l didn't realize
that you'd been assigned here today.
l wasn't.
This space was unoccupied,
so l came here to work.
On what?
l'm reconfiguring the power couplings
in this section.
The Astrometrics Lab requires additional energy.
l see.
So you're rerouting power from other locations
They are minor adjustments.
Primary systems will not be affected.
Unless, of course, someone is trying
to do a warp core diagnostic,
which my crew has been trying to do all morning.
We have lost hours of work because of this.
There is no need for anger.
l had no intention of causing a problem.
What,"sorry" isn't in the Borg vocabulary?
You need to check with me
before you touch the power systems.
l am unaccustomed to working in a hierarchy.
ln the collective,
there was no need to ask permission.
lf you're going to be a member of this crew,
get used to it.
Procedures exist for a reason.
We've got to work together.
We follow the same set of rules...
l was given that lecture once,
by Captain Janeway when l first joined this crew.
lf l could adjust to Starfleet life...
so can you.
Of course.
l am...
sorry for the inconvenience.
Doc, l've got to go run a few errands.
l'll be back soon.
Not so fast, Mr. Paris.
Can't these errands wait
until the end of your duty shift?
Uh...well, it's my conn report, actually.
l just realized l forgot to turn it in
and Chakotay gives me a hard time when it's late.
You've been here all afternoon.
Didn't this occur to you before?
Well, we've been so...busy
that l guess it just slipped my mind.
l see.
Well, since it's an emergency, don't let me stand in your way.
Computer, lock on to these coordinates.
l need a site- to- site transport.
No, wait.
Access the central replicator files first.
Are those supposed to make up for canceling on me last night?
l got stuck with an extra shift on the Bridge.
What could l say--
"Sorry, Captain, l've got a date with B'Elanna"?
And what about right now?
Aren't you supposed to be working in Sick Bay?
l said l had to go deliver a conn report.
Not bad.
But he'll be expecting you back.
He can wait.
What is it?
l just had the feeling that somebody was watching us.
l must be completely paranoid
about getting caught in a compromising position.
Kind of exciting, isn't it?
Your trapezius is hard as a rock.
You haven't been following
the relaxation regimen l prescribed for you.
l've been too busy.
The usual story.
Have you been getting enough sleep?
More or less. Mostly less.
Mm- hmm. And have your headaches been getting any worse?
No, but they're not getting any better either.
They're like hot needles driving into my skull.
These symptoms are hardly surprising, Captain.
You work absurdly long hours
under constant stress, eating on the run,
without sufficient exercise or rest.
Your body is crying out for mercy.
lt certainly is right now.
There must be some easier way to do this, Doctor.
A hypospray, maybe?
Always looking for the simple fix.
Sometimes there's no substitute for
intensive osteopathic pressure therapy.
You're fortunate to have a masseur
who can work all day without tiring.
Bridge to the Captain.
Commander, unless this is an emergency
my patient is unavailable.
l'm here, Chakotay. What is it?
We've reached the source of those energy readings
and l thought you'd like to see what we've found.
On my way.
l know what you're going to say, Doctor,
but l can't neglect my responsibilities.
Actually, l was going to suggest a change of outfit.
Binary pulsars.
The gravitational forces between them are so intense
that everything within 50 million kilometers
is getting pulled in.
Don't worry. We're well out of range.
Gamma radiation levels are high, but as long as we're careful
l think we can collect some invaluable data.
Captain, am l boring you?
l'm sorry.
l guess l'm a little too tired to concentrate
on stellar phenomena right now.
l'll leave this project in your capable hands, hmm?
You wanted to see me, Lieutenant?
Yes. l'm trying to increase
the efficiency of the impulse drive,
but l wanted to make sure
that l wasn't compromising helm control.
Sensible precaution.
l'd be glad to help.
Good. All of the specs are at my upper workstation.
Then let's get started.
Did you hear something?
You always think you hear something.
Here is the power usage data you requested.
Right. Of course.
l didn't expect it quite so...promptly.
Which l guess l should have, uh, coming from you.
l mean, l'm grateful
that you got the data to me so quickly.
Tuvok, l guess that was kind of embarrassing.
l don't experience embarrassment.
Well, then l guess there's no harm done.
lt's not like there was
a security violation or anything.
None that l am aware of.
