Innocence
Stardate: 49578.2
Original Airdate: April 8, 1996

[Drayan moon]

(Lush vegetation and a crashed shuttlecraft. A crewman is lying on the ground nearby. Tuvok fetches a medkit.)
TUVOK: Tuvok to Voyager. Voyager, do you read? You must lie still.
BENNET: I can't, I can't feel my legs.
TUVOK: Several of your vertebrae have been fractured.
BENNET: Isn't there anything you can do?
TUVOK: I'm afraid the shuttle's medical supplies are inadequate. We must wait for Voyager to find us.
BENNET: It's getting worse. My whole body feels numb.
TUVOK: I want you to slow your breathing, and relax your muscles. Try not to move.
BENNET: All this time I thought I was so lucky. No family back home. Nobody to miss. Now it seems kind of sad not to leave anybody behind.
TUVOK: I believe Ensign Macormak would miss you a great deal.
BENNET: You think so? I was never really sure how she
(Bennet dies. Tuvok sets up a stasis field over his body then hears a rustling in the bushes. He takes out his phaser and turns to see that it is a young girl. She tries to run across the clearing and he grabs her.)
TUVOK: It's all right, don't be frightened. I won't hurt you.
TRESSA: Let me go!
TUVOK: Will you run if I do?
(She struggles then gives up.)
TRESSA: No.
TUVOK: My name is Tuvok. Who are you?
TRESSA: Tressa. You don't look like us.
TUVOK: I am not a member of your race. I am Vulcan. I thought this moon was uninhabited. Do you live here?
TRESSA: We came here on a ship, but it crashed like yours.
TUVOK: Where are your parents?
TRESSA: Dead. Is he dead too?
TUVOK: Yes.
TRESSA: What were you doing to him?
TUVOK: I put a stasis field around his body to protect it until I can take it back to my ship.
TRESSA: Why?
TUVOK: Some cultures, like Mister Bennet's, consider an appropriate burial to be a sign of respect. Tressa, is there anyone else here with you?
(She nods.)
TRESSA: It's all right.
(Another girl and a boy come out of the bushes.)
TUVOK: There is no one looking after you?
TRESSA: Everyone else died in the crash. We're alone.
TUVOK: There is no reason to be afraid. I will take care of you now and see that you get home safely.
(The second girl and the boy run over and hug Tuvok, then Tressa joins in.)

Captain's log, supplemental. I've sent out scouting parties to analyse the mineral deposits in the moons around Drayan Two. Meanwhile, I've arranged to meet with the planet's leader.

[Corridor]

CHAKOTAY: According to Neelix, nobody's had direct contact with the Drayans for decades. All he's heard are rumours.
JANEWAY: Do any of those rumours describe them as hostile?
CHAKOTAY: No, just very private.

[Turbolift]

JANEWAY: That's something. Deck four. My diplomacy professor used to say the opening twenty minutes of a first contact situation are the most crucial.
CHAKOTAY: I'd feel better about this particular twenty minutes if we had some idea what to expect.
JANEWAY: Sometimes you have to go in blind. That's the exciting part. When I was a science officer I always envied the Captain's privilege of making first contact with new races.

[Corridor]

CHAKOTAY: I envied it so much I almost got myself shipped back to the academy for remedial training. On my first assignment we were sent to make contact with the Tarkannans. I studied all the information we had about them and pestered the Captain into letting me be part of the diplomatic team. When we came face to face with the Tarkannan delegation I very proudly made the traditional gesture for hello, not realising that males and females of their race use different styles of movement, and I was actually propositioning the Ambassador.

[Transporter room]

JANEWAY: Energise.
(Three figures in veils and drab clothes are beamed aboard.)
JANEWAY: I'm Captain Kathryn Janeway. I'd like to welcome you aboard the Federation Starship Voyager.
ALCIA: First Prelate Alcia. May this day find you at peace and leave you with hope. That's a traditional blessing from our ancient scrolls.
CHAKOTAY: Om-nah-hoo-pez-nyeetz. That's from the spirits of my people. It means, peace in your heart, fortune in your steps.
JANEWAY: It's very gracious of you to agree to meet with us.
ALCIA: We don't often engage in dialogue with alien races, but your story of crossing the galaxy intrigued me.
JANEWAY: I'd be glad to tell you all about our journey and my crew. Perhaps you'd like to see more of our ship as well.
ALCIA: Thank you.

