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Janeway: "Captain's Log, Stardate 48623.5. There are two
hundred forty six elements known to Federation science. We
believe we have just discovered the two hundred forty seventh
inside the ring system of a class-D planet."
Kim: "The element has an unusually large atomic mass, over
five hundred and fifty nucleons. And the readings are constant.
The element appears to be stable."
Janeway: "A stable transuranic element inside a natural
environment. This is a first."
Torres: "Can you imagine what we could make with this
stuff? Probe casings that could go into the core of a sun,
Janeway: "That's assuming we can mine it. Ensign, try and
locate the highest concentration of the element."
Kim: "The element is present in most of the asteroids
that comprise the rings. I can isolate a sample and beam it
Torres: "Or, better yet, maybe we could get a firsthand
look at this element in its natural environment. It looks like
most of these
asteroids support class-M atmospheres."
Janeway: "Good idea. Commander, you're in charge."
Chakotay: "Aye, Captain. Mister Kim, would you like to
Kim: "I wouldn't miss it, sir."
picking up a large cavern in there. The readings are What the
hell is this?"
"It's organic. Some kind
of biopolymer residue."
"I want to see what's
Torres: "Class five humanoid. It appears to be dead."
"Captain, there are eighteen bodies here, all humanoid.
Eleven male, seven female. From what we can tell they're in various
stages of decomposition. Some have been here for years. Others no
longer than a few days. In fact, one body arrived less than twelve
"Arrived from where?"
"I don't know, Captain. But from
the position of the
arms, I'd say we're looking at some kind of burial site."
"What about the element we discovered?"
"It's emanating from their bodies, Captain we think
it's some kind of by-product of their decomposition process."
"I recommend we leave these bodies in peace, Captain.
However, Mister Kim has a different opinion."
"With all due respect, Captain, I have to disagree with the
Commander. This is our first contact with this race, and I think we
should be learning all we can about them. It's a unique
"I understand the chance for scientific discovery,
Captain, but whatever belief this race has, they clearly meant for
their dead to be left alone and I think we should respect that."
"I'm afraid I agree with Commander Chakotay. Set your tricorders for passive scans. I don't want to disturb anything."
"Captain, the sanctity of these bodies should be respected.
I recommend we make visual observations only. No tricorders."
"Very well. Keep me informed. Janeway out."
for letting me voice my opinion to the Captain."
"I remember the
first time I went on a tomb excavation on Ktaria 7. I wanted to keep
a memento of the experience, so I picked up a rock from the burial
site. Only I found out later it wasn't just a rock."
"What was it?"
"It was a sacred
stone. The Ktarians lay thousands of them in the tomb. Each one
represents a special prayer. Without realising it, I had desecrated
that man's grave."
initiate emergency transport procedure twenty one alpha."
Seska: "I'm already on it, Captain. It's no use. His
pattern's gone. And the subspace vacuole has disappeared. I'm
looking at the transporter logs."
Seska: "My only guess is he was pulled into the
Torres: "This isn't one of the bodies we found in
the cavern. It's
Chakotay: "This body might have come out of the
vacuole at the same time Kim was taken in."
Torres: "Wait a minute. I'm showing signs of
electrical activity in the brain. It looks like she died just a
few minutes ago. We might be able to revive her. If we can, we
might get some answers."
Chakotay: "We can't interfere with this woman's
natural process of
Torres: "What do you suggest we do, Commander? Kim's
gone. She's the only one who might be able to tell us what
Chakotay: "Beam us directly to Sickbay."
Seska: "Aye, Commander."
"Death is the end of this life. But it is also the beginning of
a new journey. Ptera will now thrive in the Next Emanation. This
is both her sacred duty and her great privilege. As she begins
her transition, we promise to carry memories of her so that when
we enter the..."
Kim: "Help! Get me out of here!"
Renora: "She's alive! Deactivate the cenotaph, quickly!
Kim: "Let me out!"
