Another Starfleet busybody is coming today; why is it always us?
All I know is it's something to do with the environment. Why that should trouble us, I don't know.
We go to Transporter Room 4 to welcome our guest aboard.
He beams on, wearing a very officious-looking suit and carrying a clipboad.
"Hello, I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and I'd like to welc..."
"No time for greetings." the man says quickly, "We need to put this right immediately. I am Jebediah Sneakins from the Enviromental Division, and serious problems have been spotted."
"What are they, Mr Sneakins?" I ask him worriedly.
"It has been noticed that the emissions of Dilithium fuel from starships seem to causing an amount of residue in space. Starships may need to stop from travelling until a solution is found."
"But it's SPACE!" I tell him, desperately, "We can't cease exploring new frontiers or stop defending the Federation just because of a fuel ban. We'd all become Borg in a year!"
"I can't help that" replies Sneakins sniffily, "It's not my job."
Somehow, I think Sneakins has already been assimilated, and been placed back here.
"What are we supposed to use to propel the ships, Mr Sneakins? Coal?" I angrily tell him.
"That would not be an acceptable substitute" he informs me, "Emissions would come from that as well."
Perhaps that is a relief. The prospect of having a boiler room, with a crew shovelling on coal would not be warmly received by anyone.
Sneakins orders the Warp core to be closed down while we assess what we can do. He won't let it be used again.
Woe betide if we are attacked; he wouldn't let us pursue them.
Geordi and Data look into the engines to see if the residue can be cleansed into something harmless.
While we wait, I offer Sneakins something from the replicator.
"This will not cause any residue in space, will it?" he asks.
"No" I reply.
He is satisfied; but then thinks of something else.
"Well what about the... err....waste from the bathrooms?" he challenges me.
"They are automatically disintegrated" I successfully say.
"None at all" I tell him. If I don't convince him, he won't let any of the crew use the bathrooms again. That could be a problem; especially with the Bolians.
"Very well, Captain" he says, and ticks his clipboard.
Geordi and Data come in.
"Good news" says Geordi, "We've cleansed the Warp Core, and the emissions from the fuel into space are light and will disappear in a second, rather than remaining there."
Sneakins thinks for a moment, and after consideration is satisfied.
"Very good, Captain." he tells me, "I shall instruct Starfleet to do these cleansing techniques with all starships, then everything will be all right."
We go to the Transporter Room, ready to send him back to the Starbase. I don't think my nerves will let him stay around here too long.
"Goodbye, Captain" he tells me, as he looks around, "Incidentally, does using the Transporter cause any harm to the spatial enviroment?"
I beam him off...very quickly!