David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

my VOYAGER spec script, part 1

During a recent discussion of STAR TREK: VOYAGER, I mentioned that during the show's run I'd written a spec script that the Trek folks had liked enough to give me a couple of pitch sessions. iamza was curious about what kind of stories I'd have pitched them, considering that I thought the series had (to put it mildly) several drawbacks. It's actually pretty interesting to try to write to the strengths of something that you see as mired in its weaknesses. After I've posted the whole thing, I'll do another post with a little commentary and background info. LJ barfed when I tried to post it in one piece, so I'll break it at the close of Act Three. Tomorrow, I'll post Acts Four and Five.

The script is called "Don't Gimme That Old-Time Religion," which I freely admit is a lousy title -- but while it's clunky, it's a little memorable, and that's what I was going for. So here's my STAR TREK: VOYAGER spec, circa 1999.


                        STAR TREK: VOYAGER 
                "Don't Gimme That Old-Time Religion"

                              TEASER

FADE IN:

INT - GENERIC CORRIDOR

We're on Voyager, not far from the mess. HARRY KIM walks into view.  With him 
is another young human, ENSIGN ARTHUR LEVESQUE.

                    HARRY 
          -- you've been on the late shift eight years?!

                    LEVESQUE 
          Yup.

                    HARRY 
          But Voyager was your first post.

                    LEVESQUE 
          Same as you.

                    HARRY 
          So how do you get eight? 
             (stops in his tracks) 
          The Academy?!

Levesque has gone on ahead.  Kim hurries to catch up.

INT - GENERIC CORRIDOR / MESS HALL

We rejoin the two coming around a corner.

                    LEVESQUE 
          The captain rechecked my files. I even know 
          who to blame.  Turns out, a certain student 
          console jockey screwed up. Entered my 
          species as Choosh.

                    HARRY 
          They're nocturnal.

                    LEVESQUE 
          And eight feet tall with glowing eyes 
          and more genitals than the crew of a 
          class two freighter.

Harry is duly impressed.

                    HARRY 
          Wow.

                    LEVESQUE 
          On the bright side, I got a lot of dates. 
             (beat) 
          But if I ever get my hands on that 
          Wesley Crusher --

The door to the mess slides open.

                    CHAKOTAY (OS) 
          Great Spirit, we are far from the sacred 
          places of our ancestors --

INT - MESS

Kim and Levesque step in and freeze.  With good reason.

There's no light but candles.  A SERIES OF CLOSE SHOTS shows various
CREW MEMBERS, including NEELIX, kneeling on the floor, eyes closed,
meditating.  In front of them are cloths weighted down by assorted
personal knick-knacks:  MEDICINE BUNDLES.

It looks like a cult gathering.  Unusual.  Creepy.  Unfamiliar.

And at the head of the gathering, eyes closed, his back to the windows,
is CHAKOTAY.  He alone has the techno-thingie that we've seen used in
various episodes as a peyote substitute.  Call it a HALLUCINATRON.  His
right hand rests on it; lights blink.

                    CHAKOTAY 
          We ask you for guidance, and pray you 
          will receive us...

He picks up the hallucinatron, begins to pass it around.  As Neelix
rests his hand on the device, Kim and Levesque exchange a look, then
slowly back out of the mess.

The door slides closed.  None of the people in the mess has so much as
glanced in their direction.

INT - CORRIDOR

Kim and Levesque slump against the wall beside the door.  They look like
a couple of Southern Baptists who wandered into a Santeria church by
mistake.  It takes a moment for them to find any words.

                    LEVESQUE
          That was very weird. 
             (beat)
          What do you think that thing was?

Kim looks blank.  Levesque mimes the hallucinatron.

                    HARRY
          Oh.  He uses it to induce hallucinations.  
          Visions. Whatever.

                    LEVESQUE
             (intrigued)
          Hallucinations? 
             (beat; unnerved:)
          Did you knew he was --

                    HARRY 
          One-on-one, yeah.  Not -- 
             (beat)
          You think the captain knows?

                    LEVESQUE
          I hope not. 
             (off Harry's look)
          When we joined the Federation, we left all that 
          behind.  No gods, no myths... just us.  On our 
          own feet.

                    HARRY
          There are plenty of religious people. They just 
          keep it private, is all.

                    LEVESQUE
          Oh, yeah.  Real private.
             (beat)
          I'm gonna turn in. See you later.

                    HARRY
          Later.

Exit Levesque -- but for Kim, his words are resonating.