A lot of memories in this."
so proud of you, Hatil. This is such a generous, selfless act."
my last gift for you and the children."
it's one we will always cherish. But I'm still gonna miss you."
know. I'll miss you too, but I'll see you in the Next Emanation
when you're ready to join me."
my love to your father. Tell him that the garili trees he
planted have, have been in bloom for three years straight."
down. It's going to be all right. We won't harm you."
not sure yet. We think he came from the Next Emanation."
Next Emanation? You mean he's come back?"
back from where?"
called for the thanatologist. He'll be here any moment. I don't
think there should be any further discussion about
this until he
did you get here?"
not sure. I just sort of woke up inside one of those pods. I was
conducting an investigation on an asteroid, we found some dead
bodies, then there was some kind of subspace phenomenon."
Hatil: What do you mean, you saw dead people there?
er, Dr. Neria, the chief thanatologist of this facility."
Harry Kim of the Federation starship Voyager."
see. What race are you from?"
call ourselves human. We come from a planet called Earth in a
distant part of the galaxy."
said he saw dead people on an asteroid."
can you tell me where I am?"
what does this mean?"
Hatil. There's no need for concern. May I speak to you
privately, Ensign Harry?"
are the Vhnori and this is our homeworld."
were investigating one of the asteroids in the rings around your
are no rings around our world."
the subspace vacuole must have transported me somewhere else. Do
you have any star charts I could look at? I'd like to figure out
where I am now in relation to where I was."
you are now is in the world of the living. Where you came from
was another dimension."
You returned from the Next Emanation. The afterlife."
you able to revive her?"
a simple process, really. She died of a cancerous growth on the
brain stem. I removed the tumour, replicated new neural tissue and
used the standard Starfleet post-mortem resuscitation technique for
a class five life form."
she covered with this biopolymer?"
wasn't covered with it, exactly. The biopolymer is a
her own tissues."
her tissues decayed, the cell membranes broke down into a biopolymer
resin which was then excreted by her epidermal layer. My guess is
it's a natural decomposition process for this species."
the other biopolymer fibres
we found in the cavern
probably the result of other bodies that had decomposed and left a
residual membrane. In essence, Commander, you were strolling through
of course. Kes, two cc's of netinaline. Hello."
I know this must be very confusing for you, but you're all
right. My name is Kathryn Janeway.
Ptera: I'm Ptera. Where's my brother?
Your brother? I'm afraid he's not here.
Ptera: But he's supposed to be here. They're all supposed
to be here.
Ptera, we were able to remove the tumour from your brain. You're
going to be all right. We revived you because one of
Ptera: This is the Next Emanation? This is the afterlife?"
No. No, it's not. You're on a starship."
can't be right. My brother's supposed to be here. Something's
No! Get away from me. This isn't right. This can't be right! Not
saying there was a woman in here just before I arrived?"
right. Her name was Ptera. She was dying of a tumourous lesion to
So she wasn't dead yet?"
course not. She didn't die until the cenotaph was activated. That's
the purpose of the cenotaph. It terminates a
person's life just
before the appearance of a spectral rupture and then it allows their
body to be taken to the Next Emanation."
can show you.
looks like what we would call a subspace vacuole. Does the cenotaph
create these ruptures?"
occurrences, once every six hours. This entire
complex was built on
this site because a spectral rupture occurs here. We have thousands
of such sites on our world. Forgive my curiosity, Harry, but, you
are the first person ever to come back from the afterlife. I have
quite a few questions. You said that you saw dead bodies?"
right. There were seven females, eleven males. Some of the bodies
had been there for years, others just for a few days."
saying that when we die we go to some asteroid and decompose?
that's what it looked liked to us."
bodies, did you perform any kind of bio-scans on them? Was there any
specific medical data that you can remember?"
maybe I should just stop right there. This is what my
people call a
'first contact' situation, and we've learned to be very careful
about how much we tell alien cultures we've just met."
like to start a complete bio-analysis as soon as possible. If you'll
just follow Dr. Renora."
