Rules of Acquisition
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 8 Nov, 1993

[Promenade]

(Night, and Morn is sleeping on a bench)
ODO: All right, Morn, you know the rules. No sleeping on the Promenade. Go home.

[Quark's]

(Morn can't get in because a private game of tongo is in full swing)
QUARK: The risk is to you, Lieutenant.
DAX: I could probably think better without your hand on my thigh.
QUARK: Now, how did that get there? So what's it going to be? Confront? Evade? Acquire? Retreat?
DAX: Confront. (the winner) Yes.
ROM: Doesn't she ever lose?
QUARK: Tell me, Lieutenant, how did you get to be so good at tongo?
DAX: Actually, it was Curzon that played it all the time.
ROM: Well, that explains it. It's Curzon who's beating us, not this female.
DAX: This female happens to be a better player than Curzon ever was.
QUARK: And a prettier one too.
ROM: Maybe so, but I still prefer a Ferengi female. One who never wears clothes, never talks back, and never plays tongo.
DAX: Is that how you really prefer your women? Naked and submissive?
QUARK: Do you find such a lifestyle appealing?
DAX: Don't you wish.
QUARK: I do. I really do.
DAX: All right. The opening risk is at five strips of latinum. The purchase is at three, the sell at eight.
(Pel whispers to Rom)
ROM: No, absolutely not. This isn't the proper time.
QUARK: I'm trying to concentrate.
ROM: I'm sorry, brother. It's this insolent young waiter's fault.
PEL: My apologies, Quark, but I really think you should try this.
(a handful of what look like dried peas)
QUARK: What is it?
PEL: A way to double your beverage profits. Taste it.
(Quark has one and immediately sips his water)
PEL: You see? Just as I told you. He immediately reached for his drink.
QUARK: So I did. (has another one) Amazing. You don't even realise you're thirsty. What are they?
PEL: Gramilian Sand Peas. They inhibit secretion of the salivary glands while drying out the tissues of the tongue. It works every time. If you replace your complimentary dishes of lokar beans with Gramilian sand peas, you won't be able to fill your customers' glasses fast enough.
QUARK: What's your name again?
PEL: Pel. So what do you think about my idea?
QUARK: I think I agree with the fifty ninth Rule of Acquisition. Free advice is seldom cheap.
PEL: True, but the twenty second rule says, A wise man can hear profit in the wind.
QUARK: I see you know your Rules.
PEL: All two hundred and eighty five of them, and the various commentaries as well. I don't plan on being a waiter forever.
ROM: Good, then you're fired.
QUARK: Shut up, Rom. When it comes to business, my brother has the weak little lobes of a female. So, what made you take a job here at the station?
PEL: I wanted to learn from the very best.
QUARK: Which brings to mind the thirty third Rule of Acquisition
QUARK + PEL: It never hurts to suck up to the boss.
(Amid laughter, an alarm sounds)
DAX: What's that?
QUARK: The Grand Nagus Zek's personal subspace frequency.
ROM: I wonder what he wants.
ZEK [on monitor]: Why do you look so surprised? I told you I'd be back.
QUARK: I've looked forward to your return, Nagus.
ZEK [on monitor]: Still the perfect little toady, eh, Quark?
QUARK: I try to be.
ZEK [on monitor]: Then listen carefully. The Ferengi expansion into the Gamma Quadrant is about to begin. I'd like you to be my chief negotiator.
QUARK: Me?
ZEK [on monitor]: That's right. I'm offering you an opportunity to make more profit than you ever dreamed of. All you have to do is earn it.

