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For other uses, see Vortex.

"Vortex" was the 12th episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, in the show's first season, first aired during the week of 18 April 1993. The episode was written by Sam Rolfe and directed by Winrich Kolbe.


A criminal from the Gamma Quadrant tells Odo that he knows of other beings like him.

A visitor from the Gamma Quadrant attempts to steal a valuable item that Quark is buying from a pair of twin Miradorn, but Odo stops him. The remaining Miradorn vows to kill the man who shot his brother. Once the visitor, who introduces himself as Croden, is in a holding cell, he makes several comments to Odo regarding Changelings. This piques Odo's interest, as he has never encountered another shape shifter.

Croden claims to have met one before. Croden's motives are suspect as he never divulges anything outright, but he claims there were once shape shifters on his homeworld. According to Croden, they were persecuted and driven off the planet; however, he may know of a place where they still exist. Odo is not fooled by the fact that Croden conveniently cannot give directions but can find his way to this place himself. However, Crodn gives Odo a necklace with a stone that changes shape.

Sisko and Dax meanwhile try to contact Croden's homeworld about what to do with him. Apparently highly xenophobic, one of their leaders demands Croden's return. Sisko tells the man that a runabout will return with Croden aboard in the next 52 hours.

Back on the station, Croden claims that he happened upon an uncharted colony of Changelings in a nebula he calls the Vortex and that he knows his way back to it. Sisko has other plans and gives Odo the assignment of bringing Croden back to his homeworld. Odo takes Croden in a runabout and manages to slip by the Miradorn's ship without being detected, but the Miradorn, still bent on killing Croden, forces Quark to tell him where Croden went.

During the trip to Croden's homeworld, he drops hints and is persistent about the Vortex, knowing Odo wants to find his people. The ship suddenly shakes; the Miradorn has fired on it while Odo was distracted with Croden's story. The Miradorn hails Odo and orders him to surrender his prisoner, and when he refuses, the Miradorn ship attacks the runabout. As Odo says in trying to evade the Miradorn, "I'm a security officer, not a combat pilot!" Croden says he can maneuver the ship through the Vortex and that the gases might hide it.

In trying to avoid the Miradorn, Croden is forced to land the runabout in order to keep the other ship from finding it. Once on the asteroid on which Croden spoke of before, Odo demands to know if any of the stories were true. Croden admits that on his homeworld people tell stories about Changelings but he has never met one and he does not know where the stone came from. However, his daughter is in a stasis chamber on the asteroid. Ultimately, Croden decides to answer for his crime on his homeworld but Odo finds a Vulcan ship that agrees to take Croden and his daughter back to Vulcan with it.



Ah-KelAltmanJulian BashirBroikCrodenGraham DavisJadzia DaxHadranJones (Lieutenant)Kallis VenKira NerysMornMiles O'BrienOdoQuarkRo-KelRomBenjamin SiskoYareth


Alpha QuadrantBajoran wormholeChamra VortexDeep Space 9Gamma QuadrantOperations centerPromenadeQuark'sRahkarStation commander's office
Referenced only


USS Ganges (Danube-class runabout) • USS Rio Grande (Danube-class) • Ma-Karn-class raiderRigelian freighter (Altair-class freighter)
Referenced only

Races and cultures

Referenced only

States and Organizations

Bajoran MilitiaGathererStarfleetUnited Federation of Planets
Referenced only
Starfleet Academy

Other references

asteroidclass MFerengi phaserfirst contactgold-pressed latinumholosuiteIDICimpulse enginelangournebulaphoton torpedoplasma chargesecurity chipshapeshifterstasisstasis chambertoh-maire


Background information

  • "Vortex" is the first episode of the series where extensive scenes take place in the Gamma Quadrant.
  • During the episode Odo exclaims "I'm a security officer, not a combat pilot!" as a nod in the direction of Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy from TOS.

Notable cast and crew




published order
Previous episode:
The Nagus
DS9 episode produced Next episode:
Battle Lines
Previous episode:
The Nagus
DS9 episode aired Next episode:
Battle Lines
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Pocket Next Adventure:
Red Sector

External links