DS9 Season 10, ep 10x17 - "Reservoir Ferengi"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by lvsxy808, May 1, 2012.

  1. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    Previously, on DS9 Season 10:

    Review threads:

    Episodes 1 to 7
    Episode 8
    Episode 9
    Episode 10
    Episode 11
    Episode 12
    Episode 13
    Episode 14
    Episode 15
    Episode 16

    Direct links to the PDFs of episodes 1 to 16:

    10x01 - "Emancipation"
    10x02 - "Brave New World"
    10x03 - "Steppin' Out"
    10x04 - "Easy Come, Easy Go"
    10x05 - "Deep Down"
    10x06 - "The Dream Box"
    10x07 - "Instinct"
    10x08 - "Property Values"
    10x09 - "Blank Slate"
    10x10 - "In Two Minds"
    10x11 - "Harmony" (part 1 of 2)
    10x12 - "Heresy" (part 2 of 2)
    10x13 - "The Case of the Flamping Flurble"
    10x14 - "Against the Odds"
    10x15 - "Inside Out"
    10x16 - "I Will Survive"

    All episodes are also available at the Ad Astra fan-fic archives, link here.

    Next up is 10x17 "Reservoir Ferengi"

    Now, as you may know, this is in fact an already officially published story, written by professional author David A MacIntee (aka TBBS board member Lonemagpie). I chose to include it in my season because it fits perfectly timeline-wise (the text explicitly states it takes place over the year following KRAD's Satisfaction Is Not Guaranteed, which I adapted as epsiodes 11 and 12 of season 9), and because it provides me with another at least semi-comedic story in what is really a pretty heavy set of episodes.

    The story as adapted is almost identical to David's original, albeit definitely abridged. I lay no claim to the original storyline, dialogue or scene descriptions, which come almost entirely from David's story and are his intellectual property. I have, however added my own subplots to further my own arcs for the season. All the station-bound parts of this episode are my own work, except for the very last scene which is also from David's original and inspired that station-bound subplot.

    As to the legality of uploading another person's story to the boards for free perusal, I asked for and received David's explicit permission to do so, provided that he have last say over the content, which is his right. It was extremely generous of him to do so, and I am very grateful. I have enjoyed all of David's work that I have read, and definitely recommend that anyone who enjoys this go and buy one of his books. The story on which this episode is based, Reservoir Ferengi, originally appears in the Seven Deadly Sins collection, available here.

    All that said, onto the episode. As usual the PDF can also be downloaded here.

    Enjoy!

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    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  2. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
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    TEASER

    FADE IN:


    1 EXT. SPACE


    NOTE: All of Sc 1 takes place in one long, unbroken cut.

    We begin on the starfield, glittering peacefully, a vast and deep sea of stars. Move gradually forward through it, turning slightly...

    And a star system comes into view. A bright main-sequence star at its centre, burning away.

    An EXPLOSION happens just off-screen – no noise in the vacuum, but a bright flare of fuel and oxygen burning up and snuffing out quickly. The blast sends debris tumbling across the screen – identifiably a section of a starship, although belonging to whom we can’t tell.

    Move on past the debris. We see another ship – small and winged, a fighter. It glides across the screen, just as a missile zooms into view, and hits the fighter. Both go up in another explosion.

    Turning slightly again in the direction of the missile’s point of origin, a planet can now be seen. Another missile launches from its surface, arcing out of orbit into space.

    We follow the missile, and as we do, we travel past more ships, more missiles criss-crossing each other’s paths, unmanned orbital defence platforms firing phaser beams at everything that moves.

    Still following the missile, we now see its target – another planet within the system. Ships and missiles and phasers all around us as we dive down towards the surface.

    The planet grows and grows in our vision as we near the surface, and finally we hit the atmosphere. The tip of the missile glows with heat and friction as we push through the air, never slowing. With atmosphere to carry it, we now hear the sounds of battle. Phasers SCREAM, explosions ROAR, vessels CRUNCH.

    We follow the missile through the cloud cover, and we see the planet’s surface at last. Green expanses, white-tipped mountains, gleaming rivers, technologically advanced but environmentally respectful architecture, all marred by the signs of war and conflict. Buildings ruined, gouges in the ground, crashed ships burning in piles of rubble.

    The missile plummets towards one of the larger buildings, an official government structure, and hits. The building is obliterated in a massive conflagration. Nearby fighters swerve out of the way to avoid the flames.

    We travel on past the explosion, to another building a little further away. This is a large pyramid, glass surface shining in the sun, truncated on the top to make a flat landing area. More fighters launch from hatches in the sides of the buildings, zooming out to join the battle.

    As we come closer to the building, we see figures fleeing in panic on the ground. Crowds of people – alien but humanoid. They run towards the shuttle port, desperately hoping to catch a ride out of here.

    But on the flat top of the building, a large non-combat vehicle is lifting off – an escape shuttle. As it roars up into the sky, the people stop and gaze up at it in dismay. They missed their ride.

    We keep going towards the shuttle port, closer towards the glassy surface. We go in THROUGH one of the jagged, smashed windows into the inside of the building.

    This was once a comfortable, classy departure lounge, plush and well-appointed for well-heeled travellers. Now there are fires burning, furniture thrown, information screens smashed and sparking with cut wires.

    And there are more figures inside – a squadron of soldiers, clad in hard black armour, face-obscuring helmets, roaming through the room weapons drawn, on the lookout for enemies.


    2 INT. SHUTTLE DEPARTURE LOUNGE


    The soldiers creep into another room, and the front-most soldier is instantly SHOT down with a phaser blast to the chest. His comrades return fire...

    ...At another group of soldiers – similar black armour but with a coloured slash of paint to tell them apart. The first group dive for cover behind some nearby furniture, exchanging fire. Phaser blasts shoot back and forth.

    CLOSE on the first group. The dead soldier has been dragged to safety by one of his comrades. The comrade shakes with fear, his terror and confusion clear even in this faceless blank armour. This is the first time he’s ever seen a dead body, and the whole situation is really hitting home.

    In a burst of panic, he pushes backwards, retreating on his backside to a wall behind cover, where he curls up and hugs himself, paralyzed with fear. Meanwhile, we hear the sounds of more shots fired, more pieces of furniture and machinery exploding in shards, more bodies hitting the floor.

    There’s a collective gasp from the soldiers, the terrified man looks up to see why...

    Another figure enters the room, running from phaser shots that follow him. Much larger than the others, a comparative giant. In fact, as we stay at the level of the soldiers, we can’t even see this new figure’s face, only the chest down. His outfit was probably nice before he got in a fire-fight.

    The soldiers have now stopped shooting at each other out of simple shock. The surviving ones on both sides are watching this new figure, amazed and confused.

    Having escaped the first barrage of phaser fire from his pursuer, the figure turns and fires back the way he came. And there, following him into the room, is a second giant.

    The two giant figures shoot and dodge, shoot and dodge, all above the soldiers’ level of vision, only their chests and running legs visible. After a few moments, the sounds of the phasers sputter and die – out of power.

    In roar of rage, one of the giants throws his empty weapon right at his enemy, where it BONKS him on the head.

    VOICE
    Oww! ​

    In revenge, the second charges directly for the first, engaging him physically. But as it happens, the first is stood right in front of one of the smashed, broken windows. Too furious to stop the momentum, the two battling giants tumble out of the window and disappear from sight.

    We can still hear them though, as they shriek in surprise and fear, and pain from the continuing bonks and punches.

    As the sounds fade, the two groups of soldiers finally poke their heads out from cover. Shooting at each other seems to have slipped their minds now – they’re too surprised by what just happened.

    SOLDIER 1
    Wasn’t that –​

    SOLDIER 2
    Yeah, I think it was. ​

    SOLDIER 1
    They’re not with you? ​

    SOLDIER 2
    We thought they were with you! ​

    Clearly, they weren’t with either group. Confused, the leaders of each group creep together towards the window. They peer over the edge, looking down...

    ...and the two giants are tumbling over and over down the slant of the pyramid, still caught up in their fight.


    3 EXT. SHUTTLE PORT - DAY


    Outside the building, the two giants are an unidentifiable flurry of punches and scratches and yells and yelps. They roll over each other on their way down the slanted surface towards the ground.

    They bonk off chunks of rubble and other bodies of soldiers half-hanging out of windows. Finally they tumble all the way to the bottom, landing in a pile on the ground.

