Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999): Season 6, Episode 23 - Profit and Lace - full transcript

Quark's mother and the Grand Nagus show up on DS9, announcing a new amendment to the Bill of Opportunities he has instituted on the home planet of Ferenganar, and then follows up with the announcement, that, due to the new amendment, chaos has followed and he has been deposed.

I am truly impressed,
and I'm not easily impressed.

In all my years as the proprietor of
Quark's Bar, Grill and Holosuite Arcade

I have never seen such a glowing
employee performance report.

I mean, look at this.

In three months, no customer
has filed a single complaint against you.

You haven't spilled a drink, mixed up
a food order or short-changed a bill.

I take my job very seriously.

And yet you always
wear a friendly smile.

Because I like my work.
I'm happy to be here.

And it shows.
The customers love you.

Your fellow dabo girls love you.

Even the Ferengi waiters
sing your praises. You know why?

Because you're nice.

I try to be.

You're nice to the customers.
You're nice to the dabo girls.

You're nice to the Ferengi waiters.
You're nice to everyone.

Almost everyone.

- You mean I've offended someone?
- Look closely, Aluura.

Can't you see the pain in my eyes?

- I'm always nice to you.
- I think you could be nicer.

How much nicer?

"Oo-mox For Fun And Profit"?

It's a quick read.

You... want me to be... nice.

Let's face it.

The customers, the dabo girls, the
Ferengi waiters, they didn't hire you,

and... they can't fire you.

You wouldn't.

- Would you?
- Read the book.

Brother. We need to talk.

Go away. I'm in a meeting.

- It's important.
- So is this meeting.

It's about our mother.

How many times have I told you not
to mention Moogie when I'm... working?

Sorry, but I tried contacting her,
and I couldn't get through.

She's probably
visiting the grand nagus.

- No answer at the Tower of Commerce.
- They're probably on vacation.

Leave me alone.
I'm trying to concentrate.

But I can't get hold of anyone
on Ferenginar.

Not Cousin Gaila, not Lek.
Something's very wrong.

All right.

We will continue this later.

In the meantime,
you have some reading to do.

Hello, Aluura.

She's so nice.

We'll see.

A Dominion invasion of Ferenginar?

Think of the repercussions
to the Alpha Quadrant.

How could they invade Ferenginar

without conquering surrounding
systems like Clarus and Irtok?

- Did you hear? They've captured Irtok.
- That's not what I said.

No reports of Dominion activity
near that sector.

Why can't we contact Ferenginar?

Moogie, the nagus,
Cousin Gaila... they're all dead.

We don't know that, but something
is definitely wrong on Ferenginar.

We'll see what we can find out.

A Ferengi ship
is requesting permission to dock.

It's Grand Nagus Zek.
And your mother is with him.

They're alive!

Nice work.

Quark! Rom! It's good to see you boys.

It's good to see you too, Nagus.

Come along, my dear.


- I was so worried.
- You're a good son.

- I was worried too.
- You're a good liar.

Moogie, do you think it's
a good idea to wear clothes in public?

He's right. What if
one of my Ferengi waiters sees you?

I hope they do.

- Tell them, Zekkie.
- No, you go ahead.

- It should come from you.
- Tell me what's going on.

It's one of those
good news/bad news type of things.

- Give him the good news first.
- If you insist.

I have added a new amendment
to the Ferengi Bill of Opportunities,

giving females the right to wear clothes.

- In public?
- Anywhere we want.

That can't be the good news.

If Ferengi females can wear clothes
in public, they can leave their homes.

They can go to work.
If they go to work, they can make profit.

What's the matter, Quark?
Afraid of a little competition?

- You sure that's the good news?
- Sounds good to me.

See why I like him best?

Face it, Quark, it's good business.

For thousands of years, Ferenginar
has let a valuable resource go to waste.

Females? A valuable resource?

They make up 53.5% of the population

and contribute virtually nothing
to gross planetary income.

I say it's time they started
pulling their own weight.

Better tell me the bad news.

- It might cheer me up.
- I doubt it.

The moment fully-clothed females
appeared on the streets of Ferenginar,

financial chaos erupted
all over the planet.

That explains
the communications blackout.

