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24th Century Fanzine
 

Who is Q.

U.S.S. TERRA NOVA

Stardate: 5065.3

Written by: Jasen S. Benwah

THE CONTINUING VOYAGES OF THE U.S.S. TERRA NOVA IN THE 24TH CENTURY.

We are enroute to Angora Pengaris, an unexplored star system where we will meet up with the U.S.S. Enterprise -already in orbit around the second planet called Volga One. I am looking forward to seeing Captain Picard and crew. Our mission- assist the Enterprise in evacuating the million inhabitants from the island city of Novilas and assist in finding a solution to the crisis existing there.'

The USS Terra Nova was now seven years old, not very old as far as starships go. This is a galaxy class and one of the last of her design. But, she was still one of the finest of the Fleet.

"How soon before we arrive at the Enterprise's location?" Captain Benwah queried, glancing over at his First Officer. Ensign Kemp at the navigation consolt responded.

"We will reach orbit in five point two hours at our current speed of warp four," she announced.

"Mission status?" the first Officer demanded. Her request was directed at the Tactical/ Security station directly behind the Command section. Lt. Commander De Merchant had been reviewing the situation in Novilas.

"Evacuation is proceeding using all of the Enterprise's tranporters," he reported. The Terra Nova was the only other ship in the area and one million people is a massive relocation operation.

"You are to report to Captain Picard as soon as we arrive for a strategy conference with both ship •s senior personal in his ready room," De Merchant added. The Captain rose from his Command chair and headed for the main turbolift. It was the end of his regular shift and time to rest before reaching Volga I .

"Take over , Commander, "he instructed. "I'll be in my quarters for the next couple of hours." "Aye, Sir, " His First Officer acknowledged, and moved to the Captain's chair. Counselor Sherry Golding intered the bridge as the Captain exited.

THIS IS THE CONTINUING VOYAGES OF THE STARSHIP TERRA NOVA, TO BOLDLY GO WHERE EVEN THE BORG ARE SCARED TO GO,. TO SEEK OUT NEW LIFE AND NEW CIVILIZATIONS, TO VIST WORLDS WHERE HUMANS ARE NOT ON THE MENU, TO VISIT ALL RESORT PLANETS AND NEVER TRAVEL WITHOUT A BUCKET OF SPARE DILITUIM CRYSTALS.

The Captain stared at the unusual object sitting in the centre of holodeck two. More out of place was the man standing in front of the structure. The Captain had seen an old English telephone box before in other holodeck programs. This program, apparently, was left by someone who had neglected to terminate it. Benwah was very curious about the purpose of this simulation.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"Exactly, my dear man," the tall gangly man answered in his British tongue. He approached the Captain."I'm the Doctor," he added and shook the Captain's hand- at the same time he looked about the holodeck. The walls were marked with it's grid-like shades and rounded corners. The Doctor and Police box included the sum of the holograph! program. The Doctor seemed equally curious.

"What are you a doctor of?" Benwah inquired. "And what's the story with the box?" he added.The Doctor expected this much. He immediately responded.

"I am a time lord, a doctor of time- if you will" he explained. He motioned toward the box. "This is the Tardis, my tranportation through the time and space continuance." He pushed the door open and intered- waving the Captain to follow him.

"Perfectly safe," he assured the Captain. The Captain followed him in. He was fascinated to see that the interior was much much larger than the exterior. 'A time machine' he thought to himself. The only controls seemed located in a circular consolt at the centre of the enclosure. The walls were designed in multiple polysided cones. Off to one side, opposite the entrance was a door. How large was this place? They both approached the instrumentation.

"I'm Captain Jasen Benwah and you're aboard the U.S.S. Terra Nova," proclaimed the Captain, eying the controls. "What is the purpose of this Tardis?" he added , becoming rather amused by this holo-program.

"I'm just as interested in this holodeck of your," was the man's response. "But, let me demonstrate", he declared. He glanced at his consolt.

