What's the matter, Harry? You look a little pale.
l volunteered for a test flight, not a suicide mission.
How can we put the new Delta Flyer through her paces
without taking a few risks?
Another risk like that,
and we'll have to rebuild her all over again.
There's a vessel coming up fast off our starboard beam.
Range: 50 kilometers.
lt's pulling alongside.
Wow, nice ship.
lt's scanning us.
This is Lieutenant Tom Paris.
Please identify yourself.
Vectored exhaust ports, accelerated driver coils.
Your vessel must be fast.
Gets us where we want to go.
Check your scanners.
You'll see a comet
on the other side of the asteroid field.
l wonder which of our ships could get there first.
Sounds like a challenge.
Are you going to accept?
We are not going to race her.
This is a test flight, right?
Yeah, but...
What better way to test the new ship than to see
how it stands up to a little competition.
We're ready over here.
Should l count to three?
Guess not.
She's a lot more maneuverable than we are.
Not that l'm endorsing
this misguided exercise, but maybe we can even the odds.
The new impulse thrusters.
Ah, now, that's the spirit, Harry.
We're catching up.
100 meters.
Bring the backup generators on line
and reroute power to the thrusters.
And it's the Delta Flyer by a nose.
Something's wrong with her ship.
The cabin's filling up with nyocene gas.
Stand by for emergency transport.
You all right?
l think so.
l told you this wasn't a good idea.
Oh, does that mean you're afraid to try again?
Yeah, Harry?
You afraid?
No. Of course not.
lt's just... your ship is in no shape for a rematch.
My power transformer overloaded.
l bet we could find you a spare back on Voyager.
We were about to head back anyway.
Right, Tom?
Yeah, whatever you say, Ensign Eager.
l've been looking forward to my holodeck time all week.
Why can't you borrow three hours from someone else?
Yours are the last piece to the puzzle.
Tom and l have finally managed to get a weekend off together.
l've been trading favors with members of the crew,
so that we could get the holodeck to ourselves.
A romantic getaway?
Well, that's the idea, yes.
Well, ordinarily l wouldn't hesitate to oblige.
But l've been looking forward
to indulging myself in a new hobby.
Something human doctors have been enjoying
for centuries.
l've already booked a tee time.
Well, if your ''tee time''
is more important than our happiness--
our first chance to be alone in months...
Take my three hours.
Thank you.
So what program are you planning to run?
Something new called Gedi Prime.
l've heard of that.
The vacation paradise
that makes Risa look like a tourist trap.
Endless kilometers
of crystalline beaches, mood reefs,
bioluminescent waterfalls...
And a championship golf course, if l'm not mistaken.
Why don't l just join you?
Somehow, l don't think that would add to the mood.
Don't be so sure.
You haven't seen me in a bathing suit.
Could you hand me the veridium injector?
Veridium injector.
Uh... let's see.
The one with the long handle.
Of course.
My copilot thinks so, too.
l was on my way to meet him when l ran into you.
So, tell me more about where you're from.
lt's a small trinary system about half a parsec from here.
Three suns-- it must make for some long days.
Are you always this inquisitive?
That depends on who l'm talking to.
Your new power transformer is installed and ready to go.
And your impulse drive is a real beauty.
l designed it myself.
But l couldn't help noticing
your warp system seems so... rudimentary.
Warp's fine, if you like going fast in a straight line.
But, to me, that's just physics, not flying.
l guess it's a matter of taste.
Anyway, for the kind of flying l'm here for,
warp is not a factor.
The race course is only two billion kilometers long.
Race course?
What kind of race course?
The Antarian Trans-Stellar Rally--
three segments covering 2.3 billion kilometers.
With obstacles ranging from dwarf star clusters
to K-class anomalies.
Two-man crews, and most importantly
each ship is limited to sublight speeds.
lt, it's the ultimate test
of ship design and piloting skills.
Not to mention a serious drain on Voyager's resources.
You're suggesting we reassign 15 crewmen
to ''modify'' the Delta Flyer?.
The race has very specific guidelines.
All the ships have to use enriched deuterium fuel.
The Delta Flyer's not equipped for that.
lrina agreed to lend us a fuel converter.
