Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Omega Dimension (Part One)

Guest Poster: The Borg Queen

I am really feeling rather bored today; we on Unimatrix 01 haven't assimilated a single species all week.

As a result, I shouted at two drones and had them disconnected just because they did not bring me my favourite nourishment this morning. They should know I like cornflakes, and not Rice Krispies.

However, I've thought of something that'll cheer me up. I shall assimilate the crew of the Enterprise. It's about time I did that for Locutus. I can get Seven Of Nine back on my Cube as well. It will raise the morale of the Cube as well, as I know the drones like having Seven Of Nine around.


I send Seven a message via the Hive Mind, and she agrees to stand by. I know where their ship is, so we shall collect them. I have had the drones clean the Assimilation Chamber. Seven has given me a list saying who she wants first in the queue.

"Put Beverly Crusher first in the queue!" she tells me, "This doctor had the audacity to tell me I used to be a human named Annika Hansen."

I think I ought to keep quiet on that subject to Seven; I think the truth might distress her.


A few hours later, we appear in Alpha Quadrant space after using the Transwarp Corridor; the Enterprise is nearby. I open hailing frequencies.

"Hello Locutus." I say pleasantly, "This is the Borg Queen of Unimatrix 01. Prepare to be boarded and assimilated."

Locutus looks panic stricken. His lackey Riker has dropped a donut he was eating, and all the alarm bells are going on their ship.

"You said you were not going to assimilate us as we had Seven on the ship." protests Locutus.

"Indeed I did." I reply, "But we need Seven to complete a mission in the Delta Quadrant soon, so we wish to have her back. Your usefulness has ended, so we will now assimilate you. Thank you for looking after her, by the way."

"Can't we come to some sort of negotiation?" Locutus asks, "If we give you Seven, you could let us go as a favour."

I consider this, but the bad mood I was in outweighs everything.

"Sorry, Locutus." I say, "The Assimilation Chamber is all ready. Look on the bright side, you will be made my deputy, rather than a common drone. Quite an honour."

The Captain starts to protest, and looks to the Klingon to discuss tactics. As he does, a giant noise is heard. It rocks both the Cube and starship.

What is going on?

Part of space nearby has been ripped open. Borg sensors reveal nothing previously encountered. It is a rift into poisonous fluidic space where no life can exist.

A strong gravity pull is drawing both ships towards it. Our engines cannot prevent the pull. Unless we can stop it, both the Enterprise and Unimatrix 01 will be destroyed when it enters the dimensional rift.

I knew this would be a bad day when I didn't have my cornflakes.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ensign Britney

I am talking in my Ready Room with Admiral Newman, head of Starfleet Recruitment.

"So what is the new recruit to the Enterprise like, Admiral?" I ask.

He appears appears unwilling to answer.

"Err, ahh, Captain." he attempts to say, "You must understand that the Federation have been eager to recruit a Deltan into Starfleet. There hasn't been one on a starship since the 23rd Century. We're hoping to make amends for that unfortunate mishap."

"What do you mean, Admiral?" I enquire. I know he's holding something back.

"The Academy has been somewhat...errr....over lenient with the new recruit." he continues, "Normally, she would have got expelled for her wild behaviour, but we have tended to let her have her own way. We're hoping that a spell on a starship will reform her."

I groan. More problems for me and the crew to handle. The Admiral signals for the recruit to be bought in.

"Captain" he announces, "This is Ensign Britney."

She walks in grudgingly, wearing baggy clothes and slumps in the chair, looking bored.

"Ensign!" I say sharply to her, "Why aren't you in uniform?"

Ensign Britney looks bored and takes the chewing gum out of her mouth and puts it under the chair, then shrugs her shoulders.

Admiral Newman coughs discreetly in my direction and whispers "Leeway, Captain."

He then rises and heads for the door quickly.

"I'll leave Ensign Britney in your care, Captain Picard." Newman says, and walks out, as if he can't wait to leave the ship. I then turn to talk to Britney.

"Now then, Ensign." I start, then look closely, "Were you not one of the women in that 'Dial-A-Deltan' commercial on my computer last week?"

"Yeah." she replies, after getting the chewing gum and putting it back in her mouth, "Were you looking for Deltans to date?"

"Certainly not!" I tell her, "It came by me
as some spam, besides I don't have to explain myself to you, Ensign."

"Yeah, I believe you." she laughs, "Although a few wouldn't, I should think!"

