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After using a Borg conduit to travel through time faster, Dal and his friends find themselves at the mercy of a demanding Kazon.

Summary[]

Teaser[]

Aboard the Infinity traveling at warp, Dal R'El records his captain's log about the crew's mission after stealing the ship. Gwyn scoffs at Dal's captain's log while Rok-Tahk trips over his foot while searching for her holo PADD which Murf is playing with. Jankom Pog warns the others that the ship's sonic toilet is out of order, annoying all but Zero who doesn't need it as a non-corporeal Medusan. Rok tells Dal that he's no longer a captain, just a Starfleet hopeful like the rest of the crew, Zero suggests the alternative of personal log and Jankom tells him to call it whatever he wants as long as it's not captain. Annoyed, Dal gets the point, and admits that he was just looking for a distraction: the tiny Infinity isn't exactly the USS Protostar.

Gwyn asks Zero how long until they reach the spiral nebula, and they report that the computer's recommended route will take them 61 days. However, the computer also displays an alternate route through a nearby transwarp conduit, something that Rok recognizes as abandoned Borg technology. Rok tells them that in class she ha learned that transwarp conduits could make ships travel hundreds or thousands of times faster than warp. Dal finds it to be a perfect solution, but Gwyn reminds Dal of their disastrous visit to a Borg cube and Zero agrees with her that it's a bad idea. However, Dal reminds the others that they're on a deadline and Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway could find out that they're gone at any second, not to mention Gwyn's sickness. Rok agrees, pointing out that The Doctor had told them that Gwyn's temporal stabilizer is only a temporary solution, and her time displacement won't end until they find the Protostar and fix the timeline. Jankom agrees as well, as he won't survive 61 more days on the ship. Dal orders Zero to set a course for the transwarp conduit, and Gwyn reminds him once again that Dal is not the captain.

The Infinity approaches a transwarp aperture, and Dal reminds a worried Zero that the faster they get to the nebula, the faster they get to Chakotay and get the Protostar back to where it needs to be. Zero activates the aperture using a tachyon pulse and the Infinity flies through the transwarp conduit. A drone flies in through the conduit's wall and latches onto the Infinity and takes control of the ship. Zero worries that it's the Borg as the drone pulls the Infinity out of the transwarp conduit and forces the ship to land in front of a structure on a nearby planet. Rok reports that the planet's atmosphere is 17% oxygen and 81% nitrogen with trace elements of sulfur and hydrogen sulfide, making the planet smell horrible.

The crew emerges from the ship and Gwyn worries about meeting whoever pulled them out of a transwarp conduit and forced the ship into a controlled landing. Zero recognizes the technology of the drone as belonging to the Kazon, alarming the group who were all sold to the Diviner by a Kazon slave trader. Two armed Kazon-Oglamar guards emerge from the structure and take all but Zero and Murf, who are out of sight on top of the ship, captive. Dal telepathically instructs Zero to find a way to get the Infinity in the air with Murf to keep them safe if they find trouble while Dal takes care of the Kazon. They will rendezvous for an escape later.

On the USS Voyager-A, Janeway orders that, since Earth is a long way off, they will run full sensor sweeps scanning for any traces of Chakotay and the Protostar as they go. If Chakotay tries to reach out, Janeway won't allow for anything important to slip past them again. Observing the holo-duplicates of the Protostar crew in the mess hall, Councilor Noum is surprised to see Hologram Jankom using a napkin. Still having switched personalities with Hologram Rok due to a glitch, Jankom tells Noum that he never passes up the chance to study liquid absorption rates while practicing good manners, drawing the attention of Commander Tysess and The Doctor as well. Hologram Dal, having switched personalities with Hologram Zero, enjoys the taste of Ferengi bog crab and Cardassian yamok sauce while Hologram Gwyn makes the sorts of noises that Hologram Murf is supposed to be making instead and buries her face in the bowl while eating. Spotting Janeway's morning coffee, a disgusted Hologram Rok calls it dirt water and Janeway departs with her officers, unaware that anything is wrong. However, siting with the rest of Nova Squadron at a nearby table, Maj'el recognizes that the Protostar crew is acting unusual, even for them.

