Distant Origin
Stardate: 50899.1
Original Airdate: 30 April, 1997

(Transcriber's note to those who have not actually seen this episode. The director, David Livingston, decided to use a wide angle lens and film the characters from a low level, looking up the actor's nostrils. Although it gives an alien aspect to the Voth, it is not a flattering view for Chakotay.)  

[Cave - Hanon IV]

(A volcano smoulders on a rocky planet. The same rocky planet where the Voyager crew were abandoned by Seska back in Basics. A pair of reptilian explorers discover the tatters of a Starfleet uniform and the bones of its wearer, Hogan. They have three fingers.)
VEER: Is there a genetic match?
GEGEN: Yes. Let's gather the find and bring it back to the ship.
VEER: Could this be it? The proof?
GEGEN: If it is, we've just made the most important discover in Voth history.

[Gegen's Research Vessel]

(In space. What is left of the skeleton is reassembled on an autopsy table.)
VEER: Opposable thumb. Multiple articulation of the digits, as expected from a technologically advanced species.
GEGEN: His cranial capacity is twenty two percent smaller than ours, and he appears to be lacking a dilitus lobe.
VEER: He had no sense of smell?
GEGEN: If he did, it was rudimentary. I doubt this fellow would have enjoyed the sulphur lagoons of Hokath. His cartilaginous microstructure is extremely porous. Most likely warm-blooded. I believe this was a non-saurian.
VEER: Non-saurian? Doesn't that weaken our case?
GEGEN: No. No, the genetic markers we share with this being are undeniable. We are related, however distantly. The question we must answer is, what was our endotherm doing in this part of space?
VEER: Was he on an expedition? Did he have a ship? Crewmates?
GEGEN: This material. It's composed of synthetic polymers, and the molecular structure suggests replication technology. And consider the garment itself. Is this marking purely decorative, or does it have a symbolic function. Could it indicate status?
VEER: Possibly a military uniform.
GEGEN: At the very least, we can assume he was part of a social infrastructure. That would imply a ship. Did your eyes see the planet of our origin, the true home of our race? Was it beautiful? Was it covered by oceans, by sand? Were there nine moons above your head? Were there none? He appears to be at a loss for words. His ship and the people on it hold the key to where we came from. We've got to find it.
VEER: I'll contact our supporters at the Circle of Archaeology. They might be able to spare a research vessel, perhaps a few assistants.
GEGEN: This isn't a field trip, Veer! We need to mount a sector wide expedition, and that means a fleet of ships. We have to go directly to the Ministry of Elders.
VEER: Professor, don't you think that's a little precipitous?
GEGEN: Bone decalcification indicates he died more than a year old. His ship could be thousands of light years away by now! Time is running out. You must remember, Veer, from the moment you were initiated into my Circle, you made a commitment to the pursuit of scientific truth. Before this, all we had was a theory. Now we have proof. We simply have to get them to open their eyes and see it. We're going to set a course for the City Ship, present our friend here, and let him do the talking.

[Voth City Ship]

