The Doctor and The Enterprise D (Chapters 3 & 4)

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Story content and all other characters in The Doctor And The Enterprise D are (c) Rob Cowell. 1995
EXCEPT the article 110 section, from the story The Doctor and
The Enterprise by Jean Airey.

The Doctor And The Enterprise D
——————————-

Chapter 3
———

Out in the infinite reaches of space there is life. Not all
life is the same, some lifeforms are limited by intelligence and
technology. Some are not. The smiling figure sitting on the saucer
section was from a race with no limits. Q smiled. Time to pay a
visit on some old friends.

Jean-Luc Picard, Captain of the Enterprise, sat in his ready
room. He had just finished a report to Starfleet command, and was
trying, for the fourth time, to get into Beverly’s book. This time he
was having some success, the book was indeed getting good. The door
chimed and Picard groaned inwardly.
“Enter.” he called out. The doors stayed shut. He repeated the
word, the doors stayed closed. He got up and went to the doors, which
opened at his presence. There was no-one at the door and Picard
stepped back, the doors closing. Strange, he thought, and turned back
to the couch…

…to find somebody sitting reading his book. The figure had
his back to the captain, but when he spoke Jean-Luc felt icy fingers
crawl up his back.
“Mon Capitan. I’ve missed you.” said the all-too-familiar voice
of Q.

“Q. What are you doing here?” said Picard, trying to shake the
feeling of dread.
“Me? I just popped on for a chat, I’m going through a phase.
I’m being social. I thought ‘I know, I haven’t seen Jean-Luc for a
couple of light-years, I’ll pop in when I’m in the vicinity and see
how he is.’, and so I’m here.”
“Merde. That’s ALL I need.” Picard thought. Just then the
intercom beeped.
“Captain, This is the Doctor. I thought you’d like to know the
deflector is now operational, as is the tractor beam. We’re moving on
to the computer core now so you might find helm and navigation play up
for a while. We’ll try and keep the core off line as short as
possible.”
“Thank you Doctor. Proceed.” came the reply.
“That didn’t sound like Doctor Crusher.” Q said.
“It wasn’t. We picked up a stowaway who is proving very
helpful. He has the rank of commander in Starfleet.” Picard said. He
moved over to the replicator, saying “Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.” when he
turned back to Q, The entity was gone. Oh No, thought Picard, Now
where is he.

In engineering Data and the Doctor were preparing to switch off
the computer when Q flashed into being. The Doctor looked at the
grinning figure and narrowed his eyes in suspicion. He had the
feeling he knew who this was, or at least who he had been. Data
looked up from his work and upon seeing the omnipotent being raised
one eyebrow.
“Q, may I ask what you are doing here?” he said.
“Just looking around Data. Don’t mind me.” Q said and sauntered
off, walking through the dilithium chamber. He disappeared from sight
and reappeared in the far side of the chamber, then clicked his
fingers and vanished in a flash of light.
“Show off.” said the Doctor to himself. This might turn out to
be a problem, he mused.
Data looked at the spot where Q had vanished, then turned to the
Doctor. The Doctor looked back to Data.
“Data, who was that?” he asked.
“That was a being known to us as Q. He is, or claims to be, an
omnipotent being from something called the Q Continuum. We have had
dealings with him in the past, none of which were welcomed by captain
Picard. Q has put us on trial for being ‘a grievously savage race’.
He has tempted commander Riker with the power of the Q. He has
transported us to Sherwood forest amongst other things.”
“Sherwood forest? You mean he translocated you across the
dimensions to middle-ages Earth?” queried the Doctor.
“No. He created the forest and placed us in the creation. We
were to play the part of Robin Hood and his merry men. This was
resolved by the captain and we were returned to the Enterprise. Q has
the ability to freeze time when it suits him, and restore it when he
has finished with his games. He is quite an intriguing entity.”
“Freeze time?” queried the Doctor.
“That is an analogy which describes the event adequately.” Data
said.
“Freeze time, Hmm.” mused the Doctor, “This might be what I’ve
been looking for. I’ll need to tread carefully around this ‘Q’
person.” The Doctor turned back to Data asking, “Was the computer core
badly damaged?”
“No. The Romulans seemed to concentrate their efforts on the
engineering systems only.” Data replied. An ensign walked over to
Data enquiring if the iso-linear chips she had were the correct ones.
Data confirmed the fact and she wandered off in the direction of the
core. There was a dull thump from the core access room which sent the
Doctor and Data running to the room. Smoke billowed out of the room.
The Doctor slowed but Data walked in, collected the ensign, exited the
room and put her down gently. He tapped his com-badge and called for
a medical team.
“Medical emergency to engineering.” he said. The Doctor was
already kneeling beside the ensign. He put his hand across her
forehead connecting her temples with his thumb and fourth finger. She
moaned and shook spasmodically, then was still. The Doctor had a look
of intense concentration on his face as Dr Crusher walked in.
“What’s going on? What happened Data?” She asked. The Doctor
released his touch and fell backwards, landing hard on his rear.
Shock was evident on his face. He waved a hand towards the ensign
saying, “She’s not in any pain, she’s only in shock. There doesn’t
seem to be any physical injuries.”
Beverly Crusher ran her tricorder over the inert body marvelling
at the readings.
“She seems to be in a self-healing trance. But you’re right,
there are no injuries. How long will she stay in this state, and can
we move her?”
“Yes you can move her, she’ll be totally receptive to any
treatments and movements. The trance will last until she deems it
suitable, or about 24 hours, whichever comes first. She might feel a
bit dizzy or nauseous at first, her body isn’t used to the trance
function, but it’ll pass inside ten minutes.” replied the Doctor.
Beverly ran her tricorder over Data and then the Doctor himself.
“Data you’re alright. You, however Doctor, have a hairline
fracture at the base of your skull, a large bruising to the diaphragm
muscles, a slight respiratory problem and a small blood clot in the
left ventricle artery of your right heart. I’d like for you to come
to sickbay and I’ll patch you up.” She looked back her tricorder and
continued, “There also seems to be a chemical imbalance in the brain,
possibly caused by shock. I’d better treat that too.” She stood up
and gestured to her medical team.
“Please escort the Doctor to sickbay. Place the ensign on a
stretcher and take her too. We’ll keep in there for a day or so until
she recovers.” She turned to Data, who acknowledged the authority, and
moved off after the medical team.

