. . . 2371 . .
. . June 27th . . .Earth. . .9:48 PM. . .
Data had approached Picard with a recording.
A recording he had been waiting two years, six months and twenty seven days to show Picard.
Picard invited Data to watch the message with him.
"Hello Captain Picard," Came Carly's message. "I am the little girl you sent off your ship. My name is Ivy Bell." He felt the blood in his face drain. "You may need to ask Q what and how he did it but I'll like to say is that is has been a true honor working under your command. You were one of my heroes growing up. So was the crew of the Enterprise D. Until . . To you it has been days. . . To me it has been years. Until seven years ago I never knew of a unexpected visitor who popped up randomly." Carly sighed, fidgeting with her fingers. "Captain Picard, you were my first captain. For that . . . You don't know how grateful I am to have some familiarity of the Enterprise."
"By this time, I am probably back at my reality," Carly said. "I do hope. . . that one day . . . We'll meet again. End message."
Picard turned his head toward Data.
"Data, how long have you known?" Picard said.
"I just found out." Data said.
. . . 12: 45 PM. . .
. . . StarShip. . .
Q had been hiding under the radar for years. Now why the word years? Shortly after the vanishing act that was done on the unconscious body of the then 14 some year old girl, Q was displaced twenty-three years in time as a Confini. He had to stay out of the public light. He stayed clear out of the paths of those assigned to the Enterprise. But . . . Twenty-one years ago he got bored and entered Star Fleet.
In twenty-three years the time that has passed,now he is an admiral on the USS Constapol heading to a planet called Gothos.
In fact Q insisted the planet existed.
He passed the academy in one month and showed off his geniusness.
These days Q went under the identity of Admiral Quartin 'Quarty' Lee Harris. His friends called him Quarty. At least the ones who he knew aboard the USS Traveler. Two years spent as a Ensign. Four years spent as Lieutenant Commander. Ten years spent as a captain. This is his first year as admiral. Q honestly impressed himself. The Q continuum wanted him to spend every minute of his life as a Confini being part of Star Fleet which is what they stated before sending him to the USS Pearl.
In 2370, Q was captain of the ship USS Tapper.
One person recognized him as Q even though he had aged significantly.
"I know who you are," Christopher said, phaser raised. "And you have been living a lie."
The security camera's were off.
Technically they were shot off by Christopher Gay.
"Lower the phaser, Number One." Q said, stepping forward.
One of his own rebelling against him.
Q couldn't believe this was seriously happening to him.
Christopher was replacing his former First Officer Richard Cake.
"No!" Christopher said. "I won't listen to you this time. You are a liar. You are a scoundrel. You ruined my life!"
"I never intended that to happen, Mr Gay." Q said.
Christopher straightened his arm.
"Drop the act,Q," Christopher said. "You don't fool me."
Q narrowed his eyes toward Christopher.
"I have no intentions on doing that," Q said, with hands raised approaching Christopher. "Calm down. We can sort this out--"
"No, no, I will not sit down with the god who has no heart!" Christopher said.
"I was no god, Mr Gay." Q said.
"YES, YOU WERE!" Christopher shouted.
Q furrowed his eyebrows.
"Call me god, one more time." Q said.
"You are a pathetic excuse for a god!" Christopher said.
Our view goes back into the hall that has scrapmetal covering the opening to the other side. There were several Security Officers lowered and one with a much larger version of the phaser built to get rid of scrap metal. All of the scrap metal was too heavy to be lifted. They heard a shot. The security officer Karzine shot a hole into the wreckage clearing the hall.
Q came out holding a phaser.
Q dropped the phaser at the entrance, head lowered with a grim look.
"Captain?" Karzine looked at Q in concern as he walked past.
That was the day he decided he would resign as captain and live out a life of normalcy. But apparently his actions prior to the mistake lead to Star Fleet offering him with the rank of admiral. Anger had taken over Q. He hated others calling him god because he was just a passer by with extraordinary power capable of unraveling the universe, bringing people to life, making random things happen, and do anything he pleased. He couldn't hear their prayers. He didn't like being worshipped, really, but his interference in cultures inadventurely made him that kind of figure.
A figure he found annoying.
"Picard to Admiral Quartin."
