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Scene One
Exterior shot

(A starship is at station keeping near the Badlands in the Alpha Quadrant. It's been there for Seven months.... waiting for a message its crew has grown to doubt will ever come. It's change of shifts.)

Commander T'Gin: (Stretches as she stands up from the center chair. She drawls at her relief... ) THIS is a waste of time! Doesn't Starfleet have better things to do with us than sit us in the middle of NOwhere... waiting for a ship they stopped looking for YEARS ago! Why can't they just leave a border buoy out here?

Lt Miles: Perhaps The Commander would like to inform Starfleet of their error. I could open a comm channel...

Ensign Phoxe: (Pipes up) I'M willing to send one... but Starfleet stopped accepting my messages after my first month out here.

Lt. Commander Holden: (Accepting command for the gamma shift, chides the ensign) Phoxe... your MOTHER stopped accepting your messages after your first month out here!

(Computer board chirps annoyingly)

Lt D'Alaire: PTAK! (Pushes Miles aside at ops) .... COMMANDER! Sensors show a transwarp conduit opening up 10 million kilometers from our position!

(Commander T'Gin runs to the console and barks out a command)

Commander T'Gin: RED ALERT! CAPTAIN to the bridge!

Lt Commander Holden: Lt Heal! Prepare for evasive manuevers, Omega 4!

Captain's voice: (Sleepy) What is it now, T'Gin? Voyager show up?

(T'Gin is now running to join Lts MEG & Ronit at Tactical.)

Commander T'Gin: I WISH, Captain! Try the BORG! A transwarp conduit is trying to form off our port bow!

Captain Langley's voice: (Crisp English accent obvious, now that she's wide awake!) Bloody D@mn! Shields to MAXIMUM! Get Peters to send all auxilary power to the phaser banks .... have Ronit arm all Quantum torpedos and Miles alert Starfleet!

(We can hear her jumping up & running through the coorridors as she's issuing her orders)

Lt Commander Holden: Already done, Sir!

(He looks over his readings and pales when he hears Gamma's conn officer exclaim as she glances back at the view screen)

Lt Joyeauz: By the Holy Rings of Betazed!

(Captain Langley is breathless as she bursts from the turbo lift with Ensigns Michelle & bern on her tail)

Captain Langley: (Demands as she looks up to the screen) WHAT?!

(She stops dead in the middle of the bridge, joining everyone staring at it in complete surprise. VOYAGER is hanging in space before them.)

Lt D'Alaire: (With Awe) Captain... we are being hailed.

Captain Langley: Open a channel.

Lt Miles: (Gulps) Channel open.

Captain Langley: This is Captain Jules Langley, of the Federation Starship Benjamin Sisko. Identify yourself.

(The view screen wavers & we see Janeway & Chakotay standing on the Voyager bridge.)

Janeway: Captain Langley... I am Captain Kathryn Janeway, of the Federation Starship Voyager. This may be hard for you to believe... but we've just returned from eight years in the Delta Quadrant.

(Captain Langley turns to see Lt Commanders ande & Thompson along with Dr Ann Mmmm enter the bridge, all 3 smiling broadly up at the screen. In fact, everyone from both shifts of her bridge crew are smiling)

Captain Langley: ( Turns back to the woman on the viewscreen) Actually, Captain. Its not hard to believe at all. We are well aware of your adventures in the Delta Quadrant... and in fact were assigned to await your arrival and escort you to Earth, 7 months ago.

(She finally smiles, herself)

Captain Langley: Let me be the first to say... Welcome home.... Voyager.

Janeway: (Returns the smile warmly as she steps down to stand next to Tom at the conn) Thank-you, Captain Langley... Its good to BE home.


Scene One
Deep Space Nine. Promenade outside the main Docking port.

(Colonel Kira Nerys, Dr Julian Bashir, & Counselor Ezri Dax have been joined by Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Captain Langley, Neelix, Ensign Wildman & her daughter, Naomi.)

Captain Langley: Captain. DS9 isn't exactly on "the way to Headquarters". Admiral Hayes wanted you to be brought there as soon as you arrived.

Colonel Kira: Langley... shut down your warp core. The soonest Hayes could have expected Voyager after your first hail was 5 days. With her transwarp coils, Captain Janeway will STILL get there 4 days early... despite this little sidetrip. Relax, already. Have another Raktajeno while you wait.

Janeway: Thank-you, Colonel.

Chakotay: We appreciate the lengths you went to, arranging this reunion.

Colonel Kira: (Smiles warmly at the first officer) It was no trouble at all, Commander. In fact... I would have been more concerned with what he would have done to me if I hadn't arranged it!

Counselor Dax: Greskrendrek actually campaigned to get himself transferred back here months ago, when he realized Voyager had survived.

Dr Bashir: Since you departed from here 8 years ago... he naturally assumed this would be the first place you'd stop on your way back to Earth.

(Janeway looks up to see the Docking bay doors start to roll aside)

Janeway: And now, here he is.

(All turn to see Samantha Wildman stop her pacing and look into the eyes of the husband she'd not seen for 8 years.... she froze... then ran into his arms and began to sob with joy. Naomi hung back against Neelix for a minute, until her father opened his eyes and saw her over Samaontha's shoulder. His quick intake of breath caught Sam's attention & she broke her embrace long enough to turn and beckon Naomi forward. Still, Naomi hesitates. Holding Sam's hand, Greskrendrek slowly squats down to peer at Naomi on her eye level)

Greskrendrek: Hello little lady... I've heard quite a lot about you...

(Naomi looks questionably up at Neelix, who smiles and prods her gently forward)

Naomi: (Unsure) Daddy?

Greskrendrek: (Voice choking with emotion) Oh my ... How I've longed to hear you call me that!

(He opens his arms & Naomi runs into them. Had his neck not been reinforced by Katarrian scales... Janeway was sure her hug would have choked him)

Colonel Kira: (Leans over to whisper) I'd say that's one reunion happily concluded, Captain. Just... what? A 140 or so more to go?

Janeway: (Turns to grasp Kira's shoulder gratefully) Lets hope they are all as happy as this one, Colonel!

Chakotay: (Smiles warmly at Ezri) Counselor, I understand we have you to thank for arranging Greskrendrek's Leave of Absence so he can accompany us to Earth. It would be cruel to separate them so soon... and yet...

Counselor Dax: And yet... It would seem strange not to have Ensign Wildman & Naomi finish Voyager's jouney home. I agree, Commander. That is why I had his department push it through. (She turns to see the family introduce Neelix to Greskrendrek) If this doesn't qualify for compassionate leave... I don't know what does.

Scene Two
Exterior shot.... Space... above Utopia Planitia shipyards.

(Suddenly... a transwarp conduit opens and out jumps Voyager... followed by both the Defiant & the Sisko.)

Admiral Hayes Voice: Hail them!

(The camera pulls back to reveal the "exterior" shot is actually the wall sized view screen in the Utopia Planitia control room.)

Lt Coakley: Voyager. This is Utopia Planitia.

(The view screen changes to an internal shot of Voyager's bridge. Janeway and Chakotay are sitting)

Janeway's voice: Utopia Planitia... This is the Federation Starship Voyager... requesting docking permission.

Lt Coakley: (Looks up to Admiral Hayes, who nods) Permission granted, Voyager. You have been assigned to internal docking pylon #17... take your thrusters off line, we will tractor you in.

Janeway's voice: Acknowledged, Utopia.

(As Voyager is brought through the massive doors of Utopia Planitia's space station, Admiral Hayes and various other Command officers are beamed directly to pylon #17's docking bay.)

Scene Three
Docking bay for Pylon #17

( Admiral Hays stands with a command reception committee which includes Doctor Zimmerman of the Holographic Institute. As the hatch opens, they turn to see Captain Janeway, Commander Chakotay, Lt Commander Tuvok, Lt's Paris & Torres, Seven of Nine, and Neelix step out onto the concourse.)

