|A Tangled Web Part 8: Endgame
Author: ordinaryguy2 PM
The Borg Queen moves to take over The Land of the Lost, and from there...the Multiverse. Don't forget to read and review please.Rated: Fiction T - English - Chapters: 47 - Words: 273,158 - Reviews: 143 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 04-30-13 - Published: 07-12-07 - id: 3653101
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A TANGLED WEB Part 8: Endgame
Chapter 1: Double Jeopardy
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters written in this story. All major characters are owned by rich corporations and I am just borrowing them. Also, I am making no money by writing this story. I write this for the fun of it as well as to better my creative instinct and grammatical skills.
Suggestions: If you are unsure of what's going on, then go back and read A Tangled Web Part 1. If you are unaware of more current events like what Q and the Doctor are upset about, then go back and read the last chapter of A Tangled Web Part 7.
Also, I am basing most of this landscape of Borg battle from the 70's television show 'LAND OF THE LOST. Not the poor remake of the show in the nineties. I will try to cover everything very thoroughly so even if you are unfamiliar with the show you will understand what is going on. If you want to refresh you memory or check out information on it yourselves, then I recommend going to answers dot com (i have to type the web site that way or it may not post onto the site correctly) and type in 'LAND OF THE LOST'. Check out the one from the 70's and about characters. You will find it rather interesting. You will also learn about Sleestak, which are very important.
A TANGLED WEB Part 8: Endgame
Chapter 1: Double Jeopardy
The bar was still even though it was almost half full to capacity. Moments before, Captain Janeway had had harsh words with Q, who much to Picard and Guinan's surprise, seemed rather hurt by the one-way exchange.
Following that, everyones'eyes followed Tom Paris, Neelix, Tuvok and Harry Kim as they carried away Chakotay on a stretcher. A few people wept while others became withdrawn. Except for Nog, who had been returned previously to Sickbay, the rest of the away team were in good health and watched the spontaneous preceding in the close company of their friends knowing full well it could have easily been any of them there lying dead with Chakotay. Ezri Dax in particular seemed more solemn yet angry.
After a moment, Guinan broke the silence. "Where do we go from here, Q?"
Those sitting at the Admirals' Table seemed annoyed at this non-Starfleet woman taking the reigns, but they knew she had history with Q, and Captain Picard recommended using her as a buffer with Q when ever possible.
"It's like I've said before," Q said, over dramatizing his exasperation. "Q2, my fellow Q, set me up from the beginning. I've already let the rest of the Q Continuum know about it. Once they verify it, I should be able to snap everyone to their own universes and unborgify everyone."
"And those that died during all these Q antics?" Janeway mentioned, through clenched teeth. "What about them?"
"Again, I'm sorry, Kathryn, but-"
"Keep your apologizes, Q. At least until you mean them."
Before Q was able to respond, there was a flash of light which revealed another Q in their midst.
"You!" roared Q.
"This is all your fault!" yelled back Q2.
Both suddenly looked up at the same time as if someone of importance in the ceiling had addressed them.
David Banner, who had immigrated to this dimension at the conclusion of one of the previous Borg defeats, whispered into Guinan's ear. "What are they doing now?"
"The Q Continuum has contacted them."
Banner sensed nothing in or around the ceiling. Glancing around at the others in the room, he was pretty sure that no one else could sense anything either. "Can you hear them?" he whispered.
"Not with you asking questions in my ear. Shhhh!" She turned back to stare intently at the ceiling. The rest of the people in Quark's exchanged glances with each other but did not dare speak. Something was happening. They just were not sure what.
"But that's ridiculous!" protested Q.
"I agree!" said Q2, who turned away with his arms crossed in objection.
Q pleaded his case. "You have already punished me. I don't see why I should have to go through it all again just to punish him, too."
The silent answer that they got seemed to stun them both, yet Guinan burst out laughing. The El-Aurian female took a moment to regain her composer. "Well, Q, if that doesn't make you sit up and think of the consequences of your actions, then I don't think anything will." She moved past the frightened Quark, and began foraging behind the bar, until she pulled up a dark bottled beverage.
"What's going on, Q?" Picard finally demanded.
Both Q and Q2 looked grim, hurt and scared, which was not good for self-proclaimed omnipotent beings. Q had gotten in trouble with the Continuum when he had playfully let the Borg know about technology that would allow them to spread to alternate universes. Q2 had tattled on Q's actions to the Continuum, but evidently not before he had rerouted various groups of dimensionally 'sliding' drones to specific universes that would draw more questions than answers for anyone that was looking for them. Once Q had figured out this ploy, he had hurriedly informed the Continuum of the others manipulations, hoping to get Q2 in trouble while getting himself out. The Q Continuum had other ideas, however, and neither Q entity seemed to like the answers they were getting.
