Blink Of An Eye
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 19 January 2000

[Bridge]

(The object is spinning so fast, its clouds dip in at the poles and spread out round the equator.)
PARIS: That's one planet that never showed up on the multiple choice exam.
TUVOK: Its gravimetric readings are similar to that of a collapsed dwarf star. It also resembles a quasar, in that it has a high rate of rotation, approximately fifty eight revolutions per minute.
JANEWAY: Shall we take a closer look?
CHAKOTAY: That's what we're here for.
JANEWAY: Tom, put us in a high orbit.
PARIS: Aye.
(Rumble.)
TUVOK: Our warp drive is offline.
CHAKOTAY: Why?
TUVOK: Unknown.
JANEWAY: Back us off.
PARIS: Our impulse engines aren't responding.
JANEWAY: The use the auxiliary thrusters.
KIM: We're in some kind of gravimetric gradient. It's pulling us toward the planet.
(Energy plays over Voyager's hull.)

[Planet surface - early culture]

(The locals have long greasy hair and are dressed in skins. One of the places a fruit on an altar, then the ground shakes. A new star shines in the sky.)
SHAMAN: The new one is brighter than Tahal, or any of his brothers in the sky.
NATIVE: What does he want from us?
SHAMAN: To answer that, we must learn the nature of this god. We must understand the reason for his arrival. You were making an offering to Tahal.
NATIVE: I placed the fire-fruit on his altar. Then the ground shook. I looked up and the new one was there.
SHAMAN: The fire-fruit. Where is it?
(It had fallen onto the ground. The shaman picks it up.)
SHAMAN: The new one doesn't want Tahal to have the fire-fruit. Make an altar for him, as big as Tahal's. The fire-fruit is only for the New One. No more for the people. It is His alone. Ground Shaker, Light Bringer, take this today, and every day. Accept our offering. Do not harm us.

[Bridge]

JANEWAY: Report.
TUVOK: We're in synchronous orbit, fifty seven thousand kilometres above the planet's equator.
CHAKOTAY: Good work, Tom. Now, let's see
PARIS: You're patting the wrong guy on the back.
JANEWAY: Explain.
PARIS: Our thrusters went offline halfway through our descent and then we just stopped, like we were caught in something.
TUVOK: I'm picking up a strong tachyon field along the hull. It could be what's holding us.
SEVEN [OC]: Seven of Nine to the bridge.
JANEWAY: Go ahead, Seven.
SEVEN [OC]: Please report to Astrometrics. There's something you must see.
JANEWAY: On my way. Chakotay.

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: The planet has a tachyon core. It's produced a subspace particle field which runs between the poles. Voyager's arrival disrupted that field.
CHAKOTAY: It looks like the ship's been caught in an eddy of some kind.
JANEWAY: It's worse than that. Voyager seems to have become the planet's third pole.
SEVEN: The imbalance is affecting the outer crust. I've picked up indications of high-frequency seismic activity.
CHAKOTAY: Caused by our presence?
SEVEN: Possibly.
JANEWAY: Does anybody live down there?
SEVEN: The atmosphere is having a scattering effect on our sensors.
CHAKOTAY: Is that vegetation?
SEVEN: According to sensors, yes.
JANEWAY: The tachyon core has created a space-time differential between the planet and the surrounding space. We're watching the seasons change in a matter of seconds.
SEVEN: For each second that passes on Voyager, nearly a day goes by on the planet.
JANEWAY: Scan for inhabitants.
SEVEN: I can't isolate individual lifeforms. It'll take time to correct for the space-time differential
CHAKOTAY: A couple of hundred years, maybe? If our orbit starts to decay, Voyager will begin to feel the effects of the differential and we'll begin aging hundreds of times faster than we would in normal space.
JANEWAY: Unless we want to live our lives in the blink of an eye, I suggest we find a way out of here.

