As Neelix serves a meal which Seven has prepared for Janeway, Chakotay, Tom and BâElanna, Voyager suddenly experiences turbulence, and is pulled into a portion of space in which no matter exists, aside from that which is pulled inside via spatial funnels. This area of space has such been named The Void by its inhabitants. Still in the mess hall, Neelix and Tom realize an approaching ship has opened fire and that they are under attack.
Another ship approaches and fires on the attacking ship, but then proceeds to fire on Voyager, taking down her aft shields. As the attacking ship transports supplies and deuterium from Voyager, Janeway orders the attacking ships engines to be disabled. But it is too late, and the ship jumps to warp. Another vessel approaches, but does not initiate hostile action; instead, it hails Voyager, and the captain of the ship compliments Janeway for fighting off her attackers.
General Valen, the captain of the friendly ship, comes onboard Voyager, tells her why she was attacked, where they are, and the nature of âthe voidâ. He offers to trade with Janeway for Voyager's photon torpedoes, but Janeway tells him that they do not trade weapons because they do not know how they will be used.
Seven of Nine devises a plan to propel them out of the void and back into normal space. It is, however, risky and complicated. As Voyager implements Seven's plan and nears normal space, the ship is thrown back into the void causing significant amount of damage to ship systems. With the warp core offline and supplies running low, Janeway orders their attacker to be found, so that they can retrieve their stolen supplies.
When Voyager finds their attacker, the ship has been badly damaged. There are no life signs aboard and all technology and supplies have been âpicked cleanâ. Seven of Nine states that not everything of value has been taken: the casing of the warp core is made of an element that can be converted into a power source.
Inside the casing, Seven and BâElanna find an injured humanoid. He is taken to sickbay, but he is afraid and he refuses to allow the Doctor near him. Although hurt, he has a voracious appetite.
Voyager tracks down General Valen, the previously friendly captain, and disables his shields. When he does not return what belongs to them, Janeway contemplates taking more than what is theirs. Janeway goes to her ready room for coffee when Tuvok and Chakotay report; their inventory shows that they recovered less than half of what was taken.
Chakotay points out that they may need to start stealing to survive. Janeway attempts to find a loophole in the Federation charter condoning such tactics, but finds none. She decides against theft and suggests they form an alliance, where they would pool their resources, protect their allies, and âultimately get the hell out of this placeâ.
Janeway and her officers tell a captain and his crew of their strategy, noting the benefits and the rules of an alliance. She asks him to consider it and offers complimentary food and medical care to him and his crew.
Seven notifies the captain that her phase compensator has been stolen. Janeway tells her that it was not stolen, but given to a prospective member. Seven says it is inefficient to give things away. As Janeway leaves, she turns around and apologizes to Seven for âgiving away her favourite phase compensatorâ.
Seven goes to sickbay where she finds the Doctor and the now named humanoid, FantomÃ©, listening to music. Seven realizes that he can hear and tries using sounds and instruments to instruct him to pick the instruments up. It is determined at this point that FantomÃ©'s species is probably native to the void.
Neelix prepares BâElanna and Tom a meal but they are called away early when all senior staff are ordered to the bridge. The ship is set on red alert because another ship has just come into the void and is under attack by General Valen. As Janeway orders weapons targeted on Valen's lead ship, Valen hails Voyager. Janeway tells him they will protect the new ship, but Valen tells her he has a crew to feed and opens fire on Voyager. Voyager fires photon torpedoes but only reduces Valen's upgraded shields to 80%. Whilst Voyager is sustaining damage a third ship approaches and fires on the other two ships forcing them to retreat. Garon, the captain of the third ship hails Voyager and declares "I have decided to accept your proposal"
The Doctor takes FantomÃ©, now no longer a patient, to the mess hall. A prospective member of the alliance named Bosaal, becomes agitated upon seeing FantomÃ©, telling Janeway his species is vermin. Janeway offers to remove those lurking on his ship and relocate them to Voyager.
Around this time Janeway notes that their alliance has produced a new benefit for Voyager. Alien technology has upgraded their replicator systems, allowing a vastly larger amount of food to be produced from the same amounts of energy.
BâElanna and a member of Garonâs crew run a test that does not go successfully. When all seems to be going well, a part of it explodes. Two aliens spy on Janeway talking to BâElanna and the member of Garonâs crew as Tuvok walks in. He remarks that they managed to break his security code, and reminds them they should not be spying on members of the alliance, although it should be noted that these aliens are members of the Hierarchy and so spying is second nature to them.
Several members of the crew observe FantomÃ© and others of his kind developing a language with small programmable devices that play music.
In engineering, Janeway learns that a needed modulator has come from an act of piracy. She orders it and Bosaal removed from her ship.
Talking to Chakotay, she realizes that they should have never allowed Bosaal to join their alliance. The two enter Astrometrics, where the two aliens who developed the spying technology show Bosaal and Valen talking about a prospective raid on Voyager. Janeway notes somewhat ironically that she should never have explained the value of co-operation, as the hostile aliens are forming their own alliance against Voyager. Tuvok believes they will attack within the next few hours to steal the ship's food and supplies. Janeway prepares to leave the void as soon as possible, so they will not have time to run a test on BâElannaâs modulator.
Janeway enters sickbay where she tells the Doctor that they will soon be leaving. She says if they would like FantomÃ© and his kind to come with them, then they are welcome. The Doctor communicates with them, but they reply that they would like to remain in the void. They are grateful and would like to help them now.
Janeway and the alliance fleet prepare to leave the void when the funnel begins to form. Bosaal and Valenâs ships, however, have now opened fire on the fleet. Janeway orders all ships to return fire on their designated targets. Once shields have been penetrated, the Doctor and Seven beam FantomÃ© and his friends to the enemy ships. Janeway tells BâElanna to hurry the modulator online.
Both enemy ships slow to a halt. Voyager receives a hail from FantomÃ© and his friends, telling they have disabled both ships's engines. The alliance fleet activates the shield modulator, traverses the funnel, and jumps to warp, where they successfully exit the void.
Janeway says her goodbyes to her friendly alliance, remarking to Chakotay that it was almost like being part of a Federation again.