Bedtime stories to help grown ups fall asleep in the deep, dark night.
This episode will be even more relaxing than nine hours on a shuttle with Q while dreaming of Guinan floating up from behind the bar.
Episode 982 – Q Who? | Snore Trek TNG
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, Trekkers, trackers, patrons, it’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast you make possible, my patron peeps. What do you say we get on with the show?
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever is keeping you awake, whether it’s thoughts, things you’re thinking about; past, present or future. So, thoughts, feelings, anything coming up for you emotionally related to your thoughts or just in general that’s there. Stuff you’re feeling, physical sensations, changes in time or temperature or routine of…life events. I know, I know. Yeah, that’s why I’m here.
Any of those things, or a lot of times it’s layers of those things. Whatever’s keeping you awake…whatever’s keeping you awake, I’d like to take your mind…keep you company and take your mind off of that. That’s my job. Speaking clearly is not my job, but what I could do is send my voice across the deep, dark night here, create a safe place with some smoothing and patting. I got that safe place smoothed, pat, rubbed down. I say hey, it’s open here for you. Then I send my voice across the deep, dark night. I use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders, superfluous tangents. I go off-topic, I get mixed up. I get mixed up, I go off-topic, I get confused. That’s what I do here, so…yeah. I’m already mixed up; that’s why. So, oh, all to put you to sleep and keep you company while you drift off.
If you’re new…if you’re a regular listener, that was really a lull there. I got mixed up. I said, what? Where was I? But if you’re a regular listener…so, if you’re a regular listener, that’s pretty early for me to get mixed up, I think. If you’re a new listener, I’m glad you’re here. Let me give you some information about the podcast so that you can understand how different it is and hopefully it’ll help you fall asleep. But you probably want some information ‘cause if you’re new, you may be skeptical, you may be doubtful, you may be unsure. So, let me tell you…so, a couple things if you’re knew to know; one, this is a podcast you don’t really listen to, obviously. I’ve done probably a thousand of these intros and I still can’t do them in a concise way. So, this is a podcast you more consume like when you’re looking at water.
There’s sometimes when you’re looking at water, tropical water, you might say oh boy, I hope I remember this. This really…that tropical water looks good. But there’s other times you’re looking at water and you say man, that water…I really like looking at water for a few minutes. Then you move on. You say wow, it’s flowing or waving or sitting. Even tepid water…talk about something that doesn’t get…that gets associated with only…all-or-nothing thinking which I’m a specialist at. But there’s…hopefully we could sing the praises of tepid water for the first time, balanced out with the needs that maybe it has to be dealt with. Again, we’re not gonna be all…I’m not gonna only sing the praises of tepid water. Tepid water; you’re imperfect like a human. That’s my ode.
Oh, so yeah, I go off…oh, so this is a podcast you don’t really listen to. It’s also a podcast that doesn’t really put you to sleep. I’m here to keep you company while you fall asleep. That’s why the episodes are about an hour, so you have plenty of time to drift off. You don’t have to wonder oh, is the episode gonna end before I fall asleep? No, I’m here. I’m here to keep you company if you’re awake or asleep. So, if you can’t sleep, I’m gonna be here, to. I’m here to the very end because that’s my job, is to be talking, keeping you company, taking your mind off of stuff whether you’re awake or asleep, whether you need me or not. So, if you can’t sleep, I’m gonna be here. I just want to repeat that again because being repetitive’s also another one of my specialties, but also it’s important. So, those are two things.
The other things that can throw new listeners off other than my creaky, dulcet tones, my stuttering, my getting mixed up, is it takes a couple times to get used to this show. Like I said, it’s totally natural to arrive to this podcast and be skeptical or doubtful because if you’re listening to this show, you’ve probably tried other stuff to put you to sleep, right? It may or may not have worked or it may or may not have worked consistently. So, that’s why I’m here, is to help. So, that’s another thing to know, is…I don’t know. I don’t know why I’m so mixed up today. So, if you’re skeptical or doubtful, that’s totally natural. Just give the show a few tries. That’s what most listeners that became regular listeners say in their reviews of the show; hey, it took two or three tries for me to get used to the podcast ‘cause it’s so different.
It took two or three tries for me to just start barely listening to the show. So, give it a few tries. There’s really nothing to lose, and I hope it can help. It doesn’t help everybody. I’m just not everybody’s cup of tea. If you listen a couple times or you know right away, Scoots, you’re not my cup of tea…you may even be using stronger language than that. You could always go to sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou. You can find a bunch of other sleep podcasts and stuff there. So, there’s that. What else? So, definitely not for everybody…oh, structure of the show. Now, my new listeners, I want to tell you about the structure of the show.
My regular listeners, they’ve kind of adjusted how they listen, to how they…the podcast is one part of their bedtime routine or one layer, or for some listeners it’s part of their when-they-wake-up routine or when they need-some-soothing routine, or maybe their all-night-listening routine. So, as a new listener, you could kinda see what works for you after you listen a couple times. But it definitely throws new listeners off, the structure of the show. Show starts off with a greeting; friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and something…I said something about Star Trek, right? Or didn’t I say…? Oh, and fans of tepid water everywhere. I’m sure there’s a planet with tepid water in Star Trek. It would be a interesting atmosphere.