So, l guess there's nothing
that would have to go on any kind of report.
You want me to conceal what l've observed
of your relationship with Lieutenant Torres.
Well, l'd certainly never ask you
to be dishonest.
Certainly not.
Do you think he'll say anything to the Captain?
l don't know.
Well, how did he sound?
Annoyed? Amused?
He sounded Vulcan.
What more can l tell you?
Deck 1.
We have got to be more careful with appearances.
We shouldn't go into the briefing at the same time.
Good idea.
Okay, you go in first. l'll come in a minute later.
No. That'll look even more suspicious.
Listen to us.
We're acting like criminals
when we haven't done anything wrong.
Well, l'm not saying that we have.
l just thought we wanted to keep this relationship to ourselves.
We do, right?
Do you?
lf you do.
Computer, halt turbolift.
Let's figure out how we're going to handle this.
l don't think that it's anybody else's business
how we feel about each other.
Neither do l.
Right, then we're agreed.
We're just a little more careful in public
and we don't say anything to anybody.
At least for now.
Sounds like you see a future in this.
l would never be so presumptuous.
Smooth recovery, Lieutenant.
l thought so.
Computer, resume.
So l'll go first, and you follow.
Here's the plan.
We'll circle the two pulsars
at a minimum distance of 80 million kilometers.
That might not be far enough.
We've been detecting some random proton bursts.
A strong one could knock out our shields.
Tom, go to 90.
Keep it a safe distance.
Yes, sir.
Tuvok, keep our shields at maximum strength.
Divert auxiliary power if you need it.
l want to take every precaution on this survey.
Report any problems immediately, no matter how small.
Lieutenants Paris and Torres,
l'd like to speak with you for a moment.
l don't usually pry
into the personal lives of my crew, but in this case,
l have to question your recent conduct.
l guess Tuvok...
l haven't heard a word from Tuvok.
But you two have been making enough of a public display
that half the ship is gossiping about it.
Believe me, that wasn't our intention...
You are senior officers
and l expect you to maintain the standard
for the rest of the crew.
But this adolescent behavior
makes me question my faith in you both.
lf you choose to pursue a relationship,
that's your business.
But you consider yourselves under orders
to use better judgment about it.
ls that understood?
- Yes, ma'am. - Yes, Captain.
Computer, hot coffee-- black.
Commander Chakotay is suffering bone decalcification,
tissue necrosis, decreased visual acuity--
all classic signs of aging--
but they've developed within hours.
Any theories?
There's a rare genetic disorder called progeria,
which causes children to age prematurely.
But there's never been an adult case
and it was supposedly eradicated two centuries ago.
Even so, l took a close look at your DNA.
These segments regulate your body's metabolism.
My scans
indicate that they've been hyper- stimulated somehow.
What's the prognosis?
l can't speculate on that until l've identified the cause.
There's no sign of an infectious agent.
We spent several hours near a binary pulsar
that was emitting intense gamma radiation.
Our shields were operating.
l don't see how l could have been exposed to it.
At this point, we can't rule out anything.
l'm going to take a closer look at the data we collected.
We should also run scans of my quarters,
as well as my office and the Bridge--
everywhere l've been today.
l'm not prepared
to send you back on duty yet, Commander.
l may look pretty strange,
but my mind is perfectly clear.
l'd rather stay busy than just sit here.
l have no idea how your symptoms will progress.
You should remain in Sick Bay for observation.
He's right, Chakotay.
l'll keep you informed.
Whatever's affecting the Commander's DNA
is working at a submolecular level.
l'd like to set up an electron resonance scanner
in the Science Lab to get a closer look.
Use whatever you need.
And ask B'Elanna to give you a hand.
Still having headaches, Captain?
l don't need any more lectures about working too hard, Doctor.
Chakotay's the one who needs your attention right now.
l'll get to work on the scanner right away.
"Under orders to use better judgment"?
Well, that's pretty harsh.
l hope l can manage it.
Well, she does have a point.
You could have been more discreet.
Oh. l forgot l was talking
to the most upstanding Ensign in Starfleet.
Good morning.
l was just about to whip up
a fresh batch of scrambled eggs.
Would you like some?
Actually, l was hoping you might have
some leftover pleeka rind casserole from last night.
For breakfast?
l like it.
l'm sure l can find some for you.
