On an alien planet, Kathryn Janeway happily shows up for her first day of work at an energy plant, eager to take up her new position. None of the other Voyager crew members are visible, and it appears that Voyager has finally decided to give up its attempts to return to the Alpha Quadrant (and Earth).
After checking in with the plant supervisor and being shown to her station, Janeway befriends a man named Jaffen (who intervenes when she inadvertently misconfigures her console and sets off an alarm) and soon runs afoul of Annika Hansen, the plant's new 'efficiency monitor', who seems an incredibly difficult person to please. Tuvok, a fellow employee, approaches Janeway in apparent confusion, but none of the three recognize each other. Tuvok acts and claims that they don't belong there, which attracts the attention of a doctor and mystifies Janeway and Jaffen â but now, something is clearly amiss.
A prominent doctor diagnoses Tuvok with "dysphoria syndrome" and begins treatment, and Tuvok shows signs that on previous occasions, he has recalled his time on Voyager and attempts several more times to alert the others.
Tom Paris, who was employed at the plant with Janeway and Tuvok, manages to get himself fired, even though there is a labor shortage. He takes a job at a bar, and befriends B'Elanna Torres, a pregnant woman who also works at the energy plant.
Meanwhile, Chakotay and Harry Kim return to Voyager from a short mission away to find the ship empty and the Emergency Command Hologram in charge, attempting (with his usual irritability) to enact repairs on the damaged ship, while contending with an damaged and uncooperative computer system. The ECH explains the situation: the ship was damaged by a floating mine, which turned out to be a ruse so that unknown parties can abduct the crew.
Chakotay has himself surgically altered to resemble the planet's native race, and beams down to the planet, masquerading as "Amal Kotay". After following Torres for several minutes, he abducts her and transports her to Voyager (where the Doctor can easily reverse the mental conditioning), but he himself is unable to escape.