Dawn of the Decline: Page Two

Several hours later, an impatient crew was still holding its breath, awaiting whatever unusual challenge Q would throw at them. Captain Picard was, despite being officially off duty, on the bridge and already exhausted from his shift and the added stress of imagining all the horrible things Q had done to them. The first time they met Q, they were introduced to the Borg, and now, Q made light of the Borg as a threat. Picard was sure that whatever Q was going to do, it wasn’t going to help the Federation.

Alarms started going off, as the ship automatically changed to red alert. Lieutenant Menik, the current chief security officer, tapped away at the panel in front of him. The LCARS interface adjusting to his needs, and displaying a great deal of information. “Sir, there is an intruder on board.”

The Captain’s head snapped around, “is it Q?”

“No sir, it is some kind of machine, I think.”

The puzzled response intrigued Riker, and he jumped up from his seat at the right of the Captain and quickly moved around to the security officer’s side. He grabbed the security feed, and transferring it to the main viewer for the bridge crew to see.

Everyone worked like a well oiled machine, the ship dropped out of warp, engineering locked down their auxiliary control stations, and security was alerted. A large image appeared on the screen, and Picard somewhat recognized what he saw. “Q was wearing something similar when he visited me in my quarters, but this looks larger.”

Data turned from his console at ops and looked at Picard, “do you know what it means?”

Picard couldn’t meet the curious android’s glance, instead only focusing on the screen as the mostly white machine began to move. At first, it looked slightly confused, but that lasted only seconds, as it began swinging its arms towards the walls of the corridor. “No, I don’t Data, but whatever it is, it doesn’t seem pleased to be here. Most likely Q brought this here to test us.”

Pausing for a moment, Picard considered his options, “get security to it, and hold it there. I want to find out what it is and what it wants.”

Lieutenant Menik tapped at the console a few more times before looking at Riker. Riker nodded, and Menik moved towards the turbolift to join his teams. Riker stayed at the tactical console. New members of the Alpha shift were quick to pick up all the shorthands and unspoken rules, and Menik was no exception.

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