The prey's course has become erratic.
l will intercept to kill.
His ship is damaged.
Let him bleed.
This prey is resilient.
We will lose the moment.
The way a creature behaves when it is wounded
is the key to its destruction.
Our hull armor is stable.
His weapons must be weakening.
The prey is heading for an asteroid belt.
Vector 168. 9.
We are losing him.
He hasn't come here to hide.
He's come to make a final stand.
He's holding position above an asteroid
and he's left his ship.
The prey is scattering our sensors.
He counters our pursuit to the final moment.
No. Disengage sensors.
For what reason?
l want to take him with my own eyes.
l'll draw his attack.
Prepare to target his thoracic crest.
A flawless kill.
"Please remain still so that l can treat your injuries.
"l'm sorry. Did that hurt?
"l'll try to be more careful.
"Thanks for being a patient patient.
Have a pleasant afternoon." This is absurd.
Not at all. Keep going.
You're doing fine.
This vernacular is not applicable
to my duties on Voyager.
We can tailor the vocabulary
to your specific situations a little later.
Right now, it's the sentiment that counts.
l don't see the relevance.
l created these exercises three years ago
to familiarize myself with the social graces.
l found that if l repeated them several times each day,
the words became almost second nature.
Exercise two: "The workplace encounter."
Kes used to help me with this one.
Now l'll be the nurse. You be the doctor.
"Please hand me the hypospray."
"Of course, Doctor, immediately."
"Thank you. Looks at instrument."
No, no. Don't read that part-- only the dialogue.
"Excuse me, Nurse.
"This is the wrong hypospray.
Would you mind finding the correct one?"
"Not at all."
"Did l mention you look lovely today?"
"Oh, Doctor, you're so charming."
This lesson is terminated.
l know it's awkward.
For me, it was even painful,
but l think you'll find the rewards well worth the effort.
The ability to put others at ease...
make them feel more comfortable around you.
You're a lot like me when l was first activated.
lf l'd had a mentor,
things would have gone a lot more smoothly.
l'm willing to share my wisdom,
but, if you're not interested... fine.
l'll stick to your physiological maintenance.
l will examine your data.
Pay special attention to Exercise 17:
"Bridge banter for beginners."
Have a pleasant day.
Monotanium hull plating,
dicyclic warp signature--
the vessel is definitely Hirogen.
They're moving to intercept.
No. We need to settle our differences here and now.
Hard about, full impulse.
They're in visual range.
50, 000 kilometers...
Maintain course, Mr. Paris.
They are not charging weapons.
They're slowing, sir.
And it's erratic.
They've stopped, Captain.
Their engines just went off- line.
This could be a trap.
Harry, run a long- range scan.
Are there any other Hirogen ships out there?
Take us within transporter range.
You intend to board their ship.
The Hirogen vessel is a potential threat.
We should destroy it.
Seven, what you call a threat, l call an opportunity...
to gain knowledge about this species--
and in this case, maybe even show some compassion.
There seems to be a wounded pilot over there.
Our experience with the Hirogen indicates
that compassion would not be reciprocated.
And all of my experience says
we've got to take that chance anyway.
Tuvok, Paris, you're with me.
Looks like there was a fight.
Search for the life signs.
l'm reading bones, muscle tissue...
from at least nine different species.
lt's all being broken down by some sort of enzyme.
Perhaps this is their method of denaturating their prey.
Either that...or it's dinner.
Looks like somebody lost their helmet.
l'm not picking up any weapon residuals.
l'd say he was physically torn apart.
l'm picking up the life signs.
Massive internal bleeding.
Let's get him to Sick Bay.
The data we downloaded from the ship's computer
included navigational records.
Can you give us a map of this region?
This is the Hirogen vessel's flight path
over the past five years.
They've certainly covered a lot of space.
This ship alone has visited
over 90 star systems in the last year.
l analyzed some of their logs.
From what l can tell, this is a hunting species.
We saw the skeletal remains
from dozens of alien races displayed like trophies.
There was also evidence
they may be using some of their victims for food.
The entire culture seems to be based on the hunt--
social rituals, art, religious beliefs.
Their existence is driven by the pursuit of prey.
