Odo scowled at the two Nausicaans from the second level of the Promenade. With his usual precision, the chief security officer aboard Deep Space Nine had tracked their movements since their arrival on the station three days ago. In the past, he would have trailed them directly, in the guise of some innocuous object or even another humanoid or creature, instead of from above. But that was all behind him now.
In a way, the change (and he snorted at the irony) was good. It forced him to become a more efficient investigator. Odo had considered donning some form of disguise to tail them covertly, but thought against it. He was perfectly entitled to walk the station, and if his presence was noticed and prevented a crime, then all the better. The Nausicaans haven't yet done anything illegal after all. He simply monitored such a mercenary and violent race of solids on principle.
Odo snorted again. They went into Quark's. How surprising.
He was about to walk in to spy on whatever dealings they may have with the bar's Ferrengi proprietor, when he noticed something odd. There was a big blue box about three meters tall and one meter wide just sitting there by the upper level entrance to the bar, completely unnoticed by anybody walking past it. He had failed to notice it as well until now. Odd indeed.
"Odo to ops," he said tapping his com badge.
"Dax here," answered the Trill science officer. "What can I do for you, Constable?" Odo explained the situation to her and asked if anybody reported the box being there before. "No, I don't see a record. It must be some kind promotion of Quark's." He could hear the amusement in the young joined Trill's voice. Jadzia Dax and Quark were very good friends, if such a term could be applied to that nefarious and opportunistic criminal.
"Tell me, did he get a permit for such a display?" Odo asked, knowing Quark probably hadn't, but wanting to be thorough. She confirmed there wasn't any she could find. With a nod, he ended the communication and headed for the entrance to reprimand his old adversary for illegally obstructing the Promenade walkways.
Odo whirled around at the call.
"Wait," a man in strange garb repeated as he ran up to him. He was young, about twenty five Earth years or so and dressed in what looked to be ancient Earth clothes like the kind he'd seen in Dr Bashir's holosuite spy programs, with a bow tie, tweed jacket, suspenders, and slacks.
"Can I help you?" Odo asked gruffly.
"I saw you take an interest in the blue box."
"There's a perception filter on it. How did you notice it?" the man asked in lieu of answering the question. He was staring hard at Odo.
He crossed his arms, a little uncomfortable by the scrutiny. "I am the chief of security on board this station. It's my job to notice things. Now, who are you? And is the box yours?"
"I'm the Doctor. Yes, it's mine. Sorry if it's in the way. Why aren't you armed?"
"Excuse me?" Odo said, surprised at the non-sequitur.
"It's strange isn't it? For the head of security for such large space station to be unarmed?" Odo, annoyed by this stranger's presumptuousness, was about to say that the practices of security were under his purview and that it was none of the Doctor's business how he went about them, when he was interrupted. "I suppose the only logical conclusion is that you don't want to use one. You don't want to hurt anyone, do you?"
Odo glared at him. "I will if I have to," he said with a hint of warning. The Doctor grinned.
"But you don't want to. I don't recognize your species. Sorry, I'm new to this universe. Just checking it out." The Doctor then pulled out a tube from a pocket inside his coat and pointed it at Odo before he had a chance to react. It made a high pitched buzzing sound and shone a green light. The security chief was just moving his hands to call for backup when the other man held the tube up and seemed to read it as though it was a tricorder of some kind. Evidently it was, because what the Doctor said next stopped him cold.
"You're a changeling with a frozen morphogenic matrix," The Doctor stated with some surprise. "It's been made to imitate a humanoid so efficiently, complete with all those little humanoid functions like the endocrine system, that it forgot how to shapeshift. The only thing capable of taking a changeling's ability to change is the Great Link. And the only reason they'd ever do that is if one of their own killed another."
The Doctor's intense gaze froze the usually unflappable Odo. How could he possible know all this?
"It's odd then, isn't it," the Doctor continued. "That you'd kill one of your own kind when you don't even like to carry a gun. The only reasons for it I can think of are self defense or an accident."
Shocked by the Doctor's deductions and defensive about those fateful events, Odo blurted out what happened. "It was both! I didn't mean to, but he was going to destroy the Defiant! He was going to kill my friends. I tried to stop him, we struggled, and he was knocked into an energy discharge from the warp core!" Despondently, he said it was the only time he'd ever killed anyone.
"Then why don't you carry a weapon now that your shapeshifting abilities are gone?"
"Don't you see?" Odo said passionately. "It's even more important that I don't because they ARE gone! I can't let what happened with the changeling ever happen again! And the second I start carrying a phaser, it would only be a matter of time until it did!"
The Doctor smiled warmly at him. "You're a good man, Odo. The people on board Deep Space Nine are lucky to have you. I'm glad we've met."
And before Odo could shake himself from his sudden and unwelcome emotional display, the Doctor opened the blue box and stepped inside. "Sorry, must dash. I have to figure out what's wrong with everything!"
Again, the Constable is stopped from calling for his deputies when the doors closed and the box disappeared with a deep reverberating groaning sound.
As it vanishes, the head of strategic operations, Lieutenant Commander Worf, quickly rounded the corridor just in time to witness the last image of the blue box before it was gone for good.
"I've missed it!" the Klingon said in frustration. He'd heard the noise and hurried to where it was coming from.
Odo turned to him. "You know what that was?"
Worf nodded. "It was the TARDIS, a vessel that belongs to an old… ally who had visited the Enterprise."
"Yes. Come," the Starfleet officer gestured welcomingly to Quark's. "I will tell you what occurred over a glass of prune juice."
Why not, thought Odo. Plus, it would give him a chance to find out what Quark was up to with those Nausicaans.
As they walked into the bar, Worf smiled in remembrance. It made for a fine story, and he would tell it well.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and all affiliated characters are owned by CBS Television Distribution and Doctor Who and all affiliated TARDIS's are owned by the BBC.