| Captain's log, stardate
50063.2. We've accepted an invitation from the Nechani to take a few
days shore leave on their world. We're enjoying the opportunity to
learn about their culture.
cavern and tunnel structure with lights on the walls.)
MAGISTRATE: This sanctuary honours our Ancestral Spirits. Their
presence is very strong here.
(Two robed figures stop and bow to them.)
MAGISTRATE: Those are brothers of the Nechisti Order. They've devoted
their lives to serving the spirits. Here's something you might find
(He leads Janeway and Tuvok on. Neelix and Kes lag behind.)
KES: What do you think this means?
NEELIX: Hard to tell. A fertility symbol, maybe.
KES: Or a blessing for good luck, or wisdom.
NEELIX: Or happiness and love.
KES: Do you hear something?
(They go back to a side cave with a bright light shining from a
platform at the top of a short flight of steps.)
KES: Look at that. It's beautiful.
NEELIX: It looks like a shrine. Come on, sweeting, we don't want to be
KES: I just want to take a quick look.
(Kes goes up the steps and gets zapped by an energy field. She rolls
back down, unconscious.)
NEELIX: Kes! Kes, can you hear me? Help! Somebody! We need help!
(Torres and Kim are first on the scene.)
TORRES: What happened?
MAGISTRATE: You mustn't be here. This shrine is protected.
NEELIX: She didn't touch anything. She went as far as that archway and
then an energy field knocked her down.
TORRES: Torres to Voyager. We have a medical emergency. Beam Kes and
Neelix directly to sickbay.
CREWMAN [OC]: Yes, Lieutenant.
(Kes and Neelix are beamed out. A pair of monks arrive.)
MAGISTRATE: This is most unfortunate. Please, I must ask you to leave
TORRES: We aren't going anywhere until we find out what happened to
her. What kind of energy was she exposed to?
MAGISTRATE: I have no idea. This is a sacred place. Only the monks
truly understand what happens here.
KIM: Then we'll bring scanning equipment down and investigate for
MAGISTRATE: That's out of the question. It would show disrespect to the
TORRES: One of our crew has been critically injured. We aren't going to
stand by and do nothing.
MAGISTRATE: There's nothing you can do. She's been punished by the
spirits. She's going to die.
TORRES: If you prevent us from helping Kes, we will hold you directly
responsible for anything that happens to her.
KIM: I will make a full report to our Captain. I'm sure you'll be
hearing from her.
MAGISTRATE: I'll be happy to talk to her and do whatever I can to help,
but your presence here only makes a delicate situation worse. Please,
(Janeway enters. Neelix is at Kes' bedside.)
EMH: Her lifesigns are very weak but stable. It appears that her
synaptic pathways have undergone severe neuraleptic shock which is
disrupting all cortical functions. It is similar to a comatose state,
but with none of the usual biochemical markers.
NEELIX: You can cure her, can't you?
EMH: I can't even speculate on a treatment until I know more about what
caused her condition.
JANEWAY: We're working on that. We aren't allowed near the area where
the accident occurred, but Kim and Torres are scanning the sanctuary
from Voyager. They'll report their findings to you. And I have an
appointment to talk to the magistrate. I'm hoping he'll be able to cut
through some of the restrictions the monks have set up.
NEELIX: Excuse me, Captain. I'd like to do something to help.
JANEWAY: The Nechani must have records, some kind of scientific data on
this energy field. Go down to the planet and see what you can find.
NEELIX: (to Kes) I'll be back soon.
MAGISTRATE: Please understand, Captain, I'm caught in a most difficult
situation. I'm an official of the government, not a spiritual leader. I
don't pretend to understand why the spirits do what they do.
JANEWAY: Then perhaps I could talk with the brothers.
MAGISTRATE: I've asked the Nechisti Council to give you an audience,
but I'm afraid they consider the matter closed. They've asked me to
express their sympathies for your loss.