In sickbay the Doctor sat on a bio-bed whilst Nurse Ogawa
treated him. Beverly walked over to him.
“How did you get all these injuries?” she asked politely.
“The hairline fracture was a present from a man called Nyder.
The bruising was from one of his officers trying to take something
from me. The respiratory problem was probably from the gas shell, and
the blood clot I’m not sure of, but it might have been the result of
my run-in with the Loch Ness Monster.” he said, knowing she’d have
trouble believing that.
“And the imbalance?” she asked, the last statement not sinking
in fully.
“I think, on reflection, it’s from the contact with the ensigns
mind. Something I saw there unnerved me for a moment. You’ll
probably find it’s gone now.”
Beverly scanned him, and to her amazement he was right. The
chemical imbalance she’d seen earlier was gone.
“I used my own self-healing to correct it. It also gave me an
insight into what caused it. ” He said.
Nurse Ogawa turned to her superior, “I’ve finished. Was there
anything else you wanted me to do?”
“No thank you Allysa. I’ll take over from here. Could you just
check our other patients, then you can knock off.” Allysa Ogawa nodded
and left.
“So what caused it?” Beverly pressed. The Doctor was in no mood
to talk about it and told her so, politely. Then he get up from the
bio-bed.
“Am I fit to leave the infirmary?” he asked. Beverly concurred
and he left, leaving her mystified. The Loch Ness Monster? Did I
hear him right?
The Doctor returned to his quarters to find Sarah sitting at the
table reading something off the computer screen. She looked up when
he entered.
“Where have you been, I’ve been worried!”
“Sorry Sarah, I’ve been busy with Data trying to repair the
computer. In fact I’d better be getting back soon. I stopped by to
see how you’re doing.”
“I’m fine, just tired.” she noticed the faraway look in his
eyes, “What’s up?”
“I don’t know.” he admitted, “There was an incident in
engineering and I made contact with a powerful mind, only briefly, but
it was somehow familiar. Some-one from my past but I can’t remember
who.”
“Does it matter? It’ll probably come to you. Tell you what,
why don’t you go and play in engineering and I’ll return to my
quarters and get some rest. You aren’t happy unless you’ve got your
hands inside somebody else’s electronics. Just don’t forget your sonic
screwdriver.” These last words were said with a grin.
“Maybe you’re right. I’ll see you later.”, and he and Sarah
left the room. Sarah walked down to her own quarters, stopped outside
the door saying, “Be careful Doctor” and then went inside. The Doctor
carried on down the corridor to a turbolift, and upon entering it
descended to deck 36. Data was still there when the Doctor
re-appeared.
“Doctor, how are your injuries?” Data inquired.
“Fine. Your Dr Crusher has done a fine job. What’s the damage
inside the other room?”
“There seems to have been an incendiary device attached to the
main computer terminal which has damaged the terminal and part of the
core nearby. Otherwise there is no serious damage. The repair time
has been increased by 3.7 hours.”
“Which systems were damaged in the blast?” asked the Doctor.
“There was damage to the navigation sub-system, the lateral
sensors and the cargo bay transporter systems.”
“Will any of these systems cause any problems to the normal
running of the ship?”
“No. The lateral sensors may be a problem but I do not foresee
any major problems with the other systems.”
The Doctor and Data had been working on the problems, both new
and old, for nearly 7 hours when Geordi walked in to engineering.
“Hi, Data. How’s it going?” He acknowledged the Doctors
presence with a brief nod.
“The computer core is functioning at 92 percent. The Doctor has
been most useful. He has found a number of small bugs in our system,
which have been corrected. The computer core should be fully
operational in 2.1 hours. The antimatter/matter ratio has been
corrected and the warp engines are on-line and functional. How are
you?”
“I’m fine now,” Geordi said, grinning, “Just a small knock.
Let’s see what else is left to do.” He turned and walked to his desk,
the Doctor and Data following.
“Have you sorted out the systems in the jeffries tubes?” Geordi
asked.
“Lt Barclay has reported that the repairs are almost complete.
He estimates another 30 minutes work.” replied the android.
“It would seem that you’ve almost completed the repairs. If you
don’t mind, I’ll just look things over and see if there’s anything
else that need doing while we’ve got the time.”
“Commander La Forge, If you’ve no objections I’ll leave you to
it. I’ve been working quite long hours recently and could do with
some rest.” the Doctor said. He glanced toward Data, adding, with a
smile, “We’re not all gifted with the ability to shun sleep.”
“Of course Doctor, Thanks for your help.” said Geordi, meaning
every word. He added, “Captain Picard is having a briefing at 0800
tomorrow. He asked me to ask you if you’d be there.”
“0800 tomorrow. Sure, I’ll be there. Good night commander.
Data.” He nodded to them in turn and left for the turbolift.

