Thursday, May 31, 2007

Through A Mirror, Strictly (Part Three)

It's no fun in this joyless universe.

Since I went through a mirror on Gaius IV, I emerged into a parallel universe where everything is a lot harsher. I have to keep saluting everyone. No fraternisation is allowed, so Bev has been very different.

I've even been told that the human race is only grown in laboratories. We have to keep our bodies well covered to prevent any illicit thoughts.

I can only imagine what my counterpart in my universe must be thinking. He's probably locked all the women in the brig by now!


I know the answer is in that mirror on Gaius IV, so I will beam down and get through. It could be a problem right now. Riker is viewing me suspiciously. Beverly must have told him what happened in SickBay when I pecked her on the cheek. If I'm not careful, I could end up imprisoned for not following procedure.

"Doctor Crusher tells me there was an altercation between you and her in SickBay" he comments coldly to me in the corrider, "And that you assaulted her."

"Purely a misunderstanding, Commander Riker" I reply in the formal manner they are used to here, "I assure you it will not happen again."

"Nevertheless" he continues, "I must make my report to Starfleet. I may get orders to put you in the brig and assume command of the Enterprise."

That's just what I didn't want!

"Err..look, Commander." I ask, "Can't we just let this slip by. I wasn't feeling too well at the time after that visit to Gaius IV."

Riker thinks about this for a while.

"Very well, Captain" he concedes, "If you make an apology to Doctor Crusher, and she agrees, I shall let this matter drop. Do not do this again."

"Of course not." I say in a grovelling manner, "By the way, what have you ever thought of Deanna Troi?"

Riker thinks again.

"She is an adequate enough counselor." he tells me with a sniff.

"Have you ever thought her attractive?" I ask in a hinting manner, "Or maybe that she likes you?"

"Of course not!" he replies firmly, "Such thoughts are forbidden!"

"That's true." I say, "But it might be interesting to ask her, and to find the reply."

I walk away and notice that Riker is thinking about the question...and about Deanna.

I arrive back at SickBay. Beverly is hostile, but I apologise and decide to tell her everythingabout who I really am.


Afterwards she asks me a few questions.

"You mean in your universe people kiss and are not grown in laboratories?"

"That's right" I reply, "There, you and I are very close."

"Are we?" she asks curiously, with interest in her voice.

I approach and kiss her gently. This time, Bev does not slap me on the cheek, but kisses me back with a passion.

"I shall have to go back to my universe, Beverly" I tell her, "I'm sure you will be able to eventually get my counterpart to warm to you."

"I'm sure I will, Jean-Luc" she says with a smile.


I beam down the surface of Gaius IV, and find the mirror. Looking at the marker, it is still set at twelve. My reflection is in the mirror, but in it, Beverly and Riker are in the background. I walk through.

The marker there is set at seven, so I'm in the right dimension.


I tell them about the harshness of the universe I was in, leaving out the kiss with Beverly, of course!

"However." I continue, just as we are about to beam up, "I have the feeling that there might be one or two changes in the place I've come from."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Through A Mirror, Strictly (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Beverly Crusher

After, Jean-Luc's visit to Gaius IV, I am treating the injured Ro Laren, who has had concussion, due to a rockfall. I get a swift message on my comm from Will Riker that the Captain is acting strangely, and to be careful.

I don't have time to ask him to elaborate as Jean-Luc walks in, looking annoyed.

"Doctor Crusher!" he booms, "Why is no one saluting me on this ship? Have they lost all sense of duty?"

"Jean-Luc?" I ask, "You know people don't ever salute here."

"You are being perilously over-familiar with me, Doctor." he commands, "You will address me as Captain Picard or sir."

"Very well, sir" I say with a touch of sarcasm, and a mock salute.

"One other thing, Doctor." he continues, "Why are you not in your regulation Starfleet medical outfit. That brown dress is not suitable."

"I had put it one for our date tonight at The Sands holographic nightclub." I tell him.

Jean-Luc looks shocked.

"Fraternisation?" he says, "That is banned throughout the entire Federation. Men and women are not allowed to consort in case....certain things happen."

"How are species supposed to exist then?" I ask angily.

"They are raised in laboratories, of course, Doctor." he reminds me, "You of all people should know that. The women in this vessel are showing too much flesh. It is distracting for male crew."
Deanna comes in and asks what the fuss is all about.

Jean-Luc looks as if he is going to faint.

"Why are you showing all this flesh!" he shouts, "I'll have you put in the brig for inciting thoughts into people."

"I was in my evening dress, for the date with Will tonight at The Sands." she explains.

Jean-Luc isn't listening. Instead, he gets a medical blanket, throws it over Deanna and carries her out of SickBay in the direction of the brig. All the time, Deanna is wailing away.

Riker rushes in.

"What's going on, Beverly?" he asks.

"We've got a problem" I tell him, "The Captain Picard we have here isn't the one who went down to Gaius IV. I managed to take a reading as he left with Deanna. He has a different universal signature."

"We need to go back down there and find out what happened." he replies, "The Captain we have here won't be too popular."

To be continued...

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Through A Mirror, Strictly (Part One)

Gaius IV is a world Starfleet haven't explored before. As we are in the vicinity, we have been sent to take a look at it.

