(written from a Production point of view)
Voyager becomes a battleground for the descendants of a group of Klingon zealots, some of whom believe that B'Elanna Torres's child is their savior.
USS Voyager is being attacked by a ship which just decloaked and then recloaked. They are all surprised when a disruptor they were hit with had a Klingon signature. A hail to the cloaked ship gets no response. They discover it is a D7-class cruiser, retired decades ago. With the age in mind, Voyager uses a metaphasic sweep to locate the ship, and fires.
Aboard the Klingon ship, the cloak has failed. The captain orders his crew to answer the hail to buy time to repair the cloak. When Captain Kathryn Janeway asks them to stand down, they refuse to surrender to an enemy of the Klingon Empire.
Janeway tries to explain that the Federation and the Klingon Empire signed a treaty eighty years earlier, but the captain won't believe it. Janeway states that she isn't lying, but even if she were not, the Klingons are no match for her ship. She says to prove it to them she will introduce him to "a Klingon serving on board", referring to B'Elanna Torres, though she doesn't divulge that Torres is half-Klingon. Kohlar agrees.
Once aboard Voyager, Captain Kohlar refuses to answer any questions until he meets Torres. They arrive in the ready room, and immediately he asks about her child. He suddenly wants to return to his vessel, accepting the PADD containing the Khitomer Accords in passing, and even gives his word not to fire on Voyager again.
Back on his ship, he defends the information to his comrades, citing religious scrolls and signs that this is true. Kohlar's second-in command, T'Greth, expresses skepticism over whether the Federation and the Empire are at peace and if Torres' child is the one they're looking for, insisting on further investigation. Kohlar rebukes him, reminding him that their ancestors had nothing but their faith when they began this voyage. He declares that the day of separation has arrived.
Suddenly, the Klingon ship's warp core begins to overload, and Kohlar hails Voyager asking for emergency transport. Tuvok points out to Janeway that the Klingon crew outnumbers Voyager's, but Janeway decides to beam them aboard despite the security risk. She orders that the Klingons be placed in the shuttle bay behind force fields as a security precaution and once they are aboard, Voyager goes to warp to escape the blast.
Kohlar shows up in the ready room to thank the captain, but Tuvok points out the containment failure was caused by a self-destruct mechanism, not damage. Kohlar explains it is a sacred duty to be here, and there was no other way to get everyone aboard. He explains that his great-grandfather was part of a sect that believed the Empire had lost its way. It told them to journey to a distant region of the galaxy, to find the savior of his people, the kuvah'magh. He has determined that is the unborn child of Lieutenant Torres.
At the staff meeting, Tom Paris and Torres can't believe it. Paris makes jokes, and Torres resents the whole thing. Tuvok is concerned about the security risk, but since the Klingon crew includes civilians Janeway isn't willing to keep them confined and allows them to live in normal quarters with extra security and sensitive areas of the ship off-limits. Kim brings up the problem of the limited amount of quarters aboard, and Neelix suggests that willing officers can double up. Despite Chakotay's suggestion they would never harm their messiah, she also has round-the-clock security put on Torres.
In the mess hall, Neelix begins serving gagh, and after Captain Janeway consults him, she concludes everything seems to be going well – but not for long. Two Klingons fight over their food, and security has to break them up. Harry Kim, part of the detail, is told by the female Klingon he would make a good mate.
After a tiring day, Neelix returns to his quarters... or rather, Tuvok's quarters since he was the only crewmember who hadn't been paired up with anyone. Tuvok is very put out, in his Vulcan way, preferring solitude however since the alternative is to leave a Klingon family with nowhere to sleep he has no choice to agree. Neelix promises him they'll have 'fun' and decides to teach him Klingon drinking songs. As Neelix makes himself at home nosily, Tuvok is left as exasperated as he can get.
Torres is ambushed during her shift by groups of Klingons who just want to admire her, and has to transport herself to her quarters to avoid them. After all that, the captain asks her to speak with their council of elders, because ten of the Klingons have started a hunger strike.
