Our first entry in Alternate Voyager: Season One focuses exclusively on what our version of the premiere, Caretaker, would be like. As we’ve mentioned before, we like the first episode of Voyager a lot, and a lot has remained the same, at least compared to what we have in store for the rest of the season. Future installments also won’t be as detailed, and will include 2-4 episodes worth of story.
Our series opens at the Federation Penal Settlement in New Zealand, as Captain Janeway is escorted to the location where Tom Paris is doing his work for the day. He isn’t where he’s supposed to be. They find him in a crowd of other detainees watching and betting on a fight. Janeway pulls him aside and convinces him to come with her on a mission to find Chakotay and his Maquis crew, of which Paris belonged to for a few months.
We cut forward to Voyager pursuing The Val Jean, Chakotay’s ship. In our version the Val Jean is a bigger ship, not just a raider, but is still pretty old. They exchange shots, but the Val Jean manages to make it to the badlands, where Voyager loses track of them. The entire sequence is exclusively from the point of view of Voyager and her crew.
Paris doesn’t know how the Val Jean disappeared, but the crew continue their search. Ensign Harry Kim detects a spacial disturbance moving quickly towards Voyager. Before they can maneuver out of the path of the disturbance it engulfs Voyager.
Voyager suffers huge amounts of damage by the disturbance. The first officer is killed, along with many other members of the crew. Kim determines that Voyager is 70,000 light years away, in the Delta quadrant. They and the Maquis ship, which also seems to be severely damaged, are in the presence of a massive Array. All three are in a star system, close to a small m-class planet.
In the chaos the mysterious Array scans all of Voyager’s computers. Suddenly people start vanishing one by one, until Voyager is emptied of its crew.
Janeway wakes for a moment, in a drugged haze. She, along with the rest of the Voyager crew, are suspended in an alien mechanical environment. Drills descend and bore into the crew members. Janeway passes out as the drill nears her abdomen.
The crew wakes up on Voyager. Ensign Kim is missing, along with some other crew members. Sensors indicate that the crew has been gone for two days.
Janeway contacts the Maquis ship. Chakotay says he and his crew went through a similar situation, and that he’s also missing crew members. They beam over to Voyager.
As in the original version, Tuvok reveals that he is actually a Federation officer posing as a member of Chakotay’s crew. Janeway and Chakotay decide to send a joint away team to the array to try and figure out what’s happening. Stadi and Chakotay beam over to the Array. They appear in a large, minimal room. A hologram of a human face appears, telling them that they don’t have what he, The Caretaker, needs. Chakotay and Stadi are sent back to Voyager.
Meanwhile, Harry Kim wakes up in white garments, along with Ensign Audrey Brooks and Lt. Jr. Grade David Ashmore. Their room seems to have a medical purpose, but it’s sealed. They can’t get out. They share a glass wall with another room, which contains two Maquis crew members, who seem to be working on a way of escape.
Back on Voyager Chakotay beams back to his ship when sensors pick up ships approaching. The ships are Kazon, and primitive. There are around ten of them, but they seem to be trying to get to the Array. They don’t answer hails.
The Array seems to be shutting down. Voyager and the Val Jean are trying to keep the Kazon ships from The Array, fearing they’ll endanger the only way back to the Alpha Quadrant. Kazon ships are getting through. They’re docking in the Array…
Janeway, against the recommendation of Tuvok and protests of Stadi, beams over to the Array to try and get the Caretaker to send them back before the Array is totally overrun by Kazon. She appears in the same room Stadi and Chakotay arrived in, but the Array is shaking violently, and the lights have mostly gone off. At the end of the room a large panel is partially open. Janeway enters into another room, where the giant Caretaker sits, in his true form, dying. Janeway asks if he can send the ships back home, but he says he’s sorry, that he can’t, and that they must destroy The Array to keep it out of Kazon hands. He also says something about it being time for the Ocampa to become independent, but Janeway doesn’t know what he means at this point.
Janeway beams off the Array and orders Tuvok to destroy it.
The narrative jumps back in time a bit, and switches perspective to the Maquis crewman disappeared from the Val Jean. B’Elanna and Rossip Esk wake up in the small medical room. They share a glass wall with an empty room just like theirs. They figure out that they’re underground, Esk suspects they are on the small planet The Array was near.
B’Elanna starts working on a control panel of a door, trying to get it open. As they do Kim, Brooks and Ashmore appear in the other room and wake up. Kim helps B’Elanna figure a way to short circuit the door, and they all escape the room into a corridor. They have to knock out a couple of Ocampans, but they manage to sneak out of the main underground complex and into some tunnels.
They make their way through the cave tunnels , which still have artificial lights, but run up against force fields. They can’t figure a way to shut them down from where they are. Just as they decide to turn back to try and find a way to disarm the fields, the lights in the tunnel power down and the force field turns off. They don’t know it, but The Array has just been destroyed.
It takes awhile, but they continue through the tunnels and eventually find a way to the surface. It’s a hot arid planet. They’re surrounded by the ruins of an ancient city. They walk to the edge of the ruins. On the horizon they see clouds of dust being kicked up by vehicles approaching them quickly.
The narrative jumps back to where it left off, but continuing it’s focus on the Maquis rather than the Federation. On the Val Jean Chakotay witnesses Voyager destroying the Array. He contacts Janeway and yells at her. She says they had to keep the technology out of Kazon hands.
Upon the destruction of the Array most of the Kazon ships back off, but some are hanging around, shadowing Voyager and the Maquis ship.
Janeway and Chakotay both think that the best place to look for the missing members of their crew are on the planet. Janeway starts in one place, and Chakotay beams down in another place, where they detect a number of life forms, with Mariah Henley, Seska, and Lon Sudor. He leaves Ayala in command of the Val Jean.
Chakotay finds that the life forms are a tribe of Kazon, unaffiliated with the groups in the ships. Chakotay tells them he’s looking for his crewman, and the Kazon say they know where they are, but they’ll need a precious resource in exchange. The resource is water, and Chakotay has barrels of it beamed down. The Kazon tell him they are being held by the Ocampa, who live underground, and that if Chakotay gives them some weapons they can take him directly to the tunnels. Chakotay says he’ll give them the weapons when they get to the tunnels.
The Kazon are taking them in a couple little hover transport things, moving pretty quickly across the arid surface of Ocampa. The Kazon try and overtake Chakotay and his people and kill them. Chakotay manages to gain control of the hoverthing he’s on, but he’s in a shoot out with the other one as they approach the city.
The detained Maquis and Starfleet crew, just emerging from the tunnels, see the two hoverthings fighting. Chakotay steers his into the Kazon one and bumps them into crashing into some ruins. The shoot out continues in the ancient city until Chakotay gets a lock on his and the Federation people and beams everyone back to the Maquis ship.
Back on board the Val Jean Chakotay is contacted by Janeway, asking if he’s found her missing crewmen. Chakotay says he’ll give them over, and that he thinks the two crews should work together. Janeway agrees.
NEXT TIME: The Chaos Generation! AND: Enter Neelix!