l am merely a businessman.
lt would take an orator like the late, great Plegg himself
to sing the praises of the late, great Plegg.
What Ferengi could resist owning some of the man that took a computer chip
and turned it into the modular holosuite industry?
A small piece of the man that brought holographic entertainment
to remote parts of the quadrant,
creating profit centres from societies
that could barely afford to feed their people.
How much are you asking?
As l was about to tell my good friend,
just three strips of latinum.
And l'd be taking a loss at that price.
OK, for you, two strips.
- Thank you very much. - Three strips?
- That's a fair price. - So you're interested?
Humanoid death rituals are my interest.
- Death rituals? - Everybody needs a hobby.
Some species burn their dead,
others pack them in blocks of ice.
Some even surround themselves with the company of family corpses.
But the Ferengi ritual of chopping up their loved ones and selling them...
l find that irresistible.
l'm very busy.
What a distinguished way
to honour the memory of great Ferengi entrepreneurs.
l might start a collection, put up a display case in my office.
There'll be a special space in there reserved just for you, Quark.
l'm sure.
You're serious?
Have l ever not been?
- l'm curious about one thing. - What's that?
- How do l know it's Plegg? - lt says so.
lsn't there a letter of authenticity?
The seal of dismemberment is here. What more do you want?
- l want Plegg. - You've got him!
- Not if he's alive. - Still alive?
- Still alive. - Plegg?
l tracked him down and told him about your scheme.
He was amused. l'm not.
Odo, l'm a victim here.
l bought these discs in good faith.
l have 5,000 pieces of Plegg in my storeroom.
- Not Plegg. - Then who?
Good question.
l demand an investigation.
You'll get one, l promise you.
Dr Mora!
lt's been too long.
You're looking well.
Yes...coming along nicely.
Why didn't you let me know you were coming?
lt was a last-minute arrangement.
The trip from Bajor takes five hours.
Can l get you something... Dr...Mora, was it?
Yes, some Deka tea would be nice.
Haven't quite managed the ears yet, have you?
Oh, no, but they're difficult.
ls the suit part of you? And the boots?
Here we are. Nice and hot.
Thank you.
So you two seem to be old friends.
Dr Mora was assigned to me after l was found.
l was responsible for his development during his formative years.
So this is a family reunion? l had a hunch.
- Odo's dad is always welcome. - He is not my...
Odo is doing a wonderful job here on the station, if l may say so.
He's beginning a fraud investigation.
Excuse us!
Of course. The two of you have a lot of catching up to do.
lf there's anything l can help you with, don't hesitate to call on me.
- That was uncalled-for. - You don't know Quark.
He was trying to present you in a positive light
to someone he thought was important to you
- and you responded with... - Please!
- Having trouble with integration. - l integrate as much as l want to.
Define that.
As much as l want to means as much as l want to.
Quark is a thief, a con man...
Nobody you'd want to know.
So tell me about this police thing you're involved with.
- ls it working out? - l enjoy my work as Chief of Security.
Chief of Security at a weigh station in space.
Don't you miss it, Odo?
- What? - Our work.
l don't believe it. l know you too well.
You were unhappy in the lab.
But the work, Odo, the work.
The exploration of you, what you are, where you came from.
That's never far from your mind, is it?
That part of true.
Good. Because l came here counting on that.
- See you later, Dad. - Hold on!
- l'm late. - For what?
Nog. My homework is done.
You've studied that entire Klingon opera?
l'll ace the test, Dad.
This is about learning.
You can't appreciate Klingon opera by cramming the night before.
When will l use Klingon opera?
You don't know what you're going to be when you grow up.
You may want to be a musician
or you may find yourself among Klingons
in a job somewhere.
- They wouldn't be singing operas. - lt helps to understand their culture.
When was the last time you listened to Klingon opera?
- When l was your age. - See?
Yes. Do you?
Just because you suffered doesn't mean l have to.
Yes, it does.
- Come in. - Dad!
