The Q Files - part 3

'In which someone has "a very strange dream"'

Chakotay padded comfortably into his living room, towelling his hair dry. He felt better after a long shower, more relaxed. Carefully he lit a candle and let the aroma of herbs start to fill his quarters Then he opened his medicine bundle and set his akunah on the low table in front of his couch.

Sitting on the floor he placed his hand on the device, closed his eyes and spoke the ancient, familiar words which would take him to a different place. When he opened his eyes again he was in a familiar clearing. All his senses were alert and he felt energised, in tune with his body and the landscape. His animal guide wasn't waiting for him, which was a little unusual - but then he saw her, moving slowly towards him.

A shiver of apprehension ran through him, something was wrong. As his guide approached him it changed, transforming into something else, someone else.

'Q!'

'At your service. "You must be a bear?" Hmm - if only she knew!'

'What are you doing here?'

'I need your help.' Before Chakotay could respond Q clicked his fingers and returned them to the real world. Chakotay shook his head, disoriented and then disappointed to realise that Q had followed him here, dressed, inevitably in a Starfleet uniform. He began to pack away the contents of his medicine bundle as Q looked over his shoulder. 'Does she know?' he asked, gesturing to one item.

'I thought the Captain said it wasn't you.' Chakotay said, ignoring the question.

'Ah well, that wasn't.'

'So why are you here? Can't go anywhere on your own? Or were you worried he might ruin your pristine reputation?'

'I don't know why I bother with your species.' Q rolled his eyes dramatically.

'Neither do I.' Chakotay put in.

'It's a miracle you've survived this long given your congenital narrow mindedness.'

'Does your visit have a purpose, or has the list of species you've offended now grown so long that you've started at the beginning, hoping anyone who hasn't seen you for a while will have forgotten just how truly annoying you are? Incidentally, we haven't'

'I could turn you into a slime worm - without even thinking about it Chuckles.'

'Go right ahead, anything for a break from your presence.' He did wonder briefly if that was the right thing to say, he expected, any second to be a slime worm, but it never happened. Instead Q rolled his eyes again.

'I need your help.' Chakotay couldn't help himself, laughing outloud at that thought.

'Forget it.'

'You don't know why I need you yet.'

'And I don't want to know. I'd rather be a slime worm than help you.'

'That's not a very Starfleet attitude Chuckles, what about the spirit of exploration?'

'What about you going away and leaving me alone?'

'This is important!' Impatient more than intrigued and sure he'd never get rid of his visitor unless he at least heard him out, Chakotay said

'What is there that could possibly need the assistance of a mere human?'

'I can't believe it either, I never thought there would be any reason I'd actually have to ask you for help.' The sarcasm was lost on him Chakotay realised. He also decided that he'd rather sleep in the Briefing room than have to listen to Q for a moment longer. Heading for the door he said,

'I changed my mind, I don't want to know.' He'd almost reached the door when Q, most unwillingly conceded,

'It's Kathy, I need your help because it concerns her, all right.' Of course Chakotay turned round and said in a low, intense voice,

'Tell me what's going on right now!'

TBC