The Grand Nagus calls with news that Quark's mother, Ishka, has been captured by the Dominion. He enlists Quark to rescue her, offering a substantial reward if he succeeds. Quark persuades Rom to join the mission to save their mother, telling him that they will lie about the reward in order to keep most for themselves. The two then recruit Nog for his Starfleet expertise, while fellow Ferengis Leck, Gaila and Brunt form the rest of the team.
While running battle simulations in the holosuites, Quark realizes they have no hope of taking back Ishka by force. Rom suggests doing what Ferengis do best — making a deal. With Sisko's blessing, Quark obtains the release of a Vorta, Keevan, from prison, and makes a deal with the Dominion to exchange him for Ishka. The team heads to Empok Nor, a deserted Cardassian space station, to make the exchange, but Keevan warns them that the Dominion intends to kill him, and will no doubt kill the Ferengi team as well.
At the station, Gaila falls asleep while he is supposed to be guarding their prisoner, and Keevan escapes. Luckily, Quark had Rom disable the ship's engines in anticipation of such a problem, so the group is able to apprehend Keevan. When they return to their base camp, dozens of Jem'Hadar soldiers are waiting for them.
Quark meets with Yelgrun, the Vorta who is holding Ishka prisoner. Yelgrun asks for Keevan, but instead of making the exchange, Quark responds with a list of demands designed to ensure his group's — and his mother's — safety. After some initial reservations, Yelgrun gives in, and he and Quark agree to exchange prisoners in a half hour. Quark goes back to complete the final preparations, but Rom accidentally reveals to the rest of the group that he and Quark are withholding some of the reward money. A fight ensues, and Keevan — their bargaining chip — is mistakenly killed.
Unwilling to leave without Ishka, Nog engineers a desperate solution — wiring Keevan with neural stimulators so it will look as if he's still alive. When the sides exchange their prisoners, sending each to walk toward the other group, Yelgrun immediately senses something is wrong. However, by the time he calls for his guards to attack, the rest of the Ferengi team arrives and kills them. The group heads back to Deep Space Nine with Yelgrun as their prisoner, Ishka free, and Quark a hero.