[Commander's office]

ZEK: Can I interest you in some Hupyrian beetle snuff?
SISKO: I don't think so.
ZEK: Major?
KIRA: No, thank you.
ZEK: Well, suit yourself. More for me.
(Maihar'du proffers the handkerchief after the sneeze)
ZEK: A little late, aren't we? So, you wanted to see me, Commander?
SISKO: I understand you're planning to host a business conference here at the station.
ZEK: Yes, with the Dosi, a race from the Gamma Quadrant. A very profitable opportunity for all concerned, I might add.
KIRA: Profitable for the Ferengi, maybe.
ZEK: Are you implying something, Major?
KIRA: Me? Not at all. No. The Ferengi's reputation speaks for itself.
ZEK: A reputation of honesty, and decency, and reliability. You always know what to expect when you do business with the Ferengi.
KIRA: Which is why, if you're smart, you don't do business with the Ferengi.
SISKO: I think you've made your point, Major.
ZEK: As misinformed and misguided as it may be. Besides, how we do business is no concern of yours.
SISKO: Except when you conduct your business on this station.
KIRA: In other words, Zek, Grand Nagus or no Grand Nagus, if we allow you to hold these negotiations here, and we find out you're cheating the Dosi, I'll see to it that you never set foot on this station again.
ZEK: Did anyone ever tell you your eyes shine with the brilliance of Kibberian fire diamonds.
KIRA: Not that I recall.
ZEK: Well they do. So, tell me, Major, could Bajor use fifty thousand kilos of brizeen nitrate?
KIRA: Of course we could. With that much brizeen, we could fertilise the entire northern peninsula.
ZEK: Well I've recently come into possession of fifty thousand kilos of brizeen nitrate, and to show you how much your cooperation means to me, I'll let you have the entire shipment.
SISKO: I'll still need your assurances that the Dosi will be fairly treated while they're here.
ZEK: You have my word.
SISKO: Good.
ZEK: Then it's settled. Now, let's see, that's fifty thousand kilos at twenty five percent off our usual price.
SISKO: Twenty five percent? You just said you were giving it to them.
ZEK: Well, you're right, Commander. We're all friends here. So I'll let you have it at cost.
SISKO: I have a better idea. Why not consider the nitrate as a gift to the people of Bajor.
ZEK: A gift? That doesn't sound very profitable.
SISKO: It depends.
ZEK: On what?
SISKO: On whether you want to conduct business here or not.
ZEK: Your negotiation skills aren't bad for a human. Your nitrate will be delivered promptly. Anything else you need, please come see me personally.

[Quark's quarters]

(Zek is having his ears combed)
ZEK: You know Quark, I've been involved in some profitable opportunities in my time, but my lobes are telling me this may be the most profitable opportunity in Ferengi history.
QUARK: Imagine that. And part of those profits will be mine.
ZEK: Profit. Fame. Power. As much as you want.
QUARK: Tell me, Nagus, what exactly is this great opportunity.
ZEK: I can sum it up in one word. Tulaberries.
QUARK: Tulaberries?
ZEK: Exactly.
QUARK: Go on.
ZEK: Well, they're the main ingredient in tulaberry wine. Your job is to purchase ten thousand vats from the Dosi.
QUARK: We're going into the wine business?
ZEK: Within a single year we'll have made tulaberry wine the most popular drink in their entire sector. That's enough. Oh, I like it. Very distinguished.
QUARK: Tell me, Nagus, how are tulaberries going to be the most profitable opportunity in Ferengi history?
ZEK: Do I have to spell it out for you?
QUARK: If you don't mind.
ZEK: Tulaberries will establish a Ferengi presence inside the Gamma Quadrant. And once we get our foot in the door, they'll never get it out.
QUARK: Yes, I see.
ZEK: Tulaberries, Quark. Tulaberries.

[Quark's]