    Around them are half a dozen more dead bodies, black-clad soldiers in twisted poses, weapons abandoned beside them. With a grunt of effort, one giant throws the second off. Both scramble away, reaching in desperation for the guns.
    They both grab a weapon each, spinning on the spot to point them at each other’s face. And we finally see who they are.

    BRUNT, formerly of the Ferengi Commerce Authority, is bloodied and bruised, and seething with righteous fury. He pants from exhaustion, holding the weapon steady on...

    GAILA, wily and amoral cousin of Quark, just as battered and torn as Brunt, and holding his weapon just as fiercely.

    BRUNT
    (smug)
    Gaila. If only you were Quark...
    That’s the only way this moment
    could be any more delicious. ​

    GAILA
    You’re finished too, Brunt! It’s
    a mutual loss scenario! ​

    Keeping his weapon trained on Gaila, Brunt glances to the side. Black-clad soldiers are closing in on them from all directions, weapons drawn and pointed at the pair of Ferengi. Brunt sighs and shakes his head.

    BRUNT
    How did my life come to this? ​

    On Brunt’s panting, furious face...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF TEASER


    .
     
  3. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
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    ACT ONE


    FADE IN:


    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.

    Revealing...

    ROM
    Umm... Hi. ​

    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...

    QUARK
    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.

    QUARK
    Welcome home, Rom. ​

    Quark grabs Rom in a big hug, genuinely pleased to see him.

    ROM
    Thanks, brother. ​

    Quark turns and presents Rom to the crowd again, determined to milk this for every drop of reflected glory he can get.

    QUARK
    My brother, the Grand Nagus! ​

    More roars of applause. As the crowd eventually goes back to their party, Kira finally steps forwards.

    KIRA
    Alright, Quark, I think we get
    the message. Rom – it’s good
    to see you again. And Leeta! ​

    LEETA
    Hello, Captain. ​

    KIRA
    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.

    KIRA
    (stiff)
    Oh, she’s beautiful. ​

    Leeta beams at her baby daughter and kisses the bulging head, oblivious to Kira’s expression.

    LEETA
    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.

    QUARK
    Please don’t tell me you’re
    still drinking root beer. ​

    ROM
    (mock offended)
    Isn’t a Nagus allowed to drink
    whatever he wants, brother? ​

    QUARK
    (mock harassed)
    Then it’s a good thing I just
    received a special delivery.
    One root beer coming up for
    the Grand Nagus...
    (smirk)
    ...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”.

    NOG
    I set up all the screens just
    like your advisors insisted.
    You’ll have real-time updates
    on all the business markets. ​

    ROM
    Ugh. I planned this trip to
    get away from all that. ​

    Quark comes back with Rom’s drink.

    QUARK
    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.

    ROM
    Well, I miss this place. ​


    CUT TO:


    5 INT. TONGO PARLOUR


    Starting close on Brunt, hunched over a table and staring at the bottle in front of him with loathing and contempt.

    BRUNT
    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...”

    GAILA
    Geln’s is the finest tongo
    parlour in the city, Brunt. ​

    BRUNT
    Finest and bar are mutually
    exclusive terms. They remind
    me of... him. ​

    GAILA
    Of my cousin Quark, you mean.
    His success, and your failure.​

    BRUNT
    Oh, not success.
    (beat)
    His existence.​

    GAILA
    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. ​

    BRUNT
    Can any Ferengi really be friends
    with an FCA Liquidator? ​

    GAILA
    No. But then you’re not “Brunt,
    FCA” anymore. ​

    BRUNT
    Liquidator for the FCA is who I
    am, Gaila, not just a job I did. ​

    GAILA
    The Economic Congress disagreed. ​

    BRUNT
    They could take away my job. But
    not who I am. ​

    GAILA
    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. ​

    BRUNT
    (pondering)
    Arms dealing. War is a universal
    constant after all...​

    GAILA
    And people at war always need
    the latest and best weapons.​

    BRUNT
    Alright. I’m in. ​

    GAILA
    You know it makes sense. ​

    Gaila stands, the deal done. He throws a couple of strips of latinum onto the table.

    GAILA
    I’m leaving Ferenginar in the
    morning. I’ll see you at your
    shuttle. ​

    BRUNT
    Five slips. ​

    GAILA
    Done.​

    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.

    BRUNT
    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.

    BRUNT
    So where are we going? ​

    GAILA
    Right there.​

    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.

    BRUNT
    (unimpressed)
    Reminds me of that Federation
    ship your repulsive cousin used
    to hitch rides on. What was it
    called – the USS Deviant? ​

    GAILA
    Ha! Sounds perfect for Quark.
    (beat)
    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.

    GAILA
    Welcome to the Golden Hand-
    shake. The ship is all mine. ​

    BRUNT
    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.

    GAILA
    Oh, don’t mind them. They’re
    just bodyguards. ​

    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.

    BRUNT
    Bodyguards? Why ever would you
    need bodyguards? ​

    GAILA
    (shrug)
    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.

    BIJON
    Where do you want these, Gaila? ​

    GAILA
    Take them down to engineering,
    Bijon.​

    BIJON
    Oh... right. ​

    Bijon nods vacantly, and turns to leave again. Gaila sighs.

    GAILA
    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”).

    PEL
    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.

    VOLOCZIN
    It’s kushti.
    (to Brunt)
    Wotcher. Fresh meat, eh?​

    GAILA
    This is Brunt. My new partner.​

    PEL
    Another one?​

    Brunt finally finds his tiny, whimpering, horrified voice.

    BRUNT
    What is... that? ​

    PEL
    An engineer. What else would
    he be, with all those tools? ​

    BRUNT
    I mean... what sort of... what
    species is he? ​

    GAILA
    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.

    GAILA
    I’ve been orbiting Ferenginar
    for too long. It’s time to get
    out there and seek new profits. ​

    BRUNT
    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... ​

    GAILA
    That’s the kind of level we
    want. But Fonnam’s not a good
    option. They’re notorious for
    wanting long credit terms. ​

    BRUNT
    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...

    BRUNT
    Kalanis Major. They recently
    converted a lot of escrow into
    latinum, and there’s a civil
    war going with no end in sight. ​

    GAILA
    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...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT ONE


    .
     
  4. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .


    ACT TWO


    FADE IN:


    12 EXT. SPACE


    The Golden Handshake travels at warp, on its way...


    13 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRUNT’S CABIN


    A bedroom decked out in typically tasteless, over-decorated Ferengi style. The gleam of gold and latinum everywhere, all the luxuries. Brunt lies in a fur-strewn bed, his head against a bulkhead. He’s wide awake.

    Gurgles and burps come from the wall behind him. He scowls in annoyance. He turns in the bed, tries to ignore it. He grabs two of the pillows and covers his giant ears with them. It doesn’t work.

    With a grunt of frustration, he gets out of bed, stands in his fancy bedclothes, and glares at the wall with hatred. He reaches out and PUNCHES it.

    BRUNT
    Oww! ​


    14 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR


    Fully dressed now, Brunt strolls down the corridor, just exploring the ship. At the far end of the corridor from him, another door opens and two Breen exit. Brunt flinches in fear, but the Breen ignore him, enter another door, and are gone. Brunt relaxes – he does not like Breen.


    15 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – MESS HALL


    Breakfast time. Brunt and Gaila sit across a small table from each other, munching on beetles, while Bijon and Pel get food from the wall of gilded replicators.

    BRUNT
    Do you trust the Breen? ​

    GAILA
    Of course. They’re utterly
    incorruptible. ​

    BRUNT
    Really?​

    GAILA
    Well, for one thing, nobody
    wants to hire soldiers who
    fought on the wrong side of
    the Dominion War. Secondly,
    they’re not easy to talk to
    without specialized equipment. ​

    Gaila taps at a small device attached to the collar of his suit, to emphasis the point.

    GAILA (cont)
    And thirdly, I pay them more
    than anyone else could afford. ​

    Brunt nods – fair enough, he can understand that. He looks up and watches as Pel walks past with a tray of food...


    16 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRIDGE


    The viewscreen shows the ship continuing to fly at warp. Pel now sits in the pilot’s chair, just keeping an eye on things. Brunt hovers awkwardly behind her, grimacing at the very thought of a female, in clothes, working for profit.

