While accessing its monthly datastream from the Pathfinder Project—the Starfleet commission that is tasked with bringing Voyager home—the crew finds a hologram of Reginald Barclay. The hologram informs the crew that Federation scientists are able to create a geodesic fold between two red giants, one in the Alpha quadrant and one in the Delta quadrant. However, crew inoculations and new shield modifications must be implemented in order to protect the crew from the radiation in the fold. The Doctor lends Holo-Barclay his mobile emitter so he can supervise the modifications. When he then invites Holo-Barclay to play a round of golf, he evades the question.
On Earth, the real Reg Barclay twice attempts to send his hologram to Voyager in the monthly datastream and fails both times. Barclay suspects the Borg or the Romulans were responsible but, as he has no proof of any foul play, his supervisor orders him to take a vacation.
Back on Voyager, the Doctor raises questions to Holo-Barclay about the effectiveness of the proposed inoculations; he disregards the Doctor's opinion by claiming that the inoculations rely on the shield modifications to sufficiently protect the crew. Later, Holo-Barclay includes a "progress report" to the data block when Kim and Torres transmit updates back to the Alpha quadrant. The datastream reaches the Alpha quadrant but before Starfleet can receive it, it is redirected to a Ferengi ship. Three Ferengi review Holo-Barclay's information about Seven of Nine's nanoprobes; they intend to harvest and sell them for a profit.
While on vacation at the beach, Reg Barclay discusses his problems with sunbathing Counselor Deanna Troi. He mentions to her that his girlfriend, Leosa, left him the same day he initially sent his hologram. Since then, he realized Leosa was more interested in the Pathfinder Project than him; Barclay admits to Troi that he believes Leosa may have been involved in the hologram heist. At Starfleet headquarters, Troi and Barclay question Leosa, who is in fact a dabo girl (Barclay thought she was a teacher). Leosa eventually tells Troi the truth: she was working for a Ferengi in order to steal and sell Seven of Nine's nanoprobes. After learning the location of the Ferengi vessel, Admiral Paris sends a Federation starship, the USS Carolina, to intercept it.
The Doctor becomes even more suspicious of the Barclay hologram because when the Doctor invites him for golf, Holo-Barclay becomes very hostile. He confronts Captain Janeway about his misgivings. Despite a check of his matrix, there seems to be nothing wrong with the hologram.
While waiting for the Carolina to reach the Ferengi, Reg Barclay uncovers the whole plan. The Ferengi stole his initial hologram and reprogrammed it to steal Seven's nanoprobes. When the Ferengi start to open the geodesic fold, Barclay finally understands how they planned on physically receiving the nanoprobes: Voyager would be transported to the Alpha quadrant through the fold and, in the process, the crew would die from the radiation. However, it appears too late as the Carolina will not reach the Ferengi in time to stop their plot. Thus, Reg Barclay, disguised as Holo-Barclay, sends a message to the Ferengi. He claims that Janeway discovered the plot, found real shield modifications effective against the radiation, and plans on entering the fold and killing all parties involved. The Ferengi then begin to shut the fold. Much to Janeway's dismay, Holo-Barclay kidnaps Seven and attempts to enter the closing fold via escape pod. However, Voyager is able to retrieve them before they go through the fold.
As Reg Barclay works on his new hologram, with added security features, Troi invites him on a double-date with Commander William Riker and a friend of his, a real teacher.