I'm still stuck on Earth in the 20th Century, having swapped bodies with an actor called Patrick Stewart, who is making a tv series called 'Star Trek: The Next Generation'. As we look alike, I can't convince anyone that I'm not the same man.
A flare from the Unreality Barrier had hit the Enterprise, and sent me to this alternate dimension, where the crew are portrayed as just being actors, who are filmed for the entertainment of the nation.
I can only hope that the crew of the Enterprise come up with something to get me back!
Currently I am lying in my trailer, hoping that I'll reappear suddenly on the Bridge. The door bangs heavily, and the exasperated Floor Manager enters.
"Look Patrick." he says with a sigh, "Enough's enough. What do you want? More money? I'll talk to the guys in Accounts. Now can we just get back to the studio?"
I agree. Playing an actor who is playing me shouldn't be too much of a problem until things get sorted out.
I get up to leave the trailer, and hear a quiet "About time!" coming from the Floor Manager.
We enter the studio and walk on to the set, which looks like a cheap version of the Bridge. I notice that the instrumant panels are just flashing lights, and none of the buttons actually do anything. Just in front of the videoscreen, there are several large cameras, each with someone operating them.
The director comes on to the Bridge.
"All right, everyone." he says, "We're going to do the big battle scene today. The Enterprise has had it's shields and Warp drive knocked out by the Feldorman ships, which are moving in to destroy it."
I have read the script and it unsettles me.
"One thing." I say.
He sighs. "What is it, Patrick?"
"I would not...I mean Picard would never order that method of attack; it leaves the ship open to attack from the other incoming Feldorman ships."
"What are you talking about Patrick?" says the director, with exasperation. "It's just a tv show. now get in position on the Captain's chair, Jonathan, Commander's chair, Michael, Tactical, Marina, sit next to Patrick, Brent, sit on the Com seat."
Marina, who plays Deanna, sits to my left and gives me a few strange glances, as if she wonders at my strange behaviour.
The videoscreen is in front of me, but there are no pictures. Just words saying 'Feldorman ships approaching'.
"Captain, the Feldorman ships are approaching." says the actor playing Data.
"Mr Worf" I say, "Evasive Pattern Delta One."
"Cut, cut!!" shouts the director, "Just what is 'Evasive Pattern Delta One', Patrick?"
"It's what I would use on the Enterprise in such a sitution." I reply. The director sighs. The Floor Manager is crying.
"Does this mean I can be Captain if you fire Patrick?" asks the actor named Jonathan who plays Riker.
Some things are always the same, even in the real or acting world.
Suddenly, I feel something strange happening to me, as if I am being pulled away by a strange force. I stand up, and feel my body dissolving and pulled apart. The last thing I hear is the director saying "Wow! That's a great special effect. Now that you've got it, we'll use it in next week's show!"
I find myseld rematerialising on the Bridge; I look around. No directors, no Floor Managers, no cameras. Everything is just how it was.
"Bev? Number One?"
They confirm, and tell me what happened with Patrick, and that he dissolved when they met the flare from the Unreality Barrier.
I kiss Bev.
"What a relief it is to be back in the Real World of the 24th Century." I tell her, "Everything seemed so artificial and...unreal there."
We laugh at that.