Captain Benjamin Sisko decides to retake Deep Space Nine in order to bolster sagging Federation morale. He plans a large force in order to do so but it will take some time. The Klingons are unwilling to commit a large force, so General Martok and Worf must leave to convince the High Council.
Rom faces execution for attempting to foil the plan to destroy the self-replicating mine-field. This field is the only thing keeping Dominion reinforcements from showing up through the wormhole. It will take about a week before the field can be eliminated.
While Kira and Quark work on a plan to warn the Federation of the pending destruction of the minefield, Jake reveals to them how he gets messages out: Morn. Morn delivers the message as he was going home to visit his mother. Sisko realizes he must take the station now, though his fleet is nowhere near large enough.
While all this is going on, Odo's loyalties become confused and Tora Ziyal, daughter of Gul Dukat becomes entangled in station politics and policy decisions.
With a fleet consisting of 600 vessels, Sisko arrives near Deep Space Nine facing a Cardassian-Dominion fleet of 1254 ships. He turns to his crew and says "There's an old saying: 'Fortune_favors_the_bold'. I guess we're about to find out." Operation Return has begun.