What's wrong?
Can't figure out why l'm still not running, huh?
Can't read my thoughts?
Go ahead. Attack!
Take my ship.
Damn ship!
Hold together.
Ah! Ah!
Approximately 400 million kilometers
from our current position.
Take a look at the transkinetic vector.
lt leads to Sector 001.
lt looks like a wormhole,
but we're detecting massive bioplasmic activity.
That suggests a life-form.
Neutrino flux?
A direct route to Earth's doorstep
out of the blue.
What's wrong with this picture?
We should launch a probe.
Go to Yellow Alert.
Prepare a class-5 probe.
Let's see what's really out there.
Daily Log, Seven of Nine.
While we failed to locate a new source of deuterium,
our mission had educational value
for at least one member of the crew.
lf you go looking for deuterium tomorrow,
can l come?
Well, that's up to the Captain.
lt's likely you'll be replaced by a more experienced officer.
But this is my first away mission
and l didn't get to do anything.
l disagree.
You familiarized yourself with this vessel.
Well, can't we make first contact with somebody
or get in a space battle?
can't we?
Another time, perhaps.
Hey, Naomi, you want to take the helm?
Can l?
She'll be familiarizing herself
with the vessel.
First, bring us up to one-quarter impulse.
Hit this control, then that one.
One-quarter impulse, aye.
Now, you think you can chart a course back to Voyager?.
Yes, sir.
They're in a hurry.
Crewmen Boylen and White--
frequently late for their duty shifts.
Speaking of late, l'll make a deal with you.
l'll explain to Sam
why her daughter's two hours late for bedtime
if you start on the survey report.
Have fun.
You're back.
l was beginning to worry.
The survey took longer than expected.
Lucky our deuterium shortage is no longer an issue.
A wormhole.
The wormhole.
lt leads all the way back to Earth.
The odds of finding such a phenomenon
are infinitesimal.
Never bet against the house.
What are you doing?
Looking for anomalous readings.
You will find none.
He's right-- no subspatial contortions,
no temporal variance.
The probe we sent in has already
picked up faint signals from the other side.
B'Elanna's still downloading them,
but she's pretty sure they're from Starfleet.
This wormhole is only 300 million kilometers away.
Long-range scans should've detected it days ago.
Perhaps it was an oversight on your part.
lf it'll make you feel better, run a diagnostic.
ln the meantime, let's maintain course.
Come in.
l've completed my diagnostic.
Sensors are operating at peak efficiency.
Then there's nothing to worry about.
On the contrary.
The wormhole's neutrino levels are extremely erratic.
l thought so, too...
until l received this.
lt turns out those faint signals we detected
were communiqués from Starfleet.
They assure me the neutrino flux is nothing to worry about.
Starfleet may be in error.
We should run further scans.
No time. The wormhole might destabilize.
The Doctor often instructs me ''to look before l leap.''
lt is an antiquated adage, but l believe it is relevant.
l have another one for you--
''He who hesitates is lost.''
l think we're avoiding the real issue here, Seven.
You're still feeling uncomfortable
about returning to the Alpha Quadrant.
lt's nothing to be ashamed of.
Trust me. You're going to thrive on Earth
just as you've thrived on Voyager.
Letter number two.
l'm getting jealous.
Apparently his engagement was broken off.
What about you? Any news?
A full pardon and reinstatement to Starfleet.
l've even been offered a professorship
in anthropology at the Academy.
Oh, Chakotay, congratulations, but it's not fair.
Don't worry. lt's only part-time.
How am l expected to run a ship without you?
You'll do fine.
Computer, access all log entries
recorded by Captain Janeway on stardate 52542.
Access to those files is restricted.
Access granted.
Play first log entry.
Captain's Log, Stardate 52542.3.
Long-range sensors have identified a wormhole
leading to the Alpha Quadrant.
Unfortunately, secondary scans have revealed
that it's some kind of elaborate deception.
The question is:
Who's attempting to deceive us and why?
Play next log entry.
Captain's Log, supplemental.
We've begun to receive faint telemetry from our probe.
l don't want to get the crew's hopes up,
but B'Elanna thinks it may be a message from Starfleet.
l'm beginning to wonder
if my earlier skepticism was justified.
