Captain's log, stardate 43539.1. We are orbiting around Bre'el IV.
Its emergency centre is helping us investigate the catastrophic threat
to the population from a descending asteroidal moon.
The satellite's trajectory is deteriorating.
This orbit will put it within 500 km of the surface.
Atmospheric drag will bring it down on the next orbit.
Have you found any explanation for this?
No, Doctor. It is a most unusual phenomenon.
- Won't the moon disintegrate? - No. It has a ferrous structure.
It will be able to withstand tidal forces.
Could we blow it into pieces?
The total mass of the moon would remain the same.
Fragments would spread destruction over an even wider area.
- How long before impact? - 29 hours.
Somewhere in the west. That would destroy an area 800 km in radius.
That damage would be insignificant
compared to the seismic repercussions,
massive land quakes and tsunami.
The resulting cloud of dust round the planet
would cause a temperature reduction. It could be our own Ice Age.
Mr. La Forge, could the Enterprise coax that satellite
- back where it belongs? - We'd need a Delta-V
of 4 km per second. Even with warp power,
it'd mean exceeding the recommended engine output by 47 percent.
It'd be like an ant pushing a tricycle. A slim chance.
Given the choice between slim and none, I'll take slim.
Make it so.
Lt Worf, contact all ships to rendezvous and join us in this.
We'll advise you of our progress.
- Can you give us any more, Geordi? - We'd burn out the emitter.
- We're already beyond the limit. - Delta-V is 92 metres per second.
The mass is too great. We are having a negligible effect.
- What is that? - Unable to identify source.
Impulse engines passing safety limits. We're seconds from shutdown.
Reduce power. Tractor beam off.
Lt Worf, what the hell do the sensors say?
The sound is not registering.
Red alert.
Space, the final frontier.
These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise.
Its continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds,... seek out new life and new civilizations,... boldly go where no one has gone before.
Captain's log, supplemental.
We haven't found a solution to the moon's deteriorating orbit.
But with the arrival of Q, we have a good idea of the cause.
- Our options? - We've done everything.
We need more time and more power.
I'll see what rules I haven't broken.
Keep me informed.
We know you're behind this, Q.
These aren't my colours.
And what are you blathering about?
What twisted pleasure does it give you to bring terror to their lives?
- Whose lives? - The millions down there,
watching their moon falling.
I have no idea what you mean. I have a much more serious problem.
I'm out of the Continuum. My superiors decided to punish me.
And punish us, it would seem.
They said I spread chaos. They stripped me of my powers.
You don't believe me? Would I humiliate myself like this?
If it served your purpose, yes.
It's the truth.
I stand before you defrocked.
Condemned to be a member of this lowest of species.
A normal, imperfect, lumpen human being.
They made you human as part of your punishment?
No, it was my request. I could have become a Markoffian sea lizard
or a Belzoidian flea.
Anything I wished, as long as it was mortal.
Since I only had a second to mull, I chose this
- and asked to come here. - Why?
Because you're the closest thing I have to a friend, Jean-Luc.
- Sir, he is reading as fully human. - Is there an echo in here?
I am sensing an emotional presence.
I would normally describe it as being terrified.
- How rude! - What do you want, Q?
Your compassion.
Alright, sanctuary on this ship, dreary as it sounds to both of us.
- Return that moon to its orbit. - I have no powers. Q the ordinary.
- Q the liar. Q the misanthrope. - Q the miserable and desperate.
- What must I do to convince you? - Die.
Very clever, Worf. Eat any good books lately?
Fine. You want to be treated as human?
- Absolutely. - Alright. Mr. Worf.
- Throw him in the brig. - Delighted, Captain.
You can't do this to me, Jean-Luc.
- You will walk or I will carry you. - Given the option, I'll walk.
You've disappointed me, Jean-Luc.
I'm claustrophobic!
I never should have picked human. I knew it the moment I said it.
