Captain Braxton returns through the rift in “Future's End” having never experienced the catastrophic destruction of the solar system time line, which has been altered. Then in season 5, "Relativity" his far future self plants a device to destroy Voyager to prevent himself from going back to the timeline which no longer exists. Where does the Braxton come from and how was the causality loop even broken in “Future's End”?

BRAXTON: Yes. No. Yes. That's the paradox, my dear. A leads to B leads to C leads to A. Juvenile minds. Oh, how can I make you understand, huh? A. There's an explosion in the twenty ninth century. Debris from Voyager's hull is found in evidence. I go back in time to destroy you. B. You try to stop me, disabling my weapon which causes me to crash-land back here in the twentieth century. C. Someone in this century steals my timeship and launches it. They go into the future and once there they make one critical mistake which causes a terrible explosion that takes us all the way back to A. There's an explosion in the twenty ninth century. The cycle of causality is complete.

So there are two questions. How does Voyager break the causality loop and not repeat the same events that resulted in Voyager's remains being found in the wreckage, and where does crazy future Braxton come from in "Relativity"? If he came from the 20th century homeless man, then how does he get off earth?

  • 2
    Temporal psychosis seems to be playing quite the part in his thinking...
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 8:57
  • @VALORUM but the Temporal psychosis Braxton lived on earth for years. How did he get off earth or become the Braxton they arrested in season 5 Relativity who's "Future" self will plant the device who according to the Braxton that returns through the rift, never experienced that time line? Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 8:59
  • 3
    Temporal mechanics always gave me a headache...
    – Hans Olo
    Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 9:33
  • In the 29th century, we've evolved enough (apparently) so that no longer causes us headaches. :) Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 15:48
  • 2
    As far as we know from episode Relativity, Braxton (the one who tried and destroyed Voyager before 7of9 stopped him) said he spent 30 years in 20th century Earth. Also, from later in the episode, we learned from his First Officer that the future and present Braxton's will be integrated. 7of9 was also informed that she will also be re-integrated with her counterpart. So, the likely explanation is that 29th century temporal agents retrieved Braxton's older self in the 20th century and re-integrated him with the one who said he didn't experience that timeline, and then underwent treatment
    – Deks
    Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 2:30

1 Answer 1


Time travels and time paradoxes are handled slightly differently in each series of the ST. Unfortunately.

As for second question - crazy Braxton is the result of several Voyager timeline incursions. It is the older version of the current captain of the USS Relativity. It is helpful to think in somewhat non-linear way about him. He's the product of changing and then restoring timeline(s), but he's necessarily outside the causality loop. I think the Ducane's phrase about them being reintegrated with their past selves when talking to Seven and Janeway (and he also incuded Braxton in that sentence) explains the problem somewhat, too.

As for causality loop break and not destroying future star system... Only explanation I have is that thinking about those things as a loop is wrong. It's more like an iteration, because yes, every time something happens to change the timeline (which is also creating it's own branch of reality, as explained in one of the episodes of the TNG), there is a factor that is aware of the outcome of the previous loop.

Also, plot device and somewhat lazy screenwriters.

In case it's confusing, see Loki's comment to the question itself.

  • That's right, because 7 was limited by Braxton to only four extractions from the timeline before temporal psychosis would set in in "Relativity" across all the 7's. Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 17:25
  • There's also the possibility that the crazy homeless Braxton was pulled out of the 20th century: "It is learned that Braxton, after the events of "Future's End", had to spend several decades of rehabilitation before being reassigned for duty, and started to blame Voyager for all the problems that he encountered as they patrolled the time streams, seeing its destruction as a means to end his suffering." Commented Mar 19, 2019 at 20:38
  • +1 The 'TNG S5-E18:Cause and Effect' also support the idea of iterations, and that each iteration of the loop can change slightly until it finally breaks. So this is not the first time we see this.happen
    – Matt
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 19:38

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