Prototype
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: January 15 1996

[Transporter Room]

(In deep space, something watches Voyager approach. It is then beamed aboard, and we get its viewpoint in black and white.)
TORRES: It's extraordinary.
TUVOK: I must remind you that it is also a potential security risk.
TORRES: It's losing power. I'd like to move it to Engineering to see if I can repair it before it drains completely.
TUVOK: I suggest we allow the power to drain. We should take the opportunity to examine it while it is idle. Then we can decide if it is wise to repair it.
TORRES: Captain, this thing has a completely unfamiliar power source. Once it stops working it's very possible I won't be able to get it going again, and we'll have lost an opportunity to study a new technology.
JANEWAY: This is a ship of exploration, Mister Tuvok.

[Engineering]

(Still black and white, from the object's viewpoint.)
TORRES: The power's surging. If we can't find a way to stabilise it, we're going to lose it.
KIM: What about an interface with an EPS power conduit?
TORRES: Well, the energy signatures are incompatible, but it might buy us some time. Okay, let's give it a try. Two second burst, five percent maximum output. On my mark. Now. We're losing it.
KIM: Maybe we're overloading it's systems.
TORRES: Let's try a longer burst at lower power.
KIM: Got it. Five seconds at three percent, on your mark.
TORRES: Now. I think it's working. EPS flow is holding steady. EM field leakage is minimal.
KIM: We'll have to watch the pressure on the connectors.
TORRES: Let's try to keep it below eighty five percent.
KIM: Flux capacitance is spiking intermittently, but I don't think that's a problem.
TORRES: Let's reinforce the power conduit coupling just to be on the safe side.
(The object zooms in on a monitor to reveal that it is a silver robot. After the opening titles, we're back to colour and normal viewpoint.)
TORRES: It's suffered a lot of damage, but I think the EPS charge will keep it running for at least eighteen hours.
KIM: It's not a cyborg. It's completely robotic. No organic components of any kind.
TORRES: This looks like some kind of programming centre.
KIM: But I'm not detecting any pathways for transmitting information.
TORRES: It's got arms, legs, we saw it move it's head. It's clearly designed to perform motor functions. So where did those commands come from?
KIM: Maybe it needs to interface with a outside source.
TORRES: Speaking of sources, this energy module seems to be what powers the entire mechanism. It isn't designed to run on EPS energy, it runs on some kind of super-conducting plasma. If we keep charging it, we may end up destroying it.
(The robot starts making stacatto noises.)
TORRES: It's trying to communicate.
KIM: We don't know that. It may just be some kind of recording.
3947: One one one one one. Pralor Pralor. One one. Pralor Pralor Pralor Pralor.
TORRES: What are you trying to say? What's Pralor? If you can hear me, try to move, try to move your arm.
(Torres waves her own arm in front of its eyes.)
KIM: B'Elanna, we don't even know if it can see you, much less understand a word you're saying.
TORRES: We've got to figure out a way to fix it.
KIM: We've been trying for hours. We need a break. The EPS charge should hold till morning.
TORRES: You go ahead. I could use some time alone to think.
KIM: If you're staying, I'm staying.
TORRES: Get some rest, Harry.
KIM: You may think you're tougher than everybody else, B'Elanna Torres, but I can go without sleep just as long as you can.
TORRES: Don't make me laugh, Starfleet. And don't make me pull rank on you either.
KIM: If you insist. But let me know if you come up with anything, Lieutenant.

Chief Engineers log, supplemental. I've tried thirteen different methods of reinitialising the robot's power source and I'm still having no luck, so I've decided to go to the mess hall to recharge my own declining energy reserves.

