Harry Potter and a Warm Night Between
Based On J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter
Influenced by many things
All historical figures present are "Inspired by real people and events" based on research, rather than actual knowledge of them as people.
History items copied and or paraphrased from Wikipedia
Some are missing - prevented from occurring by the increasing scope of League actions - or changed
Recommendations for 1989:
Blue Oyster Cult, Club Ninja, Cultosaurus Erectus
Neil Young, Freedom
C-SPAN archives, 8 March 1989
Bubblegum Crisis Episode 6
Aim for the Top! Gunbuster
Kiki's Delivery Service
7 January 1989: Japanese Emperor Hirohito dies, ending the Showa era
"It keeps calling me it's master, but I feel more like it's slave, hauling me, faster and faster, to an early, early grave," Lessa sings to herself, as she goes over the weekly budget report.
Luna flops down into the chair on the other side of Lessa's desk, and waits for her to look up, "It's my birthday, again."
"Oh?" Lessa frowns a moment, then relaxes, "Thank you for telling me," she pauses a moment, then asks, "What did you spend almost a year on in the last couple months?"
"Ensuring South Korea, Norway, and Germany bought F-16 XLs," Luna smiles, "We can't buy any if they aren't for sale."
Lessa nods, "Indeed."
*~ aWNB ~*
Angharad rushes up to Hermione, grabs her hand, and pulls her off in search of Olmayra.
"What's the hurry?"
"It's Luna's birthday."
"But she just had one in November."
"She said something about getting people to buy F-16 XLs."
"Yeah, South Korea, Norway, and Germany ordered a couple dozen each, back in the early '80s, which is surprising, because the F-15 won the contract with the U.S. Air Force," Hermione pauses, "But there were only two F-16 XLs when I asked her for one."
"Yep, I think Luna did it."
"Then we'd better make her a fucking awesome cake."
17 January 1989: Stockton schoolyard shooting
"You don't have to testify," Luna tells Olmayra.
"I'm the oldest."
"That was last month," Luna smiles up at her.
"And I'm the one who decided it was a good idea to start impaling bandits in Africa."
"It was a good idea," Luna pauses, "No, it was an effective idea. But this is a present for Hermione, so I don't want to traumatize you for it."
"If I can do it, I should be able to talk about it," Olmayra sighs, "But it is not going to be easy."
"I'll get you a list of the questions you should expect."
"How many people have you impaled?" Olmayra starts, "What made you decide to start impaling people? How many have the Assassins impaled? When did you first impale someone, and why? Are you a Communist? Have you ever been a Communist? How could you work for the Sandinistas and not be a Communist? Why did you become an Assassin?"
"What did you feel, trapped under the doorframe of your house, with your dead aunt's arms around your legs?" Luna says softly, then gives the slightly younger girl a hug.
18 January 1989: Massacre of La Rochella perpetrated by the Medellin Cartel.
"I think," Angharad says, "We dropped the ball last year."
"Drugs, or more precisely, drug prohibition," Angharad sighs, looking at the day's copy of El Tiempo, "We have the first world distracted from their real problems by their self-made problem with illicit drugs, which they could solve by legalizing. Of course, last year, the UN got involved, and now there is an international treaty saying they can't legalize."
"That's fucking dumb," Hermione says, "Why did they do that?"
"Because they thought it was a good idea, obviously."
"I meant, why did they think it was a good idea?"
"Lack of historical knowledge?" Angharad shrugs, "Drugs fuck people up, but not as bad as drug prohibition fucks communities up. Prohibition drives up prices and eliminates legal competition. Do the beer companies shoot at each other anymore?"
"Because they can talk out their differences and they are under the rule of law."
"Why do drug gangs shoot at each other?"
"Because they can't talk to each other, and they are outside the law."
"Yep. Fix it."
Hermione whines, "Do I have to?"
"No, but I think you can, and it would make the world a more just and safer place to live."
"I need hugs, and kisses, and cuddles, and help with this," she spreads her arms wide.
Angharad climbs into her lap, and puts her chin on Hermione's shoulder as she is squeezed tightly.
"I'll start looking into how to fix this."
24 January 1989: Florida executes Ted Bundy
Olmayra's squad is spread, as inconspicuously as possible for ten Assassins in civilian clothes, around Clinton Elementary School in Stockton. A Chevy van pulls up, and a slender man with a mustache gets out. He pulls an AK-47 and a glass bottle with a rag sticking out out of the van and stops a few steps away.
Olmayra waits for him to light the rag, and throw the Molotov Cocktail into the van. She then taps him on the shoulder and slugs him in the jaw when he turns. He drops like a wet noodle, and Olmayra collects up his rifle and ammunition before leading her squad from the area.
Soldado Roberts, who has a deep voice, calls 911 from a payphone several blocks away. Olmayra dives Between with three members of her squad. Roberts is talking to the dispatcher, "A young man pulled up behind the school, Cleveland Elementary, with a van, and he was wearing body armor, and he threw a Molotov Cocktail in his van, so I hit him and knocked him out, which is assault, so I'm calling from this payphone, 'cause I don't wanna get arrested for stopping this guy," when a small mushroom cloud blooms from the school, followed by a low Boom. He hangs up, and Olmayra pops back out of Between to grab him and the other three members of her squad still in California.
2 February 1989: The last Soviet armored column leaves Kabul, ending nine years of occupation
The Soviet column out of Kabul can only be called "Armored" because it has two operable tanks, and three on lowboys, being towed, inoperable.
14 February 1989: Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie
Capitán Crewe drops his head into his hands, "That's fucking dumb."
Noriko pulls the paper over, reads it, then sighs, "Can we talk him out of it?"
"Now, no, a few weeks ago, maybe."
15 February 1989: Soviet Union announces that the last Soviet troops have left Afghanistan
"Don't waste your time, don't make this man famous. If you ignore him, he'll vanish into the noise."
"But he is demeaning Islam, and the prophet."
"The book isn't badly written, but unless you make it, and him, famous, no one will care. He writes about a crazy man having a crazy man's dream, where some prostitutes try to be respectable by using the names of the Prophet's wives. No one who believes will be swayed to disbelief by reading this book, and some who disbelieve may become interested enough to become believers. This fatwa, on the other hand," Capitán Crewe pushes over a copy of the fatwa, published either the day before, or two weeks in the future, depending on how one looks at it, "Will make this man famous, will make this book famous, and will show you, Iran, and Islam as intolerant, ineffectual, terrorist assholes who respond to mockery with death threats they cannot carry out."
The old man looks at the paper, and says, "I will think about what you said," he closes his eyes, "It should not be tolerated."
"Which would have the worse effect? Tolerating this man's bad taste, or trying to suppress him, and having the world look upon Iran as shameful, while laughing about the fact that a rich country like this cannot even kill one man? That all the Muslims in the world cannot kill this one man?"
"But he is a blasphemer," The old man shakes his head.
"And, I believe, a non-believer. There are few things as pitiful, to my mind, as trying to punish a non-believer for not believing. The Catholics tried it, the Protestants tried it, and it just made them look mean and stupid."
"And it killed a lot of people, including Muslims."
"So is that a good precedent to follow?"
"As I said, I will think on this again."
25 February 1989: GNU GPL V1 released
"Anno gave me these," Angharad greets Luna and Hermione, holding out two LaserDiscs, "Apparently he is the director, and we managed to not see either of them yet."
"There isn't that much anime released every year," Hermione doesn't quite question.
"I wanted to watch it with you after Halloween," Luna says, giving her a hug.
"By ourselves first, then we can share it with the rest of the anime fen?" Angharad asks.
"Of course. Just the first two today, then the next two tomorrow, and the last two in July, when they come out."
The first tape of Aim for the Top: Gunbuster is fed to the player, and the questions begin, "Is Noriko named after Capitán Crewe's wife?"
"Sparkle-cam! Is it just a crush, or will they end up together?" at the first sight of Kazumi.
"Can I have a giant robot? These ones are little, so they should be cheaper, and not impossible like Bubblegum Crisis hardsuits," as Noriko pulls tires with her Machine Weapon.
"Maybe a spaceship? They're a lot simpler," Luna says, later, as Noriko and Kazumi's Machine Weapons RX-07 clamp onto the boosters, getting ready head out on their intercept mission.
"This Noriko needs to grow up a bit, I was more adult at ten," Angharad complains as Noriko breaks down after finding the preserved space monster.
"You were more adult than most adults at ten," Luna says, "So that's hardly fair."
1 March 1989: The Berne Convention ratified by the U.S.
The Assassin's anime-fen, now numbering more than three hundred, are gathered it the movie theater of the Somali headquarters, watching episodes 3 and 4 of Gunbuster.
"Fuck yeah!" a female voice yells, as Noriko obviously pines over Kazumi at the same time she is confused and flattered by Toren's attention.
A little while later a different voice calls, "Give the rookie the hard job, why don't you. Idiot!"
