|Other Relative(s):||Elrem (uncle)|
|Played by:||Jennifer Lien,|
Janna Michaels (as a child),
unknown actress (as an infant)
- For the government, please see Kes (government).
Kes was a female Ocampa who joined the USS Voyager after it was catapulted into the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker's array. For over three years she became a valuable member of the crew; she served as a field medic, and was in charge of the airponics bay. She eventually left Voyager in order to explore her increasingly powerful mental abilities.
Kes was born on Ocampa in 2369. She belonged to a species that had telepathic abilities and a normal lifespan of only nine years. Kes' father, to whom she was very close and whom she considered the greatest inspiration in her life, died not long after her first birthday. She still thought about him and often felt his presence when she needed guidance. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Elogium", "Dreadnought", "Before and After")
When she was born, her mother expressed a wish that she would one day see the sun. Like most Ocampa, Kes was brought up underground, as her planet's surface had became a barren wasteland due to a catastrophic event and was unsuitable for habitation. (VOY: "Caretaker", "Before and After")
About 500 generations ago, a race of explorers from a distant galaxy, called the Nacene, had inadvertently damaged the atmosphere of the planet so badly that all nucleogenic particles were lost, thus rendering the atmosphere incapable of producing rain. The Nacene deeply regretted what they had done and left two of their kind behind to protect and provide for the Ocampa. While the female Nacene settler left in order to further explore the galaxy, the male Nacene, known as the Caretaker, stayed. He built a vast underground city, provided the Ocampa with food, entertainment and water from subterranean sources, as well as energy from the Array in space. The Ocampa civilization was sealed in by the Caretaker with a force barrier, and the ruling Elders were subsequently charged with discerning the wishes of the Caretaker, who had attained an almost godlike status among to the Ocampa. The Ocampa remained in this state for five hundred generations.
Over the years, some had found a way to circumvent the energy barrier and reach the surface. They were part of a rebellious minority who wanted to explore other possibilities, and no longer wished to remain dependent on the Caretaker. Among them was Kes. She was frustrated that the Ocampa had been dependent on the Caretaker for so long that they couldn't even think for themselves anymore. She knew that before they had given up their independence for comfort and security, they had been a people with full command of their minds' abilities, abilities they had lost because they stopped using them and began to just take what they were given. Kes did not want to walk the path the Caretaker had set for her and other Ocampa anymore; she believed her people needed to evolve, and that they could only do so by learning to survive on their own and on their own terms.
Her yearning to see the outside world led her to leave the city in 2371 through some ancient tunnels. However, upon reaching the surface, she was captured by members of the Kazon-Ogla sect, who had established a camp near the city. There, she was mistreated and tortured for information regarding the entrance to the city. The Kazon were a crude and rather technologically deficient race and finding a way to the fruitful underground oasis of the Ocampa city would have provided them with abundant resources.During her time with the Ogla, she met the Talaxian Neelix and the two fell in love. Neelix promised to rescue her. He managed this with the aide of Captain Janeway's Voyager and Chakotay's Maquis crew that had been transported to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker's Array. In return, Kes agreed to help them retrieve crewmembers that had been sent to the Ocampa city for care, after the experiments the Caretaker had done on them.
