Relationships with the Dominion come under threat when Captain Knapp is accused of killing a Founder serving as an ambassador to the Federation, while on a mission to help learn more about the Grey. Commander Shelby is put in the uncomfortable position of acting as the prosecutor in the informal investigative hearing held aboard Deep Space 12.
Aris and Illiana are stunned when Kaz, Illiana's husband, arrives at the station, but he brings news of a massing Grey armada. As Starfleet prepares to intercept the threat, Captain Knapp is relieved of command of the Excelsior, while a Board of Inquiry prepares to judge his conduct regarding the damage Excelsior took while rescuing Traya during the events of HF 2.07 - "Fire In The Heart".
An Andorian crewmember is the only casualty when a conduit accidentally ruptures on the Excelsior. Radiation causes brain damage that results in a permanent case of clinical depression. While Henglaar looks into medical avenues to help the crewman and Counselor Elbrey does her best to keep him motivated, Captain Knapp also gets involved, lest the depression become too much and he becomes a danger to himself, and others around him.
Luko rescues Traya, a young girl who happens to be Captain Knapp's daughter, from an Orion Syndicate slave planet, but come under attack from a squadron of Grey attack fighter. Excelsior manages to fend of an attack, but suffers damage that makes them unable to jump to warp. Soon, they are easy pickings for another Grey attack, which leaves the ship disabled and the crew, scattered throughout, attempting to avert a series of calamities long enough to restore power before a Grey battleship can move in for the kill.
With the science mission on Ba'ku now under the control of Starfleet Medical, Ensign Artim Ibanya spends some time on Excelsior as he considers whenever to take a position on a science facility on Danula II. He tells Counselor Elbrey a tale of his life just before he went off to join the Academy, of how he became interested in Starfleet, met a young Lieutenant Jason Munoz, and foiled a plot of the Breen.