Due to the urgentness of our mission to Tavax, we have gone at Warp 9 through the unknown Sector 133, reputed to be the home of the Dararian race.
There have been a few messages, but nothing the Universal Translator can be sure of.
Suddenly, a dark-coloured starship with a flashing red light appears out of nowhere next to us.
"We are being hailed by the ship, Captain" Data informs us.
The screen flickers on and a rather officious-looking alien is looking at us.
"Hello" I say in my best diplomatic voice, "I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starsh.."
"You will not move" the alien angrily tells us, "You are being cautioned for speeding in Dararian space."
"I'm sorry, but I don't understand" I tell him apologetically.
"It's simple enough!" the Dararian tells me, "Your ship could be clamped and taken away into the Dararian Police Pound, where it will be kept unless you agree to pay a million Credit fine now."
"We did not see anything about a speed limit" I protest.
"There were plenty of signs telling you to stay below a Warp 5 limit" the Dararian tells me, "I am Janta, Head of the Police Force."
"I'm sorry, Janta" Deanna says, in her Couselor style, "The Universal Translator was not able to identify the speed warnings."
"That is no excuse" says Janta, "You will pay the heavy penalty, and have to apply for a new Starship Licence from our office.
"It all seems a scam to get money." Riker whispers quietly to me.
"That may be so, Will" Deanna replies, "But the Federation has to be seen to be law-abiding in international space travel."
"You mean...?" I say.
"Yes, Captain," Deanna continues, "You will need to pay the fine, and eventually get a licence."
I groan; then turn to the screen.
"Very well, Janta." I tell him, "send the charge to Starfleet Headquarters, San Francisco, Earth, and they will pay you the desired amount."
"Excellent, Captain!" he says, as if the cash register is working, "You shall receive note of how to apply for a Starship Licence. Thank you for coming through Dararian space; don't forget to travel slowly and safely."
There seemed a hint of sarcasm there.
"Starfleet will get a nasty shock, Number One" I tell Riker, "When they open their incoming mail and find a million Credit fine for starship speeding and a directive for me to get a Licence."
"As long as they don't dock it out of your salary, Captain"