Star Trek - We the Living Dead

[ Note - This is not a real episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine but one invented by Shlomi Fish. Being a piece of Star Trek fan-fiction, Fish does not make a direct claim to some of the characters and concepts presented in this story. ]

[ Note - This story is fictitious and the characters in it are fictional. ]

[ Introduction - TODO - FILL IN. ]

[ Title - Star Trek DS9 - “We, the Living Dead” ]

[ Author - Shlomi Fish ]

[ Date - 30-March-2007 ]

Watching Space

[ Bashir, Dax and Jake are standing watching the space. ]

Bashir: Ah, space.

Dax: Yep, space. Nothing but nothing all around.

Jake: Hey look at that. (A ship gets out of warp at the distance).

Bashir: Oh no.

Jake: What’s wrong?

Bashir: I can recognise this ship anywhere. It’s OTF-1 - Othello Task Force.

Jake: Othello Task Force? What’s that.

Bashir: They’re mercenaries. Only they’re really good mercenaries. Really really good mercenaries. Too good. Too good until the whole of Star Fleet hates their guts.

Jake: Why is that?

Dax: Jake, not only do we wish all mercenaries were like them, their captain wants us to be certain of this fact, so he keeps scheduling routine checks. And the last thing we need is to check them. Times and again, without ever finding anything interesting there.

Dax: However, Jake, you may be interested to know that many of the fighters there are really hot girls, who are about your age.

Jake: Heh, do they get shore leave?

Dax: Oh, yes, and some of them are wild.

Jake: OK, yeah.

[ Beep sounds. Dax answers ]

Dax: Yes, Captain?

Capt. Sisko’s Voice: Commander: can you and Dr. Bashir come to Quark’s conference room? Find Jake and bring him with you.

Jake: I’m here, dad.

Sisko: OK. Please come.

Bashir: Quark’s conference room? I wonder what’s there.

[ They walk and eventually arrive. ]

The Essence of the Q Continuum

Meet Q2

[ Quark’s conference room. Q is there, as is a stranger middle-aged-looking woman. All the cast is there including Quark and his brother. Jake, Dax and Bashir enter. ]

Dax: Q!

Q: Greetings, commander - have a seat, make yourself at home, and meet Q2 (“Queue-Two”).

Q2: My pleasure. I am indeed Q2.

Jake: Is there also Q3 and Q4?

Q: Certainly.

Sisko: In any case - why do you want to see us?

Q: I have a question for you: as you know, I am omnipotent. Now: can I write a computer program that determines if any other computer program terminates or not?

Sisko: Yes, Commander, I know. This has logically been proven to be impossible, and the proof is very simple. So you cannot do it unless you can somehow change logic.

Q: And can I, being a Q and all?

[ Silence for a moment. ]

Sisko: I don’t think you can. I think it is inconceivable to think you can change logic. In fact, I don’t think you are omnipotent. I just think you appear omnipotent to us, because you are such an advanced life-form or even just have a sufficiently advanced technology.

Sisko: In fact, for all I know you may be a humanoid.

[ Q claps his hand ]

Q: Captain Sisko - I’m always amazed at how stupid your race is, and how much wrong you can be.

Jake: You mean - you can change logic?

Q: Oh, no. This time you were right. Yes, I am not omnipotent. I am only very technologically advanced. And yes, I am a humanoid.

[ Cut ]

How old are Q and Q2?

Sisko: I suppose you belong to the human master-race that created all other races.

Q: That’s right.

Sisko: So how old are you?

Q: I’ll be about 6.5 milliard Terran years next September.

Sisko: So I gather your race has conquered death.

Q: Death and most other things.

Bashir: If I may interrupt, it has always been my observation that death is completely unnecessary, and that our society could have eliminated it a long time ago.

Q: But you haven’t.

Bashir: Yes.

Sisko: May I inquire who Q2 is?

Q: Certainly. Q2?

Q2: I am in fact the oldest organism that never died. I am about 40 milliard years old.

Dax: That’s a long time before the big bang.

Q2: Oh the “Big Bang”. We don’t call it that. The big bang was in fact an explosion of a massive black hole. But it’s not the first time it happened and not the last. We have some great videos of it.

[ Dax and Jake are smiling and giggling ]

Q2: In any case, I have eventually converted to a human form when I joined the Q Continuum.

Sisko: Very interesting - most interesting. In any case, I’ve just been messaged by Captain Krand of the Othello Task Force that he wishes us to inspect his ship, before he lets his crew have shore leave. And while this fascinates me, I need to juggle some priorities as well.

Q: Actually, I suggest we meet in an hour at the holodeck, I have some things to show you there [shows a module].

Quark: Ahmm… Mister Q, the holodecks require some payment to use.

Q: No problem, here are two bars of Gold-pressed Latinum. [gives to him]

Quark: That will do.

[ Cut to Sisko, Dax, Bashir and Jake ]

Sisko: Dax, Bashir, will you go and check on OTF?

Dax: Yes, Captain.

Jake: Ah, Dad, can I join them?

Sisko: I don’t see why not, sure, go along.

Jake: Thanks!

[ They go ]

In the Othello Task Force

[ The Othello Task Force’s ship - a great hall full of busy people. They are dressed more informally than the Star Fleet ones, with more variation. Not all of them wear tight clothes. ]

Meet Katie

[ Close up on the system administrators’ room. To the right there is a row with three screens and three QWERTY keyboards. To the left there is a library with a large selection of books. There are several dolls of furry animals scattered around the room, and the room is quite disorganised. Katie is sitting on the close QWERTY keyboard and is typing some things. ]

[ Katie is a blonde girl in her early-to-mid twenties. Her face is cute. I originally pictured Melissa Joan Hart as playing her. ]

[ Jake and Bashir enter. ]

Jake: Holy shit, this place is…

Katie: A system administrators’ room!

Bashir: Yeah, we know. We’re the Star Fleet guys. We’re going to pretend that we inspect this place.

[ Jake goes over to the shelves to look at the books. ]

Katie: Be my guest. Oh! Katie Jacobson [does a salute] at your service. I’m originally from Berkeley, California.

Jake: Berkeley? Cool, I remember San-Francisco. So what are you doing here now?

Katie: Oh well… I’ve been to a place that taught me a little about software, a little about computers, and a little about how to fake that I actually know either or both.

Bashir: Let me guess - Star Fleet Academy.

Katie: Nope - the Technion.

Jake: The… Technion…

Bashir: In Haifa?

Katie: Yep.

Jake: But couldn’t you have gone to U. Cal Berkeley, instead?

Katie: I could walk there from my house, yes. But I figured out I needed a challenge. And I wanted to learn Hebrew - ya know, the language the Old Testament was written in, and a dialect of the language which the Terran Alphabet was invented for, etc.

Jake: I bet you just wanted to get away from your parents.

Katie: That too. Heh.

Jake: Did you graduate?

Katie: Yeah, I did. B.Sc. in Computer Engineering. I even got a cum laude, if it’s worth anything to you.

Bashir: So what are you doing here?

Katie: Good question. See: I got a job doing programming for a company. It was very good, working on open-source software and all, but I just remained in Earth all the time. So then it occurred to me: is that all there is to life in the 25th century?

Katie: So I decided that instead I’m going to join some people who travel a lot, and utilise some of my skills for that. And one thing I can say about this task force is that there’s almost always something interesting going on.

Bashir: Oh sorry, we haven’t introduced ourselves. Dr. Julian Bashir.

[ Katie shakes his hand ]

Jake: Jake Sisko.

[ Katie looks startled. ]

Katie: Jake Sisko? Oh my god, oh my god - look how this place looks. [she starts organising the place] Just my luck! Just when a writer is coming to visit…

Jake: Hey, that’s OK. That’s OK. I actually like this place. It’s very…

Katie: Very something yes. [She stops.]

Jake: So? You’re a fan of my works?

Katie: Are you kidding? They rock! I read almost every single one. I wish I could write like that, but all I can write is really bad poetry and even worse short snippets of prose that don’t go anywhere. You have a gift.

Jake: [Flattered] Thanks!

[ They stare at each other, and then look the other way. ]

Bashir: So, Ms. Jacobson…

Katie: Katie, please.

Bashir: “Katie”… I suppose you know your way around technology…

Katie: Well, I couldn’t fix a computer even if my life depended on it. They never even showed us how to change a light-bulb in the Technion. It’s a good thing that some of the other people here are good at it and are saints.

Katie: However, I do know how to use all sorts of computers. Can you take out your tricorder for a sec?

Bashir: Sure.

[ Katie takes out her tricorder, and puts it beside Bashir’s tricorder. They practically look the same ]

Katie: It’s the same tricorder as the Star Fleet one, except for branding. Now let me show you something - let’s try to put it in UNIX-mode and use it.

[ She takes out the Palm-like pen, and starts writing a few commands. The screen shows a screen of IceWM (= a minimal desktop environment for UNIX) with a few windows. Katie invokes a terminal, and types the command:

{{{{{{{ $ tricorder-disp --what=“env temp” }}}}}}}

A two-dimensional window springs up and displays the temperature of the environment in real time ]

Jake: Holy cow!

Katie: Yes, still good old UNIX. Which we still studied in school. But I breezed through it, because I already knew it when I came there.

