Author’s Note: This story takes place immediately after the episode entitled “Scientific Method.”
- Arnold Schwarzenegger as “Ambassador Lorgon”
- Tom Cruise as “Ensign Duncel”
- Jean-Claude Van Damme as “Pippi Longstocking”
Tuvok is in his quarters, sleeping. He sees bizarre images in his mind, images which call to his primal, Vulcan side. He dreams of B’Elanna Torres, hungrily eating mushrooms in an expensive dining-room setting located in the middle of an isolated beach. He sees himself walking over to her and angrily grabbing a handful of mushrooms for himself off her plate. At that moment, they both watch as the fictional Earth character Pippi Longstocking dances around them, then turns into a pillar of salt. Torres slowly looks at him, growls, then attacks him and knocks him to the ground. Her arms turn into axes, which she flings around wildly, then attacks him with. Tuvok wakes up suddenly, bolting up in a cold sweat with an overwhelming sense of panic.
FADE OUT, TITLE SEQUENCE ROLLS, COMMERCIAL BREAK, FADE IN
On the Bridge, Tuvok is scanning for wormholes when his console beeps, indicating the possible detection of one. He turns to report it to the captain.
Tuvok: Captain, you are sexually inadequate.
Janeway: I beg your pardon, Mister Tuvok.
Tuvok: My apologies, Captain. I do not know why I said that.
Tuvok: I was attempting to scan subspace for indications of possible wormholes when I suddenly heard myself saying those words.
Tuvok: In my attempt to alert you to the presence of a possible wormhole four-point-three light years from our present location, I suddenly had the urge to inform you of your sexual inadequacy.
Paris: Tuvok, you been chugging Romulan ale, again?
Tuvok: My apologies, again, Captain. And, no, Mister Paris; I do not chug Romulan ale.
Janeway: Tuvok, report to Sickbay. See if the Doctor can find a cause for your sudden bluntness. Mister Paris, set a course for the wormhole.
Paris: Yes, ma’am.
Tuvok: Need I remind the captain that my scans merely indicated the possibility of a wormhole. There, in fact, may be nothing there at all.
Tuvok: Yes, Captain?
Janeway: Loosen up.
Tuvok: Yes, Captain.
Janeway: Ensign Duncel, go with him.
Duncel: I just wanna kill somebody, ma’am.
Chakotay: This isn’t TOS, Ensign. Follow the captain’s orders.
Duncel: Yes, sir.
Tuvok and Duncel exit the Bridge.
Janeway: Mister Kim, begin scanning for any anomalies which might account for Tuvok’s peculiar behavior. If there’s something out there, I want to know about it.
Kim: Captain, I’m detecting several billion stars all around us.
Kim: But you said...
Janeway: Anomalies, Harry.
Kim: Aye, Captain.
Neelix enters the Bridge, carrying a tray of something green and orange.
Neelix: Hello, everybody. I just thought I’d pop in with some delicious frazzle-egg muffins, topped with scrumptious slices of fresh ebron tongue, which I picked up at our last stop.
Janeway: Not now, Neelix.
Kim: Captain, I’m detecting an anomaly directly behind us.
Janeway: On screen.
The viewscreen changes to show stars warping away from them. Other than that, nothing unusual is displayed.
Chakotay: I don’t see anything.
Kim: It’s there, sir, directly behind us.
The image magnifies, but remains the same.
Chakotay: Ensign, what are you detecting? I still can’t see anything.
Kim: It’s our warp signature, sir.
Janeway: (annoyed) Resume normal view. Ensign, are you feeling all right?
Neelix: Maybe, the lad just needs the protein in one of these delicious...
Kim: Now that you mention it, I do feel odd, Captain. Request permission to return to my quarters.
Janeway: I’ve never needed permission before.
The Bridge grows strangely quiet, as all eyes fall upon Janeway and Kim. Chakotay gently places his hand on Janeway’s shoulder.
Chakotay: (softly) Kathryn?
Kim: (nervously) No, ma’am. I mean that I would like permission to return to my quarters.
Janeway: Denied. Something unusual is going on here, and I need everyone right where they are until we can determine what it is. Mister Paris, how long before we reach the wormhole?
Paris: Coming up on the coordinates now, Captain.
Janeway: Slow to impulse.
As the ship slows, a spherical, dark area appears on the viewscreen, surrounded by a circle of galactic matter, spiraling into it. The ship begins to shake violently.