[Engineering]

JANEWAY: Our warp core is designed to operate for up to three years before refuelling.
CHAKOTAY: The reaction chamber is equipped with a compositor which allows us to re-crystallise the dilithium. In our situation we can never be sure when we'll be able to find a new supply.
JANEWAY: I'm sorry my Chief Engineer isn't here to meet you. She's leading one of the away teams surveying the moons around Drayan.
ALCIA: I find it interesting that you chose this to show me first. Do your people consider advanced technology to be their highest achievement?
JANEWAY: Not as an end in itself. The purpose of all this is to help up gain knowledge about the universe and the people in it.
ALCIA: Our ancestors were brilliant scientists and engineers. They were continually developing better, smarter, more efficient machines, until the technology became more important than the people. I believe our society would have self-destructed if it weren't for the reformation. My great-grandfather helped to return us to ourselves, and since that time we've remained isolated to avoid the influence of those who might lead us back down the wrong path.
CHAKOTAY: Some human cultures have done the same.

[Drayan moon]

(Bennet has been moved out of sight into the shuttle.)
TRESSA: Will your friend be all right in there?
TUVOK: Yes. I have secured his body within a stasis field. You were all very fortunate to have escaped the crash with only a few bruises.
TRESSA: The attendants protected us.
TUVOK: Attendants?
TRESSA: The people on our ship. They got us to the escape pod before they crashed.
CORIN: Can we go now? I want to go.
ELANI: Are we going to fly in your ship?
CORIN: He said it was a shuttle, not a ship.
TUVOK: We cannot leave yet. My shuttle is in need of repairs.
TRESSA: Can't you fix it?
TUVOK: I believe so. However, I am more concerned with getting through the electrodynamic turbulence in the ionosphere.
CORIN: What's electro-turbulence?
TUVOK: A thermal inversion gradient is causing unusually strong and unpredictable currents in the upper levels of the atmosphere. Those currents caused my shuttle to crash, and I assume yours as well. I must find a way to safely navigate through the turbulence before we can attempt to leave.
TRESSA: Will that take a long time?
TUVOK: It may. You must be patient.
ELANI: I don't want to stay here any more. I don't like it here.
TUVOK: Your displeasure doesn't change our situation. Nor does it bring us any closer to a solution
TRESSA: You don't have to be so mean about it.
TUVOK: It isn't my intention to be mean. I only wish to provide you with a realistic assessment. Vulcan parents never shield their children from the truth. Doing so would only hinder their ability to cope with inevitable difficulties.
CORIN: I'm hungry.
TUVOK: There is a supply of Starfleet rations in the shuttle.
CORIN: What's rations?
TUVOK: Concentrated vitamin enriched nutritional supplements.
CORIN: I want takka berries.
ELANI: With cherel sauce.
TUVOK: We have only rations. Now, I must begin working on my shuttle. By my estimate we have fewer than four hours of daylight remaining.
ELANI: We can't be here when it's night.
CORIN: That's when the Morrok comes.
TUVOK: Is that some species of animal?
TRESSA: The Morrok is what takes you when you die.
CORIN: It lives here in the cave.
(Tuvok gets out his tricorder.)
TUVOK: I'm not detecting any life forms other than ourselves.
TRESSA: It's here. It'll come.
TUVOK: Have any of you ever seen this creature?
ELANI: You can only see it when it comes for you. Then it's too late.
TUVOK: I believe your anxiety about our situation is causing you to imagine the presence
CORIN: It took the others. Jarren and Fayla, the other children on the ship!
TRESSA: The Morrok took them while we were sleeping, and tonight it will take us.

