"I don't know why we need to do it." I protest to Admiral Nakamura, who is visiting the Enterprise.
"Change is essential." states the pint-sized official, "If we are to keep up as a force in this changing universe. It has been years since the communication system was administered, Picard. The new one will be far better."
"I always say 'If at ain't broke, don't fix it', Admiral." I mutter to him.
"Now that's just the sort of backward-thinking we are trying to discourage, Picard." Nakamura angrily tells me, "We want to look to the future, "If the world were full of people lioke you, we wouldn't have got as far as the telephone. Activation of the new system throughout the whole of Starfleet will commence in ten minutes."
He strides off.
"Is Shorty causing more trouble, sir? Riker asks me.
"Yes he is, Number One." I answer, "The trouble is, the system is untested. They are going to throw the switch and assume all communication will be faster, especially the Universal Translator."
"But what if.....?" Riker starts to say.
"Yes," I reply, "What if....?"
A few minutes later, the Admiral proudly flicks the switch. Lights buzz on brightly, then all off.
The Admiral starts talking a strange language, which I later realise is Japanese. He can't understand my English voice either. The Universal Translator has broken down!
I try and communicate with other ships, but there is no answer. All connection in Starfleet has juddered to a halt and we can't understand each other!
Worf strides up and spouts some incomphehensible Klingon dialogue
" jIH ta'laHbe' nuq 'oH ja'ta'". (note: "I can't understand what anyone is saying.")
"lI'be!" (note: "Useless!"
We've got to try and get things back to how they were, otherwise the Federation is doomed.
To be continued.....