Paris: Inertial dampeners offline! Structural integrity failing!
Computer: Warning: Structural failure in forty-five seconds.
Neelix: Well, I’ll be leaving now.
Neelix exits the Bridge.
Kim: Permission to throw up, Captain?
Janeway: Not on my Bridge, you don’t! Full reverse, Mister Paris! Get us the hell out of here!
Paris: Why am I always the only one driving this thing?
Computer: Warning: Structural failure in thirty seconds.
Paris: (very nervously) This isn’t working!
Janeway: Bridge to Engineering!
Torres: (in Engineering) We’re a little busy, right now, Captain!
Janeway: Can we use the warp engines in reverse to pull away from the black hole?
Seven of Nine enters the Bridge.
Torres: How the hell should I know?
Computer: Warning: Structural failure in fifteen seconds.
Seven: (boobs flying everywhere) This is most unfortunate.
Janeway: Good enough. Mister Paris, reverse warp engines and engage at warp-one!
Paris: Aye, warp one! I just hope we don’t rip ourselves apart doing this.
Janeway: No choice, Tom! Red alert!
As the warp nacelles fire, the ship slowly begins to pull away.
Computer: Warning: Structural failure in five...four...three...two...
The ship stops shaking, and systems which had shut down come back up.
Computer: Structural failure averted. All systems regenerating.
Kim: (turning purple) Permission to throw up, Captain?
Janeway: (heavily relieved) Granted.
Kim spends the next five minutes vomiting behind his console.
Paris: Inertial dampeners online, moving away from the void at a speed all of one hundred twenty KPH.
Torres: Engineering to Bridge.
Janeway: Give me some good news, B’Elanna.
Torres: You’ve got to cut the engines, Captain! They’re burning up! We’re moments from a warp core breach!
Kim: (between hurls) What else is new?
Janeway: Cut the engines? If we cut the engines, we’ll be pulled right into that thing!
Seven: Captain, the Borg have been in situations similar to this. On a few occasions, it was possible to maneuver the Borg ship into a stable orbit around the phenomenon.
Torres: I think we can do it, Captain, but we’ll have to be out of the gravity well before we can try it. If we’re going to do this, it has to be now.
Janeway: Mister Paris?
Paris: Well, I’m good, but I’ve never done anything like that before.
Computer: Warning: Two minutes until warp core breach.
Seven: I think it would be best if I attempted the maneuver, Captain, since I am the one with the knowledge of how...
Janeway: Fine, just do it.
Paris gets up from the Helm and Seven of Nine takes his place.
Seven: I would advise bracing yourself. This... What is that odor?
Kim: (groaning miserably) Oh, god.
Computer: Warning: Ninety seconds until warp core breach.
Janeway: We’ll worry about that later. Get us out of the gravity well, Seven.
Seven: Yes, Captain. Reversing engines for forward thrust, adjusting trajectory for wide-angled slingshot.
Paris: No, wait!
Paris: Sorry, I just panicked when I heard the word “slingshot”.
Chakotay: That’s understandable, although I’m not sure why.
Janeway: Continue with the maneuver, Seven.
Computer: Warning: Sixty seconds until warp core breach.
Seven: (giving Paris a disapproving look) Continuing, Captain.
Voyager’s engines reverse, sending it hurdling towards the void. After circling it a few times, speed increasing on each orbit, it is thrown clear of it and out of the gravity well.
Computer: Warp core breach averted. Antimatter containment field returning to full strength.
Duncel enters the Bridge and walks over to Seven of Nine.
Chakotay: That should’ve torn us apart.
Seven: It was necessary to modify the shields in order to keep the extreme acceleration from doing so, Commander. Using the Borg devices still present throughout the ship, this was a simple matter. We are now in a stable orbit around the void.
Seven of Nine stands up and gestures to Paris.
Seven: I believe you can handle things from here, Lieutenant.
Paris: (sitting down) I’ll do my best.
Janeway: Good work. Bridge to Tuvok.
There is no response. Seven of Nine and Duncel walk over to the turbolift doors and talk for awhile.
Janeway: Bridge to Tuvok, respond.
All is quiet.
Chakotay: Chakotay to Sickbay, is Lieutenant Tuvok there?
Doctor: Either that, or I’m hallucinating. Mister Tuvok is currently unable to respond for himself, being that he is unconscious.
Janeway: This is Janeway, Doctor. Were you able to find a cause for his unusual behavior?
