Alter Ego
Stardate: 50460.3
Original Airdate: January 15, 1997

Captain's log, stardate 50460.3. We've been investigating an inversion nebula for several days. This phenomenon has never been seen in the Alpha Quadrant, and is proving something of a mystery to us here.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: According to Federation astro-theorists, inversion nebulae are so unstable they're supposed to burn out within a few years, but this one appears to be centuries old.
PARIS: Maybe the theorists were wrong. After all, they never had a chance to look at the real thing.
CHAKOTAY: Not entirely wrong. These plasma strands we're approaching look ready to ignite.
JANEWAY: Tom, back us off two thousand kilometres. That'll give us a safety margin.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: Harry, set the sensors for full spectrum scans, continuous sweep. If that nebula does flare up, I don't want to miss a beat. Mister Kim, I need your attention on the sensors.
KIM: Sorry, Captain. Full spectrum scans. I'm on it.
JANEWAY: Astro-theory never predicted this would be so lovely. Beauty and mystery, a tantalising combination.
PARIS: No argument here. Right, Tuvok?
TUVOK: I am fully capable of appreciating this phenomenon without the extraneous sentimentality humans find so necessary.
CHAKOTAY: Being moved by an emotion isn't always extraneous. Sometimes it's the whole point.

[Tuvok's quarters]

(Tuvok is carefully inserting short metal rods into a complex globular construct. The doorbell rings.)
TUVOK: Enter. Mister Kim. Can I help you?
KIM: Er. That's kal-toh, isn't it? Vulcan chess?
TUVOK: Kal-toh is to chess as chess is to tic-tac-toe.
KIM: I should have known.
TUVOK: What is on your mind, Ensign?
KIM: Tuvok, I need your help. I want to eliminate emotions, like Vulcans do.
TUVOK: Mister Kim, it is a lifelong process.
KIM: I realise that. And I also know that Vulcans use certain techniques.
TUVOK: The t'san s'at, the intellectual deconstruction of emotional patterns.
KIM: I'm willing to learn.
TUVOK: May I ask why?
KIM: I have feelings I don't want to have.
TUVOK: That would seem to be self-evident. And what is the nature of those feelings?
KIM: I'm in love, and I don't want to be.
TUVOK: I see. And who is the object of your affections?
KIM: Her name is Marayna.
TUVOK: I am not aware of anyone on the ship with that name.
KIM: She's not a member of the crew. She's a character on the holodeck.
TUVOK: You're in love with a computer subroutine?
KIM: That's the problem.
(Tuvok places his final rod, and the construct transforms into an elegant polygon.)
TUVOK: Interesting.

[Corridor]

TUVOK: To see through an emotional complex is to rob it of its power. The first step is to identify the complex in which you have been caught.
KIM: I told you. I'm in love.
TUVOK: There are many different kinds of love, Ensign. You must learn to differentiate. For example, you told me that you met this individual only days ago. Yet you feel overwhelmed.
KIM: I can't get her out of my mind. Not for a second.
TUVOK: Have you been able to sleep?
KIM: No.
TUVOK: Have you eaten?
KIM: No.
TUVOK: Does your daily routine seem somehow empty, perhaps even ludicrous?
KIM: Yes!
TUVOK: You are experiencing shon-ha'lock, the engulfment. It is the most intense and psychologically perilous form of eros. I believe humans call it love at first sight.
KIM: But we're talking about a holodeck character.
TUVOK: Irrelevant. The emotional complex in which you are trapped is the same and so is the cure. Logical deconstruction, followed by a regimen of meditative suppression. As I shall demonstrate.

