Q-Logy part one (Star Trek)
This is a Star Trek story I wrote recently for a writing club that fizzled. I know it's not a superhero story, but, hey, hopefully there is room for other fan fiction on this board, and I would hope that there are more than a few Star Trek fans on this board who would enjoy this.
STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS
“Q-LOGY” (part one)
by Jeff Stoneking
The starfield fluttered out of vision; the sense of consciousness dissipated and the entity found itself staring at a void. So this was what it was like to be dead? No God after all? Or perhaps there was a God after all, a single Creator of it all that had deemed that this entity was going to spend the rest of eternity separated from its Creator. Maybe this was the transitional phase in reincarnation. Being the first time dead, the entity didn’t really know what to expect, though various books, religious and secular, had postulated theories throughout the millennia.
“I think,” the entity thought, recalling that was the tell tale sign of being simply a being. However, the thought took no substance, and seemed to touch nothing in time. The entity was pulled out of all that was called home, all that was called familiar. The entity thought, but only unto itself. “I think yet I think not; I think not and I am dead.”
Guinan, off duty and soaking in the beauty of the Arboretum, noticed something slightly awry. She gazed over at Ensign Spevack B’kor, who was fixing his attention on planting seeds he had received from Forchin. He had complained about the lack of ripe Forchinian tropical fruits aboard the Enterprise, stating that replicator technology had a far way to go. This was Spevack’s attempt at eliminating that problem. However, as he planted yet another seed, his eyes lost their lock on his work and he looked up at Guinan. There was something awry.
“Guinan,” Spevack B’kor acknowledged with an incline of his head. “What brings you up here?”
She had entered the Arboretum after B’kor; obviously he had not noticed her presence. “It’s peaceful up here,” she replied with a smile. “It’s one of the few places one can go aboard the Enterprise and forget that you are in space. It’s a nice retreat.”
“There is the holodeck,” B’kor offered.
“Oh, I don’t go into the holodeck much unless Jean Luc or somebody else might invite me along for an adventure. I prefer to relax in more realistic settings,” she replied.
There was something awry. Spevack B’kor could sense unease in Guinan, as if she was making small talk but there was something charging through her mind at that moment that caused her to be detached from the present. Her eyes didn’t stay in contact with his eyes but followed up and out the window. B’kor turned his head and looked out the window. It was just a starfield.
Turning back to Guinan, B’kor asked, “What is it?”
“I don’t know. We’re on route to Wadi Besor,” Guinan replied, “but I feel as if we shouldn’t go. I felt something earlier, a disturbance of some sort. I can’t describe it entirely.”
B’kor nodded. He couldn’t describe it in concrete language either but he sensed something was unusual, as if things weren’t the same any more. “Something is happening but I don’t know what. From what I have seen, everything is status quo.”
“Ensign B’kor, report to stellar spectroscopy,” Data’s voice spoke over Spevack’s com badge.
“Sorry,” B’kor smiled lopsidedly. “I have to go.”
Guinan just slowly nodded as Spevack excused himself; she simply continued to watch out the window as if looking for something, or perhaps expecting something.
In stellar spectroscopy, Data was not to be found. Instead, Spevack met Ensign Dia Mausette, a Bajoran who had recently been assigned to the science department. She looked up at him and smiled. “Ensign B’kor, hello.”
“Hi,” B’kor muttered as he took his chair beside hers. “What’s up?”
As her eyes focused on the star filled screen in front of them, she said, “Commander Data has asked us to isolate and identify some anomalous activity discovered near Wadi Besor.”
“Wadi Besor? Isn’t that the homeworld of the Taecate?” B’kor inquired. “What is our mission there?”
“I don’t know why the Enterprise is going there,” Ensign Dia said, “but our mission is to locate the anomalous activity. Long range sensors picked up something erratic an hour ago, though it wasn’t definite.”
“Understood,” B’kor replied as he began to punch away at the controls in front of him.
“The Taecate have been a passionate interest of mine since my graduation at the Academy,” Ensign Dia mentioned, hoping to bring some interesting conversation into the dull task.