[Mess hall]

TORRES: Neelix, I need another pot of coffee.
NEELIX: Even though breakfast isn't officially served for another hour and a half, I'd be happy to pour you a glass of Traggle nectar. I will even fix you my special Jibalian seven spice omelette.
TORRES: Just coffee.
NEELIX: I'm sorry, B'Elanna, but two pots of Landras blend is the absolute limit.
TORRES: You're cutting me off? Oh, I guess you're right. It was starting to taste almost palatable.
NEELIX: Still no idea how to revive our mechanised guest.
TORRES: All I've been able to do is postpone the inevitable. The constant power depletion is like a bleeding artery, and I haven't got a tourniquet.
NEELIX: I remember when I was trying to perfect the recipe for my Jibalian omelette. I tried everything, a little more spith basil, a little less prishic, but I couldn't get it right. Finally I fell asleep from exhaustion right there at the counter. And then, in a dream, it came to me. I was using six spices, but the omelette needed seven.
TORRES: Let me guess. Leola root.
NEELIX: Nimian sea salt, actually.
TORRES: Salt?
NEELIX: Yes, salt, the most common spice in the galaxy. But I was too tired, so I couldn't see it.
TORRES: That is a very interesting story, Neelix. Now how about some more coffee.
NEELIX: To bed. I said, to bed.
TORRES: I'm going. I'm going.

[Engineering]

(Engineering is deserted. Torres goes to the robot, which is lying on a bench by the warp core, and knocks on its head.)
TORRES: Anybody home? What's that? You think I should go to bed too? Well, I guess I'm outnumbered.
(Torres goes to bed, but doesn't lie there long.)

[Sickbay]

TORRES: Computer, activate Emergency Medical Holographic Programme.
EMH: Please state the nature. If there has been a change in the official dress code I certainly wish someone would have informed me.
TORRES: This is what I sleep in. I didn't have time to change.
EMH: I see. May I assume your haste is an indication that you have a medical problem of some kind.
TORRES: An engineering problem actually, but I thought you might have some insight. EMH: Hmm. I shouldn't have to remind you, I'm a doctor
TORRES: Not an engineer, right, but this isn't a typical engineering problem. I've been working on trying to repair a robot.
EMH: Ah yes, the mechanical man. Kes told me about it. Fascinating.
TORRES: He's about to die.
EMH: Die?
TORRES: Die, stop functioning, whatever, unless I can figure out a way to sustain his main energy source.
EMH: What kind of energy source are we talking about?
TORRES: It's some sort of chromo-dynamic module powered by a tripolymer plasma, but the plasma is contaminated. It's decaying.
EMH: Hmm. Like diseased blood.
TORRES: Right. It can't retain enough energy to keep the module running.
EMH: Have you considered a transfusion?
TORRES: You mean replacing the plasma itself? Well, that was one of my first ideas, but where do I get my hands on a polymer plasma composed of elements I didn't even know existed twenty four hours ago?
EMH: Aren't Voyager's engines powered by warp plasma?
TORRES: It's, it's a very different substance. Too highly charged. It would burn out the robot's systems in seconds. It would be like trying to give a Bolian a blood transfusion from a Vulcan.
EMH: Which ordinarily would kill the unfortunate Bolian, but there have been instances when artificial blood was unavailable and existing blood cells were genetically altered for inter-species transfusions.
TORRES: It's a good idea, but warp plasma radiates at too high a frequency to alter electrochemically. Unless.
EMH: Go on.
TORRES: I could modify a series of anodyne relays, attach them directly to the robots power module. They could act as a sort of regulator to make the warp plasma compatible with the robot's energy matrix.
(Torres leaves.)
EMH: That's exactly what I was going to suggest.

[Engineering]

TORRES: That's the last of the relays.
KIM: Plasma injector is sealed.
JANEWAY: This is your show, Lieutenant. Whenever you're ready.
TORRES: Activating the relays. All right, Harry, start the infusion. Twenty percent nominal flow.
KIM: Initiating plasma flow.
TORRES: Energy levels are up fourteen percent.
JANEWAY: The relays are holding.
TORRES: Harry, give it a little more juice.
KIM: Got it. I'm taking it to thirty percent. Thirty five percent.
TORRES: Wait, the energy levels are rising too fast. We're going to burn out it's systems.
KIM: But it needs more plasma.
JANEWAY: What about increasing the capacitance of the relays?
TORRES: Let's give it a try. It's stabilising. Hold the flow right there. Let's see what happens. The plasma is circulating. The programming centre is activated. I think we may have done it.
(The robot takes hold of Torres' arm.)
3947: Please identify yourself.
TORRES: I'm Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres of the Federation Starship Voyager.
3947: I'm automated unit 3947. Thank you for reactivating me, Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres.

