Mortal Coil
Stardate: 51449.3
Original Airdate: December 17, 1997

[Mess hall]

CREWWOMAN: Thanks.
NEELIX: Oh, you look like a man who could use more coffee.
KIM: Keep it coming. I'm working on my monthly ops report. So much has happened in the last few weeks on this ship, I'm going to be up all night.
NEELIX: This firenut blend should keep you eyes open.
KIM: Potent stuff! Thanks.
CHAKOTAY: Neelix.
NEELIX: Yes.
CHAKOTAY: I know you have your hands full this evening, but I could use your help.
NEELIX: At your service, Commander.
CHAKOTAY: We're approaching a Class one nebula. Sensors are picking up traces of protomatter inside. I understand you've dealt with it before?
NEELIX: Absolutely. When I was making my living as a trader. Protomatter's one of the most sought-after commodities. The best energy source in the quadrant.
CHAKOTAY: We could use your expertise in collecting a sample. We're leaving at fourteen hundred hours. See you in the shuttlebay?
NEELIX: I'll be there, sir.

[Mess hall - kitchen]

SEVEN: These nutritional supplements are unacceptable.
NEELIX: What's wrong?
SEVEN: They are pungent.
NEELIX: That's the whole idea. I've been adding Talaxian spices to broaden your palette.
SEVEN: My palette is sufficiently broad.
NEELIX: Why settle for sufficient? The Doctor tells me you have a full complement of taste buds. You've hardly begun to use them. Come by the mess hall Thursday night. It's the first day of Prixin. We'll have an impressive array of exotic cuisine.
SEVEN: Prixin?
NEELIX: The Talaxian celebration of family. We observe it every year on Voyager. Now that you're part of the family.
SEVEN: What should I do to prepare?
NEELIX: Nothing. It's not a mission, Seven, it's a party!
WILDMAN [OC]: Ensign Wildman to Neelix.
NEELIX: Neelix here.
WILDMAN [OC]: I hate to bother you, but Naomi's having trouble getting to sleep again. Would you mind?
NEELIX: No bother at all. I'm on my way. If you'll excuse me, duty calls.
SEVEN: Naomi? I don't recall that designation on the crew manifest.
NEELIX: That's because she's not a member of the crew. Naomi was the first child born on Voyager. I'm her godfather and the only one who can get her to sleep lately. Bon appetit.

[Wildman's Quarters]

NEELIX: No monsters here.
NAOMI: Good. Check the replicator.
NEELIX: Nothing.
WILDMAN: Naomi, maybe Neelix should check your room so you can go to bed.
NAOMI: Okay. In there.
NEELIX: Nobody here.
NAOMI: There.
NEELIX: Ah, there's not a monster in sight.
NAOMI: Can you stay longer? I'm afraid to go to sleep.
WILDMAN: Honey, Neelix has to go to work.
NEELIX: It's all right. You know what I think about when I'm afraid to go to sleep?
NAOMI: No. What?
NEELIX: The Great Forest.
NAOMI: What's that?
NEELIX: It's a place my people believe we're all going to go to someday. It's a beautiful, beautiful forest filled with sunlight, and all the people who ever loved me are gathered there to watch over me as I sleep, to protect me.
NAOMI: Really?
NEELIX: When I think about that Forest and those people, I'm not afraid to sleep anymore.
NAOMI: Do you think those people watch over me too?
NEELIX: I know they do. Now, I'm going to be away for the next couple of days so if you're afraid to sleep I want you to think of that Great Forest.
NAOMI: All right.
NEELIX: Pleasant dreams.
NAOMI: Night, Neelix.

