I'm here at Starfleet Headquarters applying for my own job!
Since Admiral Jensen told me there is a 'restructuring program' going on at Starfleet, I've been preparing for the interview. Beverly has been helping by playing the interviewer and me answering.
Bev was too tough! I couldn't answer her questions.
I'm here now in my best outfit, waiting to go in. Beverly is with me, holding my hand.
"Now listen, Jean-Luc" she tells me calmly, "There is nothing to be afraid of; just be your normal self and answer carefully."
"I don't want to end up commanding a cargo ship in deep space, or something like that." I say in a halting manner, "I like the Enterprise."
"Don't be afraid." Beverly replies, "Besides, if the worst comes to the worst, even a cargo ship needs a doctor."
We laugh at that. Bev has a good sense of humor.
The interview room door opens, and Captain Collinson of the USS Delaware comes out. He's a tough man, but he is red faced and quivering. Some of his officers take him away as he mentions the Captaincy of a leaky radioactive chemical vessel.
A voice barks out from the room.
I slowly walk in; the are two figures there; Admirals Fenner and Z'Var. Two of the people who opposed my Captaincy to the Enterprise in the first place.
That cargo ship is looking very real.
"Now I know we didn't exactly approve of you when who were given the Enterprise, Captain Picard." says Fenner, "But you can be sure that Admiral Z'Var and I will overlook that and will give a balanced assesment on this interview. Isn't that right, Admiral?"
"Yes, I suppose so." Z'var comments reluctantly.
"Now then," starts Fenner, "Can you tell me how well you've done with the Enterprise, and why you think you should stay in chatge of it?"
"Well" I say, "We've made a number of First Contacts with other species, saved the universe a few times, and..."
"While that's true, Captain" interrupts Z'Var, "It has been the Enterprise, not just you who have done these things. Many of your own crews action has resulted in things working out. The acting Ensign Wesley Crusher has saved the ship a number of times. Maybe we should make him Captain?"
I grate my teeth hard.
"Ensign Crusher did perform a lot of these tasks, Admiral" I comment, "But only because I had the foresight to appoint him to that position."
It pained me to say all that, but Z'Var grudginly accepts it. Fenner tries another tack.
"The Starfleet Prime Directive is our number one priority, is it not, Captain."
"Yes, Admiral." I reply, knowing what Fenner is going to say next.
"In that case, why have you consistantly broken that rule?" he comments, "On Stardate 43218.6, the Enterprise interfered with the development of the Goldran race, and on Stardate.."
"That was necessary, Admiral." I say quickly, "Otherwise the Goldran would not be here now. Also, if you remember, Admiral Z'Var, that it was them that rescued your race, the Valden, when the Golos threatened to invade."
Z'Var hesitates; I've got him on the defensive. He quietly confers with Fenner, who shakes he head. After more intensive whispering, Fenner nods his head grudgingly and turns towards me.
"Captain Picard." he states, with the air of a man who has won a lottery but has lost his ticket, "We have decided that your application to retain the Captaincy of the Enterprise has been successful."
I get up and leave; Beverly is waiting for me, eager to know the result.
"Forget the cargo vessel, Bev." I tell her with a smile, "I think we'll settle for the Enterprise."
We both laugh and head back to beam up.