A future in this shell! Forced to cover myself with fabric
because of outdated human morality.
To say nothing of being too hot or cold, growing feeble with age,
losing my hair,
catching a disease, being ticklish,
sneezing, having an itch,
a pimple, bad breath.
Having to bathe.
Too bad.
Klingon. I should have said Klingon.
In my heart of hearts, I am a Klingon, Worf.
I could not survive in confinement. This is cruel and unusual punishment.
The universe has been my back yard.
As a fellow Klingon, if you'd speak to the Captain for me,
I would be eternally grateful, which doesn't mean as much as it used to.
Be quiet! Or disappear back where you came from.
I can't disappear, any more than you could win a beauty contest.
If I were to ask a simple question, might you be able to answer
without troubling your intellect? Ready?
Here goes. Would I permit you to lock me away if I still had all my powers?
- You have fooled us too often. - Perspicacity incarnate.
Please don't tell me the story of the boy who cried Worf.
Computer, activate force field.
I demand to be let out of here.
You will deactivate this cell immediately.
I should have said Romulan. That Klingon goat.
The question is, what sort of jaded game is he up to this time?
Maybe he'll take Bre'el IV to the brink and then pull the moon back.
Or he may have nothing to do with it at all.
You think Q is telling the truth?
Unlikely. But we must proceed with our dilemma as if Q is powerless.
- While he watches us struggle. - I don't see that we have a choice.
Mr. Worf, hail the Bre'el IV science station.
They're standing by.
Yes, Capt Picard?
Our first attempt to restore the moon to its orbit has failed.
We have less than 25 hours before impact.
Our Chief Engineer is working on the tractor beam.
There is hope, but if you have an evacuation plan...
We have started moving people from the coast.
We are going to make another attempt soon. Picard out.
Geordi is not at all optimistic.
What the devil...?
Sensors are showing broadband emissions, including berthold rays.
- Lethal? - No, Commander.
Overall exposure is less than 75 rems, like a soft medical scan.
- I speculate we are being probed. - By whom?
Sensors cannot identify the origin.
It seems to be coming from all around us.
You've come to apologise. How nice. All's forgiven.
- No offence taken. - Enough. What is going on?
How can I know what's going on? I've been in this dungeon of yours,
alone, helpless, bored to tears.
We have a moon inexplicably falling out of orbit
and just now the ship was probed with radiation.
I wasn't aware of this. Truthfully, Jean-Luc.
I have been preoccupied by a frightening experience of my own.
A couple of hours ago,
I realized that my body was no longer functioning properly.
I felt weak. I could no longer stand. Life oozed out of me.
- I lost consciousness. - You fell asleep.
Terrifying. How can you stand it day after day?
- You get used to it. - What other dangers await me?
I'm not prepared. I need guidance.
Q, if you want to continue this charade, you can do it alone.
Jean-Luc, wait!
This is getting on my nerves, now that I have them.
You have a moon in a deteriorating orbit. I've known lots of moons.
Big ones, small ones. I'm an expert.
I could help you, if you let me out of here.
There are millions of lives at risk. If you have the power...
I don't have any powers.
But I have the knowledge, locked up in this puny brain.
You cannot afford to not take that advantage, can you?
Mr. Data, report to detention cell three.
On my way, sir.
Computer, remove the force field. If you are human,
which I doubt, you'll have to work hard to earn our trust.
I'm not worried about that. You only dislike me.
Others in the cosmos truly despise me.
Mr. Data, you are assigned to Q for the remainder of his stay.
Escort him to Mr. La Forge in Engineering.
- Aye, sir. - Can I have a Starfleet uniform?
What are you looking at?
I was considering the possibility of you telling the truth,
- that you really are human. - It's the ghastly truth.
I can stub my toe with the best of them.
An irony.
You have achieved in disgrace what I have always aspired to be.
Humans are such commonplace creatures.
They search the galaxy for something, they know not what.