JANEWAY: There is no loss at this point. Kes is still alive. Surely
there's some way to treat her? Can't you insist that the monks meet
MAGISTRATE: We have an agreement with Council. They don't involve
themselves with government and we don't interfere in their spiritual
matters. It's been that way for centuries and it's always worked well
JANEWAY: Then can you tell me what you do know about the sanctuary and
what happens there?
MAGISTRATE: I'll try. That particular shrine is where the monks go to
receive the gift of purification, cleansing of the soul. It is one of
our most holy places.
JANEWAY: You mean the monks can enter it without being harmed.
MAGISTRATE: They prepare themselves with a sacred ritual during which
they speak directly with the Ancestral Spirits. After that they are
able to enter the shrine safely.
JANEWAY: What happens in that ritual? How does it offer protection
against the energy field?
MAGISTRATE: Captain, you seem to want explanations for everything. I
don't have them. Only the brothers who've gone through the ritual know
what happens there, and they're sworn to secrecy.
JANEWAY: The energy field that Kes encountered, is there anyone who
could give me scientific information that would help us analyse it.
MAGISTRATE: All we know is that it is a naturally occurring phenomenon.
JANEWAY: If you're telling me that there's nothing you can do to help
Kes, I simply won't accept that.
MAGISTRATE: If I could help you, I would. I swear it. I blame myself.
If I'd watched more carefully, seen that she was approaching the
shrine. There's nothing more to be done now. You have our sympathy.
JANEWAY: Have Kim and Torres given you a report?
EMH: Yes. I received a fascinating lesson in the challenges of getting
clear scanner readings through solid rock. We were eventually able to
distinguish an intense biogenic field at the site of Kes's accident.
That would certainly explain the neuraleptic shock. She was lucky not
to have been killed instantly.
JANEWAY: As I understand it, the Nechani monks are able to enter the
field without being harmed at all.
EMH: Really? I don't expect they'd care to tell us how.
JANEWAY: No, they wouldn't.
(Neelix enters Sickbay and goes to Kes' bedside.)
EMH: She's not responding to conventional treatments, and frankly I'm
running out of unconventional ideas as well. The level of activity in
her brain is so low I can't rule out the possibility of permanent
damage, even if I can revive her. The longer she stays in this
condition, the less likely it is she'll ever recover.
How is she?
EMH: I'm afraid there's been no change.
NEELIX: I've researched everything I could find about the sacred
shrine. I didn't uncover much scientific evidence, but there was one
story, it was in a very old text, I'm not sure how reliable, about a
boy who recovered from a condition like Kes's. He was a young prince.
He wandered into the shrine accidentally and he went into a death
sleep. Everyone said it was the will of the spirits. His father, King
Nevad, refused to accept that, so he went through the ritual to seek an
audience with the spirits and he pleaded for his son's life. The
spirits in their infinite mercy granted his request. That was the only
trace of hope that I could find.
JANEWAY: Maybe it's enough.
MAGISTRATE [on viewscreen]: Well, you've certainly done your research,
Captain. I'm familiar with the story. I heard it as a child.
JANEWAY: It suggests that there's still a chance for Kes.
MAGISTRATE [on viewscreen]: You're talking about a very specific case.
Nevad was able to claim responsibility for the prince as a father and
as a king. That's why the spirits were willing to listen to him.
JANEWAY: The Captain of a starship is fully responsible for every
member of her crew.
MAGISTRATE [on viewscreen]: So she is.
JANEWAY: And on that basis, I'd like to go through the ritual myself.
JANEWAY: I haven't heard from the Magistrate yet, but he seemed to
think there was a strong possibility the monks would let me go through
CHAKOTAY: Captain, forgive me, but you've never been one to put much
trust in religious ceremonies. Exactly what is it you hope to
JANEWAY: If you're asking if I expect to speak to the Ancestral
Spirits, no, of course not. But something happens to the monks when
they go through the ritual. Something that allows them to withstand the
effects of the biogenic field. I want to find out what that is. It
might provide clues to a treatment.
CHAKOTAY: Some kind of physiological change, maybe.
JANEWAY: That's what I'm guessing. The shamans of the Karis tribe on
Delios Seven practice a ritual that increases the electrical resistance
of their skin. It protects them from plasma discharges in their sacred
caves. Something similar must happen during this ritual.
