In the previous episode, Damar had helped Ezri Dax and Worf escape execution on Cardassia Prime, while Anjohl Tennan (Dukat) had convinced Winn Adami to walk the path of the Pah-wraiths.
The Breen attack San Francisco. Starfleet Headquarters and the Golden Gate Bridge are damaged in the attack.
Solbor reluctantly brings Winn the book of the Kosst Amojan, but to her surprise, the pages of the book are blank. It isn't until Winn kills Solbor that his blood makes the text of the book visible.
In a major battle with the combined forces of the Breen, Cardassians and Jem'Hadar, the Federation alliance suffers one of its worst defeats of the war in orbit of Chin'toka. The USS Defiant is among the many ships destroyed, the result of a new weapon unleashed by the Breen - an energy-dampening beam that renders all weapons and drive systems powerless. Many escape pods soon eject from the Defiant and other ships as the Dominion forces retake Chin'toka. Weyoun wishes to destroy the pods, but the Female Changeling allows them to be rescued, reasoning that the survivors' reports will have a demoralizing effect on their comrades.
What could have been a Dominion juggernaut to victory is ground to a halt when DS9 intercepts a message from within Cardassian boundaries. It was Damar, who announces that Cardassia will revolt against the Dominion and initiates this action by destroying one of the Vorta cloning facilities - the one responsible for cloning Weyoun. While this would buy valuable time for the Federation alliance to regroup, Sisko realizes that they would have to contact Damar in order to achieve final victory.