Play next log entry.
Captain's Log, supplemental.
l've set a course for the wormhole.
With any luck, we should be back in the Alpha Quadrant
in a matter of days.
Annika Hansen!
There is no one here by that name.
Are you sure?
Because l have a letter here addressed to her.
l never realized
you knew anyone from the Alpha Quadrant.
l don't.
Well, it looks like someone knows you.
Who's it from?
Claudia Hansen.
She claims to be a sister of my father.
Your aunt.
She is looking forward to meeting me.
That's great!
Starfleet's appointed me
Ambassador to the Lan'Tuan sector.
l guess they thought l'd have a flair for quadrupeds.
Ensign, l require a moment of your time.
Have you noticed anything unusual
about the crew's behavior since we returned?
When l presented the Captain with evidence
that the wormhole may not be what it appears to be,
she seemed unconcerned.
Really? That doesn't sound like her.
l believe the crew
is being deceived by false telemetry,
as well as overly-optimistic correspondence.
The letters from home?
l got one, too.
No doubt containing good news.
Oh, l'll say.
An old buddy of mine offered me a spot
at the new test flight center in Australia.
Beautiful beaches,
a chance to pilot the latest experimental ships.
l can't believe it.
Then you doubt the veracity of the letters as well.
Are you kidding?
l've already written back and accepted the job.
Computer, activate the EMH.
Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
The wormhole is not what it appears to be.
l believe that the crew is being...
Hold on. Wormhole?
You weren't informed.
Not a peep.
Considering everyone's recent behavior,
that's not surprising.
Since the discovery of this wormhole,
the crew has ignored obvious signs that it's a deception.
You must determine if there is a physiological explanation.
Seven of Nine to the Bridge.
On my way.
l'll call in a few crewmen for routine examinations.
That should allow me to run the necessary diagnostics.
We've just entered visual range.
l thought you'd like to take a look.
We're starting to get images from the other side.
There is considerable interference.
l think l can help clear it up.
Try it now.
How long until we reach the wormhole?
53 minutes.
Maintain course.
All hands, this is the Bridge.
Secure all systems.
When we reach Earth's orbit, lay in a descent trajectory,
North American continent, Starfleet Headquarters.
Computer, perform a gravimetric scan
of the wormhole's interior.
Look for inconsistencies in the spatial gradient.
The anomaly is consistent with a class-1 wormhole.
No irregularities detected.
Recalibrate sensors and try again.
No irregularities detected.
lsolate grid 925 and magnify.
Computer, is that a vessel in grid 91?
No vessel has been detected.
Open a com channel.
Channel open.
Alien vessel, this is the Starship Voyager.
Alien vessel...
Who are you?
Seven of Nine, Federation Starship Voyager.
Our ship is on an intercept course
3.4 light-years from your position.
Turn around.
You're being deceived.
He knows what you want.
Computer, identify the cause of the power failure.
Captain's orders.
Power from Astrometrics has been rerouted
to the navigational array, at least until we've completed
our journey through the wormhole.
l've made contact with a vessel inside the anomaly.
The pilot attempted to warn us away.
Sensors show no record of an incoming transmission.
The sensors are malfunctioning.
He said we were being deceived,
that the wormhole is not what it appears to be.
The preponderance of data suggests otherwise.
The data is flawed.
As is your reasoning.
May l ask you a personal question?
Are you looking forward to seeing your wife and family?
And is that desire stronger than you expected it to be?
Your point?
l believe you are being manipulated.
Someone or something is compromising your logic.
Otherwise, you would be willing to listen to my concerns.
Access to the Astrometrics Lab
is restricted until further notice.
Naomi Wildman.
Your presence here is unauthorized.
State your intentions.
l'm... hiding.
From whom?
They're all acting strange.
Even Mom.
She keeps smiling all the time, talking about Earth
like it's the greatest place in the universe.
You do not share your mother's desire to return to Earth?
Voyager's my home.
lf we go to Earth, l'll have to leave the ship.
l'd miss my room, Neelix...
you and l wouldn't be able to play Kadis-Kot anymore.
You and l appear to be the only ones not affected.