Someone else replies, "This is the first fight for all of them, give him a break!"
A little later, "That worked out great, didn't it, Smith."
Things are relatively quiet through Noriko's worries and doubts, followed by appreciative noises as Noriko levels up in badass.
"Kiss her!" Someone calls as Kazumi lands her RX in the Gunbuster's hand, eyes trembling with unshed tears, and the opening song comes up. Other people take up the call as the scene cuts to Jung-freud's slightly sad smile, "Kiss her!" A flash of Kochi, a shot of Jung's RX small in front of the Gunbuster, then one of Gunbuster small in front of the Excelion, then fade to black and the credits.
"When's the next one?"
"Is Noriko going to get Kazumi?"
"Maybe if we write Anno enough letters."
2 March 1989: twelve European Community nations agree to ban all CFC production
"I thought she'd just steal me one of the prototypes," Hermione says, "When I asked. Not easy, but not really difficult, either. They'll be testifying before the U.S. Senate on why we should be allowed to buy them."
Angharad gives her a hug, "Luna does like a challenge, sometimes."
"So you want a space ship," Hermione changes the subject.
"We're nowhere near a working FTL theory, but NERVA rockets would get us around the solar system."
"Can't we just dive Between?"
"I can only hold my breath for so long, which seems to be about twenty minutes, maybe a half-hour."
"A submarine with NERVA rockets. Drop it off in L4 or something, then burn wherever you want to go."
8 March 1989: House Foreign Relations Committee Arms Control Subcommittee hearing in the U.S. Congress.
At last it is our turn, after much talk of U.S. budgets, the Assistant Secretary of State, Allen Holmes, and Director Brown of the Defense Security Assistance Agency.
Representative Fascell addresses Olmayra, "General Sanchez," he looks down, then back up, "I understand you want to pay cash for twenty F-16 XLs."
"Yes, the Assassin's Guild's current fighter forces have all been acquired through alternative methods, or donated in lieu of payment. We have almost as many kinds of fighters as we have aircraft. The acquisition costs of these new fighters would be offset by the reduced complexity of our maintenance requirements."
"I understand the Soviet Union has offered MIG-29s for sale."
"They have also offered SU-27s, including the SU-27K."
"What is the SU-27K?"
"Stronger undercarriage, reinforced structure, bigger wings, canards, and uprated engines. They claim that they will be able to deliver the whole order by the end of 1990, at a cost of $25 million each."
"And you are bidding $27 million each for the F-16 XLs."
"Yes, because General Dynamics has been producing them in quantity for years, and can fulfill our order within six months."
"And you can pay for these?"
"We are willing to prepay for two aircraft, and pay for each aircraft as it is delivered."
"So $54 million at the time the order is accepted, and $27 million as each aircraft is delivered?"
"Except for the last two, which we will have paid for first."
"And you are also ordering repair parts and training?"
"Yes, another $40 million."
"And that money will come in?"
"Ten million with the first aircraft, and ten million with every fifth aircraft."
"Having seen your organization's positive influence on the developing world, and the reduced need for foreign aid and military support your organization has provided, it is the opinion of this committee that your purchase should be approved as requested," Representative Fascell says.
"Thank you," Olmayra says.
13 March 1989: Geomagnetic storm collapses the Hydro-Quebec power grid, as well as some areas in the NE USA and Sweden, Aurorae are seen as far as Texas
"Dr. Najib," Capitán Crewe, once again, is negotiating, this time with the President of the Democratic People's Republic of Afghanistan, "There are two ways this war will end," he gestures at the map he brought, "With the Mujahideen winning, or with you pre-empting them, and announcing a shift to multi-party democracy, with yourself, Massoud, and Haq, to run the transition, and maybe Haqqani, to appease the Americans."
"Why do we want to appease the Americans?"
"Because they have too much money, and they'll spend it to bring down a Communist state," Harry sighs, "You don't have nearly as much military hardware as you used to, and the Soviets are crumbling. We, the Assassins, don't care if you are Communist, Capitalist, or some mix of the two, so long as you look out for your mothers and children, don't let the Fundamentalists take over, and let the little things get taken care of at the lowest level. One percent of your gross tax revenue, and we'll help you end your civil war, and keep you safe from your neighbors."
24 March 1989: the Exxon Valdez runs aground and spills 240,000 barrels of oil
"Do we want to fix the symptoms or the problem?" Luna asks.
"Fixing the symptom is so much faster," Hermione says, "I can slug one guy a few days ago, and fix the symptom."
"Will that prevent future problems as well as letting them crash?"
"No fucking clue," Hermione says, "But I can save a lot of seabirds right now."
"The tankers have taken to running 12 to 14 hour shifts, with half the crew they used in 1977. I think a good scare . . . "
"Let me! Let me!" Hermione says, suddenly cackling, "I know just the thing!"
"Are you sure?"
"No, but that rarely stops me," Hermione says, laughing again, "This'll be so much fun."
2-6 April 1989: attempted cease-fire in South-West Africa (Namibia) fails, 300 killed in fighting
Hermione drops out of Between as a gold dragon, then splashes into the cold ocean water, paddling about in the cold, calm waves over Bligh Reef for a moment. The ship she wants is barely visible in the distance, navigation lights bobbing into view at the crest of each wave. She folds into her normal human form, "Brr," she says, as she pops back to the surface, shivering, then, concentrating on the beak, and the suction cups under each of her four tentacle arms, she unfolds again, long finned tail behind, and dives.
One hand reaches up near the bow, another towards the back, and a third stretches towards the bridge windows.
No one notices, and Hermione pulls her massive form further out of the water, the oil tanker groaning as it dips a little under her weight, gets her beaked face in full view of the bridge windows, and hisses, "HAA!"
Now there is yelling, and screaming, and an "All Hands" alarm. She shoves off, flipping her tail so it slides up the side of the ship and flings water everywhere, and swims backwards to Bligh Reef, keeping her eyes on the ship as all the lights come on in a panic. She watches, cackling, from the top of the submerged reef, as the ship carefully avoids her. An hour later she waves to the Coast Guard helicopter, then dives under the water after they take a few pictures.
7 April 1989: Soviet submarine K-278 Komsolmolets sinks with two nuclear-tipped torpedoes
'Get the crew out of the water!' Ramoth orders, dropping three self-inflating dragon-bags out of her LCE, and her squad, in drysuits because of the cold Norwegian waters, drop after them.
The men in the water are gathered into the floating dragon-bags, and given hot chocolate from proffered thermoses.
The 10,000 ton displacement inflatable raft fills under the submarine, cupping it, holding the ship on the surface, while Kraken-form Hermione smiles gleefully from port side, holding the sail in one hand to keep it upright. A translator climbs over, and hooks into the intercom, which thankfully works, and starts telling the last few crew members to evacuate, because the electrical fire will be extinguished with lots of halon.
Luna's team hooks up the tanks of Halon 1301, and starts flooding the burning interior. The last five crew members come out, and are loaded into a dragon-bag, and taken Between to a nearby Soviet fish-processing ship.
Luna returns and gathers up the Assassins.
Hermione smiles at Ramoth, and dives Between with Komsolmolets, popping back a moment later glazed in ice. She splashes around for a few minutes in the warm Norwegian water.
"Are you warm enough yet?" Ramoth asks, concerned.
"And I thought Between was cold," Hermione complains.
"You were covered in seawater, and the drop point for L5 is in the shade right now," Ramoth agrees, "Part of why I didn't volunteer for that part."
"Folding into my wetsuit now," Hermione agrees, "Get me out of the water before I freeze. Again."
Ramoth catches the tiny neoprene-clad form out of the water, tucks her into her LCE, and dives Between, leaving no trace.
15 April 1989: 96 killed at a football game in Hillsborough
"As we become a more mature organization, we should adopt a more mature name," Olmayra says, "We're losing business because of our name."
"You have a proposition, I'm guessing," Hermione responds, while Angharad and Luna look interested.
Olmayra turns over a piece of paper, revealing a hand-drawn insignia. Unlike Angharad, Olmayra actually puts in enough time drawing to be good at it, instead of barely good enough for drawing out battle plans.
The other three look at the four-pointed round-sided diamond shape in a circle, and smile.
"We've actually acquired space assets, and have a spaceship that needs a lot of fixing,"
"Or maybe we could trade it back to the Soviets for them building us a ship that already has rocket engines."
"Maybe. We'll ask if they want their burnt-up submarine with a scrammed reactor back, or if we have to fix it ourselves."
17 April 1989: Solidarity legalized in Poland
"NASA has announced they will be carrying their external tanks all the way to orbit starting in August, having been inspired by our collection of 27 tanks in L5, and the Komsolmolets." Hermione sets down the paper.
"The CIA has offered an SSBN with NERVA rockets for Komsolmolets, apparently they read our letter to the USSR already, but the Soviets haven't responded yet," Lessa sets aside the couriered letter, smiling, "The RD-140 looks like an interesting variation on the theme, so we'll wait, and see what they have to say."
