Captain's Log, Stardate 48693.2.
We've altered course to investigate
some unusually intense photonic activity
in a nearby protostar.
Lieutenant Torres and l are beaming aboard samples
for further analysis.
Containment field is active.
We're ready for transport.
That's strange.
Both containers should have been filled.
Here's the problem.
A slight breach in the annular confinement beam.
l'm aborting transport.
Okay, let's try that again.
All right.
l'll get a complete phase spectrum analysis
on this as soon as possible.
lf this photonic matter works as well as l think,
it could boost the efficiency
of our power converters 15 percent.
l'd say more like 20.
How long will it take to finish the preliminary analysis?
Um, six hours, maybe more.
l'd like to get it sooner than that.
l believe Ensign Kim is off duty.
Could you use his help?
Can you convince him to give up his free time?
l think l might be able to.
Janeway to Kim.
That's odd.
Computer, locate Ensign Kim.
Unable to comply.
Ensign Kim is not aboard the ship.
Sensor logs show no record
of any unauthorized transporter activity,
and all shuttlecraft are accounted for.
lf Ensign Kim left the ship,
he did not do so by conventional means.
His last shift ended four hours ago,
and he was scheduled for time
on Holodeck 2 when he went off duty.
No one has seen him since.
Scan the holodeck.
What's the matter?
There is significant interference in the holodeck.
l cannot obtain a clear scan.
ls it a system malfunction?
l do not believe so.
The holodeck is definitely active.
There appears to be a program in progress.
Can you shut it down?
The manual overrides are not functioning.
l cannot terminate the program.
All right, let's go in.
Computer, identify program.
The program in progress is a holonovel based
on the epic Earth poem Beowulf.
An ancient English epic set in sixth century Denmark,
if l remember correctly.
lt's about a hero named Beowulf
who fights a creature that's terrorizing a kingdom
and murdering its subjects.
Monsters and swordplay, that sort of thing.
l'm not detecting any life signs,
but there is still considerable interference.
l can't determine the source.
Speak as a friend
or stand challenged.
Computer, delete character.
The holodeck command systems must not be functioning either.
We must also consider the possibility
that the safety programs are malfunctioning as well.
l'm am Freya, shield-maiden,
daughter of King Hrothgar.
l hold this guard post
against any intruders who would bear us harm.
So declare yourselves.
l will hear your answer
before you march any further through this land.
We have no desire to trespass.
However, we are on an urgent mission,
so if you would allow us to continue,
we would appreciate it.
What land do you call home?
Your faces tell me you are not men of the Danes.
Are you...
kinsmen of Beowulf?
Yes. We are Beowulf's kinsmen.
My name is Chakotay, and this is Tuvok.
Have you seen Beowulf?
He was like no other.
Hair straight and raven black, eyes bright with fierce fire,
the burning gaze of a hero.
Grandiloquence notwithstanding,
that would qualify as a description of Mr. Kim.
How did you know he was Beowulf?
This is Harry's holonovel.
lt'd make sense that he'd be playing the hero.
She might be able to help us figure out
what happened to him.
A reasonable assumption.
Your kinsman was a truly noble warrior.
lt is right you should avenge his death.
Yes, but first,
we'd like to know more about how Beowulf died.
Of course.
Come. l will take you to the king.
Hail, Lord Hrothgar.
l bring new friends,
Chakotay and Tuvok, kinsmen of Beowulf,
who come to avenge his death.
Greet them well.
l would bid you welcome to my hall,
but the days of glad tidings are gone from this place.
We grieve with you for your kinsman.
We had hoped that a warrior of Beowulf's strength and renown
would be able to deliver us from our curse.
Could you tell us exactly what happened to him?
He met with the same fate as did 30 of our own warriors.
That's the monster who's been attacking you.
Repelled by light and laughter,
the beast waits until we slumber.
Then, bereft of remorse,
Grendel comes in murderous rage to my hall
to take my people,
and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it.
lf you are wise,
you will forego your vengeance and return home.
Death lives here now.
My Lord is fatigued.
lt is time to retire.
We would like more information about Beowulf.
