Voyager is sought after by the Hazari, unyielding bounty hunters of the Delta Quadrant, within a sector of space. Every escape route devised by the crew leads to dangerous battles with the Hazari. At their wit's end, they are suddenly visited by Kurros, the speaker for a small group of highly intelligent aliens that Captain Kathryn Janeway dubs as the "Think Tank". Their vessel, safely hidden from the Hazari in sub-space, includes a telepathic module that allows Kurros and his group to quickly communicate and to solve complex problems. As Janeway and Seven of Nine are brought aboard, and Seven given a brief opportunity to experience their telepathic communication, the Think Tank offer their services to Voyager - a means of escaping the Hazari in exchange for a selection of Voyager 's technology. Janeway seems pleased with the solution, until she realizes they would also like Seven as part of their payment. Both Janeway and Seven refuse this payment, but Kurros keeps the offer on the table, and offers a free bit of advice for dealing with the Hazari as a good-faith sign of their cooperation.
Voyager is able to capture a sole Hazari ship, beaming its crew aboard. In their records, they find the records of who placed the bounty on Voyager, apparently the Malon. The crew recognize oddities in this information as stored on the computer and the atypical motivation from the Malon, and investigate further, discovering that it was really Kurros that spurred on the Hazari. The Think Tank has been playing both sides of the conflict to drive Janeway to hand over Seven and get what they want. Explaining the situation to the Hazari, the combined crews begin to work out a way to outsmart the Think Tank.
Janeway and the Hazari orchestrate a scenario in which Voyager appears to be falling under the Hazari attack, and Seven leaves in a shuttle, supposedly giving in to the Think Tank's demands. The shuttle disappears into sub-space with the Think Tank's ship. Aboard, Kurros welcomes Seven, but is suspicious of their capitulation and links her to the telepathic matrix to probe her mind. The waiting Voyager crew sees this, and send a signal through Seven's cybernetic implants, causing the telepathic matrix to shut down, incapacitating the Think Tank. Their ship falls out of sub-space, and soon is attacked from all sides by the Hazari, now seeking revenge on them. Voyager rescues Seven, and leaves the Think Tank to potentially be destroyed at the hands of the Hazari.