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Piers Anthony, Jan. 1, 2011 Piers Anthony, Jan. 1, 2011. Photo by Jane McConnell.
Dismember 2018

I have collaborated on a trilogy of fantasy novels with Kenneth Kelly, about the magic land of PAKK, a nice vampire, and assorted supernatural problems. Saturday, December 8th, at 11 AM Kenneth Kelly will be signing the first two at Barnes & Noble in Brandon Square, Sarasota, Florida. The novels are Virtue Inverted and Amazon Expedient. No, I won't be there; my wife's situation prevents me from traveling even that far. But you can meet at least half the team and get some good reading if you attend. The third novel, Magenta Salvation, is in the process of publication and should be along soon. Oh, if you're wondering about that magic land, it's the initials of Piers Anthony and Kenneth Kelly.

I watched U-Carmen, a modern adaptation of the classic story, this time set in South
Africa with an all black cast. Almost everything is sung, per the way of opera. It starts with a discussion on the points which make a woman beautiful. Then it gets into a rundown neighborhood, trains, traffic, pedestrians. Five workmen singing “Check out the girls and watch their butts.” They approach a girl, but she is wary and sensibly departs. Then the shift ends and the female workers at the factory emerge, singing. It is familiar, marvelous music, with provocative lyrics. Carmen sings in the street, but a policeman in a car, Jongi, is reading, uninterested. That makes him a challenge. There is a fight among women. Who started it? Several are named, Carmen among them. She is arrested by the man who ignored her before. She is a solid woman, not a slender nymph; the others are similar, and the men are similarly solid, not handsome. She makes a play for him, impresses him, then picks the lock, escapes her shackle, and flees. He chases her but loses her. That costs him his position. The police raid and catch her. The officer strikes her and knocks her down twice, then propositions her: in return for sex he'll let her go. She nods agreement, her lips bleeding from the blows. So she's free. Jongi returns and says he loves her. She gets on the pool table and dances for him. But he is called away by a phone call, which annoys her. They argue, and fight, and make up. Staying with her will cost him his job. They gather with the neighbors and sacrifice a bull. Then he departs, but returns. She tells him it is finished. He begs her to give him a chance to save her. She refuses. He kills her and gives himself up. It is a bleak conclusion.

I read the Villard Graphic Novel Sampler. I attended a Romance convention in 2009; it's not my genre but a publisher wanted me there. One of the books given to attendees was this one, so I took it and now, belatedly, got around to reading it. It's not really a book, just a 90 page compendium of selections from other books, intended to introduce the casual reader to them and tease him into buying them. Why not; it's as good a way to advertise as any. Modern comics don't interest me the way the 52 color page Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse comics for a dime did when I was a child. Still, some of these are fun. For example. Wolverine Prodigal Son explains how Logan was found in a nearby forest with amnesia, so he gets stuck in a Canadian martial arts school. There is an elimination contest, and the two survivors are Logan and a pretty girl. He is stronger, but she is faster. It's an even battle, until he anticipates her move and pins her to the mat. “Gotcha,” he says. She replies “So... what did you have in mind, tough guy?” He is suddenly tongue-tied, made aware of his close proximity to a lovely female. Then the master thanks them all for taking part, and adds “Logan, would you mind getting off my daughter?” Lovely! If I see that book around, I'll buy it.

I read Whispers in the Dark by Denise P Jeffries. This is a Romance novel, another I got at the Romance convention in 2009. Just as science fiction and fantasy genres have many subdivisions, so does Romance; in fact I suspect it has more than any other. So this is a mystery story, between sessions of panting love. Dominique is a policewoman torn by guilt because her partner took the bullet meant for her. She takes time off and moves to a quiet house in the suburbs to recover. But next door neighbor Jericho spies her and insists on courting her. At first he is annoying, but soon she comes to like him. Then there is a clue about the man who killed her partner, and she is back on that case. Jericho insists on staying with her, which puts him in danger when the killer comes after her. But of course it works out in the end as justice is served and Dominique revels in new love. There are trace errors a professional copy-editor would have caught, but on the whole it's a readable book and Dominique is easy to identify with.

I watched La La Land. It starts with a traffic jam, so Mia gets out of her car, is joined by men and other girls, and it becomes a huge dance among and on the cars. There's even music from a stalled band. All in fancy, at any rate. I love it! Then she has to make an audition and collides with a man holding a cup of coffee and her whole blouse is stained. Ruins the audition. Then she and her three roommates do an impromptu dance. It is that kind of movie, of course, song and dance if you like that type, and I do. Meanwhile Sebastian gets fired as the pianist at a club; it seems his music is not going over. He runs into Mia; I think he was the one with the cup of coffee. It is as if fate is throwing them together. They take a walk at dusk, then start to dance. Another day they run into each other again, and hesitate when separating. The attraction is plainly growing. Another time they fly up into the night sky, dancing. They become a couple. He gets a job playing jazz, but his music is too conventional. But he adapts, and the band is successful. She protests it's not his dream. They argue, and she walks out. Her prospective career as an actress comes to nothing. She goes home. Then he gets news that she's wanted for a major audition. He tracks her down and takes her to it. She auditions. Then we jump five years into the future. She's a big success, and he has his own successful nightclub. They both have achieved their dreams. They meet again, come together, and passionately kiss. They marry and have children. Or do they? It's another dream, and in the end they don't play it out. It seems that they can't have both their dreams and each other. Damn!

I watched Dracula, which frustratingly has subtitles in Spanish and Korean, not in English. So I put on the Spanish ones, as I once lived in Spain and can get a bit of a feel for the language. Long ago his girlfriend was killed, and he swore vengeance even if he had to return from the dead to wreak it. The viewpoint character is a young man, Jonathan, here for a month to tutor Dracula in English ways. He is nervous about Dracula and the environment. Indeed, he soon realizes that he is a prisoner. When he lies on his bed, bare breasted young women appear and caress him, then bite him, eager for his flesh, until Dracula drives them off because they are not supposed to mess with his properties. There are also two young women, Lucy lovely and experienced with men, Mina virginal. Also other spooky characters, including a vampire with blue glasses. And Anthony Hopkins as a famous doctor. Lucy turns vampire. Jonathan and Mina marry, but Dracula swears it will not protect them. Lucy dies, but then her coffin is empty; she is undead. They must kill her again. They do so, in grisly fashion. But now Dracula may be coming for Mina, the reincarnation of his true love. A posse with torches goes after him, but meanwhile he is with Mina. He wants to bite her, make her a vampire, and have her join him as undead. He does bite her, and she bites him back. Then the torch men drive him off. They take a train to Transylvania, while he must take a ship, which is not as fast. They plan to intercept his ship and burn it, but he outsmarts them with a different route. Meanwhile the Doctor fights off the lady vampires and beheads them. There's a wild melee at the end as the dead and undead fight. They stab Dracula through the heart, and Mina mourns him, then delivers the final stroke, and cuts off his head. It is over, maybe. But of course with Dracula you can never be sure.

I watched A Late Quartet, which features stringed instrument music and the people who play it. The cellist, Peter, may be coming down with Parkinson's Disease, which is of course mischief. Who will replace him? It triggers other considerations. The second violinist, Robert, would like to play first violinist. Daniel thinks that's an awful idea. Robert has sex with another woman, which upsets his wife, Juliette, who is part of the quartet. Nina will join the quartet. Daniel has been tutoring Robert and Jules' daughter, Alexandra, in the violin; they fall in love. This also upsets Juliette. And Robert. Then Alex breaks it off, leaving them both desolate. The quartet still plays together. Then Peter stops, explaining to the audience that he can no longer keep up, and Nina comes in to replace him. They resume playing. It is lovely music and dismaying emotions that the audience does not see. I wonder if real quartets are like that? It seems possible.