Admiral Hayes: Welcome home, Captain... It's Good to see you again>

Janeway: (Accepts his handshake) Thank-you, Admiral. May I present my senior staff? My First officer, Commander Chakotay.

Admiral Hayes: (Reaches out his hand) Commander. Captain G'urtak of the Tripoli has asked to be remembered to you. He requests you contact him when you get a chance.

Chakotay: (Nods formally) I am honored that he remembers me.

Janeway: You recall my tactical officer... Lt Commander Tuvok.

Admiral Hayes: (Hands behind his back, he inclines his head) Indeed, I do. Mr Tuvok... The Vulcan ambassador is en route to Earth as we speak.

Janeway: (Moving down the line) My Chief of Engineering... Lt B'Elanna Torres.

Admiral Hayes: (Offers his hand as he also dips his head) Lt.... it is an honor to meet you. (He turns to reach for a padd his assistant is handing him) I received a communiquee from Qo'noS yesterday.... (He hands it to B'Elanna) I promised your mother I'd deliver it personally the moment you arrived.

Torres: (Accepts the padd carefully) Thank-you, Sir.

Janeway: (Smiles at B'Elanna as she moves on to Tom) Admiral... My Conn Officer... Lt Thomas Eugene Paris.

Admiral Hayes: (Smiles and reaches out his hand) No introductions are needed for this young man. Hello Tom... It's Good to see you in uniform again. (He looks him up & down) It fits you to a "T".

Paris: (Tries not to smile Too much) Thank-you for saying so, Admiral.

Janeway:(Arcing her eye at Tom as she moves on) On Temporary assignment, may I present my operations officer... Seven of Nine, Also known as... Annika Hansen.

Admiral Hayes: (As with Tuvok, he simply inclines his head formally) Welcome to the Alpha Quadrant.... do you prefer your Borg designation... or your human one?

Seven: (Looks briefly at Janeway) Either is acceptable, Admiral, although the crew knows me as "Seven of Nine".

Janeway: (smiles at the man standing at attention at the end of the line) And finally, my acting ambassador, chief cook & quartermaster, Mr Neelix... A Talaxian .....formerly of the moon Rynax, in the Delta Quadrant.

Admiral Hays: (Nearly clicks his heels as he bows) Sir! I am honored to greet you... as the first member of the Delta Quadrant to visit Starfleet.

Neelix: (Flustered) The HONOR is all mine... Admiral. Strange as it sounds... after living with these "fleeters" for the last 8 years... I feel as if I'VE come home today, as well.

Admiral Hayes: (turns to Janeway) Now, Captain. Your transwarp coils have gotten you here 4 days too early. A large celebration has been planned for months, to mark this occasion. But it depended on those 4 days to call all the guests in from the various sectors.

Janeway: (Tries to demur) Sir... a celebration isn't neccessary for us....

Admiral Hayes: Perhaps not. But it is necessary for your family, friends, and colleagues. We don't want to disappoint them... Now. On to more mundane problems. Your initial mission debriefings were to occur over the 5 days you were supposed to be in transit from the badlands... again you were too fast for us. So... Headquarters has asked that we perform the crew & ship debriefings here, while we arrange the festivities.

Neelix: You're going to debrief the ship too?

Dr Zimmerman: (Steps forward) Well, more accurately, we will download all of Voyager's computer cores, and the EMH's database for intensive review. Captain Jane... I understand you still have a functioning Mark One on Board. How ever did you manage to keep him up and running all these years.

Janeway:(Bristling at his continued misuse of her name, simply waves to B'Elanna & Seven) He's had the BEST engineering team in TWO quadrants working on him... "Doctor"... Dr Marcus Graham has had no choice but to "stay up and running".

Dr Zimmerman: (Looks skeptically at the women) You've NAMED your Hologram, Captain? Hrumph. (He turns to Admiral Hayes) With your permission... I will download the EMH directly to my lab.

Janeway: (Refusing to be ignored by the Doctor) "Granted"... Doctor. As long as you return Dr Graham by the time we're ready to leave spacedock for Earth.

Dr Zimmerman: (Spins back to the Captain) Why do you need him for such a short trip? If you are THAT concerned, I'm sure the Admiral can find you any number of Organic replacements... all of which are vastly superior to the Mark One... I assure you.

Janeway: (Smiles, with deadly sweetness) This crew has been together for nearly 8 years, Doctor. It's taken each and every one of us, working together, to get to this point. I'll not deprive my ship OR my people of even ONE member of its crew as we approach Earth orbit.

Dr Zimmerman: (Sputters at Hayes) But my work... it won't be done...

Admiral Hayes: (Interrupts the Doctor, as he turns to Janeway) Dr Graham will be returned to you before you leave spacedock, Captain. I promise.

Janeway: Thank-you, Admiral.

Scene Four
Small Conference Room on Utopia Planitia

(Janeway is alone on one side of a long rectangular table. Lined up on the other side, are seven Admirals and Captains... including Admiral Necheyev. After 5 hours of grilling... Janeway's exasperation is starting to show.)

Janeway: (Standing up to drive her point home) How Many times must I go over this? I did NOT feel it was a prime directive situation! The technology we were trading with Kovin WAS comparable with what we were being offered. It would not upset the balance of power in his sector. The same could NOT be said for the Kazon's demand for Transporter or replicator technology!

Admiral Necheyev: (reviewing a padd just handed to her by her aide) Continuing on the Prime Directive, Captain... Your approach to it would seem.... (She looks up at Janeway) "haphazard" at best. Your trading practices with the Kazon & Kovin aside... This decision to awaken the Vaddwair in the Caretaker's simulation seems questionable..... but your decision to then proceed and awaken the remaining aliens on the Caretaker's Arrays... ESPECIALLY after what you experienced with the Vaddwair seems foolhardy in the least... and negligent at the most. Didn't you BREAK general order #1 with that action?

Janeway: (Sitting back down, she shakes her head in disbelief) How so, Admiral? EACH species we revived on the Array Belonged to a warp capable civilization.... Each species....

Intercut Scene
Second Conference Room

( Chakotay is sitting at a similar table, facing 7 Captains & Commanders, including Captain Jellico.)

Captain Jellico: Isn't that true, Commander? Did you NOT threaten to MUTINY not once but TWICE under this Captain?

Chakotay: (Voice controlled but deadly) You are twisting my words, Sir.

Captain Jellico: Pray then... straighten them out for us, Commander. Why SHOULDN'T Captain Janeway be cashiered out of StarFleet for her behaviour in the Delta Quadrant?

Chakotay: (Inhales deeply before he can trust himself to reply) There was NEVER a time when Captain Janeway didn't put STARFLEET or her CREW at the top of her priority list. YES... she did, in my opinion, become temporarily blinded in her dealings with the FAUX Equinox crew... That is true. But she was blinded by the LETTER of your Federation law...

(He reaches over and picks up a padd sitting in front of Jellico, and points it accusingly at him)

Chakotay: .... when she believed Ransom BETRAYED his Starfleet ideals and repeatedly committed savage murder! And YES, Admiral... she did relieve me TEMPORARILY!... of my command because I opposed her interrogation methods....

(He pauses at the memory)

Chakotay: But. She discovered something that day... something about herself.

(He stands and bends over the table as if he could drill the words into Jellico's psyche)

Chakotay: She learned the meaning of "...THERE... but for the grace of God... Go I!"

(He turns to make eye contact with each officer at the table)

Chakotay: In the end, "Captain"... She came to her own senses... She stopped HERSELF... she stepped BACK from the brink....

(He looks at the padd still in his hand and places it reverentially on the table)

Chakotay: She realized... unlike you, it seems... that often the LETTER of the law has Nothing to do with its SPIRIT!.....

