I, Q.

“I, Q.”
by Jim T. Henriksen

Stardate 51535.8

“Lieutenant Reginald Barclay, you always mess up!” Geordi LaForge said with
an angry voice.

“Sorry, s-sir… I w-was on-only a-a-adjusting the i-input of
a-a-antimatter,” Barclay stuttered nervously.

“Adjusting? You have spoiled an experiment that have consumed most of my
off-duty time for a month!”

“S-s-sorry.”

“Get out of here before you blow up the whole ship, ‘adjusting’ the
antimatter-balance in the warp-core,” Geordi almost shouted.

Leaving Engineering, Reginald Barclay hard an ensign saying, “Yeah, get lost
broccoli!”

“Shut up, ensign,” Geordi commanded.

Barclay felt a little better, but he still felt down. He decided to drown
his shame in synthohol, maybe find someone to talk with.

Entering the turbolift, he saw counselor Deanna Troi was already in the
lift. “Where to?” she asked, “Ten-Forward?”

“I guess…”

“Continue,” she said to the turbolift. Deanna sensed something was bothering
Barclay, and that he needed someone to talk to. Who was better than a
counselor in talking?

“Want to talk about it?” she asked.

Barclay didn’t reply, just stood there, struggeling to keep back his tears.

“So, what do you want?” Guinan asked as Barclay and Troi sat down by the
bar.

“Whiskey… I feel like shit,” Barclay replied, facing the window. He stared
out on the stars zooming by like thin white lines.

“One whiskey coming right up. What do you want, counselor?”

“Oh, just a glass of water for me… with ice.”

“One glass of water, with ice,” Guinan laughed, “coming right up.”

Deanna looked at Barclay.

“Why are you so gloomy, Reginald?” she asked, holding his hand. She felt he
was really miserable, even more than what appeared to be normal for him.

“Oh, I messed up one of LaForge’s experiments down in Engineering. As usual
I acted without thinking… should have known better,” he replied. “Stupid!”
he shouted as he hit himself in the head, and tears rolled down his cheeks.

“Reg, no,” Deanna comforted, putting her hand on his shoulder, “you are not
stupid. You have an IQ at 194, Reginald… you’re a genious!”

“Maybe, but I am still an idiot. I know more than the average man can dream
of, but I always mess up when theory becomes reality.”

Barclay took the glass of whiskey that Guinan had put on the bar, and took a
sip. He knew it was just synthohol, but he felt it helped, the warming
feeling that spread through his body.

Barclay looked up from the glass, as he felt that counselor Troi had taken
her hand off his shoulder. “You have to help me, counselor, how can I…”

The words died away as he saw she wasn’t there anymore. Turning around, he
saw that Ten-Forward was empty.

“Guinan, where did everyone go?” he asked, but when he looked behing the bar
where Guinan
was supposed to be, she was gone too.

“Guinan?” he asked again, looking over the edge of the bar. She was not
there either.

“Must be something wrong,” he thought, “an emergency of some sort.”

He looked out the window, and saw that the ship was still moving, making the
stars into long lines. Tapping his commbadge he said, “Lieutenant Barclay to
the bridge. What’s happening up there?” There was no reply.

“Barclay to bridge, anyone there?” Still not reply.

This wasn’t right.

“Computer, locate Captain Picard.”

“Captain Jean-Luc Picard is not onboard.”

“When did Captain Picard leave the ship?”

“Captain Jean-Luc Picard has not left the ship.”

Barclay wondered about this contradiction for a second, then addressed the
computer again.

“Computer, locate Commander William Riker.”

“Commander William Riker is not onboard.”

“Locate…” Barclay stopped, then changed his question.

“Computer, how many peoples are onboard the U.S.S. Enterprise?”

“There is one person present, Lieutenant -”

“Yes, I know… Reginald Barclay.” And with that he ran out of Ten-Forward
towards the turbolift.

Entering the bridge, he halted, then he continued as he remembered he was
alone. The ship hadn’t been this empty since it was commishoned.

He headed for the ops, where he punched several buttons quicly. Slowly the
ship reduced it’s speed down to impulse, then to a complete stop.