After the Array – which could have taken Voyager back to the Alpha Quadrant – had to be destroyed by Janeway so that the Ocampa would not fall victim to the ruthless Kazon, Kes and Neelix asked to join the Voyager crew on their journey, promising to serve the ship and its crew as valuable crewmembers. (VOY: "Caretaker")
Aboard Voyager Edit
The first year Edit
As one of her first acts on Voyager, Kes volunteered to establish a hydroponics garden in cargo bay two in order to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to allow for more variety in meals for the crew. Her requirement of nitrogenated soil for her garden from sickbay started her friendship and sympathy with The Doctor. (VOY: "Parallax")
Shortly after joining the crew, Kes began to exhibit some of the mental powers her species had long since lost. She experienced a telepathic vision of the destruction of a nearby planet by a polaric ion explosion. She also started to exhibit temporal telepathy while investigating the disaster. Ironically, the timeline containing the disaster was unraveled and only the echo of the original vision remained. (VOY: "Time and Again")
Kes quickly settled in to life aboard Voyager and began growing vegetables in her hydroponics bay. She also began to study medicine under The Doctor in order to become The Doctor's nurse. When Neelix was attacked by the Vidiians and they removed his lungs, she donated one of her own to save his life. After the operation, The Doctor allowed her to commence training to become his medical assistant. (VOY: "Phage")
Soon Kes started to help The Doctor in sickbay. She was shocked at the way the Doctor was treated by the crew. After explaining the situation to Captain Janeway, the captain agreed with her. Janeway told The Doctor that he was a member of the crew and she gave him control of the deactivation of his program. The Doctor found Kes' intellectual curiosity intriguing, and in the course of instructing her in her medical studies, he postulated that Kes had an eidetic memory. (VOY: "Eye of the Needle") She also lectured The Doctor on his bedside manner; when The Doctor programmed a holographic "flu" to better his bedside manner, Kes secretly modified it to last longer than the expected duration, telling him that "it wouldn't be an effective lesson" if he knew when his illness would end. (VOY: "Tattoo")
The second year Edit
In early 2371, Voyager encountered a swarm of space-dwelling lifeforms whose presence resulted in increased electrophoretic activity in the atmosphere. At the same time, Kes began exhibiting strange behavior, such as developing a big appetite and eating copious amounts of food – from mashed potatoes, flowers, to the dirt from soil and even the bugs she used in her airponics bay for cross-pollination. Neelix caught her devouring a combination of these foods and was worried that she might have poisoned herself. She resisted being taken to sickbay, stating that she just couldn't stop eating. The Doctor examined her and discovered that she had an elevated temperature and increased electrophoretic activity. However, he was unsure as to what exactly was causing her symptoms.
Before long, Kes barricaded herself behind a force field in The Doctor's office, running a dangerously high fever and developing a growth on her back. Captain Janeway, whom Kes trusted the most, was called in. She explained to her that the growth on her back was the sac where her child would grow. She revealed that she was going through the Elogium, a time of change, during which her body prepared for fertilization. Janeway tried to explain to her that Humans go through a similar process called puberty, but Kes was panicking because she was simply too young for the Elogium, as it usually happened between the ages of four and five and she wasn't even two years old yet. As Janeway tried to console her, Kes pointed out that the Elogium only occurred once – and if she was ever going to have a child, it had to be now. This left Kes and Neelix with the tough decision of deciding whether to have a child. Neelix in particular was unsure whether he was ready to be a father, which in turn left Kes somewhat disappointed because she wanted to mate with him. Even though Kes later decided to not conceive, The Doctor believed that the Elogium was a false alarm, probably set in motion by the swarm they encountered, and that she was still able to conceive again at the right age. (VOY: "Elogium")
Later that year, the Bothans attacked Voyager with a bio-electric field that caused the crew to experience hallucinations. It put the crew under some kind of psychoactive trance which disabled the ship. Kes' telepathic abilities allow her to resist the Bothans and to restore the crew to normal. (VOY: "Persistence of Vision")
Voyager passed through a divergence field that caused all sensor readings to double and every particle on the ship, except antimatter, to duplicate forming a second Voyager and crew. The field caused extensive damage to the first Voyager. Kes vanished in a mysterious void, Kim was sucked out into space and Wildman's baby died. Kes led Janeway back to the void to take her back to her ship. When the Vidiians attacked, they killed the duplicate Kes and they themselves were destroyed when the duplicate Voyager self-destructed, but not before Harry Kim returned with Wildman's baby to the other Voyager. (VOY: "Deadlock")
Kes, along with the rest of the crew, was marooned on Hanon IV after the Kazon had captured the ship. She was captured by the primitive tribe on the planet who were amazed at her blond hair and light skin. Chakotay later rescued her. (VOY: "Basics, Part II")
The last year on Voyager Edit
On a visit to the Nechani homeworld, Kes was struck by an energy burst that put her into a coma. She had wandered into a sanctuary into which only monks were allowed. She was saved by Janeway, who went through a series of tests of faith. (VOY: "Sacred Ground")
One of the most troubling episodes in Kes' life occurred in 2373, when her body was taken over by the Ilari, Tieran. Although he found her physically weak, he discovered that he was able to put her budding psychokinetic abilities to dangerous uses and grew fond of her body. For the first few days, he concealed his presence and even ended Kes' relationship with Neelix.
