Odo is parked in his usual spot at Quark's, grilling the crooked Ferengi over his supposed connection a ship of Miradorn raiders who have docked at [=DS9=].
Quark insists he's not affiliated with them (and that they aren't raiders). He then questions him over a suspicious customer at the end of the bar. Before they can discuss him at length, the Miradorn twins Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel enter the bar, and offer a nod Quarks way. Though he says it's just common courtesy to the bartender, he and Rom quickly shuffle off to the back with 5 glasses.
The twins are trying to pawn off a valuable egg shaped bauble. Quark questions if it was stolen, but the party is crashed before they can make a deal. The quiet customer, Croden, enters them room with a phaser, demanding to be given the item. A gunfight breaks out, and Ro-Kel is killed in the scuffle. The fight is interrupted by Odo, who was disguised as one of the glasses Rom took into the room.
-->'''Quark:''' ''Five'' glasses for ''four'' people?!
Ah-Kel is out for blood. Miradorn twins share a deep connection, and he's not going anywhere until he has Croden's head. Odo orders him back to his ship, and drags Croden off to the brig.
Back in the brig, Croden manages to snag Odo's attention when he refers to him as a Changeling. He assumed Odo had come here through the wormhole from the Gamma Quadrant, where these Changelings supposedly come from. He further piques his interest when he shows him a pendant with a strange morphing material in it. A material revealed to be identical to Odo's DNA. A "distant cousin" as Bashir puts it.
Meanwhile, Sisko and Dax head through the wormhole for Croden's home planet. The very cross Exarch demands Croden be returned immediately for numerous crimes on his home world. No trial, just bring him back. After a short back and forth, Sisko reluctantly complies.
Odo is ordered to return him. But Ah-Kel is waiting in the wings to strike. Piloting a runabout being masked by a Rigelian freighter, Odo leaves through the wormhole.
While traveling, Croden reveals why he's wanted. Back on his home world, he was declared an enemy of the state. A crime which is punished by the execution of ones family. Seeing his two wives murdered, Croden murdered the security officers with a fowl beheading knife. Odo is naturally skeptical, but he insists it's true.
Back at [=DS9=], Ah-Kel finds out Croden is gone by threatening Quark for the info. Despite several attempts to stall him, he leaves in hot pursuit of revenge.
Catching up to Odo's runabout, he allows Croden to take the controls and pilot them into a nebula. Setting down on a barren plaentoid, there are no Changelings in sight. Odo is pissed, and Croden reveals his stories about the Changelings are myth and legends. He didn't even know they were real. His real purpose in steering them into a nebula was a stasis pod.
Which contains the last surviving member of his family, his daughter Yareth. The pendant was basically a key to get her out of the pod.
Ah-Kel tracks them down on the planetoid, and opens fire from orbit. Odo is knocked out by a collapsing rock, but is saved from his doom by Croden.
Ah-Kel is battering the runabout. But Odo has a plan. Steering the ship into a volatile pocket of nebula gas called a toh-maire, he goads Ah-Kel into opening fire. At which point, they book it out of the gas pocket, Ah-Kel's larger ship being destroyed in the resulting explosion.
Croden, realizing he's still going to be returned to his home planet for execution, asks Odo to watch over Yareth at [=DS9=]. Before Odo can accept or decline, a passing Vulcan science ship hails the runabout. Odo seizes the opportunity, and requests the Vulcans give Croden and Yareth a lift to Vulcan. After all, it was a big explosion. He could just say Croden perished in it. Croden thanks him for this second chance, and leaves him the pendant.
Beaming them to the Vulcan ship, Odo is left alone to return home.
-->'''Odo:''' "Home? Where is it? Some day we'll know... cousin."
!This episode provides examples of:
* ActingForTwo: Ah-Kel and Ro-Kel are both played by Randy Oglesby
* HarsherInHindsight: Odo's face are called Changlings. They do live in the Gamma Quadrant. Some day, he will know...and be horrified that they are xenophobic conquerors.
* InsistentTerminology: Croden doesn't lie. He "Dissembles".
* KarmaHoudini: Sympathetic backstory aside, Croden still gets away with the murder of Ro-Kel.
-->'''Odo''': I think I finally figured out what crime you were found guilty of on your world.
-->'''Croden''': What's that?
-->'''Odo''': You talk too much.