Author's note: Just a little Trek fic I've been musing on. I don't know if I'm going to continue with another chpt or is this will ever tie into my x-over maddness series, but I'm putting it out there for ya'll. This takes place after the NexGen episode "True Q" and the Trek novel "Q-Squared" but before any of the Q-stuff on Voyager.
Got it? Good. Enjoy. (P.S. - If any Trek fans out there havn't read Q-Squared... go buy it now. This is not a suggestion. This is an order. Buy it now. Oh, and then read it cause ya know there's no point in buying it and just letting it sit around... )
Thoughts of War
Smoke billowed across the open field as the battle drew to an end. The scent of cannon fire and burning ashes made the air heavy and difficult to breath. The once proud lines of men had been scattered. The surviving soldiers covered their faces with torn cloth as they staggered through the tall grass, fruitlessly searching for their commanders, their compatriots, even their enemies. Anyone who could restore order to the bloody chaos that surrounded them.
A few men still clung to their weapons, even though their supplies of powder and shot had been spent hours before. They wandered aimlessly, dazed and lost, through the valley. The quiet glen where the armies met had been transformed into a horror of bodies and debris which none of them could have envisioned before this day.
Amanda Rogers stared down at the devastation and felt like she was going to be sick.
She was not sure if it was even possible for her to be physically ill anymore (she could not remember the last time she had eaten), but watching the aftermath and the suffering on the battlefield was almost more than she could bear.
"Hmm...," the being next to her voiced thoughtfully, "I must say...that was not at all what I expected..."
Amanda glanced to her right and offered Trelane a weak smile. Despite her detachment from physical cares, Amanda felt unsteady on her feet and knew her face was a little pale. Watching the battle had obviously disturbed her much more than her companion, who was standing confidently with his hands behind his back regarding the people below with waning interest. His apathy did not immediately upset her. The others all reacted to the events of mortals in the same way.
"You sound disappointed," Amanda remarked, turning to face him so she could look at something besides the bloodshed.
Trelane shrugged, "No... not disappointed really. I just thought seeing the battle from here would be different somehow..."
Amanda glanced back over her shoulder. She suppressed a shutter of horror as she heard someone begin to cry out for aid. She wished, just this once, that she could go down and help the people below her. The idea that she was just supposed to sit here and study them like ants made her feel at little guilty. But, she had known the rules when she asked for this, and the others would not give her any leeway about interfering with history.
Amanda sighed, and tried not to linger on the irony of beings that exist outside of time having rules about changing history. The limits they placed on her were there for a reason. She was still learning about her powers, and she supposed she would be for the rest of eternity. Time and reality were not things she felt ready to experiment with yet.
"...Not that it hasn't been an exciting experience," Trelane continued, oblivious to Amanda's unsettled state, "I watched this battle from Gothos once. That was right before I fashioned the pendulum clock in the style of Graham with the eagle insignia that now crowns the mantle. I find the animal symbols used by many human warriors can be quite striking additions to the decor. Now that I've finally be given the opportunity to visit Earth, I hope to gain a better understanding of why they assigned these creatures such honor..."
Amanda felt herself grin again at Trelane's enthusiasm. The first time she had been introduced to the rest of the Continuum, he had been one of the first to welcome her, with what she could only describe as honest delight. He had gone on and on about learning the 'substance' of Earth culture instead of just the forms.
Q had explained to her that Trelane held a 'nauseating' fascination of Earth, and was eager to learn all he could from the new arrival. Amanda had taken comfort in not being the only 'student' in the Continuum. Trelane was also still learning how to handle his powers and was always happy to answer her questions, no matter how 'trivial' the problems were. He was the youngest of their number, at least he had been until Amanda was born, and she took his occasionally pretentious manner in stride. She figured a little pomposity was necessary when trying to engage with 'superior beings.'
However, not all of the Q had been supportive of Amanda's direct interaction with Trelane. When she voiced interest in studying Earth's history as well, many tried to sway her curiosity about 'human origins' back to topics they considered more appropriate for a Q her age. The idea of the two young ones moving back and forth through time seemed to make some of the elders almost nervous.
When Amanda questioned Q about their attitude, he had scoffed and dismissed it as them being 'just the way they are, and if it made the others stop whining then they should accompany her and Trelane to the puny planet and be done with it.'
Yet, there was something even in Q's words that made her wonder why they kept such a close eye on Trelane. He was not like her, after all. He had been born a Q, the last to come into existence in the normal Q manner (another thing she was not 'developed enough' to understand). But, she still noticed how the elder Q behaved around him. They would speak together, in languages that could only be used in the highest realms of existence, words they knew neither she nor Trelane could understand.
He was Q, but they always addressed him by 'Trelane', and even the nickname was said with caution.
"...It's just not really that much different," Trelane was still speaking quickly, "Observing it here or observing it from the Continuum. I suppose I thought there would be something in the air, you understand. Some ferial spark driving the soldiers to glorious victory..."
He sighed heavily with disappointment. Amanda took advantage of his opportune boredom and began to pace away from the battlefield.
"I don't see any glory down there," Amanda said, her tone uncharacteristically dark.
"Yes, pity," Trelane replied as he followed her, his voice light and cheerful, "Ah, well. Glory is only for artists and poets, eh? Maybe we can make a stop in Paris before we depart. I would like to see the coronation. The ensuing scandal should be most fascinating..."
