Saturday, July 18, 2009

Treachery, Faith, and the Great River

Star Trek DS9 7x04 Treachery, Faith, and the Great River
Synopsis: Odo gets a coded message from Gul Russol and takes off to meet him, even though he considers the possibility that it could be a trap. In fact it is a ploy for Weyoun to meet with Odo and urge him to rebuild the Dominion according to his ideals. Odo distrusts Weyoun, not believing that he would turn his back on the Founders, and the situation takes a turn for the strange when another Weyoun hails their runabout. It transpires that the Weyoun that had been seen on the show for the last two years was recently disintegrated in a transporter accident, and the version currently with Odo (Weyoun VI) is a "defective" clone that does not believe the Founders to be infallible and questions the necessity of the Dominion's war with the Alpha Quadrant powers. His replacement (Weyoun VII) tells Odo that he would be happy to have their runabout destroyed in order to prevent Weyoun VI's secrets from reaching the Federation, even if it means killing Odo. As they try to escape the pursuing Jem'Hadar, Weyoun VI reveals to Odo that an illness threatens to wipe out the Great Link. Weyoun VII eventually convinces Weyoun VI to commit suicide in order to protect Odo. Before dying, Weyoun VI asks Odo for a blessing.

At about the same time Odo departed, Benjamin Sisko goes to a conference on Bajor, and orders Miles O'Brien to have the gravity fixed on the USS Defiant before his return. Sisko is unconcerned that O'Brien lacks the one crucial piece of equipment required to make the repair. Nog, with faith, offers to help O'Brien by navigating "the Great River", a Ferengi concept of economics and trade - described as "millions of worlds, all with too much of one and not enough of the other".

ODO: Has it ever occurred to you that you believe the Founders are gods because that's what they want you to believe? That they built that into your genetic code?

But WV-Six refuses to buy Odo's denial, grinning to himself.
WV-SIX: Of course they did. That's what gods do. After all, why be a god if there's no one to worship you? ... I'm hungry. Is it all right if I get something from the replicator?

Odo continues to pilot the ship while WV-Six finishes off his meal, placing the empty plate on the seat behind him.

WV-SIX (re: the meal) That was filling.
ODO: I would hope so. You sampled the Replicator's entire menu.
WV-SIX: I enjoyed the different... textures.
ODO: You mean tastes, don't you?
WV-SIX: Not at all. The Vorta sense of taste is quite limited. About the only foods we really enjoy are kava nuts and rippleberries.
ODO: I take it this is also a result of your genetic programming?
WV-SIX: It's the Founders' way of making sure we remember our past. (off Odo's look) You must know the story of how the Founders created the Vorta...
ODO: No, but I have a feeling you're going to tell me all about it.
WV-SIX: The Vorta used to be very different from what we are today. We were forest dwellers. Small, timid, ape-like creatures living in hollowed-out trees.
ODO: (guessing) Eating nuts and berries.
WV-SIX: (nodding) And living in fear of the many predators that hunted us for food. One day, a wounded changeling came stumbling through the forest fleeing a mob of angry "solids."
ODO: Why were they chasing him?
WV-SIX: Does it matter? Solids have always feared and distrusted Shape-shifters, you know that.

Odo can't deny that... (I could, and it does matter)

WV-SIX: A family of Vorta hid the changeling from his pursuers. And in return for saving his life, the changeling promised the Vorta that one day, they would be transformed into powerful beings. That we would become an important part of a great new empire that would stretch across the Galaxy.
ODO: (intrigued) And the changeling kept his word.
WV-SIX : That's right. Imagine, Odo, my people were once little more than apes, and look at us now -- look at what you've done for us.
ODO: If the story were true, it would at least prove that my people are capable of kindness and generosity. (Right, with that new empire built on blood and all)
WV-SIX: You care about your people very much, don't you, Odo? In spite of all that's happened between you.
ODO: (quiet) Maybe I do, but that doesn't change the fact that they're responsible for a war that's killed millions.
WV-SIX: Odo... there's something you need to know.

Weyoun feels the terrible weight of the news he's about to reveal to Odo.
WV-SIX: A sickness has spread throughout the Great Link... The Founders... are dying. I was summoned to a meeting by the female changeling -- she wanted to discuss troop deployments with me. Suddenly, her hands began to... shrivel. It only lasted a second or two... but over the last few weeks, it's happened a number of times. It's like she's... withering.
ODO: And you're sure the other changelings have also been infected?
WV-SIX: She said the entire Link is suffering from the disease.
ODO: Everyone but me.
WV-SIX: If they're unable to find a cure, you'll be the last of your kind.
ODO: (pained) Why didn't you tell me this earlier?
WV-SIX: Because I knew how much it would hurt you. I'm sorry to bring you such sad news.

Odo nods, he's not blaming the messenger.

WV-SIX: But at least you're not infected. The Dominion will survive.
ODO: Meaning what?
WV-SIX: Think about it... you have an opportunity to rectify the mistakes your people have made. To build a new Dominion based on cooperation, not conquest; on peace, not war... a new order under your leadership.
ODO: And what's your role going to be in this "new order?"
WV-SIX: Whatever you want it to be. I wish only to serve you.

But before Odo responds, the Proximity Alarm sounds off again...

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