I hope it's going to be a stress-free day today; in fact I ALWAYS hope it's going to be a stress-free day.
It never is, though. Today, there will be a big peace conference.
After getting up, I'm on my way to the Bridge via the turbolift. At least nothing is going to happen there.
Suddenly I reappear in a strange vessel.
I step down off the transporter and see that the equipment around it is like nothing I've ever seen before. Two figures step out from behind the control panel, wearing an unfamiliar uniform, although they are wearing Starfleet badges of a different design.
I can safely forget about that stress-free day.
"Who are you people?" I ask them.
"We apologise for taking you out of your alloted stardate, Captain Picard" says one of them, "I am Captain Gordon, and this is my female assistant Lieutentant Arden."
"Where...and when am I? I inquire.
"You are on the 30th Century Federation Timeship Terrapin" Gordon tells me, "We need your help about a matter that has come up."
"You're obviously time travellers" I say, "Why can't you fix these things for yourself?"
"We can only view events; the Temporal Prime Directive prevents us from interfering in matters of your own time, but we can give help to those who live there." Arden tells me.
"You mean like me." I grudgingly say.
"Err...yes, Captain" Gordon concedes, "Let me explain to you what has happened."
"Go on then." I say, "Can I have some Earl Grey with a stress pill?"
One appears in my hand; I almost drop it.
"Our methods are a lot more advanced, Captain Picard." Arden tells me with a superior air in her voice.
"This is the situation, Captain" Gordon continues, "On the stardate that we took you from, you are scheduled to chair the conference between two rival races; the Zarn and the Braken. As you know they have been at war for centuries. What you do will bring peace forever to the sector of space and do great things for the Federation."
"At last I got something right." I comment.
"Indeed you did, Captain" says Gordon, "However, there will always be resistance, and a few hours ago, Tega, a leading Brakenese agitator, who despises the Zarn, broke out of prison and gained access to a time portal and sent himself to a point just before the conference. It's our guess that Tega will try to sabotage the conference and destroy this one chance of lasting peace. We need to send you back armed with the knowledge and stop him."
I groan; more trouble for me to sort out.
"I'll go back and tell the others all about it!" I say.
"No, Captain." says Arden firmly, "Due to the Temporal Prime Directive, you cannot inform others; we want this kept to a minimum; even after this, you must tell no one."
"You use the old 'Temporal Prime Directive' line to cover up a lot of things, don't you?" I say to them both sarcastically.
They show me Tega's picture; he looks tough, with long wild hair and a manic expression. A typical fanatic.
"Now it is time to send you back, Captain Picard." says Gordon, "Good luck, just remember that the future of the sector, and possibly the Federation is at stake by what you do."
Just the thing to calm my nerves.
I step back into the transporter and instantly reappear on the turbolift. The doors open and I am on the Bridge.
Riker sees me.
"Just approaching Tarsal IV, Captain, "The Zarn/Braken Peace Conference will be underway soon."
To be continued...