- For other uses, see Q.
- "He's devious and amoral and unreliable and irresponsible and... and definitely not to be trusted."
- —Jean-Luc Picard, 2367[src]
The being known as Q is an extremely powerful and ancient god-entity with control over time, space and reality itself. Q took an interest in humanity, believing the species to be "The Ones" who could save all existence, including that of the Continuum itself, from obliteration at the hands of Them.
Q and other members of the Q Continuum claim to be omniscient and omnipotent, and by human standards, this would appear to be true. However, it has become apparent that there are beings as high above the Q as the Q are above humanity.
Q is an extremely powerful and arrogant being who is very sure of his power and superiority over mortal races. Quick to insult and prod, Q enjoys playing with what he considers "lesser" species, making them jump through hoops and testing them for his own amusement. He claims to have an intelligence quotient (I.Q., fittingly) in the millions, compared to an average humanoid. He has been observed to handle timelines better than individuals. Most of his entrances are swift, grand and unexpected. And others have been known for him lying in wait, just around the corner. (ST reference: Q's Guide to the Continuum)
Stubborn and petulant, Q behaves in many ways like a small child. To date, the most effective way of getting Q to leave you alone has proved to be simply ignoring him and not giving him the attention he desires. He loves to provoke Commanders William T. Riker and Worf, referring to the latter as "Microbrain". Q called the known universe his backyard. (TNG episodes: "Hide and Q", "Deja Q"; VOY episode: "Death Wish"; TNG novel: Q & A)
Before Spock's encounter with Q, Spock was told that he should "Never approach Q as you would an adult, as he will respond as a child". However, Spock, who considered Q to be "interesting" and "unique", disagreed with the assessment believing that Q would respond to a real threat with alacrity. (ST audiobook: Spock vs. Q)
While his motives in preparing humanity in general and Jean-Luc Picard in particular for their eventual destiny may seem selfless at first, it should be noted that the fate of the Continuum itself was also at stake so Q's preparations for humanity could easily be seen as being merely acting in his own best interest. (TNG novel: Q & A) Although Q mostly acts like a child he has been known to act selflessly. This "residue of humanity" was influenced partly from Data's advice of the concept. Q viewed the android as his only teacher of humanity, especially after protecting him from the Calamarain. After Data's gesture, Q told him his actions made him far more human than he could ever hope to become. As a reward, Q left Data a few seconds of real, emotional laughter. (TNG episode: "Deja Q")
"Early" Life Edit
With the extreme age of the being known as Q, confirmation of any of the following history is impossible. It is based on accounts given by Q to various Starfleet officers such as Captains Picard and Kathryn Janeway, Lieutenant Commander Data, Lieutenant Tom Paris, and Ensign Harry Kim.
Trapped in the distant past by Trelane, Q wandered the outskirts of the galaxy's rim. As a primitive, less-advanced lifeform, he had the misfortune of meeting Redjac. This entity had no interest in conversing with Q, as there was no fear to extract from its prey. It departed, vowing terror and vengeance upon all it fed from. An era later, during his re-"evolution", Q merged on the psionic level of a human host. After the host split Q's essence between himself to a host of another gender, Q became stronger. He eventually left the corpses of these corruptible, frail beings on Delta Vega; whole, once again. Q then received a message (unknowingly from his future self) instructing to continue his "circular" path, so as to be "where" and "when" he originally left. (TOS episodes: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Wolf in the Fold", TNG novel: Q-Squared)
Early in Q's existence (on the order of billions of years ago), Q in an act of defiance toward the Continuum, fell in with a cosmic "bad crowd". After an encounter with the time travel portal known as the Guardian of Forever, Q encountered the malevolent extra-dimensional entity known as 0. After bringing 0 into this plane, 0 and Q became traveling companions.
They soon gained the enmity of the cloud-like being known as the Coulalkritous (later known as the Calamarain). The cloud entity would carry its grudge against Q and 0 for eons, well into the modern era.
