Alliances
Stardate: 49337.4
Original Airdate: January 22 1996

[Bridge]

(Voyager is under attack from at least two Kazon vessels. They make one go KaBOOM! but they are taking a heavy beating.)
CHAKOTAY: Captain!
JANEWAY: Report.
KIM: It looks like the Kazon have retreated, Captain.
CHAKOTAY: We must have hurt them.
PARIS: Not as bad as they hurt us. All engines are offline.
TUVOK: Captain, shields are down as are all weapons arrays.
CHAKOTAY: We'd better hope they don't come back. We're sitting ducks.
JANEWAY: Janeway to Engineering, what's your status?

[Engineering]

TORRES: We're in bad shape Captain. We had to shut down the warp engines to avoid a breach. The impulse engines are gone too. I think I can give you thrusters but I've got a lot of casualties down here I've got to tend to first.
JONAS: Lieutenant! It's Kurt Bendera, he's hurt pretty bad.
TORRES: No!
JONAS: His console exploded, caught him right in the face.
TORRES: We've got to get him to Sickbay right away. Torres to Sickbay.

[Sickbay]

EMH: I hope this is urgent, Lieutenant. We have our hands full at the moment.
TORRES [OC]: I'm setting up an emergency transport. One of my people is severely burned.
EMH: Very well, we'll do what we can.

[Bridge]

KIM: More damage reports coming in, Captain. There's a hull breach on deck four, forcefields in place, repair crews on the way.
CHAKOTAY: We've had casualties on all decks, no fatalities so far.
PARIS: Captain, request permission to give Torres a hand in Engineering. Maybe I can help get propulsion up and running.
JANEWAY: Good idea. Go ahead.
TUVOK: Captain, my readings indicate the navigational deflector has sustained massive damage. It will be necessary to repair it before we can achieve more than thruster power.
JANEWAY: Get repair crews on it. Mister Kim, I want a complete analysis of all the damage we've sustained.
KIM: Yes ma'am.

[Sickbay]

EMH: He's not responding. Seventy five milligrams of inpedrazine. That might help stimulate his cardiac functions, but he's sustained so much injury it may be too late.
KES: It had no effect.
EMH: Cortical stimulator. I'm sorry, he was too badly injured.
TORRES: He saved my life once, near the Cardassian border.

[Ready room]

JANEWAY: Come in.
CHAKOTAY: Crewman Bendera's dead. The Doctor couldn't do anything.
JANEWAY: I'm sorry, Chakotay. I know you were friends. Will you arrange a memorial service?
CHAKOTAY: I'll get right on it.
JANEWAY: Was there something else?
CHAKOTAY: Yes. Like it or not, it seems we're in a situation where the rules have changed. And maybe, if we're going to survive out here, we have to start changing too.
JANEWAY: What do you mean?
CHAKOTAY: When we first started our trip home, you made a conscious decision to treat Voyager as a Starfleet ship with a Starfleet crew following Starfleet rules.
JANEWAY: That's right.
CHAKOTAY: Starfleet works well in the Alpha quadrant, but out here, maybe we should be thinking more like the Maquis. The Maquis had to survive on their own. We were up against insurmountable odds. We had to create our own opportunities for success, because nobody was willing to help us. Sound like anybody you know?
JANEWAY: If you're suggesting we abandon our principles just because we're out of hailing range?
CHAKOTAY: Captain, this was the fourth attack in two weeks. We've lost three crew members to the Kazon, a dozen more have sustained serious injuries. The ship has taken so much damage we'll be lucky to get warp drive online again. And we can count on the fact that the Kazon will be back. I don't think we can afford to keep doing business as usual.

