Death Wish
Stardate: 49301.2
Original Airdate: February 19 1996

[Bridge]

(A comet is on the viewscreen.)
CHAKOTAY: It's trajectory is erratic, and our sensors aren't detecting any stellar or planetary gravitational fields that could account for its motion.
JANEWAY: Then you're saying it isn't a comet.
CHAKOTAY: And yet it looks, feels, and tastes just like a comet.
JANEWAY: Well, there's a slight chance that there are magnetodynamic forces acting on the comet that are too subtle for our sensors to detect. Or it might be something we've never encountered before. B'Elanna, go down to Transporter room two. Let's beam aboard a sample for examination.
TORRES: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: Harry, see if you can lock on to a core fragment.
KIM: Having no trouble penetrating the crust, Captain.

[Transporter room]

JANEWAY [OC]: Janeway to Torres. We're ready when you are, Lieutenant.
TORRES: Setting up a class three containment field, Captain. Field in place.
JANEWAY [OC]: Commence transport.
TORRES: Energising.
(A stocky male figure in an Engineering uniform appears, and walks through the containment field.)
QUINN: Hello. My name is Q.
TORRES: Torres to Janeway. You'd better get down here, Captain.
JANEWAY [OC]: Problem, Lieutenant?
TORRES: Yes, ma'am. That transport from the comet? It brought a man aboard. He says his name is Q.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Red alert. I'll be right down.

[Transporter room]

(Quinn zaps himself over to Torres and speaks into her comm. badge.)
QUINN: Oh, please don't bother, Captain. Let me take you to lunch instead.
(Quinn gestures and vanishes.)

[Mess hall]

(Quinn and Janeway appear. Quinn starts shaking Janeway's hand.)
QUINN: What a pleasure it is to meet you. Oh, am I doing this right? It's been so long time since I've had the opportunity to greet anyone. Oh, here, take a seat. Allow me to make the setting more appropriate.
(Silver candlestick, finest linen, etc.)
JANEWAY: My name is Kathryn Janeway, Captain of the Federation
QUINN: The Federation Starship Voyager. Yes, yes, I know all that. Look, Welsh rarebit like your grandfather used to make.
NEELIX: Rabbit? She never told me she likes rabbits. What is a rabbit anyway? Is this some new chef she's interviewing?
QUINN: Please, eat. It's the least I can do to express my appreciation.
JANEWAY: Appreciation for what?
QUINN: For letting me out of my captivity.
JANEWAY: You were being held against your will, inside the comet?
QUINN: In a manner of speaking. And you, all of you. You're mortals, aren't you?
JANEWAY: Who was holding you prisoner?
QUINN: And you only live for nine years.
KES: That's right.
QUINN: Oh, how I envy you.
KES: Why is that?
QUINN: Because the one thing I want more than any other, is to die.
JANEWAY: Look, I don't know what you want here, but I know who you are. Every captain in Starfleet has been briefed about your appearances on the Enterprise, and I warn you
QUINN: My appearances? Oh, you've mistaken me for. Oh, well, no matter, I really must get on with my business before the others realise I'm here. When someone asks you about me, and they will, would you tell them I said. You know, I've had three hundred years to think of appropriate last words. I wanted something memorable, you know? Quotable. Would you tell them I said, I die not for myself but for you. I know. I know. Enigmatic. Provocative. They'll understand. Well, goodbye to you all. Many thanks. Here's the end of me.
(He does the Q gesture, and all the men vanish.)
QUINN: Oh, dear. That's not right.
TORRES [OC]: Torres to Janeway. All the men have disappeared.
JANEWAY: I'm aware of it, Lieutenant. Report to the Bridge. Janeway out. Bring them back. Now.
QUINN: Oh. Oh, of course. Of course. I'm a little out of practice. Well, that's that. I'm afraid they're gone.
JANEWAY: Gone? Where?
QUINN: Just gone. Oh, I apologise for the inconvenience.