This young girl is in danger of being shown the fast way out of the Enterprise via the nearest airlock.

"Don't forget there is discipline on board this ship." I remind Britney, "And although I have been instructed by the Admiral to give you a little leeway, you may end up in the brig for insubordination. Do I make myself clear."

"Ok," she says, "Keep your hair on, Captain; I'll do my best."


A few hours later, I'm getting a call from Guinan.

"Come down her, Captain." she says, "That new Ensign is driving me crazy!"

I go down there; as I enter, I hear noisy music and see a figure dancing on one of the tables.

A lot of crewmembers are clapping along as Britney dances around, wearing tight jeans and a red bra.

I wince; order seems to have broken down already, and she has only been here a short time.

"ENSIGN!" I shout loudly, but no one hears me, as the noise is so loud. Eventually I get the music turned off, and everybody groans, as if I'm spoiling the party.

"What's up, Captain?" asks Britney, "We were just having a good time."

I get an off-duty member of security to escort Ensign Britney to the brig. I have the idea that this troublesome Deltan will spend more time there than in her regulation quarters!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

TWQ: Romantic Music

TWQ (The Weekend Question) goes very romantic and askd you about music:

What selection of music would you play in the background while having a romantic dinner with someone? (Pick as many as you want).

My answers are:

Classically speaking the music of Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet might be a good choice.

Herb Alpert's 'This Guy's In Love With You'

Stevie Wonder's 'Ma Cherie Amour'

Liberace's gentle playing of 'I'll Be Seeing You' could be a final choice.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, February 22, 2007


I've called the senior staff together in my conference room to discuss the latest directive that I've had from Starfleet.

"I'll read this out to you all." I tell them, "It says: All Starfleet Staff must use stardates when referring to times. It is not the policy of the Federation to use Earth-type dates."

"How can we do that, Captain?" protests Geordi, "It is far too complicated to learn."

"I agree." says Deanna, "I much prefer to say something like 'next Tuesday' rather than quote a lot a numbers that I struggle to understand."

"What about you, Data?" I ask.

"Naturally, I am programmed with a full understanding of how it works." he tells us, "But it may be confusing for people like yourself to understand it."

Was I just insulted then?

"How about you, Captain?" Riker says to me, "I would have thought as Captain, you might know that."

"Sadly, Number One" I reply, "I came bottom in the Stardates test at the Academy, and with little knowledge of it, I just managed to make it as Captain."

Everybody starts talking at once, and it seems that with the exception of Data, none of us are very good at interpreting stardates.

"What about Captain Kirk?" Beverly asks me, "He always used to know the stardates from what I've heard about his missions."

"That is not quite true, Doctor." Data tells her, "His estimantions were always wrong, and it appears he just picked a few numbers to say at random, and his crew assumed he knew all about stardates."

"Stardates are irrelevant!" snaps Seven, "When you are all assimilated, you will have no need to concern yourselves whether to think in Earth or stardate time. You will act as drones."

Trust Seven Of Nine to put a damper on everything. Worf looks ready to say something.

"Why should we go by these times." he tells us, "Klingons neither accept stardates nor earthtimes. We go by the times on the Klingon homeworld."

This meeting seems to be falling apart.

"Please remember everybody," I try to say to them, "We are here to see if we can learn stardates. We can always use earthtime on the ship, but use stardates when dignitaries are around."

Everybody seems happy at this, and I ask Data to explain it to us.


After a while, we each have a huge headache, as Data tries for the fifth time to explain:

On April 6, 2377, Stardate 54868.6 would be 0.8686 of the way to the end of Stardate year 54000. If Stardates represent thousandths of a year, and an average Earth year comprises about 365.2422 mean solar days, then April 6, 2377, is 317.249375 days into Stardate year 54000. (0.8686 x 365.2422 days = 317.249375 days)

Therefore, Stardate 55000.0 takes place 47.992825 days after April 6, 2377. (55000.0 - 54868.6 = 00131.4 Stardates = 0.1314 year = 47.992825 days)

So, with some simple arithmetic, one can see that Stardate 55000.0 falls on May 24, 2377, making May 24 or May 25 the Stardate New Year on Earth (depending on leap years on the Earth calendar).

"So, for example, today is Stardate 46751.19" Data continues to tell us.

Gradually, one by one, people shake their heads, and I ask Data to stop.

"It is really easy, Captain." he tells me, "If you just let...."

