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Home Sweet Holodeck
The Holodeck is turned into a war zone when a punished Q sets his sights on Voyager.
29th January 2015
6th, 9th February 2015
28th - 30th April 2015
6th, 10th & 11th May 2015
24th February 2001
B'Elanna stepped out of the lift besides the warp core and headed towards one of the panels surrounding it. Immediately she spotted something out of place about it; a small envelope sitting on top of it. Her name was hand written onto its front. The hand writing was more than familiar to her.
With a smile she slid her finger through the envelope to open it. Inside was a small piece of paper. While she read through it, tears began to build up. The last line read, "B'Elanna, will you marry me?"
Also inside the envelope was a beautiful ring with a small diamond on it, it was the same colour as the warp core.
Little did B'Elanna know, the whole Engineering crew were watching her. She heard someone walk up behind her and place a hand on her shoulder. She turned to face him.
"Well, what's your answer?" Tom asked with a smile.
"Of course I will," B'Elanna answered. Tom took the ring out of the envelope and he gently placed it on B'Elanna's finger. The whole of Engineering cheered as the two hugged one another.
Captain's Log Stardate five, season five except it's not in this series, three made up numbers, point another made up number.
"Wow, try saying that ten times fast," an unknown male voice remarked.
Maybe you should try dying ten times fast unknown prick. Anyway... oh fine. 52 uh, 47 as you nit pickers love that, 4.7. Ah ha. The news of Tom and B'Elanna's engagement has spread quickly among the crew. We've decided to celebrate in the only Tom program that hasn't been hacked, which is a shame cos I could do with a good laugh. Hey you're lucky we're acknowledging this and not only having a wedding on some lame clone version of the crew. This is why everyone hates original Voyager. Suck it.
B'Elanna stared at the Captain who immediately downed a coffee from a see through glass cup with a look of bemusement.
"The only reason people hated the original series was because it wasn't about a space station and religious nuts making the captain a god," the engineer then said.
"No, it was cos our Captain is a psychotic fruit loop," Tom chuckled.
Kathryn didn't react to that, she was too busy shoving some random Ensign into the nearby pool. Lucky the safeties were on. She smiled sweetly at the newly engaged couple afterwards.
Harry looked on with a worried look on his face. Like almost everyone else there he held a champagne glass in a toast pose. His throat cleared. "As I was saying," he dared to say. "No one expected that the first wedding on Voyager would be for Tom and, well, anyone." He paused for laughs, the most he got was a cough from the far back. "But here we are anyway, and I couldn't be hap..."
"Crap, I didn't mention anything about the ship in that log. Italics voice, italics voice," Kathryn butted in. "Captain... no. Captain's, there I got it. Captain's Log Supplemental."
Harry pouted angrily at the second interruption of his great speech. He raised his glass up a little anyway, "to Tom and B'Elanna."
Everyone else but Kathryn did the same thing and gave the couple a rousing applause. Chakotay gave Tom a pat on the back, "to Tom probably not surviving the honeymoon." This remark triggered a louder applause than the last, leaving the pilot pouting a little.
"There's a moon made of honey?" Kiara innocently asked.
Chakotay smirked at her, then he noticed that she was holding a champagne glass too so he quickly grabbed it out of her hands. "Who gave her this?"
Harry shrugged. "The narration did say everyone had a glass. Poor writing screws us all over."
"I know, I only clapped at the Tom honeymoon line," James commented.
Tom mockingly laughed his way. "At least I get lai..." He caught B'Elanna scowling at him. "Loved by a beautiful woman. We're still engaged right?" he whispered the last line to her.
Chakotay groaned into his spare hand, "it was almost everyone, sheesh. I suppose that does leave it open for abuse." His ear suddenly started stretching, he wasn't shocked by it though. "Oh, you're done with your Italics voice?"
Kathryn stopped pulling his ear to growl at him. As sudden as it started, she let go and smiled politely. Chakotay wasn't sure if that was better or not. "Yes, yes I am. Are you done with stealing our daughter's juice?"
Chakotay glanced down at his pouting daughter, then at the glass in his hand. Now that she had brought it to his attention he could see the difference between that glass and his own. Quickly he lowered the glass back to the little girl.
Harry edged away before anything could happen to him, towards the happy couple.
"But... I'm always the one who gets blamed. He started it," Tom was busy complaining.
B'Elanna luckily started giggling, the scowl was ancient history. "Oh like the time he started the sitting there, taking in your insults. That was rude."
"You're supposed to be on my side," Tom moaned. He leaned in close to whisper, "I know it is him who messes with my programs. First my Captain Proton jet pack caught fire, then the car with the mind of its own..."
Meanwhile two of the resort waitresses wearing hula skirts and bikini tops walked over to the group, each with forced grins on their faces. They raised their flower necklaces up, filled mostly with roses. "Is Mr Paris here, he's our one hundredth..."
Jessie shushed them both, then shoved them roughly to one side. "Later!" she whispered harshly.
James laughed before taking a sip of his drink.
"Did I tell you what he did to my old Warp Ten program?" Tom whispered to B'Elanna.
"Couldn't be worse than transforming you into a lizard, flyboy," B'Elanna teased.
The whole holodeck shook violently.
Before Kathryn could tap her commbadge, an unknown male voice rang over the comm. "Bridge to Janeway."
"What is it?" Kathryn replied.
"We have a guest, Captain. I think you should come quickly."
"We're on our way, computer end program," Chakotay said.
The scenery disappeared and was replaced with the hologrid. Everyone quickly hurried outside. As soon as the doors closed the program reactivated.
Everyone emerged from the Turbolift and they immediately saw why they were summoned.
"Nice to see you all again, how about a nice big group hug?"
"Q, what the hell are you doing here?" Tom asked.
The all too familiar chirpy smile of Q spread across his face. "Don't be so rude, Tommy, I was just hoping to visit you lovely people. You know I prefer you far more than the Enterprise crew."
"Why don't you visit them now?" James suggested.
"Well Mr Blondy, the new as long as Voyager warpdrives Enterprise, freaks me out. I prefer Intrepid Voyager," Q replied.
Tom chuckled and his eyes sparkled at the image, "sweet." B'Elanna passed him a smile.
"How flattering, now go away," Chakotay said.
James meanwhile was pulling a face and mouthing the word blondy a couple of times. Jessie spotted that and hid a laugh behind her hand.
"As long as Voyager warpdrives Enterprise?" Harry said slowly.
"Trust me, you'll see it for yourselves in a few years," Q said. Unknown to him that sentence made Kathryn's blood start to boil.
"How many years exactly?" Craig asked. Unfortunately for him he was close enough to Kathryn to receive a slap across the head. He didn't even dare look at her after that, he scampered off to the other side of the Bridge.
"Don't get excited fake blond, I'm just playing," Q teased.
Kathryn rolled her eyes, "I really hope you're not here for a second kid."
"Hardly," Q scoffed briefly before smirking again. "One's enough."
"So what are you doing here, except for ruining our engagement party?" Tom grumbled.
Q glanced at B'Elanna on one side, then Harry on his other. "Nah, too easy." Naturally the two men turned bright red and most of the bridge laughed. "Let me guess; hot rods, overcompensating for something games, hot babes wandering around to also overcompensate..."
"Not that I don't enjoy Tom bashing, but the ship did tremble before we were called here. Was that you or is something else going on?" Chakotay questioned.
"Ah, need to know," Q smirked while looking towards Kathryn. "An inspection of your holodecks is in order. Be right back." With that he disappeared before anyone could argue.
