Caretaker
Stardate: 48315.6
Original Airdate: January 16 1995

Unhappy with a new treaty, Federation Colonists along the Cardassian border have banded together.
Calling themselves 'The Maquis', they continue to fight the Cardassians.
Some consider them heroes, but to the governments of the Federation and Cardassia, they are outlaws.

[Maquis ship]

(A massive Cardassian ship is firing at a tiny little vessel.)
CHAKOTAY: (native American with a tattoo) Damage report.
TUVOK: (Vulcan) Shields at sixty percent.
TORRES: (human-Klingon woman) A fuel line has ruptured. Attempting to compensate. Damn it! We're barely maintaining impulse. I can't get any more out of it.
CHAKOTAY: Be creative!
TORRES: How am I supposed to be creative with a thirty nine year old rebuilt engine?
GUL EVEK [on viewscreen]: Maquis ship, this is Gul Evek of the Cardassian Fourth Order. Cut your engines and prepare to surrender or we will d
(Chakotay cuts the transmission.)
CHAKOTAY: Initiating evasive pattern omega. Mark.
TUVOK: Shields at fifty percent.
CHAKOTAY: I need more power if we're going to make it to the Badlands.
TORRES: Take the weapons offline. We'll transfer all power to the engines.
TUVOK: Considering the circumstances, I question that proposal at this time.
TORRES: What does it matter? We're not making a dent in their shields anyway! You wanted creative.
CHAKOTAY: Tuvok, shut down all the phaser banks. If you can give me another thirty seconds at full impulse, I'll get us into the Badlands.
TUVOK: Phasers offline.
CHAKOTAY: Throw the last photons at them and then give me the power from the torpedo system.
TUVOK: Acknowledged. Firing photons.
(Two torpedoes explode against the Cardassian ship.)
CHAKOTAY: Are you reading any plasma storms ahead?
TUVOK: One. Co-ordinates one seven one, mark four three.
CHAKOTAY: That's where I'm going.
TUVOK: Plasma storm density increasing by fourteen percent. Twenty. Twenty five.
CHAKOTAY: Hold on!
(The little ship dodges around the plasma streamers.)
TUVOK: The Cardassian ship is not reducing power. They're following us in.
CHAKOTAY: Gul Evek must feel daring today.
TUVOK: They've taken a hit on their port blade. They're sending out a distress signal on all Cardassian frequencies.
CHAKOTAY: Can you plot a course through these plasma fields, Mister Tuvok?
TUVOK: The storm's activity is typically widespread in this vicinity. I can plot a course, but I'm afraid it will require an indirect route.
CHAKOTAY: We can use a time to make some repairs. What was that?
TUVOK: Curious. We've just passed through some kind of coherent tetryon beam.
CHAKOTAY: Source?
TUVOK: Unknown. Now there appears to be a massive displacement wave moving toward us.
CHAKOTAY: Another storm?
TUVOK: It's not a plasma phenomenon. At current speeds, it will intercept us in less than thirty seconds.
CHAKOTAY: Anything left in those impulse generators, B'Elanna?
TORRES: We'll find out.
TUVOK: Still exceeding our speed.
CHAKOTAY: Maximum power.
TUVOK: Wave is continuing to accelerate. It will intercept us in eight seconds. Five.
(Everything goes white.)

[Federation Penal Settlement, New Zealand]

(Inmates are busy constructing something. They all wear ankle-tags. One young man is up a piece of scaffolding using a laser-like device.)
JANEWAY: Tom Paris? Kathryn Janeway. I served with your father on the Al-Batani. I wonder if we could go somewhere and talk.
PARIS: About what?
JANEWAY: About a job we'd like you to do for us.
PARIS: I'm already doing a job for the Federation.
JANEWAY: I've been told the Rehab Commission is very pleased with your work. They've given me their approval to discuss this matter with you.
PARIS: Well then, I guess I'm yours.
(Walking through the trees.)
JANEWAY: Your father taught me a great deal. I was his science officer during the Orias expedition.
PARIS: You must be good. My father only accepts the best and the brightest.
JANEWAY: I'm leaving on a mission to find a Maquis ship that disappeared in the Badlands a week ago.
PARIS: I wouldn't if I were you.
JANEWAY: Really?
PARIS: I've never seen a Federation starship that could manoeuvre through the plasma storms.
JANEWAY: You've never seen Voyager. We'd like you to come along.
PARIS: You'd like me to lead you to my former colleagues. I was only with the Maquis a few weeks before I was captured, Captain. I don't know where most of their hiding places are.
JANEWAY: You know the territory better than anyone we've got.
PARIS: What's so important about this particular Maquis ship?
JANEWAY: My Chief of Security was on board, undercover. He was supposed to report in twice during the last six days. He didn't.
PARIS: Maybe it's just your Chief of Security who's disappeared.
JANEWAY: Maybe. That ship was under the command of another former Starfleet officer, named Chakotay. I understand you knew him.
PARIS: That's right.
JANEWAY: The two of you didn't get along too well, I'm told.
PARIS: Chakotay will tell you he left Starfleet on principle, to defend his home colony from the Cardassians. I, on the other hand, was forced to resign. He considered me a mercenary, willing to fight for anyone who'd pay my bar bill. Trouble is, he was right. I have no problem helping you track down my friends in the Maquis, Captain. All I need to know from you is what's in it for me.
JANEWAY: You help us find that ship, we help you at your next outmeet review.
PARIS: Ah ha.
JANEWAY: Officially, you'd be a Starfleet observer during the mission.
PARIS: Observer? Oh hell, I'm the best pilot you could have.
JANEWAY: You'll be an observer. When it's over, you're cut loose.
PARIS: The story of my life.

[Shuttlecraft]

(Approaching a Cardassian-design space station. It is piloted by a black-haired woman.)
PARIS: Stadi, you're changing my mind about Betazoids.
STADI: Good.
PARIS: Oh, that wasn't a compliment. Until today I always considered your people warm and sensual.
STADI: I can be warm and sensual.
PARIS: Just not to me.
STADI: Do you always fly at women at warp speed, Mister Paris?
PARIS: Only when they're in visual range.
STADI: That's our ship. That's Voyager.
(It is docked at an upper pylon.)
STADI: Intrepid class. Sustainable cruise velocity of warp factor nine point nine seven five. Fifteen decks. Crew complement of one hundred and forty one. Bio-neural circuitry.
PARIS: Bio-neural?
STADI: Some of the traditional circuitry has been replaced by gel packs that contain bio-neural cells. They organise information more efficiently, speed up response time.
(The shuttlecraft flies past Voyager.)

[Quark's, Deep Space Nine]

(Morn is in his usual seat.)
QUARK: If I may say so, it's been my special pleasure to see many new officers like yourself come through these portals. Your parents must be very proud, my boy. You know, on an occasion like this
KIM: I'm really not interested.
QUARK: Interested?
KIM: You were about to try to sell me something, right?
QUARK: I was merely going to suggest that your parents might appreciate a memento of your first mission.
KIM: And you happen to have several to choose from?
QUARK: I do carry a select line of unique artefacts and gem stones indigenous to this region. Why, quite recently, I acquired these Lobi crystals from a very strange creature called a Morn.
KIM: We were warned about the Ferengi at the Academy.
QUARK: Warned about Ferengi, were you?
KIM: That's right.
QUARK: Slurs about my people at Starfleet Academy.
KIM: What I meant was
QUARK: Here I am, trying to be a cordial host, knowing how much a young officer's parents would appreciate a token of his love on the eve of a dangerous mission, and what do I get for my trouble? Scurrilous insults. Well, somebody's going to hear about this. What's your name, son?
KIM: My name?
QUARK: You have one, I presume?
KIM: Kim, Harry Kim. But I
QUARK: And who was it at the Academy who warned you about Ferengi?
KIM: You know, I think a memento for my parents would be a great idea.
QUARK: Oh, no, no, no, no, no.
KIM: Really. What are these? It would make a great pendant for my mother.
QUARK: Or cufflinks for your father.
KIM: Cufflinks. Great idea.
QUARK: They're not for sale. Now, inform your commanding officer that the Federation Council can expect an official query.
KIM: How much for the entire tray?
QUARK: Cash or credit?
PARIS: (in uniform) Dazzling, aren't they? As bright as a Koladan diamond.
QUARK: Brighter.
PARIS: Hard to believe you can find them on any planet in the system.
QUARK: That's an exaggeration.
PARIS: You know, there's a shop at the Volnar Colony that sells a dozen assorted shapes for one Cardassian lek. How much are you selling these for?
QUARK: We were just about to negotiate the price.
PARIS: Come on.
(Paris leads young Kim away from the bar.)
KIM: Thanks.
PARIS: Didn't they warn you about Ferengi at the Academy?

