Saturday, September 30, 2006

TWQ: Christmas Too Early?

TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about shopping for an event that is still nearly three months away...a quarter of the year!

How early or what signs did you think that Christmas was getting too early in the shops this year (or in earlier years)?

These are my answers:

There have been 'Christmas shops' set on department stores since August, but the funniest thing was a story I read in the paper about the town of St Albans in England putiing up their Christmas lights in early September. The reason for this was that the place they were kept had to be demolished, so it was claimed the sensible thing was to put them up early! They have yet to be 'switched on', though.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Reality Barrier (Part Three)

Things are completely out of hand here on the Enterprise.

Since a large crack in space appeared, which appears to have been a barrier between the real and unreal universes, people from the latter have been appearing on the ship.

Right now on the Bridge, Bilko is selling raffle tickets for the Motorpool Dance. Lucy and Ricky Ricardo have promised to come; Steve Austin will be bringing Jaime Sommers. Jack Bauer, who still isn't sure whether it is a Chinese torture illusion where he is, has put himself down for two tickets with him and Audrey Raines 'just in case'.

I wouldn't mind that, but Beverly has bought two tickets as well! She replicated some old dollar bills.

I'm not letting Bilko near that replicator!

"Four people have appeared in Cargo Bay 1 along with a large circular object." says Worf, "One of them, a Colonel Jack O' Neill said he was en route to Earth and appeared here instead. He said he blames Carter for dialling the wrong number, and from now on, Daniel will do that."

I groan, sit down in my Captain's Chair, and have a stress pill.

"Calculations show that the Barrier will explode in ten minutes, Captain." states Data, "When that happens, the universes will become one."

"..and reality and unreality will be one and the same." continues Riker, "Who knows what evil ficticious creatures will become real?"

Another flash of light on the Bridge.

"Mighty fine to meet you all." the man says, "The name is JR Ewing; can I interest you in some shares for Ewing Oil? We're doing really well this year."

I decline, and he looks at Deanna.

"Well, howdee, honey" he says as he smiles, "You look really pretty. You're not related to the Barnes by any chance are you? Don't want to make the mistake my idiot brother Bobby did."

"Deanna's with me!" Riker declares.

"After an evening with me, she'll soon change her mind" laughs JR, "Won't you, darlin?"

Deanna slaps him on the face.

"I love the frisky ones who play hard to get" says JR, with a chuckle.

Just a few minutes to go before the explosion, sir." Data reminds us.

Another flash of light on the Bridge; what now?

A blonde woman in a dark costume appears.

"Err...hello" she says, "Can you tell me where I am? It looks like one of my spells has gone wrong. Darren will be wanting his dinner."

"I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the 24th Century starship Enterprise." I tell her, "And you are..?"

"I'm err, Samantha Stevens" she replies, "I was just reciting a spell to get all the housework done and suddenly I appeared here. I guess I must have got it wrong somewhere."

"What do you mean 'reciting a spell'" asks Worf, "Are you a member of the Q Continuum?"

"I don't know what that means." replies Samantha, "I'm just a witch."

"Are you saying you can recite spells to make things happen?" I ask.

"Sure" she tells me, "Although my husband Darren doesn't like me using my powers too much, especially when I cheat on the housework."

"Never mind that, Samantha" I say, "Do you see that large crack in space? Do you think you could repair it and reverse all the emissions that have come out of it?"

"That's a tough one!" she replies, "Definately one that would be in the Advanced Witches Spellbook."

Samantha twitches her nose and a large book appears in her hand.

She opens the book and goes through several pages before she finds what she wants. Samantha then recites a few weird words and twitches her nose again.

"The Barrier is starting to seal up again" says Data.

Lucy and Desi disappear from the Bridge; then Steve Austin and Jack Bauer. The four in the Cargo Bay vanish, together with the circular object.

JR Ewing then vanishes, just as he was persuading Geordi to buy shares in Ewing Oil.

"The Barrier is almost healed" Riker says.

"Thanks. Samantha" I say to her.

"No problem at all." she replies, "I'll have to get back to making Darren his dinner". Samantha winks and touches her nose. Then she vanishes.

"It's all sorted out, then Captain" says Riker.

"Yes, Number One," I reply, "But how do I tell Starfleet that the universe was saved by a witch who twitched her nose?"

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Reality Barrier (Part Two)

With the fabric of reality breaking down in the universe, and no sign of how to correct it, things are looking bleak.

"I sense great alarm." Deanna tells me.

That woman!

