The Begotten
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 27 Jan, 1997

[Infirmary]

(Odo enters, walking very carefully, and groaning.)
BASHIR: Good morning, Constable. And what can I do for you today?
ODO: It's my back.
BASHIR: Let's take a look.
ODO: It happened this morning when I got out of bed.
BASHIR: Hmm.
(It's painful to sit on the bed.)
ODO: I have Alvanian spine mites, don't I?
BASHIR: Actually
ODO: I'll be in pain for the rest of my life.
BASHIR: Odo, you have a pinched nerve.
ODO: Really?
BASHIR: It comes from bad posture.
ODO: Me? Ridiculous. You've never seen anyone sit so straight.
BASHIR: Exactly. You carry yourself too rigidly.
ODO: This is how I've always carried myself.
BASHIR: You haven't always have a spinal column. You're not a changeling anymore. Now that you're a humanoid, you have to learn to relax.
ODO: That's what you said last week.
BASHIR: And?
ODO: And it helped. That and the prune juice.
BASHIR: There, you see? I know what I'm talking about.
(Bashir gives Odo a hypo in the lower back.)
QUARK: Back trouble?
ODO: It's none of your concern, Quark.
QUARK: Bad posture.
ODO: Will you get out of here.
BASHIR: What you need is a stretching regimen. Worf's morning exercise class should be just the thing.
QUARK: Forget that. I've got a holosuite programme that'll take care of him. Three Orion slave girls strap you
ODO: Quark.
QUARK: Go ahead, suffer.
ODO: What do you want?
QUARK: A Yridian I've been dealing with sold me something that might interest you.
ODO: I don't think so.
QUARK: You don't even know what it is.
ODO: I know I don't want it.
QUARK: In that case, can you tell me how to get in touch with the Founders? I know they'll want it.
ODO: What are you talking about?
(Quark takes out an elaborate bottle of blue goo.)
QUARK: It's a changeling. Or it was, anyway. Since it's dead I'll let you have it for five slips of latinum.
ODO: It's not dead.
QUARK: In that case make it ten.
ODO: It's sick.
QUARK: Eight and we'll call it even.
(Quark taps a sale into his PADD and gets Odo's thumbprint.)
QUARK: It's a pleasure doing business with you.
(Quark leaves.)
BASHIR: If that is a changeling, maybe we should get it into a security field.
ODO: That won't be necessary.
BASHIR: If it gets out of that container, it could be dangerous.
ODO: It's not going anywhere, Doctor. It doesn't know how. It's just a baby.
(After the opening credits, the blue goo is on top of a pulsing devise, and just a bit is now orange.)
SISKO: A baby changeling?
ODO: Centuries ago, my people sent a hundred of us out into the galaxy so we could learn about other races. When I was found, I looked very much like this.
SISKO: You were this small?
ODO: Like a humanoid child, it'll grow. Its mass will increase as its shape-shifting abilities develop.
BASHIR: As far as I can tell, it was exposed to a massive amount of tetryon radiation. I'm going to have to purge the isotopes with an electrophoretic diffuser.
SISKO: Get on it. Are you sure it's no danger to us, Constable?
ODO: When I was first discovered, I didn't know what I was. I had no memory of where I was from. I didn't even know I had the ability to mimic other forms.
SISKO: Why would the Founders send such helpless creatures out into space?
ODO: To find out if the species they encountered posed any threat. What better way to gauge another race than to see how it treats the weak and vulnerable?
SISKO: I see your point. How long before it is able to take humanoid form?
ODO: Several months. Why?
SISKO: Well, there's still a lot we don't know about your people. The changelings could provide Starfleet with invaluable information about the Dominion.
ODO: Well, that being the case, I'd like to be allowed to work with it, to teach it how to shape-shift.
SISKO: Oh, I can't think of anyone better qualified. You might just want a little help. Maybe you should contact Doctor Mora?
ODO: Mora? Why?
SISKO: Well, he managed to find a way to communicate with you. He obviously knows what he's doing.
ODO: Maybe so, but I'd prefer to do this alone.
SISKO: It's your call. But it's always nice to have someone around to help change the diapers.
ODO: I'll keep that in mind.
(And later again, the goo in the cylinder is orange.)
BASHIR: The purge was almost a hundred percent effective. The concentration of isotopes is nearly negligible.
ODO: It certainly looks healthier.
BASHIR: Well, I'd better go and check on Kira. Did you hear? She's in labour.
ODO: Mm-hm.
BASHIR: But I guess you have your own baby to think about. There is still a small degree of instability in its morphogenic matrix. I'm hoping it'll level out. I've set the computer to monitor for biomimetic fluctuations just in case.
ODO: Thank you, Doctor.
BASHIR: Good luck.
(Bashir leaves.)
ODO: How do you feel? Better? I realise you can't understand a word I'm saying, but that doesn't matter. I know you're aware of me. You see, I was once like you. I spent months in a lab being prodded and poked by a scientist who didn't recognise I was a lifeform. He thought I was a specimen, a mystery that needed to be unravelled. He never talked to me. It didn't occur to him. I didn't know what I was, or what I was supposed to do. I was lost, alone, but it's not going to be that way with you. No, I'm not going to make the same mistakes that were made with me. Come on, I want to show you something.

