Tom Paris is convicted of murder. He denies having committed the crime, even though the images extracted from the victim's own memory seem to prove his guilt.


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Harry Kim returns to Voyager with horrifying news: Tom Paris has been convicted of murder and as punishment has to relive his victims last moments over and over again.

Earlier, Kim and Paris visited the homeworld of the Baneans and met engineering physicist Tolen Ren. Ren asked the two men to help him with a damaged piece of equipment and also invited them over for dinner in his house. While there, Paris allegedly got bored and spent some time with Tolen's young wife Lidell Ren.

Soon after, Tolen heard about Lidell's relationship with Tom and confronted her.

Sometime on the following night, Tolen was stabbed to death in his living room in front of Lidell. Paris was arrested and convicted of the murder. The sentence: to relive the crime through the victim's eyes once every 14 hours for the rest of his life. This was done by examining the victim's memories and implanting them into Paris' brain.

Captain Janeway orders the crew to head for the Banean homeworld to investigate. Once they arrive, they talk with Paris about the crime. He denies having killed Tolen even though he did spend some time with Lidell. Immediately afterward, Paris relives the murder once again and loses consciousness. Janeway asks the Benean minister to take him to their ship for a medical evaluation.

Soon after, Tuvok visits the murder scene and speaks with Mrs. Ren. She says that she witnessed the murder and that it has in fact been committed by Tom. Suddenly, the Baeneans' enemy, the Numiri, attack Voyager.

The Evidence
Height evidence - Lidell Paris faked Height evidence - Lidell Paris real Height evidence - Lidell Doctor
The Murder
Same height
Paris and Lidell
Paris several centimeters taller
Lidell and Doctor
Same height

After these events, Tuvok decides to perform a mind meld with Paris, in order to witness the crime for himself. During the mind meld, Tuvok understands why Paris is convicted of the murder and why the Numiri chose to attack the Voyager.

At a meeting the following day, Tuvok reveals that Lieutenant Paris was not the man the professor saw before he was murdered because someone altered the memory engrams of the professor's brain. He also reveals that Lidell's statement was false: the man the professor observed with his wife was virtually equal in height with her, however, Tom Paris is clearly several centimeters taller. Moreover, the killer – unlike Lt. Paris - knew Benean anatomy for he knew exactly where to stab the professor. Lastly, the equations Paris sees in his memory are not typical to the procedure but rather equations taken from Prof. Ren's weapon's research: someone intended them to be delivered to the Numiri – thus sending secret data to the enemy. That is why they were attempting to attack the Voyager: they wanted to get a hold of Lt. Paris.

Tuvok names the doctor who performed the memory transplant on Paris, as the real killer of Prof. Ren and Lidell as his accomplice. He proves this final point by referring to the second witness to the murder: the victim's pet dog Neeka that clearly recognized the doctor and was familiar with him when he entered the room.

Later in the mess hall, Lt. Paris thanks Tuvok for having saved his life but Tuvok states that he merely conducted a criminal investigation searching for the truth and that Paris doesn't owe him anything. Paris thanks him anyway, stating that whether Tuvok likes it or not, he made a friend today.

Memorable Quotes

"Smoking is a bad habit. My species gave it up centuries ago when we finally got it into our heads it was killing us."

- Tom Paris, to Lidell Ren

"Maybe I kill myself slowly because I don't have the courage to do it quickly."

- Lidell Ren

"What are you looking at?"
"Not the same thing you're looking at, that's for sure."

- Tom Paris and Harry Kim, after Kim notices Paris' interest in Lidell Ren

"What are you looking at?"

- Tom Paris, to Neeka, the Ren's canine

"Besides, out here in the Delta Quadrant every old trick is new again."

- Chakotay

"What do you see?"
"Shoes... muddy shoes. The dog."
"Good. That's exactly what you should see."

- Banean doctor and Tom Paris, as Paris relives Tolen Ren's last memory

"You don't have to go, Tom. He has no right."
"No right? This is my home, you come into my home, steal my wife and I have no right?!"

- Lidell and Tolen Ren in Paris' "memory"

"I propose a mind meld with Lieutenant Paris."
"A... a what? What did he say? A mind what?"

- Tuvok and Neelix

"There are some who'd say you risked my future on the eyewitness identification of a dog."

- Tom Paris, to Tuvok

"Her eyes were a million kilometers away, staring at stars I'd flown by the day before."

- Tom Paris, on Lidell Ren

"I was bored. You know how it is when two science guys get together."

