Q Tips

[Int. shot, Enterprise Bridge.]
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.
[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 Q Tips.
Picard (VO) Captain's Log, Stardate 47028 point 3. After having been transported into another... dimension... by Q, we find ourselves trapped in the middle of what might well be a stellar war. We can only hope that at least one side of this conflict will hail us before attacking.
[Int. shot, Enterprise Bridge.]
Picard My name is Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the USS Enterprise, from the United Federation of Planets. We have come in peace. Please identify yourself.
[Int. shot, Enterprise Bridge, Main Viewer. Stars and ships for a while, then the screen blinks and a man appears on the screen. He is relatively young, with blue hair and glasses. He is sitting.]
Max I am Commander Maximillian Sterling, Captain of the UES Mordred, Robotech Expeditionary Force. May I ask your planet of origin please?
Picard This ship was built at Utopia Planetia, Mars. The crew complement is made of several different races.
Max There is no base called Utopia Planetia on Mars, Captain Picard.
Data Captain, if I may?
Picard Please.
Data Commander Sterling. I am Lieutenant Commander Data, a positronic android.
Max Janice would love to meet you.
Data Indeed? It may be possible to arrange such a meeting at a later date. However, I would like at this present time to assure you that this ship was indeed built at Utopia Planetia, Mars, in the 24th Century Earth Reckoning, Stardate 40-
Max Did you say 24th Century?
Data I believe that is what I said.
Max Commander, the date is July 12 2035.
Data Then it appears that our analysis of the drive's functions was correct. We have travelled in time as well as space.
Riker And quite possibly dimensions.
Data That is a logical assumption, given the facts.
Q Facts? Come, Data, I would have thought all these years amongst Humans - not to mention your recent reunion with your brother - would have given you more. Where are your gut feelings?
[Bright flash of light. Q disappears and is replaced with the figure of Lore.]
Lore Yes, Brother. It seems I have transcended you in that regard.
Max You have a Haydonite on board your ship?
Picard Haydonite?
Max Obviously not. Who is this person?
[Bright flash of light. Lore changes back to Q.]
Q An invited guest.
Riker An uninvited pest, more like it.
Q Listen, laughing boy - if it was not for the fact I am here on sufferance, I'd -
Riker You'd what?
Q Why, I'd merely bid you "Bon Voyage".
[Bright flash of light. Riker disappeared.]
Picard Screen off! Q, where is my First Officer?
Q Off to join your Mister Worf for whatever may both await them.
[Int. shot, standard hangar bay. Worf is struggling with Derini, trying to wrestle a knife away from her. Riker appears in a bright flash of light.]
Riker Worf?
Magiso Grab him.
[Several Meltran grab Riker. In the background, Worf is thrown clear.]
Riker What is this? Who are you people?
Magiso Silence, micronian! We will deal with you later. First, we watch your friend die.
[Derini lunges at Worf who grabs her wrist and twists it, retrieving the knife in the process. Worf sweeps Derini's legs. Derini hits the ground and Worf pins her, raising the knife to strike. There are gasps from the spectators.]
Riker Worf!
[Worf stops momentarily, then starts swinging the knife again.]
Riker Lieutenant, stop! That's an order!
[Worf grunts and rises. Derini does the same, rubbing her shoulder. Riker looks at the knife, then at Worf, insistent. Worf reluctantly returns the knife to Derini. Sounds of shock from the other Meltran.]
Derini Te!
[Derini backs away, knife in her open hand.]
Derini Te. Dekachat.
Magiso Derini, sessanu! You know the imperative. You have been weapon-bonded. You must accept.
Meltran 1 But he is a micronian.
Magiso There is no room for interpretation. Derini! Fulfil the imperative!
[Derini bares her left fore-arm and proceeds to slice the knife slowly upon its back. She then presents it to Worf.]
Derini Tran-brek, havathilla.
[There is a moment of silence before Worf takes the knife and slashes his own fore-arm.]
Worf Tran-brek.
[The other Meltran cheer. Worf points to Riker.]
Worf This one is my bond-brother. Insult him and you insult me. Hurt him and you hurt me. Offend him... and you offend ME.
