We, the people of Earth,
greet you in a spirit of peace and humility.
As we venture out of our solar system,
we hope to earn the trust and friendship of other worlds.
Can you reduce the interference?
l'm trying.
What is it?
l don't know.
lt just entered the atmosphere.
They evolved from dinosaurs?
Hadrosaurs, to be precise.
Their ancestors settled in the Delta Quadrant
20 million years ago.
The Voth, the Kobali, the Vaadwaur.
You've made first contact with more species
than any captain since James Kirk.
lt helps being the only Starfleet ship
within 30,000 light-years.
You are being too humble.
From the first time you spoke up in my classroom,
l knew you'd go far.
A little farther than l expected, Professor.
l have my Admiral hat on today, Kathryn,
and l didn't call just to catch up.
Starfleet has a mission for you.
We, the people of Earth
greet you in a spirit of peace and humility.
As we venture out of our solar system,
we hope to earn the trust and friendship of other worlds.
Friendship l.
l had to memorize that recording in third grade.
Me, too.
l even built a model of the probe.
Then this should look familiar.
lt was launched in 2067.
Just four years after Zefram Cochrane
tested his first warp engine.
What was it designed to do?
Reach out to other species.
Pave the way for all the manned missions
that would follow.
They packed it with information--
translation matrices,
scientific and culture databases.
Computer chip designs,
instructions for building transceivers.
lt's practically a how-to manual.
lf the Borg had intercepted this probe,
humanity would have been assimilated centuries ago.
Our ancestors had no idea what was out here.
This must have been before your Prime Directive.
lt was before Starfleet existed.
ln any case, we lost contact with the probe 130 years ago.
But its last-known coordinates...
Let me guess.
We're in the neighborhood.
Starfleet's mapped out a search grid.
lt'll take us a little off course,
but if the probe is still intact,
and we're lucky enough to find it,
we'll be retrieving a little piece of history.
Captain's Log, Stardate 5477 5.4.
We've been searching for five days
without any sign of the probe,
but we're not about to disappoint Starfleet
on our first official assignment in seven years.
Nothing in Grid 295.
Mr. Paris.
Moving on.
We should try skipping ahead a little
to Grid 310.
l stayed up all night
re-extrapolating the probe's trajectory.
l've compensated for solar winds, ionic interference,
and a few local anomalies Starfleet wouldn't
know about.
Alter course to Grid 310.
Trying to impress the Starfleet brass?
Just doing my job.
l'm detecting a titanium signature
that matches the probe's parameters.
A planet two light-years away.
Good job, Harry.
The readings are coming from the northern subcontinent.
Can you localize them?
There are high levels of antimatter radiation
in the atmosphere, scattering the probe's signature.
Any life signs?
Assemble an away team
and take the Flyer down for a closer look.
You seem to be in a good mood, Doctor.
Just excited to be doing my part
for our first official mission, Mr. Carey.
An inoculation a day keeps the radiation away.
l took a look at those atmospheric readings.
Thermal eddies, gravimetric shear.
You're going to need your best pilot.
Are you volunteering?
Well, if the Doc can spare me.
l'll muddle through.
lf you're here for your fetal resonance scan,
you're a day early.
l'm here for my inoculation.
You are not going on this mission.
Chakotay said he needed an engineer.
He's already got one.
Now he's got two.
Will you excuse us?
Any bets on this one?
My money's on B'Elanna.
lt's been months
since l've been on an away mission.
Then try the holodeck. The Flyer is full.
You can make room.
Neelix doesn't have to go.
He's not six months pregnant.
Being pregnant doesn't make me an invalid.
No, it doesn't,
but there's a toxic atmosphere down there,
and you're breathing for two.
All right, you win.
But if we have another baby, you carry it,
and l'll go on the away missions.
lt's a deal.
Sorry for the bumpy ride.
We'll be clearing the stratosphere
in about a minute.
l had a cousin who used to transport disulfides
from a gas giant.
He claimed to love the turbulence.
Of course, disulfides are known to cause delusions.
Hang on.
l thought it was uninhabited.
There's nothing alive down there now.