CHAKOTAY: We'll have to find a way to allow the Doctor to monitor your
physical condition, and you should have a way to call for an emergency
beam out if you need it. As a precaution. We don't have any idea what
the ritual entails.
JANEWAY: I've been reviewing the Federation's cultural database. Most
traditional spirit quest ceremonies involve some kind of physical
challenge or test of endurance to prove the mastery of spirit over
body. My instinct tells me this one will be similar. A series of
ordeals that will result in biochemical changes.
CHAKOTAY: Of course there's always the possibility that the Ancestral
Spirits really do control what happens in the shrine.
JANEWAY: To each his own, Commander, but I imagine if we scratch deep
enough we'd find a scientific basis for most religious doctrines.
CHAKOTAY: I remember when my mother taught me the science underlying
the vision quest. In a way I felt disappointed. Some of the mystery was
gone. Maybe the Nechani have chosen not to lose the mystery.
JANEWAY: Under other circumstances I'd be more than happy to go along
with their choice. Right now, it's killing one of my crew.
KIM [OC]: Bridge to the Captain.
JANEWAY: Janeway here.
Kim [OC]]: You have an incoming message from the Magistrate.
JANEWAY: Put it through to Chakotay's office.
KIM [OC]: Aye, Captain.
MAGISTRATE [on monitor]: I must congratulate you, Captain. Your
creative approach to this problem has fascinated the Nechisti Council.
JANEWAY: Then they've approved my request.
MAGISTRATE [on monitor]: Eagerly. They consider it an honour that you
want to seek the spirits. The ritual traditionally begins at sunset. A
guide will meet you at the entrance to the sanctuary.
JANEWAY: Thank you. I appreciate your efforts.
MAGISTRATE [on monitor]: I have been greatly troubled by your
misfortune, Captain. If you are able to convince the spirits to spare
your friend, no one would be happier than I.
monitor]: Everything seems to be working. The sub-dermal bioprobe will
transmit any changes in your biochemistry.
KIM: And Captain, the implant also contains a homing beacon which we'll
be able to pick up no matter how far into the sanctuary you go. Just
tap it like a comm. badge and we'll transport you immediately.
JANEWAY: Thank you both.
(She goes to the platform. Tuvok offers her a phaser.)
JANEWAY: I don't think that will be necessary.
TUVOK: It is standard procedure to carry arms on an away mission,
particularly when you don't know what to expect.
JANEWAY: This is strictly an information gathering mission. I don't
want to appear hostile. Energise.
walk past, ignoring Janeway. Nearby, a woman is working on a blinking
light in an alcove. Janeway takes out her tricorder and starts
GUIDE: I don't suppose you know anything about chromodynamic lights?
JANEWAY: No, not really. I suppose I could look at it.
GUIDE: They're as fussy as tarchee cats. You tune them too high, they
burn out. You tune them too low, they sputter. I've told the monks to
replace them all with neodyne lights, it would save hours of repair
work. That device you've got, what is that?
JANEWAY: It's called a tricorder.
GUIDE: A tricorder. What exactly does a tricorder do?
JANEWAY: It's a scanning device.
GUIDE: Interesting. May I? Ah, atmospheric reading, energy field
analysis, full technical database. This is certainly a convenient thing
(The guide puts in in her robe pocket.)
JANEWAY: Oh, I'd didn't mean for you to keep it. I'll need that back.
GUIDE: Oh no, you won't.
JANEWAY: You're my guide.
GUIDE: Guide, advisor, spiritual companion. Whatever term you prefer is
fine with me.
JANEWAY: Why didn't you say something earlier?
GUIDE: Shall we get started?
(She leads Janeway down the tunnels. Two young women approach and touch
GUIDE: It's all right, Kathryn.
(Janeway allows them to unpin her bun and remove her uniform. Once she
is naked, they paint designs on her face and body, then put a simple
brown robe on her.)
JANEWAY: Would it be breaking any vows of secrecy now to tell me what
this ritual will involve?
