Thursday, July 31, 2008

Picard Loses His Memory (Part Three)

Guest Poster: Beverly Crusher

I'm worried about Jean-Luc. Ever since he had that accident on Darius VI, he's been very secretive.

Not only that, he is watching everybody carefully, writing things down when he finds something out. When I ask Jean-Luc what he was doing, he just says "Nothing."

I'm sure things aren't right, though. We went to the Enterprise cinema, and instead of kissing in the back row, as we usually do, Jean-Luc let me watch the movie while he crawled around the cinema, taking notes about who was sitting with who.

"It's not right, Will." I say when talk to Riker and Deanna, along with the other senior staff, "The Captain seems to be a changed man."

"I should say." Ensign Britney complains, "He didn't tell me off for chewing gum this morning when he walked past. The Captain was concentrating more on the message he was about write on his handviewer."

"That's not right, soulsistah Britney." her friend T'Pol comments, "If the Captain is out of sorts, how can we be rebels?"

I try to work that out.

"We have a more serious problem concerning the Captain."Riker starts, but eats a donut. I think that's to calm his nerves.

"We were told by Starfleet Headquarters via a secret message there was an Admiral Rickman appointed to lead a Task Force to root out all Section 31 agents from Starfleet."

"What has happened, Commander Riker?" asks Data.

"Since then, Starfleet authoriies have told us there is no record of such a Task Force, or none of any Admiral Rickman existing."

"It sounds like Section 31's work." Deanna, "But what does this have to do with the Captain."

"We were the only ship to get the message." Riker answers, "And shortly after we announced that, there was an unuauthorised message from a concealed channel on the ship. It was his private channel, and could only have come from the Captain."

"Jean-Luc is no spy!" I exclaim.

"He has been acting differently, Beverly." Jadzia summises, "Perhaps more happened to him on Daruis VI than he knows...or is telling us."

"The Borg Queen would not tolerate a spy!" Seven says disgustedly, "They would be disconnected."

Jean-Luc suddenly enters the briefing room.

"What's going on?" he says, "A meeting without my knowledge?"

Suddenly I rush up to Jean-Luc, but my arms around his neck...and knock him out with a hypospray.


"So that's it, Doctor?" Riker tells be, "Your examination tells that he had clearly lost his memory for some time during his accident?"

"Yes." It looks like someone took advantage of the situation. Still, the concussion is healed. He should be all right now."

Jean-Luc gets up and recalls in horror as he tells us what he has done for Section 31.

"I'm glad it worked." I comment, "My alternative solution was to hit you with a brick to get your memory back."

"What can we do, Will?" he asks.

"I think a few false messages to Sloan will sort things out." says Riker, "If he still thinks you're with them, they will get puzzled with disinformation and not sure what is real."

"Excellent, Will." says Jean-Luc, who then looks at me, "Beverly, I think we both need to go back to the Enterprise Cinema. This time, we'll both stay in the back row!"


Meme alert!

Mimi has sent me this meme where I have to type my first name plus 'needs' in Google and see what the results are. Here are some of the replies:

* I have told Arsene Wenger he needs to spend big on up to four major stars if he is to challenge Manchester United and Chelsea again.

* needs to turn 3 more or gain 75 more Vampire points to reach the next level: Vampire Warrior. This is from my own Facebook!

* needs to tighten some bolts so that the propellers on the very top of the tower start spinning.

* will be hospitalized about one week. He will then need about one month at home to fully recover.

* needs a slap.

* needs to learn from Errict Rhett’s mistakes.

* needs to get his “butt back out to practice.’’

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Picard Loses His Memory (Part Two)

That archaelogical dig that I went on during my visit to Darius VI resulted in me having a nasty accident.

I fell off a crumbling cliff face and hit my head. The result was that for a few moments I lost my memory. Fortunately, Agent Luther Sloan was on hand to tell me that although I am Captain Picard of the Enterprise, I am actiually a top member of Section 31, the ultra-secret society that operates within Starfleet.

How lucky he was there to help me. I remember now, although there are a few patchy things.


"You had a nasty fall, Jean-Luc." Bev tells me, as she treats my scratches in the Enterprise SickBay, "Your head has had a nasty bump. Let me take a look through the medi-viewer."

"No!" I say firmly, "I'm fine Bev, I really am.". I remember that Sloan told me not to mention anything about losing my memory to the crew, or let them look at my head, otherwise they may not have confidence.