Look, all I want to do is get back to my ship. And I think there
might be a way to use this spectral rupture of yours to..."
going anywhere. You are our first glimpse into what lies beyond
death. We are not going to let this opportunity pass us by."
that's all I know. I'm sorry. I can't tell you anything
told me quite a bit. At least now I have an idea of what might have
happened to Mister Kim. Is there anything I can do for you?"
I'd like some answers."
happens to my people when we die."
sure exactly. But from what we do know, the vacuoles deposit the
bodies on the asteroids in this ring system."
sure what you mean."
supposed to evolve into a higher level of consciousness when we die.
We're supposed to gain a greater understanding of the universe. All
of our questions are supposed to be answered."
know this must be frightening for you. You've been through a very
traumatic experience. It would frighten me. But please try to
understand. Just because I don't have the answers to your questions
doesn't mean there aren't any."
brother. I always thought I'd see him again. I had so
many things to
tell him about his children, the people he left behind. But he isn't
here, is he? He's. So, what am I supposed to do now,
spend the rest
of my life on this, this starship?"
am gonna do everything in my power to figure out just how you got
here. And as soon as I know anything, I will tell you, all right?"
we should get out of Sickbay, let you walk around for a while, clear
your mind, maybe get something to eat. Are you hungry?"
Actually, I could use something to eat."
what are you saying?"
not sure I'm ready, that's all."
I. It's just that I'm starting to wonder what really happens when we
die, if I'm really going on to a higher level of consciousness."
What has he been telling you?"
done is made me stop and think about something
we've always taken
for granted, and now that I've thought about it, I'm not so eager
to go through with it anymore."
know nothing about him, or why he's come here, or why he's spreading
lies about the Next Emanation. All I know is you-you can't throw
away a lifetime of belief because of him. It
doesn't make sense."
know what to think anymore. I'm scared, Loria."
to be all right. Think about your father. He's waiting for you. I'll
see you at the transference ritual. I don't know who you are or
where you come from, but you stay away from my husband."
sorry. I didn't mean to."
have to forgive my wife. She's having trouble understanding my
concerns about the afterlife. That's why I'm here.
I'm getting ready
to die. Forgive me for asking again but can you tell me anything
about what I might find in the Next Emanation?"
Kim: Everyone keeps asking me that, and I just keep giving
the same answer. I don't know.
Hatil: But you do come from the afterlife?"
come from a different reality, maybe another dimension.
Maybe it is
your afterlife. I don't know. All I
do know is that there are
countless billions of people there who are born, live and die, just
you do here."
did see my people there? You said they were dead?"
but, look, for all I know, your thanatologists are right, and all I
saw were the corporeal remains of your people, and you do go on to a
also possible that there is no higher existence for us, that when we
die we simply cease to exist."
really can't say. I don't know what happens to your people after
they die. I don't even know what happens to my people after they
have thanologists, people who study death?"
sort of. Er, there have certainly been medical experts,
philosophers, theologians who have spent a great deal of time
debating what happens after death. But no one's come up with an
have come to think of death as just another stage
of our existence.
There are some people who are even eager to die. If they feel
depressed or lonely in this life, they simply move on to the next
that why you're here? Because you're not happy with your life?"
the er, accident, life hasn't been easy. But I have to say, this is
more my family's idea than it is mine."
a burden to them right now. It takes a lot of their time and
resources to care for me, and I can't give much back to them. So,
there was a family meeting and it was agreed that I should move on
to the Next Emanation. You look appalled."
not my place to judge your culture, but from my perspective, it's a
little chilling to hear that."
though the family did it out of love, and everyone was happy for me,
and they said they'd see me when they got to the Next Emanation, I
have to admit there is a little voice inside of me that is terrified
of dying. And since I've been talking to you, that little voice has
started to get louder."
"Sometimes I come in here and just stare out at the stars for hours.
I never get tired of looking at them."
