In early-2373, she commanded a unit of Jem'Hadar soldiers sent to rescue a wounded Founder from a Dominion ship that had crashed on Torga IV. After seeing the wreckage Captain Sisko and his crew attempted to secure it for themselves, unaware that a Founder was on board.
When Kilana and her unit arrived, they attacked Sisko's runabout, killing its crew and forcing the Starfleet away team to take refuge in the crashed ship. After making contact with Sisko, Kilana requested he give up the ship promising that no harm would come to him or his team, but he refused. Kilana used this meeting to allow a Jem'Hadar to secretly board the vessel, creating more distrust between her and Sisko.
After a series of attacks, Kilana asked for another meeting. She told Sisko that he could have the ship if he let her retrieve a hidden item on it. Sisko asked what it was, Kilana would not tell him since she didn't trust Sisko to bring her the item, and he did not believe that Kilana would give him the ship. He refused her request which resulted in further attacks. The Founder then died.
Kilana's Jem'Hadar soldiers, having failed to save the Founder, committed suicide soon after. Captain Sisko allowed her to remove a portion of the Founder's remains, remarking that if they had trusted each other, her soldiers, his crewmates and the Founder would still be alive. (DS9: "The Ship")
"Your photograph doesn't do you justice. You're quite striking in person."
"Look, I'm a little busy, so let's skip the flattery."
"Weyoun's report on you was right. You are direct. I like that."
- - Kilana and Benjamin Sisko
"It seems we're approaching an impasse."
"We've already arrived."
"How unfortunate. Then negotiations have ended."
- - Kilana and Benjamin Sisko, just before Kilana is beamed away
"Do you have any gods, Captain Sisko?"
"There are things I believe in."
"Duty? Starfleet? The Federation? You must be pleased with yourself. You have the ship to take back to them. I hope it was worth it."
"So do I."
- - Kilana and Benjamin Sisko
Kilana was played by actress Kaitlin Hopkins in her first of two Star Trek appearances. The costume (described as a "...cranberry colored blouse and skirt with a corduroy design on the abdomen, an uneven, pleated, floral pattern in several shades of blue on the collar...") as worn by Hopkins was later sold off in the It's A Wrap! sale and auction for $158.50, complete with faux jewelry. 
The script for "The Ship" describes Kilana as "empathetic and seductive; she is sincere, understanding and completely manipulative [...] a disquietingly attractive female Vorta with a drop-dead gorgeous body and intelligent eyes." 
In coming up with the character of Kilana, Producer Ira Steven Behr admitted that the production staff couldn't help but compare her to Jeffrey Combs' Weyoun, a character not yet "resurrected" after his initial appearance in "To the Death". It was Rick Berman who suggested the character be a female one. Actress Molly Hagan (Eris in "The Jem'Hadar") was first choice for the role but she was unavailable. As the producers sought an alternative, many of the actresses that auditioned had trouble getting the character right. "They tended to play it straight and obedient, or too strong," Behr said. "Kaitlin [Hopkins] gave it a very game try. She tried very hard." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 372))
Hopkins commented: "I remember I had to get up at 2 a.m. to arrive for a 4 a.m. call time. It took about three and half hours for them to get me into hair and makeup. Actually, after I was cast they had me come to the studio lot, and they spent an afternoon trying different wigs, and costume options and took tons of photos so the executives could decide which hairstyle and costume they felt would best define the first time we saw Kilana. Actually, if you go on my website, there are two photos taken while we were shooting, but if you look in my album called “Behind the Scenes,” there is a photo from that “test” day on the studio lot, and you can see the wig is very different than what ended up on the air. They ultimately decided that one was too severe and they wanted a softer, sexier look for her. It felt more… right, too. It allowed me to play a more-calculated character who was using her softness and vulnerability as a weapon to manipulate her prey. The “test” wig was so strong, more of a warrior look, and I don’t think I could have played those qualities as effectively. I just don’t think the Captain would have fallen for it if she was that steely-looking, if that makes sense. I would have played those scenes differently, more outwardly combative, not using her looks in as manipulative a way. I love the adjustments they made the wig that finally made it into the episode."
Hopkins added: "I remember was thinking, “Holy cow, I have some great dialogue as this character,” and frankly, when a character is that well defined in the text, it isn’t that hard. Your job becomes not to screw it up, and let the text do its job. Seriously, I still have that script. I kept it because if you’re a nerd like I am -- raised by a writer, and married to one too -- you look at the structure of the words on the page and it is so clear how to deliver the lines. The rhythm of how she spoke, versus how the Captain spoke, and how carefully she chose her words... She would think about everything before she spoke, never revealing anything, trying to read the Captain first before she made her next move. That was what I loved about playing that scene so much. There wasn’t a lot on the page, but they allowed for the scene to be played in behavior and reactions. It was like a beautifully structured tennis match. Often television, especially now, the scripts are written to do at a fast pace. Look at something like Scandal, as an example, which goes back to Aaron Sorkin and shows like The West Wing, and a fast-paced banter and characters who think on their feet. And yes, Star Trek certainly had a lot of action, too, but there was something really unique in all the Star Trek shows, that they had in common, and that was the negotiations, and taking the time to try to understand and read their opponent as the Enterprise and its crew determined their best move. It’s like a great chess game, and the tension of “The Ship” episode was incredible, watching and waiting for the next move on the board. Check, mate. I don’t feel like I can take a lot of credit for that; it was the writers. I guess the part I did well was being good at text and character analysis and being able to take what was on the page and play it. It was one of the best-written television scripts I even did." 
Hopkins enjoyed working with Avery Brooks: "Wow, well, I was young actress who had been raised in the theater, and there was this great actor who I knew his work in the theater outside of his success in television. It was incredible to work opposite him in those scenes. He has such incredible focus and plays strong intentions with high stakes. Nothing is ever causal in his work. I knew that going in and really took the time to study a few of the more-recent episodes in terms of style and tone, so I could match whatever he gave me in the scenes. I knew to hold my own with him, I was going to have to work hard on this character and be very specific with every word I said. I have to say, it was also a little intimidating to be (one of) the first female Vorta. I knew the network executives and creative team on the show, were extremely invested in everything being perfect when introducing a new character, so there was a pressure there to do it well. Even though I was a small part of the Star Trek legacy, I felt a responsibility to make sure I really fit into the world, if that makes sense. The acting style on the shows was so specific and you see that reflected in the number of actors who came from classical Shakespearean backgrounds. Anyway, it was an honor to work with Avery. He is a consummate professional, a gentleman and a great, great actor." 
Hopkins would have liked to have returned as the character: "Actually, to be honest, I would have loved to have explored Kilana more. I wish it had been a character that could come back. I would have loved to have played her for a longer period of time, there was so much to work with, and I felt like I really understood what made her tick." 
In his review of "The Ship", author Keith R.A. DeCandido wrote of the character, "Unlike the last female Vorta we saw, Kilana has the sex appeal turned up to 11: she’s wearing jewelry and makeup and her outfit emphasizes her cleavage. Her entire affect is obviously intended to play on stereotypes of male humans responding to weak and helpless females." 
In the Star Trek: Myriad Universes short story "Places of Exile" set in an alternate timeline, Kilana's clone and her Jem'Hadar are transported to the Delta Quadrant by the Caretaker, after which she attempts to rejoin the Dominion by returning to the Gamma Quadrant. In 2374, she is found by Kathryn Janeway and after a deal with the Voth proves unsuccessful, she finds herself trapped in fluidic space.