They have an enduring desire for knowledge and self-improvement.
There's room for that. But they're a minor species in the grand scheme,
not worth your envy.
- I do not feel envy. - That's good.
I feel nothing at all. That is part of my dilemma.
I have their curiosity, but there are things I will never know.
What it is like to laugh, or cry. Or to experience any emotions.
If you ask me, these emotions are not what they're cracked up to be.
The moon will hit its perigee in 1 0 hours.
We can match its trajectory
and apply continuous warp-equivalent power nine to the tractor beam.
We can push it for nearly seven hours and that just might do it.
But there's a problem.
We will be too close to the atmosphere.
- That's the problem. - This is incredible.
- See something, Q? - I think I just hurt my back.
I'm feeling pain. I don't like it.
What's the right thing to say?
- I can't straighten up. - Medical assistance to Engineering.
People on Bre'el IV will be hurt...
Yes. Your plan will not only destroy the moon, but your ship, too.
Got a better idea?
I'd begin by examining the cause, not the symptom.
We've done that. There's no way...
A large celestial object must have passed through
at right angles to the plane of the star system.
- Probably a black hole. - Can we counter the effect?
Change the gravitational constant of the universe.
- What? - Change the gravitational constant,
so altering the mass of the asteroid.
- Redefine gravity? How? - You just do it.
Where's that Doctor, anyway?
He means that changing gravity is beyond our capabilities.
Well, in that case, never mind.
Dr Crusher,
Starfleet has shipped you back into exile.
Q says he has hurt his back.
If I didn't see it with my own eyes, I wouldn't believe it.
He has classic back trauma. Muscle spasms.
I've been under pressure. Family problems.
Don't expect sympathy from me.
You've been a pain in our backside often enough.
Your bedside manner is admirable.
I'm sure your patients recover quickly, just to get away from you.
You know, this might work.
We could wrap a low-level warp field around the moon
to reduce its gravitational constant. Make it easier to push.
Glad I could help. I think...
Now what?
- Something's wrong with my stomach. - It hurts?
- It's making noises. - Maybe you're hungry.
I've never eaten before. What do I ask for?
The choice depends on individual taste.
What do you like?
Although I do not require sustenance,
I sometimes ingest semi-organic nutrient in a silicon-based liquid.
Is it good?
It is good for me. It lubricates my bio-functions.
That's not appealing. What else is there?
A wide variety of items.
The replicator can make anything you desire.
How do I know what I desire?
I have observed that the selection of food
is influenced by the mood of the person ordering.
I'm in a dreadful mood. Get me something appropriate.
When Counsellor Troi is unhappy,
she usually eats something chocolate.
A chocolate sundae, for example.
I do not speak from personal experience,
but I have seen it have a profound psychological impact.
- I'll have ten chocolate sundaes. - Ten?
I have never seen anyone eat ten sundaes.
I'm in a really bad mood and since I've never eaten before,
I should be very hungry.
This is not a moment I've been looking forward to.
I hear they drummed you out of the Continuum.
I like to think of it as a significant career change.
- Just one of the boys? - A boy with an IQ of 2,005.
The Captain and many of the crew are not convinced he is human.
Seems human enough to me.
This is a dangerous creature.
Why Picard would make her a member of the crew and not me...
How terribly frightening for you,
to be defenceless after all those centuries of being omnipotent.
I still have friends in high places.
Frightening one race after the other,
teasing them like frightened animals,
enjoying every moment of your victims' fears.
From now on, I'll do missionary work, OK?
- That would be a noble cause, Q. - You could learn from this one.
Sure, the robot humanities teacher.
- I am an android, not a robot. - I beg your pardon.
I'd enjoy that. Get used to it.
- What? - Begging.
You're a pitiful excuse for a human. You'll only survive on charity.
I'm not hungry.
Sensors are picking up a cloud of energetic plasma.
Bearing 341 , mark 20.