Intercut Scene
Another Conference Room

(Tom Paris is under scrutiny by 6 Captains & Commanders, and 1 Admiral)

Commander: Be honest, Lt Paris... You're defending her Because she not only got you out of prison, she put 2 pips on your collar and a state of the art starship at your feet. She gave you EVERYTHING you EVER wanted... everything Starfleet once offered you... but took away because you weren't Worthy of it!

Paris: (Shakes head, trying to keep his cool) No... that's Not True.

Captain: Oh Puhlease... Lt (he turns to the Commander) I can't believe I'm even Calling him that...

(Turns back to see the blood start to rush into Paris' face)

Captain: "Mr Paris"... You'd DO anything to protect this woman... wouldn't you! (He smiles injudiciously) Hey... not that I can blame you... She's powerful... beautiful... attainable...

(Paris jumps up from his chair so fast that he kicks it back across the room)

Paris: (Bristling with Rage) Let me tell you a thing or two about "This woman"! You're D@amn Right! I WOULD do anything for Captain Janeway... Even though the ONE time I got holier than thou and tried to SAVE a planet from extinction... she actually had the GALL to not only FIRE on me... she put me in the brig in solitary confinement for 30 days AND busted me to a flipping ENSIGN for EIGHTEEN months!

(Tom sneers as he looks at the Captains in the room, before he continues)

Paris: And because I know that she would NOT want me to reach across this table to rip your tongue out of your head and beat you senseless with it for that insinuation you just made... I Won't!

(he turns to the other officers in the room)

Paris: So.... you've picked through 7 years of logs we sent home with Harry 8 months ago... and came to your own assumptions about us...

(looks back to Admiral Brand sitting quietly in the center)

Paris: You KNOW what they say about people who "assume"...Ma'am....

Commander: Be careful Lt....

Paris: (Spins to his right) Or What?! You've already tried and convicted us in absentia!

(He paces up and down the table)

Paris: Did the Captain ever break the Prime Directive? NO! Did she ever come close?

(He turns to stare down Admiral Brand)

Paris: Not D@mn close enough for MY tastes! She refused to break the laws of Sikaris to obtain technology that would send us 40,000 lightyears in onespace folding jump! She refused to Kidnap ME from the Baneans Unjust sentence of murder. Instead she insisted on proving my innocence & clearing my name. She refused to Kidnap B'Elanna from the Mari's world when she appeared to have broken one of THEIR laws against violent thoughts. Again... she INSISTED on proving her crewman was Innocent!

(walking back, he picks up his chair and places it at the table)

Paris: When Harry & I were wrongfully convicted & imprisoned for a terrorist bombing... SHE did break into the Akritria prison to free us... But ONLY because the authorities refused to commute our sentence despite evidence they were wrong. And... she DIDN'T stop to play God. She didn't assume everyone else there was innocent too and free them to wreck havoc on Akritrian society..

Admiral Brand: What of her interference at the Caretaker's Array with the Kazon, or with the Devorans over the telepaths... or with the BORG over Unimatrix Zero?

Paris: (stops and gestures like a tired teacher) Each of those dealt with a Warp capable civilization, & included a distress call of some kind. The Prime Directive DIDN'T apply!

Captain: (Lifts up another Padd) And what of Captain Janeway's interference with the religious beliefs of a primitive society on Takar?

Paris: (Turns back to his left, obviously confused) Excuse me?

Captain: The Ferengi.

Paris: (His mouth drops open) You must be joking.

(Paris slumps back into his seat)

Captain: Or her interference with the development of a primitive planet... (looks at the padd) "displaced in time?" THEY were not warp capable when you first encountered them, and had sent no distress signal.

Paris: (In shock) When we first... Interference? We were STUCK in orbit for 4 days... how is that OUR fault?!

(Silence descends in the room)

Paris: (Looks from face to face for understanding... and finds none) Oh. My. God. So that's how it is. This is going to be a long night... (he looks to Brand) isn't it?

Intercut Scene
Another Conference Room

(B' Elanna Torres is facing down her review board)

Admiral Nokumura: So... Lt. In fact there was no discipline on Voyager. We have reports of YOU breaking a fellow officer's nose during your first weeks in the Delta Quadrant... after which you were REWARDED with the "Chief of Engineering" job... and 4 years later we see the Borg drone do the same to a guest and be rewarded with the "Chief of Astrometrics".

Klingon Captain: (Growls) I have No problem with anyone's need to resort to ACTION to settle a problem... I'm actually surprised the Lt didn't do it MORE often.

Torres: (Turns to the Captain with disgust) Because it WASN'T necessary!

Admiral Nokumura: (Picks up another padd) Again... another aspect of the nonexistent discipline... Lt... How often did You actually disobey a DIRECT order while on Voyager?

Torres: (Still seething at the Klingon, turns back to the Human) I don't understand the ques...

Admiral Nokumura: (Pushes the padd to Torres, across the table) I see that not only were you on report for breaking Lt Carey's nose... but also for disobeying an order "not" to trade with the Sikaris people for their space folding technology. In fact... you not only bought this tech against her orders, you INSTALLED the prohibitive device without her knowledge and nearly DESTROYED Voyager in the process!... didn't you!

(He looks at another padd, before sending to her across the table)

Admiral Nokumura: And then there was the time you disobeyed Captain Janeway's express order NOT to help the "Prator" race of Robots to "reproduce."

(B'Elanna's head has been slowly shaking in disbelief until now. She jerks it up as if in answer to a challenge.)

Torres: Now just a minute... I DID disobey that order... But only to save my crew and buy them time, did I agreed to "work" on the Prator's project... When I realized the DANGER their ability to reproduce truely was... I destroyed my research at the risk of my crew & my life!

Klingon Captain: (Bored) Come now, Admiral... give the Lt a break... Did ANYONE on Voyager obey "Captain" Janeway's orders? Lt Torres' was not an isolated case...

(He picks up several padds of his own)

Klingon Captain: Why... the Vulcan assisted in breaking the Sikaris "prime directive"... Commander Chakotay ignored the Captain's authority, stole a shuttle and instituted his OWN tactical plan to retrieve transporter technology from the Kazon...well....I guess I can excuse THAT one... It was, after all, a manner of honor.

(The Klingon Hrumphs at the thought)

Klingon Captain: Ensign Kim disobeyed several orders not to interact with a member of a Xenophobic race... hmmmm.... (He smiles) Maybe we should excuse that one too... as "hormones" were obviously involved... Seven Of Nine disobeyed an order to access "fluidic space" which would allow Voyager to not only escape a Hirogen trap... but also return an alien to his home and create a potential ally. She not only refused the order... she THEN transported this same being to his death aboard a Hirogen ship....... Hmmmm. No. Even I can't excuse THAT one.

Admiral: Let's be fair, Captain... the Borg drone is not "Starfleet"...

Klingon Captain: No, But "Captain" Janeway IS. So are the protocols she supposedly runs her ship by...

(He turns to Torres)

Klingon Captain: Tell me, Lt. Was Janeway EVER in charge... or did everyone get to take turns running Voyager?

(Torres has had ENOUGH!)

Torres: PTAK! I will show you what happens when someone cries insult on MY Captain! (She's Growling) We WILL meet in BATTLE today... Name your weapon!

Admiral Nokumura: Now, see here... this isn't a Klingon station... we don't sanction duels here...

Klingon Captain: (Waves Nokumura aside, and smiles) So... the "weak" Captain has a Champion... how charming...

(Torres vaults over the table to grasp the Klingon's throat. Two guards must step in and restrain her)

Torres: (ROARING) WEAK? WEAK?!! Tell me Ptak! How many Captains do you know would order her crew off the ship so she can fly it into the path of a BOMB about to destroy a continent... because one of her crew was responsible for setting that bomb into motion years before they'd ever met?

