Prophet Motive
Stardate: Unknown
Original Airdate: 20 Feb, 1995

[Quark's quarters]

(Quark is getting oo-mox from an alien lady.)
EMI: Am I doing it right?
QUARK: You don't have to be quite so gentle.
EMI: Tell me again.
QUARK: Tell you about what?
EMI: About the stem bolts.
QUARK: I have one hundred gross of self-sealing stem bolts sitting in Cargo bay eleven.
EMI: And they're all mine?
QUARK: For only ten bars of gold-pressed latinum.
EMI: Quark, you don't know how much this means to me.
QUARK: You don't know how much this means to me.
EMI: With those stem bolts, my family will be able to triple production of our reverse-ratcheting routing planers.
QUARK: Glad to be of help.
EMI: Quark, I can't wait any longer. Why don't you and I go down to Cargo bay eleven and sign the contract?
QUARK: No need to rush. Your family's ship won't be here for a week. We'll have plenty of time to finalise the deal before then.
EMI: That's an unusual attitude for a Ferengi.
QUARK: I'm a very unusual Ferengi.
(doorbell)
QUARK: That must be the Saurian brandy I ordered. Enter.
(Rom enters)
QUARK: Rom? Where's my brandy?
ROM: Forget the brandy, brother. You must leave here immediately. And that goes for the female as well.
EMI: Is something wrong?
QUARK: There's nothing wrong. Have you lost your mind? She's willing, she's wealthy, and she's wants to buy our stem bolts.
ROM: It's going to have to wait. Something important has come up.
QUARK: Right now, nothing is more important than this.
(Enter a staff with a gold Ferengi head on it)
QUARK: Grand Nagus Zek.
ROM: As big as life.
(Maihar'du points at Emi and gestures.)
QUARK: (to Emi) Go. Go!
(Emi leaves and the cloaked Zek enters)
QUARK: What does Zek want with me?
ROM: Looks like he's moving in with you, brother.

[Infirmary]

SISKO [OC]: Sisko to Bashir.
BASHIR: This is Bashir.
SISKO [OC]: Doctor, please report to the wardroom immediately.
BASHIR: On my way.

[Wardroom]

(Bashir enters to cheers and applause.)
BASHIR: What's this?
DAX: Champagne.
SISKO: Congratulations, Doctor.
BASHIR: Well thank you. Now will someone please tell me what's going on?
SISKO: The Federation Medical Council has announced the nominees for this year's Carrington Award. And the nominees are, Doctor April Wade of the University of Nairobi, Healer Senva of the Vulcan Medical Institute, Doctor Henri Roget of the Central Hospital of Altair Four, Chirurgeon Ghee P'Trell of Andoria, and Doctor Julian Bashir, Chief Medical Officer of Starbase Deep Space Nine. Good luck.
BASHIR: There must be some mistake. As far as I know, my name wasn't even up for consideration.
DAX: Oh, it was up for consideration. I submitted it myself through an old friend of Curzon's.
KIRA: You deserve the nomination, Doctor. Your work on biomolecular replication was both audacious and groundbreaking. According to Dax, anyway. She's the only one who understands it.
O'BRIEN: So, how does it feel to be the youngest nominee in the history of the Carrington award?
BASHIR: It feels good. Excuse me, I've got to finish some work.

[Turbolift]

BASHIR: What exactly is it you want me to say?
DAX: I want you to say that you are thrilled beyond belief to be nominated for the Federation's most prestigious medical award.
BASHIR: Believe me, I'm honoured to have been nominated.

[Promenade - upper level]

DAX: Well you're not acting like it.
BASHIR: It's just that I don't want everyone to make a big deal out of it.
DAX: It is a big deal. We're all proud of you.
BASHIR: I'm glad, but before you agonise over the next few days over the board's decision, I want to assure you that I'm not going to win.
DAX: You don't know that. The work you've been doing deserves to be recognised.
BASHIR: This isn't about my work. Do you know what the life expectancy of a Carrington Award winner is? Five years. Ten at the very best. And do you know why? Because the Carrington Award is intended to be the crowning achievement for a lifetime in medicine. April Wade is a hundred and six. The last time she was nominated, three years ago, people said it was premature.
DAX: You're exaggerating.
BASHIR: Maybe, a little. But the undeniable truth is I am way too young to be a serious contender for the Carrington. Now, put my name up for nomination in seventy years, and I promise you I will get very excited. But until then, I don't plan on giving it much thought.
DAX: That's a very mature attitude.
BASHIR: You sound surprised.
DAX: I'm actually astonished, but impressed.
BASHIR: So then we don't have to dwell on it for the next three days.
DAX: I won't mention it again.
BASHIR: I appreciate that, Jadzia.
DAX: So who do you think is going to win? Wade or P'Trell?