So, l guess your relationship isn't exactly a secret anymore.
Do you think anybody on this ship can keep a secret?
Aah...aah... What's...
what's happening?
Paris to the Doctor.
l'm bringing Neelix to Sick Bay.
lt's an emergency.
Now pay attention, Mr. Paris.
These scans should indicate whether...
What is it?
lt seems that your DNA has been hyper- stimulated
just like Commander Chakotay's.
But Neelix doesn't seem to be aging.
No. The effects are quite different.
lf anything, l look... like a Mylean.
They occupy a region of space near Talax.
Do Talaxians and Myleans share a common ancestry?
Not that l know of.
Do the two races ever intermarry?
Yes. As a matter of fact, my great- grandfather was Mylean.
Then one- eighth of your genetic material
was inherited from him.
Those must be the genes which have become stimulated.
Too bad my great- grandfather wasn't a little better- looking.
Hmm. As far as l can tell, his condition seems stable.
l'm going to leave you in charge of Sick Bay
so l can continue the DNA analysis.
lf anyone else comes in, l'll run a cellular scan.
ls there anything else l can do?
Do your best to keep them comfortable.
Until we have more information,
that's the best either of us can do.
Thought you might be thirsty.
Do you smell something strange?
l'm afraid that's me.
l seem to be developing Mylean sweat glands.
lt's not so bad.
Well, whatever happens, l...l try to keep in mind
that things could be worse.
l still have my home here on Voyager,
my friends...
Your hair.
True, but l'd gladly lose it
if l could have my taste buds back.
At least you're not losing your eyesight.
See that display over there?
lt's nothing but a blur.
You think that's bad?
The Doctor tells me my pupils have dilated 60 percent.
l can't even look at that display, it's so bright.
Yeah? Well, l've got chronic arthritis in my fingers.
l can barely keep this glass steady.
That's nothing.
My spinal column is fusing together.
ln a matter of days, l won't be able to walk.
Got you beat.
l can barely walk now.
Lieutenant, can we help?
l don't think so.
l'm releasing you both back to your quarters.
l've just gotten reports of more patients on the way.
lt's going to get crowded in here.
How's the scanner?
Almost ready.
Good. This disorder seems to be spreading rapidly
among the crew.
Does that mean we'll all be affected?
Right now, it only means that we need
to find some answers as quickly as possible.
All right. Give the scanner a try.
l'll start with Commander Chakotay.
How's the resolution?
Very nice.
Now, let's focus in on the hyper- stimulated
segments of his DNA.
Can you give me more magnification?
Coming up.
That's odd.
What is?
There seems to be some kind of contaminant
on the base pair sequence.
lt didn't show up on the first scan.
l need a closer look.
l'm going to maximum magnification.
What do you see?
l'm not exactly sure.
Well, what does it look like?
See for yourself.
l'm no microbiologist, but...
that doesn't look like it belongs there.
Believe me, it doesn't.
l've never seen anything like it.
This level of submolecular technology
is well beyond anything Starfleet has developed.
What are those markings?
Some kind of alien writing?
l wish l knew.
They might help us determine where it came from.
But who could have put this into Chakotay's cells
without his knowledge?
Let me try a compositional analysis.
lt's in Mr. Neelix's DNA as well.
ls this what's causing the mutations?
A good scientist never jumps to conclusions, Lieutenant,
but l'd say it's a distinct possibility.
l'm having trouble getting a clear reading from this sample.
lt looks almost like the, um-- whatever it is--
could be slightly out of phase.
That must be why my initial scans didn't reveal it.
l'm compensating for the phase variance.
You're not going to believe this,
but l'm picking up an energy signature.
This thing is transmitting some kind of a signal.
- To where? - l don't know.
lt's too weak to travel very far.
Access the internal sensors
and set them to a phase variance of. 15.
Your program is being deleted.
l don't know.
l'm transferring you back to Sick Bay.
Science Lab to the Bridge.
This is the Doctor.
ln the last hour, three more patients have come in
with genetic mutations.
The effects are starting to become life- threatening.
What happened to B'Elanna?
The alveoli in her lungs
suddenly stopped processing oxygen.
l've got her on respiratory support.
She almost died.
What about the Doctor?
The computer logs in the Science Lab
show that he was trying to transfer himself to Sick Bay.
