Day 10: 1600 hours
Bashir and Nog walked together up the steps to the commander's office, they were still wearing there civilian clothes, and when at the door, Bashir pressed the door chime.
“Come in!” said Ezri.
Bashir walked in first, followed by Nog.
“I’m sorry to intrude you captain,” said Bashir, “but Megan has been arrested on Ferenginar!”
Ezri seemed to take the news with very little reaction. “On what charges?”
“The charge is one of illegally possessing state property; in this case it is a data rod.”
Ezri’s eyebrows rose slightly. “A data rod?”
It appeared that Ezri thought that the two were pulling her leg. Feeling that Bashir hadn’t conveyed the magnitude of the problem Nog spoke up. “We think Megan has been framed by the CFT, that’s the commission of fair trading. Though for what purpose I'm not sure.”
Putting her hands together, Ezri was clearly doing some furious and fast thinking, she then lowered her hands as if coming to a decision. “To be honest it was only a matter of time before a Starfleet officer was arrested by the Ferengi authorities. You see Odo has informed me of the unusual practices CFT has been carrying out for the last month now. It seems to suggest that the Ferengi government could be possibly unstable... Before I do anything I need to find out if Megan is innocent. I do have a question for you two; how did you manage to contact Odo?”
Nog removed the subspace relay device from his trouser pocket, and showed it to Ezri. “With this.”
Carefully Ezri removed the device from Nog’s hands and she briefly examined it. “Thank you for telling me this. ” She looked up from the device. “Is there anything else I should know?”
“No,” said Bashir.
Bashir turned to leave, and Nog quickly followed, whenever possible Bashir always tired to have as little conversation with Ezri as possible and it was always uncomfortable being in Ezri’s presence. Right now though he was relying on Ezri to find a way to free Megan…
When Ezri had set up the sub-space relay device and had it configured with the laptop, she sent a comm link to Odo. As she waited, she hoped that Megan was innocent. Ezri's gut instinct told her that Megan could not have committed that crime, but if Megan was guilty then it would mean the end of Megan’s Starfleet career.
After a few minutes of waiting, she received a comm link from Odo. Here was the opportunity for Ezri to get to the bottom of this matter concerning Megan. “Constable, I have been told by Bashir and Nog that Megan has been arrested, are the charges against her actually valid?”
“Before I go on, I must warn you captain that this communication is being monitored by the CFT. So I will be as brief and as short as possible; all I can say is that I'm certain Megan is innocent.”
Ezri realized that if Odo thought Megan was innocent, then Megan was almost certainly innocent and she had been framed. However if Megan had been framed, and there had been a miscarriage of justice against her, then Ezri wondered how she could prove Megan’s innocence to the Ferengi authorities. Ezri chose her next words for Odo very carefully. “If Megan is innocent then how do we free her?”
“I'm not certain, but I will find a way, Odo out.”
The comm link ended and Ezri turned the laptop off. She sat in her chair thinking about ways to free Megan. Of course there was the possibility that the Ferengi authorities couldn’t be reasoned with, and in the interests of avoiding an diplomatic incident between the Federation and the Ferengi Alliance, Megan would have to be freed.
On the other hand a diplomatic incident was unavoidable if the Ferengi government refused to release a Starfleet officer who was innocent of a crime she never committed. One thing Ezri knew that the Federation were good at was applying diplomatic pressure. If the Federation threatened to sever trade links with the Ferengi Alliance, then maybe the Ferengi government would release Megan.
After coming to that conclusion, Ezri decided it was time she contacted a few admirals to bring Megan’s case into the Federation’s attention…
Day 11: 0900 hours
Odo stood next to Rom’s desk as he waited for Garak to arrive. Rom had called for an emergency meeting with Garak, regarding the stolen data rod containing a recording of one of the meetings that had taken place concerning the currency union.
