This is my first official personal log entry as Lieutenant (junior grade) Tuvix. Captain Janeway has added my name to the crew roster of the USS Voyager. Like Lieutenant Paris, and all of Voyager's Maquis personnel, my rank is provisional, as it was when I first arrived on this vessel. Captain Janeway will not confirm any rank she has bestowed until we make contact with her superiors at Starfleet Command in some way. Although I may possess Father Tuvok's memories and knowledge, I am not personally qualified for any official rank. When the captain discussed my status with me, she used Commander Chakotay's situation as an example. Although he had previously met all requirements for his current level, he'd resigned his Starfleet commission when he entered the Maquis. As a result, she could only offer a provisional rank to him when the crew of the Val Jean came on board Voyager. This was also true of Lieutenant Ayala.
Captain Janeway thinks I may eventually be accepted into Starfleet as a commissioned officer even though my persona of Tuvix never attended Starfleet Academy. Citing the precedent of Lieutenant W. Thomas Riker, the officer whose accidental duplication revealed to my crewmates a way to save my life, she believes Starfleet Command may evaluate my competence to serve in the position. If deficits in certain areas are found, I would need to take specific courses before my commission could be confirmed. From her own assessment of my knowledge, she doubts any will be found. This would be a logical way of dealing with my unusual situation. I was reassured to hear that although Lieutenant Riker had been out of touch on Nervala IV for eight years, he was deemed competent to serve without the need of remedial instruction. He moved to another ship in the rank of lieutenant shortly after he was discovered.
Father Tuvok currently holds the rank of full lieutenant. The captain did not feel comfortable giving me that same rank based on my own two weeks of service as Tuvix. I accepted this, of course. She would be justified in giving me the rank of ensign, even crewman, if she wished. After my meeting with the captain, I discussed her decision with Father. He agrees with the captain's reasoning. I must prove myself capable of functioning at the level of a junior grade lieutenant for an extended period of time before any consideration is given to raising my rank to a full lieutenancy. He noted that the only promotion given since Voyager came to the Delta Quadrant was to Lieutenant Rollins, but his was a "special case." Rollins was an ensign at the time the ship was lost, but the captain had received confirmation he was due to be promoted to the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, as soon as Voyager finished its current mission. Captain Janeway decided that since Voyager "caught" the Maquis on board the Val Jean, that mission was "finished," allowing her to grant him his new rank immediately.
While I may have Father's memories, it is also true I have just undergone a major ordeal and must adjust to my current circumstances. I remember all the meditation techniques Father has mastered over many years of practicing the discipline, but considering my unacceptable behavior on the bridge on the day the captain told me she'd decided I must be separated back into Lieutenant Tuvok and Neelix, I have not yet learned to apply them. I must integrate the Talaxian emotionalism I "inherited" from Father Neelix into my Vulcan heritage. Until that has been accomplished, I will be under a great deal of stress. Holding the higher rank, with its concomitant greater degree of responsibility, could complicate this process.
I discussed this with both my fathers, of course. Dad expressed his own concerns about my capacity to accommodate all the aspects of my personality into one person, since Talaxians and Vulcans are so different. He pointed out, for instance, that although my behavior on the bridge was embarrassing in the extreme, and it would have been unthinkable for a Vulcan such as Father to exhibit his emotions this way, a Talaxian would say that display of emotion was the only reason I'm still alive today. When I begged for mercy and even accused the captain of trying to murder me, she was upset, but she decreed a one-day stay of execution to "say good-bye" to my friends on Voyager. That reprieve gave me the opportunity to request assistance from Lieutenant Paris, Lieutenant Torres, and Ensign Kim, who arrived at a plan which permitted a Tuvix to live on. I say "a Tuvix," because the twin they created of me had to sacrifice his life for our parents to come back to theirs. I will never forget my brother Neevok. I will honor him always for his sacrifice. We were together for just a few hours, but he is my brother forever.
I should note in closing that we have determined appropriate designations for me to utilize for my parents. To avoid confusion, "Father" is Tuvok. Neelix is "Dad."
We expect to arrive in orbit over a planet Dad learned about from a friend of his. Paxim heads a convoy of Talaxians who do most of their business transactions in this area of space. The planet is supposed to be very beautiful, with a lush environment that allows for a great variety of edible plants to flourish. Paxim's crews have stopped there briefly on several occasions to gather food supplies, although they do not stay long, even though the planet is uninhabited. I thought it a bit odd they don't spend more time there if the planet is as rich in resources as they say, with no one living there to object to harvesting them. It doesn't really matter to me. Father told me I will be stationed at tactical while the away teams gather foodstuffs. I believe he assigned me this duty to assess my willingness to comply with his orders. Under normal circumstances, in the Alpha Quadrant, I would not be under his direct command. Here, however, our duty assignments must reflect our training and experience. Because I have Father's memories, I remain in Tactical and Security, and under his supervision.