In his quarters, the Doctor was having a troubled sleep. His
dreams were of a grinning man in a Starfleet uniform. But there was
something wrong with the uniform – it was changing. It was becoming
less of a uniform, and more of a gown, a Chinese gown. But not a
night-gown, more like an old fashioned gown worn by a distinguished
gentleman. The man reached forth has left hand, holding something in
them. In his dream state the Doctor also reached out, and the man –
still grinning – dropped a small bundle into the Doctors hand. Then
he vanished, just fading away before the Doctor, leaving a ghostly
laugh behind.
The Doctor woke up, and looked at his hand. Nestled in the palm
was a deck of playing cards. Sitting up, he scanned through the deck,
noting the cards to be perfectly normal. Except the Queen of Hearts
looked different. He was reminded of the children’s story back on
Earth: Alice in Wonderland. The Queen in his hand was an image of
the queen from that story, and he’d seen that image before. A long,
long time ago. When he’d struggled to win against a person calling
himself The Celestial Toymaker.
[Of course. THAT’S where I’ve met him before.]
[This could be trouble, I’d better warn the captain.]
[ Where’s his guardian gone though?]
[ Has he disposed of her?]
[ He’d better not have!”] The thoughts flashed across his mind.
Firstly he’d find out where the Guardian was, but he’d have to be
careful and not give himself away too soon. Crossing to the centre of
the room he called out, “Doctor to captain Picard.” there was a brief
delay followed by the familiar voice of Jean-Luc Picard.
“Picard here. What can I do for you?”
“Captain, Could you re-schedule the meeting this morning for
sometime this afternoon? I’m going to be unavailable for the better
part of the morning.”
“I don’t see why not. Would 1400 hours be acceptable to you?”
“Perfect. Thank you.” and he broke the communication.
“Computer. I want this room locked. No one is to be allowed
access while I’m in here. Not even the security chief! This room can
be scanned whenever they want, but NO communications are to enter or
leave this room. I shall be in a trance, which if broken incorrectly
could cause my death. Do you understand?”
“The locking mechanism for the doors can be over-ridden by any
of the senior staff. This function cannot be disabled.”
The doctor sighed and contacted the captain again, expressing
his wishes to be allowed un-interrupted solitude for a mornings
meditation. The captain agreed, ordering the computer to accept
commands of this nature from the Doctor, and to comply with them. The
Doctor restated his demand on the computer and sat down in the middle
of the floor crossing his legs. He inhaled deeply and closed his
eyes. The exhale of breath was slow, and was matched by the rising of
his body from the floor by several inches. The Doctor uncrossed his
legs and lay flat on the cushion of air while his mind searched the
space nearby for a familiar mind.
The thoughts drifted out, passing through all the lifeforms
onboard the Enterprise. One mind reacted, but so swift was the
contact lost that Deanna Troi thought she’d imaged it. The Doctor
moved his mind out further…

In Ten Forward, Guinan was talking to Deanna. She noticed a
flicker float across the telepath’s face but it was gone, almost before
it had started. Just then she felt another mind link with hers,
gently probing. She instinctively sent a wall up, following it with a
sharp stab of thought. Then the other mind was gone. Guinan looked
speculatively and excused herself from Troi. She moved into her small
office and waited.

In his quarters the Doctor opened his eyes. He’d been in the
trance for a little over an hour, and was pleased with the results.
He rose from the floor and ordered the computer to release the
restraints he’d imposed, then strode out of the room. He made his way
to the turbolift and asked the be taken to Ten Forward. A few moments
later, he was standing outside the lounge trying to get his bearings
on that mind he’d touched. He turned and walked to a door nearby and
pressed the door chime. The door slid open to reveal a dark skinned
woman sitting at a desk.
“Come in, Doctor. I’ve been expecting you.” Guinan said.
“Thank you.” He paused, then added, “You have me at a
disadvantage.”
“I am called Guinan.” the bartender said simply, indicating a
chair for the timelord. He sat and gave her a questioning look.
“When I touched your mind I felt that you were somebody
different. I was searching for a person known as The Guardian.”
“That is a term I haven’t gone by for a long, long time. Yes I
am She. I am the guardian of the ‘exiled one’.”
“Then it is him? The last time I encountered him, he called
himself The Celestial Toymaker. But I didn’t sense you then.”
“There was a small temporal flux in the prison, and before I
knew it, He’d escaped. I was able to limit his escape though. He
never made it into the correct dimension.” Guinan said.
“I know. He lured the TARDIS into that other dimension forcing
us to play his games. By a feat of will I was able to beat him. The
dimension was sent into oblivion, or so I thought.”
“No, not oblivion. He returned to the prison, but this time the
temporal flux shifted the whole prison into this universe. It broke,
sending him into another dimension and me onto a world in this
dimension. I thought that was the last time I’d see him, although I
didn’t stop trying to locate him. Then about four years ago he turned
up on this ship in a different guise. He sent the Enterprise across
space to meet the Borg. That’s when I met him and I’ve stayed on this
ship since. He seems to have a liking for this ship. It’s a
plaything for him, he hasn’t changed in that respect.”
“The Borg?” asked the Doctor, “Who are they?”
“The Borg are a cyborg type lifeform. They attack and
assimilate cultures in to their own. They are essentially humanoid
but with mechanical grafts. They attacked the world I was on and
nearly killed my people. We were scattered throughout space.” She
said, With a touch of bitterness in her voice. The Doctor noticed the
term “my people” but didn’t comment.
“These Borg sound a lot like the Cybermen from my universe. I
need to know what he’s going to do. He’s smart enough to know who,
and what, I am.”
“That I don’t know. In this universe he has the ability to
shield his mind from me.” Guinan said. “I think your going to have to
talk to him.”
“If he hasn’t changed that much, his objective will be to try
and return to my universe. That’s what he wanted last time. As you
know, That can’t be permitted to happen!” said the Doctor. He got up.
“I’d better see the captain and warn him, then I’m going to contact
him. What does he call himself in this universe?”
“Q. It serves his purpose as well as any other he’s had. Good
luck, Doctor. I have the feeling you’re going to need it.”

The Doctor left the room and proceeded to the conference room
for his meeting with the senior staff. He wasn’t sure what to tell
the captain but from what Data had said, the captain was already aware
of Q’s temperament. That would make it easier.

The meeting had broken up and the Doctor was having a quiet word
with captain Picard.
“So you see, This Q being is, in actual fact, a being exiled
from my planet. We thought the prison was secure but we were wrong.
He cannot be allowed back into my universe, and I cannot imprison him
here without help from my people.”
“So what you’re saying is that we have to deal with the
problem.” Picard said.
“Unfortunately, yes. I think I can reduce the power he has here
but not to any great extent.”
Picard was deep in thought for several second before replying.
“Very well. Let me know what you need to do. I’ll just have to
live with it.”
The Doctor left the room, walked across the back of the bridge
and into the turbolift.

