Barge of the Dead (Star Trek: Voyager)
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|"Barge of the Dead"|
|Star Trek: Voyager episode|
|Episode no.||Season 6
|Directed by||Mike Vejar|
|Teleplay by||Bryan Fuller|
|Story by||Ronald D. Moore
|Featured music||David Bell|
|Original air date||October 6, 1999|
It gives a somewhat uncommon glimpse into Klingon mythology, most notably concerning Gre'Thor, the Klingon version of Hell, and the role of the Barge of the Dead. It was based on an early idea for the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Soldiers of the Empire."
It was never determined in the episode if B'Elanna's trip is real or simply her mind playing through the psychological implications of her childhood.
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B'Elanna Torres leaves the ship to track down a long-range probe. On the way, her shuttlecraft encounters an ion storm. Torres performs a high-speed landing into the shuttle bay, assisted by a tractor pulse to slow her landing. Sustaining only minor injuries, B'Elanna is shown recovering in Sickbay after Tom Paris had examined her while she was still in the shuttle.
The crew discovers a strange piece of Klingon metal which was found when the shuttle crashed, presumably carried into Voyager after B'Elanna encountered it in the ion storm. When Chakotay brings the metal to her and they discover it came from the Klingon Empire, they exchange remarks about how the Empire may have been to the Delta Quadrant hundreds of years earlier. Harry Kim comes to B'Elanna's room later to discuss the metal as well and after he leaves, the metal suddenly starts to seep blood all over the table. When Torres examines it further, the blood disappears. The scene changes to B'Elanna and Ensign Kim scanning the device in the engineering section of the ship, where Kim remarks that their scans seem to agree that it is simply a piece of metal and that it is very late at night for them both to be up. Neelix, the ship's head chef and official morale officer, greets B'Elanna and reveals that he plans to throw a Klingon-themed party celebrating the find of the metal out in the Delta Quadrant.
Before the party begins, B'Elanna is with Lt. Commander Tuvok, the ship's tactical officer and one of only a few Vulcans aboard. He is helping B'Elanna discuss her possible hallucination concerning the blood seeping from the metal. Suddenly, Tuvok's attitude changes and he begins to sound very pro-Klingon in his remarks. Tuvok begins demonstrating to B'Elanna the technique for wielding a Bat'leth after B'Elanna states that it is a "crude weapon". He cuts her on the cheek with it. B'Elanna is then dismissed in apparent shock and the scene changes to Neelix's party.
At the party, various members of the crew, including the Doctor and Seven of Nine, are shown to apparently be getting into the spirit of the party. As Kathryn Janeway, Voyager's captain, prepares to make a speech, B'Elanna witnesses reality distort; as things move in slow motion, the background lighting changes to red, and she views Klingons moving through the crowd. Suddenly, they attack and massacre the entire crowd, and when one attacks B'Elanna, she suddenly finds herself on the Barge of the Dead.
On the Barge, several Klingons are seen attempting to brand B'Elanna with a mark intended to indicate Klingons who were, due to their dishonor, destined for Gre'Thor. B'Elanna learns from Kortar, the Barge's pilot and the first Klingon who ever lived (now doomed to steer dishonored souls to Gre'Thor for killing the Klingon gods), that it is not her time. B'Elanna witnesses her mother, Miral, suddenly appear on the barge. B'Elanna awakens from an apparent coma.
It is soon revealed that she never actually came out of the crash from the shuttlecraft conscious, but was in a coma for quite some time until she could finally be revived. Thinking about all that happened, B'Elanna seems to become determined to find and rescue her mother, and goes over some ancient scrolls from the Klingon mythology which are in Voyager's database. Learning of a ritual that the warrior Kahless once undertook to save his own brother from Gre'Thor, B'Elanna convinces Janeway to allow her to be induced into a coma in order to return to the Barge and exchange her soul for her mother's. She would then be revived in order for them both to escape Gre'Thor. When B'Elanna returns to the Barge, Kortar reveals that he is aware of her attempt to save both herself and her mother by "cheating", as B'Elanna's mother puts it. He asks her whether or not she would truthfully sacrifice herself to Gre'Thor so that her mother could enter Sto-Vo-Kor. She agrees and enters Gre'Thor, where she appears on a dimly-lit version of Voyager, and it is revealed to her that her eternal punishment will be to live on a facsimile of the ship.
When B'Elanna is once again told that it was "not her time," she appears in several different scenes confronting the crew and her mother, where she finally learns that it was her uncontrolled anger that gave her such dishonor to warrant Gre'Thor. She speaks with her mother's spirit, both saying they will meet one day in Sto-Vo-Kor. B'Elanna renounces the anger that has dishonored her and comes to on the real Voyager.