Flashback
Stardate: 50126.4
Original Airdate: November 9, 1996

[Mess Hall]

(Neelix is pouring an orange drink.)
NEELIX: Anthraxic citrus peel, orange juice with just a hint of papalla seed extract. An experimental blend.
TUVOK: The success rate of your culinary experiments has not been high.
NEELIX: Ensign Golwat tried some yesterday, and she thought it was delicious. In fact, she had a second glass, and she never has seconds.
TUVOK: Ensign Golwat is Bolian. Her tongue has a cartilaginous lining. It would protect her against even the most corrosive acid.
NEELIX: All I ask is that you try it, Mister Vulcan.
(
Tuvok sniffs and sips.)
TUVOK: Impressive.
NEELIX: Ah! I'll start squeezing that second glass. Breakfast is coming right up. Porakan eggs.
TUVOK: Porakan?
NEELIX: The most flavourful eggs in the sector. Scrambled with a little dill weed, a touch of rengazo, a galactic favourite. Now, these eggs were not easy to prepare. After we picked them up on Porakas Four, I had to sterilise them in a cryostatic chamber for three days. Then each and every one had to be parboiled
TUVOK: Mister Neelix, I would prefer not to hear the life history of my breakfast.
NEELIX: On Talax it's a tradition to share the history of a meal before you begin eating. It's a way of enhancing the culinary experience. My mother was brilliant. She could make every course, every garnish come alive by making it a character in a story. My favourite was the one about the crustacean who
(Flames surge up around the egg pan, setting the contents alight. Neelix quickly smothers it with a lid.)
TUVOK: What happened?
NEELIX: Er, some sort of power overload. I'm afraid it decimated your breakfast. This is what my mother would call a tragic ending.
TUVOK: Engineering has been making adjustments to the plasma conduits to accommodate a new energy source. It may have created a thermal surge in the galley systems.
JANEWAY [OC]: Janeway to Tuvok. Please report to the bridge. Mister Neelix, I'd like you to join us as well.
NEELIX: Aye, Captain.

Captain's log, stardate 50126.4. We have detected a gaseous anomaly that contains sirillium, a highly combustible and versatile energy source. We've altered course to investigate.

[Bridge]

NEELIX: Sirillium?
JANEWAY: Yes, and possibly large amounts of it. If so, we're going to need to stockpile as much as we can. I'd like to convert storage bay three into a containment chamber.
NEELIX: My pantry.
JANEWAY: I'm sorry, Neelix. You're going to have to make other arrangements.
NEELIX: Of course, Captain. You know, if I injected sirillium into my thermal array, it might improve cooking time.
TORRES: Yes, and blow up half your kitchen in the process. Sirillium is far more useful as a warp plasma catalyst.
TUVOK: The gas can also be used to boost deflector shield efficiency.
CHAKOTAY: The vultures are circling.
JANEWAY: Well, there's certainly no shortage of good ideas. Have all department heads submit proposals for sirillium usage.
CHAKOTAY: Aye, Captain.
TUVOK: The anomaly is within visual range.
JANEWAY: On screen.
(This one is blue, not purple.)
JANEWAY: Analysis, Mister Kim.
KIM: It's a class seventeen nebula. I'm detecting standard amounts of hydrogen, and helium, and seven thousand parts per million of sirillium.
TORRES: Captain, I recommend we use the Bussard collectors to gather the sirillium. They'll cut through that nebula like ice cream scoops.
PARIS: I'm picking up a lot of plasmatic turbulence in there. It might be a bumpy ride.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, can you modify the shields to compensate?
(Tuvok's breath is shallow and his hands are twitching.)
JANEWAY: Tuvok.
CHAKOTAY: Are you all right, Lieutenant?
TUVOK: I don't know. I'm experiencing dizziness and disorientation. Permission to go to sickbay.
JANEWAY: Granted.

[Turbolift]

TUVOK: Deck five.
GIRL [OC]: Help me! Tuvok!

[Precipice]

(A girl is hanging over a big drop. A young Tuvok is trying to save her.)
GIRL: Help me, Tuvok! Please don't let go! Tuvok! Don't let me fall!
(Tuvok staggers along the corridor.)
GIRL: No!
(Her fingers slip from young Tuvok's grasp and she falls.)