“Hmmm,” B’kor replied, too shy to say anything. He found it to be a painful weakness of his.
“It is my specialty, you know,” Ensign Dia said.
“What?” B’kor asked, not sure if he had heard all that she had been saying.
“I am a specialist in cultural and lifeform studies,” she elaborated. “For example, did you know that the Taecate do not communicate vocally amongst themselves but they communicate with an elaborate series of scents and odors that only their sensitive noses can detect. They can communicate vocally through various chirps and clicks, all of which have deeper meaning than many of our words do combined, and Dr. Alonis Nadette had to literally redesign the universal translator just so we could understand them and they could understand us.”
“That’s interesting,” Ensign B’kor said.
There was a pause as Ensign Dia looked at the screen and scanned her readings. Nothing yet. “I don’t know exactly why we’re going to Wadi Besor but rumor has it that it has something to do with Captain Tutizi.”
B’kor wasn’t familiar with the name. “I’m sorry. You’ll have to fill me in.”
“He’s Taecate,” Dia explained. “He’s the captain of a Federation outpost on Wadi Besor. The captain and Captain Tutizi have been good friends for many years. In fact, the captain met Captain Tutizi shortly after he took command of the Enterprise.”
“Hmmm,” B’kor replied. He just kept watching the screen.
The entity searched through the expanse of nothingness. Searching for something, perhaps another dead soul wandering though this...this limbo? The entity didn’t know what it was. The blackness stretched seemingly from east to west, with no end in sight. No throne, no God, not even an angel or a lesser deity made by humanoid hands. No light, no door, no escape. The entity just drifted though nothing, and with each passing moment grew wearier and more depressed. This was not at all the way it had been imagined.
Unexpectedly, almost frightening the entity, something came up behind it. The entity turned around and could have smiled if it had a mouth. It was another disembodied entity, and the entity recognized the second entity. At last, a friend?
“I just finished up,” said Ben, smiling to Guinan as she entered the Ten Forward lounge.
However, Guinan wasn’t smiling. She didn’t even seem like she was there, much less acknowledge that Ben was there.
“Guinan?” Ben seemed concerned.
“Oh, thank you, Ben,” Guinan said as she forced a smile. “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Right,” Ben nodded slowly as he walked towards the exit. “Tomorrow.”
Guinan continued to examine her surroundings, every curve of the room, every nuance of each table, and even the detail of the decor. What she was feeling here had also been what had been troubling her for an undetermined amount of time, though she really began to first notice this odd sensation when she walked out of the Arboretum. The halls seemed different, even the doors and the rooms seemed to be different, yet they were where they had always been. It was just fine and everything was wrong.
“Computer,” Guinan began hesitantly, not sure what to expect, “what ship is this?”
“This is the USS Enterprise,” the computer spoke back, “a Galaxy class ship, registry number NCC-1701-D.”
That is exactly what Guinan thought she would hear, yet she almost expected to hear something else. “That,” she said softly and slowly through her lips, “is not right.” She looked around some more and then said, “Computer, locate Captain Picard.”
“Captain Picard is deceased,” the computer responded as if giving a weather report. “Date of death: stardate 44741.9.”
Guinan collapsed into the nearest chair and looked out the window. It was coming closer, though she couldn’t yet see it. Out there, beyond the blackness of space, something was coming and it felt terrible.
The chirp of the ready room’s door chimes didn’t make Captain Riker look up from his work; he simply said, “Come.”
The door slid and a presence walked into the room, a silent presence that made Captain Riker uneasy. He looked up and saw Guinan standing there, as if she were trying to find the words to say. “Guinan,” he began softly, “what can I do for you?”
Guinan said nothing for the next few moments. In her mind, she was trying to place the pieces of the puzzle together, trying to reconcile with what she felt was wrong with what she had known to be reality for all her life. She remembered how Commander Riker had been given the command of the Enterprise, which took place shortly after Captain Picard’s death. While not feeling at ease after Picard’s death, Riker decided it was best that he took command of the ship, though he now secretly ponders the correctness of the words spoken to him by his critics: that he allowed Captain Picard to stand in his way. He never told Guinan directly, but she could sense how he felt. However, there was something deep inside her telling her that she had just talked to Captain Picard that morning, though her conscious mind had no recollection of the event.