Bashir: Ahmmm… Katie… would you like to accompany us on a presentation by “Q” of the “Q Continuum”?

Katie: You mean the supposedly omni-potent alien? I suppose. Never met him.

Bashir: Actually, according to what he told us, he’s not really omnipotent, and he’s actually a humanoid.

Katie: I figured something like that. Jake, that sounds like it’s going to be the best first date I’ve ever had.

Jake: “First date”?

Bitten by a Snake

[ Bashir and Jake approach Dax. Jake looks perplexed. ]

Dax: Jake, are you OK? You look like you were bitten by a snake.

Jake: Jadzia, I just got hit on by a girl… who’s way out of my league!

Dax: I know the feeling.

Bashir: And the funny thing is that she seems to feel the same way about Jake.

Dax: Sounds like a match made in heaven. OK, I think we can give the OTFers shore leave now.

Jake: Katie included… mmmmm…

History of the Q Continuum

Q’s Home Planet

[ Cut to Quark’s holodeck - everyone is there. ]

Q: Greetings people. I have given Quark a holodeck module for a demonstration - nothing special about it. What you’re about to see happened in my race’s home planet over 6 milliard years ago. We just broke up from the reign of an empire called the “Ivrim”. They were not too good and not too bad. As such we adopted their language, only with many errors.

Katie: Modern Hebrew?

Q: Precisely.

Q: Anyway, we also had another language, universal on our continent which we called Énglish. It was just like modern English only pronounced phonetically. Rather hideous. This language was considered holy - everyone knew it, but people were afraid to talk in it. It was reserved for the “perophets”, who were people who talked with the “Bey-de-jor-eans”, who were our gods.

Kira: Hmmmpppfff…

Sisko: Hmmpppf indeed. What is the reason for all these coincidences?

Q: The Universe is coincidental, Captain, for some reasons which even we don’t fully understand yet. And for the record, even we were preceded by different races of humanoids.

Sisko: I see. Go on.

Q: In any case, there was this relatively mature man in our time called No’ach who had three sons.

Katie: Shem, Cham and Yepheth? [in Modern Hebrew pronunciation]

Q: You guessed it. He was a quirky, paranoid fellow. At one point he sensed a storm coming, and believed that the world was coming to an end. So he, his wife, his sons, and all of his livestock travelled up a nearby mountain, and waited for the storm to end. [Pictures are shown]

Q: When the storm ended, he went down to the nearby village, and saw that while there was a lot of damage, the people there were perfectly fine. However, he claimed that it was high time to put an end to such problems, to end having to depend on natural whims, that our society will flourish.

Q: I was there: my name was indeed “Que” and I was considered a strange nomad, who just happened to be around. I decided to take upon myself the establishment of the [in Énglish] “civilisation” instead of the many different [in Énglish] “cultures”.

Q: Now, there were many kids in the village who seemed to be amused by all that. One thing was that they often had trouble pronouncing Shem’s name with a “Sh” sound and instead used “S” - “Sem”. People found it annoying, but the children couldn’t care less.

Q: Back then, writing systems were still hideously complex, and practically no one used them. So I told the kids to come up with a good writing system. They decided to collect 26 symbols of the signature signs of some people in the village, and figure out a way to write using it.

The Énglishtant Kids Presentation

Q: Eventually they invited us all to a presentation.

[ The holodeck shows a long shot of an Énglishtant field. One kid is showing the Latin alphabet ]

Énglish Boy: Aa, Ba, Tsa, Da, É, Fa, Ga, Ha, I [= Ee], Ja [as in French], Ka, La, Ma, Na, O, Pa, Qua, Ra, Sa, Ta, U, Va, Wa, Xa [= Kha], Ya, Za


Énglish Boy: Tehe ne-o-te-tse-heh konspeerasi for establishing te-he semeeteec cooltooré!

Q: [Interrupting.] The people were mad, he mispronounced Shem’s name. He formed a conspiracy, and he wanted to establish yet another culture.

[ Back to the people ]

Kids: Haqol Qara! Haqol Qara!

Q in the holodeck: The voice has called. The voice has called.

Q in the Énglishtant scene: Chaku rega! Ooooof!

[ Eventually he steps on a mound saying ]

Q in the Énglishtant scene: Qara Ma Sheqara, yiqreh ma sheyiqreh, haqol qoré liph’amim!

Q in the holodeck: What I said was ambiguous in Hebrew. Let’s say it means “He called what he called. Whatever will happen - will happen. The voice calls sometimes.”

[ In the Énglishtant scene, everybody have fallen silent. Then a small boy starts calling ]

Small boy: Q Gadol! Q Gadol! Q Gadol!

[ Everyone joins him, they carry Q on their hands until an even larger hill and puts him there. ]

Q: [In Énglish] Vampires of the world - unite! These kids have invented the Aa-Ba-Tsa, which will make writing easy. I want an Aa-Ba-Tsa for Hebrew, too. I want something to facilitate calculations. And let’s tell the world about it. I want it all, and I want it now!

[ The crowd cheers. ]

The Énglishtants’ Further Progress

Q: [In the holodeck] Three days after this, some people invented the decimal system. We sent delegates to other villages and countries bringing the news of the Alphabet and all our other discoveries and decisions. Eventually, I found the Énglish pronunciation too tedious, so I asked people to make a better one. And someone came up with modern English.

Katie: Heh.

Q: We advanced quickly. A year later we already had steam. We discovered our planet was round, and circled the globe within 10 years. We defined a constitution, and founded mass-production and the free market. I kept asking for more and more challenges to accomplish. Here is what happened after 40 years:

[ The holodeck shows Q standing on the hill where he had given the speech holding a flag. There’s a large crowd and many cameras are visible. He then moves to the right and sticks the flag somewhere else. ]

Vision Q: [In modern English] Vampires of the world - we are united! 40 years ago I stood there [points to the top of the hill] and decided to form an encompassing civilisation for our entire planet. Today, I can say we have been successful.

Vision Q: We’ve already been gradually extending our lives by large increments. But it will be nice to find a way to remain young forever. So this is the next Q task. And another one is to conquer the stars. So go to work! [The crowd cheers]

Holodeck Q: We conquered the stars and spread across the galaxy. Within 400 years, we encircled the galaxy in one go using this ship [Shown a very old and antiquated ship].

Q2: Isn’t she a beauty?

Q: At that point we were approached by the Alpha Continuum. They sent Q2 here [Q2 blushes] to greet us.

Q2: I’ll take it from here. It took the Énglishtants 400 years from the invention of the Alphabet till the circling of the Galaxy. 400 years for a Carbon-based life-form was a record that was not broken ever or since. I informed Q that the Alpha Continuum provided the Énglishtants with protection against pre-mature deaths, and gave other services that Continuums give.

Q2: Q informed me that since his race had been so successful, he has decided to form their own Continuum - the Q Continuum. After some thinking, I told him that I would join the Q Continuum, as an act of appreciation for them being so competent and determined.

Sisko: So I understand that the Q Continuum is not the first Continuum to have been span-off the Alpha Continuum.

Q: Not at all.

Sisko: I see.

Sisko: Q: so you’ve misled us to believe you were the most uncooperative being in existence, while in fact projecting the greatest cooperative project in the history of the universe?

Q: Well, for some values of “greatest”. See: I used to be a simple common organism. But six and a half milliard years later and a lot of technological advancement have made me much less dependent on other people’s whims.

Q: I appear rather blasé and always have been to some extent. But I still don’t wish to die now or never. Technology can give you many things, but we high-order Qs still find a lot of joy in a walk in the woods, or in tasty food, or in the little joys of life. We’re still human, after all.

Dax: Wow!

Q’s Congregation of Humanoids Who Died

Q: In any case, fast forward to the present - this happened about 20 days ago.

[ The holodeck shows a very large hall crowded with millions of different humanoids. Three gigantic strips of light on the ceiling are lighted one after the other, from the closest to the farthest. Then the whole hall is lit. There are Nazi flags on the wall, and a gigantic Swastika above the stage. Q is standing there. ]

[ Focus on Q ]

Q: [Shouting] My name is Q!! I saved you all!! You’ve had the misfortune or folly to die, but don’t worry - you’re still alive. You will be relocated to a different planet and a different galaxy. And you can thank me for it!

Q: Meanwhile, here’s some background music:

Fergey’s Voice: Rip it, mama!

[ Music starts playing. ]

Q’s Invitation

[ Cut to the people at the holodeck - they are amused and seem like they find it hard to believe. ]

Q: Anyway, we would like to invite you, to come with us to the headquarters of the Q Continuum.

Dax: I would be delighted.

Katie: Me too! me too!

Katie: I mean: so would I! so would I!

Bashir: I’d like to come too.

Kira: Hold your horses, people! We do not know what possible dangers lurk in the Q Continuum. If you are indeed going to go, then I and other security officers must escort you.

Katie: Major, I think you overestimate the danger. This is Q after all. If he wanted, we would all be dead now.

Katie: He could hurl this entire space station directly into the Bajoran sun.

Q: I could do that.

Katie: He could spread our atoms evenly in the entire galaxy.

Q: I could do that too.

Katie: He could…

Sisko: That’s enough, Miss Jacobson! OK, Major, you can escort these people. Q: would it be OK if my crew brought their phasers with them?

