The Return of Charlie Evans- Chapter 7

Riker, Vickers, Rand, Sito , Amanda and Charlie walked out of Jim's café. They picked up their pace a bit when Amanda reminded the others that time was of the essence. They made it to the Blue Goose apartment building and quickly charged up the stairs.

"The nice thing about Thasian powers is that you don't need a key." Charlie said, pointing a finger at the lock. It clicked and the door opened.

"Hey, Charlie," Rand said with amazement, "You could make a good living as a locksmith if you decide to stay here in this little town."

Charlie grinned.

"Wow, I never thought of that."

"Charlie, about your powers," Amanda addressed him with concern. "I am here to take your Q powers away so the man who is, hopefully, still in Seven's buffer, won't be able to track you."

"I don't think there is anything beyond his capabilities, Amanda. You have the ability to remove my Q powers? I never knew that."

She nodded.

"There is one thing that has me worried." Rand said softly. "If his Q powers are taken from him, wouldn't that affect him in some way?"

"I doubt it, Yeoman. But, if you are concerned, I can always bring Dr. Crusher here. There is little risk of anyone walking in on us here, unless…" She glanced back at Evans. "…You have paid your rent for the month, haven't you, Charlie?"

"Yes."

"Very good." She waved her hand. A very astonished chief medical officer of the Enterprise-D appeared before them, and then quickly regained her composure.

"Will, what am I…?" Crusher started to ask the first officer, and then she noticed Amanda and Sito standing beside him. "Amanda and…are you Sito?" She asked in astonishment.

The Bajoran girl nodded.

"It is good to see you again, Dr. Crusher. I was rescued by Amanda's people."

"The Q actually did a good thing? I'm impressed. Why am I here?"

"We need your opinion, Doctor." Will said. "Let's assume for a moment that Mr. Evans here has become dependant on his Q powers. Would it hurt him if we took them away?"

"I suppose that depends on how much power will be taken from him. Will his Thasian abilities remain intact?"

"Yes."

"Since Mr. Evans—"

"Please don't call me that. I never liked it." Charlie interrupted again.

"My apologies, sir. As I was saying, Charles has had his Thasian powers a lot longer than his Q powers. His system has probably become quite dependant on them. If we were to make him fully human again, he would not survive. However, in my professional opinion, taking away his Q powers will in no way harm him."

"Thank you, Doctor. I will return you to the Enterprise-D now." Beverly Crusher nodded and vanished with another wave of Amanda's hand.

"Just out of historical curiosity, Mr. Seven," Tola asked as she and Worf aided the mysterious man with the machinery, "What exactly is your relationship with Mr. Evans?"

Seven smiled tensely.

"You want to update your files?"

"Something like that. For us, it has been almost a century since we last heard from this sector."

"Well, young lady, I suppose you could say that I am Charlie's surrogate parent. At least, that's been my role since he faded off the original Enterprise Bridge. When the Thasians recaptured him, he was understandably very unhappy about his predicament. Here he was, mostly still human, among beings he couldn't even talk to. The Thasians felt that I could be of some help in that department."

"Were you?"

"I believe so. He is still pretty uncomfortable being around people his own kind, but, as his guide, I have steered him mostly in the right direction. He still has small personality quirks that need to be worked out, but, he is a lot more capable of conducting himself properly among other humans. That's why I think the Thasians decided to let him go on a trial basis, at first. They only recently let him stay on twentieth century Earth for as long as he wanted. As long as he doesn't hurt anyone, he can stay there. However…Tola…the moment he gets cocky, they will whisk him back here where he will stay indefinitely. He's kept on a pretty tight leash."

"They are watching him now?"

"Yes. They also know what he is thinking at this moment."

Charlie knew he didn't have much time. He had to devise a way to escape the Q, and, at the same time, save his own life and the life of his companions, especially Janice. He felt it was very sweet of her to come to his rescue, even though she couldn't really do anything. Just seeing her again made him happy. He looked into her lovely face, and then thought of a clever deception. He hated doing this to her, but there appeared to be no other choice. He also knew that Amanda was still somewhat of a novice when it came to being a Q. This had to be good. He had to thoroughly convince everyone in the room that he was dying. He braced himself for when Amanda started to withdraw the Q energy from him.

He gasped and his eyes bugged out. Then, clutching his head in apparent agony, he screamed and collapsed. As a human with Thasian powers, he could fake his own death, if only for a few minutes. That was something of a lost art among the Q.

"Charlie!" Janice yelped, running to him and kneeling beside him, cradling his head, which really did hurt by now, on her lap. "Charlie, what is it? What's wrong?"

"It looks like Red was wrong…." He said weakly. "Goodbye, my beautiful darling…." With a convincing tear in his eye, he breathed a last breath.

Janice and the others stared into the dead face of Charlie Evans in shock. She started to cry. Desperately, she put her ear to his chest and heard…nothing. She continued to weep, as Vickers and the others looked helplessly on. There was nothing he or anyone else could do. They had come to the twentieth century for nothing.

The Q appeared abruptly and saw the grieving human woman. He was apparently too late…or, was he? He couldn't tell. He decided to take what he saw at face value for a moment. Sito was starting to do a Bajoran death chant over Evan's lifeless corpse. Riker and Amanda tried their best to console the inconsolable twenty-third century yeoman from the Enterprise. Riker felt the Q's presence and turned around.

"Are you happy now, you Regulan blood worm?" He growled. "The boy is dead, you creep! Have you come to gloat?"

"Actually, Riker, I am quite relieved that this whole sordid affair is over." The Q replied heartlessly.

Janice looked into the face of the man who would have killed Charlie. There was no feeling there at all, just cold calculation. Rage filled her. She stood and then attacked him.

Amanda saw a danger to the yeoman. The Q was very dangerous, but the human woman didn't seem to care what happened to her now. Amanda did, however, and quickly whisked her back to the original Enterprise.

The other Rand, who in reality was Isis the shape shifter, was on the bridge. McCoy and Spock, now both suspicious of her, were in Dr. Noel's office, when, suddenly, from out of nowhere, Janice appeared, enraged, her face tear-streaked. The Q had placed a gruesome-looking Klingon knife in her hand, just for kicks. She lunged, unseeing and uncaring, towards McCoy. Spock, who was standing behind her, dispassionately took her out with a neck pinch.