When she arrives with Paris, the first thing they notice is she is not fully Klingon. T'Greth gets angry, believing she can't be the mother of the kuvah'magh. But Kohlar puts him back in line, saying it is written nowhere the messiah's blood is pure. When Paris says he is the father, T'Greth can't believe it, and storms out. That's when Kohlar asks for her help to stop a holy war.
Back in the briefing room, he explains that, whether she believes her baby is a savior or not, she must help him convince his people it is. His people have suffered enough. He doesn't know whether her child is it, but he wants them to stop looking for it, since they have found nothing but hardship before. He asks for her to review the scrolls and create a "creative interpretation" to present before the council.
They end up studying all night, but she argues for her not being the messiah, as he argues for it. Getting annoyed with her, he asks her if she honors any of their ways, and she says no. But he tries to build common ground; he suggests they say a plea for the dead together, and helps her remember the words from her childhood.
Harry Kim shows up in sickbay with a mark on his cheek. The Doctor doesn't believe he cut himself shaving, and recognizes it as a bite mark, indicative of a Klingon mating ritual. Kim wants to know how he can get out of this, but The Doctor says the only other way is to kill her. Since that's unacceptable, he hands Kim an authorization for intimate relations for an alien species, pending the captain's approval.
- "Chief engineer's personal log, stardate 54518.2. I've spent the last two days reviewing the sacred scrolls in preparation for my appearance before the Klingon council. Kohlar also suggested I prepare a few colorful stories to help win them over."
She tells them exaggerated stories, and Kohlar applauds, but T'Greth is unconvinced. Stories are not the issue, he says; it is whether or not she carries their savior. She recites the scroll well, but T'Greth believes (correctly) it is Kohlar doing the talking, and makes a remark which insults Paris. Since the scrolls also say he should be an honorable warrior, T'Greth challenges him to a fight to the death, and he accepts.
Paris later justifies his decision to the captain, in the observation lounge. He says that if he had said no, they would have had a riot. Torres asks the captain to put a stop to it, and she agrees. She has Kohlar and T'Greth come in and explains to them he is willing to fight, but she is the one preventing him from doing so. T'Greth calls them all cowards, but Kohlar says there is a compromise. Emperor Mur'Eq instituted a non-lethal form of combat so his warriors would kill their enemies and not each other in duels before battle. T'Greth considers this cowardly as well, but when it's pointed out that an honorable leader of the Empire came up with it he finally accepts, since he has no other way to prove Paris' lack of honor.
Kim continues to hide from the female Klingon, officer Ch'Rega. Fortunately, Neelix takes her off his hands by making him appear weak, and threatening to disembowel him if he eats that much food again. The female Klingon now looks with lust at Neelix.
Meanwhile on the holodeck, the competition begins, both combatants wielding blunt bat'leths. However, after much dancing around and swinging to no avail, T'Greth suddenly becomes weak, unable to stand, and collapses. Kohlar identifies it as the nehret, a disease which kills those not fortunate enough to die in battle. After moving him to sickbay, The Doctor identifies a retrovirus which attacks the cytoplasm of the cells. When he scans all of the Klingons, he finds they are all carriers. It is not contagious, except to Klingons. His next examination is of Lieutenant Torres. He finds that both she and the baby have the virus.
T'Greth awakens, and returns to the council. He tells them Torres and her child have the disease, which is not what the scrolls say. He convinces them that Kohlar will not believe them, and they have to take control by force.
Seven of Nine is scanning planets in astrometrics where the Klingons could settle, and T'Greth asks to go along, saying he believes Kohlar. Meanwhile, another Klingon asks Kim how the transporters work, especially the way of transporting so many targets. When the first team is ready for transport, consisting of many Klingons and Chakotay, they all knock out him and Harry Kim.
