4 INT. DS9 – QUARK’S BAR
Inside the bar, but looking towards the main doors out onto the Promenade. Excited crowds fill the space, controlled by lines of Starfleet security, including SEVAK, ALECO and Bajoran Militia Major CENN.
Anticipation buzzes through the gathered throng as they await the approaching moment. Grand FANFARES of music play, filling the bar and the Promenade and the whole station, it feels like. The waiting audience builds itself to a fever pitch of excitement, and just as the music rises to a crashing crescendo, the crowd finally parts.
Grand Nagus ROM of the Ferengi Alliance. The crowd cheers! Rom almost cringes back from the force of their APPLAUSE. He’s wearing the official robes of the Nagushood, holding the Nagal Staff, but still the same old Rom inside it all.
Standing behind him on the Promenade are rows of obsequious Ferengi servants, ready to attend to their Nagus’s every need. And with them too is LEETA, beaming with happiness and carrying their half-Bajoran half-Ferengi baby.
In the body of the bar, welcoming Starfleet officers and station residents fill every inch of space. KIRA, DAX, NOG, SHAR and many other familiar faces. MORN is at the bar. In the centre of the floor though, is QUARK himself.
The bartender is a swirl of emotions. Pride at the size of the event and the happiness of his customers. Sycophantic fawning in front of his Nagus. Disapproval and exasperation at all the fuss being made over that idiot Rom. But most of all, happiness at the return of his brother.
With a smile, he shouts over the crowd...
Welcome to the Ferengi Embassy,
Grand... Nagus... Rom.
Even louder roars of welcome. Everyone is happy to see their old friend. Quark steps off the central plinth and down to greet his brother more personally.
Welcome home, Rom.
Quark grabs Rom in a big hug, genuinely pleased to see him.
Quark turns and presents Rom to the crowd again, determined to milk this for every drop of reflected glory he can get.
My brother, the Grand Nagus!
More roars of applause. As the crowd eventually goes back to their party, Kira finally steps forwards.
Alright, Quark, I think we get
the message. Rom – it’s good
to see you again. And Leeta!
Oh stop – call me Nerys, for
Prophets’ sake. Now let me
look at that baby!
As Rom goes to hug Nog in greeting, Leeta hefts little baby Bena on her hip, and turns her slightly towards Kira. We don’t see the baby’s face, but Kira’s slightly shocked, frozen smile tells us everything we need to know.
Oh, she’s beautiful.
Leeta beams at her baby daughter and kisses the bulging head, oblivious to Kira’s expression.
Yep, she’s a keeper.
Quark has returned to pride of place behind his bar, the lord surveying his land. Nog and Rom step up to the bar. The various Ferengi hangers-on hover awkwardly, waiting to be needed or leering at the dabo girls.
Please don’t tell me you’re
still drinking root beer.
Isn’t a Nagus allowed to drink
whatever he wants, brother?
Then it’s a good thing I just
received a special delivery.
One root beer coming up for
the Grand Nagus...
...at a small discount.
Quark turns away to get the drink. Nog gestures to the upper levels of the bar, where numerous view screens are hanging over the balconies (like the one that showed the Bashir-O’Brien tennis match in 2x11 “Rivals”).
The screens show reams of information in the hexagonal Ferengi language, constantly shifting and changing. Occasionally one screen will change to show a commercial, some bright and garish tasteless extravaganza like those seen on the subway car in 9x11 “Sale of the Century”.
I set up all the screens just
like your advisors insisted.
You’ll have real-time updates
on all the business markets.
Ugh. I planned this trip to
get away from all that.
Quark comes back with Rom’s drink.
An official state visit to the
only Ferengi territory that’s
off-world... all just for an
excuse to see your family.
Rom takes his drink and looks around the bar with a smile.
5 INT. TONGO PARLOUR
Well, I miss this place.
Starting close on Brunt, hunched over a table and staring at the bottle in front of him with loathing and contempt.
I hate this place.
An on-screen caption says:
ONE YEAR AGO
Gaila sits opposite, smooth and suave in his best business suit. Brunt looks drunk and destitute in comparison. This is the same bar that featured in 9x12 “Satisfaction...”
Geln’s is the finest tongo
parlour in the city, Brunt.
Finest and bar are mutually
exclusive terms. They remind
me of... him.
Of my cousin Quark, you mean.
His success, and your failure.
Oh, not success.
I’m no fan of my cousin either,
Brunt. My relationship to that
degenerate hew-mon lover has
caused no end of trouble. That’s
why you and I should be friends.
Can any Ferengi really be friends
with an FCA Liquidator?
No. But then you’re not “Brunt,
Liquidator for the FCA is who I
am, Gaila, not just a job I did.
The Economic Congress disagreed.
They could take away my job. But
not who I am.
That’s why there’s opportunity
in a business alliance between
us. Your ruthlessness and drive,
and my lobes for tracking down
profit. Failure is impossible.
You know I work the steadiest
market in the galaxy.
Arms dealing. War is a universal
constant after all...
And people at war always need
the latest and best weapons.
Alright. I’m in.
You know it makes sense.
Gaila stands, the deal done. He throws a couple of strips of latinum onto the table.
I’m leaving Ferenginar in the
morning. I’ll see you at your
The moment Gaila’s gone, Brunt changes. The depression and drunkenness slips off like a mask – it was all pretend. He won’t trust Gaila for a second, and he’s already thinking.
6 INT. BRUNT’S SHUTTLE
The same ship Brunt used in 6x10 “The Magnificent Ferengi.” This tiny shuttle is basically all Brunt has in the world now, with all his meagre belongings.
