A joint exploratory venture from the Alpha Quadrant awakens in the Delta Quadrant, crew injured, ships damaged and the Klingons of their expedition gone entirely. Assistant Chief Engineer Zesh sh’Qiaqirn is one of the first to awaken, finding her superior officer sealing off a coolant leak as his final act. Now acting Chief, Zesh has the unenviable task of getting the ship back in working order while the ship figures out what happened. The captain does some inventory – the chief of security is injured, several others are hurt, and the ship is barely functional. Their Klingon allied ship is nowhere to be seen, but they find the Tiro.
The Romulan scout ship comes aboard, and they are met by a Talaxian scavenger named Skrillix. He offers to take them to the nearby world Sikaris 3, where the locals are famed for their hospitality. They are greeted there by Magistrate Gathorel Labin, a genial man who offers to assist them with determining a course home, and offers up a liaision in Eudana, a scientist.
It is Eudana who assists the crew of the Odyssey in determining what brought them here – Sikarian technology, used without approval. They confront Gath, who explains that he did so out of desperation, for his people are soon to be overrun by the Kazon. A scout ship arriving in the system puts truth to his admission, and the captain recalls the crew. Red alert.