With Q's assistance, 0 soon used the Guardian of Forever to bring into this plane the beings known as Gorgan, The One, and (*). Among the many atrocities committed by the group in the following decades included the destruction of the ancient Tkon Empire.
The group's misdeeds soon came to the attention of the Q-Continuum. The Continuum hunted the group down and banished 0 beyond the galactic barrier, The One at the galactic core, and sent the substantially depowered (*) and Gorgan fleeing into unknown parts of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Gorgan, (*), and The One were all eventually confronted and defeated by the legendary Starfleet captain, James T. Kirk. As punishment for his misdeeds, Q was assigned to study the beings of the planet Earth, which was badly damaged during the conflict with 0 and his cohorts. (TNG novels: Q-Space, Q-Zone, Q-Strike; TOS episodes: "And the Children Shall Lead", "Day of the Dove"; TOS movie: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
Approximately 200,000 years ago, Q and the Continuum became interested in the race known as the Iconians, and shared with them enough secrets that they were able to create their legendary network of gateways. (VOY short story: "In the Queue")
Q, and all other of the Continuum must attend a college of sorts called Q U, that Q described to Tom Paris and Harry Kim as, "an organization that provided opportunities for the Q to examine and refine their "Q-ness" under the auspices of the most esteemed Q in the Continuum." (VOY novel: Evolution)
Q was then trapped by Vandar the Stone in a alternate timeline where he was used as a source of power for Vandar. He then encountered Commander Spock, Dr. Leonard McCoy, and Lt. Checkov of the USS Enterprise and Legion of Super-Heroes members Imra Ardeen-Ranzz, Querl Dox, and Rokk Krinn. Q then freed himself and everyone was sent back to their realities. Q then met up with Flint on Holberg 917G.(TOS - Star Trek—Legion of Super-Heroes comics: "Star Trek—Legion of Super-Heroes, Issue 5", "Star Trek—Legion of Super-Heroes, Issue 6")
The Trials of Humanity Edit
Humanity came to the attention of Q in early 2364, when Giriaenn, the last of the Manraloth, ascended from the corporeal plane. Giriaenn (who had taken on the name "Ariel") told Q of her recent experiences with the human Jean-Luc Picard and Q, believing that this Picard might be "The One" who could save the universe from destruction from "Them" (or "They", depending on the context), decided to pay Picard a visit. (TNG novel: The Buried Age)
Soon after Q put humanity, in the person of Picard, who was now Captain of the USS Enterprise-D, on trial for the "crime" of being a "savage, child race". (TNG episode: "Encounter at Farpoint") Convinced that humanity and Picard in particular were "the ones", Q took his case to the continuum, who gave their permission for Q to continue his studies. (TNG novel: Q & A)
The Enterprise-D Edit
Soon after this, Q returned to the ship on stardate 41195.7, where he was apparently deprived of his powers for the first time. Q became suicidal as a result of this, and attempted to kill himself with a phaser, but was prevented by Picard from doing so. Unfortunately, the beam mortally wounded Geordi La Forge instead. Upon the return of his powers, Q restored Geordi to health. (TNG comics: "Q Factor", "Q's Day", "Q Affects!")