Chief Engineer's log, supplemental. the robot's power module is continuing to function normally using plasma from our warp engines. Repairing it's systems has taught me more about robotics than I ever could have learnt at Starfleet Academy.

[Engineering]

TORRES: I think we're past the critical stage.
3947: I concur. According to my self-diagnostic systems Automated Personnel Unit 3947 is currently functioning at sixty eight percent of peak operating capabilities.
TORRES: Automated Personnel Unit 3947 is an extremely well designed machine.
3947: Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres is an extremely proficient humanoid.
TORRES: So how did you end up floating in space so badly damaged?
3947: I was operating an asteroid mining pod. It exploded.
TORRES: Do you know what caused the explosion?
3947: I am unable to access that information. My memory cells are not yet operating at optimal efficiency.
TORRES: Do you remember where you come from?
3947: I am stationed aboard a Pralor vessel.
TORRES: Well, we'll do our best to find your ship and return you to your people.
3947: Thank you.
TORRES: I'm hoping that the memory loss is only temporary. Once the new plasma has the chance to fully integrate into your systems, I think you'll be pretty close to optimal.
3947: New plasma?
TORRES: Yes, I adapted your module to accept our warp plasma as an energy source.
3947: You repaired my power module. Are you a Builder?
TORRES: A builder? Well, I guess you could say that. I'm an engineer. I'm responsible for repairing and maintaining all the systems on the ship.
3947: Only the Builders were capable of constructing or repairing power modules.
TORRES: The Builders are the people who created you?
3947: Yes.
TORRES: And they're humanoids like me?
3947: Yes, like Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres. You could create a new power module.
TORRES: You don't need a new module. The one I just fixed will work fine now.
3947: The new power module would not be for me. It would be a prototype for the construction of additional automated units.
TORRES: Can't the Builders make additional units?
3947: The Builders no longer exist.

[Ready room]

TORRES: Apparently thousands of them were built as service modules, but the race who created them, these Builders, were killed off decades ago in a war.
JANEWAY: Leaving the automated units to fend for themselves.
TORRES: Now they're wearing out, breaking down. They've learnt to make repairs to themselves, some pretty complex, but the construction of a power module, the device that sustains them, is beyond their grasp. It's an incredible challenge, Captain, but with enough time to study their systems, I might be able to do it.
JANEWAY: I don't doubt your abilities, B'Elanna, but helping them reproduce is a clear violation of the Prime Directive.
TORRES: They've expressed a desire to procreate. That's basic to any life form.
JANEWAY: I'm not saying they don't have the same rights as any organic species. That's not the issue here.
TORRES: Are you sure? Suppose they were organic but they had become sterile, and we had a treatment that would enable them to start reproducing again. Would you withhold that treatment?
JANEWAY: Maybe. I'd have to know more about the circumstances. But we're not talking about treating a disorder here, are we?
TORRES: What's the difference?
JANEWAY: Unlike a species whose become sterile, the robots never had the ability to reproduce. What you're talking about is giving them new abilities, which is the equivalent of altering their genetic structure.
TORRES: To correct a flaw.
JANEWAY: You can't call it a flaw. This is the way they were designed.
TORRES: I'm trying to save them from extinction.
JANEWAY: Unfortunately extinction is often the natural end of evolution.
TORRES: So you're just willing to let their entire society die off.
JANEWAY: We don't know that's going to happen. If they're adaptable, as you say, and capable of educating themselves, they might very well learn to build a power module themselves some day.
TORRES: Some day could be too late. There are only a few hundred of them left.
JANEWAY: I feel for the robot's plight, but what you are proposing is exactly the kind of tampering the Prime Directive prohibits. We know almost nothing about these creatures or the race that built them. What would be the consequences of increasing their population, both to their own civilisation and others in this quadrant? Who are we to swoop in, play God and then continue on our way without the slightest consideration of the long term effects of our actions?
TORRES: Captain!
JANEWAY: B'Elanna, I share your scientific curiosity and I admire your compassion, but the answer is no.

[Engineering]

3947: I do not concur with your Captain's decision.
TORRES: She's following our Prime Directive.
3947: Define Prime Directive.
TORRES: It forbids us to interfere in the natural development of other cultures.
3947: The automated units were not created naturally. We were built. You can help us build more.
TORRES: Captain Janeway doesn't think that's a good idea.
3947: But Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres does.
TORRES: Maybe. I don't know. I'd like to try, but I can't.
3947: Without your help, we will not survive. I thought Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres was a Builder.
TORRES: So did I. We've located your ship. We should be in communications range in about an hour.
3947: Thank you.

