Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Year Seven)

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Snape joins Voldemort with the other Death Eaters at Malfoy’s home to discuss Harry’s next move, false news having been created to mask Harry’s actual plan. Lucius has gotten out of prison by this point and had to relinquish his wand to Voldemort to use on Harry (an even more unnecessary “that” being added to a sentence, Rowling? Jeez..). A professor of Muggle studies is killed after Voldemort seethes and makes fun of the Malfoys’ relative, Tonks marrying Lupin.

Harry was currently at Privet drive unloading his school trunk and packing a backpack with all important items. He also has 2 articles, one Dumbledore’s obituary and the other an interview with Rita Skeeter about her biography on Dumbledore’s life and how dirt-filled it truly was. Vernon was flip-flopping with whether he truly believed he and his family were in danger, but Dudley was scared enough to want the magical protection offered them, so they’d be escorted to a safe spot. Dudley surprises all relatives with his concerns for where Harry was going, but everyone’s farewell being fairly underwhelming, but Dudley shaking his hand in the end being the most contact made through it all.

Moody was whom Harry thought would be escorting him, but it turns out to be Hagrid along with his buddies and others, including Mood himself. This doesn’t help much though, since they were met with 30-odd Death Eaters flinging deadly curses at all of them, Harry being repeatedly reassured by Hagrid of having everything handled, thusly Harry’s sidecar detaches from the motor-bike and during all this, Hedwig has been shot and was limp. Harry blows up his sidecar, supposedly with Hedwig still inside, he now seated with Hagrid as a Death Eater recognizes Harry to be not a poser, the 3 disappearing. Voldemort soon joins them, but not before Harry crashes the bike into a pond. The 2 make it to their Portkey to the Burrow and the only others to show up so far is Lupin and George, whom lost an ear. In the end, everyone returns except for a dead Moody and a biffed off Mundungus.

Harry wanted to leave them for fear of endangering them further, he getting a vision of Ollivander at the bad end of Voldemort’s rage, Hermione desperate he attempt to shut his mind from this. Mrs. Weasley attempts to learn what Dumbledore had ordered Harry to do, which also includes Ron and Hermione dropping out of school to help, but the most she gets is agreement to help tidy and do chores she had for them for the wedding. They weren’t able to recover Moody’s body, so the funeral was on hiatus. The trio found time to talk, Ron suspecting Moody may have survived. They then discuss Hermione’s acquiring Hogwarts library books on horcruxes, when Mrs. Weasley interrupts, mega-pissed the three were sitting around rather than helping her with chores. When Fleur’s family arrives, the trio get only one chance to speak, Mrs. Weasley still thwarting their plan-making and she putting together, what Harry hopes would be a quiet birthday the day before Fleur and Bill’s wedding.

Harry gets a good amount of birthday prezzies, he particularly taken with Ginny’s snog gift. Scrimgeour crashes to speak with the trio about Dumbledore’s will and the unique items he’d left them. Harry receives his first won snitch and was supposed to get Gryffindor’s sword, Hermione got a book, and Ron was gifted a contraption which put out lights. Harry figures out a clue on how to use the snitches memory ability, but it isn’t easy to decipher from there, Hermione confesses she not having heard of the book she’d be given, to Ron’s surprise, since he knew them as children’s tales.

Harry was disguised as a cousin to the Weasley’s after they’d acquired some hair from a local redheaded boy. Luna and her father had been invited, he acting and looking as eccentric as his daughter normally would. Then, after Harry discovers Dumbledore’s family had Godric’s Hollow in common with him, they discover Scrimgeour had been killed and the Ministry “fallen”, them’s coming. (Decent dramatics by this point)

The trio escape by disapparating as Death Eaters break up the party, Hermione providing the boys with less conspicuous attire. They are followed and eventually attacked again by a couple Death Eaters. After the trio defend themselves and flee to Harry’s inherited property, he gets a vision of Voldemort punishing one of the Death Eaters who had attacked them, by ordering Draco to torture him.

They learn R.A.B. was Sirius’ brother after Harry discovers a part of a letter from his mother. They also realize they’d handled a locket during past clean up of Sirius’ home, they off to Kreacher’s quarters. They discover nothing and when Harry summons Kreacher to grill him, they learn Mundungus had filched it all. Kreacher relates what he remembered of the locket, then Harry nicely orders him to retrieve the real locket and Mundungus to meet them back there, taking a tip from Hermione and even gifting the fake locket to Kreacher as incentive and appreciation.

The 3 are up to day 3 of waiting for Kreacher’s return when they see 2 robed men standing outside for quite some time, but not going any further, everyone inside attempting to quell nerves and boredom. Harry is first to see a figure enter the house, it t’were Lupin, they catching up. By the end, Harry had insulted Lupin in order for him to hopefully go back to Tonks, they learning she was up the duff and he was plagued by his status and how it’d effect his newly made family. Harry then reads an excerpt from Skeeter’s book after Lupin runs off, pissed. Kreacher returns with Mundungus, whom reveals he’d practically gifted the locket to Umbridge.

Harry brings back a Daily Prophet with news of Snape securing the title of headmaster, Ron and Hermione shocked. Harry then renews his idea of implementing the plan they’d worked out for 4 weeks. They each obtain a Ministry employees hair and polyjuice themselves for entrance purposes. Hermione and Harry meet Umbridge in the elevator after Ron was tasked with stopping a flood in a particular office. Harry is then separated from Hermione when Umbridge uses her for a court proceeding and he’s left with the new Ministry of Magic, Thicknesse, not being conspicuous and parting ways with him before covering himself with invisibility cloak again and creating a distraction which allowed him access inside Umbridge’s office, he not having learned from his Hogwarts snooping to leave his cloak ON when he’s searching, again scrambling to cover his ass up as Thicknesse enters.

Harry makes his way out with no discovery before learning what they had on Arthur. He makes his way to the courtrooms where a shit ton of dementors were chilling in the hall with the accused muggles, he making it inside the courtroom Hermione sat in with Umbridge, they seeing the locket around Umbridge’s fat neck. Harry throws caution to the dogs and stupefies the old hound so as to snatch the locket, Hermione making a replica so she wouldn’t immediately notice, and saves the half blood witch on trial for being muggle-related. The trio along with the muggle bunch escape, but Harry notices an odd sensation after they apparate since by the end it was becoming obvious what they were doing.

Hermione conducts first aid on Ron’s arm, they now stuck in the forest where the World Cup had been, Yaxley having seen the trio’s hidey hole she setting protective charms about them whilst Ron recovered. They then fool around with the locket to attempt opening it, none succeeding and so Harry resigns himself to keep watch with Hermione off and on. Harry gets another vision, he still having given up Occlumency despite Hermione harping on how he should still at least attempt to bar him mind and instead chooses to get pounded by the scenes, he rather preferring sharing the visions with his buds (he’s tho thmart!), overcome with whomever stole an item from Gregorovitch which Voldemort was now after, Harry recognizing the face in his memory, but unable to currently place it. (This seems to be a going theme and mystery style of Rowling’s, which I’ve grown tired and yet accustomed, *sigh*)

During their passed off time wearing the horcrux and negative moods because of it, they hear Dean Thomas with Tonks’ pops and some goblins (Rowling, you suggesting a Goblin language be named, Gobbledegook??…) eating nearby their camp, learning Ginny had attempted to lift Gryffindor’s sword, the goblins confiding the one protected in Gringotts being a fake. Ginny did get one helluva punishment, though, according to the goblin, they also discussing whether Snape or Harry was the baddie, as well as The Quibbler now being the one spot for real news. They move off and Hermione grabs the frame of Phineas Black to inquire about the sword, which reveals why they needed it to destroy horcruxes. They end the night with a blow out of a fight between Ron and Harry, the former off to his family and Hermione brokenhearted by Ron making her stay seem like betrayal of him.

The two hoped silently Ron’d return, but this doesn’t occur, Harry reminded how Ron had assumed Harry had a ginormous master plan (the fuck?), and he seeing if Ron’d go to Hogwarts again, his name not appearing on the Marauder’s Map. After some more move-abouts, Harry suggests once more they go to Godric’s Hollow, Hermione agreeing this time. They prepare with Polyjuice disguises and see the graveyard first. They visit Dumbledore’s family graves, Hermione locating another symbol on an unrelated grave, and they take a moment to visit Harry’s parents, leaving with Harry at least getting to see where they were.

After suspecting they were being watched, the quickly leave and somehow spot Harry’s first home. Bagshot finds them and leads them back to her place, he nicking a pic of the man whom had stolen from Gregorovitch and then Bagshot becoming Nagini before Voldemort was to arrive. The two barely escape, but Harry’s wand is broken and loses the pic in their haste, Harry stuck in Voldemort’s thoughts most of the night.

Harry was starting to annoy himself at Dumbledore, rather than try solving the snitch and discover his next move. Hermione helps a bit by showing a copy of Rita’s book to Harry, he finally learning the man in the picture was Grindelwald. He and Dumbledore became buddies after he’d been expelled from Durmstrang. Harry has a flip out and Hermione recognizes he being mad Dumbledore hadn’t shared more with him. After they move, Harry sees a doe patronus which leads him to the Gryffindor sword, Ron saving him from drowning and Harry suggesting he destroy the horcrux. It gives Ron a good psychological beating, but he succeeds. Hermione gives Ron a more unceremonious welcome, but they settle after Ron explains how he’d used his deluminator. Since he’d also been able to swipe an idiot’s wand from a watch group for muggles, Harry was able to practice doing small spells, the results unappealing. Later on, Hermione decides she wanted to visit Luna’s father because of Grindelwald’s sign, Harry uncertain, but acquiescing, and upon being received, are greeted hesitantly. When Harry does finally get to his point, Luna’s papa reveals it’s a sign of the deathly hallows. Harry soon blunders to the knowledge Luna wasn’t there and her pop had informed the Ministry, Hermione devising and implementing the trio’s escape plan.

When they’d disapparated, Ron supposed the Death Eaters had Luna in Azkaban, but she’d be fine for now. Harry then considers if his defense would include the acquirement of the magical items of the Deathly Hallows. Ron and Hermione think he should focus on the horcruxes, but instead he dedicates his time in attempting to open the snitch, thinking the stone or ring could be inside. The one thing to get his thoughts away from this is Ron’s found pirate radio stating, they learning Ted Tonks was among the murdered by Death Eater recently. (Rowling’s way of allowing each character intro whom is speaking on the radio is goofy.) Hagrid was now an outlaw, as well, because of a Potter Party, the doofus, and the last dumb move Harry making being to say Voldemort’s name, they found out hella quick.

The trio are captured with Dean Thomas, Hermione having puffed Harry’s face up, Greyback and crew unable to identify them, yet, until discovering Gryffindor’s sword, they deducing Harry and Hermione’s identities. When Bellatrix sees the sword, she tortures Hermione on where they’d gotten it, thinking they’d stolen it from Gringotts. Meanwhile, Dobby apparates and saves Ollivander, Luna, and Dean, this getting attention, Ron and Hermione having to overpower Wormtail, but this ultimately killing him. Voldemort is finally summoned once the goblin confirms the sword counterfeit, Ron attempting and failing to save Hermione, but not being quick enough to dodge a knife and get kilt.

They have a quick burial and funeral for him in the garden of Bill and Fleur’s, Harry then speaking to the Gringotts goblin and Ollivander before Harry sees Voldemort claim the Elder wand Dumbledore had been buried with. Harry was torn by his decision to hang back rather than fight, in the meantime the goblin agreeing to help them in return for Gryffindor’s sword, Harry not specifying when, but would do the exchange. Lupin visits to announce Tonks and his son, Ted being born, and Bill warning Harry about dealings with a goblin being a sensitive thing if treasure is involved.

Hermione had been chosen to Polyjuice as Bellatrix what with having a hair of hers on her robe and also having the wand, but she having trouble controlling it. They still go through with their plan, Harry under invisible cloak with goblin and Ron disguised with face-feature changes, they running into Travers in Diagon Alley. It only gets worse from here, since he’s also going to Gringotts and it seemed the goblins were aware of Bellatrix’s stolen wand. They make it to the vault without being caught, though, instead now had to worry about making the contact with the treasure. This soon doesn’t matter, since it ends with all of them in contact with it, but Harry obtains the cup, but loses the sword, they escaping on the nearly blind dragon (yay!) and landing themselves in a lake some distance from the bank. Harry soon sees the results of Voldemort learning of Gringotts and his questioning whether his other horcruxes were safe; The trio soon aiming for Hogsmeade.

Upon arrival, they’re immediately known to be there due to a nifty alarm charm, Death Eaters looking around and almost catching them early upon arrival. After dementors are added to the search party, the Hogshead’s owner saves them by letter them inside the bar. Harry figures out he’s Aberforth, he feeding them and attempting to convince Harry to get far away as possible. Instead, he’s convinced somehow into detailing most of what’d happened to Ariana. She’d killed their mother accidentally after being abused by some boys in some way to make her ever use magic, it going wild within her and when she was 14, had an unfortunate episode resulting her mother’s death.

Aberforth was made to continue school by Dumbledore, he taking care of their sister until Grindelwald distracts him. Aberforth confronts Dumbledore about containing his ego in order to take of their sister rather than go off and gather a following in their new wizarding regime. The 3 end up fighting, Ariana attempts to help and 1 of the 3 kill her. Harry puts in his 2 cents when he mentions the horcrux charm he’d drank, the torture making him say when he felt worst about and his greatest fear, Neville then being brought when Aberforth acquiesces to helping them enter Hogwarts.

They go through a hidden tunnel behind Aberforth’s painting of his sister. Neville catches them up a bit on Snape’s disciplinary Carrows Death Eater professors, he also finally gets positive feedback form his Gran once she escapes and goes to ground so as to stay hidden, since escaping the Death Eaters’ attempts at using her as leverage on Neville. When they reach Hogwarts about 20 more peeps greet them uproariously. They’d made the Room of Requirement their safe haven, the Carrows unable to reach them. They were catching up when Harry learns Voldemort had discovered another horcrux destroyed, the group of kids desperate to be a part of helping overcome Voldemort, but Harry attempting to keep Dumbledore’s secret, Ron and Hermione then considering they could use their friends’ help without revealing the true nature of why, so Harry begins asking them questions about Ravenclaw items.

In the end, Luna leads Harry to the Ravenclaw statue where one of the Carrows catches him, touching her V (haha) tat. She’s knocked out by Luna’s curse, Harry then cursing her bro when he insults McGonagall. She then helps the two game plan the way to get students out of the castle and overthrow Snape before Voldemort comes, and Harry could search the grounds. Snape gets in McGonagall’s way, but flees by chucking himself out a window when she receives help from other professors. They soon are enlisting the help of other professors to protect the school temporarily from Voldemort, whilst getting everyone to meet in the Great Hall to give those the option to stay and help who were of age. Upon Harry getting back to the Req. Room, most of the Weasleys arrive, they surprised when Percy shows up as they’re trying to get Ginny to leave, but instead agreed to let her stay in the Req. Room, Voldemort now at Hogwarts as Harry’s looking for Hermione and Ron in the loo.

As McGonagall describes what would happen, Voldemort’s voice echoes through the hall to maintain resisting wouldn’t do any good and he didn’t desire offing anyone, he only wanted Harry. Since Voldemort wasn’t actually there, after dumb Pansy attempts to get Harry chucked out, McGonagall has them all leave with their Houses, she having to remind Harry of looking for the horcrux, since he’d been plagued with where Hermione and Ron could be. He comes to a lightbulb moment though, on whom to ask what had happened to the diadem, getting his answer through Nearly Headless Nick, he speaking with the Ravenclaw’s House ghost, Helen Ravenclaw, she stealing the diadem from her mother and how the Bloody Baron had killed himself because he’d stabbed and killed her.

Finally, she admits hiding the diadem in Albania, and Voldemort had brought it back to Hogwarts when he’d interviewed for a job. Harry is met by Hagrid (I realize now Harry could’ve been using “Tom” as his choice to call him the whole time to mock his name for himself, in a way, as Dumbledore had.), the fight being on by this point, since it’d reached midnight. Harry realizes where he needed to go, also spotting Ron and Hermione who’d gone to the Chamber of Secrets, Ron speaking Parseltongue by memory and stabbing the Cup, Harry ecstatic. Ron and Hermione give each other a good snog until Harry thrusts them back to Erf. They have the Room of Requirement become the place with everyone’s hidden treasures, Harry locating the diadem, but foiled by Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle.

Crabbe curses the place with a fire monsters thingy and Ron and Hermione have to save the 2 burkes, Crabbe getting himself kilt, but Harry also catching the diadem as it’d been falling down from a victory throw of treasure by the creatures. When they escape, Harry sees the diadem crumble, since the fire had been cursed and fortunately did the trick in destroying the horcrux. Then, as the twins and Percy are fighting Death Eaters in the hall they’d come in from, an explosion kills Fred. Harry helps Percy stow him, everyone then continuing fighting Death Eaters except for the trio, Harry looking into Voldemort’s mind upon Hermione’s request. He sees Voldemort chilling, knowing Harry’d pursue him for Nagini, he commanding Malfoy’s Pops to get Snape.

The trio use the invisibility cloak due to how many faculty and students were fighting Death Eaters, Hagrid getting swept away with giant spiders as his bro searches for him at the castle windows. They retreat toward the forest, Harry too desperate by the dementors approaching to summon his patronus. Luna and 2 others save their asses and they reach the Whomping Tree where they’d get to the Shrieking Shack, Harry overhearing Snape speaking with Voldemort about the uprise and the Elder wand not impressing him like he expected. He concludes it’s because Snape had killed Dumbledore, meaning he’d have to kill Snape, leaving before he’s truly dead and giving Harry time to collect Snape’s memory.

Voldemort speaks loud-speaker style again to them about allowing an hour to help the injured and gather their dead, and if Harry didn’t reveal himself, he’d kill anyone to get in his way. Ron and Hermione encourage Harry to ignore Voldemort’s terms and focus on a new game plan at the castle. They see the Weasleys at Fred’s body, along with Tonks and Lupin’s, Harry too distraught to see who else hadn’t made it because of him. Instead he makes his way to Dumbledore’s office, which still contained the Pensieve, believing Snape’s memories could be no worse than what he’d currently experienced and having a temporary escape. He sees Snape as a boy confronting Lily about her magic and how Petunia had been a prude from childhood, and Snape’d struggled controlling his emotions around the close-minded Muggle, Petunia.

James and Sirius had taken a disliking of Snape from their first meeting on the train, Lily torn from the start on liking and disliking both Snape and James. Later on, after Snape’d heard part of the prophecy, he’d met with Dumbledore, whom had shown contempt of Snape for the first time because of his love for Lily and disregarding her new family. Snape is shown attempting to heal the injured Dumbledore after he’d worn Slytherin’s ring. The 2 discuss how this’d kill Dumbledore in about a year and how Draco’s task of murdering him should go to Snape as Voldemort had dictated. Dumbledore eventually shares with Snape how Harry’d have to be killed by Voldemort before Voldemort could die, because Harry carried a piece of his soul. The last memory is of Snape preparing to leave Gryffindor’s sword for Harry to find.

Colin Creevey dies, Harry seeing this after noticing how little time he had left, using his invisibility cloak and passing Neville and Oliver Wood carrying him. He leaves the castle without speaking to anyone, making the leaving easier, but does run into Neville again as he’s gone back out for more bodies. He made sure Neville knew to kill Nagini, he going invisible again and not stopping even when he sees Ginny helping someone. He learns how to open the snitch and gets the Resurrection stone, he seeing his parents, Lupin, and Sirius, they walking with him to Voldemort. 2 of the Death Eaters unknowingly lead him there where the rest of the followers, plus a bound Hagrid, whom is aghast Harry’d come. Harry was apparently thinking of Ginny kissing something of his (“—-“, not a period.), then gets the green flash.

Harry wakes up feeling alive, but meeting a quite dead Dumbledore, he believing Harry wasn’t quite corpse. Dumbledore also reveals how Grindelwald had killed his sis. After some time, they reach the subj. of Harry having the option to live, he ofc choosing accordingly. Voldemort had collapsed, as well, he delegating the task of checking Harry’s vitals to Narcissa, she asking after Draco, they then all heading for the castle with Harry playing dead, and Voldemort having Hagrid carry him. Voldemort does his voice boom trick and tells of Harry’s kaput inaccurately, then threatens death to anyone who didn’t kneel before him.

Ultimately, there’s a revolt and Neville kills Nagini with Gryffindor’s sword, Harry getting under his invisibility cloak. Once Harry’s given shield charms to those on his way to Voldemort, Bellatrix is taken out by Mrs. W and Harry extrapolates how Voldemort wasn’t true owner of the Elder wand, he having deduced Malfoy should’ve gotten it, but when Harry’d taken Malfoy’s wand, ownership should be his, now, the wand doing his bidding and Voldemort’s death being his own fault. It takes a few beats before everyone celebrates, Harry getting his 2 buds to accompany him to Dumbledore’s office as he explains Snape’s memories and his plan. Harry leaves the fallen Resurrection stone where he’d dropped it in the Forbidden Forest, he fixing his wand with the Elder wand and deciding to return it to Dumbledore’s resting place, Ron shocked, but Hermione understanding, ofc.

19 years later, Harry and Ginny are taking their 3 kids to the station, Longbottom’s a Herbology prof, Draco married with a son (obv), and Ron and Hermione with their 2, Harry not having been bothered by his scar since, and quelling the fears of his youngest if he were chosen to be Slytherin, mentioning how he’d get a choice, in the end.

Decent enough, I’ll still check out The Tales of Beedle the Bard.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns

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In a world where Commissioner Gordon doesn’t take stock in Harvey Dent’s new bill of health, but Bruce Wayne supports his recovery, Wayne’s recap of explaining his first bat cave experience was at the age of 6. There’s more recap of his parents death night, the Batman going on a mega-successful bad guy-catching night. It’s also mentioned of an underling whom is loyal to another having been commissioned by Dent to manufacture some bombs, the type intriguing his employer. Batman catches Dent and he stays in hospital to recover. Commissioner Gordon is attacked, he killing his underage assailant, and Carrie now masquerading like Robin. She sees Batman getting his ass beat by the mutant leader of the gang the teen wannabe assassin came from. She helps Batman survive his fight, the mutant leader giving a statement to the press. Meanwhile, Carrie accompanies Bruce tot he cave, despite Alfred’s warnings, Dent being considered for a controlled release from Arkham. Alfred is skeptical by Bruce’s decision to team up with Carrie as the mayor is killed by the mutant leader whilst visiting him in jail. Mutant leader “breaks” out and is met with a face off with Batman, whom is victorious, has a conversation with Superman, whom advises what’d happen if he was asked to bring Bruce in, the two parting ways.

New commissioner is ready to arrest Batman and he’s readying to fight through any cop standing in his way. Meanwhile, Joker is being interviewed on a late night talk show and threatening mass murder, then follows through, being caught by Batman at a carnival, but Joker finishing himself off. A bomb goes off in the city where Gordon’s wife could’ve been effected, Superman looking skeletal as he attempts flying to the sun. Batman gets to Gotham on horseback as the people are looting, one man butt hurt for being treated like a thug after he had stolen a gun and shot a fella once this dude had moved toward his gun, Batman leaving the fool with broken ribs and in a neck brace. Gotham doesn’t see sunlight for a week, the bomb having given the environmental effects of nuclear war.

Batman and Superman then face off and Bruce sustains a heart attack during their fight and dies. Alfred has a stroke and also doesn’t make it, but not before destroying Wayne Manor and all evidence inside. Superman did realize Bruce’s ruse upon hearing his heartbeat in the cemetery, Robin having explained after digging him up. The two plus his followers set up in the cave preparing themselves for whatever war comes at them in the future, Bruce suspecting they had years to train.

Another well-flowing Batman story, definitely enjoyed Carrie’s origin piece. I do ever so enjoy Batman.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Year Six)

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The Prime Minister of Britain is told by portrait of Fudge wanting a chat, his call with the Prez to be rearranged. Fudge’s presence apparently was an annoyance across Muggle/Wizarding communities alike. The Prime Minister relives his handful of encounters with Fudge, the 2nd one regarding Sirius’ escape, the 3rd about their transport of magical creatures for the Goblet of Fire, the 4th regarding the Azkaban breakout, and now the 5th being Voldemort’s return. Fudge also details how the Muggle disasters had also been caused by Voldemort and his followers as of recently. Fudge reveals to him of already having been fired and was there to intro the new Ministry of Magic, as well, Rufus Scrimgeour. The man bustles in, the down-to-business, sort and taking care of certain Muggle-related needs in regard to the Jr. Prime Minister quacking, Fudge acting as the P.M.’s liaison.

Narcissa and her sister, Bellatrix are in a Muggle town, Bellatrix attempting to stop Narcissa from informing Snape of a secret, she not thinking it was in Voldemort’s best interest for her to reveal this. Despite her advice though, the 2 continue to Snape’s, he entertaining them readily and Wormtail preparing them drinks, since Voldemort had assigned him “to assist” him. After, Bellatrix goes off on him to explain his action and lack thereof in regards to the bidding of Voldemort. Snape comes back with how discerning Voldemort is and he’d already told the one whom most required it. Bellatrix is on a manic roll though, so Snape spends some time reasoning why he’d not been a team player more obviously to the team.

Snape does a stellar job of dotting all them i’s, and then Narcissa keeps stop starting on confiding her issue, but it going against Voldemort’s word, Snape agreeing with Bellatrix of she needing to keep her mouth shut, since he also was aware of the plan, pissing off Bellatrix again, but Narcissa focused on how this would endanger Draco, since he was such an eager puppy to help. She continues to beg for him to attempt to change Voldemort’s mind due to his inter-relationships with the Malfoys and Voldemort, he reminding her Voldemort’s main concern was allowing Snape to keep his position under cover, so would be in reserve to take over the task upon Draco’s failure, this ofc not comforting the distraught mother, but the consent to an Unbreakable Vow does the trick.

In regards to how Harry is found (I wonder if “fug” was supposed to be, “a misty ‘fog’.) at his window, asleep and breathing on the pane, he had been reading news referencing the attempted lifting of the prophecy in the Dept. of Mysteries, as well as another article about Fudge and his replacement, Rufus Scrimgeour, he and Dumbledore butting heads almost immediately. Regardless of this, Scrimgeour was setting up a variety of magical security for Hogwarts, and Harry currently was awaiting Dumbledore to collect him to return to the Burrow after a couple weeks at his Aunt’s (His letter concludes, “I am, yours most sincerely”, eye raise?).

Harry gets his visit from Dumbledore only a little bit after 11 pm. Harry hadn’t prepared the Dursleys, rightly so, but Dumbledore is a smooth talker anyways, he wiling some time away in their living room, so they could discuss some necessities before biffing off. One of these topics was Sirius’ will and leaving all to Harry, his home among them, but they needing to test if any charms placed on his possessions could be null if not a blood relative, Kreacher being the subject which showed Harry had claimed his inheritance. Dumbledore then details and requests the Dursleys allow Harry to return one last time before he came of age, so he’d carry the protection of the charm a bit longer, they then leaving for Dumbledore’s task.

This turns out to be convincing Dumbledore’s colleague, Horace Slughorn to teach at Hogwarts. They are met with what looks like a home broken into and weird, red, gelatinous goop high on the wall, Dumbledore detecting where Horace was laying, the two putting his home back to clean-state. Dumbledore intro;s Harry, and Horace, sensing why he’d brought him, straight out declines, but they staying for a drink. Harry learns Slughorn had been his mother’s teacher and he loving how his former students who had made themselves successful, send him gifts, and once Dumbledore has them leave abruptly, ensures Slughorn would come back for the new semester. Before next leaving Harry at the Burrow, Dumbledore gives him kudos on how he’d taken the Ministry of Magic drama, his loss, and how he should, most definitely confide in his buddies on what the prophecy contained. He’s then given some interesting news of studying under Dumbledore.

They then go to the Burrow, Mrs. Weasley and Tonks up to greet them at the early hour, the latter looking sickly and leaving quickly, Dumbledore following soon after, Harry getting fed. Molly mentions Arthur getting a promotion and was returning soon, Harry having to sit through a slightly embarrassing question and answer regarding a private name between the two. Soon after Harry is sent to the twins’ room to sleep, they staying in a flat above their shop, Molly acknowledging their natural business acumen. Later on Ron, Ginny, and Hermione come in to greet him, he getting breakies from Fleur, she sharing her engagement to Bill and the family not on-board. They also receive their grades from O.W.L.s and Harry’s dream of becoming an Auror being dashed.

