5, I think...
AN: alright, I’m sick and tired of rewriting this damned story. I’ve tried a dozen times already and, truth be told, I’m about to go bald from ripping my hair out over it, so screw it. I’m going to finish this story as-is, though, and I apologize for the previous chapters. I’ve gone back and read them and, well, the sooner I’m done, the better.
(Starfleet Dorm room)
“You know, there has to be a better way to do this,” Xander muttered to himself as he went over yet another PADD of information for his classes. He was swamped, to be honest, but on top of all of his schooling, his father was pressing him to learn more and more about what it was to be Q, but how could he learn to be a Q if he was STUCK in a mortal body?
Xander didn’t jump when he heard his step-mother’s voice from behind him, “There _IS_ a better way to go about this learning process, Q, but your father seems to think that your doing things the hard way will build character.” The beautiful omnipotent being walked over and conjured a divan to lie on, looking at him in the eyes when he looked over, “I cannot, however, tell you what it is – you have to do that yourself.”
Xander dropped the PADD he was holding and looked at her, “Alright, correct me if I’m wrong, but as Q, we are multi-dimensional beings, yes? I mean, it’s been proven already because I’ve literally been in two places at once.”
Q-f nodded her head, “Yes, go on. Expand from the confines of the primitive way of thinking you were brought up with, Q. It honestly isn’t that difficult.”
Ignoring the jab and taking his cue from the female Q, Xander stood and started pacing in his shared dorm room, “Alright, then. If I can be in two places at once, why can’t I be in more places at once? Learn more at one time, get this the HELL over with? Honestly, it’s starting to annoy me.”
Q-f cocked her eyebrow slightly, “Being so three-dimensional? So limited?”
Xander again ignored the arrogant tone, “It has its limits, yes, but think of how far these humans have come, mother. Sure, it’s a royal pain in the ass at times, but being human does have a few perks.”
Q-f snorted, “I don’t see how being human could beget anything that you would call a ‘perk’.” She stood and the divan vanished, “Either way, continue with your line of thought.”
“Alright, another question – how many dimensions can we be in at the same time?”
Q-f looked at him oddly for a moment before she shook her head, “Not THAT many, Q, and before you start trying to work your mind around how to bend those rules, think of when you were split into two and how hard it was for you to concentrate at time. The more you split your being and mind into other dimensions, the harder it will be for you to learn and, as such, the longer it will take.” She walked over and patted him on the cheek, “It was a nice try, though, son.”
Xander growled and shook his head, “No, there HAS to be a way around that limitation. I mean, dad does it all the time! How _else_ could he annoy so many people at the same time?”
“With a dramatic flair, Q,” Q-f said to him with the same weary tone that was so often heard from wives with husbands who constantly tried their patience.
Xander sighed and snapped his fingers, stopping time with a flash of light, “This is annoying. Very, VERY annoying.” He then stopped and looked around, frowning, “Wait a second.”
Q-f looked at him, her eyes twinkling, “Yes, Q?”
“The Temporal Law of Q.”
Q-f’s face split into a grin, “Go on.”
He looked up at her, “Time passes as quickly or as slowly as we want it, right?”
Q-f’s grin grew larger, “Within reason.”
“Do I have the power to do that yet?”
Q-f didn’t respond this time.
Xander growled and stalked to his window, “Damn it! Alright, another plan…” His mind started going through everything he had learned since leaving Sunnydale, about being Q, about himself as a person, about the world, about the universe at large… but he kept running into the same problem: too little power. He could, were he allowed full access to his power, pull off what he intended to pull off, which was split himself into several copies and go about his merry little way, but he didn’t HAVE his full power.
Q-f watched her stepson growl as he glared at the world outside, his mind obviously racing, and couldn’t help but feel a bit of maternal pride in the fact that she was helping another Q come into his own. Q’s problem, though, was the fact he could only think in three, occasionally four, dimensions. The answer was literally RIGHT THERE in front of him, but as he obviously couldn’t see it, she couldn’t tell him. Well, at least not overtly… “Q, you’re thinking too hard.”
He looked back at her, “Huh?”
