Miles O'Brien is investigating the recent disappearance of Morica Bilby, the widow of the Orion Syndicate operative he got involved with in the episode Honor Among Thieves. He went on his inverstigation under a false pretense, but when Bashir realizes the chief is not coming back, he reveals the truth to captain Sisko. Angry but still pragmatic, the captain asks Dax to contact her mother since she is an influencial business woman in the Sappora System, where O'Brien got missing. Ezri's mother, Yanas, uses the opportunity to force a visit from her daughter, to Ezri's annoyance.
On Sappora VII, Ezri's brothers, Norvo and Janel, are both happy to see her. Her mother, however, reveals to be a very authoritative figure and greets her daughter very coldly. As the conversations go, we understand that everyone is a little stressed due to the precarious financial state of the company.
Norvo is in a particularly bad phase as he also just got refused admission from the Andorian Academy. He is on the verge of abandonning a very promising art career to do the company's bookeeping, following his mother's (strong) suggestion. Ezri's plea in her brother's favor has no effect on Yanas, her mother even goes on to accuse her of having a bad influence on Norvo. Their conversation is interrupted when a police officer arrives with O'Brien.
After the presentations, Yanas takes advantage of having a starfleet engineer in her house to ask him to have a look at a trans-sonic drill problem. The chief finds the problem to be a very strange one, even suggesting a sabotage. In the following conversation between Janel and a man named Thadial Bokar, we learn that the company is involved with the Orion Syndicate and that Janel knew Morica Bilby.
O'Brien and Ezri, on their side, find Morica's name in the company's financial records. The rest unfolds pretty quickly when they inform Yanas of the fact. Janel admits getting the company involved with the Orion Syndicate to prevent them from going bankrupt a while ago. Bilby's "salary" from the company was a way to return the favor to the Syndicate. But, since she was always asking for more money, the favor became more and more difficult to repay. Because of that, Norvo took unto himself to solve the new problem, killing Morica.
Back at Deep Space Nine, Ezri and O'Brien have a conversation about the recent events, conversation in which Ezri admits feeling responsible for her brother fate. She wishes she would have gone back earlier to help Norvo getting out of the influence of her mother for a while and giving him a chance to live his dreams.