But there’s gotta be…is that what…was primordial soup tepid by necessity? I don’t know. I picture it bubbling and churning occasionally to the sweet sounds of Helen Mirren’s voice. If I…I take my primordial soup with a side of Helen Mirren narration if I can. You say Scoots, where can I get that? I say, I don’t know. Maybe a IMAX movie? I’m not exactly sure. It’s somewhere in my archetypal brain. But where else was I? So…oh, so the structure of the show. So, a greeting, then there’s listener support for you, then there’s support for the podcast via the sponsors or Patreon. Then there’s an intro. The intro starts somewhere around six or eight minutes into the show and it runs for about twelve to twenty minutes long. I’ll explain more about the intro.
Then after the intro is business, more sponsor stuff; just, that’s where…that’s the prime spot sponsors want to be in, is the first…after the first third of a podcast. Plus, this show’s supposed to ease you into bedtime, so that’s the sponsors. Then there’s our Star Trek coverage. We’ll be talking about the episode Q Who? You don’t need to have seen Star Trek: The Next Generation before to enjoy this. It’ll be very…it’ll put you to sleep or take your mind off of stuff no matter if you’re familiar with it or not. So, and that will probably be around fifty, fifty-five minutes long. Then there’s some thank-yous at the end of the show. So, that’s the structure of the show. The reason the intro is so long…or some people at first when they say why is the intro so long, is to ease you into bedtime.
It’s to help…I’m here to walk at your side while you fall asleep. [00:10:00] For a lot of us, that means doing something to wind down or get ready for bed, or get in bed and get comfortable, or do something else relaxing for fifteen or twenty minutes, or just not have the pressure to fall asleep. You could get in your bed and get comfortable, and maybe you’re sitting up or maybe something else, and you’re listening. There’s no pressure to fall asleep. We’re winding down, we’re leaving the day behind, and that’s what the intro is. So, for new listeners, you kinda get the idea…what to expect. I just provide example after example by going off-topic. For regular listeners, it’s familiar but different every single time.
That way, whatever parts of you are keeping you awake or jockeying for your attention, they can’t really adjust ‘cause it’s different every time. They can’t say well, I know what Scoots is gonna say next. Then more say well, eventually Scoots will…is he gonna…? Then they say well, is he gonna talk about tepid…? When’s he gonna talk about…? Will he remember to talk about tepid water ever again? How much of Scoots’ entire…some people are, whatever, 98% water. Scoots is 88% primordial soup. I say actually, no. We recently got it measured; I’m primordial goop. I’m 44% primordial goop, 44% primordial soup. So, even my primordial is watered down. Hubba, hubba. Talk about…say, Scoots doesn’t do dad jokes. He does…I don’t know what to call them. He does sleepy half-jokes.
So, okay, so that’s the structure of the show. The reason I make the podcast is because…two reasons; I’ve been there tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep. That was me last night, trouble staying asleep. So, I know how it feels. I know how it can feel. I know how it can feel physically, emotionally. The thoughts, the feelings, the physical sensations, I’ve had those. So, if I can keep you company and take your mind off of some of that so you can drift back off or you could get to sleep, that’s really…makes me feel good because I know how it feels when it doesn’t feel good. If I can make something out of bedtime that you look forward to instead of D-R-E-A-D-I-N-Ging or whatever, however the…whatever that word is.
That’s how I’ve always viewed bedtime before I started making this podcast. If I can make it something at least neutral, that’s special to me. Then, the other thing is you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve some rest. You deserve to be rested for tomorrow so you could live your life. If that can happen, our world’s a better place. Some people brush that off or say it’s whatever…I don’t know. But it is important and it is true. It’s actually a fact; if you’re a little bit more rested, the entire world’s a little bit better, so that’s important to me. I mean, I think that’s mostly it. I guess I was trying to get back to that tepid water. I guess all-or-nothing thinking, like I said, is a specialty of mine. So, when I first thought of tepid water, I said okay, well, here’s all the things…I say okay, well, yeah, those are all things associated with tepid water.
But there’s…it’s…also might be nice to look at. Some people may call it a home, some beings, even though you’re saying some of those beings, we…as humans, we prefer they don’t make their homes there. You could also say it’s not the temperature; it’s a temperature that’s neither cooling nor soothing. I’d say, you’ve…you’re like me; you’ve waded into tepid water before. I hear you. I know how…tepid water; I know how it feels. That could be a poster with…that could be on the cat poster, too. I’d say yeah, I know how you feel. Tepid water? I know how you feel. I’ve felt tepid. You say Scoots, how do you approach adventure? Like tepid water, man. I got my toolbox full of primordial goop and I tepidly approach adventure. So, but yeah, I don’t…I guess I wouldn’t call tepid water underrated.
I would just say let’s try to look at it in a more…like in a not all-or-nothing way because I say well, I just don’t know quite enough about you to totally sing your praises other than to say tepid water; give it a shot. Look at it for a little while. You don’t need to wade into it, but maybe even I could wade into it one day or dip my toe in and say huh, that is an interesting temperature. The temperature of tepid water is normally the same temperature as soup after…soup that you don’t have to blow on but is still a good temperature to consume. That’s the temperature I associate with tepid water. Maybe a bit cooler than that, ‘cause you say it’s not bath…it’s not the temperature of bathwater. Oh, that sweet, sweet bathwater that’s ready to relax us. No, but…so, I don’t know.
Tepid water; give…did I say tepid water, give it a shot? So, I don’t know. I guess…I mean, as much as I wanted to sing your praises, I’m sorry, tepid water. Alls I can say is that…I guess I could say I gotta put it back on me. I have to accept my responsibility to go out there and give you a…give you more attention of my attention. Being in the Present Moment with Tepid Water, one of my many books that I’ll never write, or meditations on existence. So, to get back to all of you dear listeners, I’m glad you’re here. I work really hard on this show. It takes a few tries to get used to but I really hope, I really yearn, I really strive, I really want to help you fall asleep. Thank you again for coming by, and here’s a couple ways we’re able to do this for you free twice a week.