"Or should I say- where in time do you want to be?" he asked, proudly. Benwah decided to humor the Doctor and thought of a place he would like to visit. There were so many- he was unable to decide.

"Surprise me," he decided. The timelord nodded approvingly. Ready to activate the Tardis, he glanced over his instruments.

"Should'nt you let someone know your're leaving the ship?" the Doctor cautioned, with a look of concern. Captain Benwah decided that they would not actually be leaving the holodeck, so he did not bother. Without further delay, the Doctor set the Tardis in motion. A loud churning sound began and the holodeck vanished from the Tardis's view screen. Unable to believe that they where really travelling anywhere, the Captain tried to look excited.

l^lk s^i^while, back on the Terra Nova's bridge. ^V\ "Commander Smith!" exclaimed Lt. De Merchant from tactical station. "A large energy field has appeared directly in our path, " she declared. The field was grid-like, but also similar to a large spider web. Commander Smith remembered seeing a similar encounter with this field by the U.S.S. Enterprise-E many years ago. Science Officer Sarah Matthews, immediately searched the data banks of the science station. Within moments, she had her answer.

" It appears to be the Q continuim," she reported. Commander Smith approached the Science Officer.

"Captain Benwah to the bridge!" She uttered. The Captain's usual response did not follow. Smith paused for a few seconds. She glanced around the bridge. "Computer, where is Captain Benwah?". The computer response was immediate. "Captain Benwah is no longer on the ship," it replied. "No longer on the ship?" Counselor Golding repeated in disbelief.

"Computer, how did the captain leave the ship?" the first officer followed up. Again the response was immediate.

"Method of departure unknown," it answered. Ensign Kemp had another problem.

"Commander, we are now on a direct collision course with the energy field!" she shouted, intensely.

"Evasive maneuvers," Smith ordered. But, the energy field still filled the viewscreen.

"The field is turning with us. Sir, " Kemp declared. Abruptly, the ship became completely engulfed in the energy field. The ship came to a complete stop. Commander Smith reviewed the situation over in her mind. The Captain was missing and the ship trapped. According to the reports she read on encounters with the Q they would soon get a visitor with an atitude. "Engineering to the bridge," Engineer Brian Davis's voice sounded over the Comm speakers. "Report, Davis," the Commander responded. She knew what the Engineer would say.

"Warp engines are off line/Commander, " he announced. " We are dead in the water," he added.

"Get those engines back on line any way possible, Davis, " the First Officer demanded. TheBetazoid Counselor had'nt said much up to now. She now needed to speak up- for whatever good it would any of them.

"Commander, there is an incrediblely powerful intellence responsible for this," she admitted, gravely. Smith considered this- then got up from the command chair. "Take over, " she ordered the Helsman. "I want all senoir staff in the conference room in ten minutes," she decided and infeered the Captain's ready room. 'If it's you Q then show your self', she muttered to herself as she sat down. Looking out the window, she felt despiration setting in. Where the hell was the Captain? What do we do now? With the Tardis sitting directly behind them, the Captain and Timelord standing on a rock face- were overlooking a great herd of dolphin-like creatures swimming and playing carelessly in the hydroshere below.

"They are the Crelitians- a very intelligent lot, " the Doctor said, matter-of-factly.

"This is Crelitia," he added, arms motioning all around. " The only planet with life in the Jalas star cluster," The Captain had to admit, if only to himself, that he had not seen anything like this before. But, he reminded himself that this was still a holodeck similation. He began to tire of the program. The Doctor, eyeing him- sensed this and headed for the old police box. The Captain followed behind.

"I hope that you enjoy your new life here- the natives will enjoy your company," the man said, grinning and slammed the doors shut behind him. Instinctively, Benwah scuffled to the door- shock shot down his spine. Within an instant, the Tardis vanished- but quietly.

"Computer, cancell program, " he demanded. There was no response. Again he repeated the Demanded-to no avail. He looked up at the binary stars that shone above. Could this be real or another holodeck srewup? He considered the possibility that he was marooned on this tiny island of rock on this ocean planet. Things looked gloomy. He stared at the aliens below. If there was a holodeck problem then technicians would correct it. Unless he really was on this alien planet unknown to the Federation. That thought was no a comforting one. Another problen was arising- the ocean was rising and rising fast.