I watched Temple Grandin. Temple is a slightly odd teen girl, because she is struggling with what would later come to be known as autism, and maybe also schizophrenia. She sees things differently, such as the changing geometrical angles as a gate opens or closes. She relates to animals, such as cows on a farm; it is people she has trouble with. She doesn't like to be hugged or touched. Innocent things can spook her. She sees the animals calm down when closely caged, so she uses that to calm herself similarly, and it works. She spends summer at the farm, and wants to stay there rather than go home. She doesn't want to go to college, but the family sends her anyway. Flashbacks show she has been odd since childhood. She turns out to have eidetic memory of the printed page. She makes herself a box to squeeze her, cow fashion, but the men throw it away. She returns to the farm and makes another enclosure. The Farmwife understands, and helps her. She takes it to college and the others girls try it. But she gets expelled. Then she goes to a special school where they understand people who are different. One teacher especially takes an interest, noting her amazing memory for visual things, while intangibles escape her. He helps her, and she starts catching on to things. She goes to a new college, and her roommate is blind. She learns how to help as well as to be helped, and does very well. She wants to do her master's thesis on the mooing of bovines, as their moos differ according to their moods, but others don't understand. She gets her article on good moos and bad moos published. She gets Press credentials and does a slew of articles. She designs a superior cattle dip channel because of her knowledge of how cattle react, but the ignorant cattlemen mess it up. Then the teacher who helped her dies. She goes on to design more humane slaughter systems that are now used by over half of the American industry. I am a vegetarian because I don't like hurting animals, but this movie impressed me. If you are going to kill, do it in a humane manner.

I read Forest of Souls by Keith Robinson. This is Book 10 in the Isle of Fog series. Just as I have become known mainly for my Xanth fantasy series, I suspect Keith Robinson is known mainly for Island of Fog. And a fine series Fog is. If you are unfamiliar with it, you can start with this one and not be confused, and certainly not bored. For one thing, all the major characters of the series, ten Shapeshifters, are introduced at the beginning, so you need have no confusion about who is who or what. I think I suggested that to the author, a while back. The protagonist is twelve year old Hal Franklin, who can shift into a huge dragon, and his girlfriend is Abigail Porter, who becomes a fairie. Hal receives word that a dragon is attacking. Well, he can become a dragon, so this is abruptly his business. It turns out to be a small steamer, while he is a large fire breather, so he can readily deal with her. But he prefers to handle it peacefully. It turns out that she is out to recover a special gemstone that a child picked up. He makes a deal to recover the gem and the steamer departs. But soon he discovers worse: in the forest a female faun, you know, legs and hooves of a goat, top part human, but with horns, is issuing blue smoke from her hands and causing folk to implode into dust. The rest of the novel is about Hal's struggle with the faun, who seeks to abolish all humans here and seems to be equipped to do it. After they implode, they return as other creatures, and have amnesia. A number of the shapeshifters get taken. The trick is not to incinerate the faun with a blast of fire, as Hal could do, but to get her to bring her victims back, which she doesn't want to do. She is clever and devious, and it is a phenomenal challenge. Even when he succeeds, to an extent, she escapes. She has gone twenty years into the future, and if you are too impatient to wait twenty years for the continuation, you can go to Death Storm, where the shapeshifters' children will have to tackle it. Regardless, try this novel if you have not read any in this series before, because you are bound to like it. I am now reading Death Storm, and you will like that too; I'll review it next month.

I watched Klimt. A visitor comes and is led inside by a woman garbed as a nun. They come to a man and woman having sex. Then to the main studio, where three nude young women are swinging above the stage. One of his models is the notorious French dancer Lea de Castro. When he visits her she receives him nude. There are two of them, the real one and the false one, and the are ways in which the false one is more intriguing than the real one. He has an affair with the real one, maybe; he can't tell them apart. He meets odd characters, male and female. And dies.

I watched Alien Planet, a Discover film. It imagines a journey to a planet called Darwin Four, six and a half light years from us. It takes over forty years to reach it, even at one fifth the speed of light. The first probe crashes, but they have two more. They conjecture a two-legged front and back grazing animal and a two legged side by side predator. They explore plants with a little four-legged spider robot. They spy a herd of two legged two tusked creatures. Also gigantic walking disk-like animals. Also weird plants, along with toadstools and trees. Birds. Balloon-like creatures. Scavengers like flying needles. The discovery of life on another planet would be phenomenal, whatever its nature. What about intelligence? The greatest discovery in the history of science! Meanwhile, our best chance to find life elsewhere is to listen for radio signals. Which of course we are doing, with no success so far. But we'll keep looking and listening.

I watched The Amy Fisher Story. This made headlines in 1992, when Amy tried to kill the wife of her illicit lover, shooting her in the head. The movie starts without preamble on her 16th birthday. She is pretty, but a mouthy, rebellious girl who dresses provocatively and appreciates nothing but her own convenience. They give her a car, which she hardly seems to appreciate. There are constant sparks between her and her father as her mother tries to keep the peace. Then she meets the handsome mechanic Joey Buttafuoco, age 36. She comes on to him openly as he services her car, which he does often as she seems to be a reckless driver. When he drives her home while her car is in for repair she invites him in, and seduces him. She's one sexy creature, and already sexually experienced; she says her first time was when she was twelve. She is no fainting flower; she goes for what she wants with single minded determination, flaunting her sexuality. But legally it is statutory rape; later they call her the Long Island Lolita. Her mother visits her in jail, but Amy walks out of the room. Meanwhile Joey denies ever touching Amy, and his wife believes him. Back to the build-up. Amy sets about getting a gun, trading sex for it, open about what she wants it for: to get rid of Joey's wife. Amy's bond is set at two million dollars. She is jealous of the time Joey spends with his wife. Of his doing anything but being with Amy. She wants him to go to the prom with her. Then she rings the wife's doorbell, talks with her, and shoots her. The rest are the legalities as they sort them out.

I watched Doctor Who: Twice Upon A Time. It starts in a war zone, where a Britisher faces off with a German in a shell hole, each aiming his pistol at the other, neither speaking the other's language. Rather, they are at the south pole. They encounter a third man. They are different versions of Doctor Who. They enter the Tardis, which is larger inside than outside, and the most powerful space and time traveling machine known. Then a woman shows up, the friend of one of them. Or is she? They take the Tardis to the center of the universe. There's a glassy female form stalking them, who may be a Dalek, or a girl named Bill Potts, or the young woman. They finally return to the shell hole and sing Christmas carols. They make peace, for one day. They conclude that life is like a battlefield, like this one. Doctor Who would like finally to retire, but concludes that he must give it one more lifetime. And that lifetime will be as a woman, already in trouble as the video ends.

I watched Call Girl. This is in Portuguese with English subtitles. Maria, a high class prostitute, is hired to seduce a married politician, Carlos, to get his permission to build a luxury resort on protected land. He likes it natural, especially the cork oaks, several of which would have to be cut down. The agent, Mouros, introduces Maria at a restaurant meal and of course she knows how to charm a man into bed, the whole sex scene secretly recorded. Meanwhile two detectives begin investigating him. They are watching as he meets Maria, who has told him her name is Vicki. Then one of the detectives, Vasco, recognizes Maria as one of his prior dates. She seduces him again. A wife comes to challenge her; she kisses the wife, unsettling her, and she goes. Carlos sees the way of it, and approves the luxury resort. It is indeed the only way he can afford her. He gets paid a rich sum. Maria plays Carlos off against Vasco, planning a foreign excursion with each of them at the same time. There is a commotion at the airport and both men get left behind while she disappears with the money.

I exercise regularly, as it is one of the keys to health, but it has its problems. Our drive from the house to the mail and newspaper boxes is .8 of a mile, the round trip 1.6 miles; it's a nice distance for my morning run, as I fetch the newspapers. Back in FeBlueberry, as some fans may remember, I fell at Ogre Corner and smashed my face, limbs, and ribs; there is a picture of my scraped face with the Marsh HiPiers column. I don't fall often, but the risk increases as I get older, so I resolved that if I fell again, I would stop running and start walking. Walking is not as good exercise, but it is safer. Well, in NoRemember I fell again. As befits the month, I don't really remember it. I was jogging up the hill in sight of our house, and suddenly my face was bouncing off the rough pavement, and I had scrapes on knees and hands. I struggled to get back to my feet, and made it. Later I narrowed it down; my last memory before the fall was of a little red cedar tree I have been encouraging to grow. I was looking for it to the side, and not seeing it. So I think I wasn't looking where my feet were going, and tripped and fell. These falls always happen when I don't expect them. Of course if I expected one, I would see that it didn't happen. At any rate it was not as bad as the prior fall, though I may have bruised my ribs a little, and my hands still hurt when there is too much pressure on them. My scrapes have fairly well healed. But that was it; I have not run since, just done a fast walk for the newspapers. I try to rev up my system, but walking is too efficient and my breathing and heartbeat hardly accelerate. Yet two falls in one year make the case, and I have to yield to experience. Aging is a lady dog.