Alright everybody, it’s Scoots here and I want to thank all the patrons who submitted ideas for this round of Star Trek episodes, The Next Generation. I’m just getting everything…let’s get this started right here, this TNG. Let’s get it started, Scoots. Well, I’m trying to. Alright, so, I have the closed captions turned on. I have it on mute and I’m ready to play it here. We’re covering tonight Q Who? Q Who? Not boo-hoo. This is a boo-hoo episode. I guess I never covered this before. Maybe this will be a B-O-R-G-centric round of TNG episodes. I’m not sure. I’m not even sure how we’re gonna soften the old…our silicon friends. Silicon, I think. These are our friends that…bio-silicon, or what do they call that? There’s something. Growth-hacking? No. I don’t know. We’ll think of it, though.
But this starts off with an Enterprise…let’s do the poetry-style readings first ‘cause I kinda liked that from the tail end of The Mandalorian season, so I’ll read a page or two and then we’ll go through and hit Play because yeah, this writing…straight and Enterprise spree, or space. Charlotte pledge, hot chocolate, please. Sound effect confirms order? Question mark. Check the dialogue, Scoots. It says the whole episode!! Exclamation point, exclamation point. Geordi, but spelled with Geode is tense. Oh, so great or no great. Oh, great liking. Multitask…oh, not great listening. Multitasking. That glass must be warm! Exclamation point, or is it a double-walled glass? What is that? Splat. Oh, captain. Wondering about O Captain, My Captain. Ensign, Star Base 173, my friend. Poor Sonya!! Exclamation point, exclamation point.
Crayon, first impsing!! Exclamation point, exclamation point. Carry on, first impressions. I can interpret that. First impressions; I wrote it again. Dialogue…when I say dialogue, that’s when it means my notes…Scoots, check the dialogue. More foreshadowing, but I’ve spelled foreshadowing with like, forty-five syllables. F-O-R-E-S-H-A-W-D-O-L-I-N-G. I mean, I just wrote it quickly. Deck 9, in shuttle. Blue life…blue light. WTF dialogue. A little cleaning. [00:20:00] Nowhere near your vessel. Shuttle alone in space. So, that was our first segment. So yeah, we have the Enterprise moving in space or seemingly moving. Goes by on our right side. We have Sonya ordering some hot chocolate. Geordi gives her a hard time for saying please. People don’t normally do that.
She said well, if it’s intelligent circuitry, why not? Artificial intelligence can be dehumanizing, so why not some simple courtesies? I’ll just pause it here ‘cause I just wonder how far in the future this foreshadowing goes because I’m not super-familiar with the Borg. I mean, I’m familiar enough. I don’t have a in-depth familiarity with the Borg storyline. I mean, I think I’ve seen all the episodes once and whatever…I think there was one of the films, and I’ve seen that. But I just wonder…so this is Ensign Sonya Gomez and she says some things that I say, is she gonna be…I don’t know. What are the roles…leadership roles? But does her character…at least in the canon, she’s really saying it all not just for this episode, but I say I wonder if that’s actually the future solution to the Borg.
So, really deep, this…and who…I don’t think there actually is a payoff at the end of the episode, at least with Sonya. But so, she’s getting a hot chocolate, says please. For someone who just arrived, you aren’t shy with your opinions, Geordi says. She’s nervous; talking too much? No. Well, I have a motor mouth when I’m excited. Excited to be here on the Enterprise, you know, this assignment. This is when Geordi’s kind of multitasking and not listening. Phase antimatter work is…Geordi knows her speciality. She’s the best. She says okay, well…and he says it’s okay to be excited. Look, Sonya, maybe you shouldn’t have hot cocoa or hot chocolate on the…near the workstations in Engineering. I say well, why’d they put one right by the…? Why don’t they put…?
It seemed like they only walked four steps and I didn’t see a sign; please don’t take any beverages during…from this, whatever, generator thing. I forgot; food moderator. But then she spills it on Captain Picard, but it’s not warm. I mean, it’s not hot. Just a little awkward moment, her first meeting with…she’s a recent academy graduate from Star Base 173. Well, Ensign Sonya Gomez, I’ll just change my uniform. Don’t worry about it. Geordi does take the blame since he is chief…you know, he’s…and then Sonya says I’m excited to be here on the Enterprise. Promise to serve you and my ship. I think this is also this humanism here. We see that Sonya’s a human, a real human being. I mean, I don’t…maybe I’m projecting but I say wow, this is brilliant.
Then she says first…and then again you get…you say Scoots, do you think one round of foreshadowing is enough? I say, no. First there was a deep foreshadowing; now there’s more of a surface one. First impressions, right? First impressions are the most important. It’s a meeting the captain won’t soon forget. Bum-bum-bum. Then our captain goes to a turbo lift. Turbo Lift 1, I believe. Wants to go to the officer’s quarters. Oh no, Turbo Lift 2; sorry. Gets off. He’s in a shuttle. Q’s waiting for him. Mon capitane. First, the captain doesn’t realize it. Shuttlecraft 6. He turns around; Q. Well, you’re careless. Let me clean you. He cleans him with a swipe. Happy to provide a cleaning service. Picard says you’re not supposed to trouble my ship. He goes, I’m not troubling your ship. I’m not anywhere near your vessel.
