Stardate 219534.5 (Thu 4 Dec 2380): Janeway receives a visit from an old friend while imprisoned at the Tantalus V Penal Asylum.
Federation Penal Asylum
13 July 2381 1524 hrs
Kathryn Janeway, once the captain of a starship in the United Federation of Planets’ Starfleet, sat holding her knees to her chest on her bunk in the Tantalus V Penal Asylum, wishing — not for the first time — that she could undo the past. Unfortunately, as she was all-too-aware, that wasn’t possible. She’d already tried once, but was stopped by a timecop who was once a member of her crew.
The difference now, however, was that rather than try to prevent the discovery of her crimes — namely, leading a sabotage ring aboard her own ship, she wanted only to prevent herself from committing those crimes in the first place. The worst sin she’d ever committed was putting her pride before the welfare of her crew, and for that she would be forever haunted.
There was a flash of light. "Kathy," said Q, who had appeared in her cell, "if you want haunting, I could always bring in some old friends — Kaplan, Hogan, Cavit…" He trailed off. "I’m sorry, that was insensitive of me. I’ll put away my salt shaker and let the wound fester. You were doing a bang-up job of it on your own."
"Guard!" Janeway yelled. "Guard!"
"They can’t hear you, Kathy," Q said. "As far as they’re concerned, you’re in here on your own, just as always."
"Talking to myself now, no doubt," she muttered. "What the hell do you want, Q?"
"Kathy," Q crooned. "I’m far more charitable than that. To them, you’re just sitting there, sulking."
"What," Janeway said, enunciating each word between gritted teeth. "Do. You. Want?"
"Why," Q said, clutching his chest dramatically, "you wound me! I’ve come as a friend, a pal, someone to talk to and pass the time with!"
"You want to talk to me?" Janeway asked. "Get me out of here. I’ve been locked up in this cell for two damned years!"
"Sorry, Kathy," Q said. "No can do. One thing I’ve learned is that you reap what you sow."
"It’s about time," Janeway muttered.
"It’s things like that that really damage my self-esteem," Q said.
"I’d say you’ve got enough for both of us," Janeway said.
"Well," Q said, "I am omnipotent."
"How is everyone?" Janeway asked. "I don’t get much in the way of news around here."
"Chuckles is still in charge of Voyager," Q said. "They launched the Dauntless last year. Harry and Her Borgness had another baby — a girl, this time."
"What’s her name?" Janeway interrupted.
Q sighed. "Elizabeth Willkara Kim," he said. "Tommy and the missus begot their own little hellion as well. Her name’s Linnis Miral Paris." Q took a breath, then continued, "Starfleet decided to promote Harry, Tommy and Moe after they finished the Dauntless, then decided to promote Miss Marla again while they were at it.
"Kirk got command of the Dauntless, and the Federation found itself in another war six weeks later. I won’t comment if there’s a connection there or not."
"How’s Quentin?" Janeway asked.
"Little q?" Q asked, beaming. "Why, he’s positively stunning. Just like his old man. A chip off the old block. A–"
"Q," Janeway interrupted. "That’s enough. Does he still visit with Naomi?"
"Occasionally," Q admitted, "but she’s more interested in another boy. How she could possibly think higher of him than of q–"
"Who?" Janeway asked. "Is it anyone I know?"
"Why, she’s been dating Jeffrey Zimmerman," Q said, a fiendish grin crossing his face, "much to her mother’s chagrin."
"The Doctor’s son?" Janeway asked. "She’s dating a hologram?"
"Don’t be so high-and-mighty, Kathy," Q said. "Remember, in quite a few timelines, you dated a hologram, yourself." He turned his head, then added, "At least this one’s sentient."
"That didn’t happen in this timeline," Janeway said.
"But it could have," Q retorted. "When you changed history — before you were stopped, that is — you went on to date a nonsentient hologram in the new timeline."
"Let’s not get into that," Janeway said.
"Oh, let’s," Q replied. "After all, it’s not a very good idea to meddle with the timelines when you’re not omnipotent."
"Q," Janeway scowled, "I said drop it."
"Fine," Q said. "It’s been lovely, Kathy. Ta ta." He snapped his fingers and disappeared in a flash of light. He observed the asylum from withing the Continuum. His wife approached him from behind.
"Why do you persist in visiting your old girlfriends, Q?" she asked.
"Jealous?" he asked in return.
"Hardly," she said, then turned and left. Q wavered a moment, then decided, just this once, to do a good turn. He smirked, then followed his wife. Meanwhile, back on Tantalus V, Janeway’s psychiatrists began to think that, maybe, it might be a good idea to give Kathryn Janeway another chance.