While attempting to find a faster way through the Nekrit Expanse, Commander Chakotay and Ensign Kaplan pick up a distress call with a Federation signature. When they land their shuttlecraft on the planet, they both come under fire from hostiles. Kaplan is killed by the unknown foes while Chakotay is left injured. He wakes up to find himself in a room where he sees a woman by the name of Riley Frazier. Chakotay soon learns the truth about Riley and the others: that they were once Borg drones, but an electro-kinetic storm broke their link with the hive mind according to Riley Frazier. The crew of Voyager postulated that either an accident or an attack from a more powerful species disabled the Borg ship.
Realizing how far they were from Federation space, they learned how to survive and co-operate with each other.
Due to the blast Chakotay took early on, he soon gets worse. One of the former Borg drones, a Romulan, tells him if he does not let them help him he will die before Voyager arrives.
Using a neural link, they help to heal Chakotay's injuries. During this experience he sees their memories of home, and more.
The inhabitants soon use this link to get him to reactivate a piece of technology aboard the abandoned Borg ship, which links the all the inhabitants' thoughts together, putting an end to the violence.
However, it activates the Borg ship and its hostile inhabitants. The rescue team sent to intercept Chakotay, along with Chakotay himself, are beamed aboard Voyager. The planet's inhabitants manage to cause the Borg ship's self-destruct sequence to engage before it gains weapon capabilities. Within three seconds the ship explodes, however, the inhabitants managed to retain their collective state.
Chakotay discusses the situation with Janeway, and questions how long the inhabitants can retain a sense of morality amidst the power of a collective; it didn't take them long to use Chakotay against his will for their motives.