In preparation for the major attack the Alliance is about to undertake, Knapp promotes Naros to the command of the USS Helena, while taking command of the fleet itself from Excelsior. Realising Siroc may try anything to get to the Grey Dyson Sphere, Naros realises not only is he a target, but so are Elbrey and Artim, while Shelby works on making sure her senior staff deal with the raw emotion of the loss of one of their own. Meanwhile, Siroc sets his own plan in motion to disrupt the incoming attack forces.
To better understand the tetrahedrons operation, an interrogation of the Orion Syndicate pirate Mason is conducted. When he reveals the location of another tetrahedron key, a mission is set up to retrieve it, with his help. But one of the officers will not return, and the others will be left reeling at the loss of one of their own. Shelby encounters a few ghosts of her own, when assigned to assist a Romulan fleet make the necessary adjustments to traverse the Patch, and runs into her former lover, Captain Mackenzie Calhoun.
The Tholians make their move: Siroc tests a new weapon against Starfleet, while the largest meeting of Alpha Quadrant powers since the Dominion War is not going so well. They know they need to band together against the Tholians but the Federation is keeping secrets from its allies. The illegally joined Trill, Zen, has difficulty with his symbiont while the first-ever portrayed Tellarite Captain faces down the Tholians' deadly weapon.
Myra Elbrey hesitantly welcomes a former student of hers to Excelsior, when Milo Surgant arrives to act as a translator for the Horta exogeologist Lt. Pergium arrives to make some headway on the studies of the Ba’ku tetrahedron. But as the mission preparations begin, she realises that her old fears of him abusing his Betazoid talents may still hold true. When she is telepathically attacked in an act of revenge, Henglaar finally begins to understand the depth of his feelings for her.