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Vortex (episode)

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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
DS9, Episode 1x12
Production number: 40511-412
First aired: 18 April 1993
11th of 173 produced in DS9
11th of 173 released in DS9
  {{{nNthReleasedInSeries_Remastered}}}th of 173 released in DS9 Remastered  
263rd of 728 released in all
Miradorn twins
Written By
Sam Rolfe

Directed By
Winrich Kolbe
Unknown (2369)
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For the term in subspace physics, please see vortex.

A fugitive attempts to trade evidence about Odo's people for freedom.


Teaser Edit

Odo arrives at Quark's, suspecting that he's doing business with the Miradorn raider that just docked. They also discuss a quiet customer who is sitting at the other end of the bar. Just then, Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel, a pair of Miradorn twins, enter the bar and nod in Quark's direction. Quark heads up to a holosuite and asks Rom to bring up some drinks. Odo morphs into one of the glasses to eavesdrop on the upcoming meeting.

Act One Edit


Five glasses, for four people?!

The twins are offering to sell a small egg-shaped object to Quark, who expresses concern that it was stolen but just as he does, the quiet customer, named Croden, enters and demands to be given the item at gunpoint. Rom drops his tray of glasses, one of which reforms into Odo as it hits the floor. Ah-Kel throws the table at Croden, then Ro-Kell fires at him, but misses. Croden fires back, killing Ro-Kell. Before Ah-Kel gets a chance to fight back Odo hauls Croden away to the security office.

Ah-Kel, furious about his twin's death, vows vengeance against Croden. However, as Croden is still being held in the brig, Ah-Kel returns to his ship in frustration. Odo visits Croden who tells him stories he'd heard about Changelings, something which piques Odo's attention.

Act Two Edit

He goes on to tell Odo that the Changelings live in an unusual nebula in the Gamma Quadrant. Croden then shows Odo an unusual pendant containing a miniature Changeling that shapes into what could be described as an unusual "chess piece".

Odo takes the pendant to Dr. Bashir who examines it and tells him that it's organic. The only other living creature he'd encountered with a remotely similar genetic makeup is Odo. Jokingly, Bashir says that the pendant could be like Odo's distant cousin.

Act Three Edit

Using the Rio Grande, Commander Sisko and Lieutenant Dax locate Croden's homeworld and speak to Hadran, the Exarch of Nehelik Province. It transpires that Croden is wanted for multiple crimes on his planet and Hadran demands his immediate return to face execution.

Odo is ordered to return Croden to his homeworld. They use a Rigelian freighter to mask their departure from Ah-Kel's raider.

Aboard the runabout Croden tells Odo that on his homeworld he was declared an enemy of the state, the punishment of which is the execution of his family members. His two wives were killed and in response Croden killed the security officers responsible. Odo is suspicious of the story but Croden reassures him that it's true.

Act Four Edit

Ah-Kel discovers that Croden is gone. After threatening Quark's life Quark uses his security access to give Ah-Kel Croden's whereabouts. Rom is excited over the prospect of Ah-Kel killing both Odo and Croden, but Quark does not share his enthusiasm. Ah-Kel eventually catches up with Odo's runabout in the Nebula and opens fire. Odo agrees to let Croden take the controls, since he is familiar with this area of space. Croden directs Odo to a small planetoid, telling him that he may end up meeting one of his people after all.

Act Five Edit

When they arrive there are no Changelings present. Croden heads to a stasis chamber hidden deep in a cave where he uses the "chess piece" as a key to open it and revives his daughter Yareth, seemingly proving his story to be true. On the way back to the runabout, the Miradorn vessel fires upon the planetoid which causes a cave-in and Odo is knocked out. Croden considers leaving him but ultimately goes back for him and rescues him.


Croden, a Rakhari criminal

Odo regains consciousness on the runabout and is surprised to find that Croden didn't leave him behind. However Ah-Kel is still pursuing them. Odo takes the controls from Croden and leads the Miradorn ship into a pocket of volatile toh-maire gas. Just before the runabout is fired upon, Odo moves the ship out of the way. The gas ignites, destroying the Miradorn ship.