Doctor: (in Sickbay, examining a scalpel over Tuvok’s head) Regretfully, no. I tried several tests, all of which were inconclusive. I am, therefore, preparing to dissect his brain.
Janeway: (on the Bridge) Very well, Doctor. Keep me apprised. Bridge out.
Paris: Dissect his brain?
Janeway: I wouldn’t worry about it. The Doctor seems to be developing quite a unique sense of humor. I find it curiously refreshing.
Seven: (holding her nose) Captain, if you wouldn’t mind.
Janeway: How are you doing, Mister Kim?
Kim: Fine, Captain Jane. The High Advisor is materializing on the platform.
Everyone looks at Kim, confused.
Kim: (also confused) I’m fine, Captain. What the hell did I just say?
Janeway: I don’t know, but, whatever it is, it seems to be spreading. Harry, I want you and Tom to clean up your mess before it stinks up the entire ship, then I want a staff meeting in thirty minutes.
Kim: Yes, Captain.
Fifteen minutes later, Tuvok is lying comatose, but semiconscious, on the operating table, unable to move his open eyes and redirect his sight away from that of the holographic physician directly over him, cutting away at his head and humming a nice little tune.
Tuvok: (thinking to himself) ...Pain is a thing of the mind, the mind can be controlled. Pain is a thing of the mind, the mind can be controlled. Pain is a thing of the mind, the mind can be controlled...
Twenty-five minutes later, in the briefing room, everyone is deep in conversation.
Doctor: My examination of Lieutenant Tuvok has turned up nothing. I can find nothing physiologically wrong with him that would explain his aberrant behavior.
Paris: Actually, besides making a couple of harmless comments, he hasn’t really been acting any different than he usually does.
Kim: Do you know what I don’t understand?
Janeway: Very likely.
Kim: (not getting it) Why is Tuvok the one in Sickbay when I’m the one who’s actually been sick?
Janeway: It’s like this, Harry. If I let everyone who got sick on the Bridge run off to Sickbay, there wouldn’t be anyone left on the Bridge if we were attacked, and Voyager would probably be taken over by the attackers, who would kill the entire crew. That’s the worst-case scenario, of course.
Kim: I see, like Tuvok’s holo-novel.
Janeway: Not quite, Harry, but you’re getting the idea.
Doctor: May I point out that, since young Ensign Kim here has also shown signs of the lieutenant’s affliction, the possibility that we’re dealing with an airborne virus exists.
Kim: You know, I really would prefer not being called “young Ensign Kim”.
Doctor: And why is that? You are young, are you not?
Kim: Yes, but...
Doctor: Your last name is Kim and you are an ensign.
Kim: I know, but...
Doctor: Oh, I get it. This has to do with hurting the big man’s feelings. Very well, from now on, I shall refer to you as “old and decrepit Ensign Kim”.
Kim: It’s not that.
Doctor: Well, what is it, then?
Kim: (pausing a moment) I don’t remember.
Janeway: Doctor, getting back to the virus, do we have anything in Sickbay that we can use to inoculate ourselves against it?
Doctor: Captain, I haven’t even confirmed that it is a virus. A viral infection is simply one of several possibilities. It could just as easily be the result of stress, fatigue or Neelix’s cooking, a sample, of which, he tried to force-feed me earlier.
Paris: Let me guess.
Doctor: There is nothing more disgusting than having muffins made out of the tongues and unborn hatchlings of strange animals shoved in your face, particularly when you are about to perform surgery.
Janeway: (smirking) I’ll talk to him about it, Doctor.
Janeway: (startled) Oh, B’Elanna! I thought you were in Engineering.
Torres: (cautiously) I came up here for the meeting, Captain.
Janeway: Very well, proceed.
Torres: As I was saying, maybe it has something to do with the black hole.
Janeway: That would be a fair assessment, except for the fact that Tuvok showed signs of the affliction before we even knew about it.
Doctor: Black hole? What black hole?
Torres: (pointing out the window) That one.
Doctor: (turning to face the window) So, that’s what all the shaking was about. Captain, if we were in the vicinity of a black hole, I should’ve been informed.
Janeway: Noted for future reference, Doctor. B’Elanna, how long before repairs in Engineering are complete?
Torres: At least, another forty-eight hours, Captain. We lost several systems when we hit the black hole. It’s going to take that long to get them up and running again.
Chakotay: (over communicator) Chakotay to Janeway.