[Sickbay]

(Tuvok enters and collapses, eyes staring. Later, Janeway is present while the EMH scans Tuvok.)
TUVOK: I was holding a young girl by the hand, tying to prevent her from falling from a precipice. I was unable to keep my grip, and she fell to her death. And there is more. I had an emotional response anxiety, fear. An almost irrational anger at myself for letting her fall.
KES: When did that happen?
TUVOK: It never happened. The girl was unfamiliar, and I've never been in that situation. It was me as a child, and it did seem like a memory, but I don't recall the incident.
EMH: Well, it was definitely a traumatic episode. Your heart rate accelerated to three hundred beats per minute. Your adrenaline levels rose by one hundred thirteen percent and your neuroelectrical readings nearly jumped off the scale. If you were human, I'd say you had a severe panic attack.
TUVOK: I am not human.
EMH: No kidding. I don't know what happened to you, but there can be any number of explanations. Hallucination, telepathic communication from another race, repressed memory, momentary contact with a parallel reality. Take your pick. The universe is such a strange place.
JANEWAY: I'll have Mister Kim examine the sensor logs. Maybe our proximity to the nebula is affecting you somehow.
EMH: In the meantime, Lieutenant, you are free to go. All of your vital signs have returned to normal, and I don't see any residual systemic damage. But I want you to wear this neurocortical monitor. In case you have another episode, it'll record a complete encephalographic profile and alert sickbay at the same time.
(The EMH places the device behind Tuvok's left ear.)
TUVOK: A wise precaution, Doctor. Thank you.

[Tuvok's quarters]

(Tuvok has lit candles and is using bizarre building blocks.)
TUVOK: Structure, logic, function, control. A structure cannot stand without a foundation. Logic is the foundation of function. Function is the essence of control. I am in control. I am in control.
(But the house of not-cards collapses, then the doorbell chimes.)
TUVOK: Enter. Kes. What is it?
KES: The doctor wanted me to adjust your neurocortical monitor to pick up additional peptide readings. I can come back later if this is a bad time.
TUVOK: No. You may proceed.
KES: What are you working on?
TUVOK: It is called a keethara.
KES: Keethara. What does that mean?
TUVOK: The approximate translation is structure of harmony. It is used as a meditational aid. Building it requires precise balance and spatial acuity. It helps to focus thought and refine mental control.
KES: At the moment, it doesn't look very harmonious.
TUVOK: No, it does not.
KES: I'm curious. What does a keethara look like when it's done?
TUVOK: The form is not predefined. It is a reflection of the builder's state of mind. Thus, it is different each time.
KES: I'd like to see it when it's finished. Well, good night.
TUVOK: Kes.
KES: It's all right. I understand.
(Kes leaves.)
TUVOK: Structure, logic, function, control. A structure cannot stand without a foundation. Logic is the foundation of function. Function is the essence of control. I am in control. I am in control.

[Corridor]

CHAKOTAY: So how are you feeling this morning?
TUVOK: If you are referring to yesterday's incident, I haven't experienced any further problems. I am fit for duty.
CHAKOTAY: I didn't ask because I'm concerned about your ability to perform, I'm concerned about you.
TUVOK: There is no need for concern.
CHAKOTAY: Sorry I asked.
TUVOK: My apologies, Commander. I am distracted. I spent fourteen hours last night in deep meditation, trying to determine the source of my aberrant behaviour. I could not.
CHAKOTAY: Maybe you should try to forget about it for a while. I've found that when you don't think about a problem, sometimes the solution comes to you.

[Engineering]

TUVOK: It is difficult to forget when you're wearing a neurocortical monitor on your parietal bone.
CHAKOTAY: Good point. Mister Kim?
KIM: I checked all the sensor logs. There's no sign of anything emanating from the nebula that would have affected Tuvok or Voyager.
CHAKOTAY: Anything unusual about the nebula itself?
KIM: No, it's a standard class seventeen.
TUVOK: I suggest we conduct a tachyon sweep of the nebula. It would reveal the presence of any cloaked ships.
CHAKOTAY: Cloaked ships?
TUVOK: Yes. We should be extremely cautious this close to Klingon space.
TORRES: Tuvok, the Klingon Empire is on the other side of the galaxy.
TUVOK: Yes. Yes, you are right, of course. I'm uncertain why I would make such an obvious error.
CHAKOTAY: Maybe you should go back to Sickbay. Tuvok?
(Tuvok is back at the cliff.)
GIRL [memory]: Help me, Tuvok! Please don't let go! No!
(Chakotay catches Tuvok as he falls. The neurocortical monitor is going crazy.)

