New Q

by Christopher Nuttall

This story is basically set in the ‘Only Human’ universe, in which Q never gets his powers back after Deja Q and is forced to live as a human.  This does mean, of course, that Q will have no effects he did in the Star Trek OTL timeline when he was omnipotent.  Alara explored one possibility in Captain Picard dying in the seventh season when his artificial heart burst after an ambush, which in the original timeline Q saved him from.  (Tapestry).  Another possible change is what happens to Amanda Rogers, who, in the sixth season (True Q), was discovered to be a child of two Q who had decided to live on earth for a time, conceived a child and were executed by their fellows.  In OTL, Q arrived after her exposure, taught her, challenged her and finally persuaded her to come back to the Q Continuum with him. 

In the ‘Only Human’ universe, however, Q’s human himself.  He won’t be sent to help Amanda, so another Q would need to go instead.  I suspect that ‘Q2’, who appeared in ‘Deja Q’  (nb – NOT Q’s son from Voy: Q2) would be the one chosen, as he met Picard in the OH universe.  For clarity’s sake, I have referred to that Q as ‘Lhoviri’, which is the name a character from ‘Only Human’ calls him and the JDL-Q as ‘Q’. 

And so, read on…

Starbase 56

The entity who was called by a friend, as far as entities like him had mortal friends, Lhoviri stood on the top of Starbase 56.  Humans, of course, could not have seen him, but that was fine, the view of an apparent human standing in empty space without a life-support unit would have shocked them. 

Lhoviri was bored.  As a member of a race that processed nearly omnipotent powers, that was perhaps surprising, but he had been chosen for a task.  If he failed at the task, which, to be fair, he had set himself up for, he would be exiled or worse.  So he stayed with the base and watched with mild amusement as an Andorian was led away by Starfleet security after kidnapping his charge and trying to take him for scientific research.  Almost casually, he reached out with his powers and shifted the endpoint of a transwarp conduct away from the starbase and moved it so that it terminated near a star.  He watched curiously as the crew of the ship fought against the star’s gravity and headed back home to the delta quadrant with their tails between their legs.  Perhaps, Lhoviri mused, they won’t try that again. 

Lhoviri sighed out loud.  He had long suspected that other members of his species were giving out coordinates for his brother’s current living place so that his old emanies could come and get him.  The federation had agreed to keep him here and protect him, but there were some races that were too advanced for federation technology.  The ship that Lhoviri had just redirected carried anti-proton weapons and the crew planned to fire on the starbase at one, reducing it to rubble before the Starfleet defences could react. 

That was all the entertainment that Lhoviri got these days. 

And then there was a flash of light beside him. 

“Q!”  Lhoviri said.  It was not speech, as a human would have seen it, but a sharing of minds at a fantastic rate.  The two beings talked quickly.  It seemed that recently a new Q had appeared to be drawing energy from the continuum.  That had two possible causes; one was a Q granting Q powers to a mortal, the other was a mortal race that had managed to tap the continuum somehow.  The second was a serious threat, as far as the Q were concerned, and that race was always put under interdict or destroyed outright.  Lhoviri’s mind recognised concern.  

The new Q, who had gone by the name of Trelane in an encounter that had Starfleet command laughing with disbelief, said that it was neither.  Instead the child of the two Q who were executed a few years back was growing into her power.  That was serious.  As the current Q for humanity, Lhoviri was ordered to go to where she was and start to teach her.  If she failed the tests he would devise, he was to kill her. 

Having given Trelane careful instructions on how to take care of Q, Lhoviri considered his next step.  The girl had many possible choices to starship, so Lhoviri manipulated events so that one ship in particular would be chosen by her.  It was the ship he had visited briefly before, to inform Q that he was not yet being returned to full Q-hood.  That was good, Lhoviri reasoned, the crew would have some experience with Qs and who at least know his human form. 

No longer bored, Lhoviri teleported back into the continuum and located the human ship in a split second.  Watching carefully, he decided when to appear.


USS Enterprise

Captain Jean-Luc Picard had many experiences with being who had powers beyond the federation norm.  On his very first mission, his crew had encountered a being called ‘Q’, who had proceeded to impose a test on the crew.  Having defeated Q, the captain had then faced him three more times, once when Q had tempted Riker with the powers he wielded, once when Q had exposed the federation to the Borg and, the last time, when Q had appeared naked on the bridge, claiming that he’d lost his powers and requesting asylum. 

Picard had not believed him at the time, even though he’d never caught Q in a lie, until another Q – also called Q for some reason – had appeared and humiliated Q.  Picard had then realized that there was no way Q could stay on the Enterprise and had arranged to have him sent to Starbase 56 and looked after there.  Since then, he’d never seen Q again, although a few other powerful beings had appeared, none had demonstrated the same abilities as Q.

But now there was something really new.  A young intern on the Enterprise, Amanda Rogers, had displayed considerable power, halting a warp core breach that threatened to destroy the whole ship.  As far as federation science could tell, she was human. 

“One moment everything’s fine,” La Forge was saying, “and then it was as if the laws of physics went right out of the window.”

There was a flash of light at the end of the table.

“And why shouldn’t they?” asked the entity who had appeared, “they’re so inconvenient.”

Picard looked at the entity, recognising his form as the same one worn by the Q who’d appeared three years ago.  He was a tall, lanky blonde man with shaggy hair.  Unlike the last time Picard had seen him, he had copied Picard’s own Starfleet uniform.  Carefully, Picard considered the other Q, when they’d met, this Q had shown himself to be reasonable at times, but he’d been doing at, from his own admission, to avoid trouble from his own superiors.  That said, he’d clearly been responsible for Q’s exile and further punishment and he had saved Bre'el IV from disaster.

“Q” Picard said.  The other officers looked warily at the newcomer.

“Taadaa” announced Lhoviri, for it was he, “tis I!”

“Why are you here at this time?”  Picard asked.  “Given the few incidents we’ve had, I don’t think your presence is a coincidence.”

“I can see why Q’s interested in you captain, you see things where others might miss them and yet you avoid blaming the obvious” – he gave a self-depreciating shrug – “suspect for your problems.” 

“So, what’s really happening?” Picard asked carefully.

Lhoviri grinned.  “This girl Amanda, she’s not human, she’s Q 

There was a stunned silence around the conference table.  It was broken by Doctor Crusher.  “How can she be Q?  Her parents were human.”

“Doctor Crusher!” Lhoviri practically exploded with glee and enthusiasm.  “A human woman who Q spends so much time complaining about can’t be all bad.”  He materialised a bunch of red roses and presented them to her with a bow.  “As it happens, Amanda’s parents were Q too, but they died in a little accident, leaving her alone.”

“So what now?”  Picard asked.