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As the Federation hangs in the balance, the crew must make the ultimate sacrifice to save Starfleet’s future.


As Starfleet ships are being destroyed all around them, the USS Protostar crew tries to find a solution to stop the carnage. When Dal R'El states that the only viable solution to destroy the ship, Jankom Pog points out that the destruction of the proto-core would destroy the entire star system. However, Rok-Tahk counters that if they detonate the core at the moment of the jump, then the blast's effect will be minimal since it will be distributed equally in space along the trajectory of the jump. However, since the self-destruct is off-line the core will need to be detonated manually. Dal volunteers to go down with the ship. but Kathryn Janeway declares that she should be the one to stay behind. When the crew balk, she assures them that she can load a copy of her program onto a isolinear chip.

While Jankom prepares the proto-core to self-destruct, Rok uses the vehicle replicator to build a bare-bones shuttle for their escape. Unfortunately, Holo-Janeway discovers that she won't be joining them – her program has grown too much and there isn't enough space on the chip to save a copy. Giving them the isolinear chip, which only contains a holo-recording of her, Holo-Janeway says goodbye to the crew and tells them what an honor it's been to serve with them. With the crew safety on board the shuttle, Holo-Janeway takes command of the Protostar and orders it to "go fast." As expected, the Protostar explodes as it proto-jumps. When the kids try to activate Holo-Janeway, they learn, to their sadness, why she had to stay behind, and are left with her final words of encouragement. With the Protostar gone, the Starfleet armada is able to regain control of their systems. However, there is no sign of the escape shuttle.

One month later, Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway is being debriefed at Starfleet Headquarters. Thanks to Holo-Janeway, the Protostar's path across space-time created a wormhole that duplicated the one that sent Captain Chakotay and his crew 52 years into the future. This created an interspatial flexure to approximately the same space-time coordinates – in an alternate future. From the wormhole, they are able to pick up a distress call from Chakotay. When she is told that Starfleet is talking about sending a ship through the wormhole to find Chakotay, Janeway states that she wants to be on that ship. Just then, an officer enters and announces that the young crew of the Protostar has been found. The kids managed to find their way to Earth and landed their shuttle in San Francisco Bay, where shuttles retrieve them.

Starfleet conducts a tribunal regarding the criminal charges, such as stealing a Federation starship, facing the young crew. Personally acting as their advocate, Janeway argues that the kids did everything in an effort to warn Starfleet. The judges are dismissive of Janeway's idea for the kids to be accepted straight into Starfleet Academy, especially the Augment. One judge argues that the Academy is not a space camp for children, but a serious, disciplined institution designed for only the brightest, while another judge argues that there are protocols to enroll in the Academy and states that "good intentions do not make up for Federation crimes." Janeway argues passionately on the kids' behalf, stating that the interviews and psychological evaluations can't stand up to what the crew has been through and points out that the "Augment" (who she points out is not "enhanced" in any way) contains the DNA of 26 of the Federation's 150 member species and asked if there was a better example of what their alliance represents.

Soon after, Janeway tells the kids that while the tribunal did drop all the criminal charges, they will not allow them to be fast tracked to Starfleet Academy, stating that it's not fair to the more-qualified applicants. However, five of them will be permitted to serve under her as warrant officers-in-training, on her new assignment. When the group asks why only five, Gwyn states that she's decided to forgo Starfleet and travel to present day Solum in the hope of unifying the Vau N'Akat in an effort to prevent the civil war.

The Protostar crew begin undergoing training with Zero receiving a new containment suit and a science officer suggesting that Rok become a xenobiologist given her affinity for Murf. As Gwyn and Dal say goodbye to one another, they share a very sweet kiss. Later, Janeway shows the remaining crew the newest Protostar-class ship but says that it won't be their ship, stating that she has a much bigger plan for them.

Log entries[]

Memorable quotes[]

"Jankom's not just an engineer. He's a miracle worker."

- Jankom Pog

"Ack! All this time, all this love we put into it, and we're just going to blow it up? I, uh, it just doesn't feel right."
"Think of it as letting a young star become what it's meant to be."

- Jankom Pog and Rok-Tahk

"On my mark. Ready? Go fast!"

- Hologram Janeway, activating the proto-drive and sacrificing herself and the Protostar

"We are no longer locked out."
"Any sign of the USS Protostar?"
"No, Admiral. I've tracked their warp signature, but read no signs of life."
"Send a search party."
"But, Admiral, the distance they crossed -- it would take months to scan that many star systems."
"That crew just saved Starfleet. If they're out there, I wanna know."

- Janeway and Tysess

"You got this far. Wherever you are, don't give up now."

