After flying through the wormhole in the Valiant, with A’Tora and Les still serving as crew, Thorus and Ramsey search for the transponder aboard the missing DS9 runabout, the Rio Grande. They track the vessel down to an unmanned relay station (passing a Jem’Hadar scout ship that they pick up on long range sensors) where they find that a Karemma cargo vessel has dispatched a shuttle to dock at the station. Also docked is the Rio Grande, although they pick up only one non-human life sign aboard the station. After speaking with the Karemma captain they discover that the Rio Grande has been there about two weeks and has been subject to some degree of salvaging. The Karemma agree to leave and, after the lone Karemma departs in his shuttle, Thorus and Ramsey beam over to investigate. The Rio Grande has exterior damage and the navigation and weapon’s systems have been disabled and scavenged. The communication’s package is damaged and the internal logs and security recordings have been erased but they discover a recorded message from Quark saying that he has gotten passage on a Dosi vessel (the Acalia) and that if anyone from Starfleet wants to give him a lift back to the Alpha Quadrant he will tell them where Sisko, Dax, and O’Brien went. Thorus and Ramsey search the station’s logs and develop a rough timeline of other vessels’ arrivals and departures and learn that two different Jem’Hadar scout ships have docked here in the past two weeks. Rather than search for Quark, they begin searching for those scout ships.
They leave the relay station and find the scout ship from earlier on their long range sensors. As they approach the ship they are hailed despite cloaking the Valiant. They decloak after establishing that there are four life forms in the other ship and talk with a Vorta who is condescending and not at all forthcoming. When they have A’Tora join them on the bridge long enough to provide visual confirmation of the changeling’s presence, the Vorta reacts with horror and ends the conversation. They then engage in a ship to ship skirmish that ends with them disabling the scout ship and taking the Vorta hostage. He tells them that the rest of the Rio Grande’s crew were taken aboard the Tazeka and provides them coordinates to a patrol route where they can expect to find the Jem’Hadar vessel.