Captain's Log, Stardate 50460.3.
We've been investigating an ''inversion nebula''
for several days.
This phenomenon has never been seen in the Alpha Quadrant
and is proving something of a mystery to us here.
According to Federation astro-theorists,
inversion nebulae are so unstable,
they're supposed to burn out within a few years, but...
this one appears to be centuries old.
Maybe the theorists were wrong.
After all, they never had a chance
to look at the real thing.
Not entirely wrong.
These plasma strands we're approaching
look ready to ignite.
Tom, back us off 2,000 kilometers.
That'll give us a safety margin.
Aye, Captain.
Harry, set the sensors for full spectrum scans,
continuous sweep.
lf that nebula does flare up, l don't want to miss a beat.
Mr. Kim, l need your attention on the sensors.
Sorry, Captain. Full spectrum scans.
l'm on it.
Astro-theory never predicted this would be so lovely.
Beauty and mystery-- a tantalizing combination.
No argument here.
Right, Tuvok?
l am fully capable of appreciating this phenomenon
without the extraneous sentimentality
humans find so necessary.
Being moved by an emotion isn't always extraneous.
Sometimes it's the whole point.
Mr. Kim.
Can l help you?
That's kal-toh, isn't it?
Vulcan chess?
Kal-toh is to chess
as chess is to tic-tac-toe.
l should have known. Uh...
What is on your mind, Ensign?
Tuvok, l need your help.
l want to eliminate emotions like Vulcans do.
Mr. Kim, it is a lifelong process.
l realize that, and l also know
that Vulcans use certain techniques.
The t'san s'at--
the intellectual deconstruction of emotional patterns.
l'm willing to learn.
May l ask why?
l have...
feelings l don't want to have.
That would seem to be self-evident.
And what is the nature of those feelings?
l... l'm in love and l don't want to be.
l see.
And who is the object of your affections?
Her name is... Marayna.
l am not aware of anyone on the ship with that name.
She's not a member of the crew.
She's a character on the holodeck.
You're in love with a computer subroutine?
That's the problem.
To see through an emotional complex
is to rob it of its power.
The first step is to identify the complex
in which you have been caught.
l told you, l'm in love.
There are many different kinds of love, Ensign.
You must learn to differentiate.
For example, you told me that you met this individual
only days ago, yet you feel overwhelmed.
l can't get her out of my mind, not for a second.
Have you been able to sleep?
Have you eaten?
Does your daily routine seem somehow empty?
Perhaps even ludicrous?
You are experiencing shon-ha'lock--
the engulfment.
lt is the most intense
and psychologically perilous form of eros.
l believe humans call it ''love at first sight.''
But... we're talking about a holodeck character.
lrrelevant. The emotional complex
in which you are trapped is the same
and so is the cure-- logical deconstruction,
followed by a regimen of meditative suppression
as l shall demonstrate.
Uh, a little further to the left.
No. That's too much.
Have you seen Marayna?
Oh... perfect!
Welcome, gentlemen.
Just getting things ready
for tonight's little get-together.
l completely forgot-- the luau.
Polynesian-style. l've done my research.
Uh, Lieutenant Tuvok, you neglected to RSVP.
That was not an oversight, l assure you.
Where is Marayna?
She's part of this program.
Doesn't ring a bell.
How could you miss her?
She's tall, athletic, blond...
Oh, one of the entertainment directors.
l believe she's giving Kes a hydrosail lesson.
Uh, no, no, not there.
Harry. Tuvok. The lake is perfect today.
Hello, Harry.
Hi, Marayna.
We were just talking about you.
You were?
Marayna said what an excellent student you were.
She's a great instructor.
Ready to get your ears wet?
Vulcans do not hydrosail.
Oh, why not?
Lieutenant Tuvok prefers the solitude
of his own quarters and a game of kal-toh.
l'm sure we can do better than that.
l'm going back on duty. Thanks.
You're welcome.
