A Simple Investigation
Production no.: 515
Written by: René Echevarria
Directed by: John Kretchmer
Stardate: not given
First satellite airdate: March 29, 1997
Dey Young ..........
John Durbin .........
Nicholas Worth ....
Randy Mulkey .....
Brant Cotton ........
In a set of guest quarters on DS9, an Idanian man slips a small weapon into his sleeve and starts for the door. It opens to reveal two Finneans named Traidy and Sorm. "Can I help you?" "I think so," says Traidy, and Sorm punches the Idanian as Traidy asks, "Where is it?" The Idanian professes not to know what they're talking about. Meanwhile, Sorm has been scanning the room, and tells Traidy "it's" not here. Traidy pretends to be embarrassed at accosting the wrong man. Then he knees the Idanian in the head. "Listen to me. We know why you're here, we know who you came to meet, and we know what you were going to give to her. So for the last time, where is it?" The Idanian says, "All right, I'll take you to it." Surreptitiously, though, he is pulling out his weapon. Sorm vaporizes him. "I thought it was on stun." "Look what you did to the carpet," his colleague scolds, indicating the singe marks. He decides that they'll wait for "the woman"; she might know where the Idanian hid "it".
In Quark's, Bashir shows O'Brien, Odo, and Dax a rod containing a new holosuite program sent to him by his friend Felix, who designed it. It's the next chapter in his "secret agent" adventures. Bashir gives them all parts to play: Dax will be a socialite named Lady Wantsomore, Odo will be another agent named Nigel Dunlap, and O'Brien will be Falcon -- again. Bashir asks if Saturday night is good for everybody. Odo is hesitant, even when Bashir shows him a picture of the woman he's supposed to "steal" away from Falcon. "I'm sorry. I never should have agreed to be part of this in the first place."
Odo leaves the group, and as he passes the bar, he sees an attractive human-looking woman there who is rebuffing Quark's flirtations. The woman (whose name is Arissa) points out a pair of aliens cheating at Dabo; Quark hurriedly leaves her. Odo is impressed by her observation skills. "Are you waiting for someone?" he asks her. Arissa gives him a cynical look. "You," she answers sarcastically. "Where have you been all my life?" This takes Odo completely off guard; he had simply noticed her watching the door. Arissa realizes he's sincere. "Sorry. I thought you had other things on your mind. Must be those bedroom eyes of yours...You probably get that all the time." "Not really," says Odo, thrown; he's not used to such compliments. He tells her where his office is, in case anyone bothers her again, and makes an awkward exit. Meanwhile, Traidy and Sorm sit nearby, watching Arissa.
During a cargo inspection, Kira catches Odo looking rather intently at some reflective containers. He finally admits, "Last night, a woman in Quark's told me I have bedroom eyes. I'm trying to see if it's true." Kira is intrigued; Odo explains the misunderstanding over the woman thinking he was trying to seduce her. Kira asks if he's going to see her again. "Obviously she's very perceptive." "Meaning what?" Odo asks. Kira smiles. "Meaning, you should see her again."
When Odo returns to his office, he is surprised to see Arissa there with a deputy. "Hello again," Arissa says wryly. She's been caught trying to break into the station's computer. Arissa explains that her friend never showed up, so she wanted to check the passenger manifests. Odo asks why she didn't come to him for help. "When you grow up on Finnea Prime," Arissa says, "you learn not to trust policemen." Odo notices that she has a dataport implanted into the side of her neck, just below her ear; she tells him that the security protocols gave her some nasty feedback. He says he designed them that way, and asks what she's doing with a dataport. They should be illegal, in his opinion, since they're often used to access information illicitly. When he asks about the Idanian she was waiting for, one Tauvid Rem, she says it's a personal matter. Finally she admits that Tauvid is known for finding people, and that he is helping her locate the daughter she gave up fifteen years ago. All she knows is that he told her he had some information. Odo agrees to take Arissa to Tauvid's quarters.
They go there together; there's no answer to the doorchime, so they go in. The Idanian's personal effects are gone, and there's no sign of him. Finally, though, Odo notices something on the floor, and moves the couch aside, revealing the singe marks where the man was vaporized.
