AOH :: GEIGER04.TXT|
"Q and A" 4 of 16
Captain's Log - Stardate 42767.3
First Officer William T. Riker reporting
Since Q's departure, all crew member's in
all departments have been working around the clock,
checking all Enterprise systems for any defects
left when Q reintegrated the secondary hull. So
far, none have been found. The checks must be
completed soon. The Xin ship we've confronted
has moved over forty meters since Q left and is
picking up speed. Lieutenant Commander Data has
been researching the probe Q spoke of and has
nothing to report as yet.
Captain Picard has slipped into a coma.
But there is good news. Lieutenant Worf has
recovered and is back on duty.
"Commander, I have completed the research
you ordered. Details concerning the probe itself
are sketchy, as the probe rendered all technology
within range powerless. Upon reaching Earth, the
probe sent powerful signals into the oceans, trying
to communicate with Earth's whale population. As
the whales had been hunted to extinction two
centuries earlier, the officers of the original
Enterprise went back in time to the late 20th
century. Two whales were brought back to the 23rd
century. The probe communicated with the whales
and left Earth, restoring power to all stations and
vehicles it had rendered powerless. No subsequent
contact with the probe or its creators has occurred.
"I hope this information is sufficient,
sir," said Data.
"More than sufficient, Data. Thank you.
Mister Worf, have all stations reported ready yet?"
"Yes, Commander. There is no measurable
effect of the Enterprise's destruction and
"Then we're almost ready. Riker to
Sickbay," he said, tapping his combadge. "Has the
Captain's condition changed?"
"Pulaski here. I'm sorry, Commander. His
lifesigns remain strong but he's still comatose.
I will notify you of any changes, though."
"Thank you, Doctor. Riker out.
"Bridge to LaForge. We're ready to go,
Geordi. Can you transfer Engineering control to
the Bridge and join us up here?"
"I'm on my way. I don't trust Q with the
Enterprise and I'd like to be where I can see him,
not that it matters with someone of his raw power,"
"I'm sure everyone shares your sentiments,
Geordi. Riker out.
"Mister Crusher, what's the problem?" asked
Wes had been involved in a whispered
discussion with Data for several minutes.
"It's nothing, Commander. I'm just nervous
about letting Q try something as tricky as time
travel with the Enterprise," said Wesley.
"There's nothing we could do about it even
if we didn't want Q to send us back through time.
He's just too strong. Besides we have no choice.
The survival of the Federation rests with us. The
outcome of this mission determines the future of
the galaxy," explained Riker.
"Deanna, what feelings do you get from the
crew? How do they feel about this mission?"
Riker had told the crew what they were doing and
why and now wondered if he had made the right
"The crew are fearful of such a great
undertaking, but that is understandable. They have
confidence in the Bridge personnel and in them-
selves," said the ship's counselor.
"In that case, I guess we can call --"
There was a flash of light and everyone
on the Bridge finished Riker's sentence for him:
"Always punctual, at least when it suits
me. Now, shall we begin? Very well. I have
modified the warp nacelles to facilitate time
"Don't worry, Mr. LaForge," said Q,
anticipating the Chief Engineer's protest, "they
will function normally as long as you follow my
instructions. Listen carefully."
With a flash, a large toggle switch
appeared in the center of Worf's control board.
"I'll explain it so that even you can
understand it, Klingon." A growl emanated from
deep within Worf's throat. "In order to travel
through time, the Enterprise must achieve Warp 8.8.
Then simply pull the switch back to travel back-
wards through time. You will automatically stop
somewhere near the middle of the 23rd century.
Once you have captured the creature in a tractor
beam, simply accelerate to Warp 8.8 and push the
switch forward to return to the present.
"And now I bid you adieu." So saying, Q
"Let's get started, people. Geordi, Data,
gradually bring our speed up to Warp 8.8. Worf,
pull the switch on my signal. Mister Crusher,
plot a course to the creatures' most probable
location, using 23rd century starcharts."
"Mister Worf, shipwide communications.
This is First Officer William T. Riker speaking
for Captain Jean-Luc Picard. We are about to
attempt time travel. Hang on, I don't have to tell
you how dangerous this is. Riker out."
"Mister Data, what's our speed?" asked
"Warp 4.5 and increasing."
"Commander, I don't know if the tractor
beam can handle the stress of moving something at
Warp 8.8. It could overload or rip the Enterprise
apart," worried Geordi.
"We'll worry about that when we get that
far. Mister Data, our speed?"
"Warp 7 and accelerating," replied Data.