There's a volleyball game starting down on the sand.
Mr. Kim and l would prefer some conversation.
Would you care to join us?
All right.
l tried a reverse curl this morning.
l think l pulled a tendon.
Feel that.
lt's like a knot.
l'm sure it is.
Are you two friends?
-Yes. -No.
We're colleagues.
l respect Mr. Kim for his intelligence and his integrity
and l assume he holds me in the same regard.
So, Vulcans don't hydrosail, and they don't have friends?
We have fellowships and associations,
but without the emotional dimension humans experience.
Hmm. You and l are friends, aren't we?
Um... yeah.
Chakotay to Tuvok and Kim.
Report to the Bridge.
Acknowledged. We're on our way.
There's a luau tonight.
You're coming, aren't you-- both of you?
-No. -Yes.
You've got to stop doing that.
As l predicted, your responses
were as formulaic as a mathematical equation.
What do you mean?
Consider the expression on your face
when Neelix did not recall Marayna-- annoyance.
That's not true.
lt is quite true.
At that moment, Neelix was functioning
in Vulcan terms, as the soo-lak--
the third party, who by his very lack of interest
trivializes your own.
l guess it really did bother me.
And the arrival of Kes with Marayna
then precipitated in you the k'oh-nar--
the feeling of being completely exposed.
l was embarrassed.
l was sure Kes would take one look at my face
and know exactly what l was feeling.
And when Marayna placed your hand
on her stressed tendon...
Let's not even talk about that.
lt's all so... predictable.
That's just what l've been trying
to get you to perceive.
To the trained Vulcan intellect,
intense romantic love is nothing more
than a set of stereotypical behaviors.
Not having our discipline,
typically, humans are swept along by the process
until it ends.
How does it end?
Either in conversion
to a more balanced stable relationship
or in tragic circumstances.
l can't have a balanced, stable relationship
with a holodeck character.
Marayna's a computer program.
She could never feel for me what l feel for her.
Logic dictates a single course of action-- retreat.
To tell you the truth...
l don't even like hydrosailing.
The temperature's 5,000 degrees Kelvin
and rising.
We've located a plasma strand
that looks like it's seconds from igniting.
lf there is some kind of unknown process
that's been keeping this nebula
from going up like a torch, we're going to see it in action.
And if there isn't?
l've got my hand on the controls.
We'll be out of here before it even touches our shields.
Captain, the temperature is 9,000 degrees Kelvin.
l'm picking up a subatomic cascade reaction.
There she goes.
The plasma strand completely burned itself out.
Without causing a chain reaction in the nebula.
Harry, what put out the flames?
Sensors show some kind of dampening effect
between the strands, but l can't isolate it.
Like a firebreak in space.
lf we understood how this happened,
we might be able to find a new way
to contain a warp core breach.
Or any plasma reaction.
lt's an investigation worth pursuing.
Tom, it seems safe enough.
Take us in for short-range sensor scans.
Let's find out all we can about this phenomenon.
Aye, Captain.
l'll see all of you at Mr. Neelix's luau.
l'm sure everyone will be attending.
Lieutenant, you look absolutely...
More along the lines of ''smashing.''
Of course, nothing can quite measure up with this shirt.
This is an exact re-creation
of a 1962 big daddy-O surf special--
an American classic.
l'd say you put
just a little bit too much thought into that.
Now, that's where you're wrong.
Let's go.
l told Vorik we'd pick him up at 1600 hours.
And you know how Vulcan he gets when anybody is late.
Vorik? l thought we were meeting Harry.
Oh, he's not coming.
Why not?
He said he was busy.
With what?
l don't know.
Harry and l will meet you and Vorik at the luau.
You're pretty confident about your powers of persuasion.
Yes, l am.
Come in.
Surf's up, Mr. Kim.
Hi, Tom.
Harry, this is a luau.
You look like you're dressed for a funeral.
What are you doing?
Vulcan meditation.
What for?