Bilko is talking with Lucy and Ricky Ricardo; apparently he is winning a considerable amount of money from a card trick he is showing them.

Another sudden flash of light and a man appears on the Bridge.

"This looks something special." he says, "It seems like I've got a sci-fi problem."

"Who are you?" I ask him.

"The name's Colonel Steve Austin" he replies, "Don't worry, I usually solve these problems in an hour; that's unless it's a two-parter, then I have two hours."

We all look puzzled.

"Be careful, Captain" says Worf, "Our sensors show that he has concealed implants; he may be an advanced form of Borg."

"That's all we need!" Riker exclaims.

Seven steps forward.

"You look interesting." she says with passion, "Do you have a message from the Borg Queen? I cannot seem to detect anything you are saying in the hive mind, however."

"Whoah!" shouts Austin, "What are you, metal girl? One of Rudy Wells' prototype rejects? Oscar never told me about you!"

Seven looks in disgust.

"The Barrier is still falling apart, Captain" says, "Another flash of light is iminent."

As it takes place, another man appears on the increasingly crowded Bridge.

He looks around swiftly.

"What's going on?" he says. Then he gets an early 21st century cell phone and starts talking into it.

"Chloe." he says desperately, "It looks like the Chinese have sent me on a brainwashing trip to make me seem as if I'm in the future....Chloe...are you there?"

I step forward.


"The name's Jack Bauer, and that's all you're going to get from me!" he replies.

Bauer then looks around, sees Worf, Lucy, Desi, Bilko and Austin.

"Just what is going on here?" he asks, "Surely none of this is real?"

I'm beginning to ask that myself; the screen shows the Barrier is steadily breaking up, and unless we can think of something drastic soon, the real world and the unreal world will melt together.

To be continued...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Reality Barrier (Part One)

We've been sent to investigate an apparent 'fracture in space' that has happened as a result of Starfleet testing their new 'MegaMissiles'.

That's typical; cause a problem and send the Enterprise to sort it all out. Has anyone noticed the frequency of these happenings?

After a day's travel, we are now in the Barnarian Sector; sensors are going crazy. Data's reasoning for this is "I do not know."

Very helpful.

As we approach, we see a giant crack in the space/time continuum. This always seems to happen.

"Indications are that the gap is getting wider and will not stop." Data tells me, "The probe we sent has disappeared; there appears to be absolutely nothing of the real universe in there."

"I sense there is something" Deanna informs me, "And it's coming out of the barrier."

That's a first; Deanna telling me that is not glaringly obvious.

Suddenly there is a blinding flash from the barrier and despite the fact that we have shields up, two figures appear on the bridge.

As the pair appear to be harmess, I go to greet them.

"Hello, I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise. Would you like to...."

"LUCEEE!!!" shouts the man to the woman, "What have you done this time!"

"Ricky!" she stammers, "It's not my fault, maybe Fred and Ethel know something about it all. Why don't you go and ask them?"

"Oh, sure, Lucy!" he tells her, "I'll just walk upstairs, shall I?"

"Would you mind telling me who you are?" I ask.

"I'm Ricky Ricardo, and this is my wife Lucy" the man tells us, "Where are we?"

"You're on the 24th Century starship Enterprise, Mr Ricardo." Riker tells them.

They look stunned.

"I don't know how you got us into this mess, Lucy." says Ricky, "But I can't see it getting sorted out in half an hour."

Data tells me quietly that the two of them never really existed, but were characters in a 20th century Earth television show.

"They are real now, Mr Data" I inform him.

"That is true, Captain." he says, "The Barrier is a pathway between real and unreality."

Another sudden flash, and a single character joins Lucy and Ricky.

The figure is a 20th Century military figure; he swiftly looks around, sees me and gets out a pack of cards.

"Pick a card!" he asks.

I look at Riker, who smiles. A card is selected; the ten of clubs.

"Put it back in the pack." says the man. He then shuffles them around and a card pops up.

"Ten of clubs!" he asks?

"Yes" I reply, "But who are you.."

"I'm Master Sergeant Ernie Bilko" he replies, "Just call me Ernie; do you want to play poker? If you've got a few dollars, let's see how good you are."

"I'm err...sorry...Ernie," I tell him, "We don't have currency in this society"

"Boy, am I in the wrong location!" he says to himself, "What kind of place is this?"

"It's a kind of spaceship in the 24th Century, Ernie." Lucy tells him, "I can't think how we ended up here."

Data tells me that Bilko is another character from an Earth tv show, and that as the Barrier grows wider, the two universes could mix.

