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Ten years later...

The Great Link was Odo and Odo was the Great Link. Time had lost all meaning since he returned to his people, averted their extinction and forgave their misdeeds. He told the Link about loving Kira. He shared all of his experiences among the solids. They knew everything he knew, felt everything he felt and lived everything he lived. And with him, they anticipated.

No one could be certain of exactly what date a Bajoran ship passed through the atmosphere. Someone called for an investigation, and the volunteer surfaced.

Odo emerged from the Great Link and stood upon the only piece of land on the planet. He wore a plain tunic and boots like the rest of the Founders. It seemed appropriate.

A shrill keening sounded overhead. Odo watched a Tarkalean hawk circle through the clouds. His eyes opened wide. The ocean of Changelings around him churned as the bird landed on a rock. It shifted into a seated humanoid form, its outer skin fashioning a tunic like Odo's. Odo saw his own facial features looking back at him. The Changeling had Kira's brown eyes and dark auburn hair slicked back like Doctor Mora's. There were even faint wisps of eyebrows.

Odo stared in awe. If he had a heart, it would have pounded.

Kira was right.

"I've waited my whole life to say this back to you." Kejal got to his feet. He took Odo's hands, looked right into his eyes and smiled. "Hello. I love you, too."

Odo's breath caught in his throat. He beamed, pulling Kejal close to his chest. "Oh, Kejal, I've waited for this moment for ages."

The female Changeling took shape beside Odo. Facial expressions didn't come naturally for her, but her husky voice was warm when she spoke.

"You must be Kejal."

"Yes," Kejal replied. He had such a happy sounding voice-- similar to Odo's, but not as gruff.

She lifted her head. "We have been waiting for you."

Odo slipped his arm around Kejal's shoulders. He kissed him just above the ear, his mind flashing back to the ecstasy he felt when he brought Kejal into the world. That moment changed his life.

The Female stepped back into the sea of Founders. She spoke over her shoulder, "Come. It's time to join the Great Link." Then she liquefied and disappeared.

"I'm ready," said Kejal. He grasped Odo's hand. "Mother?"

Mother... Odo closed his eyes. He let his arm melt. Kejal did the same. Odo saw Kejal growing up, making friends and praying to the Prophets. Doctor Mora doted over him like a son. When he fell ill with the morphogenic virus, Doctor Bashir sent Doctor Mora the formula for the cure. The illness was the only suffering he experienced. Everything else...

Kejal lived a happy life among the solids, yet he always longed to know his mother.

And you will know me, Kejal. You will know us all.

Odo tilted his head back and slipped into the Great Link. Kejal did the same, spreading his life experience to everyone around him. He was hungry for knowledge. The same hunger present at his birth. Now, it would be fully satisfied.

For the first time in his life, Odo felt complete. He rejoiced with the others as the Great Link, a living ocean of memories, welcomed its last droplet home.


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