To suppress my emotions.
ls something wrong?
Not really.
The... resort woman?
What was her name?
How did you know that?
For two days now, every time l look for you,
it's always, ''He's in Holodeck 1.''
And since you don't like hydrosailing,
l figured something was going on.
Am l that predictable?
You sound like Tuvok.
Tuvok? He told you to do all this?
Logically, the best course is retreat.
Meditation helps.
Retreat-- a classic case of Vulcan denial, if you ask me.
Come on, Harry.
We have all fallen for a holodeck character.
lt happens.
You deal with it by staying with your normal routine
not by hiding out in your quarters.
l'm not hiding out.
l'm deconstructing the emotional complex.
Have fun.
No, wait.
Computer, standard illumination.
l'm getting tired of this anyway.
Computer, one Hawaiian shirt.
Specify parameters.
Pineapple motif.
Greetings, Mr. Vulcan.
No, thank you.
l've done a great deal of ethnographic research
on the Polynesian cultures of Earth.
The flowered garland, or lei,
is said to represent the flowering of love.
lt's a marvelous tradition, don't you think?
Oh... oh, my.
Did l program a centerpiece that big?
open parameter adjustment file.
The life of a recreational hologram--
dining, dancing, nonrestrictive clothing...
l see the allure.
Your turn.
Oh, thank you.
l'm glad to see you here.
l would never disobey an order, Captain,
no matter how burdensome.
There's a difference between an order
and a suggestion.
The evening's young, Lieutenant.
Let's mingle.
Vulcans do not...
What's that?
lf you will excuse me.
A common error among novice players.
By placing the t'an on opposite sides of the kal-toh,
you are attempting to introduce a spatial balance--
a strategy that will most certainly fail.
Kal-toh is not about striving for balance.
lt is about finding the seeds of order,
even in the midst of profound chaos.
May l?
How beautiful.
Kal-toh is not about beauty.
l understand, but... it's still beautiful.
Did you learn to play on Vulcan?
Yes. From the age of five, l took lessons from a master.
l thought you might enjoy having an opponent.
Playing alone must get a little predictable sometimes.
You are perceptive.
Yes, l am.
Extremely so.
Aloha, miss.
Thank you.
No, thank you.
You're the only one here not wearing a garland.
Given the decor, it seems somehow excessive.
l don't believe you.
l beg your pardon.
l think you're trying to isolate yourself
and make a public protest at the same time.
You didn't want to be here in the first place.
Being the only one without a lei sets you apart
from the others, allowing you
to symbolically maintain your solitude.
And since everybody can see
that you're the only one without a lei,
you're letting them know
that you'd rather be somewhere else.
Your logic is impeccable.
Thanks. l am starving.
Oh, me, too.
Let's find us a spot.
This place is filling up fast.
l have already taken the liberty
of reserving a table, Lieutenant,
with a view of the lakeside.
You did express a fondness for that particular vista.
l did?
Five days ago,
in a conversation we had in Engineering
regarding holodeck programs.
l guess maybe l did.
Good memory.
Of course.
Well then, Ensign...
let's go.
Do you want to get something to eat, or not?
l... l don't know.
Maybe this isn't a good idea.
Listen, l'm going back to my quarters.
Okay. l'll see you tomorrow.
l like the excitement of the water.
The danger...
being tossed around...
by the wind and the waves.
But at the same time, feeling like l'm in control.
The illusion of control.
That's exactly right.
Because no one can control the wind and the waves.
But for a few moments, when you're on the water
and the ride is perfect
the feeling is that you can.
Do you ever feel that?
Don't you have an imagination?
lf, by imagination, you mean the ability
to spontaneously generate images within my mind,
then, yes, l have a highly developed imagination
as do all of my race.
All right, imagine this--
that you, with your logic and your reason,
are skimming atop endless waves of emotion.
You believe you're in control,
but you know the control is an illusion.
