For other uses, see Progenitor.

The Progenitor was a possibly mythical shapeshifting being that, according to the Founders, created the universe and everything in it. The Founders believe that the Progenitor took a population of 'solids' and imbued in them its own malleable characteristics, thus creating the Great Link.

The Progenitor later disappeared, leaving the Founders unable to procreate, though with very long natural lives. After being unsuccessful in their attempts to find it, the Founders withdrew to the Omarion Nebula, from where they sent out the Hundred to lure the Progenitor to a system close to, but outside, the Omarion Nebula.

In 2376, it was believed the Progenitor had returned and Odo, Laas and Indurane investigated. They later found what they believed to be the Progenitor, although it had been killed by the radiation of a isolytic subspace weapon detonated by the Ascendants. The death of the Progenitor left the Founders crushed by guilt at what they had done to the Hundred, and thus, to the Progenitor. With their only hope for saving themselves from extinction now gone, the Great Link dispersed, with most Founders choosing to live in isolation, even from each other, though some Changelings chose to remain in small links together.

Taran'atar was told of the Progenitor's existence by the Female Changeling. This made him doubt the divinity of the Founders. (DS9 novels: The Dominion: Olympus Descending, Warpath)

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