A Defiance resident, Dalton Taggart, drives out to the woods and puts on a pair of treasured running shoes. As he puts them on, the Spirit Riders drive by, yelling. Dalton puts in his earpods and starts jogging through the forest, unaware that something is following him through the brush. The creatures close in on him and one of them bites his legs. Dalton runs back but the creatures bring him down and drag him away.
Irisa is performing a knife kata on a rooftop when a butterfly lands on her blade. She hesitates, studying it, and hears the Spirit Riders ride into town. After glancing at them briefly, Irisa notices that the butterfly has disappeared. The townspeople nervously watch the Irathient bikers as they go to do their shopping. Their leader, Sukar, and his lieutenant Rynn glare at the townspeople and go over to a booth.
Rynn picks up a fruit and the shopkeeper tells her that she has to pay for it because he doesn't want her spreading the Irathient plague. Angry, Rynn licks it and puts it back on the tray. When the shopkeeper prepares to attack her, Irisa throws a knife into his table and tells him to back off. Irisa walks off with them and says that she did it to save the shopkeeper, not them. Rynn comments on Irisa's badge, and dismisses Nolan as weak. Sukar repeats his invitation to Irisa to join them, but she's interrupted when Nolan calls and says that they have a body in the woods at Bissel Pass.
In the forest, Nolan and Irisa check the chewed-up body. Whatever killed the jogger sucked the marrow out of his bones. Meanwhile, Irisa notices the butterfly and has a flash of someone attacking with a knife. Tommy recognizes the shoes as belonging to Dalton, a baker.
Sukar goes to see Amanda at her office and notices that she has a collection of items from all of the Votan races except the Irathients. Amanda points out that she's had complaints about the Spirit Riders and tells him to stop provoking people. She assures Sukar that he's welcome as long as she's mayor, but he points out that she's up for re-election. The mayor suggests that they put the past behind them, and Sukar says that the past is never behind them. However, he agrees to assimilate until the people turn against him and his kind, like the townspeople did once before
At Need Want, Kenya is making a meal for one of her customers, Boyd Bowen, but slaps him and pours hot grease on his chest when he calls her bitch. She makes sure that he knows the safe word and orders him to tell her to give it to him. they make love until he screams and his chest bursts opens.
Kenya calls Nolan in and he has Dr. Yewll check the corpse. She confirms that the creature that killed the miner was a Hellbug, which exudes acid and feeds on bone marrow. Once they kill the matron, the other will turn docile. Irisa sees a tattoo on Boyd's corpse and has more flashbacks to a field and an Irathient, and a human with the same tattoo attacking them. She stalks out and Nolan goes after him and asks if she's been having more episodes. Irisa admits that they've been getting stronger since she got there, and he figures that she's suffering from post-traumatic stress. Tommy finds a Hellbug egg purse outside and Yewll figures that someone planted it. She's also found an organic compound--attack pheromones--on Dalton's shoes and Kenya's bedsheets. They realize that someone is using the Hellbugs as a murder weapon.
That night, Christie has supper with the Tarrs after they offer her the hospitality of their home. She makes a meal for them and Datak mutters under his breath about the poor cooking. Christie has been learning Castithan and storms out, and Datak complains that Alak isn't able to control his future bride. Stahma assures her husband that he will, but first they need to secure the marriage by healing the rift between Christie and Rafe.
Christie stands outside and Alak goes to her, and admits that his father is an ass. She says that at least his father is there for her. A Hellbug bursts out of the ground and attacks them, and Datak comes running and draws his energy blade. Stahma gets the children away while another Hellbug joins the first one and they both crawl into the house. A few minutes later, a slime-covered Datak walks out and suggests that they should dine out.
Rafe is working at home when Christie and the Tarrs arrive. She runs to her father's arms and they describe what happened. Stahma and Datak play up Alak's role in saving Christie and Rafe reluctantly thanks the boy for protecting her daughter. Nolan and the others arrive and Yewll scans them for pheromones. She confirms that Christie has been treated with the chemicals and she explains that she left her clothing hanging outside to dry. Nolan asks Rafe if there's any connection between Boyd and Taggart, and Rafe says that they were wildcatters and he hasn't dealt with them in over a decade. The Lawkeeper asks to see the property deed and they go to work.