[Engineering]

CHAKOTAY: How's our warp core?
TORRES: The matter-antimatter reaction is still active, but this field we're stuck in is raising hell with the nacelles. Until we break orbit, warp drive is offline.
CHAKOTAY: Without warp drive, we'll never leave orbit.
TORRES: It does pose a bit of a problem, doesn't it?
CHAKOTAY: Maybe the key is to learn more about this planet, in case we're missing something.
TORRES: Sensors aren't having an easy time of it either.
CHAKOTAY: Then let's modify a class-five probe for low orbit, see what we can pick up. Configure the programme to scan along all subspace bands, and set it for visual images every ten milliseconds.
TORRES: Snapshots. Why do I get the feeling you're not just interested in tachyon fields?
CHAKOTAY: This could be the greatest anthropological find of my career. If there's an intelligent species down there, we'll be able to track their development, not just for days or weeks, but for centuries.
TORRES: Watch them discover new and better ways of beating each other over the head.
CHAKOTAY: They won't necessarily follow the Klingon model.
TORRES: As opposed to the Human model? It'll take a few hours to make the adjustments.
CHAKOTAY: A few hours. We might miss the rise and fall of a civilisation.
TORRES: So we'll watch the next one.

[Planet surface - Renaissance]

(Woven clothes and leather footwear. Large stone structures, a walled town or castle.)
CLERIC: Oh. Oh, Protector.
KELEMENE: You're late.
CLERIC: Well, the hill is steep, and I, I'm not as young as I used to be.
KELEMENE: More heat.
(The man inflating the hot air balloon looks up.)
KELEMENE: There are grave matters of state here that cannot be delayed.
CLERIC: Protector, what exactly are you doing?
KELEMENE: I'm sending him a letter.
CLERIC: Him? Sending who a letter?
KELEMENE: The Ground Shaker. The Light Bringer.
CLERIC: Had you been more attentive to my lessons when you were a boy, you would not be so gullible as a man.
KELEMENE: On the contrary, you taught me well. Our ignorant ancestors believed every star was a deity. You taught me how foolish that was. Superstition, you called it.
CLERIC: And that's exactly what it is.
KELEMENE: Hungry?
CLERIC: It's bad fortune to eat the fire-fruit.
KELEMENE: According to whom? Our ancestors? Don't tell me you believe that old superstition? Perhaps we shouldn't completely ignore the old beliefs, no matter how strange they may seem today. Ground Shaker. Ground shaker. Isn't it possible the name was not given arbitrarily? That this star is indeed responsible for knocking down our walls and making us stumble as we walk?
CLERIC: Oh yes, I heard about that. My condolences.
KELEMENE: You heard what?
CLERIC: Well, that you stumbled in front of several important people during the last ground shake. Uh, very embarrassing, I'm sure.
KELEMENE: I did nothing of the sort.
CLERIC: Well, my hearing is not as good as it used to be, nor my memory either. Now, what were we talking about?
KELEMENE: We were talking about ancient superstitions. Now, I don't believe for a moment that the stars are gods, but then, what are they?
CLERIC: A great mystery to which there is no answer.
KELEMENE: I believe the sky is full of people just like ourselves.
CLERIC: What? Oh, nonsense.
KELEMENE: Prove me wrong. I say each star encompasses a city and the Ground Shaker rules one of these cities. A fellow Protector. If I'm correct, then he'll listen to me, one Protector to another. Your pen.
(The cleric takes a quill and paper out of his wooden case and sets it up to write on.)
KELEMENE: I, Kelemane.
CLERIC: Kelemane.
KELEMENE: Son of Kelemane, ruler of the good people of the land below you, demand that you stop what you're
CLERIC: Demand?
KELEMENE: Would hope?
CLERIC: Ah, better. Much better.
KELEMENE: Would hope that you might consider putting an end to whatever it is you're doing that shakes our ground. If this causes you inconvenience I'm willing to offer a recompense.
CLERIC: A recompense.
KELEMENE: I await your reply.
(The cleric hands the letter to Kelemene, who then goes down steps and puts it in a container attached to the small hot air balloon. The balloon is released, and flies gently upwards.)