Several years ago I discovered a sapling mulberry tree, and transplanted it to a better site. I was intrigued by its elegantly lobed leaves, which the young trees have. It lost its leaves, but recovered and regrew them. Then a damned careless driver cut through and broke it off. You'd think we'd be safe from that, hidden here here a mile deep in the forest, but drivers do get lost and manage to mess us up. So I put posts in, and that stopped the drivers; they many not care what damage they do to my plants, but they do care about smashing up their cars. Fortunately the mulberry regrew from the root, and today is a fine young tree. Well, I found another mulberry, evidently seeded from a bird dropping, but it was growing about eighteen inches from the house on the north side, and that just wasn't a good place for it. So I dug it up and transplanted it to our back yard where it has plenty of room and sunshine. Again transplanting, like surgery, is brutal on the roots, and these were twining around buried concrete blocks. The tree had eleven leaves; five of them soon dropped off, then one more, but the last five held on and the tree seems to have survived. Just in time for winter. The larger mulberry has dropped it leaves for the season, and the little one will do the same, but at least I know that there is life in it, and in the spring it should start fresh and reach for the sky. Maybe some day we'll see mulberries, though that depends on whether the trees are male or female. So now you what I am made of: falls and local trees.

I continue with my summer project, transcribing letters from Hilltop Farm in the early 1940s. I am now halfway through 1945, and it ended that year, but so far it is about 200,000 words. My parents were dedicated pacifists, something the US government did not understand. My father got classified as 4F for the draft, apparently because they thought he was crazy. Which reminds me how when Pete Seeger, a populist singer, gave a talk at my college, he told how they recorded a song which started “I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war.” He got blacklisted, not just for that, but mainly for being a leftist, and the song could not be broadcast. I remain bemused that the very desire for peace was consider unAmerican. It seems there is too much profit to be made from war. There may have been crazy folk in those days, but I think they were not the pacifists. But no, I did not grow up to be a pacifist, though I respect their principles. When I receive appeals to contribute money to feed the starving refugees of a number of places in the world, I can't help thinking that this is like trying to beat out a spreading forest fire, while ignoring the man with a blowtorch who is starting the fire. Isn't that really enabling the culprit? Rather than struggle to help hurting refugees—remember, I'm a refugee myself, from fascist Spain as a child—my secret heart would not bleed unduly if assassins took out the power-mad bullies who are driving the refugees out of their own countries. Then the peaceful folk could continue their ordinary lives unmolested, and no outside help would be needed. Am I the only one who wonders about that?

Odd Notes: I read a review of a movie called Paywall; The Business Of Scholarship. It seems that much publicly funded research is turned into private profit, as folk have to pay to view the research. Get it? The taxpayers pay for it, but you have to pay to see it. Who the hell is stealing all that money? Article in NEW SCIENTIST says that in order to get climate change under control, we have to do whatever it takes. Such as flying less and cutting down on red meat. Would you believe, that stirs up serious opposition? The nerve of anyone suggesting that your excessive lifestyle should be crimped, just to save the world. Which is why I fear the world is not going to be saved. Folk want to eat their steak today, and the hell with tomorrow. If I knew an effective way to change that, I'd be seriously interested. A newspaper article lists ten ways to combat global warming. 1. Bike, walk, or take public transport. 2. Replace your fossil fuel car with an electric one using renewable generated electricity. 3. Choose a utility company that generates at least 50% of its power from solar or wind. 4 Caulk the cracks in your home to seal in the heat or coolth. 5. Update your archaic appliances. 6. Wash your laundry with cool water and dry it on a low setting. 7. Go vegetarian. 8. Get energy efficient LED light bulbs. 9. Stop moving your lawn. 10. Get your city to use native plants on public land. Okay, we already do some of these things, but I can see how they would be difficult to implement elsewhere. Cant you actually choose your power company? Will your city officials even listen to your suggestions, or write you off as worse than a peacemonger? From a published letter by Paul Wealing of Australuia, who quotes one William Lawrence Brnagg: “Everything in the future is a wave, everything in the past is a particle.” That is the unknown or undefined is a wave, and the known is a particle. Can it really be that simple? The biggest cause of wildlife loss is the destruction of natural habitats to create farmland. The second biggest is killing for food. 300 mammal species are being eaten into extinction. Item in THE WEEK says that we are drowning in a sea of porn. Oh? I wonder if it isn't like weeds, the scourge of gardens. A weed, simply, is a plant where you don't want it. Maybe porn is simply sexual awareness where some people don't want it. Sex, like a plant, is natural and necessary; only our definition makes either wrong. An odd rock is tumbling through the solar system, 1,300 feet long by 130 feet wide. Is it a fragment of something or an alien probe? Astronomers don't know. They have developed a way to convert old clothes into panels that are hard like wood, thus making building material out of waste. It seems that wombats poop in cubes, which makes their poop stack-able so they can build defensive walls. No shit! Item in the newspaper says that there are two definitions of racism: the failure to redress discrimination against minorities, and direct action against minorities. It says the two definitions can contradict each other. Oh? I see them as two faces of the coin, tacit and overt racism, and I agree with both definitions. And a letter in NEW SCIENTIST by Alessandro Saragosa in Italy discussing self awareness. He figures it is merely the result of having a multi-cellular body. There are all manner of signals from chemical, optical, and mechanical sensor cells, and there needs to be a way to filter those diverse signals so as to concentrate attention on what is relevant at the moment. You know, like not stepping off a cliff or petting the saber-tooth tiger. That could be the basis of our self awareness and consciousness. It's a survival trait. That makes sense to me.



Season 3: #17 “Unity” Chakotay and a female ensign are returning to the Voyager via shuttle, but they seem to be lost. They receive a faint distress call. They land, and encounter armed men. Chakotay is shot but survives; the ensign does not. He wakes to meet Riley, who explains that her group was raided by aliens and the survivors dumped here. There are humans, Cardassians, Klingons, and many others, all similarly taken. But they mean to make a home here; all they need is some medicine and other technology. Meanwhile the Voyager discovers a five-year dead Borg ship. And Chakotay learns that this mixed colony are actually survivors of that Borg ship, now returned to individuals. They really do want to help him, because otherwise he will die. They merge, mentally, to save his mind. Now he is part of their link, and knows everything about all of them, and they about him. Riley wants one thing from him, which may be mating; it happens off-screen. The Voyager rescues them, gives medical supplies to the colony, and departs. But Chakotay is not free; the Borg mind takes him over. He goes to reactivate the Borg ship, but the Voyager folk stop him. Then the Borg ship self destructs. They all get a message: the colony regrets using them, but had to destroy the Borg ship, using them to do it. So the colony survives, enhanced. Will it remain uncorrupted?

#18 “Darkling” They enter the space of a friendly humanoid species, the Mikhal, and trade technology for information about their route. The Mikhal are dedicated travelers. Kes is intrigued by one, Zahir. She might want to stay with him and leave the Voyager. The Doctor is experimenting with his own program, adding elements from historical characters. But those had dark sides, and the Doctor may now have that darkness. Someone attacks Zahir, and someone resembling the Doctor tortures another man. Then he paralyzes B'Elanna to make her assist him. His subroutines are interacting and taking over. It is like evil insanity. Fortunately the others manage to halt his evil side and return his good side. Kes decides to remain on the ship.

#19 “Rise” They blast an asteroid that is headed for a planet. It should be vaporized, but instead it fragments, and two chunks collide with the planet. Analysis indicates they are not natural but artificial. Several more asteroids are headed for the planet. Tuvok and Neelix take one shuttle, but it crashes, and they must struggle to contact the Voyager. There are several natives, including one woman, with them, and they have agendas of their own. The asteroids have guidance systems; they are targeting the planet. The aliens are invading, but the Voyager and shuttle manage to stop them. It's a close call and tense situation.

