Sure, you've heard of them. The Legion of Super-Heroes. They're big news, all right. Always have been. But the Legionnaires handle galactic-level threats. Interstellar wars, cosmic dooms, like that. No one calls the Legion to rescue a virtual cat from a sim-tree, and they don't call US to fight the Fatal Five. That's not our beat. We've got a simple job. It's up to us to keep law and order in the 31st Century.
We're the Science Police. My name's Friday 18. I carry a universal-software badge template.
* * * * * * * * * *
8:15 Terran standard time. I'm breaking in a rookie partner, Tizzle Wak Wak. Nice enough kid, all full of starry optimism. Calls me "Sir," like I was his grandfather instead of an old beat cop. Midway through our shift, we receive an alert from Living Unit 232 in Metropolis' Tesseract City.
FROM IN: Who is it?
FRIDAY: Science Police, ma'am. Open up.
Hesitantly, she opens the door. She's trying to look innocent. We're not fooled.
WOMAN: The...the Science Police? Is there anything wrong?
WAK WAK: Afraid so, ma'am. We've had reports that you've been boiling water at 207 degrees Fahrenheit.
The woman blinks the blink of a puzzled Saturnian drang. She stands silent long enough for me to make me finger the holster flap on my blaster, then speaks.
WOMAN: That's...that's a crime?
FRIDAY: Yes, ma'am. A crime against the natural laws of matter conservation. At sea level, in its liquid form, water boils at 212.
FRIDAY: "Oh, officer, this is a brand new thermounit, it must be miscalibrated." "Officer, I'm cooking with one of those new inertron pots, that material alters your readings." "Officer, we're a Celsius household." Don't give us the excuses. We've heard them all. You're coming with us.
WOMAN: But...my DINNER...!
FRIDAY: We don't make the rules, ma'am. We just enforce them. We're the Science Police.
FRIDAY: Please close your eyes so I can attach the lobe-cuffs. You have the right to remain silent. You have the right to use a telepathy-dampener. If you cannot afford a telepathy-dampener, one will be provided for you at no cost. You have a right to be judged by a tribunal of your peers or a panel of wisdom-enhanced android pets. Do you understand your rights as I have explained them to you?
Later, in the squad-hover, the rookie lets out what's obviously been on his mind…
WAK WAK: Weren't you a little rough on her, Sir? I mean…she was just boiling water, right?
FRIDAY: Sure, kid. Sure I was rough on her. I could have let her go. I could have forgotten the whole thing, nice and friendly. Only, there's a problem.
WAK WAK : How's that?
FRIDAY: I let her go this time. Next time, she's boiling water at 204 degrees. Maybe a week from now, she's going to an immersion holo and she's running late-no one'll know, so she boils the water at 198 degrees. That nice officer won't mind…
WAK WAK: Yeah, but still…
FRIDAY: And then the next day, maybe she doesn't bother heating the water at all, and STILL it boils. And maybe the day after that, she decides time is no longer a constant, and pretty soon we're all meeting our dead relatives for tea in Atlantis and Jonas Salk is never born and Hitler clones himself a thousand times and John Wilkes Booth shoots Mozart because he DOESN'T LIKE THE PIANO. Rough? Rookie, we may have just saved the world.
* * * * * * * * * *
9:22 Terran standard time. A gang of protesters throw plasti-bricks at the squad hover. One of them is wearing a digital sandwich-board sign that says, "When gravity is criminal, only criminals will have gravity." Sometimes I shake my head. Before we can act, we receive a call about a familiar address.
FRIDAY: Mr. Allon, do you know why my partner and I are here?
COLOSSAL BOY: (mumbles…)
FRIDAY: What was that, sir?
COLOSSAL BOY: Because I GREW, right? You're here because I GREW again.
WAK WAK: Woah. I have him as being at nearly ten meters!
COLOSSAL BOY: No WAY was I ten meters! I was just looking at my height chart, and I was SIX meters, TOPS!
FRIDAY: Mr. Allon, we've been out here many times. Frankly, I've warned you enough. I'm going to have to take you downtown. How many times do we have to tell you; MASS IS A CONSTANT. Your power is a Class One Science Affront. We cut you some slack because of that Flight Ring you wear, but my patience is GONE, understand?
COLOSSAL BOY: Aw, c'mon, I can't get another life-demerit!
WAK WAK: You know, technically, the "law" of the conservation of mass isn't completely true. For example, in a nuclear reaction, the sum of the protons and neutrons of an atom don't equal the mass of the atom.
COLOSSAL BOY: …
FRIDAY: Rookie, you sicken me. All right, Allon. My partner seems to think you have a loophole. But I want you to report to remedial Physics School until you know what the Hell the Square-Cube Law MEANS. 'Til then, you will NOT create spontaneous mass!
COLOSSAL BOY: ****!
* * * * * * * * * *
11:56 Terran standard time. Emerging from our stakeout behind Jupiter's asteroid belt, we pull over a McCauley Solarwind, an inexpensive little one-man rec vehicle used mostly for red-shifting. It's a beauty--late model, hydrogen catcher on the hood, a bumper sticker that reads, "I Brake For Sun-Eaters." It's burning oil. The pilot exits the hatch in his shiny new transuit. It's pricey. Suspiciously pricey for someone who pilots a Solarwind.
FRIDAY: License and registration chips, sir. Do you know how fast you were going?
MAN: I...I don't...I wasn't spuh-SPEEDING...
FRIDAY: I clocked you at 187,224 miles per second, sir. That's exceeding the speed of light by nearly a thousand miles per. This your vehicle?
MAN: Y-yeah. There must be a MISTAKE...
FRIDAY: The tachyon detector doesn't lie, sir. While Officer Wak Wak runs a registration check, maybe you can shed some light on the Oomarian Lotusfruit smuggling we've been tracking in this quad--FREEZE!
I'd guessed right. The perp flared his jetboots to life, which told me all I needed to know. The cargo hold of that Solarwind was probably full of contraband. Before we could blink, he was skimming straight for Jupiter's red spot. My partner nearly followed him. Rookie's mistake. Jupiter has the surface tension of a milkshake. Once drawn into Jovian gravity, the density of the planet's core will draw him in and elongate him to about three times his normal length, turning his bones and internal organs to jelly. Another victory for science. This calls for a stop at Krispy Krater for a synthcup of joe.
Coming up after the break: Newtonian tips from Einstein, the Science Crime Dog!
Bad boys bad boys
Bad boys bad boys,
|Special big huge Yabs thanks to Mark Waid for friendship above and beyond. And everybody, go buy JLA and Empire. I MEAN IT. Thanks!
Discuss this column on the You'll All Be Sorry! Message Board.
The Legion Science Police and all related characters are ™ & DC Comics. All other characters are ™ & their respective owners. All Rights Reserved.
You'll All Be Sorry! is a satire published by Comic Book Resources, and is not intended maliciously. CBR has invented all names and situations in its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental, or used as a fictional depiction or personality parody (permitted under Hustler Magazine v. Fallwell, 485 US 46, 108 S.Ct 876, 99 L.Ed.2d 41 (1988)). CBR makes no representation as to the truth or accuracy of the preceeding information.