How does Changeling society operate?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by indolover, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    It seems to me that the Great Link is kind of like some mass communistic state. There are no leaders, and essentially all are equal. At least I sense amongst Changelings there are no senior or junior conspecifics. Even though Odo technically may have been younger than the Female Changeling, she did not deem him a junior or an inferior.

    That said, could the Female Changeling in a way have been Odo's mother? It seems weird, but maybe the manner in which Changelings reproduce is that some members of the Link volunteer their DNA for copying or reassortment into a new Changeling. Maybe this is why it was the Female Changeling specifically who greeted Odo in The Search. It's a just a theory lol..
     
  2. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's possible the Changeling society does not have members at all. Quite possibly, it's just a single organism that, when Linked, has only a single mind. A mind that can undergo introspection and internal dialogue, sure, but still just a single mind.

    Whenever a glob of goo leaves the Link, it starts to exhibit isolated thought processes. But those are absorbed into the whole as the glob returns; if a lot of "individuality" has been accumulated, as with Odo and the rest of The Hundred, it just takes a bit longer.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  3. WesleysDisciple

    WesleysDisciple Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    i really like that idea.. that the link is a collective entity.

    "the drop becomes the ocean, the ocean becomes the drop"



    Basicly the individual mebers, are as much philosophys, or ways at looking at things, that remain strong enough as entitys outside of the link, that they keep retaking separate form

    Odo might be able to urge the link to greater compassion.
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Why would Odo bring greater compassion to the Great Link? He's not particularly compassionate. He's not really much different from the rest of the changelings, in fact. He seeks "justice", which isn't much different from the changeling-wide desire for order, in fact, it's pretty much the same thing. Odo wants "Justice", but only justice that he sees as such. If there's any exchange of views, it would be that Odo would end up being overwhelmed by the Great Link's view of Solids. It is far more likely that Odo would come around to their way of thinking, rather than bringing them to his way.
     
  5. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    It's also likely that the other Changelings would simply dismiss him or ignore his views. Some of them may see their defeat at the hands of the solids as more reason to detest/fear them.
     
  6. _C_

    _C_ Commander Red Shirt

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    It's possible their individuality dissolves when they slip into the Link and they regain it when they leave. What one experienced is experienced by all once an individual dips back into the living ocean. This was greatly evidenced in the final DS9 episode where Odo spreads the cure for the morphogenic virus just by rejoining the Link. He became its savior.

    If just two Changelings link up, they form a mini-Link. But it's also been shown that they can control what information is passed around--Odo said during his judgement he sensed they were hiding things from him.

    Also, once, Odo and the female Changeling had sex in their solid forms because Odo wanted to show her how solids experience intimacy, and she said it was just a pale shadow of what the Link offers. In a way, I see the Female as Odo's antithesis in the series. She's everything he wants to be, but in a way so twisted he turns away from it until she's taken out of the picture.

    Think of the juxtaposition at the end of the series. The Female gets stuck in a prison, away from the Link after living it her whole life. Odo is 'released' by Kira and joins the Link after spending much of his life without it.

    I think WITHOUT the Female calling the shots, the rest of them would realize solids aren't so bad via Odo's memories. After all, his SOLID friends risked their lives for HIM to cure him of the virus that was killing the Changelings.
     
  7. Captain McBain

    Captain McBain Captain Captain

    It seems to me that the Female Changeling is the leader of the Great Link.
     
  8. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    The female changeling looked to be the leader of the Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant, but not necessarily the leader of the entire Dominion. That would be like assuming Eisenhower was the leader of the United States during World War II.
     
  9. _C_

    _C_ Commander Red Shirt

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    She had the Vorta to help her.
     
  10. indolover

    indolover Fleet Captain

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    Probably any given Founder in a specific region is technically the leader of all Dominion governance. So all resources, whether social, military, economic, etc. are under his or her control. This may explain why the Female Changeling was the ultimate ruler of Dominion Cardassia. Yes, Dukat, Damar and Broca were the heads of government but they were largely puppet positions. Dukat/Damar/Broca still had to answer ultimately Weyoun and to the Female Changeling.
     
  11. Captain McBain

    Captain McBain Captain Captain

    Technically, Eisenhower was the leader of the US during WWII, just as Obama (gulp!) is leader of our nation now.
     
  12. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Really, dude? You don't know the difference between President Roosevelt and General Eisenhower? Or are you under the impression that Ike was president during World War II?
     
  13. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    I think it's a lot like the Borg, a single collective mind when they are linked. But unlike the Borg, the members are able to think and behave independently when they are not linked.

    I have always wondered what type of facilities they would need to have to do all their evil bidding. If they exist in a big soup pool of people, I guess they don't need houses or roads or real infrastructure the way solids would. But where do they do their genetic engineering to make Vorta and Jem'Hadar? Where do they build ships, develop science, etc. I imagine there has to be more than just that random rock edge on their planet, right?