GEGEN: For millions of years our people have believed that we were the first intelligent beings to evolve in this region of space. The first race. This assumption underlies everything that we hold dear. But that belief has been questioned in recent years, not only by the Circles of Science and Philosophy, but by common people as well. Lying before you is proof of the Distant Origin theory. These remains demonstrate beyond doubt that we arose elsewhere in this galaxy, that we evolved on a far away planet, and travelled to this space millions of years ago, our true history lost.
(The leader is a female.)
ODALA: A pile of bones. Impressive.
GEGEN: This pile of bones belonged to a being who died approximately one a year ago, from a species found nowhere in known space, and yet we share forty seven genetic markers with this being. We are undoubtedly related to him, and I intend to prove to you that we evolved on the very same planet he did.
ODALA: And that planet is the long lost world of the Distant Origin theory?
GEGEN: Yes, that's exactly right. And to find that planet, our planet, we must find a living member of his kind. I've created a computer extrapolation. We're looking for a race of bipedal endotherms, spacefaring but technologically limited. Based on their cranial capacity I'd say they're no more advanced than most endotherms.
HALUK: Endotherms. You're proposing we're related to a mammalian species?
GEGEN: Yes. Which is why I ask your permission to launch an expedition.
ODALA: Let's talk about your discovery. I enjoyed the colourful tale of how you found these remains. It says here that you paid a substantial sum for their location.
GEGEN: I was dealing with traders. They knew the location of the cave. I had no choice.
ODALA: Have you considered you were the victim of a hoax?
GEGEN: I have analysed every micron of the skeleton. I assure you it's authentic.
ODALA: Professor Gegen, have you considered the wider implication of your theory?
GEGEN: What do you mean?
ODALA: By challenging Doctrine, you're suggesting that everything we believe about ourselves, our history, our ancient and rightful claim over this region of space, the authority of this Ministry itself, is a lie.
GEGEN: That's not what I'm saying at all. However, in the light of my discovery, some of our beliefs may have to be re-evaluated.
ODALA: Re-evaluated. We will consider your request for an expedition.
(The Elders leaves.)
VEER: Well done, Professor.
GEGEN: Hardly. I failed to anticipate the level of ignorance I would be facing.
VEER: What do we do now?
GEGEN: I want you to arrange a meeting with the Circle of Exobiology. We have supporters there.
(Veer leaves. Gegen's daughter enters.)
FROLA: Father, I'm concerned.
GEGEN: Unnecessarily.
FROLA: I don't think they were very receptive.
GEGEN: They don't need to be. The evidence will speak for itself. And word of my discovery is already travelling. If enough people confront the Ministry
FROLA: Mathematics was never your strong point, Father. You might be overestimating your support.
GEGEN: You don't believe me either, do you.
FROLA: I, I want to. Our ancestors came from somewhere else. We don't even belong here? It all just seems so incredible.
GEGEN: I'm disappointed in you.
FROLA: Father, please, let this go. You're chasing a fantasy and you're wasting your genius. I'm worried about what's going to happen to you if you don't stop.
GEGEN: What's going to happen to you if I do stop? To your children, to all of Voth. You'll continue to live in ignorance, progress held back by ancient myth. The truth must be known.

[Gegen's Research Vessel]

VEER: We've got to leave. Now.
GEGEN: What's happened?
VEER: I met with the Circle of Exobiology. They're concerned. There have been rumours.
GEGEN: About what?
VEER: The Ministry has seized your research and they're planning to detain you.
GEGEN: On what charge?
VEER: Heresy against Doctrine.
GEGEN: I'll fight it!
VEER: It's too late. Your supporters are frightened. No one will back you.
GEGEN: I'll have to do this on my own, then. Go back to your family. As long as you're with me, you're at risk.
VEER: I'm not leaving you, Professor.
GEGEN: I've run an analysis on the uniform marking. I found what appears to be a microscopic identification code. The translation matrix indicates it's most likely a proper name.
VEER: A name?
GEGEN: Yes. I believe it's the name of the endotherm's vessel. We're looking for something called Voyager.

GEGEN [OC]: Across the vastness of space to find one ship among sea of stars is no simple matter, and for many weeks we found nothing. And then fortune glanced in our direction. A trader from a space station bordering the Nekrit Expanse informed us of a curious group of explorers, claiming to be from the other side of the galaxy. The merchants there spoke of a vessel called Voyager. They were able to help us clarify certain details. With this new information, we began to acquire other items and new evidence. Our most significant find, a canister of warp plasma from Voyager's engines. So now we are scanning space for a matching signature. Little is known about these explorers, but they call themselves human.

