Upon their arrival in the midst of the Klingon campsite, Thorus and Ramsey find themselves accused of trickery in the disappearance of Lt. Klaag. Before they can explain, two Klingons shove Thorus at the nearest (and newly exposed crystal) and he vanishes. Ramsey stuns those two and the last Klingon surrenders his weapon and proposes they work together to solve the mystery – this Klingon, Kral, has sworn his loyalty to Klaag and wants to see the lieutenant returned to carry out the coup they’ve been planning. (This he cheerfully explains to Ramsey for some time while they collect components to design a scanner that might work despite the jamming caused by the crystals.)
Thorus, meanwhile, finds himself in a particularly barren stretch of land, populated only by himself, Klaag, a Bajoran couple, and a grubby human who turns out to be Bryn Stewart, the geologist who discovered the crystals. Bryn explains his theory, that exposing the crystals led to the gradual displacement of the colony’s citizens, a few at a time determined by the time of the day and the location of people as they wandered accidentally into the crystals’ displacement-causing energy. Bryn shamefacedly says that he fears any number of people might have been displaced into the ocean but that he hopes, seeing that Thorus has arrived on a rescue mission, that they might find some of the colonists and bury the crystals deep enough to lay the disruptive energy to rest. Thorus, after exchanging some hostile words with Klaag, sets the group to lighting the sparse vegetation on fire in the hopes of alerting Les or Ramsey to their location.
Ramsey, working with Les, does manage to locate Thorus, Stewart, Klaag, and the Bajoran couple. Stewart proposes they use a photon torpedo to bury the crystals only to have Ramsey counter that they could beam several tons of rock and dirt into place. After that, with the jamming dissipating as the crystals apparently go dormant, they search for and locate 77 more colonists and return them to their settlement. Bryn Stewart, deciding to remain with the colony to make amends for his meddling, gives Thorus and Ramsey his report to take to T’Larsh, and also explains that when he encountered the Outrider he tried to hail them to exchange mapping information and got no reply. The Cardassian ship, however, on the route it was headed, would have ended up in the Omarion Nebula.
As they near the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant side, another of T’Larsh’s team intercepts the Tarsus bearing a message from the Vulcan. Due to diplomatic tensions caused by complaints from a group known as the Dominion, officials at Deep Space Nine have asked T’Larsh to recall all his science teams. As bad luck would have it, one team has issued a distress call from the Rogun system. T’Larsh requests that Thorus and Ramsey respond to the call and retrieve the team as quickly as possible.