GUIDE: why do you think I know?
JANEWAY: Haven't you been through this before?
GUIDE: Don't worry, I'll help you find your way. Tell me, have you
completely committed yourself to this journey?
GUIDE: You're willing to go through what the monks have been doing for
centuries to help them find the spirits?
GUIDE: So you can send biochemical data back to you ship. No, it wasn't
magic. Our bioscanners detected the microprobe under your skin.
JANEWAY: I hope that won't be a problem.
GUIDE: Makes no difference at all. You are fond of your little devices,
JANEWAY: They've always served me well.
GUIDE: I'm sure they have. Please, come this way.
are pensioners sitting on a bench by the wall.)
OLD MAN 1: Who are you?
JANEWAY: I'm Kathryn Janeway. Is this where the ritual begins?
OLD MAN 2: Oh, the ritual. Yes.
OLD WOMAN: We're waiting. Come, join us.
JANEWAY: What exactly are you waiting for?
OLD MAN 2: Just waiting.
JANEWAY: How long have you been sitting here?
OLD MAN 2: How long has it been?
OLD MAN 1: Why are your asking me? I've lost track.
OLD MAN 2: It's been a while. I know that.
OLD WOMAN: Oh, it's been as long as we can remember.
JANEWAY: Are you telling me I have to wait a lifetime before I can go
through the ritual?
OLD MAN 1: I didn't hear anyone say that, did you?
OLD MAN 2: Certainly not. All we said was that we're waiting.
JANEWAY: I'm just trying to understand how this works. The monks I saw
in the sanctuary were young. They couldn't have waited such a long time
to go through their rituals.
OLD WOMAN: She's right about that, you know.
OLD MAN 2: She's a smart one.
OLD MAN 1: She thinks she is, at any rate.
JANEWAY: This is a test of some kind, isn't it. To prove my
OLD WOMAN: A test? She thinks we're a test. What is she talking about?
OLD MAN 2: She must like tests. I suppose tests make sense to her.
JANEWAY: Has anyone ever tried to open this door?
OLD MAN 1: How many times do we have to tell you that we are waiting?
OLD WOMAN: My dear, why don't you just sit down and relax? You're much
OLD MAN 2: You're welcome to wait with us.
JANEWAY: I don't want to wait. I have a friend who's depending on me. I
have to go through the ritual.
OLD MAN 1: I wonder if she's always this impatient.
OLD MAN 2: Oh, she's just determined. She wants to get on with it.
OLD WOMAN: Seems to me she could be friendly and sit for a few minutes.
OLD MAN 2: Oh no, she knows what she wants to do. She's not the kind to
sit around when she has a mission to accomplish.
(Janeway tries to open the door at the other end of the room.)
OLD MAN 1: I told you. I told you it was locked.
(Janeway knocks on the door three times and it opens.)
JANEWAY: I mean no disrespect, but unless there's something I'm
supposed to accomplish here, I'd like to continue with the ritual.
GUIDE: By all means.
lead up to a platform.)
JANEWAY: I'm not sure how to begin.
GUIDE: Do you want me to give you orders, Captain?
JANEWAY: I'll do whatever you ask of me.
GUIDE: I see. So you think this is just a matter of doing what you're
JANEWAY: No. I'm sure there's spiritual significance behind the
GUIDE: Challenges. That's what you expect?
JANEWAY: I don't have any idea what to expect. I've studied a number of
ritualistic societies and many of the rites have commonalities. This
one may be completely different. I'm willing to do whatever is
GUIDE: I don't doubt that. But do you realise that all of this is
meaningless. That the only thing that matters is finding your
connection to the spirits.
JANEWAY: I'm going to make every effort to do that. But I didn't come
here for personal enlightenment. I'm trying to save a member of my
GUIDE: That's a worthy cause. I hope the spirits listen to you. Then
let's begin. The first challenge. Stand like this.
(Right foot slightly in front of the left, knees bent.)
GUIDE: Hold that. (up at eye level) Now, what do you see in your hands?
JANEWAY: I see a stone.
