Around 2356, Powell was a security officer who was gung-ho about the government’s mission to censor imagination, fiction and mythology. He discovered that his wife and 15-year-old son were Dissenters who’d hidden fiction in their house. The two were arrested, mind-wiped, and he would never see them again. But he became distraught and depressed, found other fiction in the house which hadn’t been confiscated, and immersed himself in the stories, finding that they eased his pain. His son’s favorites were the tales of Odysseus, a character who had a wife named Penelope and a son named Telemachos. He left Cephalic Security to become a Dissenter, modeling his identity after Odysseus, and eventually became the leader of the Dissenter group which lived in Alastor.
He maintained the persona using a method actor approach, by surrounding himself with imagery of his character. His cave room in Alastor was covered with illustrations of the Cyclops, the Trojan horse, and a Homeric ship with many oars. He splashed water on his face to add to the sensation of being at sea. He lifted rocks to build his physique to heroic proportions. He projected confidence, an indomitable will and inner strength.
In 2366, when he met Deanna Troi, he explained that he was different than the other Dissenters who were experts in their stories, saying rather that he was a story. By this time he had a gray-flecked beard. Troi empathically sensed that even while asleep he dreamed the adventures of Odysseus. After Alastor had been raided, the Dissenters escaped and planned a final raid on CephCom. He had an identity crisis, fearing many would be killed, all his responsibility. Troi reinforced his persona by telling him he had been an automaton for thought-police, never coming into his own as real person until he’d become Odysseus.
In the raid, he confronted Major Ferris, who knew him as a former officer. Ferris shot Powell in the chest. Fifty one-eye thought-police robots surrounded them. Ferris applied a truth serum to force Powell to name his co-conspirators. Powell named Odysseus’ maternal grandfather, a pig farmer and his wet-nurse, characters from the Odyssey. When Ferris repeated the names aloud, the one-eyes recognized them as fictional, prompting them to conclude Ferris had been co-opted. The robots reflexively all fired their weapons, killing both men instantly. (TNG novel: Gulliver's Fugitives)