                                                            FADE OUT.

                                                            END TEASER. 


                    
                              ACT ONE

FADE IN:

INT - MESS

The mess is brightly lit, cheery, full of people.  Harry is sitting at
an out-of-the-way table, eating breakfast with TOM PARIS.  SEVEN OF NINE
is in line waiting for food from NEELIX, who's serving.  Tom and Harry
converse in near-whispers.

                    TOM
          My point is, most Federation worlds are
          atheist for a reason.

                    HARRY
          But do I have to tell the captain?

                    TOM
          Harry, you've got the first officer of 
          a Federation ship secretly using a public 
          space to hold late-night prayer meetings.

                    HARRY
          Which violates every separations reg in 
          existence, I know.  But --

Tom gestures silence.  ANGLE:  SEVEN OF NINE is watching them.

                    HARRY
             (again sotto voce)
          She can't hear us over there.

                    SEVEN
          Borg audio centers are greatly superior 
          to human ears.

She approaches the table.

                    TOM
          Is there *any* part of your anatomy that 
          isn't artificially enhanced? -- forget I 
          said that.

                    SEVEN
          Lieutenant Paris is correct.
             (Tom makes a "thank you" gesture)
          Commander Chakotay's actions are a threat 
          to ship stability.

This is a little much for Tom.

                    TOM
          Wait a second.  Didn't you nearly blow up 
          the ship with that whatchamacallit the Borg 
          worship?

                    SEVEN
          Omega is not a "whatchamacallit." It consists 
          of billions of parts working in complete harmony.

                    TOM
          Like my tricorder?

                    HARRY
          It's a Borg thing.  Social instability is a 
          greater risk to the collective than physical harm.

                    TOM
          So if we blow up, no loss.

Seven half-smiles.  The idea has some appeal.

                    TOM
          Yeah, well, I think we need a human perspective.
             (off Seven's look)
          No offense.

Tom gets up with his tray, walks off.  Seven looks to Harry.

                    HARRY
          He's right.
             (beat)
          I want your advice, you know that, but -- you
          just don't have the frame of reference.

                    SEVEN
          You refer to my lack of familiarity with human 
          social interaction?

                    HARRY
          It's not your fault.  But -- Seven, you were 
          raised by the Borg.

                    SEVEN
          You believe I do not understand.

                    HARRY
             (reluctantly)
          I think you can't.

Exit Harry.

INT - MESS HALL / CORRIDOR

Harry exits the mess hall.  Tom is leaning on the corridor wall, then
pushes off to join him.

                    TOM
          Well, that was ugly.

                    HARRY
          She meant well.

                    TOM
          So did the Captain, and look where we are today.

                    HARRY
          That's a little cynical.

                    TOM
          Hey, maybe you forgot where I was before 
          we wound up here. The other side of the 
          galaxy is a step *up.*

                    HARRY
          There's another thing.  Captain Janeway's 
          been pretty lax on the whole separation issue. 
          I don't want this to backfire on me.

INT - MESS HALL

Neelix is rummaging in his kitchen.  He pops up, and encounters Seven. 
He jumps.  Catches his breath.

                    NEELIX
          Have I told you that Talaxian women of 
          your body type would be considered 
          unhealthily thin?

                    SEVEN
          I have heard you take spiritual counseling 
          from Commander Chakotay.

Neelix didn't expect this.

                    NEELIX
          Yes.

                    SEVEN
          Tell me about it.

INT - CORRIDOR / TURBOLIFT

Tom is in the open turbolift.  Harry bids him farewell from the
corridor.

                    HARRY
          I think I need more advice.

                    TOM
          What are you going to do?  Take a poll?

The turbolift doors slide closed.  Harry considers. That doesn't sound
like a bad idea.

INT - SICKBAY

Harry has waylaid THE DOCTOR.

                    DOCTOR
          Ensign Kim, this isn't exactly my forte.

                    HARRY
          I know.  I'm sorry.  But you're the only 
          person other than Tom I can count on to 
          keep quiet.

                    DOCTOR
          Really?  I thought it might have something 
          to do with the Starfleet regulations at the 
          core of my programming.

                    HARRY
          You have to follow them, right?

                    DOCTOR
          Which part of "the core of my programming" 
          do you find difficult to follow?

                    HARRY
          No loose interpretation?  No swaying by 
          strong emotion?

                    DOCTOR
          Do you want the answer or not?

                    HARRY
          Yes.

                    DOCTOR
          No.

