Ensign Suder returns, having been confined to his quarters for life as punishment for his murder of Crewman Darwin. He has attempted to make amends for this, making several agricultural advancements. Suder is happy that his work might benefit the crew. His homicidal tendencies seem to be well under control.
An apparent defector of the Kazon is found on a stranded ship and taken on board, though Chakotay remains suspicious. As Voyager travels further into Kazon space, facing heavier attacks, the man commits suicide in a grisly, violent explosion, severely damaging Suder's quarters and disabling several of Voyager's systems. As Voyager is overwhelmed by the Kazon, Tom Paris takes a shuttle to find a Talaxian colony for aid. Voyager is boarded and taken, the self-destruct is attempted but important systems had been too damaged from earlier Kazon skirmishes.
The crew is marooned on a barren planet inhabited by primitive but seemingly hostile natives. Only two crew members are left on board Voyager - the Doctor and Suder, who was presumed dead in the explosion. Suder hides in the vents and Jefferies tubes of the ship, risking his sanity after he is forced to kill a Kazon soldier. His old Maquis tricks keep him from being detected, but also alert Seska, who has similar experience. The Doctor takes the "credit" for the dead Kazon soldier and stops Suder from being detected. Seska doubts the story, but deactivates the Doctor's program just in case.