[Holodeck Paxau resort]

(Neelix is directing the hanging of a paper lantern.)
NEELIX: Ah, a little further to the left. Mmm, no. That's too much.
KIM: Neelix. Have you seen Marayna?
NEELIX: Ah, perfect. Welcome, gentlemen. Just getting things ready for tonight's little get-together.
KIM: I completely forgot. The luau.
NEELIX: Polynesian style. I've done my research. Er, Lieutenant Tuvok, you neglected to RSVP.
TUVOK: That was not an oversight, I assure you.
KIM: Where's Marayna?
NEELIX: Who?
KIM: She's part of this programme.
NEELIX: Doesn't ring a bell.
KIM: How could you miss her? She's tall, athletic, blonde.
NEELIX: Oh, one of the entertainment directors. I believe she's giving Kes a hydrosail lesson.
(A crewman is carrying a tiki torch.)
NEELIX: No, no, not there. There.
KES: Harry, Tuvok, the lake is perfect today.
MARAYNA: Hello, Harry.
KIM: Hi, Marayna.
KES: We were just talking about you.
KIM: You were?
KES: Marayna said what an excellent student you are.
KIM: She's a great instructor.
MARAYNA: Ready to get your ears wet?
TUVOK: Vulcans do not hydrosail.
MARAYNA: Oh, why not?
KES: Lieutenant Tuvok prefers the solitude of his own quarters and a game of kal-toh.
MARAYNA: I'm sure we can do better than that.
KES: I'm going back on duty. Thanks.
MARAYNA: You're welcome. (to Kim) There's a volleyball game starting down in the sand.
TUVOK: Mister Kim and I would prefer some conversation. Would you care to join us?
MARAYNA: All right. I tried a reverse curl this morning. I think I pulled a tendon. Feel that.
(She puts Kim's hand on her right calf.)
KIM: It's like a knot.
TUVOK: I'm sure it is.
MARAYNA: Are you two friends?
KIM: Yes.
TUVOK: No. We're colleagues. I respect Mister Kim for his intelligence and his integrity. And I assume he holds me in the same regard.
MARAYNA: So Vulcans don't hydrosail, and they don't have friends?
TUVOK: We have fellowships and associations, but without the emotional dimension humans experience.
MARAYNA: Hmm. (to Kim) You and I are friends, aren't we?
KIM: Er, yeah.
MARAYNA: Good.
CHAKOTAY [OC]: Chakotay to Tuvok and Kim. Report to the bridge.
TUVOK: Acknowledged. We're on our way.
MARAYNA: There's a luau tonight. You're coming, aren't you? Both of you?
TUVOK: No.
KIM: Yes.
MARAYNA: You've got to stop doing that.
TUVOK: Ensign?

[Corridor]

TUVOK: As I predicted, your responses were as formulaic as a mathematical equation.
KIM: What do you mean?
TUVOK: Consider the expression on your face when Neelix did not recall Marayna. Annoyance.
KIM: That's not true.
TUVOK: It is quite true. At that moment, Neelix was functioning in Vulcan terms as the soo-lak, the third party who, by his very lack of interest, trivialises your own.
KIM: I guess it really did bother me.
TUVOK: And the arrival of Kes with Marayna then precipitated in you the k'oh-nar, the feeling of being completely exposed.
KIM: I was embarrassed, and I was sure Kes would take one look at my face and know exactly what I was feeling.
TUVOK: And when Marayna placed your hand on her stressed tendon.
KIM: Let's not even talk about that.

[Turbolift]