"Overcompensate for what?" Tom asked angrily.
James shook his head, "don't worry about it. As long as you're getting la-oved by a woman, it's all good."
Jessie and Harry both snorted into laughter, Craig didn't get it in the first second but when he did he joined in.
Tom stared at them all in dismay, then he noticed B'Elanna smiling too. "Oh come on. James is the one making gay jokes at me, him. Really?"
"Nobody said gay. Only you're going there," James said.
Tom grumbled a few swear words under his breath as he headed for the helm.
Kathryn pulled a face between the two of them. "What the hell is la-oved? Do I want to know?" She shook her head. "Don't answer that. Q!"
A white flash of light appeared right beside her, Q appeared in its place once it faded away. "Miss me already?" he purred.
"No. Tell us why you came here," Kathryn growled.
Q's shoulders slumped, he sighed irritably. "You wound me Kathy, don't you trust me? I was going to eventually. I just wanted to make sure of it first."
"Then maybe you don't appear on the Bridge first," Jessie suggested.
"You're going to nit pick that of all things? This is gonna be good," Q sniggered. "Shall we get a room, Kath?"
"I'll get you a punch in a minute," Kathryn grumbled. "My crew should know too, I'd end up telling them anyway."
"Very well," Q groaned. He clicked his fingers. The senior staff members disappeared and then reappeared in the Conference Room, along with the others who were missing. "This isn't going to be easy to explain, but don't blame me if you can't keep up."
"Just get on with it Q," Chakotay said.
Q made his way around the table with his hands clasped behind his back. "A few centuries ago three Q's, inspired by our good friend Quinn." A knowing glance in Kathryn's direction made her roll her eyes. "Attempted to take over the Continuum in a bid to change our people's ways. They were destructive, relentless."
B'Elanna sat down in the nearest chair with a heavy sigh. A few others thought that was a good idea and did the same.
"The Continuum agreed that the best course of action was to exile them, limit their powers," Q continued.
"Why not all of their powers?" Harry questioned.
Q smiled bitterly, "that was a matter that divided us all. Several members thought their crimes were not severe enough. They had to re-learn what it meant to be a Q and they wouldn't be able to if they were completely mortal. Etcetera."
"Yet they did it to you," Kathryn reminded him.
"Water under the bridge," Q muttered through gritted teeth. He instantly perked up. "Nevertheless, one Q did not learn his lesson. At least not quickly. This is where you come in."
B'Elanna's lips curled slightly. "Yes, what does a renegade Q have to do with our Holodeck?"
Still in his power walk around the Conference Room, Q stopped to double back her way. He stopped directly behind her. "Someone's paying attention."
Chakotay couldn't help but roll his eyes. "We're all paying attention."
"Speak for yourself," Jessie said in a bored voice, muffled behind her hand.
Q just smiled. "Like me, this Q encountered Humans and developed an interest in them. However unlike me, he kept his first impression. He attempted to destroy them. The Humans fought back."
"What does this have to do with a Holodeck?" Tom asked.
"Mr one track mind strikes again," Kathryn grunted, shutting him up for the time being.
"With his limited powers and knowledge of the Humans, they were able to trick him. He believed he was causing nothing but misery for them, instead he was living in a fantasy. By the time he knew that, it was too late. With a little... encouragement," he said the last word with another smirk.
"I swear, I've heard this plot before," Tom mused aloud, with his knuckles pressed against his chin. He missed Kathryn walk over but didn't miss the sudden punch in the nose.
As if nothing happened, Q continued telling his story. "He and his fantasy were cast into subspace, undisturbed, until now."
Harry frowned with a curious sparkle in his eyes. "Are you suggesting that we've somehow woken him up on our Holodeck?"
Q appeared to be impressed, but it just made him look more patronising than usual. It showed in his voice too, "that's exactly what I'm saying. Voyager crossed his path, so to speak, and the two holographic worlds have collided."
"Oh, so this must be our Bride of Chaotica," Tom said. He only had time to widen his eyes a little before he was punched again.
"Holodeck Two, it shook a few seconds before the Bridge contacted us," Craig said.
Kathryn seemed disgusted at the whole thing. "That's the biggest load of twaddle I've heard since Seven thought that fanfics had their own dimension."
Seven raised her eyebrow in response. Her mouth opened to respond but Tom beat her to it, while still rubbing his sore nose. "We've already had a Holodeck episode." This time he attempted to duck but he wasn't fast enough, her fist caught his eye.
"Ok, so this Q's going to see us as the enemy. No doubt about that," B'Elanna said. "What do we do about it though?"
Jessie shrugged while resting her arm against the table. "Couldn't we just trap him again? A ship from the past could do it."
"I imagine he'll see that coming," James said.
Chakotay shook his head. "Wait. Can't the Continuum handle him? Can't you? Why else would you be here?"
"I was passing by," Q answered casually.
Kathryn narrowed her eyes in his direction, it partially wiped his lighter mood from his face. "Answer him."
Q let out a deep sigh. "Long story short the Continuum do not want to meddle with mortal affairs, their words. I on the other hand have grown rather fond of you, as you remember."
"Not fond enough to sort the threat out on your own?" James commented.
The smile he received in response felt a little malicious to him. "I suppose you'd know all about that, wouldn't you?"
Most of the room were confused at the odd remark, but it left James a little rattled. Jessie passed him a sympathetic look.
"I can do very little without generating any attention. The Continuum don't take kindly to excessive interference, which I learned the hard way not long ago," Q said. "What I can do would be a stall at best."
"Okay, let's sum this up so I don't get anything wrong. A Q with most of his powers taken away who was trapped in a Holodeck, is now trapped in ours. Since Humans were the ones responsible, he'll not be very pleased to see us. Your bosses can't or won't deal with him but will have a hissy fit if you do," Kathryn said impatiently.
"Yes dear," Q smiled at her.
Kathryn rolled her eyes. "This is the part of the story where you say I have a plan. I don't suppose you have a put a Holodeck in subspace button up your sleeve."
"I knew that part would throw you all off," Q laughed to himself. Of course that didn't help Kathryn's bad mood. "As Blondy put it, the same tricks will not work. You do have an advantage though."
"All the Q has to do is make a fourth wall comment and Janeway will sort him out," Harry smirked, immediately regretting it. He cowered at the death glare he got.
"Ok, two advantages," Q said. "Q will not yet be aware that his situation has changed. What sealed him in subspace still surrounds him. Only a Q would be able to break that."
Jessie groaned, "so what's the problem then?"
"Well, I did say there was more than one exiled Q. Didn't I?" Q answered in a patronising tone.
"You've also talked for about ten hours. For all we know he's already escaped and killed us twenty times over," James commented.
"Well you did want an explanation," Q sighed. "Q's cell will be easy to spot if it hasn't been opened yet. It'll stand out more than Blondy Junior's hair." Craig pouted while his hand crept up to pat his lightly spiked hair. "If the program's started to merge, then that's a sign the lock's been broken."
Chakotay glanced at Kathryn briefly, "maybe we'll know what to do with this cell if we see what it is exactly."
"Fine, prepare an away team to go to the Holodeck," Kathryn groaned.
"This was probably why Killing Game was cancelled," Tom blurted out. Yes he got another punch. After he stumbled back he raised his hands in front of his face as a surrender pose. "I'll be quiet."
"Yes and I'll drink tea," Kathryn snapped at him.
Chakotay laughed before turning to Tuvok. "Tuvok you lead the team. Seve..."
"Allow me to pick the away team," Q butted in. Before anyone could argue he clicked his fingers and disappeared in a flash of light. He wasn't the only one.