[Sickbay]

(Paris and Kim enter. The doctor and a Vulcan nurse are dealing with a patient on a biobed.)
DOCTOR: Run a level three diagnostic, just to be sure. Can I help you?
PARIS: Tom Paris, reporting on board.
DOCTOR: Oh yes. The observer.
PARIS: That's me. As a matter of fact, I seem to be observing some kind of problem right now, Doctor.
DOCTOR: I was a surgeon at the hospital on Caldic Prime at the same time you were stationed there. We never actually met. Your medical records have arrived from your last posting, Mister Paris. Everything seems to be in order. The Captain asked if you were on board. You should check in with her.
KIM: Er, I haven't paid my respects to the Captain yet either.
DOCTOR: Well, Mister Kim, that would be a good thing for a new operations officer to do.

[Corridor]

KIM: What was that all about?
PARIS: It's a long story, Harry, and I'm tired of telling it. I'm sure someone around here will tell you before long.

[Ready room]

(A split level room with the higher part by the windows, so little Kathryn can stand there and be eye to eye with her crewmen.)
MARK [on monitor]: The doctor called.
JANEWAY: And?
MARK [on monitor]: And I was right.
JANEWAY: She's pregnant?
MARK [on monitor]: The puppies are due in seven weeks.
JANEWAY: Oh, Mark. You've got to take her home with you.
MARK [on monitor]: With me? I just got the rugs cleaned.
JANEWAY: She's with child. I can't leave her in a kennel while I'm
MARK [on monitor]: Is this another 'love me, love my dog' demand?
JANEWAY: Yes.
MARK [on monitor]: How could I ever refuse you?
JANEWAY: Thanks, honey.
MARK [on monitor]: So, when are you leaving?
JANEWAY: As soon as I approve these systems status reports.
MARK [on monitor]: All right. Then I won't bother you anymore.
JANEWAY: Hey. You never bother me, except the way I love to be bothered. Understand?
MARK [on monitor]: I'll remember that.
JANEWAY: See you in a few weeks. Oh, Mark, go by my house and pick up the doggie bed. She'll be more comfortable.
MARK [on monitor]: I already did, an hour ago.
(Janeway blows a kiss and ends transmission. Doorbell.)
JANEWAY: Come in.
(Paris and Kim enter.)
JANEWAY: Gentlemen, welcome aboard Voyager.
KIM: Thank you, sir.
JANEWAY: Mister Kim, at ease before you sprain something. Ensign, despite Starfleet protocol, I don't like being addressed as sir.
KIM: I'm sorry, ma'am.
JANEWAY: Ma'am is acceptable in a crunch, but I prefer Captain. We're getting ready to leave. Let me show you to the bridge.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Did you have any problems getting here, Mister Paris?
PARIS: None at all, Captain.
JANEWAY: My first officer, Lieutenant Commander Cavit. Ensign Kim, Mister Paris.
CAVIT: (human male going grey) Welcome aboard.
(He shakes Kim's hand, then Paris' reluctantly and walks away.)
JANEWAY: Ensign Kim, this is your station. Would you like to take over?
KIM: Yes, ma'am.
(Rear of the bridge, on the right as we view it.)
JANEWAY: It's not crunch time yet, Mister Kim. I'll let you know when.
CAVIT: Lieutenant Stadi, lay in the course and clear our departure with operations.
STADI: Course entered, Ops has cleared us.
CAVIT: Ready thrusters.
KIM: Thrusters ready.
CAVIT: Initiate launching sequence.
STADI: Sequence underway.
JANEWAY: Engage.

[Mess hall]

(At the prow of the ship, with picture windows - a small Ten Forward.)
(Paris enters and goes to the food replicator.)
PARIS: Tomato soup.
COMPUTER: There are fourteen varieties of tomato soup available from this replicator. With rice, with vegetables, Bolian style, with pasta, with
PARIS: Plain.
COMPUTER: Specify hot or chilled.
PARIS: Hot. Hot, plain, tomato soup.
(Paris takes the bowl and goes to sit by Kim. The doctor and Cavit get up and walk away.)
PARIS: There, you see? I told you it wouldn't take long.
KIM: Is it true?
PARIS: Was the accident my fault? Yes. Pilot error. But it took me a while to admit it. Oh, fourteen varieties and they can't even get plain tomato soup right.
KIM: They said you falsified reports.
PARIS: That's right.
KIM: Why?
PARIS: What's the difference? I lied.
KIM: But then you came forward and you admitted that it was your fault?
PARIS: I'll tell you the truth, Harry. All I had to do was keep my mouth shut and I was home free. But I couldn't. The ghosts of those three dead officers came to me in the middle of the night and taught me the true meaning of Christmas. So I confessed. Worst mistake I ever made but not my last. After they cashiered me out of Starfleet, I went out looking for a fight and found the Maquis. And on my first assignment, I was caught.
KIM: It must have been especially tough for you, being the son of an admiral.
PARIS: Frankly, I think it was tougher on my father than it was on me. Look, I know those guys told you to stay away from me. And you know what? You ought to listen to them. I'm not exactly a good luck charm.
KIM: I don't need anyone to choose my friends for me.
JANEWAY [OC]: Janeway to Paris.
PARIS: Go ahead.
JANEWAY [OC]: Report to the Bridge. We're approaching the Badlands.

[Bridge]

(Voyager sweeps between plasma streamers as Paris enters. Janeway and Cavit are at the Tactical station.)
ROLLINS: Plasma storms were measured at levels three and four.
JANEWAY: The Cardassians gave us the last known heading of the Maquis ship, and we have charts of the plasma storm activity the day it disappeared. With a little help, we might be able to approximate its course.
PARIS: I'd guess they were trying to get to one of the M-class planetoids in the Terikof Belt.
CAVIT: That's beyond the Moriya system.
ROLLINS: The plasma storms would have forced them in this direction.
JANEWAY: Adjust our course to match.
CAVIT: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: The Cardassians claimed they forced the Maquis ship into a plasma storm where it was destroyed, but our probes haven't picked up any debris.
PARIS: A plasma storm might not leave any debris.
JANEWAY: We'd still be able to pick up a resonance trace from the warp core.
KIM: Captain, I'm reading a coherent tetryon beam scanning us.
JANEWAY: Origin, Mister Kim.
KIM: I'm not sure. There's also a displacement wave moving toward us.
JANEWAY: On screen.
(The viewscreen shows a narrow band of energy heading towards them.)
JANEWAY: Analysis.
KIM: It's some kind of polarised magnetic variation.
CAVIT: We might be able to disperse it with a graviton particle field.
JANEWAY: Do it. Red alert. Move us away from it, Lieutenant.
STADI: New heading, four one mark one eight zero.
CAVIT: Initiating graviton field.
KIM: The graviton field had no effect.
JANEWAY: Full impulse.
KIM: The wave will intercept us in twelve seconds.
JANEWAY: Can we go to warp?
STADI: Not until we clear the plasma field, Captain.
KIM: Five seconds.
JANEWAY: Brace for impact.
KIM: Three.
(Cavit is sent flying across the bridge as the wave hits. White out. The bridge is a mess with broken conduits and shorting cables. Janeway checks Cavit for a pulse. Nothing.)
JANEWAY: Report!
KIM: Hull breach, deck fourteen. Comm. lines to Engineering are down. Trying to re-establish.
JANEWAY: Repair crews, seal off hull breach on deck fourteen.
CREWWOMAN [OC]: Aye, Captain.
ROLLINS: Casualty reports coming in. Sickbay is not responding.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Sickbay. Doctor, can you hear me? Paris, how's Stadi?
PARIS: She's dead.
KIM: Captain, there's something out there.
JANEWAY: I need a better description than that, Mister Kim.
KIM: I don't know. I'm reading. I'm not sure what I'm reading.
JANEWAY: Can you get the viewscreen operational?
KIM: I'm trying.
(A space station with four arms upper and lower, and two larger ones centre, appears on screen. It is firing energy pulses in one direction, away from Voyager.)
KIM: Captain, if these sensors are working, we're over seventy thousand light years from where we were. We're on the other side of the galaxy.
(After Voyager moves in closer to the station and finds the little Maquis ship, the dead and injured are being stretchered off the bridge.)
KIM: I'm not reading any life signs on the Maquis ship.
JANEWAY: What about on that, that array?
KIM: Our sensors can't penetrate it.
JANEWAY: Any idea what those pulses are that are coming from it, Mister Kim?
KIM: Massive bursts of radiant energy. They seem to be directed toward a nearby G-type star system.
JANEWAY: Try hailing the array.
CAREY [OC]: Engineering to Bridge. We have some severe damage. The Chief's dead. Possibility of a warp core breach.
JANEWAY: Secure all engineering systems. I'm on my way.
KIM: No response from the array.
JANEWAY: Ensign, get down to Sickbay. See what's going on. Mister Rollins, the Bridge is yours.
ROLLINS: Aye, Captain.
PARIS: Harry, wait for me.