"No, Data." I tell him, then inform the staff, "I think we'll adopt the Captain Kirk method. Making up random numbers is a far simpler way."

Everybody agrees; earth time is much better!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Slight Tiff

Guest Poster: Deanna Troi

I'm in Ten Forward with Will, enjoying my daily chocolate sundae. I'm in a good mood (giggle!), after he had to leave the Enterprise for a few days last week. I'm keen to make amends for having him miss the Valentine Dance.

"Will." I tell him, "How about we recreate the Valentine Dance in the holodeck? We'll be the only living people there. It'll be even better than the real one!"

"Deanna, that's a great idea." he replies, "That sounds perfect."

"Well, I am keen to make it up, imzadi." I whisper to him softly, "The Cappy will let us have the time off. It will make up for Valentine's Day, where you didn't have a single kiss; after all, you were only with Ro Laren, and I know you don't like her!"

My Betazoid empathic senses start ringing bells, as if the Enterprise is under an attack from alien invaders. Will is avoiding something, and I touched a raw nerve of his.

"WHAT!"I exclaim, almost dropping my sundae, "Don't tell me you actually DID kiss her?"

"Err..yes, Deanna, but let's not get too hasty." he tells me, "It was just one kiss, and it was for Valentine's Day. Ro and I agreed that it won't happen again."

"Too right it won't, Will Riker!" I shout, "There won't be any kissing between us as well."

People start looking around and whispering to those they are with, and also pretending that they are not overhearing.

"Shh, Deanna, calm down." Will says, "Others are listening, let's go and discuss this amicably in your quarters."

"End of discussion! You and I are through!" I state promptly, and pour the sundae in his lap.

I'm sorry I had to do that, as I was enjoying that sundae. I order another one, then go to my quarters and have a weep.

That Laren woman! Why is it I seem to have so many rivals? I fought a lot of tussles in the past with Jadzia Dax over Worf. Is it a Bajoran I'm having trouble with now?


After a while, when the evening is about to start, I walk down to Ten Forward. Guinan is there, getting everything ready.

"I heard what happened, Deanna." she says, "Well, EVERYBODY did, come to think of it."

"Yes," I sniff, "Will and I are through." I use a tissue to wipe my eyes.

"Do you really want that to happen?" she asks me.

"No!!!!" I weep, "I want my Will, and I don't want her to have him!".

She passes me another tissue and I blow my nose. My mascara is running down my face and I look very scary in the mirror.

"Look, Deanna." says Guinan, "If you want Commander Riker, build yourself up and go get him!"

I know she's right; I'll go back to my quarters for a costume change.


An hour later, I am marching down the Enterprise corridors. I see Will; he happens to be talking to Ro Laren. I have my best outfit on.

"Aren't you supposed to be on the Bridge, Ensign?" I say to Ro in my best superior tone, then grab Will, who is still staring wide-eyed at my dress.

"Come on, Commander!" I tell Will, "You and I have an appointment in the holodeck. There is a belated Valentine party going on."

"Thanks for forgiving me, Deanna." he tells me as we walk there.

"That's alright, Will." I reply, "Just remember that there are plenty of other chocolate sundaes on the ship."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Starfleet Spam

In the dark ages of computers, that is before they talked to us, and we actually had to use a keyboard and type messages on them, there was something called spam...

No, I'm not talking about that edible food that people used to have before it was oulawed and found to be dangerous for all.

This type of spam was sent by unscrupulous computer users in the hope they would answer them, and cause damage to their hard drive.

The trouble is, they seem to have returned here in the 24th Century; what's worse, when I switch my computer on to record my Journal, I have to endure the computer's voice telling me all these absurd things.

The fact that the computer sounds like Lwaxana Troi is even worse!

Here is what the computer said and displayed to me today...

Dear Mr Picard,

I am an inhabitant of the planet Idiota. I am well known there, as I am very rich, with a personal wealth of 24 quintillion Credits. As there has been talk of an uprising recently, I am keen to move my wealth off the planet as soon as possible. If you will give me the account of your bank, we can send it through there and split the difference. Thank you for your support.

Abeeg Frawd


Data happens to hear this at the same time.

"Perhaps you should help Mr Frawd, Captain? He sounds like he is in some distress."

I just hope that Data never gets any spam sent to him. Here is another..

Were you lonely on Valentine's Day? Don't be any longer with Date-A-Deltan! If you send us 500,000 Credits, you will get a beautiful woman from the planet Delta. She might be like Ilia or Britney (below)!