Nog has the same test.
lnvite him over and you can listen to the Klingon opera together.
Please, Odo, sit down.
Commander, l'd like to request the use of a runabout.
Of course. For what?
Dr Mora Pol from the Bajoran lnstitute of Science
has asked me to secure one from the Federation.
- Why did he ask you? - He worked with me when l got here.
lf he went to the board of ministers it would take months,
and he's anxious to investigate something in the Gamma Quadrant.
And, may l say, Commander, so am l.
You've gotten me curious, Constable. ls it a secret?
No, but there isn't much to tell.
One of the Bajoran science probes recently scanned a planet
about six light-years from the wormhole.
lt picked up some very unique and familiar DNA patterns,
patterns very much like my own, Commander.
Dr Mora thinks he may have discovered the origin of my people...
Of me.
Being a scientist yourself, Lieutenant,
you can appreciate the difficulty of our dilemma
and the elegance of the solution.
When Odo was found, nobody knew who, or indeed what,
we were dealing with.
A shapeless, viscous mass of fluid,
a veritable organic broth.
That was our Odo.
When did you realise he was sentient?
He didn't. l had to teach him that myself.
lt's true. lt's very true.
Tell her.
l had never seen anything like these creatures either.
''Seen'' isn't an appropriate description. He had no eyes.
l was describing it in simple terms.
He had never perceived anything like us before.
Go on.
l had to find some way to communicate,
so l transformed myself into...
lt was remarkable.
l would come into the lab, and Odo would be there
resting in his liquid form in a Krokan petri beaker.
One morning Odo was gone.
The beaker was empty, but next to it
was an identical beaker that had not been there before,
a perfect replica in every way.
lt was...amazing.
lt hasn't been the same since you've gone, Odo.
Working with you has been the most rewarding part of my career.
We're approaching the planet. Prepare to enter standard orbit.
Planet designated LS Vl.
lnitiating scans.
There's a lot of seismic activity, possibly volcanic in origin.
Moving into synchronous orbit.
Do the letters mean anything to you?
No, l don't think so.
Judging by its position in the ruins,
this pillar represented something important to the people who lived here.
Let's take it. Computers on the station
could decipher the inscriptions.
Where's Dr Weld? Dr Weld?
Over here.
l think l may have found what we're looking for.
- ls it carbon-based? - No, silicate.
But vegetative, and very much alive.
Odo Junior, perhaps.
Computer, begin transport.
Computer, realign transporter. Lock onto our combadges.
Stand by.
This way.
- Ready for transport. - Computer, energise!
They're stable for now.
Dax is in fair condition
but the Bajorans are more seriously affected.
Maybe they inhaled more gas,
or there may be something about Trill physiology.
- And Odo? - l'm fine.
The paralysing action occurred when the gas was inhaled,
and since Odo doesn't have a respiratory system,
he wasn't affected at all.
O'Brien has off-loaded their cargo.
Everything is in the science lab.
There are some organic specimens from that planet.
Maybe something there will help you figure this out.
Will he be all right?
The molecule appears to have quite an unstable structure.
That might mean the effect is temporary.
l know how you feel, Constable.
Feel? About what?
When my father became ill
l can remember how weak he looked lying on the bed.
He'd been so strong, so independent.
lt always seemed there was nothing that he couldn't do.
But in the end, l realised there was nothing that he could do
and nothing l could do to help him.
l appreciate your thoughts, Commander,
but Dr Mora is not my father.
The computer can't classify your new life-form.
- Why? - Whatever it is, it keeps changing.
lt goes through a metamorphosis every time it reproduces,
and it reproduces like crazy.
lt multiplied so much l had to change containers.
l'll put it in a level-5 security field overnight.
l wish Dax were here. How's she doing?
Dr Bashir thinks she'll be fine.
Any idea what it is?
l'm hoping it's a key, Mr O'Brien.
A key to my past.
Kira to Sisko.
Go ahead, Major.
