Torres is reprimanded by Chakotay after she ends a dispute in engineering by breaking the nose of a Starfleet officer named Carey. But despite her volatile nature, Chakotay has faith in the Klingon woman's skills, and he recommends Torres to Janeway for the position of Chief Engineer. Janeway is surprised, but before she can consider the recommendation, the U.S.S. Voyager is jolted as it enters a region of spatial distortions. A short time later, it comes upon a ship that is trapped in the event horizon of a quantum singularity: the powerful energy field surrounding a collapsed star.

While the engineering staff tries to figure out a way to help the other ship, Janeway questions the capability of Chakotay's Maquis officers. Still, she agrees to consider Torres for the engineering slot.

Realizing that Voyager doesn't have enough power to rescue the ship on its own, the crew heads away from the singularity to get help, but before long they find themselves heading back toward the same collapsed star. Again Voyager moves away, and again the ship finds itself back where it started.

As tensions rise between Maquis and Starfleet crewmembers, Torres works with Carey to figure out what's happening. Noting the peculiar effects of the singularity on Voyager's holographic doctor, Torres comes up with an idea that may allow them to contact the crew of the trapped ship, which, in turn, may provide clues to their own predicament. Torres' plan works, but when they finally hear from the other ship, they discover that it's Voyager itself! They've been looking at a distorted reflection of themselves and it's Voyager itself that's trapped in the singularity. But how do they get out?

Before long, Torres discovers that another ship which appears to be caught in the reflective distortion is actually a mirror image of Voyager. She realizes that the ship must return to the "tear" in the singularity where they entered, and exit before the star collapses, forever trapping them inside. Using a dekyon beam fired from a shuttlecraft piloted by Janeway and Torres, they force the opening wide enough for Voyager to escape. Because of her tempered initiative and creative approach to saving the ship, Torres is given the Chief Engineer's post, and Lt. Carey is among the first to congratulate her.