Standing a mere metre away from the table still carrying glasses of champagne, was a strange egg shaped rock. It looked out of place in the colourful resort setting. Two of the resident holograms couldn't help but stand around curiously.
The area lit up briefly, the holograms turned to stare at the source. All they saw were four figures as the light had already faded. Assuming that was normal they turned back to the odd looking rock.
"Why do I care about some stupid rock?" the only woman of the quartet complained.
One of the men held tightly onto a tall staff, which he then tapped on the ground in front of him. The remaining two men quickly groveled at his feet. "This is not some stupid rock."
"You're right. It looks like some deformed egg one of these idiots would pop out," the woman snarled, gesturing to the two on the floor.
The staff man glanced down at them and growled. "What are you doing you useless mortals?"
The two clambered back to their feet, shaking violently as if their lives were on the line. They didn't dare answer him in case they were wrong.
"Why don't we just boil or fry the thing and get going," the woman spat while stepping forward towards the rock.
One of the holograms stared at them, worried that these were not regular guests to the resort. "Aiden, stop your napping and look at this," he said to the other hologram.
"No need to wake him, in fact why don't you take a little nap yourself," the man said, he clicked his fingers and the two holograms disappeared. Naturally he cackled evilly afterwards.
"Oh masterfully done, master," one of the other men stuttered.
The staff man ignored him to carefully approach the rock. "After centuries of searching, you are finally within my grasp. Now, let's crack this egg." His hand caressed the stone.
"Why do we sound like bad Power Ranger villains?" the woman dared to ask.
"Power what?" the man said, obviously confused.
The rock began to crack at his fingertips. Quickly it spread across the entire thing, breaking it to pieces within seconds. The Holodeck seemed to shudder as the area where it originally stood contorted and blurred against the background. Finally a man's figure appeared stretching like he had just woken up from a nap.
"Ooph, I think I slept on that arm for at least a century. That's gonna take some waking up," he muttered while caressing his left arm. Then he noticed he had company staring at him. The arm fell by his side and a smile was immediately plastered on his face. "Q!"
"Q," the man cackled. "It's been too long."
"Has it? It seems only five centuries ago that you and I chased that asteroid into that planet's orbit. Oh how the locals screamed," the Newbie laughed.
The woman laughed as well, her eyelids fluttered. "Oh Q, you handsome devil. You haven't changed."
The Newbie Q clasped his hands across his own chest, puffing it out a little. "And you Q, you look like you haven't aged a day over a billion."
"Stop," the woman giggled.
"I don't suppose you know how long I was trapped in that infernal shell," the new Q said roughly.
"We have entered the fifth phase, so insignificant time," the first male Q said carefully. "I don't suppose you recall the name Voyager?"
The new Q's face turned an interesting shade of red. He threw his arms into the air and screamed loudly and overdramatically.
"That's a yes," the female Q commented.
The male Q smirked at them both, he waited until the new one stopped screaming the Holodeck down. "Once again they interfere. We were on the brink of civil war, freedom was in our grasp. Then they came," he said once it was quiet again.
"They will soon know their place. This is all Q's fault. He petted the Humans already giant ego and I have no doubt he encouraged their further interference," the new Q growled. "We will still have our freedom, Voyager will be wiped from history and our legacy will reign destruction throughout the cosmos." The trio laughed at the thought.
"See, he's not all talk," the female Q teased the male one.
"Sounds like he is," one of the minions dared to whisper. The Q's were too busy laughing to hear him. The other minion stared at him with petrified eyes.
"You call the Continuum chasing me through the Yomda galaxy all talk? What exactly have you done?" the male Q snapped.
Female Q rolled her eyes. "All of my work was erased. You have to actually do something for that to happen."
"Hmph," the male Q grunted. He turned to the new Q. "Excuse us. I'm sure you've got some plotting to do anyway." The two Q's and their minions disappeared in a flash of light.
The remaining Q sniffed the air, his eyes darkened. "What is that? It smells like, Humans."
Elsewhere in the Holodeck six figures were walking through a black and white cave filled with flashing lights. The six were the only ones still in colour. The cave itself looked like it was made entirely out of plastic.
"It's fantastic," Tom said.
"It's gag inducing," Jessie corrected him.
Tom lowered his chin so he could try to sniff himself. With a proud smile he looked back up. "I smell studly, though I'll forgive you as your tastes don't match the rest of woman kind."
"On behalf of women everywhere..." Jessie muttered before stamping on his foot. Tom was expecting a punch so his duck didn't protect him. He had to hop on one foot to at the very least follow the others as they kept on walking.
Harry stared ahead of him which seemed to be normal, then to his still monochrome left side. "I'm not the only one seeing this, right?"
"No. The Holodeck program in use seems to be broken," B'Elanna said.
Still hopping on his good foot, Tom detoured to get closer to the wall. His hand pressed against the wall. "This isn't a real cave. It's a set."
"A what?" Craig had to ask.
Harry's face lit up. "I thought this was familiar. Isn't this the corridor leading to the Fortress of Doom in Episode Fifteen?" Everyone that wasn't Tom started to snigger.
"It is," Tom answered, ignoring the others response.
James looked ahead while the others concentrated on the fake walls surrounding them. As he did the path distorted and quickly changed into an uphill path, thankfully in colour.
"So that means the Q's loose, right?" Jessie questioned warily.
Tom lowered his sore foot so he could stop wobbling. Then he noticed what James had. "Um, look up there." His finger pointed up the new path. At the top of it was the remains of the rock formation.
The team hurried up to the path to get a closer look. Once they got up there they noticed that the program at the top was the all too familiar resort program that they had used for the engagement party. Although whoever had been there before them had trashed it.
Footsteps behind them made them all turn around in a hurry. The holographic waiter they saw was just as startled as they were.
"What, why are you here? It's late," he stammered.
"Um, we're looking for an omnipotent being. You haven't seen one lounging around, have you?" Craig said. The others hoped he wasn't asking seriously.
"An omnipotent being?" the man laughed. "What does that look like? Wait, don't answer. Let me guess." His entire form disappeared in a flash of light, once it faded the Q took his place. "Tah dah!"
"Lame," Jessie groaned.
The Q ignored her, "allow me to introduce myself. I am the most despised, feared by all mortals, all powerful being in the universe. I am Q."
Harry nudged James with his elbow. He looked at him with a look of disgust. That didn't help so Harry just shoved a PADD into his hand, well tried to. James took one look at it and smacked it away with his hand.
"Hmm, what was that? Plans for more trickery. I expected more," Q sneered.
"No, James just missed the cue for his line," Harry said.
James rolled his eyes, "no, I think I hit it just fine."
"Hmm," Tom was more than curious. He knelt down to pick up the PADD and read from it. He smiled at it. "Well pack your bags, because you're going straight back where you came from." His finger pointed towards the Q, the smile turned into a smirk. "Bitch."
The Q pretended to look threatened, he even did a gasp. "Oh, tall skinny boy with a big mouth. Whatever shall I do?" His demeanour went back to normal. "I see nothing has changed, has it?"
"Actually it has. That was James' line originally. That's the joke," Harry said seriously.
B'Elanna groaned into her hand to hide her face. The rest of the team who weren't Tom and Harry just closed their eyes and wished they were elsewhere.
"You don't wanna mess with us. You don't know what you're dealing with, Mr er..." Tom continued. He noticed the Q's large forehead, "Eraser Head."
"Really?" Q sniggered.
"Yeah, we're from Voyager. We always win," Harry said.