Sensors show it is deserted, but there are a few old buildings around.

Data, Geordi, Worf, Ro and myself are in the Away Team beaming down. I like to be in the group that visit. After all, I'm the Captain!

The trouble is, those in Away Teams to get eliminated; it's a high risk strategy.

When we appear on the planet, see see a lot of ruined buildings, ancient columns and walls that have long since collapsed due to age.

"All right" I say to the team, "Data and Geordi, you look over there to the north; Worf and Ro, you search that cluster of buildings over to the south. As for me, I'll look right here in these chambers."

"Are you sure you will be alright, Captain?" warns Worf, "You have no one with you. Perhaps you ought to come with Ensign Ro and myself?"

"Don't worry, Mr Worf." I reply, "I know how to look after myself."

I should listen to others, of course; things never run smoothly. We must me the most incident-prone ship in Starfleet.

As the others explore, I go into the ancient rooms that still remain standing; eventually, I come across something rather odd.

A giant mirror.

On the frame are a set of numbers. The marker is set to 'seven'. I take a closer look.

Why do I do it? New New Years Resolution ought to be 'Don't be so curious'.

When I touch the mirror, I find my hand goes through it, and in a moment of extreme silliness, as I must have left my brain on the Enterprise, I step through.

Everything is exactly how it was, nothing has altered. I do notice that the marker is at 'twelve', though.

"Captain!" calls out Worf, "Ensign Ro is injured. Some debris fell on her."

I run out, thinking nothing more about the mirror incident, and go to where Data, Geordi and Worf are, with Ro lying down.

The three turn round and salute quickly; Ro, dazed she is, looks and manages a weak little salute. I notice that her bare arms are covered and the Bajoran jewelry she always wears is missing.

"I'm sorry I can't stand up, Captain Picard." she says, "I think I have concussion."

In surprise, I salute back.

"That's alright, Ensign." I tell her, "Let's beam back and get you to SickBay."


In the transport room, I am greeted by a barrage of salutes; everyone looks as if they daren't put a foot wrong. I try to keep remembering to salute as I greet everyone.

What's going on? Has there been a new Starfleet directive? I could believe that!

Going to SickBay, I am greeted by Beverly, who is treating Ro.

Bev stops and salutes me.

"Ensign Ro Laren will be able to resume duties in two hours, sir." she informs me.

"That's good to know." I reply. Then I ask Beverly to quietly speak to me.

"What's with all the salutes, Bev?" I ask her, "You are behaving very officiously today, as is everybody else. What about our date tonight? I hope you're not going to be officious then!"

I reach forward and kiss her on the cheek.

Beverly looks shocked.

"Unhand me, Captain!" she shouts, slapping my cheek, "You know that Starfleet employees are not allowed to fraternise! Male and female contact is strictly forbidden in this galaxy, with the body covered with clothes at all times."

My mind recalls the incident with the mirror on Gaius IV.

This may not be the universe I belong to. I wonder what is going on in my universe?

To be continued...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

TWQ: Albums Played Only Once

We all remember most of the music albums we buy, but some of them are just so bad or disappointing, we never play them again, so they just gather dust. Today, TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about those.

Which music albums have you found to be very disappointing when you played them, so that you never played them again, or very rarely?

My answers are:

Clock Without Hands by Nanci Griffith: The title track was rather good, but apart from that the rest of the album is below Nanci's usual standard. As I have been to 3 concerts and have other albums, this fell short of the usual.

Love Scenes by Beverley Craven: After a promising first album, I was looking forward to this, only to find it consisted of Beverley singing a few tinkling songs of no distinction or quality.

Now it's over to you...

But before I go...

Today is the 99th TWQ in the series. Make sure you visit next week for the special 100th!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Data Comes To Dinner (Part Three)

Guest Poster: Data

The dinner seems to be going well in Ten Forward.

My girlfriend Jennifer Baxter and I are entertaining her parents George and Miriam. They have never met me before, and are a little doubtful about my suitability for Jennifer.

However, I believe I am starting to win them over.


We are seated at one of the best tables. Guinan has bought over the menu.

"Would any of you people like you to see the menu?" she asks.

"Aye, I would." replies Mr Baxter.

When it comes, he scans the pages and looks disappointed.

"Haven't you got any tripe?" he asks, "I could just do with some of that!"

Guinan smiles.

"Well, it's an unusual request, sir, "But we can get some if you wish."

"Aye, that would suit me fine."

"George!" whispers Mrs Baxter, "I thought we were going to have more modern dishes. After all, this is the 24th Century,"

"There's nothing like good, honest, Yorkshire tripe." George Baxter states proudly, "I'll have none of that Klingon food."

"There's a lot of tripe around in Yorkshire, Daddy." says Jennifer with a giggle. She and her mother both laugh. Her father looks disgusted.

Perhaps I should have had my emotion chip turned on?

As we wait for our meals, we start to talk. Mr Baxter turns to me.

"Now then, young man" he starts, "I want to know what your intentions are towards my daughter?"

"I am sorry, Mr Baxter, I do not understand."

"I mean are you going to make an honest woman of her?"

Jennifer starts to blush.

"Oh, Daddy!" she exclaims, "You're embarassing me and Data."