[Engineering]

(The probe is in orbit.)
TORRES: The next series of scans is coming through. I'm downloading them into the display buffer.
CHAKOTAY: No doubt about it. There's a city down there.
TORRES: Elevated levels of carbon monoxide, ammonium. That's progress, all right.
CHAKOTAY: They've developed internal combustion technology since the last few scans. Look at those radial lines. It looks like a system of roads.
TORRES: Well, one thing hasn't changed. The geological disturbances that Voyager seems to be causing. The probe recorded half a dozen each month. Still no way to tell how severe they are.
CHAKOTAY: Look at the amount of iron being used in that city. That's ten times what you'd expect to see in a culture at this stage of development.
TORRES: Do you think they're using it to support their buildings?
CHAKOTAY: If you lived on a planet that wouldn't stop shaking, you might be doing the same thing. If they've reached this stage of industrial development, they must be observing us.
TORRES: The probe's impulse thrusters are starting to fail. At its present altitude, it's been operating for over two hundred years. Its orbit is becoming decayed.
CHAKOTAY: Initiate self-destruct.
TORRES: It disintegrated in the upper thermosphere. If they saw anything, it just looked like a shooting star.

[Planet surface - observatory]

(Voyager is just about visible through the reflective telescope. Basic electronics and radio technology now.)
ASTRONOMER: Any response to our transmission?
TECHNICIAN: Nothing.
ASTRONOMER: No visual change either.
TECHNICIAN: Surprised?
ASTRONOMER: Send it again.
TECHNICIAN: The entire sequence? How about just the prime numbers?
ASTRONOMER: You're tired.
TECHNICIAN: So are you.
ASTRONOMER: The prime numbers and the elemental constants, then we'll stop.
TECHNICIAN: An acceptable compromise. It's not as if they're going anywhere, if they even exist in the first place.
ASTRONOMER: Do you doubt that?
TECHNICIAN: I doubt everything.
ASTRONOMER: So you weren't one of those children that had the entire series of Sky Ship Friends?
TECHNICIAN: Actually, I had them all, even the duplicates. You couldn't walk into my home without tripping over a Friend or two.
ASTRONOMER: Not in our home. My grandfather wouldn't allow it. He told us that the Sky Ship was a palace where an Evil Protector lived. He said that bad children were sent there to be punished. At this point, I'd be happy to see anything, evil or not. Can you boost the signal?
TECHNICIAN: We're already at maximum. Maybe if we switched to a different carrier wave to
(Rumble.)
TECHNICIAN: If there is somebody up there, they don't like us very much.
ASTRONOMER: Any beings capable of building that Sky Ship could have destroyed our world long ago. They're not causing the tremors on purpose.
TECHNICIAN: What if they're all dead?
ASTRONOMER: If you truly believe that, why did you join this project?
TECHNICIAN: I doubt everything, remember? Even my own doubts. I hope someone is up there.
ASTRONOMER: So do I.
TECHNICIAN: If they won't respond to mathematics, perhaps we should try a more personal approach. Here, say hello.
ASTRONOMER: How could they possibly speak our language?
TECHNICIAN: There's only one way to find out.
ASTRONOMER: What, what should I say?
TECHNICIAN: Oh, glad to meet you. Where are you from? Please stop shaking our planet.

[Astrometrics lab]

SEVEN: An ultra high frequency signal is being transmitted from the surface. The modulation is unfamiliar. Its Doppler component is
CHAKOTAY: Any signal from the surface will be accelerated. When it reached our time frame, the frequency would be thousands of times higher than normal.
SEVEN: I will attempt to slow it down.
CHAKOTAY: Again. Amplitude modulation. It's a radio transmission.
SEVEN: It's a numerical sequence.
CHAKOTAY: Prime numbers. They're sending a list of prime numbers.
SEVEN: Followed by a sequence of mathematical constants, and what appears to be a vocal modulation.
CHAKOTAY: Slow it down again. A little more.
ASTRONOMER [OC]: Good friends in the Sky Ship. I call you that, hoping, at least, you're not enemies.