Q looked at his rival with disdain; Q2 returned the look. "My fellow Q and I get to match wits and luck against each other. Whoever loses will loses all their powers and will have to live out their days as a lowly mortal."
"So," Picard said, thinking quickly, "that means that we are no longer involved in your disciplinary action, correct?"
"I'm afraid not," Q2 responded with a smirk. "It looks like you are going to be more involved than ever."
Guinin choked on her drink. "What?"
"You should be more intent on listening to everything next time," Q2 commented. "You evidently missed some vital points when you went off to gloat."
Guinan scowled. "Enlighten me then."
"There is going to be one last battle against the Borg. And it's going to be winner take all."
The Doctor raised a hand and stepped forward, pushing past a few people in his way. "Pardon me, but if that is the case, then may I suggest-"
"The place chosen is the one you have in mind, time-lord," said Q. "The Continuum were not happy about the Borg invading there from our last venture in the American West. So this is their way of having us correct it."
The Doctor nodded. He wasn't sure what to make of all that but there it was and he'd have to make due with it.
"And just where is this last battle to take place?" asked Sisko.
Q flicked a hand casually. "Oh, a little spot of land tucked into a tesseract of space and time. I believe the Gallifreyans used them for instructional and educational purposes for training their young about non-sentient and sentient species in the outside universe."
"So it's basically a terrarium," pointed out Banner. "A small enclosure with soil and vegetation where outside observers can examine what the creatures trapped inside will do."
Questioning eyes turned to the Doctor who seemed too embarrassed or shamed to say anything more about it.
Guinan broke the silence. "So what exactly is this contest? What are the objectives? And how does it affect us?"
Q2 strutted forward. "I'll make it simple so your little minds can comprehend. Whoever stops the Borg wins."
"And you need us to do that?"
"He needs you," Q2 corrected, pointing to his counterpart. "And now it is time to select again."
"I'll go," came a raspy voice. There were some gasps as the wrinkled figure of Admiral McCoy ventured forward with the help of a reluctant Lt. Barclay.
"I admire the spirit," Q managed to say, trying to be diplomatic with Janeway's stern eye on him. "But I don't think you have what it takes to go against the Borg anymore."
"I have the experience," growled McCoy. "Besides, you can make me young again. I'd be fit for service."
Q looked skeptically at Q2. Q2 considered. "It will add to numbers against the Borg. Perhaps even speed things up. What do you say to two people from the old Enterprise, two from the new Enterprise, two from Deep Space Nine, and two from Voyager?"
With a snap of his fingers, Admiral Leonard 'Bones' McCoy was not only youthful, but wearing his old Starfleet uniform from his younger days.
McCoy padded himself down checking everything. Nearby Data used a tricorder to scan the admiral discretely. "It's been almost a hundred years since I felt this good."
"Here." Guinan held out a tumbler of something dark. Without questioning what it was, Bones grabbed it up and took a deep swallow. "Oh, bourbon! The real stuff and not that synthahol garbage. Thank you."
"Time for the selections," Q2 stated. "And since you have chosen from the earlier Enterprise first, why don't you continue there?"
Q frowned, not liking following orders. But snapped his fingers. Ambassador Spock appeared next to McCoy dressed in gray robes. "Curious," he stated at the sights around him.
The younger version of McCoy pulled Spock into a bear hug, the affection unsettling the legendary Vulcan mildly. "Spock, you aren't going to believe what's been going on here!"
"Actually, I would," said Spock. "Q explained it to me when he transported me from Romulus. It is good to see you fit again."
"I have a century shaved off of me and that is all you can say?"
He seemed to regard the younger version of the Leonard McCoy he knew. "Yes."
Q2 contemplated the selection for a moment before making his own choices. "Let's see. For my side I think I prefer more of a warrior."
A flash of light left a figure standing confidently at Q2's side. Those who recognized Khan Noonien Singh were shocked. The rest of those in the room quickly picked up on the actually danger once they were informed of who he was historically.
"Wait, we can choose someone who has already expired?" Q said.
"I'm allowed to choose opponents of those you choose. I believe he qualifies."
"But he's dead!"
"No, I am not dead," Khan said, his eyes moving predatorily over the people in the bar. "Your friend, Q2, here, went back in time and took me from the Reliant just before it exploded, healed me, and brought me forward in time so that I could have my revenge against my mortal enemy, Admiral James Kirk, by killing those he most loved."
The silence in the room was deafening. "You're still nuts, Khan." McCoy tossed back another swallow of bourbon.
Before Khan could express his outrage, Q2 made his next choice. The figure of James T. Kirk appeared in their presence. Khan pounced at once attacking the man he hated more than any other. Q2 was surprised at this reaction. Odo moved to separate the two men but Captain Sisko put a restraining hand on his shoulder.
Finally, Q2 separated them in a burst of power. "Stop!"