Something must have gone wrong while he was in transit.
Could the Doctor's program...?
Seven of Nine, this is the Doctor.
Can you hear me?
lt's me, the Doctor.
l've tapped into your audio implants
so only you can hear me.
lt's imperative that you tell no one.
Make any excuse to get out of there
and report to Holodeck 2.
l'm hiding in the da Vinci simulation.
l'll explain everything when you get here.
Seven was checking that.
About the Doctor's research.
Yes. l examined their work area.
There was no record of any findings.
The electron resonance scanner appeared to be malfunctioning.
l...could return to the Science Lab
and attempt to repair it.
Keep me informed.
Hold your head this way, Carlotta.
l can only conclude that someone has implanted
these microscopic tags in the DNA of the crew
to cause genetic mutations.
For what purpose?
l don't know, and l get the feeling
they don't want us to find out.
When Lieutenant Torres and l started making progress
in our investigation, we were both incapacitated.
Call me paranoid,
but l don't think that is a coincidence.
lf you're correct,
perhaps our actions are being monitored.
That's why l couldn't risk contacting anyone
over the com system.
Our first course of action
should be to collect more information.
My thinking exactly.
B'Elanna wanted to adjust the ship's internal sensors
to a phase variance of. 15.
l'd like to do the same to your Borg sensory nodes.
Computer, give me a type- 4 micro- inducer.
Now, take a look around, and tell me what you see.
Do you see anything...
Energy signatures...
or perhaps something that might be transmitting a signal?
That's one room down,
256 to go.
l suggest a deck- by- deck survey.
lf you need to contact me, use com frequency Epsilon 2.
l've isolated it from the rest of the system.
And be careful.
Someone out there could be watching.
Deck 5.
Computer, frequency Epsilon 2.
Doctor, the aliens are here on the ship.
l can see them everywhere.
This is worse than l imagined.
You've got to let the Captain know.
Yes? Yes?
Good morning, Captain.
That's a matter of opinion.
What is it?
lnternal scans haven't revealed anything
about the genetic mutations.
The Doctor?
Still off- line.
We are investigating the possibility...
lnform me of any progress.
There's one more thing.
The incident with Tom and B'Elanna
started me thinking about ship's protocol
or lack thereof.
lt seems to me that people have been getting
a little too comfortable around here lately.
They're late for their duty shifts,
taking Mess Hall privileges during non- designated hours
and a lot of people are spending more time on the holodeck
than they are at their posts.
You are Security Chief.
Don't 13 department heads report to you every day?
Well, straighten them out.
Shall l flog them as well?
Maybe the Doctor was right.
l think l do need a vacation.
You do seem unsettled.
Crazed is more like it.
l haven't felt this anxious since my first day of command.
Remind me to lower the volume on that door.
Come in.
Captain, l wish to speak with you...
What's wrong?
My attempts to repair the resonance scanner have failed.
l require assistance.
Ask Ensign Kim to lend you a hand.
Yes, Captain.
ls that all?
When this mutation crisis
is over, l think l'll spend a few days
in Renaissance Tuscany.
There's a little inn outside Sienna
l've been wanting to try.
l will join you for a glass of wine.
How many?
l've observed 56 of the aliens.
There could be more.
Have you seen any pattern to their behavior,
any hint as to what they're trying to accomplish?
They seem to be conducting experiments on the crew
and monitoring the results.
As if Voyager were one big petri dish.
l may be among them.
ln the turbolift, one of them
probed me with a medical instrument.
We cannot allow them to continue.
l've been analyzing their energy signatures.
l believe there's a way
to make them visible to everyone.
Using a precisely modulated phaser beam.
lf we expose them, the crew may be able to fight back.
But what if the aliens retaliate
by inflicting lethal mutations on everyone?
lt's too risky.
What do you suggest?
The key to the aliens' control is the genetic tags.
l believe a neuroleptic shock would disable them.
Unfortunately, it would be rather...painful.
Will the crew recover?
Yes, they will.
The hard part will be administering the shock
to everyone simultaneously.
The power relays could be reconfigured to do it.
Good. l assume you know how to do that?
You assume correctly.
But l will have to bypass several safeguards.
lt will take time.
Then you'd better get started.
Tuvok to Seven of Nine.
