Jek'Kralija comes of age, and leaves to find her people...
Things on the USS Admonitor are starting to simmer down, though not entirely. Dauk-Dauk is now trying his hand as the chef, to make amends for the loss of the replicators. He makes food for everyone, but Lianna Young, Nox and Jek'Kralija don't eat anything of what he gives them; both Young and Nox agreeing that poison might not be fully beneath him, whereas Jek doesn't eat. Right now, they are here in the Mess hall because Jek'Kralija has questions to ask of the captain.
She has spent the last four days (basically her entire maturation) on the Enterprise-C, learning what she can from Dr. Boreas, and what they have updated from the Federation's files when they stopped at Earth, but there is much that she doesn't quite know yet, mostly in regards to her own people, whom she's never met. She asks permission to leave the USS Admonitor in order to find her own people. Lianna Young says that, since Jek is not a crew member, she is not obligated to ask permission to leave; Young grants Jek her request and bids her godspeed.
As Jek is on her way to the shuttle-bay, she is met with by Pur'vawki, who asks if she can go with her on her quest. Jek says that, in regards to what happened recently, she is doubtless that any of the Civilian Crew will be anything more than a hindrance. Pur' gets offended, and this causes Jek to cave in and allow her to accompany her.
At the shuttle-bay, they find one that is prepared for launch. Alaxim Boreas walks forward, saying that he readied the shuttle since he's going with them. Jek tries to object, but Boreas says that he's already got permission from Captain Shield, and, since she is like a daughter to him, he feels obligated to stand by her at this time.
The shuttle-pod is dropped off near the Bajoran Wormhole, the entrance into the Gamma Quadrant. Upon entry, they soon discover that they are not alone. The being known only as "Tosk" has stowed onboard the shuttle-craft. They object to him being here, but he says that he must, because it is his duty to do so. Suddenly afterwards, Pur'vawki becomes increasingly uneasy and keeps making side-ways glances at "Tosk".
The shuttle-pod lands on a world where Jek finds life-signs similar to her own. Despite Boreas' warning that she might not like what she sees, she goes down anyway. While the group is on the planet, "Tosk" keeps getting lost and is agitated when they find him again. Boreas warns that he might be killed, after which a voice says that "his kind" would want it. They find themselves surrounded by a cadre of Jem'Hadar, who take them prisoner.
They are taken to a rural native village under control of the Jem'Hadar. A highly sophisticated citadel lies in the center, into which they are taken. Once in, they are brought before Ajam, the Vorta task-master in charge of the citadel. He first starts with Tusja, whom he says should be pleased to know that the "Hunters" will be on their way. Pur'vawki, thinking he means the Federation, asks them to hide them. But Ajam tells her that it is not the Federation of which he speaks, but the "Hunters", who raise Tosk for hunting purposes. She says that he's not a test-subject, since he has been with them since 2344. Ajam states that she is deceived, since this Tosk was bred in the late-24th century and was sent into the Alpha Quadrant in order to provide the "Hunters" with a worthy hunt. Ajam says that he was blessed by the Founders with gifts beyond their imagination, after which he says that they are his prisoners and orders them taken to the prison cell...all but Jek'Kralija.
Ajam tells Jek'Kralija that he doesn't recall ever seeing "him" before. He orders "him" to the camp to keep guard. But just a moment afterwards, as soon as she speaks, he discovers that she is a female. He suddenly becomes uneasy and orders her to camp before he has her "ketracel" supply cut. She knows not of what he speaks, and tries to ask him some of the burning questions on her mind, but he leaves afterward.
Jek'Kralija tries to make her way to the prison, but is caught in a regiment of Jem'Hadar, who mistake her as one of their own and take her into the village. While there, she learns about the violent, short lives of her people, who are not a real species of their own but a race of genetically-created beings with only one goal: to serve the Founders.
She is upset over this, and believes that her people deserve to be a free race of their own. Upon hearing this, some of the older Jem'Hadar take her to the eldest one, aged 37, who is dying. He tells her that she is unique to his race since, because they are genetically-created and not a true race, there are no Jem'Hadar females. He further says that, if she exists, that means the will of the Founders is not ultimate since their will has been broken in that a female Jem'Hadar came into existence. He says that they sent many of his people to their deaths in a fruitless war against the Federation, during which he dreamed that one would come to save his people from the Founders and give them a destiny of their own. With his last dying breath, he asks her to save "our" people before it is too late.
Meanwhile, Alaxim Boreas and Pur'vawki have broken out of their holding cell and are trying to make their way back to the shuttle, when they see another ship land in that area. The "Hunters" then appear, who destroy the shuttle and kill "Tosk", who accepts it with a disturbing look of fulfillment. Without their ship, they are stranded here.
Pur'vawki then attacks the "Hunters", but is taken captive after she takes down only three of them. Alaxim Boreas attacks the "Hunters" from behind, and, working together, they subdue the "Hunters" and take their ship. Once onboard, Pur'vawki tries to figure out how the ship works. Boreas says that they have to go back and rescue Jek.
Meanwhile, Jek has been brought before Ajam again. He says that he has received word from the Founders that she is to be executed at once, since she is viewed by the Founders as nothing more than a "defective tool, a misshapen creation." Jek becomes angry and condemns the Founders as being tyrants, since they create the Jem'Hadar and use them only as tools. Ajem says that the Founders are gods, and their will is absolute law. He further reminds her that the shuttle she came in belonged to the Federation, which can't force its will on others, especially the Dominion.
Jek'Kralija tells Ajam that she's not part of the Federation, and defies the Dominion by saying that her people deserve to be freed, as do the Vorta. Ajam is angered and orders her killed on the spot.
But before that can occur, the citadel is rocked by an explosion. The "Hunter" vessel blasts open an entire side of the building and flies inside. Alaxim Boreas is beamed out and rescues Jek, after which the ship leaves the system for the wormhole.
En route, Jek'Kralija relates to Boreas what she saw happen to her people, and about the "prophecy." He says that she is not bound to do anything, but will fulfill the prophecy if she chose to act in accordance to it. Furthermore, he reminds her of the gravity of her situation and what it could do to her if she chose to act. But she refuses to ignore her peoples' plight and therefore accepts her new-found role as the savior of the Jem'Hadar.