[Rom's quarters]

(Rom lives in a mess, and Quark is having to share)
QUARK: A cup of millipede juice, hold the shells.
(The drink arrives)
QUARK: Rom! Rom! Rom!
(Rom comes out of the bathroom, using an electric toothbrush device but for his ear.)
ROM: Did you call me, brother?
QUARK: Would it be too much trouble for you to put these empty bottles in the replicator?
ROM: Keeping my quarters clean is Nog's job.
QUARK: Except Nog is on the Homeworld visiting his grandmother.
ROM: Then cleaning will just have to wait until he gets back.
QUARK: No it won't. Until the Nagus gives me back my own quarters this is my home too, and I've had enough of this mess. Clean it up. Now.
ROM: I won't.
QUARK: Yes, you will. It's bad enough I've to put up with your constant teeth grinding every night, and your incessant ear-picking. But I will not tolerate living like some Pakled refuse merchant for another. Wait a minute. This is a bottle of Aldeberan whiskey.
ROM: Let me, brother.
QUARK: I recognise this label. This is from my private stock.
ROM: No, it's not.
QUARK: It most certainly is. Wait a minute. What's that over there?
ROM: Trixian bubble juice?
QUARK: Nog's favourite. This came from my stockroom, didn't it?
ROM: Are you accusing my son of being a thief?
QUARK: No, I'm accusing you of being a thief. These table linens, this chair, that table, everything in here comes from my bar.
ROM: Not everything.
QUARK: As soon as you're done cleaning up, I'm going to conduct a complete inventory and find out exactly what you've stolen from me. Now get to work.
ROM: No. I refuse. I work for you all day, brother, but here I'm the boss. You want this place cleaned up, do it yourself.
QUARK: What I want is my own quarters back.
ROM: That makes two of us. Living with you was bad enough when we were children.
QUARK: What do I do?
ROM: You think.
QUARK: What do you mean, I think?
ROM: You stay up late every night, plotting and scheming. And when you think, you mumble. And if there's anything I can't stand, it's listening to you mumble.
QUARK: That does it. I've been accommodating long enough. If the Nagus wants to stay on the station, he's going to have to find someplace else to live.

[Corridor]

(Quark storms three steps across to the door opposite.)
ROM: Are you sure this is a good idea? No one's seen the Nagus since he got here. He must be working on something important. If you disturb him, he might get very angry.
QUARK: I'm not going to disturb him. You are.
ROM: Me? Why not you?
QUARK: Zek likes me, so I can't afford to get on his bad side. On the other hand, he barely acknowledges your existence, so you have nothing to lose. Now get in there and tell the Nagus he'll have to leave. And whatever happens, don't let Maihar'du intimidate you.
ROM: Where are you going?
QUARK: Don't worry. If you need me, I'll be close by.
ZEK: Rom! What can I do for you, my boy?
ROM: Grand Nagus, forgive me for disturbing you.
ZEK: Who's disturbed? I've been hoping someone would drop by. Now come right in.
QUARK: Why thank you. We'd be delighted.
ZEK: Quark. I knew you'd be lurking around here someplace. Well, what are we standing out here for? I've got something very exciting to show you both.