The door chime rang in Sarah’s quarters, and she was surprised to
see Deanna Troi walk in.
“Hello Sarah, I thought you might be bored sitting around and
wondered if you’d like a tour of the Enterprise. We have a rather
nice arboretum, and the holodecks can simulate any environment you
like.”
“Yes, please. It is difficult being cooped up with nothing to
do. Normally we land somewhere unpleasant and get taken prisoner.
Then we get split up and have to sort out the mess we’re in, find each
other and get back in time for tea.”
“Get back in time for tea?” Queried Deanna.
“It’s an Earth expression, at least my Earth. It means, well,
erm….” she trailed off not knowing how to put it.
“It means, to get the job done in the minimum of time and fuss.
To successfully sort out any problems and still get away from it to
somewhere safe.” Deanna finished for her.
“Sort of, yes. In my time, before I met the Doctor, I was a
journalist. I reported on things that were not-quite-ordinary. I was
reporting on some missing scientists and ended up in middle ages
England being attacked by thugs, bandits and aliens.”
“Aliens?”
“Sontarans. Ugly, squat beings that were actually cloned from a
clonebank and bred for war. I met one again not long ago. He was
surveying the Earth as a possible site for a battle fleet base. It
was quite a long time in the Fu…” She stopped short, as if realising
that this could be the future for these people as well as her own.
“I’m sorry, I always talk too much. Even the Doctor says that
sometimes.”
“That’s alright, I understand. Shall we?” Deanna indicated the
door. Sarah was reminded why this attractive woman was here and,
picking up her jacket, they left the room.
Deanna explained a little about the function and running of the
ship, occasionally probing about the TARDIS, although Sarah gave as
little information away as possible. They came to the Holodeck on
deck 11 and Deanna turned to Sarah.
“Do you have any preference as to where you’d like to go?”
Deanna asked.
“Er, no. Why?”
“The holodeck can re-create almost anywhere. As long as the
file is in the computer that is.”
“No. I don’t have a particular place in mind. You choose.”
Deanna turned to the computer terminal on the wall and tapped a
few buttons. The computer replied that the holodeck was now
programmed and ready. Deanna led Sarah into 20th century London.

The doctor had returned to the TARDIS and was walking the
corridors. He passed several unmarked doors before coming to the door
he wanted. The label said:

Computer Archive store.

The Doctor opened the door and entered. The room was about as large
as the console room and fairly sparse except for a chair and a
terminal. He sat down in front of the computer and began pressing
buttons. The screen filled with text, which the Doctor skipped past,
and finally came to rest on a file. The text on the screen told the
Doctor what he already knew. But a footnote added something to the
file that the Doctor hadn’t been aware of. He smiled to himself and
stood up. He switched off the terminal and left the room. A few
minutes later he was standing outside the TARDIS, locking the doors.
He moved away from the small box and out of the cargo bay.
Back in his quarters he gave the computer his order to seal the
room and went into his trance. This time he did not send his mind
through the ship, but rather, he directed it out to an entity called
Q.

On the bridge Riker sat in the centre seat, while Jean-Luc
Picard sat in his ready room. There was a familiar voice and Q popped
out of thin air.
“Ah Jean-Luc. Nice of you to drop in. I thought we might play
a game…”

Chapter Four
————

It was just as Sarah remembered it. Deanna and she were walking
through Hyde park looking at the scenery.
“Is this a correct representation of London?” Deanna asked.
“Sort of. I didn’t get much of a chance to see London, I was
always out on assignment. Until I met the Doctor, that is.”
“The Doctor’s different, isn’t he? I can’t get many emotions
from him, it’s as if there is a wall I can’t see over.”
“How do you mean? Can you read minds?”
“No. Full Betazoids can, I’m only half Betazoid. I can only
sense feelings and emotions. But I don’t pry into peoples mind to get
them.”
“Oh. That must be very difficult when there are lots of strong
emotions all around you. How do you manage to turn yourself off to
them?”
“It took years of practice on Betazed. But sometimes it does
overwhelm me.”
“I often wondered what it might be like to be telepathic, but I
don’t think I have the type of mind to be able to cope with the
intrusion of other peoples thoughts.”
“Have you and the Doctor travelled to many places together?”
asked Deanna, trying to change the subject.
“Yes. Since I stowed aboard the TARDIS I’ve seen lots of other
worlds, met lots of leaders of planets. I’ve been possessed,
hypnotised, tortured, shot at, kidnapped. The list goes on.”
“Possessed? What was that like? How did it happen?”
Sarah thought back to the visit to Metebelis 3 and the spiders.
She shuddered, saying, “I’d rather not talk about it, if you don’t
mind.”
“Of course.” Deanna said.
The two women carried on walking through the park. Overhead the
clouds gathered, as if a storm were coming. Birds called from the
trees. Sarah looked on without much interest. She wasn’t really a
city girl at heart, preferring the quiet of the country.
“Could you show me somewhere from this universe?” she asked.
“Certainly. Did you have anywhere in particular?”
“I’d like to visit the planet below us. I mean the actual
planet rather than in this holodeck room. I read in the computer that
the colony that lived there was destroyed. I’d like to see what this
Borg race did.”
“Why?” asked Deanna.
“I don’t know. I read about the Borg, how they’d just scooped
the colony off the face of the planet. I was interested about what
the planet looked like.”
“I’ll ask the captain,” Deanna said with a small smile, “I’m
sure he won’t mind.”

* * *

In his ready room Jean-Luc Picard stood looking at Q. The
omnipotent being had his familiar smirk which was beginning to annoy
the captain. Just then Will Riker requested the presence of the
captain on the bridge. Picard moved out of the ready room leaving Q
frowning at the apparent dismissal.
“Oh! This just won’t do, Jean-Luc.” Q said to himself, and then
vanished.