[Gegen's Research Vessel]

GEGEN: and they claim to be traveling home to a distant planet. My thoughts are with you, Frola, as are those of my colleague, Veer. Ah, I've just sent a transmission to my daughter.
VEER: Was that wise?
GEGEN: I encrypted the carrier signal. There's no way to trace it.
VEER: I hope you gave her my regards.
GEGEN: Of course I did. I've seen the tint on your scales when she's around. I've let you into my academic circle, but now you wish to enter my family as well.
VEER: No, Professor, I would never presume.
GEGEN: You should know your place. Traditionally, my family mate with the family of Towt.
(Gegan's long tongue flicks out and gathers up some insects hovering around a bright light.)
GEGEN: But traditions are meant to be broken.
(The computer beeps.)
VEER: It's the plasma signature. Scanners have found a match. A ship ninety light years away. There are one hundred forty eight lifeforms aboard, travelling at warp six point two.
GEGEN: I'm engaging spatial displacement It's unlikely their primitive sensors will be able to detect us once we're out of phase. Take us out of transwarp, we don't want to pass them.
VEER: Done. I have an image. What do we say to them?
GEGEN: Nothing. Not at the moment. We stand to learn more by observing. Once we've collected the information we need, and if they appear non-violent, we'll make contact.
VEER: Entering portation range.
GEGEN: We'll be looking for their data storage devices, analysing their behaviour, anything that can tell us who and what these people are. Eyes open, Veer.

[Corridor]

(A crewman walks past Gegen and Veer.)
GEGEN: Interphase is stable.
VEER: Curious. I didn't expect the smell.
GEGEN: Well, they are mammals, after all. Ah, over here. This appears to be a computer access terminal. Simple binary system. I've downloaded their database.
PARIS: I'll bet you it's an anodyne relay.
TORRES: No way. A plasma conduit.
PARIS: Relay. I'm telling you. I checked the conduit network.
TORRES: My point exactly. You're not an engineer.
PARIS: I'll bet you.
TORRES: Name it.
(They walk on out of earshot.)
GEGEN: Male and female interacting. Let's observe.

[Engineering]

PARIS: Well?
TORRES: Well, go ahead and gloat.
PARIS: The anodyne relays. Who would have guessed?
TORRES: Just a shot in the dark.
PARIS: And it hit the bulls-eye. Tonight, you pay up. Holodeck two, Klingon martial arts programme, no getting out of it this time.
VEER: Courting behaviour?
GEGEN: Exactly. Note how the female through the feigned antagonism encourages the male in his attempt to mate.
VEER: There's no sign of vasodilatation in their skin.
GEGEN: Obviously they never evolved that ability, which would explain their reliance on crude verbal interplay.
PARIS: I'll see you tonight. BYOB.
TORRES: What?
PARIS: Bring your own bat'leth.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Report.
CHAKOTAY: We've completed long range scans. If we maintain our present course we'll enter a region of heavy tetryon radiation within two days.
JANEWAY: What's the alternative?
CHAKOTAY: A three month detour.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, enhance the shields. Lieutenant, hold our course. Harry, continue your long range scans.
KIM: Yes, ma'am.
JANEWAY: Let's access everything known about tetryon radiation. I want to take every precaution.
GEGEN: Well, Veer, what can you observe about their social structure?
VEER: It's obviously hierarchical, with clear differences in status and rank. The males appear to be subordinate to that female. Perhaps a matriarchy.
GEGEN: My conclusion exactly.
KIM: This is strange. I'm picking up spatial fluctuations. They're coming from the bridge.
CHAKOTAY: Source?
KIM: Not sure, but they're highly localised, with modulating phase variance. Looks like some kind of cloaking technology.
JANEWAY: All stop. Intruder alert.
GEGEN: We've exceeded our welcome. Let's get back to the ship.
VEER: What's wrong?
GEGEN: Some sort of forcefield.
TUVOK: I've erected a level ten containment field around the bridge, Captain.
KIM: Scanning on all subspace frequencies. I'm picking up two lifeforms.
CHAKOTAY: Localise them.
KIM: Mission Ops one.
VEER: Professor?
GEGEN: The forcefield is disrupting our interphase. I'm compensating. I can at least get us off this deck.
JANEWAY: Show yourselves.
KIM: Captain, the lifeforms left the bridge. They're now on deck two, section thirteen. Mess hall.
CHAKOTAY: Seal off the deck.
TUVOK: Deck two sealed. Security team to the mess hall.