Q: Their phasers? Of course. They can also bring some photon torpedoes if they wish. None of them will work, but I don’t mind them bringing them.

Quark: Speaking of technology, I’d like to tag along and film the entire trip. I sense a huge business potential to this, and would be willing to give the rest of you 10% of the profits.

Kira: Hmmpfff.

Quark: 15%?

Katie: Captain Sisko, are you coming?

Sisko: I’m afraid I’m not. I’ll stay here and keep an eye on the space station. You kids go along.

Jake: I’d like to go too.

Sisko: Have fun, son.

Jake: Thanks. Katie, why don’t you have a phaser?

Katie: A phaser? Oh… I’m all for the right to bear arms and all, but I hate these things. My job does not require me to carry one anyway.

Jake: OK.

Q: Anyone else would like to come with us?

Odo: I guess I’ll also join you.

Q2: OK, cool. We’ll let you kids do last minute arrangements and we’ll meet here in 45 minutes. Meanwhile I’ll have a drink.

[ They spread. ]

Q: I could use one too. Quark, how much would that be?

Quark: Two drinks would be two strips of gold-pressed Latinum.

Quark: However, Mr. Q., I recall you saying you could provide me with 1 million bars of gold-pressed Latinum.

Q: That’s nothing, Mr. Quark. I can conjure a ball made out of gold-pressed Latinum the size of a red giant. Of course, it will quickly implode into a nasty black hole. Nothing we can’t handle of course, but still.

[ Cut to Quark - he is speechless and looks astonished. ]

Q: But two strips should be enough - there you go.

In the Q Continuum Headquarters

[ Title - The Q Continuum Headquarters ]

Q: Are everyone ready?

Dax: I think so. Yes, everyone’s here.

Q2: OK - please don’t be alarmed as the surroundings changes incrementally. It’s a trick we do to make the teleportation transition easier to fathom.

Dax: Roger.

[ The surroundings morph and eventually change to a well-lit large room. There’s a large window to the left. ]

Dax: So I presume that’s part of the Q Continuum headquarters? According to this tricorder we seem to be on a completely different galaxy. A different galaxy cluster even.

[ Katie, Jake and other people approach the window ]

Katie: Wow! It’s beautiful.

[ View of the Q Continuum planet - there are several tall white buildings none of which obscure the views. They are shaped like a trumpet, and there are robots going up and down their tall parts.

There is a lot of trees and forests intermingled. There are large roads made of very clean stone, with some alien life forms, mostly resembling mammals walking in between them. ]

Kira: [Not enthusiastically] Impressive, I say.

Worf: Quite lovely.

Dax: Well back to our business. Is there anything we’re looking here?

Q: Sure. Amanda, please come here.

[ Amanda from The True Q Episode enters through a door. ]

Amanda: Greetings people.

Katie: Wait a second - she looks like…

Dax: Yes, you’re the honour student that was identified as a Q on a USS Enterprise mission.

Amanda: That is indeed the case. As you see my parents - both human - had to return to the Q Continuum and decided to leave me on Earth (as a normal human baby) because some of their Terran friends became attached to me.

Dax: And I suppose your parents missed you?

[ 1st level Q: A conscious organism.
2nd level Q: A vampire - capable of living forever.
3rd level Q: An immortal - cannot be killed.
4th level Q: Capable of teleporting within the same planet.
5th level Q: Capable of any teleportation.
6th level Q: Capable of teleporting himself and others. ]

Amanda: That too, and they decided to meet me. So I was temporarily EnQed to a very high Q level, and then decided to come here. I met my parents and decided to start my road as a “Q” here. Right now, I’m a sixth level Q, and trying to slowly become more confident in not abusing my powers. Great power requires great responsibility.

Katie: Sixth level Q?

Amanda: Yep. A Q that is capable of teleporting himself and others.

Katie: I see. What’s a first-level Q?

Q2: A first level Q is any conscious organism. A second level Q is a “vampire” - an organism that doesn’t die. A third level Q is an “immortal” - an organism that cannot be killed.

Katie: Ah hah.

Dax: And what about that woman of the humanoid master-race (the Énglishtants, I presume) told us about the master race dying and all?

Q: Oh that. That was The Symbul [pronounced “Té Symbul”]

Katie: The Symbul, wait a second! [checks her laptop]. Hmmm… a very powerful sorceress in the Forgotten Realms world; an omni-potent goddess in the Plarian mythology; and the list goes on.

Dax: So she is one of your most powerful Qs?

Q: The Symbul? Hardly! She is in fact an old technophobe that after all the milliards of years is still only a 3rd level Q, and relies on us for transportation. She’s a bit unhappy from always being considered a practically omni-potent being.

Q: In any case, she is considered the oldest Énglishtant (not quite accurate, but still), and has been the “T” in our alphabet. Displaying that message around the galaxy was her idea. But it was a simplification.

Bashir: Ah hah. By the way, Q2, I would be interested to know what was your original life-form like?

Q2: You can certainly know. Look here [points to a screen].

[ The screen shows a large number of Opossum-like creatures on a Jungle-like surrounding, eventually going to a city. ]

Bashir: An opossum?

Q2: Indeed. I still miss it in a way. Giving birth as “an opossum” is very painless. In my human form, after the third time I gave birth, I couldn’t take it any-more and instead used artificial pregnancies.

Bashir: Wow! I think I know what to do to implement exactly that…

Worf: That’s enough, Doctor.

Dax: Don’t be too uptight, Commander.

Bashir: That’s OK.

Q2: In any case, I’ll leave you kids for now.

Dax: Are you too busy?

Q2: No. Busy people are unproductive. We are very productive and so we’re almost never busy. But I need some rest, and think I’m no longer needed here. Q can always find me.

Dax: Sure.

Q2: Meanwhile, you’ll probably want to meet the living dead. [she leaves through the door].

Katie: The what?

Q: The living dead. People whom you believed to be dead, while in fact being relocated to a different galaxy, fully living there. Is there anyone specific you’d like to meet?

Katie: Can I go first? [enthusiastically]

Worf: Miss Jacobson…

Dax: Sure you can, Katie!

[ Worf seems unamused. ]

Katie: I’d like to meet the big 20th-21st century UNIX hackers. You know, Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Linus [= Lee-nos] Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Larry Wall - the works.

Q: That is doable. Is it OK with you people?

Dax: I suppose.

Quark: And I smell a huge business potential for a movie with them featured in.

Amanda: Done then, let’s go.

The UNIX Hackers and the Planet of the Hebrews

[ The scenery gradually changes until they appear in a campus of a university with modern buildings styled like a Mexican village. ]

Katie: Stanford??

Jake: Yeah, looks that way!

Dax: As a matter of fact no - we’re still in the same (and different) galaxy cluster, but on a different galaxy. This isn’t Earth.

Q: Welcome to the Planet of the Hebrews.

Jake: Planet of the Jews?

Q: I said “Hebrews” not “Jews”. These include many ancient Hebrew-speaking people: Canaanite, Phoenician, Edomi, Amoni, Midyani, etc. And yes - Israelites and Jews.

Q: It is one of the Q Continuum’s Themed Planets.

Katie: Way cool! Can I go here when I die?

Q: That can be arranged.

Amanda: OK, but let’s continue. Here - please enter: [and she opens a door]

[ They enter individually into a large well-lit room. Several well-known present-day UNIX programmers are sitting there to the front and the left of the camera next to QWERTY keyboards and computer screens. ]

Amanda: Hi all. Remember how I told you about the mission from your original Galaxy? Then here they are.

Ken Thompson: Hi all! Welcome, we’re always happy to have some visitors. Working on the computer all day long, or chatting about the same things with ourselves for over 400 years gets a bit repetitive really quickly.

[ Some of the missionaries laugh ]

Linus Torvalds: Ken, do you always have to tell this joke?

Ken Thompson: At least it’s new material for everybody who hears it the first time. Seriously now: we didn’t get bored here, but a nice change of scenery is always good. We, the living dead, thrive on fresh meat.

Linus: And freshmeat-dot-net.

Katie: Heh. Man, this is so exciting. Just out of curiosity - what are you doing here? Hacking on the code of the universe?

Larry Wall: Well, we’re still negotiating with God about that, but he’s a tough negotiator and won’t let us near the damn thing. Security by obscurity considerations or something like that.

Larry Wall: However, we’re working on the next best thing - the source of the Q Continuum.

Linus: Here - check it out:

[ The camera zooms to show an electrical circuit-like diagram which looks very messy. ]

Katie: What the hell is this?

Linus: 1,367 bits processors with a large number of 245 bits processor slaves…

Katie: But that’s not even a power of 2!

Linus: It’s not. Everything is written in Assembly. Very interesting Assembly. Instructions range in size from 1 bit (the No-op) to several thousands of bits.

Katie: Oh my God!

Ken: You should be thankful they are still using bits and not some other base system. Or that they had Assembly.

Linus: Yes, it is pretty hideous. Now we’re re-implementing it using more modern, and more sane, technologies.

Katie: Sounds like fun.

Katie: So, come on, tell me about everything: about Unix, about Linux, about the GNU project, about everything.

King David

Quark: While I find this geek nostalgia amusing, I think we miss the point of us being in the planet of the Hebrews. We could meet with famous Hebrews of the past.