GUIDE: Keep looking.
Her respiration and pulse have remained steady, but there's been a
gradual build up of lactic acid in her extensor muscles over the last
CHAKOTAY: What does that mean? Is she in danger?
EMH: Not at all. She's probably experiencing light strain. What you'd
expect in an endurance ritual.
CHAKOTAY: Then there's nothing so far that would suggest a treatment
EMH: It's too early to tell. I'm downloading every iota of information
from the bioprobe sensors into a physiometric programme which is
analysing the data. Even the smallest physiological change may prove
significant. We can't discount anything.
strain of holding up the large stone is telling on Janeway.)
GUIDE: What do you see now?
JANEWAY: I still see a stone.
(Later, it is finger-painting.)
JANEWAY: I guess you're not going to tell me what I'm supposed to draw.
GUIDE: That would be too easy, wouldn't it? It's up to you. Draw
whatever feels right.
JANEWAY: I've never been able to draw. My sister was the artist in the
GUIDE: And you were the scientist.
JANEWAY: It's true. When other children were outside playing games I
was doing mathematics problems.
GUIDE: Mathematics. I can see why you enjoyed it. Solve a problem, get
an answer. The answer's either right or wrong. It's very absolute.
JANEWAY: I've always found that satisfying.
GUIDE: I'm sure you did.
(Next it is rock-climbing over a chasm, then we are back to holding the
stone, which is glowing for Janeway.)
GUIDE: What did you see?
JANEWAY: I'm not sure.
GUIDE: Describe it.
NEELIX: What? What is it? What have you found?
EMH: There have been significant increases in the Captain's
respiration, neuropeptides and adenosine triphosphate levels.
NEELIX: Is that bad?
EMH: It certainly suggests she's going through a gruelling experience.
But it's the neuropeptides that are interesting. The saturations have
risen to quite an abnormal level.
NEELIX: Is that good or bad?
EMH: I can't say it's either so far as the Captain's concerned, but it
certainly seems a substantial piece of information. Neuropeptide levels
this high could well create a natural barrier to biogenic energy.
NEELIX: So you have something that will help Kes.
EMH: Not yet, but it's the first piece of data that allows me even to
formulate a hypothesis.
NEELIX: It should be me going through all that! I was the one who let
Kes get hurt in the first place.
EMH: Mister Neelix, you're wallowing.
NEELIX: I'm wallowing?
EMH: In useless remorse. I'll have to ask you to stop, it's bad for the
NEELIX: It's just frustrating to be so helpless.
EMH: If it's any consolation, Mister Neelix, I do understand.
JANEWAY: I'm exhausted. Oh, thank you.
(The guide gives her a cup of water.)
GUIDE: Your microprobe should be transmitting all kinds of interesting
information back to the ship.
JANEWAY: What is that?
(Something hisses in a basket.)
GUIDE: It's a nesset. They're able to travel from this world into the
spirit realm. They serve as gatekeepers.
JANEWAY: Gatekeepers? Then I'm ready to enter the spirit realm?
GUIDE: Do you think you're ready?
JANEWAY: Yes, I do.
GUIDE: Then you are. Go ahead, put your hand in.
(Janeway reaches towards the basket, and the thing inside hisses and
GUIDE: We can stop right now if you like.
JANEWAY: No, I'm not quitting.
(Janeway puts her hand through the slit in the top of the basket, and
gets bitten. She pulls her hand out with a cry. There are three large
puncture wounds on the inside of her elbow.)
GUIDE: Don't be afraid.
JANEWAY: Oh, it's burning. Oh, my chest, very tight.
(Janeway faints, and remembers what she has been through so far.)
KES [OC]: Captain. Captain.
(Janeway is lying in a sarcophagus-like chamber at the top of the
JANEWAY: I'm dying.
GUIDE: Everyone dies eventually.
(The lid closes over her.)
CHAKOTAY: It's been three days since she had any sleep. How long are we
going to let her go through this?
EMH: I understand your concern, Commander, but I must point out that
her vital signs are stable. She seems to be in no immediate danger.
