The Winding Q

[Int. shot, Main Shuttle Bay. Worf is ushering the last of his team out of the Bay when the outer doors open, with the atmospheric field on. The far wall of the Bay begins to glow. Worf notices the fold engine is between the glowing patch on the wall and the Bay's doors and rushes towards the tractor-beam controls. At the same time as he reaches them, the wall gives way and a stream of plasma hits the fold engine. The engine starts to glow and beeps in random patterns. There is a bright flash. When it subsides, Worf and the controls have disappeared.]
[Int. shot, Bridge.]
Data Venting complete, closing Main Shuttle Bay doors.
Picard Mister Worf, please inspect the engine for possible damage. Mister Worf? Captain to Worf, please acknowledge.
Crewman (VO) Security Officer Williams here. I'm afraid there has been an accident in Main Shuttle Bay, Captain. Mister Worf is nowhere to be found.
[Int. shot, standard hangar bay. Worf is lying on the floor next to the remains of the tractor-beam controls. He stirs, there is movement as a ring of uniformed women close around him, rifles leveled.]
Magiso Hajoca! Kaba-brekte!
[Opening sequence music.]
Picard (VO) Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its on-going mission; to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no-one has gone before.
[Opening sequence.]
[Ext. shot, Enterprise at rest.]
Title The Winding Q.
Picard (VO) Captain's Log, Stardate 47027 point 5. Lieutenant Worf has disappeared from our space-time continuum due to a freak accident with a plasma sub-converter. We have no clues as to where, or when, he might re-appear. If ever.
[Int. shot, Enterprise Main Bridge. Crew is watching a replay of the Main Shuttle Bay incident on main viewer. Replay concludes with the flash, then screen fades.]
Geordi Sensor logs indicate a space-time rift occurred at the same time as the flash. Not only that, but the artificial gravity for that entire section of the saucer registered severe fluctuations for a few milliseconds before the flash.
Riker So now we know the engine still works.
Data That is incorrect, commander. We only know that the engine is capable of removing someone from this space-time continuum. We do not know if it does, in fact, transport them elsewhere or simply vaporises them.
Geordi Cheery thought.
Data However, atmospheric analysis of the Shuttle Bay does not reveal any trace elements as one might expect when an object has been vaporised. Lieutenant Worf is not on this ship, vaporised or otherwise.
Voice Bravo, bravo. But what to do for an encore?
Picard Q!
[Flash of light. Q appears, dressed in a bizarre outfit which seems to be part space-suit, part uniform. He is still clapping.]
Q That's one thing I like about you humans - you care so much about one another. It's such a wonderful trait. Makes it so easy to manipulate you.
Picard Q, are you responsible for all this?
Q Mais non, mon capitaine. For once, I am innocent of all blame. I'm not even allowed to drop in on the continuum our gallant Worf was sent to, let alone play around with it.
Riker Not allowed? I thought the Q were omnipotent?
Q There are things in this universe that you do not comprehend, commander. Things even we must bow to. You would do well to remember that.
Picard Well, forbidden or not, we will find a way to retrieve Lieutenant Worf and return him to this continuum.
Q What? You mean you would go against my advice? Oh, Jean-Luc, this really hurts. Really, it does. But I am bored at the moment, as luck would have it, and am quite ready to help you in your adventure.
Riker We have no need of your interference.
Q Oh, but I insist. After all, what is the point of being omnipotent if you can't break the rules every once in a while?
[Q disappears in a flash of light.]
Riker All hands, r-
[Ext. shot, Enterprise at rest. There is a bright flash of light and the Enterprise disappears.]
[Int. shot, standard hangar bay. Worf is standing up, still covered by the rifles. The hangar bay is out of proportions with the equipment and people - the doors and locks seem made for people 40ft tall.]
Magiso Derini, del dielyar devlandaka. Kabat dessu.
Derini Sa, Kalidar Magiso.
[Derini hands her rifle to Commander Magiso and approached Worf bare-handed.]
Worf I will not die easily.
Derini So, you speak the same language as the xuer-le micronians. It pleases me that I will understand your screams as you die.
Worf It pleases me that you will understand my insults as I kill you.
[A murmur of agreement is heard from the others.]
Derini Kabayar, Micron!
[Ext. shot, empty space. A bright flash of light and the Enterprise appears. shot moves to reveal a planet.]
