Parturition
Stardate: 49019.1
Original Airdate: October 9 1995

[Holodeck - Shuttlecraft]

(There's a lot of shaking going on.)
PARIS: Inertial dampers have failed.
KES: I can't get any response from the field coils.
PARIS: Did you verify the control inputs?
KES: Stand by. The inputs have locked. We've got to flush the plasma injectors. Or maybe it's just a phase synchronisation adjustment.
PARIS: Plasma injectors.
KES: Plasma injectors. Right.
PARIS: Field coils responding. Inertial dampers back online.
KES: That was not fair.
PARIS: As your flight instructor, it's my duty to prepare you for anything, fair or not.
KES: Clogging someone's plasma injectors is a dirty trick.
PARIS: Yes, well, I'm famous for my dirty tricks, you know?
(Whumph! Kes is flung into Paris' arms.)
KES: What was that?
PARIS: I never said the simulation was finished.
KES: Computer, evasive manoeuvres.

[Corridor]

KES: I'll be ready for anything next time.
PARIS: Oh, ho! Sounds like a challenge to me.
(Neelix watches them walk away laughing.)

[Ready Room]

(The Captain has dispensed with her bun for a short softer hair style.)
JANEWAY: Come in. I hope you have good news, Commander. Based on this inventory, our food reserves look to be down to thirty percent of capacity.
CHAKOTAY: Good news and bad. We have located an M class planet, and it shows high amino acid and protein readings.
JANEWAY: That should indicate a healthy plant life. What's bad about it?
CHAKOTAY: It's a full day out of our way.
JANEWAY: I don't think we have any choice. It's the first chance we've had to replenish our supplies in weeks.
CHAKOTAY: And our long range sensors can't confirm any plant life on the surface.
JANEWAY: Why not?
CHAKOTAY: It's one strange planet, Captain. It's shrouded. Vapours cover it like a curtain. EM disturbances all over the atmosphere.
JANEWAY: Some of these readings suggest a planet early in its evolution, almost like a primeval Earth.
CHAKOTAY: The people in Stellar Cartography have already nicknamed it Planet Hell.
JANEWAY: So it might be a wild goose chase.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, I don't know what we'll find when we get to the surface. Flora or fauna, friend or foe.
JANEWAY: If we knew we'd find another M class planet soon, I'd. Set a course for Planet Hell, Commander.

[Kim's quarters]

(Kim is playing a clarinet when the doorbell interrupts him.)
PARIS: That was you?
KIM: That was me.
PARIS: I'm impressed.
KIM: I keep hearing my mother say, practice, Harry, practice. So I ate Neelix's food for a week and used my replicator rations.
PARIS: Play something for me.
KIM: Well, I've only had it for a few days, and I don't think
PARIS: Oh, come on. Play something. Just pretend I'm not here.
(Kim resumes the piece he was practicing.)
PARIS: Play something different.
KIM: Different?
PARIS: Something not so cheerful.
KIM: Why?
PARIS: What, you don't take requests?
KIM: Something bothering you, Paris?
PARIS: Oh, Harry. I'm in trouble.
KIM: What's new?
PARIS: I think I'm in love.
KIM: What's new?
PARIS: With Kes.
KIM: Kes!
PARIS: I know. I know. I never even saw it coming. I thought we were just good buddies. But there she was in my arms.
KIM: In your arms? Paris, you didn't.
PARIS: What? Oh, no. I didn't. I wouldn't. She stumbled during a flight simulation. I caught her. I held her for an instant. Are you going to play or not?
(Kim does a few notes.)
PARIS: A whole crew full of women and I have to fall for the one I can't have. Why do I do this to my self?
KIM: If you ask me, I say you enjoy it.
PARIS: Enjoy it?
KIM: Only thing that makes sense. You've been doing the same thing to yourself your whole life. Setting yourself up for rejection. You must enjoy playing the part.
PARIS: Hey, don't knock it if you haven't tried it. I just have to be more careful. I can't let myself be alone with her.
KIM: There's an old Chinese expression. Stay out of harm's way.
PARIS: That's not a Chinese expression.
KIM: If it works, use it.
PARIS: Of course, it would help a little if Kes and I weren't going to be stuck on the same ship for the rest of our lives.
KIM: That's a pessimistic view.
PARIS: I'm in a pessimistic mood. Play something pessimistic. Practice, Harry, practice.
(Kim plays a cheerful tune.)