[Sickbay]

JANEWAY: The Federation consists of over one hundred and fifty different worlds who have agreed to share their knowledge and resources in peaceful cooperation.
EMH: Ah, visitors! Welcome to sickbay. I'm the Chief Medical Officer.
JANEWAY: This is First Prelate Alcia of Drayan Two.
EMH: It's an honour to meet you. We don't often receive such distinguished guests here, unless there's been some sort of accident. I'm sure nothing unfortunate will happen to you on your visit here, but if it did you can rest assured you will find yourself in very capable hands. We are fully equipped to provide a wide variety of treatments here from removing a splinter to re-sequencing the base pairs in a strand of DNA, and our research facilities are the most advanced in Starfleet.
ALCIA: Very impressive.
JANEWAY: You may be even more interested to learn that this man isn't really a biological lifeform. He's a computer generated holographic projection.
ALCIA: My people believe that physical matter is only an illusion. The body is not the true self, only a representation.
JANEWAY: One of our greatest philosophers, Plato, wrote that what we see around us are only poor shadows of ideal objects which exist on a higher plane.
ALCIA: That is similar to our teachings. Our connection to what you call a higher plane is more important than our attachment to this brief existence, however real it may seem.
KIM [OC]: Bridge to Captain. There's an incoming message for the First Prelate.
EMH: Perhaps you'd like to use my office?
ALCIA: Yes, thank you, Doctor?
EMH: I'm afraid it's just Doctor.
(Alcia goes to the office.)
JANEWAY: Patch it through on a secure channel to the Doctor's office, Mister Kim.
KIM [OC]: Acknowledged.
KES: You did very well. I think she was impressed.
EMH: Kes has been coaching me on my diplomatic skills.
CHAKOTAY: It shows.
JANEWAY: Our next step will be to open negotiations. Find out what they might be interested in getting from us in exchange for the polyferranide.
ALCIA: I've been called away on an emergency.
JANEWAY: Is there anything we can do to help?
ALCIA: No, thank you. It would be better if you and your crew continued on your journey. It's been an interesting visit.
JANEWAY: We'd been hoping to learn more about you.
ALCIA: It's been our custom for generations to avoid close contact with outsiders. I choose to honour that tradition. Goodbye, Captain. I hope you find your way home.
(The Drayans leave.)
EMH: Was it something I said?
CHAKOTAY: We could assure her we have no intention of interfering with their culture or traditions.
JANEWAY: No. She made her wishes clear. If we're not welcome, we'll go. Recall the scouting parties. We'll have to find our polyferranide somewhere else.

[Drayan moon]

TUVOK: Where did you last see the missing children?
CORIN: By the big tree, when we went to sleep last night.
TUVOK: Were either of them injured?
CORIN: Jarrin hurt his hand.
TUVOK: But both were able to walk.
CORIN: Uh huh.
TUVOK: Did any of you hear them get up during the night?
TRESSA: You think they wandered off and got lost, but they didn't. The Morrok took them. They're gone.
TUVOK: The other children aren't within scanning range of this tricorder. That is the only thing we know for certain at this time.
TRESSA: You don't understand. We have to get away from here.
CORIN: Please can we go?
ELANI: We're scared.
TRESSA: Please, Tuvok?
TUVOK: Children, you are allowing your fears to guide you. You must learn to exercise control over your own imagination.
CORIN: But the Morrok!
