Q had once again been punished by the Continuum. He was human, living on a class-M planet in the Delta Quadrant that was uninhabited. However, the Continuum had been merciful by providing him with a house to live in. That was thanks to the only friend he had in the Continuum, Q2.
Q was sitting in his house one cold night when he heard a knock at his door. Expecting it to be another Q, he opened the door and was surprised to see a young human girl. She was a pretty girl, too, with her golden blonde hair and bright blue eyes. "Who are you?" he demanded. He was sick with something and wanted to lie down on his couch. Damn the Continuum for doing this to him!
"My name is Adora," the girl replied. She looked distraught. Tears were in her eyes, which were red from crying. "Please...I need help."
"I'm hardly in a position to help anyone, much less myself," Q muttered, coughing. "But very well, come in."
"I've been wandering around for hours," Adora said as she sat down in an armchair. "Thank you for letting me in."
"Well, you won't find anyone else around here because there is no one else," Q said, sounding bitter. "I'm in exile."
"Exile? What did you do?"
Q sat down on the couch and lay back, crossing his ankles on the armrest. "I'm called Q. I was once a member of an omnipotent race, the Q Continuum. One of my fellow Q was dissatisfied with immortality and wanted to commit suicide. I helped him, and now I'm being punished. My punishment is to remain mortal." He shifted his body so he was more comfortable. "And how did you get here?"
"It's a long story," Adora warned.
"Hey, we have all the time in the cosmos. I promise not to fall asleep."
Adora took a deep breath. "My parents used to rule the planet Eternia. My twin brother Adam and I were born in the Palace of Eternia. Shortly after that I was kidnapped by Hordak, ruler of the Evil Horde, and he took me to Etheria, where I was raised under a spell.
"Just recently, my brother found me. Each of us had a magic sword. His turned him into He-Man; mine gave me powers as She-Ra. Only a select few knew this; it was a secret, us having those powers.
"Then Hordak found out about our secrets somehow. He told Horde Prime, who controls a major part of that galaxy, and Horde Prime came to Etheria with a new spaceship he'd built. He destroyed all of Etheria. I barely managed to make it to a portal to Eternia, my homeworld." She paused and bit her lip.
"What happened next?" Q asked, interested.
"Horde Prime warped his ship to Eternia. He knew where I was. The Horde began an invasion of Eternia like they'd done at the time I was kidnapped. They broke into the Palace. Hordak managed to catch me and I was forced to watch as my parents and brother were killed. I would have been next but I managed to get away. It took awhile but I managed to get to Castle Grayskull. From there I went though the first portal I found and ended up here." She reached over her shoulder and behind her back and pulled out a sword that had a jewel near the handle. "This is the Sword of Protection," she said. "This is what changes me to She-Ra. I would have used it back on Eternia but I didn't have time to stop and change...Hordesmen were looking for me everywhere."
Q sneezed. He looked at her doubtfully. He believed that her friends and family had been murdered, but magical powers? "I'd like to see you change," he challenged.
Adora lifted her sword into the air. "For the honor of Grayskull," she intoned.
Q watched, shocked, as magic burst from the sword, transforming Adora into a woman that looked slightly different. Her blonde hair became longer, and instead of a red bodysuit she now had on a white and gold minidress, a red cape, a gold headdress, and gold boots. "I AM SHE-RA!!!"
"So what are your powers?" asked Q, pulling his blanket more tightly around him.
"Super strength for one," said She-Ra. Her voice was deeper in this guise, Q noticed. "I can also communicate telepathically with animals. And I noticed that you're not well. I also have healing powers." Going over to him, she touched his hot forehead. A soft pink glow surrounded her hand.
Within seconds Q was feeling better. "That's amazing," he said, clearly awed.
"I don't like to see anyone suffer," she replied. She lifted her sword. "Let the power return!" In an instant she was Adora again.
"So what is it you want me to do?" Q asked.
"I just need somewhere to stay. I'm afraid they'll discover what portal I went through and come after me."