Why have you accessed the EPS relay system?
There is a malfunction.
l'm attempting to repair it.
Perhaps you should leave that to the Engineering crew.
Normally, l would.
However, they are all occupied with other tasks.
You are compromising the power safety protocols.
Stop what you're doing at once.
l assure you, there is no cause for concern.
Move away from the console.
As l told you, l am conducting repairs.
You are attempting to deceive me. Why?
l can't explain what l'm doing,
but you must allow me to continue.
Your actions could result in an energy discharge,
which would be harmful to the crew.
l realize that.
Don't move.
lf your people attempt to incapacitate me,
l will kill you.
l believe you.
What do you intend to do now?
You will come with me to speak to the Captain.
l am certain she will have questions for you.
Keep on trying to disable the tags.
Let me know when you're ready.
l'll attempt to modify the internal sensors
to detect the aliens.
Keep me informed.
Who are you?
And what the hell are you doing to my crew?
My team has been observing you and conducting tests.
l'd call them mutilations.
l can understand why you're angry.
l don't like causing people to suffer,
but sometimes it's a necessary part of my work.
What kind of work is that?
Medical research.
We're scientists, like you.
From where l stand, you're a hostile invasion force.
l want to know how long you've been here
and exactly what you've been doing to us.
l can't answer those questions.
lt's a breach of protocol
for me to be speaking to you at all.
Oh, how convenient.
That way you never have to face your victims.
Captain, please.
You're exaggerating the situation.
Our techniques are as benign as we can make them.
What l have been through for the last few days
certainly hasn't felt benign!
Please understand that there's a purpose to our actions.
The data we gather from you
may help us cure physical and psychological disorders
that afflict millions.
lsn't that worth some discomfort?
l'm sure you'd see things differently
if your people were the ones
being subjected to these experiments.
Just as your perspective would change
if your people were the ones
to live longer and healthier lives as a result.
Don't forget, we've been observing you, Captain.
l know the most important thing to you
is the welfare of your crew.
You'd even kill to protect them.
lf necessary.
Of course you would.
You take care of your own, just as we do.
We're really more similar than you care to admit.
That's where you're wrong.
What you're doing isn't self- defense.
lt's the exploitation of another species
for your own benefit.
My people decided a long time ago that that was unacceptable,
even in the name of scientific progress.
You're a remarkably strong- willed individual.
l've been very impressed by your self- control
over the past several weeks.
We've been increasing your dopamine levels,
stimulating various aggressive impulses
to test your behavioral restraints.
There's been a great difference of opinion
about how much more strain
you can bear.
Not much.
l had hoped you might be more cooperative
once you realized the importance of our work.
These lab rats are fighting back.
l'm afraid that will be pointless.
We're monitoring your attempts to break our control over you.
You won't succeed.
Well, you may find that you've underestimated us.
Consider what's in the best interests of your crew.
We will be continuing our research.
lf you make no further attempts to interfere, l assure you
lf you make no further attempts to interfere, l assure you
that the fatality rate will be minimal,
though there may be some deformities.
And l would be willing to share our final data with you.
You can't possibly expect me to accept that.
lf you don't,
then the entire experiment, and its subjects
will be terminated.
Are you telling me
there is no way to disable the tags?
My attempts to use the EPS relays
to induce neuroleptic shock have failed.
The aliens may be responsible.
l've encountered similar difficulties
in my efforts to modify the internal sensors.
They appear to have gained access to our key systems.
They can't be everywhere all the time.
We have got to find an advantage.
We'd better find one soon.
Sick Bay is being filled with new patients
with increasingly severe symptoms.
We have the ability to make them visible.
lf we could modify enough sensors, we could resist them.
They are still capable of manipulating our DNA.
A direct conflict would be inadvisable.
Bridge to Doctor.
Medical emergency!
She's in hypertensive shock.
20 milligrams lectrazine.
Her blood pressure is 360/125.
How is that possible?
Severe adrenal stress.
No effect.
Her arterial pathways are rupturing.
She's in cardiac arrest. We're losing her.
Captain, l'm afraid that won't help.
There's too much internal bleeding.
Then try something else.
We'll transport her to Sick Bay.
Her entire circulatory system has collapsed.
There's no way to repair that kind of damage.
Brain death has occurred.
l'm sorry.