"You mean...?" Deanna asks.

"Yes, Counselor." Data continues, "The real and unreal universes could all be one."

To be continued...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

TWQ: What Makes A Scary Movie?

This week, TWQ (The Weekend Question) takesw a look into the essence of a scary movie:

What is it in a movie that can make it scary for you? Quote some movie examples that you remembered well because they left a scary impression on you.

My answers are:

For me, it is not knowing what is going to come next; the movie might be overall quite mild, but the uneasiness in the movie will leave a lasting impression.

The scariest movie I ever saw by far was the recent Japanese movie 'Audition'. It has an air of unease throughout the film, until the psychopathic Japanese girl gets her cheesewire on the paralysed man and says "Kitty, kitty, kitty."

Other scary movies for me are the 1932 movie 'Freaks' and the Hitchcock 'Psycho.'

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Drakulon Princess

We are all in our dress uniforms waiting by the transporter to welcome the Drakulon Princess, Vampirella, as we take her to Earth.

"I've never heard of her" says Beverly.

"Oh, I err... chatted to her at a a small social party on 16th September" I tell her.

I hope this isn't going to be awkward.

"Well I heard that she'll be coming in her full battle uniform" Riker tells us.

"Ah" comments Worf, "Vampirella must be a real soldier, able to defeat the enemy very easily; able to taste their blood."

"You could say that, Mr Worf" I comment.

The transporter hums, and Vampirella materialises.

She runs to me, with a smile, and gives me a big kiss on the cheek.

"Hello Jean-Luc" she beams, "So good to see you again after my 200th party. Sorry if I got a little tipsy, but you were naughty in bringing that bloodwine. Did you know it would get me drunk?"

I go red, and Beverly glares at me.

"Put your eyes back in your head, Will!" Deanna whispers to Riker.

Beverly marches forward and looks her over from top to toe.

"Welcome...err..Princess Vampirella" she says with an irritated tone, "Did you forget to bring your battle armour? You seem to just have your underwear on"

"This IS my battle armour" she replies, "And call me Vampi; all us girls have got to get on, haven't we?"

Even Seven is lost for words as Vampi departs with all the men following her every word, and the women looking annoyed.

"I'll have my feed in an hour, Jean-Luc" Vampi casually informs me.

"What will she be eating?" asks Riker, who is still looking at her as Deanna pulls him back.

I tell him.

"Lots of blood, Number One".

"And you'll be her first feed, Jean-Luc" says Beverly icily, "I'll make sure of that."

Riker and I look at each other. This could be a long trip.


We are nearly at Earth, and Beverly hasn't spoken to me since Vampirella arrived on the Enterprise ; Riker tells me that Deanna hasn't spoken to him either, despite the fact the Vampi has kept to her cabin throughout the journey. The atmosphere has been chillier than the planet Xegenon 9

I am then summoned to SickBay; Beverly and Vampi are both there, along with Deanna and Riker.

"I've had a girl talk with Bev & Deanna" says Vampirella, "It seems that my appearance has caused a little friction between Jean-Luc & Bev and Will & Deanna. I'm really sorry about that. Sometimes I seem to do that, although I don't know why."

I can't think why. either!

"That's ok" say Beverly "We've decided to make up with them."

"That's great; well, as compensation, I've decided to give both you ladies each a spare outfit I have. I hope you'll like them."

It looks like Riker will, as he smiles wide enough to eat four donuts.

"Thanks, Vampi" says Deanna.


After Princess Vampirella has left, with a case of Klingon bloodwine, Beverly turns to me.

"I'll have to go, now, Jean Luc" she tells me, "I have a new outfit to try on."

For crossover, see Vampirella

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Letter To Locutus

Dear Locutus Of Borg,

Or do you prefer 'Captain Picard' now? I suppose you do, although you'll always be 'Locutus' to us here in the Borg.

I digress; please forgive me sending you this letter, as I know you probably have a low opinion us, especially since we kidnapped you some time ago and attempted to invade and assimilate Earth.

Anyway, let's forgive and forget for the moment; we'll attack at some later stage.

The reason why I sent this message was that I noticed something in the latest report that was sent to me from Seven Of Nine, my representative on the Enterprise.

In it, she stated that how opposed you were to the Borg looking after the proceedings at the Enterprise Christmas Party later this year. Seven seemed to think that we could provide an ideal musical group and do a fine catering for all.

I have to agree with her on both points, and also suggest that Security would be another strong point.

Let's just run through how we can be superior to any other choice, although it stands to reason, as the Borg are supreme in everything.

