There's a new player on the Promenade, a Ferengi shop-owner named Bokat. His Games Bazaar specializes in hard-to-find virtual reality computer games. He approaches Jake Sisko and Nog with a tempting offer to play a hot new game called the Zhodran Crystal Quest. No non-Zhodran player has ever won this game, but then Jake and Nog have the best scores on all the other games at the Games Bazaar. And Bokat is willing to bet on their ability to win the game, and, as a result, win Bokat a lucrative business deal with the Zhodrans.
But soon, kids all over the station are falling into comas, their minds trapped in an ever-changing game. Suddenly, it's up to Jake to go "into" the game and rescue them. If he wins, so does the Federation. If he loses, he'll be trapped forever in a deadly game with a very real Borg.