Captain, this race
is more than just a sporting event.
Until recently, this region was a war zone.
Four different species fought
for nearly a century to control it.
Now, for the first time, they're competing peacefully
to commemorate the new treaty that ended the war.
This race embodies everything the Federation values--
a peaceful coexistence,
free exchange of ideas.
l think it's a great idea.
-You do? -You do?
This competition is just the sort of break we need.
lt would give us a chance to make some friends
and allow the crew a little R&R.
Request granted.
Thank you, Captain.
One thing, gentlemen.
Now that we're in this race,
we're in it to win.
After all, Starfleet's honor is at stake.
Don't worry.
lt's in good hands.
A little tip, Doc.
This game was not meant to be played indoors.
Here to rub salt in the wound?
l beg your pardon?
l planned to be putting the greens at St. Andrews.
lnstead... l'm putting into beakers in Sick Bay,
thanks to you.
Oh, don't be coy.
l've already approved your time off.
The Captain's told you about the race already?
What race?
l was referring to your romantic getaway.
Oh, no.
Don't tell me you forgot.
Uh, do me a favor, Doc.
Keep a lock on my bio-signs.
What for?
Because in about five minutes,
there may be a medical emergency in Engineering.
Hmm. Maybe l can get that tee time back.
You're early.
You packed?
Not yet.
Um... actually...
there might be a little problem.
l have a chance to pilot the Flyer in a race--
uh, a really unique race--
and the Captain thinks it's a great idea...
So, l guess l got so excited that l forgot about our plans.
But l-l don't have to do it.
The Captain would understand.
lt's all right.
No, no, l should have remembered.
lt's just that this seemed like such an amazing opportunity.
Pilots from all over...
l said it's okay.
The holodeck will always be here.
This race won't.
l do not deserve you.
You're right about that.
So, um, we'll plan this vacation for another time.
l-l'm going to make this up to you.
l promise.
Late night?
Can l get you anything?
No, thanks.
Are you okay?
Oh, my feet. Ah.
l haven't had a chance to sit down all day.
lf you're thinking of cheering me up,
don't bother.
Hmm. Who, me? Never.
And by the way,
you can have your holodeck time back.
What about your weekend with Tom?
He just canceled it.
Does he have any idea how much planning it took?
And you're not going to tell him, either.
He just entered this big race,
and he's really excited, and...
l don't want to spoil it for him.
Well, l'm sure if you tell him
how important this weekend was to you,
he'll reconsider.
But he should be able to do what makes him happy.
What about what makes you happy?
lt's time l faced facts, Neelix.
Tom and l just don't belong together.
Then you're not in love with him anymore?
l didn't say that.
But, B'Elanna, if you still love each other...
Maybe that isn't enough.
Call me a hopeless romantic,
but l still think it is.
Yeah, well, there's a Klingon phrase
that my grandmother used to use-- mok'tah.
lt means ''bad match.''
That's what Tom and l are.
l just hate that it's taken me three years
to realize it.
lf you're really such a mok'tah,
it must have been an awful three years.
Tom is a great guy.
We've had a lot of fun together.
And that seems to be enough for him.
But not for me.
Why aren't you saying all this to Tom?
l plan to.
After the race.
By which time, he'll already have disappointed you again.
l may not know as much about Klingon tradition
as your grandmother,
but somehow, keeping Tom in the dark
doesn't seem very honorable.
My feet are feeling better.
l should go back to work.
Captain's Log, Stardate 54058.6.
Our request to enter the Delta Flyer into the rally
has been accepted.
l'm meeting with the race coordinator, Ambassador O'Zaal,
to work out the details.
We have teams that have traveled
quite a distance, Captain,
but none from as far as the Alpha Quadrant.
We're always willing to go that extra light-year
for a good cause.
Well, your, uh, entrance petition
seems to be in order.
The Delta Flyer meets our guidelines.
Now all you have to do is win.
Something tells me
the other teams aren't going to make that too easy.
Bridge to the Captain.
Go ahead, Commander.
There is an incoming transmission
for the Ambassador.
Route it here.
l asked not to be disturbed.
l'm sorry, but the Aksani are threatening to withdraw
unless they're allowed to host the post-race ceremony.
