If there’s one rule that the writers of Star Trek: The Q Conflict seem to be taking to heart, it’s the one about going big or going home. And they’ve certainly started going big to the nth degree here.
For all of my earlier complaining about all the continuity porn which Scott and David Tipton have deployed, it does seem as if it might actually be paying off. After raising the stakes in the last issue by bringing in the Prophets from Deep Space Nine, Q’s gambit in playing off various godlike and higher beings has backfired, jeopardising the very fabric of reality itself. Enter Q2 and Amanda Rogers.
Having turned up at the very end of issue #4, Q2 (played by Corbin Bernsen in ‘Déjà Q’) and Amanda (Olivia d’Abo in ‘True Q’) reveal that they’ve stepped in to save the day, after Q’s meddling with the Prophets has had a near-catastrophic effect on the universe. Seeing as how the Tiptons have already brought into play the best-known powerful entities from the history of Star Trek, it actually makes sense to go all in, and include as many of the others as you can. Thankfully, this helps move the story forward, rather than coming over as just a nerd version of I-SPY or Pokémon GO.
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In fact, thrown into the mix as well are Wesley Crusher and the Traveller, who are on hand to help the crews reach the objective of their latest task: capturing a Borg Queen for the private menagerie of Trelane, the Squire of Gothos. Well, in for a penny, in for a pound: you might as well bring one of the biggest Trek baddies to the table, given everything else that the Tiptons have included so far. And, if you want to increase the risk factor with each new challenge, how better to do it than with the Borg?
Of course, we get into the thorny issue of how come Kirk and his crew don’t know about the threat of the Borg when they’re returned to their own time at whenever the end of this story eventually comes. It’s not the first time Star Trek‘s played fast and loose with continuity where the Borg are concerned: Star Trek: Enterprise did an episode where Captain Archer met the Borg centuries before they turned up in The Next Generation, yet no-one in the 24th Century had any knowledge of them. John Byrne’s IDW series Star Trek: New Visions had Kirk encountering the Borg, without actually finding out what they were, which is a neat loophole.
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Here, however, he gets a full briefing on them from his future counterparts from Starfleet, so how do we get around that? Well, the seeds seem to have been sown for what promises to be an unsatisfying ending, albeit the only one that could be employed – the old ‘this never happened’ gambit. Mention is made of the Prophets having altered time to ensure the chaos of the last test never took place, and is only known to the higher beings. And voila, we have our handy get-out: the whole thing will inevitably wrap up – as it must – with everyone’s memories being wiped, or the whole contest having never undertaken in the first place, due to time bending.
Ultimately, where this story is concerned, it seems existence is futile. Which is a real shame, as it seems to be coming into its own, only for it all to be utterly pointless. At one point, we even get to see a Picard facepalm, which is a sentiment I can fully get behind here.