Interstellar Space – Prolmar System – Five days out of Caprica
“Sir, I'm worried,” Lily said as Harry sat in his quarters reading some of the Sacred Scrolls of the Lords of Kobal.
“What's bothering you Lily?”
“I'm concerned by all the people we've brought on board. I don't disagree with your decision to save everyone we could. But I am concerned. We've got such a diverse group on this ship, including the military personnel who have been programmed to be mistrusting of things like me,” Lily said. She even sat down in a chair across from Harry.
“First off, you are not a THING. You are the very soul of this ship. Every hope and dream that went into Ascension's construction is embodied in you Lily. Never think of yourself as just a thing. Second, we have to build trust with the Colonials. That's the only way we're ever going to build a relationship with these people,” Harry said.
Lily was silent for a moment, “Is that why you told them your story, Sir?”
Harry sighed and sat the scrolls to the side. He took off his glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose, “Partly.”
“You never tell anyone the whole truth behind what you went through.”
“I know, I know. I don't share personal experience much if at all. It's just that...” Harry drifted off.
“Just that what?”
Harry didn't answer immediately. The look in his eyes darkened as he said, “The nightmares are back. And it's not just Cedric, Sirius, Fred, or the others who died in the war against Riddle. It's every single human being we probably left behind on Caprica and the rest of the Colonies.”
Lily was confused, “But we couldn't handle any more then we did bring on board. Even now we're stretched thin on our resources.”
“I know, it doesn't make it any easier though. In some way I want them to know I'm not a god. You've listened in, I'm practically being built up as a later day Christ or whatever holy figure you want to apply in this situation. It doesn't help that I've been using Magic to help out where it's needed. These powers to those people seem to be god-like. No matter how much I tell them otherwise I can't convince them otherwise. And I can't not use my Magic. The situation is just too important for me to hide behind the Statute of Secrecy. Hell, the fact it's the International and not Interplanetary Statute is probably the only thing that will save me from Chateaus de Azkaban when we get home,” Harry said.
He continued, “It doesn't help that my instincts have been all over the place lately. We are between fire and flood and I don't know what to do about it. So all I can do is what I know.”
Lily was silent for a moment, “Do you want me to monitor them?”
Harry shook his head, “No, we can't build trust if we are spying on everyone. Whatever happens behind closed doors is their business, not ours. If we're going to make any headway with these people we have to respect their privacy.”
“They could be plotting against us. We are only two people, even if I am the ship,” Lily warned.
“I know, I know, but for now it's all we can do,” Harry said. He took a sip of a cup of tea.
Lily was about to excuse herself when something raced across her consciousness. She looked at Harry and said, “We are receiving a distress call. It's faint, but I can pinpoint coordinates.”
Harry got up and tossed on his reddish-brown coat, “Relay the information to the bridge, I'm on my way there. And have Major Castleman ready a Raptor to go check. We'll make the call in a moment.”
Harry reached the bridge and settled into his Command Chair. Leoben and Rose were already working on calculations and going over radio and optical telescope data. The Raptor flights had also been bringing in information they were hoping would allow them to catch up. Lily brought up the estimated location the distress call was coming from on the Holo-imager. It allowed them to get a three dimensional view of the area of space they were in with all the data Lily had gathered.
The location of the call was out of their way significantly. It also had been in transit for some time, by the time they got out there they could find no one to save. Castleman pointed this out, but Harry wasn't going to just let it go like that. If there was even the chance of one survivor he was going to take it. Castleman's concerns however were why they were sending a Raptor out to take a look, and not the main ship.
An hour later when the Raptor had returned and all the other small vessels were all aboard they jumped to where the signal was coming from. The Raptor sent to check could only confirm that there was a ship in distress out there, but that there was no Cylon activity visable in the area at that time. The moment they completed the jump Harry had the cloaking field activated and Lily checking the area.
“Anything on sensors Lily?” Harry asked.
“The transport seems to be drifting. I cannot detect any indications of hostile activity in the area. I'm picking up life signs in the ship consistant with survivors. Strange though, This vessle has what looks like FTL capability but it seems to have been disabled,” Lily reported.
