Thorus, after an initial interrogation of the Vorta prisoner, gets coordinates for a Jem’Hadar patrol route where the Tazeka is likely to be found. When Ramsey detects nothing in that region on long-range sensors, Thorus questions the Vorta a second time. The Vorta, terrified of the Andorian, gives up his name (Nor’yar) and babbles on about his low rank, how little he knows, and insists upon offering the same coordinates again. Another search by Ramsey yields a Jem’Hadar patrol ship accompanied by three scout ships, and another three scout ships in the vicinity but a few hours distant from the main group. He also detects a small asteroid field with some kind of base or depot positioned outside it. The Tazeka’s current course will take it past the asteroid field in four hours.
Given that they can arrive ahead of the Dominion ships, Ramsey sets course and then constructs a distress beacon that will emit a signal mimicking that of a stranded Jem’Hadar scout ship. While he does that, Thorus reconfigures some warheads into mines that they can distribute around the beacon. They place the beacon and mines in the asteroid field, luring one scout ship to its doom. The other lead scout ship continues on its course while the patrol ship slows. They use the distraction to fire upon the large vessel and, having caught it entirely by surprise, they disable the Tazeka. They scan the ship and discover two non-Dominion life signs aboard (one human, one Trill). The third scout ship veers in closely to the patrol ship before warping away. After that, they are hailed by the Dominion ship. They find themselves talking to a Vorta, behind whom several Jem’Hadar work frantically in a bridge thrown in chaos. After exchanging a few barbs with the Vorta, Ramsey beams the human and Trill onto his own bridge. The two introduce themselves as Jadzia Dax and Miles O’Brien. They assure Ramsey that it wasn’t Commander Sisko who was beamed to the safety of the scout ship, because he’s dead.
They head back to the wormhole, learning from O’Brien and Dax that they and the commander were placed into a sort of simulation where – they believed at the time – they experienced the Dominion’s incursion into the Alpha Quadrant. Dax has a recording of the simulation and plays it for them. They see Jem’Hadar soldiers at DS9, abusing and even murdering officers and civilians. Though Sisko struggled to persuade Starfleet to oppose the Dominion, they refused and, in the end, Sisko stole a ship docked at the station, flew it into the wormhole and set the vessel to self-destruct, collapsing the wormhole and sealing the Dominion’s passage into Federation space. With the account over, Dax explains how their captors insisted that the simulation was proof of Sisko’s genuine intentions. She tells them how the three of them tried to escape after that but Sisko was killed and then she and O’Brien were sequestered in the Tazeka’s brig. Later, Ramsey and Thorus show the video evidence to A’Tora, who confirms that his people would indeed consider that evidence of a likely outcome. He explains that the Founders take it upon themselves to promote and even to insist upon their version of peace, even if it peace wrought through terrible violence.
They arrive back at DS9 and are greeted by Eddington who ushers Dax and O’Brien away for a debriefing. He confides to Thorus and Ramsey that a visiting Romulan politician, Neral, has expressed interest in meeting them both, and referred to them as undercover Starfleet operatives. Eddington admits that he, too, had been told they were working undercover but had been playing along until Neral spoke openly of it. In that light, he has arranged for them to stay in visiting officers’ quarters and tells them that Neral wants to meet with them. They also hear from Ivers who tells them he, Corrik, and Admiral Leyton are en route to the station to meet with Neral. In the meantime, they try to investigate Garrick again only to find his shop still closed. Pehret has been trying to spy on him and she tells Thorus that Garrick has been behaving very suspiciously. Later, in Quark’s bar, Thorus and Ramsey see Garrick menacing Rom at the bar. When they intervene, Rom admits that his brother, Quark, ordered something illegal for Garrick. When they visit the tailor’s shop again, breaking in this time, they find Garrick in possesion of a Ferengi mind-control device. They question him, harass him to some degree, and Thorus drops the device, breaking it. Pehret arrives to assist in the matter, and they more or less break Garrick’s spirit, convincing him to accept his lot as tailor and exile. (Pehret later visits Ramsey to show him the other half of the non-working device, and makes sure he knows where to find her later if he’s interested.)
Once Corrik, Leyton, and Ivers arrive, Neral calls a meeting and – with perhaps less gentility than anyone would like – explains how the Romulans want to sign a pact with the Federation to stand against the Dominion. The Romulans want to join forces and assign warbirds to hold back any Dominion ships that try to enter the Alpha Quadrant. As part of that effort, Starfleet wants Ramsey to serve as captain of the ships that will protect DS9, and will assign Ivers to be in charge of the station itself. For Thorus’ part, Ivers has pulled some strings to have him promoted to the Andorians’ highest level of religious leadership. He, too, will be assigned to serve aboard DS9 as both a security and cultural leader – using his position to better arm the station, officers, and civilians. Admiral Leyton, in particular, delights in how the extra armaments can be implemented not as a show of paranoia, but in a celebration of tolerance for Andorian culture.