A Tok'ra scientist brings a phenomenal new technology to the S.G.C.: armbands that give the wearer greatly increased strength and speed. In fact, the devices appear to enhance every natural ability. Anise explains to General Hammond and SG-1 that the search for the fabled technology has been her life's work. They were built by a race called the Atonieks, a now extinct species that predates even the Goa'uld. Something about the Tok'ra physiology rejects the device -- probably the presence of the symbiote -- so Anise wishes to begin human trials with Colonel O'Neill, Major Carter and Dr. Jackson.
The team is skeptical and cautious, but agree to participate. Colonel O'Neill is fitted with the device, and begins to show signs of increased strength and speed after a few hours of wearing the armband around the base. He knocks out Teal'c in a sparring match. He reads one of Daniel's books in a few seconds.
Encouraged by the results, Anise decides to expand the study. Carter and Jackson put on the armbands. It takes a few hours of no results, but their enhanced abilities begin to appear. Carter's vision is strikingly good in the dark. She also writes a thousand-page book on wormhole physics in under two hours. And Daniel finds that he can read a book in just a few seconds -- including Anise's notes on the Atonieks.
The team is restless, and their increased metabolism has made them hungry all the time. O'Neill pleads with the general to let them put their new abilities to use in fighting the Goa'uld. But Hammond refuses to put them back on active duty, since they continue to demonstrate that they are not in complete control of their abilities -- or their judgment.
Indeed, Dr. Fraiser (after some personality conflicts with Anise) theorizes that the armbands could have a narcotic-like effect on the team. Their health is also in danger. They have contracted a virus, apparently released by the device as its means of interfacing with the wearer.
Heeding the doctor's advice (and against Anise's wishes), Hammond orders the tests be halted until they can determine more about the effects the devices are having on the team. SG-1 is hesitant to comply, but when they try to remove the armbands they are unable to. The tests must continue, whether they like it or not.
Confined to the base, O'Neill, Carter and Jackson defy orders and go to dinner at a local restaurant -- and get into a bar fight. Back on the base, Hammond cannot figure out what to do with them. His dilemma is compounded when Dr. Fraiser reports in: Jack, Daniel and Sam are showing early signs of multiple organ failure. Their bodies were simply not made for this, and their lives are in danger.
Meanwhile, Anise has reported in to the Tok'ra High Council and received new instructions. They have recently discovered that Apophis is constructing a powerful new battleship. Attempts to sabotage the ship have failed, and the Tok'ra suggest that SG-1 take advantage of the Atoniek technology and attack the ship.
Seeing that they are being manipulated by the Tok'ra, Hammond refuses -- but the three prepare for the mission anyway. Against orders, they overtake the control room and go through the Stargate. They quickly defeat the squadron of Jaffa guarding the offworld Stargate, and infiltrate the unfinished battleship.
Daniel spots a valuable commodity: two large bars of weapons-grade naquadah, the metal on which all Goa'uld technology is based. He takes off to retrieve it, while Carter and O'Neill move to place C4 explosives on the ship's cooling system. Using their super-speed, they penetrate the multiple force shields in the corridors.
On their way out, though, Daniel collapses. He cannot move, and his armband falls off. Back on Earth, Anise and Fraiser have discovered that the body develops an antibody that fights the armband's interface virus. Eventually, the antibody will win out and the armband will not function. (This explains the mysterious extinction of the Atonieks.)
Teal'c is sent to find SG-1, and saves the team from Serpent guards. He and Daniel head back toward the Stargate, but Carter becomes trapped behind a force shield. Her abilities failing, Sam's armband falls off. O'Neill's armband also fails, and he is stuck on the other side of the force shield.
Teal'c refuses to leave the ship without them, even when the bomb goes off and the ship is destroyed. Moments after the explosion, the force shield loses power and Carter escapes with O'Neill.
SG-1 watches the ship destroyed and the mountain collapse, and flees through the Stargate. O'Neill, Daniel and Carter apologize to General Hammond, who recognizes that they were under the influence of alien technology when they disobeyed his orders.
Anise, meanwhile, is apologetic and thankful that the team survived -- and completed their mission successfully. Jack is less than happy to see her again.