Janeway: Go ahead, Commander.
Chakotay: Sensors are picking up another ship, Captain. Its configuration doesn’t match anything in our records.
Janeway: (getting up) I’m on my way.
Janeway, Paris, and Kim enter the Bridge and head for their stations, while the Doctor returns to Sickbay and Torres returns to Engineering.
Janeway: (sitting down) Status of the alien ship.
Kim: Their weapons are unarmed and their shields are down. They’re hailing us, audio only.
Janeway: On speakers.
Archived Captain’s Hail: (garbled) This is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the starship Voyager to the vessel near the quantum singularity. Do you need help?
Janeway: (confused) Mister Kim?
Kim: Sorry, wrong button.
Janeway: Try again. I know you’re not accustomed to working at Tuvok’s station, Ensign, but staying in this season would be preferable.
Kim: Yes, ma’am.
Lorgon: (on speakers) I am Ambassador Lorgon, of the K’zonn ship B’tocks.
Janeway: I see. And, what exactly is a Kazon ship doing this far away from Kazon space, Ambassador, if I may ask?
Lorgon: No, not Kazon. We are the K’zonn. We request visual communication from your ship.
Janeway: (motioning frantically to Kim. Lorgon’s image soon appears on the viewscreen) My apologies, Ambassador. I am Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation starship Voyager.
Lorgon: No need to apologize, Captain. We get it all the time from travelers, such as yourselves, who have had the unfortunate experience of encountering the Kazon.
Janeway: Nevertheless, my apology stands.
Lorgon: Very well, then. It stands accepted.
Janeway: How can we be of assistance?
Lorgon: Actually, Captain, we were hoping to assist you. We have heard of your ship and your quest to return to your quadrant of the galaxy, and we happen to have the technology which would make the trip possible within a matter of days.
Everyone on the Bridge looks at each other, with growing excitement.
Janeway: (smiling) I think I speak for the entire crew when I say...
Eerie music suddenly starts playing. Janeway’s face goes blank.
Janeway: (spellbound) ...I am not interested in your technology.
Paris: (alarmed) Captain?
Lorgon: Of course, we do not expect anything in return. We make this...
Janeway: (spellbound) We’re not the droids you’re looking for.
Chakotay: (softly to Janeway) Captain, perhaps...
Lorgon: Captain, it was our understanding that...
Janeway: (spellbound) You can go about your business.
Janeway: (spellbound) Move along.
There’s a brief pause as the eerie music reaches its climax, then stops.
Lorgon: Very well, Captain, if that is your wish.
Chakotay: Ambassador, one moment, please?
Chakotay jumps up, yanks Janeway out of her seat and slaps her.
Chakotay: (angrily) What the hell are you doing, woman!? Do you want to throw away our only chance to get home!?
Paris: (jumping up from his seat) Commander!
Chakotay: (calmer, with remorse) Kathryn, I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.
Janeway: (shaken) The Doctor’s virus seems to becoming more pronounced. It wasn’t your fault, Chakotay. Just don’t let it happen again.
Chakotay: Thank you, Captain.
Janeway motions to Kim.
Janeway: Open the channel to the K’zonn ship.
Kim: I was never told to close it.
Lorgon: Clearly, there has been some sort of misunderstanding, Captain. Unfortunately, our planetary policy doesn’t permit us to aid those with hostile tendencies, who might corrupt our peaceful social structure with their wild and wooly ways. We will now take our leave of you. Our deepest apologies and best wishes go with you. Farewell, Captain.
Janeway: No, wait!
Lorgon vanishes from the viewscreen and the B’tocks vanishes from sight. Everyone is silent for a moment as disappointment fills the air.
Janeway: (teary-eyed, hitting communicator) Janeway to the Doctor.
Doctor: Yes, Captain?
Janeway: Tell me you’ve found this virus of yours.
Doctor: There is no virus, Captain, none that I can detect, anyway. I’ve run every test known to medical science and, aside from the normal germ count associated with biological beings, such as yourselves, I’ve failed to detect any other unaccounted-for microbiological life forms. I have, however, found evidence of neurochemical imbalance, possibly caused by our recent fly-through of the binary star system which we somehow managed to survive.
Janeway: (sniffing) Keep me informed on your progress, Doctor.
Doctor: Yes, Captain.
Janeway: What is Mister Tuvok’s condition?
Doctor: That is something I’d like to discuss with you privately, Captain.