1: Musical Entertainment: The band we have, named 'The Strolling Drones' are much sought after by all Cubes. The lead singer, One Of Four, was Mick Jagged, before he was a drone, was starting to look a little old, but has since been revitalised now he been with us. His singing of 'I Can't Get No Assimilation', 'I Wanna Be Your Drone' and 'Get Off My Cube' has to be seen to be believed. You'll be lucky to have them, Locutus.

2: Catering: The Borg has assmilated the finest chefs in the galaxy, so naturally, and food you desire will be cooked to perfection. No tempremental egotistical chefs here. Just tell them what you want, and they will cook it. A word of warning, though, they do tend to assimilate people who show displeasure at their cooking.

3: Security: Forget about that Klingon looking after things; I'm sure Worf would be more interested in sampling the bloodwine than maintaining security. The Borg method of looking after things in this dapartment are more simple and direct. We usually ask gatecrashers or undesirable elements within the party if they would care to be either (A) assimilated or (B) put in an airlock and ejected. I assure you, it is very effective.

So there you have it, Locutus; the Borg can produce a great time whenever needed.

Now I know what's on your mind. "What's the catch?" Well, really, there isn't, we just want to let everyone know that they can have a fun time with the Borg, and that we're not the ogres we are portrayed as. Frankly, I think we've just had a bad press and the media dislike us.

I'll leave you to think about the offer, Locutus; while you do, please also remember that we'll come and assimilate everyone on Earth if you turn us down. The media will have a change in attitude then, as we'll be running it.

I'll bid you goodbye for now.

Best Wishes,

The Borg Queen

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Finding The Author

I'm really annoyed; despite the intention of looking in the Enterprise Library, I haven't been able to find a copy of 'Vanessa' by Ruth Everson.

It had a really, err...interesting start when the shuttle computer started reading it last week, but suddenly it had broke down and deleted the database.

I check with the computer again, while in my Ready Room.

"Do you have the text of 'Vanessa' by Ruth Everson anywhere?" I ask.


"Why not?" I demand to know.

"The book has just been deleted by Starfleet as it has been deemed unsuitable for reading, along with 'The Little Engine That Could' and 'Little Noddy Goes To Toyland'." the computer states in an officious manner.

Good grief.

I try another tack.

"Are there any other books by Ruth Everson in the Enterprise Library" I ask, hoping that there might be a similar book.

"Negative, except for a book written in the 21st Century about Scientology."

"It's not her!" I shout.

Data comes in; maybe he knows something?

"Have you heard of Ruth Everson, Data?" I inquire innocently.

"Yes, Captain." I believed she lived in the 21st Century and..."

"Not her!" I say tiringly, "I mean the author of 'Vanessa'!"

Data thinks for a moment, as if his memory chip is reading the book; lucky him.

"The Ruth Everson in this Century only wrote 'Vanessa' five years ago." he tells me, "She has not written another book since. Miss Everson is very reclusive, and although her publishers have urged her to write another book, she has declined, by saying she has other things to do. No one knows where she is right now."

This is ridiculous; when Data leaves, I turn on my monitor and get in contact with 'Racy Reads', the publishers of 'Vanessa'.

A seedy looking man appears on the screen; he says his name is Rick Racy.

"Yeah, Captain" he tells me with a drawl, "Vanessa" is a popular read of ours. Since it has been banned, it's popularity has soared. Wish we could get Ruth to write another one."

"What do you know about her?" I ask.

"I know that her real name isn't Ruth Iveson" states Racy.

"What is it then?" I ask.

"Hold on, keep your hair on" laughs Racy, "I'll look for it in the files....oh yeah, Ruth's real name is Beverly Crusher."


Later, I'm in SickBay with Beverly.

"Why didn't you tell me that you wrote 'Vanessa', Beverly" I ask.

"Well, Jean-Luc" she replies, "I didn't want you to think different of me knowing that I wrote that book. Besides, being on the Enterprise took all my time up to write another book. Please don't tell Wes, or any of the other crew-members."

"It'll be our secret" I tell her, "But I do have one request; do you have a copy of your book anywhere?"

"I happen to have one hidden right here that was given to be when it first came out." she says, "Would you like me to read some of it."

"Err..yes please, Beverly."

As Beverly opens the book to start reading, I close this particular entry in my Journal.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

TWQ: Shop Talk

This weekend, TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about shops and service.

Have you ever really been angry in a shop (or restaurant) as a result of poor service or fauly goods? What happened?