[Birthing room]

(Bajoran birth is more of a ceremony than an operation. Kira is semi-reclined, Y'Pora the midwife holds a round rattle, Keiko has a gentler cylinder rattle that she spins by rubbing the stem between her palms, and O'Brien has a small gong. Each plays them in turn. Like everyone else, Bashir wears a stole. O'Brien sneezes.)
KEIKO: I'm sorry.
(They start again.)
O'BRIEN: Something's wrong. Kira said this would only take about an hour.
BASHIR: For Bajoran women, giving birth is all about being relaxed.
KEIKO: He's right, Miles. That's why it's important for us to keep the rhythm.
O'BRIEN: She's not going to relax until Shakaar gets here. I called him almost six hours ago. It takes half that time to make the trip from Bajor.
KEIKO: He's the First Minister of Bajor. He's a very busy man.
BASHIR: And so am I. I have three surgeries scheduled this afternoon. I'll try and pop by later.
(Bashir leaves.)
KIRA: Y'Pora, the baby, he's moving.
Y'PORA: Relax. Breathe. It won't be long now.
(Shakaar enters.)
SHAKAAR: Sorry I'm late. How are you?
KIRA: All right.
SHAKAAR: I threw you off, didn't I?
KIRA: It's all right, I'll get back on track. I'm glad you're here.

[Replimat]

(Odo is talking to orange goo in a mug.)
ODO: This is the Replimat. Humanoids come here to eat. They, we rather, need to ingest nutrients. This is my home. It's a space station. People of many different species live here together. After you've learned to take humanoid shape, I'll show you everything. You can live here too, if you want. It's a fascinating place.
WORF: Constable. Why are you talking to your beverage?
ODO: It's not a beverage. It's a changeling. Excuse me, Commander.
(Odo leaves, and Worf looks at his drink suspiciously.)

[Science lab]