Lots of Deltans waiting for you!

I don't think Bev would be too keen me considering that. I hurriedly move on before anyone comes into the room.

Have a planet named after you! There are countless planets in the Delta Quadrant waiting to be named. Send us 50,000 Credits and you will get a signed certificate with a named planet! We will tell you what sort it is. If you're lucky, you might get an M-class planet that you'll be able to visit in the near future! Call us at Star Trick!

This is ridiculous! Just one more....

Are you embarassed at having to order 'certain medications' in the shops? That will happen do longer. Just do it over the computer. Everything will be in utter confidence, and you can look forward to your parcel. You'll know which one it is, as it has our label 'Embarrassing Medications' stamped on it.


I decide to try and call Admiral Jordan about this spam; I hadn't been able to get through at first. He comes on the screen.

"Sorry I couldn't answer the first time, Captain Picard." he tells me, "I thought your message was a spam one, as you put that in the voice title. Incidentally, I'm in a good mood, as I've just had a star named after me in the Delta Quadrant."

I groan.

"You haven't tried to get half of 24 quintillion credits, or get a date with a Deltan, or ordered any medication lately, have you, sir?"

He looks very red-faced.

"Err...yes, all of them, Captain Picard." he admits.

When I tell him that he is the result of being conned, he vows to close down all spam by putting them on scrambler, making them impossible to come on our computer.

I'm sure those in the 21st Century would have welcomed that happening.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

TWQ: Tiresome Tasks

This week's TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about things we don't relish doing:

What tasks, everyday or not, do you never look forward to doing?

My answers are:

Both my answers involve vacations, from different points of view.

1: The planning of a vacation is something I dread every year. The high cost of them makes me concerned whether it is the 'right' one, and the amount of money I might have wasted if it turns out not to be so good.

2: The long wait to get on a plane at airports and the customs at the destination, together with picking up the luggage etc makes it all very stressful. With increased security these days, it makes it more uncomfortable than ever. All this applies to the embarkation and disembarkation of a liner as well.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Deleted (Part Three)

Guest Poster: Ro Laren

Since Will Riker and I have been deleted to the Starfleet memory banks, the two of us have decided to sort things out for ourselves.

Picard was no help; he even wanted us confined to quarters as we were technically civilians. That's Starfleet officialdom for you!

I've persuaded Riker to use a little Maquis trickery; we are going to break into the main computer room on Earth and put the matter right. It was easy to get through Earth's defences; they were more interested in their Valentine parties!


As we have landed near Starfleet Headquarters, we start to head in that direction. We still hear noise in the darkness.

"Surely the parties have ended by now." I ask.

"You haven't been to a Valentine Party at Starfleet HQ, have you Ro?" comments Riker, "They can last for quite a few days. Fortunately, it's useful for us."

Some people are coming out; we hide behind the bushes.

I see Boothby, the Head Gardener of Starfleet Academy Gardens come out laughing. He has a gorgeous young blonde woman with him, and a brunette on his other side. They all look like they are enjoying themselves.

"How is he so popular?" I ask Riker.

"Oh, Boothby is very popular with the female cadets." Riker tells me, "It's probably why he likes working in the Academy Gardens.

After they've gone, we start to move, but there is more noise; a teenager is coming out with an amazonian woman who prods him with a spear every so often.

"It's Beverly's son Wesley" Riker tells me, "With him is Karena, the amazonian princess from Wondawowman. He has to look after her by orders of the Academy."

I roll my eyes. What a place.


At last, all is quiet, and we head into the Computer Building. All is silent and dark.

We see a sign marked 'Database Terminal' and head there. A light is on. As we enter, we see one person in a white coat. He turns round in surprise.

"Oh...who are you?" he exclaims.

This man has dark glasses, looks like a Starfleet nerd and is looking at a video screen with lots of names.

"I'm Ro Laren and this is Will Riker." I tell him.

"Oh dear" he says quietly, "I thought you might show up, but I was hoping no one would notice."
"What do you mean?" Riker asks.

"My name is Varda" he tells us, "I was given the job of transferring the the B-LOGAR File from the old to the new version on the database. I didn't do too good a job and the first two names disappeared completely."

"Which were us!" I sigh.

"Errr....that's right." admits Varda.

"Well put us back!" Riker yells at him, "I want to get back to the Enterprise."

"Errr...I had just figured out how to do that." Varda says hesitatingly, "Now give me a moment....don't rush me....there! You're on! Sorry about that. Hope it wasn't too inconvenient."