[Cargo Bay two]

NEELIX: Cylinder. Oh, sorry. I didn't realise you were home.
SEVEN: I was regenerating.
NEELIX: I see.
SEVEN: Do you require assistance.
NEELIX: No, no, no. I have a small containment cylinder stored here. I'll just be a minute. Cylinder, little cylinder, where are you? Cylinder, you were here a month ago. Now I know that you didn't just roll out of the airlock all by yourself. Now where are you? Oh, I'm sorry. I'm talking to myself. It's my way of remembering things.
SEVEN: You are a peculiar creature, Neelix.
NEELIX: Thanks, I think. Ah! Here it is. Oh, this will be perfect for containing a small amount of protomatter. Last time I used this little wonder I nearly lost it to the Kazon.
SEVEN: The Kazon. Species three two nine.
NEELIX: You're familiar with them.
SEVEN: The Borg encountered a Kazon colony in the Gand Sector, grid six nine two zero.
NEELIX: Were they assimilated?
SEVEN: Their biological and technological distinctiveness was unremarkable. They were unworthy of assimilation.
NEELIX: I didn't realise the Borg were so discriminating.
SEVEN: Why assimilate a species that would detract from perfection?
NEELIX: Good point. Well, if you'll excuse me, I'm needed in the shuttlebay. Pleasant regenerating.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: One day a week, that's all I ask. How hard can it be?
NEELIX: Harder than you think.
PARIS: Neelix, it's pizza! Bread, tomatoes, cheese
NEELIX: The cheese alone would take days. Separating curds and whey from synthesised milk. It's a delicate process.
PARIS: So replicate the cheese!
NEELIX: Since it means so much to you I'll see what I can do.
PARIS: Thanks. There's a concentration of protomatter directly ahead.
CHAKOTAY: Neelix?
NEELIX: Set the transporter for ten thousand amu's, not a particle more. The containment field is standing by.
PARIS: We're in range.
CHAKOTAY: Energising. What happened?
PARIS: Transporter beam ignited the protomatter. Shields are weakening.
CHAKOTAY: Disengage transport.
PARIS: Shields are down!
NEELIX: I've got the sample, Commander, and it's stable.
CHAKOTAY: We're clear of the protomatter. How's Neelix?
PARIS: He's dead. No heart beat, no synaptic response, extensive cell damage to his brain.
CHAKOTAY: Try a cortical stimulator.
PARIS: It won't work. His neural pathways were disrupted by the protomatter.
CHAKOTAY: Set the stimulator for an autonomic bypass. At least we can get his vitals going.
PARIS: It's too late for that. The damage was too severe.
CHAKOTAY: We're running into more protomatter. I need your help.

Captain's log, Stardate 51449.2. After receiving a distress call from Commander Chakotay, we've sent a beacon into the nebula and we're in the process of tracking down the away team.

[Bridge]

KIM: Captain, I'm detecting the shuttle.
JANEWAY: Hail them.
KIM: No response.
TUVOK: The shuttle's primary systems are offline. Lifesigns, only two.
JANEWAY: Are they within transporter range?
TUVOK: Affirmative.
JANEWAY: Beam them directly to sickbay. Harry, put a tractor on the shuttlecraft. Tuvok. you've got the bridge.

[Sickbay]