TUVOK: Bridge.
KIM: It's all so predictable.
TUVOK: That's just what I've been trying to get you to perceive. To the trained Vulcan intellect, intense romantic love is nothing more than a set of stereotypical behaviours. Not having our discipline, typically, humans are swept along by the process until it ends.
KIM: How does it end?
TUVOK: Either in conversion to a more balanced, stable relationship, or in tragic circumstances.
KIM: I can't have a balanced, stable relationship with a holodeck character. Marayna's a computer programme. She could never feel for me what I feel for her.
TUVOK: Exactly. Logic dictates a single course of action. Retreat.
KIM: To tell you the truth, I don't even like hydrosailing.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: The temperature's five thousand degrees kelvin and rising.
TUVOK: Captain?
JANEWAY: We've located a plasma strand that looks like it's seconds from igniting.
CHAKOTAY: There is some kind of unknown process that's been keeping this nebula from going up like a torch. We're going to see it in action.
TUVOK: And if there isn't?
PARIS: I've got my hand on the controls. We'll be out of here before it even touches our shields.
KIM: Captain, the temperature is nine thousand degrees kelvin. I'm picking up a subatomic cascade reaction.
PARIS: There she goes.
(The strand flares, then vanishes in a big flash.)
KIM: The plasma strand completely burned itself out.
CHAKOTAY: Without causing a chain reaction in the nebula.
JANEWAY: Harry, what put out the flames?
KIM: Sensors show some kind of dampening effect between the strands, but I can't isolate it.
JANEWAY: Like a firebreak in space.
CHAKOTAY: If we understood how this happened, we might be able to find a new way to contain a warp core breach.
JANEWAY: Or any plasma reaction. It's an investigation worth pursuing. Tom, it seems safe enough. Take us in for short range sensor scans. Let's find out all we can about this phenomenon.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.
JANEWAY: I'll see all of you at Mister Neelix's luau. I'm sure everyone will be attending.
(Janeway leaves, having given her orders.)

[Corridor]

(Torres comes out of the turbolift wearing a 1960s style floral dress. Tom is in the obligatory loud Hawaiian shirt.)
PARIS: Lieutenant, you look absolutely
TORRES: Tropical?
PARIS: More along the lines of smashing.
TORRES: Thanks.
PARIS: Of course, nothing can quite measure up with this shirt. This is an exact recreation of a 1962 Big Daddy-O Surf Special, an American classic.
TORRES: I'd say you put just a little bit too much thought into that.
PARIS: Now that's where you're wrong.
TORRES: Let's go. I told Vorik we'd pick him up at sixteen hundred hours, and you know how Vulcan he gets when anybody is late.
PARIS: Vorik? I thought we were meeting Harry.
TORRES: Oh, he's not coming.
PARIS: Why not?
TORRES: He said he was busy.
PARIS: With what?
TORRES: I don't know.
PARIS: Harry and I will meet you and Vorik at the luau.
TORRES: You're pretty confident about your powers of persuasion.
PARIS: Yes, I am.

[Kim's quarters]

(Kim is trying to meditate when the doorbell chimes.)
KIM: Come in.
PARIS: Surf's up, Mister Kim.
KIM: Hi, Tom.
PARIS: Harry, this is a luau. You look like you're dressed for a funeral. What are you doing?
KIM: A Vulcan meditation.
PARIS: What for?
KIM: To suppress my emotions.
PARIS: Is something wrong?
KIM: Not really.
PARIS: The resort woman? What was her name?
KIM: Marayna. How did you know that?
PARIS: Well, for two days now, every time I look for you it's always, he's in Holodeck one. And since you don't like hydrosailing, I figured something was going on.
KIM: Am I that predictable? You sound like Tuvok.
PARIS: Tuvok? He told you to do all this?
KIM: Logically, the best course is retreat. Meditation helps.
PARIS: Retreat? A classic case of Vulcan denial, if you ask me. Come on, Harry. We have all fallen for a holodeck character. It happens. You deal with it by staying with your normal routine, not by hiding out in your quarters.
KIM: I'm not hiding out. I'm deconstructing the emotional complex.
PARIS: Okay. Have fun.
KIM: No, wait. Computer, standard illumination. I'm getting tired of this anyway.
PARIS: Computer, one Hawaiian shirt.
COMPUTER: Specify parameters.
PARIS: Pineapple motif.

[Holodeck - Luau]

