In the late 24th century, a renegade group known as the Maquis operate outside the law to right what they see as Federation injustices. After infiltrating a Maquis cell to apprise Starfleet of the group's activities, Lieutenant Tuvok, along with the crew of a ship commanded by the Maquis captain Chakotay, disappear in an area of space known as the Badlands. Tuvok's commanding officer, Captain Janeway, leads a mission to find the Vulcan lieutenant, enlisting the aid of Starfleet prisoner Tom Paris, a former Maquis member, to guide her ship, the U.S.S. Voyager NCC-74656, through the Badlands.Review
Considered a traitor by most of Voyager's crew, Paris strikes up a friendship with Ensign Harry Kim, a naive young Starfleet Academy grad. Kim learns that Paris was drummed out of Starfleet after his piloting error caused the deaths of three officers. The outcast joined the ranks of the Maquis, but was soon arrested by Federation authorities.
After reaching the Badlands, Voyager encounters an inexplicable phenomenon that sends the ship hurtling to the Delta Quadrant, located 70,000 light years from home. The catapult effect kills a number of crewmembers, including the Chief Medical Officer, who is replaced by an Emergency Medical Hologram (EMH) that attends to the wounded. But the EMH has barely begun his work when the entire crew of Voyager is transported to what appears to be a pastoral farm, populated by friendly humans. But it's only an illusion; the farm is actually the interior of the Array, a huge space station, and the residents are holograms. The crew is imprisoned within a strange laboratory facility, alongside the missing Maquis.
After being subjected to a painful examination, the crews of Voyager and the Maquis vessel are returned to their respective ships, docked outside the Array. But two crewpersons are missing: Harry Kim and B'Elanna Torres, the half-Klingon, half-human engineer from the Maquis vessel. Returning to the "farm," Janeway confronts the only remaining inhabitant, an old man playing a banjo. But the man cares nothing about their dilemma and offers them no information about the missing officers.
Noting that the Array is sending energy pulses toward the fifth planet of a neighboring system, Janeway sets course in that direction. Far beneath the surface of that planet, an ailing Kim and Torres regain consciousness in a medical facility. But what they're doing there - and why - they have yet to discover.
En route to the fifth planet of a neighboring system, Voyager's crew encounters Neelix, a Talaxian scavenger. He explains that the Array has been bringing ships into the region for many months. Neelix guesses that the "Caretaker," who controls the Array, may have sent the missing crewmembers to the Ocampa, a race that lives two miles below the surface of the fifth planet. Neelix volunteers to be their guide and they accept.Review
Meanwhile, Kim and Torres are being cared for in the Ocampa medical facility. Although they now live in a subterranean society, the Ocampa inhabited the planet's surface until it was struck by an environmental disaster 500 years ago. Since that time, they have lived underground, with all their needs provided by the man they refer to as the Caretaker.
Beaming down to the planet's surface, Neelix introduces Janeway to the Kazon, a savage alien species that has taken possession of the arid Ocampan world. Janeway asks Jabin, the Kazon leader, if he can help them, but he refuses.
Neelix is hoping Jabin will trade Kes, an Ocampan woman he is holding captive, for some of Voyager's precious water. But the Kazon are more interested in obtaining all of Voyager's technology - forcibly. When Jabin tries to take the crew hostage, Neelix helps them escape and beam back to the ship, along with Kes.
Kim and Torres persuade an Ocampan nurse to show them a route that could lead to the surface. On Voyager, Kes agrees to lead Janeway and the others through the tunnels to her underground city to search for the pair.
As the Array increases the rate of the energy pulses that power the city, Kim and Torres begin their journey, narrowly missing the search party from Voyager. Tuvok theorizes that the increased activity of the Array may indicate that the Caretaker is dying; he is clearly attempting to give them a surplus of power that will sustain the Ocampa after he is gone.
The search is complicated by a new turn of events. The Array is now firing a weapon at the planet to seal up all of the energy conduits, the tunnels that provide the only access to the city. This will protect the Ocampans, but prevent the others from escaping. Splitting up, Paris, Neelix and Kes find Kim and Torres, and send them up to Voyager. Then Paris and Neelix go back for Janeway, Tuvok and Chakotay. Chakotay's skepticism towards Paris' loyalty is erased when Paris saves his life.