CHAKOTAY: She's been poisoned by some unknown toxin. It may be having
an effect we can't gauge. It could lie dormant for a few days and then
suddenly fluctuate and kill her in minutes.
EMH: You seem to be implying that I'm not paying attention. I assure
you I am monitoring her constantly. If I thought she were in jeopardy I
TUVOK: Doctor, is there anything that might be preventing her from
using the homing signal in her implant?
EMH: Not that I'm aware of. She's fully conscious and has complete
motor control. If she wanted to transport she could signal us.
CHAKOTAY: Are you getting enough meaningful information to justify her
continuing this ordeal?
EMH: I am getting some remarkable data. Her entire biochemistry is
undergoing a series of unique interactions. Look. This amino acid has
been formed as a result of the breakdown of the toxin in her blood
stream. It's affecting the normal flow of neurotransmitters and very
likely having an hallucinogenic effect.
TUVOK: Is she delusional?
EMH: I think she's experiencing the Nechani version of a psychoactive
CHAKOTAY: Then is it possible she's in no condition to activate the
EMH: I don't believe that's the case, and I strongly suspect this
biochemical change is going to give us the answers we need. The toxin
in her bloodstream may very well be the key to getting a treatment for
TUVOK: Commander, the decision is ultimately yours, of course. However,
I believe it would be the Captain's desire to complete the ritual.
CHAKOTAY: All right, we'll leave her there for now, but I'm not moving
from this monitor until she gets back.
rolling onto a rocky shore with a cliff behind Janeway.)
JANEWAY: What is this? An hallucination?
GUIDE: I'm only here to serve as a voice, an interpreter for the
JANEWAY: I see. If there are other beings here, could I see them
GUIDE: You mean you want proof that we exist.
JANEWAY: That would be helpful.
GUIDE: It's irrelevant.
JANEWAY: I don't want to be disrespectful. I've gone through every part
of the ritual that I've been asked to.
GUIDE: Everything you've gone through is meaningless. You've been told
JANEWAY: I know. I just want to bring this to completion, to make my
GUIDE: Then by all means do so.
JANEWAY: I cite the story of King Nevad as precedent. In the same way
he pleaded for his son, I ask that Kes be restored to health.
GUIDE: Your request is inconsequential. You have what you need to save
sarcophagus lid opens, and Janeway wakes.)
GUIDE: Welcome back.
JANEWAY: How long?
GUIDE: Does that matter?
JANEWAY: I'd like to know.
GUIDE: Thirty nine hours. You must take care of yourself. Your body's
JANEWAY: I guess the physical conditioning programmes on the holodeck
didn't quite prepare me for this.
GUIDE: Has it been worthwhile?
JANEWAY: I think so. I was told that I had what I needed to save Kes.
GUIDE: Then it must be true. The spirits would not deceive you.
(The guide hands over Janeway's uniform.)
GUIDE: Whenever you're ready.
JANEWAY: Thank you.
You could use a good night's sleep and a solid meal, but otherwise
you're in good shape.
JANEWAY: When can you begin treating Kes?
EMH: Right away. The ritual may have been arduous for you, Captain, but
it was certainly worthwhile. As I suspected, the toxin was the key.
That's what produces the natural immunity the Nechani monks acquire
before they enter the biogenic field.
CHAKOTAY: How does that translate into a cure for Kes?
EMH: I've created a physiometric programme to analyse the immune
mechanism and develop a treatment regimen.
JANEWAY: Then let's get started.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, if you'll excuse me, I'm probably more useful on the
bridge right now.
EMH: I'll carry out the treatment in stages to reduce the physical
stress from the metabolic changes.
(A monitor starts beeping.)
NEELIX: What's that? Is something wrong?
EMH: I don't believe so. Hmm, her electrolyte balance is deviating, but
that's not entirely unexpected.
NEELIX: It isn't.
NEELIX: What does that mean? Hmm? What?
EMH: Mister Neelix, if you keep on pestering me with questions I won't
be able to concentrate on what I'm doing.
NEELIX: Something is wrong!
