Vortex
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 19 Apr, 1993

[Quark's]

(Odo enters)
QUARK: The usual, Odo?
ODO: Nothing.
QUARK: The usual. If all my customers were like you, my family would be begging on the Promenade.
ODO: Oh, I seriously doubt that. Not as long as there's a Miradorn raider for you to do business with.
QUARK: Raider? You mean the Miradorn ship that just docked?
ODO: The raider.
QUARK: It's reputation, like mine, has probably been exaggerated. Anyway, I don't know the ship or its crew.
ODO: You didn't make your usual welcome call inviting them in for a free drink?
QUARK: The Miradorns are a quarrelsome people. I chose to forego the usual amenities.
ODO: He looks away whenever we make eye contact.
QUARK: Who?
ODO: The new arrival. The one the Klingons brought back from the Gamma Quadrant.
QUARK: Croden? He's harmless.
ODO: Really. How is it you've come to know him so well?
QUARK: A man comes in for a drink, he wants to talk
ODO: He didn't seem to want to talk much to Sisko when he arrived.
QUARK: Who would? All those Starfleet officers greeting him at the airlock. It would scare me too. The Federation could learn a few things from the Ferengi about hospitality.
ODO: They scared him, huh?
QUARK: Of course.
ODO: I wonder what he has to be scared about.
(two big Miradorns enter and go up to the holosuites)
ODO: Well, now. I believe a pair of twinned Miradorn just nodded your way.
QUARK: I'm the man behind the bar. Obviously, they want to use a holosuite. You think the whole galaxy is plotting around you, don't you. Paranoia must run in your species, Odo. Maybe that's why no one has ever seen another shape-shifter. They're all hiding. I won't have you come in here harassing my customers. Order a drink, play the tables, or vacate the premises. (sotto) Rom, bring a flask of my special langour.
(Quark goes upstairs, Croden leaves, Rom puts four glasses on a tray then goes to get a bottle. When he returns, the tray has five glasses on it.)

[Holosuite]

RO-KEL: One thousand bars of gold pressed latinum. Non-negotiable.
(Quark is looking at an alien Faberge egg when Rom puts the tray down.)
QUARK: Very nice. Unfortunately, there's a problem.
RO-KEL: Problem?
ROM: Langour, anyone?
AH-KEL: What problem?
QUARK: The buyer has backed out.
RO-KEL: You guaranteed us a buyer.
QUARK: A question has been raised about the origin of this bauble. A similar one was taken during a raid on a Vanoben transport just two light years from here. If you had a bill of sale
RO-KEL: You didn't ask for any bill of sale when we contacted you. You will find another buyer.
QUARK: A buyer who asks no questions? That could take a long time.
AH-KEL: We don't have a long time.
(Croden enters, with a weapon)
CRODEN: Just stay, stay, stay where you are, please. 
RO-KEL: What's this?
QUARK: Don't fire. What do you want?
CRODEN: No one is going to get hurt. Just give me that.
AH-KEL: Whoever you are, you're making a mistake.
CRODEN: Well, it wouldn't be the first, and probably won't be the last. Give that to me.
(Ah-Kel grabs the table and smashes it into Croden's face. The broken glass reforms into Odo as Ro-Kel fires but misses Croden. Croden shoots Ro-Kel and Odo grabs him as he finishes morphing)
ODO: Security and medical to holosuite one.
QUARK: Five glasses for four people?
AH-KEL: He's dead. My brother.
(Odo knocks Ah-Kel down then security arrives)
ODO: Take them all to Security.
QUARK: Yes, take them both to his office. Thank goodness you were close by, Odo
ODO: All of them. Get out. Go on.
(Bashir checks Ro-Kel and shakes his head.)

