Chapter 5, part 2
Day 9: 1300 hours
Infiltrating the Ferengi Tower of Commerce was so easy for Odo. He didn’t have to sneak around, instead he posed as one of the staff members. In his time in the Great Link, Odo finally learnt the art behind shapeshifting. As such Odo could shapeshift into any person and look exactly like that person, of course one thing that Odo didn’t change was his face. That was he wanted to display to people, and of course Kira liked Odo keeping his face as it was.
For the last bit of the journey to Rom’s office, Odo realized that the security around Rom’s office was too tight and that he couldn’t slip in undetected. However that didn’t matter, Odo was certain that he could get to Rom’s office via the ventilation system. A minute later Odo had shapeshifted and was drifting through the pipes as a clump of water vapour. If someone saw him all they would see was fog inside a pipe, it was the perfect form.
When Odo encountered some sensors and alarms inside the pipe leading to the ventilation vent in Rom’s office, he was impressed. Clearly Rom had thought of every contingency, but knowing Rom that wasn’t surprising, for Rom was highly gifted with electronics and machinery. Odo figured that Rom would be absolutely paranoid about security, however there wasn’t a sensor known to exist that could properly detect a disguised shapeshifter.
Odo simply drifted through the pipework, before billowing out silently behind Rom who was working at his desk, he then shapeshifted to the left of Rom. “Well hello Rom,” he said with a hint of humour.
Rom flinched badly in surprise, the padd fell from his hands and landed on the desk. “Security!” said Rom, in a terrified voice.
Odo leaned forwards and glared at Rom. “Don't worry I'm not an assassin.”
Rom turned around on his chair to face Odo, when he saw Odo the terror disappeared from his face. “Odo? How did you get in here and slip past security?”
“I have a better question; why has the CFT arrested Megan?”
There was a hint of awkwardness displayed by Rom. “I’m sorry but that's classified, I can't answer your question.”
Almost immediately Odo inwardly groaned, he once tried to ask Rom questions regarding the sabotage of DS9’s deflector array 21 years ago. Suffice to say he had got nothing out of Rom, and before Odo could think about a means of loosening Rom’s lips, Quark entered the room.
“What's going on Rom, I heard you-”
Quark noticed Odo, and for a moment Quark looked very gormless as he came to terms with what he saw. But very quickly Quark’s bravado and cheeky manner returned, and he grinned gleefully at Odo. “And to think I thought you were smart Odo; your in serious trouble trespassing-”
Odo advanced menacingly towards Quark, he was having none of Quark’s quick witted remarks. “Spare me your whining,” he snarled. “I want answers to the following questions; why has the CFT arrested Megan? Was Megan actually involved in taking that data rod? And finally why is the CFT arresting at random tourists who haven’t committed any crimes?
Before answering the questions, Quark took a chair from the desk and sat down, he put a finger to his the tip of the left ear and cocked his head slightly to the left.
Odo patiently waited for Quark’s answer, for it seemed Quark was doing a great deal of thinking.
Rom simply sat there, his gaze flitted between Odo and Quark, for some reason when Rom wasn’t doing anything he looked very gormless.
Finally Quark answered Odo’s questions. “It's all part of a bigger problem... You see there are many Ferengi companies and business people deeply opposed to a currency union between the Ferengi and the Cardassians. The CFT arresting all these people is simply an attempt to blackmail my brother, they think by jeopardizing Ferengi’s tourism sector, Rom will be forced to back down from the currency union. This currency union is all my brother's idea. In the short-term it would be a disaster for the Ferengi economy as it would devalue gold-pressed latinum by up to 20%. But in the long-term there are major benefits.”
“Such as?” inquired Odo and he gave Quark a rather fixed stare to let Quark know that he wasn’t to be messed with.
“Cardassian nanotechnology,” answered Quark, “the Cardassians used it to rebuild their economy. Likewise when the Ferengi get there hands on it, via a technology trade, it will totally revolutionize the Ferengi economy.”