Janeway: Very well, Janeway out.
Rick Berman: Okay, cut, everybody. The part where Lorgon leaves just doesn’t work, so we’re typing up some script revisions. Everybody take ten.
Kate Mulgrew lights a cigarette and sits down next to Roxann Dawson.
Kate Mulgrew: You know, Roxxie, when I got up at three AM this morning to get ready for work, I had the feeling it was gonna be another one of those days.
Roxann Dawson: Yeah, I know. I don’t have many scenes this time, but I still have to be here, in case they change something and they need me.
Kate Mulgrew: And this script they have us working with. I’ve read better stuff on the back of cereal boxes. All I know is that it feels good to get off my feet. I’ve been going nonstop for six hours.
Roxann Dawson: Tell me about it. I’m going to get a doughnut. You want one?
Roxann stands up.
Kate Mulgrew: Yeah, bring me two.
Roxann Dawson: (walking off) Be right back.
Ten minutes later, the new script revisions arrive.
Rick Berman: (passing out the revisions) Okay, gather around, everyone. I want you to take a few minutes and read over these, then we’ll start shooting, again.
Garrett Wang: (flipping through the pages) Oh, great.
Tim Russ: (looking over Garrett’s shoulder at the script) I hope they plan on using a stunt double for that.
Jeri Ryan: One question: why do I have so much breast movement?
Rick Berman: Simple. Horny teenagers. Gotta keep the ratings up.
Jeri punches Rick in the gut, making him double over.
Jeri Ryan: (angrily) If that’s what you hired me for, then I’m outta here. I don’t need this crap! Dark Skies never used me as a sex toy!
Garrett Wang: Wasn’t that canceled?
Jeri gives Garrett a look that would freeze Hell.
Garrett Wang: I was just asking.
Kate Mulgrew: (puffing heavily on her third cigarette) Rick, I’m not gonna do this part here, where we’re trapped in the turbolift, and it says I rip off all my clothes and pin Gary against the wall.
Rick Berman: (finally managing to stand erect, again) Okay, we obviously have major problems with the rewrites. We’ll just have to work around them as we go. Places, everyone.
Giant overhead fans come on to draw all of the cigarette smoke out of the studio. Kate takes one final puff, then deposits her cigarette on the floor and steps on it.
Rick Berman: All right, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to go all the way back and start at the point right after Lorgon mentions the technology, when Kate says she speaks for the entire crew. That’s when things started getting off-track.
Rick walks off the stage and takes his seat.
Rick Berman: Okay, Kate? In three...
Rick lifts his hand in the air and finishes counting down with his fingers.
Janeway: (smiling) Ambassador, I’m sure I speak for the entire crew when I say that we would be extremely grateful for any assistance you can give us.
Lorgon: Excellent! In celebration of our newfound friendship, Captain, we would be honored if you, and your crew, joined us for prime meal this evening. I think you’ll find that we set a festive table.
Janeway: Please understand that, under ordinary circumstances, we would gladly accept your kind invitation. Unfortunately, we currently have an epidemic, of sorts, on our hands. We believe the cause could be viral in nature, and I wouldn’t want to risk infecting your crew.
Lorgon: How considerate of you, Captain. Let me assure you, we have a natural immunity to most diseases, and I believe the risk of contraction is negligible.
Janeway: Even so, I would feel better if we waited until our Doctor has determined the cause, first. If we’re both still here at that time, I’ll gladly join you for dinner, along with several members of my senior staff.
Lorgon: As you wish. I’ll contact you momentarily.
Janeway: Thank you, Ambassador.
Lorgon: I’ll be back.
Lorgon vanishes from the viewscreen.
Janeway: (to Chakotay) What do you think?
Chakotay: Chocolate bunnies.
Chakotay: No explanation, Captain. I just happened to be thinking about chocolate bunnies when you asked.
Janeway: I see.
Chakotay: Actually, the ambassador seems a little too anxious to meet. Of course, it could just be the way they greet strangers.
Janeway: Do you suspect a hidden agenda?
Chakotay: I don’t know. In the Maquis, we sometimes did the same thing in order to secure food, weapons, whatever we needed, then double-cross the suppliers by taking more than they were offering.
Janeway: (smirking) Shame on you, Chakotay. Bridge to Sickbay.
Doctor: (stuffing gooey brains back into Tuvok’s head) Go ahead, Captain.