[Mess hall]

NEELIX: Intruders? I don't see any intruders?
GEGEN: It would appear we've underestimated our endotherms.
VEER: We should make contact. Explain ourselves.
GEGEN: It may come to that.

[Bridge]

KIM: Captain, I've analysed the spatial phase variance.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Chakotay.

[Turbolift]

CHAKOTAY: Go ahead.

[Corridor]

JANEWAY [OC]: Adjust hand phasers to a dispersion frequency of one point eight five gigahertz. That should disrupt their cloaking technology.
CHAKOTAY: Acknowledged.

[Mess hall]

GEGEN: I've matched the frequency of their shields. I think we can get off this
(Chakotay and his security team enter through one door, Tuvok and company through the other.)
TUVOK: Spatial fluctuations. There.
CHAKOTAY: Neelix, get down!
(Neelix duck and Chakotay fires. The two Voth become visible. Veer fires a dart into Chakotay's shoulder, who collapses. Tuvok stuns Veer. Gegen goes to Chakotay and beams out with him.)

[Sickbay]

EMH: Minor phaser burns to the upper thoracic region. Nothing serious. But I want to check for cellular damage.
KES: I'll run a microcellular scan.
EMH: Begin a DNA analysis as well, I'd like to know more about his molecular physiology.
JANEWAY: A belated welcome aboard. I'm Captain Janeway. Now, who are you and what have you done with my First Officer? You must have a ship. Is it cloaked? I'm not going to hurt you, we just want to know why you
(Veer stops clicking - talking without a translator - and closes his eyes.)
EMH: His heart rate and body temperature have dropped. His metabolism is almost completely shut down.
TUVOK: Is he dying?
EMH: I don't think so. His autonomic nervous system is still fully functional. He's gone into some sort of protective hibernation.
JANEWAY: Treat his injuries, then see if you can revive him. Examine his technology. I want to know what we're up against.

[Gegen's Research Vessel]

GEGEN: Don't be alarmed. You're on my research vessel.
CHAKOTAY: Chakotay to Voyager.
GEGEN: Your instinct is to flee, but I must warn you, there's a confinement field around the table. Just stay calm and you won't hurt yourself.
CHAKOTAY: What do you want from me? Why did you invade our ship?
GEGEN: It wasn't an invasion. We were on a field expedition to learn more about your species. We meant no harm. I'm a molecular paleontologist.
CHAKOTAY: Do you always harpoon the local wildlife?
GEGEN: An unfortunate mistake. Veer is inexperienced and he panicked. Your people were firing at us. I couldn't get to him.
CHAKOTAY: So you took me instead.
GEGEN: Yes. A living specimen of human. I've been studying your computer database and I have many questions. The planet of your origin, correct?
CHAKOTAY: That's right. Earth.
GEGEN: Are there any of my kind there? Any of my species?
CHAKOTAY: Who are you?
GEGEN: Please, answer the question.
CHAKOTAY: Look, drop the forcefield and tell me what's going on. Then maybe we can make first contact in a civilized way. For what it's worth I'm a scientist, too. Maybe I can help you find whatever it is you're looking for. I won't bite. Thanks. My name's Chakotay.
GEGEN: Gegen.
CHAKOTAY: All right, Gegen, let's talk about Earth.

