John-Luc looked over toward the side to see Qreg standing there with Mulder aiming a gun at his head. The shuttle was now inches above the ground. There was a blank expression on Mulder's face. The last time he saw Mulder was on July 31st, healthy and fine, inside a motel room left located in the middle of a forest.
"And we are off." Data said.
At which point Mulder pulled the trigger.
"QREG!" John-Luc shouted, startling his first officer.
Data turned his head toward the captain.
"Captain?" Data asked, setting in the coordinates to the Enterprise.
Hours ago they had caught transmissions from their Enterprise regarding their absence. To them it had been only twelve hours. Which was a shocker to the star fleet members but it was much of a surprise for Qreg. Qreg had his elbows leaned on the table, his hands balled up in fists, and that 'no kidding' look on his face. He would lean back rubbing his chin contemplating the idea of his inspiration model pulling off a game. A elaborate game to make a point.
To prove something.
But to whom?
"Mulder shot him!" John-Luc said. "He wasn't supposed to die."
"Why that is a shame," Data said. "Qreg was a nice guy."
Qreg's body fell back on the grass. John-Luc held his rage letting it bottling up. Terminator Mulder looked up at the sky watching it vanish into thin air. Mulder dropped the shot gun then walked away. Our perspective returned to the shuttle. The shuttle broke out of the planet's atmosphere.
"Data to Enterprise," Data said. "I have the captain with me."
"Welcome back,Commander Data." Davis said.
In a white flash the planet vanished behind the two.
. . . 20 minutes later . . .
. . . Deck 9 . . . 3601. . .
John-Luc walked into his quarters. He was enraged. His heart had apparently been shattered into pieces at the sudden loss of some one he had become well acquainted to and befriended. Qreg had John-Luc's respect. Qreg commanded that respect by going through what people can define as 'a challenge of trust in obstacles that were not man made'.
In the corner of the room appeared a white flash sitting down in a chair taking on a human figure form.
Q drank some wine then lowered the cup to the table.
"Why, welcome back to your silver lady," Q said. "I trust you learned you are not entirely off the market."
John-Luc grabbed Q up by the uniform then shoved him against the wall.
"How dare you do that to me!" John-Luc said.
"Ah, I struck a nerve." Q said.
"He was my friend." John-Luc said.
"Your friend? Ah, how sweet." Q vanished appearing right behind John-Luc with his arms folded. "If you are so much of a 'friend' with Qreg wouldn't he have gone with you and avoided his death?"
John-Luc turned toward Q feeling his face turn red.
"He didn't know!" John-Luc said.
"Tsk, tsk, tsk," Q said, shaking his head. "He knows the exact day WHEN HE DIES but not how he dies: prematurely." He tapped on the wooden petals to a flower. "Let me show you a universe Data is a android."
They appeared in a starship.
There were thorns along a circular indention in the ground. There was a disappearing figure across from Data who seemed to be staring at their direction except this figure had a strong similarity to Captain Picard in a dark uniform. There was a man bend forward impaled in what seemed to be a long thorn across from the two. Slowly, very slowly, the figure faded away. Until all there was left was nothing.
Data had golden skin and yellow eyes.
"Goodbye." Data said.
"This Data just saved your ass, pardon the language." Q said.
Data turned toward the large hole then aimed his phaser right at it.
"Data?" John-Luc said.
"We are in very slow motion, Vulcan captain," Q said. "This Data can't hear you. He saved the other you, Jean-Luc Picard, from a death where your skin is rotten and you are turned into dust where nothing remains." He held his hand up preparing to snap his fingers. "Now, I want you to see the Federation that YOU dream of."
Q and Jean-Luc vanish in a white flash in the nick of time before the explosion went off.
Our scenery changes to the briefing room where the senior officers and Jean-Luc Picard are in a meeting.
"Klingon!" John-Luc said, taking his phaser out.
"Lower your phaser," Q said, putting one hand on the phaser then used his hand to lower it down. "He is not an enemy to these people. . . In fact . . . He is Jean-Luc's security officer named Worf, son of Mogh."
"That one?" John-Luc asked, puzzled.
"Yes." Q said, with a nod.
"Captain Worf and I do not get along." John-Luc said.
"Just watch and learn," Q said. "You will see their cooperation by this exercise."
Q reappeared the corner of the room across from Jean-Luc and then time moved.
"Captain." Worf said, glaring at Q's direction.
Most of everyone's attention went onto Q.
"Q,I am in no mood for your games," Jean-Luc said. "Get off my ship!"
"Watch this." Q said, toward John-Luc's direction then turned his head toward Jean-Luc.
Sn-Snap went Q's fingers.
Jean-Luc vanished out of his seat.
"Q!" Worf roared, lunging toward the entity's direction.
Q snickered then vanished right behind John-Luc making himself seem non-existent to everyone.
"Q,show yourself and face me!" Worf shouted.
"That young man with the beard is William T. Riker." Q said, pointing over to the man with the beard.
"Riker to Picard," Riker said. No answer. "Riker to Picard!"'
"Q is likely to return the captain safe and sound," Data said. "Or he is in somewhere aboard the ship."
Deanna stared in the direction of John-Luc.
"I sense someone is here," Deanna said. "Someone confused. . . Lost. . . Not of this time."
John-Luc noticed they didn't have their phasers on their belts which they didn't have at all.
"I just made a reality where Jean-Luc Picard goes missing for ten years, pops up on another Enterprise, and has difficulty adjusting since most of his crew have since been assigned," Q explained as time froze. "Jean-Luc in this reality later captain's a ship called the USS Bones for thirteen years. In the ten years Jean-Luc was missing. . . Worf would come in the briefing room EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. at the exact same time the captain vanished hoping he would see him. Worf continued this ritual on deliberately every ship he serves aboard and sadly he doesn't live to see the day his captain returns. Worf is killed during a attack on Deep Space Nine."
John-Luc briefly closed his eyes with a sigh.
"When. . . " John-Luc whispered.
"2380." Q said.
"Q, take me back!" John-Luc demanded.
"Hmm. . . Have you understood my point?" Q asked.
"You can read my mind, tell me." John-Luc said.
Q reappeared alongside John-Luc's left ear then whispered, "I cannot take you back until you say it. Admit it. Then you'll be returned." Q stepped aside giving the mortal Vulcan some of his privacy back. Q wouldn't dare admit he had a fetish to nibble on someone's ear and it was rather difficult not to bite John-Luc's ear. He wondered how it would feel. Not right now. Perhaps he'll go find a John-Luc shares the same fetish just to check it out.
"I still care." John-Luc said.
John-Luc reappeared in his quarters.
"See?" Q asked. "Wasn't that easy to say it?"
John-Luc glared at Q.
"What is Jean-Luc like?" John-Luc asked.
"Diplomatic." Q said.
"Good," John-Luc said. "Then I suppose he resists doing this to you."
Then John-Luc punched Q at the face giving the entity a bloody nose.
"Ow!" Q staggered back, landing clear on his butt.
John-Luc rubbed his knuckles.
"I do not ever want to see you on my ship, ever." John-Luc said.
"Well, I have a fetish to act upon. . ." Q said, sliding his other hand over his bloody nose. His wound is healed afterwards and not a drop is left on his uniform. "I will see another you . . . Well then. . . I will never see THIS version again!"
Q vanished in a white flash.