A Date to Be Remembered

A speech by Dr. Amelia Baker, as provided by Stuart Webb
Art by Justine McGreevy

Sanjay, the first draft of the speech for Thursday’s conference. I think I’ve covered all the points we discussed on Tuesday (or I should say “Period 00001 Subsection 01 Portion 04 Hour 03”); this was written very early in the morning though, so some of the more aggressive snark will need reworking. Which one of us gets the short straw of reading it?  I’d suggest Denyer, he’s just dim enough to not let the mood of the room bother him.

–From the office of Dr. Amelia Baker.


Address to the Council of Colonial Regulation 145th Annual Conference on Behalf of the Committee for the Review of Dating Conventions.

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen of the Council. I apologise for this section of the conference starting late, though I hope you can all appreciate the irony, considering the nature of the findings we are about to discuss today.

(Pause for laughter. Obviously this joke will only work if the meeting starts late, but it always does. The schedule for these things is never more than an elaborate work of fiction.)

It was six Earth years ago that the Committee for the Review of Dating Conventions was started to deal with one of the more unusual and unexpected consequences of space exploration and the colonisation of other worlds. In order to properly explain our findings, it will be helpful to go over the history of the main issue with which we were tasked to deal.

(I know this is basically redundant, Sanjay, but I don’t think the majority of the Council even understand what our name actually means, let alone the wider history. I’m pretty sure that bloated oaf from Ganymede slept through the last briefing she sat in on.)

In the 150 years since humanity started to spread through the stars, we have established colonies on 46 planets across 38 local solar systems. This is not only the greatest achievement in human history–as we are the only sentient species yet discovered in the galaxy, it may well be the greatest achievement of all life-kind, all made possible by the predecessors of this Council.

(Am I laying it on a bit too thick there?)

Despite the great distances between worlds, the ease of inter-dimensional travel and tachyon communication means that the children of Earth maintain a thriving alliance based around commerce, tourism, and mutual defence. With the vast resources of multiple planets all working together, we now live in a true golden age. But there is one thing that creates a problem for the smooth running of our alliance: the calendar.

(Best not mention the rogue colonies, space pirates, and that nuclear accident on the Hilditch colony.)

Art for "A Date to be Remembered"

(Have we come up with something that looks plausible but complicated enough to stop them questioning it too much? I think the one I saw in the art department last week was almost there, but it needs a few more swirly lines and arrows.)

To read the rest of this story, check out the Mad Scientist Journal: Spring 2017 collection.

Dr. Baker has been a key member of the CRDC for 8 years following her ground-breaking paper, Metric to McNally, A Simple Mental Conversion Guide, in the wake of the Hilditch disaster, which has helped to ensure that similar mistakes have almost never happened since. A former child protégée with degrees in mathematics, theology, and psychiatry, she was the perfect candidate to support Dr. Sanjay Griffiths and the rest of the team in their efforts to revolutionise dating.

Though raised on New Bulgaria, her work with CRDC means she now resides in the Ganymede Dome.

Stuart Webb has been an active member of Transformers fandom for over a decade, writing multiple comic reviews for tfarchive.com. Since 2012, he has been running the Transformation project at thesolarpool.weebly.com, where he looks at each issue of the British Transformers comic at a weekly rate. The first third of this titanic effort was collected in book form in 2015, with the second to follow by mid-2017. Away from writing, he lives in Kidderminster, England, and is owned by a cat. This is his second story for Mad Scientist Journal.

Justine McGreevy is a slowly recovering perfectionist, writer, and artist. She creates realities to make our own seem slightly less terrifying. Her work can be viewed at http://www.behance.net/Fickle_Muse and you can follow her on Twitter @Fickle_Muse.

“A Date to Be Remembered” is © 2017 Stuart Webb
Art accompanying story is © 2017 Justine McGreevy

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