We've been sent to investigate a mysterious planet in the Sylvian Sector. The Gerry Probe that we sent out has revealed some strange facts about it's occupants.
The Enterprise approaches the planet; the sensor sweep proves what the probe confirmed. The inhabitants are a mixture of carbon and wooden lifeforms.
"Maybe it's Pinocchio's family?" suggests Riker in his usual jocular manner.
I roll my eyes at his suggestion, but I must admit, the thought had occured to me.
Suddenly a spaceship roars past at warp speed.
Oddly enough, it looks slightly as if it being manipulated by a rope or something; it must be my imagination.
"They are hailing us, Captain." Worf tells me, and an image appears on the screen.
"This is Steve Zodiac of Fireball XL5" says the figure, "Welcome to Stringworld. If you will beam down to the co-ordinates I give you, we will welcome you at the combined Space City-Marineville Headquarters."
The hail ends and we look blank at each other.
"That guy is attached to some kind of string, Captain." Riker observes.
"I agree, Number One." I reply, "Deanna, what do you see."
"It's hard to tell" she says, "There seems to be life within, but I see mainly trees."
I decide to gather an Away Team, and choose Deanna, Riker and Data to come with me.
When we beam down, we are greeted by Zodiac, together with a man in a hoverchair and a young woman. In the corner is another woman sitting in a fishtank. I decide not to ask about this.
"Welcome, Captain" says the man in the hoverchair, "I am Commander Sam Shore of Marineville; this is my daughter Atlanta. The woman you noticed in the corner is Marina, a woman Troy Tempest rescued from the clutches of the evil Lord Titan."
"Troy Tempest?" I ask.
"He is one of the pilots of the Stingray underwater craft. The other is Phones." the Commander tells us.
"What was that?" Riker says with a smile.
"Phones. We call him that because he always wears headphones. No one knows his real name. I don't think anybody has thought to ask."
Atlanta Shore is looking angily at Marina with gritted teeth.
"Commander." I say, "Marina hasn't said much."
"She doesn't speak." he replies, "Lord Titan has threatened to destroy her if she ever does. Still, she is really a whizz at charades. She and Atlanta don't get on as they both like Troy Tempest. I've seen her using a fishing road to taunt Marina."
"I do not!!" replies Atlanta, with a guilty face, "I just want a normal relationship with Troy, no strings attached, and not having to compete with a fish!"
Marina starts to cry.
"I'm lucky." Zodiac comments, "I have Venus as my love interest. Still, Captain Picard, your Commander Data looks more advanced than Robby the robot."
This is getting ridiculous.
"Commander" I try to say, "The reason why we came here is that we noticed that the lifeforms here are carbon/wood based. We haven't come across this before. Oddly enough, each of you seem to be guided somehow by some spiritual rope."
"That's exactly it!" replies Shore, "On Stringworld, we are all guided by the Anderson spirit. He tells us what to do, and takes us through life."
Deanna, Data, Riker and myself exchange glances.
"Commander" asks Deanna delicately, "Have you considered walking on your own two feet?"
Just before a reply can be issued, we are informed by Marineville communications that a message is coming in from Lord Titan.
"Get Stingray back here!" he calls out.
Why do we get caught up in these things?
To be continued...