[Quark's quarters]

(The place is bare)
QUARK: What happened to my furniture?
ZEK: I got rid of it. It was getting in the way of my work.
QUARK: And what work was that, Grand Nagus? If I my be so bold?
ZEK: I'm glad you asked. Maihar'du, the book.
(Maihar'du is sitting in a corner, looking rather worried.)
ZEK: You are about to read the shining triumph of my life. The one thing I'll always be remembered for.
QUARK: May I?
ZEK: By all means.
QUARK: (reading) The Rules of Acquisition, Revised for the Modern Ferengi. You rewrote the Rules of Acquisition?
ZEK: I hope you like them. Absorb, enjoy.
(Zek goes into the bedroom)
QUARK: Rom, you know what this means?
ROM: Yes. It means we're going to have to memorise a whole new set of Rules.
QUARK: No, you idiot. It means we'll be the first Ferengi to benefit from Zek's wisdom. The knowledge contained in this book could make us both rich beyond our wildest dreams.
ROM: I'll be able to go into business for myself. Turn the page, brother. Turn the page.
QUARK: The first Rule of Acquisition is
ROM: Go on.
QUARK: If they want their money back
ROM: Yes, yes?
QUARK: Give it to them.
ROM: If they want their money back give it to them?
(In the corner, Maihar'du cries.)
(later)
ROM: Rule number twenty one. Never place profit before friendship. Rule number twenty tour. Latinum tarnishes, but family is forever. Rule twenty three. Money can never replace dignity.
QUARK: Oh, skip to the end. Well, what is it?
ROM: You're not going to like it, Brother.
QUARK: I can take it. Tell me.
ROM: Rule number two hundred and eighty five. A good deed is its own reward.
(Quark starts to swoon.)
ROM: Brother, are you all right?
QUARK: I just have to sit down.
(Rom fans him with the book.)
QUARK: No, take it away.
ROM: Sorry.
QUARK: Got to think. Got to think. There has to be some explanation, a reason for why he's doing this.
ROM: Maybe we should ask him.
QUARK: No. Don't you see? He's testing us. Yes, that must be it. It's some kind of test. The book, the book.
ROM: You want to hear more?
QUARK: No, but it must be some kind of code. Read me the first word of every Rule.
ROM: If. Never. Keep. Profit. A. Good. Smile. Honesty.
QUARK: If never keep profit a good smile honesty.
ROM: What does it mean, brother?
QUARK: It means absolutely nothing. Maybe if we hold the pages up to the light. No, no.
(Quark taps the cover, sniffs it, tastes the edges of the pages.)
QUARK: No, that's not it. The answer must be right in front of us.
ROM: I know. Maybe the Nagus has gone insane.
QUARK: Nonsense. The Nagus is the most brilliant Ferengi alive. I've modelled my life after him. Don't ever let me hear you speak that way about him again.
ROM: But what if he really believes all this?
QUARK: How could he believe this insanity? No. It has to be part of some brilliant, twisted, devious plan. The Nagus isn't like you and me, Rom. He thinks ten, sometimes twenty, steps ahead. These Rules are probably the key component in some vast plot to seize financial control of the entire quadrant.
ROM: So what do we do?
QUARK: The only thing we can do. We put down this book and we walk away. And when the Nagus feels ready, he'll inform us of his plans. But until then, we have to act as if we know nothing.
ROM: I can do that.

[Quark's]

(Enter Zek and Maihar'du while Rom and Quark are not watching.)
QUARK: If never keep profit a good smile honesty. Nah.
ZEK: Quark, my boy. What say we buy everyone a drink? Put it on my tab.
QUARK: But why?
ZEK: It will make everyone happy. And that will make me happy.
ROM: It must all be part of his plan. Wheels within wheels, brother.
QUARK: Drinks for everyone, compliments of the Grand Nagus. Is there anything else I get you, Nagus? We just got in a shipment of quality Hupyrian beetle snuff.
ZEK: Actually, I've lost my taste for beetle snuff. It might be fun for you and me, but it's no fun for the beetles. Oh, and by the way, Quark, I just met the most lovely young female. She came by your quarters looking for you.
QUARK: Was her name Emi, by any chance?
ZEK: She wanted me to tell you that her family's ship has arrived with the latinum.
QUARK: It's about time. Rom, watch the bar. We're finally going to get rid of those stem bolts.
ZEK: I don't think so.
QUARK: But we have a contract.
ZEK: Which was never signed. And frankly, Quark, you were charging an outrageous price for those stem bolts.
QUARK: She didn't seem to think so.
ZEK: Well, she did once I explained it to her.
QUARK: You what?
ZEK: Well, I couldn't allow you take advantage of an innocent young female like that, Quark. So I told her where she could get all the stem bolts she needed at wholesale.
QUARK: Wholesale? He told her where to get them at wholesale. What am I going to do with a hundred gross of stem bolts?
(Quark wanders off)
ROM: My poor brother.
ZEK: Oh, don't worry about him. Eventually, he'll sell those stem bolts at a fair price.
ROM: A fair price? I'm very confused.
ZEK: That's understandable. It'll take some time to get used to the new ways.
ROM: New ways?
ZEK: Walk with me, Rom.
(Maihar'du pours alcohol into a pint jug.)