[Kes's quarters]

(Candle-lit dinner for two.)
KES: And then suddenly we fell into a subspace anomaly. None of the readings made any sense. I didn't know what to do!
NEELIX: It must have been terrible for you. Pepper, sweeting.
KES: Ah. Anyway, it was quite a learning experience.
NEELIX: I'm sure Lieutenant Paris is a fine teacher. Oh! I almost forgot the Palliantyne peas. Ever so lightly spiced.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Analysis.
CHAKOTAY: High levels of trigemic vapours, but it should still support humanoid life.
EMH [OC]: Sickbay to Bridge. Please turn to your Emergency Medical Holographic Channel.
EMH [on monitor]: I hope you don't mind that I've been eavesdropping, but I have something important to contribute.
JANEWAY: What is it, Doctor?
EMH [on monitor]: Of course, it wouldn't be necessary for me to eavesdrop if I were included in these discussions as a matter of operating protocol.
JANEWAY: Doctor.
EMH [on monitor]: You should be aware that trigemic vapours at the recorded levels can cause severe humanoid skin irritations.
CHAKOTAY: Could you provide some sort of skin protection that might help?
EMH [on monitor]: I am whipping up a batch of dermal osmotic sealant as we speak. Nevertheless, skin exposure to the atmosphere should be limited.
JANEWAY: Noted, Doctor. Thank you. Tell me, just how often do you eavesdrop?
EMH [on monitor]: I am simply trying to monitor issues involving the health of the crew, Captain. When activated, the Emergency Medical Programme establishes comm. links with all key areas of the ship, and I have, on occasion. I am a Doctor, not a voyeur. I am programmed to be discreet.
JANEWAY: I'm sure. Commander Chakotay will discuss operating protocols with you at the earliest opportunity. In the meantime, no more eavesdropping, Doctor.
EMH [on monitor]: But Captain, I, I, I
JANEWAY: That's an order.
TORRES: There's another problem, Captain. We won't be able to transport to the surface because of the EM disturbances in the atmosphere. They'll interfere with our comm. links too.
CHAKOTAY: I'll have Mister Kim take a look.

[Mess hall]

KIM: Listen, why don't we take in a holodeck programme later? A Moliere comedy. That'll cheer you up.
PARIS: I think I'll just eat later.
(Kes sees him, and waves.)
PARIS: Damn.
KIM: What do you want to do?
PARIS: Very simple. We just won't sit with her.
KIM: But that's rude.
PARIS: No, that's smart. We'll make it look like we have bridge operations to discuss.
NEELIX: Gentlemen. May I recommend the Alfarian hair pasta today?
KIM: Hair pasta? That is just an expression, isn't it?
NEELIX: Not at all. It's actually made from the follicles of the mature Alfarian. We harvest the hair during shedding season in early fall. It's very high in protein.
PARIS: Whatever. We just have a lot of bridge operations business to discuss. Yeah.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Mister Kim, please report to the Bridge.
KIM: Have a nice lunch.
(Paris sits with his back to Kes, and smiles at Neelix. Kes leaves. Neelix goes over to Paris.)
NEELIX: You subclass genus.
PARIS: I beg your pardon?
NEELIX: Sitting with your backs to each other like two strangers waiting for a transport. Was that supposed to fool me?
PARIS: Oh, a guy just can't win. Look, there is nothing to fool you about. Really. I swear.
NEELIX: Liar.
(Neelix throws Paris' meal all over him.)
PARIS: What the hell are you doing?
(Paris throws Kim's abandoned meal over Neelix. They fight.)
NEELIX: I'll kill you!
PARIS: It's too late. I'm betting your hair pasta already did the trick.
JANEWAY [OC]: Janeway to Lieutenant Paris and Mister Neelix.
PARIS: Go ahead.
NEELIX: Yes, Captain?
JANEWAY [OC]: Please report to my Ready room right away. I have something important to discuss with you.
PARIS: Er, Captain, did you say right away? If we could have
JANEWAY [OC]: That's what I said, Mister Paris. Janeway out.