On his birthday, they learn Karkaroff had been discovered dead, and a few days later came their class and book list, Harry learning he’d made Quidditch Captain and now had similar benefits as prefects. Molly would take them all to Diagon Alley for supplies and look in on the twins shop by the weekend, upon everyone going, they seeing how Diagon Alley looked much seedier with the closed shops, Hagrid escorting the trio whilst Ginny was stuck with her parents. They end up seeing Malfoy with mummsy in the robes shop, the two Malfoys being cunts in tandem, but Harry rising to the occasion, as well.

After, they see the twins had made quite an eye-drawing ad in front of their shop and inside, they learned the twins were making mad bank, Harry being offered whatever he fancied for free. As everyone is looking through the shop, the trio steal away after Malfoy, whom had gone solo to get an item fixed without any parentals finding out, they not able to discover what it was or what Malfoy wanted to purchase, they returning to Mrs. Weasley and Hagrid.

Harry can’t shake Malfoy’s odd request at the shop, he considering and sharing how he thought perhaps Malfoy had been sworn in as a Death Eater to replace his imprisoned father, neither buddy convinced, Arthur taking a similar opinion when Harry confides his suspicion at the train stop, Harry then hanging out with Neville and Luna, since Ron and Hermione had prefect duties. Harry and Neville end up bowing out due to an invite from Slughorn for lunch with promising students, one being passed on when he learns the boy wasn’t in close contacts with his powerful family member. Slughorn reserves interviewing Harry last, they all finally released when it darkened to evening, Harry getting his chance to snoop on Malfoy when a Slytherin enters his compartment.

His nosiness gets the best of him, ofc, so he allows himself to be caught by Malfoy, whom freezes him, breaks his nose, and covers him with his cloak in the hope he wouldn’t be discovered until the train had returned to London. Fortunately, Tonks helps him, she acting much sobered still and to top it off, Snape collects him from the highly secure gate. When Dumbledore gives his speech, Harry is shocked to learn Snape had gotten his wish to become the Defense teacher and when everyone leaves after the speech to dorms, Harry shares with Ron why his nose had been messed up and how the 3 would inform Hagrid none of them were continuing Care of Magical Creatures.

They get their new schedules and once going to Defense with Snape, he starts the class with silent spell-casting and shielding, which Harry gets a detention when talking back without thinking. Dumbledore sends a message about when his first lesson was, unfortunately the same time as poor Snape’s detention. When they take Potions with Slughorn, Harry’s borrowed textbook gives him notes on how to prepare the classwork perfectly and winning the good luck potion, Ginny worried by Harry having followed notes from an unknown person, it revealing in the back it’d been owned by the half-blood prince.

As their Potions lessons continue, Harry follows the half blood prince’s notes and Hermione sticks with the official way even after being offered to share, getting annoyed it wasn’t giving her the same results, Harry getting all the potions perfectly the next few times. When Harry makes it to his Saturday lesson with Dumbledore, he discovers he’d planned for them to learn more about Harry’s situation with Voldemort together, since Harry now knew as much as him, this point on being the theories into hopefully discovering more truth (Rowling has Dumbledore use a word like “huger” after he just claims to being a cleverer man than most?…say tf what???) To begin, Dumbledore has them view a memory through the Pensieve from a Bob Ogden, whom had shared a memory whilst he’d been working for Magical Law Enforcement. They are soon following Ogden to a hidden home outside Little Hangleton, he confronted by an intimidating grungy man speaking Parseltongue. He sets a spell on Ogden, an older man coming out to collect his son and warn how he’d had every right to defend himself and his property.

Ogden sees Gaunt’s daughter, as well, she ignoring them. Soon, Ogden shares a summons being given to Morfin, Gaunt having a cow, since they’d been purebloods for hundreds of years and were descendants of Slytherin, the group interrupted by a passing couple outside, Morfin then outing his sister for having eyes for the Muggle man and their father going into a rage because of their pure heritage and racism. Ogden returns later with more back up and the 2 men are sentenced to Azkaban, Harry also learning Morfin’s sister was Voldemort’s mother and his father had been the handsome Muggle.

By the time Gaunt had been released, Voldemort’s mother had biffed off and when Morfin had gotten out, his father was already dead. Merope had eloped with her bedazzled lover, gets pregnant and before giving birth, Tom Sr. ditches her for possibly returning to his senses and doesn’t inquire after his offspring thereafter. Before leaving for the night, Harry sees the same ring Gaunt had been wearing inside Dumbledore’s office, he hurting his hand around the time he’d acquired it, but this story still on pause.

Hermione’s begrudgement toward Harry’s mastering the Potions lessons so far was the only mo. she could claim, since everyone’s classes had become more detailed and work-heavy. The ability to spell-casting silently alluded many, but was needed in more than one class, so practice was viewed in Gryffindor’s common room often, and visits with Hagrid were nonexistent, he now ignoring them in halls. The trio contend with finding the time to attempt a chat with Hagrid, Harry having tryouts and the numbers be more excessive than the years before.

They learn through the news, the young conductor, Stan had been arrested for Death Eater info before they all go to the Quidditch field for the tryouts. Ron and Ginny make it again, Hermione jinxing the most talented boy, so Ron had a chance, they visiting Hagrid after and fixing his attitude about they not taking his class, he also sharing Aragog the spider seeming ill. Before reaching dinner, Slughorn invites Hermione and Harry for late din din saying he’d speak with Snape on postponing his detention once more, this not happening and Harry learning his task would be a messy one.

The day of Hogsmeade trip, Harry was flipping through the half-blood prince’s Potions textbook, the made up hexes and jinxes fascinating him. Later, he’s confronted by Slughorn in Honeyduke’s since he’d missed all of his invites so far, due to making Quidditch practice the same hour, his next save being his class with Dumbledore. When the trio decide to make an early day of Hogsmeade due to weather, Harry learning Mundungus was nicking Sirius’s stuff, and everyone getting into more of a mood, on their way back, a girl student has a disturbing episode in front of them, Harry getting Hagrid and he running back to the school with her. They told McGonagall what they’d witnessed, Harry still believing Malfoy was behind it, despite he being in detention, Ron and Hermione not arguing anymore, since he couldn’t see past his own theory.

Monday evening Dumbledore has them enter one of his own memories regarding Tom and the day he’d spoken with his orphanage mistress, she loosening her tongue about how he’d come there and the weird incidents to happen around him. Upon meeting Ton, he was suspicious, but eager to attend Hogwarts and after viewing the memory, Dumbledore has Harry remember Voldemort’s reactions during certain pieces of their interaction, before ending their session.

Harry is going on and on about how he mustn’t have feelings for Ginny because Ron would kill him. Instead, he gives Ron his luck charm, Hermione catching him, and he defiant. After Ron plays the best game of his life, Harry reveals of duping Ron with fake potion, but Hermione and he not making up, he ending his night with a snog with Lavender and Hermione siccing her conjured birds at him for being a snob and show off. At Slughorn’s party where Harry took Luna, he snoops on Malfoy and Snape by invisible cloak, they having retreated to a classroom nearby, it revealing quite a bit indirectly.

Harry shares this information with Arthur at Christmas, Lupin also present and saying the repeated, “If you trust Dumbledore, might as well trust Snape.” On Christmas morning, Percy is accompanied by Scrimgeour, whom obviously came to see Harry on the pretense of Percy wanting to spend time with the family, which was not the case. Harry soon learns Scrimgeour wanted him to agree to at least look like he’s aiding the Ministry, to calm people’s fears, but Harry not falling for being a fluffer for the Ministry in the press and declines outrightly.

When they return to school after holidays, they are presented with opportunity to receive apparating lessons, the trio all signing up. Harry’s lesson with Dumbledore had him relating his chat with Scrimgeour and the conversation between Snape and Malfoy, Dumbledore acting as Lupin anticipated, unphased. Harry shows his being butt-hurt, since Dumbledore became short with him about his loyalty to Snape having been unchanged, Dumbledore regarding this before refocusing them on the couple of memories he’s collected. He starts with how Voldemort dropped his father’s name and his search into his family background.

The first memory from Morfin which proved Voldemort had killed his father and grandparents. The second was an altered memory from Slughorn which Dumbledore tasked Harry in having him confess properly. Harry’s first attempt fails, another chance arriving on Ron’s birthday when he’s accidentally love-potioned, then poisoned in Slughorn’s office. Harry ends up next to Ron to recover a cracked skull from Quidditch, he also realizing and having Dobby and Kreacher do his bidding and spy on Malfoy for him.

When Harry meets with Dumbledore, he’s made to feel guilty for not completing the Slughorn task, but they continue with more memories, Harry apologizing and determined to try again. They go to a memory when Voldemort killed to retrieve his mother’s locket as well as a Hufflepuff cup from Hogwarts’ history and one from Dumbledore’s memory where Voldemort returns after Dumbledore had become Headmaster recently and asks for a position again, Dumbledore ofc refusing, this also being the origin of when Defense would employ an annually changing teacher.

Harry soon learns Malfoy was going to the Room of Requirement for an unknown purpose, learning later it was used for 2 pieces of furniture, one in the antique shop, but first Harry takes some good luck potion to help persuade Slughorn, which leads to him going to Hagrid’s invite to Aragog’s funeral, Slughorn tagging what with the acquisition of fang venom and Harry using a refilling of wine charm, getting Slughorn toasted and convincing him to supply the memory to him.

Once Harry learns Dumbledore had come back late, the two immediately view the memory. After which Harry gets his chance to destroy a horcrux after hearing Snape had been the snooper of the prophecy getting Harry’s parents killed. They retrieve the horcrux without too much trouble, but upon getting back to Hogsmeade, they see the Dark mark above Hogwarts. Malfoy soon has Dumbledore at his mercy, Harry enchantedly frozen, he having been the cause of the girl student and Ron’s close death calls. In the end, Snape must do the deed, Harry giving chase and losing him outside the boundaries of the school to disapparate. Hagrid doesn’t believe Harry, he seeing Dumbledore’s body, Snape also having admitted to being the half-blood prince.

Harry refuses to part from Dumbledore’s body, only Ginny able to lead him away, she guiding him to where everyone else was currently, the hospital wing. Bill had been disfigured by Greyback, a werewolf curse making it difficult to heal, but fortunately everyone had taken some lucky potion. McGonagall had taken the post as Headmistress and she having the Heads of Houses vote on whether they should keep the school open before the Minister of Magic arrived. They have Dumbledore’s funeral, Harry declares he planned on not returning to Hogwart’s and instead look for the horcruxes, but before setting out, Hermione and Ron ofc plan to join him, they having to go to Bill and Fleur’s wedding, Harry also having broken up with Ginny to protect her. The End. Good enough, onward!

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Year Five)

Image result for harry potter order of the phoenix book

Harry’s been attempting to keep an eye and ear out of word regarding odd deaths in relation to Voldemort all summer, he not having any luck. An interaction with Dudley gets him in enough trouble with the Dursleys and the Ministry of Magic where he’s first automatically expelled for using the patronum spell against a couple of dementors. Soon after, he gets word from Sirius, and 2 of the Weasleys, as well as Hermione as to how he should proceed. After which, he gets another official letter condemning him a bit more lightly in only being suspended until a hearing was held as to his reasons for applying magic outside the wizarding community. Throughout all this mess, his uncle officially kicks him out only to be swayed by a letter which Petunia was the only one to understand, so Harry is again “lucky” in having his back up “home” still being an option.

When Harry does finally get the chance to ditch the Dursleys, it’s with the newly introduced Nymphadora Tonks, as well as Lupin, Moody, and a few other wizards who would escort Harry by broom to their new headquarter for the Order of the Phoenix, Sirius’ family home. Hermione and Ron soon get a huge bitch fit from Harry, since he’d felt so alone and left out of being told anything and having been tailed all summer and everyone seeming to know. He receives updates on Percy and his new position having him fall out with the family because they feel he’s being used solely for information about his family and Dumbledore, whom was now a bad word in the Ministry of Magic. Kreacher is the elf of the house and was touched in the head, he attempting to periodically lift family heirlooms which Sirius was in the process of dumping, one of the portraits in the main hall of Sirius’ mother, whom continually shouted expletives against him and held similar views to the Malfoys.

Sirius decides to answer some of Harry’s questions despite Molly Weasley vehemently against it due to Harry still being a child, regardless of how the men in the house felt, which was he was old enough to hear what they thought was necessary for him to be safe. Later, Harry learns from a portrait of Sirius’ family tree, he was related to Tonks, a cousin, and also the Malfoys and Weasleys. After this, Kreacher is still on a rampage after more family items whilst talking shit about everyone under his breath, but not enough for it to be discreet. The night before his hearing he is updated of Arthur accompanying him and Sirius would sit this one out by Dumbledore’s order, Harry a little miffed he hadn’t wanted to speak with him personally after learning he’d been over the night before. He and Arthur walk to his office today, they entering by broken phone box. After a little runaround, Harry is only late by a few minutes, Arthur not able to join Harry inside, but the room shocking him, since he’d viewed it from the pensieve.

Harry sits in the chair with chains in front of the panel of about 50, Fudge in the center and Percy at the far end taking notes, Dumbledore arriving as introductions of the panel were made, to Harry’s surprise and Fudge’s displeasure. The change of venue and time seemed to have changed so abruptly being to keep Dumbledore out, but he’d prepared by arriving early. Fudge begins his damning questions when another wizard asks for Harry to elaborate after mentioning the dementors, Fudge cutting him off again making it seem he was lying, since Dudley couldn’t see them, but Dumbledore jumps in to state of another witness being available which puts Fudge off, so Dumbledore makes certain it’s within Harry’s rights to be allowed outside witnesses to testify on his behalf.

Figg is called in, Fudge attempting to make her sound un-credible. Bones seemed to take the story more seriously and Dumbledore admits the dementors wouldn’t have been there by chance and if Fudge wouldn’t admit to what Dumbledore had previously stated to him, then the Ministry would have to be responsible for releasing the dementors and ordering them to a Muggle city. Fortunately, even though Fudge kept attempting to throw Harry under the bus, Dumbledore had the answers and after stating the forum should make their decision, Fudge isn’t happy in having to announce Harry being cleared, Dumbledore not acknowledging Harry and leaving swiftly.

Harry tentatively exits and shares the verdict with Arthur, they seeing Malfoy speaking with Fudge, being a dick and then the two finally deciding to hold hands and skip to Fudge’s office to finish their important, gold-filled sharing conversation (not quite the way as describe, ofc). Arthur gets Harry back before returning to work, he sharing his good news again and they getting lunch. Sirius, apparently was happy, but also a bit aggravated, since Harry wouldn’t be staying with him now, in the trio’s opinion, anyways. After a few days, they receive their book list letter, Ron getting an extra surprise of also being prefect, Harry struggling with feeling truly happy for a bit, getting through it after reminding himself Ron is a friend (ffs). After, everyone meets for dinner and they also celebrate Ron and Hermione’s prefectdom, Harry feeling warm toward the group after reminding himself his papa wasn’t ever a prefect, either.

Harry helps Fred and George complete a deal with Mundungus for their shop, mentioning Moody possibly watching. Harry feels a bit guilty when imagining what Molly would think of him if she found out he’d helped the twins with their low quality dream. Harry’s good vibes at the party swiftly souring and feeling antisocial. When Molly bows out, Harry planned on following, but is side-tracked by Moody, whom shares a pic of himself and many people Harry knew, including the Longbottoms and his parents, he finally getting a reason to leave when Sirius interrupts them, Harry off after Molly. He also thinks about how unsettling Moody’s thoughtful photo share had been, when he heard crying, and seeing the dead bodies of some of the Weasley sibs and himself, Molly having trouble with the boggart, Lupin then assisting. Molly asks they keep her fears from Arthur, Lupin quelling her anxiety a bit, Harry awaying to his room and realizing how dumb he’d been feeling like shit over helping fund the twins and not making prefect.

Harry has odd dreams, waking to Ron in mid-sentence about his mother freaking out at the twins for almost killing Ginny with a trunk transporting method and being late for the train. Sirius joins them in dog-form despite Dumbledore’s opinion, everyone arriving as usual and no weirdness occurring. They get on the train, but Harry soon learns Ron and Hermione had to report to Head Girl and Boy in the Prefect carriage, he and Ginny finding a compartment. Neville joins them, Ginny suggesting they sit with Luna Lovegood, an odd owl-eyed girl, she responding to Ginny, then identifying Harry, and admitting she didn’t know Neville. The boys were unnerved by Luna’s flighty socializing skills, Ginny entertained.

Neville doused the group with stinksap when Cho decides to greet Harry to his and her severe embarrassment, an hour after the food trolley passing before Ron and Hermione are able to accompany them and share who were the other Houses prefects, one of Slytherin being easy to identify. Ron makes a joke at one point which completely overtakes Luna, everyone soon laughing at Ron’s reaction to Luna’s overreaction Harry then distracting himself with a politi-comic about Fudge wanting to buy Gringotts and an article on Sirius being an alias for a lead singer of a band. The lady whom identifies him believed Sirius would soon be pardoned from his crimes, since he couldn’t have been there at the time. Hermione makes an assertion about the magazine which Luna takes offense to, since her father was editor, Malfoy then dropping in, briefly to provide some paranoia about whether he knew about Sirius’ dog form. When they get to the station, Harry doesn’t hear Hagrid’s usual greeting, a female rounding up the first years. Another odd thing was how the horseless carriages now had creatures pulling them. Ron didn’t have a clue what Harry was talking about, but Luna confirms Harry’s vision, this not quite comforting.

Luna gives her opinion on how Ravenclaw students saw Hagrid’s teaching skills, Hermione’s response being the only one without loyal heat. When they’d gotten to the banquet hall and still didn’t see Hagrid, Harry suggests it could be due to the mission Dumbledore had given him, the Sorting Hat next doing its First Year division, but including a warning for the Houses to stay strong, together. When Dumbledore makes his introduction speech after supper, he’s interrupted for the first time, by Umbridge, the new Defense teacher, she having been a judge at Harry’s trial. She gives one helluva boring speech about being open to change where needed and keeping only the good rules in place. Hermione deduces the meaning simply for them: the Ministry had plans to mess with Hogwarts rules. As Harry and dorm boys readied for bed, there’s a bit of an upset between himself and Seamus, whom decided to believe his mother, whom thought the news written about Harry, the 2 quickly falling out and Harry wondering how many more people he’d lose before Voldemort made his presence known.

Next morning, Hermione sees Fred and George’s notice on the Gryffindor bulletin board for part-time workers, Hermione taking charge by stating they’d have to speak to the twins about their ad. When they enter the banquet hall, they are again greeted by a Hagrid-less room. Later on, Harry is made a fool of by Snape in class again. He was still so butt hurt, he takes it out on Ron and Hermione again, since they were still tiffing with each other. Then, in Divination Ron shares Hermione’s thoughts of Harry treating them unfairly, but the 2 also having stopped their little arguments. When they get to their first class with the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, she declares they’d be filling in their gaps of knowledge due to their teachers never staying past a year.

Umbridge decides to have them begin with a reading assignment, Hermione soon making a scene with her silent hand raise. The class is soon paying more attention to her as Umbridge ignores her for a few minutes until finally regarding her question about application of defense, Umbridge soon receiving more raised hands and Harry costing 10 points after suggesting Voldemort could be a danger to anyone outside, she maintaining this was untrue and they wouldn’t have to practice for their O.W.L.s, since reading should be enough. By the end of Harry’s insubordinance, he’d gotten detention for the rest of the week and sent to McGonagall’s office, she making certain Harry understood what was required of him and to watch his step around Umbridge.

At dinner, the trio leave early with all the loud retellings of Harry’s confrontation, Hermione incensed on how Dumbledore could’ve allowed Umbridge be their professor. The day of his first detention, Harry’s Quidditch team leader angrily demands he get Friday off for their tryout. Harry does ask, but it’s clear Umbridge planned on having him suffer, especially with his standards which cut and healed on his hand after each being written. He decides not to share this part of the punishment with his buddies. It does come out to Ron by the 3rd night, though, he having been practicing for Quidditch tryouts, Harry still attending detention, but viewing part of the tryouts from a bit of a distance, by the end of his session, he getting a shock from his scar and a weird feeling from Umbridge and how she responded to his pulling away from her, Harry leaving and busting in on Ron celebrating becoming Keeper.

On Saturday, the boys put off their other homework to practice for Quidditch before actual practice, it not going well in the proper practice, especially after Fred and George give a teammate a wrong pill and her nosebleed gets worse. As the boys get to their homework, Ron receives a message from Percy which has him promoting Ron to ditch Harry and to see what role Dumbledore would soon have listed in tomorrow’s paper. Sirius visits by flame, they learning what Fudge thought Dumbledore could be teaching and why they’d only be studying from text. Sirius also notes how Dumbledore wasn’t worrying about Hagrid’s absence, so they should do the same, but when the idea of he perhaps meeting up with them again at a Hogsmeade outing goes against him, he pulls a Harry and reacts petulantly and declares Harry was being unlike his father after he and Hermione noted the risk what with Malfoy and the news.

The news certainly showed how Umbridge’s position had doubled in title and power, since she also held the newly stated position of “High Inquisitor”, as well as professor, she now taking notes on the professors and sitting in on classes. Harry also gets himself a second week of detention after talking back in Defense again and getting an extra night in Care, etc., since Umbridge was rating the temporary professor and Harry butted in on Malfoy’s injury story. At night, Harry’s given the suggestion of he teaching his buds Defense, since he was the best at practical use, but it slowly descending into Harry getting upset, he frustratedly agreeing to think about it, at least.

Hermione waits a couple weeks before asking again, Harry a bit more flexible to the idea, Hermione even suggesting they hold an open meeting the weekend to Hogsmeade in case other students were interested. Harry’s only other concern was the possibility of Sirius turning up. Upon the day, they go to the Hog’s Head, so as to stay from under Umbridge radar, the group which Hermione expected to being more than a couple, a baker’s dozen, at least. Hermione warms the crowd up, since she’d set all this up and master-minded it, making sure those students understood it was for only those who actually wanted to know how to practice what they read. One kid seemed to want to make trouble, but the twins with Ron defending Harry and what he’d been explaining to them about half of what he’d done being good luck, the group wanting Harry to teach them, anyways. Setting time and place was a bit difficult, so Hermione had a parchment ready for people to sign and be given the details later, this also being an agreement to keep their lessons to themselves. After, Ron learns Ginny had a boyfriend and Hermione had seen the constant looks Cho was giving Harry, which left him in the clouds again, whilst Ron blustered.

The trio spend Sunday finishing homework and sitting outside whilst doing so, Hermione knitting magically. Harry stayed in happy spirits all the way to Monday morning, when on the “notice” board, Umbridge had posted all types of clubs canceled and those wanting to apply could only be approved by her, and any outlaws would be expelled. Ron shows Hermione, she believing no one from their meeting had done it, since she’d jinxed the parchment and they’d see. Harry didn’t realize until Angelina, the Quidditch leader reminded him, they’d have to behave themselves if they wanted Umbridge to allow Gryffindors team to re-form. Hedwig next interrupts Harry’s history class due to an injury, he leaving her with Grubbly-Plank, reading Sirius’ reply on meeting time and place. Hermione and Ron note how hopefully no one’s been reading his messages, a possibility for how Hedwig became injured.

In the meanwhile, at Potions, Malfoy is loudly sharing how Slytherins team had been reinstated quickly and bashing Harry indirectly until mentioning he should be sent to St. Mungo’s, Hermione attempting to warn the boys of keeping a cool head, but Neville being the first to react, Harry and Ron holding him back, Snape then coming out to see the 3 struggling and wresting 10 points from them. Today also happened to be Umbridge’s sit-in, Harry quite nosy about how Umbridge would display her stepping upon Snape’s toes. It not being worth the 0 credit he receives for his botched potion in class plus essay on how he fucked it up. In Divination it’s obvious Trelawney was sent her sit-in results, she quite aggressive and only a little bit passive toward the class in response. The trio learn later of how Gryffindors team would be on hiatus until Umbridge made up her flabby-assed mind, Hermione noting how Harry had time for Snape’s extra essay now, at least…huzzah. When Sirius shows up, he mentions how he’d heard about their rebel training and whom had spotted them, since Harry was still being tailed.

The trio also got a message from Molly about not continuing the group. but Sirius’ opinion opposing hers, he giving suggestions for meeting spots, but they being interrupted by Umbridge’s hand in the flames attempting to catch Sirius, the conversation quickly ending and the trio retreating. Hermione is now almost certain Umbridge has been the reason Hedwig was injured through her attempts at reading Harry’s mail. During free time, Angelina updates Ron and Harry of getting their team approved, so practice would resume in the evening. Hermione is considering how good an idea it was to keep their secret group active, what with not quite finalizing everything, yet, she noting how Sirius was preoccupied with his isolation (Boosh) and perhaps wanting the trio to do as he and James would’ve done, rebel; the boys don’t take reality well.

During Quidditch practice, weather was still at downpour level, they trying to play for an hour before the session ended, Harry’s scar hurting again due to Voldemort’s mood. Harry tries to do more of his essay late into the night, his mind wandering on Voldemort, before sleeping for a short while, Dobby visiting him in the common room when he wakes up again, he sharing how Hermione’s knitting endeavors was affronting most of the elves, so Dobby had been collecting them for himself and Winky, he even having a decent spot for the Defense group to practice. During the day, Harry tells Angelina of their practice area and time, she passing it on and Hermione agreeing once learning Dumbledore had spoken about it, as well, since Dobby’s word alone was similar to Sirius’ in quality. They have their first official group meeting by voting Harry leader and naming themselves Dumbledore’s Army, Harry then having them start with the disarming charm. The first practice goes so well, there is agreement to meeting more often, but it’d wait until next week for confirmations.

This turns out to be difficult with opposing schedules, but worked for their needs to deceive obvious patterns to be caught. Hermione did come up with a convenient way for everyone to be updated on when their next sessions were by using a coin to present date and time when Harry set his, this soon being put on hold with the game soon to be had. Snape and McGonagall also decide to refrain from homework, so their teams could practice, the day of. Ron is extremely nervous, and Slytherin kids are wearing a crown badge, saying “Weasley is our King”, because of how shit he is, sometimes, when nerves get him; They even have a flipping song!

By the finish with Gryffindor winning, Harry and George both get sent to McGonagall’s office for fighting with Malfoy. Umbridge steps in and bans the 2 from playing Quidditch for life. Harry and Ron have shitty feelings later on, respectively when Hermione sees Hagrid was home.When they see him, his ass had got beat! By giants, which Hermione guesses and it being the obvious choice, after all. Hagrid is then baited with deets from Harry’s summer so they could hear about his secret mission with Madame Maxime. They’re interrupted by Umbridge, Hermione not seeming to stress enough how serious Umbridge’s sit-ins were to Hagrid, he too tired for this shit.

They go to Hagrid’s first class back and Umbridge wasn’t there, Hagrid having his class in the Forbidden Forest to “see” Thestrals, Umbridge locating them, giving her usual spiel on having sent a message, etc, Hagrid continuing admirably, even whilst Slytherin kids shared insulting opinions of their time in class, how he spoke and whatnot, Umbridge relating similarly and talking to him like he wasn’t an English-speaker and slow. Hermione rages a bit after, Malfoy taking another hit at Ron and Harry, nothing of note happening up to the talk of holidays, Harry spending it with the Weasleys, Hermione skiing with her folks, and poor Sirius all alone. Upon their final D.A. meeting, Harry gets selfish when Cho breaks down after class and Harry having wanted it to be a sweet moment rather than being about Cedric, but then she gives him a happy Christmas, for a 15 year old, but his thought on whether to share or take it to his grave, is puzzling.