"Never mind that!" he continues, "What's your answer?"

My positrinic brain processes the question until I understand it's meaning.

"Are you asking if I wish to marry your daughter, sir?" I say.

"Aye, Data, that I am."

"Well, sir." I say carefully, "Jennifer and I have not discussed that in depth, but she is a wonderful woman."

"Oh Data!" sighs Jennifer, and kisses me on the cheek and holds my hand."

"Hey lass, be careful what you're doing there!" warns Mr Baxter.

"Oh, George!" says his wife, "They are only young. We used to do that once,"

"Aye." he replies, "But I wasn't a robot that needed oiling every week!"

"George!" continues his wife, "Give the couple a chance. Think of your daughter's happiness. She has a handsome Lieutenant Commander who loves her. Not many young girls could say that."

"Aye, you're right." he admits, "Very well Mr Data, you and Jennifer have our blessing to continue your relationship. However, you must try some of the tripe I get served."

"Very well, sir" I reply.

"Remember, Data." he says, "Call me George."

Behind him, Guinan is hovering, ready to serve our meals. She smiles and winks at me.

"Give Data some of my tripe!" Mr Baxter orders. It is placed in front of me and Jennifer laughs while I look confused.

I really should have bought my emotion chip with me.

Author's note: This is an additional part to the story. It was meant to be a two-part one, but when many comments said they were looking forward to Part Three, I decided to expand it. I'm glad that I did.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Data Comes To Dinner (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Jennifer Baxter

I always knew this day would come sooner or later. My parents want to meet my boyfriend Data. They both dislike technology, yet I've never told them that Data is an android.

Mommy and Daddy are very English, and like the old ways. How they will manage to beam up to the Enterprise is a feat in itself. Eager to see me and my Lieutenant Commander boyfriend, I suppose.


Data and I are waiting in the Transporter Room as my parents beam aboard. We hold hands. I hope Data doesn't notice how nervous I am.

Daddy smiles at me, as does Mommy. They rush forward to greet me.

"I'm really glad to see you, Jen." says Daddy. Mommy gives me a peck on the cheek.

"How are you, darling." she asks me, "It must be awful being on this spaceship. I know it took a lot of persuading to get your father to beam up. He hated having his atoms taking apart. I'm sure he'll be counting them as soon as he can."

Then my parents turn to look at Data.

"Well I'll go to the foot of our stairs." exclaims Daddy.

"Hello, Mr and Mrs Baxter." states Data, "I am Lieutenant Commander Data, and am very pleased to meet you."

"Data, honey." I say, "This is my father, George Baxter, and my mother, Miriam."

"It is my pleasure." Data tells them with a smile.

Daddy is starting to look a little purple, as if he is being strangled with a tie.

"Err...Miriam, lass" he says to Mommy, "You have a word with Mr Data, I need to have a very urgent chat with our Jenny."

He pulls me aside quickly.

"Gordon Bennett! What do you think you're trying to do, Jenny?" he asks me desperately.

"What do you mean, Daddy."

"You know full well" he tells me, going even more purple, "Are you trying to tell me your boyfriend is a robot?"

"Of course he's not a robot, Daddy." I reply, "He's a highly advanced android with a positonic brain. Data is just an alternative life form who I happen to love. He's really charming, especially when he has his emotion switch turned on."

Daddy has to sit down on hearing this.

"Don't give me that, Jen!" he says while shaking his head, "Do you have to carry a key to wind him up every few minutes?"

"Don't be ridiculous, Daddy." I reply, "He's not clockwork. You'll get to like him after a while. Data is warm, kind, generous and..."

"It'll take a lot to convince me, Jen." he says with a sigh, "What will the neighbours say? I'll be ostracised from the local cricket club."

"Why worry about what others think, Daddy." I tell tim, "Doesn't your daughter's happiness count?"

"Aye, lass." he admits, "But he is not what we expected. He looks pleasant enough. Come on, let's get back to your mother. Your boyfriend might need winding up again."

We approach Mommy and Data.

"Oh, George!" exclaims Mommy, "Mr Data here has been making me laugh. He's been telling me some funny stories about his adventures in space."

"Oh, aye?" Daddy says grumpily.

"Yes, George." she continues, "He also tells me how much Jennifer has meant to him since she joined the Enterprise."

"Well, she's a special lass." Daddy concedes.

"Indeed she is, Mr Baxter." Data tells him, "The two of us mean a lot to each other. Shall we go to Ten Forward, where we can have dinner?"

"Aye, let's do that." says Daddy, "You can call me George, though", and he slaps Data on the back.

As we leave, Data and I exchange smiles and hold hands.

I think Data may have won his toughest battle.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Data Comes To Dinner (Part One)

Guest Poster: Data

Since I had my relationship with Ensign Jennifer Baxter, I have never met her parents.

Though I have asked her when I may do this, she has said "Sure we'll do it sometime, honey." and accepted it as such.

However, she is looking troubled just now. I hold her hand gently.

"Jennifer." I ask, "You look like you have a problem; tell me what it is."

After a slight hesitation, she speaks up.

"It's my parents." she haltingly confesses, "They want to meet you when the Enterprise returns to Earth soon, and go to dinner."