Range, 12 km and closing.
On screen.
Energy patterns are reading as highly organized.
- A life form? - Attempt to make contact, Mr. Worf.
Receiving a signal, sir. On speaker.
Computer, analyze signal.
Patterns indicate intelligence.
Unable to derive necessary referents to establish translation matrix.
- What's that? - I don't know.
Captain, a field of energetic tachyons is penetrating the hull.
- Location, deck ten, forward. - Red alert.
- Geordi, increase shield power. - Increasing by 20 percent.
No effect.
- Increasing to 40 percent. - Still no effect.
Adjusting shield harmonics, diverting power to forward grids.
The added harmonics are blocking the tachyon field.
Help me! Somebody help me!
How the mighty have fallen.
Captain's log, supplemental. We have sustained light damage
from an attack by the Calamarain.
They apparently have a grievance with Q.
No doubt one of many life forms that do.
The Calamarain are not very hospitable.
They exist as swirls of ionised gas.
What did you do to them, Q?
Nothing bizarre, nothing grotesque.
- You tormented them. - A subjective term.
One creature's torment is another's delight.
They have no sense of humour, a flaw with which you can identify.
I say we turn him over to them.
I take it back. You do have a sense of humour. A dreadful one.
I'm serious.
Of course. You knew this would happen.
One can never anticipate the Calamarain.
Very intelligent, but flighty.
Yes, but you must have so many enemies.
You knew that once you became mortal, some of them might look you up.
It had occurred to me.
And for all your protestations of friendship,
your real reason for being here is protection.
You're very smart, Jean-Luc, but I know human beings.
They're sopping over with compassion and forgiveness.
They can't wait to absolve almost any offence. It's an inherent weakness.
- No, it is a strength. - Call it what you will,
but you'll protect me, even though I've tormented you.
Fighting off all your enemies is not the mission I signed up for.
Indeed. Human or not, I want no part of you.
We will deposit you at the first starbase.
But I could be a valuable member of the team. I'm human. I can learn.
He has provided guidance for the analysis of the Bre'el satellite.
- It seems you have an advocate, Q. - I am merely stating a fact.
Mr. La Forge, your status?
My program should extend the forward lobe of the warp field.
I'm attempting to modify the field coils' alignment parameters.
Maintaining integrity will be difficult.
We can do it manually. The moon reaches its perigee in 1 4 minutes.
Mr. Data, escort Q to Engineering. You will assist Mr. La Forge.
Mr. Worf, hail the Bre'el IV science station.
Aye, sir.
Picard thinks I can't cut it on his starship.
I can do anything his trained minions can do.
Your skills are not in doubt. The Captain is merely concerned
with your ability to successfully interact with his trained minions.
Human relationships are complex.
Your experience may not have adequately prepared you.
I'm not interested in relationships. I want to prove I'm indispensable.
To function aboard a starship or in any human activity,
- you must form relationships. - It's so hard.
Of more importance is your ability to work in groups.
I'm not good in groups.
It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent.
The tides reached ten metres and are beginning to swell again.
We have a lot of frightened people down here.
The moon is nearing its perigee. We are preparing to make our attempt.
Our population has taken shelter, but it will not be adequate if you fail,
especially for those on the western continent.
Whatever the results, we know you've done your best, Picard.
- It's appreciated. - We'll keep you advised, Doctor.
Sensors are picking up increased energy output from the Calamarain.
La Forge to bridge.
The moon has reached its minimum orbital distance. It's time.
- We'll have to lower shields. - Proceed.
Mr. Worf, keep a close eye on Q's friends out there.
Right, this is what we will do.
Everybody already knows what to do except for you.
- Here's what I need... - My knowledge far exceeds yours
by about a billion times. So, step aside gracefully.
Your experience would be most valuable
if you control the field integrity.
That would be a waste of my talents.
Get to the controls or get out of here.
Data, you're my liaison to the bridge. Stay with me.