In 2365, Believing that humanity needed to be prepared for the eventual coming of the Borg if they were to save the cosmos from destruction, Q transported the Enterprise to Borg territory in the Delta Quadrant, to impress upon them the unknown dangers of the galaxy. Q imparted this mantra before his departure, "The universe isn't safe, it's wondrous, with wonders to satisfy appetites both subtle and gross, but it's not for the timid." In Guinan's personal counsel, Picard resolved that this latest visit was a rightful gesture, but for the wrong reason in human development. Commander Riker submitted an official report of the previous away team to the cube and was under intensive review by Starfleet for the next year. (TNG episodes: "Q Who?", "The Best of Both Worlds")
In 2366 the Continuum, believing that Q had stepped over the line in introducing humanity to the Borg, de-powered Q and at Q's request, sent him to live out his days as a human on the Enterprise. Q had actually requested to be sent to the ship, as its crew were, for better or worse, the only creatures in the cosmos that came remotely close to being his "friends". The Calamarain, still holding a grudge against Q for all of these millenia, discovered Q in his de-powered state, and attacked the Enterprise to get at Q. Rather than allowing the Calamarain to destroy the Enterprise, Q was willing to instead sacrifice himself to the Calamarain. Impressed with this selfless act, the Continuum and "Q2" restored Q's powers. (TNG episode: "Deja Q")
When he next came to the Enterprise-D, Q at first transformed Picard into a goat. He then transported Picard back in time to an alternate-2332, where Maurice Picard was still alive. Picard relived the horror he felt after his six-year old brother - Claude Picard - died falling down a well, and saw an alternate future in which Claude had lived. (TNG comic: "The Gift")
Q briefly shared his vast power with Lwaxana, and when he was finished with his experiment, he tried to take the power back without success. Lwaxana used her power to thoroughly humiliate Q as he had humiliated her. It was later revealed that another member of the continuum, "Q2" had prevented Q from removing Lwaxana's powers as a way to teach Q another lesson about interfering in the lives of mortals. (TNG novel: Q-in-Law)
In early 2367, Q defied orders of the Continuum and interfered with the Enterprise-Ds encounter with Locutus of Borg by keeping the make-shift deflector dish weapon developed by Geordi La Forge from overloading and destroying the Enterprise. This consequently allowed the Enterprise to later rescue Picard and save Earth from assimilation. Q felt responsible for Picard's assimilation and was willing to face any consequences the Continuum saw fit to set upon him. (TNG short story: "Civil Disobedience"; TNG episode: "The Best of Both Worlds")
A few months later, Q transported Picard and his crew to a facsimile of Sherwood Forest on Earth and cast them as Robin Hood and his merry men. He then set them on a quest to rescue a romantic interest of Picard's named Vash, cast as Maid Marian from the Sheriff of Nottingham. Afterward, Vash accompanied Q on a promised grand tour of the galaxy, but they parted company after two years in the Gamma Quadrant. (TNG episode: "Qpid"; DS9 episode: "Q-Less"; TNG novel: Q & A)
In 2368, Q transformed Picard and his crew, with the exceptions of Data and Guinan, into Klingons. Soon after, the crew's aggressive Klingon nature started to take control of their emotions. Riker, believing Picard's command style was "weak", took the opportunity to lead mutiny and imprison Picard in the brig. Worf, (as the only "real" Klingon on board), was able to control his aggression in a way his transformed ship-mates could not. Worf challenged Riker and assumed command. Soon after, Q restored the crew, having had his fun. (TNG comics: "The Way of the Warrior", "Devil's Brew", "The Dogs of War")
In 2369, at the behest of the Continuum, Q came to the Enterprise to evaluate a proto-Q named Amanda Rogers. Amanda's parent's were both of the Q Continuum, but forsook their powers to live as humans and have a child in the human manner. However, the temptation to use their power proved to be too great, and they were executed by the Continuum rather than let mortality contaminate the Continuum. Q's job on the Enterprise was to determine if then same measures would prove to necessary with Amanda as well. In the end, Amanda was convinced to forsake her humanity and live as a Q. (TNG episode: "True Q")
Soon after, when Picard had been critically injured, Q gave him look at his past and a chance to correct what Picard considered to be mistakes in his life. In the end, Picard realized that all of his decisions, even his mistakes, were what turned him into the man he was. (TNG episode: "Tapestry")
In 2370, Q came to Picard to ask him for help dealing with the young Q who called himself Trelane. Trelane had seemingly gone insane and had caused three distinct timelines to merge, causing considerable temporal havoc.
Trelane managed to discorporate Q, in the mistaken belief that he had killed Q, and sent him back hundreds of thousands of years. Q spent the next several eons regathering his power and re-teaching himself how to phase himself back into reality. It was revealed here that what happened to Gary Mitchell was the result of Q's attempt to escape.