    BRUNT
    So you’re a... pilot. ​

    PEL
    I am now. I wasn’t always. ​

    BRUNT
    (relieved)
    Ah, that’s good to hear. You
    used to be a proper female? ​

    PEL
    I used to be in the service
    industry. Trying to make my
    way as a good businessperson. ​

    BRUNT
    Then how did you – ​

    PEL
    By necessity. Necessity is the
    mother of profit. And being a
    pilot turned out to be more
    profitable than I could have
    ever imagined. Now I couldn’t
    imagine doing anything else. ​

    BRUNT
    Not even being a – ​

    PEL
    A skivvy? A servant? You were
    going to say, “a traditional
    Ferengi female,” weren’t you? ​

    BRUNT
    (defensive)
    Maybe...​

    Pel turns to look at Brunt at last. She’s almost amused.

    PEL
    I’m everything you hate, aren’t
    I, Brunt? You’re a good Ferengi.
    Smart, if a little inflexible.
    But you’re no Quark. You and
    Gaila, everything’s already
    weighted in your favour. It’s
    easy for you to make profit. ​

    Off Brunt’s horror...


    17 INT. DS9 – QUARK’S BAR


    On Quark, as he smiles in satisfaction at the continuing celebrations all around him...

    PEL (v.o.)
    But Quark can make profit out
    of nothing at all. ​

    Dax wanders up to him with a drink, salutes him with it.

    DAX
    Great party, Quark.​

    QUARK
    Like there was any doubt. ​

    DAX
    And you wouldn’t be blowing the
    whole official visit way out of
    proportion just as an excuse to
    make more profit, at all? ​

    QUARK
    You say that like it’s a bad
    thing. I just wish Laren could
    have been here to enjoy it. ​

    DAX
    I’m sure she wishes that too. ​

    Not wanting to get into that any further, Dax drifts away. Quark heads back to his bar, where Nog and Leeta are both cooing over the baby. Meanwhile, Rom is stood behind the bar, still looking around wistfully. Then there’s a slight gasp from the crowd, and people turn to see why...

    TREIR is just slinking down the spiral staircase, looking utterly fabulous, to sighs of adoration from all sides. The male Ferengi servants’ jaws all drop at the sight of her. At the bar, Leeta straightens. She makes eye contact with Treir. Treir makes eye contact with her. Uh-oh. Cat fight.

    Quark, Rom and Nog all tense. Totally calm, Leeta passes baby Bena to Nog to look after. Then she stretches herself to her greatest height, pushes her bosom to the Prophets, and steps towards Treir. Treir steps towards her too.

    Behind the bar, Rom watches with jaw hanging loosely. This could be a disaster... or it could be the biggest turn-on of his life. Leeta looks Treir up and down.

    LEETA
    You must be Treir. The new
    dabo girl. ​

    TREIR
    And you must be Leeta. The...
    old... dabo girl. ​

    Leeta and Treir stare each other down... until the tiniest cracks appear in their stern faces. They can’t keep up the pretence any longer. They both break into smirks.

    TREIR
    I’ve been waiting to meet you.
    We have a lot to talk about. ​

    Her faux glare towards Quark makes Leeta chuckle. They head back over towards the bar, where Rom is about to explode.

    LEETA
    Rom, honey? Come and meet Treir. ​

    ROM
    Umm... that’s okay. I think I’ll
    just stay here for a minute. ​

    As Rom makes sure to stay hidden from the waist down...


    18 EXT. SPACE


    The Golden Handshake now sits in orbit of a planet...


    19 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY


    Across the room from the two small shuttles is a large transporter stage. The twinkles of transport are just fading away, revealing three KALANI – human-sized but with armoured foreheads and scaly skin.

    Gaila, Brunt and Pel stand before them in their best business suits, with Bijon working the transporter.

    GAILA
    Greetings, Minister. I’m Gaila,
    representative of Gailtek
    Armaments and Technologies.
    This is my partner Brunt, and
    our clerk, Pel. Whatever you
    require, we at GAT will do our
    best to fulfil the order. ​

    KALANI 1
    We need weapons. ​

    GAILA
    Obviously, or you wouldn’t be
    contacting an arms dealer. ​

    KALANI 1
    We’d prefer the most efficient
    killing machines possible. ​

    GAILA
    Naturally, which is why you’ve
    come to the best arms dealership.
    If you’ll come with me, I think
    I have just the thing. ​

    Gaila directs the group of Kalani off the transporter pad. Pel takes the lead, as they head into the corridor. Once the group is out of earshot, Brunt grabs Gaila’s arm.

    BRUNT
    Why are you letting Pel meet
    clients? She’s just a female. ​

    GAILA
    The Kalani have three factions,
    not two. Since Bijon has trouble
    counting that high, I need Pel
    to meet the third group tonight,
    after you meet the second group
    this afternoon. It’s a good sign,
    Brunt. The Great Material Conti-
    nuum is flowing our way. All we
    have to do is enjoy the cruise. ​

    BRUNT
    But still, a female... earning profit...​

    GAILA
    She may earn it, but who do
    you think invests it for her? ​

    Brunt nods with understanding. He and Gaila share a greedy grin, and then follow the rest into the corridor.


    20 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHOWROOM


    A gleaming white showroom, the walls covered in racks and shelves featuring weapons small, medium and large. Gaila, Brunt and Pel look on encouragingly as the Kalani browse the choices. The Kalani leader looks at one disruptor...

    GAILA
    Ah, Klingon Type 47, the best
    there is. When you absolutely,
    positively have to disintegrate
    every mother-creditor in the
    room. Accept no substitute! ​

    [LEFT]As Gaila and the Kalani continue in the background, Brunt receives an alert in the comm device in his ear. He steps away from the group to receive the message...[/LEFT]

    BRUNT
    What? ​

    BIJON (comm)
    The Loyalists are at the transport
    site. I’m bringing them up now. ​

    BRUNT
    No! ​

    Everyone in the room turns at Brunt’s outburst. He smiles weakly and addresses Gaila...

    BRUNT
    That was Bijon. He’s acquired
    some more... credit. ​

    GAILA
    (hiss)
    Go and see to it. ​

    Brunt nods and scampers out of the room. Gaila turns back to the Kalani, with a wide ingratiating smile.

    GAILA
    Nothing to worry about. Simple
    matter of paperwork. If you’ll
    come with me, we can continue our
    discussion in the dining room. ​

    As the Kalani sweep out of the room, Gaila holds Pel back.

    GAILA
    Have Voloczin reset the chamber
    for Cardassian weapons. ​

    Pel nods and steps aside to make a call. Gaila follows the Kalani into the corridor, trying not to panic.


    21 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY


    Brunt is likewise as three more Kalani materialize on the transporter, in different outfits from the first group.

    KALANI 2
    I am Commander Lotral of the
    Kalanis Defence Arm. ​

    BRUNT
    Brunt, GIT. Uhh, GAT. You’re
    a little early, but then the
    early investor reaps the most
    interest, after all. ​

    KALANI 2
    (dry and icy)
    Really?​

    BRUNT
    Rule of Acquisition number 37.
    It’s a code we Ferengi live by. ​

    KALANI 2
    Good for you. ​

    Smiling past the Kalani’s brusque attitude, Brunt after-you’s them towards the door. Just as they pass into the corridor, his eyes widen in panic as he hears the telltale sounds of a transporter platform powering up behind him.

    He hustles the Kalani quickly through the door...


    22 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRUNT’S CABIN


    Controlling his panic, Brunt ushers the three new Kalani into his own room. He runs to the wall, opens a hatch that reveals a drinks cabinet and a replicator...

    BRUNT
    This is the, uhh... executive
    lounge. Please make yourselves
    at home while I check that the
    display models are ready. ​

    And he dashes back out of the room again, leaving the Kalani somewhat nonplussed.


    23 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR


    Grimacing, Brunt dashes along the corridor. He reaches the door, which opens onto...


    24 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY


    ...another three Kalani stepping off the transporter, in rough, makeshift outfits. Brunt runs straight to Bijon at the transporter controls, hisses at him.

    BRUNT
    Bijon, don’t you know what an
    appointment is? ​

    BIJON
    (thinks for a beat)
    I’ve never been to... Appointia.​

    KALANI 3
    Where is Pel? ​

    BRUNT
    Pel is setting up the display
    models for you to browse. She
    sent me to greet you. Bijon,
    please inform Pel that... uh...
    that a member of the Kalani
    Republican People’s Democratic
    Front is waiting to meet her. ​

    And Brunt dashes back out of the room again.