ROM: Tulaberries. I wonder what they taste like?
QUARK: Who cares what they taste like. They're an opportunity to get a Ferengi foot in the Gamma Quadrant door.
ROM: And it'll be your foot, brother. I'm so proud.
QUARK: I'm going to make history, Rom. And I'm going to be rich. And I have the Grand Nagus to thank for it. He must really like me.
PEL: Just remember one thing. The bigger the smile, the sharper the knife.
QUARK: Forty eighth Rule of Acquisition.
PEL: I'd keep it in mind if I were you.
ROM: He has some nerve. I warned you about that fellow.
QUARK: Pel, do you mind telling me what you meant just now?
PEL: Did you ever think about why the Nagus is putting you in charge of such a lucrative opportunity?
QUARK: Isn't it obvious? He knows I have the lobes for business.
PEL: That's only part of it.
ROM: I refuse to stand here and allow my brother to be insulted. You're fired.
QUARK: Shut up. Go on.
PEL: If the negotiations are profitable, then the Nagus becomes a greater hero than ever. But if they fail, he's going to need someone to take the blame.
QUARK: You mean me?
PEL: All I'm saying is, be careful.
ROM: I never heard such ridiculous lies. He's just jealous of your success, brother.
QUARK: No, he's right. If something goes wrong, it'll be my fault.
ROM: Then you're going to need help, brother.
QUARK: Yes.
ROM: Someone to serve as your consultant during negotiations.
QUARK: Yes.
ROM: Someone like me.
QUARK: No. I've been thinking about what you just said, and I probably could use some help during these negotiations.
PEL: I accept.
QUARK: Good.
PEL: Then we're partners.
QUARK: Not quite. I don't need a partner, I need an assistant.
PEL: All right. But I get twenty five percent of everything you make.
QUARK: Fifteen.
PEL: Twenty.
QUARK: Done.
ROM: But brother, what can I do to help?
QUARK: You want to help? Table six is waiting.

[Pel's quarters]

(Pel gets a case out from under the bed, takes off her fake lobes and jacket, and relaxes)

[Airlock]

QUARK: How do I look?
SISKO: Nervous.
QUARK: Who, me? What have I got to be nervous about?
KIRA: It's Zek who should be nervous, with Quark here as his chief negotiator.
(Kira's bottom is pinched)
KIRA: If you ever do that again.
ZEK: Do what?
KIRA: If you ever do that again, I'll stick those fifty thousand kilos of brizeen right up your
QUARK: Here they come.
(An alien is thrown out and against the wall, then a large male with red skin and white decoration comes out.)
INGLATU: Don't worry, just a minor disagreement.

[Quark's quarters]

QUARK: So, er, can I get anyone something to eat? All right, in that case, let's go over our offer. As you know, the Ferengi are interested in purchasing ten thousand vats of tulaberry wine. In exchange, the Dosi will receive what I consider to be a very fair trade package.
PEL: There are some very interesting items on that list. A subspace field modulator, some optical data processors.
INGLATU: We'll give you five thousand vats.
QUARK: I'm afraid that won't be enough. We're looking to establish a vast distribution network in the Gamma Quadrant. We'll need at least ten thousand vats.
INGLATU: I'm offering you five thousand vats. I suggest you take it.
PEL: The Nagus will never agree.
ZYREE: (a female Dosi) This is a waste of time. We should be talking directly to Zek.
INGLATU: I know we should be talking to Zek.
ZYREE: Then why do you bother talking to this insignificance?
INGLATU: Now see what you've done.
QUARK: What?
INGLATU: You've made me look foolish.
QUARK: I didn't mean to.
ZYREE: Then bring us Zek.
PEL: The Nagus has asked Quark to represent him during these negotiations.
ZYREE: Are you implying that Zek is too important to negotiate with us?
QUARK: We never meant to imply anything of the sort.
INGLATU: Because if we kill you, (Inglatu snaps the PADD in half) Zek will have to talk to us.
PEL: You want to do business with the Ferengi, you talk to Quark.
QUARK: So, how about it? Do we say ten thousand vats?
INGLATU: We'll think about it.

[Ops]

O'BRIEN: Can I help you?
(Maihar'du gives Kira a small box.)
KIRA: What is it?
(It's a golden earring)
DAX: It's beautiful.
KIRA: It's latinum. Excuse me. I really can't accept this.
(Maihar'du is already leaving)
KIRA: Did Zek really think this was going to get him anywhere?
DAX: Probably not, but it doesn't stop a Ferengi from trying.
KIRA: You sound like you admire them for it.
DAX: I suppose in a way I do.
KIRA: I don't understand your attitude about the Ferengi.
DAX: That's because you don't socialise with them the way I do. Looking back over seven lifetimes, I can't think of a single race I've enjoyed more.
KIRA: Did anyone ever tell you that you have very strange taste?
DAX: I admit they place too much emphasis on profit, and their behaviour toward women is somewhat primitive.
KIRA: They're greedy, misogynistic, untrustworthy little trolls and I wouldn't turn my back on one of them for a second.
DAX: Neither would I. But once you accept that, you'll find they can be a lot of fun.