#20 “Favorite Son” They are in dialogue with another ship, but Harry Kim is suspicious. He says they are about to attack, and precipitates a battle in space. Is he crazy? He may have an illness, but it turns out that he was right: the other ship had been about to sneak attack. His hunch saved them. He breaks out in a rash. There is more danger, but a Taresian ship saves them. They say Kim is one of them, and welcome him home. Pretty girls fawn on him. All have a similar rash. Their population is 90% female; males are implanted elsewhere, and return. They want Kim to stay, and they are making it extremely nice for him. The girls are beautiful and seductive. But he wants to return to the Voyager. He ties one girl up, knocks out the other, and flees. And discovers that they kill their men to get organic material for their children. He fights them off, then gets beamed out, and the ship escapes pursuit. As with the sirens of mythology, they are not to be trusted.

#21 “Before and After” Kes wakes, old, age nine, discovering she's a grandmother, with no memory of the interim. Paris is her husband, and the rest of the crew are there. Then she jumps to a slightly prior time, and then again, seemingly traveling backward in time. Then she is in a shuttle, birthing her baby, and the Voyager is under attack. It's their Year of Hell. Then back to before she married Paris; he is dating B'Elanna. Who is then killed, along with Janeway. Jes is able to help, as she knows things from the future. Then to a time before that, and she warns Janeway to avoid that region of space. Then to her childhood. Then to her own birth. Then back to the original present, and back in temporal synch. She concludes that there's no time like the present.

#22 “Real Life” The Doctor has a loving family in the holodeck wife, son, daughter. Kes remains with her hair loose, dramatically more mature. The ship plunges into a space anomaly that looks like a weird nuclear explosion. B'Elanna says his idealized family is far from realistic. So they tweak it for realism, and soon it is a chaotic mess, just like real life. The ship heads for another space storm, hoping to harvest useful energy. The Doctor's rebellious son decides to leave, and his daughter Belle is ill; she fell and hit her head, and can't see, or feel her feet. She dies. The Doctor is learning the true emotions of Family.

#23 “Distant Origin” Two Voths in a cave discover a human skeleton. This may be the most important discovery in their history. They analyze it, wondering whether its species could indicate the origin of their own. But the local leader is skeptical. The professor is determined to pursue this, to vindicate this theory that the Voth originated long ago and far away. He gets charged with heresy. He learns of the Voyager. They zero in on it, hiding; their ship can't be observed and neither can they themselsves when they beam aboard. But the crew does pick up an anomaly and discovers them. There is trouble. Two are discovered, but Chakotay is beamed to their ship and talks with the scientist Gegen. Then the whole Voyager is beamed aboard the huge Voth city-ship. The authorities don't accept the Distant Origin Theory or the notion that saurians and mammals are related; that's the heresy. The queen figure refuses to listen, until Chacotay makes the case. Then Gegen is condemned to anonymous imprisonment, along with the crew of the Voyager. So Gegen retracts his claim, and they let the Voyager go. This is a telling analogy to Earth's religious history.

#24 “Displaced” Kes is exchanged with an alien, a Nyrian, who appears on the Voyager, neither of them knowing how it happened. Then other exchanges occur, at nine minute intervals, 21 of them and counting. More than a hundred. It seems to be a baby wormhole. Or is it? It turns out to be artificial. The Nyrians are doing it. The abducted ones, including Janeway, are in a very nice compound, one of ten, but meanwhile the Nyrians are taking over the ship. So Chakotay and the other survivor sabotage whatever they can. Then Chakotay alone. He arranges to get the Doctor there, then he too is exchanged. They meet Jarleth, of another compound, who has been here nine years. His crew was similarly abducted. The Doctor can perceive the technology, and looks for a porthole. He locates one. It has other windows; they now have access to all the compounds. There seem to be 94 environments total. [And the program froze with 13 minutes remaining. Resumed with Chapter 7 of 8, having lost two minutes.] The Nyrians discover the intrusion and pursue. Paris and B'Elanna hide in a snowscape. They get exchanged back to the human compound. Janeway bargains to recover the Voyager and they are back on their way. I must have missed something in the disc malfunction, but it's a good episode.

#25 “Worst Case Scenario” Chakotay approaches B'Elanna, saying there is a mutiny coming, mainly the Maquis against the existing order, and he needs to know which side she is on. When Janeway and Paris depart for 24 hours, the mutiny happens, and the Maquis takes over. Chakatay and Ensign Seska (who has been dead for a year) govern. It turns out to be a holo-novel. They they play it through with Paris instead of B'Elanna. The program “Insurrection Alpha” is increasingly popular on the ship, but it is unfinished. Seska writes her own conclusion, which is deadly. Janeway tries to rewrite Seska herself, and Chakotay. Now there are constant warring revisions. But Tuvok programs Seska's rifle to self destruct when fired, which takes her out, and the situation is saved.

#26 “Scorpion, Part 1” They find themselves in Borg space. Something has destroyed a number oaf Borg cubes. It is stronger that the Borg? That's hard to believe. Chakotay, Tuvok and Kim beam aboard a wreck and discover piles of Borg bodies. A biomass seems to be taking them over. They enter a bio-mass. Something approaches them, but they can't beam out because of interference. It is some kind of living creature. Kes had a premonition about them, and says they are telepathic. Kim gets infected; alien cells are consuming his body from inside. Borg records indicate five recent and devastating attacks. Over a hundred bioships from a parallel universe are coming. Does the Voyager risk traveling through Bog space, or does it turn back and give up ever returning home? Janeway considers making a deal with the devil: offering the Borg a way to win in return for safe passage. Do they agree? To be continued.

Season 4 changes the introduction, which now has pictures of four Borg cubes rather than spaceships, intriguingly. #1 “Scorpion Part II” Janeway makes the deal with the Borg: safe passage in exchange for a weapon against species 8472. Kes has a vision of an 8472 creature. Seven of Nine is the Borg representative they work with, a humanoid female. The Borg ship is attacked; it sacrifices itself to save Voyager, with Janeway, Tuvok and Seven of Nine beamed aboard at the last moment with a few other Borg. Janeway tells Chakotay to carry on while she recovers. He does, holding firm against Seven's threats. There is an altercation and Chakotay opens a hatch and blows the Borg into space. But Seven survives and the stress continues. They learn that the Borg started the war with Species 8472, hoping to assimilate them, but underestimated their power. 8472 telepathically speaks through Kes; they regard our galaxy as impure. They shoot down 8472 pursuit and escape. Then the Borg terminate the agreement. But Janeway succeeds in severing Seven's connection with the Borg. They escape, with Seven as a perhaps human guest.

#2 “The Gift” The process of restoring humanity to Seven of Nine is fraught with complication as the Borg implants war with the human immune cells. She was Annika as a human child. Kes helps telekinetically, removing a key Borg implant. Annika is an extremely shapely woman. Tuvok guides Kes in training her expanding mental powers. Seven tries to contact the Borg; Kes stops her psycho-kinetically. Kes continues to strengthen her weird powers, which involve subatomic structure. Annika also progresses, hating it. Things around Kes start exploding; she has to go before she destroys the ship. She boards the shuttle and transforms. Annika also progresses, becoming dramatically more human. Is she to be the replacement for Kes in the series? This could be interesting.

#3 “Day of Honor” Seven of Nine (Annika) is lonely and bored, and asks Chakotay for a duty assignment. He assigns her to Engineering, to work with B'Elanna, though B'Elanna is not pleased. Seven is now in a tight uniform that displays her outstanding figure. If Kes was the prettiest member of the crew, Seven is the shapeliest. B'Elanna undertakes a traditional Klingon ceremony, as she has Klingon ancestry, but changes her mind, understandably, as it is a brutal and seemingly pointless ordeal. There is an accident and they have to eject the tachyon warp core. Paris and B'Elanna wind up in space suits floating in space, running out of oxygen. Seven offers to go to the Caatari who want vengeance on the Borg, but Janeway refuses, as Seven is now a member of the ship's crew. Then Seven provides technology that solves the problem. She is slowly learning human ways. The Voyager locates the two in space and beams them back aboard, after B'Elanna professes her love for Paris.