[Ready room]

JANEWAY: Would anyone care to explain?
PARIS: It might be too long to go into right now, Captain.
JANEWAY: Very well. I have a mission for the two of you. We have reason to believe that there are food sources on this planet, but we can't transport to the surface. You're going to take a shuttle down and do a little scouting.
NEELIX: Me and him?
JANEWAY: He's our best pilot, and you're our expert on edible plant species in this quadrant.
PARIS: Captain, I'm not one to pass up a mission, but in this circumstance, maybe Ensign Baytart who is a fine pilot
JANEWAY: There are electromagnetic anomalies in the atmosphere and I would rather have you at the helm. Am I discerning a personal problem here, gentlemen?
NEELIX: Frankly, yes, Captain.
JANEWAY: Solve it. You leave at fourteen hundred hours.

[Briefing room]

TORRES: We're modifying the transporter to try and penetrate the atmosphere. So far, no luck.
KIM: However, we have been running computer simulations to determine if the EM disturbances follow any specific pattern. Our data analysis suggests that there may be occasional atmospheric windows that would allow us to get through.
CHAKOTAY: How occasional, and how long would they last?
KIM: We should see one every thirty hours or so, but they may only last for a matter of minutes. I can't be sure yet.
JANEWAY: At least long enough for us to beam up food supplies. Mister Paris, you and Mister Neelix will collect as many vegetables and fruits as you can while we wait for this atmospheric window to open. Mister Kim, be sure your computer simulations include

[Corridor]

(After the briefing, Kes is pacing when Kim and Paris walk past. Then Neelix arrives.)
KES: What happened? I heard that you
NEELIX: Nothing happened.
KES: They said that you and Tom Paris had
NEELIX: Kes. We'll talk when I get back.
KES: I want to know, Neelix. Is it true that you were fighting?
NEELIX: When I get back.
KES: But

[Turbolift]

NEELIX: Shuttle bay.

[Sickbay]

EMH: Good afternoon. When you have a chance, could you run an analysis of the cytokinetic results for
KES: I did it during lunch.

[Doctor's office]

EMH: Are you all right?
KES: I'm fine.
EMH: Are you sure? You seem a little
KES: I'm fine.
EMH: You know, if you skip lunch, the result might be a lower blood sugar level, which could. I'm sorry. It's in my programme. I see something wrong, I must attempt to diagnose it.
KES: There are some things you can't cure. Neelix and Tom Paris had a physical fight over me.
EMH: How delightful.
KES: Delightful?
EMH: You should consider it a high compliment. Throughout history, men have fought over the love of a woman. Why, I can quote you autopsy reports from duels as far back as 1538.
KES: That's not funny.
EMH: It's not meant to be. You've always been interested in autopsies.
KES: Are all Talaxians so jealous?
EMH: I wouldn't know. I've only met one.
KES: I love Neelix. Why can't he just accept that? His suspicions about Tom are completely unjustified.
EMH: Are they? Lieutenant Paris's affection for you is obvious.
KES: What do you mean?
EMH: I mean he desires you.
KES: That's not true. Tom and I enjoy each other's company. We're friends.
EMH: Whenever you walk into the room, his respiration increases, his pupils dilate and the colouration of his ears turns decidedly orange. Until I noticed the pattern, I thought he was suffering from Tanzian flu. It's there for anyone to see. Maybe not in the same diagnostic detail as I see it, yet
KES: Are you saying that I didn't want to see it?
EMH: You're only two years old. There may be a few things you don't know to look for in a man. In time, you'll understand.
KES: On my homeworld it's so much simpler. You choose a mate for life. There's no distrust, no jealousy, no envy, no betrayal.
EMH: Hmm. Your world must have very dry literature.
KES: I don't know how to handle something like this. What am I going to do?
EMH: You've done nothing to precipitate this state of affairs. You may not be able to do much to resolve it either. There are some things you can't cure.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: Entry sequence at two minutes, mark. All systems normal. Trigemic density at point zero four one and rising.
NEELIX: We lost communication with Voyager thirty seconds ago. You don't have to impress me with your technobabble.
PARIS: I'm not trying to impress anyone, I'm entering it into the flight record. Look, can I make a suggestion?
NEELIX: You're the commander of this mission. You can make any suggestion you want, and if you make it an order, I'll even have to obey it.
PARIS: My suggestion is that we put our personal problems aside until this mission is over. Okay?
NEELIX: I left my personal problems back on the ship. I can't speak for you.
PARIS: Fine. Let's get the job done.
NEELIX: You get us down in one piece, and I'll take it from there.
PARIS: Entry sequence at three minutes, mark. All systems, stand by. Have you been briefed on shuttle operations?
NEELIX: Ensign Baytart took me through the basics. Of course, I didn't have the benefit of your personal tutelage.
PARIS: Check your console. I'm reading a power output decline of fifteen percent.
NEELIX: Confirmed.
(Whumph!)
COMPUTER: Warning. Vectored exhaust controls malfunctioning.
NEELIX: What does that mean?
PARIS: We're getting some kind of reaction in our driver coil assembly from the EM anomalies in the atmosphere. I'm going to abort the mission. Hold on. We've lost our impulse drive. Shut off the deuterium flow! I'm dumping excess fuel.
NEELIX: Deuterium flow sealed.
PARIS: Setting DCA pulse over to neutral. Engaging thrusters.
NEELIX: Can you regain control?
PARIS: I'm trying, Neelix. Prepare for an emergency landing. Send out an EMS pulse. There's still a chance Voyager will pick it up.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Captain, we're picking up a locator signal from the shuttle.
JANEWAY: Can you track it?
TUVOK: Their last velocity vector indicates a steep descent. We've lost contact.
CHAKOTAY: Bridge to Torres.
TORRES [OC]: Torres here.
CHAKOTAY: B'Elanna, our shuttle's in trouble. Any progress on modifying the transporter?

