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Dark over Light, Light over Dark

Posted on Mon Dec 14th, 2020 @ 7:00pm by

Mission: Q The Music!
Location: USS Tesla - Lt. Conlon's Quarters
Timeline: Current
1442 words - 2.9 OF Standard Post Measure

It had taken Suni some time to finally find her quarters, having to ask directions from no fewer than three enlisted crew members after the computer seemed to be repeating itself in directing her to walk through walls. All the while she continued to yawn up a storm and haul her luggage around the hallways and turbolifts.

She found her room on deck 4, a little far from the mess but equidistant to the gym, and conveniently close to the holodeck. She was as close to engineering as they would let an officer sleep, which at least was a compromise. She pressed the keypad and was let into the room that would be her inner sanctum for the foreseeable future.

It was simple but it was plenty for now, and she could get it there without too much effort. She locked the door behind her and dropped her things on the floor. She quickly kicked off her boots and unzipped her jacket, flinging it haphazardly onto a chair. She moved toward the bed while simultaneously trying to get out of her pants and flopped onto the bed with them only partially lowered.

The bed was harder than she liked, definitely something to address in the future. She struggled with the pants and eventually managed to kick them off the end of the bed. She clawed the blankets over her and pulled a pillow to her head before immediately starting to drift away.

There was a bright flash. She groaned.

"Is that any way to greet a guest?" came a deep voice.

Suni managed to open one eye, and saw their Q standing in her room.

"Guests are invited."

"Bleak decorating style," he continued, "I can help with that." He snapped his fingers, and the room was instantly transformed into a lush and colorful boudoir. The bed was plump and fluffy, and strings of lights ran around the room and across the windows. There was even a nice vanity in the corner that looked like it was hand-carved.

Frankly, Suni preferred this to the spartan Starfleet default, but she knew better than to give him the satisfaction, "I haven't slept since I got on the ship. Can we postpone whatever this is until after I sleep?" She pulled a pink fluffy pillow over her head.

"That's not a very happy attitude. I know how to cheer you up. You should see what I did with the lounge."

There was a bright flash of light.

Location: Ireland, Earth

Suni's stomach flipped as she felt herself instantaneously go from lying down to standing up. She opened her eyes and found herself standing on a grungy street-corner. She shivered and her hands went to her bare arms as she realized it must be below freezing.

"Merry Christmas!" Q proclaimed, proud of himself.

She looked at Q, who was wearing a warm peacoat over his uniform, "Do you mind?" Q snapped his fingers and she felt herself wrapped in cloth and her arms pulled away from her body as a fluffy parka appeared. 'I suppose that's better,' she thought.

Suni looked around to get her bearings. The street she was standing on was lined with brick buildings with frosted windows. Inside many of the windows she could see candles, and more than one decorated tree.

"Where are we?" That deflated Q.

"I was going for an ancestor holiday vibe. It's Dublin!"

"Ireland?" it didn't look like the pictures she had seen.

"Obviously," Q rolled his eyes.

Suni heard singing drifting down the street, and she saw at the top of the street there was a church. She stuffed her hands in her pockets and tried to make out some of the song to see if it was one she knew. Her father had always talked about taking them to Ireland, but they never found the time.

There was a mechanical grinding noise from the cross-street and Suni moved back around the corner. She saw several ancient trucks trundling down the street. In their open backs, she saw clusters of men wearing black berets and khaki pants carrying large metal weapons.

"Uh, Q, what year is it?"

"I do love 20th century Earth fashion," he modeled his peacoat, "so I chose a nice round number: 1920."

Suni noticed movement on the rooftops, and saw people dressed as civilians carrying rifles, "This is not a good year to pick. Can you get us out of here?"

"Why?" Q seemed nonplussed.

The men on the rooftops opened fire on the trucks down below, who quickly started to return automated fire back. Suni ducked around the corner and huddled to the ground, "Q!"

There was a flash of light.

Location: Germany, Earth

Suddenly Suni found herself in an entirely different city, with large red banners that immediately gave her a bad feeling.

"Happy Hanukkah!" Q greeted her.

"Where are we now?"

"I think my target got muddled, let me check," he scanned the area, "looks like Munich."

"When are we now?"

"Looks like," he looked around again as if the year would be written on their location, "oh, I missed. I was aiming for Hanukkah, but it looks like early November 1938."

"Nope, get us out of here now."


Nearby there was the sound of glass shattering.


Another flash.

Location: Kendra Valley, Bajor

Suni was wearing Bajoran clothing at the bottom of a valley.

"Peldor joi!"

Disruptor fire was flying over their heads. She looked to the mouth of the valley and saw Cardassians surging over a ridge while Bajorans fled in front of them returning fire.

Another flash.

Location: Punjab, Earth

She found herself wearing a sari now with the Hindu-Kush and Himalayan mountains in the distance.

"Happy Diwali!"

There were colorful explosions happening in the sky above them as people yelled and ran through the streets.

Another flash.

Location: Daystrom Institute of Technology, Mars

They were in a quiet room, with Suni now in a black salwar suit with gold dupatta. At least this was something she would actually wear, possibly had.

"Wow," Q remarked, "your background is violent."

"History is complicated."

Suni looked around the room and got a hitch in her throat. There was a very familiar looking rangoli marked out on the floor but only partially finished. An unlit but familiar diya sat beside it.

Suni walked to the window and looked out, recognizing the red-tinged street immediately. The muscles in her neck tensed and she backed away shaking her head, "Take me back," she croaked.

"Back where? I thought going somewhere from your immediate past would be a sure hit."

Suni stepped up to Q, grabbed him by the uniform, and slammed him against the wall, "NOW."

Q snapped.

Location: USS Tesla - Lt. Conlon's Quarters

They were back in her quarters. The room was decorated as Q had left it. She was in just her underwear, but still had Q held against one of the walls. He cleared his throat and looked at her hand, as if expecting her to unclench her fist.

She released him and stumbled to the sink, grabbing the sides of the basin. Q straightened out his uniform as Suni tried not to vomit.

"Honestly, Starfleet officers are so hard to figure out. Some of you seem like you can't handle any fun. I imagine you want your quarters returned to normal, as well."

She breathed, "No, you can leave it."

Q had a self-satisfied smirk as his clicked his fingers and disappeared in a flash. Suni grabbed her case and carried it with her before collapsing into a plush red and gold chair. She opened it and rooted around, until she felt the soft fabric over the hard object.

She pulled it out and placed it carefully on the table in front of her. She unfolded the fabric and turned the diya so she could see it in profile. The polished lamp had the curves she remembered running her hands over as a child.

The card leaned against the lamp where it sat:
"So you always remember the greatest way to beat the dark is light. - Doctor Mom & Professor Dad"

Suni pulled her legs up to her chest and stared out past the twinkling lights in the window to where stars were streaking by. She controlled her breathing, and swallowed carefully as the adrenaline surge passed.

She began to hum one of the tunes she remembered from long past family holidays as she slowly fell asleep in the comfortable chair.


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