l've seen that look before.
Ensign Murphy had better watch out.
l happen to know that Murphy is seeing
one of the Delaney sisters.
Not since Harry and Tom Paris made their move.
Harry and the Delaney sisters?
He would have told me.
l guess there are some things he keeps to himself.
is it true about you and the Delaney sisters?
ls what true?
Come on, Harry.
There aren't any secrets on a ship this small.
What have you been telling people?
Well, we did take that trip to Venice with them.
The holodeck?
You got to be kidding.
That lasted all of 15 minutes.
Yeah, you know l've been meaning to ask you.
What happened when you and Jenny Delaney
disappeared in that gondola?
Harry, we're your friends.
You can tell us.
We... talked.
And then...
l fell over the side.
You fell out of the gondola?
l think maybe Harry wasn't quite prepared
for how voracious Jenny Delaney can be.
l think it's finally beginning to happen.
Both crews getting along.
That kind of bonding should improve performance
and maximize efficiency.
Yes, l'm sure it will.
Bridge to Captain Janeway.
Go ahead.
Captain, we're receiving a distress call
in one of the lower subspace bands.
l'm on my way.
-This is it. -Thanks.
Report, Commander.
The subspace distress signal's
coming from a vessel bearing 125 mark 21.
Distance: 200,000 kilometers.
sensors indicate five life-forms aboard.
The vessel is altering its course to intercept us.
Go to Yellow Alert and slow to impulse.
-Hail them, Mr. Kim. -Aye, Captain.
This is Captain Kathryn Janeway
of the Federation Starship Voyager.
What is the nature of your emergency?
We have no emergency.
But you're sending out a distress call.
Yes, we are.
Because you are in distress.
l am Gathorel Labin of the planet Sikaris.
Please, let us welcome you to our system,
show you the hospitality of our people.
That's very kind of you...
if l could come aboard your ship,
l have gifts for you
and a proposal l hope you will find irresistible.
Mr. Tuvok, make the necessary arrangements
to receive our guest.
Mr. Labin, it really isn't necessary
to go to all of this trouble.
Please, call me Gath.
And l promise you, l would like nothing better
than to prepare a few of our newest delicacies for you.
Ah, this will be perfect.
Uh-uh, Captain, l'm serving lunch in less than two hours.
We won't be long, Neelix.
This is Mr.... this is Gath.
He's from Sikaris.
Ooh, Sikaris.
Do you know the planet?
Only stories about their incredible hospitality.
Tell me, how do you know about us?
Our people are very well-traveled.
Some of them have brought back stories
about the ship of aliens
from another part of the galaxy--
people lost and alone,
struggling to find their way home again.
This is wonderful.
And l decided to come and meet you,
and offer you respite.
A vacation, if you will--
get away from the confines of the ship,
enjoy the beauty of our landscape,
meet and talk with interesting, learned people.
And the crew would certainly welcome
a little shore leave, Captain.
And l hear the Sikarians
have a huge variety of edible plants.
lf we could collect some seeds,
we'd expand our selection significantly.
Sounds like all this would increase performance
and maximize efficiency.
Don't you think, Mr. Tuvok?
Well, Gath, looks like you're getting visitors.
We'll set a course and follow you in.
l could not be happier.
lf you see anything you like, just let me know.
What is this material?
lt's so delicate.
Exquisite, isn't it?
lt's the latest import from Dedestris.
lt's spun from the petals of a flower
that blooms only in moonlight.
Shall l have a dress made for you?
lt's lovely, but, no... thank you.
ls it so hard for you to accept a gift?
All right, but something small.
Maybe a scarf?
What a curious people you are.
Tell me, would it help if l said
that you could have an entire wardrobe
made from these beautiful fabrics,
and that it would give all of us pleasure
to create it for you?
Let's... start with the scarf.
As you like.
Which cloth do you prefer, huh?
That's beautiful.
Are you a musician?
This isn't a musical instrument.
lt's an atmospheric sensor.
The frequency of the chimes
indicates changes in weather conditions.
Then it must work on a principle of non-linear resonance,
adjusting to the dynamic variables in the atmosphere.
