Seven of Nine's shipwide efficiency analysis.
Did we get a passing grade?
Barely. She wants to present it to the senior staff.
on the schedule.
We'll be passing
by a Class-T cluster
in the next couple of days-- gas giants,
l'm not sure it's worth
At the very least,
we should send the Delta Flyer for a look,
and let's get a full range of sensor scans as we get closer.
We'll go to a level-3 analysis of the cluster.
Tom, get the Flyer ready
and assemble an away team.
Harry, start continuous scans.
Kim to Seven of Nine.
Any chance you can increase radiogenic resolution
in the long-range sensors?
The Captain wants to get a cleaner look
at that cluster coming up off starboard.
Take these specifications to Lieutenant Torres.
Deck 1 1.
What's our Borg queen want now?
We need to route at least another five terawatts
to the sensor array.
Sorry to interrupt.
l'm about to disprove
Schlezholt's theory of multiple big bangs.
Of course, l had to demolish
Wang's second postulate to do it.
Power transfer requisition.
You're standing in the way of cosmological history.
The cosmos is 16 billion years old.
lt can wait another few minutes.
Schlezholt would thank you for the reprieve.
Captain's Log, Stardate 537 53.2.
Long-range scans of the T-cluster have indicated
a number of tantalizing anomalies.
The away team should have a field day.
Who knows? l may even join them myself.
Billy, wake up.
What do you want?
l need help.
Billy, don't you dare go back to sleep.
What's the problem?
l'm in trouble.
Go to sleep.
Help me first.
This level-3 sensor analysis.
l've got four hours of subspace infrared to interpret.
Long-range scans on that cluster up ahead?
lt's too complicated
to do over the com.
Either we meet in the Mess Hall, or we wait until tomorrow.
l don't want to get dressed,
and it can't wait until tomorrow.
Your only options.
l've given operations an efficiency rating of 7 6
out of a possible 100.
Not exactly flying colors.
The crewmen you assign
to the night shift are frequently left
with little to do once the ship's course has been
The devil finds work for idle hands.
Perhaps you should consider assigning them additional tasks.
What's this l'm guilty of: ''failure to utilize expertise''?
Crewman Mortimer Harren.
He has five advanced degrees
in theoretical cosmology,
but you've assigned him to the... Plasma Relay Room.
His talents could be put to better use.
Believe me, l've tried.
When l give him more responsibility,
he doesn't do the work.
Harren wants to be down on Deck 15.
lt gives him more time to repostulate
the origins of the universe.
As you can see,
security is functioning at near-perfect efficiency.
if you arrange the phasers in the weapons lockers
so that the smaller rifles were in front, they could be
more easily removed in the event of an emergency.
l'll look into it.
Crewman William Telfer.
Billy. He certainly ruined my score.
He visits the Sick Bay almost once a week
complaining of illness.
lnvariably, you examine him and find nothing wrong.
Mr. Telfer is a hypochondriac.
l'd treat him for it,
but he's afraid of medication.
Have you tried counseling?
He's afraid of that, too.
All l can do is scan him and offer him reassurance.
Wasting your time and medical resources.
What about Astrometrics?
Looks like you could use some improvement
You're correct, unfortunately.
Tal Celes, Sensor Analyst, grade-3.
Her work must be constantly double-checked.
She should be removed from Astrometrics and reassigned
elsewhere-- perhaps to Engineering.
Forget it. l've got my own problems to fix, remember?
That'll be all, Seven. Thank you.
They've never been on an away mission.
William Telfer, Tal Celes-- none of them.
They get off the ship whenever we have general leave.
l mean a working away mission.
Harren never volunteers,
Celes can't get past the proficiency requirements,
and Telfer always seems to get a note from his doctor.
Something's got to be done about this.
What can we do?
There are always a few
who don't make it past their first year on a starship.
Normally, they're reassigned.
But in our case, maybe we should relieve them of duty
and let them pursue their own interests.
lt certainly wouldn't hurt general efficiency.
They aren't drones, Chakotay. We can't just deactivate them.
ls the Delta Flyer ready?
Flight-checked with provisions for a 72-hour away mission.