#4 “Nemesis” Chakotay's shuttle is attacked and has to land on a planet. He is captured by troops who fear the nemesis. When they conclude he is not the nemesis, they help him try to locate his shuttle so he can signal the Voyager. They are soon attacked and take losses. He encounters a village which helps him, then walks on. He and the villagers are captured by the enemy. But things are not as they seem. He has been indoctrinated by his supposed friends to kill his real friends. The Voyager rescues him, but it may time time for his orientation to fade. “I wish it were as easy to stop hating as it was to start,” he says.

#5 “Revulsion” Seven of Nine is assigned to work with Harry Kim. The ship receives a distress call from a hologram, which of course interests the Doctor. He and B'Elanna take a shuttle to the other ship. They talk with the hologram, who says the crew of six organics got a plague and died. But there are strong hints he is not telling the truth. He is also somewhat deranged, expressing revulsion for organics. Meanwhile Kim is getting to know Seven, and is becoming romantically impressed by her. Paris warns him to be wary, as she's a former Borg. She recognizes the signs and offers to romance him or copulate with him, to his dismay; she is too damned practical. The holograph attacks B'Elanna, then deactivates the Doctor. B'Elanna manages to deactivate him, in a close call.

#6 “The Raven” Janeway encourages Seven to try to learn artistry. It is not easy for her. She suffers alarming memories of being pursued by the Borg for assimilation. Neelix teaches her how to eat, but this triggers another flashback. She steals a shuttle and heads out into B'omar space. Why? That's the mystery. The Doctor says that her Borg implants are regenerating, taking over again. Tuvok beams to her shuttle, but she overcomes him. Kim and Janeway translate Seven's diary entries and realize that the bird she sees in her mind is a raven. Tuvok and Seven land on a planet where there is a spaceship wreck. This is where she was captured as a child and assimilated. The name of the ship is The Raven. The B'omar attack; they escape the wreck. The Voyager beams them back. Now Seven knows more about her past, and will adjust.

#7 “Scientific Method” The Paris/B'Elanna romance is now in full furtive swing. Seven of Nine is still adjusting to the human military protocols. Janeway is fatigued and irritable. Something is taking odd pictures. Chakotay gets a weird aging malady. Then so does Neelix. Then it spreads among the crew. Seven tunes in with the help of the Doctor, and discovers invisible aliens all over the ship, and two attending to Janeway, so she can't tell Janeway. She shoots one, so that Tuvok sees the alien and cooperates with her. Now Janeway is on it. She interviews the captive alien, who explains they are experimenting, using humans as lab rats. If they don't cooperate, the experiment will be terminated, which would be lethal. Janeway sends the ship into a pulsar field, likely destruction. The aliens depart. The ship survives, free at last. Another hard-hitting episode.

#8 “Year of Hell Part 1” The Year of Hell is chronicled day by day, from Day 1 on. The Krenim are manipulating time to eliminate what annoys them and return to power. Janeway has changed her hair style. They pass through Zahl space, and run afoul of the Krenim. Tuvok appears to be blind; Seven must guide him around the ship. The Voyager is shielded against temporal change. That messes up the Krenim campaign to eliminate whole species. The Krenim try to erase the Voyager from history. The crew takes escape pods before the ship breaks up, hoping that some will make it home. To be continued.

#9 “Year of Hell Part II” the officers remain on board, trying to salvage the ship as oxygen runs out. Then Chakotay and Paris are two months captive of the Krenim leader. He rescued them as their ship expired. But Janeway and the Voyager escaped. Paris will have nothing to do with Annorax, the Krenim leader, but Chaketay works with him to find a temporal route that will save the Voyager. Janeway goes into fire to save the ship, and succeeds but gets horribly burned. She carries on with scar tissue. Annorax explains how he accidentally eliminated Kiana Prime, and with it his wife and family. He is desperate to restore it, but so far has failed. Janeway now has allies. They attack Annorax's ship but are disabled. Janeway crashes the Voyager into Annorax's ship, destroying them both. Which restores the original time-line. The Voyager is back as it was—and Annorax's wife also. A mind bending episode.

#10 “Random Thoughts” They take planetary leave on Mari. Then a man goes wild, and doesn't know why. It seems that B'Elanna had violent thoughts because of an accidental collision, and these thoughts caused a man to attack another. On this telepathic world violent thoughts are a crime. Tuvok investigates. The man B'Elanna was talking with has buried negative thoughts. Tuvok exchanges violent thoughts with that man. He takes the man into custody, but is attacked by his friends. It is that man's violent thought which caused the trouble. That saves B'Elanna from a procedure resembling lobotomy.

#11 “Concerning Flight” The ship is attacked by some sort of alien object thieves, and loses a number of items. Janeway and Tuvok visit a local planet anonymously, where a black market trader does business. Then Leonardo da Vinci appears; he was part of her holodeck program and now seems to have been activated in real life. To him she is Catarina, and he sees things in terms of the 16th century Earth. I must say that Janeway as da Vinci's apprentice is appealing, as is da Vinci himself. Pursued, they take off in his glider, and are beamed aboard the Voyager. Da Vinci, inspired by what he has seen with “Katarina,” plans to go to France and invent new things. A delightful episode.

#12 “Mortal Coil” Neelix cheers a nervous child, Naomi, with word of the Great Forest folk can visit, where there are no monsters. Then he runs afoul of a beam and dies. But Seven of Nine says she can revive him, despite his being dead for 18 hours; the Borg have ways. She donates some of her blood to use, and applies the technique—and does restore him. He regrets that when he was dead there was no afterlife, no magic forest, just nothing. But the child says she visited the Great Forest and loved it. Then his tissues revert to necrosis and he collapses. They revive him, but he feels incomplete. Chakotay helps him go into a vision quest, a state of deep meditation. Therein he sees his dead sister Alexia, but she tells him it is all a lie, a fantasy to avoid the fear of death, that there is no afterlife. That there is no point in living. Then she decays into nothing. This depletes his will to live. Then Naomi needs him again, to banish monsters, and he decides to live.

#13 “Waking Moments” Several things are going on. Tuvok forgets to put on his clothing. Seven of Nine gets Kim alone, says “resistance is futile” and proceeds to seduce him. Paris gets in trouble on a malfunctioning shuttle. Neelix shows Janeway a dead crew he discovered, maybe it's their own. Chakotay had a nightmare. So did Janeway. In fact everyone did, and in each dream was an alien. Kim is one of several who are now locked in sleep; Seven is not really with him. So Chakotay goes into a deliberate lucid dream to try to contact the alien there. He finds a deer on the ship, hunts it with a spear, and it becomes the alien. They talk, and the alien says that their space is six parsecs away, and to avoid it. They live in dreams, while others live in the waking state. Then the alien appears in the waking moments, and the aliens take over the ship. Then Chakotay realizes he is still asleep. He wakes, and the Doctor says they all fell asleep after he did. Now they are all having the same dream. They are all asleep at their duty stations. They realize this; Chakotay disappears from it when he actually wakes. Then the others start to wake, but Chakotay realizes that this is still the dream. He wakes again, and locates a neurogenic transmitter that is causing the effect. He makes the aliens turn it off, lest he and they be destroyed by the Doctor, who will fire if not contacted by a short deadline. Thus he wins, and they finally do wake up. I love this lucid dream type of adventure.

#14 “Message in a Bottle” B'Elanna doesn't get along with Seven of Nine, who tends to give orders in the Borg manner. Seven discovers an alien network in space. They send the Doctor to make contact. He finds himself aboard a ship, the Prometheus, 60,000 light years away, crewed by Romulans who have taken it over. They separate the ship into three parts, then re-integrate it. He activates its human hologram doctor. It is up to him to re-take this ship from the Romulans. Meanwhile back on the Voyager Paris is filling in for the doctor, treating things like heartburn for a hot Neelix recipe. The Doctor has to take over the Prometheus as it comes under fire from Starfleet ships who think it is still under Romulan control. He blunders his way to success, and returns to Voyager with a message: he told the home fleet about Voyager, and they replied that they will notify families, and that Voyager is no longer alone. And B'Elanna and Seven may be starting to understand each other.

#15 “Hunters” They receive a garbled message from Starfleet Command, but it is incomplete, so they head for the nearest relay station. On the way they discover a gutted body on a ship. They discover letters from Earth. One is to Chakotay, informing him that the Maquis have been destroyed. He tells B'Elanna, who is furious with grief. Janeway learns that her fiance gave up waiting and will marry someone else. This of course changes her situation. Tuvok and Seven in the shuttle are captured by the Hunters who plan to disembowel them for trophies. The Voyager attacks and manages to rescue Tuvok and Seven, but the the relay station is destroyed.