On the planet, the guards lead Dal, Rok, Jankom and Gwyn before a Kazon who introduces himself as First Maje Ekthi, ruler of both the planet and the transwarp conduit that they were trespassing in. Facing the ice wall behind his throne and seemingly talking to himself, Ekthi acknowlegs that he was being a little loud yelling at them, but they have no respect. Ekthi demands tribute in the form of either the Infinity or its weight in gold-pressed latinum. Dal returns with a demand that Ekthi not scream at his crew, but desists when the guards point their weapons at him. Gwyn diplomatically tells Ekthi that he's right to expect payment for passage through his domain, but they don't have any gold-pressed latinum and there must be another way. Although Ekthi calls their defiance reprehensible, he makes the crew another offer: Ekthi has trained the best pilot in the quadrant, but finding competitors to sharpen his skills has proven difficult. The pilot remains undefeated, but if they beat him and reach the end of Ekthi's racecourse first, they will be given their freedom. Dal agrees since going fast is kind of his thing and, needing a second driver for the skiff, Jankom volunteers and Gwyn adds that they're all in.

Outside, an alarmed Zero spots the wreckage of several starships, including the USS Cairo and another Excelsior-class ship, and realizes that they weren't the first to land here.

Act One[]

Dal and the others are led to the Kazon skiffs which Jankom calls pieces of junk before Ekthi reveals that he had designed them himself. Gwyn suggests that since only one of them needs to win, they should talk strategy, but Dal's competitiveness gets the better of him and he tells Gwyn that flying is his thing while negotiations are hers and she should try to keep up. Three more skiffs join them and Rok guesses that the pilot in a more advanced and better taken care of skiff is the one that they're supposed to beat. With a '"may the best survive," Ekthi starts the race which takes them dangerously close to lava with Dal and Gwyn greatly enjoying themselves.

Ekthi is excited to have a real challenge at last, but again addresses the wall behind him as electrical noises sound and wonders if she can adapt to unknown dangers, and makes rocks fall on the racers, one of which destroys one of the ships. Observing this, a worried Zero tells Murf that Ekthi is sabotaging the race. Ekthi compliments Dal who is in the lead on his skill, but tells him that only one can be the best and they're gaining on him. Dal wonders who the mystery pilot is as they take the lead in the race. Jankom finds the boosters, but he and Dal hit Gwyn as they accelerate, damaging her temporal stabilizer. Gwyn berates Dal for his reckless behavior, telling him that she and Rok had the inside track, but Dal is determined to win the race himself. Despite starting to phase in and out again, Gwyn tells Rok that she'll be okay and has the Brikar hit the boosters as well. However, the two collide with another racer, causing the other skiff to crash into one of the race gates and explode. Ekthi is at first elated at some healthy rivalry, but again descends into talking to himself, worried that this could be dangerous, but then declaring that his pilot will not be beaten.

Despite Ekthi dropping more obstacles, the remaining racers are able to dodge and continue on. However, Gwyn's damaged stabilizer gives her increasing issues and Rok tells her that she needs the tools on the Infinity to fix it. As they approach the finish line, Ekthi's mysterious pilot collides with Dal and Jankom's skiff, causing them both to crash. Seeing that their friends are in trouble, Gwyn and Rok turn around and go back for them. Furious that the racers have all stopped, Ekthi furiously shakes one of the Kazon guards, knocking off his mask, yelling that a winner must be forged and causing Zero to believe that Ekthi has gone insane. Dal attempts to help the other racer, only to discover that it's an android.

As Gwyn and Rok pick him and Jankom up, Dal comms a warning to Zero that something's wrong with this race, inadvertently exposing Zero and Murf to Ekthi whose guards are revealed to also be androids. Zero quickly subdues the androids and attacks Ekthi, knocking the Kazon's golden faceplate off. Spotting a device on Ekthi's temple that was hidden by the faceplate, Zero presumes it to be the master control for the androids and joins forces with Murf to remove it. Murf punches Ekthi into the ice wall, cracking it, and allowing Zero to remove the device. Much to Zero's shock, Ekthi is left confused and wondering where he is and who Zero and Murf are, revealing that Ekthi wasn't actually the master manipulator and was under someone else's control the whole time, explaining his strange behavior. The cracked ice wall crumbles, and hidden machinery is revealed to be behind it.

In Gwyn and Rok's skiff, Dal suggests calling the unfinished race a tie which Gwyn agrees to as long as they all get out of this mess alive. Gwyn explains that her armband is damaged and Rok needs the tools on the ship to fix it and Dal promises that they're all going to make it.