That's exactly right.
Are you a scientist?
ln a sense.
Can you show me how to operate it?
l'd be happy to.
First, you have to initialize the sub-harmonic mode.
Oh, l think this one.
When l see you wearing that scarf,
my pleasure will be greater than yours.
Well, l should get back.
But with your permission,
l'd like to start organizing teams
to gather plants and seeds.
This is my associate, Jaret Otel.
You may contact him to make any necessary arrangements.
We'll be glad to assist you in any way, Captain.
l'll find my officers, and we'll return to the ship.
Tonight, we are having a celebration here.
l hope you and your officers will be my guests.
We'd be delighted.
Captain's Log, Stardate 48642.5.
The crew is enjoying an evening on Sikaris.
They are discovering, to their delight, that reports
of this species' hospitality have not been exaggerated. the whole thing exploded,
and there we were, 70,000 light years from home,
and no way to get back.
Felt pretty lonely.
That's a very noble story.
Mm-hmm. Stories can be whimsical
or frightening or-or melancholy or many other things,
but noble stories are the ones that can most affect our lives.
May l have your permission to tell others this story?
lt's no secret.
But stories are an essential part
of every person's being.
l would never share one without permission.
Go right ahead.
l've got a few others, too.
You do?
Come with me.
l know a private place
where you can tell me all your stories.
Stand close to me.
Where are we?
The woods of Alastria--
my favorite place.
l usually come here when l want to spend time alone,
but tonight, it...
it seemed right to bring you.
tell me your stories--
all of them.
Why is it so much warmer here?
What is that?
The dawn zephyr.
Dawn? We just got here.
That's... that is an amazing feeling.
What... what's happening?
The erosene winds--
passion winds...
come just before the dawn.
The erosene creates euphoria.
l'll say.
Why am l seeing two suns?
Because this is a binary system.
But your planet only has one sun.
But Alastria has two.
Where are we?
l told you...
a system far from Sikaris.
How far?
Do you have to ask all these questions?
Please, it's important.
Alastria is about two and a half billion times
the distance between Sikaris and its sun.
That's almost...
40,000 light-years.
...feel the breeze.
Um, we have to go back.
lt's still night on Sikaris.
We have plenty of time.
No. Um...
we're going back--
and l need you to tell me everything you know
about that platform that got us here.
And tomorrow night, you must let me take you to the theater.
Oh, my.
l have lost all track of time.
My crew has gone.
l'm the last one here.
l hope that's because you are enjoying yourself.
l am.
Excuse me for interrupting,
but l've just found out about something incredible.
Calm down, Ensign.
What is it?
That platform--
it's a transportation device.
Extremely sophisticated.
lt operates on the principle of folding space.
That's something that's been theorized,
but no one's ever been able to develop the technology.
Well, these people have.
l've just been to Alastria and back.
Alastria is 40,000 light years away.
We call it a spatial trajector.
We're able to travel
to all the planets in this Quadrant.
How far can it take you?
Alastria is at the outermost limits of its range.
Apparently, it's
never been used to move anything as large as Voyager,
but as l understand the principle of space folding,
the size of the object isn't relevant.
What do you think?
Would it be possible to modify your technology
so we could use it?
l tried to tell him.
What is it?
We cannot share our technology.
Once it's out of our control,
it might fall into the hands of those who would abuse it,
and our Canon of Laws strictly forbids that.
But we wouldn't abuse it.
Don't you see what it would mean to us?
Please, don't make it more difficult for me.
l don't enjoy denying you this,
but our Canon of Laws has determined
our entire system of values.
To break one of its precepts
would undermine everything we believe in.
l'm sorry, but there can be no exceptions to the law.
l can't believe they're not going to help us.
Some kind of hospitality.
40,000 light years.
Even if that's as far as we could go,
it would still knock about four decades off our trip.
And the possibility exists
that we could reconfigure the matrix at that point,
to take us another 30,000 light-years,
right into Federation space.
Since they've already said no,
this kind of thinking is only going
to make you feel worse.
lt's the first time we've been on the other side
of the fence.
What fence?
The one that's made of binding principles.