[Quark's]

(Another after hours tongo session)
ROM: Evade.
PEL: Evade.
QUARK: Retreat.
ZEK: Acquire.
DAX: Confront.
ZEK: Did I say acquire? I meant evade.
DAX: You said acquire.
ZEK: But I meant evade.
QUARK: Why don't we just play the round over.
ROM: That sounds fair.
ZEK: Who asked you? And shouldn't you be plotting strategy for tomorrow's negotiations?
QUARK: Believe me, Nagus, I've thought of nothing else all evening.
ROM: That must be why you're losing so badly.
QUARK: And I think by tomorrow we should have an agreement.
ZEK: Well I've been thinking, too, and ten thousand vats of tulaberry wine aren't enough. Tell them we want a hundred thousand.
QUARK: A hundred thousand? But I'm not sure they'll even agree to sell us ten thousand.
ZEK: A hundred thousand vats would mean more profit for them and for us. Now do as I say, or I'm going to take over the negotiations myself.
PEL: I think raising the stakes is a brilliant idea.
ZEK: You do?
PEL: It'll show the Gamma Quadrant we mean business. No wonder Quark says you're a genius.
ZEK: He says that, does he?
QUARK: All the time.
ZEK: That's very touching. Now bring me some fresh tube grubs. These are losing their crunch.
QUARK: Right away.
ZEK: So, I believe the next challenge goes to you.
PEL: I think I'll pass on this round.
(Pel trots off after Quark)
ZEK: Such loyalty must be expensive.
DAX: You can't buy that kind of loyalty.
ZEK: You can where I come from.
(At the bar)
PEL: Is the Nagus always this impatient?
QUARK: He wants results, and he expects me to get them. But he's not making my job any easier. A hundred thousand vats. That's a lot of tulaberries.
PEL: You'll get them.
QUARK: How can you be so sure?
PEL: Because you're good. And with me helping you, you're even better.
QUARK: Why are you being so nice to me?
PEL: For twenty percent of your profits, why else?
QUARK: Fair enough.
ZEK: Quark, where are my grubs?
QUARK: Coming!
ZEK: Mmm, now this is what I call fresh.

[Replimat]

DAX: I didn't know the Replimat had a Ferengi menu.
PEL: It doesn't. I like to try new things.
DAX: That's unusual for a Ferengi.
PEL: I never heard of a Trill who could play tongo.
DAX: I guess that makes us both unusual. You know, I was impressed by your show of loyalty to Quark last night.
PEL: He deserves it.
DAX: That's not the point. Any other Ferengi would have let Zek pick him to pieces, but you're not like any other Ferengi I've ever met.
PEL: Quark really likes you. He talks about you all the time.
DAX: You know he once convinced me to go up to a holosuite with him. Turns out he recreated the bedroom I slept in as a child. He overheard me describing it to Kira. Of course, most of the details were wrong, but it was a very sweet gesture, up until he tried to kiss me.
PEL: That sounds like Quark.
DAX: I don't care what anybody says, I love him.
PEL: So do I.
DAX: You really do, don't you?
PEL: What?
DAX: Love Quark. Don't bother trying to deny it. I've seen the way you look at him.
PEL: Please, keep your voice down.
DAX: Does he know?
PEL: He doesn't even know I'm a female.
DAX: You're a woman?
PEL: Please lower your voice.
DAX: I knew there was something different about you, but I've never met a Ferengi woman before.
PEL: You probably never will again. On my world, women aren't allowed to leave the house, or wear clothes, or learn to read.
DAX: And you wanted more.
PEL: Why not? I'm as smart as any man. So I made myself a pair of synthetic lobes and became one.
DAX: But why come here?
PEL: To acquire profit, of course. There's only one thing I wasn't counting on.
DAX: Falling in love with Quark.
PEL: What do you think I should do?
DAX: I don't know. But I do know there's more to life than profit.
QUARK: Pel, it's time. We don't want to keep the Dosi waiting. Hurry!

