..Four weeks later...
Today started like any regular day aboard the Enterprise;wake up, get prepared for duty, eat, and then go to duty. I had a strange feeling about today. The Enterprise had its fair share of weirdness such as the guy who abducted Yar,the first encounter with the Ferengi, and the strange cloud that took away the Captain for a brief period of time. I walked into Sick Bay whistling.
I stopped dead short in my tracks seeing Q on one Biobed with Captain Picard and Yar by his side.
"You are staying here until we know what to do with you," Picard said.
"Goody," Q said, sarcastically. "And I get to wear THIS tracker, too!"
"You came with it,Q," Yar said. "And it has been indicated you must not take it off."
"At the cost of my energy?" Q asked. "You are more mad than I thought," He rolled an eye and caught a glimpse of me. "Oh," A weak smile came across Q's face then he had a small rapid wave at my direction. "Hey Bell!"
Picard looked over toward my direction.
"You know Q?" Picard asked.
"Not really,sir," I said, coming over.
My eyes blinked, and then, I saw a different view of Q. He strangely was missing a couple universes here and there, including some galaxies, and there is a light in the middle of his chest in the outline of the Enterprise. The edges of the outlined body are not glowing brightly as they used to separating the darkness from the brighter colors most eyes are adjusted to. The whiteness is faint. I saw in the wrist watch like device on his wrist is draining the various items that I saw in his body to it. The wrist watch glowed yellow in my eyes showing a span of the universe. It beeped three times before turning red. My eyes blinked returning to normal visualization. The wrist watch reminded me of the Omnitrix from 'Ben 10: The Original Series'.
"Sure we do!" Q protested.
"Do not!" I snapped back. "What's Q got himself into, this time, sir?"
The usual was going on the bridge during the Alpha Shift. Picard sat in the Captain's chair where at different sides of the chair is William Riker and Deanna Troi. Deanna could sense a presence coming. She stared at the screen contemplating what could it be. She couldn't be sure except it felt: fear.
"Captain," Deanna said.
"Yes?" Picard asked.
"I sense something...coming," Deanna said. "Scared, weak,and...vulnerable."
"Captain!" Yar houted. "We have alerts going off in the Holodeck,"
"In the holodeck?" Picard said, surprised.
"It seems someone is draining power from the holodeck," Yar said.
Picard appeared to be perplexed.
Why the holodeck of all places?
"That is unusual," Picard said.
"I sense the presence," Deanna said. "It is here."
In a bright flash of light appeared Q on the floor.
"Damn it," Q said. "Not here," Q used the wall as his support to get up. "For once!"
Picard stood up from the chair.
"Q, get off my bridge!" Picard demanded.
Q had a small laugh.
"Oh, I didn't intend to; THIS TIME," Q said. "I am quite out of battery to snap around."
The turbo lift opened and revealed a lantern of the sorts glowing while levitating in thin air. Q looked so scared staring at the direction of the turbo lift. Picard looked in the direction that Q had his eyes on. Q didn't have the strength to snap his fingers. Q looked straight up toward Yar.
"Shoot it!" Q plead.
"Don't," Picard said. "I don't see any harm from it."
A bright white light shot out of the lantern striking at the wrist watch wrapped on Q's right wrist. The light returned to the Lantern shortly after Q collapsed to the floor in pain and weakness. Yar shot at the lantern. The lantern sizzled jilting out a electrical spark right at the woman. Yar landed on the floor knocked out.
Worf shot at the lid to the lantern.
The lantern makes a screeching sound then disappeared.
"Q, what kind of game is this?" Picard asked.
Q pressed his back against the wall, sweating.
"This is not a game," Q said. Picard noticed that Q wore a business suit similar to someone from the 21st century going to work. "Don't ask...The Q were tricked by a lantern,go ahead and laugh. We are the most stupefied entities you ever met."
"I find it hard to believe you are running from a lantern," Picard said.
Q had a short laugh.
"Course we were..." Q said, and then he fell to his side almost in a sleep like state.
