Initially, a Malon ship attempted to capture the probe while it was trapped inside the gas giant, but they were destroyed. A second Malon ship, under the command of Controller Vrelk, arrived shortly thereafter, and entered into a "space race" with the USS Voyager to see who could build a shuttle capable of withstanding the pressures of the giant.
The Malon shuttle launched only a couple minutes before the Flyer, but before either could reach it, the two got into a battle. The Malon shuttle used spatial charges, but was quickly disabled by the Delta Flyer's Borg-enhanced weaponry. They then became trapped in a thermal layer of the planet's atmosphere, distracting the Malon transport ship long enough for Voyager to get away with their probe. (VOY: "Extreme Risk")
Studio model Edit
The Malon shuttle was a co-design by Brandon MacDougall and Dan Curry, working from the preliminary design work, Rick Sternbach had done in July 1998, and eventually built at Foundation Imaging as a CGI model by McDougall. As McDougall remembered on Doug Drexler's blog:
"I remember that I came up with the design for the Malon shuttle directly in the 3D application, and Dan Curry approved it in house... we needed something quick. My thinking was an industrial looking steel hull construction meant to shield the crew from toxic gases and radiation. (...) Dan was someone with history, and experience with physical models but loved what 3D could do. We would talk about grazing light angles and spec highlights across the shapes of a ship foils, all the while cracking up, because the jokes were plentiful! I modeled it quickly and had it about 90% finished before showing it to Dan. He liked the design and textures some of them from the toxic tankers. I remember "Q", one of our CG geniuses at Foundation, ribbing with me about the plentiful usage I got out of the rust surfaces. It was the surface to the month for sure. (...) I do love old Victorian designs and the craft was intended to look like a min sub of sorts that could dive into the toxic wast and back to the ship. The shuttles also run off any hijacking pirates that could use that sort of thing." (X)Being one of the more fleetingly-seen ships, McDougall out of courtesy re-rendered his model for Drexler's blog(X). Sternbach's design sketches turned up at Propworx' The official STAR TREK prop and costume auction of 8 August 2010 as Lot 401 where they sold for US$120 (including buyers premium), being estimated at US$100-$200.