Dad told me that after the food stores arrive on Voyager, I will be able to help him prepare various dishes for the crew, if I so desire. I will enjoy doing that. I just hope Dad will be willing to listen to my advice to be more judicious in the use of spices in our dishes. When I expressed this hope to Lieutenant Paris, he said, "Good luck with that, Tuvix." Tom does not believe I will be successful.
We shall see.
There is no change in the captain's or the commander's conditions. They remain in stasis while our Doctor searches for a way to heal them of the disease they caught on that planet. It may be as beautiful as Paxim said it was, but there's a reason no one has settled there. I trust Paxim was unaware of these insects when he told us of the place. Perhaps he heard it was a bad idea to stay down on the surface for long but never knew why. If we make contact with him in the future, I will try to remember to ask him about it.
The Doctor is still hopeful he will find a cure. He told Father it is a type of disease with which he is unfamiliar. Apparently there are no comparable infections known in the Alpha or Beta Quadrants, the source of his medical database. The strangest aspect, he said, is that something in the environment seems to suppress the symptoms in the patient. The Doctor has been unable to construct a viable antidote as of yet, even though many of the science officers and Mr. Paris, who is trained as a field medic, have volunteered their off-duty time to work with the Doctor. With so many people working on the project, I trust they soon will find a way to successfully treat our command team.
I learned much of this when I spoke with Tom in the mess hall yesterday. He was unable to eat much of the dinner Dad served us. With considerable reluctance, I admitted I have been unable to persuade Dad to lower the amount of very strong-flavored spices in his dishes. I'll keep trying, but I fear Tom may be right. A vaccine to treat Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay may be easier to find than convincing Dad to go easy on his seasonings.
Today was a very sad day. Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay were transported down to the surface of the planet, which the team in Stellar Cartography has designated "New Earth." So far, the Doctor has been unable to produce a cure for the disease afflicting them. While he is certain there is some factor in the atmosphere of New Earth which counteracts the effects of the infection, he has been unable to determine exactly what that might be. We even tried transporting a supply of the planet's atmosphere inside a containment field to Sickbay to see if that would control the symptoms. The Doctor woke up Commander Chakotay briefly to test his response, but his vital signs quickly plummeted. The Doctor had to put him back into stasis. Multiple factors on the planet may be responsible for the protective effect.
The only viable solution was to leave them on New Earth. A great deal of equipment was replicated and transported down to the surface for their use, including medical laboratory instruments. The captain is a capable scientist. When she enrolled in Starfleet, she expected to be a science officer; her interest in command came later. While her specialty is astrophysics, she is also trained in biological research methods. With the equipment, she will be able to look for a cure on her own. One of our precious shuttles was also provided to them. If the captain is able to find a successful treatment, the two can travel back to rejoin us on Voyager. They will need to find the solution quickly, however. Their shuttle has a top speed of Warp 4. Voyager's usual cruising speed, as long as our power situation is in hand, is Warp 6.5. It is unlikely they will be able to catch up with Voyager if it takes them long to find a successful treatment for their illness.
Just before she went into stasis, Captain Janeway turned command over to Father. When she woke up on the planet and discussed the situation with the crew, she ordered us to continue on our way to the Alpha Quadrant under Father's command. Many of the crew became very emotional about this decision. They're in mourning over the loss of the captain and the commander. Some, especially our Maquis crew members, have expressed uneasiness with Father in command. Father spied on them for Starfleet when he was part of the Val Jean's crew. They will get over it. Father is very qualified to be captain of Voyager.
I must admit I am a little perturbed with his new role myself, although this has nothing to do with his competence as a leader. Since I have his memories, I know how very capable he is. However, when we were preparing to beam Captain Janeway and the Commander down to the planet, Father called me aside and told me that with his new duties, he will be unable to spend time working with me on my mental disciplines. This is unnerving. I know I need his help, especially when it comes to mind melding. Although I have his memories of how it is done, I cannot seem to do it all by myself. The only time we melded successfully was when he was the one who entered my mind. The Doctor said I have "all" of the inheritance of both Father and Dad, but I worry that the blend -- or possibly that small amount of orchid DNA present in my genome -- may prevent me from ever attaining the mental attributes of a full-blooded Vulcan.
I hope we hear from the Doctor or from Captain Janeway very soon about a successful cure. Although it is selfish of me, I know, one reason I do is that I'm eager for my lessons in mind melding to resume. Who knows if my ability to do so might prove to be of grave importance to this crew? It may be needed at any time.
