Prevarications and Pragmatism Pt. IV
For those non-Battlestar Fans wondering what inspired my chapter 2 of this story, here it is, the Husker Hailmary.
This is what dropping a one-and-a-half kilometer-long warship into the atmosphere of a planet looks like:
I must then ask why you have not watched Battlestar. The last episode was aired on Friday, March 20 on the Sci-Fi channel. The show is a bit hard to pick up, but the finale was pretty frakkin' impressive.
And really damn weird.
And yes, I am shamelessly plugging my favorite show on television. (Tied with Firefly)
In this chapter we'll see how utterly frakked the Colonials are, and in the next, just how good the denizens of Hogwarts have it in comparison.
Colonel McGonagall was pleased-well, as pleased as anyone whose civilization had been destroyed that morning, anyway.
The mutiny was going well. The Old Coot had no idea what was being plotted right under his protuberant proboscis.
The only problem that presented itself was rather odious Secretary of Education who had come aboard for the decommissioning ceremony, alienated the crew faster than Starbuck on a bender, and had somehow survived the nuclear holocaust that had occurred as she transited back to the colonies.
It was even worse than that; however, as she was the forty-second in line to succeed the President, and it appeared that all forty-one above her were now dead, Gods help them.
SEVERAL HOURS EARLIER
Secretary Delores Umbridge was a massive, hideous thing with a face more befitting of an amphibian than a human, stuffed into a powder-pink cardigan two sizes two small with a ridiculous bow on her peroxide-blond head and big, boxy feet crammed in to a pair of delicate heels in order to make her fireplug of a body seem taller.
Her physical repulsiveness was only outstripped by her stupidity and bigotry; she hated everyone not from Caprica, and made that very clear as she carried a clipboard around making derogatory comments about the crew and scribbling them down while muttering their inauspicious content.
It appeared as though she wanted to issue negative reports around the military chain of command straight to President Adar, which would wreck any future career prospects the "miscreants" would have.
So it was that Colonel McGonagall, who wanted desperately to teach at War College after the decommissioning of Galactica could do nothing as Secretary Umbridge approached young Dualla at the Communications station.
The dark-skinned woman looked up, and nearly lost her breakfast as she took in the toadlike visage. She quickly turned her gaze to the cute boy in the suit next to her, and then back to her instruments.
"May I help you Ms.-"
"Umbridge, dear, Secretary Umbridge, and you are?"
Dee looked to Mc Gonagall for conformation, and at seeing the nod, responded to the secretary's question.
"Petty Officer Anastasia Dualla, Ma'am," She smiled, mostly at the boy standing next to the secretary, "But most people call me 'Dee'."
"Dualla," mused the Secretary, "That is a Sagittaron surname, is it not?"
"It is, Ma'am."
"Hem." She withdrew a clipboard, and began to write, muttering things like;
"Allows…untrustworthy personnel in sensitive areas…complete lack of formality…use of nicknames…sets…a… poor example for the children…. and dignitaries…"
Dee was gripping the comm. console so tight her knuckles had turned white as she tried to carry out her duties.
The young man in the suit coughed to get his boss' attention,
"Excuse me, Madam Secretary. You're needed in the Gift Shop in the Starboard Launch Bay. It seems as if there are some issues with the merchandise."
"Of all the incompetent…treacherous…vile…" Umbridge seethed, as she moved to another victim, leaving the CIC in peace.
The young man who had rescued her was smiling uncertainly at her "Er, Ms. Dualla?"
The young woman smiled at him in return
"Please, call me Dee. After all, we were in combat together…" that got a chuckle, and gave her the courage to press on- "What about you. Do you have a name?"
"Billy. Billy Keikeya." They shook hands, made plans to grab a meal in the mess, and then Dee made a call to the Chief to knock some things over in the new Gift Shop.
Appearances had to be maintained, after all.
Every inspection and muttered imprecation left more crewers with ideas.
A young Deckhand named Cally was wondering if she could excuse blowing Umbridge's stomach through her spine with her service pistol as an "Accidental Discharge of a Firearm."
Commander Dumbledore was awfully forgiving of slipups…
Billy Keikeya was bemoaning the fact that the aide position had been given to him for winning a debate championship, and was wondering if he could bludgeon her to death with one of her massive pink shoes and take her job…Surely no one would testify against him?
But then he would have to touch the shoe-
That had touched her sock-
That had touched her. No frakking way.
Lieutenant Felix Gaeta was having recurring fantasies about jamming a pen into her thick neck.
Usually a kind, conscientious fellow, he fought temptation by leaving the writing implement in his quarters , meaning that he had to borrow one from a crewman to sign the watch log.
And nobody-but-nobody asked Kara "Starbuck" Thrace what she was contemplating.
The poor treatment of Petty Officer Dualla and other crew members in her inspection had a profound effect on the crew.
Her malevolence united them in permanently in loathing of Secretary Umbridge, and temporarily in support of the 'Old Coot.'
At least until the attacks started.
HOGWARTS SCHOOL OF WITCHCRAFT AND WIZARDRY
SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
BEGINNING OF HARRY'S SIXTH YEAR
IMMEDIATELY AFTER ADAMA'S FIRST ANNOUNCMENT
(IN CHAPTER 1)
The summer after fifth year had been a tense one for Harry Potter. Not only had the Dark Lord come into the open and his Godfather been assassinated, but Headmaster Adama, the man who had taken him in and raised him as one of his own sons had gone on a mission to gain allies and resources in the upcoming fight. This had left leaving Harry with his best friend Saul Tigh, and his eldest and only living son, Lee, who ran a tavern down in Hogsmeade.
Harry remembered his parting particularly vividly.
"Harry, I promised your parents I'd look after you if something happened to me, and they offered to do the same for Lee and…Zak. I'm about to break that promise. You've had a bad year, you need me to support you, and I'm letting you down.
I need to go gather forces and prepare for a war I hoped you'd never fight."
Harry took a heavy breath, "I-I understand sir, It's alright."
"No, Harry, it's not. You remember what I told you about responsibility?"
The young man nodded, "A man accepts responsibility for the things he's done. He lives with it, every day."
"This is my decision. My responsibility, and my shame. Besides, you won't be completely on your own- with Ellen being…well… "
Bill gave a sad smile, "Saul's going to be looking in on you, and Madam Roslin-ah… Laura…"
Bill's voice dropped an octave at her name, and Harry smirked,
"…Said to write her if you have any problems. I also asked Lee to drop in."
"He's talking to you again?" Harry asked skeptically.
The older man shook his head, "He said he'd see you. Not me, so you two might have a chance to talk. Mend some fences"
The boy frowned, "He's still mad at me for choosing your side."
Adama's moustache drooped, and he finally looked his years,
"He's still your family son, he doesn't hate you."
Harry's mouth quirked, "I'd like to hear that from him."
The Headmaster nodded.
"You will. Write your friends, talk to them, and keep them close. Lee's offered to take you where you need to go, and help you prepare."
Adama clasped Harry on the shoulder.
The boy was absolutely sure of one thing. James Potter might have been his father, who he resembled and was compared to, but William Adama, who had raised him, was his dad. And that was the difference.
Bill's eyes widened in surprise, her hugged his son, and with a -pop- he was gone.
Harry shrugged at the empty room, got a bit of parchment from the desk and set to writing.