A crowd has gathered at Quark's. Rom tells the assembled crowd that since Nog will soon be heading off to Starfleet Academy, as is Ferengi tradition, he is selling off his personal items to raise capital. Rom says he will buy Nog's pajamas. Nog tells him the price is three strips of gold-pressed latinum. Rom, in typical Ferengi fashion, haggles his way down to two. Nog accepts, and encourages the crowd to buy their own keepsake.
Worf stands off to one side, and is approached by O'Brien, who is surprised to see him there. Worf explains it was a personal request of Sisko's, and says he seems to have taken some interest in the boy. The chief tells him that Sisko sponsored Nog's application to the Academy, and Worf says it just doesn't seem right: a Ferengi at the Academy. The chief comments that not so long ago, someone would have said that about Worf, too. Sisko comes up behind them and tells them to buy something before it is all gone. Despite his annoyance, Worf ends up buying a tooth sharpener.
Quark walks into the bar and, looking irritated, walks over to Rom. Rom is surprised to see Quark, and tells him that if he hurries, there may still be some choice items left to buy. Quark tells him he's not there for the sale; Nog has no place going off to the Academy, and Quark won't have any part of it. Quark tells Rom to come with him; the sale is over, as far as Rom is concerned. The brothers' cousin Gaila has finally made good on a 10-year old promise and bought Quark a ship. Knowing Gaila, it is probably defective, so he wants Rom to check it out.
Upon inspection, Rom finds the ship is in perfect shape, but Quark feels they need to take it on a shakedown cruise. Rom suggests Earth, and Quark says it is a wonderful idea. Rom runs off to tell Nog, and Quark says to himself that it will be a profitable trip.
Quark makes arrangements with Morn to watch the bar while he's gone, and tells him to keep a close eye on Odo. Odo tells Quark Morn is a good choice, as long as he doesn't drink up all of the profits. Odo comments that it is nice of Quark to take Nog to Earth; Quark remarks that he's a generous person.
Jake and Nog are at their usual spot on the Promenade, when Bashir and the Chief walk up. They present Nog with a PADD on all of Earth's customs, geography, history... everything he'll need to know to get by on Earth. Nog looks at them in surprise, and asks if it will tell him all he needs to know about attracting human females; they chuckle and say, "Well, maybe not EVERYthing." Nog says his goodbyes to Bashir and the Chief, and Jake offers to walk him to the airlock. He turns around one last time to look at the spot where he and Jake used to spend all their time hanging out on the Promenade. Jake says, "That was a good spot." Nog replies, "The best." Jake walks his friend to the airlock.
Ops - Dax tells Sisko and Kira that the Ferengi shuttle Quark's Treasure has just departed. Kira says she wouldn't want to be stuck on that shuttle with the three of them all the way to Earth; Sisko says he's just worried that no one warned Earth they were coming.
On the shuttle - Quark complains that the trip is taking too long, and Rom says not to worry; he knows that kemocite is unstable, but another day or two won't make any difference. Quark tells Rom he doesn't know what he's talking about; Rom tells him he knows about the shipment of kemocite Quark is smuggling; and how dangerous and profitable it is, especially if they make a side trip to Orion on the way back from Earth. Quark asks when he got so smart; Rom tells him he's always been smart, he just lacked self-confidence. Rom tells Quark he could be convinced to forget what he knows... for 20% of the profits. Quark rolls his eyes, and asks Nog if he wants a cut, too. Nog says that as a Starfleet cadet, he's sworn to report any violation of Federation law to his superiors; but he hasn't been sworn in yet. For 10%, he'll keep quiet. Quark agrees, and tells Rom to push the shuttle faster. As they approach Earth, Nog comes in from the crew quarters, and asks if the picture of Gabriel Bell looks a lot like Sisko. Quark tells Rom to take the ship out of warp, and Rom says it is not responding; the command sequencer has been disabled. It turns out Gaila sabotaged the ship, and Rom can't shut it down. Rom says that if he can flood the cargo hold with plasma, its reaction with the kemocite should allow him to shut down the warp core. Quark says he's a genius. Rom asks if he really thinks so, and Quark replies he has no idea... he didn't understand a word he just said, but to do it anyway. Rom says he thinks he can get close enough to Earth to make an emergency landing. The ship streaks through space at high warp... and disappears.
