Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Federation Gazette

I've been summoned to Starfleet Headquarters.

No doubt, they want to thank me for the superb job I did at the Zarn/Braken Peace Conference. I'll tell them it was nothing,, really, although of course I won't mention the 30th Century renegade, due to the Temporal Prime Directive.

Still, I won't say 'no' to a medal. My official uniform could do with another one.


I beam down to Starfleet Headquarters; there is just one surly looking Lieutenant who tells me to report to Admiral Hollingsworth. No rousing band around to welcome me there. It's all rather strange.

Admiral Hollingsworth is responsible for Starfleet Publicity; he probably wants to congratulate me and tell me how they are going to release the peace conference news accross the Federation.

I arrive at the office and see Admiral Jennings, who is responsible for Discipline with him; an odd combination.

"Sit down, Picard." says Hollingsworth in a gruff manner.

When I'm called "Picard" by an Admiral, there is trouble.

"Hello" I say, "The Zarn/Braken Peace Conference went down well, didn't it?"

"Never mind that." Jennings icily says, "Take a look at this copy of the Federation Gazette."

He slides it across the table for me to pick up; I read the headlines:

'All Aboard The USS Loveship!!" by Hal Wallace is the main title. I groan.

"Read more, Picard" demands Hollingsworth.

I read more:

'If you think our starships are just defending the Earth and the rest of the planets in the Federation, you'd be sorely mistaken' it starts, 'It's fun all the way for the senior officers of the USS Enterprise, as they make sure they don't get lonely in the long voyages they have. Captain Jean-Luc Picard ensures he has a date with the fiery haired Beverly Crusher, who is the ship's doctor; his First Officer, Commander William Riker has the shapely Betazoid affections of Counselor Deanna Troi. Then there is...'

I put the Gazette down.

"Errrmmm" I say with hesitation.

"Captain Picard" Hollingsworth tells me, "We sent Hal Wallace of the Gazette to the Enterprise so that we could could get some good publicity for Starfleet, and show everyone what the flagship of the Federation was like. We did not want a commentary on all your love lives."

"That was the fault of Mr Wallace, Sir." I say, "He was only interested in lurid publicity and scandal, not how the Enterprise performed."

"That may be so" commented Jennimgs, "But your over-amourous senior officers gave him the material that he wanted."

"It's only human nature, Sir" I say.

"Hmmph!" snorts Hollingsworth, "Bring in Wallace."

The doors open, and Hal Wallace is brought in, flanked by two security guards; he is still wearing his 20th century outfit with 'PRESS' sticking out of his hat.

"Take it easy, you guys!" says Wallace, "No need to be so aggressive; I'm a member of the press."

He sees me.

"Hi Captain" he waves, "Good to see you again. Have they hauled you here as well?"

I don't reply.

"Mr Wallace" Hollingsworth tells him, "You were sent aboard the Enterprise to obtain a story for goos publicity of our organisation. Instead, you came back with tabloid-style journalism of the lowest grade."

"Hey, fellas" replies Wallace, "You gotta think what sells more papers; the people don't want starchy reports. They want to know the latest scandal. The recent one with Angelina Aniston sold like hot Bajoran cakes."

"You will print a retraction in your paper, saying you were given false information" Jennings tells him.

"What about freedom of the press?" protests Wallace.

"You should think about your own freedom Mr Wallace." smiles Jennings, "A Penal Colony is waiting for you."

"No need to be rash, fellas" says Wallace, "Sure I'll print a retraction; it never happened."

With that, he is escorted out of the room.

"You can consider yourself to be very lucky, Picard." Jennings tells me, "Had Wallace not agreed, more 'severe' actions might have had to be taken."

"You can leave us now, Picard" Hollingsworth glares at me, "Watch your step."

I leave the room and beam back to the Enterprise....or is it the USS Loveship?

Just in time for my date with Beverly.


Merlyn Gabriel said...

Angelina Aniston?????
I wonder where Brad whats-his-face is in all this mess....

Still I'd have loved to see the rest of the article... it sure beats the local NewsNet on Prince Xizor.... his love life is so... erm...never mind.

Of course your ship sounds like heaven..NOTHING romantic ever happens on an ISD, especially NOT with lord Vader around...

-merly -who doesn't really have much room to say anything since she's seeing the Blue guy.

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

Isn't the Federation supposed to be all about truth, justice and gettin it on with hot Aliens? Did your precious Admirals learn nothing from Captain Kirk. As for Freedom of the Press, Blah to all that, smack that little punk down.

The Curmudgeon said...

I'm glad you shared Mr. Wallace's article with us; I was hoping you would.