(Full luau mode, with Hawaiian guitar music, leis and grass skirts, and lit tiki torches. Tuvok is in his uniform.)
NEELIX: Greetings, Mister Vulcan.
TUVOK: No, thank you.
NEELIX: I've done a great deal of ethnographic research on the Polynesian cultures on Earth. The flowered garland, or lei, is said to represent the flowering of love. It's a marvellous tradition, don't you think?
TUVOK: Marvellous.
NEELIX: Oh. Oh, my! Did I programme a centrepiece that big? Computer, open parameter adjustment file.
(Neelix throws a lei over Tuvok's head and scurries away. Tuvok removes it.)
EMH: The life of a recreational hologram - dining, dancing, non-restrictive clothing. (he gets a kiss) I see the allure. (to another girl) Your turn.
(Janeway is with Chakotay. She receives a lei.)
JANEWAY: Oh, thank you. Tuvok, I'm glad to see you here.
TUVOK: I would never disobey an order, Captain, no matter how burdensome.
JANEWAY: There's a difference between an order and a suggestion.
CHAKOTAY: The evening's young, Lieutenant. Let's mingle.
TUVOK: Vulcans do not. Curious.
CHAKOTAY: What's that?
TUVOK: If you will excuse me.
(Tuvok goes over to Marayna, who is at a table playing kal-toh.)
TUVOK: A common error among novice players. By placing the t'an on opposite sides of the kal-toh, you are attempting to introduce a spatial balance, a strategy that will most certainly fail.
MARAYNA: Why?
TUVOK: Kal-toh is not about striving for balance. It is about finding the seeds of order, even in the midst of profound chaos. May I?
MARAYNA: Please.
(Tuvok places a piece, and part of the structure transforms.)
MARAYNA: How beautiful.
TUVOK: Kal-toh is not about beauty.
MARAYNA: I understand, but it's still beautiful. Did you learn to play on Vulcan?
TUVOK: Yes. From the age of five, I took lessons from a master.
MARAYNA: I thought you might enjoy having an opponent. Playing alone must get a little predictable sometimes.
TUVOK: You are perceptive.
MARAYNA: Yes, I am. Extremely so.
GIRL: Aloha, miss.
(She gives Marayna a lei.)
GIRL: Sir?
TUVOK: No, thank you.
MARAYNA: You're the only one here not wearing a garland.
TUVOK: Given the decor, it seems somehow excessive.
MARAYNA: I don't believe you.
TUVOK: I beg your pardon.
MARAYNA: I think you're tying to isolate yourself and make a public protest at the same time.
TUVOK: Explain.
MARAYNA: You didn't want to be here in the first place. Being the only one without a lei sets you apart from the others, allowing you to symbolically maintain your solitude. And since everybody can see that you're the only one without a lei, you're letting them know that you'd rather be somewhere else.
TUVOK: Your logic is impeccable.
(Marayna takes off her lei and gazes into Tuvok's eyes. Elsewhere, Paris takes two pineapples from a tray.)
PARIS: Thanks.
(They contain drinks.)
TORRES: Thanks. I am starving.
PARIS: Oh, me too. Let's find us a spot. This place is filling up fast.
VORIK: I have already taken the liberty of reserving a table, Lieutenant, with a view of the lakeside. You did express a fondness for that particular vista.
TORRES: I did?
VORIK: Five days ago in a conversation we had in Engineering regarding holodeck programmes.
TORRES: I guess maybe I did.
PARIS: Good memory.
VORIK: Of course.
TORRES: Well, then, Ensign, let's go.
(Torres and Vorik leave. Paris goes off to find his best friend looking around for someone. Kim spots Marayna with Tuvok.)
PARIS: Harry?
KIM: What?
PARIS: Do you want to get something to eat or not?
KIM: I don't know. Maybe this isn't a good idea. Listen, I'm going back to my quarters.
PARIS: Harry.
KIM: Tom!
PARIS: Okay. Okay. I'll see you tomorrow.
(Kim leaves. The evening draws on. Almost everyone has left the holodeck.)
MARAYNA: I like the excitement of the water, the danger of being tossed around by the wind and the waves. But at the same time, feeling like I'm in control.
TUVOK: The illusion of control.
MARAYNA: That's exactly right, because no one can control the wind and the waves. But for a few moments when you're on the water, and the ride is perfect, the feeling is that you can. You ever feel that?
TUVOK: No.
MARAYNA: Never? Don't you have an imagination?
TUVOK: If by imagination, you mean the ability to spontaneously generate images within my mind, then, yes, I have a highly developed imagination, as do all of my race.
MARAYNA: All right, imagine this, that you with your logic and your reason, are skimming atop endless waves of emotion. You believe you're in control, but you know that control is an illusion. You believe that you understand the depths beneath you, but that, too, is an illusion.
TUVOK: I can see why Ensign Kim finds you compelling.
MARAYNA: I can see why Harry admires and respects you, because it's obvious that he does. And so do I.
TUVOK: I must return to my quarters.
MARAYNA: Please stay. I've never met anyone like you.
TUVOK: I must admit, I share that conclusion. You are a unique individual.
MARAYNA: Then stay.
TUVOK: It is late. I must go.
MARAYNA: Then come back tomorrow. I'm sure the weather will hold.
TUVOK: No doubt.
MARAYNA: Please.
TUVOK: Perhaps.
MARAYNA: Good night, Tuvok.
TUVOK: Good night, Marayna.