"Please tell me these two are still drunk on their one glass of champagne," Jessie whispered.
"No, I bet they think they're still in the Captain Proton part of the Holodeck," James whispered back.
"Oooh! Where's my autograph book, ha!" Q howled with laughter, just as the others expected him to. "So Voyager is still making a bunch of stupid kids do its dirty work, ey. Well, maybe you should meet my kids."
"No thanks, I'm traumatised enough," Jessie groaned. B'Elanna nodded in agreement.
Another flash of light engulfed the Q, this time though it was wider and brighter. Once it faded the Q was gone, in his place were about twenty purple looking aliens that unfortunately looked a bit slimy too.
"Eeew," Jessie complained.
"We could have had a full blown rewrite, but no, you had to follow the original episode with that corny line," James grumbled towards both Harry and Tom.
The two were confused. "What, we don't get badass lines like that," Tom protested.
"Oh it was definitely bad, and you two are asses. You're right about that," James said.
Craig stared at the new arrivals nervously. He backed off a little as they stared menacingly at the group. "What do we do?"
James glanced back down the hill they had climbed. The black and white caves were badly blending into whatever program the hilly path belonged to, it looked almost flat. "There's plenty of room down there."
He leapt down to the bottom, luring the alien looking things down with him. Immediately he jumped into the air to deliver a swinging kick to two of their faces. Once he was back down on the ground he punched several of them, then pushed his palm out to knock back another one being followed by the rest. They all fell backwards like they were dominoes.
Everyone stared at the helmsman, each with their own bemused look. He stood frozen in a bad fighting pose; his arm outstretched, palm flat and his other arm sticking up towards the ceiling.
Of course the aliens were still where they were earlier, and nobody had really budged an inch after James' suggestion.
"No," most of the team replied.
James however said, "yeah, go for it."
Tom knew by now not to take him seriously, he instead pretended to laugh without making any noise and immediately shifted to a serious face. "Like you'd do any better."
James frowned and was about to reply when B'Elanna stepped in between the two, shoving them slightly. "Let's just spread out, take on a few at a time. At the very least we'll thin the herd a little."
"We?" Jessie giggled while glancing briefly between Harry and Tom.
The team split up anyway, taking different routes back down the hill. Their opponents did the same to give chase. Craig was the only one who didn't budge, he didn't look so sure.
"Spread out, when does that ever go well?" he commented but hurried down anyway.
Jessie picked up a grey tree branch, obviously from the Captain Proton program. "Pun with wood, pun with... ah to hell with it," she muttered to herself before slamming it into one of her chasers face. She stumbled backwards to avoid getting purple liquid spray into her face.
Meanwhile Tom was standing proudly and firmly as his pursuers ran for him. He cracked his knuckles. "The being a push over thing is just a Fifth Voyager joke, Voyager me was a badass. I'll show them."
His fists then clenched, his arm flew back, his body did the same. He kept going until the ground got in the way. "Yep... I'm bad," he squeaked. The attackers just continued running, mostly over him, leaving him lying there.
Not far away James seemed to be standing on his own, with a bored look on his face. He didn't seem to notice one from Craig's group run towards him. The ones that ignored Tom had also taken an interest in him. He easily noticed them as they ran directly in his line of sight.
For some reason he didn't move. His eyes rolled like they were a mere annoyance. At the last second he took one small step to his left. The creatures slammed into each other face first, while the ones behind just crashed into their leader. There was nothing left of them but purple goo afterwards. Naturally James' reaction to that was pull a disgusted face and then walk away.
Harry ducked as a creature tried to hit him. An idea popped into his head as he was down. He pushed himself forward while still crouched to push it by the waist. All he got were a few extra metres space and a gooey uniform.
"Oh, it's not as easy as the holonovels," he said sadly. Another one ran for him, his attempt at a kick hit them in the ankle, tripping them over.
Craig tried to punch one as if it was the first punch he had ever thrown. His entire hand was purple afterwards. Instead he ran off with two of them right behind him. The caves were just ahead, Craig really didn't want to run into them without the others so he quickly turned to run to the side. One of the creatures was dumb enough to run face first into the fake rock face.
Another grabbed him as he ran to the side, pushing him into it as well.
A finger tapped the creature shoulder. The creature turned but a fist in the face caused it to fall to the ground. B'Elanna looked at her fist which was covered in purple goo. "Hmm, that's going to leave a mark," she said.
The remaining purple men stopped whatever they were doing, almost in sync with each other. They all seemed to be trembling with fear. The team could only stare in confusion as they ran off.
"What was..." Harry began to ask, but then the ground trembled beneath them.
Kathryn, Chakotay, Tuvok, the Doctor, Neelix and Seven stood waiting for Q to arrive.
"What's taking him so long? We have no idea what that Q is doing, maybe..." Neelix stuttered.
"Be patient, Mr Neelix. It is not logical to worry about events that haven't happened," Tuvok said.
"Neelix is right, he should have sorted the away team out by now," Chakotay said.
Right on cue, the original Q appeared. Kathryn stomped over to him. "What took you so long?" she growled.
"Bad news Kath, we were too late. Q will be heading for Engineering now," Q said seriously for a change.
"Computer, seal off Engineering with a level twelve force field," Seven said.
"Who made you Queen of Voyager you rotten little sh..." Kathryn snapped.
"Why Engineering?" Neelix asked quickly.
"Stupid question Neelix. If he wants to destroy us, this is the perfect place to do it," the Doctor answered.
Kathryn rolled her eyes, "I'd pick Neelix as second in line over Miss Perfect. Our lives don't revolve around you, missy."
Seven seemed a little surprised. "Why do you insist on talking to me like that all the time? No one else does. I've done nothing..."
"Give it time," Kathryn spat back.
A man cleared their throat. It took a few seconds for everyone to realise it wasn't one of them. They turned their heads towards the entrance to Engineering. There the second Q stood, watching them with a smile on his face.
"Hmm, it's a little different here but I can still make it work," he sneered.
"Q, don't be a fool. You know the Continuum will not stand for this," the original Q warned him.
"Oh won't they? I'll be doing them a favour," Q2 cackled while slowly approaching the group. "You know as well as I do that everyone will be better off without these..." he eyed the crew with contempt. "Primitive primates. Honestly, I don't know why you still sniff around them."
Kathryn stepped forward to give him a close up of the death glare. The Q did his best to avoid looking directly at it. "Yet despite how primitive they were, a group of Humans managed to lock you up. Keep this crap up and not only will we do it again, I'll chuck Neelix and his Leola crop in with you."
Neelix gasped in horror, "how awful. Q's don't need to eat. What a waste."
Q2 laughed at her, making her glare even more deadly. "What has Q been telling you? I suppose you do have to dumb it down for them," he said in Q's direction.
"I suppose I would be the one to eat it," Neelix muttered to himself.
Q2 turned to point a finger in his direction. A lightning bolt flew out of it and struck the Talaxian in the chest, sending him flying back. The Doctor hurried over to his side.
"You haven't changed Q. You're still picking on little rodents," Q said.
Q2 smirked evilly, "oh yes, the Monsoon of Trombadia. They didn't see that plasma storm coming."
"As usual, your antics lack poetry," Q mocked him.
It was enough to anger the other Q. "Oh shut up! Ten minutes out of that blasted rock and I'm already having to listen to your unfunny remarks. These Humans locked me up and threw me aside like the trash that they are. I don't intend for that to go unpunished."
"This is illogical. Why punish Humans that have done nothing to you? It serves no purpose," Tuvok pointed out.