[Cargo bay]

(There's a dart board with flashing lights on the wall and someone's just thrown 13, 19, 14)
O'BRIEN: Your turn.
BASHIR: I don't know about this.
O'BRIEN: Would you rather play a game of racquetball?
BASHIR: Chief, since Keiko's been on Bajor we've played one hundred and six games of racquetball.
O'BRIEN: Right. So throw a dart.
(Bashir misses the 6)
BASHIR: I'm a bit rusty.
O'BRIEN: So am I. I guess the smart money's on Wade or P'Trell.
(The dart bounces off.)
BASHIR: That seems to be the general consensus.
O'BRIEN: I mean, Doctor Wade is very popular but P'Trell is doing some amazing work in gerontological research. Which one do you think will win?
BASHIR: Either of them would be a worthy recipient of the Carrington.
O'BRIEN: Of course, if I had my druthers, the award'd go to you.
BASHIR: Thank you.
O'BRIEN: But let's face it. You don't stand a chance.
BASHIR: You don't say.
O'BRIEN: I mean, I know you're talented, but I bet there're doctors all over the Federation saying, Julian Bashir? Who the hell is he?
(And Bashir's dart bounces off again.)
BASHIR: Chief, you are absolutely right.
O'BRIEN: I'm glad you agree.
BASHIR: So, how much longer is Keiko going to be on Bajor?
(O'Brien misses this time.)

[Quark's quarters]

(Now it's a hi-tech office and the waiters are scurrying around with PADDs.)
ROM: Make sure the relief shipment is sent by high warp courier, and don't worry about the cost.
QUARK: Rom, what's all this?
ROM: You're looking at the sector headquarters for the Ferengi Benevolent Association.

[Rom's quarters]

ROM: Brother, I don't have time to talk to you. I have work to do. I'm the new Senior Administrator of the Ferengi Benevolent Association. You know, brother, I never realised how many people there are who could use a little help.
QUARK: If you don't get down to the bar right now, you're the one going to need a little help.
ROM: The Nagus said you'd react like this.
QUARK: The Nagus is a very smart man.
ROM: Oh, he's more than that, he's a visionary. He has plans, brother, and I'm going to be a part of them.
QUARK: What could the Nagus possibly want with you?
ROM: He says I'm malleable. And that he's going to mold me into a new kind of Ferengi. An evolved Ferengi.
QUARK: Evolved? Into what?
ROM: I'm not sure, exactly. The Nagus says that the answers lie in his new Rules of Acquisition. He told me, Rom, it's time for the Ferengi to move beyond greed.
QUARK: Beyond greed? There's nothing beyond greed. Greed is the purest, most noble of emotions.
ROM: Greed is dead. That's the tenth Rule of Acquisition.
QUARK: No, it's not. The tenth Rule of Acquisition is, Greed is Eternal.
ROM: Not anymore. The Nagus is going to shake the very foundation of Ferengi society, and we're going to be at his side every step of the way.
QUARK: What do you mean, we?
ROM: The Nagus has made you co-chairman of the Benevolent Association. Your name will figure prominently on all our correspondence.
QUARK: He never mentioned anything about that to me.
ROM: The Nagus wouldn't dream of excluding you, brother. As soon as we get the Benevolent Association established here, the Nagus plans on returning to the homeworld, and we'll go with him. Think of it. You and I will be there when Zek personally announces the New Rules of Acquisition on the Grand Steps of the Sacred Marketplace.
QUARK: We'll be there, all right. And we'll probably be right alongside of him when they throw him from the spire of the Tower of Commerce.
ROM: The Tower of Commerce? But that's the tallest building in the Ferengi Alliance. A fall from that height could, could, could
QUARK: Exactly. Don't you see, Rom. There's something terribly wrong with the Nagus, and we have to help him before he gets us all killed.

