Setting: Up to the mini-series for Battlestar Galactica, but no real spoilers for the first season.
Characters: Xander, Baltar, Starbuck, President Roslin
Word count: 821
Disclaimer: Buffy and the gang belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy.
Summary: Dr Baltar unveils his latest weapon in the hunt for Cylon infiltrators – one Xander Harris.
Dr Gaius Baltar clasped his hands together, and beamed happily around the meeting room. “Madam President, Commander Adama, I have great news,” he began. Lt Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, discreetly positioned at the rear of the room, did notice a slight tension in his stance, but just chalked it up to Baltar being... well, Baltar.
“I have finally, finally been able to come up with a working Cylon detector. Unfortunately, it will only work at the moment on 50% of the population, but it's so much quicker than my previous test.”
He gestured to his companion behind him, and his smile took on a slightly strained appearance. “Xander, come up here for a moment, will you?”
Xander? Oh yes, that strange guy with the eye-patch they’d found floating in a life-pod in the Audeinne system. Boomer had been all over him ever since she fished him out. Scuttlebutt had it that he came from Earth. Starbuck snorted – as if!
Baltar appeared to be staring at a point a foot away from Xander’s neck. “Are you sure you can’t feel anything at all?” he whispered as Xander joined him in front of the others.
“Sorry, Doc,” Xander shrugged. He looked around at all the people sitting behind the table, and smiled. “Hey, folks, I just flew in from Alpha Centuri, and boy, are my arms tired.”
No one reacted. Xander pursed his lips, “Tough crowd.”
Baltar flashed a dirty look again to the side of Xander Harris and muttered something about how some people didn’t deserve some things. “Commander,” he began. “As you know, I have been trying to determine just how Mr Harris’s pod suddenly appeared on our sensors. As yet, I have no scientific explanation for it, though I can assure you that Xander here is questionably not a Cylon.”
“Personally, I blame Andrew for using the w-word while he was watching the Sci-Fi Channel, but then you guys have no idea what I’m talking about at all.” Xander shrugged again, before a twinkle appeared in his eye. “Be glad you’ve never met Andrew.”
“Dr Baltar? If you would care to continue with this so called briefing?” growled Adama, looking more pissed off than usual.
“Ah... yes. Yes, of course, Commander!” Baltar said hurriedly, “As you know, I’ve been talking with Xander here to determine where he does come from, and I’ve heard a lot about his life in Funnydale.”
“Sunnydale,” interjected Xander with a resigned air.
“Yes, yes…” said Baltar, eyes rolling in that manic way he had. “The one thing that struck me was the number of non-human women who found themselves attracted to him over the years.”
“In fact,” he said, face alight with passion, but still finding the time to shoot another dirty glance at Xander’s right, “Xander Harris is an unknowing magnet for all types of non-humans – including the Cylons!”
There was a long pause in the room. Adama put his head in his hands, and took off his glasses while he massaged the bridge of his nose. To his credit, Kara noticed Xander looking incredibly embarrassed.
“Unfortunately, this only applies to female non-humans,” babbled Baltar, earnestly looking around the room, “But this is so much quicker than my current test, and would cut the number of possibilities in half!”
“Correct me if I’m wrong, Dr Baltar,” said President Roslin coolly, leaning forward with a politely vague expression on her face, “But you wish to use Mr Harris here as a... a gigolo? Trail him around the ships, and see who throws themselves at him?”
“Yes, yes! That’s it, exactly!” beamed Baltar. “If they like him, they’re a Cylon.” He glanced to the side of Xander once more, his expression darkening. “Trust me, it’ll work.”
Commander Adama stood up, pushing his chair back loudly across the deck. “This meeting is adjourned,” he stated, and walked out.
“Commander?” Baltar said, crestfallen. “Does that mean…?” He turned back to where the President and her people were also standing up, trying not to meet his eyes. “Madam President?”
“I’m sorry, Gaius,” she said, turning to face him. “But unless you have a proven method, I don’t think you’ll get the Commander’s permission here. And, in this case, I don’t feel that I should over-rule him.”
President Laura Roslin flashed a smile over Baltar’s shoulder at Xander Harris. “Don’t worry, Mr Harris, I’m sure no-one will hold this against you.” She paused, caught in the middle of gathering her files together. “In fact, I wouldn’t mind hearing some of these tales you have about ‘Earth’. Would you care to come over to my ship for dinner tonight, say?”
Baltar looked thunderstruck. Xander just smiled, and said “It would be my pleasure, Madam President.”
As everyone started to leave, Starbuck frowned as a thought hit her. Nah, it couldn’t be. Could it? Nah, no frakking way.
Still, a chill went through her as she watched the President leave.
No frakking way.