TUVOK: Yes, the existence of such a creature is one possibility. However, your emotional reactions are preventing you from accurately judging how unlikely that is to be true.
CORIN: I can't help it. I'm scared.
TUVOK: I believe you can help it. Vulcan children learn to detach themselves from their emotions at an early age.
ELANI: How?
TUVOK: First, you must focus on the object of your fear. Picture the Morrok clearly in your minds. That image is accompanied by an emotional response. Describe for me what that feeling is like.
TRESSA: It makes my stomach all tight.
ELANI: I feel like I want to run, but my legs won't work.
TUVOK: Now, if you could see this emotion in physical form, what would it look like?
CORIN: It's like this big, black cloud with lots of thunder and lightning all around us.
TUVOK: Then imagine a strong wind is pushing that cloud away. Watch as your fear grows more distant. It is no longer a part of you. Once you begin to detach yourselves from your emotional responses, you come closer to controlling them. Eventually, they will be eliminated altogether.
ELANI: Do you live your whole life without feeling anything?
TUVOK: More accurately, we strive to control our feelings.
TRESSA: You don't get scared, ever?
TUVOK: No.
CORIN: Even when your shuttle crashed?
TUVOK: That is correct.
CORIN: But what if there was this big hairy tardeth coming after you?
TUVOK: The circumstances are irrelevant. A Vulcan approaches every situation logically. Now I must begin work on my shuttle. We will resume the search for the other children once the sensors are operational. I expect each of you to sit quietly and not touch any of the equipment.
TRESSA: We promise.
(Later, Corin and Tressa are running in and out of the shuttle while Elani stares through a large magnifying glass.)
TUVOK: Elani, please put that down.
CORIN: Let me have it!
TRESSA: No, I found it!
(It is a micro-welder.)
TUVOK: Be careful with that! You will stay here and you will stay here.
(Tuvok puts them either side of the shuttle.)
ELANI: Where do I get to sit?
CORIN: But I want to sit next to you.
(Corin looks at the back of Tuvok's head.)
CORIN: Tuvok?
TUVOK: Yes.
CORIN: Why do your ears look like that?
TUVOK: All Vulcans have similarly shaped ears.
CORIN: Why?
TUVOK: It is the result of many millennia of evolution.
ELANI: Do they make you hear better?
TUVOK: No.
TRESSA: Where do Vulcans live? Is it far away?
TUVOK: My homeworld is on the other side of the galaxy. Elani. Elani! I asked you not to play with that.
ELANI: Sorry.
(Tuvok puts Elani's hands together, with forefinger and thumb touching.)
CORIN: What are you doing?
TUVOK: It helps prepare you to attain a meditative state. Now, close your eyes and imagine all the energy in your body is flowing to the point where your fingertips meet. Nothing else you hear or feel is important. Let the outside world fade away. You exist only inside your mind.
(Corin and Tressa copy Elani.)
CORIN: Tuvok?
TUVOK: Yes.
CORIN: Do you have any children?
TRESSA: Be quiet. We're trying to attain a meditative state.
CORIN: But I want to know!
TUVOK: I have four children. Now you must concentrate.
CORIN: What are they like?
TUVOK: Well behaved. They had already mastered several states of heightened awareness by the time they were your age.
ELANI: If Vulcans don't feel anything, does that mean you don't love them?
TUVOK: My attachment to my children cannot be described as an emotion. They are part of my identity, and I am incomplete without them.
ELANI: I bet they miss you too.
CORIN: Tuvok?
TUVOK: Yes.
CORIN: I have to scratch my nose.
TUVOK: You may.
TRESSA: Tuvok!
TUVOK: Yes.
TRESSA: I hear something.
CORIN: Is it a ship?
TUVOK: I believe so.