As Tuvok detects phaser fire and goes with a team, the Klingons try to transport all of Voyager's crew down to the surface. While a force field was erected around the bridge, they manage to transport crews from engineering and most of the ship. By the time Tuvok catches them, they have beamed onto the bridge. After a fire fight, all of the Klingons are down, and the crew is transported back aboard.
T'Greth wakes up in sickbay, not Sto-vo-kor, because The Doctor synthesized an antivirus from the child's hybrid stem cell antibodies. T'Greth, now fully cured, is surprised, but begins believing again: the child has indeed saved his people.
- "Captain's log, stardate 54529.8. While we're helping the Klingons into their new home, life aboard Voyager is gradually returning to normal."
Tuvok returns to his quarters to find them locked by Neelix. As he is about to use his security clearance to override the seal, Neelix emerges with Ch'Rega following what has obviously been a very intense lovemaking session. Tuvok finds the quarters totally wrecked, and orders Neelix out when he offers to stay and clean.
As he departs, Kohlar gives Torres a bat'leth owned by his great grandfather as a gift for her daughter and asks for her promise to tell her daughter about him and his people. Later in their quarters, Paris and Torres discuss recent events and if what happened was truly destined given all the "coincidences" involved. Paris suggests they name their daughter Kuvah'magh "just to be safe", since she did indeed become the Klingons' savior and Torres agrees to add it to the list.
- "Chief engineer's personal log, stardate 54518.2. I've spent the last two days reviewing the Sacred Scrolls in preparation for my appearance before the Klingon council. Kohlar also suggested I prepare a few colorful stories to help win them over."
- "Captain's log, stardate 54529.8. While we're helping the Klingons into their new home, life aboard Voyager is gradually returning to normal."
"I've been studying Klingon etiquette. You shouldn't quarrel over food. Save your strength for battle, to fight those who would challenge you."
- - Neelix, to Ch'Rega and the Klingon Crewman
"You're going to get yourself killed!"
"What makes you so sure I'd lose?"
- - Torres, to Paris
"Today would be a very bad day to die."
- - Torres, to Paris, before the match
"I see fear in your eyes, human."
"The only Klingon I'm afraid of is my wife after she's worked a double shift."
- - T'Greth and Paris, during the match
"Grant me a warrior's death, I beg of you."
"Sorry, no mercy killings on my bridge."
- - T'Greth and Janeway
"When I say you're limited to two servings of brak't, that's all you get! Do you understand me, ensign?"
- - Neelix, to Kim
"The child cured me?"
"Well, I was the one who devised the treatment."
"Yes, of course, the child cured you."
- - T'Greth, The Doctor, and Janeway
"Where are the images of Kahless? Where's your family crest?"
"They clashed with the carpet."
- - Kohlar and Torres
(Harry Kim walks into sickbay with a towel to his cheek)
"What happened to you?"
"I cut myself shaving."
(Kim removes towel)
"Is that a bite mark?"
"One of the Klingons attacked me."
"Did you do something to provoke him?"
"Not him... Her. And she wasn't provoked, she was... aroused."
- - The Doctor and Harry Kim
"I salute you, captain. You did more damage to our vessel than my engineer thought."
- - Kohlar, hailing Voyager after activating the self-destruct
(Hailing the Klingon cruiser)
"This is Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Federation starship Voyager. Stand down."
"We will not surrender to sworn enemies of the Klingon Empire."
"I think there's been a misunderstanding. The Empire signed a peace treaty with the Federation more than 80 years ago. If I'm not mistaken, it's still in effect."
- - Janeway and Kohlar
"The scrolls say 'You will find me, when two warring houses make peace.' Our people and the Federation, our greatest enemy, are at peace."
- - Kohlar, after reading the Khitomer Accords
"T'Greth, there is precedent for an honorable compromise. A non-lethal bout, fought with blunted bat'leths. The victory goes to the first warrior to knock his opponent to the ground three times."
"A coward's rule!"