"Very well, Jean-Luc." Bev replies, "I hope you're all right. Are we still on to see the movie e Batperson Versus The Space Penguin?"

"Sure, Bev." I reply, "I'll be there."

I go up to the Breiefing Room where Riker is in charge of a meeting.

"We've just had a top-secret message from Starfleet Headquarters, which I had to take while you were in SickBay."

This could be interesting. Maybe a message to take to Section 31?

"What was it?"

"There is a high-level meeting in Starfleet. They are trying to drive out all infiltrators that belong to Section 31. After years of denying it exists, they are trying to do something about it."

"That's great!" pipes up Geordi, "It's about time something was done about them. What are they gonna do?"

"An Admiral Rickman has been appointed to lead a Task Force to remove all Section 31 people." Riker continues, "It looks like it will be a serious move."

Everybody in the room cheers. I maintain a calm face.

What a disaster. I've got to get this news to Sloan. I might get a few brownie points in Section 31 for reporting this!


After leaving the meeting, I head to my Console and call Sloan on my Private Channel and tell him all the plans.

"You have done well, Agent Picard." Sloan tells me, "Without your advance knowledge, we would have been unable to act immediately and stop Starfleet from destroying us."

"Thank you, sir." I reply, "The crew here are very anti- Section 31."

"Indeed they are." Sloan answers, "We will eventually get them replaced. In the meantime you are promoted to Section 31 Field Agent Class 1"

I feel elated at this promotion. Pretty soon, I'll be running it!

Still, that said, I can't help feeling that something is wrong.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Picard Loses His Memory (Part One)

At last, I've managed to get on an archaelogical dig!

There's nothing so good as being able to be around some old fossils, unless, of course, it's seeing a Conference of the senior Admirals of Starfleet!

Anyway, I'm here on Darius VI, where the remains of an ancient civilisation have been discovered. As a special favour, the government has allowed me exclusive access for two days, so no one else can bother me while I'm here.

It's a very rocky area area, somewhat dangerous to be around. This clifftop looks a little precarious.

I think there is a fossil just near the edge.......AGGGGGGGHHHHH!

I tumble over the edge and plummet over the side, hitting my head as I fall. Aren't there times when you were told not to go near a cliff top?

When I hit the very rocky ground and black out.

Eventually, after what seems like an age I wake up. Phew! I have a splitting headache. I'll have to get back to...errrr.. I'm not sure.

Well I'll need to. After all, I am..errrr...I can't remember.

Any ideas? I'd like to know who I am.

A figure approaches me. Perhaps he can help me?

"Hello." I say, "I've had an accident, and seem to have lost my memory. Do you know who I am?"

The man smiles, as if it is his lucky day.

"Certainly." he replies, "You are Agent Picard of the secret Starfleet society Section 31. Your cover is that you are posing as Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise. In truth, you pass all secrets about the ship and it's crewmembers to Section 31. I am the leader, Agent Luther Sloan. You always report to me."

Now it's all coming back to me. Yes, I'm Captain Picard of the Enterprise. I must admit my memory is a little patchy, though.

Hopefully, it will all clear up after a while.

Meanwhile, I'd better get back to the Enterprise and carry on spying for Agent Sloan.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

TWQ: Shopping Irritations

This week, TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about what annoys you when at the shops.

When you are out shopping, are there any irritations that you don't like facing, or will spoil the tranquility of browsing? List as many as you wish.

My answers are:

1: A child screaming at the top of their voice just to see how loud he or she can do it. Usually the parents don't take any notice, although the sound is enough to shatter glass!

2: The salesman's astonishment when I say that I don't want the extended warranty that goes with the item I bought.

3: Noisy music in a shop that is so loud I can't think straight.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Romulan Visitor

I dislike being a diplomat.

Nonetheless, I have to play host today to a Romulan senator, who is visiting the Enterprise to discuss peace with Federation and Romulan Star Empire.

This sort of this is usually nothing more than a lot of talk and an opportunity to glean a few secrets off each other. The trouble is, we never get anything off them.

Predictably, I hear a few noises off Worf, who is not exactly their biggest fan.

"The Romulans are not to be trusted!" he says aggressively as the senior staff go to the transporter room to beam him on board.

"I agree with you, Mr Worf." I reply, "But for the sake of diplomatic relations between the two forces, we must keep up an accord, even if only in pretence."

Worf mumbles a few choice Klingon phrases. As I know the language, it is hardly suitable to repeat them here.