"That should be no problem, Jennifer." I reply, "I have wanted to meet them also." Though I suspect she may not have told them something.

"The trouble is, honey." Jennifer says with a half smile, "I told them you were a Lieutenant Commander on the Enterprise, which impressed them, but I didn't mention you were"

"I see why you were distressed." I reply, "You are concerned your parents may not approve of me."

"You can say that again." Jennifer comments, "My mother had a bad experience with a sonic shower, and my father disapproves of all sorts of technology."

"That could make our relationship somewhat awkward." I say.

"That's right, Data" she sniffs, with a tear in her eye, "My father would think I might as well have a toaster as a boyfriend."

"A toaster does not have so many circuits or a positronic brain, Jennifer, besides.."

"That's not the point, Data." she says with a sigh, "We'll have to hope your personality wins them over."

"That may somewhat of a problem, Jennifer."


I taslk to my friend Geordi.

"Now look, Data." he tells me, "You've got to make Jennifer's parents see you as a suitable boyfriend, and not as an android."

"But I AM an android." I reply.

"That's not the point." Geordi stresses, "You've got to get them to see that you're a good boyfriend for their daughter, and that being an android is irrelevant."

I understand, Geordi. Thank you for your advice."


A little later, we are at the transporter room. Jennifer is all dressed in an evening gown, ready for the four of us to go out.

"All set, Data honey?" she asks me.

"I think so, Jennifer." I tell her with hesitation, as two figures beam on board.

To be continued...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

TWQ: Superheroes

With superhero movies always coming out, TWQ (The Weekend Question) this week looks at the comic book genre.

Which superhero(es) did you always like? What name would you choose if you were a superhero, and what powers would you have?

My answers are:

I always liked the DC Comics, so Superman & Batman were my favourites. Around 1968-1974, there were lots of titles that featured them, and I bought every one of them.

My superhero would be The Night Stalker. In an all-black outfit and cape, he would root out wrongdoers. I would have the telepathic ability to sense evil and have telekinetic energy to move people against a wall if they attacked or keep them still

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Starfleet Call Centre Transfer (Part Three)

The Call Centre transfer to the planet Bidura is turning into a complete mess...literally.

Starfleet thought it would be cheaper to tranfer their Call Centre facility from San Francisco to the planet Bidura. After all, the inhabitants only want paying in boulder chips.

Then we found the handbook the Bidurans were given to operate it was four centuries out of date. As a result they are dressed in outfits just before the year 2000 and the computers are extra large ancient models.

If that was bad enough, we found out that when a Biduran is stressed, they disintegrate into a blue molten bubble.


"What are we going to to." I ask the staff, "The Bidurans clearly aren't cut out for Call Centre work."

"Threaten to assilimilate them if they do not work harder." comments Seven sternly.

"All we are going to end up with is a lot of blue bubbles." Beverly replies, "We have to prevent that happening."

"I agree." I tell them, "But how do we do that?"

"A more relaxed environment?" suggests Deanna, "As they learn, they will be more calm."

"They could even have casual days." adds Geordi.

"I do not think this will good." states Worf, "They are there to operate the Call Centre, not to sit in scruffy clothes and relax."

"I agree, Mr Worf." I tell him, "But let's just try a slightly relaxed office manner and see how it goes. After all, we don't want any more office casualties."


A few hours later, after the relaxed atmosphere has been announced to the Biduran Call Centre, I go with the rest of the senior staff to see the results.

Three Bidurans were crowded around a computer; were they so proud of how they were working, they were showing their colleagues?

We took a sneaky look. They were looking at the GalaxyNet that had been installed to read between called. Though the lights were flashing away on their telephones, they were taking no notice. They were laughing at the pictures they were seeing.

"I have never seen a Cardassian in THAT sort of pose." commented Ro Laren.

We looked around to see what else was going on.

Four Bidurans had gone from their desks, although they were still meant to be there and had decided to have a break in the meeting room. Three were laughing about an anecdote concerning two male Bidurans, a female Silakan and a female Ovaka. As they creased over laughing, a fourth Biduran was asleep.

"This will cease immediately!" Worf declared.

"You are lucky not to be assimilated for your behaviour!" Seven adds.

The four look up at us and burst into howls of laughter.

I sigh.


"So, sir." I tell Admiral Ryan on the videoviewer, "I can't see this working at all. The Bidurans have out of date equipment, turn into blue molten puddles when stressed, and lose all sense of order when allowed to relax a little."

"You may be right, Captain." Ryan replies, "We'll have to restart the Call Centre here in San Francisco. There could be a few few problems."

"What might that be?"

"Err, well, we fired all the staff last week." he tells me with an apologetic look, "We will have to give them a raise to get them back."

I sign off and smile.

It's a good job I'm not an Admiral.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Starfleet Call Centre Transfer (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Geordi La Forge

At the moment, we are on Bidura. The Captain and the rest of us have been given the job of training the Bidurans how to run the Starfleet Call Centre. It was decided that it would be a lot cheaper than doing this from HQ on Earth. After all, the people on this planet only want paying in boulder-chips.

Man, something was bound to go wrong and it did!

The Call Centre handbook they were given was four centuries out of date, so they look and behave like people in the last years of the 20th Century. The equipment is much the same.