"Komsolmolets needs a lot of work, it burned pretty well, so we'll see," Luna declares.
"How do we have 27 external tanks in L5, when we haven't collected any yet?" Hermione asks, then answers herself, "Must have timed it."
19 April 1989: An experiment with overcharging the 16" guns on the USS Iowa blows up a turret, killing 16
"If we use Bowers v. Hardwick to establish a right to privacy," Hermione mumbles, looking over her pile of notes, "We only need to flip one judge to kill all the sodomy laws, but it'll be more work to claim a right to privacy, which we need to derail the psychotropic convention."
"O'Conner, Powell, Rehnquist, Burger, and White sided with the law, Burger and White seemed upset on the face of it, so we'd need to get the focus off of sex and onto privacy. The question needs to be why the State has any authority over what consenting people do in their own homes, rather than whether they have a right to engage in particular sex acts,"
21 April 1989: Students begin protesting in Tiananmen Square
"Where are we going?" Angharad asks, flipping through her wall locker, and the four or five sets of civilian clothes that fit her, moments from deciding not to choose and just wearing a uniform.
"Washington, DC," Luna answers, looking over the suit she's wearing, dark blue with pinstripes, 1950s cut, enough out of fashion to be obviously intentional, "When are we going?"
"Mid-January, 1988. I finally got O'Connor to accept an invitation, so we need to make a good showing," Hermione is also dressed nicely, civilian gown, a paler blue.
"Mmmph," Angharad whines, refolds into Lessa, and pulls the hanger with a blue skirt and vest out, throwing them on the bed as she shrugs into a white blouse.
25 April 1989: Motorola releases the MicroTac
"Taken together, the third and fourth amendments imply a right to privacy," Hermione says, then takes a sip of his drink.
The older man sighs, "But they don't spell it out."
"I imagine they thought it was obvious. Without probable cause, what purpose would the government need to look into someone's home for? There is no reason to pursue victimless crimes beyond growing government power at the expense of the people."
"Here you are," Harry interjects, bumping Hermione lightly with a shoulder, "I was looking for you."
Hermione grabs his hand, gives it a squeeze, then drops it.
"I imagine you have a fix for the drug problem that doesn't require invading people's privacy, then?"
"Look at Prohibition. Do we still have people making and selling illegal alcohol?"
"But it isn't a problem anymore. Some people drink too much. Some people die of it. People shouldn't drink and drive, but the gangs got out of the alcohol business as soon as legal competition made it unprofitable. Don't we have better things to do than spend millions of dollars to make sure criminals can make a profit?"
Justice Powell nods, "I can think of a few."
"Thank you for listening," Harry says, "He gets worked up sometimes," he gives Hermione's shoulder a gentle tug.
"Yes, thank you," Hermione says, "It was great meeting you."
1 May 1989: Andres Rodriguez is elected president of Paraguay in an election marked by charges of fraud
"Grr," Olmayra more says than growls.
"What is it?" Hermione asks.
"Paraguay," Olmayra drops the paper back onto the chow-hall table, "We're not involved enough to participate," she pauses a moment, "We're not being paid to fix their problems, and it would take major work to do anything beyond fixing the current symptom."
"I could," Hermione starts.
"Finish fixing the psychotropic convention. We flipped Bowers, but not strongly enough. A real right to privacy in the US would preclude them from joining the convention, and might derail it entirely."
4 May 1989: Oliver North convicted on Iran-Contra charges
"To our good friends, the Assassin's Guild, we bequeath, in perpetuity, the fortress and surrounding mountain of Al Amut," The translator says, as a deep-voiced man reads in Farsi.
Harry accepts the document on behalf of the Guild.
10 May 1989: Manuel Noriega refuses to step down after losing the presidential election in Panama.
"The Soviets have offered us the Typhoon on the slip at P.O. Sevmash, suitably converted, in exchange for the Komsolmolets and her nuclear torpedos."
"But nukes," Luna whines, "We'll have to steal some from somewhere else, then."
"Yeah, the U.S. is offering us some NERVA rockets in exchange for the test results."
"That's interesting," Hermione says, "Very interesting."
11 May 1989: 1900 U.S. troops ordered to Panama.
The day is clear, the sun shining brightly on a cloud layer over the Mediterranean, and Ramoth drops out of Between close enough to read the tail number, and far enough back not to be seen. This time, finally, it is 52-534. "Found it." She dives Between a few miles ahead and above, a tiny flicker of gold, lost against the glare of the sun.
Ruth is coasting along, below the bombers, hidden against the clouds, diving Between occasionally to keep the faster bombers in sight.
A couple hours pass this way before the bombers start descending to refuel, dropping into the clouds.
"Here we go," Ruth says, diving Between for altitude.
Ramoth flares in front of the B-47 Stratojet, close enough to be frighteningly huge in the limited visibility of the cloud, stalling and dropping out of the way.
The pilot, as hoped, throttles back, and Ruth swoops down, matching speed as he grabs the bomber and pulls it Between.
Ramoth smiles, showing gleaming white teeth, and dives Between.
16 May 1989: Coup attempt in Ethiopia
"We found your bomber," Luna smiles, repeating the earlier statement, this time to President Bush.
"We thank you for returning it, and it's crew," he says, smiling and nodding, "Would your personnel who affected the recovery be willing to receive a medal? Perhaps the Presidential Medal of Freedom, or a lesser award if it would be more acceptable?"
"We would be willing. Have things scheduled with our people, and we will have an appropriate delegation for it."
"Thank you," he pulls a manilla envelope from inside his desk, checks the label, then slides it across, "You might be interested in finding these items, too. We don't need them back, but we do want them found."
"Could we get manuals for these items? I'm sure we could acquire them through alternative means, but proper documentation would make things easier and safer."
"I think that can be arranged."
17 May 1989: More than a million protestors march through Beijing demanding greater democracy
"Yes, this is a test case, but you need to look past what these men are accused of, and at the constitutional root of the problem."
"And what is that?"
"The third, fourth, and fifth amendments, what, taken together, do they say?"
"The third says that the government can't house it's soldiers in a citizen's house. The fourth protects from unlawful search and seizure, and the fifth protects against self-incrimination."
"So what does that say about their intent? Is the government supposed to be able to plant spies in people's homes? Can the government, constitutionally, regulate what citizens do in their own homes, when it doesn't harm anyone?"
"I think you also don't believe suicide should be illegal, either."
"What's the point. If they succeed, they've punished themselves. If they fail, what are you going to do, execute them?"
He laughs, "I see your point. I'll have to think about that."
20 May 1989: Martial Law declared in Beijing
"More than the fact that this law has basically become a bill of attainder,"
"Griswold says that married people can engage in whatever sorts of sex they want. Einstadt extended that to unmarried people, and now Georgia has said that they will only try to enforce it on homosexuals, effectively saying that it is a felony to be in a same-sex relationship."
"The bible says that such relationships are sinful and wrong."
"The bible says protect your guests, even at risk to your own family, and do your duties towards your brother's family as your own."
"More that that, this is a question of privacy. Consensual activities in one's own home are protected by the third, fourth, and fifth amendments, and are not subject to legislative constraint."
That gets a dubious look.
Harry sits back, trying to emote sincerity, and elaborates.
29 May 1989: Argentine government declares a state of siege
Angharad watches the C-SPAN coverage from March 8th, sure that there is something different about it.
Oh, Representative Fascell isn't talking about drug enforcement before he starts talking to Olmayra about fighter planes. Nice.
31 May 1989: MRTA terrorists shoot eight transexuals in Tarapoto, Peru
Angharad reads the weekly Cambio, sets it down, paces back and forth a moment, refolds into Lessa, paces back, refolds into Harry, and punches the wall, embedding his fist in the cinderblock.
Hermione walks in, drawn by the noise, and Harry waves at the Moviemiento Revolutionario Tupac Amaru's weekly newsletter on the table with his free hand, his other one lightly trapped by the shattered cinderblock.
Bits of rubble softly grind together as he gives his fist a little tug.
Hermione picks it up, and looks it over, "My Spanish is still weak, something about executions and travestis?"
"Travesti is Spanish for transvestite, and sometimes transexual. They shot eight girls because they were queer, and their being queer is somehow the American's fault."
"Didn't the Inca have special roles for queers?"
"Yeah, but MRTA has a whole lot of Spanish and Catholic garbage mixed in, and mostly reflects the public perceptions of queers in Peru," Harry says, finally giving up on just pulling his fist out of the wall, and relaxes his hand, cupping and blading his fingers to pull them out.
"So punching six assholes will save eight girls, but won't fix anything."
"How long have these fuckers been causing problems in Peru?"
"Maybe Luna or Olmayra can help me with some consciousness raising for them."
"I'm gonna go punch six assholes," Harry says, refolding into Lessa, "You go fix things so they're not on hand to be punched."
