Chapter Twenty Six: Notice A Pattern

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Q stared at the two RC cars as they raced around the main foyer. Having nothing better to do, he'd condescended to join the less than epic race going on in the main hall. How the slouching slacker had convinced Worf to participate was beyond him, but at least it was mildly entertaining, not that he'd admit that to anyone, ever.

In fact it was even more entertaining because Worf wasn't facing Fred, but GoGo. The two were decidedly not well-matched, as the Klingon was still trying to get the hang of the controller. That meant GoGo was free to make her car do circles around the other one. And she did so with such ease and confidence that he almost applauded her, though he refrained. He didn't want to encourage her.

Hiro, on the other hand, clapped in amusement as he watched the display. Fred had been right about this being a great way to stay amused. And even though his own thumbs were too short to manipulate the controls, he didn't mind. He couldn't remember laughing this hard in some time, though he had to be careful not to have any more accidents. He wasn't wearing a diaper after all. And he didn't want to give them any excuses to force them back on him.

Then Fred decided it would be a good idea to add a few obstacles for the cars to navigate around. The fun was momentarily stopped while he set up a few random articles around the floor. He used a few books, a couple of vases his mom might kill him over if they broke, and something that was probably meant to be a doorstop but looked more like a miniature ramp.

Seeing the challenge, GoGo couldn't help but smile. "Oh yeah," she exclaimed as she set her car around the course, slowly at first, but with growing confidence as her car slid around the new obstacles with ease.

Worf, for his part, did try. He'd gotten the basic gist of how the thing worked and was able to at least go around the obstacles without hitting them. It was decidedly better than his previous attempts where the car kept starting and stuttering while he figured out the controls.

In a show of pure adrenaline junky enthusiasm, GoGo sent her car up the makeshift ramp at the highest speed. It flew up into the air, making a delicious arch across the main part of the foyer, right in front of Captain Picard as the man came down the stairs.

"What in the world?" the captain exclaimed as he saw the spectacle. He stared in incredulous shock at his officer not only condoning this childish behavior but also participating in it. Data was not far behind him, though his expression was unreadable.

Not sure how his superior officer meant the question, Data stepped forward. "I believe GoGo has applied the laws of-" he started but was cut off by a wave of Picard's hand.

Worf stood quickly, hiding the controller behind his back. "I was merely exploring the culture of our hosts," he stated, sounding slightly sulky. "I did not think you would mind."

Picard finished walking down the stairs. "We shouldn't be playing. We should be trying to figure out a way to get that man's power back!" He pointed at Q, who happened to be sitting on the bottom stair on the opposite staircase before the two merged into one at the bottom.

Q slowly stood from his seat. "Tut tut, Mon capitaine," he admonished, his hands pressed together. "While I agree that restoring my power is of monumental importance, is it not also important to find means to amuse oneself? Otherwise, what is the point of existing? We obviously have nothing to go on at the moment so why not lighten up and have a little fun?"

The captain's scowl seemed to fill the whole entryway with disapproval. "If we were actually doing what we are all supposed to be doing, we might have 'something to go on' as you put it," he retorted. "Worf, you should be gathering information on what is happening outside this house."

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