JANEWAY: What is it, Doctor?
EMH: Her cardiac functions are being disrupted. I don't understand it.
Lectrazine should counteract the disruptions. This is baffling. Her
biochemical levels are exactly what they need to be to correct the
damage. She should be awake and alert.
NEELIX: Why isn't she?
EMH: I can't explain it. Her vital signs are unstable. I have to
discontinue treatment. I don't understand it.
NEELIX: Can't we try again?
EMH: It's too dangerous.
JANEWAY: Do you have any other options?
EMH: No. I'm sorry, Captain, but it appears that everything you went
through was meaningless.
JANEWAY: You meant what you said, didn't you? Everything I went through
JANEWAY: I did everything you asked of me. You led me to believe that
would allow me to help Kes.
GUIDE: I haven't led you anywhere, Kathryn. You've taken me along
wherever you wanted to go. This was your ritual. You set these
challenges for yourself.
JANEWAY: It's true that I came here with certain expectations. Are you
saying that you simply fulfilled my expectations?
GUIDE: You'd have settled for nothing else.
JANEWAY: I'm not ready to give up. If there's still a way to save Kes I
want to try.
GUIDE: You've come back to seek the spirits.
JANEWAY: I don't know what I'm seeking.
GUIDE: Then I believe you are ready to begin.
into the brown robe.)
OLD MAN 1: Well, look who's come back. So, your little adventure didn't
quite work out the way you'd planned it. You put yourself through a lot
of trouble and for nothing, didn't you.
OLD MAN 2: Oh, don't feel bad. You wouldn't believe some of the things
people have done to themselves on their way to seek the spirits.
JANEWAY: There is no real ritual after all.
OLD MAN 2: Real is such a relative term. Most of the challenges in life
are the ones we create for ourselves.
OLD WOMAN: And you are particularly hard on yourself, aren't you.
JANEWAY: I've always been driven to succeed.
OLD MAN 1: Stubborn, I'd say. You didn't really consider sitting and
waiting with us, did you?
JANEWAY: Well, I'm here now and I'm asking for your help. I want to
understand the purpose of waiting in this room.
OLD WOMAN: But isn't it enough to sit and be sociable? We're good
JANEWAY: That's what I'm supposed to do. Talk to the Ancestral Spirits.
OLD WOMAN: First we were a test, and now we're the Ancestral Spirits.
JANEWAY: Are you?
OLD MAN 1: That would be nice and quantifiable for you, wouldn't it. If
the spirits were something you could see and touch and scan with your
OLD MAN 2: If you can explain everything, what's left to believe in?
JANEWAY: I know it's an important part of your religion to trust the
spirits without question, but I wasn't brought up that way. It's hard
for me to accept.
OLD MAN 1: So much for your tolerant open-minded Starfleet ideals.
JANEWAY: There's a difference between respecting the spiritual beliefs
of other cultures and embracing them myself.
OLD MAN 1: Fine. Don't embrace a thing. It's all the same to us. Go on
back to your ship and play with your molecular microscanner.
OLD WOMAN: You've tried all that already, but it didn't work, did it.
Kes didn't get better.
JANEWAY: No, she didn't.
OLD WOMAN: Why not?
JANEWAY: The Doctor couldn't explain it.
OLD WOMAN: So it's inexplicable. A miraculous non-recovery.
JANEWAY: We haven't found the reason yet.
OLD WOMAN: But of course you will. You'll find all the answers
eventually, with enough time and study, and the right sort of tools.
That's what you believe isn't it as a scientist?
OLD MAN 1: Be honest.
JANEWAY: Yes, that's what I've always believed.
OLD MAN 2: Even when her science fails right before her eyes she still
has full confidence in it. Now there's a leap of faith.
OLD WOMAN: Unconditional trust. Now that's promising.
JANEWAY: All right. If you're saying that science won't help Kes, what
OLD MAN 1: You won't like it.
JANEWAY: I'm willing to do whatever's necessary.
OLD MAN 1: Kill her. She's as good as dead already, finish the job!
Give her another jolt of that what do you call it, biogenic field.