[Mess hall]

CHAKOTAY: A lot of us can say we're alive today because of Kurt Bendera. There was never a better man to have at your side, never anyone more willing to take on the tough jobs. The first time I met him was in a mining community on Telfas Prime. Some of the miners objected to my sense of humour and decided they should break a few of my bones. There were four of them and one of me, and I was taking a beating. Suddenly this man I'd never seen before came out of nowhere and evened things up. We stood back to back, and pretty soon the others decided my sense of humour wasn't so bad after all. I thanked the man. He just grinned and said, I like a good fight. He was my friend from that moment on, and he kept fighting the good fight right up to the end. I'll miss him. Ensign.
(Everyone stands. The Ensign blows a bosun's pipe, presumably to pipe Bendera off the ship, and the service finishes.)
HOGAN: Captain, can I ask you something?
JANEWAY: Of course.
HOGAN: Now that the Kazon have stepped up their attacks, a lot of people think that we're not going to make it out of here alive. I'd like to know what you have to say about that.
JANEWAY: Is there anything you have to say about that? I assure you, you can speak freely.
HOGAN: I'd give them what they want. Give them the replicators and the transporters and whatever else it is they're after.
JANEWAY: I'm sure you realise that would be a violation of the Prime
HOGAN: I know all about the Prime Directive, but you know what? The Federation is seventy thousand light years away. What does it matter what these people do to each other with our technology.
JANEWAY: I appreciate your concerns, crewman, but let me make it absolutely clear. I'll destroy this ship before I turn any part of it over to the Kazon. So that's how the Maquis would do it, hmm?

[Corridor]

JANEWAY: It's all right, Commander, I know Hogan's upset. He and Bendera were close.
CHAKOTAY: But that's not why he thinks we should give the Kazon what they want.
JANEWAY: I think I've made my position clear on that.
CHAKOTAY: You have, but a lot of the crew feel they haven't had the chance to voice their opinions.
JANEWAY: This isn't a democracy, Chakotay. I can't run this ship by consensus.
CHAKOTAY: A lot of the Maquis feel the Federation abandoned them years ago. You may be willing to die for Federation principles, but they're not.
JANEWAY: I can't believe you'd support that man's position.
CHAKOTAY: I don't. But isn't there something in between your position and his?

[Turbolift]

JANEWAY: Deck three.
CHAKOTAY: All I'm saying, Captain, is that maybe there's a little room for flexibility in interpreting Starfleet's protocols. Frankly I'm not sure they were ever intended for situations like this.
JANEWAY: I haven't seen any evidence that they've let us down.
CHAKOTAY: Maybe this situation with the Kazon is the first example. Maybe we have to examine Starfleet's principles with a cold eye and ask ourselves if they're really applicable here.
JANEWAY: Computer, hold turbolift. Commander, if you have a specific suggestion, please feel free to make it.
CHAKOTAY: Make a deal, an alliance.
JANEWAY: With the Kazon?
CHAKOTAY: With one of their factions, or two. If we had the Ogla and the Relora as our allies, the others would be afraid to touch us.
JANEWAY: Nothing we've been through with the Kazon would lead me to believe they're trustworthy. I can't imagine making a deal with them.
CHAKOTAY: With all due respect, maybe that's because your imagination is limited by Starfleet protocols. As Captain, you're responsible for making decisions in the best interest of your crew, and I think you have to ask yourself if you're doing that.

[Tuvok's quarters]

(Tuvok is tending his orchids when the doorbell rings.)
TUVOK: Come in. Captain, this is unexpected.
JANEWAY: I've been in your quarters before.
TUVOK: Indeed, but so rarely that I can remember each instance. Vulcan spice tea, hot. And it was always at a time when you were particularly troubled.
JANEWAY: Right as usual. Thank you. Commander Chakotay has proposed that we make an alliance with one of the Kazon factions. We wouldn't give them weapons or technology, but we would pledge to support and defend them if they're attacked.
TUVOK: I am sure that made you uncomfortable.
JANEWAY: How can I consider it? I can't just walk away from the precepts Starfleet has laid our for us. You don't deal with outlaws. You don't involve yourself in the political machinations of other cultures. It goes against everything I believe, everything I trained for, everything experience has taught me.
TUVOK: Quite right.
JANEWAY: Do I hear a however coming?
TUVOK: You are perceptive, Captain. I believe Commander Chakotay's suggestion does have merit.
JANEWAY: Help me understand that.
TUVOK: When I was a young man, a great visionary named Spock recommended an alliance between the Federation and the Klingon empire. This produced a major dispute. The Klingons, after all, were outlaws, employing violence and brutality in order to build their empire. I myself spoke out against such a coalition. But the alliance was forged and it brought a stability to the quadrant that had not been there for two hundred years. Spock's suggestion, so controversial at first, proved to be the cornerstone of peace.
JANEWAY: There are some differences here. By allying ourselves to one faction, we'd be giving that faction more power than the others. That would clearly affect the internal politics of all the Kazon.
TUVOK: I understand your concern, but remember, it would only be a temporary arrangement since we are on our way out of this quadrant. In the meantime, it might bring stability to the region and security for us.
JANEWAY: Once we're gone they'll probably go back to their in-fighting.
TUVOK: Perhaps. But even temporary stability can bring an appreciation for peace. This flower is a rare hybrid. As far as I know it exists nowhere else in the galaxy. I created it by grafting a cutting from a South American orchid onto a Vulcan favinit plant. I doubted the graft would take, and indeed the plant was sickly at first. However, after a few weeks both plants adapted to their new condition and in fact became stronger than either had been alone.

