(written from a Production point of view)
Paris is manipulated by the intelligence on board a mysterious alien shuttle recently acquired from an interstellar junkyard.
On the bridge of the USS Voyager, Tom Paris and Harry Kim tease Lieutenant Commander Tuvok about his refusal to tell them his age. The lighthearted mood is quelled when sensors detect a nearby fleet of ships with multiple hull configurations. Apprehensive of a potentially hostile armada, Tuvok charges weapons and orders a red alert, which brings Captain Kathryn Janeway and Commander Chakotay to the bridge. Voyager reaches the source of the sensor alert and discovers 62 derelict ships and a few hundred pieces of ship debris in an interstellar junkyard. An alien trader hails the vessel, welcoming the Voyager crew to Abaddon's Repository of Lost Treasures and invites them to browse.
Act One Edit
Abaddon beams to Voyager, where he is welcomed by Chakotay and Neelix, whom Abaddon immediately identifies as a fellow trader. He gives an inventory of available merchandise to Chakotay and then darts around the transporter room, impressed with the artificial-gravity plating and plasma-based power induction system. Although Voyager can't trade him those integrated components without dismantling the entire ship, Neelix mentions the possibility of supplying spare duranium sheeting, which can be modified into anti-gravity plating. Chakotay instructs Neelix to share Voyager's inventory with Abaddon.
Chakotay, Neelix, Paris, and Kim converge in the briefing room to discuss the items they'd like to acquire, including some inexpensive cultural artifacts. Paris shows Chakotay schematics of the shuttle, stating that it has an optronic weapons array and a neurogenic interface that reacts directly to the pilot's thoughts, making it more maneuverable than any of Voyager's other shuttles, even the Delta Flyer. Paris volunteers to make any necessary repairs on his own time with Kim's assistance and finally convinces Chakotay to acquire the ship.
The exchanges made, Abaddon leaves the ship after one final statement: "All trades are final."
Paris and Kim work on the newly-arrived shuttle, discovering that it has numerous damaged power cells. Paris reveals that he has named the ship "Alice," after Alice Battisti, an acquaintance at Starfleet Academy who also seemed to be a "lost cause." The ensigns finally get the ship running and Paris activates the neurogenic interface, which links him to the primary systems: operations, tactical and sensors. Alice abruptly shuts down, however, when two more power cells blow. Paris wants to continue working, but Kim insists he is going to bed. Once the two leave the darkened shuttlebay, Alice powers up and begins what appears to be a brain scan of Paris. It also adopts a female voice.
In his quarters, Paris is startled by a woman's voice calling his name. Thinking it's Torres, he enters the corridor, where he sees a female figure disappear around the corner. Paris follows the figure to the shuttlebay and upon entering he asks an unseen person, "Who are you?" The female voice responds, "It's me, Alice."
Act Two Edit
The next day, Paris greets the shuttle with a cheery "Good morning Alice" and begins cleaning it and making a series of repairs, finally changing out of his dusty Starfleet uniform and into a gray flight suit.
Kim finds Paris in engineering, talking to a schematic of Alice and promising the shuttle that it will be happier once its EPS relays are bypassed. Kim questions Paris about his new outfit, which Paris says is a design worn by one of the shuttle's previous pilots that he found in Alice's database. Kim reminds Paris that this is the second consecutive day that Paris has missed their plans to run Chapter 37 of the Captain Proton holodeck program. Tom is too involved with the Alice schematics, so Kim leaves, disappointed.
In the mess hall, Seven tells Neelix that the star charts obtained from Abaddon are outdated and obsolete. Neelix, who has been cleaning the cultural artifacts from the exchange, says that the charts aren't the only item that "didn't live up to its advertising." He now believes most of the so-called "lost treasures of the Delta Quadrant" are actually worthless trinkets. Seven, however, notices that one of the items, heavily encrusted, is actually a beryllium crystal, the primary currency in spatial Grid 539. She tells Neelix some species would trade an entire fleet of starships for the item.
Paris enters, asking Neelix's permission to replicate a bottle of champagne with which to christen Alice. Neelix offers to make hors d'œuvres for the occasion, but Paris tells him it's to be a private ceremony, just him, Torres and, of course, Alice.