[Shuttle]

TRESSA: Can you see who it is?
TUVOK: The sensors are only partially functional. I'm attempting to identify the ship by its shield harmonics.
ELANI: Is somebody coming to save us?
TUVOK: It is not a shuttle from Voyager. The pattern of the harmonics matches that of the ships we scanned in orbit around Drayan. It seems your people have come looking for you.
TRESSA: We have to hide, Tuvok. You can't let them find us here.
TUVOK: I don't understand. I thought you wanted to go home.
TRESSA: They won't take us home. They're the ones who made us come here.
TUVOK: For what purpose?
TRESSA: They sent us here to die.
CORIN: We have to go!
TRESSA: If they find us, we'll all die.
ELANI: Please, Tuvok.
TUVOK: Why would your own people want to harm you?
TRESSA: Please, they're coming.
ELANI: Help us!

[Drayan moon]

(The Drayans have found the empty shuttle. Tuvok and the children are hiding nearby.)
DRAYAN: There's no one inside. Spread out and scan the area.
TUVOK: Two of them are coming this way.
CORIN: What are you doing?
TUVOK: This will hide us from their scanners.
(Corin makes some leaves rustle, but the Drayans do not find them.)
TUVOK: Why do you believe they've come to kill you?
TRESSA: We're supposed to die here. That's what this place is for.
CORIN: They bring children here for the final ritual. Then the Morrok takes them away.
ELANI: No one ever comes back.
TUVOK: It is illogical for a society to kill its own children.
TRESSA: The scrolls say we should be happy. That when we die the energy inside us is set free.
CORIN: Is it true? Is that what really happens?
TUVOK: Vulcans believe that a person's katra, what some might call a soul, continues to exist after the body dies.
ELANI: Do you believe that?
TUVOK: When I was younger, I accepted it without question. In recent years I have experienced doubts. I do believe there is more in each of us than science has yet explained.
TRESSA: I know we should have more faith. It's wrong to be afraid of death.
TUVOK: There is nothing wrong in choosing to live.
ELANI: Will you help us?
TUVOK: Until I can gain a better understanding of your situation, I believe it would be best to get you safely back to Voyager.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Torres and Neelix just got back, but there's still no word from Tuvok and Bennet.
PARIS: I'm not picking up their shuttle on sensors.
KIM: There's heavy solar flare activity. It's causing electrodynamic disturbance throughout the system.
(Torres and Neelix enter.)
TORRES: We found a vein of pure polyferranide, three kilometres long. It's a real shame we're leaving.
JANEWAY: When was your last contact with the other team?
NEELIX: Several hours ago. Is there a problem?
JANEWAY: We can't reach them.
TORRES: When we spoke to them, they were going to check out the outermost moons.
JANEWAY: Can you find the shuttle's ion signature?
PARIS: I'm reading one on heading one five one mark eight.
TORRES: That's where Neelix and I went.
PARIS: And another one on a divergent course twenty degrees to starboard.
JANEWAY: Set a course, Mister Paris.
(Later, they join a Drayan ship in orbit.)
TORRES: Our scans of the moon are inconclusive. We can't see anything through the turbulence in the atmosphere.
KIM: The Drayan ship still hasn't responded to our hails.
JANEWAY: Are you sure our signal's getting through.
KIM: They're receiving it, they're just not answering.
JANEWAY: Continue hails.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: This desecration dishonours us both, Captain.
JANEWAY: I'm sorry, I don't understand.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: This moon is our crysata. Sacred ground. Your presence is forbidden here.
JANEWAY: We've only come here to look for one of our shuttles. It's missing.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: We found your shuttle on the surface. The pilot is dead.
JANEWAY: There were two men on board. Did you find both of them?
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: No, only one. If there's someone else on this moon you must transport him back to your ship immediately.
JANEWAY: That's what we intend to do.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: This type of disturbance is exactly why we avoid contact with outsiders. I was wrong to respond to your communication. I should have known better than to indulge my curiosity.
JANEWAY: There's no one at fault here. The shuttle crash was an accident.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: One which I expect you to correct as soon as possible.
(Transmission ends.)
JANEWAY: What's the status of the transporters?
TORRES: The targeting scanners still can't lock onto anything on the surface. It would be easier if we sent down another shuttle.
JANEWAY: No, that would only make things worse.
TORRES: I'll keep working on it.

[Drayan moon]

(Night has fallen. Tuvok has lit a fire and is continuing with repairs when Corin comes up to him.)
TUVOK: I don't see how you can be thirsty again after four drinks of water.
CORIN: Aren't you going to sleep?
TUVOK: I can go several days without rest if necessary. You cannot. It's warmer by the fire. Go back and try to sleep. Do not worry. I have run several thorough scans of the area. There are no other life forms present, inside the cave or anywhere within five kilometres.
CORIN: Maybe the Morrok doesn't show up on the scanners.
TUVOK: I am also keeping watch on all of you from here. If there is any indication of trouble I will come immediately.
CORIN: Okay.
(All three come up to Tuvok.)
TRESSA: We can't sleep.
TUVOK: Apparently not.
ELANI: It's so dark.
TRESSA: I think the fire's going out. Maybe you should look.
TUVOK: I added more wood less than a half an hour ago. However, it might be wise to check it again.
ELANI: I always have my hair brushed before I go to sleep.
CORIN: I'd like to hear a story. Tell us one about the fire beast of Sullus.
TUVOK: I never understood the practice in some cultures of describing ferocious creatures in an attempt to lull children to sleep.
CORIN: Don't Vulcan's tell bedtime stories?
TUVOK: If my children had difficulty sleeping, I would play music for them.
ELANI: I want music.
TUVOK: Unfortunately I don't have my lute.
CORIN: What's that?
TUVOK: It is a five-stringed instrument tuned on a diatonic scale. It can be very soothing. My youngest son was particularly fond of it. He always used to ask me to play Falor's Journey. It is a tale of enlightenment consisting of three hundred forty eight verses. It may not be necessary to include the complete narrative. Falor was a prosperous merchant who went on a journey to gain greater awareness.
'Through storms he crossed the Voroth Sea
To reach the clouded shores of Raal
Where old T'Para offered truth.
(sings) He travelled through the windswept hills
And crossed the barren Fire Plains
To find the silent monks of Kir.
Still unfulfilled, he journeyed home
Told stories of the lessons learned
And gained true wisdom by the giving.
(The children fall asleep.
Next morning, Tuvok is working inside the shuttle when -)
TRESSA: Tuvok! Tuvok! They're gone.

