Please be gentle. This is the first time I've done this sort of thing!

1

The stars shone brilliantly against the void, their feeble light reaching through time and space, only to be naught but twinkles in the night sky of Fenris.

Logan Grimnar, Chapter Master of the Vlka Fenryka, stood on the viewing deck of his Chapter's ancient flagship, Allfather's Honour. His enhanced eyes moved from star to star. His mind brought up the names immediately.

Baal, Nocturne, Armageddon, Holy Terra. And of course, Cadia.

As he waited, the door opened quietly behind him, barely groaning, as if in reverence to the towering figure of the Wolf King. The latter sighed, and turned around, to gaze upon a mortal. Immaculately dressed in red and gold, with countless medals of service adorning her chest, she bowed, making the sign of the Aquila. "My Lord."

Logan smiled. "Admiral Ymir."

Karyn Ymir smiled, as her bright blue eyes met his. Whether it was out of awe, religiousness, or something else, the Old Wolf could not say. "And why are you here?"

"The fleet is fully assembled, and stands ready to follow your command."

The Wolf laughed. It was a bestial, primal sound, like the roar of a waterfall on rocks. Ymir stepped back a few paces. "My Lord?" she repeated, this time in a squeaky tone.

"Sorry!" Logan coughed, as he stopped laughing. "Sorry, lass! But I have to wonder, why in the Emperor's name, would you come all the way here, to tell me, 'the fleet is ready'?"

"Well, milord, I figured you would appreciate it more..if it, you know, came from me.. directly I mean." She said, flustered, as she looked around at the somber grey walls of the deck.

The massive Astartes shrugged. "Very well. But maybe next time, just let the servitors and serfs do their job, eh? I mean, you still have a life, do you not?"

"Yes, milord."

"How're the little ones?"

Ymir grimaced. "Not exactly little anymore, milord. Melkyth is thirteen, and Rhisya is eleven."

"Let me guess." Logan emphasized the last word, though he knew it was anything but. "Melkyth wants to become one of us, and Rhisya wants to follow in your footsteps and become an Admiral in the Navy?"

Ymir, to her credit, maintained a straight face. "Indeed milord."

Logan laughed once more, rattling the air itself around him. Then, just as quickly as the jovial mood had arrived, it disappeared.

"Admiral, order all ships to prepare to jump to Cadia."

For a moment, Ymir turned around, fully intending to head to the bridge, and convey the orders to her captains. Then she stopped, and turned back.

"Cadia?" she asked, her eyes filled with an unsaid question of vast implications.

Logan Grimnar nodded, his eyes blazing.

"Aye lass. Cadia."

Captain's log. We are currently heading to the Relis System, answering a distress call from an unknown ship. According to Lieutenant Data, the ship appears to be completely different from any in the catalogs of the Federation. Could this be a new contact?

"Perhaps it is..."

Jean-Luc Picard sighed with frustration and barely controlled anger, as the voice came from everywhere, and nowhere. Him again. "What now, Q?"

A bright flash enveloped his quarters in light, before disappearing to reveal the tall, roguish, and endlessly irritating figure of Q.

The omnipotent being smiled daggers at him, and said in a dramatically hurt tone. "Oh come now, Jean-Luc. Is that any way to greet your friend?"

Picard grimaced. "You have a big interpretation of that word, Q."

"Aww, you're too kind, Jean!" Q replied happily. "But anyways, I won't be here for long. I only come here to deliver a message of utmost importance."

Oh no. Picard stiffened. Whenever Q said such things, it always ended with multiple casualties and trouble for him. "What do you want, Q?!" he snapped.

Q chuckled. "I want nothing! Call this a,..professional courtesy, Mon Capitaine."

"I have no time for your courtesies! We're dealing with a life or death situation!"'

Q laughed. "Indeed, indeed! But not for them, Picard. They are not the ones facing such a situation. It's you."

Picard stood up, and began to walk toward the door, not intending to stay and waste time. As the door opened, however, he entered his own quarters. Again. He turned around, only to see the door close. The former attempted to leave again, walking through the door, only to enter his quarters a second time. Q stood in front of him, his smile gone, and replaced by a serious look.

"You're not leaving, Picard." He said. "You must listen."

Picard breathed in, attempting to keep calm. It took all his self control not to punch Q in the face.

"What the hell do you want, Q?!"

"Simple." replied Q. "Leave. Do not respond to the distress call."

Picard stared, not sure if he'd heard right. "I beg your pardon?!"

"Leave, mon capitaine. This ship does not concern you."

Is this some kind of test? Picard wondered. Q did not seem to be joking. And despite his absolutely enraging persona, Q had never acted without good reason. Even when he had arguably endangered Picard and his crew, throwing them into the hands of the Borg, he had done so for the reason of giving the Federation enough warning to prepare beforehand.

But Q was arrogant as well. And though Picard sensed danger in ignoring Q, he decided to do so anyway. His conscience demanded nothing less. He walked toward the door, fully expecting Q to bend reality to prevent him leaving again.

To his surprise however, the door opened into the corridor. He turned to look at Q, and flinched.

Q's face itself had changed. Gone was the happy-but-bored demeanor. It was replaced by a dark, thunderous glare. Q raised his finger toward Picard. "I warned you, Captain." He growled, before leaving.

Picard closed his eyes, hoping he was only imagining the sudden dread that filled him.

A/N: A small warning. My uploads may not be very frequent, considering that I have a load of exams coming up. But I'll try my best.

Til next time, this has been,

SpectreOfMars