To the steady tick of a metronome, a woman plays Chopin's Nocturne in E minor on the piano. Although her technique is perfect, the playing is mechanical and lacking in emotion. As the camera pans up, we see that it is Seven of Nine, who does not appear to have any Borg implants. Her hair is loose and she is not wearing her Borg catsuit.
The credits roll.
Act One begins at a baby shower for Paris and Torres. Tom and B'Elanna are opening presents as Seven speaks privately with Captain Janeway. Seven requests to be admitted to the crew and given a uniform and her own quarters as she no longer needs to regenerate. Janeway readily grants the requests, but their conversation is interrupted by Chakotay, who prompts Seven to give a champagne toast to the new baby. Seven offers a touching toast and even tells a joke. Then the camera cuts to the bridge and we discover that this whole time, Seven has been on the holodeck running a simulation of what her life aboard Voyager might be like if she were completely human. When Janeway calls Seven to the Astrometrics lab, Seven ends the program. Her Borg implants reappear, and as she exits the holodeck, she begins to pin her hair up in the tight bun she usually wears.
In the Astrometrics lab, Seven declines the Captain's invitation to attend the surprise baby shower. She and Tuvok bond over their mutual discomfort in social situations, but Tuvok assures her that they are good for morale. Seven says that she may attend the shower, however when we see her next she is in the holodeck now dressed in a green Starfleet uniform, pretending to pick out her new quarters. Chakotay enters the room and gives her a dreamcatcher, and they flirt. Seven asks him over for dinner. Pleased, Chakotay accepts immediately.
Later on, in the real world, Seven is in Sickbay listening to the Doctor describe the baby shower, which she obviously did not attend. She is dismayed to learn that an implant in her shoulder is out of alignment and cannot be extracted. It's another unwelcome reminder that she isn't completely human and organic.
On the bridge, Janeway sits in her chair. Voyager is experiencing turbulence that knocks it out of its warp field. Later, in Astrometrics, Seven informs the Captain and Tuvok that the turbulence was caused by a long range warhead that was aimed at an unmanned probe somewhere in the vicinity of the ship. Janeway gives Seven an assignment.
Icheb comes to the lab later to tell Seven that the Doctor wants her to spend more time regenerating. Reluctantly, Seven leaves the lab and goes to the regeneration chamber. Just before she hooks herself up to it, however, she changes her mind and goes in the opposite direction.
Seven heads to Engineering where B'Elanna is busy working on getting Voyager back into warp. Seven distracts her by presenting B'Elanna with a gift for the baby, which turns out to be little shoes lined with biothermal material. B'Elanna seems amused by Seven's description, but is clearly strapped for time and is under a great deal of pressure. She doesn't exhibit much gratitude. Still not taking the hint, Seven asks how B'Elanna styles her hair.
Afterwards, Seven goes to the holodeck and cooks dinner with a holographic Chakotay. They are extremely flirtatious with one another and share a long kiss during which Seven feels her implant malfunctioning. She ignores it and kisses Chakotay again. That night, Seven sleeps uneasily. She is awakened by the real Chakotay, calling her on the comlink. She gets up from the couch, fixes her hair and hurries to Astrometrics where Icheb and the real Chakotay await her. The contrast between her romantic liaisons with the holographic Chakotay and their professional demeanor in real life affects her. She is short with Icheb. Later, instead of remaining at her post, Seven plays the piano for Chakotay, but this time he convinces her to proceed without the metronome.
Meanwhile on the bridge, Voyager is hit by turbulence caused by the warheads that Seven was supposed to locate. An angry Janeway summons Seven to her ready room to chew her out, but realizes something is on Seven's mind. She asks Seven to inform Chakotay the next time she needs to leave her post.
Back in Astrometrics, Icheb tries to help Seven with her work. She admits to him that she was negligent in her duties and expressed her regret. Seven leaves her post again and goes to the holodeck to break up with Chakotay. Holo-Chakotay is hurt and angry. He accuses Seven of being afraid of her emotions and her humanity. As the argument escalates, Seven's implants begin to seriously malfunction. She manages to call the Doctor before she collapses.
The Doctor energizes himself to the holodeck where he discovers a puzzled Chakotay sitting over Seven. Chakotay doesn't know what the Doctor is talking about when he asks where Seven's implants have gone. Realizing that Chakotay is a hologram, the Doctor ends the program and transfers Seven to sickbay. When she awakes, Seven and the Doctor discuss her reasons for creating the program. Seven tells him that she wanted to feel the emotions she felt in Unimatrix Zero and that ever since its destruction, she has felt incomplete. Despite the Doctor's enthusiasm for her desire to explore her humanity, Seven informs him that she intends to delete the program. The Doctor tells her that her personal life is meant to be a distraction and that she only needs to find a balance between it and her work. She returns to Astrometrics.
Voyager regains warp, but a warhead diverts its course and heads towards Voyager. Seven helps to disarm it.
After the emergency, the Doctor informs Seven that the Borg designed her chip to malfunction in the event that she regained the full range of her emotions. The Doctor tells her that he could probably remove it, but it would take a number of surgeries. Seven declines his offer, stating that her chip will ensure that she remains focused on her work.
As she returns to the lab, Seven encounters Chakotay who invites her to dinner. He says that even Tuvok is planning to come and it could be fun. Seven declines again and walks in the other direction.