Did you explain that
we've already promised that to the Chessu?
Yes. They said that was... unacceptable.
Arrange for another meeting.
l'll have to find some way of appeasing them.
Well, l hope the race you just entered
doesn't end before it begins.
lt's that serious?
The peace is still very fragile.
Every decision l make, no matter how trivial,
is looked upon as symbolic.
So, every time you make a concession
to one participant...
Another is offended, yes.
Maybe we can help.
That would be wonderful, but how?
By providing neutral ground
for the pre and post-race activities.
Since we've never taken sides in your conflict,
you couldn't be accused of showing favoritism.
lf your racing skills are as sharp
as your diplomatic instincts,
the other teams won't have a chance.
There's someone to watch out for.
What's his story?
His name is Assan.
He was a fighter pilot--
one of the most ruthless.
Uh, where you going?
A little personal reconnaissance.
We are the hosts.
Lieutenant Tom Paris.
Welcome aboard.
Could l get you something?
A drink? Something to eat?
Tour of the ship?
Were you assigned to serve me?
Um, not exactly.
Are we friends?
l guess not.
Then you must be one of those pilots
who believes in the fellowship of combat.
Correct me if l'm wrong,
but l thought this was a friendly race, not a battle.
lf that's what you believe,
then you've already lost.
Well... nice chatting with you.
Learn anything?
Yeah, l should leave the hosting to Neelix.
My copilot.
lrina. Hi.
Well. Looks like they're good friends.
They're teammates.
personal teammates.
Oh, it was nice while it lasted.
Come on.
Seven, l need you to run a diagnostic
on the lateral sensor array.
As soon as l'm finished.
With what?
Plotting the most efficient course
for the first segment of the rally.
Seems like the entire crew has come down with race fever.
Perhaps you could persuade the Doctor
to develop a vaccine.
l'm surprised you're putting time into this.
lnitially, l did find the activity irrelevant,
but then l realized that it's important
for the crew's morale
and for my relationship with Lieutenant Paris.
Your relationship with Lieutenant Paris?
l was speaking professionally.
l often work with him on navigational problems.
He can be an erratic individual.
But he's also a very competent officer
and clearly a skilled pilot.
lt's the erratic individual that takes getting used to.
No doubt.
But l've learned that if l embrace some of his interests,
support him in his personal goals,
we're able to function more efficiently as crewmates.
Harry, where have you been?
Say Qapla'.
lt means success.
l just wanted to capture the moment,
not to mention that cute bewildered expression.
What are you doing in that flight suit?
There's been a change of plans.
l'm your new copilot.
Look, l don't have time for practical jokes.
Neither do l.
Ready to bring that impulse drive on line?
Okay, l was upset that you canceled our weekend,
but then l realized--
why should we spend this time apart
when we can be together doing something you like?
What about Harry?
l assigned him to a level-5 diagnostic in Engineering.
Oh, that's terrible.
l'm just kidding.
l told him how hard it was for us to get time together,
and he understood.
Anyway, the way l see it,
you're trading an Ensign for a Chief Engineer.
Well, you don't have to convince me.
l couldn't ask for a better copilot.
Now just remember, we're not on vacation.
The point is to win.
And you know how much l hate to lose.
Thrusters on line.
Opening Shuttle Bay doors.
The racers are moving into position.
Welcome to the first running
of the Antarian Trans-Stellar Rally.
This moment marks a hopeful point
in our shared history-- a chance to put aside
old animosities, and come together
in a spirit of peace and friendly competition.
Good luck to all of you.
Prepare for the starting signal.
Captain, the honor is yours.
Mr. Tuvok.
We passed two more ships, three still ahead of us.
How's my impulse engine?
Hot, but stable, thanks to the new fuel converter.
That was the Number 8 ship.
Whoever it is just grazed our shields.
Port thrusters are off-line.
Well, that was an old trick.
Back at the Academy we used to call that ''scraping.''
Well, Assan just almost scraped us out of the race.
How are we doing on time?
20 seconds to the third marker.
Assan's already rounding it, thanks to his little tactic.
Well, it's a long race.
We'll catch him.