EMH: I ran a complete post-mortem analysis. There was nothing you could have done.
PARIS: I knew we were too close to the protomatter. I should have said something.
CHAKOTAY: Nobody could have predicted this, Tom.
EMH: How shall I proceed?
JANEWAY: The Talaxians mourn their dead for a full week, in a specific burial ceremony, and that's just what we're going to do.
CHAKOTAY: I'll inform the crew.
JANEWAY: I'll heck Neelix's personal database, see what I can find out about the ceremony. We'll have it in the mess hall. Somehow that feels appropriate.
SEVEN: Neelix is dead?
JANEWAY: I'm afraid so.
SEVEN: His neural pathways, are they intact?
EMH: Yes, but there's no metabolic activity.
SEVEN: How long has he been dead?
JANEWAY: Seven, I understand
SEVEN: How long?
CHAKOTAY: It's been eighteen hours.
SEVEN: Then it's not too late to reactivate him.
PARIS: What are you saying? You can bring Neelix back to life?
SEVEN: That's precisely what I'm saying. The Borg have assimilated species with far greater medical knowledge than your own. We are capable of reactivating drones as much as seventy three hours after what you would call death.
CHAKOTAY: Neelix wasn't a Borg drone.
SEVEN: We will adapt.
EMH: What does this procedure involve?
SEVEN: Nanoprobes are used to reverse cellular necrosis, while the cerebral cortex is stimulated with a neuro-electric isopulse.
EMH: But there's nothing left to stimulate. His brain functions are gone.
SEVEN: By your narrow definition, perhaps, but not by mine. You will extract seventy micrograms of nanoprobes from my bloodstream. I will modify them to match his Talaxian physiology. His function in this crew is diverse. If you wish to salvage him we must proceed immediately.
PARIS: I say we let her try.
JANEWAY: Hold on a minute, Tom, please. No-one's ever been resuscitated after being dead for eighteen hours. If this procedure does work, what are the chances that Neelix would come out of it unaffected?
EMH: She's right. The damage to his cerebral cortex was severe.
SEVEN: The nanoprobes will compensate for any cellular degradation. Captain, a decision has to be made quickly.
JANEWAY: Doctor, give Seven whatever assistance she needs. Proceed.
EMH: Captain!
JANEWAY: Do it. If there's a chance we can revive Neelix, we're got to take it. Keep me informed.

SEVEN: The nanoprobes are ready. We should begin.
EMH: Hold on. We should check his blood viscosity.
SEVEN: The cadaver has been sufficiently prepared.
EMH: And they say I have a lousy bedside manner.
SEVEN: Set neuroelectric isopulses for one second intervals.
EMH: Ready.
SEVEN: Now. Neural activity at nine percent, ten percent, twelve percent.
EMH: This is incredible. His intracerebral blood pressure, his synaptic responses, they're all returning to normal.
SEVEN: The alveoli in his lung are regenerating. He should be functional now. Neural activity at fifty two percent and rising.
EMH: His neurotransmitter levels are rising too fast.
SEVEN: We must stabilise his motor neurones.
EMH: I'm going to try reducing his acetocholine levels. It might be enough
NEELIX: Doctor.
EMH: Neelix!
NEELIX: What happened. What happened? Why am, why am I here?

NEELIX: Dead?
EMH: For eighteen hours, forty nine minutes, thirteen seconds. Congratulations, Mister Neelix. You've just set a new world record.
NEELIX: That's impossible. You mean I lost consciousness. I was in a coma.
SEVEN: No. You were dead.
NEELIX: I'm stunned. I'm amazed. I'm grateful. Thank you, Doctor.
JANEWAY: Actually you can thank Seven of Nine. The procedure was her idea.
NEELIX: Yours.
SEVEN: The Borg have assimilated the technique from species one four nine. I simply modified it. But you are welcome.
NEELIX: Am I good as new?
EMH: That remains to be seen. There's no way to tell if your body will successfully take over the functions the nanoprobes are serving.
NEELIX: Nanoprobes!
JANEWAY: It was necessary to repair the necrotised tissue.
EMH: Until I'm certain the damaged tissue can function independently, you'll have to be injected with nanoprobes on a daily basis.
NEELIX: Well, as long as I don't start assimilating the crew or sprouting Borg implants, I'm sure I can live with it.
EMH: I'm releasing you to your quarters. Your body's been through quite a shock so try to get some rest. Report to sickbay tomorrow at oh eight hundred hours for your next injection.