Sorry to bother you, but we need you in the science lab.
l'm on my way.
- Any signs of a break-in? - No.
The security seal was in place when we got here.
Why would anyone want to steal that?
You're suggesting the life-form itself did this?
l don't know what did this.
Unless a tornado passed this way.
The room was locked, it's gone.
Constable, do a level-3 security scan.
Our scanners may not find it.
lts metamorphic qualities confuse the computer.
- Run the sweep a few times. - Go to yellow alert.
Major, you could review the security camera records
and the heat sensor readouts for the lab and the surrounding areas.
l'm detecting trace elements near the ventilation intake duct.
Our life-form may have gone this way.
Dr Bashir gave you permission to be up?
He wouldn't listen and hid my clothes so l wouldn't leave.
l snuck out to my quarters in a hospital gown.
- What did this? - We think that life-form is responsible.
- l don't believe it. - Find me a better theory.
Odo, Dr Mora would like to speak with you.
They said something happened in the lab.
- The life-form sample is gone. - Gone?
- We're not sure how or why. - l want to help.
l know more about shape-shifters than anyone.
Anyone except me, and l'll run the investigation.
Besides we're not even sure it is a shape-shifting life-form.
Any metamorphic characteristics?
lt changed too fast for the computer to analyse.
Any indication of intelligence?
Not unless you consider destruction of the lab an indication of intelligence.
lt might be. lt might be. Don't dismiss any possibility.
Dr Weld hasn't regained consciousness.
l feel responsible.
l'm sure Dr Bashir is doing everything possible.
The same trace elements are in the duct.
l'm following the trail. Moving toward corridor 2-H.
- Nothing is showing up. - l figured as much.
Did the security cameras give you anything?
The security cameras stopped operating for 43 seconds
at 0300 hours, five minutes, right when the alarm sounded.
Stopped? You mean someone turned them off.
More likely some kind of power interruption.
lt might have affected the security field around the life-form, too.
Do the lab's heat sensors show any thermal deviation?
Almost a six degree increase during the 43 seconds.
- But then back to normal after that? - Affirmative.
We may be dealing with an entity that absorbs low frequency R-F energy.
lt might be feeding off our power.
An energy drain should show up on our scans.
Yeah, that's true, Constable. l don't get it.
Maybe this thermal deviation was a result of...
- Chief? - Hold on, l hear something.
We've got your position. Nothing else is showing up near you.
l definitely hear something ahead.
Can you hear it on the comm line?
lt almost sounds like... l can't describe it.
l'm moving in closer.
lf you run into my wife, don't mention l did this.
Move some backup to the nearest corridor.
Security to core section, level 4, corridor 2-H.
She'll ask me how my day was
and l'll say, ''Fine, honey. How was yours?''
l don't think she wants to know the truth.
So l do us both a favour and...
lt's a structural breach.
O'Brien, report.
l'm OK. l'm fine.
l think l found our missing life-form.
Except it isn't a life-form anymore. lt's dead.
Station log, stardate 47391.7.
Engineering crews have been working for over 15 hours searching conduits.
There have been no additional incidents
and no further evidence of the alien life-form has been found.
With this cellular structure
the life-form would have needed more carbon dioxide than we have.
- lt couldn't survive here. - That's my analysis.
Do you still think this life-form was capable of destroying the lab?
That's not impossible.
The environmental impact might have taken time to set in.
l'd like to get Dr Mora's opinion.
He should be up in the morning.
Feel like getting a raktajino?
My replicator or yours?
l was thinking more of the Promenade.
l knew that.
Thanks. l've got things to wrap up around here.
Sleep tight, Julian.
She enjoys it.
She actually gets some kind of perverse pleasure out of it.
And one of these days l'm going to stop chasing her...
and then we'll see.
Emergency. Emergency!
lntruder alert.
lt happened so quickly.
l'm sorry l can't tell you more about it.
lt was behind me and then it was gone. But it was big, very big.