What have you got in mind, Captain?
Three people have slipped through the cracks on my ship.
That makes it my problem.
The analytical aspects
of the subspace infrared algorithm are fourfold.
Unfortunately, l have a threefold brain.
You just have to break it down.
Think of it as four smaller algorithms.
Okay. But what's the sequence?
Zero-G ls Fun.
As you were.
Zeta particle derivation. Gamma wave frequency.
lon distribution. Flow rate of positrons.
Z.G.l.F.-- Zero-G ls Fun.
That's how you remember the sequence.
Thank you, Captain.
-l'll try. -Good...
because where we're headed, you're going to need it.
l'll be briefing you this afternoon
We'll leave first thing in the morning.
Captain on the deck!
Junction Room 16?
Over there, Captain.
Crewman Mitchell, how have you been?
Uh, never better, ma'am.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Uh, to the left, ma'am.
Captain Janeway... are you lost?
l was, for a minute.
l'll be briefing you this afternoon.
Well, there's been a mistake.
You have me assigned to an away mission.
l have my duties here. l'd prefer not to leave my post.
Ensign Culhane will cover for you.
The preflight schedule is all there.
lf this is charity, Captain, l don't want it.
l didn't ask you what you want.
l'm taking the Delta Flyer
on an astronomical survey mission,
and your expertise is needed.
What do you know about my expertise?
As much as l need to.
Well, then you might be interested to know
that l'm about to disprove
Schlezholt's theory of multiple big bangs.
Wang's second postulate has more lives than a cat, doesn't it?
Once you think you've eliminated it,
bam, it pops up again.
l'll give you a hand, if you'd like,
when the away mission is over.
Once we reach the cluster,
we'll drop out of warp and maintain
on the sweep through the protostars.
l'll be piloting the Delta Flyer.
Celes, you're going
to run an ongoing sensor analysis,
providing data for your colleagues.
Mr. Harren, you'll be looking
at subspace particle decay
for anything new we might learn about star formation.
And, Mr. Telfer,
your job will be to look for signs of life,
a long shot in this environment.
But if it's out there, l'm sure you'll find it.
You'll have the rest of the evening
to familiarize yourselves with the mission.
Excuse me, Captain.
lf we find a planet, we're not planning
on exploring the surface, are we?
That's a stellar nursery.
Any planets will be gas giants.
They may have moons.
We'll run a complete scan for pathogens
before we set foot anywhere,
and the Delta Flyer is fully equipped
to deal with medical emergencies.
We'll be fine.
Shuttle Bay 1, 0600 hours.
Celes is unreliable.
Her sensor analyses will be full of errors.
You could be putting your lives at risk.
Don't worry, Seven, l'll check her work.
This mission could be better served
with a more experienced crew.
not this mission.
Ever hear the tale of the Good Shepherd?
lf even one sheep strayed into the wilderness,
the shepherd left the safety of the flock
and went after it.
So, you're intending to rescue them?
ln a manner of speaking.
Maybe all it will take will be
some personal attention from their Captain,
maybe something more,
but l won't abandon a member of this crew,
no matter what their problems might be.
rotting away down on Deck 15,
counting the years till we get out
of this godforsaken Quadrant.
lt's a shame he doesn't have
a superior officer who cares.
lt's not my job
to make everybody who works for me happy.
Some people just don't want to fit in.
l'll bet you haven't said two words to him.
Two words, exactly.
We collided in the corridor during a Borg attack.
l said, ''Excuse me.''
Since we were at Red Alert
and about to be destroyed,
l think it was very considerate of me.
Well, Mr. Considerate,
why don't you go over there
right now and offer him some encouragement?
His first away mission.
l'm sure he could use it.
Brushing up on the Delta Flyer specs?
l'm not a mechanic.
Then, what are you doing?
What do you find most interesting about it?
Your creative use of the minus sign.
l see you have a, uh, appreciation
for multivariate analysis.
Maybe you missed your calling.
lt's a shame.
l imagine it gets tedious up at the helm.
l enjoy the view.
l invited him over to watch our television set tonight.
You don't mind, do you?
Respond. Celes, respond.
You're not sick.
