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.
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. (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 "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)
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.
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 T'Kon 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 Gorgon 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)
The Trials of Humanity
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)
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. (TNG episode: "Q Who?")
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. 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 restored Q's powers. (TNG episode: "Deja Q")
When he next came to the Enterprise-D, Q 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 had prevented Q from removing Lwaxana's powers as a way to teach Q a 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 LaForge from overloading and destroying the Enterprise, thereby allowing 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 crews agressive 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 foresook 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 foresake 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")
Late in the 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)
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, and sent him back to the beginning of his own existence. Q spent the next several eons regathering his power and re-teaching himself how to phase himself back into reality.
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. (TNG novel: Q-Squared)
Later that year, Q shifted Picard inbetween 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
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 commiting suicide. Q was sent by the Continuum to return Quinn to his imprisonment. 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 commited 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")
In early 2374, Voyager used Borg technology to enter fluidic space. (VOY episode: "Scorpion") 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 sub-space 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 "re-set", 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") The course changes shortly brought Voyager within range of the Borg transwarp hub that Janeway used to bring her ship home to the Alpha Quadrant. (VOY episode: "Endgame") 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 forseen 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)
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)
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 breech the barrier at the edge of the universe 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)
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 pre-mature destruction. (Spock vs. Q audiobook: Spock vs. Q: The Sequel)
- Spock traveled back from a point in the timeline after the Enterprises first encounter with Q in 2264, 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)
|WARNING! This article contains MAJOR spoilers for the recently released novel Q & A. Caution is advised.|
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)