[Corridor]

NEELIX: The shuttle mission, was it a success? Did we get the protomatter?
JANEWAY: I'm afraid not. The sample you collected destabilised before it got back to Voyager.
NEELIX: The containment field needs to be reinforced next time.
JANEWAY: If there is a next time. I've asked Chakotay to find out exactly what caused the accident, and unless we can take additional precautions I'm not sending another team into that nebula.
NEELIX: I could help with that investigation.
JANEWAY: No, you are taking some time off and that's an order.
NEELIX: No, Captain, please, I don't need any special treatment.
JANEWAY: Neelix, you've just returned from the dead. Go easy on yourself.
NEELIX: Yes, I suppose you're right. Oh, but you can't ask me to cancel the first night of Prixin. The celebration's in three days.
JANEWAY: Oh, I almost forgot.
NEELIX: I've been aging fruit compote in root nectar for weeks now. I can't just let it go to waste.
JANEWAY: Only if you feel up to it. Could you not ferment those compotes so long this time, 'cos last year I got a little light-headed.
NEELIX: I'll make the necessary adjustments.
JANEWAY: It's good to have you back.
NEELIX: It's good to be back, Captain.

[Neelix's Quarters]

NEELIX: Alixia, why weren't you there?

[Corridor]

SEVEN: Human attitudes toward death are perplexing.
TUVOK: How so?
SEVEN: Too much importance is placed on it. There seem to be countless rituals and cultural beliefs designed to alleviate their fear of a simple biological truth. All organisms eventually perish.
TUVOK: I take it the Borg have no fear of that biological truth.
SEVEN: None. When a drone is damaged beyond repair it is discarded, but it's memories continue to exist in the Collective consciousness. To use a human term, the Borg are immortal.
TUVOK: You are no longer part of the Collective. You are mortal now like the rest of us. Does that disturb you?
SEVEN: My connection to the Borg has been severed, but the Collective still possesses my recollections, my experiences. In a sense, I will always exist.
TUVOK: Fascinating. That must be a great relief.
SEVEN: Yes, it is.

[Engineering]

PARIS: I've sealed the fractures in the shuttle's nacelle. The rest of the repairs should be completed by morning.
CHAKOTAY: Good. How are you coming?
TORRES: I found this small phase variance in the transporter logs. I think it was responsible for igniting the protomatter. I've remodulated the transporter beam to compensate.
CHAKOTAY: Good work. I'll be in Holodeck two. I've created a simulation of the shuttle accident to see if there's anything we've overlooked.

[Corridor]

NEELIX: Commander! Commander, I thought you might need some assistance on the holodeck.
CHAKOTAY: If you're feeling up to it.
NEELIX: Well, I'm up to anything at this point. I've been resting for two days straight and resting makes me feel restless.

[Holodeck - Shuttlecraft interior]

CHAKOTAY: I've programmed the simulation to start when we found the protomatter. Why don't you monitor the containment field readings?
NEELIX: Gladly.
CHAKOTAY: Computer, display shuttle crew excluding myself and begin programme.
HOLO-PARIS: There's a concentration of protomatter directly ahead.
HOLO-NEELIX: Set the transporter for ten thousand amu's, not a particle more. The containment field is standing by.
HOLO-PARIS: We're in range. The transporter beam ignited the protomatter.
CHAKOTAY: Computer, freeze programme. Looks like there was a problem with the pattern buffer. It might have created a feedback loop along the transporter beam.
NEELIX: Sounds right.
CHAKOTAY: Let's keep an eye on it. See what happened at the moment of impact. Computer, resume programme.
HOLO-PARIS: Shields are weakening. Shields are down!
HOLO-NEELIX: I've got the sample, Commander, and it's stable. Let's get out of here.
NEELIX: Computer, freeze programme. Nothing.
CHAKOTAY: What?
NEELIX: I died, and there was nothing. There was no one there. No Forest.
CHAKOTAY: Forest?
NEELIX: The Great Forest, the afterlife. I was taught that when I died my ancestors would be there, waiting for me by the Guiding Tree. My sisters, my mother and father, everyone who was killed in the war. I took great comfort in knowing we'd all be together again one day. But it's not true.
CHAKOTAY: Maybe we pulled you back before any of that could happen.
NEELIX: No. I was dead for eighteen hours. I should have experienced something, should remember something. It's just a story, a myth. There is no Guiding Tree. No gathering of the ancestors.
CHAKOTAY: You can't be certain of that. Don't throw away a lifetime of faith because of one anomalous incident. Death is still the greatest mystery there is.
NEELIX: I was there. I experienced it. There was nothing.
CHAKOTAY: Computer, delete characters.
NEELIX: That's what's going to happen to all of us. Like a hologram we just disappear into nothing.

