The book begins with Ro Laren, former Enterprise crew member turned Maquis officer taking command of a ship in the hopes of heading to Federation lines to safety. But they soon run into trouble when they are attacked by Jem'Hadar attack craft. Another Starfleet ship, the Aurora comes to assist, but it is no use. Both ships send distress calls, and one ship comes to their aid: the Enterprise.
As this is happening, in a distant galaxy, another former Enterprise crewman witnesses the destruction of a Cardassian mining craft as he is herded onto a Dominion space station. The space station not only houses prisoners of war, but also serves as a base of operations as the Dominion attempts to construct an artificial wormhole. Sam Lavelle finds Taurik, yet another former crewman also being herded into the station up to the male prisoners compound. Upon entering, Sam is berated for agreeing to be the Liaison Officer of their pod, but he is "rescued" by the call of the Vorta in command of the station, and upon entering a ball, is confronted by a Founder, with the message that he is to be given command of a ship. On his crew are Taurik, and the mastermind of the whole wormhole operation, Enrak Grof, a Trill who values his work over alliances.
The Enterprise enters the battle, and rescues the Bajoran transport, but unfortunately the Aurora is destroyed in the battle. CaptainJean-Luc Picard learns of the wormhole's construction, and prepares to take Laren, Chief Engineer Geordi LaForge, and a small crew in an attempt to destroy it. The crew disembarks, and after some run ins with Cardassians, Jem'Hadar, Ferengi and Romulans, they reach the wormhole, and using a tractor beam, they attempt to send thousands of small asteroids careening into it, but decide to instead destroy the mining craft and apparently halt any chance of completing the wormhole. They prepare to fire, but learn that the craft is actually full of Federation prisoners. They save the prisoners and destroy the craft. But returning home, they learn from Grof that their ship wasn't the only one sent to mine the metal, meaning that the wormhole still could be completed.