You believe that you understand the depths beneath you...
but that, too, is an illusion.
l can see why Ensign Kim finds you compelling.
l can see why Harry admires...
and respects you.
Because it's obvious that he does.
And... so do l.
l must return to my quarters.
Please stay.
l've never met anyone like you.
l must admit l share that conclusion.
You are a unique individual.
Then stay.
lt is late.
l must go.
Then come back tomorrow.
l'm sure the weather will hold.
No doubt.
Good night... Tuvok.
Good night, Marayna.
Computer, end resort program.
Captain's Log, supplemental.
We've completed sensor scans
and confirmed our discovery of an unusual dampening field
responsible for keeping this unstable nebula
from going up in flames.
The field's origin is still a mystery.
The dampening field only seems to appear
when one of the plasma strands ignites--
as if the fire itself initiates the field.
Which puts out the fire-- a feedback loop.
One that's preserved this nebula for hundreds of years.
Mr. Kim, do we have enough data on this dampening field
to produce one artificially using the deflector dish?
Do we have the data?
Yes, Captain, but it'll take a while.
We'll have to simulate the process
in the computer and then try to re-create it
with the deflector dish.
Probably a few weeks.
The project is yours, Ensign.
Tom, resume course for the Alpha Quadrant-- warp 6.
Aye, Captain.
Captain, propulsion is not responding.
Bridge to Engineering.
B'Elanna, what's going on?
l'm not sure, Captain.
We're trying to track the problem now.
Harry, give B'Elanna a hand.
The nebula could be having an effect
on the ship's systems.
That's a possibility we can't discount.
The warp drive is functioning
within established tolerance levels.
Matter/antimatter containment
is at recommended field strength.
The impulse engines are also...
Within tolerance.
Most likely, there's some kind of failure
in the computer pathways.
Nothing's wrong with propulsion,
but the commands from the helm just aren't getting there.
The warp drive seems okay.
lmpulse, too.
l think the problem must be somewhere else.
l think maybe... the helm's being blocked.
Like... some kind of failure in the computer pathways?
l just said all that.
You're not listening, Harry.
l'll return to my station, Lieutenant.
l'm sorry.
l guess l've got a lot on my mind.
Forget about her.
What did Tom say to you?
Not a single word.
l saw the way you were looking at Marayna yesterday.
Hi. My name's Harry ''read-me-like-a-book'' Kim.
lt's not that bad.
Apparently, it is.
l can't get her off my mind.
lnput algorithm not accepted.
Why don't you take a break?
l can handle it from here.
Thanks. l'll be in my quarters if you need me.
Deck 3.
Computer, belay that order.
Holodeck 1.
Computer, activate Neelix resort program.
That program is currently running.
Hello, Harry.
Enjoying yourselves?
Now l know why you told me to keep off the holodeck.
Mr. Kim, you are misconstruing the nature of this situation.
Your jealousy is entirely insupportable.
Stop analyzing me.
l respected you, l trusted you and you did this
right behind my back.
l have done nothing of the sort.
Then what do you call this?
A game of kal-toh, which l am playing
with a nonsentient computer subroutine.
Harry, l didn't intend to harm you
and l didn't do anything wrong.
l'll accept that from her, Tuvok,
but not from you.
You said to stay away from her.
You should have done the same.
You're implying a desire on my part
that simply does not exist.
Marayna is an intriguing
interactive hologram-- nothing more.
lf you say so, Lieutenant.
Mr. Kim, l value our working relationship.
l would not allow a holodeck character to disrupt that.
l think it's a little late...
Tuvok, Harry, please, stop arguing.
Computer, delete the Marayna subroutine.
Tuvok, what are you...?
That's not going to help.
l never should have come to you in the first place.
l should have worked it out myself.
Let's try it again, Mr. Paris-- warp 6.
Course laid in.
lt would appear to me that we're not moving, Mr. Paris.
l don't understand it, Captain.
Any ideas, B'Elanna?
