Julian Bashir reveals to Benjamin Sisko a confidence from O'Brien: that he went to New Sydney, not Earth, to look for the widow of an Orion Syndicate member named Bilby, whom he befriended while undercover. O'Brien felt some responsibility for Bilby's death while he was undercover in the Syndicate. Because Ezri Dax's family, the Tigans, live and own a mining operation near New Sydney, Sisko asks her to help find O'Brien.
Returning home, Ezri is reunited with her domineering mother, Yanas Tigan - a shrewd businesswoman - and her brothers Norvo and Janel, who work for the business. Yanas promises to look into the matter of O'Brien's disappearance, while criticizing Ezri's life choices. Ezri's brother Norvo is happy to see her, while her eldest brother Janel is bitter about her tendency to stay away from home. Janel mostly manages the technical aspects of the mine, while Norvo does the bookkeeping. Norvo has interests in painting, poetry and music, but is extremely self-critical of his work.
Ezri's visit allows her to catch up with Norvo, who is 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 in handcuffs, who's been rescued by the local police from a run-in with the Orion Syndicate, released to Dax's custody. Miles announces that he found Marieke Bilby - dead at the bottom of a river.
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.
O'Brien helps Janel fix some mining equipment, which has had inexplicable malfunctions lately. O'Brien thinks that the Orion Syndicate is intimidating the Tigans and tells Dax so. 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 Marieke 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 Marieke's murder.
Ezri orders O'Brien to withhold his findings from the police until she speaks with her family. Ezri confronts her family and Yanas suspects that it was Janel who killed the widow. Confronted with the truth, Janel admits that Marieke 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 Marieke. 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 Marieke tried to extort more money from the family. He tries to justify his action by saying that he was never trusted to make big decisions. As a result, Norvo is sentenced to 30 years in prison, while Yanas is left wondering what role she played in his downfall.