Major Kira is shocked to find out that Dukat will be captaining the freighter transporting her to a conference regarding the Klingon Empire. Dukat was recently stripped of his rank and title because of the revelations surrounding his daughter, Ziyal, and he now works in a dreary job flying an unremarkable trading ship.
When they arrive they find the conference site obliterated, and a Klingon Bird of Prey leaving the area, not even bothering to attack what it considers a lowly freighter. Kira suggests that they adapt the planet's defences for use on the freighter, and then they head after the Bird of Prey. They soon find it, and after tricking the Bird of Prey into thinking they are carrying valuable cargo, uses its new weaponry to cripple the Klingon vessel. After commandeering the Bird of Prey and transporting the Klingons to the freighter, Dukat mercilessly destroys the freighter. Hoping that the capture of the Klingon ship would regain some respect, and spur the Cardassians into fighting the Klingons, Dukat is disgusted by the apparent wishes of his superiors to reach a peaceful solution to the problem instead.
Dukat vows to fight the whole Klingon Empire if he has to, and offers Kira a place on his crew. She declines, taking Ziyal back to Deep Space Nine with her until Dukat's personal war is over.