    25 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR


    Panic levels increasing, Brunt runs back down the corridor, to another door, which opens onto...


    26 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – MESS HALL


    Gaila looks up from the table at Brunt’s entrance...

    GAILA
    Ah, Brunt. You’re just in time
    to witness - ​

    But Brunt doesn’t care about that. He ignores the Kalani gathered nearby and rushes straight to Gaila, whispering into his ear...

    BRUNT
    They’re... all... here. ​

    GAILA
    What? How? ​

    BRUNT
    That half-Pakled idiot servant
    of yours. ​

    GAILA
    (sigh)
    I should have sent one of the
    Breen to supervise.​

    BRUNT
    Who’d have thought running the
    transporter was a two-man job? ​

    GAILA
    Anyone who knew Bijon.​

    Brunt whimpers – what do they do?


    27 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHOWROOM


    Pel shows the third group of Kalani – the People’s Front – around a display of Cardassian weapons. As they browse, she glances over her shoulder to the door with a nervous smile.


    28 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRUNT’S CABIN


    On the edge of panic, Brunt grins maniacally as he pours himself a drink from the cabinet, knocks it back, and pours another. He holds the second drink out towards the Kalani Loyalist leader. She looks at him disdainfully.

    Then there’s a buzz in his ear. Brunt shrieks and jumps, spilling the drink. He tries to pull himself together.

    BRUNT
    That was the signal. Let’s go! ​


    29 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR


    A door opens onto the corridor, and Brunt leads the Kalani Loyalist group out. He looks to the right, and he sees the first Kalani group – the government – only just leaving, guided by Gaila into the shuttle bay.

    He squeaks and leaps to block the view, directing his group down the left arm of the corridor.

    BRUNT
    Right along there. I mean, not
    right. Straight. Straight along
    there. To your left.​

    Glancing back and forth between the two groups of Kalani, Brunt waits until the door has closed on Gaila’s group, and then runs off after his own group.


    30 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHOWROOM


    The door opens from the corridor as the Loyalists approach.

    BRUNT (o.s.)
    Wait! ​

    Brunt barrels past the Kalani before they can enter. He pokes his head in, and sees racks set up with Federation weapons, but no other Kalani. He sags with relief.

    BRUNT
    Thank the Blessed Exchequer.
    Commander Lotral, allow me
    to present...​


    31 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY


    Gaila stands watching as the Kalani government group transport away. He sags with relief as well, and then quickly turns and hurries back out of the room.


    32 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – MESS HALL


    The door opens and Gaila enters, just in time to see the third Kalani group’s leader place her clawed thumb onto Pel’s padd. He grins wide.


    33 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHOWROOM


    Gaila enters and immediately exclaims...

    GAILA
    Commander! I’m Gaila, CEO of
    Gailtek. Has Brunt been showing
    you these prime weapons? ​

    KALANI 2
    He has. They are quite fit for
    our purpose. ​

    Gaila grins even wider...


    34 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR


    The door opens from the show room, and Brunt pokes his head out into the corridor. At the far end, Pel is just leading her group into the shuttle bay. Once the door is closed...

    BRUNT
    This way please, Commander...​


    35 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY


    Gaila, Brunt and Pel all stand, as Bijon works the trans-porter and the final group of Kalani disappears. After a second’s pause to be sure they’re safe, all three Ferengi break into laughter, great howls of blissful relief.

    Behind them, the door opens, and one of the Breen enters. He stops at the sight of three cackling Ferengi. Even through his totally expressionless environment suit, he manages to convey his confusion.


    36 INT. DS9 – QUARK’S BAR


    Treir and Leeta are also howling with laughter over some shared joke, no doubt at Quark’s expense. From near the main door, Kira watches, amused.

    Then Dax rushes up to her, a worried look on her face. She speaks sotto, making sure no-one else can hear.

    DAX
    Nerys, we have a problem. ​

    KIRA
    What is it? ​

    DAX
    Bowers just called me from
    Ops. Admiral Akaar is on the
    comm... and he wants to talk
    to Commander Vaughn.
    (beat)
    Nerys... what do we do? ​

    Kira understands the problem now. As her face falls in worry...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT TWO


    .
     
  5. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .


    ACT THREE


    FADE IN:


    37 INT. DS9 – QUARK’S BAR


    VAUGHN, with the party at Quark’s going on behind him. He booms, cheerful and ebullient.

    VAUGHN
    LJ! And to what do I owe the
    pleasure? ​

    Vaughn stands behind the bar, turned to face the comm screen on the back wall, which features the face of Admiral AKAAR. The admiral is as stony-faced and grumpy as ever.

    AKAAR (screen)
    The pleasure is all yours,
    Elias. I don’t especially
    like being kept on hold by
    a nervous Lieutenant. ​

    Around the side of the bar, there’s a large computer panel and an arched doorway where there normally isn’t, of the type usually seen in a holosuite. At the panel are Dax, Nog and Rom all working feverishly to program on the fly. The fake Vaughn pauses, as if waiting for instructions, before replying.

    VAUGHN
    Well you do tend to intimidate
    the junior officers, LJ. Now,
    what can I do for you? ​

    AKAAR (screen)
    I’m calling to ask where
    you’ve been. ​

    Dax looks with worry to Kira, who stands to the side with VIC FONTAINE. All make sure to stay out of the admiral’s line of sight. Nervously, Kira nods for Dax to continue...

    VAUGHN
    What do you mean, Admiral?
    I’ve been right here. ​

    AKAAR (screen)
    That’s exactly what I mean.
    Why didn’t you attend the
    Admirals’ Dinner Party? I
    invite you every year. ​

    Kira and Dax sag with relief. Dax continues to program... the fake Vaughn chuckles.

    VAUGHN (background)
    Meetings with the Bajoran First
    Minister, Admiral. I don’t think
    she would have thanked me for
    jilting her over a dinner party. ​

    AKAAR
    (screen)
    Always some excuse, Elias. ​

    VIC
    (foreground)
    I won’t bother pointing out that
    you threatened to switch me off
    for using these things. ​

    KIRA
    Good. I’m glad you’re not going
    to point that out. ​

    Fake Vaughn gestures around to the fake party going on in the fake bar, all around him.

    VAUGHN
    Another state visit from another
    planetary leader going on even
    as we speak.
    (smirk)
    Really, Admiral. Insulting the
    leaders of two great nations
    for the sake of cocktails and
    canapés? ​

    AKAAR
    (grudging)
    Very well. But I had been hoping
    to speak with you about the
    situation with your Doctor Bashir. ​

    VIC
    (sotto)
    What is it you’re doing, exactly? ​

    KIRA
    (sotto)
    We need to hand-program your
    copy of Vaughn for real-time
    conversation, and it has to be
    so good that one of his oldest
    friends doesn’t realise he’s
    not talking to the real thing. ​

    Dax gulps again – the discussion of Bashir is hitting too close to home. She exchanges an uncomfortable glance with Nog, and goes back to work.

    VAUGHN
    What about him? ​

    AKAAR
    He was at the dinner. He seemed
    a touch distracted. ​

    VAUGHN
    If the good doctor chooses to
    hand in his notice and abandon
    his colleagues of many years,
    his actions after that are none
    of my concern, Admiral. If you
    want to know his mind, I suggest
    you speak to him.​

    VIC
    Where’s the real Vaughn? ​

    KIRA
    He’s not available. ​

    VIC
    Wasn’t he supposed to be at
    the party...?​

    KIRA
    He’s not available. ​

    Kira’s tone makes it clear that Vic should not ask further. She makes a “tie this up” gesture to Dax. Dax acknowledges.

    VAUGHN
    If there’s nothing else, LJ,
    I do have an official state
    function to get back to. ​

    AKAAR (screen)
    Yes, I suppose so. But you
    will attend next year, Elias. ​

    VAUGHN
    Absolutely, Admiral. You have
    my solemn promise. ​

    With a mutter of disbelief, Akaar cuts the signal. Dax sags with relief and steps back from the panel. Nog claps Rom on the shoulder in congratulation. The fake Vaughn goes still.

    DAX
    Do you think he bought it? ​

    KIRA
    Let’s hope. Nog, this was a
    brilliant idea. Thank you so
    much for your help. ​

    NOG
    You’re welcome, Captain. But –​

    KIRA
    (cuts Nog off)
    You too, Rom. It’s good to
    have you on the team again. ​

    ROM
    It was fun. I’ve missed this
    kind of thing. ​

    KIRA
    I know you’re both curious. But
    don’t ask me why. Don’t even
    think about why. It’s beyond
    classified. I need you both to
    put this out of your mind and
    forget it ever happened. ​

    ROM
    Uhh... I can do that. ​

    Kira and Dax share a cautious smile...