There was so much buying and selling
in the Alliance

that the entire planetary
communications grid shut down.

If there's trouble on Ferenginar,
what are you doing here?

I've been deposed.
I'm no longer grand nagus.

- Then who is?
- Who do you think?

- Brunt.
- Grand Nagus Brunt?

Acting Grand Nagus Brunt.

- We're in trouble. Brunt hates us.
- Don't start panicking.

The Ferengi Commerce Authority
hasn't confirmed him yet.

And they won't for three more days.

Boys, together we're going
to reconquer an empire

or die in the attempt!

What lovely quarters you have, Quark.

Small... but lovely.

As of this moment, I declare this site

the headquarters of the sole legitimate
government of Ferenginar.

I still can't believe it.

Brunt is the new nagus?

- Acting nagus.
- For three days.

- Then it's official.
- I'm not worried.

I have a secret weapon. Your mother.

Now, here's the plan.

One, we contact
every FCA commissioner

and invite them to the station
for a meeting.

- Two, Ishka runs the meeting.
- They'll love that.

Maybe not at first,
but she'll win them over

using her vast financial knowledge
and her keen instinct for profit.

She'll prove once and for all
that allowing females to wear clothing

is the first step toward a healthier
and more prosperous economy.

And three...

What was three again, my dear?

The FCA commissioners
reinstate you as nagus.

Who could ask for a happier ending?

But that's only the beginning, lobekins.

I predict that one day a female
will enter the Tower of Commerce,

climb the 40 flights of stairs
to the Chamber of Opportunity

and take her rightful place
as grand nagus of the Ferengi Alliance.

Don't look at me.
It was your amendment.

Nagus, you remember my son Nog,
don't you?

- The first Ferengi to join Starfleet.
- I'll try not to hold it against him.

And this is my wife Leeta.

- I've heard so much about you.
- Would you like to hear more?

Remember, she's Rom's wife.

- Meaning what?
- Meaning she's broke.

- She doesn't look broke to me.
- Zekkie!

Just having a little harmless fun,
my sweet.

Quark, you and your brother
get rid of some of this furniture.

You, get three subspace transceivers
off my ship and set them up.

And where's my beetle snuff?

Grand Nagus Brunt!

I'm calling
on behalf of Grand Nagus Zek.

The nagus summons you
to a meeting on DS9.

He's counting on your support.

You'll be presented with some
very interesting financial data.

The nagus wants you
to share in these lucrative opportunities.

Yes, I'm talking
about the grand nagus.

No, not Brunt.

Grand Nagus Zek.

- Who said he was dead?
- Wait. Don't end the transmission.

Hello? Where did he go?

I know all about
the 94th Rule of Acquisition.

I know.
Females and finances don't mix.

That can be interpreted
in many different ways.


That's not a nice thing to say
about him.

- I beg your pardon?
- There's no need to be insulting.


That female happens to be my mother!


Are you sure you contacted
every commissioner on this list?

All 432.

You could only convince one to attend?

Maybe if we made follow-up calls.

I helped them to earn a fortune!
And this is how they repay me?

- What a bunch of ingrates.
- The news isn't all bad.

The commissioner
who's agreed to come... it's Nilva.

The chairman of Slug-o-Cola.

He's a very powerful
and influential voice within the FCA.

Unfortunately, he's
an influential voice for the status quo.

Slug-o-cola hasn't changed its slogan
in 300 years.

Drink Slug-o-Cola.

The slimiest cola in the galaxy.

Why would Nilva come to the meeting?

I'm not sure, but if I convince him
to support Zek, others will follow.

It's a start, at least.

See? I told you
it was too early to panic.

Care to place a wager on that?

Grand Nagus Brunt!

- Acting Grand Nagus Brunt.
- Now you can panic.

I'll take an Eelwasser.
No ice.

What are you doing here, Brunt?

- That's Grand Nagus Brunt.
- Acting Grand Nagus.

Would someone please tell that female
to take off those clothes?

- It's disgusting.
- Get used to it, limp lobes.

This is the future.

Over my dead body.

If that's what it takes.

I guess you're not here to reminisce

about when you helped us rescue
Moogie from the Dominion.

You're right. That's not why I'm here.

Though I find it ironic
that helping rescue your mother

was the first step
on my road to becoming nagus.