[Sickbay]

(Sickbay is on fire and everyone is dead.)
PARIS: They must have been right next to the console when it exploded.
(Kim gets asbestos gauntlets and an extinguisher and puts the fire out.)

[Engineering]

(Janeway pins her hair back up and enters. Something goes bang.)
COMPUTER: Warning. Warp core microfracture. Breach imminent.
JANEWAY: What's the warp core pressure?
CAREY: Twenty one hundred kilopascals.
JANEWAY: Lock down the magnetic constrictors.
CAREY: If we lock them down at these pressure levels, we might not be able to reinitialise the dilithium reaction.
COMPUTER: Warning. Warp core microfracture. Breach imminent.
JANEWAY: We don't have a choice. We've got to get the reaction rate down before we try to seal it.

[Sickbay]

KIM: Computer, initiate Emergency Medical Holographic programme.
(A balding human male appears.)
EMH: Please state the nature of the medical emergency.
KIM: Multiple percussive injuries.
EMH: Status of your doctor?
KIM: He's dead.
EMH: Point four cc's of trianoline.
KIM: Trianoline?
PARIS: We lost our nurse too.
EMH: How soon are replacement medical personnel expected?
KIM: That could be a problem. We're pretty far away from replacements right now.
(The EMH gives one man a hypo then hands it to Kim.)
EMH: Tricorder. Medical tricorder. A replacement must be requested as soon as possible. I am programmed only as a short-term emergency supplement to the medical team.
PARIS: Well, we may be stuck with you for a while, Doc.
EMH: There's no need for concern. I am capable of treating any injury or disease. No concussion. You'll be fine. Clean him up.

[Engineering]

JANEWAY: Unlock the magnetic constrictors.
CAREY: Constrictors online.
JANEWAY: Pressure?
CAREY: It's working. Twenty five hundred kilopascals and holding.
ROLLINS [OC]: Bridge to Janeway. We're being scanned by the array, Captain. It's penetrated our shields.
JANEWAY: What kind of scan? Bridge? Janeway to Bridge, respond.
(Carey vanishes.)
JANEWAY: Initiate emergency lock-off.
(Janeway vanishes.)

[Sickbay]

(Kim and Paris help a man onto a biobed as the EMH examines a woman on the next one.)
EMH: You're not seriously hurt. You can return to your station.
(She starts to sit up and vanishes. Then everyone else vanishes too.)
EMH: This is the Emergency Holographic Doctor speaking. I gave no permission for anyone to be transported out of Sickbay. Hello? Sickbay to Bridge. I believe someone has failed to terminate my programme. Please respond.

[Farm]

(The corn is as high as Kim's eye. Palomino ponies graze. A middle-aged woman comes off the verandah of a big white clapperboard house carrying a tray.)
AUNT ADAH: Come up here. Come on, now. I have a pitcher of lemonade and some sugar cookies.
(Every crew person has a tricorder.)
PARIS: Captain?
JANEWAY: Don't believe your eyes, Mister Paris. We've only transported a hundred kilometres. We're inside the array.
KIM: There's no indication of stable matter. All this must be some kind of holographic projection.
AUNT ADAH: Oh, you poor things. You must be tired out. Come on and sit down and rest awhile. Have a cold drink, hmm?
JANEWAY: No, thank you. My name is Kathryn Janeway, captain of the Federation Starship Voyager.
AUNT ADAH: Now, just make yourselves right at home. The neighbours should be here any minute. Oh! Why, here they are!
(A group of people arrive.)
CARETAKER: (old man with banjo) Well, good to see you. Welcome.
DAUGHTER: We're real glad you dropped by.
AUNT ADAH: Now we can get started. You're all invited to the welcoming bee!
CARETAKER: Let's have some music!
(The old man starts playing and the farm folk dance. After a while -)
PARIS: The crew's scattered around this farm, Captain, but they're all accounted for.
JANEWAY: Move around. Scan the area. See if you can find anything that might be a holographic generator.
AUNT ADAH: Have some nice fresh corn on the cob. Fresh corn on the cob. Corn on the cob. Corn on the cob.
JANEWAY: Can you tell me why we're here?
AUNT ADAH: Oh, we don't mean you any harm. I'm sorry if we put you out. Why don't you just put your feet up and get comfortable while you wait?
JANEWAY: Wait for what?
AUNT ADAH: Isn't anybody hungry? Come on now, make yourselves at home. I'm sorry if we put you out.
(Kim and Paris walk around the house. A dog follows them.)
DAUGHTER: Hey, let me show you around. The root cellar's right over there.
KIM: What's down there?
DAUGHTER: Potatoes, onions. But it's real private.
KIM: Paris, she's only a hologram.
PARIS: No reason to be rude.
KIM: Whoa.
PARIS: What?
KIM: Sporocystian life signs. What's in the barn?
DAUGHTER: Oh, nothing but a big old pile of hay. Hey, come on, let's go see the duck pond. There's nothing in there. It's just a dark, smelly barn. Hey, do y'all want some devilled eggs? Huh?
(Paris and Kim move the girl aside and enter.)

[Barn]

DAUGHTER: See? Nothing but hay.
KIM: There is a life form here. Just one.
PARIS: Where?
KIM: It's everywhere. I'm also reading some kind of matrix-processing device. It may be the holographic generator. Paris, humanoid life signs over here. I'm reading a Vulcan and several humans.
DAUGHTER: I'm not ready for you yet!
(The girl blocks their way and the dog snarls at them.)
PARIS: Paris to Janeway.
(The girl knocks Paris down.)

[Farm]

JANEWAY: Janeway here. Paris? Come on!

[Barn]

(Adah appears from thin air with a pitchfork, then the rest of the farmers. Janeway and four crew run in and the door closes behind them.)
AUNT ADAH: Very well. Since no one seems to care for any corn, we'll have to proceed ahead of schedule.
(The barn wall disappears to reveal a high-tech room that goes on into the distance. Chakotay, B'Elanna and Tuvok are lying on narrow ledges with a long needles sticking into their abdomens. Just as the farmers and Voyager crew vanish we see that all the Maquis are there. The next shot is of Janeway having her stomach skewered and her passing out. Paris is next to her and across the aisle Kim screams.

[Engineering]

(The crew wake up.)
JANEWAY: Janeway to Bridge. Anybody there?
ROLLINS [OC]: Yes, Captain. We're here.
JANEWAY: How long were we over there?

[Bridge]

ROLLINS: Almost three days.
JANEWAY [OC]: Three days?
ROLLINS: Captain, the Maquis ship is powering up its engines.

[Engineering]

JANEWAY: Tractor them. All senior officers, report

[Sickbay]

JANEWAY [OC]: To the Bridge immediately.
EMH: Excuse me. Could you explain what has transpired?
PARIS: Computer, locate Ensign Kim.
COMPUTER: Ensign Kim is not on board.
PARIS: Paris to Janeway.
JANEWAY [OC]: Go ahead.