We are all sitting with Bidurans to see how they answer with call enquiries. Naturally, they must not mention the calls are going to a planet millions of miles away. We are supposed to let them think it is at Starfleet Headquarters, on Earth.

I am sitiing with K'Math, but has called herself Janet while answering the phone:

Janet: Hello, this is Starfleet Headquarters, here on Earth on San Francisco. It is not anywhere else, please believe me..

Caller: What?

Janet: My name is Janet. It is not K'Math. I was born in San Francisco. I like Golden Gate Bridge, flower power, Scott McKenzie.

Caller: Is something going on here? (slams phone down)

Janet burst into tears and says she is a failure. I try to console her.

"Now look, er..Janet" I tell her, "You were acting in a very guilty manner. The caller was bound to think something was not right the way you answered. Try again with the next caller and just be pleasant."

She blows her nose very loudly; so loud that the Captain and all the other staff turn round from the desks they are at.

I take a look at some of the Biduran staff.

Is that a Vulcan in the background wearing a white shirt? How did he get a job on Bidura? Never mind.

I go back to training Janet, who has a purple sweater, a fixed smile, brown hair and a computer that looks slow enough to have the memory of a goldfish.

Janet is ready for the next caller.

Janet: Good morning, this is Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco. I'm Janet; how may I help you?

I nod; she's doing well so far.

Caller: What do you mean, 'Good morning?' I live in San Francisco as well, and at this time it's 21:15 at night. This isn't a remote planet the calls have beeen transferred to, is it?

Aaagh! Caught out again. Janet starts to sweat.

Janet: ...errr...of course not,'s been a long's very hot outside...

Caller: What do you mean hot? In San Francisco, it's raining with lightning and thunder. I was going to complain about the noisy shuttles landing nearby. Next time I call I want to speak to someone on Earth. (phone goes down)

Janet runs from the Call Centre screaming. I follow her.

She is quivering outside; as her body shakes, it disintegrates into a blue molten bubble on the floor.

It looks like the Bidurans aren't too good at handling stress. They don't seem ideal Call Centre material to me.

Let's hope the Captain can sort it out.

To be continued...


Author's Note:

Mimi has sent me this Meme (no pun intented!)


1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

2. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

4. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and asking them to read your blog.

1: I'm a real technophobe. Though I have lots of gadgets, I'm not the sort who can use them properly. With a computer, digital camera, VCR etc, it's not good!

2: I have been with the same company for over 30 years. I have seen it change a lot, and certainly not for the better. I guess it's indicative of a lot of companies.

3: I love to read, and rarely leave a book if I don't like it. There is a tiny list I have done this with.

4: I love to travel. The best place I went to was the Great Pyramid in Egypt.

5: I like to go to London often and see the shows that are there. The only one I have gone twice to see is 'Mamma Mia!'

6: I live in Birmingham, the very centre of England.

7: I love films, and collect DVDs. My absolute favourites are 'The Hours', 'Pleasantville' & 'The Godfather trilogy'. I also love foreign language movies.

8: I have an English bone china collection.

One thing I won't be doing is listing eight people. If you want to do a list, please do so.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Starfleet Call Centre Transfer (Part One)

"Well I don't see what it's got to do with us." I say to Admiral Ryan, Head of Starfleet Communication, "After all, we are explorers, going where no one has gone before, and all that sort of thing."

"Very true, Captain." he replies, "But we think you and your senior staff will be very useful in helping with the transfer we have in mind."

"But a call centre!" I protest, "Why do we even need one? Surely they disappeared in the 21st Century when scientists found they made people mentally and emotionally unstable?"

Ryan sat back in his chair as we talked at Starfleet Headquarters. I know his mind was made up in this, but I have to try and get round hiis reasoning.

"Of course they were banned, Captain." he tells me, "But they were re-introduced quietly when Starfleet found they were getting a lot of complaints, especially from residents near shuttle landing sites. However the cost of running these centres is very high. The medical insurance is very high due to to constant stress they suffer."

I roll my eyes. Don't they ever learn?

"So." continued Ryan, "We have decided to move the call centre to the distant planet of Bidura, "The people there are err..."

"Cheaper?" I suggest.

"Errr..yes, Captain." Ryan replies, "They have a great need for rock chips off boulders. Your mission is to go to the new call centre on Bidura and see if it is being run correctly. Naturally, and incoming callers must think they are still calling Starfleet Headquarters on Earth."

I sigh. We build massive Galaxy-class starships, and yet we are still mean enogh to use cheap call centres.


Later, we travel to Bidura. The senior staff and I beam down and are greeted by a man in a strange outfit and wearing a toupee.

"Greetings, Captain Picard." he says, "I am Ky'las....I mean Bob."

"Which is it meant to be? I ask.

"Well, my actual name is Ky'las." he tells me, "But the call centre transfer handbook tells me that I must use a name common to the area, so please call me Bob from now on."

We take a look at the call centre.

I turn to Riker.

"This is strange, Number One." I say quietly, "Bob, and those around him are wearing 20th-21st century clothing and thinking in that mindset. Not only that, the computers are ancient, with people wearing headsets."

"That's true" he replies, "I wonder what the rulebook is like they've been sent?"