“What happened here?” he thought to himself as he looked around on the
bridge.

There was suddenly a brillliant flash of light, and Q was sitting in the
captains chair. Q was dressed like a captain, with insignias and pips.

“Oh, I just played a little with reality,” Q answered to the question
Barclay had asked himself.

“Why?”

“I was boored…”

Barclay walked over to Q, and had grabbed him by the collar of his uniform,
but he was not
sure what to do.

“Won’t you please sit down, Lieutenant?” Q asked with a big smirk on his
face.

Before Barclay could say anything, Q ‘teleported’ him to Commander Riker’s
chair. Barclay had a commander’s uniform on now.

“Do you mind telling my why you did this? I mean, even you must have a real
reason, even how pathetic, to make the whole crew except me disappear…”

“Well, yes,” Q replied, “we decided to help you.”

“We? HELP me?! I hardly call this help.” Barclay was furious now.

“Yes, we in the Q continuum have decided to help you by help you help
yourself… and your crew-mates,” Q explained.

“How?”

“By becoming a Q.”

“Why should I accept?” Barclay wondered, amazed by Q’s offer.

“Why not? You will become a full-fledged member of the Q continuum, with the
same powers as me.”

Barclay thought about this for a while.

“But I don’t know how to use the power…”

“Don’t worry, my good man,” Q said, ‘grabbing’ a manual out of thin air,
“here’s the user-manual.” Q laughed.

“I’ll be back when you have decided to accept…” he said, then disappeared
with a flash.

The manual still floated in the air where Q had held it. It was not that
thick. He started to read.

Barclay had retired to his quarters, bringing the manual along. He sat down
behind his desk and opened the manual again.

After two hours he put the manual down on the desk, tired of reading. He was
just one third into it, but it felt like he had read all the books in the
universe. Twice.

He had learned how Q could appear and disappear, how he could contact Q, and
lots of other things. It would take an eternity to read through the manual,
but he suspected that he really had an eternity… curtacy of Q.

He decided he had to accept Q’s offer, and was about to summon him when he
heard Q’s voice from the sofa.

“I told you I’ld be back when you decided to accept. And you would,
eventually,” Q said, grinning.

“Well, Q… do your magic,” Barclay said resigned.

Q lifted his hands in old-fashioned magician-style, and chanted,
“Hocus-pokus, abra-cadabra, sim-salabim!”

Something that appeared to be high-level energy sparkeled out of Q’s fingers
and rained over Barclay like magic dust. Just for the effect, he reconed. He
felt a tingeling sensation in his body, and he could feel the power in every
cell.

“Now, come with me,” Q said, and with a flash, they were both gone.

“Welcome to the Q continuum, sir Reginald Barclay of Q,” a man sitting on a
high throne said.

Barclay knew this was the High Q, but how he knew this he didn’t
understand… He just knew.

He stood in the middle of a great hall that reminded him of a ballroom in a
castle from the 17th century Earth.

“Thank you, honourable High Q,” Barclay said as he bowed deeply.

Next to him stood Q, or the Q he knew, and in a wide circle around them
stood others, also Q’s. All were dressed in middleage clothes, and Barclay
noticed he was in new clothes too.

“Now, sir Reginald, is there anything you wonder about? Feel free to ask,”
High Q said.

“Yes, your e-e-excelence,” Barclay stuttered, but then pulled himself
together… A Q don’t stutter. “Can you please tell me why you decided to
make me a Q? Q here,” he said, pointing at the all-too-familiar Q next to
him, “didn’t explain properly…”

High Q rubbed his chin, then said, “One of us has left us, traveling into
the realms of Death…”

“I thought you were immortal?”

“We are, compared to almost every known races. But a Q only live as long as
he has the power. Without the power, you return to what you were before you
got it, so even if you don’t die the same instance, your remaining life is
nothing compared to eternity.”

“And therefore you regard a Q that has lost his power a dead Q?”

“That is the only way.”

“Why me, Reginald Barclay? I mean, you caused Enterprise’s crew to
disappear… so it can’t be that you’re offering me the power… you forced
me to accept, blackmailing me with the lives of the crew.”