Deanna stands with me as we are ready to greet the senator. The Counselor is a good mediator to have around when we have to talk with races we cannot trust or dislike.

The Romulan beams on.

After I do my usual welcome speil, the Senator continues.

"Greetings, Captain." I am Senator Vreenak of the Romulan Council. Thank you for your welcome."

He glances at Worf.

"I heard you had a Klingon on board." Vreenak continues, "What position does he hold here? Does he clean the warp plasma conduits?"

Worf looks incensed, but Deanna, who is slightly irritated moves moves forward.

"Certainly not, Senator." she answers with a somewhat fixed smile, "Lieutenant Worf is Chief of Security and also operates on Tactics."

Vreenak laughs.

"In that case." he continues, "I'm surprised that no one has escaped, or the ship hasn't been blown up by enemies! Shall we go to the discussion room?"

I get livid, but with my temper just about bearable, I take him out of the room.

"You Federation officers are all the same." Vreenak laughs to himselfs, "Very weak."

"Isn't the discussion room the other way, Captain?" Riker whispers to me as we walk through the corridor.

"Yes, Number One." I reply, "But I've decided to hold it somewhere else."

A few moments later, we get to our destination.

"But this is the brig." says the Senator, "Why are we here, Captain?"

"Because this is where you're going." I reply shaply, "As anyone would who talks to my crew like that. We'll visit in a few hours and start talking then. After that, I'll let you out and you can go back to your ship."

"This is a disgrace!" Vreenak protests, "The Romulan Council shall hear of this."

"I'm sure they will." I answer, "Still, you're lucky. The brig chef is doing lasagna tonight. As you're a Senator, I'll instruct him to give you double helpings."

I do dislike being a diplomat. I seem to offend a lot of people for some reason!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wedding Plans For Wesley & Karena (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Beverly Crusher

Jean-Luc and I are on the planet Wondawowman to discuss wedding plans between my son Wesley and Queen Diana's daughter Karena.

As they are a planet of amazons, they are more likely to want things their way. I suspect they are completely going to ignore Jean-Luc. Men do seem to be irrelevant around here.


"Now then, Beverly." starts Diana, "We'll have to make sure all the guests arrive at Wondawoman on time and..."

"Excuse me...errr...your Majesty." interrupts Jean-Luc, "But had we decided that the wedding would be held on this planet?"

Diana gives him a look of disgust.

"Captain Picard." the Queen says, "You will refrain from talking in what is clearly a serious discussion between two women."

"The Captain does have a point." I comment, "Perhaps Wesley and Karena might like their wedding to take place elsewhere?"

"Out of the question!" snorts Diana, "All amazonians here, whether they are a Princess or not, have a life ambition to get married in the Oracle of Wisdom."

I concede this point. One has to go along with the bride in her wishes as to location. I get the impression I'm going to concede on a lot of other points as well.

"Now." continues the Queen, "Will you be giving Wesley away, Beverly?"

"What do you mean?" I reply in puzzlement, "I thought the bride gets given away?"

"Not here." Diana answers, "As this is a matriachal society, the woman takes precedance, and actions are in reverse to what your society does."

"As long as Wesley doesn't have to wear a wedding dress." comments Jean-Luc. The Queen looks icily at him, as his joke fell flat.

"The process is this." explains Diana, "Karena will be waiting at the Oracle of Wisdom with the Best Woman. Wesley will enter with the parent, who will then give him away, and the service will be performed."

"Who will be carrying out the ceremony, your Majesty?" pipes up Jean-Luc.

The Queen looks at him tiringly, as if it is too much trouble to answer a man. Instead of addressing him, she turns to me to reply.

"I shall be carrying out the marriage service." she states, "As Queen of the Wondawowman amazonians, I have the authority to perform such events, and shall declare my daughter Karena and your son Wesley Bride and Life Servant."

I wince at this description.

"Will you be picking her wedding dress?" I ask casually.

"Karena will NOT be wearing a wedding dress!" the Queen exclaims, as if I have commited a social faux pas, "All amazonians get married in full battle armour with spear and sword."

"Sounds appropriate!" Jean-Luc whispers quietly in my ear.

I feel like I'm not getting anywhere here. The wedding plans are all sorted out by Queen Diana, and any suggestions I make are just cast aside.

"Don't forget Wesley's outfit." Jean-Luc whispers.

"Now about Wesley's outfit..." I start.