Amanda regarded him quizzically as he began to ramble on again. She could never figure out if he really did not understand non-verbal cues in dialogue or if he just simply ignored awkward moments to make conversation more pleasant.
"...and I believe we should skip Waterloo on this visit," Trelane remarked musingly, "I'd hate to end this expedition on a bad note..."
"Does war ever end on a good note?" Amanda asked cynically.
Trelane frowned, "For the victor, I suppose."
"And what about the loser?" she asked, her tone harsher than she had intended.
"The glory for Napoleon was in his life's deeds..." Trelane replied.
"Spreading war over Europe for two decades is not something that deserves such esteem," Amanda shot back.
"But, even centuries from now, men speak his name with respect, and use the strategies of his campaigns," Trelane continued with systematic calm, "They must have some reason...
"They regard him as a brilliant man of war," Amanda admitted.
"Indeed!" Trelane said with a nod, "The number of his victories weighed too highly against the times he was beaten..."
"You mean defeated?" Amanda said, and upon this remark, Trelane paused in stride.
Amanda sighed heavily and turned back toward him.
"Is there something wrong?" he asked with uncertainty.
Trelane was frowning with confusion at her sudden anger. He shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot and, before she could reply, he took a step toward her and held one hand out in a sign of truce.
"If I've done anything to offend, I... I apologize," he said, choosing his words carefully as he addressed the formerly human female, "I forget that you have... intense emotions... about this planet and its people...I should not have been so ill-mannered when speaking of them..."
Amanda tried to speak again, but Trelane politely motioned for her to wait.
"Please, believe me when I say that I do find your...this species fascinating," Trelane continued, "...and quite... intricate. A most challenging field of study. But, if the sight of war is too distressing for you, I really don't mind sojourning to somewhere more suited to your... um, liking?"
Amanda smiled contritely and shook her head. She had a feeling he had been about to say 'more suited to your fair sex', but had steered around it. Maybe he was learning something about humans after all.
"No, that's alright. I mean, when I agreed to check out a war, I should have known there would be fighting and violence, ya know?" Amanda said in a friendlier tone.
Trelane raised his eyebrows curiously at her sarcasm and second sudden mood change.
"Paris..." she considered thoughtfully, "...I've never been there before. Sounds like it could be fun. Let me go change into something from this era and I'll meet you on the banks of La Seine, just outside the city, okay?"
Trelane nodded, still regarding her with perplexed caution, and watched as she disappeared in a flash of light. Once he was sure she was gone, he leaned heavily against a nearby tree and scratched his head.
"Don't try to figure it out," a new voice said from nearby, followed by another flash of light, "Just tell her she's right and move on."
Trelane glanced to his left and saw Q smirking at him. The younger member of the Continuum sighed and shook his head with frustration.
"Did I do something inappropriate?" he asked persistently, "We were just watching the soldiers and then... then... BAM! Suddenly, she's furious!"
"I told you," Q chided with amusement, "Don't try to figure it out. I've been trying to figure Q out for billions of years and she still gets angry at nothing... which means she angry at everything. Females are simply... unpredictable with their emotions..."
"I'm certain they do that simply to terrify us," Trelane said firmly, eliciting a humored chuckle from Q, "And the fact that she's human makes speaking with her even more complex!"
"She's not human," Q corrected him and Trelane waved a hand foppishly in the air.
"You know what I mean," he continued, "Her feelings on mortal conflicts are centered in her human upbringing."
"Yes," Q agreed, surprised at the younger Q's insight, "But, that should change in time. Once she begins to see the muliverse as she is meant to as a Q."
Trelane did not reply for a moment and then folded his arms over his chest thoughtfully.
"You don't think her attitude about war is... beneficial?" he asked.
"We are above such conflicts," Q replied confidently, "She will learn to be secure in that fact and embrace her true heritage all the more."
"Quite," Trelane agreed, mimicking Q's unquestioning tone.
For a few moments, they stood in silence, watching the outskirts of the battle without much interest, until Q examined a pointless watch on his wrist.
"Aren't you supposed to be meeting our dear Amanda somewhere by now?" Q asked, studying the younger Q's reaction with amusement.
Trelane nodded, "In Paris..."
"Shouldn't you be heading off then?" Q asked, unable to keep the teasing smirk from his face.
Trelane nodded again, and stood up from the tree. He straightened his blue military jacket and made sure all of his metals and accessories were in their proper places. Q rolled his eyes at the youth's nervous hesitation.
"You don't want to keep her waiting, Trelane," Q reminded him, "Lateness is uncouth and utterly improbable for a being with command over time."
Trelane regarded the elder Q with surprise at the suggestion that he manipulate time in any fashion on his own. A slightly wicked grin appeared on Trelane's face at the idea of the minor rebellion.
"Very well," Trelane said, "I'll give Amanda your regards... and ...um... what else should I say?"
Q waved a hand an impatient hand toward the youth and tried to sound encouraging when he said, "You'll think of something."
Trelane nodded once more and disappeared.
Q rubbed the bridge of his nose with his fingers and shook his head sadly. The poor boy always didhave a thing for blondes.
Q wondered for a moment if he ever been that young and uncertain when he was first trying to win the fair lady Q...
Of course not...