Upon arriving back at the scene of Trelane's breakdown, Q instructed Picard to confront Trelane on the world Terminus. There, Trelane challenged Picard to a duel. Unknown to Trelane, the sword Picard used was imbued with the essence of Q himself. A thrust by Picard with this sword through the body of Trelane caused him to discorporate, ending the threat. As he restored reality to normal, Q implied in a conversation with Picard that Trelane may have been his own illegitimate son, but his mother's high status in the Continuum meant that any relationship between her and Q would have been scandalous at best, and Picard respected Q's desire to let the matter drop. (TNG novel: Q-Squared)
Later that year, Q secretly sent Enterprise Security Chief Lieutenant Worf on a journey through many different quantum realities, foreseeing that Worf would need the experience to help Picard when he finally made contact with "Them". (TNG episode: "Parallels"; TNG novel: Q & A)
Late in the year, Q shifted Picard between three different time-periods in his life in order to give Picard a broader insight of time and space for his eventual encounter with "Them". (TNG episode: "All Good Things..."; TNG novel: Q & A)
The USS Voyager Edit
In the year 2372 the lost starship, the USS Voyager encountered a comet in the Delta Quadrant within which the Continuum imprisoned a Q, known later as Quinn, in order to prevent him from committing suicide. Q was sent by the Continuum to return Quinn to his imprisonment. During this, Q called Commander Riker as a witness, who in turn used "colorful metaphors" when he asked Q what he wanted this time. He said that if it was not for Quinn, he would not have William Riker around to tease and pick on at all. After Quinn requested asylum from Voyager Captain Kathryn Janeway, Q agreed to abide by Janeway's decision. Janeway finally decided to grant Quinn his asylum request. The continuum agreed only if Quinn consented to living a fully-mortal, non-powered life. Despite Janeway's plea to Quinn that a mortal life could be a fulfilling one, Quinn committed suicide the following day using a poison supplied to him by Q. (VOY episode: "Death Wish")
Quinn's decision set the Continuum into chaos, and by 2373 the Continuum had split into civil war. Believing that literal new blood in the Continuum was the key to stopping the violence, Q came to Janeway wanting her to mother his child. Janeway refused, and Q brought her to the continuum so the she could see the carnage for herself. (VOY episode: "The Q and the Grey")
Members of the Continuum were dead and dying in the fighting and had no knowledge of how to to heal their wounds. A Vulcan doctor named Selar was recruited by the Continuum to teach them the basics of medical treatment. (NF short story: "'Q'uandary")
Janeway eventually convinced Q to procreate with Female Q that had recruited Selar. The birth of the first wholly-Q child in eons did indeed stop the fighting in the continuum. (VOY episode: "The Q and the Grey")
Unbeknownst to the Voyager crew, the rift never completely sealed itself, ultimately causing deadly temporal and inter-dimensional chaos and destruction. In an odd temporal paradox, the destruction hit the Alpha Quadrant first in the year 2270. Just before the destruction overtook him, Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk utilized the Guardian of Forever to confront the source of the destruction. The Guardian sent him to Voyager eight months after their journey to fluidic space.
The Continuum sent Q to punish Janeway for unleashing a chaos that even the now weakened Continuum could not reverse. Kirk correctly deduced that Q believed the destruction was reversible, and they spent the next three weeks developing a plan to do so.