We have our own set of rules
which includes the Prime Directive.
How many times have we been in the position
of refusing to interfere when some kind of disaster
threatened an alien culture?
lt's all very well to say we do it
on the basis of an enlightened principle,
but how does that feel to the aliens?
l'm sure many of them think
the Prime Directive is a lousy idea.
Even we think so sometimes.
l know of many times when Starfleet personnel
have decided on strong ethical grounds to ignore it.
Still, there's a reason
why it's Starfleet's General Order #1.
On the whole, it does a lot more good than harm.
Captain, it occurs to me
that we know little about the Sikarians.
We cannot assume
that their first refusal is unalterable.
lt may be that ''no'' is simply a prelude to negotiation.
He's right. Maybe they can be reasoned with.
Maybe they want something.
Maybe they'll bargain.
But what do we have to offer?
They seem to have everything they need.
Stories are an important part of their culture.
They seem to provide more than entertainment.
They're kind of a measuring rod of values and beliefs.
We have a huge library in our data banks.
We could offer them the whole thing.
All the great literature of dozens of cultures.
What do you think, Captain?
Would they be interested?
They just might be.
From what we've seen of them,
they're a remarkably pleasure-oriented people.
They might appreciate a gift of literature.
l'll arrange to meet with Gath.
As magistrate, he has the authority to make this decision.
ln the meantime,
l'm going to take a look at that trajector platform.
Maybe l can figure out how it works.
You'll do nothing of the sort, Lieutenant.
lf l find this law is negotiable,
l'll make every attempt to get the technology,
but until then, we won't do anything that might violate
their Canon of Laws as we understand it.
That's all.
What's wrong?
l just hope she gets it.
She will.
Mmm. Exquisite.
And what did you say you call it?
Pecan pie.
l must have the recipe.
l'd be happy to share it with you.
Gath... l want you to know l understand your reluctance
to share your technology with us.
We have similar restrictions.
But l wondered,
would it make any difference if l gave you my word
that we would destroy the trajector matrix
as soon as we'd used it?
l know this will upset you, but l can't.
l understand, and frankly, l suspected as much,
but l have a proposal which might allow you
to obey your laws
and still give us what we want.
Surely you could use the trajector to send us.
40,000 light-years would mean a great deal to us,
and in return, we're prepared to offer you something
you might enjoy.
A full library
of the Federation's finest literature.
Centuries of stories.
New stories from diverse cultures.
Stories that fire the imagination.
You certainly know how to tempt me, Captain.
lt's certainly possible.
l'll have to meet with the other magistrates to discuss it.
No one has ever made a request like that.
ln the meantime, l'd like to enjoy every bite of, uh, this...
how did you call it?
Pecan pie.
l finished the maintenance check
on the shock attenuation cylinders.
They'll have to be replaced in another 2,000 hours,
but we'll face that problem when we come to it.
Sorry. l wasn't concentrating.
What did you say?
You looked a million light-years away.
Only about 70,000.
My brother's birthday is in four days.
Last year, l promised l'd meet him on Nivoch
to celebrate with him.
He'll think l broke my promise.
That l'm dead.
What are you doing?
l've been thinking.
The folding of space should leave a subspace residue.
lf we can detect one,
we might be a step closer to knowing
how the trajector works.
Look at that neutrino dispersion pattern.
Could that be the result of space folding?
Maybe. lf the device creates a neutrino bubble
around whatever's being trajected.
lf that's the case,
we'd need a bubble big enough for the ship.
Don't worry, Lieutenant.
l'm with you on this one.
After all, it doesn't hurt to theorize.
Right, and hypothetically,
if we could modify the deflector array
to emit phased neutrinos,
we could create a big enough bubble.
Let's give it a try.
ln theory, of course.
l don't understand.
Why is it so important l come here now?
You'll see in a minute.
We're here.
Good evening, Ensign.
Thank you for coming.
What's this about?
l asked Eudana to invite you here
because l was sure you would respond to her
and because it would look perfectly natural.
l am prepared to accept your collection of literature
in exchange for our trajector technology.
ls that something you're authorized to do?