(Odo pours baby into a large dish.)
ODO: There we go. Now, doesn't that feel better? Nothing like spreading yourself out after being cooped up in a jar, eh? You have no idea of the marvels that are in store for you. Do you know what you are? You're a changeling. A shape-shifter. You can be anything. A Tarkalean hawk soaring through the sky, or a Filian python burrowing deep beneath the ground. It's all yours for the taking. I was never a very good shape-shifter. If you could see the face I'm stuck with, you'd know what I mean, but I think I can be a good teacher. You'll be better than I ever was. And I promise I'll never treat you the way I was treated. Never.
MORA: Odo!
ODO: Doctor Mora. What are you doing here?
MORA: Well, I heard about the changeling. I came to help. Remarkable. You know, it's much larger than you were. What is that, about a quarter of a litre?
ODO: I suppose so.
MORA: You didn't measure it?
ODO: What difference does it make how large it is?
MORA: It could make a great deal of difference. Size could be an indication that it's already exercised its ability to shape-shift.
ODO: I thought you were on Earth, working with Starfleet on new ways to detect changeling infiltrators.
MORA: Fortunately I was visiting my parents on Bajor when I got news of your find. How are you, Odo? I've been worried.
ODO: Worried?
MORA: I heard that your people took away your ability to shape-shift.
ODO: Thank you for your concern, but I'm fine.
MORA: I knew you were going to say that. You never want to give anything away even though it's all right there in your face. Well, let's get started, hmm? We have a lot of work ahead of us.
ODO: Actually, Doctor
MORA: I told Starfleet that I won't be coming back for a couple of weeks.
ODO: That may have been premature.
MORA: No, it'll take at least that long to get the changeling to respond.
(Mora points a device at the baby.)
ODO: Don't do that!
(Odo takes the device and turns it off.)
MORA: Well, I see you still have trouble controlling your temper. I was just trying to determine its mass.
ODO: Doctor Mora, I understand that you want to help, but I'm going to do this alone.
MORA: Alone? Odo, you don't know the first thing about teaching a changeling how to shape-shift.
ODO: Well then I'll just muddle through somehow. You did.
MORA: It's too warm in here. You know, a changeling's morphogenic matrix is most malleable at seventeen degrees Celsius.
ODO: I used to be able to change shape in almost any temperature.
MORA: That's true. But why not make it easy for the changeling. It took me weeks to figure out the optimal temperature, the humidity, even the light levels. Now don't you think that's information you could use?
ODO: Well, I suppose I could take a look at your reports.
MORA: Oh, feel free to, of course. Except I was never one to keep extensive records. I always wanted to move on to the next test.
ODO: Oh, believe me, I remember your tests very well.
MORA: Oh, so that's what this is about. You still resent the things I did to you in order to induce you to shape-shift. Well I know they weren't pleasant for you, but really, Odo, I would hope that you would get past that by now. I am disappointed.
ODO: I have my own ideas about how to teach the changeling.
MORA: I imagine they're less invasive.
ODO: Exactly.
MORA: Huh.
ODO: You don't think I can do it, do you?
MORA: I didn't say that. As a matter of fact, I'd be fascinated to see what you have in mind.
ODO: Well, in that case, why don't you stay and observe?
MORA: If you insist.

[Birthing room]

(Kira gasps.)
KEIKO: What's wrong?
KIRA: I don't know. It's like a cramp or something.
Y'PORA: You shouldn't be feeling any pain. Well, it appears you're not going to be having the baby today.
KIRA: What?
Y'PORA: You were in labour too long.
O'BRIEN: I wonder why.
Y'PORA: For whatever reason you weren't able to fully relax. Your system had to stop producing endorphins before they accumulated to toxic levels.
SHAKAAR: When will she have the baby?
Y'PORA: It could be a few more days, or a few more weeks.
KIRA: Weeks? If I don't have this baby soon, I'm going to go out of my mind.
Y'PORA: If you want, you can go see Doctor Bashir and have him
KIRA: No, no, I want to have this baby the traditional Bajoran way.
KEIKO: We're a hundred percent behind you, Nerys. Right, Miles?
O'BRIEN: Absolutely.
KIRA: Can you stay?
SHAKAAR: I'll have to rearrange my schedule, but I think so.
Y'PORA: Nerys, return to your quarters and rest. I'll come by and see you later. (to Shakaar) You. Be punctual next time or don't come at all. (to O'Brien) And you? Practice.

