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Story Notes: A big thank you to both Lil Black Dog and Michael D. Garcia for help with the Beta Reading and some good suggestion on making this fit for ad Astra.

Emmylou Galyaski was sitting in her office checking out the latest station duty reports when suddenly she found herself deposited in the middle of a picturesque snow landscape by a flash of white light.

The fact that she had been teleported to an unknown alien world’s surface and the fact that she was now a living gingerbread woman, led her to suspect who was behind this. “Oh Q is it that time of year already?” she asked aloud.

“Yes it is, so welcome Emmylou to my latest winter wonderland,” came the voice of Q Junior from somewhere unseen.

“So can I ask what this year’s game is? Or why I need to be a gingerbread woman to play?” asked Emmylou.

“Now Emmylou my little gingerbread woman, it’s no fun if I just tell you. Go and explore my new winter wonderland. If you do well at this year’s task I might even give you one of my special jackets as a Christmas present!” said Q Junior.

Emmylou had learnt over the years that losing your temper with a Q wasn’t a productive activity, even when they were busy turning you or your crew into other objects as a lesson.
“Lucky me, just want every woman wants for Christmas,” replied Emmylou.

“I know, I’m being far too kind. Well you can run along; you might even find a few family and friends to help you in the games,” said Q Junior. While Emmylou saw no obvious change, she had the distinct feeling that Q Junior had just left to go bother someone else.

Emmylou looked around but seeing no obvious landmarks to head for, she decided to walk to the right. As she walked through the snow she looked up and spotted a large glass dome over her head.

Emmylou decided the best way to get changed back by Q was just to embrace the moment of being a living gingerbread woman, so she set off at a run and sang in a squeaky voice: “Look at me, I’m the gingerbread woman! Run, run as fast as you can! You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread woman!”

Emmylou giggled at herself as her gingerbread feet crunched in the snow. It was fun. While she knew many captains and admirals in Starfleet hated the Q junior winter event, she saw it as a rare opportunity to proverbially let her hair down and enjoy the lack of responsibility for a change.

She ran on for a few more minutes till she reached a river and decided to stop and study her gingerbread features in the reflective surface. She took a moment to enjoy the experience of pulling faces at her reflection to watch how her icing face changed to mirror her expressions.

In a white flash Q Junior appeared as a large fox and with a Cheshire cat grin said, “I’m so glad that at least you, Emmylou are enjoying my gift and showing you’ve still got the spirit to go exploring your mind. Now would you like a ride on my back over the river?”

Emmylou replied, “No chance. I know how this story goes, so bye! You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread woman!

She ran for about a minute before she tripped over a box buried in the snow. Emmylou pulled the box out which was hard to do without any fingers. Looking at it, it seemed to be a standard Ferengi trade box except it was made of hard candy. It took Emmylou all of a minute to break the lock with a stone and look inside it.

Inside she found a candy tricorder. Emmylou took out the item and looked at it in puzzlement.
Finally she attached the tricorder to her waist. Emmylou was still trying to pick a new direction to travel when she heard a scream. She set off at a run, in the rough direction of the scream.

It didn’t take her long to find the source; it was a blue gingerbread woman who was yelling at Q Junior to turn her back into a person.

Q Junior did indeed turn her and her officers back to normal miniature people before he set his standard Christmas snowman on them. The ensuing snowball fight was hilarious.

Emmylou knew she should help the Starfleet side, but she decided from experience a snowball fight with a snowman could only end one way. She decided to use the candy tricorder to avoid them and found a gingerbread person village, where she was able to just lean against a tree and watch the action.

She was a little surprised when Q changed her back to a miniature human officer and transported her, along with the blue officer, to the side of a skating ring where half a dozen Starfleet officers were skating.

She spotted her personal assistant Jalke’i out on the ice and despite her ice skates she was doing a great Bambi on ice impression. Still she seemed to have found a male Bajorian security officer to help her.

Q junior appeared and looming over them said, “Jessica St. Peter and Emmylou Galyaski, welcome to my special ‘Starfleeters on Ice’ skating competition.”

Jessica started to shout further abuse at Q junior. Emmylou placed a kind hand on Jessica’s shoulder. Jessica stopped and looked at her.

"Lieutenant Commander, the spirit of the season is what's important here. The universe is such a dark place sometimes, so have fun and enjoy yourself in the moment," said Emmylou in her best grandma voice.

Then putting her arm around Jessica, Emmylou looked up at Q Junior and simply said, "Merry Christmas."

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