Yes, l am.
No, you're not.
We have to sleep.
l can't go on this mission.
Yes, you can.
No, l can't.
lt's a fever.
Your temperature is .2 degrees above normal.
A typical deviation
easily prompted by emotional stress.
Or a multiphasic prion.
You have not been infected by a prion.
They attach themselves
to the mitochondrial walls, and they just...
l've already scanned you.
You can barely see them.
They aren't there.
lf they migrate to my cell membranes
while l'm on the away mission, they could rupture and l...
Crewman, l am not giving you a medical excuse...
not this time.
Try to get some sleep.
You shouldn't even have a medical tricorder.
you'll be so caught up in the excitement of exploration,
there won't be any time for worrying about infections,
mitochondrial or otherwise.
There's nothing like an away mission
to remind a person of why we're out here.
l'm going to one-quarter impulse.
Should l start the sensor sweeps?
We don't want to miss anything.
That wasn't us.
Anything on sensors?
.005 fluctuation in the spatial continuum.
lt looks like simple background noise.
Anybody for lunch?
Are you volunteering, William?
What would you like, Captain?
Even my mother didn't call me that.
Well, then, Mr. Harren, are you hungry?
l'll have the pasta soup.
lt should be listed under Neelix 651.
Maybe l'll try that, too.
l'm sure you'll like it.
l'm sure l will.
Thanks for the suggestion.
l'd better get back there.
Neelix 651, two servings.
Neelix 651, two servings.
The Captain checks every single thing l do.
Oh... that's just standard procedure.
Then, why isn't it standard procedure
for you or Harren?
Maybe she's giving you special attention.
Yeah, because she knows l need it.
l wish l could go back to Voyager.
There's always the escape pods.
Can you imagine?
l understand you grew up on Vico V.
No wonder you became a cosmologist.
Wildest sky in the Alpha Quadrant.
So they say. l've never been there.
Do you really believe
that childhood environment is more important
than genetically driven behavior patterns?
Just making conversation.
Conversation filled with unspoken assumptions,
which l don't agree with.
l'm a product of my nucleic acids.
Where and how l was raised
are beside the point,
so if you're trying to understand me better,
questions about my home planet are irrelevant.
All right, then.
How's your 13th chromosome?
Missing a couple of base pairs in gene 178?
l signed onto Voyager because l needed a year
of hands-on experience.
lt was a requirement for getting
into the lnstitute of Cosmology on Orion l.
lf we hadn't gotten lost in the Delta Quadrant,
l'd be there right now.
Sorry to have delayed your career plans,
but all of us have had our lives interrupted.
That's the nature of space exploration.
Which is why l don't like space exploration.
Stumbling from star to star like a-a drunken insect
careening toward a light source
is not my idea of a dignified existence.
Pure theory is all that concerns me.
Well, l'm not trying to change that.
l'm simply trying to get every member of my crew working
to their full capacity.
That includes you, Mr. Harren.
You don't feel responsible, Captain...
for having three misfits
aboard your ship?
Well, if there's anything l can do
to help relieve your guilt...
please let me know.
l'll keep that in mind.
Maybe l will join my colleagues for lunch.
All this exploration has given me an appetite.
Computer, identify the source of that spatial fluctuation.
Aft section, report!
Captain, are you all right?
We need to get propulsion back on line
and figure out what hit us.
What's out there?
l don't know,
but whatever it was, it tore a plating section
off the outer hull.
90 percent of our antimatter's been neutralized.
The reaction's cold.
So much for warp drive.
l'm bringing the impulse engines on line,
but they've been damaged.
We'll be able to do one-eighth impulse, no more.
That should get us to the rendezvous point
with Voyager in about ten years.
Think they'll wait for us?
ls the subspace
transmitter on line?
Voyager, this is the Delta Flyer.
We've been hit by an unknown phenomenon
and taken heavy damage.
We require immediate assistance.
Repeat: we require immediate assistance.
Transmit that continuously on all subspace frequencies.
Anything on active scans?
lt was a dark-matter protocomet.
l read a paper on that phenomenon once.
Written by me.