[Science lab]

(Mora is watching Odo trying to coax baby into shifting, and shaking his head.)
ODO: This is a sphere. It's one of the most basic forms in nature.
(Odo puts the marble into the baby's dish and sends it rolling around the edge.)
ODO: See how it rolls? Interesting, isn't it? You're in my light. Now, this won't hurt a bit. Here we are. Here we go. Yeah, yeah.
(Odo pours baby into a spherical glass.)
ODO: Now, this is also a sphere. Feel its symmetry, the softness of its shape, the sameness. Now you try.
(After a moment, he pours baby into the dish again.)
ODO: There we are. I understand that you prefer to remain shapeless. Believe me, I remember how relaxing it could be. But you have to learn to take other forms. That's what changelings do. It can be immensely rewarding. I remember the first time Doctor Mora here coerced me into taking the shape of a cube with one of his electrostatic gadgets. Once I did it, and he turned the infernal thing off, I was perfectly content to stay a cube for hours. It was fascinating, all those right angles. Of course, he had other plans. Before I knew it, he had me spinning around in a centrifuge. Well, if you're not interested in a sphere right now, we can always try a cube. What do you think? All right, now, this is a pyramid. It's one of the most mysterious shapes in nature.
(Time passes. Odo is pouring baby from cube to pyramid.)
ODO: Now Mister Pyramid, here comes Mister Cube.
(And later still, Odo scans baby in a cylinder, and lying flat. He shows the cylinder itself in a mirror, then starts introducing other shapes such as a spiral. Odo lifts the cylinder off and baby spreads out but with a small edge. Later, Mora is scanning baby when Odo enters.)
ODO: What are you doing?
MORA: I'm measuring its volume. It's been here a week and it's only grown seventeen percent. After three days in my lab, you were twice that size.
ODO: Well, maybe I was anxious to grow up so I could get out of there.
MORA: My point is, you've made no progress. By this time I'd already gotten you to mimic half a dozen simple forms.
ODO: I'm trying to gain its confidence, not teach it tricks.
MORA: It's a shame you're not a changeling anymore. You could link with it and teach it everything it needs to know.
ODO: You make it sound like it's my fault.
MORA: It might very well be. Let's face it, Odo, your shape-shifting ability was somewhat limited. Maybe that's why your people were able to force you to take a humanoid form.
ODO: That is pure speculation.
MORA: Let's run a few tests and find out.
ODO: Oh, you are just dying to get me into one of your contraptions, aren't you?
MORA: I'm trying to help.
ODO: I am not about to submit myself to another round of your experiments.
MORA: Everything I did to you was for your own good.
ODO: Ha!
MORA: True, some of the tests that I subjected you to proved inconclusive.
ODO: The vacuum chamber springs to mind. The cytoplasmic separator. Come to think of it, the protein decompiler as well.
MORA: How could I know until I tried? By the Prophets, Odo, I wasn't even sure you were a lifeform.
ODO: I wasn't sure about you either.
MORA: Once I realised you were sentient, the Cardassians wanted to know everything about you. I was under enormous pressure to come up with results, and I did. My technique worked. The fact that you are standing here whining about it proves it.
ODO: You enjoyed watching me suffer.
MORA: You really believe that? How pathetic. If it wasn't for me, you'd still be sitting on a shelf somewhere, in a beaker labeled unknown sample.
ODO: If it wasn't for me, you'd be a nobody. Starfleet wouldn't hire you to judge a science fair.
MORA: I'm getting a little tired of standing around watching you, but I can't seem to pull myself away. I can't wait to see what next preposterous thing you're going to try. Who knows, maybe in a couple months, it may get so tired of your incessant chatter that it might actually do something.
ODO: You'd love to get your hands on it, wouldn't you? You could sell tickets on the Promenade. Doctor Mora's Chamber of Horrors open for business. Right this way.
(Sisko is in the doorway.)
ODO: Captain.
SISKO: How's it going, gentlemen?
ODO: Making progress, sir.
SISKO: I'm glad to hear it. I was just talking with Starfleet Command. They want you to establish communication with the changeling as soon as possible.
MORA: At the rate we're going, that is still a long way off.
SISKO: Better not be too long, otherwise Starfleet is going to want to take over the project.
ODO: Sir.
SISKO: As long as you're making progress, there's nothing to worry about. Oh, by the way. Starfleet wants you to file daily reports for their review.
ODO: Understood, sir.
SISKO: Carry on.
(Sisko leaves.)
MORA: Now you understand the kind of pressure I was going through. I brought my old equipment from Bajor. Maybe it's time we started unpacking.
(And now Mora's equipment is set up.)
MORA: Any time you're ready.
(Odo pours baby into the big dish.)
ODO: Don't worry. You're going to get through this all right.
MORA: Oh, no, no, no. I'm just an observer here.
(Odo works a control panel and a wide blue circle appears on the bottom of the dish.)
MORA: Odo, the changeling won't respond to anything less than six millivolts.
ODO: There must be some other way.
MORA: Spare the rod, spoil the child. Odo, without discomfort the changeling will be perfectly comfortable to remain in its gelatinous state. It'll just lie there, never realising it has the ability to mimic other forms, never living up to its potential. Odo, six millivolts is not going to hurt it. Once it realizes there's no charge in the centre, the procedure will be finished.
(Odo ups the voltage and baby starts moving, searching for somewhere more comfortable.)
MORA: Checking to see if I'm enjoying myself?
(Baby moves into the small circle in the middle.)
ODO: That's it. You've found it.
MORA: I smiled the first time you did that. Little did I realise you'd end up hating me for it. Well, shall we move on?
ODO: Why not?