"Look, girlie. I'm in enough trouble with the Continuum and they're far more dangerous than the Horde," said Q. "The Horde might kill me going after you! Use your powers as She-Ra!"
"Even She-Ra can be overpowered, especially if they have magic," Adora said, her eyes downcast. Would no one help her? "But if you want me to leave...oh, and you're welcome."
Q looked askance at her.
"For healing you," she explained.
Something clicked in Q's mind. Adora could almost see wheels turning in his head as he seemed to be considering something.
Q was thinking what an asset it would be to have Adora around. If he got sick again, she could heal him. "All right, you can stay. But you have to do things around here."
Adora raised an eyebrow. "Such as?"
Q sat up and began ticking things off on his fingers. "The cooking, the cleaning, that kind of thing. What humans once considered woman's work."
"All right, I'll do it," Adora agreed. "But keep in mind--if you get out of line, I have magical powers. Maybe you'll even learn to like me." She went over and hugged him. "Thanks for letting me stay." She kissed his cheek, and Q blushed.
Night fell, and Q gave Adora a blanket and pillow so she could sleep on the couch. The girl kicked off her red boots, lay down, and covered herself with the blanket.
Adora could hardly sleep at first. She kept thinking about the deaths of her parents and twin. Another thought came to mind--this isn't right...they shouldn't be dead, Adora should be back in her own galaxy, whether it be on Eternia or Etheria.
Finally Adora's blue eyes closed, and she drifted off into an uneasy sleep.
Q woke up to the sound of a girl screaming. His first thought was that Adora's enemies had found the portal Adora had gone through and were now doing something to her. He got out of bed and opened the door slowly, peering out into the living room where Adora was. If someone was there, he was going to stay right here where he'd be safe.
No one was there. The room was dimly illuminated by the light of the planet's two moons coming in through the window. Adora was thrashing about on the couch. Q gave a sigh of relief. She was having a nightmare.
He wished she'd be quiet so he could sleep. Going over to the couch, he gently shook her awake. Adora sat up, now awake and visibly terrified. "You woke me up, you know," Q told her.
"I'm sorry," Adora said. "I was dreaming about my family...."
"Can't you stop thinking about that?"
"I suppose you don't have bad dreams yourself?" Adora snapped. His callousness was making her angry. "Suppose you had a mother, a father, and a brother or sister whom you loved very much and you were forced to watch as they were killed in terrible ways that you don't even want to think about."
"I don't," Q replied, trying to figure out what she was getting at. "We don't have relatives in the Continuum."
"I feel sorry for you then," Adora said. "I'm sorry to inconvenience you by dropping in. It's not like I had any choice in the matter. Before this, I could make friends with anyone--including people that others didn't really like. But you're really pushing it."
Q sat down in an armchair. "I didn't know you wanted to be my friend, Adora. And--and I do like you. But in the Continuum we didn't have to put with what humans put up with. And I'm sorry I upset you. You can stay here as long as you like. And you don't have to do any cooking." He grinned, and it was barely visible in the moonlight. "My friend Q provided me with replicators...."
Adora had to smile at that. "See, you have a friend in the Continuum."
Q shrugged. "Well, I'm going back to bed. Think you'll be able to sleep?"
"I'll be all right. Good night, Q." She lay down and closed her eyes.
Zodac, who kept watch over the events in the galaxy where Eternia was, could do just that from his asteroid prison--watch. Watch as destiny was altered, as events took the wrong turns.
Zodac, Cosmic Enforcer, was a Q. He stayed out of the squabbles the rest of the Q had amongst themselves, content to keep watch over a galaxy he'd found. He seldom visited the Milky Way, where the rest of the Q liked to hang out. Last time he did, he'd heard about Q, the one who liked visiting Federation starships of the 24th century. He'd been starting a rebellion within the Continuum.
The balance between good and evil had been upset, and evil was running amok, thanks to EvilQ. EvilQ was a sworn enemy of the Enterprise and Voyager Q. Unknown to his fellow Q, who thought that he wanted order restored in the Continuum, he wanted to rule the entire universe, and he was starting with Zodac's territory. He and his followers had imprisoned Zodac on that asteroid. Then they'd given the being known as Horde Prime the power to destroy Eternia and Etheria. Horde Prime was one of EvilQ's followers.