[Infirmary]

(Bashir is checking Zek's ear.)
ZEK: That tickles.
BASHIR: Well, I must say, for a Ferengi your age, you're in excellent health. That is, aside from some vascular damage to your mucus membranes. You really should stop using beetle snuff.
ZEK: As a matter of fact, I already have.
BASHIR: I am glad to hear it.
QUARK: Does this mean you'll going to have to go in for some exploratory surgery?
BASHIR: Why would I do that?
QUARK: To find out what's wrong with him.
BASHIR: There's nothing wrong with him, Quark.
QUARK: That's not true. There's something deeply wrong with him, and you have to find out what it is.
BASHIR: I've done every test I can think of. There's no trauma, brain damage, mental illness. His central nervous system's working within normal parameters, and his endocrine system's in terrific shape.
ZEK: You see, I told you. They're like a couple of nervous investors always looking for trouble. Oh, well, I suppose I should be flattered. Thank you, Doctor. You've been very helpful.
QUARK: No. He's sick, I tell you. You have to perform more tests.
BASHIR: Quark, if you don't get out of here, I'll perform some tests on you.
QUARK: You have to do something.
BASHIR: Like what?
QUARK: Put him in stasis. Keep him from hurting himself until you can figure out what is wrong with him.
BASHIR: I don't think that's necessary.
QUARK: I can't believe you're supposed to be one of the five best doctors in the Federation. If you ask me, you're a quack. No wonder everyone says you don't have a chance to win the Carrington. Let's go. Maybe we can make an appointment for you to see Doctor Wade.
BASHIR: Good luck. If I remember correctly, Nairobi is beautiful this time of year.
(Zek offers Bashir a piece of latinum.)
ZEK: Here, Doctor. For your trouble.
BASHIR: I can't accept that.
ZEK: Why not? It's only money. Donate it to charity if you'd like.
QUARK: And you say he's not sick.
ZEK: Oh, and Doctor, I do hope you'll attend tomorrow night's ceremony.
BASHIR: Ceremony?
ZEK: At the Bajoran shrine on the Promenade. I intend to give a gift to the Bajoran people.
QUARK: A gift. What kind of gift?
ZEK: It's a surprise. You'll find out tomorrow night like everyone else. Come along. We have a lot of work to do before then. So many needy people, so little time.

[Airlock]

QUARK: Aren't you done yet?
ROM: Breaking into the Nagus's personal shuttle somehow seems wrong, brother.
QUARK: I don't care. I have to know what he intends to give the Bajorans.
ROM: But the Nagus wants it to be a surprise.
QUARK: I hate surprises. Now hurry it up, before some
(Footsteps approach.)
QUARK: Maihar'du. As you can see, my brother and I were repairing the door locks on the Nagus's
(Maihar'du unlocks the shuttle and beckons them in.)

[The Nagus' shuttle]

QUARK: This is the gift?
ROM: What is it?
QUARK: It's one of the missing Bajoran Orbs, Rom. An Orb of the Prophets. I tell you, this Orb explains everything. Zek's behaviour, the new Rules, the Ferengi Benevolent Association, everything.
ROM: It does? How?
QUARK: I'm not sure, but I'm going to find out. Don't just stand there. Talk to me. I know how you feel. What are you doing?
ROM: I thought we should look inside. I mean, we don't know for certain that there's an Orb in here. Maybe Zek's just giving them the box.
QUARK: Don't be ridiculous.
ROM: But how will we know unless we look?
QUARK: Rom, it's too dangerous. Leave it alone.
ROM: But brother
QUARK: I said, leave it alone.
(The two struggle for it and the box opens.)