[Kira's room]

(O'Brien is giving Kira an ankle massage when Shakaar enters.)
SHAKAAR: Ahem.
KIRA: Edon.
SHAKAAR: How're you feeling?
KIRA: I'm all right. My feet are a little swollen.
O'BRIEN: A little? They've never been this bad.
SHAKAAR: There's a zero-grav tumbling performance on the Promenade tonight. Do you want to go?
KIRA: Well, maybe.
O'BRIEN: You can't go standing around for an hour.
SHAKAAR: Chief, would you mind leaving us alone for a minute?
O'BRIEN: I'm almost done.
SHAKAAR: I'll take over.
KIRA: I think it's time.
O'BRIEN: You got to do it harder.
SHAKAAR: I know what I'm doing.
KIRA: It's time.
O'BRIEN: And you've to work up the legs.
KIRA: It's time!
(The men take an arm each and pull her to and fro. Kira shakes them off and carefully gets off the bed on her own.)

[Science lab]

ODO: Now if I were you, I'd hold this shape. Otherwise you'll be in for a little shock.
(Odo lifts off the cylinder and baby relaxes.)
ODO: Wait a minute.
(Baby goes back to being a cylinder.)
MORA: I had to try that three times before you caught on.
ODO: Actually, the first two times I didn't hold my shape on purpose.
MORA: You're not serious.
ODO: I suppose I didn't want to give you the satisfaction.
MORA: Well someday, if you're very lucky, this changeling will give you the satisfaction of saying, thank you very much, you did so much for me. Then again, it may leave the way you did. It will announce that it's striking out on its own and you will never hear from it again. I'm going to get something to eat.
(Baby stretches up, then makes an Odo face on the end of it. They look at each other before it returns to being a cylinder)

[Security office]