Quark wakes up and sits bolt upright, covered by a white sheet. He looks around, and sees Rom and Nog lying next to him in what appears to be a dark laboratory. They both appear to be dead. Outside the lab, a human male picks up an old-fashioned phone and tells the party on the other end to contact General Denning... one of the "Martians" is awake. The camera pans over to a calendar hanging on the wall... it is an old Betty Page style pin-up calendar, set on July, 1947.
A military base, 1947 - one man in a suit, a doctor, and several men and women in US military uniforms stand on the other side of a two-way mirror, watching Quark, Rom, and Nog interact with each other. They have the farmer who found the ship, and they've convinced the "idiot in Roswell" who told the local paper they captured a flying saucer to issue a retraction... turns out, it was just a weather balloon. They're afraid that if word gets out that beings from another planet have landed on Earth, they'll create a nationwide panic. They're not telling anyone about the "Martians" until they know what they're up against. They turn on a speaker and hear the Ferengi speaking in their native tongue. Quark walks over to the door and tries to get it to open, but can't figure out how to use the door knob. The Humans watch this all with great interest.
Inside the room, the Ferengi try to figure out where they are. They figure they must be on Earth, but they don't know where, except that it is not Starfleet Academy. Quark starts beating on the door, yelling at them to give him his ship back. The soldiers on the other side of the door pull their guns, thinking he's trying to escape. A female officer grabs the doctor's arm and tells him not to let the soldiers hurt Quark; he's just scared. He tells the general they need to try and communicate with them; the General tells him the President agrees... that's why he's here. Back inside the room, Quark is complaining that Earth was a bad idea, and that it is all Nog's fault because he insisted on joining Starfleet. Rom defends Nog, Quark yells at Rom, Nog yells at Quark, and Rom says maybe they're all dead, and this is the Divine Treasury, the Ferengi version of Heaven. Quark says that's not possible; the Treasury is made of solid gold-pressed latinum, the Blessed Exchequer and the Celestial Auctioneers are missing, and they should be bidding for new lives right now. Rom says maybe they're in the other place... Nog suggests the Vault of Eternal Destitution? Quark scoffs and says that's impossible; the bar was turning a profit.
The door opens, and two armed men enter the room, followed by the female nurse, one of the officers, and the doctor. He tries to communicate with the Ferengi; they don't understand a word he says. Rom figures their universal translators must not be working, and they all three start hitting their heads, trying to reset the translators. The Humans think they must be some sort of greeting, and start hitting their heads in return. Quark looks at them in amazement; Rom says maybe their universal translators are broken, too. Nog says they don't have universal translators; he recognizes the uniforms from the PADD Bashir gave him. The uniforms are from the 20th century, one of Earth's old nation-states, Australia, or something. They figure out they've traveled back in time almost 400 years. Rom asks if they don't have universal translators, then why are they banging their heads. Quark hits his head, and the Humans do it to. Quark repeats the action, and so do they. Quark figures out they are just mimicking the Ferengi. He says he never realized primitive Humans were so stupid. Nog says they were also violent, petty, bigoted, and selfish. Quark says, "The three of us, and millions of primitive hew-mans... I like those odds."
The nurse takes Quark's blood pressure, and Quark asks for oomox in his native tongue. She has no idea what he says, of course. She smiles, and walks over to the doctor. She tells him she has run every test she can think of, and all she can tell him is, they're not Human. They watch Rom try to repair Nog's universal translator, and think they're involved in some kind of grooming ritual, like gorillas. She correctly assumes they are father and son, and the doctor wonders if Quark is related somehow. She says for all they know, he could be the mother. The doctor says if that's true, Quark is quite a shrew.
Rom figures out that the interference disrupting their translators is coming from theta radiation from nuclear fission. Quark tells him not to be an idiot; fission doesn't happen within planetary atmospheres. Nog explains that here, it does. In the 20th century, humans used to use crude fission reactors as weapons, calling them "Atom bombs." Quark can't believe how stupid the humans are for polluting their own planet. Quark tells Rom to hurry up and fix the translators; the sooner they start communicating with these "savages," the better.