Riker has to restrain me from saying just how inconvemient it was, although I think he agrees.


Hours later, we are both back on the Enterprise. In his Ready Room, Captain Picard admits that he actually let us escape so that we would solve the problem.

"Sorry that you've missed the Valentine Dance, Number One." he tells Riker, then turns to me; "There was a Bajoran Ambassador asking for you, Ensign Ro."

Deanna Troi enters and sees Riker. She kisses him.

"Welcome back, imzadi." she says softly, "That was your belated valentine kiss."

Riker and I keep it to ourselves that he had already had a kiss on Valentine's Day.


Authors note: This is all based on the fact that I lost Ro and Riker when changing to BetaBlogger, and they had to be completely re-installed.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Deleted (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Will Riker

Things are not going well.

I'm stuck in a shuttle with Ro Laren, having had to escape from the Enterprise. Ro and I have been deleted from the Starfleet database, so as a result, we are civilians. The Cap tried to have us confined to quarters, but we're going to find the truth.

But why did it have to be Ro? Her insubordination always annoys me.

"What are we going to do, Riker?" she asks me.

"It's Commander Riker." I remind her.

"Not right now, Mister Riker." she sarcastically reminds me, "We are civilians. Now I suggest we have a truce and work this out."

I don't like it when she's right.

"All right, Ro." I concede, "Let's see what we can come up with."

"What I think." says Ro, "Is that we've got to go to the source of the problem."

"The database." I tell her, "And that's at Starfleet Headquarters on Earth. They have the huge computer there."

"Perhaps we can sneak in and restore our details?" Ro suggests, "The Maquis Handbook 'How to break in to Starfleet buildings' that I read recently should help me."

"But that's illegal!" I say to her.

"Of course it is, Riker!" she replies, "But so was deleting our names, so forget you're a Starfleet Commander, because right now, you're not!"

This woman can put me in my place.

"How will we get past, Ro?" I ask, "Earth's defenses are so powerful."

"Not tonight." she tells me, "Don't you know that today is Valentine's Day? All the parties and preparations will be going on. Nobody will take any notice of a small shuttle."

That reminds me that the Enterprise will be having their Valentine's Party around now; the Cap will be dancing with Beverly Crusher all night, and Deanna...she won't have me to dance with. That Worf will probably try and get a few waltzes in. Hopefully Jadzia Dax will stop Worf being romantic with Deanna, especially during the smoochy numbers.

"I know why you're sulking." Ro tells me, "You're not at the Enterprise Valentine Dance. If it's any consolation, I didn't have an invite, so...Happy Valentine's Day."

I say the same to Ro and kiss her; she doesn't pull back.

We both look embarrassed afterward and agree between us that the kiss never happened. I'm with Deanna, and Ro and I are supposed to dislike each other.

We agree that our mutual dislike on the Enterprise is the best form of behaviour between ourselves..

The shuttle lands just outside the grounds of Starfleet Headquarters.

"All right." says Ro, "Let's go inside and solve it."

To be continued...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Deleted (Part One)

Ro Laren and Riker have just walked into my office.

This is most unusual, as the two of them usually can't stand each other. Ro isn't the sort that likes authority, and I must admit that Riker is a little tough on her.

One thing I know is that they are not here to announce their engagement and get married.

"Captain." starts Ro, "I think you ought to know that..."

"I think I'd better tell Captain Picard about this, Ensign." interrupts Riker, "After all it is very important."

"Oh, I see!" Ro tells him, "So I'm not important, then?"

I roll my eyes; more squabbling between the two of them. Sometimes I feel like I'm an umpire getting battered about between the two, and I'm the only one who gets a black eye.

"I don't mean that." Riker tells her, "But let me tell the Captain."

"Tell me what, Number One?" I ask him pleadingly, hoping they will get to the point.

"It's like this." starts Riker, "On our last visit to Callus II, I had to pass through Starfleet security. They refused to let me pass, as they have no notice of me in their records. I had to stay on the Enterprise."

"The same thing happened to me!" Ro tells me, "I thought it was a glitch until I looked on the Enterprise records. There was nothing there to say that I had ever been with them."

"I saw Ensign Ro doing this." interrupts Riker, "And did it myself. I didn't exist either! The two of us have talked and found it was just us who have been deleted."

"Maybe it is just a computer error." I helpfully offer, "Who knows, you might be back on again soon?"