[Briefing room]

JANEWAY: Consequently, after much consideration, I've decided to seek an alliance with one of the Kazon factions.
KIM: Captain, you can't be serious. This goes against everything
JANEWAY: Ensign, I'll be glad to discuss my reasoning with you at a more appropriate time. However, this meeting is not to debate the decision but to decide how to pursue it.
NEELIX: Captain, if I may?
JANEWAY: Yes, Mister Neelix.
NEELIX: We're not far from a planet known as Sobras, where there's a Kazon settlement inhabited by a faction known as the Pommar. I have an acquaintance there, someone who owes me some favours. Some rather large favours, actually. Perhaps I could meet with him and sound him out.
TUVOK: Is he authorised to speak for his Maje?
NEELIX: Not exactly, but he does have the Maje's ear. This would be strictly informal, but it might give us a reading on the possibility without the risk of actual confrontation.
JANEWAY: Good idea. Proceed, Mister Neelix.
KIM: Why don't we just contact Seska and form an alliance with her?
TORRES: Actually that's a good idea.
CHAKOTAY: You've got to be kidding!
TORRES: Not at all. Seska has been trying to forge an alliance among the Kazon. She would jump at the chance to get our support.
PARIS: She's right. If we went through Seska at least we could ally ourselves with the Nistrim.
CHAKOTAY: I think it's a bad idea.
JANEWAY: You can't have it both ways Commander. If you want to get in the mud with the Kazon you can't start complaining that you might get dirty.
CHAKOTAY: Fine. I'll talk with Seska.
JANEWAY: No, you've been through too much with her. Mister Neelix, prepare to take your shuttle to Sobras. In the meantime, I'll make contact with Seska. Dismissed.

Captain's log, stardate 49337.4. After sending a subspace message to Seska and the Nistrim Maje Culluh, we have received a quick response.

[Bridge]

CULLUH [on viewscreen]: Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, I must say we were surprised to hear from you.
JANEWAY: Are you willing to meet with us?
CULLUH [on viewscreen]: You've made an interesting proposal. I've discussed it with Seska and she assures me that you would not make this gesture unless you were sincere. I will talk with you.
JANEWAY: I suggest we rendezvous. We'll transmit coordinates to you.
SESKA [on viewscreen]: If you don't mind, Captain, we'd prefer to choose the coordinates.
JANEWAY: Fine. Transmit them to us.
CULLUH [on viewscreen]: We'll meet in approximately twenty hours. I must say, Captain, I look forward to this opportunity.

[Sobras bar]