[Bridge]

(Quinn transports himself and Janeway to the Bridge.)
QUINN: Well, good luck to you all. I really have to be going now.
JANEWAY: Return my crew!
QUINN: I, I'm not sure how. Humans. Humans. Who would have more recent experience with humans?
Q: What have you done now, Q? Well, now, isn't this just fine. Humans aren't supposed to be in this quadrant for another hundred years.
QUINN: I didn't bring them here. Nothing to do with me.
Q: How did you get out, Q?
JANEWAY: I'm afraid we're responsible for that.
Q: Oh, well, I guess that's what we get for having a woman in the captain's seat. You know, I was betting that Riker would get this command.
JANEWAY: May I assume you're the Q I've heard so much about?
Q: Have you heard about little me? Oh, do tell. Has Jean-Luc been whispering about me behind my back? Say, is this the ship of the Valkyries, or have you human women finally done away with your men altogether?
QUINN: There was a slight accident.
Q: A slight accident. Oh, let me guess. You were trying to commit suicide. Now you see why we've locked him up for the last three hundred years.
(Q snaps his fingers and the men reappear. He peers at Chakotay's tattoo.)
Q: Facial art. Ooo, how very wilderness of you.
CHAKOTAY: Captain?
Q: All right, Q, we should be going.
QUINN: I'm not leaving. Captain Janeway, I demand asylum.
Q: This is a joke.
QUINN: No it isn't. I am officially asking you, Captain, to grant me asylum and give me protection from my enemies, which is him.
Q: You would ask these puny humans to protect you from me? Fat chance.
(Quinn makes Q disappear. The ship starts shaking.)
JANEWAY: What did you do to him?
QUINN: Nothing. He's still there in the twenty fourth century. I just took the rest of us to an old hiding place of mine.
JANEWAY: Report.
KIM: Captain, there are no stars outside.
QUINN: Well, that's partially accurate. Actually, there's no universe outside.
JANEWAY: On screen. Commander?
CHAKOTAY: I'm showing a large build-up of baryonic particles.
QUINN: Perfectly normal.
TUVOK: Captain, based on our readings, it appears we've been transported back in time to the birth of the universe.
QUINN: Very old hiding place.
Q: Oh, I know all the hiding places, Q. I hid here from the Continuum myself once.
TORRES: This ship will not survive the formation of the cosmos.
Q: Yes, but just think of the honour of having your DNA spread from one corner of the universe to the other. Why, you could be the origin of the humanoid form.
JANEWAY: Q, either Q, get us out of here.
Q: You heard the lady, Q. Back to your cell.
(Q disappears again.)
PARIS: We're under attack.
CHAKOTAY: By a ship?
PARIS: By, by, I'm not sure what they are.
KIM: Captain, I don't believe this, but according to my readings, we're being attacked by protons. We've been reduced to subatomic proportions.
QUINN: He'll never find us here.
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok, see if you can release a positive ion charge to repel them.
Q: Ready or not, here I am.
(And vanishes again. The shaking stops.)
JANEWAY: Oh, now what?
PARIS: Checking. We seem to be tethered to some kind of large plant.
JANEWAY: Let's see it. Computer, I need a wider angle.
(They are an ornament on a Christmas tree.)
Q: [on viewscreen] You can't hide from me, Q.
QUINN: And you can't take me by force. I'll stalemate you for eternity, if I have to.
JANEWAY: The hell you will. The vaunted Q Continuum. Self-anointed guardians of the universe. How dare you come aboard this ship and endanger this crew with your personal tug of war.
Q: [on viewscreen] Did anyone ever tell you you're angry when you're beautiful?
PARIS: We're back where we started from, Captain.
QUINN: It's doesn't matter. I'm not going into that cell.
Q: How would you like to spend eternity as a Gorokian midwife toad.
QUINN: Just try it.
JANEWAY: Stop! You want asylum? Fine. We'll have a hearing.
Q: A hearing? You would have me put his future in your delicate little hands? Oh, so touchably soft. What is your secret, dear?
JANEWAY: When the captain of a Starfleet vessel receives an official request for asylum, there is a clear procedure to follow. I suggest to end your deadlock, and to save my ship, that we follow it to the letter.
Q: Well, this could go on for a millennium or two, I suppose. All right, I accept on behalf of the Continuum on one condition. If you rule in our favour, Q agrees to return to his confinement.
QUINN: I have a condition of my own. If you rule in my favour, then the Continuum must grant me mortality.
Q: Why? So you can kill yourself?
QUINN: Exactly.
Q: Accepted. Well, this is going to make for an amusing diversion. Will you send him to prison for eternity or will you assist in his suicide plan? That's a toughie, but that's why they made you captain, isn't it? To handle the real tough ones? My, my. Now I guess now we get to find out whether the pants really fit.