Word had just gotten around, however, that Princess Adora, now Queen Adora, had escaped the destruction of her homeworld. Horde Prime wanted her stopped. She had considerable power as She-Ra.
EvilQ was now visiting Zodac on his asteroid prison. "I wanted Q destroyed totally, but that meddling Q had to step in for him and say he should just be mortal. What could I do?" EvilQ said, more to himself than to Zodac. "The others would suspect, wouldn't they? I want all of the universe to be my slaves, to do my bidding. Horde Prime can help me accomplish that--but now he wants to seek out the new Queen of Eternia."
"Adam was supposed to be King," Zodac said. "He was supposed to rule Eternia, not his sister."
EvilQ laughed maniacally. "What does Adora have to rule? Just a pile of earth! Well, I'll let Horde Prime take care of her, since he claims she's powerful enough to defeat him. I'll let him have his fun."
"Why would you want mortal lifeforms as your slaves?" asked Zodac.
"I want to study them, play with them. Experiment with them," EvilQ replied. "Just to be sadistic, that's all."
EvilQ vanished, leaving Zodac alone. Things had gotten out of hand. Since Q's punishement, his rebels had become dispirited, basically unwilling to fight anymore.
Living under EvilQ's rule would not be much of a life, Zodac realized.
Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation starship Voyager sat in her command chair and watched as the class-M planet loomed into view on the viewscreen. Neelix, the Talaxian who was the self-appointed Chief Morale Officer, had suggested that Voyager stop at the next class-M world for supplies.
"Captain--I'm reading two human life signs on the planet," Ensign Harry Kim exclaimed from his station at Ops.
Janeway looked behind her, at where Ensign Kim stood. "Are you sure?" she asked.
"One hundred percent, Captain."
"Standard orbit, Tom," Janeway said to the helmsman, Lieutenant Tom Paris.
"Harry, Tuvok, meet me in Transporter Room One," said Janeway. "Chakotay, you have the bridge."
Harry Kim and the Vulcan chief of security, Lieutenant Commander Tuvok, followed Captain Janeway into the turbolift. They wondered who was on that planet and how they got there.
Adora had spent three days with Q so far. and little by little she was gaining his acceptance. After all, she was the only being with whom he had contact.
Right now they were sitting on the couch together, trading stories back and forth. They soon hit upon something they had in common: each was the leader of a rebellion. Adora's friends in the Rebellion, however, were all dead thanks to Horde Prime. Q's cronies had probably given up without their leader around.
"I don't see how Horde Prime managed to get so much power," Adora said, taking her pillow and hugging it to her. "I just get this feeling that this chain of events is...wrong somehow. I don't know what it is."
"I thought there was something odd about Q, who leads the oppressive bunch in the Continuum...the ones we were rebelling against," said Q. Something nagged at him, too, but he couldn't put his finger on it.
Just then, there was a knock at the door. Adora turned pale. "I'll get it," said Q. "I'm sure the Horde wouldn't knock, from what you told me. They'd just waltz right in."
Adora watched, tense, as Q opened the door. Standing there were three people in odd uniforms. "Kathy!" exclaimed Q.
"Q," said the woman. "What are you doing here?"
"The Continuum is punishing me for that deal with Quinn," said Q. "Come inside. There's someone I want you to meet."
"You must be Captain Janeway," Adora said, standing up and shaking the blonde woman's hand. "Q was telling me about you. I'm Adora."
Janeway looked askance at Q.
"It's a long story," said Q. "Why don't you and your minions sit down and we'll tell it."
A female Q, who had once been a human named Amanda Rogers, followed EvilQ to another galaxy. There was just something odd about him. She'd come to learn that he'd been the one to order the executions of her parents years ago. She didn't like him. In fact, she was part of Q's rebellion.
