Bashir and O'Brien have been too busy on the holosuite to tidy up O'Brien's quarters for Keiko's return. Keiko arrives back on the station and announces she's pregnant. O'Brien seems less than excited.
Meanwhile, a Bajoran Vedek visits ops along with a young Bajoran couple who wants to get the Emissary's blessing. Apparently Sisko's accent is getting better. Finally they're interrupted by a 300-year-old Bajoran ship (with one passenger) floating out of the wormhole. Said passenger, once they get him into the infirmary, claims to be the Emissary.
He says his ship was caught in an ion storm and he ended up in the wormhole talking to the aliens. They establish he left Bajor over 200 years ago. Kira realises he's Akorem Laan, a great historical poet, and fills him in on past history. Sisko believes that Akorem is the one meant to be the Emissary and intends to step aside.
Bashir takes O'Brien for a celebratory drink. Which leads to more comedy moments with Quark. And Worf comes in to provide more comedy. O'Brien confesses that now Molly is older, he'd expected to be able to spend more time with Keiko.
Akorem gives his first speech as Emissary and it's about returning to the old ways, with a strict caste system where one's caste determines their occupation. Odo observes that Kira doesn't look exactly thrilled at the idea. Sisko has a chat with Akorem and Vedek Porta, who think that legal measures may be able to be introduced to punish those who don't follow their D'jarra.
Kira is disturbed when someone with a lower-ranking B'jarra gives up a seat for her, but tells Sisko it's not her place to question the Emissary. That night, Sisko has a vision from the Prophets. Who are as vague and lacking in point as usual.
Bashir says it's a hallucination caused by exposure to the Bajoran Orbs, and gives him an injection.
Kira, meanwhile, is discovering she's no artist through empirical experimentation. She complains to Vedek Porta, who tells her to keep at it. Sisko's a bit annoyed because it's looking less likely Bajor will join the Federation. Also Kira says she's resigning so she can follow her D'jarra and makes a suggestion for a new first officer. Sisko is even more unhappy.
O'Brien finds Bashir in Quark's bar, playing darts with Morn, and they commiserate over loss of the old times.
Sisko's called to the Promenade to find someone's been killed. Porta admits that he killed the man because his D'jarra was unclean. Sisko talks to Akorem who still believes he's doing the right thing. Sisko challenges his claim to be Emissary. He proposes they enter the wormhole and ask the Prophets.
Once entering the wormhole, they slow to a halt and wait. Soon enough, the Prophets "appear" and reveal that they brought Akorem into the future for Sisko. Sisko suggests that they send Akorem back to his own time, which they do. Sisko optimistically hangs around for more answers, but doesn't really get any.
Keiko observes O'Brien moping around the quarters and suggests he goes play with Bashir.
Sisko's made a speech setting Bajor back on track. Kira's confused that she remembers one of Akorem's poem's as being unfinished - she only remembers the old timeline. Also Sisko now seems to have embraced his Emissary-ness.