(Neelix has taken a Starfleet shuttle, not his own ship. The bar has some music and an exotic dancer. Neelix speaks to the bartender.)
NEELIX: Hello my friends. Please, don't let me interrupt. I was hoping to find my good friend Jal Tersa here. Has he been in tonight?
(The bartender nods in the direction of a table.)
NEELIX: Thank you. Tersa, my friend!
(Tersa is trying to workout a matchstick puzzle on the table.)
TERSA: It could be dangerous, sneaking up on a man like that.
NEELIX: I'd never dream of sneaking up on you, but you were so engrossed in whatever it is you're doing.
TERSA: A puzzle. What brings you here, Talaxian?
NEELIX: I'm good at puzzles, perhaps I can help?
TERSA: The dancer showed it to me. By moving only two rods this dodecahedron can become an icosahedron. She said she'd spend the night with the man who could solve it.
NEELIX: Oh, a splendid motivation, to be sure. I might just be able to make your night a memorable one.
TERSA: You know how to solve this?
NEELIX: I might, if you'll hear me out first. My fortunes have changed since we last met, Tersa. I've become a person of some influence aboard a starship known as Voyager.
TERSA: You must think us very isolated. Everyone knows that. It's probably the only reason you were allowed in here. Especially after last time.
NEELIX: A simple misunderstanding. Tersa, I know you have the ear of your First Maje, as I do with our Captain. We could be quite useful to both of them.
TERSA: Go on.
NEELIX: My Captain is interested in talking to your Maje, to discuss a possible alliance. Do you think he'd have any interest in such a meeting?
TERSA: An alliance? Between the Kazon Pommar and the Federations?
NEELIX: An interesting thought, isn't it?
GUARD: You're coming with us.
NEELIX: Tersa! Explain to them we're friends!
TERSA: I have no idea who this person is. Some lunatic who sat down and started babbling.
NEELIX: I guess you'll be spending the night alone.

[Briefing room]

CULLUH: You've made a good choice. The Nistrim will be a potent ally.
JANEWAY: We want to make sure the Nistrim will also be an honourable ally. That you'll adhere to the conditions we establish. You can let all the Kazon factions know that Voyager has formed a coalition with you and will be an ally to any Nistrim ship or outpost we encounter. In addition, we're prepared to provide emergency supplies when needed. Food, medicine, clothing.
TUVOK: What we will not provide is any of our technology or weaponry.
CULLUH: Understood. Just one other detail. An exchange of crewmembers.
JANEWAY: An exchange?
CULLUH: Yes. I'm sure you'll agree that our alliance should represent a genuine partnership.
TUVOK: Perhaps you should define that.
CULLUH: It's obvious. Federation crew on my ship, Nistrim crew on yours.
SESKA: Maje, I think that's a detail we could work out later.
JANEWAY: I can assure you that I would never agree to that.
CULLUH: It seems a natural extension of your own proposal.
SESKA: We don't have to decide everything right now.
CULLUH: I will determine what we decide, and when.
SESKA: Yes, Maje.
CULLUH: I won't have a woman dictate terms to me.
JANEWAY: Culluh, I found the idea of an alliance with you distasteful. I was willing to explore the possibility, but now I see my instincts were dead on.
CULLUH: (to Tuvok) Talk to her. Tell her to be reasonable.
JANEWAY: This meeting is over.

[Detention caves]

NEELIX: Once your Maje learns I'm being imprisoned he'll be outraged!
GUARD: Hurry up.
NEELIX: He won't look kindly on anyone who's made such a egregius error. What are you charging me with? How long will I be held?
GUARD: Go.
NEELIX: Well, I assume you'll at least let me confer with counsel. I have the ability to reward handsomely anyone who shows me a bit of understanding. Is that a baby?
(There are a lot of people being held here.)
NEELIX: My name is Neelix. I'm Talaxian.
MABUS: I'm Mabus. My friends and I are Trabe. They hurt you.
NEELIX: I wasn't walking quickly enough for them.
MABUS: Let's get the bleeding stopped, then I'll clean it.
NEELIX: Why are they holding you?
MABUS: They seem to be detaining anyone who isn't Kazon. Several of our group have been taken for questioning, but so far none of them have come back.
NEELIX: How long have you been here?
MABUS: Five days. They attacked us in space. Twenty of our group died. We've lost nine more since they put us in prison, including most of the governing council. I'm the only one left.
NEELIX: The Kazon won't be satisfied until you've all been annihilated.
MABUS: If we've learned anything, it's how to survive. Did you notice how many guards they have posted at the entrance to the prison?
NEELIX: Only two. I guess they assume this place is so secure that they don't need anymore. Why do you ask?
MABUS: We don't plan to sit here while they kill us one by one. We were able to get a message through to another Trabe vessel before we were boarded. Help is on the way. Can we count on you?

Captain's log, supplemental. We're on our way to rendezvous with Mister Neelix. I can only hope that he had more luck with the Kazon than we did.