That a pointless remark, and they both know it, particularly Ro.

"That doesn't get us anywhere!" snaps Ro, "We aren't allowed to do anything on the Enterprise as we are technically civilians."

"That is true." I tell them, "As you are civilians, I'll need to confine you to quarters. Will and Ro, it's the only thing to do."

Ro looks at Riker in anger, like she does when knowing the Cardassians are coming to visit.

"See what he's done?" she explodes, "He's even dropped our titles. We aren't Commander or Ensign anymore! You certainly aren't Number One."

"This is all rather extreme, isn't it, Sir?" comments Riker.

"I'm only following rules, Mr Riker." I tell him starchly, "You and Miss Laren will need to be careful what you see as civilians here."

Starfleet regulations are painful sometimes; they don't win many friends. I might regularly break the Prime Directive, but there are acres of other ones around I have to adhere to.

Ro whispers to Riker; he nods. Suddenly they run out of the office, easily overpower Security and take charge of a shuttle and fly out from the Enterprise.

I get a message from the shuttle.

"Sorry to do this, Captain." says Riker, "Ro and I have to find out why we have been deleted from all records."

The shuttle flies off into warp.

"Should we not pursue them?" asks Data.

"No, let them go." I reply.


Good luck, Will & Ro. I knew they would do something like that. My secret code call to security allowed them to leave without a problem. It was a good way of circumventing the strict Starfleet regulations.

I just hope Starfleet don't ask how they got away so easily!

To be continued....

Saturday, February 10, 2007

TWQ: Favourite Snacks

This week's TWQ (The Weekend Question) is a tasty one...

What are your favourite snacks that you love to eat?

My answers are:

Bacon and egg sandwich.
Sausage sandwich
Jacket potato
Cheese on toast.

And cold.....

German salami and cucumber

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Accountancy Inspection

We've just been told that we have got to be examined for our accountancy records by Starfleet.

This is ridiculous since currency was eliminated, but a shuttle has arrived, and we've got to let a chartered accountant oversee our records.

I am told he has come by shuttle as he does not try those 'new-fangled transporters'. That they have been going for over two hundred years did not seem important.

We all wait in the shuttlebay, as the door opens.

"Welcome, I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise." I tell him.

"Ahh, err..." he replies, "I'm Henry Popplewell, registered chartered accountant. I'm not used to travelling in space, and much prefer the quiet sanctitute of my village in Suffolk of Ottway St Mary."

Popplewell looks dressed in ancient clothing that would look out of place in the 20th century, let alone the 24th.

"Let me show you to you your quarters." says Worf as he steps forward to escort him.

"Oh, goodness me!" exclaims Popplewell, turning white, then looking at me, "I will be alright, won't I, Captain?"

"I assure you that Mr Worf will look after you." I tell him.

"That was odd." Riker says to me, "It seems that Mr Popplewell hasn't exactly caught up with the times."

"It would seem so, Number One, "He is quite sensitive as well. It's a good job Seven was in her alcove, otherwise he might have fainted."


A few hours later, Popplewell is looking at all incoming and outgoing records that the Enterprise has had.

"It is very frustrated having to look at all these records on a computer screen." he tells me with annoyance, "I much prefer paper and pen. Tell me, do you use the double-entry book-keeping system here."

"Sorry Mr Popplewell." I say, "We only have our computer records."

He sighs with disdain.

"When will people realise that double-entry was the only way of true accountancy."

Deanna comes in to talk with him.

"How are things getting on, Mr Popplewell? Do you like it here?"

"Everything seems to be in order, young lady." he replies, "But things are far too new fangled here. I just want to go home."

"Perhaps you might like our new technology if you try it." she suggests.

Deanna takes him to holodeck 2, and puts a program in. I know what she is thinking.

We all go in, and the scene is a small 19th century office, with workers using quill pens and large books. Popplewell looks in wonder.

"This is paradise!" he exclaims, and throws a computer-generated accountant off his desk to start doing it himself. I've never seen a man so happy since Riker knew there some left over donuts in Ten Forward.


We finally persuade Popplewell to leave the holodeck. He tells me to forget about the accountancy as it all looked good to him. I tell him that there is a holosuite Ottway St Mary, and give him the 19th Century office program to use there.

Popplewell is overjoyed, and decides to beam down, as he wants to start using the program right away.

"Well done, Deanna." I comment.

"Sometimes." she replies, "The past and future can combine well."