[Security office]

AH-KEL: Have you known any twinned Miradorn, Commander?
SISKO: I haven't met any before now.
AH-KEL: In my species, we are not just twin brothers. Together we are a single self, two halves of one being. I am incomplete now.
ODO: You should have considered the risks before trying to sell stolen property.
AH-KEL: You have no proof
ODO: Two people were killed on the transport this object was taken from.
AH-KEL: My brother and I purchased it from a passing Altoran trader.
ODO: His name? His ship's identification?
AH-KEL: I am the one whose brother was killed, Commander.
ODO: You have only yourself
SISKO: I'd like you to return to your ship now. You have my sympathies, but there may be more questions. Please don't leave the station.
AH-KEL: I want to deal with the one who killed my twin.
SISKO: The law will deal with him.
AH-KEL: My only purpose in life from here on is to see him dead.
(Ah-Kel leaves)
QUARK: Well, can't say I didn't warn you about Miradorns, Odo. I assume we are free to go?
SISKO: Do you have enough evidence to hold them, Constable?
QUARK: As Odo will be happy to confirm, I was just as concerned as everyone else that this was a stolen objet d'art.
ODO: Yes. Curious, but it's true.
QUARK: We'll be on our way then.
ODO: You know what else is curious? It's curious that Croden had a Ferengi phaser.
QUARK: Available in many a port.
ODO: And it's curious that he knew the Miradorn were trying to sell you something of value.
ROM: How dare you suggest that my brother set up this robbery!
ODO: What an interesting theory, Rom.
QUARK: If that theory should ever reach the Miradorn, I'd wake up dead one morning. So, I'd appreciate your not spreading wild theories around casually.
(Quark and Rom leave)
QUARK: Lobeless idiot, next time I'll

[Detention cell]

CRODEN: Don't you feed your prisoners?
ODO: The fact that you just killed a man doesn't affect your appetite?
CRODEN: It was him or me. And if he'd have killed me, I wouldn't be hungry now.
SISKO: I want to be sure you understand exactly what's going to happen. There will be a trial to determine your guilt or innocence. We can assign an advocate or you can request one from your home world.
CRODEN: I doubt that anyone on Rakhar would much care.
SISKO: Really. Isn't murder considered a serious crime where you come from?
CRODEN: On Rakhar, all crimes are serious, only there are no trials.
SISKO: It's a shame that our first encounter with your species had to take place under these circumstances.
CRODEN: I'm sorry if I made things awkward. I didn't have much choice.
SISKO: Why not?
CRODEN: My needs exceed my skills. Now, if I had his talents, I would have no problems at all. I've never heard of a changeling with such versatility.
ODO: A what?
CRODEN: A changeling, like you.
ODO: You've heard of other shape-shifters in the Gamma Quadrant?
CRODEN: Haven't they come through the wormhole yet? I assumed when I saw you
ODO: It's a lie. He heard me talking in the bar to Quark.
CRODEN: Well, maybe I dissemble a little. Lie is a hard word. But shape-shifters are harsh in their judgements. Feed me, and maybe I'll tell you where I met someone just like you.

[Commander's office]

SISKO: I don't see that we have any choice. We have to contact his planet.
O'BRIEN: Not the best way of introducing ourselves.
BASHIR: Homicide as a means to open relations, it's not exactly how they teach it at the academy, is it.
KIRA: I think you're all wrong.
SISKO: How's that?
KIRA: They're going to thank us.
SISKO: Thank us?
KIRA: That's what I'd do. He's probably committed all sorts of crimes in their system. They'll be glad to have the problem taken off their hands.
SISKO: There's only way to find out. Dax?
DAX: It won't be hard to find Rakhar. According to the logs, Croden was found in a damaged shuttlecraft about three light years from the wormhole. There aren't many M class planets in that area.
SISKO: You're with me. Major Kira, as long as the Miradorn ship is here, there's a threat to Croden. I don't want to have to tell his people that he was killed while in our custody.
KIRA: I'll have Odo increase security.