In the shuttlebay, Torres is impressed by the work Paris has done on the ship and suggests not wasting the champagne by breaking the bottle over the hull. Instead, the two share a toast inside the refurbished shuttle. Their romantic interlude is interrupted by a signal that the environmental controls need recalibrating. Paris asks Alice to lower the interior temperature by five degrees, and Torres is surprised and a little amused by the female voice that answers. She tries to kid Paris about it, but his attention has become entirely focused on the shuttle. When she tries to make suggestions for improvements, he curtly tells her not to touch anything. Irritated, Torres threatens to leave, and seems puzzled and annoyed when Paris readily agrees. On exiting, Torres is given a mild shock by the hatch door mechanism.
Paris then goes to visit Chakotay to request more supplies to complete repairs. Chakotay refuses, saying the request is for emergency supplies that he can't spare. He won't let Paris replicate the items either, because of the energy drain. Chakotay tells Paris to postpone his work on the shuttle for a few weeks. He also informally reprimands him for neglecting his duties: missing two sickbay shifts and being distracted on the bridge. He also instructs him to get some sleep, as well as shave and change back into his Starfleet uniform.
Paris agrees, but returns to the shuttlebay, where he apologizes to a humanoid woman for the delay in their test flight. "Alice" now appears to Paris as another person, but he takes it in stride, as if this is nothing out of the ordinary. Alice stops him from changing out of his flight suit back into his uniform and tries to compel him to complete "her" repairs and leave Voyager with her. Paris argues that he can't abandon his job, his friends and especially Torres. Alice appears to agree, but convinces him to rest in the shuttle cockpit. There, he notices new attachments on his flight suit. Alice says she modified the garment to help them work together better. To demonstrate, she gets him to activate the interface.
Act Three Edit
Urged by Alice, Paris steals power cells and a data relay but expresses concern over compromising vital systems that will leave the crew, his family, in jeopardy in an emergency. Alice convinces him to continue, saying he doesn't belong with Voyager, he belongs with her. She leads him into recalling the exhilaration of his first flight and promises he will regain that feeling on their flight the next day.
Later, Seven finds Paris in astrometrics charting a flight plan. She notices the modifications to his flight suit and questions the safety of the shuttle's neurogenic interface, offering to examine the vessel herself. Unseen by Seven, Alice instructs Paris in responding and evading Seven's inquiries.
In engineering, Torres and Kim are discussing Paris' new hobby, and his tendency to neglect Torres whenever a new obsession comes along, when they are alerted to the missing power cells. Kim mentions telling Tuvok, but Torres, knowing who's responsible, heads straight for the shuttlebay to confront Paris.
In the empty bay, Torres finds one of the missing cells and enters the shuttle to access the ship's database. The hatch seals and the atmosphere is vented inside the shuttle. Torres attempts to call for help, but her combadge doesn't work. Paris enters the bay and sees Torres gasping for air and beating on the shuttle window. He opens the door and Torres scurries out, telling him that his ship just tried to kill her. He thinks she accidentally tripped the environmental controls, but she tells him it was no accident. She confronts him about stealing parts and tells him she is going to inform Janeway. Paris screams at her to mind her own business. Torres retorts, "Or what? You'll sic Alice on me again?" and storms off.
Paris starts to follow, but is stopped by the humanoid Alice. Furious, he grabs her and demands an explanation for her nearly killing Torres. She tells him that Torres would have found their flight plan and that once she speaks to Janeway, they'll drag Paris to sickbay, perform a neuroscan and know all about the two of them. Paris realizes that he needs to get to sickbay and tries to go there, but Alice keeps appearing in front of him, finally cornering him in the turbolift. She produces intense pain in his head and forces him to return to the shuttlebay.
In Janeway's ready room, Torres has explained what happened to the captain and the two theorize that that neurogenic interface must be affecting Paris somehow. Janeway promises to have The Doctor examine him, but their conversation is cut short by a report from the bridge that an unauthorized launch is in progress.