Who does he think he is, giving me orders?
Geordi thinks he is in command here. And he is correct.
- Engineering, holding at 640 metres. - Fields to flight tolerance.
Warp core to 90 percent.
Engage field coils. Tractor beam to stand by.
Field output? Field output?
- 21 7. - Impulse engines to full.
Ready to engage tractor beam.
Lowering shields. Engage tractor beam.
- Extending warp field forward. - Is that the forward limit?
Yes. We can't encompass the entire moon.
Should we proceed?
The two parts of the moon will have different densities.
Stand by. I can adjust the field symmetry to compensate.
I doubt it.
You don't know what this ship can do. I still believe it will work.
Increasing power to warp field and tractor beam.
If you're wrong, the moon will crumble.
Shut up, Q.
I will not be spoken to in this manner.
Q, I strongly suggest that you cooperate.
Inertial mass of the moon is decreasing to 2.5 million tonnes.
It is working. We can move it. Firing impulse engines.
Captain, the moon's trajectory has moved 0.3 percent... 0.4 percent.
Emergency! Shields up.
- Disengage tractor beam. - Calamarain attacking.
Shields holding. Tachyon field repelled.
The blast is pushing us into the upper atmosphere.
Hull temperature rising. 2,000 degrees.
- Moving to full power. - Calamarain resuming attack.
They've overpowered the shields at deck 36, Engineering.
Can we get power to the shields?
We need all the power we have to get out of the atmosphere.
- Try activating the integrity field. - Yes, sir.
It's not working. Harmonics on manual.
Hull temperature falling. We're in the clear.
Diverting power to forward sections.
That charge nearly knocked out his positronic net.
- What can you do? - Reset the motor pathways,
recouple the autonomic nodes.
There's pressure in his fluidic systems. Thermal shock.
If he was mortal, he'd be dead.
Let's not overstate the matter here. I'm mortal and I survived.
The cheers are overwhelming.
You exceed your own standards of self-preoccupation.
- He may have saved your life. - He's strong. He'll survive.
Osmotic pressure still rising. Maybe we can bypass the regulator.
It would be helpful if everybody got out of here.
Stay with Q.
The moon's trajectory?
We only bought another orbit. We can try again at the next perigee.
And the Calamarain will go after Q.
Commander, he's not worth it.
You're right, I'm extraordinarily selfish.
But it has served me so well in the past.
It will not serve you here.
Don't be so hard on me, Jean-Luc.
You've always been mortal. You know about dying.
I've never given it a second thought. Or a first one, for that matter.
I could have been killed.
If it hadn't been for Data creating that delay, I would have been gone.
No more me. And no one would have missed me, would they?
Data may have sacrificed himself for me. Why?
That is his special nature. He learned the lessons of humanity well.
When I ask myself if I would have done the same for him,
and I am forced to answer no, I feel...
I feel ashamed.
Q, I'm not your father confessor.
You will receive no absolution from me.
You've brought us nothing but pain.
And I'm still not convinced
that all this isn't your latest attempt at a puerile joke.
It is a joke. On me.
The joke of the universe. The king who would be man.
As I learn more and more what it is to be human,
I am more and more convinced that I would never make a good one.
Without my powers, I am frightened of everything.
I'm a coward. And I'm miserable.
And I can't go on this way.
He's going to be alright.
We're recalibrating his circuits. He can't talk yet.
There are creatures in the universe
who would consider you the ultimate achievement, android.
No feelings, no emotions, no pain.
And yet you covet those qualities of humanity.
Believe me, you're missing nothing.
But if it means anything to you, you're a better human than l.
- Where's the main shuttle bay? - Located on deck four.
Take me there.
Captain, an unscheduled shuttle has just been launched.
On main viewer.
- Hailing frequency. - Frequencies open.
Shuttle occupant, identify yourself.
- Don't try and talk me out of it. - Return to the ship.