"Well I suppose you could say that, but in my eyes you're all just as guilty. You're all the same to me," Q2 said. "Funny how that works, hehe."
"You won't get away with this Q," Q snapped.
"Why not? Oh... I see," Q2 pretended to sound sad, his voice patronising. "The Continuum don't care, do they? You do anything to stop me and they'll drag you back by the ear. See, I told you they'd come around to my way of thinking."
Q shook his head, "Q, don't..."
"You all robbed me of my pride. I was the most powerful being in the universe, people saw me as a god," Q2 ranted while staring accusingly at everyone. "Now it's time for payback!" He raised his arms into the air, as soon as he did all of the consoles in Engineering exploded. Everyone who were not hit by any of them ducked for cover.
The only thing they could hear over the sound of the fires and explosions was the sound of the Q laughing like a mad man.
The away team found themselves walking through the fake caves. Colour wasn't far ahead of them, the scenery looked far more open. Instead of plastic walls there were concrete beams dotted around. Tom's eyes lit up as he recognised one particular bit of scenery; a red ancient looking car sitting on its own.
"Let me guess," B'Elanna groaned before he could say anything.
Tom seemed to ignore her as his pace quickened. "It's been ages since I worked on old Bella."
"Bella?" Jessie said blankly.
Tom slipped an arm around B'Elanna's shoulders, "named after my favourite gal of course."
Harry laughed behind his hand. "Yeah, I wouldn't."
The group were now completely in the colour area, only a short walk away from the car. That was when a few of the team noticed the ground had lines painted all over it.
"Yeah, now I know why this place gave me the creeps," James said, glancing briefly between the car and Tom. "This is the program I used for the deleted love scene betw... well you know." Jessie and Craig sniggered as quietly as they could, but Tom's attention was already on them.
"What, love scene? What are..." he stuttered, then it came to him. "I knew it! You were the one that edited my mutiny program."
Harry groaned into his hand to hide his face, "what, did you think Kiara did it on her own?"
Tom didn't know what to say for once, he just stared at him and then James. He smiled back at him.
Harry's face was bright red, luckily his mind was on his side for once as a different thought distracted him. "Captain Proton, the resort program, the Hot Rod garage." Everyone turned to him. "All of the programs merging together are Tom's."
"Oh crap," Jessie groaned. "As soon as the scenery turns into a porn fest, I'm out of here."
"Coward," B'Elanna commented with a smile.
Something plastic in the distance cracked. The noise wasn't loud but it still echoed around the empty structure. A lot of the team jumped at the suddenness of it.
"I gotta bad feeling about this. Do you think those things are still on the Holodeck?" Craig said warily.
"We need some light," Jessie said.
"No chance of that, or porn fests," Tom muttered. He saw Harry pull a tricorder out of his pocket in the corner of his eye.
"How did you... never mind, anything?" B'Elanna questioned.
"I always carry one around," Harry answered the first half. His body turned all the way around on the spot, the tricorder made the same noises all the way round. "The tricorder can't make heads or tails out of this. There's energy signatures everywhere, probably the Holodeck malfunctions causing interference."
The others continued looking around while he scanned.
"I don't even know what those things even were. That doesn't help," Harry said. His tricorder pointed towards the same spot James was looking at. "Wait, something's moving." Everyone else looked as well.
A figure moved out from behind a pillar. Soon more were doing the same from different ones. They slowly started to surround the away team
"There's not many left. This shouldn't be a problem," B'Elanna said.
"I've got an idea. Maybe you should get..." James started to say.
Tom immediately butted in, "I got a better one. We're in a Holodeck. Why don't we use it."
James glared at him. "You don't even know what my plan was!"
"I'm sure it was a brilliant plan involving lots of snark-asm, you running and Jessie kicking, but we don't have time for that," Tom said.
"Wait, am I doing the kicking or being kicked?" Jessie mumbled.
James rolled his eyes, "fine. I don't want to get in the way of you getting knocked flat on your ass again."
"Less talk more, anything," Craig stuttered as the aliens were only a few feet away.
Tom grinned, "computer, Captain Proton outfit and rocket pack." The others stared at him blankly as his uniform changed into a monochrome outfit with a leather looking jacket. A bag appeared on his back. "Time to save the world."
"Oh god," B'Elanna groaned, already regretting her proposal acceptance.
Tom tugged on a little cord on his back. The huge backpack that was attached to it suddenly ignited on the bottom, lifting him up. He was just about to reach for the phaser like weapon in his pocket when he hit his head on the ceiling.
It did seem to work but not in the way he planned, as the aliens just stared at him in amusement, allowing the others to escape from being surrounded. Once they were the ones surrounding the aliens, Tom's backpack gave out and dropped him to the floor.
"See, it worked," he squeaked.
The aliens noticed he was alone and swung around to confront the others.
Craig thought about attacking the one in front but only for a second, he ran off instead. B'Elanna meanwhile slammed one of her attackers, head first, into a pillar. Like the previous encounters he turned into a puddle of goo afterwards. "This is just too weird."
"Use the Holodeck, use the Holo..." Harry muttered as he tried to run circles around the two chasing him. Then he caught sight of the car Tom was eyeing earlier. He ran over to it as fast as he could.
Tom still lay on the floor nursing his sore head, groaning in pain.
Two of the aliens ran after Jessie while her back was turned. Nearby James had seen them, but he was too far away. All he had time to do was yell her name and barely step forward. She turned just in time to get pushed into one of the pillars. Content that they had done enough, they ran off leaving her to crumble onto the floor.
The two aliens chasing Harry were quickly blinded by two lights coming from the red car. Lucky for them Harry was still trying to figure out how to work the damn thing. The gearbox was baffling him.
"What's these numbers for, is it like the speed or something like warp one, two." He tried to push it forward but the car groaned at him. While he was doing that his feet started tapping the pedals. "Come on, one will do, come on..." he stuttered just when the car lurched forward. The poor aliens didn't stand a chance. The car was no longer red.
James ran over to where Jessie was lying. Her back was still against the pillar as she had just slid down from the impact point. He knelt down beside and very carefully put an arm over her shoulder, he hesitated once before finally doing it.
"I'm okay, it's already going away," she said through ragged breath. That told him she was lying to make him feel better.
There was no time to argue as another alien approached them. James turned slightly on the spot. With his spare arm he shoved it roughly. "Oh get lost," was all he said as the creature stumbled over what looked like the edge of the structure and disappeared out of sight. Craig was close enough to see the thing land on a road. He cringed as a lorry ran right over the purple blob he could see.
Tom finally tried to sit up. "Guys, Holodeck. No one listens."
B'Elanna heard him and gave him a brief glance. "Hmm, the safeties. They mustn't be on or..." Lights blinded her, but what really surprised her was the sound of a car horn rapidly going off. Quickly she dived out of the way, just in time to avoid being hit by the now purple car with a wide eyed Harry at the helm.
"How do you stop this thing!?" he screamed.
"Tap the other peda..." Tom tried to tell him, but B'Elanna shushed him loudly.
"Turn the wheel thing to the left!" she shouted.
Tom chuckled through the pain, "women drivers."
Harry didn't know which pedal he meant, he had attacked all of them during his panic. He decided to listen to B'Elanna and spin the wheel. The car abruptly turned on his command at high speed, it flung him into the still partially open door he climbed through. He tumbled out of it, just in time for the car to slam into one of the concrete pillars.
The entire structure trembled at the impact, the noise it made was a brief assault on everyone's ears, especially Harry's.