Affected by what?
l am not certain.
Stay here until l return.
Computer, activate EMH.
Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
Where's the Doctor?
Starfleet orders--
something about the wormhole
interfering with the holographic systems.
They didn't want to damage his program.
He must be reactivated.
No can do, not until we're on the other side.
lt's urgent.
Believe it or not, l am capable of handling
almost any medical problem you might have.
l was just coming to see you.
l'm afraid l have some troubling news.
Evidently, our wormhole passes through
a layer of subspace monitored by the Borg.
Starfleet's concerned that your neural transceiver
might attract some unwanted attention.
We need to deactivate your implants.
You should not attempt to do so
without the Doctor's supervision.
Unfortunately, he's off-line.
Then the procedure is inadvisable.
Try to relax. We're only going to keep you in stasis
until we've reached the Alpha Quadrant.
l realize the prospect
of returning to Earth is frightening to you.
lt's perfectly natural for you to resist the unknown,
but you're in good hands.
Resistance is futile.
What's our distance, Tom?
2,000 kilometers and closing.
Good-bye, Delta Quadrant.
No more Hirogen hunting parties, Malon garbage scows.
By this time tomorrow,
it'll be Cardassians, Romulans, Ferengi...
Chakotay to the Bridge.
Go ahead.
l've spoken to Seven of Nine.
We're putting her into stasis.
Well, make it fast.
We don't want the Borg to crash our welcome home party.
l need to adjust my regeneration parameters.
How long will l remain inactive?
A couple of hours to be on the safe side.
Security alert!
Naomi Wildman.
Security's on their way,
Chakotay. What happened?
Seven's trapped us behind some kind of Borg force field.
Try to disable it.
go back to your quarters.
Pay attention to me.
lf this indicator begins to flash,
enter the following series of commands.
Watch carefully.
Do you understand?
l'm giving you a direct order.
Step away from the console.
She's blocking my commands.
Keep trying.
Computer, lock onto my coordinates
and initiate a site-to-site transport.
Main Engineering.
l'm sorry.
We've got phaser fire in Engineering.
Janeway to Security.
Computer, erect a level-10 force field around Engineering.
Lock out the command controls with Borg encryption code 294.
Seven's tapping into the engine manifold.
She's trying to shut down impulse drive.
She has erected another force field.
lt will require several minutes to deactivate it.
Where is she exactly?
Engineering Console 16-Beta.
l'm sending an EM surge to that station.
Seven's going into stasis whether she likes it or not.
She's down, Captain.
we're at the threshold.
Take us in.
lt's just spatial turbulence.
lt's beautiful.
Steady as she goes.
Seven, wake up.
Seven of Nine.
Wake up.
Force field.
You are damaged.
lt's just a scrape.
The crew?
Unconscious. Sort of.
Our hull is demolecularizing.
Do wormholes do that?
No... they don't.
Return to your quarters while l assess the situation.
But l can help.
My mom says two heads are better than one.
lsn't that the Borg philosophy, too?
Simplistic, but accurate.
Please... l don't want to be alone.
Oh, Neelix.
He will survive.
We must keep moving.
Naomi Wildman.
We will return for him.
l don't think that's Earth.
So, where are we?
l've restored partial systems.
l'm reading organic compounds,
bioplasmic discharges,
a vast network of neural pathways.
ls it a life-form?
lf it is, it's the largest l've seen--
over 2,000 kilometers in diameter.
What are you doing?
My earlier scans revealed a vessel.
l'm trying to find it again.
Somebody else is stuck here?
lt's heavily damaged, but still functioning.
Alien vessel, respond.
This is the Starship Voyager.
Please respond.
l told you to stay away.
Why didn't you listen?
Our crew believed they were returning to their homes.
Everything they've always wanted, correct?
He deceived them.
l believe we should work together
to escape this anomaly.
Lower your shields and l'll beam you aboard.
Shields are the only thing holding my ship together.
l'd be destroyed.
l will enhance your shield emitters.
You won't fool me that easily.
l assure you we are not a deception.
Oh, how convenient.
An enormous starship comes to my rescue.
You might try a more subtle approach.
My scans indicate that your shields will fail
in approximately 15 minutes.