[Tuvok's office]

(Quinn zaps in as Tuvok is reading a PADD.)
QUINN: Am I interrupting anything?
TUVOK: I am curious. Have the Q always had an absence of manners, or is it the result of some natural evolutionary process that comes with omnipotence?
QUINN: What? Oh, you mean, just popping in whenever we feel like it.
TUVOK: That is one relevant example.
QUINN: I apologise. At some point along the way, I guess we just stopped thinking about the little niceties.
TUVOK: So it seems.
QUINN: But you mustn't think of us as omnipotent, no matter what the Continuum would like you to believe. You and your ship seem incredibly powerful to lifeforms without your technical expertise. It's no different with us. We may appear omnipotent to you, but believe me, we're not.
TUVOK: Intriguing. Just what vulnerabilities do the Q have?
QUINN: Always looking for the tactical advantage, Mister Tuvok. Very good. As a matter of fact, that's why I've come to see you. In a way, our vulnerability is what this is all about. As the Q have evolved, we've sacrificed many things along the way. Not just manners, but mortality, and a sense of purpose, and a desire for change, and a capacity to grow. Every loss is a new vulnerability, wouldn't you say?
TUVOK: Why are you telling me this?
QUINN: Because I want you to represent me in the hearing.
TUVOK: Me? I have no legal expertise.
QUINN: But I need someone who understands Federation asylum practices. Besides, Vulcans approve of suicide.
TUVOK: It is true that Vulcans who reach a certain infirmity with age, do practice ritual suicides. Nevertheless, I fail to see how that fact would be meaningful in this circumstance.
QUINN: I have the right to counsel, Mister Tuvok. Will you assist me?

[Hearing room]