Harry nodded and turned to Castleman, “Launch the Alert Vipers and set up a defenseive parameter. Then get the Raptors out there and get those people back to this ship, grab anything else that will help as well, supplies medicine, the works. We'll salvage what we can and get out of here.” Castleman nodded and started sending orders via radio. Lily decloaked the Ascension and opened a communications channel to the ship.
“This is Commander Harry Potter of the Terran Starship Ascension,” He purposefully said Terran and not Earth in order to not have folk thinking he was nuts. “We received your distress call and are moving to evacuate your passengers. Please respond,” Harry finished and waited for a reply.
“This is the Oceanic Wanderer to Ascension, Thank the Gods you're here. We've been drifting for days and our life support is starting to fail. We've got a lot of people in need of medical attention over here,” came a worried voice over the radio.
“Not a problem. We'll bring you over and get you all settled Captain,” Harry replied.
It took several hours to move everyone over from the Oceanic Wanderer. Once that was done, Harry got a chance to speak with the “Captain” who wasn't really the Captain, just the only officer left on the ship.
“They came and stripped everything from the ship that could be used. Tylium, medical supplies, even our FTL coils. Then that bitch Cain started taking passengers and officers who could fill up her ship.”
“So this Admiral, instead of helping you like she should have, took everything you needed to survive and left you to rot?”
“Yea, military necessity. Any other ship it would have been piracy. She even shot the families of those who refused to join her.”
Harry shook his head and turned to Castleman, “Tell me that she can't get away with that.”
Castleman shook his head, “I wish I could. However, there really isn't any authority to report to anymore.”
Harry hated that. The Commander and crew of the Pegasus had committed an unforgivable act, and they would get away with it because there just wasn't anyone to hold them accountable to. Harry had to shake his head at that. End of the world, or worlds in this case, meant that there was on the law and order of the gun. The only peace at times would be the peace of the grave. He shook his head, getting rid of the morbid thoughts. He then pointed out, “It's not like we can find her anyways. And even with the defensive capabilities of the Ascension, I don't think we could win in a knock down fight against a fully armed Battlestar lead by an experienced commander.”
Castleman had to admit he liked the fact that Potter seemed to know his limits, and that he acknowledged the Colonial Fleets abilities. “We think we might have an idea where Galactica may be. Raptor's have cleared the closest systems, they did find debris from a civilian liner that may have been destroyed by kew weapons fire.”
“Kinetic Energy Weapons, bullets. Markings on the debris indicate it was called the Olympic Carrier. We also picked up readings of unexploded nuclear ordinance in the debris. It's possible that the Cylons captured the transport, killed the passengers and then tried to sneak the carrier back into the fleet in order to detonate the nukes,” Castleman said.
Harry shook his head, “Classic Trojan Horse maneuver.”
No one asked him to explain, Castleman's theory told them what he was thinking. Harry dismissed the Captain and turned to what had become his command crew. He had to admit he had pulled together what was in effect an eclectic mix of people. He addressed Castleman first, “Did you ever figure out what happened with your fighters during the attack?”
Castleman nodded, “We think it was the new Command navigation program created by Doctor Gaius Baltar. The Cylons were able to get through it somehow and managed to shutdown all systems. We've wiped it from all the computers and reinstalled the original software. No garrentees the Cylons won't be able to do the same thing they did before, but it's the best option we have right now.”
Harry thought for a moment, “Rose, I'm going to want you and a few other of the Viper Pilots to test out the Thunderbolt. If they work for them I'll build a few more and we can try to train up a few people for flight duty. That brings me to our passengers. I don't want to press anyone into service, but we need to find something for them to do.”
“What do you mean?” Leoben asked.
Harry looked at him, “Right now the majority of our civilians have nothing to do except sit and let what happened eat at them. They need something to do, something that will help them get past the Holocaust. Not everyone is cut out for farming, or gardening.”
Chief Tellus offered up, “We could go through and see what they were good at. What they used to do.”
“We did raid a lot of libraries on Caprica, have we taken the time to organize it all?” Cavil asked.