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Taking DeeDee's Advice

Guest Poster: Seven Of Nine

After reading what she suggested in her Dear DeeDee column, in the Federation Gazette today, I have decided to follow her advice.

The Borg Queen may be incensed, and I might get deactivated, but I shall give it a try.

I am going to be more sociable to other people on the Enterprise.

Up to now, they have tended to run away when I approach them in the corridor, as they think I will assimilate them when they are not looking.

This is nonsense, of course.

The Borg will not assimilate them until I have finished my observations on this vessel. I have tried to tell them this, but it does not help matters. Humans have very strange opinions.


It is lunchtime, so I take my tray into Ten Forward; I am not going to eat anything, but will try to engage in casual conversation.

Four crewmembers are sitting at a table; I will sit next to them.

"What did you think of the Federation telecasts last night?" I ask quickly.

As I look up, the table is empty; where have they gone? Perhaps they had all just finished their lunch.

I look for another table. Two are over there; I sit with them.

"Nice weather we are having." I remark to them; they look puzzled.

"We are travelling in space!" the man says to me, "Look, do you mind if you sit somewhere else? You are making my fiance nervous, besides we want to talk about 'private' things."

"That is most interesting." I reply, "Human behaviour is what I have to study. Please continue to speak intimately to each other and I shall listen carefully."

The woman he is with bursts into tears.

"Now see what you've done!" the man tells me, "We just wanted some privacy."

"There will be no privacy when you have been assimilated!" I say, "The Hive Mind is one mind, and we shall all become one."

The woman wails even more, and the two leave.

My social skills seem to require more work on them.

Ro Laren walks in; she sees me and comes over. I explain what I am trying to do.

"I have trouble fitting in, as well, Seven." she tells me, "I get into a lot of trouble with Commander Riker for insubordination. Just be yourself, and not someone else."

"That does not make me fit in" I reply.

"Do you WANT to fit in, Seven? she asks.

Ro Laren may well be right. I am more contented as a drone and annoying people, rather than trying to please them.

"Thank you, Ro Laren." I tell her, "I will put you at the back of the queue to be assimilated."

"Glad to help!" she says with a laugh.

As I leave I tell two at the bar that the Borg are supreme, and resistance is futile. This causes them to fall off their chair.

I feel a lot more at ease now, and can relax in my alcove.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

DeeDee Problem Page

I'm called in to answer a video message which has 'Urgent: Priority' on it.

Has the galaxy been invaded by super-beings bent on domination, or is it something far more trivial?

It's usually the latter.

A face I don't recognise comes on the screen.

"Hello, Captain Picard." he says, "I'm Perry Black, editor of the Federation Gazette; we've got quite a crisis on our hands here at the Gazette."

"What does this have to do with me, Mr err...Black." I ask him in puzzlement.

"Well as you know," he replies, "Counselor Deanna Troi has gone to an enclosed meeting for couselors on Revon VI, and cannot be contacted. However, she has forgotten to complete her column for the paper."

"What column?" I inquire. This is getting crazier by the minute.

"Didn't you know?" asks Black in astonishment, "Deanna Troi is the Agony Aunt on the 'Dear DeeDee' Problem Page. I know she keeps her identity a secret from readers, but I thought she might have told you."

"Well, she didn't!" I retort.

"Look, Captain." Black says, "We are desperate; we've got to have a couple of problems sent to us in an hour. Can you look in her files and pick a couple to do yourself?"

"What! you want me to...."

"You have her list of problems" Black reminded me, "Counselor Troi would have wanted you to do it."

With a grudging acceptance, I tell Black that I'll send some answers through Deanna's file.


A few moments later, I am in Deanna's office where her computer is. Fortunately, she doesn't have a password, and I see the file marked 'DeeDee'. There are a list of problems on her desk, so I look through them...

Dear DeeDee,

I am going to marry a girl who is now divorced. She has two children who hate me. How can I make them accept me as their stepfather?

Yours, Anxious Fiance'.

I think about this; handling children is not my best subject. Perhaps I should overlook this one and look for an easier one?

No, I'm supposed to be DeeDee, so I ought to answer it.

Dear Anxious Fiance,

There is only one thing that will work; bribery. Lots of gifts may seem expensive, but if it all ends up as one happy family, all well and good. If this fails to work, tell the children privately that you'll have them relocated to an outpost on the edge of the galaxy so that you and their mother can enjoy wedded bliss.



That seemed easy enough; let's try another....

