37 INT. HOTEL – OFFICE
The flurble prowls a few slow steps into the room, closing in on them. Dropping the papers, the gang backs away. They hit the desk behind them. Nowhere to go.
What do we do?
I’ve got it. Get ready to run.
Jake moves his hand slowly to the desk, careful not to startle the flurble. He grabs the half-eaten burger, and lobs it across the room towards the flurble’s pile of rags in the corner. The flurble is torn – burger or strangers?
Eventually, its flaring nostrils get the better of it, and it rushes to its bed to eat the burger. Our gang take their chance and rush out of the room.
38 INT. HOTEL – BEDROOM
Jake, Nog, Prynn and Rena rush into the room and slam the door behind them. Prynn checks the armchair – it’s empty.
Shar emerges from the bathroom, wearing his grey sweatsuit. He’s looking a little better, but still pretty rough.
Hey, you’re up!
Yes, I am. But I still have
a warp core breach going on
inside my skull, so please try
not to shout. Or eat anything.
Okay, so we know Lebikow’s in
debt. That gives him motive.
But we still don’t know for
certain he even stole the ship.
Actually, yes, we do. While you
were out, my antennae finally
cleared up enough for me to
start sensing fields again.
And you sensed something?
A very big something. Down in
the basement. It’s a little
muddy, but it certainly feels
big enough to be the runabout.
I don’t doubt your senses, Shar.
But I still think it’s a pretty
big coincidence that we end up
staying at this exact hotel.
Maybe it’s not a coincidence.
The Inspector specifically sent
us to this hotel, right? He gave
Nog the directions. And he flat
out refused to help us find the
ship, or to listen to what we
overheard about Lebikow.
Are you saying the Inspector’s
in on it?
It makes sense. Somebody had
to get through the security
on the runabout. A policeman
would know how to do that.
And then when we started asking
questions, he sent us here and
told Lebikow to “get rid” of us.
Oh, hell. Munad’s the brains,
Lebikow’s the hatchet man.
Uh-huh. So what do we do?
Jake stops to think it all through in his mind.
39 INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR
Okay – here’s the plan.
Shar, Prynn and Nog creep down the corridor, trying not to make any noise, and keeping a wary eye out for the flurble.
Shar, we need you to pinpoint
exactly where this sensation
is that you’re sensing. And
we need to do it now, before
Lebikow comes home.
Shar pauses, concentrates on what his antennae are sensing, and then beckons Prynn and Nog to follow him.
40 INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR
A different corridor in this cavernous maze of a hotel. Jake and Rena creep down it, equally quiet and furtive.
But that animal’s still out
there. The flurble, or what
ever you call it.
Right. He’s probably guarding
the runabout while his daddy’s
out of the house.
Exactly. So some of us need to
distract it, while the others
find the ship.
41 INT. HOTEL – FOYER
I’ll take that job.
Prynn, Shar and Nog creep down the stairs.
Prynn, are you sure? You could
I faced down a crazy Jem’Hadar
and I’m still standing. I’ll be fine.
They reach the bottom of the stairs.
42 INT. HOTEL – BEDROOM
So how do we distract it?
Jake smiles victoriously.
The same way I did.
Jake goes over to the table and grabs the last remaining burger there. He holds it out. Shar flinches away.
Shar couldn’t eat his burger.
He’s still too hung over. But
the flurble? He loves them.
43 INT. HOTEL – FOYER
Aww. I was gonna eat that.
Nog holds the burger in front of him, wafting it around. Shar is concentrating on his antennae...
Definitely the basement. My
head’s a little clearer now.
We need to find the demon
guard dog first.
Heeeeere, flurble flurble!
Come get the tasty... stuff!
But there’s no response. That only makes them more worried. It’s out there somewhere. They turn away from the foyer and head down one of the other corridors leading off it.
44 INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR
Nog, Prynn and Shar skulk down the corridor, dingy and deserted. Nog is ahead, holding out the burger for the flurble. Prynn and Shar hover back, keeping watch.
Prynn... I want to explain.
My behaviour last night.
You sure weren’t the usual
shy and sheepish Shar.
No, and there is a reason for
it. You saved my life, Prynn.
We don’t need to talk about
that if you don’t want, Shar.
Certainly not right now.
No, I want to. I came back to
the station for you, Prynn. You
rejected me. That hurt, but I
understood your reasons. Still,
the feelings didn’t go away.
Shar, please... not now.
And then on the Defiant... you
risked your life to save mine.
That proved to me that you had
feelings for me too. But you
were still right. As much as I
wanted to be with you, I felt
I would be betraying Th-
Before he can finish the word, there’s a GROWL. All three of them stop, worried. The flurble is somewhere nearby.