[Briefing room]

ASTRONOMER [OC]: There's nothing on our world that resembles your technology, so we assume you came here from a nearby planet or a distant star. Our ancient mythology describes your arrival centuries ago, coinciding with the tremors that continually shake our planet and destroy so many of our accomplishments. I hope that was never your intention, but the result is the same. Respond if you can. Or if you wish, come down from your Sky Ship and visit us.
PARIS: Well, we've got to let them know we're not doing it on purpose.
TUVOK: Inadvisable. The Prime Directive still applies. This transmission was made with primitive radio technology. They are not a warp capable civilisation.
PARIS: To hell with the Prime Directive. That man deserves an answer.
TORRES: Don't forget the temporal differential. That man has been dead for a long time.
EMH: Nearly a century by now.
PARIS: Okay, so we send a message to his great grandchildren. I'll gladly do the honours.
CHAKOTAY: Ancient mythology. That means we've already insinuated ourselves into their culture. Why not take the next step?
JANEWAY: First contact with a pre-warp society.
PARIS: We've already made first contact. They know we're up here.
JANEWAY: They've known for hundreds of years, which means our presence has been tempered by time. We've gradually become part of their mythos. Meeting us could throw that belief system into chaos.
PARIS: But we're destroying their planet. You heard him.
CHAKOTAY: A first contact, face to face, might give us information we could use to leave orbit. That would stop the damage. It's worth the risk.
JANEWAY: We don't even know if an away team could survive the transition to their time frame. Doctor, correct me if I'm wrong, but the physiological stress could be fatal.
EMH: For one of you, perhaps, but not for me. My holomatrix would be unaffected.
JANEWAY: You'd be going only as an observer. You're not to make contact.

[Bridge]

KIM: I localised the source of the transmission to a subcontinent in the southern hemisphere.
CHAKOTAY: The Central Protectorate?
KIM: How do you know that?
CHAKOTAY: I've been looking at the data from Astrometrics. Seven's picked up a few of their local transmissions. I can tell you the names of all twenty six states on the planet.
KIM: And all the best places to eat?
CHAKOTAY: Just about.
KIM: So is this Central Protectorate a good place to send the Doctor?
CHAKOTAY: Probably. Judging from the transmissions, they seem to have a tolerant society.
KIM: Hmm. Well, just to be on the safe side, I'll find him an isolated spot.

[Transporter room]

(Torres is adjusting the mobile emitter.)
TORRES: I'm giving you access to your facial and epidermal parameters. You should be able to mimic the appearance of whoever is down there in a matter of seconds.
EMH: What if they're big, purple blobs of protoplasm?
JANEWAY: Then you'll be the best looking blob on the planet. I'm keeping you down there for three seconds, Doctor. That will be almost two days in their time frame. Gather whatever data you can. Seismic charts, meteorological records, anything that might give us a clue about how to break orbit.
EMH: Understood.
TORRES: This will speed up the scanning rate of your programme, allow you to make the transition.
EMH: See you soon.
JANEWAY: Energising.
TORRES: One, two, three.
JANEWAY: The confinement beam is destabilising.
TORRES: It's the temporal field. We'll have to recalibrate.
JANEWAY: Every second he's down there he's in danger of being discovered.
TORRES: Locking on again.
JANEWAY: We've lost him.

[Bridge]

KIM: I'm scanning within a one hundred kilometre radius of where we sent him. Nothing.
CHAKOTAY: He could've moved across the continent by now, or to the other side of the planet.
KIM: Increasing radius to one thousand kilometres.
CHAKOTAY: Chakotay to Seven of Nine.
SEVEN [OC]: Go ahead, Commander.
CHAKOTAY: Have you picked up any information regarding opera houses or concert halls?
SEVEN [OC]: The cultural centre of the state runs along the shore of the eastern lake.
KIM: Got him. B'Elanna, stand by for the coordinates.
TORRES [OC]: Acknowledged.

