Voyager encounters a strange energy field during a surprise party on the holodeck for the second birthday of Kes. Many members of the crew are at the party including Captain Janeway. During this party Tuvok is in charge on the bridge. Tuvok orders the ship closer to the energy field in order to investigate only to get the ship stuck in the field. The interference from the field causes communication onboard Voyager to fail making it impossible for crew members to communicate. Realising this, the party is brought to an early conclusion and the crew make their way back to their appropriate posts to solve the problem. However, soon it becomes apparent that the ship's layout has changed and it becomes very difficult for the crew to reach their posts.
Eventually, many members of the senior crew find themselves back at the holodeck; it seems that the distortions have caused them to end up near the middle of the ship. They then organize themselves in an attempt to reach crucial areas of the ship such as engineering and the bridge. B'Elanna and Tom are successful in reaching engineering but when they try to transport to the bridge they find themselves back at the holodeck. Meanwhile, Janeway becomes delirious after coming into direct contact with the energy field and is brought to the holodeck by Harry Kim in the hope that The Doctor can help her.
B'Elanna makes a last futile attempt to stop the field with a shipwide energy burst but this only seems to make the field move and envelop the ship at an even faster rate. With the holodeck as the last refuge, the crew gathers there, and Tuvok suggests that the most logical course of action is to simply do nothing in the hope that they are not killed by the field as attempting to stop it is only making the situation worse. They do as Tuvok suggests and are not injured by the field; Voyager is also unharmed. In conclusion, it is surmised by Captain Janeway that the energy field may have simply been trying to communicate with the ship. This theory is backed up by the 20 million gigaquads of data it left on Voyager's computer.