(Still fighting to pull herself from the guards restraint)

Torres: How Many Captains do you know, would walk into an 800 megajoule biogenic field WITHOUT an environmental suit... on the "off" chance it would save a member of her crew?


Torres: HOW MANY Captains would enter a contaminated ship, her crew dieing of that same contamination... and not only defeat the macroviruses attacking her ship but the microviruses attacking her?

(The Klingon Captain smiles, which incites Torres even further)

Torres: HOW MANY CAPTAINS would walk into an engine room with the warp core breaching... to prove it was all an "illusion"...

(The guards have let her stand, but still have to hold her back)

Torres: How many could infiltrate a prison, bring down its defenses, find and free her crew, and win an undermatched firefight...

(She Leans as far into the Klingon's face as the guards allow)

Torres: How many NONKLINGONS do YOU know who would pick up the Bat'leth of a fallen Warrior and not only attack a BORG drone with it... But SUCCEED as well?!

(The guards restraining Torres now look ashamed at doing so, and release her. Torres shakes off their hands & stands tall.)

Klingon Captain: (Chuckles as he looks over the seething Engineer standing before him.) Perhaps, Lt... I should reread the Voyager logs..... one day.

Intercut Scene
Another Conference Room

 (Tuvok is responding to his board)

Vulcan Captain: Commander. How do you explain these security lapses?

Tuvok: (Calmly) The ship was not operating at peak efficiency the first 2 years... nor was its crew. Many security breaches occurred.

Human Commander: (Picks up a padd and recites) Trading bioneural technology with the Kazon... Allowing a spy to escape despite previously detecting her treachery... Aliens stealing information from the Delta Flyer to impersonate Starfleet officers for personal gain... Aliens hacking into the EMH software to spy on Voyager... Aliens infiltrating & attacking a member of your "crew" within your own cargo bay... Ferengi (He shakes his head increduluosly at this one) escaping from your security team... The Kazon, not to mention the Nyrians commandeering your ship?

 (He throws the pad down in disgust)

Human Commander: And we won't even Mention the number of shuttles stolen from Voyager over the last 8 years.... (Awe in his voice) It seems "that" was a favored pastime of just about EVERYONE who ever crewed or visited Voyager.

Tuvok: (still calm) Your question is?

Commander: (Not calm) You WERE chief of SECURITY?

Tuvok: Yes. I am.

Commander: (Exasperated!) So.... How did you come to allow these things to happen on your watch?

Tuvok: (Logically) In Seven years... many things came to pass... Commander.... Not all were favorable.

(The Human Commander just turns in his seat to stare at his colleagues)

Intercut Scene
Another Conference Room

(Neelix is beside himself with anger at the representatives of the Judge Advocate General's office)

Neelix: (Blustering) This is an OUTRAGE! I REFUSE to answer anymore questions.

JAG officer: Suit yourself, Mr Neelix... But the question still remains. Should Captain Janeway be tried for murder of the being known as Tuvix?

Neelix: (Leans forward despite his vow of silence) TUVIX, as I understand, was an amalgamation of not only Tuvok's and my DNA... but also of our memories, our very selves. HE was NEVER a separate entity. He Borrowed our lives, our tastes, our skills even our loves. He was INTERLOPER. When Captain Janeway separated us... she gave Me back MY life, and Tuvok back His!

JAG Officer: As you say... Still, Mr Neelix, Tuvix died by her hand.

Neelix: (Nods) Yes. He did. But the Captain was presented with a problem that had NO resolution that did not include death. Ours... or His. But, did "he" have a life to lose... or did he just "steal" mine?

JAG officer: (Sighs) It is as we thought... (she looks up to Neelix) Thank-you Mr Neelix. You may go.

Neelix: (looks about with suspicion) What do you mean... "As you thought"... Is that good or bad?

JAG Officer: (Busy looking at her padds, doesn't look up) You may go, Sir.

Neelix: (Puffs up with great anger) And YOU may explain yourself, Madame!

JAG officer: (Looks to the man in the corner) Guard?

(The guard steps forward to escort Neelix out of the room)

Neelix: (Being pulled along ) Wait... wait... NO! ... Unhand me you poor excuse for a Hirogen! Just one minute... I ... OUCH!

Intercut Scene
Another Conference Room

 (The EMH, AKA Dr Marcus Graham, is sitting before a board of his peers. Organic peers.)

Dr Kate Pulaski: Review of your medical files suggest a significant amount of emotional illness on Voyager over the years.

EMH: No more than would be expected... considering the crew was spirited 70,000 light years from home with no concievable chance to get home within their lifetimes.

Dr Pulaski: (Arcs an eyebrow at the EMH's impertinence) Ensign Kim in psychological/chemical withdrawl from a close encounter with an alien bonding... Seven of Nine victimized by repressed memories... memories whose source still can't be identified as being the result of Kovin or of YOUR interference... Lt Torres suffering from engram extraction, vulcan Ponn Farr, clinical depression, survivor's guilt, near death experiences... accidental AND induced......the Commander suffering from the effects of an alien brainwashing indoctrination, not to mention from an "insanity" gene which you allowed to reactivate.... The CAPTAIN, my God, being allowed to barricade herself into her quarters for months...

EMH: (Interrupts) I'd hardly describe what she did as "barricade"... she was visited frequently by Commander Chakotay & myself during that period.

Dr Pulaski: (Still in shock at being interrupted by a software program, nethertheless continues) Commander Tuvok suffering from a Vulcan mind meld with a sociopathic serial killer... The Ocampan's trauma of being taken over by Suspiria's henchman and the Warlord Tieran... Mr Paris' psychic trauma related to his being linked to a sentient alien ship?

EMH: (Shrugs) I had a busy practice... So what's your point?

Dr Pulaski: My POINT is... NONE of these trauma were efficiently diagnosed much less adequately treated on Voyager under your care.

EMH: (Looks unconcerned) You can take that up with my programmers.

Dr Pulaski: Excuse me?!

EMH: (Not patiently) My Mission... as an EMH on Voyager... was to serve as a short term adjunct to the medical STAFF. As such... I was programmed with the knowledge of 47 individual surgeons... along with the medical databases of 3000 cultures. Needless to say... my programmers never foresaw a period where I would have to be the SOLE medical care provider on board. They did not accentuate the psychiatric disciplines as it was never thought to be a priority for an "adjunct".

Dr Pulaski: (Exasperated) But your job on Voyager was NOT as an adjunct!

EMH: Tell me about it. I was forced to brush up on those disciplines on my own. Next time... perhaps Dr Zimmerman will be thoughtful enough to include an EPH in the database. An "Emergency Psychiatric Hologram".

Intercut Scene
Final Conference Room

(Seven of Nine is not pleased)

Seven: (Stands up to leave) This debriefing is irrelevant.

(Turns to go)

Commander Shelby: What are you Hiding... Ms Hansen?

Seven: (Spins back) Nothing, Commander, because there is nothing to hide. Captain Kathryn Janeway is a model Captain & a Model Human. I aspire to surpass her example.

Commander Shelby: (Seizes on a word) Surpass??? So... Janeway ISN"T perfect?

Seven: (Looks down on the blond woman with undisguised pity at her obtuseness) "Perfect", Commander... is a quality even the BORG Queen has yet to achieve... despite trying for over a millenia.

Intercut Scene
First Conference Room

(Janeway is sitting at the conference table in shock. The debriefing has just adjourned, 18 hours after it started. The Command staff reviewing her logs are starting to stand up to leave.)

Janeway: (Looks up at the officers leaving the table) I have one more thing to say..... if I may.

(The officers stop, look at each other and sit back down)

Admiral Necheyev: Yes, Captain?