"And that is what happened," Picard finished. "Make sure he doesn't leave sick bay. We have to find out what kind of gadget like that exists."
"Oh, you'll never find out," Q said. He waved his watch. "Look at this. It can't tell time. It can tell energy."
I look down at the watch seeing not the usual time indicators.
"We will find out," Yar said.
"Interesting..." I said.
Yar and Picard left.
"So..." Q said. "What kind of Q have you come across lately?"
"Excuse me?" I asked.
"You are under the protection of a Q," Q said. "From me."
"So?" I asked.
"That means a whole lot," Q said. "A Q wouldn't do that to a Cippallon."
"I dunno," I lied.
Q had a serious face.
"I will find out," Q said.
I had a sad expression.
"When you find out; I will be dead," I said.
"This protection only applies to Q related beings," Q said. "I can meddle with whatever I want to get the answer."
I shook my head.
"Stop changing the subject," I said. "You are apparently weak and on the run from a metal container."
Q lowered his head.
"I am the last one," Q said, in a lowered voice.
"What?" I asked.
"I am the last Q," Q said, raising his voice. "The others were taken by a single strike into that...machine." He looked over to the doors. "I do not want Jean-Luc to see me in my weakest state...It is really a shame." He turned his attention to me. "Three more and I am not going to 'free' anymore, technically."
I drew over a chair.
"Explain to me what happened," I said.
"A man came on one of my exploits on Kronos," Q explained. "It was new and just...savvy." He pointed down to the watch. "He offered it for free!" His eyes glowed white for a little bit. "Free, you know?" He waved his right hand up and down. "No catch, no tricks, no lies. I couldn't see a lie from him." Q paused. "And then after I put on the item; and it hurt. It really hurt. I couldn't believe it! I couldn't be hurt! I could only be hurt by Q related items. The man transformed into a lantern. I fled to the continuum where..." He closed his eyes. "Oh by the continuum. I saw everyone be taken in several white flashes. I doomed my own race!" He opened his eyes having regret and bitterness in them. "There were others who shared what I got. I watched them suffer while on the run!" By this point, Q is shaking. "I won't blame them for punishing me when it gets me."
"So you have no idea where it came from?" I asked.
"It has the insignia 'M' on the top," Q said. "Phasers can harm machinery that are M products. Q products are not able to be destructed by simple phasers." Q looked down to his hands. "The M continuum would prefer if the Q were eliminated since 'Q are the exact copies of M'." In a way Q seemed more human to me even without being turned into a Confini. "My fault." Q added in a pained whisper. "I can't let Jean-Luc see me when I am most weak."
My eyes widened.
"I know what you are thinking," I said, as Q looked up toward me. "I am not going to help you."
"I wasn't implying that," Q said. "I was thinking of..." He looked toward the door. "Leaving."
"Q, you are not leaving," I said. "Captain's orders."
Q glared at me.
"Listen, little girl," Q said. "I am more older than you by 7 billion years. I have lived so long, plagued many civilizations, and have won many achievements that you take for granted such as fire!"
"You....You made fire?" I asked.
"And was punished for it," Q said. "Why yes. I made fire."
I couldn't believe it.
"Don't believe me as you will," Q said. "I just do not want to be seen...more weaker."
"In your weakest state; what is it like?" I asked.
"Think of a person without energy and only able to crawl," Q said. "It would best if the misery was ended there."
Q had a shudder.
"Q, what if we broke the lantern?" I asked.
"I doubt that," Q said.
"Why?" I asked.
"The more Q's absorbed...The stronger it is," Q said.
I put my hands on my hips.
"I refuse to believe that," I said.
"You are stubborn and boring," Q said. "I really cannot believe my luck."
"Can you feel your legs?" I asked.
"The next strike, I won't," Q said.
"Show me some of the memories you on the run with other Q," I said.
"You don't want to see them!" Q said, at first hesitant.
"The hell I do," I said.
"Fine..." Q said. "Just..,come closer and then, stand still."
Then Q put his fingers on the side of my face.