Would it be possible to examine his body?
The body of Beowulf is gone.
Dragged down to Grendel's foul lair, no doubt.
The beast leaves no traces.
Did anyone actually see the battle?
No. Beowulf chose to face Grendel alone.
Then l think we'd like to see this Grendel for ourselves.
To what purpose?
To raise false hopes in our king again
as did your kinsman?
Leave us alone in our misery.
These men are our guests.
You will show them the hospitality they deserve.
They deserve nothing!
lf their Beowulf was truly the champion he claimed to be,
then Grendel would be dead, his head mounted on a spear.
lnstead, we spend yet another night in terror.
lf you would allow us
to assist you, perhaps we could help alleviate your terror.
Your names mean nothing to me.
There are no songs of your deeds
nor stories of the battles you have fought.
Who are you to believe you can slay Grendel?
We have no intention of slaying anyone.
We simply wish to examine the creature.
Grendel might not wish to be examined...
without a fight.
And if you would fight Grendel,
then you will first prove your worth to me.
Defend yourselves.
You are able warriors.
You may stand sentry tonight.
You are brave men.
l hope to see you again, fate permitting.
Chakotay to Janeway.
Go ahead.
Captain, we haven't found any definite signs of Harry,
but we've encountered several holodeck characters
who claim to know what happened to him.
Mr. Kim was running a holonovel based on the poem Beowulf.
According to the holo-characters,
he attempted to battle a creature of some kind
and was killed in the process.
Since the safety programs are malfunctioning,
we must consider the possibility.
But... you haven't found a body?
No. lf we shut down the program, we'd know if he's here or not.
Run a diagnostic
on the holodeck's imaging control systems.
lf they're not working, try to repair them.
And relay your tricorder scans to the Bridge.
l'd like to analyze your readings.
Aye, Captain. Chakotay out.
The primary imaging matrix should be here
behind this wooden panel.
l will attempt to locate the auxiliary matrix.
This ancient Earth culture seems fascinated with monsters.
Every culture has its demons.
They embody the darkest emotions of its people.
Giving them physical form in heroic literature
is a way of exploring those feelings.
The Vok'sha of Rakella Prime
believe that hate is a beast which lives inside the stomach.
Their greatest mythical hero
is a man who ate stones for 23 days
to kill the beast, and became a saint.
Such fables are necessary only in cultures
which unduly emphasize emotional behavior.
l would point out
there are no demons in Vulcan literature.
That might account for its popularity.
Bridge to Chakotay.
Chakotay here.
Commander, we've analyzed your tricorder data.
A deep-level scan shows minute quantities of photonic energy.
How could it be in the holodeck?
We think it happened when we beamed aboard
the samples from the protostar.
There was a breach in the annular confinement beam,
and photonic energy must have leaked
into the transporter system.
And from there into other ship systems as well.
We've already found some in the replicators.
That raises an uncomfortable possibility, Captain.
lf the holodeck's conversion nodes were contaminated,
Ensign Kim may have inadvertently undergone
the process of matter conversion.
You're saying he might have been converted into energy?
We have to consider it a possibility.
After all, the holodecks are basically an outgrowth
of transporter technology.
Changing energy into matter and back again.
Every time a program is run.
Except it's not supposed to convert people.
Hold on, Captain.
Something's coming.
lt is an object approximately one meter in diameter.
l think Grendel may be paying us a visit.
Captain, the holo-characters told us
Kim was killed by Grendel.
An examination of this part of the program might be advisable.
Captain, l'm picking up signs of matter/energy conversion.
Emergency transport.
Get them out of there now.
l can't get a lock.
Commander Chakotay, report.
Mr. Tuvok?
Captain, l've lost their life signs.
They're gone.
This is a scan of the holodeck
just before we lost contact with Chakotay and Tuvok.
The readings are pretty garbled,
but l'm still inclined to think that there is a malfunction
in the holodeck's matter conversion nodes.
Photonic energy leaking into the subsystems
could certainly damage the nodes,
and it might have created a defect in the program
that occurs when Grendel shows up.