[Sickbay]

EMH: I think we may be dealing with a repressed memory. The memory engrams in the dorsal region of the hippocampus are being disrupted. It's causing physical damage to the surrounding tissue. In Vulcan medicine, this is known as t'lokan schism. It means that the subject is inhibiting a traumatic memory, which is beginning to resurface.
JANEWAY: And that's causing brain damage?
EMH: Strange, I know. In human subjects, repressed memories are nothing more than psychological traumas which can be dealt with, with standard therapeutic techniques. But in Vulcans, there is a physical reaction to the battle between the conscious and the unconscious. In extreme cases, the mind of the patient can literally lobotomise itself.
JANEWAY: What's the treatment?
EMH: There is no medical treatment for this condition. Vulcan psychocognitive research suggests that the patient initiate a mind-meld with a family member, and the two of them attempt to bring the repressed memory into the conscious mind.
JANEWAY: I'm the closest thing Tuvok has to a family member on this ship.
EMH: That's why I've asked you to come. He has a request to make of you.
(Tuvok is on a biobed, meditating.)
TUVOK: Did the doctor explain the situation to you?
JANEWAY: Yes. Tuvok, are you sure it's the right thing to do?
TUVOK: I don't know how else to proceed. The doctor tells me that this is a memory. And yet, no matter how hard I try, I cannot remember. If the doctor is correct, if this is an experience I pushed into my unconscious mind, it could be very dangerous to me, even life-threatening. I realise it's asking a great deal of you, Captain, and I did consider turning to one of the Vulcans on the ship, but this meld would be more intimate than most. A family member is normally chosen because of the implicit trust that usually exists. On this ship, I trust you more than anyone else.
JANEWAY: Whatever happens, I'll be there for you, Tuvok. I'll help you get through this.
TUVOK: I will initiate the meld and attempt to access the memory fragment. Once that has been accomplished, you will act as my pyllora.
JANEWAY: Your pyllora?
TUVOK: My guide, my counsellor. You will help me reconstruct the memory in its entirety. And as I am reliving it, you will help me to objectify the experience. By processing the experience, rather than repressing it, I can begin to overcome my fear, anger and the other emotional responses, and to reintegrate the memory into my conscious mind.
JANEWAY: When I'm in your memory, will I actually be reliving it with you?
TUVOK: No. I will be the only one who notices your presence. You will be an observer in the memory, but not a participant. This will give you the freedom to guide me objectively.
JANEWAY: When do we start?
TUVOK: I will need time to prepare. Please return in one hour.
(One hour later, Tuvok and Janeway are sitting opposite each other in chairs, in the surgery bay. Janeway is also wearing a monitor.)
EMH: We're ready when you are, Captain.
TUVOK: Your mind to my mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts. I am taking us back, back to the boy that I was, the boy lying on the precipice.

[Excelsior bridge]

(Under attack. The crew are wearing 23rd century Federation uniforms. Welcome to the Undiscovered Country.)
SULU: Return fire!
VALTANE: They've knocked out our targeting scanners.
SULU: Damage report. Seal that conduit!
RAND: Hull breach on deck twelve, section forty seven. We've lost power on decks five, six and ten. Casualty reports coming in. Nineteen wounded.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, can you see me?
TUVOK: Yes.
JANEWAY: Where are we?
TUVOK: My first deep space assignment aboard the Excelsior.
JANEWAY: Why did you bring us here?
TUVOK: I did not intend to.
JANEWAY: Can you take us to the precipice? The girl?
TUVOK: That is precisely what I attempted to do.
JANEWAY: There must be some reason why your mind brought us here. Maybe this memory is connected to the girl in some way. How long ago is this?
TUVOK: Stardate 9521, approximately eighty years ago.
JANEWAY: Who were you fighting?
TUVOK: The Klingons.
JANEWAY: Klingons. Before you collapsed in Engineering, you thought we were approaching Klingon space. Why are you fighting Klingons?
TUVOK: This battle was precipitated by an incident that took place three days earlier.

[Gamma shift crew quarters]

RAND: All right, gamma shift, time to defend the Federation against gaseous anomalies.
JANEWAY: Gaseous anomalies. We were charting a gaseous anomaly on Voyager.
TUVOK: And that's when my problem began.
JANEWAY: That's more than a coincidence.
RAND: How are you this morning, Ensign?
TUVOK: I am well, Commander. Thank you.
RAND: I thought you might like to see some of this morning's com traffic before you went on duty. There's a message from the Yorktown I think you might be interested in. It's from your father.
TUVOK: Thank you.
RAND: You're not going to have time to drink that, you know. You're due on the bridge in five minutes.
TUVOK: It's not for me. It's for the Captain. I've observed that Captain Sulu drinks a cup of tea each morning. I thought he might enjoy a Vulcan blend.
RAND: Oh, I see. Trying to make Lieutenant in your first month? I wish I'd have thought of that when I was your age. Took me three years just to make Ensign.
TUVOK: I assure you, I have no ulterior motive.
RAND: Whatever you say, Ensign. See you on the bridge.
JANEWAY: You've never brought me tea.