[Quark's]

(Entering the vision, Quark is sitting on his spinning dabo wheel.)
QUARK: Rom? Maihar'du? Morn? Anybody?
ZEK: What's the matter, Quark? Spinning out of control, are we?
QUARK: Grand Nagus?
ZEK: Maybe. Maybe not.
(Quark's upstairs at a cafe table with the box in front of him. He opens it to reveal Zek's head.)
ZEK: Looking for answers? You couldn't find them if they were dangling from your lobes.
(He's on the ground floor looking up at Zek.)
ZEK: Where's that old Quark cleverness I've heard so much about? Or are you so paralysed with fear that you can't think straight?
(Zek changes position to the second floor.)
ZEK: Answer me, Quark. What are you so nervous about? Don't you think change is worth dying for? All I want is a little leap of faith.
(Zek jumps over the railing, and Quark catches the orb box.)
ZEK: Nice catch. That's the wonderful thing about mysteries. Sometimes the answers just fall from the sky. What do you have to lose? Open it.
(It's the Rules of Acquisition. His regular customers including Morn all applaud.)
ZEK: Consider it a gift.
QUARK: Yes. Yes!

[The Nagus' shuttle]

(Rom shuts the box and the vision is finished.)
ROM: Are you all right?
QUARK: A gift.
ROM: A gift?
QUARK: Zek said the new rules were a gift.
ROM: A gift from Zek to the Ferengi people.
QUARK: No. A gift to Zek from them. Don't you see? They did it. They put the idea for the New Rules in Zek's head. They changed him somehow.
ROM: They did? How dare they? Who are we talking about, brother?
QUARK: The Prophets. The aliens that live inside the wormhole. They did this to him, didn't they?
(Maihar'du nods.)
QUARK: Tell me everything.
ROM: Easy, brother. You know Hupyrian servants take a vow only to speak to their masters.
QUARK: You're right. Give him a handkerchief or something. I'm going to try to break into Zek's personal logs.

[Airlock]

QUARK: According to Zek's logs, he obtained the Orb from one of his contacts on Cardassia Three. From there, he headed straight for the wormhole. His ship's log shows that he entered the wormhole, stayed inside for only a few minutes, then reversed course and came here.
ROM: You think he went in there to talk to the Prophets?
QUARK: In his personal logs, Zek said that the future was looking very bright indeed. Don't you get it? According to Dax, the wormhole aliens can see through time. The Nagus must've thought he could convince them to let him see the future. That way he could anticipate economic changes throughout the galaxy.
ROM: The opportunity for profit would have been enormous. But instead he created the New Rules of Acquisition. Why?
QUARK: Something must've gone terribly wrong. But I intend to set it right.
ROM: How, brother?
QUARK: I have an idea.
ROM: Does it involve me?
QUARK: Not really.
ROM: I like it.

[Replimat]

ODO: May I join you, Doctor?
BASHIR: By all means. And what can I do for you?
ODO: It's what I can do for you. I have a friend at Starfleet Intelligence and she has a friend who has a cousin who's married to the assistant of one of the members of the Federation Medical Council.
BASHIR: Really?
ODO: And according to my friend, her friend heard something from his cousin that his wife heard from the council member that I thought you might find interesting.
BASHIR: Which is?
ODO: Doctor Wade is not going to win the Carrington.
BASHIR: Oh, not you too.
ODO: Doctor, I thought you'd be delighted.
BASHIR: Even if that's true, and mind you, I'm not saying it is, the only one who has reason to celebrate is Ghee P'Trell.
ODO: Perhaps. But P'Trell is by no means as popular as Doctor Wade.
BASHIR: According to your friend.
ODO: Actually, according to my friend's friend's
BASHIR: I get the picture.
ODO: The point is, if it's not going to be Wade, it could be anyone. P'Trell, Senva, Roget, even you.
BASHIR: I didn't think I was going to win before. And I don't think I'm going to win now.
ODO: Is that a fact? Then why have you been working on your acceptance speech?
BASHIR: How did you know?
ODO: Just a guess.

[Quark's quarters]

(Zek is talking to someone on a monitor.)
ZEK: My goodness, I never knew solar flares could be so devastating to a planet's agriculture. Now let me see. At current market rates two thousand tons of Kohlanese barley would cost me a hundred and eighty nine bars of gold press latinum but it's worth it. I can have the first shipment of barley on the way to you in (looks up) Oh, hold on. I'll be right back.
(Ends transmission.)
ZEK: How can I help you, boys?
(Maihar'du puts a sack over Zek's head)

[Corridor]

(Zek is humming to himself in the sack over Maihar'du's shoulder.)
QUARK: Wait. I have to be sure that he's all right. Grand Nagus, can you hear me? Are you okay?
ZEK: Don't worry, Quark. I forgive you.
QUARK: You hear that? We have to help him.