Don't remind me.

I never should have given you
your job back with the FCA.

But you did. And as a liquidator, I was
able to bribe my way back into power.

Face it, Zek. It's over.

You're finished. Bankrupt.

I'm going to liquidate you.

Cancel that Eelwasser.

And get me a... Slug-o-Cola instead.

On second thought... I'll just wait
till Chairman Nilva gets here.

He'll be happy to provide his new nagus
with all the Slug-o-Cola I can drink.

- How did you know Nilva was coming?
- It's my business to know.

Go on. Have your little meeting.

Whatever you offer Nilva,
I'll double it.

That's it! Get out of my bar.

- You dare threaten your nagus?
- Acting nagus.

You may liquidate us tomorrow
but this is still my establishment.

Now, get out before I kick you out.

I'm going to make you a pauper.

Uri'lash, we're leaving.
Say goodbye to these poor people.


My boy, I'm proud of you.

- So am I.
- Me too.

I kicked the grand nagus
out of my bar.

- Acting grand nagus.
- Whatever.

I need to lie down.

- You busy, Quark?
- Busy? Me?

I'm lying here wondering if it's not
too late to start a new life somewhere.

there's nothing wrong with your life.

- Sorry. I stand corrected.
- You're overreacting.

Reminds me of when you were
a lobeling.

You were always a miserable child.

Moogie, leave me alone.

- I'm your mother. I can't.
- Try!

On your feet.
Zekkie's waiting for you in the bar.

- Now what?
- He feels like playing tongo.

We all face banishment from Ferengi
society and he wants to play tongo?

He wants to play tongo.
I want to have a snack.

You want to feel sorry for yourself.
We all deal with stress in different ways.

Any fresh tube grubs around?

- How can you eat at a time like this?
- Simple.

Put one end of the tube grub
between your teeth and suck him up.

You want tube grubs? Fine.

- Enjoy.
- These are minced. I wanted fresh.

This is all your fault.

That you don't have fresh tube grubs?

I'm not talking about tube grubs.

I'm talking about Ferengi females
wearing clothes and earning profit.

I'm talking about Grand Nagus Brunt.

- Acting Grand Nagus Brunt!
- You're not fooling me, Moogie.

You've been plotting this. Ever since you
met Zek you've been working on him,

manipulating him,
whispering things in his ears.

- Things like "equality for females".
- What's wrong with that?

You've ruined Zek's life,
your life, Rom's life.

As if you cared!
It's your life you're worried about.

You bet I'm worried. Nobody else
seems to care what happens to me.

You come here, take over my quarters,
make me part of your schemes...

What's the matter, Quark?
Afraid you picked the wrong side?

You can go to Brunt,
beg his forgiveness.

I don't want anything to do with Brunt.
I want my old nagus!

I want Zek to be the way he was
before he met you,

before you twisted his thinking
with your feminine wiles.

Before he met me,
Zek was a lonely, unhappy man.

But he was rich! He was
the most powerful Ferengi alive.

Now he is a puppet.

And you're the one making him dance
to your evil feminist tune.

You're the worst thing
that happened to Zek! And to me.

You're the worst thing that ever
happened to the entire Ferengi Alliance!

Maybe I am!
But at least I'm not like you.

- A selfish, spineless, ungrateful...
- Don't forget miserable.

- Miserable excuse for a son!
- Is that the best you can do?

I haven't begun.
You should be ashamed of yourself.

- You are nothing but a... You are...
- Go ahead. Say it.

You're a...

- I'm still waiting.
- You're a... You're a...

- You're a...
- What?


Moogie! Moogie!

Moogie. Moogie!


Moogie! Please don't die.

She's not going to die.
She's going to get better.

I hope so. For my sake. For her sake.

For the sake
of the entire Ferengi Alliance.

Most of all for your sake, Quark,
because if she doesn't...

- What did I do?
- That's what I keep asking myself!

- What did you do to her?
- She said she was hungry.

I gave her some tube grubs.
She thanked me.

And then she collapsed.
Stop making me relive it.

Sure you didn't
do anything to upset her?

- I don't want to discuss it.
- Your conscience bothering you?

- I haven't done anything wrong.
- That's not what your mother says.