3 June 1989: Fighting breaks out between ethnic Uzbeks and Turkish minorities in Uzbek SSR
*Smack* the thick meaty thump of a small fist slamming, last three knuckles flat, into an unarmored solar plexus, and the first man drops, clutching his chest, wheezing.
His buddies startle, and Angharad follows up with a stupidly-high side kick, ball of the foot to solar plexus followed by heel into floating ribs. He drops with a crackle and whoosh.
Twist, outstretched leg coming back in, other leg coming up, snap kick, hard enough to debilitate when blocked by a thigh, instead slamming into the man's crotch with a *crack* of breaking pubic bone. He drops, keening.
Three down. Foot to the floor, falling forward as the other foot recoils, step forward, heel of the palm into the tallest man's chin, and he drops, out cold.
Swing backhand, other fist aiming for the next man's jaw, but he ducks and turns, taking the backfist to the nose instead of his chin, staying on his feet as he bends, crouching to cup his broken nose.
The last man is just far enough away, and Angharad kicks almost straight up, twisting her hips at the last moment to put the heel of her boot into his jaw. He falls, bonelessly, and Angharad poses a second, full vertical split, heel well over head, before dropping her foot to the ground.
"I know you assholes are jealous," she tells them, well, the two of them who aren't out cold, "But this idea that people have to fit into little boxes labeled 'men,' and 'women,' and must be pushed back into those boxes whenever they step out of them? It is not a Communist idea. It is a method used by the Christian churches, the Catholics in particular, to control you. Tupac Amaru would be ashamed to be associated with you. Marx would be ashamed of you. Lenin would be ashamed of you. Killing the weak does not make you strong, and does nothing to your oppressors but make them laugh at your foolishness."
4 June 1989: Solidarity wins in Polish elections
"Happy Birthday!" Angharad says, throwing a box at Hermione.
Hermione catches it awkwardly, looks down at the brown paper wrapped box in her hands, then back up at the other Dragons. She shakes the box gently, "You didn't."
"We did. You start familiarization lessons tomorrow," Olmayra says.
"And you'll get to fly yours home when they deliver it next month."
"So how much is that going to suck?"
"With external tanks, about 18 hours, and three refuelings."
"I can't just take her Between?"
"That's hardly flying at all, and would you leave poor Gordon by herself on an 18 hour ferry flight?"
"I don't think Gordon likes me."
"She's jealous that I pay more attention to you."
"Yeah, we need to figure out a fun dragon-assisted mission for her, we haven't done one for, really, years."
4 June 1989: Tiananmen Square crackdown takes place on live TV
Lessa glares at the TV, then sighs, sets down her plate of cake, and refolds into Angharad. Hermione pats the seat beside her, opposite Luna, and smiles as she cuddles close.
Angharad firmly turns from the TV, and buries her face in Hermione's neck.
5 June 1989: 'Tank Man' temporarily halts an armored column on Chang'an Avenue in Beijing
"Can we intervene here?" Angharad asks Luna quietly, watching as a tank advances on a white-shirted man with his shopping in his hands, on a street in China.
"Yes, but it won't do any good," Luna gathers Angharad in his arms, resting his chin on her shoulder, "Too much inertia, too much change too fast, and the kids are saying, 'We're changing too fast, it's causing problems, so we should change faster.' Thousands are going to die, and intervening now, or in the recent past, will only make things worse."
"Fuck. Can we just rescue some of 'em?"
"Few of of us speak Chinese," Luna doesn't answer. The tank stops, and the man climbs up to talk to the tank commander.
Snatch and grab, carrying off screaming children, well, college students, but children for all the experience of the world they have, sometimes in draconic hands, sometimes four or five gathered into a hug for the dive Between, not enough, never enough, but something.
Five who would be shot in Shanghai that afternoon, three young men, two young women, Harry distracting them from the front, "No, today is a bad day for you to protest, people are going to die."
Luna spreads his arms a little wider than he should be able to, pushes the five forward into Harry's arms, and they dive Between.
15 June 1989: Fianna Fail fails to win a majority in the Irish general election
Hermione jerks her head around, the still-heavy helmet first resisting the turn, then torquing her neck as she tries to get eyes on the other fighter, already banking and climbing. Not turning quickly enough, radius too big, even as her blood pools despite the pressure of her inflated g-suit, vision tunneling, flaps and air brake, murdering precious speed to tighten the turn. Airbrake down, flaps up, line up the gun, pull the trigger, airframe shuddering as a thousand dollars worth of blanks fire.
She drops, altitude for airspeed, pushing down the urge to dive Between and come back down on her opponent from above. Her target indicates killed, and she puts him from her mind, Gordon still in the fight, and two of the Americans.
Gordon's high, and one of the Americans is going for a missile lock, and the other is . . . right . . . there.
Throttle back, stick back, stall horn, fall to the left, throttle forward, sidewinder lock, flip the cover, push the button, stall to the right, recover, lock tone . . .
No missile to be seen, stall left, continue into a roll, tone lost, three thousand feet to the ground, aim for the sky, and . . . lock. Fire.
Gordon's coming out of the sun.
BING BING BING
16 June 1989: 250,000 attend the reburial of Imre Nagy, Hungarian prime minister executed in 1958
"You just need to be able to stall one wing without stalling the other," Hermione says, "It can be a bit of a learning curve, and I had to dive Between a lot while I was figuring it out the first time, but it's been pretty easy to translate to the Salamander, I've only put myself in scary places a few times, and I've had to bail myself out once so far."
"So, it's very dangerous, and suicidal for non-dragons."
Hermione ponders a moment, "Probably," she nods, "Proper thrust-vectoring should make it functional for normal humans, though."
"And when will that happen?"
21 June 1989: British police arrest 250 people for celebrating the summer solstice at Stonehenge
"Chairman Boren, Senators of the committee, thank you for letting me speak here today," Mr. Webster, Director of the CIA, begins his remarks, "The U.N. Spacey is not, despite their recent rebranding, a new organization, nor a subsidiary of the U.N.
"Until last month, they were the Assassin's Guild, an extra-national non-governmental agency devoted, in their own words, to truth, justice, and the American Way."
A scoffing noise comes from one of the spectators.
"Ironic, I know, considering the name, the fact that they have opposed American operations as much, or more, than those of any other nation, and that no American citizens are among their senior leadership.
"However, the American operations they opposed involve such un-American behavior as murdering prisoners without a trial, burning women, children, houses, and villages, and supporting regimes willing to use poison gas on their own citizens. We convicted an admiral and a colonel for their involvement in trying to fund the terrorist Contra organization against the will of Congress.
"The Guild began operating in 1985, as a mercenary company consisting mostly of Angharad Potter," he pauses while a slide of ten-year-old Angharad comes up on the screen, "Also known as Lessa," another slide, "Harry," another slide, "Or Ramoth," this one is an action shot, Ramoth's left front hand on the hood of a Soviet-made military truck, her right hand reaching in the door hole for the driver, "And the members of several youth gangs she recruited in London. They were trained by the Sandinista government of Nicaragua, and conducted anti-terrorism campaigns against the Contras.
"That November they began disaster relief efforts, responding to the eruption of Nevado De Ruiz, in Columbia, and recruiting Olmayra Sanchez, 13," A picture of a pretty young woman with curly black hair, "The second dragon to join the League of Dragons," the slide changes, to Olmayra's feathered serpent form, in front of the impaled bodies of 74 Argentinian criminals, "The League is the only reason the Guild has been effective on a global scale, providing direction, focus, and instantaneous transport," Another slide, Ramoth in her LBV, the ten members of her squad loaded down her torso in its pouches, "Heavy lifting," Ruth, picking up a well drilling rig in Africa, "And impossible rescues," Ruth, again, this time setting down a B-47 at Dulles airport.
30 June 1989: Opening night at Corcoran Gallery of Robert Mapplethorpe's exhibition of photography
Angharad walks into the Corcoran Gallery, Luna on her arm. Hermione drops out of Between in a flutter of skirts, and takes Luna's other arm.
"I thought you weren't interested," Olmayra observes from behind them.
"I'm not really interested in the pictures," Hermione admits, "But spending an evening with my friends enjoying the fruits of my privacy work? I'd like that."
"Did you have fun at Salamander school?"
"Oh, it was awesome! With the proper load out, I can, without cheating, outfight any of the available threat forces," she laughs, "Well, any of the ones the U.S. provided for us to play with. No F-117s, but they had both a MIG-29 and an SU-27 for us."
"Oh, nice. How'd that go?"
"Our long range missiles are just a little better than theirs, and the radar's much better, so practically we'd never have to close with them. If it comes to a gunfight, the MIGs a little slower and the Sukhoi's a little faster, but I consistently outflew them."
6 July 1989: Abd Al-Hadi Ghanim kills 16 and wounds 27 by attacking a commuter bus driver and driving the bus off a cliff.
A nondescript man stands up from his seat, and steps over the line towards the driver.