[Excelsior bridge]

(Tuvok pours his tea into Sulu's gold rimmed USS-2000 cup, and he tastes it.)
SULU: Outstanding. I may have to give you a promotion.
TUVOK: That was not my motivation, Captain. I am not attempting to curry favour with you in any way.
SULU: Mister Tuvok, if you're going to remain on my ship, you're going to have to learn how to appreciate a joke. And don't tell me Vulcans don't have a sense of humour, because I know better.
TUVOK: I will work on it, sir.
SULU: Very good. And thanks again.
JANEWAY: He doesn't look anything like his portrait at Starfleet Headquarters.
TUVOK: In the twenty third century, holographic imaging resolution was less accurate.
JANEWAY: This is a science station, isn't it?
TUVOK: Yes. I am one of several junior science officers.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, why doesn't your service record reflect any of this? I thought your first assignment was aboard the Wyoming.
TUVOK: It's a long story, Captain, but suffice it to say, this was my first Starfleet career. I was twenty nine years old.
JANEWAY: So what's happening? Are we about to encounter the Klingons?
TUVOK: Not exactly. The Klingon moon Praxis is about to explode.
JANEWAY: Praxis.
TUVOK: During this period, it was a primary source of energy for the Klingon Homeworld.
JANEWAY: Praxis. Yes. Its destruction would have lasting repercussions throughout the quadrant, and it led to the first Federation-Klingon peace treaty.
TUVOK: That is correct.
JANEWAY: But what does all this have to do with the girl on the precipice?
(The ship shakes. Sulu's cup shudders its way off the small 'table' and smashes on the floor.)
VALTANE: I have an energy wave at two hundred and four degrees mark six port, sir.
(Subtitles say 240 degrees.)
SULU: Visual. My God!
(A purple shockwave is heading towards them.)
SULU: Shields! Shields!
(Impact. Everyone is thrown to the deck.)
HELMSMAN: (Russian) She is not answering the helm!
SULU: Starboard thrusters! Turn her into the wave!
HELMSMAN: Aye, sir.
SULU: Quarter impulse power. Damage report.
CREWMAN: Checking all systems, Captain.
(The wave passes on, leaving them.)
SULU: Don't tell me that was any meteor shower.
VALTANE: Negative, sir. The subspace shock wave originated at bearing three two three, mark seven five. Location. It's Praxis, sir. It's a Klingon moon.
SULU: Praxis is their key energy production facility.
JANEWAY: So what happened? Did you go to Praxis?
TUVOK: No. We were warned off by the Klingons, and resumed our survey mission. However, two days later, we learned that two Starfleet officers were accused of murdering the Klingon Chancellor. They were brought back to the Klingon Homeworld to stand trial. Captain Sulu had served under both officers for many years, and he felt an intense loyalty to them.
SULU: Helm, set a course for Kronos, maximum warp. Take us through the Azure Nebula. That should conceal our approach.
HELMSMAN: Aye, sir.
JANEWAY: I don't get it. What's going on?
TUVOK: He is about to attempt a rescue of Captain Kirk and Doctor McCoy. As you can see, everyone seemed perfectly willing to go along with this breach of orders. However, I felt differently.
TUVOK: Captain, am I correct in assuming that you have decided to embark on a rescue mission?
SULU: That's right. Do you have a problem with that, Ensign?
TUVOK: I do. It is a direct violation of our orders from Starfleet Command, and it could precipitate an armed conflict between the Klingon Empire and the Federation.
SULU: Objection noted. Resume your station.
TUVOK: Sir, as a Starfleet officer, it is my duty to formally protest.
RAND: Tuvok!
SULU: A pretty bold statement for an Ensign with only two months space duty under his belt.
TUVOK: I am aware of my limited experience, but I am also very much aware of Starfleet regulations and my obligation to carry them out.
RAND: That's enough. Ensign, you're relieved. I'm sorry about this, Captain. I assure you it will not happen again.
SULU: Ensign, you're absolutely right. But you're also absolutely wrong. You'll find that more happens on the bridge of a starship than just carrying out orders and observing regulations. There is a sense of loyalty to the men and women you serve with. A sense of family. Those two men on trial, I served with them for a long time. I owe them my life a dozen times over, and right now they're in trouble, and I'm going to help them. Let the regulations be damned.
TUVOK: Sir, that is a most illogical line of reasoning.
SULU: You better believe it. Helm, engage.
JANEWAY: You know, you did the right thing.
TUVOK: Perhaps.
(Later.)
VALTANE: Captain, we're approaching the Azure Nebula.
SULU: On screen.
JANEWAY: Tuvok. That nebula. It looks very similar to the one we observed on Voyager.