“That, I agree, was a little unneccessary,” he said as he looked angry at
the Q that stood next to Barclay.

For a second Q sulked, but then he and the rest of the Q’s, High Q included,
began to laugh insanely.

“No, seriously,” High Q said as he regained his breath, “you were the best
candidate… and the only one likely to accept. You couldn’t resist the
power that we offered you. I guess you have to sort out the hidden details
yourself, sir Reginald. Now go back to your precious ship and save your
beloved crewmates.”

“Back to the Enterprise,” Barclay thought, and he was back on the ship
again.

The ship was still as empty as when he had left it with Q. He picked up the
manual again, and started to read.

After what seemed like only ten minutes, he was through it. Now he knew it
all…

He decided to try some easy tricks. He held the manual up infront of him,
and with a flash it was gone. He then tried to teleport, and ‘jumped’ around
in the room for some seconds.

He headed for the door, but caught himself… why not just teleport? The
next moment he was on the bridge.

Barclay consentrated on bringing the crew back. Nothing happened.

He consentrated harder, and to his relief, several flashes appeared on the
bridge, but the only ones that materialized on the bridge was Captain
Picard, counselor Troi and Lieutenant Commander Data.

“What happened? Where is the rest of the crew, and what do you and the
counselor do here so suddely?” Picard asked, “Is this another one of Q’s
tricks?”

“Erh… w-w-well,sir…” Barclay swallowed, “it is partly his doing… he
made you all disappear, but I brought you back.”

“You brought us back? You better explain this from the beginning,
Lieutenant,” Picard said.

And with that, Barclay started to explain all that had happened, from the
‘kidnapping’ of the crew, to his new powers.

“Barclay is right, Captain. It is only the four of us on the ship,” Deanna
said, “I can’t feel anyone else.”

“Data, is this accurate?” Picard asked.

After consulting a computer-console, Data said, “Yes sir, we four are the
only living beings on the Enterprise.”

“Well, let’s bring back the rest, and then we’ll decide what shall be done
with you, Barclay,” the captain stated.

“I’m afraid that is impossible… I can’t.”

“Why not?”

“I consentrated all I could to bring you all back, but you three were all
that appeared.”

“You have to relax, let the power work in you,” Deanna said with a calm
voice, “get in contact with self.”

Barclay breathed slowly. He felt the same tingeling sensation he had felt
earlier, only stonger.

“Don’t think like ‘I can’t’, think ‘I can’, Reginald.”

“I… I can’t.”

“You can, trust me.”

“I… I… I can. I can… I CAN!” Barclay said as he felt the energy soar
through his body.

“Now open your eyes and focus… don’t consentrate, just focus,” Deanna
said.

Barclay opened his eyes, and focused on bringing the crew back. Brilliant
flashes were everywhere on
the bridge, and the next moment, they were all back.

“Captain, the entire crew is back, sir,” Data said.

Commander Riker looked bewildered for a second, “Back? But nothing
happened…”

“Look on the viewscreen, number one,” Picard said.

Riker looked at the stars, but didn’t notice anything different at fist,
then, as he noticed the ship was not moving, his face turned into a
questionmark.

“I’ll explain later,” the captain said, “Worf, go to yellow allert.”

Picard, Riker, Data and Troi looked all at Barclay where he sat in the chair
in one of the cairs in the ready-room.

“Q offered Barclay to become a member of the Q’s, to replace one that had
passed away,” Picard explained to Riker, “but he used a dirty trick to force
Barclay to accept. Q made us all disappear, leaving just Barclay. This is
why we can’t remember what happened. We were put somewhere out of reach for
Barclay as normal human, somewhere where time and space don’t exist.”

“I believe that is not quite correct, Captain,” Data said, “my calculations
indicate that we have infact been in some sort of stasis for several days.
The stardate has changed too.”

“Can you take us back to when we disappeared?” Riker asked.

“I think I can, Commander,” Barclay replied.

“Wait, don’t do it right away, let us decide in the smallest detail what to
do, so nothing goes wrong.”

“I am hurt,” Barclay said, then disappeared in a flash of light.

