Relations between Neelix and Tom Paris fall to a new low when they have a fight in the mess hall over Kes. Immediately after this they are sent on an away mission together to a planet in search of food supplies. On their way to the planet their shuttle craft crashes because of EM interference, then they must search for shelter as the atmosphere contains dangerous levels of trigemic vapor. They find a cave and blast the rock to cover the entrance, assuming they'll be saved. Once inside the cave they discover a nest of eggs out of which a reptilian type creature hatches. Voyager's attempts to find the shuttle craft are halted when they are attacked by an alien ship which places itself between Voyager and the planet, trying to block their access to the surface.
Meanwhile, on the planet it seems like the reptilian creature is dying because it needs nourishment to survive. After field rations have no success it is discovered that the creature feeds on amino acids found in the trigemic vapors, which are blocked by the stone they blasted in front of the entrance. Once they bring the creature outside and attempt to force-feed the vapors to it by means of a medician dropper, it recovers. Voyager disables the weapons aboard the enemy ship and moves into the planet's atmosphere to rescue Neelix and Tom. Just as they are rescued an adult of the reptilian creature's species appears to take the infant.