Using Chakotay's son as a pawn, Seska lures the U.S.S. Voyager into an explosive showdown with the Kazon.
While Tuvok works to rehabilitate Ensign Suder, an unstable killer confined to his quarters, Chakotay receives a desperate subspace message from Seska. She's given birth to the child that was fathered with the DNA stolen from the First Officer, and she claims that her Kazon lover, Maje Culluh, is going to take her son away.
Chakotay is torn. Seska is untrustworthy and could be trying to lead Voyager into a trap. But if it is truly his child, he owes it his help. They set out to find Seska, and en route, Voyager receives a distress call from a Kazon shuttle manned by Tierna, one of Seska's aides. The injured Kazon reports that Culluh has killed Seska. Tierna managed to survive by bribing a guard and stealing a shuttle.
Voyager heads for the colony world where Culluh has sent Chakotay's son. The starship sustains several minor Kazon attacks, although none cause serious damage. Still, the fact that each of the attacks has focused on a certain section of the ship makes them suspicious. When Janeway tells Paris to alter their course, the ship is suddenly confronted with eight large Kazon vessels, clearly attempting to coerce them into a different direction. Unwilling to be manipulated, Janeway decides to intercept the lead Kazon vessel.
Using some deception of its own, Voyager manages to send most of the vessels at different targets, leaving only the lead vessel to fight. But as the battle intensifies, Tierna deliberately triggers a massive explosion in his own body, sacrificing his life to damage the ship. The tactic also serves to destroy Voyager's decoy, and three of the previously distracted Kazon vessels return to attack. Paris quickly boards a shuttlecraft to seek help from a neighboring Talaxian colony, but the little ship is hit by Kazon fire, and Voyager loses contact.
As Kazon intruders board the crippled starship, Janeway is forced to surrender. A victorious Culluh and Seska, who is still very much alive, take command while the Doctor secretly deactivates himself for twelve hours. The Kazon then strand the crew on a primitive planet and depart, unaware that there is still one crewmember aboard: Ensign Suder.
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