[Quark's]

QUARK: Stop in to see if I'd run away?
ODO: I couldn't get that lucky. That Croden is an interesting character.
QUARK: I wouldn't know.
ODO: Really? I thought you said you got to know him rather well.
QUARK: I never told you that. I merely said we chatted when he bought a drink or two.
ODO: I've talked to several people who saw the two of you engaged in heavy conversations. Why, Morn here says you even bought the fellow a meal.
QUARK: Morn should keep his big mouth shut!
ODO: So what were you talking to him about?
QUARK: Just being friendly. He was so out of place here, alone. I felt sorry for him. You should sympathise with my kindness.
ODO: There's no profit in kindness.
QUARK: You attribute odious motives to my every charitable act.
ODO: That's because your favorite charity is your own pocket. Speaking of odious motives, I hear you've been making inquiries about finding a small ship to go through the wormhole.
QUARK: That had nothing to do with any of this.
ODO: I think it does. I think you were trying to secure passage back to the Gamma Quadrant for Croden in exchange for staging this tragic little robbery of yours.
QUARK: This could turn into a much bigger tragedy for me if you don't keep your voice down.
ODO: What did Croden tell you about himself?
QUARK: Nothing. We didn't talk about anything except business. Inconsequential things.
ODO: What's inconsequential to you may be important to me. Did he say anything about his home world?
QUARK: No.
ODO: Other species in the Gamma Quadrant?
QUARK: No.
SECURITY [OC]: Security to Odo.
ODO: Go ahead.
SECURITY [OC]: Ah-Kel and his crew are blocking the entrance to your office. Should we clear them out?
ODO: Leave it. I'll handle them.

[Promenade]

(Outside the security office)
ODO: You were told to stay on your ship.
AH-KEL: Understand me, shape-shifter. He killed the part of me that made existence bearable. I cannot stop until I kill him.
ODO: You're not going to kill anyone. Get back to your ship and stay there. If I find you here again, I'll lock you up too.

[Detention cell]

(Croden has been fed)
ODO: You've made a lot of friends in your short stay here.
CRODEN: Well, I guess you'd know how that feels. You and I have a great deal in common, changeling.
ODO: We have nothing in common.
CRODEN: We are both aliens here, the only ones of our kind. Each of us is alone, isolated, shut out. Others like us only exist in the Gamma Quadrant. I have always wondered why changelings are so distrustful of other species.
ODO: I doubt the changelings on your world would trust you.
CRODEN: Of course not. There are no shape-shifters on Rakhar.
ODO: You just said. You implied there were.
CRODEN: I'm sorry if I misled you. There were shape-shifters on Rakhar at one time, but that was centuries ago.
ODO: What happened to them?
CRODEN: They were persecuted. Driven out. But I know a place where there are still some left. Of course, that was a few years ago.
ODO: And if you had the chance, you'd take me there.
CRODEN: Sure I would. Why not?
ODO: Tell me where it is. I'll have a look.
CRODEN: No, I have to show you. There is no way you could find it on you own.
ODO: The next time you lie, I'll save Ah-Kel the trouble of killing you.
CRODEN: There's that hard word again. There are times when I don't dissemble.
ODO: Whatever you call it, the truth isn't in you.
CRODEN: (holding out a locket) From the colony of the changelings.
(Croden opens the locket and a stone morphs into a key, then back to a stone. Odo lets down the forcefield)

[Runabout Rio Grande]

