In Zarek's Cloud 9 stateroom, Zarek talks to himself in the mirror: "Am I capable of leading this Fleet? Absolutely." He turns from what seemed to be press practice, and speaks to a mystery person. "...And for a time, I almost had a chance. Until Laura Roslin ascended from politician to prophet. The truth is, I can't win." The mystery person he's addressing is Gaius Baltar, wearing a kick-ass suit and lookin' good. "But you could," Zarek tells him. Baltar lounges, looking like he feels real pretty right about now: "You flatter me, Mr. Zarek. Really. But I'm not sure I'm cut out for a life in politics, as I find the vice-presidency -- and everything to do with it -- very tedious." Plus, you know, I'm not Maier. I don't swing that way. Gaius takes a drink and smiles in a way that suggests perhaps he does. He is such a preening ego that even praise this faint could get you to second base. "I would imagine carrying water for Roslin would get old after a time," agrees Zarek, "But it's the office that makes you the perfect candidate, Doctor. You're pre-sold." You have no idea. "Really?" asks Gaius. "To whom?" There's nothing more attractive to a low-life man-child like this than telling him you have the inside track on his winning -- especially since he's had the full hate on in this arena since the letter from Roslin. Wanting to beat her without trying and telling people that the whole thing is stupid and stinky are two sides of the same coin, which is worth like at least a hundred Infantile Cubits. "You'd be surprised how many people crave the assurances of cold science, as opposed to the superstitious ravings of the Geminese," says Zarek, and sits, because if there's one thing anarchists know, it's that the quickest way to an atheist's heart is through his deep superiority to everybody else. "I know there's no Santa Claus! Everybody else in the whole first grade is stupid babies!" Which has a cuteness grace period of exactly one semester from starting college, and can sometimes lead to a Philosophy major, if not down the Ayn Rand road, which is like atheism squared in precisely this way. "As a scientist, you offer hope," says Zarek. "Think about it." Baltar wants desperately to agree: "Tom. You'll just step aside?" Beat. "...Will you?" Zarek's "just happy to back a man of true conviction. A man who remembers his friends." Not to mention their Fleet-spanning, murderous system of organized crime, yes? I'm so happy. They smile at each other, very happy with themselves, and Gaius does the math: "If I've already actually signed with the actual Devil, in more ways than several, then this is like, what: Capone? Koch? I can deal with Koch."