[Bridge]

PARIS: The alien vessel is entering visual range, Captain.
JANEWAY: Yellow alert. Slow to one quarter impulse. Put them on screen, Ensign Kim.
KIM: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: Magnify.
TUVOK: We're being scanned, Captain.
JANEWAY: That's all right. Let them take a look. Open a channel.
6263 [on viewscreen]: Pralor Automated Personnel Unit 6263 requests you identify yourselves.
JANEWAY: I'm Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation Starship Voyager.
6263 [on viewscreen]: What are your intentions, Captain Kathryn Janeway?
JANEWAY: We rescued one of your crewmembers, unit 3947, and we'd like to return him to your ship.
6263 [on viewscreen]: We'll prepare to receive the unit. Thank you for your assistance.
(Transmission ends.)
PARIS: Very polite, these automated units.

[Transporter Room]

TORRES: Captain Janeway gave me permission to give you some extra warp plasma, in case the plasma we infused into your system starts to degrade.
3947: Thank you.
TORRES: And you'll have to remodulate the anodyne relays periodically.
3947: You are repeating instructions you have already given me, B'Elanna.
TORRES: I'm just making sure. Well, I guess this is goodbye.
(Torres holds out her hand. 3947 takes it and then there is a whirring sound.)
TORRES: What are you doing?
(Energy flows over Torres, and she collapses into 3947's arms. It then zaps the transporter operator.)

[Bridge]

KIM: Captain, I'm detecting a chromo-dynamic energy discharge in Transporter room two.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Transporter room two. Janeway to Torres.
(Tuvok leaves.)
CHAKOTAY: Captain, someone's initiating a transport. It's Torres and the robot.
JANEWAY: Override.
KIM: I can't block it. The patterns are already in the buffer. They're gone, Captain.
JANEWAY: Transport her back now, Mister Kim.
KIM: I can't get a lock on her.
TUVOK: They have erected some kind of subspace defence field around their vessel. Our targeting scanners cannot penetrate it.
JANEWAY: Hail them.
KIM: They're not responding.
JANEWAY: Open a channel on wideband subspace.
KIM: Channel open.
JANEWAY: This is Captain Janeway. Your abduction of our crewmember is a clear act of aggression. If you do not return her immediately, we will be forced to retaliate. Confirm that they've received the transmission, Mister Kim.
KIM: They heard us all right. They're just not answering.
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok, power the forward phaser banks.

[Pralor vessel]

(A metal workbench cum bed moves upright and Torres steps off.)
TORRES: What the hell is going on here?
3947: This is where you will assist in the creation of the prototype.
TORRES: I told you I can't help you. Now return me to my ship.
3947: That is not possible.
TORRES: Torres to Voyager.
3947: Your communication device has been deactivated. I do not wish to injure you, B'Elanna.
TORRES: I helped you. I reactivated you. Why are you doing this?
3947: We require additional automated units to prevent our extinction.
TORRES: Captain Janeway won't let you get away with this.
3947: It would be inadvisable for your Captain to provoke us.

[Bridge]

KIM: Still no response, Captain.
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok, any luck penetrating their defence field?
TUVOK: Negative.
JANEWAY: Commander, is there any sign that they're preparing to attack?
CHAKOTAY: Their shielding is making it difficult to get clear readings. I can't even tell you what their weapons capabilities are.
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok, I don't want you to hit their ship, but I do want you to open a hole in their shielding wide enough to transport through.
TUVOK: Understood.
JANEWAY: Mister Kim, match the targeting scanners to the coordinates of the phaser fire, and stand by to beam B'Elanna back.
TUVOK: Phasers calibrated.
JANEWAY: Fire.
TUVOK: Their field strength is down to eighty percent.
JANEWAY: That's progress. Fire again.
(Whumph! The Pralor vessel fires Caretaker-like energy pulses at Voyager.)
PARIS: Initiating evasive pattern omega six.
CHAKOTAY: They're firing some kind of quantum resonance charges, Captain.
TUVOK: Our aft shields are down to fifty three percent and dropping.
KIM: Re-routing power to aft shields.
TUVOK: Down to twenty four percent.
PARIS: Switching evasive pattern to theta one.
JANEWAY: Lieutenant Tuvok, load torpedo bays one through four and stand by to fire on my order.

