Stories tagged with: Enterprise D

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.