"The Toilet Post"

Author: Lieutenant Commander Tyran
Date: 150,000 years ago
Location: Iconian Ship

Tyran stood uneasily on the bridge of the Iconian ship. He felt about as useful as a barber on Bolarus. Kira and Kerrin were busy going over schematics on the main viewer and theorizing what was going on. He was making every effort to try and understand what they were talking about, but astrophysics wasn't his specialty. As he watched, a rather uncomfortable feeling began to press itself into his consciousness.

"Excuse me, uhh... Kerrin?" he asked. "Do Iconians have toilets?"

Kira suppressed a smile as he tried to continue his analysis. *Serves him right. he's been Cracking jokes at my expense for a while now.*

"Yes, we do," she said with a smile. "I'll get one of the crew to take you."

"Thank you," replied Tyran, more than a little embarrassed at his request.

He was guided through many corridors to what seemed like the bowels of the ship. *I wouldn't like to be caught short on this ship,* thought Nige as the Iconian crewman pointed to a doorway.

"Thank you," said Tyran as he entered the toilet.

Once inside, Tyran looked around; thankfully the Iconians idea of toilets was very similar to that on Starfleet ships. He sighed in relief as he picked out a latrine and unzipped his trousers.

"Put that thing away Commander!" came a voice that frightened the life out of Tyran. He looked around to see who had spoken and observed Q standing behind him.

"This has got to be a new low even for you Q. Sneaking up on a man while he's taking a leak!"

"Don't ever try to hide out in a restroom, Commander. It isn't very pleasant," said Q as he leaned on a nearby sink.

Tyran finished and went over to a nearby sink and washed his hands. "Why are you here Q?"

"Well, I wouldn't have been able to speak to you alone on the bridge."

"Why couldn't you have just frozen everyone else or something?"

"Because the look on your face just now was priceless, Mr. Tyran. Anyway, I have business to attend to here. I see that Kira hasn't been making the progress the Continuum had expected him to..."

"Have faith in him," snarled Tyran. "He'll figure it out."

"Quick to his defense, aren't you, young Bajoran? I like that. Now here's what I want you to do; go back to the bridge and tell Kira that all he needs to do to solve this little problem is to change the gravitational constant."

"Why are you telling me this? Why not tell him?"

"Because, Commander, this is a test, a test that he cannot fail. The Continuum is watching him so closely that I wouldn't have been able to get to him, but your little trip to answer the call of nature has given me an opportunity to help him out."

"You mean, you're asking us to cheat?"

"Cheating is such a harsh word Commander. Think of it as a helping hand...," said Q in a patronizing tone.

"Kira would never cheat at anything, and nor would I unless I had no other choice. Why should I even believe that you're telling the truth?"

"There are more things at stake here than two insignificant people's objection to cheating. If Kira fails here, all is lost. Commander, a day after you went through the gate the Kelvans attacked the planet of those irritating little monkeys." Q paused for dramatic effect before uttering the rest of his sentence. "All your crew is dead, including your darling wife."

Tyran suddenly felt weak at the knees and reached for the sink to steady himself. "D... D... Dead?" he stuttered.

"Yes. Decapitated to be precise," said Q without skipping a beat. "If you don't play along and tell Kira to change the gravitational constant, I may leave her that way."

Tyran didn't need more incentive than that. "I'll tell him," he replied, visibly shaken by Q's cavalier comments.

"Good. Then I'll see you later, Commander. Sorry to disturb you," he said with a sarcastic smile. He snapped his fingers and was gone.

Tyran stood there for a moment, going over what had just happened in his mind. He snapped out of it and left the bathroom.

"Did you find the facilities to your satisfaction?" asked the crewman as Tyran stepped back out into the corridor. "You were taking a long time, I was beginning to grow concerned for you."

"Oh... yeah... I'm fine... It's just a Bajoran thing... If there's a Bajoran in the toilet before you, look out!" said Tyran in a half hearted attempt to cover up his true feelings with humor. Apparently the Iconian wasn't getting the joke, so he gave up and followed him back to the bridge.