Hermione completely guesses, though, so she doesn’t care much after, but Ron getting a decent Q&A, Hermione rejoining the chat when the boys need some insight on why Cho may be conflicted about liking Harry. Afterward, Harry yearns for advice from the one fella whom probably had almost the same capacity of knowledge as Harry, emotionally. He does have one fairly forward-thinking thought, which was to have the school teach teen girl psyche (not a bad idea, if one wishes to be empathetic). He then wakes from a violent physically-ill-causing dream, he trying to have Ron believe his father had been in danger. When McGonagall hears his story, she decides to take him to Dumbledore, whom has orders given out to available wizards. He then has the other Weasley kids sent for so they and Harry could wait at Sirius’, Harry feeling some exorcism-hateful kind of thoughts toward Dumbledore, and when getting to Sirius’ before Umbridge had come, Harry retells his vision slightly differently to offset possible accusation for having let it happen.

Sirius soon has to convince the Weasley twins to stay put until they could get Molly there, he settling by giving all butterbeer, Harry shaken and guilty about his first-person-snake vision and his murderous feelings toward Dumbledore earlier. Molly sends a message with instructions to stay put, the kids not liking her choice of words, implying Arthur was only hanging in there. Everyone stays awake and wonders what was happening, until Molly arrives before dawn, confirming he’d be fine. Harry and Sirius both getting her grateful thanks, especially when he invites them to stay through the holidays. Harry has a not-so-fruitful heart-to-heart with Sirius when he admits his dream and feelings toward Dumbledore after reaching Sirius’ home. Harry doesn’t sleep, unlike the rest, caught up with his snaky feeling, they being escorted by Tonks and Moody to hospital later, it being through a closed shop front. The Weasley kids learn about Harry’s possession by snake whilst eavesdropping on Molly, Arthur, Tonks, and Moody’s chat after they’d had seen Arthur themselves.

Harry begins believing he was the weapon Voldemort was using which was why he was being guarded. In the end, he believes he’d be saving those around him if he stayed at the Dursleys, but Dumbledore sends word by one of the paintings to remain where he was, pissing Harry off again. Feeling teen loner angst, he falls asleep, doesn’t go down for supper, and when awaking again, comes back to his thought of going to the Dursleys due to thinking everyone was afraid of him again. He wastes the day sequestering himself away from everyone, Hermione showing up due to making an excuse and not being a great skier, as it was. When she leads Harry back to his and Ron’s room, Ginny also there, Harry acts stuck up and angry until Ginny reminds him she’d been possessed by Voldemort and would know better than most, he finally calming down, apologizing to her, and eating a sammie.

Christ Day was pleasantly begun, minus Percy returning his jumper and not speaking with his parents, still. Molly being cheered up by Lupin before breakies and they all going to visit Arthur again, she noticing new bandages and Arthur making light over his trainee healer giving him Muggle stitches. Molly’s reaction is so palpable, half the Weasley kids bow out for a cuppa, Harry and the rest soon following once she realizes what it meant. The bunch see Lockhart looking through a window from a floor below the tea room, he still memory-damaged, and wanting to provide them with autographs, until being collected by a healer, whom unfortunately ropes them into visiting him, since he hadn’t gotten visitors before, and he was in a locked ward for permanent residents.

Harry hears the healer speak to Mrs. Longbottom when they reach the ward, Ron noticing as well, and calling out to Neville, his grandmother asking about them in return, and recognizing them, also revealing who they were visiting, Ron being a bit of a ditz about it, until Neville’s grandma explains why his parents were there, giving Neville a bit of a hard time upon learning he hadn’t shared with his friends, yet. Before the 2 leave, Neville’s mother gives him a bubble gum wrapper, which apparently she did frequently, his grandmother stating how he had so many he should dump this one, but he keeping it. Lockhart impatiently waits for the kids to return so he could take advantage of his “joined-up writing” skills.

As vacay ends, Sirius’ mood becomes darker, Harry not wanting to leave him, ofc. Kreacher finally is discovered and acts oddly more content. Harry also wasn’t as keen on returning to Hogwarts with Umbridge awaiting them and no Quidditch, Mrs. Weasley begins the process of Harry receiving worse news from Snape, firsthand, he soon learning between jabs from Snape and Sirius, Dumbledore wanted Harry to study Occlumency (the study of defending one’s mind from outside violence) in secret, Snape being his teacher, as well, Harry’s early evening on Monday now scheduled. Before Snape leaves, he and Sirius continue getting deeply bent over insulting each other, until being interrupted by all the Weasleys and Hermione welcoming Arthur back. He’d been cured with a magic antidote, Molly making sure he wouldn’t mess with Muggle cures in future. In January, the kids were set to return to Hogwarts, Sirius giving Harry a package which he could use if he needed Sirius, Harry set on not giving him a reason to frolic off from Grimmauld Place.

The bunch go by Knight bus, the conductor, Stan remembering him and the other bus riders staring as he joined and departed. Lupin gives him the piece of advice to learn well, regardless of it being Snape, Harry still not looking forward to it, ofc., esp., since now he’d have to plan the next D.A. meeting accordingly. When Cho turns up, Harry is obv. too immature to be handling a girl like her, since she’d brought up the Valentine’s Hogsmeade day and he talking and thinking about D.A., but with a few missed beats he’s not dumb enough to not invite her, they sealing the date, fortunately for him. In the evening, Snape describes the power Voldemort has of essentially reading minds, so with Occlumency, one could lie “without detection”, if skilled. Snape impressively shares some deets on why Harry was learning this form and directly after decides a defense match was in order. Harry had hexed Snape as a knee-jerk reaction, he continuing to strengthen Harry by pointing out his weakness, which in turn made it difficult to resist Snape’s assault. He did have a Eureka moment about the door he’d been dreaming of periodically, and upon sharing with his buddies what he’d learned, he decides to got to bed for scar pain and tiredness, he getting a sense of Voldemort’s pure happiness which puts him through he ringer of pain.

Hermione gets her paper next morning, an article startling her about a group of Death Eaters in Azkaban escaping and Sirius being their leader according to Fudge, she also catching another terrible article about a resident at St. Mungo’s being strangled by a gifted plant, Harry recognizing the fellow being an employee in the Dept. of Mysteries. Hagrid was put on probation, and Harry had other students relating to his celebrity due to the Azkaban escapees relatives being noticed, now. Umbridge had also made more rules regarding what was said to students regarding anything other than their class subjects from teachers, another student being punished the same way Harry had been for stating a loophole in Umbridge’s new rule. Since all of Harry’s positive reinforcement at Hogwarts was being taken from him, he and his students focused more on D.A., Neville making great headway with the news of the Death Eaters.

Harry’s new practice course was making his scar hurt worse and gave him bipolar mood-swings from Voldemort. Hermione considering he’d feel better the more time he spent mastering it, but Harry becoming stubborn in his idea of all this being worse because of the practicing, Ron suggesting the idea Snape might be attempting to make it easier for Voldemort to enter Harry’s mind, but Hermione maintaining if Dumbledore trusted him, they ought to, as well. Harry’s day with Cho begins awkwardly and only gets worse as they go, some in-between moments going temporarily well. In the end, Cho, becomes tearily upset, and making a scene, the both not communicating to each other well or the feelings they were having being way off balance from the other, so Harry stops thinking about her and goes to the Three Broomsticks to await for Hermione to show up, he chatting to Hagrid.

Their conversation is mysterious and his cuts being explained away with his job being a difficult one, leaving quickly and Hermione soon after calling him to her table to join she with Luna and Rita Skeeter, oddly. Skeeter still attempts, but is turned down with her idea of writing down Harry having been chilling with another girl by Hermione’s comment. Rita is allowed to speak to Harry, though, but she only asks Harry whether he stuck to Dumbledore’s story about Voldemort being back. Harry confirms and Rita gets down to business with Hermione’s blessing to take down Harry’s list of Death Eaters, but properly and without making Harry sound nuts, Hermione confirming The Quibbler would publish it properly, regardless of the magazine’s reputation. Rita begrudgingly takes the interview, since she couldn’t argue what with the position she was in.

They wouldn’t know if it’d make the issue most recent to come out or the one after, but one of Harry’s roomies did point out the interesting reaction Umbridge would have. Later at dinner, Hermione explains the drama Harry had with Cho, Ron coming in after practice and stating how Hermione could write the manual for boys to understand easier. Gryffindor lost Quidditch by 10 points and Harry dreamt of the door again, Ron’s snoring this time preventing him from glimpsing inside. Harry receives post, surprisingly the next morning from a few different birds. His Quibbler story had been published and he was already receiving fan mail, some believers and some not, but people mostly accepting his version. Umbridge takes it horribly, ofc making a new rule of Quibbler possession = expulsion and Harry receiving more detention and 50 points from Gryffindor, Hermione over the moon about Umbridge’s ban, since it’d only have every student read it asap.

They see this to be true, since they keep overhearing students talk about it, Harry even getting points back for Gryffindor, teachers showing their support in varying fashion, Seamus and Cho even coming around, Luna learning her father had to make a reprint for selling out so fast. Later in the evening, Harry dreams of being Voldemort speaking of info Rookwood had acquired. Harry shares this nightmare with Ron and Hermione, she deciding they should ignore it and Harry should focus more on Occlumency. Harry does make headway with Snape after this, he seeing some of his memories for once. They soon interrupted by Trelawney’s screams for having been fired by Umbridge, McGonagall showing empathy and Umbridge challenges on whether Trelawney was allowed to stay by Dumbledore, he having authority on whether a teacher had to leave the grounds, he also already having replaced her with a centaur, Firenze.

Hermione expects Umbridge would be zeroing on Dumbledore for revenge by appointing a half-human professor, their first class being held on the first floor now and the room mirroring the forest. Firenze shares how he’d been kicked out of his herd upon agreeing to teach at Hogwarts. He certainly teaching them how leaving most predictions with a grain of salt was best, since it was difficult practice even for centaurs to be accurate. After class Firenze asks Harry send a cryptic message to Hagrid, which was not explained further other than Hagrid needing sound advice and Firenze receiving help by Hagrid and he wished to keep Hagrid on the right path. Hagrid doesn’t receive the advice open-heartedly though, and Harry bustles along, D.A. meetings keeping his brain occupied, the students starting practice for their patronuses.

Dobby interrupts with the almost too late warning of Umbridge having found out about D.A. and was coming for them, most everyone escaping except Harry, whom gets caught by a jinx from Malfoy, Umbridge taking him to Dumbledore’s office. They find Fudge, Percy, some other fella along with Dumbledore already waiting, Harry denying knowing what was wrong, Umbridge getting their witness, she being Cho’s buddy and showing the signs of the jinx, which prevented her from wanting to speak further. Umbridge soon crosses the line when she attempts to physically force the girl into responding, Dumbledore stopping this hastily. When Umbridge then provides the list of names with the D.A. title, Dumbledore confuses Fudge by offering to confess, and then states Fudge’s plan for him to await trial in Azkaban didn’t suit him, a hex being set on the 4 Ministry employees, and Dumbledore vowing Fudge would regret ousting him.

Notice of Umbridge taking over for Dumbledore was quite immediate, the students learning more than Harry expected, and Malfoy being promoted to a side project of Umbridge’s so he could take points from students. The twins turn up to confide of giving Umbridge a reason to expel them, not worrying anymore and wanting to give Umbridge a run, for Dumbledore’s sake. Harry is escorted by Filch directly after this, to Umbridge, whom required his presence and attempt to secretly have him drink a truth magic drink, she asking about Dumbledore and Sirius’ whereabouts, not getting any answers and then being interrupted by an explosion the twins had been warning Harry about. When Harry sees the sparkly mess the twins had created, it was impressive as it gained energy, not dying out past night. As he retreats, he discovers the twins hiding spot, the 2 quietly in hysterics as they shared what would occur if Umbridge attempted certain spells to make them stop.

Tonight Harry got even closer to Voldemort’s goal of seeing inside the Dept. of Mysteries for a glimpse of the weapon, but this time some late fireworks wake him. His upcoming training with Snape would be extra dreaded, but they end up postponing with Umbridge requesting his help elsewhere by Malfoy, whom was sure to spread the word of Harry’s remedial course. Before biffing off himself, however he sees Snape had left his Pensieved memories just hanging out, so thought he’d have a little perusal. What he sees is 15-ish Snape and his pops along with Sirius, Lupin, and Wormtail taking their Defense O.W.L.s. Harry witnesses his father’s bullying arrogance and the early reactions of his mother toward him. Eventually, he is caught in the memory and thrown out forcefully by Snape, not wanting to see him return again, he understanding the bullied Snape’s feelings.

Hermione can’t believe Harry had somehow finished his lessons with Snape for good, but focuses on scheduling their studying for the O.W.L.s. Harry can’t help, but be absorbed with the thought of his parents personalities and how this memory was affecting his non-memories of his most prized family members. Ginny helps him out by getting the twins on the case for diversion, so Harry would be able to use Umbridge’s office fire to speak to Sirius about his troubled thoughts regarding his father. His first Potions back with Snape was unusually and pleasantly quiet, until Snape breaks his classwork so as to continue his zeroes. When he has his occupational and coursework discussion later with McGonagall and Umbridge sitting in, the two argue about Harry’s chances on becoming an Auror and then McGonagall straight up offering to tutor him through if it was truly his dream, despite Umbridge’s every attempt at shutting this path down.

Before having him sit through more of Umbridge’s nonsense, she allows Harry to conclude and leave as the 2 yell at each other. Harry truly struggles whether he still wanted to continue the plan, deciding he couldn’t pass up a good diversion and proceeding to Umbridge’s office, invisible cloak and pick-locking knife ready. As he has this conversation via floo with Sirius and Lupin, he isn’t calmed by the information they give him, one being to continue Occlumency at any cost. He scurries to get to his invisible cloak again before Filch walks in. Harry leaves after him and witnesses the best school quitting to get out of punishment performance, ever by the twins. They had students tumultuously cheering at the end, the students from then on making the moment the stuff of legend, and becoming troublemakers, themselves and exacting revenge on Umbridge daily. Ron is currently concerned about his mother being outraged he hadn’t stopped them, but Hermione considers how long they must’ve been planning it if they already had a physical address for their shop.

Harry confesses he’d given the twins the money, Hermione soon reminded to ask if Harry had inquired about his training to Snape, he not glad of having shared this information from Sirius’ chat. (These periodic grammatical nonsensical sentences are hard to ignore, esp. when not much is driving this humungo story, other than narrative statements and updates of what’s happened.) Meanwhile, Ron has Quidditch to ‘look forward to’ and during the game, Hagrid steals Harry and Hermione to accompany him into the forest, they learning a bit more about what happened to Firenze and Hagrid’s falling out with the centaurs. This long trip into the forest though, had to do with Hagrid sensing his dismissal coming and he having to take care of Grawp, his half bro, whom wasn’t quite friendly. What he’d want from Hermione, Harry, and if Ron agreed, was to only chat with him, get him used to English society. As they’re about to leave, a bunch of centaurs interrupt. This interaction proves intimidating further to the 2 kids, whilst Hagrid makes note of the centaurs not hurting children. This isn’t a comfort to them, and they decide to save telling Ron, since Gryffindor finally won a Quidditch since he’d joined.

When Ron is told of Grawp, he only hopes (NOT against bloody hope, the dumbest Bible reference, ever) Hagrid sticks it out til summer vacay. When O.W.L.s weeks arrive, everyone becomes frenetic, focused, and quieter, Harry seeing the exam set up to be the same as the one witnessed in Snape’s memory. All 3 take their first week of exams well enough, esp. Harry in Defense, getting a bonus point for his patronus. Harry’s astronomy exam is punctuated by his noticing Hagrid being visited and eventually fighting against Umbridge and a few Ministry workers, they stunning Fang and McGonagall, before Hagrid concusses all but one and Umbridge. During the final exam for history, Harry struggles to remember what he’d studied, he soon dreaming of the door and upon seeing a conversation between Voldemort and Sirius, wakes by falling out of his chair.

Harry is soon absorbing whom he’d be able to share his vision with, since McGonagall had been sent to hospital, he settling on relaying his vision to his buddies, they not as ready as he is to jump after Voldemort to save Sirius. Hermione however, receives the brunt of his fuming anger, since she was attempting to make sense of what Harry saw, he becoming louder and more frustrated as they continued until Ginny and Luna come in to offer to help. This gives Hermione the momentum to have Harry at least chill the fuck out until they confirmed Sirius wasn’t at home, Kreacher giving away the information after some slight withholding, then Harry’s caught by Umbridge. When Snape’s called in to help have Harry reveal why he’d been there, Harry takes a chance by yelling a veiled message to him. To save time before Umbridge hit Harry with a curse and after she’d confessed to sending the dementors, Hermione fake breaks down, in preparation to share what Harry’d been doing, Umbridge eating it up. By the end, Hermione had convinced her they had been wanting to contact Dumbledore to confirm the finishing of a weapon, she having Hermione and Harry lead her as Malfoy and some Slytherins held Ron, Ginny, Luna, and Neville in her office.

Hermione leads them outside, Umbridge nervous when she shares it was in the Forbidden Forest, she leading them down a different path than the one to Grawp, they eventually stopped by centaurs, Umbridge making an arrogant dumb ass out of herself, she retaliating by binding one of the centaurs after a warning arrow flies past her head. She’s soon restrained and taken away further into the forest, Harry and Hermione still in trouble with the 50 strong centaurs, being interrupted by Grawp before they’d decided what to do with them. He apparently was out looking for big brah and in his attempt to pick up someone or other, the centaurs attack him for having knocked one of them down, he chasing them further in, and the 2 soon joined by the other captured kids, everyone arguing on who would accompany Harry, the thestrals soon making it easy for all of them to ditch, Harry annoyed, but wanting to biff off already.

They all arrive quickly and wearily, they getting their visitor badges no problem and without seeing anyone, including security, they proceed to the Dept. of Mysteries. After some time looking for the right door, they don’t discover Sirius, but do detect a jar with Harry’s name labeling it, Lucius soon having him pass it to him. More Death Eaters surround them, Lestrange taunting him as Malfoy continues to demand for the prophecy Harry held. He hoped the others were coming up with a solid plan, since all he had was killing time. Soon, though he helped relay to Hermione to have them all smash shelves as he continued talking with Malfoy, he learned his prophecy had the answer to why he’d been scarred. They take their chance, losing half their party on the way to the 2nd room, Harry, Hermione, and Neville fighting some Death Eaters. They soon do worse and it’s down to Neville being tortured and Harry wasting more time until Sirius and the group of 4 from the Order show up to help. By the end of it, Dumbledore had appeared, but not in time to save Sirius from falling through the veiled archway after being hit with a spell.

Harry is at first in denial, then upon seeing Lestrange attempt escape, follows her and has a one on one until Voldemort turns up, he ready to kill Harry, but Dumbledore protecting him and fighting the 2. Which upon Harry collapsing with scar pain, Voldemort and Lestrange escape which Fudge sees and can no longer deny. Dumbledore then begins giving instructions as to how Fudge shall proceed, he regaining his headmaster-ship. Harry is then sent back to Hogwarts to await everyone’s return by Portkey.

It lands him in Dumbledore’s office which he couldn’t leave, he overcome with having gotten Sirius killed. When Dumbledore arrives, he updates Harry on his buddies temporary condition, as well as Tonks. Harry soon loses his shit though, chucking Dumbledore’s breakables around, he verging on threatening Dumbledore, whom refused to let him leave, he wanting to confess why it was actually mostly his own fault Sirius was dead. This revelation stops Harry, Dumbledore starting again with Harry’s scar, but regarding why he’d been ignoring him was to calm the beast, so to speak, Voldemort possibly possessing Harry to get to him, or like in the Ministry of Magic, see if he’d kill Harry to get to Voldemort.

He goes on to confide how Kreacher had been able to lie to Harry about Sirius, and had revealed everything to Dumbledore, since it was a direct order, but also by truth jinx or whatever. He also regards Snape’s choices and how he’d actually helped, Harry not caring much, Dumbledore taking responsibility for not doing more with Harry’s training. After, he reveals a piece which he’d kept from Harry for 5 years, this stemming from the ancient protection charm his mother gave him through their shared blood, which was locked when her sister had taken him in. Dumbledore recaps his feeling to reveal the truth through each year Harry’d been at Hogwarts and eventually comes upon the weapon being the knowledge of how to kill Harry (which isn’t revealed), this within the prophecy (not) and the prophecy given by Trelawney. Harry soon also absorbs how someday, one or the other would have to die before the other could live, Dumbledore confessing his reason for not choosing him as prefect being due to the loads of responsibility Harry already bore.

Fudge gives the press update on the Ministry’s opinion of Voldemort being the correct one, now. Umbridge is rescued by Dumbledore, somehow unscathed, but she was quite shell-shock, clopping noises putting her on edge. Harry refrains from sharing the prophecy with Hermione and Ron, currently still on bed-rest and is waylaid from seeing Hagrid by the Malfoy trio, they interrupted by Snape, whom he loathed worse now. McGonagall interrupts by giving all the students at the Ministry of Magic points, so Snape could withdraw his measly 10 for almost cursing Malfoy, Harry then continuing to Hagrid’s, but soon leaves when he brings up Sirius.

Umbridge leaves the day before school ends and Harry opens the package Sirius gave him in case he wanted to talk. It didn’t work of course, it being like a telephone, Harry then getting no good answers from Nearly Headless Nick in regards to coming back after death, either. Also, even though he now knows why he must spend time at the Dursleys, it didn’t make the going there any easier. Cho had moved on with Ginny’s ex, she now dating Dean Thomas, this news not treating Ron any better than the first. The D.A. curse the shit out of Malfoy and his goons when they were readying to attack Harry on his way back to his carriage, the 3 remaining oozy messes. When the kids go through the station barrier, they’re greeted by some of the Order, who had the idea of speaking to the Dursleys before Harry began summer vacay with them to make sure they understood, they wouldn’t tolerate any misconduct against Harry, he not knowing how to thank them, so simply allows for all to bid him farewell til mid-end of summer.

The most uneventful, but easy read of a thick-ass book. I know I won’t be a re-reader, like so many others, but I’m glad to be finishing this series, since I’ve gotten through the movies a couple times and I still enjoy seeing the, hopefully fleshed out version in book form. This doesn’t particularly include this story, only because it meandered, which is great for beach reading, but only one spot near-ish to the end of the book being exciting; I referring to the Dept. of Mysteries fight against the Death Eaters. I am most definitely looking forward to the next, more slim book in the series.

Driving Miss Daisy

Image result for driving miss daisy book cover

The author’s preface begins by stating of Miss Daisy being a real person his grandmother knew in Georgia in the 1940s. Daisy was a spinster and the last of her large clan. There was also a real Hoke, whom was a part-time bartender at a country club, and Boolie was the brother of Uhry’s aunt’s friend, and the characters aren’t like the people, he only used their names. Miss Daisy was partially his grandmother, her four sisters, and his mother. Hoke comes from his grandmother’s driver, but also other black drivers he’d known in his youth, and Boolie is made up of not only Uhry, but many men he couldn’t identify from his past, and Florine’s character’s real-life counterpart is refused to be revealed. As for the play itself, Uhry didn’t realize the hype it would bring, originally given five weeks on stage, a 74-seater, then the play was given an extra five weeks for popularity and moved to a much larger theater. Uhry had been currently writing the screenplay when he’d written this introduction, and had won the Pulitzer, he stating of writing what he knew and people shining to his perspective without seeking publicity.

Daisy, whom is 72-years-old, is heard announcing of going grocery shopping, starting her car, and then noises of a terrible wreck occurring. She is then arguing with Boolie, her 42-year-old son, he noting how lucky she’d been not to have gotten hurt or worse. Daisy stubbornly declares of the car being faulty, her old one not having acted this way, but Boolie stating how it wasn’t the car’s idea to hit their neighbor’s garage. Daisy denies his idea of hiring a driver, he trying to convince her of the likelihood she’ll be able to stay insured after wrecking her car with only two weeks of use so far, he then attempting to ease her mind with knowing he’d work out all the details, but she not wanting to be hassled with someone whom would take advantage by using her things and eating at her home. When he fails to convince her and she defends herself by stating how she was brought up to rely on herself and hiring “them” wasn’t affordable, Boolie gives her a hard time upon hearing her usage of “them”, he sharing he and his wife, Florine had plans for the evening, and Daisy passive-aggressively commenting. Boolie dismisses this, and then relays he’d be interviewing men for the job and would phone the next day, she still resisting, and then sings a song to conclude the argument.

Boolie is found in his office, Hoke walks in, currently around the age of 60, and looking like he needed work, but attempted to look nice. Boolie finishes a bit of work as he invites him to sit, Hoke agreeable to allow him to finish his task, Boolie then asking how long he’d been unemployed and where he’d worked before. Hoke responds of it being about a year, he then sharing how he preferred working for Jews which led into whom he’d worked for before having attempted to rip him off by selling him over-priced shirts, he then driving for a Jewish man whom Boolie knew, Hoke having worked for him for 7 years before he’d died. Hoke inquires who he’d be driving, Boolie relaying whom it was for and the reason he was looking rather than his mother, assuring him since he was hiring, she wouldn’t be able to let him go. Hoke is satisfied and accepts the job after Boolie offers his pay rate at 20 dollars a week.

Daisy is next seen coming into her living room, reading the news and ignoring Hoke, she only replies to his greeting her. She answers smartly to his weather chat, and then states of taking the trolley to the grocer’s when Hoke relays what the housemaid had told him of certain supplies running low, she refusing to let him take her. Hoke attempts an offer at caring for her flowers and when denied, states of being able to start a vegetable garden, but again is refused, Hoke then resigning himself to sit in the kitchen like he had for six days, but upon discussing how she’d been raised, he offers to water her front steps, this being when she gives him permission to drive her, instead. Hoke makes conversation on the car’s new smell, Daisy speaking of how she’d been taught to drive by her husband and she wanted him to drive well below the speed limit, she then freaking out about the route he was taking, but he gets her there, and once relinquishing the keys to her, she gives him a death stare after he reminds her of getting cleanser, then he calls Boolie from a pay phone, he seeing she’d caught him calling from inside the store and expected she’d have a fit.

Daisy is now peeved when Hoke picks her up from temple directly at the front doors, the two arguing why it would be a big deal Daisy’s acquaintances would see her with a driver and looked wealthy, Hoke giving up on talking about it, and next Boolie receiving a call from Daisy, he agreeing to visit her later, she speaking quickly. When he sees her, Daisy is going off on how Hoke had taken a can of her salmon, Boolie not getting what the issue was, he now tired of arguing and stating she do what she wanted, Hoke then arriving and sharing how he’d had the can of salmon and bought a replacement, Daisy attempting nonchalance and going upstairs to change from her robe. Daisy and Hoke are now at a graveyard, she carrying a mini-shovel and Hoke commenting how often they’d come in the past month, she having cleaned her husband’s stone thoroughly, and how she didn’t allow the staff to tend to it, she instructing him to retrieve some flowers from the car to set on a friend’s husband’s grave, she directing where it would be, but Hoke returning and guiltily confessing of not being able to read, Daisy not believing him at first, since she’d seen him look at the paper, he confiding he was looking at the pictures. Daisy then learns he knew the alphabet, and so actually could read and didn’t know it, having him listen to the sound of “B” and “R”, the first and last letter of the last name he was searching for, she declaring he’d locate it, and Hoke sharing how much he was grateful for her help, she dismissing this and sending him off, claiming of getting hot.

It’s now Christmas and Boolie is speaking on the phone and looking festive, he asking Daisy if she had coconut, to bring it along, since Florine needed it for her ambrosia. Daisy and Hoke are leaving, she not caught up with the Christmas spirit (hwhat a surprise…), she giving Florine the most crap for how many decorations she put up, Hoke agreeing, but enjoying himself. He points out how she’d also put a Rudolph up in a tree, Daisy declaring how Florine’s grandfather would’ve responded to viewing this, but then changes the subject to a book she’d given to Hoke, she vehemently denying it being a present, and to tell no one, Hoke assuring her and attempting to hide his feelings, the two then walking up the drive.