An old woman, wearing a dust-colored hijab, a black niqab covering all of her face except her green eyes and a glimpse of her wrinkled nose, leans forward, grabs his wrist, and squeezes, "Think about your wife, and your son. He will grow up without you. Is that what your want?" she asks softly in Arabic, her voice curled by age, "Will killing these 40 people contribute even a hundredth of a percent to the freedom of Palestine, or will you be reviled and left to rot in an Israeli jail for the rest of your life?"
"Let me go, old woman."
"Sit down, you can always die another day."
He jerks his hand, but she doesn't let go. He raises his hand, looks out the window as the landscape flattens, then slumps and turns to head back to his seat
"Talk to your wife, talk to your grandmothers. Men's solutions haven't worked for forty years, maybe women's solutions would work better."
He shakes his head, dropping into his seat.
7 July 1989: Aim for the Top: Gunbuster episodes 5 & 6 released
The 500 seat theater is full, with people standing in the back and down the sides.
A great cheer fills the room as the Exelion collapses into a singularity.
Kazumi is crying happily in Ohta's arms, and Noriko runs off, face scrunched.
"Gomen, gomen ne, Smith, mou nakanai yakusoku datta no ne," Noriko says, crying, looking down at Gunbuster, the sky painted by the sunset behind her, the ribbon she received from Smith in her hand.
The sound of running feet makes her look up, and Jung-Freud grabs her into a hug, "Yokatta," she pants, "Buji datta yokatta, Noriko."
Noriko looks up at her, and Jung leans closer, her head tilting to the side, as the music comes up with the closing titles, Noriko pressing her face no Jung's shoulder, then it fades to black, "tsuzuku." in the lower right corner. The crowd murmurs,
"Juu go nen ato-," appears written down the middle of the screen in kanji, and the lights come up, the characteristic streaks of a paused VHS tape appearing over the video.
"We have a choice," Lessa addresses her anime fen, "We can watch the last episode now, or we can go home, think about it, and watch it tomorrow."
The murmuring gets louder, then quiets.
About a hundred hands raise.
About three hundred hands raise.
"Tomorrow night it is!"
10 July 1989: Approx. 300,000 Siberian coal miners go on strike.
The crowd is smaller for this, a second showing of all six episodes of Gunbuster, but there are still over twenty fen clustered in the front rows of the theater.
"Juu go nen ato-," the opening titles of the last episode say.
Nine minutes later, as the admiral is speaking, pilots prepare, and the fleets array, we watch Jung and Noriko, in their underwear, as Jung finishes brushing Noriko's hair, and Noriko leans back, stretching her face towards Jung.
Groans of disappointment sound from the small crowd as the scene cuts to Kazumi, looking at her nails, a serious look on her face, then to the Sizzler mass-production Gunbusters.
Someone cheers at the sight of a dolphin, floating beside one of the control consoles.
"Otha-San," Jung floats up the tunnel behind Kazumi, grabs her by the shoulder, and plants a firm kiss on her lips, "Noriko ni tanomu," she says, folding a long key fob labeled "Gunbuster," into Kazumi's hand.
"Jung," Kazumi stammers, her free hand drifting to her lips.
"Mada ittai koto ga yamaho aru kedo, ashita ni suru wa," Jung says, "Ja ne," and speeds off down the corridor.
A moment, and multiple giant robot launches later, Kazumi steps up to Noriko, "Noriko, ni gou kan ni wa watakushi ga loru wa."
"Kore ga saigo kara," Kazumi lets her bag droop, tilts Noriko's chin up, leans down, and kisses her gently, "Jung ga, sono kissu ga tanomareta," she explains.
A palpable tension grows in the watching fen as the timer reaches zero. A feminine gasp of despair sounds as the timer starts counting up.
"Atashitachi no akachan," Noriko says, and a fan whoops for joy, "sonna omoi sasasakanai wa yo."
Cut to the Admiral looking grave.
It is an hour after the showing ends before the last of the fen leave, still discussing the series, non and less-fluent Japanese speakers clarifying what certain lines meant.
"What!" a feminine voice yells, "Jung's pregnant?"
"Probably. Noriko said she didn't want "our baby" to need? have? to think about time, time dilation, and she used "Jung-tachi" when she told her to go."
"That's fucking awesome!"
"I feel bad for Jung and the baby, having to grow old without Noriko or Kazumi."
"It's a novel, main character is a soldier, but interstellar travel takes a long time, with lots of time dilation, so hundreds of years pass while he goes through a few years of combat."
"So they could bank on Jung's war hero rep to time travel to when Noriko and Kazumi made it back."
"Probably. It might take a long time to figure out when they'd make it back."
Lessa watches the fen disperse, Luna cuddled against her shoulder, and leans back further against Hermione.
Hermione pulls Luna closer, squashing Lessa against her.
"Thirty-seven seconds to bring the subtext into the foreground," Luna says softly, "I like the new version better."
"Will it do as well?"
"It's already done better, just from getting onto the canteen shelves."
17 July 1989: First flight of the B-2 stealth bomber
Hermione and Angharad look up from their folding chairs in the desert, following the great, flat shape of the new plane with their binoculars, "That's pretty cool."
"What's Luna doing? She said we should be here."
"Yeah, she's going to be here tomorrow, but she's up to something in Burma with Olmayra."
18 July 1989: Actress Rebecca Schaefer is murdered by an obsessed fan.
"This article, by Li Peng, but supposedly by Deng, caused the protest to metastasize," Zhao Ziyang says through the translator, "Before this, the protests were in the square, but really hadn't spread. After Li's article, things got worse, faster."
27 July 1989: Thai financial scammers sentenced to 141,078 years, despite a statutory limit of 20 years for fraud
"Mr. Lee," the tall, pretty girl greets in English, her dark curly hair bouncing with her steps, grabbing his elbow and leading him around a corner before his guards react, then letting him go, "Have a lovely day."
She takes a left at the next corner of the building, and he looks around. The weather is warm, even hot, the streets covered in yellow dust, the buildings short and dusty around him. Men are dressed in suits, or long robes, and women are in black chador.
"What did you do? Zhao Ziyang is back in power in China, and the Tiananmen Square protests resolved peacefully."
"I picked up Li Peng at the beginning of April and dropped him off in eastern Iran today."
"That was it. Without Li agitating, Zhao managed to muddle through, but we lost the "We are old, we don't matter anymore" speech."
"That was a good speech."
29 July 1989: Kiki's Delivery Service released.
The core group of anime fen is enhanced, this time, by friends, partners, and a few children. With four dragons shuttling the new, hundred-person dragon-bags, it takes four trips Between. Each company-sized group is met by a local guide, and led, chattering happily in the Spacey's normal mix of languages, to a different theater.
The last group of fen is handed off, the four dragon-bags under guard, and the dragons, with their squads, meet up with the Gainax staff to walk from the station to the theater.
"Inoue's got us in a tight spot," Anno's complaining, "Even with the slightly better than expected sales on Gunbuster, money's scarce, and he's picked us up a project that can't even break even, much less turn us a profit."
"How bad is it?"
"The numbers aren't final, but something like a hundred million yen."
"Ouch. That would hurt," Lessa turns to Hermione, and cocks an eyebrow.
Hermione returns a crooked smile and a half-shrug.
"I'm really glad you were so bold about Jung, Noriko, and Kazumi," Luna says, "Two lesbians and a bi girl, all of them human and minimally traumatized? I adore how normal you made it."
"You wouldn't believe the fights we had over the baby line."
"Oh, I can," Olmayra says, laughing, "I saw a few of them, back home."
"We eventually convinced the doubters that with 80 years to advance, even, or especially, with a war for the fate of humanity on, the medical and social issues would be, if not worked out, at least lessened. So, yeah, two bi girls and a pregnant lesbian."
"So you see Noriko as bi?"
"You don't? What about Smith?"
31 July 1989: Hezbollah announces that it has hung a U.S. LTC in retaliation for Israel capturing a Hezbollah leader. LTC William R. Higgins is officially declared dead 6 Jan 1990
"Ah, fuck," Harry sets down the newspaper, scowling at the Arabic script.
Hermione takes the paper, biting her lip as she puzzles out the headline, then nods, "Yep."
"How many terrorist organizations do we have left?"
"Hezbollah, the IRA, particularly the Provisional branch, there's an Islamist fundy group running out of Saudi, ETA in Spain, Abu Nidal, MNLF in the Philippines, a dozen others, mostly clustered in places of limited opportunity."
"Why the fuck are these idiots fighting over this chunk of wasteland anyway?"
"Parts of it are pretty, Lebanon is lovely, and most of it used to be prettier."
"Yeah, but the whole region's over populated, overgrazed, and over-irrigated. You've tasted the dust in the Sunni Triangle."
"Yeah, salt-breeze a hundred miles from the ocean."
"So nothing to be done other than kill idiots and educate women?"