MORA: I mean, the eyes!
ODO: When he rose up.
MORA: The eyes are incredible.
ODO: For a minute there, I thought he was going to say something.
(Odo picks up a PADD)
MORA: Oh, put that down. We're celebrating.
ODO: Oh, er, it's just that I've fallen behind in my security reports over these last few days.
MORA: Well you can catch up later. Aren't you excited about what happened?
ODO: Of course I'm excited.
MORA: Tomorrow, we can expose the changeling to simple life-forms so it can mimic them. Some algae, some fungus. In a few more days, maybe even an invertebrate.
ODO: I can't wait until I can actually communicate with it. There's so much I want it to see, so much I want to share.
MORA: Well, you may get that chance sooner than you think. The changeling is developing far faster than you did. I didn't mean that as a criticism. If anything, it's a compliment. I mean, I was wrong. Your approach to communicating to the changeling was sound. I mean, don't you see? It's reaching out to you. It's curious about you. The first time you ever did anything like that was when you formed a tentacle to slap my hand away from the control panel.
ODO: I remember. I wanted you to stop zapping me.
MORA: You formed a connection with this changeling. That is something I was never able to do with you.
ODO: That's not true. I respected you.
MORA: You feared me.
ODO: You didn't know what I was. You were experimenting on what looked like a lump of organic residue. That's what I'd still be if it weren't for you.
MORA: You don't know how much it means to me to hear you say that. I'm sorry, I know this sort of talk makes you uncomfortable. I suppose it's all my fault. If I hadn't poked and prodded you so much, you may have grown up with a less forbidding disposition.
ODO: Something tells me no matter what we do to that changeling, it's going to have a more pleasant disposition than mine. It's just the way I am.
MORA: I'll leave you to your work.
ODO: Doctor Mora? (to replicator) Two glasses of champagne, please. We're celebrating.

[Birthing room]

(O'Brien finally gets the rhythm right.)
Y'PORA: The baby has turned. It's time. Awake, child.
KEIKO: We await you with love.
SHAKAAR: And welcome you into the world.
(O'Brien tries to move but)
SHAKAAR: Why don't you stay there?
O'BRIEN: I can't see from here.
SHAKAAR: Exactly.
O'BRIEN: It's my baby.
Y'PORA: Shh.
SHAKAAR: I think it would make Nerys uncomfortable.
O'BRIEN: What are you talking about? She's been living in my home for the last five months.
KEIKO: Be quiet.
SHAKAAR: What's that supposed to mean?
O'BRIEN: Look, I missed Molly's birth, I am not going to miss this one.
KIRA: I'm trying to have a baby. I am sick of this ridiculous little competition between the two of you. Now, if one of you says one more word, you're going to have to leave.
O'BRIEN: Fine, tell him to let me to
SHAKAAR: Just tell him to stay where
KIRA: Right, that's it. Out, both of you.
O'BRIEN: Kira.
SHAKAAR: Nerys.
KIRA: Go.
O'BRIEN: You're joking.
KEIKO: Does it look like she's joking? Out!

[Corridor]

O'BRIEN: Nice going.
SHAKAAR: Oh, do me a favour. Next time you have a baby, leave my girlfriend out of it, huh?

[Quark's]

(After hours)
QUARK: Comes to three hundred and twenty four. I'm going to have to start watering the drinks again
(Odo is taking bottles from a shelf.)
QUARK: Constable?
ODO: Quark!
QUARK: What are you doing back there?
ODO: What does it look like I'm doing?
QUARK: We're closed.
ODO: Have a seat.
QUARK: You're in a good mood.
ODO: Yes, I am.
QUARK: Which means you're probably about to arrest me on some trumped up charge.
ODO: Not at all. I am buying you a drink.
QUARK: Why?
ODO: Doctor Mora has gone to sleep, and I still feel like celebrating.
QUARK: What are you up to?
ODO: I am happy, Quark. Can't you just accept that?
QUARK: No. It doesn't fit. If you're happy, something's very wrong in the world. The centre cannot not hold.
ODO: There we go.
QUARK: I've got it. You're getting back at me for selling you that sick changeling.
ODO: Actually, I should thank you.
QUARK: If you want the money back, just say so.
ODO: It changed my life. Here's to you, Quark.
QUARK: All right, all right, I confess. I don't know what I did, but I did it. Just stop. I can't take it anymore.
ODO: Do you ever think about having children?
QUARK: Huh?
ODO: You see, I never did. It seemed like too much trouble. But then fate dropped one into my lap and now I couldn't be happier. Cheers. It's strange. Over the past few months, I came to accept the fact that I'd never have any contact with my people again. They rejected me, they turned me into a humanoid. A part of me was lost forever. But that little ball of goo back in the lab changed everything. I feel as if I'm experiencing what it is to be a changeling again. And somehow, being a solid doesn't seem so bad anymore.
QUARK: Fill me up.
COMPUTER: Computer to Security Chief Odo. Please acknowledge.
ODO: Go ahead.
COMPUTER: The lifeform being monitored is displaying biomimetic fluctuations beyond stated parameters.
ODO: Have Doctor Mora meet me in the science lab.
COMPUTER: Acknowledged.