Boolie is now in his late 40s, dressed for golf, and waiting for Hoke, whom comes out to share of Daisy not coming, he relating how defensive she’d been with this new car lately, she chasing some man around when he’d set his case on the hood for a moment, and how she disliked using the A/C, he going on to describe of having purchased the old car and allowing Daisy to ride in it once in awhile, he warning Boolie to mind his ashes. Daisy is then shown carrying out a large suitcase, looking around apprehensively, then getting a dress bag and wicker basket, after which she brings out a wrapped present, Hoke then coming out with a small suitcase and fussing about how she’d brought out all the heavy items unnecessarily, she going on about the time, and he assuring they weren’t late, Boolie then coming out with Florine’s gift for his uncle, whom was turning 90, Daisy stating how inconsiderate they were for not attending and instead going to a show, My Fair Lady in New York. Boolie gives Hoke some emergency money, makes sure they’re set with map, and then wishes Hoke well. Hoke is eating deviled eggs with enjoyment whilst he drove, they discussing their first times out of Georgia, Daisy’s being when she was 12, and Hoke’s being right then, she getting agitated when realizing they’d made a wrong turn, she regretting having been driven and getting talked into it by Boolie instead of going by train. As they are still driving, Hoke soon has to relieve himself, Daisy demanding he wait, but Hoke insisting, and declares of taking the keys, after which a few moments pass, and Daisy at first sounding furious, and then scared as she waited in the dark silence. Hoke is then entering Boolie’s office and relating how he’d heard from Boolie’s cousin’s wife about wanting to hire him, Hoke bringing it up, since putting the idea of a raise in his head, Boolie agreeing and offering 75 dollars a week, Hoke accepting this sounded right, and mentions how being in demand was a nice feeling.

Daisy, now in her 80s, is shown in her house, walking by candlelight, the lights having gone out, but phones still working. Boolie called to inform her it was the neighborhood and would update her after checking the car radio. Daisy is then startled when hearing her door open, but then Hoke greets her as usual, telling how he’d learned to drive on ice long ago and had stopped to get her coffee, she pleasantly surprised. They then go through their routine of she stating he clean up the water he’d tracked in and he replying of who she thought he was, she then picking up Boolie’s return call and learning of when the ice would melt, she replying he could stay put, since Hoke had come, Boolie giving her a hard time about she complimenting Hoke for the first time he’d heard. Next, Daisy’s in the car, Hoke returning to inform of the major damage up ahead. Daisy states how it was so late she wouldn’t make it to temple anyways, Hoke replying it had been bombed, so she wouldn’t have been able to, regardless. Daisy is in denial, then hoping no one had been hurt, unable to fathom why a reformed temple would be hit, Hoke describing the sort of people who make such destruction didn’t care, he sharing a childhood story of a buddy’s father getting strung up, Daisy not seeing the relation, and then disbelieving the news he’d heard from the cop being a lie. Hoke decides he’d attempt to return her home, she commanding he end the conversation.

Next, Boolie is in his late 50s, walking in to a room whilst being applauded, carrying a silver bowl, and attending due to being elected man of the year by the Atlanta Business Council and preparing to share his speech of thanks and his one-liner jokes about himself, then sharing his family’s origin of their business having been in alignment with the view of the people in their city, due to the success they had, concluding his speech with humble, gratefulness and mention of the upcoming sport’s event on Sunday, and regarding whom he wished to win (football, most like). Daisy is then shown attempting to make a phone call with effort, she becoming more decrepit. She gets a hold of Boolie’s secretary and only has her relay of having acquired the tickets to the honor banquet for Martin Luther King, Jr, then reassures the lady of how late in life her cousin had married.

Later, Boolie joins Daisy, whom is now 90, he inquiring how she was, Daisy not seeing the question as suitable for someone her age, and they moving on to his receiving her message. Daisy suggests Hoke drive them, but then offers Boolie to do so when he states of they needing to discuss these plans further, he broaching the subject by stating of realizing MLK Jr’s accomplishments and progressive acts being many, Daisy stopping him by announcing he should get to the point of whether he’d rather decline attendance. He explains how the ignorant men he worked with may affect his success if they found out, he suggesting she invite Hoke, Boolie then leaving. After Daisy gets ready, Hoke comes in to collect her and help her into the car. They’re on their way before Daisy starts harping on Hoke for being blind, he denying this accusation, and she stating how he’d almost hit a mailbox, the car thoroughly scratched. Hoke contradicts this, again and she repeats her accusation of him being blind, which was unfortunate, since the new car looked so nice. Hoke then states how it was rounding a couple years of she owning it, she replying he was going the wrong way.

The two compete about their length of time in Atlanta until he trumps (bad choice of word) her on she not having driven for 2 decades, she then changing the subject to Boolie, dancing around how he’d mentioned MLK Jr. and how easy it was for Hoke to see him preach at his church, Boolie believing Hoke wanted her to invite him, he then getting worked up with how she’d brought this up whilst he was driving her, she flustered he was over-reacting to how she’d asked, getting out and walking herself to the entrance. Boolie is now shown on the phone with Hoke, the latter having called to discuss Daisy being aggravated, different than normal, she calling to him, Hoke then describing how she thought she was teaching school and talking nonsense, Boolie assuring he was on his way.

Daisy looks unkempt and inquires where he’d left her school work, he denying there was any at all, she certain she put them in a particular spot after grading them. He tells her she’d lost her mind, she ignoring him to state how popular she was with her students for diligently returning their school work a day later after they’d handed them in. She becomes upset when convinced she had ruined everything, Hoke attempting to calm her and convince her she wasn’t a teacher any longer, how lucky she was for being looked after, and if she wanted to see misery, to visit the “state home”. She still doesn’t register the subject and so Hoke instead resorts to stating how Boolie would sic a doctor on her to admit her into a loony bin instead, if she wasn’t careful. She then sobers her tone and asks after the first car he’d bought which she’d previously owned, Hoke updating it would be in a junkyard by now, and she stating, then insisting he was her “best friend”, he convinced by her conviction.

Boolie is shown browsing around Daisy’s living room, he now 65. He pockets his mother’s address book as Hoke, 85 walks in, greeting Boolie. He asks how Hoke had come by, he stating his granddaughter had taken him, she 37 and teaching Biology at a local college. Boolie then inquires if Hoke wanted anything from the house before Goodwill came to clean it out, he already exhausting what he wished to keep from Daisy’s possessions. Hoke declines, Boolie then confessing how odd it was to put Daisy’s house on the market whilst she was still living, Hoke understanding, and Boolie rationalizing the decision, since she hadn’t been there for over a couple years. He then confides of Hoke’s weekly check indefinitely being sent to him, Hoke relating how he was grateful, and he attempting to see Daisy as much as he could without a bus going to the stop necessary, he resorting to cab it over when he could. Boolie acknowledges Daisy most likely was happy when he could come by, then states of they moving along to visit her now, since they both more than likely had plans later for turkey day, and should let his granddaughter know he’d give him a ride back.

Daisy, 97 is shown moving about with a walker, Boolie and Hoke arriving, the two greeting her, and Boolie helping her sit, the two including her in the conversation of what she’d been up to, but she not speaking, acknowledging them at first with a nod and then seeming distant. Boolie provides general chat until Daisy bursts out with Hoke having come to visit her and not him. Hoke notes she was having one of her better days, she then commanding Boolie to go flirt with the nurses, her son stating how she wanted Hoke to herself and she being “a doodle” before leaving. She snoozes lightly and then sees Hoke, asking if he was still getting paid by Boolie, he admitting this and still wouldn’t divulge the amount, the two agreeing they were living life as well as they could. When Hoke notices she’d left her turkey day pie and sees her struggling with the fork, he offers to accommodate, proceeding to cut easy bite-size pieces for her.

I didn’t expect how sweet the characters were with only my knowledge from the film (which was fine from my recollection), but this being quaint and engaging. Quite enjoyable story, and it’s so short it won’t take any time to read it, so if it’s a nice, lazy story one’s after, this’ll do.

The Mating Season



Bertie states his overall pep had plummeted upon beginning his sentence at Deverill Hall, he having been summoned by Agatha to look after Thos for a few days. Jeeves admits his circumstances could’ve been better, Bertie attempting optimism of at least this being preferred to other options. He then backtracks to allow explanation of what had happened, Agatha coming to him to state of he putting Thos up in his flat whilst he went to doctors and shows before Bertie was sent to Deverill Hall where buddies of hers would house him whilst he pitched in at a village concert, he having gotten a good word from a vicar’s niece. So, he knowing his fate was sealed, was in no way comforted to learn Gussie would also be at Deverill Hall, as well. Bertie then mentions being calmed if he knew more about those who would be surrounding him, Jeeves supplying his host called Esmond Haddock, Bertie recognizing the handle and Jeeves informing him it was because he was related to the owner of a popular morning-after remedy, his father marrying a Deverill, their marriage thought of as a mésalliance – inferior social class marrying above their station, Deverill having needed the dough. Bertie mentions how well informed Jeeves was, he confessing to having a family member working for Deverill Hall, his Uncle Charlie Silversmith. Bertie then learning Esmond was single and lived with five aunts, Bertie considering Gussie’s presence may be a blessing with so many females about.

Bertie inquires why Gussie was also attending, Jeeves having heard from the man himself, whom had dropped in whilst Bertie was oot and aboot. Bertie asks how he’d been, and Jeeves noting of his seeming down, since he’d decided to go to Deverill Hall when Madeline had been going, but she having changed her plans to support a friend whom had love trouble. Bertie gets a bit colorfully mean when describing how Madeline’s idea of pepping up wouldn’t help any soul due to she being the one “God forgot”, but understood why Gussie’d be miffed. Also, Gussie confessed to Jeeves of their relationship currently simmering, this prospect putting Bertie on understandable edge. His attitude clearly showed his worry wouldn’t ease until ‘proof-of-purchase’ between the two was official. Bertie attempts feeling the bright-side by down-playing the chill between the two as temporary, and when hearing the doorbell, presumes it’s Thos, instructing Jeeves as to when the boy was expected to be ready to attend a show at the Old Vic, but Jeeves revealing it was more likely Pirbright, or Catsmeat, as Bertie likes to say, whom currently awaited entry. Jeeves relays of he and his sis, Corky also having called earlier, Bertie surprised since he expected Corky would be in Hollywood, Jeeves relaying she was currently vacationing, and earlier went to a film with Thos after they’d had tea. Bertie then inquires after the two sibs: Corky doing fine, but Catsmeat on the rocky side. Bertie decides to have Jeeves let the man in, and confirms Catsmeat’s look of woe.

Bertie mentions how uncommon Catsmeat being a negative sort was, then mentions his fam having an entertainment background, Corky also in the biz since teenage-dom, she having dynamism and (espièglerie – roguishness). Catsmeat, usually the best friend player on stage, keeps his temperament the same as when not working, friends at the Drones who have done his play, saying he’s a “Groucho Marx” type. Currently, Catsmeat was looking so down as to be as depressed as a character from “a Russian drama”, Bertie then apologizing for having missed he and Corky earlier. Catsmeat explains Corky was the niece whom had spoken on Bertie’s behalf, he telling of their religious relation. Bertie thinks the country life would drive her nuts, but Catsmeat relates how she was in her element, then informs him of doing a two-man act from his play, Bertie now warming to the idea of having to perform, but wondering and learning why Catsmeat hadn’t gotten the part, it being due to his bad standing with the females at Deverill Hall, Bertie wanting his opinion of what he was in for, but Catsmeat revealing he didn’t know them, they only disliking him because he was getting hitched to their niece, which brought him to his purpose of coming, Bertie supplying restorative which did its duty.

Catsmeat begins by declaring his pure affection for Gertrude, the two head-over-heels, but of course, upon her mother and aunts hearing of this, it going terribly, since they had a discriminative view of actors, and Gertrude unable to go against her mother. On top of this, Catsmeat would soon be on his way to Hollywood for a job and didn’t want to leave before attaching the ole ball and chain (like Joy in the Morning), this because of Esmond, Gertrude’s fam preferring she marry Moneybags, he also a charmer whom had already attempted to go after Corky. Catsmeat then comes to how he planned for Bertie to help, which was to Siamese twin himself to Gertrude to dissuade any alone romantic time with Esmond, Bertie allowing he must rally round due to their vast school history, Catsmeat quite pleased, and offering his services to any favor Bertie may have, which made him recall Gussie (poulet rôti au cresson – roast chicken with watercress– yum) and didn’t want him talking himself out of his union with Madeline, Bertie believing Catsmeat could charm the gloom away. He at first hesitates, but agrees when learning Bertie’s plans tied him, the latter now calmed and unknowing how the next day would find him.

Apparently, the next day brought positive attitudes, Bertie sending Thos off to Borstal, and he in grand ole mood, going through his day with ease, his suspicions perking when coming home to certain noises of dog and lady, Bertie curious what this could mean, and walking in to be brought down by a mixed breed dog as Corky watched with affection. Bertie describes her looks being finer than before, but they being great at the start, as well. He tells how she’d be high on the list of beauties if considered for the cast in a desert island role. She then introduces her pup, and inquires after Bertie’s health, etc and vice versa, they going through the motions, and catching up on the deets of missing each other the day before, as well as being certain he’d gotten the Pat and Mike script, and Bertie confirming he’d been studying it, then inquiring whom had gotten the opposite role, Corky sharing it was a Constable Dobbs. She makes clear when Bertie is to whack Dobbs with the umbrella in the play, he was to do so with gusto, she defending her uncle on his behalf, since Dobbs was an atheist, he shoving it in her uncle’s face whenever he could.

Bertie steps up to the challenge proudly, Corky thanking him. She then shares how the town expected his comic stylings to be top billing, the rest of the show-runners being residents of the area, and Esmond even singing a ditty, her tone changing upon voicing the name. Bertie catches on, and broaches the subj. sensitively, Corky confiding what had occurred when Bertie relayed what he’d heard. After stating of dropping Esmond due to being a coward at standing up to his aunts, Bertie defends the act, but notes of Corky ignoring his words, a common act for the females in regard to Bertie. Corky confesses how despite calling off their wedding due to he not having the courage to share their plans with his aunts, she was still gaga for him. Bertie was aware of the emotion this brought up in her, but doesn’t get too mushy with sentiments, he moving on to the aunts and Corky believing he’d dislike them, calling them “bitches”, Bertie gladly distracted by her dog again, since knowing Corky’s family had difficulty in solidifying their plans of marriage, she stating similarly in Catsmeat’s regard with Gertrude, the man himself interrupting them as they start to speak of his best options. The two greet him and note his deflated manner wordlessly. Bertie senses Catsmeat was also dealing with the aftermath of a night of drinking so has Jeeves respond in kind by a request for his elixir. When Bertie sees Catsmeat’s attempt to nod off, he’d been readying to allow it, but Corky shakes him up to inquire why he’d broken his promise to stay sober, Catsmeat blaming Gussie’s company made it impossible. He then proceeds to relate of Gussie getting sentenced to fourteen days for being threatened by Catsmeat to swim in the Trafalgar fountain and a cop catching him, Jeeves then returning with drink.

Bertie recalls a memory of his twelfth year whilst at Malvern House, a private educational institution where a Reverend Upjohn relayed a story about a soldier, whom did an unselfish act, and upon completing the moral of the story, getting on Bertie’s case for having an absent-minded look on his face. Bertie resists taking Jeeves’ remedy himself, Catsmeat’s health looking much restored, he then peeved about Jeeves’ reaction to his remembering when Gussie was expected at Deverill, and his current jail-birdery. The only fortunate part so far was Catsmeat revealing Gussie had been quick enough to not give his real name, Jeeves then decides to deposit the currently teething mutt in the kitchen, he unable to focus on Bertie’s important issues. Corky then inquires why Bertie was so invested, he confessing he and Madeline’s difficult history, going through where it’d begun with Gussie being too shy to begin the pourparlers (preliminary discussion) and Bertie offering to relay Gussie’s feelings, and Madeline keeping him as back-up fiancé if needs arise, Corky seeing his point.

Bertie then describes his worst fear would be realized if he had to attend his own wedding, revealing his middle name: B.W.W. (only initials will I supply). Corky had seen a picture of Madeline and hadn’t met her, not knowing her looks, whilst having much, didn’t compensate for her personality, which she had daisies and fairies filling the mold. She also admits to not knowing Gussie, Bertie suggesting she ask around to confirm his thoughts on the couple being two peas, etc. She then confirms Bertie’s worry on flapping in the wind if Madeline decided to look elsewhere for marriage, he making clear his only option, if Madeline changed her plans in order to become his little wife, he’d have no option other than to agree, she then wondering how Bertie would be able to leave Madeline ignorant to Gussie’s current whereabouts, Bertie relying on Jeeves. The man himself walks in and determines there is a way out, but questioned whether Bertie would accept it, he describing someone would need to pretend to be Gussie, and if Bertie couldn’t get a buddy to do it, would need to take on the personality himself.

Bertie definitely soured on the idea, and then recalls Catsmeat, he yelling for him, waking him, and then has Jeeves repeat his plan to him, Catsmeat agreeing it was a great idea when thinking Bertie would be playing the role (Bertie’s gentle coaxing being a hilarious moment), but Bertie sharing of they preferring he did it, Catsmeat backing out immediately. Bertie empathizes with Catsmeat’s negative memory of the fellow, he resorting to the same go-to as his buddies do on his behalf, he beginning with Catsmeat being within range of Gertrude, Corky supporting this, but Catsmeat piling on reasons for Gussie being characteristically at odds with himself, he being a schmo of maximum degree whilst Catsmeat was seen as a prized specimen, concluding how no one would be fooled, but Bertie being able to pull off the deception in spades.

Bertie immediately is taken aback, Corky giving Catsmeat a hard time, since he was giving up the opportunity to sway Esmond’s interest, but Catsmeat content to let Bertie handle the situation the way they agreed. Bertie then steps up to the dirty job with grace, Catsmeat satisfied, bows out to Bertie’s room for more uninterrupted z’s, Corky also leaving due to other plans, she informing how devastated the townsfolk would be when updated Bertie would be subbed with Gussie. Bertie stops her before she leaves without her dog, she detailing how she hoped to have Bertie bring him with him to Deverill in order to warm her Uncle to the idea, Bertie having reservations on how a canine like him would make him look. Corky reminds him it’d be Gussie whom they all would believe had brought the pup and would most likely be happier it was a mutt than lizards. After she’d hastened out, Jeeves lets on how he understood Bertie’s unfair circumstance, then quotes Marcus Aurelius, Bertie unimpressed and ready to get a move on before it became too late.

Bertie notes how whilst he hadn’t arrived at the witching hour, he had been terribly late, his car not helping his timing, and once he’d gotten to the doorbell, it was twenty after eight. On a previous occasion, Bertie is reminded of a moment with Jeeves where he’d quoted something from the Middle Ages which gave impression to being suspicious of the surroundings (Roland going to the Dark Tower, which I had been unaware was something before Stephen King, but now I’ve researched further, it makes more sense), Bertie understanding this sentiment, since he admired the aesthetic greatness of the property, but also couldn’t ignore the aunts soon to be in his midst and Esmond’s eventual loathing for him due to his mission. When Bertie is greeted by an impressively large butler, he makes certain to correct his presumption of being himself and claims Gussie’s name. Charlie Silversmith made Bertie feel like a blushing young idler (flâneur), Jeeves’ Uncle Charlie an imposing fellow, the dog reacting with unrest, Bertie feeling for the pup, and Charlie stating he’d have the dog led to the stables, then pointing Bertie to a sink, since dinner had begun without him and he wouldn’t be able to change clothes, Bertie quite rattled by this, but hanging in there, he then thrown to the dogs, aunts all around him, he lastly noting Esmond and Gertrude at the end of the table.

Bertie understood Catsmeat’s point of view of the girl’s charm, he pondering the young lovers’ fates as the aunts continued their mystifying choice of discussion, but then another aunt brings conversation around to having met the vicar, and if Augustus could explain the nature of the “cross-talk act”, Bertie alright with this, since he hadn’t wanted to allow Gussie to get a bad rap for not joining the chat and then having Madeline learn of this. Bertie describes the skit, it getting an all around thumbs-down from the aunts, they supporting Gussie not being in the play and how Madeline would’ve disapproved, anyways. This news froze Bertie to the core, he not considering Madeline’s posish on the subj, he realizing he’d have to warn Corky she’d need to discover a new Pat. The aunts then move on to how they’d heard Bertie was the right sort for acts of this kind, wondering where he could be, the chap must being the eccentric sort. Dame Daphne, lead aunt, declares how Agatha had mentioned debating whether Bertie would be better off “in a home”, these words souring Bertie a bit, he believing some kinder words should’ve been on the docket what with relenting to leading Thos about for the last few days; “a thankless aunt”, indeed. Bertie would’ve been glad for a proper drink, but was getting the Gussie treatment (definitely covered in the TV show). Then an aunt mentions Bertie’s escapade with cop helmet, Bertie sharing the actual story for them, but moving on when realizing it wasn’t helping his case for lightening the mood, he telling a tale of two deaf men on a train, one aunt stating and relaying this to the deaf aunt in their presence. Bertie, unfortunately now having to relate the not so nice joke, goes as expected, the deaf aunt getting a more friendly version, the aunts eventually bowing out and Bertie moving toward Esmond to have a chat and hopefully a nightcap.

As Bertie got a better view of Esmond, he again could relate why Catsmeat would be up in arms of a man of this caliber after his lady love. Esmond looks the sort to be a sensitive, handsome soul with the body of a broad fighter. Bertie waits patiently whilst Esmond took his time starting a conversation, Bertie drinking in the well-filled wine carafe, until Esmond spoke of not having quite understood his story, Bertie relaying it with confusion after Esmond spoke of hearing “Woking”, but he stating he got it before Bertie could correct himself. Esmond then notices Bertie’s bothered look when he refills his glass, Esmond offering him some, which Bertie snaps for with innocence of “trying it”. The two get on rather well as they continue their wining together, Esmond taking a leap at confiding his feelings to Gussie, Bertie having forgotten, but bedazzled by Esmond’s top-notch hosting skills, saying so, and the two side-tracking with compliments to each other, Esmond noting how he felt comfortable enough with Gussie to reveal why he was down, he head-over-heels for Corky.

Then Esmond explains how the nonsense of he loving his cousin, Gertrude had come from a film, he testing the idea in order to make Corky jealous after she’d ended their courting, Bertie properly lightened in knowing Catsmeat’s girl was safe, Bertie wanting to reassure Esmond of Corky still having loads of affection for him, but satisfies with moral support, Esmond allowing his will still being strong, especially after Corky had enlisted his singing talents for the concert, he only plagued by nerves, regardless of his being beloved by townsfolk, but betting on the good feedback to warm Corky further, he sharing the song he planned to sing being a little ditty written by two of his aunts. This worries Bertie a bit, Esmond offering to sing it for his opinion, and starting at the chorus, Bertie halting him for thinking it was he relaying being on a phone, Esmond clarifying it was a hunting tune (the next few beats had me laughing out loud for the absurdity, great stuff!), Bertie having to suggest he leave out adding Gussie’s name at the end of a line, Esmond taking it one more time, Bertie then suggesting he may want to flesh out the chorus due to the repeating words, he giving a fair substitute, and then laying on a few more adds for safety measures, Esmond properly thankful and in awe at his cleverness.

The two continue working on the lyrics, Bertie taking his gusto a bit too far, Dame Daphne walking in and huffing about the state of them, Bertie getting his first glimpse of a put-down Esmond, he losing respect for the fellow as he explained the need for practice. She informs and commands he join Gertrude for a game of backgammon, he leaving heavy-footed, and then turning her attention to Bertie and inquiring whether he was responsible for the pup in the stable, Bertie having forgotten the mutt, then relaying he’d been keeping him for Corky, her attitude darkening, as he shared of Corky’s reasons for this, Daphne then informing him, dog had broken out and was amongst those in “the drawing-room”.

Bertie finds himself sticking up for Sam Goldwyn, (Mr. dog-sir) he usually composed “compos.”, but his current mood stemming from his bond to Bertie, which he found sweet. Daphne told of seeing it in a more serious light, since Charlotte was currently overcoming her trauma of giving the animal a piggy-back ride, of which was forced upon her, Bertie seeing this as just desserts for writing such a sub-par tune. Daphne then informs how Charlie had sustained injury, but getting the dog into a closet, the next move being to ship him to the vicarage, which upon Bertie offering to take care of, is instead told to call it a night. Bertie was satisfied with this suggestion, since the going rate usually had a guest sitting through many dull entertainments, Bertie ready to contact Jeeves. Charlie appears out of nowhere when Daphne mentions his name, Bertie thinking the talent must be genetic, and before the man leaves him, Bertie asks him to send for his man, not expecting Catsmeat, but getting him.

Bertie considers how he’d have reacted in Childe Roland’s era where peeps were getting transformed left and right, the idea of Jeeves being turned into Catsmeat handled with ease and grace, but he having a shock making him look like the lovesick wolf, eyes a-pop (this being where I would normally supply an image, but nothing up to par, so for those who haven’t seen The Mask, watch it, laugh, and know to what I refer). Bertie mistakenly refers to Catsmeat by his name, he reminding him he was his butler, Meadowes, and informs him Jeeves wouldn’t be able to attend, Bertie looking to the wall and inquiring why he hadn’t joined him. Catsmeat explains it was due to his Uncle figuring something was amiss if he saw Jeeves was suddenly employed by Gussie. Whilst Bertie allowed this, he wondered why Jeeves hadn’t confided this to him, Catsmeat relaying how it had dawned on him after Bertie had gone and the idea of bringing Charlie in on the deets wouldn’t have worked due to the man’s strict morals.

Catsmeat then shares how he’d required fortification after meeting the man, he afterward going off on a tangent about the cooking sherry he’d tasted and the parlour maid whom gave it to him, she engaged to the local law enforcement, Dobbs, and when Bertie brings them back on topic about why Catsmeat had decided to come as his butler, he expands on how it would be his reason to shadow Gertrude, but when Bertie isn’t behind his cause, Catsmeat immediately gets chilly, then talking Bertie out of all of his ideas of any other place about town he could’ve stayed, moving on to whether he’d approached Gertrude, yet, she having received a moment to see him, and in complete shock when recognizing him. The two hadn’t spoken though, Bertie then sharing Esmond’s words, which were quite a comfort to Catsmeat, he then deciding to go, but Bertie informing him to relay to Corky of he having to decline the role of Pat, Catsmeat agreeing, Bertie’s good news for him not keeping his emotions on the high side. Bertie was able to remedy this with a good novel of “Murder at Greystone Grange“, this lulling him to unconsciousness, but right before nodding off, believing he’d heard the commotion of another guest downstairs, and upon the morn, his tea being brought by Charlie, whom still seemed frazzled about the dog, Bertie inquires if he’d heard rightly of a late guest, Charlie not denying this and stating it was Wooster, he then leaving him with the confusion of his name, Jeeves then coming in with his breakfast.

Bertie was in such a state, fresh off his reading about supernatural subjects, he at first believed Jeeves was an apparition, but when smelling the bacon, comes to his senses, Jeeves greeting him and stating how he’d rightly supposed Bertie would want to take breakfast solitarily. He comments on his Uncle Charlie’s seriousness, Jeeves agreeing to this and Bertie in awe he’d called the man Charlie, what with his personality not seeming friendly enough for it. He then gives opinion on the yumminess of the bacon, the two chatting of the goodness of kippers and ham also aiding the positivity in starting the day. Bertie then remembers a question needing asking, he wanting to learn the meaning of Jeeves’ presence, the man supplying he’d come with Gussie, Bertie quite shocked with the news. They then get to the thick of how Gussie had gotten released, a palm getting greased, and Esmond not knowing the meaning of trying times. Jeeves then explains how Gussie needed to be present at the Hall in order to write daily to Madeline, Bertie realizing this logic, and Jeeves then explaining on Gussie not being happy because of having to fill in for him in the stage act, as well as how Bertie had been handling Gussie’s doings at the Hall thus far, he knowing if Madeline was apprised he’d be in trouble.

Then, turning to Catsmeat’s matter of love, Jeeves reveals he having confided in him, Bertie marveling at how common it was, and Jeeves enjoying his ability to aid the lovesick, and this need having brought on the idea of he going in Jeeves’ place. Bertie shares how it would’ve been nice if they’d thought to warn him, he then making certain Jeeves had learned Catsmeat’s trouble was fairly fixed, but Esmond still having a time in front of him, Bertie catching Jeeves up on how Esmond planned to win Corky’s love publicly, but Corky not flipping for anything short of a rebellion against his aunts, Jeeves considering the request possible, since if Esmond did get good ratings from the crowd, he may well find the courage to stand up to aunts, Bertie reminded of Bingo’s situation being similar, he then giving Jeeves the task of getting those about town to lend their cheers to Esmond, also making certain Jeeves set up a meeting place for he and Gussie to catch up, the post office being decided on in an hour, Bertie then requesting the start for a dip in the tub.

