So I just woke up from the best dream I ever had. It was a full-featured Star Trek episode. Some characters were a bit mixed up, but the storyline made sense. Most of the characters were TNG crew on the Enterprise-D, so for the purposes of recounting the story I'll just stick with them. Now I've never written fan fiction before, so this might end up terribly written. Please try to read it for the plot and not the amateur writing style.
Intro (before the title sequence)
"Captain's Log, Stardate 27q1754.12 -- The Enterprise has rendezvoused with a delegation of Bynars to exchange information and escort them to the most anticipated conference on computing in the history of the Federation."
As soon as the Bynar ship comes into formation with the Enterprise, the Enterprise fires phasers on the ship, destroying it and all the crew aboard!
"Captain's Log, supplemental -- With no clear indication of who fired on the Bynar ship, the Enterprise has be ordered back to Earth for an investigation. Relations with the Bynar have been strained with recent Borg activity, and they are demanding blood for the deaths of their greatest minds.
Here the confusion begins. The crew is assembled and told of what to expect with the investigations once they reach Earth. Everyone looks very concerned. Several crewmen look to the point of tears. There is no clear indication who fired on the Bynar ship, and no one looks above suspicion.
Commander Data is examined by Geordi and Reg in engineering. They access Data's memories and crosscheck logs of the event to verify that he was not responsible. Captain Picard asks him to start a preliminary investigation while they are en route.
"Captain's Log, supplemental -- The Enterprise has entered Earth orbit. Here we await instructions from Starfleet Command. Our weapons have been remotely disabled and power is being monitored by two escort ships. Starfleet has asked Commnader Data to collaborate and continue the investigation."
Most crew members are spending time in the holodecks, which have been set to simulate a large, peaceful park for everyone to relax in. Captain Picard and Commander Riker are walking along discussing the situation. Several crewmen are continuously walking up to them and asking them the consequences for the person found guilty of the crime, all of them asking on "behalf of a friend", of course. There are too many people asking these questions. Something is very wrong.
The ship is in chaos. People are being pulled aside in groups and asked to recount events of the last several days. Upon checking sensor logs, everyone's story seems to be a bit off. People aren't in their assigned duty locations. Folks are accessing systems that they shouldn't have had access to. It seemed like most people had been accessing weapon systems in their spare time several days before the incident. None of them could remember doing it, but they couldn't remember *not* doing it, either.
Finally, Data realized that most of these suspicious activities may be cover for something else....
"Captain's Log, supplemental -- A large portion of the Enterprise crew has been called to a common location to hear the result of the investigation. Roughly 200 crew members of various rank (including myself) are currently in a large lecture hall in Starfleet Academy."
The assembled crew is intermixed with Starfleet Security personnel. Everyone looks visibly nervous, knowing that they were summoned because the investigation found something on them. Before the proceedings begin, Commander Data approaches the lead investigator and asks to present evidence on the large lecture-viewscreens in the front of the room. He heads to the front of the room, holds up a tube that looks like a hypospray with computer chips pointing from one side, and begins to speak:
Data: "This may look like an experimental hypospray. In fact, it is an advanced computer housing. Investigating the more mundane aspects of recent log inconsistencies, I noted that Reg Barclay had marked an experimental program as deleted from the system, when instead it was transferred to external storage. I later found this in his quarters."
Reg's face turns quite pale and he looks on the verge of passing out. "I knew it was me, I just knew it!"
Data: "Be calm, Mr. Barclay. This program is an artificial intelligence, the most advanced I've encountered in my search. I have communicated with it and convinced it to demonstrate how it, in fear of the Bynars detecting and deleting it, destroyed their vessel. It did not anticipate that it's creator would be imperiled by its actions."
Starfleet Security Chief: "Are you suggesting that this AI somehow tapped into the ship systems and altered all the logs to point suspicion elsewhere?"
Data: "Not exactly. Such logs would have inevitably led back to itself. It wanted to cause confusion. It needed the crew to engage in these activities. Observe."
Data plugs the device into a console at the front of the room and the viewscreens all light up. They aren't showing anything in a particular, just a jumble of random lines and flashes. Suddenly, the front row of crewmen stands and walks to the wall. They turn in place and make gestures completely synchronized.
Starfleet Security Cheif: "Are you saying that this AI has learned to hypnotize large numbers of people with imagery? That's ridiculous, that couldn't account for all this! We have hundreds of records of unauthorized activities! An AI couldn't have done this!"
Other members of the audience also stand and proceed to the front of the room, engaging in a separate but also elaborate series of gestures. These new volunteers consist solely of all the security personnel in the room.
Data: "As you can see, this program not only can motivate people to take certain actions, it can target them quite effectively, even with a single monitor. You are correct though: This AI could not fire on the Bynar ship. If you are looking for the crew member responsible for firing, you'd have to arrest everyone here -- all 200 crewmen here indeed accessed weapons control and ordered the phasers to fire."