“How did Captain Picard die?” Guinan asked carefully, fearing she was going mad.
“Guinan,” Riker said with slight hesitation, “Captain Picard was assassinated five years ago at an archaeological conference.”
Guinan knew this but she also knew that it was horribly wrong. “What?!?”
“Yes,” Riker replied. “He was giving the keynote address and an infiltrator had bypassed security and made his way in with the team that had gathered for the conference. The alien killed Captain Picard.”
Guinan got a hold of herself and looked Riker straight in the eye. “Captain Riker,” she said, the words sounding unnatural as they came out, “this isn’t right.”
“What’s not right, Guinan?”
“The bridge, the people,” she said as she shook her head and looked around. She paused a moment and added, “The ship. What kind of ship is this? What is its purpose?”
“The Enterprise is a science vessel,” Riker replied. “It has been ever since the peace treaty was made with the Vulcans and the Romulans. Ambassador Spock had brought unification to the two worlds and the Klingons have focused their forces against the Cardassians.”
“I know that,” Guinan conceded. “Yet, I know that this is all wrong. The Enterprise was not made to be a science vessel. This is a ship of exploration, yes, but it also a ship of peace and of defense. It has greater potential than being a science vessel.”
“Guinan,” Riker began, “I believe the stress is getting to you. Perhaps you could talk to Counselor Troi and...”
“Troi?” Guinan echoed.
“You have gone through alot in your grieving process since Jean Luc passed away,” Riker stated. “I think if you would just talk to her then...”
“Look,” Guinan said as she backed off, “I’ll get it worked out. Don’t worry about it.”
“Guinan, if you should ever want to talk, you can come to Troi or me,” Riker offered.
Guinan smiled politely and stepped out of the ready room. “Ten Forward,” she spoke to the computer.
As the turbolift moved along, Guinan felt inside as if something without was coming towards her, as if something was coming for her...
“Death has always interested me,” the entity spoke to the approaching entity. “I thought I was going to be out here alone for an eternity. Or maybe this is the prelude to some sort of judgment.”
“You know me?” the other entity spoke. “How is this possible? I’ve encountered others but they seemed to be too caught up in personal grief to even notice me.”
“Ah, good friends are friends forever,” the entity said, “mon capitaine.”
“Q!” the other entity spoke, recalling at once that he was Jean Luc Picard. “What madness is this? What have you gotten me into now?”
In a flash, the blackness vanished and Q and Jean Luc were standing on a hill side, the breeze blowing, the trees waving, the grass beneath them, and the sun shining high in the sky. It reminded Jean Luc of his home in France. “What is this?” Picard demanded, finding that now he had a body, or at least a representation of what was his body.
“You’re dead,” Q replied, “and your life is about to pass before your eyes, starting with your old stomping grounds.” He yawned. “I’m sure it will be as droll as you. Wake me when it’s over.”
“Dead?” Picard echoed. He remembered being shot, Worf immediately firing upon the assassin, Beverly looking into his eyes during his last moments of life then he remembered floating up, seeing his body and Beverly over it along with the other people who had gathered to hear his address and then he floated out of the ship, out past the stars, into the blackness where he met Q.
“Deader than a door nail,” Q replied. “This is my first time dead, too. You know, I was rather concerned at the start of it all. I thought I was in Hell, what with that horrible feeling of isolation and all. Then I saw you and I knew that I must be in Heaven.” Q smiled broadly as he approached Jean Luc and put his hand on Jean Luc’s right shoulder. “Just think, mon capitiane, an eternity together!”
“You were right the first time,” Picard grumbled as he removed Q’s hand from his shoulder. “This must be Hell.”
Q rolled his eyes. “For once you think you would show a little gratitude! After all, I was trying to help you out!”
“You can help me out by returning me to my ship!”