At the site of the first of the coming subspace ruptures, Voyager and Q, utilizing the power of over a hundred enslaved Borg cubes, created an energy matrix that managed to seal the rift and correct the timeline. At the same time, Kirk flew the Delta Flyer into the rift, correctly believing that he would be returned to his own time. Q, intrigued by Kirk, followed him back to 2270, and for an undetermined amount of time posed as an Enterprise crewman. After the "reset", nobody other than Q recalled the encounter. (VOY short story: "The End of Night")
Later that year, Q enlisted the aid of Voyager officers Tom Paris and Harry Kim when he needed assistance finding the missing Keeper of the Light without the rest of the Continuum or the Nacene finding out that he had lost him. (VOY novel: Evolution)
In 2376, Q appeared to Captain Janeway after she stepped through an Iconian Gateway. Before sending her back to Voyager, Q explained to Janeway that it was the Q who gave the Iconians their incredible teleportation technology over 200,000 years previously. (VOY short story: "In the Queue")
In 2377, Q left his son, q, with Janeway for a time when the challenges of parent-hood proved to be too much for him. As thanks for her help, Q gave Janeway course corrections that would take a few years off the ship's long journey. (VOY episode: "Q2")
Whether or not this was Q's intent is unknown, but Q had previously chosen not to bring the ship home earlier as he had correctly foreseen that Janeway would keep the Borg and the Borg Queen busy enough in the Delta Quadrant that they wouldn't find "Them" before Picard did. (TNG novel: Q & A)
The Enterprise-E Edit
Q is believed to have been involved when the USS Enterprise-E encountered a team of super-powered mutants from the early 21st century of an alternate timeline of planet Earth in the year 2374. (TNG novel: Planet X)
Following the USS Enterprise-E's encounter with Borg, Q went to Picard's quarters. There Q told Picard that he wanted to understand humanity. To do this, Q took Picard's form and decided to conduct the negotiations between the Vastak's Pentaget and G'ell species. At first, Q was able to deceive Picard's staff and the two species representatives. Unfortunately, Q was inept at mediating the two species disputes. So he returned Picard to finish mediating the dispute.(TNG - Alien Spotlight comic: "Q")
Soon after, Q appeared on the Enterprise-E for the first time with his wife and child when an experiment by Betazoid scientist Lem Faal to create an artificial wormhole in order to breach the barrier at the edge of the Galaxy threatened to release 0 from his confinement.
0 manipulated Faal into completing his experiments and was unleashed upon the galaxy once more. Q did not have the power to take on 0 by himself. He convinced the Calamarain that what happened all of those millennia ago was the doing of 0, and that they had a common enemy. Then Q joined his essence with that of the Calamarain, enabling them to defeat 0 together. (TNG novel: Q-Strike)
In 2375, Q enlisted the aid of Jean-Luc Picard and Lt. Commander Data, when it seemed as if all of the multi-verse itself were about to be sucked into a cosmic sinkhole. Q's defiance in the face of The End Of Everything was part of what saved the cosmos from destruction. (TNG novel: I, Q)
Other encounters Edit
At some point, between the years 2364 and 2376, the Federation utilized the Guardian of Forever to send Ambassador Spock to planet Earth in the year 1999, when it was determined that divine intervention was needed to keep an asteroid from destroying the planet. Spock encountered Q, and convinced him to use his power to move the asteroid back 30 years distance from the planet. Given Q's beliefs about humanity's potential, it can be understood why Q would be willing to save Earth from it's premature destruction. (Spock vs. Q audiobook: Spock vs. Q)
- Spock traveled back from a point in the timeline after the Enterprise's first encounter with Q in 2364, as Spock had studied reports by Picard, Data, and Commander William T. Riker about Q before embarking on his journey. Spock later spoke of his "lively debates" with Q in 2376. (NF novel: Gods Above)
After Vash managed to return to the Alpha Quadrant by way of the Bajoran wormhole in 2369, Q appeared to her and Commander Benjamin Sisko at starbase Deep Space 9 in an attempt to get her to continue their travels together. Vash refused and Q eventually let her go on by herself. Q said that he was going to miss their travels as seeing the universe through her eyes allowed him to experience a rare sense of wonder. (DS9 episode: "Q-Less")
In 2375, at the behest of the Continuum the beings known as the Traveler and his protege, the former human called Wesley Crusher performed a test on Q (similar to the ones he often tormented others with) in order to determine if Q had begun to develop human traits such as conscience and courtesy. (TNG short story: "The Human Factor")
Two members of the crew of the USS Excalibur, Lieutenants Mark McHenry and Zak Kebron, encountered Q on the planet Liten in the year 2376. Q claimed that with his new responsibilities as husband and father, that he missed his old self and was toying with the people of Liten simply for old times sake. (NF novel: Requiem)
In 2377, a Starfleet cadet named Qaylan Furlong encountered Q during a battle with the Borg. Q gave Furlong a chance to go back in time and save his father, who was killed at the Battle of Wolf 359. (TNG video game: Star Trek: Borg)
In 2380, all of Q's preparations came to a head when Picard and the Enterprise became the first ship to explore the Gorsach system. The ninth planet in the system proved to an incredibly ancient, artificially constructed world.