Neither are you. Captain sits down and says yeah, you’re in the middle of nowhere, computer. Then we get the opening. Then to go back, we have Geordi and Sonya talking. 10.4 around slowdown. Only the best. We’re going to be the first, I promise. Q who…Q who. Side shot. 104 something, quiet. Oh, Ten Forward. Guinan; oh dear with sound effects, like a Jason movie. Oh, the sound effects are like a movie with…that movie, kid…Jason, the kid that…the kid that loved disco skating. She walks around for a while. First time to call the bridge. Anything uncertain or something? Unwarranted? More music, shuttle. Q over Picard’s shoulder. Petulance; it will in time. Ten Forward; Geordi now wants the help. Guinan, leave our full glasses and drinks here for you. Troi rolls up on the bridge, too. She knows.
Computer, locate WTF. Looks like the shuttle’s missing. All stop. Question; how does all stop work? Dialogue. I think I can assure…take it easy. Procedure time. Engage. First odd or oblong. Oh, First Officer Log. No, it is to crisper. Spherical pattern. No, it is…oh, he knows it’s assumption. That’s what I said in the First Officer’s Log. Lots of nods between Data and Wes. That’s one of my favorite things and that somebody noticed one time, that when I said she moves in spherical ways…I forgot even whom…oh, BB-88 moves…BB-8 moves in spherical ways. That was a song I’ve always wanted U2…the parody U2 song I never wrote, BB-8 Moves in Spherical Ways. You say well, no; BB-8’s on a moving sphere. It’s different. I’d say okay, you got me with a technicality. Holy moly.
Shuttle; Q has request ball, racquetball. Swoosh to Ten Forward; empty. Guinan…she does the thing behind the bar…it was like a dream, I put, ‘cause she comes up behind the bar, like when you do the fake elevator thing behind the couch or whatever, but more like you’d see somebody in a dream. You’re looking at a bar and then all of a sudden Guinan rises up behind it…bridge; in Ten Forward. That’s our ad break, so let’s see how it goes. So, we got here. Center screen, off-left center. Enterprise goes underneath us. Then it jets off. Oh, that’s your opening to the space…the final frontier. Geordi’s talking about reading Sonya’s graduating thesis. You’re the best. We requested you. Where are we going? Ten Forward. You gotta forget about work and relax. Look at the stars. You need to slow down.
She goes oh, no, no, no. He goes, you’re awfully young to be so driven. She goes yeah, that’s what it takes getting on the Enterprise, you silly goose. Geordi, Lieutenant…he goes, it’s okay, go on. She says, this is…whatever’s out here, we’re gonna be the first humans to see it and I want to be a part of that. I want to understand. He says Sonya, relax. You’re here, you’ve made it, but you can’t be banging into walls. I’ll be there for you, believe me. That ends up not being foreshadowing. Or he says, I’ll be there for Ensign Gomez to get her work done, but for you as a person, not so sure. Then we have Guinan. She’s having a convo at the bar with somebody who’s drinking something the color of Mountain Dew. She starts to look around. She senses something. Arms at her side. Hm.
She moves very swiftly. She’s staring, looking around, definitely senses something. Sonya and Geordi are having a conversation about work. Geordi’s ‘splaining a bit. Get a nice [00:30:00] close-up of Guinan’s thoughtful face. Then she turns away. She keeps walking; she’s about to go…oh no, she calls the bridge. Ten Forward. They say you never called the bridge before. That’s what Riker says. Captain on board? I don’t know. Everything alright? I don’t know. Anything unusual? I don’t know. Worf, anything unusual? Nah. Why do you ask? She goes, how’s the shuttle monitoring system? Who’s in charge of that? Forget I called. She shuts off. Then we go back to the shuttle. We see a overhead shot. Q’s kinda bugging Picard. Locator beam’s not gonna help you. We’re too far away.
They’re not gonna look out here. He goes, stop this. Get me back to my ship. Q says, change your attitude. Petulance does not become you. We’ve got business. Picard’s like, this isn’t gonna compel me to talk to you. I’m not gonna play your games. He whispers right in his ear; it will in time. Then we go back to Geordi and…and then Geordi says excuse me, Sonya. Guinan, what’s up? You’re staring out the window. Everything okay? She goes, I don’t know. Geordi knows. Geordi’s intuition kinda vibrates with Guinan’s. He says, I’m gonna go look in engineering. But of course, they don’t clean up after themselves. Troi knows something’s up. She says, where’s the captain? In his quarters. She goes on her screen. Nope. She goes, I’m calling him. Not answering.
Commander Picard’s not on board, the computer says. Wes and Data have a look. Shuttle’s missing from Bay 2. All stop. Answering all stop. We see the ship go to a stop. Worf says I’ve hailed the shuttle all frequencies; nobody’s…no response. Not in this sector; no ships in this sector. Riker says I think we can assume Picard’s on that shuttle. Wes says well, that doesn’t make any sense. Then he says take it easy, Wes. Methodical search. It’s a spherical pattern with us at the center. We’ll just plot a search pattern. Maybe they do a spherical thing later. But they do exactly what Q says at first, searching. Engage, Crusher. Then the First Officer Log 42761.3; can’t determine why or how Picard left. Can’t even be certain he’s in the missing shuttle, but that’s an assumption on which we’re proceeding.
Six hours we’ve been searching. Can you imagine six hours with Q, just sitting around there? That’s when they go to a spherical pattern, widening the area beyond warp drive. Exchange of looks and nods. Q’s playing racquetball. I’m ageless; we could stay out here all day, Picard. Picard’s arms are crossed. He’s ignoring the child. Enterprise will continue without me. I don’t care. He goes, you’re an impossibly stubborn human, Q says to Picard. Picard raises his voice; return me to my ship. Q says if you give me a full hearing. Picard says, okay. Then they’re on Ten Forward, a proper venue prior our discussion. Picard stands up; WTF. This is when Guinan just rises up behind the bar like out of a dream like she’s in a dream, too.