Bertie gets caught up in his bathing due to a bout of crooning to himself, and so discovers Gussie waiting for him at the place of government shipping of products, he noticing his bad mood, and learning he would have preferred prison what with having to put up with being Bertie being quite a nuisance, also realizing how Deverill would forever relate his person to Gussie’s appearance. Gussie proceeds with how the aunts of Deverill Hall were treating him as if a leper and brought up how Bertie was bringing his name down, as well, what with his drunken singing. Bertie explains how Esmond had required this and he hadn’t actually been drunk, but toasty, suggesting Gussie deny everything should Madeline hear anything, elaborating how the scene could be open for interpretation, which Gussie allows, but hopes Bertie can be mindful of his actions moving forward, and when Bertie brings up Catsmeat as a segue, Gussie is fired up by the new subj., since Catsmeat had been the cause of his jail time. Gussie then inquires about the two-man act, Bertie proceeding with care, he handing the script over to him as explanation.

As Gussie reads, he has a look of non-acceptance, and once learning Catsmeat was the author, sextuple-snorts his derision and speaks of not being surprised, then continues how misinformed Catsmeat sounded when it came to his characterization of Irishmen, and then has to be told the play had jokes sprinkled throughout, of which he had been unaware, and on top of this, learns the other player would be a police officer, halting him completely, since he’d be expected to hit the man with an umbrella and he’d already done this in Trafalgar Square, outright refusing, even deciding to let Corky know his decision firsthand, but promptly shuts up on sight of her, she coming toward them, along with her pup, Bertie deciding Corky’s ability to sway was definitely in order, and once greeting her and introducing her to Gussie, informs her of his being on-the-fence, and left her to her abilities. Bertie gets to his room un-harassed by aunts, and some time later Gussie reappears at his door looking quite pleased, explaining how after speaking with Corky, she’d made everything seem much more palatable. Gussie goes on to state how Bertie not performing was most likely best, since he wasn’t right for the role, the former defending his abilities. Gussie goes on to tell what Corky had said on the matter, which had himself looking perfect for the act.

Bertie sees the futility in arguing and lets him be, deciding to mention, regardless, Madeline would be opposed, so wouldn’t be able to prove himself anyways, then attempting to knock Gussie down by bringing up his issues with hitting Dobbs the cop, Gussie updating how Dobbs had been replaced, he arguing with Corky and then Sam Goldwyn biting him, the cop detaining the pup until learning whether he had a history of attacks, Gussie happy Catsmeat would be his new partner, and then gave Bertie the poems he needed to memorize for the performance, Madeline having requested this of Gussie, but he now quite happy to pass the task on, Bertie not feeling well with his new discomfiture.

Bertie’s V-shaped (possibly verse) melancholic days don’t become brighter, and when the second day of the week finds him, he’s ever closer to needing a variety of booze, his situation crying out for relief. What was truly bothering him most, though was how Gussie was acting, and the start stemming from their post-post office discussion, Gussie’s words tipping Bertie off and then laying its eggs in his brain until certainty of Gussie’s new love for Corky was plain, the aunts of Deverill Hall noticing the same and their comments not conducive to an Aunt Agatha report, Gussie practically Corky’s accessory since first meeting, and Bertie not wanting to fathom how Agatha would react. When he decides to share his woes with Jeeves, he learns Gussie had allowed him to go to a lecture back in London, so Bertie would have to seriously consider his problem, singly and deciding he’d have to press upon Corky how she could ease his mind by pushing Gussie away. So he biffs off to locate her when he’s called to by Dame Daphne, whom was poisoning some bugs in her rose garden, Bertie wary of her needle-carrying hand, what with the serious look on her face, he learning Gussie had apparently not sent a line to Madeline, she having sent a telegram, and Dame Daphne for-shaming Gussie on his insensitive conduct, Bertie wobbly with the news, he likening it to a Drones lad, Widgeon taking him by surprise on the street with an earful of horn.

Bertie again had bad imaginings of Madeline’s curiosity getting the best of her if Gussie didn’t write soon, he overcome by this for a little while before getting himself to walk again, and then ponders on how Corky, the fons et origo (origin) had doomed him. There was a time in their dancing days when Bertie had retaliated against Corky via wooden dumb-bell, which he’d regretted up to this point, but now hoped he’d get a second chance. As he practiced his lead-in to the conversation, he sees Corky in her car, but she busy about to attend to her uncle’s duties and having to rain-check his chat, she then sharing how Gussie was currently grabbing the soup required for her stop and after, the old lady she was visiting would keep her regaling Hollywood stories, she also sharing how handy Gussie had been for her lately, and also relating how Bertie’s cousin, Thos had gotten in touch with her about the autographed pictures she’d given him being a hit at his school, the boys normally not paying over 9p, but he getting 12p, she sharing how she’d also given him permission to visit on his mid-term break, then Gussie returns, puppy dog agog, until Corky drives off and Bertie pokes him between the ribs, and asks why he wasn’t writing Madeline, he giving the excuse of being booked solid for time because of the two-man act, Bertie demanding he drop her a line today, regardless, he looking put upon and then deciding he wouldn’t do it, to punish her for leaving him alone there, and when Bertie gives him ‘one last chance’, he sticks to his inaction and walks away, Bertie returning to see Catsmeat smoking one of his ciggies and looking like he was blissfully thinking of Gertrude.

Seeing Bertie helps him resurface, he having planned to discuss something in particular, Bertie replying with stink for having gotten tired of him, he believing Catsmeat had taken the job as his butler flippantly and hadn’t done anything to prove his loyalty to the position. Catsmeat updates how his letters via Jeeves to Gertrude was going quite well, and Bertie agrees it was bully for him, but Gussie was becoming an issue with his resistance in writing Madeline. Catsmeat sees the issue stemming from Gussie heart-ing Corky, and explaining why Corky was keeping Gussie strung being to do with proving to Esmond she was desired. Catsmeat then suggests Bertie confess to Corky Esmond’s true feelings, Bertie thinking the time may have passed what with Madeline’s last telegram, but Catsmeat holding out everything could be fixed. He gives the opinion Bertie should write Madeline in the guise of Gussie, he even supplying the note for him to copy, then informing him he had plans with Queenie, whom was having trouble with her fiance’ Dobbs, Queenie unable to get over his Atheism. So, Bertie writes out the letter, of which was to be envied for its perfect tone, and after dropping it off, hears Corky a-calling.

Bertie makes it so Corky can’t escape him like she’d done earlier, she making certain she wasn’t in for more Hollywood chat, then going off on how long-winded the old lady she’d visited had been, Bertie again having to wait until she remembered whom had started this conversation. When he mentions the subject of Gussie, and was explaining how he’d spoken with Catsmeat, she again interrupts to make sure they were both on the same page of knowledge regarding his plan to convince Gertrude to run off and marry him, Corky’s investment in this being how Esmond would handle the news. Bertie realizes her ploy in relation to Gussie was on point and jumps into setting Corky on the true path, she exceptionally pleased by the update, he then cluing her in on Jeeves contribution for when Esmond performed at the show, she realizing with the proper reception, he could grow some balls. Bertie then compares a similar scenario regarding Bingo Little, his wife, the novelist Rosie M. Banks, they now also with baby, and Bingo’s issue with acquiring a raise, and after his tot won a contest, had the courage to demand his raid, and receives it. Corky was readying to implement her part like Jeeves, getting an amenable crowd ready, but Bertie is adamant in finishing his request by making certain she was on-board with his Save Bertie’s Bachelorhood (WordPress gives me Bachelorhood, but so many other real words get the red-line?! Poppycock!), she agreeing without a fight. Bertie’s fresh relaxation was not to be kept, for upon returning to his room, Catsmeat places the news of Agatha soon to be in their midst, as an added bonus.

Bertie took the news soberly, he visibly stricken, but biding his time until Catsmeat had more information, he making the trip to London for Jeeves’ help. Catsmeat returns in the late afternoon to Bertie’s now supposedly masked anticipation, he retelling his experience thoroughly and ending with Jeeves’ idea involving Aunt Agatha leaving right quick when discovering ‘Young Thos’ was missing from school. The idea was to lure the boy into escape upon learning a favorite movie star was within meeting distance, a back up to the 5 quid also in reserve to sweeten the deal. Bertie believed the celeb would be plenty, though. Catsmeat thought he’d reward the lad regardless, since knowing Aunt Agatha would surely give him hell for bouncing out of school, Bertie commending him. As they discuss Corky and how easily she’d taken Catsmeat’s plan, they receive telegrams and Catsmeat urges Bertie to open them despite being addressed to Gussie. Catsmeat leaves Gussie to cheer up Queenie, Bertie’s resolve to wait for Real Gussie weakening. He submits, and opens one, it from Jeeves confirming all had gone accordingly, but instead of leaving the second letter alone, he learns it’s from Madeline and she on her way to Deverill Hall.

Bertie takes the news with grace, ‘hands holding head’. He waits for Catsmeat to return, waylaying him along with Queenie, whom had an unpleasant film-watching experience. Bertie didn’t have patience to ‘tut tut’ her misfortune, though, handing Catsmeat the note from Madeline. He makes a joke at Bertie’s expense for having caved on his morals and then admits they needed a plan, Bertie reminding him of how he’d helped this mess by getting Gussie into trouble in the first. Catsmeat makes valid claims of Bertie’s part in the matter, which in turn allows him to let sleeping dogs, etc. They then plan on discussing a new ruse to keep Madeline in the dark. The evening doesn’t end early, unfortunately, guests from around a 20 mile radius attending, so when Bertie saw his room it was nearly midnight, Catsmeat having left a note revealing he was off to implement his cracker jack of a plan the next day, with Bertie’s car to carry him. Knowing this partially eased Bertie’s anxiety, but knew it could be hit or miss with Catsmeat due to years before, seeing a comment written about him by their principal as he’d been questing for biscuits. Bertie prepares for sleep with a smoke when Gussie presents himself, complaining about the waste of time din din was, due to the guests and Corky not being present. Gussie then reveals he was there to borrow a tie from Bertie, whom hoped Gussie’s upcoming visit with Corky would knock him out of the sky with haste. Gussie then admits to finally having written to Madeline, Bertie realizing his earlier letter to her would now be suspicious. Gussie wasn’t pleased he’d gone rogue, but also not sweating it, since he’d broken off their engagement.

The Larches is described with the locals receiving the company’s ‘h’ and ‘c’ water (pff). Bertie was off to retrieve the letter of Doom before Madeline got hold of it and was considering the repercussions for his actions if the Constabulary found him out, but believed the felony justified his reasons. So, Bertie secreted himself in a bush at the address expecting the letter, including the pacing being mot juste to strolling. He then muses on how Nature turns her back on lurv as he’s accosted by the bright and warm weather along with a friendly multi-legged creature walking upon his person. As he deals with this, more worrisome is whether the proper requirements for his plan to work will be given to him. As he’s surprised by a ginger cat, someone opens a window nearby and a maid pops out the front door to dust a mat. Bertie sees to the dining room and thinks Madeline could very well come down for breakies when the mailman arrives and Bertie’s hopes are dropped, since Mr. Mailman was a young flirt and would be taking his time. Bertie readies himself to pounce when postman biffs off and the maid does as he thought and sets the mail at the table. This doesn’t gladden Bertie for long, since now the maid didn’t leave as he’d hoped, taking a smoke until scurrying off upon hearing something (Madeline). Bertie gets his dash of luck though, since she heads for the garden. The moment is of course marred by Bertie’s flowering cowardice, but also someone walking in with a dog which would’ve effected Bertie’s mission, as well, this being Madeline’s buddy. Bertie realizes this pup would definitely blow his cover, but kitty then took the opportunity to flee, the dog going after, and Madeline’s friend bringing up the tail-end. When he saw the trio turn the corner, Bertie fetches the letter. Unfortunately, he sees the girl and dog heading back toward him as he was in mid-getaway, so he multiple “nipped” his way to a room across the hall.

Bertie discovers he may have located Madeline’s buddy, Hilda’s room, due to the feminine quality and sports equipment strewn about. Bertie leaves this be in preference to the window of Freedom, but a red-faced gardener blocks his want of an unnoticed escape. So, like Bertie’s ill will to the lazy maid, he loathed this stand-about man. As he saves a framed photo of Madeline from falling as he was pacing, he had a light bulb mo. Gussie needed to have  a reminder of whom he was dumping, in Bertie’s fevered brain, so swiping the picture for Gussie as a possibility for his love to rekindle seemed like a good bet (supporting his optimism with other unlikely scenarios). Then, he is interrupted by an approaching maid, so thinking a bit less slowly, he ends up behind a sofa. The maid is called away from her hovering by Hilda, Madeline soon joining her. Whilst listening to them, Bertie felt empathy for her, believing she was emo about lurv. Madeline talks to her chum about the “happy flowers”, then shares her worry over Gussie’s lack of letters and wanting to see him sooner, Hilda not giving a toss.

As they talk, Bertie is brought up in regards to his yearning love for Madeline and how difficult for him it must be to write dictated letters to sweet, sweet Madeline. Hilda then becomes suicidally dark when admitting to having a firearm secreted away in her room, but backhandedly assures she wasn’t in danger of going through with it. She then puts her 2 cents in on how Madeline should handle Gussie, thinking Bertie a better option, since he had money. Madeline wasn’t amused and neither was Bertie, she then starts, seeing her picture wasn’t where it used to be, on the table. Hilda suggests she ask the maid and as Madeline checks, Hilda allows her big pup to wander off the couch, where he immediately snuffles around Bertie, surprised by what his nose leads him to, backing off and sound the doggy alarm. Madeline returns, shocked to see Hilda with her pistol and leaving Bertie with questions as to Hilda’s plan of action. As Hilda explains to Madeline what she had in mind, she speaks at the mystery man to reveal himself.  Madeline screams upon seeing Bertie as Hilda contemplates a good frisking to see if Bertie had more stolen goods on him. Madeline shares Bertie’s identity with Hilda, she leaving them to talk out Bertie’s issue of obv. love with Madeline. Bertie meanwhile, wasn’t looking forward to the experience.

Bertie attempts to relieve the silence with a general statement about the weather and his reason for being there only to pop by and update Madeline of Gussie’s health, as well as why he had Madeline’s portrait being for Gussie’s use, ofc! Bertie doesn’t receive the calming response his words deserved, though. Instead Madeline looks saddened, asking Bertie if he’d read a particular Rosie Banks novel, she giving him the plot, and he commenting as she goes (hilariously). When she finishes, Bertie couldn’t believe the reason Banks’ crap was so popular. Madeline then likens Bertie to the protagonist who’s love was spurned and dies before getting a happily ever after. Madeline shares why Hilda was being emo was caused by a man called Harold hogging the tennis ball they were on the same team to swat. She ended their engagement because of this turd thinking he was more talented and should shoulder the game. Madeline finished by how torn up she was, when Hilda reenters with a tune on her lips, she having received a letter from the oaf and would forgive him in a couple of days.

Hilda then relays how Claude Pirbright had dropped by to see Madeline and before she goes, gives Bertie a kind word about the “predicament of unrequited nonsense” she found the two of them in and how they’d laugh about it in their grey years, perhaps a bit mistily. Hilda returns back inside after an encouraging word for the gardener outside, she learning how Bertie also knew “Beefy” Harold Anstruther and her plans to return Bertie where he belonged, beside Madeline. She invites him to breakies, but he declines since he wanted to catch Catsmeat for any news, he withering at the thought of her influence on Madeline as he goes. When he sees Catsmeat coming though, he was speed-racing to the point of missing Bertie’s attempts at flagging him down, so returns for nourishment and then Deverill Hall.

So, the ride back wasn’t the most convenient and the first person Bertie recognizes is his cuz, “young Thos”, whom immediately calls attention to Bertie’s drabness, he swatting him as he passed. Corky then greets him from her car, mentioning how Sidney, her unc. had taken to Thos and she thought of him fondly, Bertie of course surprised by any sort of goodwill in relation to his cousin seeming out of place. She explains how Thos offered to bludgeon the local cop for nicking Sam Goldwyn and saw his invitation as sweet. As Bertie struggled with this news, Corky goes on to speak of Catsmeat whom received news from his love, Gertrude about her eagerness to run off with him. Bertie’s response makes her realize he was distrait and had taken a side-trip to hell before getting back to Deverill. Corky listens to his tale attentively, Bertie quite pleased she didn’t interrupt and even gasped at appropriate deets. After which, Bertie couldn’t help but think, due to all his vibrant living, Death coming a-knocking didn’t sound terrible.

Corky did supply some decent information in return, though; Catsmeat had been able to redirect the Bassett away from Deverill, Bertie responding with praise to the above. Corky though, hadn’t shared his uplifted feeling quite as much, she expounding how Bertie’s news about the portrait and Mervyn Keene made her wonder if perhaps more should’ve been done. This stops Bertie cold, metaphor of what Catsmeat’s attempt to help looked like being closer to inadvertent torture ensuing. Upon hearing what he had said of Bertie to dissuade Madeline distressed him to his core. Madeline’s reaction of course, containing the flowery response one expects. Corky supported the idea of seeing the bright side and at how the knowledge had stopped Madeline for now. Bertie made use of this supportive realization, minimizing the fear, she supportive of he seeing the ‘correct’ view. Bertie learns she planned on working on Gussie upon finishing a job for her. Bertie catches the implication immediately and wasn’t detoured by Thos tipping him as he entered the car, Corky avoiding providing any more information about this ‘job’, to Bertie’s animal instinctive fear, but learned Esmond Haddock had found his way to Deverill upon returning from his walkabout.

Dame Daphne had made a new rule about port not concluding supper anymore and Bertie had yet to find time to speak with Esmond, since his arrival. His chance is given, though when meeting him in some area of the estate, the two starting with pleasantries until Bertie mentions seeing Corky outside. Esmond attempts to inquire more, but has a swallowing attack (similar to ‘whatting’), before asking Wooster if ‘Wooster’ was with her, Bertie confirming her solo ‘flying’ and Esmond showing heat over how often Gussie (Wooster) did seem to hang about her as of late. Bertie doesn’t help his emotion by supplying how long he/Gussie had known Corky since childhood and leaving thoughts of youthful dance class and passing time together wasn’t leaving Esmond with a soothing head-space.

Esmond asks about Bertie and Gussie’s history, as well, he relating how popular he’d been as a school boy and his general likability, Esmond focusing on perceived character flaws and not having gotten good vibes from Gussie’s Wooster persona, giving the metaphor of Gorgonzola cheese being his home of origin. Bertie attempts to soften Esmond’s view, but is rebuffed by how Aunt Daphne had only just mentioned Bertie’s bad behavior with the policeman helmet snatching. When Bertie explains the reasoning for said transgression, Esmond regards Bertie’s view with distaste. He states how this tom foolery wasn’t an isolated incident. Bertie this time letting this be and Esmond continuing about how they’d be ready for any Wooster mischief since the local fuzz was on board to capturing him for any misstep and Esmond would be able to throw the 30 day book at him. Bertie felt the possible heat as he and Esmond split off, talking aloud of Jeeves being handy, now. The man himself appears looking quite rejuvenated, his usual mysterious poofing out of nowhere, alive and well.

Jeeves begins cordially, asking if allowed to provide an opinion, Bertie eager to hear his wisdom. Even after clarifying, it was on the topic of attire, Bertie welcoming the dig and even supplies one to Jeeves to see if he determined the issue correctly. Jeeves believed he overshot a bit, but decided he’d certainly been better put together before (soine), Bertie immediately word relation-popping a half thought through song involving ‘Swanee River’, but leaves it be. As Jeeves states his intention of cleaning Bertie’s suit, it is noticed the not-so-foolish young sir was preoccupied with anxiety. Jeeves put forth how he’d thought how Thos was in place and Aunt Agatha not being, was going accordingly. Bertie agrees, but clarifies the main course of issues sprung from Gussie because of he being targeted by fuzz, as well of course the mysterious errand Corky had in store for Gussie. Which reminds Jeeves how Esmond would be set for a friendly audience, Bertie continuing on the topic of Corky and how she required revenge for her dog’s arrest and knew she’d be planning something for fuzz Dobbs. Which meant, if she planned on using Gussie in relation to illegal activities, he’d definitely be clinked. Before Jeeves can reply, Bertie concludes with a statement which he notes was Jeeves-like and had expected his reply to cover the range mentioned, being Gussie wouldn’t intentionally break the law due to his upbringing and nature, but also knew how impressionable he was, especially with Corky involved. So all of this was putting Bertie on edge, but was buoyed by Jeeves offering to speak to him in order to provide reason. The topic turns to Catsmeat’s happiness and back to Esmond’s warm public, before Bertie mentions Gussie’s possible whereabouts and to acquire Thos’ bludgeon. They end their conversation to begin their tasks for the day, when Bertie sees Gussie exiting a cottage, this being the Police HQ, and he being accompanied by Dobbs.

Bertie marveled at the officer and his particular body type: Robust, but petite horizontally. He was noted to also look quite steely in strength. Currently, he seemed to be experiencing a trying situation what with the look he was sporting. Gussie greets the officer as he passes to enter the office and as soon as he’s out of sight, Bertie accosts Gussie with need for explanation. Officer Dobbs comes back out with a shovel before Gussie can answer, scattering frogs which had been sitting upon it, Gussie then suggests Bertie and he move along, afterward wasting time with declaring whom Dobbs was, the two confirming this for a moment. Gussie repeats his agreement several times as he gathered his thoughts, then he relates to Bertie’s single run-in with the law and how unpleasant it is. Bertie asks the obvious question then, what had Gussie done, the man stating he’d been “strewing frogs” about. Specifically, in Dobbs’ boudoir, our Vicar Catsmeat having thought of the ruse.

Corky was whom had put the idea to action though, she becoming irate over Dobbs’ dislike of her pooch, she thinking one of God’s plagues may lighten his heart toward Sam Goldwyn, she enlisting Gussie’s help, since he was so willing. Bertie was in shrieking agony within at how Gussie had gone so far in life without a stint in a mental institution. Upon hearing how Gussie had been caught, he’d only just been able to make out like a proper bandit, since Dobbs hadn’t caught him in the act and there wasn’t any proof, Gussie having straight up lied when Dobbs asked if he’d brought them in, he then announcing abruptly how he’d best let Corky know Sam Goldwyn would be stuck, what with the ole boy now having a history as a snapper, this being when Gussie was making his way out, being trailed by Dobbs, Bertie hoping nothing and no one worse would cross his path.

Bertie stealthily continued on, believing he could hear Aunts echoing voices in the distance, and thinking he’d bypassed them successfully, then sees the one Aunt he’d wanted to avoid: Dame Daphne. Unlike some who had the power to acknowledge monsters and retreat quickly, Bertie became stuck there, he responding to her inquiry as to whether he’d written Madeline and he also supplying carefully why he looked frumpy being due to going to visit Madeline, Dame Daphne horrifyingly pleased and sending for some OJ. Uncle Charlie, finally turns up after a couple jangles from the bell, explaining his delay was caused by his daughter becoming engaged. Bertie was surprised because Silversmith was related to the girl, Queenie and then trying to remember why he recognized the fiance’s name of Meadowes. Silversmith admits Meadowes was Fink-Nottle’s ‘personal attendant’, his look implying to Bertie, the man saw him as a family style equal. Bertie is now worried, Dame Daphne orders OJ for Bertie and insists he change. Bertie requests Meadowes bring his drink so he could congratulate him. When Catsmeat finally appears, Bertie gauges he looked a bit cloudy-eyed from his new status.

The first thing to pass Catsmeat’s lips is his misfortune. Bertie immediately enlisting Jeeves’ help when Catsmeat asks for his suggestion on how to fix his upcoming event. Catsmeat is led into describing how he’d gotten to this point. He begins with how he’d been in such a dreamy mood from Gussie’s message, he’d found himself in the servant’s hall where he came across Queenie crying. In an attempt to comfort her, he’d cooed encouraging words and then began kissing her better; like a sibling, according to him. Which is how Silversmith found them, she setting upon his knee, his arm about her waist and Silversmith, accompanied by Gussie, (Dun, Dun, DUN!). Silversmith’s reaction was at first potentially damaging for Catsmeat, Queenie deciding their engagement was the simplest solution. This being cause for Gussie to send a new message for their plans being open once more, with the exception of Catsmeat still having to do his cross-talk act, Bertie countering with he being stuck with a Christopher Robin poem, Catsmeat shooting back at least it wasn’t Pooh poems, Bertie relenting.

The show was to begin at 8:15 pm, Bertie sitting among the crowd for the start, he now understanding why Corky had been annoyed with the talent, but the audience, of course not being concerned with the quality. These talents were the Kegley-Bassington brood. As Bertie peered at the unyielding faces of the men about him regarding the show thus far, Bertie didn’t feel hopeful of his chances, and to top it off with Reverend Pirbright opening the show with a speech, gave Bertie insight as to the type of host he was, it not being the high energy jokester sort, but Bertie listing his collection of reasons for being somber having to do with Corky, Gussie, and young Thos staying in the spare room. Pirbright focuses his introduction on the Church Organ he then introducing the first act, an unimpressive violinist, before Kegley-Bassingtons began, the first of them escaping jabs, Bertie thinking he may survive, each girl getting fair enough reaction.

George K-B was up next, he reciting a poem which didn’t suit his nature and his family from the wings starting the poem for him when they thought he’d forgotten, he begrudgingly and quickly saying the words and the masses being acceptant, Bertie hoping this boded well for his odds. The act after got the crowd in a decent mood, but then Catsmeat and Gussie fuck it up with their lackluster performance, the two each looking and sounding foully sad and moody. This makes the dialogue sound darker and the punch lines failing to hit. Then Gussie stops speaking his responses and Catsmeat does both sides of the conversation, which by the end, the two retreat with bowed heads, Esmond up next and singing a-hunting, etc. The young man had prepared properly with booze, he getting the wildest response, and giving 4 encores and the crowd still staying receptive. The next act was an odd dance, the crowd after she’d finished, began chanting for Esmond’s return to stage. They winning their wish, Intermission dropping after, Bertie going out for a smoke quite pleased and then chilled with the realization Christopher Robin was no longer available in his brain, he reminded of the idea of drink, immediately awaying to the bar.

As he has a look-see about the place, he spots Jeeves at a table, having a “meditative” beer. Jeeves greets him per his usual way and confirms his mission was a success, regarding retrieval of the cosh from Master Thomas, but Bertie must attempt twice to steer Jeeves toward the subject of his being quite up the hole. Jeeves listens as he describes the depths of his being through the wood, Jeeves probing over Bertie’s used memory methods, he relaying the bar was the attempt, Jeeves immediately suggesting a double brandy, which Bertie doubles. As he begins, he only vaguely recalls the poem included a “hoppity hoppity hop”, but completely recalled ‘”Ben Battle”‘ Jeeves being of the opinion George Kegley-Bassington “barely” performed well enough to pass. Bertie clarifies his reason for mentioning it was because he no longer had any leftover space for Christopher Robin, the liquid memory booster not boosting. Jeeves suggests they hand over the responsibility to Esmond, whom should welcome another chance to impress his fans, he having a book which would’ve been to prompt Bertie with the lines if need be. He contemplates whether to allow Jeeves to ask, reasoning how well-liked Esmond currently was, which was his deciding factor.

As he awaits outside the bar looking at the stars, he’s interrupted by Gussie in costume inquiring if he’d acquire some brandy for him. Bertie provides without a third-degree to his buddy’s non-milky request and watches as he gulps half and describes the flavor as appalling which then gives Bertie the chance to ask why he’d wanted it, since he’d already finished his performance shittily. Gussie acknowledges how most would be if they had the task of breaking out a dog from the clink, as well. Bertie now wished for brandy and confesses how Gussie should reconsider what with Esmond wanting a reason to put Gussie away and Dobbs was waiting for his chance, too. Gussie gains confidence with the fact of Dobbs being busy watching the show, Bertie feeling slightly better for him, and Gussie not caring since he was all about impressing Corky, biffing off thusly. Jeeves then arrives stating his success, Bertie noting he must’ve needed some buttering what with the length of time passing. Jeeves informs it was actually caused by Dobbs, whom had mentioned having decided to skip the remainder of the concert in preference of a good book at his cottage. Bertie’s face shows his shock, he revealing why he was frazzled. Jeeves inquires if Bertie would want to attempt in helping Gussie escape. Bertie didn’t see hope in this, but agrees, and as they make their way to Dobbs, Bertie wonders what would make Jeeves exclaim with a “coo!” or “crumbs!” and learns Jeeves hope doesn’t waiver if there be breath left (decent rule of thumb). Bertie disagrees with his philosophy and fantasizes Gussie has already been caught by Dobbs.

