Games Without Frontiers
Karen Galarneault

Disclaimer: Highlander and all related characters belong to Rysher and 
Davis/Panzer Productions. Star Trek: the Next Generation Generations, 
Q and all related ships, events, are the property of Paramount and are 
used for entertainment reasons only. This references events from the 
third season episode "Deja Q". 

The sequel to "Footsteps in the Sand" featuring my invented character, 
Jeri McKenna.

     by Karen Galarneault

 The bright way quivered, rippling like water. Its shape did not 
remain constant.  It contracted and held for several seconds, which 
could have lasted an eternity.   Then it expanded outwards in the 
manner of a fiery parabola, or the collapsing outer rim of a dying 
star.  In the center of this chaotic vortex two figures clung to each 
other by main force and were hurtled forward through the centuries.

The voice that crept through all  barriers, throbbed to the heart of 
them. {This is no child's game. Well, you can go forward or you can go 
back. Must I compel you?} Walls closed upon their minds. There was no 
escape, laying  a snare for them.

 Captain's log: Stardate 43539.1.

"As if I didn't have enough to worry about. The Enterprise is 
maintaining a synchronous orbit over the planet B'reel. IV.  Using a 
combination of the graviton scanners and the ship's tractor beam we 
are coordinating our efforts with the planet's scientists.  An 
aberration caused by gravity influxes near the polar ice caps has 
caused it to travel a collision course. Unless we are successful in 
diverting its course it will crash into the northern coast of the 
planet. Lt. Commander Geordi LaForge and his engineering crew assures 
me that the theory behind their more radical suggestions is sound. I 
am inclined to believe them.  End log."

"The proximity alarms.  We have a level three intruder alert on 
holodeck three," Data reported as calmly as he would have reported 
giving a feline supplement to his pet cat.

"On the holodeck?" Geordi said. "Why can't intruders just beam into 
the engine room or the bridge? Or have they exhausted all the usual 
places on the ship to invade?" Geordi joked.

"Maybe.  Maybe not. I remember when Dr. Kate Pulaski was filling in 
for me.  She wanted to program a holodeck scenario using Sherlock 
Holmes' arch nemesis, Professor Moriarity. Dr. Pulaski wanted to 
create an adversary that would pose a challenge in a logic that even 
Mr. Data's fancy positronic brain wouldn't be able to solve," Dr. 
Crusher said.

"Professor Moriarity was probably the first holo-deck character that 
was able to actually take control of the ship from inside the program 
parameters. If I recall correctly, the construct had already 
transcended his character's fictional bonds. He agreed to relent his 
control over the ship, but also asked to be recalled from the 
computer's memory should a process for solidifying holodeck creations 
into real matter ever be found. You agreed," Commander Riker commented 
as he scanned the readings coming from the indicated areas of the 

"Don't remind me, Number One," Picard said.

"Captain. I'm detecting definite signs of a conscious mind coming from 
the holodeck and from Ten Forward. There is definitely someone alive 
in there maybe more than one in both places," Deanna, the Betazoid 
counselor reported.

"All right, Commander Riker, find Lt. Worf.  Take a security detail 
and check out both locations," Picard ordered.

"Yes, Sir," Riker replied as he headed for the turbolift.

No sooner had Riker and the security detail left, then a shimmering 
curtain of air appeared. Its prismatic colors and shape almost 
cylindrical.  Upon closer inspection, the bridge crew could make out 
humanoid figure within.  It hovered a few feet above the metal deck 
plates of the bridge, slowly settled, then disappeared as suddenly as 
it had appeared.  As soon as their eyesight returned they heaved a 
collective sigh; they recognized the 'person' lying naked on the 
floor. It was the entity who called himself Q.  Deanna, rushing over 
to a replicator, she quickly covered him with a cloak.

Once he was decently covered, Q got up and addressed Captain Picard. 
"Jean-Luc, it is indeed a pleasure to see you once again."

"I assure you, Q, the feeling is not mutual," Picard replied.

"Where's micro brain?" Q quipped. "Why you keep a Klingon around I'll 
never understand. Don't bother answering, I already know where he is, 
and if I'm right about the young man I brought here before my powers 
were nullified, Lt. Worf will be happily occupied for the next   hour 
or so." Q grinned.

"What do you want Q!" Picard yelled, having frayed his last nerve and 
completely out of patience for the quixotic imp.

"I want to join your crew," Q announced.

"You want to what!" his hearers together said aghast.