- Tom Paris

"I appreciate you sticking up for me. I owe you one."
"I conducted a criminal investigation. If you had been guilty, I assure you, I would have pursued the truth just as vigilantly. You have no debt to me, Mr. Paris."

- Tom Paris and Tuvok

"How come I always see you down here eating alone, Lieutenant?"
"I prefer to read rather than engage in... what do Humans call it... short talk?"
"Close enough."

- Tom Paris and Tuvok

"That's one trick you won't be able to use again when we get back."
"I have more."

- Janeway and Chakotay

"Very, very curious. In Numiri terms, that greeting was downright friendly."

- Neelix

"That rehab colony back in New Zealand doesn't seem so bad right now."

- Tom Paris

Background Information

Title, Story and Script

  • This episode's title is derived from the Latin for "from a thing done afterward", and refers to the concept of retrospective law. The episode is one of seven Star Trek episodes with Latin names. The others are "Sub Rosa", "Dramatis Personae", "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges", "Non Sequitur", "Terra Nova" and "Vox Sola".
  • The original idea that formed the basis of this episode involved the concept of a species who, as a means of punishment, forced the perpetrator to experience their victim's death and the last few moments of the victim's life. (Sci-Fi Universe, October 1995, p. 63; Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • After the writers bought the premise, Executive Producer Michael Piller took the episode in a direction whereby it also served as an homage to film noir. Fellow Executive Producer Jeri Taylor said of the original story idea, "It became [...] a sort of a murder mystery device." (Sci-Fi Universe, October 1995, p. 63) Supervising Producer David Livingston remembered, "Piller wanted to do film noir [....] And then he wrote all this noir dialogue, literally [....] It was Michael's homage to film noir. Michael was really into Pulp Fiction at the time and he said, 'Everything should be like Pulp Fiction.' I think this was his Pulp Fiction." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • Scripting the episode was enjoyable for Michael Piller. He recalled, "I was working on this episode and I think it had a lot of original science fiction ideas [such as the installment's premise as well as the concept of information being smuggled via someone's brain] [....] Taking those elements and [trying to weave] them into a story that was affecting and intriguing was difficult, and I had a great deal of fun getting into my trench coat and going to my word processor and doing it." (Sci-Fi Universe, October 1995, p. 63; Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • This episode's final draft script was submitted on 9 December 1994. [1] The teleplay continued to be revised thereafter, however, with one subsequent script revision made on 15 December 1994. A scene that was changed with that revision was the one set in a shuttlecraft, featuring Paris and Kim discussing the former's interactions with Lidell Ren. The scripted version of that scene started with the scene description "Paris looks weary... Kim intense...". The final version of the conversation includes Paris saying "Yeah" and later sighing to Kim, actions that were not scripted. (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, p. 173)