After killing the Autarch's representative and Ensign Martin, he returned to Ilari and staged a coup, killing the ruling autarch. During the next few days, Kes fought him mentally, causing increasingly erratic behavior. She even surfaced at one point, with the help of Tuvok, but she was unable to remove Tieran's influence.
As a civil war broke out on the planet, the crew of Voyager rescued Kes but failed to prevent Tieran from taking Ameron as a new host, although he was destroyed a short time later. Kes found the experience difficult to comprehend and blamed herself for the high death toll. It was clear that her time with Tieran had shaken her badly. (VOY: "Warlord")
Possibly as a result of her experience with Tieran, Kes began to question her continued presence on Voyager. She chose not to restart her relationship with Neelix and began to pursue other relationships instead. The first of these was with a Mikhal Traveler named Zahir. She fell in love with Zahir during a stay at one of their outposts, and seriously considered his offer to explore space with him rather than stay on Voyager. Meanwhile, the Doctor, who was experimenting with his matrix, caused an evil side to emerge. He became jealous of her suitor, attacked Zahir, and kidnapped Kes. During their time together, Kes realized that the "dark Doctor" was not truly evil; despite his claims that all organics were pathetic, he seemed to care for Kes in a twisted manner. Despite this, when cornered by an away team searching for them, rather than be captured, the 'dark Doctor' jumped off a cliff with Kes. They were saved by the transporter beam as the dark subroutines in the Doctor's program finally collapsed, resulting in him being back to normal when he returned to Voyager. Eventually, she decided to remain with her friends. (VOY: "Darkling")
Leaving the ship Edit
A few weeks later, Voyager entered the core space of the Borg and stumbled across the Borg-Species 8472 War. As a result of the telepathic nature of Species 8472, Kes began to experience visions of the future, and later began to communicate with the race. When they realized her nature, Species 8472 began reading Kes' memories. The communications ceased when the species retreated from the Delta Quadrant. (VOY: "Scorpion")
Only a few days later, Kes began to undergo a massive surge in her mental powers. Although it was theorized that the exposure to Species 8472 caused these changes, there was little evidence for this. For whatever reason, Kes became telekinetic and was able to carry out delicate surgical procedures using only her mind. Unfortunately, she rapidly started to destabilize at the subatomic level and was causing massive damage to Voyager as a result. Taking a shuttle, she left the ship to explore her new condition and, as she left the corporeal world behind, pushed Voyager 9,500 light years closer to Earth as a parting gift. (VOY: "The Gift")
Return to VoyagerEdit
In an alternate timeline, Kes killed B'Elanna Torres and used the warp core's energy to travel back to 2371, shortly after Voyager had become trapped in the Delta Quadrant. She attempted to prevent her younger self from developing her powers, making a deal with the Vidiians to attack and capture the ship, while taking the younger Kes back to Ocampa. This attempt was thwarted by Captain Janeway, who killed the older Kes when she was knocked off-balance during a Vidiian attack, and the younger Kes recorded a hologram that would dissuade the Kes of 2376 from making the time jump.