Then the bridge…they’re like, captain…Worf says he’s back on ship and the shuttle’s back on the ship. Captain Picard’s in Ten Forward. Zoom on Riker who’s smiling. He heads out to go look at him and we go to a commercial. So, let’s see what we got in my poetry. On Riker…oh, and Worf; that was before…Enterprise, but it looks like I put Enterplise. Not wing music or howling music. Guinan, VQ; they both use hand powers. Guinan, two hands, Q, one hand. Picard raises his voice. Redoubtable, willing and able. Not all Q are alike. Picard dramatically sits at the bar, fixes his shirt, sends Worf out. Q was kicked out of the Continuum. Oh, love…is that what it says? Love Riker over Q’s shoulder? Simply speaking, we don’t trust you. Picard, be prepared. Q and Guinan have a secret. Riker; smugness. Not resolute.
Help not required. Q pouts them off in a spin. Q!… Exclamation point, dot, dot, dot. Slow stop. Bailing…all stop, or bridge, all stop. Stay deuce, status…oh, status. Status. Status; that’s how Picard says it. J-25, two years plus. POS…I don’t think that’s what that said. 185; that’s what it is to Star Base 185. Why? Companion, composition, captain? Oh, he says con permiso, capitane. Picard and Riker lean in to Guinan. Stop back now. Domma mesa looks. Ship…Captain’s Log. Compelled to investigate. Call M. Series of roads…only rips in the surface. We are being probed. A ship, a cube. Full scan. Yellow Alert; stand down. Something generalized. Picard stands. Guinan; input. She makes off to room. She was…oh, so they call her. She was already staring out the window…something. She was already watching.
Waning…Borg shows up. Why…W-H-I-D-F-I-E-D is working. We have an intake ad. So, some of my writing…so, let’s see, we go to commercial, we come back. All stop, or maybe the Enterprise was already stopped. Guinan says I knew it was you. You? Picard, you gotta get this creature off your ship. I can do it for you. Q raises his hand like he’s gonna use some magic. Guinan raises hers. We’ve had some dealings two centuries ago. This creature’s not what she appears to be. She’s an imp. Anywhere she goes, trouble follows. Picard goes dude, you’re talking about yourself. Cut the projection. Guinan’s not the issue; you are. You said you would stop meddling with us. Q says, I have. Picard says, what do you want? State your business and get on with it. Q says, she’s diverting us from my purpose being here.
So, they lower their hands. Riker rolls in with Worf which is, oh, redoubtable Riker; micro-brain. Growl for me. Let me know you still care. Q says, my purpose is to join you. Join us as what? A member of the Q, willing and able. Ready to serve. This ship is already home for…what about home for a homeless entity? Homeless? You got kicked out? Guinan says some of the Q…or Continuum are respectable. Picard goes, really? You’re ready and willing to serve starting at the bottom? Could you handle being a crew person? What task is too menial for an entity? That’s when he pulls down his shirt and sits down. Q says, are you mocking me? He goes no, I’m not mocking you. He goes, your mission is similar, so we’re…your mission…we’re seeking out interesting lifeforms like you. It’s provocative learning about you.
You’re almost chaos. Q says let me present my argument, captain. He goes yeah, I was asked to leave the Q Continuum. [00:40:00] I’ve been wandering around vaguely, bored, without purpose. Then I…remembers all our good times. Riker says, good times? You put us on trial, then you asked me to join the Q Continuum. They go back and forth. Here’s where I want to be, Q says. Think of the advantages. I don’t need any special treatment, although I can’t imagine why…I’m not gonna renounce my powers to become as weak as all of you. Guinan’s like, you gotta be kidding me. I’m gonna get back to work. Picard says, no. He goes come on, please let me try in fairness? They go, in fairness? You’re not being fair to us. False equivalency is like, Q’s specialty, I guess. Picard says well, we just don’t trust you.
That’s how simple it is. Q says, you might not trust me, but maybe you need me. You’re not prepared for what awaits you out there. Picard, holy moly, I mean, talk about life lessons, life lessons for captain…from Commander Picard. How can we be prepared for what we do not know? But I do know we’re ready to encounter it. They say, really? Yeah. That’s why we’re here. Q goes, you’re arrogant, man. He looks over at Guinan. He goes, they don’t know what’s out there. She goes, they’ll learn. Adaptation’s their greatest advantage. Q goes they’re moving too fast, faster than they should. By whose calculations? This is where it gets into Greek and Roman tragedy or comedy or whatever, where it does feel like these are two godlike figures, Guinan and Q, but not all-powerful.
So, they’re kind of like, looking at these humans…or you could look at it as a model of, whatever, our internal consciousness and how they’re both trying to care for us in different misguided ways. Well, actually, Guinan is more like oh, well, I’ll be here while you learn your lessons, as hard as that would be for me to just be here while you learn. I can’t intercede like Guinan, except a lack of control where Q’s more like well, what can I do to push you to learn? He says nothing. You’re not ready for what’s out here. You’re moving into areas of the galaxy where wonders more incredible than you could possibly imagine…so it’s not all bad, but it’s…he is…he goes, I’m just offering myself as a guide and you’re rejecting me. Riker says we’ll just have to do our best. He goes, you’re smug. He goes, it’s not smugness. It’s not arrogance.
