Quark berates Broik for ordering five thousand wrappages of Cardassian yamok sauce, which, with the Cardassians off the station, is worse than worthless. Jake and Nog are playing cards at a table nearby, and Nog overhears the whole exchange, ignoring the game much to Jake’s frustration. As Quark leaves the room, Nog begins to form a scheme to make a few bars of latinum off his uncle’s misfortune, telling Jake his “ears are tingling.”
The crew in Ops is monitoring the moon’s activity while Minister Toran observes nervously. Major Kira assures him everyone is ready and leaves for a final inspection of the moon with Lieutenant Dax in the USS Ganges.
While Dax mentions that Morn had asked her out earlier, their scan reveals that there is a humanoid life-sign still on the planet, in spite of the fact that all the moon’s inhabitants were ordered to evacuate. Kira beams down to the surface to find out what is going on, and who is still on the moon. She is surprised to find herself threatened by a Bajoran man and woman holding farm implements.
An older Bajoran man comes out from the structure to talk to Kira, but tries to close the door on her when she approaches. She holds the door, determined to keep his attention. Assuming they were missed by the evacuation efforts, she tries to tell him he has to leave, but he ignores it, instead inviting her to dinner to stall her.
Meanwhile, Nog and Jake set out to find a buyer for five thousand wrappages of yamok sauce, but having very little luck finding one willing to pay latinum. They grudgingly settle for a hundred gross of self-sealing stem bolts, being sold by a Lissepian freighter captain because the Bajoran man who initially ordered them could not pay.
Back on Jeraddo, the old Bajoran begins preparing for dinner, and it will obviously take several hours. Kira tells Dax she will be delayed, content not to be seen as in a hurry. Along the way, the old man does his best to aggravate Kira into leaving, but she recognizes it. The man’s name is Mullibok, and he knows that the moon’s core is to be tapped and that the place will be uninhabitable soon. Mullibok has decided to stay even at the cost of his life.
Nog and Jake are now faced with the problem of obtaining Quark’s yamok sauce. Fortunately, Quark is so disgusted with the whole yamok sauce fiasco that he is happy to take Nog up on his offer to dispose of it by any means necessary. The kids’ plan is able to continue.
The old farmer tries to bore Kira into submission with the tall tale of how he got started farming on Jeraddo, careful to emphasize his treatment by the Cardassians. She indulgently listens to his story, though a little disbelieving at times. Later, as she begins to tell of her days in the Bajoran Resistance, she realizes she is forced to admit that she survived by hanging on like fanatics, just as Mullibok is doing. Mullibok’s mind is made up; he will not leave his home, no matter the consequence.
In a cargo bay, Jake and Nog inspect their new acquisition: one hundred gross of top-quality self-sealing stem bolts. Just then, Chief O’Brien enters the cargo bay to tell them to warn Quark about bypassing the station’s proper import procedures. He begins to ask a lot of questions about why Quark needs so many self-sealing stem bolts, but fortunately he doesn’t dig too deep. It does, however, seem that O’Brien, along with Jake and Nog, has absolutely no idea whatsoever as to what self-sealing stem bolts are, what they are for, what they do, or why anyone would want them. However, the original Bajoran who wanted them must know what they’re used for, so Jake and Nog set out to find this person and possibly sell them back to the individual. Jake scans the container and discovers the man’s name is Sirco Ch’Ano.
Kira returns to the station, and tries to convince Toran to give her time to persuade Mullibok and his friends that they have to leave, but Totan refuses. If Mulibok doesn’t leave the moon, the project will go ahead anyway. Furthermore, Toran refuses Kira’s suggestion of phased energy retrieval, which will allow the people to stay on the planet, but with a much longer time frame to obtain the energy. Kira is forced to return to the moon to remove Mullibok against his will, by force if necessary. The situation erupts into violence when Mullibok’s friends attack a member of Kira’s team. Enraged that his friends are being removed by force, Mullibok attacks one of the security officers and is accidentally shot. Kira rushes to Mullibok’s side and yells at one of the officers to contact Dr. Bashir to come to Jeraddo and provide medical assistance.
Back on Deep Space 9, Jake and Nog open communications with Sirco Ch’Ano, the original buyer of the stem bolts, under the name “The Noh-Jay Consortium.” They offer to sell him the merchandise for five bars of gold-pressed latinum, but he cannot pay four, or even three bars. If he’d had latinum, he could have bought the stem bolts outright. He cannot pay even one bar of latinum, but offers a trade (a less than appealing offer, from Jake and Nog’s point of view). The offer is seven tessipates of land on Bajor. Nog is getting impatient; he wants latinum, and he wants it now. Jake, however, is convinced that they should take the land. With no real alternatives, they accept the land. Nog remains skeptical, but Jake is sure it will work out.
On Jerrado, Mullibok has survived. Dr. Bashir is treating him in his house, and informs him that his friends have been evacuated to Bajor. Bashir wants to take Mullibok back to DS9 for observation, but the farmer is adamant – he will not leave. Bashir tells Kira that he will take Mullibok back without his consent; he is injured and needs to be cared for. Kira has another idea. She will stay with Mullibok and take care of his needs. Without another word, she resumes Mullibok’s chores, building a kiln he has been working on for some time. Bashir reports back to Sisko, who, while unsure of Kira’s intentions, decides to allow the situation to continue for the time being. He visits Kira on Jerrado, and discusses with her about her discomfort with the current situation. She was accustomed to being the underdog, fighting against impossible odds; now she is on the other side, and she hates herself for it, finding it awful. Sisko reassures her that she is on the right side, that Bajor needs people like her, and leaves her to decide how to best handle the situation.
Jake and Nog have still not managed to sell their newly acquired land. Nog is upset, he thinks the bolts were better than the land; Jake takes the opposite stance: he is certain that land is better than bolts. As they continue their tense and joyless card game, Quark and Odo enter the room, talking about a mysterious new business group: the Noh-Jay Consortium. Quark claims never to have heard of them, but Odo was contacted by someone in the Bajoran government planning to build on a strip of land owned by four different parties. Three have agreed to sell, but this fourth one cannot be contacted. Jake’s and Nog’s ears prick up; the government can’t build unless they agree to sell their land. Finally, the land they worked so hard to get is worth something. Quark, intent on getting in on this wonderful opportunity for profit, barely notices as Nog approaches him. Nog proposes a deal to Quark, who, certain that his nephew is just being a bother, dismisses him out-of-hand, until it dawns on him that “Noh-Jay” is indeed Nog and Jake.
Mullibok becomes bedridden and, having had a bad dream, wakes up to Kira taking care of him. She keeps his temperature, and tries to sleep. Soon recovering enough to complete work on his kiln, he gets up while she sleeps. Kira comes out to help him finish, but then, as the old man fires it up, she goes back inside and comes out with her bags packed, along with Mullibok’s. Kira says she could use a friend on Bajor and she’d like it to be him. He tells her that, as long as that cottage is standing, he will not leave. In response, she fires her weapon at the kiln, destroying it, and sets fire to his cottage. She tells him it is time to move on. Mullibok is devastated. He asks Kira to kill him as well; he is convinced he cannot leave, but there is nothing left on Jeraddo for him now. He says if he leaves Jerrado, he will die. Kira responds, “No, you won’t; I won’t let you” and signals the crew to beam them both up.