That time he worked undercover, befriended a criminal, betrayed him, and watched him die(“Honor Among Thieves,” DS9 6×15)For all the things Miles has been through, you probably wouldn’t think organized crime would be one of them. That would be nice, since the two episodes involving him and it sucks. But regardless, he was sent undercover to investigate the Orion Syndicate because of his technical expertise. While there, he met a man named Bilby and they became friends. All while he was feeding intelligence to Starfleet. Which resulted in Bilby getting killed.I’m not saying it messed Miles up, but after that mission he adopted Bilby’s cat and started making payments to Bilby’s widow. Who was murdered by the space mob in season seven.That time he was literally implanted with traumatic memories of 25 years in prison(“Hard Time,” DS9 4×19)Decades in prison will mess you up, especially when it’s a trashy sci-fi prison that looks like a poorly lit, dusty crawlspace. The Chief was put through that experience in the course of a few seconds when the Argathi tried and convicted him for espionage. They implanted the memories of a 20-year prison sentence in his head, which all of the flashbacks, atrophied social skills, and trauma that goes with. That would be pretty rough if he was given solitary confinement, but the memories included a friend to share the experience with. That was Ee’char.He killed Ee’char because they were fighting over what little food the guards gave them. Sure, it was a false memory, but it was enough to make Miles actually try to kill himself before Dr. Bashir talked him down. This episode’s working title was “The Aristocrats.”All those times his best friend never recognized that his hobby was a giant call for helpJulian Bashir was Miles’ best friend (and heavily implied platonic romantic interest) through the course of Deep Space Nine. After Julian got through Miles’ thorny demeanor, they became an inseparable pair. They spend more time together than Miles and Keiko did, including a lot of time in the holodeck. Where they reenacted historical military battles. Where they inevitably lost and died. Every time.They reenacted the Alamo (as the defenders, who all died), the Battle of Britain (as pilots, of which many were shot down), and the Battle of Clontarf (with Miles as King Brian Boru, who died in the battle). On the surface it sounds like a fun hobby, but Miles already survived at least one such battle, even before the Dominion War started. He was at Setlik III, a sneak attack by Cardassians that slaughtered 100 colonists before Starfleet could get there. Just over a dozen colonists were left, which Miles helped save by repairing a transporter. This was also the first time Miles killed anyone.Sure, those battles are an exciting hobby, like playing a military shooter. But considering how fatalistic they are they very likely were a huge cry for help from a man who was dealing with PTSD before he set foot on the Enterprise and saw a war against an insurmountable force from across the galaxy and the Cardassians he fought grow around him.That’s the traumatized psyche of a character showrunner Ira Behr himself said the writers had to make suffer on an annual basis. Pathos! It’s Colm Meany’s birthday today. You probably remember him as the overbearing DEA agent in Con-Air, but some might recognize him for his role as Miles Edward O’Brien, transporter chief on the Enterprise-D in Star Trek: The Next Generation and chief of operations on Deep Space Nine in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.The official Star Trek Twitter account noted his birthday, and that started my coworker Max Eddy and myself on a trip down memory lane (and Memory Alpha) to follow the career of Miles O’Brien. And the Chief has been through some really dark, horrifying, traumatic stuff.Bridge to the transporter room, beam us down a top 10 list!That time he died from radiation poisoning and was replaced by a temporal clone(“Visionary,” DS9 3×17)Chief O’Brien has had a lot of things literally blow up in his face. One of them is a plasma conduit that exposes him to radiation that eventually killed him. Before it did that, however, it reacted to a cloaked Romulan ship flying around the station and sent him lurching back and forth through time. He saw his own body, dead from the very radiation that Dr. Bashir said was minor. When he figured out the time jumps were killing him, it was too late (and he still had to save the station). So he sent near-future-him back to take his place, saying goodbye as he was dying from radiation poisoning. Which, even if you can quickly understand time travel problems, is still really unsettling.That time he was framed and put on trial on Cardassia (and had his molars pulled out with pliers)(“Tribunal,” DS9 2×25)Before he served on the Enterprise, Miles served on the USS Rutledge. There he became known as the hero of Setlik III, saving colonists and officers during a Cardassian attack (this will be important later). During that siege, one of his crewmates on the Rutledge was kidnapped and replaced by a Cardassian agent, who pretended to be a member of Starfleet for years.That alone is messed up, but then you come to the point