[Bridge]

PARIS [OC]: Kim didn't come back with us. He must still be over there.
JANEWAY: Acknowledged. Computer, how many crewmen are unaccounted for?
COMPUTER: One. Ensign Harry Kim.
JANEWAY: Hail the Maquis. Commander Chakotay. My name is Captain Kathryn Janeway.
CHAKOTAY [on viewscreen]: How do you know my name?
JANEWAY: We were on a mission to find you when we were brought here by the array. One of our crewman is missing. Was he transported back to your ship by accident?
CHAKOTAY [on viewscreen]: No. A member of our crew is missing too. B'Elanna Torres, my engineer.
JANEWAY: Commander, you and I have the same problem. I think it makes sense to try and solve it together, don't you?
CHAKOTAY [on viewscreen]: Three of us will transport to your ship.
(Transmission ends.)
ROLLINS: They're powering down their engines, dropping their shields.
(Paris enters. Chakotay, Tuvok and Ayala beam in. That's three tall dark and handsome men.)
ROLLINS: Watch out, Captain. They're armed.
JANEWAY: Put down your weapons. You won't need those here. It's good to have you back, Mister Tuvok.
TUVOK: I must inform you that I was assigned to infiltrate your crew, sir. I am Captain Janeway's Chief of Security.
CHAKOTAY: Were you going to deliver us into their waiting hands, Vulcan?
TUVOK: My mission was to accumulate information on Maquis activities, and then deliver you into their waiting hands. That is correct.
CHAKOTAY: I see you had help.
PARIS: It's good to see you too, Chakotay.
CHAKOTAY: At least the Vulcan was doing his duty as a Starfleet officer. But you, you betrayed us for what? Freedom from prison? Latinum? What was your price this time?
JANEWAY: You are speaking to a member of my crew. I expect you to treat him with the same respect as you would have me treat a member of yours. Now, we have a lot to accomplish, and I suggest we all concentrate on finding our people and getting ourselves back home.
TUVOK: Based on my initial reconnaissance, Captain, I am convinced we are dealing with a single entity in the array. I would suggest he scanned our computers in order to select a comfortable holographic environment. In effect, a waiting room to pacify us prior to biometric assessment.
PARIS: An examination?
TUVOK: It is the most logical explanation. Why else would he have released us unharmed?
PARIS: Not all of us were.
JANEWAY: Break out the compression phaser rifles. Meet us in Transporter Room two. We're going back. We'll divide into teams. Mister Tuvok, while Chakotay and I are looking for Torres and Kim, your job is to find out as much about this array as you can. It brought us here. We have to assume it can send us home. Agreed? (Chakotay nods.) Mister Rollins, maintain Red alert. Keep us on constant transporter locks.
PARIS: Captain. I'd like to go with you.
JANEWAY: If this has something to do with what Chakotay said.
PARIS: It doesn't. I'd just, I'd hate to see anything happen to Harry.
JANEWAY: Come on.

[Farm]

(The two parties meet up. Tuvok is in Starfleet uniform.)
TUVOK: There are no humanoid lifeforms indicated, Captain. Kim and Torres are not within tricorder range. They may not be on the array.
CHAKOTAY: He can tell us where they are.
(The old man is on a bench plucking his banjo.)
JANEWAY: Maintain your comm. link. I don't want to lose anyone else.
CARETAKER: Oh, why have you come back? You don't have what I need.
JANEWAY: I don't know what you need and frankly I don't care. I just want our people back and I want us all to be sent home.
CARETAKER: Oh, well now. Aren't you contentious for a minor bipedal species?
JANEWAY: This minor bipedal species doesn't take kindly to being abducted.
CARETAKER: Oh, it was necessary.
CHAKOTAY: Where are our people?
CARETAKER: They are no longer here.
JANEWAY: What have you done to them?
CARETAKER: You don't have what I need. They might. No, you'll have to leave them.
CHAKOTAY: We won't do that.
JANEWAY: We are their commanding officers. We are entrusted with their safety. They are our responsibility. That may be a concept you don't understand.
CARETAKER: Oh, no, I do understand, but I have no choice. There just is not enough time left.
JANEWAY: Left for what?
CARETAKER: I must honour a debt that can never be repaid, but my search has not been going well.
JANEWAY: Tell us what you're looking for. Maybe we can help you find it.
CARETAKER: You? I've searched the galaxy with methods beyond your comprehension. No, there's nothing you can do.
JANEWAY: You've taken us seventy thousand light years from our home. We have no way back unless you send us, and we won't leave without the others.
CARETAKER: But sending you back is terribly complicated. Don't you understand? I don't have time. Not enough time!
(He waves his arm and the group is sent back to the Bridge.)

[Ocampa hospital]

NURSE [telepath]: He's regaining consciousness.
OCAMPA DOCTOR [telepath]: How do you feel?
KIM: What am I doing here? Where am I?
NURSE: Please don't try to move yet. You are very ill.
KIM: Ill? No, no. There's some mistake. I'm not
(He sees growths on his forearm and chest.)
TORRES: No!
(She leaps off the bed, pushes the doctor away and tries to force open the door. The nurse summons help as Torres beats up the doctor. Two medics enter and hold her as the doctor gives her a hypo to knock her out again.)

Captain's log, stardate 48315.6. We've traced the energy pulses from the array to the fifth planet of the neighbouring system and believe they may have been used in some fashion to transport Kim and Torres to the planet's surface.

[Ready room]

JANEWAY: Come in.
TUVOK: Captain, I've observed something peculiar about the pulses. They're getting faster.
JANEWAY: Faster.
TUVOK: The interval between each pulse has decreased by point four seven seconds since we arrived. I can offer no explanation.
JANEWAY: That's only one of the mysteries we're dealing with, Mister Tuvok. Take a look at this.
(A scan of the planet on her desk monitor.)
JANEWAY: It's virtually a desert. Not one ocean, not one river. It has all the basic characteristics of an M-class planet except there are no nucleogenic particles in the atmosphere.
TUVOK: That would mean the planet is incapable of producing rain.
JANEWAY: I've studied thousands of M-class planets. I've never seen an atmosphere without nucleogenics. There must have been some kind of extraordinary environmental disaster. As soon as repairs are complete, we'll set a course for the fifth planet.
TUVOK: Captain, you require sleep.
JANEWAY: Kim's mother called me just after he left her. Delightful woman. He's her only son. He'd left his clarinet behind. She wanted to know if she had time to send it. I had to tell her no. Did you know he played clarinet in the Julliard Youth Symphony?
TUVOK: I did not have the opportunity to meet Mister Kim.
JANEWAY: I barely knew him. I never seem to have the chance to get to know any of them. I have to, I have to take more time to do that. It's a fine crew and I've got to get them home.
TUVOK: The crew will not benefit from the leadership of an exhausted captain.
JANEWAY: You're right as usual. I've missed your counsel, Tuvok.
TUVOK: I am gratified that you came after me so I can offer it once again.
JANEWAY: I spoke to your family before I left.
TUVOK: Are they well?
JANEWAY: Well, but worried about you.
TUVOK: That would not be an accurate perception, Captain. Vulcans do not worry.
JANEWAY: They miss you.
TUVOK: As I do them.
JANEWAY: I'll get you back to them. That's a promise, Tuvok.

Captain's log, supplemental. The Maquis ship and Voyager have encountered a debris field where sensors have detected a small vessel. One humanoid life form is on board.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Hail them.
(The viewscreen is covered in metal debris. Someone with spots and a mohican hair cut clears it.)
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Whoever you are, I found this waste zone first.
JANEWAY: We're not interested in this debris, Mister
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Neelix. And since you're not interested in my debris, well, I'm delighted to know you.
JANEWAY: Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation starship Voyager.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: A very impressive title. I have no idea what it means, but it sounds very impressive.
JANEWAY: Do you know this area of space well, Mister Neelix?
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: I am famous for knowing it well. How may I be of service?
JANEWAY: Do you know anything about the array that's sending energy pulses to the fifth planet?
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: I know enough to stay as far away from it as possible. Wait. Let me guess. You were whisked away from somewhere else in the galaxy, and brought here against your will.
JANEWAY: Sounds as though you've heard this story before.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Sadly, yes. Thousands of times. Well, hundreds of times. Maybe fifty times. But the Caretaker has been bringing ships here for months now.
JANEWAY: The Caretaker?
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: That's what the Ocampa call him. They live on the fifth planet. Did he kidnap members of your crew?
JANEWAY: As a matter of fact, he did.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: It's not the first time.
JANEWAY: Do you know where he might have taken them?
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Just that they're brought to the Ocampa. Nothing more.
JANEWAY: We'd appreciate any help you could give us in finding these Ocampa.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: I really wish that I could help you, I do, but as you can see, there's just there's so much debris for me to investigate today. You'd be surprised the things of value some people abandon.
JANEWAY: Of course, we'd want to compensate you for your trouble.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Well, there's really very little that you could offer me. Unless.
JANEWAY: Yes?
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Unless of course, you had water.
JANEWAY: If you help us find our missing crew members, you can have all the water you want.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: That sounds like a very reasonable arrangement.
JANEWAY: Good. We'll beam you over and tow your ship into our shuttle bay. Mister Tuvok, go to Transporter Room two and meet our guest.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Beam?
JANEWAY: We have a technology which can take you instantly from your ship to ours. It's quite harmless. May we?