[The Nagus' shuttle]

ROM: Brother, this is a very brave thing you're doing, taking the Nagus back to the wormhole. I wish I could come with you but I can't. Goodbye.
(Rom leaves quickly)
QUARK: Go on. Get out of here before you have me crying too. Get out of here.
(Maihar'du leaves and Zek is still humming happily in his sack.)
QUARK: Don't worry. Everything's going to be okay.
(WHOOSH. Inside the wormhole, Quark lets Zek out of the sack. The shuttle is shaking.)
ZEK: You know, my boy, I should be very angry with you.
QUARK: Are you?
ZEK: Not in the slightest. I can't help myself. I like you. Now, where have you taken me?
QUARK: Into the wormhole. What's going on?
ZEK: This is exactly what happened the last time I was in here. The wormhole aliens are delightful people, but they like their privacy.
QUARK: So you did meet them. How did you make contact?
ZEK: Well, I see you've brought the Orb of Wisdom with you. That should do the trick. Now, if you really want to get their attention, open the box. That's what I did.
QUARK: Sounds simple enough.
ZEK: You'd better hurry. I got the dampening field on this ship for a substantial discount.

[Limbo]

(Sisko holding out the Nagus's staff.)
(Kira giving Quark a PADD.)
(Emi stroking Quark's ears in his quarters)
(Dax and Quark playing tongo in Quark's)
QUARK: Hello?
(Rom and Quark studying the new Rules of Acquisition in Quark's barren quarters)
(Bashir and the Quark in the Infirmary)
(Maihar'du carrying the Nagus in a sack)
QUARK: Hello? Anyone there?
BASHIR: (in the Infirmary) It is corporeal.
QUARK: Doctor? What are you doing in here? DAX: (in Quark's) A physical entity
KIRA: (Promenade) Not another one.
QUARK: I get it. You're the wormhole aliens. Or would you rather be called the Prophets? I never could figure that one out.
ROM: (quarters) Did the Sisko send you?
QUARK: What? Sisko? What does he have to do with anything?
SISKO: (office) The Sisko taught us about corporeal lifeforms.
KIRA: (Promenade) About linguistic communication.
BASHIR: (Infirmary) And linear time.
QUARK: I know all about it. He's quite a guy. But I'm not here to talk about Sisko. 
MAIHAR'DU: (corridor) Then why are you here?
QUARK: I'm here to talk about the Nagus.
EMI: (quarters) The Nagus?
QUARK: The other Ferengi who visited you. The one who brought the Orb.
EMI: We are aware of the Zek.
QUARK: He came to see you, to ask for help. He wanted to learn about the future.
SISKO: (office) The Zek wanted to know the outcome of the game before it was played.
QUARK: That's right. So what went wrong?
ROM: (quarters) At first we did not understand the Zek's request. The Sisko said that corporeal beings value their linear existence.
DAX: (Quark's) The Zek wanted to understand events outside the restrictions of linear time.
QUARK: He wanted to see the future so he could gain by it.
BASHIR: (Infirmary) Yes. The Zek explained the value of gain. How more is preferable to less.
QUARK: He taught you about profit.
KIRA: (Promenade) We found the concept aggressive.
SISKO: (office) Adversarial.
EMI: (quarters) Dangerous. We could not comprehend how any species could lead such a barren existence.
QUARK: It has its advantages.
MAIHAR'DU: (corridor) We don't agree. We found the Zek's adversarial nature invasive, threatening. 
SISKO: (office) We examined your species' history, the totality of your existence. We discovered that you have not always been as you are now.
QUARK: We haven't?
KIRA: (Promenade) There was a time when your peoples' acquiring nature was not so pronounced.
QUARK: Wait a second. Are you telling me that you somehow de-evolved the Nagus?
BASHIR: We restored the Zek to an earlier, less adversarial state of existence.
QUARK: You can't do that. The Nagus is the financial leader of billions of Ferengi. I demand that you re-evolve him immediately.
DAX: (Quark's) This one is adversarial too.
BASHIR: Aggressive. Intrusive.
SISKO: We should do to this one what we did with the other. Restore it to a purer existence.
ROM: Counteract its adversarial nature.
QUARK: Wait. Let's not be hasty. There's nothing wrong with acquiring profit.
MAIHAR'DU: That is what the Zek said.
QUARK: And he was right. Look, I don't know how you people live, but all of us corporeal, linear whatevers have certain things in common, and one of those things is the need to improve ourselves. Our ambition to improve ourselves motivates everything we do. Without ambition, without, dare I say it, greed, people would lie around all day doing nothing. They wouldn't work, they wouldn't bathe, they wouldn't even eat. They'd starve to death. Is that what you want? Are you so isolated and detached that you would sit back and allow the extinction of every corporeal being in the galaxy?
SISKO: Your argument is specious. Changing you will not result in the termination of all corporeal existence.
QUARK: All right, so maybe I exaggerated a little.
EMI: We should alter this one and return it to its own people.
ROM: Agreed. It is best to avoid contact with this species.
QUARK: Wait. If you don't want to have any more contact with the Ferengi, that's fine with me. But by altering me, you won't be avoiding contact, you'll be encouraging it. My people are very inquisitive, and if you change me, they're going to want to know what happened. And they're going to come here to find out. Just as I came to find out what happened to Zek.
DAX: That is linear.
QUARK: And potentially very annoying to you. But on the other hand, if you leave me alone, and you put the Nagus back the way he was when you met him, I guarantee you you'll never have to talk with another Ferengi again. So what do you say?
KIRA: Linguistic communication is tiresome.
QUARK: My point exactly. Which is why I think you should send me back
(Flash!)