Warp drive is still on line
and helm control appears to be working,
but the engines aren't responding.
lt's possible we've got a computer malfunction,
but l can't seem to localize it.
Let's run a level-4 computer diagnostic, all systems.
Aye, Captain.
Captain, l just got aft thrusters to respond.
lt's not much.
l'll take it, B'Elanna.
Tom, let's go.
At this speed, we'll be completely clear
of the nebula by tomorrow.
Good enough.
Your move.
l think you'll find my game has improved.
How did you get here?
Simple. l transferred myself
from the holodeck to the Sick Bay,
then used your physician's mobile emitter.
l deleted you from the holodeck.
But you only did that for Harry's benefit.
l know you wanted to keep seeing me.
l like Harry, but, uh...
well, you're different.
You're not like anyone else.
Why have you come here... to my quarters?
You're like a new world to me, Tuvok.
l want to know everything about you.
l didn't realize how lonely my existence was
and l can't go back to the way things were,
not without you.
Tuvok to Bridge. lntruder alert.
Security team to my quarters.
Why did you do that?!
Don't you want us to be together?
Given your actions,
l have no choice but to consider you
a potential threat to myself and to Voyager.
But you're wrong.
l would never do anything to harm you.
Make it stop!
You have access to the ship's control systems?
And l'll use them all if l have to.
You can't just delete me.
Where is this individual now?
When security got to Tuvok's quarters,
she downloaded herself back into the computer
and onto the holodeck.
More to the point, what is she?
Most likely a sentient computer program.
l checked the Starfleet database.
This kind of thing has happened before.
The Enterprise-D under Picard
was once taken over by a holo-character.
We studied that case at the Academy.
lt gained control of the ship from inside the holodeck.
Marayna may well have done the same.
She was able to silence the intruder alert
by an apparent act of will.
Does that mean she has the run of our entire computer system?
She may.
ls it possible that she is the source
of our mysterious malfunctions?
lt's certainly possible.
lf Marayna's able to manipulate the ship's computer pathways,
she could have disrupted propulsion,
and then covered her tracks
so we couldn't trace the cause.
But why? What's her motivation?
l believe it has something to do with her feelings toward me.
ln my quarters, she made reference
to her loneliness and expressed
her desire to continue our relationship.
But what does that have to do
with knocking propulsion off-line?
Could she be trying to keep us near the nebula?
This all started the day we got here.
That's when l first met her.
Maybe the nebula is somehow affecting the holodeck.
Giving rise to an intelligence that doesn't belong there.
lt's possible.
ln any case...
l can't allow her to gain any further control over my ship.
Tuvok, Paris, Torres-- get down to Holodeck 1.
l want this situation resolved one way or another.
She's locked us out of the program.
We'll be lucky if we can open the doors.
We're lucky.
Marayna may have opened the doors.
Caution is advised.
l'll try to access the inside control panel.
lt's kind of creepy.
Marayna's attempting to re-create the setting
of my previous encounter with her.
You really know how to pick them, Tuvok.
l got access to the holodeck computer.
l'm not reading anything unusual on the holodeck.
lt seems to be working perfectly.
There's a subspace signal coming from outside of Voyager.
lt's some kind of an uplink.
There's somebody on a ship out there tapping into the...
Shoot the control panel.
Shield status?
Still holding, Captain,
but the inertial dampeners are off-line.
Starboard shields are down to 80 percent.
What happened down there?
Marayna attacked us and attempted to restrain me.
She has control over the holodeck characters.
But she's not actually on the holodeck.
l found an uplink and tracked it to the nebula.
She's on a hidden ship or a space station.
She's manipulating the holodeck from there.
She's been using the Marayna character like a puppet.
As an interface.
A way to move around Voyager to interact with us.
Tuvok, come back to me.
l'm waiting for you.
Harry, try to trace the uplink.
Find her.
Don't make this more difficult than it already is, Captain.
Are you responsible for the plasma fires?