A defect that dematerialized our people.
l'm not willing to accept the fact
that Harry and the others are gone for good.
Their molecular patterns might still be there.
And if they are, we might be able to rematerialize them.
The only thing we can do is go back into the holodeck.
Study this... energy surge.
Find out what exactly happened.
Anyone who goes back in there
might wind up just like the others.
Maybe not anyone.
A hologram can't be converted into energy.
lt already is energy.
You're the perfect choice.
How do you intend to transfer me out of Sick Bay?
We'll have to modify your data stream protocols
and imaging systems, but the fact that you're going
to the holodeck simplifies things.
The projection systems are already in place there.
And we're going to give you complete control
over your magnetic containment field.
You'll be able to make yourself solid,
or let matter pass through you at will.
Nothing on the holodeck will be able to touch you--
unless you want it to.
l see.
Think of this as your first away mission, Doctor.
Think of this as your first away mission, Doctor.
l can understand your hesitation,
but there are three lives at stake,
and you have the best chance
of anyone on this ship to save them.
Do you understand that?
Your job is to find the photonic energy surge
and scan it closely.
We need all the data we can get.
You'll have to interact
with the characters in the holonovel,
so make sure you're familiar with the Beowulf story.
Your circuit modifications will be finished in three hours.
Yes, Captain.
Computer, access full text of ancient Earth epic Beowulf
including historical annotation and cultural references.
Data compilation in progress.
Ah, Kes. Come in.
l don't know how long l'll be gone,
but my absence is no reason to suspend your studies.
How are you doing with the protein synthesis text?
l finished it yesterday.
Good. Then you may as well start learning
how to operate the base-pair sequencer.
You'll find the manual in the technical data base.
Was there something else?
There's something bothering you.
Not at all.
Now if you'll excuse me,
l have a great deal of preparation to do.
You're nervous about this mission, aren't you?
l can perform emergency surgery without getting nervous.
l can make life-or-death decisions about patients
without getting nervous.
What makes you think l'm nervous?
Those things are familiar to you.
You've been programmed to do them, but...
this is different, isn't it?
l can describe every detail of every piece of equipment
in this Sick Bay-- from bio-bed to neurostimulator--
but l've never even seen a sky or a forest,
let alone Vikings and monsters.
l can't afford to fail.
But l don't know what to expect in that holodeck.
You've been telling me that you
deserve to be treated like a member of the crew.
Well, here's your chance.
And l can tell you
that none of the crew knows exactly what to expect
when they go on an away mission.
Doctor, have you chosen a name for yourself yet?
l have narrowed the list to three possibilities.
Then let me suggest you choose one before you go.
lt might help you feel more like a Starfleet officer.
You may be right.
l'll give it some thought.
And Kes...
thank you.
Good luck.
Paris to Janeway.
We're ready for the transfer, Captain.
Good. Go ahead.
How about you, Doctor?
You ready?
Of course.
l've already transported a tricorder onto the holodeck.
Engaging transfer circuits... now.
ls everything all right, Doctor?
Yes. There were no problems with the transfer.
l'm on my way.
Speak as a friend
or stand challenged.
l am...
Yes, you're Freya, the king's daughter.
A female warrior known as a shield-maiden.
We have never met, and yet you know my name?
Are you a sorcerer?
lt's simply that... your reputation precedes you.
A warrior of your skill...
you're quite famous where l come from.
l did not know that word of my deeds
has carried to other lands.
Tell me what you have heard.
Well... your battle with...
Scyld the Gar-Dane?
...is practically legend.
An incredible story.
l burned his hall to the ground.
There was nothing left but ashes!
And did you hear of my campaign
against the heatho-bards to the south?
l fought them for...
l'd be delighted to hear all about it,
but l'm on an urgent mission of my own.
l'm looking for Grendel.
Only a warrior would seek that which others flee.
What is your name?
l'm glad you asked.
My name is... Schweitzer.
Dr. Schweitzer.
A hero's name.
Come, l will take you to the king.
The hall is not far from here.
Look-- fortune is with us.
Atuta-- a most powerful plant.
What exactly do you intend to do with it?
