Dax, Rom, and O'Brien hatch a plan to fill the wormhole entrance with self-replicating mines, but the entire minefield must be in place before it can be activated. This means the plan is likely to be detected, and the Defiant attacked, before the minefield is ready. When Sisko reveals that Starfleet cannot send reinforcements, the crew realizes the station may be lost. Shortly after Dax and O'Brien set off to deploy the minefield, Weyoun, the Dominion representative, arrives with a warning that they will take over the station unless Sisko removes the mines.
Refusing to back down, Sisko alerts the crew to the Dominion's impending attack. He asks General Martok to patrol the border and informs Kira he will endorse the non-aggression pact the Dominion proposed to Bajor, hopefully ensuring the planet's survival. After hurriedly marrying Rom and Leeta, Sisko is notified by Martok that the Dominion force should arrive within the hour.
The station is evacuated while Sisko, his officers, and a few others remain behind. As the battle begins, they fight the Jem'Hadar from the station while Martok and his troops protect the Defiant, allowing Dax and O'Brien time to finish the minefield. With the Dominion continuing to bear down, Sisko orders all remaining Starfleet personnel to evacuate.
Sisko addresses Kira, Odo, Quark, Rom, Morn, and the few others who will remain behind, promising to fight until he can return to the station. He also reveals that while they were keeping the Dominion occupied, the rest of the Federation fleet was destroying Dominion shipyards in Cardassian space. Preparing for a rendezvous with a Federation task force and a final battle with the Dominion, Sisko joins his crew and departs in the Defiant. Unfortunately he must leave without Jake, who secretly arranged to remain behind and report on the imminent events. Back on DS9, Kira, Odo, and their remaining comrades disable the station before surrendering their home to Gul Dukat and the Dominion.