- Doctor, how's Moogie?
- Will she live?

Yes. She needed a new heart,
and it's functioning,

but she will need a few days' rest.

And she'll need to be kept
far away from him.

- And why is that, Doctor?
- I'm not sure exactly.

All I do know is that
she keeps repeating the same phrase.

"It's all Quark's fault.
It's all Quark's fault.”

I wonder what she means by that.

And then I... accused her

of being the worst thing that
ever happened to the Ferengi Alliance

and she clutched her chest
and collapsed.

Moogie and I argue all the time.
It's how we show affection.

The worst thing that ever happened
to the Ferengi Alliance is you.

I'm sorry.

We should tell Nilva
the meeting has to be postponed.

We can't postpone the meeting!

In two days the FCA will confirm Brunt
as the new grand nagus.

Boy! When things go wrong...

The only thing to do is to get down
on your knees and beg for mercy.

Who knows? You might find me
in a charitable mood.

By the time I'm through with you,
you're the one who will need charity.

Such brave words. Yet so empty.

I was very relieved to hear
your mother will be all right.

Of course, it doesn't do you much good.

Nilva will be arriving tonight, expecting
to meet a brilliant Ferengi female.

Do you know any?
I mean, besides Ishka?

I certainly don't.

How... pitiful.

One day you're the grand nagus
of the Ferengi Alliance,

and the next you're nothing
but a common bar-room brawler.

You see what happens
when you put your faith in a female?

What about Leeta?
Maybe she could meet Nilva.

She handles my finances,
and she's a female.

Nilva's expecting
to meet with a Ferengi female.

- We're doomed.
- We're not.

You think Ishka would give up?

If she were here, there'd be no problem.

That's not my point. Your mother
would never accept defeat.

If she couldn't find another female,
she'd... she'd... she'd...

- She'd what?
- She'd make one.

- You mean a hologram?
- Better than a hologram.

- What could be better than a hologram?
- You.

Dr Bashir certainly did
a wonderful job on you.

I'd call the operation
a complete success.

It must've been
a very delicate procedure.

Tell me about it.


Well, how do I look?

- You look nice.
- Nice? That's all?

Very nice.

You may look like a female,
but do something about that voice.

I'm trying!
I mean... I'm trying.

- Well, try harder.
- And stop looking down.

I need to see what I look like.
Get me a mirror.

You see, brother? You look lovely.

- There go his hormones.
- Her hormones.

Take it away!
I'm sorry. I just feel so different.

Stop staring at your chest.

I'm not staring at my chest.
I'm staring at my hips.

- Aren't they too big?
- No. Let's get down to business.

These are your mother's notes
for her meeting with Nilva.

Study them carefully.

"Female apparel for a new source
of latinum for a new Ferenginar.

"Hypicate cream
for smooth skin and healthier profits."

All these facts and figures.
They're too much for me to remember.

Nonsense! You just need a little time
to practise your presentation.

While you're at it,
we need to practise your walk.

- What's wrong with my walk?
- You're... lumbering.

- This is never going to work.
- Don't cry, brother.

Here. Let me show you.
Watch carefully.

- It's more of a glide.
- That's... good.

When you sit,
make sure your knees are touching,

and don't forget to relax your shoulders
but keep your bottom tight.


- He should be wearing the dress.
- Why me?

You're so adorable.
And... complicated.

Maybe it's not too late.

- I'll take you to Dr Bashir.
- Forget it, Quark.

Rom may make a better female,

but when it comes to business,
you're the better Ferengi.

Looks like your stupidity
has saved you again.

It comes in handy sometimes.

I can do this.

It's only one meeting.

I can be a female
for one meeting, can't I?

Not if you're lumbering.

- I'll have the meeting sitting down.
- Tighten your bottom.

I think you're doing wonderfully,
my dear. I'm proud of you.

I'm sorry.

You know, you may walk like a man,
but you make a very attractive female.

- Confusing, isn't it?
- Not to me.

- He's here. He's on the station.
- Who?

- Nilva.
- He's supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Nilva, he's a tricky one,
but he makes a good cola.

What do we do?

- I can't meet Nilva now. I'm lumbering.
- You look very nice.