“I am just as human as you, Picard,” Q replied dryly. “Don’t you remember? I came aboard your ship seeking to help you after the Continuum stripped me of my powers but you whined and put me in the brig then the Calamarain came. They took me, tortured me, and left me for dead on some God forsaken moon. After that, I was passed from race to race, species to species, being tortured not only for things I had done but also for things the other members of the Continuum had done. I was actually relieved when the Taecate executed me.”
“I hope you’re satisfied, Q,” Picard said irately. “You always wanted to find out all you could about humans and now you get to find out about death. I hope you’re learning something.”
“None of this would have happened if you had been more cooperative when I came aboard your ship,” Q advised.
“What do you mean?” Picard demanded.
“I came aboard to help you, Picard,” Q stated. “You know, a funny thing happened to me on my way to eternity-the Continuum showed me what things might have been like had I lived. One thing that would have been different is that you would still exist in your limited existence in time.”
“Q, I am not interested in...,” Picard began to say.
“Oh, but you should be, mon capitaine,” Q replied. “If I had lived, it would have meant that somebody from your crew was able to save me from the Calamarain and then the Continuum would have restored my powers. I could have been there to save you from your assassin.” Picard looked at Q with unbelief. “Trust me. That is the way it would have worked out.”
“I’d rather see you dead and out of our way,” Picard said with a sardonic smile. “I guess if I had to die as a result then that is a small price to pay.”
“There you go again, Picard,” Q sighed. “You do wound me. I have only wanted to help you; I have always held your best interest in mind.”
“Thank you for your concern, Q, but we can manage just fine without you,” Picard asserted. “The last thing humanity needs is your superior attitude directing our lives!”
Q’s eyes grew reflective, as if he was recalling days past. “You know,” he said with nostalgia, “that is exactly what John F. Kennedy told me just before he decided to go on his joy ride through Dallas on November 22, 1963. When he died, I was swimming in the waters of Orxim Theta. Where were you?”
“Q...,” Picard began irately.
“Humanity has never appreciated me,” Q continued. “I tried to tell Hitler that he could make it as an artist but do you think he listened? Humph! You and he have alot in common, Picard. I remember when...”
“Q!” Picard yelled.
“Don’t interrupt me, Jean Luc,” Q said. “You know, you humans have such a problem in submitting to a higher power for direction in your lives. You weren’t always that way. I remember being aboard NASA’s Apollo 8 when they actually read Scripture to the world. It was admirable, at least.”
“We do just fine by ourselves,” Picard insisted. “Now, if you would stop this silly game and return me to my ship...”
“Hard, isn’t it, mon capitaine?” Q asked. “I mean, not being in control and all. Death has a way of doing that to a guy. You know what? I could care less. For century upon century I have seen the human race think so highly of themselves. They actually once thought their Earth was the center of the universe and everything revolved around that. Then it dawned on them that they revolved around their sun and they eventually came to realize that their sun revolves around something. Then they realized that even all the galaxies in the great universe revolved around something other than their puny world. Humans! They are slow but you got to hand it to them!”
“I suppose that you’re going to tell me that this ‘something’ is your Continuum,” Picard said. “Are you going to tell me that you are God?”
“Pshaw!” exasperated Q. “You don’t seriously think that I would want to be a God to such a thing as humans!”
“No, of course not,” Picard replied. “If you were then you would realize what a precious thing humanity is in this universe. The God of humanity is mindful of us!”
“Claiming an allegiance to a higher power, are we?” Q raised an eyebrow as he considered Picard. “How unautonomous of you, Jean Luc.”
“I’m just...” Picard began to say, only to be distracted by a shuttle flying over head. The shuttle landed beyond the hill and he stepped forward to see what it was. Stepping out were two people that he recognized as his parents and they were carrying a baby. He realized that Q was right; his life was beginning to replay in front of his eyes.
“Awww,” Q said as he stepped aside Picard, “you were weally a cute wittle boy!” Picard just glared at him as Q gave a tiny wave to the baby below them and smiled.
“They’re anomalous string fragments,” Ensign Dia reported as Data looked over her shoulder at her findings in stellar spectroscopy regarding the unusual readings they discovered near Wadi Besor. “They appear local to Wadi Besor but are growing in size.”
“Is the planet in any danger?” Data inquired.
