Chapter 7: “The Q Threshold”
Written by Tim Mohr, aka “Cureboy”
Published September 26, 2000
The world-famous Borg Psychologist, Sigmund of Freud, looks at his watch and laments about Janeway’s late arrival for today’s therapy session.
Finally, Janeway comes rushing in... sporting a new perm! She says, “I’m so sorry I’m late, Dr. Freud. I was at the beauty parlor.”
Freud says, “Wow! Janeway! You have a perm?? You look like Greg Brady!”
Janeway says, “Yes... I know.”
Freud then asks, “How does that make you feel?”
Janeway replies, “Groovy and neato!”
Freud then says, “Very well. Now I don’t suppose you’re ready to divulge the conclusion to your ‘Unizero Matrix’ story just yet?”
Janeway answers, “Not yet, my good man. Probably next week... sometime after Wednesday...”
Freud sighs, “Very well... Let’s get theraputic...”
“Captain’s Log. It was the worst of times. It was the worst of times. Tom and B’Elanna have got some freaky crazy idea to try breaking the Warp 10 threshold. I don’t know if I like the sound of this. Could be trouble. But I am going to leave it in their capable hands. Well, I’m leaving it in their hands, let’s leave it at that. Also, switching to a completely unrelated subject, I have stopped taking the pill. It seemed like a good idea when I was in the Alpha Quadrant shacking up with what’s-his-name. But out here in the Delta Quadrant, I doubt I’ll be having intimate relations anytime soon. So birth control pills no longer seem necessary and are a waste of replicator energy...”
In Main Engineering, Torres and Paris work feverishly on their new shuttlecraft modifications. Tuvok comes down to check on their progress. Tuvok looks at the shuttle and says, “Perhaps we should call it... the Delta Flyer.”
Torres and Paris look at Tuvok with extreme confusion. Tuvok says, “Um... I must be thinking of another starship. Damn those temporal paradoxes!”
Paris finally says, “Okay. I think all the modifications are now complete. I’m ready to try going to transwarp!”
Torres says, “Okay. But don’t screw it up! We’re down to less than a hundred shuttlecraft!”
Meanwhile... on the Bridge...
Mr. Kim screams, “Captain!! There is an unauthorized shuttle launch in progress! It’s Mr. Paris!! Aaaaaaaaaaaah!!”
Janeway replies, “No, Mr. Kim. It’s authorized. I told Tom he could use the shuttle. We can’t really go to transwarp speed sitting in the shuttle bay, now can we?”
Mr. Kim bitterly says, “You might inform me of these things!”
Janeway pages Paris and says, “How is it coming?”
Paris says, “I’m jumping to Warp... Now. I am at Warp One! Warp Two! Warp 3! Warp 3.1... Warp 3.2... Warp 3.3... Warp 3.315... Warp 3.4747... Warp 3.5... Warp 3.5012... Warp 3.599...”
Janeway says, “Oh, shut up! Just let me know when you are getting close to Warp 10!”
Paris pouts, “But I like reading the speedometer outloud!”
Suddenly, Chakotay says, “Captain! There is a comet 47,000 kilometers off the port bow! We should beam particles of it aboard Voyager and analyze them!”
Janeway says, “Now?? We’re right in the middle of the bloody transwarp thing!!”
Chakotay warns, “But Captain. This is a Class 4704-Epsilon-Omega-Alpha-Romeo comet. There are only 40 billion of these things known to exist. We may not see another one of these for at least 72 hours!”
Janeway panics, “Beam the fragments aboard!”
Torres waits in the transporter room and beams the fragments aboard... And a man materializes!!
The ever-observant Torres says, “Hey! You aren’t comet fragments! You are a guy!”
The man says, “That is correct. I am Q.”
Torres says, “Really?? Oh my God! This is such an honor! I loved you in all those James Bond films!”
The man says, “Uh... Wrong guy. I am suicidal Q. From the Q Continuum. And now that you’ve rescued me from the comet, I’m going to kill myself...”
Torres says, “Oh... Okay. Proceed.”
Suicidal-Q then says, “Wait! I’ve been waiting centuries to do this... I think I should come up with some very appropriate last words...”
Suicidal-Q pauses and then makes his dramatic parting words, “You have nothing to fear but one small step for man and asking what you can do for your country.”
Torres is moved and a single tear strolls down her cheek. Torres says, “Wait. I have no tear ducts... I shouldn’t be crying. Where the hell is my continuity??”