[Outside the holodeck]

TUVOK: Computer, end resort programme.

Captain's log, supplemental. We've completed sensor scans and confirmed our discovery of an unusual dampening field responsible for keeping this unstable nebula from going up in flames. The field's origin is still a mystery.

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: The dampening field only seems to appear when one of the plasma strands ignites, as if the fire itself initiates the field.
JANEWAY: Which puts out the fire. A feedback loop.
CHAKOTAY: One that's preserved this nebula for hundreds of years.
JANEWAY: Mister Kim, do we have enough data on this dampening field to produce one artificially using the deflector dish? Harry, do we have the data?
KIM: Yes, Captain. But it'll take a while. We'll have to simulate the process on the computer, and then try to recreate it with the deflector dish. Probably a few weeks.
JANEWAY: The project is yours, Ensign. Tom, resume course for the Alpha Quadrant, warp six.
PARIS: Aye, Captain.
(Beep.)
PARIS: Captain, propulsion is not responding.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Engineering. B'Elanna, what's going on?
TORRES [OC]: I'm not sure, Captain. We're trying to track the problem now.
JANEWAY: Acknowledged. Harry, give B'Elanna a hand.
CHAKOTAY: The nebula could be having an effect on the ship's systems.
JANEWAY: That's a possibility we can't discount.

[Engineering]

VORIK: The warp drive is functioning within established tolerance levels. Matter antimatter containment is at recommended field strength. The impulse engines are also
TORRES: Within tolerance.
VORIK: Yes.
TORRES: Most likely there's some kind of failure in the computer pathways. Nothing's wrong with propulsion, but the commands from the helm just aren't getting there.
KIM: The warp drive seems okay. Impulse too. I think the problem must be somewhere else. I think maybe the helm's being blocked.
TORRES: Like some kind of failure in the computer pathways?
KIM: Maybe.
TORRES: I just said all that. You're not listening, Harry.
VORIK: I'll return to my station, Lieutenant.
KIM: I'm sorry. I guess I've got a lot on my mind.
TORRES: Forget about her.
KIM: What did Tom say to you?
TORRES: Not a single word. I saw the way you were looking at Marayna yesterday.
KIM: Hi. My name's Harry read-me-like-a-book Kim.
TORRES: It's not that bad.
KIM: Apparently it is. I can't get her off my mind.
COMPUTER: Input algorithm not accepted.
TORRES: Why don't you take a break? I can handle it from here.
KIM: Thanks. I'll be in my quarters if you need me.

[Turbolift]

KIM: Deck three. Computer, belay that order. Holodeck one.

[Outside the holodeck]

KIM: Computer, activate Neelix resort programme.
COMPUTER: That programme is currently running.