She rolled her eyes and walked up behind him, put her hands on his shoulders and faced him back at the window, “You are thinking too hard. The answer is a simple one.” She leaned over closer to his left ear and whispered, “Tell me what you see.”
Xander frowned as he looked outside, step-mother behind him, and shook his head – he saw the Starfleet campus, cadets, officers, civilians, animals, elemental forces at work… and a reflection in the glass.
Xander blinked as he processed this. The reflection showed him with his step-mother leaning over and whispering into his OTHER ear, “What the hell…?”
Q-f smiled at herself as she pulled away, “Yes?”
“The reflection, it’s wrong…”
“Go on…” Q-f urged him. He was close…
“Q have the ability to make the world whatever they want it to be,” Xander muttered, remembering something that his brother had told him while in Sunnydale, something that his father had told him repeatedly while on their summer ‘learning vacation’ on Aiur, and something he’d practiced a great bit while he could. He turned and looked at the female Q, who was smiling, “I don’t HAVE to be in two places at once, do I? Or any other amount of places.”
“You don’t? Why not?”
“Because it’s not energy efficient,” Xander mumbled, his mind going back to something his teacher, B’elana, had taught him. “Why make two fully functional warp cores when you only need one and a battery pack? I don’t need to split myself into two beings, just be myself and make any number of functional, albeit it limited, clones.”
Q-f smirked a bit, “Alright, on that basis, why don’t you do it?”
Xander looked at her, frowned, and then narrowed his eyes, “Alright, what’s the catch?”
The female cosmic being gave him an innocent look, “Catch?”
“Yeah, catch. There’s always a catch.”
“How cynical of you,” the female Q said with an ounce of pride in her voice before shaking her head, causing her dark tresses to bounce a bit. “There is no catch, per se, but remember that a Q’s powers are not only based on their power, but also on their confidence. If you think you’re going to fail, then you will.”
“So it’s not just being arrogant, it’s that we really think we are that good? So we can do all that we do?”
“Precisely. Now, go ahead and try.”
“Do, or do not,” Xander muttered under his breath.
Q-f frowned at him, “What?”
“There is no try,” Xander finished the line, just shooting the mental scene from Star Wars at her before focusing on the splitting of body, but not necessarily mind…
Q-f snorted as the scene played out in her mind between the ‘muppet’ and the child, “How childish. True, but childish.”
“You’re giving me a headache.”
“Oh, shut up. You don’t even technically have a stomach.”
“Bite me, I’m still hungry.”
Xander opened his eyes and looked around to see three copies of him, all in various forms of dress, standing in the room. He could feel each of them and, truthfully, they ranked barely above that of a human, a lowly little human at that, but even as they learned things, he could feel those things coming into his brain as well, “Cool.”
“How very Oz-like,” one of them, dressed in true Hawaiian print said with a bit of a Cordelia-like snark in his voice.
He shot that one a glare, “That was uncalled for. I think I’ll send you-“
“To the Hostess factory?” The copy looked hopeful, was even trying to look innocent as well, but it wasn’t flying at all.
“No, I think I’ll send you to go have a look in at Sarah Kerrigan for a while.” Xander snapped his fingers and the copy was gone.
Q-f arched her eyebrow at her step-son, “Was that necessary?”
“No, but he annoyed me,” Xander said as he looked at the other two and smirked. He snapped his fingers and the other two copies of him first shifted into clothes (one being quite Jedi-like in appearance with off-white pants, shirt and a brown robe, while the other took up a quite medieval appearance, “Play nice, you two.”
MedievalXander whined, “Why does HE get to be the Jedi?” just as Xander snapped his fingers and the pair vanished.
Q-f looked at him and smiled a bit, “Well?”
“How do you feel?”
Xander frowned, feeling he’d had this conversation before, somewhere, but then shook his head, “Not bad, only a little drained. Did I pass?”
“Not hardly, but you get middle marks for effort and results,” his step-mother allowed. “Now, though, let’s start talking about what you could have done differently…”
Xander sighed – no rest for the wicked… or the Q, for that matter.
AN: Alright, that’s it for this part. What do you think? Reviews would be appreciated.