We brew the atuta into a broth, which we drink before battle.
lt brings on the spirit of the bear,
and gives us strength to swing our swords.
lt's more likely to bring on profuse sweating,
convulsions, and acute delirium.
This is an Amanita muscaria--
a fungus common to subartic climates,
and, let me assure you, quite poisonous.
Yes, but those it does not kill, it makes strong.
A most hearty plant.
Are you a master of herb-lore?
Well, in a way, l suppose l am.
You are truly a man of many talents, Lord Schweitzer.
Your people must value you greatly.
You would think so.
Hail, Lord Hrothgar!
l bring a new friend, Schweitzer,
who has come to destroy Grendel.
Greet him well.
l would bid you welcome to my hall,
but the days of glad tidings are gone from this place.
l'm sorry to hear that,
but with your permission, sir, l'd like to stay
here tonight, and wait for Grendel.
To what purpose?
To raise false hopes again,
as have others before you?
Leave us alone in our misery.
l'm afraid l can't do that.
l have a mission.
Your name means nothing to me.
There are no songs of your deeds
nor stories of the battles you have fought.
Who are you to believe you can slay Grendel?
l'm simply a... warrior.
l'm only concerned with Grendel.
l have no quarrel with you.
lndeed you do,
and if you will fight Grendel,
then you will first prove your worth to me.
Defend yourself!
Fate be with you.
lf this is your best, then you should thank me.
Grendel would destroy you with far greater ease than l.
This is absurd.
So be it.
You might want to put some ice on that.
lt'll take down the swelling.
Our time of deliverance is at hand.
We have been given a new champion--
one whom weapons cannot hurt.
The one who will destroy Grendel
and end our suffering.
All hail the hero!
-All hail Schweitzer! -All hail Schweitzer!
Schweitzer! Schweitzer!
Schweitzer! Schweitzer!
Schweitzer! Schweitzer!
Schweitzer! Schweitzer!
Schweitzer! Schweitzer!
Schweitzer! Schweitzer!
Eat, eat.
What is it?
When l built this hall, the forest ran thick with them,
but today, game's more scarce.
Enjoy it, Lord Schweitzer.
lt is a great delicacy in our land.
Hmm. lt's quite good.
We rarely hear stories of other lands.
Honor us with a tale of your home
to gladden our hearts.
l'm not much of a storyteller.
indulge us.
Yes, tell us a tale of your prowess in battle.
Well, there was the time
l managed to stop the spread of Parinisti measles
before it became epidemic.
For a while, things were touch and go.
Six people came down with it.
Fortunately, l was able
to isolate the endoplasmic virus and replicate it
in order to form an antibody.
Even then, it wasn't altogether
clear l could create an effective vaccine.
But l worked at it for 7 4 hours straight,
and managed to create an inoculation
that successfully protected the crew.
You'll excuse me, my Lord,
if l take leave of this... folly.
A truly unique tale.
Come, Lord Schweitzer.
Allow me to show you my home.
lf you are in need of anything, please do not hesitate to ask.
All l need is to find Grendel.
You are a true champion-- always ready for the fight.
Ah, perhaps you would like some mead
to fortify yourself for battle?
No, thank you. l'm fine.
Away. You're disturbing Lord Schweitzer!
lt was with that weapon l made my first kill.
l was 1 1 years old.
You killed someone when you were 1 1?
Well, it's a poor weapon, l agree,
but a token of my youth.
You must have similar trophies from your own childhood.
l... don't remember much about my childhood.
Well, l am certain
you distinguished yourself in battle many times
and did honor to your father.
My Lord, it grows late.
lt is time to retire.
Always with you it is time to sleep.
Perhaps you have forgotten
that the work of a warrior is battle, not rest!
You would do well to learn from Lord Schweitzer.
This was a beautiful hall once...
before Grendel.
You will make it so again.
You have our thanks.
l appreciate your faith in me, Sire.
Come, my lord.
You may have deceived them with your tricks,
but the king is old and desperate for hope,
and the rest are just fools!
You have nothing to worry about, Unferth.
Once l'm done with Grendel, l'll be leaving.
