Nicaragua, because this isn't much money."
"I know, but that's just wrong, you know."
"Yep. Do they have any idea where these guys are operating out of? I'll check with Sandinista intelligence, see if they can tell us anything."
12 June 1986: South Africa declares a State of Emergency
Angharad looks at her command group, Olmayra, Luna, Harry Crewe, Jimmy Russel, and Charlie Bucket. "We have two facilities, and a name, Battalion 3-16."
She gestures at the map, which has a red and a blue ball-headed pin stuck in it, "One is their headquarters, the other their prison facility. Only their important prisoners make it to the prison, the others are killed before they get that far."
19 June 1986: Len Bias dies from cocaine overdose after being selected 2nd in the NBA draft
Three golden dragons set down two more bags of volunteers each, mostly Nicaraguan, but Olmayra has a bag full of Africans, and another squad of Assassins, in the jungle west of Battalion 3-16's headquarters.
"That's the last of my group, GM!" Charlie Bucket yells, and the three dragons dive Between.
They pop back out over their headquarters near Samoto, Nicaragua, where the last of the force to liberate INDUMIL are staged. The feathered serpents will be with them, because they have the harder task of trying to keep the prisoners alive.
23 June 1986: LISTSERV mailing list management software first released
None of the prisoners want to be relocated, but they at last accept that the Honduran government is likely to disappear them again if they go back now. A few are willing to be sent to Cuba, but most want to stay in Nicaragua, closer to home.
More prosaically, the Guild's supply of U.S. surplus OG-107 uniforms was running low, and the costume designer had come back with something similar but snazzier, since unless they started wearing Nicaraguan uniforms, which would symbolically tie them to the Sandinistas, they had to make their own anyway.
A clothing factory in Masaya produced the first run, and they are being distributed for wear-testing and evaluation.
5 July 1986: Statue of Liberty reopened to the public
"Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With Conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and name
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
'Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!' cries she
With silent lips, 'Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send me these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'"
Harry finishes reading the poem, rubs his eyes a moment, swallowing. Luna gives him a hug, rubs his face on Harry's shoulder, "The world has punted on the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The U.S., the Soviets, and the Fundies are determined, between them, to make everyone miserable. I think you, also-"
Harry hugs Luna back harder, "The world isn't poor. There is plenty for everyone, but it's all locked up, the rich assholes, the churches, the governments, the asshats who want everyone to be miserable."
"Then, Angharad, let us save the world," Olmayra says, "Hopefully we won't have to impale as many elsewhere as we have in Africa."
"Hopefully," Harry agrees, giving Olmayra a hug. Luna joins in seconds later.
12 July 1986: New Zealand decriminalizes consensual sex between men over 16
"So, Argentina and the U.S. provided training and advice for Battalion 3-16. We can't do anything about the U.S. right now, but I managed to obtain a contract to investigate both the Argentine military's involvement with Honduras and the Argentine Disappeared. We're making $10 Argentinian, out of the President's pocket, but we're commissioned to 'Find those responsible, document their crimes for the Argentine courts, and deal with them as you see fit.' I think he thought he was hallucinating, but," Lessa smiles, and it is not a pretty smile.
"In happier news," Harry Crewe speaks up, "The people behind the Nausicaa movie have a new one coming out 2 August. Can I get a lift? Do we want to make a group outing of it?"
2 August 1986: Laputa, Castle in the Sky released in Japan
Only about twenty Assassins want to see Laputa, so Olmayra, Lessa, and Luna grab them up, Lessa in the middle, Olmayra and Luna on either side, everyone holding hands as they walk down the street in front of the headquarter's building, "One," they count aloud, "two," another step, "three," and they dive Between, popping out onto the street in Akihabara, where they drop hands.
They rubberneck while Harry Crewe and Takaya Noriko, his girlfriend and Japanese teacher, leads them to the local train, or densha, "Means electric train, but the Shinkansen is also electric, so," Harry shrugs, "English is worse."
A couple train changes later, and they join the line outside a movie theater.
"Omoshiroi cospurei," a man says, and Lessa turns to look.
"Cosupurei ja nai," she answers, "Ore," she pauses a moment, "no heishi kara, seifuku ga kikanakya, mistukemasu nara."
"Almost right," Noriko says.
"Dare des ka," the man, and his friends, who drifted over, start by asking.
Angharad, and she doesn't even notice that she refolded herself, although her audience does, replies once Noriko finished translating, "We're from the Assassin's Guild. We've been mostly been operating in Central America and Africa, but we have some investigation we're doing for the Argentine government."
"Anno Hideaki," he bows, presenting a card. Angharad accepts it, looks it over, then puts it in one of her lower blouse pockets.
"Okada Toshio." Angharad accepts another card.