On the shuttle, Alice urges Paris to complete the interface to disrupt a tractor beam Voyager has locked on the shuttle. Different colored wires coil around him, plugging into the attachments on his flight suit. Now one with the shuttle, he disrupts the tractor beam with an optronic pulse, fires on the ship and goes to warp, disappearing from Voyager's sensors.
Act Four Edit
While in warp following the flight plan Paris had mapped out for Alice, he finds himself not only completely wrapped up in wires connected to his flight suit, but also that his arms have gone numb. Alice tells Paris that he is now becoming a part of her, and to forget about the old Tom Paris, because he no longer exists. Paris is unable to resist her at this point.
Voyager returns to Abaddon's Repository seeking information. He refuses to help and powers weapons on three of his derelict ships. Janeway has Neelix show him the now-cleaned beryllium crystal, offering to return it in exchange for cooperation.
Abaddon beams aboard and informs the Voyager crew that the Haakonian who traded him the ship said it was haunted. He starts to say more when Alice suddenly appears to him, in the form of a female of his species. She admonishes him to be silent, and he pleads with her to leave him alone. The confused Voyager crew asks him what he's seeing. Desperate, Abaddon tells them she's there and then collapses, clutching his head in pain.
The Doctor is able to repair the cerebral hemorrhage Alice caused in Abaddon and gives the trader a cortical suppressant to prevent the hallucination from returning. Abaddon tells Janeway that Alice needs a pilot since she can't fly herself. She couldn't recruit him because he was incompatible and his reflexes were too slow. He apologizes for not warning the crew before, but he was unable to resist Alice's influence.
Seven summons Janeway to astrometrics, where she has reconstructed the course trajectory she saw Paris working on. She shows Janeway that the flight path ends in an area of space that is empty save for one anomaly: a particle fountain, a phenomenon that Janeway knows once cost the Federation several ships.
Meanwhile, Alice and Paris have reached the fountain, which Alice calls "Home."
Act Five Edit
Voyager catches up with the shuttle and hails Paris. He threatens to open fire, and Janeway tries to tell him the neurogenic interface is affecting his judgment, but he refuses to drop shields and let Voyager beam him back to the ship. Voyager fires a direct hit to the shuttle's propulsion but is forced to stop using weapons when The Doctor reports that any further damage to the shuttle could injure Paris severely.
With only ten minutes before the shuttle reaches the fountain, Tuvok suggests attempting to access the shuttle's computer banks to shut down its shields. The bridge crew knows, however, that Alice and Paris will compensate unless they're distracted. Janeway asks The Doctor if they can tap into the interface with a com signal. He thinks they can, but doesn't know what it would accomplish. Janeway tells him he has five minutes to set up the link and to tell Torres to prepare for an away mission.
On the shuttle, Alice still is urging Paris to take her home when Torres appears in her place, telling Paris not to believe Alice. Alice reappears and each woman tries to convince Paris to follow her. With Paris and the Alice persona distracted, Tuvok disables the shuttle's shields and Voyager beams Paris to sickbay as Alice is destroyed in the fountain.
In sickbay, The Doctor leaves Torres to enforce his recommended recovery period for Paris. She gives Paris a hand-drawn get well card from Naomi Wildman. Paris promises no more affairs with strange ships, not even the Delta Flyer.
Memorable quotes Edit
"Don't tell me Vulcans are embarrassed about their age."
"On the contrary. We value the wisdom that comes with advancing years."
"In that case, how wise are you?"
"Wise enough to end this inquiry."
- - Harry Kim, Tuvok, and Tom Paris, about Tuvok's age
"Its a junkyard. Congratulations, Tuvok, you just saved us from a flotilla of hostile trash."
- - Tom Paris, to Tuvok
"Aw, she's beautiful."
"It's just an old rust bucket."
"Are you kidding? Look at those lines, it's a work of art. That ship wasn't assembled, it was sculpted. I think I'm in love."
(Harry and Seven give Paris a look.)
- - Tom Paris and Harry Kim, when Paris finds the Alice ship on the viewer
"Are you sure you're not just looking for a new toy?"
"No! Absolutely not! Even B'Elanna thinks restoring this ship is worthwhile."