In 2376, Voyager received a distress call from a small ship. Sensors revealed the ship had one Ocampan lifeform on board. It was an aged Kes, who requested to be beamed aboard Voyager. When Janeway questioned her motives, Kes responded by ramming Voyager with her small ship and boarding the Starfleet vessel. In her old age Kes had forgotten she had chosen to leave Voyager and thought the crew had abandoned her when she had become too troublesome. Subsequently, she hunted down Voyager, seeking revenge. She made her way to engineering, using her powers to cause extensive damage along the way. When she got there, she found the warp core off line. A hologram that she had recorded of herself before leaving Voyager was activated. The holographic image reminded her that she was responsible for her own fate. Kes responded emotionally and ceased hostilities. Janeway offered her a place on the crew but she refused, opting instead to return to her homeworld. (VOY: "Fury")
Telepathic abilities Edit
Tuvok and Chakotay were attacked by an alien while returning from an away mission. After the two were beamed aboard, strange things started happening to the ship, with different crewmembers implicated as the culprits. Kes informed Janeway that she sensed an alien on board. Tuvok attempted a mind meld with her to help with her telepathic abilities in order to find the alien. It ended in failure when both were disabled by an energy surge like the one that hit Tuvok and Chakotay (although, this was later revealed to be a lie; in reality, Kes had been knocked out by Tuvok, who was possessed by an alien being at the time). (VOY: "Cathexis")
Kes's native telepathic powers continued to grow during her time in space, and she received training from Tuvok to control her powers. When Voyager encountered another group of Ocampa and the entity Suspiria, Kes's powers increased so fast that she began to lose control of them, incinerating the hydroponics bay and nearly killing Tuvok due to her new power of pyrokinesis. Fortunately, she saw how twisted these Ocampa had become and used her powers to fight them off. With the escape of Suspiria, her powers returned to their normal levels. (VOY: "Cold Fire")
In an artificially-created hallucination, it was Kes who telepathically sensed that Janeway's spirit was still present on Voyager, but attempts by Tuvok and Kes to make contact with her failed. Janeway soon learned that she was simply being pursued by an alien who was trying to convince her that she was dead and wanted her energy to feed off, so this fact does not actually apply. (VOY: "Coda")
At the end of the year during the battle with the Borg and Species 8472, she could sense Species 8472. She warned an away team that they are about to be attacked by the aliens, and was able to determine that Species 8472 was planning an invasion of the Delta Quadrant. (VOY: "Scorpion")
Although initially her relationship with Neelix was a romantic one, it seemed to cool during the trip on Voyager.
Her friendly behavior with Paris initially caused a confrontation between Neelix and Paris, the former being driven by a somewhat irrational jealousy towards the latter. While stranded together on a planet termed "Planet Hell" after a shuttle crash, they resolved their differences and began a solid friendship. (VOY: "Parturition")
During late 2372, Kes suffered a major personal loss after a transporter accident claimed the lives Neelix and Tuvok. In their place was a new combined entity that called itself Tuvix and declared its love for Kes. Though deeply troubled by the loss and by this declaration of love, she worked hard to become friends with Tuvix. When Captain Janeway found a method of recreating the original pair, Tuvix asked Kes to intercede in an effort to save his own existence. Ultimately, Kes asked the opposite, giving in to her desperation to have Neelix and Tuvok back. (VOY: "Tuvix")
Alien creatures that attached to Voyager had strange effects on Kes. She became prematurely fertile, which Ocampas do only once in a lifetime. If she ever wanted a baby she had to conceive while she was in this cycle. Neelix was at first reluctant, then willing to start a family, but Kes decided not to have a baby, since she felt she was too young. After the creatures were returned to their mother creature, the Doctor believed that her condition was a false fertile cycle, and that Kes could get pregnant in the future. (VOY: "Elogium")
Following her possession by Tieran, Kes and Neelix broke up; although this was initially caused by Tieran, it has been speculated that Tieran was partially motivated by Kes' own subconscious desires, explaining why she never got back together with the Talaxian. Despite this, the two remained close friends.