"Now that's all up to you, Beverly." answers the Queen, "You can talk that over with him and he can come in what he wishes."

I'm amazed! A concession!

"....As long as it's one of these five designs." Diana concludes, by giving me some typical Life Servant pictures, "All prospective Life Servants wear these sort."

I groan.

"Well that concludes our meeting, Beverly." Diana says, getting up, "It was a lot of fun choosing how the wedding will run, wasn't it. Incidentally, when we chat in the future, try not to bring the Captain. He just gets in the way."

Jean-Luc and I head back to the shuttle, then back to the Enterprise.

I've got a feeling I'm going to have a lot of trouble with my prospective in-law.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wedding Plans For Wesley & Karena (Part One)

"Jean-Luc." Bev asks me desperately, "I need you to come with me to Wondawowman."

"Beverly." I reply, "I was just about to go on that archealogical dig on Darius VI. It sounds a fun expedition."

"Nonsense." Bev answers, "Those old fossils have been there millions of years, they can stay there a little longer. This is important. Queen Diana wants to talk to me about Wesley and her daughter Karena's wedding."

"That's just it." I say, "She's the leader of a group of amazons. The last thing she wants is a man around."

"You're right, Jean-Luc." She concedes, "But I need the moral support, and this meeting is between the mothers of the wedding couple, and I don't want Diana to railroad me into getting the wedding plans all her own way."

"Shouldn't Wes and Karena have some say in all this?"

"That won't happen as Diana is the Queen." she answers, "Karena has let her mother do all the planning, so I in turn have got to help Wes out."

I sigh.

"Very well, Bev." I say. She kisses me in gratitude.

I wonder how many men have men persuaded into doing something they didn't want to this way?


Several hours later, our shuttle has reached the planet Wondawowman. I have instructed Riker to make sure there are no wild parties, Ensign Britney behaves herself and that Seven of Nine does not threaten to assimilate any visiting dignitaries.

When we land, the two of us are greeted by Queen Diana.

"Welcome to Wondawowman, Beverly Crusher." she says warmly, "It is so necessary for us mothers to get together so that the plans can be drawn ....what is HE doing here?"

Diana glances in my direction.

"I've bought Captain Picard so he can help me with the planning." Bev announces, "I hope you don't mind?"

"But he's a MAN." Diana says with distaste, "What possible use will HE be?"

"He gives me good advice." Beverly says firmly, "However the ultimate decisions will rest with you and I, Queen Diana."

"Very well." she says grudgingly, as if agreeing to a painful operation, "He can stay, as long as he doesn't interfere too much."

It's good to feel wanted, isn't it?

To be continued...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

TWQ: First Blog Visitor & Commenter

For this week's TWQ, I'm asking you to remember when you first started your blog...

Do you remember what the first blog that you actually visited was? Who was your first commenter? If you're not sure, say who you think it was.

My answers are:

The first blog I visited, I believe, was 'Darth Vader's Diary'. This led me on to 'Yoda'.

One of the first commenters I had was Ciera. She is still going strong today, and we are good friends.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Alexander In Love (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Worf

Jadzia and I are still stunned by the news that Alexander has asked his young Career Advisor Tanya out on a date and that she has accepted.

"What are we going to do, Worfie?" asks Jadzia, "Surely we can't let Tanya..."

"Of course not." I tell her, "Though I must admit that on the Klingon homeworld, a warrior can have such interests at an early age."

"We can't allow it here!" Jadzia insists, "Come on! Let's talk to Tanya."

We march back to the office. I'm never exactly fond of these sort of confrontations. I would rather be on Tactics against a fleet of Romulan battle cruisers.

Sitting in her office, is Tanya.

"Hello, Lieutenant Worf, Jadzia." she says.

Jadzia walks up to her and slaps Tanya on the face.

"Cradle snatcher!"" she calls out, "Trying to date a young boy like that."

It's at times like this I wish the ground would open up and swallow me.

"Whatever do you mean?" asks a puzzled Tanya.

"Don't act the innocent with me, Tanya!" Jadzia says threateningly, "Alexander has told me how he asked you for a date, you accepted, and now he says he is in love."

"Oh dear." Tanya replies, "Alexander has misunderstood everything."

"What do you mean?" I ask.

"Well." starts Tanya, "Alexander asked me if he could see me again in Ten Forward later tonight. naturally, I thought he wanted some more help with his career work, so I said yes. He never mentioned that he had romantic feelings for me. Oh dear."

