While Kes is wondering around the Nechisti home world, she enters a sacred shrine and is struck by a mysterious beam, rendering her unconscious. The Nechisti tells Janeway, that Kes went where only monks who have been purified can go.
Neelix uncovers the fact that the Nechisti council can be petitioned to allow another to go through the purification process and save the unconscious violator. Janeway petitions the council, and is reluctantly given permission to try.
However, Janeway is impatient with the slowness of the purification process, and do to this may fail the process. Worse, the process may be life threatening to Janeway herself.