Cast and Characters

  • This episode's script was one of about a half-dozen that were written prior to the casting of Tom Paris. It therefore treats Paris in the same way as the character was originally conceived – as an habitual womanizer, like James T. Kirk and William T. Riker (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, p. 174).
  • As a result, Jeri Taylor ultimately thought this episode marred the character of Tom Paris, owing to the fact that the story – despite making clear that Paris' actions were not exactly as depicted by the implanted memory device – seems to suggest that he came to Banea and began hitting on the wife of one of the planet's inhabitants. Taylor remarked, "I was concerned that our Tom Paris was not well served. His behavior was somewhat questionable." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47) She later said, "It was a very unattractive posturing for him. That's the kind of cliché the character could easily fall into. By that point, I was really fed up with it [....] It was very one dimensional, very unattractive." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • For his part, Michael Piller acknowledged, "['Ex Post Facto' was] a subject of mixed opinions, because Jeri felt we had done some character damage to Paris. I thought he came off rather well." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #4, p. 13) Piller also noted, "I thought it was a wonderful show for Paris." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47) Further recalling his disagreement with Taylor, Piller said, "Jeri and I had a real argument over what the impact of 'Ex Post Facto' was. She felt we had assassinated his character in that picture [....] The idea that he would even consider a relationship with a married woman she found quite distasteful. She felt he looked like a low-life womanizer. I think that he has a character flaw, a weakness, that I can appreciate. I think a lot of men can appreciate that and that he fell victim to that flaw – but rose above it to achieve. Jeri can forgive some flaws and she can't forgive other flaws. Infidelity is one that she can't forgive." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 128)
  • The book A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager (pp. 172 & 174) cites Paris' situation in this episode as an example of a character arc that typically dramatizes a situation that many viewers can relate to (specifically, temptation to have an affair with a married person).
  • Paris actor Robert Duncan McNeill was delighted with this installment's script. Shortly before production on the episode commenced, he raved, "{It] has one of the best scripts I've ever seen. It was so good I had to call Michael Piller and thank him for it [....] I can't wait to shoot it." (Starlog #213) The episode's unusualness had an influence on the way that McNeill viewed the installment. "It was interesting for me as an actor," he said, "because it was a little bit different in style." He felt this episode was let down, however, by its murder-mystery quality and especially the plot's conclusion. "It was written in a very Raymond Chandler-ish tone," he observed. "What didn't work about it was the way it ended up being like a Murder, She Wrote episode, with all the characters sitting around, and here's the big summary of what really happened. The structure of that episode didn't quite resolve itself, but a good part of that episode was really interesting. I thought the idea of crime and punishment, where the criminal has to relive his victim's experience was a great premise and perfect for Star Trek." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #11, p. 18)
  • The episode was a highlight for Tuvok actor Tim Russ, who appreciated the way it illuminates his character's problem-solving skills. "You got to see how this character can solve a problem, which is typically Vulcan," he said. (Star Trek Monthly issue 19, p. 84) Another aspect here that Russ liked was the Vulcan mind meld sequence. He commented, "I really enjoyed it [....] I love the fact that we get to see the mind-meld from the inside out and got a chance to actually go inside [Tuvok's] mind and see the meld from his point of view, which [had] never been done. I thought it was just great." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140) The actor also related that he preferred this episode to the later first season installment "Learning Curve" but that he enjoyed the way both episodes show Tuvok solving a different kind of problem. (Star Trek Monthly issue 19, p. 84)
  • Both Michael Piller and director LeVar Burton liked Tuvok's involvement in this episode. Piller noted, "I thought it was [...] a wonderful show for Tuvok." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47) Burton commented, "Having Tuvok be this great sleuth, this great detective figuring out the murder, was fun." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #12, p. 2)
  • Another of the episode's elements that Michael Piller enjoyed was the performances of its cast, feeling that the episode had "terrific performances." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • Actress Roxann Dawson did little preparation for her small part of the episode. Dawson recalled, "I was just getting the hang of getting my mouth around the technobabble, and I was just beginning to do it. I was actually feeling a little bit cocky. In that episode, I only had one line – I had nothing to do. We were on the bridge, so I decided that I was OK enough to look at the lines on the morning, and then come in. It would be OK – it was just one line." (Star Trek Monthly issue 87, p. 23)
  • Neeka, the Banean dog, was actually a Chihuahua whose hair was teased and blow-dried. (Delta Quadrant, p. 28)