“Possibly,” Ensign Dia replied.
“Sir,” B’kor broke in, “the anomalous string fragments appear to contain a multi-dimensional rift. It’s as if the fabric of space and time are coming apart.”
“Sensors are now detecting billions of string fragments that are seemingly tearing into the fabric of space,” Ensign Dia reported.
“Hmmm,” Data began softly as he perused the readings. “Twenty-six dimensions are being detected.”
“Affirmative,” B’kor nodded. “It has been long postulated that twenty-six dimensions compose the fabric of space and time, though it has yet to be solidly proven.”
“Sir, perhaps we should delay our arrival at Wadi Besor,” Dia suggested.
“I’ll mention your recommendation to Captain Riker, ensign,” Data said. “However, I feel that we should go to Wadi Besor as planned and continue our scans there. If the world does indeed become imperiled, our presence there may be their remaining hope.”
Captain Riker was not in his ready room, nor even on the bridge. In fact, he didn’t have bridge business on his mind at the moment. He was in Ten Forward, responding to an emergency medical call from Dr. Crusher. “Her status,” he barked hurriedly as he rushed to Beverly’s side.
Beverly Crusher was kneeling on the floor, scanning Guinan’s body with a tricorder. “This is unlike anything I have encountered.”
Captain Riker looked down at Guinan. She was unconscious, and she hardly seemed to be alive. “Is she dying?”
“Her vital signs are present and fully functional but they don’t seem to be her own,” Beverly reported.
Captain Riker looked up and saw Ben looking onward, concerned and concentrating. “Ben, what was Guinan doing before she collapsed?”
“She was rambling about something coming to the ship,” Ben said. “I came back to Ten Forward because of her erratic behavior earlier and I found her in a worse state, making no sense. I can’t say that I fully understood where she was coming from, but I got the impression that she felt the ship was in trouble or that some kind of disaster was waiting to happen. She then became quiet and collapsed.”
“This is most curious,” Dr. Crusher breathed. “I don’t think that this hypothesis is correct but I’ll check it in sick bay.” She turned to Ensign Mulder and said, “Help me with the patient.” There was a stretcher waiting.
As Dr. Crusher momentarily diverted her attention to helping Ensign Mulder with the stretcher, a flash of light enveloped Guinan, momentarily blinding all on lookers. Once the flash was gone, Guinan was gone with it.
“What in blazes happened?!?” Riker shouted as he turned to Dr. Crusher.
“My word,” gasped Beverly. “There is no way that....” She broke off in mid sentence and turned to Captain Riker and said, “Captain, I think you need to join me in sick bay.”
The review of his life took Jean-Luc Picard to stardate 44741.9, a fateful day.
“Mystery.” Captain Picard stood ceremoniously at the podium as he considered his audience. “It is the mystery of Tagus III that brings us here together today. It is a mystery that has invited more argument, more deduction, more speculation than the best works of fiction. And, if you would excuse the conceit, I want to tell you about my detective story.”
As the captain gazed over the watchful eyes of the crowd, he was oblivious to the maroon skinned alien sitting in the front row. His mind wandered to Vash, and his eyes couldn’t help but hold their gaze upon her eyes for a moment or two as his eyes swept over the room. It was the disagreement that they had that preoccupied him the most, the argument that made her say that he didn’t want her aboard the ship. He was sorry to not resolve that situation before the address. As he spoke of one mystery, he found his mind engrossed in the mystery of relationships. He could figure out the mystery of Tagus III in due time but the mystery of Vash may forever go unsolved.
“For several years now,” the captain continued, “I have been trying to unravel the secrets of Tagus III. Needless to say, I have not succeeded. However, I have, I believe, turned up some new information that, if nothing else, only raises a new set of mysteries and I hope that we can discuss them here together.”
Those eyes! Picard found himself stopping at Vash’s gaze once again, finding her eyes containing a new set of mysteries that he hoped that they could discuss together after the meeting. He looked at her as if to say that he had been trying to unravel the mystery of her. He never noticed the deceit in the eyes of the maroon skinned alien that sat in the front row.