[Transporter room]

TORRES: Negative. It's an extremely complex interference pattern, and it keeps changing.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Bring in as much help as you need. This is now a search and rescue operation.
TORRES [OC]: Acknowledged. Torres out.
JANEWAY: Keep me informed. I'll be in my Ready room.

[Shuttlecraft]

(The shuttlecraft has crash-landed.)
NEELIX: I said in one piece.
PARIS: Sorry. I did the best I could. Any broken bones?
NEELIX: Everything seems to be working. I'm itching.
PARIS: I feel it too. We've got atmospheric leakage in the hull. The trigemic vapours really sting. Here. Doc said this would help a little.
NEELIX: If we've got atmospheric leakage, how can we fly out of here?
PARIS: We can't. We'll have to wait for Voyager to find us.
NEELIX: We're not even sure they're looking for us yet. We don't know if the EMS pulse got through.
PARIS: B'Elanna's working on the transporter, and one of those atmospheric windows might open up. In the meantime, we're going to have to look for some kind of cover.
NEELIX: I say we stay right here.
PARIS: The trigemic vapours are going to
NEELIX: You're the one who wants to go out into those vapours. Staying here is our best chance of being found. You heard what they said. Those windows may only be open for a matter of minutes.
PARIS: And we may be waiting here for days. Exposure to these vapours is too dangerous. We're leaving. Grab your gear.
NEELIX: Is that an order or a suggestion?
PARIS: An order!
NEELIX: Yes, sir!

[Planet surface]

NEELIX: I hope you're satisfied. We were a lot more comfortable inside the shuttle. I have red welts all over my hands now.
PARIS: You know, it might be more constructive if you could find us something safe to eat.
NEELIX: I certainly don't know why the ship's sensors indicated this planet might be rich in food supplies. It sure doesn't look it.
PARIS: Our emergency rations won't last forever.
NEELIX: I'll find something for us. Of course, it might not meet your personal culinary standards.
PARIS: Oh, don't worry. I've learned to lower my standards since you became cook. I'm picking up some caves about a kilometre west of here.
NEELIX: What good fortune.

