Odo (Rene Auberjonois). Security chief aboard Cardassian space station Terok Nor, who continued that function when Starfleet took over the facility in 2369. Odo was a shape-shifter, one of the Founders of the Gamma Quadrant’s Dominion. (“The Search, Parts I and II” [DS9]). Odo was discovered as an infant in the Denorios Belt near planet Bajor, but those that rescued him had no idea where he came from, or what species he belonged to. (“Emissary” [DS9]). When discovered in 2358 (“Broken Link” [DS9]), Odo was a shapeless mass of organic broth. He spent several years at the Bajoran Institute of Science being studied by Dr. Mora Pol, who helped Odo assimilate himself into humanoid society. Being the only one of his kind, he attempted to fit into society by being “the life of the party.” He’d turn himself into any object requested by the partygoers, which only increased his feelings of isolation and loneliness. (“The Forsaken” [DS9]). Odo regarded Mora as a father figure, yet resented his cold scientific attitude and constant scrutiny. He left the institute and rebelled against Mora’s influence for years. (“The Alternate” [DS9]). Odo got his name from the Cardassian word odo’ital, something of a cruel joke, since it translates into “nothing.” (“Heart of Stone” [DS9]). Odo did not realize that despite Mora’s seemingly unfeeling treatment, the scientist truly cared for Odo, and much of his apparent cruelty was the result of ignorance about changeling physiology. (“The Begotten” [DS9]). Odo came to Terok Nor in 2365, and became an unofficial arbitrator for the Bajoran nationals on the station. Later that year, station prefect Gul Dukat asked Odo to investigate a murder on the station. Kira Nerys was a suspect in that case. Dukat was so impressed with Odo’s work that he made Odo chief of security for the station. (“Necessary Evil” [DS9]). In 2366, as part of his duties as Terok Nor’s security chief, Odo was made an officer of the Cardassian court. This would become advantageous in 2370, following the arrest of Starfleet Officer Miles O’Brien by the Cardassian government. Using his position as an officer of the court, Odo was able to have himself assigned as O’Brien’s nestor. (“Tribunal” [DS9]). When Benjamin Sisko was appointed acting chief of Earth security in 2372, Odo accompanied Sisko to Earth to as a consultant on protection against shape-shifter infiltration. (“Homefront” [DS9]). Odo maintained a humanoid form while at work on the station, but he had to return to his natural form, a viscous orange fluid, every 16 hours. (“The Storyteller” [DS9]). (In “A Man Alone” [DS9] Odo had to return to his liquid form every 18 hours.) Having a great respect for the rights of all life-forms, however simple or evolved (“Playing God” [DS9]), Odo refused to carry a weapon. (“Emissary” [DS9]) . He didn’t need to eat and only had an approximation of a mouth and digestive system. (“The Forsaken” [DS9], “Heart of Stone” [DS9]). Once, not long after he first assumed humanoid form, he tried eating, but did not find it satisfying because he had no taste buds. (“Meridian” [DS9]). Odo could nevertheless simulate the act of drinking. He would form part of his body into a drinking glass, so that he could drink and reabsorb the liquid within, permitting him to share the social experience of dining with others. (“The Way of the Warrior” [DS9]). Odo had no sense of smell. (“If Wishes Were Horses” [DS9], “Improbable Cause” [DS9]). He patterned his own hairstyle after Dr. Mora, the scientist assigned to study him at the research center on planet Bajor. He did not know how to gamble (“Babel” [DS9]), but did try to take on new challenges. Odo sometimes joined Miles O’Brien when O’Brien ran his kayaking holographic simulation program, and O’Brien used to give Odo old Earth detective novels to read. (“Heart of Stone” [DS9]). Odo was reluctant to take a mate, claiming that he would not to want to make the compromises that a relationship would demand. Odo also had an uncompromising view of law enforcement, believing that “laws change, but justice is justice.” (“A Man Alone” [DS9]). Odo let his guard down slightly with Ambassador Lwaxana Troi in 2369 when the two were trapped together in a turbolift on the station. In their different ways, both Odo and Troi were loners, and their enforced proximity caused them to share each other’s vulnerabilities. (“The Forsaken” [DS9]). In 2371, Odo came to realize that he had romantic feelings for longtime friend Kira Nerys, but he was never able to successfully express these feelings to her. (“Fascination” [DS9], “Heart of Stone” [DS9]). In 2372, after his feelings for her interfered with his job, Odo decided to maintain an emotional detachment from her. (“Crossfire” [DS9]). Odo actually married Lwaxana Troi in 2372, although it was a marriage of convenience, in which Odo sought to help Troi escape from her husband, Jeyal. By marrying Odo, Troi became free to raise her son on Betazed, away from Tavnian traditions that would have kept her away from her child. (“The Muse” [DS9]). In 2373, Odo fell in love with Arissa, a woman who visited the station. It was with her that he had his first intimate experience with a humanoid woman. (“A Simple Investigation” [DS9]). Odo yearned desperately to learn of his origins, and hoped for years to meet another individual of his species. When Crodin of the planet Rakhar gave him a shape-shifting necklace from the Gamma Quadrant, Odo began to suspect that