JANEWAY: Let me begin by stating clearly that I expect all parties to act appropriately and with respect for these proceedings. I will not have this hearing turned into a circus, is that clear? Is that clear, Q?
Q: Madam Captain, we are dealing here with an issue of the greatest importance to the Q Continuum. I assure you we take this matter very seriously.
JANEWAY: Thank you. And please don't call me Madam Captain. Since you've made it clear that your asylum would lead to suicide, you place me in a difficult position.
QUINN: I understand, Captain.
JANEWAY: May I ask you why you want to commit suicide?
QUINN: As difficult as it is for you to imagine, for me, immortality is impossible to endure any longer. In the Continuum, an individual has an obligation to be responsible to the path his life will follow.
Q: His life will follow. Emphasise life.
QUINN: I never yielded that obligation to the Continuum. If the path I choose leads to death, what right have they to interfere?
Q: He's putting his selfish wishes above the welfare of everyone else.
QUINN: And if I don't agree with the majority, I'm to be locked up for eternity.
Q: You would not be confined if you were not intent on harming yourself. With your permission, Captain, I would like to call an expert on the Continuum to discuss the implications of the decision to be made.
JANEWAY: Proceed.
Q: I call myself to the stand.
Q2: Ta-da!
Q: Thank you for coming. It's a rare honour to have someone of your reputation and accomplishment with us today.
Q2: Thank you.
Q: Tell me, what would be the impact of a Q suicide?
Q2: Oh, it would be an interruption to the Continuum. It would change the very nature of Q.
JANEWAY: Can you be more specific?
Q2: No, because we're not even sure what the end result would be. His suicide could have all sorts of unknown consequences to the Continuum.
QUINN: Precisely! It would force the Q to deal with the unknown for the first time since the New Era began. They're afraid of me because they're afraid of the unknown.
Q: How would you characterise his remarks?
Q2: No Q has ever tried to commit suicide. Immortality is one of the defining qualities of being a Q. By every measure of the Continuum, his remarks would have to be considered as mentally unbalanced.
Q: Mentally unbalanced. And no civilised people in the universe, including the primitive Federation societies, would condone the suicide of a mentally unbalanced person.
TUVOK: Tell me Q, can you offer any other evidence of mental instability on the part of my client?
Q2: What more do I need? He wants to kill himself.
TUVOK: In fact, until this issue arose, he was known in the Continuum as one of your great philosophers. Is that not true?
Q2: Not anymore, it isn't.
TUVOK: So, your entire basis for judging him mentally unbalanced is his wish to commit suicide. I submit that is a faulty premise. In many cultures, suicide is acceptable, and in and of itself cannot be used as evidence of mental illness.
JANEWAY: I tend to agree with Mister Tuvok.
Q [both]: Vulcans.
TUVOK: Is it not true that on occasion the Continuum has executed Qs for certain crimes?
Q2: On rare occasions, yes.
TUVOK: Didn't their deaths create an interruption to the Continuum?
Q2: Their crimes created the interruption. Their deaths ended it. I know where you're going with this, Lieutenant.
TUVOK: Do you?
Q2: And it's not going to work. Our society, like any other, must control its disruptive elements. An execution may be undesirable, I grant you that, but on some rare occasions it is necessary and warranted. And the decision to proceed is only made after great deliberation by the entire Continuum. You can not imagine the chaos that would be created if individuals like Q here, could choose between life and death. This is a matter of social order versus anarchy.
TUVOK: I understand. And you find nothing contradictory in a society that outlaws suicide but practices capital punishment?
Q2: No.
JANEWAY: Any other questions, Lieutenant?
TUVOK: Just one other thing. Isn't it true that you yourself were once accused of being mentally unstable by the Continuum? Were you not you disciplined for inappropriate behaviour?
Q: Objection.
JANEWAY: I'll allow the question.
Q2: My record has been expunged.
TUVOK: I will take that as a yes. Thank you. That is all.
JANEWAY: You're excused.
(The second Q vanishes.)
Q: If I may beg the court's indulgence, I have other witnesses to call.
JANEWAY: To what end?
Q: Your Captain Honour, I am here to argue for the majesty of life. What it means to us to be alive. A Q's life takes him to all corners of the universe. This Q's life has touched and affected many, many others, including some on your own homeworld. With your permission, I would like to call some of those people whose lives have been changed by this Q.
JANEWAY: You want to bring people here from Earth?
Q: I promise it won't impact the timeline, and no one will remember ever having being here after I send them back.
JANEWAY: This is most unusual. Do you have any objection, Mister Tuvok?
TUVOK: I am as curious as you are, Captain.
JANEWAY: Very well. Proceed.
(Q snaps his fingers and three men appear - a hippy, a man in a full-bottomed wig and a bearded Starfleet Commander.)
RIKER: Q. What the hell is going on?
JANEWAY: My apologies, Commander. To you all. My name is Kathryn Janeway.
RIKER: Captain Janeway. USS Voyager.
JANEWAY: That's correct, Commander. You're aboard Voyager. We're lost in the Delta Quadrant, and as much as I wish you could tell them that when you get home, your memories will be wiped before you get back.
GINSBERG: God, if you let me live through this, I promise I'll clean up my act. I swear.
NEWTON: I demand an explanation. Why are you dressed like this, young man?
GINSBERG: Man, have you looked in a mirror lately?
JANEWAY: Allow me to try to explain, Mister?
GINSBERG: Ginsberg. Er, Maury Ginsberg.
NEWTON: Sir Isaac Newton.
RIKER: William Riker. Nice to meet you.
JANEWAY: Consider for a moment that it might be possible to travel forward in time, say to the twenty fourth century, onto a starship seventy five thousand light years from Earth.
(Blank looks.)
JANEWAY: You're having a very strange dream, and in this dream, you're seeing this man whom you've all met before.
NEWTON: Yes I have seen that man before. You were sitting under the tree the day
Q: The day the apple fell on your head?
NEWTON: Yes. That's right.
Q: Quite a day, wasn't it? As a matter of fact, this man jostled the tree when he got up to leave.
NEWTON: Just before the apple fell, yes.
Q: And a new era in human science was born.
GINSBERG: Wait a minute. Weren't you the guy in the jeep?
Q: The guy in the jeep, who picked you up after your own vehicle broke down that summer afternoon, isn't that right?
GINSBERG: Oh, man, he was a lifesaver. My van died and they dragged it off the road because of all the traffic. It was backed up for miles.
Q: You were on your way to a job, weren't you?
GINSBERG: Yeah, I was supposed to be on the follow spot up on tower three. I never would have made it in time if it weren't for him. Hey, whatever happened with that groovy chick with the long red beads in the back seat? I've been looking for her ever since you dropped me off.
QUINN: You'll see her again, don't worry.
Q: To sum up, you were a spotlight operator at an outdoor concert of some sort. A concert that was put in jeopardy moments before it was to begin, because the entire sound system failed.
GINSBERG: Oh, it was no big deal. Somebody must have snagged an extension cord with one of the trucks, that's all. I'm just lucky I noticed it.
Q: Yes, lucky you were at the right place at the right time, or it would have taken days to track down the problem and there would have been no concert.
RIKER: Well, I'm sorry to say I have met him, but I've never seen this man before in my life.
Q: Are you sure?
TUVOK: Has it not been established that my client has in captivity during all of Commander Riker's lifetime?
Q: Have you seen this photograph before?
(On an easel, a sepia picture of two Civil War soldiers.)
RIKER: Sure I have. That is Colonel Thaddeus Riker after he was wounded at Pine Mountain. They used to call him Old Iron Boots. He was in command of the Hundred and Second New York during General Sherman's march on Atlanta. This picture was taken in eighteen sixty four, just after they let him out of the army hospital.
Q: And the soldier beside him?
RIKER: I'll be damned. It's him.
Q: As a matter of fact, he carried your wounded ancestor back from the front line. Didn't you? My point is, Captain, that Q has had a profound influence on these three lives. Without Q, Isaac Newton would have died forgotten in a Liverpool debtor's prison, a suspect in several prostitute murders. Without Q, there would have been no concert at, er.
QUINN: Woodstock.
Q: Wherever. More importantly, Mister Ginsberg would never have met his future wife, the groovy chick with the long red beads, and he would never have become a successful orthodontist, settled in Scarsdale with four kids.
GINSBERG: Far out.
Q: Yes. Without Q there would have been no William T. Riker at all, and I would have lost at least a dozen really good opportunities to insult him over the years. Oh, and lest I forget, without Q, the Borg would have assimilated the Federation. Thank you. Thank you.
(The witnesses vanish.)
Q: This is the life Q treats without respect. This is the life that he would give up so easily.
TUVOK: May I remind this hearing, and my learned colleague, that for three centuries, my client has not been allowed contact with anyone. At this time, we would like to reproduce the environment in which he has been confined.
Q: I object.
JANEWAY: No, I'll allow this.
(Quinn does the transporting.)