[Transporter room]

TORRES: I've reinitialised the confinement beam. It's holding.
JANEWAY: Locking on.
(The EMH is beamed back in local clothes and with his face altered to include the obligatory bridge of the nose item.)
EMH: Captain! Lieutenant! I thought I'd never see you again.
(He hugs Janeway enthusiastically.)
JANEWAY: Are you all right?
EMH: Oh, I've had a few close calls over the years, but all in all
TORRES: Years?
EMH: It's been over three, but at least I knew you hadn't left me behind. All I had to do was look up and there you were, the brightest star in the sky.
JANEWAY: Well, what do they know about us?
EMH: Only that we arrived here centuries ago. They blame us for the seismic tremors but everything else is pure speculation. And let me tell you, they like nothing better than to speculate about Voyager. Doric would go on and on. Sky Ship this, Sky Ship that.
TORRES: Doric?
EMH: The owner of the building I lived in until the war started.
JANEWAY: There was a war?
EMH: Oh, the neighbouring state decided to lob a few cannon shells at us. Our Tactical Air Command responded and a new treaty was signed in a matter of weeks, but not before my apartment was in ruins.
JANEWAY: Oh, so they have aviation technology?
EMH: They're hardly savages, Captain. In fact, they're making great strides technologically, thanks in part to Voyager.
TORRES: What do you mean?
EMH: From the moment our ship arrived in the sky, they've been trying to make contact. Our presence has encouraged invention, religion, science, art even children's toys. They're all variations on a single theme, Voyager. Mareeza even composed an aria based on the Sky Ship. I sang the lyric.
JANEWAY: Mareeza?
EMH: She was my roommate. Three years is a long time, Captain. One needs companionship.
JANEWAY: You'll get no argument from me. But did you learn anything that might help us break orbit?
EMH: It's all in here.

[Corridor]

EMH: Meteorological records for the last three hundred years. I've committed them all to memory. Some are inaccurate almanacs, but the more recent ones include detailed seismic analyses.
JANEWAY: Get that information to Astrometrics. See if you can find any pattern to the quakes. Might help us figure a way out of here.
TORRES: See you in Sickbay. I'll download the data from your programme and we'll do a little cosmetic surgery, too.
EMH: Lieutenant?
TORRES: Unless you prefer looking like that.
EMH: Of course, I completely forgot. If some of the people on the planet had their way, those weapons would be pointed at Voyager. Luckily the ship is still out of range, for now.
JANEWAY: I guess I can't blame them.
EMH: There's something of a space race going on between the various states. Who can get to the starship first with a rocket?
JANEWAY: Are we talking about a capsule with an astronaut or a missile with a warhead?
EMH: I can't answer that, but at their present rate of development, we won't have to wait very long to find out.

[Astrometrics lab]

NAOMI: How does this sound? The Weird Planet Where Time Moved Very Fast And So Did The People Who Lived There, by Naomi Wildman. That's what I'm calling my report for astronomy class. Neelix said I should choose a planet to write about, so I picked this one.
SEVEN: Your title is verbose. I suggest you try to condense it.
NAOMI: The Weird Planet.
SEVEN: Better, but it lacks precision. The Weird Planet Displaced in Time.
NAOMI: Perfect.
SEVEN: Seven of Nine to the bridge. I'm transmitting my calculations directly to the helm.
JANEWAY [OC]: Acknowledged.
NAOMI: What's happening?
SEVEN: The Doctor brought back data regarding the planet's graviton field. We're using it to realign our thrusters.
NAOMI: That'll be great for my report.
JANEWAY [OC]: All hands, this is the Captain. Secure your stations and prepare to break orbit.
SEVEN: Brace yourself. Our altitude is increasing. Fifty metres. Sixty. Seven of Nine to the bridge. Our attempt to leave orbit is increasing the seismic activity. We must abort.
JANEWAY [OC]: Agreed.
NAOMI: Is the planet okay?
SEVEN: Minimal damage along the equatorial coastline. Nothing serious.
NAOMI: Seven, do you think we'll ever be able to leave?
SEVEN: Eventually.
NAOMI: I hope so. I need a way to end my report.

