While entering the atmosphere of an uninhabited moon, the shuttle piloted by Tuvok and Ensign Bennet is rocked by electrodynamic turbulence, causing it to crash. Bennet dies, but Tuvok realizes he is not alone as three frightened children venture out from hiding. The children tell him that their ship crashed too, killing the people who were looking after them. In the meantime, Voyager welcomes Alcia, the Prelate of Drayan II, with whom Janeway hopes to negotiate for minerals they need. The visit is interrupted when Alcia receives an emergency message, calling her away. Before she goes, she asks the crew to leave the area.

As Tuvok tries to repair his damaged shuttlecraft, the children — Tressa, Elani and Corin — express their fears of being killed by a creature they call the "morrok." They are even more frightened when a Drayan search party arrives to look for them. The children tell Tuvok that the Drayans sent them to the moon to die, and ask him to help them hide.

With Tuvok's help, the children elude the search team. Later, Alcia informs Janeway that they have found Tuvok's crashed shuttle on the moon, which they consider sacred ground. She orders Janeway to remove her surviving crewmember immediately.

The next morning, Tuvok discovers that Elani and Corin have vanished. In a nearby cave, he finds their clothes, but not the children. During a break in the atmospheric turbulence, Tuvok manages to send a brief message to Voyager. Janeway and Paris take a shuttlecraft to rescue the Vulcan, but they're pursued by a Drayan vehicle whose occupants don't want the shuttle to sully the sacred site.

As the Drayan search party surrounds Tuvok and Tressa, Janeway and Paris arrive. Tuvok refuses to let the Drayans take the child, but he is stunned when Alcia reveals that Tressa is actually 96 years old. Among the Drayan, the aging process is reversed, and Tressa wasn't brought there to be killed, but to die a natural death. With Alcia's permission, Tuvok stays with Tressa to comfort her in her final moments.