DAX: We're in orbit.
SISKO: Open hailing frequencies.
DAX: Open.
SISKO: This is the Federation Starship Rio Grande attempting to make contact with the planet Rakhar. Please respond. One of your people has committed a homicide and we have him in custody. His name is Croden.
DAX: I'm picking up a signal in the southern hemisphere. They're hailing us.
SISKO: On screen
HADRAN [on monitor]: I am the Exarch of Nehelik Province. You will transport Croden to this location.
SISKO: I'm afraid we haven't brought him with us.
HADRAN [on monitor]: Your communication clearly stated that he was in your custody.
SISKO: On our space station. Perhaps I should explain where we come from.
HADRAN [on monitor]: We are well aware of the traffic through the newly discovered passage. We simply have no interest in contact with anyone from your quadrant.
SISKO: I am sorry to hear that, but we certainly will respect your wishes. We just felt it necessary after Croden was arrested
HADRAN [on monitor]: Croden is an enemy of the Rakhari people. We request that he be returned immediately.
SISKO: He's scheduled to be tried for his crime on our station .
HADRAN [on monitor]: Tried? Croden has already been declared guilty in absentia for myriad crimes on this world. That judgement supersedes your charges. Return him, and I can assure you his punishment will be appropriate to your crime as well as ours.
SISKO: I would feel more comfortable if we could
HADRAN [on monitor]: I do not know what kind of people you are. I do not care to know. But if your society purports to respect the rules of our society, you will return him without delay.
SISKO: Expect him to return in a vessel just like this one within fifty two hours.

[Infirmary]

(Bashir has the stone under a scanning microscope)
BASHIR: It's an amalgam of organic material and some sort of crystal.
ODO: You mean it's alive?
BASHIR: More or less. It's almost like a transitional stage between organic and inorganic matter. I've only seen one life form that even remotely resembles it.
ODO: Me.
BASHIR: In a way, this stone might qualify as a distant cousin of yours. Maybe there's a clue to your origins here. Where did it come from?
ODO: Unfortunately, the only one who can tell me is less reliable than Quark.

[Detention cell]

CRODEN: How do you like my stone, changeling?
ODO: Where'd you get it?
CRODEN: What would telling you get me?
ODO: Nothing.
CRODEN: Well, that's too bad. I was hoping you'd feel sorry for me, seeing as we're the only two here from the other side of the passage.
ODO: I feel nothing for you but contempt. You're a thief, and a killer, and who knows what else.
CRODEN: Typical. It's typical.
ODO: Of changeling behaviour. Yes, I'm sure.
CRODEN: Excuse me.
(Croden holds out his hand for the locket. Odo hesitates then gives it back)
CRODEN: In my sector, there is a nebula called the Chamra Vortex. There are millions of asteroids in it. I found this stone on one of them. I could take you to it, changeling.
ODO: Others must know where it is.
CRODEN: No, no, the Vortex is uncharted, but as a thief and a killer and who knows what, I hid there often. I found this colony of changelings by chance. And I know my way back.

[Commander's office]

SISKO: Come in.
ODO: Yes, Commander?
SISKO: Constable, I want you to escort the prisoner back to his home planet.
ODO: He's not to stand trial here?
SISKO: Croden apparently committed crimes on Rakhar. His government is adamant and the Bajorans have agreed to release him.
ODO: We're going to have trouble getting him past the Miradorn.
SISKO: Yes, I know. Ah-Kel's been screening every ship leaving the station. How soon can you be ready?
ODO: I'm ready now.

SISKO: There's a Rigelian freighter leaving here for the Gamma Quadrant in an hour. Maybe we can use them to run interference between you and the Miradorn ship.
ODO: I'll move the prisoner to the runabout right away.
SISKO: Constable, once you're on the other side, you'll be on your own. The Miradorn vessel can outrun any of our runabouts and if they do come after you, a warning from us will just point an arrow to you.
ODO: Understood.

[Runabout Ganges]

(Croden is handcuffed)
CRODEN: So you're finally taking me up on my offer.
ODO: I'm taking you home.

[Ops]

O'BRIEN: Commander. The Rigelian freighter's ready for departure.
SISKO: Signal Odo.
(The runabout tucks underneath the freighter as it leaves)
KIRA: The Miradorn ship is scanning the freighter. Doesn't look like they're reading the runabout.
(WHOOSH)

[Runabout Ganges]