Dear DeeDee,

I have been sent by my superior to live on a starship to see how humans live before we assimil...I mean before we get to know them more. The trouble is, I am having trouble fitting in. All too often, I seem to annoy people. They don't like it when I threaten them and tell them we are a superior race.

Awaiting your answer,

Not Fitting In.

Hmmm. I'm not sure, but this one seems like something that is familiar to me.... Sill, let's see what I can come up with...

Dear Not Fitting In,

You clearly have a problem that may be something to do with attitude. Never mind whether you are a superior race. Be more friendly to the others on the starship. Chat about the weather or everyday conversations in breaks and in the restaurant. Join in the fun, crack a few jokes and you will find the crew warming to you.


There, that was good. I send those off to Perry Black, and he thanks me for helping him and keeping 'Dear DeeDee' going. He also asks if I want to deputise in the future, but I quickly turn him down.


A few hours later, Seven comes up to me.

"Locutus." she tells me, "Did you see a document in Counselor Troi's office that I may have left there?"

"No, Seven." I reply, "I saw nothing there."

She appears to breathe a sigh a relief, but looks agitated when she can't find it herself. A little later she pretends to be alright.

"I need to go to my alcove and relax!" she says in a panic.

I wonder what that was all about?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

TWQ: Songs Of The Decade

This weekend, TWQ (The Weekend Question) looks into songs that shaped a decade.

Can you pick a decade and list some influential songs that you identify with that time? They don't have to be favourites, but important ones of the era.

Here are my answers:

The Sixties:

The Beach Boys: Good Vibrations
Bob Dylan: The Times They Are A' Changin'
Scott McKenzie: San Francisco
Procul Harum: A Whiter Shade Of Pale
The Beatles: Strawberry Fields Forever
Steppenwolf: Born To Be Wild

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Picard In Prison (Part Three)

As I disappear in the Disintegrator on Talan IV after being accused of killing Divara, the Regent of the City, I get the feeling that this post could be a very short one indeed.


Then I reappear on one of the Transporters of the Enterprise. Data and Riker are there. Beverly is still weeping away, but this time with relief.

"What happened, Number One?" I ask him.

"As we were watching the incident, Captain." he replies, "We timed the beaming up to the precise time you were being disintegrated, so the Transporter could collect all your atoms. It was very close."

"What would you have done had it gone wrong, Mr Data?" I inquire.

"Fortunately that did not happen" he answers with a very calm voice, intimating that it's best not to think about that.

"Now that I am 'dead'" I tell them, "We can look for the real culprit. Have you any ideas?"

They look blank, like a private eye who has been paid an expensive retainer but not found anything.

"Negative, Captain." responds Data, "We considered whether there was anybody who wanted you dead, but the list was too long to check."

"Maybe they just wanted Divara dead." chips in Worf, "And you just happened to be conveniently around as someone to blame."

A very political answer.

"Let's look into that and see what we find." I tell them.


A short time later, Data comes back.

"We have found that Sokana, the Deputy Regent of the City badly wanted the position Divara held." he tells us, "Sokana was seen in The Sleazy Talan, an inn of some dubiousness and some other less reputable places seeking out Dekon. He is a shapeshifter that was rumoured to be in this sector."

"A shapeshifter." comments Beverly, "That would explain a lot."

"Yes it would," I say, "You'll all have to look in the seedy establishments and seek him out."

The crew dress in slovenly outfits that make them all seem rather fearful. I must admit that Worf and Seven look fearful anyway.

I stay behind, as I am supposed to be dead.


A few hours later, they return with a large bucket.

"Dekon is in here." Jadzia tells me, "Having known Constable Odo, I can tell how a shapeshifter operates. We can turn Dekon over to the authorities."

"He will try and get less time by implicating his conspirator Sokana." Riker comments, "I'm sure they will keep him in his bucket."

Let's hope no one uses it to clean any windows." Beverly adds drily.


Two hours later, Sokana is apprehended, and the authorities are made aware of me still being alive.

"We considered penalising you for you attempted prison break and rescue from the Disintegrator." says the Mayor to me over the video screen, "But as you were innocent, we will overlook this and let you go."

That's good of them.

Another face then comes on the screen.

Jody Carrot, my cellmate who tried to escape with me.

"Hey Picard!" he says, "Glad to see you're on the outside! Before you go, you wouldn't mind beaming me outta the big house would ya? Ma says there is trouble brewin in my gang."

Time to switch the screen off!