I ask Bob to bring me a copy. I read through it with horror.

"They've sent the wrong one. It's nearly 400 years old!" I say.

"What can we do here, Captain?" Deanna asks me.

"I know one thing." I state with conviction. "We've got a tough job on our hands, here."

To be continued...

Saturday, May 12, 2007

TWQ: Google Needs

TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks you to undertake a fun exercise and let us know the results.

Can you go to Google (the location may be slightly different to where you are in the world)? Type in your first name and the word 'needs'. For example 'John needs'. Let us know the results.

My answers are:

*...needs heart surgery and will take a month to recover.

* ...needs to learn how to code and get his head out of his ***

*... needs the the loading bay for the van, but Mr Gray parks there overnight. ------ just has to laugh. The number of times he's pulled in with part of a chassis, or an exhaust, only to find Mr Gray's car there. ------'s become quite an expert in the MD's movements. He says he's popping out for a sandwich, but takes his car. One lunchtime, ------ saw the MD's car parked in a residential street in Clapham. That would be some sandwich.

* needs to be protected and that this assault needs to stop.

Now it's over to you...

But before you go...

Elizabeth tagged me to do this food related blog.

The rules are I am to list the state and country I am in, 5 locally related places I like to eat, and tag 5 other people.

1: I live in Birmingham, England, and have always done so. It's right in the centre of the country.

2: This is tricky to list as I don't eat out that often.

A: The Hamstead: A beautiful local pub that gives good-value meals throughout the day, such as sizzling steak.

B: Up in Chester, about 80 miles away is a beautiful Italian restaurant that does homemade lasagna.

C: Garfunkels in London do excellent omelettes.

D: Seaspray in Torquay (South coast) do top quality dishes

E: In Picadilly, London there is a top restaurant that does the best breakfast there is.

3: I'm not going to list any to tag, biut if any wish to, feel free to add their versions.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Through The Stargate (Part Three)

After a little while in custody at Stargate Command, General Hommand instructs that Beverly, Worf, Geordi and myself be checked by Dr Janet Fraiser in medical.

"Well, what do you have?" asks Hammond a little later.

"All I can say, General" she replies, is that these people are from an advanced society. Lieutenant Worf, who says he is a Klingon, is not from a race we have heard of before. Lieutenant Commander LaForge is blind and uses this visor to see. Doctor Beverly Crusher...well she uses a shade of red in her hair I've never seen before."

Beverly glares at her.

"Actually your SickBay is rather old-fashioned" Beverly says in a sneering way; we don't operate by opening people up, and I have a holographical medical assistant."

Janet Fraiser looks angry as Beverly smiles, as if she's won. I should think those two wouldn't get along together.

While we were in custody, I surmised with the others that we might have crossed through the Reality Barrier, as Stargate Command has never been mentioned before in Easth's defence history. Despite it's high classification, it would have made it's way into Starfleet records.

"Now look!" Hammond tells us, "It seems like SG1 did some sort of swap with you people. We just want them back."

Suddenly, there is a flash in the operations room, and a weird figure materialises.

"May I be of assistannce, General Hammond? he asks.

This strange figure, who it turns out is Thor, Supreme Leader of the Asgard Fleet seems to remind me of the Roswell Incident of 1947. Naturally, we're not supposed to talk about that.

"Sure you can, Thor" replies Hammond, and he explains the situation.

"SG1 are most important." comments Thor, "Colonel O'Neill's witticisms are required reading for the Fleet, and Major Carter is the pin-up girl for all Cadets...and a few Officers."

He goes red faced at this thought.

Thor beams us up and takes us to the planet we came from and starts to create an ion storm.

"There is a co-ordinating storm coming from another place he tells us. If I see four figures coming out of the Stargate, I shall beam you down." says Thor.

In about ten minutes he notices a movement.

"Goodbye, Captain Picard." he says.

Instead of appearing on the planet's surface, as are in the transporter room of the Enterprise.

Riker is there.

"Captain." he tells me, "You won't believe who we've had on board."

"Oh, I think I will, Number One, I think I will."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Through The Stargate (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Will Riker

As the ion storm on the planet was intensifying, we think the safest thing is the bring the Cap, Dr Crusher, Geordi and Worf back right away.

That;'s not exactly what we get back...

Four figures dressed in green look around; a silver haired man, another in spectacles, a blonde woman and a strange man with an insignia on his head.

"Oh for cryin' out loud, Carter!" says the silver haired man to the woman, "Where have we ended up now?"

"I don't know, sir" she replies, "I dialled the right gate number."

I step forward and introduce myself as Commander Will Riker of the starship Enterprise. The silver haired man introduces himself as Colonel Jack O' Neill of Stargate SG1. Eventually, it transpires they are from the closing years of the 20th Century on Earth.

"I've never heard of Stargate Command." I tell the Colonel.

"Ah well, we keep things very hush hush and classified." O'Neill replies, with a wry smile, "We can't go telling about it to every Tom, Dick or Harry."

"Indeed" comments Teal'c, "We have saved the earth from the Gou'ld on many an occasion."

"Perhaps you would like something from the replicators?" Deanna asks the group. O'Neill looks alarmed.

"Replicators?" he says worryingly, "You have Replicators on this ship?"