[Bridge]

PARIS: Captain, we're approaching the coordinates.
JANEWAY: All stop.
KIM: I don't see any trace of him.
TUVOK: Long range sensors indicate no sign of Mister Neelix's shuttle within a radius of two light years.
PARIS: The Kazon have him.
TUVOK: We cannot jump to conclusions. He may simply have been delayed.
JANEWAY: We'll hold position here for two hours. If he hasn't shown up by then, we'll go to Sobras.

[Engineering]

HOGAN: Lieutenant, could you fill us in a little? Well, there are all kinds of rumours flying around about what's going on with the Kazon.
TORRES: Nothing's going on yet. The Captain's talk with Seska fell apart pretty quickly.
HOGAN: Nothings going to come of all this. B'Elanna, you were Seska's friend. Couldn't you get word to her, try to work things out?
TORRES: No, I couldn't.
HOGAN: I don't understand how.
TORRES: Hogan, its gone too far. Seska isn't the person we thought she was. I don't trust her any more.
HOGAN: Even if it means us getting home in one piece? Or do you agree with our Captain that holding on to our technology is worth dying for.
TORRES: Who are you to be second guessing Captain Janeway? The hardest thing you have to think worry is keeping that dilithium chamber filled. She os doing the best she can to get us home and if you don't like the way she's doing it, I really don't want to hear about it. Is that clear?
HOGAN: Perfectly.

[Detention caves]

MABUS: Some of the children are too weak to run. We'll have to carry them. We can use another pair of strong arms.
NEELIX: You can count on me.
MABUS: I can't promise we'll get out of here alive, but if we stay here we'll die anyway.
NEELIX: I'd rather go out fighting, myself.
(They look out at a guard.)
MABUS: That one might be a problem. He's the kind who'll start shooting at the first sign of trouble.
NEELIX: I'll keep an eye on him.
(Weapons fire attracts the guard's attention down the passageway.)
MABUS: This may be it. Be ready. Stay back.
(The weapons fire and shouting gets closer.)
MABUS: Get back against the walls.
(A ball rolls up to the guard's foot. He touches it and it explodes.)
MABUS: Now! Let's go! Let's go! Come on! Come on, everyone! Let's go. Come on, out. Let's go. Come on. Nice work, my friends. Let's go.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: All right, that's it. We're going after him. Mister Paris, set a course for Sobras, full impulse.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, arm the phaser banks and load the forward torpedo bays. We don't know what the Kazon have in store for us.
KIM: Shields at full power.
CHAKOTAY: Yellow alert, all hands at the ready.
KIM: Captain.
JANEWAY: What is it?
KIM: Ships. Kazon ships on long range sensors, closing fast.
TUVOK: Confirmed, Captain.
JANEWAY: On screen.
TUVOK: It appears to be an armada, and the weapons are powered.
CHAKOTAY: Red alert!
JANEWAY: Power all weapons systems and stand ready. Mister Kim, hail the lead ship.
KIM: They're hailing us, Captain. I'll put it on screen.
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: Hello, Captain. I'd like you to meet my good friend Mabus. We've just escaped from the Kazon Pommar.
CHAKOTAY: What are you doing on a Kazon ship?
NEELIX [on viewscreen]: They're Trabe vessels, actually. Everything the Kazon have, they stole from the Trabe. Mabus will tell you all about it over a sumptuous dinner. The food hasn't been very good where we've been.
JANEWAY: I look forward to it.

[Mess hall]

MABUS: I was eight years old when it started. I wasn't even particularly aware of the Kazon. They lived in restricted areas that children weren't allowed to go near. I didn't know they lived in poverty and filth. I didn't know they were persecuted by the Trabe police. I was told they were violent and dangerous, and had to be kept isolated so they wouldn't get loose and kill us. Which is exactly what they did, but we brought it on ourselves. The Trabe treated them like animals, fenced them in, encouraged them to fight amongst themselves so they wouldn't turn on us, and sat by while they turned into a violent, angry army. When they finally realised we were their true enemy, we didn't stand a chance. I was luckier than most. A friend's father grabbed me and took me with his family to one of the starships that managed to escape. I can still remember it happened so fast. One minute I was a happy child playing in a field, the next an orphan exiled in space.
JANEWAY: It strikes me that in many ways we're in the same predicament. Separated from the lives we knew, searching for a home.
MABUS: A goal you may well achieve, Captain, but the Kazon have refused to allow us to find a new homeworld. Every time we try to settle somewhere, they attack and drive us away. We're scattered, like nomads, with no home and little hope.
CHAKOTAY: It happened over thirty years ago and the Kazon are still trying to punish you?
MABUS: Remarkable, isn't it? Most of the Trabe who persecuted the Kazon are either dead or old men by now. Most of us were children when the uprising occurred, and our children are innocent, but the Kazon's desire for revenge is as strong as ever.