                    HARRY
          What?

                    DOCTOR
          Don't tell the captain.

                    HARRY
          You've got to give me more than that!

                    DOCTOR
          Did you want an answer, or a rationale?

                    HARRY
          What about your core programming?

                    DOCTOR
          I'm more than the sum of my bits!
             (beat)
          Commander Chakotay's actions have caused no 
          disruption to the ship. And my patients who 
          consult him tell me they do so because they want 
          to find out who they truly are.  That's a quest 
          I won't deny to anyone, Ensign.

INT - CORRIDOR

Harry comes out of Sick Bay, looking a bit discouraged.  Turning down
the hall, he almost walks into TUVOK.

                    TUVOK
          Mr. Kim.  You're away from your station.  
          Are you feeling unwell?

                    HARRY
          No.  Yes.
             (off Tuvok's look)
          I had to see the doctor about something.  
          Advice.  Personal.

Harry lies very badly.

                    TUVOK
          Of course.

                    HARRY
          Tuvok -- could I ask you about a 
          hypothetical situation?

                    TUVOK
          At the risk of being recursive, may I 
          conclude that the hypothetical nature of 
          this question is itself hypothetical?

                    HARRY
          Yeah, but I really wish you wouldn't.

                    TUVOK
          I see.
             (beat)
          If you would prefer I not know, then do 
          not ask.

                    HARRY
          You're right.  Thanks.

Harry approaches the turbolift.  Tuvok's about to leave.

                    HARRY
          Vulcans rejected religion early, didn't they?  Mostly?

The question surprises Tuvok.  He considers his answer.

                    TUVOK
          Religion's decline was essential to the 
          rejection of illogic and emotion.
             (beat)
          Although my wife would disagree.

The implication being that this is a point of contention in the
marriage.

                    HARRY
          Thanks, Tuvok.

Harry gets into the turbolift and is gone.  Tuvok, now very concerned,
looks after him for a few moments... and then turns his thoughtful gaze
towards the door of Sickbay.

INT - CORRIDOR

Tom and Harry exit the turbolift and walk toward the mess.

                    HARRY
          ... and Arthur's afraid that if he says 
          anything, he'll go back on the night shift.  
          So --

                    TOM
          So nothing.
             (beat)
          Your call.  But it's not what the Federation 
          is about.

                    HARRY
          I always thought tolerance was part of the 
          package.

                    TOM
          Only of weird alien religions the 
          xeno-anthropologists haven't finished 
          studying yet.
             (beat)
          I've got a prior engagement. See you.

He takes a different corridor.  Harry walks on.

INT - MESS

SEVEN AND CHAKOTAY are deep in conversation.

                    CHAKOTAY
          You're sure you don't want to come to the meeting?

                    SEVEN
          I prefer to experience humanity on my own terms.  
          I will meet with you alone.  2100 hours?

                    CHAKOTAY
          Fine.

She steps away from him, and goes to the door as HARRY enters the mess.

                    SEVEN
          Ensign Kim.  Your timing is excellent.

                    HARRY 
          Neelix just took a break?

                    SEVEN
          Amusing, but incorrect.  I wish to ask you 
          for a date.

                    HARRY 
          A what?

                    SEVEN
          We will meet by the holodeck, but you should 
          reach me by communicator with a reminder.  
          At 2100.  Promptly.

                    HARRY
          Um -- yes!  I'd love to.  Um, what exactly 
          brought this on?

                    SEVEN
          I wish to expand my knowledge of human 
          interaction.

                    HARRY
             (gulp)
          I'll be glad to help.

                    SEVEN
          2100 hours.  Do not forget.

Exit Seven.  Harry wipes his forehead.

INT - SICKBAY

Tuvok interrogates the Doctor, who's trying to go about his business.

                    TUVOK
          I would like to know the nature of 
          your consultation with Ensign Kim.

                    DOCTOR
          Why don't you ask Ensign Kim?

                    TUVOK
          He proved recalcitrant.

                    DOCTOR
          How unfortunate.

                    TUVOK
          His conversation implied a breach in 
          regulations that, if it exists, would 
          be serious.

                    DOCTOR
           Really?

                    TUVOK
          Perhaps seeking your advice would be 
          uncharacteristically logical of him, but --

                    DOCTOR
          I'm afraid I can't discuss the nature of 
          a private conversation with a patient.  That 
          regulation --

                    TUVOK
          -- only applies if Ensign Kim received 
          medical evaluation. Did he?