Katie: Right, like King David. Oh, can we please meet him?

Ken Thompson: [Clicks a few keys.] Dave, can you come here for a sec?

[ The door opens and a moderately short man, looks in his thirties, appears. He has dark red hair, and a small beard. ]

David: David Ben-Yishay. At your service.

Katie: Seriously?

Jake: This is gonna make a wonderful story.

[ Cut. ]

David: Yes, I was King David.

Katie: Did you really kill Goliath?

David: Yes, I did. It was nothing really. We Semite shepherds were masters with the sling. I once hit a Lion at three times the distance, and frankly it was much more agile than the fully armoured Goliath and his pathetic shield-bearer.

Jake: Heh, nice. Are you still King here?

David: That’s a long story. See, when the first conscious Hebrew speakers came here, we were told that this was the underworld. We thought, “Wow! What a nice underworld!”. So we just ate, drank, played games, made love, played music and stuff. But we got tired of that.

Jake: So what did you do?

David: We got into philosophy and science. We actually started a short time before the Greek philosophy took off, but naturally, it then gave us a real boost. So we established universities and started studying and inventing stuff.

David: Since we were living dead, we were not influenced by the rise of Christianity and the middle ages, and just went on. As a result, we’re now even more advanced than Earth is, as ironic as it is. I became a scholar too.

Jake: What did you specialise in?

David: See, we don’t have that here. Each Scholar (which is our modern term for “philosopher”) studies various units of knowledge, and passes tests, and gets credit. But you can study anything you want in any field. The more units you have the more prestigious you are. I’ve contributed to my own share of inventions: the camera, the hyper-drive, a few programming languages, other stuff like that, and a lot of humane things.

Jake: Wow, cool.

David: Anyway, to me being king. Back when the Hebrew peoples came here, we didn’t see a point in appointing administration. It was just “live and let live” (well, we could no longer be killed) and “do and let do”. But as more and more dead Jews (and some dead Christians and Muslims) arrived here, they sort of wanted me to be king.

Katie: So you became king?

David: Well, not at first. I objected to it. I had much better things to do than be king again. And naturally, the Edomis, the Phoenicians, the Moabites, and the others didn’t really want me as king either. But eventually, I was voted king and reluctantly became one. So now I’m a king. And a scholar.

Quark: [With the camera] Wonderful, wonderful, I’m sure all those Terrans will pay mad coin to see this. Keep going.

Bashir: Speaking of Terrans, I don’t suppose Jesus is here.

David: As a matter of fact he is. Let me summon him.


[ Shortly afterwards the door opens and a tall man with black hair enters. ]

Jesus: Yeho’shu’a Nazrathi. At your service.

Katie: So you’re real.

Jesus: Heh, most of what they tell about me in the New Testament was anything but real. My followers and I were mostly possessed or Schizophrenics. Arguably, the same thing could be said on the earlier Jewish prophets, but we uttered mostly complete non-sense.

Katie: Ah.

Jesus: In any case, regarding my death. I actually survived the cross, and was taken care of by a kind Jew. He nursed me and restored me to sanity. I decided to travel to Babylon where there was a prosperous Jewish community and where they were in much better shape than Judea at the time. So I did.

Jesus: There I learned to read and write, studied the Torah, and became a merchant. I died a grandfather and came here.

Jadzia: Wow!

Jesus: The whole old gang met here, and completely laughed at some of the non-senses we said. As it turned out Christianity actually started as a cult of Pagan Roman Priests, who only later adopted pseudo-Jewish beliefs as a way to battle the Jews, who met them with a lot of resistance.

Jesus: After Christianity took over, people here told me “Hey Josh, this is all your fault”. So they forced me into becoming their No. 1 expert of Christianity.

Jesus: Early Christianity was horrible. They considered pleasure the primary evil, and greatly oppressed women. Humans were considered to be very bad, and very evil. It took the world a lot of time to recover from it.

Jesus: Several Christian girls were intelligent and smart enough to see through the many logical fallacies of Christianity and to demonstrate how irrational and stupid it was. Even the Bishops and Archbishops were no match for them. So the Church retorted to burning them as witches. A lot of them arrived here as heroines.

Katie: Heh.

Quark: Wow, excellent stuff. I’m going to make a fortune out of this movie.

Jake: Damn right you will. Speaking of Jesus and David, how about other famous Jews of the past? Moses? King Solomon?

David: Ahmm… they’re not here.

Jake: You mean - they were resurrected in a different planet?

David: No, they didn’t die in the first place. They are vampires.

Jake: Wow! A vampire is…

David: Someone who doesn’t die.

Jake: So they’re still on Earth.

Q: Yes, they are. Do you want to go there now?

[ They all say “yes”. ]

Q: OK, let’s go.

The Terran Vampires

Back on Earth

[ The scene gradually changes to a Terran valley. ]

Katie: And we’re on Earth. Israel. The Yizra’el Valley, next to a Moshav.

Worf: Earth? Isn’t it a breach of security?

Q: Commander, the Q Continuum has no problem bypassing your primitive security measures.

Worf: I see.

Jake: [Looks around] Look!

[ They see two men and a woman sitting next to a house on three chairs. There’s a wide swing nearby. ]

Q: We should go over there.

[ They walk. ]

Meet the Terran Vampires

Vampires’ Love Interest

Shlomo: [Munching] Dvorah, it tastes differently this time.

Dvorah: Yes, I’ve been playing with the ingredients this time.

Mosheh: Yes, it does taste differently.

[ The gang approaches. ]

Katie: Professor Shlomo Abramovich? You’re King Solomo… Errr! I’m not talking to you again. [Goes to sit on the Swing, aggravated.]

Shlomo: Mosheh, remember I told you about Katie?

Mosheh: Oh yeah! She looks cute when she’s angry.

Katie: Moses, right?

Mosheh: That’s right.

Katie: Well, in case you have any interest in me, I should note that I have a policy against getting involved with people who are 4 times my senior or more.

Mosheh: Relax! I married girls who were 40 times my junior or more and my own descendants, and retrospectively I can tell that many of them were more mature and rational than I was in most respects.

Katie: The latter fact does not surprise me.

Dax: I never dated someone who was 40 times my junior. That would make him a toddler. I’m humbled.

[ Mosheh, Shlomo and Dvorah chuckle, the rest of the crew smile. Jake sits next to Katie on the swing seat. ]

Men are Overachievers

Worf: So Mr. Abramovich… I mean, Prof. Abramovich… I mean - Your Majesty!

Shlomo: Mister, Doctor, Professor, General, Admiral, Duke, Baron, Count, Earl…

Mosheh: Fellow of the Royal Society!

Shlomo: Indeed. Nasi, Rabbi, Rav, Emir… you name it - I had it. Just call me Shlomo.

Worf: I see. Mr. Shlomo.

Dvorah: Men, I tell you! Overachievers, and always need to travel. I stayed most of the time here.

Jadzia: And you are?

Dvorah: I’m Dvorah.

Bashir: Dvorah the Prophet?

Dvorah: In a sense. See, I’ve been conscious since I was a little girl, and never hallucinated voices like the Nevi’im did. I was just considered a prophet because I was deemed so wise. I was good at settling disputes and so decided to eventually settle here in the Yizra’el Valley under a Date Tree.

Dvorah: I expected to die soon, but for some reason, I didn’t.

Jake: So the story in the Bible is true?

Dvorah: Oh, that. See, the Israelites here were indeed under threat. So I decided to assign the task of fighting the Canaanite to Baraq, a young brat who was conscious and rebellious and gave me nothing but trouble, but that I knew was very smart and clever. He did pretty well on the task. Then we partied.

Dvorah: Baraq is now doing Archaeological work for the Q continuum in the Peach Seed Galaxy. Indiana Jones style. This kid could never remain quiet for long.

Bashir: And was the song yours?

Dvorah: Song, song. Ah yes. Yes, but it was a later addition. See, a few centuries later, some kids approached me asking for information about the battle so they could do a play about it. I told them all about it and then they said “That’s it?”.

Dvorah: So we spent a day composing a song, and rehearsed it, and eventually it was recorded in the Bible after God knows how many transformations and rewrites. But otherwise I just stayed here.

Dvorah: Well, I fled to Judea after the Assyrian conquest, and left with the Judeans to Babylon. Then I returned here, and saw that my Date tree was cut down. I eventually said “whatever” and settled near here ever since.

Jadzia: Wow!

Q: Dvorah, BTW, is considered the Terran elder, and thus is the ambassador of Earth in the Q continuum.

Dvorah: Yeah well, I was appointed as such because I was older than Mosheh here, but I wasn’t really the oldest living human. In fact, there are four women and two men who are older than me and still alive.

So much suffering

Katie: I don’t get it!

Mosheh: Don’t get what?

Katie: You guys, are like - vampires - you can do anything, and yet we had so much suffering since then here on Earth. Why didn’t you stop World War II?

Shlomo: Katie… you must understand that there are many reasons for that. Some of which are technical like the fact that it takes a vampire 300 years to become an immortal, who cannot be killed and that even after that, he or she can still feel pain, and is not invincible.