Officially, no, but many people believe
that rules should be flexible enough
to meet the needs of the moment.
There is a great desire here for new stories,
and l want to be the one to supply them.
So you'd stand to benefit from this arrangement, right?
We would both benefit.
l would gain prestige,
and you would gain 40,000 light-years
in your journey home, possibly more.
This is it, Ensign--
the matrix of the trajector.
Captain Janeway has asked the magistrate
to send us 40,000 light-years.
He won't.
He never had any intention of helping you leave here.
Jaret is right.
l know how much it means to you to get home.
Please, listen to him.
You must believe me when l tell you
this is the only way you will make that journey.
Consider my offer.
l'm sure you will decide it is a fair one.
l don't know what to do.
l know we'd all like to get that much closer to home,
but l don't think Captain Janeway
is going to go for getting the technology like that.
Maybe she will.
After all, it's a Sikarian who's making the offer.
But it's not aboveboard.
The Captain is only going to deal
with an official representative.
Bridge to Ensign Kim.
The Captain can see you now.
Just tell her everything you know.
Let her take it from there.
l'll walk you partway.
l'm headed for bed.
Somehow... l have a bad feeling about this.
lt's just not going to work out.
Don't you think that's up to us?
What does that mean?
lt means that we can sit here
and let someone make the decision for us,
or we can take matters into our own hands.
We've been offered the grand prize.
All we have to do is step up and claim it.
Take the technology?
Without permission?
Since when do you talk like that?
Do you think permission is more important
than getting us halfway home?
The Captain is so infatuated with the Sikarian magistrate,
she can't think straight.
We can't trust that she's going to make
the best decision for all of us.
lf we do this, we'll need to use Engineering
to configure the matrix.
lt will be a lot easier if we knew we could count on you.
Seska, l am a senior officer now.
l have responsibilities.
And the main responsibility for everyone on this ship
is to try to find a way home.
Captain Janeway made that clear from the beginning.
That's our primary mission.
Just think about it.
That's all.
Did Jaret explain what he meant when he said
Gath had no intention of helping us leave?
He just made it clear that our only choice
was to get the trajector technology from him.
He may simply want us to believe that so we would deal with him.
but somehow, l suspect he's right.
Thank you for coming to me with this, Ensign.
lt may muddy the situation somewhat,
but it helps me force the issue.
Good night, Captain.
Oh, Tuvok, what do l do now?
You would seem to have two options--
continue to negotiate with a man who may have a hidden agenda,
or deal with a man who is willing to defy his own laws.
Not very pretty choices.
At least if you deal with Jaret,
it is his law that is being compromised,
not ours.
But does that matter?
l told the crew when we started this journey
that we'd be a Starfleet crew,
behaving as Starfleet would expect us to.
That means there's a certain standard l have to uphold.
Principles, principles.
That's what it comes down to.
Do l compromise my almighty principles?
But how do l not compromise them
if it involves a chance to get the crew
more than halfway home?
How do l tell them...
my principles are so important
l would deny them that opportunity?
l believe the first thing you must do
is determine whether or not
Gath is willing to use the trajector to help us.
lf that possibility exists at all,
you must explore it.
You're right.
Thank you, Tuvok.
Have you spoken with the other magistrates
about using the trajector?
Actually, l haven't.
Some of them are traveling now,
but l assure you l will do it.
Oh, l've already seen all those.
lt's becoming a matter of some urgency.
Oh. Why?
We've imposed on you for long enough.
Not true.
We welcome you for as long as you can stay,
and l hope that's a very long time indeed.
My crew is eager to continue our journey.
Once they realized
the trajector might bring us 40,000 light-years
closer to home...
Why are you so consumed with this desire to get home?
l find it difficult to understand.
Home... is home.
lt's where we belong.
Couldn't you create a new home here with us?
Can you imagine a more delightful place to live
where you could pass your time extracting pleasure
from every moment?
l promise you,
you and l have many such moments to explore.
Yes, but for how long?
l've seen how quickly you get tired of your pleasures.
All that interests you is what's new and unexplored.
After a day or two, it becomes commonplace.