[Inside the comet]

(It is very cramped.)
TUVOK: These are the conditions my client would be forced to live in for eternity if you deny asylum, Captain.
Q: We just want to give him time to reconsider his position.
QUINN: I will never change my mind.
Q: This is your own doing. You could live a perfectly normal life if you were simply willing to live a perfectly normal life.
JANEWAY: I've seen enough. Please return us to the hearing room.

[Hearing room]

TUVOK: I would submit that the quality of life that my client will have to endure should be considered in this proceeding.
JANEWAY: I don't like those conditions any more than you do, Mister Tuvok, and I wouldn't want to spend another day there if I were you, Q, but I'm here to rule on a request for asylum, not to judge the penal system of the Q Continuum. And he does have a point. You were confined only to prevent you from doing harm to yourself. I've been doing a great deal of research, studying a variety of cultural attitudes on suicide, to help me frame the basis of a decision. Mister Tuvok, are you familiar with the double effect principle on assisted suicide that dates back to the Bolian Middle Ages?
TUVOK: I believe it relates to the relief of suffering, does it not, Captain.
JANEWAY: It states, an action that has the principal effect of relieving suffering may be ethically justified even though the same action has the secondary effect of possibly causing death. This principle is the only thing I can find that could possibly convince me to decide in your favour, Q. And yet, as I look at you, you don't seem by our standards, aged, infirm, or in any pain. Can you show this hearing that you suffer in any manner other than that caused by the conditions of your incarceration? Any suffering that would justify a decision to grant you asylum.
TUVOK: May I request a recess to consider our response, Captain?
JANEWAY: Granted.