[Pralor vessel]

(Torres and 3947 are watching the fight on a monitor.)
3947: Your Captain has made a tactical error by attacking us. Our weapons systems are substantially superior to yours. Your shields are failing, your weapons pose no threat to us.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Aft shields have been penetrated.
CHAKOTAY: We've got to get out of here.
JANEWAY: Agreed. We'll try to come back for B'Elanna later. Do it, Mister Paris. Warp three.
PARIS: Propulsion systems are offline. We're dead in the water.
TUVOK: Hull breach on deck six.
KIM: Initiating emergency containment field.
TUVOK: Environmental control systems are failing. Oxygen levels on decks three through seven have dropped to critical.
KIM: We've lost artificial gravity on deck eight.
CHAKOTAY: Injury reports from all decks.

[Pralor vessel]

TORRES: You've got to stop this.
3947: Your ship opened fire. We are programmed to defend ourselves.
TORRES: They're helpless. Can't you see that?
3947: Our enemies must be destroyed.
TORRES: We are not your enemies.
3947: You are not my enemy, B'Elanna, but your Captain is, and your crew follows her commands.
TORRES: Captain Janeway backed me when I wanted to reactivate you, over the objections of her Chief Security officer. You wouldn't even be here if it weren't for her. All right, if that's what it will take to stop this, I'll do it. I'll build your damned prototype!

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: We're losing life support, Captain.
TUVOK: The robots have powered down their weapon systems.
KIM: They're hailing us, Captain.
JANEWAY: On screen.
TORRES [on viewscreen]: Captain, is everybody okay?
JANEWAY: We'll be all right. What about you?
TORRES [on viewscreen]: I've agreed to help them build their prototype.
JANEWAY: Lieutenant.
TORRES [on viewscreen]: I know how you feel about this, Captain, I don't like it either. But if I don't do it, they'll destroy Voyager. What choice do I have?

[Pralor vessel]

3947: These are all the materials necessary to construct a prototype unit. You will be provided with whatever additional tools and equipment you require. You may access our database and schematic information from this computer terminal, but it will not allow you to interface with any critical systems. While you are on board, you will have no contact with your ship, nor will you leave this room. I will remain here to supervise your work. You may proceed.
TORRES: Proceed. Right. But the question is, where do I proceed from? Let me ask you this. Have any of you ever tried to build a prototype.
3947: We have tried, and failed.
TORRES: What was the problem?
3947: I am unable to explain the failure. We duplicated a power module to exact specifications on several occasions, but in all instances the energy output of the new module was insufficient to operate a unit.
TORRES: And you're sure you reproduced the module exactly?
3947: This is a schematic of a power module from a terminated unit. This one is from a failed prototype. They are identical. There is no reason why one should function while the does not.
(Unit 6263 enters.)
6263: Unit 3947, what can you report?
TORRES: Well, let's see. We've been working for about five minutes so I guess we don't have a lot of progress to report.
6263: Our sensors indicate that the humanoid vessel will require approximately one hundred and forty hours to repair. It is necessary for you to complete work on the prototype before that time.
TORRES: Why? We don't seem to be any match for you.
6263: Our tactical subprocessors indicate a seventy nine percent likelihood that rescue will be attempted when sufficient repairs are completed. At optimal efficiency your engines are more powerful than ours.
3947: It is also possible that these humanoids will not make decisions based on tactical probabilities. Their cognitive process is unpredictable.
6263: We will remain on full tactical alert. The humanoid may purposefully attempt to delay completion of the prototype hoping she will be rescued.
TORRES: I don't know if a promise means anything to you people but it does to us. I gave you my word that I'd do my best, and I will.
3947: According to my observations, the humanoid is operating at optimal efficiency.
TORRES: Thank you. But I have to tell you there are no guarantees here. Building a prototype from scratch is a lot different than repairing a broken power module. I don't even know if it's possible.
6263: If you fail, you and your people will die.
(Unit 6263 leaves.)
3947: B'Elanna Torres, 6263 is a Designated Command Unit. He is merely following his programming.
TORRES: I don't need to be threatened. I told you I'd do my best.
3947: I believe you, but unit 6263 does not. He does not know Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres as I do.
TORRES: Let me see one of those terminated power modules.