As Jeeves disagrees, they are overcome by Corky, whom had seen Gussie pass not long before. As Bertie is unloading the most recent information regarding Dobbs’ whereabouts, they hear a barking increase in volume as it approaches closer, Corky berating Bertie for almost scaring her, Sam Goldwyn belting his way at them happily. After Corky secures pup in car, she mentions crashing the Hall later, then leaves hastily. Not long do the two stand before hearing a tapping noise, Jeeves veering Bertie to darkness before they see Gussie and Dobbs running by, Bertie impressed with Gussie’s green be-bearded skill. It wasn’t long before Gussie’s instincts fail him though, since if he’d kept running, he’d have been free as a bird, but instead, like a bird, shimmies up a tree, instead.

Dobbs, now caught up, suggests he climb down, Jeeves saving the simpleton with his recently acquired cosher. Jeeves also offers to remove the green gummed-on beard for Gussie, whom is quite dazed himself at this point. Bertie aways back to the bar for another restorative before going back to the Hall for snacks and a change of wardrobe. Bertie also gave fancy to the ease with which Jeeves seemed to have comfortably resorted to violence and whether it could ever be turnt upon himself, but settled with knowing Jeeves would have to forget etiquette completely. He is encompassed by stray thoughts as Gussie appears without beard and cleaned up, reminding Bertie of his need to change, what with buffet snacks downstairs to look forward to, he also noticing Gussie’s nervous energy.

Bertie focused on dressing until a groan escapes Gussie’s throat as he stares at a picture of a woman being stared at by a gentleman, Gussie inquiring if Bertie had ever had reality shine blatantly upon him, he describing his mo. had arrived when Dobbs had been standing under the tree reasoning for Gussie to give up, he realizing his lurv had been killed. Corky was a solid gal, but brought too much liveliness to Gussie’s existence. Bertie was so happy, his delayed reaction of whoopying scared Gussie into biting his tongue, Bertie apologizing, but also explaining how the news deserved it, since Madeline was so obviously his boo, and he would sing gustily with everyone for the newlyweds upon their wedding day.

It’s by this point Bertie notices Gussie’s visible discomfort, since he was in a new mess and he wished Bertie would end the love story he imagined for him with Madeline, since he was still operating under the notion of his final letter to her having been to end things. Bertie sets him straight, Gussie still believing Bertie to be a dumb ass, but belied his nature when succeeding with this, Gussie planning to visit Madeline immediately. Bertie, in the mo. of “bien être”  = well being, reminds himself to slow down with his congratulatory whimsy, since other lovers were still pending. As he was preparing to leave for his sammie, Esmond comes in, but like a horse “curvetting”: a series of jumps on the ‘hind legs’.

After Bertie greets and invites him to sit, he’s met with a look of disbelief. Esmond can’t imagine how he’d be able to sit and after “loo loo looing” awhile Bertie mentions how much he appreciated Esmond taking over the poems, which had gone fine for him. Bertie reminds Esmond he hadn’t shared why he was in such a good mood had been due to Corky, and as he was revving up his explanation, Bertie blew his bubble in the telling a of couple times, since he could sense where Esmond was heading, he getting him back by admitting Bertie didn’t look like he’d have been a deep thinker from the time of boyhood. Regardless, Bertie states what Esmond must’ve done to impress Corky, Esmond confirming, but one small thing still being in the way, he having to stand up to his aunts to prove he wasn’t being pushed over by them.

Bertie agrees this should be done, but Esmond is peeved by this, since he doesn’t know how he’d go about it, Bertie again suggesting the answer lies with Jeeves. Esmond takes his word and goes off in search of the man, Bertie having a celebratory ciggie, due to every lover being in order, minus Catsmeat. Bertie then sees Jeeves arrive, the two catching up in regards to Gussie’s most recent London plan, Corky’s tentative engagement and Esmond requesting his assistance. Jeeves accepts, but currently was helping his Uncle Charlie serve refreshment. Esmond then returns, Bertie mentioning where Jeeves had gone and Esmond replying, they need follow, due to being late themselves. Dame Daphne appears to ask where he’d been, he for once being a smart ass in reply. she heading upstairs and he leading Bertie to the drawing room, where it wasn’t long before Uncle Charlie announced Dobbs’ arrival.

The upper class guests and homeowners had varying displays of curiosity. Dobbs announces having a couple reasons for showing up, the first having to do with speaking with Reverend Sidney about being struck by a thunderbolt, and before Sidney could respond, Dobbs is body checked by Queenie, whom had forgiven him and obviously expected her engagement ring returned. Again, varying emotions are viewed, Uncle Charlie not drawn in, but drawing out Queenie from Dobbs’ arms, he coming back to himself and scheduling a talk with the Reverend for tomorrow. Bertie remembers the other task Dobbs had come about. Dobbs asks for Wooster, which upon hearing, Esmond becomes serious with the judgement of the Justice of the Peace. Dobbs goes through his story and Jeeves pipes up when Esmond inquires where he was now, and when learning he had gone to London and Jeeves was his attendant, he states wanting to speak with him in the near future, for previously discussed reasons. In the meantime, Jeeves gives Wooster an alibi so as to sully Dobbs’ story, also disappointing Esmond.

Then, Dobbs realizes Catsmeat was the only leftover culprit, which surprises everyone including Bertie, since he couldn’t believe Jeeves would overlook screwing Catsmeat over. Esmond calls for Meadowes to be brought, Jeeves obliging. Once presented, they catch him up to his predicament, and Gertrude overcome with the prospect of missing Catsmeat for 30 days, the two embrace and kiss with passion, disturbing the aunts. Once Esmond learns from Corky Meadowes was actually her brother, Catsmeat, he lightens his mood, especially when he reveals his plans to marry Gertrude once getting back to London. Esmond quiets the “banshee”-like aunts, and after setting the two on the path to using his car, suggests Dobbs go look in on Gertrude, Corky bringing Esmond’s attention to how his Aunts had been in uproar this whole time and Dame Daphne had been disturbed enough to come see what had occurred.

The four Aunts catch her up and she asks for confirmation in a way which would intimidate Bertie, but Esmond makes like he’s shooing flies, acting the most in charge of Aunts as Santa is of reindeer. Esmond states he’d approved of Gertrude and Catsmeat’s marriage, since he’d be marrying Corky, whom was starry-eyed with acceptance and adoration of he growing a pair. Esmond goes for a stroll with her and Bertie retires to his room. Upon doing so, he finds all of the troubled lovers had been handled, he readying for sleepy-time as Jeeves appears. Bertie gives him props and learns Thos had written his mother about how well he’d been getting on, leading to her arrival and knowing Bertie was there. Jeeves already had an escape plan ready for him, but Bertie at first shows his instinctual fear, and then takes a lesson from Esmond, deciding he’ll face Aunt Agatha, with the back up of the cosher being available, he strolling out with purpose.

I continue enthusiastically!

The Martian

Image result for the martian book cover


I saw the film first, so I’ll be looking forward to recognizing any similarities, and whether I agree with the back-of-book reviews comparing this to Robinson Crusoe (hopefully not) or Mysterious Island.

Log Entry: Sol 6 – Mark has lost hope, after almost a week into a couple months start of what should’ve been a wonderful trip, having turned south. He supposes who would even get his journal, perhaps a century into the future someone would get the chance to read it. Mark then declares, despite what the crew had believed, he hadn’t died on Sol 6, he going back to describe the Ares Program, the first crew having completed their mission successfully and returning as courageous celebrities. Same for Ares 2, and Ares 3 was the assignment Mark had been a part of, he the lowest ranked. He considers whether anyone would discover his log before the crew died of octeganarianism and doesn’t hold a grudge against them. He goes into details of how missions to Mars are done, the crew arriving by a ship called Hermes, and when they were on the ship, care packages being sent to them by auto-piloted mini-ships, they arriving at Mars in time, Hermes only getting slight speed, a nuclear reactor helping them get there, so they reach Mars after a little over four months, then taking a specialized vehicle to go to the surface, the crew’s belongings already waiting for them. Fourteen auto-piloted ships deliver all items required for their task, then sends the crew when it’s confirmed all had arrived safely, this taking nearly three years.

When the second crew had been on their way back, supplies for the third crew had already been sent out, he then going on about how awesome the MAV (Mars ascent vehicle) was, and how let down he was when it wasn’t there when he’d woken. Mark states how his almost being killed and his subsequent survival had occurred through absurd circumstances. The mission is made to withstand sandstorms up to a 150 kph degree, but they’d gotten hit with 175 wind speed. After they’d taken shelter for an hour with no decreased change, they receive word from NASA to pack it in, everyone having to leave for the MAV before the wind destroyed it, Mark getting stabbed in the side when an antenna array came loose and hit him, one of his crew-mates reaching for him helplessly (this part, sensibly was, of course in the film). He survives because he’d landed face down, and his blood had helped seal the hole in his suit, and then being awoken by the incessant beeping of the oxygen alarm in his suit being tripped. He explains how his suit had used the CO2 to equalize his breathable air, but when it ran out, the suit switched to using oxygen, he now risking death of breathing too much (having to love the unusual possibility due to being on an oxygen-less planet).

Fortunately, his copious amount of training left him with how to handle this, he needing to remove the antenna before sealing the tear, which pained him, but was able to slap the breach kit successfully, now having to return to shelter the Hab, since his suits oxygen level being at a hefty 85%, he glad to see the Hab was whole, but the MAV no longer on planet, quite a blow. Which was when he realizes his situation being hopeless, but soldiering on, getting to the Hab and removing his suit, and inspecting the damage he’d taken. It wasn’t pretty, but the Hab had exceptional medical supplies, so he applies anesthetic, cleans the puncture, sews 9 stitches, and voila! Healed-a-roony. He even had the antibiotics necessary for definite recovery. After this, he checks to make certain he didn’t have any means of contact, he relating how due to each suit showing the status of all crew members bio levels, he understood why they hadn’t recovered him. Considering all of this, the summation of Mark’s problems included: no communicado, no one knowing his status of life, the Hab being built to last about a month, and if the machine which made oxygen failed, or his water supplier malfunctioned, or if the Hab received a tear, Mark be daid; which he would be anyways when his food ran out.

Log Entry: Sol 7 – After Mark wakes, his mood has improved, he goes over his inventory, the food available reasonably lasting him almost a year, he still having plenty of EVA suits, and whilst the satellite had been wind-swept, the Hab had stood strong. The MDV had been knocked about, but had potential use for scrapping parts, he also still had two rovers, only needing to be unearthed, and the use of the solar power cells needing only minimal easy maintenance. He also had a temporary back up to the oxygenator, both working properly, as well as the water source, but no back up available, he also having plenty of vitamins (Yay!), morphine his back up plan if escaping becomes improbable. The next mission, if not postponed would happen in four years, he needing to discover a way to transmit a message, his main goal being to repair the radio.

Log Entry: Sol 10 – Mark has attempted to locate the satellite dish three times with no luck, and the dish was hopelessly messed up. Fortunately, he still had plenty of CO2 filters, but needed to use them wisely as he cleaned up the solar array. Besides this, he also began considering starting his attempt at growing plants, the seeds brought not edible, but the Earth soil possible to use with the dirt on Mars.

Log Entry: Sol 14 – Mark mentions where he’d acquired his botany degree, interested because of the science, as opposed to the “hippies” around him, he stating of now saving and recovering all bowel movements and leftover uneaten food for future use, already concocting his manure, he then planning how he’d make more usable soil, and dedicating all floor space to the garden.

Log Entry: Sol 15 – Mark is realizing what a task he’s set for himself, making small progress, but not bothered by the time involved. His next goal is to begin joining the bacteria to the dirt, treating himself to a full meal for his hard work.

Log Entry: Sol 16 – Mark has now remembered the need for water, and the amount necessary not quite equaling the amount he had available, but decides to relinquish with some to test. Upon mixing the manure was the difficult part, it massively stinky business. Changing the subject, he relates of this being Turkey day, and how his family had most likely gotten through his funeral recently and must not be having a great time, he realizing they were his reason to get through, to make up for the mourning they were dealing with.

Log Entry: Sol 22 – Mark has made ample progress with the soil, but his mood takes a dive after his meal and listening to his crew mate’s Beatles collection. He’d calculated his work not alleviating his starvation, figuring the potatoes would be his salvation, but the work not leaving him with too many days of healthy caloric intake. He’d make it to Sol 490, but had to reach 1,420 when the next crew would arrive. So, now he was without ideas for how to cover the food needed to survive throughout the time necessary.

Log Entry: Sol 25 – Mark relays how the old math word problems was exactly how he planned to survive. He states how he was attempting to discover enough ways to get calories for 1,425 days, a sol being 39 minutes longer, and he having to figure out how to make at least 1100 calories daily. He walks through how much all extra space could give him for planting purposes, besides all of the Hab, he calculating he’d nearly survive the time needed, but he still also requiring water he didn’t have.

Log Entry: Sol 26 – To keep from over thinking, Mark shovels more dirt inside, he then having to go back out to clean off the solar cells due to a sandstorm passing through, and then afterward bringing more dirt in rather than wait, deciding after, a portion of his real estate was ready for an attempt at planting, readying the potatoes for submersion, and comforted in knowing the project should have him working with more potatoes in 40 days, he then treating himself to a full meal and having exhausted the Beatles collection, moving on to another crew-mate’s entertainment, reluctantly choosing Three’s Company (not a terrible choice).

Log Entry: Sol 29 – A new problem came in the form of the pop tents airlocks being a different size from the ones for the Hab, and if he wanted the plants he planned on putting inside the tents to grow, he needed to uncover a way of getting to them which would save as much air as possible, but decides he had to risk it, setting up the dirt within them both. He shares of having used to be a Dungeons and Dragons player in high school, fessing up to his nerdy roots, and not having used a magic power involving water which would be perfect in his situation, now. Then he gives up the issue for the evening to finish an episode where the landlord misconstrues a situation (the formula).

Log Entry: Sol 30 – Mark considers a life-threatening plan to obtain water he required, but the time coming where he’d be applying new soil, and if he didn’t water his crop, the plant’s would die. What he debated to remedy the problem, was to make the water himself, first stating how using the O2 tanks wouldn’t be great if he required them later as a back up in some way, he then describing the MAV platform which was able to gather CO2 in the atmosphere, the real problem stemming from the hydrogen, which the fuel cells had a bit of, but they giving so much more as they were as opposed to how little water it would make, he then bringing up the MDV and how their pilot had left him with plenty of fuel to get the hydrogen for the water, the problem laying with how to get it out safely, and if he did, how he’d contain the hydrogen, he moving on to how Three’s Company would survive with the replacement of Chrissy.

Log Entry: Sol 32 – Mark has discovered many problems with how he was going to synthesize more water, he walking through what he’d have to do to make it happen. For instance, the process of acquiring O2 and waiting for it to be turned into H2O would take a little under a month, which is a bit of a wait. The space needed to keep the hydrogen was also an issue, so he decided to skip the little steps and go straight to discovering a way to store it as water (first editing issue “what’s what” should’ve been ‘that’s what’, tsk! Hopefully it was addressed in a newer edition I’m unaware of and don’t care to research), the way he had to proceed being delicate, the chances of explosive death, quite probable, but if successful, all he’d have to be aware of is making certain not to use up all the O2. So, to end his day of brainstorming, he sets up the MAV to have available CO2, prepared himself a half ration meal, and finished Three’s Company, he preferring Mr. Furley to the Ropers (which, if I remember correctly, I agree with).

Log Entry: Sol 33 – Mark is writing as if this could be his last time to journal, he starting the hydrazine releasing process, taking them all into the Hab, he ending the entry and then restarting another as Sol 33(2) to inform of still kicking, he explaining how he dressed and the steps he took to slowly extract the hydrazine, he then building a small, make-shift tent with NASA expensive bags and duct tape, to keep his science project safe, the bag see-through for more convenient looky-loo ability, then attaching a space-suit hose to it, which he rigged with string from some clothing to attach near the top of the Hab, so he’d have a flue for smoke. He then had to discover a way to ignite fire in his fire-retardant environment, he locating a wooden cross among one of his crew-mates possessions, he using oxygen to ignite it with an electrical spark, he then able to burn up the hydrazine which escaped, Mark now able to add fifty more liters of water to his reserve.

Log Entry: Sol 34 – Mark updates of the hydrazine process consuming his night, but the task now complete, he commenting on erring on the side of carefulness rather than speed. The humidity jumped up quite a bit, and the constant alarms for fire, oxygen level, and humidity were becoming a normal background noise for him, the fire alarm stopping first, and he expecting the humidity alarm to take the longest to cease its song. Mark also had the good news of his water tank being full, he depositing some in a space-suit, readying to pass out, and stating of this being the first time since Sol 6, of being in great spirits, his hope for survival being uplifted.

Log Entry: Sol 37 – …And then dropped as he states of how screwed he was, currently transcribing from Rover 2, he having escaped the Hab. He details of having gone through his conversion of hydrogen a few times, and then realizing he hadn’t been able to burn up the extra inside the Hab, and after analyzing how much was inside by containing some of the air in a plastic bag and going to a rover to list what was most prevalent in his air, hydrogen being way too high. So, he stays in the rover where he would remain for a couple of days and attempt to plan out how to de-bomb the Hab.

Log Entry: Sol 38 still has Mark within the rover, except he’s calmed enough to figure out how to dissipate the hydrogen. He explains his plan involving the atmospheric regulator upon messing with its ability to gauge when to stop accumulating oxygen, this way the hydrogen on its own was as dangerous as an eraser. Mark describes how he’d slowly burn the hydrogen until it was gone, the only problem being his dirt would be useless, he partially satisfied with his plan, and giving his brain a rest, discovering the commander’s USB and protein bar in the rover, Mark having made a second part to Sol 38 to complain of the music she’d brought, not saying what it was (most likely disco).

Log Entry: Sol 39 brings Mark’s eureka moment, he saving the bacteria through forced hibernation, which happens on Earth at winter, but this requiring he bag up the potato plants and settle them in a rover temporarily. Then, he runs through the order in which he’d go about his plan: plants moving first, the 1°C temperature in the Hab next, after which getting the O2 to 1%, then whipping up some fire for the hydrogen to die. Mark ends by not feeling quite satisfied with his plan, but off he would go to try it!

Log Entry: Sol 40 shows he wasn’t entirely able to pull it off, the first hiccup coming from the regulator’s programming withstanding Mark’s tinkering to unhinge its ability to replenish the O2, it only gong down to 15%, so he turns to some vents to tape all but one so he could finish tricking the regulator to pull out more O2, and then shuts down the regulator when it reached his goal. He even was able to begin forcing out the hydrogen, up until blowing himself across the room and knocking his oxygen mask off, fortunately a spacesuit was close by and he was able to put on the helmet before losing consciousness, he then determining he’d forgotten to release the air vents again upon burning the hydrogen. He then turns the regulator back on and notices he’d been smart to triple layer his clothes, the top layer gone, second layer holey, and bottom layer in fair quality, he not able to come up with the cause for the explosion, so spends the night in the rover again, eating well, and listening to music, the next day filled with equipment checks.

Log Entry: Sol 41 – Mark begrudgingly goes about testing all the systems to decipher how the explosion came about, and from where. The first handful he tested bolstered his hope, he then testing his dirt, which luckily survived, as well. As he tidied the place, he considered how the explosion occurred, his idea involving oxygen having somehow gotten in, believing it had been because of his decision not to wear a spacesuit, and the mask he’d been breathing through had been the culprit, since he was blowing out the oxygen. He gives himself a hard time for not realizing this sooner, but besides his nearly fatal breath taking, his water production was right on schedule. He rewarded his day of hard labor with a full meal and began the TV show, Dukes of Hazzard.

Log Entry: Sol 42 has Mark relating how he’d also decided to give himself some sleep-in time, what with almost a handful of crap nights in the rover. When he did get up, he finished more clean-up work and re-planted the potatoes. His days playing with hydrazine also being decided in not being quite over, since he still had a ways to go before reaching his required water goal, he having a safer idea so he wouldn’t have to relive, or possibly die in another explosion. Mark states of watching TV whilst he waited for the process to complete, he already believing General Lee can totally run faster than a cop car, and also wondered why Rosco didn’t arrest the guys when they were on their farm? (Fair idea.)

Venkat Kapoor is then followed to his office in the Johnson Space Center, seeing he had almost fifty emails to wade through, but wouldn’t deal with yet, for this day being Mark’s memorial service, the President making a speech, his crew-mates each saying a few words from the space ship, they still ten months from getting back, and Venkat, the director of Mars operations, having passed. He is then visited by Teddy Sanders, Venkat wanting approval for satellite images to estimate the damage from the storm, thinking a new mission could still be planned for what remained on Mars. Teddy understood his reasons, but didn’t want to give permission because the pictures would be viewable to the public, Mark’s body still possible to see, Teddy informing they would have to bide their time for twelve months, Venkat suggesting they put out a statement where the next mission sent out would also be to retrieve the body, this making the satellite images more palatable and possibly allowed sooner.

Mindy Park keeps tabs on satellite images and sends them off, this time she getting a request from Venkat, when she realized what the images would be for, she looks through them to satisfy her interest, she then seeing something which gave her pause, immediately calling security to send her the emergency number for Venkat. He arrives dressed casually, due to the early hour, Mindy stuttering and pointing out the image she was viewing, Venkat not understanding, she explaining how the pop-tents were up, how they were placed and the logs not mentioning them, she then becoming upset when she asks about the solar cells and how they weren’t covered in sand, she concluding by confiding not having noticed a body, fully breaking down, and Venkat shocked. He then shares the findings with Teddy and the director of media relations, Annie, she freaking out. Teddy goes through all the same motions of denial Venkat had, but the clincher being how the rover had been found along with the damage done to the MAV, Teddy then deciding they’d hold back the images for twenty-four hours so Annie could work on a statement to accompany the pictures, he then giving Venkat full reign of who he wanted to help get communication to Mark, this now his main duty, Teddy readying for a personal trip to Mark’s parents, needing to deliver the news in person, Annie being informed of the chat being a bittersweet one, since Mark had a good chance of dying on his wait for a rescue.

Venkat’s task wasn’t starting off well, the two workers he was speaking with unable to discover a way to talk with Mark, his only means of doing so having blown away, or was on the MAV. Annie was hyper-aware of how she’d from then on be perceived in the footage of this ground-breaking news speech, and believed her face betrayed nothing, the media dead silent and then fully cacophonous upon hearing the news. A week later still had NASA bombarded by media frenzy daily, Teddy speaking at the most recent one about how willing all who could, did offer to help, he assuring NASA would be focusing their energies on Mark until he was brought back, dead or alive, and no footage had been caught of him, yet. Venkat goes to Teddy’s office to give positive feedback on the speech and inform of the plan the Ares 4 crew truly wanted to implement, but would be risking six lives in the process, Teddy of course denying the go-ahead, Venkat also updating on not having any ideas to assist Mark’s survival as of yet, they discussing how someone got along all by themselves whilst believing no one was attempting rescue, Teddy wondering what Mark must be thinking of at this moment.

Log Entry: Sol 61 – Mark is pondering how Aquaman could command whales, since they were mammals, this being illogical!

Log Entry: Sol 63 – Everything is working out well for Mark now, he’s acquired enough water and ’70s shows are keeping him content. His concern now involved contacting NASA by getting to Ares 4 and in essence, the MAV. He isn’t in a hurry to think of a solid idea to get there though, due to how many years he had as it was. His preliminary list of what he’d need on the long trip kept him busy, but his main thinker was the power supply required. He planned on adding the power supply from the other rover, and to preserve the power, he’d need to dress in layers, then calculate how much distance and time it’d take to drive to Ares 4, as well as the amount of solar cells he’d have to acquire, he then considering how dull the wait would be for them to soak up the power necessary, he worrying about this when the resolution came to him, and was then able to focus on retrieving the battery for the rover he was taking.

Log Entry: Sol 64 – Mark learns the trouble from the battery didn’t stem from the detaching, but where he’d place it on the other rover. His idea to remedy this came by way of the resin he’d used to patch his suit, and making make-shift “saddlebags” for the rover, and after, testing the durability, which upon satisfaction with his handiwork, decides having both power cells plugged being unnecessary and would attach the fresh one as needed.

Log Entry: Sol 65 – After finishing placing the solar cells on the roof of the rover, he had lunch and readied to gather his potatoes and replant the next bunch, this being about forty Earth days since he’d planted them. The ones he’d grown were mini in comparison to the usual, but would do well as his new potato-plant-growers, he figuring if he could keep this up, he’d survive quite awhile. His next choice of pastime would be some Agatha Christie, Hercule Poirot.

Log Entry: Sol 66 – Mark names his rover mission “Sirius” and will be gauging how far a single solar cell will get him, but only as a test, so would be driving a certain distance and then turning back, until the cell dies and would still be in reasonable distance to the Hab, he also preparing with triple layer of clothes.

Log Entry: Sol 67 – With the first mission done, Mark deems it a fail, he at first driving the same route until flattening his ‘road’, then feeling too chilled, the insulation not doing the job after awhile. Mark is bummed and has to consider a better save on cells, he hoping inspiration may come from Poirot, more thinking needing done.

Log Entry: Sol 68 – Mark isn’t proud of his new plan, since it would be putting him in more danger than he’d done so far. His idea involved the “RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator)”, which = plutonium – 238 (BttF ref, here), this junk more dangerous then the ‘normal’ kind, it radiating enough heat to cook off of all by its lonesome, so the heat isn’t rescuable, and is used for the MAV whilst there wasn’t a crew to keep it running. So, when the Commander drove off to bury it, Mark had seen the direction she’d taken, and would be able to detect it with the flag she’d planted to keep anyone from accidentally getting close. New task, now was to simultaneously test his hybrid rover and look for the flag, Sirius 2 mission to follow.

Log Entry: Sol 69 – A new realization hits Mark once out of sight of the Hab, his surroundings helping to sober his reality of total isolation, the fact the Hab was his only connection to society making him uneasy, but fortunately, locating the RTG was quite simple, the unnerving bit occurring when picking up the well-encased radiation-supplier. Mark learns with RTG riding shotgun, and without the heater on, kept the interior at 98.6 degrees, mission accomplished. He then tore out the insulation of the rover until the RTG was the main heating source, leaving himself a patch-up amount in case it got too cold, then declaring Sirius 3 would commence the next day.

Log Entry: Sol 70 – This entry is written during the mission and so far going fine, the end amount driven being a little over 50 miles in almost three and a half hours. The time was good, but obviously had much potential for change when he actually got out to the rocky bits, he then setting up the solar cells for recharge and was settling for some Poirot reading during his twelve hour wait, then considering how NASA would’ve reacted to his RTG usage, believing cowering for fear being on the docket.

Log Entry: Sol 71 – The time to recharge was estimated correctly, Mark returning to Hab when done, he then organizing his plan for Sirius 4, thinking it’d be definitely more than one day to accomplish. He goes about acquiring everything necessary for an almost three week outing, then figures the best way to keep his potatoes alive before readying to embark on his journey the next day.

Venkat takes an interview about how they took every opportunity to obtain pictures of Mark’s living area, they receiving help in Europe, as well, he sharing how often they were able to get pictures, and then details his movements so far, regarding his test drives and the possibility of his plan to get to Ares 4, which Venkat hoped Mark would put off what with JPL testing new additions to the MDV, so it could fly after its initial landing, the idea having developed enough to not put everyone at risk. The interviewer asks whether the tests would truly be useful with their current time-frame, Venkat basically alluding to how they’ve surprised themselves before, and whilst they couldn’t speculate on Mark’s likelihood of survival, they aimed to do all they could to get him back whilst breathing and consciousness were intact.