    38 EXT. URWYZDEN PLANET SURFACE


    A majestic, soaring shot of the same planet we saw at the top of the episode. Only this is before the war. As we glide gracefully across the landscape, we see white-topped mountains with people skiing down them, alpine chalets and lodges, glittering lakes with gently drifting tourist boats, and gleaming glass architecture that blends in smoothly and ecologically. Everything is relaxed, peaceful and beautiful. An on-screen caption says:


    SIX MONTHS AGO


    Over all of this, a friendly, cheerful female voice:

    VOICEOVER
    Welcome! ...to Urwyzden Alpha.
    The three turquoise jewels of
    the Urwyzden system are here
    for your business... or your
    pleasure. ​

    Gradually we find the government building – the one that will be destroyed by the missile.

    VOICEOVER
    If you’re looking for a safe,
    neutral location for all your
    banking needs, the people of
    Urwyzden Alpha, Beta or Gamma
    will be happy to provide. And
    you can be sure of that safety,
    because the Urwyzden system
    has never had a single armed
    conflict in its entire history.
    We don’t even have a military!
    So come to Urwyzden today, and
    let us invest in your future. ​

    Finally passing THROUGH the window of the government building, and into...


    39 INT. URWYZDEN GOVERNMENT OFFICE


    A large, plush meeting room, with spectacular views of the surrounding scenery thanks to the walls entirely of glass. Three Urwyzden natives sit in a row behind a long table. They have mottled slate-grey skin, wrinkled and studded. Heads are round and bald, and they have long, pointed ears that flop over at the tips. They wear plain black suits. The middle Urwyzden, MINISTER 1, speaks proudly.

    MINISTER 1
    What you have heard is true.
    We have never had a need of
    weapons. We maintain an
    attitude of strict neutrality,
    even with the Romulans, the
    former Dominion...​

    Brunt and Gaila sit opposite, again in their best suits.

    BRUNT
    But what about Orion pirates?
    These worlds of yours are ripe
    for robbers and raiders...​

    MINISTER 1
    (sly smile)
    Without naming names, gentlemen,
    I suspect you will find that
    many of the investors in such...
    entrepreneurial endeavours trust
    the Urwyzden to ensure that
    their own assets remain liquid
    without outside interference. ​

    BRUNT
    You mean the Orion Syndicate – ​

    MINISTER 1
    The what? I’m sorry, I must have
    misheard. For a moment I thought
    you were about to suggest that a
    purely fictional organisation of
    doubtful integrity really existed. ​

    BRUNT
    Orions in general then...​

    MINISTER 1
    It’s certainly the case that a
    number of Orion conglomerates
    place funds in escrow with us.
    They prefer the convenience of
    not having to wait for Federation
    bureaucrats to go through the
    motions as they would, say,
    with the Bank of Bolius. ​

    BRUNT
    And what about races with a lust
    for conquest instead of profit? ​

    MINISTER 1
    A race that was truly geared for
    conquest – say, the Cardassians
    a few decades ago – would conquer
    us in short order, yes. But the
    other races, who would then be
    left in difficult circumstances,
    would I’m sure find it in their
    interest to make things right. ​

    Brunt’s big smile slips a notch – opportunity is slipping away. Looking to his side, Gaila seems to feel the same.

    The Minister pauses to think. He jumps off his chair, and we realise that he is tiny, barely three feet tall. In fact all the Urwyzden are. The miniature Minister wanders over to the large picture windows, gazes out at the lovely view.

    MINISTER 1
    Nevertheless, you do bring up an
    interesting point. It has been
    considered in the recent past –
    what with the Dominion war and
    the Borg invasion – that some
    orbital defence platforms might
    be a wise investment. To allow
    others time to recognize the
    importance of their decision. ​

    GAILA
    (eager)
    Oddly enough, orbital defence
    platforms are our specialty. ​

    MINISTER 1
    Oddly enough, I thought they
    might be. ​

    Brunt and Gaila grin wide – it’s a deal.


    40 EXT. SPACE


    The Golden Handshake sits in orbit of a small uninteresting moon on the outskirts of the system – the same system seen at the top of the episode.


    41 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHOWROOM


    The entire crew – Gaila, Brunt, Pel, Bijon, Voloczin and the lead Breen LOK – are gathered in the showroom. The room is set up to display the weapons and orbital platforms they will sell to the Urwyzden. The four Ferengi have drinks in their hands and clink them together in self-congratulation.

    BRUNT
    Three planets, three opportun-
    ities! It’s a good sale, but
    a one-off. Profit is for life,
    not just for the holidays. ​

    GAILA
    What if the three worlds fought
    between themselves for political
    control of the fiscal services?
    An on-going struggle, kept at
    just the right level, would make
    for the perfect regular income. ​

    BRUNT
    (licks lips)
    Regular...​

    GAILA
    What you might call a private
    little war, of our very own. This
    calls for more than snail juice.
    Volo, where’s that Romulan ale? ​

    VOLOCZIN
    I opened it half an hour ago.
    Where do you think it is? ​

    Voloczin’s fleshy tentacles flush blue, making Bijon laugh uproariously. Brunt is still a bit creeped out by him.

    GAILA
    Fine. We’ll bring the Ministers
    Of Urwyzden Alpha, Beta and
    Gamma up to the ship, in that
    order, and make our pitch. ​

    VOLOCZIN
    I gave each planet’s gear a
    different casing. Each bunch
    are detectable by sensors we
    can sell to the others. ​

    GAILA
    And what is this not going to
    be, Bijon? ​

    Everyone else turns to look at Bijon. He sags sadly.

    BIJON
    Another Kalani disaster.​

    GAILA
    That’s right. ​

    BIJON
    But they were ready. I just
    assumed you wouldn’t want to
    keep them waiting. ​

    BRUNT
    Yes, well – you know what the
    hew-mons say about “assume.”
    It... puts the I in team...
    or something. ​

    GAILA
    Forget the hew-mons. Lok will
    make sure it all runs smoothly
    this time, won’t you Lok? ​

    The Breen rumbles a response in his electronic language. Nobody but Gaila appears to understand him.

    GAILA
    Exactly. Alright, let’s get to
    it. Business, my friends, is
    about to be booming. And booming
    business is the best kind! ​

    All but Brunt turn to leave the room.

    BRUNT
    I think I’ll stay a moment, and
    get a feel for our products. ​

    GAILA
    You’ll enjoy them, I’m sure. ​

    The rest of them leave. In the doorway, Pel looks over her shoulder at Brunt, who is already approaching the weapons with a hungry look in his eye. Brunt hefts one particular weapon in his hands. It feels good. He lifts it to his eye, looks through the target.


    FLASHBACK – 6x10 “THE MAGNIFICENT FERENGI”


    The chaos of the practise run in the holosuite, as Brunt shrieks and panics under threat of Jem’Hadar attack...


    BACK TO SCENE


    Brunt sneers in hatred...

    BRUNT
    (to self)
    It was all Quark’s fault. Quark
    and his entire lunatic family. ​


    POV – TARGETING SENSOR


    Looking through the targeting sensor at a circular target projected on the wall of the showroom... only it’s not a target anymore. It’s Quark’s face, smirking back at him.


    BACK TO SCENE


    Shivering with hatred... Brunt fires.


    POV – TARGETING SENSOR


    Quark’s face is blown apart by the simulated shot.


    BACK TO SCENE


    Brunt grins with satisfaction.

    PEL (o.s.)
    You’re a good shot. ​

    Brunt turns and sees that Pel never left the room. She’s watching him, curious about him. The two of them are alone.