[Holodeck Paxau Resort]

(Marayna and Tuvok are playing kal-toh.)
MARAYNA: Hello, Harry.
KIM: Enjoying yourselves? Now I know why you told me to keep off the holodeck.
TUVOK: Mister Kim, you are misconstruing the nature of this situation. Your jealousy is entirely insupportable.
KIM: Stop analysing me! I respected you. I trusted you. And you did this right behind my back.
TUVOK: I have done nothing of the sort.
KIM: Then what do you call this?
TUVOK: A game of kal-toh which I am playing with a nonsentient computer subroutine.
MARAYNA: Harry, I didn't intend to harm you, and I didn't do anything wrong.
KIM: I'll accept that from her, Tuvok, but not from you. You said to stay away from her. You should have done the same.
TUVOK: You're implying a desire on my part that simply does not exist. Marayna is an intriguing interactive hologram, nothing more.
KIM: If you say so, Lieutenant.
TUVOK: Mister Kim, I value our working relationship. I would not allow a holodeck character to disrupt that.
KIM: I think it's a little late
MARAYNA: Tuvok! Harry! Please. Stop arguing.
TUVOK: Computer, delete the Marayna subroutine.
MARAYNA: Tuvok, what are you
(Marayna vanishes.)
KIM: That's not going to help. I never should have come to you in the first place. I should have worked it out myself.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Let's try it again, Mister Paris. Warp six.
PARIS: Course laid in.
JANEWAY: Engage. It would appear to me that we're not moving, Mister Paris.
PARIS: I don't understand it, Captain.
JANEWAY: Any ideas, B'Elanna?
TORRES: Warp drive is still on line, and helm control appears to be working, but the engines aren't responding. It's possible we've got a computer malfunction, but I can't seem to localise it.
JANEWAY: Let's run a level four computer diagnostic. All systems.
KIM: Aye, Captain.
TORRES: Captain, I just got aft thrusters to respond. It's not much.
JANEWAY: I'll take it, B'Elanna. Tom, let's go.
CHAKOTAY: At this speed, we'll be completely clear of the nebula by tomorrow.
JANEWAY: Good enough.

[Tuvok's quarters]

MARAYNA: Your move.
(Marayna is wearing a Starfleet uniform and mobile emitter.)
MARAYNA: I think you'll find my game has improved.
TUVOK: How did you get here?
MARAYNA: Simple. I transferred myself from the holodeck to the sickbay, then used your physician's mobile emitter.
TUVOK: I deleted you from the holodeck.
MARAYNA: But you only did that for Harry's benefit. I know you wanted to keep seeing me. I like Harry, but you're different. You're not like anyone else.
TUVOK: Why have you come here to my quarters?
MARAYNA: You're like a new world to me, Tuvok. I want to know everything about you. I didn't realise how lonely my existence was, and I can't go back to the way things were, not without you.
TUVOK: Tuvok to bridge. Intruder alert. Security team to my quarters.
MARAYNA: No! Why did you do that? Don't you want us to be together?
TUVOK: Given your actions, I have no choice but to consider you a potential threat to myself and to Voyager.
MARAYNA: But you're wrong. I would never do anything to harm you. Make it stop!
(The alarm stops.)
TUVOK: You have access to the ship's control systems?
MARAYNA: And I'll use them all if I have to. You can't just delete me!
(Two security guards enter, and she vanishes. The mobile emitter drops to the deck.)

[Briefing room]

JANEWAY: Where is this individual now?
TORRES: When security got to Tuvok's quarters, she downloaded herself back into the computer and onto the holodeck.
PARIS: More to the point, what is she?
CHAKOTAY: Most likely a sentient computer programme. I checked the Starfleet database. This kind of thing has happened before. The Enterprise-D under Picard was once taken over by a holocharacter.
(That would be Moriarty.)
KIM: We studied that case at the Academy. It gained control of the ship from inside the holodeck.
TUVOK: Marayna may well have done the same. She was able to silence the intruder alert by an apparent act of will.
JANEWAY: Does that mean she has the run of our entire computer system?
TUVOK: She may.
JANEWAY: Is it possible that she's the source of our mysterious malfunctions?
TORRES: It's certainly possible. If Marayna's able to manipulate the ship's computer pathways, she could have disrupted propulsion and then covered her tracks so we couldn't trace the cause.
JANEWAY: But why? What's her motivation?
TUVOK: I believe it has something to do with her feelings toward me. In my quarters, she made reference to her loneliness and expressed her desire to continue our relationship.
PARIS: But what does that have to do with knocking propulsion offline?
CHAKOTAY: Could she be trying to keep us near the nebula?
KIM: This all started the day we got here. That's when I first met her. Maybe the nebula is somehow affecting the holodeck.
JANEWAY: Giving rise to an intelligence that doesn't belong there.
TORRES: It's possible.
JANEWAY: In any case, I can't allow her to gain any further control over my ship. Tuvok, Paris, Torres, get down to holodeck one. (to Tuvok) I want this situation resolved one way or another.