On the bridge Riker relinquished the chair to his captain.
“Commander La Forge reports that the repairs are complete.
Unfortunately we only appear to have a maximum speed of warp 8.2. He
requests that we head for the nearest star base so that he can check
out the entire system. He thinks there may be an underlying fault
with the engines that he can’t locate as yet. He’d like to use the
facilities of a star base to run several diagnostics that can’t be
done while we’re in orbit.”
“Very well, Number One. Contact counsellor Troi on the planet
and then proceed to star base 126. Warp 5. Mr Data, how long will it
take to get there?”
Before Data could answer there was a flash of light. Data
turned to look at Picard, but it wasn’t the android sitting there.
“Mon Capitan” said a familiar voice
“Q!. Where’s Commander Data, and what are you doing here?”
Picard said, irritation evident on his face.
“Me?” asked Q innocently, “I’m here to meet some old friends,
nothing more. I am allowed, aren’t I? ”
“Nothing more?” said Riker, his voice full of disbelief.
“There’s always something more when you’re about.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” Q added, “I forgot the magic words. Permission
to came aboard Captain?”
“Permission denied. Get off my ship Q!” Picard shot back, “We
don’t have time for games.”
“Games? Hooray. Let the Games begin.” Q said merrily, and then
with darker undertones, “Watch out Jean-Luc, Things aren’t all they
seem to be! The universe is in enough trouble as it is, without you
blundering your way around. I’ll go, but I’ll be back.”
“Not if we have anything to do with it!” Worf growled.
“Ah Worf, You’re developing a sense of humour at last. Pity you
don’t have the brains to match.” then Q grinned. Looking at Jean-Luc
he said, “The pieces are set, the players are ready. The dice are
impatient. It begins!” and was gone. The now familiar burst of light
accompanying him, but his voice came from out of thin air,
“Double six to start.”

* * *

Deanna and Sarah were standing on the surface of the planet.
Sarah looked around, aghast at the sight. Deanna pointed out where
the colony had been, now just a huge hole as if somebody had scooped
out a handful of soil.
“How did they do it?” asked Sarah.
“We don’t know. All we do know is, one moment we were receiving
transmissions from them, the next we weren’t. When we investigated we
found this. No trace of the colony or the 900 or so population has
ever been found.” Deanna was quiet for a moment, offering a small
prayer for the souls of the colony. Sarah, too, was silent. When she
spoke it was with a quiet voice, tinged with regret and sorrow.
“It always make me wonder if humans should be out in space if
there’s so much violence and suffering about. Wouldn’t it just be
safer to stay on Earth?”
“And do what? At this time, in the growth of just your planet,
The population would be too much for one planet to sustain. Even two
hundred years ago there wasn’t enough food for the population. Only
by venturing out into space did your species have a chance of life.
Had humans stayed on Earth, there would now be artificial islands at
least as big as, what was then America, in the Atlantic and Pacific
Oceans. There would have been huge undersea complexes specifically
built to house the population.” Deanna paused for thought then
continued, “No. only by expanding to Mars and then the rest of your
solar system did humans have any hope of survival. You speak of
violence: the Federation is a peaceful organisation. We try to
spread peace wherever we go. We have a Prime Directive which forbids
us to interfere with the cultural or racial development of a species.
We don’t have a battle fleet, at least not one for aggressive motions,
it’s purely for defence. You speak of suffering: there will always
be suffering. No matter how hard we try, some-one, somewhere is
suffering. We don’t ignore it or capitalise on it, we search it out
and help relieve it. Sometimes we can’t, but if there were no
suffering the ambition or drive would be lost. What would we strive
for if everything was perfect? If wanting and needing were
non-existent then humans, and some other species, would stagnate.”
Sarah looked humbled.
“You are right. In fact you sound a lot like the Doctor. I
just wonder what life would be like without the hurt.”
“Uninteresting.” said Deanna with a slight smile on her lips.
She hadn’t meant to lecture Sarah on the shortcomings of humans as a
species, or to make excuses for the disaster which faced them on the
planet. She’d felt bitter and sad about the loss of so many lives
that the words had tumbled from her lips without really registering in
her brain. She apologised to Sarah for the outburst. Sarah accepted
the apology and suggested that they beam back. This place was also
beginning to depress her, even more than Skaro had.

* * *

On the bridge Picard was quietly wondering what Q was playing
at. The being didn’t usually turn up and play games without a good
reason, or moral justification. Something about this visit niggled at
the back of his mind. The Enterprise was still on course for starbase
126, or so the instruments dictated.
At first Picard thought only he could hear the noise, a
click-click-click. It seemed to be all around him but at the same
time only inside his head.
Click-click-click.
No, thought Picard, it was more like a rattling rather than a
clicking. The rattling noise was followed by a pair of quiet thuds.
Data looked down at the floor and picked up two dice.
“Commander Data, what is it?” asked Picard, who had noticed the
motion of his second-in-command.
“It appears to be a double six Captain – though where these dice
came from I have no idea” replied the android.
“Thank you” came the voice of Q, and a hand appeared out of thin
air taking the dice. “Your turn, Jean-Luc. Try for a high number.”
and with that the hand vanished. The dice appeared in Picards open
palm.
“Captain, That would seem to be the voice of – ” Data began.
“Yes Mr Data I know.” snapped the captain. He threw the dice
onto Rikers chair with disgust. “I don’t have time for this Q!”
Q’s voice echoed across the bridge. “A one and a three. I’m
very disappointed in you, Mon Capitan.

