Hopelessly stranded in the future and little to no star base nearby, they were in a pickle. Janeway viewed it as something temporary. They did what repairs they could by having the repair walls up, fully seal any holes leading to outer space, and use what tools related to the repair process. They needed a full day to do these repairs. It made Janeway shudder at the idea of being stuck here forever.
She could always ring up Q and kindly request a return.
But when she called his name, Q did not show.
In fact, he did not show up for eleven hours.
The idea of Q ignoring the calls made Janeway downright furious. They didn’t have a nearby wormhole, have a star base nearby, and for miles ahead there wasn’t a civilization in sight. The Charge hadn’t moved in those hours. Not a light came on. Truth to be shown, Janeway was afraid. For years she had been accustomed to the random pop up of Q starting from Star Base 6.78 and Far Point. She started up a relationship with the entity shortly after he had been turned human. Q left the Enterprise-D to protect her. She nearly died because of his enemies. Q had told her, “If you died because of me, I wouldn’t forgive myself.” That nightmare happened to be the reason why Q regained his powers and immortality, since then they continued their relationship at the behest of Kathryn.
Janeway expected for Q to pop up at any given time.
There was a void around her.
Empty ready room.
Empty briefing room.
She could imagine Q’s reaction to this:
“Exploring a new galaxy for a whole day and you are broken!” He would have glared at Janeway taking her by the shoulders. “You’ve grown dependent on me, haven’t you?” She would have shaken her head. “That is not the Kathy I know!” A look in his eyes changed to what could be apparently compared to ‘a light bulb went off’ in his head. “Ah, that’s it.” He would have snapped his fingers. “I will stay out of your business so you rebuild your independence. A Q cannot have a dependent human that breaks apart when Q are busy.”
Here Janeway was in the dark red ready room reading a damage report.
“Come in.” Janeway said.
Riker came into the quarters.
“Captain,” Riker said. “There are some concerns among the crew that the Enterprise is to become a generational ship.”
Janeway lowered the padd down on the table.
“A generational ship. . .” Janeway said, with a shudder. The thought of her crew living their entire lives aboard this ship was terrifying. She didn’t want to think honestly that Q wanted her to learn a painful hideous lesson: He is not always going to be there. “No need to think of that, we will find our way back.”
A generational ship is a Starfleet vessel where the original crew members have children who continue the mission their parents were on and they have children who do what their grandparents did until they reach their destination. Some generational ships had chronostasis pods, age-defying pods to prevent any kind of change but kept them alive, and medical pods that preserved the life of the patients keeping the last neurons preserved in the brain (Or not, depending if they are not already dying). The Enterprise was a certified Explorer Galaxy model that accommodated for families.
“Captain, perhaps. . .” Riker was reluctant to say it. “Q can be of some help.”
Janeway sighed, leaning forward rubbing the side of her temples.
“I have already done that,Number One,” Janeway said. “I wish he would pop up.”
“Permission to speak freely, Sir.” Riker requested.
“Permission granted.” Janeway said.
“We are not picking up Mrs Troi anytime soon, are we?” Riker asked, softly.
Janeway lowered her hands on the table and stood up.
“Mr Troi,” Janeway said. “We are going to get back, generational ship or not, alive to the Alpha Quadrant.”
She was no empath but. . . Janeway could feel a sense of hope in the room from Riker. She couldn’t have known where it was coming from. Yet, the way he looked up from the table surely indicated it was coming off him. It made Janeway appreciate Riker even more. A renewed sense of hope in those burning determined eyes.
Her friend, Jean-Luc Picard, was stationed on the USS Voyager. It had gone missing 18 months ago.
It was Q who approached Janeway all those months ago.
Q brought Janeway the bad news one month ago.
“He is dead.” Q whispered, one night with his back against the wall.
Janeway narrowed her eyes toward the entity.
“Q, who is dead?” Janeway asked.
Q turned away, obviously feeling guilty, his attention fixated at the rows of space passing by.
“Your. . . Your friend.” Q said, softly while shaking.
Janeway’s hands rolled up into fists.
“Q, stop being vague and tell me!” Janeway demanded,
“Picard. . . The Voyager,” Q turned away from the window. “I didn’t know Quinn was going to do that.” He lowered his head. Q hadn’t acted this way before in the years Janeway had known him. “I didn’t know.”
Learning the death of her well known friend was devastating. That was how Janeway learned the Voyager was stuck in another quadrant (Or used to be: for that matter) where he returned it into the Alpha Quadrant. Q explained about how he wanted to tell her for so long but Picard flatly refused any of the sorts. They didn’t need pity or speculation on whether or not they were really alive and conspiracies. That was Picard for everyone. Q explained how he had to respect Picard’s last wishes of not interfering with Quinn’s death and his death for that matter. Picard, by accident, had drunken poisoned tea meant for Quinn.
It explained the numerous and random supernovas going on in the Alpha Quadrant that destroyed several planets and were restored days afterwards. It also explained why in various starships it was raining on the crew! How moons were randomly knocked out of orbit making the shapes of melodies and crashed and were destroyed then restored. The whole quadrant went mad! The madness ceased yesterday.
They both cried that night.
Q then explained he may or may not see her again shortly before his departure, “The Q continuum needs change, Kathy.”
That lasted for a year.
Q popped up unexpectedly one day with a red ribbon around the saucer section of the Enterprise.
Q explained that, in the midst of a civil war, two Q decided to mate and create a new Q to end the carnage.
Janeway listened intently and noticed a scar along his neck.
He claimed it was nothing but Janeway later found out it was a wound that surely would have meant his end if it wasn’t for another Q’s intervention. The medic Q which was how Q referred to him as. Q told Kathy what was on his mind when he thought it was going to end for him in the continuum. The only thought on his mind? It was: I miss Kathy. Of all his arch nemesis and ‘friends’ in the universe, Q could only think about Janeway.
They had quite the night together.
After a short discussion, Riker left Janeway’s ready room a renewed man.