Escort the chairman to his quarters.
Tell him I'll meet him tonight.

What if he asks about Ishka?

Tell him that Ishka is sick,

but that tomorrow he'll be meeting
with my other female financial advisor...

- Lumba.
- Right.


You'd better start
memorising those notes.

- We'll practise your walking.
- And your sitting.

- And work on that voice.
- Any other comments?

Has anyone ever told you
that you have lovely eyes?

- Here. Have a Slug-o-Cola.
- Thank you.

Welcome to Deep Space 9,
Chairman Nilva.

- You drink Slug-o-Cola, don't you?
- The slimiest cola in the galaxy?

- Doesn't everybody?
- Good boy.

Now, take me to Zek.

- Zek wanted me to...
- Don't argue.

- Drink your cola and lead the way.
- Um... Uh...

Sure you don't want to freshen up?

Not before I meet
this female advisor of Zek's.

- Nilva, how nice to see you again.
- Grand Nagus Brunt.

Acting Grand Nagus Brunt.

I had a feeling I'd find you here.

I thought after your meeting with Zek
we could have a little chat.

Of course. But I've really come
to meet this Ishka female.

Ishka's in the Infirmary.
She's in no position to meet anyone.

Which is why you'll be meeting
another one of Zek's financial advisors.

- Her name is Lumba.
- Never heard of her.

Zek has two female advisors?

I didn't know there were
two Ferengi females on the station.

What are we waiting for?
Let's go meet this other female.

Sure you wouldn't like me
to show you around the station?

I want to meet Lumba.


Let's try it again.

My name is Lumba.
You must be Chairman Nilva.

Zek has told me
so much about you. Ow!

What's wrong now?

It's these earrings. They're killing me.
Do I have to wear them?

No woman is complete
without earrings.

Why does everyone
keep looking at me?

- I'm going to bed.
- Now?

I'm exhausted. If I don't sleep,
I'll never make it through the meeting.

- Who could that be?
- Come in.

- Nilva!
- Zek!

Here. Have a Slug-o-Cola.

Don't worry.
I've brought enough for everyone.

He insisted
on seeing you immediately.

Why, you must be Lunga.


A clothed female Ferengi.
And with your approval, no less.

Either you've been inhaling
too much beetle snuff

or you're the greatest visionary ever
to sit atop the Tower of Commerce.

Why don't you and I have dinner tonight
and figure it out?

We can go to Quark's
and get some nice juicy snail steaks.

You can meet with Lumba tomorrow.

I'm afraid that's not possible.
I have to leave early.

I'm due back on Ferenginar
for an important stockholders' meeting.

But those snail steaks
do sound tempting.

I know.
Why don't I have dinner with Lumba?

With me?

Won't you feel uncomfortable being
seen in public with a clothed female?

Of course, but you and I have earned
a lot of latinum together over the years.

That should be worth
some small discomfort.

But Lumba better be
all you claim she is,

or I'll have to liquidate you myself.

Let's eat.

Have fun!

Two snail steaks, lightly seared.

Now, tell me something.

Doesn't wearing clothes
make you feel like a deviant?

Not really. And I'll tell you why.

Because under all these clothes,
I know I'm totally naked.

I'll try to remember that.

Now, you'd better explain to me how
allowing females to wear clothing

is going to make me richer
than I already am.

I was hoping you'd ask me that.
See this dress I'm wearing?

Have you any idea how much
it would sell for on Ferenginar?

Would someone please tell me
what they're saying?

Let me see if I understand.

Giving females the right
to wear clothing

allows them to... have pockets.

Once they have pockets,
they'll want to fill them with latinum.

Which means they'll need jobs.

And once they start earning latinum,
they're going to want to spend it.

Which means Ferenginar will be
expanding its workforce

and its consumer base
at the same time.

There will be plenty of profit
for everyone.

When it comes to profit, I'm your girl.

And... I'm sure
you could use a little extra latinum.

- Meaning what?
- I read the beverage trades.

Sales of Slug-o-Cola have flattened out

and Eelwasser
had an impressive third quarter.

They were lucky, that's all.

I know a way you can increase
sales of Slug-o-Cola by 50-60%.

I'm all ears.

Target the new female consumer.
Make Slug-o-Cola her drink.