It was night. The street lights were beaming on. Not many cars were in the Chicago street. Perfect place to make a escape. A couple of white flashes appeared on the sidewalk to reveal a couple of running people. We should call the Q most familiar to as Business Q because of his attire. There were two other lady Q's in what appears to be dresses each sparkling in the unforgiving night.
"We gotta keep running," Lady Q2 said.
"Maybe I should stay behind and let you get to safety," Business Q said.
"No!" Navy Q said along lady Q2 said.
"We can't risk losing our entire population by giving ourselves up," Lady Q2 said.
Business Q rolled up his sleeve.
"It doesn't bother you I could be a tracker?" Business Q said.
Navy Q was a bit like Riker except he has only a mustache not a beard and he has on a navy uniform. There was another male Q in what appears to be a standard Detective like attire complete with a hat and a golden watch dangling out of his breast pocket; we call that one Detective Q for now.
"No," Navy Q said. "We cannot think like that."
"We can hide out in a store for the time being!" Lady Q3 said.
Lady Q3 resembled a bit like Natasha Yar except she wore a sparkly dress that ended at the wrists and had her breasts exposed. She wore a fancy golden necklace that resembled a butterfly with a blue gem at the middle. Lady Q3 had this fierce look on her face exposed by the pools of light coming from the street lights.
"We can't just keep running like this," Detective Q said, as they were at the corner of the street.
"I know," Navy Q said.
"We have to fight back!" Detective Q said.
"You know we can't!" Navy Q said. "The last Q who suggested that was taken by the lantern!"
"I see a bus!" Business Q said, he turned toward the others. "Let's board that--"
"No, Q," Navy Q said. "We'll need money for that."
Business Q sighed.
"Riight," Business Q said. "Can't use our powers for regular uses."
"Because if we do; we are dead, figuratively," Lady Q2 added.
Business Q sighed.
"Fine, you have a point," Business Q said, with a grumble.
Lady Q2 resembled a bit like Deanna Troi except her eyes are light blue. Her dress is white, perfectly white, and she wore beautiful silver sparkling earrings. Lady Q stood near Navy Q appearing to be worried. The group go under the red light where there was no sign of a moving vehicle. It seemed unusually tense. They came to a stop on a wide park bench. Running is not always the hobby of most Q's.
Navy Q was on watch, standing up.
"Imzadi, what is wrong?" Lady Q2 asked.
"Just a couple cats," Navy Q2 said.
Some Q's were rather interested in the Betazoid culture and grown fond of the word 'imzadi'. Lady Q2 came over to Navy Q then took his hand. Business Q apparently fell asleep leaning against the side of the park bench along with Lady Q3 and Detective Q. Navy Q had his eyes set on the scenery fearing for his friends safety.
"Perhaps we can use our powers this once..." Lady Q2 said.
"No," Navy Q said.
Lady Q2 softly laughed.
"I didn't mean that," Lady Q2 said, holding up her index finger. "I am ready for it."
"After we are done with this lantern," Navy Q said.
"Imzadi, there's never going to be a next time," Lady Q2 said.
"Nice point," Navy Q said.
True the Q don't rest that often but when they are on the run; they will need rest.
"Are you ready?" Lady Q2 said.
"Depends if you are, my darling," Navy Q said.
The two index fingers fused to each other glowing in a bright light. It seemed like their entire world came to a pause. The only people in their sights were each other. The feeling was rather magnificent for the two omnipotent individuals. The glow disappeared leaving two index fingers that backed off. Lady Q2 and Navy Q shared a kiss. Well, imagine fireworks going off in the night behind them.
Business Q had one eye open because he had intuition these two might have a Q.
In the middle of a chase.
Now process how maddening that is!
Lady Q2 and Navy Q broke off their kiss. Business Q closed his remaining eye. The next he knew is that he is running, again, but in a totally different street that resembled a bit like the recreation area of Chicago. Business Q saw Lady Q2 and Navy Q holding hands, ever so tightly together, in the lead. Lady Q2 changed her attire to a white uniform. The group came to a sudden stop.
