|The Next Generation|
Once again Captain Picard is summoned by a never before seen Admiral for a mission of extreme importance. Given that Starfleet could only manage a handful of ships to fight the Borg, it amazes me that they can continue to drag out admirals. Oh my God - an original series link! Ambassador Spock has disappeared, and was last seen on Romulus. Could our pointy-eared pal have finally gone over to the DarkSide?
Picard starts his investigation with Sarek: "Do you feel responsible for your son's defection?". With a little more credibility he could just about make it as a reporter. Sarek isn't really in the mood to talk and just rolls about on his bed, frothing at the mouth - when, for no determinable reason, his sanity comes back. He tells Picard that Spock had been keeping good relations with the Romulan Senator Pardek. His part as a plot device over, he slips back into a gibbering coma.
Unfortunately for the Federation, they don't have cloaking devices. Unbelievable! They have had peace with the Klingons for 20 years, but no technology transfer. So off trots Picard to see his old mate Gowron. Unfortunately Gowron has installed himself in the Ministry of History, and is doing his part to rewrite it! Picard's somewhat unsubtle threats manage to cajole a warbird from him.
On the Enterprise Data and Picard are undergoing tailoring. They are both being fitted with prosthetic personalities and dressed as Romulans in a bold bid to sneak onto Romulus. It will never work! The Bald Avenger must make the attempt though, and rides off into the Neutral Zone with Tonto!
Riker has been investigating some misplaced scrap - perchance a TNG script? The scrap is a Vulcan deflector array that managed to find itself on a crashed Ferengi vessel. They head to the supply depot where it originated, only to be met by a somewhat unexcited public servant. Have you ever seen an excited one? Riker pitches to Troi! After slinking her chocolate curves at the bureaucrat he agrees to help.
His help isn't worth much though, as the ship in question is missing. This seems to distress his one-track mind somewhat, and when they find that a second ship is also missing he nearly dies in a flurry of multi-part forms! Riker suspects something is going on, and turns the Enterprise off and waits... Anyone who sees the flagship of the Federation in a salvage dump and doesn't get just a little suspicious deserves all they get.
Enter one deserving ship. Actually this ship is exciting - it's black. Not just black though, black and bristling with guns and loaded with ammunition! For once we have encountered a sexy black battle cruiser, so what does laughing boy do? He blows it up. Now we don't know who it was or where it came from. If they keep this up, the Federation will never have battle-wagons!
Data and Picard beam down onto Romulus and do a reasonable impersonation of two Federation officers pretending to be Romulans. In other words, they were obvious. So obvious that they hadn't even managed to survive for an hour before they were herded off by two Romulan guards with phaser rifles.
Will this be the end of the Caped Crusaders? Will the Joker destroy the Dynamic Duo? Nope, because the Joker is Pardek and he is acting friendly. Picard explains that he is looking for Spock, when a figure steps out from a shadow and says: "You have found him, Captain Picard". Spock has entered the building!