[Mess hall]

TUVOK: Attention, attention. If I may have everyone's attention.
PARIS: You might want to try the old glass and spoon approach.
TUVOK: Glass and spoon?
PARIS: Excuse me.
TUVOK: Thank you. Welcome to the first night of Prixin, the Talaxian observance of familial allegiance. This year, Mister Neelix has requested that I commence the celebration with a traditional salutation. We do not stand alone. We are in the arms of family. Father, mother, sister, brother, father's father, father's mother, father's brother, mother's brother. Suffice to say, the list is extensive. We gather on this day to extol the warmth and joy of those unshakable bonds. Without them, we could not call ourselves complete. On this day, we are thankful to be together. We do not stand alone.
JANEWAY: Indeed we do not.
PARIS: A few days ago we almost lost a member of our family. I don't know about how the rest of you feel, but it scared the hell out of me. Neelix, you still don't know how to make a pizza, but I'm glad you're here.
JANEWAY: So am I. Here's to you, Neelix.
ALL: Speech, speech, speech!
NEELIX: Thank you, everyone. Well, enjoy! Computer, music!
CHAKOTAY: You all right?
NEELIX: Fine, Commander, fine. I apologise for the other day on the holodeck. I guess this whole back from the dead thing is hard to get used to. I'm fine now.
CHAKOTAY: If you ever want to talk, you know where to find me.
JANEWAY: Having fun?
SEVEN: No.
JANEWAY: That's probably because you've been standing here by yourself.
SEVEN: I don't understand the rules and procedures for this type of social occasion.
JANEWAY: The rules are simple. Choose a group of people, listen to their conversation, then when you feel you have something to contribute, chime in.
SEVEN: Chime in.
JANEWAY: Say something. Join the discussion.
SEVEN: I will try, Captain.
EMH: The early stages of Ktarian development are astounding. Naomi has grown five centimetres since her last physical, and that was only three weeks ago.
WILDMAN: It seems like every time I turn around I'm recycling her clothes back into the replicator.
SEVEN: Children assimilated by the Borg are placed in maturation chambers for seventeen cycles.
WILDMAN: Interesting. Well, if you'll excuse me, I need to go talk to Neelix.
EMH: In these maturation chambers the development of conversational skills is, I suppose, a low priority?

[Kitchen]

WILDMAN: Neelix. Oh, I'm sorry.
NEELIX: No, no, it's all right.
WILDMAN: We haven't seen you in a few days.
NEELIX: I've been a little preoccupied.
WILDMAN: I understand. Naomi's been asking about you.
NEELIX: Really?
WILDMAN: She misses you. Frankly, so do I. She's had trouble sleeping every night this week. Only Neelix can tuck me in, I want Neelix.
NEELIX: Sounds familiar.
WILDMAN: Maybe you could stop by later just to say hello.
NEELIX: Why don't, why don't I go now? It's close to Naomi's bedtime.
WILDMAN: Are you sure? Prixin's your favourite holiday.
NEELIX: Yes, but duty calls.

[Wildman's Quarters - Naomi's bedroom]

NEELIX: Attention all monsters! Get out of this room!
NAOMI: My bed!
NEELIX: Oh, there's no monsters here. Ah, it's a monster!
NAOMI: Scared you!
NEELIX: You certainly did. Pleasant dreams, sweeting.
NAOMI: Can you stay longer? I want to hear about the Great Forest again.
NEELIX: The Great Forest?
NAOMI: The special place. The place you think about when you can't sleep.
NEELIX: Are you sure you want to hear about that? It's just a silly old story.
NAOMI: Please.
NEELIX: Well, it's a beautiful place filled with sunlight.
NAOMI: And all the people who ever loved me.
NEELIX: Yes, they've all gathered there to watch over you, to protect you while you sleep.
NAOMI: I had a dream about the Great Forest last night.
NEELIX: You did?
NAOMI: There was trees and grass and animals and I saw you and Mommy and we were all happy.
NEELIX: Sounds like a nice dream.
NAOMI: It was beautiful.