Brunt stands at a panel towards the rear of the cockpit. He opens a hatch, and pulls out a data chip. He clips the chip into a padd, and the padd’s screen comes to life. He scrolls through the files filled with Ferengi text... until he gets to one with a headshot of Gaila. Brunt reads, his sneer gradually growing.
Hagath... Regent of Palamar...
callous murderers with no regard
for the number of exploitable
lives they waste. All those
wage-earning people no longer
putting their currency into
the system. Despicable. But...
Gaila was right about one thing.
Nobody ever went broke selling
weapons. This is my chance to
get it all back. First my
profit... then my power.
He grins, the thought of profit overtaking everything else.
7 EXT. FERENGINAR
The next morning. Ferenginar’s First City, the grey morning light dampened by a light drizzle. A Ferengi shuttle pulls away from the city and flies up into the sky...
8 INT. BRUNT’S SHUTTLE
Brunt pilots the shuttle, Gaila squeezed in beside him. Even with only two people it’s a tight fit. Through the windscreen we can see the planet surface dropping away and the black expanse of space approaching.
So where are we going?
Gaila points forwards out of the window, and Brunt looks... There’s a mid-size cruiser of a previously unseen design. Clearly Ferengi, but somewhere between the massive size of a D’Kora
class Marauder and Brunt’s tiny shuttle.
Reminds me of that Federation
ship your repulsive cousin used
to hitch rides on. What was it
called – the USS Deviant?
Ha! Sounds perfect for Quark.
Does everything remind you of him?
Brunt doesn’t answer. They fly on towards the ship.
9 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY
Brunt’s shuttle sits on the deck, next to another almost identical. The shuttle’s hatch opens and Gaila and Brunt exit, Gaila throwing his arms wide in gracious indulgence.
Welcome to the Golden Hand-
shake. The ship is all mine.
As are its contents.
Walking towards the door to the rest of the ship, Brunt stops dead with a gasp of fear...
Because three BREEN are blocking their way. Gaila breezes on past, not concerned in the slightest.
Oh, don’t mind them. They’re
The door opens and Gaila enters the corridor beyond. The Breen soldiers, in their sand-coloured environment suits, turn to watch the pair pass, and then follow them as well.
10 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR
Two of the Breen escort the two Ferengi along the corridor. Brunt is terrified of them, but trying not to show it.
Bodyguards? Why ever would you
For one thing, people who need
an arms dealer usually have that
need because they’re embroiled
in some sort of violence. Which
means sometimes, to make profit,
one has to visit violent places.
Brunt gets the message. The group reaches the end of the corridor. Another door opens onto...
11 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRIDGE
The ship’s bridge is small and simple but functional. The two Breen stay outside in the corridor as Gaila and Brunt enter. There’s a pilot’s station at the front, occupied by what looks like a young, small-lobed Ferengi.
Consoles fill both sides of the room, but one of them has been pulled out. Something is rummaging around behind it, executing repairs with the clank and hum of tools.
As Brunt takes in the sight of the room, the door opens again, admitting another Ferengi – the biggest Ferengi you have ever seen. Bigger even than a Klingon. But BIJON is the sweetest, most harmless man. A giant, but entirely dim. He’s carrying a large container of tools and parts.
Where do you want these, Gaila?
Take them down to engineering,
Bijon nods vacantly, and turns to leave again. Gaila sighs.
He’s useful, but he needs
constant direction. Pel, are
we ready to leave orbit?
The pilot turns, and to Brunt’s horror, it’s a female Ferengi. In fact, it’s PEL (2x07 “Rules of Acquisition”).
Just about. Voloczin is just
installing a few more hardware
updates we picked up while we
were here. Voloczin – is the
initializer linkage fixed?
She looks over to the broken console, and something creeps out from behind it. A big fleshy tentacle, like some kind of giant slug. Then another, then a third...
The tentacles get a grip on the surrounding consoles, and work to lever the main body out into the open. Brunt is vibrating in revulsion as he watches the creature emerge... Something like a big fleshy spider, with tentacles, and one giant eye, like the gelatinous BOB from Monsters vs Aliens
. He’s wearing a tool belt about his numerous tentacles.
Wotcher. Fresh meat, eh?
This is Brunt. My new partner.
Brunt finally finds his tiny, whimpering, horrified voice.
What is... that?
An engineer. What else would
he be, with all those tools?
I mean... what sort of... what
species is he?
I haven’t a clue. Nobody’s ever
asked before. Anyway, welcome to
our little team. Snail juice?
Still recovering from his revulsion, Brunt nods absently. Gaila goes to a replicator in the wall, works it, and comes back with two glasses. He hands one to Brunt.
I’ve been orbiting Ferenginar
for too long. It’s time to get
out there and seek new profits.
There’s been a coup on Fonnam
Two. No doubt the original
government will be looking
to counter it and dispose of
their traitors. And of course
the new government will want
to strengthen their hold and
dispose of their traitors...
That’s the kind of level we
want. But Fonnam’s not a good
option. They’re notorious for
wanting long credit terms.
No good for raising capital,
then. We want a planet with
hard latinum to spend.
Brunt pauses to rack his brains. He pulls out his padd, scans through the files. Then, with a hungry grin...
Kalanis Major. They recently
converted a lot of escrow into
latinum, and there’s a civil
war going with no end in sight.
Perfect! Pel, set course for
Kalanis Major, and engage.
Pel works her panels. Gaila and Brunt both grin with glee at the thought of all the profits coming their way...
END OF ACT ONE