"Maybe, if we have the manpower to restore it–"
"No, I'll do all the work myself, on my own time. And, if I need a hand... Harry has offered to help."
- - Chakotay, Tom Paris, and Harry Kim, discussing Alice
"The Ferengi call it the five stages of acquisition: infatuation, justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale. Seems like you've only got one stage left before he loses interest in that ship... then he's all yours again!"
"Until the next infatuation!"
- - Harry Kim and B'Elanna Torres, discussing Tom Paris
"Listen to me!"
"Are you out of your mind?"
"Stay out of this, B'Elanna!"
"Or what? You'll sic Alice on me again?"
- - Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, arguing after Alice tries to kill Torres
"I'm not sure how I feel about getting inside Tom's head."
"Maybe you'll be able to explain a few things when you get back."
- - B'Elanna Torres and The Doctor
"From now on, I promise no more affairs with strange ships."
"What about the Delta Flyer?"
"We're just friends."
- - Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres
"You'll need a few days to fully recover. Think you can manage to stay off your feet for that long?"
"If he doesn't, I'll break his legs."
"Well then, I'll leave you to B'Elanna's tender mercies."
- - The Doctor and B'Elanna Torres
Background information Edit
- Among John Fleck's other Star Trek appearances is as Koval in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges". He later played Silik in seven episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise. This is his only Voyager appearance.
- According to Brannon Braga, this episode shows parallels to Stephen King's 1983 horror novel Christine (Trekworld, June 1999), as both feature a character becoming obsessed with the restoration of a vehicle that eventually develops a hold on him as it repairs itself.
- The final draft script for this episode was submitted on 30 July 1999.
Video and DVD releases Edit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 6.3, catalog number VHR 5023, 1 May 2000
- As part of the VOY Season 6 DVD collection
Continuity and trivia Edit
- During the teaser, Harry Kim and Tom Paris are attempting to guess Tuvok's age. Their guesses (162 and 133) were both incorrect. Tuvok's age at the time was 111 or 112.
- It is uncertain what Alice means when she describes the particle fountain as "home", since she is nothing more than a computer program; one possibility is that the ship's consciousness was the result of something from the fountain becoming 'trapped' inside it during its construction.
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Ensign Tom Paris
- Ethan Phillips as Neelix
- Robert Picardo as The Doctor
- Tim Russ as Lieutenant Commander Tuvok
- Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine
- Garrett Wang as Ensign Harry Kim
Guest stars Edit
2304; 2356; Abaddon's Repository of Lost Treasures; Abaddon's space station; The Adventures of Captain Proton; alarm clock; Alice; Alpha Quadrant; Asil; astrometrics; Battisti, Alice; Baxial; beryllium; broadband sensor matrix; Captain Proton; cerebral hemorrhage; champagne; christening; class S shuttle; confinement beam; connector sequence; cortical suppressant; Daedalus; Delta Flyer; Delta Quadrant; deuterium; diamond; duranium; environmental controls; EPS conduit; EPS relay; feather; Federation; Ferengi; Five Stages of Acquisition; flight suit; flotilla; freighter; get well card; gravity plating; Grid 539; Grid 867; Haakonian; Haakonian trader; hallucination; history; holodeck; hors d'œuvre; Icarus; impulse reactor; ion exchange rod; iso-convective oven; isolation sickness; Jefferies tube; junkyard; jukebox; kilometer; logic; Lost Cause; lovers' quarrel; main computer; meter; multiphasic shielding; navigational array; neural pathway; neurogenic interface; odometer; ops; optronic weapons array; oven; Paris, Owen; particle fountain; picnic basket; plasma; plasma coupling; plasma manifold; Pon farr; power cell; power distribution grid; power induction; power regulator; Queen Arachnia; reactant injector; red alert; S class shuttle; saved by the bell; secondary warp assembly; sensors; shave; slave driver; sleepwalking; star charts; Starfleet Academy; tactical; tactical data module; thrusters; towing vessel; tractor beam; trader; translation matrix; Vulcans; warp field; "Web of Pain, The"; Wildman, Naomi
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