"I feel that Alexander is going to suffer a broken heart, Worfie." Jadzia tells me.

"I agree." I tell her, "It is all part of growing up."


Later, Alexander comes in after talking to Tanya in Ten Forward. His eyes are reddened, but he shows no sign of weakness.

"Are you all right, Alexander?" I ask.

"Yes, father." he answers, "I've decided I'm not really in love with Tanya. She is too old for me. I think I prefer the girls in my class."

He walks off with his head held high. I still hear a slight sniff.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Alexander In Love (Part One)

Guest Poster: Jadzia Dax

As Alexander will be entering a new school year soon here on the Enterprise, Worfie and I are taking him along to see the new Careers Advisory Officer, who has dropped in to talk to all the children of Alexander's age and above about what they want to do.

"I don't want to go!" Alexander says stubbornly, "It's boring!"

"You must go." Worfie tells him firmly, "How else are we supposed to forge an honourable career for you, especially if you don't want to be a Klingon warrior."

"I don't like the sight of blood." Alexander says to himself. Worf snorts in disgust.

"You do change your mind a lot about what you want." I remind him, "A while back you wanted to be a ballet dancer."

"Not now." Alexander replies, "I can get hurt too easily from the steps."

I hear another snort of disgust from Worfie.

The three of us enter the classroom where the Careers Advisory Officer is supposed to be. We see a young girl.

"Hello." I say to her, "Are you waiting for the Careers Advisory Officer as well?"

"I AM the Careers Advisory Officer." she answers with a pleasant smile, "Please call me Tanya."

"You look a little young for such a role." Worfie comments gruffily. Alexander, on the other hand, has changed his expression from boredom to very interested.

"This is my first posting as CAO." explains Tanya, "I hope you'll understand. Starfleet like to have young people in this role as they can interact more with those they have to interview."

"Yes." Alexander answers, "Don't worry, you're doing a great job."

Both Worfie and my mouth drops open at this comment.

"My." comments Tanya, "What a smart and handsome boy you have, Lieutenant Worf. I'm sure he'll do well in any career."

Alexander blushes at this remark.

The four of us then go on to discuss possible careers, but Alexander is only half listening. He has his eyes fixed firmly on Tanya, who gives him the occasional glowing smile.

"So you think you might be a writer, dress designer, theatrical producer?" Tanya says, "Well you'll have to work hard to get the qualifications."

Alexander promises he will study hard, and we chat again about various subjects. Eventually, our time is up.

Tanya bids us goodbye. As we leave, Alexander tells us that he just wants to ask Tanya something. He returns shortly, smiling.

"What did you ask Tanya, Alexander?" I enquire when we get back to our quarters.

"Oh..err..." Alexander starts to say, "Err...I asked Tanya if I could go on a date with her, and she agreed. I'm in love, Jadzia."

Both Worfie and I are too stunned to say anything.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lwaxana's Mother-Daughter Chat

Guest Poster: Lwaxana Troi

It's time for me to have a little chat over the video viewer with my darling daughter, Deanna.


If I had been on the Enterprise, instead of the Betazed Ambassador, I would have ensured that she and Will Riker got married a long time ago. I'd have been dragging her up the aisle.

As Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed, getting Deanna married is a prime ambition of mine.

The screen flickers on, and Deanna appears.

"Daughter!" I exclaim, "It is so wonderful to see you again, although you and that delightful Will Riker visited not too long ago."

"Hello Mother." Deanna says, somewhat irrritatingly, "Yes I remember that. I am still squirming with embarassment over what happened then. You never left poor Will alone, with all those less-than subtle hints of yours."

"Whatever do you mean, my darling?" I say innocently, although I know what she is talking about. I had hoped Deanna had overlooked it.

"You know very well what I mean, mother." she says firmly, "Following Will and humming I'm Getting Married In The Morning, Chapel of Love or the Betazed Wedding March."

"I have to help your romances along, dearest." I stress, "Otherwise you'll end up left on the shelf, like your Great Aunt Philip."

"Yes, well there were reasons for that we don't talk about." Deanna says dryly.

"I think there's more chance of that Borg copy of yours getting married before you do, daughter." I reply, "Besides, that young Wesley Crusher is getting wed to that amazon. He's far younger than you are!"

"Mother!" she exclaims in exasperation, "It's the way Will and I have chosen to be. Eventually, we may get married, but we're in no hurry."

I sigh in despair. "Do you know whether Wesley's wedding will be like the Betazed ones?"