CRODEN: How do you stand it, changeling, living where you don't belong. Are you happy?
ODO: I'm as much a part of the place as anyone else.
CRODEN: I doubt it. They tolerate you, but you're not one of them. Being what you are, you can pour your square shape into a round hole, but you never really fit, do you? You're like my stone.
ODO: I think I finally figured out what crime you were found guilty of on your world.
CRODEN: What's that?
ODO: You talked too much.
CRODEN: Maybe you're right. Perhaps that is how it started. Perhaps I asked one question too many. Anyway, that's as good an explanation as any.
ODO: Explanation for what?
CRODEN: For why they came that night. I never was told and to this day I don't know. They broke into my home just before dawn, and before I had time to stop them, they had murdered both my wives. You see, on my world, the punishment for being an enemy of the people is the death of your family. I had no sophisticated weapon. Only a short, slaughter knife that I used for cutting the necks of fowl we would prepare for supper. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the necks of the security officers were no more difficult to cut than the birds. Even the sound they made as the blade crossed their gullets were similar.
ODO: You expect me to believe this appalling tale?
CRODEN: Would it make any difference if you did?
ODO: No.
CRODEN: Well then, believe it, because it's true. My return will be celebrated, changeling. They'll be very grateful. You'll be a hero. Perhaps you might even use this as an excuse to exchange envoys.
ODO: If you don't stop talking, I could sedate you for the rest of the trip.
CRODEN: Sorry. I didn't, I didn't know I bothered you.

[Quark's]

AH-KEL: Get in there!
ROM: He's going to kill us. He says we were in with Croden.
AH-KEL: Where is he, Quark?
QUARK: Croden? He's in security.
AH-KEL: You're lying. He's gone. You're hiding him. You've been in this together all along. You're as responsible for my brother's death as he is.
QUARK: Ah-Kel, no. This is Odo's doing. Don't you see? He wants to turn us against each other.
AH-KEL: Why should I believe you? Tell me where Croden is, or you can die in his place.
QUARK: I don't know where he is. But maybe I can find out if you'll just release me. (to Rom) Get me the security chips. Level four clearance.
(Quark takes a panel off the console behind the bar and inserts the rods.)
QUARK: It isn't at all clear.
AH-KEL: The coordinates are very clearly stated right here in the log entry. One more thing, little Ferengi. You better be telling the truth or I'll be back to finish this.
(Ah-Kel leaves)
ROM: Oh, you are clever, brother. Now, Ah-Kel will rid us of Croden and Odo.
QUARK: Unless Odo is sensible and gives up his prisoner.
ROM: Oh, no. Then Croden would tell Ah-Kel the truth about our plan. We're dead. We're dead. You shouldn't have told him how to find them.
QUARK: Be quiet. Odo would never give up his prisoner. He'll just get himself killed.
ROM: Do you really think so?
QUARK: Oh, get out of here, you fool!

[Ops]

SISKO: Yes, Chief?
O'BRIEN: The Miradorn ship is leaving the station.
SISKO: Major, do whatever you can to delay them.
KIRA: Ops to Miradorn vessel. Please hold your position. Stand by for departure instructions.
O'BRIEN: No response. They're still moving.
SISKO: Dax, how long before Odo reaches Rakhar?
DAX: Just over five hours.
KIRA: Miradorn vessel, you are in violation of Bajoran transit regulations. Please return at once to the docking ring.
O'BRIEN: They've increased power to their thrusters.
SISKO: On screen.
(WHOOSH)

[Runabout Ganges]