How badly did you injure it?
l don't even know if l injured it at all.
l hit it with a laser scalpel in the arm or the leg or the tentacle.
Then it was gone.
lt appears that our life-form has survived
and grown into something interesting.
Did you notice anything when you entered the room,
anything out of place or unusual?
Was it unusually warm, perhaps?
Now that you mention it, it was warm in here.
Another thermal distortion. Did you try the lights, Doctor?
No. l didn't want to disturb the patients.
Let's check the R-F energy flow to the infirmary.
We might find a power interruption.
No blood or fluid traces, but there is a trail of an organic residue.
- Enough to test? - We'll see.
Sisko to ops.
Restrict nonessential personnel to their quarters
and go to red alert, Major.
Dax may give us a way to track this thing.
l suggest we close down the Promenade.
l'll give the order, Constable.
- ''Constable''? - lt's a nickname that l barely tolerate.
lt's an expression of affection that you find difficult to accept.
You know, that was a remarkable display back there.
- Display? - Yes, you were very careful, attentive.
l was doing my job.
The scientific method and police method
have a lot in common.
Perhaps they do.
ln science we look for the obvious.
lf something looks too good to be true it isn't true.
lf there is more to something than meets the eye,
there usually is more.
- That applies to investigation too. - You do it very well.
l'm very proud of you, Odo. Do you know that?
The computer's having trouble breaking down the DNA chains.
What about this pillar?
Did the computer decode the encryptions?
No luck there either.
The computer's having a bad week.
We have limited data for the Gamma Quadrant.
l have to close the Promenade. Call me when you have something.
Wasn't that pillar over here before?
l had it moved.
Have you compared this new organic strain
to the life-forms we brought back?
Enough to know they're not the same.
lt might be interesting to see if there are any commonalities at all.
Let me run a cross-tabulation analysis.
lt should only take a few minutes.
Do you know Odo well, Lieutenant?
He keeps to himself a lot.
l'm not surprised.
l never realised till l actually saw him...
how much l miss him.
We didn't part on very good terms and...
So l've heard.
He wanted to leave and we still had so much to do.
But l wonder if he wasn't right to go after all.
He's come so far.
He's an invaluable man around here.
l never thought he could do it, integrate successfully.
He was so ill-prepared to be on his own.
l was sure he'd come back.
l told him when he left he'd come back,
and all these years l was so certain that eventually
he'd show up at the lab.
l guess l'd better get used to the idea he's not going to.
Here we are.
Which one's this?
That's from the infirmary and this is from the planet.
But it went through several metamorphoses.
lt's not the same entity.
The nucleotide sequences are entirely different.
- Some metachromic similarities. - Yes...on a most basic level.
At best, they could be distant cousins.
The computer's broken down the DNA chain.
l can see if it matches up with any other life-form.
- How long would that take? - Two, three hours maybe.
Let me know.
Dr Weld has regained consciousness.
lt looks like he'll be fine.
That's a relief.
You don't seem relieved.
You can tell that just by observing me.
The tone of my voice, my eyes, my body movement?
You are truly a remarkable life-form, Odo.
But there is so much about you we still don't understand.
What are you getting at, Doctor?
The computer has broken down the DNA chain
from the sample we found in the infirmary.
Dax is running an analysis of it now.
But l already know what it is. l've seen it before.
The organic sample...
lt's from you, Odo.
The destruction in the science lab occurred at 0300 hours, five minutes.
The attack in the infirmary occurred at 19:35, roughly 16 hours apart.
ls your rejuvenation period still 16 hours?
l was in my pail during both attacks.
But were you?
l don't think so.
l think you've been placed in the ironic position
of having to track down yourself.
How could this be?
Has anything like this occurred before?
- No! - Are you certain?
Yes, l'm certain. There would have been incidents.
Any unsolved crimes on the book?
There are always unsolved crimes.
Then the possibility exists.
l do not commit criminal acts! lt is not in my nature!
lsn't it?
Maybe it was the gas on the planet.
lt affected you. lt must have affected me.