[Mess hall]

SEVEN: The Doctor asked me to run a haemotological scan.
NEELIX: Why?
SEVEN: To regulate the dosage of nanoprobes for your next injection.
NEELIX: Go ahead. How much longer will I be needing these injections?
SEVEN: Till your damaged cells can function on their own.
NEELIX: I don't really like the idea of Borg technology swimming around inside me.
SEVEN: That is irrelevant. You need the nanoprobes to live.
NEELIX: Live? Oh, is that what I am doing right now? Living? I'm beginning to wonder.
SEVEN: By most definitions you are alive.
NEELIX: Well, part of me isn't alive.
SEVEN: Which part are you referring to?
NEELIX: I don't know, but something is missing. I don't feel like Neelix anymore. Maybe Neelix is gone? Maybe he died, and I'm all that's left.
SEVEN: Stop moving and allow me to complete the scan.
NEELIX: I didn't ask to be bought back!
SEVEN: You were dead at the time.
NEELIX: Well what right did you have to violate me? You Borg think you can fix anything but you didn't fix me!
SEVEN: There was no alternative.
NEELIX: Get out. Just leave me alone! I said get out!
SEVEN: I would be negligent in my duties if I did that.
NEELIX: I don't care about your duties. I don't care. What's, what's happening to me?
SEVEN: Your cells are returning to a necrotic state. We must get you to sickbay.

[Sickbay]

EMH: His tissue began rejecting the nanoprobes causing spontaneous necrosis throughout his body.
SEVEN: We modified the nanoprobes to compensate and it appears to be working. Neelix is stable, for now.
JANEWAY: How do we know this won't happen again?
EMH: We don't. I've designed a monitor for Neelix to wear that will alert us at the first sign of necrosis, and we'll continue with the daily injections. Beyond that, I'm afraid it's a matter of maintenance. He may have to live with this condition for the rest of his life. He wants to speak with you, Commander.
NEELIX: Commander, you said if I ever needed anything? You once told me your people have technology that can induce a deep meditation, an altered state of consciousness.
CHAKOTAY: The akoonah.
NEELIX: That this device allows you to look inside yourself, ask questions that you might otherwise be afraid to ask.
CHAKOTAY: That's right.
NEELIX: That's what I need. I need to look inside myself, figure out what's happening to me. I need answers. Will you help me, Commander?
CHAKOTAY: All right. But I want you to understand, the vision quest isn't a quick fix. It'll take time to interpret the images, and there's no guarantee you'll find what you're looking for.
NEELIX: I understand. What should I do to prepare?
CHAKOTAY: You'll need a medicine bundle. Items that define you. Things that will ground you, allow you to take the journey into yourself.
NEELIX: I'll get ready.

[Neelix's Quarters]

NEELIX: This belonged to my sister, Alixia. She made it during her expedition to the dunes of Talmouth. A flower from Kes' garden. And last but not least, the Guiding Tree. It stands at the centre of Talaxian afterlife, deep inside the Great Forest. It's there to help us find our way when we first arrive. At least, that's what I used to believe. Not a very impressive medicine bundle, is it?
CHAKOTAY: It'll do fine. Now place your hand on the akoonah.
NEELIX: Am I doing this right?
CHAKOTAY: Try to relax. Clear your mind of everything but the objects before you. Focus on them. Nothing else exists. A-koo-chee-moya. We are far from the sacred places of our grandfathers. We are far from the bones of our people. We come here seeking guidance. It's time, Neelix. Try to leave this room, the ship and go to a place where you were the most peaceful and content you have ever been. That's where your journey will begin.