And Suicidal-Q prefers to snap his fingers to kill himself when suddenly... Another man appears!! This other man grabs Suicidal-Q’s hand and says, “Not so fast!”
Torres says, “Well who the hell are you? M??”
The man says, “No... I’m original-Q of the Q Continuum.”
Torres asks, “Okay, this may be a dumb question... But why can’t you just have regular names? Like Bob and Ralph, or something?”
Original-Q says, “That wouldn’t be very pretentious, now would it?”
Janeway finally arrives in the transporter room and says, “What’s going on down here?”
Torres replies, “We have two... two... Two Q’s in one!”
Suicidal-Q pleads with Janeway, “Captain! I seek amnesty on your ship!”
Suddenly, Chakotay pages Janeway and says, “Captain! Mr. Paris is on the threshold of breaking the threshold!”
Janeway turns to the Q’s and says, “I’ll deal with you boys later.”
Janeway rushes to the Bridge and hears Mr. Paris over the intercom, “Warp 9.9990... Warp 9.9991... Warp 9.99992... Ten!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
With that, POOF, the shuttlecraft vanishes from the sensors. Moments later, POOF the shuttlecraft returns. Voyager uses the tractor beam to bring in the shuttle and Chakotay rushes to Sickbay to find out what Tom learned on his mission.
Meanwhile, the Q’s are becoming impatient...
Suicidal-Q says, “Original-Q, you are not imprisoning me again!” He snaps his fingers!
Voyager starts a-rumbling and a-shaking. Janeway says, “My God! Where are we??”
Mr. Kim says, “I think we’re at the Big Bang!” Suicidal-Q snaps his fingers again!
Voyager starts a-rumbling and a-shaking. Janeway is becoming angry, “Now what??”
Mr. Kim says, “I think we’re in a blender!”
Suicidal-Q is about to snap his fingers again... But Janeway snaps instead! Janeway says, “Stop!! Enough already! What’s next, the spin cycle?”
Suicidal-Q says, “I can’t let them imprison me once again! I demand a trial! I demand a trial to see whether or not I’m given permission to kill myself!”
Janeway says to Original-Q, “Will you agree to this? Will you allow a trial to determine whether or not he can kill himself?”
Original-Q responds, “Very well! We will have a trial. If he wins, he gets permission to kill himself. But, if we win... We get to give him the death penalty.”
Janeway says, “Good! Sounds reasonable...”
Tuvok interrupts, “Um... Captain. Either way, this man’s going to die.”
Janeway growls, “Tuvok! What have I told you about questioning my orders in front of the special guest stars??”
Suicidal-Q then says, “Captain. I’d like you to be the judge at this trial.”
Janeway says, “What?? I don’t have time for this! We must analyze the data from the threshold flight! Go to Holodeck Two and activate the Judge Joe Brown program. He can be your judge.”
So as the trial preparations begin... Janeway rushes down to Sickbay...
Mr. Paris is regaining consciouness. Janeway and Chakotay await his report. Paris finally says, “It was so weird! I was everywhere... All at the same time! I was on Earth, I was with the Klingons, I was with the Kazon, I was at the big bang. I was in a blender. I was on Mars. I was at an adult bookstore. Oh, by the way Chakotay, they asked me to let you know that the inflatable woman you ordered has arrived.”
Chakotay gets a really big grin on his face and says, “Noted!”
Paris continues, “And then I found myself in this big room. There was nobody there. Just a big sofa and a sign that said: ‘Welcome to the Human-To-Lizard Transformation Room.’ I’m not quite sure what that meant. But anyways, the flight was a success!”
Suddenly, Paris starts going into convulsions. He starts flopping around like a fish out of water. Janeway thinks to herself, “I did that once. Man, I was really drunk that night!”
The Doctor tries to sedate Mr. Paris. Tom goes unconscious for a few moments. And then he wakes up, reaches into his mouth and pulls out his tongue. He proceeds to throw it at Captain Janeway.
Janeway is not pleased and says, “According to Starfleet regulation 47-Alpha, any officer who sticks their tongue at their captain will have a permanent reprimand on their file! And I think this counts!”
With that, Janeway storms out of Sickbay...
Meanwhile... On the Holodeck...
The court case begins. Judge Joe Brown sits in judgment. Mr. Tuvok is representing Suicidal-Q. Mr. Neelix is representing Original-Q.