[Somewhere on Voyager]

RETTICK [on monitor]: How can you transmit to us without your crew knowing it?
JONAS: Well, that's for me to worry about. Let's just say I'm very familiar with communications protocols. Now, will you let me talk to Seska?
RETTICK [on monitor]: Not without some proof you can be trusted.
JONAS: She and I knew each other for a long time. She knows that I can be trusted. Just let me talk to her.
RETTICK [on monitor]: I'll convey your message. Contact me tomorrow and I'll let you know if she's willing to talk to you.

[Ready room]

NEELIX: Before the uprising, the Trabe were known as a highly evolved species. They produced scholars and artists who were widely admired and their technology was among the finest in the quadrant. No one really knew about the Kazon and how they were being treated.
JANEWAY: Why not? Holding another culture in virtual slavery isn't the kind of thing that could go unnoticed.
NEELIX: You have to understand. The Trabe were rich and powerful. They manipulated information about the conditions on their planet. And no one wanted to risk offending them, and losing opportunities for trade.
CHAKOTAY: It seems to me that they've learned their lesson. Mabus and his people have freely acknowledged that they were responsible for what happened to them.
TUVOK: Still, I do not see that it is a particularly good idea to form an alliance with the blood enemies of the Kazon. We risk uniting all the factions against us.
JANEWAY: The only thing the Kazon agree on now is that we are their common enemy. It's hard to imagine it getting much worse.
CHAKOTAY: The Trabe have a lot of ships and a lot of weapons in that convoy. I think this alliance would be better than none at all.
JANEWAY: I'd rather not be in the position of making an alliance at all, but that may be a luxury we simply don't have. My gut tells me we don't have any friends among the Kazon. As for the Trabe, I believe that people have a capacity to change. It's always been Starfleet's policy to deal with new species on a basis of openness and trust until proven otherwise.

[Sickbay]

MABUS: Captain, I'm glad to see you. I want to thank you for the use of your medical facilities. We have very few doctors.
EMH: Everyone seems to be in generally good condition. Malnutrition is the most common problem, but it's easily alleviated with bio-nutrient supplements.
JANEWAY: Thank you, Doctor. How much longer do you need?
EMH: I'd say less than an hour.
JANEWAY: Will you walk with me?
MABUS: Of course.

[Corridor]

JANEWAY: I've been thinking about our conversation at dinner, about the things we share, and it seems to me we could be of mutual benefit to each other.
MABUS: Go on.
JANEWAY: What would you say to the possibility of our joining forces. My starship and your convoy.
MABUS: It clearly would be a stronger force if we did that.
JANEWAY: We could travel together for as long as it's advantageous to both of us. Maybe we'll find our way out of Kazon territory and you could settle on a new home world.
MABUS: It's a reasonable idea Captain. I have no objection. But it would only benefit your group and mine. There are other Trabe who wouldn't enjoy the same protection. I wonder if you might consider a somewhat more bold plan.
JANEWAY: Tell me.
MABUS: Together, the Voyager and the Trabe would be a force to be reckoned with. Suppose we took advantage of that and asked the representatives of all the Kazon factions to join us at the bargaining table.
JANEWAY: In order to achieve what?
MABUS: Peace. Together we would represent a stabilising force in this corner of the quadrant. Bring the factions together, convince them that an end to violence would be in everyone's best interest. Think about it. I believe it could work.

