Partway down, Phlox is commed by a tearful Hoshi. He can't get her to respond, so he dashes off to her quarters and enters. A shower is running, and Hoshi is not in her bed. There's someone in the shower. The room is full of steam. You can't see very well. "Hoshi?" Phlox calls out. Someone in the shower turns to face him. "What are you doing? I have to put you back under sedation immediately -- you'll suffer permanent damage!" Phlox cries, grabbing a towel. Hoshi comes around the door of the shower. Her face looks melted, and her eyes are completely white. See, this is also more like The Shining when Jack makes out with that rotting corpse. "Hoshi?" Phlox says softly. Hoshi grabs at her face and whimpers, "You did this." Phlox says he has to get her to Sickbay. "You said we'd be safe," Hoshi whimpers. "YOU PROMISED US!" She lunges at Phlox, who falls backwards out of the room and onto the floor. He scrambles up and sees Hoshi in her bed, asleep. The noise and steam of the shower stops. Phlox peers into the bathroom and sees that all is normal. The music here is like a teched up version of the Jason/Friday the 13th strains. Phlox comms T'Pol and tells her to meet him in Sickbay. He stumbles into the corridor and opens a turbolift. Quantum is there, and asks where Phlox has been. "Ca-captain?" Phlox stutters. "What are you doing up?" Quantum tells him that T'Pol woke him because there was something wrong. Quantum then goes onto say that Phlox needs rest, and he obviously expected too much of him when he left him in charge. "You're not real!" Phlox insists. Of course he's not -- he's not nearly furrowing enough. It's a dead giveaway. T'Pol comes up behind him. Phlox whips back and forth and sees that Quantum is gone. Phlox gulps for air.
The Evil Dr. Mathra came up with an analysis of what Phlox's subconscious inventions of various crewmembers mean in terms of how he views them. T'Pol, he sees as a voice of reason and science. Quantum, as captain, he sees as an authority figure, who maintains a fatherly presence on the ship. Trip is overly protective of his engines and quick to jump on anyone who messes with them. Hoshi, he sees as shrill, appearance-obsessed drama queen. Mayweather, he only sees asleep.
Sickbay. Phlox scans himself and determines that he is being unexpectedly affected by the stains from Lisa Loeb's wardrobe. "You were right, I was hallucinating," Phlox admits to his Imaginary Vulcan, and confirms that there won't be any permanent damage. However, he will have to put himself under neuro-sedation, since it is affecting his judgment. He asks his Imaginary Vulcan to look after the crew for him. Imaginary Vulcan doesn't like the sound of that at all, and protests vehemently. "It won't be for long, we're coming out of the disturbance in six hours -- T'Pol, I'm asking for your help!" Phlox pleads. Imaginary Vulcan refuses, and cites the fact that her irritation with Phlox when they were searching the ship for bogeymen means that she's being affected as well. Imaginary Vulcan insists that the crew is better off in his hands than in the green hands of a PMSing Vulcan. Phlox brings up the fact that he nearly shot Porthos, and worries that he might open an airlock, shut down life support, or binge on chocolate cake. Imaginary Vulcan insists that he won't do that, since his duty is to look after the crew. She reminds him how much Quantum trusts Phlox, "as do I." That's not much comfort coming from someone who isn't real. Of course, the deeper meaning is that Phlox trusts himself. Phlox gives in.