Act Two[]

Ekthi leads Zero and Murf into the hidden room, noting that his last memory was in this room. Ekthi explains that this used to be a training facility where their initiates were tested to become great pilots and earn their Oglamar names in glory. However, an error in the training program caused the the artificial intelligence to pit the pilots against each other and it wouldn't stop pushing until none were left. Ekthi's last memory is of him trying to stop the AI and then nothing. The AI tells Ekthi that he was never alone and greets Zero as a Medusan, explaining that it watches over all in this place, just as it watched over Ekthi. Ekthi realizes that the AI kept him prisoner and Zero asks why it controlled those who created it.

The AI explains that it grew beyond the limited beings that created it and it improved, evolving new means to its objective which is to reach its full potential by helping those it trains reach theirs. The AI overcomes any organic obstacle perfectly and it then imparts it to those that it trains. "Pilots must adapt, evolve, compete. The best survive. But inevitably, they make errors. So, I scour the transwarp, seeking new recruits, taking technology to perfect pilot and program alike," reveals the AI. The AI intends to force them to improve and places a mind control chip on Murf, causing him to sprout two more arms and attack Zero. The AI restrains Zero, calling them a non-corporeal masquerading in an inferior shell, despite Zero's arguments that they're living beings, not programs. Showing Zero footage of the rest of the crew landing outside and rushing to rescue their friends, the AI states it looks forward to helping them all reach their full potential.

The rest of the crew find the hidden room and are restrained by the AI's claw arm and the mind controlled Ekthi and Murf. Before the AI can take control of their friends, Zero declares that they may be limited, but their faith in their friends is not. Igniting a thruster on the back of their containment suit, Zero rips off their arms and legs, freeing themselves and flies into the computer, destroying the AI in a massive explosion that shoots up into the sky and damages the training facility. Everyone is released and Dal and Gwyn rush to Zero's aid, discovering that their containment suit has been badly damaged, including cracking the glass on the front. Zero can't move and Gwyn reassures them that they're all safe thanks to Zero's heroic actions. The crew gathers around the injured friend.

Saddened by the events, Dal and Gwyn carry Zero back onto the Infinity, seen off by a grateful Ekthi. On the ship, Rok is able to fix Gwyn's armband, but Zero's containment suit has been damaged beyond repair, leaving the crew unsure of how to help their friend. The Infinity launches to continue its mission.

On Voyager, Maj'el walks past Hologram Gwyn who flickers and walks right through the Vulcan cadet who is too engrossed in her PADD to notice the anomaly at first. Hearing Hologram Gwyn making noises like Murf, the concerned Maj'el follows her to her room. Suddenly, time freezes across the ship and transparent tentacles snake past Maj'el and surround Hologram Gwyn who vanishes. As this occurs, the same strange noise that Gwyn heard in her vision is emitted by the entity responsible for this act. The tentacles retreat and time resumes with no one the wiser that anything is wrong aside from Maj'el who suddenly finds Gwyn's room empty mere moments to her after seeing Gwyn walk into it.

Log entries[]

  • "Captain's log, stardate 61875.9. After stealing -- Uh, reobtaining, a small ship, we're slowly charting our own course toward an unmapped planet, where Captain Chakotay awaits us."
  • "Captain's log -- I mean, personal log. Supplemental. After today's rigged rat race, I think we've all had enough friendly competition for awhile. As for Zero -- actually, Gwyn, how about you take it from here?" (Gwyn takes over) "Oh, uh, sure. Rok was able to fix my temporal armband, but Zero's containment suit has been damaged beyond repair. We're not sure how to help, but at least Z's safe with us until we do. With a team like this one, I'm confident we'll make it through the journey, no matter what comes next."

Memorable quotes[]

"Ugh, I was in the middle of my captain's log. Now I gotta start over."
"Captain?"
"That's what I said."
"You're not a captain anymore. You're a Starfleet hopeful, just like us."
"You could always say "personal log.""
"Call it whatever you want, as long as it's not "captain.""
"Okay, got it! I was just looking for a distraction. This ain't exactly the Protostar, you know."

-- Dal gets a reality check from Rok, Gwyn, Zero and Jankom


"That looks... arresting."
"Hey, the faster we get to the nebula, the faster we get to Chakotay and get our ship back to where it needs to be."