"Is it gone?" Lady Q3 asked, frightened.
"I think so," Navy Q said.
"Geeze, who woke me up?" Business Q asked.
"I did," Lady Q2 said.
"So I ran...Half awake," Business Q said. "How spiffy." He leaned his back against the wall. "If Picard was dealt with this situation; he would throw me out and be left the lantern's disposal. Or he would rather try to find some reason with it even though the lantern is a inanimate object."
"Come on, this was made by a M," Detective Q said. "It has to be sapient to fool you first."
"Don't remind me," Business Q said, not at the least proud of his failure.
Detective Q had wavy blonde hair and bright blue eyes.
"If it is sentient; there could be away out," Navy Q said. "How come we didn't think of this earlier?"
"Oh, I don't know; maybe because we were running the whole time!" Business Q exaggerated.
"AH!" Detective Q fell to the pavement. "HELP!"
The small group turned around to see the lantern in the darkness. Another light struck Detective Q at the back making him be turned into a blaze of light then be taken into the lantern. Business Q stared at it in horror covering his mouth. Navy Q let go of Lady Q2's hand. Navy Q made the order to run fast as they could. Both the lady Q's fled down the street.
"Q, come on!" Navy Q said, grabbing Business Q by the arm.
Business Q is still not used to this.
"He's gone," Business Q said.
"Yeah, and so will you!" Navy Q said.
Navy Q disappeared in a flash of light with Business Q. They reappeared at a empty parking lot. Business Q turned around toward the field of wet grass behind the parking lot. He was breathing but otherwise frightened. He looked up toward the stars. One star in particular zipped through kind of like a air plane leaving a trail of light behind. It reminded Business Q of The Enterprise when it warped off.
"Come on Q," Navy Q said. "We have to hide."
Business Q turned toward Navy Q.
"What about Q and Q?" Business Q asked.
"I know you feel regret but---" Navy Q stopped short seeing two flashes of light at the parking lot entrance.
The two figures of woman are running.
Navy Q and Business Q gasped seeing the lantern hot on their trail.
"Q!" Business Q shouted.
The lantern shot out a beam of light right into the lady Q's. The lady Q's are sucked into the floating object. Navy Q froze at first but then he regained his composure and he whispered into Business Q's ear, "Run,". Navy Q and Business Q fled toward the store running faster than a bullet. A bright light grabbed onto Navy Q's foot making him fall.
"Q!" Navy Q shouted, being dragged down the pavement.
Business Q turned around then he grabbed onto Navy Q's hand.
"Hold on!" Business Q shouted back.
The lantern dragged Navy Q closer and closer taking Business Q with. The light is spreading all over Navy Q's body like a spiderweb. The lantern floats closer to the two Q's attempting to get out of the mess. Business Q closed his eyes digging his feet into the ground through the concrete muddling up his shoes. Forget if muddling is not a word; it is a mix of 'mud' and 'meddling'.
"Q, let go!" Navy Q ordered Business Q.
"No!" Business Q shot back. "I will not be the last Q!"
The light traveled into the watch.
"Let go, Q!" Navy Q demanded. "It is hurting you!"
"N--No!" Business Q said.
The light is draining Business Q's power out. A huge blast occurs between the two Q's. Business Q's body struck the wall across. Navy Q is turning into light with his arm reached out in the direction of Business Q, shouting "Q!" as though Business Q was the last hope the continuum had against the Q collector. Q got up watching Navy Q turned into a complete bundle of light that was sucked into the lantern.
"No," Business Q said, weakly.
The lantern hauntingly floated toward Business Q.
Q took his hand off the side of my face.
"Now, you see," Q said.
I can feel tears running down my cheeks. I had felt all that Q had felt in the memory he showed me. I wipe off the tears using my sleeve. My vision became blurry in the race of tears blinding my eyesight like a tidal wave. For the first time in a long time someone had left me a sad story that made me cry.
"It is sapient," I said. "Did you tell Picard?"
Q lowered his head.
"No," Q said. "I tried reasoning with it. That did not work."