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Trapped in the Neutral Zone, the crew encounters a rogue geneticist who sheds light on Dal's past.


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A jealous Dal silently fumes over the crew's fawning over their guest, Thadiun Okona. With the USS Protostar in need of repairs, Okona suggests that they port at Noble Isle – a port which can only be accessed through a space elevator because of heavy ion storms in the atmosphere, where science is unregulated. Okona takes them to the lab of his client, a geneticist named Dr. Jago. Dr. Jago is fascinated by Dal and, after conducting a brief scan to confirm her suspicions, she reports that Dal is a Human hybrid, composed of the recessive DNA of 26 alien species, created by the protégés of Arik Soong. When Dal bemoans the fact that he has no family and is just a "failed experiment," Jago states that she can fix Dal by implanting an epigenetic dermal device which will activate his dormant genes. Though the crew assures Dal that he doesn't need fixing, he secretly has Jago perform the procedure.

On the other side of the Neutral Zone, Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway contacts her superior at Starfleet CommandAdmiral Edward Jellico – to get clearance to enter the Zone to retrieve the Protostar so that the weapon on board doesn't fall into Romulan hands. Unwilling to risk the current negotiations with the Romulans, Jellico denies her request and tells her to destroy the Protostar if the Romulans seize it. Ensign Asencia volunteers to covertly enter the Neutral Zone to get the ship, but Janeway states that she isn’t ready to defy orders.

Meanwhile a Tal Shiar squad arrives on Nobel Isle in order to take the Protostar. As Okona runs off at the first opportunity, Dal is able to fight off the Romulans with his newfound, and rapidly expanding, genetic traits. The crew are pursued by the Tal Shiar squad as they attempt to escape through the space elevator,

Monitoring the Romulans' activities from the USS Dauntless, Janeway, over the loud objection of Ensign Asencia, orders a full spread of torpedoes to be fired at the Protostar in order to keep the ship from being captured.

On the space elevator, Murf is desperate to be released from the containment pod that he's housed in. When Rok lets him out, Murf springs into action and easily overwhelms the Romulans, leading Gwyn to declare that they have a new security officer. Seeing that the Romulans are no longer a threat, the Admiral quickly belays the torpedo order, and the torpedoes detonate harmlessly in open space.

Safe on board the Protostar, Rok and Zero are able to remove the Dal's new implant before his genetic changes can become permanent. Back to his normal self, Dal complains to Gwyn that he just wanted to better himself, because he knows he'll never be as good a captain as Okona. Gwyn tells him that he's right. He'll never as good as Okona; he's already a better captain because he stayed to fight where Okona ran off.

Back on the Dauntless, Asencia visits the Diviner and unexpectedly orders Drednok to activate. As the table transforms into the robot from Tars Lamora, Asencia presses the epigenetic dermal implant on her neck and reveals herself to be another Vau N'Akat sent back in time to find the Protostar.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Ah, tell me, who is this beautiful specimen? Such interesting mandibula."
"Uh, is this how you greet strangers here?"
"The unique coloration. The skull ganglia."
"You've seen someone like him?"
"Never, but his origins are obvious."
"Whoa, whoa. You know where I came from?"
"Not where. But who."

- Dr. Jago, Dal and Gwyn

"Aha, as I suspected. You're the handiwork of the protégés of Dr. Arik Soong, a geneticist who defected from the Federation."
"Wait a minute. Are you telling them Dal was made in a lab."
"As you can see, Dal is the product of artificial hybrid speciation."

- Dr. Jago and Okona, as the geneticist reveals Dal's true origins

"It appears they began with a sample of an unremarkable humanoid specimen, most likely homo sapien."
"Unremarkable? I'm... Human?"
"Human Augment, blended with the most recessive traits of 26 species. I see traces of Vulcan, proto-Organian... Sloppy work in my opinion. Miracle you can talk."

- Dr. Jago reveals to Dal his true species

"Who are these kids?"

- Admiral Janeway

"I'm sorry. I really messed things up. I didn't wanna be a mistake. I just wanted you to look at me like you look at Okona."
"You're not a mistake. But you'll never be as good as Okona. You're better. He left us. You didn't."

- Dal and Gwyn

"You weren't the only one sent back to find the ship."

- Asencia, revealing her true identity to The Diviner

Background information[]



Cast and characters[]


Links and references[]



Background characters[]


adenine; advisory hologram; agility; alien puppies; Andorian; anti-grav suit; arm; "armed and ready"; artificial hybrid speciation; artificial lifeform; assumption; augment; away team; ball; barrier; bases; battle; beaming; Benzan; blood; blood cell; body; Brikar; business; button; captain (rank); captain (title); captain's log; cargo; cell division; Chakotay; cheating; city; client; Coalition of Madena species; coffee table; command; control panel; crew; "cutting edge"; cytosine; D'deridex-class (unnamed (x2)); Dauntless, USS; Dauntless-class; Debin; Denaxi Depot; disruptor; DNA; "doc"; dormant genes; double helix; dreams; Drednok; ear; engineer; Engineer Officer; ensign; epigenetic dermal implant (aka dermal implant); excretion; experiment; "fan out"; fathers; Federation; fire; Frex, Barniss; friend; gelatinous putrescine; genes; genetic augmentation process; geneticist; goo; goods; grappling gun; guanine; hair; heirloom; helmet; holo-emitters; hologram; Human (aka Homo sapiens); humanoid; hybrid; ice cream cone; imperfections; intelligence; Intrepid-class; ion storm; Jago's species; Jewel of Thesia; job; kid; Klingon; Kobayashi Maru scenario; Kushell; lab; lightning; logic; M class; "man-chop"; mandibula; Medical Officer; Medusan; Mellanoid slime worm; metal; microtorpedo; miles; mind; mind reader; mission; mistake; mutation; nacelles; Noble Isle; obligations; odds; officer; order; origins; parents; parts; Petri dish; phaser; pressure; procedure; proto-drive; Proto-Organian; Protostar, USS; Protostar-class; purpose; quantum torpedo; questions; recessive traits; reflection; Rhino; rocket launcher; Romulan; Romulan Neutral Zone; rule of law; rules; salvage yard; sample; science; science log; security officer; services; shipment; shore leave; sickbay; skull ganglia; Soong, Arik; Soong's protégés; space elevator; species; specimen; "stand down"; stardate; Starfleet; Starfleet uniform; starport; story; stranger; street; strike team (aka hit squad); stun bomb; sub-channels; "suit up"; Tal Shiar; teenager; telepathy; Tellarite; thing; thymine; "too good to be true"; Trill; trouble; Vau N'Akat; vomiting; Voyager, USS; Vulcan; wager; weapon; words; Yanar; "Z"

LCARS references[]

adaptive mode; Alpha Quadrant; archive; Bajoran; Breen; Cardassian; comm center; command functions; command net; contour mode; Delta Quadrant; Dominion; Earth; Ferengi; flowchart; folder; Gorn; Hirogen; Kazon; Krenim; LCARS; Maquis; message; Orion; planet; Q; record; Reman; Risian; Sector 001; security code; Sol system; Son'a; Species 8472; Starfleet Headquarters; Suliban; sync; Tholian; Vidiian; wireframe mode; Xindi

External links[]

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Season 1
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