Radiation levels are at 6,000 isorems.
l've localized the signature to a three-kilometer radius.
Transfer the coordinates to the helm.
When we find the probe, we'll beam it to the cargo hold.
That may not be easy with all this radiation.
We'd better bring transport enhancers.
Set us down, Tom.
Yes, sir.
Gently, please.
l should have brought a holo-camera,
so l could show B'Elanna she's not missing anything.
Can you believe she actually wanted
to come with us?
When my wife was pregnant,
she didn't want to be coddled, either.
And she's not half Klingon.
Oh, maybe it's us.
Something about
fatherhood seems to regress the male psyche
a few thousand years.
Tom, be careful.
lt's a toy.
Like a music box.
l'm getting something.
90 meters this way.
Commander, l'm detecting an antimatter signature ahead.
Looks like missile silos.
Paris to Chakotay.
Go ahead.
We've got a reading that could be the probe.
lt's inside a cave.
Keep us posted.
The warhead is still active.
lt wouldn't have taken many of these
to trigger a nuclear winter.
People must have taken shelter here.
Well, it makes sense.
The magnesite in these caves
would have provided partial shielding
from the radiation.
Over here!
What'd you find?
Some kind of control room... or laboratory.
Lots of diagnostic equipment.
Looks like it was salvaged from a junk heap.
Or scavenged from the ruins.
Particle scanners,
circuit analyzers...
Most of it's still functional.
They were working on something.
This is what we came for.
Whoever lived here must have been studying it.
The datacore is still intact.
Start setting up the transport enhancers.
Paris to Chakotay.
Go ahead.
We found the probe.
Well, pieces of it, anyway.
We're getting ready to beam it back up to the Flyer.
We'll meet you there.
ls someone there?
The tricorder isn't reading any life signs.
Don't move.
You okay?
Delta Flyer to Paris.
Chakotay to away team. Respond.
They're antimatter weapons.
Shields are off-line.
What are you doing?
Getting us out of here.
What about the others?
We can't do them any good if we're dead.
We'll come back for them.
Look, you're making a mistake...
Leave them alone!
Who are you?
l'm Lieutenant Tom Paris.
We're from the Federation Starship Voyager.
What are these?
They're transport enhancers.
We were going to use them to retrieve our probe.
Your probe?
Too bad you didn't come for it sooner.
You would have saved us a lot of suffering.
We still can't contact the others
or get a fix on their life signs.
Why didn't we detect the aliens?
l don't know.
Whoever they are, they have antimatter weapons.
Bridge to Captain Janeway.
Go ahead.
We are being hailed from the surface.
The away team?
This is Captain Kathryn Janeway.
Who am l speaking with?
My name is Verin.
Your crewmen are my prisoners.
Why? We haven't done anything to harm you.
You committed genocide.
l think there's been a misunderstanding.
We arrived here just...
You're from Earth?
Then you're going to pay for what your people did to us.
l'm sorry, l don't know what you're talking about.
We're not as naive
as you seem to think we are, Captain, not anymore.
What is it you want?
l want you to get us off this planet.
Find us a new home.
Release my crewmen and we can talk about it.
No more talking.
Your people won't be safe until mine are.
Listen, l don't respond well to threats.
And l don't want to kill anyone,
but l will if you don't cooperate.
You have three hours
to begin evacuating us.
Start scanning for the nearest M-Class planet.
You intend to meet his demands?
l'm just keeping my options open.
You're with me.
l've analyzed his garment.
lt's lined with magnesite.
A makeshift environmental suit.
Unfortunately, the protection it offers is limited.
His tissues are saturated with antimatter radiation.
lt explains why we couldn't detect his life signs.
They're virtually indistinguishable
from the environment.
Now that we know that,
maybe we can adjust our sensors to detect them.
Let's wake him.
What were you doing aboard our shuttle?
Trying to undo the damage you caused.
lf you're referring to what's happened on your planet,
we had nothing to do with it.
Your people sent the probe...
...didn't they?
Our ancestors sent it 300 years ago,
to make contact with other species.
They did a little more than that.
Am l your prisoner?