"Why you don't seem to get things the first time, I'll never 
understand.  I said I want to join your crew. Could I have a nice red 
officer's uniform, too?" Q laughed.

"We do not have time for this Q. Our first priority is B'reel's moon 
which must be coaxed into realignment before it reaches 251 degrees on 
the Y-axis and collides with its primary planetary body,"  Data 

"Why doesn't Q just snap his fingers and do it himself?" Deanna asked, 
rubbing a hand through her dark hair in a futile attempt to smooth out 
the snarls.

"I can't.  I've been evicted from the Continuum as a punishment for my 
past mischief," Q replied.

"Great. Just great," Geordi said rubbing the bridge of his nose where 
his VISOR itched.

"Mr. Data., Counselor Troi, you two have the enviable duty of keeping 
an eye on Q. Powerless or not, I don't trust him.  And if he really is 
sincere about joining my crew, he can start at the bottom and work his 
way up just like anybody else. Take him to Ten Forward and anywhere he 
wants to go, but within reason. And try to keep him out of as much 
trouble as possible,"  Picard ordered.


 The flickering lights that lined the bar from floor to ceiling 
created odd contrasting shadows along the walls.  Although one side of 
the room was covered in large elliptical windows providing spectacular 
views of the moving star field outside the ship. The lights were 
dimmed and subdued at the explicit instruction of the bar's mysterious 
hostess,  Guinan.   People came to Ten Forward for   relaxation, 
company, food and drink, even if it came from a replicator. Most 
importantly, people  came to talk to  Guinan.  She was a good 
listener, and on the rare occasions when she felt inclined to  tender 
it, good advice.

Data and Deanna Troi brought Q to Ten Forward after a cursory tour of 
the ship. They also provided him with a grey, nondescript bodysuit.  
Q, as a human, was proving just as troublesome as a he'd been as an 
entity;  whiny, complaining of minor aches and pains that ordinarily 
went unnoticed   by folks accustomed to experiencing them every day of 
their lives.

"I'm experiencing this incredible pain in my gut," Q said peevishly.

"Well, maybe you're hungry," Troi winked.

"What does one usually do when they feel this sensation?" he asked.

"Well, I when I'm feeling down or have something to think about I have 
a chocolate hot fudge sundae," Troi replied.

"Since I've never eaten anything before I should be ravenously hungry. 
I'll have ten hot fudge sundaes."

"I've never known anyone to have ten.. " Data trailed off after 
receiving a poke in the ribs from Troi.

"Q"   Guinan said, gliding over from the opposite side of the bar.

"I think I've just lost my appetite," Q said when he saw  Guinan and 
ignored the sundaes when his order arrived.

At the moment a tall, dark-haired man crashed through the ceiling and 
landed directly on top of Q which causing both to sprawl in an 
ungainly heap on the floor in tangled pile of arms and legs.

"Serves you right, Q.   You deserved that, you know? Turning to Troi 
and Data,  Guinan winked and  remarked,   "Some members of his race 
are actually polite."   Guinan laughed as the two men struggled to 
sort themselves out and regain some degree of dignity or at least a 
standing position.

"Not one of my better entrances." Duncan MacLeod said stretching out a 
hand to shake Troi's. "Uh, sorry about that ladies.  Allow me to 
introduce myself, I'm Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod."

"Counselor Deanna Troi.  A pleasure to meet you," she said and shook 
the offered hand. "This is Commander Data and this is  Guinan."

Turning to Q, Duncan said: "You I've already met.  And as I  recall 
the circumstances of our last meeting were all that pleasant.  If this 
is where we're supposed to be, then where's Jeri McKenna and Richie 
Ryan?" he demanded.

"Not like I was planning any of this!" Q shouted.

"What is going on here?" Troi demanded.

"This ought to be good,"  Guinan remarked. "What have you been up to 
lately, Q? Besides making Jean-Luc's life miserable?"

"I don't have to answer that!" he shouted.


 Having been hurled several centuries into the future by a impish 
entity, Richie Ryan felt he   suffered less from the shock of finding 
himself face first in a clump of bromeliad fronds towering twice his 
height in a steamy jungle setting; as he was suffering from the worst 
case of time- lapse in history. He shook his head to clear it of the 
lingering inevitable cobwebs.  Richie picked himself up and groggily 
took stock of his present surroundings. "Could somebody please clue me 
in why I was standing in the middle of a desert in Saudi Arabia, and 
now I'm in a jungle.? Mac, you out there?"