Janeway: Have you been able to isolate the virus, yet, Doctor?
Doctor: There is no virus, Captain, none that I can detect, anyway. I’ve done a thorough examination of Lieutenant Tuvok, as well as completed a bio-scan of the entire ship, but have been unable to detect any foreign microbiological organisms. I did, however, detect evidence of neurochemical imbalance within the lieutenant. I suspect this can be directly linked to our recent encounter with the binary star system.
Kim: Captain, we’re being hailed.
Janeway: Acknowledged, Ensign. Explain, Doctor.
Doctor: Prolonged exposure to sudden gravimetric shifts has been known to cause symptoms similar to those currently being displayed by the crew, but more characteristic of alcohol intoxication. Since no one has actually done anything rash, like blow an airlock or take a shower fully-clothed, I can only assume that our fly-through of the binary star only affected the area of the brain responsible for reasoning, and did not, so to speak, turn everyone into drunken dimwits, who laugh at paintbrushes. It is possible, however, that the more pronounced symptoms will develop over time.
Janeway: Are you anywhere near finding a cure?
Doctor: There is a cure on-record, but, as to whether it will be effective in our case, I don’t know.
Janeway: Understood. What is Mister Tuvok’s condition?
Doctor: (nervously) Resting, Captain. I recommend that he not be disturbed for, at least, the next twelve hours. He’s been through quite a lot.
Kim: Captain, the K’zonn.
Janeway: Keep me informed, Doctor. On-screen, Mister Kim.
Kim: Aye, Captain.
Archived Captain’s Hail: (garbled) This is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the starship Voyager to the vessel near—
Kim: (louder, tensing up) Yes, ma’am, on-screen.
Lorgon appears on the viewscreen.
Janeway: (smirking at Kim) Sorry for the delay, Ambassador.
Lorgon: Quite all right, Captain. One of our technicians is standing by with the device. When would be a good time to send him over?
Janeway: (glancing at Chakotay) Ambassador, I thought we agreed to wait until our doctor has determined it safe before mixing crews.
Lorgon: Of course, Captain, as you wish. The device is ready, in any event. We’re ready to let you have it.
An evil smile appears on Lorgon’s face.
Janeway: If you’ll be kind enough to transmit the coordinates, we’ll beam it aboard our ship.
Lorgon: Yes, we have heard of your ability to convert matter into energy. It will be very interesting to watch.
Lorgon motions to someone off-screen.
Kim: Receiving the coordinates, Captain.
Lorgon: Now, if you will excuse me, Captain, I have matters which require my immediate attention. I’m looking forward to seeing your ship.
Janeway: We’ll let you know when you can come aboard, Ambassador.
Lorgon: (grinning) I would imagine it will be sooner than you think.
Lorgon vanishes from the viewscreen.
Paris: Determined, isn’t he?
Janeway: (wiping her face with her hand) Yes.
Chakotay: Captain, are you all right?
Janeway: Just a little tired, Chakotay.
Paris: Captain, you don’t look that well.
Chakotay: Maybe you should lie down for a while, Captain.
Janeway: (leaning back in her seat) I’ll do you one better and see the Doctor as soon as we’re finished here. I suddenly feel dizzy.
Chakotay: Why don’t you go now, Captain? We can handle it from here.
Janeway: (standing up with the help of Chakotay) If you insist. You have the Bridge.
Chakotay: Ensign Kim, escort the Captain to Sickbay.
Kim: Yes, Commander.
Janeway and Kim exit the Bridge.
Chakotay: Bridge to B’Elanna Torres.
Torres: Torres here.
Chakotay: Are you ready to beam the K’zonn device aboard?
Torres: (in the cargo bay, at the cargo transporter): "All set.
Chakotay: Do it.
Torres energizes the transporter and a metal-cased cylinder with a digital counter appears on the transporter pad. The counter is activated and starts counting down from twenty seconds.
Torres: Chakotay, have you ever had one of those days?
Chakotay: What do you mean?
Torres: This thing looks more like a bomb than anything that’s going to get us home.
Chakotay: A bomb?
Torres: Yeah, and it’s ticking. I’m beaming it into space.
Chakotay: Good idea, I’ll advise the Captain.
Torres tries to beam it away, but is unsuccessful.
Torres: Bridge, something’s wrong. It’s put up some kind of scattering field, I can’t get a lock on it!
Chakotay: How long before it explodes?
Torres: (looking at the bomb) Eight seconds.