We certainly do." Deanna replies, "They serve our every need on the Enterprise."

SG1 start to look ready for action.

"Get your machine guns ready, team." O'Neill tells them, "We'll soon get those bugs wiped off the ship. Carter, you're with me, Daniel, you go with Teal'c."

"Hold on, Colonel." I say, "I think there has been a breakdown in communications. Replicators on this ship are not threatening, and are clearly not the same as you've come across."

After we both define our versions of replicators, the Colonel is happy. I must admit the Replicators he mentioned sound scary.

We go back to talking about them being from the past.

"Since I deal in things from the past, Jack" says Daniel Jackson, "This is hardly my forte. It 's more like Sam's. She deals with advanced technology."

Samantha Carter's eyes light up like Deanna's would if she were in a chocolate shop as she sees all the technology.

"What does this do?" she says to Data, indicating the transporter.

He explains it's function to Major Carter. Colonel O'Neill looks in amazement.

"Holy Schmoly!" he comments, "A talking robot! You guys have got some swell set-ups here."

We send them to the holographic doctor to get a medical check-up. In the mean-time, I talk with Data.

"How come we never heard of Stargate Command going in the late 20th Century, Data." I ask, "From what I hear, they travel to planets and accomplish far more than I ever thought humans could be capable of doing then."

"Indeed, sir." replies Data, "It may have all been highly classified in the deepest vaults of secrecy. There is another theory that when the ion storm was at the peak, the Captain, Doctor Crusher, Lieutenant Worf and Lieutenant Commander LaForge could have crossed through the Reality Barrier."

"The one that started breaking a while ago." I tell him, "And swapped them for this four. It's very possible. Let's see how they get on in medical."


In SickBay, the EMH is looking very distressed. He slso starts to complain that Colonel O'Neill tried to check if the doctor was really there when he found he was a hologram.

"I've never seen anything like it." the EMH tells me, "That man has a snake in his stomach!", indicating Teal'c.

"Oh, that's Junior." calls out O'Neill, "He's there to keep Teal'c company."

"Actually" Teal'c informs me, "It is my Gou'ld symbiot. Without it, I would not be able to live."

"Hey!" Major Carter tells me, "Is it ok if I go down to Engineering? I'd love to see what I can do by tinkering a few knobs and switches. I may be able to make it go a little faster."

"I don't think our Chief Engineer would be too happy at that, Major." I inform him.

"That's right!" comments O'Neill, "Don't you think getting off this ship and back to SGC is the first priority, Carter?"

"I guess so, sir." she replies, looking a little disappointed.

Data considers this.

"It seems like the only way of doing this is to re-create the ion storm by what we have on the Enterprise." he says.

"But we don't know where the other four will be at the time!" O'Neill states.

"Nevertheless." Data continues, "It is the only chance we have."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Through The Stargate (Part One)

When a planet has ion storms, it's wise to stay well clear as all sorts of problems can come up.

However, we have been directed to explore it by Starfleet as reports of dilithium crystals have been detected by long-range scanners

Worf, Beverly, Geordi and myself are getting ready to go.

"I think it's too dangerous with the ion storm, Captain." Riker tells me as I am ready to beam down.

"Then be thankful I didn't choose you to go down, Number One." I reply driely.

"Ready to beam you down, Captain." Data tells me.

The co-ordinates are transmitted and we arrive on the surface as a massive ion storm shakes the sky.

"Bringing you back, Captain." says Data, "The storm is too dangerous."

"Talk about bad weather.." Geordi tald to himself.

We look and see a large circular object

The last of four people in green uniforms seem to be beaming up to the Enterprise. A blue beam comes from the circular device and takes us inside.


We all go through a long vortex and step out the other side. A group of people are aiming guns at us.

A bald man of military intelligence, evidently in an old-style US Air Force outfit of the 20th Century looks amazed and angry.

"All right!" he shouts at us, I want to know what you've done with SG1!....and what is that?"

He looks at Worf when saying this, who gets annoyed at being referred to as a 'that'.

"I am a member of the Klingon Empire!" he states proudly.

The bald man, who looks like a General looks to his soldiers.

"Take them into custody, men" he orders them, "It looks like the Goa'uld may be trying something new."

"General" I tell him, "I see your name is Hammond from your badge. It may be hard for you to understand, but it looks like we're from the future. We come the 24th Century."

Hammond smiles, as if he's heard these sort of stories many times.

"Yeah, sure" he says, " Do you think we are that stupid to believe that. Another Goa'uld trick to get us to reveal the iris codes."

It looks like things aren't exactly going to be easy here.

To be continued...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

TWQ: Can't Live Without...

This week, TWQ (The Weekend Question) asks about those items that are essential to you...

What items do you consider invaluable to yourself? List as many as you like.

My answers are:

1: My La-Z-Boy recliner: Without this red leather recliner to lie back in at night, I would be very uncomfortable.

2: My passport: As I love to travel, I wouldn't like to be confined in just one country.

3: Lasagna: I love this dish, especially when done in an authentic Italian restaurant.

4: My blogfriends: An invaluable asset since starting my Journal.