Harry Kim is in trouble again. He's confronted Captain Tuvok on two occasions and was out of control both times. Hogan and Swinn have also insisted Father seek help from the Vidiians. I know how extremely dangerous it is to approach them. Even though the Vidiians are well-versed in medical techniques, if they were all-powerful in that regard, they would surely have found a cure for The Phage by now. They have not.
I recall that Dr. Denara Pel was aboard this ship for quite a while before my . . . creation? Constitution? I do not think "birth" is the most accurate term to describe how I came to be. I will have to come up with a better word for it. Perhaps "advent" would be appropriate.
I am digressing. I was discussing Dr. Pel as a possible source for a cure.
One of the only other Vulcans on board, Ensign Vorik, shared with me his opinion that while approaching Dr. Pel would be a logical thing to do, it is possible the Vidiians don't have a remedy, either. If they had a vaccine to prevent the infection, he believes they would have colonized New Earth. I have my doubts their failure to colonize this world means they have no cure. Considering their medical problems, the Vidiians may not have any excess populations who wish to settle on New Earth. However, if they don't have any antidote to the New Earth sickness, it would be far better for our crew to learn this now, rather than have their emotions continually churning over their captain's unwillingness to explore all his options.
Ensign Vorik told me Dr. Pel is "trustworthy." Tom and B'Elanna agree with him. My own memories of her from Father and Dad indicate they formed the same opinion of her. The Doctor is sure that if she didn't know of a way to treat the condition, she would tell us the truth. If there is, of course, it will be difficult to obtain it without attracting the attention of other Vidiians, who may have organ-harvesting, not to mention revenge for the loss of one of their ships prior to my "advent," on their minds. Captain Janeway thought it was not worth the risk; therefore, Father refuses to seek Dr. Pel's advice.
The truth is, I am very concerned for Father. He has all the qualities of a good leader except, perhaps, one of the most important: empathy. His history of conflict with Dad centers on his inability to grasp what it is like to be Talaxian. In a similar way, he does not see how upset the crew, which is primarily human, has become. Father's emotional control is rigid -- I know how essential that is for him, since his emotions actually are too strong for him to deal with in any way other than through rigid controls -- but the crew does not know this. That rigidity he projects clashes with the sensibilities of virtually every other member of this crew.
I would become very emotional myself if the crew should mutiny on his watch. I am caught between Father, who barely talks to me anymore, and my crew mates. I don't know what to do.
One crisis has been averted, but we may have a greater one on our hands if everything does not go exactly as planned.
The crew finally nominated the one person who could convince Father that he should at least talk with Dr. Pel to see if there is a vaccine available from the Vidiians. Kes got through to him. In her very quiet way, she can be quite forceful, and he listened to her. When they spoke to Dr. Pel, she confirmed the Vidiians do have a serum to counteract the effects of this planet's insect bites. She is willing give us some. In return, we are trading a sample of Lieutenant Torres' DNA to the Vidiians. When B'Elanna was their captive during the first year Voyager was in the Delta Quadrant, the doctor who held her was certain her Klingon DNA might hold the answer to a cure for the Phage. The Doctor used some to save Dr. Pel's life when she was on Voyager before my advent, so this Dr. Sulan may have been correct.
The tricky part will be making the exchange with Dr. Pel without other Vidiians learning of the transaction. They have a history of attacking any ships available and harvesting body parts of the occupants to "donate" to Vidiians suffering from organ failure due to the Phage. Dad lost both of his lungs to the Vidiians a year ago. If Kes had not donated one of her lungs to him, he would have been confined permanently to immobility in Sickbay, where holographic lungs could breathe for him, or he would have died. We will be practicing defensive strategies non-stop until the transfer is made and are certain we have escaped pursuit.
We have the serum and are on our way back to New Earth to treat Captain Janeway and Commander Chakotay. We were unable to get the sample of B'Elanna's DNA to Dr. Pel, however. She was very upset with her fellow Vidiians, who spurned her desire to provide humanitarian aid. Other ships surrounded Voyager, planning to capture us to steal our organs.
Father had anticipated their perfidy and made us practice ejecting and exploding a canister of antimatter, to allow us to escape from any attempt to capture us before it could succeed. It worked beautifully. Dr. Pel transported the serum to us just before our makeshift bomb exploded. Dr. Pel was not injured; the attacking Vidiian ships were incapacitated; and Voyager escaped.
Today we arrived at New Earth. Captain Janeway was most unhappy with Father because he contacted the Vidiians. I'm certain she will get over it. The orders Captain Janeway gave him when she transferred command to Father were not binding. He had the right and the duty to change them as he saw fit. With prodding from Kes, that's what he did.