[Briefing room]

KIM: We've managed to repair the hull breach but we have no power on decks three through seven.
TUVOK: Aft shields are still completely non-functional.
KIM: And last but not least, the dilithium matrix is destabilised, so we can't get the warp engines running.
CHAKOTAY: We're talking about at least another six days of repairs.
JANEWAY: We're not sticking around that long. I want a plan to get B'Elanna off that ship before she has a chance to finish building the prototype.
TUVOK: In that case I suggest we make warp drive our priority. Any rescue attempt will no doubt necessitate a rapid departure.
JANEWAY: Agreed. Mister Kim, can you give me an estimate on repairing the dilithium matrix?
KIM: How does seventy two hours sound?
JANEWAY: Like twenty four hours too long. Dismissed.

[Pralor vessel]

TORRES: Hand me the sub-micron scanner. Phase coil resonator. Well, I think I know why your other prototypes failed, but I'm not sure I know what to do about it yet.
3947: Explain.
TORRES: The automated units are modular. Your parts are identical, interchangeable, right?
3947: That is correct.
TORRES: So if you lose an arm you can replace it with another one, and over the years you've learnt to make new arms because they're all the same and your programming is sophisticated enough to allow you to reproduce what you see. But each power module has a slightly different energy signature, so even if you copy this guy's module exactly it wouldn't work in any other unit. As far as I can tell, every automated unit has a power module with a unique energy code.
3947: Can you reprogram the energy codes to make the modules interchangeable?
TORRES: I don't think so.
3947: You have failed. I will inform 6263.
TORRES: Hey, do all you automated units give up the minute you hit a bump in the road?
3947: You have an alternative idea?
TORRES: What we've got to do is design a standardised module with a uniform energy code that can power any unit.
3947: According to my observations, there is now sufficient reason for greater optimism.
TORRES: You took the words right out of my mouth.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Due to the complexity of their defence field and our severe power shortage, it is unlikely that we can modify the transporters to beam Lieutenant Torres out.
CHAKOTAY: But if we can manoeuvre inside the field
KIM: Our transporters could get the job done.
JANEWAY: Is that a viable option?
PARIS: For a shuttlecraft, it may be.
JANEWAY: They were able to knock out Voyager's shields in a matter of minutes. A shuttle would be even more vulnerable.
TUVOK: It would be advisable to create a diversion of some sort to take their attention away from the shuttle.
CHAKOTAY: Attack them again?
JANEWAY: I don't want to risk that a second time.
PARIS: I don't need a diversion. Just give me a chance, I'll get her out of there.
CHAKOTAY: You don't mind if the rest of us give you a little help, do you, Paris? I'd hate to lose another shuttle.
PARIS: Your concern for my welfare is heartwarming.
JANEWAY: In another twelve hours our warp engines will be back online. I'd like to come up with a diversion before then. Okay, gentlemen?

[Pralor vessel]