Shlomo: But the more important reason is that our old age clouds our judgement and make us feel helpless and out of time. While we are still young at heart, we still often feel that the generation is constantly diminishing and that we yearn for the old days, when everything was simpler.

Katie: [Frustrated] Excuses!

Moses tells his story

Jadzia: Regardless of what you could have done to prevent past problems, I think we’d be interested in hearing your stories, seeing that you’re Moses and all. So what really happened?

Mosheh: Sure. See, it was at the time that my brother Aharon and I led a small tribe of Hebrew speaking nomads called the Levi’im. We ended up being captured by the Egyptians and forced to work at mines. However, we had a lot of communication problems. To facilitate this, I decided to teach everybody there the Phoenician alphabet.

Mosheh: They liked it so much that they kept passing lots of written messages among themselves. Like a primitive form of instant messaging. Next thing I knew, all the Levi’im gained consciousness, conspired against their enslavers, and broke free. The Egyptians did not know what hit them.

Mosheh: They called themselves “Bney Ha-Elohim”.

Jadzia: The sons of the Gods!

Katie: Well, actually in ancient Hebrew, “Elohim” was a high leader. What Bney Ha-Elohim probably meant was that they were “self-leading”.

Mosheh: Indeed. I still believed that we should behave ourselves morally, and with the help of Aharon, who acted as my spokesperson, due to the fact that I lacked assertiveness, we wandered around the desert. We eventually found another small tribe of Hebrew Semitic people (about 500) who called themselves “Bney Yisra’el”. I taught them the Alphabet, gave them the Ten Commandments, and instructed them to “invade” Canaan and convert the Canaanites to the one true way.

Mosheh: It was Joshua, Kalev and other leaders of the Yisra’elim who did it. I myself followed my brother’s trail to Assyria, to see what he’s been up to. Back in Assyria, consciousness already started to take off. People were looking for gods, some people were still hallucinating them, there was deceit, there was uncertainty - it was a crazy place.

Mosheh: I sat together with Aharon, as well as Nimrod, an early discoverer of consciousness, who “betrayed the gods” and escaped from death. We discussed the implications of the self-leading, and what it would lead to. We decided that the 3 of us will form a secret conspiracy, in order to further lead the world into prosperity and peace and by following the gods.

Mosheh: So we travelled back to Israel. The “conquest” of Joshua was very successful, and we decided to party. However, a strange and majestic man came to us. He said he was a leader of leaders, a king of kings, a god of gods, and that we appeased him and said that he condemned us to roam the land forever, alive.

Kira: Q!

Mosheh: No, not Q himself, but one of the Qs. At the time, we felt it was indeed a curse, because we felt our death was the natural way. But it may also have been a blessing.

Dvorah: In any case, you can imagine my surprise when the Israelites came here and asked me if I was willing to become an Israelite. The conversation was very funny. I asked them what would being an Israelite entail, and why it was important. Eventually, they decided I was too smart for them, and called upon Joshua. He decided that I was all-right, and that he wouldn’t mind having me here. So I stayed here as one of the Israelite’s leaders.

Mosheh: Judaism continued to evolve after what I told them. See, I gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments, which were an early, and not a very good, attempt at making a constitution. But they had their own regulations, and they accumulated more as time went by. By the time the Babylonian exile ended, the Jews had over 600 individual regulations. And this was only the start, as Jewish scholars were obsessed with making Jewish life even harder.

Shlomo tells his story

Shlomo: In any case, I met Mosheh and my father shortly after my apparent-death. In fact, I became a vampire. The Q continuum had a rule that a vampire who survived for 300 years would become an immortal, who cannot be killed. It does not mean one cannot feel pain, or become injured or be subdued, but it’s still better than nothing.

Shlomo: What happened to my father (David) was that he was once walking in the street with a friend, when he got mugged and was stabbed to death. He claimed that it was not fair and that he should have become an immortal, but Q would not have it. So he ended up as a living dead over at the Planet of the Hebrews.

Shlomo: I, on the other hand, had the fortune not to be killed in my first 300 years, and so became an immortal.

The Vampires’ Conspiracy

Mosheh: Indeed. The vampires and immortals still kept their conspiracy. The leaders had a grand meeting every 40 years or so, and we communicated using cryptic messages we sent. We had been utilising several common fictitious themes for that. The first was the Occult, and somewhat later we also passed many messages in what seemed to be anti-Semitic material.

Mosheh: Indeed. It was us. It was a piece of writing written by the Illuminati originally in German, which just emulated an anti-Semitic work, so it can be easily dismissed as such.

Mosheh: World War II (initiated by real anti-Semites), placed a stop to us using the anti-Semitic theme. However, by that time we were already making use of various items of popular culture to pass our messages.

Shlomo: The funny thing was that some of our message conduits, became very successful commercially. Moreover, many writings and other works, which were written by people who were not interns to our culture, were often mistaken to be “Vampire-art”.

Katie: I still think you people suck.

Shlomo: Katie, I wish we didn’t.

The Vampires’ Love Lives

Jadzia: Well, never mind that. Just something that interests me: your love lives. As thousands-of-years-old. Gossip, please!

Worf: Commander!

Jadzia: Yes, honey? [She approaches him and hugs him on the side.]

Worf: [Sighs] Never mind!

Quark: [Controlling the camera] But I agree, sex sells! I’m sure people would love to hear about the love life of Mogless.

Mosheh: Moses.

Quark: Yes, whatever.

Mosheh: OK! [laughs] I’ll start. Well, I told you I married girls who were 40 times my younger and my own descendants. Well, back when we invaded Canaan women were treated as their husband’s property. Even the Hebrew word for husband is “owner” and the one for wife is “woman” until this very day.

Mosheh: Anyway, it took time for love to take hold after we became conscious. Not to mention that, as opposed to Greek, Israelis often considered it a nice optional bonus for marriage-life and not an absolute requirement.

Mosheh: As such, I noticed that I could not… [TODO - fill in.]

Dvorah: As for me - it’s very strange. I am known as a “man-killer” among the Terran vampires in the sense that I normally remain committed to a single husband in my lifetime, and we raise a family, but then I get tired of him, and he goes his own way (or dies, and getting taken care of by the Q Continuum).

Dvorah: And here’s another funny thing: I’ve lost count of the number of times I lost and gained my period. It seems that I grow older and then suddenly become younger again. I cannot explain it. And naturally, in my age, it’s hard to tell my children (and descendants) the usual clichés of “When I was your age.”.

Dvorah: Moreover, some guys go to me when I look like I’m in my twenties, saying “Hey, you look seem like a nice chick”, and they would find it hard to believe that I’m old enough to be (and often am) their 10th or 20th-level or more ancestor.

Dax: So what happened to all your previous husbands? And your children?

Dvorah: Heh, good question. I wish I could readily recall them all, but I can only remember ones that are mentioned to me. Enumerating them would be futile. Some of my husbands and children were or have become vampires - some of them are living elsewhere, and it’s naturally hard for me to tell who were my descendants and how, without querying the Q continuum database. I still remember my excitement with my first grandchild, and my first great-grandchild, but I didn’t know my 10th-level descendent was born until a long time after that.

Dvorah: Naturally, I could not come to her and say “Hi! I’m your great-times-nine grandmother.” She wouldn’t have believed me for once, though now she does as a Q.

Dax: I see.

Q Headquarters 2

[ They materialise back at the Q Headquarters. ]

Dax: And we’re back in the Q headquarters.

Katie: Yes, we are. If you don’t mind, I’d like to take a break from this vampire-hunt, and just relax here. I just discovered one of my favourite professors was King Solomon, and that there was a really big conspiracy of really ancient people all along history.

Kira: Q, is it OK with you?

Q: Sure, I’ve got all the time you want.

Kira: OK, done then. We’ll take a break.

[ There’s a cat lying on a table there content. He’s half-white and half-grey. ]

Katie: Oh, look! A cat. [She approaches the cat and starts petting it.]

[ The cat purrs and then says ]

George the Cat: Oh, yeah!

Katie: [Startled] Bleh, you’re a talking cat.

George: Yes, but why did you stop?

Katie: I’m not used to cats talking to me.

George: Ah, well, yes, it takes some pre-vampires time to get used to that here.

Katie: I suppose you’re older than me.

George: Most probably. I’m about 5 milliard years old.

Katie: Bleh!! You’re older than my planet!

George: I guess, but I’m not older than Q. However, I’m still more mature than him, I think.

George: My race is 10 milliard years old, and we’re older than the Q Continuum. I’m George, by the way.

Jake: So which Continuum did you originally belong to?

George: Oh! That’s what you Terrans would call the Pythagoras Continuum. It’s even smaller than the Q Continuum. My wife and I got a little bored there so we joined the Q Continuum a long while ago.

Katie: Wow!

Katie: Wife?

George: Yes, Wife.

Katie: I didn’t know Cats mated for life.

George: Neither do humans, but that’s still not a good reason to not get married.

Katie: I suppose your race was originally Terran-like cats who evolved into super-intelligent ones.

George: Yes.

Katie: Are you people able to convert a Terran cat into a super-intelligent one.

George: Not just us. [Beep] Pleena, can you come here for a sec.

[ The door opens and Pleena (a humanoid that resembles a Founder) and Mantoleer, a Jemhadar soldier, enter.

