Captain Jean-Luc Picard sighed. It was both a sigh of relief and of slight annoyance. He had barely even managed to get half way into his book when the interruption came. He was fed up with the interruptions he had had lately. Only yesterday, commander Riker had visited his ready room with a question on his mind regarding whether or not the captain thought Deanna Troi would like to be more than friends. Furthermore, commander Data, the ship's android second officer, had come to the captain asking for advice regarding humour and, even more peculiar, romance. Feeling rather uncomfortable with talking about matters of love with Data, Picard finally succeeded in managing to get the ship's counsellor to talk to the troubled android.
As he finished reading the sentence which he was currently on, he carefully slipped the thick bookmark into the book and then shut it. Picard frowned as he pressed the button on his personal computer, which would open the comm channel on his end.
He studied the expression of the man who was sat in front of him, in the screen. He was an elderly man, one who had the scrawny, tired looking appearance of a man who had quite obviously spent a little too much time in the sun, with no protection. However, he was pale, very pale. He wore a blood red uniform, with a sparkly collar; symbolic of a Starfleet Admiral.
The elderly man on the computer monitor began to talk. His tone of voice was cold and sullen. Picard could tell, before he had even began to speak, that the news he was going to receive would not be of the cheerful kind. "Captain Picard," the man said sternly, "As I'm sure you know, your ship is the only federation vessel within fifty light-years of the twin planets Hypnos and Thanatos."
Captain Picard sighed, deep in thought. "Ah… Greek mythology," he mused quietly. He could remember quite clearly of the twins from ancient Earth mythology who were the sons of the god Erebos and the goddess Nyx.
The man ignored the captain's odd observation and then proceeded to continue with what he was saying, "For some time, Hypnos and Thanatos have been engaged in a bitter conflict."
"Yes, yes," Picard said, nodding, as he stroked his chin thoughtfully. "I've heard about that."
"However," the man on the monitor continued," it is not so much a war of the physical and military kind. It is more a war of the physiological type."
Picard frowned at the man's explanation. He was unsure of what he meant. "What do you mean by that?" Picard asked, a little confused.
"The segregation of these two peoples is almost immeasurable. They are prejudice and highly xenophobic. Your vessel has been delegated by Starfleet Command to act as intermediary between these two conflicting races," the man explained as best he could.
"I see," Picard said, still stroking his chin with a still rather perplexed and unconvinced expression on his face.
"There is a peace conference taking place on the moon of the first planet from the parent star. It is neutral and uninhabited. That is why Starfleet has chosen this satellite in particular to host the highly important conference. You will be expected to arrive at the moon, Charon, in five days."
Captain Picard sighed once again. It was beginning to look like he would never get to finish his book anytime soon. He nodded in agreement at response to the admiral's words. He was going to smile but, to be perfectly honest, he didn't really feel like doing so, so he didn't.
The man on the screen nodded as well, and then said quietly and sternly, "Starfleet out." The screen then subsequently went black and Picard pushed the computer monitor away from him, further to the back of the desk. He then picked up his book and managed to finish reading his chapter. Nothing much more had actually happened in his book, which made him even more frustrated than he already was. Maybe, he decided, it was because of the fact that he had read the book many times and now, he was reading it for at least a fifth time, and if not, more.