Join us, or you can remain on your vessel,
secure in the knowledge that you were not deceived,
but that knowledge will do you little good when you are dead.
Decide now.
All right.
All right!
l'm taking my shields down.
You look real enough, but over the years,
he's made me believe many things are real--
a fortune at my fingertips,
good friends risen from the dead.
You're referring to the anomaly we've entered.
lt's a beast.
Cunning, deadly.
What does it want?
your ship...
antimatter, biomatter.
He consumes it.
Everyone believed it was a wormhole.
Hmm, telepathy...
psychogenic manipulation.
He senses your thoughts, your desires,
and then he preys on them.
Like a pitcher plant.
Pitcher plant?
The Doctor taught me about it in botany class.
lt catches insects by mimicking pheromones.
Yes, you're right,
but this one doesn't eat insects.
He eats starships.
You are familiar with this life-form?
Familiar? l've been hunting it for nearly 40 years.
And have you become impervious to its telepathy?
Almost, but there are days when he can still trick me.
Like yesterday.
l thought l had found a way to kill him once and for all.
l'd allow him to begin consuming my ship,
and then l'd fly directly to his most vulnerable system--
his primary neural plexus. Boom!
l'd destroy him from the inside out.
But he knew.
He showed me what l wanted to see.
l was nowhere near his neural plexus.
l was flying directly into his digestion chamber.
And speaking of digestion...
How do we get out of the monster?
lt's not a monster.
lt's a bioplasmic organism, and we will find a way out.
The girl's right.
He's a monster
and the only way out is to destroy him.
Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
Your ship is being devoured.
l'd say that's an emergency.
The monster ate his ship, too.
l want to see your weapons manifest.
This is a Sick Bay, not an arsenal.
What's going on?
Voyager has been lured into the digestive chamber
of a bioplasmic organism.
We require your assistance in charting an escape route.
Slow down. The last thing l remember
l was speaking to Mr. Paris.
He said the wormhole posed a threat to my program.
The beast has been manipulating your crew.
The moment he realized you were beginning to suspect something,
he made sure you were deactivated.
And who might you be?
The local monster expert?
As a matter of fact, l am.
He's been fooling you for days, creating false sensor readings,
and he's been altering your crew's thought patterns--
a little neurogenic telepathy to make them lower their guard.
That might explain the heightened dopamine levels
l found during my ''routine examinations'' of the crew.
Have you informed the Captain?
She's asleep.
lt's our proximity to the creature.
The neurogenic field is stronger here.
lt's already rendered most of the crew unconscious.
Does your vessel's database contain information
on the creature's anatomy?
Of course.
Retrieve it.
ln the meantime, let's work on a wake-up call for the crew.
Computer, increase
neurotransmitter levels by 29 percent.
A cortical inhibitor?
l thought it might disrupt the organism's hold on her.
lt won't.
l already tried a similar procedure.
l don't remember asking for a second opinion.
lt's working.
She's regaining consciousness.
You're being exposed to a powerful neurogenic field.
You've been unconscious for several hours.
They're here.
The Maquis. They're alive!
B'Elanna, you're still on Voyager.
You're hallucinating.
Starfleet thinks you've all been killed.
Computer, increase neurotransmitter levels
another ten percent.
What happened?
B'Elanna, focus on my voice.
She doesn't want to.
They never want to.
lt's the silence l hate...
the way he takes you without a fight.
lt was the same way with the Nokaro.
A crew of nearly 3,000-- families mostly, mine included--
looking for a new world to settle,
but they came across our friend here
and he showed them what they wanted to see--
a glistening green paradise.
By the time l responded to their distress call,
all that was left of them
was some fading engine emissions.
That was 39 years ago.
39 years, two weeks, four days...
Do you mind?
The situation is dismal enough.
l'm just trying to explain who we're up against.
Well, l'm getting a pretty good idea on my own.
Judging by these bio-scans,
the organism's been devouring life-forms
for a bit longer than 39 years.
l'd estimate it's at least 200,000 years old.
The intelligent always survive.
l wouldn't go that far.
lt appears to operate on highly evolved instinct.
l haven't detected any signs of sentience.