How's our team doing?
l announced the Delta Flyer's progress
over the com 1 1 minutes ago.
ln a race like this, 1 1 minutes can be an eternity!
The Delta Flyer is in fourth position,
having completed 62 percent of the course.
The Aksani vessel is in third position
having completed 68 percent of the course.
You don't make it sound very exciting.
l'm relaying the relevant information.
lt's all in the delivery.
Do you mind?
Attention, all hands.
Stand by for a race update!
With only 58 million kilometers left in the first segment,
the Aksani, lmhotep and Terrellian ships
are still battling for the lead.
Wait. The Number 8 ship just cut off the Number 3
in the Darla system.
Now 3's changing course.
Using the gravity from a gas giant
to boost its speed, it's making up for lost ground!
Sounds like quite a race.
Apparently, it's all in the delivery.
So much for the Aksani.
Now it's just down to lrina and Assan.
ln a few minutes,
they'll just be echoes in our aft scanners.
Well, we still got the Mobius lnversion coming up.
The what?
Tell me you read the course manual.
l skimmed it... more or less.
Oh, great.
So, what exactly is this Mobius whatever?
Take a look.
Covers the entire last third of the course.
Level-6 subspace distortions, gravimetric shears.
Just think of it as a little wormhole
with a big attitude.
The Terrellian and lmhotep ships are still in the lead;
the Delta Flyer trailing by a few seconds.
Meanwhile, the two Chessu ships are continuing to advance
claiming fourth and fifth position.
My weekly security report.
l'll read it later.
There are a few matters we should discuss.
She said later, Tuvok.
Something's wrong.
They're disappearing.
Radiation from the Mobius lnversion
is blocking our sensors.
How will we track their progress?
We can't. Not until they emerge
from the other side of the anomaly.
Want to talk about that report now, Tuvok?
Later, if that's permissible.
50 meters.
We can get through.
No, they're too close to each other.
l'm reversing our deflector polarity.
lt'll repel their shields.
Why wait for an opening when you can make one?
No, it's too risky.
Too risky?
That doesn't sound like the Tom Paris l know.
What are you doing?
Deploying auxiliary thrusters.
We'll need the extra maneuvering power to get through the gap.
Just steer the ship.
lt's them. lt's the Delta Flyer.
They're in the lead!
They're pulling away!
We did it!
You should have waited.
l saw a chance and l too...
l'm the pilot.
That means l do the flying.
Attention all racers. There's been an accident.
Stay in order and shut down your engines.
His condition's stabilizing.
l should be able to start
dermal regeneration in a few hours.
This was Assan's fault.
He collided with me so many times
my shield generator overloaded.
Joxom's console exploded.
He's lucky he's alive.
lf l'm guilty of anything, it's of coming in second,
a situation l'll remedy in the next leg.
You're doing a poor job of defending yourself.
We may have had something to do with this, too.
We grazed both of their shields while in the anomaly.
lt was a tight course.
Everyone was flying very aggressively.
Your team is not responsible, Captain.
My generators were already overloading
when they made contact.
Perhaps none of you is to blame.
l found this interfaced
with her ship's shield generator.
l ran an analysis.
lt's a phase inverter,
designed to cause a system overload.
Well, it's hard to believe
someone would go this far just to knock a competitor
out of the race.
This may be more
than a simple case of cheating, Captain.
l think someone's trying to end the peace.
Maybe l'm missing something,
but we're talking about a single act of sabotage.
How does that threaten your treaty?
By itself, it wouldn't.
But we've received several threats
of a more serious nature.
From whom?
Groups opposed to the alliance--
arms dealers, isolationists, political extremists.
Up until now l wasn't sure how seriously to take them.
Clearly, they pose a security threat.
Yes, yes.
We've done everything we could
to protect the racers,
but that may not be enough.
l don't want to risk any more lives.
We should cancel the race
or at least postpone it,
until we can guarantee everyone's safety.
No. lf we stop now,
we'll be letting these extremists win.
She's right.
Very well, then.
lf that's the consensus,
we'll resume tomorrow as scheduled.
Of course, Captain,
if you decide to withdraw, we'd understand.
Well, the last time l checked, l believe we were winning.
There you are.
Congratulations on taking the lead.
Of course, uh, you're not going to win.