Janeway: (Begins quietly) I've always been told, that the point of our being in Starfleet... was to "seek out new life & new civilizations...... to boldly go where no-one has gone before..."

Admiral Necheyev: Certainly a common twentyTHIRD century sentiment.

Janeway: Well... my crew has done that. That...and more.

(she shakes her head)

Janeway : Not one of them volunteered for an 8 year deep space mission. He!!... 25% of them didn't even voulnteer to be IN Starfleet.

(She looks intently into the faces opposing her)

Janeway: These men & women were placed in the "direst" of straights... and were asked to make a choice. Follow me & the Starfleet ideals I espoused... or stay behind on any number of worlds which offered asylum. Even one which included humans.

(She shrugs)

Janeway: They chose to follow me. It wasn't an easy choice. They faced hardships only DREAMED of back here in the Alpha Quadrant... even with your "Dominion war". people faced them ALONE. No backup. No replacements. No vacations. No mail from home. No drydock to park at for routine overhauls much less upgrades.

(She sighs)

Janeway: Despite these privations... or maybe BECAUSE of them... they survived. They excelled.

(She pushes aside a pile of padds next to her on the table)

Janeway: You can pull out EVERY mission that didn't go as planned to try and demean these people... and I will pull out a HUNDRED others that will EXTOLL them.

(A look of puzzlement crosses her face as she makes eye contact with each Flag officer in the room)

Janeway: Is this the Aftermath of war with the Domionion? A Starfleet that can only condemn, not commend? That judges by the letter of the law... and not the spirit?

(She stands slowly, and faces down her accusers)

Janeway: If it is... then perhaps I don't belong in Starfleet anymore.

(Janeway exits... as the Stunned Flag officers sit in silence)

Scene Five
Early morning, day 2 at Utopia Planitia, in the guest quarters

(Janeway is in bed... but she's not asleep. After tossing & turning several times, she finally gets up and walks over to the replicator.)

Janeway: Coffee... black.

Computer's voice: All replicators on deck 22, section 16 are off line.

Janeway: (Leans her head against the wall next to the replicator) That's just great!


Janeway: Computer... where us the nearest operational public replicator?

Computer's voice: Crew lounge, deck 22. section 17.

(Janeway walks back to her bed, and just stares at it as if it were the enemy)

Janeway: Computer, what time is it?

Computer's voice: 0 327

(Janeway turns to her closet and reaches for her uniform... she holds it and stares at it for several seconds, then looks up and asks)

Janeway: Computer... is the crew lounge on deck 22, section 17 occupied?

Computer's voice: No.

(Janeway hangs up the uniform, and picks up a floor length pastel blue robe which she cinches about her waist. She exits the room)

Scene Six
Crew Lounge, Section 17, Deck 22, Utopia Planitia

(Janeway enters and goes to the replicator to order her coffee. She picks up the steaming brew and carries it over to a floor to ceiling viewport that looks over the internal shipyard of Utopia Planitia. From her position, she can see her ship... Voyager.. snuggled up to the docking bay at pylon 17. A polished wooden rail runs in front of the viewport, and Janeway sits upon it and slumps against the transparent aluminum of the port. It pains her to see all the unrepaired damage dotting the hull of her ship, from the battle with the Caretaker 8 months ago.)

Janeway: (Whispers) Hello, old girl. How are you doing down there? Meet any old friends, yet?

(She closes her eyes, trying to remember happier times)


(A voice interrupts her reverie)

Male voice: Can't sleep either?

(Janeway opens her eyes to see Chakotay at the replicator)

Janeway: No. You?

Chakotay: No.

(He picks up his mug and walks across the room to join her at the viewport. They both, silently, look out at Voyager.)

Janeway: She looks so small... Docked next to that Galaxy class cruiser... Strange to see that ... She's been our whole universe for so long...

Chakotay: (Smiles as he leans into the viewport) What's that old saying... "It's not the size of the dog in the fight... but the size of the fight in the dog?"

Janeway: (Grins & nods at her ship) That's for certain.

Chakotay: (No longer looking at the ship) She may be small... but she can outfly anything in the shipyard... with her "transwarp coils".

Janeway: (Sighs, looking at Voyager) Maybe so, Chakotay. But she's no longer "Regulation Starfleet"...

Chakotay: (Sits on the rail next to Janeway) And this is a bad thing?

Janeway: (Chuckles ruefully and looks up to her first officer) Evidently so, Chakotay. Evidently so.

(Janeway's mouth presses into a fine line as she closes her eyes to control her breathing and forbid the moisture that threatens to appear.)


Chakotay: We'll fight this if we have to, Kathryn... together.

Janeway: (opens her eyes) Thanks for the offer, Chakotay. (She shifts her seat on the rail) But I honestly don't know if I have the energy anymore.

(She turns to look out at Voyager again)

Janeway: (Quietly) Funny... for 8 years I've dreamt of this day.

(turns confidentially to Chakotay)

Janeway: My fantasy ran something like Sam & Naomi's reunion with Commander Greskrendrek.

(She shakes her head)

Janeway: I knew there would be questions that had to be answered... but I never suspected.....


Janeway: Chakotay?

Chakotay: Hmmm?

Janeway: Was I unfit to Command Voyager?

Chakotay: (Emphatically) No!

Janeway: (Grits her teeth) I doubt that's the majority opinion of the board that debriefed me for 18 hours today.

(She brushes her long hair back)

Janeway: You know... I used to hate those annual reviews they put you through... but to have to account for every decision you've made over the last 8 years... My head is still spinning.

Chakotay: I know how you feel. I've been quizzed today on Everything from my Maquis affiliation to my discipline style. Half complained I was TOO aggressive... citing the one time I slugged Dalby in the messhall... and the other half that I was too passive, for NOT slugging Tom when he was baiting me in the Jonas hunt.

(He turns conspiratorially to Janeway)

Chakotay: Don't tell B' Elanna... but I hate having a Klingon on my review board.

Janeway: (Leans gratefully against his shoulder) Your secret's safe with me!


Chakotay: I have an idea.

Janeway: Oh?

Chakotay: (He smiles broadly, letting his dimples escape control.) Let's wake up the senior staff & break Voyager out of Spacedock. We could be halfway to the Delta Quadrant before Starfleet knows what hit them.

(Tom & B'Elanna have just entered the lounge)

Paris: Sounds like my kind of plan. But can we try the BETA quadrant this time. I'm really getting tired of running into the BORG. Give me some Romulans to deal with... that would be the change of pace I need.

Torres: What? You don't want to try the Gamma Quadrant?

Paris: (Stops to consider, then shakes his head) No... I've learned too much about the Dominion shapeshifters from Julian & Ezri. at DS9. I'd just as soon avoid those guys. (He smiles at the woman on his arm) I'd hate to wonder if you are real or not, before I kiss you.

Torres: (Playfully) Oh... Blame it on me.

(She turns to Chakotay)

Torres: Well, It looks like we'll be joining you in the Beta quadrant... but can we steal the Defiant's cloaking device 1st? It'd definately come in handy with the Romulans and that d@mned neutral zone.

Chakotay: (Chuckling at his Chief) What? You mean you haven't figured out how to duplicate it yet? B'Elanna! That's why I thought you spent so much time on the Defiant at DS9!

(Seven enters)

Seven: The Lt has been spending the majority of her spare time devising a "primitive" mobile emiter for the Doctor.

(She walks across the room to join the group at the viewport)

Seven: But... I believe with a concerted effort... we could duplicate a suitable cloaking device for Voyager.

(Neelix enters)

Neelix: Did someone call a staff meeting and not inform me?

Chakotay: Join us, Neelix. We're trying to decide where we'll go when we "liberate" Voyager from Spacedock.

Neelix: Really? Do you think we could stop at this planet called Risa...? I've heard its beaches are quite... stimulating!