All the Q were forbidden to go to the planet where Q was living out his exile. Amanda had learned to like Q. Sure, he could be arrogant and rude, but he could be amusing sometimes.
Amanda wondered why she was forbidden to go to that planet. Maybe it was because Q would be the one to fan the flames of revolution. Without him, without a leader, the rebellion was pretty much off. Any Q who rebelled would be exiled, made to live like a mortal.
She hid in a sun and watched. She was shocked to see Zodac sitting on an asteroid, apparently helpless to do anything. The Q she had been following stood next to him and started to brag. "With Q out of the way, and Horde Prime helping me, I'll be unstoppable!" With that he disappeared, probably off to cause more trouble.
Amanda went over to Zodac. "You cannot free me, Amanda," said Zodac. "EvilQ, as he is called, has seen to it. Only he and his followers can free me."
"What can I do?" she wailed.
"Thanks to EvilQ's aid, Horde Prime of this galaxy has decimated the populations of two worlds, Eternia and Etheria. You must find Adora of Eternia and enlist her help. And you must gather Q's rebels in order to fight EvilQ. The balance between good and evil in this galaxy has been thrown out of balance."
"Can we restore Q's powers to him?" She mentally crossed her fingers.
"Yes. EvilQ had ordered all Q away from that planet so no one would dare to. He has deceived more than half of the Continuum."
Amanda vanished from the prison asteroid, determined to bring EvilQ's plans to a screeching halt.
Janeway and her two crew members had just heard what had happened to Adora. Q was sitting on the window sill, looking out, when he saw something. "Adora...there is this disc of light out there," he said.
Adora jumped up and withdrew her sword. "That's them," she said. She raised her sword above her head and changed to She-Ra, much to the astonishment of the Starfleet officers.
"Put your phasers to kill," said Q. "From what Adora's told me, whoever's coming out of that portal right now means business."
Everyone looked out the window. An entire robot army was coming out. "We're outnumbered," said Tuvok calmly.
"Let's get out of here," said Janeway. She tapped her commbadge. "Janeway to Voyager. Five to beam up."
When the Horde came through the portal, they blasted the house with their weapons, destroying it. They had seen no one come out. They assumed that Adora, last of the Eternian race, was dead.
She-Ra looked around. "This is Voyager?" she asked.
"That's right," said Captain Janeway. "You'll be safe here."
She-Ra lifted her sword and changed back to Adora. Captain Janeway, Kim, and Tuvok led Q and Adora to the bridge.
"Are there any ships besides ours here?" Janeway asked as she came onto the bridge.
"No, Captain," said Chakotay, the Native American who was sitting in Janeway's command chair. He got up and moved over to his own seat.
"It would take too long for them to get to this galaxy," said Q. "Which is why they were using an interdimensional gate."
Just then, there was a flash of light, and a blonde girl appeared. "Amanda!" exclaimed Q. "What are you doing here?"
"The destruction of Eternia was aided by Q--EvilQ, Zodac called him," she said. "EvilQ figured that with you out of the way, the rebellion would fail, and there would be no one to stop him from taking over the entire universe! And Horde Prime is one of his minions."
"That---what do you Terrans call it--that SOB," said Q. "I always hated him."
"He also said that what happened on Eternia was the result of the balance between good and evil going off balance. He means that what happened shouldn't have happened, Adora," Amanda said. "EvilQ threw things out of order. He's creating chaos. He wants the Continuum to rule the universe--with him as head of the Continuum."
"So what can we do?" asked Janeway.
"First, Q needs his powers back," said Amanda. She snapped her fingers. Q could feel power coursing through his body--he was omnipotent again!
"Now what do we do?" asked Q.
"Zodac said we should round up your rebels." With that the two Q disappeared.
Adora stood there in front of the viewscreen. Janeway came up behind her and put a motherly hand on her shoulder. "The Q have the power to change the timeline," she said gently. "It's possible that you'll have your family back, Adora. They all but said that events happened that shouldn't have."
Adora went and sat in the seat to the right of Janeway's. Could it be possible?
