Torres is having a bad day. She's overslept, had a malfunction in her sonic shower and she's been asked to work with Seven of Nine to create a Borg-style transwarp conduit. She's hardly in the mood to go through the Klingon Day of Honor, an annual ritual of self-examination. Paris tries to help, but she pushes him away, afraid to accept the comfort of his friendship.
In the meantime, Voyager encounters a ship of Caatati refugees seeking supplies. The Caatati explain that most of their species were assimilated by the Borg. They have nothing left. Janeway offers them some rations. Later, Voyager runs into more Caatati ships. Their leader is outraged when he sees the crew includes an ex-Borg. In Engineering, Seven of Nine continues working to open a transwarp conduit, but during the first test of the modifications, an accident occurs and Torres is forced to eject the warp core.
Torres and Paris take a shuttle to retrieve the core, but they find a Caatati ship trying to salvage it. They warn the Caatati off, but the aliens fire at the shuttle and collapse its structural integrity field. Torres and Paris beam into space just before their shuttle explodes. By linking the communication systems in both of their space suits, they create a carrier wave that they hope will reach Voyager before they run out of air. On Voyager, Janeway questions Seven of Nine about the accident in Engineering and is satisfied that she didn't cause it.
The ship picks up the carrier wave from Torres and Paris, but before they can retrieve them, the Caatati ships arrive with the warp core. They threaten to destroy Voyager unless Janeway gives them more supplies — and turns over Seven of Nine. Seven volunteers to go, but the Captain refuses. Seven then offers to build an energy matrix for the Caatati, which will produce all the thorium they need for their systems. The Caatati accept, and return the warp core. The crisis over, Voyager is able to rescue Paris and Torres. The Klingon finds that in facing death, she has found the courage to admit her love for Paris — and with that courage, she realizes she has found her honor.