And it's carried them across huge distances.
There is no evidence of a home planet.
Their ships travel alone or in small groups.
On occasion, several will join forces
in a multipronged attack.
How's our"wolf" in Sick Bay?
Still unconscious... behind a level- 5 force field.
You were right, Seven.
This species is a threat.
But despite the risk of sending an away team,
we know a lot more about who we're dealing with now.
You were correct, Captain.
lt was worth the risk...
So, there's one question remaining.
Who's hunting the hunters?
l was trying to remove his body armor
to treat the internal injuries,
when he suddenly regained consciousness.
Needless to say, he's not happy to be here.
Can you sedate him?
l've already tried.
His immune system neutralizes everything.
l could synthesize a more potent compound,
but that would take hours.
He could be dead by then.
His wounds are severe.
Your crewmate is dead...
and your ship has been damaged beyond repair.
l brought you here to treat your injuries.
What happened to your ship?
Who attacked you?
The first time l met your species,
it wasn't on the best of terms, but that doesn't mean you and l
can't find a way to change that.
You were on a hunt.
A formidable alien.
We captured it two days ago,
but it broke free
of its restraints... attacked us.
l must continue the hunt.
Not without your ship and not in this condition.
You'll die without treatment.
Let us help you.
l'm going to enter the force field now
and start with a few scans of your midsection.
You should know l'm a hologram
and can't be bent, spindled or mutilated
so don't bother trying.
Please lie down.
Or remain standing.
Captain, we've detected six more Hirogen ships.
They're converging on us from all directions.
The one in Sick Bay
may have sent a distress call from his vessel.
How long do we have?
The nearest ship is half a light- year away--
four hours at most.
Tom, analyze their approach pattern.
Evade them as long as you can.
l want to buy the Doctor enough time to treat our hunter.
lf l can gain his confidence, he might call off his friends.
Good old- fashioned diplomacy could get us out of this yet.
Don't count on it.
From what l found in their database,
diplomacy isn't a part of their lifestyle.
They don't see us as equals.
To them, we're simply game.
lt's time we convince them otherwise--
or like any other cornered animal, we'll show our teeth.
There's been a hull rupture on Deck 11, Section 3.
Damage is minor.
lt appears a plasma conduit overloaded.
lncrease power to the structural integrity field.
A bulkhead has collapsed in Jefferies Tube 84.
Negative. The plasma network is stable.
This wasn't caused by any power surge or system failure.
Harry, Tuvok, get to Deck 11 and check it out.
This was no overload.
lt's a dense mixture of DNA and polyfluidic compounds.
Tuvok to Bridge.
We may have an intruder on board.
l'm analyzing what could be a sample of its blood.
The readings are consistent with Species 8472.
Bridge to Security.
Seal off Decks 10 through 12.
lnternal sensors aren't detecting any intruders.
The last time we ran into this species,
it was impervious to our scanners.
We'll have to track it visually.
How did it get past our shields?
We'll worry about that later.
You have the Bridge, Commander.
l'll be on Deck 11.
l've erected a level- 10 force field around Engineering.
Good. Set up secondary force fields
around every hatch, Jefferies tube and conduit
leading into this room.
l want every one of these consoles secured--
authorized command codes only.
l'm going to lock down the warp core.
Ensign, realign the dilithium matrix
to a frequency of 3. 69.
Four crew members are wounded, two seriously.
Get them to Sick Bay.
Species 8472 accessed Engineering
through the antimatter injector port.
Our phaser fire was insufficient.
lt attacked us, then escaped through Jefferies Tube 17- Alpha.
Janeway to Tuvok.
The intruder just left Engineering.
Seal off the area.
Secure the warp core.
lt would seem that the Hirogen
underestimated their latest prey.
You believe they were hunting the creature.
Yes. When the Borg were fighting Species 8472,
did they ever engage in physical combat?
On many occasions.
Can you recall anything that might help us here?
Each time they boarded a Borg vessel,
they went directly to the central power matrix
and disabled it.
The creature was just in Engineering.
Didn't touch any of our power systems.
lt's obviously adjusted its strategy.