Analysis confirms that the residue contains Idanian DNA. They have no known specific motive for Tauvid's murder. Arissa asks if Odo's deputies found anything; Odo says no. Possibly someone didn't want her to find her daughter, though Arissa says Tauvid hadn't indicated that when they spoke. "I can't believe this. I was so close to finding her, and now I'm going to have to start all over again. That's if you'll let me." Odo looks blankly at her, and she reminds him that she was facing charges for trying to break into the computer. In light of the fact that she couldn't access any information, Odo says he's dropping the charges. Surprised, Arissa thanks him. "You're a very kind man." "I hope you find your daughter," Odo tells her.
In an airlock corridor, Arissa uses her dataport to access the computer again through a wall monitor and get into the assay office logs. Late that night, after Quark's closes, Arissa emerges from the assay office, to find Odo waiting for her. "I didn't realize I'd tripped an alarm," Arissa says ruefully. "You didn't," Odo says. "You're good." He caught her because he's been following her. "I didn't know," she admits. "I'm good, too," Odo tells her. "So, did you find anything in Tauvid's locker?" He lets her know that he can have her strip-searched. "That might be fun," says Arissa, "but in the interest of saving time -- " She holds up a data crystal.
Back in his office, Odo notes that the crystal won't be easy to decode, and that Tauvid seems to have gone to great lengths to secure information about a missing girl. Arissa tries to explain it away as typical of Idanians, who tend to be secretive. "You realize it would be a simple matter for me to have you examined by a doctor to determine if you've ever been pregnant?" Odo asks. She looks at him with a trace of humor. "You keep threatening to have me stripped down and examined. I'm trying not to read too much into that." "You don't have a daughter, do you?" he says. Knowing he's got her dead to rights, Arissa admits, "No."
"That's probably the first true statement I've heard you make," Odo says. "Not quite," Arissa tells him. "I meant what I said about your eyes." Odo forces himself to ignore this. He asks what's on the crystal; Arissa says she doesn't know, but she needs to find out. "Because if I don't, I'm dead." At last, the story comes out. Arissa has been working for a man named Draim, who is with the Orion Syndicate, specializing in extortion. Arissa goes on to say that she accesses computer systems to steal information for him. She acknowledges that it's a dangerous line of work, but, "you don't quit the Orion Syndicate unless they say you can." However, that is exactly what she's trying to do, and that's the reason she came to meet Tauvid, who told her he had information she could use to break away from Draim. Arissa can't explain why she believed him; she just did.
Arissa figures that Draim must have been monitoring her communications and got someone here before she arrived; also, that he had Tauvid killed to keep her from getting the crystal. She smiles bitterly. "I'm just picturing myself trying to explain all this to the authorities back on Finnea. Not that they'll listen. They'll just send me to prison." "I'm not turning this over to the Finneans," Odo tells her. He has decided to place her in protective custody while he has someone try to access the crystal. Arissa is surprised by his willingness to help her. "You're just doing this out of the kindness of your heart?" "I don't have a heart," Odo says. She smiles. "You could've fooled me."
Meanwhile, Traidy and Sorm are hanging out in a cargo bay. Traidy has found out that Arissa is with Odo, and that they have the crystal. The hitmen's next duty is clear, to make sure she doesn't access it. "She's so pretty," says Sorm. "I was hoping we wouldn't have to kill her." Traidy dismisses this. "You'll get over it."
Odo takes Arissa into a set of guest quarters, then has the computer beam them to his own quarters, to fool anyone who might have been watching. She can use the bedroom while he stays in the outer room. Seeing the unusual "furniture", Arissa wonders where he'll sleep, and Odo explains that he doesn't need a bed; he regenerates by reverting to a gelatinous state. Surprisingly, Arissa accepts this as natural, even enviable. They discuss her situation. She hasn't been able to identify anyone from the security recordings at the airlocks, and Odo hasn't had much luck identifying Tauvid either, as that wasn't the man's real name. He has sent a picture to the Idanian authorities, but isn't sure he'll get a reply. As for the crystal, he has Dax and O'Brien working on getting through the encryption lockouts. Arissa offers to interface with it, but Odo doesn't think that's a good idea, due to the feedback that shorted out the computer the first time Dax and O'Brien tried to access it.