Well, enlighten us, Mr. Harren.
l hypothesized that a tertiary product
of stellar consolidation would be
a comet-like assemblage of dark matter.
lt would be attracted to any source of antimatter
and neutralize it upon contact.
So, one of these things detected the antimatter in our warp core?
The term ''detected'' suggests a consciousness.
This is a mindless astrophysical phenomenon,
We should eject our remaining antimatter
or we could suffer another impact.
l can't do that,
not on the basis of an unproven hypothesis.
The forces involved
are nontrivial-- if we're hit again,
we could lose our entire outer hull.
Eject the warp core,
and we lose any hope of getting warp drive back.
l need more evidence,
and right now, sensors aren't talking.
Maybe they are talking,
but somebody doesn't know how to listen to them.
You're out of line, crewman.
This isn't the time to be worried
about her feelings, Captain.
We're in trouble.
Captain, that hull plate--
it's less than ten kilometers away.
lmpact from a dark-matter body
might've left a quantum signature in the alloys.
That's the evidence we're looking for.
Do we have transporters?
Yes, l've locked on to the plate.
Beam it directly to the aft section.
Celes, you're with me.
Continue the repairs.
No sign of burns...
or plasma residue.
lt seems to have been sheared off.
Download this into the main computer.
Captain, l'm sorry.
l thought that spatial fluctuation
we ran into was background noise.
l saw the same sensor readings you did
and came to the same conclusion.
You don't have to doubt yourself all the time.
Yes, l do, and you should, too.
You're right to always be looking over my shoulder.
We all make mistakes, even me.
Every time you report for duty?
On Voyager, it doesn't matter,
because nothing l do is that critical.
Seven doesn't trust me with anything important.
The crew is protected from my mistakes
by the people around me, but...
out here l could get us killed.
You went through Starfleet training courses.
l had to cram for every exam.
At the Academy, l was infamous for my all-nighters.
Every night? Because that's what it took.
That's the only way l made it through.
Not to mention the sympathy votes.
The conflict on Bajor worked in my favor.
The Federation was so eager
to have Bajorans in Starfleet
that my instructors gave me the benefit of the doubt.
So did you, when you accepted
You showed evidence of unconventional thinking.
l liked that.
Not everybody would've thought to retrieve that hull plating.
Well, just don't trust me with the analysis.
l guarantee l'll get it wrong.
Well, with that attitude, l'm sure you will.
This has nothing to do with attitude, Captain.
You and l are wired differently.
To you, this is nothing but data.
To me, it... it's a monster with-with fangs and claws.
ln my nightmares, l am chased by algorithms.
My brain just wasn't built to understand this.
We can find you another post on Voyager.
There isn't another post on Voyager, not for me...
unless you need a waitress in the Mess Hall.
there's more to duty than the ability
to manipulate algorithms.
Everybody on Voyager has showed
a courage far beyond what l could've expected.
So have you.
lf we were still in the Alpha Quadrant,
would that be enough to keep me on board?
l can't answer that.
l don't deserve to be on your ship, Captain.
And l'm not really a part of Voyager.
l just live there.
Pressure's increasing. The EPS relays are fused.
Cut the plasma flow.
Cut the plasma...!
l could've been killed. What's wrong with you?
lf you want something to fantasize about,
try imagining how it'll feel if our hull is breached
and we die of vacuum exposure.
Our blood will vaporize,
and our cell membranes will rupture.
Surely you know the symptoms better than l do.
Let's not talk about it, all right?
Nothing disagrees with me
more than having to put theories into practical use,
but there's no choice,
so pay attention to what we're doing here.
You can check yourself into Sick Bay when we get back.
And you can go back to Deck 15.
where l don't have to rely on you
or your intellectually deficient friend.
At least l have a friend.
Don't you ever get lonely down there?
ln the company of my own thoughts?
l don't believe that.
Spend some time with us when we get back.
You might enjoy yourself.
A hypothesis that would require testing.
l'm a theoretician, remember?
Captain's Log, Delta Flyer, Stardate 537 64.3.
We've been running on minimal power for six hours.
Still no response to our distress call,
and no answers from the computer on what hit us.