Kes encountered Zahir, one of the Mikhal Travelers, whilst visiting their outpost in 2373. Clearly attracted by his youthful good looks, intelligence, sensitivity and bravery, she spent much time with him – including a moonlit walk and at least one shared kiss – to the detriment of her duties aboard Voyager.
Zahir was equally attracted to Kes and invited her to travel with him aboard his ship for a few weeks, and initially she accepted his offer despite concerns on the part of Captain Janeway, who reminded Kes of her obligations as Voyager's assistant medical officer, and Lieutenant Tuvok, who questioned Zahir's choice of route and his apparently reckless approach towards travel. Zahir assured Tuvok that, having fallen in love with Kes, he considered her safety on the trip to be of paramount importance.
The trip was postponed when Zahir was attacked and seriously injured by The Doctor's evil alter ego. Kes remained at Zahir's side throughout his initial convalescence, showing great concern; shortly afterwards, when she was kidnapped by the malfunctioning Doctor, Zahir assisted Chakotay and Tuvok in their rescue efforts. Having been rescued, Kes decided to remain with Voyager as it continued on its journey home. (VOY: "Darkling")
Kes continued her efforts to help The Doctor relate to the crew and get in touch with his feelings. This evidently had a powerful effect on him; when his program suffered damage and he began to hallucinate that he was his creator, Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, his hallucination included a Human Kes as his wife. Only the real Kes was aware of this, deciding to keep it between the two of them in case Neelix became jealous. (VOY: "Projections")
Over time, The Doctor and Kes gradually settled into an almost father-daughter role, with The Doctor teaching Kes as a medical assistant. Kes also trusted The Doctor enough to perform the role of her father in the rolissisin, a foot massage that was a precursor to the mating ritual, commonly marking the change in relationship between father and child as the child became a parent herself. (VOY: "Elogium")
When a Vidiian scientist, Denara Pel, was beamed onto Voyager dying from the Phage, he transferred her synaptic pattern to a holobuffer and created a holographic body for her without the ravages of the Phage. Kes encouraged The Doctor to tell Pel about his feelings for her, and she subsequently worked with Tom Paris to set The Doctor and Pel up on a date in the holodeck. (VOY: "Lifesigns")
The next year Kes helped save The Doctor's matrix when, due to his program having been active for far longer than it was designed for, he began to lose his memories and skills as a doctor. After Torres activated a hologram of Dr. Lewis Zimmerman, he explained that The Doctor had been online too long and was deteriorating. Kes persuaded Dr. Zimmerman to graft his matrix onto The Doctor, restoring his mental capabilities. (VOY: "The Swarm") When The Doctor's program developed a secondary, evil personality, the 'Dark Doctor' still appeared to care for Kes, albeit in a more twisted fashion than the normal Doctor. Not only did he try to kill Zahir, the alien who Kes had developed feelings for, because he wanted Kes to remain on the ship, but he also claimed, during his capture of her, that she needed his help due to her naiveté. (VOY: "Darkling")
As Kes' role on the crew developed, Tom Paris began to develop feelings for her; in an alternate future, he admitted that he'd had a crush on her from the moment she joined the crew. Paris introduced her to new forms of food and drink, including spinach juice (with a touch of pear) which she enjoyed. (VOY: "Eye of the Needle") At her second birthday party, he sacrificed two weeks' worth of replicator rations to give her a beautiful locket as a present. (VOY: "Twisted")
His feelings for her grew when he became her flight instructor, prompting a brief conflict between him and Neelix, but the two of them resolved their differences after saving an alien infant together. (VOY: "Parturition") Kes and Paris were also closely involved in helping The Doctor cope with relationships; the two of them helped The Doctor arrange a date with Denara Pel, a Vidiian The Doctor had developed feelings for. When Paris left the ship as part of a ploy to expose a Kazon spy, Kes was one of the three people who came to say goodbye to him directly. (VOY: "Investigations")
