"Oh, no no no no no, that just won't do." Q tsked in disapproval, as he talked to himself, looking on at the events unfolding in front of him. "The Reapers will never be defeated if they keep trying to fight them like this."
He and the rest of the Continuum held a great interest in the so called 'mass effect' universe. Named for a unique phenomenon where a strange element known as 'Element Zero' was capable of lowering the mass of an object based on the quantity of the element and the power of the electrical current running through it.
This phenomenon was what garnered the attention of the continuum in the first place, as the Q had never seen any element like it, barring the Warp Plasma Starfleet ships used for Warp Drive.
Even then, Warp was achieved by surrounding a ship by a 'bubble' of subspace, in which the speed of light was raised significantly, allowing ships to travel faster-than-light.
But Element Zero allowed FTL in Real-Space(as the humans were fond of calling it), which should've caused all manner of nasty relativistic effects, though it didn't. That was what caused the Q Continuum to become so entranced with that particular universe, as they had never seen anything like it before.
Q himself however, found his interest turning to the populace of that universe. Particularly humanity.
The humans of the Mass Effect universe were so much more interesting than the ones that founded the Federation. These humans were so much more aggressive, warlike, and fun than the prudes in the Federation, and were quickly moving up on Q's 'Favorite Species to Toy With' list.
But of course, something's always got to spoil his fun.
Every fifty-thousand years, a race of sentient starships known as the Reapers came to purge the Milky Way of all advanced life. And know, the humans native to that version of the Milky Way were on the chopping block. Meaning that Q was about to lose one of his favorite 'toys' so to speak.
And he decided to do something about that.
Currently, he was observing the exploits of Commander John Shepard, a former soldier of the Systems Alliance. He had just destroyed the Alpha Relay, following his assault on the Collector Base, and while it slowed down the Reapers, it was by no means a crippling blow.
Despite Shepard's best efforts, the Reapers will plow through the galaxy's defenses, and they will succeed in their goals. Better species than humanity had tried stopping the genocidal machines, and every last one had failed.
But none of those species had the Q on their side. An old Gallifreyan proverb said that 'A single Q can change the fate of the entire universe,' and they were dead on the mark.
The Q Continuum could topple Gods, burn entire planets, and destroy a million suns, just by uttering a single word.
Defeating the Reapers would be child's play.
But even then, the Continuum had enacted a strict non-interference policy upon discovering the Reapers, and even went so far as to bar all members of the Continuum from entering that particular corner of reality.
Meaning that any attempt to get rid of the giant metal squids made by Q would only result in his execution. At least, if he attempted to do it directly.
And that gave Q an idea.
If he interfered directly, he'd be killed, but if he got someone else to act for him...
At that, a face-splitting grin crossed Q's face.
"Captain's Log: Stardate 47990.42. After my experience with the multiple alternate timelines created by the anomaly in the Devron Sysem, the Enterprise has been ordered to Starbase 101 to investigate a strange spatial anomaly detected near the station. As of this moment, it is still unknown precisely what kind of anomaly the station has detected, but the leading theory postulates that the anomaly is some kind of wormhole. In any case, we will not know for sure without further investigation." Captain Picard spoke, as the USS Enterpise D's computer recorded his voice and filed it away as one of his logs. "Mister Data, how long until we arrive?" Picard requested of the Android at the ops console.
"At our current speed, we will arrive at Starbase 101 within the hour." Data responded.
Picard nodded his head, and leaned back in the Captain's Chair. "Mister Worf, are there any ships in the vicinity?"
"No sir." Worf reported.
"Expecting trouble?" Commander Riker asked, turning to the Captain.
"I always expect trouble, Number One, it's part of captaining the Enterprise. But something about this mission has me... troubled." Picard admitted.
"I can't help but feel that this anomaly we've been sent to investigate is something more. Call it a hunch, if you will, but I get the feeling that this mission is going to turn out to be more than a simple scientific investigation."
"All our missions turn out to be more complicated than we first thought." Riker rightly pointed out.
"Sir, incoming distress signal!" Worf reported. "It's from Starbase 101. Audio only."
"Play it." Picard ordered.
Worf pressed a button on his console, and the message way played through the bridge speakers, allowing all in the Enterprise's command center to hear the distress signal.
"Mayday! Mayday! This is Starbase 101 requesting assistance from any ship nearby! Please, respond!" The man at the other end of the distress signal frantically shouted.
"This is Captain Picard of the Enterprise." Picard responded, standing upright. "What's the situation?"
"Something came through the anomaly and attacked us! Commander Dalton is dead, we've lost life support, and the station's about to get torn apart!"
"Do whatever you can to stay alive until the Enterprise can arrive. We're on our way." Picard responded. The computer chirped as the link closed, and Picard turned to Data. "Helm?"
"If we increase speed to Maximum Warp, we can be at Starbase 101 in fifteen minutes, sir." The officer at the conn reported.
"Make it so." Picard ordered. Then, he turned to Riker. "Prepare an away team. We may need to provide assistance once we arrive."
"Understood." Riker acknowledged, going off to do just that.
"Mister Worf, go to Yellow Alert." Picard ordered, sitting back down in the Captain's Chair.
"Acknowleged." Worf responded, pressing a button on his console, causing the alert lights to activate, shining a bright yellow.