[Mess hall]

QUINN: We're going to lose, aren't we?
TUVOK: I would say we have not yet convinced Captain Janeway of the validity of our argument.
QUINN: You're doing a fine job, Mister Tuvok. It's nice to know someone believes in me.
TUVOK: I am representing your position to the best of my ability. It is most definitely not my own. I see no persuasive evidence that a life like yours should be wasted simply because you are disgruntled. Frankly, I see no logic to your position.
QUINN: You, you surprise me, Mister Tuvok, which is a rare and special gift to a Q. Thank you. But may I say, if you only knew what life as a Q were like, you would see the logic.
TUVOK: Then perhaps what we should do next is take this hearing to see life in the Continuum itself.

Captain's log, supplemental. I'm determined to find a better alternative to suicide or endless prison, so I've summoned the advocate Q to make him a proposal.

[Ready room]

Q: Yes, what is it, Captain?
JANEWAY: Come to the next session of the hearing and announce that the Continuum is ready to reintegrate Q into your society. That you won't condemn him to that cell for eternity.
Q: And you will rule in our favour.
JANEWAY: I would consider it a very meaningful gesture by the Continuum.
Q: How would you know if I intended to keep my word?
JANEWAY: Based on my research, you have been many things. A rude, interfering, inconsiderate, sadistic
Q: You've made your point.
JANEWAY: Pest. And, oh yes, you introduced us to the Borg, thank you very much. But one thing you have never been is a liar.
Q: I think you've uncovered my one redeeming virtue. Am I blushing? I wish I could help you, Kathy. I just can't. We're dealing here with the most dangerous man in the Continuum. Now I didn't tell you this, but one of his self destructive stunts created a misunderstanding which ignited the hundred year war between the Romulans and the Vulcans. No, this man goes back into his confinement. But I would like to make it easier for you. The Continuum is prepared to do you a little favour, if we approve of your ruling. Look out the window.
(Earth.)
Q: Now you see it. Now you don't.

[Hearing room]

TUVOK: We are prepared to illustrate the nature of Q's suffering, Captain. But in order to do so, we must show this hearing what life is like in the Continuum.
Q: And how do you intend to do that?
TUVOK: By going to the Continuum itself.
JANEWAY: Is this possible?
Q: No. It's a ridiculous idea. You would never understand.
TUVOK: My client has the right to ask for an inspection of the living conditions that lead to his suffering, Captain.
JANEWAY: I would agree with that.
Q: I suppose you have some crazy idea how to pull this off?
QUINN: Yes.
(Quinn whispers in Q's ear.)
Q: Only if.
QUINN: Fine, fine.
Q: We've agreed on a format for this little sojourn. But I still believe it's ill-advised.
JANEWAY: I'll be the judge of that. Whenever you're ready.
(They both raise their hands.)
Q: No, please.
(Quinn does the honours.)

[Desert road]

JANEWAY: This is the Q Continuum? A road in a desert?
Q: I told you so.
QUINN: This is a manifestation of the Continuum that we hope falls within your level of comprehension. This way.

[Roadside building]