CRODEN: You'd save time going through the Vortex. It's a long way around it. Aren't you the least bit curious about your own people?
ODO: Of course I am. Unfortunately, I don't have the liberty of pursuing that curiosity right now.
CRODEN: They don't maintain a humanoid shape, you know. They refused to assimilate on my world. They're a proud species. That's why they were so persecuted. But I will say this for them, they treated me well enough when I landed at their colony. I was badly wounded. They could have allowed me to die. They didn't. You're one of them, that's for sure. You have the sense of decency, of justice.
ODO: You don't give up, do you.
(Boom, shake)
ODO: Computer, what was that?
COMPUTER: A temporary loss of stability resulting from the impact of a concentrated plasma charge.
ODO: We're being attacked?
COMPUTER: Affirmative. Pursuing vessel approaching from one eight one mark one two.
ODO: Put it on the monitor and identify.
COMPUTER: Miradorn vessel, Theta class.
ODO: He's hailing us.
AH-KEL [on monitor]: The first shot was a warning. You will surrender the Rakhari prisoner to me.
ODO: I don't give up my prisoners, Ah-Kel.
AH-KEL [on monitor]: Very well. Then you can die with him.
(BOOM)
COMPUTER: Warning. Damage to shields
ODO: Computer, evasive manoeuvres!
COMPUTER: Warning. Shields at forty one percent.
CRODEN: Your computer's not going to outsmart him.
ODO: I'm a security chief, not a combat pilot.
CRODEN: Then give me the controls!
ODO: You?
CRODEN: I can get us through the vortex. The ionised gasses would screen us from his sensors. Drop your suspicious nature for a minute, changeling. Can't you see it's our only chance.
(Odo unfastens Croden's handcuffs and they head into the purple gases)
ODO: Why are we slowing down?
CRODEN: The vortex is riddled with volatile pockets of a gas we call toh-maire. If we destabilise them, they could ignite and blow this ship apart.
ODO: You really have been through here before.
CRODEN: Sometimes I do tell the truth.
ODO: How do you remember what's true and what isn't? (BOOM) I thought you said they couldn't detect us in here.
CRODEN: He must be following our impulse wake. Computer, disengage impulse engines. Go to thrusters.
COMPUTER: Acknowledged. Thrusters engaged.
ODO: What are you doing?
CRODEN: Once our impulse wake drops off, he might try to pick up the discharge of our thrusters. We'll be better off if we land. So, changeling, I guess I'm going to take you home after all.

[Cave tunnel]

(They've landed on the only flat bit of a craggy asteroid, right next to a cave entrance.)
CRODEN: Hurry. This way.
ODO: Croden! Slow down, Croden. Stay where I can see you. Croden! What's your hurry? What's in here?
CRODEN: I told you. The colony.
ODO: Anxious to see them again, are you?
CRODEN: Yes. Of course.
ODO: Whatever it is you came here for, you can forget it. We're leaving.
CRODEN: No!
ODO: Now! How much of it was true? Any of it? Any of it?
CRODEN: No. No. On Rakhar, we tell stories about changelings. I thought they were myths until I met you.
ODO: The stone.
CRODEN: I have no idea where it came from. Rakhari merchants buy stones just like it from off-world traders. It's used as a key.
ODO: A key to what?
CRODEN: To my only reason for living. And it's ahead, in that cavern there.

[Cavern]

(There is a large box with rocks fallen onto it)
CRODEN: Please, help me. There's been a cave-in.
ODO: What is it?
CRODEN: A stasis chamber.
(He brushes off the dust to reveal that little girl is inside)
CRODEN: It's my daughter, the only member of my family I could save. Help me.
(They push a big rock off the top then Croden opens his locket)
CRODEN: It shapes itself to fit the lock.
(They open up the box and the girl wakes up.)
YARETH: Father? I was dreaming about you.
CRODEN: I'm here now, Yareth. You don't have to dream anymore.
YARETH: Hello.
CRODEN: This is Odo. He's a security officer. No, no, he's not going to hurt you. He's going to take you to a place where you'll be safe. Won't you?
(Odo nods)
YARETH: Where are you going?
CRODEN: I'm going home.
YARETH: But you can't. They'll kill you.
CRODEN: Yareth, I must answer for my crimes.
YARETH: But all you did was try to protect us.
(Boom)
ODO: Their sensors must have picked up our life signs. We've got to get back to the runabout.
(A rock falls from the roof onto Odo, knocking him out)
CRODEN: Odo!
YARETH: Is he badly hurt?
CRODEN: There's no way to tell. I don't know anything about his species. I'll carry him back to the ship.
(But Croden hesitates and starts to leave instead)
YARETH: What's the matter, father?
CRODEN: Nothing, Yareth. Nothing.
(Croden picks up Odo)
CRODEN: Nothing. Go! Go!