And from his chair, Picard found himself increasingly uneasy, as his hunch began telling him that this mission was about to get much more complicated.
Fifteen minutes later, the Enterprise dropped out of Warp, dangerously close to a debris field.
"Data?" Picard turned to the Android for an explanation.
"It appears that Starbase 101 has been destroyed." The Android reported.
"Life-signs?" Picard asked, turning to Worf.
"Sensors do not detect any life-forms within the vicinity." Worf reported. "The sensors also do not detect the ship responsible, but they do report several small craft, consistent with fighters, destroyed in the debris field."
"Is the ship itself cloaked?"
"Possibly. But it is likely that- Wait... Incoming vessel! Bearing 112-mark-10! Captain, the vessel shares a construction almost identical to the fighter craft!"
"Onscreen." Picard ordered.
At the Captain's command, the starry field occupying the viewscreen switched to show a large, purple, cuttle-fish shaped vessel closing in on the Enterprise.
"Hail them." Picard commanded, suspicious of the strange ship. The computer chirped at the comms were opened, and Picard began speaking. "This is Captain Jean-luc Picard, of the Federation starship Enterprise. You have attacked a peaceful Federation starbase, and have killed hundreds of innocent Starfleet officers, stand down immediately!"
"Rudimentary creatures of flesh and bone, your words are nothing. We are a power far greater than anything you could hope to comprehend." The ship responded, in a deep booming voice. "You exist because we allow it, and will end because we demand it. The meaningless creatures on that station were just the first. This galaxy will bow to us."
"Meaningless!? You killed hundreds of innocent men, women, and children, and they're meaningless to you!?"
"Organic life is nothing more than a mathematical error. Chaotic creatures whose only purpose is to destroy themselves and those that surround them. We will to bring order to that chaos. We will be your salvation through destruction."
"Enough of this!" Picard demanded. "If you surrender now, I can guarantee you will be given a fair trial. If you do not, then we will be forced to make you surrender."
"Then you shall perish." The enemy ship proclaimed, before cutting the comm link. A red laser shot out from an 'eye' on the front of the ship, directed at the Enterprise. Most of the beam hit the shields, but a small amount of the beam managed to get through, damaging part of the Enterprise's hull
"Red alert!" Picard shouted, causing the lights on the bridge to start flashing red, as a warning klaxon blared. "Mister Worf, target their weapon systems!" Picard ordered.
"Aye, sir." Worf acknowledged, locking the Phasers onto the source of the beam weapon. The Klingon security officer pressed another button on his console, and golden beams of energy shot out from the Phaser Arrays, and lanced into the enemy ship's weapon system.
As well as a few other places.
The phaser cut through the other ship's hull and internal structure, coming out the other end and shooting off into space.
"Cease fire!" Picard barked, and Worf stopped the Phasers firing. "Hail them." Picard ordered once more, and the comms opened again. "Those shots were on their lowest power." The captain bluffed. "As you can see, they have caused monumental damage to your ship's hull. Now, surrender immediately, or we'll use them at full power."
"This... This is not the e-end." The ship's captain responded in a broken and stuttering voice, before doing a 180, and shooting off.
"Captain, the ship is heading for the anomaly!" Worf reported, looking at his console's display.
"Follow them!" Picard ordered the officer at the helm, and the Enterprise shot off in pursuit.
"Captain Picard," Data addressed, turning in his seat to face the Captain, "I believe I have discovered something of interest."
"Can this wait, Data?" Picard returned.
"Seeing as it pertains to the enemy ship we just encountered, I believe not." Data responded. "During our exchange with the enemy vessel, I proceeded to scan the ship for life-forms, in order to determine if it was truly a new species we were encountering, or if the ship was simply a new design put into service. Deeper scans of the vessel indicated that beyond the metal exterior, there is a large core made of organic matter." Data reported. "Similar to a brain in structure and function. Furthermore, the non-organic parts of the vessel do not have life-support systems or dedicated artificial gravity, something that all interstellar vessels require to maintain their crew's health. Captain, I believe the ship we encountered was an artificial life-form."
"If that is the case, then who created it?" Picard inquired.
"Unknown, sir. However, based on the sensor readings, it appears to share technology similar to-"
"Captain, the vessel is attempting to enter the anomaly!" Worf interrupted.
In response to that, Picard turned to the viewscreen, and examined the situation occurring outside. The cuttlefish-shaped vessel, though sparking and missing several of its appendages, was attempting force its way into the spherical anomaly.
"Lock it in a tractor beam." Picard ordered.
Worf, looking down at his console, shook his head. "The anomaly is causing interference. The tractor beam cannot get a clear lock."
"They are being affected as well."
"Then that leaves us with only one option." Picard said. "Helm, set course to take us into the anomaly as well."
"If that ship is trying to enter the anomaly, then that would mean the anomaly leads somewhere. Now, take us in, we cannot allow it to get away!"
"Aye, sir." The officer responded.
The vessel entered the anomaly, which rippled as the ship forced itself in, and the ship disappeared, as the anomaly rippled. The Enterprise's engines glowed brighter as the Federation ship was propelled forward, and into the anomaly itself, which disappeared after the Enterprise made its way through...