As for your difficulties today with Command, an army of (cl)one has a point: Didn't these desk jockeys read the steamy adventures of James T. Kirk when they were at the Academy? Didn't they have their own commands? Frankly, Captain, you have had a rather modest career in this regard, particularly when compared to your much more Kirk-like No. 1.

(Of course, that's probably one of the reasons you don't like him, isn't that so, Captain?)

No, I'm beginning to sense another conspiracy here, Jean-Luc, that reaches up to the highest levels of the Federation. Who is behind all these memos and reporters and student tours and flower arranging classes that hamper your efficiency and so distress your senior staff? Is it someone out to make Starfleet look bad? Or is it directed more specifically... at you?

I look forward to the results of your investigation.

Professor Xavier said...

Personally I think that article would probably triple applications to Star Fleet. I know it made me want to sign up!

emi said...

BWAAAHAAAHAAA!!! Right on, (Cl)one, you cracked me up. And yet you are soooo right! Maybe the Admirals are just jealous because they have been cloistered away from all the hot aliens. Awwww, too bad! Perhaps it IS time for a little smack down!

Miss Cellania said...

I vote for MORE romance, and even (gasp) sex for the Enterprise! Its nice to think that SOMEONE is gettin lucky.

Lahdeedah said...

The whole point of a coed starship is so if for some strange reason, the earth is blown up and obliterated, and the borg (are there borg here, with picard?) assimilate our galaxy, the loveship can skedaddle to some M-class planet and breed and procreate.


And didn't freedom of the press go out like, the day after the first newspaper was printed?

Florence said...

I think it was all a show put on to give you a kick up the butt, Captain. That Hal is obviously Admiral Jennings nephew and now he's using him to give you a dressing down. Any self-respecting reporter wouldn't print a retraction but rather an expose' after those threats, it all smells a bit fishy. What's the Admiral got against you? and what will he do next?

Also, the whole sauser section of the Entrerprise (at least from TNG) is so families could live on board....where do families come from?

ps Admiral Jennings doesn't seem like the man for Starfleet Publicity, pass it on (DR Who - "I can bring you down with just four words."

Star_Kindler said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Star_Kindler said...

Personally, I am convinced that Tega was helped in his escape by your Federation admirals. I mean, by the Temporal Prime Directive (TPD from now on) alone, they could easily cover up a quick bout to the 30th century. And of course, they planted all of these inconvienances and annoyances, via time travel or other agendas, in an attempt to weary you to the point where your mission against Tega would be a failure and thus you'd be removed, or at the very least, you'd reveal the intervention and could be written off as totally insane. IT'S GENIUS!

But you're stronger stuff, captain. Hopefully, they will realize your true capabilites.

Oh, and one other thing. Give up the admiral dream. You've seen what they're like. Why would you want to be like one?

Vampirella said...

(speaking from Limbo as a ghost)

Why cant they let you live your lives

I could dig some dirt on those ....

maybe one of them are having an affair

and then you can say perhaps you should watch your own step

Mince said...

Dear Captain,
Perhaps a quiet word with the 30th century renegade could help to make sure this little debacle REALY never happened?

Jean-Luc Picard said...

My friends, you have a lot of excellent conspiratorial suggestions. There does seem to be a lot going on against me. The Admirals do seem to be jealous of the Loveship...I mean the Enterprise.

srp said...

Here from Michele.
Well! It doesn't look like the press has changed at all in the future. Paparazzi in little runabouts no doubt, flashing pictures, interfering with the laser guidance systems...... Sigh!

Paperback Writer said...

It could have been worse....?

charles ravndal said...

Hi there from Michele! I think it's my first time here. Well have a nice day there Captain!

Me said...

I knew that rascal would use part of my headline! I was writing my own tabloid article on this. The Loveship was my idea! Did he get any pictures?

Angela said...

Captain Picard rules! Awesome blog!

Carmi said...

How ironic that you describe the USS Loveship on the same day that news broke of Red Buttons's death. Watching old Love Boat reruns will never be the same.

Good luck on your date with Beverly. I always thought she was the hottest one on the ship.

Lady Wyntir said...

don't let him take away the romance!!! otherwise, you guys would be after each other with phasers!

maybe wallace works for fox news...

great post. ^_^


Jean-Luc Picard said...

Kelly, I knew the 'Loveship' came from somewhere. Full credit to you.

Charles, welcome..hope you visit again.

Carmi, I didn't know about Red Buttons. Thanks for that info.

Wyn, maybe the Federation Gazette is Fox-owned?

Super Freak. thanks for the compliment.

Nic said...

Sheesh! Some people just can't catch a break. Well at least have fun on your date. Maybe you can do a holodeck version of a couples spa where both you and bev and laying on a massage table, getting massages side by side while drinking daqueris and looking out over the landscape.

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