[Runabout Ganges]

(Odo wakes up when they're in flight)
CRODEN: You're heavier than you look.
ODO: You could have left me behind.
CRODEN: Don't thank me. I already regret it.
(Bang)
CRODEN: I haven't been able to lose them. Sooner or later, one of his photons is going to trigger a toh-maire explosion and kill us all.
ODO: Let me have the controls. Find us one of those toh-maire fields.
CRODEN: I just told you, you don't want to go anywhere near one, changeling.
ODO: Find the closest toh-maire field.
CRODEN: Six degrees to starboard.
ODO: Changing course. He's chased us everywhere else, maybe he'll follow us in there too.
CRODEN: His sensors may not be able to detect how volatile the field is. If he fires on us in there, the whole thing will ignite.
ODO: That's what I'm counting on.
ODO: Set a course along the interior perimeter.
CRODEN: Done.
ODO: Computer, shut down all engines.
COMPUTER: Engines disengaged.
ODO: Maintain emergency readiness to re-engage impulse on my command.
CRODEN: We're an awfully easy target.
(The Miradorn ship overshadows them)
CRODEN: He's hailing us.
ODO: On screen.
AH-KEL [on monitor]: Are you prepared to surrender your prisoner?
ODO: I have a full array of Starfleet weapons trained on you, Ah-Kel. Frankly, I don't know much about them but I understand they equip this little vessel with some pretty powerful stuff. So I suggest you withdraw while you still can
AH-KEL [on monitor]: There will barely be a trace of your little vessel when we are finished with you.
CRODEN: He's coming about. Powering his shields. His starboard photon bank is armed.
ODO: Computer, engage.
CRODEN: He's firing photons!
(KaBOOM!)
ODO: Is everybody back there in one piece?
YARETH: Yes.
ODO: Good. Take us out of your precious vortex.
CRODEN: I only have one last favour to ask. Yareth is going to be alone on your world, just as you've always been. She's going to need someone to look after her.
ODO: If you're asking me what I think you're asking.
CRODEN: You know you could use some company, changeling. You deny it, but we both know it's true, or the stone would have meant nothing to you.
COMPUTER: Incoming subspace signal. Vulcan band frequency.
ODO: On screen.
VULCAN [on monitor]: (a woman) Starfleet runabout, this is the Vulcan Science Vessel T'Vran. Are you in any difficulty?
ODO: Chief of Security Odo from DS Nine. We're fine, Captain.
VULCAN [on monitor]: We detected a major eruption in the Chamra vortex. I was afraid a small ship like yours might have suffered damage.
ODO: I appreciate your concern. What's your course?
VULCAN [on monitor]: To the wormhole, then home to Vulcan.
ODO: I've beamed over two survivors from a ship that wasn't so lucky. I have to complete a mission. Could you give them transportation to Vulcan?
VULCAN [on monitor]: Easily done. We will rendezvous with you shortly. Prepare for transport.
(transmission ends)
ODO: Don't thank me. I already regret it.
CRODEN: How? How will you explain not delivering me?
ODO: I'll tell them you were killed when Ah-Kel torpedoed the asteroid. This dissembling must be catching. You're going to have to get used to living in an alien society.
CRODEN: Like you. But I know where my home is. And perhaps someday I'll be able to go back there. I hope this helps you to find where you came from.
(Croden puts the locket around Odo's neck.)
VULCAN [OC]: T'Vran to Ganges. Ready for transport.
YARETH: Are you really a changeling?
ODO: Yes, I suppose I am. Go on, we don't want to keep the Vulcans waiting. Energising.
(He beams them out)
ODO: Computer, set a course for the wormhole.
COMPUTER: Course laid in.
ODO: Ready engines. Home. Where is it? Someday we'll know, cousin. Engage.

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