“So we could take the time to get people working on a library, the hard copies and scanning them into the primary database for later. I also have a large amount of entertainment recordings in the database. I tried to get a good mix of everything, but I have to admit it mostly reflects my tastes,” Harry said.
“I don't know what to do about support crew. We could use some more people on the flight decks,” Castleman offered.
Harry nodded, “Lets start going through our crew and get people who have obvious skills where they can do the most good. We also have a large population of children, we should get them back to school as it were.”
“We'll see what we can piece together.” Chief said. After that they were all dismissed. Harry settled into the Command Chair and for a moment connected himself to the Ascension. He allowed his mind to take in everything the ship felt. The feel of the vacuum on her wings, the winds of cosmic particles buffeting her hull, and for a moment was simply flying through space as if it was his own self.
When he came out of it he saw Leoben and Rose staring at him, “Sorry, sometimes you got to feel the wind on your wings to get a feel for the current.”
“You connected with the ship directly,” Leoben said.
Harry nodded, “It helps sometimes. No offense Rose, but sometimes I got to fly. I get a bit antsy when I don't for a long period of time.”
“None taken, but I'd suggest not letting anyone else know about this,” Rose said.
Harry snorted, “Let me guess, too Cylon like.”
When both nodded he sighed, “Alright, no mind melding with the Infonet or mentally flying unless we are in a very dangerous situation around others. Good to know.”
Harry got up and took a moment to watch the stars through the view screen. He then turned to the others and said, “I'm going to go down and see what I can do to help out with our new passengers. Plot the jump and let's hope we can catch up with Galactica now.”
As he headed down to where the civilians were he felt the telltale pull of the jump and then felt himself lean against a nearby bulkhead. He asked himself, at that moment what was right and what was easy. Leaving and just getting his own ass to safety would have been the easy path. The right path however had been to get all these people on board. The easy thing would be to forget about the larger fleet and just head on their own path. The right thing was to reconnect these refugees with their people. The easy thing was to give in to the rage building up inside him, hunt down the Pegasus and slug it out with Cain. The right thing was to continue on and try to contact Galactica and hope Adama was more reasonable.
As he reached the area all the new survivors were being checked out he saw the pain of loss and injury spread out across several hundred. The news of how they had ended up dead in space was spreading, and this would cause a major problem in the short term if he didn't do something about it. He just wasn't sure what.
He saw a mother clutching her child, a little girl no older then seven. Harry couldn't help but worry about how Teddy was doing at this point. He really didn't plan on this happening, and couldn't help but feel he had done the wrong thing by Teddy. How long was he going to be gone? Would Teddy resent him when he got back? He knew his friends would be able to watch over and take care of him, but that didn't really ease Harry's mind.
The Mother was crying as she cradled her child. Harry walked towards her and knealed down, “What's the matter?”
“She won't make it. There's nothing the doctor can do, she's just too far gone,” the woman answered.
Harry didn't say anything for a moment. Then he placed his hands on the small child, one on her head the other over her heart. He closed his eyes and concentrated, pushing the magical energy he felt into the girl with only one purpose. To heal. To the mother and anyone else watching his hands glowed as his face held a look of deep concentration.
The child's breathing eased and after another moment she was resting comfortably. The mother looked at Harry and let out a breathy whisper, “Lord of Kobal.”
Harry just shook his head, “No, just a man with different abilities.”
Harry felt his energy levels take a small dip, but no where close to exhaustion. He went around, finding where he could do the most good. The people who were beyond the skills of the doctors and medics they had on board. Some he healed completely, others he brought back enough so that Colonial medicine would do the rest. By the time he was finished he was exhausted and in need of food and rest. As he left to his quarters he was too tired to hear the mutterings behind him. The people all asking questions of those who had been there longer. He had done what he could to help the people, and the people were starting to see him as a protector from the Gods.
Elara came to him later that night. She was not an old priestess, far from it, she was an attractive woman in her early thirties. With dark brown hair and eyes the deepest shade of blue, had she not become a priestess she would have had a career as a model in Caprica City. But Elara had no desire to be objectified. She dedicated her life to the Gods willingly and hoped she had fulfilled her duties well.