Both men had blood running from their faces and different areas of their bodies.
"Treacherous dog!" spat Khan.
"Devious pacifist!" retorted Kirk.
McCoy laughed while Spock's eyebrow rose. "He's not our Kirk, Spock. He's the evil version of the man we knew from the Mirror Universe. I knew it from the moment I saw his uniform."
Both Kirk and Khan, breathing hard, glanced at McCoy. "It's true," said Q2. "Though you recognize each other, neither of you has actually met." In another flash, both men were healed of their minor injuries but neither man could look at the other without a snarl.
"Oh, you'll get a lot of team work out of those two," remarked Q.
"Just choose your next group."
"Very well. From the current Enterprise I choose-"
"I volunteer, Q." Captain Jean-Luc Picard stood up from his chair and began walking over by Spock and McCoy.
"We are going to need some fighters of our own," added the captain.
Seeing the resolve in Picard's face, Q assented. "Very well. First you, and for my second choice -." There was another flash of light. Ro Laren glanced around like a startled rabbit.
"I thought you were explaining things to people before they arrived?" Captain Picard said.
"I did. She's just still-"
"Apprehensive," Ro said, with a trembling voice.
Picard stepped forward and put a hesitant hand on her shoulder. "When we didn't hear from you…When the Marquis were killed by the Cardassians…I feared the worst."
"Well, you feared right. Evidently, Q here pulled me out of a Marquis base just as it was being blow up. If I want to keep on living, I have to help win this contest for him."
"Ro, I'm so sorry."
"Sorry? Sorry?" She looked around in disbelief, tears running down her cheeks. "Tell that to the twenty-two children I was teaching finger-painting three hours ago. Or the young man I had finally agreed to go on a date with tomorrow night. Oh, wait! Tomorrow isn't there anymore because Starfleet let the Cardassians blow us away!"
"Pardon us, captain." Guinan and Deanna Troi were there. Without having to say anything more they led Ro Laren to a more private location where they could talk.
"Q!" He was angry. But this situation had also brought Ro Laren back from certain death. How should he feel?
"It's not his turn, Captain Picard." Q2 was passing back and forth as if in contemplation before stopping in front of Data. "Of course!"
Lore was there instantly. Looking down at the horror in his brother's face. "Oh, you have an emotion chip again! How is that working for you, brother?"
Data swallowed. "Very well."
"Hm, Let's test that, shall we? I'm going to have so much fun tearing apart your captain. I think I'll save his head for a wall mounting." He cocked his head to the side. "How does that make you feel, brother?"
"Captain," responded Data, in a very cold tone. "I have had Dr. Crusher and Worf keep a secret file to instruct others of the best and most effective methods to incapacitate me if I ever was taken control of or if we ever ran into my brother. Please take it and have the others in your group study it."
Lore smiled coldly at his brother. "When I return, I will find you." He stepped back to Khan and the Mirror universe Kirk.
"Definitely more effective," Q2 said, nodding approvingly. "I think some more stern attitudes are needed for my group." There was another flash of white light.
Romulan Commander Sela nodded smugly to Captain Picard before snapping to distasteful eye to Data. As she went to join Q2's ranks, she froze at the sight of Lore.
"Don't worry, my dear. I'm just his evil twin. Lore, at your services." He took her hand and kissed it. The only reason he succeeded in this action was because of the obvious distaste emanating from Picard and Data.
"Moving on to those with connections to Deep Space Nine," Q rushed forward before there could be another wordy delay. "I-"
"I'm going, Q." Sisko stood up.
"Fine. Captain Benjamin Sisko then." Q shook his head. If he ever got out of this with his powers in tact, he'd have to seriously consider giving up Human contact. "Now who else that has connections to Deep Space Nine that I'd be willing to use. Shakaar Edon? No. Keiko O'Brien? No. Grand Nagus Zek? Definitely not! Gowron? Maybe. General Martok? Yes! He'll do just fine!"
General Martok before them. Sisko greeted the one-eyed Klingon warrior while Worf hurried through the crowd to also give greeting.
"And it's my turn again. The first choice is rather obvious, I think. And a good choice, too." There was a flash and another figure appeared
Smiling at the audience, Gul Dukat glanced around. "Ah, Terok Nor. I find that there are times when I still reminisce about this place."
"It's called Deep Space Nine now," growled Sisko.
"I believe your people said it best. 'A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet'," spoke the tall reptilian humanoid.
"I believe the Cardassians are trying to do away with poetry, as well," pointed out Sisko.
Dukat grinned. "I believe your people also said 'every rose has it's thorn'. Nothing is perfect, but Cardassia is close, I believe."