"Unless we can change the climate, yeah, nothing to be done." *note 1
9 August 1989: The savings and loan bailout, the largest to date, is signed by President Bush
Capitían de Corbeta Harry Crewe sits down, again, with the Ayatollah, "Your government is funding many terrorist groups throughout the region." *note 2
"We fund many groups," is admitted with a half-shrug, "Some of them may be terrorists."
"We would appreciate if your government could influence the groups you fund to renounce terror," Harry says, leaning forward a tiny bit, "It would increase your moral authority, improve your standing in the international community, and raise public opinions of Islam in general and Shia in particular. And it would be a great favor to us."
"Why is that? So the Israelis will sit unopposed in Jerusalem?"
"So we won't have to kill as many young Arab men. We have eradicated the terrorist groups in the Americas, mostly by killing them. We have more people, more resources, and more friends now, and want to use those to peacefully resolve problems."
"How will that help return Jerusalem to Palestine?"
"Look at America, and India. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi. Both strove non-violently against oppression. Both were more effective than violent movements. Both were assassinated. Neither was completely successful. Black Americans are no longer segregated by law, and their opportunities have improved, but they are still discriminated against, and have fewer opportunities than white Americans. India is free from Britain, but remains a poor country. Pakistan is even poorer, and would have been much better off if they hadn't left India."
The old man takes a sip of tea, thinking.
Harry takes a sip of his own, eats one of the dolmeh, and settles back.
15 August 1989: P.W. Botha resigns as State President of South Africa, replaced by F.W. de Klerk
"We can provide cell painters, but you'll have to train them. We also have a dozen people who want to learn animation techniques. That will provide about twenty million yen each," Angharad smiles, leaning back, green firestone glinting at her ears.
Inoue nods, "That would definitely help," he looks down at the table, "Your implication that you could help with my poor decision making is the only reason I'm still here."
"We negotiated with NHK, and get some thematic and editorial control in exchange for co-sponsoring Nadia. That will bring another sixty million yen your way."
"Oh? What are you thinking?"
20 August 1989: the Menendez brothers shoot and kill their wealthy parents in Beverly Hills
"Young men want to get married. When they can't, they are at risk for improper thoughts, improper actions."
"Why wouldn't they be able to get married?"
"Around here? Too many old men have too many wives each. That makes it hard for a young man who isn't pretty, isn't rich, doesn't have have a well-to-do family, to find a wife. If the economy was better in Iran, if young women believed that a good life could be found in Iran, if they believed that their daughters would have a better life in Iran than where they live, then people would come, and that would help, but few people outside Iran believe that."
"Why don't they believe?"
"Why didn't the Iraqis have an Islamic revolution when Saddam was killed?"
He strokes his beard, "They think we have too much focus on the next world, and not enough on this one," he sighs, disappointed. "Why do people care so much about this world?"
"It is all they can remember. It is hard to wait for a reward later, when your neighbor has a reward now," Harry takes a sip of tea, "Why do you care about liberating Palestine, when the Palestinians will be free in paradise?"
"That is strange, is it not."
23 August 1989: Yusef Hawkins attacked and killed in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York, while shopping for a used car. Ten to thirty white youth attacked him and his two friends on the suspicion of them dating a white girl
Harry drops the paper Angharad was holding, and stands, "I'm going to go beat some kids up in New York, you guys want to come along?"
"Why are we beating up kids?"
"They shot a black kid because they didn't care enough to notice that he'd never been in their neighborhood before."
"The kid died, I'm guessing?"
"Yeah, he was in the neighborhood to look at a used car, and the kids who shot him were pissed that one of their neighbor girls was hanging out with some black kids."
"Stop!" Olmayra yells, from the back of the group of four dragons.
Two of the chasing boys stop, and one calls "Guys?!"
The other boys keep running. The four black kids at the front turn right at the corner, and the crowd of white boys surround them, waving their bats. One of the boys points a cute little .32 at the trapped black kids.
Lessa drops Between. She steps forward with her left foot, sweeping up with her left hand, pushing the pistol up and off line.
She steps forward with her right foot, palm strike to the top of boy's solar plexus hard enough to break his sternum. He drops, the pistol falling separately.
Recoiling backfist to the point of the boy next to him's jaw. He drops, jaw looking funny, out cold.
Hook the ankle of the boy on the other side with a foot, pull, stomp the arm that dropped the bat, whip the other foot up into the ribs of boy number four, recoil, palm strike to the occipital bone of number five, step, step, left fist into the short ribs of number six, only one still on his feet . . . not any more.
"You alive, kid?"
He gurgles. His buddies stare on, useless, scared. Lessa drops onto her heels, pulling his shirt up, "Well," she says, "What's his name?"
"Yusef," one of his friends answers.
"Yusef, you've been shot in the lung, but you haven't died yet, and if we get you to the hospital in time you won't. I'm going to roll you up onto your shot side, so the blood can't pool in your good lung, OK?"
He nods. Lessa rolls him onto his right side.
Olmayra has a Motorola half-wave cell phone out, "Yes, we're at the corner of 20th and Bay Ridge. I have one young man who's been shot with a .32 automatic, and the twenty-five young men who were chasing him." she nods, "No, they aren't going to escape, they all have broken bones, are unconscious, or both," she nods again, "Yes, we caught up as the first shot was fired, so we made sure they wouldn't cause more trouble before the cops can arrive," she shakes her head, "No, we need an ambulance, the kid who got shot," she looks at Lessa, quirks an eyebrow.
Lessa's squad medic has his kit out, and is digging through it.
"No exit wound, but he's sucking in air," Lessa accepts the airtight dressing, holding it while the medic wipes off enough blood that it will stick.
"He's got a bullet in his right lung, and we're getting an airtight dressing on, but the sooner the medevac gets here the better," she nods again, "I can stay on the phone."
It is several minutes before the sound of sirens reach them.
24 August 1989: Voyager 2 makes closest approach to Neptune
"Two of the kids stopped at a verbal warning. The rest of them apparently thought it would be great fun to execute a kid they'd never met for the crime of walking while black."
"Three dislocated limbs, ten concussions and twenty-seven broken bones, it's a little excessive."
"I hit six of them, once each. I struck to disable, because I didn't know what else they might be carrying, I didn't want to get hit with a bat even if that was all they were carrying, and I didn't want them to escape."
"You mean to say that the other three girls took out six each as well?"
"Olmayra was hanging back around the corner with the two who stopped when she told them to."
"Nine or ten each, then?"
"Probably seven and twelve."
"Why did you only get six, then?"
"Because I stopped the kid with the pistol, first."
"We gotta let the Spaceys free. FBI says they have diplomatic immunity," a rumpled looking older white man says, pulling up a chair. "Thank you for saving the kid," he tells Lessa, "It's not your normal gig, though. Why did you do it?"
"The news coverage pissed me off."
He nods, "Detective Healy, NYPD," holds out a hand.
"Lessa Potter, U.N. Spacey," she shakes.
"Thank you again for stepping in."
"I wish I didn't have to."
"So do I."
30 August 1989: Bubblegum Crisis episode 6: Red Eye's released.
It's a standing-room only crowd again as Lessa starts the LD.
14 minutes in, Sylia drives up to Priss's trailer in her utterly pretentious Mercedes SL-300, and climbs out. Inside, Priss zips a bag closed, stares at the poster on her wall, for her first headline concert, the leaves the room, panning over a machine that goes ping, then Sylvie's comatose form.
"Okite yo," she says softly, holding the girl's hand.
Lessa has to pause the LD, because the crowd's too loud to hear over.
After the ending credits, Priss is feeding Sylvie soup, sitting on her bed beside the injured girl, who is leaned against her, cuddling close, most of a smile on her face.
Pan across the machine that goes ping, to Anri, looking even paler than normal, and festooned with wires and tubes.
10 September 1989: Hungary opens it's western borders to refugees from the German Democratic Republic
"Hey, Gordon, you up for an experiment?"
"Depends," the older woman smirks up at Hermione, tilting her head a bit to the side and dilating her pupils.
Hermione blinks, then shakes her head, laughing a bit, "Cool trick with the pupils, but not like that."
"Sigh," Gordon says, "You terrible tease, playing with an innocent maiden's heart."
"Quite," Hermione says in a dry tone, "You know how I need physical contact to pull things Between?"
Hermione drops Between with Gordon, dropping back out by their Salamanders.
Hermione smiles at her, giving Gordon a "you can figure it out" gesture with her chin.
"We weren't touching, but we were both touching the same ground,"
Hermione gives a half-shake of her head.
"And the same air."
17-22 September 1989: Hurricane Hugo kills at least 71
"Tso," Luna says, "We can watch this storm and worry, or we can go play in the storm now, and come back to figure out what to do later."
Harry strokes his chin.
Hermione frowns at the TV.
Olmayra shakes her head, "Let's go play now."
Two minutes later four dragons drop out of Between at 55,000 feet over the eye of the storm.