(A man and woman in 20s clothes are playing croquet on an immaculate lawn, with planets for balls. A scarecrow in Starfleet uniform stands nearby. The sign over the door says Never Closes and the clock has no hands. A man puffing on a pipe is reading a book called The Old while a young woman reads a magazine called The New. Someone plays the Continuum Galaxy pinball machine. The group walk past a panting bloodhound.)
JANEWAY: Good afternoon.
QUINN: I apologise for their lack of hospitality, Captain. We're not used to visitors here. In fact you are the only ones who've ever come.
TUVOK: Then what is the purpose of the road?
QUINN: The road takes us to the rest of the universe, then it leads back here. An endless circle.
JANEWAY: This was your existence before your confinement?
QUINN: I traveled the road many times, sat on the porch, played the games, been the dog, everything. I was even the scarecrow for a while.
JANEWAY: Why?
QUINN: Because I hadn't done it.
Q: Oh, we've all done the scarecrow. Big deal.
JANEWAY: I can't say I entirely understand what I'm seeing here, but these people don't seem to be suffering.
Q: Of course not. They're happy people. Happy people. What's there to feel sad about? Look at them.
QUINN: They don't dare feel sad. If only they could, that would be progress.
Q: Oh, the philosopher speaks.
QUINN: When I was a respected philosopher, I celebrated the continuity, the undeviation of Q life. I argued that our civilisation had achieved a purity that no other culture had ever approached. And it was wonderful, for a while. At the beginning of the New Era, life as a Q was a continuous dialogue of discovery and issues and humour from all over the universe. But look at them now. Listen to their dialogue now.
TUVOK: I'm afraid I cannot hear any.
QUINN: Because it has all been said. Everyone has heard everything, seen everything. They haven't had to speak to each other in ten millennia. There's nothing left to say.
Q: Well, I don't know about you, but I appreciate a little peace and quiet now and again.
QUINN: It's ironic, isn't it, Q.
Q: I don't know what you mean.
QUINN: Of course you do. That you of all people should be arguing their case.
Q: I believe in the ultimate purity of the Q.
QUINN: You, who were banned from the Continuum and made mortal to pay for your crimes?
Q: My penance has ended. I'm a born again Q. That life is behind me.
QUINN: What a shame. Because in many ways, that life inspired me.
Q: It did? I did?
QUINN: Oh, yes. You never knew that, did you? You see, Captain, Q rebelled against this existence by refusing to behave himself. He was out of control. He used his powers irresponsibly and all for his own amusement. And he desperately needed amusement, because he could find none here at home.
Q: And I paid the price for my inappropriate behaviour.
QUINN: No, no, we paid the price by forcing you to stop. But for a moment there, you really had our attention. My attention. You gave us something to talk about. But then you surrendered to the will of the Continuum like a good little Q, and may I say that you've become a fine, upstanding member of the Continuum. But I miss the irrepressible Q, the one who forced me to think. May I borrow this?
(Quinn takes the The New magazine from the woman and shows and article to Janeway.)
QUINN: This was the beginning of my fall from grace. This was the last edition, by the way. They shut down the presses after I wrote that.
(My Corner of the Continuum. I'm Ready To Die: How About You?)
QUINN: But they couldn't keep me silent. I continued to speak out in favour of self-termination.
Q: That's when he lost his mind and started trying to destroy himself. We had no choice but to confine him but for his own safety.
QUINN: Not for my safety. For theirs. I was the greatest threat the Continuum had ever known. They feared me so much they had to lock me away for eternity. And when they did that, they were saying that the individual's rights will be protected only so long as they don't conflict with the state. Nothing is so dangerous to a society. My life's work is complete, but they force immortality on me, and when the do that they cheapen and denigrate my life and all life in the Continuum. All life. Captain, you're an explorer. What if you had nothing left to explore? Would you want to live forever under those circumstances? You want me to prove to you that I suffer in terms that you can equate with pain or disease. Look at us. When life has become futile, meaningless, unendurable, it must be allowed to end. Can't you see, Captain? For us, the disease is immortality.

[Hearing room]

TUVOK: We rest our case, Captain.
JANEWAY: Very well. I'll make my ruling in the morning. We'll be in recess until then.

[Janeway's quarters]