"Of course not, mother." she answers, "Everyone will be wearing clothes."

"Such a pity." I say, "I think our traditional naked weddings, in which the bride and groom, plus all the familes have to attend without wearing anything is delightful. It certainly helps break the ice between families."

"Everyone will be in their wedding outfits, mother." Deanna tells me.

"In that case, I'd better find a new hat and a dress." I reply, "It seems so much cheaper to do it the Betazed way."

Deanna sighs in exasperation.

"Goodbye for now, mother." she says.

"Goodbye my darling." I reply, "Always a pleasure to talk to you."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

TWQ: Literary Character Best Friends

This week's TWQ asks you to think about which fictional friends you would like.

Which fictional book characters would you like as a best friend? Think of a reason, and list as many as you wish.

My answers are:

Galadrial (from Lord Of The Rings). She is so wise, knowledgeable and epherial, Galadrial would be good for dispensing advice

Wanderer/Melanie Stryder (from Stephenie Meyer's The Host). I'm reading this book right now. Wanderer is an alien who has inhabited Melanie's body, but both have active minds. I would get two friends for one body! They would give such different replies.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Latest Borg Queen Message To Seven Of Nine

Guest Poster: The Borg Queen

My dear Seven,

How are you? I hope you are keeping well on the Enterprise. Finding out about human behaviour and their ways is not an easy task, which is why I sent my best drone on this special mission.

Here in the Cube, One One and One Two, the drone interior designers are busily redesigning it so that it looks more trendy, with relaxing colours and feng shui to ease the stress of us all.

Your reports are always full of colour and are a great item to read at night when I am having my cocoa and biscuit before being put away.

The latest one did fill me with a lot of interest. You mentioned that the son of the resident Doctor , Wesley Crusher, will be getting married to an Amazonian named Karena in the near future. This is a definate human trait that I thought the Borg need to know a lot more about. After all, we hardly encourage marital relations amongst the drones.

Perhaps that is why they look miserable at times?

I know what you're thinking, Seven. That you will need to get a good report about the wedding. to your Queen.

That's not exactly what I want.

In truth, I want you to tell Locutus that I will be attending the wedding.

Yes, he might put up some hostility at first, and go neurotic.

Just tell him the usual threats and that we may assimilate the entire wedding party if I can't come. That should make him change his mind. I'm sure he will enjoy telling Queen Diana to make way for an extra guest at the wedding party.

When I've finished sending this message, I'll have to head straight to the Borg Milliners.

One thing for sure is that I'll need is a new hat.

I'll let you know the design when I get it. After all, the two of us can hardly go in the same style, can we?

Until the next time,

The Borg Queen

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Picard's Official Review (Part Two)

I'm walking the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters with Beverly and Seven of Nine.

Two days ago, I had to be interviewed for an Official Report by Admiral Bullock. He was most critical of how much it costs to run the Enterprise, as it is attacked by alien hordes, and also some of the strange people I have as senior staff. Bullock said he would write his Report and let me know.

It could mean that I'm put out to pasture!


"Don't be so concerned, Jean-Luc." Bev tells me, "One look at your record will be enough to say what a valuable asset you are to Starfleet. They can't afford to let someone like you go."

"I think this Bullock is the problem, Beverly." I say, "He doesn't like me, and clearly thinks that Starfleet should be run by younger men, with dynamic Captains who shoot first and ask questions later."

"That's how it was in the 23rd Century." she reminds me, "Fortunately we are more civilised now."

"If you want to, Locutus." adds Seven, "I could assimilate this Bullock human for you."

"No Seven!" I answer hastily, "We can't solve all our problems by just assimilating everyone who we don't like the look of."

"Why not?" replies Seven, "The Borg do. Only we assimilate those we DO like the look of as well."

Sometimes I think Seven has a dry sense of humour or she is deadly serious. I'm not sure when she is using either.

Ensign Britney approaches us with T'Pol. Seven tells them about Bullock and his Review. Britney laughs.

"Is China Shop still here?" Britney laughs, "All the Cadets used to call him that, as in Bullock In A China Shop. I'm surprised he hasn't been fired yet."

"What do you mean?" I ask.

"Well, the Admirals used to keep it very hush-hush." she confides, "They don't like any of their own involved in scandal."

All of us crowd round, eager to hear more from Britney.