You're giving me no other choice but to force the issue.
What do you want?
l want Tuvok.
Let him come to the holodeck alone
or l'll destroy your ship.
You're back.
l had little choice.
We're alone now.
No one can see us or hear us.
We can do whatever we want.
You don't have to pretend anymore.
This is our world.
You've successfully lured me here
by threatening the ship.
But any attempt to generate intimacy between us
will not be successful.
l've isolated the source of the uplink signal.
Stand by to transport.
l understand your sense of duty,
of loyalty to your Captain,
but we have something stronger--
a connection that goes beyond duty and loyalty.
l know you want to be with me, Tuvok.
You must leave Voyager now
and allow us to continue on our course.
l won't.
l suggest you reconsider
or Captain Janeway will be forced to take action.
There's nothing she can do.
You're staying here with me.
She'll just have to accept that.
Transporting to the source of the uplink.
Shields are down to 47 percent.
Shields are gone.
Try to hail Tuvok.
l can't, Captain.
Something's blocking the signal.
Your ship is helpless.
lf l ignite one more strand, the hull will fail.
You are using the nebula as a weapon.
My nebula.
l will fire if necessary.
You're too late.
l've already set the ignition sequence.
Only l can stop it.
Are you alone here...
on this station...
in this nebula?
lt's my work.
l don't understand.
l keep the plasma fires from chain-reacting.
You are responsible for the dampening field
we've been investigating.
That's correct.
l generate it from here to preserve the nebula,
so that others from my home planet may enjoy its beauty.
l watch the ships when they pass by.
They don't even know l'm here.
You are... lonely.
By choice.
l prefer to be here... alone.
But you uplinked with our holodeck
and created a character in order to interact with us.
To amuse myself.
l've done it before--
tapped into the computer of a passing alien vessel,
examined all the little details of their lives.
But l never expected to find something as... diverting
as your holodeck.
l never expected to find you.
are like nothing else l've ever encountered.
And l can't be without you.
Stay here with me
and l will let your ship resume course.
lf it is the only option,
l would willingly sacrifice myself to save my crewmates.
No, that's not enough.
You have to want to be with me.
lf you truly understood who and what l am,
you would know that l could never return your affections.
But... you are more like me than-than you are like them.
l-l-l've seen the way you isolate yourself.
Even in a crowd of people, you're alone.
We should be together.
l must admit...
l found our conversation stimulating,
your insight and intelligence fresh and unexpected.
ln other circumstances,
l would be willing to spend time in your company
to continue to share knowledge and ideas,
but l have a home and a spouse on Vulcan.
l have a mission, and colleagues who depend on me.
l do not have a complete understanding of emotions,
but l believe that if you truly care for me,
you will not pursue this course of action.
You may go.
Your communicator will function now.
Tuvok to Voyager.
Go ahead, Tuvok.
l am ready to return.
Stand by to beam me aboard.
Captain, ship's systems are coming back on line.
Acknowledged, Tuvok.
Standing by.
Consider this:
Your feelings toward me
may be evidence of a deeper need...
a more... profound loneliness
than you are willing to admit.
Why don't you call for a replacement?
Let another occupy this task.
Attempt for a time to live among your own kind.
Logically, that would be the best thing to do.
Perhaps l will.
Tuvok to Voyager.
Ready for transport.
But what about you, Tuvok?
Will you always be alone?
Security Chief's Log, Stardate 5047 1.3.
The remaining damage to the ship was easily repaired
and we soon left Marayna's nebula behind.
Voyager is back on course
and l have resumed my normal routine.
Mr. Kim.
Would you be interested in learning to play kal-toh?
l thought kal-toh was beyond human understanding.
Not entirely.
l failed to respect the complexity of your emotions.
l apologize for my lack of consideration.
Don't worry about it, Tuvok.
Apology accepted.
Won't this take years to learn?
lt will, indeed.
May l join you?
-No. -No.
But... thank you.

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