Why is that?
Because we are.
You're looking at your new copilot.
l checked with one of the race officials.
lt's perfectly legal
and it's a chance for both of us to get back in the race.
l appreciate the gesture, but my ship's damaged.
You don't know our Harry.
Once we sets his mind on something...
He'll not only fix your ship,
he'll polish the bulkheads.
How can you turn me down?
Apparently, l can't.
Come on, you can say it.
lt's embarrassing.
l just want to make sure we're clear on what we're doing.
''Right at the light, then readjust my sight.''
Come about 86 degrees at the red giant
then recalibrate sensors
to compensate for photonic interference.
Great. Next?
Do l really have to spend my morning
reciting nursery rhymes?
lt got me through the Academy.
You were expelled.
Okay, repeat after me.
''l am not the pilot.
l will not attempt to fly this ship.''
That one doesn't even rhyme.
Anyone home?
Well, if it isn't our competition.
Here to spy on us?
l just stopped by to borrow a hyperspanner.
Looks like you didn't get much sleep.
lrina and l were up all night.
Oh, really?
Making repairs.
To be honest, l can't remember
the last time l had so much fun.
She's funny, smart,
we get along without trying.
l'm going to ask her if she wants
to spend some time on Voyager after the race.
What about Joxom?
Turns out they're just teammates.
l know what you're going to say.
No, no.
Actually, l was just going to congratulate you.
l mean, she's not a Borg, she's not a hologram
and she's not dead.
Looks like you might have finally found yourself
the perfect woman.
All teams report to your ships.
The race will resume in 30 minutes.
See you on the course.
Attention all hands.
Stand by for another race update.
After fighting off a formidable challenge
from the Terrellian team,
the Delta Flyer has managed to hold onto its lead
going into the third and final segment.
Approaching the pulsars.
''Straight through the gate.''
''Then remodulate.''
Harry sure had that glow, didn't he?
What glow?
You know,
that look you get when you first meet someone.
Yeah. His cheeks were a little redder than usual.
We're through the pulsars.
Harry and lrina are right behind us.
You can ease up off the thrusters now.
l want to conserve some fuel for the final leg.
lf circumstances were right,
they might even have a future together.
Harry and lrina.
Oh, they just met.
lt's a little early to be planning a wedding.
No, l just meant that some people just fit together
without having to work at it.
And other people, no matter how much they try...
Are we talking about them or us?
No, l didn't mean...
lf something's bothering you, let's talk about it.
We should concentrate on the race.
Well, maybe Harry and lrina
aren't such a great team after all.
They're falling behind.
l'm reading malfunctions in the EPS relays,
but we double-checked all of them last night.
We must have missed something.
At this rate, we're going to be out of the race
in a couple of minutes.
l think l can reroute power through the impulse manifold.
Why not?
lt could damage the reactor coils.
What do the reactor coils have to do
with the impulse manifolds?
These systems are different than what you're used to.
You do want to win, don't you?
Of course l do.
lt just seems like every time l make a suggestion,
you find a reason to reject it.
l'm more familiar with my ship than you are.
Now what?
l think it's the injector ports.
No, it's an overload in my console.
That's the second time your copilot's console exploded.
Quite a coincidence.
l'm sorry, Harry.
l really am.
You sabotaged your own ship--
Why are you trying so hard to get out of this race?
What the hell is going on?
Sit down and hold still!
All right.
lf you won't talk to me,
maybe you'll talk to Antarian Security.
You disabled the com system.
We'll just wait.
Someone will come along eventually.
We're past the last marker.
Time to deploy the thrusters?
Whatever you say.
What happened to ''l'm the pilot''?
That really bothered you, didn't it?
lt's why you think
we don't fit together as well as Harry and lrina?
Could we talk about this later?
Assan is gaining on us.
Well, then, l guess you'd better deploy the thrusters.
Thrusters deployed.
This isn't about the race anymore, is it?
You tell me.
lf we're going to just sit here,
we might as well see who's winning.
You're not exactly in a position to be making requests.
Admit it, Harry-- you're curious, too.
The Delta Flyer is still in the lead.
Good for them.
l thought that if we could do this one thing together,
something that you cared about,
that it might help our relationship.
l didn't know it needed help.