[Transporter room]

TUVOK: Energise.
(Neelix checks that he is in one piece.)
NEELIX: Astonishing! You Federations are obviously an advanced culture.
TUVOK: The Federation is made up of many cultures. I am Vulcan.
NEELIX: Neelix. Good to meet you!
(Neelix gives Tuvok a bear hug.)
NEELIX: Interesting. What, what exactly, what exactly does all this, all this do?
TUVOK: I assure you that everything in this room has a specific function. However, it would take several hours to explain it all. I suggest we proceed to your quarters. Perhaps you would care for a bath.
NEELIX: A what?

[Ocampa hospital]

(Torres wakes with a start.)
KIM: It's okay. It's okay.
TORRES: Who are you?
KIM: My name is Kim. Harry Kim. I'm an ensign on the Starship Voyager. I was kidnapped from the array just like you were. I don't know where we are.
TORRES: What was Starfleet doing at that array?
KIM: We were looking for you, actually. One minute we're in the Badlands, the next
TORRES: You mean you were trying to capture us.
KIM: Yeah. Consider yourself captured. Oh, I know I have a phaser here somewhere.
TORRES: I don't find this at all amusing, Starfleet.
KIM: There's no point. It's locked. Hey! Hey, hey, hey. What's that going to accomplish?
TORRES: What are they doing to us? What are these things growing on us?
KIM: Look, do you want them to sedate you again?
TORRES: You're right, Starfleet. It's the Klingon half of me. It's just it's hard to control it sometimes.
KIM: What's your name, Maquis?
TORRES: B'Elanna. B'Elanna Torres.
(The door opens.)
OCAMPA DOCTOR: I hope you're feeling better. I know how frightening all this must be for both of you. I've brought some clothes if you'd care to change.
TORRES: Why are you holding us here?
OCAMPA DOCTOR: You are not prisoners. In fact, we consider you honoured guests. The Caretaker has sent you to us. As long as you are not violent, you are free to leave your quarters.
KIM: What's wrong with us? What are these things?
OCAMPA DOCTOR: We really don't know. You must be hungry. Would you care to join me on the courtyard for a meal?

[Ocampa settlement]

(It's an enclosed place with glass ceiling and lots of girders. The whumph of the energy packets from the array can be heard.)
OCAMPA DOCTOR: Our food dispensers are right this way.
KIM: We're underground.
OCAMPA DOCTOR: Our society is subterranean. We've lived here for over five hundred generations.
TORRES: But before that, you lived on the surface?
OCAMPA DOCTOR: Until the Warming began.
KIM: The Warming?
(A crowd gathers.)
OCAMPA DOCTOR: When our surface turned into a desert and the Caretaker came to protect us. Our ancient journals tell us he opened a deep chasm in the ground and led our ancestors to this place. Since then he has provided for all our needs. Please forgive them. They know you've come from the Caretaker. None of us has ever seen him. This way, please.
(They jump the queue for a food replicator.)
TORRES: Does the Caretaker provide your meals too?
OCAMPA DOCTOR: In fact, he does. He designed and built this entire city for us after the Warming. The food processors dispense nutritional supplements every four point one intervals. It may not offer the exotic tastes some of our younger people crave these days, but it meets our needs.
KIM: Is this how the Caretaker communicates with you?
(The eating area has large picture windows showing different scenes - sunset, clouds, waterfall.)
OCAMPA DOCTOR: He never communicates directly. We try to interpret his wishes as best we can.
KIM: I'm curious to know how you've interpreted the Caretaker's reason for sending us here.
OCAMPA DOCTOR: We believe he must have separated you from your own species for their protection.
TORRES: Their protection?
OCAMPA DOCTOR: From your illness. Perhaps he's trying to prevent a plague.
TORRES: We weren't sick until we met your Caretaker.
OCAMPA DOCTOR: From time to time, he asks us to care for people with this disease. It's the least we can do.
TORRES: There have been others? Like us?
OCAMPA DOCTOR: Yes.
TORRES: Where are they?
OCAMPA DOCTOR: Your condition is serious. We don't know exactly how to treat it. I'm afraid the others did not recover.

[Neelix's quarters]

Large jugs of water have been arranged as a table centre piece and a banquet is laid out, half devoured. Steam is coming from the bathroom together with sounds that might be meant to be musical.) 
TUVOK: Sir.
NEELIX: Ah, Mister Vulcan. Come in, come in, please. I can hardly see you.
(Neelix is taking a bath. Tuvok does not look at him.)
NEELIX: I want to thank you for your hospitality. I must admit, I haven't had access to a food rebel er, er, replicator before.
TUVOK: I'd never have guessed.
NEELIX: And to immerse myself in water. Oh, do you know what joy this is? No one around here wastes water in this manner. Good sand scrub, that's the best that we can hope for.
TUVOK: I am pleased you are enjoying yourself, but we are in orbit of the fifth planet. We need your assistance.
NEELIX: Oh! Could you hand me the, er, towel?
(The towel stops us seeing Neelix as he stands up.)
NEELIX: If you will scan the large southern continent you'll find a range of extinct volcanoes. Follow the foothills north until you discover a dry riverbed. You'll find an encampment there.
TUVOK: Do you believe our people might be at this location?
NEELIX: It's not impossible. Maybe. Perhaps not. But we'll find them. We'll need several containers of water to bring for barter. Do these, er, replicators make clothing as well?
TUVOK: Yes.
NEELIX: Will it make me a uniform like yours?
TUVOK: No, it most certainly will not.

[Kazon settlement]

(Parched red clay, cracked under the red sky. Janeway, Paris, Chakotay, Tuvok and Neelix beam down. People run to a building nearby.)
PARIS: Why would anyone want to live in a place like this?
NEELIX: The rich cormaline deposits are very much in demand.
CHAKOTAY: The Ocampa use it for barter?
NEELIX: Not the Ocampa, the Kazon-Ogla.
JANEWAY: The Kazon-Ogla? Who are the Kazon-Ogla?
NEELIX: They are. Kazon sects control this part of the quadrant. Some have food, some have ore, some have water. They all trade and they all kill each other for it.
JANEWAY: I thought you said the Ocampa had our people.
NEELIX: My friends, it's good to see you again!
(A group of Kazon pick up Neelix and carry him to the middle of the settlement. Others take the away team's weapons.)
NEELIX: I must speak with your Maje, the ever-wise Jabin!
(Neelix is put against a wall and weapons are aimed at him.)
NEELIX: Very amusing.
KAZON: Destroy him.
(The others are made to sit down.)
NEELIX: Very amusing. I, I enjoy a joke as much as the next man. Jabin! My old friend! Water. Water, Jabin. I have water to replace all that I borrowed. Show them, Mister Paris. Their ship has technology that makes water out of thin air!
(Jabin takes a bottle from Paris and drinks.)
JABIN: You have more?
JANEWAY: Janeway to Voyager. Energise.
(Two tanks appear. The Kazon run to them.)
JANEWAY: There's more where that came from, if you can help us.
JABIN: How can we help someone so powerful they can create water out of thin air?
JANEWAY: This man led us here suggesting we might find a people called the Ocampa. Do you know where they are?
JABIN: Ocampa. She is Ocampa.
(A slight blonde girl in a doorway.)
JABIN: Why would you be interested in such worthless creatures? They live only nine years. They make poor servants. We caught her when she wandered to the surface.
JANEWAY: To the surface? You mean they live underground?
JABIN: The entity in space that gives them food and power also gives them sole access to the only water on this world, two miles below the surface.
JANEWAY: This same entity has abducted two of our people. We believe they might be with the Ocampa.
JABIN: There's no way to get to them. We tried. The entity has established some kind of subterranean barrier we can not penetrate.
CHAKOTAY: But she got out.
JABIN: Occasionally, some of them do find their way to the surface. We don't know how, but the Ocampa seal the tunnels afterwards.
NEELIX: Maybe she can help these good people find a way down.
JABIN: You'd be wasting your time. I've used every method of persuasion I know to get her to help us. She won't.
NEELIX: Then she's worthless to you. Let us trade you water for this scrawny little thing.
JABIN: I'd be more interested in acquiring this technology that allows you to create water from thin air.
JANEWAY: That would be difficult. It's integrated into our ship's systems.
(Neelix grabs Jabin and holds a tiny weapon to his throat.)
NEELIX: Tell them to drop their weapons. Drop them, my friends, or he dies in an instant.
JABIN: Do it. Do it!
(The Kazon put down their weapons, Tuvok and Chakotay disarm Jabin.)
NEELIX: Step aside.
(Neelix aims his weapon at the tanks and fires holes in them. The Kazon rush to save as much water as they can.)
NEELIX: Come on!
(The girl runs out to his arms.)
NEELIX: I strongly suggest you get us out of here.
JANEWAY: Six to beam up.

