"What is a Q?"
"It's a letter of the alphabet, as far as I know."
- - Worf and Tasha Yar, 2364 (alternate)
The Q were a seemingly omnipotent and immortal species who form the Q Continuum, possessing the ability of instantaneous matter-energy transformation and teleportation, as well as the ability of time travel. The Q have control over space, matter, reality, and time. (VOY: "Q2") In addition, Q spectacularly claimed to possess an IQ of 2005. (TNG: "Deja Q") They didn't make official contact with the Federation until 2364, when the crew of the USS Enterprise-D met "Q". (TNG: "Encounter at Farpoint") At least one Q, acting on his own, had intervened and influenced Human affairs since at least the time of Isaac Newton. (VOY: "Death Wish")
The Q evolved over countless centuries into their current form and considered themselves to be the ultimate form of evolution, existing in a state of "ultimate purity". However, this often led to a feeling of apathy with regard to most of the universe. (VOY: "Death Wish") The exact circumstances of how the Q came to exist is unclear. While Quinn stated that the Q were once not unlike humanoid lifeforms, Q implied that the Q never came in to existence, but rather always were. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")
The true extent of the abilities of the Q is somewhat unclear. While most Q claimed to be omnipotent, and at least one Q claimed they were all knowing, there is some reason to dispute these claims. Quinn implied that the Q are not completely omnipotent. Considering that Quinn was a dissident, his claims may not have been entirely accurate, though it is supported by the fact that Q can be killed, which if they were completely omnipotent, would not be possible (VOY: "Death Wish"; TNG: "True Q"). At one point Q indicates that Humans may one day equal his species (TNG: "Hide and Q").
An aspect of 24th century interactions with the Q included involvement in a Q Civil War. The Q had come to fear the influence of Human compassion and curiosity into their otherwise timeless, apathetic, and stable culture. The war was incredibly destructive to our dimension and involved weapons which, during a firefight, "incidentally" destroyed stars in various regions of Delta Quadrant space. The war was ultimately avoided upon the birth of Q Junior, restoring the Continuum to the status quo. (VOY: "The Q and the Grey")
- Female Q
- Q Junior
- Colonel Q
- Judge Q
- Quinn (formerly a Q)
- Amanda Rogers (Q status unconfirmed)
- Amanda Rogers' parents
- William T. Riker (temporarily)
In the Peter David novel Q-Squared, Trelane was revealed to be a member of the Q Continuum, with Q being assigned as his mentor. In the book, Trelane was able to tap into "The Heart of The Storm," the theoretical and literal center of the universe, where chaos exists; doing so gave Trelane more power than the entire Continuum, allowing him to close it off and play with the universe as he pleased. Trelane then manipulated three different tracks of the USS Enterprise-D timeline, with the ultimate goal of the experiment being the merging of all parallel timelines and the destruction of the multiverse order. Captain Picard, with the help of Q, managed to stop Trelane, though the experience reduced Trelane to a speck of his former existence.