#16 “Prey” Now the Hirogen Hunters are coming after the Voyager, regarding it as prey. Then it stops. Chakotay, Paris and Tuvok beam aboard, find one survivor, and beam him to sick bay. The Doctor treats him, but he says he must resume the hunt. It seems a prey species turned on them and wiped out the Hunter's ship. But then alien gets aboard the Voyager. The rescued Hirogen Hunter joins them in tracking the alien aboard ship, making common cause. Chakotay, Seven, and the Hirogen search for it. They learns that it wants only to get home. The Hunter wants to take it as a prize. Seven wants to destroy it. Other Hirogen ships are attacking. Janeway punishes Seven for disobeying a direct order.

#17 “Retrospect” Janeway bargains with a man called Kovin for a new cannon that will significantly enhance the ship's firepower. Seven is assigned to help install it. The man disrespects her and she socks him. The Doctor says she is suffering from the slow return of suppressed memories. Kovin violated her by stunning her, performing surgery on her and extracting Borg technology. But can they trust that recovered memory? They investigate, seeking corroboration, along with a local magistrate. The evidence grows, but it is not conclusive. They contact Kovin in his ship, but he fires on them, and then his ship explodes. So they may have caused an innocent man to die. May have. It is a lesson in human conscience for Seven, the Doctor, and Janeway.

#18 “The Killing Game Part I” Janeway loses a Klingon battle in the holodeck. This is being managed by the Hirogen Then she is put in another simulation, World War Two, with aliens and crew members playing roles. They are engaged in the allied Resistance, seeking information about German troop movements and plans. But things like bullets seem to be real, and they take real injuries. It seems the aliens are in charge and these are aspects of their hunts. Seven of Nine is a singer here in a nightclub run by Janeway. Tuvok is the bartender. The Hirogen are the Master Race, seriously discussing racial purity though they are obviously not human. It's a lovely oblique commentary. Kim manages to disable the holo controls so the people recover free will. To be continued.

#19 “Tho Killing Game, Part II” Janeway and Seven of Nine reach the controls and start working to recover the ship. Chakotay is an American commander supervising undercover operations. They go together to take out a weapons lab. There is a question whether Seven is loyal or a German double agent. In the end she is loyal. Janeway bargains with the Hirogen commander and make a deal; the ship will be freed in return for the Holodeck technology. But a subordinate kills him and hunts Janeway. She manages to make the truce anyway, and the two sides separate.

#20 “Vis A Vis” They encounter a ship that may be able to travel instantly anywhere. Paris is evidently preoccupied with something, becoming unreliable, and other notice. The pilot of the other ship, Steth, may be a female in disguise. Or a shape changer. He is up to something. Then he shoots Paris and changes form to take his place. Meanwhile the real Paris wakes in the other ship. The female whose likeness Steth briefly assumed is there, saying he stole her body. Then Steth switches with Janeway. But they catch on and manage to set things right. They will try to unravel the chain of bodies “Steth” has used and set that right too.

#21 “The Omega Directive” Something odd is occurring and Captain Janeway won't discuss it. Only Seven of Nine knows of it, from her Borg experience; it is the Borg's holy Grail. It is a perfect molecule, wondrously complex. Any effort to obtain it must be stopped, Fleet orders. If an omega molecule explodes, they will lose the ability to go to warp speed, because it will destroy subspace. There is a story that an omega molecule existed for an instant at the time of the Big Bang that started the universe. There may be hundreds of them here. Millions, that an alien species synthesized. They have to be destroyed. They are destroyed, to Janeway's and Seven's mutual regret.

#22 “Unforgettable” They receive a distress signal from a ship. Chakotay rescues a woman, Kellin, from Ramor, and beams her to sick bay. She seems to know him. She says others can remember her kind only briefly. She was here before, and fell in love with Chakotay, and claims he loved her too. Two cloaked alien ships attack, but with her help they spot them and drive them off. Kellin tells him of their last night together, when she kissed him. As she does now. But a Ramoran man, a tracer, appears, and beams her with a forgetting ray so that now she won't remember. She asks Chakotay to tell her when she forgets him. He does, but now she's not interested. She goes home, leaving him with his temporary memory, which he records on paper so it won't be erased.

#23 “Living Witness” Janeway has been asked to assist one side in a local war in return for information about a wormhole that might enable them to get home now. She is ruthless. This is out of character, so must be a simulation. Indeed all the crew are vicious and it is the Voyager Warship. Seven of Nine is back as a full Borg. They destroy the Kirians. The simulation is a brutal lesson of local history, 700 years later. The Doctor protests that this isn't the way it was. Then, historically, it is established that peace was made, the Doctor helped, and finally took a craft heading for the Alpha Quadrant.

#24 “Demon” That is a demon class planet with toxic clouds. But they need deuterium that is on it. Kim and Paris take a shuttle to the surface. It isl like the landscape of hell. Kim is drawn into a pool; Paris pulls him out, but his suit has been ruptured. They both run out of oxygen. So Janeway decides to land the ship, to rescue them and get the deuterium. Then Chakotay and Seven of Nine go out. They find Paris and Kim in good health, without suits, breathing the local air. Then they choke when returned to ship air. Their biology has been changed to make them adapt. Then they find another Paris and Kim, barely alive. A pool forms beneath the ship and it slowly sinks. They try to free it, and the two duplicates suffer. They are part of the planet, and now there are many others. This story can't be finished.

#25 “One” They enter the vast Mutara nebula, and suddenly are struck by incapacitating headaches and burns. Only the Doctor and Seven of Nine are immune. So they go into stasis for a month, leaving the Doctor and Seven to run the ship. It is an act of considerable trust. Ten days into it they are getting on each other's nerves. There is an emergency which turns out to be false. Then the Doctor starts malfunctioning and is confined to Sick Bay, leaving Seven to run the ship. She beams an alien aboard to trade supplies. He wants to linger, but she demurs. He disappears. The she hears voices of the crew, crying for help. The Doctor says they are hallucinations. Then the Doctor disappears. It gets worse. She has to cut life support to make it out of the nebula. She gets them safely through. In the process she learns what it means to be lonely.

#26 “Hope and Fear” Janeway is still trying to decode an encrypted message they received months ago. A visitor, Arturis, assists and she makes progress. They encounter another ship, the Dauntless, more modern than Voyager. Chakotay, Tuvok, and Paris accidentally travel in it. They might be able to take it home. But Janeway suspects it is too pat. She suspects Arturis, and he does seem to be guilty. Now Arturis is taking them to his home, aboard the Dauntless. He rails at Janeway and Seven. Janeway adjusts Seven's eyepiece, restoring some of her Borg powers, and they cripple he Dauntless. Voyager pursues and attacks, and Janeway and Seven return to it while the Dauntless goes on into Borg space.

Season 5: #1 “Night” New introductory pictures; the Borg cubes are gone. The episode starts with a wild holo script, a parody of cheap “sci-fi” broken up when the Doctor demands the holodeck for his own use. Meanwhile Captain Janeway has retreated to her quarters and is not being seen around the ship, while they cross the Void, a bleak region, and are bored stiff. Chakotay has to run the ship. Then the power fails. They start to restore it, and a humanoid creature appears. Three alien vessels surround them, and 17 aliens are on board. Emck appears. Janeway plans to sacrifice herself to get through, but the others decline to follow her orders. The Malon blocks their way through the vortex. They destroy the vortex and continue their course. Stars appear; they have made it through the Void.

#2 “Drone” They approach a proto nebula. Something goes wrong with the Doctor's mobile emitter the enables him to exist beyond sick bay. They leave it in the science lab overnight for repairs in the morning. Then it connects itself to other equipment. This is surely mischief. It is Borg technology. Seven of Nine conjectures that some of her implants infected the Doctor's emitter. It forms a fetus, which quickly becomes a baby, then a man, within a day. Seven must educate him. He is named One. In a manner she is his mother. He makes excellent progress. Then the Borg pick up on him, and send a ship. This is a sphere rather than a cube. They mean to assimilate One and the crew. One beams to them, accesses their navigational controls, and directs them into the nebula, destroying them. He concludes that as long as he exists the Voyager is in danger, because the Borg will pursue him relentlessly. So in effect he suicides. This dismays Seven.