                    DOCTOR
          It's none of your business.

                    TUVOK
          You are programmed to cooperate with 
          Starfleet security.


                    DOCTOR
          I am also programmed to respect my patients' 
          privacy.  Privilege or no.
             (beat)
          This interview is over.  Computer, deactivate 
          Emergency Medical --

Tuvok goes to a console, starts pressing buttons.

                    DOCTOR
          -- what are you doing?
             (no answer)
          Tuvok, that's encrypted --

                    TUVOK
          Only the medical records.  Your personal, 
          non-medical memory is readable.  If Ensign 
          Kim was ill --

                    DOCTOR
          Tuvok, stop.  Please.  You can't do this --

                    TUVOK
          It is the logical course of action, Doctor.  
          A hologram's memory is admissable in cases of --

                    DOCTOR
          Just a hologram, yes!  But not me! If you 
          press that button, you're just using me as a 
          tool again -- I can't --
             (anguished)
          If our friendship means anything to you... 
          don't do this.

                    TUVOK
          Your argument is based in emotion, Doctor.
             (beat)
          Though it may appeal to me... as a Vulcan, 
          I must reject it.

And he stabs the button.  The doctor reacts as part of his memory is
copied to Tuvok's PADD.  It doesn't hurt.  But he hates it.

                    DOCTOR
          How could you?

                    TUVOK
          You would do anything for the welfare 
          of your patient.
             (beat)
          Voyager is mine.

Exit Tuvok.  The Doctor stands, numb and alone.

INT - JANEWAY'S OFFICE

Janeway is at her desk.  Tuvok enters.  She gives him The Stare.

                    JANEWAY
          I've spoken with the doctor.
             (beat)
          You'd better have a *damn* good explanation.

                    TUVOK
          Regrettably, I do.

He hands Janeway the PADD.

                                                            CUT TO:

ANGLE - THROUGH A PEEPHOLE

We see a brightly-lit room in BG, and then an eye.  It blinks.

INT - TOM'S QUARTERS

The bed is rumpled.  Tom and Belanna are dressed, but only partway;
they've just completed a lunchtime assignation.  Belanna is holding a
black object about the size and shape of a cantelope.  It's open on one
end, and she's peering into it.  The device is a PEEPHOLE HOLO.  Nearby,
Tom continues dressing.

                    BELANNA
          Wow.  Now that's what I call flexible.

                    TOM
          She was something.

                    BELANNA
          Actually, I meant you.  But she's 
          impressive.  Who is she?

                    TOM
          "She" is Caitlin Reilly. Her family got 
          displaced from one of the worlds on the 
          Cardassian border.  She resented it.  Made 
          me resent it too.  That's why I went Maquis.

                    BELANNA
          Plus she could do that thing with her tongue?

                    TOM
          A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

                    BELANNA
          Among other things.  So what happened?

                    TOM
          I got caught, remember?  She got away -- 
          but sent me that.

                    BELANNA
          She sent an explicit peephole holo of 
          the two of you to you in *prison?*

                    TOM
          To my parents.  Mom kept it on the mantel.  
          She wanted to torque off my dad.

                    BELANNA
          You're lying!
             (off his look)
          You're not.

                    TOM
          My new stepmother was eighteen and wore tighter 
          clothes than Seven of Nine.

                    BELANNA
          How'd she get blood to her brain?

                    TOM
          Really wasn't an issue.
             (beat)
          What about you?  The Maquis. Why'd you join?

                    BELANNA
          Same as you.

                    TOM
             (mock surprise)
          You knew Caitlin?

Belanna hits him with a pillow.

                    BELANNA
          No, you goof.  The displacement. I hated the 
          idea of people being kicked out of their homes 
          so Cardassians could move in.

                    TOM
             (beat)
          What about the religious issues?

                    BELANNA
          Huh?

                    TOM
          There was an upsurge in the old religions.  Lot of 
          people in the Maquis turned into true believers.

                    BELANNA
          Yeah, but that's not what it was about.

                    TOM
          Not even for Chakotay?

                    BELANNA
          What?

                    TOM
          You served with him.  He probably had prayer 
          meetings every night or something.

                    BELANNA
             (beat)
          Tom, what's going on?

Tom's stuck -- but then THE COM PANEL pops on, revealing Harry.

                    HARRY
          Tom, you are not gonna believe -- oh.  
          Hi, Belanna.

Belanna waves.

                    TOM
          What's up?