[Sickbay]

JANEWAY: Your call sounded urgent.
EMH: With good reason. I've analysed the alien's DNA. There are forty seven genetic markers identical to those found in human DNA.
JANEWAY: That's more than coincidence.
EMH: I thought so too. I ran a search for those markers in Earth's paleo-ontological database. Take a look at this.
JANEWAY: Incredible!
EMH: That's one way of putting it.
JANEWAY: It says here that those markers appeared in hundred earth species, dating back tens of millions of. Their species evolved on Earth?
EMH: Apparently so. And from the look of it, you and he are distant cousins.
JANEWAY: I wonder how distant? Transfer yourself to Holodeck two. I think it's time we took a stroll through primeval history.

[Holodeck]

EMH: I've entered the genetic markers into the holo-database.
JANEWAY: Let's see if we can find our closet relative. Computer, analyse the genetic markers and search Earth's fossil record. Identify any ancestors common to both humans and the alien in sickbay.
COMPUTER: Life form found.
(A small quadruped._
JANEWAY: Display.
COMPUTER: Genus Eryops. Devonian Era.
EMH: Eryops. This creature lived over four hundred million years ago and is thought to be the last common ancestor of cold blooded and warm blooded organisms.
JANEWAY: Yes, yes. Let's take the next step in out little stroll. Computer, what's the most highly evolved cold-blooded organism to develop from the Eryops?
COMPUTER: Genus Hadrosaur. Cretaceous Era.
JANEWAY: Display the life form.
(Two metres tall, using its tail to help it stand upright.)
JANEWAY: As I recall, the Hadrosaur vanished when a mass extinction occurred at the end of the Cretaceous period. What if the Hadrosaur didn't die off? What if some of them survived that extinction and continued to evolve?
EMH: I could well imagine this creature giving rise to a more complex life form. Certainly the building blocks are there. Bipedal, grasping hands.
JANEWAY: Computer, run a genome projection algorithm. If the Hadrosaur had continued to evolve over the last sixty five million years, extrapolate the most probable appearance.
COMPUTER: Extrapolation complete.
JANEWAY: Display life form.
(A Voth.)
EMH: That creature napping in Sickbay is a dinosaur.
JANEWAY: The question is, why have we never seen him in the Natural History museums?

[Gegen's Research Vessel]

CHAKOTAY: If a saurian species had developed a language and technology, you'd think they would have left something behind. But, what if it evolved on am isolated continent?
GEGEN: A land mass that was destroyed.
CHAKOTAY: Earth has been devastated by countless natural disasters over the course of it's history. Asteroids, volcanoes, earthquakes. All evidence of your race could be at the bottom of the ocean or under kilometres of rock.
GEGEN: Obviously not all of my people became extinct. Some of them must have developed spacefaring technology and left the planet.
CHAKOTAY: And ended up here, in the Delta Quadrant.
GEGEN: Our true origin on Earth lost over the eons, replaced by Doctrine, the myth that we were the First Race. Now you understand why I had to find your ship.
CHAKOTAY: Next time you might try a simple hello first.
GEGEN: Eyes open. I'm afraid I let my own prejudice get in the way. I was wary of you. We have very poor relations with non-saurian races. Mammals in particular are considered to be a lower life form, but I must admit I've never gotten to know one before.
CHAKOTAY: I hope I've made a good impression.
GEGEN: In fact, you have.
CHAKOTAY: Well I suggest we get back to Voyager. Your friend Veer is probably sick of the mammalian food by now.
GEGEN: I can't do that.
CHAKOTAY: Why not?
GEGEN: I've already made arrangements to meet my supporters on the Fourth Colony. They're waiting for us.
CHAKOTAY: Tell them we'll be late.
GEGEN: You don't understand what I'm up against. I'm being charged with heresy against Doctrine. You're my only evidence. If enough people see living proof of my theory, even the Ministry will be forced to acknowledge the truth. I can't let you go now. Not until it's over. I'm sorry.

