To Boldy Sew: Star Trek Deep Space Nine S01E11: “Vortex”

To Boldly Sew is a recap of DS9 episodes, with a specific focus on the fashions of the many aliens and other characters that make up the series. Feel free to discuss matters of plot and general Star Trek things in the comments. 

I’m getting all these screenshots from, which is the same place as the original TNG fashion blog (


Odo comes into Quarks and does not want to buy anything, much to Quark’s dismay. I am not dismayed, however, because Quark is wearing a new jacket!

Same orange shirt, though.

It’s still upholstery with black armbands and a big shiny button on the front, but it’s a different color of upholstery!

Odo talks about a Miradorn raider that is coming into port and that Quark can do business with.

Quark says the “raider” is a misnomer and the ship’s reputation, just like his own, has been exaggerated. He also does not know the ship or the crew. Odo is skeptical of this. He did not invite them to come in for a free drink as he usually does? Quark says no, because the Miradorn are a quarrelsome people.

Odo observes a man across the way who looks away when they make eye contact, a man the Klingons brought back from the Gamma Quadrant. Quark says he is named Croden and is harmless. Odo asks how he knows that Croden is harmless. Quark says the man talks when he drinks. Odo says he didn’t want to talk to Sisko. Quark says the Starfleet officers scared him.

He looks more thoughtful than scared, but okay.

Croden is wearing what looks like a gray shirt with some dark blue accents, and some sort of necklace.

Two men come in to Quark’s. They nod toward Quark and walk on. Twinned Miradorn, Odo notes and also notes that they nodded to Quark.

The silvery panels are…not flattering. They kind of remind me of diapers.

Perhaps because they are twins, they are dressed alike, in black striped outfits with silvery panels on them. The upper half is horizontal stripes and the lower half is vertical stripes, so I guess they want to appear taller and fatter?

They also have interesting hairdos, with what I guess would be called a rather extreme widow’s peak.

Quark says they just nodded at him because he is the bartender, and Odo is paranoid, then goes on a loud vocal rant about how Odo is bothering his customers and if he’s not going to buy anything or play the table, he should leave. Quark also tells Rom to get a glass of a special drink.

Croden gets up and leaves. Rom prepares the glasses, taking a pink bottle off the shelf. Odo watches.


Rom is wearing the same outfit he wore in the last episode. Boring. The pink drink reminds me of strawberry Calpico, which is a thing I buy every time I go to the Japanese supermarket.


Rom brings the drink to where the Miradorn are talking with Quark, in a holosuite. They are showing him a small pink egg.


It kind of reminds me of a Faberge egg, which I saw a documentary on recently, and which I suppose is probably what we’re supposed to be reminded of. It’s never made clear what the purpose of this object is, or if it is just art, or where it comes from or any of its history.

The Miradorn want 1,000 bars of gold pressed latinum. Rom tries to serve the pink drink, but they push him aside to talk business.

Quark says the buyer has backed out because questions have been raised about the origin of the bauble because a similar one was taken during a raid nearby. He wants a bill of sale. The Miradorn angrily tell him to find another buyer. He says it will take some time.

Croden comes in with a phaser.


He’s wearing a jumpsuit, or else a two-piece outfit which is made to look like it’s one piece. The sleeves are gray, but the collar and almost everything else appear to be navy blue or black.

He says he wants the item. The Miradorn tell him he is making a mistake. He says it won’t be the first or last time. The Miradorn hit him with the table, and the glasses Rom was trying to serve with break.

Oh, but one glass is actually Odo, who starts to form into himself. Croden starts to shoot again but now Odo stops him.

Odo calls for security and medical. Quark berates Rom for bringing 5 glasses for 4 people. Rom just looks confused. One of the Miradorn is dead; his brother moves to attack Croden but Odo rebuffs him easily with a hit to the chest.

Security arrives, they take Croden and Odo tells them to take everyone (including Quark) to security. Bashir examines the dead Miradorn but he is definitely dead.