For now, it looks like we're on our own.
Our scans of the hull fragment were inconclusive.
We found some displaced positrons
that could indicate a dark-matter impact.
But could've been caused by something else?
Not enough for me.
Not enough to jettison the remaining antimatter.
There's a gas giant
only a few hours from our current position.
T-class, surrounded by orbital rings,
including one that's radiogenic.
We could use those particles
to reinitialize our warp reaction.
With ten percent of our antimatter left,
we'd only be able to make warp 2,
but it would be enough to get us back on the road.
Set a course.
Another spatial fluctuation.
Can you localize it?
lt's somewhere within the distance
of 10,000 kilometers.
Another one, closer, about 7,000 kilometers.
lt's being drawn toward our antimatter.
Eject the core.
Open a channel. All hailing frequencies.
This is Captain Janeway of the Federation Vessel Delta Flyer.
We are on a mission of peaceful exploration.
Please identify yourself.
Of course not. lt's a natural phenomenon.
Captain, we only have a few seconds.
l'm firing a photon torpedo.
There's enough antimatter in the detonation chamber
to draw that protocomet, if that's what it is.
The torpedo's away.
Distance: 1,000 kilometers.
No spatial disruptions.
Find the source of that sound.
That's not possible.
Where is he?
l can't locate his bio-signature.
He's not out there.
He's not in space, not in subspace.
lt doesn't make sense.
Activate the transporter.
Try to get a lock on whatever's inside him.
Tricorder isn't picking up anything.
But l can feel it.
l-l can't get a lock.
lt's like something's there, but it's not there.
Oh, it's there.
Unfortunately, l have to agree.
Obviously, whatever hit us was no protocomet. l was wrong.
Maybe you weren't, not entirely.
Sensors can't scan it;
transporters can't lock on to it.
Maybe this is some kind of dark-matter life-form.
Molecules that complex
would collapse under their own weight.
They could never support life.
Might be time to revise your theory.
Where did they take you?
l don't know.
lt was dark.
God, l could feel breathing all around me.
Did anyone try to communicate with you?
l couldn't see.
l tried to say something, but there wasn't enough air.
l tried to move,
but something was pressing down on me.
The hypospray-- tetrovaline. lt'll put me out.
lf l sedate you, it could lower your immune response,
and you need to stay conscious.
Do you understand?
if it wanted to kill you, it would've done it by now.
lt never would've sent you back here.
Maybe it was trying to scan you or something.
lf it wanted to get to know me better...
it should've just asked me out for a drink.
Keep an eye on him.
l'm setting a course for those rings.
Shunt as much power as you can to the impulse engines.
We never should've left Voyager.
l've got news for you, crewman.
Voyager isn't exactly a safe haven.
We've been chased across the Quadrant
by far worse than whatever's out there--
the Vidiians, Species 8472, the Borg--
but l guess if somebody's hiding down on Deck 15,
they may not be aware of it.
l wasn't meant to be an explorer.
And l wasn't meant to guide a ship
across an unknown Quadrant.
Then we're both victims of circumstance.
Oh, l've seen things l've never imagined,
grown closer to people than l ever thought possible.
l wouldn't call myself a victim,
and l wouldn't trade the last six years for anything.
Then you've been deluded
by the inexhaustible human capacity
to avoid the truth.
You're the one hiding, not me.
l've got you three more percentage points of impulse.
l'll take it.
Setting a course.
lsn't there any part of you that feels a bond
with the rest of us?
When we escape from the Borg or discover
a new type of star,
don't you feel some pride of accomplishment?
When you're in the Mess Hall,
alone at your table in the corner,
don't you see the friendships around you
and wish even for a microsecond you were part of them?
You don't know me at all.
No, but l'd like to.
That was the whole point of this mission.
But l guess it hasn't worked out like l planned.
lt's a Starfleet frequency.
Must be Voyager.
...the Delta Flyer. ...phenomenon...
...hit by an... ...heavy damage.
Repeat: require, require immediate...
immediate, immediate... Flyer, Flyer, Flyer, Flyer...
Maybe not. There's a .005 deviation in the carrier wave.
