"Well I don't see what it's got to do with us." I say to Admiral Ryan, Head of Starfleet Communication, "After all, we are explorers, going where no one has gone before, and all that sort of thing."
"Very true, Captain." he replies, "But we think you and your senior staff will be very useful in helping with the transfer we have in mind."
"But a call centre!" I protest, "Why do we even need one? Surely they disappeared in the 21st Century when scientists found they made people mentally and emotionally unstable?"
Ryan sat back in his chair as we talked at Starfleet Headquarters. I know his mind was made up in this, but I have to try and get round hiis reasoning.
"Of course they were banned, Captain." he tells me, "But they were re-introduced quietly when Starfleet found they were getting a lot of complaints, especially from residents near shuttle landing sites. However the cost of running these centres is very high. The medical insurance is very high due to to constant stress they suffer."
I roll my eyes. Don't they ever learn?
"So." continued Ryan, "We have decided to move the call centre to the distant planet of Bidura, "The people there are err..."
"Cheaper?" I suggest.
"Errr..yes, Captain." Ryan replies, "They have a great need for rock chips off boulders. Your mission is to go to the new call centre on Bidura and see if it is being run correctly. Naturally, and incoming callers must think they are still calling Starfleet Headquarters on Earth."
I sigh. We build massive Galaxy-class starships, and yet we are still mean enogh to use cheap call centres.
Later, we travel to Bidura. The senior staff and I beam down and are greeted by a man in a strange outfit and wearing a toupee.
"Greetings, Captain Picard." he says, "I am Ky'las....I mean Bob."
"Which is it meant to be? I ask.
"Well, my actual name is Ky'las." he tells me, "But the call centre transfer handbook tells me that I must use a name common to the area, so please call me Bob from now on."
We take a look at the call centre.
I turn to Riker.
"This is strange, Number One." I say quietly, "Bob, and those around him are wearing 20th-21st century clothing and thinking in that mindset. Not only that, the computers are ancient, with people wearing headsets."
"That's true" he replies, "I wonder what the rulebook is like they've been sent?"
I ask Bob to bring me a copy. I read through it with horror.
"They've sent the wrong one. It's nearly 400 years old!" I say.
"What can we do here, Captain?" Deanna asks me.
"I know one thing." I state with conviction. "We've got a tough job on our hands, here."
To be continued...