[Outside the holodeck]

TORRES: She's locked us out of the programme. We'll be lucky if we can open the doors.
(The doors open.)
PARIS: We're lucky.
TUVOK: Marayna may have opened the doors. Caution is advised.

[Holodeck Paxau resort]

(The luau is back on.)
TORRES: I'll try to access the inside control panel.
PARIS: It's kind of creepy.
TUVOK: Marayna's attempting to recreate the setting of my previous encounter with her.
PARIS: Ah. You really know how to pick 'em, Tuvok.
TORRES: I got access to the holodeck computer.
PARIS: I'm not reading anything unusual on the holodeck. It seems to be working perfectly.
TORRES: There's a subspace signal coming from outside of Voyager. It's some kind of an uplink. There's somebody on a ship out there, tapping into the
(A girl starts to strangle Torres with a lei.)
PARIS: B'Elanna!
(A pair of big Polynesians fight Tuvok while a girl knocks down Paris. Tuvok wins, then encounters a forcefield.)
TUVOK: Shoot the control panel.
(Paris wards off a girl and obeys. The holocharacters vanish.)

[Bridge]

(Voyager is drifting into the inversion nebula, and strands are igniting near them, shaking the ship.)
JANEWAY: Shield status.
KIM: Still holding, Captain, but the inertial dampeners are offline.
CHAKOTAY: Starboard shields are down to eighty percent.
JANEWAY: What happened down there?
TUVOK: Marayna attacked us and attempted to restrain me. She has control over the holodeck characters.
JANEWAY: But she's not actually on the holodeck. I found an uplink and tracked it to the nebula. She's on a hidden ship or a space station. She's manipulating the holodeck from there.
CHAKOTAY: She's been using the Marayna character like a puppet.
JANEWAY: As an interface, a way to move around Voyager to interact with us.
MARAYNA [OC]: Tuvok, come back to me. I'm waiting for you.
JANEWAY: Harry, try to trace the uplink. Find her.
MARAYNA [OC]: Don't make this more difficult than it already is, Captain.
JANEWAY: Are you responsible for the plasma fires?
MARAYNA [OC]: You're giving me no other choice but to force the issue.
JANEWAY: What do you want?
MARAYNA [OC]: Tuvok. I want Tuvok. Let him come to the holodeck alone, or I'll destroy your ship.

[Holodeck Paxau resort]

MARAYNA: Tuvok, you're back.
TUVOK: I had little choice.
MARAYNA: We're alone now. No one can see us or hear us. We can do whatever we want. You don't have to pretend anymore. This is our world.
TUVOK: You successfully lured me here by threatening the ship, but any attempt to generate intimacy between us will not be successful.

[Bridge]

TORRES: I've isolated the source of the uplink signal.
JANEWAY: Stand by to transport.

[Holodeck Paxau resort]

MARAYNA: I understand your sense of duty, of loyalty to your captain, but we have something stronger, a connection that goes beyond duty and loyalty. I know you want to be with me, Tuvok.
TUVOK: You must leave Voyager now and allow us to continue on our course.
MARAYNA: I won't.
TUVOK: I suggest you reconsider, or Captain Janeway will be forced to take action.
MARAYNA: There's nothing she can do. You're staying here with me. She'll just have to accept that.
TUVOK: Energise.

[Bridge]

KIM: Transporting to the source of the uplink.

[Holodeck Paxau resort]

MARAYNA: Stop!
(Tuvok is beamed away.)