TORRES: So far so good. I'm not getting any feedback from the motor circuits. Are you going to be the obstetrician of this unit, 3947?
3947: Please rephrase the question.
TORRES: If this works, will you be in charge of assembling the new units?
3947: I am programmed as a ship's maintenance unit. I have no knowledge of design, nor do any of the other automated personnel.
TORRES: Sounds like you just volunteered for new duty. I hope you're watching closely.
3947: I am observing your work. However I do not possess your improvisational capabilities.
TORRES: Well, once we have the prototype, all you'd have to do is copy it. Tell me something, thirty nine. Can I call you thirty nine?
3947: I am automated unit 3947.
TORRES: Fine. 3947. Did you wake up on a bench like this one? How long have you been alive?
3947: I have been in service one million three hundred and fourteen thousand eight hundred and seven hours and thirty three minutes. I was activated by a Builder from the Pralor homeworld.
TORRES: Tell me something more about these Builders. Were they anything like us?
3947: I have insufficient knowledge of your culture to provide an adequate response. Will you provide additional information?
TORRES: Well. I asked about your culture, only fair you should ask about mine.
3947: Does your culture include artificial lifeforms?
TORRES: As a matter of fact, it does.
3947: Are they similar to the automated personnel units aboard this ship?
TORRES: Well, they come different shapes, and sizes. Some have limbs, some don't. Most don't have your cognitive abilities.
3947: Are they your servants?
TORRES: I guess, you could say that the robots we use are servants in a manner of speaking. But they aren't sentient like you. In fact, we have only one sentient artificial life form in our society, and he is treated the same as any human.
3947: The same? He is equal to a Builder?
TORRES: That's right. He works on a ship just like you or I. He wears the same uniform I do.
3947: What is his designated number?
TORRES: He has a name like the rest of us. Data.
3947: Data. I would like to be acquainted with this Data.
TORRES: Ah, looks like this standardised power module is working pretty well so far.
3947: You will succeed, B'Elanna Torres.
TORRES: Don't send me flowers yet. I've still got to see whether it will power an actual unit.
3947: I believe it will.

[Ready room]

CHAKOTAY: We're making progress on the dilithium matrix. It should be stable enough to reinitialise the warp core in about six hours.
JANEWAY: Good. What about our diversion. Any suggestions?
CHAKOTAY: When we were in the Maquis, B'Elanna once linked a holo-emitter to a deflector array and projected an image of another ship into space.
JANEWAY: I like it. But do we have enough power?
CHAKOTAY: We will by the time the warp core's online. I already have Kim working on the holodeck to
TUVOK [OC]: Tuvok to Captain Janeway.
JANEWAY: Go ahead.
TUVOK [OC]: I am picking up an unidentified alien ship on long range sensors. It's heading for our co-ordinates.
JANEWAY: We're on our way.

[Pralor vessel]

(Torres puts her new power module into a Unit.)
TORRES: Well, it fits. Cross your fingers. So far so good. Let's hope it can interface with the unit.
(The unit tries to sit up, then fall back.)
3947: It does not function correctly.
TORRES: It does not function correctly yet. Your builders should have programmed you with a little more patience. I'm going to try adjusting the flux capacitance.
(The unit sits up.)
0001: Prototype unit 0001 is ready to accept programming.
TORRES: We did it. We actually did it!
3947: You did it, B'Elanna Torres. I knew this task would not exceed your operating capabilities.
0001: Prototype unit 0001 is ready to accept programming.
(Torres shakes 3947's hand.)
3947: What are you doing?
TORRES: I am congratulating you. You're a father!

[Bridge]

(The new arrival flies past Voyager and starts attacking the Pralor vessel.)
KIM: No sign of organic life aboard that ship either.
TUVOK: They appear to be manned by automated units virtually identical to those operating the first ship.
JANEWAY: Is it possible that we've stumbled into the middle of some kind of robotic war?
CHAKOTAY: We've got to get Torres back now.
JANEWAY: Agreed. But first I want to show both those ships this isn't our fight. Ease us back on manoeuvring thrusters, Mister Paris, nice and steady.
KIM: The second ship is hailing us.
JANEWAY: On screen.
(It is a golden robot.)
122 [on viewscreen]: Cravic Automated Commander 122 requests you identify yourself.
JANEWAY: My name is Kathryn Janeway, Captain of the Federation Starship Voyager.
122 [on viewscreen]: Withdraw from this area immediately.
JANEWAY: I'm afraid I can't do that. One of my crewmembers is being held hostage aboard the Pralor vessel. I won't leave without her.
122 [on viewscreen]: Remain at your present coordinates and do not attempt to intervene, or you will be fired on.
TUVOK: Captain, this new ship could be
JANEWAY: The diversion we've been looking for. Mister Kim, what's the status of our warp engines?
KIM: We're still an hour away at best.
JANEWAY: We may not have an hour. Get down to Engineering. Be ready to give me as much power as you can the minute we get Torres back.
KIM: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: If those two ships keep each other busy we may not need warp to get away. Mister Paris, report to the shuttle bay.
PARIS: Yes, ma'am.
JANEWAY: Chakotay, you have the con.