We’re resolute, determined. This is Picard; and your help is not required. Q is just so mad that he spins the ship out. Guinan says don’t do it. The ship spins across space, slows down. Q glares at them as it skids. It’s not fully stopped; just in a dramatic way. Picard stands up. Where are we at? All stop. Status? 7,000 lightyears we just traveled in about two seconds. System J-25. Two years to the nearest star base at max warp. Two days and seven months. Then Riker says, why? Well, I’ll give you a taste of your future. Adios…a preview of things to come. Con permiso, Capitan. The hall is rented, the orchestra engaged, and now it’s time to see if you can dance. Q goes bye-bye. They look at Guinan. He goes Guinan, your people have been here. What…? She just nods. She goes, yeah.
What can you tell us? She goes if I were you, I’d start back now. Again, a different…goddess or part of our internal makeup. Then we go to the Captain’s Log. 42761; well, Guinan…despite Guinan’s warning, I’m compelled to investigate. Unexplored sector. Six planet…that’s when they find the planet. Roads but no cities. Was highly industrialized but now there’s nothing. Is this Guinan’s city…planet? I don’t know. It’s identical to what happened to the outpost along the Neutral Zone. We’re being probed. Source of the probe? A ship. It’s on a intercept course, Worf says. On screen. Zoom in. It’s a big cube. Picard says magnify though, not zoom in. Full scan. Yellow Alert. Keep the shields down. We don’t want to provoke it. Aye, sir. Data, what can you tell us about this ship? Strangely generalized.
No specific bridge. No command center. No engineering. No living quarters. No life signs. No indications at all. Worf, what’s its alert status? No shields, no weapons of any known design. Picard says, hailing frequency open. Hey, this is Jean-Luc Picard, USS Enterprise. No response. Captain Picard, Federation of Planets. He goes, Guinan? She’s already…he goes, activate your view screen, but she was already looking out the window at it. We need your input. She goes into her office, boots up…yeah, I’m here; got my view screen on. Picard says is this familiar, this life form? She goes, yep. My people encountered them a century ago. It destroyed our cities, scattered my people throughout the galaxy. They’re called the Borg. Protect yourself, captain, or there will be trouble. Picard turns. Shields up. Aye, sir.
All decks stand by. We see Geordi in Engineering. Then somebody appears in Engineering, a Borg, just kinda standing around looking at stuff. Something out of a 80s, 90s industrial scene. Somebody’s on board from the 80s, 90s, industrial scene. Then it goes to commercial. What do we got here? A face-off. Something…Geordi looks at Borg. Worf and Picard…cyborg checking out screens. Visual survey. Q shows up. Enhance Howard? Picard raises his arm in peace. Ignored. Q; still pulses. Starts using green lasers. Worf, Ensign out. Worf fails, Borg shows off. Use…winner…cam memes, big block. Oh, use whatever means necessary. Big blast. Another one shows up. This one has a shield; turns and glares, gets what it wants. When it leaves, it takes three things, maybe, off the Borg.
Star means double-check that on the tape…and goes. Face-off, conference room, dialogue. Exposition and problems. We’re being hailed. On-screen. Just a tall…you will be punished. Don’t defend yourself. Picard grunts at 20:45. Oh, 25:45. Collection minds of all of them. Q on screen. Teases, tractor beam, and music. Guinan stays behind. Warp 8, any heading. 18-second lock-on. Borg cuts a cylinder out…laser, like a roast. Ten at that bar, fire…ten at that bar. When ready, again. Tractor beam released. Dang, red, 27:18; Picard turns, pissed. 20%. Picard sneers. Conference; Geordi and new critics…fused, Geordi, very matter-of-fact. Stop it, Sonya. A shield’s right of course. Conference. What! Exclamation point. I wouldn’t go there. [00:50:00] Riker, rebellious. Lots of looks. Then the ad.
Alright, so let’s see what we got. A face-off between the ship and the cube. Geordi’s watching one of the Borg. It was probably looking to download music or something. Worf and Picard and a bunch of other security staff show up. What’s up? They watch the Borg who has…is a cyborg. Status? It’s making a visual survey or something. I don’t know. Now it’s in here. It’s looking at the computers. Q shows up; interesting, isn’t it? Not like anything you’ve ever seen; enhanced humanoid. Picard says what is it you want? Raises his hand; we mean you no harm. Do you understand me? It just kind of ignores him. Q says, understand you? You mean nothing to it. It’s not interested in your life form. Just a scout, first of many here to analyze your technology. May attempt to gain control of your ship. I wouldn’t let it.
Then it starts to shoot some laser…red…it’s more green lightning stuff. Picard says you can’t interrupt my ship. He says, Worf. Worf fires; it doesn’t work. Then it throws one of the ensigns. Then Worf’s…any means necessary. Worf shuts it down. It’s still functioning; it has this robotic arm. Then another one beams in, a little bit different stylistically. One was right robot-handed; this one’s left robot-handed but it also has a shield, so Worf can’t do anything. It does what it wants to do which is like, I don’t know. Then it turns the power on and off for a second. Then, okay, it goes to the other one, takes something from the chest, takes its ocular stuff. So, three things, and then it jets out. Then the other sleeping one jets out. Left a mark on the rug. Then we got a face-off again. Conference room.