Species 8472 is devious and highly intelligent.
lt will seek the most efficient means of destroying us.
Let's get to Sick Bay.
She's going to be just fine, Captain.
ls it alone?
Have you seen any others like it?
Six months ago, this species invaded our galaxy
with thousands of ships.
We were barely able to fight them off.
Your prey could indicate another invasion.
lf it does, we're all in trouble.
How many ships have you seen?
Only one. Damaged.
We tracked it across 50 light- years.
We thought that we had killed the creature,
but this prey is unlike any other.
lt has many lives.
Lower the force field and l will finish the hunt.
Your attempt to destroy it will fail.
Species 8472 is highly resistant to all technology.
All but one... Borg nanoprobes.
Microscopic weapons that can
attack the species on a cellular level.
We've tried it before and it worked.
l'll modify the phaser rifles to fire nanoprobe discharges.
l want you to incapacitate the creature, not kill it.
Can you make that modification?
Yes, but it would require additional time.
We must stop it as soon as possible.
Not until we know why it returned.
You will be exposing this crew to unnecessary risk.
You have your orders, Seven.
Six of your vessels will be here in under four hours.
l hope you'll let them know that we saved your life
and that we want to avoid any further conflict
with your people.
Let me resume the hunt, and l will grant your request.
We have enough problems on this ship as it is
without him running around.
l spent six months studying this prey's behavior.
l know how to track him.
Let me continue or l will have the others destroy you.
Tuvok to Janeway.
We're holding position in Section 94,
but the creature has accessed the environmental controls.
Deck 11 is losing life support.
Artificial gravity has also been compromised.
Evacuate the deck.
Regroup on Deck 10.
He's trying to barricade himself.
He did the same thing to us.
You want to be part of the hunt?
Now's your chance.
He'll be under your supervision, Commander.
lf he steps out of line, shoot him.
ls your body armor designed to handle
rapid pressure fluctuations?
lt can defeat most hostile environments.
l once tracked a silicon- based life- form
through the neutronium mantle of a collapsed star.
l once tracked a mouse through Jefferies Tube 32.
Chakotay to Tuvok. We're ready to go.
As are we.
Proceed to Deck 11.
Keep your com links open.
Understood. Activate the nanoprobe charges.
Level five should be sufficient to stun the creature.
Maintain your position.
l said maintain your position.
This is my hunt.
l'm at point.
My knowledge of this prey is superior to yours.
But you're on unfamiliar terrain.
l know this ship.
The prey will likely attack the man at point.
You would not survive.
l'll take that chance.
Now, fall back.
l'll take up the rear.
Since Species 8472 invaded the ship,
you've become increasingly agitated.
They were the only species
to offer true resistance to the Borg.
They destroyed millions of drones,
hundreds of our worlds.
l have reason to be agitated.
What is it?
The prey is wounded.
This corridor ends about 20 meters ahead.
The only thing down there is Deflector Control.
lt's got nowhere to run.
He is not planning to run.
He is waiting.
He'll attempt to slip around us, attack from behind.
Chakotay to Tuvok.
We've cornered the intruder in Section 59.
On our way.
This prey is resilient.
He will strike with his dying breath.
We must kill him now.
That may not be necessary.
Hold your fire.
l said lower your weapon!
Mr. Neelix, l must ask you
to exchange your spatula for a phaser rifle.
We have two intruders onboard
and six Hirogen vessels on the way.
l need additional security personnel.
Right away, sir.
What's my assignment?
Join the security detail on Deck 10, Section 12.
You'll receive further instructions there.
l'll expect tactical updates every 20 min...
Are you all right?
You have your orders.
The Hirogen's back in Sick Bay within a force field.
And Species 8472?
We've established a security perimeter.
Basically, we've turned this entire section into a brig.
As an added precaution, have B'Elanna start working
on a way to lock onto the creature,
in case we have to beam it off the ship.
You mentioned it was injured. ln what way?
l wish l could tell you for certain.
lts body is generating some sort bioelectric field
making it impossible to scan,
so l could only make a visual diagnosis.
lt's conscious but immobile.
lts epidermis displays any number of injuries--
punctures, energy burns--
and its demeanor is that of a wounded animal.
