The Galactica leads the fleet through a void of asteroid dust into another galaxy, leaving the galaxy in which the Twelve Colonies once existed behind. Amid this Starbuck has volunteered to test a new prototype Viper fitted for extended-range reconnaissance. Aboard the Rising Star he finds himself in a predicament involving both Athena and Cassiopeia, thinking Athena would be busy with work. Starbuck manages to get away and is introduced to the new prototype Viper.
While on his recon mission ahead of the fleet, Starbuck encounters an old starfighter chasing a small cargo shuttle. Starbuck intervenes by distracting the fighter so that the shuttle can escape. Starbuck follows the shuttle and meets the pilot, Robber. Whom Starbuck learns was hauling crates of ambrosia. While Starbuck admires the drink, Robber strikes him from behind, stealing his Viper.
The Galactica picks up a signal from the prototype Viper, but oddly, it is an unrecognizable code being aimed back at the Colonies. Fearing these signals will alert the Cylons to their position, Commander Adama orders Apollo and Boomer to intercept and destroy the Viper.
Starbuck regains consciousness, only to be captures shortly after by the man who had originally been chasing Robber. The man is actually a prison guard, who accuses Starbuck of being a bootlegger. Starbuck is quickly thrown into a prison cell. In the cell Starbuck learns that all of the inmates (as well as the guards) are the descendants of those who were originally sent there.
Meanwhile, as Apollo and Boomer prepare to destroy Starbuck's Viper, Cassiopeia reveals that the code Robber is using is civilian, not Cylon. Apollo and Boomer break off their attack and follow Robber. When they confront him he tells them of Proteus Prison, and that he and his family only wished to escape it.
Back on Proteus, Starbuck reveals to both the prisoners and the guards that they're colony was lost long ago. He also reveals the guards had been lying to the prisoners about this for years. Soon Apollo, Boomer and Robber arrive, Starbuck is reunited with the Viper just as some Cylons who'd traced Robbers signal begin attacking the prison. Starbuck, Apollo and Boomer manage to destroy the Cylons, but Starbuck's dreams of riches go up in flames when he sees the Cylons had destroyed all the ambrosia when they attacked the docks.
Once the fleet arrives at Proteus, Starbuck's safe return is celebrated with a dinner aboard the Rising Star. There Boxey presents Apollo, with a drawing of Earth's solar system as described to him by Adama. When Starbuck sees the map he notices it is similar to a drawing he saw in his cell at the prison. Robber says the drawing in the cell was made by "the silent one", a mysterious prisoner that had long since died. Adama wonders if the man had found Earth...
- AI Is A Crap Shoot: Averted with CORA; she's sassy, but she still does as she's told.
- Automated Automobiles: The Recon Viper-1 (CORA) can fly itself if the need should arise.
- Cardboard Prison: Turns out the Proteus prison cell doors haven't been working for a few centuries.
- Cool Starship: Recon Viper-1, better known as CORA.
- Lost Colony: The Fleet had no knowledge of the humans on Proteus, Starbuck deduces that the ancient colonials assumed the colony had been lost during the last great war.
- Prison Episode
- Servile Snarker: CORA, while programed to respond to all of Starbucks needs, she is more than happy to insult him at every opportunity.
- Wardens Are Evil: The warden Krod throws people into jail without trial or proper inquiry, delights in holding dominion over those in his custody, and on top that, is a Dirty Coward, although he does seem to reform a little before the episode's over.