STAR TREK VOYAGER: WHERE NO NOSE HAS GONE BEFORE
"Captain, we are approaching an unknown vessel. The ship wishes to transmit under priority code alpha five. Shall we respond?" Tuvok's emotionless Vulcan voice emitted through Captain Janeway's communicator. "All right Tuvok, I'll be on the bridge in a moment. Call Seven as well. If the unknown ship turns out to be Borg, we may need her to reason with them. Janeway, out."
As Captain Janeway made her way down the corridors of Voyager, she thought hard about their present situation. Voyager had been damaged badly in their latest battle with a rogue fleet of Klingon warriors, and the ship badly needed repairs. She had steered Voyager into this unknown quadrant of space in the hopes of finding a technologically advanced race that could aid them in repairs. If this mysterious ship was friendly, perhaps they were in luck.
"Captain, why was I summoned to the bridge?" Janeway turned to see Seven, already present in the command center of Voyager. "I believed my duties to be in engineering repairing the damaged warp core." "Right now we need you up here, Seven. We have encountered a mysterious ship, and if they turn out to be Borg, we may need you to communicate with them." Seven gave her an emotionless stare and began to activate the communication system. "Now let's see who or what we're dealing with here," said Janeway as the transmission began to appear on the view screen.
The face on the screen was like no other they had ever encountered. The being had no hair, huge pointed ears, a thick ridge running over its eyes, and an absolutely huge nose. "Greetings, crew of Voyager. We are an alien race known as the Quid, and this is our area of the galaxy. Before you say anything, know that my people are genetically unable to tell a lie, for in this quadrant, there are no secrets and no ill feelings. To ensure that you comply with our laws of truth, we desire that you choose one of your crew to be a spokesperson for all of you, and we will only communicate with this person. Who among you will represent Voyager?"
All eyes on the bridge turned to Janeway. "Very well, then, I will represent Voyager." The Quid alien smiled in approval. "Then we will speak to you, and you alone. There is, however, one precaution we must take. We have developed a genetic lie-detection system to ensure that beings we encounter are telling us the truth. Will you agree to be subjected to this system?"
Tuvok leaned over to Janeway. "Captain, this is unwise. We do not know what this process involves, or even if they will help us at all. I must ask you to reconsider." "It's all right, Tuvok. Once I undergo this lie-detection process, we will get all the answers we need. After all, they can't lie, can they?" Janeway added with a smile.
Suddenly, a small vial of fluid appeared on the console in front of Janeway. "Inject yourself with this, and the lie-detection process will be adopted into your body." Janeway injected herself, wincing at the feel of the needle. "Good. Now we can talk freely, " the Quid alien added. "What do you need in our quadrant?" "Our ship is badly damaged, and we need supplies for repairs. We thought you might be able to help." A smile crept across the alien's lips. "Oh, yes, we will begin beaming supplies aboard within the hour. There is one last thing we must have you do, though. We need to ensure the serum has done it's work, and successfully activated the genetic lie-detection
system in your body. Please say something untrue, so we may see if it worked correctly."
Janeway thought this was very strange, but complied. "Very well then...something untrue...how about 'my eyes are red'?" As soon as the words escaped Janeways lips, she felt a tingle in the tip of her
nose. Reaching up to scratch it, she found that her fingers touched her nose sooner than they should have. Something was definitely wrong. She quickly glanced around the bridge looking for a mirror, only to be met by strange looks from her crew. "Tuvok! I need a mirror. Something is..." she stopped short as she caught her reflection in a blank television monitor.
Her nose had grown outward an extra inch! Janeway grasped it in her hand to make sure it was real, and her fingers met with solid skin. Her nose was a total of two inches long, from her upper lip to the tip. The gentle slope of her nose descended downwards until the very tip, where the extra growth had occurred.
After getting over her shock, she turned back to the Quid alien. "I must confess that I didn't see this one coming," she said sarcastically, gesturing to her nose. "That is the lie-detection formula at work. Every time you tell an untrue statement, your nose will grow longer, so I advise you to watch what you say until our business is done. We will contact you soon to see how your repairs are coming." With that, the screen went blank.
"Wow! Did you see that, Seven?" Tom Paris asked, smiling slightly. "I guess Captain Janeway NOSE what she's doing!" Seven looked at him coldly. "Mr.Paris, all that has transpired here is that the Captain's nasal area and reach has increased due to the injection of alien nanoprobes into her bloodstream. I find no amusement in either her situation of your attempt at humor."
"I don't find much humor in it myself," said Janeway, still feeling her nose as she approached their console. "I forgot to ask the Quid if this was permanent or not. Normally I'm not the vain type, but this is just a bit too much. If this is an ordinary repair procedure, then I'm president of Starfleet command." The tingling feeling returned to her nose, and she suddenly realized what she had said. "No! I'm not--" but it was too late to take back her statement. She watched as her nose began to extend further outward, much to her dismay. The growth took only a few seconds, but it had added another inch and a half to Janeway's nose, for a total nose length of three and a half inches. "Oh...oh my..." Janeway stammered as she felt her nose, shocked at the length of it. "I have a feeling this is going to be a long, long repair session," she said tartly.