In his quarters the Doctor was trying to contact the entity
calling himself Q. Finally he gave up. Obviously there was something
he was missing. His conversation with Guinan came back to him: He
has the ability to shield his mind from me, she’d said. Perhaps that
was the problem. He rose from the floor where he’d been sitting,
cross-legged, and started pacing the room. There was a quiet rattling
and two thuds. Looking down he saw a pair of dice resting on the
floor. the spots showed a six and a three. Picking them up he
wondered aloud where they might have come from.
“There’re mine.” a voice said, and a hand reached out of the
space beside the Doctor and took them from his hand. The Doctor
turned slowly and regarded the person standing before him.
“And you are?” he asked.
“Q” the other man supplied. The Doctor let out a satisfied “Ah”
and moved away from Q. He reached the couch and sat, gesturing for
the entity to do likewise. Q strolled amiably over and perched
himself on the arm of one of the chairs.
“You intrigue me Q. I’d like to know a bit about you.” The
timelord said, as a way of opening the conversation.
“Really, and I thought all humans were dull and uninterested.
What would you like to know?”
“Let’s start with the basics. Name, place or origin, that sort
of thing.”
“Name? Q. Place of origin? The Q continuum. That sort of
thing? Pass.”
“The Q continuum? What’s that?”
“It’s a place that is nowhere and yet everywhere. It crosses
the barriers of time and space and thought.”
“Interesting, whose thought?”
“Mine, and those of us who dwell in the continuum. There are
lots of us. You interest me, sir. I can’t read you as I can these
other humans. I don’t even know your name.”
“I am generally known as the Doctor.”
“Ah, so you’re the person who fixed the computer. Didn’t take
you long, did it?”
“No really. Most of it was fairly basic and elemental
circuitry.”
“Hmm, somebody who knows his way around the ship and thinks of
it as basic. You definitely have piqued my curiosity. I’d like to
know more about you Doctor.”
“Then we have something in common. Tell me Q, how do you manage
to do all the fancy things I’ve been told about.” asked the Doctor.
If he could get Q to reveal himself a little at a time he might find a
way to deal with this person.
“Like what?” Q counter-asked, amused at the question.
“Like the trip to Sherwood Forest for example.”
“Oh, that was easy. All I had to do was rifle my way through
Picard’s mind and pick it out of his thoughts. Then I simply made it
a reality. Child’s play.”
“What do you use as a power source?”
“The power of thought. It’s the most basic and powerful force
in the universe, or should I say multiverse. Crossing the barriers of
dimension and thought is something that we in the continuum discover
at a very early age. Then it’s simply a process of refinement.”
The Doctor was beginning to see how it might be done. Reaching
out carefully with his mind he touched the sub-conscious of Q, and was
rewarded with a momentary flash of surprise.
“How did you do that? There’s something very peculiar, yet
familiar, about you.” Q asked. He was worried that somebody might
actually be able to connect with his own mind – someone not from the
continuum.
“It’s fairly simple when you know how. Can’t you do it?” the
Doctor asked. Q sent his mind out towards the timelord, but came up
against a huge wall. It was so huge that he couldn’t see any edges.
It was so dark – almost black – that it frightened him. Well, to say
frightened would be taking it a little too far, considered Q. It was
more like a puzzlement that nagged at something in his mind.
Somewhere, a long time ago, he’d come up against a mind like this, if
only he could remember where. Q cast his mind out again and suddenly
it came to him, only to disappear again. Disappointed with his
failure Q asked the timelord some more questions, hoping to get the
answers his mind wanted. But the Doctor was wary of the attempt and
evaded the questions, responding with useless information, all the
time trying to probe Q’s mind further.
“There is no actual door into the continuum, it’s more like
knowing where it is and just willing yourself to be there.” Q said in
response to one such question. As they talked, trying to give little
away, yet get a lot back, Q learned that the Doctor was from a
different universe, that he had a home planet – although he refused to
tell Q where it was. In return, the Doctor learned that Q was an
exile from another universe and that he’d made a point to play with
lesser beings, as he put it. He would dearly like to return, if only
to see how his race was getting on without his superior knowledge.
“What is the significance of the dice?” the Doctor asked,
changing the subject.
“It’s a game. I roll the dice, and make my move. You roll the
dice and make your move. If you break the rules I’ll tell you.”
“What are the rules?”
“Oh no, that would be telling, now wouldn’t it?”
“How can I be expected to play if I don’t know the rules?”
“Picard doesn’t know them, but he’s still playing nonetheless.”
Q held out the dice and deposited them into the Doctor’s palm. “Your
go, I believe.”
The Doctor reached out his hand and took the dice.

On the bridge there was a silent flash of light and Riker
vanished. Picard turned just in time to see Worf also vanish. Damn
you Q, Picard thought, bring my people back. The dice looked
inviting, as if pleading to be thrown. With a sigh the captain picked
up the dice and rolled a one and a two.

The sky was overcast, a deep blue with tinges of green dotted
about. Trees lined a long, straight, dusty road. Riker blinked in
surprise as he and Worf appeared in the middle of the road. They
looked about and saw no-one. Only the faint rustling as the wind
passed through the branches. Riker walked over to the line of trees
at the right-hand side. Beyond them was a mist. As Riker put his
hand out to touch it a voice called out of the air.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Q advised.
“Q, what is this place? Why have you brought us here?” Riker
demanded.
“Tut tut, commander. All I am permitted to say is that the road
leads two ways. One way is freedom, the other…” Q trailed off.
“The other leads to death?” Worf asked.
“Oh Worf, you’re have such a way with words.”
“Well, does it?” Riker put in.
“Not exactly. The other leads to a test of your skill and
imagination. Worf had better stay behind because he doesn’t have
any.” Q said. Worf growled deep in his throat but Riker held up a
hand to forestall any comments.
“Which way is which?” he asked.
“There is no way to tell. It’s all down to the roll of the
dice.” and the voice was gone.
“Great. I suppose we’d better get started.” Riker led the way
down the road with Worf beside them, keeping a lookout as they walked.

The dice felt ordinary to him. Looking around the room the
Doctor strolled over to a table and rolled the dice across its
surface. They clattered and came to a stop showing a five and a four.
The Doctor picked them up again and looked around. Q had disappeared
while the dice had rolled. The conversation had gone quite well, all
thing considered, and the Doctor had learnt a great deal from Q. He
put the dice in his pocket and walked from the room.
The TARDIS stood in the conference lounge where he’d left it.
Picard had joined him there after seeing the timelord stroll across
the rear of the bridge.
“Doctor, two of my crew have vanished. I know Q is behind it,
but I’m at a loss to know how to bring them back.”
“That’s something I was going to work out. If I can locate the
source of his power – for want of a better word – I might be able to
block it. But we’ll have to move carefully, we don’t want to leave
any of the crew in danger. It will have to be done when we know they
are all safe.” he paused in thought, then asked, “Has you seen
anything of Sarah?”
“Not since the meeting.” Picard replied. He glanced up to the
ceiling, “Computer, locate Sarah Jane Smith.”
“There is no record of a Sarah Jane Smith onboard the
Enterprise.” came the pleasant voice of the computer.
“Computer, locate the Doctor” the Doctor said.
“The Doctor is in the conference lounge.”
“What was that for?” asked Picard.
“I just wanted to make sure the computer was aware of me being
on board. I noticed that it said Sarah wasn’t recorded as being
aboard.”
“I noticed that. If she’s not on record as having come aboard
then somebody or something has removed that record.”
“I think I had better start work on this device.” the Doctor
suggested. “Can you organise a search for Sarah, or at least her
record?”
“I’ll get Data and Geordi to start immediately.” replied the
captain. The Doctor walked up to the TARDIS. Taking the key from his
pocket he opened the door and went inside. Picard moved back onto the
bridge and instructed the android to start searching for Sarah and
then went back to his seat to contemplate the disappearance of his
crew.

