VOY: S4E19: “The Killing Game: Part 2”

In which Nazis are pretty good at motivating morons. 

When last we left our heroes, they were brainwashed in St. Clair, France, just called in an artillary strike on German command, and blew open a hole in the holodeck wall to Hirogen-occupied Voyager, which has had most of its decks converted into a holodeck and which can therefore accept holographic reinforcements. So far, of the crew being used as prey, only Janeway and Seven have been broken out of their roles, and Harry’s gotten some strong moments.

With the holodeck wall blown apart, Janeway and Seven get to observe the changes to the ship, and make a run for Astrometrics. They get a layout of the ship and disposition of enemy forces, because Astrometrics has sufficient access to internal sensors even when locked down due to Seven being insubordinate. Since they’re outnumbered, they go onward to do the obvious thing, and bring holographic troops through the breach. The Commendant will not get a chance to walk the walk.

“Wow Captain, you sure look rough without your coff… or, right.”

Harry now has to work Ops for the Hirogen, providing battle intel. Since the holodeck is stuck on, the only way to shut it down is to blow all the holo-emitters, which the Commandant doesn’t want to do (so he can save the holo-projector tech) and doesn’t want to kill any of the crew (so that they can repair it).

Chakotay, Tuvok, Torres, and Paris try to figure out what the breach is, in WWII terms, and the Americans sweep in and take over the operation, now that it’s become a hot war. Tom and Torres liaise over where their stockpiles are hidden, routes around the town, and where they went on their date. For a second it looks like Paris is going to have confused her with another girl, but soon it reverses and they chat about her pregnancy which, again, don’t think too much about why she’s or how she’s pregnant.

Janeway chooses this moment to make an entrance through a maintenance hatch, and bluffs her way through enough of a conversation to give the Allies info on Voyager in the proper terms. And negotiates them away from blowing up parts of the ship that include torpedoes, or the warp core.  Chakotay insists on coming along, over Janeway’s objections, and Seven makes for the cargo bay to borgify some revolvers. Tuvok is still iffy about Seven, which will surely come up later.

The Doctor is forced to take Hirogen minor-injuries over human critical injuries, objects, and is deactivated. No more of Voyager‘s crew will get medical treatment, which makes this a perfect time for Klingon Neelix to start a knife-fight over some bloodwine.

Harry and Tom meet up, and Harry, being ‘out of uniform’ according to Tom’s holo-programming, gets the third degree. Tom’s test is kind of dumb, though. There’s only so many relevant answers, all of them obvious, and he has no idea whether Harry is a leg, breast, or ass man. And still, Harry almost fails the test. Meanwhile, Chakotay and Janeway discuss the burdens of command. She leads him through the Klingon simulation, warning Chakotay that some of the cave dwellers are eccentric. To the Klingons, led by Neelix, she introduces herself as a representative of the House of Tomog. We also find out that Bloodwine, or whatever it is they were drinking, is ‘twice as strong as whisky.’ Think that’s with alcohol, or with some other molecule?

Janeway activates the Doctor and fills him in on the plan to blow up the sick bay console which is routing all the neural uplinks. With a satchel full of holographic C4, what do you think the odds are that the Doctor can bring them with him via holographic data transfer? We don’t actually have to find out, though. Janeway leaves the Doctor with the Klingons.

The Hirogen seem to be using a lot of cheat codes. Like this one, where the enemy don’t even try to use cover.

The battle for Holodeck 1 continues. The Germans have superior numbers and firearms. Seven comes back in and gets the stinkeye from Tuvok while she modifies weapons. The Hirogen are only consrained by the Commandant’s unwillingness to risk damage to the holodeck. His underlings want to escalate, which is giving me a nice distinction between Hirogen and Klingons that I’m trying to articulate. As Battle-Happy Warrior Cultures Who Always Wear Armor, they’re pretty similar, but the Hirogen seem uncomfortable with a siege scenario, where your stereotypical Klingon would be more likely to just get high on the prolonged adrenaline rush. They have thus far not done a great job in differentiating the Klingon lust for Battle from the Hirogen lust for the Hunt, but I think this is where it starts.