We prefer permanence...
the reward of relationships that endure
and grow deeper with the passing of time.
You would lose those notions if you stayed with us.
You may be right, and that's why we have to leave.
We have offered you nothing but hospitality.
ls this how you repay us, with an attack on our beliefs?
l'm sorry.
l was just trying to illustrate the differences between us.
l don't enjoy being judged like this.
lt's very upsetting, not at all pleasurable.
That's all you really care about, isn't it?
Your pleasure.
All your hospitality, your graciousness--
it was never about giving us pleasure.
lt's all been to gratify yourselves.
We're nothing more than the latest novelty.
You're hostile and vicious.
You would infect the joyousness of our lives.
You must leave immediately.
You never had any intention of helping us, did you?
Of course l did.
l did everything in my power to persuade you to stay here.
Janeway to Voyager.
One to beam up.
Cancel all shore leave and recall the away teams.
We've been asked to leave.
Aye, Captain.
l assume that means Gath will not be assisting us.
l don't think he ever had any intention of helping us.
He just... strung us along.
Are you considering Jaret's offer?
Oh, l wish l could...
but l can't.
Captain, it'll take hours to get everyone up.
We've got crew members
scattered throughout both hemispheres.
Get them back as quickly as you can, Commander.
l think we've overextended our stay here.
l'll be in my ready room.
l've downloaded the Federation library.
lt all on these chips.
We know the man to contact.
He wants the library,
and he doesn't care who gives it to him.
We're under orders...
B'Elanna, right now,
our people are still fighting Cardassians,
dying for our cause.
Settlers in the Demilitarized Zone
are still under attack.
We made a promise, B'Elanna,
that we'd all stick together until the Zone was safe,
and l intend to keep that promise.
l have a wife and two little boys.
l don't want them to grow up without a father.
l'd do anything to prevent that.
We're not the only ones.
Everyone wants to get back.
They're just waiting for someone to act.
l've been working on the theory that the trajector
operates within a neutrino envelope.
lf that's true,
l think we can use it as many times as we need
until we're all the way home.
Just think-- by tomorrow, we could be there.
All right.
Let's do it.
With shore leave canceled,
are we able to get to the surface undetected?
We'll have to override the security lockout,
but that shouldn't be a problem.
lt's not accepting my security code.
Reinitialize the lockout buffers.
l did. lt's not working.
Someone's altered the security subroutine.
Why would anyone do that?
Never mind. Beam me down.
Are you crazy?!
Security will find you out before you get there.
l altered the security subroutines.
Any attempt to override the lockout
would have alerted me to your presence here.
ls this Voyager's library
which you intended to trade for the trajector technology?
When l attempted to download it,
l noticed it had already been accessed.
You were going to download it?
l will make the exchange with Jaret Otel.
Return to your stations.
Do what you can
to prepare the ship for the matrix.
Mr. Tuvok is on the surface now, Captain.
He says the remaining away teams
should be on board within 15 minutes.
Are all the food supplies secured?
Aye, Captain.
As soon as the last of the crew gets back,
we'll be ready to leave.
Bridge to Engineering.
Torres here.
We'll be leaving orbit within minutes.
Ready all propulsion systems.
We're ready now, Captain.
Where's Tuvok?
He'll be here.
We certainly won't leave without him.
Well, what's keeping him?
Calm down.
You're going to draw attention to yourself.
Do not attempt to activate the device
until l've spoken to Captain Janeway.
What are you doing?
He said not to activate it.
l'm not.
l'm just going to try the interface simulation.
We don't even know if it will interface.
We can give ourselves a head start by testing it now.
All right.
But just a simulation.
lt's working.
l was right.
lt operates within a neutrino envelope.
The trajector field is bigger than anything
we've created by ten orders of magnitude.
To get a field that size,
you'd need an amplifier as big as a planet.
l don't understand.
How do they get that kind of amplification?
l'll show you.
Sikaris has a mantle
of tetrahedral quartz 20 kilometers thick.
The crystalline structure of the mantle serves
to focus and amplify the trajector field.
lf that's how the power transfer occurs,
then once we leave orbit, we lose the ability to traject.