Picard continued professionally. “There have been nine-hundred and forty-seven known archaeological excavations conducted on the planet’s surface. Of those, some seventy-four are generally believed to have revealed findings of major importance. The earliest were some 22,000 years ago...”
“Captain!” Worf cried out with Klingon fierceness. He sprang to his feet and had charged over half way to the front of the auditorium before Captain Picard registered what was going on. Breaking his gaze upon Vash, Picard saw the last moment of his life. The maroon skinned alien had pulled a small disruptor from his boot and had fired the disruptor at Captain Picard. Before Picard could react, he slumped lifelessly to the floor.
“That’s all, folks,” Q said dryly as a wide eyed Captain Picard ceased having his life pass before his eyes. They now stood in an empty Enterprise conference room.
“If I could do it all over again...,” Picard began.
“You would get a security chief that had communication skills beyond the two tone grunts?” Q guessed. “If you ask me, Worf is highly overrated. I mean, look at his shooting skills. On the holodeck, yeah, he might be good, but in combat, well....”
“Enough!” Picard asserted as he turned towards Q. He suddenly grew sullen and reflective. “I wouldn’t have been distracted by that woman.”
“If I had been there, Jean Luc,” Q smiled, “I would have protected you.”
Picard flashed his eyes at Q. “Oh, I’m sure you would have,” he said sarcastically.
“Really, mon capitaine,” Q replied. “I would have been there for you. I would have been your tutelary saint. Your guardian angel. I, Picard, would have saved you from that assassin and from the coldness of that female. But you put me in the brig the last time I tried to help and look where it has gotten us.”
“If you wanted to be of service to us, then you wouldn’t have interfered in our affairs in the first place,” Picard said.
“My, my, Jean Luc,” Q shook his head slowly. “You just do not see, do you? If you only knew how richly I have blessed your meager existence, how I have poured blessings on you when you least expected them, never knowing it was me. How undeserving you were but I did it anyway. I did it out of my love for you, Jean Luc.”
“I’m not spending my eternity bickering with you, Q!” Picard stated as he began to walk towards the door, which obediently parted at his presence. “I’m going back to being alone.”
“Drop a line every now and then,” Q said. “Keep in touch. I still do love you, mon capataine!”
Expecting to walk out into the empty corridor of the vacant Enterprise, Picard suddenly found himself floating again in the emptiness of a vast space. He was mere energy again, his soul seeking for rest. Q was nowhere to be seen, but Jean Luc could see in the distance the appearance of a horizon of some sort. Not a landscape, per se, but a horizon of a rift. A horizon of energy strings that were tattered and growing disorganized. And they were moving towards him.
“Captain Riker, we have reached Wadi Besor,” Worf spoke over the com. “Admiral Hetzett is waiting.”
“Acknowledged,” Riker replied. “I’ll be there in a few minutes.” Captain Riker returned his attention to the computer console that Dr. Crusher had brought him to.
“The DNA is different,” Beverly began, “but Guinan’s neurological readings are strikingly similar to these here.” She pointed to the screen. “I have only seen two other people with such unusual neurological readings.”
“Impossible,” Riker whispered. “When did you makes those scans on him?”
“When he came aboard claiming he was human,” Dr. Crusher replied. “Guinan is displaying unusual Q like qualities in her entire physiological being.”
“She has become part of the Continuum?” Riker asked, in shock.
“It appears so,” Beverly replied. “Her readings are also strikingly similar to yours when you were endowed with the powers of Q.” She brought up a third neurological scan on her console.
“Then it appears that we have more on our hands here than we ever bargained for,” Riker replied. “I thought we were through with dealing with Q after he died.”
“There is not much more for us to do now. You need to go to the funeral,” Beverly said.
“You’re right,” sighed Riker. “Make sure you contact me if any other signs of Q’s presence arises in the ship.”
“Maintaining standard orbit, sir,” the ensign at the helm reported as Captain Riker strode onto the bridge. Below the ship was the N-class world of Wadi Besor, characterized by the fact that it was covered with 96% water.
“Open hailing frequencies,” Riker replied.