[Space ship]

GOTANA-RETZ: Orbital One to launch control. We're ready to ignite second stage propellants.
LAUNCH CONTROL: Proceed.
GOTANA-RETZ: Second-stage propellants depleted.
TRINA: Final stage. Ready.
GOTANA-RETZ: Ready to ignite final stage propellants. Launch Control, we are awaiting your commands to proceed. What was that?
TRINA: There's nothing wrong with the transponder.
GOTANA-RETZ: Orbital One to launch control. We are not receiving your orders.
TRINA: Everything else is working perfectly. Ignite the final stage. We have to proceed with the mission.
GOTANA-RETZ: Final stage propellants depleted.
TRINA: Initiate deceleration thrusters.
GOTANA-RETZ: Thrusters active.
TRINA: Watch your pitch angle.
GOTANA-RETZ: Correcting.
TRINA: Distance check.
GOTANA-RETZ: We're in rendezvous range.
TRINA: Rendezvous sequence locked in.
GOTANA-RETZ: Moving into final position.
TRINA: Distance check.
GOTANA-RETZ: We're within scanning range.
TRINA: Let's take a look.
GOTANA-RETZ: The scanners won't penetrate their hull.
TRINA: I guess we'll have to go inside.
GOTANA-RETZ: We're not authorised to do that.
TRINA: Our orders were to learn as much as possible about the Sky Ship. That's my intention. I saw something that looks like a transfer port. It might be a place we can dock. Move in closer.

[Jefferies tube]

TRINA: Wait, wait.
GOTANA-RETZ: Are you all right?
TRINA: A little disoriented. Let's keep going.

[Engineering]

(They force open a door, and see the crew just standing around. Wink of an Eye, anyone? Trina touches Torres' hand.)
GOTANA-RETZ: I don't understand.
TRINA: Her skin feels warm.

[Corridor]

TRINA: It might be some sort of metabolic stasis. But then why does it look like they're just going about their business?
GOTANA-RETZ: This isn't right. We shouldn't be here. We were never meant to be here.
TRINA: Try and stay calm.
GOTANA-RETZ: We've seen enough. Please, we have to leave.
TRINA: You're the best pilot we have. That's why you're on this mission. This is no different than flying your favourite
GOTANA-RETZ: Oh, it's different.
TRINA: I can't argue with that. Another few minutes, then we'll go back. This looks like their command centre.

[Bridge]

(Neelix is pouring coffee into Janeway's cup.)
GOTANA-RETZ: This is not metabolic stasis.
TRINA: Could the laws of physics be different here?
GOTANA-RETZ: Maybe they're just a little slower.
(Trina grabs her abdomen in pain.)
GOTATA-RETZ: What's wrong?
(The both collapse on floor. We return to normal time.)
TUVOK: Intruder Alert. Security team to deck one.
KIM: Captain, I'm picking up a ship at docking port one. It just appeared there.
JANEWAY: Bridge to Sickbay. Medical emergency.

[Sickbay]

JANEWAY: What can you tell me.
EMH: The transition to our time frame was a little rough for them. I'm afraid his colleague didn't make it.
JANEWAY: How is he?
EMH: Recovering. Lucky for him I'm as good as his family doctor. After three years of poring over their medical journals, I know as much about their physiology as I do yours. Easy.
GOTANA-RETZ: Where's Trina?
JANEWAY: She didn't survive the transition. I'm very sorry.
GOTANA-RETZ: Transition? To your time frame?
JANEWAY: You understand what's happened to you?
GOTANA-RETZ: I'm beginning to.
JANEWAY: Voyager exists in the same space-time as the rest of the galaxy. Your planet is different.
GOTANA-RETZ: So you really haven't been watching us for centuries.
JANEWAY: Actually, we just got here, And we're hoping you can help us find a way to leave.

[Ready room]