[Culluh's vessel]

CULLUH: It's a message from Voyager. They've formed an alliance with the Trabe!
SESKA: The Trabe?
CULLUH: They're calling for a conference of all first Majes. How could this have happened?
SESKA: It happened because you let Voyager slip away right into the hands of the Trabe, by insisting on that ridiculous exchange of crews!
CULLUH: I could not let the negotiations be dictated by that woman!
SESKA: That's becoming a tired refrain, Culluh. One day that attitude will be your undoing.
CULLUH: Watch your tongue.
SESKA: Or what? I'm carrying your child. I don't think you'd do anything to jeopardise him. We can still turn this to our advantage. We have a crewman on Voyager who's willing to provide information to us. There's long term potential in that arrangement. We mustn't lose sight of it.
CULLUH: You're not suggesting we go to this conference? That we come running like a Calogan dog when the Federations call?
SESKA: Could you risk being the only Maje who doesn't attend? Of course you'll go, and listen. Nothing should be negotiated there, not at the point of a Federation weapon. But you can learn a great deal. Assess the mood of the other Majes, find out the strength of the Trabe convoy.
CULLUH: You may be right.
SESKA: You can come out of this a hero. You can use this conference to unite the factions, eradicate the Trabe once and for all, and take Voyager as a trophy.

Captain's log, stardate 49342.5. Neelix has returned from Sobras where he learned a disturbing piece of information that may require us to rethink our plans.

[Ready room]

NEELIX: He was a Takrit, a band of mercenaries that operates in this system,
TUVOK: What was he doing when the Kazon Pommar arrested him?
NEELIX: My contact on the planet said that he was making a sketch of the conference site, and believe me the Takrid are not known for their art.
CHAKOTAY: Who sent him?
NEELIX: That's as much information as I got.
JANEWAY: So someone wants to sabotage this conference.
CHAKOTAY: One of the Majes.
NEELIX: Why miss a chance to wipe out your rivals while they're together in one room?
TUVOK: If that is true, then one of them will undoubtedly try to leave before the meeting is finished.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, I think you should consider not going to the conference.
JANEWAY: No. If I can help bring stability to this quadrant, I'm not going to walk away because of a rumour.
NEELIX: A rumour that must be taken seriously nonetheless.
JANEWAY: Agreed. Commander, monitor all the Kazon vessels carefully, and look out for any suspicious ship movement near the surface. Keep us on a constant transporter lock so we can beam out at the first hint of trouble. Tuvok, Neelix, you're with me.

[Conference room]

TERSA: I gave a great deal of thought to the shape of the table. I finally decided on a triangle. Your group will sit on one side, the Majes will occupy the other two. Does that seem appropriate?
NEELIX: Have you heard anything more about the matter we discussed?
TERSA: Don't talk about that here. It could mean my head. Does the table shape seem acceptable?
NEELIX: Tersa, this time I am here with a powerful starship. You'd better be telling me everything you know.
TERSA: I am, I swear. I want to thank you for making it possible to have the conference here on Sobras. My Maje has rewarded me handsomely for the prestige it affords him. If there is any further way I can be of service, please let me know.
(Tersa leaves as Janeway and Tuvok enter with Mabus.)
NEELIX: He hasn't heard anything more, but he's frightened. He must believe something's going to happen.
TERSA: The First Majes of the Kazon Order. Minnis of the Pommar. Surat of the Mostral. Loran of the Hobii. Valek of the Oglamar. And Culluh of the Nistrim.
CULLUH: Captain. We seem destined to encounter each other.
JANEWAY: This is Mabus, a governor of the Trabe.
MABUS: Maje Culluh. I'm gratified to be meeting you like this. I hope we'll be able to come to terms.
CULLUH: I never thought I'd see the day when any of us would sit at a table with the Trabe.
MABUS: Times change, Maje.
CULLUH: Perhaps.
JANEWAY: Shall we?
TERSA: Our gracious host Jal Minnis has provided food and drink to make our discussions more pleasant.
JANEWAY: We appreciate your coming. We hope this will lead to a new climate of peace.
CULLUH: Peace? With the Trabe? Forgive me if I'm a bit sceptical.
JANEWAY: I understand. After decades of antagonism you're bound to be suspicious. But surely everyone here is tired of constant violence.
SURAT: Aren't you really trying to get us to relax our guard so the Trabe can conquer us again?
MABUS: How can we do that? We're scattered and disparate. All we ask for is a chance to find a new homeworld and settle peacefully.
CULLUH: Excuse me.
(Cullah gets up, fetches a jug of drink and sits down again.)
CULLUH: Captain Janeway, I'm curious as to the nature of this alliance you've struck with the Trabe. Especially since you refused my offer of a similar pact.
JANEWAY: I found the goals of the Trabe to be compatible with our own. I represent an organisation which is devoted to peaceful co-existence among people. The Trabe want nothing more than that.
RETTICK: The Trabe have always wanted peace for themselves, but we paid the price. They lived in luxury and we lived in squalor and misery.
CULLUH: What I fear, Captain, is that this union you've made with the Trabe is an effort to force us to capitulate. If so, we assure you, it is doomed to failure.
JANEWAY: I won't pretend that our alliance wasn't an attempt to make a show of strength. Separately, we and the Trabe are vulnerable. Together, we are stronger.
SURAT: Are you threatening us, Captain?
JANEWAY: It is important that you understand our determination, but it's not a threat, it's an offer. A negotiated peace among all of us would provide a greater stability in this quadrant. How could that do anything but benefit us all?
CULLUH: I can't speak for all of you, but I for one don't think we can trust this proposal. A woman and a Trabe. How can we listen to them? I find you nothing but a hypocrite, Captain, allying yourselves to the greatest villains this quadrant has ever known. If this is where your revered Federation values have taken you, I want no part of it.
MABUS: Gentlemen. Allow me to confer with my Federation colleagues. Please, have some refreshments and let us continue in a few moments. Captain, would you please join me?
(The glasses on the table start rattling.)
MABUS: Captain, I really need to talk to you now!
JANEWAY: Get down!
CULLUH: What is this, Captain?
JANEWAY: It's a trap! Take cover!
(A small Trabe ship appears in the window.)
JANEWAY: Voyager, red alert!
CHAKOTAY [OC]: We're on it.
(Neelix, Janeway, Tuvok and Mabus are beamed away. The Trabe ship starts shooting at an apparently empty room. Voyager fires three photon torpedoes that explode in the atmosphere above it, and it flies away. The Kazon Majes get up from their hiding places and leave.)

