Guest Stars: Larry Hankin
(Gaunt Gary), Angela Dohrmann (Ricky),
Judy Geeson (Sandrine), Luigi Amodeo (The Gigolo)
Written By: Brannon Braga
Directed By: David Livingston
Teleplay By: Tom Szollosi
and Michael Piller
The crew discovers that a nebula
is not what it seems, and Paris invites his fellow officers to share a
little "R&R" in his holodeck program.
Eager to raise the morale of the
crew, Janeway jumps at the change to explore a nebula emitting a high level
of omicron particles, which might prove useful for the ship's energy reserves.
But shortly after Voyager enters the cloud-like formation, it encounters
an energy barrier that brings the ship to a dead stop. Breaking through,
the ship continues its penetration of the nebula's inner reaches, only
to be bombarded by peculiar globules that attach themselves to the hull.
With the globules beginning to drain the starship's energy reserves, Janeway
orders the crew to leave the nebula, but this time they can't get past
the energy barrier until they blast their way out with a photon torpedo.
The excitement over, Paris invites
Kim to tag along for some rest and recreation in Sandrine's, a holodeck
recreation of a French bar that Paris frequented in his Academy days. In
the meantime, Torres spends her time analyzing one of the globules that
attached itself to the hull. Surprised at the results, she confirms her
findings with the Doctor and then notifies the Captain.
The globules are organic elements
of a much larger lifeform, she explains. In other words, the nebula was
actually a living entity and the phenomena they encountered were part of
the entity's natural defense systems. Concerned that the encounter with
Voyager may have caused the lifeform serious injury, Janeway proposes returning
and repairing the harm they've done. The Doctor tells her that the organic
samples seem to indicate that the lifeform has the capacity to regenerate,
given the appropriate stimulation.
Returning to the "nebula," Voyager
re-enters and prepares to irradiate the wound with a nucleonic beam. But
they're interrupted when the lifeform's natural defense systems again attack
the ship, forcing them away from the wound. Although the ship sustains
damage, they are eventually able to return to the injury site. The Doctor
suggests a method of "suturing" the wound, which they manage to do after
distracting the entity's defense systems with a microprobe. Just before
the wound seals over, Voyager escapes from the cloud and sets course for
a planet where they can replenish their depleted energy reserves. En route,
Janeway joins Paris and her other senior staff officers at Sandrine's,
where everyone is surprised with her pool playing expertise.