                    HARRY
          Meet me in my quarters.  As soon as possible.
             (beat)
          You won't *believe* this.

Com panel turns off.

                    TOM
          Gotta run.
             (kisses her)
          Bye.

Tom exits.

                    BELANNA
          Tom --

She's puzzled.  Hits her com badge.

                    BELANNA
          Torres to Chakotay.

INT - JANEWAY'S OFFICE

                    CHAKOTAY
          I'm with the Captain.  I'll get back to you.
             (to Janeway)
          Sorry, Captain.  What's up?

                    JANEWAY
          I've been informed that you're using the mess 
          to hold late-night religious gatherings in 
          violation of the separation regulations.
             (beat)
          I'm going to have to insist that you put a
          stop to it.

Chakotay is stunned.

                                                            FADE OUT.

                              END ACT ONE. 

                              
                              
                              
                              ACT TWO

FADE IN:

INT - CHAKOTAY'S QUARTERS

Chakotay's sitting alone.  The DOORBELL CHIMES.  He doesn't answer it
the first time, or the second.  Finally, he gets up and trudges to the
door.  It opens, revealing Seven of Nine.  She has a bag.

                    SEVEN
          Commander.  I know I am early --
             (beat)
          Are you all right?

                    CHAKOTAY
          I've been better.  Come in.
             (she enters)
          Did you bring some items of personal 
          significance?

Seven upends the bag, pours a heap of BORG HARDWARE onto a table.

                    CHAKOTAY
          What the hell --?

                    SEVEN
          Borg implants.  These were removed by the 
          Doctor when I came on board.

As she explains, Chakotay picks up an bowl-shaped implant.  He doesn't
know what it's for.  Flips it over, cups it in his palm. Then he
realizes: it's part of a Borg bustier. Puts it down fast.

                    CHAKOTAY
          The Doctor let you take these out 
          of containment?

                    SEVEN
          He was in no mood to object.

INT - SICKBAY

Tuvok enters.  Sickbay is deserted.  Tuvok looks around for several
moments, delaying the inevitable, until --

                    TUVOK
          Computer -- activate Emergency Medical 
          Holographic Program.

The Doctor flickers into existence.

                    DOCTOR
          You!  What are you doing here?

                    TUVOK
          I wish to apologize.

                    DOCTOR
          Fine.  You've done it.  Go away!

The Doctor flickers out again.

INT - CHAKOTAY'S QUARTERS

Chakotay and Seven are seated at a table.

                    CHAKOTAY
          After the meditation, I'll ask you to 
          rest your hand on this.

He hands her the hallucinatron.  She examines it.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Just don't touch the top.  That 
          activates it.

                    SEVEN
          What does it do?

She touches the hallucinatron with her augmented hand.  In ECU: SMALL
TUBULES EMERGE FROM HER FINGERTIPS.  Contact the device.

                    CHAKOTAY
          It takes you into your mind, opens you up.  
          In the old days, we used cactus candy, oxygen 
          deprivation.  This is easier, safer.
             (beat)
          Besides, cactus candy always made me sick.  
          My father was mortified.

As he speaks, SEVEN'S AUGMENTED POV shows her view of the hallucinatron
OVERLAID WITH A TECHNICAL READOUT.  She's secretly scanning the device. 
Just as she finishes --

Seven's combadge BEEPS.


                    HARRY
             (VO, FILTER)
          Kim to Seven of Nine.

                    SEVEN
          Seven of Nine.  Thank you for the reminder.  
          I am on my way.
             (to Chakotay)
          I had forgotten a previous engagement.  
          Another time?

Chakotay's taken by surprise.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Of course.  You know where to find me...

Seven exits.

                    CHAKOTAY
          ...if you're ever really interested.
             (beat)
          Too bad I can't fit everyone who *is* in here.

Suddenly, he has an idea.  He gets up.

INT - CORRIDOR

Tom, holding a bunch of flowers, gives Harry a bit of unheard
last-minute advice, then ducks around a corner.

The turbolift doors open --

-- Tom realizes he still has the flowers, signals Harry --

-- and tosses them over, just in time.  Seven half-exits the lift.

                    HARRY
          Hi!  It's great to see you.

He hands her the flowers.  Seven, puzzled, takes them.

                    SEVEN
          Thank you.
             (beat)
          I must cancel our date.

                    HARRY
          What?

                    SEVEN
          "I am sorry."  "Something has come up."  "Thank you 
          for understanding."