[Science Lab]

PARIS: This should do the trick.
(Paris places Veer's cloaking device on -)
TUVOK: An apple.
PARIS: You said you wanted an organic test subject.
TUVOK: I was referring to a bio-cylinder. But the fruit will suffice.
PARIS: Let's give it a try.
TUVOK: Fascinating. This alien device is apparently pushing the apple slightly out of phase with our space-time continuum.
PARIS: A personal cloaking device.
TUVOK: More advanced than any cloak I have ever seen.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Mister Kim.
KIM: I'm reading a massive spatial displacement dead ahead.
JANEWAY: Red alert.
KIM: We're being probed.
JANEWAY: Shields at maximum. Hail them.
KIM: No response. They're locking onto the ship with an energy beam. It's cutting right through our shields. It's some sort of transporter.
JANEWAY: Report.
KIM: We've been beamed inside the alien vessel.
JANEWAY: We're losing power. Switch to auxiliary.
KIM: I'm locked out of command control. All systems are shutting down.
(Voyager goes dark and quiet.)
JANEWAY: Arm yourselves.

[Corridor]

TUVOK: Tuvok to Bridge. Captain Janeway, respond.
PARIS: Turbolifts are offline. Let's get to a Jefferies tube.
(Something chitters nearby.)
PARIS: Tuvok, I hope that's your stomach.
TUVOK: My tricorder's not working. There appears to be a dampening field
PARIS: Tuvok?
(Tuvok pulls a dart from his back. Paris' phaser doesn't work.)
TUVOK: Go!
PARIS: I'm not going to leave you.
TUVOK: That's an order, Lieutenant.
(Paris goes into the Jefferies tube, and Tuvok slumps against the access panel.)

[Bridge]

KIM: I can't get a single relay back online. Somehow they've locked us out of all primary systems.
JANEWAY: Let's get down to main Engineering. We can access the manual override from there, and
HALUK: Your vessel is under our control.

[Gegen's Research Vessel]

GEGEN: It's an automated message from the Ministry of Elders. It says that they've captured the Voyager. That if I don't return to the City Ship and face my accusers they'll destroy my evidence, kill everyone on board.
CHAKOTAY: What are you going to do?
GEGEN: I won't be responsible for those deaths. But if I go back now without my support, they'll discredit my theory, suppress the truth.
CHAKOTAY: That might be difficult with the evidence standing right beside you. They've taken my ship. It sounds to me like we're all on trial here.
GEGEN: I've just laid in a course for the City Ship.

[Ready room]

HALUK: We are looking for two of our own kind. One was found in your medical bay. Where is the other?
JANEWAY: I don't know. He took my First Officer and disappeared.
HALUK: Our scans indicate that your ship is alone. Where do you come from?
JANEWAY: If you want my co-operation, I suggest you release my vessel.
HALUK: You are non-indigenous beings. You have no rights under Doctrine. Where do you come from?
JANEWAY: Apparently, we're from the same place you are. Earth.
HALUK: I see that Gegen has begun spreading his lies.

[Engineering]

(A single Voth sees an auxiliary systems monitor flashing - Weapons System Manual Override Authorization Paris Alpha 240. Paris then decloaks and knocks him out. Emergency Com System Active.)
PARIS: Paris to Janeway.

[Ready room]

PARIS [OC]: Captain, if you can hear me, I've got weapons control, and I've armed a full spread of torpedoes.
HALUK: Who's that?
JANEWAY: My helmsman. Sounds like he's about to blast a hole in the side of your ship. Lieutenant Paris, fire. You might want to hold onto something.

[Engineering]

COMPUTER: Launch protocols have been disrupted.
PARIS: Switch to auxiliary protocols.
COMPUTER: Unable to comply. Weapons systems are offline.
PARIS: How?
COMPUTER: Method unknown.
PARIS: Paris to Janeway.

[Ready room]

JANEWAY: Go ahead.
PARIS [OC}: Captain, someone on the alien vessel detected my launch sequence. I don't know how they did it, but I'm completely locked out.
JANEWAY: Nice try, Tom.
HALUK: Haluk to Command. Voyager's Captain is proving uncooperative. I request an interrogation surgeon to assist with
VOTH [OC]: That won't be necessary. Gegen is in custody. Remain in the Voyager and wait for further instructions.

