Quark's bar is oddly deserted when Dax, Kira and Worf arrive. O'Brien and Nog are repairing a conduit loudly which has chased off all the customers. The trio head for the Klingon restaurant. Unfortunately O'Brien discovers that the repair is impossible because they don't have the parts. He suggests that they send a salvage team to an abandoned Cardassian station, though Odo says the Cardassians typically booby trap their abandoned stations. Garak is bribed to come along. The rest of the red shirts discuss what they've gotten themselves in for. Nog turns up with a large gun.
Garak and Nog play Risk, and Garak's interested in playing against O'Brien. A redshirt gives O'Brien a list of things they need, which apparently includes some Cardassian emblems - he's a bit of a collector. They reach Empok Nor, and Garak goes aboard to disarm the booby traps in the air lock. Unfortunately his activity also activates a stasis pod containing a Cardassian. The salvage team splits up into groups. Remember, at least one red shirt per group!
Garak and a Bolian red shirt find the stasis pods, one of which is broken and contains a corpse. Garak observes that the other two tubes are open. Meanwhile, Nog heads back to the runabout for a tool, and Garak calls O'Brien down to the infirmary to look at the pods. Nog is in time to see the runabout drifting away from the station and exploding. Whups.
The team regroups in the infirmary to discuss how doomed they are. The conclusion is "very". At least they have an adequate supply of red shirts. O'Brien comes up with a plan to use the deflector to send a signal to DS9. They split up again to make it easier for the Cardassians to pick them off. Garak wonders what's so important about the station that they left three Cardassians in stasis to guard it. One of said Cardassians stalks Nog for a few minutes before the Ferengi returns to O'Brien.
Two of the red shirts have a jumpy moment with a lift. After they split up, the Cardassians pick them off. O'Brien and co arrive to find their corpses. Alas, poor red shirts. O'Brien says he'll continue the work. Garak wants to go kill the Cardassians and invites O'Brien along. O'Brien turns him down, and sends the other two red shirts elsewhere for some other
Garak swiftly lures and kills one of the Cardassians. He rejoins Nog and O'Brien, reporting that the Cardassian was under the influence of a psychotropic drug designed to make him more aggressive. O'Brien observes that Garak "looks different".
The other Cardassian stalks the remaining red shirts, killing one of them. However Garak kills the soldier before it can eliminate the other red shirt. Then Garak kills the last red shirt. Go ahead, dude, that's what they're there for.
O'Brien finishes his work and is strangely surprised when the red shirts don't answer. He finds one of them dying, and is told the wound was inflicted by Garak. O'Brien and Nog go to find Garak. O'Brien realises that he must have been exposed to the drug and switches to soldier mode. Garak's found a Risk game board and starts rambling over the comms system. They track him to Ops, where he splits them up and attacks Nog. With O'Brien trapped in the commander's office, Garak holds Nog hostage.
Released from the office, O'Brien tries to talk Garak into standing down, but the Cardassian's more interested in talking about one of O'Brien's experiences as a soldier. They agree to meet on the Promenade. There, O'Brien finds the dead red shirts strung up and Garak still aiming a gun at Nog. O'Brien puts his guns and tricorder down. Garak does likewise, and they engage in fisticuffs. Garak wins, but then O'Brien detonates the tricorder, knocking Garak on his arse.
Back to DS9, where Bashir treats Garak for the drug. O'Brien chats with Garak, who asks him to convey his condolences to the wife of the red shirt he killed.