That's the same degree of spatial fluctuation
left by our pursuers.
They're sending our distress signal back to us.
Modified. They might be trying to communicate.
...Delta Flyer, Flyer, Flyer.
...hit by an unknown phenomenon, unknown.
They're taunting us.
Try to adjust the universal translator for...
He went right through the force field.
Billy, what are you doing?
lt's activating my motor neurons.
l can't make it stop.
l'm sorry, Captain.
You've got to stop it.
lt's okay, Billy, it's okay.
lt's in here.
lt's tapping into our systems.
Wait. lt may be trying to communicate.
lt's into our environmental controls.
We've got to stop it.
Hold your fire!
What the hell is wrong with you?
lt was trying to kill us.
-You don't know that. -We were at risk.
l gave you a direct order.
What if you were wrong?
l could hear its thoughts.
When it left me...
l could hear what it was thinking.
''Do not belong.''
That's what it said: ''Do not belong.''
We don't belong here.
Or it didn't belong in the Delta Flyer.
Maybe that's why it was tapping into the environmental controls.
lt was trying to survive in a place
it didn't belong.
Based on direct observation.
You murdered an alien being and destroyed
any chance we had to make first contact.
We just lost another section of hull.
How far are we from the gas giant?
l'm taking the Flyer into the radiogenic ring.
With any luck, they won't follow.
We can't survive in there for more than a few minutes.
That should be enough to reinitialize the warp core.
Start continuous transport of radiogenic particles
directly into the reaction chamber.
When it's approaching critical mass, let me know.
Watch for any sign of pursuit.
How are you doing?
l always had this alarm in my head,
sort of an internal Red Alert.
lt was like a warning system
that would tell me l was sick or dying...
Mitochondrial prions, food poisoning, a head cold.
lt was always there.
And now it's not?
l don't understand.
Maybe l do.
When l was a girl, l was afraid of the ocean.
l liked to swim, but, uh, in a pool or a pond,
where l knew exactly what was beneath me.
But in the open water,
with no way to know what was down there...
it scared me to death.
lt wasn't until my first year at the Academy,
after l went through zero-G training in the Coral Sea...
that l finally got over it.
l think you just came up from your first deep dive.
They're in pursuit.
Three minutes, 20 seconds to intercept.
We'll need twice that to reinitialize warp reaction.
Get into the escape pods.
Plot a course away from the planet.
l'm going to fire a phaser volley
and hopefully set off a chain reaction
of the radiogenic particles.
lt might be enough to disable our friends.
You'll be disabled, too.
Not if l go to full thrusters
and keep in front of the shock wave.
lf l don't make it,
head for the L-Class moon in the next system.
You could survive there for weeks if you have to--
enough time for Voyager to pick up your distress signal.
Now get moving.
You'll have a better chance if we're with you.
We might not have contributed much
on Voyager, but what we do here matters.
We're the crew here,
and the crew does not abandon its captain.
All right, it's your choice.
Then l'll be going alone.
Charge phaser banks.
Stand by to divert all power to thrusters.
Escape Pod 1 is occupied and ready, Captain.
Launch Pod 1.
Escape pod away.
How close are our pursuers?
65 seconds to intercept.
Stand by to fire.
Captain, the escape pod is altering course.
lt's heading for the aliens.
Janeway to Harren.
What are you doing?
lf they have to deal with me,
it should give you a few more seconds to get away.
That's my theory, anyway.
Resume your escape course now.
lt's too late for that.
You made a mistake,
Harren. Don't make another one.
l'm done hiding, Captain.
A few seconds of exposure to real life...
maybe l'll understand what l've been missing.
He closed the channel.
Get a transporter lock on that pod.
l-l can't. We're out of range.
More power to the thrusters.
We're still not close enough.
Thrusters at maximum.
Shock wave approaching.
Contact in four... three...
More or less.
No serious injuries.
Everyone's all right...
though you gave us a good scare for a while.
We received your distress call.
We found the Flyer drifting above a gas giant.
You were all unconscious.
Any sign of...
another vessel or some kind of entity?
The Good Shepherd went after some lost sheep
and ran into a wolf.
Did she find them?
l think she did.