MENTHAR CORRIDOR — Just as the USS Invicta began her shakedown cruise out of Astrofori One, a pair of Q appeared as uninvited guests to the launch celebration.
With the Invicta Expedition announced earlier at the President’s State of the Federation address, Captain Aron Kells and his crew were preparing for a relatively uneventful shakedown cruise, meant mainly to entertain the large diplomatic contingent aboard the Cardiff class explorer and familiarize the crew with their new starship.
“The Invicta is a fine vessel, and I look forward to seeing what she can do during this demonstration,” remarked Lucius, Special Envoy for the Republic of Magna Roma, the day before the launch. “The people of Magna Roma fully support the President’s call for a renewal in the Federation’s exploratory endeavors. After all, an empire without new discoveries and stimulus is an empire in decline.”
Minutes into the cruise, however, the ship’s chief of operations Lt. Commander Mei’konda picked up a distress call from a seemingly impossible source: the USS Yamaguchi, his father’s ship that had been lost in battle against the Borg at Wolf 359 twenty-five years ago. The crew soon came across the old Ambassador class starship, very much intact and yet seemingly suspended in time.
As questions ran through their minds about what was going on, a brilliant flash of white light marked the first appearance of a member of the Q Continuum, who as per their custom, only identified herself as Q. More ships appeared around the Invicta, many of them ones that appeared to have been lost to history. When a second Q, this one choosing the name Quana, appeared on the bridge, the two Q revealed that they were involved in some sort of game, and the stakes involved the collection of ships Quana had acquired.
Powerless to argue with the Q, half of the senior staff of the Invicta were acquired by Quana and sent over to the Yamaguchi, where Mei’konda was reunited with his father H’lill, the ship’s first officer. The Q removed all but a handful of officers on each ship and tasked the teams with finding a flag somewhere on the vessel. This objective though wasn’t so simple as officers soon found themselves in elaborate fantasies. One involved Doctor Blueheart’s torment during his teenage years on Luna. Another involved Mei’konda and H’lill’s early life back on Terra Nova.
Meanwhile, the first Q met with Captain Kells privately and revealed her true objective. The Q Continuum wish for Quana’s obsession with her collection to end, and so Q has been tasked with defeating Quana in the game and winning the rest of the collection. Whether that means the Invicta, the Yamaguchi, and the other ships can go free though remains to be seen.