Rom sees the female playing with a hair pin, and points at it. The man figures out that Rom wants it, and she gives it to him. Rom takes the hairpin and jabs it in Nog's ear, looking for the reset button on his translator. The Humans recoil, thinking it must hurt. The doctor lights up two cigarettes, one for him and one for her, and expresses dismay at not having enough help to try and communicate with the Ferengi, and the woman says she's sure he'll find a way. She can't wait to find out how much they can learn from the Ferengi; how maybe, in a few years, Humans will have rocket ships of their own and travel the galaxy, "exploring new worlds and new civilizations." He chuckles, and says that she's a dreamer; she replies, that's why you love me. He smiles, and says that here they are, in the middle of one of the biggest discoveries in Human history, and all he can think about is how she'll look in her wedding dress. She smiles bashfully and says her mother keeps asking where they're going on their honeymoon; she thinks they should go to Niagara Falls. He says who knows... maybe we'll go to Mars. Quark notices the smell form the cigarettes burning, and Nog tells him about tobacco, how poisonous and addictive it is. Rom asks where they get it; Nog tells them it is readily available in stores. Quark is amazed; he says if they'll buy poison, they'll buy anything. Nog says he hopes he wouldn't do anything to disrupt the timeline; they could all cease to exist.
In the hangar, the soldiers are examining the ship, but they can't figure out how it runs. The doctor is out for a stroll, and he kneels down to pet a German Shepherd. The general asks him if they've made any progress. The doctor says he would think that creatures as technologically advanced as they seem to be would communicate telepathically, but they seem to have a developed language. He says, in time, a team of linguists should be able to figure it out. The captain says no one else is getting called in on the project. The general says the president wants answers, and he wants them now. The nurse comes outside, and tells them they need to get in there, now. They come inside, and the dog follows them in. Quark announces, so that they understand, that he is Quark, the Chief Financial Officer of the Ferengi Alliance, and he has a business proposition for them.
The general looks in Quark's ear with a flashlight and says he sees no universal translator; Quark says trust me, it is in there. The general asks how it works, and Quark says it is simple, if you know how. Anything is possible with advanced technology. He then goes into his sales pitch: he is there to open up a market for advanced Ferengi technology with the people of 20th century Earth. Ships, transporters, medicine, replicates, weapons, all in exchange for gold. The general says Quark reminds him of his brother-in-law... a used car salesman, and not a very good one. Bottom line: he doesn't trust him. Quark threatens to take his "business" to the Russians, and the general doesn't like that. He says he'll have to get clearance from the president. Quark agrees, and offers some free advice: stop poisoning themselves with tobacco and atom bombs... they'll kill you. The general asks what he knows about atom bombs, and Quark says Ferengi have been watching Earth for years, and know all about Humans: baseball, root beer, darts, and atom bombs... quite a fascinating culture. He tells the general to go talk to the president.
Rom and Nog are talking to the doctor and his fiancée', telling them all about Ferenginar. The German Shepherd is sitting on the counter. Rom has just told the doctor that women on Ferenginar go around naked, and it is the law; Nurse Garland tells them she's never visiting there, and neither is he. Nog manipulates Garland into innocently giving him oo-mox. Quark comes back to the room, and Rom asks how his meeting with the general went. He gets Nurse Garland and the doctor to leave the room, and tells them everything is fine. The German Shepherd barks at Quark, and he complains that the humans forgot to take it with them. It runs over to him and puts its front paws on his shoulders. The German Shepherd morphs into Odo, who tells him he is placing Quark under arrest for attempting to smuggle kemocite. He tells them he hid on board the ship, which is in a hangar on the other side of the base. It is damaged, but the engines are functional. They can use it to get away from the base. Nog says that they'll be stuck 400 years in the past. Rom tells them all that if there is enough kemocite left, and if he can find a powerful enough energy source, he might be able to get them home, to their time. Odo asks what kind of energy source, but Quark interrupts, and tells them all they're not going anywhere, that inside a year, they'll be running the whole place. The Humans here are cruel, gullible, and greedy... and he can manipulate them. Once they run the whole planet, they'll contact the Ferengi of this time and sell them their ship. Ferengi will have warp drive before any other power in the quadrant, and set up a financial empire the likes of which even Grand Nagus Zek couldn't dream of... and Quark can run it all. Odo says he has a very vivid imagination, but the only place they're going is back to their own time. He'll have the ship ready in six hours... and they're all going to be on it. Quark says he's not going back, and neither is his ship. Odo says we'll see about that. He morphs back into a dog and waits by the door.