Seven steps back into the lift and is gone.  Tom re-enters.   Harry,
agonized, makes futile gestures towards the turbolift door. Tom shrugs,
looks on the bright side.

                    TOM
          She took the flowers.

INT - ANOTHER CORRIDOR

Seven stuffs the flowers into a RECYCLING CHUTE and keeps walking.

INT - CHAKOTAY'S QUARTERS

Chakotay shoves a sofa against the wall, then stands back to look. 
DOORBELL CHIMES.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Come in!
             (Belanna enters)
          What do you think?

All of Chakotay's furniture has been pushed against the wall.

                    BELANNA
          I think you have absolutely no future 
          in interior design.

                    CHAKOTAY
          But can I fit about thirty people in here 
          for a religious ceremony?

                    BELANNA
             (raised eyebrow)
          What kind of religion do you have in mind?
             (then)
          That was a cheap shot.  I'm sorry.

                    CHAKOTAY
          It doesn't matter.

He gets up, crosses to a bar, pours a drink.

                    BELANNA
          What, that's it?

                    CHAKOTAY
          What did you expect?

                    BELANNA
          I don't know, but redecorating wasn't high 
          on the list.

                    CHAKOTAY
          As opposed to, oh, pointing out the Captain's 
          blatant hypocrisy?

                    BELANNA
          You noticed.

                    CHAKOTAY
          I did mention Neelix's Talaxian festivals, 
          and the Omega incident. You know, the Captain's 
          even consulted me from time to time.

Belanna raises an eyebrow.

                    CHAKOTAY
          That's not a euphemism.

                    BELANNA
          So what's next?

                    CHAKOTAY
          I think a couple more drinks. By then I should be 
          too buzzed to care.

                    BELANNA
          You can't fool me.  Your religion matters 
          more than this.

                    CHAKOTAY
          I thought you were an atheist.

                    BELANNA
          I worship personal freedom.  Just like you.
             (beat)
          Don't you know what's going on? Have you 
          heard what Tuvok -- ?

                    CHAKOTAY
          I heard about the doctor!
             (beat)
          And all the times before.  First Janeway came for 
          Tuvix, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a 
          combined life form.  Then she came for Seven of 
          Nine, but I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Borg.  
          Then she came for me, and there was no one left 
          to speak on my behalf.

                    BELANNA
             (beat; cold)
          I just came up from the mess.  It's full of 
          people who'll speak up for you. If you'll quit 
          wallowing in self-pity and let them.
             (beat)
          Couch looks good there.

Belanna exits.  Chakotay sits a moment, as her words sink in.

INT - CORRIDOR

Chakotay, carrying his MEDICINE BUNDLE, enters turbolift.

INT - TURBOLIFT

                    CHAKOTAY
          Mess.

                    COMPUTER VOICE 
          Unable to comply.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Computer, is there a problem with 
          this turbolift?

                    COMPUTER VOICE 
          Turbolift is functioning within 
          normal parameters.

                    CHAKOTAY
          My ass.

                    COMPUTER VOICE 
          Please repeat destination.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Mess hall, please.

The doors close again.  Chakotay's getting suspicious.

The doors open, on

INT - THE BRIDGE

and Janeway, who looks pointedly at Chakotay's medicine bundle.

                    JANEWAY
          We need to talk.

INT - MESS

There's a sizable crowd assembled -- actually, it's everyone who was
here last night, and then some.  Neelix pours a drink for Belanna.

                    NEELIX
          I'm surprised to see you here.

                    BELANNA
          Why?

                    NEELIX
          His beliefs have helped a lot of 
          people.  Saved my life. But you --

                    BELANNA
          I don't believe in his gods, but I 
          believe in him.
             (beat)
          As long as he's not hurting anybody, 
          he ought to be able to do any damn 
          fool thing he wants.

Neelix chokes on his drink.

INT - JANEWAY'S READY ROOM

Janeway and Chakotay are seated on opposite sides of her desk, on top of
which lies Chakotay's open medicine bundle.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Diverting any turbolift heading for the mess 
          whose payload includes a detectable amount of 
          sage, sweetgrass...
             (re: hallucinatron)
          ...and one of these.  That's very good.  Tuvok?

                    JANEWAY
          Tuvok.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Tuvok.

                    JANEWAY
          I don't object to your beliefs, Commander. 
          They make your life easier, fine.  People want 
          to learn from you, fine.  But it's a private
          matter.  Not a public display.

Chakotay casually indicates his TATTOO.  Janeway gives him The Look.