Returning to the Array, Janeway again encounters the old man, whom she realizes is the Caretaker. He explains that he was bringing beings from across the galaxy to the Array in the hopes of finding a compatible species with which he could procreate, thus providing the Ocampa with someone to care for them after he dies. But no species has been a match so far.
Janeway tries to convince the Caretaker to send Voyager and the Maquis ship back home, but he refuses. Apparently, the Caretaker wants to destroy the Array so that it won't fall into the invading Kazon's hands. But he dies before he can carry out his plan, and Janeway is left to decide whether to use the Array to get home - which would leave it intact for the Kazon - or to destroy it and save the Ocampa. She chooses what seems to be the only moral option and makes a mortal enemy of the Kazon.
With Chakotay's ship destroyed in the battle with the Kazon, Janeway asks the Maquis to become part of Voyager's crew. She also allows Neelix and Kes to stay aboard. With Chakotay her First Officer, Tom Paris reinstated as a Starfleet lieutenant, and Torres and Kim cured by the Emergency Medical Hologram, Janeway and her new crew set course for the long trip home, 70,000 light-years away.
Torres is reprimanded by Chakotay after she ends a dispute in engineering by breaking the nose of a Starfleet officer named Carey. But despite her volatile nature, Chakotay has faith in the Klingon woman's skills, and he recommends Torres to Janeway for the position of Chief Engineer. Janeway is surprised, but before she can consider the recommendation, the U.S.S. Voyager is jolted as it enters a region of spatial distortions. A short time later, it comes upon a ship that is trapped in the event horizon of a quantum singularity: the powerful energy field surrounding a collapsed star.Review
While the engineering staff tries to figure out a way to help the other ship, Janeway questions the capability of Chakotay's Maquis officers. Still, she agrees to consider Torres for the engineering slot.
Realizing that Voyager doesn't have enough power to rescue the ship on its own, the crew heads away from the singularity to get help, but before long they find themselves heading back toward the same collapsed star. Again Voyager moves away, and again the ship finds itself back where it started.
As tensions rise between Maquis and Starfleet crewmembers, Torres works with Carey to figure out what's happening. Noting the peculiar effects of the singularity on Voyager's holographic doctor, Torres comes up with an idea that may allow them to contact the crew of the trapped ship, which, in turn, may provide clues to their own predicament. Torres' plan works, but when they finally hear from the other ship, they discover that it's Voyager itself! They've been looking at a distorted reflection of themselves and it's Voyager itself that's trapped in the singularity. But how do they get out?
Before long, Torres discovers that another ship which appears to be caught in the reflective distortion is actually a mirror image of Voyager. She realizes that the ship must return to the "tear" in the singularity where they entered, and exit before the star collapses, forever trapping them inside. Using a dekyon beam fired from a shuttlecraft piloted by Janeway and Torres, they force the opening wide enough for Voyager to escape. Because of her tempered initiative and creative approach to saving the ship, Torres is given the Chief Engineer's post, and Lt. Carey is among the first to congratulate her.
During the night shift, as Paris presses Kim to join him on a double date, the ship is shaken by a huge shockwave. Investigating its origins, the crew finds a nearby planet where a cataclysmic explosion recently wiped out all life. Beaming down, the Away Team discovers that the detonation has actually fractured subspace. But before they can react to this dangerous revelation, Paris and Janeway find themselves transported back in time to the day before the explosion.Review
While the crew tries to figure out how to retrieve the missing officers, Janeway orders Paris not to warn the residents of the planet about the approaching disaster, since that would violate the Federation's Prime Directive. Seeking their own way back to Voyager, the pair head for a polaric ion power station, the site of the future explosion. There, they inadvertently become caught up in a clash between the authorities and a group of protesters who later accuse them of being government infiltrators. Disbelieving Janeway's claim that they are about to trigger a major accident, they continue to move forward with their plan to sabotage the power station.
In the meantime, a troubled Kes reveals that her latent Ocampan psychic abilities seem to have been sensitized by the accident. She accompanies the Away Team as they attempt to track Janeway and Chakotay's movements being made in the past.