Mindy is then shown feeling quite overwhelmed with all the main leaders of the project in the room, Venkat, Bruce, from JPL, Mitch, flight director for Ares 3, and Annie then joining them, Mindy looking up to her. Venkat asks about how she thought he’d done on his interview as she sits, she informing how he could’ve left out the bit of getting Mark back whilst living, the other possibility occurring to people. She then essentially relays he could fuck off if he couldn’t take the truth when he gets defensive. Bruce then inquires if Teddy was joining them or not, Annie not answering, Mitch then asking whom Mindy was and couldn’t get over how she wasn’t a head of department, Venkat sticking up for her before Teddy walks in asking for updates on Mark, Venkat informing it was unchanged and Annie interjecting with the news of no one having caught on to the RTG when Teddy brings it up.

Venkat describes how Mark would be safe from death as long as it didn’t crack open, Bruce then supplying news on the MDV project, he noting how Teddy hadn’t signed off on their original plan, and Teddy saying his name warningly, Bruce continuing with details on how they planned on making the MDV lighter and were finalizing their data, Teddy then welcoming Mindy, she answering his question about the orbit gaps, and then is instructed to bring it down to under five minutes, she agreeing without knowing how she’d accomplish this. When Teddy brings up Mitch’s email, the man inquires of when they should share with Ares 4 crew of Mark’s survival, he pushing to let them know, but Teddy making final call and believing they should wait until they had a solid plan for his rescue, Mitch not liking the outcome.

Teddy then inquires of how Mark would survive until Ares 4 came, Venkat detailing the main problem being lack of food, and they usually requiring nine months, Mark needing it in three, Bruce then agreeing it would be handled and Teddy assuring they’d get the funding necessary, Venkat then mentioning how they’d have to borrow a booster from another mission in order to get the fuel required for the trip, since the planets weren’t aligned in such a way to make it easy, Teddy agreeing to it and Bruce reiterating they’d get on it, Teddy replying how Mark’s diet depended on it. Venkat absorbed his early evening caffeine high what with the crazy hours he was pulling, along with all the borrowing he was doing for this project, and was currently typing up a letter to a congressman in regards to his needing to get the votes so they could receive more cash.

Mindy interrupts with news of Mark having driven off with purpose, Venkat staying hopeful it was a test again, but Mindy clarifying how his movements told another story, Venkat becoming serious when thinking how Mark didn’t have a chance making it to Ares 4, Mindy then sharing he wasn’t going in the direction for it anyways and wanted to head home for some shut eye when stating how Mark was charging up the solar cells and how long it normally took, Venkat accepting this. Next, the same interviewer is speaking with a post office worker about the stamps made for Mark and how these would be the first made for someone still alive, the post office attempting to recall them and how due to the amount already sold, wouldn’t become very lucrative, the interviewer then speaking with a psychologist for the Ares missions, the woman describing Mark’s personality which would help his survival, but also how his humor helped his team, which led to discussions of how the crew still didn’t know about Mark, the interviewer then discussing Mark’s current movements suggesting he hadn’t given up, yet, the psychologist posing both possibilities if Mark did decide to give up, as well.

Venkat is then seen typing still, and Bruce on speakerphone, the two talking of how they planned on getting Mark’s attention if getting the food supply there, Bruce stating their idea to use the comm system sent with it to auto broadcast to the Hab and or rovers, as well as a way to get Mark to turn on his comm in the first place, Venkat liking the idea and not stressing at all of this possibly being unnecessary if Mark drives to Ares 4, the two getting off the line and Venkat reading an email from Mindy about Mark moving. When he goes to see her and how Mark was traveling, Venkat has an idea dawn on him, she relaying the latitude and longitude of where he was and of the Hab, he leading her to the map of Mars in their break room and drawing where the two points were and the two deducing he was aiming for Pathfinder, Venkat realizing what Mark had in mind for his attempt to communicate, immediately calling Bruce to update him on the new hope, he designating Bruce the task of rounding up all who worked on the 1997 mission, then giving Mark mad props.

Log Entry: Sol 79 – Mark is now a little over a week on his outing, his regiment for the day falling into a normal schedule, his waste is saved for when he returned, and after doing his ‘bidness’ he checks the solar cells, and then gathers them, continuing to drive almost two hours at 25 kph and switches out the first cell, driving a couple more hours and using the RTG until becoming too hot, switching between it and the duct-taped hole in the rover, so to keep from overheating and becoming too chilled. When he uses up the cells, he’d taken to dumping them closely around the rover instead of setting them up, since doing so became tedious work, but what truly sucked is his twelve hour wait, he now wishing he was back at the Hab looking after his taters, realizing how messed up it was to want to be ‘home’ in the Hab. During his long idle time, he’s plagued with the questions of how he’d get the required gear to make the long trip to Ares 4, the ’70s music and TV along with Poirot, helping and when sleepy, bunking down amongst his shit, literally and passing out.

Log Entry: Sol 80 – 100 km from Pathfinder or Carl Sagan Memorial Station, Mark notes how due to his status as “King of Mars”, he could refer to it however he so pleased, he was still in the thick of the trip, and his directions were a challenge, his idea to use the maps available to determine landmarks had failed, since not recognizing any marks, so he follows Phobos, which circles Mars twice daily, it being good enough as a guide. By Sol 75, his route had become more simple, he naming the valley after his commander, since she loved geology. After passing the valley though, he was back to following Phobos, reading into the god it was named after and considering it could be bad juju, but then he recognized a small depression in the land letting him know how close he was to his destination, stopping there, and knowing where he’d be hitting next and getting settled for his twelve hour break.

Log Entry: Sol 81 – Quite close to Pathfinder, but ran out of charge with 22 km left, his route easily recognizable now and once making it, due to clear weather, he believed he could follow his own tracks back, then lying out the cells, and deciding to take a stroll to stave off the crazies of cramped quarters, thinking about how many firsts he was accumulating by his actions, he going on to admit how much he wanted to talk to anyone about whatever, so he’d be acquiring another first the next day when reclaiming a “Mars probe”.

Log Entry: Sol 82 – And then, success, Pathfinder exactly in the spot it should’ve been, he then also locating Sojourner, which he put in the rover, then going to work to retrieve the probe, he making a rope so he could detach the central panel, and then getting it to the rover, but saving the hoisting until the next day, he already planning on cutting in half the amount of solar panels he would use on the return trip, and also considered if getting Sojourner up and running, how he’d speak to, and how NASA would talk back through Sojourner.

Log Entry: Sol 83 – Mark did some hard labor to get the panel on the roof, he making a ramp, but with a 20 kg suit to drag around, as well, he having quite a time hauling rocks necessary for the building of the ramp, but once securing the panel and solar cells, realizing he needed to collapse the ramp carefully before driving off so it didn’t damage the rover, but upon doing so, it only taking an hour, he could now safely return with his broken 200 kg radio.

Log Entry: Sol 90 – A week after going to Pathfinder, he’d been keeping to his own tracks, but it only getting him so far, so when there were no more tracks to follow, he started using Phobos again, only requiring to get 40 km in range of the Hab to pick up the signal, now optimistic of survival and upon each stop, collecting rock and soil samples, which he began to enjoy. (The story is picking up with interesting little plot points.)

Log Entry: Sol 92 – Mark receives a couple seconds from the Hab signal, weather being clear, since he knew he was at least 100 km away, he then beginning to watch The Six Million Dollar Man, relating to one of the episodes about a space probe from Venus accidentally landing on Earth and fighting humans, Mark wary of Pathfinder, in case it decided to turn on him.

Log Entry: Sol 93 – Mark was now in range of the Hab signal, 24,718 meters to go, he expecting to make it by the next day, but would be able to walk it if necessary, he thinking how his inactivity had messed up his back and missing Beck, the guy you go to for back cracking. Mark thought about how he wouldn’t even have cared if Beck gave him shit about the importance of stretching, he then recalling a sardine-like training session with all of them which he’d prefer about now, and crossed his fingers he could fix Pathfinder.

Log Entry: Sol 94 – Back at the Hab and ecstatic, taking advantage of its ginormous size and spazzing out expansively, turning on the required machines, and checking the plants, everything good, he then adds his waste to the designated areas, does a system check, and kicks back for a little bit, then reattaches the solar panels to the Hab, and has a much easier time getting Pathfinder down. Afterward, reluctantly driving the rover once more to bury the RTG, then off to beddy-bye in a proper camp bed, content to know he had a proper shitter to use in the morning.

Log Entry: Sol 95 – Mark was a repair fiend today, he first cleaning the solar panels of Sojourner, then having a looky loo at Pathfinder, setting up a work space outside the Hab for it, and detaches the seriously dead battery, hooking up Pathfinder to a power line. As for the heating implements, he guts more from the other rover, doing all he could, and now had to see if it would do the trick.

Log Entry: Sol 96 – Nothing’s changed with Pathfinder, Mark able to tell by lack of antenna movement, obviously JPL’s Pathfinder team wouldn’t be hanging around attempting to make contact (), but he knew if a signal was noticed by SETI and The Deep Space Network, they’d give word to the proper peeps, but Mark staying positive, since knowing it could only require more time to heat, Sojourner also still unmoving, he having to stop thinking about it for now. Then, Pathfinder does a system check after booting up, looks for a signal, and locks on. Venkat and all present freak out when Pathfinder comes online, Bruce also elated, a quickly put together team having been working to get the old system compatible with the new one, Venkat then getting more details on how long it’d take for the communication to hit Pathfinder and how many systems were running, they able to receive image in about twenty minutes.

Log Entry: Sol 97 – Mark has now noticed Pathfinder doing its thang, in shock, but happy to know Earth knew he’d survived, also aware his idea had been a long shot, but would soon be chatting with people again, regardless of whether he made it until rescue, and once returning to the Hab, has an emotional moment, thinking how he’d now have to figure out how to delete the more cringe-worthy entries he’d made, but first, to talk to peeps. Venkat is then in a press conference updating them on receiving transmission, how Sojourner couldn’t be contacted, yet and Mark would have to let them know how to communicate, another dead obvious question answered before Venkat returns for updates on the imagery, nothing so far, but soon they getting image slowly, as the view took in more, they getting two notes from Mark.

Log Entry: Sol 97 (2) – Mark excitedly relays how he’d gotten a yes, then coming up with a way for them to speak to him by using ASCII, he telling them about the state of the Hab, his crops, how he survived, then grabbing Sojourner, but the little bastard still not getting signal, and NASA would be working on a better way to communicate, Mark ending by leaving a message for his family and relaying to the commander, “disco sucks”. Meanwhile, Venkat is running out of steam and working in his ‘new’ break room office, an engineer coming in and sharing painfully slowly of how his team had come up with a way Mark could hack his rover so they could message chat, he then getting a call from Annie about the pressure she was getting from the press for still not having a photo of Mark after 24 hours of communication, Venkat irritated, but willing to attempt it the next time.

Log Entry: Sol 98 – Mark is giddy to start chatting again, he rising early and waiting, then getting the first message which warned of a longer message to come for the hack, he preparing appropriately and receiving his first instructions, as well as the need for a picture, so Mark writes a note, and poses ’70s style.
Annie is now annoyed with Mark’s note, but Venkat not caring and hanging up on her, then he speaks with the engineer about a quicker way of getting their directions across, but would involve Mark’s team, Venkat denying this, so onward with snail pace. Log Entry: Sol 98 (2) – So, attempting to get all the text down became tricky, Mark learning laptops no work in Mars atmosphere, he resorting to taking a picture of the messages as he wrote them, he then rewriting them inside, and planning on inputting them in the morning.

Venkat and crew awaited for the system update, Mark having already put the data in, and Tim, the smart-aleck computer guy, nonchalantly relaying it had come online as they’d been chatting, Venkat then begins his messages to Mark by introducing himself and letting him know how long they’d been tracking him, their plan to replenish his supplies and the rescue mission. Mark returns with the news making him happy, inquiring how the crew took his survival and a shout out to his mom. Venkat responds by asking about his crops, then informs him of the crew being in the dark for now. Mark replies about how he’d planted the crops and how long they’d last him, then berating in colorful phrasing for not informing the crew, yet. Venkat mentions of having botanists check his work, in case of error, and to refrain from cursing since they were live, Mark responding with text: (.Y.).

Teddy finishes speaking with the President, Mitch enters for a word, and the update being positive, finally. He then determining Teddy must know why he’d dropped in, and his guess being correct, Mitch sharing how he should’ve had the call to tell the crew from the start, but had allowed Venkat and he to take the shots, so Teddy share’s his agreement, and Mitch gratefully leaves to do so.

Mark had been working hard on Hab tasks, so he was now sleeping extra soundly, having sweet dreams. A memory of the commander getting everyone up when they’d first arrived, proceeding, Mark resisting, but giving in upon threat of being turned out of bed. He gets himself and some of the other crew breakfast packets, one of them only wanting coffee, the commander then relaying their assignments before a storm hit. Three of the crew view the storm’s progress being quicker than having sounded, but they getting as much samples as possible before hearing how much time they had before the storm hit them, heading back to the Hab. The crew are in the Hab again, feeling the speed of the wind outside as one of the crew members relays the messages from Houston, the commander then making the order to gear up and wait at the MAV. As Mark and crew walk, he gets hit by debris as he’s talking with one of his crewmates about how to keep the MAV steady, they then searching for him as the pilot turns on the MAV and relays they’d been called back, officially, the team searching a little longer, before the commander orders them to go to the MAV as she looks around a bit longer, she attempting anything which could locate Mark, the pilot then deals with the MAV being tipped and using fuel to return it back to place, the commander then agreeing reluctantly to return, she giving the order to launch and they making it to space.

Four months after this, Beck is noting plant growth and returning to the crew, now waiting for emails, and when they arrive, it was noticed there was a voicemail to them all, everyone shocked by the news of Mark and it coming directly from Mitch, everyone slowly having their spirits lifted until Commander Lewis speaks of how she’d left him. Meanwhile, the Ares 3 Hab was being made extra durable, and everyone okay working overtime for the pay being exceptionally noice.

Log Entry: Sol 114 – Mark has now had time to come down from his honeymoon phase with speaking to NASA, since they now were giving Mark advice on how to grow his crops. Fortunately, he can take it or leave it, the main upside being the emails, he also now knowing how he’d get picked up by Ares 4 and his duties afterward, also learning Morse code as backup to Pathfinder crapping out. Next, the Hab material goes through inspection after setting, then being approved for use.

Log Entry: Sol 115 – He receives word he’d correctly figured the amount of food would last him until Sol 900, he expecting to be replenished by Sol 856, also he’d finally received a message from Lewis, she detailing how she felt responsible and Mark’s reply supporting her decision, but accepting the beer offer. Then, details on the shipping of the Hab material, and when arriving at the destination, how they added the necessary items to go with it.

Log Entry: Sol 116 – Mark is now readying for his second harvest, giving him 400 taters and in a little under two weeks; they’d be ripe for the pickin’. His plan on storing them is to chuck them outside, he then sharing an email from Venkat regarding of not sharing his message with the Botany Team to essentially, fuck off, he believing Mark should consider their input, and he letting Mark know how the Cubbies did, and wouldn’t be getting new tunes. Venkat also states he should be aware of a meeting coming up to make sure he hadn’t made any foreseeable bad moves to get himself left behind. Mark’s reply was to inform the group they’d have to set up their “witch hunt” without him, and he’d deny any wrong doing they came up with in pointing the finger at Lewis, as well as ending with every one of this group’s female family members being hoes. “The presupply probes for Ares 3” were sent up and landed on Mars with no issue, it now sitting for its almost two year wait.

Log Entry: Sol 117 – Mark is having a hiccup with the water reclaimer not working properly, the amount of water being made lower than usual, so NASA is having a fit trying to get him to help them figure out what’s up. Then, the Hab is set up by Lewis and Beck, it holding the air they put into it.

Log Entry: Sol 118 – Mark short-hands the conversation between NASA and he about why the reclaimer won’t work and he suggests he check it out, NASA having an hours long meeting about it, and denying he allowed to touch it, so Mark touches it. He’d determined rightly what had happened having to do with a clogged tube from mineral build up, he then getting it working again, informing NASA, and they begrudgingly accepting this. Then, description of how the Hab survived the wind, but a weak area of the canvas having yet to be noticed.

Log Entry: Sol 119 – Mark is awoken by a fairly mini storm, he now deciding to check Pathfinder to make sure it was still working properly, then the cleaning of the solar cells (insert nth Martian joke here, all of which are entertaining), as well as requiring the building of a storage unit for chucked taters, so they didn’t migrate in high wind. Now Mark had all of the tasks which needed handling, he set about getting it done. As he depressurized the Hab, it had finally seen its last ability to stretch, it ripping all the way around and the airlock shooting off with Mark still in it, he barely conscious as he hits ground, and when he comes to enough to realize his face plate had cracked, as well as the airlock, then seeing the torn Hab, he responds with disbelief.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 – Mark has angrily given up, his air now close to gone, he readying for death, since having reached the point where solving issues was no longer desired.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (2) – He has calmed down and attempts to discover another way out of his predicament. The airlock not being a part of the Hab anymore one issue, it leaking, and his broken face plate also unhelpful, he deciding a good ponder was in order.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (3) – He discovers he’s in deep shit, but the shit ain’t as deep as it could be. Now, he was out of his suit, could hear the leak, but couldn’t see it, so good ole fire-making plan returns for a comeback show. He uses a bunch of shaved arm hair as his burning material, then tests out his idea.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (4) – It takes four tries, but he locates the crack, now though, he having to decide how to use his patch-up kit. So, first he uses the duct-tape on the airlock and it works.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (5) -It’s still stable, so now it’s the matter of fixing the EVA suit, he concluding he’d have to use some fabric from the suit to cover the crack and then press the leftover fabric against his body until he located a safe spot.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (6) – Mark’s idea works well, he sealing both openings, but also succeeding in getting his hand stuck to his helmet, fortunately he being able to get loose without losing a lot of skin, only problem was, after seeing if the air would hold, he’d wasted so much oxygen, he’d only left himself four minutes worth to work with.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (7) – So, Mark knows he had to repair the Hab and going to a rover still meant eventual death, he remembering placing the suit he’d taken with him back in the Hab, so now he had to decide out of the three suits, which would fit him, which to choose, and where would they be found after the blast. Another issue was how far he currently was from the Hab, the time he’d waste getting there being an issue which needed remedying.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 119 (8) – Mark discovers he had to get the airlock to roll, the third time, the charm and he getting it to tip and slide, but he now having to do the same thing many times to make a difference.

Audio Log Transcript: Sol 120 – Mark was sore (achy, not mad, necessarily), but he got it done. The main issue stemmed from how each body slam didn’t guarantee a knock over, he continuing throughout the night and getting ten meters away, he now having been stuck in the airlock for 24 hours, so running though his plan and back up plan, and hoping for the best.

Log Entry: Sol 120 – Mark reaches the rover, plan not totally working out, being one-armed and all, so his search took more time, he locating one suit, but it being stuck under a table, and he couldn’t pull it free one-handed, but he was able to grab another patch kit and helmet, so high-tailed it to the rover in the nick. When he figures out Pathfinder wasn’t online what with it getting power from the Hab, he isn’t too worried, since it had been far enough from the blast radius to still work, so with fixing his suit a bit more and being out of immediate danger, it was time for some sleep.

Log Entry: Sol 121 – Mark fixes his leakage problem, he then able to get the EVA suit free, worrying about the Hab the next day.

Log Entry: Sol 122 – Mark writes a message to NASA with rocks, then gauged the damage to the Hab, support poles still usable, and the airlock hole, a big one, but manageable, the main issue his plants being unsalvageable, and the math giving the conclusion of if he had to wait until Sol 856, he wouldn’t need a rescue mission, it’d be about recovery.

Mark gets his test message to NASA, Venkat responding and getting the updates on damage and how much food Mark had, Venkat then giving the estimate of what had occurred and to vary his comings and goings between the two remaining airlocks, Mark requesting updates for solving his food problem. Bruce gives the low down to his team, since they didn’t have much time, they nixing the plan to send any other items and only focus on food, the landing also able to take some impact, as long as the distance to Mark was reasonable.

Next message from Venkat let Mark know they’d send the foodstuffs right before deadly starvation hit, Mark alright with not receiving back up oxygenator or reclaimer, he still having the ones there working properly, the amount of water he had still workable, Venkat then sharing the name of the probe: Iris and the goddess traveling quickly and responsible for rainbows, Mark open for smart-ass remark, and taking it.

An astrodynamicist has finished plotting the orbital path for the probe for 25 days, it taking almost until four a.m. to finish, he then emailing his manager about the details and slight differences between days, but began a sentence after which he didn’t dare finish and instead got some coffee. Teddy readies to make a speech to high-positioned people of NASA, he having Venkat begin with status updates, he sharing how Ares 3 and 4 fought for who would run the supplies, Venkat letting Ares 3 win, acknowledging Ares 4 was upset, but would have plenty coming up to keep them busy. Teddy moves to Mitch about launch updates, he stating the plan, and how Venkat would take over after initial launch. Annie’s up next with daily updates on Mark going strong to the press and a CNN show designated to him was most popular for a couple weeks running.

Teddy then introduces the man whom was responsible for helping launch, and giving information on the booster, it being a little needy, but testing continual every few days. Teddy then gets to Bruce, he updating about the probe, his team behind schedule by a couple weeks, and estimated requiring a little over a couple more to finish, so Teddy then brainstorming where the extra time could come from, they discussing if it could be squeezed from Mark’s food saving, the doctor claiming he was already going well below the amount needed. Teddy then turns to shortening inspection time, getting percents on how often it detected issues and whether those problems resulted in a failed mission, he then has the doctor have Mark ration for four extra days in case they needed it. Meanwhile, the astrodynamicist, Rich decides after speaking with his boss, Mike, he’d rather take a vacation for a personal project then finish the satellite adjustments he’d been asked to complete a couple weeks before, Mike having verbally signed off before having Rick get him his work.

Then, Mark is updated on the state of his care package, and they working on a busy work list, since Mark was essentially twiddling his thumbs, so a schedule soon to be forwarded. Iris was getting packed up for shipping after two solid months of work, everyone tired and happy. Annie is then shown giving information on launch date and how long it’d take to arrive being a little over half a year and what would be sent with the food including music and letters, Annie then having to remind them whilst money may be getting spent, they were also logging many experiment hours on Mars which wouldn’t have been obtained with only their assigned missions.

Mitch then makes certain Venkat is praying to all his gods everything goes accordingly as they ready the launch, Venkat doing his part and then trying to stay positive the launch would go smoothly, the checks continuing as Teddy watched from his private observation room, Annie walking back and forth in her office surrounded by TV screens, Bruce sitting among his colleagues in the cafeteria, all the engineers hopeful. Even Mark’s crew was listening in, then Mitch states Flight was go for launch and the countdown begins, Rich not noticing as he continued his project, Iris lifting off with only some slight shaking where it was kept on course. Then it’s learned what the shaking had caused to happen, Mark’s protein cubes having been shaken free, and they melting and moving to a spot within, to intensify the shakiness.

This is noted by the flight director, they keeping tabs on it, meanwhile, the protein liquid has a chance to solidify if given enough time, but it didn’t, the whole mess getting thrown against a bolted area which broke on impact, it quickly going to shit from there, the probe failing, and Teddy readying his second speech upon conference of the press. Venkat sat in his office, not answering calls, then getting a message from Mark inquiring about the launch.

Mark writes to Martinez because his doctor prescribed him to do so, he soberly asking for him to speak with his parents on the off-chance he croaks, but he wasn’t giving up, only planning ahead. Meanwhile, Guo Ming, a China National Space admin is chatting to his boss about Mark and the likelihood he would starve than be saved. He confesses they could intervene, the two discussing how to make it happen and deciding it’d have to be by communication through agency first, then share with their respective governments. Teddy’s reaction to what he’d heard suggested over the phone, only met with a short silence before agreement.

Mark spends most of his letter to Johanssen calling her a hot nerd, essentially. Bruce is explaining to the team of having 28 days til China’s gifted launch and how they needed a certain amount of the probe to be food and how much would be available as buffer for the high speed impact due to pairing down the build so as to make deadline. After, Venkat gets a visit from Rich at astrodynamics, whom wanted to share an idea, since he believed their current plan would fail, Venkat impressed after reading his work.

Mark’s letter to Vogel was partial blame for how he was now having to do boring experiments and he being a “super-villain”, since he’s German and had a base on Mars. Venkat is now sharing the news with a few associates at their Project Elrond meeting (LOTR), he revealing how Rich’s idea would have them helping Mark 39 sols earlier than their projected time. Bruce comes up with the issue of this plan being a flyby rather than a pick up. As the group continues to discuss, they are faced with 2 options to save Mark, and Venkat believed they should decide rather than go to Commander Lewis. As they talk, Venkat relates how if they decided to send Hermes instead, it had a better chance of success. So, they could go with the idea where there’d be a greater chance of killing a single person or an idea with a lower probability of killing 6 people and after they figured it out, let Teddy make the deciding vote, Mitch piping in about having Lewis decide, but Venkat dismissing this.

They end with allowing for 39 hours of research and not to speak or email anyone and only discuss with those present. Mark next writes to Beck, he advising he should confess how he feels to Johanssen, but wait until they finish the mission, plus Lewis killing them if she found out. When Venkat and team get together again, Teddy decides to go with the Rich Purnell Maneuver, which pisses Mitch off, since the best option seemed like the previously mentioned and Mitch berated Teddy for it. He continues to insult him until storming out, the one lady present interrupting Teddy’s apology on Mitch’s behavior to admit she’d been hoping he’d kick his ass for being a coward.

Mark’s letter to Lewis is formal, but forgiving her, since he suspected she’d still be blaming herself for his situation and then segues into her baffling love of disco. Next, Vogel is checking email when he gets a file in jpeg form and when it doesn’t open, takes a walk to see if Johanssen can assist, she figuring out it was a different format and was a math formulae, Vogel surprised by the ETA using the Rich Purnell Maneuver. Later, Vogel shares the gravity of what he’d been sent to the rest of the crew to decide whether they’d rather go rogue, everyone taking time to think it over than jumping in like Martinez. Lewis then inquires whether Johanssen would be able to get around the manual override, she considering it’d be fairly easy. Lewis ended the meeting with a 24 hour window where anyone could change their minds, but the smiles she saw on all their faces told her they would stick with their vote. Brendan, from Mission Control gets a headset communication from CAPCOM regarding an odd message about Hermes changing course and Rich Purnell’s name being mentioned, Brendan adamant to learn whom he was.

Meanwhile, Mitch has been called by Teddy to explain why he’d given the Rich Purnell Maneuver to the crew, admitting they hadn’t any proof, but it being obvious Mitch was the culprit. Mitch uses similarly said words from the meeting in response: How they should focus on the massive amount of work needing to be done. Teddy confirms Annie the media rep wouldn’t be including how the decision had been made. Teddy is continuing to stress how serious of a situation Mitch had put them in and himself if the crew died, Mitch noting how whomever had done it, hadn’t forced anyone’s hand and Lewis wasn’t a shit commander, so would’ve decided with sound mind and not emotionally. Teddy ends with stating how he’d let go of Mitch if he discovered proof he’d been responsible, Mitch saying he’d rather take a hail Mary to “save lives” otherwise, he’d be Teddy (ooOOOHH!!).

Log Entry: Sol 192 – Mark’s in shock to learn the crew was coming for him, he absorbing the load of work ahead for the process of travel and modifications estimated at 95 sols, proceeding to describe the few complicated steps he’d be dealing with at the start, leaving Venkat’s instructions to be listed in his hand when concerning how he would be able to cut a hole in one of the rovers. He’d have fun with extreme voltage power in the near future.

Log Entry: Sol 193 – The project ended up being fairly safe, since he’d be disconnecting power before working on it, but Venkat’s next instructions seemingly simple normally, being semi-tricky on Mars: to draw the outline before cutting. Mark gets clever again and uses duct tape. He was able to get 75 hole punches done and gave himself a full ration, since he’d have to be rescued after a certain amount of sols and he could spare some extra rations if death were coming anyways.

Log Entry: Sol 194 – It would take 4 more sols to complete the drilling, he also picking “Stayin’ Alive” by the Beegees as his theme tune.

Log Entry: Sol 195 – Mark gives an update on how many holes he’d drilled, Venkat’s response being one of an arrogant prat, they thinking he’d have more done by now. He’d also discovered the bacteria rich soil he’d left had survived the extreme cold temps.