[Transporter room]

NEELIX: My dearest. Didn't I promise I'd save you?

[Ocampa settlement]

(In a dark passageway.)
KIM: Look, I'm sure Captain Janeway is doing everything she can to find us.
TORRES: What makes you think any of them are still alive?
(Torres winces.)
KIM: Should I call for some help?
TORRES: No.
NURSE: Are you in pain?
TORRES: Are you watching us? I thought we weren't supposed to be your prisoners.
NURSE: I wasn't watching you. I was coming to give you something. I don't know if it'll help. It's a medicine. There are people who have broken from tradition and left the city. Their colony grows fruits and vegetables. They discovered quite by accident that the moss that grows on certain fruit trees has healing properties. I'm sorry for what has happened to you.
KIM: Appreciate this, but the only way we're going to survive is if we can get to the surface and find our own people.
NURSE: The elders would say that's against the Caretaker's wishes.
TORRES: What do you say?
NURSE: The Caretaker's been behaving strangely for the past several months. Abducting people, increasing the power supply.
KIM: Power supply.
NURSE: He's tripled the energy he sends us. They say we have enough stored now to run the city for five years.
KIM: Nobody knows why?
NURSE: When we ask, we're told to trust the Caretaker's decisions. One person I knew did get to the surface. We never saw her again.
KIM: How?
NURSE: The ancient tunnels that brought us here still exist. Over the years, small breaches in security barriers have appeared just large enough for someone to get through. But it still requires digging through metres of rock to get out.
TORRES: Can you get us tools to dig with?
NURSE: It would take days, maybe even weeks to break through. You have to rest. Conserve your strength.
KIM: Please. It's our only chance.

[Sickbay]

(The EMH is treating the young girl's bruises.)
TUVOK: If you had told us what you had planned, we might have anticipated your irrational behaviour.
NEELIX: Irrational? We got out of there, didn't we?
KES: Excuse me. Don't blame Neelix.
EMH: That's enough. This is a sickbay, not a conference room. Visiting hours are over. Everyone except my patient is to leave immediately.
JANEWAY: Computer, end Medical Holographic Programme.
(The EMH vanishes.)
KES: I never should have gone to the surface. I'm too curious. I'm told it's my worst failing.
NEELIX: No, no, it's a wonderful quality. Your most endearing.
JANEWAY: Would you be willing to take us underground to look for our missing crew?
KES: I'm afraid Jabin was right. There's no way to get down. The tunnel I came out has been sealed.
JANEWAY: We don't need a tunnel. We have the ability to transport there directly.
TUVOK: Captain, our sensors did not pick up any indication of an underground civilisation. The subterranean barrier Jabin described may be responsible. It might also block our transporter.
KES: There are breaches in the security barrier where it's begun to decay. That's how I got out.
JANEWAY: Have the transporter room begin a sweep for any breaches we might be able to beam through.
(Tuvok leaves.)
NEELIX: Kes can tell you where to go. But now that she's free, we're leaving this system together.
KES: Neelix, these people rescued me.
NEELIX: I rescued you.
KES: With their help. It would be wrong not to help them now.

[Ocampa settlement - Garden]

(Saxifrages and other water-retentive plants in rows. Kes leads Janeway, Tuvok, Chakotay and Neelix.)
TUVOK: Captain, the pulses from the array continue to accelerate. The intervals between them have decreased another point eight seconds.
DAGGIN: Kes.
KES: Hello, Daggin.
DAGGIN: We thought we'd never see you again. How did you get back?
KES: These people rescued me from the Kazon. I'm trying to help them find two of their crewmen. Does anyone know where the aliens are kept? The ones the Caretaker sends here?
DAGGIN: I think they're at the central clinic.
JANEWAY: Can you take us there?
TOSCAT [telepath]: No, she cannot.
KES: They can't speak telepathically, Toscat. Please talk aloud.
TOSCAT: I didn't meant to be rude but you should not be here.
JANEWAY: We'll be glad to leave once we find our crewmen.
TOSCAT: That won't be possible. We cannot interfere with the Caretaker's wishes.
CHAKOTAY: Maybe you can't, but we can.
TOSCAT: You don't understand.
KES: That's right. They don't understand. They have no way of knowing that the Ocampa have been dependent on the Caretaker for so long, we can't even think for ourselves any more. They don't understand we were once a people who had full command of our mind's abilities.
TOSCAT: The stories of our ancestor's cognitive abilities are apocryphal. At the very least exaggerated.
KES: We lost those abilities because we stopped using them.
TOSCAT: We should not dwell on what's been lost but on all that's been gained.
KES: We've gained a talent for dependence, for simply taking what we're given. I'm going to help them, Toscat, whether you like it or not, and I think my friends will join me.
TOSCAT: You defied the Caretaker by going to the surface, Kes. Learn from the experience. Follow the path he has set for us.
KES: I've learned very well, Toscat. I saw the sunlight. I can't believe that our Caretaker would forbid us to open our eyes and see the sky. Come with me. We'll find your people.

[Shaft]

(A metal fire escape type staircase winds around a large shaft that goes up towards the surface. There are some flickering lights. Torres and Kim have torches and shovels. They start up, slowly. After a while -)
TORRES: Come on. Don't let it beat you, Starfleet. Come on.
KIM: I'm sorry.
TORRES: All right. It's all right. We'll rest a minute.
KIM: Maybe I'd do better if I had a little Klingon blood in me.
TORRES: Trust me, it's more trouble than it's worth.
KIM: You know, I spent my whole life getting ready for Starfleet. And on my very first mission, I'm going to die.
TORRES: We're not finished yet. I know a few things that old Sneezy didn't teach in his survival course.
KIM: Sneezy?
TORRES: Commander Zakarian, remember? He must have been allergic to everything.
KIM: You went to the Academy.
TORRES: Actually made it into the second year before we, er, we mutually agreed that it wasn't the place for me.
KIM: You know, I never really liked Zakarian.
TORRES: Shush. Listen. They're getting faster.
(The pulses are almost constant.)

[Ocampa settlement]

(The group are going up an escalator when the pulses stop.)
JANEWAY: Away team to Voyager.
ROLLINS [OC]: Voyager here.
JANEWAY: What's going on with the array?

[Bridge]

ROLLINS: It's no longer sending out pulses, Captain, and it appears to be realigning its position.
JANEWAY [OC]: Keep me informed. Janeway out.

[Ocampa settlement]

KES: They haven't been at the clinic for hours.
DAGGIN: We can search the city. Ask if anyone's seen them.
JANEWAY: If they were trying to get to the surface, how would they go?
KES: Probably the same way I did. Up one of the ancient tunnels.
JANEWAY: Mister Paris, you and Neelix go with her and start checking them out. We need to talk to every doctor and nurse at this hospital, see what they can tell about Torres and Kim.
(Boom. The settlement shakes.)
ROLLINS [OC]: Voyager to Janeway.
JANEWAY: Go ahead.

[Bridge]

ROLLINS: Captain, the array is firing some kind of weapon at the surface. It seems to be trying to seal the energy conduits.
JANEWAY [OC]: Understood. Keep a channel open.