“I think you hurt his ego, Riker,” Picard said, “remember he’s a Q now, and
with his ego hurt, he’s probably gone somewhere we can’t reach him.”

“He’s afraid that he will mess up… all this power is overwhelming him. He
know he can destroy everything with a thought or a word,” Deanna said.

“In other words, he have to mind his P’s and Q’s,” Riker laughed.

“Inquery. What does ‘mind his P’s and Q’s’ mean, sir? This information is
not in my memory,” Data said confused.

“It’s a pune, it means to be careful what you say,” Riker explained.

“Pune? Searching… Ah, playing with words. I understand sir. Most
interesting.”

Barclay had teleported himself back to Earth, home to his parents place. He
walked up the steps and knocked on the door. His old father came out,
looking pussled at his son.

“What are you doing here, son? I heard you were out on a mission.”

“I was, but something unexpected came up.”

“You have to tell me what is wrong,” Barclay senior said, “let’s go down in
the park…” With a flash, Barclay and his father was suddenly on a bench in
the park.

“Dad,” Barclay said, “I have Q-powers now… I had to accept it to save the
crew of the Enterprise.”

“You did right, my son. You have to think of your friends first, then
yourself.”

“That’s what I came to also, dad, but now I begin to regret I accepted. I
can’t handle this much power… You know, I know all that is written in
books, but when it comes to use that knowledge, I mess up… remember that
time I tried to fix our replicator, and mom was almost poisoned?”

“I see what you mean…”

Two generations of Barclays sat on the bench in the park for hour after
hour, until it was dark.

“You have to listen to your heart, Reginald, do what you know is right.”

Back on Enterprise the captain was informing the crew about what have
happened.

“I repeat, do not intimidate Barclay in any matter. Picard out.”

“Broccoli a Q?” one of the ensigns in the mess hall said.

A flash appeared, and Barclay sat on the chair across the table.

“I heard that, ensign…”

The ensign, which was just about to drink some juice, got it the wrong way
down, and sprinkled Barclay with it.

“That… was not neccessary, ensign,” Barclay said quietly as orange-juice
ran down his face.

“Sorry sir. Here, let me help you clean that up, sir.”

“Don’t bother,” Barclay said, and before the ensign knew it, he and Barclay
had changed place, and now it was the ensign that was all soaked in juice.
Everybody in the mess hall laughed.

Barclay entered the bridge the normal way, through the turbolift. He had
decided he had to move the ship back in time, along with the crew.

“Captain, I am ready now… I will move the entire ship back to the same
second you disappeared, only you won’t remember this,” Barclay said.

“No, wait!”

Barclay looked up from the glass, as he felt that counselor Troi had taken
her hand off his shoulder.

“You have to help me, counselor, how can I…” Barclay stopped. This
happened before.

He turned quickly around, but to his relief, Deanna was there. She had just
taken her glass of water, to wet her mouth.

“Yes?” she asked. Barclay knew now that nobody remembered what had happened.

“Nothing, counslor,” he said, as he put down the glass of whiskey, “nothing
that I can’t manage myself.”

As Barclay left Ten-Forward, Deanna looked bewildered after him. She had
sensed a sudden change of mood in him, and he was now bursting with…
energy?

Barclay went down to Engineering again.

“Barclay,” Geordi said as he noticed Barclay was back, “what are you doing
here? Sorry I yelled at you earlier, but you destroyed my project.”

“Sorry about that, sir… let me fix it.”

“Fix it? You can’t fix it now… it’s impossible!”

Barclay waited until Geordi had turned his back to him, then put his finger
on the console.

“What was that flash?!” Geordi asked.

“Got to go, sir…” Barclay said, as he left.

Back stood a pussled Geordi LaForge and looked at his project, ticking along
as if nothing had happened.

=/= THE END =/=

=/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/= =/=

Well, what do you think? I hope you liked it. If you want to add this to a
fan fict web site, please do so… just don’t change anything! You can link
to Science Lab A directly at

https://www.worm-hole.net/Chip

Jim “Chip” Henriksen
C.H.I.P. // Cybernetic Humanoid Intelligence Processor

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.