[Precipice]

GIRL: Help me, Tuvok! Please don't let go! No!

[Sickbay]

(Tuvok breaks the meld as he has a seizure.)
EMH: Fifty milligrams cordrazine!
(Later, Tuvok is
unconscious on a biobed.)
EMH: There was a sudden disruption in his hippocampus. Luckily, he was in sickbay, or he'd be in a coma right now. That's the good news. The bad news is that his synaptic pathways are continuing to degrade. If the repressed memory keeps resurfacing on its own, it's going to cause more and more damage. Eventually, his entire neural structure will collapse, resulting in brain death.
JANEWAY: We were just starting to make some progress. We finally accessed the repressed memory. I saw Tuvok as a boy. And the girl on the precipice. Can I talk to him?
EMH: Not yet. He suffered a severe neural trauma, so I'm keeping him sedated for the next few hours. I'll let you know when it's safe to revive him.

[Ready room]

(Janeway is studying Starfleet records from 9521.6 when the doorbell chimes.)
JANEWAY: Come in. Ah, Ensign. What have you found?
KIM: I don't see any connection between this nebula and the one the Excelsior saw eighty years ago. This one's a class seventeen, while theirs was an eleven. Both contain trace amounts of sirillium, but that's about all.
JANEWAY: But they do look similar.
KIM: To the naked eye, but not to sensors. Technically, they're very different. You know, I've been talking to the doctor, and he tells me it's not unusual for a repressed memory to resurface because of a smell or a visual detail. Maybe the visual similarities between the two nebulas simply triggered Tuvok's memory of the Excelsior.
JANEWAY: Well, what about the memory of the little girl? What does she have to do with Tuvok's experiences on board Sulu's ship? The Excelsior seems so far removed from that childhood incident.
KIM: Who knows that goes on in a Vulcan's mind. Maybe there is no connection. And going back to the memory of the Excelsior was just an accident, a stray thought Tuvok was having because of the similarities between the two nebulas.
JANEWAY: You may be right. Nevertheless, I've been studying the Excelsior logs.
KIM: What do they say?
JANEWAY: Unfortunately, they don't say anything at all.
KIM: Nothing?
JANEWAY: It would seem that Captain Sulu decided not to enter that journey into his official log. The day's entry makes some cryptic remark about the ship being damaged in a gaseous anomaly and needing repairs, but nothing else.
KIM: You mean he falsified his logs?
JANEWAY: It was a very different time, Mister Kim. Captain Sulu, Captain Kirk, Dr. McCoy. They all belonged to a different breed of Starfleet officer. Imagine the era they lived in. The Alpha Quadrant still largely unexplored. Humanity on verge of war with Klingons. Romulans hiding behind every nebula. Even the technology we take for granted was still in its early stages. No plasma weapons, no multiphasic shields. Their ships were half as fast.
KIM: No replicators, no holodecks. You know, ever since I took Starfleet history at the academy, I always wondered what it would be like to live in those days.
JANEWAY: Space must have seemed a whole lot bigger back then. It's not surprising they had to bend the rules a little. They were a little slower to invoke the Prime Directive, and a little quicker to pull their phasers. Of course, the whole bunch of them would be booted out of Starfleet today. But I have to admit, I would have loved to ride shotgun at least once with a group of officers like that.
EMH [OC]: Sickbay to Captain Janeway.
JANEWAY: Go ahead, Doctor.
EMH [OC]: I'm ready to revive Mister Tuvok.
JANEWAY: Acknowledged. I'm on my way.

[Sickbay]

TUVOK: Several hours after we entered the nebula, we were ambushed by Klingons. A battle ensued, and we were forced to abort our rescue mission.
JANEWAY: Do any of those events seem related to the girl in any way?
TUVOK: No. If there is a connection I am not aware of it. I suggest we attempt another mind-meld, and try again to access my memory of the girl.
JANEWAY: Agreed. Doctor.
(They return to the chairs and Kes attaches the monitor to Janeway.)
TUVOK: Your mind to my mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts. I am taking us back, back to the boy that I was. The boy lying on the precipice.