[Bridge]

CHAKOTAY: Shields are down to forty seven percent.
(Tuvok arrives in a darkened area. His comm. badge does not work.)
CHAKOTAY: Shields are gone.
JANEWAY: Try to hail Tuvok.
KIM: I can't Captain. Something's blocking the signal.

[Space station]

TUVOK: Marayna.
MARAYNA: Your ship is helpless. If I ignite one more strand, the hull will fail.
TUVOK: You are using the nebula as a weapon.
MARAYNA: My nebula.
TUVOK: I will fire if necessary.
MARAYNA: You're too late. I've already set the ignition sequence. Only I can stop it.
TUVOK: Are you alone here, on this station in this nebula?
MARAYNA: Yes. It's my work.
TUVOK: I don't understand.
MARAYNA: I keep the plasma fires from chain-reacting.
TUVOK: You are responsible for the dampening field we've been investigating.
MARAYNA: That's correct. I generate it from here to preserve the nebula so that others from my home planet may enjoy its beauty. I watch the ships when they pass by. They don't even know I'm here.
TUVOK: You are lonely.
MARAYNA: By choice. I prefer to be here, alone.
TUVOK: But you uplinked with our holodeck and created a character in order to interact with us.
MARAYNA: To amuse myself. I have done it before. Tapped into the computer of a passing alien vessel, examined all the little details of their lives. But I never expected to find something as diverting as your holodeck. I never expected to find you. You are like nothing else I've ever encountered. And I can't be without you. Stay here with me, and I will let your ship resume course.
TUVOK: If it is the only option, I would willingly sacrifice myself to save my crewmates.
MARAYNA: No! That's not enough. You have to want to be with me.
TUVOK: If you truly understood who and what I am, you would know that I could never return your affections.
MARAYNA: But you are more like me than you are like them. I've seen the way you isolate yourself. Even in a crowd of people, you're alone. We should be together.
TUVOK: I must admit, I have found our conversations stimulating. Your insight and intelligence, fresh and unexpected. In other circumstances, I would be willing to spend time in your company, to continue to share knowledge and ideas. But I have a home and a spouse on Vulcan. I have a mission, and colleagues who depend on me. I do not have a complete understanding of emotions, but I believe that if you truly care for me, you will not pursue this course of action.
(Marayna works a control panel, then stands.)
MARAYNA: You may go. Your communicator will function now.
TUVOK: Tuvok to Voyager.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Go ahead, Tuvok.
TUVOK [OC]: I am ready to return. Stand by to beam me aboard.
KIM: Captain, ship's systems are coming back online.
JANEWAY: Acknowledged, Tuvok.

[Space station]

JANEWAY [OC]: Standing by.
TUVOK: Consider this. Your feelings toward me may be evidence of a deeper need. A more profound loneliness than you are willing to admit. Why don't you call for a replacement? Let another occupy this task. Attempt for a time to live among your own kind.
MARAYNA: Logically, that would be the best thing to do.
TUVOK: Yes.
MARAYNA: Perhaps I will.
TUVOK: Tuvok to Voyager. Ready for transport.
MARAYNA: But what about you, Tuvok? Will you always be alone?
(Tuvok looks at her as he is beamed away.)

Security chief's log, stardate 50471.3. The remaining damage to the ship was easily repaired, and we soon left Marayna's nebula behind. Voyager is back on course, and I have resumed my normal routine.

[Holodeck Paxau resort]

(Tuvok is playing kal-toh in his quarters, when he puts down a rod, turns of its projector base, picks it up and leaves.)
TUVOK: Mister Kim, would you be interested in learning to play kal-toh?
KIM: I thought kal-toh was beyond human understanding.
TUVOK: Not entirely. Ensign, I failed to respect the complexity of your emotions. I apologise for my lack of consideration.
KIM: Don't worry about it, Tuvok. Apology accepted.
(Tuvok activates the kal-toh base.)
KIM: Won't this take years to learn?
TUVOK: It will indeed.
GIRL: May I join you?
TUVOK + KIM: No.
TUVOK: But thank you.

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