Outside, the captain is pacing by the door when the general pulls up. He tells the captain the president said no deal, not until they know more about the aliens. The captain says he'll find out, and the general gives his okay. The captain goes inside the building. Inside, Quark is trying to convince Rom and Nog to stay, but they want to go. Six MPs enter the room, three with pistols drawn. The other three put bags over the Ferengi's heads, and escort them none too gently from the room. They are tied to chairs, and the captain begins to interrogate Quark. He tells them if they don't let him go, he'll take his business to the Russians. The captain says that's a good place to start... tell us what you know about the Russians. Nurse Garland walks up to Quark with a syringe full of liquid, and Quark realizes he's in a lot more trouble than he thought.
Nurse Garland sticks the needle in Quark's arm and he starts to scream. After five injections of sodium pentathol, she tells the captain it is not working. She tells the captain it is wrong; "these people are our guests". The captain says they're not people, they're things, invaders from another world, and it is up to them to put an end to whatever the Ferengi might be planning. He grabs a scalpel and threatens to cut Quark open if he doesn't tell him what he wants to hear. Nog asks if there are laws against this kind of thing; the captain tells him not when it comes to national security. He threatens each of them in turn, until Rom breaks, and tells them it was an accident, that they never meant to come to Earth in the 1940s, and they're from the future, all the while, crying for his moogie. Nog says they're the advance scouts for the Ferengi invasion fleet, confirming the captain's fears. He tells the "puny Earthlings" that they have been studying them for centuries, and they are ripe for conquest. He calls Quark the "Supreme Commander" and tells the Humans that 300 Marauder-class attack cruisers are orbiting the planet, preparing to attack. Quark tries to convince them they just want to sell them things, and the doctor says he doesn't believe the invasion story, all while Rom is crying for his moogie. Nog keeps up the invasion story, telling them that when the appointed hour arrives, the ships will decloak and begin transporting Klingon shock troops directly to the landing zone... killing all the males, and taking all the females to mate with. The captain asks where the landing zone is; Nog will show him on the map if he unties him. One of the M.P.s unties Nog, and the other goes to get the General. Nog points to the Great Lakes area, saying the first landing parties will invade here. The captain leans over to get a closer look at the map, and Nog hits him in the stomach and over the head, causing him to drop his gun. The MP pulls his weapon, and Nurse Garland tells him not to hurt Nog. Nog says it was an accident, he didn't mean to hit the captain, he tripped. The captain tells the MP to shoot Nog, but the doctor takes out the MP before he can fire. Nurse Garland hits the captain over the head with a tray and unties Quark. They tell the Ferengi they are helping them escape, and Rom asks if they'll get in trouble. Quark says of course not, since they forced the humans to help them using... Nurse Garland fills in the blank, ... your insidious mind control powers. Quark compliments her on her quick thinking, and they make their way to the ship.
The general and two MPs stop them. Quark grabs Nurse Garland and points his finger at her, telling them he'll disintegrate the hostage with his "death ray." The general says it looks a lot like a finger to him. With the distraction, Odo shape-shifts out of a nearby truck and takes out the two MPs and the general. They commandeer a Jeep and get to the hangar. The doctor tells them an atomic blast will occur in seven minutes. Quark thanks the two "hew-mans," and Nurse Garland says that she only hopes one day man can travel the stars and take its place among a vast alliance of planets. Rom corrects her: "Federation." The Ferengi get in their ship and take off. The captain gets to the general and asks what do we do now? The general says about what, captain? All we ever found was a crashed weather balloon.
Rom tells them all they have to do is fly directly into the atomic blast and expose the kemocite to the beta radiation, and it will cause a reverse time warp that they can just ride home. Odo tells Quark if it doesn't work, he'll hold him personally responsible. At the target site, the bomb goes off, and the ship gets buffeted by the explosion. The ship materializes in Earth orbit back in their own time.
Back on DS9, Quark tells Rom he could have ruled the galaxy, and now he has nothing, not even a shuttle. Rom reminds him he still has the bar, and at least he got enough from selling the shuttle for salvage to book them passage home. Odo grabs Quark and tells him he's under arrest for kemocite smuggling; Quark tells him he has no evidence, since they used up all the kemocite getting back to the 24th century. Odo tells him to tell it to the arbiter. Quark tells Rom to get him out of this; Rom says he'll contact cousin Gaila; he's sure to know a good lawyer.