The protesters force Janeway and Paris to accompany them to the plant, where they shoot their way in. Paris is wounded during the scuffle, but Janeway leaves him to follow the protesters, hoping to stop the devastating explosion.
On Kes' recommendation, Chakotay's crew goes to the flashpoint of the blast and uses a polaric beam to "cut through" subspace and find the missing crewmembers. When Janeway sees their polaric beam, she realizes that it wasn't the protesters who caused the accident - it was the Away Team's attempt to rescue her! Janeway uses her phaser to blunt the impact of the beam. At the instant she succeeds in sealing the opening, time is "reset," and the crew finds itself back on Voyager, a few seconds before the shockwave first hit the ship. None the wiser for their experience, Paris urges Kim to join him on a double date, and Kes finds herself strangely relieved that a nearby planet is teeming with life.
During an Away Team survey of a planetoid that seems to be rich in raw dilithium, Neelix is attacked and left for dead. The other members of the team find him and beam him up to Sickbay, where the Doctor reports that the Talaxian's lungs have been removed. With no other alternatives, the Doctor fits Neelix with a set of holographic lungs. They'll keep him alive, but require him to remain confined in an isotropic restraint in Sickbay for the rest of his life.Review
Janeway leads an Away Team back to the planetoid, where they discover a medical lab filled with harvested organs. Unfortunately, Neelix's lungs are not among them. Minutes later, an alien ship speeds away from the planet, with Voyager hot in pursuit.
In Sickbay, a despondent Neelix is having difficulty adjusting to his situation, but he urges Kes to still go on with her life regardless. Voyager's Emergency Medical Hologram, still serving as the starship's only doctor, admits to Kes that he's having difficulty adjusting to the demands of being a full-time physician. Kes' intelligent, soothing advice makes the Doctor think that the Ocampan might make a good medical assistant.
When confronted, the aliens admit that they stole Neelix's lungs, but defend their actions by recounting the battle that their species - the Vidiians - have fought for years against the "Phage," a gruesome disease that destroys their genetic codes and cellular structure. Unable to defeat the Phage, they have learned to survive by scavenging organs from healthier species to replace their own diseased tissues. Unfortunately, Neelix's lungs have already been transplanted into one of the Vidiian's bodies. Unwilling to sentence the Vidiian to death to regain Neelix's chance for life, Janeway reluctantly releases the scavengers.
Grateful to the Captain for sparing them, the Vidiians offer to help Neelix with their superior medical technology. With their assistance, Kes is able to donate one of her lungs to Neelix, allowing him to live a normal life. After the successful procedure, the Doctor tells Kes that Janeway has granted permission for the Ocampan to begin training as a medical assistant.
Eager to raise the morale of the crew, Janeway jumps at the chance to explore a nebula emitting a high level of omicron particles, which might prove useful for the ship's energy reserves. But shortly after Voyager enters the cloud-like formation, it encounters an energy barrier that brings the ship to a dead stop. Breaking through, the ship continues its penetration of the nebula's inner reaches, only to be bombarded by peculiar globules that attach themselves to the hull. With the globules beginning to drain the starship's energy reserves, Janeway orders the crew to leave the nebula, but this time they can't get past the energy barrier until they blast their way out with a photon torpedo.Review
The excitement over, Paris invites Kim to tag along for some rest and recreation in Sandrine's, a holodeck recreation of a French bar that Paris frequented in his Academy days. In the meantime, Torres spends her time analyzing one of the globules that attached itself to the hull. Surprised at the results, she confirms her findings with the Doctor and then notifies the Captain.
The globules are organic elements of a much larger lifeform, she explains. In other words, the nebula was actually a living entity and the phenomena they encountered were part of the entity's natural defense systems. Concerned that the encounter with Voyager may have caused the lifeform serious injury, Janeway proposes returning and repairing the harm they've done. The Doctor tells her that the organic samples seem to indicate that the lifeform has the capacity to regenerate, given the appropriate stimulation.
Returning to the "nebula," Voyager re-enters and prepares to irradiate the wound with a nucleonic beam. But they're interrupted when the lifeform's natural defense systems again attack the ship, forcing them away from the wound. Although the ship sustains damage, they are eventually able to return to the injury site. The Doctor suggests a method of "suturing" the wound, which they manage to do after distracting the entity's defense systems with a microprobe. Just before the wound seals over, Voyager escapes from the cloud and sets course for a planet where they can replenish their depleted energy reserves. En route, Janeway joins Paris and her other senior staff officers at Sandrine's, where everyone is surprised with her pool playing expertise.