"Keep me informed in one-tenth Warp
intervals once we reach Warp 8," said Riker.
"Warp 8 ... Warp 8.1 ... Warp 8.2 ...
Warp 8.3 ... 8.4 ... 8.5 ... 8.6 ... 8.7 ...
"Worf, the switch!" shouted Riker.
Worf slammed the switch to the rear position
and nothing happened, at least on board the
Enterprise. Outside, however, the Enterprise
shimmered amid a ball of coruscating blue
lightning streaks and vanished. All Enterprise
systems continued to function normally except for
the chronometers, which ran backwards.
"Mister Data, what's going on? I sense no
change in our movement," said Riker.
"Unknown, sir, but the chronometers are
running backwards. Stardate 20000 and decreasing.
Our velocity is constant at Warp 8.8."
"Any damage to report, Mister Worf?"
"None, Commander. It would appear that Q
knows what he's doing. But why use technology to
send us back? Why not just wave his hand or snap
his fingers? I do not trust him."
"I don't know, Worf. Maybe he just wants
to show us how 'inferior' our technology is.
Perhaps he's not truly omnipotent. Q is an enigma,
we'll probably never know for sure," said Riker.
"Yes, Data, what is it?"
"We are at Stardate 8053.1, traveling at
one-half impulse power."
"Thank you, Mister Data. Now what? Where
do we go to find the creature?"
"Q fed a course into the navcomp before he
left. It will take us to the Vexis Corinhi
system," spoke up Wes.
"The star went supernova on Stardate 33071,
destroying all planets in the system," added Data.
"Well, unless someone has a better idea,
engage course at Warp 5. Mister Data, ETA to the
Corinhi system?" asked Riker.
"16.7 hours at present speed."
"Mister Worf, any transmissions?"
"I'm picking up various subspace messages.
It appears that we are nearing the edge of 23rd
century Federation space. Many of the trans-
missions concern an energy surge at the location
where we entered this time zone. All available
ships have been sent to investigate."
"Specifically, what are their orders?" asked
"They are under orders to investigate and
return to their assigned patrol areas. It appears
that tensions are escalating between the Federation
and the ... Klingons?!" He shouted the last word
"Lieutenant Worf, the peace treaty between
the Federation and the Klingon Empire was not
signed until 20 years before we left, or over 50
years into the future, using this time as a
referent," explained Data.
"I'm sorry, I had forgotten," rumbled the
Klingon by way of apology.
"Don't worry about it. How many ships,
Worf? What classes do they represent?" asked Riker.
"There are 10 ships, maybe more. Some are
still beyond sensor range. Most of the ships in
range are from the original Enterprise class.
There are a few Reliant class vessels as well,"
"Mister Crusher, evasive action. We most
avoid contact with those ships at all costs or
risk changing the future."
"Mister Data, call up the schematics on the
main viewer. Let's see what we're up against,"
The first schematic appeared on the main
viewscreen almost immediately after Data reached
Science Station 1 at the rear of the raised Bridge.
It showed the standard top, front, and side views,
with important areas marked. This particular
schematic was of an Enterprise class vessel. It
showed a large saucer section connected to the
Engineering hull by a thin neck. The two warp
engine struts jutted out at a 45 degree angle
from amidships. The long warp nacelles themselves
sat higher than the exposed bridge in the center
of the saucer section. The nacelles seemed
extremely vulnerable compared to the design of the
Galaxy class starships, whose short warp nacelles
were slung lower to the Engineering hull, tucked
away beneath the saucer.
"As you can see, Commander, these ships
are vulnerable compared to us. The shields are not
strong enough to defend against a sustained attack.
Despite the fact that these ships have what was for
this time state-of-the-art Leeding FWG-1 engines,
their maximum sake speed is equivalent to our Warp
1.65," explained Data.
The Enterprise class starship was replaced
by a Reliant class vessel. It consisted of a
saucer section with Warp nacelles slung under-
neath on very short engine struts. The Bridge
was on top of the saucer section.
"The design is more compact. As with the
Enterprise class, the impulse engines on the rear
of the saucer are only slightly less vulnerable
than the Bridge and Warp nacelles. Also, the
photon torpedo array on the top rear of the saucer
is always open to attack. As with the Enterprise
class, this design has a top speed of Warp 1.65, in
terms of our UltraWarp capabilities."
"Avoiding these ships should not be
difficult," finished Data.
"Thank you, Lieutenant. Worf, are there
any ships following us?"
