With master-criminal 'The Viper' imprisoned, one would have thought we could all rest easy in our beds.
But no; he has programmed someone to do something nasty when a codeword is heard; and it will be one of my crew. As the person is unaware, there is no way of finding out before.
I might as well walk around in a suit of armour; not that it would do me any good. A phaser would soon cut into that. I must be going paranoid.
At the senior staff meeting, I go over the situation.
"Well I know it isn't me!" says Worf, "Klingons cannot be hypnotised into mind control."
"Are you sure, Worf?" asks Geordi. Worf looks indignant.
"The only person we can be sure who hasn't been programmed by the Viper's voice," I tell them, "Is Commander Data"
"Therefore, I am appointing him to oversee the situation; he needs to watch carefully for any unusual behaviour."
"What about me?" asks Seven, "A Borg drone cannot be programmed either. Had The Viper tried to program me, he would be assimilated by now."
I think that's why he chose someone else, personally!
"You may be right, Seven" I reply, "But we cannot be sure."
"The Borg would be supreme against such an attempt," she triumphs, "A drone cannot be programmed."
"Can you sense anything, Deanna?" Riker asks her, "Perhaps something in one of our minds?"
"No, I can't" she replies, "At the moment, the programming is buried deep into the subconsciousness of one of us."
This isn't getting us anywhere. I call an end to the meeting.
"Remember to travel about in twos or threes" I advise, "If one starts acting strangely, run quickly and get security."
Riker, Deanna and myself are later in Ten Forward discussing the event.
"It could be years before someone says the codeword." says Deanna, "In the meantime we are all worrying here everyday in case someone says it. All this is making me hungry."
"Do you want a chocolate sundae, Deanna?" asks Riker.
Deanna's body stiffens slighly.
"CHOCOLATE!" she shouts. We look puzzled.
Deanna walks out of Ten Forward; at that time, we have just figured it out. Why are we always so slow in getting the answer.
"Calling all Security teams!" I say on my Com, "Seize Deanna Troi; she is the programmed member of staff!"
What is she doing to do?
After telling Data, we isolate her signal, and the force fields cut her off in the ship. When we arrive, all we find is her Com badge.
Why do crew members always remember to discard their Com badges when we want to catch them? One would think Starfleet would find a way around this.
"What do you think Deanna will do, Mr Data?" I ask.
"As she left Ten Forward" he says, "The Counselor does not intend to harm just you. It may well be the ship. Two locations that are possible are Engineering and the Bridge."
I call the Bridge; no sign of Deanna reported. Then I try Engineering; no answer.
"Everyone to Engineering; she may be forcing a Warp Core breach."
Why is it that the Enterprise is always so near to having a Warp Core breach. It must be a design fault that it is all so fragile. We'd be a lot safer if the ship was powered by coal.
When we get to Engineering, we see the staff all unconscious , having been stunned. Deanna is at the controls.
"Warp Core breach in fifteen seconds" the computer says.
It looks like either a last second rescue coming up, or this is my last Journal entry....
Data fires his phaser on her; no effect, as Deanna has set up a force field around herself. That's another thing they always remember.
"Warp Core breach in ten seconds" we are reminded.
Seven pushes through and adjusts her Borg shielding with the forcefield and walks through. She knocks Deanna out and stops the Core breach.
Whew! Still in one piece.
Later, I am telling Admiral Collins on the screen in my Ready Room about what happened.
"Counselor Troi is being treated by Doctor Crusher in SickBay." I tell him, "She should be fine, soon. How is The Viper?"
"He is under heavy guard, Captain." he replies, "We are making sure that no one listens to his voice."
"How are you doing that?"
"We are putting a soundproof screen all around his cell" he continues, "We call it a Screen Viper."
I say nothing; is that Admiral humour, or is he serious?
It's best not to ask.