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In Star Trek Voyager, Season 2, Episode 6, "Twisted" there is an alien life form that is trying to communicate with voyager through a distortion ring/energy field. At the end of the episode the alien communicates by uploading 20 million gigaquads of data to Voyager's computer. Is there any record of the actual contents of the data? Is any of it technology based? Do we ever learn in any novels or anything else canon anything about the content of the data or who the aliens were that deposited it?

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    Alphabets and Grammar. Simple. – Baby Yoda Mar 27 '15 at 10:34
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    What's your source for this? If that was the case why wouldn't they stay around to communicate...or why wouldn't Voyager decipher it and then follow them to communicate? @SS – JMFB Mar 27 '15 at 17:11
  • Most data is a four letter word, why would aliens be different – user16696 Mar 27 '15 at 19:30
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Within the main canon (the TV show) the answer is a simple no. There were no further mentions of the distortion ring or the data it imparted.


Within the book canon, the "distortion ring" and the data are extensively mentioned in the Voyager novel Protectors, set after the Voyager has returned to Earth.

Initially we learn that the crew were unable to decipher it.

“We didn’t learn anything,” Paris corrected him. “It dumped a ton of information into our databases and uploaded ours, but the data was too corrupted to be of any use.”

“We purged it all a few months later, didn’t we?” Torres asked of Seven, who shrugged. “Sorry,” she quickly realized, “that was before you joined us.”

and that it may have been some sort of distress beacon;

“Some of it,” Kim replied. “Most of the data was beyond retrieval. A lot of what I did recover was star charts of areas we had already scanned. But there were also bits and pieces that seemed to be expressions of want or need on the part of the phenomenon. I’m not saying it was a life-form—I believe it was constructed by someone or something. I got the sense that it had surpassed its original parameters. I also know, for a fact, that it came from a considerable distance from where we encountered it. I found the distortion ring’s initial coordinates. It had traveled more than twenty thousand light-years in the course of at least two hundred years before we encountered it. We thought it had just passed by to say ‘hello,’ but I think it was asking for help.”
“You found a distress call?” Chakotay asked.
“It sounded like one to me.” Kim nodded.
“Why didn’t you say something back then?” Paris asked.
“It took me six years to decipher what I did,” Kim countered. “By that time, answering the call would have taken us forty thousand light-years or so in the wrong direction.”

We finally then learn that the distortion was a distress call sent out by the semi-sentient protectors of a so-called "Ark Planet", a poorly terraformed world in need of assistance. Captain Chakotay initially refuses to assist.

Commander O’Donnell stood and crossed to the briefing room’s single window that afforded him a view of the Ark planet. It should have been a lovely blue orb, not unlike Earth. Water was plentiful, though the landmasses were larger than his homeworld’s. The haphazard arrangement of its life-forms, however, left much of it shrouded in sickly wisps of yellowish haze. O’Donnell wished nothing more than to take a deep breath and blow them from the atmosphere, revealing the jewel beneath in all of its glory.

“You know we can do this,” O’Donnell began. “Yes,” Chakotay agreed. “And you know we should.” “Then what?” Chakotay asked. O’Donnell paused, wondering if he understood the question. “And then we take our lashes like good little Starfleet officers and move on.” “If we do this,” Chakotay said, “we could be breaking the Prime Directive.”

  • Thank you @Richard, that was an excellent answer. How did Chakotay end up back at the planet the aliens were from? Didn't this happen years after Voyager returned? Why did they go back to that planet? And why were the aliens only semi-sentient and so technologically inferior needing federation help when the distortion rings were such advanced technology? Thanks again. – JMFB Mar 27 '15 at 23:34
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    @JMFB - 1)A few years after they return, the Federations have perfected slipstream tech and can readily travel to the Delta Quadrant. 2) The aliens seem to have advanced machine tech but limited knowledge of biological systems. – Valorum Mar 27 '15 at 23:36

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