Q found his heart leap at the sound of Picard's voice.
How did Picard find him this time?
"On screen." Q said,at his desk.
He took a sip of orange juice.
"When they said they had a admiral calling himself Quartin and often times Quarty, I found it hard to believe you got yourself into Star Fleet," Picard said as Q grew a smile leaning his elbows on the table with hands under his chin. "But I was prooven wrong." His eyes went big. "My god, Q, you have grown a goatee!"
"Like it?" Q asked. "I grew this one shortly after becoming captain and have been trimming it."
"It looks terrible on you," Picard said. "It makes you look . . .Older than you are."
"I am older than you, Picard," Q said. "What did you call for?"
In the few adventures he shared with Picard, Q adopted the alias 'Quarty' to those he feared should not know about godly beings so he was very familiar to the name.
"About Captain Carly." Picard said.
Q raised his brows.
"You have seen the recording." Q said.
"Yes." Picard said.
"She was a walking empty shell for most of her life. Just waiting to be occupied by a living mind. You see . . . She died as a child but I had to keep her alive until 2364." Picard frowned. "There is a boot strap effect here. I've wondered: when did I get the idea? Someone sent it to me, I don't know when the loop started. But a paradox must be the answer." He shook his finger. "If she never came then Carly would have abruptly died in her quarters. I transferred Bell's mind into the body. Carly was always meant to die aboard the USS Unicorn in the line of duty as CMO."
We see the image of grown up Ivy looked up at the ceiling where a light appeared in the middle of darkness then the darkness vanished as did the light. Her eyes returned straight to the computer. Her younger self, ten year old, looked away from the direction of the floating ball then in the direction she had been staring in prior.
"Why?" Picard asked.
"Why?" Q repeated.
"Yes, why send her on a adventure in the beginning." Picard asked
"Years ago I looked for Carly after she left the Enterprise," Q said. "But . . . In some of the timelines I came searching for her there was a funeral, there was a girl in a coma with the back of her cranium shattered due to a fall out of a window, also there was a old woman in a rocking chair in a home looking at me strangely and then she screamed my name pointing at me" Q flinched. "I opened the casket to see a young girl at peace and so . . . undisturbed. There are plenty of others where this little girl lives. She has millions of timelines." He put his hands together. "Then I checked this girl's online activity. I hadn't checked her past right then. I did a mistake. I approached her and took her to a different timeline. At the end I got a pissed of woman. More like a emotionally distraught human. The next I decided to try again but a younger version."
"The point." Picard said.
"Hope," Q said. "She has a strange amount of hope inside her. Anyway. . . Hope that life will be brighter. Bigger, better, and more friendly toward her. To make her believe anything is possible in her world not just a life of everything that we know it being fictional. I wanted her to believe. Now I understand why she believed in me . . . I gave this girl hope. Hope that she will make friends. That was the entire point of this exercise! To not be afraid to jump into relationships. To not be afraid of emotions. To trust her gut and her friends. And best of all: she will make friends."
"Q. . ." Picard said. "I never you knew to be the caring type."
"Ah shucks, you've rubbed off me." Q said, with a gesture acting flattered.
"Does she have timelines of meeting us again?" Data asked.
"No." Q said, flatly.
". . .And Geordi?" Picard asked.
"You will never see her again, nor will he," Q said. Q looked up then his jaw fell and his skin grew white. "Sam?"
He sounded scared, and very afraid.
"I am back," Sam said. "And you are going to pay deeply for leaving me as a human. For that, I am forcing the continuum to evaluate their decision!" He snapped his fingers making the screen turn off. "If I want a fair fight. , . It will be fair between fair enemies."
"Sam, I am afraid they won't budge."
Sam put his hands on the desk then leaned forward.
"Q, have you forgotten who my girlfriend is?"
Q stared at Sam with firm eyes.
"She is a judge," Sam said. "You and I have a bone to pick!" He snapped his fingers making the room turn dark. "She is in the position to change their minds. After what I did for you and the Q continuum I believe I am owed a fair fight to settle the score."
"We don't have a score." Q said,
Sam laughed taking his hands off the desk.
"In twenty-four hours you will be a Q again," Sam said. "You know where to find me."
Sam vanished in a white flash.