Paris: (Playful) Hmmm, Chakotay... THAT sounds like a good idea. Let's put the Romulans off for awhile.

Torres: (Simply growls threateningly under her breath)

Chakotay: (Laughs at Tom's expression) I don't know, Tom. Maybe crossing the Romulan Neutral Zone without a cloaking device is safer than crossing B'Elanna.

Neelix: What, pray tell, are Romulans?

(Tuvok enters)

Tuvok: You met one seven years ago, Mr Neelix. The "Captain" we transported through the micro-wormhole.

Neelix: Good Evening, Mr Vulcan. I take it you couldn't sleep either?

Tuvok: On the contrary. I was meditating, Mr Neelix, when I realized several of you had gone by my door in this direction. Naturally, that suggested a potential security breach was in progress... and I came to investigate.

Paris: Don't worry, Tuvok. We're only planning on hijacking Voyager for a little joyride to the Beta Quadrant... Care to join us?

Tuvok: I'm afraid I must decline, Mr Paris. Perhaps, after I've visited Vulcan...

Torres: (Jumps in) Say no more, Tuvok. We understand.

Neelix: (Reassuringly) We'll pick you up on our way back.

Chakotay: (Turns back to Janeway) Well Captain... your pirate band has been assembled... what are your orders?

(Janeway looks gratefully into the eyes of each man & woman whom she proudly calls her crew)

Janeway: (Sighs) My orders? That we "stay the course", Commander. For at least the next 3 days, we continue to be the same steadfast Starfleet crew we've always strived to be. After that...

(She turns to look at Voyager, and shrugs)

Janeway: ...all bets are off. But I wouldn't count on Voyager being in our future.

Neelix: (Sighs) So much for happy endings.

Janeway: (Stands up, and turns to place her hands on Chakotay's and Neelix' shoulder) Good night, all. See you in the morning.

Scene Seven
Day 4 at Utopia Planitia. Crew lounge, Deck 22, Section 17

(Torres, Paris, Tuvok, Neelix, & Seven are eating lunch. Janeway & Chakotay walk in)

Janeway: Well... we finally have our orders... (she waves a padd) We've been cleared to take Voyager onto Earth.

Paris: Evidently, after much investigation, they've decided we're not "that much" of a security risk to the Federation... if they're letting us back on Voyager?

Chakotay: Well, at least not one to our families. They will be meeting us at Starfleet Headquarters in San Fransisco at 1800 hours.

Tuvok: Do we have a departure time?

Janeway: Yes. We leave in 2 hours. (Looks around the table) I suggest everyone finish lunch quickly and reassemble on board.

Torres: Any word on whether Harry & the others will be joining us?

Chakotay: (Grousing) They haven't "shared" that information with us, yet.

Seven: (Quizzical) Is secrecy & subterfuge the usual technique in Starfleet debriefings?

Tuvok: No, Seven. They are not.

Janeway: Who knows... somethimes upheavals like this Dominion war can throw a culture off it's stride. Perhaps it had a greater impact on them than even they realize.

Torres: Maybe so... but if WE' RE expected to make excuses for THEM because of the war... then you'd think they'd have a little more understanding for what WE went through in the Delta Quadrant.

Chakotay: You would hope so... B'Elanna... But their attitudes are out of OUR control. (He shakes his head) We are responsible only for ourselves.

Neelix: Captain... point of information... this "reception" we are asked to attend. Is it "formal" attire?

Janeway: (Leans on the back of his chair) I suppose so...

Neelix: Well... I've noticed... these last 4 days... that Starfleet's "fashion sense" has drifted.....into the grey/black color scheme since you left.

Janeway: Yes?

Neelix: Should the crew replicate "up to date" dress uniforms to "fit in"?

Janeway: (Stops and looks thoughtfully at her crew) It's our last "official" gathering as the "Crew of Voyager"... We'll honor the same colors we've fought in these last 8 years, Mr Neelix.

Chakotay: We'll see you on the bridge in 20 minutes.

(Chakotay & Janeway Exit)

Scene Eight

(Janeway & Chakotay are walking down the coorridor to the docking bay and Voyager.)

Janeway: I liked what you said back there, Chakotay.

Chakotay: Oh?

Janeway: It reminded me of a story my mother once told me.... about a prophet who went into a village to preach "Repentance". For weeks the villagers ignored him, and his message. Finally, some children asked him "why" he bothered to keep preaching when it was "obvious" that he wasn't going to change anyone's mind.

Chakotay: (Stops in the coorridor and looks at Janeway) His response?

Janeway: (Looks up at her first officer) The prophet said he knew he wouldn't change anyone's mind... but that he kept preaching so that the villagers wouldn't change his!

(For the first time in 4 days, Chakotay felt the warmth of her smile)

Janeway: Thank-you, my friend. Maybe I can't change Starfleet's attitude about "right & wrong", but I d@mn well won't let them change mine.

Chakotay: (Grins) Now That's the woman I'VE served with for the last 8 years!

Janeway: (Puts her hand through his arm and squeezes it.) Come on, Chakotay. Let's go home.

Scene Nine
Main Reception Hall at Starfleet Headquarters

(A long, rectangular room with two sides lined with tiered seating for family and guests.

At the East end, 12 white jacketed Starfleet Flag officers, anchored by Starfleet's Commander in Chief. At the west end sit the 140 crew of Voyager, all in their bright dress uniforms.

The crew jump unbidden to Attention as Voyager's Senior staff, including Lt Kim & Dr Marcus Graham, Led by Captain Janeway, file in to fill the front seats.

Seven, and Neelix have been given places of honor in the dignitary section, along with The Ocampan delegation, Commander Greskrendreck, Naomi, and the Borg Kids)

Torres: (Leans over to whisper) Captain??

Janeway: (Looking at the size of the crowd) I have NO idea, Lt.

(The Commander in Chief stands at a podium and bangs a gavel.)

CinC: Order... Order...!

(The crowd quiets)

CinC: Thank-you. For the last 30 weeks.... Starfleet has pursued one of the most unusual investigations/ mission reviews in history. We have delved into every log, and sensor reading available. We have studied the records of more first contact situations made by a single ship than in any time since the dawn of our own space travel in the 23rd century.

We have combed through this data, with the admittedly jaundiced eye of a people who've been reminded of our own shortcomings in the recent Dominion war. Reminded of how easily it is for an officer to become an island unto herself. How easily it is for a crew to lose sight of their goal, and their morals.

(A murmur of unease goes through the crowd)

CinC: (All seriousness) Captain Kathryn Janeway.

Janeway: (Stands) Sir!

CinC: Present yourself.

(Janeway strides to the center of the room and stands at attention)

CinC: (Voice rolls out with authority) Captain Janeway....A Special Tribunal has rendered it's conclusions of your "mission" to the Delta Quadrant.... are you willing to accept it's decsion?

(Janeway raises her chin firmly, tilting her "Gibson girl bun" back and stares unflinching at the CinC)

Janeway: I am.

CinC: (Nods) Captain Janeway... it is the deci.....sion.......

(Silence falls as the CinC sees Chakotay standup and walk forward. He is followed less than a pace behind by the entire front row of Voyager's senior staff. Chakotay comes forward to take his place next to the Captain's right arm. B'Elanna took her's to his right and Tom to her right. Tuvok claimed the spot to Janeway's left, with Lt Kim to his, and The EMH -  Dr Graham to Kim's left.)

(The crowd seemed stunned, which was only intensified when Seven and Neelix stood up in the dignitary section and walked down the steps to enter the main floor of the reception hall.

Seven came to stand to Tom's right, and Neelix to The EMH's left.)

( The CinC looks at the solid line of Officers standing before him)

CinC: I don't recall asking your crew to present themselves, yet... Captain.