[Quark's cafe]

(the upstairs section of Quark's opening onto the upper walkway. Zek is admiring the passing females.)
KIRA: Excuse me.
ZEK: Ah, Major, did that shipment of brizeen nitrate arrive on time?
KIRA: Yes, it did.
ZEK: Good. And here you are to thank me. (taps his knee) Have a seat.
KIRA: Actually, I just stopped by to return this.
ZEK: Why? Is something wrong with it?
KIRA: No, it's lovely. I just can't accept it.
ZEK: Then I suppose a night of wild passionate romance is out of the question?
KIRA: That's right.
ZEK: Just thought I'd ask.
(Kira gets another pinch as she leaves)
KIRA: Dax must be crazy.
QUARK: Nice view, isn't it?
ZEK: Don't tell me the negotiations are already over. That's fast work, Quark. Now let's see the contract.
QUARK: There is no contract.
ZEK: No contract? But you offered to buy a hundred thousand vats, didn't you?
QUARK: Yes.
ZEK: And?
QUARK: And that's when they left.
ZEK: The room?
QUARK: The station.
ZEK: What?
QUARK: I begged them to stay.
ZEK: This is a catastrophe. A complete catastrophe. This was your big chance, Quark, and you blew it. You may have seriously harmed future Ferengi opportunities in the Gamma Quadrant.
PEL: Hold on a minute. We said we're going to get you the tulaberries and that's exactly what we're going to do.
QUARK: We are?
ZEK: How?
PEL: We're going to travel to the Gamma Quadrant, find the Dosi and get them to sign the contract.
ZEK: And how do you plan to get there?
PEL: We'll take your ship.
ZEK: My ship? And I suppose you expect Maihar'du to pilot it for you.
QUARK: We don't need Maihar'du. I can pilot the ship myself.
PEL: It's up to you, Nagus. Do you want those tulaberries or not?
ZEK: All right. You can use my ship. But I'm warning you, Quark. Either you get the Dosi to sign that contract or you'll be tending that worthless little bar for the rest of your life.

[Zek's ship]

QUARK: I've waited my whole life for an opportunity like this.
PEL: So have I.
QUARK: So far it hasn't turned out quite the way I planned.
PEL: It's not over yet.
QUARK: I still don't understand why the Nagus is suddenly insisting on a hundred thousand vats.
PEL: Neither do I.
QUARK: You don't think he's purposely trying to sabotage the negotiations?
PEL: Why would he?
QUARK: I have no idea.
PEL: One thing's for certain, he knows more than he's letting on.
QUARK: About what?
PEL: Everything. The tulaberries, the Dosi, even the Gamma Quadrant.
QUARK: Well, if you ever figure out what he's up to, make sure you tell me.
PEL: Don't worry, I will.
QUARK: So far the only thing I've done right is pick you as my consultant.
PEL: I'm glad you feel that way.
QUARK: Now, if we could only make some profit.
PEL: Quark, there's something you should know.
QUARK: You're too late. I already know what you're going to say.
PEL: You do?
QUARK: It's no secret.
PEL: It's not?
QUARK: I admit you've been a great help to me, but you agreed to a twenty percent share of the profits and that's all you're going to get.
PEL: I see.
QUARK: Never place friendship above profit.
PEL: Twenty first Rule of Acquisition.
QUARK: I'm glad you agree.

[Quark's]

ROM: (to waiter) Go, just go.
ODO: Feeling a little overwhelmed, are we?
ROM: I'm glad someone notices.
ODO: When's Quark due back?
ROM: How should I know? He never tells me anything. He doesn't even bother to insult me anymore. It's Pel, that flabby eared interloper. He's stealing my brother's affections.
ODO: You're better off.
ROM: But he's my brother. Would you let someone steal you're brother?
ODO: I don't have a brother. Not that I know of, anyway.
ROM: But if you did?
ODO: Well, I suppose if I did have a brother, even one as worthless as Quark, I wouldn't let anyone come between us.