Worf is slightly alarmed. ]

Pleena: [to Worf] That’s OK - we’re Qs.

George: Pleena, Mantoleer, this Terran…

Katie: Katie.

George: …Katie, here asks if you can convert a normal Terran cat into a super-intelligent one, like me.

Mantoleer: A super-intelligent cat? That’s it? Challenge us! Maybe you’d like a super-intelligent virus?

Jake: Are super-intelligent viruses possible?

Pleena: Not without ultra-nano-technology, but it would still be a challenge.

Pleena: A super-intelligent cat can be generated by using a 10-line script, that will take us a few minutes to write.

Katie: Awesome!

George: Now, if you please, please continue with your cat affection. [He jumps into her hands.]

Katie: I would think a super-intelligent, ancient cat like you would transcend human affection [she pets him behind the ears.]

George: Hey, I may be ancient, but I’m still not blasé!

Katie: That’s good, I suppose.

Jake: Ah, Katie? Would you and George like to go outside?

Katie: Yes, I’d like that.

[ Katie, Jake, Pleena and Mantoleer go out. ]

Odo: I’ll join you.

Kira: Katie, are you all-right?

Katie: Sure: I’ve made new friends, who seem to be Bio-Tech geniuses; I’m holding a 5 Giga-Years-old-cat in my hands; and I’m still on my first date with Jake. Life can’t get much better than this!

Katie: Tata!

[ And they go out ]

Using a Notebook Properly

Katie: Jake, what are you doing?

Jake: Working on a story.

Katie: A story, we’re walking outside in the Q headquarters with an ancient cat, a former Dominion Soldier and a former Founder, and you’re working on a story?

Jake: Yep!

Katie: Geek! [She smiles.]

Jake: Heh, looks who’s talking. [He pets George the Cat , who is still held by Katie]

Jake: Oh drat! I made a mistake. Let me correct it. I recall the time that Nog fixed some of my errors, and I found that annoying.

Katie: So why hadn’t you restored a previous version of the document?

Jake: A previous version? What do you mean?

Katie: Let me show you.

Katie: George, will you excuse me?

[ George hops out of Katie’s hand, and Jake hands her the laptop. They all stop. ]

Katie: These things had version control built-in for centuries. [A listing of the edits is displayed on screen.] See: you can revert to a previous change, see the difference between two revisions, and see where everything changed at any given time. [Various on-screen simulations]. Didn’t you know that?

Jake: [Amazed] Wow! No, I didn’t.

[ He takes the notebook. ]

Jake: Where have you been all my life?

Katie: Not close enough to you, I guess.

[ Beep sounds - Pleena got an incoming call ]

Pleena: What? Oh, OK, you want to see them? Sure, let’s go.

Pleena: [To the others] There’s someone who wants to see you. Why don’t we meet him and get a drink?

Odo: OK, let’s go.

Meet Q Gadol

[ They enter a well-lit Café with many places to sit. There’s a machine looking like a replicator nearby. ]

Jake: Yeah, I’m thirsty. [Goes to the replicator]

Jake: [To the replicator] Orange juice.

[ A cup of Orange Juice materialises. ]

Katie: Pink lemonade. [Ditto]

[ They drink. The other people order. ]

Katie: Emmm… this tastes delicious. It’s like real lemonade. Much better than a replicator.

Jake: Yeah, it’s really good.

Pleena: Well, technically these are real juices. This replicator is based on a transporter’s principle. We take an actual cup of juice, store it, and duplicate it precisely.

Odo: But isn’t it kinda wasteful?

Pleena: Possibly, but the Q Continuum can afford this waste in its current form.

Mantoleer: The funny thing is that some Qs insist on growing their own food claiming it tastes better or because they enjoy it. I admit sometimes the dinners they give with this food are exceptionally delicious, but it may be a psychological effect.

Katie: Heh. [sips on her drink]

[ Someone enters. He looks in his 50s and wears a cotton sweater with the words “Q GADOL” embroidered on it. ]

Q Gadol: Hi!

Pleena: Hello, Q Gadol. Meet Katie, Jake, Odo, and you already know George and Mantoleer.

Katie: Q Gadol? “Q is big?”, “Q the big?”, reminds me of what that child said about “Q”.

Q Gadol: Yes, I was the child, hence my name.

Jake: But you look older than Q, and Q is older.

Q Gadol: By 30 years or so, yes. Anyway, I feel a bit more mature so I’ve made a choice to look older.

Jake: So can one or cannot one judge a book by its cover?

Q Gadol: Depends how well your book cover intuition is.

Q Gadol: I’m glad to finally meet you, Jake. I’ve been a fan of your stories lately.

Katie: Don’t they rock?! I wish I could write like that. [She kisses Jake on the cheek.]

Jake: [Jake seems content and smiles stupidly.] Katie, have you tried starting from telling about your real-life? I’m sure there are a lot of stuff that have been happening to you on the OTF-1.

Katie: Well, I may have lied when I said that it was so exciting. Most of the time, they just hire us to protect shipments, or patrol some operation, and nothing ever happens. But we’re still needed in case something does. And being a system administrator-slash-programmer who’s not even a fighter is not exactly exciting either.

Q Gadol: Yes, but I’m sure you’ll have plenty to write about. Maybe stories from your childhood, or from college.

Katie: Maybe… But enough about boring ol’ twenty-something-old…

Jake: And looking much younger…

Katie: [Amused.] OK, like I said let’s hear it from the ancient one.

Q Gadol: Well, I don’t suppose my whereabouts a milliard years ago would be of much interest or relevancy for today. But I can tell you of my adventures as a German scholar on Earth.

Katie: German? You?! What prompted you to become German?

Q Gadol: Oh, just a weird fascination with the language and culture. The Germans are a pretty good lot. I met all the great German-speaking physicists and mathematicians and Bible researchers and what not. Back before World War II, German universities were the best in the world, and I enjoyed this fact.

Jake: World war II…

Q Gadol: Yes, what devastated Germany for many years.

Katie: But Germany was hardly affected by it.

Q Gadol: Not true. See, Hitler hated his own people just as much as he hated Jews or whoever he projected as the enemy-du-jour for people to be willing to commit their inhuman (if that’s the word) acts.

Q Gadol: See, the Third Law of Motion applies to human actions too: every action either benefits you and society at large, or it harms both of you. Hitler was not a bad person at first - maybe he was a little anti-Semitic, but that’s not enough to make you bad.

Katie: Reportedly all the greatest gentiles were antisemites [Giggles].

Q Gadol: Well, not all, but it’s been a trend. Anyway, evil is an addiction, and Hitler became addicted to it. And like Pharaoh in the book of Exodus he wouldn’t give up even if it was too late. He ended up dead in his bunker.

Q Gadol: We humanoids, or [looking at George] super-intelligent cats, or whatever, must fight Evil from within and without. We can never be completely benevolent. But like being honest, or being objective, or many other good traits, we must always strive to make the deviations as isolated as possible and to learn from our mistakes. Because when giving in to lying, dishonesty, subjectivity or mysticism, lies the road to disaster.

[ Katie is in tears. Cut. ]

Kai Blanché

[ Cut to the room in the Q Headquarters. Kira is there looking bored. ]

[ The door opens. Kai Blanché - a Bajoran, looking in his 50s enters, wearing traditional Vadek clothes. ]

Kira: [Looking] Hello!

Kai Blanché: Hi! You must be Narris Kira. I am Alesodro Blanché. I’m a great fan of yours.

Kira: Alesodro Blanché? Kai Blanché? One of the first Kais? But you’ve been dead for…

Kai Blanché: Millenia, yes. Well, I didn’t actually die. In fact I’ve become a vampire.

Kira: A vampire? A Bajoran vampire?

Kai Blanché: Indeed.

Kira: And you’re a fan of me? How is it possible? You’re still considered one of our best Kais. And a genius. And…

Kai Blanché: Well, everyone gets to pick his heroes.

Quark: If I may interrupt this discussion, I’d like to film it. An old Bajoran Kai is always good for business.

Kira: Quark, but the Bajorans are poor!

Quark: True, but the industry around the Bajoran prophecies is making millions. People bet on it like crazy on Ferenginar and other planets.

Kira: And might I add that Bajor sees very little of all this money.

Quark: It’s not my fault that you don’t seem to care enough for making a profit out of this. In any case, let the camera roll.

Quark: Go on, don’t mind me.

Kai Blanché: Fine by me. I’m sick of being presumed dead and could use some publicity.

Bashir: [Joins] Sorry for being so ignorant, but what are you so famous for?

Kai Blanché: Well, following a few prophecies and some interpretations of them, I began to investigate games. My collaborators and I started to analyse them mathematically and create as many different variants of games, puzzles, riddles and other diversions as we could think of. I grew a substantial cult (well sort-of) collectively known as “Vadek Blanché” that worked on it, and we started developing what is now known as “Computer Science” - algorithms, proofs of correctness, Turing models, etc.

Bashir: Wow, did you have computers at the time?

Kai Blanché: We didn’t really as a matter of fact. Our enthusiasm actually prompted the Bajorans to investigate ways to realise these things. By the time my first cadence was terminated, we already had electronic computers.