B'Elanna sighed in relief before scowling at Tom for his earlier comment. He didn't notice right away, when he did he laughed nervously.
"What's that..." Craig stammered as he looked at the remains of the car and the pillar. The pillar flashed into the Hologrid for a second, then turned into a palm tree for another. Each time it would change back into the broken pillar.
"Out, now!" B'Elanna ordered, gesturing to the road leading down to the ground level. Everyone ran through the occasional tremor. What was left of the purple monsters attempted to follow.
The away team kept running until they were clear of the stone car park, as the tremors dragged parts of it to the ground.
The ground shook, the holographic images around them flickered on and off, showing the hologrid in its place. It stopped as suddenly as it started, however it didn't go back to normal. Various areas looked like a corrupted merge of various programs.
"What was that?" Harry asked.
B'Elanna stared at one of the larger corrupted patches. "There's nothing we can do here, we should go to Engineering."
"That may not be as easy as you think. Computer end program," Harry said. The computer beeped harshly to tell him it couldn't do that. "Computer arch."
To everyone's surprise the Holodeck exit appeared after a few glitchy tries. The doors opened as if nothing was wrong. The group hurried out anyway.
The turbolift doors opened to a corridor of black. A red light would ominously flash every second, barely lighting up the way. B'Elanna stepped out first, or rather she pushed her way out first. Everyone else had to negotiate their way out of the cramped lift.
"Not another black out," Tom complained once he was out of the lift. He was the last one to be, right after Craig.
B'Elanna shook her head. "Emergency power is holding." She hurried further ahead.
"This means the Q is definitely out of the Holodeck," Harry commented.
"That was obvious from the moment he disappeared," James said.
Tom stared at him with an angry look on his face, not that anyone could make that out until the red light flashed. "Then why didn't you say that then?"
"I did try, twice," James said. "Look, plenty of room to escape over there. Hey I got an idea, why don't some of us get out of the Holodeck."
"You, you didn't say anything like that," Tom muttered.
By this time Jessie, Craig and Harry had quickly abandoned them to catch up with B'Elanna. She had just reached the door to Engineering and was struggling to get it open.
"No, I didn't get a chance to finish. You were far more interested in playing Captain Moron," James said, rolling his eyes.
"No no, you fell for it too or you would have left on your own. You're just trying to make yourself look smart. News flash, you just sound like a know it all and everyone else looks stupid. That includes best make out friend Jessie," Tom ranted.
B'Elanna tore off the panel next to the door to expose the wiring. All it needed was a little tampering and the door opened. As soon as it did something inside exploded, sending sparks across their field of sight.
The team reluctantly walked inside with B'Elanna leading the way. Consoles were either blackened out or were on fire, debris lay scattered everywhere, wires were hanging from the ceiling. Every detail made B'Elanna's face tighten further in fury. Sensing it the others slowed down a bit so they were further away from her.
Harry dared to take a good look around as he slowly walked. He was relieved to see no injuries or worse on the ground. Then a thought occurred to him. That was more than a little strange.
"Captain," B'Elanna almost hissed. She hurried over to the base of the core. The rest of the team quickly noticed there were people in Engineering after all, they had all huddled next to the dark and motionless warp core.
Tuvok lay on the floor with burn marks across his skin, green still oozed out of a large one on his cheek. The Doctor and Kathryn were trying to treat him but they obviously weren't having much luck.
The group didn't notice Seven and Chakotay trying to help an equally injured Neelix out of sight.
"We're losing him. There's nothing I can do here," the Doctor said.
"Obviously transporters are out, but can't we carry him to Sickbay?" Jessie stuttered.
Kathryn closed her eyes and shook her head sadly. "There's no time. We'd never make it."
"Might as well try," Craig said as he stepped forward.
"I'll help," James said, briefly surprising the others who still thought he was arguing with Tom outside. He walked forward with Craig to crouch down next to the Security chief.
The Doctor didn't look too happy about it, his hand gestured at them to stop. "If you move him it'll exacerbate his condition."
"He'll die either way so why the hell not?" B'Elanna snapped.
Seven approached everyone, as usual her hands crossed behind her back. "I have a solution."
"Of course you do," Kathryn said in a fake cheerful voice.
"What is it?" Jessie asked.
"Astrometric sensors detected an m-class planet two lightyears away. The Borg know it as Phados One," Seven answered.
"We're out of its range in our current state," Chakotay pointed out grimly.
Harry glanced behind him as Tom decided to join everyone, he appeared a lot more sluggish than before, as well as dazed. He rested himself against the nearest console to the others. "Voyager no, but a shuttle might," Harry said.
"I would recommend against that," Seven interrupted.
"Life support will not last long, we don't have much time," B'Elanna said while she worked at a station.
Kathryn's head snapped to attention towards Seven. "Wait. Why wouldn't you recommend that? The shuttle curse is just a joke, try not to be so literal."
"I wouldn't be so sure," Craig commented.
"The Borg learned of a planet that appeared to be abandoned. Numerous species that the Borg assimilated had a tale or myth about it, each one different and yet shared the same commonality. Power. A cube was sent to investigate," Seven explained.
"Are you suggesting the Borg are very slow at mining?" Jessie said with a slight smile.
Seven's eyebrow shot up. "No. The cube was obliterated within minutes of entering its orbit. The only information we got was that it was destroyed by a weapon that distorted subspace in the cube's path. We were unable to duplicate or shield against it, even after sending more vessels."
"Hardly abandoned then, is it?" Kathryn scoffed while her body twitched from coffee withdrawals.
"So, no shuttle. No warp capability. No transporters," Chakotay attempted to sum up.
"I might be able to reroute power from life support on decks twelve to fifteen, those decks are deserted," Seven said.
"Then we'll be able to get transporters online," Chakotay said.
"That'll help Tuvok at least," Craig said hopefully.
Kathryn sighed impatiently. "Good, but mentioning Fatass One just wasted five minutes of his time, so..." Her eyes were wide, her hand gestured towards a console close to Seven. She took the hint and got straight to work.
"I wouldn't bother," Q's voice said from out of nowhere. He appeared in a flash moments later. Only the Doctor noticed that Tuvok and Neelix disappeared at the same time. "Q will pull the rug just as you're about to walk on it, then he'll likely smother you in it. It's his style."
Chakotay rolled his eyes as he turned towards him. "I thought he was free now. Why continue to waste his time with us?"
"Did you think that trashing your Engineering and frying your fry cook was his revenge? No, he'll just be getting started," Q teased. The Doctor meanwhile muttered under his breath as he retreated out of Engineering.
"Since he's loose what do you expect us to do about it? This is your domain," Jessie snapped.
"The technology to trap him again is nearby. A technology far beyond your understanding. Many have failed to steal it before," Q said ominously.
Seven's eyebrows raised again. "Phados One's power is a type of technology?"
"But you will not fail," Q continued like she hadn't said anything.
"Why do you think that?" B'Elanna asked.
"I have an old Q friend on that planet, she's the protector of the planet. Just mention me to her and she might help you," Q said.
"That doesn't solve the getting there problem," Harry said.
Kathryn rolled her eyes, "or the getting blown to pieces by the inhabitants problem."
"I can give your transporters a little boost, that'll not draw too much attention. When you have the power, you'll be able to download it to Voyager once you return, via your commbadge," Q said.
"How is that possible?" Jessie asked.
"Because I've just made it so," Q smiled.
"But if you can do that, why can't you give us the technology?" James asked.
"Well blondy, since that other Q is on your holodeck, my powers are limited. I can't explain it or I'd risk breaking your tiny brains," Q replied.