[Pel's quarters]

(Rom is ransacking the place)
ROM: There must be something here I could use against him.
(Then he finds the box under the bed with a spare pair of fake lobes)

[Dosi meeting hall]

(Three barrels of wine pouring into a tub in the middle)
ZYREE: I control the interests so I want to supervise all operation.
DOSI: That's ridiculous.
ZYREE: Then find another partner.
DOSI: Let's not be hasty.
DOSI 2: I said No!
ZYREE: Are you enjoying yourselves, little Ferengi?
QUARK: How could we not?
PEL: Tell us, Zyree, what is this place?
ZYREE: This? This is where opportunities are made.
QUARK: Really? I thought it was some kind of party.
ZYREE: Then you thought wrong. This is all about profit. And like the Ferengi, the Dosi are very serious when it comes to profit.
(Someone gets shot)
DOSI 2: You, take him away.
ZYREE: Very serious.
PEL: Look who finally showed up.
QUARK: It's about time.
PEL: Where are you going?
QUARK: To get serious about profit.
INGLATU: Oh, it's you, Ferengi. Aren't you on the wrong side of the wormhole?
QUARK: It certainly feels that way. Fortunately, all I need is your thumbscan on this very lucrative contract and I can go home.
INGLATU: You had your chance. Go away.
QUARK: Not until we finish our discussion.
INGLATU: You are starting to annoy me.
(Quark knocks over a wine barrel)
QUARK: Sorry.
INGLATU: I should have killed you back on that station.
QUARK: But you didn't, because deep down inside you recognise a good opportunity when you see one. Just put your thumbscan here.
INGLATU: All right. You can have the ten thousand vats.
QUARK: A hundred thousand.
INGLATU: I told you before, that's impossible.
QUARK: One hundred thousand and I'm not leaving till I get it.
INGLATU: Fine. Then stay.

[Sleeping quarters]

(An area surrounded by gauze curtains, with just one bed)
PEL: Wouldn't we be more comfortable sleeping on the ship?
QUARK: No, I want to be right here in case Inglatu changes his mind. Don't worry. I don't snore.
PEL: Wait!
QUARK: What about it?
PEL: The mattress!
QUARK: What about it?
PEL: It looks lumpy.
QUARK: Actually, it's quite comfortable.
PEL: I can't sleep on a lumpy mattress.
QUARK: Well, you're in luck. There's not a lump to be found. Try it for yourself. What side to you want?
PEL: What are you doing?
QUARK: Getting undressed. What's it look like?
PEL: You're not going to sleep, are you?
QUARK: Why not? I'm tired.
PEL: Shouldn't we be discussing rules of strategy?
QUARK: There's nothing to discuss.
PEL: But you know what the hundred and third Rule of Acquisition says.
QUARK: Not offhand.
PEL: Sleep can interfere with
QUARK: And I don't care either.
PEL: Wait!
QUARK: What is it now?
PEL: First, a toast.
QUARK: To what?
PEL: To profit, of course.
QUARK: Of course. Is it warm in here?
PEL: It must be the wine.
QUARK: I hope so.
PEL: I was really impressed with the way you handled Inglatu.
QUARK: I was good, wasn't I. Now let's go to bed.
(Another glass of wine)
PEL: Wait. The look on his face when you knocked over that barrel.
QUARK: That was risky.
PEL: The riskier the road, the greater the profit.
QUARK: Sixty second Rule.
PEL: That's right.
QUARK: You really know your Rules.
PEL: And you have a very nice smile.
QUARK: I do?
(Pel kisses Quark)
PEL: Quark, I have something I have to tell you.
(Zyree enters)
ZYREE: I'm not interrupting anything, am I?
QUARK: No. Definitely not.
ZYREE: Are you sure?
QUARK: Positive.
ZYREE: I'll come back tomorrow.
QUARK: Wait! No, wait! This is all a silly misunderstanding.
ZYREE: But you seem to be busy.
QUARK: Busy? Don't be ridiculous. We can't wait to hear what you have to say. Besides, we could use the company. Isn't that right.
PEL: Absolutely.
ZYREE: All right, then. Let me give you some advice. Inglatu will never sell you a hundred thousand vats of tulaberry wine. Not because he doesn't want to, but because he can't.
QUARK: If he can't, who can? You?
ZYREE: I wish I could, but there aren't that many vats on the entire planet.
QUARK: Then we're finished.
ZYREE: Not necessarily. If you really want a hundred thousand vats of tulaberry wine, I can put you in touch with the right people. For a price, of course.
QUARK: Of course. I always said you were my favorite Dosi. Now, who do we have to see?
ZYREE: The Karemma.
PEL: Who's the Karemma?
ZYREE: An important power in the Dominion.
QUARK: The Dominion? What's that?
ZYREE: Let's just say if you want to do business in the Gamma Quadrant, you have to do business with the Dominion.