Another flash of light revealed the female Changeling, who war the primary leader of the Dominion's military foray into the Alpha Quadrant. Murmurs and rumbles abounded in among the people now as they watched events unfold before them. Odo stood up and went to move forward. Kira tightened her hand on his and gave him an understanding look before releasing him. Though instead of talking to the female Shapeshifter, Odo instead stood ready with the rest of the security detail. For her part, the female Changeling said nothing, but chose to stand next to an annoyed Gul Dukat.
"And now from Voyager-" began Q.
"Will be me," said Captain Kathryn Janeway, as she stood and move toward the others.
"Kathy," Q said. "Everyone here knows of your bravery. You don't have to prove anything by going. This is the last venture against the Borg. Let someone else go."
"Q, I have to go. Let's leave it at that."
"At least I can do this. For my next choice, I choose Kes."
A being of energy formed in front of the two Q's.
"This won't do!" protested Q2. "She has to have a corporeal form."
Q was frustrated but didn't want to back down in front of Janeway. "Very well."
Kes was reunited with her physical body. She stared at her hands and then at the people in Quark's Bar.
"Kes?" Janeway said hesitantly.
"Captain? I…my powers?"
"I'm sorry, but in corporeal form she will be greatly reduced in power."
Kes straightened herself up. "I can manage."
"Kes?" came another voice.
"Neelix." She embraced her old lover. "It's been a long time."
"I've missed you," said the Talaxian, tears freely flowing. He pulled back and looked at her. "You've been told about this mission, I'm sure. Remember, the Borg are nothing to play around with. They take what they want and attack in force." He embraced her again. "Be careful. And please come back and see me before you leave for good."
"I will, Neelix."
"Enemies of Voyager, hmmm." Q2 seemed to contemplate that thought. "Janeway spread them out as her ship raced for the Alpha Quadrant. But then she was trying to get her ship and crew home. Let's start with the crew then."
A flash of light revealed a female Cardassian who smiled wily at Janeway.
"I thought we were through with you when you died, Seska."
"I just couldn't turn down Q2's proposal of coming here when it included not only facing you again but also whisking me away from my ship milliseconds before it exploded. It's sad about Chakotay. I would have loved to have gloated about my life extension. Too bad he didn't get the same opportunity."
"It's only a brief extension, Seska. I'll definitely be looking for you out there."
Q2 scratched at his chin. "I had thought to include Seska's mate, Maje Culluh, but I'd rather have a more formidable fighter. And I think I know just the one."
The last flash revealed the towering form of the being Janeway knew as only Alpha Hirogen, a leader of a species that lived to hunt other species and collect trophies. Ridges of small bumps trailed around up and around his face giving his species a very distinguishing attribute.
"Wait." Janeway shook her head. "When we last left the Hirogen we were at peace. I thought you could only recruit from our enemies?"
"You fought them and he's willing to face you again," answered Q2. "That should be simple enough for even you."
She turned to the Alpha Hirogen. "Why?"
"For my people, our future, and the promise of a great hunt," he answered. "Why else?"
The Doctor rushed up to the two Q entities. "Pardon, but with all that is at risk here, I can still bring my own recruits to this conflict, correct?"
"The Q Continuum were counting on it," said Q2, while Q rolled his eyes. "They are even allowing you to bring in more recruits, though only from those universes that have been affected by invaded by the Borg."
"Really, I'm surprised they were so obliging to add my interference."
"Because you side with Q? It gave me the opportunity to enlist my own time-lord to find wars to fight the Borg."
"You…you have a time-lord working for you?" The Doctor's eyes almost popped out of his head. "Who…who is it?"
"An old classmate of yours. He now goes by the title of the Master. A little egocentric, but he seems to be giving a good effort to live up to it."
"The Master knows where the Borg are?"
"Oh, yes. He seemed rather titillated at the prospect of going there."
"Is he coming here?"
"No, no, no. There's no need for him to come here. He's out recruiting already. I convinced the Continuum that you've already gathered some experience at all of this so my time-lord should have a head start."
The Doctor's jaw dropped. Then he turned and ran for his TARDIS. "Kenny! We have to go immediately!"
The rules have changed and the threat has grown exponentially. I'm sure everyone is wondering about that, but I'm not ready to reveal everything just yet. I've already got a bunch of scribbled notes that I have to type up and I can promise some surprises ahead. Some I have even surprised myself with. But this is the final Tangled Web and I'm going to have fun with it. So, what to look for next? Some unexpected crossovers and the Master's army.
Missing: A number of lost Klingons. Last scene on Holodeck 1 at Quark's bar jumping through a dimensional portal. We don't need them returned, but would love to know that became of them. Please write us a short story and let us know so we don't have to keep worrying about them. Thank you. And remember, they bite.
Please send reviews. I love hearing your thought and sometimes I can even work with your suggestions.
Admiral Leonard 'Bones' McCoy
Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Captain Benjamin Sisko
Captain Kathryn Janeway
Khan Noonien Singh
Mirror Universe Captain James T. Kirk