    BRUNT
    Let’s just say I have good
    motivation. ​

    PEL
    I don’t like those Breen that
    Gaila has taken up with. ​

    BRUNT
    I know what you mean. At least
    with a Jem’Hadar, you could
    see his face. ​

    PEL
    You’ve met Jem’Hadar? I’m
    impressed. What did they do? ​

    BRUNT
    They... They died. ​

    PEL
    So the famous Liquidator does
    have lobes after all. What do
    you know about the Urwyzden? ​

    BRUNT
    More than Gaila does. ​

    PEL
    From when you were in the FCA?​

    BRUNT
    Just because they fired me
    doesn’t mean I have to give up
    all my hard-earned information.
    Like about the lobeless Ferengi
    who deposit their own profit
    with the Urwyzden. ​

    PEL
    Offworld banking? There are
    Ferengi who do that? But...
    But that’s illegal! ​

    BRUNT
    And the law is the law... no
    matter how stupid it is. We
    should be proud to uphold it.
    Otherwise you... wouldn’t be
    wearing those clothes. ​

    They’re actually flirting, intrigued with each other.

    BRUNT
    We should keep out of the way
    of those Breen. I don’t like
    the way they look at me. ​

    PEL
    I don’t like the way they look
    at anyone except for Gaila and
    Voloczin. I especially don’t
    like the way they look at
    people talking together. ​

    BRUNT
    (smirk)
    Then we shouldn’t let them see
    us talking. ​

    Brunt is all smooth and suave, Pel is almost giggling...


    42 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRIDGE


    A screen somewhere at the back of the small bridge shows the showroom, and the conversation between Brunt and Pel. The sound is off, but the flirting between them is clear.

    WIDEN to reveal Lok, the Breen commander, watching them...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT THREE


    .
     
  6. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .



    ACT FOUR


    FADE IN:


    43 EXT. SPACE


    The view of the Urwyzden system as seen at the top of the episode. Calm and peaceful at first. An orbital weapons platform sits peacefully in orbit of one of the blue and glittering worlds. An on-screen caption says:


    THREE MONTHS AGO


    A passenger shuttle from one of the other worlds glides by. The platform comes to life, BLASTS the shuttle with phaser fire. The ship is destroyed, ripped to bits, no survivors.


    44 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRIDGE


    Pel sits in her pilot’s seat at the front of the bridge, watching this explosion on the main viewscreen. She is absolutely horrified.

    PEL
    Unbelievable...​

    Behind her in his captain’s throne, Gaila grins with glee.

    GAILA
    In what way? We did come here
    for a most profitable on-going
    military escalation, didn’t we? ​


    45 INT. URWYZDEN GOVERNMENT OFFICE


    The three tiny Urwyzden ministers now face each other over their grand table. The view outside is now peppered with small explosions and damaged buildings.

    MINISTER 1
    Murderers! This is unprecedented
    and unacceptable! No Urwyzden
    has ever declared war on another!​

    MINISTER 2
    Declared war?! We are victims of
    your madness!​


    46 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – GAILA’S CABIN


    Just as palatial and extravagant as Brunt’s, if not more so. Gaila sits at his comm panel, listening in with glee as the arguing voices of the Urwyzden monitors come in over the channel...

    MINISTER 1 (comm)
    Is this some kind of attempt
    at a takeover of the Board? ​

    MINISTER 2 (comm)
    It is clear that some members
    of the Board need to be let go! ​

    All of this is music to Gaila’s lobes. He turns to Lok, who lurks ominously behind him. The Breen rumbles an electronic question at him...

    GAILA
    Exactly as planned, Lok. Here’s
    to exploiting the weak for fun
    and profit! ​

    He raises a glass, and breaks into laughter.


    47 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – GAILA’S CABIN


    Brunt just happens to be walking past the door as he hears the sound of Gaila’s laughter echoing into the corridor. He doesn’t like it. It worries him.


    48 EXT. URWYZDEN PLANET SURFACE


    The gorgeous Urwyzden scenery, now half-way between the peaceful splendour it was and the devastated warzone it will become. One of the small Ferengi shuttles zooms down towards the shuttle port as fighters zoom out of it...


    49 INT. URWYZDEN GOVERNMENT OFFICE


    The Alphan minister is now alone in the grand office, and greets Gaila and Brunt with relief and enthusiasm.

    MINISTER 1
    Welcome, my friends! It seems I
    was wise to make those purchases. ​

    GAILA
    You know it makes sense. ​

    MINISTER 1
    And continues to do so. I shall
    have on-going business with
    you, I think. Our own military
    is still in its early stages...​

    BRUNT
    How goes the war? ​

    MINISTER 1
    Obviously we’re doing our best
    to ensure it doesn’t interfere
    with business. We have also
    begun interning Beta and Gamma
    citizens in conditioning camps
    to be sure of their loyalty. ​


    50 INT. SHUTTLE


    On the trip back up from the planet. Pel pilots, while Gaila slavers over his new contract and Brunt sits nearby.

    GAILA
    I like that. These Urwyzden are
    the best kind of customers.
    They’re running the war properly.
    Taking it to heart. They’ll keep
    us in profit for life. ​

    BRUNT
    The only problem with anything
    that’s for life, is that it’s
    only for the living. ​

    GAILA
    You’re not going all hew-mon
    on me, are you? ​

    BRUNT
    Of course not! ​

    But underneath he’s not so sure. He exchanges a glance with Pel. Neither likes the way this situation is going...


    51 EXT. SPACE


    The Golden Handshake sits in orbit of a little moon on the edge of the Urwyzden system. The on-screen caption says:


    TWO MONTHS AGO


    52 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRIDGE


    The door opens and Lok stomps onto the bridge. Gaila is in the captain’s throne. They are the only two there.

    GAILA
    What is it, Lok? ​

    Lok buzzes a warning.

    GAILA
    What? Brunt and Pel? Don’t be
    ridiculous. You must be joking. ​

    Lok buzzes again.

    GAILA
    No, I suppose you don’t. ​

    Lok walks over to the screen at the back of the bridge. Gaila gets up and follows him. Lok pushes buttons, and the screen comes to life with the recording of Brunt and Pel in the showroom. Another clip of them sitting together in the mess hall, then as they walk together through the shuttle bay. And so on. With each clip, Gaila’s dismay grows.

    GAILA
    What am I to do with them? ​

    Lok rumbles his suggestion.

    GAILA
    Lok, you took the words right
    out of my mouth. Ah, well. I
    suppose it’s that time again.
    Time to lay off the workers.​

    Lok’s response manages to express his powerful joy at the prospect. The towering Breen stomps back out of the bridge again, eager to get to work.


    53 INT. SHUTTLE


    Pel is alone, driving the shuttle with a new shipment of weapons down towards one of the planets. She’s quite happy doing her job, not a care in the world.

    There’s an alert on her panels, and she checks. She nods with understanding and relief – it’s nothing.


    54 EXT. SPACE


    The shuttle is approaching one of the unmanned defence platforms, currently inactive.


    55 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY

    Lok stands at a control panel in the shuttle bay. Readings are passing over his screen. He presses a button...


    56 EXT. SPACE


    The defence platform suddenly turns, bursting to life, and FIRES on Pel’s shuttle.


    57 INT. SHUTTLE


    Chaos and explosions as the shuttle is fired upon. The windscreen shatters, spider-cracks spreading. A forcefield pops into place, but that’s the least of Pel’s worries. Her console is on fire, instruments are dying, and the planet’s surface is approaching fast.

    She panics, using all her piloting skills to keep the shuttle under control as best she can...


    58 EXT. URWYZDEN PLANET SURFACE


    The tiny shuttle plummets to earth, a burning meteorite surging towards the ground...


    59 EXT. URWYZDEN PLANET SURFACE - WOODS


    A squadron of the black-armoured soldiers from the opening scene are approaching through the woods, weapons held out in preparation. They all pause in shock as they see...

    The burning wreckage of Pel’s shuttle on the ground.


    60 ON SHUTTLE


    The wreckage is open enough to the air to see Pel’s injured but alive body in the pilot’s seat. The Urwyzden soldiers approach with caution, begin stepping into the wreckage...

    SOLDIER 1
    She’s a Ferengi! The Ferengi
    are important to the Prime
    Minister. If she’s hurt...​

    Pel groans, making it clear she’s alive. Another soldier has found something else in the wreckage. He holds it up for the others to see – it’s a rifle. It looks similar to the ones the soldiers are carrying, but not identical.

    SOLDIER 2
    That weapon’s Betan. But this
    is one of the people who supply
    us with weapons. ​

    SOLDIER 1
    Who says they supply only us? ​

    The soldiers looks between themselves, worried...


    61 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRIDGE


    Gaila sits in his captain’s throne. On the main viewscreen is the Urwyzden Minister 1...