[Pralor vessel]

TORRES: Who are they?
3947: Automated Personnel Units of the Cravic homeworld.
TORRES: Robots from another world?
3947: That is correct.
TORRES: Why are they attacking you?
3947: They were programmed to do so by their Builders.
0001: Prototype unit 0001 is ready to accept programming.
TORRES: The Cravic Builders, the Pralor Builders, were they enemies?
3947: That is correct.
TORRES: Look, maybe Captain Janeway can contact the Cravic leaders and convince them to stop the fighting, then
3947: That is not possible.
TORRES: Why not?
3947: The Cravic are also extinct.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: I'm approaching the perimeter of the defence field.
TUVOK [OC]: Acknowledged.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Rotate your shield harmonics until they are synchronised with the frequency of the field.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: Shields synchronised. I'm going in. (Bump!) Then again, maybe not.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: It didn't work. He bounced right off the field.
TUVOK: Mister Paris, reset your heading for coordinates one zero five

[Shuttlecraft]

TUVOK [OC]: Mark four zero.
PARIS: Er, if I understand you, Tuvok, that would take me into a direct line of fire with the Cravic ship.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Precisely. The concentration of fire is opening a rift in the Pralor defence field.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: Which I just might be able to sneak through if I can dodge a disrupter blast or two. Changing heading.

[Pralor vessel]

TORRES: If both sides were annihilated then why continue your war?
3947: All Automated Personnel Units were programmed to achieve victory.
0001: Prototype unit 0001 is ready to accept programming.
3947: The Cravic ship has penetrated our defence shield.
TORRES: Has anyone in all these years ever tried to stop this war?
3947: The Pralor and the Cravic called a truce.
TORRES: Wait a minute. If both sides called a truce, then why didn't they stop you from fighting?
3947: They attempted to do so.
TORRES: And?
3947: We terminated the builders.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: Paris to Voyager. I'm approaching the entry

[Bridge]

PARIS [OC]: Point.
TUVOK: Acknowledged. Showing a rift in the defence

[Shuttlecraft]

TUVOK [OC]: Field off your starboard bow.
PARIS: I'm on it.

[Pralor vessel]

3947: When it was anticipated that the war would end, the Builders no longer required our services and they intended to terminate us. In doing so, they became the enemy. We are programmed to destroy the enemy. It is necessary for our survival. Now that you have constructed a prototype, we will soon outnumber the Cravic units. We will achieve victory.
(Boom! Fires break out.)
3947: This is unit 3947. Fire units report to reconstruction bay number one.
TORRES: The individual energy codes. Is that why the builders added them? To prevent the procreation of these units? My god, what have I done?
(She picks up a tool from a bench.)
0001: Prototype unit 0001 is ready to accept programming.
(And stabs it through the power module. 3947 zaps Torres.)
3947: You have terminated the prototype.
TORRES: Yes, I have.
3947: You will build another.
TORRES: Never.
3947: Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres, I told 6263 you were not our enemy.
TORRES: I never wanted to be your enemy. I'm sorry.
(Torres is beamed away.)

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: Shuttle to Voyager. I've got her but she's injured. Tell the Doctor to stand by.

[Bridge]

PARIS [OC]: Beam her out as soon as I clear the defence field.
JANEWAY: Acknowledged, Mister Paris.
TUVOK: The ships are continuing to exchange fire, Captain. They are ignoring the shuttle.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Engineering. Standby warp engines. We'll engage the moment Mister Paris gets back.
KIM [OC]: Aye, Captain.

[Mess hall]

KES: One pot of Landras blend, compliments of the chef.
TORRES: Mmm. I never thought Neelix's coffee could taste so good.
KES: I'll tell him you said so.
TORRES: I don't know what to say.
JANEWAY: As far as I'm concerned, you did what you thought was necessary to ensure the safety of this crew.
TORRES: Thank you.
JANEWAY: It must have been difficult.
TORRES: Difficult?
JANEWAY: To destroy what you created.
TORRES: It was necessary.
JANEWAY: I read your report. It was no small achievement, B'Elanna. You gave that unit life.
TORRES: You should have seen it, Captain. It was incredible. I installed that module, and the prototype looked up at me and asked me for programming.
JANEWAY: As I said, it must have been difficult.
TORRES: It was necessary.

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