[Excelsior bridge]

RAND: Hull breach on deck twelve, section forty seven.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, we're back in the battle with the Klingons again, eighty years ago.
TUVOK: I am at a loss to explain, Captain, but it's hard to accept this as a coincidence.
JANEWAY: Agreed. I want to go back to the moment when you first saw the nebula. What happened?
TUVOK: Captain Sulu estimated it would take approximately five hours to traverse the nebula and enter Klingon space. He decided my shift needed some rest, so we returned to the crew quarters.

[Gamma shift crew quarters]

TUVOK: I attempted to get some sleep. However, my bunk mate Dmitri Valtane felt the need to discuss our situation.
VALTANE: Hey. Tuvok. Are you asleep?
TUVOK: No.
VALTANE: Me neither. I can't believe we're going to do this. I didn't think the Captain had it in him.
TUVOK: Had what in him?
VALTANE: You know. The guts to defy an order and run off on some rescue mission to save old friends.
TUVOK: I take it from the tone of your voice that you admire this trait.
VALTANE: Well, yeah. It's courageous.
TUVOK: It's illogical and reckless, which I attempted to point out to him on the bridge.
VALTANE: Oh, come on, Tuvok. Isn't it more fun than charting gaseous anomalies?
TUVOK: The human fascination with fun has led to many tragedies in your short, but violent, history. One wonders how your race has survived having so much fun.
VALTANE: Vulcans. You guys need to relax.
TUVOK: No, I will not relax. Ever since I entered the Academy, I've had to endure the egocentric nature of humanity. You believe that everyone in the galaxy should be like you, that we should all share your sense of humour and your human values.
VALTANE: Well, if you hated it here so much, why'd you join Starfleet in the first place?
TUVOK: I joined under pressure from my parents. But I've already decided to resign my commission once this assignment is complete.
VALTANE: Well, your loss.
(Valtane rolls over to sleep.)
JANEWAY: Tuvok, did you really mean that?
TUVOK: At this point in my life, yes. My experiences at the Academy and on board the Excelsior were not pleasant.
JANEWAY: I knew you left Starfleet for over fifty years, but I never knew why. I didn't realise it was because of a conflict with humans.
TUVOK: My perceptions of humanity and Starfleet were undoubtedly coloured by the fact that I did not want to be here in the first place.
JANEWAY: Your parents really forced you to go to the Academy?
TUVOK: It was their wish, and I felt an obligation to fulfill it.
JANEWAY: What did you do during those fifty years?
TUVOK: I returned to Vulcan, where I spent several years in seclusion, immersing myself in the Kolinahr, a rigorous discipline intended to purge all emotions. I wanted to attain a state of pure and total logic.
JANEWAY: What happened?
TUVOK: Unfortunately, six years into my studies, I began the Pon farr. I took a mate.
JANEWAY: T'Pel.
TUVOK: Yes. We decided to raise a family together, so I chose to postpone my studies.
JANEWAY: And what brought you back to Starfleet?
TUVOK: Raising children of my own made me appreciate what my parents experienced raising me. And I came to realise that the decisions I made as a young man were not always in my best interest. I understood their decision to send me to the Academy, and that there were many things I could learn from humans and other species, so I decided to expand my knowledge of the galaxy. Starfleet provided that opportunity.
JANEWAY: Well, I'm glad you had a change of heart.
TUVOK: As am I, Captain. Although, heart had very little to do with it. It was a logical decision.
JANEWAY: I'm sure it was.
SULU [OC]: Red alert! All hands to battle stations!
VALTANE: Oh, what's going on? I thought we were still five hours from Klingon space.
TUVOK: A Klingon battle cruiser decloaked inside the nebula. At this moment, they were firing concussive charges across our bow.

[Excelsior bridge]