She pressed a call button on Harry's quarters, which Lily had been kind enough to direct her too, and waited. When Harry answered the door she greeted him with a small smile and when invited in she walked calmly inside Harry's quarters. She had to admit, if she didn't know better she would have thought they were in a rather nicely furnished room in any house on Caprica. Pictures adored the hearth of a fireplace of all things that had a comfortingly warm fire already burning in it.
“Please, have a seat,” Harry offered. She smiled and took a seat on a small leather sofa that was pretty comfortable. The most comfortable she had been in weeks honestly.
Harry offered her some tea, a fragrant blend from Earth that frankly she had found calmed her and made her feel more at ease. After he had poured her a cup and prepared it as she requested he handed her the delicate tea cup that had lilies etched across it's width and prepared his own cup. Once he had he sat down in his high backed leather chair and asked, “What can I do for you?”
“I heard about the miracle you performed with the new passengers,” Elara said, keeping her eyes on him over her cup.
Harry shook his head, “Nothing miraculous about it. Just a simple application of magical energy with a very focused if vague intent, to heal. I'm not trained in healing, but I know some. Can't spend as much time as I do in a healers realm without picking up a few things.”
“Still, you laid hands on the sick and saved them. Combined with the stories you've told of your life so far, and the people are starting to come to their own conclusions,” Elara said.
Harry sighed, “I'm not trying to make them think I'm a god.”
“I know, and I know you are not arrogant enough o believe yourself one. But you are becoming a beacon to them. A sign of hope. Whether you like it or not,” Elara said.
Harry just couldn't accept it, “I can't do this again, Elara. I can't be their Chosen One like I was on Earth. The enemy was so clear before. Hunt down and destroy the Dark Lord. Here I can't be certain of anything. There's just too much going on here for me to get my bearings. I could have stuck back on Caprica, or any of the other Colonies and probably put together a pretty decent sized fleet. But I just couldn't see how to do it without us ending up losing people in pointless fighting.”
“So you decided to save what you could and now we have nearly three thousand on this ship, heading for a safe place. Many are saying your one of the Lords of Kobal, come to save Humanity in it's final days,” Elara said.
“John and Leoben told me, my nick name being the Lord of Terra. I'm not a god, Elara,” Harry said, almost desperate for her to believe him.
Elara sat her cup to the side and knelt in front of Harry, taking his hands in hers and looking in his eyes. She ran a hand across his brown, along the scar that had been a curse for so very long to him. “No, you are not a god. But you have been touched by the Gods. Even beyond that of most Magic-users as you know them. The prophecy you mentioned, but haven't shared the rest of it yet. I can guess that it foretold you facing the Dark Lord you mentioned. But even now, you are meant to face the Darkness, whatever form it takes.”
“I hoped I had left that all behind me,” Harry said.
“Maybe, but the Gods test us in ways we can never truly understand. And we are all being tested by them in these times,” Elara said. She then lifted up enough and kissed Harry softly on his scar.
“You are the one leading us along the path to whatever our future holds. And sometimes that path will become difficult. We will all stumble and fall, it is the way of things. But we can get back up and keep walking that path,” Elara said.
Harry took a moment, then smiled softly. He squeezed Elara's hand and said, “Thank you.”
The Oceanic Wanderer was not the last ship they found dead in space. Several systems close to the Helios Cluster had ships in distress. Some they got to in time, some they didn't. Harry had the logs pulled and all evidence stored. Harry didn't know if it would matter, but he wanted to be able to bury Admiral Helena Cain if he ever got the chance.
Clearing the outer systems of survivors increased the population on the Ascension to nearly four-thousand. Every ship they pulled people off of gave similar stories to the rest. Harry ended up near exhaustion many times trying to save people using his Magic. While Harry wasn't a trained healer, he had found over time that he had a very close connection to his Magic. So while he couldn't heal specific wounds too well, he could aide the overall chances of each patient. The doctors accepted all the help they could get.