"Was the Emperor Mur'Eq a coward?! He was the one who instituted these rules to ensure that his warriors would kill their enemies, and not each other!"
- - Kohlar and T'Greth
"Gentlemen, I'm afraid Lieutenant Paris had no authority to accept this challenge - there will be no death matches aboard my ship."
- - Janeway, to Kohlar
"Is that how you remember it?"
"Exaggeration is a big part of Klingon story telling. She's doing great."
- - Paris and Neelix, while Torres is telling the Klingons about a battle and making herself sound like the hero of the day
"Then maybe you can tell me how to convince a female twice my size that I'm not interested!"
"Hmm. You probably can't."
- - Kim and The Doctor, about a female Klingon
- The episode was originally scripted to open with a scene aboard the Klingon cruiser, where Kohlar ascends to the captaincy following the death of the previous captain as a result of the nehret. This scene was filmed on 15 November 2000, but was cut for time. (Star Trek Magazine issue 151)
- Sherman Howard previously played Endar in TNG: "Suddenly Human" and the Vulcan Starfleet officer Syvar in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Shakaar". Paul S. Eckstein also guest-starred in DS9. He played Limara'Son in "Rocks and Shoals" and an unnamed Jem'Hadar in "The Dogs of War".
- According to Larry Nemecek, the idea was pitched to Voyager during the series pre-production, before Caretaker even aired. 
- The bat'leth given to Torres is the same prop originally made for The Sword of Kahless, suggesting that it was already very old when Kohlar's grandfather gave it to him.
- This episode was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Hairstyling For A Series.
Video and DVD releasesEdit
- UK VHS release (two-episode tapes, Paramount Home Entertainment): Volume 7.7, 3 September 2001
- As part of the VOY Season 7 DVD collection
Links and references Edit
Also starring Edit
- Robert Beltran as Commander Chakotay
- Roxann Dawson as Lieutenant B'Elanna Torres
- Robert Duncan McNeill as Lieutenant Junior Grade 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
Uncredited co-stars Edit
- Mary Alexander as a Klingon crewman
- Paul Ambrose as a Klingon crewman
- Patrick Barnitt as a Klingon crewman
- Richard Bishop as an operations division officer
- Bill Blair as a Klingon crewman
- Tara Bordes as a Klingon girl
- Michael Braveheart as a Klingon crewman
- Julie David as a command division officer
- Carter Edwards as command division officer
- Tarik Ergin as Ayala
- Ken Gruz as a Klingon crewman
- Grace Harrell as a Klingon crewman
- Clynell Jackson III as a Klingon crewman
- Dennis Madalone as a Klingon crewman
- Louis Ortiz as a Klingon crewman
- James Pearson as a Klingon crewman
- Stephen Pisani as a security officer
- Keith Rayve as a Klingon crewman
- Katie Rowe as a Klingon crewman
- Pablo Soriano as a Klingon crewman
- Gregory Sweeney as a Klingon crewman
- J.T. Taylor as a Klingon crewman
- Chester E. Tripp III (stunt actor)
- Unknown performers as
Amar; antivirus; bat'leth; bedchamber; bite mark; Borg; Cavern of Despair; cloaking device; cytoplasmic membrane; Day of Separation; Delta Flyer II; disruptors; D7-class; emergency power; evasive maneuvers; Federation; gagh; hemisphere; Hirogen; holy war; hunger strike; Kahless the Unforgettable; Khitomer Accords; Klingon Council of Elders; Klingon drinking song; Klingon emperor; Kohlar's battle cruiser; Klingon mating ritual; Kolax; Krelik; K'Rene; kuvah'magh; L'Naan; mercy killing; messiah; Milky Way Galaxy; mongrel; Mur'Eq; nay'Poq; nehret; par'machkai; Plea for the Dead; puppet; Qo'noS; racht; Sacred Scrolls; red alert; shaving; stem cell; Sto-vo-kor; Sword of Kahless; Talij; targ; topographical scan; Torres, John; towel; Vulcan
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