I can't get used to following orders.
Captain, the plasma cloud is moving toward the shuttle.
It's easier this way. They won't bother you after I'm gone.
- Engineering, extend shields. - Don't use your tired cliché
of charging to the rescue just in the nick of time.
I don't want to be rescued.
As a human being, I have been a dismal failure.
Perhaps my death will have dignity.
Q, there is no dignity in suicide.
Yes, you're right. Death of a coward, then. So be it.
But as a human, I would have died of boredom.
This goes against my better judgement.
Transporter room three, beam shuttle one back to its bay.
Aye, Captain.
It's a perfectly good shuttlecraft.
Unable to transport. I can't lock on to the shuttlecraft.
- Interference from the Calamarain? - No, but they are following him.
- Extend shields around shuttle one. - Extending shields.
- Commander, the shields are frozen. - Cause?
- Unknown. - Lock on tractor beam.
Not functioning either.
What the hell is going on?
Not bad, Q.
Not great.
But not bad.
Sacrificing yourself for humans? Do I detect a little selfless act?
You flatter me.
I was only trying to put a quick end to a miserable existence.
- What a dreadful colour. - Yeah.
- What are you doing here? - I've been keeping track of you.
- I knew you'd be in my corner. - No, I got you kicked out.
You're a lost cause, Q. Whichever solar system I go to,
I have to apologise for you. And I'm tired of it.
I wasn't the one who misplaced the Deltived Asteroid Belt.
This isn't about me. I've got better places to be.
But somebody had to make sure you still didn't cause trouble.
Even as a member of this... limited species.
Well, I hope I've been entertaining you.
But I find these humans interesting. I understand what you see in them.
After all you've done, they still want to keep you safe.
- A weakness of the race. - And they're still at it!
They just tried to beam you up, back, whatever it is they call it.
- Really? - I stopped them.
If the Calamarain finish me off, you can be back on your way.
They're on hold, too. There's still this matter of the selfless act.
The Calamarain would have destroyed the Enterprise to get to you.
That's really why you left, right?
- It was a teeny bit selfless. - There's my problem!
I can't tell the Continuum you committed a selfless act.
There'd be questions and explanations for centuries.
- I've learned my lesson. - Remember who you're talking to.
All-knowing, all-seeing.
Fine, you got your powers back.
Try and stay out of trouble.
So, they wanted to destroy me, did they?
If you think I tormented you in the past,
wait until you see what I do with you now.
I was just seeing if you were still watching.
Captain, the aliens have disappeared and so has the shuttle.
- Scan the sector. - I have, sir.
Well,... I suppose that is the end of Q.
Au contraire, mon capitaine. He's back!
I'm forgiven. My brothers and sisters of the Continuum have taken me back.
I'm immortal again. Omnipotent again.
Don't fret, Riker. My good fortune is your good fortune.
I don't need your fantasy women.
You're so stolid! You weren't before the beard.
Very well.
- But I feel like celebrating. - I don't!
All of it.
- At the risk of being rude... - Yes, I've overstayed my welcome.
As a human, I couldn't thank you.
But as myself, you have my everlasting gratitude.
Until next time.
But, before I go,
there is a debt I wish to repay to my professor of the humanities.
Data, I've decided to give you something very, very special.
- If you intend to make me human... - No, no.
I would never curse you by making you human.
Think of it as a going-away present.
Data, why are you laughing?
I do not know.
But it was a wonderful... feeling.
Captain, Bre'el IV is hailing us.
On screen.
Capt Picard, you've done it.
I'm sorry?
The moon is back to its normal orbit.
However you did it, thank you.
Let's see it, Worf.
- Mr. Data, your analysis? - The moon's altitude is 55,000 km.
Orbit is circular. There is no further danger to the planet.
Ensign, set course for Station Nigala IV.
Aye, sir.
Perhaps there's a residue of humanity in Q after all.
Don't bet on it, Picard.

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