The Hirogen said they'd been chasing it for several months.
ls there anything you can do?
l don't know enough about its physiology
to treat the surface wounds,
let alone any internal damage.
Frankly, l'm at a loss.
Captain, just before we cornered it,
Species 8472 accessed deflector control from this panel.
l've analyzed the transmission protocols.
lt was attempting to open a singularity into its realm,
but it failed.
lt was trying to get home.
That's what it looks like.
The creature initiated telepathic contact with me.
What's it saying?
lts ship was damaged during the conflict with the Borg.
When the other members of its species retreated
into fluidic space...
it was left behind.
lt has been trapped in the Delta Quadrant ever since...
pursued by Hirogen hunting parties.
lt has no desire for further conflict.
lt only wants to return to its domain.
lt is dying, Captain.
You have nothing to be afraid of.
We're going to help you get back to your realm.
Does it understand?
lt will take time to open a singularity,
and we have no way of treating your injuries,
but if there's anything you can tell us about your...
lt has lost consciousness.
Our telepathic link has been severed.
Where is my prey?
Lying at the end of a corridor on Deck 11...
nearly dead thanks to you.
Take me to it.
Take me to it!
ln less than three hours, your ships will arrive.
By that time, Species 8472 will no longer be on Voyager.
What do you mean?
l'm sending it back where it came from.
Surrender the creature to me and you will not be harmed.
This isn't a hunt; it's a slaughter.
And l'm calling it off right now.
We will not be denied our prey.
Give us the creature....
or your crew will take its place.
Have Seven of Nine report to my ready room.
You intend to ask her
to open a rift into 8472's realm.
She's the only one on board who knows how.
Given her feelings toward the species,
she may not want to cooperate.
You wish to see me, Captain?
l've made a decision about Species 8472.
l'm going to return it to fluidic space.
ln order to do that, l need you to open a quantum singularity.
l don't believe that is a prudent course of action.
l realize it may be
difficult for you to help save this creature's life,
but part of becoming human is learning to have compassion
for those who are suffering,
even when they're your bitter enemies.
l remember when l was a Lieutenant.
lt was during a Cardassian border conflict.
My away team was cut off
while we were defending a Federation outpost.
We'd been exchanging phaser fire
with a group of Cardassians for about three days--
One night, during a break in the fighting...
we could hear this low moaning sound
coming from somewhere in the brush.
We knew that none of our people were out there,
so it had to be a wounded Cardassian.
Well, you have to understand--
we'd been killing each other for weeks on this planet.
lt was brutal.
But our commanding officer decided...
that we couldn't just sit there
and listen to that poor man suffer.
So he ordered me and an Ensign...
to crawl out there
and bring that Cardassian back to our camp.
l thought he was crazy.
He was risking our lives for someone
who would have shot us without hesitation.
But we did it...
and the Cardassian lived.
Three days later, we secured the outpost.
lt was a major victory.
We were all decorated by Starfleet Command,
but in retrospect...
the thing l'm most proud of
was the night we saved that man's life.
A single act of compassion
can put you in touch with your own humanity.
You are trying to justify your present decision.
l'm trying to help you see this as an opportunity to grow.
l know you don't want to do it, Seven,
but l'm telling you as your Captain
and as your friend, you won't regret it.
Your decision is tactically unsound.
We will be surrounded by Hirogen ships
in approximately two hours.
lf we do not surrender the creature,
they will destroy us.
A lesson in compassion will do me little good
if l am dead.
lt is wrong to sacrifice another being
to save our own lives.
l have observed that you have been willing
to sacrifice your own life to save the lives of your crew.
Yes, but that's different.
That was my choice.
This creature does not have a choice.
lt invaded our ship,
put our lives at risk to save its own.
ln my view, it has already forfeited its freedom.
l'm giving you an order.
Report to Deflector Control
and begin working on creating a singularity.
l will not comply.
l have agreed to remain on Voyager.
l have agreed to function as a member of your crew,
but l will not be a willing
participant in my own destruction
or the destruction of this ship.
We'll do this without you.
You will fail.
And you have just crossed the line.
End of debate.