They bring Guinan ‘cause Guinan’s had contact to participate in this conference. Are you aware of what happened in Main Engineering, Guinan? Yep. What happened with your people and the Borg? She goes well, I wasn’t there personally but from what I’ve…told, they came into our system and when they left, it wasn’t great. She goes, if they weren’t that…she goes, they don’t do things individually. That’s not their way. When they come, they’ll come in force. They don’t do anything piecemeal. Then the initial encounter, Data says, is just gathering information. Guinan goes, yep. Picard goes, how do we reason with them? She goes, you don’t. Or she goes, I’ve never known anyone successfully to reason with the Borg. Then Worf says Captain, they’re calling us. On screen.
That’s when a robotic voice says…first Picard says blah, blah, blah, they…we’ve analyzed your ship and can’t handle us, so don’t defend. Just let us do whatever we want. Out. They said don’t expect…you don’t want to be punished. Picard says, counselor? She goes, this isn’t an individual mind. There’s no leader. Troi says this, collective minds of all of them. Picard goes, I guess that would have advantages. Yeah, a single leader can make a mistake but combined…then Q comes on the screen; goes oh boy, sure you don’t want my help as a member of your crew? He disappears. Then the tractor beam locks on them. I wonder if Q has ever been theorized in fanfiction to just be a figment of Picard’s imagination, or how much of it was. They go back to the bridge. Beam’s draining our shields. It’s gonna pull…we’re in trouble.
Get moving. We’re held here by…it’s a tractor beam. Oh, okay. Shields…we got eighteen seconds. Take out the tractor beam. Got it. It takes a couple shots. Shields are down. Then the…oh, that’s when they take out a part of the ship with a laser, just a cylinder of a…I mean, I think all…one cylinder of the…whatever that thing’s called, the UFO part of the ship. What do they call it? I forgot. Platter? Then terminate that beam, Picard says, whenever we’re ready. Whatever it takes. So, they manage to do that. They actually put a big dent in the ship again. Then they put two or three more significant dents in the ship. Tractor beam is released. We’re maintaining integrity. But 27, 28, 29 on 4, 5, and 6, not good. So, you know, crew’s down by eighteen folks. Picard…what’s the condition of the other ship?
20% damage to their vessel. Picard is very, very angry, breathing through his nose, mouth closed. He goes, back to the conference room. Smells worse than a Q without a bath. Then this is when Geordi kind of…Sonya’s stressed, obviously. I say, okay, don’t you have other…doesn’t…shouldn’t Troi’s staff be right in…I don’t know; how do they handle it? What’s the protocol? It’s a stressful situation, you know. But I guess what Geordi’s saying is we gotta get our work done. We gotta get these shields operative. That’s the number one priority right now. You gotta ante your…what matters. Then they go back. Guinan, can you tell us anything more about the Borg? Bits and pieces. They say, anything. She says okay, they’re organic and artificial life. Borg is short for cyborg.
They’ve been developing for thousands of centuries. That’s a long time. Then Q shows up; Borg is the ultimate user, unlike any threat the Federation’s faced. They don’t care about politics, wealth, or power. They’re just interested in your ship and its technology. Then they’ll consume it. That’s end of story. Then Riker says this is all your fault, man. Q says, please. Then Picard says okay, take it easy. He goes, this is a serious situation, Q. Is this an illusion or real? Q says this is real as it gets, just like my so-called life. Then he just jets out. Everybody’s like dude, what a punk. Then Geordi says, we got the shields up. Okay, that’s good. Worf says okay, I’m looking at…I’m working on it. Riker says well, we’re gonna have to deal with them. Maybe we should find out more. Visit their ship? Riker says, yeah.
Picard goes, okay. Assemble a minimal away team of the most essential members of our crew. Guinan goes, what are you doing? What are you thinking? This is like, yeah, this balance of over-protection versus over-criticism or something. Data, Worf, and Riker are gonna go to the other ship. Troi even has to…she can’t even believe it. We go to a break. We come back from break; CLD face-off. Riker, Worf, and Data stun. No life signs. Energizes. Borg have standing desks and they’re in the workflow. Riker uses the term them when it’s like that, like a museum. Working collectively. Data sits, locks up. He says something like a juggernaut. I didn’t know what he meant by that. Walk to work…someone’s walking to work. Worf and Riker stop. Fascinating. Don’t see us or they don’t see us? Or they don’t care?
As that camera pulls out, ship is huge. Bridge…dialogue, walking the halls. Steam and sounds. Nursery; incredible. I mistook this; Picard says, describe it. Riker takes a big pause. I can’t. Biological, then implants. Humanoid brain. That was just a term. They didn’t show that; [01:00:00] don’t worry. Data is taking readings. Regenerating, repairing ship. Beam them away, Picard says. Let’s get the H-E-double hockey sticks outta here. Engage. Big music and pursuit on screen. Ten to three power. Repairs live. We see maximum warp…8.5, 8.8, 9. Photon; no. 9.65. Gaining. Q shows up. Out of your something. Stay where you’re baking ad. So yeah, they have the Captain’s Log. We’ve been provoked. Guinan calls them the Borg. We’ve neutralized their vessel. Riker’s heading there on an away team to learn more.
Laid in the coordinates. Let’s put you in the least-damaged section. They head out. Energize. First they’re ready for action but then that’s when they realize the Borg are just at their standing desks focused on their jobs. They’re confused; why don’t they react to us? Why aren’t there any life signs? Data says yeah, we were looking for individual life signs. This is all one. They go into these slots; they become a part of the ship. Only when they’re in slots, Data indicates, but because someone was walking around I say huh, I don’t know. One time I went to a bar in Las Vegas that was the Star Trek bar. Was in a hotel I think that doesn’t exist anymore. This was in the…I think it was in the aughts. I think there was Borg there. Go ahead, number one. Reading’s incorrect. Borg crew. Some kinda stasis. Explain.