"I can feel the wind of it up here. That's crazy," Hermione laughs, gliding down on wide golden wings.
"Hugo's category four right now," Ruth says.
"140 MPH sustained. What's that in knots?" Hermione asks.
"One twenty two," Ramoth says, "I looked it up in case you asked."
Olmayra laughs, great feathered wings cocked for best glide distance.
"What's so funny?"
"Ramoth timing it just so she could look up that info for you."
"She," Hermione laughs, "Thank you, pretty lady."
"Don't mention it. We've got a storm to surf."
19 September 1989: Hermione Granger's 10th birthday
"Happy Birthday, Hermione!" Luna says, plopping a present in front of her.
Hermione traces a paisley on the metallic brown wrapping paper, "Really?"
"I don't think it's been a year since my last birthday, back in June."
"You haven't. It's been ten years since the day you were born."
22 September 1989: An IRA bomb kills 11, and injures 22 at the Royal Marine School of Music barracks in Deal, Kent
"I don't see why you are trying to bring this up again," the Chief Mugwump says, waving the Persian representative to the ICW back to his seat, "When they were known by the much more magical name of the Assassin's Guild, we had a vote, and declared that they were a muggle organization, operating in the muggle world, and thus not a threat to the Statute of Secrecy.
"When they started cleaning up the muggle bandits and death squads in Africa, we had another vote, and again declared them entirely muggle.
"Just because the muggle in charge of Iran failed to die when you poisoned him doesn't mean that this "U.N. Spacey" is at all magical. None of them use wands, brew potions, or even wear pointy hats any day but Halloween."
"They Apparate, and use a variation of the Animagus transformation."
"We had a witch tag along as a volunteer for one of their well-drilling projects in Africa, and she was quite certain that however they change places, it is not Apparition.
"As for them being Animagi, find me an Animagus who can take on more than one animal, or human, form. The League of Dragons change form as easily as I can conjure a chair. Whatever they do is not magic, and thus not subject to the Statute of Secrecy."
23 September 1989: A cease-fire is implemented in Lebanon
The Iranian F-14 turns sharply, wings fully swept forward, condensation forming across the top of the entire wing surface.
Another Iraqi Mirage drops out to watch, "killed."
Gordon's north high, Hermione's almost, tone, launch. The last of the Iraqis join the other fighters, out of the exercise.
"Just Zandi left. Any idea if he's still got missiles?" *note 3
"Pretty sure he got five kills, but," Hermione replies, "Two sidewinders left. You?"
"One. I'll see if I can herd him your way."
Gordon drops from 45,000 feet, and Zandi lights the afterburners, climbing up towards her as Hermione fights for a missile lock. Tone. Launch.
Zandi jerks his F-14, condensation flashing, miss.
"Down to gun," Gordon says.
"One sidewinder," Hermione replies, fighting to line up a shot on the heavier, faster aircraft. Tone.
Zandi pulls away, fighting for altitude, evading slightly, and Gordon arcs toward him.
The F-14's wings swing forward, half loop, wings back, half roll, half left.
"Fuck!" Gordon says eloquently, brakes out, diving turn to the right.
"I'm out," Gordon says, headed out of the fight to spectate.
Zandi evades, somehow, loosing altitude. Hermione closes, not yet, not yet, maybe, 90 round trigger pull.
BING BING BING
26 September 1989: The last Vietnamese troops withdrawn from Cambodia
"It was a double-kill. Anywhere but an exercise one or both of us would have broken it off and headed for home, probably him, because that F-14's fast enough to get away from me."
"The Iraqis acknowledge he's got three kills. The Iranians claim he's got eight and three probables."
"Yeah? Gordon's got seven."
"Mostly through dragon-assisted cheating."
"If you're not cheating you're not trying."
1 October 1989: Civil Unions between same sex partners becomes legal in Denmark
"No, not space infantry, space marines. Spleens," Luna says quite seriously.
Olmayra, not as convinced of the immutability of English, nods first.
"I guess so," Harry says, then smirks, "The spleen lost his spleen in spring."
"I guess that'll work. If any of the spleens come up with a better name we can use that instead."
6 October 1989: Betty Davis dies at 81
"No, not Spatial Infantry," Angharad shakes her head, "I know it matches the Russian construction, but most of us don't speak Russian."
9 October 1989: Voronezh UFO
Fall of 1989, and the Somalis are still trying to fix thirty years of Siad Barre's determined effort to destroy his country, on top of Italy's twenty years, and Britain's decades before that. The fundies are mostly down, the qabil, clans, somewhat working together, and the IMF has been told to go pound sand until they are willing to be paid in Somali Shillings.
Natasha Fatale, the U.N. Spacey's new, former Soviet, S3, is briefing the situation, "We won the war in Nicaragua, destroyed the Columbian terrorists, there are a few terrorist organizations still in Central and South America, but they haven't done anything since we destroyed the Columbian cartels. Nicaragua says they will renegotiate our contract after the elections.
"The Somali's aren't paying us squat, which is understandable, because they don't have squat, but they're to the point where they can feed themselves and us, which is much better than things were.
"We haven't impaled a single bandit in Africa in over six weeks."
13 October 1989: Friday the 13th Mini-crash: The Dow drops 190 points, probably driven by junk-bond collapse
"Happy Birthday, Angharad!" Hermione greets when she drags into the chow hall after morning PT.
"No, no, no. I distinctly remember. My birthday was last year," Angharad says with a straight face.
18 October 1989: Hungary votes to restore multi-party democracy
"The Soviets have agreed that we can keep the torpedos, and the Americans can have a month, supervised, to look over the Komsolmolets, and we owe them another five million rubles on top of that," Contralmirante Drew, the G4, briefs.
"As we don't have that in available cash, I'm guessing they'll take payments?"
"Yes, ten monthly payments of ten million rubles each."
"And when can we take delivery of the Macross?"
"At the end of next year. Our inspectors will be allowed to observe and report on the construction progress as it proceeds," CAM Drew says, "Construction work will re-commence with the first payment, and they'll begin building production NERVA rockets for us when the Komsolmolets is returned."
"Let's get them that first payment, then. Have the Americans prepared their orbital habitat for their research team?"
"Yes, they have. It is ready to be lifted, and their personnel will be available within 48 hours of the Soviets accepting our payment."
"We're still getting six American NERVA rockets and $800 million from the Americans, right?"
"Yes, with the first $100 million delivered within 24 hours of the Soviets accepting our payment."
"Provisions to equip the Macross with the additional engines have already been designed, correct?"
"Correct. The Soviets will need to inspect our external tanks in order to prepare them for mounting, but the Macross should be able to mount all twenty-seven of them, and the engine boom is designed to handle the stress of twenty-seven NERVA rockets, or a nuclear salt water rocket."
"Are the Americans or Soviets willing to build us an NSW?"
"Their space engineering people are eager for the opportunity, but higher up the chains of command," CAM Drew says, shrugging, "They want us to demonstrate the usefulness of the NERVA engines first."
"Then let's get the Soviets paid."
23 October 1989: Phillips disaster in Pasadena, TX kills 23 and injures 314
Ramoth grabs the American habitat, dropping Between with the 500 ton structure, dropping out a breathless moment later in a high enough orbit for it to drop neatly into L-5.
Maneuvering rockets fire, slowly starting to spin the cylindrical structure, 60 meters across and thirty meters long, gyro stabilizing the structure. The rockets cut out after a few seconds, the habitat spinning at one revolution every five minutes, accelerating towards the planet under gravity.
Ramoth watches a moment, then drops Between.
28 October 1989: U.S. Flag Protection Act takes effect.
The Soviet habitat is, as rather expected, even larger than the American one, a giant coin, over 1500 tons, a hundred and twelve meters around, and packed, as the American habitat had been, with equipment the Soviets wanted in orbit.
Ramoth drops it from Between, and it starts to fall into L-5.
November 1989: First commercial dial-up internet connection made
The American habitat is clamped to the Komsomolets with a thick, armored-looking tunnel, stretched from the five and a half RPM disk, and tiny plumes of gas are venting from the damaged submarine, slowly cutting off one by one as the leaks are plugged.
The Soviet habitat is barely in view, tiny flashes of maneuvering units as they inspect one of the external tanks.
7 November 1989: First African American state governor and mayor of New York City elected
"You wanted to talk to me?" Lessa asks Yusef, who is home from the hospital but still recovering.
"Yes, I wanted to say thank you in person, and ask if you know how I can help. I didn't believe," he pauses, continues, "I didn't want to believe that New Yorkers could be so racist. When they held that protest? They called my mother a nigger in front of the TV cameras. In Brooklyn. That kind of shit happens in Johannesburg, maybe in Birmingham, not in New York, not in Brooklyn."
"I remember when I realized that the IRA had a point, that the British government was as much at fault for the Troubles as the terrorists. It's a hard feeling to learn that the good guys aren't always good."
