Star Trek: Phoenix-X – STO Unofficial Literary Challenge #14 – The Sound of Q-sic

Summary: In the early 25th century, a musically reluctant Captain Samya of the U.S.S. Dropzone is met with Qu and an invasion force of vicious 18th century French military animal things.

Author’s notes: This was written in August 2015, as part of the Star Trek Online Forums Unofficial Literary Challenge #14. Qu was last seen in LC 69.

Unofficial Literary Challenge #14: Prompt #1: Q is at it again. After an argument with the powerful entity concerning how Q culture does not have the creative flair as other species, Q points out that the Continuum could run creative circles around you. Q announces their intent to write a musical. Unimpressed and skeptical, your captain tells Q they’ll love to see it. Q, in their usual impish tone, assures the captain that they will.

Unofficial Literary Challenge #14
“The Sound of Q-sic”

The Defiant-class U.S.S. Dropzone sped around in near-orbit of Quadra Sigma III, shooting phaser cannons until it exploded one remaining Herald Baltim Raider.

On the planet, inside a mining facility, Captain Samya was surprised by a Herald Thrall, who teleported itself right behind her. Expecting this, the Human quickly grabbed the creature’s arm, twist-dislocated it out of its socket and stole the Thrall’s staff. She thrust the sharp end into its head, and the Thrall and the staff disintegrated in a release of energy.

“Nice work, ma’am,” Mika said, approaching from finishing a battle of her own. “You sure know your killing abilities.”

Samya turned to her Science officer, catching her breath. “A necessary evil that’s engrained into my very soul. Oh, sorry about throwing that flux coupler at you the other day.”

“My fault for turning that corner,” Mika surrendered. “Speaking of mistakes, every time this facility gets recolonized, something bad happens here. Last year, the Klingons released a herd of targs on this place.”

The Captain nodded. “Klingons have the weakest tactics. Take Kagran for example–”

“Bad-mouthing your allies so quickly, ma Capitaine?” a sinister omnipotent voice said from behind them.

Dropping her jaw in shock-realization, Samya turned and exclaimed: “Q!?”

“Uh, it’s Qu,” the unrecognizable, younger-looking man said. “It sounds the same, but it’s spelled differently.”

The dark haired Captain dropped her guard, in confusion. “Wait. What? A rip-off Q?”

“Exactly! I’m a different Q, who’s trying to reach that other Q’s level of mischief, from his classic days with Picard— but not the Janeway ones. I noticed he was turning crews into musicals this month, so I wanted to do my own thing that would appeal to you. I present to you, a hostage situation, aboard your ship, whereas you may kill and murder to your heart’s content!”

Samya pressed two fingers to the bridge of her nose. “No, we’re not taking lives because we like it. There are no special ‘rewards’ or ‘marks’ for destroying starships and bad guys—”

“Uhh,” Mika interrupted, explaining the obvious.

Samya shook her head out of it. “Huh? Oh, what I mean is, we’re supposed to be peace bringers.”

“But you guys have this whole war-pyramid scheme thing?” Qu responded, confused. “I was going to align your happiness with your ways of death?” Then, second-guessing himself, “I’d better go check on my body-switch with Captain Menrow’s and those nanites.”

As soon as he flashed off into oblivion, the rest of the Away team walked over. They all beamed back to the Dropzone‘s Transporter room 2, which was being held-up by two strange-looking aliens in 18th century French army uniforms.

“They look like vicious animal things?” Mika observed.

As the aliens began filling their muskets with phaser powder, in response to the Away Team’s sudden presence, Samya quickly approached one and stabbed it with its own weapon. She then grabbed the other by its throat and interrogated him. “What species are you??”

“Gggrrrggghh,” it growled in agonizing existence, unable to speak.

Doctor Tifa approached to examine. “It’s clear now that Qu’s power was so off-kilter, he could only repurpose the other Q’s original army from their time with the crew of the Enterprise-D.”

“Ggggrrggghh,” the animal thing growled, this time in an agreeable tone.

Mika sighed in discontent. “Aw, poor creatures,” and then sang, “Here’s to trouble-free tomorrows, may your sorrows all be small. Here’s to the losers, bless them all.

“Don’t feel sorry for the animal things!” Samya cut in. “And why are you singing, not to mention blessing??”

The science officer shrugged. “I dunno. I guess I’m a little jealous of those other ships that got turned into musicals.”

“Captain! The vicious animal creature was smiling in awkward-reverie just now,” Chief engineer Ryuk observed, quickly. “I think Mika’s larking put it into a sort of mental-Nexus!”

Samya looked to the 18th century French uniformed animal soldier and partially snapped its neck. “No! These vicious animalia are evidence of a Q-hack job gone horribly Borged. Don’t even give Qu the satisfaction of achieving anything remotely close to those musical successes this month.”

“GGhhgg,” the fallen, fading-conscious animal thing croaked in whisper, “Where the bee sucks, there suck I.

Captain Samya glanced at the body. “I don’t care if they can talk-sing. We are to take the out the rest of them by any means necessary. It shouldn’t take long. Our ship is only four, possibly five, decks high.”

Splitting up into two groups, Samya, Tifa and Counselor Toji approached the messhall, with caution, to find five French uniformed animal things holding several crew hostage.

“GGgghhrgh,” a sixth animal thing surprise-aimed a phaser musket from right behind them.

The three stood up, slowly, raising arms in surrender.

“Ma’am, I have an idea,” Toji began just before breaking out into song. “Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques.”

Suddenly, all the animal things in the messhall began losing focus in the melody.

Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?” Toji and several of the other Starfleet hostages continued, almost involuntarily.