Slots along the wall like compartments. Borg are somehow interconnected, working collectively. We’re gonna try to get into their main computer. Data looks at one of the workstations. Standing desk again with a monitor built into your mind. Each slot’s designed for a specific Borg, Data says. I see the spot where they make the connection. Technology required is mind-blowing, far beyond our capabilities. Gotta be a lot of advantages including speed. That’s when one Borg just walks by and ignores them. Then we see the massive size of the ship. Pretty cool special effect. Very industrial as the camera pulls out. O’Brien said get ready, O’Brien, in case there’s trouble. There’s more walking around. That’s when they say okay, they…these Borg are…they grow up. It was this bizarre part.
Someone got their first on-screen credit. It’s when Data says yo, they’re all repairing the ship. That’s why they’re so focused. That’s when Picard says okay, let’s get everybody outta there. That’s why they haven’t noticed our existence. The Borg are in pursuit as they start to try to leave. Picard is like, they do that zoom where he walks towards the camera. We see the ship following them. Ten to the third power…we see the ship starting to repair itself. It’s speeding up, even. It’s regenerating. They can’t outrun them. They can’t stop them with the photon torpedoes. Geordi even tries every trick. They try the torpedoes. They’re gonna follow this ship until you exhaust your fuel, and then you will be yours. Admit it, Picard; you’re out of your league. You should have stayed where you belong.
You see Picard glare. That was a little bit like…this scene is a little bit like the second Star…the third Star Wars trilogy, second movie. Last Jedi; I think that was the second movie, right? But yeah, they go…oh, okay, let’s read through this. Unable to maintain the gap. Yeah, they’re coming after us like on Star Wars, draining the shields. 12%, closing. 41%. Fire…not damaging. Q can outrun them. Relentless. Lost…last something. Oh, lost shields, lost engines. Q makes a speech. Tractor beam could…then they say we’ll use some torpedoes. Data says, that could mess us up. More music, drama music. Q; I’ll be leaving, then. Q, end this. Moi? I need you. I need you. Pleased snap. Spin back, slow stop. Q; a bit of a jerk. Star Base 83. Engage. Guinan and Picard playing three-level chess or something.
Picard is…Picard…stress is so good. Right thing for the wrong reasons. Kick in on comfafee. I don’t know what that says, so we’ll run through it here. So yeah, they’re trying to run from the Borg. Unable…they’re trying to drain our shields and then we’ll be helpless. So, they’re just gonna keep following us. Shields are reduced. Photon torpedoes don’t work. Can’t even damage their ship. Can’t outrun them, can’t destroy them. If you damage them, the essence of what they are remains. They regenerate and keep coming. Eventually you’ll slow down. They are relentless. Borg ship’s draining our shields again. Then the shields run out. Then the power goes out of the ship. Photon torpedoes…that’s when Data says don’t do it. Photon torpedoes are gonna mess up our ship. More drama music, a lot of looks.
They get ready to fire. Q says I’m gonna be leaving. Picard says, end this, Q. Moi? What makes you think I’m either inclined or capable of doing that? Picard says come on, if you can’t…won’t be able to kick us around anymore if we’re gone. He goes, you…this is a great speech. You want to make us worry? You made us worry. You want to make…show us we’re inadequate? You did that. I grant that. Such a way of using defeat as…say if you want me to say I need you, I need you. That’s when Q fixes it all with one snap. He’s so pleased with himself. He spins the ship. Everyone seems confused ‘cause obviously they travel millions of miles in a split second. 070 mark 63, back where we started. Q disappears then goes, that was difficult. Any man…another man would have been humiliated to say those words.
But you weren’t afraid to ask for help. Picard goes I understand what you did here, but this…you could have taught me the lesson another way, dude. It’s not safe out there. It’s wondrous with treasures but not for the timid. Then he disappears. Mr. Crusher, set course to the nearest Star Base. Course laid in for star base. Engage. They get ready to head out. Enterprise goes over our left shoulder, or my left shoulder, it felt like. Then this is…Q set into events a series of motions bringing you in contact with the Borg — this is Guinan — sooner than should have. Now, perhaps when you’re ready, it might be possible to establish a relationship with them but for now, for right now, you’re just raw material to them. But since you’re aware of…they’re aware of your existence…and then they both pause. Oh, boy.
They’ll be coming, Picard says. Guinan says, you can bet on it. Picard leans back, very thoughtful. Deep breath. Stands, paces, turns, and says well, Q did…maybe did the right thing for the wrong reason. What do you mean? How so? Well, perhaps what we most needed was a kick in our complacency, to prepare us for what lies ahead. Picard and Guinan share a long look. He looks at the game, makes his move. He was gold. Guinan laughs. I guess the episode comes to a conclusion there. So, that’s the end of [01:10:00] the episode. Pretty good one, I think. Goodnight, everybody.
[END OF RECORDING]
- Con Permiso, Capitan
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Helen Mirren
- Friday the 13th
Notable Talking Points:
- A Temperature Neither Cooling nor Soothing
- An 80s/90s Industrial Scene
- Playing like 3 Level Chess
Listen to the latest episodes
Hi, you can call me Scooter.
Drew Ackerman is the creator and host of Sleep With Me, the one-of-a-kind bedtime story podcast featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Buzzfeed, Mental Floss, and Dr. Oz. Created in 2013, Sleep With Me combines the pain of insomnia with the relief of laughing and turns it into a unique storytelling podcast. Through Sleep With Me, Drew has dedicated himself to help those who feel alone in the deep dark night and just need someone to tell them a bedtime story.