[Vision Quest - Mess hall]

PARIS: Neelix. Good to have you back.
NEELIX: it's good to be back, Lieutenant. Alixia? Alixia, it's me, Neelix. Over here! Captain! My sister, she was just standing here talking to you.
JANEWAY: The dead girl, oh yes, very charming. I can see the family resemblance.
NEELIX: Alixia!
SEVEN: You will be assimilated.
NEELIX: No time for that now. Maybe later.
KIM: Potent stuff!

[Vision Quest - Great Forest]

NEELIX: The lights. It's beautiful.
ALIXIA: Yes, it's just like you always imagined it would be. The trees, the sunlight, and everyone who ever loved you.
NEELIX: When I died I looked for you, but you weren't there. Why weren't you there?
ALIXIA: Because it's all a lie.
NEELIX: What do you mean?
ALIXIA: You've wasted your entire life believing lies. The Great Forest? The afterlife? It's all created out of your fear of death. None of it's real.
NEELIX: If that's true, what's the point of living?
ALIXIA: There isn't any. That's what you're finally starting to realise. [Naomi's voice] I'm afraid to go to sleep. tell me about the great forest, Neelix. Tell me about the trees, and the grass, and all the people who loved you!
NEELIX: Why are you saying these things?
ALIXIA [Naomi's voice]: Scared you!
NEELIX [as corpse]: You died on that shuttlecraft, Neelix. They never should have brought you back. It was a mistake, and you know it. Now accept it. You know what you have to do.

[Vision Quest - Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: It's all a lie. They lied to you.

[Vision Quest - Naomi's bedroom]

NAOMI: You know what you have to do.

[Vision Quest - Mess hall]

TUVOK: We gather on this day to tell Neelix what he must do.
JANEWAY: You stand alone.
SEVEN: Life is irrelevant.
TORRES: Let go.
KIM: It's pointless.
CHAKOTAY: It's a lie.
EMH: You know what you have to do.
NEELIX: No!

[Astrometrics Lab]

SEVEN: Neelix.
NEELIX: Oh, there you are. I didn't see
SEVEN: Are you looking for me?
NEELIX: Yes, as a matter of fact I am. I hope I'm not disturbing you.
SEVEN: You are not.
NEELIX: I, I want to apologise for my outburst the other day. In the mess hall?
SEVEN: No apology is necessary.
NEELIX: No, please. My behaviour was uncalled-for. I didn't mean the things I said. I wasn't myself, but I feel much better now. Commander Chakotay has helped me to understand a few things. I want you to know that I don't blame you for bringing me back. To life, I mean. In fact, what you did was very thoughtful.
SEVEN: I would have done the same for any member of this crew.
NEELIX: Yes, I'm sure you would have.
SEVEN: Is there something else?
NEELIX: No. Yes. Seven, I think you've made a wonderful addition to this crew. I know it's been difficult for you making the transition from Borg back to human, or half-human or whatever it is you've become. Actually, you're just plain Seven to me.
SEVEN: Your point, Mister Neelix.
NEELIX: I guess I just want to say, you're surrounded by people who care about you, and whether you know it or not Voyager is going to be a very good home to you. It certainly was to me.
SEVEN: Was? Do you intend to leave?
NEELIX: Leave? No, I'll be around. Well, goodbye.
SEVEN: Goodbye.

[Mess hall]

CHAKOTAY: What happened to you this morning?
NEELIX: I'm sorry I had to cancel our little chat, but I was needed in the mess hall. I've been so busy the last few days I've let things slip around here.
CHAKOTAY: You're not holding up your end of the bargain.
NEELIX: What do you mean?
CHAKOTAY: When you asked me to guide you on a vision quest I agreed, but I also told you it was part of an ongoing process. We're supposed to be discussing your progress.
NEELIX: What's left to say? I've told you I saw my sister, the Great Forest, I feel a sense of peace I've never felt in my entire life. It worked.
CHAKOTAY: You've only lived with the visions for a couple of days. That's not enough time to draw any conclusions. You've got to reflect on the images, examine them, allow them to stay alive in your mind. A vision quest isn't just a dream you dismiss after your first cup of coffee.
NEELIX: I understand.
CHAKOTAY: Good. I get off duty at fourteen hundred hours. Meet me in my quarters and we'll begin. That's an order.
NEELIX: Yes sir. Computer, lights off.