In an alternate future, Kes and Paris married during the "Year of Hell" conflict, following the death of B'Elanna Torres, the two going on to have a daughter, Linnis Paris, who married Harry Kim and had a son called Andrew Kim. This timeline was erased when exposure to temporal radiation sent Kes traveling back in time from the moment of her death until she was cured of the radiation during her return to her third year on the ship, and any feelings she may have developed for Paris in the course of her jumps were never fully explored before she finally departed the ship. (VOY: "Before and After")
Tuvok became Kes' mentor and tutor in establishing her mental abilities. He used mind melds in order to teach her to control her powers, but sometimes became "frustrated" (as much as any Vulcan could) with her "emotional outbursts", such as giggling, when she used her abilities. Nevertheless, they were close companions- Tuvok expressing awareness of the challenges she faced with her abilities by talking with her about the control required for him to manage his emotions (VOY: "Cold Fire")-, which made the creation of Tuvix in a transporter accident that much harder for Kes; if Neelix had died, Tuvok would have offered her spiritual guidance, while Neelix would have supported her emotionally if Tuvok was lost, but with both of them gone, she had nobody to help her. (VOY: "Tuvix") When Kes was taken over by Tieran, the dictator even attempted to seduce Tuvok in Kes' body, but Tuvok denied that he had ever desired Kes, focusing his efforts on engaging a mind meld that would help Kes resist Tieran's control. (VOY: "Warlord") After Kes's departure from Voyager, Tuvok spent the following evening lighting candles in memory of his lost student (VOY: "The Gift").
As the captain of Voyager, Kes came to see Janeway as a kind of mother figure, with Janeway reciprocating this affection, such as when she attempted to console Kes through the shock she felt at realising that she was experiencing the elogium at least two years before her time (VOY: "Elogium"). When Janeway experienced an illusionary world where she was dead and wandering Voyager as a 'ghost', Kes was the only person capable of even briefly sensing her (VOY: "Coda"). When Kes decided to leave Voyager, she exchanged an emotional hug with Janeway before she left (VOY: "The Gift"). Although forced to kill a future version of Kes who had become warped with rage and grief since leaving the ship, when she 'caught up' with the timeframe where that future Kes had travelled back from, Janeway took steps to prevent herself having to go through such an experience again, asking Kes not to force her to kill her a second time (VOY: "Fury").
Kes was holographically duplicated at least twice:
- Recreations of crew members from Voyager and the Jupiter Station Holoprogramming Center were seen by The Doctor during a holographic malfunction in 2371. This simulation, or daydream, contained a Human Kes who was married to Lewis Zimmerman. (VOY: "Projections")
- The entire crew of Voyager was recreated by Tuvok from his Insurrection Alpha program, including Kes. (VOY: "Worst Case Scenario")
Alternate realities and timelinesEdit
In one possible timeline, Voyager was badly damaged during the "Year of Hell" conflict with the Krenim and the crew were exposed to chronitons. Kes lived through these events and eventually married Tom Paris, Torres having died during the conflict. They had a daughter together called Linnis who, like her mother, grew up very rapidly. Linnis then married Harry Kim, giving Kes a grandson, Andrew Kim.
Eventually, Kes reached nine years old and began to age rapidly as she entered the morilogium, the final phase of Ocampan life. To save her, The Doctor placed her in a bio-temporal chamber in an attempt to make her cells younger. This procedure reactivated the dormant chronitons and the resulting temporal destabilization sent Kes back along her timeline, altering it along the way as she discussed her memories of the future.