"Hai!" a guttural voice yelled, followed up by a wickedly curved half-
moon blade. Richie picked up on the motion of the blade as it whistled 
through the steamy air. His instincts honed for such threats in 
countless practice sessions with MacLeod, and in actual fights, Richie 
ducked and rolled off to one side.

"Hey, whoever you are! What's the big idea! Who the hell are you! And 
what happened to the common courtesy of introducing yourself first?" 
Richie ignored the nagging detail that he hadn't felt the "Buzz" that 
signaled the presence of another Immortal.  He rolled out of the way 
of another sword thrust and bumped up against a solid, weirdly twisted 
tree trunk. He took advantage of the slight respite as an opportunity 
to draw his sword from underneath his black robe he'd been wandered 
the desert in.

"I can't fight in this.   Just because Mac and others had a thing for 
wearing long coats for the sake of 'weapons concealment' doesn't make 
them any easier to move around in," he said disgustedly, as he shed 
the black robe in favor of the leather jacket, T-shirt and blue jeans 
he wore beneath the robe.

"I don't recognize you." the same guttural voice said, as the owner 
came into view. "Did Geordi program you into the program as a 
practical joke?"

"Join the club. You got a name, pal?  And who's Geordi?" Richie asked.

"I am not your 'pal.  I am Lt. Commander Worf. Son of Moag,"  Worf 
growled. "Chief of Security aboard the Federation star shi 
Enterprise," he added as an afterthought.

"Nice to meet you.  I'm Richie Ryan of Seacouver, Washington," he said 
in the formal way Immortals introduced themselves to one another. 
"Hey, we're making progress,"  Richie said as he sized up his 
opponent. The man stood well over six feet, dark, and heavily muscled. 
Upon closer inspection, Richie noted that he also sported some oddly 
furrowed brow ridges.

"I do not recall making you part of this scenario.  And I haven never 
heard of place called Seacouver, Washington. What planet are you 
from?" Worf wondered. "Computer, hold and freeze program."

The jungle disappeared with an distorted blurring of the light which 
was replaced by a square room laid out what looked like black and 
yellow tiles.

"You don't remember doing what?" he exclaimed. "What's a holodeck? I 
can't believe I'm having this conversation.  Do you mind if I ask you 
something first? Uh, are you real?" Richie asked  <"All things 
considered, I think I preferred the jungle."> he thought..

"Of course I'm real!" Worf shouted. "Why are you holding a sword? Do 
you seek to challenge me?" he added.

"Okay. Now we're getting around to it.  Uh, yeah, You're really you 
and I'm really me. So, just one more question, where are we?" Richie 

"You're aboard the Federation star ship, Enterprise." Worf answered. 
"Why do you not know this, if this was your intended destination.?" In 
an suspicious tone, he asked: "Are you part of some advance scouting 
party and your superiors sent you on ahead for reconnaissance work 
aboard the ship?"

"If this where that weird guy stashed our friend's body, then that 
means this is where we're supposed to end up. But any being powerful 
enough to do that could have sent us light years away from where 
McKenna was, and we'd never know the difference! Man, this sucks!" 
Richie complained.

"Did you wish to challenge me or not?" Worf argued, ignoring this 
rambling monologue. Although the name McKenna had sounded vaguely 
he thought to himself.

"Yeah, I guess I have a 'thing' for antique weapons and a friend of 
mine once told me , its one thing to be an owner, it's another to be a 
collector, and it's an entirely different thing to actually know how 
to use it. You ready?" Richie replied.

"Ryan, I do not believe I have ever met a human like you," Worf said, 
shaking his head and held his weapon in battle position.

"Yeah, I get that a lot," Richie replied. He rocked back on his heels 
and braced himself for Worf's opening attack.  It was a little 
disconcerting when the lunge and thrust he expected to be aimed at his 
shoulders targeted for his ribs. Suddenly Worf sprang at him, cutting 
at his shoulders fast and hard, then for his torso. He was fast and 
strong, he landed blows that hurt like being hit with a anvil. Twice 
struck was enough for Richie, as he determined not to stay on  the 
defensive and concentrated on keeping his footwork even so he wouldn't 
be caught with both feet crossed. If he was going to get into this, he 
might as well resign himself to it. He'd had experience facing 
opponents that were bigger or stronger than him, but being smaller 
wasn't necessarily a disadvantage, he could use his size to get under 
the other's guard.