Sisko is talking to the remaining Miradorn, who explains that they are not just twins but in his species they are two halves of a single self and he is incomplete now.


The Miradorn’s outfit appears to be made of velvet, or maybe just more upholstery fabric. He also has something interesting happening on his neck that’s never explained – gills, perhaps?

Odo tells him they should have considered the risks before trying to sell stolen property. The Miradorn says he has no proof the item was stolen. Odo says 2 people were killed on the transport the object was taken from. The Miradorn maintains that they purchased it from a trader. Odo demands the trader’s name and ship. The Miradorn is offended, and says his brother was killed and he is clearly the victim.

Sisko interrupts and says that he’d like the Miradorn to return to his ship now. He gives sympathies, but says there may be more questions, so do not leave the station. The Miradorn wants to deal with the one who killed his twin. Sisko says the law will deal with him. Reluctantly the Miradorn departs, saying his only purpose in life is to kill his brother’s killer.

Quark would like to leave also. Sisko asks if Odo has evidence to hold him (and Rom). Quark says he was also concerned the object was stolen and was not willing to purchase it. Odo admits this is true. He also says it’s curious Croden had a Ferengi phaser (which Quark says is available in many a port) and curious that he knew the Miradorn were trying to sell him something valuable.

Rom says “how dare you suggest my brother set up this robbery!” much to Quark’s dismay. Quark says that if the Miradorn discovered that theory he’d wake up dead one morning, and he’d appreciate them not spreading that theory around. They depart, with Quark berating Rom as they go.


Croden is lying on a cot in a holding cell, examining the necklace he is wearing.


He complains about hunger. Odo is disgusted that killing did not affect his appetite, but Croden says that it was “him or me” and he had no choice but to kill him.

Sisko wants him to understand there will be a trial and they can assign an advocate or he can request one from his home world. Croden says he doesn’t think anyone on Rakhar will care.  Sisko asks if murder is a serious crime there. He says all crimes are serious, but there are no trials.

He comments on Odo’s talent, and refers to him as a “changeling,” which shocks Odo as he’s not heard the term before. Odo asks if he’s heard of other shapeshifters, and he says seen shapeshifters elsewhere. He says if he gets food he’ll tell Odo more.

Sisko, meeting with the rest of his staff in his office, says they have to contact Croden’s planet, although it’s not the best form of first contact. Kira thinks they will be thanked, as Croden has probably committed other crimes.


This is probably just a way to get Kira on screen, as she hasn’t had much of a role to play in the last few episodes. O’Brien is also in this scene, but he doesn’t do much either.

Dax says it won’t be hard to find Rakhar. Croden was found in a damaged shuttlecraft about 3 light years from the wormhole and there aren’t many M class planets there. Sisko plans to go with her to find the planet. He directs Kira to keep an eye on Croden and not let the Miradorn kill him while in their custody. She says she’ll tell Odo to increase security.

Dax & Sisko take a runabout through the wormhole.


Odo goes back to Quark’s. He talks to Quark about Croden.

Quark denies knowing much about him. Odo says he talked to people who saw them engaged in many heavy conversations and Morn (giving that regular customer a name for the first time!) says Quark bought the fellow a meal. Quark says Morn should keep his big mouth shut. Morn does not defend himself.

Which is surprising because he usually talks so much. 

Odo asks again what they were discussing. Quark says he was just being friendly, as Croden was out of place and alone. He felt sorry for him. Odo points out there’s no profit in kindness.

Odo also points out that Quark has been making inquiries about finding a small ship to go to the wormhole, and he thinks he was trying to arrange passage for Croden to get back to the Gamma Quadrant in exchange for the robbery.

Quark says it will be a bigger tragedy if they don’t keep quiet about that theory. He also says they spoke about business and inconsequential things only. Odo says that inconsequential things may be important to him. He asks if Croden said anything about his home world or other species in the Gamma Quadrant. Quark says No.

Odo gets a call saying that Ah-Kel and his crew are blocking the entrance to his office. Odo says he will handle it.