[Kes's quarters]

KES: Come in. Harry. Any word yet?
KIM: We're doing everything possible. The transporter just doesn't want to work in that atmosphere. How are you doing?
KES: Oh, I'm all right. It's just, I was very angry at them a few hours ago.
KIM: You had a every right to be.
KES: And now they might both be dead. And I'm sitting here, and I'm feeling guilty for some reason.
KIM: Guilty? Why?
KES: I don't know. But I don't like it. And it's their fault. And I can't even tell them how angry I am at them, and I may never be able to tell them how angry I am at them, so it doesn't matter, does it?
KIM: Look. You know if there was any way to land that shuttle, Tom Paris got it down.
KES: And no one has stronger survival skills than Neelix.
KIM: I'm sure they'll both be fine.
KES: Unless they kill each other.
KIM: They're professionals.
KES: Oh, they'd better be all right, because when I see them, I'm personally going to tell them that I never intend to speak to either one of them again.
(Whumph!)
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Chakotay to crew. Battle stations.

[Cave]

PARIS: This is good. We can last a while in here.
(They seal the cave entrance with a blast from their phasers.)
PARIS: That should do it.
NEELIX: Garnesite. This will give us a little heat, at least.
PARIS: We'd better conserve our beacon cells.
(They turn off their torches and heat the rocks with the phasers.)
NEELIX: So, what is Starfleet protocol for situations like this?
PARIS: Oh, there's a whole course at the Academy full of all sorts of survival strategies.
NEELIX: I hope you had a passing grade.
PARIS: B minus.
NEELIX: That's not very encouraging.
PARIS: My father was teaching the class that year.
NEELIX: And he gave you a B minus? I guess he didn't play favourites, huh?
PARIS: What about Talaxian protocols?
NEELIX: I wrote my own book. My life before Voyager was no bed of Felaran rose petals.
PARIS: No, more like a bed of
NEELIX: What?
PARIS: Nothing.
NEELIX: You were going to say junk, perhaps? Go ahead. Say it. Junk. I was a dealer in junk. Perhaps not worthy of a woman like Kes, in your opinion.
PARIS: Neelix, I didn't say that. I never even
(They hear a small sound.)
NEELIX: Tell me something. In that Starfleet survival course, did your father teach you to check for life signs before you seal yourself inside a cave?
PARIS: I checked for life signs. There weren't any.
NEELIX: There are now.

[Bridge]

(Voyager is under fire.)
JANEWAY: Hail them.
TUVOK: They do not respond, Captain.
KIM: They're powering down their weapons systems.
TUVOK: Their vessel has taken up a position directly beneath us.
JANEWAY: What do you make of it, Lieutenant?
TUVOK: They would seem to have adopted a defensive posture, Captain.
JANEWAY: I agree. But defending what? The planet?
CHAKOTAY: Or something on it.

[Cave]

(Neelix and Paris go further into the cave complex.)
PARIS: Whatever this life form is, its vital signs are awfully faint.
NEELIX: In this atmosphere, it could be dying of exposure.
PARIS: No, I don't think so. They're faint, but steady.
(They see a spacesuit boot print in the dirt.)
NEELIX: I'd say it's becoming more and more evident that we chose the wrong cave.
(They find three large eggs.)
PARIS: This is where the life signs are coming from. They're embryonic life forms. These two are half formed. This one almost seems to be
(The egg hatches, and the baby reptile starts mewling.)

[Bridge]

KIM: The EM disturbance patterns match the computer simulations. I'd say we'll get a shot at an atmospheric window in about fifty three minutes.
CHAKOTAY: Where does that leave us with the transporter?
TORRES: Our range will still be limited, but the transporter should work as long as we stay in an area with reduced electromagnetic activity.
JANEWAY: The problem is we don't know where our shuttle went down.
CHAKOTAY: So there's no way to know how close they'll be to the window when it opens.
JANEWAY: Recommendations?
TORRES: Take the ship through the window into the atmosphere. The closer you can get us to the surface, the better our chances for a successful beam out.
JANEWAY: Get on it.
CHAKOTAY: Are you going to be able to warn us before the window closes again?
KIM: I think so.
JANEWAY: Mister Kim, that's not an answer I can live with.
KIM: I'll try to get you a better one, Captain.
JANEWAY: Mister Tuvok, we need you to find a way to get us by that ship.
TUVOK: I have anticipated your request, Captain. Am I correct in the assumption that you will want to use minimal force?
JANEWAY: Assumption confirmed.
TUVOK: I cannot guarantee success. My evaluation of their weapon systems suggest a capacity equal to our own. However
JANEWAY: You've come up with an ingenious plan to neutralise them.
TUVOK: I have. In my analysis of our first encounter, I have detected what I believe to be a vulnerability in their shield configuration. There appears to be a slight phase retraction when auxiliary power is transferred to their aft weapons systems.
CHAKOTAY: A covariant phaser pulse into their aft control systems might disable their entire weapons array.
TUVOK: That was my ingenious plan, Commander. You are correct.
JANEWAY: Very well. Red alert. Mister Kim, set coordinates. Torres, speed at two thousand kph.
TORRES: Aye, Captain. Chakotay, take the helm.
KIM: Coordinates entered.
JANEWAY: Engage.

