Stories by: AJ Mittendorf
Q de Gras Introduction, Table of Contents & Bonus Features

This part of Q de Gras is nothing more than the introduction, the table of contents (sans page numbers) and some interesting notes.

Q de Gras (Chapter 12: Right On, Q! and Epilogue)

In Chapter 12, Q (and in John de Lancie’s character) learns that he’s not so tough, after all. U learns to be contentment, and Bo and U express their farewells.

Q de Gras (Chapter 11: Cue the Liar! Cue the Misanthrope!)

In Chapter 11 we finally meet the Caliphlox on their own homeworld. U is transformed into an ambassador for the Caliphlox and helps Bo to finalize his subroutine for the Universal Translator.

Q de Gras (Chapter 10: It’s a Bee-U-tiful Life!)

In Chapter 10, we see the culmination of the effects on young Jeremy McKee of the “Vibronics Technique” or “Vibroniques,” as it has become known.

Q de Gras (Chapter 9: Me and U and a Dog Named Boo)

In Chapter 9, Jeremy has his “Vibrations Technique” procedure, or “Vibroniques” in Sick Bay the morning after his big performance.

Q de Gras (Chapter 8: U Phonics)

In chapter 8, Jer, beginning to show signs of his illness but still strong, crosses a big item off his bucket list: He gives a magical performance in Ten-Forward. The show is broadcast all over the ship. In addition to Jer’s magic, Bo and members of the Enterprise crew perform several musical numbers culminating with a parody tribute from the crew for U.

Q de Gras (Chapter 7: U Reka)

Picard has felt uneasy, so he and Riker talk about it. Meanwhile, U, Geordi, the Chief and others work on trying to communicate with the sentient species infecting Jeremy’s body. They are finally successful with U’s help, so Picard, his staff together with Dr. Pulaski, U, Geordi and his staff meet in the Lounge to discuss the how’s and when’s of implementing the procedure which they call the “Vibrations Technique” or “Vibroniques,” for short.

Q de Gras (Chapter 6: U Remind Me of a Man)

After discussions with Riker then Picard, U begins planning a show in Ten-Forward for Jer to demonstrate his prestidigital prowess. He also begins working with Geordi and Chief O’Brien in Engineering to help find a way to communicate with Jer’s protozoan infection in hopes of persuading them to depart Jer’s body and inhabit another animal from their home planet that Picard had held in stasis.

Q de Gras (Chapter 5: U Turn)

Q de Gras
In Ten-Forward, Jer and U share some important things with each other. U shares some details about what he was that ultimately caused him to be incarcerated. Jer discussed his illness and that, while he does want to be cured, his deepest desire is to be with his parents again; both of them were among the 12 killed on the Enterprise’s previous mission. After their discussion, U and Jer begin to assemble Jer’s bucket list, and Guinan, having watched U and Jer interacting, learns that U may not be so bad after all.

Q de Gras is comprised of 12 chapters, but the chapters are divided into 4 groups of chapters, called “acts.” Act 1, chapters 1-4, was called “Q d’État.” Act II, comprised of chapters 5-8, is called “U Phemisms.”

Q de Gras (Chapter 4: Jer an’ Me)

While we learn more about Jeremy–he prefers “Jer,” he is an artist and a skilled magician–we also see U and Bo becoming friends. We learn that U is more strongly tied to his Q powers and his prison than he had known, and we see Jer and Bo meet during one of Worf’s Mok’ Bara classes.

Q de Gras (Chapter 3: Getting to Know U)

In Q de Gras chapter 3, Guinan meets U and she is instantly suspicious, but as U is currently without his Q powers, she calms down but remains cautious. U asks Picard to put him to work, so Picard finally suggests that he work with Lt. Costello to help him decipher the enigmatic language of the Calliphlox. Lt. Costello is a pianist and a linguist. His name, Abbot Costello, was adopted from the aliens from the movie “Arrival,” as they also had some language deciphering to do. His character was inspired by the musicians who worked as breakers of the Japanese codes just prior to the US entry into WWII. As his name evokes the comedy of a famous duo, I have given Lt. Costello something of a comedic touch, but it was inspired more by Victor Borge than by Abbot and Costello.

Q de Gras (Chapter 2: Back on Trek)

In Chapter 2, Picard and the Crew of the Enterprise debate the idea of inviting this new Q entity aboard. Additionally, we learn that there is one more person aboard the Enterprise who is infected with the same sentient illness that killed 12 members of the crew only weeks before.

Q de Gras (Prologue and Chapter 1: “Suspended on a Mission”)

A member of the Q Continuum discovers nobility and humility
and puts those qualities to work for the crew of the Enterprise.

“Not all the Q are alike. Some are almost respectable.”
–Guinan, “Q Who”

While the crew of the Enterprise D recovers from a mission in which a sentient protozoan life-form from planet Telokotis Minor killed twelve members, the Enterprise is contacted by a member of the notorious Q Continuum, a member who is unknown to them until then. The Continuum has this Q incarcerated, and he retains his Q powers only so long as he remains in their custody. (This Q eventually changes his name to U to avoid confusion.) But if he can convince someone from outside the Continuum that he is unjustly imprisoned and can persuade that person to formally recommend a reprieve, that person will have the power, under the Q system of jurisprudence, to make U free with his powers intact. He asks Captain Picard to take the time to get to know him. If Picard decides the punishment is unjust and grants U a pardon, U will regain his freedom with his powers and with no threat of reprisal from the Continuum against Picard. Despite warnings from his nemesis, Q (made so infamously popular by John de Lancie), Picard accedes to U’s request. Picard brings U aboard the Enterprise, rendering U powerless for the time being, but he remains helpful.

While en route to their new assignment—a month-long journey—U helps the Enterprise crew learn to communicate with the Calliphlox, a new Federation ally. The Calliphlox have a form of communication so unique that it necessitates the creation of a subroutine for the universal translator (UT). U also befriends a young man—Jeremy McKee—whose parents were two of the 12 crew members killed on the previous mission. U learns that Jeremy has the same illness that claimed his parents’ lives. Unless he can help the Enterprise crew to succeed where they had recently failed—in curing this illness— young Jeremy is certain to be the thirteenth victim.