Disclaimer: See previous log entries.
With space exploration, you begin to expect the unexpected. Every turn brings something new.
We ran across what we thought to be a comet. But nothing accounted for it's movement. At least not the usual means of 'comet travel'.
"Then you're saying it isn't a comet?" Kathryn said, stepping down beside Paris.
"And yet it looks, tastes and feels. . .just like a comet." I replied. Hell, she was the scientist; let her figure it out.
"Well, there is a slight chance there are metodynamic forces acting on the comet, that are too subtle for our sensors to detect." She looked up at the screen. "Or it may be something we've never encountered before. B'Elanna, go down to transporter room two. Let's beam aboard a sample for examination." B'Elanna left as Kathryn asked Harry to lock onto a core fragment.
She contacted B'Elanna to let her know we were ready. To be honest, I was anxious to see what was making this comet tick.
While we were awaiting confirmation of the sample, a peculiar thing happened. "Torres to Janeway, you better get down here, Captain." B'Elanna said.
"Problem, Lieutenant?" Kathryn asked. For pete's sake, what could possibly happen with a sample from a comet?
"Yes, ma'am. That transport from the comet? It brought a man aboard. He says his name is Q." Oh, lord no. That is the last thing we need.
"Red alert. I'll be right down." She turned to leave the bridge.
We heard his voice, something about not bothering and having lunch instead. Then Kathryn disappeared right before my eyes. Who hadn't heard of Q? Now, we had him in our way. His visits always brought mayhem to the Enterprise. I suppose he thought this was fun. . .Voyager; Q's plaything in the Delta Quadrant.
At least she was still on board. At least in the mess hall.
And that was the last thing I remembered for a few minutes.
And then we were back, like nothing had happened. When I turned around, there were a couple of newcomers on the bridge. One leaned in particularly close.
"Facial art. Ooh, how very wilderness of you." Okay, so the rumors were true. I let that one roll off.
"Captain?" I questioned. Kathryn held up a hand, indicating that now was definitely the time to discuss this.
As Q was telling. . .Q, it was time to leave, the other Q demanded asylum from . . .Q. Face off between the two, then Q made Q disappear.
"What did you do to him? Kathryn asked Q.
"Nothing. He's still there in the 24th century. I just took the rest of us to an old hiding place of mine." Kathryn looked around as the ship proceeded shaking. She asked for a report. Harry said there were no stars outside.
"That's partially true. Actually, there's no universe outside." This was beyond anything I've ever experienced.
"Commander?" Kathryn asked.
"I'm showing a large build up of baryonic particles." I told her.
"Perfectly normal." Q said.
According to Tuvok we had been transported back in time to the beginning of the universe. The beginning?
"Very old hiding place." Q said with a giggle. No wonder Picard disliked Q, if they're all like this.
"I know all the hiding places, Q." The other Q appeared, languishing on the console behind Torres. "I had here from the continuum myself once."
"This ship will not survive the forming of the cosmos." B'Elanna said. I wish they'd just take us back.
"Yes, but just think of the honor of having your DNA spread from one corner of the universe to the other. Why, you could be the origin of. . .the humanoid form." Well, there was my life-long ambition.
"Q!, Either Q, get us out of here!" Kathryn said forcefully. Q threatened Q to go back to his cell when Q, disappeared again.
The next thing we knew, we were under attack. "From a ship?" I asked.
"No. I don't know what they are." Paris said.
According to Harry, we were being attacked by protons. We had been reduced to subatomic proportions.
"He'll never find us here!" Q said, in this annoying sing-song sort of way. Kathryn was--I'll call it highly ticked. I couldn't read her face, since my back was turned to her, but the tone of voice was unmistakable. She was about to have Tuvok send out a positive ion charge to repel the protons. Before he could, Q was back again. This was beginning to feel like a tennis match, with Voyager as the ball.
"Ready or not, here I am." Q said, then disappeared again. A heavy exasperated breath behind me told me Kathryn had had it. "Now what?" she asked.
