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The Bothan claimed to be the representative of his people. They considered an area of the Delta Quadrant their territory, but some doubted the legitimacy of the claim and there were rumours of ships entering it and disappearing. The Bothan contacted Voyager, who asked to negotiate passage through the territory.
Possessed of advanced psychic abilities, the Bothan first began targetting Janeway, tormenting her with a number of psychic visions, such as having her constantly confronted with images of characters from a holonovel and of her fiance Mark, who she had left back on Earth. This escalated to the extent that Janeway stood down as captain. The Bothan began to negotiate with Chakotay, but Voyager was then attacked by his ship and two others, who were apparently controlled from his vessel. When Janeway stepped up to confront him, the Bothan, who had remained in shadows up to that point, appeared to each of the bridge crew as someone close to him: Janeway saw Mark, Paris saw his father, Tuvok saw his wife T'Pel and Kim saw his girlfriend Libby. The psionic field generated by the Bothan caused the crew, including Tuvok, Kim and later Chakotay, to go into trances, lost in hallucinations.
The Bothan then appeared to beam aboard Voyager and lured more crew into catatonia-inducing hallucinations, convincing Torres she was in a romantic encounter with Chakotay, Paris that his father was deriding him as a failure and Janeway that she was reunited with Mark. Soon, the only ones remaining conscious where the Doctor and Kes, whose telepathic abilities seemed to automatically repel the Bothan's visions. Kes headed to engineering to complete Torres' plan to trigger a resonance burst from the warp core to disrupt the psionic field. The Bothan tried to delay her by appearing as an injured Paris and then as Neelix urging her to leave the ship with him. Finally, he caused burning sores to appear across her body but she managed to reflect them back at him, causing him to revert to his natural form in pain. Kes then triggered the burst, reviving the rest of the crew.
Janeway confronted the defeated Bothan, who told her he had done what he had simply because he could. Janeway threatened to destroy any technology he might be using, adjust his brain to prevent telepathy or have him imprisoned. The Bothan replied that he wasn't really there, at which point he and his ships vanished.