Kai Blanché: I must say I was not never very enthusiastic about the cult surrounding me and how I got most of the credit. After my ascension to a vampire, I got so tired of Maths and Computer Science that I spent my next life as a simple farmer. Nowadays, I mostly travel around our original Galaxy and other galaxies as I see fit as a Q.

Bashir: Interesting. By the way, isn’t Blanché a French name?

Kai Blanché: Indeed, I adopted this name after the name that the prophets told to be of one our Gods, who turned out to be a Terran.

Bashir: [Amusingly] Gods!

Kira: Well, the Bajoran religion is unusual in that our supreme beings are the Prophets, who in turn assign “Gods”, who are lesser and not omnipotent. As such Bajor has become known as “The Stock Exchange of the Gods”.

Kira: We sometimes prefer calling these entities “Profiles”.

Kai Blanché: Indeed. I should note that after communicating with the Prophets enough (we Qs don’t need the proximity to the wormhole, or the orbs) it’s become more of a hobby and an obsession than a faith to me. I kinda started to think of the prophets as my friends.

Bashir: What about The Emissary?

Kai Blanché: Oh he’s a god all-right, one of our most important ones, but by no means the only one. Our most famous profile was The Invisible. See, we believed we would never know who he was. But we did here.

Kira: Really, who?

Kai Blanché: [Laughs] I’ll give you one guess.

[ Kira, Bashir and Dax think for a while; meanwhile Q smiles a big, stupid, smile; then they look in Q’s direction. ]

Kira: is it Q?

Q: I’m indeed The Invisible and proud of it. It’s so flattering being the most famous Bajoran God. And I feel like I deserve it.

Kira: And I’m glad to see it didn’t go to your head.

Quark: This is great stuff.

Kai Blanché: Naturally there’s a huge problem unifying profiles as time progresses. At ancient times we had very pictorial names such as “The One who stands at the top of the Tower” or “The Wandering Son of the Lion”. As Bajoran mentality advanced, they became “The Front-End” and “The Wandering Jew”.

Bashir: Heh, cool. But really, what is the Invisible famous for?

Kai Blanché: For example, he is the one who suggested Artaxerxes to bring Vashti to the guests.

Bashir: Seriously? How come he interfered so much with the Earth’s population? Doesn’t the Q continuum know better than that.

[ Q laughs. ]

Amanda: See Doctor, the Q Continuum doesn’t have the Federation’s constitutional disapproval of interfering with less advanced civilisations.

Bashir: Interesting. I suppose the Federation would appear primitive to the Q Continuum too.

Q: Quite so, Doctor.

Amanda: Yes, and well, Q is a force of nature. He tends to perform some very unorthodox actions that even most Qs tend not to do, and yet they seem to turn out for the best in the end. No one knows how it works, but it does.

Q Gadol - Part 2

[ Cut to Q Gadol, Katie, Jake, Odo, etc. ]

Jake: I’m curious what happened to the original Nazi leaders.

Q Gadol: Ah that. Well, most of the Nazi big wigs ended up dead or persecuted to death after the Nuremberg Trials, so Q waited until they were all there. He then got me to lecture to them and determine their collective fate.

Q Gadol: I told them, in German: “You may have considered yourself an empire. But you were the empire of evil. And evil is nothing but laziness, irrationality, and self-destruction.” Then I gave them some more lecturing about the action and reaction law of human relations, and their self-created realities, and how they were misleading themselves and became addicted to mysticism and all of its bad manifestations.

Q Gadol: Finally, I told Q to displace them to a Galaxy with relatively hostile conditions, in order to punish them.

Katie: So you didn’t kill them?

Q Gadol: As a matter of fact, no. It is a policy of the Q Continuum and similar continuums to never kill any conscious individual.

Katie: So what happened to them?

Q Gadol: They established the so-called “Empire of Evil”. And they are an Empire. They now control 14 home star systems. It was actually a useful shake to that Galaxy.

Katie: And are they evil?

Q Gadol: Nah, not at all. It’s just part of their image.

Katie: Huh, these days you find it harder to tell evil from non-evil.

Q Gadol: Well, a good rule of a thumb is that evil corpora don’t admit they are evil, so if someone says he is, then he isn’t.

George: For instance, I’m an evil cat.

[ Katie pats him affectionately. George purrs. ]

Odo: Speaking of evil, by the way, may I be prudent enough to ask what the Q Continuum knows of the origin of the changelings and the founders?

Pleena: Sure. See, the technology of the self-changing lifeforms was actually artificially created, and not by the founders. It was an Iconian innovation developed by some of their best biologists, who left remnants of it on the changelings’ home planet.

Jake: Why did they abandon it?

Pleena: Well, they realised it was an unnatural and inconvenient life-form that left the mind in a crazy state, longing for being a “solid”.

Odo: I can attest it. I am much happier now as a solid than I was as a liquid. As a liquid, I wasn’t aware of all the great things I’ve missed.

Pleena: Indeed. In any case, many years later, a group of humanoid biologists from nearby planets investigated the technology and were able to apply it to themselves. They were so happy that they could change their form that they ended up as changelings, and ended up as this race with their origins lost in history.

Pleena: From there to establishing the dominion was a short step.

Jake: By the way, what happened to the Iconians?

Pleena: Oh? Nothing really - they ascended into the Q Continuum. They left their gateways scattered around the galaxy, in hope that the future races will be able to visit other races and learn about them. However, with the contemporary climate of our galaxy, most of them were destroyed out of being considered security breaches.

Katie: One can think it was naïve of them.

Pleena: Well, some people would rather err on naïvety than on cynicism.

Q’s Ex-Wife

[ Cut to the room with Q, Blanché, Jadzia, Kira, etc.

A woman who looks in her thirties enters - Avigayil. ]

Avigayil: Hi, Q, dear, I think you’d like to take a look at that. [She hands him a tablet]

Jadzia: “Dear”?

Avigayil: Oh, sorry for not introducing myself. I’m Avigayil, a good friend of Q. And his former wife.

Jadzia: [Surprised.] You were married to Q?

Avigayil: Yes, and also mothered two of his children. Story of my life.

Jadzia: Wow! Q, “The Invisible” has children?

Kira: Well, duh! The prophets spoke of several of The Invisible’s children and their whereabouts.

Jadzia: Major, you and I will need to talk someday about that “duh”.

[ Kira bursts into laughter. ]

Jadzia: Well, now that I’ve realised that nothing in this universe is holy… gossip, please!

Worf: Commander Dax, I explicitly prohibit you from asking about Mr. Q’s roles as a husband and a father.

Jadzia: You are right, Commander. I’ve realised something: throughout this whole trip through the wonders of the Q’s continuum I’ve been far too selfish and only thought about myself. I should have thought about you, too.

[ She turns towards Avigayil ]

Jadzia: Avigayil, could you, by any chance, allow us to meet Kahless the Unforgettable in his living dead self? I’m sure Commander Worf here would love to meet him.

Worf: Actually, Commander, I don’t think…

Jadzia: [Interrupting him] Oh, you don’t? That’s a shame. Well, I’ll go to meet him alone (always wanted to, you know). Worf, I think Kahless will be disappointed to not meet you, but I’ll tell him you’re a big fan of his, and I’ll let you watch the video of me meeting him and…

Worf: [Sighs] Commander Dax, you are impossible.

Worf: Fine, let’s go meet Kahless if that’s humanly possible.

Avigayil: Sounds good. The whole mission from Deep Space Nine can go with you, I’ll notify Kahless. He’s a big fan of a lot of you.

Amanda: OK, let’s summon Katie and her gang of no-goodnicks too. She wouldn’t want to miss it.

Quark: Yes, and it’s high time we merged the two sub-plots in the future movie. “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. But only for your customers”. Rule of acquisition No. 172.

Meeting Kahless

Katie: OK, we’re here. Kahless the Unforgettable - ready or not - here we come!

Avigayil: Sure thing, here we go.

[ The Scene gradually changes to a large hall where Kahless is standing. ]

Kahless: Worf! [he laughs] We meet again, finally. Reaches to hug him.

[ Worf hugs him while smiling in a fake manner. ]

Worf: So you did appear during my vision.

Kahless: In a way. See: I kept an eye on you for a while when you were younger, and when I asked the Q Continuum for a favour to appear in your vision at when the time was right. So I appeared there in my living dead form with help from one of the Q’s here.

Worf: So you are still alive flesh and blood.

Kahless: Indeed. Alive and kicking.

Dax: Mr. Kahless, I’ve heard so much about you and I’m a big fan. Did everything that they said about your competency as a warrior is true?

Kahless: Hardly. See, my image was greatly exaggerated after my death. As good a fighter as I had been, I lost some exercise battles even at my prime, and could never successfully physically fight against entire armies of capable fighters. No one could.

Jake: “Physically”?

Kahless: Indeed. Some time after my death, the noble Klingon fighting tradition has somewhat deteriorated into only considering Batelath fight or similar combat using weapons. But I possessed a far different and far more effective weapon - my words and deeds.

Kahless: you see: I was able to convince people; to compromise with them; even to become convinced. And we would spare the bloodshed, and would both win.

Kahless: the Living Dead Klingons have little use for hurting ourselves physically, and instead we worked on advancing our technology, and reaching the other themed planets of the Q continuum in this galaxy. So for example, we made contact with the Planet of the Hebrews, the Planet of the Celts, and the Planet of the Greeks - all have some very awe-inspiring fighters.