On board the U.S.S. Terra Nova an intruder appeared on the bridge. "What the heck!" the First Officer muttered as she backed away from the human looking intruder. The Security Officer was the next to react-pulling out his phaser and aiming. He glanced at the Commander.

"Only when I say," Smith ordered. The humanoid raised his brow and the phaser vanished. This caught the Security Cheif by surprise. He continued to maintain his position- unarmed.

"I am the Doctor, " the intruder stated, then instantly changed his physical appearance. "No, I am in fact Q!" He decided

"I am Commander Smith of the Federation starship Terra Nova," the Commander replied. "What is the reason you have imprisioned our ship and where is our Captain?" she demanded, loudly.Q looked around the bridge, unimpressed with her demand. He had to be the most carefree intruder you ever met.

"All these galaxy-classed starships are pretty much the same, are'nt they?" Q asked of no one. "If you've seen one you pretty much have seen them all," he commented, insultingly.. He continued to look about- all the while eyeing the Commander.

"I have trapped you and your Captain for a reason now have'nt I?" he declared» not expecting an answer. "However, there's no more time for idol conversation," he decided. "IT'S time for the show." Whatever the reason for being left here ,Benwah had a bigger problem. The island was about to be submerged.

"Don't come any closer," he yelled- as the alien dolphin- like creatures approached..They were very curious and not threatening at all. The school edged closer. The Captain was helpless, he closed his eyes for a moment. A voice crept into his head.

"We will not harm you," it said- making the Captain open his eyes. The leader of the school came closest to him. It spoke to his mind without any physical movement of it's beak.

"We will not allow any harm to you," it thought, "We have the power to return you to your ship- do you desire this?" it requested- expecting the Captain to want this.

"Yea, I do," he said, without thinking."And, thanks." The school formed a circle around the Captain. Immediately, he felt a rush of energy engulf him. In an instant he was on the Terra Nova's bridge.

"Moi Captaine," Q was the first to speak. The entire bridge crew was in awe. Benwah looked to his first officer.

"It's Q and he has the ship in an energy field" Commander Smith quickly explained. "Those Crelitians are much more gifted than they let on," Q observed, gravely. The Captain considered this and realized what was happening.

"Do you always use a passerby for your little experiments, Q, " the Captain asked, accusingly.

"How insightful of you my dear Captain," Q remarked. "It's amazing that you are intellegent enough to know that." He then vanished and reappeared in the Captain's chair behind the standing Captain. "But, tell me- what am I really up to?" he challenged. Benwah thought for a second about the Crelitians.

"The Q continium is worred about the Crelitians and their growing abilities," Benwah sermised. A statement that Q was not comfortable about.

"They will be a threat to the entire galaxy," the omnipotent one warned- covering for his own concerns. The Captain only grinned at such a warning. "They are no threat to us, Q" he observed. "Now, let us get back to our duties- helping with the evacuations on Volga One," he demanded. "No more theatrics," his First Officer added. "I help you make first contact with a new and powerful race and this is all the thanks I get," Q complained. He folded his arms. "Consider this experiment terminated," he declared."See you later, aligator." With that concluding statement/snapped his fingers and disappeared. The Captain glanced down at the floor.

"The reports on Q were right,"Benwah said to hi his First Officer and Ship's Counselor. They both nodded.

"Sir," said Ensign Kemp. "Our instruments show us two days ahead of schedule. Lt. Corn. De Merchant confirmed this.

"Accordingly, we will now arrive at Volga One at the same time as the Enterprise," he reported. The Captain sat down. It was the least Q could do to make up for this escapade.

"Notify headquarters. Number One," Benwah ordered. "Also have the ship's chronometer reset," he said to Lt. Matthews.

"Warp four, at your discretion, Mr. Hong," he Commanded.

THE END.

St:tng

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