On the screen a maroon skinned alien appeared within an undersea office. The alien had ridges that looked as if they were carved into his skin, rolling up and down like tiny hills and valleys. By elaborate design, the ridges that characterized his face curved up his head, meeting at the apex of his skull, where they all met together to form a high ridge that extended over his head and down his neck. He wore a formal Federation admiral’s gown. “Captain Riker, welcome to Wadi Besor,” the alien breathed out of gills. He was apparently a sea mammal that could live on land or in the sea. The forced English out of his gills made him sound muffled with a heavy accent. He had had the forming of a mouth and six gills, three on each cheek.
“Thank you, Admiral Hetzett,” Captain Riker replied, “though I wish it was under better circumstances.”
“The death of Captain Tutizi came as a shock to all of us,” Admiral Hetzett stated, his tiny black eyes looking away from Riker’s gaze. He knew that Captain Riker had developed a close friendship with the Taecate (the race of sea creatures that Admiral Hetzett belonged to) and that Captain Tutizi was especially helpful to Captain Riker throughout the years. “He did die with courage.”
“Admiral, it is an honor for me to come here, to be asked to give the eulogy at Captain Tutizi’s funeral,” Riker stated. “When would you like me to beam down?”
“At once, Captain,” Admiral Hetzett replied. “The funeral isn’t until tomorrow morning but there is much for us to go over in preparation for the ceremony.”
“Understood. Riker out.” Riker began to walk to the turbolift. “Data, you have the bridge.”
Captain Riker didn’t even look up as he entered the turbolift but as he heard the doors slide shut behind him, he realized that he wasn’t in the turbolift, much less aboard the Enterprise. He looked around and recognized the surroundings from the visual he had with Admiral Hetzett; this was the admiral’s undersea office. Looking towards a vast viewport, Riker saw the admiral’s desk and the admiral sitting in a large chair, his back turned to Riker. Did the Taecate have the ability to transport people with such efficiency?
“Admiral,” Riker said as he approached the desk. The admiral swung his chair around and it was not Admiral Hetzett. The figure, clearly a humanoid with no distinctive markings, peered at Riker as if they were close acquaintances. “What the...?” Riker breathed in a whisper.
The man, characterized by his blond hair with a few unruly strands hanging down over his left eye, smiled at Riker. “Now,” he said, “we can get down to business.”
Ensign B’kor was speaking softly under his breath as he completed calculating an equation into the computer in stellar spectroscopy. “975, 888, 87...”
“What will this do?” Ensign Dia asked.
“It’s simple,” B’kor said clearly. “Everything in the universe is based on numerics; everything can be defined as a mathematical equation. Scientists have used these types of programs alot on Forchin, though I’ve only read text books about them. The Traducers stole much of our technology before I could put it to practice.”
“But what is this equation going to do?” Dia persisted.
“Hopefully answer some questions that we might have to wait for the answers to,” B’kor replied.
The equation began to calculate, the data being looped to the string anomaly and back into the ships sensors, which Dia had reconfigured while B’kor was figuring the equation. Information, alien to Dia, began to scroll onto B’kor’s computer console, and they watched with engaging curiosity. “Fascinating!” Spevack B’kor exclaimed. “Unbelievable! If this is what...” B’kor stopped a moment and tapped his com badge. “Ensign B’kor to Commander Data, I think you need to come to stellar spectroscopy!”
“What is it?” Dia asked.
“This string anomaly is the Q Continuum,” B’kor replied in a rush. “It’s breaking apart and colliding with our dimension!”
Joining it and being caught up in it was an experience Jean Luc Picard would be least likely to forget, especially if he were yet alive. He wasn’t alive in his natural sense but he felt a new life pulse through him as he was joined with the string fragments as they tore through the spatial dimension that the disembodied occupied. A new life and a new consciousness was vibrant through his entire being.
However, he felt a new death coming on. The anomalous string fragment that he had seen and now had become a part of contained elements of dimensions that were previously alien and unknown to him. The dimensions of the universe were cascading and splintering into a set point in time, space, and dimension, resulting in a wave of anomalous energy that ruptured through all known point of time, space, and dimension. The string fragments themselves were dying, as well was the universe.