In the TARDIS the Doctor was pulling circuit boards from the
console. He examined each and making a decision either replaced it or
added it to the growing pile of boards. Satisfied with his collection
he picked them up and moved through the inner door towards his
workroom. The workroom, or laboratory as the Doctor liked to think of
it, was a large, tidy place. Tools were neatly hung from the walls
above benches. There was a small door in one wall which led to a bare
room with a table and on the wall was a camera, connected to a
viewscreen in the workroom. The walls were covered in roundels,
common to the design of the TARDIS. Setting the boards from the
console gently down on a bench he proceeded to pull open drawers and
cupboards. Soon another pile of bits filled the bench and then the
Doctor began assembling them. It took the better part of two hours to
fix the components, bits of wire, circuit boards, and a large
connector together. He placed the various parts into a small metal
framework and made the finishing touches. He stepped back to admire
his contraption.
“But will it work?” he asked himself. He walked over to the
small room carrying the structure and placed it on the table. Turning
to one of the roundels he pushed and was rewarded by it moved aside to
reveal a connector, the mate to the one on the framework. He grasped
it and pulled, causing a length of cable to feed from the wall.
Making sure the connection was fast he walked out of the room and
closed the door, locking it with a brief motion on the keypad situated
beside the door handle. Then he moved up to a bench where the viewer
was located and slowly turned the power up on the equipment. The
screen showed the machine shuddering slightly and then be still.
Readings on various meters and dials showed activity, but only just.
The Doctor turned the power up some more and suddenly there was a puff
of smoke and a muffled bang emanating from the screen. He looked
sharply at the screen and saw it was fine: the machine in the small
room, however, wasn’t. Quickly he turned the power off and had to
wait for the all-clear from the door locks before being able to enter
the room.

Worf and Riker continued to walk along the road, their feet
stirring up little dust. There was a scream from just ahead, although
neither man could see where it originated. Trusting to his instincts
Worf ran ahead closely followed by Riker. Suddenly they were no
longer on the road but were in a castle courtyard. High above them
the ramparts were lined with bodies, as though a great battle had
already been fought. The scream echoed again, seeming to come from a
door off to the right.
“Let’s be careful.” Riker suggested. “Remember, Q is probably
behind this.”
The scream called out for a third time and Worf’s hand shot to
his belt for his phaser, but it wasn’t there. Looking about he found
a small curved sword and picked it up. Riker picked up a similar
weapon, slightly longer and straighter, and moved forward cautiously.
The door was ajar, behind it was a darkened room. Riker
motioned to Worf, who positioned himself to one side. Riker gripped
the handle and pulled the door open with a quick jerk. Light streamed
in from the courtyard, igniting the darkness, and Riker could see a
gigantic spider-like creature. Backed into a corner was a young
woman, who Riker recognised. It took a minute for the sight to sink
in the he rushed into the room. Worf followed close behind and
started to hack at the spiders legs.Riker was chopping at the head
carefully, to avoid being bitten, and eventually succeeded in piercing
an eye. Panic gripped the creature and it tried to back off, but Worf
had done a good job. Three of the legs were broken, dangling
uselessly, and a fourth was severed. Riker, sensing the beasts panic
mounting, threw his sword into the other eye but it glanced off a
mandible and clattered to the ground. Worf saw the attempt and threw
his sword to his commanding officer, whilst simultaneously rolling to
the ground and scooping the others fallen weapon. Riker had seen the
sword coming and caught it deftly. He lunged towards the creature
again and the sword passed into its mouth and stuck there, protruding
slightly between the jaws. There was a choking scream as the creature
started to fall over. A few minutes later it was dead. Riker turned
to the terrified woman and helped her across the room and out into the
courtyard. Once there he realised where he’d seen her before.
“Miss Smith, what are you doing here?”
“I don’t know.” Sarah managed to say, in between huge gasps, “I
was sitting in the room you gave me when suddenly I was here, in this
castle.” She paused to collect her thoughts and to get her breath
back. She had been almost too scared to scream, the sound not wanting
to emerge. Riker led the to a rough seat at the edge of the courtyard
and she sat gratefully.
“What happened then?” Riker asked
“Then a man appeared, I don’t know where from, and told me there
was something he wanted to show me. He led me to that room – ” she
shuddered at the thought of what she’d found, ” – and the thing
dropped from the roof and blocked the doorway. I screamed, that much
I do remember, then you were here.”
Riker was silent as he cursed Q for doing this. Worf had been
looking about and found the drawbridge; it was raised. He moved over
to one side and saw the release mechanism, pulled it and there was a
clatter as chains rushed out of the wall, pulled by the lowering
bridge. Sarah jumped at the noise and spun around, fearing something
else was going to happen. Riker also turned and saw what Worf was up
to. He gave a curt nod of approval as the exit banged down onto the
far side of the moat. Worf walked back towards Riker and Sarah and
spoke.
“The bridge seems secure. Shall we cross it?”
“Yes, let’s get out of this place and find a way home.” Riker
answered. There was a noise.
“Look!” Sarah shouted. She pointed at the portcullis that was
lowering itself. Riker leapt to his feet and rushed to it, but Worf
was faster. Grabbing a large pole from nearby he rushed to the metal
grill descending and jammed the pole in a runner, and letting the
other end dig into the ground. The portcullis stopped with a groan
several feet from its normal resting place, the pole holding firm.
Riker turned and beckoned Sarah over, then the three of them stooped
under the iron grid and stepped onto the drawbridge. They had just
reached the other side of the moat when the moat, drawbridge, in fact
the entire castle vanished.
“Where did it go?” Sarah asked in amazement.
“It was never really there.” was Riker’s response. Worf just
growled the name of Q under his breath.