Venting some of her fear and frustration at what she's gotten herself into, Arissa tells Odo a bit more about herself. She used to be a "net girl", letting men into her mind (via her dataport) for money. That was how she met Draim, and began working for him. But now she wants out. "I guess I'm finally going to get my wish. Only problem is, I'll be dead." Seeing that she's trying not to cry, Odo attempts to reassure her. "I'm not going to let anyone harm you. You have to trust me." "I do trust you," Arissa says. "But you can't protect me forever. Sooner or later, Draim will get to me."
Odo suggests that she could put Draim in prison by testifying against him, get immunity for any past crimes of her own, and start a new life. Arissa is stunned by the notion. She would never make it to the witness stand. "I will take personal responsibility for your safety," Odo insists. "I don't care how long it takes. If I have to ask for a leave of absence, I will." "You'd do that for me?" Arissa asks. "Why?" "I've done things in my life I'm not proud of, too," he confesses. "You worked for Draim, I worked for the Cardassians. I never had the courage to walk away. You did. I admire that."
Arissa is a bit overwhelmed by this. "I've never been admired for anything other than the way I look." "Most people can't see past the surface," Odo tells her. "Especially when what they see is so beautiful." He realizes he has said more than he intended. "I'm sorry, I merely meant -- " "Don't apologize," she tells him. Odo retreats, saying he'll see if Dax and O'Brien have made any progress.
Bashir is in the holosuite, riding in a limo with a beautiful 1960's-era woman -- playing out his secret agent scenario -- when Odo knocks on the door. Surprised, Bashir has the woman give them a moment to talk. Odo wonders how Bashir knew she was interested. "It's that kind of program," says Bashir. "What is this all about, Odo? You didn't come here to talk to me about women -- did you?" Odo's chagrined look gives him away, and Bashir smiles. "Ah, this is about Bedroom Eyes, isn't it?" He heard about it from O'Brien. "If people are talking, it's only because they care. You put on a good front, but anyone who really knows you can tell that you're lonely. If you're interested in this woman, you have to let her know."
"I can't," says Odo, torn. Bashir realizes that he's afraid of rejection. "You can't go through life trying to avoid getting a broken heart. If you do, it'll break from loneliness anyway. So you might as well take the chance. If you don't, she'll move on, and you'll never know what you might have had. And living with that is worse than having a broken heart, believe me." As Odo is considering Bashir's words, there is another knock on the other car door. It's O'Brien, playing Falcon. "Car trouble, Mr. Bashir?" he growls menacingly, then breaks character to give Odo a cheery "hi." Odo vacates the car to let them get on with their game, leaving Bashir in the lurch.
When Odo returns to his quarters, Arissa is standing by the window. She couldn't sleep. An undeniable chemistry builds between them as they converse. Odo starts to pick up a detective novel, one in which he has already figured out the killer, but makes a decision and puts it down. He doesn't feel like reading. "Perhaps we could talk for a while." "What do you want to talk about?" she asks softly. Slowly they inch toward each other. Odo finally takes the leap. He kisses her. And Arissa kisses him right back. "Tell me more," she breathes, before he gives her another, passionate kiss.
Later, they are lying in bed together, both naked under the sheets and blissfully engaging in pillow talk. Arissa notices Odo looking at her rather intently. He tells her he's trying to figure something out. "I've never been able to let down my guard. I was just wondering what makes you different." Odo admits that he hasn't "been with" a humanoid woman before, though he did have an experience on his homeworld that "you might consider sexual". Arissa assures him that she couldn't tell.
They kiss again, and Odo declares that he never wants to leave this room. Unfortunately, this only reminds Arissa of her predicament. She doesn't want to spend the rest of her life looking over her shoulder. Realizing she's spoiling the moment, she changes the subject. "Tell me more about this encounter you had on your homeworld." Odo is only too happy to do so, and describes linking with the Female Changeling. "Sounds nice," says Arissa. "Too bad I'm not a Changeling." "Oh, we shouldn't let that stop us," Odo tells her, and shifts his hand briefly into liquid, against hers. Judging from her expression, she approves of the sensation.