- That's it. - Worth an investigation.
- Dr Bashir... - Dr Bashir will not understand this.
Except that you have turned into a thing that tried to kill him.
What do you think they'll do with you?
They won't know what to do!
They'll put you in a prison
or quarantine you on an asteroid in the Gamma Quadrant.
Odo, they'll put you in a zoo!
l don't...believe that. You don't know them.
What humanoid have you been able to trust, except me?
What makes you think l trust you?
l resent that. l really do.
After all the time l invested in you,
after the education and attention l gave you.
You would not be here if it weren't for me.
l gave you more than anyone in my life!
You were my life! And then you walked away.
And now you don't trust me.
Fine. Put yourself in their hands.
You always had to learn the hard way.
am not going back to the centre with you.
Why? We'll work through this together.
We'll solve it together like we used to.
l have a power failure in security, Commander.
Sisko to Odo.
Sisko to Odo.
All deputies report to the security office. Possible intruder.
l'm tracking it.
We have a power drain above the security office.
We might slow it down
by shutting off the power to the entire core section.
Do it.
- Where did it come from? - Security to ops.
- Go ahead. - There's no one here.
- No sign of Odo? - 'No.'
l can help you with that, Major.
The creature you're after is Odo.
There must have been a reaction to the volcanic gas on the planet.
ls there any way to communicate with him?
lt's not Odo, really.
lt's separate and independent from the Odo we know,
and yet it's aware of me.
How can you know that?
The incident in the science lab.
l believe that was an attempt to rescue the life-forms l placed in containment.
The second encounter occurred in the infirmary where l was asleep.
The third happened a few minutes ago
when we got into a heated discussion in security.
Even the constable himself
would arrive at the same conclusions given the evidence.
On some instinctual level...
the creature is familiar with me.
You might even conclude it has hostile intentions toward you.
lt had occurred to me.
The power shut-down is complete, Commander.
Odo, or whatever it is, has stopped moving for the moment.
Based on your knowledge of its behaviour,
can we set up a forcefield to hold him?
We could reverse polarity on the energy fields.
- lt's only a guess. - Set it up on the Promenade.
l want a lot of room.
Major, station security teams along the perimeter.
How will we get him out of the conduits?
We could use some R-F energy bursts to attract him.
There's only one way that you'll attract that creature into your trap.
lt's me it's after.
- Mr O'Brien? - Our plan seems to be working.
He's following my trail of energy crumbs directly toward you.
On my signal, open the conduit and let him in.
We don't know which vent he'll come through.
Hopefully the one over there.
lf not, there are 17 others he might choose.
We're not stationing officers near them.
- We don't want to scare him. - l understand.
Just get him to the forcefield. We'll do the rest.
Phasers are to be set on maximum stun.
lf Dr Mora is in jeopardy l'll open fire.
They'll follow my lead.
lf doesn't bring him down immediately, we set phasers to kill.
- Commander... - l know, Major.
Those are my orders.
- Mr O'Brien, we're ready. - Releasing the conduit seal.
- Dr Mora, did you hear that? - Ready and waiting.
What are you waiting for?
l'm here.
And l'm not going anywhere.
l've done it to you again, haven't l, Odo?
Made you a prisoner?
Dear God, what have l done?
- Mr O'Brien, drop the forcefield. - Aye, sir.
We have a talk about.
l won't try and explain what happened to you
because l haven't got the vaguest idea.
But with Dr Mora's help we've eliminated all traces of the gas
from your cellular structure.
l prescribe rest because it's hard to go wrong with that one.
Otherwise, there's not much more l can do for you.
Thank you, Doctor.
l'm going home.
Dr Mora...
l want to be sure you understand...
l had no idea.
You had to speak in a voice loud enough for me to hear.
l'm sorry it was necessary.
l would like...
in a very small way...
to be part of your life again,
your life here on the station.
From time to time, we could talk about things that matter to us.
l'd like that.

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