My answer is:

The British never like to make a scene, of course, and typically a shop or restaurant can get away with a lot more. When I bought a computer some years ago, the company said that I had agreed to pay for a warranty when I hadn't. I really hit the roof here, and sent a nasty letter. The salesman had 'mysteriously disappeared', and after phone calls, they agreed to refund some money out of 'goodwill'. That's another way of saying I was wrong, but give him the money to settle the matter!

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shuttle Travel

After a boring Captain's Conference at Starbase 12, I'm on my way back to the Enterprise in a shuttle.We rendezvous in Sector 5, where the ship is doing an Astromentic Survey.

It is really, really boring travelling on one's own in a shuttle.

"Computer" I instruct, "Play some music"

"Acknowledged. Would you like classical, blues, swing, jazz, rock, 24th century electrical, Klingon piano recitals, Romulan jive.."

"Just play something at random!"

I get a Klingon rendition of 'Spanish Eyes'.

"Cancel that!" I say quickly.

"Acknowledged. Is there anything else you would like?"

"I wish Beverly was here" I say to myself.

"That is not possible"

"I wasn't talking to you!" I reply, "Give me a list of options from the entertainment databank, computer."

"Acknowledged. Music, games, education, quizzes, audiobooks.."

"Select an audiobook for me to read"

"'Vanessa' by Ruth Everson" states the computer, and it starts to read to me..

"Vanessa saw Lord Fairfax approach her; she was very nervous as she had never been alone with him before. As he approached, she slowly removed her dress, which exposed the beautiful.."

Suddenly the voice stops and a distorted crackle replaces it..

"Computer!" I shout indignantly, "What happened to the audiobook?"

"Malfunction in audiobook directory; all books have been deleted."

Oh, that's great; this shuttle is falling apart.

General knowledge; I'm pretty good at that. I would have won the Enterprise Annual Quiz Tournament if it hadn't have been for Data.

"Computer" I say, "Try the quiz section and give me some questions."

"Acknowledged. Here is your first question. Who was the starship Captain was was kidnapped by the Borg, which resulted in a large-scale loss of life in the Battle of Wolf 359?"

I don't believe this.

"Who cares?" I say angrily.

"That is not the correct answer" says the computer, "The correct one is...."

"We both know what the correct one is, computer" I shout, "Have you got in in for my on this journey?"

"That does not compute."

I give up.

"Computer" I say, "Get the replicator to...."

"All replicators are offline"

"Is there anything that IS online" I ask.

"The main computer is."



I wake up later in the Enterprise SickBay. Beverly is standing next to me.

"All right, Jean-Luc" she says, "Everything is alright; you're fine now."

Riker is with her.

"It took a while to find you, Captain" he tells me, "The shuttle was drifting about in space; when we examined it, the fire emergency axe had been put into the main computer system by some force. You had passed out."

"Have you any idea what happened, Jean-Luc" asks Beverly.

"I don't think I can remember" I reply.

I'm certainly not going to tell them, but I am going to get a copy of 'Vanessa' by Ruth Everson from the Enterprise Library.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Report To The Borg Queen

To The Borg Queen,

This is Seven Of Nine of Unimatrix 01 sending the latest report of my progress on the USS Enterprise.

After some time, people are beginning to accept me here; they no longer run down the corridors screaming when they see me, and mothers do not say to their children "Behave yourself or I'll send you to the Borg woman to get assimilated."

It will make things somewhat awkward for them when the Cube comes and actually assimilates the crew.

I have presented a breakdown of the senior staff, so that you can be more familiar with their actions, and what I have noticed about them.

Locutus of Borg: he still insists on being called 'Captain Jean-Luc Picard', so I humour him in this. Though he is the leader in the vessel, he allows others to have their own opinions. At least we know where we are in the Borg with us following you without question. Locutus does not disconnect people who disagree with him, as you do. This is a sign of weakness.

Commander William Riker: The second in command on this vessel, who strangely gets called 'Number One' by Locutus. I have yet to understand why this is so, as it is not a proper name at all. Another human peculiarity. Riker has a great liking for donuts, and will secretly go for as many of them as possible in Ten Forward (the rest area). He is romantically involved with Deanna Troi (see below).

Lieutenant Commander Data: This is a most interesting specimen, as he is an android with a positronic brain. I recommend that he be acquired so that the Borg may study him and get an Upgrade for us all. We haven't had one since Windows 2351.

Lieutenant Worf: This Klingon is head of Security; he has an aggressive tendancy and prefers to shoot before asking questions, very much like we do. I like his style, but I recommend that he be neutralised quickly when we assimilate before he does too much damage to drones.

Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge: This human Chief Engineer is not too much problem; he only gets visibly annoyed if someone starts adjusting things in the Engineering Section.

Counselor Deanna Troi: This is a half-Betazoid whose telepathic abilities will be useful to the Borg. She is romantically involved with Riker, has an overbearing mother named Lwaxana and has an abnormal liking for chocolate. I recommend we try to delete that before assimilating her, otherwise the Borg will be dependent on Chocolate Sundaes.

Lieutenant Jadzia Dax: This is a member of the Trill race who is host to the Dax symbiont; as we haven't had a Trill before this would be most interesting experience for us. A bio-symbiont would be another step forward in the Borg Medical Directory.

Ensign Ro Laren: A Bajoran, who has, what the humans call a 'huge chip on her shoulder' about the Cardassians. She won't have that when she's a drone, of course, as we've assimilated Cardassians in the past. That is the wonderful thing about the Borg, my Queen; we assimilate anybody, and have no prejudices.

Doctor Beverly Crusher: This human female is romantically linked with Locutus of Borg; she consistantly tries to tell me I was human myself once, which is nonsense. I wish to put her first in the Assimilation Chamber.

The staff are making plans for a Christmas party; I tried to convince them that the Borg do a superb catering service and musical accompaniment, but they refused to listen to me. It's little wonder that they are so weak.

The Borg are supreme! Resistance is futile!


Seven Of Nine

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Planning The Christmas Party

"Right everyone," I say to the senior staff as I call them into my Ready Room, "We have an important subject to discuss."

"What has happened?" asks Worf, "Have the Romulans invaded a defenceless outpost? Are the Breen showing up on our borders?"

", Mr Worf." I tell him, "We need to plan our Christmas party."

"Christmas parties are irrelevant!" snorts Seven.

"Don't you have Christmas parties on the Borg Cubes? asks Riker.

"Of course not" replies Seven, "Drones are not permitted to enjoy themselves, but are there only to serve the Borg Queen. The drones do have to give the Queen a Christmas card every year, though."

"What happens if a drone forgets to send a card?" asks Deanna.

"Then they are deactivated." states Seven, as if it is the most natural thing.

"It beats crossing someone off their Christmas card list" Geordi comments drily.

"I think we're getting away from the main issue" I tell them, "We need to start arranging events for the forthcoming party."

"Is it a little early?" asks Jadzia, "After all, it is only September."

"That's as maybe" I tell her, "But we need to book early to get the top things; if we leave it much later, we'll just be left with that nobody wants."

"I agree, Captain." comments Geordi, "We cound only get Sid Starr and the Starlighters last year; we had to get Sid out of a Starfleet rest home to sing for us. We want someone a bit more groovy with today's music."

"We don't want that group currently at number one in the Federation Charts" declares Riker, "I hardly think 'The Slime' are appropriate; that record of theirs, 'Cut Me To Shreds With Your Disruptor.' has been banned by every broadcaster in the galaxy."

"I think the singer should be able to perform a variety of up-to-date and classic tunes." says Beverly, "Although we want 24th Century music, we want them to be able to produce slow, smoochy numbers as well, especially for the last waltz."

I think Bev was looking directly at me, especially when she made the remark about slow smoochy numbers.

All agree on her point, and we decide to look in the 'Federation Party Groups' list for suitable candidates.

"Now what about the food and drink?" I ask.

"Last year's was a little substandard." says Deanna, "They seemed to be mass produced replicator materials."

"I didn't notice." replies Worf.

"That may have been due to the Klingon Bloodwine and the amount you consumed, Worf!" says Riker drily.

Everyone laughs except Worf, who looks disgusted at the thought that he could possibly drink too much bloodwine.

"We need to go to a more upmarket caterer" Beverly states, "Someone who will produce the real thing."

"How will we find somewhere?" asks Data.

"We'll have to look in 'Federation Caterers', Mr Data." I tell him.

"We don't want to get associated with some shady outfit like the Ferengi or the Cardassians." comments Ro Laren.

"The Borg may do a suitable spread for you" comments Seven, "As we have assimilated some of the finest chefs in the galaxy, it would undoubtably be the best. Also the drones could be an excellent group. We assimilated 'The Strolling Bones' recently, so they would not be short of talent."

" thanks, Seven" I reply hesitantly.

"They would be called 'The Strolling Drones" she tells him.

Was this Seven's attempt at humour, or was she being being serious? I decided not to ask.