No. You're suffering
from prolonged radiation exposure.
l can treat you.
You can?
l believe l can.
ln exchange for what?
l have a wife, friends.
We might be able to help them, too,
but not while our crewmen are being held hostage.
You said you were trying to undo the damage we caused.
What did you mean by that?
l was aboard your shuttle
looking for technology
that might help us neutralize the radiation.
We saw missiles on the surface.
Was the destruction caused by war?
Those missiles were built for defense.
They were never launched.
Then what accounts for the devastation?
A containment failure in our power grid.
Once the antimatter was released,
it destroyed everything.
l'm sorry, but l still don't see how we're responsible.
Before the probe,
my people never conceived of anything like antimatter.
''We offer this information freely with the hope
''that one day we will stand on your soil
and extend our hands in friendship.''
l'm sure you recognize those words.
The recording from the probe.
Your people sent us technology that they knew would destroy us.
l don't understand.
We didn't either at first,
but we had decades to think about it,
and now it seems so obvious.
You send us new technology, encourage us to use it,
and then you wait for us to obliterate ourselves.
Why would we do that?
Because it's easier than invading us.
Do you really believe we'd contaminate a world
we intended to conquer?
l'm a scientist.
l believe what l see.
And today, l saw your people standing on our soil
just as you promised,
and they were wearing equipment that protected them
from the radiation, because they knew
exactly what to expect.
lf you were in my position, what would you believe?
He might have a concussion.
l need the medkit from my pack.
l was told not to let you use your equipment.
When's your baby due?
My wife's pregnant, too.
We're expecting a little girl in a couple of months.
How do you know it's a girl?
Well, we have technology
that allows us to examine the fetus.
She has my eyes
and her mother's cranial ridges.
ls this your first?
Boys? Girls?
Two boys and a girl.
What are their names?
They were all stillborn.
l'm sorry.
You're... a doctor?
No, l'm just a medic.
But we have the best doctor in the Quadrant back on Voyager.
He might be able to help...
l shouldn't be talking to you.
Our current coordinates and the nearest M-Class planet--
132 light-years away.
At maximum warp,
that's about two months round trip.
How many people are we talking about?
lf these sensor modifications are correct,
about 5,500.
lt would take at least 17 trips--
almost three years-- to complete the relocation.
We've made sacrifices to help people before.
What about Tom and the others?
Are they supposed to rot down there
until this relocation's finished?
l don't think Verin's going to let go
of his only bargaining chips.
Then we may have to use force.
Not until we've exhausted every other option.
These people believe that we're violent.
l'm not going to do anything to reinforce that belief,
unless it becomes absolutely necessary.
l've extracted the nanoprobes.
l'll begin reprogramming them.
Microscopic machines.
Hopefully they'll help us repair your damaged tissue.
You said you extracted them.
From where?
My bloodstream.
They maintain my cybernetic implants.
Nanoprobes, cybernetic implants.
Are others on your crew like you?
No, l'm... unique.
You certainly are.
l need a word with your patient.
You told me you've been looking for ways
to neutralize the radiation.
All my life.
Tell me about your work.
l'm okay.
My stomach's just a little queasy.
Our inoculations must be wearing off.
l thought these caves were naturally shielded.
They're no substitute for an environmental suit.
These people have lived here all their lives
without environmental suits.
These people have lived here without much of anything.
-Hello. -Hello.
lt's all right. We're not going to hurt you.
What's your name?
Uh, mine's Tom.
This is Joe and Neelix.
You're not like them.
We're different species, but they're my friends.
They say you're going to take us on your ship
and find us a new home.
l'm sure our Captain is trying to help you.
Neelix... where's our ''souvenir''?
ln my pack.
Uh, excuse me.
Um, we'd like to give her something.
lt's in the equipment bag.
lt's a toy.
That could be a weapon.
lt's harmless.
These men are dangerous.
l want you to stay away from them.
Well, so much for making friends.
Mr. Verin?
What are you doing?
My job.
l'm Voyager's Ambassador, remember?
Can l have a word with you?
Just between us...
l understand why you don't trust humans.
Then why are you with them?
They're not so bad once you get to know them.