Kathryn shook her head. "I'll need to monitor things here. Seven will need to be around just in case we're in need of a deus ex machina. Tuvok and Neelix need to be taken to Sickbay. Maybe Chakotay can take B'Elanna's place in the away team as we'll need to begin repairs..."
"If that Q's just going to destroy everything again, my being here isn't necessary. I'm probably the best one to work out that technology Q is talking about," B'Elanna said.
Seven stared blankly at Kathryn. "What is a deus ex machina?"
"You know. A plot device created solely to solve ridiculously unsolvable problems with little effort. Only ours has giant boobs," Jessie commented.
Kathryn smiled a little too proudly. "Yes, get your nanoprobes ready. We may need to throw a handful at some point."
"That's not..." Harry began to point out.
Seven was not impressed. "Why am I getting the flack for this? The Q fits the definition, not I."
Q glanced down at his chest with a bemused expression. "Why, thank you for noticing."
"So, we have Harry and B'Elanna to figure out this advanced technology. Two Security crewmembers. Perhaps Chakotay can replace Tom to lead the team. And Jessie," Kathryn said, briefly giving Q a skunk eye.
Chakotay cleared his throat, "I can't believe that out of the two of us, I'm the one bringing this up. This power obviously belongs to someone. We can't just go in and steal it."
"The planet has been abandoned for an unknown amount of time. The Borg concluded that every weapon was automated," Seven said.
"So, booby trapped then?" Tom said tiredly.
James shrugged. "Seems like. Maybe we should take Seven after all." Jessie and B'Elanna both laughed, while Kathryn's proud face grew stronger. Seven was far from amused.
"No, no. We don't want to trigger any traps. We'll leave her behind," Chakotay said, before finally laughing as well.
"Why does everyone always make jokes like that about me?" Seven asked.
"Maybe if you wore clothes instead of painting yourself, you'd get more respect," Jessie replied honestly.
Seven was just confused though. "I don't understand. I am wearing clothes."
Jessie scoffed while her eyebrow raised, "you look like you belong in Tom's Captain Pornton. The outfit screams look at me."
"Proton," Harry corrected her.
Tom sighed, mostly out of impatience. "Let's go, shall we?"
"Are you ready?" Seven asked, just as impatiently. The original away team all nodded eventually.
"Remember everyone. We may not have any power but we're still the Power Rangers," Tom said, finally brightening up a little.
"What?" B'Elanna asked. Everyone else said the same thing with just a look directed at him.
"I don't know why I said that," Tom said, his face turning bright red. "Okay how about this instead; Voyager lies adrift yet again, at the mercy of a powerful evil. Lieutenant Paris steps up to the plate, he rushes to the rescue. For he is the protector of Voyager, scourge of intergalactic evil."
The console that Tom's hand was resting on caught fire. "OW!" he yelled as his hand jumped off the hot console.
"I'm surprised that he's not been put out of his misery. I would," James commented.
"What?" Craig was taken aback, his eyes were slightly wider than usual.
James shrugged nonchalantly, "what?"
"Can't say I'm not tempted, or take the credit for it either," Kathryn said.
"Don't worry, he'll probably get it in the second part," Jessie said. She and James laughed between themselves.
"What was that?" Harry asked. The pair smiled innocently.
"Are you okay?" B'Elanna asked.
"Yeah, I got my hand away in time. Still really hurt though!" Tom moaned. "Wonder why stuff like this keeps happening."
"You'd better be going, energise," Kathryn said in a tone that screamed quit whining.
"Remember we don't have much time," Seven said. She pressed a couple of controls and the six beamed away.
"I can't believe it. How could he let them get away!?" the female Q screeched. "The idiot spent far too long in that ugly rock."
"Oh give it a rest," her partner snarled back.
The pair continued bickering while sitting on ridiculously oversized thrones, which were standing in the middle of a monochrome and very plastic looking environment. Their two minions and them were the only objects in colour. They now had a hollow tin can looking robot hanging around to aid them, although at the moment it was waving its arms around.
Their original minions were unfortunately tasked with massaging the woman's feet, which for some reason had overgrown toenails decorated as if they were fingernails.
"It's the work of Q, I know it. He's always been the Humans lapdog," the woman continued.
The male Q rolled his eyes just before sipping at his grey drink. "Whoever it is sent the skinned apes to Phados. They'll not last long, not with them there."
"Hmph!" the woman grunted. "You lack imagination. They're there for a reason. I don't like it."
"You don't like anything," the other Q's voice said before appearing in front of them. The first male Q laughed maliciously while the woman snarled.
"You're nothing but a fool with an oversized head and pin sized brain. The Humans have escaped and are getting help. I thought you were a master of disaster. How right I was," the woman snapped.
The second Q rolled his eyes and snapped his fingers. The female Q's mouth vanished from her face. In her surprise she accidentally kicked one of her minions with her oversized toenails.
"Finally!" the first male Q groaned.
"I know what I'm doing. Their ship is damaged, little power. Dangle a planet with a great power myth in front of them and bam, like a shot they'll run on over," the second Q cackled. "I have no doubt Q gave them a helping hand. You'd think he'd know better by now."
The other Q let out a tired groan. "You have no idea. His latest scheme gave the entire continuum a good laugh." The other Q smirked maliciously. "What's so special about this Phados that has you so confident? The Humans are probably dead already, boring. Know something I don't?"
The female Q waved her arms around, her grunts and attempts at words muffled. The two continued to ignore her.
"Naturally," Q2 answered proudly.
"They tricked you into this juvenile fantasy room, locked you in a cell, and your response is to trash their engine room. We evicted you as we thought you'd enjoy inflicting terror into their lives as payback. Not just for you, but for the Q's who fought in the rebellion that Voyager destroyed. If we thought you'd just watch as they send a suicidal landing party, we wouldn't have bothered," the first Q said. The Q woman nodded.
Q2's eyes flashed with rage. "Your feebleness sickens me. Perhaps you need time away to cool off." A white light engulfed the two male Q's, once it died down the pair had swapped places. Q2 laughed as he leaned back comfortably in the throne.
"You dare not anger me. Your powers are far more limited than mine, and..." Q1 growled.
Q2's hand waved lightly. Another flash cut him off as he disappeared again, he wasn't the only one. The woman had gone too. A small rock appeared in the hand Q2 waved, his fingers curled around it. "What do you think?" he said towards the two minions.
The two of them glanced at each other, clearly just as confused as the other. Then they heard their masters voices squeaking from the rock. They dared to smile at their predicament.
"Don't pretend that you helped me escape for me. You know I'm the brains of this trio, and you knew I'd want revenge on the Humans as well," Q2 whispered to the rock. "I won't let you out until you apologise. My feelings are hurt."
"Voyager had to pass by that exact spot. Don't flatter yourself!" the woman Q's squeaky voice yelled at him.
"Hmm," Q2 pretended to think about it, then he chucked the rock up into the air as if it was a ball. The two Q's squealed the whole time. "I trust that you two don't want to join them."
The two minions shook their heads quickly. "No, no sir. I never liked them anyway," one answered.
Q2 smiled darkly, "good."
"So what should we do about the Voyager away team, oh evil one?" the other minion asked.
"Ah yes," Q2 chuckled. "I wouldn't worry about that. They'll not get anywhere. We should send them something to keep them from figuring that out too soon. Hope is so much fun to crush."
The away team dematerialised on a rocky surface. It was a coastal region and the wind was strong. It was very much like Earth.
"Cool, look at this place," Craig said in awe.