When Ensign Kim finds a wormhole that might lead to the Alpha Quadrant, the crew believes they may have found a rapid route home. Although the opening to the tunnel in space proves too small for Voyager to fly through, Janeway decides to launch a microprobe into it to see what's on the other side.Review
To Kim's disappointment, the probe gets stuck in a gravitational eddy before it makes it all the way through, but he's surprised by readings indicating the probe is being scanned by someone on the other side. Janeway suggests they transmit a message through the probe, hoping it will be picked up by whoever is scanning it. Before long, they receive a subspace response - from the Alpha Quadrant, 70,000 light years away!
In the meantime, Kes begins working closely with the Doctor in Sickbay. She's surprised by how rudely Voyager's staff treats him because he's "only a hologram." She asks the Captain if the Doctor can be treated with the same respect as crewmembers. Janeway agrees, and tells the Doctor he should begin thinking of himself as a member of the crew. What's more, she's giving him control over his own deactivation sequence, and his first taste of independence.
When Voyager finally succeeds in achieving voice contact with the Alpha Quadrant ship, they are surprised to find it's a Romulan vessel. The Romulan captain, a scientist named Telek, is suspicious of the communication from a Starfleet vessel, thinking at first that they must be Federation spies. But once they've established a visual link and the two captains can communicate eye-to-eye, Telek becomes more sympathetic to their plight, saying he'll consider relaying messages to the crew's families back home.
Anxious to explore every avenue that will facilitate getting home, Torres explains that she might be able to "piggyback" a transporter beam onto the visual link, which theoretically would allow the crew to beam to the Romulan ship in the Alpha Quadrant. To test the theory, the Romulan captain allows himself to be transported onto Voyager.
Regrettably, Tuvok discovers the crew has actually beamed the Romulan from 20 years in the past, due to a time rift in the wormhole. Knowing it's pointless to transport the crew back in time because it would wreak havoc with the timeline of that era, Janeway asks the Romulan to relay the crew's messages to their families in 20 years. He agrees, and returns to his ship. Later, a database check reveals that the Romulan died four years before he was able to deliver the messages. Although disappointed, the crew presses forward.
Kim returns to the U.S.S. Voyager from the Banean homeworld with shocking news: Paris has been found guilty of murder. As his punishment, he's been sentenced to relive the crime from his victim's perspective every 14 hours, thanks to memory engrams implanted in his brain by a Banean doctor. Kim recounts how he and Paris were introduced to an engineering physicist named Tolen Ren, who they hoped could help them repair a damaged piece of equipment. Paris took an immediate interest in Ren's young, attractive wife Lidell, and when Ren turned up dead, he was arrested.Review
When Janeway orders Voyager to the Banean planet, Neelix warns her that they are likely to be approached by a Numiri patrol vessel, since the Numiri are at war with the Banea. They are stopped by the Numiri, who offer a warning and then allow the ship to proceed. Janeway meets with the Banean Minister, who explains that the evidence - the murder as seen through Ren's own eyes - undeniably proves Paris's guilt. Paris vehemently denies any wrongdoing. As Janeway and Tuvok talk to him, he enters another cycle and once again relives the murder, this time losing consciousness. The Baneans grant Janeway permission to take Paris back to Sickbay for a medical evaluation.
The Doctor reports that the neurological implant is causing serious brain damage. While Paris remains unconscious, Tuvok launches his own murder investigation. He interviews Ren's wife, who says she saw Paris kill her husband. Later, Paris tells Tuvok that he thinks she spiked his cup of tea the night of the murder. The conversation is interrupted by a Numiri attack that the Voyager crew successfully fends off. Tuvok performs a Vulcan mind meld with Paris and relives the 14-hour cycle. When he emerges from the experience, Tuvok declares that he is convinced of Paris's innocence. What's more, he knows why the Numiri chose to attack Voyager.
