The Q Files - part 2

In which there is a very big meeting...

Voyager's senior staff meeting was drawing to a close. It had been a routine meeting - and as the last item was dispensed with Captain Janeway circled the table once - almost as though she was seizing up her audience. She'd been quiet during the meeting, letting others talk, only making sure that decisions were reached.

'I had a visit yesterday,' she announced, returning to the head of the table, 'from Q.' There were a mixture of reactions - but they were definite reactions, even Seven looked startled. Janeway made a note to ask her later what the Borg knew about the Continuum. 'Actually it wasn't the Q we've come to know and love, or any of his nearest and dearest.'

'Another member of the Continuum?' Tom said.

'What do they want with us?' That was Chakotay and she didn't need to look at him to know that his expression was a mixture of curiosity and scepticism.

'He wants to spend some more time with us, to observe and learn.'

There were assorted grunts and stifled laughs in response to that remark and she quite understood why.

'I believe we have already learnt that not all of the Q are the same, that some of them have the potential for growth.' That was Tuvok, remembering as she had, the time they had spent with Quinn.

'You're saying that we shouldn't deny him the opportunity because we have some preconceived ideas about the Q?' Her question was a general one, open to the room.

'Ideas that have been justified by experience.' B'Elanna wasn't even going to attempt to offer the Q the benefit of the doubt.

'Surely this discussion is irrelevant?' She turned so she could look at Seven and gestured for her to continue, 'we do not have the means to prevent him.'

'Then why did he bother to ask?' She wasn't going to argue with Seven, Qs last visit had proved they had no defence against his unsettling and unheralded appearances - and she could already recall just how unsettled she had been.

'You're suggesting that because his approach has been different his behaviour will be as well?' Tuvok offered.

'I suppose what I'm saying is that I don't know. What do we have to decide by? Our experience of the Q has not been favourable, he knows that. It would make sense to approach us in a different way.'

'There's really only one way to find out.' Did Chakotay really believe that, or did he just know her very, very well.

'I know.' Returning to her chair, Kathryn Janeway did wonder, briefly if she was completely mad.