Neelix begins by saying, “Your honor, if it pleases the court, I think the Q-Continuum would suffer dire consequences if this man is allowed to kill himself.”
Judge Joe Brown loses his temper, “You clown! You think you can speak for the whole Q-Continuum. You’re pitiful!”
Mr. Tuvok objects, “Your honor, if it pleases the court! You must allow my client to die. It’s his dying wish!”
Judge Joe Brown loses his temper, “You scoundrel! You think you can speak for your client? You’re pitiful!”
Neelix whispers to Tuvok, “I don’t think there’s any pleasing the court...”
Judge Joe Brown loses his temper, “You idiots! You are doing nothing but wasting the court’s time! You people need to grow up! You’re pitiful! Here is my decision: Suicidal-Q, you are hereby given permission to commit suicide. As for you, Original-Q... you are a scoundrel! Your case is dismissed. You pitiful pedantic drone!”
The court reporter interviews the litigants after the case. She says to Original-Q, “How do you feel about your loss today?”
Original-Q says, “We are very upset. We are contemplating suicide.”
She then asks Suicidal-Q, “How do you feel about your victory today?”
Suicidal-Q responds, “I am very happy! I am contemplating suicide!!”
With that, Suicidal-Q snaps his fingers and POOF, he dies. Original-Q persuades the Continuum to change Suicidal-Q’s name to Dead-Q.
Meanwhile... In Janeway’s quarters...
Janeway is reading her latest edition of Q.Q.. (The Q-Continuum’s version of G.Q.) when suddenly a lizard man breaks into her quarters. Janeway shrieks, “Oh Chakotay, we’ve really got to think about getting you a make-up artist!”
The Lizard man growls, “It’s not Chakotay... It’s Tom Paris... lizard man!”
Janeway is firm, “Okay. Leave my quarters. Or I will turn you into luggage.”
But Tom is not swayed. He kidnaps Captain Janeway and takes off to the shuttlebay. He boards the shuttlecraft, launches it from Voyager, and escapes using the transwarp drive.
Fifteen minutes later... On the Bridge...
Tuvok is reviewing the logs and says, “Mr. Kim!! Did you know there was an unauthorized shuttle launch fifteen minutes ago??”
Kim replies, “Oh yes. I did know. But I figured I would not tell anybody. Why? Because I’m a vengeful little snot!”
Tuvok replies, “Indeed.”
Voyager races after the shuttlecraft and they eventually find it has crash landed on some tropical alien planet...
Tuvok and Chakotay beam down to the planet and they find two lizards. One of them wearing Janeway’s commbadge... The other wearing Tom’s commbadge. They also discover that the two lizards have mated... They now have three children. Not only that, but they all live together in a two-story ranch style house. With 4 beds, 2 baths, and a one-car garage. Which Tuvok finds odd, considering that lizards don’t know how to drive.
Chakotay says, “My God! I don’t know how I’m going to put this in my log. Damn that Tom Paris! I’ve been trying to get Janeway in bed for months, and Tom pulls the old lizard routine and succeeds!”
Tuvok adds, “Indeed. If anybody is a snake around here, it is you Chakotay.”
Chakotay says, “Awwwww...Thanks, Tuvok!”
A few days later...
“Captain’s Log: Supplemental. The Doctor found a way to transform Mr. Paris and I from lizards back into our original human forms. I am also pleased to say that I do not have any strechmarks from my giving birth. I am, however, back on the pill. Our lizard children have been placed in foster homes. The lizard welfare people don’t think its proper for humans to be raising lizards. I’ve confined Mr. Paris to quarters and am making him write a 47,000 word essay on why it is disrespectful to seduce your captain. One thing I can be grateful for is that I missed out on much of the Q monkey business. Here’s hoping I don’t see those yahoos again. Other than that... everything else is cool. Well, except for the fact that the damage to Voyager has been extreme. But I’m not too terribly worried about it...”
The therapy session ends with Dr. Freud’s mouth hanging open... Just staring at Janeway.
Janeway asks, “What’s up, Doc?”
Dr. Freud replies, “You honestly believe you were transformed into a lizard and then you mated with your navigator, who was also a lizard???”
Janeway says, “It’s true... I swear!”
Dr. Freud pulls out his prescription pads and starts writing feverishly. He then hands the piece of paper to Janeway and says, “Here. I’ve decided to double your Lithium prescription...”
And thus concludes another journey into 24th century mental instability...