It wouldn’t take long for Garak to arrive, as Garak was on board a Cardassian warship orbiting Ferenginar. Odo had not seen Garak in over eighteen years, indeed he had many questions for Garak, though it was more than likely that he would never get the chance to have a one-to-one conversation with Garak.
Garak entered Rom’s office, he was dressed smartly in Cardassian government attire. What surprised Odo was that Garak seemed to have hardly changed in appearance; there were a few more wrinkles on Garak’s face and some of his hair was turning gray. Though Odo had not seen Garak look so serious, of course ruling the Cardassian Union must be hard work.
As Garak walked into the office, his eyes flicked to where Quark and Odo were standing. “I thought this was to be a private meeting?”
Rom seemed to wince slightly at the icy tone in Garak’s voice. “I regret to inform you president but a recording of one of our private meetings has been stolen. It is only a matter of time before the Ferengi Alliance knows about it.”
“Stolen?” said Garak ominously. “If the word gets out... with the full details of this currency union, and of course the concessions on both sides, the Cardassian currency will be severely punished!”
Garak’s voice was rife with anger, and it also seemed that he was losing patience with Rom.
Rom tried his best at glossing over the situation. “Unfortunate perhaps, but-”
Garak took a menacing step forwards and he stared coldly into Rom’s eyes. “May I remind you Nagus that twenty percent of the Ferengi Alliance's exports goes to the Cardassian Union. Cardassia is a self-sufficient economy, if the currency union isn't agreed upon, then the Cardassian currency will be abolished for it will have no purpose.”
Smiling deviously, it seemed Garak was running rings around Rom, for Rom looked aghast.
“You can't do that!” protested Rom. “Ferengi investors who hold Cardassian currency reserves would incur massive losses!”
The anger disappeared from Garak’s face, and it was replaced with a smug look.
“Perhaps if you rectified this situation, that possibility might not occur. Good day Nagus.”
Garak looked briefly at Odo and gave him a smile. “Constable.”
After looking at Odo, Garak turned around and left the office.
With Garak gone, Rom took the bad news with good grace. However Quark’s neutral face slackened and changed into a look of horror. “It's a disaster, no nanotechnology, a worthless currency...”
For all of Quark’s sense of doom and gloom, Odo didn’t really care what Quark was feeling at the moment. “Yes yes that's very terrible, so Brunt has won, but what I want to know is when are you going to release Megan?”
Quark shook his head as if to get over the lost opportunity, and he seemed to come to his senses. “If Megan were to receive an amnesty from the Nagus, then she would be free. But the Nagus would have to pass the motion through the Ferengi government. It should take at least a day... And when the government realizes it is holding an innocent Federation citizen custody, which will be very embarrassing to them, they will have no choice but to release Megan.”
Day 11: 1100 hours
Having spent nearly two days in prison, Megan was starting to get very bored and restless. She had got over the shook of being arrested, and now all she thought about was returning to DS9 and curling up on a comfortable bed. A day ago Odo had visited her and told her that he believed her story of being framed. This gave Megan some hope that Odo would somehow free her.
Megan got off the bed she was lying upon, when she saw Odo arrive along with Quark. “Any luck constable?”
“You should be freed sometime in the next two days.”
Suddenly Megan felt giddy with relief, she was going to be getting out of this prison. “It’s about time, I'm getting sick of eating tube grubs...”
Quark seemed to look very apologetic. “I’m so sorry about this fiasco with the CFT, they used you to try and sabotage the currency union negotiations.”
Megan’s upbeat mood didn’t last very long, she started to dwell on that the fact that her vacation had been ruined by CFT.
Odo was gazing at Megan in a sympathetic manner. “I'm sorry for what happened to you but it was simply very bad luck. There were a few dozen Starfleet officers on vacation and the CFT had to pick you...”
Her face must have looked really gloomy if Odo was trying to lift her spirits. “Tell me about it,” she said moodily. “I haven't had much luck in the last two years...”