GOTANA-RETZ: So if what you're saying is true, everyone I know, everyone I knew, is gone.
JANEWAY: That's correct.
GOTANA-RETZ: Captain, I'm an accomplished pilot. That's why they chose me for this mission. I don't have the courage of the others. They made a mistake choosing me.
JANEWAY: I have to disagree. For someone whose life has just been turned upside down, I think you're doing fine.
GOTANA-RETZ: When I was a young child, the toys hanging above my crib depicted the Sky Ship. It's the first thing I ever remember seeing, even before my mother's face. And now I'm the only one that knows its name. Voyager. I suppose it'll be the last thing I see as well.
JANEWAY: that's up to you. I have no intention of keeping you here against your will. The Doctor spent some time on your planet collecting data that we hoped would help us find a way to leave orbit. We need you to assist us in interpreting that information. However, the longer you stay on board, the more difficult it will be for you to go home. Your culture is changing every second you're here. By the time you go back, you might find it more alien than ours.
GOTANA-RETZ: (sings) Star of the night, Star of the day, Come to take my tears away. Make my life always bright. It's a child's prayer.
JANEWAY: To Voyager?
GOTANA-RETZ: Yes.
JANEWAY: I hope you're not disappointed.
GOTANA-RETZ: How often does your very first dream come true? Of course I'll help you.

[Corridor]

EMH: The information I brought back is in Voyager's database. Seven of Nine has been trying to make sense of it. She'll welcome your assistance.
GOTANA-RETZ: Mountain or Lakeside?
EMH: Mountain, of course. Don't tell me you're a Lakeside supporter.
GOTANA-RETZ: You really were on the surface.
EMH: How are they doing this season?
GOTANA-RETZ: Not good. Five wins, twelve losses.
EMH: I don't believe it! Who's guarding for them?
GOTANA-RETZ: Torelius.
EMH: Any relation to the Torelius?
GOTANA-RETZ: His grandson.
EMH: I saw the original defend for Mountain in the playoffs against Red River.
GOTANA-RETZ: That was before I was born.
EMH: He would have gone into voluntary exile after a 5-12 season.

[Astrometrics lab]

GOTANA-RETZ: This information is out of date. We were far more advanced than this when I left. I can help you correct it.
SEVEN: Very well.
GOTANA-RETZ: Let's start with the geological data. The seismic detectors back then were off by a variance of three point eight.
SEVEN: A simple conversion will compensate for that.
GOTANA-RETZ: Does every planet look like ours?
SEVEN: None that I've seen. Your world appears to be unique.
GOTANA-RETZ: If we're so out of step with everything else, we'll never be able to explore space the way you have.
SEVEN: You're a highly adaptable species. Your scientists will find a way to compensate for the temporal differential.
GOTANA-RETZ: They'd better do it before you leave. Without the Sky Ship up above them, my people might lose interest in progress. There wouldn't be anything left to reach for.
SEVEN: Perhaps they'll miss Voyager so much, they'll do everything they can to follow us.
GOTANA-RETZ: Maybe so. What was that?
SEVEN: An antimatter implosion. Your world is experimenting with warp technology. The sensors detected an early test. Another test, six weeks later, and a third. More controlled each time. They're learning quickly. (Whumph.) Too quickly.

[Bridge]

PARIS: What was that?
TUVOK: Unknown, but our shields are down to eighty two percent. Sixty four percent.
KIM: I don't know what's causing it. There's nothing on sensors.
JANEWAY: Janeway to Seven of Nine.
SEVEN [OC]: Go ahead, Captain.
JANEWAY: Are you picking up

[Astrometrics lab]

JANEWAY [OC]: Anything in Astrometrics?
SEVEN: The inhabitants appear to have developed antimatter torpedo technology.

[Bridge]

SEVEN [OC]: I believe we're under attack.
TUVOK: Another direct hit. Shields at forty nine percent.
GOTANA-RETZ: Captain, I apologise for this attack. They have no right.
JANEWAY: Unfortunately, they've got every right.
GOTANA-RETZ: Let me talk to them.
CHAKOTAY: We've already tried to hail them. It doesn't look like they're able to receive our transmissions.
GOTANA-RETZ: They still don't know about the time differential.
TUVOK: A logical assumption. Shields down to thirty four percent.
KIM: The torpedoes are being fired at three day intervals. They're making refinements each time, increasing the detonation yield.
PARIS: Captain, isn't it time we returned fire?
CHAKOTAY: We've done enough damage to these people over the last thousand years.
JANEWAY: You've got to go back. It's the only way. Make them understand who we are. You have the specifications of this ship. Your scientists might be able to use them to help free us. At the very least, get them to hold their fire.
KIM: Captain, the transporters are offline.
JANEWAY: Is his vessel still intact?
KIM: The docking port hasn't been hit yet.
JANEWAY: Good luck.