                    JANEWAY
          Don't be cute, Chakotay.

                    CHAKOTAY
          What if the public disagrees with you?

                    JANEWAY
          I got the petition.

                    CHAKOTAY
          There was a petition?

                    JANEWAY
          I can't do a good job without my crew's input, 
          but I won't be strong-armed by them.
             (beat)
          Find another spot, a suitable one, and you
          will have my full support.  But that's your job, 
          not mine.  Clear?

                    CHAKOTAY
          Crystal.

                    JANEWAY
          It had better be.

Pause.

                    CHAKOTAY
          So... where's Tuvok now?

INT - MESS

The door opens and everyone turns toward it.  TUVOK enters.  There is a
moment of tension as he surveys the room.  He raises an eyebrow.

One of the UNNAMED CREWMEN folds his arms, standing stiffly defiant. 
Belanna looks at him, shakes her head.

Then she coolly steps past Tuvok and walks out toward the hall.  In
unison, the crewmembers rise to follow her out.  Tuvok watches them go. 
Belanna turns back, exchanges a frosty look with Tuvok as the crewmen
pass her and enter the hallway, then follows along with them.

INT - CORRIDOR

Where she finds Tom and Harry, who've been cut off from their exit by
the throngs of crew.  They were surreptitiously checking out the scene. 
Now they're just uncomfortable.  Tom looks at Belanna.  She looks back. 
Neither is pleased to see the other just now.

                    HARRY
          That's it.  This situation could not 
          *possibly* get any worse.

INT - SEVEN'S CARGO BAY

SEVEN'S HAND detaches from an input device.  Moves to a keypad, enters
data.

And her replicator makes a duplicate of Chakotay's hallucinatron.

                                                            FADE OUT.
                                                            
                                                            END ACT TWO.


                              ACT THREE

FADE IN:

INT - MESS

Chakotay is conferring with Belanna and Neelix.

                    BELANNA
          There's got to be a catch.

                    CHAKOTAY
          And it's right up front.  This is a 
          public area.  We're the public.  We have 
          a right to use it.

                    NEELIX
          Do we have to make a fuss?

                    CHAKOTAY
          You sound like my great-great grandfather.

                    NEELIX
             (flattered)
          Really?

                    CHAKOTAY
          His skeleton's in a museum in Guatemala.

                    NEELIX
          Oh.

                    BELANNA
          Open protest wouldn't work.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Who needs it?  She'll support us.  I say
          we let her.

                    BELANNA
          Make her regret her promise.  How do you 
          plan to do that?
             (beat)
          Oh.  Great.  We're the brain trust.

                    NEELIX
          What's wrong with the holodeck?

                    BELANNA
          Too expensive.

                    CHAKOTAY
          We're talking about a lot of use.  Almost 
          nightly.  Even if we pool our energy rations, 
          we couldn't swing that.

Pause.  Neelix considers.

                    NEELIX
          So where's it written that we have to 
          turn it on?

Chakotay and Belanna look at each other, then at Neelix, their jaws
hanging open.  Neelix has had a really good idea.

INT - CORRIDOR

They exit the mess.

                    NEELIX
          I'm off to spread the word!

He ambles off down the corridor.  Belanna and Chakotay walk away in the
opposite direction.  Belanna gives Chakotay a dirty look.

                    BELANNA
          Your great-great grandfather donated his 
          body to science.

                    CHAKOTAY
          Worked, didn't it?

They walk off-camera, and we go to:

INT - SEVEN'S CARGO BAY

The door opens.  Ensign Levesque enters, PADD in hand.  He checks the
place out; it's his first time here.

                    LEVESQUE
          Hello?  You wanted some data?

He wanders a bit -- and encounters Seven.  She's seated, with her hand
resting on the top of her replicated hallucinatron.  Her eyes stare into
space.  Levesque stares.

Seven's hand lifts off the hallucinatron.  She stands up and goes to her
workstation, where, with her back to Levesque, she bends far over to
make an entry.  Levesque cocks his head to the side and stares, an
incredulous expression on his face.  Momentarily, Seven notices.  She
turns her head to look at him.

                    SEVEN
          Yes?

                    LEVESQUE
             (honestly curious)
          Is that *comfortable?*

                    SEVEN
          What?

                    LEVESQUE
          I know you're Borg and all that, but -- 
          when you have to -- *go,* um --
             (then)
          Do you have *help* putting that on?

                    SEVEN
          Who are you?  I was expecting Ensign Arthur Levesque.