Chakotay: It’s going to be close... very, very close. Stand by, Enterprise.
Chakotay: (shaking it off) Tom, put up a level-ten containment field around the cargo bay. B’Elanna, get out of there!
Paris: (guessing) Containment field, right.
Torres runs out of the cargo bay just as the containment field comes on. The counter on the bomb hits zero and the explosion destroys the cargo bay, blasts through the containment field and blows part of the ship’s hull into space. The entire ship shakes violently. In the turbolift, power goes out and motion stops.
Janeway: What was that?
Kim: (looking around) I don’t know.
Paris: (on the Bridge) Wow, I didn’t know I could do that from the Helm.
The B’tocks immediately powers up its weapons and starts firing heavily on Voyager.
Chakotay: Ensign Duncel, get those shields up!
Duncel: (in his quarters, in bed) Wow, talk about making the earth move! How was it for you?
Seven: (in Duncel’s quarters, in bed) It was satisfactory, Ensign; however, I could offer you advice on improving your technique.
Chakotay: (on the Bridge) Duncel, did you hear what I said?
Chakotay turns around to find no one at the tactical station. He, then, jumps out of his seat and runs around to man it himself. Doing this, he raises the shields and fires phasers at the B’tocks. After a few seconds, the B’tocks explodes.
Paris: Well, that was easy.
Chakotay: Bridge to Ensign...
Doctor: Sickbay to Bridge.
Chakotay: Yes, Doctor, what is it?
Doctor: I just wanted to inform you that the antidote is ready. I am now preparing to enter it into the ship’s air supply.
Chakotay: Good work, Doctor. I’ll inform the Captain.
In the turbolift, Janeway is looking Kim over. Kim is trying to avoid making eye contact with her.
Kim: (nervously) Is it hot in here, or is it just me?
Janeway: (walking over and caressing his body) Harry, did anyone ever tell you that you have what must be the firmest butt in all of Starfleet?
Kim swallows hard and chokes on his saliva.
Chakotay: (over communicator) Chakotay to Janeway.
Janeway: (annoyed) What is it, Chakotay?
Chakotay: Are you and Ensign Kim all right?
Janeway: Fine, Chakotay, leave us alone.
Kim: Commander, please beam us out of here... now.
Chakotay: (pausing) Acknowledged, Ensign, stand by.
Janeway: (now, also running her fingers through Kim’s hair) Harry, I haven’t had sex in almost four years. Don’t make me make this an order.
Janeway maneuvers Kim into a corner, then they are both beamed out of the turbolift. The next day, Chakotay arrives in Sickbay to visit Tuvok.
Chakotay: (stopping by Tuvok’s bedside) You’re looking well, Mister Tuvok. How has the good doctor been treating you?
Tuvok: Quite well, Commander, and thank you. I am, however, experiencing a strange lack of memory as to the reason that I am here. It is most disconcerting.
Chakotay: If it’s of any comfort, you’re not alone. Half the crew is going through the same thing.
Tuvok: (perplexed) Half of Voyager’s crew has no recollection as to why I am here?
Chakotay: (thinking about this) Something like that, Tuvok. You’ll have to ask the Doctor for the specifics.
Tuvok: I shall do so, Commander.
Chakotay smiles, then exits Sickbay. In her ready room, Janeway is lying on the sofa with an ice pack on her forehead. The doorbell buzzes and she winces in pain.
Janeway: Come in... quietly.
Kim enters, then reconsiders.
Kim: (turning around) Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
Janeway: What is it, Harry?
Kim: (turning around again) Captain, I just thought we should talk about what happened?
Janeway: I give up. What happened?
Kim: You know, in the turbolift.
Janeway: My head is splitting, Harry. Please don’t ask me to think right now.
Kim walks over and sits in the chair next to her.
Kim: It’s just that the things you said were kind of... inappropriate.
Janeway: I can’t even remember what happened an hour ago, much less what happened yesterday. If I said something that seemed rash or harsh, you have my apologies.
Kim: (flatly) You honestly don’t remember?
Janeway: Yes, Ensign, I honestly don’t.
Kim: (relieved, standing up) Thank you, Captain. Sorry for disturbing you.
Janeway: No problem, Harry.
Kim turns and walks away. Janeway turns her head just enough to watch him as he exits the room. She allows a pained grin to cross her face and returns her head to its original position.
FADE OUT, CLOSING CREDITS ROLL