[Bridge]

TORRES: Captain, you might want to see this.
(Planetary scan 047.)
JANEWAY: Have you found the shuttle?
TORRES: Actually we've found two, both crashed on the surface. The sensor resolution is still quite low. This looks like our shuttle. I'd guess the other one is Drayan.
KIM: We've also had some indications of life signs on the surface. A while ago there seemed to be four of them. Now we can only distinguish two.
TORRES: I've been working on the transporters. It just isn't possible to get a pattern lock through all the turbulence.
JANEWAY: Then we've got to start considering other options. I want a full analysis of the atmospheric conditions, and your best suggestion of how to get a shuttle to the surface. Then let's hope we don't need to try it.

[Shuttle]

TUVOK: There were no other lifeforms and no unusual energy readings within sensor range all night.
TRESSA: It was the Morrok. Why don't you believe me?
TUVOK: Very well, I'll investigate. I'd like you to wait here while I look inside the cave.
TRESSA: But if you go in there, you won't come out.
TUVOK: I will take every possible precaution. I believe you can be responsible with this. Aim like this and press here to fire. I'll seal the shuttle's door while I am gone.
TRESSA: No, Tuvok, don't leave me all by myself, please.
TUVOK: If there is anything in the cave, it may help us determine what has been happening here. It is very important to gather as much as information as possible.
TRESSA: I'm scared.
TUVOK: We often fear what we do not understand. Our best defence is knowledge. You must trust me, Tressa. I will return shortly.
TRESSA: Promise?
TUVOK: I will not abandon you.
(Tuvok hands the phaser to Tressa, leaves and closes the shuttle hatch. He goes into the cave and finds Corin's clothes and boots, then two more sets. He returns to the shuttle.)
TRESSA: What did you see in there?
TUVOK: I realise it may frighten you, but you must hear the truth. Suffice it to say, I did not find the other children, nor do I have any explanation of what happened to them.
TRESSA: I'm going to be next, aren't I? There's nothing we can do about it.
TUVOK: The disappearances have occurred only at night. We will attempt to leave here before the sun sets.
TRESSA: I'll really be quiet this time. I won't touch anything.
TUVOK: That would make it difficult for you to assist me with repairs.

[Bridge]

