In the previous episode, Kira Nerys, Odo and Garak went to Cardassia to help Damar in his rebellion against the Dominion, while Bashir tried in vain to find a cure for Odo's illness.
Worf suspects that Gowron's new military strategies are meant to humiliate Martok, with no thought of the consequences for the Klingon Empire as a whole. He urges Martok to challenge Gowron, but Martok refuses to even talk about it.
Garak tells Kira that Odo has been hiding the true extent of his illness; Kira says she knew but wants to let Odo put on a brave front. They go with Damar to a Jem'Hadar shipyard with the intent of stealing the Breen energy dampening weapon. En route, Damar receives word that his family was captured and executed by the Dominion. Kira responds to his outrage at the slaughter of innocent civilians by reminding him that the Cardassians did exactly the same thing during their occupation of Bajor, but after Damar leaves she retracts her statement. Garak points out that Damar still has a romanticism about the past, and this incident along with her words may be what Damar needs to renounce those views and focus on freeing Cardassia from the Dominion. On board a Jem'Hadar ship Odo takes the form of the female changeling, complete with skin damage, and - despite a delay - they successfully steal a ship equipped with the Breen weapon. In the process, Rusot, Damar's friend and second in command, tries to convince Damar to take the weapon for themselves and not give it to the Federation. Damar is forced to kill Rusot, giving up his vision of restoring the old Cardassia and instead aiding the Federation in the hope of creating a better one. As the weapon is installed, the rebels depart the station and head for Federation space.
Miles O'Brien suggests to Julian Bashir that he announce that he has found a cure to the changelings' illness as a way to lure someone from Section 31 to DS9.
Worf discusses Gowron's actions with Ezri, who points out that when men as honorable as Martok and Worf knowingly allow corruption at the highest levels, there is no hope for the empire as a whole. Worf muses on this during a High Council meeting in which Gowron presents a suicidal plan of attack against the Dominion. Worf challenges Gowron to a duel and kills him in honorable combat. By Klingon law, this makes Worf the new Chancellor, but Worf refuses the robe of office and hands it to Martok instead.