[Cave]

PARIS: This creature's going to have the ability to stand upright. It has the skeletal system of a humanoid. It's cold-blooded, has reptilian epidermis. Its brain is significantly larger than most reptilian species. I'd say we're dealing with a sentient life form here, Neelix.
NEELIX: If this species is sentient, wouldn't that suggest that its parents might return to care for it?
PARIS: It's hard to say. Most common reptiles lay their eggs and never return to protect them.
NEELIX: I think we've established we're not dealing with a common reptile.
PARIS: True. And if this thing does have a mother, I'd say we don't want to be around when she gets back. Come on.
NEELIX: We can't just leave it here.
PARIS: We're not leaving it here, its mother left it here. We just happened to wander in.
NEELIX: But we blocked off the cave. The mother might have been trapped outside.
PARIS: We'll leave the door open for her when we go, okay?
NEELIX: Look. It's not that simple. What if she can sense we were here? She, she might be able to smell that faux lime aftershave of yours. I'm sure you realise many species won't return to a nest after it's been tampered with.
PARIS: There's not much we can do about that now, is there? We should just leave all this the way we found it.
NEELIX: No.
PARIS: Neelix!
NEELIX: This creature is our responsibility.
PARIS: Ours?
NEELIX: The moment we came in here, it became our responsibility.
PARIS: And you expect to take care of this thing until what? It graduates from high school, college? And what if Mom doesn't come back? Are you planning to bring this with us back on the ship?
NEELIX: Look, if she does return and accepts the hatchling, it'll solve everything. We just have to wait and see what she does. I don't know how it is in your quadrant, but in mine we don't abandon a new-born thing.
PARIS: Fine. Fine. You made your point. I officially designate you its godfather.
NEELIX: It's stopped crying.
PARIS: It's shivering. That's normal, isn't it? I mean, new born life forms do shiver, don't they?
NEELIX: To be honest, I haven't been around many new borns.
PARIS: Me neither.
(Neelix swaddles the baby in his jacket.)
NEELIX: Oh, look at this, Paris. It's stopped shivering.
PARIS: It's asleep. Forget what I said, Neelix. You're not its godfather. You're its godmother.

[Bridge]

KIM: The atmospheric window is forming, Captain, thirty degrees off the predicted co-ordinates.
JANEWAY: How soon will we have maximum aperture, Mister Kim?
KIM: Nine minutes.
JANEWAY: All right, Commander, let's try to draw some fire from their aft weapons systems. Bring us within ten kilometres.
(The alien ship fires as Voyager flies past it.)
CHAKOTAY: Shields at eighty percent.
TORRES: Minor damage to our port nacelle. Rerouting power to lateral thrusters.
JANEWAY: Tuvok.
TUVOK: So far I'm not detecting the same vulnerability in their shields this time, Captain. We may have to resort to additional force.
JANEWAY: Arm photons.
KIM: Ready.
JANEWAY: Prepare to
TUVOK: Stand by, Captain. I'm detecting an opening.
(The aliens fire again. Voyager replies with one shot.)
TUVOK: Direct hit to their aft control systems. Their weapons are disabled.
JANEWAY: Commander, proceed to Mister Kim's coordinates. One half impulse.