The next morning, Nolan and Rafe are still going through the records. Irisa sees a photograph of a field and realizes that it's the field that she's been seeing in her visions. She hallucinates the photo bursting into flame and hastily drops it. Once she gets control of herself, she asks Rafe where it is and he says that it's West Valley near the lake. Irisa walks out and Tommy goes after her, while Nolan finds the deed. The original owner was an Irathient, Julluh Grisu, and Nolan points out that the name was signed in English. Rafe insists that was a legitimate deal, while Tommy comes back and admits that Irisa threw him off the roller before she drove off.
Nolan drives after Irisa and finds her at West Valley, having another vision of Irathients in the field and someone attacking them. Irisa screams in pain and then picks up a discarded knife, and realizes that it was humans who killed the Irathients... and the only one who escaped was Rynn.
Back in Defiance, Irisa refuses to go to see the doctor. They go to Need Want and confront Sukar, who says that he doesn't know where Rynn is. He says that he doesn't know about any killings, and Irisa explains that she saw the murder of Rynn's parents. Sukar realizes that she's been touched and strokes her face, and says that Rynn claimed she didn't know who killed her parents. The biker suggests that Irisa may be able to find her if she opens her heart, and asks if Irisa is willing.
Irisa agrees and Sukar leads her in an Irathient ritual. As it takes effect, Irisa finds herself back at the Irathient farm and sees a young Rynn. She tells Sukar what she sees: Taggart and Bowen approaching the farm and demanding that Rynn's father sell them the land. When he refuses, the two men kill Rynn's parents and Rynn hides beneath the house. When one of the men comes after her, Rynn stabs him and runs off into the woods. Sukar tells her to see the woman, and Irisa sees Rynn driving to an abandoned mine. Irisa snaps out of her trance and tells Sukar that she knows where they can find Rynn.
As they leave the Spirit Rider's base, Nolan apologizes for doubting her. Irisa complains that he made her afraid of the fact that she's an alien. Nolan says that they'll try to work it out but Irisa grabs a gun and says that he's too late. They take Sukar and Tommy with them and go into the mine. As they descend in the elevator, Sukar insists that no one harms Rynn, and tells Nolan that he would understand if he was a good parent.
The group leaves the elevator and finds Hellbug excrement. They wipe it on themselves to mask their smell and try to descend further. The elevator breaks, dropping them down, and it finally grinds to a halt. They realize that they're in a Hellbug nest and the creatures fly past them without noticing. The matron, an enormous Hellbug, rears up but also fails to notice them. Nolan has Tommy work on the controller so they can go back up the elevator, while Irisa plants charges to seal off the tunnels for good. Sukar insists that they find Rynn, and Nolan gives him five minutes.
As Sukar prepares to move off, Rynn shoots him in the leg and threatens to toss the pheromones on them. Nolan warns her that if the nest gets any bigger, it will threaten the entire town. Sukar tells Rynn that Irisa has the Sight, but she doesn't believe him and dismisses the old gods. Irisa steps forward and says that Rynn has had her revenge, and that she saw it all. She knows that they loved their daughter and asks if Rynn will honor them by killing the town.
Rynn says that she will honor and rolls the jar of pheromones across the floor. Irisa hits her in the shoulder with a knife, while Nolan grabs the jar and throws it onto the matron. The Hellbugs attack her while the group retreats to the elevator with Rynn as their prisoner. Tommy rewires it just in time and as they ascend, Nolan shoots the charge, setting it off.
Later, Amanda grants the West Valley land to the Irathients, and Sukar leases it back to Rafe. Everyone applauds and Rafe and Sukar reluctantly shake hands. Christie steps forward and hugs her father, saying that she's proud of him, while Sukar tips her hat to Irisa. Sukar then goes to see the captive Rynn and tells her that her parents can dance with their ancestors. He insists that their gods have touched Irisa and shown her the correct path, but Rynn says that she's going to prison. Sukar tells his daughter that he doesn't know the correct path because he doesn't have the Sight, and goes over to comfort her.
Irisa is at the bar when Kenya and Nolan come out and notice her. They watch as Sukar sits down and talks with her, and Nolan leaves them to it.
Rafe walks Christie to the Tarr home and watches as she runs to Alak. He waves to her and she goes inside.
Rynn sits in her cell alone.
As Irisa sleeps, tormented by her visions, Nolan sits beside her and holds her hand.