                    LEVESQUE
          That's me.

Now Seven's puzzled.  She stares at him.

                    SEVEN
          You do not look Choosh.

Levesque, deflated, hands over the PADD.

                    LEVESQUE
          Here.  Some stuff for Astrometrics.  
          When you get up there.

Seven takes it, turns away.  Levesque's gaze turns to her hallucinatron.

                    LEVESQUE
          Harry didn't say anything about you 
          being in Chakotay's... classes.

                    SEVEN
          I am not.

                    LEVESQUE
          Oh.
             (then)
          Huh?

                    SEVEN
          Commander Chakotay uses the device 
          in conjunction with focused meditation.
             (beat)
          I have found that without such direction, 
          it produces a most interesting effect.

                    LEVESQUE
          What do you mean?

CUT TO:

SEVEN OF NINE stands tall against a background of swirling colors. 
She's strong, beautiful, glowing with radiance.  Her body is outlined in
bright light; puddles of light and pools of shadow ripple over her form.
 Other images swirl in the background behind her, never quite achieving
definition before they're gone from view.  It's a Foundation Imaging
wonderwork, eerie and blazingly beautiful.  A twenty-fourth-century acid
trip.

This is Seven as seen from the POV of Arthur Levesque, who has his hand
on the hallucinatron.

Finally, Levesque lifts his hand and *instantly* snaps back to normal.  He
gets out of the chair, awed.  Seven isn't even looking at him.  Her
attention is all on the PADD Levesque gave her.

                    LEVESQUE
          Wow.
             (beat)
          I feel normal.  No dizziness, no headache, no 
          weird taste in my mouth --
             (beat)
          That thing has the Jewels of Sound beat all
          hollow.

                    SEVEN
             (re: PADD)
          Thank you for the data.

                    LEVESQUE
          Yeah, sure, no problem.
             (beat)
          Listen, do you think you could replicate 
          another one of those?  For me?

And off Seven's look, we go to

INT - ENGINEERING

Belanna's working at a console.  Tom enters with a PADD.  Her back is to
him.  When he notices she can't see him, he moves forward quietly and
places the PADD on a console behind her -- but the slight noise it makes
with the contact gets Belanna's attention.  She sees him.

They regard each other for a moment, then he turns to go.

                    BELANNA
          Wait.
             (he waits)
          I have to ask.  Tuvok came in and busted the
          meeting, you were right outside the door. 
          Did you know?

                    TOM
          No.  We were just walking by. We knew about 
          the service, saw Tuvok --

                    BELANNA
          Put two and two together.

                    TOM
          Harry told me.  I don't know how Tuvok 
          found out.

                    BELANNA
          Seven said he checked the Doctor's memory 
          after Harry -- no, it doesn't matter.
             (beat)
          I'm sorry I doubted you.

                    TOM
          I don't exactly sympathize with Chakotay.  
          I don't like what he's doing.  I don't 
          like your jumping on because now it's a 
          political cause.  But it wasn't my place.
             (beat)
          But if it was, I would have.

                    BELANNA
          I don't agree with that.

                    TOM
          I know.

He turns and begins to exit.

                    BELANNA
          Tell Harry he tried to do the right thing.

Exit Tom Paris.

INT - CORRIDOR

Levesque, carrying his new hallucinatron, encounters a young female
crewmember.  Her name is JANIS MONTGOMERY.

                    JANIS 
          Arthur, hey!  Welcome to daylight!

                    LEVESQUE
          Thanks, Janis.  Have I missed a lot?

                    JANIS 
          You kidding?  This is day shift.  
          We get all the action.  Firefights, 
          shuttle crashes, aliens, more shuttle 
          crashes -- one time, Tom Paris turned 
          into a newt.

                    LEVESQUE
          A newt?

                    JANIS 
          He got better.

Levesque digests this.  Janis sees the hallucinatron.

                    JANIS 
          What's that?

                    LEVESQUE
          You wouldn't believe me if I told you.
             (beat)
          I can show you.  Not now. Tonight.  
          My quarters.

                    JANIS 
          Okay, you do know I'm still 
          dating Mary, right?

                    LEVESQUE
          Bring her along.
             (off her look)
          Not like that.  I promise. This
          little thing will blow your mind.
             (beat)
          I just hope you've been stockpiling 
          replicator rations. 'cause you're 
          gonna want your own.

                                                            FADE OUT.
                                                            END ACT THREE.



Part two is here.
Tags: screenwriting
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