Ex Post Facto production meeting

A meeting concerning this episode

  • At a meeting pertaining to this installment, David Livingston read aloud the episode's script (or, at least, the start of the script). ("A Day in the Life of Ethan Phillips", VOY Season 2 DVD special features)
  • The episode's production was intentionally inspired by its film noir influence. David Livingston recalled, "[Piller] wanted to shoot it in black and white [....] Then I suggested a peekaboo haircut for the woman so that she looked like Veronica Lake. I figured if you're gonna do it, go all the way." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140) This degree of influence was facilitated by the involvement of LeVar Burton – who, with this installment, became the first former Star Trek: The Next Generation cast member to direct an episode of Voyager. Robert Duncan McNeill noted about the episode, "LeVar Burton shot it in a film noir style." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #11, p. 18)
  • During filming of the mind meld scene between Paris and Tuvok, Tim Russ suddenly threw back his head and launched into his best James Brown impression, yelling, "I'm feeeeelin' goooood!" (Delta Quadrant, p. 28) Following this experience, Robert Duncan McNeill remarked, "I have Tim Russ to thank for the most memorable mind-meld of the century when he broke into a James Brown impression and caught me completely off-guard in the middle of a scene in the episode 'Ex Post Facto'." [2]
  • The scene in which Torres acts on Chakotay's plan of making Voyager's systems seem seriously troubled, in order to deceive the Numiri, was filmed on Paramount Stage 8 (the Bridge set) on Tuesday, 20 December 1994, while the theme tune for the series and other music for "Caretaker" was meanwhile being recorded on a scoring stage a block away. (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, p. 340 & 341) Having done little preparation for the scene, Roxann Dawson struggled with the dialogue during production. She said, "Of course, they had a lot of interviewers and reporters on the set that day, and I could not for the life of me get it. At one point, [LeVar Burton] put [his] arm around me, and [he was] walking around the bridge going, 'It's OK – all you have to do is ...', and I was thinking, 'No, you don't understand; I really can do this. I'm being an utter and complete idiot today, and you're giving me this pep talk.' For the life of me, I could not spit this line out [....] 'Vent a couple of LN2 exhaust conduits around the dorsal emitters' [....] I felt so bad!" (Star Trek Monthly issue 87, pp. 23-24)
  • The next day, filming started at 10:00 a.m. and included shooting of the final scene of this episode – with Tuvok and Paris conversing in the mess hall. LeVar Burton had lined up a shot of the two characters talking, and filming of the scene began. The take was going well but Director of Photography Marvin V. Rush abruptly stopped the shooting. With a touch of irritation in his voice, Burton said, "Cut." Puzzled, Burton asked Rush what was wrong. Rush complained about the sequined curtain used for the starfield outside the mess hall "windows," having noticed a problematic shimmer in the curtain as it had moved; the curtain was meant to move smoothly and uniformly along the overhead track near the stage's ceiling. Also, the curtain was by now a washed-out gray which would result in the starfield, on film, looking like a gray shimmering mass. Chief Lighting Technician Bill Peets was familiar with the problem, as it had happened many times before. Peets conferred with Rush, walked over to the curtain and then pointed out the shimmer. He then moved aside, shouted instructions to lamp operators Ken Suzuki and Bob Eyslee, who immediately adjusted some of the lamps. As the curtain was so heavily sequined, it was difficult to light without it entirely turning gray, but the adjustments solved the problem and Burton proceeded to again set up the shot. Bill Peets walked away from the curtain, murmuring, "God, I hate that thing. $25,000 and it still doesn't work." (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, pp. 342-343)
  • The following day – Thursday, 22 December 1994 – was the last day of filming before the Christmas hiatus. (A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: Voyager, p. 345)
  • Ultimately, LeVar Burton enjoyed having worked on this episode. In summation, he said, "That was a very, very cool episode for a director. It was the first time in Star Trek history we ever shot on black-and-white film stock [....] What I loved about that episode was not only the chance to do something that we had never done, but just the nightmare and the murder-mystery aspect [....] That was also the first mind-meld we've seen in a long, long time. So, shooting that was fun, too." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #12, p. 2)
Shooting Ex Post Facto

LeVar Burton directing Tim Russ

Visual Effects

  • Evidently, the production crew reused a stock matte painting to depict the surface of Banea. Although the cityscape made no subsequent appearances after this episode, it had previously been used to represent a city on the planet Angel I (from the TNG episode of the same name as the planet), Starbase 515 (from TNG: "Samaritan Snare") and Klaestron IV (from DS9: "Dax").
Ex Post Facto battle planning

The visual effects team plan the space battle for this episode


  • The music for this episode was composed by Dennis McCarthy. He invested a lot of energy in the episode, even more so than he had for Star Trek Generations. He commented, "I even worked harder on 'Ex Post Facto' than I did on the movie. I mean, that episode was a murder trial with the dog as the surprise witness! I really had to sell that." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #4, pp. 63-64)
  • Of the seven scores that Dennis McCarthy wrote for Star Trek: Voyager's first season, he ultimately considered this episode to be his favorite as well as the one that involved the most unusual Star Trek music. He noted, "It was a very late 19th Century Impressionist-style score. It was something so different from the normal Star Trek score that, until 'Heroes and Demons,' I was going to submit that one for Emmy consideration." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #4, p. 63)
  • Michael Piller was pleased with the music for this episode. He noted, "It had a wonderful score." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47)