Eager to clear Paris, and wondering why the Numiri would assault Voyager, Tuvok gathers the key players in the murder mystery. He deduces that a Banean traitor altered Ren's memory engrams, since Paris' daily flashbacks include equations taken from Ren's weapons research. Thus, Numiri agents used Ren's brain to send secret data to the enemy. Having relived the crime from the victim's viewpoint, Tuvok also realizes that the real killer was shorter than Paris, and exposes the Banean doctor who implanted the engrams as both Lidell's secret lover and Ren's killer. A grateful Paris later thanks Tuvok for saving his life.
While exploring an uncharted asteroid, Chakotay, Kim and Torres stumble upon what appears to be an alien burial ground. Not wanting to desecrate the site, Chakotay and his team decide to make some quick anthropological observations and then return to Voyager. But before they finish their study, a subspace vacuole - a dimensional distortion - forms and begins to fill the cavern they're investigating. Alarmed, Chakotay orders Voyager to beam them up. But when the Away Team appears on the ship, there is only Chakotay, Torres and the body of a recently deceased woman.Review
In the meantime, Kim finds himself trapped inside a ceremonial burial pod on an alien planet in another dimension; he has somehow switched places with the corpse. Freed from the pod, Kim is told that he's on the homeworld of the Vhnori people. The Vhnori think that Kim has come from the "Next Emanation," or afterlife, and they are disturbed when he reveals that he has just come from a place that contained the dead bodies of many Vhnori.
On Voyager, the Doctor is able to revive the corpse - a woman named Ptera. When Ptera realizes that she is not in the Next Emanation with her deceased family members, she becomes hysterical. Later, she reveals that her people believe that when they die, the vacuoles take their bodies to another plane of reality. To learn that the distortions merely take their bodies to a barren asteroid is difficult to accept. Not long after, another vacuole forms, and deposits a second corpse onto the ship, and still later, a third.
After hearing Kim's story about the bodies on the asteroid, a Vhnori man named Hatil - who was about to submit to euthanasia to ease his family's burden in caring for him - changes his mind about dying. On Voyager, Ptera wants to be sent home, even if that means dying a second time. The crew attempts to beam her into a forming vacuole, but the procedure doesn't work and when they retrieve her, Ptera is dead.
Time is running out. The vacuoles are damaging the ship's warp core. If the crew doesn't find Kim soon, they'll have to leave him behind. On the Vhnori world, Kim figures out a way to escape. He'll take Hatil's place in a burial pod, allowing Hatil to fulfill his own escape option and Kim to transfer to his universe when the next vacuole delivers the occupant of the pod into the other dimension. The plan works, and Kim's body appears on Voyager, where the Doctor is able to revive him.
The crew beams aboard Gath Labin, a representative from Sikaris, a planet known for its outstanding hospitality. Gath invites the weary travelers to take a break from their duties on his homeworld. Knowing shore leave would do the crew good, Janeway orders Voyager to follow Gath back to Sikaris, where residents welcome them with open arms.Review
The Sikarians love to hear stories of other places and travels from visitors, and following Gath and Janeway's lead, the groups begin mixing. Kim is soon telling the Voyager story to a young woman named Eudana, who suggests they go somewhere else to be alone. Little does he realize she means a planet more than 40,000 light years away, thanks to the Sikarians' spatial trajector - technology which can "fold" space to allow long-distance travel in an instant.
The Voyager crew are overjoyed, but then learn the Sikarians have their own prime directive which prevents them from sharing their technology with less advanced races. One Sikarian, Jaret Otel, offers Kim the technology in exchange for more Voyager "stories." But Janeway feels it's unethical to accept the technology from anyone other than Gath, the Sikarian leader. She decides to ask him to send Voyager as far as he can in exchange for the "stories." He refuses but invites Janeway and the crew to stay on his planet instead. The meeting ends on a sour note, and Janeway realizes they are no longer welcome.
After that, B'Elanna, Carey and Seska conspire to ignore Janeway's orders and take Jaret's offer - and are shocked when Tuvok shows up to make the exchange and sacrifice his career if caught. The gamble is for naught when they find the trajector is incompatible with Federation technology. Janeway finds herself reprimanding not only her new hot-headed Engineer but her old and logical friend Tuvok. The Vulcan explains he sacrificed his own career so the crew could get home without Janeway compromising her ethics, but she rejects that "logic" and asks her confidant to never let her down again.