OLD WOMAN: That would do it.
JANEWAY: It would do what, exactly.
OLD MAN 1: There you go again, always looking for a rational
explanation. Well there isn't one. Your orbital scans and medical
research have given you the facts, and they tell you the biogenic field
OLD WOMAN: If you believe the facts.
OLD MAN 2: Let all of that go, Kathryn. Take Kes back into the shrine
and trust the spirits to return her soul.
JANEWAY: The ritual I went through is meaningless, and Kes has done
nothing to prepare herself. How could either of us be ready to go
through the field?
OLD MAN 2: If you believe you're ready, then you are. There's no more
to it than that.
OLD MAN 1: But if you go in with any doubt, with any hesitation, then
you're both dead. So, what are you going to do, Captain?
JANEWAY: You know I won't stand by and watch Kes die if there's
anything I can do to save her. I want to believe it's possible. I'm
going to try.
[OC]: Janeway to Chakotay.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, we've been worried about you.
JANEWAY [OC]: I'm all right. I want you to beam Kes down here to the
CHAKOTAY: Acknowledged. I'll bring her down myself. Chakotay to
sickbay. Doctor, prepare Kes for transport.
EMH [OC]: Understood.
(Chakotay and Neelix beam down with Kes on a biobed.)
CHAKOTAY: The Doctor says her life signs are deteriorating. He almost
wouldn't let us take her out of sickbay.
NEELIX: Have you found a way to help her?
JANEWAY: Yes, I have. I'm taking her back into the biogenic field.
NEELIX: I hate to question you, Captain, but why?
JANEWAY: I believe it will save her life.
CHAKOTAY: You have some new information on the effects of the field?
JANEWAY: I can't explain it to you.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, you've been through a lot in the past few days.
JANEWAY: I know what I'm doing.
CHAKOTAY: Are you sure of that? There are eight hundred megajoules of
biogenic energy running through that shrine. The thoron radiation
levels are off the scale. That's what you'd be taking yourself and her
into. Why don't you take some time to think about this and let us run a
few more scans.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, this isn't like you.
NEELIX: You know you'll always have my gratitude for everything you've
done to save Kes, but I couldn't and I know she couldn't ask you to
risk your own life like this. There are too many other people who need
CHAKOTAY: He's right. It's my responsibility to keep you safe, for the
crew's sake if not for your own. I'd rather not have to relieve you of
duty, but if your judgment's been impaired in any way.
GUIDE: He can't really do that, can he?
JANEWAY: Yes, he can.
GUIDE: I suppose it might be necessary if the Captain of a ship were
really mentally impaired, but you're not crazy, Kathryn, you know that.
NEELIX: These are the same people who were willing to let Kes die just
for disturbing their shrine. Can you take their word for it that you'll
be safe in there?
GUIDE: I can't give you my word on that. Nobody knows what will happen
to them in the shrine until they go in. I don't know the answers. But
CHAKOTAY: Captain, I don't understand this.
JANEWAY: Neither do I. That's the challenge.
(Janeway takes Kes in her arms and walks up the steps. She pauses at
the top then steps forward into the energy field. It flares around them
then vanishes, and Kes wakes.)
(Janeway sits and listens to the EMH's technobabble explanation.)
EMH: The tricorder readings Commander Chakotay took at the shrine
revealed traces of iridium ions, which we could have known about sooner
if we'd been permitted to take those readings in the first place.
KES: And iridium ions are significant?
EMH: They caused a temporary dielectric effect in the outer epidermal
layers which neutralised some of the biogenic energy. Not much, but
enough to make the Captain's altered biochemistry an effective defence.
KES: Then how was I cured?
EMH: The metabolic treatment I administered protected you against the
full impact of exposure to the field when the Captain took you through.
That exposure functioned like a natural cortical stimulator and
reactivated your synaptic pathways.
KES: That's fascinating, Doctor.
EMH: Captain? If there's something about my analysis you disagree with.
JANEWAY: It's a perfectly sound explanation, Doctor. Very scientific.
(Janeway leaves Sickbay.)