Odo's preoccupation with Arissa has not gone unnoticed by his fellow officers. Dax and Kira are chatting about it in Ops the next morning. Kira doesn't seem to want to believe that anything is going on between the two, other than a policeman doing his duty -- even though Dax points out that Arissa spent the night in Odo's quarters. Worf, meanwhile, disapproves of their "gossiping". Sisko, for his part, wonders where Odo is -- he's late for a conference with Starfleet Intelligence, and Odo is never late. "He's never spent the night with a woman before," Dax declares slyly. "A woman?" says Sisko, surprised. "That's nice. Isn't it?" he asks, seeing Kira's look. Odo arrives then, looking vaguely guilty, and goes into Sisko's office for the conference. Dax smiles. "Did you see the look on Odo's face? I'm telling you, something happened." Kira's expression says she's not quite sure what to think.
Meanwhile, Arissa uses Odo's computer to transmit a message: "Draim, let's talk. Arissa." In their cargo bay hideout a little later, Traidy tells Sorm he's talked to Draim -- Arissa has made a deal, the crystal for her freedom. "So we don't have to kill her?" asks Sorm. Traidy gives him a withering look. "Don't be stupid. As soon as we've got the crystal, she dies." "Oh. Makes sense," Sorm shrugs.
Odo is in his office when an Idanian enters. He has come in response to Odo's communication to his government. "Where's Arissa? Is she safe?" "You know her?" asks Odo. The Idanian agent replies cryptically, "Better than she knows herself." He explains that Arissa is an intelligence agent with his government, who was sent to infiltrate Draim's organization. Odo listens, stunned, as the agent goes on to tell him that Arissa doesn't know this fact. Her memories were erased and stored in the data crystal, while she was given a new identity and a new past. "If you take me to her, I'll explain the rest." They go to the science lab, and find O'Brien lying stunned on the floor. The crystal is gone, taken by Arissa. The Idanian pulls out a tricorder which he says he can use to track the crystal's signal.
Arissa enters the cargo bay where Traidy and Sorm have been staying. Traidy steps out of the shadows, indicating he's alone, but Sorm is behind a crate, his weapon ready. Meanwhile, the Idanian and Odo have lost the signal. Traidy and Arissa show each other that they're not armed, and she hands him the crystal. "Don't go yet," he says. "You haven't met my associate." Sorm steps out; Arissa knows she's in big trouble, but tries to stay calm. "Draim and I had a deal." "He was in a very emotional state when he agreed to it," Traidy tells her. "The truth is, you really hurt his feelings when you left." "He liked you," says Sorm, aiming his weapon. "Maybe you should close your eyes." Suddenly one of the doors opens, and Odo morphs down from a grate. There is a skirmish; the hitmen are subdued, and the crystal recovered. Arissa is safe.
In the infirmary, Bashir plugs the crystal into Arissa's data port as she lies unconscious, and the Idanian agent explains things to the doctor and Sisko, with Odo nearby. After she volunteered for the mission, Arissa's memories were altered. The new identity was vital, as it prevented Draim's hired telepaths from exposing her. Once she was a trusted member of the organization, and the Idanian government was ready to recall her, they had Tauvid make contact. They had implanted a trace memory in her mind to make her trust him. Now, they'll be able to use the information she has to bring down Draim for good. Odo can't help being angry about the danger their brilliant plan exposed Arissa to, but the Idanian agent maintains that she knew the risks going in. Moreover, they couldn't clue Odo or anyone else in for fear of Draim intercepting the transmission. "All that matters is that she's safe, and that Draim is going to prison for a long time."
Sometime later, Odo is looking out the window of his quarters when his door chimes, and she walks in. Her features have now been returned to her true appearance, as an Idanian. "Arissa?...That's not even your name, is it?" She shakes her head. "There's something you need to know. I'm married. I have a husband." Odo is devastated, but doesn't blame her. "It's not your fault I fell in love with a woman who never really existed." "She did exist," the woman he knew as Arissa insists, with emotion. "She was real. And she loved you. In a way, she still does."
They hold each other close one last time. "Will I ever see you again?" he asks. Sadly, with a tear rolling down her cheek, she replies, "I don't know. I'll never forget you, Odo. Never." With that, she walks out, and Odo turns back toward the window, his dreams shattered yet again.
The episode was partly inspired by the film The Narrow Margin. The Idanians are indeed the aliens responsible for I'danian spice pudding, according to René Echevarria.