Gaius IV is a world Starfleet haven't explored before. As we are in the vicinity, we have been sent to take a look at it.
Sensors show it is deserted, but there are a few old buildings around.
Data, Geordi, Worf, Ro and myself are in the Away Team beaming down. I like to be in the group that visit. After all, I'm the Captain!
The trouble is, those in Away Teams to get eliminated; it's a high risk strategy.
When we appear on the planet, see see a lot of ruined buildings, ancient columns and walls that have long since collapsed due to age.
"All right" I say to the team, "Data and Geordi, you look over there to the north; Worf and Ro, you search that cluster of buildings over to the south. As for me, I'll look right here in these chambers."
"Are you sure you will be alright, Captain?" warns Worf, "You have no one with you. Perhaps you ought to come with Ensign Ro and myself?"
"Don't worry, Mr Worf." I reply, "I know how to look after myself."
I should listen to others, of course; things never run smoothly. We must me the most incident-prone ship in Starfleet.
As the others explore, I go into the ancient rooms that still remain standing; eventually, I come across something rather odd.
A giant mirror.
On the frame are a set of numbers. The marker is set to 'seven'. I take a closer look.
Why do I do it? New New Years Resolution ought to be 'Don't be so curious'.
When I touch the mirror, I find my hand goes through it, and in a moment of extreme silliness, as I must have left my brain on the Enterprise, I step through.
Everything is exactly how it was, nothing has altered. I do notice that the marker is at 'twelve', though.
"Captain!" calls out Worf, "Ensign Ro is injured. Some debris fell on her."
I run out, thinking nothing more about the mirror incident, and go to where Data, Geordi and Worf are, with Ro lying down.
The three turn round and salute quickly; Ro, dazed she is, looks and manages a weak little salute. I notice that her bare arms are covered and the Bajoran jewelry she always wears is missing.
"I'm sorry I can't stand up, Captain Picard." she says, "I think I have concussion."
In surprise, I salute back.
"That's alright, Ensign." I tell her, "Let's beam back and get you to SickBay."
In the transport room, I am greeted by a barrage of salutes; everyone looks as if they daren't put a foot wrong. I try to keep remembering to salute as I greet everyone.
What's going on? Has there been a new Starfleet directive? I could believe that!
Going to SickBay, I am greeted by Beverly, who is treating Ro.
Bev stops and salutes me.
"Ensign Ro Laren will be able to resume duties in two hours, sir." she informs me.
"That's good to know." I reply. Then I ask Beverly to quietly speak to me.
"What's with all the salutes, Bev?" I ask her, "You are behaving very officiously today, as is everybody else. What about our date tonight? I hope you're not going to be officious then!"
I reach forward and kiss her on the cheek.
Beverly looks shocked.
"Unhand me, Captain!" she shouts, slapping my cheek, "You know that Starfleet employees are not allowed to fraternise! Male and female contact is strictly forbidden in this galaxy, with the body covered with clothes at all times."
My mind recalls the incident with the mirror on Gaius IV.
This may not be the universe I belong to. I wonder what is going on in my universe?
To be continued...