Chakotay: Begging your pardon, Sir! We've followed Captain Janeway to He!! and Back. We're prepared to follow her anywhere, at anytime... including to WHATEVER judgement your "tribunal" has decided to impose!

CinC: Captain?

Janeway: (Looking straight ahead, tries not to let her pride in her crew show TOO much) Sir. I learned long ago... that sometimes... a Captain just has to go along with the will of her crew.

CinC: As you wish, Captain.

(He pulls out a padd to read aloud)

CinC: It is the will of this tribunal to recognize as valid, all field commissions given to Maquis and nonMaquis crewmembers during your tenure in the Delta Quadrant.

(A collective breath is released in the Hall)

CinC: All Maquis who had been tried and convicted in absentia for crimes against the treaty with Cardassia will have their sentences commuted due to their service for Starfleet in the Delta Quadrant.

(The Crowd starts to murmur with approval)

CinC: It is the decision of the commision led by Admiral Necheyev on Compliance with Starfleet's General Order Number One... The "Prime" Directive... that NO significant breaches occured during your tenure in the Delta quadrant, that would not have been authorized anyway had you access to Headquarters.

(Colonel Kira & Captain Langley smile and elbow each other, in the stands)

CinC: Questions regarding theoretical blended beings have been dismissed based on the lack of law regarding such beings.

(Julian & Ezri hug each other, while Commander Mike hands Ensign Phoxe a hankerchief)

CinC: Questions regarding overstepping authority in medical matters of individual crew have been laid aside given the extenuating circumstances regarding possible Lack of Capacity of said crew at the time the action was taken.

(Drs Pulaski and Clark nod in approval, as Commander "Wildcat" Tatum and Lt Vic'G whoop and Lt T'Racy sketches the scene for posterity.)

CinC: Finally....

(The CinC steps down from the podium and walks across the room to meet Janeway in the center. He's smiling)

CinC: (Loudly) ....There IS... Captain Janeway... one INexcusable error which this tribunal HAS uncovered during its investigation of your Command. One... UNfortunately, repeated ALL too frequently.

(He turns to beckon several aides forward. The aides each carry a polished dark cherry box.)

CinC: Errors, which Starfleet felt should be corrected Immediately.

(He leans slightly towards Janeway, and in an obvious stage whisper, says)

CinC: After EIGHT years... you haven't rewarded your STALWART crew Nearly enough!

(The CinC turns to walk down the line and stands in front of Seven Of Nine)

CinC: (Booming voice) ANNIKA HANSEN... By order of Starfleet Command... You have been offered a research position in StarFleet Academy's Engineering Department, at Utopia Planitia..... Will you accept?

Seven: (Looks briefly at Janeway, who smiles) Yes.

CinC: (Nods, and sidesteps to stand in front of Tom) Lt THOMAS EUGENE PARIS. By the decsion of Starfleet Command... you are being promoted to the rank of Lt Commander... (He turns to pluck a rank pip from the case held by the aide) Do you accept this commission?

Paris: (Tries not to Gulp) Yes SIR!

(The CinC puts the pip on his collar as B'Elanna preens with pride. She then looks up in honest shock, when she realizes the CinC has now stepped in front of her)

CinC: Lt B'ELANNA TORRES! By decision of Starfleet Command... you are being promoted to the rank of Lt Commander... (Again he takes a pip from the 2nd aide's case) Do you accept this commission?

Torres: (Stunned but vocal) I DO, Sir!

CinC: (Smiles as he moves on) COMMANDER CHAKOTAY... Starfleet Command wishes to offer you the Commssion of Captain...with all rights and responsibilities that entails... Your answer... Sir?

Chakotay: (Inhales deeply) It would be an Honor... Sir!

(The CinC formally places the pip on his collar, and stops to shake his hand, before moving onto Tuvok)

CinC: Lt COMMANDER TUVOK...By decision of Starfleet Command... you are being promoted to the rank of Commander... (A fourth aide steps forward with the wooden box) Do you accept?

Tuvok: Indeed I do, Sir.

CinC: (Smiles at Kim's reaction to his approach) Lt KIM, By decision of Starfleet Command... you are being promoted to the rank of Lt Commander....(His hand wavers slightly over the fifth box) Do YOU accept?

Lt Kim: (Pulls himself up so straight, the CinC's sure he's sprained something) Yes SIR!

(The CinC tries not to smile as he places the pip on Kim's collar, and then stands before the EMH)

CinC: Dr MARCUS GRAHAM...... Until today, Starfleet has had only one articial intelligence in its commissioned ranks. By ORDER of Starfleet command, I have been empowered to grant you a commission in Starfleet medical at the rank of Lt Commander.... Do you accept... Sir?

EMH: (Squares his shoulder with pride) I do, sir... with pleasure.

(The CinC picks up a padd from the sixth aide, and taps a series of commands into it. Suddenly, the room's holoemitters take the new commands and one after another... three pips pop out on the Doctor's collar, causing appropriate ooohhhs & aaahhhhs from the audience)

(Neelix' eyes pop open as the pips appear, and stay wide as the CinC comes to stand before him.)

CinC: Mr NEELIX... Starfleet's Diplomatic Command is honored to offer you, its first commission to a resident of the Delta Quadrant..... Do You accept?

Neelix: (Can't hardly breathe enough to respond) It would be the answer to a dream... Sir!

(The CinC shakes Neelix' hand and slowly walks back to the center of the room, and Janeway)

CinC: And last.... though certainly NOT least... CAPTAIN KATHRYN JANEWAY....

(He smiles slowly)

CinC: The Federation council wishes to bestow upon you its highest accolade.

(He turns to open a larger box held by his last aide)

CinC: The Federation Medal of Honor. This is in recognition for not only bringing us the technology to institute transgalactic communication, not only for bringing us the technology to unlock transwarp conduits, for not only rescuing the Ocampa Twice... but for bringing your crew AND our ideals... safely home.

(The Crowd explodes in applause as Janeway bows forward to allow the CinC to place the ribbon holding the medal around her neck.)


(Crowd explodes again, even louder, into cheers. Many of the crew standing at the end of the hall pound the floor in enthusuiasm, and break ranks to rush forward and embrace their Senior staff.

Many in the crowd do likewise. Admiral and Mrs Paris, followed by two women break through the crowd to embrace Tom. Harry's Parents hug him so shamelessly he nearly can't breathe. Dr Zimmerman actually shakes Dr Graham's hand with genuine pride.

Tuvok's wife, children, and grandchild greet him with such Vulcan restraint its hard to believe they last saw him nearly 8 years ago. Chakotay's cousins and old Maquis friends crowd about him, just as Seven's cousins and the Borg Children make their way to congratulate her.

The Ocampan delegation, along with Naomi & Samantha hug Neelix, while Greskredreck gives a Katarrian howl of Good fortune, which is only marginally louder than the howl of approval from B'Elanna's Klingon family... led by her Mother, and her Human Father.

Despite this onslaught, Janeway sees her goal... and pushes past the CinC and through the surging crowd to fall into the arms of her own mother and sister, sobbing through tears of joy.)

Scene Ten
Main Reception Hall at Starfleet Headquarters

(The reception continues for hours...... The crew of Voyager introduce each other to their families and friends from home. Many glasses of champagne and other forms of synthahol are passed amongst the revelers... and stories both heroic and humuorous are told. Towards the end of the evening, Janeway's senior staff find themselves gravitating towards each other in a quiet corner of the hall.)

Paris: (Reaches up to Kim's collar) Let ME see that pip, Harry... Nahhhh... Mine still looks better!

Kim: (Peers at Tom's collar) Oh... I don't think so...

Paris: (Smiles) JUST remember, I STILL outrank you... I was promoted FIRST!

Torres: (Nearly chokes on her drink) Oh, YEAH... by about THIRTY seconds!