We don't have time to test it.
We'll have to try it now or forget it.
-Do it. -lf there are
-any compatibility problems... -Then we can abort.
This is our only chance.
Bridge to Engineering.
Torres here.
We're ready to leave orbit.
Thrusters on line.
Aye, Captain.
We have to do something.
Mr. Paris, take us out of orbit.
4,000 kph.
Aye, Captain.
There's no response.
Thrusters are off line.
Janeway to Engineering.
What's going on, Lieutenant?
We've got a phase variance in plasma conduit 3.
l'll have to check it out before we can engage thrusters.
When did this problem show up?
Just now, Captain.
lt's only a slight variance. l'll have it fixed in a minute.
Keep me advised.
All right.
The matrix is activating.
The trajector field is forming.
And it's amplifying.
Look how fast it's expanding.
That's the effect of the quartz mantle.
We're nearly at full field strength.
This is going to work.
What is it?
The plasma manifold is becoming unstable.
l can compensate for that.
The manifold is being bombarded
by anti-neutrinos from the trajector field.
The must be the catalyst for the space folding process.
lt's not working.
l can't compensate for the instability.
There's no way to compensate for a field that size.
Captain, l'm showing an unstable plasma manifold.
We're headed for a breach.
Bridge to Torres. What's happening?
We're reading a warp core breach up here.
We're on it, Captain.
No time to talk.
Shut down the matrix!
l can't! lt's not responding!
lt's fused!
Plasma temperature at 43 million Kelvin!
Carey, get everybody out!
All right, people, let's go! Right now!
Move it out! Move out! Come on!
Let's go! Right now!
Let's go, come on! Move it out! Fast!
Right now!
Keep moving!
l can't unlock it.
The command matrix is sealed.
Plasma temperature at 50 million Kelvin!
Anti-neutrino bombardment has stopped.
Plasma temperature dropping.
We didn't anticipate anti-neutrinos.
The trajector could never be compatible
with Federation technology.
l'll start erasing the sensor logs.
We can blame it on the phase discrepancy.
We're not going to cover this up.
Are you crazy?
We don't have to take the blame for this.
But we're going to.
We disobeyed orders, gambling it would pay off.
lt didn't.
And now we just can't pretend like nothing happened.
l don't understand.
There's no need for this.
l'm sorry if you don't get it, Seska,
but it has something to do with, um...
with being able to live with yourself.
That doesn't sound like you.
You've changed.
lf that's true...
l take it as a compliment.
l take full responsibility for what happened.
There were others involved, but l was the senior officer,
and the culpability is mine.
Lieutenant Torres is not precisely correct, Captain.
She was not the senior officer involved.
l was.
lt was l who made the exchange--
the Federation library for the trajector matrix.
l will deal with you in a moment.
l don't have the luxury of throwing you in the brig
for the rest of this voyage.
l need you.
l need every person on this ship.
But l want you to know
how very deeply you have disappointed me.
lf there are any further transgressions,
even a minor one...
you will no longer be an officer on this crew.
ls that clear?
Yes, ma'am.
l don't even know where to start.
l want you to explain to me
how you, of all people, could be involved in this.
lt is quite simple, Captain.
You have made it clear on many occasions
that your highest goal for the crew
is to get them home.
But in this instance,
your standards would not allow you
to violate Sikarian law.
Someone had to spare you the ethical dilemma.
l was the logical choice,
and so l chose to act.
You did it for me...
because you knew l couldn't.
l accept the consequences of my actions.
l expect to lose my commission
and to be court-martialed
when we return to Federation space.
You are one of my most valued officers...
and you are my friend.
lt is vital that you understand me here.
l need you.
But l also need to know that l can count on you.
You are my counsel--
the one l turn to when l need my moral compass checked.
We have forged this relationship for years,
and l depend on it.
l realize you made a sacrifice for me...
but it's not one
l would have allowed you to make.
You can use logic to justify almost anything.
That's its power...
and its flaw.
From now on...
bring your logic to me.
Don't act on it behind my back.
You have my word.
My logic was not in error...
but l was.

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