he might find other shape-shifters in that part of the galaxy. (“Vortex” [DS9]). In early 2371, Odo found his people on a sunless planet in the Omarion Nebula in the Gamma Quadrant. He learned that he was a member of a species of shape-shifters who were the elusive Founders of the Dominion. To learn about the galaxy, the Founders had sent 100 infant members of their species far out into space, and placed a desire to return home into their genetic makeup. Odo was one of these infants. (“The Search, Parts I and II” [DS9]). Odo’s encounter with his fellow shape-shifters gave him a greater measure of self-confidence, even though he haddeclined to join his people’s Great Link. He even stopped using his bucket for regeneration periods, instead reverting to his gelatinous state in his quarters, where he began to experiment with the sensations of turning into different shapes and textures. (“The Abandoned” [DS9]). Later that same year, Odo was afforded the unique opportunity to participate in Jadzia Dax’s zhian’tara. But because of his shape-shifter nature, rather than just temporarily embodying the personality of Curzon Dax, Odo, in fact, became joined with him. The arrangement was very satisfactory for both beings, and for a time they refused to be separated. Even after Odo was persuaded to give up the Curzon personality, he retained memories of being joined with Curzon. (“Facets” [DS9]). Odo was a security officer for most of his humanoid existence, but he had never found it necessary to fire a weapon or take a life, as he abhorred the humanoid practice of violence. Nevertheless, in 2371, he became the first of his species to harm another Founder, when he accidentally killed the Founder posing as Ambassador Krajensky aboard the U.S.S. Defiant. (“The Adversary” [DS9]). A year later, Odo was compelled to return to the Great Link on the Founders’ homeworld. There, he was judged for having killed another changeling, and in punishment was made human, unable to shape-shift. (“Broken Link” [DS9]). In 2373, a changeling infant was discovered on station Deep Space 9. Odo became the child’s surrogate parent, determined not to repeat what he saw as the cruelty with which he was raised by Dr. Mora Pol. Odo even spurned Mora’s offers of help, but later relented when the child’s health deteriorated due to exposure to tetryon radiation in space. Odo experienced the joy of parenthood, then the grief of loss when the radiation poisoning proved fatal. The experience helped Odo understand how much Mora had cared for him, and how much Odo’s rebellion against his surrogate father had hurt Mora. Just prior to its death, the changeling infant infused itself into Odo’s body, restoring Odo’s shape-shifting abilities. (“The Begotten” [DS9]). Rene Auberjonois had previously played Colonel West in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Odo first appeared in “Emissary” (DS9). Addendum: Chief of security at station Deep Space 9. Odo cared deeply for his friend, Kira Nerys, but for years he was reluctant to admit it to himself or to her for fear of jeopardizing their friendship. This was especially difficult for Odo when Kira, unaware of his feelings, would confide in him about her romantic relationships with Shakaar Edon and Vedek Bareil. Odo might never have revealed his feelings to Kira had not an alternate version of himself from another timeline forced the issue in late 2373. SEE: Gaia. (“Children of Time” [DS9]). Odo became gradually more pen in his feelings toward Kira during the following months, although the relationship was threatened when he linked with the Founder Leader during the Dominion war. Odo found the temptations of the link to be so powerful that he inadvertently allowed Rom, a member of the resistance, to be captured by Cardassian authorities. (“Behind the Lines” [DS9]). Odo eventually chose to remain with his solid friends in the Alpha Quadrant. (“Sacrifice of Angels” [DS9]). Odo finally expressed his feelings to Kira in late 2374 after receiving encouragement and counsel from Vic Fontaine, an expert in affairs of the heart. (“His Way” [DS9]). Odo and Kira became romantically involved shortly thereafter, but their happiness was not to last. Unbeknownst to Odo, he had been infected with a deadly virus that had been created by Section 31. The covert Federation agency knew that Odo would pass the disease to all Founders through the Great Link. The genetically-engineered disease eventually affected Odo (“When it Rains...” [DS9]). He would have died of the disease if not for the extraordinary efforts of Julian Bashir, who extracted information from the mind of Section 31 operative Sloan, making it possible to eradicate the virus. (“Extreme Measures” [DS9]). During the final hours of the terrible Dominion war, Odo linked with the Founder Leader, knowing that doing so would transmit Bashir’s cure to her. Although Federation authorities had vehemently opposed such a link, Odo’s act of trust made it possible for the Founder Leader to understand that her people could indeed live in peace with solids. This, in turn, prevented further bloodshed when she ordered the forces of the Dominion to end hostilities. The link had a second result. Odo came to realize that he must return to the Great Link, not only to cure his people, but to help them to understand that peace was possible with the solids of the galaxy. Sadly, in the process, Odo had to leave his beloved Kira. (“What You Leave Behind” [DS9]).