#1: Anderson's last name is an homage to Chief Anderson from Battle of the Planets. As it later turned out, TNG doesn't seem to have any Commodores anymore, but I didn't change it because, to the best of my knowledge, we've never been told that space station commanders can't be Commodores. This shows my initial ignorance of TNG when I began writing.
#2:TNG was showing on Atlanta television in 1993 on channel 46, aka "Starbase 46." This was undoubtedly my inspiration for the Starbase.
#3:Because I somehow never managed to establish Veloz's sex in Only Human, the character becomes a running joke between myself and Mercutio in InseQurity and PropinQuity in that we never establish Veloz's sex. Read carefully; you'll see that Veloz is never referred to with a gendered pronoun. So what sex do you think Veloz is? We're not telling. :-)
#4:While I let this section stand because we are in Anderson's POV, originally this was written from the perspective of an author who saw Q as a complete ass, albeit an amusing one. My perspective on Q, and the Continuum, has shifted over time; I tend to see Q as a better person, and the Continuum as less benevolent, than I originally perceived.
#5:The steady deterioration of John de Lancie's appearance as he ages saddens me. I love the guy, and he's looking less and less healthy every time I see him in something. Q's deterioration is an important story point but it also reflects my feelings of sympathy for JdL.
#6:I have actually heard this exact saying somewhere. I know the more common version is "Don't teach a pig to sing," but I know I've heard it as "Don't teach physics to a gorilla."
#7:This is very awkward. Q is behaving as if he didn't expect this, yet it's later well established that Anderson is extremely accustomed to meting out this specific punishment. I think I wasn't thinking ahead, yet, and didn't manage to catch the awkwardness in the 8 million revisions I did.
#8:I haven't had a chance to establish this in the text, but Picard died because his artificial heart gave out under a power surge. What I was trying to do, aside from twist the knife in Q enough to give him the impetus to kill himself, was to establish that Q the omnipotent had an impact on the mainstream universe, an impact he was not allowed to have, here. But Q has only performed a few actions that had a profound impact on the Enterprise or the universe in general; he may have been instrumental in solving the Farpoint mystery (or maybe not), he introduced humanity to the Borg, he saved the Bre'el satellite, and he may (or may not) have returned Picard from the dead in Tapestry. (The events of Q-Pid boil down to Picard's relationship with Vash being less strained and the events of True Q are precipated entirely by Q's actions, and would probably happen anyway as someone from the Continuum would have to take Amanda in hand; All Good Things hadn't happened when I started the story and besides, it, too, has no impact, as the events are caused by Q.) All the other events either predate or occur during Deja Q; Q's saving of Picard's life in Tapestry is the only event post-Deja Q where one could argue Q having a profound impact on human lives. So, in order to demonstrate that impact, I killed Picard.
In retrospect I wish I hadn't; firstly, I was trying to make people subconsciously aware of the good Q has done by taking that good away, but it would have made more sense to focus on the changes Q has caused by being human, in this story, in order to raise sympathy for Q; also, I wish I hadn't killed Picard because I like the guy and I like how he interacts with Q. I'd have enjoyed being able to bring him into this story, but, well... he's sorta dead now, and I can't very well go back on it. I also did it because at the time I thought it was only logical-- I believed it obvious that Q brought Picard back from the dead in Tapestry, and if he hadn't been there, obviously Picard would have died. Now I realize it could be interpreted as that Picard was saved by Crusher from his near-death experience and Q was only responsible for his adventure into the past. Oh well. Sorry, Jean-Luc, better luck next story.
#9:This particular method of suicide was originally drawn from Heathers, until I realized that the Federation probably cleans with sonics, not solvents, and had to make it etching solution instead of cleaning solvent. Alkaline, acid... same deal.
#10:I have an alternate I have yet to type in, submitted to me by a former friend, which takes the premise "What if Nian Medellin were not a completely incompetent moron?" In retrospect I hate Medellin and I want to drop her in the warp core. God, she sucks as a counselor. If I could rip out every appearance she's made and drastically rewrite the character so she doesn't suck so bad, I would. Unfortunately, there's that little fact of having published this first chapter all over the Net in 1995, and having inspired spinoffs... so I can't very well do drastic revision now.
#11:We come back to this concept several times in spinoffs, but in the main body of OH, although I hint at the idea that enemies in the Q Continuum are tipping Q's enemies off as to his location, it's never explicitly stated, despite the fact that it makes more sense than pretty much any other theory.
#12:In retrospect this seems maybe a little too sarcastic for Picard...
#13:This line, of course, comes from "Hide and Q", where Q said it to Riker.
#14:I believe Picard and Riker are being big fat idiots here. However, they're in-character big fat idiots, so it's okay. They've consistently had a problem with attributing things to Q that he had nothing to do with, and insisting throughout this episode that Q was responsible for the fall of the satellite was something I thought was dumb even before I started seeing "Deja Q" through a Q-centric POV.