No more than five minutes had gone by when Q and Amanda reappeared. "We're going to go into the Continuum and fight back," Q declared. "And Voyager is going to explore another galaxy." With that he snapped his fingers.
The crew held on as the ship was tossed at an impossible speed. Finally they slowed down. "There's a class-M planet up ahead...atmosphere is similar to that of Earth," said Ensign Kim.
Adora looked at the viewscreen. "Eternia...my homeworld," she said sadly.
"Captain...there is a ship moving to intercept," said Tuvok from Tactical.
"The only spaceships around here would be from the Horde," said Adora.
"Yellow alert," Janeway ordered.
"They are hailing us," said Tuvok.
"On screen," said Janeway.
Adora gasped when she saw the evil face of Hordak on the viewscreen. "So...Adora has escaped!" Hordak roared. "You people--surrender that woman to me and Horde Prime and I will let you go in peace. Otherwise...."
"You and your empire have destroyed this girl's world...and have committed other crimes," said Janeway in a low voice. "I don't think so. Red alert!"
The bridge dimmed and was bathed in the glow of the red alert. The klaxon sounded.
Meanwhile, in the Continuum, Q and Amanda had gathered up the Q who were on their side. "We have to free Zodac," said Q. "And we need to restore the time line."
"One problem--EvilQ's followers made sure that only they could free Zodac. I've already tried to restore the time line but they must have blocked that too," said Amanda. "Besides, you know I'm not too experienced in that kind of thing yet...."
"EvilQ is blocking our time-shifting powers. His agent, Horde Prime, will clear the way for EvilQ," said another Q. "Horde Prime is his herald."
"Why not just snap his fingers and control the entire universe?" asked Q.
"We Q are forbidden to attempt such a thing," the other Q explained, "as you well know. EvilQ is working through Horde Prime. He gave him vast powers to conquer Eternia's galaxy, then eventually the Milky Way. He's sneaky."
"Well, I say we find his followers and convince them to free Zodac. This is his territory after all, and he knows what the balance should be here," said yet another Q.
"Easier said than done. But let's try," said Amanda.
"Shields down to twenty percent!" cried Tuvok at Tactical.
"I have an idea," said Adora. Lifting her sword, she changed to She-Ra. "Lead me to Main Engineering. I have an idea that might work."
Commander Chakotay led She-Ra to Main Engineering. "I'm here to help," She-Ra told Chief Engineer B'Elanna Torres. "Where are your shields and weapons controls?"
"Over here--why?" demanded the half-Klingon engineer.
She-Ra held her sword straight up and down with both hands and a burst of magic shot from the jewel in the sword. The magic entered the console.
"Shields are strengthening," called an ensign.
On the bridge, Janeway watched an extremely powerful photon torpedo rip through Horde Prime's ship and destroy it. She-Ra must have done something to the weapons array, Janeway realized.
In the Continuum, the group that followed EvilQ was cornered. They watched as Horde Prime's ship was destroyed. "Your sneaky plans have failed," Q told them. "Now release Zodac. Or I'll have She-Ra do her sword magic on you--and who knows what magic can do to even an omnipotent being."
"All right, you win," said one of the Q.
Within seconds Zodac was freed. "I must now alter history. The balance has gone out of control, and I must restore it. Afterwards, we will punish EvilQ."
She-Ra, now changed back to Adora, was on the bridge when Zodac, Q, and Amanda appeared. "Princess of Eternia, the timeline has been restored, and your parents are alive and well, as is your brother. Your friends on Etheria are also well," said Zodac.
Tears of happiness appeared in Adora's eyes. "I will now make you forget this tragedy," Zodac continued. "You will only remember a battle to save your world, nothing more."
Zodac and Adora disappeared.
"I'll now send you back to the Delta Quadrant," said Q.
"Why not the Alpha?" asked Ensign Kim.
"Because you're there for a reason, never mind whose," said Q.
Zodac watched from a distance as Adora hugged her parents and brother. The balance had been restored. EvilQ would be imprisoned within an asteroid for eternity, never to try to conquer the universe again.