    Great analogy, too bad McBain killed it :lol:


    I never got the impression that she ran the whole Dominion or the Great Link. Actually, I'm betting that no one runs the Great Link. I think they exist the same way the Borg were originally conceived (that is until motion picture dramatic license added an over-sexed Borg Queen)
     
  14. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I'm confused. My history books and research indicated that Franklin Roosevelt and subsequently Harry Truman was the leader (i.e., the President, where the buck stops, etc) during World War II (which ran from 1941 to 1945 for the United States). Dwight Eisenhower was the top Allied general (not counting any Soviets) during the war. Are the rest of you under the impression that Eisenhower was President during World War II??

    While it is clear that the Female Founder was head of the Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant, it does not follow that she was head of the entire Dominion.
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Probably not. After all, the Founders would want to keep the Dominion as far away from them as they possibly can!

    The two remote and desolate worlds where we find Founders in "The Search" and "Broken Link" are hideouts, places where the Founders remain unseen and hidden from all Solids, including those they keep at an arm's length through integrating them into the Dominion. The worlds are rather tellingly located on the outer fringes of the Dominion or even outside it (as evidenced by the ease by which our heroes reach those places from the wormhole Gamma end, which is originally located outside the Dominion).

    They certainly wouldn't want to build any Jem'Hadar or Vorta there, let alone ships or weapons - all they would really need is a communications room for contacting a select bunch of Vorta in the Dominion proper, and telling them how to run the show. We see some facilities on the first hideout world, namely those used for interrogating the Defiant captives, and some Vorta there, but there might be very little else on that planet besides the big seas of Founder goo and the few inspirational rock outcroppings sticking out of the seas.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

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    I guess what I'm thinking is... how did they first get off their planet? We've seen Changelings become birds and fly around but can they fly through space? Or would they require some infrastructure on their homeworld to develop technology and build ships? I can definitely imagine them not wanting to 'build' Jem'Hadar and Vorta on their Homeworld now (heck, they probably don't even allow them to visit). But how does a species with (seemingly) no infrastructure on their homeworld at all develop the technology to rule an entire quadrant? Do they even have weapons? What made the big pool of goo so scary to everyone?
     
  17. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

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    ^ We have seen them changing the homeworld once already during DS9. So it is possible that neither planet shown was their original homeworld.

    Also wasn't their Progenitor a space-based lifeform? If not they themselves could have evolved in space...
     
  18. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The Changelings apparently were persecuted by Solids throughout their history, until they managed to found the Dominion and reverse their fortunes. We could assume the Solids took the Changelings off their birthworld originally, and spread them out as research subjects, curios, or possibly useful domestic animals. Although "Chimera" does establish that Changelings are capable of powered spaceflight, at sublight speeds at least.

    The ability to mimic not only people but technology to perfection would probably allow Changeling individuals to rule worlds the way vampires and other clever immortals gain world dominance in mainstream fantasy writing. All it takes is a bit of patience, a bit of sense of drama, and a string of really mysterious deaths...

    One would expect there to have been a stage in their history when they weren't a giant planet-sized pool of goo, but rather a series of individual puddles subsisting in "realistic" ecological niches on their birthworld. Then there would follow discovery by sapient Solids, diaspora, and a few bouts of genocide where any large concentrations of goo encountered by Solids would be ruthlessly destroyed. And then the slow ascent to power - and only at the conclusion of that would the Founders be able to gather together again, this time on hideout worlds where they themselves were the only thing around.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  19. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I don't think Odo would make Changeling society more compassionate, but his knowledge of the Federation would convince them that they will not try to destroy or enslave them, and that at least some in the Federation are caring and respectful toward changelings who aren't trying to enslave them.

    "The Federation has many flaws but a desire for conquest is not one of them", he convinced the female changeling of that and I think he then convinced the rest of the link. And Odo believes in strict order, but he's also very anti-expansionist and believes in the right of the harmless to be left alone. I don't think he'll convince the rest of the link of that, but it might wear down their idea that any solid they don't directly control is going to come murder them.

    There is also the fact that after the Founders tried to enslave their entire quadrant and murdered billions, the Federation made no attempt to prevent Odo from delivering the cure back to the Founders, which probably gave the Founders tremendous reason not to fear a revenge strike if they leave the AQ alone.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Then again, the "good" qualities of the Federation also mean the UFP will be a safe haven for forces bent on destroying the Founders. It fosters belief in the value of personal and communal freedom, which is the antithesis of the one and only Founder means of keeping anti-Founder sentiments at bay. It also currently stands as an inspiration for anybody who wants to oppose the Dominion by force of arms. For this double message of "resistance is not futile", the UFP simply must be defeated and enslaved, now more than ever.

    Thanks to Odo, the Founders might feel sorry for having to do this, but that doesn't change the necessity of the act.

    Timo Saloniemi