“But Ferengi companies are too concerned about the present, so they're protesting like mad,” added Rom.
“And guess who is personally involved in trying to stop the currency union?” said Quark.
There was only one Ferengi that came to Odo’s mind. “Brunt?”
At the very mention of Brunt’s name, Rom hissed angrily. “He's using this currency union as an opportunity to discredit me, so that he can become Grand Nagus.”
Quark sighed and shook his head slightly. “I told you brother not to give him a second chance.”
Odo wasn’t interested in Brunt at the moment, his main priority was Megan. “So what was in the data rod which Megan was arrested for?”
Quark and Rom both looked at each other, they seemed to be considering whether Odo could be trusted with the answer. After a moment the two nodded and Quark answered Odo’s question. “It contained a top-secret meeting between the Grand Nagus and President Garak, it's simply a recording. But ah... it was stolen, probably by Brunt, and now unofficially he's using it to blackmail my brother. If the contents of that data rod get out into the public domain; well it could really spook Ferengi investors, so much so that it may snuff out any prospect of reaching a currency union agreement.”
Now Odo was convinced of Megan’s innocence, and the injustice really riled him. “And so Megan is simply a pawn in the game which Brunt is playing?”
“Yeah, you could say that,” said Quark lightly.
“Maybe Odo could help us to dig up some dirt on Brunt!” said Rom suddenly.
For a moment, Quark looked at Odo in an opportunistic manner, it seemed Quark really liked Rom’s idea.
However Odo was determined to squash the idea flat. “I'm not getting involved in your petty politics. I have a better idea; why not help me free Megan and I'll keep my mouth shut about this currency union?”
This wasn’t the terms that Quark and Rom wanted, but they both seemed to realize there could be no negotiating with Odo.
“Agreed,” said Quark.
Day 10, 0800 hours
Megan stirred, she suddenly realized how lumpy and uncomfortable the bed she was sleeping on was. This came as no surprise, this was a cell in the biggest prison on Ferenginar. The room was coloured a dull brown, and a force field fizzled from the wide doorway. On the other side of the force field, Megan could see the Ferengi prison warden at his station, tapping controls on various consoles. The Ferengi looked bored out of his mind as he worked.
Prisoner comforts were irrelevant, and it showed with the food. Sitting up on the bed, Megan noticed that at the hatch to slip food into, there was a bowl of tube grubs on the little platform.
The tube grubs were absolutely revolting, they were alive and it was the most unpleasant sensation for Megan eating something that wriggled in her mouth and tasted like rotten food. But even the unpleasantness of eating live tube grubs paled with how horrible she was feeling. Yet again she had been framed, and if she was found guilty she could be facing many years in a Ferengi prison. The injustice of it all angered Megan immensely, although sometimes it made her feel like crying.
On those occasions, Megan felt her eyes burn, and she fought not to let any tears spill from her eyes. She wasn't going to give the Ferengi guard the pleasure of allowing herself to fall into pieces. This whole situation reminded Megan of two months ago when Jack had framed her, she could not understand why the last two and a half years of her life were filled with such rotten luck and horrible events.
What had she done to deserve being tortured senseless for two years, or being framed by her ex-lover, or having been framed now? She may have done some dubious things as an SI agent, but that was part of her job. Outside of her job, she was an honest person, who eschewed all forms of criminal activity and wrongdoing, and more importantly she wasn't a fighter.
Megan had known quite a few people who took pleasure in confronting verbally or physically other people. However she took no pleasure in using force against other person, unless absolutely necessary and whenever possible she always avoided a fight. All she wanted to do was to rebuild her life and try to reclaim the humanity that Bordak removed from her. Now she couldn't any of those things because she was stuck in a Ferengi prison, and this depressed her so badly that she considered giving up. She could not keeping on living if calamity after calamity struck her constantly.