The episode continues the story that began in the finale of the sixth season, "Tears of the Prophets". Benjamin Sisko has taken extended leave on Earth, Kira Nerys is in charge of Deep Space Nine and Worf is still grieving for Jadzia.
While Sisko deals with his feelings of failure by visiting his father in New Orleans, Kira, newly promoted to the rank of Colonel, and Odo deal with life as normal on the station. The Defiant continues its assignment escorting cargo runs, but Nog, O'Brien and Bashir all notice that something is bothering Worf, beyond Jadzia's untimely demise at the hand of Gul Dukat. Kira is later called to a meeting with Admiral Ross, who compliments her on the running of the station since Sisko's departure. "I'm just keeping his seat warm," she reminds the Admiral, even though he himself is not sure when the Captain will return. He then informs the Bajoran that the Romulan Empire has been given permission to send a permanent delegation to the station, just as the Klingons have. The leader is one Senator Cretak, who is a staunch supporter of the Alliance between Romulus and the Federation, but Kira is not thrilled at this news. Ross ignores her dubious feelings, reminding her that he came as a courtesy, "The decision's already been made."
Back on Earth, a distant Sisko separates himself from his family, doing nothing but playing the piano in the restaurant his father Joseph owns. His son, Jake, is worried about his father's attitude, though Joseph realizes it will take time. As they talk, Sisko continues playing, until a baseball on the top of the piano rolls off and hits the floor. Sisko, stopping his playing, reaches for the ball, before changing his mind. As he pulls back though, he is suddenly pulled into one of the visions that he has been sent in the past by the Bajoran Prophets. In it, he sees himself in the desert on an alien world that he knows to be Tyree. He is digging frantically, before coming across a blanket buried in the sand. Slowly he pulls at it, only to reveal the hidden face of a woman, that he does not recognize. This snaps him out of the vision, where Jake, noticing his father's having stopped playing, quickly hurries over and asks what is wrong. Sisko explains about the vision. He confesses he has no idea who the woman is, but with a resolute determination he has not exhibited for months, he tells his son, "But I'm going to find out."
Back on the station Worf confides in O'Brian that he is worried Jadzia won't enter Klingon heaven, Sto'Vo'Kor, because she didn't die in battle and the only way to ensure her place in Sto'Vo'Kor is by winning a glorious battle in her name. General Martok tells Worf he needs a first officer for a very dangerous mission that will ensure Jadzia's place in Sto'Vo'Kor.
At the end of the episode, a young female Starfleet ensign, a Trill, enters and greets Sisko, who does not recognize her. She then introduces herself as "Dax".