"All right, everyone" I tell them, "We'll start looking at options with music and food and drink have an update meeting at a future time."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

TWQ: Background Blog Music

This week, TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about the music in blogs:

What music would you like in the background to play as people viewed your blog? You can pick as many as you wish, but say what your first choice would be.

My answer is:

My first choice would be 'Space Oddity' by David Bowie (it starts 'Ground countrol to Major Tom...')

Other choices would by 'Starman' (also by David Bowie) and 'Rocket Man' by Elton John

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Obeying The Lore (Part Three)

I was pleased we caught the killer in Starbase 6 so quickly; sometimes we can wrap up our missions very fast!

Now we are conducting a shipwide search for Jennifer Baxter, who seems to have disappeared. Her Com badge was destroyed.

Also, we are going to observe the Kraka Rift. It is a dimensional distortion in space that has developed, and tends to open up every so often. It leads to an unknown area.

It's too dangerous to get very near to, so we have to view it from a distance. A very long distance.

I must say, the Enterprise does seem to getting a little close to the Rift for my liking.

"Mr La Forge" I say, "We are too near the Rift, reverse course."

"The Enterprise has been set on a programmed course towards the Rift!" says Georgi in his best panic-stricken voice, "There is no way to change it!"

"There must be!" I tell him, in my best calm-but-actually-terrified tone.

"I can't change the law of physics" he shouts.

Now who said that before?

Deanna looks at me.

"I sense increasing concern throughout the ship" she says.

I sense it in me as well. Data gets up and goes towards the door.

"Mr Data" I tell him, "We need you at your post."

"I can't do that, Captain" he replies, "I've got a shuttle to catch. I don't want to be in that Rift, after all. I've got a life to lead once you are out of the way."


"Lore?" asks Riker.

"That's right, Riker." he replies, "He's smart, Picard; you were wise to get him as a Commander."

On that, he disappears from the Bridge; despite all our efforts, we can't stop the route he is taking as Lore has programmed a forcefield corridor right towards his shuttle.

Why does this always happen? We had these things built in to help us, not so that villains could get away without us doing anything. That's something I'll have to write to Starfleet about.

Now I must be going crazy; here I am, thinking of writing a letter of complaint to Starfleet, while the Enterprise is on an irreversible course towards the Kraka Rift!

Lore is seen going off to safety in a shuttle; he leaves at Warp 9.

"How long do we have?" I ask.

"About 10 minutes." replies Riker.

"Where do you think Data is?" I say, "He would be able to solve this."

"He must still be on Starbase 6" answers Beverly.

"Absolutely; if we can find him, he might get us out of it all"

Five minutes later, after a call, Data is located in a crate bound for Nowheresville Warehouse. He is snapped together. It was fortunate that the Starbase had an Easy-To-Assemble plan that Dr Soong had bequested to the Federation.

With thirty seconds to go, the Enterprise about to go in the Rift, Data's face appears on our videoscreen; he suggests a probable sequence that might work.

The program is disabled, and the Enterprise turns round with two seconds to spare.

It's odd that these incidents are never carried out with lots of minutes remaining; there are always single seconds.


Later on, we pick up Data from Starbase 6 and find Jennifer Baxter tied up and gagged in a Jeffries Tube.

"Lore is still on the loose, sir" says Data.

"That's true" I reply, "He's not the sort to retire to a quiet life with pipe and slippers. I'm sure he will turn up sometime"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Obeying The Lore (Part Two)

At last, things are underway.

I've dissembled Data and put him in a crate marked "Nowheresville Warehouse.". It's the traditional place where items go and are never heard from again.

I certainly don't want to see my do-good brother again; he had his chance to join me, but turned it down. I it's time for good ol' Lore to set the wheels in motion.

Now I've got to pose as Data and be on the Enterprise until I get it destroyed, or the people on it suffer a nasty fate. It's a bit of a downer playing Data, but the end result will cheer me up no end.

"Data! Where are you?"

It's Picard's voice.

He comes up to me and asks where I've been for ages.

"I thought the most likely clues would be in a quiet place where no one usually goes, Captain." I tell him, "So I checked thoroughly."

It's so hard not to remember not to use contractions with these idiots; they might be slow, but they spot things like that right away.

"Good thinking, Mr Data" says Picard.

What a gullible human he is. He'll believe anything I tell him. If I told him it was day and it was night, he'd accept it.


About 15 minutes later, we have 'caught' the murderer. It's an assistant of Dr Rou named Damal. I've set him up as the patsy, and cooked up enough evidence against him so that he HAS to be guilty.