EMH: (Talking to himself, outloud) "Doctor" Graham... "Lt Commander" Graham... I don't know which one sounds better.

Seven: Since you are unused to "any" name... either would be an improvement.

Neelix: It's sure better than "Hey You". Just think... one day I may actually be called "Ambassador Neelix"... What do you think are the odds on that, Mr Vulcan?

Tuvok: At this point, Mr Neelix, I'd have to say the odds are in your favor.

Torres: (Grumbles slightly) Well.... I sure HOPE Starfleet knows that Promoting me is ONE thing... but KEEPING me is QUITE another. If I'm not assigned to either Captain Janeway's or Captain Chakotay's ship... I'm OUT of here! There must be a resistance movement SOMEwhere that needs a good engineer.

Paris: (Spills his glass) Ahhh geezzz, B'Elanna! Can't you let me walk around for a FEW days with a Lt Commander's pips, before you make me go AWOL?

Kim: (Laughs at B'Elanna's threat) Well, as for ME... I don't care WHERE they put me... as long as its IN the Alpha Quadrant! I don't want another deep space mission for a LONGGGGGG time!

Janeway: (Giggles) Its NOT the deep space ones you need to worry about, Harry. Its those three week ones that will give you the dickens EVERY time!

Neelix: (Becomes serious) It seems strange... to think of us all going our separate ways... after all these years...

Chakotay: (turns to Seven) I was surprised to hear Seven would be joining the Academy's Dept of Engineering at Utopia Planitia.

Seven: (Inclines her head slightly) I believe I expressed an interest to one of the engineers there... and suggested it would provide a stable but stimulating environment for the Children.

EMH: I will also be joining Utopia Planitia. Dr Zimmerman has requested I stay on so that he can further study the alterations B'Elanna, Harry and Seven have made to my matrix over the years. Not to mention, the changes I'VE instituted in my personality & learning subroutines.

(Excitedly he turns to Janeway)

EMH: He's also expressed an interest in the "ECH" option that you have allowed us to study on Voyager.

Seven: (Smiles slightly) Dr Zimmerman has also agreed to help me create a prototype of B'Elanna's mobile emitter, once it's size becomes feasible.

Paris: (Motions to his Commander) Chakotay? Have you thought about YOUR future... Captain?

Chakotay: (Tugs at his ear before responding) Well, I'm aware that the Fleet is still understrength after the Dominion War... So ships will be few and far between, for awhile. I'll probably end up in a teaching post at the Academy... Of course.... I wouldn't say "no" to... say... an 8 yearold, out of date, intrepid class Starship... if one could be found....

Janeway: (Nearly spits her drink out over Tuvok, before she can retort) Over my DEAD BODY, Captain!

(The majority of the crew doubles over with laughter, even Seven smiles)

Tuvok: (Solemn, admidst the frivolity) If I may indulge in an ancient HUMAN tradition......

(The crew slowly quiets, and turns to Tuvok)

Tuvok: I'd like to propose a toast.

(Everyone raises a glass while they wait)

Tuvok: (Looks to his Friend) To Captain Kathryn Janeway. For fullfilling her promise... to bring "us" home.

Torres: Here! Here!

Janeway:(Smiles carefully, as she slowly shakes her head) I'm sorry, Tuvok... but I can't accept that honor. I didn't "bring" us home.

(She raises her glass to her crew)

Janeway: The only way we got home was through the combined... Blood... (looks to Chakotay and Tuvok)...... Sweat...... (looks to Kim and Neelix).......... and yes, even Tears.......(looks to Seven, Tom & B'Elanna)..... of each and every one of you.

(She smiles)

Janeway: To "us".

Her crew: To US!

(Glasses clink/ cheers are raised)


Scene Eleven

(Coorridor outside of the main Starfleet reception hall. Janeway has slipped away from the crowd with its noise, and is searching for a transporter. She finds it and enters the quiet room with Champagne glass in hand. A lone ensign is on duty, not expecting any company.)

Janeway: Good Evening, Ensign.

(The ensign looks up without enthusiasm, until he sees the medal about this Captain's neck... Then he snaps to attention so fast it must have hurt.)

Ensign Davidson: CAPTAIN!

Janeway: (Smiles the smile known to melt Klingon hearts) At Ease... Ensign... before you sprain something.

(The Ensign remains at attention)

Janeway: (sighs) I'd like you to transport me to Observation deck 47 at Federation Space Dock Number 5.

Ensign Davidson: Yes Sir!

(Janeway turns to look back at the Ensign, as she climbs aboard the transporter pad.)

Janeway: Uh... Ensign...?

Ensign Davidson: Sir?

Janeway: (Chuckles and waves absentmindedly) Oh... never mind. Energize.

(Janeway dematerializes)

Scene Twelve
Observation Lounge

(Janeway materializes in the observation lounge immediately overlooking a battered Voyager. Several maintenance crews can be seen crawling over her hull, finally removing the evidence of her last battle. Janeway leans against the viewport and raises her half filled glass in homage.)

Janeway: To you, old friend... We finally did it. We're home.

(As she sips her glass, she hears another transporter beam being activated in the lounge. She turns to see Chakotay materialize)

Chakotay: (Stands unmoving, with a glass in one hand, and the other behind his back) I thought this was where you'd be when I realized you had left the party. Mind if I join you?

Janeway: Not at all.

(Chakotay walks across the lounge to stand next to Janeway. They both watch silently as engineering crews float over Voyager.)

Chakotay: (Quietly) Kathryn?

Janeway: (Also quietly) Hmmm?

Chakotay: I have something for you...

(She turns to look up at him)

Chakotay: ...Its to celebrate our safe return home....

(He shrugs, self consciously)

Chakotay: I didn't want to give it to you planetside.... not with all that madness going on down there.

Janeway: (Intrigued, she smiles encouragingly) What?

(Chakotay sighs, and slowly brings the hand behind his back, into view. He's holding a small polished sterling silver box. Janeway looks puzzled as she takes it and pops open the clasp. Inside she finds a bright red satin pouch. She looks up at him before she lifts the pouch from the box, and unties the drawstring. She begins to smile as she sees what lies within... and carefully she lifts it out.)

Chakotay: (Voice husky) "My people" have a saying.... "The Third time's the charm".

Janeway: (looks up with a tear in her eye) I love it, Chakotay... Thank-you.

(She reaches up to caress his cheek, and he leans down to whisper into her ear)

Chakotay: Welcome home.... Kathryn.

(Had the Engineering crews repairing Voyager's structural hull damage, looked up to observation lounge number 47 at that moment, they would have seen two Starfleet Captains locked in a long, passionate embrace.... with a silver pocket watch, dangling between them.)


CHORUS: And so ends the rescue ...

Of Kathryn Janeway........................... Captain
Of Commander Chakotay...................Angry Warrior
Of Commander Tuvok...............Compassionate Vulcan
Of B'Elanna Torres.........................Half Human
Of Lt Paris...................................LostSon
Of Lt Kim...........................Uncertain Ingenue
Of Neelix......................................Orphan
Of Seven of Nine.........................Feral Genius
Of EMH......................................Pinocchio

These stories WILL continue....
For as long as we have the breath to tell them....
and as long as our patron
remains wise and compassionate....
and VOYAGER will continue her journey to
the GLEAMING cities of Earth....
Where PEACE reigns...
And Hatred Has NO Home.

I thank the men and women who have brought me this show for 6 years, for their successes and even for their failures. I hope you've enjoyed MY fantasy of how this show should end... and eagerly await with me , TPTB's version.

Let me end, however, "like" Janeway & Chakotay Did.... "with" Voyager. At least.... with her "Dedication plaque".

"For I dipt into the future, as far as human eye could see....
Saw the vision of the world, and all the WONDER that COULD be......

— A Tennyson.