Traveling in a crippled Jem'Hadar warship, Sisko and his crew enter an uncharted nebula. They crash in the ocean of a desolate planet, and Dax is seriously wounded. Bashir stabilizes Dax's condition, after which the group takes shelter in a cave. Later, while Garak and Nog are searching for food and water, they are captured by Jem'Hadar soldiers who also crashed on the barren world.
Garak and Nog are taken to Keevan, the badly wounded Vorta leader of the stranded Jem'Hadar. When Garak reveals there is a doctor in their group, Keevan orders his soldiers, led by Remata'Klan, to locate the Starfleet unit without engaging them in battle. Meanwhile, Sisko and the crew try to locate their missing comrades. They are spotted by the Jem'Hadar who, ignoring Keevan's instructions, open fire.
Remata'Klan frantically orders his soldiers to lower their weapons. The Jem'Hadar retreat, and Keevan gives Remata'Klan a new mission. Soon afterward, he arrives at the Starfleet camp and reveals to Sisko that Garak and Nog are being held as prisoners. Keevan wants to trade them for Sisko and Bashir, and after Remata'Klan gives his word that no one will be harmed, Sisko agrees.
Sisko and Bashir soon learn that they were summoned to save Keevan's life. Once the Vorta's condition improves, he reveals that his Jem'Hadar group has been marooned. Unfortunately, he has only one vial of ketracel-white, the drug used to control the Jem'Hadar, left to give them. The soldiers are already suffering from withdrawal, and once the drug is completely gone, they will go insane and kill everyone. To stop this, he will order his troops to attack the Starfleet base camp — but will provide Sisko with their plans. This will enable the Jem'Hadar to be ambushed and killed, Keevan to surrender and O'Brien to repair Keevan's communication system. Sisko is disgusted that Keevan will turn against his men to save himself, but sees no other choice.
At dawn, Remata'Klan and his men are trapped by the Starfleet crew, but Sisko offers to help the group escape. Remata'Klan refuses to surrender, explaining that as a Jem'Hadar he has no choice but to follow Keevan's command. Sadly, Sisko orders his crew to proceed, and the Jem'Hadar troops are massacred. The communication equipment is repaired, and Worf answers their call for help.