[Voth City Ship]

ODALA: Professor Forra Gegen, you are accused of heresy against Doctrine. Do you wish to retract your claims regarding the Distant Origin theory?
GEGEN: I do not.
ODALA: Then we will proceed. Three months ago you circulated a study criticising what you call resistance to truth, once again disputing Doctrine.
GEGEN: I apologise if I wrote anything that offended the Elders, but I never even mentioned the word Doctrine.
ODALA: You didn't have to. Your meaning was clear. For nearly a decade, you've used the Distant Origin theory to attack and undermine the guiding principles of our society.
GEGEN: Not so. I've been pursuing a scientific investigation. I'm not concerned at all with Doctrine.
ODALA: My point exactly. Your disregard for the effects of your casual theorising is why you stand accused. You are reckless and irresponsible, and you are a destructive influence to our society. But it is not too late for you to redress the damage you have done. Disavow your claims, acknowledge your mistakes and this Ministry will show you leniency.
GEGEN: I'm sorry. I can't deny the evidence. The proof is standing right beside me.
ODALA: Proof. Really. Our scientists have analysed your data. Their conclusion? These creatures are not related to us at all. The genetic similarities are a result of random convergence, nothing more.
CHAKOTAY: If I may speak? Voyager's database contains a complete fossil record of my planet. Your genetic markers appear not only in humans but in hundreds of species throughout our history. That's a lot of random convergence. If you'd take a look at the data
ODALA: We have. The data is not in question. Your interpretation is. Professor Gegen, I don't want to be here any more than you do, and frankly I would prefer not to be responsible for disgracing one of our most venerable scientists. All I ask is that you admit the possibility that your interpretation is wrong. Will you at least do that?
GEGEN: I will admit that there are still questions. The picture is incomplete. But I am certain of this. We are from the planet that these humans call Earth.
ODALA: There are those who disagree.
(Veer is summoned.)
ODALA: Tova Veer, you are an accomplished young scientist. You were initiated into the Circle of Archeology with the highest of honours.
VEER: Yes, Minister.
ODALA: And you have been Professor Gegen's assistant for six years.
VEER: I have had that privilege.
ODALA: You are familiar, intimately involved with all of your mentor's research regarding the so-called Distant Origin theory?
VEER: That is correct.
ODALA: In your expert evaluation, what is the validity of the Professor's analysis.
VEER: It is flawed, Minister.
GEGEN: Veer!
ODALA: You're saying you and Gegen were mistaken?
VEER: Yes. I've reviewed all of his research, including data from the Voyager's computer. I've checked and rechecked the procedures. I now believe that we were overzealous. We saw an evolutionary connection when in fact there was none.
ODALA: Enthusiasm and passion are never wrong, Veer. Your only mistake was allowing them to distort your judgment. You may go. Professor Gegen, I will ask you again. Could you be mistaken?
GEGEN: What did you say to him. That you'd take away his honours if he didn't cooperate? That you'd send him to a detention colony?
ODALA: Could you be mistaken!
GEGEN: Did you threaten his family?
ODALA: Respond to the question!
GEGEN: No! Why should I? You've already made up your mind! This inquiry isn't about evidence and proof, it's about keeping you in that chair!
CHAKOTAY: Gegen!
GEGEN: It's about maintaining a myth that keeps the Ministry in power. You'd do anything to silence me. Well, it won't work. I'll never retract my claims. I'd rather go to prison than help you perpetuate ignorance.
ODALA: Your true scales are finally showing.
GEGEN: You're right, Minister. I was mistaken. I thought you might actually care about the truth, even if it called into question some of our deepest beliefs.
ODALA: We are not immigrants! I will not deny twenty million years of history and Doctrine just because one insignificant Saurian has a theory. One last time. Could you be mistaken?
CHAKOTAY: It's you who are mistaken, Minister.
ODALA: What?
CHAKOTAY: You accuse Gegen of having his objectivity clouded by wishful thinking, but aren't you guilty of the same charge?
