The Q Files - part 1

In which our heroine receives a mysterious visitor...

Kathryn Janeway flicked her eyes towards the pile of padds on her desk and calculated how many reports she had to read and how long each was likely to take, all without missing a syllable of the status report she was reading. By her calculations she was going to be here for at least another three hours. Taking a deep breath she promised herself a cup of coffee at the end of this report... that was when she heard the cough.

Looking up slowly the first think she noticed was the large cup of coffee her 'guest' was holding.

'I thought you might need this,' he said, putting the coffee down on her desk. 'I was going to knock, but then I thought you might not let me in.' She raised her hand to hit her comm badge but he forestalled her, 'please don't do that, I really don't mean you any harm.'

'What do you want?'

'Just to talk, I'm...' but she knew already, she'd known from the moment he'd suddenly appeared. And even if it wasn't 'him' she knew without a shadow of a doubt that her guest was,

'Q?'

'Yes - I suppose my just barging in did give it away. I'm sorry.'

Well, this was new, a member of the Q Continuum apologising. Still, he didn't get off that lightly.

'I'd be more convinced by your apology if you heeded it.'

'I will, really. No more suddenly dropping in - we aren't all like 'him' you know. Some of us are much better looking!' He smiled, disarmingly, making it clear that he was mocking himself - and Q, of course. But the thought flashed inescapably through her mind that it was true. His light hair flopped almost into his striking blue eyes, and he had a wide and generous mouth. He'd chosen an attractive human persona for himself. She didn't say that of course, what she said was,

'I'm glad to see you aren't wearing a Starfleet uniform.'

'That would be disrespectful,' his mouth quirked into a quick grin, 'besides it doesn't look very comfortable. I think this will do.' The dark grey clothing looked soft and fluid and yet oddly formal. 'Aren't you going to drink your coffee?'

'When you tell me what you're doing here?'

'May I sit?' She nodded, still cautious and he pulled up a chair and sat on the other side of the desk. 'Frankly, you don't mind if I'm frank with you, do you Captain?'

'It would be a refreshing change,' she remarked dryly.

'He really is the limit! It's no wonder our reputation is so awful.' Q looked genuinely upset for a moment, 'no that isn't what I want to talk about. You want to know why I'm here, of course you do. Well, I'm curious, about humans in general but about this ship in particular, about your lives out here so far away from home, about this journey you've undertaken. I want to find out more about you.' He looked her in the eyes and held her gaze for a moment before continuing, 'I'm not like Q, I don't interfere, my powers aren't a source of amusement, I don't get pleasure out of manipulating others. I just ask for the chance to spend some time among you, to learn.'

'Its a laudable aim, you'll forgive me if I'm not convinced.'

'You haven't had the best experience of us.' She thought, carefully, before she responded to that one.

'The issues in question have been serious, have touched upon the nature of the Q - and I don't regret our involvement. What I haven't enjoyed is the high handedness, the arrogance with which we've been treated. The way we've been thrown around like toys to serve your interests.'

'That wasn't me,' he pointed out reasonably, a point she was forced to concede. 'Will you at least consider my request?'

'I'll need to discuss it with my senior staff.'

'Of course,' he appeared, could it be, disappointed? 'I quite understand. May I check back with you after you've spoken to them?'

'We meet at 06.00 hours.'

'Then I'll see you after that, and I'll make sure that I knock.' He stood up, 'oh and Captain, drink your coffee - it's a very good blend.'

'What should we call you?' She asked, reaching for the cup, 'Q?'

'I think that's been done, don't you? And there aren't many names that begin with that letter, not ones that are easy to pronounce anyway. Why don't you just call me David?'

'David - I'll see you tomorrow.'

'Yes Captain.' He smiled just before he clicked his fingers and disappeared. Some things never change, she thought to herself as she took a sip of the coffee. He was right, it was a very good blend.

TBC