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Old March 1 2010, 04:45 AM   #1
Location: USS Lollipop
Into the Unknown

It's a boring title, but I couldn't think of anything else better than "Where no Woman has Gone Before". This is an overdue follow-up to "Breakfast with Q":

"Captain to the bridge!" The first officer’s voice sounded over the comm system as the ship came to a dead stop.


Captain Hayes grabbed her comm-badge from the dining table and tapped it. "I'm on my way," she responded while attaching it to her pajamas. Q had modified her sleepwear to fit her now-twelve-year-old body. How thoughtful of him.

Commander T'Sora sensed something unusual about the captain's voice; it was higher-pitched than it should have been. Perhaps it's simply due to the stress of this unexplained situation, she reasoned.

Less than a minute later, Hayes' turbolift arrived at deck 1. As the door slid open, she braced for the shocked expressions of her crew, and stepped onto the bridge--all four feet, ten inches of her--in pajamas and bare feet. "Report," she ordered before anyone had taken notice of her.

T'Sora caught her arrival in the corner of her eye, and turned to face her. "Captain, we seem to have--", she began, before realizing that either this was not the captain, or that some significant change had just befallen her. She raised a Vulcan eyebrow. "Captain...?"

It was at this point that the other bridge officers peeled their eyes off the main viewscreen and exchanged quizzical looks over the unfamiliar girl.

Hayes closed her eyes for a brief moment and sighed. This is humiliating, she repeated to herself. "I assure you, I am the captain. I've just been paid a visit by Q--yes, that Q--He's responsible for all of this--both flinging the ship to who-knows-where, and..." She looked down at her smaller body, holding her hands out to her side. "...regressing me back to my childhood," she explained.

Lt. Cmdr. Tsuki, the Operations Manager, raised her hand to her mouth to maintain her composure. I've heard Q likes to tease Starfleet captains, but this prank is just too much! Hayes makes a really cute kid, but will the crew be able to adapt to her new appearance?

There was more than one muffled snicker from other duty stations, but Hayes ignored them. "Stand down red alert," she directed to the tactical officer, before facing her first officer again. "Please continue."

T'Sora cleared her throat. "Captain, we seem to have been hurled out of the Milky Way, and into the Large Megellanic Cloud, a distance of some 160,000 light years. If we were to send a subspace message back to Federation space, it would take..."

"...longer than our expected lifetimes to reach them, I know," Hayes interrupted, not needing to hear the exact number of years. She padded to the front of the bridge and stared in wonder at the viewscreen, filled with a bright, multi-colored haze, lit by a cluster of nearby stars. "Some sort of nebula?", she guessed.

"A stellar nursery, to be precise," Tsuki chimed in. "I'd estimate there are over a hundred stars in various stages of formation here."

Hayes turned around to face the Ops station, placing her hands on the top edge of the Conn/Ops console. "Any signs of other ships in this sector? What about subspace traffic?"

Tsuki wrinkled her brow as she concentrated on her LCARS panel. "Uncertain. The particle density in this area of space, and the extreme solar radiation, are playing havoc with our sensors," she said in frustration.

"Captain, I suggest that our first order of business be to move the ship out of the stellar nursery," T'Sora advised.

Hayes glanced up to her first officer briefly, then turned around to face the viewscreen once more. "I agree. Take us out of here...any heading will be equally suitable...and have the senior staff assemble in one hour, I'll fill everyone in on my conversation with Q, and we'll decide how to proceed from there."

"Aye...Sir," the conn officer responded. "Setting an arbitrary course at one-quarter impulse. It'll take just over a day before we reach an area of space where our long-range sensors will be useful again." The image in the viewscreen shifted as the ship began maneuvering.

Hayes made her way back to the turbolift. "I'm going to get properly dressed. T'Sora, you have the bridge."

"Captain...", T'Sora spoke up. "Might I have a word with you?"

Hayes nodded and gestured for T'Sora to join her in the turbolift. "Tsuki, you have the bridge."


In the turbolift, Hayes folded her arms and craned her neck to look up at T'Sora. "This is going to take some getting used to," she mused. Her first officer now had a 12-inch height advantage, whereas before she was only slightly taller.

"For us as well," T'Sora agreed. She cocked her head slightly to one side, studying the now-much-shorter captain. "Do you intend to continue in your capacity as captain?", she asked.

Hayes opened her mouth to answer, then closed it again in thought. Seconds later, the lift stopped and the door slid open. She led the way to her quarters, T'Sora following close behind.

T'Sora waited in the living area while Hayes proceeded to her bedroom to change. "Q modified all my clothing, not just my pajamas," she said, surprised, although she really shouldn't be.

"You didn't answer my question, captain," T'Sora politely reminded her.

Hayes thought about it some more while changing, then stepped into the living area as she pinned her comm-badge to her child-sized uniform, complete with four solid rank pips on the collar. "Provided that I'm still fit to command, yes, I do intend to remain the captain," she finally answered. I suppose you'll want me to have a thorough medical exam." She picked up her breakfast-plate and took a few more bites before cleaning up the table.

"I would also insist on a comprehensive psychological evaluation. You have been...significantly transformed, captain. You appear to have retained your knowledge and experience, but your patience, ability to reason, and stress-response patterns may have been altered. I cannot risk the safety of the ship to--"

"--To a child who might throw a temper tantrum?", Hayes interrupted. "Please. I may not agree with the situation that Q put me in--put us in, that is--but I trust that he knew what he was doing. He's...testing me. I don't think he changed me at all mentally, just...physically. To see how I'd respond." She pressed a button on the food replicator to dispose of the dishes. "But of course, I'll consent to an examination."

"Thank you. I'll arrange it with the ship's counselor, preferably shortly after the senior staff meeting," T'Sora replied.

Hayes sat down on her sofa to put on her boots, then stood up and experimentally walked around in them.

"Is something wrong?", the first officer asked.

"No. It's just...I have wide feet with high arches, and Q modified my boots such that they fit me better than ever," Hayes answered with an amused expression.

T'Sora raised an eyebrow.


to be continued...

Last edited by kitsune; March 1 2010 at 06:21 AM.
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Old March 2 2010, 09:39 PM   #2
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Re: Into the Unknown

Not an entirely new situation for a Starfleet captain. Being transformed into a child that is. Looks like Hayes is handling it better than some.

You should have called her Captain Howser.
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Old March 9 2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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Location: Between the candle and the flame
Re: Into the Unknown

I hope this continues-it is extremely well written.
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