“Deny your past and you deny the struggle and achievements of your ancestors.”

Minister Odala: “Tova Veer, you are an accomplished young scientist. You were initiated into the circle of archaeology with the highest of honors.”

Tova Veer: “Yes, Minister.”

Minister: “And you have been Professor Gegen’s assistant for six years.”

Tova: “I’ve had that privilege.”

Minister: “You are familiar – intimately involved – with all of your mentor’s research regarding the so-called Distant Origin Theory?”

Tova: “That is correct.”

Minister: “In your expert evaluation, what is the validity of the professor’s analysis?”

Tova: (feeling uncomfortable) “…it is flawed, Minister.”

Professor Gegen: “Veer!?”

Minister: “You are saying you and Gegen were mistaken?”

Tova: “Yes. I’ve reviewed all of his research, including data from the Voyager’s computer. I’ve checked and re-checked the procedures. I now believe that we were…overzealous. We saw an evolutionary connection when, in fact, there was none.”

Minister: “Enthusiasm and passion are never wrong, Veer. Your only mistake was allowing them to distort your judgement. You may go. (Proceeds with Prof. Gegen) Professor Gegen, I will ask you again: Could you be mistaken?”

Gegen: “What did you say to him? That you’d take away his honors if he didn’t cooperate? That you’d send him to a detention colony?…”

Minister: “Could you be mistaken?”

Gegen: “…Did you threaten his family!?”

Minister: “Respond to the question!”

Gegen: “No! Why should I? You’ve already made up your mind. This inquiry isn’t about evidence and proof. It’s about keeping you in that chair!”

Commander Chakotay: “Gegen!…”

Gegen: “…It’s about maintaining a myth that keeps the Ministry in power. You’d do anything to silence me. Well, it won’t work. I’ll never retract my claims. I’d rather go to prison than help you perpetuate ignorance!”

Minister: “Your true scales are finally showing.”

Gegen: “You’re right, Minister. I was mistaken. I thought you might actually care about the truth, even if it called into question some of our deepest beliefs, and…”

Minister: “We are not immigrants! I will not deny 20 million years of history and doctrine just because one insignificant Saurian has a theory. One last time: Could you be mistaken?”

Chakotay: “It’s you who are mistaken, Minister.”

Minister: “What?”

Chakotay: “You accuse Gegen of having his objectivity clouded by wishful thinking, but aren’t you guilty of the same charge?”

Minister: “I am not on trial here.”

Chakotay: “I understand, but in a way, your beliefs are. How you think about yourselves, your place in the universe – that is on trial and this isn’t the first time.”

Minister: “What do you mean?”

Chakotay: “I’ve had the opportunity over the last few days to learn something about your culture – your great accomplishments. Consider the breakthrough into transwarp. An incredible achievement, and yet your ancient doctrine predicted terrible disasters if it were even attempted. That held your race back for millennia. Until someone took a chance and challenged that prediction. They succeeded, and your society entered a new chapter of exploration and your doctrine was changed accordingly. I know from the history of my own planet that change is difficult. New ideas are often greeted with skepticism – even fear. But sometimes those ideas are accepted and when they are…progress is made. Eyes are opened.”

Minister: “When I open my eyes to this theory, what I see appalls me. I see my race fleeing your wretched planet – a group of pathetic refugees, crawling and scratching their way across the galaxy – stumbling into this domain. I see a race with no birthright, no legacy. That is unacceptable.”

Chakotay: “I see something very different, Minister – an ancient race of Saurians, probably the first intelligent life on Earth, surrounded by some of the most terrifying creatures that ever lived. And yet, they thrived – developed language and culture and technology, and when the planet was threatened with disaster, they boldly launched themselves into space, crossed what must have seemed like unimaginable distances, facing the unknown everyday. But somehow, they stayed together, kept going with the same courage that had served them before, until they reached this quadrant where they laid the foundation of what was to become the great Voth culture. Deny that past…and you deny the struggle and achievements of your ancestors. Deny your origins on Earth…and you deny your true heritage.”

(Star Trek: Voyager s03e23 – “Distant Origin”)

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Hey just wanted to say thanks for posting this, very inspiring and interesting to see that star trek is able to make great scripts like this. I posted my thoughts about this here: http://goo.gl/z8KlrT

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