[Transporter room]

MABUS: You've ruined what would have been the greatest step towards peace in decades.
NEELIX: Peace? A massacre?
MABUS: I could have decimated the Kazon leadership. It would have taken them years to recover.
JANEWAY: You planned this whole thing and used our good will to make sure you were successful.
MABUS: You don't know the Kazon. There's no dealing with them. Violence is all they understand.
JANEWAY: Or perhaps it's all you understand.
MABUS: You're naive, Captain. It's clear you have no understanding of the harsh realities of this part of space. What I tried to do was done as much for you as it was for us.
JANEWAY: I'm not grateful, and I want you off my ship. Chief, beam our former guest back to his vessel.
MABUS: Captain, don't do this. You're going to need us.
JANEWAY: I don't think so.
MABUS: The Kazon will be determined to seek revenge. How can this one ship hope to survive?
JANEWAY: Not by making deals with executioners. Energise.
(Mabus is beamed out.)
TUVOK: I would suggest we depart before the Kazon have a chance to return to their ships.
JANEWAY: Janeway to Paris. Get us out of here.
PARIS [OC]: Aye, Captain.

[Briefing room]

JANEWAY: There's no question we're more vulnerable now than ever. We have to take every measure to make sure we're prepared for an attack. I want continual diagnostics on all ship's systems.
TUVOK: I will schedule additional battle drills for all hands.
JANEWAY: Mister Neelix, what about our food supplies?
NEELIX: We're in good shape, Captain. We shouldn't have to stop anywhere for several weeks.
JANEWAY: Good. Lieutenant, what's the condition of our propulsion systems?
TORRES: We have a reasonable supply of anti-matter. Barring any major problems, we should have maximum performance of both warp and impulse engines.
JANEWAY: There's just one more thing I want to say. I hope there's a lesson for all of us in this. Although some of the species we've encountered here have been peaceful, others seem governed only by their own self-interests. This appears to be a region of space that doesn't have many rules. But I believe we can learn something from the events that have unfolded. In a part of space where there are few rules, it's more important than ever that we hold fast to our own. In a region where shifting allegiances are commonplace we have to have something stable to rely on. And we do. The principles and ideals of the Federation. As far as I'm concerned, those are the best allies we could have.

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