There's nothing stopping her
from drinking it now.

You're not encouraging her either.
"The slimiest cola in the galaxy"?

That kind of slogan
doesn't appeal to women.

- Well, what would?
- Let me see.

Slug-o-Cola contains
43% live algae, right?

In every bottle.

Well, how about something like.

"Drink Slug-o-Cola... and keep
your teeth that lovely shade of green"?

Zek was right about you.
You're very intelligent.

For a female.

- I think it's time for dessert now.
- Good idea.

I thought we were
going to have dessert.

We are. In my quarters.

I never ever thought
I'd find a clothed female so... enticing.

Enticing? Me? Don't be silly.

It's so good to finally be alone.
Without all those people staring at us.

Although, I must admit
I did find it somewhat stimulating.

Maybe a little too stimulating.

Can I help it if my lobes burn for you?

If you don't believe me,
just touch them. Touch them.

I'll take your word for it.

- You said you'd do anything for me.
- I lied.

Come to me, my little love slave.

Stay away!

- Marry me.
- Your wife wouldn't approve.

She hasn't touched my lobes
in months.

- I can tell.
- I need you.

- You need a cold shower!
- What a good idea.

Why, you can scrub my back.

- What if...
- Yes?

- I told you...
- Yes?

- I hate Slug-o-Cola?
- So do I!

- You torture me.
- Stay away... or I'll jump.

I'll catch you.

- Let go of that man!
- I'm trying.

Would you leave?
You're making Lumba nervous.

His name's not Lumba,
it's Quark, and he's a male.

- A male?
- How pitiful.

Zek must be truly desperate.

- Is this true? You're... a man?
- Do I look like a man?

Nice try, Quark,
but it's not going to work.

He's the station's bartender.

Don't listen to him, hot lobes.

I'm as female as they come
and I'm going to prove it to you.

- Well?
- Well, I'm... not sure.

All right.

Now are you sure?


I tell you that is not a female!

Well, she's close enough for me.

Come, my dear. Let's go tell Zek
that I will do everything in my power

to make sure
he remains grand nagus.

But... why'?

Because that's what Lumba wants.

His name's Quark.

- Interesting ring.
- It was a gift.

Poor Nilva.
Such a lovely man but so lonely.


There was a sweetness to him.
And also a strength.

Sometimes he'd get
this little glint in his eye.

- You know what I mean.
- Not really.

But I'm glad
you had a pleasant evening.

You're mocking me, aren't you?

And you're being
a little overly sensitive.

I've only been a male again
for six hours.

My hormones must still be
out of balance.

My emotions are raging out of control.

Is there anything I can do?

Would you mind... giving me... a hug?

- A hug?
- Just a small one.

Thank you!

I hope we're not
interrupting anything.

Excuse me.

We wanted to say goodbye
before we go back to Ferenginar.

Where the rivers run with muck
and the streets are full of happy females.

And where,
if all goes according to plan,

the FCA commissioners will
once again proclaim me grand nagus.

Brunt's going to fight you at every turn.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm glad we have Nilva on our side.
We have you to thank for that, Quark.

- Will you forgive me, Moogie?
- Of course I do.

You may be a lousy son,
but you made a wonderful daughter.

I hope the experience
taught you something.

It made me more compassionate,
more empathetic, more nurturing.

I feel I'm trapped
in my worst nightmare.

Don't worry. I'm sure it won't last.

You'll be back to your old self
in no time.

You are so... lucky.
No man ever gave me a ring.

- Quark?
- Aluura.

- I read the book.
- What book?

You know, "Oo-mox For Fun..."

You shouldn't be reading that trash.

- You told me to.
- Forget it.

It was wrong and I apologise.

You are a wonderful employee and
I'm lucky to have you working for me.

In fact, as of today,
I'm giving you a raise.

Another two slips of latinum a week.

- Really?
- It's the least I can do.

- That's too bad.
- All right. Make it three.

- It's not that.
- Then what?

It's just that...
Oo-mox sounded like fun.

The tympanic tickle,
the eustachian tube rub,

the auditory nerve nibble...

But if that's the way you feel about it...

That is exactly
the way I feel about it.

What am I saying? Aluura? Wait.