The episode opens up on a battered Federation and Klingon fleet. Three months have passed since the Dominion occupied Deep Space 9 and the Dominion War began. The Defiant has been on the run from the Jem'Hadar for 78 hours. Everyone on board is tense and exhausted. In the medical supply room, Doctor Julian Bashir is treating Elim Garak for a small head wound. Bashir estimates their chances of survival at 32.7%. Garak is not impressed with Bashir's calculations, notwithstanding Bashir's recently revealed genetic enhancements. The Defiant and Klingon General Martok's Rotarran rendezvous and Worf and Jadzia Dax are reunited in the Defiant's wardroom. After a joyous hello, Worf reveals that he is upset that Jadzia has scheduled the ritual sacrifice of the Targ to occur after their wedding feast. Jadzia gives in, saying, "first we'll shed blood, and then we'll feast." As Worf and Jadzia leave, Benjamin Sisko suggests that they not break any bones. Bashir enters and says he has word of the Seventh Fleet. Out of 112 ships, only 14 ships have returned. Angry, Sisko slams his fist on a tabletop, breaking the glass. Deep Space 9, now renamed Terok Nor, Gul Dukat is quite pleased with how the war is going. Reports of victories arrive daily and he says, "It is a good time for Cardassia. And the Dominion." Weyoun is happy that life seems to be returning to normal on the station. Kira wants Bajoran security returned to the station, but Dukat is concerned about the implications of allowing armed Bajorans on board. Weyoun is disturbed by the way Dukat seems to be undermining the Dominion's position because of his antipathy towards the Bajorans. Weyoun demands to be included in all decisions on station policy henceforth. Further, Weyoun is impatient with Dukat's slow progress on clearing the minefield that is blocking the wormhole, preventing Dominion reinforcements from getting through from the Gamma Quadrant. Dukat complains that destroying these self-replicating mines is difficult because when you destroy one, its neighbor replicates another, but he will get it done. Quark, Odo, and Kira discuss the occupation. Quark says that as occupations go, this one's not so bad. There are no cries of starving children, ghetto fences dividing the Promenade, or exhausted Bajorans sprawled upon the ground. Odo reluctantly agrees. Kira asks, if the Dominion is such a friend to Bajor, why are there no Bajoran security officers on the station? After the Defiant's arrival at Starbase 375, Admiral William Ross relieves Sisko of command of the Defiant, and tells Sisko that he'll be informed of his new assignment later. While waiting, Sisko contacts his father Joseph in New Orleans, Earth. His father is upset that his grandson Jake is still on Deep Space 9. Sisko says that staying behind was Jake's choice, but the elder Sisko doesn't care about this. Benjamin promises his father that he'll get Jake back soon. Benjamin's father asks if things are as bad as the news services say. Sisko says they're worse. Meanwhile on Terok Nor, Jake wants an interview with Weyoun, but learns that Weyoun has been censoring his Federation News Service articles by blocking Jake's transmissions. Weyoun explains that he thinks Jake's reporting is biased against the Dominion, using words like "occupation". Weyoun says that if Jake starts reporting fairly, Weyoun will allow Jake's transmissions to go through. Back at Starbase 375, Ross reveals Sisko's and the Defiant crew's new assignment. They're to destroy the Dominion's main ketracel-white storage depot in the Alpha Quadrant, located deep in Dominion territory. They'll use the Jem'Hadar ship Sisko captured last year (DS9: "The Ship") to infiltrate Dominion space. On board preparing for departure, the crew starts to complain about the conditions on the Jem'Hadar ship: no chairs, no food replicators, no viewscreen, and no infirmary. Garak joins the crew as his knowledge of Cardassian space and Cardassian contacts may be useful. Terok Nor, Dukat, ensconced in Captain Sisko's office, wants to spend more time with Kira. Kira is disgusted by Dukat, and slaps his hand away when he reaches for her face. Sisko's Jem'Hadar ship, en route to Dominion space, is discovered by the USS Centaur. Sisko fires at them, targeting the Centaur's weapons array only. Luckily, three Jem'Hadar ships enter the fray and the Centaur warps away. In order to return Bajoran security to the station, Kira urges Odo to take advantage of his god status as a changeling with Weyoun. Odo is very uncomfortable with this, but agrees. When Odo presents his demand to Weyoun, he immediately agrees: "Consider it done." Dukat objects, but Weyoun tells Dukat to keep out of it. It is strictly between Weyoun and Odo. But Weyoun asks Odo for a favor in return: he asks Odo to sit on the station's Ruling Council, along with Weyoun and Dukat. When Odo tells Kira about Weyoun's request, she is concerned that Weyoun may be using Odo to validate the Dominion's occupation. Odo says he that he thought we were using them, and besides, he's walked this fine line before. Kira remains uneasy. Meanwhile, Sisko's Jem'Hadar ship arrives at the ketracel-white storage facility, which is built into a small asteroid. After they observe another ship go through the exchange process, Garak requests 84 canisters of ketracel-white. O'Brien says he has 83 empty canisters standing by, and one not-so-empty one which is filled with 90 isotons of enriched ultritium. This should be enough to take out the whole storage facility. Sisko's ship moves to inside the depot's security zone. O'Brien sets the detonator for three minutes. After the exchange of (mostly) empty canisters for canisters full of white takes place, Garak asks the facility for clearance to leave. Instead, the facility raises their security net, trapping Sisko's ship inside. Th facility orders Sisko's ship to stand by. The crew concludes that if they stay inside the net the bomb will destroy the ship along with the depot. The explosion will also take out the security net. But if they attempt to escape too early, they'll smash into the inside of the security net before it comes down. Dax and Bashir calculate that if the ship goes to impulse exactly 1.3 seconds before the bomb detonates, they will avoid both the explosion and the security net. Dax programs this into the computer and hands the piloting controls over to it. But the bomb goes off early. Dax takes back helm control and gets the ship out of there. The Jem'Hadar ship barely makes it out, the huge explosion chasing at its tail. But they survive, and the plan worked. The ship suffered heavy damage however. The core matrix is fried- there's no warp drive. Bashir informs everyone that the closest Federation starbase is "17 years, two months, and three days away - give or take an hour." Sisko's Jem'Hadar attack ship, now without warp capacity, starts the long journey back.