Message in a Bottle
Seven finds a communication relay that somehow extends all the way to the Alpha quadrant. At the exact time of finding it, a Starfleet vessel is in range of it, allowing them a chance for communication. For some reason, though, while they can see the other ship, they can’t get a message through, so in a last ditch effort for communication, B’Elanna downloads the doctor and sends his program through the system.
The doctor finds himself in the sickbay of the Prometheus, a prototype starship in the Alpha quadrant. Unfortunately, the whole crew is dead, being killed by Romulans who are trying to steal the new technology on-board. The doctor activates the EMH on ship, who I assume was sardonically made to look like Andy Dick from their data base of 19th century earth as a joke, who has a typically whiny attitude and the Doctor must whip into line.
The Romulans are chased by a Federation ship, but they deploy a new tactical maneuver that breaks the ship into three parts and then disables it easily. The Doctor determines that they are headed back to Romulan space, and the two EMHs set to sabotaging the ship. The ship, being equipped with holoemiters everywhere, makes the whole ship accessible. However, one of the Romulans suspects them of their espionage, and is about to destroy the Doctor, when EMH mark 2 neutralizes the whole crew. However, the Romulans send ships to meet the Prometheus, and Starfleet has, too. They try to help, but only end up shooting a Starfleet vessel by accident. The Doctor remembers the separation sequence, however, and as the ship breaks apart, he remembers to tell the computer to shoot at the Romulans this time. They withdraw, and he saves the day.
The Doctor returns to Voyager, and relays a message to the Captain. Starfleet has begun working on a way to get them home. Suddenly 60,000 light years doesn’t seem quite so far.
Favorite part: The doctor pushing around the newer, but bitchier, EMH.
Least Favorite part: While I know every other person out there is going to assume Andy Dick is front-runner, I have to go with the very premise of the storyline. You’re going to send the doctor on a whim? REALLY? The most valuable, irreplaceable member of the crew for the entire crew’s safety, and you’re just going to shoot him through untested networks that can’t send a verbal message with 45 seconds notice? He wasn’t even asked. Mind you, an order is an order, but there’s something about the way B’Elanna took him and sent him through that felt more like kidnapping.