Kai Winn visits Major Kira to ask her help in settling a dispute. Rakantha Province on Bajor needs soil reclamators for the start of their growing season so that they are able to start producing exportable foodstuffs that will gain them support for admission into the Federation. However, the reclamators are being held by Kira's old Bajoran cell leader during the Cardassian Occupation, Shakaar, for use on the soil in Dahkur Province.
When the Cardassian occupation of Bajor ended in 2369, the mining space station Terok Nor was left abandoned, its systems ripped out. By invitation of the Bajoran provisional government, Starfleet stepped in to oversee the rebuilding and day-to-day operations of the newly christened Deep Space Nine.
The years of Starfleet's nonintervention into Cardassian matters, however, had taken its toll on relations with the Bajorans. Consequently, Starfleet's position was a tenuous one; many Bajorans, suspicious and hostile as a result of decades of Cardassian oppression and brutality, did not greet the Federation's presence with open arms. The Federation's assistance is put to the test as DS9 becomes a center of travel and commerce that stretches into the Gamma Quadrant.