The Pied Piper (Juneau)
After successfully concluding the peace process between the Caglan and the Zik, the Juneau sets course for nebula DE-678912 - dubbed the Dirty Elbow Nebulae by the locals - after receiving a distress call from an old Cardassian listening post, claiming Nauscican pirates are targeting transport vessels in one of the most prominent trading routes in the Aavaro Wilds.
En route to the Dirty Elbow Nebulae, Captain Oddas calls Intelligence Officer Williams, Tactical Officer Tito and Science Officer Falt to the Observation Lounge to discuss their tactics once they arrive at their destination.
Meanwhile in Sickbay, doctor Indobri starts the important task of upgrading the ship’s biobeds. She’s helped by Operations Officer Qinn and Ensign R’Kala.
Back on the Bridge, First Officer T’Lea is suffering from a headache and orders doctor Sival to the Bridge to perform a medical check-up. Realizing she needs some well-deserved downtime, she invites the doctor, Counselor Trovek and Lieutenant Kendrick to join her in a holodeck adventure.
In the JAC Labs on Deck 8, the Kelpien Science officer Essa starts cataloging the various gifts the ship received from the Caglan delegation after the peace talks. One of the artifacts is some sort of pan flute. Intrigued by the strange musical instrument, Essa picks it up and to his own surprise is able to play it.
As the crew go about their daily routines, they suddenly find themselves confronted with ghosts from their past.
Down at the Clanhouse the Captain has an encounter with her dead Fiancé, Ijo Alea, while Lieutenant JG Tito has to deal with his dead family. Ensign Falt has a vision of a childhood friend named Enni, a girl who died years ago. Commander Williams is fortunate enough to see a manifestation of his spouse, Femi Cattan.
Meanwhile down at the Holodeck, Commander T’Lea, doctor Sival, Counsellor Trovek and Lieutenant Kendrick are engaged in a holonovel, playing the four musketeers in 17th century France, when suddenly they too see strange visions. Doctor Sival has to deal with his dead wife Emily while Trovek is confronted with one of her former patients, an angry soon-to-be Klingon mother named Kaala. T’Lea on the other hand hallucinates about a Vole, taunting her, trying to expose her worst fears. Still traumatized by the death of Martuf, John manages to control his hallucinations.
In Sickbay doctor Indobri suddenly finds herself standing face to face with a Cardassian Gul named Varlek, the man responsible for the death of her father. Commander Qinn reconnects with her dead sister, named Galia.
As they try to leave the Clanhouse, the crew has to focus on what is real and what is not as their own minds are setting up obstacles - like environmental failures - to keep them inside the Clanhouse.
Down on the Holodeck, commander T’Lea shuts down the program, hoping that what they saw was nothing more but a glitch, a malfunction. Unfortunately when the little Vole reappears again, they realize that something else is terribly wrong. Just then an Ensign storms onto the Holodeck, panicking and screaming they are under attack by the Borg.
Meanwhile the Captain and her team are able to get back to the Bridge.
Realizing how important it is to get the ship back under control, T’Lea and her team head down to Engineering, only to find that it’s empty. At least that’s what they think. Suddenly Lieutenant Deveaux runs up to them, still suffering from a hallucination. As they manage to calm her down, the Lieutenant and T’Lea start working on restoring the ship’s systems to normal parameters. Counsellor Trovek has an encounter with an Ensign named Riekel who is also hallucinating and throws himself into the ship’s warp core.
As Captain Oddas and her team arrive on the Bridge, they are confronted by a Sheliak. Realizing it is only a hallucination created by one of the crew, they try to get back to work. Ensign Falt makes a scan of the interior of the ship and discovers that micro subspace rifts are forming across the entire ships, possibly explaining the visions they’ve been experiencing.
Lieutenant JG Tito suggests creating a metaphasic shield to put a stop to the rifts. As the Bridge crew starts working on getting those shields up and running, down at Engineering, Commander T’Lea’s orders Lieutenant Kendrick and doctor Sival to check out what caused an intruder alert down in the Secondary Computer Core. T’Lea herself heads down the warp core chamber to clean up the bio residuals from Ensign Riekel. As she finishes up, she suddenly finds herself face to face with a vision of herself as the Butcheress of N’Dallis Prime. The vision eventually disappears again and with the help of Counsellor Trovek, she manages to get out of the chamber. Moments later they have an encounter with a Bajoran woman named Sileah – Trovek’s mom.
Down in Sickbay, doctor Indobri and Commander Qinn are greeted by Ensign Essa who claims he has come to help those who are in pain.
As Kendrick arrives at the Secondary Computer Core he experiences two visions that confront him with the dead of Martuf – the man he accidently killed during shore leave.
After successfully confronting Trovek’s mother, T’Lea and the Counsellor crawl down the Jefferies tubes to repair the ODN conduits only to find themselves having to deal with themselves as kids.
In Sickbay, doctor Indobri figures out that the music played by Ensign Essa has an effect on the hallucinations they are experiencing. At the same time on the Bridge, Ensign Falt tracks down a bubble of ‘normal space’ travelling through the ship… until it stopped in Sickbay.
Back in Sickbay Commander Qinn finds a way to link the music played by Ensign Essa to the metaphasic shields.
With the ODN conduits repaired, T’Lea and Trovek head back to Engineering where they’re joined by Deveaux and Kendrick. After successfully redirecting the warp field to the shield emitters, they find the engine room being overrun by giant spiders.
Down in Transporter Room 3, Commander Qinn makes the necessary adjustments to the transporter systems for the music to be able to be broadcast across the ship and through the ship’s shielding.
As T’Lea and her tream try to keep their hallucinations under control, Kendrick is snatched away by a giant spider.
On the Bridge, Captain Oddas orders Ensign Falt and Commander Williams to head down to the JAG labs to find out if one of the Cagnal artifacts is the cause of their misery. Meanwhile in Transporter Room 3, Ensign Essa starts his concert for the rest of the ship.
Down in Engineering, Counsellor Trovek tries to free Kendrick out of his cocoon but is shocked when she suddenly gets help from… Ensign Riekel. Apparently his death had been nothing more than another hallucination.
After confronting a hallucination of the Borg Queen, Falt and Williams discover that their visions are being caused by a small orb (only 10 centimetres across). Apparently it is a device that’s able to create a psychokinetic field that manipulates subspace just enough for the crew to experience hallucinations. With the Captain’s permission, they destroy the orb.
With the orb having been destroyed and Essa’s music banishing the last remnants of the crew’s hallucinations, life aboard the ship slowly returns to normal…