The two men met and exchanged a flurry of parries and thrusts. 
Strangely Worf seemed reluctant to go for his most valuable asset, his 
head.  Rather his blows were aimed for his exposed left flank. The 
wickedly curved half- moon blade left bloody rents in his leather 
jacket. His last conscious thought before succumbing to an inky 
blackness was < Man, I lose a lot of jackets this way, and why does 
this Worf person look more surprised/ shocked than I feel?>


 Dr. Beverly Crusher arched her back, straining to get into a more 
comfortable position. Her red hair hung loose about her face in a 
tangle of curls. It had come loose from the tight braids she had bound 
it up in while she was stitching together Riche Ryan's numerous 
injuries sustained while participating in one of Lt. Worf's 'mock 
combat simulations.

Chief Medical Officer's Log:

"An momentary slip caused Mr. Worf's blaqlith to run the young man 
through.  He claims it was an accident,  and immediately rushed the 
boy to Sickbay, however it was already too late. In fact, I'm 
surprised he lived long enough to make it here in relatively one 
piece.  Mr. Ryan sustained numerous injuries to the upper torso and 
left flank, which under normal circumstances are fatal. Death occurred 
at 20:13 hours. Worf stated that the young man identified himself as 
Richie Ryan of Seacouver, Washington.  End log.

Just then the body covered by the white sheet on the bed began 
twitching.  Five minutes later the sheet fell to the floor unnoticed 
as the supposedly deceased sat up and glanced around like he was 
shocked to find himself there.

 "Oh My God! You're supposed to be dead!" Beverly cried.

"I get that a lot," Richie replied. "Uh, you're not supposed to see 
this, uh, see me "come back."

"Come back? From where? I don't understand?" she said, hopelessly 

"Could you not complete that death certificate, please.   My last one 
made it into the record books, "Most  promising rookie to ever die'.  
How many other guys can say that?" Richie laughed.   "Uh, can I have 
my clothes back?" he added in a whisper.

 Meanwhile, in Ten Forward Q suddenly became rigid in his seat.  He 
moved like someone pulled his strings, then he jerked upright and 
became enveloped in a gaseous cloud.

Drawing his sword, Duncan judged the arc and the intervening space 
between the cloud and approximate space where Q's body would be. Then 
Duncan inserted the blade into the energy field, hoping that the metal 
of the sword would channel some if not most of the electrical energy 
in the manner of a conductor.  Basing his action on the theory that 
metal contained charges which were free to move around, the presence 
of the electric field would reverse flow of charges in the direction 
of the field and away from Q.

{All things considered, This is still going to be quite a shock} 
Duncan thought.

He was right as the cloud dissipated and MacLeod felt the electrical 
surge pass through the sword blade and into his body.  Both men 
collapsed to the floor.

 "So why did you save me? Would you have done it if you could be hurt? 
If you weren't what we both know you are? I tricked you, I lied to 
you, and I shanghaied your friends, " Q asked MacLeod.

"Don't be rubbing salt in old wounds, boyo!" Duncan yelled.

"If I wasn't Immortal.  Maybe, maybe not.  I may not like you, I know 
I don't like you. But I cannae stand by and watch someone else be 
smothered to death by of sentient vaporous cloud," Duncan answered.

"So, If MacLeod hadn't been there...." Deanna trailed off.

"Apparently these aliens were just another race of beings, who, after 
being taunted by Q decided they were fed up with him and exacted a 
little revenge,"  Guinan remarked.


 "It was probably just a scenario set up by Q to make it look like 
Worf killed Richie, or to make us think he did, but he didn't.  He 
just made it look that way." Jeri McKenna explained, brushing a strand 
of thick chestnut hair away from her eyes. <"I know we didn't get a 
whole lot of time to talk while they've been aboard the Enterprise, 
but it's so wonderful to see them both again> she thought wistfully.

"What's a holodeck?" Duncan asked, but was ignored. "You've 
encountered this entity before?" he added.

"Yes, Our first encounter with Q was at Farpoint Station where he 
placed us on trial for the 'crimes of humanity," Picard said.

"But you obviously found a loophole in dealing with his rather 
spurious logic. He doesn't strike me as all that stable an 
individual," Duncan argued.

"The second time he tempted me with the powers of the Q.  The trick 
was to see whether or not I'd succumb to using them," Riker added.

"Yeah, but why does he do it?" Jeri asked.

"It amuses him," Data answered.