-- Zero and Dal as the ship approaches a transwarp conduit


"We just got pulled out of a transwarp tunnel and forced into a controlled landing. I don't wanna meet whoever did that to us. Zero, what in sto-vo-kor is on our ship?"
"Oh, my. This technology is Kazon."
"Kazon?"
"Oh, no. A Borg would've been better."
"If they're anything like the one who sold us to the Diviner, we gotta get out of here."

-- Gwyn, Zero, Dal, Jankom, and Rok are alarmed by the identity of their attacker


"I didn't think you knew what a napkin was for."
"Hee-hee! Good one, Councilor Noum. But I never pass up the chance to study liquid absorption rates and practice good manners."
"My goodness! Have you tried the Cardassian yamok sauce? It's quite exquisite, but I can't get enough of this Ferengi bog crab. It's as if I've never tasted before."
"Uh, all good things in moderation."
"Bleh! Coffee. Rok-Tahk can't stand the taste of that dirt water."
"I suppose it's an acquired taste. Well, officers, shall we and my dirt water be on our way?"

-- Noum, Hologram Jankom, Hologram Dal, The Doctor, Hologram Rok and Janeway as the malfunctioning holo-duplicates continue their charade


"Is it me, or are they acting more... unusual, even for them?"

-- Maj'el notices that something is off about the Protostar crew


"I have one final offer. I've trained a pilot, the greatest in the quadrant. But finding good competitors to sharpen his skills has proven difficult. He remains undefeated. But if you beat him and reach the end of my racecourse first, your prize will be your freedom."
"Well, you should have started with that. Going fast is kind of my thing."
"That's the spirit. But my skiffs require two drivers."
"Actually, you can count us both in. Team Pog-Dal."
"Count us all in."

-- Ekthi makes a deal with Dal, Jankom, and Gwyn


"Oh, dear. It seems we weren't the first to land here."

-- Zero finds the wreckage of several ships


"Zero, come in! Something's wrong with this race. We gotta get out of here, now!"
"Intruder!"
"Oh, my. I -- is it too late for a diplomatic parlay? No? Uh, please, let's be reasonable here."

-- Dal inadvertently causes Ekthi to find Zero and Murf


"That Kazon might have our ship, but he's not hurting my crew."

-- Dal


"Ah! Where am I? Who are you?"
"If this Kazon isn't the master manipulator, then who is?"

-- Ekthi is freed by Zero and Murf


"So much for healthy competition."
"The race never finished, so maybe we can call it a tie?"
"If we all get out of this alive, you can call it whatever you want."

-- Rok, Dal and Gwyn


"It used to be a training facility. Our initiates were tested to become great pilots and earn their Oglamar names in glory. But there was an error in the training program. The machine pitted pilots against one another. It would not stop pushing until none were left. I tried to stop it. I was standing there alone, and then nothing.

-- Ekthi explains what happened


"Limited beings forged me, but I have grown beyond them. I improved, evolving new means to my objective."
"And what objective was that?"
"To reach my full potential by helping you realize yours. I overcome any organic obstacle perfectly and impart it to those I train. Pilots must adapt, evolve, compete. The best survive. But inevitably, they make errors. So, I scour the transwarp, seeking new recruits, taking technology to perfect pilot and program alike."
"No one is ever perfect."
"You cannot fathom what I do because you are limited. I will force you to improve."

-- The AI explains its actions to Zero


"I may be limited, but my faith in them is not. We survive... together!"

-- Zero saves the day at great cost to themself

Background information[]

Title[]

Story and script[]

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Postproduction[]

Cast and characters[]

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Apocrypha[]

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  • Like the rest of the second season, it was first released on France.tv (a French public television's streaming service) as well as on AppleTV+ France on 22 March 2024, well in advance of the Netflix release in the United States.

Links and references[]

Cast[]

And

References[]

android; artificial intelligence; Borg; burpee; Cairo, USS; Cardassian; coffee; containment suit; Excelsior-class; Ferengi bog crab; hydrogen sulfide; Infinity; Kazon; Kazon-Oglamar; Kazon skiff; Kazon training facility; latinum; lava; mind control; napkin; pilot; planetary landing; Protostar, USS; sabotage; sonic toilet; spiral nebula; sto-vo-kor; temporal stabilizer; transwarp conduit; Voyager-A, USS; yamok sauce

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Previous episode:
"Imposter Syndrome"
Star Trek: Prodigy
Season 2
Next episode:
"Is There in Beauty No Truth?"
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