A secret message is intercepted and delivered to Sisko. The few Maquis terrorists who have not been wiped out by the Dominion have initiated a massive retaliatory strike against Cardassia, launching a series of cloaked missiles due to arrive in eleven days. Now that Cardassia is under Dominion protection, an all-out war is likely unless the undetectable missiles are stopped. Seeing no alternative, Sisko goes to Michael Eddington, the former Starfleet officer-turned-Maquis leader, now in prison. Eddington refuses to tell Sisko how to stop the missiles, so Sisko takes the handcuffed Eddington to compel him to help.
Approaching the area where the secret Maquis launch site is hidden, Sisko forces Eddington to avoid two pursuing Jem'Hadar warships. Eddington tells Sisko that he will direct him to the secret location - the only place where the missiles can be deactivated. Afterward, however, he intends to kill Sisko.
The Jem'Hadar warships return, forcing Eddington to try a different, more dangerous plan - risking Sisko's life. But it works, although Sisko is injured - and angered - in the process. They soon arrive at Athos IV, a tiny, fog-bound planet where the launch site is hidden. Landing on the planet, they head for the location - only to come face to face with two Jem'Hadar soldiers
Sisko and Eddington kill the soldiers, but realize the place will soon be crawling with them. They finally reach the command center and enter the building. Sisko is surprised to find a dozen Maquis prisoners, including the woman who sent the original message announcing the missile launch. Eddington introduces the woman, Rebecca, as his wife.
Eddington reveals to Sisko that there are no missiles at all - Rebecca sent the message to let Eddington know they had safely escaped the Dominion and arrived at Athos IV. Eddington knew he would need Sisko's help to evacuate them, and tricked him in order to reach the location. Unfortunately, the Jem'Hadar found the site first. Sisko is angry but relieved. He and Eddington fight off the Jem'Hadar while directing the prisoners toward the runabout, but Eddington is shot. Forcing Sisko and the others to escape without him, Eddington is killed while valiantly battling the soldiers.