"Ouch!!" Janeway awoke in bed with a start as her face flinched sharply in pain. Sitting up, she realized that she had rolled over on her nose in her sleep. Groggily, she sat up in bed and looked in the bedside mirror, stroking her aching nose and trying to reduce the pain. "Lord, I look ridiculous," she mumbled wearily, examining her long nose in the mirror.
Janeway rarely thought of her physical appearance, but there was no way around this...she was embarrassed by her new nose. A few accidental slips of the truth the previous night, however harmless, had added two more inches to her already elongated nose. It now stretched five and a half inches, or so she had estimated. She gingerly held a ruler along the length of her nose, and the measurements confirmed her estimates. Sighing, she attempted to make
herself as presentable as possible for her next transmission to the Quid aliens. The supplies they had beamed aboard Voyager were helping, but the repairs were going slowly, and she was very tired of being their contact, and suffering under their lie-detector formula. She applied her makeup as carefully as possible, trying to work around her nose, but bumping into it every now and then and having to correct mistakes. Finally, she decided to check up on engineering to see how the repairs were going.
When she arrived, B'Elanna Torres was clearly upset about something. "Captain Janeway! We seem to be losing a great deal of power in the warp core. At first it wasn't noticeable, but now our power levels are lower than ever! It's like something is sucking out our power, no matter how many repairs we make!" Janeway immediately contacted Tuvok to run a complete outer shell scan of Voyager to see if anything was attached to the ship. Sure enough, there was a cable running from the Quid ship to Voyager, draining their power.
"So that's what they're up to!" Janeway thought. "The repairs were just a diversion so they could drain our energy. They're probably stranded here, and need our power core energy for their ship! We have to pull out of here!" Torres shook her head. "We'll need at least fifteen minutes to cut their cable and power up the warp engine, and the Quid are demanding that you speak with them right now!" Janeway thought about the situation. "If I can keep them busy for a fifteen minutes, can you and Tom sever the Quid's energy cable and get us out of here?" Torres agreed, and Janeway went to the bridge to transmit to the Quid ship.
"You are late for transmission!" the Quid yelled angrily. "What is your reason?" Janeway glanced at the time on the control panel. She needed to hold his attention for fifteen minutes. "I...I was repairing a broken circuit on the holodeck." She once again felt the tingling in her nose, and watched as it shot forward another inch. "Your nose does not seem to agree with you, Captain Janeway. Now tell me the truth!" Janeway thought hard. "I was in sickbay...and the Doctor needed a sample of Borg nanoprobes...so I told Seven to report for a skin tissue sample...and then the lights went out on deck nine...and..." Suddenly, the itching in her nose became unbearable, and her whole body shuddered. With both hands rapidly scratching her nose, she felt the skin beneath her fingers stretch as her nose shot out even further. In the reflection of a blank view screen, she watched as her nose expended a full foot and a half in length, now almost two feet long in total.
"So, you think you can just say whatever comes to mind, eh Captain? Well let me ask you this...have you scanned the outside of your ship lately?" Janeway glanced at the timer. Four minutes left until they could escape. "No, " she replied, and the familiar itching returned as she added another twelve inches to her nose. The tip of her nose bumped a crew member working at the console, and Janeway turned red with embarrassment and anger. This was becoming more than she could take, but there were still three minutes left.
"So you admit to having no outside scans of your ship?" "I...I...no." Janeway stammered, filling with more rage as her nose extended another foot in front of her, causing the same crewman to duck as her nose jutted out over his head. Janeway actually began to feel tears welling in her eyes, but refused to let them out. Then she thought of something. "Let me ask YOU something. Why did you even decide to help us in the first place?" The Quid looked worried, then replied. "We...we...um...were just trying to be civil, that's all." Suddenly, the Quid's nose swelled up to gigantic proportions. There was a loud exploding sound, and the view screen went black. "Well,
I'll be." Janeway thought to herself. "They really CAN'T tell a lie!"
The explosion had destroyed most of the Quid ship, and Voyager was now ready to take off. The Quid ship was about to explode, and the crew had to rush to their positions to prepare for the impact. Janeway tried to run to her captain's chair, but her almost four-foot long nose kept bumping into walls and hitting other crew members. Finally, she made it to the console, and Voyager took off just in time.
"Well, I successfully removed most of the lie-detection formula from your bloodstream, but the effects are not totally reversible," the Doctor informed Janeway, as he handed her a mirror. Most of the the growth had been reversed, but her nose was still about three inches long from her upper lip to the tip of her nose. Janeway looked sullenly at her reflection. "Well, I suppose I had better get used to it," she sighed as she felt the length with her fingers. "If we ever get back to Earth, I suppose I could get it fixed. If not, well...I suppose I could get used to it." The Doctor nodded in approval.