While routinely exploring a new planet for foodstuffs, a cloaked Kazon-Nistrim ship is detected in orbit. Therefore, the Away Team is recalled but Chakotay can't find Seska. He locates her in a nearby cave, hiding from two Kazon. She had been gathering mushrooms and wandered from the group. Chakotay is hurt in the exchange of fire but Seska gets them both beamed aboard safely.Review
Rejecting Neelix's choice of foods and recipes, Seska and some other Maquis later break into the food reserves and steal the mushrooms she found to make mushroom soup. She privately brings a pot to the recuperating Chakotay, but the romantic mood between the former Maquis lovers is broken when Neelix reports the break-in. Chakotay angrily reprimands everyone involved, including himself as an accessory. Seska is stunned at his reaction and leaves, teasing him that her eye is now on Kim.
Three days later, the U.S.S. Voyager gets a distress call from a Kazon warship. It turns out to be the one they just encountered, but with only one survivor amid devastation that was caused by Federation technology. Someone on Voyager had to have given them the technology.
Against orders, Seska beams aboard the Kazon warship to retrieve the Federation equipment and is injured. In Sickbay, a routine blood test reveals racial factors of Cardassian origin, not Bajoran, but she explains a bone marrow transplant from a Cardassian woman caused the change during a childhood case of Orkett's Disease.
Another Kazon ship responds to the distress call, and Janeway allows visitors for the ailing Kazon. But the Maje and his aide kill him and an angry Janeway sends them back, ignoring their claims to the damaged ship so it can be checked further for clues. Seska and Carey are now suspects in the espionage because the technology was sent from an Engineering station they both had access to. B'Elanna Torres retrieves the device from the wrecked vessel: a simple food replicator that rejected a Kazon interface with disastrous results.
Chakotay and Tuvok set a trap to find the guilty Engineer - finally revealed to be Seska. She is indeed a cosmetically altered Cardassian who had rejected Janeway's nobility and instead sought allies among the powerful Kazon with the gift of technology. Before she can be arrested, though, Seska beams herself aboard the departing Kazon ship.
Somewhat shaken by the turn of events, Chakotay ruefully wonders aloud about his old Maquis crew: if Tuvok spied for Starfleet and Seska was a Cardassian, was anyone aboard working for him?
When Voyager comes across a protostar, Janeway has samples of its photonic energy beamed aboard for study and possible use in power converters. After a small glitch, B'Elanna Torres corrects a breach in the transporter's containment field and safely finishes the samples' beam-in. But in calling Kim to assist her studies, she learns that ship sensors cannot detect him in the Holodeck or anywhere else aboard.Review
Tuvok and Chakotay enter the Holodeck to find no sign of Kim but discover his program still running: a version of the English epic poem "Beowulf." Confronted by characters from "Beowulf," they join in to fight the creature in the story and also disappear.
Rather than lose any more organic crewmembers, Janeway sends the holographic Doctor to unravel the mystery as his first away mission. Though he puts up a brave front, Kes gets him to admit he's unsure of himself and then offers encouragement, helping him select a name from an admired role model: Schweitzer. Once inside he begins to get the rhythm of the role but is uncomfortable with romantic advances from a female character, Freya, until she dies in his arms after taking a sword blow meant for him. Although both are holograms, he is clearly moved by her last word: his newly chosen name.
Inspired to try again, the Doctor realizes that an alien lifeform was snared in the energy samples taken earlier and, escaping through the field breach, retaliated by taking form in the Holodeck as the Beowulf monster and converting any Voyager crewmembers into energy. When the "sample" beings are returned to the alien, Kim, Tuvok and Chakotay all reappear - leading to a commendation from Janeway for the Doctor. He decides not to take the Schweitzer name because Freya died saying it.