There was nothing more we could have done.
This ends right now.
You're relieved.
Captain, what are you doing?
l'm running a little experiment of my own.
Red Alert!
Captain, one of the aliens has just entered the Bridge.
We're less than a million kilometers from the pulsars.
We must change course
immediately to avoid being caught in their gravity.
No! Keep going.
This is a far more reckless course of action
than l've come to expect from you, Captain.
lt certainly is.
Hull stress is at 30 teradynes and rising.
l'm transferring more power
to the structural integrity field,
but l don't know how long it can hold.
What do you hope to accomplish by this?
Flying into a binary pulsar?
lt seems like l'm trying to crush this ship
like a tin can.
lt's more likely
that you're trying to intimidate us.
You're welcome to stick around and find out.
Hull stress is at 45 teradynes.
Our course is locked in.
Only my authorization can release it.
You're not behaving very rationally.
That's what you were trying to accomplish, wasn't it? Hmm?
Pumping up my dopamine levels to push me to the edge?
Keeping me awake for four days straight
with the constant pain of your devices
drilling into my skull?
Well, this is the culmination of your work, and guess what?
You're going to be right here to collect the final data.
Shields have failed.
Structural integrity is down to 20 percent.
Enter the authorization code and change course immediately!
l don't think you realize
that you are not in control here anymore.
l can kill you and your crew in an instant.
Go ahead.
Without us, you won't be able to prevent this ship
from being torn apart by the pulsars.
And even with my crew working together,
l'd say the odds of us getting through this
are what? One in ten?
One in 20, at best, Captain.
l'm willing to take that chance.
Are you?
Outer hull temperature has reached 9, 000 degrees.
The hull is beginning to buckle!
Two alien vessels are attempting to disengage from Voyager.
l can't break us free of the gravitational forces!
Then let's divert all power to the shields!
No. lf we go in, we go in full throttle.
Assuming we survive,
we're going to need all the momentum we can get
to reach escape velocity on the other side.
Everyone, hang on.
l hope you were
exaggerating about those odds, Tuvok.
l was not.
Hull stress has exceeded maximum tolerance!
There are breaches on Decks 4, 7, 8 and 12.
Emergency force fields are holding.
l've lost helm control!
Main power is off- line!
Well, let's hope we've got enough speed.
l don't believe it.
We're alive.
l never realized you thought of me as"reckless," Tuvok.
A poor choice of words.
lt was clearly an understatement.
Captain's Log, Stardate 51244. 3.
With the aliens gone, the Doctor has been able
to remove their devices from the crew
and neutralize the genetic tags.
lt was nice you could get the night off.
"Nice" had nothing to do with it.
l switched shifts with Ensign Wildman,
which means tomorrow
l'll pull a double- duty on the Bridge and with the Doc.
Well, l appreciate the sacrifice.
Tell me about the wine.
Ah, Ktarian merlot, 2282.
You might want to let it breathe first.
We've got all night to let it breathe.
Engineering to Lieutenant Torres.
Torres here.
We are having a problem with the plasma manifold.
l thought you'd want to take a look.
l don't.
Lock it down for now.
l'll deal with it in the morning.
Torres out.
Sometimes it's nice to be the Chief Engineer.
Try the salad, Chief.
This is really delicious.
Well, thanks.
l replicated it myself.
Mm, you're too good for me.
lgnore it.
l'll get rid of them.
Oh, hi. Uh, sorry to interrupt.
Hi, B'Elanna.
Harry, l'm not home.
l- l just wanted to return this.
Smells good.
That's it.
No more interruptions.
You know, l've been thinking about what the Captain said.
Thinking maybe she was right?
Me, too.
We have been...
a little out of control lately.
Do you think we really were?
Out of control?
Those aliens could have just been messing around
with our hormones just to see what would happen.
You're right. They could have.
And we don't know how long they were on board.
They could have been tampering with us for months.
Well, when you think about it,
you did have a pretty abrupt change of heart
a couple of weeks ago.
What made you realize that you loved me all of a sudden?
Just a feeling.
So, our whole relationship might be based on some...
alien experiment.
You never know.
Well, l think that explains it.
l guess we should just... call it off, then.
l think so.
Thank God we found out in time.
Thank God.
l don't know about you, but...
l'm curious to see how this experiment turns out.

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