"Uh, getting back to our previous discussion.." Geordi trailed off.

"But I did kill him! Worf shouted. "I ran my blaqlith right through 
him!" he protested.

"Well, maybe it wasn't as serious a wound as you thought," Duncan 

"It was on the holodeck, right? You had the safety parameters 
running?" Geordi asked turning to the obviously distressed MacLeod. He 
hadn't gone into too much detail, but the young man was close to him 
and the circumstances surrounding Ryan's 'death' and miraculous 
recovery, had him very worried.  "Everything on the holodeck is based 
on computer generated images, they're elaborate but they're nothing 
more than sophisticated mathematical algorithms.  What I'm trying to 
say is that injuries look pretty darn serious on the holodeck, but 
they're just pretend. With the safety parameters on-line, weapons 
can't draw blood."

"No.  I took the safety parameters off-line when we both agreed to use 
edged weapons. Mr. Ryan said he had 'a thing' for antique weapons and 
fought a mock combat with me. I agreed and we continued with the 
program I currently had running," Worf interrupted.

   "What kind of antique weapons?" Deanna asked.

"A sword, apparently.  Carbon dating indicated that it's a French 
style epee dating from the 18th century.   It belongs to Mr. Ryan.  
The other blade that confiscated by the security detail belongs to Mr. 
MacLeod, and is a 16th century Japanese katana," Data reported.

"I've participated in your mock combat programs before, Mr. Worf.   
You should have left the safety parameters on," Riker said sternly.

"Commander, I did not intentionally place the young man in any 
significant, life threatening danger," Worf said.

"I made out the death certificate.  I gave the young man a full 
medical exam. MacLeod suffered a severe electrical shock.  As it is,  
I didn't expect him to be up this soon. I've seen patients 'come back' 
on the operating table, but nothing like this," Dr. Crusher said, 
shook her head and gave Richie a disapproving glare that said "Why are 
you sitting there grinning like a fool when you've just had a Klingon 
blade rip through your chest and you died?"> She gave MacLeod the same 
treatment that said: {And why are you sitting there acting like 
nothing ever happened?}

"Could you have made a mistake, Beverly?" Picard asked.

"I could have, but I didn't," she replied.

On the bridge

"We'll have to table this discussion for now.   B'reel's moon is the 
most important issue right now,"  Picard said.

"Message coming through from the B'reel scientists. They are ready to 
start the gravitational scanners, Sir," Worf reported from his 
tactical station.

"Excellent.   Geordi get down to engineering and power up the 
scanners. Commander Data, you will co-ordinate with Commander LaForge, 
who will be responsible for making sure the ship's tractor beams are 
in activation at the same time." Picard replied.

"I'm on it," LaForge replied as he headed for the turbo lift.

"Sir, computer inventory reports a missing shuttle from the landing 
bay," Deanna said.

"Who took it?' Riker asked.

"You're not going to believe this, but apparently Q stole it." Deanna 

Onboard the stolen Federation shuttle

"Q, I know you can hear me," Picard said over the shuttle's intercom.

 "Jean-Luc, don't try to talk me out of this"

 I'm warning you."

 "Look, I made a mistake. MacLeod may have 'saved' me from the 
Calimarians,  but that doesn't mean they won't try again.  I'm leaving 
before that can happen."

"I don't give a damn about the Calimarians! Get back here!" Picard 

"Sorry, Captain. I'm not a member of your crew, remember.  I don't 
have to do what you tell me," Q grinned his familiar annoying smirk 
that signaled he was secretly pleased about something, It looked even 
wider and more annoying on the view screen.  Then Q terminated the 

 Meanwhile, the silver arrow of the stolen shuttle arced out into 
space pulling farther and farther away from the Federation starship. 
It gave every indication of a determined starling bird fleeing its 
mother, and made considerable headway in its flight.  Just then a 
curtain of prismatic light surrounded the shuttle and held it in an 
invisible grip.

"Brother!" a voice said from the ether.

"Brother" the first Q responded in surprise.

"A selfless act? In all the millennia that I've known you, you've 
actually managed to surprise me," the second Q remarked. "We've been 
watching you, you know?" he added.

"Not that I'm not pleased to see another member of the Continuum, to 
what do I owe the honor of this visit?" Q1 asked.

"What is it with you and provoking these mortals anyway?  And do you 
really believe these so-called Immortals are really all they're 
cracked up to be?"  Q2 asked, perplexed. "I must admit that was 
playing the trump card.  As for Picard, sacrificing yourself by luring 
the alien race away, inspired.