As Croden is preparing to be returned to his people, he asks Odo to take care of Yareth, saying that they're both going to be outsiders and they'll need each other. Odo is looking for a way to decline the request when a Vulcan ship, the T'Vran, detecting the explosion, intercepts the runabout Ganges and asks if they can be of any assistance. Odo asks if they would take the two Rakhari "survivors" back to Vulcan with them. Odo tells Croden that he will say Croden was killed during the Miradorn attack on the planetoid. Croden gives Odo his pendant as a way of thanking him for his kindness and for saving his life as well as the life of his daughter before beaming over to the Vulcan ship. Odo warns him that he will be an outsider living in an alien culture, but Croden says as long as he has his daughter he has a home. After they depart Odo, holding the pendant, tells his "cousin" that one day they'll find home as well.

Memorable quotesEdit

"The shapeshifters are harsh in their judgement."

- Croden to Odo

"The usual, Odo?"
"The usual."

- Quark and Odo

"Whoever you are--you're making a mistake."
"Well, it wouldn't be the first and probably won't be the last. Give that to me."

- Ro-Kel and Croden

"The fact that you just killed a man doesn't affect your appetite?"

- Odo, to Croden

"Five glasses... for four people... !?"

- Quark, after he realizes that Odo was masquerading as a glass

"Have you known any twinned Miradorn, commander?"
"I'm afraid I haven't met any before now."
"In my species, we are not just twin brothers... together we are a self... two halves of one being. I am incomplete now."

- Ah-Kel, to Commander Sisko

"You could've left me behind."
"Don't thank me, I already regret it."

- Odo and Croden, after Croden decided not to leave Odo on the planetoid

"Don't thank me, I already regret it."

- Odo to Croden, after Odo decided send Croden to Vulcan

"Morn should keep his big mouth shut!"

- Quark and Morn

"Home? Where is it? Some day we'll know... cousin."

- Odo, looking at Croden's pendant

Background InformationEdit

Story and scriptEdit


Miradorn raider crew

A behind the scenes photography of the Miradorn raider crew.


  • Michael Piller thought "Vortex" was "a very effective episode. I was mostly concerned that the sentimentality of the little girl on the planet was not going to play and that it was a little hokey. Frankly, I think it did play and I found it quite touching. I was intrigued with the mystery, and the special effects they did in the vortex were sensational". (Captains' Logs Supplemental - The Unauthorized Guide to the New Trek Voyages, p 51)
  • This episode marks the first time that we see Odo smile. Actor Rene Auberjonois felt that this scene was an important one in the development of the character, believing that "a smile is sort of a gift that Odo gives only on very special occasions." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion)


Video and DVD releasesEdit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also Starring Edit

Guest Stars Edit

Co-Star Edit

Uncredited Co-Stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins Edit

References Edit

Advocate; Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel's raider; airlock; alien; Alpha Quadrant; Altoran; amalgam; asteroid; Bajoran; Bajoran transit regulation; Bajoran wormhole; bill of sale; bird; brother; century; Chamra Vortex; Chamra Vortex Asteroid; Changeling; colony; combat pilot; cousin; crime; crystal; daughter; dawn; day; docking ring; egg; evasive maneuvers; exarch; eye; father; Federation; Ferengi; Ferengi phaser; fowl; Gamma Quadrant; Ganges, USS; gas; gullet; hailing frequency; holding cell; holosuite; homeworld; homicide; hour; impulse; impulse wake; ionized; key; killer; Klingon; knife; langour; latinum; law; life sign; light year; manacle; matter; M class; merchant; microscope; Milky Way Galaxy; minute; Miradorn; Miradorn raider; mirror; morning; murder; myth; nebula; neck; Nehelik Province; night; ops; orbit; organic; paranoia; photon bank; photon torpedo; plasma charge; promenade; punishment; quadrant; Quark's; raider; Rakhar; Rakhari; Rakhari shuttlecraft; Rakhar sector; restroom; Rio Grande, USS; Rigelian; Rigelian freighter; robbery; runabout; security chief; security clearance; security office; security officer; sedative; sensor; shapeshifter; shapeshifting locket; shields; shuttlecraft; space station; starboard; Starfleet; Starfleet Academy; stasis pod; station log; subspace communications network; subspace signal; supper; thruster; trial; T'Vran; Theta-class; thief; toh-maire; trader; twin; Vanoben; Vanoben transport; volatile pocket; vortex; Vulcan; Vulcan (planet); Vulcan band frequency; Vulcan science vessel; wanted poster; wife; year

External linksEdit

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Previous episode:
"The Nagus"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Season 1
Next episode:
"Battle Lines"

cs:Vortex (epizoda) de:Der Steinwandler es:Vortex fr:Vortex (épisode) nl:Vortex pl:Vortex

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