Samya gritted her teeth. “No. Stop this at once!”

“But it’s working, Captain,” the counselor offered; and then Tifa joined him, “Sonnez les matines, Sonnez les matines.

Captain Samya finished off the animal thing, nearest to them, and she began slowly backing out of the messhall, awkwardly.

Ding, Ding, Dong! Ding, Ding, Dong!

As the others went into chorus-repetition, to maintain control of their captors, Samya could hear the last whispered groans of the creature she just took out, “A cup of wine that’s brisk and fine. And drink unto the leman mine; and a merry heart lives long-a.”

Then, a whisp of energy, she hadn’t noticed last time, flew out of him and away. “Ew? And also, I am not a merry woman.”

Mika, Ryuk and Chief of Operations Envy snuck into Engineering and attacked several French uniformed animal things.

Fighting back, one of the creatures stabbed their pointy musket end into Ryuk’s shoulder. “Augh!” he screamed.

A British tar is a soaring soul,” Envy sang. “As free as a mountain bird.

Mika snapped her head in Envy’s direction. “Wait. We have direct orders!?”

His energetic fist should be ready to resist—” Envy continued.

Ryuk finished, causing the attacking animal thing to stop in pre-stab: “—A dictatorial word.

“Look, I wanted this more than any of you, but we have to focus on our murderings if we are to defeat this enemy,” Mika explained before taking out a phaser and firing it into the animal thing.

It fell to the ground and, seconds before perishing, sang, “Thou canst not hit it, hit it; Thou canst not hit it, my good man.

“What am I doing? Qu wanted us to murder because he thinks it’s our pastime??” she realized. “Return to your melodic entrapments, much like those space-hippies from original-Kirk’s Enterprise!”

Ryuk nodded, forgetting his impaling. “His nose should pant, and his lip should curl.

His cheeks should flame and his brow should furl,” Envy sang.

The engineer continued. “His bosom should heave, and his heart should glow.

And his fist be ever ready for a knock-down blow!” The two finished.

Soon after, Mika caught up to Captain Samya in the corridor on Deck 1, approaching the Bridge. Samya’s hands were drenched in blood.

“Yeah, one of the animal things could not take an impaling with less humor,” she explained.

Mika looked back up to her. “Ma’am, those animal Frenchies keep singing Shakespeare for some reason? Also, I don’t agree with our plan. I mean, British Tar is one catchy tune, am I right?”

“And then what? Descend into The Doctor-levels of musical anarchy? Killing them has given us a perspective on their external-dependent biological structure: All their life energies fly up to the Bridge, so something here is powering them while Qu is gone.”

“Ah, Captain,” came Commander Jarell’s greeting as the Bridge doors swooshed open. “You’ll be happy to know we have the situation under control.”

They entered the Bridge, hesitantly, to find Starfleet and animal things standing together in peace.

“I’m sure it’s been a long road, getting from there to here,” Jarell surprised, in song. “It’s been a long time, but our time is finally near.

Samya turned to him. “Commander, no! That song was banned in 2161 for bringing about nothing but pain and suffering!”

“Sure, it’s a theological song for a science-based setting, but it’s the only way, ma’am,” argued Jarell. “And I will see my dream come alive at last. I will touch the sky.

One of the animal things approached Samya to lovingly embrace her in awkward reverie, but Samya just pulled it to the floor and punched in a concussion. “Newts and blind worms, do no wrong; Come not near our fairy queen.” And then his life energy flew into her Ready Room.

“Wait a minute? Shakespeare songs? I have a copy of The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare: The Complete Works.” The Captain recalled a report on Q flipping through one of Picard’s books. “Is that what’s giving them life??”

“Even if it is, it’s not gonna hold me down no more,” Faye, the helmsmen joined in, singing, “No they’re not gonna change my mind.

Samya ran in to her Ready Room and grabbed the giant book off her desk. There, looking up, she found Qu spinning around to her, in her chair.

“Yes, that’s right. I adapted the collective, creative, musical power of Shakespeare to run those creatures,” Qu admitted. “And perhaps they influenced existing tendencies in your crew. You see, I’m not like other Qs. I have to try hard to achieve what takes them a flick of their double-fingers.”

The Starfleet officer addressed him. “Your imitation of Q-Junior’s Winter Wonderland.”

“That was a complete failure, despite your Captain Seifer being a good sport. But it cemented my place at the bottom rung in the Continuum.”

She shook her head, understanding now. Just as her lack of life-sparing isolated her from her singing-crew, his lack of Q-ness was driving him to dysfunction, so, instead, she took a breath: “Maybe it’s because you never saw the sun,” and then, to elaborate, “Never saw the sun, shining so bright; Never saw things, going so right.

“An awkward, forced-wedding, not-asked-for, elderly-Android theme, mon amour?”

She nodded as she continued, “Noticing the days, hurrying by; When you’re in love, my how they fly.

“Wait. Samya, what have you done??” Qu stood up in shock. “We reached Q musical status with actual music and not the murdering I thought was an equivalent to that? You’re no Qomar Opera, but, I must say, ma beau Capitaine, you have a lovely voice.”

Samya stopped. “I guess it’s true that we know what we are, but know not what we may be.” She then took the unnecessarily heavy book and decompiled it in the replicator.

All the dead animal things aboard the Dropzone were suddenly reverted to their factory-setting-living-states and then Q-flashed-away.

“And if music be the food of love, play on, ma chérie.” He then bowed and finished her song before flashing away, himself. “Blue skies smiling at me; Nothing but blue skies do I see…

The Captain then entered the Bridge to finally deal with the crew, on principle. “You’re all relieved!”


Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.