[The Nagus' shuttle]

ZEK: Quark. Quark! Quark, are you all right?
QUARK: I think so. What about you?
ZEK: Oh stop toadying up to me, Quark. It's revolting. Just get me out of here. I have an Orb to sell to the Bajorans.
QUARK: Did you say sell?
ZEK: I'm going to make them pay through the nose. And speaking of noses, where's my beetle snuff?
QUARK: Oh, Nagus. You're back. I'm so happy.
(Quark hugs Zek.)
ZEK: You're wrinkling my suit.
QUARK: Whatever you say.

[Wardroom]

MAN [on wall monitor]: And now it is with great pride that I present the nominees for this year's Carrington Award. They are, Doctor April Wade, Senva of Vulcan, Doctor Henri Roget, Chirurgeon Ghee P'Trell, and Doctor Julian Bashir.
(Applause)
MAN [on wall monitor]: And the winner is, Doctor Henri Roget.
SISKO: Roget?
O'BRIEN: How could they give it to Roget?
KIRA: Better luck next time.
BASHIR: Maybe, in forty or fifty years.
SISKO: Julian.
O'BRIEN: Sorry.
BAJORAN: You should have won.
STARFLEET: Next time.
DAX: You seem to be handling this very well.
BASHIR: Believe me, I'm not.
DAX: I didn't think so.

[Airlock]

ZEK: Remember what I said, Quark. If anyone asks, you have no idea what happened to the charity money.
QUARK: You can count on me.
ZEK: And you're sure you've destroyed every last copy of the revised Rules of Acquisition?
ROM: The only place the new Rules exist is inside my head.
ZEK: Head?
QUARK: Don't worry. Within a week, he'll have forgotten them all.
ZEK: He'd better.
(Zek sneezes on Quark and leaves. Maihar'du gives Quark his handkerchief and pats him on the head.)
ROM: I don't believe it, brother. After all you did for the Nagus, he never even thanked you.
QUARK: He doesn't have to thank me. He's the Nagus. There's only one thing that bothers me. Don't get me wrong, I was honoured to help the Nagus, but it would've been nice if I'd been able to make a little profit for my troubles.
ROM: That's all right. I made enough profit for the both of us.
QUARK: What are you talking about?
ROM: I'm talking about the Ferengi Benevolent Association. Did you know it was funded with Zek's personal fortune? I was the senior administrator, brother.
QUARK: You embezzled money from the Nagus?
ROM: Surprise.
QUARK: Father would be proud.

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