The Enterprise has been situated at Starbase 7 for the last couple of days.
Time for some shore leave; it never seems to end that way, though, and we end up being busier than tackling an alien invasion.
Still, at the moment, it's relaxation time.
I'm walking down to main corridor when a man approaches me; I sense trouble. He quickly removes his phaser, which I see is set to 'maximum'.
In an instant, my life flashes before me; every little "Make it so." seems to be remembered right now.
However, instead of pointing it at me, he turns it on him and vaporises himself.
What's going on?
Worf and his security team quickly come forward, together with Faran, Head of Security on Starbase 7.
I tell them all the story; Faran and Worf both look concerned.
"A little earlier, Captain" says Faran, "I was talking with Lieutenant Worf. A number of people with no apparent motive have been dispatching themselves off. A lot have done it in front of Enterprise visitors around the Starbase."
"I shall investigate this matter immediately" says Worf and takes his Security team away.
I beam back to the Enterprise; it all seems very strange. They can't be doing it because they are fed up with the Starbase. It may not be the best in the galaxy, but it's not worth vaporising oneself over.
Using a scrambled line, I contact Admiral Collins of Starfleet Security; I tell him what is going on. He looks worried.
"Captain Picard" he tells me, "It looks like the work of The Viper."
"The Viper?" I ask, "Who is he?"
"He is a master criminal we have been after for years." Collins explains, "He has a silky voice and can persuade people to do anything. The Viper's usual method is to instruct them to do a task, but only much later, when they hear a codeword. When they hear it, they will go into a trance and carry out the act they are supposed to."
"You mean he turns them into sleepers; time bombs waiting to go off when the codeword is said?"
"Exactly, Captain." Collins continues, "It's my guess that there are a lot of time bombs walking around Starbase 7. You need to get everyone off the base and find The Viper. He is showing off his power to you right now."
So much for relaxation.
I gather the senior staff around, together with Faran and tell them the situation.
"He must be apprehended immediately!" Worf declares in his security-officer voice; as if we don't already know that!
Teams are sent around the base; we go in twos so that The Viper cannot get one of us alone and 'program' them to do something.
At last, in a shadier area of the base, we find a signal. Why does a Starbase HAVE a shady area at all?
"He's here!" Geordi shouts into his Com link, who is with Data, "We've got him cornered!"
We all close in to the area with our phasers, determined to catch The Viper; he surrenders himself. He has a pointed face and is in a dark cloak. All criminals seem to look like that and wear those clothes.
This was all done very easily; another great mission easily done by the Enterprise crew! Another one for the good guys.
If that is so, why is The Viper laughing as he is being led away to the Starbase 7 brig?
"What's so funny?" I ask him.
"Oh my dear Captain Picard" he says in that smooth voice of his, "Your troubles are just beginning!"
I can sense something very nasty coming.
"As soon as the Enterprise arrived on Starbase 7" he tells me, "I programmed one of your staff to do something. He or she is unaware, but will only do it when a codeword is issued. It may be a long time before someone ever says it, but you can never be safe. You cannot obtain the information from me as I have programmed myself to forget who that person was."
The Viper gets dragged away to the brig, laughing away, just like all the evil madmen do at this time.
What do I do now?
To be continued ...