#3 “Extreme Risk” B'Elanna Torres makes a suicidal leap from a height over a planet. It is a holodeck simulation. She comes out of and says she is not feeling well. She puts Seven of Nine in charge of a spot task. That's a surprise, as they don't always get along. Meanwhile a Malon ship interferes with a Voyager probe. They decide to build a new more powerful shuttle. But B'Elanna remains distracted. She returns to the holodeck to fight enemy men. She takes more risks in the holodeck. She has injuries dating back months. Chakotay steps in. She says she can't feel anything, when she should be grieving her lost Maquis friends. She joins the crew when they launch the new shuttle in an effort at recover their probe before the Malon do. There is trouble, but she is instrumental and saving them and helping the mission to succeed. She seems to be over her emotional nullity.

#4 “In the Flesh” Chakotay is at a training academy on Earth, only these are actually aliens assuming human form. Why this enormous effect? Are they preparing for an invasion of Earth? Chakotay returns to the simulation, and to the woman ​Valerie Archer. but she catches on and obtains he DNA via a kiss. They are from another galaxy, the species the Borg attacked and that fought back effectively. Janeway negotiates a truce, and shows that Earth is not planning an attack on them. Chakotay bids farewell to Valerie, both of them a bit regretful that it isn't real.

#5 “Once Upon a Time” In the Forest of Forever little Naomi summons blue Flotter from the water of a forest pool to deal with brown Trevis, the man of the tree. Until her mother Samantha calls her back and she has to end the holodeck program. The ship receives a distress call. The Delter Flyer crashes on a planetoid and Tuvok, Paris, and Samantha are stranded beneath the surface. Naomi encounters the Ogre of Fire who burns the forest to the ground. They finally manage to save the Flyer and occupants. Naomi is reunited with her Mother. The Forest of Forever recovers.

#6 “Timeless” Chakotay and Kim land on a frozen world and locate a crashed and defunct ship. It's the Voyager! Why are they here? To change history. It seems they tried a new quantum drive to make it quickly home. They crash and perish. Only Chakotay and Kim survive, in the shuttle preceding the ship. Now fifteen years later they have returned to locate the ship and animate the Doctor. But they are fugitives, having stolen the equipment they needed. Chakotay is now with a woman, his girlfriend who has helped them make this mission, though its success will erase their relationship. Kim sends the corrections through Seven of Nine, but they don't work. He sends another message that boots them out of the slipstream drive, saving them. Kim receives a message from himself of the future, explaining.

#7 “Infinite Regress” Seven of Nine emerges from her regeneration cycle before it is complete, finds herself alone, tears up the kitchen until she finds meat. Her reflection shows a monster eating it. In the morning Neelix reports another kitchen raid. Then little Naomi follows her, they are talking, and suddenly Seven turns girlishly friendly, completely out of character for her. They play games together. Then Seven snaps out of it without memory of it. Then when on business with B'Elanna she sees a reflection of an Klingon male and seem to become him, wanting to mate with B'Elanna, fighting others, then becoming the little girl. Meanwhile the ship has encountered a Borg debris field. Something in it seems to be activating buried personalities, giving her multiple personality disorder. They must cure her, if they can. It ties in with the viniculum they salvaged from the debris. Tuvok does a mind meld. Then he shares the mayhem. Meanwhile an alien ship is determined to destroy the viniculum, and attacks the Voyager. They managed to salvage Seven and eject the viniculum. In a few days Seven recovers. Then she joins Naomi, making her her “bridge assistant,” something the little girl has wanted; she is thrilled.

#8 “Nothing Human” They encounter a massive energy wave that shakes them up. It downloads a message. They find an alien creature like a multi-colored lobster. It attacks B'Elanna, paralyzing her; they can't separate it from her without injuring or killing her. So they make a hologram of a specialist doctor, Crell Moset, who is Cardassian. But B'Elanna detests Crell because of Cardassian atrocities on Bajor; she won't let him operate on her. The Doctor is” concerned also; what about medical ethics? This is a relevant debate. Do they use information obtained by torture to save B'Elanna's life? Does that make them complicit in medical crime? Meanwhile an alien ship appears, determined to rescue its representative. They manage to separate the creature from B'Elanna and beam it to the alien ship, which then departs. But does this success justify they action? The Doctor doubts it. Indeed, the ethics may never be settled.

#9 “Thirty Days” Tom Paris is reduced in rank to ensign and sentenced to 30 days in the brig. In a letter to his father he describes how it happened. As Proton he comes to rescue his friend Kim from the mistress of evils, Demonica, and her twin sister Megan. Then they get called back to reality and leave the hologram, the two women included. They encounter folk who live underwater but have spaceships. But their water ball planet is losing water, so they want to check its center. Paris and Kim and Seven of Nine take him there, they encounter a giant electric eel that shocks the ship and does some damage. They return and conclude that it is possible to make a change that will save the planet, but the bureaucracy won't get around to it in time. So Paris and one of the locals dive down to do it, and Paris disobeys a direct order to halt. Thus his punishment. He serves it and is released.

#10 “Counterpoint” They are boarded for a formal inspection as they pass through foreign space, the Devore. They don't like telepaths, but Janeway reports that their telepaths, including Tuvok, died months before. That is not the case; Tuvok and a number of telepathic children from a freighter are in suspension. Then the inspecting officer requests Kashyk, asks asylum as he is defecting. He knows about the telepaths and wants to save them too. They need to find a wormhole. Janeway and Kashyk seem to be getting interested in each other. Warships are on their trail. Kashyk will join one of them to distract it so them Voyager can reach the wormhole and escape. They kiss, and kiss again. Then he returns to his ship and becomes the inspecting officer again. But his defection was a ruse to get their secret information; he has betrayed them. Well played, Janeway tells him. But Janeway outsmarts him, and he locates neither the telepaths nor the wormhole. Rather than suffer the embarrassment of admitting defeat, he erases the incident from the record and lets them go. But he says her offer was tempting. Well played, he tells her.

#11 “Latent Image” The Doctor says Harry Kim had cranial surgery 18 months ago that neither of them remembers. There are other curious gaps in his memory. Files have been deleted. Seven of Nine helps him investigate. He took physical pictures, which are not subject to file deletion, and they show people and scenes unknown on the ship. Conclusion: there was an alien invasion, and all memories of it in the crew were deleted. The Doctor checks more ingeniously and discovers that it is Janeway who has been messing with his program. She says he is malfunctioning and needed to be reprogrammed. Seven feels Janeway is violating the Doctor's individual rights. So they play the sequence over. Ensign Jetel, a young woman, is given a surprise birthday party. Then in a shuttle she and Kim are shot by an alien; only the Doctor survives unscathed. He does spot surgery, saves Kim, but not Jetel. He had done triage and saved one. But why did he sacrifice her? He is tormented. That's why he had to be reprogrammed; he couldn't handle sacrificing a patient, and it sent him into a spin that made him nonfunctional. Seven is a roughly parallel case, in effect reprogrammed from her Borg assimilation, so her advice is relevant. Maybe the Doctor is recovering in his own manner. This is another thoughtful episode.

#12 “Bride of Chaotica!” Another Captain Proton adventure. The evil Chaotica maroons Paris and Kim on Planet X and they face the Fortress of Doom. I love these wild parodies of bad science fiction! The Doctor participates, as President of Earth, and Janeway too, as Queen Arachnia, with her fleet of spider ships. She helps Proton to defeat Chaotica. All this to deal indirectly with real aliens who have mired the Voyager in subspace. More fun.