Q manipulated Picard and his crew to go to a certain place on the planet, where they triggered a device that garnered the attention of "Them". Using the experiences gained through Q's preparation, Picard and Worf attempted to revert the cross-time and dimensional chaos that ensued.
After Picard managed to navigate through all of the obstacles that "They" put before him, he and Q gained an audience with "Them", all-powerful beings that destroyed and created new multi-verses at whim. As Q and "They" casually discussed the end of everything, Picard suddenly realized the absurdity of it all, and burst out laughing, apparently the reaction that "They" were hoping for. "They" decided to spare this reality.
Although it would now seem that humanity has finally achieved the goal that Q was preparing them for, before departing Q informed Picard and Beverly Crusher that they had not yet seen the last of him. (TNG novel: Q & A)
Later that year, while Admiral Janeway was heading to the believed-to-be dormant Borg Cube in Sector 10, Q's mate, the Female Q, appeared and told Janeway that she had come on Q's behalf. She later divulged how she believed that he was too proud to admit that he did not want Janeway to be assimilated by the Cube, and would not, therefore, interfere and try and help either the Federation or Janeway. (TNG novel: Before Dishonor)
It was later revealed that Q's mate had actually come to Janeway on behalf of her son rather than her husband, giving her son a chance to spend more time with his godmother by extending the usual moment typically experienced by mortal beings between life and death so that Janeway existed in this state for over a year. Despite his father's warnings against bringing the dead back to life, Q's son was able to find a loophole that allowed Janeway to 'rebuild' her own body with the aid of Kes when he believed that Janeway was needed to defeat the threat of the Omega Continuum, which she had originally dealt with during the longer journey home that had been cut short by Admiral Janeway's intervention. This crisis resulted in the death of Q's son when he sacrificed himself to contain the Omega Continuum and reset the balance of the universe without erasing the rest of the Q Continuum- which had been created as a creative force to counter the destruction of Omega- although Q coldly declared himself Janeway's enemy for her role in his son's decision to sacrifice himself. (VOY novel: The Eternal Tide)
Despite this declaration, Counsellor Hugh Cambridge concluded that Q must have calmed down and recognised that Janeway had no real blame in her son's decision, based on the fact that they were all still there after several months with no sign of revenge from Q. Q and his wife later appeared in an alternate past, caring for the daughter of an alternate version of Kathryn Janeway created by the manipulations of the Krenim, this Janeway kept alive along with her 'primary' counterpart thanks to Q's actions. Musing that this was his way of respecting his son's memory and acknowledging all that Janeway had done by giving at least one of her a happy ending with a child, Q severed this timeline from the rest of the multiverse for the duration of the other Janeway's lifespan, allowing the alternate Janeway and her child to live in peace. (VOY novel: A Pocket Full of Lies)
Alternate reality (Nero, 2233) Edit
The Enterprise Edit
After informing Picard that Spock had survived his sacrifice to end the maelstrom that had destroyed Romulus, Q told Picard of the alternate reality. Against Picard's wishes, Q decided to interfere with the new reality and left to Picard's protest.
On stardate 2261.34 of the alternate reality, Q arrived on the alternate original USS Enterprise, disguised in a uniform and meeting Captain James T. Kirk on the turbolift. He briefly put Kirk in a position similar to the Koboyashi Maru scenario to test Kirk's usual belief in the 'no-win scenario' before sending the entire Enterprise forward in time by a century to arrive in orbit of Deep Space 9. (TOS - The Q Gambit comic: "Part 1")