[Corridor]

EMH: This will accelerate your metabolic functions, help you make the transition.
GOTANA-RETZ: Thank you for everything, Doctor.
EMH: It was a pleasure to treat a fellow citizen. Would you do me a favour?
GOTANA-RETZ: Certainly.
EMH: Find out what happened to a boy named Jason Tabreez. He lived in the Central Protectorate.
GOTANA-RETZ: Jason? An unusual name.
EMH: Yes. He was my son.
GOTANA-RETZ: But you're a hologram.
EMH: It's a long story. He's dead by now, but perhaps you could discover what happened to him. Maybe he had children or grandchildren. You could tell them about me.
GOTANA-RETZ: I will.

[Space ship]

(The little space capsule plummets towards the planet.)
GOTANA-RETZ: Orbital One to Launch Control, please respond. Launch Control, please respond.
WEATHER COORDINATOR [OC]: Who is this?
GOTANA-RETZ: Pilot First Rank, Gotana-Retz.
WEATHER COORDINATOR [OC]: Clear the channel or I'm going to report you to the command centre.
GOTANA-RETZ: Is this Launch Control?
WEATHER COORDINATOR [OC]: I'm the weather coordinator for Station zero zero four. You're in violation of transmission regulations.
GOTANA-RETZ: Please, listen to me. I'm trying to reach Launch Control.
WEATHER COORDINATOR [OC]: Let me guess. You finally decided to come home. You're Gotana-Retz?
GOTANA-RETZ: Gotana-Retz, yes. Now, please transfer me to Launch Control.
WEATHER COORDINATOR [OC]: Launch Control became the Tactical Command Centre fifty years ago. You're dead.
GOTANA-RETZ: I've been inside the Sky Ship.
WEATHER COORDINATOR [OC]: Then it's a good thing you decided to leave. They're about to shoot it down.
GOTANA-RETZ: I've got to speak with them.
WEATHER COORDINATOR [OC]: Tactical Command frequencies are classified. Now get off this channel.
GOTANA-RETZ: If you ever wanted to report more than the weather, now is your chance. Tell them to clear Central Lake of all traffic. Orbital One is coming in for a landing.

[Bridge]

TUVOK: Shields at twenty three percent. Seventeen percent. Shields are down.
PARIS: What was that last one?
KIM: A tricobalt device.
PARIS: What will they think of next?
TUVOK: Damage reports coming in. Imminent hull breeches on decks eight, nine and ten. Life support is failing.
JANEWAY: Our astronaut should have made it by now.
KIM: Based on his descent velocity, he landed about ten minutes ago.
CHAKOTAY: That's a year and a half.
JANEWAY: Then he must have failed.
TUVOK: I'm picking up another launch. Two massive energy signatures.
CHAKOTAY: Tricobalt devices?
TUVOK: Unknown.
JANEWAY: Brace yourselves.
(The two devices are each as long as Voyager.)
TUVOK: We're in some kind of tractor beam.
PARIS: Captain, if I alternate thrusters I might be able to break us free.
JANEWAY: No. Let's give our friends the benefit of the doubt.
KIM: They're pulling us away from the planet.
TUVOK: We've broken orbit.
JANEWAY: Try hailing them.
(A figure solidifies.)
GOTANA-RETZ: It's good to see you all again.
CHAKOTAY: Looks like somebody down there listened to you.
GOTANA-RETZ: I'm sorry it took so long.
JANEWAY: Now we can make first contact the proper way.
GOTANA-RETZ: Unfortunately that won't be possible. A temporal compensator. It allows me to exist in your time frame without actually leaving my own, but only for a few minutes. I'm afraid it'll be a while before my people actually join the rest of the galaxy.
TUVOK: Captain, we'll be able to bring the warp drive back online in approximately two hours.
JANEWAY: Very good. Thank you.
GOTANA-RETZ: I feel like I'm saying goodbye to an old friend.
(He disappears. Down on the planet, his silver-haired self watches the bright star disappear.)

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