Balas is satisfied and the mission is over.

As we come off the Enterprise transporter, Troi starts with her Betazed theories.

"Captain" she says, "I'm not sure if Damal is the killer; he stresses he is innocent, and I can tell that in his mind he believes he is."

"Perhaps, Deanna" suggests Picard, "He blacked out the incidents and truly believes he is innocent?"

Great, Captain; thanks for helping me out there!


Later, while walking in the Enterprise corridor, I am greeted by a great-looking brunette.

"Hi Data!" she says, "Are you looking forward to our date tonight?"

This must be Jennifer Baxter, Data's girlfriend; not bad, Data, you have good taste in the ladies, I must say.

"Sure, Jenny, honey" I tell her, "You're my number one babe"

Oops. I think I was distracted by her, and forgot where I was.

"You're not Data!" shouts Jenny, "Data doesn't use contractions, and doesn't use compliments like 'babe' and 'honey'. I'm calling the Captain.."

Jenny is quickly stunned by my phaser. Too bad; I guess that's our date for the evening gone. I guess I'll be looking in the android 'lonely hearts pages' soon.

In a hurry, I gag her and put her in a nearby Jeffries Tube.

Things are starting to look a little anxious already. I'd better start putting things in motion to destroy this ship before anyone misses her.

To be continued...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Obeying The Lore (Part One)

My latest hobby of building model aeroplanes hasn't been going very well.

It seems like 'construction' is a chip that was never fitted in me by Doctor Soong, my creator. After the failure of trying to build my android daughter Lal, I have rarely had the inclination to try again.

Even with model aircraft I am a complete failure; the cement goes all over my fingers, the paint goes everywhere and the transfers stick to my body.

How were people able to build them in the 20th century? They would probably have more luck in designing an android with a positronic brain. The last one I tried to just repeated "Mission accomplished" over and over until his Duracell battery ran out. I forgot to install an 'off' switch on him.


As I have just been called to the Bridge, I've put down my work. When I arrive there, Captain Picard looks at me.

"Mr Data, why do you have paint and a German aircraft transfer stuck to your hand?" he asks.

"I did not have time to wash them off" I explain, " I was..."

"Never mind" the Captain continues, "We have been summoned to Starbase 6; apparently there has been a series of murders."


Captain Picard, Deanna Troi, Lieutenant Worf and myself beam down to investigate; we are greeted by Balas, the Security Officer there.

"Captain" he says, "Dr Rou, the foremost authority on cybernetic research has been murdered; he was stabbed in the back and thrown out into space through an airlock. Two of my security officers suffered a similar fate. We recovered their bodies floating in space."

"What exactly was he studying?" I ask.

"I've no idea." replies Balas, "But the important thing is that the killer is still on this station; I have not allowed anybody to depart since."

"I don't seem to sense anybody with murderous intentions" Counselor Troi observes.

"All right, everybody" says the Captain, "We'll split up into four and search the station; be careful. "

Ten minutes later, I amo down a quiet part of the station, where no one is around; my ears pick up footsteps behind me; I hear a voice.

"Hello, brother."


"You should not be here." I tell him, "You were dissembled and..."

"You should always allow for the inquisitiveness of the human lifeform, brother." he gloats, "Dr Rou, who was so curious about how we work, couldn't help putting me together to see what happened. I guess he found out to his cost, as did the security officers."

"I will summon the Captain and Lieutenant Worf" I quickly say, "You will be dissembled and sent back."

"Have you learnt nothing, Data?" he asks, "We are self learning androids; that just won't happen. I am superior to you and all those Enterprise lifeforms. Look at the big picture, brother. You are either with me or against me."

"You know the answer to that one, Lore."

"Indeed I do; I'll have you dissembled and sent to a warehouse where everything is kept for eternity'. Just a nightwatchman guarding hundreds of crates, one which will have bits of you inside!"

"My absence will be noted, Lore"

"Not this time" he tells me, "I'll impersonate you and quietly wait for my chance."

Lore leaps towards me; we both toss and tumble, as I feel my 'off' switch being activated....

To be continued...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

TWQ: Funny Book Titles & Authors

This weekend, TWQ (The Weekend Question) looks to see if you can make up some good book combinations:

Can you make up or do you know some book titles and authors that go together well:

Examples are:

The Clifftop Accident by Eileen Dover

Elegant Cars by Iona Ferrari

Map Making by Easton West

Litigation Techniques by Sue Yu

Which ones do you know?