Report to the cargo bay
and remain there until this is over.
ls that understood?
Shields down to 84 percent.
Three more ships are closing from port and starboard.
All escape trajectories have been cut off.
Our weapons are having little effect on their hull plating.
l'm scanning for weaknesses in the molecular structure.
Shields at 79 percent.
They are hailing us.
Better late than never.
Open a channel.
You've taken our prey and one of our hunters.
Call off your attack and we'll return your crewman.
As for your prey, it's under our protection now.
lt belongs to us.
lt belongs to no one.
Now, order your ships to withdraw
and this can end peacefully.
All vessels are firing.
Any luck finding a crack in their armor?
Doctor to Bridge.
Species 8472 appears to be regenerating.
l'm no exobiologist,
but l'd say this fellow is becoming highly agitated.
lt could be sensing the Hirogen attack.
Doctor, can you sedate it?
l believe so,
but l'll need another dose of Borg nanoprobes.
Bridge to Seven of Nine.
Report to Deck 11 immediately with a supply of nanoprobes.
B'Elanna, how's it going down there?
Transporters are ready.
l can establish a lock on the creature at any time,
but l still haven't duplicated the deflector protocols
to open a singularity.
l need another hour... maybe two.
Captain, we can outmaneuver the Hirogen ships
for a few more minutes, but beyond that...
Direct hit to the EPS manifold!
Main power just went down!
Force fields on all decks are off- line.
Switch to auxiliary power.
Done. Force fields have been restored,
but l don't know how long they'll hold.
Bridge to Doctor. Report.
lt's all right, Captain.
The creature is contained.
Bridge to Sick Bay.
Security, dispatch teams to Deck 5.
The Hirogen may be loose.
Direct hit to our port nacelle.
Now, they've taken out our starboard nacelle.
They've crippled us.
Tuvok, divert warp power to the phaser banks.
Maybe that'll help us penetrate their hull plating.
Armed and ready.
Not a moment too soon.
Give me the prey.
Lower your weapon or l will destroy you.
l don't think you will.
You want me to destroy this creature.
l saw it on your face earlier in the medical bay.
lt's a look l've seen a thousand times.
What are you doing?
Captain, someone's accessing the transporter system
from Deck 5.
Lock them out.
They're overriding my commands...
with Borg encryption codes.
Report, Mr. Kim.
8472 and the Hirogen...
they've been beamed to one of the attacking ships.
All six vessels are moving away at high warp.
Tom, can we pursue?
l'm sorry, Captain.
Warp engines are still off- line.
Resume our previous course.
Seven of Nine?
Seven of Nine.
Captain's Log, Stardate 51652. 3.
lt's been 12 hours
and our sensors show no sign of any Hirogen vessels,
but their people are scattered throughout this region
and something tells me
that the"hunt" for Voyager is far from over.
Step down, please.
Seven, you disobeyed my direct orders
and as a result,
you condemned a sentient being to its death.
By doing so, l also diverted the Hirogen attack,
an attack which would have destroyed us.
ln any case, the decision wasn't yours to make.
The creature broke through the force field.
l had no choice.
l didn't come here to debate your decision.
l came here to inform you of the consequences.
When you first came to Voyager,
l decided to grant you the same liberties
and freedoms of any crew member
because l wanted you to be a part of this family.
And l've been willing to accommodate your...
unique way of doing things--
even when you rubbed somebody the wrong way
or violated protocol.
But this time, l can't accommodate you.
From this point forward, you will no longer have access
to any primary systems on this ship--
not without my direct authorization.
lf you attempt to circumvent me, l'll throw you in the brig.
l still need your expertise
in the Astrometrics Lab if you're willing.
lf not, you can spend your time here in the cargo bay.
ls that understood?
lt is puzzling.
You made me into an individual.
You encouraged me to stop thinking
like a member of the collective,
to cultivate my independence and my humanity.
But when l try to assert that independence, l am punished.
lndividuality has its limits...
especially on a starship where there's a command structure.
l believe that you are punishing me
because l do not think the way that you do,
because l am not becoming more like you.
You claim to respect my individuality,
but in fact, you are frightened by it.
As you were.