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His career in Starfleet was short-lived, however, and ended after he was involved in covering up his own piloting error which had led to the death of three fellow officers at Caldik Prime.Despite later telling the truth, he was discharged from Starfleet following the incident.
When Paris first set foot on board Voyager, he was seen as brash and arrogant, an aimless wanderer who seemed a little too cocky and a little too sure of himself.
Growing up, Paris often felt inadequate due to the pressure his father put on him to excel and feeling like a failure as a result.
The alienation continued throughout his adulthood to the point where Tom would just ignore his father altogether, "tuning out" to what he referred to as yet another "sermon".
After some initial hesitation, Paris decided to take this opportunity and join Captain Janeway on Voyager. He couldn't care less about the crew of that ship, and only agreed to be brought on board as a Starfleet observer after being assured that when it was over, he would be cut loose and Janeway would give him a favorable report at his next review.
(", a view of the imprisoned Tom Paris during his visit from Janeway was originally to have appeared in that installment, in a memory of Janeway's.