where that agent (with the face of Miles’ surprisingly long-dead friend) framed him for supplying weapons to the Maquis, anti-Cardassian terrorists/freedom fighters. So Miles was arrested and put on trial on Cardassia. And the Cardassian legal system is rough.Screw fingerprinting. When Miles was arrested, the pulled out a molar with pliers. Then locked him up with the message that his conviction and death sentence were inevitable, because that’s how Cardassian trials usually operate. They would have if Sisko and Odo didn’t find the Cardassian agent and threaten to publicly embarrass Cardassia (which had planned the whole thing to embarrass Starfleet). Being a political chip was the highlight of his experience there.That time he was taken over by an evil alien ghost and forced to violently threaten his family(“Power Play,” TNG 5×15)Ghosts aren’t real in Star Trek, but alien sort-of-ghosts are all over the place. One took over Miles’ body when he was on an away mission for the Enterprise-D, and that ghost’s friends took over Deanna Troi and Data. They said they were ghosts of a Starfleet ship that crashed on the planet years ago, but they turned out to be ghost criminals on an alien ghost penal colony.Oh, and while Miles was possessed by a ghost, it made him threaten his wife and daughter with violence. So that’s horrifying.That time his wife was possessed by an evil alien demon ghost(“The Assignment,” DS9 5×05)I told you alien sort-of-ghosts were everywhere in Star Trek. When they aren’t taking over people, they’re seducing multiple generations of space Scots. But we’re talking about the ones that take over people, like the Pah-wraith (Bajoran demons) that possessed Keiko. After meeting in a fire cave (which sounds like a really radical place to go, to be fair), Keiko and the Pah-wraith returned to the station to menace Miles.Basically, the Chief was forced to build a doomsday weapon to kill all the not-evil ghost alien gods in the wormhole, under the threat that the Pah-wraith could kill Keiko by triggering an aneurysm before anyone could save her. So that was probably a pretty stressful situation. He ended up killing the Pah-wraith and saving Keiko by firing the weapon at their ship instead of the wormhole. Of course, he didn’t know that would work and basically made the choice to pull the trigger on a gun pointed at his wife’s head.That time he was abducted and replaced by a replicant with his memories(“Whispers,” DS9 2×14)After the Chief got back from one mission in the Gamma Quadrant, everyone he loved and respected started regarding him with extreme suspicion. His superiors kept secrets from him, his wife Keiko seemed distant, and his daughter Molly was afraid to be in the same room with him. He realizes it’s a conspiracy focused on him and ends up running from the station to Parada IV. There, he’s shot in the chest and dies before the very eyes of… himself.Miles was actually kidnapped by one of the factions in the Paradan civil war, which made a replicant of him designed to attack the peace talks between the factions. That replicant was being shut out by his friends and loved ones because they knew he was a replicant. But the replicant didn’t, and in his dying breath he begged Miles to tell Keiko that he loved her.So, the really horrible paranoid stuff happened to a clone of him, but he was still held in a medical coma while this whole thing happened, and woke up to see a man with his own face dying. Again.That time his daughter fell through a hole in time and came back feral(“Time’s Orphan,” DS9 6×24)You know what’s more messed up than seeing yourself die multiple times? Seeing your young daughter disappear, then reappear as an 18-year-old who lost all her social and language skills because she spent her entire childhood in a wilderness 300 years ago. Because that’s what happened to Miles when Molly wandered into a cave and activated a time travel device when they went on a picnic.It’s a happy ending, though. Feral Molly went back through the portal and sent young Molly back, so she only spent a few minutes in that past wilderness instead of years. Of course, that meant that the traumatized, beast-like Molly wrote herself out of existence, ending her tragic life with the same action that ensured it happened. Probably not a big deal for young Molly, but that’s the sort of thing that would really mess up a dad.That time his unborn son had to be transplanted into a coworker(“Body Parts,” DS9 4×25)After Molly, Miles, and Keiko had a son, Hideyoshi. Well, Miles, Keiko, and Kira Nerys had Kirayoshi. On the way back through the wormhole, a pregnant Keiko’s ship was damaged. The damage endangered the baby, so they had to transplant it into the nearest compatible surrogate. That was Kira.You’d think Starfleet medical technology would let them put the baby back after the danger was over, but Bajoran physiology is weird and that was out of the question. So Kira carried their son to term, for which he was given the name Kirayoshi. Oh, and while Kira was pregnant she was terrorized by a Cardassian fanatic who drugged and abducted her and threatened to rip Kirayoshi out of her. There’s a “choose life” joke here that I just can’t get to come out healthy.