Log Entry: Sol 196 – A big life-taking boo-boo has been made, he having started drilling for the day, the drill power malfunctioning and fixed, not making anything of it. He goes through a full day’s work and reports getting 131 more holes done, awaiting the usual half hour for a reply, he sending another message, then beginning to dread, he troubleshooting the problem. Eventually, he realizes a lead had become detached and a short may have occurred, noticing the massive poop: he’d fried Pathfinder’s “delicate electronics” and wouldn’t have contact with Earth.

Log Entry: Sol 197 – Mark takes a breath for some self-pity then moves on, since he was still going to receive a visit from Hermes and whilst difficulty had increased, he could still succeed. He leaves a Morse message about what happened and then sets to planning a way to get to Schiaparelli, making up a new scientific unit name: pirate-ninjas, he also coming up with a way of saving 3.6 pirate-ninjas (kilowatt – hours per sol) by dumping his wee-wee and poops on Mars’ surface, it a punishment for trying to kill him all those times.

Log Entry: Sol 198 – Mark does some more clever-making and calculates not actually requiring as much CO2 being used, having 44.1 pirate-ninjas and he using 7.35. He did have to continue researching how to power the regulator (1 of the Big Three).

Log Entry: Sol 199 – Mark discovers a new dangerous way to work things, he only using the oxygenator when actually using it and would reheat his return air with his trusty radioactive plutonium, saving him 21.5 pirate-ninjas. After double-checking his calculations, he warms to the idea of this working.

Log Entry: Sol 200 – Today was filled with rock redistribution into the rover to test the weight he’d be hauling. It didn’t amount to much, unfortunately. He’d probably take about 92 days with recharging stops (ick). Mark decides to break for the rest of the day, having ached his back from rock shifting.

Log Entry: Sol 201- Mark learns he actually had significantly ached out his back, so medication and radiation play-day! He sets up a rig to bathe in, since he hadn’t had one since Earth and back pain needed handling. It was mm-mm, necessary.

Log Entry: Sol 207 – He took a week off to recover from his back pain, spending his free time between hot bathing twice daily, 70s reruns, and planning how to get more solar panels atop the rovers to extend his drive time. Since he hadn’t attempted any Morse messages for 6 days, he updates NASA then takes a bath.

Log Entry: Sol 208 – Solar panels experimentation placement was today’s goal. The result looked similar to Beverly Hillbillies truck and wasn’t a success. He did come up with a shelving alternative though, which he’d implement the next day.

Log Entry: Sol 209 – Mark puts a fire under his booty to finish his plan, since he’d left the panels detached and woke up to a fairly chilly atmosphere, tolerable, but motivational. He got a strut off of the MAV to tinker with for his shelf. After working and installing, he’s pleased with the result and tests durability by chucking rocks at his handy work. The shelving was stable, he adding the solar panels and did a test drive, success abounding and fist pumps excessively exercised, he then reattaching cells for warm morning in the Hab.

Log Entry: Sol 211 – Happy clam-like mood what with not breaking his vehicle began his day, and so could focus on chucking all unnecessary items, so he could fit himself and more supplies, he even making room for 2 huge batteries from the Hab inside his gutted trailer-rover. With this done, he’ll now be able to travel 100 kilometers per day (4 out of 5 days, that is). Since he knew the China launch was happening in a couple days, he was feeling nervous for his crew-mates and everyone’s well-being again, he knowing in order to learn how it went, would happen upon his arrival at Schiaparelli.

Lewis is seen having a conversation with her hubby about their docking with the China probe in a few days and his acquire of an original print of Abba’s greatest hits album. Meanwhile, Venkat and Teddy have traveled to China and were still looking forward to Customs after their 14 hour flight. As they’re queuing, a man from the China Space admin locates and shares how they’d be able to get directly to their rooms due to having been given authorization to bypass Customs as guests of the country. Vogel also gets the chance to catch up with his wife, updates of their children and his mother, and how his wife had gotten a free trip to Houston to make their communication easier. Teddy has a moment to communicate to another Chinese Space admin official about Mitch’s job ethic, Teddy confessing how trying he could be, the official, Guo Ming noting the statement with a laugh. Beck is catching up with his sister about why he’d have to be the one to manually drive the Hermes in case anything went awry with the docking procedure and how each member of the crew had multiple duties. Venkat was working on spreadsheets when Mitch enters and gives updates about the probe attachment going perfectly, Mitch admits he was alright with being seen as a dick by everyone if the Hermes succeeded on its mission – this stemming from how he’d suspected his meal the night before contained an eyeball.

Martinez was speaking with his wife, whom was having their young son wave at the camera, he noting he could tell she was angered, due to the length of extended time he’d be away, but the two, of course being able to move forward. Venkat was interviewing an update to CNN from China regarding the process and why they were launching from China, as well as what would happen if the probe required being handled manually. Johanssen is having an unfortunate conversation with her father about the stress she’s putting on he and her mother. Johanssen then reveals, after much prodding why she was so certain she’d for sure survive the trip and what she’d be consuming on the latter half of her journey to do so, but to only reveal to her mother the food supply would last her. The launch goes perfectly and through a conversation Venkat has with Zhu Tao, whom had fought for their probe to launch with his government, it’d never be done. Venkat sensitively notes Mark would have a chance now, but Zhu Tao pointing out the Chinese were still coming out as a loss more than a gain for being a pioneer in one area of space travel. Meanwhile, the crew was now readying to dock and succeed with no complications. Lewis helps the 2 dock crew unsuit whilst Johanssen and Martinez start inventory of the supplies, he joking about whom Johanssen would’ve chosen to eat first, he cracking about how he was “corn-fed” and had prime muscles, she ignoring him.

Log Entry: Sol 376 – Mark completes rover mods and specifies life support staying constant being the difficult bit, everything else being only a ton of work, which he briefly goes over, since he’d been neglecting the log. He wasn’t quite ready to move, but since he knew rescue was coming, he’d take it easier what with not wanting to further injure himself, and also being more diligent with logs, since they may be read one day (…Hi).

Log Entry: Sol 381 – He takes a mo. to contemplate laws on Mars and figures out the law would fall under the category of “International waters”. He goes on to note how only whilst using and inhabiting NASA property does American laws apply, so when he reaches the new base and enters Ares 4, he’ll be a space pirate until receiving permission from NASA once contact is made.

Log Entry: Sol 383 – Free time usually contained TV watching, but also trip planning, it being an eclectic terrain, but hopefully still manageable, attempting to stay positive about the easier bits.

Log Entry: Sol 385 – Today included planning and making a tent so he didn’t cramp himself on the longer trip. He decides to use one of his pop-tents which had once been re-purposed for his potato farm and was a lifeboat for the rover originally. He planned for it to easily attach to the rover so he’d have access to the computer and then expand the space so he’d be able to move about with all the comfort of an upright walker. Glue will be its main adhesive necessity.

Log Entry: Sol 387 – Exact measurements of how much material being needed was a must, since he no longer had much spare fabric, deciding he’d have to cut the Hab and reattach it a little bit lopsided and smaller, but still usable for 62 sols. He triple checks his calculations and outline before dinner. He had saved the last few food packs for special occasions, naming them accordingly and considering changing the label of his final meal of his stay from “Last Meal”, for obvious connotations, he back to eating potatoes, which apparently was getting tired, but also gladly he being isolated what with what could be eking back out of him.

Log Entry: Sol 388 – Breakies was a tater with hot water and a caffeine pill, since real coffee had been consumed long ago. Inventory of Hab and moving anything which wouldn’t depressurize well was next on the docket, and upon completion, would be ready to art-project the Hab canvas. Upon getting the pieces he required, he then went about resealing and finding all the leaks. When done, he wanted to sleep, but was paranoid with any noise he heard being one of a leak, so sleeping pill city, tonight!

Log Entry: Sol 389 – Survival occurred and had helped the decision of no more sleepy pill consumption in his future, since he’d woken at mid-day, his project being to set up his bedroom. 1st test succeeds, but only an hour, the first overnight use being when he’d actually need it, since he had no way of exiting through the bedroom.

Log Entry: Sol 390 – Mark finishes preparing, but still feels like more needed doing. He’d be driving off on Sol 449, which gave him 59 sols to fix any issues and test everything, after which deciding what would remain behind. Then, he’d be mapping his route with a not-so-clear satellite map, and continued to make certain nothing was forgotten. He’d been dreaming of getting off Mars since Sol 6, but ditching the Hab terrified him so, WWaAAD? = What Would an Apollo Astronaut Do? Fool would drink 3 whiskey sours, drive his Corvette to the launchpad, and fly to the moon in a smaller space than Mark’s rover. H’what bad-asses.

Log Entry: Sol 431 – Mark is game-planning the best way to pack, making sure anything which is freeze-safe would be stored in the trailer. Most of his taters would be stored outside the rover, and the rest inside for convenient consumption. The rest of the items he’d leave in the rover would be reserved for emergency materials and tools, as well as a box and lid for toilet accessories. Meanwhile, Venkat has visited Mindy and asks for updates regarding Mark’s movements being caught. He also reveals she’d be solely tracking Mark for the time being, since she was most familiar on what to look for in doing so. She remarks how this project was a useless one, since they’d not be able to interfere even if Mark required it, Venkat responding by inquiring how long she’d been working for the government. (Yeah…)

Log Entry: Sol 434 – The dry run would be occurring, the tricky bit being to keep carbon dioxide low during the detachment from the Hab. After, he tests it to make sure it was working, which it was, so he returns to the Hab for it to have an overnight test.

Log Entry: Sol 435 – Mark awakes to good read outs, he then checking his bedroom, but this time, upon opening, it pops like a pimple. He reinforces the weak seam and saves another test for the following day.

Log Entry: Sol 436 – Caffeine is gone, headache took over after slow upsy daisy, O2 helping disappear the symptom. Then, 2nd bedroom test, which he decides to allow an 8 hour period for the bedroom to stay inflated, he plans his trip more fully and his route, which he knows could change what with he not having all mapping specifics. Venkat and group have joined a meeting with Mindy and another fella, Mindy updating all about Mark’s mysterious room and the work he’d been doing with the Hab and AREC. The mystery man, Randall then shares how low grade dust storms were approaching Mark’s route area which lasts for months at a time. The issue being, sunlight would be limited, making Mark’s solar panels less effective and NASA not being able to monitor him until he exits the dust storm.

Log Entry: Sol 439 – Today would be full test day, to make certain everything worked in tandem. He’d also be leaving life support in the rover on overnight to determine how much power was used. The Hermes crew have a meeting regarding status of degradation of the craft, everyone keeping on top of the so far, minor repairs, except for Martinez’s room baking him and he not able to move into Mark’s room since it had the same issue, due to being next door, so Lewis moves Beck in with Johanssen, and didn’t care they’d started “a thing”, due to this being an out of the ordinary mission, as long as duties were kept up, Martinez cracking a “Million-mile-high club” line.

Log Entry: Sol 444 – So, Mark tests the driving for 5 sols and he loves his bedroom. He fixes it to receive proper heat and even rigged a mini microwave to heat taters, the room making his cramped quarters much more agreeable. After completing his other dry run tests and nothing going wrong, he’s on schedule for departure date.

Log Entry: Sol 449 – Mark’s day has come, the taters all cooked now and ready for meal times. He checks everything including motors, also having gutted the Hab, likening it to the Giving Tree. He then shuts it all down for the last time, even though he knew the shut down didn’t matter much, but felt since it was a part of the original mission procedure, he may as well in tribute. Mark then has a mo. to listen to how silent it was in the Hab without all the attachments on. After, he is ready as he can be for the 45 sols of driving ahead.

Log Entry: Sol 458 – He reaches Mawrth Vallis after 10 sols and his driving and living space are working well enough. He hadn’t actually noticed his reaching Mawrth Vallis until a day after, since the valley was too wide to see the walls. Meanwhile, Venkat is again speaking with CNN about Mark’s approach in 12 days  to the dust storm and he won’t notice he’s entered it until he slowly makes progress through it, only dimly realizing visibility will change daily along with lower solar panel charging. Venkat does allow Mark may sense an issue sooner than they calculate, he being best to work through it due to his having lived there for so long.

Log Entry: Sol 462 – Nothing interesting happened today, and tomorrow would be chill recharge day. This trip, Mark was using latitude and longitude to plot his course, he fashioning his from a tube, string, weight, and some object with degree marks, then checking the sky for Deneb. He then mentions how in the process of possibly calculating incorrectly, he’d be lost on Venus because of his mistake (Roronoa Zoro-style). Mindy, tracking Mark’s trail and cc-ing everyone who wanted his Morse messages sent, also adds 5 sols until he entered the dust storm. Mark’s message stated he was calculating arrival at Sol 494.

Log Entry: Sol 466 – Mark states his arrival in Arabia Terra, if he’s done his math proper, going into detail about how he figured it out without a sea level to go by. He goes on to include how he’d need to keep his peepers wary of going up a crater in this area.

Log Entry: Sol 468 – He got between two craters safely and deciphered how far he’d gone, as well as being almost halfway through his journey, this being 20 sols in. As he moves along he also collects rock samples on the possibility he’d have weight clearance to bring them. For the next few days he’d have to negotiate around Marth Crater. Lewis chats with Martinez about Mark having entered the dust storm the previous day and how they must consider he may not be able to meet them, Martinez being fairly positive, Mark would find a way, he being a crafty boy, Lewis playing devil’s advocate and Martinez being a smarty, offering to bet a bill, she declining because it was life and death, but he knowing it was due to she knowing Mark’s chances were still positive.

Log Entry: Sol 473 – Mark’s on his 5th “Air Day”, everything going accordingly, and would soon get better once he was parallel to Marth Crater. He was currently in Crater Cuntry forming a triangle around him, he declaring it shall thenceforth be titled the Watney Triangle. He’s got 1,435 kilometers before Schiaparelli and he already knew what landmark to look for upon passing the remainder of craters. Mark had also begun noticing the recharge had been taking more time, believing it to be an age issue for the batteries.

Log Entry: Sol 474 – Mark boo-booed and came to the edge of Marth Crater, so would wait until nightfall to calculate his posish, he also allowing this early stop to aid the solar cells in charging longer.

Log Entry: Sol 475 – He saw poops, Marth Crater being directly ahead of him. So, in order to make a more educated decision on whether to go north or south, he walked to the peak, which was a bitch in the EVA suit, he fantasizing the a-typical mo. with grand-kids about how HE had it more difficult in his younger days, on Mars. He reaches the rim of Marth and noticed the extra amount of dust, he comparing each direction, behind him still clear. As he continues to suspect, he realizes the shit be deep. He quickly concludes he’d need to decide a direction to flee. He also realized NASA must be pulling their hair out, and he had no plan coming to mind, yet. Mindy begins her shift, she mirroring Mark’s sleep patterns for convenience. She immediately notices Mark wasn’t doing his normal driving, and reading his message, calls Venkat’s personal line.

Log Entry: Sol 476 – Mark is confident he can figure a plan, so far gauging the severity of the storm by how much charge had been lost, it being 3%. So, he knew as long as the percentage stayed small, he’d have a decent chance of not getting deathly stuck. He had to discover how quickly the storm was progressing, so he’d sit for a day and compare the wattage charge. The plan was to set power cells 40 kilometers apart and compare each wattage to decide which best way to move. Hopefully south would be clearer, since it’d be quickest to reach base, and in the meantime he’d allow the cells to charge, what with the impromptu free day.

Log Entry: Sol 477 – Mark decides his 2nd EVA suit would be the timestamp he’d track the solar cells with. After testing, he notes which direction the storm was going, seeming to be east to west.

Log Entry: Sol 478 – He can’t determine whether it looked dustier, but the risk of testing the power cells was worth it in the grand scheme. He also reiterates his being done with potatoes, deciding Western Australia would be the spot for him, due to it’s extreme farthest position from Idaho.

Log Entry: Sol 479 – Mark feels time being wasted, since he’d be backtracking where he’d been yesterday to collect the power cells. Fortunately, the readings made it clear he’d need to travel the better way, so as to be wasting less time as the storm drifted away. Only downside was having to follow his same path tomorrow.

Log Entry: Sol 480 – He sensed he was getting past the storm and hoped the shape of it was a circle, which means he’d soon notice his percentage returning to normal, otherwise, he fucked. He also knew the ETA for Sol 494 was not applicable and the crew would be there by Sol 549, plus he had the MAV mods to complete.

Log Entry: Sol 482 – Today was an Air Day and relaxation was Agatha Christie’s: Evil Under the Sun, with speculation of Linda Marshall being whodunit. The annoyance of not knowing how quickly he could get through this was occupying his mind, as well, but at least he was still in the lead to the storm, only managing 37 kilometers the the full 90. He still would take the Air Day, due to being so far ahead and since he couldn’t tell how much difference it’d make what with the possible storm size. He then also considers how many Earthlings must know all these facts except him.

Log Entry: Sol 484 – The storm was past now, he still hoping it was round, otherwise, buh-bye. Only bitch is he’s majorly in the wrong area, Terra Meridiani, and had to travel 1,030 kilometers projected sol being 498 to arrival, which would make a 4 sol waste due to “The Nearly-Mark-Killin’ storm” and left him 44 sols for mods.

Log Entry: Sol 487 – Mark discovers if he wants to waste 4 sols, he could get to the rover, Opportunity. There was a radio, which he wanted to use because he’d become fond of speaking to Earth. He knew it was dumb though, he only 11 sols away from the MAV.

Log Entry: Sol 492 – The bedroom would need to be modified upon getting to the MAV, he recognizing he now believed he could actually make it. He also decides he’d make the trailer his bedroom and the tent would be used for The Big Three (Two of the three, anyways).

Log Entry: Sol 497 – Tomorrow Mark will be at the entrance to Schiaparelli, today being an Air Day, he well ready to be there, it going to take 3 more sols to reach the MAV and Mark couldn’t wait to “be in Giovanni Schiaparelli’s favorite hole!”. The crater had been under a barrage of wind 4 million years, dust and sand particles collecting at the bottom of the basin, the sand spilling outward, making the Entrance Ramp. Due to weather, gravity made the ramp become pressed in varying degrees, some spots hard and others the opposite, leaving the basin savagely unsmooth. So, as Mark approaches carefully, it’s all for naught, since he drove into a soft area, which rolled his rover, scattered the solar cells, the trailer breaking free and toppling, as well. Meanwhile, Mark’s rover slides bumpingly 20 meters before hitting more rough sand, stopping him. The pressure seal saves him for the time being. All the Department leads are being informed by Mindy what she thought happened at Mark’s crash area. In 9 minutes they’d receive another shot of the site, Venkat requesting she keep him updated.

Log Entry: Sol 498 – Mark relates how he was currently typing this entry whilst the rover was turned on its side. Fortunately Mark had emergency-balled himself and wasn’t injured, everything seeming functional with only the bedroom coming loose. Mark’s concern was the state of the solar cells, he also considering the damage to the trailer what with his vital life support was housed there, hopefully still within it. He then calculates having enough time to get everything up and going at some point. He figured he had 220 kilometers left to the MAV, so he only had to get the life support to remain functional for 51 more sols. So, he EVAs and things weren’t stellar, but not bad either. Three solar cells were kaput, maybe being able to get a few watts out with luck. The trailer seemed fine other than being turned over and the time constraint of flipping it right, before the balloon on the roof popped. So, he had his tasks ahead of him and remembered to write to NASA. Mindy reports the short message to Venkat, whom asks rhetorical questions he expected to be answered, so Mindy replies with sarcasm, Venkat attempting to throw his position power at her and she not giving a shit due to her now “paparazzi” status and it going hand-in-hand with smart-assery.

Log Entry: Sol 499 – Sleeping on the toppled rover wasn’t a blast, but the Vicodin helped, he then dedicates his time to turning the rover over, since he’d be able to use it as lever for the trailer after. He had cabling he could use as rope, which he would then tie to a drilled bit in the harder ground. This rights the rover and he performs a system check. It works, and had been ready to fix the trailer next, but daylight was lost due to his position in the crater. So, he’d have to hope the balloon would last another night, he at least having his bedroom.

Log Entry: Sol 500 – Unpopped trailer still and a larger task of righting it, since digging was involved. He’d be attaching the rover and have the trailer tip and right itself, which works. He did have to spend another night waiting to check if the equipment inside still worked, though. His meal of a tater being loathed with the venom of people-murdering level.

Log Entry: Sol 501 – Entrance into the trailer was quite heated, but both oxygenator and regulator were in proper condition. Fixing and reconnecting was simpler after this, so now he only had to figure a way to warn himself of powdery drops until reaching Schiaparelli Basin proper. He decides, with a short segue into a fantasy about a Mars lady romance, he’ll drive slow enough to prepare for a tire going into one and would also maintain more traction. He’d be able to begin the next day, hoping to finish the process in 8 hours. He concludes how being a heroic astronaut could make him popular with the ladies, which in turn was quite a good motivator to survive. Mindy relates Mark’s most recent positive message of fixes being done, Bruce relating there were a few issues on their mod procedures, but would share in a couple days when he returned. Venkat okays Annie to share with the media Mark’s good news.

Log Entry: Sol 502 – Today, Mark drove at a snail’s crawl, like his pappy did when he’d drive the family 8 hours to his aunt’s house. His slow progress didn’t turn up any pitfalls, though and he was able to eat another food packet.

Log Entry: Sol 503 – He hadn’t been able to get full recharge, but he was 148 kilometers away from the MAV, so he wasn’t too worried.

Log Entry: Sol 504 – Mark is about 50 kilometers away now, tomorrow he could finally get there. He also discovers NASA had turned on the MAV’s homing signal, so his rover could be directed right to it. He reports receiving signal to NASA. Mark reaches the MAV next day as expected, the celebratory fist-pumping and ramp hugging preceding his entrance into the airlock.

Log Entry: Sol 505 – Currently Mark awaited inside the rover until the MAV finished its system check and was pumped with air. The only mind-numbing bit being the wait time between communication with NASA. Houston congratulates Mark and he updates them more, they requesting he store his urine from here on. Bruce returns sleeplessly to Venkat’s office stating procedures were complete, but Venkat wouldn’t be pleased. It takes a bit of time before Venkat becomes more surprised and worried by what Bruce was suggesting would be removed, he not having gotten to the worst of it. Everything included, they also would be removing the front of the MAV and it would be covered by Hab tarp and an engine would be removed, on top of it. After all the sims and testing it was thought to be able to work, Venkat absorbing this. Mark’s reaction to receiving the same news, conveyed much more incredulity.

Log Entry: Sol 506 – So, Mark decides to use the MAV as his work space, his previous plan not serving him as well. Meanwhile, Lewis states Martinez had killed Mark, Johanssen having set a sim with near impossible success rate. Lewis gives him encouragement and they reset to a new scenario, he having 3 weeks to practice. She checks with Vogel on their course being on track and Beck on his connecting with Mark when the time came, everything in order.

Log Entry: Sol 526 – Mark starts disabling everything, only semi-nostalgic for his pirating days of doing as he pleased. He was currently littering the remains outside the MAV, turning it into a Sanford & Son dump, noting Lewis truly needed help with her 70s issue.

Log Entry: Sol 529 – He was converting water into fuel for his rocket, he soon having opportunity to admit he’d pissed “rocket fuel”. Johanssen gets the chance to contact Mark, to his surprise. The two joke and Mark thanks them for returning for him. At one point, Martinez gets a hold of the keyboard to message Mark to prepare for crazy lovemaking, Mark stating how much he’d missed them all.

Log Entry: Sol 543 – Mark believes he’s completed all the mods properly and won’t know if it’ll launch until he actually does. He notes how the Ruskies had safer craft and they “were death traps”. Lewis goes over their plan since the next day would be Thundercats, go. She gets updates on everyone’s tasks being done and ready for use. After, she goes over what everyone would do upon Mark’s progress upward. Everyone had the night off to rest up. Mitch gets the count to when MAV will launch being in 16 hours and some odd minutes and seconds, he preparing for change of shift. Venkat and Annie watch, she revealing the camp out of reporters outside from around the world. Venkat reveals Mission Control would lack control if anything went wrong.

Log Entry: Sol 549 – Mark was feeling righteous fear about his ass soon to be projectiled in four hours into space. He was currently suited inside the MAV, he also having eaten the last meal pack and leaving 41 potatoes. He leaves his rock samples in an easy to recover area in case NASA one day found the notion. Mark’s plan on killing himself in case he didn’t go quick, involved breathing nitrogen. He was still not connecting to the fact he was truly leaving, what with his simple routine over this one and a half years. He was ready to fuck off, already.

Everyone on Earth was watching. Mark’s parents were on the edge of their seats, a NASA rep ready to answer their questions. Johanssen’s voice is heard through the TV as she confirms preflight checklist was ready to be gone through. Mitch was watching in Mission Control and was confirmed their clocks were synced with Hermes. Mark requests Martinez to refrain from rolling the rocket, Johanssen reminding Martinez how odd it’d be handling the ship without being smushed against her seat. Beck, meanwhile is giving Vogel permission to release his tether if need be, Vogel not confirming he would, since Lewis hadn’t okayed it. When Mark feels the lift off, it’s so abrasive he can’t breathe. He also notices the Hab canvas whipping back and forth, probably not good. Martinez is noticing the rocket is flying drunkenly for some reason, Lewis attempting to contact Mark. He heard her, but couldn’t decipher her words, he seeing the rip in the canvas get bigger quickly. He then sees how beautiful the red sky is before turning black, which was also cool.

Once Mark hits space, Martinez gets more control, Lewis still not able to reach Mark, so asks Johanssen if she’s figured his orbit, they soon realizing he’d be short 68 kilometers. They adjust fuel accordingly. Annie is now asking Venkat to tell her what had occurred due to how quickly it had gone down. Venkat details how the team had used the fuel to meet Mark, but wouldn’t be able to slow down to catch him. Meanwhile, Lewis and team learn Mark’s vitals were steady. Mark regains consciousness and updates Lewis on his possible broken rib, she telling him the shit they were up and he seeing the shite, indeed. Mark comes up with an idea to use a cut in the arm of his suit like Iron Man, but they continue thinking. Lewis jumps on Mark’s idea and instead applies it to Hermes, they having a better chance of catching Mark. As Mitch and Venkat hear what’s happening Venkat states numbly how the team was planning to rupture the craft on purpose, Annie quickly leaving to report this to the press. Lewis requests Vogel cook up a little bomb to open an airlock.

After Lewis conveys this to Mark, Vogel quickly makes a pipe bomb with a beaker and sugar. Johanssen is setting up the airlock and has a sweet moment with Beck before he goes through, Vogel turning up with the bomb a minute later. Everyone is ready and in position with 28 seconds left, Lewis, Martinez, and Johanssen strapping themselves in. Venkat, Mitch, and Teddy are all feeling the pressure as they wait. When Johanssen flips the switch, the quick bomb tears the inner airlock door open. After, everything is still working and they receive better propelling than projected, Beck readies to collect the Asset. He jumps out, Vogel spotting him with the tether in hand and secured to the wall. Beck makes it to MAV, connects tethers to Mark and they fly through space together like butterflies making sweet, sweet love, Vogel keeping the tether taut. They make it inside without issue and Lewis relays everyone is back on Hermes to Houston and the rest of the world. Whilst everyone exalted at the news, Teddy takes his speech from the blue folder to join Annie to address the press, he stating to Venkat he hadn’t prepared a red folder speech, and ordering him to get the crew home.

Log Entry: Mission Day 687 – Mark is still coming to terms with not being on Mars anymore. He’d broken a couple ribs on his ride, being pulled into the Hermes being quite painful, but he screaming like a shrilly baby off mic. After, Beck gets him to the makeshift sick bay and the 2 wait for decompression. When Beck first removes Mark’s helmet, he’s hit with his gnarly stank, everyone high-fiving, for other reasons, as well most like. As he waited for his painkillers to hit, so he could shower, he continues to process how many organizations and people helped to save his ass, giving humanity the benefit of when a fellow was in danger, instinct would make us come to aid, regardless of how humanity seems like 99% of the time… (raised eyebrow). He ends with the list of ways this supports his previous statement and whilst he was recovering and smelled “like a skunk took a shit on some sweat socks”, he was hella happy, even with 211 days left til Erf.

Worth it, ended abruptly since my last comment upon finish was, “That’s it?!”, but there were some funny lines which should’ve been used more in the film. This book definitely gets exciting throughout and filled me with adrenaline because of how well it’s written. I will read more by Weir.