When l first met them,
l thought they were arrogant, self-righteous.
l suppose you're going to tell me
you've changed your mind.
Well, not completely.
l still think they take themselves
far too seriously for my taste...
but one thing they don't do is harm other people.
Are you blind?
No, l see very clearly what's happened to you,
and l'd like to help.
My Captain listens to me.
l can speak to her on your behalf,
help her understand your situation.
What do you know about our ''situation''?
l know what you've been through.
My planet was destroyed by a weapon
called a metreon cascade.
Hundreds of thousands of people were killed...
including my family.
How did you survive?
l was on a neighboring planet when the weapon was detonated.
l went back with a rescue team, but there was no one left.
l'm sorry about what happened to your family...
but don't compare your life to mine.
The nearest suitable planet is simply too far away,
so l'd like to propose an alternative.
There is no alternative.
Please, hear me out.
We have one of your people aboard, a Mr. Otrin.
He has some interesting ideas
about counteracting the radiation.
Otrin has too many ideas.
l think his theories have merit.
What he's lacked until now is the means to carry them out.
lf you release the hostages, we can work together.
There's a good chance
we could undo some of the damage to your environment.
This isn't a negotiation.
You don't seem to understand.
lt would take years to evacuate the entire planet.
So instead, you once again offer us
the benefits of your technology.
What l'm offering you is a realistic alternative.
lf l release the hostages,
what's to prevent you from leaving or attacking us?
Look, l know you've suffered, and l know you don't trust us.
You haven't given me any reason to.
Then why don't we start with a small step?
You return one of the hostages,
and l'll send you a supply of food and medicine.
You... what's your name?
Joe Carey.
Set up your... transport enhancers.
l'm sorry... Mr. Carey.
Your crewman's ready, Captain.
Transport him to Sick Bay.
Hey, what the hell are you doing?!
Sick Bay to Bridge.
They've killed Lieutenant Carey.
lf you think murdering one of my crewmen
is going to make me more receptive to your demands,
you're mistaken.
Don't force me to kill anyone else.
All right. l'll evacuate your people,
but our transporters aren't designed
to accommodate large groups.
We'll need time to modify them.
We'll be ready within the hour.
lf you're not...
l understand.
My ready room.
You have radiation poisoning.
This will make you feel better.
Thank you.
Why are you helping us?
Your child's going to need a father...
isn't she?
The first phase of your therapy is complete.
How do you feel?
l can breathe more easily.
Your lungs were damaged by the radiation.
The nanoprobes are repairing them.
lt's incredible.
lf we could manufacture more of these,
we might be able to treat everyone.
Unfortunately, Mr. Verin has refused our help.
Did you expect him to cooperate?
His behavior is irrational.
To you, maybe,
but you haven't lived like we have.
No, but that doesn't mean
that we're responsible for what's happened here.
You can't deny your people sent the probe.
They made an error in judgment.
They failed to anticipate
the consequences of their actions,
but they never meant to destroy your world.
Human culture has evolved, learned from its mistakes.
So can yours.
Even if l believed you, Verin never would.
Then your people may need a change of leadership,
someone more open to new ideas.
l'm not a leader.
But you're a scientist,
someone who can see a problem and envision a solution.
The same definition could apply to a leader.
Doesn't seem fair, does it?
My daughter... she'll have food,
medical care, everything she needs.
What's wrong?
We need help.
lt's the baby.
lt's too soon.
Let him help me.
Can you?
l think so, but l'll need my medkit.
lnform Verin.
l'm losing the heartbeat.
Oh, no!
What are you doing?
Speeding up the contractions.
Their ship's returned.
Send out patrols.
Double the guard at the entrance.
l've got him!
He's not breathing.
Three millijoules.
Don't move.
l'll take him to Verin.
Find the others.
This way. Move!
lncrease the charge to five millijoules.
l'm reading a heartbeat.
You have a son.
One of the patrols took another prisoner.
Put him with the others.
We need to get him to Voyager.
He stays here.
Mr. Tuvok?
Your Captain was foolish enough to think she could rescue you.
lnstead, she's given me another hostage.