(Janeway rolls over in bed to come nose to nose with Q wearing a night cap.)
Q: Trouble sleeping? Did you ever try warm Kylerian goat's milk?
(Janeway leaps out of bed and puts on her dressing gown.)
JANEWAY: Get out.
Q: Did you think about our offer?
JANEWAY: You mean your bribe.
Q: Merely an incentive to make the proper decision.
JANEWAY: It'll play no part in my deliberations.
Q: No, I told them it wouldn't. That's why I talked them into giving you what you asked for. You have my word. He won't go back to the cell. We'll assign someone to look after him. Whatever it takes. It's what you wanted, isn't it?
JANEWAY: That's what I wanted.
Q: So, you've won. Let's celebrate. Just you and me. The two of us.
JANEWAY: What?
Q: I'll take you home. Before you know it, you'll be scampering across the meadow with your little puppies, the grass beneath your bare feet. A man, coming over the hill way in the distance, waves to you. You run to be in his arms and as you get closer you see that it's me.
JANEWAY: You?
Q: Forget Mark. I know how to show a girl a good time. How would you like a ticker-tape parade down Sri Lanka Boulevard? The captain who brought Voyager back. A celebrated hero. I never did anything like that for Jean-Luc. But I feel very close to you. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because you have such authority and yet manage to preserve your femininity so well.
JANEWAY: Leave.
Q: We'll talk about this after the hearing tomorrow.

[Hearing room]

JANEWAY: I've tried to find some way to reconcile all the conflicting emotions I've felt during this hearing. My own aversion to suicide, my compassion for your situation, Q. It hasn't been easy. I've tried to tell myself that this is not about suicide, but about granting asylum. That I am not personally being asked to perform euthanasia. And as technically true as that may be, I cannot escape the moral implications of my choices. I've also had to consider that a decision to grant asylum, and the subsequent suicide of a Q, might have a significant impact on the Continuum. That such a decision could change the nature of an entire society, whether it be a favourable or unfavourable change, disturbs me greatly. But then there are the rights of the individual in this matter. I don't believe that you are mentally unbalanced. And I do believe that you are suffering intolerably. Under these conditions, I find it impossible to support immortality forced on an individual by the state. The unforeseen disruption that may occur in the Continuum is not enough, in my opinion, to justify any additional suffering by this individual. So, I hereby grant you asylum.
Q: May I see you in your chambers, Captain?
JANEWAY: You've been in my chambers enough for one visit, sir.
Q: A sidebar, your honour. Only for a moment.
QUINN: She ruled in my favour. You made a promise.
(Q snaps his fingers. Quinn does his vanish gesture.)
QUINN: Nothing happened. Nothing! My powers are gone! I'm mortal.
Q: Well, so much for ticker-tape parades.
JANEWAY: I'm not finished, Q. Now that you're mortal, you have a new existence to explore. An entirely new state of being filled with the mysteries of mortal life, pleasures you've never felt before. I like this life, Q. You might too. Think hard before you give it up. This hearing is adjourned.

Captain's log, stardate 49301.2. We have assigned quarters to our new passenger, who has entered his name on our crew manifest as Quinn. I am anxious to engage him in ship activities as soon as possible.

[Ready room]

CHAKOTAY: How about Stellar Cartography?
JANEWAY: We could shut down Stellar Cartography with all the knowledge he'd bring to the job.
CHAKOTAY: Well, that's going to be a problem with just about everything we assign him to.
JANEWAY: There's got to be something on board that will
EMH [OC]: Sickbay to Captain Janeway.
JANEWAY: Go ahead.
EMH [OC]: Captain, I think you should come down to Sickbay. Mister Quinn is here. I'm afraid he's dying.

[Sickbay]

JANEWAY: There's nothing you can do?
EMH: He's ingested a rare form of Nogatch hemlock. There is no known cure.
QUINN: I'm sorry to disappoint you, Captain. But I would only have be pretending to fit in to this mortal existence. This is my final gift to my people. Oh! Tell them those were my last words. I dearly thank you for making this poss
(Quinn dies.)
TUVOK: Doctor, do you generally keep samples of fatal poisons in storage?
EMH: No.
TUVOK: The replicators will not produce them either.
JANEWAY: So how did he get his hands on Nogatch hemlock?
Q: I got it for him.
TUVOK: You assisted his suicide?
Q: Illogical, Tuvok? 1 don't think so. By demanding to end his life, he taught me a little something about my own. He was right when he said the Continuum scared me back in line. I didn't have his courage or his convictions. He called me irrepressible. This was a man who was truly irrepressible. I only hope I make a worthy student.
JANEWAY: I imagine the Continuum won't be very happy with you, Q.
Q: I certainly hope not. Au revoir, Madam Captain. We will meet again.

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