21

When Kes left Voyager in the episode "The Gift", she used her psychic abilities to propel Voyager through Borg space almost instantly, cutting ten years off their journey. But why (in-universe) didn't she send them all the way back to Earth? (Out of universe, it would have meant the series was over.)

  • 8
    Wasn't Voyager almost coming apart just going that distance? – Jon Clements Oct 1 at 15:10
  • 1
    @JonClements While Harry yells "We're coming apart", there is little other evidence to suggest the ship was in much danger when Kes flung them. More damage was being done by Kes during her transformation. youtu.be/GWFaH3UvbYM – Xantec Oct 1 at 15:58
  • 1
    maybe too many unknowns about her new found powers put caution before omnipotence. Which now that you mention it she did have Q like powers yet Q was worried about what us mere humans might become oneday! – onepound Oct 1 at 17:30
  • 10
    She was powerful, not omnipotent. I don't know that this question can be authoritatively answered because we've only seen one other Ocampa with enhanced capabilities,Tanis-"Cold Fire", and no real idea as to the limits of their powers. It does seem safe to assume though that if she could have, she would have. – Emsley Wyatt Oct 1 at 17:36
  • Because then the series would be over ;) – Muzer Oct 2 at 21:26
36

I think the episode deals with this relatively well. She gives them a gift while she's still corporeal enough to do so, throwing them as far as she can, while respecting the physical integrity of the ship.

PARIS: This can't be right. Our speed is - it's impossible!

KIM: We're coming apart!

PARIS: We've just dropped out of whatever it was we were in.

Had she tried to chuck them another 10,000 light years, the ship would presumably have exploded or fallen apart, killing everyone on board. And I think we can all agree that that wouldn't be much of a present.

  • 4
    So, snapping her fingers to preserve the ship's structural integrity was presumably beyond her abilities. – Ham Sandwich Oct 2 at 4:08
  • 12
    @HamSandwich - Sure, why not. – Valorum Oct 2 at 6:02
  • 2
    @HamSandwich - Just another example of the ship travelling at the speed of plot, but on a series level. (E.g.: Not as far wouldn't have been as dramatic; further would have ended the show.) – T.J. Crowder Oct 2 at 8:16
  • 13
    @HamSandwich Try this yourself without telekinesis: "Push something really hard/fast" is very simple. Pure power, minimal control required. "Hold a delicate object together under stress, without crushing, twisting or distorting it" is a lot harder. Think of Voyager as a 30cm long plasticine model, with interior walls 1mm thick - now, throw it around without squishing it. – Chronocidal Oct 2 at 11:20
  • 1
    @HamSandwich - Trraveling through subspace presents its own problems due to subspace eddies and the like. It's probably easier to think of it in ocean metaphors, since that what the writers did. – Valorum Oct 2 at 21:04
0

My take was that she sent them as far as her powers would allow her to, safely anyway. She had JUST gained them, so she may not have been fully able to control them, or even know their extent. That was the way I perceived it.

11

We could postulate some explanations, but we don't know the answers. It's largely a mystery.

  1. She missed. She is very new to her abilities. This reminds me of myself playing pool. The ball hardly goes the direction I want, let alone at the perfect speed.

  2. She was not powerful enough. She is young for an evolved being. Maybe toddlers are too limited.

The word omnipotent is used to express that we cannot fathom a being's power or abilities; it is nonetheless a misnomer. Even Q admits that his powers have limitations. We can't begin to understand his abilities, let alone understand how he is limited.

  1. She was too powerful and she lacked the tools for an accurate push.

Let's pretend we're human beings trying to build an ant tunnel. This job would be "beneath us" and quite "too small" for our fat fingers. We would need to create tools so we could work small and also not push too hard. Similarly, Kes may not have had the tools to be properly accurate. Anyone who has played paper football can relate to how hard it is to be accurate with a flick of a finger.

  1. She knew there would be unintended consequences.

Maybe if she flung them all the way home, the Borg would mistake the trip as powered by Starfleet technology. The borg would see this as both a threat and an awesome new technology to acquire, so they would invade and destroy their home. She couldn't let that happen.

  1. She can see through time and complied with fate.

She knows that her role was to help so much and no farther.

  1. Caution

I like @onepound's thought: she was being cautious. She didn't want to blow up the ship by "smacking" them too hard.

  1. She was in a hurry

Hey, powerful beings have things to do, you know? Maybe she needed to go meet the other ascended Ocampa who were calling to her. She didn't have time to do it right.

  1. The prime directive.

While Kes certainly is not beholden to the prime directive, she does understand the idea that you can do harm by helping too much. See also #4.

As for my thinking, it clear she could have picked up the ship and walked it all the way home safely. So #4, #5, #7, and #8 seem most likely to me.

Although, I do find the question hollow. As the OP mentioned, ultimately the answer is the "writers didn't want to."

  • 1
    Any question can be answered with an appeal to a writer's decision. It's hardly helpful, though. In-universe answers should be the default choice, unless the OP specifically asks for a real-world reason. – Ham Sandwich Oct 2 at 21:09
  • Clearly you missed the first 10 paragraphs. All these answers in-universe answers. Leaving comments, by default, should continue the discussion. – BAMF4bacon Oct 4 at 15:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.