We shall see.
The morning will prove
if your deeds are as strong as your words.
The nights here are cold.
l wanted to make certain you were comfortable.
l appreciate your concern.
l thought everyone had gone to sleep.
Sleep does not come easily in this place.
Not anymore.
l was taught the world would end in winter.
First, there would be a desperate cold,
followed by a demon who would devour the sun.
lt has been long since we felt summer,
and a demon does walk these halls.
your world isn't coming to an end.
Perhaps not,
but it has changed.
Every night the monster comes,
and every day our numbers are lessened,
and no one will speak of it.
No one speaks of the fear that he will be next.
But each meal becomes quieter than the last,
and after a time, we barely speak at all.
Do you know what it is to be alone among many,
and unable to speak your fears?
l think l do.
How do you survive?
l'm still learning how.
l'm sure that's not very helpful.
Sometimes l believe
l can see the moment of my own death.
lt comes in battle, l think,
my sword raised high.
lt is said that fate often spares a doomed warrior,
if his courage can prevail.
But there have been days
when l felt my own courage falter...
and then you came.
l'm glad l could help.
Perhaps l can help you.
Before combat, it is most important to stay warm.
Well, you've done an excellent job
with the fire, l'm sure l'll...
Fire is not the only heat, Lord Schweitzer.
You know where l sleep.
Holodeck to Bridge.
We're monitoring you.
Captain, l'm picking up readings of photonic energy.
Captain, it's right in front of me.
lt's some kind of... photonic energy formation.
Get me out of here!
Sick Bay, emergency transfer.
l'm on it.
Sick Bay, report.
Uh... l have him, Captain...
more or less.
l think you better come take a look at this.
How does it feel?
Just like the old one, actually.
Apparently, contact with photonic energy
disrupted your magnetic cohesion,
but we're still not sure
if that's what happened to the others.
Captain, take a look at this.
The readings from the Doctor's tricorder
when the energy surge made contact with him.
They're showing a synaptic pattern.
l wouldn't expect to see
something like this in photonic energy.
ls this the first time
those patterns have shown up like this?
Yes, but it's the first time
we've had clear readings from a moment of contact.
l wonder if l could produce these same patterns
in the samples we have in Engineering.
lf you can, you might be able
to get more information about how photonic energy
damaged the holodeck systems.
l'm on it.
l'll give you a hand.
l've initiated a polarization field.
l'm introducing it into the container.
We're getting a reaction.
lt's producing a synaptic pattern all right--
highly complex.
What's that?
Whatever it is, it's cutting through the bulkheads.
Let's get a containment field around it.
lt's heading for Deck 14, Section C-5.
Okay, now l've got a containment field blocking it.
Whoa. lt's changing direction.
lt's like it's avoiding the containment field.
Let's give it another try.
Now it's blocked on three sides.
lt's changing course.
Heading for the open side.
Are you thinking what l'm thinking?
Those synaptic patterns...
could be some sort of neural net.
We may be dealing with a life-form.
Bridge to Engineering.
Torres here.
We're detecting an energy mass moving through the ship.
Right. lt broke through the sample container.
Captain, it's showing the properties of a life-form.
A life-form?
lt seems to have a neural net,
and it's demonstrating signs of intelligent behavior.
lt's cutting it's way through the ship.
Heading for the outer hull.
lt'll breach in about 15 seconds.
Are there any critical systems in its path?
Then let it go.
Be ready to seal the hull breach with a force field.
l'll have a damage control team standing by for repairs.
And let's track it on sensors when it gets out.
Captain, it's penetrating the outer hull.
Force field is in place.
l'm showing the energy form 100 meters off our port side.
Let's get it on screen.
What was that?
lt appears to be some kind of photonic lattice.
And it seems pretty clear that the energy form
was trying to get back to it.
As though it's... a shelter of some kind.
Or maybe a transportation device--
their equivalent of a ship.
At any rate, we had sensor contact
for a few seconds, and we picked up
three distinct bioelectrical patterns inside it.
What are you suggesting, Captain?
We have three missing crewmen.