[Zek's ship]

QUARK: The most profitable opportunity in Ferengi history, that's what Zek called it. But he didn't mean tulaberries. No, he meant the Dominion. That's why he sabotaged the negotiations. He never wanted to do business with the Dosi. He just wanted to use them to get to a more important member of the Dominion.
PEL: Quark, we need to talk.
QUARK: We are talking.
PEL: Don't you want to know why I kissed you?
QUARK: You never kissed me.
PEL: Yes, I did.
QUARK: No, you didn't. And I don't want to discuss it anymore. Let's just concentrate on the Dominion. I only wish Zyree would have told us more.
PEL: Maybe it's some planetary alliance or trading consortium.
QUARK: Whatever it is, it's important, and I want a piece of it.

[Quark's]

ZEK: Quark, I'm very disappointed. I really wanted those tulaberries.
QUARK: You and I both know my trip had nothing to do with tulaberries.
ZEK: It didn't?
ROM: I must speak with you, brother.
QUARK: Can't you see I'm busy. Does the word Dominion mean anything to you.
ZEK: What have you found out?
QUARK: You first.
ROM: Please, brother, it's urgent.
QUARK: Not now. I'm waiting.
ZEK: Well, most of my information consists of little more than hints and whispers, but it's enough to convince me that whoever learns the secret of the Dominion, whatever that may be, will learn the secret of the Gamma Quadrant. Unfortunately, the Dosi don't seem to know very much. I was hoping they'd lead us to someone who does.
QUARK: What would such information be worth to you?
ZEK: A lot.
QUARK: What if I told you I can arrange a meeting between you and a powerful member of the Dominion?
ZEK: If you can do that, I'll see to it that you earn a percentage of every Ferengi opportunity in the Gamma Quadrant.
QUARK: That's a lot of latinum.
ZEK: Give me a name.
QUARK: The Karemma.
ZEK: The Karemma. I always knew you had the lobes for business.
ROM: Now may I speak with you, brother?
QUARK: All right. But make it quick.
(Rom hauls Quark out of earshot and speaks to him. Then he drags Pel over. Pel says something in his ear and Quark faints.)

[Infirmary]

BASHIR: Easy now. That's quite a bump you have there.
QUARK: Where's Rom?
ROM: Right here, brother.
BASHIR: Luckily there doesn't seem to be any serious damage.
QUARK: If you don't mind, I'd like to rest here for a few minutes.
BASHIR: Of course. I'll be in the other room if you need me.
QUARK: Thank you, Doctor.
(Bashir leaves)
QUARK: You haven't told anybody, have you?
ROM: You mean about Pel?
QUARK: Quiet.
ROM: I haven't breathed a word. I thought it would be best if you told Zek yourself.
QUARK: Nobody's going to tell Zek anything. Is that clear?
ROM: But she's a female.
QUARK: Not so loud.
ROM: Who wears clothes and is trying to earn profit. Why, she even quotes from the sacred Rules of Acquisition. Such a female must be severely punished.
QUARK: I know that.
ROM: Then we must stop her.
QUARK: No.
ROM: You're scaring me, brother. Could it be you have feelings for this woman?
QUARK: Of course not. Don't you see? If Zek learns that I've been deceived by a female, I'd be ruined. He'd never trust me again.
ROM: But if you don't tell him and he finds out, you're certain to be ruined. You have to tell him, or I will. Let me go. I have to save you from yourself.
QUARK: Forget about me. What about the bar?
ROM: The bar?
QUARK: You still want it, don't you?
ROM: Don't you?
QUARK: Who needs the bar when I can have the Gamma Quadrant? I'll transfer ownership immediately, but only on one condition. That you never mention the truth about Pel to anyone.
ROM: Pel? What about him?