PARIS: The Drayans have just sent another shuttle down to the moon, Captain.
KIM: There must be at least twenty people on the surface. I can't tell if the two life forms we detected before are still there.
CHAKOTAY: How many search parties could it take to find two crash victims?
KIM: Captain, there's a break in the turbulence. I'm picking up a comm. signal.
TUVOK [on viewscreen]: Tuvok to Voyager. Voyager, do you read?
JANEWAY: We read you, Tuvok. Are you all right?
TUVOK [on viewscreen]: Yes, Captain, but Ensign Bennet is dead.
JANEWAY: We know. we've been trying to get you off the surface but we're having some trouble with the Drayans. They insist on sending their own search parties.
TUVOK [on viewscreen]: Yes. I have been avoiding them.
JANEWAY: Why?
TUVOK [on viewscreen]: I have a young girl with me who claims they have come to kill her. I was reluctant to believe it at first, but several other children have disappeared.
KIM: There's nothing I can do, Captain. The signal's breaking up.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, what happened to the other children?
TUVOK [on viewscreen]: They have disappeared. Something on this moon is responsible. We must leave here. I'm attempting to repair
(Transmission lost.)
JANEWAY: Scan Tuvok's shuttle for damage. Will he be able to get himself out of there?
KIM: There's no structural damage, some power fluctuations. He should be able to take off.
CHAKOTAY: What if they can't?
JANEWAY: Hail the Drayan ship.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: Captain.
JANEWAY: First Prelate. It's come to my attention that you have a damaged ship on the surface as well, and there may be survivors. I'd like to offer our help in finding them. Perhaps a joint rescue operation?
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: That won't be necessary, Captain. You've been intrusive enough.
JANEWAY: Our sensor readings indicate the people on the surface may be in trouble. I'm sure you must be as concerned for their safety as we are.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: There's no reason to fear for anyone's safety on the crysata. It's a blessed haven, sheltered and unspoiled, which is the very reason why I can't allow you to go there under any circumstances.
JANEWAY: Then I regret to inform you I'll be taking a shuttle to the surface without your permission.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: That's completely unacceptable!
JANEWAY: I believe it's necessary.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: If you launch one of your shuttles, I will be forced to send one of ours after you.
JANEWAY: First Prelate, it's not my intention to provoke a conflict.
ALCIA [on viewscreen]: Well then, leave at once.!
JANEWAY: I'll be glad to, as soon as every member of my crew is safely back on board this ship. Janeway out. Lieutenant, you're with me. Mister Kim, I need your report.
KIM: I've been studying the energy signature of the Drayan shuttles. They're using some kind of dielectric field to protect them from the turbulence.
PARIS: We could generate the same kind of field with a shuttle's warp coils.
KIM: It won't be very stable.
PARIS: It might be a rough ride, but we can make it.
CHAKOTAY: Captain, maybe you shouldn't
JANEWAY: I know the risks, Commander, but if there's any hope left for a diplomatic solution, I've got to be down there to see it through.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: Let's get through the pre-flight quickly. Thrusters, impulse engines, warp drive.
JANEWAY: All propulsion systems are nominal.
PARIS: Shields, phasers, inertial dampers, comm. system.
JANEWAY: I think we've got all the basics. Computer, initial cold launch sequence.
PARIS: Or we could just skip pre-flight altogether.
JANEWAY: Definitely not recommended, but sometimes necessary.
PARIS: I'll remember that. I've taken the warp drive offline. Setting up the dielectric field. It's holding, but we'll have to keep an eye on the stabiliser integrity.
JANEWAY: Janeway to Bridge. Depressurise the shuttle bay and open the space doors.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Aye Captain.
(The shuttlecraft is launched.)
PARIS: Captain, I'm picking up a Drayan shuttle. They're on an intercept course.
JANEWAY: Can we out run them?
PARIS: The dielectric field is weakening our structural integrity. If we go much faster I'm afraid we'll break up. We're improvising here, the Drayans aren't.
JANEWAY: We're on their home turf. They have every advantage. That may be reason enough for them not to fire on us.
PARIS: We'll be testing that theory in a few seconds. They're about to enter weapons range, Captain.
JANEWAY: Raise shields to maximum and stand ready to power the weapons.

[Shuttle]

TUVOK: Manoeuvring thrusters and impulse engines are functional. We're ready to lift off.
TRESSA: What about the electro. The currents that made the ships crash.
TUVOK: I have determined that a dielectric field should allow us to pass through them. However, you should still be prepared for some turbulence. Initiating pre-launch sequence. Number three thruster is failing, attempting to stabilise.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: The Drayan shuttle is closing fast, Captain. They'll overtake us before we can land.
JANEWAY: They haven't powered their weapons systems. Maybe they're still willing to talk.
PARIS: Let's hope the ones on the surface feel the same way. We'll be through this ionosphere in a few more minutes.
JANEWAY: Sensors are clearing up. I'm reading Tuvok's shuttle. He's trying to lift off but it looks like there's some trouble with the thrusters, and there's a large Drayan search party approaching his location.

[Shuttle]

TRESSA: I see them. They're coming all around us. We've got to go, now!
TUVOK: I'm attempting an emergency procedure. Please move away from the console.
(A shower of sparks then the shuttle lifts off.)
TRESSA: You did it! You saved me!
TUVOK: I regret that may be a premature conclusion. The process of powering the thrusters has left us with minimal shields and no functional weapons. Voyager will be watching for us. When we clear the atmosphere, we can be transported aboard the ship.
TRESSA: Then what are we going to do?
TUVOK: You may request asylum with the Federation if you wish. Then we'll be able to protect you.
TRESSA: I want to stay with you.
TUVOK: The Drayan shuttle is hailing us.
ALCIA [on monitor]: You're holding one of our children. I want to speak to her.
TUVOK: She believes you intend to kill her. Is that true?
ALCIA [on monitor]: The child is confused. I only want to help her.
TRESSA: You want me to die.
ALCIA [on monitor]: Tressa, I understand how confusing this must be for you. If you return to the surface I will answer all of your questions.
TRESSA: No. I'm not going back there. I'm staying with Tuvok.
TUVOK: We can resolve this matter aboard Voyager.
ALCIA [on monitor]: Unacceptable. If you or any of your people attempt to take Tressa back to your ship, I will use any means necessary to stop you.
TUVOK: Do what you will.
ALCIA [on monitor]: Very well. Fire!
(The shuttle is buffeted by shockwaves. Tressa screams.)
TUVOK: We weren't hit. I believe that was a warning.