Reception and Aftermath

  • Both Jeri Taylor and Michael Piller liked this episode's punishment-related premise, Taylor describing it as "sensational" and "a great sci-fi premise." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140) She also enthused, "It was one of those great sci-fi notions that you can't do anywhere else and is perfectly legitimate. It says a lot of things about punishment and rehabilitation." (Sci-Fi Universe, October 1995, p. 63) With similar enthusiasm, Piller characterized the initial idea for the episode as "neat." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47) He believed that both the original premise as well as the concept of someone using another person's brain to smuggle information were "terrific" ideas and implied that he thought his attempt to make the installment "affecting and intriguing" had been successful. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140) He also enthused, "I really loved that episode [....] What was interesting was that it really didn't turn out to be so much about crime and punishment as it was about aliens of different sorts, attacks and space battles, all of which were tied together in a very interesting way. I was very happy with that show. I got a good kick out of it." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #4, p. 13) In addition, Piller said, "I thought it had all the elements of Star Trek and science fiction working for it. It had a really strong mystery, a very strong style; it had space battles; it had investigations with Tuvok at the core of it, so we could see what he does for a living; it had sex and romance." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140) Piller also stated, "I just thought it worked on every level. I thought it was sexy, I thought the science fiction was terrific [....] It kept you guessing until the very end of the show." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47)
  • On the other hand, Jeri Taylor was considerably less satisfied with the episode's final version than Piller was. She commented, "This to me was absolutely the least successful story that we did. Michael [Piller] feels that it was one of the best that we did. We are at odds over this, as we are occasionally." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140) Specifically, Taylor did not approve of Piller's work on the installment; she instead felt that the episode was styled too much like a 1940s American film noir production, especially considering that the series for which the episode was written promised that its settings would be far from Earth. "[It] has suburban housewives, dogs, smoking, and people talking like they came out of a Raymond Chandler novel," Taylor observed. "That seems to me not to be the right thing conceptually, although I think there was a lot of fun to be had in that episode." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, pp. 40 & 47) Michael Piller's referential approach to the episode was controversial with other production staffers as well. David Livingston noted, "It was questioned why they were speaking American 1940s dialogue. It was a little bit on the nose in that regard." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • A certain part of the episode that David Livingston enjoyed was the installment's teaser. He opined, "The opening sequence was effective and interesting." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • This episode achieved a Nielsen rating of 8 million homes, and a 12% share. [3]
  • Cinefantastique gave this installment 1 out of 4 stars. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 40)
  • In their unofficial reference book Trek Navigator: The Ultimate Guide to the Entire Trek Saga (pp. 78 & 79), co-writer Mark A. Altman rates this episode 2 and a half out of 4 stars (defined as "average") while fellow co-writer Edward Gross ranks the installment 1 out of 4 stars (defined as "lousy").
  • The unauthorized reference book Delta Quadrant (p. 30) gives the episode a rating of 7 out of 10.
  • In Star Trek Magazine's retrospective "Ultimate Guide", the magazine gave this episode 2 out of 5 Starfleet-style arrowhead insignias. (Star Trek Magazine issue 164, p. 29)
  • Being very proud of this episode in general, Michael Piller enjoyed watching the installment. He reminisced, "It was one of my prouder moments of sitting home watching television [....] I was just really happy sitting down and watching that." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47)
  • Consequently, this episode was a potential Emmy candidate not only for its music but also, so thought Michael Piller, for its overall production. Piller explained, "I called up LeVar and told him that he should submit this one for Emmy consideration." (The Official Star Trek: Voyager Magazine, issue #4, p. 13)
  • Also according to Michael Piller, the portrayal of Paris in this episode was not received well by some viewers. Remarking on the episode in general, Piller noted, "A lot of people had questions about it." He added, "They thought we made Paris and his approach to women unattractive." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140) Jeri Taylor fully intended for this problem to be dealt with, stating at the time, "We are going to have to do some stories that redeem him. I don't want him to become the randy guy whose only character note is that he's trying to get laid." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 27, No. 4/5, p. 47) Later, Taylor said, "After episode six, I didn't allow any more smarmy womanizing references to go through, because that's all we were saying about his character [....] Unfortunately, we didn't replace it with anything else, so Tom Paris didn't do much of anything. That's why we needed to develop him in the second season into something more heroic." (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 140)
  • Having struggled with her one line of technobabble in this episode, Roxann Dawson thought the worst part of the incident was that a story about her struggle was subsequently publicized. She recalled, "Because there [had been] all those reporters there, the first magazine that I opened had a picture of [LeVar Burton] and me captioned, 'LeVar trying to give Roxann a pep talk because she can't do the technobabble on the show.' That taught me never to be cocky again and think I could just get a line on the morning. That was the only line I had in [that] episode, and I was thoroughly and completely embarrassed." Dawson additionally related, "To this day, it's the only line I can still remember like the back of my hand [....] I will always remember it because of the pressure of that day." (Star Trek Monthly issue 87, p. 24)

Continuity and Trivia

Video and DVD releases

Links and References

Main Cast

Guest Stars


Uncredited Co-Stars


away team; ARA; Banea; Banean; Banean dog; Banean Engineering Institute; Banean warship; blood; cloud burst; collimator; dehydration; eclipse; engineering physicist; Federation; Galen; hydroxyproline; LN2 exhaust conduit; logic; marob root tea; Maquis; memory engram; microscope; Milky Way Galaxy; navigational deflector; Neeka; neodextramine solution; neurology; neurological analysis; Numiri; Numiri patrol ship; pancreatic scan; phase emitter; red alert; regenerative shield; Rolk stew; runabout; Salk, Jonas; Spock, Benjamin; smoking; T'Pel; Teluridian IV; telepathy; Thalmerite; Vulcan; Vulcan mind meld; water

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