Controller Emck's vessel is exporting vast amounts of radioactive waste and discovers an ideal disposal area in the form of the Void, a region of space that he gains access to via a spatial vortex. The Void is an expanse completely devoid of any planets and stars and Emck is the only Malon who is aware of the vortex, allowing him to exploit a massive profit by ejecting his cargo in the region. However, the Void is not entirely desolate: a race of aliens is discovered dwelling there who are being contaminated by the anti-matter waste Emck and his crew are dumping in their territory, but they are not strong enough to fight back against the Malon.
In 2375, the USS Voyager is travelling through the Void on its journey to the Alpha Quadrant and falls under attack by the Void's natives. Emck's freighter comes to Voyager's rescue, but after learning that one of the aliens is still aboard he demands that Captain Janeway surrender the creature in exchange for taking them to the spatial vortex leading out of the Void. Janeway refuses and later discovers the nature of Emck's mission, deciding to offer the Malon technology that will allow them to properly recycle their energy resources and cut down their pollution. Emck refuses the offer, preferring to maintain his high profits rather than sacrifice them in the name of progress.
Voyager attempts to reach the spatial vortex leading out of the Void, but Emck's vessel attacks them in order to maintain the vortex's secrecy. Voyager find themselves outgunned by the Malon's superior weaponry, but are assisted in their battle by the Void aliens. After the Malon freighter's shields are weakened by a barrage of alien disruptor fire, Voyager launches a volley of photon torpedoes at the freighter's cargo hold, which still contains several million isotons of antimatter waste. The torpedoes easily breach the weakened hull and ignite the waste, destroying the freighter and Emck along with it.