Our best guess has been
that they were somehow converted into energy
while they were on the holodeck.
We find no sign of them on this ship.
Then we pick up three discrete patterns in that lattice,
three patterns that don't match anything else in the lattice
and which have biological components.
l don't think it's a stretch to hypothesize
that those are our crew members,
converted into a kind of photonic energy.
But what are they doing over there?
How did they get there?
We have good evidence now
that there are photonic beings that live in that protostar--
life-forms that have intelligence.
We didn't know that
when we beamed those energy samples on board.
We had no idea that what we were doing,
in essence, was capturing those life-forms.
We locked them in a containment field,
and began to experiment on them.
lf my people were taken like that...
l know what my response would be.
l would do whatever was necessary to get them back.
Then you think they have simply...
retaliated against us?
These beings can manifest themselves on the holodeck
in the matrix of a holo-character.
That's how they were able to take
our crew members hostage.
Captain, if you're right about this,
then we should return the remaining life-form.
A gesture-- to show we mean well.
lt's certainly worth a try.
lf l took the life-form onto the holodeck
and release it to Grendel,
maybe they'll understand and release our people.
Ordinarily, officers go through intensive training
before they're put
into a First Contact situation...
but you're the only one who can do this safely.
l'd like to finish what l started, Captain.
l can do this.
l agree.
Make arrangements to transfer the life-form
to a container, so the Doctor can carry it.
But, remember...
if you're holding the container,
you'll have to stay in solid form.
l understand.
Lord Schweitzer!
We thought the Grendel had taken you.
Not... entirely.
How did you survive?
That would be difficult to explain,
but that's not important right now.
This is a talisman to destroy Grendel...
You lie!
No man could survive an encounter with Grendel
unless he were in league with the beast.
You have brought that talisman to destroy us all.
That is not true.
He has returned to help us.
You speak his lies now.
He has bewitched you.
Unferth, l need to get this talisman to the hall.
Then that gives me reason enough
to make sure it never gets there.
No! Please!
You don't know what you're doing.
Prepare to die, demon.
My Lord...
my time has come.
Freya, l'm sorry.
There's nothing l can do.
lt is a good death.
Take my sword.
Stop Unferth and Grendel.
l won't forget you.
Then l die happily...
with your name on my lips.
Here, Sire.
My Lord...
you know me as a true warrior.
You know l am the one hope you have
to rid your kingdom of Grendel.
That talisman will aid me in my conquest.
l must have it.
Do not listen to him.
He has already killed Freya.
Stop him, my Lord!
He is a madman!
The only reason you won't die
is that l've taken an oath to do no harm.
l'm ready for you.
l don't know if you can understand me--
but watch.
l'm setting this one free.
There's no need for any more of this.
we ask you to return our crew.
Captain, the photonic lattice has reappeared.
Scan it. All sensors.
l'm reading a massive particle surge on our holodeck.
The lattice is gone again.
Holodeck to Bridge.
Go ahead, Doctor.
What is it?
We have them back, Captain--
all three of them.
Good work, Doctor.
Yeah. Good work.
Would you mind telling me where l was?
Captain's Log, Stardate 487 10.5.
Since the return of our missing crewmen,
we've been unable to locate
any further traces of the photonic aliens.
l don't know if the being
understood language or just my behavior.
lt would have been interesting to pursue
the relationship further.
lt's one of the most exciting aspects of space exploration--
meeting new species, establishing communication,
sharing differences and similarities.
l'm sorry none of that happened this time.
But it did.
lt just didn't happen in very predictable ways.
But if you think about it,
we entered into conflict, communicated,
and eventually established a peace treaty with them.
l'm placing a special commendation in the logs.
For exemplary performance by the Chief Medical Officer
during his first away mission.
Thank you.
l'd like to cite you by name.
Kes tells me you've chosen one.
ls that true?
l had...
but l'm not sure l want to keep it.
The last time l heard that name spoken
was a... painful one.
l don't think l want to be reminded.
Sounds like you had quite an adventure
on that holodeck, Doctor.
Yes, l would say so.
something tells me you haven't had your last one.
Something tells me the same thing.

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