"Yes, Commander," Worf answered as Data
returned to his station. "Two of the ships have
remained at the point of our arrival, leaving
eight to trail us and more are closing on opposite
"You mean there are ships coming out of
"At least one. Others are closing on
courses tangential to the Klingon-Federation
"Mister Crusher, initiate a spiral
course. Evasion is our top priority. Mister
Data, what is our present speed?"
"Warp 2, sir, due to the stresses involved
in our tight spiral course."
After a while, Riker said, "Ensign Crusher,
change course. Come up through the center of our
spiral. Warp 6. Mister Worf, are any ships
"Yes, Commander. The ships are relaying
information between themselves. As long as one
ship knows where we are, they will all continue to
"All right then. Geordi, can the engines
handle a full 180' turn at Warp 6?"
"Based on the tests we've run, the
Enterprise is in peak operating condition. No
faults in any systems, including Warp drive.
Reduce speed to Warp 3, just in case there's some
hidden defects we haven't discovered yet."
"Got it, Geordi. You heard him, Mister
Crusher, reduce speed to Warp 3 and initiate a
180' turn. Bring our speed up to Warp 6 again as
soon as possible. Mister Data, where will our
pursuers expect to meet us?"
"Logic would indicate that we should alter
course mid-way down the spiral. They will converge
"When we reach 25% of the way down the
spiral, put us back on our original course to the
Corinhi system, Mister Crusher."
The Enterprise lurched slightly as the
inertial dampers strove to absorb the shock of a
90' turn at Warp 6.
"Mister Worf, any pursuers now?"
"Not exactly. No pursuers but there is
still a ship coming in our general direction from
out of Klingon space."
"Can you identify whose side it's on,
Klingon or Federation? Any name you can put to it?"
"It's undoubtedly Federation, an Enterprise
class vessel. Still waiting for the computer to
decode identification beacon." After a pause, Worf
continued, "Commander, I now have the name and
registry of the approaching vessel. Registry:
NCC - 1701. It is the ... Enterprise."
Expressions of surprise circulated around
"Mister Data, how long until they are in
visual range if we drop out of Warp now?"
"Forty-five minutes, Commander."
Uncharacteristically, Data kept it at that,
fighting his urge to be more precise. For some
reason the humans seemed to prefer the inaccuracy
of round numbers.
"Ensign Crusher, one-quarter impulse.
Data, I want all pertinent details concerning the
original Enterprise and her present complement of
"Aye, Commander. I will begin immediately."
Data left his station at Ops to walk to the Research
station at the rear of the Bridge. He was
intrigued at the possibility of meeting the crew
of the Enterprise. The ship was the most famous
in Starfleet history and had spawned a whole series
of ships with her name. Something must have made
the original Enterprise special and he was
determined to find out what it was.
After Commander Riker informed the crew
of the situation, a silence fell over the Bridge
as each member of the Bridge crew contemplated
their upcoming contact with the Enterprise. After
thirty minutes had expired, Data reported that he
had finished his research and was ready to report
"Proceed, Mister Data," said Riker.
"This Enterprise was refit circa Stardate
7500. All her systems were updated and her hull
redesigned. She successfully dealt with V'GER's
attack on Earth and was assigned to another 5-year
mission. Afterwards, she became a training vessel
for Starfleet Academy cadets. On one such training
voyage, the Enterprise was forced to battle the
evil 20th century madman, Khan Noonian Singh. Khan
threatened Starfleet with the Genesis device, the
details of which are still classified. During this
mission, the Vulcan First Officer, Spock, was killed
saving the Enterprise from the detonation of the
Genesis device, but not before passing his katra
on to the ship's doctor. When trying to rescue the
First Officer's body, the captain of the Enterprise
was forced to initiate the self-destruct sequence
to keep her from being captured by the Klingons."
This brought a low growl from Worf. "We are
currently within the time period of the
Enterprise's 5-year mission, immediately preceding
their encounter with Khan."
"What's the Captain's name, Data?" inquired
"Jean-Luc Picard," answered the android,
giving Riker a quizzical look.
This seemed to lighten the mood on the
Bridge, eliciting smiles and chuckles from nearly
"No, Data," said Geordi. "Who was the
Captain of this eras Enterprise?"
"Ah ... James Tiberius Kirk."
"Kirk ... Kirk ... That name sounds
familiar," said Riker. "I remember now. He beat
the Kobayashi Maru simulation at the Academy.