"Guys, look at this!" Jessie yelled from a few metres away. Everyone ran over to her. She was hovering over a huge humanoid skeleton.
"What is it?" Harry asked.
"I think the question is, who was it?" Tom asked.
"Definitely not the welcoming committee that's for sure," Harry commented.
B'Elanna gave him a disapproving scowl. "We have a job to do. Let's not hang around."
Barely ten minutes later the group were following the shoreline, carefully stepping across the rocks.
Jessie stopped and stared out into the ocean. James, who was behind her stopped as well. "Are you okay?" he asked.
"I was just thinking about Voyager. You know, and all the things we've all been through together," Jessie muttered.
"Really?" James asked with a bemused look on his face.
Jessie smirked and then laughed. "No. I'm thinking that I should have stopped by our quarters and changed into something I don't care about being ruined."
"You have something like that?" James said.
Jessie thought about it and shook her head. "No, without a replicator I'd have to steal something of yours."
James didn't take her seriously, he just laughed with her. "Good luck finding anything on my floor."
"Yeah, that's a point," Jessie smiled briefly. Her face changed quickly, her eyes looked full of thought. "I did briefly wonder why Q chose all of us for the original mission. Also why the other Q blamed us for something we didn't do."
James looked out into the sea, a cold shiver ran through him. He turned back to find her doing the same again.
Meanwhile just ahead Tom tapped B'Elanna on the shoulder to get her attention. She stopped so he could stand beside her. "Hey, do you want to have a random romantic moment in front of the waves?" He gestured behind him, B'Elanna briefly spotted James and Jessie talking. She rolled her eyes. "I've seen this movie. She's like ohno things are bad, I'm so sad. Then he's like don't worry, I'm macho and tough, we'll fix this you poor frail woman. She swoons, he leans..."
"Oh god. Why did I say yes?" B'Elanna interrupted him with a groan.
"Hey don't blame me, blame old movies," Tom laughed.
"What happens next? Does the joker get bumped off for making silly comments?" B'Elanna asked impatiently.
Tom wasn't put off by her tone, "no, the smooch usually gets interrupted when something bad happens."
"Did you add the psychotic women with the rose lei things to the resort program?" James asked.
Jessie tried to look innocent, luckily with only one side of her face visible to him she hid it reasonably well. "No. That was left over from the recluse woman who tried to kidnap Tuvok."
"Uh huh," James ended up laughing again. "So what was the Tom you're the one hundredth guest thing about?"
"Soooo, everything we've been through huh. It just gets more and more crazy," Jessie quickly stammered.
James shook his head, he straightened up and put a serious look on his face. "We'll find this power and we'll lock that Q back in his dungeon. No need to worry."
Jessie turned so she was facing him directly, then she smirked at him. "What was that? You sounded like a cheesy hero trying to comfort the hysterical damsel."
"Hey you wanted the change of subject, I was just going along with it," James smirked.
Jessie's eyes narrowed mockingly. She gave him a light shove in the shoulder. "It doesn't suit you. It's creepy."
The pair laughed just as the wind picked up, to them both it sounded louder than before. Unlike before it originated from their left, blowing towards the ocean. They quickly turned around, just in time to see a flock of very large, almost Human sized birds flying straight for them. They ducked quickly.
The commotion got everyone's attention. More of the bird creatures appeared as if from nowhere, from all directions. James and Jessie turned towards the water as another creature dove for them. James jumped off the rocks, pulling Jessie with him.
"Told you," Tom quipped. B'Elanna's resulting look made him more worried about her than the birds.
The flock of birds continued their diving assaults. Each time they would climb back into the air and try again. Craig had seemingly forgotten that he had jumped down from the rocks, as he almost ran into them. He quickly threw himself down to the ground, so his pursuers would slam into it instead.
Jessie meanwhile pushed one of the birds that tried to claw at her away. While she did that a one flew up behind her, quickly grabbing her arms with its hand like feet. She tried to get out of its grasp but the creature had already pulled her too high up from the ground.
"Gee, and I thought I was the unlucky one in this ep..." Tom commented just as a bird flew right by and swiped its feet into his head. The impact flung him to the ground and hard as well.
James looked up helplessly as the bird carried Jessie away. He desperately looked around for anything high enough to reach, there was nothing even close. "Jess, hold on!" was all he could yell as he ran after them.
"I think the bird's doing all the holding," Harry stuttered. His hand kept falling to where he'd normally keep a phaser, he'd berate himself afterwards for not bringing one.
B'Elanna batted one of the birds away with her fist, the pain she received put her off doing that again any time soon.
"Put me down, you overgrown turkey drummer..." Jessie screeched.
As if it listened to her it let go, and she fell towards the sandy beach. Whoever was closer ran over to try and break her fall. They failed to notice the birds suddenly change direction, each of them heading for the same spot further up the coast. They all flew over Tom and B'Elanna on route, Tom instinctively ducked even though they were a few metres above them.
By the time they looked over, their target was obscured by the overwhelming amount of attacking birds. Some of them were knocked to one side, a few started to fly away quickly in a panic. Only then they saw a woman fighting the creatures with a couple of large sticks.
She began to swing them around in each hand, a whistling noise emanated from it. The remaining creatures screamed in pain and they flew away.
James crouched a little so Jessie could stand on her own, his hand still remained at her back. Her face was bright red, mostly out of embarrassment. Craig stood nearby with a worried look on his face.
"Turkey drummer?" he said in a lighter tone than he was feeling. That didn't help ease Jessie's red cheeks.
"Yeah well, you try quipping something smart when you're flying into orbit," she said.
Craig noticed what was happening further down the beach, he pointed his finger before rushing over.
Tom, Harry and B'Elanna meanwhile gathered around the woman.
"That was amazing, thanks," Tom said and he held his hand out. She smacked his burned hand with her stick.
"If you want to thank me, go back to where ever it is you came from," the woman said angrily.
"We can't go back," B'Elanna said.
"We were told there was a great power here, is it true?" Harry asked.
"Yes, the ground is littered with the bones who have tried for it and failed," the woman said.
"We're different, we won't fail," Tom said. The alien smacked him in the back of the legs, the blow made him lose his balance. He fell over backwards.
"Leave, Phados One before it's too late," the woman said.
"Look, we don't want any trouble, that Q guy told us..." Craig said once he joined them.
"Q! Did you say Q?" the woman stuttered.
"Are you the friend Q was talking about?" B'Elanna questioned.
The woman seemed far more relaxed than before. "Yes. I was sent here two centuries ago to guard this world. My name is now Darcia."
"Two... centuries," Harry stuttered. "Wait, now?"
"Yes, I was known as Q before I was brought here," she answered.
Tom rubbed his forehead with his good hand as he climbed to his feet. "You're all called Q. I'm gonna assume that you have a hell of a time signing birthday cards."
Darcia was more confused than annoyed at his comment. "Only mortal beings require a name. If that is what is confusing you then it is no longer relevant. Now, what were you saying about Q?"
"See, that's what I mean. We could be talking about a completely different Q for all you know," Tom stuttered.
B'Elanna passed him a sympathetic smile. "Our ship was attacked by an exiled Q, a one with a grudge against us. We were told by Q that the power here could help us imprison him again."
Darcia gasped in fury, "Q is free!"
By this time James and Jessie had joined the rest of the group. They both looked confused. "There's three exiled Q's, how does she know which is which?" James whispered to her. She shrugged.
"See," Tom mimed to B'Elanna.
"Q is a monster. If we don't hurry your ship is doomed. Follow me," Darcia said.
TO BE CONTINUED
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