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In Star Trek: Voyager the star ship Voyager is headed from the Delta Quadrant back to the Alpha Quadrant. They have encounters with various parties, e.g. Seska and the Kazon, after which Voyager resumes its journey.

So if they're gaining distance away from those they encountered, then how do they keep running into each other? How is Seska able to keep up or constantly intersect with Voyager when it has superior warp speed capabilities?

Another example is the second encounter with the Vidiian woman that the Emergency Holographic Doctor saved. Voyager dropped her off and was on its way, but in another episode they met again. Is Voyager going around in circles?

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    Tom Paris was too embarrassed to admit that he didn't know how to get home, so he kept flying them around in circles, allowing other ships with maps to easily catch up. – Thunderforge Oct 12 '16 at 2:10
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    Because Voyager stopped to have a compelling adventure every week. Every time they did, the Kazon blew right past them and got ahead of them. See, if Voyager just went straight for home they'd have been there in 5 years. – starpilotsix Oct 12 '16 at 2:34
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I've pondered this as well. They may have spent a lot of time in that region repairing Voyager and collecting supplies before venturing deeper into unknown space. Neelix was very familiar with trade in that region and it would be logical to utilize all of his connections and resources while they could.

EDIT: Voyager may indeed have be going in circles or just not going at all, let's take a closer look at how they spent their time while in Ocampa/Kazon space.

The entirety of Season 1 takes place from star date 48315.6 to 48846.5 which is Apr 26,2371 to Nov 5,2371 so just over 6 months. Using this calculator: http://www.hillschmidt.de/gbr/sternenzeit.htm

In season 1 they spent a lot of time broken down or investigating things, EP:1 the ship was nearly destroyed, EP:2 they are trapped in a quantum singularity, EP:3 they are stuck in a subspace fracture, EP:8 they investigate Romulans in the Delta quadrant, and all along resupplying the ship with dwindling energy reserves and fighting skirmishes with the Kazon and Vidians.

The last Kazon episode would be S3:EP1 so from the end of S1 to this point we jump to star date 50023.4 or Jan 9, 2373 so another 14 months for a total of about 20 months. This 14 months was mostly spent on bottle episodes such as "The 37's" and "Meld". In EP12 Tuvok and B'Elanna are help captive, EP14 B'Elanna is abducted so Voyager spent a good amount of time circling planets. In EP25 Chakotay and Janeway are left on the quarantine planet while Voyager cures the Vidian phage. This is probably the single longest setback in S2 as Voyager spends 6 weeks curing the Phage then heads back so there could be 3 months lost here alone.

So I guess it's reasonable that they didn't make it very far and it wasn't just bad writing. Star Fleet is all about taking their time to analyze a problem before taking action so it's totally within character for them to spend a good deal of time gaining supplies and information before venturing beyond the bounds of the then known space.

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    Seems plausible. Is there any evidence from the show that you can cite to support this, though? – Adamant Oct 12 '16 at 2:44
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    In the first three seasons of Voyager no "jumps" (transwarp, slipstream, etc.) are used to shorten the trip. According to Star Trek Star Charts (not canon) this equates to 438 lightyears of distance covered per chronological year. The maps of Voyager's journey show they skirt Kazon space (different sects) for all of the first two years and leave Kazon space at the beginning of the third year. These maps have, of course, been constructed in retrospect but it does explain why Kazon keep appearing. How Seska keeps up with Voyager has to be explained by Voyager's unending sightseeing. – user45485 Oct 12 '16 at 8:18
  • Ran out of characters. The first season of Voyager was a short one: sixteen episodes. This is reflected in the distance traveled (according to ST Star Charts): 300 lightyears. So it's some 750 lightyears of Kazon space. Also, according to the charts Kazon space is huge: it's shown as an ellipse with a major axis of around 2,500 lightyears. For comparison, the Romulan Star Empire is some 120 lightyears from end to end, and the Klingon Empire stretches out over 400 lightyears. – user45485 Oct 12 '16 at 8:33
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    Plus between adventures, Voyager wasn’t hammering toward the Alpha Quadrant at top speed. I seem to remember hearing “Warp 6” being ordered a lot. – Paul D. Waite Oct 12 '16 at 10:25
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I'm sure you can twist yourself into knots explaining how it's technically feasible...while a Borg fleet is intentionally hunting you and all you need is a few minutes head start to be free and clear... yet the downright moronic Kazon managed to track you across hundreds of light years.

The real answer is poor writing or understanding of the show's own premise. There is no reason they should have kept encountering Seska. The amount of space they cover with Kazon is impressively implausible enough, the Federation doesn't cover that much space.

One major flaw in the worldview of Star Trek Voyager is their spatial awareness and an obsession with quadrants. They present the galaxy as if each quadrant is a room in a house. Each room is self contained. You can talk to anyone in the room, move about and see the same people over and over. Until you step out of the room into a different "quadrant" anyone from the same room can walk right up to you. They speak like this about going "home" to the Alpha Quadrant. But the Alpha Quadrant isn't "home". They don't own a quarter of the Galaxy. The Federation is a tiny speck of the Alpha Quadrant. The crew would still have to spend decades in the Alpha (or Beta) Quadrant in space "No one has gone before".

You see this egregiously with aliens talking to each other and referring to the "quadrant" (an arbitrary concept specifically designed based on Earth's position on the galaxy). You see this with Voyager crew talking to aliens about being in 'this quadrant' with them, as if it's their own room. And of course you see it with alien races that have no business spanning half a galaxy, spanning half a Galaxy. Remember Neelix finds a bunch of Talaxians at the end of the series. Neelix's species was nearly half of a galaxy away at that point. If his home planet had a trillion trillion people on it, he should never have encountered another of his species that far away.

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Don't you get it? Voyager has the most advanced technology around - and Seska knows it, so Maj Kullah knows it and wants it desparately. Voyager is being followed!

  • Not only are they being followed, they’re being followed by locals who have allies at every other planet, know the area and are mindlessly relentless. – braindigitalis Dec 16 '18 at 15:02

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