An assault on a shuttlecraft manned by Tuvok and Chakotay leaves both men injured and Chakotay apparently brain-dead. The Doctor explains that something has drained all the bio-neural energy from the first officer's brain. The prognosis looks grim, but Torres places a Native American medical wheel near Chakotay's bed, in the hopes that it will help her friend "find his way home" from his illness.Review
After Tuvok recovers, he reveals that they were attacked by an unidentified ship that emerged from a dark matter nebula. Janeway orders Voyager to head back to the nebula to investigate, but before they reach it, the ship changes course. The navigational computer implicates Paris, but he denies having made the change. A short time later, Torres initiates a warp core shutdown, but like Paris, she can't remember instigating the actions. When the Doctor examines the pair, he discovers that a strange brainwave pattern was superimposed on them during the tampering incidents - which could mean that an alien entity momentarily seized control of their minds. As a precaution, Janeway transfers the ship's command codes to a non-organic source: the Doctor.
When Kes tells Janeway that she has been "sensing" an alien presence on the ship, Tuvok suggests that he perform a mind-meld with the Ocampan to help her focus her telepathic abilities. But a short time later, the two are found unconscious, the result of an energy discharge similar to the one that hit the shuttle, according to Tuvok. A short time later, someone disables the Doctor's program. With him out of the picture, the command codes revert to Janeway, who decides to divide them between herself and Tuvok. The unseen force tries to take over Janeway, but the crew incapacitates her. It jumps to Kim, and then Lieutenant Durst, before Tuvok finally stuns everyone on the bridge.
A series of clues turns up in quick succession, all of which imply that Tuvok has been lying to the crew. There was no ship in the nebula, and Kes' injury now appears to have been the result of a Vulcan nerve pinch. Under increasing suspicion, Tuvok takes over command of the ship and orders it into the nebula, where he says the Komar - others of his kind - await. But before they can get there, something makes Torres eject the ship's warp core. Since they now know that Tuvok, under the control of the Komar, has been trying to bring them all to the nebula all along, who has been acting against him, trying to keep Voyager out? All signs seem to indicate that it is Chakotay.
Realizing that the Komar want to extract their collective neural energy, the crew manages to overpower the Vulcan at last. The lifeform leaves his body to join the others of its kind in the nebula. Voyager's crew needs to leave the area, but since the possessed Tuvok plotted the course in, they are uncertain how to get out of the nebula.
Down in Sickbay, Neelix is suddenly compelled to rearrange the markers on Chakotay's medicine wheel. Janeway realizes that it is a message from her first officer, a map showing them the correct course. They escape from the nebula just in time. Later, the Doctor finds a way to reintegrate Chakotay's displaced neural energy with his body and he revives at last, pleased that he was able to help protect the crew, despite his disembodied condition.
When an Away Team consisting of Paris, Torres and Lt. Durst fails to return, Chakotay, Kim and Tuvok beam down to the planet where the trio was working to investigate. Chakotay traces the missing crewmembers to some caves, but can't break through the Vidiian force field to find them.Review
In an underground lab, a Vidiian scientist named Sulan has extracted Torres's Klingon genetic material to create an all-Klingon version of her. He hopes to create a cure for the deadly Phage disease infecting his race by injecting a pure Klingon subject with the disease. But his interest in Torres is more than purely scientific, a fact the Klingon woman soon picks up on.
Trapped in another Vidiian cell, Paris and Durst are stunned when a new prisoner is brought in. It's an all-human version of Torres - the other "half" of Torres that was left after Sulan removed the Klingon genetic material. The guards return and forcibly remove Durst from the cell. Although Paris tries unsuccessfully to help his friend, all the human Torres can do is cringe in fear.
The next time Sulan comes to visit the Klingon Torres, she is horrified to see him wearing Durst's face. He has killed the lieutenant and grafted the dead man's face over his own diseased features in the hopes that Torres will find him more attractive. Instead, her anger helps her to break the bonds restraining her. She attacks Sulan and escapes from the lab.
Paris and the human Torres are sent out on a labor detail, but when she can no longer work, she's sent back to the barracks. Her Klingon counterpart finds her there, and helps her to escape. In turn, the human Torres comes up with a plan to deactivate the shields for the whole facility, which would allow Voyager to beam them up. The two beings acknowledge that each has unique qualities that contribute to the whole being.
Disguised as a Vidiian, Chakotay rescues Paris and they reunite with the two Torreses. Just as they are about to beam back up to the ship, Sulan fires and the Klingon Torres takes the hit to save her human self. She dies after beaming up with the others, but the Doctor is able to use her Klingon DNA to restore Torres back to her original self.