In the promenade, a crowd has gathered. Odo appears to find the Miradorn brother (I guess this is Ah-Kel) near his office. They have a conversation.



Ah-Kel apparently has solicited the help of some other people, perhaps crew members from his ship. There are no good screenshots of the crowd, which is admittedly not on screen for very long, but we do get a good shot of one of Ah-Kel’s people, who is wearing a purple shirt and a leather jacket, giving me the impression he is on leave from a late-80’s band. He’s even got hair that’s kind of big.

Odo says he was told to stay on his ship. Ah-Kel says that he cannot stop until he kills Croden. Odo tells him to go back to his ship or he will lock him up. Ah-Kel leaves. Odo goes into his office.

Croden is sitting on the floor now with a plate of mush on the cot.


I guess this is a way to eat when they don’t give you a table? None of the food looks appetizing, which might be why he is drinking from a mug rather than eating at the moment.

Odo comments that he is making a lot of friends. Croden tries to draw parallels between them as they are the only members of their species on the station.

He admits that there are no shape-shifters on Rakhar now, but there were centuries ago. Odo asks what happened to them. Croden says they were persecuted and driven out. But he knows where there are some left, or there were a few years ago.

Odo is sarcastic, saying that of course Croden would take him there if he had the chance. He then tells Croden to tell him where it is and he’ll go himself, but Croden says he’d have to show him; there’s no way he’d find it on his own.

The next time you lie I’ll save Ah-Kel the trouble of killing you, Odo says. Croden says he is only dissembling. Odo says the truth isn’t in him.

Croden takes off his necklace and holds out the pendant. He says it’s from the colony of the changelings.


He opens it and a bit of what looks like a purple liquid forms into a solid substance and then back into purple liquid. Odo opens the cell and takes the necklace for himself.

Meanwhile in space, Sisko and Dax have reached Rakhar and hail them from orbit. There’s no response, so he tries giving more detail. They finally get a signal.

A man appears on screen and says he is the Exarch of Nehelik Province and wants them to transport Croden to his location.


The Exarch, who never gives his name, is wearing baggier clothing than Croden. It looks like a loose-fitting green sweater worn over another green sweater with a turtleneck. I don’t generally like turtlenecks, but I do like the layered look, so I’m torn on this outfit.

Sisko says that he doesn’t have Croden with them; he is on their space station. He tries to explain where they come from. The man says he is aware of the wormhole but has no interest in contact with anyone from their Quadrant.

Sisko says he’s sorry to hear that but will respect their wishes, but felt it necessary to make contact after Croden was arrested. The alien responds by saying that Croden is an enemy of the Rakhari people. He is shouting as he asks that they return Croden at once. Sisko says they are going to have a trial, but the man says he as been declared guilty in absentia for myriad crimes and that judgment supersedes his.

Sisko tries to have a discussion but the alien simply declares that if Sisko’s society respects the rules of his society, they will return Croden at once. He doesn’t want to know anything else about Sisko’s society. Sisko agrees, saying that that Croden will arrive in a vessel like his own within 52 hours.

Back at the station, Bashir has studied the necklace, and says it’s an amalgam of organic material and some kind of crystal.


So, it’s alive? Odo asks. More or less, Bashir says, it seems to be a transitional phase between organic and inorganic matter; he’s only seen one life form that even remotely resembles it – Odo himself.

Bashir says that the stone is a distant cousin of Odo’s.

Odo asks Croden where he got the stone. Croden wants to know what he’d get in return, but Odo will not give anything. Odo gives him back the necklace.

Croden then says there is a nebula called the Chamra Vortex with millions of asteroids, and he found the necklace on one of them. He also says the Vortex is uncharted but he hid there often and found the colony of changelings by chance and he will take Odo there.

Sisko calls Odo to his office and says he wants Odo to escort Croden back to his home planet. Sisko tells him that his home planet is adamant he be returned, and the Bajorans have agreed to release him. Odo says there will be trouble with the Miradorn. Sisko agrees, as Ah-Kel has been screening all the ships leaving to make sure Croden is not on them.

