Sisko is furious when he learns O'Brien has vanished while on a secret trip to New Sydney, where he was searching for the widow of a criminal named Bilby, whom he befriended while undercover. Because Ezri's family owns a mining operation in the system, Sisko asks her to help find O'Brien. Ezri returns home, where she's reunited with her domineering mother, Yanas Tigan — a shrewd businesswoman — and her brothers Norvo and Janel, who work for the business.

Ezri's visit allows her to catch up with Norvo, a sensitive artist unsuited for the mines and ruled by his mother's iron hand. Ezri's heated criticism of Yanas' tyrannical treatment of Norvo is cut short by the arrival of O'Brien, who's been rescued by the local police from a run-in with the Orion Syndicate, of which Bilby was an operative. He announces that he found Morica Bilby — dead.

O'Brien contends that Bilby's wife was killed by the Syndicate, a theory dismissed by a police lieutenant who insists that the criminals would never murder the widow of one of their own. Later, a self-described "commodities broker" named Bokar sees O'Brien in the mines and warns Janel that O'Brien's life will be in danger if he doesn't leave immediately.

Sensing Bokar may be a member of the Syndicate, O'Brien acquires Ezri's permission to check the mining company's financial records. He's stunned to learn that Morica Bilby was on the Tigan payroll at the time of her death — a fact which links the Syndicate to Ezri's family. O'Brien informs a disbelieving Ezri that someone close to her may be involved in Morica's murder.

Ezri orders O'Brien to withhold his findings from the police until she speaks with her family. Confronted with the truth, Janel admits that Morica was on the payroll as a favor to Bokar and the Syndicate, which bailed the mining company out of a financial crisis, but he denies killing Morica. Angered that her son struck such a corrupt deal behind her back, Yanas doubts his innocence. To everyone's surprise, Norvo confesses, saying he took action after Morica tried to extort more money from the family. As a result, Norvo is sentenced to 30 years in prison, while Yanas is left wondering what role she played in his downfall.