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Voyager receives a message from Starfleet containing letters from the crew's friends and family.

Summary

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Starfleet use the communication network that Voyager recently used to transmit some information to the lost ship, as well as personal messages to the crew, but the message does not get through completely. Assuming the message is still somewhere in the system, Captain Kathryn Janeway heads for the relay to download the rest of it. Meanwhile, the species controlling the network, who have already discouraged their use of it, head on an intercept course.

As Voyager heads for the station. They detect an adrift ship of unknown origin with a dead body aboard, and find, when they beam it to The Doctor, that it has had an osteotomy: all of the flesh has been removed from its bones. Seven of Nine says the Borg have seen this done, but they did not know by whom, and didn't investigate, because it was irrelevant.

"Captain's log, stardate 51501.4. After two days at high warp, we're close enough to the relay station to see it on long-range visual sensors."

The station has no one aboard, and a gravimetric field attempts to pull on Voyager. Harry Kim detects why; the station is being powered by a quantum singularity, a very small black hole.

When they get close enough, Seven can decode bits and pieces of letters. Neelix becomes the mail carrier, and begins distributing the letters as they are downloaded and reassembled. Seven also detects an encrypted message underneath the letters.

While some members of the crew receive good news, others receive news that they'd have rather not heard. Chakotay's letter is from the person who recruited him into the Maquis. She says the Maquis have been wiped out by Cardassian-Dominion forces.

Seven soon starts having trouble accessing it. She and Tuvok take a shuttlecraft to get closer to the relay station and emits a polaron pulse to stabilize the containment field. Unfortunately, their systems are knocked out, and before they could pull the ship into the gravitational eddies, they are knocked unconscious.

They awaken inside a Hirogen ship, and are informed that they are relics of a hunt. When Voyager is contacted by the Hirogen ship, they refuse to surrender. Instead, they knock out the station's containment field (losing the message) so that the ships will be pulled in by the gravity well.

When the enemy ships continue firing, the gravity well expands into space, and the ships are all sucked in. Kim barely pulls out Seven and Tuvok in time, and Voyager escapes the gravity well by overexerting the antimatter injectors.

B'Elanna Torres informs the captain that they didn't get very much of the Starfleet coded message, and only a few more personal letters. Further, the overload shorted out the rest of the relay network, making the communications system fail.

"Captain's log, supplemental. Seven of Nine and Commander Tuvok suffered no serious physical damage after their encounter on the alien ship. I've been eager to hear Tuvok's impressions of the species who took them hostage."

Tuvok considers the aliens to have no moral center, and they will return to hunt Voyager again.

Background Information

Trivia

  • The very first opening scene of Voyager passing through a nebula uses the exact same CGI background used in the the opening moments of the Season 2 episode "Deadlock" when Voyager was evading the Vidiians within a nebula (the scene angle is the same, but the path/angle of Voyager is slightly different).

Links and References

Co-Stars

Uncredited Co-Stars

References

Alpha Quadrant; antimatter injector; antithoron; antithoron system; artificial quantum singularity; Atara; away team; Bajoran wormhole; black hole; blood; Borg; Borg alcove; Cardassian; chicken; Cochrane; coffee; corn; directional beacon; distress beacon; Dominion; Dorado; erythrocyte; Gamma Quadrant; gemstone; gravametric eddy; gravametric field; Hirogen; Hirogen communications network; Hirogen warship; intestine; Johnson, Mark; ketric; Kim, John; Kim, Mary; Kyoto; Maquis; Mollie; monotanium; osteotomy; Paris, Owen; Parsons; polaron; pon farr; priest; quantum singularity; radiometric decay ratio; rehab colony; relay station; relic; Roberto; Sek; Species 5174; stalking mode; Starfleet Command; subnucleonic beam; Sveta; T'Meni, daughter of Sek; T'Meni; T'Pel; tactical review; targeting beam; Temple of Amonak; terawatt; tractor beam; Trayken beast; warp coil; warp field


Previous episode:
"Message in a Bottle"
Star Trek: Voyager
Season 4
Next episode:
"Prey"
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