As Voyager approaches a strange planetoid, the ship is rocked by its explosion and enveloped in a cloud of methion gas. Suddenly, a Hazari vessel is upon them, and Seven of Nine explains they are bounty hunters hired to capture alien crafts. When Janeway eludes the ship and it doesn't follow, she soon learns why — there are many reinforcements throughout the sector waiting to overtake Voyager. Late at night, a strange alien pays a visit to Janeway and introduces himself as the answer to her problem.

Kurros explains he is part of a small group that seeks out problems to be solved. His "think tank" believes Voyager's challenge with the Hazari can be handled without weapons. When Janeway and Seven visit Kurros on his ship, they see his incredibly advanced technology and meet the other strange lifeforms, each with an intellectual specialty. Once Janeway agrees to do business with him, Kurros reveals Seven is one of the items from Voyager that he wants as payment.

When Seven hears the offer from the think tank, she talks to Kurros herself. He appeals to her quest for perfection, but she declines to join his group. Soon, the Hazari attack Voyager again, but Kurros gives Janeway some tactical advice that forces them to retreat. When he tries to use that favor as leverage to convince Seven to change her mind, Janeway realizes she now has two enemies on her hands.

Once the crew lures a Hazari vessel into Voyager's tractor beam, they download information from the database and discover Kurros hired the bounty hunters. Janeway explains to the Hazari alien that they are both being manipulated by Kurros and convinces him to work with her in tricking the think tank. The crew devises a plan to lure Kurros out of hiding by pretending Seven has decided to join his group. She will then link with their internal communications array, disrupting their systems and preventing them from functioning. After the ruse is in place, the Hazari contact Kurros and persuade him to increase their bounty to bring in Voyager.

Janeway tricks him into believing Seven has left Voyager to join his think tank, but Kurros soon senses a trap has been laid. When he forces Seven to link with his telepathic technology so he can read her mind and discover Janeway's plan, a carrier wave is transmitted via her cortical implant. This creates interference and blocks his entire communications system. Once the think tank is decloaked, the Hazari converge on it as Seven is beamed back and Voyager leaves at warp speed.