At this point Harry recognizes the names, and breaks in, "Ano, sumimasen, are you, were you, involved in the Daicon III and IV opening animations?"
20 August 1986: Patrick Sherrill shoots 14 postal service coworkers before killing himself
Buenos Aires wakes to the sight of seventy-six men impaled, still alive, on the lawns of Casa Rosada, with hundreds more, handcuffed together in groups of five, on the sidewalks, and an enormous feathered serpent, black and iridescent green, curled up in front of them.
Within moments, police come running, weapons drawn.
"I have both the needed evidence, and a copy of our contract," she says, pushing a large file-box toward the policemen, "These men are responsible for the extra-judicial killings and torture of thousands. It was a pleasure to show the world the way the Assassin's Guild deals with bandits such as these."
By the time the men are pulled off the stakes, seventy-five are dead, and the last one dies a week later in the hospital.
21 August 1986: Lake Nyos disaster kills nearly 2000 in Cameroon
"Can we evacuate the area before the gas cloud erupts out of the lake?"
"Why would anyone evacuate?" Harry says, looking at the map, "It is unprecedented, there's no way anyone would believe us until it is much too late," he frowns, "We could try scaring them out."
After several hours the League of Dragons abandons the attempt to find a way to save them.
6 September 1986: two Abu Nidal kill 22 and wound 6 in an attack on an Istanbul synagogue
"Fucking fundies," Olmayra sighs, dropping the paper back on the desk. Luna gives her a hug.
Harry reads the article, "Back in a bit," and dives Between.
A few minutes latter he's back, and the headline reads "Two killed by giant animal in Istanbul."
7 September 1986: Chilean Dictator Pinochet survives an assassination attempt by FPMR
Bullets whine, ricocheting off Pinochet's armored Mercedes, and the first rocket strikes, a dud.
The second and third RPGs punch through the front and back windows.
9 October 1986: Fox Broadcasting Company formed though Metromedia's acquisition by News Corp
The Pinochet regime is sorely hurt by his death, but staggers on. FPMR may have a snowball's chance in the election. May.
10 October 1986: San Salvador earthquake kills about 1,500 people
"Push the papers," Lessa says into the telephone, "There's an earthquake in San Salvador." It is 1151, but the rescue team has been ready since 08, and loaded on the Assassin's Guild's three An-12s since 1030. The props have been spinning since 1130.
"You've sent the specifics, right?" the head of Disaster Relief says, remembering the last time the Assassin's Guild sent disaster relief assistance.
"Mailed you the packet last week, so it should be there already. I labeled it 'open on the 10th.'"
"Here it is. Yeah, I'll get this filed. Good luck."
"Thank you. Olmayra and I'll be back in about a week."
They are on the ground in San Salvador within the hour, and have teams looking for survivors within two hours.
They don't find any dragons, but they do rescue several hundred people over the next three days.
28 October 1986: Centennial celebration for the dedication of the Statue of Liberty
Only twelve of them could come to the Statue, since none of them have American documents, and a Nicaraguan passport certainly wouldn't do, and thus they have to dive Between in human-shape, with three passengers each. After the ceremony they troop into the pedestal, and stand around the plaque a moment, re-reading Emma Lazarus's poem, then look at the line going up.
"Do we want to wait in line for hours, or come back another day?" Angharad asks, turning back to her people.
After a little discussion, they decide to wait.
29 October 1986: The M25 ring-road around London opens
"I just realized it's been more than a year since I was in England," Angharad says, then laughs, "Well, this face has never been in England."
"Should we go visit?" Luna asks.
Angharad looks to Olmayra.
Olmayra thinks a moment, then shrugs, "I have some bandit-killing to do, but I can time back for that after some sight-seeing."
"Then let's go. I'll show you around Soho, and the British Museum."
3 November 1986: Ash-Shiraa magazine reports that the U.S. Has been secretly selling weapons to Iran to secure the release of American hostages
Ramoth grabs the fleeing man, and holds him rather gently, "No, you don't get to run away just yet," she tells him.
He screams, hyperventilating.
"Later this afternoon, your men raided a village north of here, raped and murdered, cut one young mother's boobs off, and left her baby to starve. You are not leaving this camp alive, or unviolated," She gives him a squeeze, slowing his breathing so he will not pass out. He thrashes and moans, shoving ineffectually at her huge gold fingers, eventually tries to lean down far enough to bite. He cannot reach.
After an hour or so it is the bandit chief's turn, and Ramoth impales him with all due gentleness.
21 November 1986: LTC Oliver North, a member of the National Security Council, and his secretary start shredding documents implicating them in the illegal sale of weapons to Iran, and the channeling of the funds to the Contras
"No Contras this month, either?" Lessa asks Harry Crewe.