- Janeway, silently encouraging the missing Protostar crew

"I bet right now Jankom is wondering why I'm not a hologram and just a prerecorded message. I imagine you have questions. I'm sorry, but I lied to you. There was no way for me to leave. Over the course of my time with you, I've grown. Literally -- my program has become too large, too rich, and complex for some tiny, little chip. It just wasn't possible to remove me from the computers in time. And knowing how stubborn you all are, especially you, Jankom, I did what I had to, so that you could fulfil your potential. I'm truly proud to see how far you've all come. My only regret is not being there when you arrive at the steps of Starfleet Academy. You may think you need me to get there, but after seeing everything you've accomplished, I have full confidence you'll find your way. Because together, your potential is infinite. Now, go boldly."

- Hologram Janeway's last message

"Mayday. Mayday. It's day 72 since the Vau N'Akat captured the Protostar. They're planning to launch it back through the wormhole with a weapon aboard. Half my crew's gone, but I'm trying to hang on."

- Chakotay's second distress call broadcast through the wormhole that Hologram Janeway opened

"The Protostar, named after the early stage in the formation of a star, powered by it; we designed a ship that could explore the far reaches of our understanding in hope of finding others who share our ideals, so that we may create a stronger alliance. Stack up those tests, the psych evaluations, interviews. The don't hold a candle to what this crew has been through. And concerning the Augment, whose name you've conveniently forgotten. His name is Dal R'El. Is he genetically engineered? Yes. Was he enhanced in every way? Look at him, or course not. But his heart is bigger than any in this room. I should know. The Federation is made-up of over 150 member species. Dal's DNA includes 26 of those. So, I ask you, is there a better living embodiment of what are alliance represents?"

- Janeway, defending the Protostar crew against a Starfleet tribunal

"I have the unique privilege to have grown up with Starfleet. But there are parts of our universe still unexplored. Those uninitiated who have never been under the protection of an alliance or pursued dreams beyond their scope. Today, the crew of the Protostar has been given a chance. A chance to discover who they are. A chance to prove what they're capable of. A chance to improve themselves. And finally, a chance of finding their place in an endless universe."

- Janeway

"It's perfect."

- Zero, on their new containment suit

"Your previous ship was a prototype, but Starfleet's now approved a new Protostar-class."
"So... are we, uh -- Is that our ship?
"Oh, I have a much bigger plan for us. Well, are you coming or not?"

- Janeway, Zero and Dal

Background information[]




  • Through a message from Chakotay, the episode establishes that the events which concluded with the original crew of the USS Protostar ending up stranded on Solum in a now alternate future took place 52 years from 2384, thus in 2436.
  • Following the species' introduction in PRO: "All the World's a Stage", an Enderprizian can be seen in the same class in Starfleet Academy as Rok-Tahk.
  • Although there is no official stardate within the episode itself, an entry by Janeway on the "Star Trek Logs" Instagram account dated the episode to Stardate 61408.8. [2]
  • Erin Macdonald was previously mentioned in LD: "First First Contact" prior to her appearance in this episode.

Links and references[]



Background characters[]


2383; 2436; absence; afternoon; alliance; Andorian; annihilation; augment; Bolian; Brikar; captain (title); certainty; children; command codes; compass; computer; confidence; containment suit; coordinates; crew; crimes (aka offenses); criminals; day; decimation; discussions; disrespect; DNA; Enderprizian; engineer; ensign; fate; father; first contact; fleet admiral; friend; Gamma Serpentis; Golden Gate Bridge; grab handles; heart; heroes; holo-program; hologram; honor; hybrid; impulse; ingenuity; interspatial flecture; interspatial rift;intervention; interviews; isolinear chip; justice; Klingon; Library Computer Access and Retrieval System; lie; lieutenant; lieutenant commander; living construct; "mayday"; Medusan; Mellanoid slime worm; message; mind; miracle worker; month; name; navigation; oral tests; Orion; plan; point of impact; potential; presence; proto-core; proto-warp; protostar; psych evaluations; respect; sacrifice; security officer; Solum; space camp; space-time; species; star; star system; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; Starfleet Headquarters; Starfleet uniform; supernova; Tars Lamora; Tellarite; time travel; Trill; United Federation of Planets (aka Federation); universal translators; universe; Vau N'Akat; vehicle replicator; Vulcan; warp; warrant officer; wormhole; written tests; xenobiologist; year

Starship references[]

Akira-class (unnamed); Centaur-type (unnamed); D'Kora-class (unnamed); Dauntless, USS; Dauntless-class; Defiant-class (unnamed); Gorn trading vessel (unnamed); Klingon Bird-of-Prey; Petarian bulk freighter (unnamed); Protostar, USS; Protostar-class; Protostar-type shuttlecraft; Shuttle 06; Sovereign-class (unnamed); Suurok-class (unnamed); Trij's Bird-of-Prey; Voyager-A, USS

LCARS references[]

anatomy; bridge; capacity; cargo hold; communicator; conference suite; contour mode; crew's quarters; field geometry sensor; file; flight controls; flight status; hangar deck; intercooler conduit; long range sensor; main computer; navigation; observation lounge; phaser array; physiology; planet tracker; plasma flow grid; program; shuttle support system; sick bay; subspace antenna; targeting; tractor beam; warning; warp field coil; wireframe mode

Meta references[]


External links[]

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