[Science lab]

(Baby is small and mostly blue again.)
ODO: What's happened?
MORA: It's morphogenic matrix is destabilising. It's dying.

[Infirmary]

BASHIR: Its lifesigns are fading. The radiation may have damaged its cytoplasm in a way we weren't able to detect.
ODO: There must be something you can do.
MORA: You might try an enzymatic induction. That might stabilise the biomimetic fluctuations.
BASHIR: It's worth a shot.
ODO: It has to work, it has to.
MORA: Odo, please, wait outside. We'll do everything we can.

[Birthing room]

KIRA: I feel so good.
KEIKO: You're doing great, Nerys.
Y'PORA: Here he comes.
KIRA: Keiko, would you do me a favour?

[Corridor]

KEIKO: Kira said you can both come back in if you promise to behave.
O'BRIEN: After you.
SHAKAAR: Oh, no. After you.
O'BRIEN: Please.
KEIKO: Will you two get in here! You're going to miss everything.
(Shakaar and O'Brien try to go through the doorway together)

[Birthing room]

Y'PORA: That's it, Nerys. Relax. Let it come. That's right. Breathe.
(Whaa!)
KEIKO: Oh, look at him, Miles.
O'BRIEN: He's beautiful.

[Promenade]

(Anxious father Odo is pacing)
BASHIR: There's nothing we could do. I'm sorry, Odo. It won't be very long now.

[Infirmary]

(Mora hands Odo the baby's cylinder. It's deep green now. Odo pours it out into his hand.)
ODO: Please, don't die. There's so much I want to show you. I was going to teach you how to become a Tarkalean hawk, remember?
(Baby soaks into Odo's hands.)
MORA: What happened? Where did it go?
BASHIR: It somehow integrated itself into Odo's body
(Odo staggers.)
BASHIR: Odo, what's wrong?
ODO: It can't be.
MORA: What?
(Odo walks out of the Infirmary, morphs into a hawk and flies along the Promenade, leaving his clothes on the floor. Then he lands on the upper level and turns back into fully dressed Odo.)

[Airlock]

SHAKAAR: This might be a good time to take some leave and come down to Bajor.
KIRA: Maybe in a few weeks. Right now I feel like staying around here.
SHAKAAR: So you can be close to the baby. He's a good-looking boy.
KIRA: He is, isn't he?
CREWMAN [OC]: Shuttle four seven zero nine for Bajor now departing.
KIRA: You'd better go.
SHAKAAR: I have a few minutes left.

[Corridor]

(Just away from the airlock)
MORA: So how does it feel to be yourself again?
ODO: I just wish it hadn't happened the way it did.
MORA: I am sorry. If it helps, think of it as a gift. Something the changeling wanted you to have.
ODO: I think I finally understand how much I meant to you and what you must have gone through when I left.
MORA: You had to find your own way in the world.
ODO: I should have included you in my life.
MORA: You still can. (they embrace) Take care of yourself, Odo
(Mora goes into the airlock and Kira comes out.)
ODO: I thought the O'Briens were having a party.
KIRA: Shakaar and I stopped by. I didn't feel much like celebrating.
ODO: Oh?
KIRA: I got into this because the O'Briens' needed my help. I never wanted a baby. But now? I just wish I could hold him in my arms and never let him go.
ODO: I think I know how you feel, Nerys.
KIRA: Want to take a walk?
ODO: Yeah.

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