"Nope. Nothing. All we have are dead ends, and 'someone said they saw some over there' rumors."
"We were hoping to take the Assassins on a trip to Samoto Canyon, which is supposed to be really pretty," Charlie Bucket says, sliding a few photos across the table, "Just a day trip, nothing extravagant."
"That would be excellent," Luna answers, "We should stay overnight and feed the mosquitos, however."
25 November 1986: the U.S. Attorney General announces that profits from covert weapons sales to Iran were illegally diverted to the Contras
Harry scratches, "Why did we stay to feed the mosquitos?"
"So I would have an excuse to spread itch cream all over Angharad and Olmayra," Luna tells him guilelessly, "Why else?"
"I thought it had to do with sitting around together cuddling," Harry sighs, "That was really nice."
"Yeah, you both need more cuddles, killing bandits is quite stressful, even though they badly need killing."
"Even though we can keep them from doing the things we impaled them for," Harry shakes his head, refolding into Angharad. She pauses, looking at her hand, "I didn't know I could do that."
"You did it while we were in line for Laputa, too," Luna tells her, "I think Anno noticed."
"Oh well," Angharad says, then steps closer, slowly, giving Luna plenty of time to stop her, and wraps her into a hug, bending to tuck her head under Luna's chin.
26 November 1986: President Reagan announces the Tower Commission to look into Iran-Contra, and denies involvement in the scandal
"The old actor is lying, isn't he."
Luna nods against Olmayra's shoulder, "The Tower Commission will eventually lay the blame for Iran-Contra at his feet."
"Can I just bite him? Or impale him?"
"He's an ass, and foolish in a number of ways, but he is spending the Soviet Union into oblivion. The USSR will fall, not with a bang, but with a whimper, over the next few years."
Olmayra pets Luna's hands where they are clasped over her belly.
14 December 1986: the Rutan Voyager begins its flight around the world, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager
"That's awesome," Jimmy Russel says, as the Voyager scrapes it's way off the runway, ripping the winglets off the tips of the wings in the process.
"Nine days of fuel is pretty heavy."
"Do you think you could do that?" Olmayra asks Luna.
"I don't like going without sleep for that long," Luna doesn't answer.
16 December 1986: 165 anti-government protesters killed in the Kazahk SSR
"What is firestone?"
20 December 1986: Three African Americans assaulted by a group of white teens in Queens, NY. Michael Griffith is struck and killed by a motorist when he attempts to flee
Angharad grabs the boy who's trying to flee by his collar, and he, rather comically, stops running only after his feet are quite in front of him, and he falls on his butt.
Her squad has the attackers on the ground, and a medic is seeing to the other victims.
"Now," she says, "You do have a right to walk the streets early in the morning, but picking a fight in a white neighborhood is a bad idea."
"I wasn't picking a fight, we just need some help with the car, and these assholes-"
"Outnumber you a lot. If I hadn't stepped in, you would have kept running, and might have run in front of a car and died."
"I wouldn't have done that!"
"Sure, sure, keep telling yourself that."
23 December 1986: the Rutan Voyager circumnavigates the globe nonstop, without refueling, in 9 days, 3 minutes, and 44 seconds
"The last time I played Father Christmas, I stood outside a department store. A gang of kids came over and mugged me," Lessa, Luna, and Olmayra sing, with about twenty Assassins singing along.
Once "Father Christmas," is over, Jimmy Russel starts up with a filk, "Eating things best thrown away, Pious Christians at their pray, hoping they'll get well someday, eating things best thrown away."
Olmayra is trying to figure out if she is offended, but Luna is laughing out loud.
At the end of 1986, Luna is 14, Olmayra is 15, and Harry/Lessa/Angharad is 12.
Early May 2017: Reading too many Harry Potter fanfic, and thinking about how one cannot,
canonically, be a magical creature animagus. Pernese Dragons are non- magical . . .
Mid May 2017: Thinking about other books that would influence things, checked out a copy of
The Blue Sword and Dragonriders of Pern
17 May 2017: Realized that, while the Harry Potter books are firmly removed from muggle
time, this story isn't. It's all about what Harry's saving people thing would look
like if it got Harry's full support. Hit up wikipedia for more historical context.
27 May 2017: Realized that, after chopping anything Harry wouldn't be paying attention to,
that Olmayra's paying forward, and is interested in all of the disasters . . .
5 June 2017: More.
16 June 2017: More.
18 June 2017: More. Finished 1985 first draft.
20 June 2017: Broke the story into year-long chunks.
21 June 2017: Some more of 1986. Yes, I find the idea of dragon-borne dragoons funny, why are you asking?
26 June 2017: More. Finished 1986 first draft.
28 June 2017: Tiny edits, playing with format.