THE BORDERLANDS — A former nemesis has returned to subject the crew of the USS Excalibur (NCC-41903-A) to even more vexing experiments with time.
Last year, a member of the Q Continuum known as CloQ dropped the USS Resolution (NCC-78145) into a pocket of null space and forced the crew to battle against a 23rd-century Klingon bird of prey. Although their exact motives were unclear, CloQ appeared to take an interest in the senior staff’s reactions to repeatedly experiencing the same five minutes of battle, each time ending with their deaths. Resolution’s crew prevailed over CloQ, but despite being released from their temporal prison, the crew were doubtful that they’d seen the last of the mysterious Q.
To Excalibur’s dismay, CloQ returned. Shortly after the crew concluded a ship-wide talent show and awards presentation, CloQ kidnapped the senior staff and deposited them across space-time: the court of Louis XIV of France, the feudal lands of Ii Naosuke of Japan, and the Dominion occupation of Betazed.
CloQ’s hijacking of the ship-wide social event perturbed acting chief intelligence officer Lt. JG Talos Dakora, who performed magic tricks at the talent show. “Nobody invited a Q to the party,” he said. “But one showed up, anyway.”
The Q subjected the crew to endless and increasingly bizarre situations, with elements spilling over across time periods and doorways acting as literal temporal portals. Cmdr. Genkos Adea’s team found a dinosaur roaming through the Palace of Versailles, and Cmdre. Kalianna Nicholotti’s team brought the Japanese Daimyō into Ancient Egypt.
Cmdr. Addison MacKenzie’s team on Betazed included Dakora, who survived the Dominion occupation of his home planet as a child. Soon after, CloQ transported them to the USS Oriskany, where during the same war, Cmdr. Karrod Niac’s past host Horvu was killed. The stress of war and reliving their own traumas quickly weighed on the crew. “Going through more than one doomed historical battle in a 24-hour period was really kind of overkill,” Dakora said.
The three teams independently concluded that CloQ caused their predicament and attempted to reassert control over their environments with varying degrees of success. An exasperated CloQ seemed to divulge that they are most fascinated by MacKenzie, Excalibur’s first officer, though it was not immediately sure whether the crew could use this to their advantage.
Meanwhile, with the senior staff missing, relief officers took command of Excalibur only to be subjected to the same kind of time travel romp. After narrowly escaping the destruction of Romulus in 2387 and being devoured by a doomsday machine in the 23rd century, the relief officers rocketed through time to the Cardassian border wars of the 2350s, where a half-dozen Galor-class warships immediately attacked them.
The constant threat of total annihilation exhausted the relief officers, who remained ignorant of the senior staff’s whereabouts. Shuttlecraft pilot and helm officer Ens. Kirkington Bean said, “Dude, I didn’t train for this. This is worse than the Meldrar I super marathon. And not just because we don’t get those little cups of water.”
Written by Yogan Yalu