Nog is shaking with fear. He tosses the burger down the corridor. It lands just at the edge of the weak lighting. The GROWL comes again, and the flurble stalks forward out of the darkness. It sniffs at the burger on the ground.
Go on... eat it, you mangy -
The flurble’s head snaps up, and its eyes pinpoint Nog.
The flurble GROWLS louder, ignoring the burger... and then it bursts forwards, running right at them. Prynn garbs hard onto Nog and Shar’s arms...
She drags them by their arms and they set off running back down the corridor, the snarling flurble hot on their heels.
45 INT. HOTEL – FOYER
Nog, Shar and Prynn dash back into the foyer and sprint up the stairs. The flurble comes pounding after them, taking two or three steps at a time, BARKing furiously. As it passes, Jake and Rena poke their heads around the corner of Lebikow’s office doorway, seeing the flurble chasing their friends.
Jake and Rena bolt out from cover and head down the same corridor the others just came from.
46 INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR
Nog, Prynn and Shar pelt down the corridor...
The flurble comes galloping after them...
47 INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR
Jake and Rena find a set of steps heading downwards, much simpler than the grand staircase in the foyer. Clearly this must be the basement. They head down into the darkness.
48 INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR
Nog has stretched ahead of the others, emitting the ear-piercing Ferengi SQUEAL as he runs...
Shar is lagging behind a bit, still the worse for wear. Out of breath, looking as grey as his sweatsuit.
Shar, come on!
I can’t... I don’t...
The flurble rounds a corner and comes after them again, GROWLing and BARKing, saliva flying from its toothy jaws. Shar puts on an extra burst, against his body’s protests.
49 INT. HOTEL – FOYER
Nog, Prynn and Shar rush down the stairs, the flurble in hot pursuit. At the bottom they turn the other way, away from the basement steps...
50 INT. HOTEL – BASEMENT
Dark stone passages, none of the formerly fancy woodwork or lighting of the upstairs rooms. Jake and Rena rush down the passage, hunting for something...
Just like when we were stealing
from the Drang...
51 INT. HOTEL – FOYER
Nog, Prynn and Shar come back around to the staircase, having circled back on themselves. They quickly head back up the stairs again. Nog is still SQUEALing, Shar still GROANing. The flurble comes galloping after, still barking and slavering...
52 INT. HOTEL – BASEMENT
Jake and Rena stop at a pair of large doors, tied together with a heavy iron chain and a large padlock.
Is this it?
I don’t know. I think so. Why
else have such a big lock?
How do we get in?
Jake takes a deep breath, and starts kicking out hard at the doors, trying to break the chain by sheer force.
KICK. And KICK. And KICK.
53 INT. HOTEL – CORRIDOR
Nog, Prynn and Shar run. The flurble chases.
They turn a corner. They run. It chases.
They turn another corner and keep running. The flurble turns the corner too and keeps chasing.
But as they run, they realize something with horror.
They keep running as far as they can. But the end of the corridor is approaching. Finally, that’s it. They can’t go any further. They stop, and look back.
The flurble is at the other end of the corridor, waiting, enjoying. It knows they’re trapped.
Shar is breathing hard, holding his head in one hand and his stomach in the other. Prynn prepares to stand her ground. Nog is terrified of the rabid animal.
Can we fight it?
Nog... I don’t feel...
We’re completely frinxed.
We’re not just frinxed.
The flurble launches off and charges straight for them.
begins to retch, his stomach revolting...
pounds down the corridor towards them...
PRYNN AND NOG
tense, scared but preparing to fight...
is nearly on top of them...
unable to control his stomach any more... and he lurches forwards and VOMITS hard. Streams of foul green material pour out of him, landing with a SPLAT and a HISS on the ground. Noxious green gas billows off the piles of vomit...
...and the running flurble screeches to a halt, barely inches away from the pile, its rear legs catching up to its front legs. It instantly turns and pelts down the corridor the other way, mewling and squeaking pathetically.
Meep! Meep! Meep!
The flurble runs and runs until it disappears back around the corner, its horrified squeal audible as it retreats. Prynn and Nog are amazed and thrilled to have been saved.
Shar! You saved us! With vomit!
Yay! Until the smell hits them too. Oh, that’s bad.
54 INT. HOTEL – BASEMENT
Jake KICKS and KICKS at the door...
...until the chain finally SNAPS and the doors swing open. And inside, there it is – the runabout. Powered up and lights twinkling. A gorgeous technological marvel. The most beautiful sight in the galaxy right now.
Oh, thank the Prophets.
Jake and Rena both stop, stunned, and collapse forwards to the ground. Revealing behind them...
...Lebikow, holding a metal pipe in each hand, having just knocked them both on the heads. As he glowers down at their unconscious bodies...
END OF ACT FOUR