When you need to infiltrate a toxic environment,
it helps to be a hologram.
Prepare the transport enhancers.
Tuvok to Chakotay.
We've secured the hostages.
Good work.
Chakotay to Delta Flyer.
Two to beam out.
Thank you.
Now, Mr. Paris.
Your baby won't survive without treatment.
l promise we'll bring him back.
Take good care of him.
l will.
Tuvok to Voyager.
Five to beam up.
Cute little fellow, isn't he?
He's already responding to treatment.
Once he's stabilized,
we'll transport him to the surface,
and send along some food and medical supplies.
We're leaving?
As soon as l report to Starfleet.
Once the baby's back in that environment,
he's just going to get sick again.
l'm sorry, we can't keep him from his mother.
l'm not suggesting that.
You told those people
that we might be able to neutralize the radiation.
Was that true?
Yes, but they didn't want our help.
l can't force it on them.
Maybe you should.
lf we help them without asking anything in return,
it'll prove they're wrong about us.
You're forgetting something.
They killed Mr. Carey.
l'm not about to risk any more lives
to help murderers.
Captain, it was one man who killed Carey.
lf you saw how they were living, how desperate they are...
l'm not saying we should ignore what happened,
but humans did play a part in their suffering.
lntentional or not,
that probe had a terrible impact on these people.
lf there's anything we can do to make up for that now,
we at least have to try.
l've adjusted the radiation levels
to match the conditions on the surface.
An isolytic chain reaction.
lt recombines the nucleonic particles
in the atmosphere.
How do we apply your methods on a planetary scale?
Atmospheric processors are one possibility.
Too bad we don't have a corps of engineers to build them.
What if we encased the catalytic agent
in photon torpedoes,
used the concussive force to start the reaction?
lt would require
multiple detonations at a low altitude,
but l believe it could work.
Captain, an isolitic reaction of that magnitude
would expand exponentially.
Your ship might not survive.
We'll have to modify our shields,
reinforce structural integrity.
Well, let's get started.
He's beautiful.
And they can give us enough medicine to treat everyone.
Can they rebuild our cities?
Bring back the people who died?
They're offering to help,
and this time no one's coercing them.
We can't trust these people.
They just sent armed men to attack us.
They only wanted to rescue their hostages.
Who knows what they wanted?
You're being irrational.
What's irrational is cooperating with the enemy.
Look at my child.
They said that they would treat him,
and they kept their word.
Shield modifications on line.
Hail them.
Listen to me.
Otrin, we're ready to begin.
Good luck.
Tom, take us down.
We're 10,000 meters into the troposphere.
Fire the first sequence.
They're attacking us!
lt's only the shock wave from the detonations.
Holding at 18 percent.
Are you going to stand there while he helps them destroy us?
What are you doing?
Fighting back.
Captain, they're opening missile silos.
They're targeting Voyager.
At 18 percent, our shields won't withstand
an antimatter explosion.
We should return to orbit.
Not yet.
Fire the next sequence.
You can't launch those missiles!
Hold him!
What are you doing?
l won't let you ruin our only chance for survival.
You'd kill me?
To save my child...
Get that weapon away from her.
No... sir.
l've kept you alive...
all of you!
And we're grateful for that.
But survival isn't enough anymore.
Are you in command now?
lf l have to be.
come outside! Hurry!
All right, come on.
What's going on?
Bring him.
This way.
lt's beautiful.
Captain's Log, supplemental.
We've retrieved Friendship l
and resumed our course to the Alpha Quadrant,
but the success of our mission had a very high price.
lmpressive, isn't it?
The detail's amazing.
Carey spent months working on it.
He used to joke that it wouldn't be finished
by the time we got back to Earth.
He only had one nacelle to go.
We were able to download the probe's memory core.
We'll transmit the telemetry in the next datastream.
l think about our ancestors...
thousands of years
wondering if they were alone in the universe,
finally discovering they weren't.
You can't blame them for wanting to reach out,
see how many other species were out there
asking the same questions.
The urge to explore is pretty powerful.
But it can't justify the loss of lives...
whether it's millions...
or just one.

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