[Shuttlecraft]

PARIS: I've got phasers locked on the Drayan shuttle, Captain.
JANEWAY: Don't fire. We might be able to transport Tuvok from here. There's still too much interference.
PARIS: We should be close enough to get a comm. signal through.
JANEWAY: Tuvok, we're on our way to the surface. We'll intercept you in a few moments.
TUVOK [on monitor]: That may be too late, Captain. I'm losing power rapidly. I believe another hit will force me to land.
JANEWAY: Go back down to the surface. We'll follow you.

[Drayan moon]

TRESSA: It's getting dark. What's going to happen to me?
TUVOK: All I can tell you is, I will be here with you.
ALCIA: Mister Tuvok, don't make this difficult. She's been frightened enough.
TUVOK: What she fears most is being kept here against her wishes.
ALCIA: This is a critical time. I can't allow you to interfere.
JANEWAY: I regret it's come to this.
ALCIA: You have found your crew member. Now go.
TUVOK: I will not leave without Tressa. She has asked for my protection and I intend to provide it.
ALCIA: You simply don't understand the harm you're doing.
JANEWAY: This child wants to live. We're going to do whatever we can to help her.
ALCIA: It is not a choice, this is her time. Tressa has reached the end of her life.
TUVOK: She has barely begun it.
ALCIA: She is ninety six years old. Tressa, these people are outsiders. They don't understand how we live. They see us as strange because their aging process is reversed. Please, you don't belong with them. I'm here to help you now.
TRESSA: No, leave me alone.
ALCIA: It's perfectly natural to be frightened. You're taking a step into the unknown. The attendants would have helped you prepare yourself. You were never meant to face this time alone.
TRESSA: We weren't alone. Tuvok was here. He stayed with us and made us feel safe. He told us there was no Morrok and that we shouldn't be afraid. He took care of us, even when we didn't behave as well as Vulcan children.
ALCIA: He was right about the Morrok. It only exists in stories. At this age they become easily confused. Their memories are clouded. Near the end of life we reach a state of complete innocence. We free ourselves from all responsibilities to this life and we leave it peacefully.
TUVOK: Tressa doesn't seem to be ready. Perhaps she needs more time.
ALCIA: That's not for you or me to decide. This is a normal biological process which begins the day we are created. The energy contained within our bodies remains cohesive for a limited number of years and then it is released. Nothing can change that.
TRESSA: Nothing?
ALCIA: No. It's the natural course of life.
JANEWAY: Why was it so important that Tressa stay here?
ALCIA: We believe this is where the very first spark of life was created. We are all compelled by a powerful instinct to return here at the end to complete the cycle and rejoin the infinite energy. Tressa, do you feel it calling to you?
TRESSA: Tuvok?
TUVOK: She can offer you better guidance than I.
TRESSA: You said you would protect me.
TUVOK: I cannot protect you from the natural conclusion of life, nor would I try. Vulcans consider death to be the completion of a journey. There is nothing to fear.
TRESSA: I won't be afraid, not if you're with me.
ALCIA: Tressa, may this night see you safely home. Attending a child on the crysata is an honourable role. You have fulfilled it well. The final moment of life is the most sacred, most private time.
JANEWAY: I hope you can accept my sincere apologies for disturbing your traditions.
ALCIA: Perhaps we have each misjudged the other, Captain.
JANEWAY: I would hate to let that ruin any possibility of friendship between our people.
ALCIA: We must leave them.
PARIS: Tuvok, can your shuttle make it back to Voyager? Maybe we should wait for you.
TUVOK: No, I'll be fine.
(Tuvok and Tressa are left alone.)
TUVOK: We'll wait here as long as you like.
TRESSA: I know it's time. My only regret is leaving my family. My grandson. You remind me of him.
TUVOK: You will still be with them, in their thoughts. As you will be in mine.
(Tressa and Tuvok walk to the cave, and go inside.)

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