He also spent his time with the people telling his personal history. About how he had, as a child endured the hellish treatment of his relatives. How he had, over the course of his schooling fought and defeated the Dark Lord when others had failed. He didn't play up these accomplishments, he simply told them how it was. Images of Gilderoy Lockhart forcing him to help the blond ponce reenact the falsehoods in his books keeping him modest. Though there were times that it was impossible not to end up building on his legend. The tale of the Basilisk his second year for instance.
Hearing more and more people start referring to him as “The Lord of Terra” had Harry back with Elara asking a question. “If there were twelve Lords of Kobol, but the planet was were the gods and men lived together, then how did a god turn from just an ordinary god to a Lord?”
“It is not specified, but the Lords of Kobol are recognized as both the leaders of men and of the gods. There are however two other gods that are spoken about within the scrolls,” Elara said. She went to pull out the copies of the Sacred Scrolls and opened them to the relevant passages.
“One god is mentioned as the Jealous God, the one who desired to be worshiped and held above all the others. The references to him also include, the one whose name cannot be spoken,” Elara said.
Harry bit back a response, that sounded far too close to one of the names Voldemort was referred to by. Elara continued, “However, the Scrolls of Pythia mention the one whose name cannot be spoken as a separate entity. The One is said to have lead the thirteenth tribe on their exodus to Earth, almost two-thousand years earlier.”
“It does explain why the Twelve Tribes would go in one direction and the Thirteenth another,” Harry mentioned.
Elara nodded, that had been a point of contention between the two as it related to the scrolls. She continued, “The One however is mentioned only as 'the one whose name cannot be spoken' and continues on as that through the Scrolls of Pythia. However, there are points two-thousand years later when the Jealous God is referred to also as, 'the one whose name cannot be spoken.' I cannot say if they are the same god, though I would doubt it.”
Harry thought for a moment, “Does it say how 'The Jealous God' was defeated if he was?”
Elara read more, then stopped and looked Harry straight in the eyes, “I'm not certain you will like this part.”
Harry just waved for her to continue. She read, “And in the City of the Gods, the Final Battle with the Jealous God was fought. Though he had stood strong before the Twelve Lords of Kobol and their armies, One stood against him. A boy, barely a man, marked by Zeus himself defied the Jealous God. Though he was gifted with the power of the gods, the boy knew he could only stand defiant before the Jealous God's fury. He was tempted with power, a seat at the Jealous God's right hand. The boy renounced the Jealous God however, defying him time and time again. At the Final Battle he had defied the Jealous God six times. The Jealous God struck the boy down, and to all he was as dead. Thinking the final battle over the Jealous God taunted the defenders of the City of the Gods. But he was once again defied by the boy, this time returning from death itself. His sacrifice protecting the defenders from the Jealous God's forces as he faced him one final time. This time however, the boy was victorious, turning the Jealous God's own attack against him,” Elara said.
Harry had to take a seat at that, He hadn't told them the story of the Battle of Hogwarts yet, “That sounds far too close to what happened to me for my comfort, Elara.”
Elara was thoughtful for a moment. Then she asked, “What do you know of the cycle of time?”
“The closest thing I know is a saying, I can't remember who said it. ' Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.'”
Elara nodded, “The cycle of time holds that time and events circle back upon themselves. That all of this has happened before, and will happen again. It is a central tenant of our faith.”
Harry just bowed his head and thought. He finally asked, “Are there any other names that refer to the boy?”
“One, He Who Survived.”
It took all of his self-control not to start cursing in English, Caprican Standard, and Parseltounge. He looked up, and with a self-depricating grin said, “At least there aren't anymore prophecies to deal with.”
The look on Elara's face did NOT reassure him. She pulled out the Scrolls of Pythia and said, “And a Sheppard will come, with the powers of the Gods but not a God himself. Having faced a great darkness he shall be as lost in the wilderness of the heavens as the people left behind by the Caravan of the Stars. He shall gather as many of the abandoned together as he can, and upon a great bird ascend to the heavens. He shall deliver the abandoned and lost to the Caravan of the Stars. And he shall guide them along the path, forged by the Dying Leader in hopes of returning to his home. And he shall be both the Giver of Life, and the Master of Death.”
This time he didn't bother trying to hold back.