Sisko says he’d like to use a freighter to run interference between himself and the ship. Odo agrees. Sisko tells him to be careful of the Miradorn, as their ships can easily outrun his runabout.

Odo brings Croden to the runabout in handcuffs. Croden thinks Odo is taking him up on his offer, but Odo says he is taking him home.


I feel like there should be a second security person on this mission (especially because, as Odo admits later, he is not much of a pilot) but what do I know?

The freighter leaves the station, and the runabout moves along with it. The Miradorn scan the freighter and it doesn’t look like they’ve seen the runabout. Both ships pass through the wormhole.

Croden asks Odo how he stands to live where he doesn’t belong. He keeps trying to push Odo’s buttons, convincing him to feel sympathy. Odo says he’s determined what crime Croden was guilty of – talking too much. Croden laughs.

He says maybe he asked one question too many. He then tells Odo that his home was broken into before dawn and both his wives were murdered and he doesn’t know why and was never told why. He says that on his world, the punishment for being an enemy of the people is the death of his family. He had only a small knife that he used for cutting the necks of fowl. He then discovered the necks of the security officers were just as easy to cut.

Odo asks if he expects him to believe the tale.

Would it make any difference if he did? “No.” Well then believe it, because it’s true.

Odo says he could sedate him if he doesn’t stop talking.

Back at DS9, Ah-kel is threatening Rom and Quark, demanding to know where Croden is. Quark says he is in security. Ah-Kel does not believe him and throws him onto a table.

Quark is forced to look closely at some gold-pressed latinum. You’d think he’d be okay with this.

Quark says it is Odo’s doing. Ah-Kel does not believe this either. Quark says he doesn’t know where Croden is but maybe he could find out.

He goes to his computer behind the bar, and Rom gives him the security chips for Level 4 clearance, which he inserts in the computer. He claims it isn’t clear. Ah-Kel looks at the screen and says it’s quite clear. He also says Quark had better be telling him the truth or he’ll be back.

Rom says that Quark is clever and will rid them of Croden and Odo, unless Odo gives up his prisoner, and then Croden will tell Ah-Kel that Quark and Rom staged the robbery, and Ah-Kel will be back for them. Quark thinks Odo will not give up his prisoner.

Chief notes that the Miradorn ship is preparing to leave. Kira tries to tell them to stop, but they’re not responding, and they leave, heading for the wormhole. Odo is still about 5 hours away from Rakhar.

Croden tries to convince Odo to go through the Vortex instead of around it. Odo says he does not have the liberty to explore his curiosity about his people.

Croden says that the changelings don’t maintain a humanoid shape and they were persecuted on his world, but they treated him well enough when he landed at their colony, and they healed his wounds. He says that Odo has the same sense of decency and justice.

Odo is clearly still skeptical, saying that Croden doesn’t give up.

The ship shakes. Odo asks the computer for details, and the computer explains they were hit by a concentrated plasma charge; they are being attacked. It’s a Miradorn vessel.

“The first shot was a warning,” Ah-Kel says, and demands Odo release Croden. Odo refuses. Ah-Kel says he will die along with him then, and resumes firing.

Odo commands the computer to take evasive maneuvers. Croden says that the computer will not get them through this, but he volunteers to fly them through the Vortex; the ionized gasses there will screen them from the Miradorn sensors.

Odo reluctantly agrees; releasing Croden from the handcuffs. They fly into the nebula, which is full of purple-ish clouds and pretty pictures like this:

“oooh. ahhh.” Thank you.

Croden slows down, saying the vortex is riddled with pockets of volatile gas and they mustn’t hit those.

The ship rocks again; they’ve been hit. Croden says the Miradorn must have followed their impulse wake and tells the computer to go to thrusters. Croden says they will land and then they’ll be undetected.

The runabout lands on a rocky planetoid.

This is far less pretty.

Odo follows Croden through a cave. He chases him down and tells him that he will not get what he came for. He demands to know how much of his story was true.