    GAILA
    Prime Minister! I must warn
    you! I have uncovered evidence
    that one of my crew has been
    stealing from me, and may be
    trying to sell to one of the
    other colonies. I’ll transmit you
    the details of her ship now...​

    MINISTER 1 (screen)
    No need. The vessel to which you
    refer has already been shot down. ​

    The screen shifts to show an image of the shuttle wreckage, with Pel’s body visible within it. Gaila smiles...


    62 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRUNT’S CABIN


    This same image is on the screen in Brunt’s quarters, as he listens in to the conversation. He sneers, furious...

    BRUNT
    So... Gaila is betraying his
    own crew. Time to look after
    number one. ​


    63 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY


    Bijon is hauling a large box of mechanical parts across the shuttle bay, by hand. The door opens and Brunt enters, oozing false camaraderie for the gentle giant.

    BRUNT
    Bijon! You look tired. Haven’t
    you had a lunch break today? ​

    BIJON
    I’m alright. I’ll just get this
    manifest loaded, then I’m done
    for a bit. I’ll have lunch then. ​

    BRUNT
    Oh, but you know what? I just
    discovered the most exquisite
    tube-grub casserole in the
    replicator menu. It’s the best
    I’ve tasted outside Ferenginar. ​

    BIJON
    Ohh... that does sound good. I
    like tube grubs. ​

    BRUNT
    You wouldn’t be a Ferengi if
    you didn’t like tube grubs. ​

    BIJON
    My father doesn’t like them. ​

    Brunt restrains himself from making a comment.

    BIJON
    Are you coming too? ​

    BRUNT
    No no, I just ate. Oh and Bijon?
    Why don’t you check with Voloczin
    that the remote control for the
    Alphan drone weapons is working
    correctly? I thought I noticed
    some degradation the other day. ​

    Bijon nods to himself, slowly recording each word in his memory. He wants to get this right.

    BIJON
    Okay, I’ll ask. ​

    Bijon leaves. Brunt watches him go, tense and nervous...


    64 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – MESS HALL


    Bijon enters, innocent as always. Voloczin is draped over one table. Lok and the other two Breen are sat at another. Bijon goes over to the wall of replicators, but then turns back, suddenly remembering that he had to ask something.

    BIJON
    Oh, Volo... are the, um, what
    are they called, the remote
    control for the drone things,
    are they working alright? ​

    Voloczin jerks, surprised. The three Breen look up from their table, equally curious and wary.

    VOLOCZIN
    The what? ​

    BIJON
    The remote control things.​

    VOLOCZIN
    Oh, er, those... well, ya see
    mate, the thing is...​

    Lok stands suddenly, snapping a sharp electronic command.

    VOLOCZIN
    Righty-dokey, skip. ​

    In a terrifyingly fast move, Voloczin leaps right off the table and straight at Bijon. His thick, muscular tentacles spread wide, revealing the wet, gnashing mouthparts on the pale fleshy underside. The mouth comes right for Bijon’s face, the tentacles wrap around his large body...

    Caught by complete surprise, Bijon struggles against Voloczin’s crushing grip. He wraps his own powerful hands around the tentacles and pulls, but they don’t move. His SCREAMS are muffled as the mouthparts start to BITE...


    65 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – GAILA’S CABIN


    Those muffled screams sound through the comm system as Brunt stands inside Gaila’s quarters, a wall panel open and his fingers working like lightning over the controls. Brunt grimaces at the sound, but keeps working. He feels sorry for poor Bijon, he didn’t want to have to do that to him, but it was necessary. He gets on with the work.

    On the screen inside the wall panel, a face-shot of Gaila comes up, and next to it, the word URWYZDEN. The rest of the screen is taken up with constantly changing information in the hexagonal Ferengi language. As Brunt reads on, he grows more and more disgusted.

    But then the sounds on the comm change. A body thumps to the ground, and the Breen electronic rumbles get agitated. Brunt quickly shuts the panel and hits a key on his padd. He dematerializes in a Ferengi transporter swirl.

    The next instant, the door opens and Gaila and Lok stomp in, both furious.

    GAILA
    Bijon never would have thought
    to ask that question on his own. ​

    Lok buzzes his opinion on the matter.

    GAILA
    Exactly! Which means Brunt is
    betraying me. Damn the FCA!
    Where is he now? ​


    66 EXT. SPACE


    Brunt’s tiny shuttle races towards the planet and away from Gaila at top speed...


    67 INT. URWYZDEN WAREHOUSE


    A large warehouse space in the cold arctic areas of the planet, draughty and unpleasant. Two Urwyzden soldiers drag a body towards us. As they drop it to the ground with a sneer, we see that it is Pel, withered but alive.

    SOLDIER 1
    There you go. She sold weapons
    to the Betans. And that means
    the Betans can kill us. ​

    SOLDIER 2
    Make it slow and painful for
    her. Maybe cut off her ears? ​

    BRUNT
    I promise you, I’ll be getting
    dividends out of my anger.
    Every last slip.​

    Chuckling, the Urwyzden turn and walk away. Brunt crouches down to Pel, tries to look after her. She croaks up at him.

    PEL
    Thank you...​

    BRUNT
    Don’t thank me. I’m just doing
    what an FCA Liquidator should
    do to a Ferengi who banks off-
    world and cheats the Nagal
    treasury of its lawful share. ​

    As Pel realizes that Brunt is talking about Gaila...


    FADE OUT:


    END OF ACT FOUR


    .
     
  7. lvsxy808

    lvsxy808 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Location:
    London
    .


    ACT FIVE


    FADE IN:


    68 EXT. URWYZDEN PLANET SURFACE - WOODS


    The same woods where Pel’s shuttle crashed. Now Brunt’s fully intact shuttle is hidden among the foliage.


    69 INT. BRUNT’S SHUTTLE


    The shuttle is powered down, its lowest energy settings.
    Brunt and Pel sit talking. Brunt is disgusted.

    BRUNT
    I should have seen it coming.
    Any relative of Quark’s was
    bound to be insane. ​

    PEL
    What are you talking about? ​

    BRUNT
    Gaila! Gaila invested here. This
    whole war is a cover to allow
    him to cash out without anyone
    – especially the FCA – knowing
    what he’s doing. It’s all one
    massive insider trading scam! ​

    Pel gasps, suitably appalled.

    PEL
    And he’s happy to kill millions
    of Urwyzden to do it. ​

    BRUNT
    I know. It’s unbelievable. The
    dead can’t pay. ​

    PEL
    What? ​

    BRUNT
    The dead can’t pay! There’s no
    profit in it. I can’t sell to
    dead people.​

    PEL
    You’re really not what I was
    expecting, Brunt.
    (beat)
    I was thinking... Gailtek is
    doomed now, surely? ​

    BRUNT
    Not necessarily. But we’re not
    going to be a part of it any
    more. Are we? ​

    PEL
    The thought occurs that you
    need a new partner. ​

    BRUNT
    So do you, if you want to be...
    (shudder)
    ...a profit-earning female.​

    PEL
    So, if we’re partners... what
    do we do next? ​

    Brunt grins a toothy grin. He has exactly the answer.

    BRUNT
    As a business rival, we want to
    ruin Gaila and outdo his profits.
    As a loyal retired Liquidator of
    the FCA – and partner – we want
    Gaila brought to justice. And as
    the people he tried to kill...
    we want revenge.
    (beat)
    Call all three ministers. Tell
    them I’m going to give them
    what they want. And Pel?​

    PEL
    Yes? ​

    BRUNT
    Make all three appointments
    for the same time. ​


    70 EXT. SPACE


    The Golden Handshake sits in orbit of its little moon on the edge of the Urwyzden system. All is peaceful...

    Until three of the small Urwyzden fighters converge on the Ferengi ship... and open fire.


    71 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – BRIDGE


    Voloczin is alone on the bridge. Proximity alarms suddenly sound, and the large fleshy octopus-spider-thing leaps to check the readings, its tentacles flushing orange.

    VOLOCZIN
    Yer what? ​

    The ship ROCKS under fire. Panels explode and sparks fly.

    VOLOCZIN
    Bugger this. I’m offski. ​

    Voloczin quickly makes for the door...


    72 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR


    ...Only to find a firefight already in progress.

    Two Breen are exchanging phaser bolts with a seeming army of the diminutive Urwyzden soldiers. They may be small, but their sheer number is overwhelming the larger Breen...


    73 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – GAILA’S CABIN


    Gaila is asleep in his cabin, until he’s awakened by the sounds of phaser fire in the corridor, the rocking of the ship under fire from outside... and a blaring ALARM.

