This Just In
ISSUE #50 NOVEMBER 20, 2006

Fictional science remastered
by Zeke

After three years of protesting, the Science Officers' League has achieved a victory in its campaign for increased transparency with the appointment of Steven "Sa'ar Chasm" Maguire as official Master of Science.

"This is a great day for the world of fictional science," declared SOL president Gaius Baltar. "Ever since our realization three years ago that nothing we were doing made any sense, we have been adrift, lost in space and meaning. We have needed someone to show us the way. Now that science has a Master, he will be able to answer the questions that have haunted us for so long: How is faster-than-light travel possible? Why are sound effects audible in space? What sort of drugs did everyone involved with The Core take?"

"I should be able to help out," agreed Mr. Maguire. "Unlike Luke Skywalker or that milkshake, I didn't just start calling myself a Master -- I earned it. I've spent years fighting science, and now I've finally shown it who's boss. It'll do whatever I tell it now. That's why these Japanese cheerleaders are orbiting around me, which you probably wondered about."

Originally made up only of Star Trek characters, the SOL has grown to include scientists from more than twenty different science fiction franchises. Representatives include Farscape's John Crichton, The X-Files's Dana Scully, Sliders' Maximillian Arturo, and Quantum Leap's Sam Beckett. One franchise not represented is Babylon 5; according to Dr. Baltar, this is significant. "One reason Steven is so suited for this role is that the series he has focused on more or less has its ducks in a row. The closest Babylon 5 even has to a science officer is Dr. Franklin, and while he did resort to drugs, it was not due to befuddlement about science, as in Ensign Kim's case."

A somewhat controversial figure, Dr. Baltar hopes this achievement will win his critics over. His victory over Voyager's Captain Kathryn Janeway in the SOL's latest election was narrow, and he has been rebuked for his negative tactics, such as the campaign slogan "Don't Vote For Psycho." Dr. Baltar was optimistic, saying, "I hope the League's members will take note of the fact that after only one month as president, I have found us a scientific authority, something Captain Janeway was unable to accomplish in three years. It is also noteworthy that she could not get her ship home without assistance from the future. Besides, she's a woman, and they're really only good for one thing. -- Er, don't print that."

Captain Janeway, who has been an outspoken critic of Dr. Baltar, has her own opinions. "Wake up, people! Baltar couldn't possibly have found this Maguire kid by himself. He would have needed some kind of army searching through time and space for an appropriate candidate. And don't you think it's convenient that Maguire completed his program only one month after Baltar took office -- and only one day before the University of Ottawa mysteriously burned down, leaving no witnesses? And what about my campaign headquarters? I didn't leave that open container of antimatter in the kitchen. Open your eyes!"

Various other members of the SOL have shared their views on the Maguire appointment.

"Maguire's pretty cute, but I'm not expecting him to get anywhere with this universe," explained Torchwood team leader Jack Harkness. "Around here, we're lucky if we get through breakfast without any major breaches in continuity, let alone the laws of physics. It'd be nice if he could at least help us find Torchwood Four, though."

"Hope Maguire's got his insurance paid up," commented ensouled vampire Spike. "We had two scientists and they died the same week (God rest one of 'em, God damn the other). We had a Master too -- wish I could've been there when that old fruit bat bought it. Doesn't take a brainiac to see what Maguire's in for."

"Only a master of evil, Sa'ar," declared Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. He has since had to fend off a copyright infringement suit from supervillain Baron Zemo.

"I am unimpressed," pouted Vulcan science officer T'Pol. "Maguire's scientific credentials are no better than my own, and his science fiction credentials are likely to bias him against my series. Further, as a Vulcan, I am wholly unamused by his mockery of the canyons of Saar."

"A master of science? We can use one of those," observed Daily Planet reporter Chloe Sullivan. "Our scientists have a habit of going crazy, gaining super-powers, and/or getting killed. Although, come to think of it, so does every other profession."

"Have your fun while it lasts, Steve," remarked webmaster Zeke. "In a year I'll be the new master, and they'll be all over me to fix their... um... mathematical irregularities. Hey, there was that time Picard thought Fermat's Last Theorem was still unproven. And there's... uh... shut up."

Dr. Baltar expects the appointment to be a resounding success. "I have high confidence in Steven Maguire. He reminds me of myself, and not simply because of our shared fondness for karaoke. Like me, he was a callow youth who, through grit and perseverance, trained his mind until it became a finely-honed scientific tool. He and I have evolved; we have transformed. And we have a plan.

"All right, the stupid reporter is leaving now. Time to get back to rocking the -- oops. Did you hear that? I was just thinking out loud. Er, thinking about a particularly funny joke I once heard which happened to involve a stupid reporter. It's really not suspicious at all."

In a related story, this reporter is currently seeking classified, preferably scandalous information about the Baltar administration to leak to the public. Watch this space.  

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Copyright 2006, Colin Hayman. A product of This Just Inc. All rights reserved. Frankly, I'll believe Baltar and Maguire have a plan when I see it.