Picard Report!
Data Navigation reports all is in order.
Helm Helm responds.
Geordi Engineering reports all in the clear.
Riker Shields and weapons are available on command.
Data Captain, I detect several disturbances resembling the one which preceded the engine's appearance in our space-time continuum.
Picard On screen.
[Main viewer shows a series of disturbances between the Enterprise and the planet. Large, red, clam-like ships appear from the disturbances.]
Picard Shields up!
[Ext. shot, Enterprise and several clam-ships. The clam-ships are opening and disgorging hundreds of smaller crab-like crafts. These crafts head for the Enterprise and begin firing at it.]
[Int. shot, Main Bridge.]
Picard Damage report.
Riker Shields holding at 98 percent.
Data The smaller ships have begun a globular tactic. We are effectively surrounded.
Picard Any transmissions?
Riker We began transmitting the moment they appeared. No response.
Picard Number One, clear us a path with the phasers.
Riker With pleasure.
[Ext. shot, Enterprise firing forward phasers. Beam connects with several crafts, destroying them, then goes on to vaporise one of the clam-like ships. The smaller crafts respond by diving at the Enterprise.]
[Int. shot, Main Bridge.]
Data The smaller crafts are converging on us. Estimated numbers, three hundred and forty. Impact in seven seconds.
[Bridge shakes.]
Riker Shields holding at 87 percent.
Geordi I can't shunt more power to the shields until we get that sub-converter back on line.
Data Second wave approaching. Estimated numbers, four hundred and seventy. Impact in ten seconds.
Riker What sort of people would sacrifice over eight hundred ships in a suicide run?
Data Enemy crafts are slowing down.
Picard Are they breaking off?
Data Negative, the enemy crafts are holding on the edge of our shields. We are being physically covered.
[Ext. shot, Enterprise surrounded by crab-like crafts. They are forming a globe around the Enterprise, creating sparks where they come in contact with the shields.]
Geordi I'm getting feedback into the shield generators. Now at 75 percent tolerance.
Picard What's wrong?
Geordi I don't know. It's almost as if someone was feeding power to the shields from the outside. If this doesn't stop soon the generators' crystals will shatter and won't have any shields at all.
Data I have located the source of the energy surge. The surrounding crafts are currently feeding power straight into the shield. Energy readings resemble those sensors detected when the engine first appeared. Previous analysis confirmed, there is a plant-like component involved.
Riker New sensor echoes, bearing 37 mark 12 - coming from the planet.
Geordi Generators tolerance now at 83 percent.
Data These new echoes are ships, captain, but of a radically different design than those currently attacking us.
Picard It looks like we may have stumbled across a war.
Riker The new ships are firing. Impact in 4 seconds.
[Ext. shot, Enterprise surrounded by crab-like crafts. Two massive energy beams graze either side of the globe, destroying a large portion of the smaller crafts.]
[Int. shot, Enterprise Main Bridge.]
Riker Either they're lousy shots or they're on our side.
Data The new ships are firing again.
[Ext. shot, Enterprise surrounded by crab-like crafts. Two massive energy beams graze either side of the globe, destroying most of the remaining smaller crafts. The rest break formation and turn towards the newcomers, only to be picked off by smaller beams of energy.]
[Int. shot, Enterprise Main Bridge.]
Picard Damage report.
Geordi We have a fire in Engineering, the aft shield generators couldn't take the strain. It's being put out now.
Riker All decks are reporting minor casualties, mostly from power-overloads. No fatalities.
Q (VO) Of course not. After all, it wouldn't be fun if you all died right at the beginning, would it?
Picard Q? I thought you were not allowed in this continuum?
[Bright flash of light. Q appears, dressed as before.]
Q I received special dispensation.
Picard Q, kindly leave this ship.
Q And miss the next scene of this wonderful charade, never. It wounds me that you would ask this, Jean-Luc. I always took you for a man with savoir-faire. It does not behoof you to turn out a guest.
Riker "Guest" implies you were invited. By whom?
Q Now that would be telling. Now if you'll excuse me...
[Bright flashes of light. A bag of pop-corn and a chaise longue appear. Another flash of light and Q is now lying on the chaise-longue.]
Q I believe we are about to witness the next act.

Worf In The Fold
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