Janeway: "Captain's Log,
supplemental. We've returned to the ring system, and we're preparing
to send Ptera back to her dimension. Lieutenant Torres has found a
way to temporarily protect the warp core against the vacuoles but
she is uncertain how long her measures will be effective."
want to make a more detailed scan of your microcellular
structures and a complete examination of your neurochemistry.
This facility isn't equipped for such a detailed bio-analysis.
The complex at Paffran has everything we need."
If my ship is still searching for me, they're not gonna stay
there forever. I have to get back."
not possible. We don't even understand how you got here.
maybe I can figure out a way to get back. Let me take a look at
one of those cenotaphs."
Neria: There's no time for that. Word about you has
spread very quickly Harry, not only in the scientific world, but
in the community at large. There are many people who are very
nervous about what
you represent. Some even see you as a threat
to their beliefs about the afterlife. We need to take you to a
more secure location. It's for your own protection.
Neria: I'm sorry, Harry. It's out of my control.
Kim: What are you doing?
for the transference ritual. Eh, this is a ceremonial
that's been in
my family for five generations."
they make you wrap yourself in your own death shroud?"
something we look forward to, actually. I remember when my
father used this shroud, his father before him. The difference
is, when my father put this on there was no doubt in his mind
about where he was going."
you just back out? Say you've changed your mind."
have thought of just walking out and disappearing. I have some
friends in the Cararian Mountains. They would be willing to let
me stay with them but my family would worry about me. They'd
wonder what was happening, if I was all right, if I were hurt.
No. Everyone's expecting a transference ritual, and I'm going to
give them one."
if you did disappear into the
mountains, but your family
you were dead? I mean, they're here for a transference ritual,
you realise what you're suggesting?"
perfect. Those cenotaphs send your people back to my dimension,
which is where I want to go. Voyager's probably still near the
asteroid searching for me. As soon as I appear, they'll pick up
my signal and beam me aboard. And you, you can just disappear.
Your family will think you're dead, and you can live out your
life in the mountains."
if you go into that cenotaph and go through with the
transference ritual, you'll die."
if Voyager can beam me aboard quickly enough, our doctor should
be able to revive me. Medicine's pretty advanced in our culture.
I've heard of cases where people have been dead for
still been brought back to life."
it's not certain?"
it's not. But I think this is my only chance to get home."
shroud has to be wrapped in a particular way. I'll show you how,
but we have to hurry. I'm scheduled for transference in less
than an hour."
"Two cc's cordrazine. Relax, Mister Kim. Everything's fine. You're
if I join you?"
not at all. Please."
you. So, how are you feeling?"
Kim: Better. "I'll
be ready for duty tomorrow morning."
off duty for the next two days."
not a reflection on your
capabilities, Ensign. I just want to give
you a chance to reflect on what's happened. This may not make much
sense to you now, a young man at the beginning of his career, but
one of the things you'll learn as you move up the ranks and get a
little older is that you wish you had more time in your youth to
really absorb all the things that happened to you. It goes by so
fast. It's so easy to become jaded, to treat the extraordinary like
just another day at the office, but sometimes there
which transcend all that. You've just had one, Mister Kim, and I
want you to live with it for a little while. Write about it, if you
feel like it. Paint. Express yourself in some fashion. The Bridge
will still be there in two days."
you, Captain. I have been a little preoccupied with the experience.
I mean, all those people think that they know what happens after
death. They look forward to it. They're prepared for it.
truth is, none of it's real. They don't
have an afterlife. They just
decay inside those asteroids."
wouldn't be so sure of that, if I were you. That neural energy their
bodies release, it becomes part of the ambient electromagnetic field
surrounding the planet. Our readings also indicate the energy is
unusually dynamic. There's a great deal of variation and pattern
complexity, quantum density."
you saying you think they do
have an afterlife? That the energy
field is where they exist at a higher level of consciousness, just
like they believe?"
Janeway: "I'm not certain, but I am certain about this. What
we don't know about death is far, far greater than what we do know.
See you in two days, Ensign."