Neelix is aghast when a Haakonian named Ma'Bor Jetrel contacts the U.S.S. Voyager and asks to meet with him. The Haakonians had fought a long, destructive war against his people 15 years earlier. Jetrel is the scientist who helped them conquer Talax by developing the Metreon Cascade, a superweapon that killed over 300,000 people on Talax's moon Rinax, including Neelix's family. But now Jetrel says he has come forward to examine Talaxians like Neelix who helped evacuate survivors from Rinax, in the process exposing themselves to high concentrations of metreon isotopes. Although he considers Jetrel a monster, Neelix agrees to be examined, and is informed that he also has the fatal blood disease. .Review
Later, Jetrel convinces Janeway to make a detour to the Talaxian system. Using the ship's transporter systems, Jetrel feels he may be able to develop a cure by retrieving samples of the Metreon cloud still surrounding Rinax. Janeway agrees, but Neelix is still bitter. He angrily condemns Jetrel for the devastation he's caused, only to learn that the scientist is also paying the price-he too has the disease and only has a few days to live.
The ship's arrival at Rinax opens old wounds for Neelix. He confesses to Kes that he's lied for years about being part of the Talaxian defense forces. He never reported for duty; instead, he spent the war hiding on Talax.
Later, Neelix seeks out Jetrel, only to find the Doctor deactivated and Jetrel covertly conducting experiments in the lab. Suspecting the worst of Jetrel, Neelix tries to notify Janeway, but the scientist renders him unconscious.
Jetrel heads for the transporter room, where he is confronted by the Captain. Jetrel pleads with Janeway to let him conclude his work and bring back the deceased Talaxian victims of Rinax. He believes that he can use the transporter to regenerate their disassociated remains, and confesses he came to Voyager as a pretext to use the ship's transporter; Neelix was falsely diagnosed and is fine.
Janeway allows Jetrel to proceed, but the improbable experiment fails. The scientist collapses, knowing that he will never be able to redeem himself. Neelix pays a last visit to Jetrel and tells him that he is forgiven, allowing the Haakonian to die with some semblance of peace.
When a Maquis engineer named Dalby disrupts power to the ship's energy grid by making an unauthorized repair, Janeway realizes that she can't expect Starfleet behavior from people who never went to the Academy. To bring the Maquis officers up to speed on Starfleet protocol, Janeway asks Tuvok to train a group of four recruits, including Dalby. Predictably, the Maquis recruits balk at Tuvok's by-the-book discipline until Chakotay forcefully gets the point across that this is not a voluntary exercise.Review
Like any good drill sergeant, Tuvok comes down hard on his Maquis charges, demanding regulation attire and behavior. Dalby complains to Torres about Tuvok's tough tactics, but Torres suggests that Dalby is afraid he can't cut it. The conversation is abruptly halted, however, when one of the ship's bio-neural gel packs malfunctions, the second time in days. Torres takes the pack to Sickbay, and the Doctor notes that the partially biological component has an infection and must be "cured" before it spreads to the rest of the ship's systems.
Tuvok's rigorous training sessions seem to work at a superficial level, but the Maquis are easily discouraged. Tuvok confesses to Neelix that he doesn't understand why his techniques, honed through years of instructing cadets at the Academy, aren't working. Neelix advises Tuvok to be more flexible in his approach.
While pondering the Talaxian's advice in the mess hall, Tuvok wonders if bacterial spores from Neelix's newly made homemade cheese is being absorbed by the ship's ventilation ducts, serving as the source of the gel pack's infection. The Doctor inspects the cheese, and Tuvok's hunch turns out to be correct.
Not long after, Tuvok and his students find themselves trapped in a Cargo Bay when another system falls victim to the virus. When the Voyager crew infuses the gel-packs with a plasma burst of heat to kill the infection, noxious vapors leak into the cargo bay where Tuvok and his recruits are stranded. Nearly overcome by the fumes, Tuvok helps three of the four cadets escape, then goes back for the incapacitated fourth. As the toxic gas ultimately overcomes him, his three black sheep finally band together to become an effective team, forcing open the door and rescuing both men. Later, Dalby notes that if Tuvok can break the rules sometimes, then maybe they could learn to follow protocol under his tutelage after all.
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