[Cave]

PARIS: Oh, come on. Come on. It doesn't seem to care for Starfleet rations.
NEELIX: If I were in my kitchen, I could cook you up some delightful leola root broth.
PARIS: Are you serious? Ugh. I hope I never see another leola root. And you're certainly not feeding any of that hideous broth to my niece. Or nephew. Whatever it is.
PARIS: Its heartbeat is getting weaker. I don't like it. Come on, kid. You've got to eat something.
NEELIX: It seems far more interested in my jacket than your food.
PARIS: Neelix, it's not your jacket. It's the residue of the trigemic vapours we walked through. Think about it. Voyager's sensors picked up high levels of proteins and amino acids, which we assumed meant this was a planet filled with vast supplies of edible plant life.
NEELIX: We were certainly wrong about that.
PARIS: The residue is a concentration of proteins and amino acids.
NEELIX: The perfect source of nutrition for the hatchling.
PARIS: The source we cut off when we blocked the cave. Come on. We've got some rocks to move.

[Bridge]

KIM: The atmospheric window is at full aperture, Captain. We should have at least seventeen minutes before it starts to close.
TUVOK: Captain, the alien vessel is in pursuit.
JANEWAY: Are their weapons systems back online already?
TUVOK: Negative. They are still disabled.
CHAKOTAY: They couldn't be preparing to ram us, could they?
JANEWAY: Hold your course. We need to get through that window but prepare to take evasive action if necessary.
CHAKOTAY: Understood.
TUVOK: Alien vessel closing to one thousand kilometres. Five hundred. Three hundred. It has passed us and is proceeding toward the surface.
JANEWAY: Take us down, Commander.

[Outside the cave]

NEELIX: It's not breathing! I don't think it's breathing! Come on. Suck in some of those hearty vapours.
PARIS: It's just too weak.
NEELIX: There must be something in here we can use to resuscitate it.
PARIS: Neelix, we did the best we could.
NEELIX: No! It's our fault. It's our fault. If we hadn't come. Here. Cordrazine. This is a stimulant.
PARIS: You can't pump it full of drugs without knowing its body chemistry.
NEELIX: So we should just let it die?
PARIS: Give me that.
(Paris takes a empty hypo from the emergency kit.)
PARIS: When I was a kid, a baby bird fell out of a nest and landed on the windowsill next to my bed. We had to feed it water with an eyedropper to keep it alive.
NEELIX: What are you doing?
PARIS: Filling the eyedropper. Can you hold its mouth open?
(Paris blasts the contents of the hypo into baby's mouth.)
NEELIX: Do it again. Again.
NEELIX: It's working. It's working!
PARIS: Life signs are getting stronger.
NEELIX: You did it!
PARIS: We did it. You know, I never would have thought of that hypospray if. The vapours.
NEELIX: Who cares?

[Bridge]

TORRES: Sensors are operating as well as can be expected under these conditions. Either we're just not close enough to where they landed to pick up their comm. signals, or they never landed. The shuttle might have burned up in the atmosphere.
JANEWAY: I'm not willing to concede that yet. Any sign of the alien ship?
TORRES: No, Captain. We've lost them.
JANEWAY: Mister Kim, how much longer before that window starts to close?
KIM: Nine minutes, twenty seconds.
JANEWAY: Chakotay, extend our surveillance pattern. If we don't find them in five minutes, we'll head back to the window.
CHAKOTAY: Aye, Captain.

[Outside the cave]