[Neelix's Quarters]

NEELIX: And finally, Mister Tuvok. I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to win your respect. Your strength and your wisdom were an inspiration to me, and I can only hope that your memory of me will serve to inspire you in some way. It was an honour to spend my last years on Voyager, with this crew. I want to thank all of you for your kindness and your companionship. Goodbye. Computer, end log. Code for delivery to Captain Janeway in one hour.

[Bridge]

KIM: Captain, someone's trying to initiate an unauthorised transport. It's Neelix.
JANEWAY: Where's he going?
KIM: Looks like he's trying to beam into the nebula.
JANEWAY: Stop him. Janeway to Neelix. Neelix, respond.

[Transporter Room]

JANEWAY [OC]: Neelix, I order you to disengage transport.

[Bridge]

KIM: He's found a way to block the abort sequence. Transport's in progress.
JANEWAY: Override it! Get him back!

[Transporter Room]

KIM [OC]: Bridge to Chakotay. We've blocked his transporter signal.
NEELIX: You can slow me down, but you can't stop me.
CHAKOTAY: What are you trying to do?
NEELIX: Go back where I belong.
CHAKOTAY: You belong here, Neelix.
NEELIX: Not anymore. I died in that nebula! You should have left me!
CHAKOTAY: Neelix!
NEELIX: No closer! I've created a site to site transport. No one can override the signal.
CHAKOTAY: You told me you were at peace.
NEELIX: I will be as soon as I tap this control.
CHAKOTAY: What really happened in your vision quest? What did you see?
NEELIX: My sister, the crew, myself. They all told me the same thing. There's no point in living. And I agree with them.
CHAKOTAY: I'm sure those were powerful images, but there are many ways to interpret them. You may be coming face to face with your own fear of death. Or the manifestation of your emotional crisis. Your deepest beliefs have been thrown into doubt. It's only natural the vision quest would reflect that.
NEELIX: Eleven years ago, I saw my world in ruins. My family murdered. All that's kept me going is knowing that one day we'd be together again. That I'd see them again! But it's not true. And I can't live without that hope.
CHAKOTAY: I understand that this can change how you look at things, but it can also lead to an even stronger faith. You don't know. You're not there yet!
WILDMAN [OC]: Ensign Wildman to Neelix.
CHAKOTAY: Answer her!
WILDMAN [OC]: Neelix, please respond.
NEELIX: No.
CHAKOTAY: You're being called back to your life again, Neelix. Don't turn your back on it! We're your family now.
NEELIX: It's not enough.
CHAKOTAY: It is for us! His function on this crew is diverse. That's what Seven of Nine said about you. Even our Borg understands how important you are on this ship. It's not just the duties you perform, it's the way you make people feel when you're around.
NEELIX: That Neelix is gone.
CHAKOTAY: I don't think he is.
WILDMAN: Why didn't you answer me? I had to have the computer track you down. Naomi thought she saw a monster in the replicator. Neelix, what's going on?
NEELIX: I'm trying to decide some things.
CHAKOTAY: That little girl needs you, Neelix. Monsters in the replicator? Who else on this ship can handle that?
NEELIX: Duty calls.

[Wildman's Quarter's - Naomi's bedroom]

NEELIX: Goodnight, Shirk.
NAOMI: He says goodnight.
NEELIX: Goodnight, Naomi.
NAOMI: Goodnight.
NEELIX: What's the matter?
NAOMI: Mommy says you were sick.
NEELIX: I was, but I'm okay now.
NAOMI: Did a monster get you?
NEELIX: Yes, I suppose so, but I chased him away. Pleasant dreams.

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