Croden says that on Rakhar they tell stories about changelings and he thought they were myths until he met Odo. He got the stone from a merchant; Rahkari merchants buy stones like it from off-world traders and they use it as a key to his only reason for living, ahead in the cave.

Odo releases him and they run ahead.

There’s been a cave-in and something has fallen on a stasis chamber with his daughter inside.


Odo helps him to move a large rock and then Croden uses the key to open the chamber. Inside, a little girl is sleeping. She wakes up, happy to see him, and they embrace.


She seems to also favor the layered look, like the other Rakhari man we saw, leading me to believe that Croden got his outfit somewhere else. The daughter is wearing sort of a sari-like outfit over something with yellowy sleeves. The lighting isn’t good in the asteroid cave.

Croden tells his daughter, Yareth, that Odo will take her to a place where she’ll be safe. He says that he must answer for his crimes.

The asteroid starts to shake, and Odo realizes that the Miradorn sensors have picked up their life forms and they must return to the runabout. He starts heading that way, but is knocked out by a falling rock.

I’m going to leave aside scientific questions about how this works and if Odo would not just return to a liquid form, since he doesn’t “sleep” the way most people do….

Yareth asks if Odo is badly hurt; Croden doesn’t know as he doesn’t know anything about Odo’s species, but says he will carry him back to the ship. As he’s about to do so, he hesitates, clearly thinking of leaving him, but he goes back to pick up Odo.

On the runabout, Odo wakes up, moaning. Croden tells him he is heavier than he looks.

Odo says he could have left him behind, but Croden says not to thank him as he already regrets it.


We get a little better view of Yareth’s outfit here, and here sleeves are actually reddish-pink, not yellow. Shows how weird the lighting in the cave was, I suppose.

He also says he hasn’t been able to lose the Miradorn ship, and sooner or later one of his photons is going to hit a gas pocket and explode, killing them all.

Odo gets up and heads for the front, asking for the controls. He tells Croden to find the closest gas pocket, and then heads right for it.

They set a course for the interior perimeter and then Odo has the computer to shut down engines, but re-engage impulse on his command. Croden is worried and says they’re a very easy target, but Odo is confident.

Ah-Kel hails them, asking if he’s ready to surrender. Odo says that the runabout has a lot of Starfleet weapons; he doesn’t know what they do but they’re quite powerful and he’s ready to try them all out, so Ah-Kel should withdraw.

Ah-Kel is not deterred as he hangs up. Croden reports that Ah-Kel’s starboard photon bank is armed. Odo tells the computer to engage. Ah-Kel fires photons just as the runabout moves away. Things explode.

It’s pretty. Ah-Kel can be comforted that his death was beautiful.

A while later, emerged from the Vortex, Croden asks for one last favor. He asks that Odo look after his daughter Yareth. Odo is reluctant.


Oh, look, Yareth’s sleeves have texture on them. Interesting.

They are hailed by a Vulcan science vessel called T-Vran, and this Vulcan lady comes on screen.


She’s dressed pretty plainly, which I guess is normal for a Vulcan, but there’s some nice detailing of gold on the chest there. I don’t know the point of the background – do they really have that wall on the ship, or did she step into a room specifically for hailing other ships?

Anyway, she asks if they need any assistance, as they detected a major explosion in the Vortex. Odo says they’re okay, and asks for her course. She says they are heading for the wormhole, then Vulcan.

Odo says he’s beamed over two survivors from a ship that wasn’t so lucky, and asks if they could give them transport to Vulcan. She agrees immediately.

Odo tells Croden not to thank him, he already regrets it. Croden asks how Odo will explain things. Odo says he will say that Croden was killed when Ah-Kel shot at them. Croden then gives Odo the necklace, saying he hopes it will help him find out where he came from.

Yareth asks Odo if he is really a changeling, and he says yes, and gives her a rare smile. vortex29

We get this last shot of the two of them before they are transported, and a clear look at Yareth’s outfit, which is an interesting asymmetrical kind of layered thing that I don’t hate.

They then beam out, leaving Odo alone with his thoughts of home and the little key.