[Pel's quarters]

(Pel is out of her disguise when the doorbell rings)
PEL: Come.
QUARK: Where are your lobes?
PEL: Over there.
QUARK: Well, put them on before somebody sees you.
PEL: No one's going to see me.
QUARK: Put them on, now. And wrap yourself up. Have you finished packing?
(She goes into another room)
PEL [OC: Am I going somewhere?
QUARK: As far away from the station as possible.
PEL [OC]: But you need me, Quark. I'm the only one you can trust.
QUARK: Not anymore. (Pel comes back out) Well, what did you expect? I mean, look at you. You're wearing clothes.
PEL: Is that a crime?
QUARK: As a matter of fact, it is. Look, it's just too risky for you to stay here. You can take this with you.
PEL: What is it?
QUARK: Ten bars of latinum. To help you start a new life. If you're going to pretend you're a man, act like one. Take the profit.
PEL: This is not about profit anymore, it's about love.
QUARK: Spoken like a true female.
PEL: I love you, Quark, and I know you care about me, too. Admit it.
QUARK: What difference does it make if I do? You'd never be happy being a Ferengi wife.
PEL: Then come with me to the Gamma Quadrant. No one there cares if I wear clothes or not.
QUARK: I'd care.
PEL: I guess I'd better start packing.
QUARK: I guess so.

[Quark's quarters]

(dinner)
ZEK: These flaked blood fleas are surprisingly succulent.
ROM: You really should try them, brother.
QUARK: I'm not feeling particularly hungry.
ZEK: Let me guess. Too busy thinking about how to spend all that latinum we're going to earn? Well, I don't blame you.
(doorbell)
QUARK: Come.
(Pel enters)
ROM: (sotto) I thought you said she left the station.
QUARK: I thought she did.
PEL: I hope you don't mind, Quark, but I couldn't leave without saying goodbye to the Nagus.
ZEK: I'm glad you stopped by. I know how much you helped Quark during the negotiations. I predict a big future for you, Pel. You certainly have the lobes for it.
PEL: So, you like my lobes?
QUARK: Pel.
ZEK: Yes, I do.
PEL: Good. Then you can have them.
(Pel throws her fake lobes on the table)
QUARK: No!
ZEK: It's a female!
ROM: Does this mean I don't get the bar?
QUARK: Rom. Out.
(Rom leaves)
ZEK: Quark, this is outrageous. Now, what's going on here?
QUARK: I, I, I.
PEL: Leave him out of this.
ZEK: You dare give me orders! You knew about this all along, didn't you?
QUARK: I
PEL: So, tell me more about my big future.
ZEK: You have no future. I'll see to it that you spend the rest of your life in prison.
QUARK: No.
ZEK: Let me remind you that taking business advice from a female is a violation of Ferengi law.
QUARK: I didn't know she was a female.
ZEK: Stupidity is no excuse. Now one more word out of you and you are going to share her cell.
QUARK: Then you'd better make sure it's big enough for three.
ZEK: Are you threatening me?
QUARK: I wonder what your associates will say when I tell them you allowed a female to represent you in a business negotiation.
ZEK: I didn't know she was a female.
QUARK: Stupidity is no excuse.
ZEK: I see your point. It seems that Pel's identity will have to remain our little secret, but it's going to cost you.
QUARK: My Gamma Quadrant profits.
ZEK: I've always said you were a bright fellow, Quark. (to Pel) Shame on you.
(Zek and Maihar'du leave)
QUARK: I hope you're satisfied.
PEL: I'm sorry, but it's time he learned that when it comes to accumulating profit, women are as capable as men.
QUARK: Well, do me a favour and don't tell anybody else.
PEL: I should go. I've booked passage on an Andorian transport. You could come with me.
QUARK: I can't.
PEL: I know.
(They kiss)
PEL: Well then, I guess if I can't have you, I'll take those ten bars of latinum after all.

[Quark's]

QUARK: So, Lieutenant, ready for another night of tongo?
DAX: Haven't you lost enough for one day?
QUARK: I don't know what you're talking about.
DAX: I'm talking about Pel. She came by to see me before she left. I'm going to miss her. So are you.
QUARK: You really think I'd let anyone come between us?
DAX: Nice try, Quark, but I know you better than that.

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