"I don't want to go into too much details." she says, "But it involved a female Admiral as well as Bullock, plus a banned holodeck program called Daisy Goes To The Doctors. Starfleet thought it best to whitewash the event rather than throw the two of them out. Still, us Cadets at the time have ways of finding things out."

The rest of us look stunned. A lieutenant approaches me to say that Admiral Bullock wants to see me.

I enter his office, casually whistling.

"What's that you are whistling, Picard?" Bullock asks, "Don't you know this is serious?"

"Certainly, sir." I reply, "I was just whistling Daisy, Daisy. Do you know that song?"

Bullock looks a little uneasy, "Well yes."

"It's a favourite name of mine, so cheery" I say, "Does it mean anything to you?"

"Of course not!" he snaps back, "Now this Official Review..."

"I have DOCTOR Crusher outside, sir." I tell him, "Have you met the DOCTOR?"

Bullock grimaces and nods, "I get the point, Captain Picard. Despite a poor Review, I've decided that you should stay with us in view of your exemplary record."

"Thank you sir." I answer, and leave with a smile, rejoining the others.

"That's great." Bev tells me.

"Yes it is." I say, "And the next time Ensign Britney is due to go in the brig, we'll let her off."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Picard's Official Review (Part One)

I beam down to Starfleet Headquarters. This is the sort of meeting I dislike intensely. An assessment of how well I'm doing by some official who has never even left the planet.

So I'm having to wait in a Reception while some secretary, whose name is Jennifer according to the nameplate works on her electronic computer record.

"Admiral Bullock." will see you in a moment, Captain." the secretary says, "He is just finishing his lun....I mean his important document work."

After a while, a button goes off, which seems to wake Jennifer up from her intermittant make up and computer work.

"Admiral Bullock will see you now, Captain." she says somewhat apologetically, and point me to the door with his name on, as if he could he anywhere else!

"Come!" a voice beckons from within.

"Ah." he starts, "It's Picard of the Enterprise, isn't it? I thought it's time we had a little chat about how you've been doing."

"Yes, sir." I say somewhat demurely.

"I must say, we've had to repair your ship a few times, Captain." he starts, "I don't know what's holding it together now with the amount of repairwork it's had to have. Do you think you enjoy having it battered? Starfleet can't afford to keep patching it up."

"The Enterprise has fought a lot of battles." I say somewhat irritatingly, as if I want to throw a custard pie in his face, "If saving the Federation and the universe means matching the ship up a little, then so be it."

"Mmm." Bullock says to himself, then continues, "I must say, Captain, your crew leaves a lot to be desired. An android, a holographic doctor, a Borg drone, a rebel from an evil dimension two centuries ago, not to mention an Ensign who seems to be in so much trouble, she is mostly in the brig."

"All together, they are a fine group." I tell him defensively, "They may be unusual, but it's still the best ship and crew in Starfleet."

"Mmmm." Bullock again says to himself, and writes down some information on his page.

"Just what is this for, Admiral?" I ask, "Is it just a review or something more?"

"Well, Captain." he answers, "Every so often we have to do a review, as you say, but certain Admirals, and I won't say who, think you may have, shall I say, been in the saddle too long."

"You mean they want me to quit?" I ask.

"Oh, that's being too blunt." Bullock answers, "After all, you know what a generous pension allowance we at Starfleet have. You could relax on a farm with Doctor Crusher instead of worrying about the fate of the universe."

"How do you know anything about Doctor Beverly Crusher?" I say with annoyance, "That is not relevant."

"Well you can have whoever you like, Captain." Bullock answers as if he has been caught out, "I was only using the Doctor as an example."

"Mmmm." I say in similar way that he does, "What do you think of space travel I ask him."

"I've always been based at Starfleet Headquarters." Bullock answers, "I've never had the need to fly in a starship."

"Do you think you're qualified to ask me then."

"Careful, Captain." Bullock warns me, "I am an Admiral. I'll take my Report and see you with the findings in a couple of days."

To be continued...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

TWQ: Backing Bands

This week, TWQ (The Weekend Question) looks at those backing bands that front artists.

Can you remember the names of backing bands that artists used to have? The more obscure the better. List as many as you like.

My answers are:

The Sunsets (Shakin' Stevens)
The Dakotas (Billy J Kramer)
The Aces (Desmond Dekkar)
The Twilights (Phil Phillips)

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Captain Beverly Causes A Problem (Part Three)

Guest Poster: Karena

After the initial falling out with my pumpkin, Wesley Crusher, the two of us spent some time in 'making up'.