ODALA: I am not on trial here.
CHAKOTAY: I understand, but in a way your beliefs are. How you think about yourselves, your place in the universe, that is on trial. And this isn't the first time.
ODALA: What do you mean?
CHAKOTAY: I've had the opportunity over the last few days to learn something about your culture, your great accomplishments. Consider the breakthrough into Transwarp, an incredible achievement, and yet, your ancient Doctrine predicted terrible disasters if it were even attempted. That held your race back for millennia, until someone took a chance and challenged that prediction. They succeeded, and your society entered a new chapter of exploration, and your Doctrine was changed accordingly. I know from the history of my own planet that change is difficult. New ideas are often greeted with scepticism, even fear. But sometimes those ideas are accepted, and when they are progress is made. Eyes are opened.
ODALA: When I open my eyes to this theory, what I see appalls me. I see my race fleeing your wretched planet, a group of pathetic refugees crawling and scratching their way across the galaxy, stumbling into this domain. I see a race with no birthright, no legacy. That is unacceptable.
CHAKOTAY: I see something very different, Minister. An ancient race of Saurians, probably the first intelligent life on Earth, surrounded by some of the most terrifying creatures that ever lived. And yet they thrived, developed language and culture and technology. And when the planet was threatened with disaster, they boldly launched themselves into space, crossed what must have seemed like unimaginable distances, facing the unknown every day. But somehow they stayed together, kept going, with the same courage that had served them before, until they reached this quadrant, where they laid the foundation of what has become the great Voth culture. Deny that past, and you deny the struggle and achievements of your ancestors. Deny your origins on Earth, and you deny your true heritage.
ODALA: Do you retract your claims?
GEGEN: No. I stand by them.
ODALA: Very well. It is my judgment that you will suffer the consequences of your obstinacy. Gegen, you are guilty of heresy against Doctrine, and will be placed on a detention colony. For as long as you breathe you will neither teach or engage in research. Your life as a scientist has ended.
GEGEN: As you wish.
ODALA: Chakotay of the Voyager starship. You, your captain and her crew will join Professor Gegen.
GEGEN: Why? You have nothing to gain by imprisoning them. Let them go.
ODALA: You will spend the remainder of your lives on a detention colony. Your ship will be destroyed.
GEGEN: Minister.
ODALA: You will surrender your vessel immediately and inform your crew that this judgment will be
GEGEN: Stop this, please!
ODALA: Are you offering me an alternative?
GEGEN: I have reconsidered, and I retract my claims regarding the Distant Origin theory. My analysis of the data was obviously flawed. I was mistaken.
ODALA: You are prepared to refute your work publicly before the Circles of Science?
GEGEN: Yes.
ODALA: You will then be assigned to another area of research. Surely paleontology has become tiresome to you after so many years. Perhaps metallurgical analysis would be a more rewarding vocation for you.
GEGEN: Perhaps.
ODALA: I am not unreasonable. You were drawn into this situation through no fault of your own. You are to be returned to your ship, where you will set course away from our territory. It would be in your best interest if I never saw you again.

[Gegen's Research Vessel]

GEGEN: I am not so good at chemistry. My career as a metallurgical scientist is likely to be undistinguished.
CHAKOTAY: I'm sorry.
GEGEN: I was foolish, arrogant, and I lost everything.
CHAKOTAY: You were courageous, just as the Voth have always been from the first time they left Earth.
GEGEN: And you, Chakotay, have been a colleague, a friend. I will not forget you.
CHAKOTAY: There's something else I hope you never forget. 
(He gives Gegen a small globe of Earth.)
GEGEN: Some day every Voth will see this as home.
CHAKOTAY: Some day. Eyes open.
GEGEN: Eyes open.
CHAKOTAY: Chakotay to Voyager. Energise.

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