[Ocampa settlement]

CHAKOTAY: If the array is the Ocampa's sole source of energy, why would the Caretaker seal the conduits?
TUVOK: He would seal them if he no longer intended to use them, to protect the Ocampa from their enemies. Captain, there is now enough evidence to form a reasonable hypothesis. I believe that the Caretaker is dying.
JANEWAY: Explain.
TUVOK: First, he increases the energy supply to provide the city with a surplus to last at least five years. Then he seals the conduits. The logical conclusion is that he does not intend to continue his role as Caretaker.
CHAKOTAY: That doesn't necessarily mean he's dying. He could be leaving.
TUVOK: Doubtful. Not after a millennium of providing for these people. I believe that the Caretaker owes something to the Ocampa. I believe the debt that can never repaid is very likely a debt to them. In addition, there were his frequent references to running out of time. I think he knew his death was imminent.
JANEWAY: If he dies, how the hell are we supposed to get home?

[Shaft]

(Paris uses his tricorder.)
PARIS: They're in this one. Harry! Paris to Janeway.
JANEWAY [OC]: Go ahead.
PARIS: They're in one of the tunnels, Captain. I can't see them, but they're up there. We're going after them.

[Ocampa settlement]

JANEWAY: Call for transport when you have them, Paris. We'll meet you on the ship. Janeway to Voyager.
ROLLINS [OC]: Voyager here.
JANEWAY: Three to beam up.
ROLLINS [OC]: Stand by.

[Bridge]

ROLLINS: Captain, I can't get a lock on you.

[Ocampa settlement]

ROLLINS [OC]: The weapons fire from the array has irradiated the planet's crust.

[Bridge]

ROLLINS: The transport sensors can't find the breaches in the security barrier.

[Ocampa settlement]

JANEWAY: Come on. There's only one other way out of here.

[Shaft]

JANEWAY [OC]: Janeway to Paris.
PARIS: Go ahead.
JANEWAY [OC]: The transporters aren't working. You're going to have to find a breach in the security barrier when you get to the top.
PARIS: Understood.
JANEWAY [OC]: We're a few minutes behind you. Janeway out.
PARIS: I see them.
(Torres and Kim are on the next landing, exhausted. The weapons fire makes the staircase rattle.)
KIM: Took you long enough.
PARIS: How could I let down the only friend I've got?
KIM: Friend? What makes you think I'm your friend?
PARIS: Paris to Janeway.
JANEWAY [OC]: Go ahead.
PARIS: We found them, Captain.
JANEWAY: (starting up the stairs.) Don't wait for us. Get them to safety.
KES: (helping Torres) Don't worry. I know we can get through the barrier.

[Tunnel]

(The horizontal tunnel in the rock is partially blocked by a force field, but there is a gap at one edge where a rock has fallen.)
KES: Whatever you do, don't touch it. We've been told it'll burn your skin off.

[Shaft]

JANEWAY: They're not far ahead of us. Keep going.

[Tunnel]

PARIS: I think we've reached the top. Neelix, get out your phaser.
(Paris and Neelix fire at the tunnel roof. It falls in and they can see daylight.)

[Planet surface]

(Paris climbs out onto the desert and helps Kes then Kim. Next comes Torres and finally Neelix.)
PARIS: Voyager, can you get a lock on us now?
ROLLINS [OC]: Affirmative. But I'm reading only five signals.
PARIS: The others are. Get down!
(A weapon hit shakes the shaft, throwing Janeway, Chakotay and Tuvok off balance, and a cloud dust comes out of the hole.)
PARIS: Paris to Janeway. Chakotay, Tuvok, do you read? Voyager, prepare to transport everyone in this group except me.
ROLLINS [OC]: Aye, sir.
NEELIX: You're not thinking of going back there? Well, if a fool needs company. Take care of them, dearest. I'll see you later.
PARIS: Voyager, make that three to beam up. Lock in on the other comm. badge and energise.
(Kes, Kim and Torres are beamed up.)

[Shaft]

(Janeway checks on Tuvok.)
CHAKOTAY: My leg is broken. I can't move.
JANEWAY: Hold on.
NEELIX: There they are.
JANEWAY: Neelix, help me with Tuvok.
PARIS: I'll get Chakotay.
(Neelix, Janeway and Tuvok leave the top of the staircase. Another weapons hit dislodges the metal from the rock wall and breaks the joins. Chakotay is hanging on by his fingertips.)
CHAKOTAY: Get out of here, Paris, before the whole thing comes down!
PARIS: I intend to, as soon as I get you up.
CHAKOTAY: You get on those stairs, they'll collapse! We'll both die!
PARIS: Yeah? But on the other hand, if I save your butt your life belongs to me. Isn't that some kind of Indian custom?
CHAKOTAY: Wrong tribe.
PARIS: I don't believe you.
(Paris gets to Chakotay.)
PARIS: You'd rather die than let me be the one to rescue you?
CHAKOTAY: Fine. Be a fool. If I have to die, at least I'll have the pleasure of watching you go with me.
(With Chakotay's arms around his neck, Paris pulls them both up the remaining steps.)
PARIS: Isn't there some Indian trick where you can turn yourself into a bird and fly us out of here?
CHAKOTAY: You're too heavy.
(The section of staircase falls just as they step off it.)

[Sickbay]

(The EMH has repaired Chakotay's leg, and healed Torres and Kim.)
ROLLINS [OC]: Bridge to Janeway.
JANEWAY: Go ahead.
ROLLINS [OC]: Captain, two Kazon ships are approaching the Array.
JANEWAY: Set a course. I'm on my way.
CHAKOTAY: We've got to get back to our ship.
EMH: I strongly advise you to rest. I will not be held responsible for the consequences. Is the crew always this difficult?
KIM: I don't know, Doc. It's my first mission.
(Chakotay, Torres and Kim leave.)
EMH: Doesn't anyone know how to turn off the programme when they leave?

[Bridge]

(Janeway, Kim, Tuvok and Paris enter.)
JANEWAY: Bring the weapons systems online.
TUVOK: Powering up phase banks and photon systems.
JANEWAY: Red alert.
(Voyager and the Maquis ship approach the Array. Two Kazon ships are there.)
TUVOK: The lead Kazon ship is hailing us, Captain.
JANEWAY: On screen.
JABIN [on viewscreen]: Have you come to investigate the entity's strange behaviour too, Captain?
JANEWAY: All we care about is getting home, Jabin. We're about to transport over to the Array to see if we can arrange it.
JABIN [on viewscreen]: I'm afraid I can not permit that.
JANEWAY: We have no dispute with you.
JABIN [on viewscreen]: I have a dispute with anyone who would challenge us.
JANEWAY: This is ridiculous. We have no intention of challenging you.
JABIN [on viewscreen]: And I have no intention of letting anyone with your technological knowledge board the Array.
JANEWAY: Jabin, can we discuss this like two civilised
(Transmission ends.)
TUVOK: They're powering up their weapons.
JANEWAY: I guess we can't.
(Boom.)
TUVOK: Shields are holding.
JANEWAY: Fire phasers. Evasive pattern, delta four.
(The Kazon ships are Maquis sized, tiny compared to Voyager.)

[Maquis ship]

JANEWAY [OC]: Janeway to Chakotay. Tuvok and I are beaming to the Array. Can you hold off the Kazon?
CHAKOTAY: I think so, Captain.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Good. Mister Paris, take the conn.
PARIS: Yes, ma'am.
JANEWAY: Maintain transporter locks, Ensign. Emergency beam out status.
KIM: Aye, Captain.