The Hirogen doctor also wants to engage the safety protocols, but they’re not functioning. Janeway and Chakotay get the drop on him, with ten pounds of dynamite as a failsafe, and take over the room. Here’s another difference – the Hirogen doctor actually surrenders, and doesn’t make anyone kill him. Again, for all the Commandant’s disdain for the holo-Nazi bringing tactical advantage to bear, the way they actually practice the Hunt seems to be very similar. Maybe that’s the point- the Commandant is living in a society that does not conform to his ideals about what it should be like.

Predictably, the plan goes to hell. Janeway was able to lock out sick bay, but gets shot. She limpos away, sick bay gets blown to smithereens, and all the neural implants shut off just in time for nazis to come barging into the bar to take everyone captive. And for Torres not to know about the bargaining chip her character has, which I continue to urge you not to think about how creepy it is. Because in fact, her pregnancy is itself a holographic projection that actually impacts her ability to move and function. It even kicks. I choose to speculate that this feature was built into holodecks to help people train for long-term missions – training any member of any species that can get pregnant how to function that way, or simulating any number of other bodily conditions, would be a handy feature to have.

The Nazi commander is finally ready to express how angry he is that Torres was with the resistance. It’s a little tense for a bit, until the Hirogen orders some calm, while standing in front of a giant swastika. The Doctor, meanwhile, starts trying to hack into the Nazi simulation. The Klingon attack is about to commence, however, and both Neelix and the Doctor are pulled along.

The Commandant finally takes the time to chat with Janeway about his ultimate aims, which you’ll recall is the use of a holodeck to simulate The Hunt and rebuild their civilization. I’m waiting for Janeway to say that they should have ‘just asked’ as if she would possibly have given them the technology if they’d said please. First, though, they detour off into a discussion of human historical psychology. In fact, she doesn’t insist that ‘please’ would have worked, just offers the technology in exchange for her ship back. It seems like he’s going to take the deal.

“Gross! What is this, a ’36?”

Of course, we’ve already had it set up that there’s going to be about 15 minutes worth of resistance to a peaceful resolution. The Overzealous Underling comes pretty close to an Agent Smith speech, but is distracted by the Hol0-nazi’s demand for entertainment. Seven refuses to sing for him and stays alive long enough for the Commandant to offer case-fire. The underling, in fact, goes along with the order, until the holo-nazi gets his monologue, couched in terms of being faithful to your traditions.

Now that one side has agreed to cease-fire, the Germans rolling through looks dire. They need reinforcements, like a bunch of half-drunk battle-ready Klingons looking to be pointed in a direction and let loose. This only has to last as long as it’ll take for Janeway and Kim to overload the emitters… and to survive the Underling’s coup. The Commandant does not survive it, and the new leader tells Janeway to start running so she can be properly hunted.

Of course, now all the intelligent, cohesive leadership of this occupation is gone, except for the holographic ones, and it’s time for superior technical know-how to save the day. Like Seven building a holo-grenade. The Hirogen seems pretty capable of following prey – they might have a keen sense of smell or hearing, or just be that good at noticing hidden cutbacks. Harry, meanwhile, sets a coutdown at about 9 minutes in order to charge everything to overload.

Seven gets shot before her holo-grenade can go off, and its blast removes all the mobile props, but not the streets, hay, or ‘scenery.’ Apparently all of that is replicated as persistent matter. Janeway, while running down the corridors, finds a location where the holo-emitters end, and drags all the visual indicators of the terminus away in order to set her trap. She lures the Underling into the trap by behaving like prey, then beats him up with a pipe and steals his gun which hasn’t actually stopped existing.

“Yes yes, tallyho indeed!”

The Allies are saved from a last-minute execution by a horde of charging Klingons, ‘led’ by Neelix and the Doctor. Everything goes classically wrong for the Hirogen, and he gets shot off the decks intoa multi-story fall. When the holo-emitters overload, all the people vanish, but once again, the scenery stays where it was. Definitely replicated matter. The remaining Hirogen have agreed to a cease-fire after the Voyager crew fought them to a stand-still over several days (begging the question of how they took over in the first place when the crew was at full-strength) and accept holodeck technology in exchange for their absence.

Did we miss something awesome?