[Worf offers the knife to Riker, who looks at it relunctantly.]
Riker Tran-brek?
Worf (Sotto) You must, Commander. These people are much like the Klingon. Without a house, you are nothing. Aligned, there is much Honour to be had.
[Riker sighs and takes the knife.]
[Int. shot, UES Mordred Main Bridge. The bridge is a large room, with three transparent walls - front, left and right. Bridge positions are sunken seats and consoles here and there on the floor. The floor itself is slightly tilted so that the Captain's position at the back is higher than the others. Maximillian Sterling is in the Captain's chair with Richard Hunter besides him.]
Rick And to think I simply wanted a break from the Tirolian Council.
Max Well, you've got to admit it's a far cry from political intrigue. We came here to inspect an outpost and we find ourself rescuing a bizarre ship from a division of Invid.
Rick Do you buy that story of theirs?
Max About Mars? No way. But they didn't look so dumb as not to realise that we wouldn't believe them.
Bernard There is another possibility.
Max & Rick Yes?
Bernard When we were last on Tirol, I took time off and visited the Robotech Research labs. Doctor Lang was giving a lecture on the chronal effect of Fold Drives. It seems the reason time does not flow the same inside a folding ship than outside is linked directly to the way the drives work. Lang seemed to think it would be possible, one day, to use a Fold-capable ship like a time-machine.
Max Was he serious?
Bernard Well sir, I have known Doctor Lang to make jokes, but never when discussing Robotechnology. And frankly, he doesn't announce theories - he seems to prefer to wait until he has facts to back them. I'd say we can believe his proposal.
Rick So what we have here is a ship that's come from 300 years in our Future.
Max Not so sure of that...
Rick Huh?
Max The one who disappeared... "Laughing Boy" I think they called him... He was talking about travelling dimensions.
Rick Get real, Max. Monsters from another dimensions haven't really been in vogue since the 1940s and pulp fiction.
Bernard There was a brief resurgence in the 1980s with a movie called "Buckaroo Banzai" and... Never mind.
Max The point is, most of the crew looked decidedly Human. We've met all of the Terragen races in this quadrant, apart from the Ci'Vonian, and they're supposed to be an old Tirolian colony that got wiped. Now can you tell me what race these guys were?
Rick They sounded human to me. And come to think of it, one of them called the other "humans".
Max It could be a setup. I mean, here we are on an unscheduled stop at a third-rate outpost... and all of a sudden we've got company. Not just a strange ship, but enough Invid to take out this ship and its escort.
Rick You think we may have a leak?
Max It's possible. No-one outside this ship was supposed to know we were stopping here. If we have a leak, we've got to find it and nail it before it gets any worse.
Bernard Begging your pardon, but you can't nail a leak.
Rick & Max ?!
Bernard If you attempt to nail a leak, all you would get would be more leaks. Much better to...
Max Thank you Bernard, that'll be all.
Bernard Sir.
Rick Now I understand why Reinhardt made you a present of his science officer.
[Int. shot, Meltran battleship Qistra-Hesp Main Bridge. The bridge is a typical Zentraedi bridge, with the command bubble up on one wall and the consoles on the floor below, with tactical holo-displays hanging in mid-air everywhere.]
Siniya I do not trust these microns.
Magiso True indeed, Siniya. I do not trust them either.
Siniya Then why do you let them live?
Magiso You saw what happened in the hangar bay. Derini was weapon-bonded to one of them. I could not kill them. It is part of the Imperative.
Siniya Hmph. Weapon-sister with a micronian - how could she! And a curse on the Imperative. It has done nothing but brought the Zentraedi race low.
Magiso Be careful of what you say, Siniya. Not all think the same way you do. You saw our sisters' reaction today - they are still bound by the Imperative.
Siniya I will keep my thoughts to myself, Kalidar.
Magiso See that you do. As for the microns, I am sure we can use them to our advantage. Maybe they will even allow us to kill the hajoca Hunter at last.
Siniya And after?
Magiso They will have the same fate as tools whose purpose is gone. They will be destroyed.

The Winding Q
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