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Chapter 7

"Very perceptive of you, Captain." Qenayu said with sarcasm.

"Where's Dr. Selar?" Chakotay grew even angrier.

"I am Dr. Selar."

"No, you're not. You're a Q. A menace to mortal species. Dr. Selar's a distinguished Starfleet officer." Chakotay spat.

"Indeed she is, but we are the same person. I have…'portrayed' Selar for the full length of her 'life', along with many others. She is a fabrication."

Chakotay was not really interested in her explanation. His main concern was the safety of his ship. He wanted to know what threat the female Q was to Voyager.

"Why are you here? Are you responsible for the destruction of these planets?"

Qenayu herself grew angry, indignant at being accused of such an atrocity.

"I know my people are not well-liked by humans, but do you really believe us capable of this?"

"Quite frankly, yes."

Qenayu paused for a moment, pacing the Bridge, before joining Chakotay and Tom on the command deck.

"Believe what you want Chakotay. But trust me when I say, I know who did this, and that it was not us. As for why I am here…" Qenayu paced again, looking at each Bridge officer in turn, "…I told a friend I would watch over you all."

"Would this friend also happen to be a Q?" Chakotay was skeptical.

"Sort of." Qenayu responded quixotically.

Chakotay's anger was now beginning to be replaced by confusion and puzzlement.

Cutting him off before he could ask more questions, Qenayu continued.

"I revealed my true identity upon figuring out who did this," she pointed a finger at the image of Bryma, before holding her hand up to stop the crew from interrupting.

"The Q have always had an interest in this galaxy. The races here are intelligent and varied. We've studied humanity in detail as you are at the heart of one of the biggest democracies of the Milky Way. We have also been testing and readying you over the last few decades."

"Why?"

Qenayu ignored Chakotay's question, continuing her story.

"The Q may be omnipotent, but that does not automatically make us "all-knowing" and invulnerable. We have enemies who have banned us from their domains. One of these enemies in particular has given us cause for concern in recent years. Their galaxy is not far from here, and we knew that they would eventually set their sights on you. Your galaxy. So we've been challenging you. Testing you. Readying you all for the day this enemy would begin their incursion. It is no coincidence that my former mate Q introduced the Enterprise-D to the Borg. Nor is it a coincidence that the Bajoran wormhole was not discovered until Starfleet took up residence in the Bajoran system. The Q have singled out humanity as you are the largest component of Starfleet, which is, in turn, the largest single composite part of the United Federation of Planets. You are this galaxy's best hope in stopping the Enemy." Qenayu finished, looking once more at Bryma.

"Why do you need us to fight a war against these…extra-galactic aggressors?" Tom asked, hostility in his voice, "Surely, if they can challenge you, then we're no match for them."

"This Enemy knows of…certain weaknesses in the continuum. Eons ago, they started a war with us. In the end, there was no victor, but we agreed to leave their galaxy alone. We have not been allowed in their galaxy for a million years now, but we have developed ways of…indirectly monitoring them, and realised that their quest to dominate this region of space, this Local Group, was making them even more dangerous."

"But you could vanish them out of existence, couldn't you?" Tom offered.

Qenayu smirked slightly, shaking her head at the linear human thought. "One omnipotent race can hardly destroy another, can it?"

"But if they're omnipotent, why would they not destroy us in the blink of an eye?" Chakotay said, exasperation now present in his voice.

"Do you honestly think the Enemy would physically wage a war themselves? Why do that when they have a whole galaxy of lesser species at their disposal?"

Chakotay glowered at Qenayu, before looking around the crew. He exchanged confused glances with Tom, Harry, Lyssa, Billy and Linda and the rest of Alpha shift, all of them looking as worried and perplexed as he felt.

"So what do you expect us to do? How can we fight against an enemy who resides in another galaxy? Even if you tell us everything about them, we'd have no way of striking back."

Qenayu smiled slightly, biting her bottom lip.

"Voyager was never part of our plan for this galaxy. You were a small vessel for short-range missions. But your sudden sojourn to the Delta Quadrant will prove invaluable.

"Your survival in the Delta Quadrant was not expected, but you soon piqued the interest of many in the continuum, especially in your handling of the situation with Quinn. We began to see something in you, something that perhaps even you yourselves do not see yet."

Chakotay narrowed his eyes, still confused, but wishing the Q to continue.

"I am one hundred percent certain that surviving the journey home is the thing the crew of Voyager is most proud of, and that you all presume your voyage across this galaxy will be your lasting legacy."

Chakotay inclined his head, noting the silent agreement of his officers.

"The Delta Quadrant will not be your legacy…The Delta Quadrant was your proving ground, readying you for a far greater challenge...The challenge of saving this entire galaxy, and perhaps another…Of course if I explain what I want you to do, you'll say no. So I have no choice but to do this without your consent. The fate of your species and your home depends on it."

With that, Qenayu smiled once more, and snapped her fingers.

Immediately, the ship began to shake, panels began beeping and the Red Alert klaxon sounded. Officers scrambled to find out what was happening, and how to stop it.

Tom took the conn, noting Linda Chung on the floor, a large gash on her head. "Our velocity is…is…infinite?!" He noted with shock.

"Structural integrity at forty seven percent!" Harry yelled.

"I can't stop us, sir!" Tom shouted.

"Try to slow us down!" Chakotay asked, finally making it to his chair.

"The engines aren't responding!"

"Hull breaches on decks 4, 6, 7, 11, 12 and 15!" Harry announced, as the sound of buckling metal grew louder.

"If this doesn't stop soon, we're going to be shaken apa-" Harry's yell was interrupted by the ship suddenly stopping.

"We've stopped." Tom said, releasing a breath he hadn't been aware he'd been holding.

"Damage reported on all decks." Lyssa Campbell barked, "Repair crews responding…We have one fatality, several injuries…Two critical."

Chakotay felt his heart sink at the news, but he knew they'd have time to grieve for their loss later. Right now, they had to find out what had happened.

"Harry, where are we?" Chakotay asked cautiously.

Harry's console beeped. "Uh-oh."

"Uh-oh? Harry, I swear, if you tell me we're on the other side of the galaxy, I might just shoot you."

Harry grimaced, not yet looking at his Captain. "You'll have to dig my grave as well, sir…We're two million light years from where we last were…We're in the Andromeda Galaxy."