"Checking." Paris said. "We seem to be tethered to some kind of large. . .plant."
"Let's see it." Kathryn said. We couldn't tell much. "Computer, I need a wider angle." Then we were jostled around. By the looks of it, I'd say we were attached--to a Christmas tree. However, I kept my mouth shut, as I didn't really want to be on the receiving end of Kathryn's brewing mood.
For all intents and purposes, Q is no better close up. And did we ever have a view.
"You can't hide from me, Q." He said.
"And you can't take me by force. I'll still meet you for eternity if I have to!" Q told him.
"The hell you will!" Kathryn was royally pissed now. "The vaunted Q continuum. Self anointed guardians of the universe. How dare you come aboard this ship and endanger this crew with your personal tug of war."
"Did anyone ever tell you, you're angry when you're beautiful?" Q told her. I could have sworn he was almost leering at her. Next thing we knew, he was reclining within the frame of the view screen.
"We're back where we started from, Captain." Paris reported.
"Doesn't matter, I'm not going back into that cell." Q maintained. What a headache.
"How would you like to spend eternity as a Gavorkian midwifed toad?" Q replied, getting off his perch.
"Oh, just try it." Q said.
"Stop!" Kathryn said loudly. She walked over to Q. "You want asylum? Fine. We'll have a hearing."
"A hearing?" Q replied, coming around the helm. "You would have me put his future into your delicate little hands?" He took hold of Kathryn's hand. "Oh, so touchably soft. What is your secret, dear?" Kathryn looked at me with a 'will-this-ever-stop?' look. Oh, he was smooth. She yanked her hand out of his.
"When the Captain of a Star Fleet vessel receives an official request for asylum, there is a clear procedure to follow. I suggest, to end your deadlock and save my ship, that we follow it to the letter." I was cheering. Kathryn, taking on the continuum. Smart move.
"Well, I guess this could go on for a millennium or two, I suppose." Q said. "All right, I accept on behalf of the continuum on one condition. If you rule in our favor, Q agrees to return to his confinement."
"I have a condition of my own," Q replied, "If you rule in my favor, then the continuum must grant me mortality."
"Why? So you can kill yourself?" Q asked Q.
"Accepted." He was again leering as Kathryn looked between the two Q's. "Well, this is going to make for an amusing diversion. Will you send him to prison for eternity or will you assist in his suicide plan. That's a toughy, " He began, circling around Kathryn. "But then again, that's why they made you Captain, isn't it? To handle the real tough ones? My, my, now I guess we get to find out whether the pants," he checked out her backside. I was surprised she didn't slap him, "really fit."
Kathryn rolled her eyes. Not a happy camper. Suicide versus confinement. Which will she choose for our guest?
I ran the ship while Kathryn held the hearing. Surprisingly, Tuvok agreed to represent Q. I wished (almost) that I could be a fly on the wall for this one. If nothing else, to see what Kathryn would do to him. I remember hearing about Commander Sisko on Deep Space Nine decking Q. Though I would bet that Kathryn would take a phaser rifle to Q.
Kathryn ruled in favor of Q, granting him asylum. Now, he is mortal. A whole new life. A new chance for existence. He joined our crew and became Quinn. Kathryn and I were discussing where to put him.
"How about stellar cartography?" I suggested.
"We could shut down stellar cartography with all the knowledge he'd bring to the job."
"Well, that's going to be a problem with just about everything we assign him to."
"There's got to be something on board. . ." She was interrupted by a call from sickbay. Quinn was in sickbay--dying. She went to sickbay to find out what happened.
Kathryn later told me that he had ingested Nogadge Hemlock, a very fatal poison which has no cure. Q supplied it to him, a gesture I know surprised me as well as Kathryn. I suppose I wonder the same thing as Kathryn: What will Quinn's suicide, what effect will it have on the continuum?
I wonder if we'll ever know.
**End Log**Return to Index