Jadzia: wow!

Worf: hmm… this is one aspect of fighting that has eluded most modern day Klingons, and I’m sure they’ll appreciate me bringing this message from you.

Quark: [While busy panning the camera] You can count on that.

Worf: That put aside, I was wondering… if… we…

Kahless: …Could fight?

Worf: Ahmmm… yes.

Kahless: [Laughs] Of course, I never object to a good fight, especially not when death is out of the question - which is the case now for me as a living dead.

[ Avigayil snaps her fingers, and two Batelaths appear next to Worf and to Kahless. ]

Avigayil: These Batelaths are according to your preferences.

[ Kahless and Worf pick them up and hold them, and they start fighting. The battle is fierce, but eventually Worf causes Kahless’ Batelath to drop off his hands, pins Kahless, and looks angry.

Kahless laughs. ]

Kahless: I was the best fighter of my time, but Batelath fighting has progressed by leaps and bounds since my time, and you are simply a better fighter.

Kahless: Oh! And I’m a little out of shape. We don’t get a lot of motivation to fight using a Batelath here. We have much more worthy forms of fighting to do, as I have said.

[ Worf grins, laughs, drops his Batelath, helps Kahless get up, and they hug. ]

Quark’s Success

[ Jadzia is walking towards Quark’s bar and sees Quark standing next to a terminal and mumbling. ]

Dax: Hi Quark! Why are you so happy?

Quark: Remember the film I took? Rom helped me edit it, and I’ve been distributing and selling it online. I have made a fortune.

[ Camera zooms to reveal Brunt in the background. ]

Brunt: Brunt, FCA.

Quark: [Sighs.] I made a fortune.

Dax: You had made a fortune.

Quark: Yep.

The Movie Aftermath

[ Dax enters the DS9 Captain’s office. ]

Dax: Captain, it seems Quark has been distributing the movie from our trip.

Sisko: Tell me about it. Sub-space is abuzz with it, and Star Fleet HQ won’t give me a rest. I’m going to kill that Ferengi.

Dax: I suppose that’s what Q wanted all along.

[ Q enters. ]

Q: Hello all.

Dax: Talk about the devil.

Dax: I was saying that you wanted all this publicity that Quark did.

Q: Don’t know. But it’s not too bad.

Sisko: Q, do you have any other surprises up your sleeve?

Q: As a matter of fact, I do. Let’s go to the bridge, please.

The Q Star System

New Star System

[ On the DS9 Bridge. Q, Sisko and Dax enter. Katie, Jake and Amanda are already there. ]

Officer: Captain, there’s a new star system a few thousands of lightyears away, and its sun has an irregular shape.

Sisko: What? Show it on the screen.

[ The Screen shows a yellow star shaped like the capital letter “Q” (in Sans-Serif) and some planets. ]

Sisko: I don’t believe it.

Q: Captain - that is the Q star system.

Sisko: I don’t suppose I should travel there on the Defiant.

Q: Not now. Allow me to teleport us.

On the Planet Q 3

[ They all appear in a nice garden. The shadows are generated from the “Q” sun. ]

Katie: Wow! Awesome shadows!

Sisko: What is the purpose of this planet?

Q: It will be a communication channel between your quadrant and the Q Continuum. For example, this is the Q museum.

[ They appear at the entrance to the museum. Shows a lever with the writing “Cool Java Hackeh Et Hamumheh” ]

Q: Anything beyond “Cool Java Hack” is not recommended for pregnant women.

Katie: Ooh! Can I try?

Sisko: Not now. Are you also recruiting other Qs?

Q: Sure. We can always use more people. We could use all the help we can get.

Amanda: Indeed, you can get yourself enQed here.

Jake: Cool.

Sisko: Yes. OK, I’ll brief Star Fleet about it. Now I’d like to return to DS9 if you may.

Katie: Ahmm… I’d like to stay here. There’s something I want to do.

Sisko: Sure, Miss Jacobson.

Q: One teleportation up.

Quark and Dvorah

[ Dvorah is walking down DS9 towards Quark’s Bar. She approaches Quark. ]

Quark: Dvorah? Wow! What are you doing here?

Dvorah: Your movie has made me a star, and people are dying to hear my stories. So I thought I’ll do Deep-Space-Nine for a while.

Quark: You mean… give a talk?

Dvorah: Yeah. I’d like to use your conference room.

Quark: Ahhmm… the problem is that…

[ Dvorah reaches above the counter and gently caresses Quark’s ear. ]

Dvorah: I’ll give you 30 percent of the profits.

Quark: [Aroused] 50 percent!

Dvorah: Deal!

[ She shakes hands with Quark. ]

Dvorah: As a vampirella, I don’t know what I’ll do with all the money, but it may prove useful.

Quark: Rule of Acquisition No. 89 - “Ask not what your profits can do for you - ask what you can do for your profits.”.

Dvorah: Words of wisdom.

Dvorah: Now, how much do you think I should charge per-seat?

Quark: How much we should charge per-seat.

End Scene for Jake and Katie

[ Katie is sitting on a table in DS9. She is busy writing something on a qwerty-like keyboard attached to a small text pad. Jake approaches her. ]

Jake: Katie, oh there you are. I thought that OTF-1 left DS9 already.

Katie: Yes, it did, I’m still technically working for them.

Jake: Really, how?

Katie: With the marvels of technology: remote access and Q-ness.

Jake: Q-ness?

Katie: Yes, check this out.

[ Katie stands up, makes a gesture with her hand. A portal appears near the ground showing a different part of DS9. She steps into it, and the portal closes. A few moments later, a normal Star-Trek door opens and Katie steps out of it. ]

Katie: Tada!

Jake: Wow! So you are now “Qatie” with a Q?

Katie: Qatie [with a Qoph sound] heh, I like it.

Katie: Seriously now, the only thing I can do as a minor Q is relocate myself to different places in the galaxy. I’m not nearly as powerful as Q is.

Jake: That’s still pretty cool. However, I’m in no rush to get EnQed - I like it here.

Katie: And I like being here with you.

[ They both smile. ]

Jake: So what are you so busy writing?

Katie: A story, actually, based on something that happened to us on Othello Task Force. I took your advice and am writing about real events.

Jake: Can I read it?

Katie: Sure. [She hands him her text pad]

Jake: Hmm… [reads out loud] “It is commonly believed that computer workers cannot read other people’s feelings well. It’s hard for me to tell if it’s true, based on the limited data that I have, but it’s not the case for me. I can usually tell exactly what other people feel, including what many non-Terrans I met did. I don’t always behave in the right way in accordance to what they project due to my general rashness, but I still can.”

Jake: “Therefore you can imagine how I felt when Joanna…”. Wow this is really good. Are you sure you’re not good at it?

Katie: [Blushing] Heh, don’t know - I guess it’s not too bad. Have you been working on a new story?

Jake: Yes. Also a true story - based on our Qish trip. Don’t know how many people will read it after they watch Quark’s movie.

Katie: Awesome. Where can I read it?

Q and Sisko

[ Sisko is sitting in his headquarters, watching Quark’s movie and laughing . The bell rings. ]

Sisko: Come in.

[ Q in a Star Fleet uniform enters ]

Sisko: Hello, Q.

Q: Hello, Captain.

Sisko: Well, I’ve been watching the movie that Quark made. It’s very funny, and it seems incredibly far-fetched. Either I should admire your competence as that person who kickstarted the Q Continuum or alternatively think that you are capable of deceiving all of my crew members using sophisticated means.

Q: Which option do you like better?

Sisko: The first, I guess. There are many great men of this galaxy’s past and good men of my past that I’d like to meet.

Q: Well, you can now.

Sisko: Assuming I trust you.

Q: Well, you cannot really.

Sisko: Right.

[ Sisko goes to look at space. ]

Sisko: Tell me, Q, what was your secret sauce? How did the Q Continuum become as powerful as it is?

Q: It’s very simple, Captain. See, I was the first great man to realise that not only should I be unstoppable, not only should not allow myself to be put down, but that others are expected to become the same. The other Qs and the other Énglishtants, emulated me, and competed with me, and were not really ruled by me.

Q: You may recall The Symbul. She still lives in our home planet surrounded by fields of crops and many volunteers who come to learn from her. She distrusts most of our modern technology, and there are many jokes about her, and by her about herself. Yet, she is one of our most influential leaders, because she too is a Q.

Q: Being a Q is not something that is beyond your reach as a civilisation, Captain. You too can become a Q and so can everyone you encounter. The only thing you will gain from visiting the Q star system, is some insights into what past Qs have already achieved, and some of our higher superpowers.

Sisko: So you mean the holy grail was right at our reach all the time? That it was inside us?

Q: Indeed. Your civilisation can also ascend into being Qs. Even without the Q continuum’s help.

Sisko: Thank you.

[ They shake hands. ]

Q: I’ll leave you now. I’d like to make it to Dvorah’s talk at Quark’s, should be quite interesting.

Sisko: Have fun.

Q: Farewell, Captain.

Sisko: Farewell, Q, and thanks for everything.

Q: You’re welcome.

[ Q exits through the door. Sisko continues to watch space, thinking. ]

[ END. ]