“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views. Which can be uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.”
“Homo sapiens. What an inventive, invincible species. It’s only a few million years since they crawled up out of the mud and learned to walk. Puny, defenceless bipeds. They’ve survived flood, famine and plague. They’ve survived cosmic wars and holocausts. And now, here they are, out among the stars, waiting to begin a new life. Ready to outsit eternity. They’re indomitable. Indomitable.”
Harry wanting to dance with Sarah at a UNIT Christmas Dance but being too nervous to ask her for a dance.
There she stood. It wasn’t far. Her
brown hair tumbled down neatly, framing her beautiful face, smiling
and laughing as the Doctor made a complete fool of himself on the
dance floor. She looked like a princess, or a queen, or a goddess,
some untouchable being above his station and totally
incomprehensible. Harry frowned, irritated with himself. How could he
have ever convinced himself this was a good idea?
The invisible barrier between them grew
in strength as he became overwhelmed by apprehension. He just knew
it. She would obviously say no. Why bother trying? But a small corner
of his brain fought the tide of fear, pressing him onward. He had
decided to ask her to dance, and that was exactly what he was going
to do. Or at least, what he would do, once his legs would actually
respond to his mental efforts to make them move.
With great effort, he slowly shuffled
his feet, moving inch by inch across the floor towards Sarah.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, she wasn’t looking his way,
and so she didn’t see his pitiful struggle to batter through the wall
of his own worries. He stumbled along the way, fighting with himself
over whether to go through with his own plan. But eventually, he
began to grow near, gasping for breath to feed his frightened body.
Those loud, rasping breaths didn’t go
unheard. Sarah turned to face him, beaming, and exclaimed, “Harry!
I was wondering where you’d got to!”
Harry’s tongue moved in his mouth, and
his lips opened and closed wordlessly for a few moments. After a
great internal struggle, however, he managed a “hello, old girl.”
Unfortunately, Sarah seemed less than
pleased with his choice of words. “Old girl? Do you want me
to spit in your eye?”
Blood pounded in Harry’s ears. He’d
miscalculated, totally and completely. She was angry at him, she
probably hated him, this had all been a terrible idea from the start.
Coolly and logically, Harry decided the wisest course of action was
to run like hell. He proceeded to do so, but forgot to take into
account the nearby wall.
“Harry? Are you all right?” Sarah
asked, standing over him, a distinctly worried tone in her voice.
Blinking, trying to clear away the
throbbing and buzzing of his head, Harry looked up at her. “It’s
fine, I’ll just walk it off,” he assured her, though thoroughly
failing to convince her, or even himself.
“I’ve got a better idea,” she told
him, hoisting him back to his feet. “Why don’t you dance it off?”
“Well, I don’t have anyone—”
Sarah laughed, cutting him off. “With
me, you twit,” she said, pulling him towards the dance floor before
he could reply.
Harry smiled, glad but deeply confused.
Why are people so complicated?
He wondered to himself as they began to dance.
“Appreciate it? appreciate it! You commit mass destruction and murder on a scale that’s almost inconceivable and you ask me to appreciate it! Just because you happen to have made a brilliantly-conceived toy out of the mummified remains of planets.”