Disc No :
First Aired :
15 Apr 1998
Why is it that Janeway doesn't ever talk to the aliens about the situation with Omega? Her only response is to charge in, guns blazing; isn't this a stupid plan? Say she's sucessful in destroying all the Omega molecules and leaves - won't the aliens simply rebuild and repeat their experiment, creating more Omega molecules? Which Voyager won't even know about since they'll be hundreds of light years away. But if they took the time to talk to the aliens and explain the problem to them, explain just how dangerous Omega is and what the consequenes of losing control of it are, it's entirely possible that they would give it up on their own and never try to make any again. Which is a much better solution, right? But Janeway, a Starfleet Captain of all things, never even thinks to try diplomacy.
Janeway claims one Omega molecule has "the same energy as a warp core". What is that supposed to mean, exactly? It's perfectly reasonable to say that an Omega molecule can release a given amount of energy, sure. But a warp core doesn't have a specific amount of energy - rather it produces a specific amount of energy per second, i.e. it has a given power rating. The line should have read something like "one Omega molecule produces as much energy s a warp core does in a year".
And if Omega is that powerful, why do the aliens produce 200,000,000 of them? I know they claim they are out of recources, but are they really in need of as much energy as two hundred million warp cores can produce? Bear in mind that the entire Federation probably only has something like 200,000 warp cores even counting all the starships, civilian ships, shuttles, etc. This pre-warp civilisation needs a thousand times as many?
When Voyager detects a curious energy signature, Janeway reveals 'the Omega directive' - a Starfleet regulation that overrides even the Prime Directive. Omega is an unstable molecule of incredible power and incredible danger - even a small amount could render most of the quadrant unusable to warp drive ships forever. Janeway must track the source of the Omega molecules down and destroy them before others can get their hands on the deadly material.