"About the Immortals, I can't be entirely sure if they really are or 
they aren't. We didn't create their race did we?" Q1 asked.

"I can't be sure. I'll have to check the records of the Continuum," Q2 
replied, shrugging.

"What are you doing here. Don't tell me you're paying a social call? 
Q1 said.

"Well, as I've said, we've been watching you and the auditors on the 
elders council were suitably impressed by your 'selfless' act that 
they've agreed to restore your powers on a probationary basis.  Q, 
brother, one more thing, just don't screw up again, this restitution 
is only temporary.  You could be nullified again," Q2 warned.

"I think I owe Captain Picard a favor.  I believe that as my first act 
with my newly restored powers is to realign B'reel IV's moon so that 
it doesn't crash into the planet. However, 'brother' I need your 
discretion on this, if any of this gets out to the council, my 
reputation will be ruined." Q1 commented.

"Hah! They'll never hear it from me!" Q2 said and disappeared.


A signal came through from Geordi down in engineering:

"What is it, Geordi?" Picard asked.

"Captain, this is unbelievable, someone unknown force has shifted the 
moon onto an entirely different trajectory.  The moon is continuing in 
its normal orbit and is heading away from the planet!" he exclaimed.

"On screen."

The image that appeared on the view screen confirmed the evidence of 
the scanners. The silvery orb of the moon continued blithely on its 
new course unaware of the potential havoc it could have caused had it 
followed its previous course.


"So, we really didn't reach a consensus about whether or not this Q 
person was responsible for creating the Immortals?" Richie questioned.

"What a bizarre and immature life form," Duncan growled. He supposed 
he should be happy since Captain Picard agreed to return their swords.

"You don't know the half of it," Deanna smiled.

"To answer your earlier question, Richie, either Q was lying or he 
used it as cover story in order to get us to join him, and when we 
didn't he was perturbed enough to bring us to this particular time-
line any ways," Duncan speculated.

"After all, Q did say that he was sending us to wherever he had 
'stashed my body while he was borrowing my semblance if you recall 
your previous encounter with him or it, or whatever this entity is," 
Jeri commented.

"Does this mean that we're stuck here? No offence, Captain Picard, but 
it's like not that I want to spend the rest of my life on this ship," 
Richie said.

"Oh, Is there something on the Enterprise that you object to, young 
man?" Dr. Crusher said angrily, crossing her arms.

"Not at all, ma'am.  It's just that, that it's not home," Richie 
replied, glancing askance at MacLeod and wondering what he had done to 
earn the chief medical officer's icy demeanor.

"I'll handle this," Jeri announced, approaching Richie and Duncan. 
"Look, guys, I know this is difficult for you, for all of us..." Jeri 
trailed off. "Would it really be so bad to stay here? It's not like 
our time-line is that great."

"Mac, when we return to Earth we have got to tell Dawson about this!" 
Richie laughed. "Uh, are they going to be okay not knowing about 
Immortals and everything?" he said nervously raising a hand to wipe 
sweat from his forehead.

"Yeah, I bet this is something not even Methos or the Watchers have 
ever heard about," Jeri answered.

"Do you think Dawson's going to believe this one?" Richie asked.

"Well, there's only one way to find out. Why can't Jeri come back with 
us?" Duncan said.

{"I made a deal. She stays here. You guys can go home.} a quicksilver 
voice replied. "Bon Voyage, boys!" Q exclaimed.

"Just one thing before you go," Jeri said, rushing over and giving 
both Richie and Duncan a hug, "I love you guys, and I'll always 
remember you!" she promised as they vanished into a shimmering vortex.


As Picard was about to give orders for a new course heading, a 
blinding flash of quicksilver light appeared in the middle of the 
bridge.  Q, still dressed in his version of a Starfleet uniform is 
celebrating. Q paraded around the bridge, playing a trumpet and led an 
impromptu conga march, complete with a Mariachi band, cigars, and 
women for the bridge crew. Coming over to Riker he leaned up and 
whispered in the first officer's ear: "You were never this stolid 
before the bear,." Q laughed, then snapped his finger, and the entire 
ensemble disappeared.

"Maybe Q's learned his lesson for once," Picard said.

A voice from the ether came through the ship's intercom system: "Don't 
bet on it."

"Warp factor six. Engage.  Get us out of here, Ensign," Picard