#13 “Gravity” Flashback to when Tuvok undertook training as a Vulcan. He thought he would be ineligible because he questioned everything, but that actually qualified him. Then a masked woman steals equipment from Paris's crashed shuttle. She is Noss. Then two men attack her, and Tuvok rescues her and takes her back to the shuttle, where they feed her and treat her injuries. Then thirteen more men approach, and they flee to Noss's ship. They manage to summon the Doctor, whose universal translator is built in and he establishes verbal communication with her. She crashed 14 seasons ago and has survived since. She catches big spiders for food. Jara was a fellow student with Tuvok; he loved her. They are caught in a gravitational sink hole. Months pass there during hours outside it. Tuvok gets injured and Noss cares for him. She plainly loves him, and it badly hurt when he declines to return the emotion. He tells Paris of his history with Jara, whom he loved, until he learned to suppress his emotions. They are rescued along with Noss, whom they take to her home planet. Her separation from Tuvok is painful, but now she understands. It seems that he does have some buried feeling for her.

#14 “Bliss” A man in a ship charges a menacing configuration in space. Meanwhile they discover a wormhole leading directly to the Alpha Quadrant, where there is great news for all the crew members including Janeway. Seven is skeptical; it smells like a setup. She receives a warning from an alien inside the anomaly: they are being deceived. But even Tuvok won't listen to her. Only Seven and the child Naomi are immune to the blissful effect governing the others. Seven takes action, assisted by Naomi, stunning crew members. They nullify her, and take the ship into the same anomaly the alien warned Seven about. Naomi wakes Seven, and they take over the ship while the others are unconscious, put to sleep by the anomaly. They beam the man aboard; he says the anomaly is a creature, a monster that consumes whole ships. They activate the Doctor, who is also unaffected. He ascertains that the creature is 200,000 years old and has been assimilating others the whole time. But the Doctor has an idea: make their ships taste bad so they will be expelled. It works, and they escape. Seven, Naomi, and the Doctor have saved the Voyager. Then the old man's ship is heading back into the monster, I think this time to destroy it.

#15 “Dark Frontier” This is a double-length episode. A Borg ship pursues them. Janeway warns them off, but they won't quit. They fire, Voyager fires back and destroys the Borg ship. They decide to salvage what they can. Janeway tells Seven to study the records her parents made. She does, and relives it in her mind. Flashback to when Annika (later Seven of Nine) and her parents headed for the Borg. They also run holodeck simulations of their projected raid on a Borg cube, trying to perfect their coming raid. Then they sent a shuttle as bait, so an away team can sneak aboard the cube during the distraction. They obtain their prize, but Seven chooses to stay with the Borg. She meets an assimilated woman, who says the Borg put Seven on the Voyager deliberately. Janeway discovers that the Borg have been tracking Seven all along. The Borg want to understand the human psyche. It is uncertain whether the humans are eluding the Borg, or being deceived by them. Seven is rescued, with technology that cuts fifteen years off their journey home, and other data that may prove to be useful in the future.

#16 “The Disease” Harry Kim is making out with a brunette, Tul, not Seven of Nine. The Varro is another ship, she's a member of its crew, and they are not supposed to be together. They are different species but on the surface she is entirely human. The Varro has been traveling for 400 years, and now the Voyager is helping it upgrade its technology. Kim suffers a brief glow. It's an effect of his association with Tul, showing love. The ships have to separate, their business together completed, and Kim and Tul have to part with mutual regret. But Janeway understands, having lost her own love, and so does Seven, surprisingly.

#17 “Course: Oblivion” B'Elanna and Paris are marrying. She throws the bouquet and Seven catches it. What for? she wonders. “You may not want to know,” Tuvok says. Indeed. Then B'Elanna suffers a siege of cold; a malfunction in the equipment has affected several people and they are suffering molecular decohesion. They discover that the phenomenon dates from about nine months before. Something scanned their DNA and made duplicates of the crew. Now B'Elanna dies. But she is a duplicate. In fact they are all duplicates, subject to decohesion. They find a Class Y planet whose environment may help, but it is guarded by hostile forces and they have to back off. All are suffering. Chakotay dies. Janeway turns the ship around, to return to the Demon Planet where the duplicates may survive. Janeway dies. Kim takes over as acting captain. They make a time capsule detailing their personal histories. They spy another ship and drop out of warp. And fragment. The other ship is the original Voyager, unaffected. They don't know what happened to the duplicates. This is painful.

#18 “The Fight” Chakotay hears alien voices in his head that he can't understand, and it is driving him wild. Flashback to when it started: he was in a holodock boxing simulation, sparring with his opponent, and saw an odd distortion of space. He was distracted; then he got knocked out. And summoned to the bridge: they are encountering chaotic space that shifts about randomly. Seven of Nine says that the Borg encountered a similar phenomenon, and only one of their ships survived it. Then he hears voices describing the boxing match. He suffers sensory tremens, hallucinating in vision and hearing. Chaotic space seems to trigger it; another ship suffered similarly, and was lost. Then aliens communicate with him: they have entered another realm where the two intersect and need to get out. He goes back to the fight, and Kid Chaos has an empty hood. But he manages to understand, and guides the ship out of chaotic space despite the reservations of others.

#19 “Think Tank” They discover a planetoid with substantial deposits of dilithium, but the planetoid explodes before they can get it. The Hazari hail them, demanding surrender. They are bounty hunters, and the Voyager is their objective. Meanwhile the Think Tank offers things the ship needs; in return it wants Seven of Nine. It says it can enable her to realize her full potential, but she declines. Janeway proposes a liaison with the Hazari, as both sides are being manipulated by the Think Tank. The Hazari are the best hunters, and have a fleet here, while the Voyager has the best lure: Seven of Nine. She goes to them, and the Voyager uses her neural synapses to relay a disruptive beam that cripples the Think Tank and allows Voyager to escape with Seven aboard, as she prefers. Acceptance is better than potential, for her.

#20 “Juggernaut” B'Elanna lost her temper and caused mischief with the Doctor. Tuvok takes her into meditation so she can learn to control her temper. They encounter a Malon freighter that was disposing of dangerous waste and is about to explode, destroying everything within three light years. They need to stop it. There's a legend of waste monsters that show up around contamination. Chakotay leads the dangerous away mission to the freighter, along with B'Elanna, Neelix, and the two Malons. It is ugly work. The creature shows up and kills a Malon. B'Elanna has to fight it off. It's a contaminated crewman. She knocks it out and saves the mission. The contaminated ship is sent into a star.

#21 “Someone to Watch Over Me” Seven of Nine is observing B'Elanna, studying human mating rituals. B'Elanna takes offense. The Doctor gives Seven a class on human dating, playing the roles of her date. Then he has her try to strike up ant acquaintance with a hologram. Paris makes a bet with the Doctor whether she can handle a date in real life. They sing “You Are My Sunshine” together in a nice duet. I love that duet! Then she goes on a date with a crewman, a lieutenant, she garbed in a dress and with her hair loose. They dance, and she injures him. So the Doctor dances with her and that works better. Then she learns of the bet and is annoyed. The Doctor is ready to tell her how he has come to feel about her, but loses his nerve. So he misses his chance. Ever thus.

#23 “Relativity” Flashback to when Janeway took charge of the Voyager. Then Seven of Nine is there. It must be a holodeck simulation. Or is it? Seven is checking for a bomb, but seems to have been sent to the wrong time. Now she has to determine when. She is beamed back—and dies. They have to send her to a time when she's alive. Then the ship is affected by temporal anomalies. Time proceeds at different rates in different sections. This messes things up. They have to abandon ship before it comes apart. Indeed, it explodes. It turns out that Seven has been recruited by Captain Braxton of the Relativity, 500 years in the future. She needs to prevent the bomb from being placed, two years in the past. And the saboteur turns out to be Captain Braxton from the future; it seems he had a change of heart later in his life. Then in a time jump Seven meets herself of the past, and tells her to stop Braxton. Now Janeway becomes the time traveler. She solves the problem, and the messed up timelines are eliminated. A mind-bending episode.

#22 “11:59” Actually this should come before the prior episode; I mistook the title for something else. A time warp, perhaps. Janeway stalls in city traffic in winter, in Canton Ohio, I think. She enters a bookstore run by Henry Janeway. An ancestor? It seems that Janteways were instrumental in the development of the space program. The Millennium Gate is a phenomenal project, but they need Henry to sell to clear the area, and he refuses. Kate heads for Florida, then changes her mind and returns to the bookstore. She persuades him to sell, and to reopen the store in the new complex. Exactly how this past sequence meshes with the present Voyager I'm not clear, but it seems that the Millennium project was a key to it. Maybe the project had to be completed for Janeway to have the ship.

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