RAND: We're being hailed, Captain.
SULU: On screen.
KANG [on viewscreen]: Mister Sulu, I see they have finally given you the captaincy you deserve.
SULU: Thank you, Kang.
KANG [on viewscreen]: Do not let it end prematurely.
SULU: Kang, we've been on a survey mission studying this nebula. Our navigation system malfunctioned, and I'm afraid we got lost. As soon as we've completed repairs, we'll be on our way.
KANG [on viewscreen]: We'd be happy to escort you back to Federation space.
SULU: Very generous of you, but we can manage.
KANG [on viewscreen]: I insist.
SULU: Actually, an escort would be welcome. We'd hate to lose our way again.
KANG [on viewscreen]: Bring your ship about, bearing one eight one, mark two.
SULU: Nice to see you again, Kang.
(Transmission ends.)
VALTANE: Captain Sulu?
SULU: Man your station, Lieutenant. We're not giving up just yet. Helm, come about. Tactical status.
VALTANE: They have their forward disruptors trained on us, sir.
SULU: Ensign Tuvok, what is the composition of this nebula?
TUVOK: Primarily oxygen and argon, with traces of theta-xenon, fluorine and sirillium gas.
SULU: Sirillium? That's a highly combustible substance, isn't it?
TUVOK: Affirmative.
SULU: Is there any way we could ignite the sirillium?
TUVOK: If we modulated a positron beam to a subspace frequency, it would trigger a thermochemical reaction in the sirillium.
SULU: Like tossing a match into a pool of gasoline. Would their shields withstand the blast?
TUVOK: Yes, but their sensors and tactical systems would be disrupted for several seconds.
SULU: That's all the time we need. Tuvok, modulate a positron beam and stand by. We'll ignite the sirillium the instant we clear the nebula. Helm, prepare to engage maximum warp on my command.
HELMSMAN: Aye, sir.
SULU: All hands, this is the Captain. Secure stations and batten down the hatches.
TUVOK: The positron beam is charged and ready.
SULU: On my mark, Ensign.
VALTANE: We're clearing the nebula.
SULU: Mister Tuvok, light the match.
(Whoomph! Kang's ship is sent tumbling by the exploding gas.)
VALTANE: The Klingon ship's been disabled. They're not pursuing, sir.
SULU: Helm, set a course for Kronos. Engage. Commander Rand, I want you
VALTANE: Sir, long-range sensors are detecting three Klingon battle cruisers on an intercept course. They're arming torpedoes.
HELMSMAN: Heading, sir?
SULU: Maintain course.
(Boom!)
SULU: Return fire!
VALTANE: They've knocked out our targeting scanners.
SULU: Switch to manual!
TUVOK: Mister Valtane, there's a rupture in the plasma conduit behind your console. Get away from that station.
VALTANE: One more second.
TUVOK: Dmitri, you must
(Valtane's station explodes.)
TUVOK: Bridge to sickbay. Medical emergency.
VALTANE: Tuvok.

[Precipice]

GIRL: Tuvok! Help! Don't let me fall! No!

[Sickbay]

KES: Doctor, what's happening?
EMH: Their memory engrams are destabilising. Something must be going wrong with the mind-meld. I'm going to bring them out of it.
KES: It's not working.
EMH: Their neural patterns appear to be locked together. I can't break the meld. The damage to his synaptic patterns is accelerating. At this rate, he'll be brain dead in twenty minutes. Get me a cortical stimulator!

[Excelsior bridge]

JANEWAY: I saw her again, Tuvok. The girl. When Valtane died just now, it seemed to cause the memory to resurface. What is it?
TUVOK: Something's gone wrong with the mind-meld.
SULU: (to Janeway) Who the hell are you? Intruder alert! Get Security up here.
JANEWAY: What's happening? Why can he see me?
SULU: I asked you a question. Who are you, and what are you doing on my ship?
TUVOK: (to Janeway) It's an indication that the rate of deterioration in my brain has increased. At advanced stages of a t'lokan schism, memories and thought processes become distorted and confused.
SULU: Ensign. Do you know this woman?
TUVOK: (to Janeway) I will break the meld, Captain.
JANEWAY: No, don't. I think we're getting close to something. Everything seems to be centred around the death of Valtane.
RAND: Direct hit on the port bow. Shields down to twenty percent. Losing atmosphere in decks five, six and seven.
SULU: I'll reroute auxiliary power to structural integrity.
JANEWAY: Maybe something happened in that moment between the two of you, some detail you aren't remembering. I want you to try and replay those events one more time.
TUVOK: I will try. But I must point out that if my neural structures collapse during the meld, you will suffer brain damage as well.
JANEWAY: I understand.
SULU: Take those two to the brig.

[Excelsior turbolift]

TUVOK: Captain, if we replay those events and they see you, it will disrupt the memory again.
JANEWAY: Then we've got to find a way to make me inconspicuous.

[Gamma shift crew quarters]

RAND: All right, gamma shift. Time to defend the Federation against gaseous anomalies. How are you, Ensign? (to Janeway) Who are you?
(Tuvok neck-pinches Rand.)
JANEWAY: We could have just asked her.
TUVOK: Asking female officers for their clothing could lead to misunderstanding.