This was extremely pleasant, but we now have to find out why his mother Beverly Crusher told Queen Diana that Wesley was planning to run off with an Orion Slave Girl. Even the Rhode Island communications record proves he has had no meeting or talks with any. The Queen broke up the engagement and diplomatic relations.

It's up to us to put it all right. We are on the video monitor to the Enterprise.

Beverly is on the screen and he explains the situation to her. She looks horrified, as if she has won the lottery, but threw the ticket away with the trash. Beverly calls Captain Picard over.

The whole story is repeated again.

"I can assure you that Doctor Crusher has not been to Wondawowman during the last week." the Captain tells us, "She has been on the Enterprise all this time. She was in the SickBay, as a lot of crewmembers went down with the Jelibeli Virus."

The Captain sends via computer all the duty logs of the Enterprise personel, including the Doctor to us.

"I will forward this on to Queen Diana." he says, "Hopefully she will realise it was an imposter, and get the engagement on again, and also restore diplomatic relations."

"Of course!" Beverly thinks aloud, "Karena, do you remember the name of the ship the imposter travelled in?"

"Yes." I reply, "It was pink, and named the Dominatrix."

"Only one person pilots that." she tells me, "My lookalikie from the pro-female alternate universe, Captain Beverly Howard."

The videoscreen picture crackles and changes to reveal a different image.

"Well done on working it all out." says the figure, "Yes, I am Beverly Howard. It was all a lot of fun seeing you squirm on my monitors. Look forward to seeing you all again when you least expect it!"

The screen crackles again and returns to normal. The Captain and Beverly confirm they saw her on the screen as well.


A few hours later, my mother has been satisfied who the woman was, and confirms the engagement is back on, and diplomatic relations are restored.

"Actually." says the Queen over the viewer., "After this event, I see no reason why the wedding shouldn't be bought forward. It will take place within the next few months!"

I kiss Wesley.

"Pumpkin." I say with delight, "Soon, we'll be Warrior and Life Servant!"

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Captain Beverly Causes A Problem (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Wesley Crusher

My honeybunch Karena and I are now Ensigns on the USS Rhode Island.

The two of us are enjoying some off-duty kissing when she is suddenly called to an emergency meeting on the video viewer.

"It's from my mother, Queen Diana on Wondawowman, pumpkin." Karena says, "I'm instructed to talk to her privately, it sounds like something serious has happened."

Karena gets up to go to the monitor in the next room. The door is sealed, but I can see her through the glass partition. The Queen is looking distressed on the screen.

A look of horror comes across Karena's face, and she grips her spear tightly; the whites of her knuckles are showing clearly.

It looks like somebody is going to suffer. I wonder who it will be?

Karena switches the monitor off and marches towards the door.

"Hello honeybunch." I say brightly, "I hope everything is all right."

"Don't you honeybunch me, Wesley Crusher!!" yells Karena. She slaps me on the face, then kicks on on one shin, then the other.

"I know the truth now!" she continues, "Your mother has admitted what you are planning to do!"

"My mother?" I answer, "What was I planning to do?"

Clearly I'm in some difficulties here; an argument with an angry amazonian is a bad thing.

"She's told my mother how you have been planning to run away and set up home with an Orion Slave Girl." Karena says, while getting her spear ready to ventilate me, "Not only that, my mother has ordered me to leave Starfleet and return to my home planet, as diplomatic relations have been abandoned."

"What about our engagement?" I plead imploringly.

"Both that and our impending wedding are no more." she states firmly, "Still, you and your Slave Girl wanted that, didn't you?"

I feel myself literally sinking in quicksand here. Right now, Karena is likely to throw me a heavy weight to make me sink faster!

"Karena!" I tell her firmly, "We've been together at the Academy and on the Rhode Island constantly together. When did I have the opportunity to see an Orion Slave Girl? There has never been one on this ship."

Karena stops sharpening her spear and thinks for a moment. She is beginning to think I'm right.

"If you are telling the truth, then why did your mother say these things?" Karena asks.

"Why don't we call her and find out the truth?" I ask, "Someone is trying to cause trouble."

"You're right, pumpkin." Karena says with her familiar smile, "We'll call your mother in a little while and find the truth."

"That's good honeybunch." I reply, "But why wait? Shall we call now?"

"Well, we didn't finish what we started before the viewer came on, did we?" Karena says with a sly smile, "After that, we'll sort the problem out."

To be continued...