#15:What a big leap to conclusions! Originally my viewpoint was that the whole Farpoint thing was Q's own petty little game and really had nothing to do with testing humanity, nor was it authorized by the Continuum. "All Good Things" shot that theory to hell, but echoes of it remain behind in this story.
#16:This is one of the few instances where we get a glimpse that Q is more than he seems-- that he may have strengths of personality he rarely bothers to show.
#17:My original intent with this "not able to dissemble" bit was quite literal-- Q2/Lhoviri had ordered him not to lie about the Continuum anymore, so he couldn't. However, I think it works better if viewed more abstractly, as if he feels he can't lie to Picard anymore because he's emotionally boxed in.
#18:Later episodes, by setting up a very severe conflict between Q and the Continuum or by fractioning into civil war, seemed to contradict this early view of the Continuum, drawn from its name-- the idea that the Q are not entirely individuals, but exist in, well, a continuum, a singular organism which is made up of all of them. This idea becomes less workable with "True Q" or "All Good Things". Fanfic writers, myself included, often descend to portraying Q politics as much like human politics, only more vicious (maybe think Camarilla politics, if you're a White Wolf fan.) But it should be weirder than that. The vision of the Continuum presented here is still the lens I prefer, when possible, to view the Continuum through.
#19:I'm not sure how easy to "get" this remark is. When Q2 said "We thought about giving you back your powers", earlier, Q said "And?" and Q2 replied "And no go." So that's why he wants to swear off the word "and"-- twice it's set him up for the answer he did not want to hear.
#20:In retrospect, aside from me the writer wanting to spare Q the humiliation of wearing women's clothing, I can't figure out why I thought Starfleet would mark clothing with a socially appropriate gender. Aside from the sexism of it, why? Aliens will generally wear native dress, not try to dress in human clothes. If I could, I'd take this line out.
#21:I agree with Q. What is up with all the one-piece jumpsuits? They look stupid on men and they keep women from peeing.
#22:In retrospect I have to wonder if someone who doesn't know Q well and has only heard about him from scuttlebutt would be this convinced that Q won't get his powers back and come gunning for revenge.
#23:Of course, this entire scene is shown from Guinan's point of view in "Dance of Chameleon and Mirror."
#24:Okay, am I the only person who thought the description of sleep that Q gave in "Deja Q" didn't sound at all realistic for falling asleep after a few hours in the brig?
#25:Kenneth thought this was wrong, that human children do know they're overtired and they just don't want to admit it. My feeling, though, is that while sleepiness is obvious, tiredness appears as a constellation of other problems-- headaches, difficulty focusing vision, all that stuff-- and not as a condition in and of itself. We just learn what it means.
#26:This interchange between Picard and Q is actually one of my favorite scenes in the whole thing.
#27:Yes, she does, and her name is Vash. :-) I don't know why, but I felt the need to insert Vash, whom Q has never met in this universe, into his dream as an in-joke reference to the real timeline.
#28:This other Q will not only be appearing later in the story, but made an appearance in chp. 19 of Mercutio's "PropinQuity", is referred to obliquely in my story "Testament", and has fairly sizable roles in two incomplete and unpublished works. Never say I don't get good mileage out of my Mary Q's.
#29:I love Data. Man, I wish I'd put more of him in the story. In retrospect I am kicking myself for not having him attend the conference in part 3.
#30:This is one of my favorite lines in the whole book.
#31:Anyone get the idea this is the understatement of the century?
#32:This is one of the "Alara channels her future experiences" bits. Two years after writing this scene, I had a trainee who made me feel just like Q does, black hole and all.
#33:Other people's mileage may vary, but I observed when I was writing this that it is very unusual for humans to be totally free of pain. For instance, as I write this, my head itches, my temple itches, I have a small tummyache, the side of my foot hurts a little, so does the top of my other foot, and my eyes ache. We humans are used to this; it means almost nothing to us. My speculation was that Q, who had never experienced the sensation of bodily pain before, would completely overreact to all these tiny pains in the beginning, and rapidly get himself a high tolerance to painkillers by taking way too many. I am also assuming that Trek painkillers are mostly analgesic in nature, rather than opoid-- they don't make you feel good, they just block pain, like aspirin and ibuprofen, so you don't get addicted to them physically. You can develop a tolerance for them, though.
#34:Why does T'Laren have a priority code from Starfleet when later it's revealed her orders aren't even in the computer yet? Lhoviri's interaction with Starfleet to get T'Laren the authorization she needs makes my head hurt. I screwed up.
#35:No, T'Laren is not physically modeled after me, as those who know me can attest. Actually, her physical model is my childhood best friend Lara, and one of these days, I will get hold of a picture of Lara as an adult and get someone to draw T'Laren based on it, or photomanipulate it to give Lara pointed ears and a more Vulcan haircut. (And if you're out there, Lara, what the hell is your last name now? I've forgotten, and I keep meaning to call your parents now that I live in Baltimore...)