(Paris scratches while Neelix paces.)
NEELIX: I'm sorry.
PARIS: Hmm?
NEELIX: I feel I owe you an apology.
PARIS: No, you don't.
NEELIX: I had no right to push that pasta in your lap.
PARIS: Well, think of it this way. You saved me from having to eat it. Nothing personal, but I just don't have an affinity for hair in my food.
NEELIX: I haven't been fair to you. You know, I hear people talking about you in the mess hall.
PARIS: No kidding. What do they say?
NEELIX: Oh, that you used to be a coward and couldn't be trusted. It's typical of Kes that she would befriend someone like you. Someone who really needs a friend. And I guess I just got a little jealous. I got more than a little jealous. I realise now I was wrong.
PARIS: Neelix, I told you the truth when I said that nothing happened between me and Kes.
NEELIX: I know.
PARIS: And I promise you nothing ever will. But you weren't wrong about me.
NEELIX: What do you mean?
PARIS: I, well, I guess the only way to say it is to say it. I am attracted to Kes.
NEELIX: Oh?
PARIS: To be honest, if you weren't around, I'd be knocking at her door. But I respect you, Neelix. And that's that. Everything you heard those guys saying about me, well, it was true. But it's not who I am anymore. At least not who I want to be. This upside down mission to the wrong side of the galaxy has given me a second chance, and I don't intend to blow it.
NEELIX: I see. Well, in a way I can't say I blame you. She is very attractive.
PARIS: She's devoted to you, you know.
NEELIX: Well, I did save her life. I'm sure she's grateful.
PARIS: Oh, she's a lot more than grateful. She loves you, Neelix. I wouldn't stand a chance. Nobody would.
NEELIX: There are others?
PARIS: If you ever doubt yourself, just look into her eyes. See the way she looks at you. You'll never doubt yourself again. And as far as I'm concerned, I'll just be her friend. I mean, if you don't mind.
NEELIX: I don't pick Kes's friends for her. Just my own.
(Static comes over Paris' comm. badge.)
PARIS: Voyager? This is Lieutenant Tom Paris and Mister Neelix. Do you read?
JANEWAY [OC]: We do, Mister Paris. Are you all right?
PARIS: Aside from a nasty rash, yes.
JANEWAY [OC]: Have you encountered

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Life forms?
PARIS [OC]: Actually, yes.
JANEWAY: Are they hostile?

[Outside the cave]

PARIS: No, just young.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Young?
PARIS [OC]: Yes. We found a nest, and one of the creatures hatched.
JANEWAY: Be aware we encountered a hostile ship of unknown origin and we're showing that ship on the surface approximately one kilometre from your

[Outside the cave]

JANEWAY [OC]: Position. We're attempting to lock onto you for transport. Stand by.
NEELIX: We can't leave yet.
PARIS: What? Why?
NEELIX: What if the mother rejects it?
PARIS: Neelix, one thing's for sure. Whether the mother rejects it or not, she will reject you and me.
NEELIX: We promised each other we wouldn't abandon it until
JANEWAY [OC]: Away team, we're showing a life form moving towards your position. Prepare to transport.
NEELIX: Captain, this is Neelix. Are you in a particular rush to leave?

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Did you hear what I just said, Mister Neelix?

[Outside the cave]

NEELIX: Yes. But

[Bridge]

NEELIX [OC]: We're not quite finished here yet.
JANEWAY: Finished with what? We have an atmospheric window closing in less than six minutes.

[Outside the cave]

NEELIX: And another one will be coming in how long?
JANEWAY [OC]: Days.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Is there a problem?
PARIS [OC]: The problem is, Captain

[Outside the cave]

PARIS: If we leave our little hatchling here and the mother rejects it

[Bridge]

PARIS [OC]: It might die of exposure before we get back.
JANEWAY: I appreciate your concern for

[Outside the cave]

JANEWAY [OC]: It's welfare, but
PARIS: How long can you give us, Captain?

[Bridge]

KIM: One minute, ten seconds, max.

[Outside the cave]

NEELIX: We'll take it.
PARIS: Lock onto us, Voyager. If you hear muffled screams, consider that a request for a beam out.
(Paris and Neelix try to hide, but the approaching adult sees them and growls. Then it turns its attention to the baby.)
NEELIX: There's nothing like a family reunion.
PARIS: Voyager, two to beam out.
NEELIX: As soon as you're ready.

[Transporter Room]

NEELIX: Kes!
KES: We didn't know if you were dead or alive. What happened?
PARIS: I became an uncle.
NEELIX: And I'm a godmother. I'd say this is the special occasion I've been waiting for to open up that bottle of Potak cold fowl I've been saving.
PARIS: Cold fowl in a bottle? That's just an expression, isn't it?
NEELIX: No. It's actually made from the glandular secretions of an adult dunghill bird, found only on Potak Three. It's very rare. Very exquisite. There are, I believe, only twenty seven bottles in existence at this time.

[Corridor]

NEELIX: It has a rather smoky flavour, going well with strong, meaty dishes. But I prefer it for sipping in the company of good friends.

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