[Barn]

(Owls hoot and dogs bark.)
TUVOK: The data processing system is behind this wall, Captain.
(A plaintive banjo starts up.)
JANEWAY: You know what to do.
(Tuvok leaves.)
CARETAKER: Well, you're nothing if not persistent.
JANEWAY: We need you to send us back where we came from.
CARETAKER: That isn't possible. I've barely enough strength to complete my work.
JANEWAY: You're sealing the conduits before you die.
CARETAKER: If I don't, the Kazon will steal the water. But in a few years, when the Ocampa's energy runs out, it won't matter. They'll be forced to come to the surface and they won't be able to survive.
JANEWAY: Something you did turned their planet into a desert, didn't it? That was the debt that could never be repaid.
CARETAKER: We're explorers from another galaxy. We had no idea that our technology would be so destructive to their atmosphere. Two of us were chosen to stay behind and care for them.
JANEWAY: There's another like you here?
CARETAKER: Not anymore. No, no. She went off to look for more interesting places.
JANEWAY: Why were you bringing ships here, infecting people with a fatal illness?
CARETAKER: Oh, they didn't die of an illness. They died because they were incompatible.
JANEWAY: Incompatible?
CARETAKER: I've been searching the galaxy for a compatible biomolecular pattern. Now, in some individuals I found cellular structures that were similar, but I
JANEWAY: You've been trying to procreate?
CARETAKER: I needed someone to replace me. Someone who'd understand the enormous responsibility of caring for the Ocampa. Only my offspring could do that.
JANEWAY: Did you ever consider allowing the Ocampa to care for themselves?
CARETAKER: They're children.
JANEWAY: Children have to grow up. We're explorers too. Most of the species we've encountered have overcome all kinds of adversity without a Caretaker. It's the challenge of surviving on their own that helps them to evolve. Maybe your children will do better than you think.
KIM [OC]: Voyager to Janeway.
JANEWAY: Go ahead.
KIM [OC]: We've got problems here.

[Bridge]

(There is a massive vessel out there, beating little Voyager up.)
KIM: The Kazon just got some back up.
JANEWAY [OC]: We need more time.

[Barn]

JANEWAY: Can you hold them off for another few minutes?
KIM [OC]: We'll do our best. Kim out.

[Maquis ship]

(Watching Voyager being hit.)
CHAKOTAY: Their weapons array has been hit. They're in trouble.
TORRES: Neither of us has enough fire power to stop that ship.
CHAKOTAY: I'm setting a collision course, but the guidance system is disabled. I'll have to pilot the ship manually. Get the crew ready to beam to Voyager. And drop shields for transport. Paris, my crew's coming over. Tell one of your crackerjack Starfleet transporter chiefs to keep a lock on me. I'm going to try and take some heat off your tail.
PARIS [OC]: Acknowledged.

[Bridge]

PARIS: But don't for one second think this makes us even, Chakotay. Your life is still mine.

[Maquis ship]

PARIS [OC]: Paris out.

[Bridge]

(Torres enters as a wounded Starfleet is helped out.)
ROLLINS: I'm holding the lock on him, sir, but he's getting too close.
PARIS: I'm getting you out of there, Chakotay.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Not yet!

[Maquis ship]

(The little ship takes a direct hit from the Kazon. It streams flames.)
PARIS [OC]: You're breaking up. Stand by to transport.
CHAKOTAY: Wait.
(He is so close to the Kazon he can almost see through the port holes.)
CHAKOTAY: Now!
(KaBOOM! The Kazon ship has fires raging internally.)

[Transporter room]

PARIS [OC]: Transporter Room two, do you have him?
CHAKOTAY: They've got me.

[Array]

TUVOK: Captain, I can access the system to send us back to Federation space, but it will take several hours to activate.
JANEWAY: Unless you help us.
CARETAKER: Oh, I wish I could but I have very little time left, so I have initiated a self-destruct programme.
JANEWAY: If you destroy the Array, we'll have no way to get home.
CARETAKER: The Ocampa's enemies can not be allowed to control this installation. In minutes, it'll be destroyed. You have to go. Go now.
(The Kazon ship hits the Array. The holographic barn turns into the high-tech room. There is a giant purple blob at one end.)
TUVOK: The Caretaker?
JANEWAY: Voyager, report.
PARIS [OC]: Kazon vessel

[Bridge]

PARIS: Just collided with the array, Captain. Are you all right?
JANEWAY [OC]: Affirmative.

[Array]

JANEWAY: Stand by.
CARETAKER: The self-destruct programme has been damaged. Now this installation will not be destroyed. But it must be. The Kazon must not be allowed to gain control of it. They will annihilate the Ocampa.
(The Caretaker shrinks into a hand-sized rock. Janeway picks it up.) TUVOK: Shall I activate the programme to get us back?
JANEWAY: And what happens to the Ocampa after we're gone?
TUVOK: Captain, any action we take to protect the Ocampa would affect the balance of power in this system. The Prime Directive would seem to apply.
JANEWAY: Would it? We never asked to be involved, Tuvok, but we are. We are.

[Bridge]

(Voyager is still taking weapons fire.)
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok, ready the tricobalt devices.
TUVOK: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: Open a channel to the Kazon.
KIM: Channel open.
JABIN [on viewscreen]: Be advised, Captain. I have called for additional ships.
JANEWAY: I'm calling to warn you to move your vessels to a safe distance. I intend to destroy the Array.
JABIN [on viewscreen]: You can't do that!
JANEWAY: I can and I will. End transmission.
KIM: They're increasing fire, Captain. Shields are holding.
JANEWAY: Move us four hundred kilometres from the Array, Mister Paris.
PARIS: Yes, ma'am.
TORRES: What do you think you're doing? That Array is the only way we have to get back home.
JANEWAY: I'm aware everyone has families and loved ones at homes they want to get back to. So do I. But I'm not willing to trade the lives of the Ocampa for our convenience. We'll have to find another way home.
TORRES: What other way home is there? Who is she to be making these decisions for all of us?
CHAKOTAY: She's the Captain.
TUVOK: The tricobalt devices are ready.
PARIS: We're in position.
JANEWAY: Fire.
(Two blue torpedoes strike the Array. Mega-KaBOOM as it falls apart.)
KIM: The lead Kazon ship is hailing us.
JANEWAY: On screen.
JABIN [on viewscreen]: You have made an enemy today.
TUVOK: They are withdrawing, Captain.

[Ready room]

(A picture of Janeway, Mark and Molly on her desk monitor. Doorbell.)
JANEWAY: Come in.
PARIS: You asked to see me, Captain.
JANEWAY: Mister Paris, you have a problem. I've invited Chakotay and the other Maquis to become part of this crew. It seemed the only reasonable thing to do under the circumstances.
PARIS: Will you provide a bodyguard for me, Captain?
JANEWAY: It seems you already have one.
PARIS: I do?
JANEWAY: Mister Chakotay said something about his life belonging to you? He'll be taking responsibility for your safety.
PARIS: I think I'm going to enjoy this.
JANEWAY: Don't be so sure. He'll also be my First Officer. Everyone aboard this ship will report to him, including the lieutenant assigned to conn.
PARIS: Me?
JANEWAY: I've entered into the ship's log on this date that I'm granting a field commission of lieutenant to Thomas Eugene Paris. Congratulations.
PARIS: Er, for the first time in my life I don't know what to say.
JANEWAY: You've earned this, Tom. I'm only sorry your father won't know.
PARIS: Oh, he'll know. When we get back.
(Paris leaves and Neelix and Kes come running across the Bridge.)
NEELIX: Ah, Captain! We were just coming to see you.
JANEWAY: We supplied your ship with water, Neelix. It's ready to go.
NEELIX: Well, you see, that's what we wanted to discuss. We'd like to go with you.
JANEWAY: I'm sorry. This isn't a passenger ship.
KES: Of course not. We won't be passengers.
NEELIX: We'd be valuable colleagues.
JANEWAY: Colleagues?
NEELIX: Whatever you need is what I have to offer. You need a guide? I'm your guide. You need supplies? I know where to procure them. I have friends among races you don't even know exist. You need a cook? Oh, you haven't lived until you've tasted my angla'bosque. It will be my job to anticipate your needs before you know you have them. And I anticipate your first need will be me.
KES: Captain, we both want very much to be a part of your journey.
(Janeway nods.)

[Bridge]

(Chakotay and Torres are in Starfleet uniform. So is Ayala.)
JANEWAY: We're alone in an uncharted part of the galaxy. We have already made some friends here, and some enemies. We have no idea of the dangers we're going to face, but one thing is clear. Both crews are going to have to work together if we're to survive. That's why Commander Chakotay and I have agreed that this should be one crew. A Starfleet crew. And as the only Starfleet vessel assigned to the Delta Quadrant, we'll continue to follow our directive to seek out new worlds and explore space. But our primary goal is clear. Even at maximum speeds, it would take seventy five years to reach the Federation, but I'm not willing to settle for that. There's another entity like the Caretaker out there somewhere who has the ability to get us there a lot faster. We'll be looking for her, and we'll be looking for wormholes, spatial rifts, or new technologies to help us. Somewhere along this journey, we'll find a way back. Mister Paris, set a course for home.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.

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