#36:I was reading an interview with Brent Spiner, and it mentioned he was from Texas. I had this hilarious mental image of Data with a thick Texan accent, and extrapolated from this to a Vulcan from Texas, and that is where T'Laren came from. Unfortunately, I've only been to Texas once in my life, and it shows.
#37:Famous last words!
#38:Oh, whine, whine, Medellin. God, what a loser. This is a rather childish stunt-- lose a patient, so you resign? Jesus.
#39:The answer is yes, actually. But it'd be out of character for Lhoviri to openly admit it.
#40:This is the part where I wish to hell I could actually have filmed this, or made an audiobook, or something. The passage loses a lot of impact in writing, where you can't actually hear the theme to 2001 (that's what "Also Sprach Zarathustra" is, and I think I spelled that very, very wrong) booming out of the speakers.
#41:How to make a Trek disease: 1. make up a planetary name. 2. stick an -an or -ian or -n on the end to make it adjectival. 3. use it to modify the name of a real disease or something that sounds like one. This will work for animals, too. Kenneth thought it was kinda lame, and in retrospect, I agree, but that's Trek for you.
#42:This is an homage to the musical 1776, about the drafting of America's Declaration of Independence. John Adams is trying to persuade various other members of the Continental Congress to write the Declaration instead of him because it would be better accepted from anyone else, in a song. "But if I'm the one to do it, they'll run their quill pens through it; I'm obnoxious and disliked, you know that's so."
#43:This is, of course, not true. We know Q struggles with boredom as an omnipotent being. But Q is one of these "grass is always greener" people, and he's literally forgotten about a lot of the problems he had as an omnipotent being, because his problems now are much worse.
#44:I think it's kind of both. It's been a pet peeve of mine for years that people will call certain suicidal gestures "doing it for attention." If you're in sufficient pain as to try to commit suicide, even if your goal is less to die than to make people notice you, you are suffering and you need help.
#45:No, she's not. She's a moron. Oh, how I wish to go back in time and do a rewrite.
#46:Actually, I think there are two other, more important reasons why Q can't defend himself-- learned helplessness, or the fact that by the time he was instructed to take classes he'd already internalized a sense of himself as totally powerless, and rebellion against authority-- Anderson ordered him to take classes. He might also have feared that if he took the classes, Anderson would cut back on his security protections on the grounds that he could protect himself now.
#47:It would have been tantamount to genocide if it had worked. They haven't destroyed the Borg, just done a lot of damage. But none of them, including Q, know that.
#48:I didn't know when I started writing this scene that Roth was gay. He came out to me several paragraphs into it. It's very odd, to be writing a character and suddenly have them inform you that they are gay.
#49:And so the reader asks, "Then explain Surak and his disciples!" The answer is that Surak, and his disciples, pointed the way, but Vulcans have made major refinements to their emotional control since Surak's time. True Vulcan discipline can only be achieved by beings with brains as sophisticated as Vulcanoids, who have trained in it since childhood, but even humans can, if properly trained in adulthood, acquire some detachments. Think of Buddhist monks. Naturally, Q's not going to be a Buddhist monk anytime soon.
#50:The truth lies somewhere in the middle, of course. Q explains his motives later on, and believes he was not being paranoid, but quite reasonable. The story "InseQurity" goes into a lot more detail about this event in Q's life, with the addition of a character who's not in Only Human ("PropinQuity"'s Naomi Allen) and changes caused by her presence. I think from that we can see that Q was being paranoid... but when everyone hates you, paranoia's not nearly so irrational.
#51:Notice, this is not a lie. It's a question which implies that T'Laren is saying Starfleet gave it to her, but actually, she's saying no such thing-- just implying it.
#52:The first of many anime in-jokes. (Well, actually Anderson's name is the first, technically, but Battle of the Planets was such an important part of my childhood, I think of that one as an homage to one of my favorite characters and not a gratuitous anime in-joke.) While I got Yoma from the Japanese anime "Youma", translated in America as "Curse of the Undead Youma", I believe it also appears in Sailor Moon and other anime.
#53:Why did I feel the need to give Q2 his own name? After all, most other writers just stick to "Q2" or "Q". The reason is that, regardless of how much the Q might like to do it that way, it is really confusing in writing to always have to be calling two different people by the same name, but Q2 isn't accurate, because he's just as much Q (actually, more Q right now) than Q is. And since I am not one of these people who believes that "Q", the 17th letter of the Terran Roman Alphabet, is actually the real name of an ineffable species of pure thought, I'm pretty sure the Q are always adopting new "use names" for every language they encounter, that they impersonate gods, or borrow the names of existing gods, or attempt to translate whatever "Q Continuum" really means into the language they're using now.