Well, we had to do it, didn't we?
We see a strange anomoly in space, picked up by the Enterprise sensors. Now the logical thing to do would be to turn the ship 180 degrees round, and speed off at Warp Nine to the nearest Starbase, relax and say "That was a close one."
But no, instead we decide to go nearer, as we are supposed to be explorers. Never mind the fact that most explorers usually turn out to be dead after a while because they got too nosey."
"What do the sensors say, Mr Data?" I ask.
"They seem to pick up a high resonance of hypervariable particles, concentating on the inner field. It appears they are fluctuating rapidly, which would indicate...."
"In English, Data!" Riker tells him.
"It appears that the readings are similar to that we have seen when we encountered the Reality Barrier."
"Is it falling apart again?" I ask with increased alarm. I don't want that happening again.
"No, sir." he replies, "Actually, this is NOT the Reality Barrier, but a sort of polar opposite."
"You mean an UN-reality Barrier?" questions Riker.
"Possibly." Data says, "We should leave immediately, as this is a turbulent area, and flares from the barrier are likely to emit at any time."
As he says so, a flare shoots out, appears on the Enterprise Bridge and hits me.
Why is it always me? Suddenly I feel myself dissolving and blacking out.
"Are you all right?" I hear a voice calling to me, "Quick, get the Floor Manager."
I wake up and see a strange figure over me.
"What happened, Patrick?" he asks me, "I know this episode has been hard work for you. Do you want to rest for half an hour in your trailer?"
"Excuse me?" I saw, "Who are you?"
"Yeah, okay Patrick." he answers, "I'm the Studio Floor Manager. We've got a heavy schedule to complete. 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' isn't an easy series to do."
I look around in puzzlement.
The Bridge looks slightly the same, but there is something artificial about it, as part of it is cut away to reveal an old style television studio. On the Bridge are 20th century televion cameras. The main viewer is just a blue screen telling people what to do.
What is going on?
"What is this?" I ask, "I'm Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise. Why have you abducted me to this artificial environment?"
"Whoa!" laughs Riker, "Hey, Patrick, I know you like to get into your roles, but don't you think you're laying it on a bit thick?"
"Number One?" I say, "Are you in this as well?"
"It's Jonathan to you." he says, "I'm not having you call me that dopey title outside work hours."
Geordi approaches; he is not wearing his visor, and can see!
"I think we'd better get the studio doctor." he observes, "Patrick's not feeling well. He seems to think he's in charge of the actual ship."
"Yeah, that's a good one, LeVar" laughs out Data, "The boys will laugh at that one in the next briefing we'll have."
Bev walks across the studio, and asks what is going on.
"You've got to help me, Bev." I plead.
It seems she tries hard not not giggle, but says she will take me back to my trailer, where I'll be able to rest. On the way, I tey to explain things to her.
"Look." she tells me, "I'm Cheryl McFadden, although everybody calls me Gates. You are Patrick Stewart, and we are in the 20th Century making a science fiction show called 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. You remember now?"
"Bev...err..Cheryl....err..Gates." I tell her, "I'm from the 24th Century and we encountered an Unreality Barrier. It has sent me to this artificial, alternate universe"
She sighs; it's going to be tough to convince her.
I approach my trailer, as I see the world around is 20th Century Earth.
I rest there, wonder how I am going to get back to the real Enterprise, and also wonder what Patrick the actor is thinking of it?
To be continued...