Oh, he's intelligent, all right--
smart enough to fool your crew into taking you off-line.
No need to get personal.
l'm here.
Are we still inside the monster?
Yes, but we are going to find a way out.
There! This is it!
Exactly what we need.
These class-9 torpedoes in your weapons manifest.
lf we can bring your vessel deeper
into the creature's digestive tract
and detonate one of these charges,
we might be able to destroy it.
Starfleet's not in the habit of killing life-forms.
Even if that life-form is about to kill you?
lf l could take a few hours
to examine the creature more thoroughly...
There is no time.
We kill him!
Maybe there's another way.
Any living organism, no matter how large,
will attempt to expel a foreign body.
lf we could just make Voyager a little less tasty...
My scans indicate that your weapons are tetryon-based.
lf you were to fire one at a pocket of antimatter
released from our warp core, it would produce
an electrolytic reaction.
Would that make Voyager taste bad?
lt might at that.
Once l've beamed you back to your ship,
try adjusting your shields to this frequency.
You'll find them more resistant to the bioplasmic discharges.
You seem to know a little about everything--
medicine, exobiology, shield harmonics.
l'm something of a renaissance EMH.
l could use a crewmate like you.
The beast would have a difficult time
manipulating a hologram's desires.
An lshmael to your Ahab?
No, thank you.
You're turning down the hunt of a lifetime.
As appealing as that sounds,
l'm a doctor, not a dragon slayer.
My program requires that l do no harm.
Qatai's vessel is ready.
l've rerouted Bridge controls to Engineering--
ops, tactical, helm-- all integrated into one station.
l thought you'd like it.
l'm plotting a course
for the organism's esophageal aperture.
Prepare to release the antimatter.
Hull integrity's dropped another 13 percent.
Ready on my end.
Voyager to Qatai. Prepare to fire.
Wait! Wait!
No, no. No, no, no.
What's wrong?
That last jolt
must have destabilized my targeting sensors.
l could establish an interface to Voyager's targeting array.
Don't bother. l know my ship.
lt's just being stubborn.
lnitiate the burst on my mark.
Like the taste of that?
l'm reading violent contractions
throughout the digestive chamber.
lt's working.
We're moving back through the esophageal aperture.
Voyager has been expelled.
We're 3.9 kilometers from the organism.
After just one burst?
For a big fellow,
he certainly has a low tolerance for tummy ache.
Qatai's vessel was also released.
Hail him.
Why haven't you ejected a second burst?!
We've cleared the organism.
You've been deceived!
We're both still inside it!
He's right.
l'm reading bioplasmic energy.
l am impervious to the creature's influence.
You were impervious
when it was creating the illusion
of Voyager getting home
because you didn't share that desire,
but now we're trying to escape, which is what you want.
Think about it!
He's showing you exactly what you want to see.
lnitiate another antimatter burst.
We're out.
Are we certain?
No sign of bioplasmic energy.
We've escaped.
l'm taking us out of range.
Maximum warp.
l'd better see to the crew.
Well, l'll be on my way. Thanks for your help.
Your engines have taken heavy damage.
You require our assistance.
No time.
The beast is already altering course.
l'll handle the repairs myself.
The procedure would take several days.
Don't worry about me.
Just get your ship home.
And watch out for pitcher plants.
We're still in the Delta Quadrant.
Scan the wormhole.
Find out what went wrong.
lt's gone.
l can't find it on sensors.
Bridge controls have been routed
to Engineering-- ops, tactical, helm-- all of it.
Bridge to Engineering.
Yes, Captain.
Seven? What's going on?
The Doctor will explain.
l will file a complete report in the morning
after l have regenerated.
Captain's Log, Stardate 52542.3.
We've deployed a series of beacons
to warn other vessels about the bioplasmic creature
and resumed a course for home-- our real home.
Naomi Wildman.
Don't worry.
My presence here is authorized.
By whom?
She thinks l need to learn more about Earth.
l see.
And does studying this image
increase your desire to go there?
Not really.
l concur.
lt is unremarkable.
But my mom likes it
and even Neelix can't wait to get there,
so l guess it can't be that bad.
Given this crew's determination to return home,
l have no doubt we will see it for ourselves someday.

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