    COMPUTER
    Autodestruct in five minutes.​

    Gaila’s eyes go wide and he screams in panic.

    GAILA
    Computer! Cancel autodestruct!
    Authorisation Gaila four four
    two seven nine omicron! ​

    COMPUTER
    Autodestruct sequence cannot
    be cancelled. Autodestruct in
    four minutes thirty seconds. ​

    Panic growing, Gaila leaps out of bed.


    74 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – CORRIDOR


    One of the Breen goes down under multiple phaser shots from the Urwyzden soldiers.

    Voloczin leaps up to the ceiling, his tentacles carrying him quickly across it in an attempt to get past the battle.

    Some Urwyzden take aim at him. He leaps down right on top of them, stretches his tentacles out wide, snatches a tiny Urwyzden body in each and SNAPS each one’s neck.

    Behind him the second Breen goes down. That leaves just him and all the remaining Urwyzden soldiers. They all take aim and FIRE...

    And Voloczin’s large body EXPLODES like a fleshy balloon.


    75 INT. GOLDEN HANDSHAKE – SHUTTLE BAY


    Gaila rushes into the shuttle bay (which has no shuttles in it) and sees Lok already working the transporter controls.

    GAILA
    Lok! Set coordinates for the
    spaceport on Urwyzden Alpha.
    We’ll blend in with everyone
    else who’s leaving the - ​

    Before Gaila can finish, a phaser SHOT blasts Lok, making his environment suit spasm with bolts of electricity. The Breen soldier slumps to the ground with a gurgle, the suit smoking with burned-out circuitry. Gaila shrieks...

    BRUNT
    Brunt. FCA... ish.​

    Brunt steps forward out of the corner with a victorious, predatorial grin, his weapon aimed right at Gaila.

    BRUNT
    You’re going to be a celebrity,
    Gaila. The first Ferengi war
    criminal. And I must say, it
    gives me great pleasure to
    arrest you as a war criminal – ​

    GAILA
    If I’m a war criminal, then so
    are you! ​

    BRUNT
    (ignores him)
    - As an offensively poor example
    of Ferengi morals, and as a
    personal threat to my own
    profits and opportunities. ​

    GAILA
    (laughs)
    What profits? The moment you
    ran out I seized your share. ​

    BRUNT
    (delighted)
    Then I’ll add breach of contract. ​

    GAILA
    Add what you like, but if we’re
    still here in thirty seconds – ​

    BRUNT
    Step onto the pad. ​

    Brunt gestures with the weapon towards the transporter pad. Gaila does as he’s told. Brunt presses controls on the panel, then steps up beside Gaila. The moment the coils power up, Gaila LUNGES for the weapon in Brunt’s hands. The pair dissolve in a Ferengi transporter swirl...


    76 EXT. SPACE


    The attacking Urwyzden fighters quickly break off and scatter, getting out of the way...

    And then the Golden Handshake EXPLODES.


    77 EXT. SHUTTLE PORT


    Back to the beginning of the episode. Gaila and Brunt roll over each other on their way down the slanted surface of the shuttle port, an unidentifiable flurry of punches and scratches and yells and yelps.

    Hitting the ground, they both reach for a weapon, spinning on the spot to point them at each other’s face.

    BRUNT
    (smug)
    Gaila. If only you were Quark...
    That’s the only way this moment
    could be any more delicious. ​

    GAILA
    You’re finished too, Brunt! It’s
    a mutual loss scenario! ​

    Keeping his weapon trained on Gaila, Brunt glances to the side. Squadrons of Urwyzden soldiers are closing in on them from all directions, weapons drawn and pointed at the pair of Ferengi. Brunt sighs and shakes his head.

    BRUNT
    How did my life come to this? ​

    GAILA
    If you want us to cross each
    other, fine! But we should at
    least get off world first.
    There’s no profit in being
    killed by these troops! ​

    BRUNT
    Profit is still profit even if
    it comes as something other
    than latinum. But you’re right.
    We’re both Ferengi, and that
    should come first. ​

    Gaila relaxes, a little relieved. Together, they turn and point their weapons towards the approaching Urwyzden...

    But once Gaila’s attention is diverted, Brunt spins back and CLUBS Gaila over the head with his rifle.

    Gaila tumbles to the ground. Brunt quickly grabs his weapon and throws it away, then shoves his enemy towards the soldiers. They grab him and restrain him. Gaila stares back at Brunt, dumbfounded.

    GAILA
    What are you doing?! ​

    BRUNT
    The Rules of Acquisition say
    that there is profit in peace,
    and profit in war. But there’s
    no profit in genocide and death
    camps. You can’t exploit someone
    you killed. It’s... un-Ferengi.
    (beat)
    Plus, of course, there’s the
    fact that you’re a member of
    the detestable House of Quark.
    And any chance to take down
    one of those deviants is one
    I’m never going to miss. ​

    GAILA
    And where’s your profit? Your
    non-latinum profit? ​

    BRUNT
    Well, by exposing you, I stop
    the war and preserve future
    Ferengi profits. That’s worth
    a lot. Oh, and did I mention
    I’ve negotiated a license as a
    consultant and enforcer in the
    region? Not the same as being
    in the FCA, but I’ll be doing
    the same job in the private
    sector. And for more money! ​

    Brunt laughs at Gaila’s horrified expression. And then the Urwyzden soldiers drag the Ferengi away. Gaila wails and squeals and begs, but the Urwyzden don’t listen.

    Brunt turns and looks out over the scene before him. He sighs with satisfaction. Things are going his way.


    78 INT. DS9 – QUARK’S BAR


    A huge round of APPLAUSE explodes all around the bar. The crowd is watching the many screens hanging around the room. The displays show financial reports from back home on Ferenginar. They’re in the hexagonal Ferengi script, but whatever they say, everyone’s very happy about it.

    Quark, Rom, Nog and Leeta all gather on the customer’s side of the bar, a proper family reunion. Kira and Dax are both nearby as well. Treir works behind the bar, HETIK works the dabo tables for his adoring audience, and Ferengi waiters dash back and forth. The party has been a huge success.

    Nog jumps with excitement and hugs his father...

    NOG
    Dad! A new contract to provide
    hipecat cream to the entire
    Talarian Republic! Amazing! ​

    LEETA
    Oh, Rom! I’m so proud of you! ​

    ROM
    (bashful)
    It was Krax’s idea...​

    NOG
    But you led the negotiations.
    I knew you could do it! ​

    QUARK
    I guess the Talarians must get
    a lot of skin problems. ​

    ROM
    I guess...​

    LEETA
    Rom’s the best Nagus ever! ​

    QUARK
    Hah! ​

    Dax, Kira, Rom, Nog, Leeta, Treir... all turn to look at Quark disapprovingly.

    QUARK
    I mean that lovingly. ​

    They grudgingly let it go.

    QUARK
    Although I do have to admit,
    this visit has been a latinum-
    mine for me. This is already
    looking like my best month so
    far this year...
    (new idea)
    ...although, it occurs to me...
    if you would consider taking
    a shift on the dabo wheels,
    Leeta... and we sold it as a
    nostalgic grand return...​

    LEETA
    No. I have my sweet baby Bena
    to look after...​

    Leeta turns to dote on her baby girl...

    BRUNT (o.s.)
    Brunt! FCA! ​

    Bena screams at the loud noise. Quark does too...

    QUARK
    Aah! ​

    Suddenly panicked, Quark looks around the bar, trying to see his long-time enemy.

    BRUNT (o.s.)
    That’s right! I’m back! ​

    Bena is wailing, Rom is moaning. Quark looks up... and Brunt’s sneering face is filling every monitor screen.

    BRUNT (screen)
    And debtors and deal-breakers
    everywhere are in for their
    worst nightmares! ​

    QUARK / ROM
    Aaaah! ​

    On the screen, the image changes to show Brunt and Pel standing back to back, arms folded, grinning defiantly into the camera as an overdramatic voiceover bellows...

    VOICEOVER
    All new! ​

    Big block titles slam down a word at a time over Brunt’s image, matching the announcer’s words...

    VOICEOVER
    Brunt the Bounty Hunter! Only
    on FCN! ​

    Quark, Rom, Nog, Leeta stare dumbfounded at the screen...

    ALL
    Aaaaaaaaaaah! ​


    BLACK OUT:


    END OF SHOW


    .