The door opened and the Doctor walked inside. The machine was
slightly charred and two of the circuit boards were ruined. The
Doctor looked on, upset at the loss of his boards, then disconnected
the supply and carried the machine out of the room. He put it on a
bench and began stripping it down so that he could replace the boards.
Eventually he decided that he would need some help from the captain in
replacing various parts and stood up. Meticulously he walked around
the lab switching off the test gear and then walked back to the
console room. He left the TARDIS, locking it behind him, and strode
onto the bridge.
“Doctor, how is it proceeding?” asked the captain.
“Not well. I’ve had a few problems. A flash in the pan, you
might say.”
Data looked up from the science station, a puzzled expression on
his face.
“A flash in the pan? Accessing…”
“Never mind Data, it’s an Earth saying.” The Doctor said,
grinning at the thought of the android working it out.
“Ah.” said Data, and then he turned back to his work. Picard
hid a smile and said, “We have not been able to locate your companion
as yet. Mr Data is currently running a test program to see if the
computer has been compromised in any way.”
“Fine. Could I see you for a moment?” Picard nodded and strode
towards his ready room. The Doctor followed the captain.
The door hissed closed behind him and he walked up to the desk.
He sat without being asked, rummaging in his pockets again. The
object of his search was a small, very crumpled, paper bag. Dipping
his fingers into the bag he pulled out a green jelly baby and popped
it in his mouth then, realising he was being selfish, offered the bag
to Picard.
“Now then Doc-” began Picard, but he was distracted by a small
bag being held across the table. Unsure of the bag, its contents, the
strange man holding it, he was astonished to see this man lifting his
legs to place his feet on the edge of the table. Frowning, Picard
looked in the bag to see a multitude of small sweets of varying
colours. He picked a yellow one as the Doctor said, “I’d like to know
all you can tell me about this Q character.”
“Erm.. yes.” said Picard, chewing on the sweet, “There’s not
really much I can tell you.” He went on to outline the events that had
previously occurred, from the encounter at Farpoint Station to the
latest meeting.
“The last time we saw him was approximately two months ago. He
said he was here to check on a young woman who was a member of the
continuum.”
The Doctor was silent for a minute then he leapt to his feet,
popping another jelly baby in his mouth. “Well, I can’t sit around
all day, I’ve got the TARDIS to fix, puzzles to solve and machinery to
construct. Jean-Luc, I’ll need some spare parts for the TARDIS. Can
you rustle up these for me.” He handed a piece of paper to Picard, and
started towards the door.
“The replicator should be able to cope with this. It won’t take
long.”
“Good. I’d like to have this thing sorted out as soon as
possible. Then I can see about getting us home.” He strode through
the door leaving Picard feel as though something important had
happened but no-one had told him what it was. He looked at the dice
that had appeared in front of him and picked them up. Rolling them
across the table they skidded to a halt showing a double five.

On the dusty road Riker and Worf walked, accompanied by Sarah.
They were silent as they contemplated the events that had just
happened. Sarah had recovered from her initial bout of shock and was
thinking about the man who’d appeared to her.
“Who is this Q person you mentioned?” she asked.
“Q is a being with great powers. He delights in testing us.
When we first met him he put us on trial.” Riker replied.
“On trial for what?”
“For being a grievously savage race, or words to that effect.”
“What was the verdict?”
“I don’t know. Q said he would be watching us and then he
disappeared. I think he was moderately impressed with us as we are
now.”
“So why does he keep testing you?”
“Because it amuses him to see us jump to his tune.” Worf broke
in. The road now seemed to curve to the right and before long there
was a sight that Riker’s mind couldn’t get to grips with. Ahead of
them at a distance of about 200 feet stood a pair of doors exactly
like those on turbolift. Reaching them Riker was astounded to see
that was exactly what they were. Worf walked all round them and
reported that they were indeed turbolift doors, but they weren’t
connected anywhere. Riker walked up to them and obediently they
parted to reveal the inside of a turbolift. Riker looked inside and
satisfied his mind that the inside was just as it should be then
stepped through the doors. Worf and Sarah accompanied him and the
doors closed.
“Bridge.” said Riker. the lift shuddered and moved upwards
gracefully. The doors parted to show a view of the bridge and the
threesome exited. The bridge was still and empty.
“This looks like the bridge of the Enterprise, but can we be
sure?” Worf said. He prowled down the ramp to the command centre and
seated in the captain’s chair was Q.
“Ah Worf, so good of you to join me, and commander Riker and the
lovely damsel in distress. Welcome.” Q rose and executed a florid and
extravagant bow. Sarah smiled to herself at the gesture.
“Q, where’s the rest of the crew?” asked Riker.
“Such eloquent rhyming from the mouth of a poet. Needless to
say they will be along shortly. First, however, I have a question to
ask you.” Q resumed his seat and looked towards the viewscreen. “Tell
me commander, Do you know where I might find this person?”
Riker turned his head and gazed at the screen. From behind he
heard Sarah gasp as the Doctor floated lifelessly in space…

(more parts will be online later)

—————————————————————–
All Star Trek characters are copyright Paramount.
All Doctor Who characters, and the TARDIS, are copyright BBC
Enterprises.

Story content and all other characters are (c) Rob Cowell. 1995
EXCEPT the article 110 section, from the story The Doctor and
The Enterprise by Jean Airey.

This story will be uploaded to the anonymous ftp site for
startrek.creative stuff, and to Frontios.

Rob Cowell

[email protected]

All Marks are owned by their owners.

Doctor Who & related characters are the BBC’s
Star Trek & related characters are Paramount’s

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