"What can we do?" he asks, "A lot happened in the 1960s, and it got a lot better for a lot of people, but it's still not better."
"Most people stopped fighting when things got better," Lessa shrugs a shoulder, "I'm sure the assassinations didn't help. The loudest, best voices were cut down just as things started to get better, so a lot of people, maybe without really deciding to, went 'it's better now, let's stop before we get killed, too.'"
"What is that quote, 'first they ignore you, then they mock you, then they fight you, then you win.'"
"Yes, for non-violent action. The Assassins's Guild was founded on the idea of peace, or at least protecting civilians, through violent counterterrorist actions, and that is still a large part of the U.N. Spacey's mission."
"Things are a lot better in Africa than when I started school. There are no more terrorists in South America. But they called my mother a nigger, on the news, in Brooklyn. How do we fix that?"
"I don't know. Talk to the grandmothers in your neighborhood. talk to the grandmothers in Bensonhurst. They may not know how to fix it, but I'm sure they know a lot of ways that don't work, and that's a place to start."
"Yeah, that's right."
"Getting the grandmothers involved in Africa was a big part of fixing things there."
10 November 1989: Gaby Kennard becomes first Australian woman to fly solo around the world
"The colors on the street, red, white and blue," Lessa sings softly, flipping through the budget CAM Drew provided, red pencil in hand.
"People shuffling in the street, people sleeping in their shoes," she scrawls a note next to the line for fuel, "Seems low."
"Don't feel like satan, but I am to them. Keep on rocking in the free world," she underlines the PL-5s, "Can we get a discount? China's ramped up production finally."
"Keep on rocking in the free world," near the fifteenth line of rifle ammo, "Would standardizing save any funds? Last I looked we were getting by well on mostly-surplus, so I don't think so, but."
"Never get to fall in love, never get to be cool," next to the line for T-55 maintenance, "*_* That's crazy. Anyone dumb enough to buy these off of us?"
"Got a thousand points of light, for the homeless man, got a kindler, gentler machine gun in hand," Lessa turns back to the front page, and scans quickly through again.
14 November 1989: Elections in Namibia bring the South-West African People's Organization to power
Gordon half-rolls her Salamander, flying inverted, fifteen feet beneath Hermione's Salamander, "Set."
"Dropping," Hermione answers, before pulling both of them Between. Both engines cough, air starved, then recover in the thinner atmosphere of 60,000 feet.
Both planes roll away to the right, and Gordon looks around, trying to beat the GPS to a position lock, "That's Everest down there, isn't it?"
"Pin pon!" Hermione replies, "Climbing season is well over, and the Nepali government gave us written permission for supersonic flights through the region today."
"So no one should be at risk from any avalanches we set off?"
"Everyone's been warned," Hermione says, "Catch me if you can!" Her Salamander drops, full afterburner, out of sight, pale grey vanishing against blinding white.
16 November 1989: six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her teenage daughter killed by U.S. trained Salvadoran
soldiers in San Salvador
Lessa twists, bladed hand striking just under the man's sternum, fingers punching through, up, behind the ribs, and rips his beating heart from between scratched, bruised lungs. He drops, almost silent, staring, horrified, as she spins, throwing his still-beating heart into the next man's face.
He screams, loudly, desperately, "No!" gasp, "¡me rindo!" dropping his rifle, "¡No me mates!" he falls to the floor, pressing his bloody face to it, eyes screwed closed.
The last soldier is made of sterner stuff, or just panics differently, and opens fire with his rifle, braap, braap, braap. Unfortunately for him, he is too shaken to aim, and manages not to hit anyone while firing from less than two meters away. Lessa hits him in the nose, driving his nasal bones up through the front of his skull into his brain.
She looks around, one live soldier, four live priests, a crying woman being cradled to her daughter's breast, blood, bullet holes, a pervasive stench of death. She takes a deep breath, lets it out slowly, and drops Between.
"You've got to rein these guys in, Mr. Montano, or they are going to get you jailed if you're lucky, or executed if you're not. They've decided that Ellacuria is a valid target." *note 4
"He's a priest, why would," Vice Minister Montano sighs, "He's saying that FMLN isn't wrong, and should be negotiated with."
"Yes. We're sitting on FMLN, but they are very disappointed in the current situation. I wouldn't be surprised if your people have heard that they really want a military solution. They think the people will rise up and fight alongside them."
"You do not."
"No, I don't. Things aren't bad enough in El Salvador for mass revolution. Ellacuria is a Spaniard, however, and popular. Killing him," Lessa shrugs, "It would be counter-productive."
"Yes, it would."
1 December 1989: Military coup attempt in the Philippines
"Want an aircraft carrier?"
"What?" Hermione looks up from her book, blinking.
"The Americans are asking if we'd like the Coral Sea and Ranger."
"They're pretty sad," Luna says, "Both are due for refit, and they just docked Coral Sea for decommissioning."
"What are they asking, and how much would it cost to make them useful?"
2 December 1989: Final two Japanese combatants from WWII surrender
"Apparently the Soviets heard about the offer from the Americans, they've offered us a couple of their Typhoon class, the Minsk, and the second Kuznetsov."
"Another booby prize?"
"Yep, but they have a much better opening bid: a thousand tons delivered to the Moon and ten tons delivered to Mars, and they'll refurb all four ships to our specifications."
Harry's lips twitch, then he refolds into Angharad and starts cackling.
3 December 1989: at the Malta Summit the USA and USSR say the cold war may be ending
Gamera descends, neck stretched forward, arms spread wide, rockets blazing from the leg openings of her shell, thin wisps of ionizing gas wafting up from under her shell. After a moment the gas flow brightens, flowing up and around her face, arms, and shell, then fading, the giant turtle skipping like a stone along the imprecise boundary between the stratosphere and mesosphere.
After about an hour of this the sky begins to lighten and she dives Between.
6 December 1989: Marc Lepine murders 14 young women at a Montreal Ecole Polytechnique
"So," Harry greets the young man with his letter in hand, "At this point you have done nothing to be prosecuted for," he scowls, "You did make me learn French, which is rude, but we can't prosecute you for that."
"Here," Harry hands over the letter.
Marc unfolds it, blinks, then fishes it's identical, other than the bloodstains on the one Harry gave him, copy from his pocket.
"So I failed."
"I would have a hard time living with myself if I let you succeed."
"If you've already killed me once, why are you here now?"
"You killed fifteen people here today, so I want to save fifteen."
Marc looks down at the two letters in his hands, "Why?"
"I don't know if you're crazy, or just dumb, but blaming feminists because your dad was an asshole doesn't do you any favors."
"But the jobs," Marc starts.
"You ever hear of a guy named Marx, Marc?" Harry says, "He got a lot of shit wrong, but hereditary wealth is bad for society."
"What do you mean? What's the link between inheritance and women taking men's jobs?"
Harry puts a hand on Marc's shoulder, and drops them Between.
Marc gasps, startled by the cold, airless dark of Between, taking in the warm Somali air, "Where are we?"
"Somalia. Let's get you a cup of coffee."
6 December 1989: Final episode of Doctor Who airs in Britain
"If your mom had stayed with your dad? All three of you could have been killed," Ahmed says, the young Algerian man sitting with Marc, Harry having left after making introductions, "I saw it too often, to too many kids in my neighborhood. Some people grow up with an idea of manly that is just toxic," he swirls his coffee, "Too many people." *note 5
21-25 December 1989: the Romanian Ceausescu dictatorship ends in the dictator's execution
Ramoth sets the first Russian load down on the Moon, holding her breath while she adjusts the shipping container, they'd asked that it be set up level.
She eyeballs the two spirit levels, nods, and drops Between.
1: See the Allan Savoy TED talk, read the dissenting opinions. Holistic grazing, and changing grazing patterns were first investigated in the 1970s, to mixed results. Harry & Co haven't come across them yet, but will before the end of 1991.
2: This sort of Socratic discussion, non-confrontational interaction, face to face, is the only way I can see that Imam Khomeini could have been influenced to a less hard-line stance. The only reason the Assassins have this opportunity to talk to him is that they ended the Iran-Iraq war by killing Sadam Hussein and pruning the Ba'ath party into actual democracy. Putting Harry Crewe through Arabic, Farsi, and Shariah lessons so he can function as a faqih was also necessary.
3: Look up Jalil Zandi on Badass of the Week. He's still flying in-story because the Iran-Iraq war ended early.
4: Former Vice Minister of Public Security Montano was a candy maker outside of Boston in 2008, when Spain issued an inditement for him and twenty others over the Jesuit Massacre. He spent 21 months in US prison for immigration fraud, then was extradited from the US to Spain to face charges 29 November 2017.
5: Marc is not going to be left unsupervised, and is getting his head adjusted as much as needed, whether he likes it or not. Harry is determined to save him from being a mass-murderer.
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.
22 June 2018: Finally found a way to continue 1989, after being stuck for about a year.
27 June 2018: 1989 draft finished.