Collecting the myriad of thoughts present within the string fragments, Jean Luc could sense the presence of Guinan, though she gave off a strong feeling of resistance, so strong in fact that Picard highly doubted that she knew he was there. Also present was Q. Now he only needed to learn how to communicate in this existence.
“What is this?” Jean Luc thought within, the thought immediately joining the thoughts of the others in the string fragments.
“We are continuous,” a collective replied. “We are the Q.”
“Q!” Jean Luc exclaimed as if uttering a filthy expletive. “If this is another game for your amusement...”
“Mon capataine,” a scolding voice spoke back to Jean Luc, “I assure you that I was just as dead as the best of them. I am as perplexed as you.”
“Guinan!” Picard thought out furiously, grasping to receive an answer. “Guinan! Why in the world doesn’t she respond?”
“That’s not her name,” Q replied.
“What?!?” Picard blurted out. He was silent to himself for a while then at last called out, “Q!”
“Yes, Jean Luc,” Guinan’s voice replied.
Mon capataine and Jean Luc were two terms that let Picard know that at least, according to the Q’s standards, he still retained his identity. “Why am I here?”
“I brought you here,” the voice of Q Guinan replied. “We need your help.”
“Estimated time that the anomaly will tear into our present coordinates: one hour, thirty-six minutes and five seconds,” Data reported from the captain’s chair. He turned his attention to the science station, where Ensign B’kor was working with Ensign Dia. “Ensign B’kor, your equations?”
“These equations have only been theories up until now, Commander,” B’kor replied. “Generations past, when Forchin was rich in computer technology and exporting to many different worlds, Q visited quite often. From time to time, he chose to play games with our computer programmers, take them to his fantasy worlds. At first, it appeared as if it all was occurring in our time, in our universe, but a few computer scientists, who were fluent in many of the equations the universe uses to operate, theorized and drew up equations based on how the Q Continuum operated. It was soon discovered that the Q Continuum uses its own Continuum to create worlds and alternate realities. Those scientists that reckoned the equations of the Q Continuum put it all in a science journal. I studied many of these science texts when I was in school. This theory was never actually attempted by the Forchinians but I believe it will work, though for the time being I am waiting for the results to complete their computations. For now, we are still in the dark.”
“That would not be a problem, Mr. Spevack,” Data said as he turned back to the view screen. “My optical sensory inputs provide me with automatic dilation in inadequately lit areas.” He paused for a moment then said, “Mr. Worf, hail Captain Riker. We want him to be updated on the situation and to find out if he feels we should stay or not.”
Worf was silent for a few moments then sighed with frustration, “Sir! Something is blocking our hailing frequencies!”
“Odd,” Data replied. “Wadi Besor contains no atmospheric disturbances that would block a hailing frequency. Could we beam Captain Riker out of there if necessary?”
Again, Worf replied with frustration, “Our transporters cannot penetrate the atmosphere of the planet! The cause is unknown.”
“Then the only reason we know of is the Q,” Data replied. “They somehow must be preventing us from contacting the captain. Perhaps a shuttle...”
“I’ll pilot the shuttle,” Worf offered.
“I will not allow it,” Data insisted. “We all know what happened to Geordi the last time we sent a senior officer on an away mission.”
“Sir, if the captain is in danger...,” Worf protested.
“We have no prior record of Q ever putting our captain in danger,” Data replied. “The worst Q ever did to Captain Picard was to taunt him from time to time but never did Q put the captain in danger. I believe that Ensign B’kor should pilot the shuttle, seeing that he has a prior understanding of how the Q Continuum works.”
“I’m on my way, sir,” Ensign B’kor replied as he departed from his post.
“Ensign Dia shall accompany you,” Data added.
END OF PART ONE
I'll try being nicer if you try being smarter.
“If I had to live my life over again, I would treat women worse. The women who I treated nice always turned around and treated me bad and the women who treated me bad didn’t deserve to be treated nice anyway.”
well, i don't know about the rest of the posters, but i myself enjoy star trek. especially q! he's the coolest character they ever made. i will gladly read more of this story, if you continue to write it.
by the way, welcome to our world!