The effect was halted in late 2373 when The Doctor used antichronitons to stabilize Kes; in her previous jump she had taken energy readings of the torpedo that had infected her, allowing The Doctor to work out a means of countering her infection. Over the next few days, her two sets of memories (one set from the past, up to 2373; and one set from the future, back from 2379) became a single coherent set. As a result of her experience, Kes was able to warn Captain Janeway of the danger posed by the Krenim. (VOY: "Before and After")
Background information Edit
Kes was played by actress Jennifer Lien. A runner-up for the role was Jennifer Gatti. (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p. 156) Janna Michaels played the young Kes in the episode "Before and After". The infant Kes in the latter mentioned episode was a live baby. It may have been the same one that appeared as the Borg infant in "Collective". The "double" Kes in "Fury" was played by photo double and stand-in Amy Kate Connolly.
The decision to lose Kes as a main character was, according to Executive Producers Rick Berman and Jeri Taylor, simply because the character had not seemed to be working successfully, despite several attempts to make the character work. (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD) Berman also cited one particular relationship as a certain stumbling block. "There was a relationship with Neelix that didn't work out that well," he said. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 114, p. 12) According to Jeri Taylor, the executives of Paramount Pictures were also involved in the decision to lose Kes from the series. "The studio felt that we had too many characters," Taylor explained. (Cinefantastique, Vol. 29, No. 6/7, p. 113) This was especially the case, in light of the decision to introduce Seven of Nine into the series. Berman noted that the decision to lose Kes as a main character was "simultaneous" to the decision to introduce Seven. (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD) Berman also stated, "Rather than adding another new character to our existing cast, we decided to replace one because we had so many people to start with." (Star Trek: Communicator issue 114, p. 12) Concluded Taylor, "In season 3 or 4 of a series, very often people go and people come, so it wasn't that unexpected an event." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD) Despite this, some of the series' writing staff was regretful about the character leaving. Joe Menosky remarked, "It was unfortunate that Kes had to be kissed off." (Cinefantastique, Vol. 30, No. 9/10, p. 78) Kenneth Biller similarly remembered, "I was a little bit regretful when Kes left the show, because I thought that she was an interesting character to write for – from a science fiction standpoint – because she had certain... she had telepathic abilities, she had this very compressed lifespan, she had things about her character that often lent themselves to interesting storytelling [....] We lost something in losing the Kes character." (Braving the Unknown: Season Four, VOY Season 4 DVD) Jeri Taylor was another writing staffer who expressed unhappiness about Kes' departure, noting, "I was very sorry to lose her." (Star Trek Monthly issue 36, p. 11)
It is not known what became of Kes after the final encounter she had with Voyager in "Fury". Given her elderly appearance and the normal Ocampan lifespan of nine years, it can be presumed that she passed away in or just before 2379 and thus shortly after Voyager's return to the Alpha Quadrant, although it is possible that she found a way to prolong her life through her considerably advanced mental abilities.
In the Voyager novel String Theory Evolution, Kes was called to Ocampa's distant past to help The Doctor and Q oversee the birth of an Ocampa/Nacene hybrid; the Ocampan mother lacked the life energy to carry the child to term, so Kes 'merged' with the woman to act as a kind of surrogate. This also revealed that the Kes who attacked Voyager in "Fury" was not actually the future Kes, but was instead the personification of the anger and rage in Kes's soul, created when she was forced to separate herself from the Ocampan with whom she had merged while fighting a rogue Nacene. As a result of the improper separation, Kes's "dark side" merged with the body of the Ocampan, although the spirit of the Ocampan herself passed on peacefully. Kes subsequently returned to Ocampa, where she and the hybrid were able to bring rain to the planet once more.
In the Voyager short-story "Restoration", Kes used her newly-returned powers in 2377 to regenerate Ocampa's energies, returning the planet to a blissful and fertile state with the atmosphere restored, but killing her in the process.
She is confirmed to still be alive in the novel The Eternal Tide, where she works with Q's son to restore Janeway to life after she is assimilated by the Borg, Q helping Janeway restore her body while Kes helps her repair the damage that her body had suffered prior to death so that she is restored to her most 'perfect' state.