While the crew is uniformly happy with the return of the captain and the commander, they themselves have displayed a degree of awkwardness with this situation. Over a month ago, a storm damaged their medical research equipment beyond repair. Since then, they'd adjusted to living a very different style of life on New Earth than the one they've always led on Voyager. I hope they were not at odds down on the planet. They seemed quite stiff with each other when they arrived on the bridge this morning.
Lieutenant Paris has a theory that they were "more than just friends" on the planet, but now that they've returned, they'll go back to following the protocol forbidding commanding officers from having personal relationships with anyone under their direct command. Since everyone on Voyager is under the captain's direct command, that means "hands off" from everyone -- including Commander Chakotay. Lieutenant Torres and Ensign Kim scoffed at this, accusing Tom of expressing his "typical prurient interest" about their relationship.
After reviewing my memories, I cannot confirm nor deny Lieutenant Paris's position. The captain and the commander generally have displayed a warm but professional relationship towards each other. Their cool behavior on the bridge may be a natural response to having to reassume their command roles after being responsible only for themselves on New Earth for such a prolonged period of time. However, when human beings have broken off a sexual relationship but are forced to interact as colleagues later on, as in the case of a command team, awkwardness with each other may be expected. The dangers to a ship's crew, should matters become tense between former lovers, may be why the protocol was initiated in the first place. I chose to remain silent and refused to support either side in their discussion.
I thought I had retained all the memories from both of my fathers up to the day of my creation, but that does not seem to be the case. Perhaps I should have realized this was happening when I did not recall why there was only one B'Elanna Torres on board Voyager, after she told me about her duplication by the Vidiians. I remembered she had been split into two people, but not that the chief engineer's Klingon counterpart had been killed when Chakotay rescued the away team -- or what was left of it. Lieutenant Peter Durst had been killed by the Vidiians for his organs.
The Doctor told me I should not be alarmed. It is common for humanoids to experience the fading of some memories if they are not suitably reinforced. He was quite proud of the fact that since he is a holographic program, all of his are contained in Voyager's computer. He stated that his memory will remain as sharp as it was on the day of his creation until such time as his program degrades irreparably -- which he anticipates will not occur for centuries. I reminded him that if Voyager is destroyed, this will not be true. Then, like all the organic beings dwelling on this ship, he, too, will die. The Doctor was not pleased by this observation, but he granted it was a valid one.
At any rate, he evaluated the state of my memory. He found no evidence of any loss regarding the aspects of the tasks for which I am responsible as Lieutenant (j.g.) Tuvix. My grasp of the laws and regulations applying to a Starfleet officer, especially those relating to my work in Tactical and Security, appears to be as secure as Father's.
When the Doctor examined me about Dad's area of expertise, I demonstrated the ability to recall specific details from all the recipes in Dad's repertoire about which the Doctor inquired. I was able to describe how I adjusted the seasonings of certain of Dad's specialties to suit the tastes of our Alpha Quadrant crew members. During those occasions I have taken a shift in the mess hall, when Dad has been away on a trading mission, I've received many compliments from the crew. The Doctor told me Captain Janeway admitted she actually prefers my cooking to Dad's. She would never say anything about that to Dad, however, because she doesn't want to hurt his feelings. I assured the Doctor I certainly will never mention it to Dad, either, but I was pleased he relayed her comment to me. Since the Doctor is a holographic being, he cannot appreciate the taste of any food. Therefore, he is unable to give me his own opinion of my culinary expertise.
After I left Sickbay, I met up with Lieutenant Ayala. We were both assigned to Voyager's security detail for the day. Before our shift began, I spoke with him about my memory concerns. Mr. Ayala reminded me that one reason we constantly drill security procedures and review specific tactics in meetings or in simulations is for precisely the reason the Doctor mentioned. Memories may not be retained if they are not reinforced regularly. Humans do this by reviewing what they've learned and studying anything that seems to be slipping away from them. Father does this through meditation, while Talaxians like Dad enjoy reminiscing about the past with their friends and families. Mr. Ayala told me humans like to "swap stories," too. He spends a lot of time with his Maquis friends, since they have a common history. They keep old memories alive by retelling them to each other from time to time.
Now that I know meditation may help me retain more of my memories, especially the ones I inherited from Father, I will work even more diligently to perfect these techniques. I believe Dad's method of reminiscing with others may also be beneficial. I always enjoy spending time with Dad and Kes, with Lieutenants Torres and Paris, and with Ensign Kim during my off-duty hours. I will make it a point to continue to do this every day, if possible.