Now it's over to you...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Karena At The Hairdressers (Part Two)

Guest Poster: Wesley Crusher

I'm alarmed since Karena walked out of the apartment because I only gave her a half-hearted compliment. In truth, even though she orders me about, gets me to do the cooking, washing, cleaning and occasionally prods me with her spear, I will miss the amazonian if she fails to return.

I hear a noise. Karena calls me.

"Wesley, come and take a look."

"I visited Hana's Hair Emporium in the Starfleet Mall." she tells me, "What do you think?"

Instead of long red hair, Karena now has short blonde hair.

"You look absolutely beautiful, Karena." I tell her honestly, "I really like your new look."

She smiles at hearing this, and walks over, kissing me full on the lips.

"Then it is official!" she declares, "We are engaged!"

"Hold on!" I say, "What do you mean we are engaged?"

Karena sighs, and starts to explain, as if she is teaching ABC to a child.

"It is very simple, Wesley." she tells me, "On my planet of Wondawowman, when a woman chooses her Life Servant, she will get a compliment from him, and she kisses him. Then they are engaged to be married. This we have done, and you have been chosen by myself to be my Life Servant."

"But I didn't know that!" I protest.

"Well you do now." Karena tells me with a smile. She kisses me again and tells me to clean the rooms while she has a rest.


As she does, I get on the videoscreen to Mom on the Enterprise.

I explain the situation to her.

"This is very most worrying, Wes." she tells me.

"Gee, Mom." I say, "Can't you get Captain Picard to do something?"

"No." she replies, "This is a matter between you and Karena; though you got yourself into this unknowingly, it 's up to you to sort it out."

"What do you mean, Mom?"

"Well." Mom tells me, hesitatingly, " you like her, Wes?"

"Sure, Mom." I reply, "She's a great looking girl, and can be really charming and fun. The only trouble is she she can order me about and prod me with that spear a lot."

"In that case, maybe you ought to go along with the engagement a little." she suggests, "As an engaged couple, she might not order you around so much and be a lot more friendlier. In turn, you and her would get on more. She's a lot better than that predatory sister of hers, Nexa."

"That's true, Mom." I say, "Nexa is always trying to wrest Karena from me. Fortunately, Karena won't let that happen."

"Just be careful what you say to Karena, Wes." Mom says with a smile, "If you say the wrong thing you might get married!"

I leave the videoscreen.

Well what do I do now?

Karena comes back in and looks around the room.

"Beloved." she starts, "Have you not cleaned the rooms yet? Get a move on, otherwise you will feel the end of my newly sharpened spear!"

Is this the life of an engaged couple? Groan!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Karena At The Hairdressers (Part One)

Guest Poster: Karena

While Wesley Crusher was doing the ironing, the cooking and everything in the Academy apartment we shared, I looked in the mirror. The Academy authorities have ordered that he helps me through my years there.

"Why do men not find me attractive?" I thought to myself, "Do they not think me beautiful. Am I intimidating? Is it because I consider women superior and threaten them with my spear?"

Being an amazonian Princess from the planet Wondawowman has given me fixed ideas of how I should behave towards men. Naturally, they should serve me at cater for all my requests, but unfortunately not all societies adopt this perfectly normal point of view.

I approach Wesley.

"Wesley Crusher, do you not find me attractive and desirable?"

He looks stunned.

"Ahh..err...actually, you are pretty, Karena" he replies haltingly, "But you can be a little intimidating."

Enraged at this insipid reaction, I pick up my spear and walk out of the apartment, slamming the door with full force on the way out and head towards the mall.

I stride through until I see Hana's Hair Emporium, which has the sign underneath 'we look after your locks' underneath.

I go in and prod the receptionist with my spear.

"Is Hana in, I want him...."

"I'm sorry madamioselle." she replies airily, "Monsiour Hana is much too busy to deal with you; I do not believe you have an appointment."

Angrily, I give the receptionist an extra jab with my spear. Fortunately I had it sharpened yesterday.

"He will see me!" I shout, "Otherwise you will be skewed!"

"He is over there, madamoiselle." she tells me hurriedly, pointing to a figure in the corner, "But he is with.."

Not bothering to listen any more, I march over to Hana, a tall man with curly hair and a tiny moustouche. who is working on a client, and prod him in the back.

"You will attend to my hair now, Hana!" I tell him angrily.

"And who might YOU be?" Hana asks, with a snooty air.

"Do you not know who I am?" I ask, "I am the Princess Karena! I have many high-profile contacts and friends in the Academy. Depending on what you answer is now may well decide the fate of your business."

Hana thinks carefully for a few seconds and talks to his client.

"You can come back next week." he tells her, "I have a Princess to look after."

The clent with the soaking wet and half-cut hair leaves the salon and I sit in the seat.

"Now what can I do for you, Madamoiselle?" he ask.

"I want you to make me even more attractive, Hana." I tell him.

"Quite a challenge," he says, "To make beauty even more so."

I smile. I must admit, I like to be complimented by a man; it makes a change from ordering them about.


Some time later, Hana makes an announcement.

"Madamoiselle." he tells me, "I have finished my work of art."

I look in the mirror.

"You have done an excellent job, Hana." I tell him. He thanks me.

I head back to the apartment. It will be interesting to see what Wesley thinks of my new look.

To be continued...