Passing through Devore space, Voyager is stopped for inspection. The Devore Imperium considers all "gaharay," or strangers, to be suspect, and vessels in their space must be searched. They are looking for telepaths, who they believe break the cardinal rule of trust by reading minds. Janeway has rescued Brenari refugees bound for a detention center and is hiding them in transporter suspension.

A transport vessel is waiting in a nebula to rendezvous with Voyager and take the refugees to a wormhole leading out of hostile territory. Suddenly, the Devore inspector, Kashyk, hails Janeway. Seeking asylum on her ship, he reveals he is aware of the refugees she is hiding and that the wormhole is a trap to catch ships smuggling telepaths. Voyager will be intercepted by a squadron unless Janeway allows Kashyk to stay onboard and help her evade the Devore.

Although Kashyk provides the crew with valuable information to use against his people, Janeway keeps him under tight security in case the Devore are using him to find the wormhole. They track down Torat, an expert on wormholes, who tells them the one they are looking for is a random occurrence. He provides coordinates of the last four appearances, and by applying an algorithm of subspace harmonics, Janeway and Kashyk find the counterpoint — the site of the next wormhole. Although the Devore use a scanning pulse array to track ships, Voyager's power output will be lowered beneath the detection threshold and drift by the sensors.

When the pulse triggers a variance in Voyager's antimatter stream, the ship is detected. Two warships approach, but Janeway plans to fight all the way to the wormhole. Then, Kashyk announces that in order to guarantee the safety of the crew and refugees, he is going back to his ship. The Brenari will hide once more, and then he will lead an inspection team through Voyager before the wormhole appears. Before Kashyk leaves, he and Janeway kiss.

Once Kashyk and his inspection team board Voyager, Janeway secretly tells him they have located the wormhole off the port bow and the refugees are in transporter suspension. Kashyk immediately reveals that he has double-crossed her, and he orders a proton torpedo fired at the wormhole to destroy it. However, after it is fired, Kashyk realizes he is the one who has been betrayed. The real wormhole is in another location, and the refugees have snuck away in shuttles and traveled through it. Kashyk, not wanting the failure on his record, refuses to report the incident and allows Voyager to resume its course.