[Sickbay]

(The EMH places a blinkie on Tuvok's forehead.)
EMH: I've programmed a cortical stimulator to emit thoron radiation. We'll bombard his telepathic cortex. That should be enough to terminate the meld. We'll begin with a twenty kilodyne burst of five second duration on my mark. Now. It's working. Their neural patterns are starting to separate. My God!
KES: What is it?
EMH: That's Tuvok's memory engram. That's the Captain's. But this red pattern seems to be another engram.
KES: A third memory engram. How's that possible?
EMH: It's not. Which means it can't really be an engram. From the neurochemical modulation, I'd say it's something masquerading as an engram, the way viruses sometimes mimic certain blood factors to avoid being destroyed by antibodies.
KES: So you're saying it's a virus.
EMH: I think so. The thoron radiation must have caused it to manifest itself. Increasing the radiation levels should destroy it. Go to forty kilodynes, ten second burst. Now.

[Excelsior bridge]

VALTANE: The Klingon ship's been disabled, sir. They're no longer pursuing.
SULU: Helm, set a course for Kronos. Engage. Who's at Communications?
VALTANE: Commander Rand is supposed to be on duty, sir.
SULU: Where is she?
VALTANE: Sir, long-range sensors are detecting three Klingon battle cruisers on an intercept course. They're arming torpedoes.
SULU: Maintain course.
(Boom!)
SULU: Return fire!
VALTANE: They've knocked out our targeting scanners, sir.
SULU: Switch to manual!
TUVOK: Mister Valtane, there's a rupture in the plasma conduit behind your console. Get away from that station.
VALTANE: One more second.
TUVOK: Dmitri, you must
(Boom!)
JANEWAY: It's about to happen. Try to remember every detail about the next few seconds. Concentrate.
VALTANE: Tuvok.
GIRL [OC]: Help me!

[Precipice]

GIRL: Help me, Tuvok!

[Excelsior bridge]

JANEWAY: I saw her, Tuvok. I saw the girl. Stay with it.
TUVOK: I am trying, but my mind is weakening.
JANEWAY: This is our last chance. Take us to the precipice. Concentrate. Take us to the girl.

[Sickbay]

EMH: It's working. The mind-meld is almost broken and the radiation appears to be killing the virus. Increase thoron levels to
(Beep!)
EMH: The virus is migrating. It's embedding itself in the captain's brain. Cortical stimulator!

[Precipice]

GIRL: Kathryn! Help me, Kathryn, please! Don't let go. Don't let me fall. No!

[Sickbay]

EMH: Programme a fifty kilodyne burst, five second duration on my mark. Now.

[Precipice]

GIRL: Help me, Tuvok!

[Sickbay]

EMH: The virus protein structures are breading down. It's dying. Increase thoron radiation to eighty kilodynes, fifteen seconds. Now.

[Precipice]

GIRL: Help me, Dmitri, please! Don't let go. Don't let me fall.

[Sickbay]

EMH: Again.

[Precipice]

(This time it is a boy in a baseball cap with a big gold D.)
GIRL: Don't let me fall! No!
(An African child.)
GIRL: No!
(An Asian girl.)
GIRL: No!
(Middle Eastern.)
GIRL: No!
(Stone age.)
GIRL: No!

[Sickbay]

(The mind meld is broken. Later, molecular scan 1105 tell the story.)
EMH: It's clearly a viral parasite of some kind but its origin and genome classification are not on record.
KES: We were able to kill it using thoron radiation.
JANEWAY: What do you know about it?
EMH: The virus thrives on peptides generated in the brain. It evades the body's immune system by disguising itself as a memory engram.
KES: Apparently the parasite used the childhood memory of a falling girl as camouflage.
EMH: Creating a false memory so traumatic that the mind would repress it. And that's where it would live in person after person, hiding in a part of the brain that conscious mind would want to avoid at all costs.
JANEWAY: When it sensed the death of the host, it would leave to find another.
TUVOK: That's why it migrated from Valtane to me.
KES: What about the girl? Did she ever really exist, or did the organism invent the memory?
EMH: Memory is a tricky thing. If it was a real event, it's been buried and copied and twisted so many times, there's no way to tell what really happened.
JANEWAY: Thank you, Doctor.

[Corridor]

JANEWAY: I'm curious. Did the Excelsior ever save Kirk and McCoy?
TUVOK: Not directly. We were forced to retreat back to Federation space. As usual, Captain Kirk provided his own means of escape. But we did play a pivotal role at the subsequent battle at Khitomer.
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok, if I didn't know you better, I'd say you miss those days on the Excelsior.
TUVOK: On the contrary. I do not experience feelings of nostalgia. But there are times when I think back to those days of meeting Kirk, Spock and the others, and I am pleased that I was part of it.
JANEWAY: In a funny way, I feel like I was a part of it too.
TUVOK: Then perhaps you can be nostalgic for both of us.

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