Wasn't it also his distinctive style of leading
away teams that caused Starfleet to dissuade all
starship captains from leading away teams into
dangerous or questionable situations? Something
about a risk to the chain of command and a loss
of Starfleet security if anything happened to
"Affirmative, Commander. Although I must
say that it still takes a considerable amount of
persuasion for captains to adhere to Starfleet's
directive. Many of them prefer to be on-site
during away team missions," added Data.
"Mister Data, I thank you for your insights.
Lieutenant Worf, range of the Enterprise."
"Still beyond visual range but closing
rapidly," replied the Klingon.
"Thank you, Worf."
"Due to the state of Federation/Klingon
relations, when we communicate with the Enterprise
from this time, you shouldn't be on the Bridge,
Worf. I'm sorry," said Riker.
"I understand, Commander. I wouldn't want
to jeopardize the mission," said Worf.
"Worf, take Mister Data with you. The 23rd
century isn't ready for an android on a starship.
Call for replacements before you go. Best personnel
in your department. You, too, Worf," ordered Riker.
"Aye, Commander. Ensign Gawron is on his
"My replacement is coming, as well, sir.
Ensign Harris is the most promising member of the
Ops department," reported Data.
"Riker to Sickbay. How is the Captain?"
"Pulaski here. He has come out of his coma
but he's still unconscious."
"That's good to news. At least his
condition has improved somewhat. Keep us informed.
As the Turbolift doors opened to admit Worf
and Data, out walked Ensign Christopher Gawron.
He was tall, a little over six feet in height, and
had average length, wavy brown hair. He had the
light complexion of the Northeastern United States
of Old Earth. He went immediately to Worf's station
and stood at attention, awaiting his orders.
"Ensign Gawron, have you been briefed on
the details of this mission?" asked Riker.
"Yes, sir. And I must say that it is a
dream come true. I am something of an expert on
the exploits of the original Enterprise. But to
finally meet Captain James T. Kirk --"
"Try to curb your enthusiasm, Ensign. We'll
try to keep all communications to a minimum. Just
try to prove that we are no harm to the Federation
and complete our mission."
"Aye, sir. Commander, the Enterprise has
dropped out of Warp and is closing on impulse power,
shields raised," reported Gawron.
"Raise our shields, too, and go to yellow
alert. Geordi, better get down to Engineering,
just in case."
"Aye, sir." And Geordi LaForge started
toward the Turbolift just as the doors opened to
allow Ensign Margaret Harris onto the Bridge.
"Sir," started Ensign Gawron. Riker
acknowledged him and he continued, "The Enterprise
is within visual range."
"On screen," said Riker.
As Ensign Harris took her seat, the view-
screen lit up to show the cutting edge of Starfleet
technology at that time: A flat saucer section with
a raised Bridge on top, two Warp nacelles rising
above the saucer, held up by engine struts projecting
from the top of the Engineering hull at 75 degrees
above the horizontal. The Enterprise gleamed a
brilliant white, reflecting the light from distant
stars. The navigational deflector glowed a bright,
light blue. It truly looked the part of the flagship
"Ensign Harris, I assume that you know what
this is all about," said Riker.
"Yes, sir. We have gone into the Federation's
past to capture a creature that will allow us to
stop the Xin warships. After trying to avoid all
contact with vessels from this era, we are slowing
to confront the original Enterprise, in order to
show our non-hostility." As she spoke, she
unconsciously played with her long, curly brown
hair. She was of average height for an Earth woman
and looked like she came from the same area of
Earth as Ensign Gawron.
"Very good. I think Data made a good choice.
Mister Gawron, any communications from the Enterprise?"
"None yet, Commander Riker," he replied.
"Sickbay to Bridge. Pulaski here."
"Riker here. Go ahead, Doctor."
"Commander, the Captain has just regained
consciousness and wants to know why we're under a
yellow alert. Shall I tell him? He's very
insistent," queried the ship's Chief Medical Officer.
"Do you think it's wise? One of his dreams
has been to speak with the crew of the original
Enterprise and it could come as a shock that we
are in a situation where that is required," replied
the First Officer.
"You're right, Will. He's in no shape for
such a shock. I'll give him a sedative, just to
force him to get his rest. Pulaski out."
"Sir, the Enterprise is hailing us,"
reported Ensign Gawron.
On the viewscreen appeared a boyish face,
made older by deep lines of stress, topped by close-
cropped brown hair. He was dressed in the old style
uniform of a Starfleet admiral.
"This is Admiral James T. Kirk commanding
the United Starship Enterprise. Intruder, please
identify yourself within five minutes or we will
open fire with all weapons."
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