Well, that's part of the problem.
What's the rest?
You know the rest.
So we scrape shields occasionally.
lt keeps things interesting.
Maybe interesting isn't enough for me.
What are you doing?
They're stopping.
They're dead in the water.
How far from the finish line?
Less than a million kilometers.
That was Assan!
Why are we just sitting here?
lf we've got a problem,
we're going to resolve it right here, right now.
You've done everything possible to take yourself
out of the race, and now you seem worried
that the Delta Flyer won't reach the finish line.
l'm counting more than a dozen
ships there-- spectators, officials...
All congregated in the name of peace.
Touching, isn't it?
You've planned some sort of attack.
There are hundreds of innocent people there.
How can you do that?
Not everyone is as comfortable mixing with other species
as you are, Harry.
Some of us believe it was better when we were separate.
Hey, l never asked you to give up this race,
or anything else that you care about.
l never asked you to stop being yourself.
The only self that l want to be
is the guy that you're in love with.
Wow... l didn't know you felt that way.
How can you say that?
Well, you always seem to have other priorities.
l'm showing you my priorities right now.
The Delta Flyer wouldn't even be in this race
if you hadn't told us about it.
You gave us the fuel converter so we could qualify.
The fuel converter.
That's why you're so concerned
about Tom and B'Elanna's crossing the finish line.
What'd you do to it?
Rig it to explode?
How come you never talked to me about this before?
Well, you've got that tough Klingon exterior, and...
l didn't think you liked the mushy stuff.
Do l look that tough right now?
Well, does that mean you're in the mood for some mushy stuff?
Exactly what kind of mush are we talking about?
You tell me.
Well, there's, um...
kissy stuff.
That was nice.
And there's the...
''you're the most important person in the world to me.''
l like that one, too.
And there's the ''happily ever after.''
How does that one work?
Well, traditionally, it requires a proposal...
We're being scanned by some kind of modulating pulse.
lt's from lrina's ship.
They must be wondering why we stopped.
There's something odd about the amplitude.
Wait a minute. Di-di-da...
That's Morse code.
Harry and l use it in the Captain Proton holoprogram.
What's he saying?
''Fuel... converter...
What does he mean by ''rigged''?
That converter's leaking veridium isotopes.
Why didn't the computer warn us?
The on-line sensors have been tampered with.
Can you contain the leak?
Too late. The veridium is already reacting
with the warp plasma.
That'll cause a warp core breach.
ln less than a minute.
Then do what Harry said.
Eject the converter.
lt's too late.
l have to eject the core.
We'll never survive the blast.
Neither will anyone else within a million kilometers.
They're moving again.
Away... from the finish line.
Warp core breach in 30 seconds.
Where are we going?
A J-class nebula filled with ionized gas.
Should contain the explosion.
l can't get the ejection subroutines on line.
Warp core breach in 20 seconds.
So what's your answer?
My answer?
Will you marry me?
Warp core breach in 15 seconds.
You're proposing now?
lt's as good a time as any.
Subroutines back on line.
Warp core breach in ten seconds, nine, eight...
-...four... -Go!
l'm sorry your team didn't win, Captain.
Janeway to the Bridge. Report.
That was a shock wave from an antimatter explosion
approximately 1.2 million kilometers from here.
Excuse me.
l guess we lost.
That depends.
On what?
On how you answer my question.
l thought you only asked it
because we were about to explode.
Well, we're still alive...
and l'm still asking.
How come you never asked me before?
How come you're still avoiding the question?
l'm thinking.
Think faster.
Why? You're gonna withdraw the question?
No, but l might start to beg.
Could get embarrassing.
Captain's Log, supplemental.
The Antarians have invited us
to participate in the post-race festivities,
which has allowed me to give two of my senior officers
time off for a well-deserved romantic getaway.
The Delta Flyer still needs a new warp core,
but l don't think they're in a hurry to get anywhere.
To... the winners.
''B'Elanna Paris''-- that has a nice ring to it.
Thanks, but l already have a ring.
Anyway, l kind of like the sound of ''Tom Torres.''
l hope you're kidding.
Hey... it is the 24th century.

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